Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday Morning Comments

re: THE 12-12-12 CONCERT FOR SANDY:  
It seemed to me that there were more British Acts on the  121212 Concert than American Acts. Nice of them to appear, since they weren't damaged by Hurricane Sandy. 
Frank B.  
It's true ... Mick Jagger even made a comment that if they get heavy rains in London, he hopes that Americans will come over to help them out, too! VERY top-heavy with British Rock Royalty ... The Rolling Stones, The Who, Roger Waters, Paul McCartney ... pretty amazing! (kk)  

Kent ...
The :25 review ...
Daltrey and Pete Townsend sounded better at "Sandy" then they did at the 9/11 concert in the Garden over a decade ago.
Alicia Keys did a marvelous job of winning over a crowd that had just been enthralled by Mick and the masters.
Eric Clapton, slow hands, looked like the Godfather of indifference. His set was listless.
Bon Jovi looked out of his league. Bruce's hair style now reminds me of a 63 year old actuary.
I loved the show. New York and the Garden know how to throw a party.
Here is the take home point ... contemporary rock / rap / hip hop will never have the staying power we saw on stage last night. I love Usher but he will not be drawing full boats when he's 66 years old.
Chet Coppock
Notre Dame Football - WLS
Couldn't agree with you more. These acts have some proven staying power, still playing to sold out houses everywhere they go ... that's why we keep arguing that this is TIMELESS music that deserves to be heard. It still feels just as good today as it did back then ... maybe even better ... and I believe that new generations discovering it for the very first time will come to feel the same! (kk)    

Hi Kent,  
I was there also, watching the entire show. The highlight for me was the Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam) and Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) “Comfortably Numb” duo. Their voices were strong and clear and the guitar work was simply amazing. I also liked the Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen duo of “Who Says You Can’t Go Home”. I was disappointed with the Rolling Stones and The Who segments. I thought that the Stones didn’t bring as much energy to the show as the previous acts and that Roger Daltrey’s voice seemed weak. Clapton was good, but I was hoping he’d do “Sunshine Of Your Love” instead of "Crossroads” (both Cream songs). Also, can you imagine if he would have fired into “Layla”. What did you think about the majority of acts being British? It would have been nice to see a few more American artists like Neil Diamond, The Beach Boys, Chicago, Aretha Franklin or Stevie Wonder (instead of Kanye West) I agree with your thoughts about West!  
Joel Whitburn 
Funny you said that ... I kept waiting for Clapton to bring the house down with "Layla" and it never happened.  That easily could have been a concert highlight.  I joked about The Beach Boys not being there ... coming off of their tremendous 50th Anniversary Tour, it would have been amazing to see them cap the year off with a performance at the Concert for the Victims of Sandy ... but good ol' Mike Love had to blow it by letting his ego get in the way. (For all I know, he offered to perform with Bruce Johnston and they turned him down ... 'cause who'd want to see THAT version of the group after their major 2012 comeback tour?!?!?) It IS a little surprising that the line-up was so British-heavy ... but I think we got a whole lotta bang for our buck with this concert, especially those of us watching at home without the thousand dollar ticket price tag! Great show for a very, very good cause! (kk) 

I loved seeing the Stones on the 12 12 12 concert for Sandy. The concert was really awesome in all aspects including production.
It was truly shocking to see Kanye come out in a dreary setting with no audible message, as well as no backup dancers of vocal He is not strong enough to pull this off. His appearance was out of context, boring in what seemed like a dreary ego presentation. My wife hated his skirt.
Most performers on the star studded bill do not need any discussion as to the talent they bring to the table. My wife is a major Roger Daltrey fan but raised an eyebrow over his dress and moves.
Thanks for the overview and the great job you do.
Keep on Rockin', 
Denny Flannigan  
Baja, MX  

I, too, stayed up late to watch the 12/12/12 Sandy Benefit Concert.  
I'm pretty much in agreement with you. I thought the Who's salute to Keith Moon was touching and the way they incorporated his vocals brought back memories. And Baba O'Riley is also one of my favorites. I think Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend did a pretty good job all things considered. Who was that playing drums? Was that Richard Starkey, Ringo's son?  
Springsteen was also better than I expected but the first two song titles were unknown to me. Maybe one of your readers can tell us where those songs come from.  
Clapton did "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" on acoustic guitar and then plugged in for two more songs, the last being a great rendition of Crossroads.
Agreed, I never got that NIRVANA crap and Kanye West in a leather kilt was unbelievably terrible.
Brian Williams did windup apologizing for offending anyone by over using the "swinging a dead cat" reference.
The Stones did a solid job with You Got Me Rocking and Jumping Jack Flash though we'll have to wait for Pay per View to see Gimme Shelter, which would have been more appropriate for the occasion.
Billy Joel managed to deliver a decent set recovering from several health problems.
Paul also played Live and Let Die but I wanted to hear Hope Of Deliverance
I think Adam Sandler was a bit over the edge as was Paul Shaffer, on Hallelujah but at least the sentiment was fitting. I wonder what Leonard Cohen privately thought?
I was hoping for something a little closer to Concert For Bangladesh than Super Bowl half time shows but it was cool. At least no wardrobe malfunctions! 
... bdpoe 
Agreed ... that would NOT have been a pretty site!  (Although Roger Daltrey did manage to get his shirt open for the latter half of The Who's set.  Ringo's son Zak has been drumming for The Who for quite some time now ... interesting how they used their spot to pay tribute to former drummer Keith Moon.  (Kinda like what The Beach Boys did during their 50th Anniversary Reunion Tour, playing along with video clips spotlighting deceased members Dennis and Carl Wilson.)  Honestly, I was just thrilled that Sir Paul didn't fall back on the way-too-overdone "Let It Be" and "Hey Jude" for his segment ... closing with "Live And Let Die", ALWAYS a crowd-pleaser, brought the perfect ending to an amazing night of music.  (I still don't quite get the Nirvana thing, however ... had somebody else approached Paul, George and Ringo about staging a mock-Beatles reunion live on stage with somebody else filling John's role, they would have turned it down in a heartbeat.  Then again, maybe Macca will handle the guest lead vocal on a full-fledged Nirvana reunion album ... "Sir"vana???)  kk

By the way, for anybody who missed any part of the concert ... or just wants to know "what song was that?!?!?" ... here is the complete play list performed that night:   
Click here: 12/12/12 Concert Set List - 103.7 The Mountain - KMTT Radio, Seattle, Quality Rock  

Sounds like a couple of the British artists took advantage of their time in New York ... of course, The Rolling Stones were there anyway to do their big Pay-Per-View Concert ... and Paul McCartney hung around to appear on Saturday Night Live as the musical guest.   Here's Frank B's capsule review of The Rolling Stones Pay-Per-View Show, a concert many seem to feel will be their last:

Kent ...
They opened the show with "Get Off My Cloud."  2 & 1/2 hours and 23 Songs later , they closed the show with "Satisfaction."
They also performed
--- " A Shot Away " with Lady Gaga.
--- " I'm Goin' Down " with John Mayer & Gary Clark ,Jr.
--- " Who Do You Love " with The Black Keys.
--- " Tumbling Dice " with Bruce Springsteen.
Mick said we've got so many guests, I feel like David
Audience request = " Dead Flowers. "
In my opinion they were much better tonight than they were on the 121212 Concert.  At first I thought the price was high ... $44.95.
I feel that I got my money's worth & more.
Frank B.

Meanwhile, songs by many of the artists performing at 12-12-12 were featured virtually non-stop on all the radio stations in town for the whole week after ... in particular, we heard an AWFUL lot of Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd, The Who and The Stones ... even more so than usual.  Of course these are all Rock And Roll Hall of Fame caliber acts ... just like Randy Newman and Public Enemy, right???  (kk)

>>>Life's too short ... so I've started a list of things I no longer care about ... like ... Who gets in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame -- it simply doesn't matter ... because SO many great names have been ignored for SO long now, the process holds absolutely no meaning or value to me anymore. Most music fans ... and many of the artists themselves ... feel exactly the same way. (kk)  
All I can say is "It's about time". Halls of Fame and various awards say more about the selectors than the selectees. They are designed to promote debate and stir up interest where it would otherwise not even exist. The famous people in all arenas (music, movies, sport, etc) don't need the enshrinement. They've earned genuine stature by what they have done. I'll trade you all those "Who?" Oscar winners for one Cary Grant or Alfred Hitchcock who never won.

Rock n Roll HOF - Null & Void. Put a fork in it - Somebody Please!
Remember all the Rockin’ & Dancin’ & Romancin’ to Randy Newman & Public Enemy. Sheesh! Gee, more disco! - God help us!

Hey, Kent, 
I think you’d agree that the Doobs are very much deserving of the Rock Hall of Fame. Maybe they could collectively apologize to that person who has power in the Hall, for ticking him off, so long ago. Life’s too short to hold grudges against each other, THIS long!  
Dave Wollenberg,
Wheaton, IL  

Hi Kent,
Here's a thought … and it’s about Public Enemy’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Do you think that, one day, when there’s a “Hip-Hop / Rap” Hall of Fame that they’ll consider inducting Aerosmith or Creedence??? Think about it.
Have a great Christmas, Kent.
Joel Whitburn
EXCELLENT point and well stated. (Although I'd next argue that Aerosmith is more deserving of a place in THAT Hall of Fame for their Run D.M.C. remake of "Walk This Way" than Public Enemy is for ANYTHING they ever recorded when it comes to The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Great to hear from you ... proving again that even some of the voting members are confused and confounded by the choices being made by The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame!  It's so far past ridiculous, it's downright ridiculous-er!!! (kk)

Kent -
Many of us worked at thriving radio stations with very creative and talented people. Think about the best people you worked with and where they are now. Satellite Radio has become a haven for terrestrial cast-offs who understand that despite the research, "Jack and Diane" doesn't belong in hot rotation. Many of the best folks I worked with on the programming side are now at Sirius / XM. Even artists like Tom Petty and Bob Dylan have their own shows over there. As much as I'd like to see traditional (and free) radio make a comeback, I agree with your assessment that it has ceased to exist as an art form (with some notable exceptions).
Carl Wiser
I couldn't agree with you more about the pathetic state of pop music radio (current, oldies and "classic"). My radio pals and I recurrently talk about the way deregulation degraded radio as we remember it in its prime -- the '60s and 70s, before the "rule of sevens" ownership clause was dumped. With the exception of a few good, creative, independent outlet, the megalithic chains themselves have validated Newton Minow's "vast wasteland" assessment of broadcasting.
Best regards and happy holidays.
Jeff March

As for radio music, who really needs it?

Hi, Kent.
Thank you for letting your readers know about our upcoming "100 Greatest Christmas Hits" radio special. Running a show like this runs counter to the way far too many printout-controlled radio programmers think these days -- folks who are terrified of airing any track which has not gone through and passed their heavily flawed market testing procedures. In a nutshell (a fully appropriate term), they will test a handful of tracks to a small sample within their target demo and then pound the ones that test at the top into oblivion by airing them to death. Their inability to jump on a record simply because their gut and instinct tells them it's right for their audience is so acute one wonders if they have any ears at all. Worse, they only test a FEW tracks which span a very narrow category (such as the same era or musical style). From that they'll conclude that any track they did NOT test is one their audiences will hate. That's the mindset which led to the current craze of narrowcasting, where every song played sounds like a clone of the one before it and the one after. The result is broadcast boredom -- reducing good music to background noise that listeners only half hear (just like they also only half-hear the income-generating commercials). Listeners quickly realize that they can tune out for an hour, a week, a year or forever and NOT MISS A THING.
Once upon a time radio was essential in people's lives because it connected with them via compulsive content. When was the last time you were out driving with the radio on, pulled into your driveway, shut the ignition off, but then clicked the RADIO back on -- because you were convinced that if you didn't, you'd MISS SOMETHING GREAT? Been a while, hasn't it?
It's still possible to create radio fascinating enough to captivate listeners but you can't do it with audio wallpaper: an ultra-limited playlist of soundalike songs framed by announcers forced to hype the station and read spots while completely ignoring the MUSIC -- the very programming element which caused them to tune in in the first place.
Hope this is your merriest Christmas yet, Kent. Hopefully sometime next year my wife and I will return to Chicagoland to visit her family there and at the same time you and I can grab a cup of coffee someplace.
Gary Theroux
Perfectly said and executed, Gary ... too bad none of the right people are listening. What a different radio world we could be living in if they simply paid attention. Meanwhile, I'm convinced ... radio as we knew it ... and loved it ... is dead. I can't wait until I can have the unlimited choices that exist today at my fingertips in the car ... until then I'm finding other ways to entertain myself to and from work. (kk)

Forgotten Hits Readers Christina West of Wichita Falls, TX, Jack Levin of Wayne City, IL, and Michael DiBella of Lawrence, New York, all won copies of the brand new Supremes 50th Anniversary Magazine put together by Mark Bego and Mary Wilson.   

They correctly identified two out of our three questions (as posed by author Mark Bego himself!):  

1) What 50th Anniversary event in the history of The Supremes does December of 1962 commemorate?

ANSWER: The release of their debut album, "Meet The Supremes"   

3) What were the four Top 40 hits The Supremes released in 1970?

ANSWER: "Stoned Love", "Up The Ladder To The Roof", "Everybody's Got The Right To Love" and "River Deep, Mountain High" with The Four Tops  

The puzzler seemed to be question #2 ... only Michael DiBella answered that one correctly ...

2) At the height of The Supremes' success in the late 1960's, what was Mary Wilson's big solo in the group's act?  

ANSWER: "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You" ...

or as Michael put it ...

Mary Wilson's solo number was the dreadful "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You". (Her version is tolerable only because she is singing it.)     

Congratulations to all of our Supremes Magazine winners.  

Meanwhile, copies of the brand new Fifth Estate "Anthology Volume 1: The Witch Is Dead" CD are going out to Ed Salamon of Nashville, TN, Pasquale Severino of Hamilton, NJ and Steve Davidson of Scottsdale, AZ. 

Congratulations to all of the above! (kk)

TODAY'S FORGOTTEN HIT:  Since we're talking about The Supremes, how about their Top Ten 1971 post-Diana Hit "Nathan Jones".  When's the last time you heard THAT one on the radio???  (kk)