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

Thursday, August 29, 2013


erm . .. here's a post NOT from Big O . . . . . I KNOW! . . . . . 
having been looking at the recent posts I linked for Big O of Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac I was around and stumbled upon this from fellow blogger Silverado

The wonderful Silverado folk say
April 24, 1970 — In early April, when Fleetwood Mac returned to London after an emotional European tour, Peter Green, devastated by drugs, suddenly announced he would be leaving the group in late May. Clifford Davis, the band’s manager, reluctantly began cancelling an upcoming British tour set to begin the following month. Relationships in the stunned band were strained, but the Mac still had to complete recording “The Green Manalishi (With the Two-Prong Crown)”, Peter’s final studio effort with them, as well as a B-side for the single. To underscore the troubled band relationships, Jeremy Spencer opted out of these sessions to work on his own album.
Despite the high tension, the recording sessions at De Lane Lea Studios in London, driven by the intense music, still had their moments. Mick set up his new gong, surrounded by six microphones and miles of cables, in the underground car park below the studio. When Mick banged his gong, that car park vibrated like a giant bell with an eerie ringing that reverberated off the walls. Talk about an echo! Another night, Carlos Santana showed up, and it didn’t take long for a lengthy jam session to start. In the past, Peter often hit upon brilliant melodic ideas in the midst of jams like these, and on this night, he was showing Santana some pretty impressive licks. At some point, Peter had introduced Santana to “Black Magic Woman”, the hit that Carlos would record shortly thereafter for his own band’s second album. Throughout the sessions, Clifford did his best to convince Peter to stay, but Greenie steadfastly maintained his intention to leave, seemingly happier now that his decision was public.
Enjoy! I know I did . . . . .

Monday, August 26, 2013

Heavenly kidding bastards . . . . . . . . . . . . .
 . .  . . . here's a lovely set from Big O of King's Lead Hat . . . . .  er, 


“Here come the free ones - they’re letting them in free now, finally. With the cops in close pursuit”. (DB)

Now I have loads of Talking Heads boots and the only problem as there is now with the original vinyl is that the mixs don't stand the test of time and if it ain't peerless it ain't worth listening too, ya get me? 
So this is a welcome relief and whilst it ain't soundboard quality to these eardrobes, it is good enough to dance around the living carpet to!
This is the guys at their peek IMHO and the set cooks along a treat and they even cover a Harrison song live which is of interest. If any of you TH fans didn't get the Jerry Harrison album The Red and The Black go get it!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Bonnie Lass!

Now observant visitors will know my passion for Bonnie Raitt, killer slide guitarist, voice of an Angel (check her version of Richard Thompson's 'Dimming of The Day' ) but also flame haired beauty and all round cool gal!
Here's a set via Big O from the Shepherd's Bush Empire in 1998 - a favourite period of mine around the time of 'Fundamental' but featuring tracks from my favourite albums of hers, 'Luck of The Draw' and the stellar 'Road Tested' (essential items in anyone's vaults IMHO)

Track 01. Love Letter (7.5MB)
Track 02. I Believe I’m In Love With You (8.1MB)
Track 03. Lover’s Will (8.4MB)
Track 04. Round And Round (9.6MB)
Track 05. Something To Talk About (6.2MB)
Track 06. I Can’t Make You Love Me (11.2MB)
Track 07. Come To Me (13.4MB)
Track 08. Thing Called Love (11.2MB)
Track 09. Tell It Like It Is (6.8MB)
Track 10. Angel From Montgomery (9.4MB)

 Enjoy! What's not to?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

......and Bob Brings it All Back Home

as Big O notes Bob tried in 1978 his Big Band re-arrangements on the Japanese and the Europeans not least the previous complete Paris sets that are still available here at this time of writing ( August 2013)

Big O Says:
By the time Bob Dylan brought his 1978 Never Ending Tour back to the United States, he had not only ironed out the kinks but the group was a finely-tuned music machine.
So much so that, probably based on the audience-recorded Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte bootleg, Rolling Stone magazine listed this show among (see below)

(The definitive tour recordings from every era of Dylan’s career):
Few eras of Bob Dylan’s live career have a worse reputation than the 1978 tour. Backed by an 11-piece band, the show featured radically rearranged versions of Dylan’s greatest hits – with lots of saxophone and back-up singers. Just weeks into the tour Columbia taped Bob Dylan At Budokan, which was originally only supposed to come out in Japan. Cringe-worthy, slick versions of “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Blowin’ In The Wind” sullied Dylan’s reputation as a live performer for years to come, but when the tour came to America many months later it finally hit a groove. By this point Dylan was playing songs from Street Legal, which was recorded with his touring band. Unlike most of his catalog, these tracks were actually enhanced by the big band. On this tape from Charlotte, Dylan is on fire as the band plays killer versions of Street Legal tracks “Señor (Tales of Yankee Power),” “We Better Talk This Over” and “Changing of the Guards.” With the exception of “Señor,” he’d play virtually nothing from the drastically underrated Street Legal over the next three decades. - Andy Greene
However, the master recording for the Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte bootleg was shared by mr RS and kept alive at Dime by Erik_snow (EricBT). A big round of thanks to everyone involved.

Worth a look
Top Ten Bob Dylan Bootlegs (according to Rolling Stone)

Big O also reminds us:

Released just two weeks before the Dylan and the band hit Paris was Street Legal in the middle of June 1978. This is the album that for the first time featured Bob Dylan in front of a big band with female backup singers. There are two mixes of this album. The original 1978 mix and the revised 1999 mix by Don DeVito. DeVito was the original producer who didn’t like the earlier mix. Since then, all released versions use the 1999 mix. Buy it here .

If you liked what you’ve heard, Dylan did release a live album from this tour. Bob Dylan at Budokan was released only in Japan by Columbia Records. It was recorded at the Budokan in Tokyo on Feb 28 and March 1, 1978. Due to popular demand, it later received a worldwide released in April 1979. It received a critical bashing for being a show-business type of album, too different from what was expected of a singer-songwriter. From Rolling Stone to Robert Christgau, the album was savaged. But Europeans and we presume the Japanese voted heavily with their dollars and bought the album pushing Budokan to No 4 in the UK. You decide, buy it here.

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Start with one and collect the set! 

Big O have posted the last night in Paris of His Bobness pre-Budokan 1978 Big Band gigs

As recent visitors dipping in to the Never Ending Tour soon discover, it is not every gig that is destined to become legendary but these Paris pre-Budokan sets are worth collecting and have generated much debate not least for the 're-arrangements' of classic songs, comments by Rob Stoner and people reporting how 'unhappy' Dylan was. Dylan unhappy is clearly not like us mere mortals. If I am unhappy I would tell you all where to get off and storm off in a blue funk, climb me a mountain and not come out for days. If this is unhappy pre-finding Jesus Bobby then give me that kind of trouble.

Personally I don't got to serve no-one!
 . . . . . . . . . but that's another story hey?

Catch 'em all now and decide which is best, I can't quite make up my mind but the quality is better than expected for late Seventies and the set list is great and the whole sheebang is worth adding to the Swappers Vaults down in the Dungeon

Saturday, August 10, 2013

 Thanks to 'forum' friend John Calloway or johnnyc1959, wonderful photographer and blogger par excellence . . . . .for his latest update Always fascinating in my experience but this entry made me think and stopped me in my dumbest tracks. . . . .
Returning to the UK last year after two years of living in Nepal, I wrote that one of the things that had the greatest impact upon me during my time there was the relationship between people and the land. In the west that relationship appears somewhat tenuous with food increasingly being seen as just another consumer good. In a food system increasingly driven by the logic of the market, there is an increasing belief that food has to be cheap, regardless of its intrinsic value.
“The system has broken the bond between the people who produce food and the people who eat it, leading to a decreased sense of mutual responsibility; the dwindling of a vital store of knowledge; and the impossibility for consumers to access information”. [Source: Slow Europe]
The fact that a Dutch scientist has been paid to develop a burger from stem cells extracted from cow muscle tissue which are cultured with growth-promoting chemicals to help them develop and multiply suggests yet another break in the bond between those who produce food, and those who eat it…
Fresh Meat by John Calloway © 2010

Klaus Pilcher on Food Waste
The dilemma is best summed up by John Vidal.  “The two visions of feeding the world could not have been more different. The laboratory burger served up in London by scientists proposes patented, heavily processed food that has been developed at a phenomenal cost in hi-tech laboratories and is shipped to the world’s poorest people to keep them alive. The other proposes that agriculture reconnects itself with small farmers and once again becomes a way for countries to develop and to offer better lives for their populations”.

Check John's wonderful pages here 
Images from Portsmouth and Beyond . . .

 and artist/photographer Klaus Pilcher here

Klaus Pilcher

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I encourage the spreading of this Free Live EP far and wide. Feel free to put it on as many music download sites as you want, torrent the living hell out of it, tweet, Facebook, Pinterest… the more you tell your friends, the more people will download it, and that helps me build my audience. Which in turn helps me to make more music and tour… maybe even tour to your town. (We’re trying to play everywhere we can.) All I ask is that the contents of this download (the music, art and liner notes) remain intact and unaltered and again, it remains FREE. So, please, share away! Thank you for giving this EP a listen - see you on the road!

Big O says: 

Free EPs Vol 1 and 2 [Exowax Recordings, 1CD]
Here is one musician who is not afraid of internet sharing and also actively promotes it.

Mike Keneally might not be a familiar name but for this 51-year-old American guitarist, keyboardist, vocalist and composer, Allmusic says: “With his wide-ranging talents and ability to be creative in almost any musical situation, Keneally is the leading progressive rock genius of the post-Zappa era.”
The Zappa-reference is not without merit.

Keneally’s stint in the Zappa touring band was short-lived with the early cancellation of the 1988 tour and Zappa’s death in 1993. Keneally moved on from the elder Zappa’s band to work with the eldest Zappa son, Dweezil on his solo albums and work released as the band, Z. - wikipedia
But among musicians, Keneally has worked with Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Wadada Leo Smith, Henry Kaiser, Andy (Dixie Dregs) West and Andy (XTC) Partridge.
Listening to the largely “instrumental” tracks here, the Steve Vai-Joe Satriani touch is also evident.

Keneally not only offers free tracks on his site, he has prepared two EPs, each containing five tracks, that can be downloaded for free. And he has also been generous in offering the EPs as MP3s (256 kbps) and lossless flacs.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

GEORGE DUKE - NEW YORK 1975 (R.I.P. 1946-2013)

Zappa stalwart keyboardist passes away. George Duke played on several of my favourite Zappa albums not least the iconic 'Apostrophe'. He will be missed
American jazz musician George Duke, a pioneering keyboardist who collaborated with Frank Zappa during the 1970s, has died of cancer at the age of 67. Former Supremes singer Scherrie Payne has confirmed that Duke died at St John’s hospital in Los Angeles on Monday (August 5, 2013), the BBC reported. An accomplished musician across multiple genres, including jazz, funk and R&B, Duke released more than 30 solo albums, as well as producing and composing tracks for several musicians including Miles Davis, Gladys Knight and Anita Baker. In the ’70s, Duke and Frank Zappa worked together on a series of records including Chunga’s Revenge, 200 Motels and Apostrophe. His latest album, DreamWeaver, was released in July 2013, as a tribute to his wife Corine, who died from cancer a year ago. Duke was being treated for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. He is survived by his sons, Rasheed and John.
With Uncle Frank exploring that Cosmic Debris with Lee Ritenour 'It's On'!
You know it!

With Chaka Khan on the A Train

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Wolves II - A. Swapp 2012
(I will celebrate my breaking the 60,000 visits with a piece of original writing.........Thank you people! Drop by again soon and you know you could always leave a comment!?)

 Found this circulating the web lately and it irritated the heck out of me
It's from 'Women who Run with the Wolves' by Clarissa-Pinkola-Estes who is a noted poet and feminist writer of great renown and respect and whilst I appreciate it is not meant literally, it struck me as so pretentious it deserved to be challenged and is not based upon any knowledge of the wolf that I am aware of and I possess a small library on the subject.

 It is mystical nonsense like this that has done the wolf in the wild the huge disservice of not being considered for serious study until the 1940's. 

It also strikes me it is mystical nonsense like this that has done the women's movement and all that preposterous 'Women are from Venus' bullshit that has done the women's movement no good what so ever either.

General Wolf Rules for Life:

1. Eat
2. Rest
3. Rove in between
4. Render loyalty
5. Love the children
6. Cavil in moonlight
7. Tune your ears
8. Attend to the bones
9. Make love
10. Howl often

Who’s rules ARE these? Not the wolf as we shall see and if you study them you will understand. Rules for Women? Translates as; Eat, Sleep, wander about, conceive, breed, bring up your cubs, nit pick over small things at night (You said it) Listen, take out the trash, fuck and howl! Real feminist stuff there then!

Wolves III - A. Swapp 2012

More Specific Wolf Rules For Life ( second version)

1. Eat whatever you can kill - eat as often as you can, familiarise yourself with hunger because you will know it. Eat what you will, avoiding vegetables, whilst it is still alive ( it's about retaining and consuming the life force) go first to the soft body parts and viscera whilst your prey is still breathing. What ever you can't eat, stash in caches to eat later, don't worry about it rotting, when you are hungry you won't care

2. Rest as often as you can for as long as you can. Others won't like it and call you lazy, so grab every opportunity to do as little as possible

3. Try to stay put (see above) only if absolutely necessary, move to get food. This may require exertion but these days probably only if you are a wolf. There is a commonly held misconception that we are filled with the nomadic impulse in some romantic sense of wanderlust this is nonsense too. Everywhere is the same. The only reason to move and ‘rove’ is if your food runs out. 

4. Work out who is the leader, fight if necessary to decide who leads. Once the decision is made be as sycophantic as possible to your leader and his companion, curry favour with those who hold the power. 

5. Breed by all means but watch out for that psychological stuff not the Oedipal/Electra sexual stuff which largely is nonsense but there is weird head stuff; sons will steal your crown and kill you if you if they can, daughters will go off with lone wolves and forget all about you soon enough. Be grateful, for this

6. Revel (NOT cavil - which means to quibble unnecessarily over small things - NEVER do this) or dance in the moonlight. There is precious little time to dance, so do so when the mood takes you. In moonlight primarily to reduce your chances of anyone actually seeing you. Dad dancing is THE most embarrassing thing and should never be witnessed

7. This is nonsense. You cannot 'tune your ears'. If anything sing and listen, listen by all means at your disposal, this is where life's great lessons come from. Listening? Do it!

8. Bury your dead. Always. Attend to the dead and the ill, look after them and see them off ceremoniously. It's only respectful.

9. Man is not the only creature to use sexual intercourse recreationally. Enjoy it whilst you can, remembering the females are in charge, even if you think they're not. They are!  
Get it while you can

10. Howl by all means, sing and shout and scream. Make a big noise and carry a big stick,

Wolves will tear you apart given half a chance
There is a notion that no healthy wolf has ever attacked a human.  This is patent nonsense, if they are hungry, and given the opportunity, they will kill and eat you ( see no.1) Women who Run With The Wolves will get eaten! It doesn’t release the ‘wild woman within’ it merely provides a pack animal with more prey. 
Remember they will start eating you before you are dead. 
That's how much the wolf cares about you.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Bob Dylan - Fourth Night in Paris 1978


Live at the Pavillon de Paris, Paris, France; July 6, 1978

Bob Dylan Big Band - Paris July 6th 1978

Looks like Big O are going for posting all the Dylan nights from his sojourn there in 1978 and nothing wrong with that......the Live From Budokan era still to come here but the band are as tight as a gnat's chuff (it's a technical musician's term). Sense the build up to the 'religious' trio of albums, Dylan in difficulty reaching out and finding faith in Jesus but here for a moment was the Big Band playing the classics!


Steve Winwood

I think like lots of Brits of a certain age we love Stevie Winwod like a bigger older wiser brother......following him from 'Keep on Running' as a teenager with The Spencer Davis Group with his brother Muff on TOTP to Traffic & and the Low Spark living up the road near the Rollright Stones, to seeing him live in Hyde Park with Ric, Eric and Ginge in 'Blind Faith' which we adored........through the solo albums ('Vacant Chair' is and still is a favourite 'Our song' type of number which we loved) and still today we have time for that keyboard genius and authentic British Soul voice! Let's not take him for granted!?
Here's a gem from earlier this month at the Lugano Switzerland Jazz Festival (go figure?!)
from Big O.

Can't wait from him at Glastonbury but maybe lose the 'John Barleycorn' Mutton chop whiskers!

Check the selection of tracks! Much from Blind Faith and scarcely a song from his solo output with the exception of 'Higher Love' perhaps. . . .
 . . . as Big O reports
And David Randall’s comments on Winwood’s gig at The Lowry, Salford on June 24, 2013 is equally applicable here:
Starting with the insistent ‘Rainmaker’ closely followed by ‘I’m A  Man’,  giving Winwood’s Hammond a chance to breathe and the band to stretch out, these were admirable scene setters.  One of our best soulful voices, Winwood is also equally content behind the organ or guitar as he led the band through an inevitably cursory cross-section of his musical history.  His mutton chop whiskers (perhaps in preparation for Glasto) now detract slightly from an ever youthful image.
A trawl through his Traffic past, the brief Blind Faith (if you couldn’t be there in Hyde Park in 1969 this was possibly the next best thing) and a couple of eighties ‘hits’ were punctuated by some extended set-pieces such as the Traffic songs ‘Low Spark…’ and ‘Light Up And Leave Me Alone’.