On this day...

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Phenomenal Cat
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 29 Apr 2009, 15:07

Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:57 pm

…In 1987, Eddie Money awoke at half-past eleven to find that all was not quite right.

“Hmm”, Eddie thought to himself as he gazed at the morning sky. “I don’t feel like myself today. I feel so blue. But why?” And so Eddie marched through his front door and entered the forest below to find the source of his worry and woe.

Sitting atop the large rock by the small pond was Eddie Rabbit, of whom he was fond. Bun E. Carlos lay peacefully beneath a tree. They always seemed so happy and carefree. Eddie was even known to dance when it rained at night, while others huddled away in fright. Perhaps he would shed some light?

“Eddie Rabbit, you seem so carefree, so please tell me true – Oh why am I feeling so rotten and blue?”

“Perhaps something you’ve eaten, like ham hocks or veal. When, my dear friend did you eat your last meal?”

Eddie Money recalled having a fine dinner near the little falls with John Cougar. This excellent food could not bring him so low, and he told Eddie Rabbit so. Mr. Rabbit suggested a journey to the partridge might cure his dismay. So Eddie Money bid adieu and went on his unmerry way.

Atop the tallest pine trees, the birds of finest plumage darted and sailed, but there was only one who so plaintively wailed and could be easily found so near to the ground: Mr. Andy Partridge. Always a dear friend, Andy had but a wing to lend, and alas, no more could he reveal. Once again, it was not the meal, nor was it a touch of cold or flu. To feel so odd, so sad, so blue – there was only one thing left for Eddie to do.

And so Eddie Money started down a most treacherous path, one of neither sign nor swath, and onward into the darkest reaches; a cold river valley where the wisest teaches. While the sun hunkered down, as the moon would ascend, a ghostly apparition appeared, howling ‘round the bend.

“Oh Howling Wolf, so wise and so knowing – your skin black as night and your sharp teeth a-glowing. Surely you’ve known countless heartaches and pains, please tell me wise one why my black mood remains.”

“Happiness is easy to find, but much easier to lose. Perhaps you need a woman – the cause, and cure, for the blues.”

He talked to Cat Stevens, Piggy and Cub Koda; Seal and Fish (here played by Abe Vigoda). They all gave her name, as did Bunny Wailer, Charlie Bird, and Phil “Animal” Taylor. “We know the woman for you” said Jeff “Skunk” Baxter. Rat Scabies phoned her up and Eddie Money bravely asked her:

“Samantha Fox, so fair, so divine. My I ask for your company this evening to dine?”

And so they dined noisily on Germany’s best, Samantha perfumed and elegantly dressed. Though Eddie ate two wursts, then three, and then four, his never-flagging sadness was still hard to ignore. His appetite seemed to him never-ending, but his ears remained deaf to the message Fox was sending. Samantha tickled Eddie's whiskers with her body and stole and asked him ever gently, "Would you like to see my fox hole?"

Just then to their surprise arrived a friend from way back east. T'was Snowy White with coat in tow to interrupt their feast. "I just found your old jacket" intoned Snowy with a knowing smile. "I bet that you've been missing this old friend for quite awhile". It was just then that Eddie figured out the secret of his gloom. Inside that leather jacket laid his powder and his spoon. Though Samantha flicked her ample tail and carried on her baiting, Eddie bolted for the door crying "Sorry! Friends are waiting!"

And so it was, and so it shall be. Eddie Money found the cure to his misery. And never again did a day go by without that trusted jacket by his side. So thank you Rat Scabies and Hound Dog Taylor. Thank you Robin Gibb, Beaver Brown and Bunny Wailer. Thank you John Cougar, Modest Mouse, and Cat Stevens, too. And Howlin’ Wolf, a special thanks for you. One day I felt like dying, but my friends, they set me right. Now life is paradise thanks to good old Snowy White.
Last edited by Phenomenal Cat on 18 Aug 2010, 16:33, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 30 Apr 2009, 15:56

Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:18 pm

…in 1962, renowned elocutionist George Martin is forced under rather lurid conditions to listen to an acetate disc by an unknown group from the north of England. To say that he hates the Beatles’ disc would be putting it politely (which he, inevitably, later does with unfailing diplomacy, grammar and syntax). The band’s manager (recurring blackmail victim and budding blackmail expert Brian Epstein) insists that Martin sit through the entire disc - a fairly unenviable undertaking, as the disc consists of two songs in total: a 34 minute rambling blues by guitarist George Harrison entitled “Apple Jam”, with which the group had taken to padding out their grueling 25 hour sets in the nightclubs of Hamburg‘s notorious Reeperbahn district, and a 15 minute number entitled “Yoo Doo Right” which the boys had picked up from a passing German bar band with the optimistic and empowering moniker Can.

The disc had been recorded just four months earlier when the group were auditioning for small American label Swan, and it was Epstein’s poor advice which was to blame for the questionable repertoire. While Martin found the music terribly uncommercial and amateurish, Epstein’s threats to bring certain details of Martin’s private life to light persuaded a reluctant Martin to at least grant the boys an audition with his employers - EMI Records.

The audition, held one month later, does not begin promisingly. Drummer Terry Bozzio spends three hours assembling his 40 piece drum kit and demands that Abbey Road engineers mike each component piece individually. Given that the impoverished Beatles - still a club act - can scarcely afford Bozzio’s two drum techs, Norm and Mal, his hijacking of the session is later cited by Beatles historians as the final straw in his imminent dismissal from the band (an act which the group, all cowards to a man, still publicly blame on Martin to this day). When the group are finally miked up and ready to perform, a napping Martin thinks little of Bozzio’s flashy drumming, his recurring solos and splash cymbals, and even less of the group’s substandard material (many of these songs will be revived later in the Beatles career, most notably the tricky “Free As A Bird” - a song which the Beatles themselves will not master for another 30 years or more). After a stern lecture in which Martin berates the band severely and cruelly mocks their provincial accents at great length, grouchy scouser Harrison mugs the producer - deftly nicking his wallet and threatening to steal everything in the state of the art studio which isn’t nailed down (several two inch machines do mysteriously end up in the front window of a Dingle pawn shop within the week) unless his demand for a solo contract permitting two consecutive 3LP sets is honored.

Ever the diplomat, bassist Paul McCartney (known to Liverpool fans at this point as “the fruity Beatle”) produces an ounce of marijuana from his instrument case and suggests a fifteen minute “rap session” between Martin, the band, and the studio staff. Harrison and Bozzio are sent to meet their “guy” atop Primrose Hill, an event which ensures their absence for the remainder of the audition (and which gives the savvy and competitive Harrison an opportunity to “lose” Bozzio). Desperate to hear themselves on record and to someday graduate from the clubs, McCartney and mercenary trend hopping guitarist/wife beater John Lennon offer to replace the absented members and to do things strictly Martin’s way if he can make them sound like “real musicians”. Impressed with both their cold-blooded determination and their obsequiousness, Martin promises to draw up contracts by the end of the week, if the pair can make good on their promise to tow the line.

The band’s rusty van departs for the night. Bozzio is forced to hitchhike back to Liverpool with a 40 piece drum kit on his back - a task which takes so long that his first task upon returning in 1975 is to appear at Liverpool’s first Beatles Convention, telling his cautionary tale of a merciless industry.

Sure enough, before the week is out, a package arrives at Epstein’s kebab stand (which doubles as Beatles HQ). Along with the promised contracts, the package also contains written agreements specifying that Lennon and McCartney (the latter of whom a derisive Martin insists on addressing as “Macca”) are to record with session musicians of Martin’s choosing, and that they may only record material chosen by the veteran producer. Also enclosed are acetate discs containing the songs the Beatles are expected to learn in time for their next session.

And so John and Paul find themselves at EMI’s Abbey Road studio once again, augmented by London’s top classically trained musos - virtuoso jazz guitarist Keith Richard and world class percussionist/fop Keith Moon. While the working class duo have no great love for “the two Keiths” and their upper crust polish, they reluctantly start recording takes of Martin’s first choice for debut single - “Cannonball”, an adaptation of an old hillbilly standard, arranged by aging American songwriter Kim Deal. Not only do Lennon and McCartney find the number insufferably corny and gimmicky, there is something prohibitively mannered, rigid, prim, square and downright prissy about Richard’s guitar playing. After gritting their teeth through a performance which Martin excitedly calls “serviceable”, the quartet move on to the proposed B-side - “King Tut”, an even sillier and more gimmicky number by American bluegrass veteran Steve Martin (a distant relative of George Martin’s, as it happens). When Richard lays down yet another immaculate, “tasty”, passion-free solo which wouldn’t sound out of place on a Spyro Gyra album, Lennon storms off in a huff, leaving “Macca” and his pipes of peace to smooth things over with the ruffled producer and the justifiably wounded session musicians.

And so, yet another compromise is reached. Epstein is barred from all future recording sessions and A&R decisions (his insistence that the group record such pre-rock and roll banalities as “Besame Mucho”, “We Have No Bananas”, and “Shaddap You Face” is the type of archaic meddling which even Martin finds irksome), Harrison is allowed to rejoin the group in the studio, provided that he not speak unless spoken to, and Martin finds a more suitable working class drummer for the group - notorious London party animal Ringo Starr (known to fans as “the surly Beatle”) who, to the group's relief, arrives with a simple four piece drum kit. Under Martin’s guidance, the group eventually pens and records a number one record (as always, with the uncredited help of Celtic teenage poet - and rock and roll Zelig - Donovan Leitch), “Carnival Of Light”, and the group enjoy several years of consistently moderate success under Martin’s tutelage. Keith Richard sees the writing on the wall, “pulls a Lou Reed” and sets about fashioning an altogether more crude and repetitive sound with his art school buddies. “Macca” eventually finds great success as bassist for arena rockers Wings, and the Beatles are fondly remembered even today as an early influence on major 21st century composer Noel Gallagher.
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 01 May 2009, 14:50

Fri May 01, 2009 2:46 pm

...in 1999, Rage Against the Machine calls it quits. Many reasons are given, including singer Zack de la Rocha’s dissatisfaction with the group’s decision-making process (he felt the band should market themselves more aggressively, much like Kiss, noting that “even Noam Chomsky is sold in Barnes & Noble”), the proliferation of bad rap-metal, as well as bassist Tim Commerford’s well-publicized freak-out at an Old Country Buffet when he couldn’t ride the “gravy train”. But the band’s demise was spelled out many years before.

The tale begins in 1988 at a Wags restaurant in Libertyville, IL. Tom Morello has been in and out of more bands than he can recall, but the major stumbling block was always the same: Tom could neither write nor play music, but still insisted on being in charge. Tom’s luck changed dramatically as he sat at his booth eating Buenos Nachos at his local hang-out. Doing his habitual search of the booth cushions for lost change, Morello strikes gold: a Memorex cassette tape labeled simply “RIFFS”. Popping the tape into his Walkman, the recording is just that – 44 of the heaviest riffs Tom had ever encountered, each preceded by a pre-pubescent voice mumbling titles like “Fuck Yeah”, “Fighting Song” and “And Justice for Even More”. A chance phone call from Commerford, asking Tom to move to L.A. to join him in a thriving business stitching baseball caps leads to the formation of a new band.

Zack “Puffy” de la Rocha is recruited from the oft-ridiculed Urban Dance Squad in exchange for a box of Anthrax “NOT” hats, and drummer Brad Milk is found wandering the aisles of Ralph’s. The band convenes to record their first demo, based entirely on the riffs from Tom’s well-guarded cassette. Tom enthuses, “I have over 40 riffs. That’s over 40 songs. I’ll take care of everything.” Tom names the band Rage Against the Machine, after the much-hated Cincinnati Reds team which dominated the National League throughout the early 70s.

It wasn’t until 1996’s Evil Umpire that suspicions arose in idyllic Libertyville, IL. 22-year-old Chad Schmidt, never one to hold a job and still living with his parents had mysteriously (some believed feloniously) acquired a home studio, a bitchin’ Camaro, and an entire garage-full of various baseball hats and Rage memorabilia. Chad had also acquired tons of top-line pro gear, enough to begin his own politically charged PETA-Goth band, Morbid Tails.

Fast forward to 1999, as De la Rocha arrives at rehearsal with his latest brainchild – a Rage Cap with cup holders on each side and two straws. He is sporting a Rage Against the Rain parka and matching Rage beer cozies. The band is now the king of L.A., and their new album, The Batter of Los Angeles (a tribute to all-star catcher Mike Piazza) has gone to Number One. Trusted leader Tom Morello, however, has distressing news. He is out of riffs. Attempts are made to write songs, but with bands like Limp Bizkit, Mudvayne, Linkin Park, and perennial Pitchfork faves Insane Clown Posse upping the rap-metal stakes, all the usable riffs have been used. Precious studio time is spent learning cred-boosting cover songs like “Kick Out the Jams”, “Street Fighting Man”, and an extended “Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts.” De la Rocha frantically negotiates between takes for his own chain of Rage Against the Caffeine coffee shops, and finally storms out with his Rage phone, dream unfulfilled. Rage Against the Machine is no more.

Morello, back at Square One, phones Chad Schmidt. Despite the success of RATM, Schmidt is unwilling to leave what has become a surprisingly lucrative gig as “Dimebag” Darrell in the Pantera tribute band, Fucking Hostile. The band offers him the chance to stay near home, get laid without having to pen a single lyric, and still receive “silence payments” from Rage, Inc.

Tom Morello agrees to a recording contract with Interscope, who retains 100% control over a new Chris Cornell vehicle, Audioslave. Much like Velvet Revolver the group are stuck with a spirit breaking moniker (Morello still insists the group is called "Massive Member") and a strictly regimented "rock agenda". In exchange for replicating demos assigned to them by the label, band members are given a living wage, plus room, board, three squares a day, unlimited Rogaine, and a dental plan.

Presently, "the 'Slave" are filming a shot for shot remake of the video for Warrant's salacious "Cherry Pie".
Last edited by Phenomenal Cat on 18 Aug 2010, 16:37, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 02 May 2009, 17:53

Sat May 02, 2009 3:53 pm

….in 1984, loquacious jazz combo The Minutemen writes over 70 new songs during an afternoon session at a Hermosa Beach, CA studio with engineer Spot at the board. Songs written include:

“What’s That?”
“Almost Combed My Hair”
“Your Utopia is my Nuremberg”
“Some Dogs Are Assholes”
“Ordinary People is an Alright Movie”
“Mick Taylor Played Guitar”
“Jews”
“Poem on an Underground Stall”
“Schaefer Beer on Sale”
“Corn Gets Stuck in your Teeth”
“San Luis Obispo Workingman’s Blues”
“Your Face is a 3-Part Mini-Series”
“Funerals Are Sad”
“Lines vs. Queues”
“I Lost my Pencil”
“Taxes are the Wage of You”
“What’s That Smell?”
“Des Moines Needs a Sports Team”
“Pizza Toppings”
“Crowds”
“Airline Food”
“Astronomy as Pornography”
“Bake Sales Aren’t for Me”
“Space is Large”
“Noam Chomsky Lights His Farts”
“Invent Post-Its Already”
“Stars are Sparkly”
“I Lost my Lighter”
“You Got It?”
“Not Me”
“Jesus Was a Big Talker”
“Can I Taste That?
“Reading is Time-Consuming”
“Foot Massages”
“Jerry Was a Racecar Driver”
“Sweatbands”
“This Ain’t No Bar Mitzvah”
“VHS or Beta?”
“Song with ‘Fuck’ in the Title”
“Gringos and Tortillas”
“Working Class and Literate”
“Things That Start with ‘A’”
“Country Music Will be Really Popular Someday”
“Top 10 Songs about Food”
“Why Bow Ties?”
“Lost Socks in the Dryer”
“Floss is Superfluous”
“Buildings Never Swear”
“Tennis Anyone?”
“Kevin DuBrow is a Social Disease”
“Laundry”
“Beards Itch”
“Page 26 of Reader’s Digest”
“Sports is for Athletes”
“Pissed at Traffic”
“I Just Noticed…”
“Shopping List”
“Things You Don’t Know”
“War is Dangerous”
“Babies = Fun”
“Dial Tones are Angels Singing”
“Invest in Cattle Futures”
“Diets Make You Hungry”
“Brits Have Bad Teeth”
“Secretary’s Day”
“I’ve Got a Hangnail”
“What’s for Lunch?”
“Beaches Need Oceans”
“I’m Reading this One Book”
“Fred Astaire was a Communist”
“Baldness is Hereditary”
“Birds are Showoffs”
“Talkin’ ‘Bout Verbs”

Unfortunately, Spot was out having a fish taco and was not there to hit the Record button. Sessions resumed the next day with a slate of 70 completely different songs.
Last edited by Phenomenal Cat on 02 Jun 2012, 15:34, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 03 May 2009, 20:49

Sun May 03, 2009 7:21 pm

...in 1978, folk singer Nick Drake dies from an accidental overdose of a drug prescribed to wean him from cannabis. Friends and fans were stunned, if only because years of reckless, destructive, unreliable, and impunctual behavior (which earned him the nickname "Drake The Flake") had failed to kill him at any point previously - thus imbuing him with a mythic sense of immortality.

Stories of the gentle voiced troubador are legend. Members of Fairport Convention recall Drake driving a Lincoln Continental into the swimming pool of Doncaster's Queen Elizabeth Hotel on his 21st birthday after a pot-fuelled raid on the hotel's kitchen with drummer Dave Mattacks. Later in the same tour he was so incapacitated by some undetermined drug given to him by infamous London groupie Sandy Denny (who had warned him to use the pills quite sparingly, to which Drake replied indignantly "But I'm Nick Drake!!!!" and swallowed an entire handful) that he passed out cold on stage, forcing compere Joe Boyd to beg an audience member to finish Drake's set. Lastly, his antics in Los Angeles and Malibu during the final years of his life - a period best represented by his album Pink Moon (the record's jacket consists entirely of Drake's naked and exceedingly hairy buttocks) - would have killed any man of lesser strength. Friends who visited him during the epic Pink Moon sessions recall a revolving door cast of Hollywood's A list pot moochers and very little work being completed.

Drake and his work are both remembered fondly, and are both now more well known than ever - largely through the use of his song "Horn" in commercials for Viagra.
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 05 May 2009, 00:09

In Jeff History:

Mon May 04, 2009 7:03 pm

On this day in 1995, Milwaukee-based rapper Def Jef attempts to jump-start his flailing career. Having witnessed the East Coast-West Coast battle in which Tupac Shakur, Suge Knight, Sean Combs, and Biggie Smalls were embroiled, Def Jef notes the increasing popularity that results from these rivalries. In particular, Shakur had survived five gunshot wounds in November, 1994, ensuring not only his street cred, but a sharp increase in record sales. Suddenly, the music was taking second place to the drama.

Milwaukee hardly seemed the place of "thug life", but Def Jef was determined to put it on the map. He picked the hottest club in town, The Velvet Lounge, adjacent to The Wisconsin Hotel in the heart of downtown Milwaukee (aka “M-Town") to stage his comeback.

At 10:00 sharp, Mr. Jef enters the club and orders a drink. Next door, members of his posse (DeWayne "Two Shoes" Sparks and Andre "Shit-Eye" Stubbs) are preparing, loading two handguns with blanks. Donning ski-masks, they rush into the club at 10:15 to find Def Jef still standing at the bar with his sloe-gin fizz. Andre calls out to Jef "You dead, motherfucker!" as he and DeWayne fire the blanks at a recoiling Def Jef. Feigning being hit, Jef reaches into his overcoat to pull out a handgun, pointing it at his “assailants”.

It is at this moment that bartender Russell Gunderson emerges from the kitchen to see Jef in the act of “retaliating”. Gunderson, an avid hunter, reacts instinctively, grabbing a snub-nosed pistol from beneath the register and firing a single shot into Def Jef’s left buttock at close range. Jef howls as he runs from the club with his posse in tow, yelling out “I’ve been shot. Def Jef been shot, everybody!”

Despite the popularity of rap-related shootings, the “Def Jef has also been shot” tactic only succeeds in landing a small blurb on page 12 of the Milwaukee Sentinel under the headline “Deaf Milwaukee Rapper Takes One in the Ass.”
Last edited by Phenomenal Cat on 18 Aug 2010, 16:39, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 05 May 2009, 15:55

In Jeff History:

Tue May 05, 2009 3:34 pm

...in 1978, "seventeenth Beatle" Jeff Lynne stepped off stage in Cologne, Germany and waved goodbye to the 80,000 fans collected there for the record-smashing Out of the Blue tour. It would be Lynne's last public performance.

With the ever-increasing demand for heavily-synthesized rock with boxy drums, ELO could do no wrong, and to prove it they released their most ambitious and pointless LP to date. Such was Lynne's hubris that he had not prepared any songs before entering the studio, yet insisted that this new album would be a double. In the span of four days, Lynne wrote the entire album dining exclusively on the local liverwurst, Riesling, and blood pudding. In fact, much of his time was actually spent playing with his beloved dog Blue (aka "Boy Blue"), who quickly became a menace to the staff at Musicland Studios in Munich by leaving little "surprises" throughout the various isolation booths (a tale graphically detailed in Lynne's unusually lurid "Steppin' Out"). By the time the band had convened to commence recording, Lynne admits that the album was "about 10 percent brilliant, 90 percent dogshit" but with a 92-date world tour in the planning stages, he pressed on, creating the purportedly-classic Out of the Blue.

The tour would be their most ambitious and pointless to date. The ELO "spaceship" logo which adorned the cover of their latest LP would now become reality, as the band would emerge from a fully-functioning space station that would descend from the night sky and land in the arena (this necessitating booking strictly outdoor venues, though for their date at Cobo Hall in Detroit, they simply smashed through the arena roof which local fan Ronny "Ole" Guitierrez recalls as "fuckin' boss".) The band had now grown to over 80 members, including the original recording band, three additional keyboard players, a 9-man horn section, three percussionists, a "sound-effects wizzard", a half-dozen back-up singers, a full 40-piece orchestra, and a number of "droids" who stalked the stage with laser guns, striking military poses. In addition to the space station and instrumentation, the show included an on-stage spa for "musician breaks", a 40-foot wide glowing crystal ball used for the "unplugged" sections of the show (which strangely never came to be), a separate "jungle stage" which was a fully-functioning rainforest complete with exotic African drums, bells, congas, and trained snakes, a full buffet of cold cuts and cheese, champagne fountains, scaffolding in case Lynne wished to "stray", and a trained elephant named Bruce.

Despite sold-out shows and a minimum of snafus (though they did once land in a Tesco's parking lot due to poor weather), Lynne wanted out. Playing live in Germany brought him home to the bliss of just "twiddling the knobs and making the records". Finding himself more at peace back at Musicland experimenting with dated sounds like disco and one-man doo wop, Lynne abruptly quit the ELO tour. As the band landed and took the stage each night, a pre-recorded tape played Lynne's unmistakable triple-tracked vocals as a small potted shrub was wheeled before his microphone. Such was the distance between band and audience, coupled with the confusion as to where the band was actually playing; it seems that fans failed to notice Lynne's absence. A record 80,000 loyal fans attended a show at Cleveland Stadium, not one vaguely aware that Lynne was thousands of miles away tossing a spit-covered tennis ball to his canine.

In time, another original member, Bev Bevan, also took a leave of absence. He was initially replaced by a fern, but this proved impractical so Boston's Sib Hashian was brought in to fill the stool. Don Brewer sat in for a few dates, as did Tommy Aldridge, and for one show in L.A., Gene Shalit. Bevan, missing the adulation-by-proxy, attempted to rejoin ELO in late 1978 but was no longer recognized by either ELO security or the band themselves, compelling him to add his name to the Black Sabbath waiting list along with Cozy Powell, Vinny Appice, Peter Criss, Clem Burke, and Gina Schock .
Last edited by Phenomenal Cat on 18 Aug 2010, 16:42, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 06 May 2009, 16:25

In Jeff History

Wed May 06, 2009 3:58 pm

On this day in 2002, Wilco’s controversial Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is finally released. For one brief moment in time, Wilco stood tall as the empowered underdog against that snarling machine known to both Highlights readers and well-meaning blowhards as "Corporate Rock". Sadly and somewhat inevitably, they then released Yankee Hotel Foxtrot onto a suspecting public.

The tale begins with the band returning from their heart-wrenching and health-draining Summerteeth tour. Lead singer and band sad-sack Jeff Tweedy is suffering from a profound depression and acute addiction to Internet porn. He is eventually lured to the home of Jay Bennett for an early morning intervention. Thus begins the fractious divide that eventually leads to Bennett's departure and Tweedy's continued insistence on traveling from show to show in a rented minivan. Recording of Tri-Colored Pasta (as YHF is initially titled) commences a mere two days after the intervention, with Tweedy being observed around the clock by concerned friends. Within 10 days, basic tracks and vocals have been completed.

Just as it seems Wilco is back on track, Bennett kidnaps the master tapes, adding layer upon layer of extemporaneous instrumentation and sound effects, driving Tweedy to comb the taverns of Bucktown until he finds Bennett performing a hyped-up "Heavy Metal Drummer" with Billy Corgan, Nina Gordon, and Nash Kato at The Artful Dodger. Authorities finally seize the master tapes from Bennett's apartment. Upon playing them back, local sycophant Jim O'Rourke deems this new work "genius". At their wits end (Tweedy had recently lost both his DSL connection and his taste for tri-colored pasta), Wilco entrusts O'Rourke with the as-yet-unheard tapes, to which O'Rourke adds strings on a number of tracks, trims out the fat to make the songs more enjoyable and concise, and records female voices for potential single "I'm the Man Who Loves You". O'Rourke submits the tapes to Warner Brothers without Wilco's approval, thus ensuring the group maintains credibility with their fanbase (when the album is rejected, the band can say in all honesty, "We can only imagine what they found objectionable"). An eleventh-hour remix is performed by noted record-doctor Andy Wallace, who finds that most of the “noise” is locked in with the vocals and rhythm tracks. The record is eventually picked up and released by Nonesuch, who labor under the misconception that Wilco is fronted by the progeny of Bob Dylan.
Last edited by Phenomenal Cat on 18 Aug 2010, 16:44, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 07 May 2009, 16:58

In Jeff History...
Thu May 07, 2009 3:11 pm

On this day in 1996, moustached American comedian Jeff Foxworthy joins Scottish super group Primal Scream as a full salaried member, bringing to fruition a mutual admiration which has been simmering for over a year. The two first become aware of each other in 1994 when record label Sony finds itself in the unenviable position of arbitrating between two of their artists - Foxworthy and Primal Scream - who both have albums scheduled for a summer release with identical titles (Give Out But Don’t Give Up), and identical artwork (a neon Confederate flag). While Primal Scream is allowed to proceed (largely due to Foxworthy’s unstintingly gallant nature, but also due to an impending high profile Primal Scream tour with fellow hedonists Spandau Ballet), there are no hard feelings and the two camps become quite friendly. A further crossing of paths when both acts sue American record retailers for filing their CDs under “Comedy” only bonds the two even further. Foxworthy finds such high concept and optimistically titled Scream efforts as “Funky Jam” not all that different from his own portrayals of determined yet desperately misguided outsiders, and the Scream consider Foxworthy a worthy vessel for the band’s recent fetish for all things American and Southern, particularly the “Cosmic American” sounds of Gram Parsons and the Oak Ridge Boys - a sound with which Scream founder Bobby Gillespie has recently been obsessed.

Upon joining the group, Foxworthy turns Gillespie onto such modern “Cosmic American” artists as Alabama, Brooks and Dunn, and Toby Keith - all of whom he knows, and several of whom he ropes into contributing to the Scream LP in progress. The LP, Y’all Come Back Now, begins promisingly enough, with a haunting Gillespie/Le Ann Rimes duet on a remake of Otis Redding and Carla Thomas’ evergreen “Tramp”, and a Foxworthy composition entitled “RDNCK” (based on the “Vanity Plates” section of his bestselling Redneck Dictionary) which Creation boss Alan McGee will earmark as first single. Encouraged by his new bandmates and producer Andrew Weatherall to be creative with samples, Foxworthy opens “RDNCK” with seven full minutes of dialogue from the film Any Which Way You Can.

In spite of this harmonious start, problems develop when Gillespie and guitarist Neil Innes keep badgering Foxworthy to “sort them out” for truck stop speed and moonshine, and intensify when the two men attempt to grow moustaches of their own - resulting in decidedly un-fox-worthy peach fuzz. Foxworthy finds their stereotyping decidedly patronizing, ingratiating and broad, and takes umbrage at the group having the lengthy sessions catered by American breakfast chain Waffle House at considerable non-recoupable expense. Frictions reach a boiling point when Foxworthy learns that the backing tracks for the album have been accidentally erased and recorded over with a 12 hour rambling and narcotic fueled debate between Gillespie, McGee, and a visiting Liam Gallagher about “rock and roll”. Gillespie assures him that the tapes will still sound “brilliant” once “Andrew does his bit” to them and “we get the Memphis Horns and ‘a gospel’ in“, yet Foxworthy grows increasingly disenchanted and estranged from the group.

A showdown is imminent, and occurs during final mixing just as the band are set to begin filming a promotional video for the homoerotic single “Exile On Man Street”. After reading the treatment, in which a blackfaced Gillespie is stabbed to death by Hell’s Angels while Foxworthy releases 1,000 butterflies from a box, Foxworthy faxes his terse resignation to both the band and the label and asks that his work not be used.

Both the Scream and Foxworthy bounce back just fine from this experience. Foxworthy goes on to great success in American television (the title of his current top rated program - Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? - is claimed by insiders to be inspired by his experiences with the Scream and McGee) and later appears on several records by the Dandy Warhols. Primal Scream have a new record in the shops within a month of Foxworthy’s departure - Exile On Mani Street- and become something of a pension plan for unemployed English musicians. By the turn of the century, their ranks will swell to include such legends as Carter (USM), Bez, and former Oasis guitarist Buckethead.

They will pay tribute to Foxworthy’s influence in 1999 by naming an album after a vanity plate - XTRMNTR - spotted on a pesticide van they encounter on the M1.
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 08 May 2009, 16:20

In Jeff (Geoff) History...

Fri May 08, 2009 3:01 pm

On this day in 1968, Geoff Emerick quits working with The Beatles. In an excerpt from his upcoming Beatles bio, Don’t Pass Me By (a follow-up to the mildly successful Here, There, and Everywhere), Emerick pledges to tell the “whole story” – a story he promises “The Beatles did not want you know”:

“I started as a tape-op at Abbey Road studios but quickly jumped to the head engineer position at the tender age of 19. This was no accident. I was brought in by George Martin and EMI to do damage control on The Beatles’ image. They had so much competition in those days: The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Who, Manfred Mann - The Beatles were suddenly perceived as hopelessly out of touch and soft. Because I was young and had my finger on the pulse of Swinging London, I knew what to do. Despite what they had been instructed to say in interviews, these guys knew nothing about the drug culture. Lennon in particular was terrified he’d lose his identity if he so much as smoked a ciggie, so I had to ease them in. It wasn’t until our session for “Nowhere Man”, when I flipped the tape backwards on the last verse that Lennon began to see the possibilities. He loved my willingness to try anything, but that’s what the 60s were all about. The Beatles were just waking up to this.

My first order of business was to add “colour” to their sound in order to appeal to the emerging hippie culture. It seemed they were so united, so of one mind-set that everything became a battle. It took everything in my power to stop them from using the “Farmer in the Dell” background vocals for Lennon’s “Paperback Writer”. After I slaved for 8 days to create a ground-breaking swirling vocal effect with a Leslie speaker, Lennon only used it on one song (“Mean Mr. Moonlight“). Despite my cajoling, I could not convince them to feed the entire Revolver master through the Leslie.

By Sgt. Pepper, they began to acknowledge my wisdom. Revolver had been a huge blunder. Not only did they elect to use a black & white cover in the age of psychedelics, but they tried bribing Harrison into playing another tour by giving him 3 songs on that album. Shambles. I had suggested they get someone a little hipper on guitar, like Graham Nash from the Hollies, but they stuck with Harrison despite his obvious handicaps. As we worked on Sgt. Pepper, The Beatles kept later and later hours. George Martin usually nipped out by sundown, so I ended up producing a lot of their more wild experiments, like “Strawberry Fields Forever”, “All Together Now”, “I’m A Loser (No, You’re Not Said Little Nicola)“, “The Luck Of The Polish”, and “Fixing a Hole” (on which I played drums). Soon, the others could see that the Beatles had effectively become John, Paul, and Geoff.

On Magical Mystery Tour, I was not only seeing the possibilities of what we could do in the studio, but as a band. It was John, Paul and Geoff for the most of MMT, with the exception of George's contribution, "Within You Without You" which we all abhorred, but we humored George because he was like a beloved mascot in some ways. I suggested we plant clues on the albums for a sort of contest, where the winner could hang with the Fab Four down by the Seine. To my mounting frustration, they chose Bangor, Wales instead, completely ruining the spirit of the competition by planting no clues and thus having no winners. Despite my prolific imagination and generosity, I sometimes felt like I was not part of the band. As it turns out, I was not the only one.

The Beatles, or The Double Album as I call it, was a major regression. Ringo felt frozen out of many decisions, and for a time quit. I suggested he join Manfred Mann (his witty reply, “Do I know you?”), but he returned despite my eleventh-hour attempts to sell John and Paul on Mick Fleetwood. John had begun working with Yoko Ono, who was like a kindred sister to me and closer to my artistic temperament. I still fondly recall the hours we spent putting together the tape loops for “Revolution 9”, a favor repaid to me when John and Yoko had me record the Two Virgins LP with a blindfold and earplugs (a story Pete Townshend never tires of, and which likely inspired some of his better work). But for whatever reason, I was suddenly on the outs. Perhaps it was my distaste for the conservative nature of their new material. Perhaps it was my championing of Paul‘s phallocentric “Junk”, or maybe they felt they could get on without me. Nonetheless, I quit.

Anyone with a passing knowledge of The Beatles’ story knows what happened next. With Glyn Johns, they recorded Let It Be, and became rudderless in the process. Lennon pleaded with me to come back, to “make records like we used to.” I began by playing with him and Paul on “The Ballad of John and Yoko”, and we even composed an off-the-cuff “Ballad of Geoff and Yoko” (we’d never eaten chocolate cake in a bag, but we had shared biscuits in the Abbey Road commissary). For Abbey Road, they needed more than just a hit. They needed a miracle.

The first track we worked on was Lennon’s “I Want You (Carry That Weight)”, which would be the album’s concluding track. John had a full sheet of lyrics, but I told him to “keep it simple”. A constant annoyance, Harrison kept walking about the studio chanting to anyone who'd listen "I Want You / I Want You / I Want You So Bad...." but his feeble attempts at remaining in the inner circle did not make it to tape. It was around this time that he began working with Jackie Lomax, Eric Clapton, and Mary Hopkin in hopes of creating his own colliding circle in order to inspire jealousy in his band mates, but his only real recognition or lasting contribution regarding Abbey Road would be the wonderful digestive biscuits he brought Yoko each day. To ingratiate himself with John, he even made her bed, but they bickered nonetheless, usually over George's vague attempts at "songwriting" (just what is "Something" about? Nothing!)

And in the end, I saved The Beatles one last time. Paul (God bless the man) repaid the favor by having me save his arse again with my work on Band on the Run. I moved on to bigger and better things, but I shall never forget my work with those fabulous Beatles and George Harrison.”
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 09 May 2009, 16:57

In Jeff History...

Sat May 09, 2009 4:44 pm

…in 1988, the singing duo of Scotty Moorhead and his half-brother, Corey win top honors on Star Search, a precursor to the now-popular So You Want to be Exploited?, earning them a contract with show biz impresario Lou Pearlman. Corey soon walks due to Pearlman's draconian methods (which include kissing contests and endless late-night Tiger Beat questionnaire drills). Though Corey is thought to be the true talent of the duo, Pearlman finds young Scotty eager and malleable, willing to do anything in order to “make it”. Thus, young Scotty is reinvented as Jeff Buckley, named after Pearlman’s idol and "Professor of Hipology", Lord Buckley.

Pearlman’s strategy is tried and true – market Buckley as an "alternative matinee idol”. Pearlman uses his numerous connections to land Buckley showcasing gigs at small but crucially hip clubs (in some instances, he convinces veteran promoters that Jeff is actually the son of guitar legend Scotty Moore). Utilizing the “Billy Squier scheme”, Pearlman seeks out a cod-Zeppelin rock band willing to take orders and wear tight sequined outfits. When such a band does not materialize fast enough, Pearlman simply hires Billy Squier’s old band for live performances and recording, and pays hard-up, good-looking junkies from Manhattan’s Lower East Side for photo sessions with Pearlman’s star-in-the-making. Buckley is given a full-time stylist and performance coach.

“I worked hard to launch Jeff”, says Pearlman from an undisclosed island in the Caribbean. “I figured if America could be convinced that Henry Winkler was “cool” on Happy Days, they’d fall for anything if I packaged it right”.

Using his “Fonzi Scheme”, Pearlman guarantees capacity crowds at Buckley shows by offering free booze and cigarettes, a tactic previously used with The Backstreet Boys, N*SYNC, Veruca Salt, and Korn. Pearlman pays top models, journalists, and musicians to attend. Buckley is given the full star treatment, arriving nightly in a stretch limousine with a hired “Betty” on each arm. Pearlman also pioneers web-based promotion, inviting fans to join Jeffbook, where fans can receive a “Friend of Jeff” badge, 8 x 10 glossies, and updates on Jeff’s moods (“Jeff is enjoying a rerun of ‘Dallas’”; “Jeff is feeling frisky tonight”; “Jeff is concerned about his hair and the environment”)

Despite the enormous expense incurred, the launching of Jeff begins to pay dividends. Spin, Rolling Stone, and 16 clamor for interviews. Pearlman quickly rushes Buckley into the studio, and hires the best songwriters in the business (Izzy Stradlin, Dave Navarro, Lenny Kravitz, etc.) to construct the instant smash-hit album, Aaaayyy! Pearlman also handpicks an eclectic selection of cover songs from hip acts like Leonard Cohen, Big Star, and John Parr for recording and live performance. When Buckley’s cover of “Life is a Highway” charts, he is offered a lucrative headlining slot on the Lollapalooza tour as well as the chance to collaborate with heavyweights Smash Mouth on the soundtrack to Shrek.

“And then Johnny Bravo decided he didn’t want to play anymore”. Pearlman’s monster soon turns on him. Buckley begins to show up late for shows, and then begins missing important dates like the “X-Box Fest” and “Taste of Branson”. At a Ramada in Iowa City, Buckley threatens Pearlman with a hair dryer. Pearlman is forced to cut ties with his latest charge, leaving countless recording masters shelved and Lollapalooza without its “Face of ‘97”. When Tool’s Maynard Keenan is heard uttering “And you’ll never hear Jeff Buckley music again” during a performance of “Stinkfist”, the career of Scotty Moorhead reached a sad, yet inevitable end.

Moorhead now rents jet skis to tourists at The Wisconsin Dells and refuses to speak of his troubled past. Pearlman is currently a fugitive due to unpaid parking tickets and transporting Boyzone across state lines.
Last edited by Phenomenal Cat on 18 Aug 2010, 16:53, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 11 May 2009, 16:10

In Jeff history...
Mon May 11, 2009 12:25 pm

On this day in 2001, a fierce bidding war ensues between legendary UK indie labels Rough Trade and Heavenly. Months earlier, a “books on tape” cassette of Everyone Poops (narrated by Nikki Sudden) is sold to the Portobello Road branch of Rough Trade and is snapped up by label boss Geoff Travis who - while driving - finds that the tape contains no such narrative, but instead the softest and most soothing sounds he has heard in well over a decade. Meanwhile, across town, a CD is played on the jukebox at Heavenly’s Social bar in Soho. To the alarm of the label head (Jeff Barrett) who selects a disc containing children’s music as rendered by the lovely voice of improbably named chanteuse Sarah Cracknell (as the disc’s label suggests), the music is a gentle collection of mellow ballads sung just above a whisper by a seemingly very relaxed man. Both men rave excitedly about their find, until it becomes clear they are discussing the same recording. It is still relatively early days for the likes of Google, and a lyric search yields no match - other than the occasional exotic sounding name like Journey, Air Supply, or Ambrosia.

Weeks are spent fruitlessly endeavoring to find the source of these magical sounds, with both men astutely aware that - in this, the “quiet is the new loud” era of Belle And Sebastian, Lambchop, Travis, David Gray, James Blunt, Elliot Smith, Starsailor, David Brent, etc. - such a find could be a major financial coup for whichever label gets the goods in a timely fashion. Indeed, accelerated sales of Xanax, Valium, and Children’s Tylenol on London’s black market indicate that “chill out” has become a high all its own, and the now passe Ecstasy craze has been refined to exclude all but the gentlest stage of the drug‘s effects. Hash smokers are padding their “spliffs” out with increasing amounts of tobacco in search of an ever mellower high. Catalog sales of Tim Buckley, John Martyn, Fred Neil, James Taylor, Gilbert O Sullivan, and Nick Drake albums have spiked dramatically, and only a fool would fail to see the writing on the wall.

Both labels are hoping that, with this mystery act in tow, licensing fees for the imminent high street shop “chill out” CD compilation (only two years earlier the muzak themed comp Music To Watch Girls Byhad sold over a million copies at one Boots shop alone) could add up to a tasty payday. As it happens, the Music For Pleasure label is already putting out feelers to small labels for potential tracks for this release - tentatively titled Haven’t You Not Never Not Been Mellow: Relaxed Atmosphere Vol. 1.

A friendly rivalry ensues between the two old friends, as each describes the mystery music breathlessly to any member of the UK indie elite who will listen. Publishers, radio folk, journalists, and PR men alike are sent scrambling for any lead on this untapped reservoir of soothing sounds. Surreptitious calls are made to long forgotten American label and management connections with little result, the only detail emerging is that Sony New York’s Nate Krenkel seems to recall receiving a similar tape from an artist named, succinctly and tantalizingly, Jeff. This little detail sends hopes skyrocketing, as both labels are eager to have their own one name genius - their own Beck, Prince, Haydn, E, Jobriath, Falco, or Jive Bunny. The search begins in earnest, with only the vaguest details emerging - Jeff is rumored to have cut his teeth in several little known American alternative rock groups with unpromising names like Mercy Beat, Free Beer, and Loud Lucy, Jeff is rumored to be a mute, Jeff is rumored to have never left his apartment, Jeff is rumored to live in a car, Jeff is rumored to have an almost maternal relationship with his girlfriend, Jeff is rumored, Jeff is rumoured…

Precious weeks go by. Finally, NME runs a cover story on Jeff and announces that he is to perform a set of dates in London (a grueling 2 week residency at the intimate 12 Bar Club, and several nights DJing at hotspot Trash). While rumors of Jeff’s muteness are neither confirmed nor denied, the piece tellingly does not feature an interview. Through the NME, both labels (and many others) are able to contact Jeff’s management (High Class - an Arkansas based firm whose other clients include 38 Special, Aldo Nova, and Ship: a group featuring former members of Starship) and let the heated bidding begin. High Class brokers an unprecedented deal with Heavenly, Rough Trade AND Domino Records in which the three will pool their not insubstantial layout for Jeff’s services (a tremendous payday for both artist and management), but will also create a discreet imprint (Jeff Jam) solely for his works. Contracts are signed, a massive publishing deal is inked (with BMG who have not heard a note), and masters are supplied so that product can be pressed and reviewed prior to Jeff’s UK launch. A backing group is assembled from local contacts, with Travis and Barrett repeatedly advising the bassist to play with mittens, and the drummer to strike pillows with pencils (this decidedly modern instrumentation and approach merely meant to preserve the oft-remarked on “subtlety” of Jeff’s music).

Reviews duly appear in MOJO, Uncut, NME, and Time Out a week before the album launch and Jeff’s arrival. The reaction could scarcely be more positive, more hyperbolic. Writers single out such songs as “Open Arms”, “The Search Is Over”, “Crazy Amazing Cryin’”, and “I Want To Know What Love Is” as potential 21st century standards. A limited edition 7” single containing three of the forthcoming album’s tracks (“Can’t Fight This Feeling”, “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” and “Straight From The Heart”) sells out within hours, and advance orders for the LP - Sometimes When We Touch- are unprecedented for a new artist. Phones are ringing off the hook, the entire run of gigs is sold out, and one or two fans can be seen queuing in front of the 12 Bar Club several days in advance of opening night. The buzz is enormous.

Then disaster strikes.

Jeff Jam, BMG, and several major retailers are hit with a massive cease and desist from Universal/Sony/Polygram/Captain Morgan who claim that Jeff’s album infringes on at least a dozen of their sound recording and publishing holdings, and the injunction could bankrupt all parties if violated. High Class stops returning all correspondence, Jeff never arrives in London, the shows are canceled, and the album is pulled from release schedules with no explanation - though it is likely that losses are cut primarily because the injunction may stall the campaign‘s momentum for precious weeks or even months. Fortunately, memories are short, and expectant fans are quick to move on (the advance word on Wheat is massive). Jeff’s name is never spoken again, and - without its “face” - the mellow movement quickly loses steam.

The principal investors never speak of Jeff again, returning their focus to nurturing the evergreen catalogue sales of Jaymay, The Loose Salute, Delays, The Hidden Cameras, LiLiPUT, Pram, Movietone, and Flowered Up. Thousands of dollars worth of Jeff merch is funneled into charity shops, and all that remains of his “moment” is the occasional tramp pushing a shopping cart around Camberwell in a soiled Every Rose Has Its Thorn Jeff t-shirt.

Our story does have one small postscript - a visiting Japanese collector, seeking to load up on rare Kings Of Convenience product in 2005, pays $400 for a sealed copy of Jeff’s Sometimes When We Touch CD at a Reckless outlet in Soho, and (while loading it onto his iTunes) finds an unexpected CD match: a budget multi-artist compilation intriguingly entitled Monster Ballads dating from 1994. His frequent letters to MOJO’s collector’s corner go unpublished to this day.
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 12 May 2009, 14:39

Tue May 12, 2009 2:19 pm

...in 2000, Carlos Santana’s lifelong dream comes true. A veteran of the music business and inventor of cinnamon-flavored lube, Carlos is fairly well-off, but hasn’t had a real hit record since Nadia Comaneci popularized “Winning” during the ’76 Olympic Games. On a balmy Sunday morning, Carlos arrives at the palatial estate of Clive Davis, the man responsible for signing Latino acts like Santana, Jerry Garcia, and comedian Howie Mandel. Carlos is badly in need of capital; seed money to pursue his dream, a dream delivered to him by a white-robed dreamy Jesus in a fevered dream-state. Enquiring about possible work at Davis’ well-manicured estate, Carlos produces a satchel of landscaping tools, but Davis suggests simply making another record instead. “We could do that, too”, Carlos eagerly replies as he outlines his plan to build the first dedicated all-Latino theme park: Santanaland. With the help of Davis, the star-packed Santana album, Supernatural, becomes his best seller ever, and finally Carlos has the means to chase his dream. With the Lord in his right pocket, it seems Carlos has been reborn.

Construction of the park begins in El Segundo, California in late 1999. An all-Latino labor force is hired, and is sworn to a Wonkaesque secrecy pact. The property is surrounded by 15-foot high decorative-tiled stucco walls, and the workers file in silently each morning, not leaving until sundown with the same tight-lipped diligence. Rumors spread throughout the community about the project, which is nicknamed “Vatoland”, a south-of-the-border Neverland complete with hot-and-cold running mamacitas and “low-rides”. Eleven months in the making, Carlos Santana finally invites the community and press to the grand opening of Santanaland, but naively fails to notify city inspectors.

El Segundo city officials insist on viewing the park before it is opened to the general public, embarrassing Santana as he is compelled to escort a half-dozen councilmen into his dream park while the public eagerly waits at the gates. Enrique Iglesias, Ricky Martin, and Charo are left with a table of fly-covered cold cuts and warm Coronas. Meanwhile inside, clipboards drop and eyes boggle as the Council confronts Santana’s grand creation – a Santana-flavored salute to Mexican-American culture. But Carlos' idea of Santana flavoring has nothing to do with cotton candy and caramel corn.

The park seems to be constructed around what looks like a giant pink breast. This, explains Carlos, is "The Nipple-Hardener" - basically a Tilt-a-Whirl enclosed in a heavily-air conditioned orb with an enormous erect red "nipple" painted on top. Everything in the park is decorated with portraits of naked women cuddling jungle cats. The “Abraxas Coaster” depicts that album's cover in gynecological detail on every car. The highlight of the ride is a 20-story drop (the "Devadip") into “The Stinky Cave.” “The Zipper” is just that – a 300-foot standing pair of white jeans, with spinning cages and dazzling gyrating pubic hairs. Other rides include “Huka Cars”, a scaling wall called “¡Ándele! ¡La Migra!”, and “The Flying Boobs”. As the councilmen walk further on with the smiling, oblivious Santana, the sights become exceedingly more lascivious. Topless male and female carneys stand lazily about running games like “Tequila Tightrope”, “Booty Crawl”, “Spot the Real Woman” and “Smell that Finger”. “The Hall of Smoke and Mirrors” reeks of sweet incense, leading into a communal bath simply called “Enlightenment”. The carnies practice hawking their wares: hashish patties, hashish sno-cones, hemp headbands, hemp smoothies, hemp-filled plush animals, Supernatural tube-tops, and myriad velvet paintings. Every ten feet, the councilmen are forced to walk through a misting tent which leads to their increasing aggravation, but which Santana assures them will “make the ladies sexier”.

There seems to be little indication that the park is for children at all. In “Gringoland” (designed especially by Santana’s spiritual guru, Rob Thomas), large signs hang before rides like the “Yankee Roach Clipper”, “Ride the Black Magic Woman”, and an intriguingly named “The Creamer”, stating: “You Must Speak This Much English to Ride”. Thomas has his own ‘Smooth’ fountain, complete with ivory statues of heavy-petting, anatomically improbable women and free Keystone beer (bottled-beer taste in a can, bro). Hooters girls help Thomas wring his hair into the deep fryer as he smiles and waves.

At this moment, the councilmen make a mad dash for the exit, leaving a solitary Carlos in tears of confusion to the strains of Zebop! They bound past "The Silk Igloo" and (yes) "Santana Mustache Rides", scurry around the food tents and trailers that only seem to serve corn dogs and Tecate, and quickly sprint through the front gates where the expectant crowd still stands patiently eating elote and churros.

Santanaland never opens, this day in 2000 being the first and last day of operation. Presently, Scott Stapp is rounding up potential investors in a vain effort to keep hope alive in El Segundo.
Last edited by Phenomenal Cat on 18 Aug 2010, 16:58, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 13 May 2009, 15:48

Wed May 13, 2009 3:03 pm

…in 1999, KoЯn, the nu-metal sensation headed by ex-Kinkos employee and Krispy Kreme addict Jonathan Davis, writes what may be the greatest pop song of all-time. Brendan O’Brien is at the helm of the sessions for what would become the Issues album, a song-cycle detailing the horrors of *b*uli*mi*a, binge eating, and the declining popularity of Dolly Madison snack cakes. A string of top-ten albums including Kinda KoЯn, The KoЯn KonspiЯacy, and KoЯn Again have the band running on all cylinders. After laying down basic tracks for what would become the album opener, “KaloЯic Killjoy”, guitarist James “High-FЯuctose” ShaffeЯ begins to noodle with a guitar riff utterly devoid of all the KoЯn hallmarks – it is original, it’s melodic, enjoyable, and catchy as hell.

Drummer David something joins in with bassist Яeginald “FЯitos” AЯvizu to create a groove that can only be described as instantly recognizable but wholly fresh and free of cliché. Singer Davis puts down his éclair and begins to scat over the jam, free-associating a lyric eventually called “Natalia”, a heartfelt and nakedly honest confession to a mother figure he’d never known. Producer O’Brien secretly rolls tape, and sneaks behind a Rhodes to add a keyboard line that seems to complete the swirling alchemy of melodic nirvana – the song seems to be writing itself. To a man, each member is smiling, unwilling to yield to the transcendental inertia of this incredible new music. The tape engineer frantically switches reel after reel, mesmerized by KoЯn’s congenial confection. After nearly two hours of swimming in this melodious fugue, the band stops for some German Black Forest Chocolate Cake. Davis cries out, “Did you fucking get that?!?”

The band convenes in the control room, and tears begin to flow freely as the endless takes become more rewarding with each pass. Cell phones emerge, and soon friends arrive to witness this history in the making. Trent Reznor hails the song as the “’Hey Jude’ of Generation X*an*ax.” Fred Durst insists on over a dozen playbacks, proclaiming the song a “harmonious tonic for all that ails us– it could save the world” (though many doubt he actually said this). Randy Newman is quickly called down from a local session and blusters, “There is a new song, too complex to get all of first time around. It could come only out of the ferment that characterizes today's pop music scene. As such, it is a symbol of the change many of these young musicians see in our future.” The band is elated despite understanding not a word of Newman’s proclamation.

A dub is overnighted to The Firm, KoЯn’s management. In the meantime, the band members play the song for family and friends, who recall the song as “Abba meets The Raspberries”, “’Hey Ya!’ On St*ero*ids”, or “Bacharach for Cutters”. Sessions continue without any attempt to recapture this lightning in a bottle. “Natalia” is admittedly out of character for these nu-metal heavyweights, but there is no doubt that, like “Beth” by Kiss, the fans will reconcile these divergent styles and welcome the reprieve from KoЯn’s usual overcooked stew of hopelessness.

When Issues is released in November 1999, the track is curiously unlisted. O’Brien predicts it will be a separate single. The band views it as their Trojan Horse, perhaps tacked onto the end of the CD as a bonus track. Nothing of the sort occurs. Issues ends with an insipid cover of “Basketball Jones” and “Natalia” never sees the light of day.
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 14 May 2009, 17:44

Thu May 14, 2009 2:48 pm

...in 1993, Trent Reznor, the one-man wunderkind of angst-rock pioneers Nine Inch Nails begins sessions for his new full-length album in a very historical yet dubious location – the notorious Polanski home on Cielo Drive where Sharon Tate, her unborn baby, and other innocents were brutally murdered by the Manson Family nearly 25 years earlier. Reznor, having a reputation for embracing the darker side of life, realizes that inspiration comes in all forms – but what would occur in this gruesome abode?

Trent “Spoony” Reznor was raised by his grandfather, who inundates young Trent with lavish gifts given at bi-weekly “birthday parties”. After throwing a particularly infantile hissy fit before his eighth 16th birthday, Trent arrives home from school to find a complete home studio. By age 18, Grandpa is hawking Reznor demos, finally landing Trent’s project with his only solid connection, commercial jingle label TVT, who occasionally branch out into cheapo late-night TV-only compilations like It Blows – The Best of Air Supply, and Monsters of Mandolin. When an overjoyed Trent buys a gold lamé suit to wear at his showcase gig at The Roxy, Grandpa sets the template for what would become the Nine Inch Nails oeuvre – appeal to the kids; the middle-America paint-huffers who have nothing and hope for nothing. Trent focuses his energies exclusively on the NIN ABCs: Angst, Blackness, and Cash.

Reznor becomes predictably successful with Grandpa as his handler, landing premier gigs like the first Lollapalooza, videos on MTV, and an occasional guest spot on What’s the Use? By 1993, Trent is poised for a commercial breakthrough, but knows he must up the ante. Having done nothing for himself for most of his life (even going so far as to naming his boutique record label Nothing), it is up to Grandpa to secure the deed to the famous “Tate House”, which Reznor hilariously dubs “Le Pig”. Trent’s girlfriend begins moving his studio equipment in the next day for the recording of Pretty Tate Machine.

Famously reticent to share his engineering secrets and often painstakingly recording and rerecording multiple tracks alone for days at a time, Reznor broods over the control board, occasionally nibbling at the daily catered meals from Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles. And then he hears a sound. Reznor stops tape and attunes his ears to the cavernous residence. He hears it again – an ominous cackle, echoing throughout the unfurnished home. Reznor runs tape again, thinking that perhaps his ears are overtaxed, but just as he rolls tape on “Political Piggie”, there is that awful chortle again. He quickly scurries beneath the control board and hyper-ventilates in sheer panic, hugging his knees. This was a bad idea.

He cautiously draws out his cell phone and dials the only person who could keep a secret – Grandpa. He pleads with Grandpa to drive over to 10050 Cielo Drive. The maniacal cackling continues unabated. Reznor curls up in a fetal position and whimpers. An excruciating ten minutes pass where not a sound is heard but whispering specters from decades past. Finally, a car horn sounds. Reznor cries out, “Grandpa, I’m in here!” but the honking only continues. Again, the laughter reverberates throughout the makeshift studio. Reznor makes a break for it, dashing out from beneath the mixing desk in urine-soaked jeans, bounding through the front door to the safety of his loving parent. But no car awaits him, and he stands alone amid the sprinklers. The honking begins again, but only this time next door. Reznor dashes across the unkempt lawn to the neighboring home, where Grandpa’s brown Buick Regal idles in the driveway.

Trent wipes the perspiration from his upper lip. “Thank God you’re here!”, but Grandpa looks puzzled. Reznor points a thumb behind him and gurgles “Get me away from that evil fucking house.” Again, Grandpa looks confused. “That’s not the house I bought, boy.”

As it turns out, “Le Pig” is actually 10055 Cielo Drive, summer home of actor Michael Caine. Upon returning to the address, Reznor finds the source of his dread – a Tickle-Me-Elmo wedged between the cushions of a threadbare couch in the study. Trent does his best to flush the doll, the master tapes, and his soiled jeans down the crapper and stomps off in disgust.

The Downward Spiral would eventually be finished in the safer confines of A&M Studios.
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 15 May 2009, 15:13

Fri. May 15, 2009

In 1989, punk-rock musician and abstinence architect Ian MacKaye saves womankind. MacKaye had a lot to answer for in his brief career as a youth counselor and punk rock shouter. He knew that if he were to meet the challenge of operating in a more free and liberal ‘90s, he’d have to repudiate the sins of his past work, including the overt machismo of Minor Treat (a hardcore outfit obsessed with fucking and playing golf), the predatory Embrace, and the ovary-challenged Egg Hunt. After his lifetime ban from Kinkos went public (MacKaye was up to Issue #4 of his fanzine, “Ian MacKaye’s Up*skir*t P*hot*os” before he was apprehended by D.C. authorities), Ian was destined for either a club and loincloth like his friend Henry Rollins or a shot at redemption.

Opportunity arrives in the form of Fugazi, a quartet of D.C. punk veterans with the charisma of a shoe. While working on their first recording, Ian decides to write a lyric from the viewpoint of a “chick“, a radical and possibly stupid gesture, but “Suggestion” is something he feels he has to do to redress the balance. The song is inspired by a Mentos commercial, where burly construction men whistle at a slinky woman passing by, whose retort is to eat candy and gyrate suggestively through the spray of an open hydrant, demonstrating her liberation. In “Suggestion”, Ian imagines himself as this “piece“, objectified and commoditized by a sexual predator – a salivating beast known as everyman. Ian’s suggestion is that we stop playing this degrading game, even if it means the cancellation of over half of our better sitcoms.

Upon release, “Suggestion” creates a firestorm in underground circles. In Seattle alone, numerous all-female rock combos form with names like Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, Hole, Vagiant, and Mansnip. The letters page of Maximum Rock and Roll is inundated with praise for MacKaye, who finally “gave women a voice”. Across the U.S., the message goes mainstream, as heavily-burdened housewives and glass-ceiling casualties begin to demand equal rights from men who do nothing more than oogle breasts, drink beer, and play golf. A silent majority awakens to the battle cry of Ian’s inspiring polemic. Though many are incredibly sexy and great to look at, women are now no longer mute.

MacKaye turns down an opportunity to appear at the 1991 MTV Awards to receive his “Pioneer of the Year” trophy. Instead, America’s Weller, Eddie Vedder accepts the award for all the “Wronged babes and Betties” stating “Let's stop degrading women, shall we? Please? Let's have a laugh with them, not at them”, before revealing “Douche Bomb” scrawled across his bare chest in marker. Back in D.C., Fugazi makes a band pact to refrain from subjugating “broads” by becoming completely asexual. Knowing that women hate sex and blanch at the very mention of relations, Fugazi pledges to write only about things that “really matter”, much like Rush did back in 1975.

Today, MacKaye continues to promote sexual equality with his appropriately-named duo The Evens, where he is writing and recording with a skirt named Amy something.
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 16 May 2009, 15:41

Sat May 16, 2009 1:56 pm

...in 2002, songwriter/anthropologist Paul Simon's tiny hands begin shaking furiously as he reads through the first of his morning's emails from concert promoter Clear Channel. The terse email states that the organization and all local promoters/venues are backing out of Simon And Garfunkel's summer reunion tour (tentatively billed as the Voices Of Old People tour) and that all dates have been cancelled. The missive goes on to suggest that until the matter of the "Art Garfunkel Sex Tape" is cleared up, Clear Channel must postpone the planned blockbuster tour indefinitely. The mostly family-packed Katz's Deli on New York's lower east side reverberates with the sounds of Simon screaming an expletive filled rant down his cell phone at Garfunkel demanding that he show his face immediately and explain himself.

A quick Google search on Simon's part reveals that a DVD entitled The Dangling Conversation is doing the rounds in trading circles, and sample clips (blared in the deli at an inappropriate volume on Simon's laptop) reveal a younger Garfunkel (probable vintage late 60's/early 70's) clad only in Boxers successfully coercing a young ponytailed female fan (April) into providing oral favors. In a predatory Barry White-esque baritone, he repeatedly asks her if she's "going to Scarborough Fair", assures her that "I Am A Rock!", asks her to bare her "Bookends", and suggests that she "and The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine are going to become Old Friends". Aiming his genitals "Homeward Bound", he cries "Hello darkness, my old friend" and commands her to "Keep The Customer Satisfied". The video ends with Garfunkel assuring the young fan that he was not "Fakin' It", that he was in fact "Feelin' Groovy" and that "April Come She Will". He compares her favorably to "the whores on 7th Avenue."

Simon remembers their age old lifestyle differences vividly. Garfunkel was a man who could not be satisfied, he made creative “love nests” out of everything available – bus bunks, airplane lavatories, amplifier cabinets, car boots, steamer trunks, Mama Cass, etc., - making him the “Frank Lloyd Wright" of impulsive sexual liaisons. Simon remembers Garfunkel's innumerable come-on lines, several of which Simon worked into the band's work - "If I can see your Emily Dickinson, I’ll show you my Robert Frost", "I’ve got some real estate here in my bag", "I’ll tell you words you never heard in the Bible", and so on. Simon is mortified that Art's youthful transgressions have finally come back to haunt his pocketbook.

A petrified Garfunkel initially blames the tape on Noel Redding, eventually apologizes sheepishly, and also urges Simon to have a sense of humor about the video. This request is so ludicrous that Simon storms out in a diminuitive huff.

The video is quickly suppressed by Sony. In exchange, Simon promises them another Simon And Garfunkel live album/DVD, and offers to reduce the number of records he still "owes" the label, save for the surefire hit Return To Graceland (predicted to be Simon's Bat Out Of Hell II).

The tour goes ahead as planned and becomes the year's top grossing live music event.
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 17 May 2009, 15:35

Sun May 17, 2009 3:15 pm

…In 1975, Led Zeppelin begins sessions for the follow-up to the critically-slaughtered but fan-slavered double album, Physical Graffiti. With Led Zeppelin turning to the American sounds of James Brown-styled funk and R&B during Houses of the Holy, Physical Graffiti was quickly conceived as a "stopgap" album, a clearing house for many unused Zeppelin tracks and over padded retreads of past styles in order to start fresh with their new direction – American Disco.

Jimmy Page in particular feels stung by comments from prestigious artists like Barry Gibb, Rick Dees and George McCrae who characterize Led Zeppelin as “lumbering hippie dinosaurs”. The hard-headed Robert Plant urges the group to not “fuck with the formula” - offering up such new lyrics as “Dust My Broom“, “It Hurts Me Too“, “Killing Floor“, “Boogie Chillun“, and “Sweet Home Chicago” - and debates the band’s future heatedly with Page (JP: “Robert, there’s still time to change the road you’re on. This is what the fucking kids are listening to these days.” RP: “What do you know about fucking kids?”).

When Plant is involved in a terrible car wreck in Greece a week prior to the album sessions, the group elects to move on without him. John Paul Jones had recently produced and played all of the instruments on Madeline Bell's Comin' Atcha LP, so she is quickly invited in to take over vocal chores. Potential titles for this new album include: Tripping the Led Fantastic, Hustle in Your Hedgerow, and In Through The Dance Floor.

The album’s first track, “Achilles Last Dance”, opens with a ground-breaking “sample” of Robert Plant’s well-worn “Hey hey mama / say the way you move / gonna make you sweat / gonna make you groove” before dropping into a four-on-the-floor disco groove blanketed with Bell’s licentious pants and coos. From there on, the listener is transported to New York’s Studio 54 (where John Bonham famously beat a patron bloody for his white sequined suit before throwing $200 at him for his trouble). “Bell Zeppelin”, as the studio staff elect to call them, fashions an uncanny tribute to the mirror-balled ambience and cocaine buzz of the New York disco scene with funk stompers like “Fly Rover Fly”, “That’s the Way (I Like It)”, and “Good Times, White Lines”. The dazzling ballad “When the Levee Shakes Your Booty” is written at the insistence of Bonham, challenging Page and Jones to write something “as good as ‘Whatever Gets You Through the Night’”. Potential 12” single “A Fifth of Kashmir” requires Jones to dust off his arranging skills and fly in Gamble and Huff’s in-house crew, MFSB, for a 15-minute boogie trilogy with movements titled “Wearin' and Groovin'”, “In My Time of Jiving”, “Moby Disco”, and “Le Crunge”. Additional tracks are recorded with MFSB include a touching “Hats off to Giorgio Moroder”, “More Than A Black Country Woman”, and an unfinished “Boogie Oogie Oogie with Stu”.

Peter Grant is invited to hear an acetate of “Hot Stuff for Nowhere” and immediately begins attacking an innocent tape operator with his meaty paws. He places frantic transatlantic calls to Plant, screaming down the line “Get your skinny white ass back here! They’re fucking with the formula!”, cutting short Robert’s rural convalescence.

Plant arrives the next morning, heavily-drugged and wheelchair bound. Page calmly packs away the master tapes, threading up a new 2” reel to start afresh. Jones quietly breaks down in tears while Bonham assaults members of a fleeing MFSB with a cricket bat. In an effort to escape the past month’s positive vibes, sessions are moved from Hollywood’s SIR Studios to the cold environs of Munich’s Musicland Studios, where Mick Jagger paces impatiently in anticipation of the still-born Black and Blue sessions. Tracks like “Get Down (By The Seaside)” are either scrapped or radically reworked. The new album, Presence (named after what Page dubs “the douche-chills of Plant’s very participation”) is recorded in a scant 8 days, and only two songs are aired live during Bonham’s lifetime. The original cover, designed by Jones, depicts various images of people interacting with an 8-ball of coke and a gold spoon. Hipgnosis is brought in a mere three days before pressing, opting in a panic to first place a disturbing black “censored” bar over the offending scene, and at the last minute substituting a large black pepper shaker found in Keith Harwood’s pantry.

Presence would go on to become one of Zeppelin’s poorest-selling catalogue titles, and Madeline Bell is ultimately paid off for her silence after Bonham socks her in the stomach and pushes her down a stairwell.
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 18 May 2009, 16:08

Mon May 18, 2009 2:57 pm

…in 2004, an angry Steven Adler storms out of Barney’s Beanery in Los Angeles. The former Guns N Roses drummer/mule has just learned from a drinking buddy (Ratt drummer/gourmand Bobby Blotzer) that several of his old band mates have once again elected to work without him - this time in a super group named after a failed Reseda strip club: Velvet Revolver. Enraged by this rejection- and by his hefty bar tab - he decides to form his own super group: his own who’s who of “Who the fuck is that?”

Scouring his apartment wall for useful numbers and contacts, he first calls former Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones who, while agreeing that this type of ill-conceived hall of has-beens is “right up my street”, begs off due to being swamped with professional drinking engagements. Stiv Bators backs off on account of a commitment in Traffic. Some guy from the UK Subs says he’d love to do it if he can get his visa straightened out. Former Twisted Sister bassist Mark “The Animal” Mendoza is over at Adler’s apartment within five minutes of ending the phone call, bearing PBR and sandwiches.

Noting that Velvet Revolver’s ace in the hole is former Stone Temple Pilots front man Scott Weiland, Mendoza suggests that he and Adler find a similar 90s relic who might contemporize their sound and appeal. Mendoza’s “man for the job” turns out to be former Twisted Sister groupie and current househusband Gavin Rossdale. Mendoza raves about Rossdale’s sexually ambiguous charisma and his knack for “naming stuff” - citing the exotic name of Rossdale’s former band (post-Nirvana heavyweights Bush), and such lyrics and titles as The Science Of Things, Razorblade Suitcase, “Everything Zen”, and the Fred Willard-esque rallying cry “I don’t think so”. Adler is smitten, agreeing that Rossdale could be “our Robert Palmer”, and excited to have a front man who can “bring them into the 90s”, much as Weiland will do for Velvet Revolver.

Rossdale, contacted mid-diaper change, is excited about the prospect of becoming a working musician again and has big dreams about - at last - supplementing the meager allowance he receives from his wife Gwen Stefani with his own earnings. Agreeing to a rehearsal schedule which he organizes around the chores he does for Stefani, he promises to help flesh out the band with some of his old music biz contacts. Panhandling guitarists Bernard Butler and Graham Coxon, while briefly tempted to leave their busking jobs at Waterloo and Chalk Farm stations respectively, ultimately decide that the gig is just too musically demanding. Professional sideman Johnny Marr, legendary for having never turned down a gig and known to industry insiders as “gig bag” and “Johnny-on-the-spot” gallantly offers to step in, provided he still has time to grant promotional interviews for annual Smiths reissues. Excited by Marr’s promise to “bring them into the 80s”, the group begins rehearsing and writing in earnest.

The quartet - now called Tramp Stamp - have no shortage of material. Their first collaboration, a song entitled “Tramp Stamp” is slated to be the title track of their debut LP, Tramp Stamp (this redundant gambit is rumored to have been a tribute to Bad Company and/or Tin Machine). Adler pitches in with a haunting ballad about his favorite Los Angeles strip club, the intriguingly titled “Crazy Girls”. A dance number, “Doin’ The Pigeon”, describes in lurid detail both the thrills and risks of anonymous and unprotected sex. “How Did You Get This Number?” describes the band’s attempts to avoid persistent lackey Pat Smear who continually insists on auditioning for the Stamp. “Don’t Wake Mum” (said to be this band’s “Watching Scotty Grow”) is a tender lullaby sung by Rossdale in his most chilling sub-Cobain mumble.

Seeking backing the good old-fashioned way, Adler contacts American superstore Target (already pioneering such breakthrough exclusives as releasing a Poison covers LP) who find the project irresistible. Two hundred thousand dollars is advanced to the band, in exchange for exclusive rights to the name, the publishing, and for a guarantee that their self titled LP will feature the provocative image of a woman’s lower back tattooed with the store’s unmistakable logo.

Sessions at Steve Albini’s Contentious Audio in Chicago begin promisingly, with Rossdale and Albini excitingly resuming their long time professional and social relationship. Promising to bring the band “into either the 80s or 90s”, Albini captures their workmanlike sound with little fuss. Sessions are recorded strictly on analog tape, a tactic which Albini assures the musicians will “bring them into the 70s”, and for an exorbitant fee - a usurious practice which handily “brings them into the 50s“. Despite Marr, Rossdale, and Adler’s constant complaints about the local pizza, the atmosphere is generally warm and playful.

Then, midway through the five months set aside for vocals, it all goes horribly wrong. Albini, Adler, Mendoza, and Marr awake one morning to a telegram from Rossdale in which he advises them not only to “eat a pizza”, but protests from the pit of his “burning, nauseous stomach” that the sessions have not been “100% fun”, and that he is now back in Los Angeles. He finishes his now expensive telegram with a quote from David Crosby in which he asks of his collaborators “why can’t you go on as three?”

Many years later, Rossdale - in an excerpt from The Rossdale Diaries - will reveal that his wife had demanded his sudden return home (offering a generous raise in the bargain) as she was about to embark on yet another successful tour. Then, as now, he is quite happy keeping Hollaback Heights tidy. Albini refuses to finish the record with another vocalist, cryptically claiming it would insult “my dear friend Gavin’s memory”. Despite Adler’s threats to bring in such journeyman vocalists as Mike Watt, Traci Lords, Paul Carrack, and Michael Des Barres, Target withdraws all support, and the group find themselves slowly drifting back to their old lives. “Animal” is back on the road with Twisted Sister, performing over three dates a year. Marr is now a member of Death Cab For Cutie and still gives lessons in London’s Denmark Street. Adler is still trying to buy the band’s name back from Target, along with the several hundred thousand copies of Chinese Democracy and Libertad the retailer throws into the bargain.
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Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 19 May 2009, 16:28

Tue May 19, 2009 4:22 pm

…in 1967, The Who tries to sell out. Under the guidance of the eccentric and incessantly opportunistic Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp, the Who are always in step with their fans, and aren’t above dressing the part in order to reflect and ultimately set the styles of the day. For this new project, Pete Townshend has a rather peculiar epiphany, a concept that would be altogether new to rock music – selling advertising space on a pop record. After completing a commercial for Coca-Cola, Townshend and his handlers quickly realize that working within the system is more lucrative than working against it. Pete returns to his home studio to demo his ideas for the album that would put the commerce back in commercial music – an album designed for the emerging age of mass-consumerism.

Pete obsesses over the concept for months, sacrificing precious time without new product but believing wholeheartedly in his vision. He calls ad agencies throughout London, Tokyo, New York, and Los Angeles, selling his “services” to the highest bidders. Finally, he reveals his scheme to the band in a blinding 45-minute rant, complete with charts, bar graphs, illustrations, and profit projections. So far, he alone has sold space on the LP to Crufts (“Top Dog!”), the Krays (“Hold your head together with Ace Bandages”), Preparation H (“She didn’t make the sale, she blew the sales pitch / She should have used a cream for her painful rectal itch”), and the organization with the deepest pockets, the Catholic Church (“Pope after Pope”). Think what could happen if we all pitch in!

The band simply does not understand. Daltrey deems it “wild” but unworkable. Entwistle suggests a song for Heinz Baked Beans, but hasn’t a clue about pursuing monetary compensation. Moon pulls his boxers over his head and begins a mock-auction. Townshend is understandably crushed, with a cache of songs ready to record, but no support. The band returns to its usual ways, and Townshend goes back to writing his “slice of life” ditties about girls with shaky hands, boys with tattoos, and a man who can “see for miles”. Entwistle contributes a wacky character in the vein of “Boris the Spider” this time named “Silas Stingy”. The new Who album will be business as usual. As an olive branch to Townshend, the band convenes at IBC studios without him late one night and makes the futile gesture of recording some commercial spots in hopes that at least a small part of his dream may come to fruition.

After the success of Tommy, Townshend’s design again rears its greedy head in early 1971, but it isn’t until decades later that his vision is fully realized, and the band finally recognizes his genius as the checks arrive in the mail for “Baba O’Riley” (Six Flags), “Bargain” (Chevrolet trucks), “Love Ain’t for Keeping” (Trojan co*ndo*ms), Entwistle’s “My Wife” (Via*gr*a), “Getting In Tune” (Bally Gyms), “Going Mobile” (Nokia), “Won’t Get Fooled Again” (CSI), “I Don’t Even Know Myself” (ARICEPT for Alzheimer’s), “Water” (Evian), “Naked Eye” (Laser Correction Centers), “Too Much of Anything” (Old County Buffet), and “Pure and Easy” (Clearblue Easy Preg*nan*cy Tests).
Last edited by Phenomenal Cat on 18 Aug 2010, 17:32, edited 2 times in total.
But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.