Monday, October 22, 2007

3-buenos aires

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i'm just back from buenos aires , in argentina. it remains one of the most beautiful, musically inviting cities in the world. i had been invited to participate in a DVD about the effect of the rolling stones on argentina and the extra special relationship that exists between the group and the nation. special it is…

when the stones are in buenos aires the city is their's. i've seen the raves, the excitement in many parts of the world , but in buenos aires there is something more - an extention that has the whole city belonging to the stones. when they are in town they could run for office and get voted in. mind you, this is a country where the current president has put his wife up to replace him..... (sound familiar?)

as i said it's a musical town and it’s #1 of the latin american countries that "get" our music; they have the ability to be successful with it in a form that is not embarrassing. i've been privilaged to work with two of the most popular argentinean acts ; los ratones paranoicos (translates to “the paranoid mice”) and charly garcia. i had a tremendous time, and many hits, with the ratones from 1990 to 1996. after that, the economic crash got in the way of future work. i'm happy to say i'll be producing the band next year in march.

when i was in B.A. in 1994, the stones came to town for five nights; 88,000 people per night in the plata football stadium. to see the full moon just sit above the stadium, to see the stones in the third world is a different trip. the band were amazing, as they nearly always are, but there was a special amazing aspect to this meeting of the first rock n’ roll band and the third world. an event such as five stones nights in argentina brings the addition of hope. if you are up for seeing the band again may I suggest you pick a foreign venue and have a totally different experience. i realize that this thought is totally devoid of economic reasoning, but in an optimistic world the local cost of the tickets may help with the fare.

anyway to walk through a city that belonged to the stones was amazing. Like "blade runner" re-done with more a parting-of-the-waters than the taking of lives. the director francis ford coppola has set up shop in B.A. and is prepping a film, also to be recorded in march, with matt dillon. alas, somebody read the press announcement and decided to rob the director's house. so, if you get there look for an italian eatery called guido's, write to me for other tips and remember they have only been driving on the "right" side of the road since 1945.

when i was there to see the stones in '94; so were alan parker, madonna and everyone involved in filming " evita". outside the hyatt hotell scrawled on a wall (in spanish alas) was the statement "madonna go home - we have our own whores".

program note ; interesting bill if you are east, and another op to catch mr. al
kooper..... speaking about al kooper has me thinking of the scorsese "no direction home" and noting that tom petty has issued his equivalent, " running down a dream" , a film by peter bogdanovich, a 4 disc set including 2 DVD's... five hours of never seen before etc.... and elsewhere ... a book. is this a trend, the only way to work for the senior crooners? i hope it's great, but the mind boggles at what could be next.....

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I'm Not There: In Concert
November 07, 2007 at Beacon Theatre
A Celebration of Todd Haynes' Dylan Film
In Todd Haynes' biographical Bob Dylan film, "I'm Not There," Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger and Ben Whitshaw all portray the legendary singer-songwriter.

The talent lineup for I'm Not There: In Concert, a live celebration of Haynes' Bob Dylan film, consists of:
Cat Power
The Roots
My Morning Jacket
J Mascis
Yo La Tengo with Buckwheat Zydeco
Mason Jennings
Joe Henry
John Doe
Michelle Shocked & Jimmy LaFave
Mark Lanegan
Terry Adams Rock & Roll Quartet
Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks
Al Kooper & Funky Faculty
Ian Ball & Olly Peacock (Of Gomez)
Lee Ranaldo & the Million Dollar Bashers


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johnny marr, guitarist extraordinaire; writer and co-founder of the smiths (the group that defined and rescued british musical art and statement in the 80's) and more recently co-writer, co-producer and guitarist in the wonderful modest mouse. johnny has a new gig.

he's now a professor at the university of salford in manchester, england. johnny is a gent and a mate. when i had returned from my "out to lunch" period and published my first volume of biography he wrote me an e-note welcoming me back into the world and asking me to call him next time i was in the UK. i did, we lunched, we mated and still do. i've seen modest mouse recently in mexico city and vancouver. they are an amazing live band. the two drummers would make dennis wilson wanna come back to life. in fact the band evokes everything the beach boys might have become had they followed the path of " holland"; " sail on sailor"; 20/20 as opposed to the unzen vegas whims and wishes of mike love.

read about johnny in the guardian.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

2-mick and bruce.....

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mick jagger is promoting his "very best of mick jagger". i will not get into whether the very best of mick jagger is with the rolling stones. suffice to say that it's better the boy is a workaholic as opposed to a winehouse or alcoholic. and, with the stones off the road "sir laddie" obviously still needs to get up in the morning and go to work. so he's got this solo adventure out. as way of promotion mick did a thing with the BBC whereby fans or foils could write in and ask mick questions. the answers popped up on the BBC website a few days ago. i thought a lot of the answers were a bit naff - dorian grey without the picture. i also thought he was a tad dismissive of both pete townshend and led zep. then i realized that the text was from a filmed BBC interview with some worn out old BBC troll. it's still mick and it's much better with picture. less naff, almost actual so here it is.


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bruce springsteen is magic already in europe. here are a couple of great pieces with and on bruce from two UK rags. sometimes the awe that america and it's music are held in from the UK and europe lend themselves to a fuller bite of the springsteen apple. we get to hear of the wonders of america as opposed to just the blight. here's a piece from the UK times and another from the guardian. enjoy bruce and philip roth......


one of the great press ladies i've met is elise brown, who was until recently, PR at sirius. she has moved on to new pastures and i have not (as of now), had the pleasure of meeting her replacement. in the spirit of the best jobs lingering on and the contacts made; elise knew of a rock writer, mr. jonathan valania , who was heading to colombia to meet our country and his relatives. she put us in touch and attached is the beginning of our exchange.

My Motorcycle Diary: Tea And Sympathy for the Devil

metweakedcropped.thumbnail.jpgBY JONATHAN VALANIA


BOGOTA, COLOMBIA — Today I saw Andrew Loog Oldham standing in his kitchen making me a lovely cup of tea, high above the streets of Bogota’s ritzy financial district in his tastefully upscale bi-level condominium, where he has lived on and off since 1975. If you have to ask who Andrew Loog Oldham is, you’ll never know — unless you click here, go on, we’ll wait. Psych! OK, now that we lost the dorks, let’s back up: A couple days before leaving for Colombia, it was brought to my attention that ALO currently resides in Bogota and broadcasts his daily Sirius show from there. Calling in a favor from friends in high places, I secured his email address and wrote him that I was a music journalist and I would be in “Bogata” in a couple of days and would love to do an interview. He wrote back “Fine, but you better learn how to spell Bogota before you get down here.” So much for first impressions.

From there I dashed over to Borders to get a copy of his Stoned, a 1998 total recall of his early days in pre-Swinging London grooming the stylized thug mythos of the motherfucking Rolling Stones. Turns out the book is out of print and the only copy I knew I could get my hands on before my flight belonged to none other than Philebrity Jones himself, Joey Sweeney. Back before our partnership/friendship went south, Sweeney lent me Stoned with the proviso that I must ABSOLUTELY return it because not only was it one of his favorite books but Andrew Loog Oldham was the coolest thing on two legs to ever walk the Earth, or something along those lines. So I rang him up and, knowing it was me, he answered with a tentative ‘Hello’ delivered in that wary Is This A Trap? tone you might expect, given the circumstances. I told him I had a modest proposal for him:

ME: Loan me your copy of Stoned and I will get it signed by Andrew Loog Oldham.
SWEENEY: What?!?
ME: I know this sounds like I am putting you on, but I am serious as cancer, Jack. I’m leaving for Bogota, Colombia in the morning and have made arrangements to interview him.
SWEENEY: What? Colombia? Are you serious?

I was going to counter with “Obviously you are not keeping up with your daily Phawker,” but decided getting the goddamn book was more important than winning the latest round of our ongoing snark war.

So fast forward to this morning and I am standing outside ALO’s apartment building trying to figure out how to tell my cab driver to wait for me and that I will be back down in an hour. He speaks no English, and my rudimentary Spanish does not encompass such a relatively complicated exchange. The two door men are laughing at our communication breakdown and I ask them ‘tu habla ingles?’ to which they nod their heads no and go back to laughing. I feel like a fool with a paper ass, coming to somebody else’s country and expecting them to speak my language. How arrogant and intellectually-lazy, such imperial hubris. Thankfully ALO knows enough Spanish to get my point across, and five minutes later I am standing in his kitchen while he boils water for tea. Since the interview will, god willing, be published elsewhere, I can only give you a teaser of our conversation. Topics covered: heroin, Scientology, cocaine, shock treatment, Her Satanic Majesty’s Request, Sirius, Monterey Pop, Catholicism, mod sex, clinical depression, Martin Scorsese and whether or not his friend Phil Spector is innocent. An exchange:

ME: So is it true that you and Jagger don’t speak to each other?
ALO: We speak. When I last saw him [in 1994] he said ‘Hello, Andrew’ and I said ‘Hello, Mick’ and then he walked away. See, we talk.
ME: When did you last speak to him prior to that?
ALO: 1968.
ME: What do you make of Keith Richards snorting his dad’s ashes?
ALO: Hey, back in the 60’s I used to say I wanted my friends to smoke me when I’m dead.
ME: Phil Spector, innocent or guilty.
ALO: I have no earthly idea, but I must say upfront that Phil wrote me a lovely postcard when my mother died a few years ago. However, 67-year-old men in high heels and wigs should not be out drinking after midnight, especially when they are heavily armed.

Suffice it to say, we got on thick as thieves, in no small part because of the truth in the old maxim that you cannot bullshit a bullshitter — and today that cut both ways.

Monday, October 1, 2007

1-general malaise

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i first met little steven about six years ago. a mutual LA pal knew i used
to fly up to NYC on occasion from my home in bogota, colombia and he
suggested i meet steven; he said we'd get on. that's the half of it. i was
staying in the mickey rourke suite in the now-demolished mayflower hotel on
central park south. some would say demolished was the condition of mickey
rourke. i would not. he is one of my american heroes. we all remember mister
schenectady, the charismatic, softly tough leading man who burst onto the
screen in 1981's body heat the way jack nicholson did in easy rider,
and brad pitt did in thelma & louise. of all of them mr. nicholson is
the only one that continued to always burst, splutter and amaze. brad pitt
is george peppard and mickey rourke was a rock star and although a baby, he
amazed. he bit off his own hand and the hand that fed him and suddenly, after
"the pope of greenwich village" ; "barfly" and "angel heart" he was
working less than michael keaton. i saw matt damon recently on that A & E
thingee about actors and "the actors studio" hosted by that awful and
awfully good james lipton (and how come they've had non-"actors studio" thespians and trolls like michael caine, tom cruise, penelope cruz, selma hayek and never had the master class.... bruce dern ? ) he remarked that when he was young he used to have a poster of mickey rourke on his wall ; i thought that was quite a brave admission. that is the clout and cred that rourke had. matt damon met rourke on some john grisham/ coppola thing and rourke basically told damon, " do not do what I did... return calls, make nice, be professional". of course, professional is the key. whether we be mickey rourke or a hod carrier. mickey is dynamite in the recent tony scott flick about the bounty hunter domino harvey, "domino". at least he is back above the title doing more than a week's work. give him some of the roles clive owen does not have time for, mickey will bring them home.

so back in the mickey rourke suite in the late mayflower hotel i get a call, "mr. van zandt is in the lobby". i waltz on down , walk past a cheech and gongless tommy chong looking like a x zoned out tommy bahama and sitting in the lobby and step out into a gloroius september new york billy joel-less day to meet mr. SVZ. he was standing in the shadow of a gleaming two door jag. we rock hugged and headed off to do what most rock folk do these and catch up on all the mutual breeze we had never shot. we eat at an italian eatery on 7th avenue and 56th. they had precious cheese as we had a precious chat about keith richards and those we love and share the what's it all about with. the next night had us eating at rao's (in the once upon a time very Italian neighborhood of east harlem). we were eating there one week after a disgruntled fan of a lady who had been singing had shot at a couple of folks who were not paying enough attention to the lady singing the blues. as mentioned i live in colombia and had to wonder whether this was steven trying to make me feel at home.

at home is what i felt with steven. a total share of our respective musical landscapes. his enthusiam is refreshing, his knowledge and interest keeps his sparks flying and his basic love of our basic musical game was heartfelt and cheer leading. i would continue to meet my new chum in NYC, florida and as far west as vancouver, and a couple of years later he called me and told me that he was starting up his UNDERGROUND GARAGE on the SIRIUS satellite endeavor and would i consider the idea of being a DJ for him.

now, in england we used to laugh at DJ's, because pre- the john peel era, most could not stand the music we made, the way we looked and the success we had doing it. they hoped we would all be blown away and their jobs would return to playing " real music". In the america we knew when the beatles, the stones, the kinks, herman's hermits, the who and everybody brit first came over in the mid-60's we met some of the same, plus the insults about our sexual orientation and the usual " you look like a girl" kind of crap. a lot of the time it was pure larry craig and wishful thinking. but we also met some american DJ guv' ners. gentlemen who had a love of our rock n’ roll music; that brought to the yank airwaves passion and verve and it was an amazing pleasure to know some of these fellows for whom our music had no shame - just passion and pleasure (plus a little thing called payola). murray the K (who gave me and the stones the valentinos 45 RPM " it's all over now" and said, " andy, if you cut this with the boys you'll have a hit." he was spot-on. "it's all over now" was, along with "time is on our side", the first of our vinyl steps towards "satisfaction".) scott muni; tom donahue and b. mitchell reed. they were the models- the fervour that had me say an immediate yes to steven's idea that i DJ for his new SIRIUS channel. i'd be joining a whole load of his pals and fellow adventurers. the george burns and gracie allen of pop punk, joan jett and kenny laguna (whom i am pleased to see have re-housed on SIRIUS faction (channel 28); bill kelly; handsome dick manitoba ; the mighty manfred; the lovely ko melina and the howard hughes of garageeze , mr. kim fowley. all of us amateur pros, save mr. kelly who is total pro, are uncled and managed by SVZ's consigliere at arms, the legendary cleveland man of the airwaves, kid leo. he does the job at SIRIUS on behalf of the UNDERGROUND GARAGE , that keeps the little steven machine well oiled and running smooth and bringing you our music. we've been doing this a few years now, but it's still early days as we become part of the new ways of bringing you your music. my late mum loves steven, this gig is the first i've had since i was 16 years old and dressed shop windows for the fashion designer mary quant that could be called a regular job- something my mother always thought my life would be better for having. it is, although it is hardly regular... just special.

after i had stopped managing and producing the stones and my immediate
records went under in 1970 i went "out-to-lunch" for 25 years. during that
time i was amiss in keeping up with new music; i had stopped growing,
stopped being interested. thus my musical canvas was filled with talented
safety. folks i knew and i felt comfortable with - john lennon, nilsson,
leonard cohen ... you've got it in one, the happy fellows..... and thus
doing this thing for little steven has, in so many ways, given me back some
of that musical time i missed. i am grateful.


a couple of october's ago i popped up from bogota to the seminole hard rock
cafe in hollywood, FL to catch the underground garage rock'n roll tour
featuring the buzzcocks, the shadows of knight, and the chesterfield

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i had been a fan of this band and they'd been a fan of my work with
the stones. none of us, as far as i know, stayed in the anna nicole smith
suite. but we did rock n’ roll. i met a lot of the underground garage fans
who followed this tour and a swell road time was had by all. the new
chesterfield kings album PSYCHEDELIC SUNRISE is now out on Wicked Cool Records. here is a review which just appeared in All Music Guide. ( oh, and i wrote some line approval for the band and their new recording )

Review by Mark Deming

“The Chesterfield Kings have been chasing the ghost of the Rolling
Stones in one way or another since they released their first album in
1983 (in all fairness, they're also clearly obsessed with a few
hundred other bands who made cool records between 1963 and 1967), so
the group's belated embrace of psychedelia asks the question -- can
the Chesterfield Kings make a better "trippy" album than Their
Satanic Majesty's Request? To a certain degree, it's an "apples and
oranges" argument, since the Kings have tossed in a few examples of
tried and true garage rock raunch to leaven the more lysergic accents
on Psychedelic Sunrise, such as the wickedly fuzzy "Outtasite!," and
"Elevator Ride" is such a clear (and well-executed) Who lift that
Pete Townshend will either feel honored or call his lawyer. But the
strings and harpsichord arrangement on "Inside Looking Out," the
epochal antiwar screed "Rise and Fall," the black-painted percussion
accents of "Spanish Sun," and the rhythmic push and pull of
"Yesterday's Sorrows" at least achieve their sonic goals with greater
clarity and concision than Mick and Keef's grand experiment in mind
expansion. Along the way, the Chesterfield Kings also manage to quote
the Louvin Brothers and Exile on Main St. at the same time on "Stayed
Too Long" (somewhere Gram Parsons is smiling) and to divvy up some
rich organ-based psych-blues on "Gone," while "Streaks and Flashes"
is one impressive salute to visual disturbance. The production on
Psychedelic Sunrise is terrific, capturing a wealth of period details
with commendable accuracy, and the Kings' obsession with the mid-'60s
is matched only by the skill and enthusiasm with which they can re-
create the sounds of the era. Contemporary garage-psych albums don't
get much more "grand scale" than this -- or much better.”

i agree. plz check it out.


the new bruce springstreet & the e street band album magic is out october the 2nd, the same day their world tour begins in connecticut. we've had the pleasure of playing some cuts here on the UG. bruce is now in that other-worldly realm again and this gets you some media toasting and roasting. it's not unlike when the stones are off the road. the media (especially in the UK ) says they are withered, past it, too old, just in it for the money and should stay off the road and give it up. then, of course, they go back on the road and the road is their's. they put fresh meaning into the roger miller song. the same with shades of difference is true of bruce. he's hardly withered, or past it, or just in it for the money. our music, for both fan and performer, is a disease. but unlike so many of the actual diseases that surround the potential of our lives this one has a cure; the road, a show. a reminder of our national anthems, the songs and sounds that shaped our beings, told our parents, our peers, our girl friends, boy friends who and what we had decided to be. the stones do that; the beatles still manage to do so from , save paul, off the road; bruce does that too. he's done with the folk tour, the shopping tour, the john kerry bitz and now he's going back out with that john garfield american heart - the e street band. enjoy.


i was in liverpool , england during july. A friend of mine, adrian millar , had died from the # 8 UK killer - hospitals. adrian had been a manager ( black sabbath; the babys etc) and a great pal. we had met in 1970 when he'd been sent by some former partners in immediate records to beat me up and all that kind of nonsense. adrian did not beat me up and we became strong pals. he was about to come out to colombia just before this past christmas when i got a call from his family saying he'd passed. his family decided to donate his incredible guitar collection and sponsor a " management & entrepreneurial" scholaship in his name at the paul mccartney sponsored Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts. so my wife esther, and sons sean and maximillian went over to support adrian's family on the LIPA graduation day and help give the award. natch, paul mccartney was there.

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the graduation day at LIPA has been a big day for him these past 11 years or so. i had not seen paul since a "rock n’ roll hall of fame" event he attended with linda many years ago. i know that those of you that have seen him on the road, or (as i did) marveled at his incredible re-do of "drive my car" on the super bowl he did a few years ago, know full well that he is still baby, i'm amazed. not a sloppy moment around him. he's still chipper, bright, engaged and a proud beatle. it was good to see him again. he spoke spanish to my wife which was charming. that had been a subject he'd been taught in school, the very school he'd attended that had been turned into the LIPA. further south in england i'd been taught german. some in the south, well.... anyway, back to paul and LIPA. if any of you out there are of the age, or have kids of the age and are thinking of a musical future, if it involves actual training as opposed to the training of the road then add the LIPA to your shopping cart. it's more than just musical, it's the performing arts, the ability to reach the circle and the stalls, the roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd.


some of our listeners may be aware of my "vatican pick of the week" feature where we feature what we deem worthy stuff from the past, present and future. we've had soundchecks from the last stones tour in tokyo featuring a drop-dead version of " wild horses”; the john lennon produced unreleased mick jagger 1974 cut “too many cooks (spoil the soup)” featuring bobby keyes, jim keltner and al kooper , and a lot of new things we think deserve your consideration. we are playing a great new band this week, they are from ann arbor, mi and are called Saturday Looks Good to Me. the track we are playing is "Make a Plan". record is called "Fill Up the Room" on K Records comes out October 23.


well, that's it for now , an experimental journey into more communication with you. this will be an occasional spin from all your DJ's .... kim fowley will be up next. in the meanwhile please remember to stop putting gel in your hair; remember to clean your teeth after every meal or semi-meal as the mouth is the gateway to disease... and looked what happened in new orleans.... and there is always good music; it is our job to find it. thanks for your help.

best, ALO