Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday Morning Madness ...

... but first, a little Monday Morning Sadness ...

Bass player and songwriter Donald "Duck" Dunn, a member of the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame band Booker T. and the MGs and the Blues Brothers band, has died in Tokyo. He was 70.  
Dunn was in Tokyo for a series of shows. News of his death was posted on the Facebook site of his friend and fellow musician Steve Cropper, who was on the same tour. Cropper said Dunn died in his sleep.
Miho Harasawa, a spokeswoman for Tokyo Blue Note, the last venue Dunn played, confirmed he died alone early Sunday. She had no further details.  
Dunn, who was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1941, performed on recordings with Eric Clapton, Neil Young and many others, and specialized in blues, gospel and soul. He played himself in the 1980 hit movie "The Blues Brothers." 
He received a lifetime achievement Grammy award in 2007 for his work with Booker T. and the MGs.  
Celebrity Deathbeeper 

Kent ... 
We just lost another great musician.
Frank B.

From Donald "Duck" Dunn's official web page:
We are deeply saddened to report the death of Donald "Duck" Dunn
May 13, 20012 at the age of 70.
Donald "Duck" Dunn, bass player with Booker T. & the MGs and as a session player on numerous Memphis recordings, died in his sleep Sunday while on tour in Japan. He was 70. Born in Memphis in 1941, he began playing bass at 16 and formed a band with guitarist Steve Cropper, keyboarist Smoochy Smith and drummer Terry Johnson along with brass player Don Nix, Wayne Jackson and Packy Axton. Packy's mother owned Satellite Records (soon to become Stax) and the group began to record and back up other musicians. As the Mar-Keys, they charted with the #3 hit, "Last Night" in 1961. Duck left between 1962 and 1964 to play with a big band, but eventually joined Booker T. Jones's group (where Steve was now playing). He played bass on such hits as "Soul-Limbo" (#17 - 1968), "Hang 'Em High" (#9 - 1969) and "Time Is Tight" (#6 - 1969). More importantly, his bass riffs were heard on tunes by such diverse artists as Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Eric Clapton, Jerry Lee Lewis and Freddie King. Steve -- who appeared in both "Blues Brothers" movies along with Duck -- announced the news and called him "the best bass player to ever live." The MGs were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, and Duck received a lifetime achievement Grammy award in 2007. 
-- Ron Smith /
KENT ...
Artie Wayne
I mentioned earlier that I had been talking with Al Kooper quite a bit this past week.  When we spoke early Sunday Morning, he was a bit distraught over losing a close friend and colleague.  Here's a short piece of that conversation:
kk:  Good Morning.
AL KOOPER:  Good Morning.  Actually, I'm having a really tough morning ...
kk:  Why's that?
AK:  Duck Dunn died.  Plus he died the way that I don't want to die ... in a hotel room in Tokyo ... that's where I don't want to die.
kk:  I saw that ... that guy's been on EVERYTHING!
AK:  He played on the last album I did.  I wrote a tribute song to Stax called "Staxability" and him and Cropper played on it. 
kk:  Oh wow ... did you know those guys before that or no?
AK:  Oh yeah, sure ... I've know them for years ... when I lived in Nashville, I really became very good friends with Cropper ... and we played together a lot.  We played "Green Onions" at the Ryman once. 
kk:  I talk with Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals from time to time through Forgotten Hits  ...and he and Cropper did an album together a couple of years ago that we helped to promote through the website.
AK:  Yeah, yeah ... I think actually they did two albums together.
kk:  Oh, I didn't know they did two ... I have the one that they did ... Felix actually sent me a copy of the album ... and it's good stuff ... but nobody played it.  Radio just doesn't play anything new by these classic artists.  You know I told you that I went to that concert Friday Night to see The Doobie Brothers and they did three new songs from an album they put out about a year and a half ago and nobody knew any of this music because radio today simply won't play it.  Nobody has ever heard these songs on the radio nor will you EVER hear these songs on the radio because of this tunnel-vision mentality when it comes to programming today.
AK:  There is no radio ... there is no radio today. 
kk:  It's insane!
AK:  Well that's one of the reasons I write my column.
We told you last week about Al Kooper's NEW MUSIC FOR OLD PEOPLE column ...a weekly feature spotlighting songs and artists that may have fallen beneath your radar.  We've already discovered a number of new artists through this column ... and you will, too.  (This week's list features two of our favorites ... "Good Thing" by Paul Revere and the Raiders, described by Paul Revere as "the five greatest notes in rock and roll ... the opening riff to 'Good Thing' ... and the brand new 
a cappella version of "Good Vibrations", done STUNNINGLY well by Wilson Phillips. (You have to hear this one to believe it!)   
The link again for all of this is: 
... and, speaking of Felix Cavaliere ... and The Doobie Brothers ... 
Here's Felix at B.B. King's ...
David Lewis
Man - wasn't Dave Mason and the Doobies both incredible last night- holy moley!!  
Ironically, right as I was running out the door the other night for the concert, I received a text from Al Kooper ... I've been talking to him all week ... we're doing a Forgotten Hits interview regarding a Rick Nelson album that he produced in the late '70's that was never released but has FINALLY seen the light of day now after all these years.
Anyway, I told him I that I hated to cut him short, but that I had to leave to head on over to The Drive's Birthday Party Concert ... where we were seeing The Doobie Brothers, Dave Mason and Jim Peterik.
Incredibly what he took away from all of that was this ... here is his texted response ... which I then forwarded to Jim Peterik:
Better take your Vehicle!
A nice nod from one of the all-time greats!
Verrry cool!  Al is one of my heroes - nice to have won his respect.
On one of my low-budget GoodTimes Beatles compilations, they have the whole Washington concert.  It is funny when Ringo's drum turntable sticks.
Also, "Yellow Submarine" is FINALLY going to be released on Bloo-Raye after some play in the theaters.  It was rumoured to be happening, but I'd heard it was going to be a motion-capture film (thank GOD they didn't follow through!)  I have the DVD that was released years ago, but I'm excited to see the fully restored version.  Later. 
I've had the Washington concert on VHS (and now DVD) for many, many years and have watched it numerous times ... have also seen it on the pseudo-big screen at various Beatlesfests over the years ... but the idea of seeing it play in a REAL movie theater, with surround-sound, up on the giant screen was quite appealing to me.  Hopefully, they'll eventually work out the necessary details in order to make that happen (even if it means giving a piece of the pie to Apple.)
As for "Yellow Submarine", I heard that it was being converted to 3-D ... but then that project had ALSO been "tabled" ... so I'm sure exactly what the plan was.  Truthfully, I think I've seen it as many times as I need to ... I was never much of a fan.  I have, however, turned a couple of generation of kids (and now grand-kids) on to the film ... so it's always interesting to see their reaction.  Bright and colorful (with only about 50% of good music in my opinion), I've found most of them to be bored with it, too ... just not enough of a story going on here to hold a kid's attention.  It might be cool to see once in 3-D, 'though.  (Couldn't wait to see "Titanic" again in 3-D ... and then never even went to see it!)  kk
Kent ... 
I just read that Carole King has been hinting that her songwriting days may be over.  I hope this isn't true.
Frank B.
I honestly don't know how much songwriting Carole King has been doing of late ... seems like it's been quite a while since anything new or memorable has come out ... but her career and track record when it comes to hits is pretty much unparalleled ... she's one of the most successful songwriters ever.  (Maybe she just needs a new songwriting partner ... imagine her pairing up with one of today's young, contemporary artists and putting together a brand new album of material ... that would be awesome!)  kk
Going back to your response to me which was in regards to the heading of a previous question, "Imagine if there had been no Beatles?" I didn't really know if you would know or not, but since the words were capitalized, WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF THERE WAS NO ROCK AND ROLL, that was an indication that somewhere along the line there was a song with that title. 1959 was the year of the song. Not a big song for the group that recorded it. In fact today, they are known as being a "1 hit wonder", even though they had some other half a dozen records. The group, the Monotones, doing that BOOK OF LOVE.
Enjoyed Sunday Comments as usual.
Yep, that one went right by me!!!  The Monotones' only Top 100 Record was their #5 smash "Book Of Love" ... so officially they ARE a One Hit Wonder in the truest sense of the word.  In fact, I can't find "What Would You Do if There Was No Rock And Roll" so much as bubbling under!  So you definitely got me on that one!  (kk)
Hi Kent -
A copy of my book went out to you yesterday by U.S. Post Office.
I was shocked to hear that all this bad publicity about my book resulted in my book selling out 3 times on amazon.  and my agent had to order more books to keep in stock on my website.
Tell your readers that, if nothing else, Cancer Centers of America and Gilda's Club will be very appreciative of this because all of my profits go to their hope of a cure for cancer.
I did not write this book to get rich from someone else's misfortune.  I had my career of 30 years with the Board of Education and now with the Higher Board of Education / Colleges.  My newest career as a writer was the result of the World Trade Center tragedy on my 55th birthday - September 11, 2001.  I now have four published books. 
At my present age of 65, I never had to defend myself this much ... with the one exception of a fan who did not believe I graduated from college at age 60 and became an adjunct  professor at age 63 ... a very difficult thing to do.  And "no", I would not recommend that anyone else do this.  I tell young students to stay in school and get it over with while they are young.    
LOL ... maybe it's true what they say ... there's no such thing as "bad publicity" ...
Seriously, if we helped you sell ANY additional copies, nothing could make me happier ... sometimes a little bit of conversation just makes the reluctant fans who didn't rush out to buy a copy curious enough to now pick up a copy for themselves!  (kk)
Bad publicity is obviously OK for Lindsay Lohan or Jennifer Lopez who has a new boyfriend every week ...but not for an educator. 
Let me know when my book arrives at your home.  My books come from out west where the weather and brush fires have been very rough.
My writing career is the result of the World Trade Center tragedy, which happened on my birthday.  I wrote my 1st poem on that day and have been writing ever since.  12 years ... a long time.

Kent ...
Wild Wayne is talking about the first Rock-n-Roll record.
Some people would pick "Rock Around The Clock".
Some people would pick "Rocket 88".
Some people would pick "Gee".
I'm sure you've talked about this before. Wild Wayne surprised me - when he said he would pick "The Fat Man" by Fats Domino from 1949. The reason he gave was the beat. 
I would pick "Rock Around The Clock".  My reason is that it got more publicity and air-play than the other songs because of the movie.
Which song would you pick as the first Rock-n-Roll record ?
Frank B.
This has been debated for DECADES ... and all three of your examples are often cited as the first.  One of our list members (Ed Parker aka JacoFan) has been on a personal crusade for as long as I've known him, tracing rock and roll's roots back to the late 1800's believe it or not ... when little things like "call and response" were first utilized on a record, much the way Ray Charles did at the beginning of his career. (Most likely, this all sprang from the church.)  Ed has found the terms "rock" and "roll" used in song (every bit as often as a sexual term as it is a dance move) dating way back to the 1920's.  I personally think "The Rock Era" was defined by Bill Haley's "Rock Around The Clock" going to #1, the first rock and roll record to do so ... so that just seemed like a logical starting point.
If Ed were willing, we could give you HUNDREDS of examples of earlier rock influences ... in fact, a series like that could run for MONTHS ... but he has it all documented (and has even tracked down audio recordings to back up these claims for all of this music.)
Some day we'll invite him to do a Forgotten Hits tutorial on the subject.  (kk)