Good Friday the 13th

A most hearty welcome back to some old and dear friends.




Sounds great to me—even more so when you ponder the trials and travails this band has managed to overcome over the decades. Some folks say that it really isn’t AC/DC anymore without Malcolm, and that’s a legitimate opinion, I guess. But for myself, I’m just glad as all getout to see these guys still in the game, still persevering, and still rocking the ass right off of it even yet.

Glad to have you back, boys. Many thanks for laying down such a remarkable catalog of pure, bone-crushing rock and roll for our enjoyment. Long may you wave.

Helloween

DAMMIT, I only realized on the way home from work that I had completely spaced on activating the CF Halloween theme this year. And given the insane amount of tweaking that will be required to bring the tired old thing even nominally into line with the more recent WP versions, it ain’t likely it’s going to make an appearance this year, alas.

On the bright side, however, it’s a matter of a paltry few days now until our beloved Scrooge Picard rears his top-hatted pate once more around these parts—since I blew off Halloween, I’m gonna inaugurate CF’s traditional holiday makeover early than ever this annum to make up to the CF Faithful. No need to thank me, folks. While you’re waiting, enjoy yourselves some spooky TuneDamage.




Not at all a Baroque-period guy myself, being the confirmed Classical/Romantic era man that I am. But could there possibly be a more fitting way to kick off our Spooky TuneDamage session than Bach’s legendary Toccata and Fugue?



Well, unless maybe it’s Chopin’s world-famous Funeral March, that is. Now let’s shift gears.



Back in my punk-rock halcyon days, I loved the Dead Kennedys all to pieces, and the lyrics of this one in particular spoke to my very soul. Why not every day/Are you so afraid/What will people say? indeed.



Sure, I could very easily have taken the easy way out and tossed up Boris and the Crypt Kicker Five’s classic “Monster Mash” to close things out, like any ordinary blogger certainly would have. But predictability and obviousness ain’t why you guys hang around here in the first place, I figger. Not that there’s anything at all wrong with “Monster Mash,” I hasten to add. But we’ve all heard it enough times, and Gene Simmons’ rollicking, lesser-known little finger-snapper sounds fresh and fun in comparison.

Now to get back to seeing if there’s anything I can do to fit the old Helloween theme into a fresh new WP framework. In case you haven’t seen it or don’t remember it, the theme’s feature image was done up special for me by the seriously amazing American artist Coop, so I’m gonna do my damnedest to make this thing work here.

Update! It occurred to me, in light of the H-ween theme’s shortcomings, that I maybe oughta check up on Scrooge Picard’s overall operability just as a precautionary measure. And wouldn’tcha know it, looks like that one’s gonna need some re-working also—thereby sending any chance of getting Coop’s Helloween masterpiece into usable condition this weekend a-swirling right down the ol’ drain, dammit.

Something’s happenin’ here

What it is ain’t exactly clear.




Tonight’s TuneDamage selection is pretty much self-explanatory, I believe. Been meaning to put this one up for a cpl-three weeks now; I was just waiting for an excuse, and now seems like about as good a time as any. Although on reflection, election day might be an even more apt choice.

All in all, one apt tune calls for another, right?




If you’re experiencing a strong sense of deja vue right now, it’s justified. I have indeed run this one before—more than once too, if I’m not mistaken. Now admittedly, with apologies to our good friend Bill, I’ve never been what you’d call a Bob Dylan fan, although of course I’m musician enough myself to acknowledge the man’s genius. That said, I’ve always considered this song to be one of Dylan’s absolute best. And here, Frankie Perez—with his breathy, passionate vocal overlaying a gently captivating instrumental arrangement—has rejiggered a genuine masterpiece into a thing of purest, deepest beauty.

Legions of players have covered Dylan’s stuff over the years, with varying results. While I do still maintain that some classic tunes should just be left the hell alone, the above isn’t one of ’em. I’m confident Mr Zimmerman is well aware of Lopez’ rendition. And I’d be surprised indeed if he didn’t approve wholeheartedly.

Creature feature

Harpy (noun)

har·​py | \ ˈhär-pē  \
plural harpies

Definition of harpy
1 capitalized : a foul malign creature in Greek mythology that is part woman and part bird
2: a shrewish woman

Synonyms
battle-axe, dragon lady, harridan, shrew, termagant


Just in time to freeze the blood of every male in existence for Halloween, and make his testicles draw all the way up into the back of his throat—because they’ve heard that tune before, too may times, and know all too well what it forebodes. Every one of the guys I forwarded the vid to confessed with a shudder that they could only stand about ten or fifteen seconds of it before having to turn it off, and no wonder; one of them compared its powerful psychological impact to what he imagined having a needle-sharp icicle plunged straight into his heart might feel like. Via our old friend Stephen, whose lovely wife thankfully does NOT resemble the above dictionary in any way, bless herwarm, sweet heart.

As shitlib propagandist Walter Cronkite used to intone gravely: it oughta scaaaare yuh to death. But it does make for a note-perfect segue into tonight’s TuneDamage selection, I do believe.




That’s the legendary Swedish band Backyard Babies, masters of a subgenre that came to be known as Sleaze Rock. Their guitarist, Dregen, was also in another fine aggregation of Swedish hard-rockers yclept the Hellacopters, who I’ll have to remember to feature here sometime soon. I’m eternally grateful for having been put onto both bands by an Australian BPs fan, Helen, with whom I was quite close friends indeed for a goodish while there. Well, as close as two people can ever be who live half a world away from each other, I guess.

All Swedish rock bands have a rep for being almost preternaturally precise in their songwriting, performing, and recording too—a rep which is entirely justified, if you ask me. That almost anal-retentive approach to music holds true across genres, too; some Swedish buds of mine have a rockabilly outfit called the Go-Getters, and it’s the exact same way with them. They’re crazy good, almost too perfect, like some kind of clockwork machine when it comes to their music.

But to talk to ’em, Peter and his boys are just the nicest, most polite bunch of tall, blonde, blue-eyed devils you’d ever want to meet. Perhaps unexpectedly, though, they have not a trace of the cold, aloof arrogance that seems to be hardwired into the German musicians I’ve known. They had some swagger onstage, which is as it should always be, but offstage Peter and the other Swedish players I’ve had the opportunity to spend some green-room time with were all diffident and deferential, almost to the point of being downright painfully shy.

Be they arrogant or retiring, those Swedes can sure lay down some mighty fine rock and roll, all of ’em I ever heard tell of anyway.

Tonight’s Tune Damage™ selection

Heard this on the car radio earlier. I’d almost forgotten how much I always dug it.




I’ve been told, by people who would certainly know, that Ian Astbury was a pluperfect prick to work with, for whatever that’s worth to ya. But no matter; if the guy never produces another hit record his whole life long, he sure did good with that one.

We’re the Ramones…and you’re not

Just put up my first MeWe post, but sadly the video I tried to embed failed to embed for some reason. Yes, I’ve posted this one here before, I know, but I just don’t care. Deal, baby.




As I said on MeWe: it’s the greatest performance of the greatest song by the greatest band in history. Or, as Louder Than War’s John Robb puts it: “It’s all already there.. the ripped jeans, perfect poses, great tune, simplicity turned to an artform… a year later they would change music for ever…” Perfectly true, all of it.

One of the YT commenters says:

You know you are a serious Ramones fan when you think the terrible audio quality sounds cool

That’s as may be, I suppose. But the audio, umm, “quality” is one of the biggest reasons this video just flies all over me—to quote Little Richard, it makes my big toe shoot up in my boot. That raspy, buzzsaw distortion is every sound engineer’s worst nightmare; one can readily imagine the audio techs in the TV studio control booth literally bursting into tears and pulling their hair out by the handful when they realized that there was absolutely nothing they could do to fix this.

Much as the audiophiles and knob-twiddlers might disdain distortion as the very anathema of good sound and moral propriety, though, it’s also the direct result of the very thing that makes real rock and roll great: the awesome power of sheer, brain-busting VOLUME.

Without volume to excess, rock and roll loses its ability to excite, to incite, to inspire passion and release. Mind you, I don’t mean to say that there’s no ceiling, no point at which enough spills over into way the hell too much. It’s a surpassing-fine line that must be drawn here, and it’s very easy to cross over and get on the wrong side of it, to the ruination of everyone’s good time. I’ve certainly been to shows where the band was so loud it was actually unendurable, a muddled, unpleasant mess.

The fact remains, though: if it ain’t LOUD, it might just as well be jazz. In real rock and roll, and not some lame-ass Chris Cross pop-a-doodle claptrap, you want that guitar to bite; you want that snare to crack, that bass to thump. You want to feel that kick-drum push against your chest. The right level of LOUD is indeed a physical thing. But it shouldn’t be a painful one. You can peg the needles now and then, but you never want to bury them.

To my ears, the Ramones had things dialed in exactly right in this instance. It’s one of their very first TV performances, on a NYC local-access show called Arturo’s Loft, before they were known much of anywhere outside the hallowed halls of CBGB’s. And it’s just…remarkable.

Yes, that distortion is absolutely filthy all right. But notice: the levels of all the instruments, and the vocals too, are dead on. Meaning, nobody is drowning anybody out; you can hear Joey’s vocals just fine, loud if not exactly clear. And the vocals are usually the first thing to suffer from high volume—if they aren’t overwhelmed by a tidal wave of guitar, they’re sure to be lost behind the cymbal crashes perpetrated by an over-excited Keith Moon enthusiast.

But in the above video, you can actually distinguish everything, vocals included. Of course, the Ramones’ pure-as-the-driven-snow simplicity helps a lot with that. And it’s just as Mr Robb says: the Ramones turned simplicity into an art form. In fact, “simple” was the driving force from Day One, the whole idea, their raison d’etre. Johnny, for example, never was much for meandering, self-indulgent guitar solos, a staple of rock from its earliest days. Even later in the band’s career, when he did toss off his (very) occasional lead bits, he always kept them short, sweet, and straight as a razor.

I was fortunate enough to get to chat with Joey for an hour or so once, at the old Coney Island High entertainment complex on St Mark’s Place in NYC. Me and the GF were just kind of hanging out, nothing out of the ordinary going on, when I realized that I was standing not ten feet away from Joey Ramone his own self. I dithered for a moment; on the one hand, the Ramones really did change my life, and that’s the truth. So I very much wanted to express my gratitude for the crucial role they had played for me personally, for the inspiration they had provided me.

On the other, I hated to be That Guy, foisting myself on a celebrity who probably just wanted nothing more than an evening out, without having every Bozo from Brooklyn get all up in his grill and make a damnable nuisance of himself.

In the end, the GF insisted I stop being silly and just go over and say hello to the guy, ferchrissakes. Which I did, after a little more waffling. Even though he had to have heard my worshipful spiel so many times already that it made his hair hurt, he was quite gracious about it all. I succinctly explained to him that, after hearing the Ramones in the 70s, I had left the old classic-rock outfit I had been in before to start up Charlotte’s first punk outfit. I told him I had then drifted into the rockabilly thing, and was doing fairly well with it. He told me that he actually loved hearing such things from fellow players—people who were actually out there fighting the rock and roll road-wars for real and not just idly fantasizing about it, or boasting to their friends about all the big things they planned to do—someday.

Then a fight broke out behind us and some doofus got shoved into Joey’s back, nearly knocking him down and causing him to stagger slightly and spill his drink. He excused himself to head for the bar and a refill, and the GF and I wandered off someplace else.

I listen mostly to classical music on the radio nowadays, and go for long stretches at a time without listening to the Ramones at all. But I swear, every time I put ’em on again I wonder what the hell took me so long, what the hell was I thinking by it. Then I go on a Ramones binge for a few days, and I enjoy every second of it, too. It’s a fact, Jack: though the Ramones may not be everybody’s cup of tea, they really did change rock and roll, completely and forever. It’s kinda funny that their influence is so far-reaching and deep…but just the same, nobody else sounds quite like ’em. Ironically enough, the Ramones’ simple, stripped-down approach turned out to be a thing that moved mountains.

RIP Eddie

Of course y’all know that Eddie Van Halen passed away the other day. I won’t belabor the thing by saying much, beyond repeating what everybody else already said: the man was just a stupendous player, truly one of a kind. His influence on the evolution of rock guitar-playing is simply incalculable. I was fortunate enough to see ’em live in Charlotte on their first arena tour after that first blockbuster album was released, and was duly blown away not just by Eddie, but by the whole damned band—they were ALL fantastic. That show remains one of the best I ever did see, and ever expect to see. So without further ado, a vid or two.




My very favorite VH song of ’em all, and a goofy, fun video too. Which was typical of them; their videos were always light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek, and…well, just plain FUN to watch. You could accuse VH of a lot of things, maybe but taking themselves too seriously was never one of ’em. This next one is interesting: a compilation of five great live Eddie solos.



Next is another intriguing oddity: the one and only Slash opines on EVH’s passing.


Slash is a most hellacious player his own bad self, although I never much cared for Guns N Roses, honestly. Don’t get me wrong here; the band itself was excellent, as the short-lived Velvet Revolver side project with the late, great Scott Weiland more than amply demonstrated. It was that goddamned whiny pissant Axel Rose I couldn’t stomach.

Aw, what the hell, while we’re on the subject…yes, I know it ain’t EVH, but somehow I don’t think he’d resent the digression.




Goooood shit. Rest easy, Eddie Van Halen; the guitar-slinger bar in Rock ‘N’ Roll Heaven’s house band, already ridiculously high, just got seriously raised.

Forty years after

And suddenly, a new contender appears.

The song grabs you in the first two seconds: two shots on an E chord, followed by quarter-note hi-hat hits. You know something big’s going to happen. No—it already is happening.

At five seconds, the hi-hat hits double into eighth-notes as the E chord shots repeat. At seven seconds, the addition of a swung sixteenth-note (played on cowbell with a brush) signals the imminent, exhilarating plunge into a song you’ve never heard, but which you now want to hear more than anything else.

And at twelve seconds, an authoritative, effortlessly-executed drum fill plunges you into what might be rock and roll’s greatest first song on a first album, ever…and we already know—before the song, or even a proper drum part, has started—we’re in the presence of drumming greatness. The rest of the song, as well as the rest of the album, only further confirms it.

If you’re as dyed-in-the-wool a rocker as I am, you already know which song he’s talking about, and which band, and which drummer. The surprise here, though, isn’t that it’s another great music post from Steyn Online. The surprise is that it isn’t Steyn writing this one; it’s his increasingly-impressive co-author, Tal Bachman, who is the scion of a pretty danged rich rock and roll legacy his own bad self.

I don’t even have to say it, right?

They’re BACK, baby!

Via Ed Driscoll, I bring you glad tidings of great joy.

After several days of online hints and teasers, Australian high-volume rockers AC/DC have confirmed their return to active duty by announcing that veteran singer Brian Johnson, drummer Phil Rudd and bassist Cliff Williams have rejoined the band after several years’ absence.

A new photo of the band finds them looking older but energized, with lead guitarist Angus Young, now 65, still rocking the schoolboy outfit.

The term “Pwr Up” featured in several of the teasers is apparently the title of a new album, although the official announcement does not say when it might be coming. Twisted Sister Singer Dee Snider, a longtime friend of the band, said over the summer that the group has completed a new album.

I still say they’re the greatest pure rock band there ever was or ever will be, and I wish them nothing but the best. Calls for a little something in the way of celebratory revelry, I do believe.



A match made in (someplace far from) Heaven

Mickey Dolenz lays out the fascinating backstory to one of the most peculiar chapters in rock and roll history.

The odd pairing might have been doomed from the start, given the two artists’ very different audiences. But Dolenz had been a fan of Hendrix since the guitar god was still known as “Jimmy James” and performing in Greenwich Village nightclubs with the Blue Flames. “It was 1966 or so, and the Monkees were in New York on a press junket,” he recalls of the first time he saw Hendrix live. “Someone said, ‘You gotta come down to the Village and check this cat out.’ The actual act was, I think, the John Hammond Band or something. But when we went down there, I remember sitting in the front row and there was this young kid, and he was playing guitar with his teeth! I didn’t even know his name at the time. I don’t even know if he was introduced, but he was going under the name Jimmy James at that point. He was just great.”

When Dolenz witnessed Hendrix’s iconic performance at the Monterey Pop Festival (a year later), he recalls, “All of a sudden this act comes on, not very well known yet, but very flamboyant — the clothes, the music. And I said, ‘Hey, that’s the guy that plays guitar with his teeth!’ I recognized him. And so simultaneously, just by coincidence really, we were looking for an opening act for our first tour. So, I suggested the Jimi Hendrix Experience to our producers, because obviously it was incredible music, but also very theatrical. And the Monkees were a theatrical act, if you really examine it. I guess that’s why it made sense to me. I just thought it would make a great mix.”

Apparently the admiration wasn’t mutual at first, as Hendrix had previously blasted the Monkees in the U.K. press, describing their music to Melody Maker as “dishwater” and saying, “Oh God, I hate them!” But once the Monkees’ “people went to his people,” says Dolenz, “Chas Chandler and everyone thought it was a good idea.” And so, on July 8 — less than a month after Hendrix had been the breakout star of Monterey Pop — the Jimi Hendrix Experience joined the Monkees for their first joint tour date in Jacksonville, Fla.

While the audience was vicious and unwelcoming, Dolenz was too wrapped up in watching Hendrix’s electric stage show to actually notice what was transpiring in the venue. “I didn’t even pay attention to what the audience reaction was, because I was just mesmerized by Jimi and his art,” he confesses. “We were just blown away by him every night — I know Nez [the Monkees’ Mike Nesmith] especially was. We would just stand in the wings in awe. I was fascinated by Jimi’s showmanship, by his persona. All I knew was, I liked it. And to this day, I don’t care much what people thought.”

Hendrix apparently did care what people thought, as he decided to quit the Monkees’ tour just eight days later, after dates in Miami, North Carolina, and a three-night run at New York City’s Forest Hills Tennis Stadium. Later, a seemingly bitter Hendrix told British music paper the NME that he’d been replaced by “Mickey Mouse.” Dolenz can neither deny nor confirm the longstanding rumor that Hendrix flipped the bird at the combative crowd during that final NYC show, though he quips, “I’ve never seen evidence of that rumor, but if it’s true, he certainly ain’t the first person to flip off an audience.”

In retrospect, Dolenz says he “wasn’t totally surprised” that the Monkees/Hendrix tour didn’t work out. “It was just night and day,” he admits of their clashing musical styles. “And we all knew, because he was fairly unknown at the time, that those thousands and thousands of kids were there to see the Monkees. Jimi knew that too.” As for whether he thinks the negative reaction Hendrix received had anything to do with racism, he insists, “No, it had to do with the fact that these fans had spent so much of their money to see the headliners. And if fans like that are really, really anxious and passionate, they’ll make their feelings known.”

Despite Hendrix’s poor reception, reservations about joining the tour in the first place, and that NME shade, he and the Monkees did hit it off, getting up to all sorts of rock ‘n’ roll adventures during their week on the road. “We spent a lot of time together. We went to clubs and wandered around aimlessly, and sometimes non-aimlessly,” says Dolenz fondly. “We got along great and had a great time. We partied; we hung around in the hotel rooms jamming and just singing, having little aftershow parties. I remember once we went to the Electric Circus in New York, a very famous psychedelic place back then.

The article comes complete with a cool photo of Hendrix sitting on a hotel-room bed beside Mike Nesmith, with one of Nesmith’s beautiful Gretsches in hand and Peter Tork looking on in what could only have been stunned delight. A friend of mine, a big Monkees fan back in her pre-teen years, told me once about how her mom had taken her to the disastrous Charlotte show, although she claimed to have little recollection of any details now. I kinda felt sorry for her, actually.

The story of horribly ill-considered combinations of headliners and support acts is a long and old one in the music biz, at just about every level. I’ve been on both sides of that same brand of miserable mismatch more than once my own self, just as any other road-dog touring act either has or will sooner or later. It’s almost inevitable if you’re out there long enough, just part of the game, and can even be looked back on with a certain fond amusement once the passage of time has healed the painful wound. But the legendary Hendrix/Monkees misfire is definitely one for the ages.

In the groove

So I’ve been jamming out in the car recently to a mix CD of some late 60s-early 70s classics I burned a while back—songs I loved as a kid, but had been sorta neglecting of late. And suddenly the responsibility—nay, the solemn, sacred duty—to share some of this good stuff with y’all weighed heavily upon me.



The above, of course, would be the legendary Buddy Miles, just doin’ his legendary Buddy Miles thang. In the unlikely event you don’t know of him, please allow Wikipedia to hip ya some.

George Allen “Buddy” Miles Jr. (September 5, 1947 – February 26, 2008), was an American rock drummer, vocalist, composer, and producer. He was a founding member of the Electric Flag (1967), a member of Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys (1969–1970), founder and leader of the Buddy Miles Express and later, the Buddy Miles Band. Miles also played and recorded with Carlos Santana and others. Additionally, he sang lead vocals on the critically and commercially acclaimed “California Raisins” claymation TV commercials and recorded two California Raisins R&B albums.

Yes, THOSE California Raisins. Of course, most people who DO know of Buddy will surely know of his stint as drummer for Hendrix’ Band Of Gypsies. Yes, THAT Band Of Gypsies. But then, who from that wondrous, magical era DIDN’T Buddy play with, anyway? That would probably make for a shorter list, one a hell of a lot less burdensome to tot up.

Miles played with a variety of rhythm and blues and soul acts as a teenager, including Ruby & the Romantics, the Delfonics, and Wilson Pickett. In 1964, at the age of 16, Miles met Jimi Hendrix at a show in Montreal, where both were performing as sidemen for other artists.

In 1967, Miles joined Hendrix in a jam session at the Malibu home of Stephen Stills. They also went on to play together again in 1968 in both Los Angeles and New York. In the same year, Miles moved to Chicago where he teamed with guitarist Mike Bloomfield and vocalist Nick Gravenites to form the Electric Flag, a blues/soul/rock band. In addition to playing drums, Miles sometimes sang lead vocals for the band, which made its live debut at the Monterey Pop Festival in mid-1967.

In early 1968, the band released A Long Time Comin’, its first album for Columbia. The Electric Flag’s second album, An American Music Band, followed late the same year. Shortly after that release, though, the group disbanded. In the same year, Hendrix used several guest artists, including Miles, during the recording of the album, Electric Ladyland. Miles played drums on one long jam that was eventually split into two album cuts, “Rainy Day, Dream Away” and “Still Raining, Still Dreaming”, with a different song, “1983… (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)”, edited in between.

At age 21, after the breakup of the Electric Flag, Miles put together a new band with Jim McCarty, who later became the guitarist for Cactus. This new group performed and recorded as the Buddy Miles Express. In 1969, Hendrix wrote a short poem as a liner note for Expressway To Your Skull, the first studio album recorded by the Buddy Miles Express. Hendrix went on to produce four of the tracks on the group’s follow-up album, Electric Church. The title of the latter LP was taken from Hendrix’s poem on the first.

In 1969 he appeared on British jazz guitarist John McLaughlin’s album Devotion.

Exressway To Your Skull might just be the greatest album title in all of history, I’m thinking.

And while we’re groovin’ to the classics here and all, allow me to bring forth another true great: Lee Michaels. Yes, THAT Lee Michaels.



Michaels, who I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned here before at least once, is another fascinating study. A generally-acknowledged keyboard virtuoso, he did most of his live shows accompanied only by a drummer—covering that complex, fluid bass line his own self via the pedals on the Hammond B3 he ran like a boss. This, whilst also ravaging the keyboards, and crooning his little heart out to boot.

For me, it’s that distinctive, passionate singing voice of his that really sets the hook in deep. Occasionally raspy and whiskey-raw, then a croon smooth as smoothest velvet; a banshee’s wail with a desperate, out-of-breath sob hot on its heels. He gulps and gasps along just behind the beat, like every good bluesman should.

The real bones and sinew of the singer’s art, though, is phrasing. Proper phrasing can cover a multitude of other sins, while clumsy phrasing can rubbish an otherwise skilled performance entirely. Michaels’ phrasing may sound somewhat haphazard, even confused and/or anarchic, to the uninitiated. But it’s actually note-perfect, rivaling that of even Sinatra in the way he makes the attentive listener WAAAAIIIIIT until he’s about to fall over anticipating that next crucial syllable.

The above tune has an interesting little history of its own (bold mine):

Lee Eugene Michaels (born Michael Olsen, November 24, 1945) is an American rock musician who sings and accompanies himself on organ, piano, or guitar. He is best known for his powerful soulful voice and his energetic virtuosity on the Hammond organ, peaking in 1971 with his Top 10 pop hit single, “Do You Know What I Mean”.

Michaels began his career with The Sentinals, a San Luis Obispo, California-based surf group that included drummer Johny Barbata (later of The Turtles, Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship). Michaels joined Barbata in the Joel Scott Hill Trio, a group led by guitarist Joel Scott Hill. Michaels later moved to San Francisco, where he joined an early version of The Family Tree, a band led by Bob Segarini. In 1967, he signed a contract with A&M Records, releasing his debut album, Carnival of Life, later that year with David Potter on drums. As a session musician, he played with Jimi Hendrix, among others.

Michaels’ choice of the Hammond organ as his primary instrument was unusual for the time, as was his bare-bones stage and studio accompaniment: usually just a single drummer, most often a musician known as “Frosty,” real name Bartholomew Eugene Smith-Frost, who was a member of Sweathog, and whose bare handed technique was an inspiration for John Bonham, or with Joel Larson of The Grass Roots. This unorthodox approach attracted a following in San Francisco, and some critical notice. (Sounds Magazine, for one, reported of Michaels that he had been called “the ultimate power organist.”) But Michaels did not achieve real commercial success until the release of his fifth album.

That album, titled 5th and released in 1971, produced a surprise US Top 10 hit (#6 in the fall of 1971), “Do You Know What I Mean.” It was an autobiographical homage to the loss of a girlfriend. Michaels’s Top 40 follow-up, a cover version of the Motown standard, “Can I Get a Witness,” peaked at #39 on Christmas Day of 1971, eight years to the week after Marvin Gaye’s version peaked at #22Billboard ranked “Do You Know What I Mean” as the No. 19 song for 1971. Michaels recorded two more albums for A&M before signing a recording contract with Columbia Records in 1973. But his Columbia recordings failed to generate much interest, and Michaels had gone into semi-retirement from the music industry by the end of the decade.

“Do You Know What I Mean” always brings the salt tang of an ocean breeze to mind for me, and there’s a good reason for it. See, back in the day when Myrtle Beach was still a place worth visiting, they had the late, lamented Myrtle Beach Pavilion (now unforgiveably torn down for no good reason at all, damn their eyes) on the beach side of Ocean Blvd, with the Pavilion Amusement Park directly across the street from it. We vacay’ed at MYB every year without fail, whiling away a goodish chunk of my misspent youth in the Pavilion and its Amusement Park both.

And ‘long about 71 or 72, the Amusement Park installed a great ride yclept the Himalaya, which my brother, my cousin, and I loved all to pieces. We’d ride that thing over and over again, round and round and up and down, until we were literally nauseous from it. And one of the things that attracted the Younger Generation to it was the fact that, unlike many of the other, older rides, they played that summer’s rock and roll hits loud as thunder over the installed speakers, to our endless delight.

There are two songs I heard on the Himalaya that really rang my bell but good, and never did forget. One of them was, of course, “Do You Know What I Mean” by Lee Michaels. The other, funnily enough, was a ditty whose origins I strived long and hard to unearth, only years later finding out that it had been Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Sweet Hitch Hiker.”



Now in my defense, I was exclusively a hard-rock kid back then. I was all about Iron Butterfly, D-Purp, Black Sabbath, and such-like in those days, see, and didn’t really give too much of a rip one way or the other about CCR; they weren’t on my radar until much later, I confess. But I did love me some “Sweet Hitch Hiker.” It hit me right in the sweet spot, for whatever reason.

And I had not the vaguest clue who it might be performing it on vinyl. Nor, it seemed, could I find out, not for love nor money.

What’s most curious about the whole saga is that I went around asking absolutely everybody I came into contact with that summer—grown-ups, young ‘uns like me, teenagers, teachers, the mailman, everybody—if they had any idea whose damned song that was…and not ONE of them knew either. Or if they did, they weren’t saying. Hell, I even called the local radio station (Big WAYS, 610 AM on your dial) and asked about it, all to no avail. The vexing conundrum was finally resolved when I stumbled across the song in the track listing on back of the album cover, tucked into the stacks o’ wax for sale down at my uncle Gene’s drug store in Mt Holly a cpl-three years later.

Ahh, them were the days for sure.

Goooood vibrations

Ace mentioned something that got my gears turning a little bit.

Quarantine Cafe: Baby Elephant Walk Edition
—Ace

Baby elephants for the GOP.

And then he goes and embeds several vids that, sure enough, have baby edgyphonts in ’em…without including Henry Mancini’s immortal, beloved classic. What. The. HELL…?!?

Please indulge me, folks, while I rectify that omission.



And that in turn got me to thinking about another HQ post from earlier this week (or maybe it was late last week) that featured a wonderful Herb Alpert song I’ve posted here before myself—one of my veriest favorites, which surely merits a re-run. No baby ellyfants involved with this one, alas. Just a bull.



And since one almighty-good Herb Alpert song deserves another, here’s probably my all-time favorite: a lush, utterly gorgeous version of “Lemon Tree.”



Man, they just don’t make ’em like that anymore.

“An album made by heroes

This quote alone makes the whole thing a must-read far as I’m concerned: “No matter how good the newest rock or album is, ‘Back In Black’ will kick its ass.”

Yep, it’s another captivating slice of AC/DC history, that’s what. Don’t hate me ’cause I’m beautiful.

In the seven years since AC/DC had formed in Sydney, Australia – with Angus, dressed for the stage in his old schoolboy uniform, an unlikely looking guitar hero – they had built up a strong international following via relentless touring and a series of brilliant, balls-out albums, including Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, Let There Be Rock and Powerage, the latter a favorite of Keith Richards. 

But it was with 1979’s Highway To Hell that they had a major breakthrough, their first million-seller. And in the new songs they demoed in London, with Bon playing drums, as he had done as a young man in his first groups back in Australia, there was such potential that Bon had told his mother Isa in a phone call: “This one is going to be it!”

It was only a few days after that call – on February 19, 1980 – that Bon Scott was found dead in East Dulwich, London. He had been out drinking with friends on the previous night.

Angus spoke for the whole band when he said, “You feel immortal until something like this happens.” But at Bon’s funeral in his hometown of Fremantle in Western Australia, his father Chick urged Malcolm and Angus to carry on with the band. And on April 1st, Brian Johnson, then aged 32, formerly of glam rock act Geordie, was announced as AC/DC’s new singer.

Those were big shoes that Brian Johnson had to fill. Bon had had it all: a powerful voice, a witty turn of phrase in his lyrics, and a macho stage presence that was the epitome of rock ’n’ roll cool.

As drummer Phil Rudd said, “Bon was such a character.” Moreover, he was, for Malcolm Young, a talismanic figure. “He pulled us all together,” Malcolm said. “He had that real stick-it-to-’em attitude. Bon was the single biggest influence on the band.” 

But in Brian Johnson, they found the right man for the job, and as it transpired, even Bon had been a fan of Brian’s. Back in the early ’70s, Bon’s old band Fraternity had opened for Geordie on a UK tour and witnessed what he later described to Angus as the best Little Richard impersonation he’d ever seen from a singer rolling around on the stage and screaming his head off.

As Angus said of that conversation: “It was rare that Bon ever raved about anything.” What Bon hadn’t known was that Brian Johnson had been screaming in agony that night, and had subsequently been rushed to hospital suffering from appendicitis.

As diehard an AC/DC fan as I am and always will be, there are plenty of fun facts in this piece that I didn’t know about before. It’s a killer for sure; don’t miss a single word of it.

Southern rock is dead

RIP Charlie Daniels, a truly great American.

Country Music legend Charlie Daniels, best known for his monster 1979 hit “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” died Monday of a hemorrhagic stroke. He was 83.

According to a press release from his representatives, the acclaimed Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry member died at Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, Tenn., where doctors determined his cause of death.

Daniels accumulated a slew of accolades and awards during his long career in music, including his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Musicians Hall of Fame and becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He also won a Dove Award for gospel albums and a coveted Grammy Award for best country vocal performance by a duo or group

I didn’t actually know he was an Opry member, bless his ornery ol’ heart.

“Few artists have left a more indelible mark on America’s musical landscape than Charlie Daniels. An outspoken patriot, beloved mentor, and a true road warrior, Daniels parlayed his passion for music into a multi-platinum career and a platform to support the military, underprivileged children, and others in need,” a statement from Daniels’ representatives reads.

In addition to his music, Daniels was a major advocate for several causes that were close to his heart including supporting the U.S. military with The Journey Home Project, which he founded in 2014 with his manager, David Corlew, to help veterans.

The article mentions several other charitable organizations either started or supported by Daniels, before getting to something else I didn’t know:

Daniels, a singer, guitarist and fiddler, started out as a session musician, even playing on Bob Dylan’s “Nashville Skyline” sessions. Beginning in the early 1970s, his five-piece band toured endlessly, sometimes doing 250 shows a year.

“I can ask people where they are from, and if they say `Waukegan,′ I can say I’ve played there. If they say `Baton Rouge,′ I can say I’ve played there. There’s not a city we haven’t played in,” Daniels said in 1998.

Daniels performed at White House, at the Super Bowl, throughout Europe and often for troops in the Middle East.

Daniels, a native of Wilmington, N.C., played on several Bob Dylan albums as a Nashville recording session guitarist in the late 1960s, including “New Morning” and “Self-Portrait.”

Well, whaddya know. All in all, a life well-lived, and now a reward well-earned. I’ll put up two of my favorites among Charlie’s long string of monster hits, by way of wishing him a fond farewell. He will surely be missed.



Chain of events

So as I was typing up my email to our governor, Comrade Cooper, begging official permission to be allowed to celebrate my “freedom” on the 4th, I was listening to the classical-music radio station as background, as is my usual wont. Amidst all the usual rah-rah 4th of July treacle and sludge, they aired a rendition of “Down In The Valley” for some reason—a lovely old tune, a real classic. And somehow, that in turn reminded me of an old Richard Pryor/Gene Wilder buddy flick called Stir Crazy, which at one point featured a beefy, intimidating cellmate of Our Heroes yclept Grossberger performing maybe the doggone prettiest version of the old chestnut I ever did hear:



Nice, eh? The guy who played Grossberger was a Dutch-American actor, wrestler, and opera singer who also held a BS in computer science named Erland Van Lindth De Jeude. He died, alas, in 1987 at a quite young age. Hats off to him for a real treat of a performance on this tune, anyway. Says something that it’s stuck with me all these years.

What are we gonna do now?

Kenny outed my hijacking of a Clash song for a post title the other day, whereupon subsequent events brought one of their earlier tunes to mind for some strange reason.



While we’re at it, Clampdown is always worth another listen.




Clampdown is probably my single favorite Clash song, if I had to pick one. The cover photo of London Calling is one for the ages as well, although I do have to note that you only ever see rock and rollers destroying their instruments on the bigger stages, never in the cramped, beer-and-piss-soaked clubs they clawed their way up and out of. Destructo Theater takes on a somewhat different cast when you have to peel yourself from a fan’s sticky apartment floor after two hours’ sleep thereon, limp bleary-eyed and hungover out to the band’s wheezy old strugglebuggy, and count out the ones and fives from last night’s meager take to support your guitar-busting habit. By the time London Calling had forever cemented the Clash’s status as a top-tier act, Paul Simenon was well past having to sweat where the dough would be coming from to replace that poor P-bass of his.

RIP Little Richard Penniman

Belated, I know, but still. At the risk of making this post more about me than him (even though I’ll probably end up doing just that regardless) I’ll lead off with a snippet from the text conversation on Richard’s passing I had with my band’s former manager:

LittleRichardScreen-1.png

That last refers to a pic he included in the message, in which I am conspicuous only by my absence. Don’t worry, I’ll explain later.

Those three December nights remain among the most memorable of my entire life. We did three (3) shows opening for Little Richard at a legendary music hall called Tramps, on 20th Street in Manhattan. The above-mentioned Terry Dunne was the owner of that fine establishment, a big, bluff, Irish-to-the-bone man with some truly alarming IRA connections: bone thugs who would show up in NYC periodically when over here for a fundraising or arms-procuring jaunt, to the vague terror of one and all.

But it was the last night of that momentous three-night stand when Richard made the above-mentioned declaration, to the deep chagrin of a long, long line of autograph seekers—and to the spluttering rage of one Terry Dunne, who had a huge stack of Richard LPs he was hoping to get signed, a stack that ended up sitting untouched and forlorn by those famous hands on Dunne’s lonely office desk.

Almost didn’t get paid? Hell, we almost didn’t make it out alive. Mike, our manager, later told us that Terry was absolutely fuming when he went in to collect our fee that night—a handsome enough one by the usual NYC standard, as was always the case for us at Tramps. There was Terry’s big stack of LPs, unsigned. And there was Terry, screaming himself purple over how Richard had breezily dismissed one and all to spend thirty or forty of his precious green-room moments with us alone before announcing, “Y’all, I gots to GO! My legs, my legs are hurting! The legs is the first things to go!” and strolling right out surrounded by his entourage with nary a backwards glance at anybody.

Terry, poor guy, issued a few dire threats regarding things he really ought to hire somebody to do to us, then coughing up like a prince in the end. I stayed friends with Terry throughout the rest of my years in New York, even playing a few gigs with my local side-band at a little bar he opened up down on 1st and 1st, right off Houston Street. But the Belmont Playboys were pretty much persona non grata at Tramps after that.

Little Richard Penniman was known as The Architect of rock and roll, which was certainly accurate. There really was nobody quite like him; his piano playing was simultaneously frenzied yet virtuosic, and his singing was simply otherworldly, a revelation. He could growl, he could scream, he could croon, he could wail, every note of it pitch-perfect and bursting with a passion that was big as mountains and as moving as a desert sunset. He was less a performer than a force of nature, way larger than life both onstage and off. The truly astonishing thing isn’t how very good he was; given that the candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long, it’s that he lived as long as he did. When your peers are icons like Elvis, the Killer, Roy Orbison, Chuck Berry, and others, and you still stand out so sharply…well, that says one hell of a lot.

His band back then, the Upsetters, were every ounce equal to their Herculean task too; quite simply, they were probably the single best rock and roll backing band there ever was. Hey, when you can hire and then fire Jimi Fargin’ Hendrix, ferrchrissakes, none but a fool could consider you anything less than the creme de la creme:

Hendrix was an off-and-on member of Richard’s backup band, the Upsetters between late 1964–January 1965 until June–July 1965. So far, Hendrix biographers have identified only two songs he recorded with Richard, but are uncertain about the dates: “I Don’t Know What You’ve Got (But It’s Got Me)”, a two-part single released by Vee-Jay Records in November 1965, and “Dancing All Around the World”. Neither song appears on this album, although they are included on the West Coast Seattle Boy: The Jimi Hendrix Anthology (2010).

In July 1965, Hendrix played guitar during a WLAC-TV television appearance by Upsetters backup singers Buddy & Stacy. They performed the Junior Walker hit “Shotgun”, which was broadcast on Night Train, a Nashville, Tennessee, music variety show. Soon thereafter, Hendrix moved to New York City, where he sent a postcard to his father:

He [Little Richard] didn’t pay us for five and a half weeks, and you can’t live on promises when you’re on the road, so I had to cut that mess loose.

Richard’s brother, Robert Penniman, later claimed that Hendrix was fired because “he was always late for the bus and flirting with all the girls and stuff like that.”

Whatever the true story might be, the Upsetters were definitely the real deal all right, which this classic among classics demonstrates nicely.




One of the best tenor sax solos EVER, I think. Note ye well, though: the Upsetters could swing out, they could do jazzy, and they could turn on a dime and just rock the roof off the joint without seeming to break a sweat. But even so, it’s Richard you somehow can’t wrest your gaze from. That, too, says one hell of a lot.

And when we played with him at Tramps, the man STILL had every last bit of it. His band would take the stage without Richard first each night, spending about twenty or thirty minutes getting the SRO crowd good and warmed up. Richard would climb the long staircase up from the green-room dungeon near the last of the warmup set, waiting quietly and calmly in the wings behind the stage-right curtain to be brought onstage to a mad roar from the now-pumped crowd.

Which just happened to be where I was standing that last night, completely enraptured by his band and oblivious to the most august personage standing right beside me.

Little Richard really wasn’t particularly little at all, I realized when I turned to find him close by. He had a big head, big eyes, big hair, big hands, and a robust overall physique, even at the ripe old age of 60. Abruptly, I found myself in the immediate presence of true, honest-to-God greatness after not interacting with him at all on the previous nights. I struggled to come up with a few words to express my gratitude for the sublime honor of allowing us to share the bill with him for three nights.

And then came the moment I will never for one second forget. Richard stepped closer in, warmly grasped my hand in both of his, and then positively gushed with praise. Exact quote, as burned into my increasingly feeble brain for all time:

Oh, I just LOVE what you did with my friend Gene Vincent’s song! That Be Bop A Lula! You have SUCH a wonderful voice, so powerful! Thank you, thank you so much for that!!

Whereupon I immediately fell to my knees and kissed The Architect’s hand. I mean, come on, man! What the hell else was I going to do?

It might help you to better appreciate the impact if you recite the above words using your most flamboyant, gay-ass Little Richard voice, I dunno. Not that Richard was really gay, of course. No, Little Richard, elemental force of nature that he always was and will always remain, was parsecs beyond being tritely categorized as merely “gay” or “straight.” Richard was what one might call sexually omnivorous. To wit:

Beautiful, eccentric, fast, flashy, honest, intelligent, lascivious, rough, spiritual, trashy, wild, witty, the singer, pianist, saxophonist and raconteur Richard Wayne Penniman performing as the frightening and thrilling Little Richard is a musician’s musician and a pervert’s pervert.  Little Richard, who tried out some of his songs in front of audiences before recording them, an entertainer who challenged cultural barriers with his talent, and who for a time would live in Los Angeles in Sugar Hill near boxer Joe Louis, another Georgia boy from Macon, was a concert performer admired by fellow entertainers James Brown, Otis Redding, Elvis Presley, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Jimi Hendrix, Elton John, Michael Jackson, and Prince—and Richard’s gospel singing was admired by Quincy Jones and Mahalia Jackson.  Like many African-American artists, Richard Penniman would feel himself torn between the sensual and the spiritual.

Money and sex as well as the salvation of souls were, with music, among Little Richard’s lasting interests: they offered ecstasy, power, and transcendence.  Little Richard had a girlfriend named Angel who was a devilish sex vixen who became the practicing bisexual man’s friend, lover, and tool, as much of a freak as he was: “I loved Angel because she was pretty and the fellers enjoyed having sex with her.  She could draw a lot of handsome guys to me” (thus the libertine is quoted in 1984’s oral history of Little Richard’s life and career, The Life and Times of Little Richard by Charles White, originally published by Harmony Books in 1984, then Da Capo Press in 1994, and republished by Omnibus Press, 2003; page 73).  When the performer Buddy Holly walked into a backstage dressing room in which Little Richard and Angel were engaging in sex, Holly quickly joined them.  Following new religious devotion, Richard Penniman for a time would be married to a woman, Ernestine Campbell, who was satisfied with their married and sexual life but not with his renewal of show business obligations, leading her to seek a divorce.

I have that book around here someplace, and in its recounting of the Holly tale, Richard waxed rhapsodic about the size of Holly’s, umm, courting tackle, going on and on about how much fun it was to share out his then-girlfriend backstage before being walked in on by a stagehand anxious as to why Holly wasn’t onstage at the moment, like he was supposed to be. More from the same link:

“Homosexuality is contagious. It’s not something you’re born with. It’s contagious…The gay thing really came from me being with a guy called Bro Boy, who was a grocery boy. Bro Boy really laid me into that—he and Hester. It started with them and it growed.”
—Little Richard, page 11

“There was this lady by the name of Fanny. I used to drive her around so I could watch people having sex with her. She’d be in the back of the car, the lights on, her legs open, and no panties on. I’d take her around so that the fellers could have sex with her. She didn’t do it for money. She did it because I wanted her to do it. She wasn’t very old. I used to enjoy seeing that.”
—Little Richard, page 41

“We were breaking through the racial barrier. The white kids had to hide my records ’cos they daren’t let their parents know they had them in the house. We decided that my image should be crazy and way-out so that the adults would think I was harmless. I’d appear in one show dressed as the Queen of England an in the next as the pope.”
—Little Richard, page 66

“All I wanted was to have sex with the most beautiful women and get high…I used to like to watch girls be with girls, you know? I thought that was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.”
—Little Richard, page 178
 
“A habit like mine cost a lot of money. I was smoking marijuana and angel dust and I was mixing heroin with coke.”
—Little Richard, page 186

Those quotes make it plain that Richard was simply too supersized a character to ever be constrained within definitions meant to apply to mere mortals. His appetites—sexual and otherwise—could never have been anything short of voracious. How could they? I repeat: the really remarkable thing is that he lived so long.

His talent, too, was high, wide, and deep, as oversized and uncontainable as his personality. He could play, he could sing, he could write, he could perform; the man was a bona-fide colossus. He was the living incarnation of everything anyone ever meant when they used the word “fabulous,” and I am profoundly grateful to Whomever for the all-too-brief moments I shared with him. I’ll close this out with a photo from the green-room dungeon at Tramps on that last December night, along with a bit of audio I’ll never get tired of.

LittleRichard-backstage.jpg

From right we have our manager, guitarist/vocalist Chipps, Little Richard, and our drummer Mark. Visible in the background are a couple of Richard’s bandmates.



If there’s a rock and roll heaven, Little Richard Penniman just took charge of the band, making it wilder, more out-of-control, and just plain better than it ever was before. Fare thee well, Richard; may your lion’s heart and unquenchable spirit be forever at peace.

The eternal debate

You geezers like me will remember the forever-burning question of Beatles or Stones; you young ‘uns, if any, won’t. But Mick Jagger has just settled it for all of us. First, though, we’ll let Sir Paul (harrumph) get what licks he can in.

Paul McCartney, 77, says it’s clearly The Beatles.

In an interview with Howard Stern on his Sirius-XM radio show last week, McCartney said “I love the Stones but The Beatles were better.”

“Their stuff is rooted in the blues, whereas we had a lot more influences. Keith [Richards] once said to me, ‘You were lucky man. You had four singers in your band. We got one.’”

McCartney, who sang and played bass and piano for the group, and wrote dozens of the group’s songs, said The Stones sometimes copied The Beatles. “We started to notice that whatever we did the Stones sort of did it shortly thereafter,” he said.

“We went to America and had huge success, then the Stones went to America,” he said. “We did Sergeant Pepper and the Stones did a psychedelic album. There was a lot of that.”

Well, okay then. Now do understand, I loved the early Beatles stuff, and I still do. I can just remember my dad getting me out of bed to watch their first Ed Sullivan appearance when I was all of four years old, and I was enthralled. In fact, it was only when the Beatles went off the pop rails into the mondo-weirdo psychedelic ditch that they lost me. But let’s see what Jagger has to say.

Appearing on  Zane Lowe’s Apple Music show on Friday, Jagger said there was “obviously no competition” between the two, adding about McCartney, “He is a sweetheart. I’m a politician.”

“The big difference, though, is that The Rolling Stones is a big concert band in other decades and other areas when The Beatles never even did an arena tour,” Jagger said. “They broke up before the touring business started for real… They did that [Shea] stadium gig [in 1965]. But the Stones went on.”

“We started stadium gigs in the 1970s and are still doing them now,” Jagger said. “That’s the real big difference between these two bands. One band is unbelievably luckily still playing in stadiums and then the other band doesn’t exist.”

Yeah, there’s that. Actually, I never have cared all that much for the Stones, although it’s basically less a question of who’s the better band than it is of whether you prefer rock to pop. Nonetheless, I do love me some Keef. And Charlie Watts still ranks as one of the greatest rock & roll drummers ever.

I may have mentioned before here that my beloved mother-in-law in NYC insisted on flying me and my late wife up to see the Stones on the Meadowlands date of their 2006 tour; neither Christiana nor I were very enthusiastic about the proposition, sharing an opinion of the Stones which could be summed up most pithily as: meh. But Xenia, who had seen the Stones their very first time in the States, stood firm. And BOY, was I glad she did. The show featured the Stones with the Uptown Horns, Chuck Leavell, and a whole slew of other top-flight guest artists as well. I admit it was truly one of the best shows I ever saw in my entire life.

Jagger in particular was a thing of wonder to behold. He ran—not walked or jogged, literally RAN—from one end of the huge stage to the other and back again…for more than two friggin’ hours. Nonstop. While, umm, “singing.” As I told the ladies, I couldn’t have done that shit when I was thirty, and he would have been, what, in his late 60s at the time? Incredible.

But longevity ain’t the only weight on the Stones’ side of the scale. Hate to get so personal and all, but with rock and roll royalty, this is the sort of thing that matters. This is who Paul married:

linda-louise-mccartney-2.jpg

Just to be downright cruel about it, certain ungentlemanly scoundrels once referred to her as “the dog with Wings.” Ahem.

Now have yourself a gander at the one-time Mrs Mick:


JerryHall.jpg


Uhh, YEAH.

All things considered, though, the Beatles/Stones debate is made forever moot for me, nothing more than small potatoes, by a whole ‘nother, far more weighty consideration. See, even the Beatles and the Stones at one time or another hied themselves to Graceland to genuflect in justified awe and pay due obeisance to the once and forever King. And friends, there can only ever be just one.



Argument settled, sez I.

(Via Ed Driscoll)

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