Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Sunday Comments ( 04 - 24 - 16 )

Wow, this one's a real punch in the gut.  
For my best friend at the time and I in the 80's, Prince was the shit.  Listening to "Purple Rain" over and over again, dragging friends along to see the film, practically wearing out my VHS copy (which cost almost $30, had to wait several months before it was released to VHS).  I remember sitting with my roommates listening to the radio, waiting to hear the single "Kiss" for the first time.  So excited when it came on.  We would go to underage dance clubs in Salem, Oregon, and see the Prince look-alikes walking around, so royal.  So far, a terrible year for music fans.  The doves are crying with sadness now, and the Purple Rain is falling, mingling with the tears of all his fans (including me) who loved his music, his style ... there will never be another Prince.  Heaven is having one helluva of a rock show right now.  R.I.P. Purple One  "Life Is Just A Party, And Parties Weren't Meant To Last" ... 
Ed Pond
It's been a hard, hard year for rock and roll, no question about it.  Funny thing is on the way home from work the day that Prince died I heard three different David Bowie songs playing at the same time on three different radio stations ... we haven't even gotten over THAT one yet and now we've already been hit with another.
Sounds like the autopsy only took about four hours ... but it may be several weeks before the full results are released to the public ... they want to discuss with this family first (and trace back what they find thru his family tree.)  Meanwhile, be prepared to hear more Prince music than ever.  Tough, tough year for rock and roll.  (kk)

Hey Kent,
Like you, I never really was into, or paid much attention to Prince's music, UNTIL I heard him solo on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". I couldn't remember if his performance was on the Grammys, the R&R Hall of Fame, or a PBS George Harrison tribute special. All I remember was that he played a kick-ass guitar solo, was wearing a red hat, and that he put a big smile on Danhi Harrison's face! Has it been twelve years already? Anyway, my opinion of him did a 180 after I witnessed that solo, and I have listened to a lot more of his music from that point forward. What an extremely talented guy we've lost. This proves that good things DO come in small packages!
One of my best friends met him once by chance, as Prince was filming "Purple Rain". He noticed the film crew near Prince's compound, was curious as to what they were doing, parked his car, and walked over to the set. He stood next to a guy, who was in costume, and asked him what he was doing there. My friend said that he just wanted to watch something being filmed. The man was super nice and chit-chatted with him until the director yelled "ACTION!". Then, the man got on his motorcycle and sped off, until the director yelled "CUT!" My friend then realized that it was PRINCE he was talking to! Lots of tributes have come in from music super-stars, you have shown. My favorite is from Bono, who compared him to other historic music icons.
- John LaPuzza

Interesting in hindsight ...

Here's how Vintage Vinyl News reported Prince's emergency landing in Moline, Illinois, a few days back ... of course ALL of this was based on information given to the press by Prince's PR / Media Team at the time.  We all know differently now.  Cannot help but wonder if it wasn't a combination of ALL of these circumstances that ultimately did him in ...   

A nasty case of the flu prompted Prince to make an emergency landing in Illinois on Friday morning.  
The superstar was heading home from a show in Atlanta, Georgia when he was taken ill and he instructed the pilot of his private jet to touch down and get him to the hospital. 
The plane landed at Quad City International Airport in Moline just after 1 AM local time, and Prince was taken to a nearby hospital by ambulance, where he was treated and released hours later.  
A representative for the Purple Rain singer has assured fans the 57-year-old is feeling much better and is now resting at home.  
A source tells TMZ the singer has been fighting the flu for several weeks and cancelled two shows on April 7.  
He fell ill just before taking the stage in Atlanta on Thursday night, but insisted on continuing with the performance. Singers Janelle Monae and Judith Hill were in the audience cheering Prince on as he performed while sick as a dog at the Fox Theatre. And according to Janelle, Prince did nothing but impress in spite of his ailment.
"Prince. In Atlanta. At the FOX Theatre. With just a piano. Greatest ever. RE inspired all over again," she wrote on her Twitter page.  
Prince was flattered by all the admiration he received for the show, writing on his own Twitter account: " I am still floating on a cloud of purple intoxication after last night's Piano & A Microphone show in Atlanta."     

In the 24 hours after Prince's death he occupied The Top 19 Best Selling albums on  (He also had MILLIONS of downloads during this same time period.)  By comparison, after David Bowie's death he claimed 14 of the Top 20 spots on this chart.)  Why do people always wait until AFTER the artist is gone to buy their music?  That's kinda like The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inducting artists after they've left us and can't even appreciate the so-called honor. (Of course with Prince and Bowie the Rock Hall actually got it right ... but there have been COUNTLESS others who never got to bask in the glory simply because The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame waited too long to recognize their talent and contribution.)
Meanwhile, I mentioned above that radio is still saturated with David Bowie music several months later ... expect much of the same with the Prince catalog.  (Maybe they'll even dig a little deeper and play some of his OTHER great music rather than the same five or six Good Ol' Standbys they keep featuring now.)  kk

Lonnie Mack:  
Lonnie Mack is a roadhouse blues-rock legend -- modern rock's first true guitar hero. His playing has influenced the course of rock and roll and had an impact on many of modern rock's current guitar heroes, including Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page and especially Stevie Ray Vaughan. His early music bridged the gap between '50s rockabilly and the psychedelic blues-rock of the following decade, and, like the best rock and roll, his work continues to embody a mixture of white and black roots music. Rock, blues, soul and country -- Lonnie brings them all together for a sound that has been all his own for nearly forty years.
Lonnie was born in 1941 in Harrison, Indiana -- some forty miles west of Cincinnati. Learning his first chords from his Mother at the age of five, Lonnie grew up playing bluegrass, country and gospel with his family and friends and listening to old radio stations which were playing black blues, jazz and gospel.  Taking from all these influences he created his own personal style and when Rockabilly emerged to the music scene, Lonnie was already playing it!   
He began playing professionally in his early teens when he quit school after a disagreement with his 7th grade teacher.  He worked clubs and roadhouses around the tri-state border area of Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. In 1958, he bought the guitar he still plays today -- a Gibson Flying V old number 7. In addition to his live gigs, Lonnie began playing sessions for the King and Fraternity labels in Cincinnati. He recorded with blues and r&b greats like Hank Ballard, Freddie King and James Brown.  
In 1963, at the end of another artist's session, Lonnie cut an instrumental version of Chuck Berry's ''Memphis.'' He didn't even know that Fraternity had issued the single until a friend came to where he was performing at the Peppermint Lounge in Florida and said he'd been listening to it on the car radio all the way down!  He contacted Fraternity and had them ship him out a box of the 45's.  "Memphis" had hit the national Top 5 and Lonnie Mack went from being a talented regional roadhouse player to a national star virtually overnight.  
Suddenly, he was booked for hundreds of gigs a year, criss-crossing the country in his Cadillac and rushing back to Cincinnati or Nashville to cut new singles. "Wham! ' ''Where There's A Will There's A Way", ''Chicken Pickin'" and many many more records followed "Memphis".  "Where There's A Will" earned extensive black radio airplay before the DJ's found out Lonnie was white, but there was enough reaction to keep him on the road for another five years of grueling one - nighters.  
Fraternity Records died, but Lonnie kept on gigging, and in 1968 a Rolling Stone article stimulated new interest in his music. He signed with Elektra Records and cut three albums. He began playing all the major rock venues, from Fillmore East to Fillmore West. Lonnie also made a guest appearance on the Doors' Morrison Hotel album where you can hear Jim Morrison's urging "Do it, Lonnie!  Do It!"  He even worked in Elektra's A&R department. When the label merged (and his motorcycle was stolen) Lonnie had had enough of the new bureaucracy bullshit and walked out of his prestigious job.  
He headed back to rural Indiana, playing back-country bars, going fishing and laying low. After five years of relative obscurity, Lonnie signed with Capitol and cut two albums that featured his country influences. He played on the West Coast for a while and even flew to Japan for a Save The Whales benefit. Then he headed to New York to team up with an old friend named Ed Labunski. Labunski was a wealthy jingle writer that wrote "This Bud's For You" who was tired of commercials and wanted to write and play for pleasure. He and Lonnie built a studio in rural Pennsylvania and spent three years organizing and recording a country-rock band called South, which included Buffalo-based keyboardist Stan Szelest, who later played on Lonnie's Alligator debut. Ed and Lonnie had big plans for their partnership, including producing an album by a then-obscure Texas guitarist named Stevie Ray Vaughan. But the plans evaporated when Labunski died in an auto accident, and the South album wasn't released until Lonnie started his own publishing company (Mack's Flying V Music) in 1998. 
Disheartened after the loss of his friend, Lonnie headed for Canada and joined the band of veteran rocker Ronnie Hawkins for a summer. He then returned to Indiana without a band and played solo acoustic music in his own home town.  Lonnie's brother Billy and his good friend and old keyboard player Dumpy Rice started showing up at his gigs.  Eventually he had a road worthy band again and started playing the same tri-state border area of Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio as they had back in the early days before Memphis.   
Lonnie began his re-emergence on the national scene in November of 1983. At Stevie Ray Vaughan's urging, he relocated from southern Indiana to Austin, Texas. He began jamming with Stevie Ray in local clubs and flying to New York for gigs at the Lone Star and the Ritz. When Alligator Records approached him to do an album, Lonnie immediately called on Vaughan to help him out. The result was Strike Like Lightning (AL 4739), co-produced by Lonnie and Stevie Ray and featuring Stevie's guitar on several tracks. "We went for Lonnie's original sound here," Vaughan said. The joint effort was one of 1985's best selling independent records and topped many critics' "Best Of" list for that year.  
Lonnie's re-emergence was a major music industry event. Keith Richards, Ron Wood, Ry Cooder and Stevie Ray Vaughan all joined Lonnie on stage during his '85/86' tour. Other celebrities -- Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Paul Simon, Eddie Van Halen, Dwight Yoakum, actor Matt Dillon and comedienne Sandra Bernhard -- attended shows during the Strike Like Lightning tour. The year was capped off with a stellar performance at New York's prestigious Carnegie Hall with label-mates Albert Collins and the late Roy Buchanan. His Alligator follow-up, Second Sight (AL 4750), highlighted Lonnie's continuing evolution as a musician and singer / songwriter. He self-produced the album and wrote eight of the ten tunes. The album spotlighted his cured-in-the-wood vocals more than Strike Like Lightning but also included a healthy dose of Lonnie's burning Flying V.   After Second Sight's release Lonnie went on tour with Huey Lewis and the News. 
Lonnie's re-found visibility earned him a contract with Epic Records, and in 1988 that label released Lonnie's Roadhouses and Dancehalls album. Critics applauded the recording, but CBS didn't know quite how to market it. They tried to force it into a country music niche, ignoring its roots-rock and r&b influences. Not able to push the album to its full sales potential, Epic let the project slide from the top of its priority list. Lonnie, again disenchanted with the major label scenario, began making plans for his return to Alligator.  
Lonnie Mack's career traces the history of rock and roll. Drawing from influences as diverse as rhythm and blues, country, gospel and rockabilly, Lonnie has won the hearts of fans worldwide. He is revered by a new generation of rock performers. He has played everywhere from tiny roadhouse clubs to huge rock showcases and national television. He has recorded for major labels, indies and Lonnie now has his own label "Mack's Flying V Music". 
Note:  Lonnie now is enjoying retirement in the hills of Tennessee and reviewing the scores of songs, tapes and videos which to date have gone unreleased!  Keep an eye on the "Mule Barn" for new "old" releases coming soon!
-- submitted by Ken Voss  

Lonnie's guitar playing was legendary in blues circles.  I'm told they named the "whammy bar" after his second hit single "Wham"!

Lonnie was 74. I'm telling you, it's the new 27. 

The Mamas and the Papas:
Great coverage of the Mamas & Papas.
Thought you'd be interested in some of my Jimi Hendrix documentation of Jimi crossing paths with the Mamas and Papas.  
Photos are as follows:
6/18/17 - Monterey Pop Festival 
8/18/67 - Two from backstage at the Hollywood Bowl. The Jimi Hendrix Experience scheduled as an opening act with The Mamas & The Papas as headliners with Scott McKenzie on the bill. Most reviews said the Experience were booed off the stage - a Mamas & Papas crowd. 
10/8/67 - Mama Cass visiting Hendrix backstage at the Jimi Hendrix Experience performance at the Saville Theater in London. Hendrix was headlining a bill with the Crazy World of Arthur Brown and Eire Apparent. 
9/28/68 - Two of Jimi Hendrix attending a party in honor of Donovan hosted at The Factory club in L.A. by Kirk Douglas and Mama Cass
Ken Voss

Wow! Some beautiful and amazing stuff here, Ken! Thanks so much for sending.  (kk)

What's The Name Of That Song?  
The name of the song is called ... 
(That's a reference to Alice from Through the Looking Glass, in her conversation with the White Knight. 
I remember going to the record store in downtown Park Ridge and singing "Slow down, you move too fast" to the clerk because I loved the song but the goofball DJs were screwing around so much that they hadn't announced
the name while I was listening. I'll bet that happened a *lot*.  
--Jeff Duntemann K7JPD
   Colorado Springs, Colorado
We've come up with over a hundred titles now that qualify ... and are working with DJ Phil Nee at WRCO about putting together some type of radio special built around this theme.  We'll keep you posted.
Honestly the whole concept has been driving me crazy ... song after song after song pops into my head as being a possible candidate.  One recent one was "Master Blaster" by Stevie Wonder ... one of my all-time favorites by him.  I couldn't recall Stevie ever uttering the title phrase ... but a quick online check of the lyrics shows that it IS, in fact, sung numerous times by the background singers ... so I guess it doesn't count, right???  Kind of a gray area I would think.
Another one that's quite baffling is the Brothers Johnson hit "Strawberry Letter 23" ... they mention "strawberry letter 22" a few times in the lyric ... but NEVER "strawberry letter 23".  Now that's just odd!!!  (lol)  kk

By the way, have you seen the previews for the new Johnny Depp movie "Alice Through The Looking Glass"?  It looks absolutely amazing!  And Pink does a FINE version of the classic Jefferson Airplane song "White Rabbit", which is FINALLY being tied to the film.  Opens soon ... can't wait!  

(We saw the live action version of Disney's "The Jungle Book" yesterday ... also quite amazing.  Of course now I've had "I Wanna Be Like You" and "The Bare Necessities" playing in my head nonstop ever since!  (In the film, these Disney classics are sung by Christopher Walken ... as King Louie ... and Bill Murray ... as Baloo!)  kk
Hi Kent, 
Did anyone submit DOUBLE BARREL by Dave & Ansell Collins? 
I have no idea why I love that tune. It sure didn’t sound like anything else at that time. 
With all the grunts and screams contained within, I don’t think the words “Double Barrel” are ever mentioned. 
Bill Fortune
Quite honestly, I wasn't familiar enough with "Double Barrel" to know if it qualified or not ... I had to look up the lyrics just to be sure ... but you're right ... the title does not appear anywhere within the song.  This was a Top 20 Hit back in 1971 that has disappeared COMPLETELY from radio ever since.  You'll find a quick refresher course below!  (kk)


This And That:
Here's a cool shot of a long line of people waiting to see the Motown Review outside The Fox Theater, back in the 60's. 

Frank (who grew up in Detroit) also sent us this vintage Keener Survey from this date in 1965 ... sharing with all those chart lovers out there!!!  (We see Herman's Hermits with two Top 15 Hits ... and brand new debuts by The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Supremes, Tom Jones, Freddie and the Dreamers and an early hit for The O'Jays!!!  Esther Phillips' version of "And I Love Him" makes a five point leap this week while Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs climb 18 places from #26 to #8!!!  Cool stuff!  (kk)

From Tom Cuddy (by way of Rolling Stone Magazine), here's a report on the final show of the Chicago / Earth, Wind and Fire tour, which wrapped up at Madison Square Garden in New York City last week ... 

And ZZ Top is going through a tour-interuptus right now, due to an injury to Dusty Hill ... details from Bob Merlis below:  
Last Thursday, Dusty Hill was injured at the Lone Star Events Center in Lubbock, Texas that prevented the evening's ZZ Top performance from taking place.  Dusty has subsequently undergone treatment for a fractured shoulder. ZZ Top's concert dates on the current tour have been postponed through May 7. 
Carl Stubner, the band's manager, reported, "Dusty was suited up and ready to go when he tripped on a step while on his way to the stage for the start of Thursday's show.  It was very dark back there and the step - really a half-step - wasn't lit so there's no way he could've seen it.  We found out that others had missed it and stumbled earlier in the day. Maybe some strategic lighting could've prevented this, but that's water under the bridge.  What's important now is that Dusty and his medical team to do what's necessary for a complete recovery." 
Dusty Hill, offered this comment, "My physicians told me that this type of injury is usually associated with contact sports.  I'm not sure bass-playing qualifies as such but they're doing their best to get me back in the game as soon as possible.  Thanks to everyone for all the good wishes we've received.  We're determined to enjoy a speedy recovery and to see you soon!" 
The following cities have been rescheduled.  Please stay tuned for local announcements as well as new tour dates Shreveport, LA 
Biloxi, MS 
Lake Charles, LA 
Chattanooga, TN 
Augusta, GA 
Atlanta, GA 
Sarasota, FL 
Naples, FL
Clearwater, FL 
Shawnee, OK 

Frank B sent us this list of Keith Richards' most influential albums ... the full article will run in "Q" Magazine in July ...

Here's the final scoop on the brand new Monkees album coming out next month, courtesy of Vintage Vinyl News:

The Monkees will release their first new album in twenty years on May 27 (vinyl on July 1) with the Adam Schlesinger produced Good Times.  
Bits and pieces about the album have leaked out over the last couple of months but we now have a firm track list and information. All three surviving members of the group, Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Michael Nesmith, have written music for the set and sing.  The late-Davy Jones also makes an appearance on the archive cut Love to Love.  
Much of the album is newly recorded but, like Love to Love, there are other cuts that were previously unfinished in the archives. The opening cut, Good Times, was written by Harry Nilsson and originally recorded in January 1968 with Nilsson's own voice on guide vocals. The track has now been completed for the album with Dolenz joining Nilsson for a duet from over time.  
There are also a number of newly recorded tracks with songs specifically written for this project by such current artists as Rivers Cuomo of Weezer (She Makes Me Laugh), Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie (Me & Magdalena), Andy Partridge of XTC (You Bring The Summer), as well as a song co-written by Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller (Birth Of An Accidental Hipster).  
The track list with songwriting credits:
  • Good Times (Harry Nilsson)
  • You Bring The Summer (Andy Partridge)
  • She Makes Me Laugh (Rivers Cuomo)
  • Our Own World (Adam Schlesinger)
  • Gotta Give It Time (Jeff Barry/Joey Levine)
  • Me & Magdalena (Ben Gibbard)
  • Whatever's Right (Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart)
  • Love To Love (Neil Diamond)
  • Little Girl (Peter Tork)
  • Birth Of An Accidental Hipster (Noel Gallagher/Paul Weller)
  • I Wasn't Born To Follow (Carole King/Gerry Goffin)
  • I Know What I Know (Michael Nesmith)
  • I Was There (And I'm Told I Had A Good Time) (Micky Dolenz/Adam Schlesinger)
Look for Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork on the road this summer for the group's 50th anniversary with a show highlighting their greatest hits and the new album. Michael Nesmith will not be participating in the tour.  
  • 05/18 - Fort Myers, Florida - Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall
  • 05/19 - Melbourne, Florida - King Center for the Performing Arts
  • 05/20 - Tampa, Florida - Ruth Eckerd Hall
  • 05/21 - Atlanta, Georgia - Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater
  • 05/24 - Charlotte, North Carolina - Blumenthal PAC - Belk Theater
  • 05/26 - Washington, DC - Warner Theatre
  • 05/27 - Boston, Massachusetts - The Wilbur Theatre
  • 05/28 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Keswick Theatre
  • 05/29 - Red Bank, New Jersey - Count Basie Theatre
  • 06/01 - New York, New York - The Town Hall
  • 06/03 - Toronto, Ontario, Canada - Casino Rama - Entertainment Centre
  • 06/04 - Windsor, Ontario, Canada - The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor
  • 06/05 - Cleveland, Ohio - Hard Rock Live Northfield Park
  • 06/07 - Fort Wayne, Indiana - Foellinger Theatre
  • 06/08 - Grand Rapids, MI - Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
  • 06/10 - Louisville, Kentucky - Louisville Palace Theatre
  • 06/11 - Hammond, Indiana - The Venue At Horseshoe Casino
  • 06/12 - Indianapolis, Indiana - Murat Theatre at Old National Centre
  • 06/14 - Dayton, Ohio - Rose Music Center at The Heights
  • 06/16 - Salt Lake City, UT - Red Butte Garden
  • 06/28 - Dallas, Texas - AT&T PAC - Winspear Opera House
  • 06/30 - Tulsa, Oklahoma - Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - The Joint
  • 07/01 - Mayetta, Kansas - Prairie Band Casino & Resort - Grand Lakes Ballroom
  • 07/14 - Ottawa, ON - Lebreton Flats Park (RBC Bluesfest)
  • 07/16 - Hampton Beach, New Hampshire - Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
  • 07/22 - Hot Springs, Arkansas - Oaklawn Racing and Gaming - Finish Line Theater
  • 09/14 - Tucson, Arizona - Fox Tucson Theatre
  • 09/15 - Phoenix, Arizona - Mesa Arts Center - Ikeda Theater
  • 09/16 - Los Angeles, California - Pantages Theatre
  • 09/17 - Las Vegas, Nevada - Primm Valley Casino Resorts - Star of the Desert Arena
  • 09/20 - San Francisco, California - The Warfield
  • 09/21 - Modesto, California - Gallo Center For The Arts
  • 09/23 - Lincoln City, Oregon - Chinook Winds Casino Resort
  • 09/24 - Lincoln City, Oregon - Chinook Winds Casino Resort
  • 09/25 - Seattle, Washington - The Moore Theatre
  • 10/01 - Biloxi, Mississippi - Hard Rock Live Biloxi
  • 10/21 - Anaheim, CA - City National Grove of Anaheim
  • 10/22 - Paso Robles, California - Vina Robles Amphitheatre 
  • 10/29 - Shippensburg, Pennsylvania - Shippensburg University - H. Ric Luhrs PAC