Friday, March 23, 2018

Weekend Mix/Ry Cooder

Me and Ry go way back.
So far back that it's hard to pinpoint how or why.
I'm an only child, so no older siblings, or friends clued me in.
I grew up in Southern California, where most of my environment was built in the '60's and '70's.
The oldest buildings in nearby Los Angeles were constructed around 1920.
I went to brand new Middle and High Schools.
Maybe that's why I found a series of Time-Life books in the library entitled "This Fabulous Century" so fascinating, particularly the 1920's -1940's.
I loved old movies, which local TV stations used to fill air space.
I discovered thrift stores and bought a fedora. I tried to carry a pocket watch.
After The Beatles broke up I was a little lost, and short on cash, so I began sending off for Warner's Loss Leaders, starting with the 3 record set "Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies".
That's where I first encountered Ry Cooder.
His album covers really caught my eye, so I bought "Into The Purple Valley" and was hooked.
So much so I wanted to be Ry Cooder.
He's the reason I bought a pawn shop banjo mandolin, and received Jerry Silverman's "Folk Blues" as an 18th birthday gift.
His mandolin playing is distinctive, and bears no resemblance, thankfully, to Bill Monroe or Bluegrass.
I regrettably lost the mandolin as part of a trade for my first pawn shop electric guitar, but I still have the book. I learned to play the intro to "Ax Sweet Mama" at least.
Typically for me, I loved his first few albums, and then he evolved, and I didn't follow.
Gone were the Depression era down home blues in favor of too many accordions and a more modern sound.
Not long after that Punk happened, and that was that.
I loved his soundtrack for Wim Wender's "Paris, Texas". Those of you familiar with it will recognize "Dark Is The Night", from his eponymous first album, as familiar territory.
Ry's not a great singer, but I believe him, and he's probably my biggest influence as a player of stringed instruments, although if you heard me you'd never know.
Two things I learned from wikipedia while doing research for this post:
He started playing guitar at age three, and has had a glass eye since he was four, when he accidentally stuck a knife in his left eye. He found the blues early.

This music has aged better than I have, and is never to far from my ears..

Wry Scooter

Wry Scooter, too


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Letsgetabitarockin/Rock And Roll Time

"Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day!"
What the fuck happened to Spring?

Except that they both precede and resemble The Clash, and have "Rock" in their titles, there is no connection between these songs.

I can't believe the Clash didn't absorb the 101ers "Letsgetabitarockin'". At the very least it deserved a spot on their set list, and would have been quite at home on either "London Calling" or "Sandanista!".

At about the same time Roger McGuinn recorded "Rock N Roll Time" for his 1976 "Cardiff Rose" album. Written by McGuinn with Kris Kristofferson, and Bobby Neuwirth, and produced by Mick Ronson, who also played guitar, it seems to predict the Clash's sound, and would have fit better on "Give'em Enough Rope" than it did on Roger's album.

While I love "Letsgatbitarockin'", I think of "Rock N Roll Time" time as a curiosity. It took a lot of writing muscle to squeeze out a fairly mediocre song. A rich guys "rebellion".
I bought "Cardiff Rose" when it came out, largely because of Mick Ronson, and was kind of disappointed. It's not a great record. The really good tracks on it are covers:  Joni's "Dreamland", and Bob's "Up To Me".

Bonus Tracks:

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

She Said/He Said

I'm not sure how many posts I have in me, and I'm not making any promises, but here's another fun pair of songs. Fun might not be the right word as they are both emotionally devastating, but powerfully good.

Graham Nash asked Joni Mitchell to marry him. She wanted to be an artist in her own right, and not tied to, or in the shadow of, a famous man. She refused. He was heartbroken. They both wrote songs about it.

She said:

He said:

He's not finished (bonus track):

She is full of regret, and he's reluctantly moving on.

Monday, March 19, 2018


I'm like the lame substitute teacher filling in for a favorite.
With Sal's blessing, my intention is to keep the blog on life support until he feels like returning.
This has happened before, but you never know.
"The future is uncertain and the end is always near",
said drunk Jim after he woke up and got himself a beer.

Most of the time "bonus tracks" are anything but. In reality they're just "filler".

That said, sometimes you find a good one. "Claudine" from the "Some Girls" sessions
is a cut above and probably left off the album for legal reasons.
It was a little too current an event at the time.
The lyrics fairly accurately describe the scenario of Claudine Longet, estranged wife of singer Andy Williams shooting and killing her boyfriend, Olympic skier "Spider" Sabitch in their Aspen cabin, on March 21, 1976. She later married her defense attorney.

It's a rare bit of Rockabilly from the Stones, with "Rip This Joint" being the other example I can think of.
I thought it sounded awfully familiar, but I couldn't put my finger on it until my phone randomly played Jack Scott's "Leroy" from a recently acquired compilation, "Loud Fast & Out Of Control-The Wild Sounds Of "50's Rock" .
It was the b-side of his chart topping (Billboard #3) 1958 single "My True Love".

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Over the last few hours, a dozen or so friends have reached out to me, wanting to know what happened. These are friends of mine. People I respect. People who respect me. For them, and for the innocent people who have been nothing but supportive, I will explain in the best way possible and it will save me a dozen or more e-mails.

This place has become more than a blog. I can tell you things about people I have never met. I know Shriner's favorite record is "Get The Knack," for example. Troy loves New Orleans. This is not your average blog. So, it shouldn't surprise anyone who matters, when I lose my grip over either a lack of activity, or worse, a lack of respect. I feel like I know many of you, and to see activity drop so drastically, is incredibly disappointing.

This isn't about disagreeing. It's about how you disagree. Many of you have teased me about Todd Rundgren, but you don't mock me. Many of you don't like Queen or Bowie, but you don't take cheap shots every time I post about them. I welcome discussion, but that seems to have disappeared, as well. Weekend Mixes take time. Hundreds download. Three say something.

Think of it this way- you're an artist, you play to almost empty houses every night, and once in a while, you play to a packed house. You're encouraged, so you keep singing.  I am not only playing to an empty house more regularly, but the few people who do show up, can't even bother to applaud. Let's not even go into the sociopaths who troll me anonymously. You can all say, "Don't let the bastards get you down!" But I wonder how you would feel, if people you know and trusted, take cheap shots, or betray your trust. Or worse, people who tell you they know you, but won't identify themselves. This isn't a fucking game.

I am tired of it.

I make nothing here. Not a cent. I do it because I can't help it. The second after this morning's post, a song popped in my head and my first thought was to share it. I do that on Facebook a lot. Two people will like it. 78 people loved it when there was a bug in my Greek salad. (See what you're missing on Facebook?)

I am not doing this for attention.  But really, all of you who are going to miss this, where have you been? When was the last time you commented or joined in? I know this isn't school. There is no obligation. Doesn't make it any more fun on this end.

There are a lot of blogs out there and most of the time, I don't like the music they share or write about. But I don't use my pages to trash them.

That's it. Now you can all have a field day with how sensitive I am, or how I should calm down and not overreact. That's always a good way to handle things.
The terrorists have won.

Thanks to all you who have shown support and have participated all these years. It was a great ride.

To the disappointing few who found it increasingly more difficult to show any respect, and to the trolls, go fuck yourselves.

See you all down the line, in a much simpler format that will hopefully be more fun than what this has become.

Thanks again.