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, May 28, 2017

RIP Greg Allman

This weekend we lost Greg Allman.  Greg, along with his brother Duane, defined the genre of 'Southern Rock.'  Often imitated by lesser talents like Lynyrd Skynyd, Wet Willie and others, they we never topped.

Duane was a well regarded guitarist who could hold his own with Eric Clapton in Derek & The Dominoes.  Prior to the Allman's first record, he was the lead guitarist on many a Muscle Shoals session.  Including, but not limited to, Aretha Franklin's recording of Respect.

With a lineup consisting of two drummers, two guitarists, organ and drums, their marathon early live shows were the legendary.

So here's their first record.

The Allman Brothers Band (ATCO 1969)

Recorded in just a few days in 1969, the record shows Duane's guitar and Greg's vocal chops fully formed.  It was not a hit.

It wasn't until a few years later with their third release, the classic Live at the Fillmore Easy, would they attain the attention they deserved.

The back cover features bass player Berry Oakley watching over the rest of the band like some sort of angel..  Didn't quite work out as expected.  Only two of the original six members survived to this day.  Two died by motorcycle, one by suicide and one by a life of hard living.

For the gatefold, the band was persuaded to pose for a naked shot in a stream.  This was 1969 and  what all good hippies did after Woodstock.   Butch Trucks had stitches at the time and couldn't sit down.  I hope there weren't leeches.

This record contains 'Whipping Post,' the most requested song at any rock concert - by any band - for years to come.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Before the Internet, Politicians Had to Give Away Things to Get the Housewife Vote

I pine for the days when politicians gave out pot holders, kitchen towels and other useful gadgets to get out the vote.  I still have a pot holder or two.  Growing up, we'd occasionally have competing potholders.  I always judged the best candidate by the best swag.   I still do that in my line of work with software vendors.

Now all we get is email bombardments and unwanted robo-calls.  At least with a trinket, you could throw it in the trash.

Fortunately for me, my in-laws didn't toss this one......

Inaugural Addresses - Commemorative Edition (Seal of the President of the United States 1973)

Courtesy of Jim Keysor who was running for California State Senator in 1973

I, of course, never heard of the guy.  A quick Google revealed that he lost his bid for California State Senator.   He had a few other races throughout the '70's.   He withdrew from a Los Angeles City Council race in 1977 with this quote.

"I would have lost if I won and would have lost if I lost."

A great rock and roll lyric if I ever heard one.

And I wonder what the market must have been for records like this.  For a fee, I't looks like one could order custom back covers.  I would expect to see a generic label, but I see Jim Keysor on the label as well.  That must have cost extra.

Nobody gets records  -or pot holders for that matter  - from candidates anymore.  I got a Bernie Sanders record, but I had to pay for it and now get tons of unwanted emails.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

RIP Chris Cornell

Heard the news this morning.

Chris Cornell went the classic way of rock stars - in some hotel room in some God-forsaken city (Detroit) after a gig. Mysterious circumstances, but most likely the result of some bizarre magic fingers accident (OB Zappa).

I'm 'working from home' today while addressing some first world problems at my home.  The heater in my hot tub has malfunctioned and I have a flake (OB Zappa again) coming to look at it.

So while I'm working, I'm listening to this:

Soundgarden - Louder Than Love (A&M 1989)

That's right kids, check out the price.  In the old days before vinyl was a badge of hipster honor, one could pick up stuff in the used bins for real cheap.  This one came in at $1.85 which made it an even $2.00 with sales tax.

But this shouldn't be about me nor my bargain record scores from the past.....

Soundgarden was one of the first 'grunge' bands.  Never quite understood what that label meant.  Probably from the style of clothing most young residents of the Pacific Northwest wore at the time.  These guys were from an environment where it could be 40 degrees in the morning, 75 in the afternoon, then back to 40 in the evening.   People dress in layers.  For most young struggling bands, the layers didn't match.  Hence the grunge 'look.'

But this shouldn't be about fashion either......

The sound here owes a lot more to Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath than The Velvet Underground. Chris Cornell's vocal owe a lot to Robert Plant.  The guitar player had a bit of a Tony Iommi/Jimmy Page sound.   Still holds up today.

This was their first record and got the 'special label' treatment from A&M

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Bryan Ferry at the Movies

Back when 45's were still being released, single song contributions by established artists could be obtained without having to shell out big bucks for a album filled with lesser artists or incidental music from the film.  My English teacher might criticize me for the massive run on sentence.

Bryan Ferry did a few.

Bryan Ferry - Is Your Love Strong Enough b/w Windswept (Instrumental)  (MCA 1986)

One song contributed to Ridley Scott's Legend.  The film starred Tom Cruise and Tim Curry.  It was not a big hit.

Bryan Ferry  - Help Me b/w Broken Wings  (Warner Brothers 1986)

Ferry also contributed a song the David Cronenberg's gynecological horror remake of The Fly.  Appropriately titled 'Help Me' as an homage to the original.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Record Shopping Adventure in New Orleans

This Record Store Day I found myself in New Orleans for a corporate retreat.  I didn't really have time to wait in line for stuff.  Fortunately, my daughter gave it her best shot at my local store back home.  Between the two of us, we made out OK.  We only struck out on three titles between us.

Of course I went record shopping as I always do in other cities.


Possibly the smallest store I have ever been in.   Don't let that fool you.  They had well curated stock and very friendly clerks.  Got there about 15 minutes after they opened on Record Store Day.  The campers already got most of the good stuff, but I managed to get the Springsteen live album, the Ramones singles box and two Kinks EP's.

Image result for skullyz records

The next day, the retreat was over and our flight wasn't until later in the day.  My wife and I took a long walk which was routed to pass by some other stores in The Big Easy.

Louisiana Music Factory

Located in the Frenchman Street area where they keep the jazz clubs.  Still managed to snag a few Record Store Day titles, but mostly loaded up on used stuff.   A great store.  Very heavy on the local music styles.   A must to visit when in the neighborhood.

Euclid Records

We made our way to the Bywater district which, ironically, is by water.   This is an area of old warehouses that seem to be being taken over by artists.  Euclid Records is a satellite store of the one in St. Louis.   It used to be pink and almost missed it in its new yellowish coat.  

Great selection.  Also a must-visit in the area.

While I was in shopping, my wife went outside to call home to make sure the kids were still alive.  While outside she found a Dean Martin 45 on the sidewalk.  Of course we snagged it.

I love found records and will always take them home for a spin.  This one is special.  It's a Roger Miller style 'ridin the rails' type song.  Appropriately she found it near some railroad tracks.

We dined at a bratwurst place next door that had picnic tables in an empty lot. From there, Uber to the Ritz to pick up bags and a cab ride through the cemeteries to the Louis Armstrong Airport.