portrait of this blog's author - by Stephen Blackman 2008

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

MARCEL MARCEAU

it is maybe worth reflecting on the story of the world's greatest mime artist. the man upon whom all other mime is judged against and the spoof jokes about sliding along an invisible sheet of glass or caught trapped in a box are based. This is who he was . . . . . . . . 


Marcel Marceau, born Marcel Mangel, was a French Jew, originally from Strasbourg.  
His father was murdered in Auschwitz.


  During his teen years, Marceau became active in the French Resistance, in a unit commanded by his cousin, Georges Loinger.  In the Resistance, Marceau was both a forger of false documents for people fleeing the nazis and a resistant who smuggled several hundred Jewish children to safety in Switzerland.  It was while clandestinely moving these young people that Marceau, in order to keep them calm, quiet and entertained, first began to experiment with mime.  


Erich Lessing     Marcel Marceau, Paris     1951

He also credited his experience during the war and the murder of his father with the tragic tone of much of his mime performance.  As he later said: “The people who came back from the camps were never able to talk about it. My name is Mangel. I am Jewish. Perhaps that, unconsciously, contributed towards my choice of silence.” 

another Lessing portrait of Marceau 1951
“I have designed my style pantomimes as white ink drawings on black backgrounds, so that man’s destiny appears as a thread lost in an endless labyrinth… I have tried to shed some gleams of light on the shadow of man startled by his anguish.” 
Marcel Marceau, 1965




Some nice early R.E.M. ROIO's from Matt over at 


EIGHTIES R.E.M. 



Midnight Cafe: REM - Bochum West Germany 2/10/1985

Matt Brewster says:
Notes from Mat: Awhile back somebody gave me a bunch of old REM shows. Unfortunately they mostly didn’t include any text files or other information other than show dates. Also they tend to be low bit rates. I’m not 100% positive I have the correct date on this one as all info I found online lists a bunch of songs that aren’t included in my download. However I am definitely in the camp of any REM is good REM so I’m happy to share.

Midnight Cafe: R.E.M. - These Days, London Hammersmith Odeon 1985




In the light of the latest in the Official Bootlegs being announced as 'More Blood, More Tracks - Official Bootleg Vol 14' people are already getting  excited and the guys over at Aquarium Drunkard have just posted this fascinating article:
More Blood, More Tracks – The Bootleg Series Vol. 14the latest slab of previously unreleased Bob Dylan recordings, lands in early November. The six-disc collection features the complete New York City recording sessions for Blood On The Tracks, giving listeners a fly-on-the-wall look at the creation of one of Dylan’s bona fide masterpieces. In some ways, though, the songwriter has never stopped creating Blood’s opening track, “Tangled Up In Blue.” Onstage, the song has been an ever-changing landscape, a canvas for Dylan that’s never quite complete, lyrically, musically or otherwise. It’s a living, breathing thing. “You’ve got yesterday, today and tomorrow all in the same room, and there’s very little you can’t imagine not happening,” he once said of the song. In other words, you can see the song from many different points of view.
A.D. then explores various version of 'Tangled Up In Blue over the years since it's creation
Truly fascinating 

Of course with the six CD deluxe collection taking advance bookings for what will be a limited edition at £25 per volume a total outlay of nearly £150 may seem a tad steep but as per usual the price offer stands if it should transpire it costs anything lower on publication you will get your money back but I wouldn't hold your breath. Does it occur to anyone that they are actually waiting to see how many folks order at the full price before deciding!? Call me a cynic but that doesn't strike me as the most moral way of pricing your product  . . . . but hey we're probably all dumb enough to shell out anyway!







Well something was going on around this time of the year . . . . . . . 

Classic pop songs of all time . . . . . . 

I didn't 'get' Sheryl until long after she had become famous and don't always enjoy what I have heard but this is about as classic as it gets and is funk rock and then some . . . . . 

I like it . . . . . now
Great guitar . . . . 

On this day in music history: September 24, 1996 - “Sheryl Crow”, the second album by Sheryl Crow is released. Produced by Sheryl Crow, it is recorded at Sunset Sound Recorders, Sunset Sound in Hollywood, CA, and Kingsway Studios in New Orleans, LA from Early - Mid 1996. Following up her multi-platinum, multiple Grammy winning debut “Tuesday Night Music Club”, Crow returns to the studio with producer Bill Bottrell. Bottrell abruptly leaves the project in a dispute over musical direction, with Crow taking over the production duties herself. The album features a number of guest musicians including Neil Finn (of Crowded House), Steve Berlin (of Los Lobos), Jim Keltner and Pete Thomas. It spins off three singles including “If It Makes You Happy” (#10 Pop) and “Everyday Is A Winding Road” (#11 Pop). The album is also the subject of a minor controversy over the lyrics to the song “Love Is A Good Thing” in which one line states, “Watch out sister, watch out brother, watch our children while they kill each other with a gun they bought at Wal-Mart discount stores”. This leads to the mass market retailer banning the album from being carried in their stores when Crow refuses to change the lyrics, or remove the song from the album. The album wins two Grammy Awards for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance (for “If It Makes You Happy”) and Best Rock Album in 1997. “Sheryl Crow” peaks at number six on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

Classic pop songs of all time 

. . . .a cultural marker if ever there was one and no, I didn't buy it, nor did I really get grunge until long after the fascinating Kurt Cobain had killed himself, I like everything I read and find out about Dave Grohl and have enjoyed much of The Foo Fighters work but Nirvana left me feeling old and discarded and in the way!



On this day in music history: September 24, 1991 - “Nevermind”, the second album by Nirvana is released. Produced by Butch Vig, it is recorded at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, CA, Smart Studios in Madison, WI and Devonshire Studios in North Hollywood, CA from April 1990, May - June 1991. Releasing their debut album “Bleach” on Seattle based indie label Sub Pop in 1989, Nirvana are disappointed when it sells only 40,000 copies initially. Deciding that the only way to reach a wider audience is to sign with a major label, the band are courted by several labels, but eventually sign with Geffen Records subsidiary DGC Records. Working previously with engineer and producer Butch Vig in 1990, he is chosen to produced their second album. With exception of the track “Polly” (recorded at Smart Studios in Madison, WI in April 1990), the bulk of Nirvana’s major label debut is recorded in Southern California during the Spring of 1991. When the album is originally mastered, engineer Howie Weinberg accidentally leaves off the final track “Endless, Nameless”, which was tacked on the end of the master tape, proceeded by ten minutes of blank leader tape in between. The mistake isn’t caught until after the first press run of CD’s and cassettes are manufactured. The first 20,000 copies of “Nevermind” exclude the hidden track, but is corrected on all future pressings. When it is released, initial expectations are low with only 46,251 copies being shipped. Thanks to the breakout success of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (#6 Pop), the album reaches gold status in under thirty days, and platinum two weeks after that. It spends two weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200 on January 11, 1992. The massive and unexpected success of the album affects a major sea change in not only the music industry, but in popular culture with the rise of the grunge music phenomenon of the early to mid 90’s. To commemorate the twentieth anniversary of its release in 2011, “Nevermind” is remastered and reissued as a four CD + DVD deluxe edition. Disc one features the original thirteen track album, with nine additional bonus tracks. Disc two features the previously unreleased “Smart Studios Sessions” recordings, and two tracks from a BBC in-studio appearance on DJ John Peel’s radio show. Disc three contains the original unreleased Devonshire Studios mixes. Disc four features a complete live concert recorded at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle, WA on October 31, 1991. The DVD features the complete film of the concert, and all four original music videos from the album. The box set also comes in a slip case, with a ninety page hardbound book, and a double sided poster. Reissued on vinyl numerous times since its initial limited release in 1991, it is most recently remastered and released as a 180 gram LP in 2017. “Nevermind” is certified 10x Platinum in the US by the RIAA, receiving a Diamond Certification.

Classic pop songs of all time . . . . 

I had a fairly ambivalent attitude to Prince and never bought anything . . . . . I did download the Black album bootleg but that's a whole other thing. That he was an undoubted master of the genre a superb guitarist and songwriter somehow I didn't go for all that eighties high flash glitter and bastardised rhythm and blues soul type hybridisation funk. I did however enjoy certain singles and Raspberry Beret, Purple Rain and this, 1999 were of course hypnotically brilliant. 
His terrible tragic death is another in the medication argument that caught and continues to catch so many in addiction with prescribed meds being prey to the power of money that we know has hit Prince, Michael Jackson, Anna Nicole Smith, Wynona Ryder [on her arrest for shoplifting schtick], heck, even Elvis himself was being prescribed over 12 different contra-indicated meds . . . . . .it is a longer story but that Prince was fallen by his consumption of prescribed painkillers and powerful sedatives is a given and the problem is killing our great artists. Sudden removal of the problem opiod and opiate prescribed meds has resulted in the outbreak of heroin addiction and is not the answer


On this day in music history: September 24, 1982 - “1999” by Prince is released. Written and produced by Prince, it is the eleventh single release for the singer, songwriter, musician and producer from Minneapolis, MN. Written about “a party at the end of world”, the lyrics touch on widespread fears of the escalation of “The Cold War”, and the impending threat of global thermal nuclear war between the United States and the then Soviet Union (Russia). The song’s message encourages listeners to enjoy the time we do have, best expressed in the lyric “life is just a party, and parties weren’t meant to last”. The somewhat dark undercurrent present in the lyrics are masked by the exuberant, funky track, with its point being missed by many who only viewed it as a party song. One of the last songs recorded for the album, the basic tracks are recorded at Prince’s home studio on Kiowa Trail (“The Purple House”) in Chanhassen, MN in late July/early August of 1982.  The song features Prince sharing lead vocals with band members Lisa Coleman, Jill Jones, and Dez Dickerson. Initially, he had planned for everyone to sing the entire song in unison, but during mixing of the single he hits upon the idea of having them sing lines on their own then all together on the chorus.  The songs music video is directed by Bruce Gowers (Queen, Michael Jackson), and is shot at the Minneapolis Armory (with the full stage set up) during rehearsals for the “Triple Threat Tour”. It is one of three promotional clips filmed that week along with “Automatic” and “Let’s Pretend We’re Married”. The single is backed with the non album B-side “How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore”. Featuring Prince singing lead and background vocals to his own piano accompaniment, it is recorded at Sunset Sound Recorders in Hollywood, CA on April 26, 1982. “How Come” is included on the compilation “The Hits/B-sides” in 1993, and on the soundtrack to Spike Lee’s film “Girl 6” in 1996. “1999” peaks at #4 on the Billboard R&B singles chart in December of 1982 also topping the Club Play chart for 2 weeks on December 4, 1982, and initially peaking at number #44 on the Hot 100. After the top ten chart success of “Little Red Corvette”, Warner Bros re-promotes “1999” at US top 40 pop radio in the late Spring of 1983. It re-enters the Hot 100, and peak at #12 on July 23, 1983. Prince re-records “1999” in late 1998, releasing it on his NPG Records imprint (as a seven track EP) after Warner Bros reissues the original version. The original re-charts again, peaking at #40 on the Hot 100 on January 16, 1999, with the remake peaking at #58 on the R&B album chart, and #150 on the Top 200 on February 20, 1999.


and this is a timely visit to the Stones' past with a classic hit single and whilst I didn't get it when it came out it stands as one of the great classic rock songs of all time


On this day in music history: September 24, 1966 - “Have You Seen Your Mother Baby, Standing In The Shadow?” by The Rolling Stones is released. Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, it is the thirteenth US and fourteenth UK single by the legendary rock band from London, UK. The track is recorded at IBC Studios in London from August 31 - September 2, 1966. Recorded early in the sessions for the bands next album “Between The Buttons”, the song is issued as a stand alone single, making its first appearance on an LP on the UK edition of their first greatest hits compilation “Big Hits (High Tide And Green Grass)” in November 1966, and in the US on the compilation “Flowers” in June 1967. The song is their first to incorporate guitar feedback as well as a horn section. The bands’ record label (Decca in the UK and London in the US) issues the single with what The Stones feel to be an inferior rough mix of the song (obscuring the tracks strong rhythm section) in order to rush it out to the marketplace. The picture sleeve for “Have You Seen Your Mother Baby” features a photograph of The Rolling Stones dressed in drag, taken by photographer Jerry Schatzberg in New York City. For the US release of the single, the satirical drag photo is considered “controversial” and is regulated to the back side of the sleeve, while another picture of the band (shot with a fish eye lens) also used as the cover photo the UK edition of “Big Hits (High Tide And Green Grass)” is used on the front instead. Film footage of the photo shoot is also included in the documentary “25x5: The Continuing Adventures Of The Rolling Stones” released in 1989. “Have You Seen Your Mother Baby, Standing In The Shadow?” peaks at #5 on the UK singles chart and #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 on October 29, 1966.

thanks to Jeff Harris' Behind The Grooves
Nice set this morning from the Groobin' Stoooves we haven't had any for a while and this is a treat. Whilst not from a soundboard it must be a grab from some source as it is highly listenable and great fun




Check this if you want a taster!

Track 204. Midnight Rambler 10:47

Monday, September 24, 2018

I think the naughties (noughties! - ED) was where I began to feel really old and that music was finally leaving me behind what with rap and hip hop and house and stuff I didn't get and finally realised I HAD turned into my dad, 'one note songs' and 'what are they singing about'? 'why can't I hear the words', 'what IS that noise'!? etc etc . . . . . but occasionally something would spark my eardrobes (thank you Sir Stanley Unwin) and make me sit up and take notice . . .it still happens now with Lily Allen, Dua Lipa, Rag N Bone Man, Florence and the Machine, Ed Sheeran [backlash notwithstanding I think the boy's a genius!] Amy Wadge, heck I even liked Gorgon City with JP Cooper on Sunday Brunch yesterday. But broadly I feel left behind . . . . . . 

This made me sit up and Andre 'Ice Cool' 3000 is very clever and apart from being cast to play Jimi in a biopic he was able to turn apple green clothing fashionable again! 
What with Ceelo Green and I think I know what he was aiming at but getting Norah Jones and Rosario Dawson on the same album I think I REALLY know what he was up to! Clever guy! 

OUTKAST!


I loved this . . . . . . . the video is a work of genius!


On this day in music history: September 23, 2003 - “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below”, the fifth album by Outkast is released. Produced by André 3000, Big Boi, Carl Mo, Mr. DJ, Cutmaster Swiff and Dojo5, it is recorded at Stankonia Studios in Atlanta, GA and Larrabee Studios in Los Angeles, CA from September 2001 - September 2003. Following the huge critical and commercial success of their previous album “Stankonia” released in 2000, the Atlanta based rap duo take a year long hiatus before reconvening to work on their fifth release. Recorded over a two year period, the 2 CD/4 LP set is technically two separate albums by Big Boi and André 3000 packaged together under the Outkast name. Musically diverse and eclectic throughout, it features a number of guest artists including Jay-Z, Cee-Lo Green, Norah Jones, Sleepy Brown, Kelis, The Goodie Mob, Li'l Jon, Ludacris, and Rosario Dawson. The album is launched using the unique marketing approach of promoting not one, but two singles simultaneously. The tracks “Hey Ya” (#1 Pop, #9 R&B) and “The Way You Move” (#1 Pop, #2 R&B) are promoted as a double A-sided single. It receives major critical and commercial acclaim upon its release, spinning off five singles including (the aforementioned two) “Roses” (#9 Pop, #12 R&B) and “Ghetto Musick” (#93 R&B). The album also wins the duo three Grammy Awards including Album Of The Year (becoming only the second rap album in history to do so), and Best Rap Album in 2004. “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” spends five weeks (non-consecutive) at number one on the Billboard Top 200, one week at number one on the R&B album chart, and is certified 11x Platinum in the US by the RIAA, earning a Diamond Certification.

with thanks to Jeff Harris' wonderful blog Behind The Grooves

BAND OF LOVE!

Live in Hyde Park!

This is a way to start the week . . . . live in the park with BBC Radio was a band of (young) folkies

From Big O (where else!?) turn it up and dance in your pants!




Here's my track of the day for a bright brisk sharp and snappy Monday morn!

Track 05. Night Fever (Bee Gees) 5:15


If you listen to one thing today make it this!
If you don't end up up annoying the neighbours and dancing round the withdrawing room in your underwear then I don't know what's wrong with you and I would call a doctor!


Sunday, September 23, 2018

THE DOORS - STRANGE DAYS

"Strange days have found us
Strange days have tracked us down
They're going to destroy
Our casual joys . . . . . "

On this day in music history: September 23, 1967 - “People Are Strange” by The Doors is released. Written by The Doors, it is the third single release for the rock band from Los Angeles, CA. Written in early 1967, the initial idea for “People Are Strange” comes while Jim Morrison and Robby Kreiger are hiking to the top of Laurel Canyon. Feeling depressed at the time, Morrison’s lyrics reflect his feelings of alienation, outsider status, and vulnerability. Though the song is penned by Morrison and Krieger alone, the entire band receives writing credit. The musicial portion of the song is also inspired and influenced by The Doors’ fascination with European cabaret music (explored on tracks such as “The Crystal Ship” and their cover of Berthold Brecht and Kurt Weill’s “Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)” on their debut album). The song is issued as the first single from the bands second album “Strange Days”, two days before the LP. “People Are Strange” peaks at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 on October 28, 1967. “Strange” is covered a number of times over the years, most notably by Echo & The Bunnymen, whose version appears in the film “The Lost Boys” in 1987.

Now 'Strange Days' is way up there in my favourite albums of all time and always features in my top three favourite Doors album. It has a unique affect upon yours truly when it came out and has the most extraordinary atmosphere of any album I believe. Quite it's own unique and peculiar flavour, temper and vibe at once mysterious but elemental somehow and with it's own mystical power. swimming to the moon, the doldrums where horses were thrown overboard ship to aid movement through these dangerous latitudes, peons to ecology years ahead of it's time.

People are strange when you're a stranger,  . . . . . . faces come out of the rain . . . . 

Side A
No. Title Length
1. "Strange Days" 3:11
2. "You're Lost Little Girl" 3:03
3. "Love Me Two Times" 3:18
4. "Unhappy Girl" 2:02
5. "Horse Latitudes" 1:37
6. "Moonlight Drive" 3:05
Side B
No. Title Length
7. "People Are Strange" 2:13
8. "My Eyes Have Seen You" 2:32
9. "I Can't See Your Face in My Mind" 3:26
10. "When the Music's Over"


I learned all of these by heart and could recite the lyrics at will but it contained some genuinely odd songs despite them having been written around the same time as much of the first album. It contains perhaps my favourite rock lyric of all time in 'Moonlight Drive' segueing from 'the truly inquire  and disquieting 'Horse Latitudes' (a real place and feature of the open ocean . . . . . 

The single meant less to me here as it was the album as an entirely that totally transported us to a world of teenage angst and fear, neurosis and horror





oh you want more? . . . . . . 

I have said I think I was lucky enough to attend the press launch in London of 'Alive She Cried' at the ICA where the remaining members of the band (John, Ray and Robbie) were interviewed by Robin Denselow

this is the version launched on that album . , . , . , . , . , . , 







Alive, She Cried is a live album by the American rock band The Doors; the title of the album is taken from a line in the song "When the Music's Over". Following the resurgence in popularity for the band due to the 1979 film, Apocalypse Now, and the release of the first Doors compilation album in seven years, Greatest Hits, released in 1980, the push was on to release more Doors music. The recordings are from various concerts during the period 1968–1970; they include "Gloria", originally a hit for Them, and an extended version of The Doors' best known song "Light My Fire". John Sebastian of The Lovin' Spoonful joined the band on stage to play harmonica on Willie Dixon's "Little Red Rooster". The album was discontinued as 1991 saw the release of In Concert, a double-album which included all of the songs from Alive, She Cried and Absolutely Live, as well as a few other live tracks. The version of "Light My Fire" from this album is actually from a variety of sources. "The Graveyard Poem" is actually a recited poetry piece from Boston in April 1970. It was inserted into the break of "Light My Fire" for this album. "Gloria" was also edited to exclude some risque verses. Later releases of "Gloria" on the Bright Midnight label restored the edited verses.
Let's swim to the moon, uh huh Let's climb through the tide Penetrate the evenin' that the City sleeps to hide Let's swim out tonight, love It's our turn to try Parked beside the ocean On our moonlight drive 
Let's swim to the moon, uh huh Let's climb through the tide Surrender to the waiting worlds That lap against our side 
Nothin' left open And no time to decide We've stepped into a river On our moonlight drive 
Let's swim to the moon Let's climb through the tide You reach your hand to hold me But I can't be your guide 
Easy, I love you As I watch you glide Falling through wet forests On our moonlight drive, baby Moonlight drive 
Come on, baby, gonna take a little ride Down, down by the ocean side Gonna get real close Get real tight Baby gonna drown tonight Goin' down, down, down

+ Horse Latitudes (about the doldrums)


When the still sea conspires an armor
And her sullen and aborted
Currents breed tiny monsters
True sailing is dead!
Awkward instant
And the first animal is jettisoned
Legs furiously pumping
Their stiff green gallop
And heads bob up
Poise
Delicate
Pause
Consent
In mute nostril agony
Carefully refined
And sealed over
What have they done to the earth?
What have they done to our fair sister?
Ravaged and plundered and ripped her and bit her
Stuck her with knives in the side of the dawn
And tied her with fences and dragged her down
I hear a very gentle sound
With your ear down to the ground
We want the world and we want it
We want the world and we want it now
Now?
Now!


 . . . . . when the music's over . . . turn out the light

THE BOXTOPS - THE LETTER

Once more a classic pop single of all time and whilst it could have been a one hit wonder the legendary Alex Chilton and his band Big Star went on to an almost entirely different sounding success and a more traditionally pop/rock format songbook. Chilton also seemingly simultaneously produced and developed bands like Tav Falco's Panther Burns and the truly extraordinary pre-punk The Cramps. 'The Letter' by Chilton's Box-Tops is one of those singles that caught the zeitgeist and took almost all of us on a little story book journey. Again I don't know anyone here who didn't buy it!

On this day in music history: September 23, 1967 - “The Letter” by The Box Tops hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 4 weeks. Written by Wayne Carson Thompson, it is the debut single and biggest hit for the Memphis, TN quintet fronted by lead singer Alex Chilton. Songwriter Wayne Carson Thompson (“Always On My Mind”) is inspired to write “The Letter” when his father comes up with the lyric “give me a ticket for an aeroplane”. Thompson quickly write the rest of the lyrics and melody around that line. Once the song is complete, Thompson takes it to his friend, producer Chips Moman who also own American Recording Studios in Memphis, TN. Moman in turn tells his songwriting partner Dan Penn about the song. Penn is working with a young rock band featuring a sixteen year old lead vocalist named Alex Chilton. Penn hears the song and decide that it is perfect for his young charges first release. Recorded in the Spring of 1967, the band (with songwriter Thompson also playing guitar on the session) cut the track in about eight hours, recording thirty takes to come up with the final master. For the final touch, producer Dan Penn overdubs the sound of an airplane flying over toward the end of the song. When Moman objects to the addition, Penn threatens to cut up the tape with a razor blade rather than remove the sound effect. Moman allows it to remain on the finished record. At the time the band records the single, they do not have a name. One of the members jokingly suggests that people “send in 50 cents and a box top” with their possible group name. From that, the band are dubbed “The Box Tops”. Released in July of 1967 on Bell Records Mala imprint, “The Letter” quickly becomes a huge hit. Entering the Hot 100 at #85 on August 12, 1967, it leaps to the top of the chart six weeks later. The song is covered by a number of artists including The Arbors, The Ventures and Don Fardon. Joe Cocker has the second most successful recording of the song when his version hits #7 on the Hot 100 in June of 1970. “The Letter” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
Perhaps my favourite Captain Beefheart album is 'Clear Spot' and the main reason for which is we saw him and the Magic Band for the last time at Oxford Polytechnic college (now Brookes University) in 1973. It was perhaps my favourite of all live performances I ever witnessed and was truly extraordinary. The audience was extraordinary too and perhaps the most varied and eclectic I have ever seen; all ages, all walks of life from freaks to quite odd looking folk in suits, from babies or toddlers (as memory serves) and teenagers to 'heads' and an elderly couple near us who were frankly the coolest looking folk we ever met and the band were simply on fire. 





noteworthy for this fan by being the only album without the legendary drummer and now Beefheart historian par excellence John French. I love Art Tripp III or Ed Marimba and they played together in an incarnation where Art was on percussion as John played drums proper but they are perhaps my two favourite drummers of all time . . . . . . 

So why am I banging on about one of my favourite albums of all time? Well recently someone posted a shot of the publicity billboard on Wilshire Boulevard in L.A. that featured an original Don Van Vliet painting and the thing is it was totally unique and so dissimilar to his more mature later work it is really worth seeing . . . . . . . 




not quite the full image as you can see by the shot above but it seems to be all we've got





Rolling Stone referred to Clear Spot as "sizzling . .  heavy metal flash" which frankly is the biggest pile of horse doo-doo! So we will leave it to the excellent Beefheart.com website for the full sp!



I was late coming to an appreciation of The Band as anything other than Bob Dylan's backing band (sic) and only really 'got' them after seeing them at Wembley Stadium in 1974 (wow that is SO late! - ED >>sigh<<) where frankly they blew everyone else away despite a fine set from CSN&Y and the jazz influenced Joni Mitchell and the Tom Scott band which although we all professed to like it I didn't really, it all sounded a bit MOR to me! 
The Band meanwhile rocked upon Cripple Creek . . . . . . . 


On this day in music history: September 22, 1969 - “The Band”, the second album by The Band is released. Produced by John Simon, it is recorded at 8841 Evanview Drive in West Hollywood, CA and The Hit Factory in New York City from Early - Mid 1969. Issued as the follow up to their acclaimed debut “Music From Big Pink”, The Band decide on a dramatic change of scenery to work on their next release. The album is recorded in a rented home in the Hollywood Hills owned by entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr.. The home’s pool cabana is converted into a recording studio for the duration of the sessions. It yields a number of classic songs including “Up On Cripple Creek” (#25 Pop), “Rag Mama Rag” (#57 Pop), and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”. The LP cover features a sepia toned photo of the band by photographer Elliot Landy, becomes known as “The Brown Album” by fans for the brown colored border around the front and back of the album jacket. The original US vinyl pressing of the album cut by mastering engineer Bob Ludwig (indicated by the initials “RL” in the run out groove), is made using the first generation master tapes, is regarded as the best sounding pressing of the LP. Subsequent cuts use 1:1 safety copies including later reissues due to the original masters either being lost or not being accessible. “The Band” is first remastered and reissued in 2000 on CD with seven additional bonus tracks including alternate versions of several songs, and the non-LP B-side “Get Up Jake” in true stereo for the first time (originally issued as the B-side of “Ain’t Got No Home” in 1973, erroneously listed on the single as being from their live album “Rock Of Ages”). It is also reissued as a hybrid SACD (Super Audio Compact Disc) and vinyl LP by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab in 2013. The album is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999, and is selected for preservation by The National Recording Registry of The Library Of Congress in 2009, for its ongoing historic and cultural significance. “The Band” peaks at number nine on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.


Superb closing shot from Wembley of CSNY's set - ©️Vin Miles
Check out more here and more of Vin Miles' amazing shots of the gig except for the Band unfortunately 

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Oh you thought Lily lost? . . . . . . . . . .

bless . . . . . . . .



gorgeous girl . . . . . 



Well I thought I had rather stopped posting links to Bob Dylan's complete live coverage (I won't say the Never Ending Tour. - "You just said it!" - ED) but Big O has posted a set from his recent gig in New Zealand (Christchurch August 28) that is remarkably listenable for an audience recording. I know I have said I wouldn't post links to audience recordings anymore after the revolution that started boots being made available from soundboards but this is worth checking out. The notes from Big O make this clear as to why. Bob adds two songs from Highway 61 and the arrangements on the rest are absolutely fascinating. It is always worth dropping in to see what Bob is up to and this proves my point I think. Check the re-write of 'Gotta Serve Somebody'  and the arrangement of 'Thunder on The Mountain' complete with drum break! (who does a drum solo break anymore?) 





It's another Naughty Dog production so you know it's at least worth checking out  . . . 

- click here for the Rolling Stone review


Boblinks says

boblinks.com:My first Dylan show was 20 years ago, September 1998, when this Arena (with a different sponsor) opened. I wasn’t a huge fan at that point. I enjoyed the show, but appreciated support act Patti Smith more. By 2000, when I saw Bob in May 2000, in Cologne, Germany, I was a hard-core fan. Those, and the 2003 show here, were in the “high rotation” era and though Bob played some keyboards in 2003 there were some epic guitar duels.By the time of the last 2014 show, there was a fixed setlist and a much more arranged feel, which had a lot of positive aspects, but didn’t have the unpredictable and dangerous feel of, in particular, the May 11, 2000 Cologne, concert, where Larry and Charlie reworked Cold Irons Bound into Led Zeppelin style stadium rock.Before this show I had listened with anticipation to a few of the recent shows from Europe and then Asia and Australia, and the singing and arrangements seemed to be getting better and better, so I was looking forward to the night. I got there early and managed to run into a few dedicated fans I’ve known for some time, from back in the days when you had to transmit bootlegs on physical media…On the face of it, this should have been a similar show to 2014. But for me it wasn’t. For me 2014 was highly enjoyable, but not the same level. The radically new arrangements, and the emotion that he brought to some of the songs gave them a freshness that blew me away.I had a seat out to the side, opposite Bob’s piano, so had a great view of him and the band. The sound was pretty good, and his voice was clear enough to pick up the variations on lyrics (Gotta Serve Somebody is a completely new song…), and the emotional emphasis of key phrases.He swapped out a couple of songs since Auckland, so we got an awesome rendition of “Like a Rolling Stone”, and a slow, heavy, “It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry”, with Bob leaving the piano towards the end to do Rock God poses between Charlie and Tony. The bitterness, and the magic, of those ’60s songs seemed remarkably fresh, especially the biting anger of the closing “Ballad of a Thin Man”. Was the last verse a commentary on modern technology or was he was referring to the ban on photographs?“There ought to be a lawAgainst you coming roundNext time you doPlease rememberDon’t forget your telephone…”I felt like I’d been transported back to 1966, and that when he sneered “You are very well read, It’s well known” he was talking to me! Ouch!The safe choice would have been to close with a feel-good “Blowing in the Wind”, as he did last time here. But on this occasion that was the second-last song, and we were left with the scathing accusation that something was happening and we really didn’t know what it was… Genius.
Mike Read