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

Tuesday, February 28, 2017


My dear brother, Stephen Richard Swapp [1949 - 1987], occasionally threw me a curved ball in his musical taste (from a later penchant for Pink Floyd when I had given up, to a continued passion for all great guitarists) the one example that threw me the furthest was 'Family' and this track perhaps best explains why. I loved Chapman's voice but the cluttered and sometimes unnecessarily knowing complexity often struck me as wilfully pompous not to say pretentious. Their playfulness however always appealed . . . . . 

This might well be the best of the early Family recordings. A combination of hard rock (bordering on metal) and wistful folk-rock (it sounds as if Chapman and Whitney were listening to a lot of Incredible String Band), A Song for Me veers toward early progressive rock, but isn't as nakedly indulgent as some early prog-rock recordings (e.g., they didn't try to sound like a jazz band, they wanted to sound like a rock band screwing around with jazz).
Perhaps their most experimental record, it seems as though the credo in making this disc was that anything went. And on tracks like "Drowned in Wine," it works quite well. Again, Chapman offers more proof of his vocal greatness, and again the record sells large quantities in England and nearly nothing in America.
by John Dougan


Music from the month of my birth . . . . . sourced mostly from the wonderful blog BEHIND THE GROOVES: a music blog by Jeff Harris

On this day in music history: February 21, 1966 - “Daydream” by The Lovin’ Spoonful is released. Written by John Sebastian, it is the third single release for the pop/folk-rock band from New York City. Right on the heels of their first two singles “Do You Believe In Magic” (#9 Pop), “You Didn’t Have To Be So Nice” (#10 Pop) and their debut album, The Lovin’ Spoonful quickly follow up those hits with the first taste of their sophomore effort. Guitarist and primary lead vocalist John Sebastian draws inspiration from an unlikely place when writing the bands third single. Sebastian gets the initial idea for “Daydream” from The Supremes’ number one hit “Baby Love”, trying to figure a way to re-write that song. Born and raised in New York’s Greenwich Village, ground zero of the city’s vibrant folk music scene and blues music revival, John also draws on those influences, combining them with his innate sensibility for writing great pop melodies and hooks. After finishing the song, The Lovin’ Spoonful record “Daydream” at Bell Sound Studios in New York in late 1965. The title track of the Spoonful’s second album, it takes off immediately, becoming their biggest hit to date. Entering the Hot 100 at #76 on February 26, 1966, “Daydream” peaks at #2 on April 9, 1966. The song proves to have long lasting popularity and influence long after its run on the charts. “Daydream” provides Paul McCartney with the inspiration for writing “Good Day Sunshine”, featured on The Beatles’ masterwork “Revolver”. The Lovin’ Spoonful’s hit is widely covered by numerous artists over the years, including versions by Bobby Darin, David Cassidy, Ricky Nelson, Art Garfunkel, The Guess Who, Dino, Desi, & Billy, The Sweet, Gary Lewis & The Playboys, Maria Muldaur and Chet Atkins. The Spoonful’s original recording has been featured in movies, television shows and commercials, including a popular advertisement for Jeep Cherokee.
The Lovin' Spoonful were really important to me as an early teenager and I adored them. I bought pretty much everything but the album 'Hums . . . ' was the most important. John B Sebastian was my hero as was guitarist Zal Yanovsky (Eric Clapton rated him!) 'Nashville Cats', 'Voodoo in My Basement' and 'Rain on The Roof' were American songwriting at it's best and most varied. 'Daydream' is right up there too although curiously 'Summer In The City' wasn't in my top twenty tracks. Too obvious somehow but even the sentiment of earlier tracks bowled me over. I loved them. By the Spoonful!

On this day in music history: February 23, 1985 - “Diamond Life”, the debut album by Sade is released (UK release date is on July 16, 1984). Produced by Robin Millar, it is recorded at Power Plant Studios in Willesden, North West London from Late 1983 - Mid 1984. Formed out of the remanants of the Latin soul band Pride, Sade centers around its Nigerian born (and British raised) lead singer and lyricist Helen Folasade Adu along with guitarist and saxophonist Stuart Matthewman, bassist Paul Spencer Denman and keyboardist Andrew Hale. The band sign with the UK division of Epic Records and US subsidiary Portrait Records in the Fall of 1983. The album is issued in the US following its success in the UK, it spins off three singles including “Smooth Operator” (#5 Pop and R&B), “Hang On To Your Love” (#5 Club Play, #14 R&B), and “Your Love Is King” (#35 R&B, #54 Pop, #8 AC). US and UK versions of the album differ slightly, with the original UK release containing an earlier version of “Smooth Operator”. The US version contains the second recording of the track, first issued as a UK single, which becomes the common version around the world. First editions of the US vinyl LP come packaged in a gatefold jacket, which are discontinued briefly after its release, being replaced with a single pocket sleeve with the inner gatefold contents regulated to the inner sleeve. “Diamond Life” peaks at number three on the Billboard R&B album chart, number five on the Top 200, and is certified 4x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: February 28, 1970 - “Moondance”, the third album by Van Morrison is released. Produced by Van Morrison and Lewis Merenstein, it is recorded at A&R Studios in New York City from August - November 1969. Following the highly acclaimed (but only modestly selling) “Astral Weeks”, the Northern Irish singer and songwriter returns with what becomes one of his best and most beloved works. Moving to upstate New York, he’ll spend nearly ten months writing the material that make his next full length release. The albums blend of R&B, Jazz, Folk, Country and Rock firmly establishes Morrison as one of the premier singer/songwriters of his generation. Several songs including “Crazy Love”, “Into The Mystic”, “Caravan”, and the title track become album rock radio staples over the years. The album is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP in 2008 by Rhino Records. In 2013, the label remasters and reissues this classic title on CD in an expanded five disc edition (4 CD’s + Blu-Ray disc). The first CD features the original ten song album, with the second, third and fourth CD’s featuring outtakes and alternate mixes from the sessions. The Blu-ray disc features newly remixed high resolution stereo and 5.1 surround mixes of the original album, from the original multi-track masters. “Moondance” peaks at number twenty nine on the Billboard Top 200, is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA, and is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999.

On this day in music history: February 19, 1972 - “Without You” by Nilsson hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 4 weeks. Written by Pete Ham and Tom Evans, it is the biggest hit for the Brooklyn, NY born singer, songwriter, and musician. Badfinger guitarist Pete Ham and bassist Tom Evans compose the song in 1970, including it on their album “No Dice”. Harry Nilsson hears the song at a party, initially mistaking it for a Beatles song. He decides to record the song for his album “Nilsson Schmilsson” with producer Richard Perry. Recorded at Trident Studios in London, the track features instrumental support from musicians including Gary Wright, Jim Keltner and Klaus Voorman. On the day of the session, Harry abruptly changes his mind, telling Perry he doesn’t want to record the song after all. Nilsson argues with Perry, who in turn suggests that they discuss the matter over tea at the Dorchester Hotel in near by Mayfair. When Perry finally persuades Nilsson to go through with the session, they hop into a taxi and go straight to the studio, where the singer records his lead vocal in a single take. Entering the Hot 100 at #99 on December 18, 1971, it climbs to the top of the chart nine weeks later. The single wins Nilsson his second Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male in 1973. “Without You” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: February 19, 1971 - “Another Day” by Paul McCartney is released. Written and produced by Paul McCartney, it is the first post-Beatles solo single for McCartney. It is written as a “thematic sequel” to “Eleanor Rigby”, describing a woman as she struggles to make it through the “drudgery and sadness” of her daily life. Recorded at A&R Studios in New York City in December 1970, it is cut during the sessions for his forthcoming second solo album “RAM”. Backed with the mid tempo rocker “Oh Woman, Oh Why”, the two tracks are released as a stand alone single. Picked for release by engineer Dixon Van Winkle, it is quickly mixed with acetates sent to one hundred radio stations who begin airing it immediately. The mono mix sent to AM radio stations features heavy compression with an elevated amount of bass, that is not present on commercially issued copies which are issued in stereo only in the US. “Another Day” peaks at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 on April 17, 1971. Later in the year, John Lennon makes reference to “Another Day” in his song “How Do You Sleep?” (from the “Imagine” album), with him taking a swipe at his former Beatle band mate, with the lyric “The only thing you done was Yesterday, and since you’ve gone you’re just Another Day”. The song is his response to McCartney after he believes that the songs “Too Many People”, “3 Legs” and “Dear Boy” (on “RAM”) are critical of him. “Another Day” is not issued on an album until 1977 when it is included on the compilation “Wings Greatest”. “Another Day/Oh Woman Oh Why” is reissued in as a limited edition 7" single (packaged with a replica of the original Norwegian picture sleeve) for Record Store Day in April of 2012, and as bonus tracks on the CD reissues of “RAM”.

On this day in music history: February 26, 1966 - “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’” by Nancy Sinatra hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week. Written and produced by Lee Hazlewood, it is the first chart topping single for the daughter of pop vocal legend Frank Sinatra. Signed to her fathers’ label Reprise Records in 1961, Sinatra records and releases fifteen singles over the next four years with little to no success. In 1965, she is paired with producer Lee Hazlewood (Duane Eddy, Dean Martin), who sets about writing and producing a hit for her. Recently divorced from singer and actor Tommy Sands, Hazlewood talks to Nancy about that relationship and its aftermath, and uses it as the inspiration to write what becomes her signature song. The track is recorded at Western Recorders in Hollywood, CA on November 19, 1965 with members of The Wrecking Crew which include Hal Blaine, Carol Kaye, Chuck Berghofer, Billy Strange and Tommy Tedesco. Hitting the airwaves shortly before Christmas in 1965, and released in early January of 1966, “Boots” quickly takes hold on radio. Entering the Hot 100 at #74 on January 22, 1966, it leaps to the top of the chart five weeks later. The song has an enduring impact on popular music and culture. Nancy Sinatra’s original version is featured in numerous films and TV programs over the years (“Full Metal Jacket”, “Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery”, “China Beach”, “CSI”), and is covered many times by various artists. “The Boots Are Made For Walkin’” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

Born on this day: February 26, 1932 - Country music icon Johnny Cash (born J.R. Cash in Kingsland, AR). Happy Birthday to “The Man In Black” on what would have been his 85th Birthday. Here singing the wonderful drug and alcohol comedown song by Kris Kristofferson

On this day in music history: February 25, 1977 - “Peter Gabriel 1 (Car)”, the debut solo album by Peter Gabriel is released. Produced by Bob Ezrin, it is recorded at The Soundstage in Toronto, Canada from July 1976 - January 1977. Following his departure from Genesis in 1975, Gabriel takes an extended hiatus to spend with his family and write material for what becomes his first solo effort. The album features Gabriel backed by a group musicians that include King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp and bassist Tony Levin. The first single “Solsbury Hill” (#13 UK, #68 US Pop) is an autobiographical account of his feelings about leaving his former band Genesis. The album’s closing track “Here Comes The Flood” is later re-recorded by Gabriel in 1990 for the hits compilation “Shaking The Tree”. The album is released without a title (the first of four that are untitled), it becomes known by fans as “Car” due to the LP’s cover art that features a photograph of the back end of a car (taken by Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson of Hipgnosis) with a photo of Gabriel superimposed in the back window. First released on CD in 1987, the album is remastered and reissued in 2002. It is also reissued as a limited edition vinyl LP by audiophile label Classic Records the same year. Another limited issue released as a double vinyl set mastered at 45 RPM is issued in 2009 by Classic Records. Most recently, another double vinyl 45 RPM set is released on Gabriel’s Real World Records in 2015. “PG 1 (Car)” peaks at number seven on the UK album chart, number thirty eight on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: February 27, 1989 - “Oranges And Lemons”, the tenth album by XTC is released. Produced by Paul Fox , it is recorded at Ocean Way Studios in Los Angeles, CA in Late 1988. Under pressure from their record label to produce a hit and paired with a first time producer (who later goes on to produce The Sugarcubes, 10,000 Maniacs, Phish), sessions for the album will not always go smoothly. In spite of all this, the end result is the bands most successful album in the US, spinning off two singles including “Mayor Of Simpleton” (#1 Modern Rock) and “King For A Day” (#11 Modern Rock). The albums title is inspired by song lyric from their previous album, which in itself refers to an old English nursery rhyme. Remastered and expanded reissues of the album featuring new 5.1 surround remixes by Steven Wilson, and the original stereo on CD and blu-ray, and an audiophile LP pressing on 180g vinyl are released on Partridge’s label Ape House Records on October 30, 2015. “Oranges And Lemons” peaks at number twenty eight on the UK album chart, and number forty four on the Billboard Top 200.

On this day in music history: February 17, 1966 - The Beach Boys begin recording “Good Vibrations” at United/Western Recorders in Hollywood, CA. Written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, it is the twentieth single for the legendary pop band from Hawthorne, CA. The inspiration for “Good Vibrations” has its origins in a conversation that Wilson has with his mother Audree as a child, who tells him that dogs bark at some people and not at others because of the “vibrations” they sense coming from them. the initial recording session has Wilson working with members of The Wrecking Crew cutting twenty six takes of the instrumental track. Seventeen more sessions at three other recording studios take place over the next six months as the song is refined. The end product generates over 90 hours of tape and cost an unprecedented $50,000. At the time of its October 1966 release, “Good Vibrations” is the most expensive single ever recorded. First issued as a stand alone single, it is intended to be the cornerstone of the album “Smile” which is originally scheduled for release in early 1967. However, Brian Wilson’s fragile emotional state, exacerbated by drug use and inner band conflict over the direction of the project, lead to the album being shelved until 2011. “The Smile Sessions” deluxe box set edition devotes an entire disc to “Good Vibrations” as a work in progress, as well as an including an alternate stereo mix of the song on the first disc. Part of the recording sessions for the landmark single are also recreated in the film “Love And Mercy” in 2014.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Bill Murray on Dogs

Well Bill (Murray) your comments about dogs are very revealing and I am sure you are a great comedian and generally funny guy as evidenced by your reported social behaviour and your history of work in film but you reveal yourself there as emotionally stunted and possessed of an inability to read or understand people. 

Trusting animal’s behaviours rather than your own senses and judgement of people suggests a lack of emotional intelligence. Domesticated animals and especially dogs have been bred my man from time immemorial to respond to a set of very simple commands designating certain functions, needs, impulses and desires and whilst they maybe good at catching rats or similar as such they serve very little purpose in understanding anything of any great intellectual depth. They have a great many finely tuned attributes it's true and can sense, smell and see things very differently to us but to assign them wisdom of any emotional depth when it comes to people is absurd. 

I do not trust them and as such they know this and sense it certainly, hence we are both wary of each other. This seems sensible and while I have met some nice ones and some odd ones and some possessed of no discernible intelligence whatsoever, some have turned around with no threat and bitten me! They are as wide a range of personality type as any other animal including ourselves and are as much to be trusted as the great majority of mankind especially en masse. As in, not at all if you can possibly help it. They will turn on you and bite you given the right opportunity. 

Dogs are all descendants of the wolf remember and have merely been bred to be comfortable, useful and pleasant but above all obedient. Always worth remembering if hungry enough the wolf will eat you whilst you are still alive and it will start at your softest bits, your throat, entrails and privates while your heart still pumps, until there is very little of you left remaining. If you were to die in your room your pet dog would eat you before the week was out. All dogs are direct descendants of the wolf. You might do well to remember that. People on the other hand are really complicated and the first thing you might be best encouraged to do is to talk together to people you feel you might like to get to know. However above that I would recommend that more than talk, you listen

©️Ronan Donovan

Favourite tracks of all Time  - an intermittent ongoing series

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

On this day . . . 

On this day in music history: February 21, 1966 - “Nowhere Man” by The Beatles is released. Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, it is recorded October 21 - 22, 1965 in Studio Two at Abbey Road Studios in London. Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, it is the twenty fourth US single for the legendary rock band from Liverpool, UK. Composed primarily by John Lennon, he comes up with the song after spending five hours trying to write something without success. Finally, the words and melody come to him all at once. Lennon shows what he’s come up with to McCartney, who helps him complete the song. “Nowhere Man” represents another departure for The Beatles, with Lennon and McCartney writing more introspective material, moving away from the subject matter of their earlier work which focused more on love and romance. Another one of the songs’ crowning touches is the dual guitar solo played by George Harrison and John Lennon on a pair of matching ‘61 sonic blue Fender Stratocasters, purchased for them by their roadie Mal Evans from Grimwoods Music in Whitstable, Kent. When the song is mixed, Lennon and Harrison asks producer George Martin and engineer Norman Smith, double the amount of treble on the guitars to create an even brighter and cutting sound that is instantly apparent on the finished recording. Originally a track on the UK version of “Rubber Soul, the song is left off of the US version of the album and is instead released as a stand alone single backed with the country flavored “What Goes On” (#81 Pop) sung by Ringo Starr, also extracted from the UK version of “Rubber Soul”. “Nowhere Man” peaks at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 on March 26, 1966. Both songs make their US album debut on the compilation “Yesterday And Today” in June of 1966. “Nowhere Man” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
Favourite Tracks of all time [an attempt]

The Doors - L.A. Woman
1,696 plays
This from the truly Wonderful Willard's Wormholes this morning ,a dn he is right the inheritance of people covering Bobby starts with Jimi but progresses here to Mr Johnson. Wow! I love it when you discover another rarely gifted guitarist! Check this!

JEF LEE JOHNSON The Zimmerman Shadow (2009)

The Zimmerman Shadow 
The Blues Via Dylan

I was pre-disposed to like this album, being a big fan of guitarist Jef Lee Johnson’s debut album, Blue(HERE). His resume as a session guitarist is rich (Ronald Shannon Jackson, among others), but his releases sometimes sound more like a young popsterwith a blues edge than a veteran black experimenter with a gifted avant-guitar touch. The Zimmerman Shadow, an off-beat 2009 Bob Dylan covers album, is another outside-the-box release for Johnson. It sounds live in the studio, and runs the gamut from free improv to slightly jazzy renditions to near-pop expression – all cloaked in the guise of an after-hours studio jam band. Somehow, all of this sounds OK when applied to Dylan’s material. Not unlike Hendrix’s re-interpretations of Dylan’s work, Johnson takes the melodies and filters it all though his own blues sensibilities – in the end, offering a complete reinvention based on Dylan’s source code. The 8 minute, “Highway 61” has slight echoes of Hendrix, mostly in JefLee’s vocal phrasing, while “As I Went Out One Morning” uses the John Wesley Harding tune’s melody to anchor a moody, quiet and expansive 11 minute exploration that lapses into an improv/feedback jam. Dylan fans may or may not be amused. Johnson fans will savor this as another example of his back-handed approach to career decision-making.

I Am A Lonesome Hobo (5:33)
Highway 61 Revisited (8:18)
As I Went Out One Morning (11:35)
Knockin‘ On Heaven’s Door (1:35)
Idiot Wind (7:57)
Ballad Of A Thin Man (4:45)
Blind Willie McTell (5:11)
One More Cup Of Coffee (4:09)
Knockin‘ On Heaven’s Door (2:47)
From A Buick 66 (6:39)
Not Out Of The Book (0:21)
Knockin‘ On Heaven’s Door (3:44)

Monday, February 20, 2017


You’re looking at Georgine Darcy. She had a mildly successful career in show business, but only one role of hers really matters—Miss Torso from Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller 'Rear Window' 1954 which I believe deserves inclusion in anyone's top ten films of all time…

Possibly one of the most gripping thrillers of all time and certainly  one of the best screen kisses I have ever seen between James Stewart and Grace Kelly. Beautifully scripted shot and acted throughout . . . . . . 

Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon by John Deakin

“George Melly called him a “vicious little drunk of such inventive malice and implacable bitchiness that it’s surprising he didn’t choke on his own venom”. Woolworths heiress Barbara Hutton described him as “the second nastiest man I’ve ever met”. Even Daniel Farson, his most faithful friend, introduces him in his memoir sponging money in the French House, the Soho pub popular with artists and writers.
John Deakin was, by all accounts, not an easy man to like. As well as having a tongue like a file, he was a notorious miser and leech. Francis Bacon’s description offers some insight as to why. “A very amusing man,” he said. “Very sarcastic. But he needed drink more than anything else.” Deakin was a chronic alcoholic, but Bacon was the one with the limitless bar tab: his status as a photographer is almost obscured by his role as the painter’s court fool. Descriptions of Deakin are not kind: he had the “gait of a midget wrestler”, “Mickey Mouse ears”, and his pock-marked face was “wrinkled like a bloodhound’s”. In fact, after reading these accounts, pictures of Deakin provide something of an anticlimax. He was short, sure, but not actually demonic. It’s possible his personality had such a powerful effect that it rendered impartial description impossible.”
– Gordon Comstock

Bob on Suze


Suze on Bob

“Right from the start I couldn’t take my eyes off her. She was the most erotic thing I’d ever seen. The air was suddenly filled with banana leaves. We started talking and my head started to spin. Cupid’s arrow had whistled past my ears before, but this time it hit me in the heart and the weight of it dragged me overboard… She had a smile that could light up a street full of people and was extremely lively, had a kind of voluptuousness—a Rodin sculpture come to life.”
– Bob Dylan
“Bob was charismatic: he was a beacon, a lighthouse, he was also a black hole. He required committed backup and protection I was unable to provide consistently, probably because I needed them myself. … I could no longer cope with all the pressure, gossip, truth and lies that living with Bob entailed. I was unable to find solid ground. I was on quicksand and very vulnerable.”
– Suze Rotolo

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Nice n Blue for a Sunday

(thanks Willard's Wormholes)

BEN WATERS & THE ROLLING STONES (with Bill Wyman) “Watching The River Flow” (2011) – A Rolling Stones 21st Century Reunion

BEN WATERS “Watching The River Flow” (2011)Bill Wyman Rejoins The FoldFROM 2011: The big Stones news is that Bill Wymanrejoined his mates to record some music for Ben Waters’ Ian Stewart tribute album, Boogie 4 Stu. Listen below to The Stones covering Bob Dylan’s “Watching The River Flow.” The musicians are Mick Jagger (vocal/harmonica), Keith Richards (guitar), Ronnie Wood (guitar), Charlie Watts (drums), Bill Wyman (bass), Ben Waters (piano)Jools Holland (Hammond) and Willy Garnet, Don Wellor, Alex Garnet & Tom Waters (saxophones). The long, slow wind down is sublime. Get it at Amazon, HERE.

Saturday, February 18, 2017


The extraordinary 'Floppy Boot Stomp' blog has posted this morning a gem for fans of the good Captain Beefheart and his early incarnations. The Avalon Ball room set from the mid sixties is a real treat and shows the captain and his then pals in a glorious blues standard band of great accomplishment. It first cropped up on 'Grow Fins' I think and then as first half of a bootleg coupled with early Safe As Milk stuff. Here it is just the live Avalon Ballroom set and clean as a whistle it is too!

Really enjoyable for fans of the blues and early Beefheartiana! [it's a word!]Don really plays straight blues harp worthy of any master blues harp player and the band whilst playing blues standards are tight as a gnat's chuff. I have this in other formats and someone has cleaned it up a treat from my old vinyl boot

Magic Band early incarnation line up & notes:

01 Down In The Bottom

02 Don't Start Me Talkin'

03 The Sun Is Shining 

04 Tupelo 

05 Somebody In My Home 

06 Old Folks' Boogie 

07 St. James Infirmary

08 Evil (Is Going On) 

09 Harp Instrumental 

Captain Beefheart - vocals and blues harp
Doug Moon - guitar 
Alex St. Clair - guitar 
Jerry Handley - bass 
Paul Blakely - drums.

“The Avalon Ballroom, 1966”. Most fans will probably be familiar with five of these tracks as they’ve appeared on the “Grow Fins” box set as well as a number of bootlegs over the years. But added to this are FOUR new tracks – “Down In The Bottom”, “Don’t Start Me To Talkin'”, “The Sun Is Shining” and “St James Infirmary” – that have never been released before. So, what we have now appears to be the entire KSAN radio broadcast … at long last!

BBC ' Where The Action Is' 1966 yes really!

Diddy Wah Diddy on American Bandstand and a phone in with Dick! Brilliant!

Final word from The Magic Band and John French on what appears to be Swedish Breakfast TV!!
They're like that in Sweden! Why it's like the Captain being on Ann and Nick! . . . . . . .

Friday, February 17, 2017

Notes from found photos . . . . an occasional series while wandering around t'interwebbie thing . . . . 


Camille Claudel, 1864 -1943

Camille Claudel was a French sculptor and graphic artist. I have been fasciated by women artists all my life. Often overlooked and referred to, if at all, as many an artist's muse. The story of Camille Claudel is no exception. Muse and student of Rodin and whilst there was a considerable age gap they were lovers but above all she was a great artist IN HER OWN RIGHT! Sure she was taught by the master but check out the images. They are NOT Rodin as some first thought but are by Camille. It is not a happy ending however  and clearly she was a haunted beauty with dark demons inside that finally won the day. She spent her final thirty years as an inmate in the local asylum. She deserves a film or biography. 
Camille photographed posing for Auguste Rodin

No, it's not a Rodin. This is Camille's own work 

 . . . as is this haunting figure study

  Twenty-four years Claudel’s senior, Auguste Rodin took her on as an assistant in 1884, turning her into his model and mistress by the time she was 20. Camille Claudel died on 19 October 1943, after having lived 30 years in the insane asylum at Montfavet (known then as the Asile de Montdevergues, now the modern psychiatric hospital Centre hospitalier de Montfavet).

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Leo Kottke


From 'Open Culture' the 'I've Got a Secret' Show starring John Cale

Few of us today, in search of unconventional artistry, would imagine mid-20th-century CBS game shows as a promising resource. But looking back, it turns out that American television of that era — a time and place when more people were exposed to the very same media than any before or since — managed to bring a surprising number of genuine creators before its mainstream-of-the-mainstream audience. In 1960, for instance, experimental composer John Cage performed Water Walk, his piece for a bathtub, pitcher, and ice cubes, on I’ve Got a Secret.Three years later, Cage’s near-namesake John Cale took the show’s stage to play Erik Satie’s “melancholic yet deadpan, ecclesiastical yet demonic” Vexations. Though Cage didn’t make a reappearance for the occasion, he did have a connection to the music itself.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

I still have this single in the picture sleeve and cherish it. It changed my life some how and was frankly the most exciting single I ever bought.

On this day in music history: February 13, 1967 - “Strawberry Fields Forever” / “Penny Lane” by The Beatles is released. The double A-sided single is the first release to emerge from the recording sessions that yields the landmark album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. The two songs based on childhood remembrances by Lennon and McCartney were originally slated to be a part of the album. The two songs are instead issued as a stand alone single, after Capitol Records in the US begins to press the band for a new release, not having issued any new Beatles records in over six months. In the US, “Penny Lane” hits number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on March 18, 1967, while “Strawberry Fields” peaks at number eight on April 1, 1967. In the UK, the single peaks at #2 behind Englebert Humperdinck’s “Release Me”. US and Canadian promotional copies of the single include an earlier mono mix of “Penny Lane” that includes a seven note trumpet coda at the end that is mixed out of all commercially released versions of the song, making the promo 45 a valuable and heavily sought after collector’s item. Both tracks make their LP debut on the US release of “Magical Mystery Tour” in November of 1967.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

For anyone who doesn't have these in different forms (French, Frith, Kaiser, Thompson - Live Love Larf & Loaf  etc) this just in from the Wondrous Willard's Wormholes for 'review'

RICHARD THOMPSON The Lost Album V3 (1987-1990)

The Lost Album (1987-1990)
RT & Some High-Profile Pals

You’d be surprised how many Spanish copy-blogs (not using Google Translator) will re-up this like it’s an actual release or a real rarity. It’s not. The Lost Albumis, in reality, all 8 of Richard Thompson’s compositions (and a few tracks he dominates) with the two-LP con-fab, French Frith Kaiser Thompson. Strung together, Thompson’s material plays like a lost, late-80s RT album… with a cooler than average band. Threetracks are glorious Thompson workouts, long, simmering and dramatic – including extended improvinterplay with guitarist, Henry Kaiser (PLUG). “The Killing Jar” is, simply, one of Thompson’s heaviest tunes ever, while “Drowned Dog Black Night” isn’t far behind. Tir-Nan-Darag” is a co-write with Kaiser, and there’s also the weirdest music RT has ever committed to tape, “March Of The Cosmetic Surgeons.” You’ll leave remembering the sober material, but will ponder Thompson’s bizarre mini-opera (which, actually includes opera). It took me a dozen listens, but I now believe it to be a work of genius. If you’re an RT fan, listening to this material as a single work is a treat. Compiled from French Frith Kaiser Thompson‘s Live, Love, Larf & Loaf and Invisible Means (both HERE).

Peppermint Rock (3:39)
Bird In God’s Garden / Lost And Found (5:43)
Killerman Gold Posse (1:46)
Drowned Dog Black Night (6:49)
Tir-Nan-Darag (5:24)
The Killing Jar (7:43)
Hai Sai Oji-San (2:43)
A Blind Step Away (5:39)
March Of The Cosmetic Surgeons (5:14)
Act I, Scene 2, The Clinic of Dr. Krikstein. On a podium, Center, MRS. RIPSTOCK-GEDDES is posing as Aphrodite, complete with water jug. Enter left DR. KRIKSTEIN, followed by the STUDENTS, marching Indian file to the rhythm of the music.
Loch Lomand (4:46)
Begging Bowl (3:22)

Thursday, February 09, 2017


Treat of the Week!

New Order classic played on old instruments of the 1930's!
 “Orkestra Obsolete,”

(via New Order’s “Blue Monday” Played with Obsolete 1930s InstrumentsReleased 33 years ago this week, New Order’s “Blue Monday” (hear the original EP version here) became, according to the BBC, “a crucial link between Seventies disco and the dance/house boom that took off at the end of the Eighties.” If you frequented a dance club during the 1980s, you almost certainly know the song.
 Created by the “Orkestra Obsolete,” this version tries to imagine what the song would have sounded like in 1933, using only instruments available at the time— for example, writes the BBC, the theremin, musical saw, harmonium and prepared piano. Quite a change from the Powertron Sequencer, Moog Source synthesizer, and Oberheim DMX drum machine used to record the song in the 80s. Enjoy this little thought experiment put in action.

Links here