What's All This Then

Why should I care what this guy has to say?

The correct answer is that you shouldn’t. We’re all entitled to our opinions. Develop your own. I try to be sane and rational, but that may change with the level of caffeine intake. I’m just telling my stories in the hopes they may amuse and/or inform others. And... I Confess... I'm showing off my bitchen collection a bit.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

This Is a Record I Remember From My Childhood.

Don't know what happened to my original.  I re-acquired a copy many years later.  An annoying pa-pa-oom-mau-mau ditty about the martians wanting to throw a record hop for humans.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Monkees for Resident

.....In the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that is.

The naysayers say they didn't play their own instruments.   Well, they at least participated instrumentally.  Probably more so than The Beach Boys.   Mike Nesmith was an accomplished guitar player and songwriter before the Monkees began.   He wrote 'Different Drum' for The Stone Ponies.

Peter was performing on the folkie coffee house circuit.  Mickey and Davey were accomplished actors.  Davey from musical theater and Mickey from television.

So what if their beginnings and the push behind their records was a TV show and not exclusively music.  It's the end result that counts.  

Are they getting in on personality alone?  How about any of today's celebrity performers.  It's not the records that got them there, it's all the videos and personal appearances that did.  In other words, all the things that have nothing to do with making a memorable record.  I'm looking at you Madonna.

The naysayers say they were manufactured and didn't have much control over their career.  The same would go for The Ronettes, The Supremes or any of the other Motown/Spector groups that have already been admitted.  By the time their series ended and they produced 'Head,' they were calling their own shots.

They even occasionally wrote their own material.  Can't say the same for current members Dusty Springfield, Diana Ross, or Elvis Presley!

They had an impressive chart presence and rivaled The Beatles here in the USA.

They pioneered the development of 'music video.'  Check out some clips below:

A standard performance 'rock video' with some interesting camera work.  And for you naysayers - follow Mike's fingers, he's playing the right notes.

They got trippy in Black and White

They hobnobbed with the best of the counterculture

And here's one written by Mike Nesmith.   A track later covered by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

And they made decent, memorable records.  Here are some picture sleeves I've acquired over the years.

So come one RRHF!  You've let some pretty crappy people in over the years.  The Monkees may be the band with the most hits that's still not in.  (Well that honor just might go the Three Dog Night).  Rock and Roll records come from many backgrounds and influences.  Blues, Country, Folk, etc.  What's the problem when then have a background in show business?!

I can give you a list of a few to throw out of the hall if you need some room.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Dylan George Jackson

A bit of an odd footnote in the Dylan catalog.  Black Panther George Jackson was killed in prison.  Dylan rushed into the studio to record a 'protest song' about the incident.  

It was not a big hit.  It didn't get a lot of airplay which might be due to the line 'He didn't take shit from no one.' 

Strangely enough, it doesn't show up on Dylan rarities compilations such as Biograph or Greatest Hits Volume II.  In contrast, the other Dylan single from that year 'Watching the River Flow' seems to pop up on most of them.

Bob Dylan - George Jackson (Acoustic Version) b/w George Jackson (Big Band Version)   (Columbia 1971)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Song for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics

In 1984 the Olympics came to Los Angeles for the second time.  Predictions of constant gridlock didn't come to pass and we were blessed with the best traffic ever.

Frank Sinatra attempted to come up with the definitive LA anthem for the event.
So here we have the picture sleeve to Sinatra's LA is my Lady

Not to be outdone, annoying 'entertainer' Fred Travalena attempted one as well.  

Fred Travalena - LA's My Spot

It's not just his lady, it's his spot - whatever that means.  I found this at a thrift store amongst about 50 of them in mint condition.   His manager or distributor probably couldn't give them away so they were donated.

And here he is on a very '80's newscast talking about the song.  Check out the smog.  Those were the good old days.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Herman's Hermits can Rock just like the big boys.

I never knew Herman's Hermits could rock!
This record came in box of 300 45's that I bought blind on eBay.  No titles were listed, but I could see by the photo that it was an era I was interested in.

The A-Side of this 45 is a cover of  The Kinks' Dandy.  But when you flip it over......

..... you get the rockinest Herman's Hermits song I've ever heard.  To these ears it sounds like the early Rolling Stones.   Not bad for a band that is known for cutesy teenage angst ballads with a cutesy lead singer.   They were a British Invasion band, but in some respects could be looked upon as the One Direction of their day.

Here's a clip of them doing it on some German TV show.  It's pretty awesome, but the record is even rockiner....

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Valentine from Elvis Costello

On Valentine's Day 1979 I went to an Elvis Costello concert at the Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, CA.   It wasn't a full on arena show. The venue was cut in half and the stage was moved halfway up the floor.

Upon exit from the concert, each atttendee was handed a 45 of Elvis doing 'My Funny Valentine' pressed on red wax.  A nice surprise and very thoughtful to give it out after.  A lot of them would have been wrecked if they were given out at the beginning.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Eno's Ring Of Fire

At first I thought this was a bootleg.  Evidently it was produced by Warner Brothers and given out to college radio stations in 1990 around the time John Cale and Eno were collaborating on One Way Up.   This features Eno covering Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire.  It's really slow.  So slow it sounds like Twin Peaks music.  At the time, it was a joy for a fan to hear Eno's voice after a long stint of instrumental albums.  

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Rolling Stones - Some Girls

In 1978, The Rolling Stones put out an album where they seemed to be playing like their life depended on it. For the most part, it did.  Keith Richards was out on bail facing charges of heroin trafficking in Canada.  A guilty verdict would have meant many years in the cooler.  Punk energy and attitude was edging into mainstream rock and roll.  Young punks, ironically adopting the 'sneer at authority' attitude pioneered by the early Rolling Stones, were ridiculing the classic rock bands as 'old dinosaurs.'

This was their first full fledged album with new member Ronnie Wood.  Rather than go into luxury studios as they had for their last few recordings, the band opted to go into EMI Paris - not in the big fancy room, but a tiny one in the back.  

The spark of creativity and prolific output was probably driven by the potential loss of Keith and the inevitable demise of the band as a result.  Enough material was generated here to seed the next two albums.

The Rolling Stones - Some Girls (Rolling Stones 1978)

And what a record it was. Some of their fiercest riff rockers.  The introduction of the Keith/Ronnie weaving technique with each guitarist playing both lead and rhythm on the same track.  Even forays into country and disco that don't seem dated.  Punk energy abounds.

The initial release came in a die cut cover modeled after an actual wig ad.  Famous faces peered though the die cuts from the inner sleeve.  The sleeve could be put in both ways and still line up with the die cuts

And there were color variations.  Dark and faded versions were available as well as different orders of the color bands.  Here's a sample of each - with the inner sleeve put in forwards and backwards.

...And here's a crappy xerox of the wig ad from the National Enquirer.

Many of the famous faces on the inner sleeve objected to their inclusion on the inner sleeve.  Rumor says it was Raquel Welch and Lucille Ball.  Someone told me it was Ruta Lee.  Who?   I would have taken it as an honor, but who am I?

Later pressings just blotted out the offending pictures with gaudy 'under construction' signs.  The early pressings are collectible, but not that rare as there are probably about a million of them pressed in the first run.

Many of the pictures come from well known sources.  Here's a still from the film 'Blacula' with Elisha Cook, Jr.  See if you can find it on the sleeve.


In addition, I threw a bunch of stuff in the record when I got it. 

A free promotional 'head shot' from the record company....

...And an ad from a magazine...

...And an ad for a local concert.  The bullet bra was a bit too much for The Los Angeles Times

Etta James was later added to the bill.

Some Girls and the Rolling Stones dominated my summer of 1978.