A lotta freaks

Watched an old Dick Cavett show from August 1969 and the Jefferson Airplane, fresh from Woodstock, were fierce. The discombobulation of going from a festival bigger than Buffalo and back to Manhattan by helicopter as they came off the acid was noticeable only for a few minutes and by the time Grace sang motherfucker on national television all was well again. David Crosby and Stephen Stills showed up mudspattered and David talked and talked (coming up on the crowd by helicopter, he said, was like viewing the Macedonian army, the acid in his brain turning the vast throng of hippies into invincible hoplites and horsemen of Alexander the Great….) Stills was mostly mute, as if still overwhelmed but when handed a guitar played brilliantly and I remembered it was he and not Mike Bloomfield on Super Session’s Season of The Witch (another of those free form FM standard long since purged from Classic Rock radio). Joni Mitchell, clean and windblown from the canyon and kicking herself for not going (her manager said go on Cavett instead….amazing how many idiot managers kept their bands off the bill, booking them elsewhere) sounded great but sang too many songs, but then I’ve never been a fan. (It’s a minority opinion, I know….) The Airplane hit the studio stage again with a very tough Somebody To Love, Jorma’s lead stinging and psychedelically hostile, followed by a hard jamming Other Side Of This Life, and as the studio audience began breaking out in frantically groovy dancing Cavett waved the camera off and the credits rolled and the Airplane just got fiercer and fiercer and who knows how long they played past the commercials.

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My fave Christmas LP

Peace by the Rotary Connection is still my fave Christmas LP, a psychedelic hippie stoner funky soul celebration of my fave holiday, complete with groovy Hendrix inspired guitar and Santa so stoned he can’t find the door and comes down the chimney. Minnie Ripperton sounds great on it too. Recommended. I found my unopened copy for a dollar.

Amboy Dukes

Ted Nugent’s guitar playing on the Amboy Dukes Migration lp can be best described as tasty. Even tasteful. I found the record amid a pile of Artie Shaw rarities in the closet. Must have been a thrift store find. It’s all very musical and eclectic and psychedelic. Except for Rusty Day who sounds like Grover of Sesame Street, and maybe is. Was. One of those long forgotten rock’n’roll mass shootings.

That’s it.

Big TNT Show

Speaking of Boomers, we watched the Big TNT Show at our neighbor’s pad last night. Never seen it before. My faves were Bo Diddley (who I saw open for the Clash a zillion years ago), The Lovin’ Spoonful (who were incredibly loose and high and actually fucked up and had to start over again, giggling, it was beautiful), Donovan, and Roger Miller, tho’ it was nearly all great, and judging from his conducting chops, David McCallum didn’t have a musical bone in his body.

I sprained my pinkie sleeping yesterday (my lamest injury ever, a big man with a sprained pinkie) which could give me the excuse to watch Monterey Pop, Don’t Look Back, Gimme Shelter, Woodstock and A Film About Jimi Hendrix in one long pseudo acid trip on TCM today. Some of the same acts as the Big TNT Show, though much, much higher. Tina Turner was in the Big TNT Show (with a big bruise on her arm), but I remember seeing her in Gimme Shelter at the Wilshire Theatre when I was sixteen and thinking I wanted a girlfriend just like that, or even a school teacher. 

I had no idea I used my pinkie to hit the tab key until just now.

Eddie Cochran

Never saw this before, a fantastic C’mon Everybody by the great Eddie Cochran. This was 1959, and white boy rock’n’roll had morphed from raw and visceral rockabilly into something heavier, tougher, meaner. Alas Eddie was not going to be around to see what he helped bring about, which is a shame, but in another five or six years, after all the yeah yeah yeahs and pretty boy acts were dispensed with, rock’n’roll would finally get to the point where Eddie Cochran left it, and it would explode in all directions.

Tim Buckley

A flat out classic cut in the brickspicks.com corporate offices and would be everywhere if anyone ever played it again. Or even heard it ever. Too rock’n’roll, I guess, for people in a Tim Buckley mood, while the rock’n’roll people see the name Tim Buckley and rear away–it’s the dreaded singer songwriter genre. But this thing grooves in a tough noir way like Jack Nicholson dancing, and the lyrics have just the right coked out horny 70’s nihilism, like a Blue Thumb session gone bad when the drugs were edgy and paranoid. And while the mood is as wrong as any song could be in 1972, Tim Buckley could have stomped into CBGB’s with this about 1976 and fit nicely and no one would have noticed he was a hippie. Or could have, had he not been stone cold dead already.

Unlistenable pleasures

Somebody innocently mentioned a cactus being picked up by the wind and hurled at them. Which was bad enough, but someone raised the discomfort level by several orders of magnitude by responding with a YouTube of Cactus doing Parchment Farm. Egad. Perhaps you are unfamiliar with Cactus. Well, they were Detroit band you loved if you thought the Grand Funk Railroad live album was overly melodic, subtle and well crafted. Because Cactus dispensed with even a hint of melody, subtlety and craft. They were the Detroit sound after Detroit had burned down. I remember finding their their album Restrictions in a bin somewhere for fifty cents. I think it was their third, by which time they had shed any hint of musicality, and is one of the most gloriously unmelodic hard rock records of its time. 40 minutes worth of songs pummeled to death by drums and guitars and the most tone deaf singer ever allowed into a studio. I loved that album. Wish I still had my copy, if only to bother people. Anyone who partied at our place in the mid 80’s was subjected to it at ridiculous volume.

Alas, at some point I became a jazz critic and now find that record utterly unlistenable. But there was a spell there circa early-mid-eighties when somehow finding the loosest, rawest, trashiest music imaginable became of utmost importance to a select few of us. I remember Humble Pie’s rendition of Honky Tonk Women was an unlistenable pleasure. Makes me almost glad that not a single soul in the entire world, not even some tone deaf record collector in Germany or Japan or Brazil, has posted the Lee Michaels unclassic Roochie Toochie Loochie, off his forgotten Tailface, which even then I thought was one of the dumbest album titles ever. But if you drunkenly drove from the Anti-Club to our pad in the mid 80’s at two in the morning, you and our neighbors were subjected to Roochie Toochie Loochie at ridiculous volume until one of you complained.

Anyway, here’s a cut off of Restrictions. If you are at work turn the volume as high as possible right now.