The Day the Music (and Joe Meek) Died

Feb 3, 2016 | 6840 Views | 3 Comments

Okay, this is a strange story, but yer blogger is a pretty spooky gal, and she'd feel remiss if she didn't pass on this ghoulish, but essential, piece of trivia regarding Buddy Holly's possibly avoidable death-by-aircraft on February 3, 1959. The tale begins with a man named Joe Meek, a British songwriter and record producer who pioneered the use of quirky production techniques - echo, reverb, sampling, multiple overdubbing - in recordings that he made in his home studio above a leather goods shop in London. He wrote and produced the Tornados' 1962 novelty hit "Telstar," which... Read More »

The Sex Pistols’ John Lydon: Rotten…or Realist?

Jan 31, 2016 | 5886 Views | 1 Comment

I am an anti-Christ, I am an anarchist. One of rock’s great original voices, John Lydon – aka Johnny Rotten of The Sex Pistols – screamed those words to the punks, the privileged, and the politicians of England in 1977. He emerged from some Frankenstein-like laboratory on this date in 1956. But was he really such a demon? One day in 1975, t-shirt designer and aspiring rock manager Bernard Rhodes spotted the orange-haired Lydon walking down London’s once-fashionable King’s Road, wearing a Pink Floyd t-shirt that he had altered by ripping holes through the eyes of the... Read More »

The Thin White Duke: I Want My Multi-Racial MTV!

Jan 21, 2016 | 1800 Views | 1 Comment

Way to go, David Bowie! In this 1983 clip, the Thin White Duke calmly and politely expresses his disapproval of MTV's policy of not airing the music videos of black artists. He repeatedly challenges Mark Goodman, one of the network's original VJs, who tries in vain to spin his station's ludicrous policy. He says that people in the Midwest would be "scared to death by Prince or a string of other black faces...We're a rock-n-roll station." Bowie wasn't buying any of it! Check out his wry smile at the end of the interview, when he sardonically... Read More »

I’m Just Wild About Harry

Jan 15, 2016 | 4699 Views | 1 Comment

Singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson died 22 years ago today at the age of 52. I couldn't let this anniversary pass without a short tribute to one of my most beloved artists. His first blip on the radar came when John Lennon and Paul McCartney both named him their favorite American artist during a 1968 press conference to announce the formation of Apple Corp. And who could fault their choice? Harry's voice was flawless and sublime. His writing addressed every conceivable human condition. Satire: "Good Old Desk"  (Did you notice the initials?  My old desk doesn't arabesque, in the morning... Read More »

David Bowie: a Warhol’s Warhol

Jan 13, 2016 | 6669 Views | 2 Comments

As we celebrate the artistic contributions of David Bowie following his passing on January 10, 2016, let's not forget that he was as talented and original an actor as he was a musical genius. Between 1967 and 2009 he appeared in 24 feature films and numerous television series, specials and documentaries. Critics praised his acting chops in such films as The Man Who Fell to Earth, Absolute Beginners, The Hunger, and Labyrinth. My favorite Bowie performance was as Andy Warhol in Basquiat. It's a stylish 1996 biopic of Jean-Michel Basquiat, the 1980s graffiti artist-turned-painter who self-destructed under the... Read More »