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.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Dirty Old Broads

Sometimes I'll be going through the cheap bins at the used record emporium and come across something like this: 

The cover doesn't lie.  This is one of those 'Dirty Old Broad' record.   They're hilarious.  Raunchy sex jokes that are actually funny.

Belle Barth was known as the 'Lenny Bruce of Miami' and was even arrested a few times for saying obscene things on stage.  She must have had a hard life because she was only in her mid-fifties when these cover shots were taken.

Here are some quotes for your enjoyment.

(responding to some hecklers in Boston)  If I was Paul Revere I never would have warned you bastards

One hooker says to another I made $150 last night. The other asks 'Gross?'  The first replies 'No Schwartz.'

Woman walks into a butcher shop and inspects a chicken.  She smells it front, back, underside, inside.  She says to the butcher 'This chicken stinks'  The butcher replies 'Madam, could you pass a test like that?"

They like drivin' for the Jews because they blow the sho-fer.

And so on..

Friday, July 24, 2015

KHJ Boss Oldies

With the rise of FM radio in the late '60's, AM top forty stations struggled to stay hip and relevant.   In the world of top forty, a song was considered an oldie if it was more than a few months old.  Stations would lease masters and release them in low cost compilations.  I've seen these in other markets.  It's possible they were the same pressings with a different radio station on the cover.

KHJ was one of the primary AM radio rock outlets in Los Angeles.  In their effort to stay relevant, they released a compilation with the cover below.

It really is kind of creepy.   Peace sigh contact lenses and a mouth sealed shut shrunken head style with 'love.'

Not to be outdone, rival AM station KRLA released these things as well.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Roxy Music - B-Sides Part 1

Roxy Music was one of my favorite bands of the 70's.  Huge in England, their popularity didn't really cross the Atlantic.  

My prog loving friends criticized them for not being very good musicians.  I couldn't disagree, but it really didn't matter.  Does playing intricate arrangements carry more of an emotional wallop than the riff from Jumpin' Jack Flash?  Not in my book.

I was attracted to their entire approach.  They were a band of contrasts.  The drummer (Paul Thompson) played hard and loud as though he was in a heavy metal band.  Their sax player (Andy McKay) tended to push his instrument to the extreme.  (Outside the band, he was responsible for the sax solo on Mott the Hoople's 'All the Way From Memphis').  Throw in Eno who 'treated' existing instruments to achieve new and interesting tones.  Throw in a guitar player (Phil Manzanera) who grew up in South America and brought a somewhat latin influence to his rock playing.    On top of that, we get a tuxedo clad singer (Bryan Ferry) who crooned like Bing Crosby.

They were very generous with their B-Sides.  Most of which were never released in the USA.

1.   The Numberer (B-Side of Virginia Plain)   1972

Technically a stand alone single as it wasn't included on the European release of the first album.  In the USA, Virginal Plain was included.  The record company released a single and included the original B-Side.  The Numberer is an instrumental with a bit of sax and synth flourishes.

2.  Pyjamarama b/w The Pride and the Pain.   1973

A standalone single in the UK.   Pyjamarama didn't appear on an LP until the live take on Viva! a few years later.

The Pride and the Pain is an instrumental with a dirge like pace.  It features wind and bird noises, a clarinet playing a vaguely Middle Eastern melody, searing guitar, whip noises, and a heavenly chorus.

3.   Hula Kula (B-Side of Street Life)   1973

Eno is now gone.   Roxy Music carries on with the release of their third album, Stranded.

Hula Kula, an instrumental,  features Phil Manzanera's workout on a Hawaiian slack key guitar.

4.  Your Application's Failed (B Side of All I Want Is You)  1974.

Roxy Music carries on with the release of their fourth album Country Life.  The A side was pulled from that album.  The B-Side, Your Application's Failed, is a rockin' (almost) instrumental credited to the drummer.  Bryan Ferry steps forward with the sole vocal, stating the song's title at the end of a solo break.

5.  Sultanesque (B-Side of Love is the Drug). 1975

1975 saw the release of the fifth Roxy Music album, Siren.   This one took a step or two towards a fairly mainstream sound and included their first 'hit' in the USA, Love is the Drug.   The B-Side, Sultanesque, consists solely of Bryan Ferry doodling on a synthesizer with a drum machine.

6.  For Your Pleasure (live) (B-Side of Both Ends Burning)   1975

A second single taken from Siren.  The B-Side is live take of a song from the second Roxy Music album.  For Your Pleasure had the coveted place in their live show as the last song before the (rock concert cliche) fake encore break.  Each musician departs the stage one by one until there's just a drone left.   The drone continues while the audience yells for more.

I tend to use this as a restroom break so I don't have to wait in huge lines when the entire arena empties out.  There is usually time to get back to my seat before the first notes of the fake encore.

After the release of a live album from the Siren tour, Roxy Music went on hiatus.  When they returned a few years later, their sound was less edgy, but still interesting.  A good chunk of the 'new wave' artists that dominated MTV in the early days took their cues from Roxy Music.  In my humble opinion, they only cared about the surface image, not the musical contrast of the musicians that made Roxy Music great.

After the hiatus, they continued with the B-Sides.  I will cover those in Part 2

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Band - Get Up Jake

In 1973, The Band put out Moondog Matinee.  The album consisted solely of cover versions of songs from the '50's.   

A single was released of Ain't Got No Home.  

What's interesting here is the B-Side.  A Robertson original entitled Get Up Jake.  A live version of this appeared on Rock of Ages.  Even though it says this version is from that album, it's not.  What we get is a studio take recorded during the sessions for their classic 2nd album  (officially self titled, but known to fans as the brown one).

Get Up Jake features a verse taken by each of the three singing members.  Levon Helm takes the first one, Rick Danko takes the second and Richard Manuel takes the third.  On the studio version, there are no instrumental breaks.  The live version on Rock of Ages is expanded slightly to include a guitar solo by Robbie Robertson and an organ solo by Garth Hudson.  On that version, which is around three minutes long, each member of The Band gets a spotlight for about 20 seconds apiece.   It's a good introduction to all the members for those who aren't familiar.

Saturday, July 11, 2015


I love dinosaurs.  Always have.  I love surfer stomp music.  I love old 45's.   Why on Earth would I ever pass up something like this in the cheapo bin.

Even though I had never heard this record, I imagined how this would sound.   Surf music with loud tympani representing the Brontosaurus.  It functioned just as advertised.

And yes, I say Brontosaurus and not one of those newfangled names for large sauropods.  When I was a kid, there were only a few dinosaurs.  Now there are hundreds to choose from.  Just like soft drinks.   Life was simpler when we had freedom from choice.  That's why I like Costco. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Chicago Record Shopping Adventure

Recently had a business trip to the windy city.  Late afternoon flight on Saturday left me with plenty of time to record shop.

First stop, the annual CHIRP record fair.  Held in a union hall.  Lots of bargains and not so much bargains.  The place reeked of stale cardboard.  I love that smell almost as much as new vinyl.

After that, I had Uberman take me to hipster Wicker Park

Recklesss Records - Chicago

According to the Record Store Day store locator, Reckless Records was located on Milwaukee.    Well they won't be at that location for a few days.  Their old location, which closed the day after I visited,  was up the block.  The new location will be much larger.  They have a few locations around town including one in The Loop.

Shuga Records

Then there was Shuga.  Hadn't heard of this one.  Nice vibe and selection.  Turntables for sale as well.  They have the old neon from Record Surplus - a store that used to be nearby.

Dusty Groove

Also hit up the new kid on the block, Dusty Groove.  Nice vibe, but they tend to specialize in Jazz and Hip Hop.  Not my cup of meat.

The Wicker Park neighborhood has a lot going on.  I popped into a vintage audio shop because they had my first stereo in the window.  A Panasonic job that came with speakers and a turntable.  I mentioned to them that the speakers were not the originals.  They knew.  I was tempted to buy a tube amp, but had no way of stuffing it in my suitcase.

Had me a stack of records and stopped for lunch to go through them.  Wicker Park has many fine eateries.

Then had Uber Man take me back to the hotel for a suitcase packing engineering exercise.  Heavy bags on the Blue Line to O'Hare.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

I Love Twist Records

I came across this one in a thrift store.  I know Irving Fields from his Bagels and Bongos records.   The cover caught my eye.  A silhouette of a 'twister' with an hourglass figure - except it kind of looks like time ran out.  

I did a little research on this and found out that it's quite collectible. Everest records was started by Harry Belock - an inventor.  They pioneered the use of recording on 35MM magnetic film.  Early recordings on this label from prior to the sale to Mercury (along with the technology) are supposedly as good as it got at the time.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Happy 4th of July

You can't get more 'American' than John Wayne.  For some reason, he made a record. It dominated the cutout bins for a long time in the late '70's.

So when you're grilling hot dogs, drinking beer and watching the carnage of war depicted with pretty fireworks  - think of that great American.  He never served in the military, but criticized others who avoided service.  He was never a cowboy, but played one in the movies. He was a mouthpiece for conservative causes.   He detested hippies.  In a nutshell, he represented the conservative establishment that the '60's tried to overturn.  

John Wayne  - America, Why I Love Her  (RCA 1973)

Just for fun, here's an excerpt.