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Music Business Monthly - Front Page

TEN YOU MAY HAVE MISSED IN 2004
by Gary Pig Gold

If we could all just manage to put Bob Dylan’s Chronicles, Volume One down long enough to load up our audio device of preference with an extra couple’a hundred tunes, here are just a few items I’d suggest you choose from amongst the many, many fine sounds passed my way this past year or so. Reading glasses off then; iPod immediately into ear for…..


THE BEACH BOYS The Last Smile of the Pied Piper
xtoalex@hotmail.com

While, not surprisingly at all, some other SMiLE seemed to garner the lion’s share of attention this past year, in many ways I find my own ears drawn more often back to THIS particular Teenage Mash-Mix to God ...or at least the corner of Mount Vernon and Fairway. “Take a acidic journey as Brian Wilson trys to tune his magical radio back to everyone’s favourite station, Pied Piper FM,” say the creatively-spelt liners herein. “So many radio waves in Brian’s head -- can he tune that Piper back with so much trouble & static in the air? Time to tune in!” Or, as the Big Smiler Himself would implore, just Listen, listen, listen…


EDGAR BREAU Canadian Primitive
www.edgarbreau.com

Despite the continuing acclaim his vintage-Seventies Simply Saucer recordings invoke (that band made no less than “the best Canadian LP ever,” in the opinion of Forced Exposure magazine for one), enquiring ears have oft wondered whatever mothership Edgar Breau has been up to lo this past quarter century since. Now, from the Great Wide land of flaming pink salmon, rainbow trout, and bodies afloat beneath the loons and yellow moonlight comes the answer. Like that other northern primitive Neil Young, Edgar’s voice may swoop and scratchily soar as he paints his detailed tone poems, but it should be closely noted that the Breau-composed “Lorraine” encapsulates in a mere four-minutes-forty what it took Neil over an hour to pontificate clear across GREENDALE. Elsewhere, “I Miss You My Nico” not so much eulogizes as celebrates you-know-who as countless others, from Lou Reed on up, have tried but fallen far, far short of. Yes, Bruce Cockburn’s darkest side; Leonard Cohen without the ladies; Lightfoot held prisoner in his olde rockin’ chair: if you can recognize such a world, then you will be more than comfortable in this musical hiding place right alongside the one, and still only Edgar Breau.


BRUTE FORCE Tour de Brute Force
www.brutesforce.com

After recently reading all about how Jan and Dean met Batman at the gala Gotham release party for Routledge’s “Lost In The Grooves” book (Get Your Copy Today!), I was followed on stage – well, onto the floor near the Housing Works store’s rear windows, I should clarify – by the one and only, authentically legendary, all-singing all-playing Stephen Friedland. Now, you should all know this anti-icon much better by his nom-de-disque Brute Force or, to any Apple Record completist out there, the King of Fuh (the shoulda-been-hit side of one of Beatle George’s – and MY – fab fave 45’s EVER). Well for those unfortunate out there who may have completely missed out on this all, the Man the Myth Himself has conveniently compiled this copious, 30-track 74-minute compendium of mock-operatic odes to livestock, lunar modules, hair/hare and soldiers both toy and otherwise, which includes not only his entire unreleased (Tokens-produced!) 1969 EXTEMPORANEOUS long-player, but two – Count ‘em! – versions of “The King of Fuh.” In a word, or two then? Required Listening. And yes… May, um, the Brute be with you.


KEVIN HOUSE Gutter Pastoral
www.kevinhouse.ca

And speaking of Canadian primitives, imagine, if you dare, a sideshow banner painter of dogs and humans (by day) who acts much more unsettlingly like Jandek after hours …had he spent a semester or three at the Royal Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Garth Hudson, that is. From the more than good people over at Bongo Beat Records, who have brought you SO much essential listening (e.g.: the latest Johnny Dowd!) again this past year, here’s a disc book-ended by two tracks which sound as if Angelo Badalamenti had only a four-track and a forty-dollar Casio keyboard with which to score the latest David Lynch vision. Then, add to our midnight movie some of the most hauntingly beautiful melodies Donovan hasn’t written in the past thirty-some-odd years, a sublimely muted Chet Baker getting lost upon some WHITE ALBUM Side Four out-takes, and Tom Waits hijacking the SWEETHEART OF THE RODEO sessions while, in the distance, a lone Theremin saws over the cuckoo’s nest for Jack Nitzsche. But enough of my name droppin’! Just slap on the nearest Radio Shack headphones and, as Kevin himself suggests, “Listen late at night, or in a small boat, when eating cake, when you are naked and alone …or maybe DON’T listen.” Why, how Canadian!


THE MASTER PLAN Colossus Of Destiny
http://www.alive-totalenergy.com/MasterPlan.html

Meanwhile, the very fine folk at Bomp!/Total Energy, who are also responsible these past twelve months for not only Boyskout (whose “Back To Bed” video is REQUIRED VIEWING, btw) but for a nice new release of Stiv Bators’ DISCONNECTED to boot, have gone and grabbed one Waxing Poetic, two actual Fleshtones, and even Dictator Andy in order to put out their aural equivalent of a jukebox raid in some gosh-fersakin’ very-lower East Side after-hours den-o-debauchery. So what’s up with that? Howzabout the Cramps in a Silly Putty spat with Twisted Sister (“Dead Horse”), the Beach Boys’ “Don’t Back Down” dragged kicking and screeching into the 22nd Century (“Find Something Beautiful”), a torturedly twanged interlude which injects the lysergic straight [sic!] into Laika’s Cosmonauts (“Picketts Charge”), and as if this weren’t more than enough already, more-than-stately stabs at “Annie Had A Baby” and even “Just Because,” the latter of which pretty well neuters even J. Lennon’s version. In other words, just four big galoots busy kickin’ it Old School …and doing lots more than merely smoking in the boysroom, believe you me.


THE MODD COUPLE Acoustically Yours
rockdreams4u@aol.com

Yes! Bridging that ultra-critical socio-musical gap between the Fifties and the Sixties – twixt, roughly, Buddy Holly and the Beatles -- come Brooklyn’s own Richie Dupree and Terry Berry who, d.b.a. The Modd Couple, take only their two voices, a single guitar, and various percussive implements on a sonic stroll down the haunted corridors of the Brill Building. The result is a thoroughly enchanting half hour which brings to ear only the best of Mark Johnson, Phil Angotti, and other such brave new troubadours never afraid to sacrifice the angst and volume in the hallowed name of pure, simple melodic mischief. File under A DATE WITH THE EVERLY BROTHERS …not to mention your fave rave Merseybeatin’ B-sides of yore.


PROZAK FOR LOVERS, volumes I and II
http://brucelash.org

Now, have you ever wondered how Antonio Carlos Jobim, to say nothing of Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66, might treat the likes of “London Calling,” “Misty Mountain Hop,” “Proud Mary” (Ike and Tina’s version, of course) or even “I Wanna Be Sedated” …were they still busy crafting the soundtrack to your most romantic evenings beneath the console hi-fi, that is? Well, Chicago’s utterly inimitable Bruce Lash has, and the result are these two luscious collections of martini-fueled bongo fury guaranteed to tuna-melt the hardened ears of even that most cynical M & M fan amongst you. Please be forewarned, however, that such ultra-lounge bastings, far from being of mere yuk value, actually help spotlight the sheer musical depth behind numbers such as “Lithium,” for example, whilst elsewhere seamlessly enabling Brian Jones’ classic “Under My Thumb” vibe line to rest most easily indeed within the (definitive!) reading of “Aqualung” herein. You know, I do believe that somewhere, somehow, Esquivel is shaking, NOT stirring, in his grave.


DEXTER ROMWEBER Blues That Defy My Soul
http://ruraltone.com/dex

A full decade before there were White Stripes or Black Keys of any shape, creed or color, there were Dexter and Crow, who as the legendary Flat Duo Jets hauled their Silvertone six-string and lone snare drum off some gosh-forsaken North Carolinian porch and proceeded to put the roll squarely back into the rock …‘way back in those dank daze when Dread Zeppelin were doing a better job than R.E.M. at saving American music, need I remind anyone. So then, as Mike Mills inquired re Dex recently, “What’s that lunatic up to these days?” Well, he’s still screeching (what’s left of his voice is now happily quite more Screamin’ Jay than Ronnie Hawkins) and he’s still more than able to lash such spayed cats as Brian Setzer off the guitar throne and back to the wash-off tattoo parlor where he always belonged. So, if you’re still wondering what’s up with said lunatic, you can either check this red hot and blue Yep Roc disc out immediately yourself or else, as Dexter himself would advise in his bestest Rockin’ Dead Man howl, “shut the fuck up and leave me alone.”


SMASH PALACE Over The Top
www.smashpalacemusic.com

Eleven nice, hard, gritty and ultimately joyous examples of just why r-a-w-k is, believe it or not, still alive and well in the u-s-a. Obviously totally secure in the knowledge that they require nothing more than assured abandon alongside a few good tunes to, yes, put this project over the top, Stephen Butler & Co. luckily leave their pretensions at the studio door, turn themselves up to eleven, and quite simply, quite pimply, have at it. “It,” of course, being that one great big stereophonic shindig wherein we hear Tom Petty going head-to-head with Augie Meyers, Jack Fate mischievously flipping up the overdrive dial on Chris Isaak’s amp, and George Harrison dancing the Dirty Bangla with his ol’ pal Pete Ham just as if it were the Summer of 71 all over again. Or, as my fellow powerfully poppin’ scribe John Borack would say, “It’s not retro, it’s timeless.” Rawk on.


DWIGHT TWILLEY BAND You’re My Lover / Just Like You Did It Before
www.DwightTwilley.com

A two-sided, gorgeously-packaged, all-black-vinyl double tribute-in-wax to two of the truest-ever believers in the rock AND the roll. For we have now lost not only Dwight Twilley’s original partner-in-pop Phil Seymour, but one of the man’s and the band’s (not to mention the entire genre’s) greatest fans, Gilles Raffier of the exemplary Pop The Balloon record label. Of course Dwight Twilley carries sincerely onward to this day, producing and playing precisely the kind of music Gilles lived and loved for, but has recently dipped back into his audio archives to make available these two ear-boggling 1973 demos with which to relaunch Pop The Balloon in Gilles’, and in Phil’s honor. So if you haven’t already, get that turntable back out of its box and spin this one loudly and often in the name of too-true believers everywhere, alright?


……and don’t Any of you dare miss Any of the following 2004-vintage gems as well:


THE EVAPORATORS Ripple Rock
www.theevaporators.com

KIM FOWLEY Adventures In Dreamland
www.kimfowley.com

BARRY HOLDSHIP Ruff Trax
bholdship@yahoo.com

JAMIE HOOVER Jamie Hoo-ever
www.jamiehoover.net

JELLY BEAN BANDITS Bandit Planet
www.jellybeanbandits.com

(The Late Great) DANIEL JOHNSTON Discovered Covered
www.rejectedunknown.com

KELLY’S HEELS Dig In!
www.kellysheels.com

BILL LLOYD Back To Even
www.billlloydmusic.com

SIT N SPIN Doin Time With Sit n Spin
www.sitnspin1.com

TAN SLEEVE Bad From Both Sides
www.tansleeve.com





TOP 100 October, November, December 2004
by Joe Viglione

http://joevigtop40.blogspot.com/
The Blogspot has the "live" links

Friday, December 31, 2004
Joe Vig's Top 100 For October, November, December 2004
It's The End Of The year, but we'd be posting the Top 35 for Oct, Nov., Dec. anyway

These are random things that come across my desk that I find exciting!



1)IT WAS 40 YEARS AGO TODAY
It's tough to do a great Beatles Tribute and these Bullseye people in Canada pulled it off hitting the proverebial "Bullseye". You need to get the 3rd disc - the commercial one is just a double.

http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&token=ADFEAEE47319DD49A87520E89B2C45F6A672FE19D650DA971F28455A92B63E45913E65CA46F68BA5DBB674B666ACFE31A65A0FD786E65CFFD56C383A9D8EDB&sql=10:6qmtk6gxykrd~T1

2)Bob Dylan & The Beatles: Volume One Of The Best Of The Blacklisted Journal
by Al Aronowitz
Gary "Pig" Gold covered this in a previous issue of Music Business Montly.
http://www.varulven.com/mbm/mbmfrontpage.shtml

3)Ugly Things Magazine
http://www.ugly-things.com/
This is totally amazing - as Cinemafantastique was the Gold Standard of Science Fiction
fanzines, Ugly Things Issue #22 is out and it is beautiful. A real collectors item.
Mike Stax and the crew have done a phenomenal job - dedicated to Greg Shaw, write
to UglyThings@znet.com Priced at 6.95 and well worth it, send them 2.00 for postage
Ugly Things Magazine/3707 Fifth Ave. #145, San Diego, CA 92103

4)Kaleidoscope: THE SIDEKICK SESSIONS
21 tracks retrieved from Acetates thought to have been lost. Essential.

5)Animal Serenade Lou Reed
OK, it's not "Rock & Roll Animal", nor is it "Berlin" but it is light years beyond "Perfect Night"
and Lou is finally having some fun again extending his songs a la Phish.
Executive Producer Bill Bentley is to be commended for working with Lou on this final disc
before Reed's new affiliation with Sanctuary. Cool fold out on the cardboard sleeve.

6)The One & Only Nat King Cole
http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&token=ADFEAEE47319DD49A87520E89B2C45F6A672FE19D650DA971F28455A92B63E45913E65CA46F68BA5DBB674B666ACFE31A65A0FD786E75CFDDB6C38349D8EDB&sql=10:be3m967o0epc~T1

Quite simply an amazing DVD - read my review.

7) "Famous: The Buzzy Linhart Story"
Another great DVD, this was directed by the great Shelly Toscano. What a phenomenal job!
Hear the music from the guy who starred in "Cos", Bill Cosby's earlier show, was in
The Groove Tube, played Carnegie Hall, and is quietly building a publishing empire at
http://www.buzzartinc.com

8)Just One Look- The Best Of Doris Troy
This rare disc on Ichiban is even more sought after than the 12" vinyl album that came
decades before it. Doris would send me Christmas cards and we'd chat on the phone -
what a lovely human being. One of the most tragic passings of 2004. This record deserves
to be in release again - it's a real treasure. Read my review of her Rainbow Concert!
Doris was thrilled that the Rainbow Concert got attention on AMG, it was one of her favorite
of her recordings:
http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&token=ADFEAEE47319DD49A87520E89B2C45F6A672FE19D650DA971F28455A92B63E45913E65CA46F68BA5DBB674B666ACFE31A65A0FD786E75CFDD46C3D3A9D8EDB&sql=10:0e6zefikhgf1~T1

9)Carole King: The Early Years
Classic Original Recordings released on the Hallmark label; it could have some liner notes and
offer more than just 28 or so minutes of Carole, but hearing her perform "Breaking Up Is Hard
To Do" is a treasure. Early tapes make me happy.

10)The Matrix Trilogy on Cinemax
Joel Silver narrating the three films spinning one after the other is a Sci-Fi fan's dream
come true. Sure there are some soft spots in all three motion pictures, but for the most
part, the series is a winner which has gotten people chatting about Metaphysics all over
the web. Fun to watch over and over again.

11) Stephen Davis "Jim Morrison"
http://www.penguinputnam.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,0_014280066X,00.html

13)Eponymous - Arms Of Kismet
http://www.wampus.com/

14) ELO Live At Wembley / Discovery / Out Of The Blue DVD EagleVision
http://www.dvd-galaxis.de/genre-detail-no-100373-elo.live.at.wembley.and.discovery.html


15)Lollipop Lounge: Memoirs Of A Rock & Roll Refugee
Genya Ravan's autobiography comes with BOTH of her 20th Century Fox albums if you
are a famous rock critic! A unique promo between Uni's Hip0 Select and Billboard Books
thought up by yours truly! http://www.hip-oselect.com/catalogue_ravan.asp

16)NICO! ALL TOMORROW'S PARTIES on Cleopatra Records
http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&token=ADFEAEE47319DD49A87520E89B2C45F6A672FE19D650DA971F28455A92B63E45913E65CA46F68BA5DBB674B666ACFE31A65A0FD786EF56F6DD6F373F8DFEC61D&sql=10:5ikbiknsbb29


17)FEVER Book by Tim Riley
http://www.artsjournal.com/riley/about/aboutriley.shtml

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0312286112/qid=1104549851/sr=2-2/ref=pd_ka_b_2_2/002-6950482-4131242

18) Jonathan Richman NOT SO MUCH TO BE LOVED
http://www.vaporrecords.com/

19) Mickey Finn's T-REX Angel Air
http://www.angelair.force9.co.uk/sjpcd101.htm
R.I.P. Mickey Finn http://www.nme.com/news/103912.htm

20)Napoleon Murphy Brock "Balls" Hear the clips
http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&token=ADFEAEE47319DD49A87520E89B2C45F6A672FE19D650DA971F28455A92B63E45913E65CA46F68BA5DBB674B666ACFE31A65A0FD786EF56F6DE66373E84FEC61D&sql=10:8mkku3iaan1k

This is a CD by Napoleon Brock, a friend of Billy James, author of "We're An American Band"

21)BRIAN HYLAND re-release on Hip-O Select My review is here:
http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&token=ADFEAEE47319DD49A87520E89B2C45F6A672FE19D650DA971F28455A92B63E45913E65CA46F68BA5DBB674B666ACFE31A65A0FD786EF56F6DE6337388AFEC61D&sql=10:jikmikb6bbc9~T1

Hip-0 Review: http://www.hiposelect.com/catalogue_hyland.asp

22)KIWI MADE MUSIC Volume One 1968 - 1972
Tree Music - Music from when "The Beatles and The Stones ruled supreme - A raw slice
of real Kiwi Music recorded by Tree 1968-1972.
Check out Beatzone website.

23) Wet Willie High Humidity
Greatest Hits Live - they still sound great!
http://www.cmt.com/artists/az/wet_willie/bio.jhtml

24) Bleecker Street: Greenwich Village In The 60s
Suzzy and Maggie Roche perform Buzzy Linhart's "The Love's Still Growin"
http://www.sixties.net/bleecker.htm
http://www.leisuresuit.net/Webzine/articles/bleecker_street.shtml


25) Rachel Sage Ballads & Burlesques

26)Ingrid Saxxon

27)Frank Sinatra Show with Ella Fitzgerald
http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&token=ADFEAEE47319DD49A87520E89B2C45F6A672FE19D650DA971F28455A92B63E45913E65CA46F68BA5DBB674B666ACFE31A65A0FD786EF57F6DD66373C89FEC61D&sql=10:b1ua6j3471w0~T1

This thing is fantastic! Like Nat King Cole's show, a classic blast from the past.

28)La Pest v.2.0
It doesn't have Peter Dayton, Stephen Kalinowsky (a.k.a. Ian Blast) has taken his place,
but it is an artifact!
http://www.smasheasy.com

29)Canned Heat Friends In The Can Fuel 2000
http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&token=ADFEAEE47319DD49A87520E89B2C45F6A672FE19D650DA971F28455A92B63E45913E65CA46F68BA5DBB674B666ACFE31A65A0FD786EF57F6DD64373C8FFEC61D&sql=10:cyfm965okep3

30)Megadeath The System Has Failed
http://www.megadeth.com/

31)Supersuckers From The Audio Video Dept. Music Video Distributors
http://www.dvdmaniacs.net/Reviews/Q-T/supersuckers.html
Check out the review on http://www.mattoconnoronline.com

32)Pet Shop Boys Somewhere DVD
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/6305835241/002-6950482-4131242?v=glance

33)Faraz Anwar Abstract Point Of View What a fantastic artist!
http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&token=ADFEAEE47319DD49A87520E89B2C45F6A672FE19D650DA971F28455A92B63E45913E65CA46F68BA5DBB674B666ACFE31A65A0FD786EF57F6DE64373C84FEC61D&sql=10:mu548qtzbt04~T1

34)Phish Tales From The Phish (Bootleg)
Where PHISH takes on The Velvet Underground's LOADED
http://www.mjuice.com/is3_f2_live_shows.html
http://www.phisharchive.com/articles/1993/tel2.html

35)Vanilla Fudge Then And Now
http://www.soniccuriosity.com/sc181.htm

36) Charlie Farren with Balloon - Reunion DVD Produced by Bob Boyd

37)"Pick Me" The Ticks
If you liked The Shaggs, you'll flip out over The Ticks
http://www.weird.org/ticks/

38)Jess Klein "Strawberry Lover" Ryko Disc

39) The Eyes Of Alice Cooper Eagle Rock Entertainment

40)Blackmore's Night Live: Past Times With Good Company
http://www.deep-purple.net/gallery/rothenburg03/blackmoresnight.htm








Greg Put The Bomp!
by Gary Pig Gold

Accolades and awards are being tossed around far too indiscriminately these days, wouldn’t you agree? Especially within the, uh, Wonderful World of Entertainment. I mean, I heard that Chuck Berry’s piano player-slash-genius behind the scenes, Johnnie Johnson, was once attempting to PATENT (that’s right, Patent …via the United States Department of Commerce) the words "Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll." As a Registered Trademark. All for his very own, private, exclusive, ever-lasting (legally-protected) use.

Uh-huh. Well, as much as I’d have to admit Johnnie belongs right up there amongst Ike Turner, Bill Haley, Sam Phillips and even Sid King & the Five Strings, bestowing such a title IS a bit silly – not to mention a half-century or two tardy – at this fairly late stage in the game. Even if he DID, indirectly or otherwise, help rid the world of Patti Page, Mitch Miller, and possibly even Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy.

Nevertheless, in Show, as in any Bizness, isn’t it often those who toil longest and hardest in silent obscurity, criminally under-compensated not to mention FAR behind the spotlights (…yes, even farther back than Mr. Johnson) who REALLY deserve such loft-headed crowns of Fatherly honor? Hmmm…

Well, we have recently lost one of those most criminally undersung of heroes. Greg Shaw, founder of Bomp! Records …among so many, MANY other things.

Just from my own personal experience, I can solidly claim that the very first Bomp record ever to reach these ears (which, I’m kinda proud to now relate, was the very first Bomp record ever released: the Flamin’ Groovies’ 1974 seven-incher "You Tore Me Down") actually caused the sonic earth to move beneath me in ways matched only by, I kid you not, you-know-who on The Ed Sullivan Show, my first discovery of Elvis’ Sun sessions, and my pal John’s bringing the first Ramones record home to our innocent little Canadian turntables via the Bowery, very very late one long-lost Friday ago.

Yessir, that little Groovies record, and the joyous singles (and albums) (and magazines) Bomp faithfully sent my way throughout the Ford and Carter administrations – while those less fortunate amongst us were stuck listening to the Cars and pondering the fate of J.R., just to put things in their improper hysterical perspective – duly inspired little ol’ ME, among many many others, to eventually start my OWN fanzine …then my OWN band …then even my own record label! You could say, then, that "You Tore Me Down" single-in-handedly spared me from a life of University study and squarely set me down the road to, uh, starvation, bankruptcy, mononucleosis and… uhh… anyways…

And THEN, when Bomp founder / mastermind / domo-major Greg Shaw Himself actually blew my way in early 1978, his raw, unbridled enthusiasm instantly swept aloft all of us riding the then-new Toronto punk wave, in turn inspiring such things as, oh, off the top of my once-buzz-cut scalp, Teenage Head (the band), SCTV (the television show), and possibly even Maggie and Ronnie (the weekend that ALMOST brought down a Canadian Prime Minister …via that goof in the once-Rolling Stones).

So! Just who was this Greg Shaw fella then, you might well be asking?

He was born in San Francisco in 1949, raised on a healthy diet of Elvis, Fats Domino and sci fi zines, and when not hovering backdoors at the touring Rock ‘n’ Roll Revues of the day could be found not only hanging with such folk as Robert Silverberg and Philip K. Dick, but immortalizing all of his thoughts and adventures of same in a series of crude, mimeographed broadsheets he fearlessly circulated to an ever-growing circle of friends, fans and followers.

Why, he’d soon published over 200 such "fanzines," as today they’d be called, one of which (entitled "Entmoot," an early Tolkien epistle) even earned him a write-up in the Saturday Evening Post! But lest Greg end up just another Trekkie-in-training, come 1966 he happened upon a nearby street-corner labeled "Haight" and "Ashbury." Talk about yer crossroads… needless to say the NEXT Shaw fanzine, "Mojo-Navigator Rock & Roll News," became no less than the socio-musical template upon which another local rag, "Rolling Stone," was soon to be intrinsically based. Too bad. As usual, Greg was there first. But the scene, and the spoils, went Wenner’s way. Drat!

Blueprint ruthlessly high-jacked, but energy and enthusiasm stubbornly unbowed, Greg by the Seventies had joined that elite-and-then-some tiny circle of scribes (alongside such hallowed personages as Ed Ward, Nick Kent, and – pause for reverence – Lester Bangs) who not only knew, but actually WROTE about such things as "Raw Power" and the New York Dolls … and in publications that us fellow music addicts could actually unearth and devour at the neighborhood newsstand! Consequently, Greg’s newest publication – and soon label -- "Bomp!" quickly found a rabid, wide-eared audience which truly transcribed the globe …and then some. And it should also be remembered right about here that for most of the musical events now considered pivotal during this era (very roughly speaking? the first "Nuggets" album, the creation of the Runaways, and the Sex Pistols’ first paying gig) …Shaw was There. No, not Malcolm McLaren. Not even Kim Fowley. And CERTAINLY not Rolling Stone magazine. No. It was Greg Shaw.

Lest those ill-informed now be wont to cast all things Bomp onto the nostalgia heap alongside "I Hate Pink Floyd" t-shirts and Sid Vicious EP’s, here’s a short-list of just some of the bands Greg has helped bring to our attention in those long years SINCE that oh-so-fateful Summer of Hate. Ready?

Devo, The Plimsouls, The Romantics, The Barracudas, The Shoes, The Soft Boys, Black Flag, Redd Kross, The Pandoras, The Chesterfield Kings, Bad Religion, Lazy Cowgirls, Ray Campi, Spacemen 3, Ant Bee, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Black Keys.

OK then: some names therein you may not be intimately familiar with, but each and every one of ‘em are without a doubt acts which have proven, and shall continue to prove, instrumental in laying groundwork for most every pop ‘n’ rock genre-du-jour (ie: Goth, Grunge, Hardcore, Rave, Industrial, alt.C&W, Power Pop, insert your own pigeonhole here). And once again, each and every one of those acts, to varying degrees, owe their influence – not to mention their initial recording contracts – to, do we note a pattern developing here, Greg Shaw.

Closing words? They should really belong to The Man Himself. Listen closely, all of you (especially those who deign to nurture musical talent in whatever capacity yourselves). For HERE was a man who knew of what he spoke:

"I guess I’d most like Bomp to be remembered as a label utterly dedicated to the people who care most about music: the fans and collectors. I think it comes down to the fact that Bomp is an outgrowth of my love for music. Where many would view it as a marginal business that barely breaks even, I prefer to see it as a hobby that’s profitable enough to allow me to build my life around it. The opportunity to make more money elsewhere has never once tempted me – but it HAS drawn many talented people AWAY from this business.

"But we’re still here, doing what we want, on our own terms, answering to nobody, dealing with people in an old-fashioned "mom and pop" kind of way. It’s a satisfying life that I’d NEVER trade for, say, David Geffen’s.

"If nothing else, maybe we’ve set an example that might offer an alternative to this increasingly corporate, impersonal society. Or maybe not. At least we’ve had a good time trying…

"…and we’re not done yet."

Greg Shaw? Thank You.




R.I.P. Greg Shaw
by Joe Viglione

Greg Shaw passed away -

http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/news/1098610633146420.xml

A proper tribute to follow from Joe Viglione, Nancy "Neon" Foster and other fans of Greg.

Nancy says "Greg Shaw was definitely one of the initiators of the independent scene in the 1970s. BOMP the magazine really was the touchstone for people that wanted to search out and find the good rock & roll. With the Bomp Label he supported many bands that couldn't find support anywhere else. Greg was really a visionary and on top of that a really kind, decent man. Thanks to Greg for everything he did for the scene and for keeping it pure. You knew for him it really was a labor of love not driven by any commercial concerns whatsoever."






Top 30 August 2004 / September 2004
by Joe Viglione

As I was posting August's Top 30 critic Gary "Pig" Gold submitted his story on Al Aronowitz's wonderful book
BOB DYLAN & THE BEATLES- VOLUME ONE OF THE BEST OF THE BLACKLISTED JOURNAL. That was my #1 item for August, but because I wanted Gary's article to get as much attention as possible, I didn't post my Top 30.

Keep in mind http://www.varulven.com is in the Top 100,000
on the internet! We are 64,719 for the 3 month average as
of August 28, 2004. This posting made at 6:27 PM on a
Saturday night.

Here is the information for AUGUST. September will be posted early next week:

#1 Bob Dylan & The Beatles - Volume One Of The Best Of
The Blacklisted Journal by Al Aronowitz
for copies write blackj@bigmagic.com

#2 BUSH MUST GO - Bill Press
http://www.BillPress.com
Bill is on Visual Radio Program #311 airing 8/04
http://www.varulven.com/visualradio.html

#3 Myra Breckinridge
The Raquel Welch Boxed Set http://www.foxhome.com
This is a classy DVD collection featuring
One Million Years B.C., Fathom, Bandolero,
Mother, Jugs & Speed and - of course - MYRA!

What can be said - this collectors item film has
a fan club!

It still gets dreadful reviews
http://www.thespinningimage.co.uk/cultfilms/displaycultfilm.asp?reviewid=180

But to those who love the film for its cult elements -
a theme song from Mamas & Papas' John Phillips,
Mae West and Raquel Welch with claws extended, and
the lost hunk of all time, Roger Herren as "Rusty",
it endures. TV's "Dream On", "Dallas" and "Dynasty"
all owe much to Myra. Joan Collins is the extension of
Myra Breckinridge - her Alexis is so very Myra. And
look at how "Dream On" picked up on the flashback old
film scenes.

The film needs to be re-made, for sure, but this one is
incredible on certain levels. It's now available again
in the RAQUEL WELCH COLLECTION.

Check out:
http://www.dollsoup.co.uk/myra.htm

#4 Swing Era Duke Ellington In Hollywood
featuring Billie Holiday, Ive Anderson & Mae West
Idem Music Video Distribution

#5 This Man's Army ANDREW EXUM
Gotham Books
Andrew fought in the Afghanistan War. He is heading
to Beirut in September to write a book about the
youth there. A fascinating 26 year old man who was
born into writing. It comes to him naturally, and
this book reads well.

#6 Rainy Day Soul Bruce Sudano
Bruce co-wrote one of my all-time favorite songs -
BALL OF FIRE - his co-writer is Tommy James!
It was The Shondells 13th hit, making the Top 20
in October of 1969. Out of all of Tommy James
hits it is tied for tenth place with the sublime
"Three Times In Love" from 1980 - but I've not seen
him perform it live. Anyway, Mr. Sudano was in a great
band called ALIVE 'n' KICKING who had a tremendous
summer smash "Tighter Tighter" in 1970, written by
Tommy.

This excellent album RAINY DAY SOUL is on the
Purple Heart Recording Company http://www.phrc.com
You can also contact Bruce @ http://www.brucesudano.com
"Show Me Who You Are" is a great mixture of the early
Tommy James pop meets Bruce's later day Brooklyn Dreams
but without the disco - it's terrific singer/songwriter
stuff. Love it!


#7 The Remains Http://www.TheRemains.com
The Reunited Remains! 35 years in the making.
What would have happened if this band had issued this
great music once a year over those 35 years? We can't
cry over what is not, we must be happy with what is,
and this is a solid effort! "Listen To Me" would
really brighten up radio these days. Would be a very
cool beach song for the summer of 2004.

#8 Brent Daniel "Better Late"
This generous 16 track CD contains very esoteric
borderline "modern psychedelic" tunes which convey
a dreamy aura that McGuiness Flint and Sutherland
Brothers and Quiver gave us decades ago. There's
the introspection of "Baby Step" or Marmalade/Tin
Tin influenced "Nothing To Hide". For those of us
who adore British-styled pop with heavy orchestration
and glittering acoustic guitars, "Better Late" is
quite a find. Sixty-Seven minutes and forty-five
seconds of an excellent musical journey you should
consider taking. See #10.

#9 THE ELEKTRAS featuring President John F. Kerry
Democratic presidents can form their own band -
Bill Clinton on saxophone, John Kerry on bass -
and this early 1961 disc - as Corazong's Evert Wilbrink
pointed out - pre-dates The Rolling Stones.
Rock critic Joe Tortelli thinks it is great. Good!
Maybe he will do the right thing and vote for JFK!

#10 Gavin Sutherland Diamonds & Gold
"Acoustic music to soothe the troubled soul" is
what the Corazong Label calls 2000 release from
one of the Sutherland Brothers. We only just received
this from the Netherlands. Http://www.corazong.com
More descriptions soon.



AL ARONOWITZ: THE MAN WHO INVENTED THE SIXTIES
by Gary Pig Gold

“I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight.”
(Martin Luther King, Jr., Washington D.C., August 28, 1963)

“From Dallas, Texas, the flash - apparently official - President Kennedy died at 1:00 p.m. Central standard time, 2 p.m. Eastern standard time, some thirty-eight minutes ago.”
(Walter Cronkite, CBS Television, November 22, 1963)

"Houston, this is Tranquility Base. The Eagle has landed."
(Neil A. Armstrong, Apollo 11, July 20, 1969)

“There are SEVEN LEVELS.”
(Paul McCartney discovers “the Message of the Universe,” August 28, 1964)


Now, if veteran rabble-rousing, uber-networking, visionary (“Blacklisted”) journalist Al Aronowitz’s lifetime of achievements may be remembered for but one solitary event, may I posit it be for what he managed to pull off in the immediate hours following The Beatles’ concert debut at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, Queens, New York, one dreamy midsummer 1964’s night.

For it was within mere minutes after the final shrieks of and around “Long Tall Sally” wafted skyward that our story begins, with the Fab Four safely ensconced back upon the sixth floor of Manhattan’s grande olde Hotel Delmonico as a greenroom full of various folkies and followers (including the Kingston Trio, Peter Paul and Mary, plus the ubiquitous Murray the K) sat all but ignored down the hall. Somehow though, into that inner sanctum high atop the Beatle-manic corner of Park and 59th was snuck none other than Bob Dylan, a bottle of cheap wine, and a fateful envelope’s worth of herbal libation.

Ladies and gentlemen, life as we knew it was about to abruptly cut from stark black and white to rich, fully-dimensional stereophonic day-glo from that momentous moment hence.

You see it seems Bob, misreading a certain “I Want To Hold Your Hand” refrain as “I get high” as opposed to “I can’t hide,” had been convinced to confront those four lyrical Liverpudlians he’d previously dismissed with that cruelest of epithets – “Bubblegum!” -- and in the process, to break the trans-oceanic ice as it were, he decided to introduce his fabulous new pals to the hitherto non-rockin’ accoutrement known as, yep, Marijuana.

Following introductions quickly if not exactly politely proffered between America’s greatest living songwriter and the World’s most Fabulous Band, Ringo (designated “Royal taster” for his comrades) went first and, oblivious to the proper pot-etiquette, proceeded to inhale the entire inaugural joint himself. Watching with sheer wonder as their drummist slowly melted onto the carpet in fits of laughter, John and manager Brian excitedly lit themselves up next, only to be followed by Paul and George who, interestingly enough, proceeded to follow one another throughout their maze of Beatlesuites for the remainder of this most historic of evenings. That is, until a typically profound McCartney suddenly called forth for pen and paper as he announced to all left standing around him, “I have discovered the Meaning of Life!” Something to do with the Universe, it seems, and Seven Levels…..

Suffice to say it wasn’t just the Cute Beatle’s consciousness which was forever altered that night, but the very course of rock and roll, the music business as a whole soon enough after, and as a result just maybe Western Civilization Itself, dammit! And it is in my wisened opinion that the singular man we all have to thank for that, for “Rubber Soul,” for “folk-rock” in the process and, really, for loading Dylan into his station wagon and dragging him towards the Delmonico to set all of these historic balls into motion in the first place, is none other than a dear, sweet man I’ve recently had the pleasure to have known named Al Aronowitz.


FACT: With all apologies due Ralph J. Gleason, Al Aronowitz was the first widely-published man to ever take what we now regrettably take for granted as rock and roll “seriously.” His Pop Scene columns four decades ago in the New York Post, not to mention a litany of legendary Village Voice and Saturday Evening Post features, brought to widespread attention such figures as the fledgling Brill Building songsmiths, teen tycoon Phil Spector, and of course Bob and those Beatles to boot (i.e.: the best-selling Aronowitz Summer of 64 Saturday Evening Post cover story of JPG&R I still fondly recall as the first living-color magazine on the band to ever penetrate my previously rock-free household …because the boys looked so handsome in their top-hats and walking sticks on the cover, I can still hear my mother swoon). Even prior to that above-mentioned hot August night at the Delmonico though, Al was busy forging crucial artistic bridges between hitherto insurmountable cliques and cultural divides. To cite but one cataclysmic example, it is SO plain to see how Al’s introducing Allen Ginsberg to a fresh-from-Minnesota Dylan eventually helped Beat meet Beatles, as it were, and in all the most ingeniously genre-busting of ways.

Aronowitz was also right there on hand at the post-premiere party for “A Hard Day’s Night” in London, as a wickedly soused Lennon motioned a very young, green Keith Richard(s) and Brian Jones over to his table …only to conspiratorially sneer that “there’s something wrong with yez, isn’t there? There’s one of ya in the group that isn’t as good as the others. Who is it? Find out, tell yourselves, and get rid uv ‘im.” Keith glanced uneasily over at Brian. John, as it turns out, was as right – not to mention prescient – as ever.

And you bet, Al captured it all. For unsuspecting Saturday Evening Post readers the world over.

Yet long after the Stones, not to mention the Sixties, began burning themselves inside out, Aronowitz continued to prowl the sidewalks of Greenwich Village, keeping eyes and especially ears wide open as he hung and howled amongst the veterans (Johnny Cash), the recently established (John B. Sebastian), the new kids down the block (a young Richard X. Heyman, who Al once commissioned to assemble an opening act for Sly and the Family Stone) and of course all the contritely contrary-as-ever who were shamelessly being ignored by the Rolling Stone’s – I’m speaking Jann as opposed to Jagger – of the day (I refer most notably to that once-promising Vanguard recording artist Patrick Sky, who Aronowitz bravely helped find a home for that still-incendiary 1973 “Songs That Made America Famous” album, one of your humble columnist’s favorite American recordings EVER). Al also somehow found time to keep his Beatle bonds alive as well, taking our sweet George bowling on Broadway late one night, then conveniently stepping into fresh doggie-do just before crossing the threshold into John and Yoko’s West Village walk-up for the very first time (John responded by taking an utterly appropriate Polaroid double-exposure of Al as he apologetically stunk up the room. “Look at this,” cried the photogenic ex-Beatle Chief. “The two different faces of Al Aronowitz!”)


Then suddenly our hero seemed to vanish altogether off the very face of the Earth -- not to mention the pages of rock’s hepper periodicals -- as “folk” sorrowfully gave way to “singer/songwriter,” Nixon rued the airwaves, Patrick Sky accepted a grant from the Irish government to become an Aeolian pipe maker and, perhaps not so coincidentally, Al’s old pal Bob dissolved altogether into the bit parts of big-budget Peckinpah westerns.

But why? “I was driven crazy by my unjust firing from the Post when my column was one of the most popular features in the paper,” Aronowitz recalls, “by the treachery of the American Newspaper Guild and by my colleagues whom I had helped so much.” The death of his wife and subsequent plunge into the clutches of non-recreational drug use followed and, he says today, “so began a long period of time when editors stopped taking me seriously, a fact that continues until this day. In other words, my writing got a little crazy and even when it wasn't, editors still refused to print me. Why? Ask THEM!”

Then, thank God or Al Gore or whomsoever, along came the Internet at just about the same time Our Al was getting his life, not to mention his voluminous-and-then-some archives, back in order. Duly invigorated and in no small part inspired by the liberating autonomy of the www, Aronowitz was promptly reborn as The Blacklisted Journalist and, domain name duly secured, began posting his vast wealth of work in monthly installments right up there at www.bigmagic.com/pages/blackj “It was only when I could do an end run around the blacklisting that editors had imposed on me by putting my material on the Internet that I discovered I could get readers, something all writers crave,” the man proudly relates. “It was my achievement of a reading audience that brought me back to sanity.”

Today, after a decade spent defiantly republishing his gems on the web, when he was afraid his good words would otherwise languish unread or, worse still, disappear altogether (it was through a tiny backpage ad in the New York Press circa 1996 that I first became reacquainted with that entity henceforth known as The Blacklisted Journalist), Al has now compiled his Greatest Hits, so to speak, across the 615 history-packed pages of “Bob Dylan and The Beatles: Volume One of The Best of the Blacklisted Journalist.” The result is, without a solitary doubt, Required Reading for anyone and everyone who considers themselves fans, followers, students, or those just plain curious of the Golden Age of Popular Music, and how the players – Dylan and the Fabs especially – met, influenced, and eventually actually interacted with one another during those halcyon-indeed daze. Thanks in no small part whatsoever to the Herculean efforts of the man who, in his very own only slightly jocular words, may try to pass it all off by claiming “I was just a proud and happy shadchen, a Jewish matchmaker, dancing at the princely wedding I arranged.”

“I recognized Dylan and The Beatles as immortals, and I wanted to cop some immortality for myself,” Aronowitz now admits. “I knew that bringing Dylan and The Beatles together would have exactly the result that it had. The result is that contemporary popular music changed for the better. Otherwise, every generation creates its own heroes.”

“Whether subsequent heroes will enjoy the same immortality that Bob and The Beatles attained, I am unqualified to predict. All I know is that Bob Dylan and The Beatles are hard acts to follow.”


Oh, and by the way, if the gala Bowery Poetry Club launch party for “Volume One of The Best of the Blacklisted Journalist” is any indication whatsoever, the master shadchen’s talents are alive and very very well: Entertainment was provided by a band comprised of David Amram’s wholly Kerouac-worthy “spontaneous bop prose” backed by Hayes Greenfield’s Coltrane’d sax and, to top it all with that classic decorum-be-darned Aronowitz touch, Babukishan Das, the Bengali Baul who’s become one bonafide Indian pop star. The ears truly boggled!

So then, for your own numbered and signed edition of Al Aronowitz’s book -- including, right there on Page 395, that priceless Lennon double-exposure of the author himself – simply send a United States Postal Money Order for $17 plus $3 shipping and handling to:

THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALIST, BOX 964, ELIZABETH, N.J. 07208

Or, if you want the book shipped to you via Priority Mail, send a money order for $25. Remember: No checks accepted!

and tell ‘em Gary the Pig sentcha, ok?




Joe Vig's Top 30 For July , 2004
by Joe Viglione

A quick and easy index to pop culture that permeates the home and business life of Rock Journalist Joe Viglione.
It is good stuff, and contact information is there when
available!

Top 35 Books, Compact Discs and DVDs

32)Jon Macey Actuality In Process
Http://www.jonmacey.com

31)Dee Dee Ramone "Hop Around"
Produced by Chris Spedding on http://www.corazong.com

30)Jack Stock "Light Of The Moon"
Colleague of Jeff Mastroberti (Caution: You Are Entering
Jeffland) and Buzzy Linhart with his new disc
LIGHT OF THE MOON Http://www.jackstock.org
Jack@jackstock.org

29)Elton John "Are You Ready For Love"
This is a classic Thom Bell song that comes on a CDR
featuring the Radio Edit, full 1979 version and the
tune "Three Way Love Affair". Also contains a CD Rom
video. Got this off of EBAY - a copy from Isarael

28)Ryko Disc 20th Anniversary Boxed Set

27)The Eyes Of Alice Cooper

26)Goldmine Magazine Velvet Underground Issue

25)Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein DVD
OK - I bid on this one for ages on eBay. My friend
James Miller interviewed Ilona Massey for my magazine,
Varulven, around 1970 or so. The commentator on this
DVD references Jim's interview!!! That's why I bought
the DVD - but have to admit - the film is a lot better
than I ever gave it credit for. This writer didn't like
that "the monsters" had to suffer the indignity of being
in a comedy. Years later it works as a wonderful period
piece. The DVD is fascinating and worth seeking out.

24)Let It Be / Beatles Rarities Russian APPLE Records

23)The Byrds "Sweetheart Of The Rodeo" Columbia/Legacy
Picked up the British import version on eBay because I
like getting things from overseas! Contains the Byrds
take on Woody Guthrie's "Pretty Boy Floyd" which
inspired Andy Pratt to write "Avenging Annie".
WZLX's Kimberley Jaeger (hostess of Common Ground) used
to play both songs next to each other when she was a
program director/jock.

22)Rachel Sage Ballads & Burlesque

21)Inner City Blues: The Songs Of Marvin Gaye

20)Cursed By A Happy Childhood (Harmony Books)
Carl Lennertz http://www.crownpublishing.com

19)My Life Bill Clinton (Book)

18)Shock Futures Volume 1 FS-5691-1
Produced by legendary author/songwriter Harriet Schock,
this is an eclectic blend of music written/recorded by
Schocks students and proteges. Very well done.
Http://www.harrietschock.com

17)The Secret Commonwealth - Uninvited Guest

16)Jon Butcher Live At The Casbah DVD

15)FEVER - The Book Tim Riley, Author

14)Kris Kristofferson The World Warrior & Repossessed

13)Piss Ant Your Best Sucks

12)Kurt Michaels Inner Worlds Part 1

11)Genya Ravan "For Fans Only"
Http://www.genyaravan.com Gems that fell through the
cracks emerge as one of Genya's greatest achievements.
A CD for old fans and great recruitment tool for new
ones.

10)Yoko Ono "Walking On Thin Ice" Remix
Stunning. John Lennon predicted Yoko would hit #1
23 years before she did. This is tremendous.
Find it. Play it. Wonderful!
Http://www.twistedamerica.com

09)Mark Mangold

08)Cafebar 401 (Wampus Media, WM-037)

07)Farrenheit Live At The Roxy

06)THUNDERTRAIN Hell Tonite!

05)Charlie Farren Live At Club Passim (F-Man, 009)

04)A Quaint & Curious Collection Of Forgotten Lore!
Frank Dello Stritto

03)The Clarks Fast Moving Cars

02)Lou Reed "Animal Serenade"
http://www.loureed.com

01)Night Train To Nashville: Music City Rhythm & Blues
1945-1970 http://countrymusichalloffame.com

This album hit #1 on Amazon for Tennessee, it is an
amazing double disc of important music, from Johnny
Bragg's original "Just Walkin' In The Rain" to
Bobb Hebb's "Sunny", and exquisite liner notes that
indicate "Sunny" may have been written as the answer
to "Just Walkin' In The Rain." 35 songs, some bonus
tracks, and a booklet that is easy to read and highly
informative. So well done it could set an example for
similar compilations. Was released coinciding "with
the Country Music Hall Of Fame and Museum's 2004-2005
exhibit which goes by the same name - Night Train To
Nashville. Commercials by Little Richard and Earl
Gaines are priceless.

Vol. 2 is in the works. Hopefully they will find
Bobby Hebb's "Sun-in" commercial for Toni's SUN IN
hair product. Hebb's classic spoon playing on
Poppa John Gordy's "Way Down South" would also be a
prime candidate for Vol.2, as well as Bobby's lost 45
"Proud Soul Heritage" (Laurie).

Great to listen to, the sound is amazingly pure and
crisp in the digital domain, and as stated, the thick
liner notes are worth the price of admission. Selling
briskly on eBay as well. A good indicator.




in The Mad Kingdom of ROBIN STANLEY
by Gary Pig Gold

During the very midst of that most-summery Summer of 1983, after several years spent power-poppin’ ‘round Southern California with my latest bunch of musical Loved Ones, I somehow found myself night-managing instead a brand new 7-Eleven in Vancouver, British Columbia …in order that I could save up enough to buy a PortaStudio™ and become the Great Wide North’s one and only Lindsey Buckingham, that is.

But as with even the best laid of schemes, I merrily became, for a year at least, Peter Tork instead.

How, you might very well ask?

Well, it all began one late hot August night, during some precious time off between serving Slurpees to a certain Loverboy’s girlfriend and readying the coffee machine for the four-thirty-AM cab driver rush. Twas then and right there that I spotted a fateful little ad in the local used-car weekly. “Band Forming,” I believe the headline read. “Wanted: Bass guitarist. Vocal ability a plus. Must have own transportation and equipment.” “Groovy!” as I believe the saying even then went.

Upon dialing, the voice on the other end of the line instantly seemed so pleasant that I simply had to confess I not only had no means whatsoever of self-transportation – still don’t either, if truth be told – but also that my guitars were all still being held for ransom by Canadian Customs, somewhere between Seattle and Victoria where my trunk and I had been heaved off the trans-border Greyhound the previous month. “That’s okay,” I believe the voice then replied. “Why don’t you come by for an audition tomorrow anyways?”

Ladies and gentlemen, need I report this was only the first of so many indications over the many years to follow that Robin Stanley was one heckuva fine, understanding, and totally accommodating guy indeed.

So you bet, I somehow passed that audition, Robin even helped me track down an amazing faux-Beatle Hofner bass in some Gastown secondhand shoppe mere days later, and before you could call your Auntie Grizelda I’d become a fully-fledged all-singing, all-playing member of that harbinger of the West Coast proto-pop scene, the Fun With Numbers band. Why, I even got to tackle Dave Davies’ starring role on “Party Line” (not to mention that tricky Phil Everly vocal on “When Will I Be Loved”), as Robin & Co. quickly became the toast of what in retrospect can be heard as the extra-melodically-inclined beginnings of those post-punk / pre-grunge movements we now so highly regard and respect.

Unfortunately though, before I could ever become wholly settled within my latest and greatest musical family, Duty (in the guise of a Toronto-based Beach Boy tribute act so subtly named Endless Summer) called, and I had to pack up my pretend Hofner before ever getting to appear on F w/ N’s one and only official release (1984’s wholly summery “Sunny Holiday” single: think Mr. Hobbs Takes a Holiday in Waikiki). However, throughout the succeeding two decades of my various Endless touring, Dave Rave-ing, Ghost Rocketeering and To M’Lou Music-making I managed to remain in good, constant touch with my good friend Robin, whole-heartedly cheering from afar as each new cassette came in the mail filled with the man’s latest creations and deploring him, with ear-numbing regularity by way of each and every response, “Hey! When are you gonna make an album already??!”

Well, he just did.

So it is especially ear-warming for me to finally be able to invite you all into that deep, sonic jungle which is the one and only Robin Stanley’s mad, magical musical kingdom. Yes, a wondrous land where heroes carry hearts which may actually sometimes hurt, villains fuss and stew in their respective states of confusion, yet where bluebirds fly o’er every rainbow and each wayward angel always finds its way back home. Eventually. Precisely the kind of octave-bounding optimism which may no longer fuel the virtual Top Forties of this cranky old world, I’ll have to admit, but which in the hands of a lovingly mad curator such as Robin can unapologetically fill us all with endless seasons of sunny listening to come.

“They come and they go,” to paraphrase one of the first and greatest Stanleysongs I ever met, “all these faces from my life.” But in these many years since first dialing his number, I can attest before every one of you out there that a man like Robin, not to mention a true blue muse such as his, really do not bop down the pike nearly often enough anymore.

So as I pause now to restring my trusty olde Gastown Hofner (it still works just great, y’know!) may I direct everyone straight on over to www.robin-stanley.com
not to mention to the virtual survey below, for even further information…..


EIGHT QUESTIONS for ROBIN STANLEY:

1. "Munsters" or "Addams Family": Which one's for you, and why?

"Munsters," because the theme song was way too cool.

2. Who in the world, living or dead, would you most like to play a game of Twister with?

Marilyn Monroe. Do you have to ask why???

3. How many rare and/or unreleased recordings by the Brothers Gibb do you own?

The Bee Gees albums I love the most are the ones that are more obscure, like “Life in a Tin Can” and “Mr. Natural.” "Sea of Smiling Faces" off “To Whom It May Concern” always gets to me. Let's not forget about Robin Gibb's solo album “Robin's Reign,” either.

4. If you had been working the front gate at the Dakota that night back in 1980 when Mark David Chapman showed up, pistol in hand, to avenge the chief Beatle for his "bigger than Jesus" wisecrack, what would you have done?

I would have given Mr. Chapman a swift kick in the nuts, and when he dropped the gun I would have disarmed him and held him for the police. Afterward, John and Yoko would have invited me inside for a cuppa tea and later John and I would have sat down at the piano and written "Imagine" together.

5. "Ginger" or "Mary-Ann": Which one's for you, and for how long?

Well, Mary-Ann would have made a great wife. And Ginger would have made a wonderful girlfriend. So, do I really have to choose???

6. What single song -- living or dead -- do you most wish you'd written? And why didn't you?

"Smile." Unfortunately, I never got a chance to write a song with Charlie Chaplin (or Lennon, for that matter!)

7. Whose vintage six-string would you most like to be reincarnated as?

Sheryl Crow's. That girl is HOT. Can you imagine having her run her hands up and down your neck???

8. In 2000 words or less: your hopes, aspirations, and goals -- musical and otherwise -- for your life and your country?

I'd like my rise to the top of the Billboard music charts to coincide with world peace. Everybody's so busy grooving to my album “Mad Kingdom,” which is played endlessly on the radio, in bars and clubs, shopping malls and elevators etc that they don't have time to fight with each other. I'd also like to put Vancouver, a city previously known for bringing the world the likes of Bryan Adams, Loverboy and Michael Buble, on the musical map as a serious music town, like Boston or Seattle. I'd also like to see British Columbia's premier Gordon Campbell accidentally run over by a speeding ambulance.





The Count and the Psychotic Reaction Count V
by Joe Viglione

Legendary Underground Bands Change Names!!!!

Varulven
Sunday, April 18, 2004
http://therealcount.blogspot.com/

http://visualradio.blogspot.com

1979 The Count review in Trouser Press
Trouser Press The Book - and The Magazine - have reviewed The Count for the past
25 years: http://www.trouserpress.com/entry.php?a=count There is only one COUNT
- the mantle of Count Basie placed on his shoulders - thousands of live
performances and songs are being prepared to be available on
http://www.varulven.com Downloads and CDRs of THE COUNT will be available soon!

Sunday, April 18, 2004
The Count Live At Jumbos, Somerville, Massachusetts November 8, 1982

The Count Live At Jumbos, Somerville, Mass. August 18, 1983
Engineered by Toby Mountain! Digitally Recorded!!!

# posted by wri @ 4:36 PM


Dear Friends -

There are 3 bands calling themselves THE COUNT long after my use of the name
showed up in Paris http://lastcallrecords.com

Help spread the word! Wait till you see all the Count tapes we release on
http://www.varulven.com

Joe Vig
The Real Thing!

¶ 4:47 PM
THE COUNT and THE COUNT V trade names!
Special Report by Janis Reed

Legendary punk rock group THE COUNT FIVE who had the hit "Psychotic Reaction" (Double Shot Records), a Top 5 Smash in September of 1966,
have traded names with THE COUNT, Joe Viglione, producer / host of
Visual Radio-Television. The Count was informed by a major Boston radio
personality that The Count Five took the television host's stage name when
that host found their posting on CD Baby.

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/count

http://community-2.webtv.net/varulven/CountPerformance/index.html

http://community-2.webtv.net/mrhd/COUNTLIVEGIGS/index.html

Joe Viglione
http://community-2.webtv.net/pubmac/MICKTAYLORONVISUAL/index.html

Count Viglione is now THE COUNT V

A New Count For The New Millenium tm

http://www.varulven.com
¶ 3:57 PM
Hello Blog World! ¶ 3:22 PM



Andy Pratt, J Geils perform at Kevin Visnaskas 50th Birthday, 4/10/04
by Joe Viglione

ANDY PRATT, J GEILS perform at Kevin Visnaskas surprise 50th Birthday Party
for Music Business Monthly http://www.varulven.com/mbm/mbmfrontpage.shtml

Guitarist Kevin Visnaskas was stunned when he walked into the Big Bear Lodge
in Brookline New Hampshire around 7 PM, Saturday evening, April 10. The parking
lot was jammed with cars to celebrate the half-a-century mark for "The Installers"
guitarist. Vocalist Stephen Clark, bassist Marc Rines, the drums of Jim Burns
along with second guitar Barry Callahan awaited the arrival of fellow bandmate Visnaskas before the R & B/Rock/Blues outfit rocked the house to open things up.
The band's producer, John "J." Geils showed up to much applause and added even
more amplified magic. http://www.theinstallers.net/install2.html

Wife Lisa Visnaskas conspired with her husband's friends for months to put together
the event. A beautiful Sitar was the key gift (along with the party) for the underrated
journeyman who packed concert halls like The Commodore in Lowell and The Paradise
in Boston in the 1970s and 1980s with "Eastwood Peak" and the "Andy Watson Band."
Originally signed to brother John Visnaskas' Pure & Easy Records - the label that
issued discs by MC5 Wayne Kramer, latter-day Nervous Eaters when they were known
as The Reflectors along with Gary Shane solo as well as his work with Shane Champagne, Eastwood Peak closed the show with a lengthy set of material which
ran the gamut from Mott The Hoople's "All The Way To Memphis" to Bob Seger's
"Fire Down Below". Between the appearance by J. Geils and the reformed Eastwood
Peak came a four song set by Andy Pratt. "Pass Away" from the Perfect Therapy album, The Beatles' "Fool On The Hill" (a tune rarely played live by Pratt), "Avenging
Annie" and "Summer Summer" from his soon-to-be re-released Sony disc "Andy Pratt",
were an extra special birthday treat for Kevin.

The music was non-stop in the stunningly spacious venue just re-opening to music.
Manager Debra Lefebvre has a winner on her hands in this room with the country music of The Midnight Bandits, the blues of Roxanne and The Voodoo Rockers, and tributes
to the Police as well as celebrated Neil Young appreciators Rust Never Sleeps all
booked. Longtime New England area sound technician/producer/recording engineer Ben Chandler will be putting his sound system in the place, a nice complement to his recently opened Studio Metronome, a state of the art facility located in Brookline, NH.

The entire event was videotaped and a lengthier critique will follow.






Eight Questions for BILL LLOYD
by Gary Pig Gold

My favorite Nashville-based musician, songwriter, recording artist and sometimes even record producer to boot, Bill may be best renowned ‘round rootier musical circles for his fine work within the unapologetically Everly-esque Foster And Lloyd duo. But it’s his incredible-indeed string of solo releases that always hit me hardest (“Set to Pop” especially!) while his grand new Paisley Pop release “Paparazzi,” cunningly crafted alongside Spongetone Jamie Hoover and Jersey’s own Dennis Diken, certainly deserves your immediate and undivided attention as well. All of which duly reminded me to ask Bill…..

1. "Munsters" or "Addams Family": Which one’s for you, and Why?

“Addams Family” all the way. Outside of having a great theme song, “The Munsters” was just a typical goofy ‘60’s TV show. The Addams offered bizarre eccentricity as an option of a lifestyle that could work in society... and taught that money could buy you out of many of your problems. Obviously, “The Addams Family” was more like real life than we ever considered.

2. Who in the world, living or dead, would you most like to play a game of "Twister" with?

Naked Twister with Ann-Margret in 1973 comes to mind... she was volump-tuous.

3. How many Sid King & The Five Strings records do you own?

Exactly none.

4. If you had been working the front gate at Graceland that night back in ’76 when a drunken Jerry Lee Lewis showed up, shotgun in hand, to "put that damn Elvis outta his mis’ry", what would you have done?

What I would have really done and what bravado I’d muster up for a fantasy question are two different things! What I probably would have really done was praised Jerry Lee for his own genius and abundance of talent …while quietly sliding out of his focus and running like hell. What I would have liked to have done would have somehow gotten him in a conversation about his considerable gifts, gone for coffee, and eventually produced the long string of hits on him he didn’t have in real life.

5. "Ginger" or "Mary-Ann": Which one’s for you, and for How Long?

I just saw a thing on TV the other night that was a “tell-all behind the scenes” look at that show, and Ginger was really so full of crap in her interviews, and looked drawn like she’d had several facelifts. Mary-Ann was still a cute 50-something. Time tells the tale!

6. What single song, living or dead, do you most wish you’d written… and Why Didn’t You?

Well, songs only die when they’re totally forgotten, so it’s got to be a living song. A favorite song of mine is “Young at Heart” that Frank Sinatra recorded. Written by Johnny Richards and Carolyn Leigh, who obviously got there before I did.

7. Whose guitar would you most like to be reincarnated as?

I just saw Charlie Christian’s guitar in the Smithsonian last month... that would be a good resting place. The glory of being one of the first electric guitars to boot.

8. In 2000 words or less, Your Hopes, Aspirations and Goals, musical and otherwise, for your life and your country?

I would hope to continue to stay musically active song-writing, playing and recording, and continue to have an active family life -- those are the biggies. Making a living is a good idea. My Country is an amazing thing... we can seemingly do our worst and because of the way it’s set up, altruism still has a chance. We be the peoples!




Doris Troy - The Legend Lives On
by Joe Viglione

Mark Farner biographer Kris Engelhardt sent an e mail on February 19th about our friend Doris Troy, who left us either on Monday, February 16, 2004 or Tuesday February 17, two different dates have appeared in the press. The news was devastating. Doris was only 67 years of age! A spectacular voice and personality silenced. Go to EBAY and
see just how collectible that voice is. As of Friday, 2/27/04, Ms. Troy's APPLE record is going for U.S. $61.00
11 bids on it, starting at 14.95 - with two days to go.
Hip record collectors know who she is, but the kids running the record stores today do not. The girl at Tower Records in Burlington said to me after I asked for Doris Troy "Did you say "Dire Straits". NO, "Doris Troy - the woman on Pink Floyd's DARK SIDE OF THE MOON; on the Stones' "40 Licks." "Oh" she said. Disgraceful.

We must make it a personal mission to keep the spirit of Doris Troy alive. Just One Listen was all it took.

SOME PERSONAL NOTES:

Kris & I had a conference call with Doris a few months back and she sounded great - when no Christmas card came this year I was worried a bit - no emails came either since our last phone conversation. Troy is one of the greatest singers in rock music - from "Just One Look" to her work on Dark Side Of The Moon to The Rolling Stones' "Forty Licks" album - "You Can't Always Get What You Want"...maybe my old business partner Jimmy Miller can produce her once
again - God - this is so rough...When Mr. Jimmy discovered
Doug Fieger (eventually of "The Knack") and signed him
to R.C.A. with the band "Sky", Doris appeared as one of the
background singers on the "Don't Hold Back" album (see AMG http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&uid=UIDMISS70402261319522159&sql=A5pk9kemt7q7m ). She's on many a session record, but what really needs to be discussed is how to keep this great lady's name alive. If her passing was a shock, I wasn't ready for the shock to come. Going from store to store - Virgin Records, Newbury Comics, Barnes & Noble, it was ultra-distressing to see that no one had the Ichiban label release of "Just One Look: The Best Of Doris Troy." Here's a song that was all over television, a melody known to millions and millions of people, covered by Mark Farner (see AMG: http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&uid=UIDMISS70402261319522159&sql=A5b6ftr7tkl1x ), The Hollies, Bryan Ferry, a standard's standard, and a woman who made an impact on Broadway and as an executive with Apple Records, which issued her highly collectible 1970's album. Also released in the 70's was a Gospel recording,
THE RAINBOW TESTAMENT: http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&uid=UIDMISS70402261319522159&sql=Acuom96oo3ep7

Ron Davies, author of "It Ain't Easy" was on the phone with me just a few months ago, and then I heard he died on October 30th, 2003 - we were going to do an interview. He sent me a copy of his album "Where Does The Time Go" - and an additional copy to send to AMG. My editor let me do the
review a couple of weeks ago:

http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&uid=UIDMISS70402191304173273&sql=Aerf3zfj3eh8k


Doris was going to be on Visual Radio when she was singing Gospel in New York a couple of years ago, we didn't get the chance to connect - but she did appear via phone on my WMFO radio show, "the Demo That Got The Deal"
for "Just One Look" --- John Kalishes of The Ben Orr Band left us a couple of months back, as Ben Orr did a couple of years earlier - this is all so distressing.

Doris loved my review of her RAINBOW TESTAMENT album
http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&uid=UIDMISS70402191304173273&sql=Afd3gtq3ztu44

I also had the honor of writing up "Just One Look" for AMG
http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&uid=UIDMISS70402191304173273&sql=X3304682

When the great Nik Venet passed away it was the first time I was alerted to the loss of a friend via the internet - Harriet Schock sent me an e mail that the world had lost the man she introduced me to, the producer of The Beach Boys, Jim Croce, Linda Ronstadt and so many others.

The passing of the legend, Doris Troy, came via internet as well.

These are just rambling thoughts...

Mr. Engelhardt wrote :" She'll be GREATLY missed. A finer woman never walked the earth."
KE

She is missed already. Doris Troy is #1.



Here's the NY Times article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/19/arts/music/19TROY.html

Troy, Pop Singer Whose Life Inspired a Show, Dies at 67
By BEN SISARIO

Published: February 19, 2004







A FAB FORTY
by Gary Pig Gold

Has it REALLY been four decades already since television’s greatest-ever talent scout took a chance on a brash young musical novelty act from far-off Britain? Yes, even to those who weren’t extremely tuned into the 2 / 9 / 64 “Ed Sullivan Show,” the look, spunk, and above all SOUND of J, P, G & R continues to ring within eyes and ears this whole world over. But nobody needs ME to tell them that.

So instead, I thought I’d pick a mere forty of my favorite Beatle tunes of the moment, and tell you all why I think they’re so, well, Fab. Of course, YOUR mileage – not to mention choices – will differ, but that’s half the fun of listening AND listing, isn’t it?

Allow me then to kick straight off with the Beatlesong I still find myself humming, playing, and yes, writing about most often than not…..

1) PLEASE PLEASE ME …and, with the supreme Beatle ballad “Ask Me Why” on its original flipside, perhaps the greatest one-two career launcher in poppy-rock history.

2) IT WON’T BE LONG As you’ll soon realize, John is my unapologetically favorite Beatle, and he was positively on fire throughout my fave Fab album, “With The Beatles.” Elsewhere upon same, “Not A Second Time” and “All I’ve Got To Do” were pure Smokey Robinson-worthy young Lennon gems, while Paul’s “All My Loving” – not to mention George’s first-ever (!!) ditty “Don’t Bother Me” – also helped make the band’s second album an end-to-end unbeatable beat group classic.

3) STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER Arguably the very pinnacle of the band’s studio concoctions …BEFORE they started getting altogether too magically mysterious for their own good, that is. And STILL the greatest fade-out(s) ever committed to vinyl to boot.

4) I DON’T WANT TO SPOIL THE PARTY Both Everlys notwithstanding, The Beatles hear-by invent alt. country and, coupled with “Eight Days A Week,” produce in the process their first of many 1965 North American chart-toppers.

5) TOMORROW NEVER KNOWS If you hadn’t already realized during its previous thirteen songs, “Revolver” had just forever re-written musical history right before your very ears.

6) A HARD DAY’S NIGHT The undeniable State of the Art, 1964-model. Listen closely for the driving bed of bongos, not to mention that stellar George M. vs George H. piano-guitar solo (…and not a bad li’l movie they stuck after it either!)

7) HAPPINESS IS A WARM GUN Lennon truly was pop’s Picasso, compositionally-speaking, and only The Beatles could’ve made it successfully thru this dizzying mini-History of Rock ‘n’ Roll with the help of only three or four tape splices.

8) GOOD MORNING GOOD MORNING Stripped of all its Pepper down to the rhythm track alone, as the “Anthology 2” version demonstrates, we realize how great a tight little band The Beatles really were …even AFTER a whole year off the road!

9) EVERYBODY’S GOT SOMETHING TO HIDE EXCEPT ME AND MY MONKEY
…and THIS totally Pepper-free hum-ringer must’ve been even more fun to record than “Birthday,” “Hey Bulldog,” or maybe Lennon’s Ninth (“Revolution”).

10) I’LL BE ON MY WAY Along with “Hello Little Girl,” the nascent Lennon and McCartney’s keenest Buddy Holly re-write ever …though you must admit Billy J. Kramer, as opposed to them Beatles, recorded the definitive rendering.

11) I FEEL FINE The first feedback on record, as John once claimed? Link Wray might just have something to say about that. But there certainly was nothing finer to be heard over Christmastime 1964 …and THAT’S the truth.

12) I SAW HER STANDING THERE The album-opener to start all album openers ...or, as producer-extraordinaire Sir Big George Martin would so aptly characterize it, “a potboiler.” Why, even the other George’s wholly-Hamburg-drenched guitar solo lives up to Paul’s proto-Dee Dee count-in!

13) I’LL BE BACK Add the lads’ always-shimmering three-part barbershop chorale atop John’s loving tribute to the late, very great Del Shannon’s trademark major/minor way with a song structure, and you have the album-closer to end all albums. At LEAST.

14) I’M DOWN Meanwhile, Paul gamely wrestles Little Richard to the studio floor …whilst telling Jerry Lee the news.

15) THANK YOU GIRL This raw diamond, which along with “Misery” Squeeze particularly built a whole vocal career after, truthfully deserves much more notice after four decades spent languishing upon the underside of that original “From Me To You” single.

16) BABY YOU’RE A RICH MAN And on the subject of Great Lost Beatle B-sides, this big-bass and Clavioline-driven sing-along has aged SO much better than its Summer of Love topside, “All You Need Is…” …now what was that word again??

17) COME TOGETHER Wherein Lennon caps his Fab career with a slyly-subtle slice of Liverpool funk. And, as always, Ringo positively SHINES. So much for the rest of “Abbey Road”…

18) LOVE ME DO So frequently poo-poohed coz Brian Epstein could only buy its way up to Number 17 on the hit parade. Yet as no less an authority as Raymond Douglas Davies has always attested, The Beatles’ vinyl debut nevertheless pricked up all the right ears all over Britain during that otherwise uneventful winter of ’62.

19) IT’S ALL TOO MUCH …and I guess it IS, clocking in as the not-so-quiet Beatle’s long long longest Northern Song ever. Still, I can so much more easily hear it closing “Sgt. Pepper” rather than that other epic production “A Day In The Life,” can’t you? No?? oh, well…

20) THERE’S A PLACE Somehow telepathically (though monophonically) linked since ’63 with Brian Wilson’s “In My Room” as two of the most deeply touching agoraphobic studies of all time.

21) I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER Here our heroes, lead again by John, toss off one of the greatest deceptively-arcane musical throwaways of the era with one harmonica holder tied behind their backs. Plus George says it all with the last twelve-strung note of his guitar solo, as usual.

22) I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND The crowning jewel which, rightfully so, took Beatlemania global …and opened B. Dylan’s ears especially to a certain misheard phrase in the bridge, just as importantly it turns out.

23) MARTHA MY DEAR The most beloved song ever written to a sheep dog? Irregardless, it is that most infrequent instance of a McCartney composition which is perfectly, regally understated in both arrangement and execution. Hence its rare, pure, and SIMPLE (got that, Paul?) charm.

24) DAY TRIPPER The boys gamely take on the twin late-’65 titans of the Stones and Stax …and, wouldn’t you know it, cross the line with flying colours.

25) ACROSS THE UNIVERSE (Spector version, btw!!) So maybe its words do flow out endlessly, but WHAT a tune! (no doubt inspired by George’s most-melodious “Inner Light” being completed that very same week).

26) NOWHERE MAN The Beatles meet The Byrds.

27) DEAR PRUDENCE What happens when you take your guitar, and Donovan, to India with you. And then one of your playmates won’t come outside. Superb drumming as well …by PAUL this time though!

28) NO REPLY Hey! A Beatle samba, with an actually complete lyrical narrative along the way. Before John fell off Dylan’s deep-end altogether with “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away,” mind you.

29) THINK FOR YOURSELF Can you think of any other song, Fab or otherwise, that can employ a word like “opaque” – not to mention a fuzz-toned bass – and get away with it?

30) GETTING BETTER Paul’s ever-cute cleverness pretty near capsized the Peppery proceedings in all too many places, but for these two-minutes-forty-seven he’s kept keenly in check (“…can’t get much worse”).

31) TICKET TO RIDE The first heavy metal song, as John once claimed? Oh, boy…

32) YOU KNOW MY NAME (LOOK UP THE NUMBER) Until Apple Inc. gets around to compiling all of the band’s great goonish Christmas recordings on one shiny disc, there’s always this inspired chunk of Brian Jones-saxed lunacy readily available on a compilation and/or file-sharing trough near you.

33) AND YOUR BIRD CAN SING The Beatles BEAT The Byrds!

34) CRY FOR A SHADOW George was only… HOW old, when he helped create this delightfully mock-Marvin (as in Hank of the Shadows) Hamburg set-stretcher?!!

35) THINGS WE SAID TODAY Finally! The first McCartney effort to hold its own against a Johnsong.

36) YES IT IS Barely-in-tune British doo-wop …and the greatest Beatle backside since its first cousin “This Boy.”

37) HOLD ME TIGHT Similarly suspect in the vocal pitch dept., but it’s about as close to, yes, heavy metal as these four comparative short-hairs ever got during the once-swinging Sixties.

38) SHE SAID SHE SAID Metal doesn’t even BEGIN to describe the veritable wall of Epiphones which took less than three minutes to raise even Peter Fonda from the near-dead.

39) HELP! Sure, the movie’s a clinker, but the song is as harrowingly autobiographical as anything on “Pet Sounds” …AND you can frug to it!

40) YOU CAN’T DO THAT When all is said and sung, however: GOTTA have cowbell...




ANDY PRATT at N.E. Compact Disc Expo and SitNBull Pub
by Joe Viglione


ANDY PRATT signed autographs at Randolph Music's
Original N.E. Compact Disc & Record Expo on Sunday,
February 8th, 2004 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM at the
Dedham Holiday Inn. We met former WZLX Music
Director Paul Lemieux, former WZLX jock Dr. K, Access
Producer Steve Roy, who covered Andy's "Fun In The
First World" - and Expo DJ Jim McCarthy played the
cover version along with Andy Pratt's self-titled
Columbia album and tracks from "Cover Me." Lots of
people came by the table, signed the book, and the
entire exposition was treated to Andy performing
various tunes from his career. All caught on
Videotape!

Mr. Pratt's performance at the SIT N BULL in January was
fantastic. Rob Soltz was the new drummer along with
bassist Chuck Fisher and Stomper Sal Baglio on guitar!
They will return to the SITNBULL on March 18, 2004, when Andy returns from playing in New York on March 14 with
Moogy Klingman at The Triad, NYC. Moogy, Andy and yours truly are speaking at the IBS College Radio Convention on
March 12 and 13 at the NY Penn Hotel. Watch for Andy Pratt's record catalog to be re-released soon in all the
Boston area stores that matter.


MORE ROCK & ROLL NEWS: Check out the new TV show from
Matt O'Connor - http://www.mattoconnoronline.com First
guest is THE DEAL from Medford. 2nd "The Audrey Ryan Band".



TEN YOU MAY HAVE MISSED IN 2003
by Gary Pig Gold

In that tipsy-turvy year when Triumph the Insult Comic Dog’s “Come Poop With Me” outsold labelmate REM’s latest “Best Of” by a margin of twenty-to-one in most key retail markets, and the RIAA’s legal staff seemed the only entity who can claim to have made actual musical hay in the bazaar that was the 2003 Record Biz, I merrily continued to seek sonic refuge by burrowing both ears deeply down within the cultural subterrane I might like to call Outsider Music for the In Crowd. So if you’re up to joining me in taking a dip beneath the r’n’r radar, come read with me as I exhume a mere ten of my Frequently Forgotten Faves from ’03 …and in absolutely no order other than the alphabetical, I must implore, for those keeping score:


JOHNNY DOWD
“Wire Flowers: More Songs from the Wrong Side of Memphis”
(Munich Records)
www.johnnydowd.com

Quote: “In the winter of 1996, I retreated into a small room to write and record songs on my four-track,” explains Ithaca, New York’s premier moving man with a six-string. “Many of those recordings found a home on my first album, WRONG SIDE OF MEMPHIS.” (Required Listening, by the way, everyone!) “The rest are here. Different versions of some of these songs are on PICTURES FROM LIFE’S OTHER SIDE and THE PAWNBROKER’S WIFE,” Johnny continues in his handy WIRE FLOWERS liners, “but what you’ll find here are the original bad seeds.” And what stunningly glorious underbrush this is, from the SAFE AS MILK Beefheart-break of “Monkey Run” to the Elvis SUN SESSION-ready “I See Horses,” the broken Buffalo Springfield “Ain’t Got a Dime,” clear on up and out towards the inevitable “Judgment Day” (precisely the kind of anti-Americana which broke the late, extremely great Rank and File up on their third album, I’ll have y’all know). But then there’s the should’a been “Cold Turkey” B-side “Rockefeller Eyes,” the Jandek with a budget (and a libretto) “Black Rain,” and STILL enough additional raw jewels left over to score David Lynch’s next three films …so long as Rick Rubin promises to produce, that is. I admit, Johnny Dowd seems to end up on my year-end tallies each and every twelve months it seems. If you’ve ever wondered why, I heartily suggest you give yourself some WIRE FLOWERS today.


JEREMY
“Pop Dreams”
(Jam Records)
www.jamrecordings.com

Quoting liner notes again (though this time those of no less an expert on the subject than twistin’ shakin’ Beverly Paterson of “Rock Beat International” magazine), “The first track on the album, “Pop Dreams For You and Me,” begins on a rather ghostly note before flexing its muscles into a spinning romp of power pop glory. Stepping into Byrds territory, “Walking With You” reels with jingly jangly guitar magic and heaps of sun-kissed melodies you won’t soon forget. Rock solid rhythms pierce “The Actor,” while “Just a Song” is speckled with a nice psychedelic motif, due to the snake charming fragrance of some trippy sitar work. “Are You Afraid?” and “What Friends Are For” both log in as straight-forward pop pursuits that grip you by the ears right away and demand to be played again and again. POP DREAMS also includes a bright and bouncy cover of Lennon and McCartney’s “Good Night” that adds a whole new approach to the original version.” Well, Beverly, what can I possibly add to all that but “Well said, ma’am! I couldn’t have reviewed it better myself …so as you can see, I didn’t,” not to mention, “Jeremy? Yessir, you’ve gone and made your very best album to date.” And as for the rest of you out there, all I can say is there honestly wasn’t a more purely positive forty-six minutes of word, sound and above all vision put out there in 2003, and you each owe it to yourselves to partake fully this very instant. Close quote.


TOM JONES
“Mr. Jones”
(V2 Music)
www.tomjones.com

For those wondering what’s been new (pussycat) with Atomic Jones these days -- when he’s not jamming da blooz alongside Jeff Beck for Martin Scorsese or belting over Three Dog Night oldies on “Good Morning America,” that is – here’s a hep little platter that belatedly came my way …wherein Tom’s latest in a long line of contemporary collaborators is none other than Wyclef Jean! Okay, so often these enforced pair-ups twixt yesterday’s heroes and not-quite-so-oldies but goodies often fall far flat, but Tom’s always had an impeccable ear whenever the need arises to hitch his stalling star upon sympathetic shoulders (eg: Jerry Lee Lewis in ’67; Prince two decades later). So with a delightfully dub yelp of “one, two, Tom’s coming for you, three four gonna bust through your door, five six you better lock up your chicks, seven eight, before it’s too late,” Messrs. Jones and Jean embark upon three quarter-hours of deadly Diddy-beating, Ron Isley-esque RandB-moderne, and even a Folkways/Smithsonian-sampled lunge at “Black Betty” that must have Ram Jam, not to mention Leadbelly Himself, doing the funky chicken in their graves. The main star throughout just has to be Tom’s lyrics, however: this is, I believe, the first time in his illustrious forty-year career he’s helped pen the majority of an album’s tracks, and whether waxing nostalgic on his Joe Meek / Squires daze (“with a mike and a guitar I used to racket on any stage“), bemoaning a fairer sexer’s lack of attention – yeah, right (“I serve you breakfast in bed, but you say that ain’t enough, so I take out the garbage on the weekend”), or simply tipping his pelvic region on behalf of “my people working, waking up at six in the morning, trying to make an honest living ogi ogi ogi ogi oh”) Tom’s sentiments are surprisingly candid and heroically heartfelt to a number. The guy really should write a book already! Now, this entire jizzle may conclude with a somewhat misguided remix-make of “I Who Have Nothing,” but hey, that’s what the “skip” button’s for, right? So put down the man’s latest RELOADED hits comp for a little while at least this year and let MR. JONES in with his load too, alright? Coz… Tom and Wyclef? Why, it’s really not that unusual at all!


THE LAST
“L.A. Explosion!”
(Bomp! Records)
www.dannolte.com/last

When I eventually get to the West Coast chapter of my “Fallen Through The Cracks” tome, more than special mention will certainly be given to the mighty Nolte brothers, Joe, Mike and David, and their criminally under-heard combo The Last who, between roughly 1976 and 79, helped kick-start the entire Los Angeles punk, paisley and/or power pop scene(s) in a way the GoGo’s, Germs, and even Plimsouls can only hope to retrospectively rival. In this time, and in their prime, The Last only managed to squeeze out one full album (which upon release was stupidly criticized for being “too clean” -sounding to an audience already being weaned for the likes of Black Flag). But listened to today, luvingly restored, remastered and repackaged in all its Living Stereo glory by their veteran mentors at Bomp, L.A. EXPLOSION provides no less than a 21-track, 57-minute primer for pop-rock’s anti-State of the Art circa JOE’S GARAGE and TUSK (between sessions for which our heroes snuck in to do their overdubs, just to put everything in its proper hysterical perspective). Yep, you too can trace this seminal band’s evolution from back-alley Seeds ‘n’ Searchers regurgitators (“She Don’t Know Why I’m Here“) to pseudo-nouveau surf-rockers (“Every Summer Day” ….Murry Wilson, where are you?!!) through to their brave, early championing of the SECOND British Invasion (“Bombing Of London” especially Clashes in a way I’m sure J. Strummer would’ve approved, while “Century City Rag” – written ‘way back in ’75 after Joe Nolte quit his highschool prog band, I kid you knot! – easily out-Wellers the Jam with one Rickenbacker tied behind its back). Like their East Coast offspring The Cheepskates, what truly set The Last apart from the pack was always the sheer complexity and inventiveness of its in-house songwriting (ie: “This Kind of Feeling” and “Someone’s Laughing” can stand proudly against ANY Beau Brummels A-side), but while never letting such craft get in the way of having tons-o-laffs in the process, I’m so pleased to report (like the Gene Vincent vs. Doors fistfight which is their bluejean-bottomed take on, you betcha, “Be Bop A Lula” herein). Alas, GET THE KNACK sorta overshadowed L.A. EXPLOSION upon its original release, then the various Bang(le)s etc. who comprised the Last’s audiences began to form their own bands and, well… at least it’s never too late to marvel anew at the harmony-packed history littering this monumental disc. At last.


JACK PEDLER
“D.T. Delinquent”
(Race Records)
http://mywebpage.netscape.com/taylorzwin/JackPedler.html

It’s taken over a decade since the man first stepped off the drumkit behind some of his home and native Canada’s greatest bands (eg: Teenage Head) and recordings (“Red Red The Rocking Horse,” for all you seven-inch Seventies collectors), but Jack Pedler has finally, fatefully, fitfully even released his SGT. PEPPER …no, better still, his WHO SELL OUT …wait a minute, I mean BOULDERS for the Empty Millennium. From its initial blast of iron-curtained oompah’s (“Wolfgang! Where’s the Jägermeister?” howls a lone voice in the sonic wilderness) to the concluding in-the-bagpiped coda of Celtic chaos, we’re careened upon a journey into deepest, dankest Dickensian strum and drang, buoyed with all the pointed hilarity befitting a man of J.P’s learned world-wisdom. The title track, f’rinstance, takes only minutes to scale the Roger Watery Dark Side of The Wall (WITHOUT requiring any Gerald Scarfe artwork either!), courtesy of the patent Pedler wordplay (“…looking like a comatose mangled mannequin”) while producer Georgie Fab’s always artful cellarful of nice noise churns restlessly beneath it all. Elsewhere, Blood Sweat and Tears meets Rocky Horror (“It’s Not So”), our ol’ pal “Baby H” lifts the oh-so-timely spectre of war pigs everywhere, but our hero Jack nonetheless can still take time out to take a drive -- whilst taking a bride! -- in the car-tune to end all cartoons, “Hot Wire.” Whew! So, to quote the master yet again, if ever you should find your laundry in a quandary, metaphorically speaking, what’s the worry? Just grab your little log, pull yourself alongside the effigy campfire, snuggle up warm as toast, and spend your way outta the hole, dammit, by plunking your big bouncy bucks down for this delicately floured ‘n’ tickled wizard’s brew. Go ahead then. Don’t be ascared! Trust in Jack.


THE PLAYMATES
“Listen!”
(K.O.G.A. Records)
http://u-go.to/playmates/

Thanks to David Bash and his truly International Pop Overthrow festivals, musical wonders which under abnormal circumstances might go relatively unheard altogether are most thankfully brought straight to the undivided attention of just the kinda people who still believe rock and even roll has the unmitigated ability to amass, amuse, and in the case of this Osaka combo’s 2003 appearance at IPO NYC, absolutely AMAZE. I admit, it took only three chords of The Playmates’ Hamburg Beatles-tempered set to make me a complete convert for life, and the three of their CD’s I’ve managed to grab so far have barely left the trusty Pig Player ever since. Interestingly, the most recent of these, LISTEN!, would have nothing whatsoever to apologize for if, in fact, it WAS named after Billy J. Kramer’s 1963 long-player of the same moniker, as the Mersey beats hard and fast throughout these dozen tracks too (and, like Sir George Martin’s most vital and vintage recordings, the Japanese LISTEN! is also produced in power-pounding Back to Monaural sound …you better believe it takes a real band to mix down to a single channel these days). So, where even to begin? Well, howzabout the Pete Ham dates Eric Carmen “Sweet Girl,” the “Substitute”-era Who acoustic six-powered “In The Dream,” the Holland-Dozier-Holland-go-Walking-on-Sunshine “Tears Are Fallin’” or even the shimmering Rubinoos-redux of “Tale Of Summer”? Most aurally astounding of all though must really be the Tokyo City Rollers-fashioned, sleighbell-encrusted “Everybody’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Winter,” which brings back such fond memories of those chilly ChinniChap egg-noggers from Top Of The Pops past. No, not since Ron Nasty last helped Utopia deface the music we all know and love has a mere thirty minutes flat so expertly summed up the raw, raucous spirit of p-o-p in all of its sly, innocent and yes, monophonic splendor. In just one more word then? LISTEN!!!


JASON RINGENBERG
“A Day At The Farm with Farmer Jason”
(Yep Roc Records)
www.jasonringenberg.com

Attention! From the fine folk over at Yep Roc, who’ve also just given us some grand new Fleshtones and Big Sandy releases too, comes an alarmingly disarming charmer which carries the following Parental Advisory: “This CD contains songs that will have you singing along with your kids!” Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce you to the one, the only Farmer Jason. Now you may remember his previous incarnation as leader of those red-hot Nashville Scorchers who, a couple’a decades ago, helped make Bakersfield safe again for alternative airwaves …and quite some time before Dwight the Yoakam ever squeezed into his first set of designer Levis, by the way. But these days Jason seems rightfully content to traipse the lower quarter before retiring onto the front porch -- after the young ones have all been put to bed, that is -- to pick the simple joys of life across his very own green acres. The result is a harrowingly wholesome half-hour which may smack some of uprooting Mister Rogers into the Hee Haw cornfield, but in fact makes quite an airtight case that the REAL future of music with such wit and melody may ultimately rest upon the stages of your neighborhood community centers, pre-schools and library recital halls. Still with me? Then I suggest you join Farmer J. asap as he takes us all on one family-friendly hayride courtesy of his ever-courageous guitar pickin’ chickens, encountering en route an old cow (who sounds respectfully akin to J.R. Cash), a hog-hog-hog (via a riff fully fit for the Duke of Steve Earle), and a deere (as in John, that is) chug-chuggin’ tractor. We learn about sheep shearing and domesticated animals too – LITERAL pet sounds abound, of course – and even manage to mend to some chores (plantin’ that “Corny Corn”) before the sun duly sets on Jason and his farm, with the good Lord’s goodnight kisses and a heavenly vocal assist from Tahra Dergee. You know, not since Jonathan Richman last crawled across the kindergarten floor imploring “I’m A Little Dinosaur” has listening been so, well, FUNdamental!


SLEEPING GIANT
Excerpts from “Late Music”
(Nun Bett-R Productions)

You just can’t live in New Jersey without being touched by the knowing shadow of The Smithereens, and their long-sitting drummist Dennis Diken is especially omnipresent to even NON-Jerseyites out there who still find themselves regularly pouring over his digital Beach Boy and Lovin’ Spoonful liner notes. Personally speaking, when I asked Dennis to submit a track to To M’Lou’s HE’S A REBEL: THE GENE PITNEY STORY RETOLD, not only did a roller-rink-ready version of “Only Love Can Break A Heart” eventually arrive in the mail, but a Bonus Disc by his and Pete Dibella’s nom-de-disque of the moment Sleeping Giant mysteriously came packaged right alongside same. Truthfully, listen after listen upon countless listen later, I STILL cannot express fully how recklessly, yet skillfully, the sounds imbedded therein effortlessly leap tall gamuts between the lush, pulsing Anglo-Americana of Walker Brother lineage (“The Sun’s Gonna Shine In The Morning”), late-Association-style psychedelicacy (“Temptation Cake”) and, if you can ever imagine such a cocky cross-breeding, Spanky and Our Gang as wrestled mischievously to the studio floor by Lindsey Buckingham (that gem’s known as “In Another Life”). Yet the melodic crux of this CD-EP just has to be “Fall Into Your Arms,” as subtly intense as anything that other great drumming Dennis (as in Wilson) conjured during his SUNFLOWER prime, only to be followed most logically by the high-as-a-llama BRIAN Wilson-worthy “Standing In That Line.” For those counting, that’s a big five for five, song-wise, and I bet there’s at least another half-dozen Sleeping Giants just waiting to be burned and mailed my way by now too (nudge wink). You can bet that upon immediate receipt of same, I shall continue to report my full findings to you all, that’s a giant promise.


TRUE LOVE
“I Was Accident”
(Not Lame Recording Company)
www.trueloverocks.com

Now THIS is Power Pop – with the emphasis on the Power. Ray Kubian, Keith Hartel and, yes, the Squirrel, d.b.a. True Love, like to overdrive the guitars, ride the crash cymbals wherever and whenever possible, then go that extra decibel still by layering all with streams of glitter-socking three-part vocal washes which “bap-bap” here, or Flo-and-Eddie there …precisely whatever the true love song in question asks for. And oh yeah, that’s another thing: the SONGS! Be they big bally ballads (such as “Don’t Mean Anything,” “Service of the Knife,” or “Throwing Back the Ring,” the latter of which drips more heartache ‘n’ harmony than an entire Everlys box set) or ear-wrenching corkers (like “Burn Rubber,” let alone the sleighbell-and-acoustic-propelled “Now,” which comes complete with Wall of Spector saxes to boot) these guys always know exactly what to say, and more importantly HOW to say it, in usually three-minutes-twenty or less. Can you say “lost art,” anyone? Plus lyrically, there’s always lotsa love in these here true stories too (“Riot Helmet” respectfully stops to nod Smokey Robinson’s way, while “The Genius” just might be that long-anticipated follow-up to Los Mockers’ “Coronation” after all). Yet thankfully as well, there’s seldom nary a trace of retro in True Love’s shake appeal, which one listen alone to the fearlessly over-the-board “Time Dog” mix more than demonstrates. Why, even Coyote Shivers should approve of the extra-extraneous amp’n’SG clatter which dribbles over the ends of most of these tight taught tracks! And, like the above-raved-over Playmates, THIS powerful trio can offer the goods off the stage too, take it from me. Or better still, from yourself someday in a rumpus room or true venue near you. So go check ‘em out, buy three or four ACCIDENTS for yourself …and don’t forget to tell the Squirrel that the Pig sentcha, ok?


Various Artistes:
“ALBUzerxQUE,” volumes 13, 14, 15
(Zerx Records)
www.zerxrecords.com

Those not already intimately familiar with the self-styled “Okie musique concrète” of New Mexican Mark Weber may be quite unprepared indeed for the veritable Carnival of Sound he’s assembled with the 50 tracks by the 29 artists on these latest three installments of the ALBUzerxQUE series. But those with a very open mind, and ears to match, will find joys aplenty in the (to cite but the most delectably) drunken Dixieland vs. bouncing Brubeck of the Outpost Repertory Jazz Orchestra’s “St. James Infirmary,” Mitch Rayes’ touching lullaby-from-heck “Crushed Little Baby,” those legendary Bubbadinos’ quite possibly definitive “Paint It, Black” and Stefan Dill’s blisteringly alt. Byrds “Union County Stomp.” But that’s not all, folks! There’s a searing dollop of vintage Varèse (C. K. Barlow’s “Name Day”), the semi-electronica update of Dylan’s “Cough Song” as if, um, sung by Lennon’s Mr. Wok (“Dalai Lama Throat Clearings” from Lisa Gill), the Bach-meets-Miles “Symphonia #9 in F minor” by no less than the Jazz Chamber Ensemble, and even some wholly Fug-calibre paranoic pickin’ from the Zerx master himself, Mr. Weber (as The New York Times may still someday be referring to him as). Garnish it all most liberally with slices of spoken word beatery, crazed cowboy hop ‘n’ sing-alongs, mutant mariachi, plus fractured flamenco and you have far, FAR more than simply the audio equivalent of the best dern Open Mic in what remains of the civilized world, you bet. Better hurry and sign up soon, though: Last I heard, ALBUzerxQUE’s already up to Volume 17 and counting….







IT’S BEGINNING TO SOUND A LOT LIKE… WELL…YOU KNOW WHAT
by Gary Pig Gold

Ahhh, Christmas! That magical time of year when we share love, presents, and our special musical tastes – both good and bad. Like those mounted singing bass sold down at Wal-Mart, seasonal music is an acquired, personal taste that says more about the listener than the actual music.

With this in mind, and as nosy as always, Gary Pig Gold, alongside his trusted partner-in-all-things-yule Ken Burke, decided to ask their many music-minded acquaintances the following questions:

1) Which seasonal / Christmas recording do you never tire of hearing? What's special about it?

and

2) Which seasonal / Christmas recording irritates you?

Guess what they said?


Steve Lester of Wix Records

1) That's easy. "Santa Claus is Back in Town" by Elvis Presley. Seasonal or not, that sucker rocks! Who needs flying reindeer when you can have a "big black Cadillac"! I also have to give der Bingle's "Melekalikimaka" an honorable mention. It has such a hypnotic, ethereal quality. I once listened to it twelve consecutive times with no intention of stopping there until family members intervened.

2) I normally don't like to answer negatively slanted questions like this. But in this case I'll make an exception: That Elmo and Patsy thing was criminal!!!


Mack Stevens, Rollin’ Rock recording artist

1) Fuzzy thoughts...animal thoughts...my fave Christmas song is "Jingle Bells," by those barking dogs. I don't 'member their names.

2) The most IRRITATING song about the Yule season is "We Three Kings" by anydamnbody. They didn't mention me OR that Elvis guy.


Morley Bartnoff as Cosmo Topper

1) It’s a tie between “Punk Rock Christmas” by Venus and The Razorblades and “Christmas Rapture” by Blondie.

2) Hey! It’s Christmas! No time to be irritated. Let’s watch The Charlie Brown Christmas Special one more time instead.


Dick Dale, King Of The Surf Guitar

1) "…chestnuts roasting on a Christmas fire...."


Irwin Chusid, author of “Songs In The Key Of Z”

1) None.

2) All of them. I am Scrooge Number One when it comes to Xmas music. I hate it, hate it, hate it -- and despise it most for its unavoidability. For years friends and listeners have been mailing me clever cassettes and CDRs of Xmas novelties …which I abhor even MORE! Nothing goes into the nearest trashbin faster. Any candidate who promises to impose a permanent moratorium on Xmas music gets my campaign dollars. Have I made this clear?


Kevin Mathews, Touched by the Power of Pop

1) "Little Saint Nick." It's the Beach Boys, dammit!

2) Anything done by a boyband/jailbait diva, etc etc.


Maryglenn McCombs of Dowling Press

1) I could never ever tire of Bruce Springsteen singing "Merry Christmas, Baby."

2) I think just about every other Christmas song would qualify for that other question. How could I pick just one? Hate to pick on the King, but "Blue Christmas" is borderline abysmal ...please don't let me have that song stuck in my head all day!!!


Al Muzer, New Jersey music journalist extrodinaire

1 and 2) Least and most favorite are one and the same: Don Charles Presents The Singing Dogs’ "Jingle Bells" b/w "Oh! Susanna." Led by tenor-bark Rex with Spot, Fluffy and Brown Dog on backing yelps, yips, growls and howls, The Singing Dogs add that little something extra to this oft-covered holiday staple that elevates the tune to a whole new level. The group’s spirited reworking of Stephen Foster’s "Oh! Susanna" in their distinctive staccato ‘n’ growl style gives the tune the lonesome, high plains spirit the author undoubtedly had in mind when composing it. Despite a slew of records by such fly-by-night acts as The Meowing Kitties, The Oinking Pigs, Bessie and the Barn Animals, The Black Sheep, and a first-rate reissue from the genre’s original war horse, Mr. Ed, The Singing Dogs remain the true masters of the singing animals idiom.


Lord Litter, singer / songwriter / international DJ

1) VERY easy to answer: It's “Bluegrass Christmas” by Haywire (Gene Parsons on guitar, banjo). The only Christmas recording ever really TALKING to me. Didn’t even like Roy Wood's Christmas tunes or Slade's monster smash “Merry Christmas Everybody.” “Bluegrass Christmas” definitely captures best the real spirit of “nature, peace, a silent night.” This is pure, this is real, PEACE. Can't praise this enough !!!

2) All others. None of them recaptures the SPIRIT.


Robert Pally, Swiss freelance journalist

1) "Silent Night" is my favorite Christmas recording. It reminds me on how beautiful Christmas was when I was young. And it gets me in the right mood for it. I am a hopeless romantic.

2) It’s not a special song; it’s more the fact that certain artists bring out every year a Christmas album only to make a few bucks. I still believe in the true meaning of Christmas, which doesn't have anything to do with making money.


Chris Chinchilla, former Mike Love of the only (authorized) Canadian Beach Boy clone combo Endless Summer (est. 1985)

1) "What Child Is This," set to the ancient “Greensleeves,” when sung softly and tenderly, in a slow waltz, maybe played on a harpsichord, maybe a bit of flute, with a bit of Rubato, building in volume in the second half of the verse. Never leaves a dry eye in the house
...including yours truly. (Try singing it to your gals, guys, and your “X”mas will be very merry I predict.)

2) "Here Comes Santa Claus." I personally get a nauseous feeling in the pit of my stomach whenever I hear this song. To me the melody and overly chirpy bounciness of this song is especially aggravating during the busy Christmas season. It's like one of those PR type people, who say "GREAT!" no matter what you ask them. Also, mixing God and Santa in the same rhyming couplet is a bit too much for this existentialist. "Let's give thanks to the Lord our God, 'cuz Santa Clause comes tonight" (ugh)


Mike McDowell, editor/publisher of Blitz Magazine

1) I never get tired of Bobby Helms' "Jingle Bell Rock." Although not really reflective of the true spirit of Christmas, it's got that timeless almighty hook like two other records that broke around the same time: Danny And The Juniors' "At The Hop" and the Silhouettes' "Get A Job." Records like those three hold up remarkably well under repeat plays.

2) On the other hand, overkill has taken all of the joy out of Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song." Lately, I've found the recent classic "Mary, Did You Know" (done by such diverse types as Kenny Rogers, Donny Osmond and Barry McGuire) to be much more in line with what Christmas is really all about.


Bill Lloyd, formerly of Foster & Lloyd and currently SO much more

1) Fave Christmas song would have to be "The Christmas Song" written by Mel Torme. Even though Alex Chilton did a nice rendition, Nat King Cole's version is flawless.

2) "The Twelve Days of Christmas" comes to mind as being one of the most irritating holiday classics. It reminds me of "100 Bottles of Beer On the Wall."


Robert Barry Francos, founding editor of the legendary Ffanzeen fanzine (est. 1978)

1) Favorite? "A Christmas Carol," by Tom Lerher: “Christmas time is here by golly, Disapproval would be folly, Deck the halls with hunks of holly, Fill the cup and don't say when, Murder ducks, geese and chickens, It's time to roll out the Dickens, Even though the prospect sickens, Brother, Here we go again. At Christmas time you can't get sore, Your fellow man you must adore, There's time to rob him all the more, The other 364. Relations sparing no expense will, Give some useless old utensil, Or a matching pen and pencil, "Just the thing I need, how nice." It doesn't matter how sincere it is, Or how heartfelt the spirit, Sentiment will not endear it, What's important is... the price. "Hark the Herald Tribute” sing, Telling sales of wonderous things." "God rest ye merry merchants, May you make the Yuletime pay. Angels we have heard on high/Tell us to go out and buy." So, let the raucous sleighbells jingle, Here comes our good friend, Kris Kringle, Dashing his reindeer across the sky ...Don't stand underneath when they fly by.

2) Least favorite: "Little Drummer Boy," especially the Bowie/Crosby version. Yeeeeeeeeeeeccccccccckkkkkkkkk.


Dale Hawkins, oh “Suzie Q" !!

1) “White Christmas.” What's special about it? Clyde McPhatter and The Drifters, with Clyde doing the high vocals (“…I Y I Y Y Y Y Y'm dreaming of a white Christmas.”)

2) I really can’t think of any! Why? IT'S CHRISTMAS!


Wanda Jackson, the Queen of Rockabilly

1) Anne Murray’s "Christmas Wishes." I have "Merry Christmas From Elvis" is what I have. George Strait’s "Merry Christmas Strait To You." Kenny G, I love his Christmas album. I love choir groups.

2) I think it’s wonderful that they play the Christmas music, and sometimes I’m fearful that they’ll stop – things have become so secular. I’m a Christian and I’d like to hear more of the songs about Christ, which is what Christmas is all about. All I hear is "Frosty," "Rudolph" and all that stuff.


James Richard Oliver of Illbilly Records

1) Elvis doing “Blue Christmas.” My mom used to put that record on every Christmas. It wasn’t officially Christmas ‘til we heard it. My sister and I would do our little mock-Elvis lip quivering, but we loved it just as much as she did. I think about her whenever I hear it.

2) I’d have to say that’s a ties between those damn dogs barking “Jingle Bells” and that godforsaken “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.” I’m not sure exactly who’s responsible for either one, but they should be punished. They should have to work in a mall the two weeks before Christmas while constantly listening to each other’s song.


John Mars, www.johnmars.com

1) If it was a single recording, I'd have to say Canned Heat and the Chipmunks’ historic summit meeting "The Chipmunk Song" b/w "Christmas Boogie," as it's very, very funny. It's sure to enthrall everyone, young and old. If it was an album it'd be "A Christmas Present ...And Past" by Paul Revere And The Raiders. That album comes from around the time of their "Revolution" album, which was one of those great peaks in the Raiders’ history. So, it's that line-up of the band with Joe Jr., Freddy Weller and Charlie Coe. Mark Lindsay and Terry Melcher wrote almost all the songs on that one which is nice, because most Christmas albums are just cliches, but the Raiders' lp is a true original. It's good for a special evening by the fireside, or for play during family dinner. It sets a real nice atmosphere.

2) Well, I do sometimes get kind of tired of hearing ANY version of "A Little Drummer Boy," including that one with Bing and Bowie. My dad always groans when any take of that number comes on the radio. Even the Joan Jett attempt bugs me. It's one of those numbers that you've just heard way too many times, I guess.


Steven Rappaport, genius behind the 1963 Top Twenty smash "The Martian Hop" by the legendary RanDells!

1) “Jingle Bell Rock,” the Bobby Helms version. Great song, great vocalist for the song, very happy. The bridge works terrifically - I like the change from major (What a bright time) to minor (It's the right time) and back to major (To rock the night away). Next time around it goes to a 7th (Is a swell time). It's harmonically great. But it's the happy sound that really makes the song for me. "Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree," Brenda Lee. Anything Little Miss Dynamite sang was OK with me. Killer voice. But I also liked what I think are steel guitar riffs. "White Christmas," Darlene Love. Phil Spector production, totally original arrangement, great voice. Best second version of the song: The Drifters.

2) Worst Christmas record: by far, The Royal Guardsmens’ "Snoopy's Christmas." Also, I hate to say it, but Roy Orbison's "Pretty Paper" is yucky, as is Vic Dana's "Little Alter Boy." Gag me with a reindeer.


Gene Sculatti, the Cataloger of Cool

1) I guess anything off Bobby Darin's "25th Day Of December" album ("Child Of God" was the single) or the Four Seasons' version of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" are the ones I never tire of hearing …but then I'm the only one who plays 'em, so I guess it makes sense. Their specialness, I suppose, is that they both come from back in my day and that, in the long lost way only early-60s pop can, they each "rock."

2) Can't really think of which seasonal song tires me (it's not that I love 'em all; rather, nothing really riles).


Alan Clayson, chansonnier, pop historian and erstwhile leader of Clayson and the Argonauts

1) "The Moonlight Skater" by Alan Clayson. Because a recent remake (with a new arrangement and a specially composed bridge section) would satisfy every qualification of a Christmas Number One if issued in time for the December sell-in when the usual chart rues don't apply, and you can get away with the ravages of middle age. Over the past ten years, it's been covered by Dave Berry, Jane Relf, and Stairway.

2) "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)" by John and Yoko, because, regardless of the time of year and its worthy sentiment, I hate it for the same intangible reasons as I hate "I Got You Babe" (Sonny and Cher) and "March Of The Mods" (Joe Loss). The fault for this is probably mine entirely.


Marti Brom, Goofin’ Records rockabilly queen

1) Well you asked about a subject I just love. I've sort of a thing for old Christmas records. I've got everything from Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Brenda Lee, Gene Autry, Patti Page, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Elvis, Charo, and the list goes on. I also have a stack of compilation LPs. I usually start playing them in June, but that kinda confused my four year old. I guess, though, my all time favorite would have to be Bing Crosby singing Irving Berlin's "White Christmas." But mostly I miss those Bing Crosby Christmas Specials. The year that Bing Crosby dueted on "Little Drummer Boy" was especially neat, because it was the first time my Dad acknowledged that David Bowie had talent.

2) The Chipmunks singing Christmas songs, or any songs for that matter, I'd say irritates me the most. I hate it when rodents try to sing!


Beverly Paterson of Twist And Shake magazine

1) I never tire of hearing “Snoopy's Christmas” by The Royal Guardsmen. It brings back good memories of when I was younger than yesterday and besides, it IS The Royal Guardsmen. That alone qualifies for a classic of any stripe!

2) “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” irritates the egg nog out of me. It isn't even funny. An insult to our kindly grandmothers and those groovy reindeers that make things happen!


Alan Abramowitz, on-air host forever of the syndicated cable music series "Video Wave"

1) That Ronettes song, "Sleighbells ring...."

2) Just about EVERTHING else.


Johnny Dowd, whose latest and greatest album, "The Pawnbroker’s Wife," is now far out on the esteemed Catamount label

1) "Little Drummer Boy." Great drumming.

2) "Jingle Bell Rock." I don't think you should mix rock 'n' roll and Christmas.


John Sinclair, managing editor, Blues Access magazine

1) Man, what a question! You might not know that I'm a R&B Christmas record fanatic. I play six to nine hours’ worth of Christmas songs every year during the month of December on my Blues And Roots show, and another six hours or so of Crescent City Christmas carols on my New Orleans Music Show. So it's not fair to ask for ONE record! I'd have to select TWO versions of "White Christmas": Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters’, of course, and the live version by Charlie Parker recorded at the Royal Roost on Christmas Eve 1948. These are special because they sound so fucking good! And they represent the apotheosis of African-American vernacular irony: "White Christmas," indeed!

2) I can't think of an irritating record because, well, I'm just too old to listen to music that irritates me …and here in New Orleans, I simply don't have to. Happy Holidays!


Mark Snyder, CEO, PMPNetwork.com and host of “The Entertainment Minute” on 96 radio stations in 38 states

1) I'll always enjoy John Lennon's "And So This is Christmas," Bobby Helms’ "Jingle Bell Rock," the Carpenters’ "Merry Christmas, Darling," Nat King Cole's "Christmas Song," The Beach Boys’ "Little Saint Nick." All are great tunes that I can listen to all year round. None are religious enough to ruffle my tender feathers.

2) None. Music cannot irritate me, unless it is by Michael Bolton or Barry Manilow. I save my stress for PMPNetwork.com!


Prewitt Rose of SRO Records (and discoverer of Ral Donner!)

1) My favorite Christmas song is whatever you say it is! Why? How would I know? I don't even know what my favorite song is yet until I read about it in whatever publication you so desire. Ditto for the Christmas song I dislike most!

2) Sure, quote me! Anything you or Gary Pig say I said is plenty good enough for me! Hey, YOU guys are the writers, not me.
(I hate Pat Boone's Christmas song about the little green Christmas tree. I've got a 45rpm copy of that piece of trash somewhere in the cellar. It's a cellar dweller!)


Pat Cupp, legendary 50’s rocker

1) Maybe it's just my age and the times that I was raised in. My family were not religious fanatics but I was always taught that Jesus Christ’s birthday was something special, therefore most all the songs such as "The first Noel" and related religious songs were what Christmas was about. Later in life I really liked the "Christmas Song" (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) by Perry Como became my personal favorite.

2) I really don't know why, but "Jingle Bell Rock" got on my nerves. I just never liked that particular song. It just didn't make me feel like it was Christmas. I realize that millions of people bought that record and it still is played now as a classic, but I still don't like it. Brenda Lee has done so many better songs in her career.


Jeffrey Thames (King of Grief), host/producer of “Sound Awake” on KPFT-FM Houston

1) Without contest, "Jingle Bells" as parlayed by The Singing Dogs. I've always been a dog lover (that's not to say I don't love my three cats), and hearing a bunch of purty puppies bark a holiday classic never fails to make me smile. When I first got it on CD in 1990 (bless you, Dr. D), I played it for my Doberman, Sam (may he rest in peace), and he just stared at the speaker for the full time it was on. Nothing like music to help you bond with your savage beast. Plus, legend has it that they were signed to RCA after Nipper heard them harmonizing around a fire hydrant. Ah, folklore.

2) Ask me again about a week before Christmas after I've been properly inundated...


Iñaki Orbezua , editor, Otoño Cheyenne magazine

1) Basically, there are two Christmas recordings that I never tire of hearing, year after year, and those are Spector's Christmas album (an obvious one I know, but I just love this one record so much ...and because it's like the first concept album in the Pop era, and I kinda like concept albums) and the second one is by a Spanish singer by the name of Raphael: his classic “Four Christmas Songs” EP (an excellent version of “The Little Drummer Boy” in Spanish) from the mid-60's will never be absent from my turntable on Christmas time. This guy is still singing today, he must be around 55-50 years old, and is now singing on the Jekyll and Mr. Hyde musical here in Spain. He's awesome!!!

2) I could name quite a few Spanish artists that make horrible Christmas music, but then again when I think of people like Michael Bolton and Mariah Carey doing those IRRITATING Christmas albums... then I wish it was summer again!


Roy Harper, editor, Outer Shell magazine

1) The best version of any Christmas song is The Ronettes' version of “Sleigh Ride.” While it holds true to the feeling of girl-rock in the Sixties, it also makes the listener “uplifted” not just with a Christmas feeling, but generally; the whole winter season. It is brilliantly arranged, and could very well be Phil Spector's finest production.

2) The WORST Christmas song is “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.” It was “cute” hearing it for the first time, but after that it's boring and stupid. I'd rather hear the barking dogs’ Christmas song.


Tony Wilkinson of American Music magazine

1) The Phil Spector Christmas Album, which is just the wonderful masterpiece of how to capture the feel good spirit of Christmas, "’Twas The Night Before Christmas" by Huey Piano Smith and the Clowns, which is sheer rockin’ fun to listen to, and "Christmas With Tammy Wynette," in which Tammy pours her heart and soul and the quality/feeling with which she sings the songs is simply awe inspiring. Lastly, it has to be "Christmas with Elvis": his voice and emotive singing were never in grater shape. From this comes my all time favorite Christmas track, "Santa Claus Is Back In Town." This track is full of absolute raunch and grind, and the lavish expression in the curl and sneer of his singing leaves one in no doubt what this Santa is coming down your chimney after. Pure excitement.

2) As to the most duff Christmas track, there are several and one of the paramount selections has to be "The Chipmunk Song" by Canned Heat and The Chipmunks: just a sheer travesty and pure waste. However, my choice as the worse all-time Christmas recording has to be "A Not So Merry Christmas" by Bobby Vee. Apart from bearing a remarkable similarity to "Run To Him," the sheer wimpness of the cut is breathtaking. It is bury-your-head-under-the-pillow time and blot-out-the-world time, if one has the misfortune to be in audible range when this played. Excruciating, to put it mildly.


Shane Faubert of To M’Lou Music

1) There seems to have been a Christmas song by Kenny Laguna that I heard once, really liked and never heard again (was it a dream?) but we won't count that. “Little Drummer Boy” by Joan Jett is my favorite of the songs I actually hear on commercial radio, but the Christmas song I love the most is (of course?) “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday” by Wizzard. It has a great melody, but what I really LOVE about it is the fact that it is so incredibly messy. You can't get tired of it because you can never hear it all... lots of layers and swirls. Nutty and perfect.

2) The David Bowie/Bing Crosby duet of “Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth” is pretty bothersome. Reminded us that David Bowie really WAS Anthony Newley's successor after all.


Rockin’ Ronny Weiser of Rollin’ Rock Records

1) "Santa Claus Is Back In Town," "Santa Bring My Baby Back To Me," "Blue Christmas": all three by ELVIS. Also, I would like to hear more Hannukah songs!!

2) Many of the others, especially the archaic European sounding stuff. It's annoying to hear it over and over. I'm an American and I generally prefer American music!


Marty Wombacher, editor, Fishwrap magazine

1) "Helter Skelter." That song always makes me think of Christmas ...and also of chopped up impregnated actresses.

2) “The Twelve Days Of Christmas.” Hello? Christmas is only one day long. Like, DUH!!


Ed Burns, indisputed Kingpin of the Northeastern U.S. oldies radio scene

1) I never tire of the Johnny Mathis version of “Oh Holy Night.” I have been blessed with parents that happen to have wonderful taste in music. At holiday time, Johnny Mathis was played in my home constantly. As you might imagine, these recordings bring back warm and mellow memories of very happy holiday times and a very wonderful childhood. Of all of the seasonal classics that Johnny recorded, it is “Oh Holy Night” that really GETS me. The Percy Faith arrangement, combined with Johnny's voice at it's best, is one of popular music's great moments. The string solo playing the melody mid-song is as beautiful, or as spiritual, as anything recorded I have ever heard. I have been known to listen to this one well after the holiday season (like in July).

2) Now, for your second question, I think that “Dominick The Christmas Donkey” is in a dead heat with “Give Love At Christmas Time” as the two most annoying holiday recordings. "Dominick" is not funny ...never was, never will be. I'm sorry, I refuse to believe that this song was once considered a laugh-riot during "simpler times." I guess a lot of holiday songs can be considered sickening, but "Give Love" takes the cake. We really can't hold this against The Jackson Five: they were just kids handed product from the Motown assembly line. I always thought Sammy Davis could have done this song justice, or maybe Bill Murray in his lounge lizard act.


Bob Brainen, WFMU-FM DJ and one actual Breetle as well

1) Fave: "Christmastime Is Here" by Vince Guaraldi (from “A Charlie Brown Christmas”?) NRBQ do this song live with a wordless vocal, "duh-duh-duh....": just lovely.

2) Least fave: MOST Christmas songs.


Mark Johnson, whose 1992 "12 in a room" album all but kick-started the entire Pop music renaissance

1) "The Chipmunk Song." Why? Because "we can hardly stand the wait" always sounded like "we've been hoggish and 'go wayne' (my best friend's name at the time was Wayne) …that's all that mistaken rock lyric stuff I'm into. But REALLY, FOLKS...what a record! Really: it was Number One, original, and a great melody. I don't hear it enough at Christmas time! The B-side was a song called "Almost Good," or that may have been the B-side to Alvin's orchestra. Let’s hear it for David Seville. HE WAS IN REAL WINDOW!!! Played a frustrated songwriter!

2) I tire most of modern attempts to put over Christmas music by people who just think it's good to do for their careers and do bad things the rest of the year. You can always tell who they might be.


Linda Gail Lewis, Jerry Lee’s sister and Van Morrison’s sometime singing partner

1) I think it’s Nat King Cole’s "Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire." There’s just something about that song; his voice is so beautiful and the song is so beautiful. It reminds me of being at home on Christmas and being with my parents; they’re deceased now. It reminds me of that time in my life when me and my brother, my sister, and my parents were all together.

2) I’m such a big Christmas person and I love Christmas music so much, I don’t even know if there’s one that exists like that. I get so in to all that. I was talking to Van about it the other night and he was saying how he dreads this time of year and I’m saying, "Oh, it’s the greatest thing in the world! We can watch Scrooge and “Miracle On 34th Street." I love all that stuff so much. The biggest speeding ticket I ever got came when I was driving my kids back from somewhere one night and we were singing Christmas carols. I was making like 90 miles an hour, I kept going faster and faster because the carols were getting faster and faster. I talked that highway patrolman into giving me a ticket that said I was making 75 or something, or else they would’ve taken my insurance away. I said, "I was singing Christmas carols, please don’t do this to me." The Singing Cats are the only thing. My husband’s niece has that damned recording and I don’t like her anyway – and you can quote me on that. Some times we have to get together with her because it’s one of those things you have to do, and that bitch will put that damned thing on. It’s horrible: "Meow meow meow, meow meow meow, meow meow meow…" It’s really bad.


J.R. Taylor, writer for the esteemed New York Press and Playboy.com

1) With the citizens of Whoville about to be made villains in a big-screen travesty, it seems more important than ever to celebrate "Welcome Christmas" from “How The Grinch Stole Christmas.” The Waitress' "Christmas Wrapping" is also way overdue to be animated as a Christmas special. But my personal favorite Christmas moment remains "Merry Christmas, Neighbor" by the cast of “Bonanza.” This song truly captures the warmth of the holiday. The Cartwrights always had a real sense of neighborly love …even though their ranch took up most of the county.

2) As for the worst, it's easily The Pogues doing "Fairytale of New York" ("featuring Kristy MacColl," of course, as a million pop geeks immediately proclaim). What a lame and safe excuse for Christmas sentimentality. Naturally, college radio continues to embrace the song as a hipster holiday classic.


....and Whoops!
I almost forgot......

Nancy Neon, garage rock gourmet

1) Favorite is "Santa Claus" by the Sonics cos it kicks butt

and 2) the Chipmunks Christmas song ...well it's not really my least favorite, but it always makes me cry.



MATRIX REVOLUTIONS at IMAX
by Joe Viglione

The Matrix was made for IMAX, and Imax for The Matrix - so obvious when watching "Revolutions." That the Wachowski Brothers have poured their spiritual journey into a compilation of their favorite scenes from Science Fiction and Fantasy films is understood. The resulting fantastic
cataclysmic (you know, a momentous and violent event marked by overwhelming upheaval and demolition) war of worlds is loud and fulfilling on the massive 65' x 85' screen. When Morpheus, Trinity and Seraph are chasing The Trainman (Bruce Spence) through the subway the advertisement for Tasty Wheat can slip right on by. Tasty Wheat was the topic of conversation in the mess hall in the first Matrix film, and the quick tongue-in-cheek humor from the Directors is more fun on the large screen.


JANIS REED'S HOTLINE TO THE UNDERGROUND...
Andy Pratt will be interviewed here 12/3/03! Hot Tuna are in town (Arlington at The Regent, actually) the same night!
...http://community-2.webtv.net/TheMadFaxer/stircrazy/
will give you some insight on some new records. Watch for
reviews here on Willie Loco Alexander's new disc! and more!!




STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT
by Gary Pig Gold

At 1 PM on Wednesday, June 13, 1962, amidst an unusually heavy downpour, the SS Maasdam docked at Pier B in Hoboken, New Jersey as it had many times before and continued to for several years hence. It was a fine ship, part of the prestigious Holland-America Line, and amongst its passenger roster this day was an oddly attired young man, his bride of fourteen months, and an infant girl who couldn’t help but glare and screech at the stormclouds raging above. Despite every observance to the contrary, history was indeed being written in Hoboken on June 13, 1962, but until now, the entire story has never, ever been told.

After having mysteriously defected to the then Soviet Union while on Marine duty in the South Pacific, Lee Harvey Oswald seemed to have remained in Russia only long enough to renounce his American citizenship, attempt suicide, take a young bride in Minsk, then perform an abrupt about-face of conscience and petition to return to the very country he had just made such a big fuss over denouncing. With a Russian wife and newborn daughter in tow, despite this being the very height of the Cold War, the Oswalds had absolutely no difficulties whatsoever in securing permission - and even Government funding - for a journey back to the U.S. in May of 1962. A mere four weeks later, the Maasdam deposited this motley trio on the wrong side of the Hudson.

It was then that a man known as Spas T. Raikin, who depending on which texts you consult was either a representative of the Traveler’s Aid Society or a high-ranking member of an anti-Communist emigré group with FBI links, met the young family and invited them to partake in refreshments at the piano bar of the Redwood Lounge, just a short walk up Third. There, to the strains of “St. James Infirmary”, it was decided Lee’s wife and child should take a room for the night at the nearby Meyer Hotel before continuing on to Texas the following morning.

Raikin had other plans for the man of the house, it seems.

A late-afternoon bar-crawl along Hudson Street (then nicknamed The Barbary Coast for its preponderance of watering holes) seems to have strangely endeared the usually suspicious Oswald to his traveler’s aide, so much so that Lee readily agreed to accompany Spas into the nearby Lackawanna Rail Terminal. Apparently oblivious to the rush-hour crush, the two lingered here for several hours, darting in and out of Duke’s Pool Room where, as if by pre-arrangement, a third man suddenly joined the proceedings. Revealed here for the first time, Oswald was now escorted outside into a waiting maroon Lincoln Continental with New York plates and driven to the far end of town, Fourteenth and Washington to be exact, to the site of the infamous Madison Hotel.

Hudson County’s most notorious flophouse, where furnished rooms were rented in eight-hour shifts to visiting seamen and their playmates, the Madison provided an incongruously seedy backdrop to a rendezvous of then-unimaginable historical import. For it was here, very late on the night of June 13, 1962 that Lee Harvey Oswald first came face-to-face with the man who would put into motion a tragic chain of events which would culminate less than a year and a half later in no less than the death of American Camelot and the squandering of an entire generation’s spiritual innocence.

Despite an over-abundance of adventure and intrigue in his short life already, Oswald was scarcely prepared for coming face-to-face with the man who now beckoned him forward to a rickety table in the corner of the Madison Lounge. Oswald had seen this man before: not in person of course, but on the television, in the magazines, and even on the silver screen. Why, even his friends in Russia knew of this man; this legendary American who forever seemed larger than life and was now involved, it transpires, in an escapade that over-shadowed even his greatest achievements in the entertainment field. Young Lee Harvey’s eyes remained transfixed as the envelope now changed hands and his mission was described in ominous detail by the man whose voice tonight sounded a far cry from its usual silky radio baritone.

A minute later, the man quickly stood, threw a coat over his shoulder, and darted towards the Madison’s side entrance, but not before tossing a wink and an oddly reassuring grin back at the twenty-two-year-old ex-Marine. “Don’t let me down now”, that smile seemed to say, and no, history chillingly records, each of us knows only too well that Lee Harvey Oswald did NOT let Hoboken’s favorite son down.




Revolutions Review ---under construction...11 pm Monday
by Joe Viglione



The Matrix: Revolutions

Review by Joe Viglione, Monday evening, 7 P.M.
Viewed at 2:30 PM Loew's Boston Common, Boston, Massachusetts


The Matrix: Revolutions is great movie making. It is tremendous - an epic motion
picture with stunning multiple battles against overwhelming odds, restoring faith by
proving a big splashy cult film can rise above the hype and actually deliver what is
promised. Revolutions succeeds on many levels though it is not without its flaws.
What it does well it does so extraordinarily well that its creators, The Wachoski
Brothers, probably felt they could get a pass on the weak spots in this brilliant
part of The Matrix saga. Now that the characters are totally in play we get to
figure them out. Carrie-Ann Moss is Carrie Fisher only this time she's not in love
with Han Solo, she gets Luke Skywalker in this darker version of the Star Wars
theme. Moss as Trinity displays true passion for Neo, but Keanu Reeves comes off
like it is the brother/sister relationship exhibited in "Return Of The Jedi". He
has to save "the world" - whatever (and whichever) that is, so the love affair from
his perspective appears to be one of co-dependency. Where Reeves shines is when he
dons the George Reeves/Christopher Reeve cape of the Superman character. As Andy and
Larry Wachowski will be able to bask in the glow of this film epic, Keanu Reeves can
also stake a claim: he begins to come of age as an actor and deserves praise for his
very believable superhero. The naive and stumbling neophyte from the first film -
lost in the shadow of Laurence Fishburne's commanding voice and presence (that "Let
me out" scene where Fishburne as Morpheus is explaining to Neo/Mr. Anderson - Keanu
Reeves - that he is nothing more than a Duracell battery is as poorly executed as
Arnold Schwarzenegger's "Now I'm Quaid" delivery in 1990's "Total Recall.") Don't
think the employment Keanu Reeves as a limited-line Schwarzenegger in The first
Matrix film was an accident. This is Terminator with a pretty face, few words to
speak, and that dumbfounded look the wonderful Gloria Foster encountered when Neo
first meets The Oracle. What a pity Foster couldn't continue the trilogy to its
conclusion, though Mary Alice as the new Oracle is superb as well. TV actor Alice
displays that motherly wisdom with a very believable explanation to why she has
changed. She is the true hero of Biblical proportions - the female Jesus after the
resurrection - and she has as much disdain for The Architect as he has for her.
Though the machine consciousness in its God Almighty persona - a hokey but livable
plot used more effectively than it was in 1989's Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.
The Matrix borrows as heavily from Star Trek's pilot "The Cage" as it does from Star
Wars, The Terminator, Total Recall, and Keanu Reeve's own 1995 flick "Johnny
Mnemonic". Though the premise of "The Matrix" is the same as Star Trek's "The Cage"
(a.k.a. "The Menagerie") and the aforementioned Total Recall, world's created
outside (or inside) of "the real" world, the conclusion merges the 1989 Star Trek V
film with Lazarus from the 20th episode of the Star Treck TV series, 1967's Star
Trek 20: "The Alternative Factor". Agent Smith, not as frightening a villain as
The Sentinels, is as dry as the computer which originally generated him.
He is a program still and that program doesn't contain the malevolence of the
machines which hurt, maim and destroy. The fight between Bane/Agent Smith in "The
Real World" is far more exciting (and with more tangible ramifications) than Neo vs.
Agent Smith. Neo vs. Agent Smith is Superman II
fighting Terence Stamp's General Zod. The Matrix Revolutions successfully
blends TV and film Science Fiction concepts into a dark battle for the ages, failing
to give us a Darth Vader in Agent Smith, but lifting The X Men's "Sentinels" to good
effect with crashing molten metal and steel drills
any psycho dentist would find appealing.











Matrix: Revolutions could be attached to The Matrix: Reloaded to make one long 138
minutes + 128 minutes = four and a half hours of fun, though the second half of the
film would be far superior to what came before. The Matrix: Reloaded is but a
prelude to the action while being a bridge between Keanu Reeves' "Neo" character
awakening in film one to the courageous and inquisitive human in the third and final
chapter.















Credits from www.allmovie.com
http://www.allmovie.com/cg/avg.dll?p=avg&sql=1:282917~C


Keanu Reeves - Neo
Carrie-Anne Moss - Trinity
Laurence Fishburne - Morpheus
Hugo Weaving - Agent Smith
Mary Alice - The Oracle
Harold Perrineau, Jr. - Link
Ngai Sing - Seraph
Jada Pinkett Smith - Niobe
Monica Bellucci - Persephone
Daniel Bernhardt - Agent Johnson
Nicole Roberts - Hel Club Slave
Bruce Spence - Trainman
Anthony Wong - Ghost
Cassandra Williams - Bubble Girl
Jessica Wynands - Hel Club Pony Girl
Kathryn Jenkins - Hel Club Trainee Pony-Girl
Nathaniel Lees - Mifune
Nona Gaye - Zee
Neil Rayment - Twin #1
Adrian Rayment - Twin #2
Matt McColm - Agent Thompson
Genevieve O'Reilly - Officer Wirtz

Andy Wachowski - Director / Screenwriter / Executive Producer
Larry Wachowski - Director / Screenwriter / Executive Producer
Joel Silver - Producer
Bill Pope - Cinematographer
Don Davis - Composer (Music Score)
Zach Staenberg - Editor
Owen Paterson - Production Designer
Jules Cook - Art Director
Mark Mansbridge - Art Director
Catherine Mansill - Art Director
Charlie Revai - Art Director
Bruce Berman - Executive Producer
Grant Hill - Executive Producer
Kym Barrett - Costume Designer
Geofrey Darrow - Consultant/advisor
Kelsee Devoreaux - Stunts
Mali Finn - Casting
Yuen Cheung-Yan - Fights Choreographer
Yuen Woo Ping - Fights Choreographer








MATRIX RETURNS
by Joe Viglione

An essay on the Matrix phenomenon


37 hours from writing this I will be at the screening for The Matrix: Revolutions - an exciting prospect the
conclusion to this amalgam of science phiction ideas.

http://libwww.syr.edu/research/internet/art/NavMatrix/Matrix.htm#influences

is a fascinating site for fans of The Matrix story
line including original scripts and extensive
commentary.

We rented The Matrix Reloaded DVD Saturday Night - November 1 and watched the film on a small TV screen - my 8th exposure to it. The previous screening viewed was at
the three story high IMAX (story below on this page ). Here are some immediate new impressions prior to the third film's press screening on Monday, 11/3/03:

The 2nd film translates very well to the small screen as
it does to the gigantic Imax - but to my utter
fascination different details are exposed in the
condensed form as they are in the overwhelming
audio/visual experience.

The sequel is an amazing piece of cinematography on
a fun level with The Wizard Of Oz. It's influences are
many - from the Talosians of the first (original)
Star Trek pilot -the beings with huge heads who can
put humans inside fictional stories to Keanu Reeves
JOHNNY MNEMONIC - where he has something plugged into
his head
http://www.allmovie.com/cg/avg.dll?p=avg&sql=1:134727~C


You can see a pastiche of many Science Fiction
favorites beyond that - the destruction of the ship
the Nebuchadnezzar a la The Enterprise evaporating in
Star Trek III: The Search For Spock
http://www.allmovie.com/cg/avg.dll?p=avg&sql=A46540

(info from a newsgroup on the Matrix ship

From: Rick Kon (rikadan@voicenet.com)
Subject: Matrix - Why is ship the Nebuchadnezzar?
Newsgroups: rec.arts.movies.current-films
Date: 1999/04/16
Anyone have any ideas on why the ship of Morpheus is
called Nebuchadnezzar?
N. was the King of Babylon from 607-562 BC, when it
was the empire that ruled the known world at that
time. He conquered many countries, including Egypt
and Judah and was generally considered evil.

He had dreams, including one of a giant statue; the
ten toes were interpreted by Daniel (who he had
enslaved) to represent the ten kingdoms that "will
comprise the 8th and final beast empire".

And no, I'm not some religious freak - I found this on
the Web.Kathy K. )

I could do without a lot of the martial arts stuff, it
is overdone and getting tired, as surely as the
car chase scene on that expensive highway - something
Terminator III did a bit better - both scenes
essential to both movies as far as the filmmakers were
concerened, and both diversions from the respective
stories. This is just a bit of a tease
before the review coming up Monday...










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