On this day...

Backslapping time. Well done us. We are fantastic.
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Phenomenal Cat
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 23 May 2012, 15:42

…in 2000, struggling New York stick-figures from a newly-formed band, In the Old Man’s Ford, lace up their Chuck Taylors and slip into their tightest thrift store scores for a date with destiny. Rap mogul Russell Simmons has summoned the five young men, Julian Casablancas, Reggie Hammond, Jr., Fab Morvan, Nik Venet and another Nik, to the agreed-upon Orange Julius at the Staten Island Mall. Simmons “likes his juices” along with his pink-collared Izods, but sees something special in this group of sloppily –dressed NYC shit-stains that he dubs “the skids”. Though they seemed consumed by The Salvation Army and Ayn Rand, Simmons smells potential with the right marketing. Singer Casablancas favors changing the band name to “Marquee Moon and the Funky Bunch”, but they eventually sign to Simmons’ Royale with Cheese label as ‘The Strokes’. Simmons shows little interest in the mangled cassette tape the band struggles in vain to play for him on a battered-yet-genuine 1979 'TPS-L2' Sony Walkman. The real goal, he claims, is to establish a brand so they can market cheap, used clothing as high-fashion and perhaps peddle some juices. “The Strokes brand will be like Louis Vuitton for tweakers. They won’t just be a band, but a way of life”.

The band travels to the poorest reaches of Danbury, Connecticut to assemble their “Resale-Shop Chic” aesthetic in secret, all the while demoing songs for what would be their debut LP, Goodwill Hunting. The band’s new music now reflects their recent plundering of East Village record shops along with their lifelong love of Rush’s 2112 LP. Simmons arranges a week of shooting for videos of “I Heard Her Call My Cell”, “Lust for Lifeson”, and “Sweet Joan as Policewoman”, the band wearing their trademark ill-fitting outfits and matching hi-tops to great effect. While the band ponders its future as “a prog band for the modern age”, Simmons promptly opens the Strokes’ Snapple Boutique in Borough Park, offering the finest in torn jeans, gas station uniforms with ironic ethnic names, and plenty of tasty beverages. The business doesn’t last more than a few weeks, however, as the boys believe this is not only their job, but their home. Beyond their non-existent work ethic, friends of the band make off with hundreds of dollars worth of “.38 Special” and “Where’s the Beef?” t-shirts, and Simmons receives a cease-and desist letter from the Snapple Corporation. Though the storefront survives another week as “The Jew’s Box”, Simmons helps himself to a sweet Hanukkah sweater before sending the band on tour and locking the doors for good.

Having learned “Supper’s Ready”, “Xanadu”, and “My Red Joystick”, The Strokes venture out onto the American club scene, first landing a coveted opening slot on the Asia reunion tour. Unfortunately, the Asia reunion falls through, so The Strokes try in vain to blag their way onto the Yes 35th Anniversary tour, but eventually end up touring with Robert Fripp-fanatics Kings of Leon. The Strokes’ quickly find out that there’s little to no interest in their music, prog or otherwise, but people think they look great. People flock to the shows just to look at their disheveled heroes, many youngsters learning for the first time what “not giving a fuck” really means. As noted by a guy from Kings of Leon: “They started out doing these epic 14-minute suites, but by the second week of the tour, they seemed content to invent tunes on the spot. They had these cheap little amps and no effects pedals. At times, the guitar would come unplugged, or Julian would just be singing into a beer. But you know what? It didn’t make any difference. They were always oblivious to their actual performances. And they looked great”

The band’s overt lack of passion, Oliver-like expressions of oppressive gaunt and tight trousers garner them continuous coverage in Rolling Stone,Spin, and Nylon Guys. They seem an obvious fit for European audiences, and accept an invitation from Sire Records’ Seymour Stein to embrace every mundane thing England has to offer. Says Stein: “I loved them right away – they made the Voidoids look like ad executives: Julian in his crushed-velvet jacket three sizes too small; Albert in a potato sack with a tweed ascot cap. Russell Simmons never cared about their music- he was too busy mixing up smoothies - so I think that shrug-it-off attitude permeated the band’s performances. It was almost like they were in perpetual rehearsal, and really hung-over. I couldn’t take my eyes off of them”.

The stage banter was like nothing anyone had heard before. While Russell sat in the back selling buttons and Strokes belt buckles, Julian was firing off witticisms like “Here’s another one you won’t know” and “I can’t wait to get stoned and watch TV”. The audience, the band, Russell – no one gave a fuck. It was like a breath of fresh air conditioning. Pete Doherty attended the first of many London shows: “I remember backstage that they were worried some of their neighborhood friends might bicker about their song “New York City Pizza” so rather than risk a hassle, they just took it off the record. When I first saw them live in London, they played every song I requested. Every single one. They wouldn’t say “no”. In fact, they wouldn’t say anything. Brilliant”.

The tour is capped by their now-infamous NME interview (“How do you find England?” – “I’m not sure. We had a pilot.” “Why does your jacket say ‘Jorge’?”- “They didn’t have one with my name on it.” “What’s your biggest influence?” - “Reruns”). However, as their barely-anticipated follow-up album Hold your Fire is unleashed, even sadder specimens like The Shins, Modest Mouse, and Death Cab for Cutie begin to show the buying public just what infinitesimal amount of shit they could really not give. Rolling Stone’s “The Band Don’t Give A Fuck” feature – which identifies these million selling groups as part of a larger “Bystander Rock” phenomenon – proves to The Strokes once and for all that it may be time to move on (despite rapturous testimonial from the band’s hero David Bowie – clearly a fan of the new ineffectual-edge: “I see a great deal of myself in these bands. I can remember 1975, having my first #1 in America and knowing I could ease up. This was what I’d spent over a decade working towards! We used to sit around for days in the studio, wasting precious hours snorting cocaine and listening to Can. By the time we got around to finishing a take, we’d have already moved on mentally to the pub hours earlier. Now you can program ProTools to fill in the blanks while you play with the Wii. It’s quite touching to see this spirit re-emerging with such…impotence”.)

The Strokes try to counter the sudden ubiquity of apathy-based acts by booking a tour they don’t intend to play and briefly retiring to California (the purported rain-free capitol of malaise) in hopes of picking up on “the next big thing” from an unpaid storage locker or homeless person. Casablancas and Hammond eventually take their secondhand style to The Mars Vulcan, though some believe The Strokes will one day return.
Now, I’m liberal, but to a degree
I want everybody to be free
But if you think that I’ll let Rick Santorum
Move in next door and marry my son
You must think I’m crazy!

But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

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Phenomenal Cat
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 24 May 2012, 15:44

...in 1989, notorious gangster rappers NWA are embroiled in a heated showdown with producer Phil Spector over the direction of their new LP, the hotly-anticipated follow-up to the startling successful and grammatically-challenged Straight Outta Compton. No one knows for sure how the legendary, reclusive producer ended up with the hottest act in rap, but it quickly becomes apparent that the partnership is not built to last. A ¼” tape has recently been found at L.A.’s Gold Star Studios detailing this historic junket between Spector and the Compton, CA “ghetto boys” known as Ice Cube, Eazy E., Dr. Dre, MC Wren, and a guy who seems to be named “Yellow”.

Prior to the actual recording, the members of NWA have spent a mind-numbing eight days twiddling their thumbs in the air-conditioned confines of Gold Star as Spector brings in the tools of his trade – 12 drum machines, 14 turntables, 4 full drum kits, a 40-piece string section, and every “Ice” and “Dr.” from a 20 mile radius. A full arsenal of semi-automatic weapons and vintage pistols arrive along with sirens, pipe bombs, tazers, and a dozen “screamer” girls in order to build a “South Central Wall of Sound”. Two days are spent simply trying to get the drum machines to play “just slightly” out of synch. Any entreaty by an NWA member is met with either cold disdain or an overt stroking of the 9mm Beretta tucked into Spector’s waistband.

The first track, “Wait Til My Nigga Get Home” has not gone well as Ice Cube has spent the better part of three hours repeating “Bitch!” 127 times to Spector’s increasing disapproval. All tracks are to be performed live, meaning Cube, Dre, and Wren are forced to occupy a room the size of your average one-car garage along with Spector’s NWC (or “New Wrecking Crew”) who fire off pistols, simulate fellatio, and stab miked-up pumpkins as the rappers record their vocal tracks. The recording of “You Foundem, You Fuckedem, You Fled” is aborted as Spector laments the lack of any “serious fucking” during the takes.

The found ¼” tape picks up just as Cube has gathered the group to confront Spector. Spector is distracted, stirring a Brandy Alexander with his stirring gun, and leaps to his feet as the group bum rushes the control room.

PHIL SPECTOR: Perhaps you don’t understand the artist – producer relationship, boys. You wait in there and next week you’ll be too busy counting money to ever complain again.

DR. DRE: This is bullshit. Man, I was supposed to produce this shit.

PS: I started calling myself a genius when I was 17-years old, and pretty soon, everyone agreed with me. No one will ever mistake you for a doctor, believe me.

DRE: Say WHAT?!?

PS: Maybe you are def, but you ain’t dumb, too, are ya? Son, I’ve been making records since before you were sucking your mother’s limp dick.

DRE: I’m 42, sir.

ICE CUBE: Did you even read my lyrics, fool? You plan to rap on this motherfucker, too?

PS: Too many words, man. Too many words. Give the kids a hook or you’ll be back washing cars. It’s called the KISS principle: Kiss my ASS if you don’t like it. I got my people working on this: Goffin & King...Barry & Greenwich...Mann & Weil....Young MC......Just look at these titles! “Be My Homie”, “And Then He Shot Me”, “Da Boo Ya Ya”, “Rollin’ Deep, Getting’ High”....

CUBE: Man, that is some racist shit...

PS: What have you got?

CUBE: We wanna lay down a track called “Shut Dat Bitch Up”

(the sound of two gunshots ring out, presumably aimed at the ceiling)

PS: You think I’m a RACIST? I am BLACK, motherfucker. I should bring Ike Turner down here to hear this shit. We INVENTED this shit. You’re all “fuck” this and “bitch” that. You think anyone wants to hear “There is a bitch in Spanish Harlem”? I should get Ahmet on the phone. He doesn’t sweat suburban shit-stains like you and neither do I.

DRE: Man, fuck you. You wouldn’t be such a big man without your guns.

PS: I learned karate from Elvis! I’ve worked mind-control on Brian Wilson! I convinced Ronnie Bennett to marry me! You don’t know who you’re messing with!

EAZY E: Well, why I gotta do my tracks inside a lunchbox?

PS: I don’t trust you, that’s why. I don’t want you too close to my mikes....or me. You’re “Eazy”? You know what happens to someone who’s known as “Eazy”? You’ll find out.

EAZY: Yella, kick this asshole to the curb.

YELLOW: He’s does have a lot of guns, Eazy.

PS: You don’t scare me. This is a goddamn catastrophe. I’m going to bring Larry Knetchel down here, and Hal Blaine, and Billy Strange, and Barney Kessel, and Boo Berry, and Jim Gordon to straighten this all out. I’ve got guys lining up in the parking lot outside to be “Niggas wit’ Attitude”. Now get back in that fucking studio. And we’re recording “Drive-By in the Rain” next. Get out of my fucking control room.

- The tape runs out as Eazy calls manager Jerry Heller, who arrives 10 minutes later with members of the Jewish Defense League in tow. Though Spector is dying to record real-life gunplay in his studio, Heller and his crew actually take Spector’s side, leading Ice Cube to leave the sessions, and NWA, for good. Heller’s “short-armed fatties” later raid Gold Star for the master reels, but Spector has wisely taken them home as is his usual practice. It is rumored that Spector was still working on the tapes as late as 2002, when he played unreleased tracks like “She Swallowed It (and it Felt Like a Kiss)” to members of Starsailor before he (justifiably) shot them.
Now, I’m liberal, but to a degree
I want everybody to be free
But if you think that I’ll let Rick Santorum
Move in next door and marry my son
You must think I’m crazy!

But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

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Phenomenal Cat
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 25 May 2012, 17:25

...in 1984 while on a beer run, a seriously inebriated Vince Neil caused a head-on collision while driving 65 in a 25 mph zone. The driver of the other car, Daniel L. Smithers, 20, of Hermosa Beach, and his passenger, 18-year-old Lisa Hogan of Rancho Palos Verdes, both suffered severe head injuries. Hogan spent 28 days in a coma, and both victims continue to receive medical treatment to this day. Neil’s passenger, Hanoi Rocks drummer Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley, was killed instantly. As a result of his appallingly poor decision-making skills, not to mention gross arrogance and hubris, Neil was ordered to pay $12.5 million in restitution to the victims and is currently serving out a 40-year prison sentence at San Quentin State Prison.
Now, I’m liberal, but to a degree
I want everybody to be free
But if you think that I’ll let Rick Santorum
Move in next door and marry my son
You must think I’m crazy!

But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

User avatar
Phenomenal Cat
death on four legs
Posts: 10100
Joined: 07 Sep 2004, 16:52
Location: Presently Shattering the Illusion of Integrity
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 25 May 2012, 17:29

...in 1996, Jack White begins his professional music career with Detroit shit-hoppers Insane Clown Posse. Besides being criminally underused as “Fiery Jack”, the young guitarist becomes dangerously jaundiced from his prodigious intake of Faygo Red Pop (which Violent J. later uses to “fix” White’s entire wardrobe). After a particularly humiliating round of late-night “Hurts Donut”, White quits the Posse, a tale disturbingly recounted in the upcoming White biopic, Obscured by Clowns.
Now, I’m liberal, but to a degree
I want everybody to be free
But if you think that I’ll let Rick Santorum
Move in next door and marry my son
You must think I’m crazy!

But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

User avatar
Phenomenal Cat
death on four legs
Posts: 10100
Joined: 07 Sep 2004, 16:52
Location: Presently Shattering the Illusion of Integrity
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 29 May 2012, 15:37

…In 2012, twelve-dollar British rock rag Mojo honors a giant in the field of music and visual arts with one of their now-standard star-studded “tribute” issues. Past recipients of such fawning praise-ups have included legends like Bob Marley, Neil Young, Lennon & McCartney, Ray Charles, and Nirvana. Currently under production and awaiting publication in August of this year is an 18-page tribute to Newcastle’s black metal trio, Venom. The following is an excerpt from interviews conducted for the piece, a small taste from what will prove to be an exhaustive career retrospective that should cement the status of Venom as standard bearers of rock excellence on par with greats like Led Zeppelin, The Who, and Detective.

Gaz Coombes (ex-Supergrass): I can recall first picking up Welcome to Hell and seeing just the three of them on the back cover, emerging from the Brighton Marina with axes. I was like, “Blimey! That’s a right tough looking lot there!” I used to talk like that.

Richard Thompson (ex-Fairport Convention/hat rack): Venom? Fantastic look and real energy, onstage and off. I’d give my last Totes cap to play “Countess Bathory” with the V.

Nick Cave (ironic frontman/debutante/mustache): There’s something primeval, and at its core, very grounded and darkly spiritual about a song like “1000 Days in Sodom”, a touchstone to the deeper miseries and abject suffering of ancients past and a bitter reminder, like “Stack O’ Lee” or “California Dreaming”, that we are merely serving the same masters that have wandered these hallowed hills for centuries, spinning morbid tales and laying down some wicked-ass guitar solos.

Marianne Faithful (recording artist and a woman who knew the Rolling Stones): Cronos called back in ’85 …very upset. The boys weren’t getting along, so he was looking for replacement players. He wanted to “toss a couple of these yobbos” and could I help, right? Of course I was dumbfounded and very drunk, but for some reason he believed I possessed some “major-league yobbos” of my own. I finally relented and gave him Kath Bush’s number.

Guy Garvey (Elbow vocalist): Venom is such a cool name. We had a chance to give ourselves a cool name and you know what we came up with? Elbow. Why?

Ian Brown (ex-Monkee): British rock had just lost “The Brit”, you know? So we heard that chant in the middle of “Teacher’s Pet”: “Get the tits out, get the tits out, get the tits out for the lads!” and we were like, “That’s where I live, mate. Let’s just be lads and make a go of it”. And we did.

Tony Bennett (legendary legend): Mantas came to see me at Birdland as he often did when Venom were touring the States, looking to pick up some performing tips or a spot of advice from the old-timer. But you know, I always told him the same thing – “God? The Devil? Two sides of the same coin, baby. You follow your heart, and watch the ale. You got a paunch. And you smell really bad.” Crazy kids.

Henry Rollins (talking head): Oh man, I could talk for days about Venom. I often do. You know that solo breakdown in “Red Light Fever”? That’s the shit right there, just phenomenal. Abaddon just loses the beat completely and you’re like “Man, those guys are fucked” but somehow they all come back together and Cronos growls and they’re standing atop the mountain again, raining hell upon us mere mortals. Just try that with a band, any band. You can’t fake that sort of incompetence. I’ve tried!

Björk (Icelandic pixie): Marshall the mages of maleficent malcontents! Vellum!

Patrick Carney (The Black Keys’ “Meg”): They did one song, “At War With Satan” that took up a whole album side. I would love to do something like that, but no one listens to me.

Sigur Rós (also Icelandic): You can learn a lot about what NOT to do by listening to Venom. I just don’t.

Jay Zed (rapper/entrepreneur/husband): MAN, I HEARD ABOUT THIS THING CALLED “BLACK METAL” AND I WANTED A PIECE OF IT. THESE CATS IN NORWAY ARE DOING PRISON TIME FOR KILLING EACH OTHER? AND BURNING SHIT DOWN? I WAS LIKE “THAT’S MY BREAD-AND-BUTTER, SON”. I EVEN WENT TO NEWCASTLE BUT IT WAS JUST A BUNCH OF OLD WHITE PEOPLE SITTING INDOORS, DRINKING STOUT.

Alan McGee (Creation Records): Venom came along just at the right time – the gothic horror and the brutal honesty; singing about the shrouded mysteries of death and depravity. They were a natural progression from Joy Division except they were heavy metal, and I couldn’t help but hate them.

Cat Power (not an actual cat): This is the record I had as a kid (holds Welcome to Hell LP up for inspection). I had to keep this record in the closet, it scared me so much. It was like entering into some sort of satanic pact just to hear it. I recall I really liked “Looks That Kill” but the song “Helter Skelter” was just too heavy for me. I still have a thing for Tommy Lee. Meow.

Johnny Marr (for hire): I really came to respect Venom when I played on their Possessed album. The thing is, you’d think anyone can just growl and say something outrageous like “I drink the vomit of the priest”, but it’s not as easy as you’d think. Cronos really let those tracks breathe, so when he’s panting, “Come on, bitch!” it’s not just what he says, but what he isn’t saying. It’s all about that space between the shouts and growls. Morrissey had it, and so does Cronos. He’s a master.

Sting (ex-musician): What can I say? I’ve never heard of Venom and I love them already! Thanks for asking.

Jarvis Cocker (ex-Pulp): Venom are from the lower-lower class, the dredges of society, just wallowing in their own shit and puke and not caring one bit. It’s just enough for people like that to get their three squares a day and maybe a pint of piss. I so admire them.

Krist Novoselic (peripheral Seattle musician): God, Kurt LOVED Venom! Just played that Black Metal cassette to death. I honestly believe if he were alive today, he’d still be listening to Venom. That’s how much he really liked them. I have a new band….don’t hang up…

Jim Jarmusch (“Filmmaker”/sycophant): I was dying to work with Venom, so when I heard they were in Memphis, I sprang at the chance. My idea was to have the three boys riding their bicycles through Chickasaw Gardens, improvising their dialogue as I tracked their movements. First off, I don’t believe they can speak English. At all. They spent a lot of time spitting beer at the camera and shouting “poofter” at me, whatever that means. They tossed my cigar store Indian prop into Memphis Lake and eventually the bikes as well. They were naturals.

Albert Hammond, Jr. (At the Drive In/The Strokes): Huge influence. HUGE. Heard these guys for the first time back in 2010, along with Captain Beefheart, Astral Weeks, Miles Davis, Gil-Scott Heron, Shuggie Otis, Sun Ra, MC5, Bob Dylan, Hello People, Velvet Underground, Infectious Grooves, Black Merda, Eclection, and Minor Threat. A real game-changer.

Paul Weller (Mojo stalker): I remember the whole Mod revival got so out of hand and I was sick to bits of all of it. I was always sniffing around, with me Dad, looking for something new – a real turn-on like the first time you play “Substitute” or pull a bird at a Wigan Casino all-nighter, just sweating out the E and going mad for it. It was time to bin The Jam and everything that people really liked about the band, and me, and strike out for some new frontiers. So with Style Council, I did just that.

David Johansen (New York Dolls/handbag): We were doing the pentagram and Satan shtick back in ’72 if I must be honest. We used to show up at the Mercer Arts Center dripping with blood, howling at the moon and talking about fucking nuns. We played our first few shows wearing the corpse paint, and (bassist Arthur) Killer Kane used to sacrifice stray cats to our dark lord. I love what Venom did, but you have to remember your roots, man. They never mention us in interviews. Never.

Jim James (My Morning Jacket): We used to cover “Witching Hour” in the early days. You think Fleet Foxes ever did anything like that? Why are we still talking about Fleet Foxes!?


-The Mojo issue, complete with a recreation of the Black Metal album by artists like Beach House, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Iron & Wine, Bon Iver, Akron/Family, Snore Patrol, Field Music, Vashti Bunyan, Mope, Peaches, Paul Weller, Grizzly Bear, Panda Bear, Animal Collective, and Single Pigeon will be on newsstands August 2nd.
Now, I’m liberal, but to a degree
I want everybody to be free
But if you think that I’ll let Rick Santorum
Move in next door and marry my son
You must think I’m crazy!

But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

User avatar
Phenomenal Cat
death on four legs
Posts: 10100
Joined: 07 Sep 2004, 16:52
Location: Presently Shattering the Illusion of Integrity
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 30 May 2012, 21:39

...In 1978, anticipating blockbuster business for the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band movie and soundtrack, Robert Stigwood contacts The Beach Boys to pitch a musical based on a script he’d received from a precocious Cameron Crowe called “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”. Set in modern-day Southern California, Stigwood sees this stage production as his answer to the then-popular "Grease", and The Beach Boys eagerly hop aboard this hip homage to the left coast, provisionally titled Jeff Sounds. The Beach Boys record over a dozen tracks, including “Don’t Worry Stacy”, “Wouldn’t It Be Great”, “Time to Get Damone”, “Skull Demonstration Time”, “”Ratner’s Big Chance”, “The Little Prick I Once Knew”, and “I’d Love Just Once To See You (Fucking Knock)”.
Now, I’m liberal, but to a degree
I want everybody to be free
But if you think that I’ll let Rick Santorum
Move in next door and marry my son
You must think I’m crazy!

But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

User avatar
kath
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Posts: 31419
Joined: 22 Feb 2006, 15:20
Location: bama via new orleans

Re: On this day...

Postby kath » 31 May 2012, 01:04

... thank fucquin christ, dude.

signed,
yer #1 fan

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Phenomenal Cat
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 31 May 2012, 15:40

...In 2007, at least two members of the New York press are on hand to witness the closing of the city’s infamous Studio 54 for what may be the last time. While the club enjoyed a reputation in the disco era of the 70s for a who’s-who celebrity clientele, endless drug orgies, decadence and debauchery, the current owners and once-viable MTV fodder, The Dandy Warhols, are pulling out all stops just to keep the doors open. Despite having only been in operation for two weeks, the band’s tenure as club owners has failed to recapture those halcyon days of Steve Rubell and his segregation of “the beautiful people” by means of velvet rope and cut-throat vetting. It cannot be said, however, that the Dandys didn’t give it their best try.

The Dandy Warhols’ singer Courtney Benetton and keyboardist Pia Zadora-Zadora, kitted out in their best tight-fitting t’s, ascots, military fatigues and drainpipe trousers, greet potential patrons outside the club for the requisite weigh-in, hair, fashion, and dermatology assessment before Benetton begins to openly castigate the only two people who have actually showed up that night: “My club rules, OK? You are not sexy, you think you’re angst ridden and intellectual, but you very clearly have never contemplated suicide as deeply and as frequently as I have, and you’re not even close to being scholarly.” He continues to chase the couple down the street, “I’ve read all the great Russians! I understand ‘20s Paris and ‘50s Cairo!”

And therein lies the problem with the new Studio 54 – the paltry queue outside reflects the equally and dismally dull scene inside. While much excitement is generated during its opening week, the new Studio 54 has left a bitter taste on the palette of the New York cognoscenti. Courtney promises the press that the philosophy of exclusion will be an eventual success: “There are things I can do. We’ve put in a polka-dot floor, genuine wall frescoes from the Sixteen Chapel, neon pillars, and a 28’ x 54’ portrait of yours truly. Bowie says it’s something he’s always wanted to do. I want a club where everybody is as cool as me.”

Though the move into club ownership seems to be a logical move for a vain-glorious band on a strikingly downward trend, the travails begin almost immediately as The Dandy Warhols accept “financing” from the estate of Andy Warhol in exchange for their heeding the advice: “Oh, do fuck off and lose the name.” “The 54”, as it is now called, is first billed as “The Monkey House”, the doorway obscured by a giant neon banana with a syringe repeatedly plunging in and out it. New York City officials threaten to close shop until a more suitable sign is created. Benetton is unfazed: “Heroin isn’t even fucking cool anymore. Why be Keith Richards when you can buy Keith Richards off the rack, and be fucking beautiful and scary without any real effort? Whether this club succeeds or fails doesn’t matter. I’m just going to fucking quit either way.” In the end, the hip solution seems to be writing “The 54” faintly on the front door with red crayon. Claims Benetton: “The Hip can smell out Hip”.

The Hip do indeed show, but most of the invited celebrity guests fail to “make the cut”. Lou Reed is refused entrance on “Velvet Underground Night”. The White Stripes’ Jack White is turned away for being “pear shaped”, though his striking translucent skin does earn him a “purge and return” card. Ironically, drummer Meg White is admitted but later ejected for making boys “nervous” and accidently breaking three chairs (many continue to cite this as the Whites’ last moment as a real married couple). Madonna finally acquiesces to multiple overtures (and clandestine cash payments) to make an appearance, only to later complain to the press, “They required all guests to sign a waiver claiming they’d seen something called “Dig” and understood that it was ‘intended to be ironic’. I’ve no idea who these people are, the music was dull as dishwater, and it smells like Donna Summer in there.” Rivers Cuomo and the other guy from Black Keys enter unmolested, but David Lee Roth is ejected for being “too gregarious”. Dane Cook somehow passes muster when he is mistaken for Fatboy Slim. Iggy Pop is deemed “laughably masculine” and “icky”. Benetton gushes to Brian Eno that his “œuvre is crucial cosmopolitan desperation.” Eno merely walks away.

Tonight is the last night for “The 54” as not only have The Dandy Warhols failed to honor their agreement with the Warhol people, but they have yet to sell anything in two weeks other than Pabst Blue Ribbon tall boys and clove cigarettes. On this night, however, a last-ditch effort will be made to save the club by pulling out all stops and throwing the party to end all parties.

The event is a charity fundraiser for Moby.

Members of Matt and Kim, The Decemberists, Panic! At the Disco, The Datsuns, Feist, Apples in Stereo, Clem Snide, Death from Above 1979, Magnetic Fields, Moldy Peaches, and The Ravonettes all perform brief sets for the embattled artist/DJ Moby who Benetton tearfully explains “has been ill for some time...he’s in seclusion, not having recorded a new album in a decade”. The Hives raffle off bolo ties along with the master reels of the last Jet record. The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne, a fixture at the 54 rolling around in his gerbil ball, emerges for the first time since the club’s opening to perform “Bohemian Rhapsody Like Me”. Patti Smith is spotted drinking an apple martini at the Yo La Tengo Table, where members of the Make Up assault her with a lady shaver and mascara. The Von Bondies toss out “Hey Man, Nice Shot” glasses, which violently smash amidst the disinterested crowd on the dance floor, which actually consists mostly of members of The Polyphonic Spree. In the Bettie Page corner, raven-locked “model chicks” sip Coors Light in mild embarrassment and stare at their phones. It is announced that free Stephen Malkmus tattoos are available near the cigarette machine. There are no takers.

The night comes to a close as Moby shows up in person to plead to the doorman that, as the guest of honor, they need to let him into the club to explain that he is indeed “not dying” and “has recorded SEVERAL albums” in the last decade. The doorman, believing the faded recording star is just another Dandy Warhol wanna-be, forcefully shoves the frail Moby into the street, shouting: “I wouldn’t let you in this club if you were the last junkie on Earth.”
Now, I’m liberal, but to a degree
I want everybody to be free
But if you think that I’ll let Rick Santorum
Move in next door and marry my son
You must think I’m crazy!

But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

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Phenomenal Cat
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 01 Jun 2012, 18:14

...In 2007, Spinner magazine captures an odd meeting of minds. The backstage area at a large-scale rock festival is often ground zero for new musical relationships. Such was the case recently at the High Line Festival in Manhattan when, during an intense moment at the end of Spinner's interview with David Bowie and guitarist Reeves Gabriel, Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne jumped into the convo and propositioned the British rock legend and his toady while our tapes rolled.

Not only did Coyne pitch Bowie on a collaborative EP with the Flaming Lips, he also revealed he's working on material with David Cross and David Allan Coe (whose band pelted the Flaming Lips with beer cans at this year's “Sounds of Sturgis” festival).

The following is a direct transcript of the events as they happened while Spinner and Bowie were sitting around a picnic table backstage discussing Bowie’s “mystique”.


Spinner: You didn't have a "rock bottom" moment?

David Bowie: I’ve had many "rock bottom" moments, depending on which year we’re talking about...

[Wayne Coyne sits down]

Coyne: I was given permission by the EMI [Music] guy that I could jump in.
[To Spinner] I have to talk to David about making some music.

Coyne: [breathlessly addressing Bowie] I don't know if you're aware, but we're doing these collaborations with a lot of different Davids. We've done David Coverdale, do you know him?

Bowie: Umm, yeah.

Coyne: Also David Gilmour, he's cool. I've got some David Berkowitz tracks starting, I've got some David Crosby; the one that's just come out this week is Flaming Lips and David Lee Roth.

Bowie: Oh, killer.

Coyne: So we should find a way to do a Flaming Lips/David Bowie three or four song EP.

Bowie: Pardon?

Coyne: OK, now how do we do it? Do you have any extra junk laying around that you could send to me and I could add stuff to? Even if it's a song you already have out or a different version of it. Don't make it a big deal. If you have something that you could send us...

Bowie: I know years back I sent “I’m Afraid of Americans” to a few people for remixes and whatnot. I’m not suggesting I‘ll send it to you. Rather, the song seems rather prescient at the moment.

Reeves Gabriel: We could ask Tony [Visconti, Bowie producer]. I know there are two songs that were unfinished for Tin Machine II that are still great. I wouldn't even say they're unfinished.

Bowie: We do have “The Flaming Lips Are Going to Hell.”

Coyne: That’s flattering, but I look at it more like, 'The Flaming Lips featuring...' so it doesn't feel like another group. But I don't really care, I just thought if I asked, you'd say maybe you had some instrumental thing.

Bowie: Oh, of course. You know what? We do have about 75 minutes of Reeves playing with himself.

Reeves: That would be great -- we've got stuff around.

Bowie: You know what, let’s pow-wow on it, buddy. I think I have a [phone] number for you.

Coyne: Let me get my phone, it's charging on the bus.

Bowie [to Spinner]: OK, well, you got the scoop.

Though details and dates for the collaborative EP are still unconfirmed, this will not be the first time Bowie has worked with the Flaming Lips. In 2003, Bowie sold many of the “Glass Spiders” stage props to the Lips along with giving Wes Anderson’s cell number to Coyne in hopes of “scoring soundtrack work”.
Now, I’m liberal, but to a degree
I want everybody to be free
But if you think that I’ll let Rick Santorum
Move in next door and marry my son
You must think I’m crazy!

But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

User avatar
Phenomenal Cat
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 14 Jun 2012, 22:52

…In 1975, Rolling Stones’ keyboardist/mug Ian Stewart kicks open the locked door of Room 217 at the Doubletree Suites in Tucson, AZ to find a rail-thin African male lying lifeless and nude, save the conga hugged across his chest. Stewart calls the Stones’ road manager Peter Rudge. “We’ve lost another one.”

Little is known about popular session musician and one-time Stones’ conga player Rocky Dzidzornu except that, in retrospect, he seemed to have an almost Zelig-like ability to be at ground zero of every significant moment in rock history during his brief lifetime. Dzidzornu entered the London rock scene at the invitation of producer Jimmy Miller, having met Rocky in Tangiers with Brian Jones. Rocky had recorded briefly with the Interracial Sub-Sahara Band and had recently passed on a chance to play in The Jimi Hendrix Experience when Miller promised him greater fortune and sexual fulfillment as a percussionist at Olympic Studios. His inauguration was promising: Rocky’s first session was playing congas on The Rolling Stones’ “Citadel”. Though Dzidzornu was not credited on the subsequent Stones’ LP (Their Satanic Majesties Request), Miller worked to ingratiate himself not only within the Stones’ circle, but to usher in Rocky in as part of his production team. Though Keith Richards favored having “a spade” in the Stones, Jagger was unconvinced. Dzidzornu’s inaudible contribution to “Citadel’ only further steeled him for his lifelong struggle for recognition.

Rocky’s stint with the Stones ended almost as soon as it began. He arrived for the Beggar’s Banquet sessions in his now-famous “booty suit”, which was little more than a form-fitting white jumpsuit with an oversized gold zipper running from chin to inseam. While Anita Pallenberg was promptly sent to Harrod’s for the week, Brian Jones had less financial stability and ultimately lost his new squeeze, Swedish model Anna Wohlin, to Rocky for most of the sessions. As Jones became more withdrawn and openly distraught, Rocky filled the void with spectacular conga work on “Sympathy for the Devil”, thus signalling what is now considered the start of The Stones’ greatest era. Tracks like “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” began as simple, tentative jams before Rocky emerged with an arsenal of bongos, shakers, maracas, and his own special brand of “sexual chocolate”. Richards dubbed him “our African connection”. Miller entrusted Rocky to rebuild the flagging Stones career one conga, castanet, and cowbell at a time. Jagger reluctantly agreed that Rocky could indeed “cut the mustard”, and dubbed him 'Rocky Dijon'. Despite steering the direction of songs like “Street Fighting Man”, “Factory Girl”, and the aforementioned “Sympathy”, ‘Dijon’ was still denied any sleeve credit.

In the interim between Stones projects, Rocky began working his way around the London circuit. He joined Traffic for uncredited co-writes on “Feelin Alright” and “Vagabond Virgin”, taught Ginger Baker how to play drums, recommended Eric Burden fly to the States to hook up with Rocky’s protégés, War, and later began to spread his “Cosmic African Music” across the pond with artists like Stephen Stills, Santana, and The Last Poets. Psychedelia was out, and the search for rootsy “authenticity” was in. In short, every act from Spirit to Steeleye Span wanted the golden touch of The Ethiopian Stallion. Rocky returned to London in late 1968 to perform on Moby Drake’s debut album. On the track “Three Days”, Rocky suggested guitarist Nick Drake “ditch the acid rock” and go with a simple conga/acoustic guitar set-up. Before Drake could thank Rocky for righting his path, the booty suit was on to its next conquest – television.

Rocky stood front-and-center at the Rolling Stones’ Rock and Roll Circus, most eyes diverted only by Jagger’s clumsy gyrations that ironically were copied directly from a cruel comic send-up of Jagger performed by Rocky for kindred spirit Taj Mahal. On the first day of taping, Rocky promised to teach Jagger some “real moves” in exchange for moving Brian Jones and his rig to the rear of the stage, where he eventually played unplugged. Though the performance was a notable "second wind" for the drug-weary Stones, Jagger ultimately nixed the film, claiming the Stones were “clearly exhausted”, though many feel that he simply felt upstaged by the shirtless and near-primordial Dzidzornu.

Despite these trifling matters, the Stones next album was rife with Rocky. Tracks like “Gimme Shelter” and “Monkey Man” relied less on songwriting and now were steered even more by the feel and rhythm Rocky supplied. Brian Jones managed to attend an early session to “win back his honor” but amends were made only after Rocky agreed to send Anna back with Jones to Crotchford Farm and Brian promised to stay there with her. Thus, Rocky became the “fifth Stone”, not only encouraging the band to tour again, but pleading with them to use African-American acts like Tina Turner, B.B. King, and Stevie Wonder as opening acts to “cross-over” to a growing integrated counterculture. As recording for the new album wrapped up, a late-night phone call came into the studio from Anna Wohlin – she had found Brian Jones face-down in his swimming pool, dead. Rejecting Rocky’s advice to call the album Swede Tart of the Patio, the newly-christened Let It Bleed was unleashed and the Stones returned to America. But without Rocky.

Following Taj Mahal’s advice, Rocky skipped the ill-conceived U.S tour, later claiming vindication after Altamont (“A racetrack ain’t no place for the Negro”). Instead, he took the then-unreleased Stones’ track “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” to Akron, Ohio where he hooked up with Marshall and Robert Jones of the bass-and-conga duo The Black G’s. Though the brothers had a volatile relationship, Rocky eventually brought in members of Wild Cherry and relocated the whole group to western Ohio, finally performing as The Fighting Toledo Brothers. After a Midwestern tour brought them in contact with Chicago’s Fighting Panozzo Brothers, the group elected to change its name to The Ohio Players, but again Rocky had slipped into darkness.

Raphael Ramirez, Rocky’s replacement in Taj Majal, suggested recording a conga-and-conga album (1971’s RDRR album). With acts like War and Santana scoring huge hits with Rocky’s sound, he set his sights on other media. The Ohio Players, O’Jays, and Osmonds were all sporting the booty suit, so Rocky began to explore writing and eventually acting. He began to write extensively for Creem magazine, following not only peers such as Stevie Wonder and Billy Preston, but exploring the nascent rock scene of Detroit, MI, encouraging acts like The MC5, The Stooges, and The Supremes. Under the by-line “Rocky Bangs”, he is credited for bringing to public consciousness terms such as leitmotif, zeitgeist, and boss. While slowly collecting his own recorded material (including titles like “Streets of Burundi”, “$1000 Conga” and a cover a Nazareth’s “Love Hurts”), Rocky began collaborations with Dennis Wilson (1973’s Rocky-Dennis LP), Deborah Harry (The Rocky-Harry Picture Show LP) as well as actors like John Travolta (Dijon-Travolta) and Sylvester Stallone (Stallone Alone) who optioned the rights to Dijon’s life story were he ever to have one. But as it usually goes, just as Rocky was finally about to break through with his own genuine brand of Cosmic African Music, Love came calling.

After being mesmerized at a Kinetic Playground matinee by Chicago’s Rotary Connection, Rocky soon became obsessed with lead vocalist Minnie Riperton and began working with her on her solo album, Perfect Angel. It would be his last recording. Competing with percussionist Ollie Brown for Riperton’s attention, Rocky lorded over Minnie, providing not only the album’s title track (“Return of the Perfect Angel”) but penning “In My Ollie of Darkness” and the eventual #1 hit single, “Lovin’ You”. Ironically, Rocky missed the session for the track due to a cameo in Cooley High, leaving Ollie Brown to dub a rather elaborate tapestry of talking drums, Bata, Bougarabou, and Ngoma drums, and didgeridoos. It is rumored that Rocky not only erased Ollie’s tracks, but finally elected to leave the track percussion-free. But not Rocky-free. He helped Minnie reach those impossible high notes during a secret late-night session with a handheld mike and the booty suit.

Early morning in Tucson, Arizona at the Doubletree Suites, a body is carried away as the Stones roll on to the next town. Though Dijon had ceased performing with the Stones in 1969, he typically shows up at Nellcôte to jam with Keith or drops in backstage whenever the Stones come to town. He is believed by some to have made contributions to the Stones’ first three LPs of the 70s. But no longer “Dancing with Mr. D.”, the Stones career trajectory takes a sudden downturn. In the meantime, the whereabouts of the man known as “Rocky Dijon” are muddled at best. No family member ever claimed his body, which was reportedly cremated without ceremony. Various theories have circulated through the years that Dijon has been with us all along, performing with acts like Can, Traffic, and Hector under various guises like Ricky Dejon, Kwasi Dzidzornu, Rebop, Franklyn Ajaye the Jazz Comedian, and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs. No one can positively confirm or deny the existence of Rocky Dzidzornu to this day. Besides the attending paramedics and coroner, the last person to actually see Rocky’s lifeless body was Ian Stewart, who later admitted, “Well, it could have been him. They all look alike"
Now, I’m liberal, but to a degree
I want everybody to be free
But if you think that I’ll let Rick Santorum
Move in next door and marry my son
You must think I’m crazy!

But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

User avatar
Phenomenal Cat
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 15 Jun 2012, 17:27

...In 1975, Peter Gabriel quits Genesis to pursue a solo career. With numerous compositions already committed to tape, the remaining members of Genesis frantically rehearse possible replacements. With Phil Collins coaching and providing ample guide vocals, the band still cannot find the ideal singer and instead settle on Collins himself, who not only knows the vocal parts, but provides a sop to disconcerted fans unwilling to accept a new face fronting their beloved Genesis. The first album, A Trick of the Tail, proves a surprising success, but touring presents a familiar and troubling refrain. Before Gabriel began to dress himself in elaborate costumes like a fox, Slipperman, and Magog, the band were generally regarded as “GENESNOOZE”. Performing in a rain slicker and tweed cap, Collins finds Genesis back at Square One. The audience not only misses Gabriel, but they’re unsure why the band is using a roadie as his stand-in. For the next two weeks, Collins works furiously to create new stage “characters” he can play to hold the audience’s waning interest: A birthday cake, a Scotch egg, a bowling pin, Duane Allman, a Mogen clamp, “Ocelot Man”, a panty shield, and a fern. Each costume is a technical nightmare and fails to pull attention away from the audience members’ Time-Signature Scorecards. Ultimately, Collins follows the advice of Mike Love: “Fuck it, dude.”
Now, I’m liberal, but to a degree
I want everybody to be free
But if you think that I’ll let Rick Santorum
Move in next door and marry my son
You must think I’m crazy!

But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

User avatar
Phenomenal Cat
death on four legs
Posts: 10100
Joined: 07 Sep 2004, 16:52
Location: Presently Shattering the Illusion of Integrity
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 18 Jun 2012, 16:53

...In 1973, Marc Bolan and the members of T. Rex head to Memphis International Airport in a state of acute embarrassment and profound self-doubt. After completing the blockbuster album The Slider in April 1972, Bolan begins to obsess on “breaking America” and has acquired an affinity for the emerging commercial soul sounds of American acts such as Isaac Hayes, Ann Peebles, The Delphonics, Bobby Womack, and especially Al Green. Green personifies everything Bolan is now striving for – the studied cool, the steamy loverman, and the sensitive deep-thinking soul. Bolan begins making entreaties to manager Tony Secunda to change direction. Secunda opts to plough the still-fertile soil of “Bolan’s Boogie”, and the late ’72 sessions for Tanx reflect the obvious struggle for the direction of Bolan’s new music. By 1973, Secunda has been replaced by Tony Howard (“Our New Tony”), and the wheels are set in motion to launch Bolan into his next career phase – “Spaceage Funk”.

Phone calls are made to Willie Mitchell at Royal Sound Studio in Memphis, TN; home of the booming Hi Records label. Bolan flies out alone to meet ‘Poppa’ Willie Mitchell, The Memphis Horns, Al Jackson, Jr. and the Hodges Brothers. This crack team of studio vets will be the architects of Bolan’s “Interstellar Soul.” Bolan can barely contain his excitement. Checking into his hotel, the boppin’ elf calls David Bowie to gush, “Davey! I’m going to record in Soulsville!

The next morning, Bolan ventures out on foot for a little sightseeing and literally stumbles upon historic Sun Studios. With a grin so wide it hurts, he quickly flags down a cab and manages to purchase a new Les Paul, a small practice amp, and a case of Courvoisier in less than an hour. Arriving back at Sun, Bolan acquaints himself with the studio floor, plugging in and howling out some vintage Chuck Berry licks at full volume. The locals mill about, stepping over Bolan’s chords and rudely bumping him with toolboxes and shopping bags. Finally, the proprietor storms in to demand that Bolan stop. Bolan is unfazed. “Were you running tape, man? That was far out!” Unfortunately, the recording equipment had been removed years ago when Sam Phillips sold the studio to a plumbing company. A breathless Bowie arrives only to find that Bolan has already rolled on.

Back at the hotel, Mitchell has another cab waiting – this one to deliver Bolan to Royal Sound. “Let’s Stay Together” plays on the radio, and Bolan feels a twinge of regret that he left his new squeeze, Gloria Jones, back in London. Though she could help Marc navigate the R & B world with ease, Bolan feels that he needs to not only “find America” on his own, but “find himself”. Though an interviewer once scoffed when Bolan claimed “At times, I wish I’d been born black”, it was now time for Bolan to find his true calling. But first, he asks the cab to stop for a couple cases of champagne, then a dozen buckets of fried chicken, and finally an extended pub crawl down Beale Street. Hours pass before the cabbie finally ignores further instructions and drives directly to the studio. He pulls up on Lauderdale across from the rather non-descript Royal Sound building. Helping Bolan to unload all of his ‘gear’, the cabbie awaits his tip: “Keep it real, man. Know what I mean?” The cabbie squeals away.

Fighting jet lag and an onslaught of pints, Bolan stares wearily about him. “Where the fuck is this place?” He leaves his banquet on the sidewalk and begins to search. It isn’t long before he finds an old theater and steps inside. Though decrepit and poorly lit, this place has the vibe, alright. A large, open room with massive speakers adorning the walls, red velvet curtains, and an ancient soundboard towering over the room like a pulpit brings tears to Bolan’s bleary eyes. He can almost hear the echoes of Al Green and Bobby Blue Bland when suddenly a voice comes from the darkness: “Who dat?

“I’m here. It’s me – Bolan. Let’s work, man”

Bowan? Who you looking for?”

“Stop fucking around. Are you ‘Poppa’?”

There is a long pause before an elderly black man saunters from the shadows, dressed in a tattered green army jacket and tweed slacks, enveloped in a menthol haze.

“Sure. I’m Poppa. Let’s work, man!

“You can start by gathering my shit off the sidewalk outside.”

“Gimme ten bucks and I’ll be right back.”

Thirty minutes pass before Poppa returns to claim there “ain’t shit on the sidewalk.” Undeterred, Bolan finds a working phone in the theater lobby and orders up another cab, guitar, amplifier, case of champagne, and fried catfish. It is nearly evening before Bolan is fed and ready to go.

“How about if I set up my rig right here on the platform?”

“You do that. That’s real fine. We need more napkins up in here.”

“Where’s the band?”

As it turns out, there is no band. More frantic phone calls are placed, this time to manager Tony Howard, who promises to get T. Rex out on the red-eye flight. Bolan briefly considers heading back to the hotel but promptly passes out on a bench with a bottle of Dom Pérignon. The next morning, Bolan wisely meets the band at the airport in a stretch limo. Gloria Jones has come with backup singer Pat Hall, and bassist Steve Currie dances about like an oxygen-starved fish cut free in the muddy Mississippi. Drummer Bill Legend, however, feels he’s simply crashed the wrong party and stands aloof. The limo driver initially refuses to let this many white people out of his car in such a rough neighborhood, but Bolan assures him that “These are my people. Soon they’ll love me like they love Ray Charles”. Currie inquires innocently, “Are you sure this is the studio, Marc?”

There’s another cab and another run of the music shops before the band is kitted-out and ready to record. To Bolan’s increasing chagrin, he finds that even basic necessities like microphones and cables are needed, but these are allowances he’s willing to make to create his “real” American record. At Poppa’s cue the band lays down basic tracks for “You’ve Got to Jive to Stay Alive”, “The Avengers (Superbad)”, “Young Americans Boogie” and “Bolan’s Got a Brand New Bag”. The room sounds terrific, and with everyone playing live without baffles, there’s liable to be bleed, but it’s the authentic vibe Bolan has been seeking. Pat and Gloria create a gospel of heavenly siren wails on “Me and Mrs. Jones”. Poppa refuses any playbacks, only instructing Bolan and T. Rex to “Keep doin’ what you doin’. It sounds fantastic”. This new working method energizes Bolan, who lets out howls of glee during “20th Century Shaft”, and improvises a short “Everybody Up There Likes Me” before tearing into a twenty minute tour-de-force of “Satisfaction Pony”. More dark faces begin to appear behind the soundboard – a gathering audience witnessing the magic spell of Bolan’s “cosmic ensemble”. It’s show time.

Bolan shouts out “How’s it sound up there!?” but receives no reply. Undeterred, Bolan leans into Legend’s kit, “Lay down some nasty funk, Taffy.” Legend sits frozen. “Taffy – come on now! Gimme that Clyde Stubblefield”. Legend finally looks up. “Who is Taffy?”, but Bolan has bopped away to whisper to Currie “We need a little more…. black, Stevie. Come on – let’s rock these motherfuckers!” Just then, a single rifle shot splits the dank, smoky air. Instruments drop and feedback violently.

The EXIT door swings open as Bolan and crew run into the dazzling sunlight of a back alley, blindly fleeing for their lives. The “audience” has grown to thirty people or more, and they are heavily armed. The ever-diligent Legend leads the pack down deserted streets back to Lauderdale, where he finds another old theater with a small, unassuming sign plainly reading “Royal Sound Studio”. The crew quickly scurries inside. The door is barricaded with chairs from the lobby before a lone, booming voice pierces the heavy scene. “That Bolan?” Bolan drops his thrashing broom and answers, “Uh, yeah. Who wants to know?”

“Willie Mitchell wants to know. I’ve been calling you for three days straight. Where have you been?”

As it turns out, Bolan has spent three days at the Savoy Theater entertaining the local transients. His budget is all but shot due to continuous buffets of barbeque pork and champagne. Mitchell is beside himself. “How the fuck did this happen? You can’t tell a pauper from a producer? What, you think we all look alike?” Bolan flips his hair and makes for the phone. “That’s racist. And I hate that.”

Though Bolan continues to insist to his dying day that the master reels of Hot Buttered Groover, his pioneering, career-defining masterpiece, still reside in Memphis, it is more likely the music simply dissolved into the hot ether like a wisp of smoke, lost forever.
Now, I’m liberal, but to a degree
I want everybody to be free
But if you think that I’ll let Rick Santorum
Move in next door and marry my son
You must think I’m crazy!

But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

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Charlie O.
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Re: On this day...

Postby Charlie O. » 18 Jun 2012, 20:18

Phenomenal Cat wrote:“Everybody Up There Likes Me”

Awwwww, that's beautiful.


Keep it comin', love!
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 21 Jun 2012, 00:22

...In 1974, the third time is definitely not a charm as Donovan turns in yet another children’s record for Epic executives to decimate. 1971’s H.M.S. Donovan was rejected by the label, a first in Donovan’s career, and did not chart when eventually released by UK subsidiary Dawn. The surprise success of 1973’s Cosmic Wheels emboldens Donovan to again pursue his true love, and what he feels will be his genuine lasting legacy – the Bard of Romper Room. A letter arrives from Epic detailing this latest impasse.

From Steve Popovich (Epic Records A & R)

Dearest Mister Leitch,

Epic Records has had a long and fruitful relationship with Donovan the Artist as well as the graceful and giving gentleman we all know as “Don”. We value our years of hit singles and groundbreaking LPs, and it does not behoove us to interfere with an artist of your stature in any way unless we feel that the aims of Epic, the label, and Donovan, the creator of art, are in serious conflict. As you may recall from our extended discussions over the making of the double-LP H.M.S. Donovan, we are only willing to stick our necks out so far in the name of artistic integrity. After all, this is the music business.

The recordings we have recently received under the rather enigmatic title For Little Ones, Merry Ones, Fully Grown and Hairy Ones do not portend an especially positive outcome for this latest project. Let us dispense with the personable tone from here on out, as this letter will undoubtedly become subject to legal review and represents an unretractable decision on our part to reject your latest recording on the following grounds:

- The second inclusion of “The Pee Song” on a Donovan album. This was certainly grounds for Epic rejecting H.M.S. Donovan, and yet here it is again. The lyric consists of little more than: “How much of a pee do you wee / When you're little and you're only three? / Do you wiggle and watch? / Does it tiggle and splotch? / Do you do like a dog on a tree? / When you're little and you're only three.

We mention this particular piece first as it represents the overall tenor of the new recordings. What follows is further evidence of what Epic feels is inappropriate for what seems to be your target audience – children.

– “Atlantis II – Dive Deep into Dark”: What we would welcome as a well-timed and much-needed update of one of your biggest hits quickly descends to unimaginable lows: “Do you know the Fable / of the Dark Tri-angle? / Smoking fags / Tenting school trousers / and Johnny Bags / I can smell the girl / in her short ginger hairs / and the mermaid juice upon my fingers / I will freely share.

– Numerous allusions to micturation (“The Tinkle & the Crab”; “Warm and Mellow Yellow”; “Writer in the Snow”; “Voyage Into the Golden Mizzle”), Sex (“Wear Your Lungs Like Heaven”; “The Mighty Quim”; “Dirty Girdle Man; “Wee Girl Willy”) and various bodily excretions (“The Happiness Runs”; “Catch the Wind”) only serve to exacerbate the feeling at Epic that you are unhappy and may wish to reconsider your tenure as an Epic artist.

And this doesn’t even take into account the half-dozen mentions of “my chocolate éclair”, and “I Love My Shit” (surely a typo). There are even more lyrics I won’t even choose to comment upon. Epic’s position is very simple – we are bound by U.S. law, obscenity laws in particular, to produce a saleable product. Rather than quote the entire obscenity statute verbatim, our concern regards whether "the average person, applying contemporary community standards", would find that “the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest.” We understand that as an artist, it is not part of your “process” to continuously take commercial considerations into account when the muse moves you, but Don, in this instance, please – give us a fucking break.

From Donovan Leitch (Epic Recording Artist)

Epistle to Epic:

As I am an artist, you have correctly ascertained that commercial concerns certainly cannot outweigh the needs of pure artistic expression. I needn’t quote the entire list of great artists who have run afoul of “contemporary community standards”. Rather I will just remind you that when you signed me to Epic, my ambitions were less those of the purveyor of pop nous and more of the wandering bohemian troubadour. My music is not only for enjoyment, but enlightenment. Elton John loves my children’s songs, and you may thank me for the “Brown Dirt Cowboy” should you doubt my continuing influence in contemporary culture.

I am not one who can corrupt a mind that has already been corrupted. For many, that work has been done. But I believe in the basic good of man, and children, and with proper guidance, there is no reason why we cannot discuss these things, these beautiful things like our bodies and our deepest urges, with 7-year olds. No less an authority than R.D. Laing can support my contention that if the family unit is healthy, the family nexus will surely guide a child towards truth, and light, and beauty, and these things I speak about on my new LP are nothing more than remonstrations of our shared humanity.

As my grandmother once said, “Do you know wit a fart means? It’s a message from God tae say you must go tae the toilet.” Who among the Epic staff has not used a toilet? We’ve all hid the shame of our “Runny Goodge Sheet”. We’ve all wondered at some time if a wee lass can pee in a bottle, or why our bodies cannae resist certain external urges. When Paul McCartney of THE BEATLES chose to work with me on “With a Little Cock”, we shared many stories of growing up wee lads with excitable little peckers and nie a hair below the ears. Were I not instrumental in getting John Lennon of THE BEATLES to procreate with Yoko, I can assure Epic that he, too, was slated to make our studio dates. I imagine ye now might not be so hasty to post testy letters to yours truly.

If we are merely concerned about the legal liability in stoking one’s “prurient interest”, let me state that this is no interest of mine. If you are interested in children, good music, and bodily functions – I am your man. Should you reject my latest work and choose to exercise your option for another album, I’ve already recorded two albums-worth of complete dogshit. Do with them what ye will.

-Don
Now, I’m liberal, but to a degree
I want everybody to be free
But if you think that I’ll let Rick Santorum
Move in next door and marry my son
You must think I’m crazy!

But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

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Re: On this day...

Postby Charlie O. » 21 Jun 2012, 00:55

:lol: :lol:
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 14 Jul 2012, 22:11

...1980, the founder of the infamous Oakland, CA chapter of The Hell’s Angels tries his hand at concert promotion. Ralph Hubert “Sonny” Barger, best known as the man who headed security at the disastrous 1969 Rolling Stones free concert at Altamont Speedway, opens a new chapter in his life as he takes a leadership role in attracting talent to the annual biker pilgrimage taking place in Sturgis, South Dakota; a Mecca for bikes, booze, and general bad-assery. Unrepentant for past crimes and acts of wanton violence, the professed outlaw Barger stakes his meager savings and reputation to bring respectability and a genuine cultural renaissance to the largely unwashed and unshaven masses at Sturgis.

“I don’t need to lend any more credibility to the attacks brought upon me and my brother nomads. I’m here to usher in a new age for the Angels. Ain’t nothing wrong with a bad rap, but we don’t need to keep breathing new life into the same old shit.”

Though decked out in his usual weather-beaten leather and denim, there is a hint of new maturity and, dare we say, mellowing in the old rabble-rouser.

“We get associated with all sorts of unsavory activities though we’re all very different people, but music is definitely a passion we all share. As you’d expect, I love the Allmans, Skynyrd, the Doobies and all them good old boys. But there just ain’t no one within spittin’ distance of Elton John. He is for sure a man’s man.”

Barger has spared no expense to bring the English pop star to Sturgis, and for John’s part, with his star on the wane, this could prove to be a much-needed career boost.

“I never knew nothing about ‘E’ until my old lady played me “Tiny Dancer” and that seemed real important to her. Now if you look a couple years ahead to that Captain Fantastic record, it becomes real clear that E’s been one of us all along. We ain’t the suit-and-tie fellas or the mom-and-pop station wagon types. I don’t mind telling you that the key is “Dogs in the Kitchen” which ain’t even a song but a manifesto that is printed clear as day inside that record. I started reading these lyrics, like “Soldiers on the road to battle, poor boys fight to stay alive”, or “Uncage us where restless, snarled the dogs in the kitchen, howling in the heatwave, riding all the bitchin’ ladies”. That’s our story, man. That’s us.”

Barger is soon joined by various Angels chapters from the surrounding states – Chicago’s “Dogs of Society”, Knoxville, Tennessee’s “Tumbleweed Connection” and Billings, Montana’s “Sweet Painted Old Ladies”.

“We are all bastard children, but Elton lends us strength. When you live your life on the highway, one little mistake can lead to a funeral for a friend. I’ve seen as many mile markers as dead buddies, know what I mean? When E says “Love Lies Bleeding”, he ain’t kidding. When you carry your brother home in garbage bags and you think, “Elton’s probably travelled the world ten times over”, you understand how deep this shit is with us. You know, “Elton John” ain’t his real name. Shit, I ain’t “Sonny”, either. We’re all well-known guns, so we gotta keep it on the down-low. If I was a sculptor, but then again, no! I am what my fate necessitates I be. Plus sculpting’s for faggots.”

Barger and his “Honky Cats” have been preparing for John’s arrival for six weeks. They’ve pored over security details, sound and lighting requirements, as well as an extensive rider that puts a crew of two dozen-plus through their paces with unrelenting demand.

“We got Elton the best champagne, a chaise lounge, something called “mineral water” and even this foie gras which ain’t bad! I know we’re gonna learn a lot from E. We’ve been practicing every Friday at Shoney’s, using napkins and silverware. It’s been an education. He’s been down that yellow brick road, so I’m a willing pupil. If you could tell me what a “rent boy” is, I’d be much appreciative.”

The Sturgis faithful have been milling restlessly for hours, awaiting the arrival of the night’s main attraction. Banners and signs punctuate the inebriated throng: “Saturday Nights All Right for Figting!”, “I’ve Got Electric Boobs”, “We Are the Champions” and “Dee Fucking Murray!” Elton opens the show with a special treat, a solo performance of “Like a Biker in the Wind”, which brings a hush to the once-raucous crowd. Then the fireworks begin and twenty-thousand strong are hopping and bopping. John is clearly energized and comes through with a career-defining performance. Barger is profoundly moved.

You see that? Let your freak flag fly, brothers! When I saw that Mick Jagger shucking and jiving and acting all pompous, I just wanted to kick his skinny ass back to England. Elton’s dressed as Donald fucking Duck up there. That man is pure gold.”

Elton John at Sturgis, though briefly available on 8-track tape in the early 80s, has never been reissued.
Now, I’m liberal, but to a degree
I want everybody to be free
But if you think that I’ll let Rick Santorum
Move in next door and marry my son
You must think I’m crazy!

But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 26 Jul 2012, 01:59

…in 2012 - hereinafter referred to by former music industry insiders as (variously) "Black Friday"/"The Day The Music Died"/"OUR 9-11" - the Capitol Records building in Los Angeles closes its doors for the final time, as uniformed salvage men remove the last items of furniture and recording equipment from the iconic structure. That morning, engineers and musicians (including Morrissey and String Cheese Incident, slated to begin a long-planned collaboration that day) are refused entry to nearby Sunset Sound, also closing up shop seemingly for good.

Just steps away, Amoeba Records - perhaps the biggest and most successful record retailer in the United States to thrive in a post-file sharing world - is boarded up and padlocked by crews acting on behalf of the foreclosing ownership, as one lone fan stands vigil just feet away from the store‘s entrance (camping out for that day's scheduled in-store - a pairing of Ringo Starr and System Of A Down). The file sharing/streaming sites are faring no better - donations, subscriptions and ad revenue have dried up nearly in full for the likes of Demonoid, Soulseek, and Spotify, expensive advertising budgets for such surefire blockbuster pairings as Vampire Weekend featuring Brian Wilson or Nickelback with Robert Wyatt having drained the last of their once considerable resources.

The likes of Best Buy and Amazon have aggressively abandoned the business of music sales, restructuring to emphasize the likes of appliances, toys, computers and mobile electronics. Dumpsters and landfills alike are piled high with optimistically astronomical pressings of Cocteau Twins featuring Jim Dandy compact discs, vinyl and point-of-purchase in-store displays.

Across Hollywood, abandoned music venues are empty and looted - including such former sites of industry triumph as Doug Weston's Troubador, The Roxy, and the Hollywood Bowl (all of whom spent their last struggling weeks hosting such disastrous yet expensive events as Leonard Cohen and Smashmouth or The WMDs - an ill fated supergroup featuring Paul Williams, Dave Mustaine and Glenn Danzig). Ticketing agencies and “brokers” alike are all ceasing operations - unable to liquidate stacks of Modest Mouse featuring Tad Doyle tickets at even a fraction of original face value. The lawsuits fly.

Where did it all go wrong? The recording industry had struggled limply through the beginning of the 21st Century, deeply wounded by the advances of the computer age in which most of its customers opted for a more "cost free" method of consumption. Record stores closed daily around the world and recording and advertising budgets evaporated as the means of delivery changed. Artists were forced to take to the road, selling ever more expensive tickets and t-shirts in an effort to make up the money that once derived from record sales. Record companies created increasingly outlandish "physical product" in an effort to keep their wares on the shelf - endlessly repackaging classic or evergreen recordings in hat boxes (Girl Groups), Porta-Potties (Chuck Berry), or tampon dispensers (Henry Rollins).

Occasionally, every other year or so, a movie soundtrack or blockbuster artist will come along and send the "one record a decade/Bodyguard soundtrack owning/music-for-people-who-don‘t-like-music" consumers out to Best Buy in droves (Adele, Coldplay, David Lowery), providing a stay of execution for the entire industry (and receiving enormous and sincere tributes, plaudits and awards in the process), but things are - generally - grim for a once robust and healthy industry.

That is until September 2010, when veteran Bay Area thrash rockers - and longtime file sharing curmudgeons - Metallica hatch a wildly successful plan to reinvigorate the music industry, and the livelihoods of all who toil in its service. The plan is simple, if somewhat risky: they will revive their own flagging career by teaming with a superstar "frontman". Various names are bandied about - Stephen Malkmus, PJ Harvey, Chris Robinson, Taco, Jay Zed, Jandek, but none really have the "magic we were looking for...the magic we NEEDED, really" according to bandleader Lars Ulrich. Putting his own Lars Mars (a collaboration with "some guy from Motley Crue") project on hold to intensify the search for a new "face", Ulrich spends months combing his Facebook friends list, his rolodex and his record collection for inspiration.

"I knew if we were gonna beat these punks, we were gonna need a real ace up our sleeves. Something super fresh but classic; like a T-Bone steak with buffalo sauce. You know, the other guys in ‘tallica are all such stick-in-the-mud squares, and I knew it was up to me - ‘the edgy one’ - to really radicalize the band. I mean, David Lee Roth was cool for early Van Halen, but much like it was time for those guys to grow up and create something of real artistic merit, WE don't want to play 'Master of Puppets' when we're sixty. Change is GOOD! You know, think about how Tommy Shaw brought some balls to Styx, or...you know, Kevin Cronin totally helping REO Speedwagon ride the storm out. That's the kind of risk 'tallica has to take, and those guys sitting home with their families don't seem to get that. I tell James every day that he's gotta stop being so...2005."

Citing his all-time favorite album - Stevie Nicks' duet-filled debut, Bella Donna - as inspiration ("Every song on that fucking thing was a hit. James isn't cool enough to admit it, but...you know what? No Stevie? No ..Puppets."), he does actually get both Tom Petty and Don Henley to rehearse with Metallica. As those who have seen the band's Some S*&t That Went Down In 2010, Part One documentary DVD can attest, Ulrich’s double bass barrage and random barking failed to gel with Petty and Henley’s mellow California gold.

The conversation that follows Nick Cave's dismal "audition" makes for riveting viewing:

Cave: I love when you guys do that song, “She Fucking Hates Me”. Why don’t we give that one a go?

James (off-mike): I think we should work with Anne Murray

Lars: You know James, I was just thinking the exact same thing. But Reba MacEntire.


The band's guitarist (and resident doormat) Kirk Something-Or-Other then suggests Laurie Anderson ("I've always dreamed of working with Laurie ever since 'O Superman'", he tells Sounds, RIP, AND Kerrang!). Citing their enthusiasm for WKRP In Cincinnati, Ulrich and Hetfield quickly consent.

Anderson demures ("I fucking HATE San Francisco! Windy city, my ass!") but offers her husband Lou Reed as a more suitable alternative. Kirk says next to nothing ("These things happen, and I'm certain it's for the best. Right?"). Hetfield and Ulrich, however, are over the moon.

James: "Dude - this is the kind of shit we were born to do. Heavy, you know? I've been a fan since The Raven. There's just something so elemental about his work. I think if anyone is gonna get us back to that sort of Re-Load level of energy and success, it's Lou. We could do the obvious thing, like record an album of cover songs or work with a symphony orchestra..., but I think a collaboration with the Godfather of Heavy Metal is...it's destiny, you know?""

Lars: "Eh, I'll do it anyway."

Kirk: "Please don't hit me."

Lou Reed is beyond receptive. He's downright ecstatic about the prospect ("I LOVE Puddle Of Mudd! No one understands the lowest depths of the human condition - the dirt and the scum and the interesting smells - like the Mudd. I mean, look at something like their very honest, unflinching interpretation of 'Smooth Criminal'. There's a real depth and beauty there that I can't help but respond to. These people take no prisoners. You know, people fucking laughed at me for doing Metal Machine Music!'). Reed has his people send Lars a now legendary text: "How did you get this number?"

Lou joins the band in their rehearsal recording compound immediately, and six months are dedicated to top secret, around the clock sessions (Ulrich: "We needed a certain privacy, a certain freedom. We needed to be able to scrap the whole thing if it was lame. People spend a lot of time knocking things before they actually happen, and we couldn't really afford that kind of scrutiny. You know, maybe it's fashionable for a certain type of fearful person to hate Metallica, even when we're right out there on the cutting edge."). The chemistry between the veteran quartet and their new frontman is electric (Kirk: "I cried after every session."), and while there is some minor giddy trepidation about taking such a risk with their audience, the feeling within this new collective is wholly one of rebirth and renewal (Ulrich: 'I haven't been this happy since we fired Dave Mustaine!")

Though the band's label refuses to release a video, print ad, or even a single for radio (Hetfield: "That's fine. Led Zeppelin didn't release singles.") and does very little in the way of advertising or promotion (Ulrich: "Whatever - they didn't advertise ..Puppets and that thing still sells today."), Metallica’s management continually goes to bat for the band and the project, leaving the suits at Elektra little choice but to release this new and frightening music

Hetfield: "These were the only Metallica masters they had. If they wanted to put a Metallica record out this decade, it was gonna be this or nothing."

Reed: "Labels don't know shit. Of course they were fucking scared, the little fucking pigs. Every goddamn record I've made was turned down or insulted by some little shit who thought it was 'the wrong record'. How dare some little schmuck tell me that the last year of my life, my blood, sweat and tears are uncommercial. YOU write a line like ‘Standing on a corner/suitcase in my hand,’ motherfucker!"

Ulrich: “That kind of fear is a common reaction to pioneers. When we put an acoustic on 'Fade To Black' our fans were like...Duuuuude! When we started writing pop songs on ‘the Black Album‘, we got death threats. When we first started recording in Dolby, when we started covering songs like “Wanted Dead Or Alive” or “The Load Out”, people told us we were fucking up, told us we were finished. When we covered the jacket of Load with actual human ejaculate, fucking Starbucks stopped carrying our product. I’d say we’ve been unswervingly correct in our direction, whether or not the fans or industry agree at the time. You know, we look at Lou as our Ian Gillan, our Aldo Nova - and some people just see an old man who never really learned how to sing, and they get scared. If we have to keep churning out the same old shit in order to keep you as a fan, then, maybe we don't want you as a fan.'

The record - intriguingly called Lulu - is released with little or no fanfare in early February , 2011. The label presses up its smallest initial run of physical product since the days of Billy Bragg or Spacehog. But then a most strange and unexpected thing happens: "We were getting massive restock orders from Best Buy and Amazon less than two days after release." explains an Elektra staffer who wishes to remain anonymous. "The legal downloads were our highest ever - including evergreen catalog like Hotel California or Running On Empty. I mean, no one wants to admit it now, but we were basically told to spend nothing on that record and just pray for it to disappear, and almost immediately, we're getting all these reports from radio that kids are DEMANDING the thing. Like, threatening to boycott sponsors, that kind of pressure. It was all we could do to just duck and get out of the way - we were over 40 million in sales before we started running ads. I've been here for decades and never seen anything like it."

The record finds itself at Number One on Billboard’s Hot 100 Album Chart within two weeks of release - a position it will hold for more than a year. The album will also rise to pole position on Country and Urban listings, a first for either Metallica or Reed. The physical sales figures are alarming, certainly for two acts of their decades-old vintage, ESPECIALLY during an era when the average hit record now sells less than a tenth of what it did only ten years prior. People are actually going out and BUYING the thing, and it quickly exceeds sales records long held by the likes of Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, Bob Seger and The Eagles (whose drummer - and rejected Lulu collaborator - Don Henley does NOT share in the seeming near-universal joy, complains that “a gimmicky duets record” should not be allowed to challenge any sales record held by The Eagles, and launches a one-man campaign to force retailers to remove Lulu from stock or risk losing access to the Henley catalog - a catalog which has been out of print since 1988 ). Entire record pressing plants are diverted to purely manufacturing Lulu in some effort to meet the rising and ongoing consumer demand. Lulu Listening Parties becomes Time’s Person of the Year.

Ulrich: “As someone who has taken a lot of grief for not wanting to have my music stolen, this was especially vindicating. I knew all we had to do was make Napster seem uncool. At this point, we’ve almost raised the legal fees to sue Youtube and Pandora. We might even sue Soundscan while we’re at it”

Critical response is nearly unanimously hyperbolic in its praise - seemingly these two artists who have long inspired contentious reaction can do no wrong together. Longtime popular music enthusiast Jim De Rogatis describes the record as “a real Pink Flag for the 21st Century”, while the similarly enthusiastic Greg Kot asserts that the collaborative magic on display is equaled only by “such legendary once in a lifetime miracles like Beck and the Lips.“. Bob Mehr calls it “A tonic for our times.“ A real spike in audiophile consumerism occurs - not since the era of Dark Side Of The Moon or Aja have hi-fi buffs dominated in such record numbers: it seems the pristine and nuanced sonic richness of Lulu has the iPod generation demanding - in large numbers - to hear it in greater fidelity.

Reed: “I’ve always made great sounding records. Lulu is no exception - listen to the bass on ‘Cliff’s Chest’ or ‘All Tomorrow‘s Puppets‘. Such a pure, undistorted tone.”

The songs are ubiquitous in virtually all radio formats. Hulu becomes Lulu, streaming nothing but the new album 24 hours a day. A ten month long world tour is hastily organized and mounted, also breaking a great number of long held sales, capacity and attendance records (economists predict that “Concert Security” and “Bootleg T-shirt Guy” will be the hot career fields of the new millennium). Opening track “Standing On The Corner” becomes something of a standard - even a cover version by Kidz Bop tops the charts at one point. One could compare the unstoppable self-generating momentum to the likes of Nevermind, Appetite For Destruction or the first wave of American Beatlemania, but these references really do understate the scale considerably. Lou Reed even buys a suit and combs his hair.

Ulrich: “I’ve always been incredibly modest about our many massive accomplishments, and I feel that this humility has helped us survive in a ruthless industry. But…we really hadn’t experienced this kind of grassroots surge and word of mouth groundswell since..well, ..Puppets, really. I mean, after decades selling out the biggest rooms on the planet, you kind of forget what it’s like to be surprised or moved by your own enormous success. As I say, a very humbling experience.”

Reed: “I’m not a young man. And, you know, I’d always been somewhat resentful of these fucking punks like Led Zeppelin, or my dear friend Gene’s band KISS, who seemed to rise up out of nowhere and achieve this massive, record-breaking success without any real aid from the industry or machine. Any little sniveling prick can play loud with enough amplifiers, but…what was I talking about? People can talk about the so-called importance of the Velvet Underground all they like, but you and I know what’s really important. Do you know what it’s like to be paid that type of lip service for forty years and not sell any fucking records? No, of course you don’t. You have no idea. Actual success, you know - it’s quite a beautiful thing, and for someone like me to have a second act like this, there are no words.”

Ulrich: “It’s not some cheap gimmick. Lord knows we tried to find a bandwagon to hop on, but this? This is like… alchemy. Those Sinatra Duets albums, and…you know, Nat King Cole singing with his daughter? EVERYBODY owned those records! I’d say if something’s cool enough for Sinatra or Nat King Cole, it’s probably cool enough for ‘tallica!”

Far beyond what this surprise runaway success means for the artists, the impact on the entertainment industry is enormous. Old time record stores begin sprouting up around the world, re-introducing a model that was ailing as recently as the turn of the century. This new aggregation (lovingly nicknamed “Loutallica” by fans and the adoring press) is, not-inaccurately, credited with reviving the entertainment industry, and - somewhat inevitably - sweep the 2011 Grammy Awards in an emotional ceremony. Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and The Pope have expressed interest in roles should Lulu go Broadway. Labels and retail outlets alike are hiring and spending robustly, at levels that would have seemed improbable at any point within the past decade. Unofficial “LuTube” competitions spring up, with amateur musicians recording viral videos of the songs, and even such name acts as Paul McCartney, Radiohead, Bob Dylan, and U2 have begun performing some of the tracks in concert.

Hetfield: “It’s heavy, alright. People are getting MARRIED to this shit, you know? I mean, I can’t say that Lulu is 500 times better than Mistrial, or 10 times better than ..Puppets, you know the types of figures that is, in fact, selling, but…I certainly appreciate that we’ve struck some sort of a chord, made a connection with the fans. In terms of its impact on the industry, that could have been anyone, really. I love the record, but…you know - I love ‘em all. Like children. Or Scotch.”

Ulrich: “People may forget that - for all of our enormous record and ticket sales - our critical stock was at an all time low before Lulu. I mean, during the last record we made (2008’s Death Magnetic), (producer) Rick Rubin was literally blasting ..Puppets during every session, telling us to ‘re-connect with our essence.’ I mean, yeah, everyone loves ..Puppets, but - he really had a way of making us feel washed up. What an asshole.”

Though the blockbuster success of Lulu has moved labels - both big and small - to start spending, signing, budgeting, and advertising at 20th Century levels of fiscal intoxication, industry watchers are noting a curious trend: the first few projects announced in the summer of 2011 are all somewhat unlikely pairings: Portishead with David Lee Roth, Spoon featuring Handsome Dick Manitoba, and the Jayhawks/Cyndi Lauper. In retrospect, it appears that the industry’s response to the very fluke that revived its fortunes is almost pathologically literal-minded and conservative: every label, in fact, was unashamedly eager and determined to make THEIR Lulu.

The first much-hyped and ballyhooed duet project off the blocks is a pairing of much-loved singer and chameleon David Bowie and perennially-still-around Bowling For Soup (Bowie: “I certainly didn’t come out of retirement strictly for the money, but - no person with children and grandchildren would be able to say no to what they were offering me to work with these fucking people.”). Bowie For Soup is scheduled to make its much advertised debut at the 2011 Teen Choice Awards, both opening and closing the event. For all the ultra-modern design, expense and crew involved in staging this performance, audience response both in the studio and at home is decidedly muted - many viewers reaching for their remotes and changing to ANYTHING just before the closing number. Their album - Aladdin Soup is released the following Tuesday. It stalls in the lower reaches of the top 200 for a week before disappearing altogether.

The following week’s Browne Flag (an aggregate featuring singer-songwriter Jackson Browne, guitarists Greg Ginn and Craig Doerge, bassist Chuck Dukowski and drummer Russ Kunkel) debut - a headlining appearance at Lollapalooza in Chicago - is the site of massive rioting. Thousands of fans are injured, millions of dollars in property damages are reported, and the band are forced to flee for their lives. The band’s similarly high profile appearance at the following week’s Pitchfork Festival is cancelled, though their replacements - Neil Young with Modern English - fare little better with their audience. Hedging their bets, they open with “Standing On The Corner” before succumbing to a stream of boos, flying debris and a mass exodus of attendees (many are injured and two killed in the rush to exit the event). Seeing the writing on the wall, The Bodeans and Tom G. Warrior opt not to perform together at Bjork’s Meltdown in London the following week.

And so it goes: the LMFAO featuring Tom Waits summer blockbuster tour also fizzles accordingly - a mere dozen tickets sold for their Giants Stadium appearance. Arena rock titans Rush gain nothing from their short-lived association with “some guy named Edwyn Collins”. Likewise, Scott Walker and The Coral Reefer Band fail to sell even one concert ticket and are forced to cancel a three month tour of amphitheaters. The few artists who will eventually speak publicly about this all tell the same story - enormous coercion and pressure from labels and management.

Damon Albarn: “For all that I’d done for the entertainment industry, for all that I’d done to advance and sophisticate the art form, it was unbelievably galling and disheartening to be bullied and blackmailed into collaborating with these awful people, who had no sensitivity to my work. Whatever the label may have felt about Steve Earle or Leslie West, you cannot imagine what it was like teaching them the…(tetchily)…do you know how many chords are in ‘Country House’?!?!?! Time to move on, I thought.”

Audiences seem firm in their rejection of the new paradigm. If, as the labels seemed to be insisting, there was another Lulu out there, consumers were resolutely disinterested. Bankruptcy courts began to fill and litigation quickly becomes “the new rock and roll” (as Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner would write in his widely quoted suicide letter). Within a year of Reed and Metallica’s seemingly single handed reviving of the industry - labels, promoters, venues, publishers, manufacturers and retailers alike were collapsing and dissolving in a sea of insolvency proceedings. Seemingly immune from this widespread backlash is the record that started it all.

The principles remain unusually philosophical about these events.

Ulrich: “People want me to say that the industry got greedy or shortsighted, that the moneymen got what they deserved…all of this really vicious, unkind and unseemly stuff. I don’t believe that. Trends have been the bread and butter of our livelihood for centuries. You know, maybe not every heavy band that came along after ..Puppets was gonna be the next Metallica, but…you know, if our success opened people up to Slayer or Guns or Nirvana…you know, gave them an outlet or an opportunity, I don’t think that can really be seen as a bad thing. Likewise with the British Invasion, or acid rock, or rap, or alternative. Everyone says the industry is cynical - I say a lot of good comes from these movements. The ‘post-Lulu duets boom’ is no exception. Maybe people think John Fogerty had no business fronting The Cardigans, but…did anyone bother to listen to the record? It’s not fucking bad.”

Reed: “I worked 50-60 years for that type of success. I‘m quite loathe to consider it tarnished in any way by a few schmucks losing their jobs. I had to drink my own piss before Cale came along - everyone has hard times. The work is what matters. I can assure you that nobody but Andy wanted the Velvet Underground to work with Nico. I mean, again - everyone says they love that record, but you cannot sit there and tell me that anyone listens to that kind of tone deaf, pitchy, off key bellowing for pleasure. People want to hear good singers with beautiful voices. You know - I think that’s why Lulu meant so much to so many people. You listen to a song like ‘Heroin Of The Day’ and tell me you don’t fucking feel something. So….some other prick‘s idea of who can and can‘t collaborate…you know, nobody asked you ungrateful little shits for permission to make music. Some turd from Pitchfork can‘t appreciate that gorgeous record Donovan made with Anthrax? FUCK you! Eat shit, Christagau!”

Hetfield: “It was heavy. People wanted to blame us for some drastic shit - scapegoat us like Milli Vanilli, and all we’d done was reach out in the darkness. What do I think happened? I don’t know. I know a lot of people got together and listened to music, I know a lot of people got together and PLAYED music. I know people lived, died, went through all kinds of changes to these songs. That’s not so bad, is it? People took a few chances. I never thought I’d live to hear Alison Moyet front Grand Funk Railroad. Maybe it didn’t sell, but…there’s more to life than money or plaudits. I think a song like “I’ll Be Your Master” - you know, that didn’t exist before we met Lou, and now it’s being played at funerals. I can’t help but be grateful. As for what happened to the industry? I think maybe people learned that that kind of chemistry can’t be forced. You know, what we and Lou developed and discovered was just so organic and natural - maybe people finally realized you just can’t manufacture the kind of lightning in a bottle that has always been our stock in trade.
Now, I’m liberal, but to a degree
I want everybody to be free
But if you think that I’ll let Rick Santorum
Move in next door and marry my son
You must think I’m crazy!

But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

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Phenomenal Cat
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 15 Jun 2016, 16:14

On this day in 2014, The Monkees are inducted into the Pop Music Hall of Fame. That original member Davy Jones is no longer alive to enjoy the award makes the honor bittersweet, but on this night, Peter Tork has a bigger score to settle. What begins as a polite and even humble acceptance of their fans’ love soon turns to bile and invective as Tork calls out the rock establishment for their crimes against the Pre-Fab Four:

“No disrespect to this institution, but it couldn’t have escaped your notice that The Monkees have never even been so much as considered for the ROCK AND ROLL Hall of Fame. Imagine that, people. Jann Wenner sees Mickey enjoying himself a bit too much at Monterey…….having a smoke, if you will…..and he blackballs The Monkees. Jann seems to have taken it harder than everyone else, and now, 40 years later, everybody says, 'What's the big deal? Everybody else does it.' Nobody cares now except him. He feels his moral judgment in 1967 and 1968 is supposed to serve in 2014.”

“Get with the TIMES, people. Maybe you haven’t heard – maybe you haven’t been around rock and roll music in awhile – you won’t find Peter Tork in a Happy Meal like some Fleet Fox or whatever. You’ll find me on a stage – performing. Nothing but two hands and a heart full of soul. I know “Jack White” won't be here tonight, he's gonna have to stay in England. But I'd like to see us in the Coliseum and he at Wembley Stadium because he's always been chickenshit to get on stage with The Monkees. The Hall is scared shitless to let the Monkees just get up there and blow.”


After a prolonged ovation, Tork continues.

“At our peak in 1967, The Monkees outsold the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. But don’t take MY word for that – ask Wikipedia, folks. And who gets the plaudits? Our producers are in the Hall. Our writers. Hal fucking Blaine. But we won’t go gently into that good night. Because The Monkees are real music. You can have your 50 Cent and Puffy. Kanye is just another good-looking flash in the pan. I bet he doesn't even write his own songs! Nowadays, anyone can push a button and be Kanye West.”

"These people have no talent."

“The present roster of Wenner’s little boys club is arbitrary at best, and - you know, fucking Nile Rodgers? Ben E. King? Madonna?!?! To be blunt - I think at this point, their tough little club may very well be crying out for the undiluted rock and roll credibility the Monkees might inject into their ailing canon. My work speaks for itself - I‘ve been out there for decades tirelessly combining the various strains of American music. Performing classic Motown like “Higher and Higher“ on Appalachian instruments, doing hard time for drugs in the 70s - is that not the very definition of rock and roll? My nickname around Laurel Canyon was Peter Toke. Okay? Have you even heard Shoe Suede Blues?”


Tork goes on to insult Vampire Weekend, Iggy Pop, Van Morrison and Kurt Cobain for good measure, but the message is clear – The Monkees are no longer rock music’s doormat.

For the first time in decades, he and the band are front page news.

But what next? Plenty, as it turns out.

Beyond Tork’s subsequent threats to “kick Justin’s ass” and “give Beyonce and Jeezy what-for”, the wheels are turning in ways no daydream believer would ever believe. The belated morsels of credibility are something of a shock to these lifelong rock pariahs.

MICKEY DOLENZ: “You wouldn’t believe it now, but NO one respected The Monkees. We spent 18 weeks woodshedding Pool It, roughing it in upstate New York – remember, this is before ProTools. And the critics just trashed it. And why? ‘Where’s Mike? Where’s Mike?’”

ROGER BECHIRIAN (Producer of 1987’s Pool It): “There was some deep, ugly history between Mike and Davy. Mike always distanced himself from the group – he was a “real” songwriter. So he trashes The Monkees’ legacy. He heckles Hendrix. He turns down Woodstock. He prank calls Zappa. But the final straw may have been turning down “Sugar Sugar”. ”

MICKEY DOLENZ: “I cannot overstate how contentious the “Sugar Sugar” business was. Davy never really forgave Mike for that - and, inevitably, when another artist took the song to number one, Davy really couldn’t let go of the fact that he’d been right about the song. True, we absolutely could have used a hit at that point in our career (circa Head, if Monkees historians are to be believed), but Davy really was a man obsessed. I don’t know that I remember a subsequent conversation between the two of them that didn’t ultimately regress into a resurrection of this particular feud. If they had any little difference of opinion, Davy was like a dog with a bone - he really was not kind to Mike. It’s best not to dwell on what this cost us in terms of lucrative reunion offers. And this just went on more or less right up until Davy died. How we kept it out of the press all these years is a miracle - I’d have been mortified if anyone knew just how and why the band split up, and precisely what was keeping us apart time and time again.”

PETER TORK: “Nobody really knows about this, but Mike was set to join us in 1986 when MTV was running the series again. And then, of course, Davy insisted that we lead off that anniversary and reunion with a new version of “Sugar Sugar”. None of us (least of all the label) liked that idea, but - of course - Davy just really singled out Mike. Davy could be very loving and generous, as we all know, but…if he felt that you were against him, he was intractably vindictive. He had all of these horrible nicknames for “Manky Mike” and his “poxy hayseed music”, and…I just sat there and watched our marketplace value diminish significantly without Mike. I counted that money in my mind quite a few times.”

MIKE NESMITH: “I’m not thrilled that we’re talking about this. You know, perhaps David and I were never the best of friends, but I really did try time and time again to work with the three of them well into middle age. And my energy to repeatedly mudsling over an increasingly ancient Archies track - precisely the sort of song we’d fired Kirshner over several years earlier - was limited. We all miss Davy, but…you couldn’t have a conversation with him that didn’t lead to ‘Some of us have to work for a living, Nez.’ or without him claiming that I had both my head and wool hat - and I quote - ’so far up my ass.’ Maybe he’d have been happier in the Archies.”

PETER TORK – “I always thought we’d reconcile and make our Pet Sounds. No one counted on Davy dying. That was a real wake-up call.”

MICKEY DOLENZ: "I was reeling for a while. Then Neil Young corners me at Barney's Beanery and says, ‘Mickey? What the fuck are you waiting for? You think Crazy Horse died with Danny Whitten? Do it for Davy, man. And do it right'"

Tork had thrown down the gauntlet at the 2014 Pop Music Awards, and now the indie scene was listening. But could The Monkees soldier on without Davy Jones? Vibe magazine began with an innocuous “What’s Next for The Monkees?” article in early 2015, but soon the movement began to snowball. First, a spurned offer to headline that summer’s Pitchfork Festival (Tork: “What’s an Animal Collective without The Monkees? An Animal Troop. Pass…”) followed by an exodus of the post-millennial music’s best-and-brightest to Sunset Sound Recorders in Hollywood, CA.

MIKE NESMITH: “Suddenly, everyone wanted in on the new Monkees project. We were nervous, and wanted to keep the whole thing hush-hush, so we block-booked two weeks at Sunset as 'The Strokes'”

Despite contributions from Billy Corgan, Aimee Mann, Liz Phair, Sufjan Stevens, Ryan Adams (Adams: “’Just Us’ was a serious wake-up call for alt-country AND insurgent bubblegum back in ’96”) and Chris Cornell, the sessions ended almost as soon as they began, replete with bickering between Nesmith and Tork over “what Davy would do” coupled with Tork's insistence that the band only lay down tracks on the night of a full moon.

MICKEY DOLENZ: “We had no direction. One thing The Monkees would never do is make a record to capitalize on a fad or make a quick buck. So just as we’re floundering, I get the umpteenth text from the Flaming Lips guy, but this time he delivered the goods. “Whatever happened to the GooD TiMeS! tapes?”

GooD TiMeS! was the legendary aborted Monkees album from 1968 that few had heard but many knew of as various tracks emerged in dribs and drabs on subsequent studio efforts and bootlegs. In its place, the disappointing Head film, soundtrack LP, and ultimately the defection of Peter Tork nailed the original Monkees coffin shut.

MIKE NESMITH: “GooD TiMeS! That was my baby, but Davy hated it. HATED it.”

DAVY JONES (1979 interview): “Did I call it “Mike’s Head Music”? I dunno. How many top ten hits did Mike sing? It seemed self indulgent - and commercially suicidal. I do recall the boys all wearing pudding bowls on their heads for those terrifying 'Tapioca Tundra' sessions. And then the Tet Offensive happened. And then Kent State. There were bad vibes. I‘m positive those sessions were unleashing something very negative into the world.”

MIKE NESMITH: “Some things happened, for sure. Gerry Goffin being forced to explain his lyrics to Davy is not a horribly warm memory for me. Strictly on the basis of ‘quality of life’, I found it easier to carry on without the burden of pushing this record on a resistant band.”

MICKEY DOLENZ: ”I’d forgotten the project completely. The sixties may be a bit of a blur. I’m told I had a good time. But, yeah, I liked the idea of resurrecting something from our golden era. Maybe reminding people why their parents and children had loved us. We needed a focus, a common goal, and…there it was.”

PETER TORK: “Agreed - at this point, we’d be stupid not to finish GooD TiMeS! You can’t be a dummy forever. Having proven myself by going solo back in 1969, I felt like I‘d made my point and that Mike and Mickey would work a little harder to at least try and shoehorn my singing and playing onto finished masters.”

This was 2015 and suddenly the blogosphere was alight – The Monkees Are Going to Finish Their Long-Neglected Masterpiece

MOJO ran their first ever piece on The Monkees - a full 50 page special complete with interviews of musicians who’d participated in the original sessions, and loving tributaries from closeted Monkees fans of all ages. Cat Power, Jarvis Cocker, Dave Grohl, Lars Ulrich, Spencer Tweedy and Lil’ Wayne all spoke effusively about their 50 favorite Monkees tracks. Mastodon started encoring with “Zilch” on that summer‘s sold-out ‘Knotfest tour.

Offers from prestigious venues fly in - the Royal Albert Hall offers a rumored seven-figure sum for one premiere performance of the finished work. And, perhaps most crucially, a younger generation of artists - free from any antiquated Boomer-era prejudices - are unanimous in their celebration of the news.

BEN GIBBARD (Death Cab for Cutie): “Like everyone, I remember the exact time and place I was when Tork spoke at the Pop Music Awards. Preach, brother! But finishing GooD TiMeS!? Fuckin’ A.”

ERIC JUDY (Modest Mouse): “I felt the same way. It was like watching the Cubs win the World Series. We were all rooting for The Monkees.”

GIBBARD: “I cancelled sessions for our next album to dedicate myself to writing just the right song.”

JUDY: “And you really left us high-and-dry there, Benny.”

GIBBARD: “Wait, are you in my band?”


Suddenly, it seemed either you were part of the new Monkees project, or you were desperately trying to crash the party.

MIKE NESS: “Summer of ’15, I was down at Monkees Headquarters hawking tunes with Tim Armstrong (their ‘Final Bus to Stinktown’ never made the cut). Everyone was. Beck and Sean Lennon showed up wearing the same hat and stewed in the parking lot, seeing who would leave first. It was like an episode of Silverlake Squares.”


The list of “rejected” artists became a who’s-who of rock royalty. A sampling:

JEFF LYNNE (Traveling Willbury): "I could have made it work. I think my work with the Beatles speaks for itself.”

EVAN DANDO : “37 demos rejected out-of-hand. I bit my pillow like you wouldn’t believe.”

NICK CAVE (Doyen / Mustache): "My track was deemed 'too morose'”

A GUY FROM ARCADE FIRE (Arcade Fire): “We brought camping gear and craft beer. No dice.”

WAYNE COYNE (Flaming Lip): "I mean no disrespect to any of the Monkees, but I'd never really worked with anyone from that generation before - they all seemed to have trouble with things like email and cell phones, and they were all virtually deaf. No matter how many times I told them my name they kept calling me Wayne County, Wayne Newton, Wayne Allman."

(MICKEY DOLENZ: “We clearly owe a lot to Wayne Staley, but - he could be a nuisance. You can’t tell me Chip Douglas would have let him keep rolling into the Headquarters sessions on a novelty-sized hamster wheel, brandishing a megaphone, disrupting take after take.”)

COURTNEY TAYLOR TAYLOR (Dandy Warhols): “I’ve read all the great Russians! I understand ‘20s Paris and ‘50s Cairo!”

CALEB II (Mumford & Sons): “The laughter was relentless. The pointing was worse.”

KEN STRINGFELLOW (Posies): "I personally think the tracks that made the cut were rather undistinguished, comparatively speaking."

DAMON ALBARN (Pulp): “Monkees? No, it’s Gorillaz. With a Zed.”

IAN F. SVENONIUS (Make-Up): “They really had no idea who I was. Who can blame them?”

JAMES MERCER (The Shins): “They asked me where the songs were. Typical.”

FAT TONY (Smashmouth): "I honestly assumed we were sort of "grandfathered" in."

JON BRION (producer): “I’d just seen that wonderful documentary on the Cleaning Crew, and really wanted to see what kind of magic I could wring out of them.”

JAKOB DYLAN : “I played a few tunes on acoustic, but they just went on and on about how much they loved Wilco for some reason. I left.”

ANDY STRUMMER? (JELLYFISH): "In the end, I’ve learned its just business. They just don’t dig my new tunes. I have a fucking Grammy, you know."

JIM JAMES (My Morning Jacket): "The album is out? Can I get my CD back, then?"

MATTHEW SWEET: “They kept my demo tape. Why, I have no idea”

BEN FOLDS: “They returned my disc. Erased. Somehow.”


While some accuse The Monkees of hubris, it is only after the master plan is revealed that the project comes into focus.

PETER TORK: “We met with everyone – The Weeknd …..Future Islands….Caribou….Gaga….Cedric Lamar…Art Kelly......Meghan Traynor….Cronos…….the singer for Pavement (God rest his soul)….OK Go wanted to help with a video….Scorsese brought a small film crew..."

MICKEY DOLENZ: "When I think of "THE MONKEES" in their heyday, when we were weaving magic on a daily, an HOURLY basis, I think of Carole King, Boyce & Hart; Brill Building; Neil Diamond, Neil Sedaka, Harry Nilsson…"

MIKE NESMITH: “The obvious solution was to bring in a crack team of Brits"


Britpop alumni like Noel Gallagher, Jarvis Cocker, and Gareth from Longpigs are joined by veteran also-rans like Paul Weller and Elvis Costello to concoct a Monkees-styled redress of the GooD TiMeS! vibe first borne out of that contentious summer in ’68.

MICKEY DOLENZ: “We were standing on the shoulders of giants. You could do a lot worse than The Stone Roses, man. Brown and Squire really were the Goffin-King of that one glorious month in ‘89. Plus, Ian looks like a Monkee. We had to have ‘em.”

PETER TORK: “We'd foolishly rejected "I Think I Love You" towards the end of the original band, so when Andy Partridge came around again, we weren't going to say no.”

MICKEY DOLENZ: “Menswear were on board from Day One.”

Producer Adam Schlesinger (“the thinking man’s Rivers Cuomo“) from mid-sized stadium stalwarts Fountains of Wayne (“Cindy’s Mom”) is recruited to give shape to what ultimately became a coronation, ushering The Monkees into the 21st Century.

ADAM SCHLESINGER: “They knew what I was capable of. I mean, you’ve seen That Thing You Do. Probably more than once, if you’re being honest.”

As in the band’s original run, they are presented with contributions in numbers far greater than they could ever hope to complete. And the original GooD TiMeS! reels are retrieved from storage.

MIKE NESMITH: “We had an embarrassment of riches – things we’d never finished. I’m singing along to vintage vocal tracks from Neil Diamond and it was like he was alive and breathing in the studio with us once again.”

MICKEY DOLENZ: "No disrespect to Black Keys or Death From Above 1979, but it’s time for the real rock to return. The fucking title track is going to be with Nilsson! When I found out I'd be singing with Harry again, I told the wife not to wait up."

PETER TORK – “I got a text from Arctic Monkeys, you know, CONGRATULATING us and offering to help out. Not even an APOLOGY. Fuck off.”

MICKEY DOLENZ: “I can’t imagine Franz Ferdinand have an answer to this record. Some were born to lead and some were born to follow.”

MIKE NESMITH: "I love the Ben Gibbard track - it's just pure classic Decemberists."

The Monkees and producer Schlesinger take no chances, drafting in top-shelf talent past and present to turn their potential home run into a grand slam. But already, the press is encroaching, and the age-old arguments about “authenticity” storm like a Trump Twitter feed.

MIKE NESMITH: “They were so misinformed. “Not authentic”? The Monkees always played on their own records. We wrote. We sang. We sent out for lunch. We chased the groupies around the commissary in a little car. We made the hard decisions. Name me one other act who are having Beady Eye outtakes hand delivered to them on a silver platter. Peter has never sounded better."

MICKEY DOLENZ: “What people fail to take into account is that we were actors pretending to be a rock band. I’d like to think that the younger collaborators we’ve used on GooD TiMeS! are similarly pedigreed.”

PETER TORK: "The Monkees don’t take short cuts. You won’t find any “auto-tune” on those vocals. If “Death of an Accidental Hipster” or “Enjoyable Canyon Wednesday” didn’t live up to their initial promise, we would have scrapped them. Sure, we set the bar awfully high in the 60s, but when Linda Perry’s Hummer is parked across the street for three days, you know you’re on the right track. I'm sure Carole King is smiling down on us right now"

Against all reasonable expectations, GooD TiMeS! debuts at #1 on just about every chart still believed to exist. It seems there is more than enough magic to go around as the public clamors for Monkees music. Panic! At the Disco rush-releases “I’m a Daydream Believer” and begin living together in a small apartment. The Hold Steady briefly becomes Band 6 before settling on The Zor & Zam Steady. Mick Jagger is reportedly heard scraping a barrel for Tattoo You II.

The Monkees are “Trending.”

With younger audiences and their industry peers salivating at each mouse-click, the band are enjoying rather unanimous accolades tragically denied them during Jones’ lifetime.

PAUL WELLER: “The squares don’t get it, but the kids are just MAD for it. I remember first hearing “Me & Mrs. Magdelena” and I’m waiting for the hook. And I’m waiting. Then it just hits me – this is the new direction. It’s time to grow up.”

HENRY ROLLINS: “I remember Greg Ginn used to tell me that The Beatles were the “acceptable” face of 60s rock, but if you really wanted to delve into the dark stuff, you had to make time for The Monkees. They make Sabbath sound like Segovia, I think.

BJORK: "A magnificent marmalade of melodious manifestos, my Monkees!"

FATHER JOHN GRANT: “There's a real depth there. A lot of the material doesn't stick with you until the 100th listen.”

KEVIN DREW (Broken Social Scene): “You really forget that pop music has that transformative power. I mean, I sure as hell don’t know how they do it.”

BRAD ELVIS (Romantics): “I’d like to think I influenced them in some way.”

All Music gives GooD TiMeS! an unprecedented perfect 10 star rating, saying “GooD TiMeS! picks up where the Elephant 6 collective left off. Gauntlet duly thrown down.

Pitchfork, Blender, Source and Michael Medved (among many others) compare the band favorably to the unimpeachable likes of New Pornographers, Nada Surf, Beach House, and Car Seat Headrest. The party line seems to be that GooD TiMeS! is a record that “smarmily insists upon itself”.

All are clamoring for more.

MICKEY DOLENZ: “The outtakes are coming. If he allows it, Mike, he was getting really pissed off about Davy always pushing him to do stuff like The Monkees Zoo TV Tour, and he spontaneously created this sort of séance in the studio called "I Swear There Was Some Davy Here" that’ll I hope will be a Japanese bonus track.”

ANDREW SANDOVAL: “It killed us not to use that Modest Mouse track.”

MIKE NESMITH: “For every track that dropped on May 27th, there are probably 5 or 6 that just didn’t “feel right” and were cut. The album is done. If Run the Jewels want to remix something, they’ll need to bark up another band.”

PETER TORK: “Instead of getting mad at us, maybe guys like Questlove should start looking for new management. I’ve been there.”

MICKEY DOLENZ: “I can’t wait to play it for Zappa.”

Perhaps inevitably, Schlesinger becomes something of a Rick Rubin for veteran acts seeking a reboot. Greg Lake and Carl Palmer are said to be reworking unfinished Emerson rehearsal tapes, and the original members of Bloodrock have intimated that Schlesinger is returning them to the sound and feel of “classic Bloodrock”. CSN, Paul McCartney, Blondie, Eric Carmen and even Foo Fighters are reliably reported to be hard at work on reclamations of their former glories. Leaked promotional materials from 2017’s Riot Fest and Carnival indicate the presence of an act called “The Ramones”.

And, somewhere in New York, Jann Wenner is quietly resigning from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.[/quote]
Now, I’m liberal, but to a degree
I want everybody to be free
But if you think that I’ll let Rick Santorum
Move in next door and marry my son
You must think I’m crazy!

But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

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Minnie the Minx
funky thigh collector
Posts: 27572
Joined: 29 Dec 2006, 16:00
Location: In the naughty North and in the sexy South

Re: On this day...

Postby Minnie the Minx » 15 Mar 2017, 18:25

Mr.Cat! You have fucking PULLED mate
You come at the Queen, you best not miss.

Dr Markus wrote:
Someone in your line of work usually as their own man cave aka the shed we're they can potter around fixing stuff or something don't they?

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Charlie O.
Posts: 36679
Joined: 21 Jul 2003, 19:53
Location: In-A-Badda-La-Wadda, bay-beh

Re: On this day...

Postby Charlie O. » 15 Mar 2017, 20:10

Has he? Good show!
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