On this day...

Backslapping time. Well done us. We are fantastic.
User avatar
Phenomenal Cat
death on four legs
Posts: 10311
Joined: 07 Sep 2004, 16:52
Location: Presently Shattering the Illusion of Integrity
Contact:

Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 21 May 2009, 01:53

Wed May 20, 2009 8:23 pm

in 2007, talking head Henry Rollins suddenly has no opinion. Rollins, who made a name for himself through his incessant finger-pointing, perpetual state of undress, and his chilling portrayal of Officer Dobbs in the Charlie Sheen vehicle, The Chase, has made a comfortable living for himself recording 10-15 second snippets of his opinions on cable-only channels like MTV, VH1, E! and Lifetime, weighing in on topics like 9/11, Abba, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, julienne salads, Chelsea Girl, Dick Cheney, Pink, The Stooges, facial cleansers, Ultimate Spinach, numerology, Willem Dafoe, billiards, Nirvana, Whitney Houston, plating, Hello People, Byron Allen, Rhesus monkeys, deep-dish pizza, serial killers, cell phones, Watergate, Gilbert O’Sullivan, cramps, Sam Kinison, Pac-Man, food storage, grizzly bears, Joe Don Baker, Hinduism for kids, racial profiling, plastic surgery, Cybil Sheppard, artificial sweeteners, The Stones, osteoporosis, Star Wars, Split Enz, melanoma, Dukes of Hazzard, jock itch, Alf, Louis Pasteur, brie, immigration, Cop Rock, Camel, John Gotti, Linda Lavin, Meer cats, Alzheimer’s, sex toys, vinaigrette, Merlot, Eyes Wide Shut, Chilliwack, The Exorcist II, My Bodyguard, Tourette’s, Squeaky Fromme, Alan Arkin, Heinrich Himmler, Shuggie Otis, Don Cheadle, Rollie Fingers, Fanny, halitosis, cold cuts, Green Jelly, Mitt Romney, Up the Academy, the Euro, Hal Linden, Sean “Puffy” Combs, Heck Tate, San Quentin, Boones Farm, Don Brewer, stuffed mushrooms, bullfighting, cock cages, the Taliban, Bjork, Anne Murray, Cannibal Corpse, and secondary sexual characteristics.

On this day, Henry is invited into VH1 studios to pontificate on rock legends like The Yardbirds, Manfred Mann, The Animals, Fleetwood Mac, and Genesis. Taping goes quickly as usual – Henry’s method is to froth at the mouth for 2-3 minutes about a given subject, and usually 10-15 seconds of usable material is extracted during editing. However, Rollins sits mute before the camera when asked about Genesis and their upcoming career-spanning box set, That’s All? Rollins stares blankly, and finally asks, “What?” The producers try to jar his memory – Steve Hackett? Tony Banks? Phil Collins? “Glenn Frey, right?” Rollins asks. The producers persist – “Peter Gabriel? “Sledgehammer”? “We Can’t Dance”? Rollins offers no opinion, eventually moving on to a 45-minute rant about the genius of Brian Setzer. Leif Garrett is brought in at the last minute to fill the Genesis spot, but fares no better.
Last edited by Phenomenal Cat on 18 Aug 2010, 17:35, edited 2 times in total.
But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

User avatar
Phenomenal Cat
death on four legs
Posts: 10311
Joined: 07 Sep 2004, 16:52
Location: Presently Shattering the Illusion of Integrity
Contact:

Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 21 May 2009, 17:20

Thu May 21, 2009 3:05 pm

...in 2000, over 1000 fans are pick-pocketed at a Tool concert. Opening for Tool at the Reno Events Center are fresh-faced indie upstarts The Melvins, famous for their extended sludgy jams and matching Buddy Holly glasses. The Melvins play well as always, but are barely tolerated by the Reno crowd who demonstrate their displeasure by text-messaging friends, toking off one-hitters, or simply staring off at other things. When The Melvins finally finish their last number, a 27-minute, 10 B.P.M rendition of “Diamonds and Rust”, the audience let out a collective murmur. After what seems an eternity (possibly 20 to 25 minutes), Tool stroll onstage. The crowd are jarred from their reverie when the first note is struck, and finally it registers – “We’re here to see fucking Tool.” The faithful lean forward in their folding chairs with a collective creak.

Playing exclusively from their new long-player, Tryptophan, Tool deliver the goods as only they know how (it is rumored they were feral children raised in a Quaker commune with no electricity, running water, physical contact, or stimuli). Melvins singer/guitarist Roger “Buzz” Osborne and drummer Dale “Clever” Crover, having been given every coma-inducing perk and backstage amenity courtesy of Tool and tour sponsor Sominex, decide that opportunity is knocking like a rather large hammer or some other handy instrument. They walk freely among the throng of lazing Tool fans, noting the tell-tale glaze of their bloodshot eyes. Buzz gently lifts a full 32 oz. beer from the hand of a young man with a Tool InÆnimate t-shirt. This egregious action would land one a bloody nose at most concert venues, but this drone doesn’t so much as blink. So naturally, Osborne pours the beer over the Toolie’s head. Nothing. Our grunge delinquents move on to real valuables, collecting hemp wallets, baggies of weed, Zippos and crumpled bills in a large garbage bag. The Melvins yield more on one night in Reno than during their entire career as a touring band.

The theft is not reported until the next day, when it is found that Tool merchandise sales have fallen woefully short of their nightly average. There are no fan complaints, but the loss is felt at the Reno Waffle House, and local sales of whip cream and balloons drop dramatically.
Last edited by Phenomenal Cat on 18 Aug 2010, 17:36, edited 2 times in total.
But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

User avatar
Phenomenal Cat
death on four legs
Posts: 10311
Joined: 07 Sep 2004, 16:52
Location: Presently Shattering the Illusion of Integrity
Contact:

Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 22 May 2009, 18:36

Fri May 22, 2009 6:19 pm

…in 1967, a young man named Bobby turns his back on a successful singing and recording career in order to become a performer of a different kind – a travelling daredevil.

As a boy, Bobby channels his angst and restless boredom into motocross racing, attempting increasingly dangerous and ridiculous jumps on the Mesabi Iron Range. For days at a time, he would disappear from school to ride his small Honda cycle up and down Route 66, travelling at hair-raising speeds along the banks of the great Mississippi River. Though a classic loner, Bobby feels compelled to demonstrate his talents to the locals, and once wowed the school baseball team by using the mound to launch his bike in the air, clearing ten cases of orange Crush bottles and landing without so much as a wobble. This sort of celebrity does not appeal to Bobby so much as the thrill, but the possibility of failure is compounded by the ever-doubtful eyes of his peers, so Bobby continues to stage jumps (he jumps 18 cheerleaders at a pep rally, and even begins designing and building his own ramps), billing his appearances with the slogan “Don‘t Think Twice“. His last jump, days before graduation, nearly lands him in the hospital – Bobby clears twelve cows but crashes when his plywood landing-ramp gives way, hurtling Bobby over his handlebars and into some protective bails of hay. The girls surround him and try to kiss his pain away. This is the happiest day in young Bobby’s life.

As restless souls go, Bobby feels particularly estranged from all those who cheer him on during his little stunts, and he high-tails out of town quicker than the sunlight reaches the morning dew. He rides his new Triumph 500 motorbike southbound first to Chicago to visit some old friends and steal their record collections, and then makes a straight shot to New York City. There, he purchases a guitar and goes about making a living for himself in the local cafés as a stand-up comedian, singer, and kleptomaniac. Though hardly conservative in nature, Bobby patiently works his way up in the local ranks, sometimes performing to as little as half a dozen patrons in a storefront. Not only is Bobby persistent, but he is fearless as well, and when his time arrives, he knows to pull out all of the stops, saying and doing what few would dare. He “borrows” from every artist in the scene. He pilfers songs, gestures, and sometimes entire arrangements. As one singer recalls, “You wouldn’t wear a new pair of shoes in front of Bobby, because next day, he’d be wearing the same shoes. And they’d be yours!”

While working days in the mailroom of Capitol’s Manhattan offices, the hyper-competitive Bobby quickly becomes adept at stealing arriving masters. When he happens upon such early Beatles triumphs as “Please Please Me”, “From Me To You”, and “She Loves You”, he becomes obsessed with the band, playing the tapes to anyone who will listen. Few listen, though his theft forestalls their American breakthrough for nearly a year.

Before the year is out, Bobby himself is recording for Columbia Records, and his star has ascended almost quicker than his ambitions. Bobby becomes not only successful, but renowned outside of the incestuous New York scene. His solitary hours riding along the dirt trails of the northern states brought him clarity, wisdom, and a wealth of ideas. The songs, it seems, would arrive fully formed, the words arriving like the river waters into the Gulf of Mexico. No one is sure how he managed to surpass his peers so effortlessly. Bobby is driven to write, to perform, to create, but like any great showman, he refuses to perform the same trick twice. It is anathema to him to do anything short of continually topping himself, and yet his fans stubbornly cling to his past triumphs. And so Bobby takes his final bow in 1966 and quits touring.

Returning home meant returning back to his first love – motocross and stunt riding. Bobby contacts local promoter Russell Jones to line up his first booking at the Woodstock Livestock and Feed Fair. Bobby is billed as “Bobby Evil – Daredevil Extraordinaire” at Jones’ insistence. Wearing a denim jumpsuit and a standard blue cycling helmet with goggles, Bobby starts off jumping livestock, then Port-a-Sans, and finally, the grand finale: a death-defying leap over 15 flaming Ford Pintos. On this last stunt, his landing goes awry, the front wheel lands first, far beyond the ramp, and Bobby ends up with two broken vertebrae in his neck and a slight concussion. He is rushed to an area hospital, where doctors work to stabilize Bobby’s ailing frame. An orderly, absent-mindedly changing Bobby’s sheets, steals a quick glance at Bobby and slips out of the room asking himself, “Is that who I think it is?”

Upon returning home, Bobby finds dozens of frantic messages from his manager, pleading for him to make more music. Bobby agrees to jam with some old friends, but commits nothing of commercial value to tape. He spends most of the sessions tinkering with an old carburetor as the band creates an elaborate tapestry of piss-takes. His commitment to stunt riding, however, has taken a more serious turn. Bobby designs a red, white, and blue jumpsuit with matching helmet, and, noting the close call at the hospital, keeps his own medical staff on retainer. To insure his anonymity, Bobby takes to wearing oversized sunglasses, a cowboy outfit, and even grows a rather unattractive beard. From now on, he insists on just being called “Ken”.

The next exhibition is only days away. Mr. Jones has already flyered every swap meet, tavern, and Coast to Coast for miles around, and is now forced to scratch out “Bobby” on every one and scrawl with Magik marker “Ken” Evil. This is only semi-successful as patrons are now flocking to see a “Bobby Ken Evil” jump through a flaming hoop, a paper-mâché Babe the Blue Ox, and over a pool of raging water buffalo. Bobby successfully clears the hoop and sets the Babe ablaze, but badly misjudges the buffalo tank, smashing into the far side and almost paralyzing himself in the process were it not for the ample soft tissue of a rather confused water buffalo to help break his fall. Despite his disingenuous trademark “I’m only bleeding”, ambulance response is swift and immediate. After all, paramedics Robbie and Levon are on Bobby’s payroll.

Unbeknownst to Bobby, his manager has already has begun booking singing engagements throughout 1967 and into 1968. Bobby finally has to admit that he cannot perform- he is bed-ridden and won’t be performing for quite some time. His manager promptly sends out the press release that Bobby has been in a motorcycle accident despite the fact there is no evidence of either a hospital stay or even photographs of an injured Bobby. After his release from home care, Bobby stops answering the phone altogether and leaves home.

Throughout 1968 -69, Bobby continues to trek across the country performing at county fairs, pig roasts, and threshing bee jubilees. He jumps a tank of carp. He clears 22 tractors. He hurtles 16 school buses. He kisses babies, hugs the ladies, and never, ever removes his helmet in public. He begins to wear his patriot jumpsuit during all times of the day and even adds a red cape sewn by a young fan emblazoned with the misnomer “Evel Knievel”. In Mexico, they shout: “Viva Kneivel!; in Montreal: “Le Knievel!”; in Poughskeepie, “Yo, Bobbeeee!!!” He breaks virtually every bone in his body. The audiences continue to grow, and he is beloved by young and old alike. They cry out for thrills. They cry out for spills. They cry out for his blood. Bobby’s motorcycle dream has quickly become a motorcycle nightmare.

Due to contractual obligations, Bobby records and releases a scant 66 minutes of music piecemeal between late 1966 and 1969. With his strange rustic clothing and bearded countenance, he is barely recognizable to his audience. Stranger still, he seems to have completely abandoned his old musical style in favor of something more akin to the nightly hoedowns the carnies throw to let off steam. But the physical toll is simply too much. He seems to have aged rapidly from the combination of drinkin’, jumpin’, and fuckin’. There is genuine fear that his voice may be going, along with his once furtive muse.

In Butte, Montana on his way to a rally in Sturgis, Bobby ends up drinking at The Butte’s End with another up-and-coming daredevil star. Bobby swaps war stories with this stranger, named Randy, comparing scars, dislocated joints, and concocting schemes to jump canyons, old age homes, the gates of Eden, and maybe even bring the act to Vegas. But Bobby knows it’s just the drink talking, and in the end, he bids Randy farewell. Before Bobby mounts his Triumph, Randy runs out to hand him a flyer for “The Ama-Zing! Randy “Zippy” Zimmerman!”. Bobby lets go a haughty laugh and removes his helmet and cape. He sells his act and threadbare jumpsuit to Randy right there in the parking lot for $20 and a case of Falstaff. It will be another four years before Bobby returns to the road, this time playing music again.
Last edited by Phenomenal Cat on 18 Aug 2010, 17:41, edited 2 times in total.
But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

User avatar
Phenomenal Cat
death on four legs
Posts: 10311
Joined: 07 Sep 2004, 16:52
Location: Presently Shattering the Illusion of Integrity
Contact:

Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 23 May 2009, 17:52

Sat May 23, 2009 5:33 pm

…in 2004, there’s a riot goin’ on. Due to a trucking strike in Baja California Sur, Mexico, the tourist community of Cabo San Lucas has fallen woefully short of much-needed alcohol. Prices have skyrocketed as meager shipments of red wine, triple sec, and brandy – the crucial ingredients for the island-staple of Sangria – are flown in to Los Cabos International Airport at exorbitant expense by Mayor Sammy Hagar. Tensions run high as local watering holes like the Gigglin’ Marlin, El Squid Roe, and Jello Biafra’s popular Too Drunk to Fuck are suddenly down to their last bottle of Corona. With the upcoming Marlin Fest quickly approaching, Hagar fears not only the loss of crucial revenue, but the potential for a citizen uprising.

Local law officials plead with Hagar to cancel the Fest, but Hagar feels that he must maintain the integrity of not only the event, but of the tourist Mecca itself. The headquarters of local satellite and cable providers are seized. Hagar pre-empts all programming to deliver a message to the gated communities and luxury hotels of Cabo: “Come out to Cabo Wabo Cantina tonight. There will be a free performance by Jimmy Buffet. Do not stay indoors. Come out and support our economy. Come out and enjoy the Fest.” When the khaki-sporting mob does not arrive in sufficient mob numbers, Hagar shuts down power to most of the island, save the grid which sustains the Cantina. From all directions, golf carts, baby strollers, and Segways arrive, and soon the outer Cantina patio and surrounding streets are swimming with triple-XL Hawaiian shirts and folding chairs. The crowd mills impatiently as city officials mill impatiently at the airport, anticipating the arrival of the “Hemisphere Dancer”, Buffet’s custom plane constructed entirely out of wicker. Buffet arrives over two hours late, and as he exits the plane waving he is struck in the face with a ukulele. The mood has turned ugly.

Hagar offers to perform for the surly crowd, but police beg him off the stage for fear of further provoking the bad vibes. Finally at quarter-past midnight, Buffet takes the stage with the Coral Reefer Band. He addresses the drowsy mass, well-fed with a massive outlay of mozzarella sticks and conch, but infuriatingly sober.

I love you Cabo! Let’s stay cool, alright? This first song is a song that makes people smile.” The crowd begins to surge towards the stage, and folding chairs are temporarily abandoned in anticipation of the main event - the man who would save Cabo.

Now this song ain’t about no sloppy joe!”- the crowd cheers wildly – “and it ain’t about no pizza slice!” The crowd roars its approval. “You know what I’m talkin’ about?” – the crowd shouts out the answer – “I said, you know what I’m talkin’ about?” – the crowd cries out louder – “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!!!” – screams of adulation – “That’s right, people! ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise’!!!

The band kicks in to its opening number, but almost immediately, the wind is sucked from Cabo’s sails. The crowd is strangely unmoved, prompting Buffet to stop mid-song. “Come on land sharks! Brothers and sisters – my Parrotheads – come on now!” The band relaunches into the number, and Buffet cajoles the crowd, “I wanna see you dance! Get your fins up! Black guys – help the white guys!” and some people begin to bop their heads and shake their hips. Pulling out all stops, Buffet goes straight into his biggest hit, “Margaritaville”, but this rather crass reminder of Cabo’s liquor predicament does not lead to jubilation, but rather a dull roar of resentment. Sammy Hagar stands at the side of the stage with arms folded, glaring at Buffet. People begin to pack up their fanny packs and coolers and leave.

Buffet looks on, stunned. "Something very funny happens every time we start that number, and this ain’t it!”. Buffet suggests “Why Don’t We Get Drunk (and Screw)” but the band keeps schtum. With the only other possibility being highlights from the License to Chill album, Buffet begins to panic. He improvises a song to the tune of “Sugar Sugar” – “Cabo…oh Cabo Wabo…..You are my island, girl…”, but now the crowd has turned against him. Hagar makes a run for it as the crowd begins to clamor for Buffet and the generous on-stage layout of Red Stripe and tequila. The last of the island’s alcohol is seized as the band drop their instruments and make a run for it. Hagar takes to the television, asking citizens not to let Buffet and his entourage leave. Cabs refuse them rides, and they end up walking the two-mile trek to the airport being pelted by flip flops and cocktail weenies. The plane has been liberated of its libations, but Buffet and the Coral Reefer band manage to escape, vowing never to play Puerto Rico again.
Last edited by Phenomenal Cat on 18 Aug 2010, 17:46, edited 2 times in total.
But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

User avatar
Phenomenal Cat
death on four legs
Posts: 10311
Joined: 07 Sep 2004, 16:52
Location: Presently Shattering the Illusion of Integrity
Contact:

Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 26 May 2009, 18:36

Tue May 26, 2009 2:32 pm

…in 1997, Blur guitarist Graham Coxon makes his acting debut - playing an aging Britpop star named Norman Balda in a lurid and controversial Guy Ritchie film called Portrayal. Balda’s glory days in Mega are long over, he has, in fact “lost his Damon”, but he still manages to lure the honeys into his London flat with the promise of good drugs and casual sex.

Co-star Hugh Grant gets so deep into his portrayal of Balda’s roommate and drug mule, Andy, that he fries his brains on just about everything available (both on and off camera), and - much like his character, who fades into a vegetative state - retreats to the soft dialogue and occasional gurning of chick flicks (Notting Hill) and children’s movies (About A Boy). Portrayal remains his last major work, and he is eventually reduced to soliciting “rough trade“ to keep his name in the papers.

Game show host (and girlfriend of Blur vocalist Damon Albarn) Justine Frischmann portrays “Lils” - one of Balda’s live in sluts, and part of his infamous “Three Girl Rhumba” - but things take a very dangerous (and quite real) turn when Graham and Justine repeatedly have extended, very real, and very raunchy sex before the film crew (Frischmann confirms this story in her lurid memior Up And Down With Blur). The resultant footage does not make the final cut, but does become a much talked about but little seen tidbit in Britpop trading circles. Oasis fans begin attending Blur gigs, not only by mistake, but also to taunt Blur vocalist Damon Albarn with some of the rumored dialogue from the steamy outtakes (specifically Coxon’s impassioned cries of “Porklife!“, and Frischmann‘s repeated ecstatic moans that “a connection is made“).

This betrayal by his girlfriend, musical partner/best friend and audience, leads Albarn to retreat into a series of crushing addictions - Earl Grey Tea, digestive biscuits, birth control pills, and laxatives. As his life style becomes more frighteningly insular, so do his songs and subject matter - three consecutive Blur albums: Gaz Head Soup, Let It Blur, and It’s Only Britpop But I Like It find the band treading water in a sea of provincial fetishism. Song after song with titles like “Chippie“, “Mighty Blighty!”, “The Wife”, “Camden Loo Sunset“, “Last Orders”, “A Most Unusual Moustache”, “Draughts”, “Beginning Of the Pier”, “Our Nigel”, “Croydon Gent“, “Off License (The Offie)”, “Breakfast In Bedford”, “Wages”, and “Brown Sauce” demonstrate the limits of a man who has retreated not quite into the womb, but undeniably into the safety of warm and innocent suburban childhood memories (he will later claim that this musical cul-de-sac originated during a 45 minute layover in Brussels when he became so homesick that only a Soup Dragons cassette and a Derek And Clive video could soothe his lonely nerves). Worse yet, in an effort to assert his dominance as a major writer, Albarn begins staging battles with decidedly unthreatening third-tier bands - releasing singles on the same day as Republica, Sleeper, Shed Seven, The Bluetones, Gene, Echobelly, and Menswear. These are easy, hollow and pointless victories, and Albarn’s pithy comments in the press about how he hears “plenty of pop these days, but where’s the Brit, man?“ carry more than a ring of the out-of-touch to them. Neither fans nor critics smell a rat, though a trend-conscious Coxon feels increasingly alienated by a series of songs about the joys of dole queues, Andy Capp, and inedible beef.

Coxon, one of nature’s sidemen, begins making his first desperate efforts at songwriting. The band’s collective apathy allows him to get one of his numbers - the soon to be abbreviated “(Look I’ve Written A) Song Too” - onto the next Blur LP, Beggar‘s Bank Holiday. When the renamed “Song 2” becomes Blur’s biggest hit to date, their entire creative, managing, and publicity team urges Coxon to begin steering the band towards a more relevant and lucrative future, offering him a secret solo deal in the bargain (this is not the band‘s first musical volte face - they were initially a thrash metal quartet, so called “Blur“ because of the dizzying speed at which they once played). Coxon’s first move is to jump on such outdated bandwagons as grunge and American indie rock. He raves in interviews about such new favorites as Archers Of Loaf, Smashmouth, Boss Hog, Liz Phair, and the Murmurs. Albarn even plays along - dismissing his earlier work with such hubristic comments as “"I can sit on my toilet and write brilliant observational pop songs all day long but you've got to move on". The group begin dressing like American college students, and are often mistaken for Weezer during increasingly rare American visits (the band finds it insulting and belittling to play VFW halls, supermarket openings, blood drives, barbecues, and bowling alleys, when they could be filling stadiums in Sheffield - this apathy, along with local emcees repeatedly mispronouncing the group‘s name as “Blur?”, prompts them to turn their back on the States for good).

Meanwhile, after a delay of several years, Portrayal limps out on video after having been rejected by every major film studio on grounds of lousiness. Curiously, dated “slacker” accents are dubbed over the film’s original “mockney” dialogue track. While the film does become something of a cult classic, Albarn’s hurt and resentment towards Coxon are reignited, and he hatches a plan to reassert himself in what was originally “his“ band. During rehearsals for yet another stopgap release - a gospel album entitled Dunk Tank - Albarn notices Coxon enter the room with a mysterious and striking redhead. During a tea break, Albarn seduces the woman, and gloatingly confronts Coxon with the evidence moments later. A clearly stunned and devastated Coxon lividly replies “Where the fuck did you get me mum’s knickers?”.

The two never speak again, the details of their breakup shrouded in secrecy, and the pair embark on separate careers - Albarn in an animated children’s group based on Simon In The Land Of Chalk Drawings, and Coxon in the pit band for Mad for It! - a Ben Elton nostalgia musical based on Britpop.
But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

User avatar
Phenomenal Cat
death on four legs
Posts: 10311
Joined: 07 Sep 2004, 16:52
Location: Presently Shattering the Illusion of Integrity
Contact:

Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 27 May 2009, 23:33

Wed May 27, 2009 7:12 pm

…in 1969, Neil Young leaves Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. Discussing an upcoming performance at the Woodstock Festival, tensions are high and uncertainty creeps into every verbal assurance that CSN & Y will persevere, despite this being only their second gig. Crosby in particular seems bent on single-handedly cheerleading the band towards what he envisions as imminent success. A doubtful Stills only mutters that he will be “perfect” as usual, while Nash hands Young a toothpick umbrella from his drink as a token of friendship. A brooding Young crumples the gift in his monstrous hand, and demands that the band order food immediately. Unhappy that the band has chosen to meet at Café’ Wah!, an upscale Chinese restaurant in East Anaheim instead of at Sambo’s, Young refuses to even open the menu, only peering through his long black bangs occasionally to sneer: “You oughtn’t mess with a man’s foods.” Nash offers him a maraschino cherry, which Young crushes beneath a tea cup.

“Let me order for the table”, Nash insists, promising a veritable mountain of exotic Oriental delights. Stills shoots Nash a deadly look, but capitulates when Crosby offers him a spliff to “keep things cool”. Unbeknownst to the rest of the band, at Woodstock Crosby is hoping to perform the song which led to his dismissal from the Byrds, “Buggery”. He is especially tactful with Stills, who goes back to enthusing about all that pussy he had in ‘Nam. Young slams a weathered hiking boot on the table, peels it off his foot with great care, and proceeds to pick his toenails with Nash’s smashed toothpick umbrella. Things are going well. Then some food arrives.

Nash passes about the pu-pu platter, a favorite from his Soho days, but Young simply sniffs at it stating, “Those eggrolls are sealed with peanut butter. I don’t like no peanut butter. Where’s the real food?” The band munches absent-mindedly on their deep-fried delights as Young removes his bare foot from the table and proceeds to make rude comments to the “inadequately subservient” waitress, who scurries away in fright, never to return. He then picks his ear with a fork.

Finally, to everyone’s great relief, the main course arrives. The wait staff piles silver covered tray upon silver covered tray upon the table – there is enough food for ten men. As lids are uncovered and food is sampled, Young sits nonplussed. Nash attempts to spread some English good cheer: “We are so graced to have this wonderful feast! This is an Oriental Utopia!”. “Utopia?” Young replies. “Utopia?!? Man, everyone knows this is nowhere.” Again, silence falls over the table. Though Young does manage to eat along with everyone else, he sniffs at everything first, taking a cursory glance to see that someone else is enjoying the same thing, and only then shovels the food into his mouth with both hands like a rhesus monkey.

As the meal comes to a conclusion, with Stills regaling the boys with stories about his shark wrestling and Crosby nodding off in his Chicken Chow Mein, Young suddenly stands up, announcing, “I gotta hit the john.” He puts on his flannel, Carhardtt jacket, mitts, and Disneyland cap and storms away. Ten minutes pass by. Then twenty. Stills has moved on to his moonwalk tales and a kippered Crosby slips beneath the table. Still no Young. After 45 minutes, Nash offers to escort Young back from the bathroom, only to find that he is not there. Worse yet, their ride, Young’s black hearse, is no longer out front. The check arrives, now a three-way split. Neil Young has left CSN with no Y, the trio left holding the bill.

Two weeks later, Crosby, Stills, and Nash perform at Woodstock with Richard Kiel (“Jaws” of James Bond fame) on guitar. Film crews are specifically ordered not to film “Neil”. Neil Young eventually returns a week later with a new haircut and a Chinese “ladyfriend”, ready to record his new songs - alone.
Last edited by Phenomenal Cat on 18 Aug 2010, 17:49, edited 2 times in total.
But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

User avatar
Phenomenal Cat
death on four legs
Posts: 10311
Joined: 07 Sep 2004, 16:52
Location: Presently Shattering the Illusion of Integrity
Contact:

Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 28 May 2009, 22:15

Thu May 28, 2009 5:02 pm

…in 1976, former mime David Bowie sets his sights on bold new triumphs. Never one to rest on his laurels, Bowie has achieved success beyond his wildest dreams largely through his ever-evolving goals. He becomes a massive star in the UK by ditching Rick Wakeman, songs about cantankerous New Yorkers, and women’s dresses in favor of a harder edged glam sound. Gradually, he learns to play the electric guitar, appears on Soul Train, and gains the seal of approval from no less a titan than John Lennon. He breaks America after years of hard graft and masterfully conceived stylistic sea changes. Even long time Bowie hater Lester Bangs is forced to spew ejaculatory praise for the likes of Young Americans and Station To Station. As Bowie begins his invasion of Hollywood and the movies, it really does appear that the world is his for the taking. He has now appeared in documentaries, on stage, and on prime time television gacked out of his skull on cocaine. Both as a measure of the times, and of the increasingly high esteem in which Bowie is held, scarcely a word is mentioned about his flagrant and indiscreet drug consumption. He is, undoubtedly, a “creative type” and - whatever the effects of the drug, they appear to be beneficial. Hubristic or not, he is an unstintingly polite man, and he gets results.

On a balmy Bel Air spring night, after polishing off his third eight-ball of the evening, Bowie excitedly telephones manager Tony De Fries with his latest stroke of genius. “Tone”, he whispers, “I’ve decided to combine the two great loves of my life. Book the musicians and the studio for tomorrow. We’re doing the world's first mime album! A DOUBLE!!!”

And so, for an entire week Bowie, Carlos Alomar, Earl Slick, Dennis Davis and an entire host of nobodies cut 45 minutes of striking, moody, atmospheric instrumentals. On the Friday, RCA label execs visit the studio at the end of a long day’s work. Anxious to hear the first batch of tracks for He’s Behind You!, Bowie’s benefactors seat themselves comfortably on the control room couch of RCA Studio A. As the room quickly fills with cigarette smoke and ominous soundscapes, Bowie excitedly explains the concept of a mime LP to his bosses. This will be bigger and better than his earlier works combined, he offers between massive and frequent lines of cocaine. A mime album, he explains, will change the way we think about mime AND pop music. Before the playback is even halfway completed, the tape op AND the musicians are sent packing by RCA security.

The label curtly explains to Bowie that they are tired of getting fucked around by prima donna intellectuals hell bent on rock and roll suicide, citing Bowie’s “boyfriend” Lou Reed and his momentum destroying Metal Machine Music. With John Denver and Elvis Presley selling fewer and fewer records every week, RCA explains that they can and will not afford a double LP based on a visual medium which has little hope of translating to vinyl. While Bowie scarcely understands this last argument - he is still convinced that a mime album is his best idea yet - he does understand that the label is cutting funding for the product and will under no circumstances release the album.

No one has dared say no to Bowie for ages, and he is devastated. No longer sure of anything, he packs up the tapes, goes on the road as a pianist for legendary washup Iggy Pop, and eventually moves to Berlin, leaving both his confidence and cocaine in a Hollywood recording studio. The music he makes in Berlin reflects this loss of self-belief, and is unremittingly morose in tone. A depressed Bowie barely squeezes out a full LP worth of songs in the next two years, and is forced to fill his next two discs with a side each of the rejected He’s Behind You! instrumentals - now with some cockamamie backstory about Berlin. He never sees Lennon again, he never makes it back to Soul Train, the hits stop coming, his record sales plummet, and he never really regains his confidence. Though he enjoys a brief comeback in the 80's, today he refuses to even speak about the record that killed his hot streak.
But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

User avatar
Phenomenal Cat
death on four legs
Posts: 10311
Joined: 07 Sep 2004, 16:52
Location: Presently Shattering the Illusion of Integrity
Contact:

Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 29 May 2009, 17:22

Fri May 29, 2009 5:02 pm

…in 1979, Kate Bush stages the first and last tour of her career. A notoriously eccentric and detail-obsessed performer and songwriter, Bush’s meteoric rise is refreshing as it isn’t the product of media hype or trend-jumping, but the efforts of an honest and natural talent that had blossomed as early as age 13. While she is still an attendee at a Catholic girl’s school, Kate’s parents submit demos to over fifty labels but receive no interest. A family friend knows “someone in the business”, and promises to at least try, though there is little hope of launching an unknown 16-year-old into the dark, stinking abyss and tangled disarray of 70s British rock without at least a powerful mentor.

That mentor arrives in the guise of David Gilmour, who listens to the garbled cassette with skepticism, but feels duty-bound to follow up as he will be in London and he can simply smell the potential in the young Bush. Bush is vaguely familiar with the Floyd, having a few 45s in her box and “that mysterious album with the triangle cover”. Gilmour waits at the Bush’s London flat for Kate to arrive home from school. She rushes in to change for her rehearsal. Gilmour and Kate’s mum sip tea as they can hear young Kate rummaging somewhere for an appropriate outfit. Mum shows David the piano, at which point he asks to use the lavatory. Mrs. Bush points him to the site, but David opens the wrong door, and finds himself peering at Kate in an incomplete state of dress. He gasps and slams the door shut, but finds himself unable to move from the entry. Kate shyly opens the door and stands legs akimbo, her wobbly knees no longer bare beneath her Catholic school skirt, but now draped in a crushed-red velvet dress and lavender slip. Her eyes glisten of dew. “I’m ready for my recital, Mr. Gilmour”.

And so at the ripe age 16, Kate Bush becomes an artist for EMI. She is encouraged to cultivate her gift before facing the rigors and repeated probing of the British press and rock fandom. EMI encourages her to change her name to something more bold and exciting, “something that will linger on the lips of every English record-buyer”, but Gilmour calls the label lackeys “idiots”. “By year’s end”, he predicts, “the name Kate Bush will be on the tip of everyone’s tongue”. At the tender age of 19, Kate begins recording in the studio with producer Andrew Powell and the help of her brother Paddy Bush. She sits at the piano, wailing out the lyrics to “Strange Phenomena” – "Soon it will be the phase of the moon / When people tune in / Every girl knows about the punctual blues / But who's to know the power behind our moves?” but despite the urgency of the lyric, Bush’s spellbinding soprano is nearly inaudible on playback. Microphones are checked and repositioned, but again the problem persists. Gilmour is called in, as he had warned EMI that they would have difficulty capturing Bush’s “essence”.

Gilmour listens to the playbacks and agrees that the music is better than expected from this child prodigy, but something is still amiss. He enters the vocal booth with an engineer carrying a second microphone on a short, straight stand. Gilmour instructs the engineer: “Put the boom mike at 12 o’clock and the second down at the supper hour”. He then calmly instructs Bush to sing from her diaphragm. The first track with the new set-up, “Wuthering Heights” is now crystal clear and bursting with the femininity and that extra thrust Gilmour had earlier experienced. “She has that thing”, Gilmour explains, “that direct route to the animus, the kick inside. Enough tracks like this and everyone will want a piece of the pie.”

A photo session is arranged, and Kate, going against her better instincts, arrives in a tight, sheer pink tank top and jeans. The label is thrilled by the publicity shots, but Kate and Gilmour worry about her being misperceived as a “tart”, a taint that can color public perception before a single note is even heard. Gilmour advises: “Next time, Kate, instead of the polar ice caps we need something a bit warmer, a bit more southern.” Fortunately for Bush, the taint is a rousing success, though she pledges next time to convey a bit more of her womanhood. A tour is hastily planned, giving Bush scant time to plan choreography and costumes. Her costume designer can only exclaim “Wow!” after measuring Kate for a series of jumpsuits, tutus, and leotards. When he begins obsessively stalking her after nightly rehearsals, he is quickly dismissed, leaving Kate to do much of the planning herself. For her Full Frontal Kashka tour, Kate expresses frustration at the ill-fitting leotards and the bulky “sound-enhancing” undergarments the engineers force her to wear each night. Despite having multiple microphone leads jutting out from her earpiece, chest, and waistline, she sounds fabulous.

Despite Kate’s earlier reservations, the tour is a huge success, and even the hairiest of problems become mere trivialities when the audience finally confronts Bush in the flesh. But Kate is deeply unhappy, as the audience sits spellbound, almost fixated on Kate’s physique and quite obviously overlooking significant parts of her craft. Gilmour congratulates her after the sixth sold-out week, but Kate blanches. “They love you, Kate. I knew they would.” “Go on and bury your head, Mr. Gilmour. You know why they’re here.” Kate quits touring and live performance for the remainder of her career. Beside the rare long out-of-print live album Viva China!,there is little evidence of Bush’s performing aptitude and unequalled feminine aura. However, those who saw Bush would never forget this unique and primordial experience.
Last edited by Phenomenal Cat on 18 May 2012, 15:37, edited 3 times in total.
But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

User avatar
Phenomenal Cat
death on four legs
Posts: 10311
Joined: 07 Sep 2004, 16:52
Location: Presently Shattering the Illusion of Integrity
Contact:

Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 30 May 2009, 14:47

Sat May 30, 2009 6:32 am

…in 1970, Frank Zappa begins his most ambitious undertaking yet. Disappointed by the discouraging sales trajectory of his last three releases - Ampersand, Colon, and Asterisk, and tired of gazing out into a “sea of booger eaters” every night, he confides to backing vocalists Flo and Eddie that he’d like to “see a little more fuckin’ tail” in the audience on future tours. Additionally, Frank is stung by a Rolling Stone review in which Lester Bangs opines that Zappa will never be able to write anything as satisfying as “Louie Louie”.

Frank’s plan is bold but beautiful in it’s simplicity - to create a mainstream pop album so self assured and solid that he will achieve the mainstream breakthrough he deserves, upgrading the band’s wealth, audience, and sexual options considerably in the bargain. Never again, he promises the two former Turtles, will their tours be “one long sausage fest”.

Sessions for The Rise And Fall Of Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention begin, as usual, in Zappa’s Laurel Canyon home studio. Zappa’s plan is to tell the story of the band, adding the larger than life musical flash of, say, Buck Owens or Johnny Maestro. Drummer Jimmy Carl Black assumes this is yet another lampoon like Cruising With Reuben And The Jets or We’re Only In It For The Money, and eagerly awaits the bandleader’s latest brilliant satire. The first batch of songs sounds like nothing so much as “Leader Of The Pack”, “Soldier Boy”, and “My Boyfriend’s Back” - but with lyrics about Frisco, Miss Pamela, Laurel Canyon, “Pachucos“, obscenity, facial hair, orchestra pits, sofas, sunsets, and Stravinsky. Zappa is thrilled, but his initial pride at having successfully hijacked the pop idioms of the day is short lived. Vocalist Tom Collins refuses to sing on the tracks, protesting that "Nobody listens to this shit anymore, man!" Keyboardist Charlton Preston concurs, and spends an entire week laughing at Zappa's antiquated idea of "dumb music for dumb teenagers". Somewhat more tactfully, bassist Erik Estrada suggests that Zappa ditch "all this bow tie Eisenhower motorcycle crap" and listen to something other than the oldies station for inspiration.

Duly chastened, Zappa fires the band only to rehire them a week later at minimum wage. His new batch of songs include a glam stomper called “Little Willy (The Pimp)”, the maudlin ballad “Peaches En The Sun”, an Archies-styled number called “Sofa Sofa”, the feel good “Me And You And A Dog Breath Variation”, and a rambling ribald singalong called “My Burnt Ding A Ling Sandwich“. Manager Herb Cohen is mortified by the legal ramifications of such blatant intellectual thievery and begs Flo And Eddie to intervene with whatever pop nous they’ve retained from their American Bandstand days. Mark Volman (“Flo”) gently suggests changing “Uncle Frank/Admiral Zappa” into “less of a McCartney pastiche“, while Howard Kaylan (“Eddie”) attempts to develop “something less Ringo-esque” out of “Igor’s Boogaloo”. Zappa is livid at (and baffled by) the implication of plagiarism, resents their attempts at collaboration, and erases their spirited backing vocals from the chugging “Get A Little (Bang A Gong)” before locking them out of his home, his band and his life forever.

As a last resort, he enlists his old pal Don Van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart) to help him realize his vision of a career building blockbuster. Songs like “Hot Rats In The Summertime”, “The Weasels Of Your Mind”, “Genteel On My Mind”, and “Billy Don’t Be A Mountain” are no stronger for Beefheart’s erratic input, and it becomes embarrassingly apparent that Uncle Frank is wider of his mark than ever. After nearly a year of false starts, Zappa finally begins to lose faith in his ability to write an original, catchy, compelling, or decent tune. Meanwhile, his manager, label, and wife are all begging him to get back out on the road and shove “any old shit” out on LP (which he does with several outtakes collections).

Defeated, Zappa fires his original band, abandons the concept, and returns to the comfort of the concert stage. During an English visit, he meets thieving magpie David Bowie (who has just penned an ass-kissing Zappa tribute called “Frank Zappa” for a planned album length suite called “Heroes"), and bitterly explains the failed project to the struggling folkie. Bowie nods and laughs, abandons the “Heroes” project (though, inexplicably, some of the weaker tracks like “Andy Warhol”, “Song For Bob Dylan”, and “Doug Yule” do sneak out on Bowie’s next LP), and - within a year - realizes Zappa’s lofty ambition with his own wildly successful, mythmaking, career cementing opus. A bitter Zappa fumes silently for the rest of his days (he can do little else), channeling his anger and jealousy into politics, jazz, instrumental music, guitar solos, binge drinking, vicious songs about members of Angel, and the occasional song about titties and/or beer. Zappa’s wife Gail has, to date, kept an extremely tight leash on the Rise And Fall Of… masters, in accordance with her husband‘s dying wish.
But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

User avatar
Phenomenal Cat
death on four legs
Posts: 10311
Joined: 07 Sep 2004, 16:52
Location: Presently Shattering the Illusion of Integrity
Contact:

Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 31 May 2009, 15:22

Sun May 31, 2009 2:32 pm

…in 1981, Journey singer Steve Perry ushers in the modern age of rock merchandising. Perry joined the struggling pop band in 1977 and while band members were initially skeptical of the new musical approach with Perry at the helm (drummer Aynsley Dunbar was horrified by the very idea of a “wheel in the sky”, believing Perry a witch or chimera), Journey went from a successful club band to a stadium juggernaut almost within a weekend. It did not escape Perry’s attention that Journey was suddenly a hot commodity with uninhibited teenage girls and male tweakers alike. Despite the plethora of nights lovin’, touchin’, squeezin’, and snortin’, Journey is still woefully short of achieving Perry’s dream – to make enough money to eventually quit Journey.

Perry’s “escape plan” is quite pragmatic – record sales and tour income do not amount to sufficient financial independence. Bringing in Jonathan Cain of The Crybabies creates the opportunity to write more hits, but then publishing money will be further split. The real money, Perry deduces, lay in merchandising, which at the time consists of Journey Evolution gym shorts for pre-pubescent teens and Departure key chains. Perry’s ultimatum to the band is simple – let him control merchandising or he will invite malodorous Gregg Rolie back into the fold. The band unanimously capitulates, as they have tired of Perry’s constant kvetching about mismanagement and money (they are known to sing “Don’t Stop Your Whinging” when he is outside of earshot). Perry goes about ordering what he thinks are items that would be in demand by the Journey faithful, spending countless days away from rehearsals pricing and weighing competitive bids for the merchandising bonanza he is planning for the upcoming Escape tour. He finally finds an outfit in Portugal that will submit to his outrageous demands for top-quality merchandise at rock-bottom prices.

Backstage at the Boston Gardens, the band warms up while Perry eagerly awaits his shipment of Journey booty. Deliverymen wheel in box after box – enough for the entire tour plus mail-order through the newly-established “Streetlight People” fan club. Boxes are eagerly torn open and the band tries out their wares, holding back their chuckles as Perry punches away at his calculator. Neal Schon gamely slips on his Escape rock-T, but is initially baffled. “Steve? Why does a white shirt have black sleeves?” “It’s the new style, Neal.” “Is it also the new style to have the sleeves stop half past the elbow?” It is true – the new shirts have black sleeves that are neither short nor long. Perry’s Portuguese connection has used leftover sleeves from a failed line of Star Trek – The Motion Picture souvenirs for children. Steve “Almost Famous” Smith tries on a bandana, but finds it too small to fit around his head. Inexplicably, the Journey roach clips are adorned with feathers, and instead of giant Journey banners, they are sent coaster-sized Escape mirrors. The “Faithfully” early pregnancy tests are little more than popsicle sticks. Perry remains unfazed. “Fellas, if it says ‘Journey’ it’s gonna sell. This is the latest cut!” He ties an undersized bandana around his right wrist and loops another three on his belt. One more is tied delicately around the ankle. Multiple roach clips with feathers are placed in his hair, and he tops off the look by placing a large-handled Infinity comb in his back pocket. “Won’t it hurt to sit down?” Cain quietly asks. “Why sit down? Rock and roll is all about looking good on your feet!” Perry exclaims. Cain retorts, “Well, don’t come crying to us when you have to haul all this crap back on the bus.”

That night, Journey delivers all the hits: “Don’t Stop Believing”, “Lights”, “Keep on Loving You” and Cain’s #1 hit about being trapped under his B3, “Broken Arms”. Backstage again, the band is elated, but Perry paces nervously. Cain begins to brag about the new Lamborghini he bought with his publishing money (“That’s where the real money is, Stevie”), but just then the backstage door opens. Rolling Stone writer and notorious Journey-fanatic “Shagger” Dave Marsh enters looking shaken and pale. “There’s a near riot out there, boys! You ran out of merchandise 20 minutes ago and the fans are clamoring for more.” Perry simply looks at his calculator and smiles. “Who’s crying now?”
Last edited by Phenomenal Cat on 18 Aug 2010, 17:56, edited 2 times in total.
But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

User avatar
Phenomenal Cat
death on four legs
Posts: 10311
Joined: 07 Sep 2004, 16:52
Location: Presently Shattering the Illusion of Integrity
Contact:

Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 01 Jun 2009, 16:01

Mon Jun 01, 2009 3:20 pm

…in 1970, the Rolling Stones prepare the master reel for the premier release on their very own imprint – Rolling Stones Records. This is a day of considerable pride and celebration, but the album that will eventually hit the shops creates a fractious divide that not only places business acumen and prestige over artistic integrity, but threatens to tear asunder “The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World” (as well as seriously piss off the cadaverous Bill Wyman).

With Brian Jones leaving the band to pursue an alternative career (“Just what can you do, Brian?” “I can housesit for your dogs, Keith.”), Mick Taylor is brought in for his boyish good looks and lack of name recognition. He is quietly vetted by Allen Klein, who offers the young man a dream job, but at slave wages. Taylor is adamant that he wants the gig, but would be much more amenable to contributing were he given some measure of respect. “What is it you want?” Klein plainly enquires. “Credit for my work”, Taylor replies. “Well, you can’t always get what you want”. When Taylor takes the stage at Hyde Park, little do people realize that this fresh-faced unknown has designs on bringing The Stones “into the 70s”, and ultimately usurping his foil, Keith Richards.

Taylor had certainly begun his tutelage early. Mimosas with Ry Cooder reveal a multitude of sins, as Cooder’s main riff to “Honky Tonk Women” and significant portions of “Let It Bleed”, “Midnight Rambler”, and “Jiving Sister Fanny” had been appropriated as The Rolling Stones’ “intellectual property”. As Cooder witnesses the wholesale theft of his creations, he begs off the Stones project even as jackbooted “lawyers” mill about Olympic Studios, warning him of the consequences were he thinking of defecting. His parting gift is the most racist, misogynist, and offensive song he can conjure; a veritable feast of Stones clichés packed into a vicious parody titled “(I Love) Black Pussy”. When Decca predictably rejects the Stones’ own parting shot to their former label, a vaguely offensive number called “Eat My Fuck”, The Stones are forced to surrender a rerecorded version of the Cooder number, now under the innocuous title “Brown Sugar”.

In the meantime, Taylor grows ever paranoid as he sees the B-Side of his debut 45 with the Stones, “Klein is on my Side”, quoting parts of his conversation with the business vermin verbatim. Mick Taylor came from a working-class background as well, and understood not only strength in numbers, but the art of divide and conquer. He knew that Bill “Stone Alone” Wyman did not fight his corner for long before capitulating and letting songs like “Paint It Black” and “Jumping Jack Flash” go by the Jagger-Richards tagline. Not even Wyman’s sexual prowess or his Nanker-Phelge publishing shillings could help him mount a proper defense, as was the Stones’ design from day one. But as Jagger and Richards floundered through the Satanic Majesties sessions, often picking the pockets of outside musicians, Wyman, Jones, and Watts were crafting the next sea change – a return to the Stones’ roots. Muddled, meandering numbers like “Sympathy for the Devil” are saved by Watts selfless contributions, completely changing the tone and feel of the song. Jones, Richards, and Watts collaborate on “Street Fighting Man” and “Parachute Woman” using a toy drum kit and a cheap cassette recorder. Richards’ comrades in rock receive little thanks. When a visibly hurt Jones and Watts thus refuse to reprise their performances in the studio, Jagger and Richards simply dub over the demo, taking full writing credit in the process. Richards feels so threatened by his band mates he literally tears the bass from Wyman’s tiny hands for “Sympathy” and “Jigsaw Puzzle”, while Watts is sent out for Mars Bars so they can record his retitled epic, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, without him. Mick Taylor knows he is not one to be hoodwinked, having witnessed first-hand what is foreshadowed in the smirks of chagrin and defeat on Jones’ swollen face during filming of the unreleased The Rolling Stones’ Rock and Roll Swindle. When Jones mysteriously dies after challenging the Stones for ownership over at least two dozen songs including “Ruby Tuesday”, “Under My Thumb” and the autobiographical “Lookin’ Tired”, Taylor readies himself for a protracted battle. The next album, he says to close friends (both of them), will be an equal partnership.

The trio of Watts, Wyman, and Taylor collude to turn the Rolling Stones into a collective. If their demands are not met, they will not only release the kidnapped tapes of Jamming with Edward, but will only play Chuck Berry numbers during the upcoming U.S. tour. Provisional titles for the new album include Cinco de Mayo, Shrove Tuesday, and Swan Upping. Without Klein’s interference, it is agreed that songwriting duties will now be evenly split; meaning that for every Jagger/Richards composition, there must be vinyl space for another band member to contribute. Taylor produces enough for an entire album side, insisting that his songs be recorded without Richards’ input or clumsy riffing. Taylor indeed updates the Stones sound with the hard-nosed “Suede Jacket”, the dreamy “Moonlit Isle” and a Middle Eastern-flavored number simply known as “Kurd on the Run”. Wyman contributes an ode to his basset hound, Perkins (“Bitch”) and a few more of his innumerable Lucy/Suzy numbers. Watts offers an absolutely haunting and heartfelt “Through and Through”, but cuts the finished take from the master without the knowledge of Jagger or Richards, replacing it with a drunken piss-take of “You Gotta Move” with Watts doing his best shucking and jiving Jagger while Marianne Faithful plays bass drum and cymbal.

As it turns out, Watts’ mistrust of Jagger and Richards is well-founded, as the new album is unveiled to the public on a champagne and blow-littered yacht press junket on the River Thames. As the record plays and the band poses for photos, the initial jubilation of Watts, Wyman, and Taylor quickly turns to confusion and then downright seething resentment as it becomes obvious that not only have many of their contributions been rerecorded (save “You Gotta Move” which Jagger sincerely believes he wrote and recorded), but the yellow custom record label clearly credits this new slate of Stones songs to Jagger-Richards. Even Marianne Faithful has been plundered, as was common, but while she disappears from The Stones’ circle to be plundered elsewhere, the remaining members must endure the humiliation and utter emasculation perpetuated by the band leaders who conspicuously cop to their crime with glee by naming the new album Sticky Fingers.
Last edited by Phenomenal Cat on 18 Aug 2010, 18:00, edited 2 times in total.
But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

User avatar
king feeb
He's the consultant of swing
Posts: 26243
Joined: 19 Jul 2003, 00:42
Location: Soon Over Babaluma
Contact:

Re: On this day...

Postby king feeb » 01 Jun 2009, 22:47

Thanks to P. Cat for saving these worthy entrees on the BCB menu.

But an even bigger Big Up to the mighty John San Juan for creating and writing them. Rock history has been saved from doldrums through his superior efforts!
You'd pay big bucks to know what you really think.

User avatar
Phenomenal Cat
death on four legs
Posts: 10311
Joined: 07 Sep 2004, 16:52
Location: Presently Shattering the Illusion of Integrity
Contact:

Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 02 Jun 2009, 18:11

Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:05 pm

…in 1967, the debut release of The Velvet Underground is finally available, though not without considerable legal wrangling and dissatisfaction within the band, leading to the dissolution of V.U. just as record buyers began ignoring them by the millions.

The Velvet Underground begin as a comedy troupe known as The Exploding Elastic Unmentionable. The line-up of Lou Reed and his brother, Jerry, Sterling Morrison ,and the Newhartesque John Cale plays Manhattan comedy houses like Zanies, Hee Bee Jee Bees, and The Laugh Factory before being spotted by comic-artist Andy Warhol, whose send ups of modern art like “Campbell Soup Cans” and “Mona Lisa Moustache” are gaining considerable attention (if not laughs). Lou Reed is dissatisfied with the focus on pratfalls and Cale’s ever predictable water-squirting viola, but finds the local female duo of Flushing Girls a perfect fit for his new brainstorm, The Velvet Underwear.

The lead singer of The Girls comes from the comic tradition of The Marx Brothers (she once spent three weeks communicating with nothing but a bike horn), and in deference to her heroes Groucho and Harpo adopts the moniker “Nico”. The drummer, Maureen “Moe” Howard is a pioneer in comic drumming; Jerry Reed’s competent yet decidedly unfunny drumming is thus deemed unnecessary (Reed continued his comically-stunted ways in fourteen Smokey and the Bandit films). Nico is a true wild card, her atonal singing and clumsy demeanor leaving even the dour Cale in stitches. Songwriting and rehearsals ensue.

Lou Reed is dead-set on recording with Lenny Bruce, but finds that the troubled comic has been blackballed by every comedy club, record label, and skee-ball gallery on the eastern seaboard. Warhol has considerable connections with Peter Pan records, and secures studio time at Buddah Records’ Flying Giraffe studios. The band is furious that they have to record with Warhol, a man who frankly “does not understand the Velvets”. Even though Warhol lies and tells Reed “this is the vocal booth where Red Skelton recorded his greatest work”, Reed refuses to sing because the floor does not contain “the original 50s sawdust”. They record their Beach Boys parody, “Fun Fun Fun” and their tribute to Jerry Stiller, “I’ll Be Your Meara”, but the results are dreadful. Not even Nico’s drop-dead hilarious vocals can salvage the Lucy-homage “Ball and Desi’s Parties”. The band plays horribly on purpose, churning out make-do versions of “Redd Foxx’s Junk Song” and their deconstruction of Chaplin, “European Son”. Verve house producer and creator of “Ziggy” comics, Tom Wilson, is brought in by Reed in exchange for already delivered “favors’.

The results with Wilson are a vast improvement; their skewering of The Mamas and Papas “Monday Monday” is considered for their first single. But it is the flip side of “Sunday Sunday” that garners the most attention. Warhol offers to film a video for “There She Goes”, a side-splitting Jerseybeat pop classic about wife-beating. In the video, the Velvets run amok through the streets of Yonkers in matching black turtlenecks and sunglasses, clutching colorful balloons and bike chains. The success of the single convinces Verve to commit to a full-length LP, We’re Only in It for the Funny. The back cover features the band playing before a projection of Milton Berle (for whom they wrote “Penis in Pearls”), and the cover displays a lone banana peel.

All seems well until Berle catches wind about his image on the back cover. John Severin, who helped founded Mad Magazine, also objects to his name being used on what he finds an album of dubious quality. The band is initially confused until they see the final product. Many of the song titles have been changed, with Reed sound-alike and Warhol drug mule Doug Yule being brought in to dub certain vocals. The laugh track has been completely removed from the Nico tracks, and Moe’s “punchline” cymbal smashes have been left out of the final mix. Most insultingly, the band name has been changed on one of Warhol’s “whims”, an indiscretion for which he is never forgiven. The release of the album is delayed until mid-1967, but by then the comedy rock craze had been appropriated by everyone from Frank Zappa to “Crazy Cat” Stevens.

A half-hearted attempt is made at a follow-up album based on Reed’s love of basketball. Besides a 17+ minute tribute to Dr. J. and an unfinished track about LSU’s “Pistol Pete” Maravich, two years are spent on the rumored White Light/White Pete, but the album never surfaces. The Velvet Underground, as they are now known, simply fade away. It isn’t until many years later when Nico is finally freed from prison for striking Warhol with a cream pie and almost killing him in the process that the V.U. get their due. The original line-up finally hits pay dirt as “There She Goes’ is featured prominently in films like The Accused, Bad Lieutenant, and Legally Blonde. Original acetates of their comedy material begin to show up on ebay for outrageous prices, and Reed finally makes another comedy record with John Cale, Songs for Clarabell.
Last edited by Phenomenal Cat on 18 Aug 2010, 18:04, edited 1 time in total.
But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

User avatar
Phenomenal Cat
death on four legs
Posts: 10311
Joined: 07 Sep 2004, 16:52
Location: Presently Shattering the Illusion of Integrity
Contact:

Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 24 Dec 2009, 14:24

Geh
Last edited by Phenomenal Cat on 20 Aug 2010, 01:48, edited 3 times in total.
But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

User avatar
Phenomenal Cat
death on four legs
Posts: 10311
Joined: 07 Sep 2004, 16:52
Location: Presently Shattering the Illusion of Integrity
Contact:

Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 24 Dec 2009, 14:31

Sept. 11, 2009

On this day in 1992, Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, a member of the infamous (and murderous) Manson Family gives an interview from the Carswell Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth, TX where she was serving a life sentence. For the first time, she explains her attempted assassination of President Gerald Ford, her relationship with Charles Manson (who is also imprisoned), and her ongoing belief in The Apocalypse as spelled out in The New Testament.


FROMME: After Charlie went to prison, there wasn’t much for us girls to do. We sent him nude photos and dropped a lot of acid, but we were always there on Sundays to see Charlie. He never could figure out why “Helter Skelter” never went down, you know? He heard about Altamont and he was sure the tide was changing. But the Stones didn’t know shit. It was no surprise they tried to shoot Jagger – they’re always trying to take down our demi-gods. The Beatles broke up, but we kept looking for signs. Lennon had that Piggy on Imagine, but Charlie said he was all wrong. Harrison was clueless. McCartney was the key.

INTERVIEWER: How so?

FROMME: Shit, he was the one who told us we were only waiting for our moment to ARISE, Helter Skelter! When he put together Wings, that was a sign. Red Rose Speedway was his way of saying that Altamont was a red herring, a joke. When he did “Live and Let Die”, Charlie told us to prepare. See, me and Charlie have that link, like numerology – both our names have 13 letters; 9 consonants and 4 vowels. Just like Paul McCartney. Band on the Run was all about us, man. McCartney wasn’t talking about the Black thing; he was a bluebird inviting us to retreat to a desert island to live among the trees. It’s like Jonestown – we had to prepare for the end of the world. The cover was McCartney saying if they could do Watergate, they could do whatever they wanted unless we stopped them

INTERVIEWER: But how does this lead us to you pulling a gun on Ford? That was like something straight out of “Taxi Driver”.

FROMME: Ford was part of the bigger problem, an obstacle. He was Nixon with a different hat, that’s all. McCartney laid it all out. Charlie had the records in prison, and he was saying 1985 was the year – “No one ever left alive in 1985 will ever do”. I stopped the drugs and kept my antenna up. I had this premonition that Jimmy Page was gonna be gunned down at Long Beach Arena, and I even told their publicist Danny Goldberg about it but nothing happened. I was spending a lot of time with my friend Sandra Good, who I called “Blue” because of her eyes. She called me “Red” because of my hair. We were just, like, waiting on the word, right? Then Charlie got Venus and Mars.

INTERVIEWER: Is that the one with “Silly Love Songs”?

FROMME: Jesus, no. Venus is me, man. Venus and Mars – that’s Charlie and me. I’m shitting myself because McCartney’s talking about Jimmy Page in the first song, and the shit that was going down – “What’s that man holding in his hand? He looks a lot like a guy I knew way back when” – like Altamont, and it was all coming back around. In the “Venus and Mars” Reprise, there’s a code: 21ZNA9. Charlie said the 2 was the second book of the bible, the New Testament. 1Z is 1 and then 26, like the alphabet. So using Beatle math, one after 26 is 27, the 27th chapter of that book – Revelations. So McCartney is directing us to N – Chapter 14, Verse A9, or 19 which says: “The angel swung his sickle on the earth, and gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath. They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and the blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1600 stadia”.

Red lights! Green lights! Strawberry wine! Charlie knew he was calling us back again. Stadia can be a distance, but it also refers to telescopes, for like studying the stars, but then it’s also plural for stadium. McCartney was going to spread the word through stadiums, but really he was all about destruction. He was preparing to shoot up the great cities, sending the masses scurrying like mice to the countryside where they’d be trampled and bled. The only one to witness the end would be me – Mademoiselle Kitty, the one who chases the mice away. Why do you think they call me Squeaky?

INTERVIEWER: I assumed it was some sex thing from Spahn Ranch.

FROMME: Charlie said we need only listen to what the man said, okay? “Medicine Jar” made it pretty clear that me and Sarah had to stay straight, cuz there’s more to life than blues and reds – “I know how you feel, now your friends are dead.” I was McCartney’s one true love, not Linda or whatever. She was all vegetable rights and peace; he wanted her gone – “Treat her gently, make it slow, you’ll never find another way”. McCartney gave me the answer, like how it should all go down, the bold letters like TERPSICHORY. Charlie said that was like the muse of dance and song, like me – “She’ll dance and dine, like a Lucifer she’ll always shine”. Terpsichory is also code, an anagram for RISE CHOP TRY. “Behind the stacks, you glimpse an axe”. He was sending me out to launch the new Apocalypse. Or at least try.

INTERVIEWER: So the plan was to conjure the spirits of ancient Egypt?

FROMME: Don’t be a dick. The plan was in “Magneto and Titanium Man”. Magneto was of course Ford, and Titanium Man represented Nixon and his ilk. McCartney is talking about me – YOU WERE THE LAW. The Crimson Dynamo was my past self, but I would become something far greater. The politicians were the new rock stars, and I was going to put on the rock show to top all rock shows. It was time to gather our forces and run. The gatefold of Venus and Mars shows the band in the California desert, like when we started. Happiness in the homeland. Like Helter Skelter, it was time to take over.

INTERVIEWER: But you never shot Ford. You were eligible for parole in 1985, but refused to even attend the hearing.

FROMME: Well, I didn’t see any sense in getting out with the Apocalypse coming and all.

INTERVIEWER: Do you know what McCartney was doing in 1985? “Spies Like Us”. So, you tried to escape from a work camp in 1987?

FROMME: I heard Charlie had testicular cancer, so I wanted to visit him. I got caught.

INTERVIEWER: So perhaps the cover of Venus and Mars simply portends a malady of Charlie’s balls.

FROMME: I still haven’t told you about Flowers in the Dirt!
But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

User avatar
Phenomenal Cat
death on four legs
Posts: 10311
Joined: 07 Sep 2004, 16:52
Location: Presently Shattering the Illusion of Integrity
Contact:

Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 24 Dec 2009, 14:38

Sept. 10, 2009

…in 1996, The Stone Roses’ endless party comes to an end. The band represents a return to the halcyon days of good-looking hard rock bands that could make you shake your ass while providing the time to escape to the loo for a bump of blow during the course of a single song. Self-professed party boys, the Stoni’s debut album takes the U.K. by storm, with many universities throughout the U.K. closing their doors, unable to compete for the attention of the nation’s youth against the potency of “She Bangs the Drums” or the free Ecstasy offered on Fridays in the Daily Mail.

With the increased record sales come increased income and the inevitable drug usage. Singer Ian “Browni” Brown is the first to succumb to the temptations of the road. Drummer Reni, quoted from his recently published journals, Reni Which Way You Can: “The drug addiction in the group was so bad on that first tour, Browni was actually mainlining tequila while on tour. Meani made the comment that normal people would have drank the tequila, not shot it into their veins!” Almost from the day of the debut album’s release, the unlikely success of The Stone Roses fosters an upstream swim that threatens to swallow them whole and destroy them body and soul, one gill at a time.

But fame has its upside, as the Stonis live life to the hilt. Reni continues: “After my week in Glasgow with my new girl Deidri, Browni and I flew fifteen girls---each smuggling baggies of coke in whatever orifice they could hide them---in two Lear jets to a place called Hurricane Hull, where he had a ninety-foot yacht anchored and a film crew hired to document it all. On day three, I was cruising across the bay in a Waverunner with a topless blond on the back when I happened to glance toward the beach. Sitting there on top of a pile of luggage, with her arms folded angrily over her chest, was a girl who looked very familiar. It was Deidri. I had forgotten that she was arriving that day. Instinctively, I jabbed my elbow back and knocked the blond off the back of the Waverunner, and then sped to the beach. I thought somehow, when she saw me arrive alone, she'd think the topless blond was a trick the 3 P.M. sunshine had played on her eyes.”

Though not publicized at the time, the first blow to the seemingly invincible Stone Roses comes during an innocuous appearance on the MDMA Awards. After a mind-blowing performance of “I Wanna be Adored” in which Browni performs in a wedding dress with pansies sticking out of his arse, the singer brings untold heaps of embarrassment on the band when tries to heckle Goldi from the stage by exposing his willy to the performer and his dentally-ostentatious entourage. In what could only be described as a “serious case of shrinkage” likely due to daily cocaine abuse, Browni exposes what many believe to be his thumb and an enormous simian-like pubic region. The humiliating video clip is played endlessly on news and comedy shows, leading the band to seriously consider replacing the adolescent front-man. Creation’s Alli McGee offers the vocal services of an eager Bobbi Gillespie, but after three rehearsals, it is decided that the band could effectively tread water without him.

In the meantime, Browni is forced into seclusion, unplugging his phone for good and cultivating Vogue-worthy cheekbones due to his devoutly rockist diet: “It’s Christmas morning with me sitting in front of a Christmas tree alone, shooting up heroin. I'm sitting there thinking, 'I've done sold-out stadiums. I'm all over the telly. I'm in one of the hugest new bands there is, and I'm alone on Christmas morning with no decorations and no presents. Just me and my needle. And blood pudding.” Meani is mistakenly arrested when he is swept up in a mob of ecstasy-fueled yobbos with bucket hats demonstrating for the right to spray-paint “urban” graffiti on the Tower of London, while guitarist Jonni’s guest turn on The Bill is cut after he calls Tony Stamp a “dirty fucker”. Reni accidently tours Wales for two weeks with EMF

The band reconvenes to record a follow-up to their smash debut, but they are clearly not the same band. Producer Neil Tennant runs the band through their paces, but finds them ill-prepared and vaguely unaware that they are a known band. Session men are brought in, and the band looks on helpless and teary-eyed as tape rolls for “Love Spreads”. Browni and Menswear create a reasonable facsimile of the Stoni’s sound, but the band finally finds the clarity lacking in their 18 months of parties, debauchery, and late-night chippy butties to wrestle back control of the tools that forged their initial music revolution to create their masterpiece – Second Coming.

The heavily-hyped album is released in 1996, but in the end, the kids had moved on to the more potent sounds of Longpigs and Kula Shaker. After they are bottled off the stage at the Butlins Festival, The Stone Roses are no more. Browni is the first to walk, accepting a teaching position at Busch Gardens. The other members may still be around as well.

(Portions of this article were taken directly from interview transcripts of Paul Weller’s short-lived talk show, Brit Chat.)
But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

User avatar
Phenomenal Cat
death on four legs
Posts: 10311
Joined: 07 Sep 2004, 16:52
Location: Presently Shattering the Illusion of Integrity
Contact:

Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 18 Aug 2010, 18:14

...in 2008, John Simon spills the beans on The Band in an interview from Stylus magazine:

Was John Simon the architect behind the timeless, rustic sound of The Band?

“At the time I was trying to get them signed, they really were the red-headed stepchild of the music scene. I first tried them out with Tiny Tim, just to see if they could hack it in the studio. Robertson was a joy to work with, but as a group they needed a lot of help.”

For those who are not familiar with producer John Simon’s relationship with The Band, a brief history lesson:

Originally formed in Canada as The Hawks, The Band were first discovered and championed by John Hammond, who loved their energy and can-do spirit. The Hawks were invited to play on Hammond’s So Many Roads – that is until the record label insisted that Hammond install Jimmy Lewis on bass and a young Michael Bloomfield on keyboards. As in many of The Band’s early trials, Robertson seemed immune to their ill-fortune. Still, for a time Hammond held out hope for The Hawks.

“From what I heard, Hammond practically begged (Albert) Grossman to hear his new discovery”, says Simon. “Dylan was a generally difficult guy but agreed to rehearse with them. Little did they know what awaited them on the road!”

Dylan’s 1966 tour of England was fraught with audience walk-outs, cat-calls, and verbal abuse. Dylan may have considered sticking with The Hawks out of loyalty, but he also kept a keen eye on his pocketbook. When the 45 release “Can You Please Crawl out Your Window?” struggled to #58 on the Billboard charts, the fate of the Hawks was sealed.

Simon continues, “I know Dylan kept Robertson, Danko, and Hudson for Blonde on Blonde, but I believe the rest of the band as a whole were humiliated. It is to their credit that they soldiered on.”

John Simon did not meet The Hawks until the following year. They were performing at a birthday party for Grossman confidant Howard Alk. At this time John Simon was working in New York with Simon and Garfunkel. With Grossman’s help, John Simon would bring The Hawks to Capitol Records and begin recording the famous “Big Pink” demos up in West Saugerties.

The label was initially skeptical, says Simon. “They hated the demos, wouldn’t give us studio time, they saw that this group had absolutely no visual appeal, and of course they wouldn’t accept any of our suggested band names.”

The label eventually dubbed them “The Band” hoping to bank on the Dylan connection, much to the chagrin of all involved. But then came their lucky break. But this break would come at a great price – a story untold until now:

“John Hammond Jr. was recording Songs of Leonard Cohen at Columbia Studio E in late summer, 1967. Hammond became ill and ducked out of the session at the last moment. I was in New York at the time with Simon and Garfunkel, but Hammond told me everything was set if I’d just sit in. This fantastic little West Coast band called Kaleidoscope were doing the session when I showed up. They had been in New York for over a month, and they were obviously suffering from the rigors of the road. They were emaciated and tired.”

Simon placed a call to Robertson to come down to New York City with the demos and band in tow. Only Robertson showed.

“Robertson was a sweetheart of a man, but he could also be rather cut-throat”, continues Simon. Kaleidoscope ran quickly through the Cohen repertoire, leaving precious hours of free studio time for Simon and Robertson to begin the project that would eventually become known as “Music from Big Pink”.

“We recorded most of the basic tracks with Kaleidoscope over a 10 day period. We just followed the demos, and I personally played on most of the tracks. I believe Kaleidoscope was just happy to have the work – they had no idea of the significance of these sessions until much later. (Guitarist David) Lindley was a smart man – he knew he’d make a lot more dough performing session work than leading his own band around the U.S. I made sure to help him out through the years.”

“We played the label the results for the label and finally we got some positive feedback. We set up more sessions in L.A., but this time with The Band. We did tracks like “Lonesome Suzie” and “I Shall be Released” at Capitol, though in some cases we kept the Kaleidoscope takes and overdubbed. Hudson was brilliant on “Chest Fever” though he almost walked on “In a Station”. Said he couldn’t play it live that way!”

So, was most of “Music from Big Pink” really created without the input of The Band?

“First off”, Simon interjects, “Robertson was the primary songwriter and talent in that band. What I needed from the rest of the boys was those voices. We actually did the vocal tracks up in Saugerties. I think they were just happy to finally get their songs out to the public so they could perform live. They had no designs on stardom.”

Simon continued to work with The Band up until the very end. Many times, Robertson would arrive at Simon’s door hot to record a new number. Depending on Simon’s timetable, they might end up recording as The Band, or with session players hijacked from Simon and Garfunkel sessions, like Hal Blaine or Joe Osbourne. In some instances, the main players were just Robertson and Simon.

“I thought the truth would come out when I released my solo album” (1970’s John Simon’s Album– rated by many as equal to better than The Band’s best work). “Unfortunately for me, no one bought the thing!”

Then why tell the truth after all these years?

“I think The Band were a fine touring outfit, and are pretty much immune to any criticism nowadays. Knowing that their debut album wasn’t 100% “them” shouldn’t change anyone’s mind about their worth. It was common practice in those days, and I think even Robbie has made his peace with it. The mythology is nice, but hardly necessary now.”
But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

User avatar
Phenomenal Cat
death on four legs
Posts: 10311
Joined: 07 Sep 2004, 16:52
Location: Presently Shattering the Illusion of Integrity
Contact:

Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 18 Aug 2010, 22:04

..in 1975, three young Canucks begin to grow up. Ever punctual, Gary arrives at the rehearsal with 20 minutes to spare. His band mates are already present, eager to commence with the creation of what promises to be their breakthrough album. But all is not right with young Gary. Certainly, the songwriting has gone well, and Neil is shaping up a lyrical arc that would in time define the band’s new direction and provide a skeletal framework on which their new compositions could preside. Yet Gary looked at Neil with unease. Was it the exaggerated mustache, the mountain of drum gear and ream and upon ream of notebook paper, on which was scribbled words, thoughts, lyrics, diagrams, and drawings of hideous monsters? Was it the previous evenings reopening of old wounds; the aborted snow dog and winged backdrop? No, this feeling was all too new to Gary, and even Neil sensed that beneath those flowing raven locks, all was not well with Gary.

“Gary, are you sure you want to rehearse today? If you’re not up to it, that is….”

Yes, that all-too-familiar power struggle. That’s right, Gary. Let down your guard. Neil will more than happily handle the reins. His tenure in the band had been brief, and yet he’d gained such a strong foothold….

Should Gary choose to assert himself, he would. But Gary had seen the proofs for the new album’s back cover, and it was clear to anyone who looked upon his forlorn countenance that Gary had The Blues.

“I have a new song”. Even Alex looks a bit taken aback. The band has more than enough songs, perhaps even enough for a double, and yet Gary seems adamant that this new song is a keeper. Neil, ever solid, is speechless. Gary has a song, does he?

“Is it just the music, then? I have plenty of lyrics over here, behind the gong and octobons..”

“It’s my baby, Neil. It’s my baby.”

And Gary trembles ever so slightly at the thought of having built up so much anticipation for a song that clearly violated the spirit of the new album, not to mention the overriding concept, but it was HIS blues.

“It’s a Blues, fellas”.

And damn him to Hell, if Neil doesn’t just burst out laughing, stumbling into his syn-toms and upsetting his array of wind chimes and bells. But Gary begins to pick out the simple ornate chords on an acoustic, and sings with all that his heart could carry:

All of the seasons and all of the days
All of the reasons why I've felt this way
So long...
So long

Then lost in that feeling I looked in your eyes
I noticed emotion and that you had cried
For me
I can see

What would touch me deeper...
Tears that fall from eyes that only cry?
Would it touch you deeper
Than tears that fall from eyes that know why?

A lifetime of questions, tears on your cheek
I tasted the answers and my body was weak
For you
The truth

What would touch me deeper...
Tears that fall from eyes that only cry?
Would it touch you deeper
Than tears that fall from eyes that know why?


A blues. A blues. Do Canadians get the Blues?, Gary thought.

And so Neil furrows his brow thoughtfully as he rolls an unlit cigarette betwixt his nimble fingers, and he sighs aloud. Alex picks up his own acoustic, and begins tentatively picking out the chord progression for Gary’s new Blues.

“I supposed we could put it on Side Two. I’m not sure how we could tie it in with my…our other songs, but if you really feel…”

“I feel it with all of my heart, Neil. Please, I’ve never asked for much. After all, I’m only the singer….”

And Neil clasps his band mate by his lithe shoulders, and his mustache curls ever so gleefully. Alex smiles at the two, relieved and elated.

The band would prevail. They always did. Alex snatches the cigarette from Neil’s fingers and points it playfully at the two.

“I’ve a new song as well!”
But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

User avatar
Phenomenal Cat
death on four legs
Posts: 10311
Joined: 07 Sep 2004, 16:52
Location: Presently Shattering the Illusion of Integrity
Contact:

Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 20 Aug 2010, 03:47

…in 2009, a child prodigy is born. Carrying on the long tradition of musical bairn in company of heavyweights like Jakob Dylan, Julian Lennon, Carnie Wilson and Ravi Shankar’s son, Michael, a wee lad by the name of James entered the world much to the surprise of Chicago and its fab musical mensch, John San Juan.

But things were not always so promising for the gifted San Juan, and his entrance into the world of celebrity was anything but assured. The debut album by his once precocious three-piece band The Hushdrops is greeted with high hopes until actually heard. The listening audience is not prepared for what awaits them on The Hushdrops Almanac, a four-part suite following the Earth’s seasons with the movements like “Tomorrow Never Snows” / “Gymfreeze” / “It’s All White”; “Summer People” / “Surfin’ C.T.A.”; “Rake It or Leave It” / “Do the Rustle”; and “Song for a Rained Out Concerto / Do You Dig Gardens?”. Though the album does well in farming communities like Peoria, the hip modern crowd is not prepared to abandon their Eleventh Dream Day or Overwhelming Colorfast so soon. San Juan fires his excessively inebriated band onstage at the Cabaret Metro during a harrowing take on Dinosaur Jr’s “Puke and Cry”, sending drummer Randy something into the audience with a swift kick to the ass, landing squarely on his successor, the multi-lingual and rarely punctual Jello. With a revolving stable of bass players in waiting, the Hushdrops are ready to forge ahead.

Again, San Juan, despite his good intentions, horribly miscalculates the demands of his audience. Adopting a tougher “urban” sound to emulate the likes of NWA, Guns ‘N Roses, and Jesus Jones, the Radio 1990 album seeks to be all things to all people and pleases few. Fluctuating from the utterly puerile (“Air Chocolate”, a grueling 8-minute ode to constipation, followed by the gynecological limerick “Doctor V”) to blatant pastiche (“Kerry’s Got Acid” (Slayer), “Miami Rape” (2 Live Crew), “I Lost My Gat” (Ice Cube), and a trashy tribute to 50s kitsch and B-movies called “Divine”), the album is savaged by the press, who hang the moniker “The No-Hit Hushdrops” around San Juan’s neck. The band dashes back into the studio to make amends, but “The Wreck of the Blackie Onassis” 45 only further alienates an already alienated audience, while the flipside features a song sung by the son of REO Speedwagon’s Kevin Cronin in a bizarre attempt to win over Sun-Times critic/glutton Jim DeRogatis and the “carnie” crowd. San Juan vows never to record at Nash Kato’s Sausagelab Studios again, nor does he ever perform anything from this album, save the stoner anthem “Juan Toke Over the Line”.

Just as it seems that San Juan has lost his Cuban essence, a chance encounter at a pickle relish convention with the legendary Stan Lee leads San Juan to begin working with the Webb Brothers, who take the San Juan-penned “Sunshine Spiderman” to #3 in Brisbane. Work begins to flood in, as well as much-needed cash for San Juan and his wife-to-be, Myrtle. A hefty commission check to write a song called “Macho” for the Jonas Brothers actually turns out to be payment for a ditty for a Happy Days tribute band called Jonie’s Brothers, but by this time San Juan is scoring legitimate hits of his own, with a prescient prequel to “There She Goes” titled “Here She Comes” charting throughout Europe and Kentucky. Finally with an adoring fan base and publishing money to boot, San Juan marries his high-maintenance sweetheart and begins work on his next masterpiece, Anthem of the Son. With the arrival of James, it seems that the circle shall remain unbroken, if not a just a bit spit-covered.
But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

User avatar
Phenomenal Cat
death on four legs
Posts: 10311
Joined: 07 Sep 2004, 16:52
Location: Presently Shattering the Illusion of Integrity
Contact:

Re: On this day...

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 23 May 2012, 15:36

…in 1966, Brian Wilson and Mike Love discuss the future of the band. A band meeting is held at Brian’s home, where the long dining room table is adorned with fragrant candles, numerous wine glasses and Coke bottles, and before each guest sits a tremendous bowl of cold cucumber soup, a California delicacy. The diners, including brothers Dennis and Carl, Al Jardine, and Van Dyke Parks, eat vociferously, banging and clanking silverware and ceramic dinner plates, a sound that freezes Brian mid-sentence as he discusses touring plans with an increasingly tempestuous Mike Love.

"Do you hear that?"

"Hear what, for God's sake?" blusters Mike, removing his cap and rubbing his thinning pate in obvious frustration.

"The silverware, the plates, the chatter…all of it ! It's music, man! We ought to be recording this!" Van Dyke Parks agrees. “It’s really happening Brian. A real teachable moment.”

Mike replaces his cap, and stares down into his untouched soup. The European tour had been successful, and the group had returned tan and confident. But once again, Brian had elected to stay at home, further alienating himself from not only the very people whom he desired to lead, but an ever-changing world outside the gates of his palatial estate. Brian forges forward.

"I've an exciting plan for a new record, fellas. It's fucking great, man, just fucking great. It'll be our take on America, a return to the Great Frontier, and exploration stuff. It's Manifest Destiny, man, but like an…an encapsulation of what it's all about. You know, AMERICA. America rocks."

"What do you know about America, Brian?", interjects Mike. The others listen in embarrassed silence. They'd been down this road before. Brian casts his eyes gloomily down at the table like a shamed dog and begins to slightly twitch.

"Times are changing, Mike."

"Yes, times are changing, but what does that have to do with us? You want to talk about the times? You want to talk about America ?" Mike is now staring straight into Brian’s frightened eyes in yet another attempt to cow the increasingly erratic “genius of Hawthorne”.

"It's more than that! There's more!” Brian begins to strike his soup bowl like a bell, and Dennis, not wanting to miss out on the fun, smashes a dinner plate on Al’s head. Brian's enthusiasm suddenly returns. “Like these glasses and plates and forks and spoons - it's a new way of making music. I want to create something special, something holy. Let's connect with the kids, but not with guitars, but with the tools of man, with the Earth, right? A glockenspiel, a piano, a celery stick, a shoe. Harness the elements, with God as our guide."

Mike's face turns a frightening shade of purple, as if he were literally being strangled by his frustration and antipathy. "I want to make a statement, too, Brian. We could be talking about important things, like the Ecology, the class struggles, and what about the kids dying in Vietnam? My cousin went to Nam and came home in a body bag, Bri. One of my best friends returned last month, and he's just not the same person anymore. We need to talk about what's going on, Brian. It's almost 1967. I don't think people want to hear anymore about your schoolgirl crushes and how you feel so misunderstood."

"Oh, now that's just so unfair!" "Things are not fair, guys.”

Mike is truly peeved and now stands, lording over the assembled group with a large wooden salad spoon. Carl steals Al’s soup. Mike continues.

“Have you ever been to Watts, Dennis? Carl - Have you ever visited a major city and walked around, to see the poverty and fear? We don't need to save America, or even ourselves. We need to save the children, the babies."

Brian bolts from the table and runs straight to his sandbox to hide underneath the piano. Van Dyke Parks is already waiting there, wiping dog shit from his sneakers. Brian covers his one good ear and shouts out into the room: "Good God, Mike, you make me wanna holler! Why can't you just be happy with things the way they are? The world is changing alright, but we provide an escape from all that. That’s what we do! There are plenty of bands in Frisco who are willing to wave their freak flag. Why fuck with the formula?"

Mike joins Brian in the sandbox, dialing down the heated rhetoric by sitting criss-cross-applesauce in the sand and lightly stroking Brian’s uncertain hairstyle. "Brian. Buddy. The kids aren't gonna stand for this much longer. I really feel that if we don't start talking about what's really happening, the kids won't need us anymore. They don't want crows and cornfields; they want the truth.”

Just then the doorbell rings. Brian springs from Mike’s enveloping arms. "Oh good! My fire helmets have arrived!"
But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.