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 days...eat. 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.

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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
kings
.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

5 comments:

HappyParts said...

Hey man- nice one- good to see
you blog- bloke...
I always keep an eye out for
your stones orchestra record-

charles
www.happypartsrecordings.com

Stephen said...

i am inspired

Nicki Rosenblatt said...

ALO. I have been reading (and reading) your terrific liner notes on Rolling Stones LPs for years. You rule.

Bud Izen said...

I'm 58, grew up in S.F., got a chance to work with some of the greats fixing gear in the 60s. Music is what got me through my teen years, and I still play bass and sing - been in and out of a ton of bands. I know more songs by ear and lyrics by heart than I know anything else (including a LOT about computers and networking), but when I found ALO on the UG, it was more than great to hear his stories and the background on an era and the musicians that still mean so much.

My own vinyl collection could form the basis for a lot of the 60s content on the UG. I cannot believe how many great tunes (The Blues Project! The 13th floor evevators!! etc.) that I have NEVER EVER heard on the radio before.

I truly appreciate hearing the new cool songs mixed in with the old. I ABHOR hearing music labeled "good" or "bad." There is just taste. I don't love everything I hear on the UG, but I have certainly been introduced to new bands that I have learned to love (Cocktail Slippers, The Charms, Sahara Hotnights, Raveonettes etc.) and have heard songs from my favorite era that I have never heard before.

You do us music lovers a GREAT service.

Keith said...

I'm lovin' every minute of your radio show - I listen every morning on the way to work. It gets my day off to a great start!