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.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Chuck Berry. Long Live Rock and Roll

So sad to see the passing of Chuck Berry.   He lived to ripe old age of 90, but will live on in perpetuity as long as there is Rock and Roll.  

This is a guy who brought the electric guitar to the fore as the definitive instrument.  His songs could be mini epics with distinct story lines (Johnny B. Goode and it's sequel Bye Bye Johnny), or just celebrations of teenage life and love of Rock and Roll (Rock and Roll Music, Sweet Little Rock and Roller).

Oh Mommy Mommy
Please may I go?
It's such a sight to see
Somebody steal the show.

Hail, hail rock and roll
Deliver me from the days of old
Long live rock and roll
The beat of the drums, loud and bold
Rock, rock, rock and roll
The feelin' is there, body and soul.


As far as records go, I have about four different compilations.  My wife has some before we were married.  I had a few as well.  We were always in search of them in glorious mono only to be greeted with 'enhanced for stereo' pressings.

I came across this one at a thrift store.  Perfect shape save for that stain on the left.  It's from a thrift store so I am not even allowing myself to be curious.  It's in glorious mono and sounds fantastic.   Five records and 71 songs.

If conspiracy theories hold, the powers that be tried to kill Rock and Roll.  They drafted Elvis, threw Chuck Berry in prison for being a black man with a white girl, and shot down Buddy Holly.

Glad to know they couldn't kill it.   Chuck's music has been blasted into space for alien races to discover.

After jail, Berry released a few more records.  Nadine is one of my favorites.  No guitar solo, but listen to the phrasing during the lines: Hey conductor you must slow down. I think I see her. Please let me off the bus.  You can almost hear the string bends as his voice mimics Berry's 'circle back' guitar style.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Admiral Stereo

My parents bought this Admiral phonograph in the 60's.   As was the norm in those days, it came with a record.

All mixed to circumvent the shortcomings of the particular unit.  Remember RCA's Dynagroove?  That was an attempt to use noise cancelling technology to minimize the rumble from their console stereos.

The record itself is color coded by genre.....

The turntable came with instructions right on the platter.

And just for fun, here is the manual.

The stereo is long gone.  My sister and I used to lay claim on it and drag back and forth between our  rooms.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Mashed Potato Beach Party with The Ventures

So I'm rummaging through the bins at Rasputin's in Berkeley when I came across this Ventures album

The Ventures- Mashed Potatoes and Gravy (Dolton 1962)

I was under the impression that I already had their entire Dolton catalog.   I looked in my trusty database of the collection - which I sync to my smartphone - and saw I didn't have this one.

I was only half right.   The dance craze, do the 'whatever' series of records was dying as beach music began filtering into the mainstream in that brief window before The Beatles.

Gee  - so what's Dolton to do?   Reissue a mashed potato record as a beach record.

The Ventures - Beach Party (Dolton 1963)

Since it's instrumental music, it worked.

So yeah, same songs to be played on a portable phonograph at the beach.  I personally would never take a record to the beach.  Sand, sun and Coppertone do not mix well with vinyl.

To further the confusion.  The record inside the Beach Party cover was Mashed Potatoes and Gravy.  This could have been switched after birth, but Dolton may have just made new covers for old records that didn't sell.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

From Political Circus to the Real Circus - RIP

So much talk these days about the political circus.  Nobody is talking about the demise of the real circus.   Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus is shutting down.  We can thank the do-gooders who took issue with using whips and cattle prods on animals.

The circus tried to hobble along using only human performers, but it didn't quite catch on.  That's the domain of the designer circus shows currently playing in Las Vegas.

I managed to find a soundtrack album in a stack that used to belong to a friend's father.   

With no animals in the mix, we're left with creepy clowns.

The record came with a booklet.  Does that elephant look unhappy?  You decide.  I'm more concerned with the dressage horses.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Political Circus

We have a new president and the world hasn't blown up yet.  Well, maybe it has by now. I'm writing this post a good two months before it's scheduled post date.

Political turmoil between The Right and The Left is as old as  - well - The Right and The Left.

In the 60's it rose to a head and the establishment had to take notice.  The voting age was dropped to 18.  The war in Vietnam had to go and even the war hawks agreed.   

In 1969, renown exploitation studio American International Pictures cashed in.  They produced 'Wild in the Streets' which gave a 'what if' scenario of a radical young rock star becoming president.

In the film we are treated to such things as Shelly Winters trying to become a hippie and congress being dosed with LSD.

It produced a bitchen soundtrack album as well

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - Wild in the Streets  (Tower 1968)

Great songs on this as well.  'Fourteen or Fight,' 'Fifty Two Percent' and the Classic 'The Shape of Things to Come.'    Songs by Brill Building tunesmiths Weil/Mann

Awesome cast featuring the film debut of Richard Pryor.

So see it if you can.  Everyone over 30 gets dosed and thrown into a concentration camp.