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

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Bob Dylan

Now we're cookin' on shale gas! A long time since we had any new boots from His Bobness and here we are from Big O (where else? ED please?!!) a new set to add to the vaults from the eighties Jesus freak period. Not my favourite Bobby era but this set is so varied it is worth the 'Gotta Somebody's' for the 'Forever Young's' et al! If ya get ma drift? I ain't gotta serve nobody but you!

Here's what Big sources say -
Tongues On Fire [Durango Records DRGO-02/03, 2CD]
Live at the Brendan Byrne Arena, Meadowlands Sports Complex, East Rutherford, New Jersey; October 27, 1981. Very good audience recording.
There are a few versions of this show that are circulating and this Durango title appears to have just been released in Japan. This is what the blurb says: “Dylan at the top of his game for ‘81 and for all time, in a show many would rank among his top 25. Al Kooper sits in on keyboards for the first time since ‘Like A Rolling Stone’, and the whole band rocks the Meadowlands with a set rarely matched for the number and intensity of songs.”

It’s also likely that this was originally shared in July 2011 as The Lostbrook Tape Series - Volume 45 by cosmicquake on Dime.
Thanks are given to ErikSnow for sharing the tracks at HungerCity.
Erik noted: “Great performance from New Jersey 1981, and sound is great as well. Not perfect; but really good, anyway. This is the only ‘’silver” release of this show. I’m a big fan of all 1978-1981 Dylan concerts, and this is no exception. Listened through this show several times, thanks to torrents. Last week I purchased the bootleg, although you could say it’s a waste of money, but that’s not your problem.”
Enjoy! Happy Saturday, and Happy Trails folks.

Friday, June 28, 2013


Yes another early and from my favourite period of the Fleetwood Mac boys, over on Big O, my favourite line up, well sort of, the cover is totally misleading but is Peter G, Danny K, Mick F and John McVie you can hear Peter apologise for the absence of Jeremy Spencer who was about to disappear into the sect/cult that was The Children of God. For me, had he been there and with the staggering, uniquely beautiful voice of Christine McVie, you would have had my perfect line up i.e. pre-Yanks! Couldn't stand what they became and, know I am out on a limb on this, one but Albatross, Green Manalishi, Black Magic Woman era is for me . . . . . despite my affection for Mick F all the way through . . . . . . .on a personal note I grew up with all my happiest childhood days holidaying with my grandparents in Fleetwood, Lancashire which is what turned me onto them . . . . ha ha . . . . . .(that's a joke! . . . don't you just hate folks who feel they have to explain their jokes . . . . . it usually means they're not funny ED) Still loving Peter Green! Check this 40 year old gem! Quality is not exactly soundboard but as good as the period pieces get, I reckon. Also it is from the Master collector who is and shall ever be know as Linkin Park Mark. The Legend!


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Lovely piece just in from Big O . . . . . .


Chet Flippo, a former Rolling Stone editor who was the editorial director of CMT, died this morning (June 19, 2013). He was 69. No cause of death was available.
Flippo started writing for Rolling Stone when he was studying at the University of Texas in Austin, where he earned a master’s degree in journalism. He became Rolling Stone’s New York bureau chief in 1974, and took on the title of senior editor when the magazine relocated from San Francisco in 1977.
In addition to writing about artists including Bob Dylan, John Lennon and the Rolling Stones – the latter in a confrontational 1978 cover story – Flippo helped boost the profile of country music with his coverage of artists such as Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Dolly Parton. He left Rolling Stone in 1980 to write his first book, Your Cheatin’ Heart: A Biography of Hank Williams, which he followed up with titles about Paul McCartney, the Stones, David Bowie and Graceland. Flippo also contributed to The New York Times, Texas Monthly and Q magazine.
In the early ’90s, Flippo taught journalism as the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, before moving to Nashville in 1995 to work as Billboard’s bureau chief there. After leaving for Sonicnet in 2000, he joined CMT in 2001, where he wrote the influential column “Nashville Skyline” - a forthright survey of artists he deemed worthwhile and music-industry transgressions he decried.
“Chet was a fierce advocate for country music long before country was cool,” CMT President Brian Philips said in a statement. He continued, “Chet articulated the virtues and joys of country music with a passion and intelligence that helped make the genre respectable even among snobs and city slickers.”
Flippo was born in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1943, and served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. His wife, the journalist Martha Hume, died last December. - Eric R Danton, Rolling Stone
Chet Flippo, former editor at Rolling Stone and a journalist who championed country music, died on June 19, 2013 after a long illness. He was 69. Below is a December 18, 2003 article Flippo wrote on Gary Stewart, a country singer who had gone too soon. 

Chet, Willie and Jimmy Carter


June 26, 2013 – 4:24 pm
He was just a little slip of a guy. He was so skinny that he could almost, as they used to say about Hank Williams, “change clothes inside a shotgun barrel.” But when Gary Stewart opened his mouth, big things happened. The guy sang big, and he lived big. What a shame he died small.
When I heard that he had fatally shot himself this week, I lit a candle and played a song for one of the most soulful country singers I ever met. His passing struck a personal chord with a lot of people I knew and a lot that I didn’t know. I was surprised and pleased to see an amazing amount of Internet chatter about Stewart and to see the great many heartfelt tributes that people were posting online.
He was simultaneously more country than most country artists of his time and more of a staunch, down-and-dirty Southern rocker than almost all of the Southern rockers. I’m not sure that he ever realized just how good he was. A Gary Stewart performance was an amazing thing. Think of Jerry Lee Lewis boiled down into an even more devilish imp who was not going to let you get away without a Holy Ghost blessing from the fount of rockin’ country.
That show translated especially well in New York City, where I was living when I first saw him perform. His shows were like fevered honky church services. Much of the time, he was a wild man, onstage and off. He scared a lot of people by his intensity. But downtown New York was very receptive to that combustive aura of an artist burning talent at white heat. I didn’t know him well, but he became a friend instantly when I met him at New York’s Lone Star CafĂ©.
I was then in the process of writing a book about Hank Williams, and Stewart was fascinated by the life and the legend of Hank. And he was especially drawn by the strange link he felt with Hank’s self-destructive tendencies, the romance of self-destruction. The moth to the flame syndrome that’s killed creative people from the poet Rimbaud to the actor James Dean to the country star Hank Williams to the rock stars Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin was burning in young Gary Stewart. We talked about the motivation behind Hank’s songs, about his decline, about his burnout. And, of course, about the music.
You owe it to yourself, if you’ve never heard Gary Stewart, to give the man a listen. Such songs as “Out of Hand” and “Your Place or Mine” are pure honky-tonk havens. The title of “She’s Actin’ Single (I’m Drinking Doubles)” is treated like a country joke these days, but that song itself is a primer in lyrics that come straight from the dark night of the soul. Stewart put his heart and soul into his music, but he also bought into the old romantic notion of the outlaw singer as doomed wastrel and he thought that drugs and alcohol were crucial parts of the equation.
I wonder if he died of a broken heart and if that’s what impelled him to turn a pistol on himself. He was haunted by the suicide of his son Gary Joseph, who shot and killed himself in 1988.
Stewart’s career itself had evaporated. Like Hank Williams, he was bothered by chronic back pain. In Stewart’s case, it came from a car wreck. And then his beloved wife of more than four decades, Mary Lou, died. There was just nothing much left for him. I know that same situation had also happened to the only other country star that I personally knew who shot himself. Faron Young simply could not stand the sheer vacuum and banality that his life had become after his career and personal life dried up and he lost his stardust. So he bit the bullet. Early in his career, Young summed up the romantic credo in his first No. 1 song, when he sang “I wanta live fast, love hard, die young - and leave a beautiful memory.”
Stop and consider this: Gary Stewart’s contemporary Billy Joe Shaver lost everything in the past few years. All of his loved ones - his mother, his wife, and his son (who was also his musical partner) - were gone in a short span of time. His career went away. He suffered a massive heart attack. He was knocked down to his knees but he’s gotten up and fought back and actually gone on to create new music. What’s the difference between Gary Stewart and Billy Joe Shaver? Why did one pick up the gun and why did the other go back to pick up the microphone? I don’t know.
Note: The above article was posted at cmt.com and circulated by Rock & Rap Confidential.
+ + + + +

Monday, June 24, 2013

Things we have learned this week

  • I have absolutely no idea what ‘Game of Thrones’ is

Listen! Do You Wanna Know A Secret?

Cheltenham's GCHQ which is an impressive design that I note is mostly carpark
  • There is some hullabaloo about serious secrecy infringements over our personal details by agencies dripping with acronyms, our very own GCHQ and the American NSA using software programmes with names like PRISM and TEMPORA, which strikes me as funny. But then I don’t have any secrets. There is a notion that people have been exchanging links to my address (available in the telephone book) my telephone number (again available in the telephone book) my emails (again a bit of concern in that I send emails so people can read them, if you opened them without my knowledge I would be fine about it, in fact I would be amazed they wouldn’t put you to sleep in a relatively short space of time. Your welcome!) my Facebook account – really? You wanna look at my Facebook account? (See the details about emails, snoring is not permissible)  
I guess what does worry me about this is that being essentially run by moronic idiots who believe it is important to protect secrets from each other, that they may well stuff it up and find information they consider to be true and get the names wrong and start accusing all sorts of people with sharing secrets, beliefs and actions that aren’t theirs! You know like whistleblowers or people deciding to share the fact that people are collecting secrets about us and therefore breaking the official secrets act! It’s complicated but basically more proof should any be needed, we are being run by a bunch of paranoid retarded imbeciles. The whistleblower is to be charged with ‘spying’ by revealing essentially that they are ‘spying’ on us. Can we not therefore charge them with the same?

o      I have absolutely no idea who Andrea Begley is

      Cool Hand Luke “What we got here is... failure to communicate.”

Much more seriously a man has been shot by what I grew up calling the Wailing Wall, for saying out loud “Allahu akbar” which I understand to mean “God is great!’ which, despite my atheism, strikes me as a rather lovely thing to say in a famous place of worship and certainly not worth being shot for. Is it a matter of semantics? Or difficulty with the language.
For some context. the Western Wall as it now seems to be politcaly correct (sic!) to call, is considered to be the remnants of a supporting wall of the so called ‘Second Temple’ an important Jewish Temple believed to have been built by Herod, and amongst the most significant religious sites in Judaism.
Perched directly above it on the Temple Mount is the Al Aqsa mosque, where Muslims believe the Prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven. The wall is a wall for prayer and someone mentioning God being great in close proximity to it so that one of the guards shot him strikes me as extremely odd! He appears to have been shot 8 times!?
Sorry I don’t get it. But then I don’t understand why what is going on throughout the Arab world is being called an ‘Arab Spring’ or the behaviour of Sunnis and Shiites; sectarian violence in extremis, strikes me, as it has throughout the history of Christianity, being the absolute barbarism of the infidel. Along the lines of shooting female schoolchildren for their desire to learn or infibulation, or female circumcision or, lets call it like we see it, the genital mutilation of children, none of which can I find reference to in my copies of the Qur’an, the Bible or Torah.

o    I have no idea who Oliver Proudlock is

  • One of the longest running court cases with McDonalds dubbed the ‘McLibel’ case turns out all the hullabaloo was that ‘activists’ were infiltrated by the police who helped write a leaflet against McDonalds in the first place!? Is that irony? Can’t quite work it out! Millions of pounds created by law suits against people who were charged with something that police helped them with! Erm, moral bankruptcy anyone? Gross moral turpitude is a legal phrase I have heard that seems apposite

  • Ian Brady is back in the news, pleading to be considered sane so that he can be admitted to a ‘normal’ prison and be allowed to starve himself to death. He is quoted as saying the Moors murders were “an existential exercise” and ‘inconsequential’ by comparison with the numbers dying in wars, Afghanistan etc. So that’s that, as far as this reader is concerned . If ever there was needed a definition of psycho-sociopathology than murdering children as “an existential exercise”  then that will do for me! Society’s response, let us hope, is to keep him in Rushworth fed through a tube in the nose and enduring whatever miserable pitiful life he has until it peters out with not so much a clunk as a simper.

  • I have no understanding how a young woman called ‘Taylor Swift’ a supposed Country mewsic star, is worth multiple millions of dollars already having only just heard her singing (much against my wishes) This is truly awful pap of the worst kind and sounds so derivative as to be like so much aural wallpaper were it not for the whining. She has ‘’crossed over into pop’, I am reliably informed by my darling daughter. Well I just hope she doesn’t cross back over is all I can say.

  • Oh, and another teacher has been found guilty of paedophilia for his misplaced feelings for a 15 year old girl pupil. What is it with these men? I was struck by the account in court of his mouthing the words “I Love You” to her across the court room. She apparently mouthing “I’m sorry” back. It could not be more simple. You are in a position of responsibility for these CHILDREN. If, and I say IF, you have feelings of love towards one of them, love endures, is my understanding and can last a lifetime so you can wait until this person that you purport to ‘love’ can form an adult relationship with you. What is it about burgeoning sexual awakening that cannot wait? 
There was ten years between my Mother and Father and I was talking to a friend last week who had a fifteen years age difference in their parents. What, can you not imagine a situation where you have to wait for this person? Can you not control yourself to the point of abstinence from physical sexual activity? So much so that in your natural feelings of ‘love’ you abduct them to the continent? I don’t think so! Doesn’t that then make you a pervert? Then you do not deserve the role of ‘teacher’! You sir, are a child molester and paedophile and need to be restricted in your access to our youth from now and ever onwards. Forever!

  • While we are talking teaching profession, what qualification exactly does the awful Michael Gove have for completely and radically altering our teaching practice and examination system? By this I do not mean academic qualifications but work experience and professional qualifications to alter an entire system? He was educated at Oxford so his academic career is a given but wasn’t he a journalist by profession?  Parasitic vermin of the worst kind, second only to bankers and er, politicians!

Other than that I have no views on the matter. . . . . . . .

See ya inna minit people! Hang Loose!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

 New Chronicles - Nice Blog: BB Goode!

John Prine et al!

Just a wanderin' around looking for John Prine and found some really nice sets and some Steve Goodman stuff and dropped by, or rather stumbled upon, the BB Chronicles
here BB Chronicles

BB Hisself

Lots of lovely stuff and fine quality too. BB uses 'Hotfile.com' to share files and this seems to work fine. I downloaded the 'Early Steve Goodman' [with incidentally a fine fine version of 'City of New Orleans' a classic track and all time country favourite] in rapid time and really peerless quality. The range of stuff is pretty understandable and very much one person's sense of taste and nothing wrong in that.
 UPDATE - for those how the Goodman may be a tad to rarefied the John Prine downloaded today is EXCEPTIONAL! I tried the two sets (sic?!) one from 2005 in Ireland which is just breathtakingly good from his gig at the Irish Music Centre, Ennis, County Clare, Ireland
11 Nov 2005 An FM Broadcast, in exceptional quality
here in mp3 @ 192bps

and the two part Asheville NC gigs from 1986 with an added bonus of ten tracks from   Rockefeller's in Houston in 1984 all of which collectors must have and in wonderful crisp clarity and quailty
Thanks a whole heap o' stuff BB!
Go give him a visit!
Thought for the Day

Thursday, June 20, 2013

"Big River"

Johnny Cash

Being an attempt to start a possible occasional series of pieces about specific songs and songwriters. 

'Big River' by Johnny Cash has been a favourite haunting song since I first re-discovered it via the David Letterman show with a live version by Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett and Kris Kristofferson (which I have the audio for but can't find on Youtube unfortunately) heck it's nearly s old as me but none the less it has always fascinated me. It's narrative poetic flow is extraordinary. Like Dylan's work, it tells an extraordinary story with economy but with distinct use of words that perhaps could only be Johnny C. A tale of unrequited love addressed to the 'big river' in question (the Mississippi I assume though it is not disclosed?). Losing one's love to another person is common place in country, but to a river unique, I imagine. The story unfolds as our hero pursues the object of his affections, a femme fatale if you will, who remains always out of reach as he traces her footsteps tracking her down from St Louis to Memphis, Baton Rouge finally dismissing her to New Orleans and saying the big river can have her. She always remains tantalisingly out of reach until he decides to give up and sit down by the river and 'dumping his blues in the gulf'. The sheer poetry of the second verse astonishes me and Kris Kristofferson has mentioned it more than once. The rhythms and cadence of it flow like precious few other songs " I met her accidentally in St. Paul (Minnesota)" some of it can sound nonchalant almost throwaway but some is so economical with specific lovelorn language it flows like the river it depicts "then I heard that my dream was way down stream, cavorting in Davenport" is plain wonderful stuff!

Willie Nelson has done this song, as have so many others, one might be forgiven for not knowing who's song it is but for me it is unmistakable. As Kris Kristofferson has said, himself the author of 'Sunday Morning Coming Down' which Cash had made his own somehow, fair exchange being no robbery, it is modern 20th Century folk poetry at it's peak. This is what true Country Music is, it seems to me and has transcended the boundaries of genre. I believe it is as expressive as Bob Dylan's finest writing and stands alongside, the greatest lyric writers of all time.
[thus far I have 14 versions of this and the Highwaymen Youtube version in Central Park is a favourite]

The Highwaymen - 'Big River' live in Central Park

Johnny Cash 'Big River'

Well I taught the weeping willow how to cry, cry, cry
And I showed the clouds how to cover up a clear blue sky.
And the tears that I shed for that woman are gonna flood you Big River.
And I 'm gonna sit here 'til I die.

Well I met her accidentally in St. Paul (Minnesota).
And it tore me up when I  heard her drawl that Southern drawl.
But then I heard that my dream was way down stream cavortin' in Davenport,
And I followed you, Big River, when you called.

Well you took me to St. Louis later on (down the river).
A freighter said she's been here but she's gone, boy, she's gone.
Well I found her trail in Memphis, but she just walked up the block.
She raised a few eyebrows and then she went on down alone.

Now I rolled into Natchez the next day, down the river,
But there wasn't much there to make a rounder stay very long,
When I left it was raining, so nobody saw me cry
Big River, why's she doing me this way?

Well now, batten down by Baton Rouge, River Queen, roll it on
Take that woman on down to New Orleans, New Orleans
Let her go, I've had enough, dump my blues down in the Gulf
It's you she loves, Big River, more than me
Well I taught the weeping willow how to cry, cry, cry
And I showed the clouds how to cover up a clear blue sky.
And the tears that I shed for that woman are gonna flood you Big River.
And I 'm gonna sit here 'til I die.
J.R. Cash 1956

Johnny and June

Thursday, June 13, 2013


A pointer today for Big O having posted a lovely collection of George Harrison Acoustic numbers and worthy of anyone's collection. Who doesn't dig a pony?

Acoustic Masterpieces [Birthday Records, 1CD]
Big O says:
Unreleased tracks. Excellent audio.

Thanks to the person who shared this on the net in 2004.

Track 01. If You Don’t Know (4.0MB)
Track 02. Run Of The Mill (3.2MB)
Track 03. Art Of Dying (5.1MB)
Track 04. Everybody, Nobody (4.4MB)
Track 05. Window, Window (3.4MB)
Track 06. Beautiful Girl (4.7MB)
07. Beware Of Darkness - Omitted*
08. Let It Down - Omitted
Track 09. Tell Me What Has Happen To You (4.9MB)
Track 10. Cosmic Empire (3.7MB)
Track 11. Mother Divine (4.6MB)
Track 12. I Don’t Wanna Do It (3.5MB)
Track 13. If Not For You (3.0MB)
Track 14. Dehra Dun (5.8MB)
Track 15. Apple Scruffs (4.3MB)
Track 16. All Things Must Pass (3.0MB)
Track 17. Dark Horse (7.3MB)
Track 18. Here Comes The Sun/The Bells Of Rhymney/Mr. Tambourine Man (3.6MB)
Track 19. That’s Alright Mama (775k)
Track 20. Let It Be Me (3.1MB)
Track 21. Something (1.2MB)
Track 22. Every Grain Of Sand (3.0MB)
Track 23. Maxine unreleased acoustic (5.4MB)
Track 24. Here Comes The Sun (6.4MB)
Track 25. Homeward Bound (4.7MB)
Track 26. Rock Island Line (3.4MB)
Track 27. Bye Bye Love (4.9MB)
Track 28. Awaiting On You All (1.3MB)
Track 29. Far East Man (898k)
Track 30. I Don’t Care Anymore (2.2MB)
Track 31. Let It Down (2.2MB)

track details are -
track 1: unreleased track, probably a “Saturday Night Live” recording
tracks 2-15:  were recorded during the “All Must Pass Session”
track 16: live VH1 1997
track 17: early acoustic version
tracks 18-22: George and Jeff Lynne live on the radio, 1988
track 23: Traveling Wilburys song, 1990
tracks 24-27: George and Paul Simon, “Saturday Night Live”, 1976 (tracks 26 and 29 were not broadcast)
tracks 28-30: George on radio, 1974
track 31: George and Phil Spector, 1970
Note: Tracks 7 and 8 are likely to have been released officially on the 30th Anniversary Edition of All Things Must Pass.
Enjoy! I know I am . . . . . . .

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

A friend sent me this . . . . . . . .! Soooo funny!                            BRILLIANT!