Wednesday, November 19, 2008

20-ITC, London, Oasis, Liverpool, Dave Clark

long time no write, but here we are with a bit of news and views from our recent travels and musical rumbles. madame and i landed in london at the front of october en route to Manchester, where i was hosting ITC (In The City). ITC is an event founded, launched, dreamt and executed 17 years ago by tony wilson and his partner yvette livesey.

tony wilson

more about tony:
tony wilson bio
factory records
the hacienda club

tony wilson was a pimpressario/hustler extroadanaire. alas he passed just over a year ago and due to that and the ITC folks wanting to continue the In The City vision, i was asked to co-host the festival (and i say co-host because i always felt that mr. wilson was standing in spirit right next to me)

this was the first ITC without mr. w. there are not many folks the likes of alan mcgee and seymour stein that will turn out for these kinds of events.

ALO, Seymour, and Richard

this being said, tony was a guvner. tony was the guvner of all things manchester, mancurian, musical, visual , outrageous and magic.

steve coogan played him in 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE and played him well. some say it was the last thing coogan did well.

24 Hour Party People

tony had many gifts apart from flying on a wing and a prayer and the one that comes to mind immediately is that tony made it always about home. christopher columbus, napoloeon, adolf hitler, mary quant, the beatles, the stones and all the rest had to travel away from home to truly make their mark. tony wilson made a castle of his own back yard, manchester, and i hope that manchester is as proud of their lad as everybody who attends ITC.

here’s the letter I wrote for the ITC program:

“A Letter From Bogotá…
I'm in Vancouver, just got here from the Toronto Film Festival, with Toronto famous this past weekend for a Gallagher getting attacked on stage, Mickey Rourke making a great comeback in The Wrestler and the great reviews on the Jimmy Page /Jack White /Edge seminarmovie and my thanking Toronto for it being the place I could have a catch-up with jimmy page and talk about Soho. Speaking of a Gallagher and Oasis I've been thinking about Tony Wilson and the same. In a couple of weeks I'll be in Manchester for the honor of dancing in Mr. Wilson's shoes at ITC. I'll be hosting Seymour Stein and Richard Gottherer and I hope a few more things. I had better learn to dance before October; Johnny Marr has promised to show me the Salford crawl.
In his lifetime Tony got to see a movie made about his own accomplishments, 24 Hour Party People, starring Steve Coogan as Tony and directed by Michael Winterbottom. It is one of the best pop music films I’ve seen. I wonder how Tony felt about it. Was he chuffed, irked, or a mixture of all that and more? Did it have finality to it and did he have any idea of his at the time?
I would find it disconcerting. These film things usually only appear when you are dead. Brian Epstein and John Lennon in Carry On Torquay.... or that other bit of crap about an imaginary meeting between John & Paul at the Dakota. Speaking of crap, the only time, (as far as I know) that I've been portrayed on screen was in that awful, 'never-mind-DVD, straight-to-Ryanair' stinker, the Steve Wooley flic on Rolling Stone Brian Jones - which went as low as to steal the title of my biography. I came off all right in the film, I was only in three scenes and the actor who played me, the Perrier 2004 award-winning comedian Will Adamsdale at least danced a bit and I guess I was not libeled (as it's known that on occasion I like to sue, and/or carry a huge Zen baseball bat). The rest of the movie was awful, the detail and the director did them in, never mind the subject matter.
I had read so many good things about Control, the story of Ian Curtis and Joy Division as directed by Anton Corbijn that I bought it. Waste of 38 bucks (I have yet to watch the accompanying joy division documentary, perhaps that makes it worth the price of admission). Pure dross.
I do not know why Anton went so coy on us; perhaps he was restrained by the widow Curtis? Perhaps ordinariness got in the way of breaking out? Who the fuck knows? In the ‘60s it would have starred Rita Tushingham or Tom Courteney and, to quote another Manchester lad, Peter Noone, would have been 'a-must-to-avoid.'
As much as Tony Wilson might have been chuffed by having Steve Coogan (before Steve became Owen Wilson's playmate and sat next to the God that green lights movies), I don't know what he would think of his portrayal in Control. I must ask Yvette...
There are a few scenes that work in the movie, and one of them involves Tony as he introduces Joy Division and other acts on his Granada TV show. That scene has the Wilson urgency and smacks and feels right. The rest. I’m afraid, is all a bit Peter Sellers in I’m All Right Jack for me, and I would think Mr. Wilson would have concurred.
So there we are. October is around the corner.
We'll be at The Midland Hotel. I hope the weather holds and I can bring linen.
As you can tell I'm a little bit nervous. Of all the managers and lads I followed and those that followed me, Tony Wilson was the strong one, the true runt, the leader. The one who made his pitch, led it and bled with it - and that, Alfie, is what it was all about....
Best from Bogotá,
Andrew Loog Oldham”



this year, a dear and talented pal, the artist sidney maurer, did a spectacular rendition of tony which went into silent auction on the ITC tree. one-off lithos are also available at sidney’s website:

you can bid on the painting here. it benefits the teenage cancer trust fund, a very good cause.


before we hit Manchester, madam and i hit a razorlight gig in a kentish town in north west london. the gig was to support the band's third album, slipway fires.

razorlight-slipway fires

mr. johnny borrell was in super fettle. the song "america" from their 2nd record, should have made it in America. it's a super song and performance, in rock terms, it’s up there with anything paul simon wrote in folk terms about the wunderpaiz.

on stage borrell teased, flirted and delivered to his fans. at times he looked uncannily like a ' 65 third tour of america mick jagger.


Mick Jagger 1965



a word of thanks to roger morton, razorlight manager, for taking care of esther and moi. i've loved the band since my son, maximillian, and i saw them in mexico city a couple of years ago. i hope that america takes to them and that they crack the wunderpaiz soon. both of them, the usa and razorlight deserve it.


we took the train from london's euston station to manchester. and had a wonderful time hosting and participating in ITC.


many regulars showed up to support the event. seymour stein, richard gottherer, lyor cohen of the WMG, mike smith of COLUMBIA/UK, alan mcghee, johnny marr’s manager and manchester legend joe moss, geoff travis of ROUGH TRADE, jarvis cocker, verve and soup dragons manager jazz summers and the artists.....the artists...what it's really all about. the ITC slogan said it best as it screamed "it's all about the music, stupid"

standouts for me were BLESS BEATS (a truly inspiring 22 year old producer/creator from bow in SE London) and THE PARIS RIOTS, a manchester band who really have it and i hope get it. Also the THE DETROIT SOCIAL CLUB, THE JESSIE ROSE TRIP, and ARTHUR DELANEY

i’d like to thank the whole ITC team, yvette, jon-paul, tom, james, llianne, stephen (even tho' he's a solicitor), all of the ITC staff and interns who made our journey so rewarding, enjoyable and edutaining. and an extra word of thanks to seymour stein for suggesting me to ITC in the first place.



next we popped over to liverpool to see OASIS on the second night of their two-night stand at the new liverpool echo arena. OASIS are truly amazing (but you already knew that). whether you like ' em or not. to take the swagger, as liam does, that goes with the off stage attitude lunatic aura of yer rock star and make that the job, the work on stage is truly mad and inspirational. and the songs, dear, it's always about the songs, ain't it and OASIS sure have the body of songs.

the concert was a tribal event. it was exhilarating and it was nice to visit back stage and have liam ask me if i'd bought any writs ( a sly nod to either his mate richard ashcroft's dillema with mick and keith and my orchestra over "BITTER SWEET SYMPHONY" and "THE LAST TIME " or a subliminal thought about the gallaghers more than wonderful degree from the COLLEGE OF KONSTRUCTIV PLAGARISM).

anyway nice chats were had all around, noel was a prince charming, liam a little john ("ROBIN HOOD" ref folka) and andy bell was as nice as nice about his affection for LITTLE STEVEN and the UNDERGROUND GARAGE.

lawdy, i intended to write so much more.


i had a great tea with dave clark, leader of the DC5. i had been wanting to say hallo to him ever since his oh so elegant acceptance speech at this years ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME.

he truly is a survivor and remains the innovative spirit whom the BEATLES saw, during that first 18 months of the british invasion, everytime they looked over their shoulders. it was not the STONERS, yet, or the KINKS or WHO. it was the DAVE CLARK FIVE.

gotta pack for buenos aires. off to record THE RATONES PARANOICOS. more schpater. much love america, abrazo a todo, ALO.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

19-canada, film producers, norman whitfield and bill

long time no hear, no speak, no see.

apols on that. have been on the road (mainly canada) trying to appraise how i fancy, or am fancied, for my books, STONED & 2STONED and how they might fare as a movie or a min-series on cable.

had a great time at the TIFF where mickey rourke took home all the money for "the wrestler"

The Wrestler-Toronto Film Fest

i also bumped into jimmy page. why not,the party was for jimmy, jack white and "the edge" and the film "it might get loud". they were plugging the film at the TIFF.

Jack Edge Jimmy

jimmy and i chatted about soho. what else are two london lads
supposed to chat about when they meet up in toronto ?

ALO and Jimmy Page 3

sorry this one is short but i'm about to undergo three days of dental work, then it's off to the UK and manchester for In The City. we'll be reporting to you from there.


Norman Whitfield

so adios norman whitfield. he was probably after phil spector my forever favourite
producer. he gave me hope and courage at a time when my lights were low, by the way he enlarged the canvas. when most folks were going "tea for the tillerman" and dressing down in denim, norman whitfield was painting the ghetto, war & the world at the end of the very turbulant 60's.

my mate harvey kubernik caught this from berry gordy, jr in a piece in his book "THIS IS REBEL MUSIC".

"norman to me was probably the most underrated of all the producers, because he was producing by himself. and he would deal with different sounds, different beats, change with the times and write his stuff, and also barrett strong would work with him as a writer on many of his things. norman was innovative and he had fire. and he had a different kind of style. his beat was different and could go from “cloud nine,” “psychedelic shack,” “papa was a rolling stone,” to “just my imagination.” he was sensitive and I think he could do so many different types of things. Then he’d come right back with “war” and then “ain’t to proud to beg.”

he could take one chord, like on “papa was a rolling stone,” and play the same chord and do all these different beautiful melodies and things that many people could not really imagine this guy doin’. and I would watch him and he did it all by himself as a producer. He would work with five guys in the temps and he would change leads on each one. he would pick the right lead for the right song, ya know, and he’d utilize all five of those leads in a song that was just incredible.

when I listen to ‘em today, now that I have time to listen to ‘em, I’m saying, “wow! this guy was probably the most underrated producer we had.”


ALO and Charlie

bill wyman just sent me this snap of myself and charlie watts in the summer of '65. i may still have the jacket, or be wearing one damned similar. i know i have the shades. PS whilst in toronto we saw an immaculately fit donald sutherland biking around the park. he gave us a wink when we said "could it be ?" remarkable worker. nice to see him out & about.

gotta go walk the dogs....peace & stay away from the bathrooms, george......

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

blog 18-rebroadcasting alo's weekday shows!!!



SIRIUS Satellite Radio’s Underground Garage/ 25, an extension of the critically acclaimed syndicated radio show Little Steven’s Underground Garage, will now cater to those crazy California teenagers as “The Andrew Loog Oldham Program” will air from 9pm until midnight PT on the west coast starting immediately.

For the first time since Little Steven’s Underground Garage started broadcasting on Sirius in 2004, there will be a DJ heard after 9 PM on the West Coast. Andrew Loog Oldham, the legendary manager and producer of the Rolling Stones from 1963-1967and one of the original Underground Garage DJs at Sirius, has held the weekday morning spot on the East Coast (Monday through Friday; 8 AM – 11 AM Eastern Time) since February of 2007. Now his daily show is being rebroadcast so Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and all points west will hear his often hilarious candid observations, first-person insights, and musical expertise in the evening.

“I love all of our DJ’s but Andrew is the Govn’er,” says Little Steven. “We have him on every day because I simply cannot imagine getting through the day without him. It occurred to me recently (I have no excuse really) that the only time the west coast could hear him was 5 to 8 in the morning which is fine if you’re an actor but if you’re a relatively normal human being it might be a bit early, so here you go."

Monday, July 21, 2008

blog 17-koop soup and ronnie


long time no write. let's have a little catch-up. our mate, mr. al kooper, went on stage with brian wilson recently to sub for a missing jimmy webb. "made a dream come true", said al, when i spoke to him from bogota to somerville late last week. "one of the highlights of my guesting career." and al has done some guesting in his time.... bob dylan, the rolling stones, george harrison and a whole power more.

let us never forget his blood, sweat and tears debut LP. it's a case of you had to be there...there as in america when the LP came out. it was a new day in vinyland and the concept of artist and recording, kooper was the kingmaker that day. he was to the disc and our music what tim burton would later be to film. i can tell you, we were stopped in the tracks of our fears (yes, as a pal told me i could never resist embracing a cliche, pun of flay on words...there i did it again, meds must be working....natural ones that is...) with BS&T...

not unlike in the UK a couple of years earlier the move, produced by denny cordell and later jimmy miller, and managed by the true joker of rock'n roll, tony secunda.
a birmingham band led by the ever so talented dude, mr. roy wood. one of the greatest imaginations our brit-pop world ever reared. their records were amazing, a warning flag just as the first BS&T LP was that it was time to go back to the drawing board...the goalposts had been moved and there was a new game to be played.

the length and breadth of whatever is possible had just been tape, and i mean tape, tape measured into something new. we also got to salute al for his lynyrd skynyrd LP's; that is really when he was the tim burton of rock.

so al goes on stage and does the bridge of "don't worry baby" with brian. a classic moment in west coat national anthems. he also tooted the keyboards on "help me, rhonda".

al has a big honor coming up in october in nashville. he's going to be in great company. here's a link musician's hall of fame. he and i were born five days apart, four and one half if you knock off the distance from the US to the UK. he is an american treasure and like the best of american treasures he knows who he is and who you are. oh, yes, and he's also played with the who.....


we spoke of roy wood above. let's give a moment to the pathetic shenanigans of ronnie wood.

ronnie coming home

his dad was an alcoholic, so is ronnie. he has been slippin' and slidin' for so long it's time for him to stop this week long or whatever, checkin' into rich peoples detox centres. as soon as he is fit enough for a drink, he'll leave and start the whole loop again.

whatever your faith or your following let's have a prayer said or a moment of silent knowing, said wishing, ronnie wings of strength and the determination to beat this fuckin' disease. i was at an AA meeting in LA a few weeks ago, and one of our hosts, when it came to his time to speak said, "i'm doing great but every day I remember this disease is just looking for ways and the opportunity to to kill me. whilst it's doing so, take me back to hell."

ronnie. wishing you strength and the brain to get it together. for your family, for the other one, the three chord wonders known as the rolling stones, but most of all, buddy, for yourself....

if you cannot get up in the morning and love yourself, who else are you gonna be able to love ?

maybe ronnie hawkins......

get well, babe, get proper.... DAILY MAIL


i just want to thank all those who wrote to say how much they were enjoying our new alternative 9 PM WST west coast slot. covering both ends of the day on steven's underground garage is a privilege and honor.

be well, be fare. best from bogota, o

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

blog 16-4th of July

for the 4th, i've posted youtube videos of the 10 american artists i chose to honor this holiday. make sure you listen in on the 4th from 8am-11am eastern time, where i'll play songs by these artists and speak about my interactions with them.

happy 4th of july america...

elvis presley-baby, let's play house

eddie cochran-summertime blues

johnny otis-willie and the hand jive

the ronettes-be my baby

alejandro escovedo-always a friend (with bruce springsteen and the e-street band)

ricky nelson-poor little fool

little richard

robert gordon with link wray-the way i walk

fats domino-ain't that a shame

the beach boys

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008

13-sid maurer memorial day contest

happy memorial day.

here is a contest, complements of my old friend, sid maurer.

simply shoot me an e-mail at: and i'll pick 10 random winners to receive a copy of the below litho. the litho was done by sid and if you'd like to win, e-mail me with the name of the muscian in the print. its also his birthday this monday, on memorial day.

Sid Mauer-Miles Davis

just send an e-mail, again to:, make sure to include your address and i'll randomly select 10 winners. the litho usually goes for 1,000 plus dollars (thanks sid). just tell me the artist in the litho.


here's an excerpt of what sid wrote in my book 2stoned:

Sid Maurer, Artist/Entrepeneur: When I was 17 or 18, I got a job as assistant art director for Columbia Records. At that time, they were in Bridgeport, Connecticut, so I traveled two hours to get to work each day. Little by little, I got known as the guy in New York who did album covers. One of my big accounts at that time was Epic Records, a division of Columbia. They were now in New York City, and a good friend of mine became head of Epic, and he called me one day and asked me to come down and see him. He wanted to know if I wanted to do all of the album covers for the label—if I did them all, could I do them for $1,000 a piece. So I took on all of that work, and became the big studio in New York. I did all of the Epic covers, and that’s where I met Donovan. Donovan came in one day, and I was told to meet with him, and we became friends, and eventually became his manager. The guys who ran Decca Records, Jubilee, Roulette all of these labels that started in the mid-to-late forties and on through the fifites, all of these guys came out of the garment district. They weren’t record men, they were schmata guys! They didn’t know a fuckin’ thing about music; they could care less. What they did do was they hired good producers, guys like Bob Thiele. These guys brought in the acts like Buddy Holly and the McGuire Sisters, Teresa Brewer, the Hi-Lo’s As the business grew, and these guys slowly sold out, the independent guys like Jerry Blaine from Jubilee stayed in it. Of course, so did Morris Levy.

In about 1968 I met Donovan. The guys in the fifites were guys like Fred Frank, Len Levy. They were still working for Columbia. They hadn’t yet switched over to the time where executives were wearing jeans; it was still suits. One of the reasons that Don and I became friends was that I didn’t wear a suit. When I first met Don, he looked like Jesus Christ. He was wearing a long white robe that went down to the ground, with bare feet. Which is why they said, “You’ve gotta come over right away and meet this guy.” We went back to my suite, smoked a couple of joints and got comfortable. We spent about three days together, just working on his album cover. Meanwhile, Freddie Frank noticed me and we became pals. Freddie was a promotion man at Epic, and he was one of the few guys who knew how to reach the deejays quietly. He drove a lot of records, Freddie. Freddie and I finally hooked up, and we went into the record business together, we started a company called Roadshow. We went into the R&B business, the black business. See, Freddie grew up in South Philadelphia, and he knew all the brothers anyway, and Freddie could take care of the brothers. They wouldn’t take money from a white man. Freddie was almost black.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

12-bill o'reilly, media, media, media

the media overwhemeth and the media suppresses us, what ever the agenda,
whatever the cause, especially in this time of pre-election heat. there is no
news as news, unless you count, as i do the IHT, UK FT and BBC online.

what there is, post-dan i'd rather not, is an entertaining quicksand of talking
heads, who, since the advent of news as entertainment, appear in front of us
with less qualifications than ed sullivan and without the humor of tex antoine.
i'd like to thank steve belgard at the STARZ network for sending me these to posts
that, in regards to bill o'reilly bring the crap simmering to the frothy top.

dance remix.

Monday, May 19, 2008

blog 11-atlanta, bruce springsteen, athens, BRMC

we just had a wonderful time in america, north america. we always do. this time
my family and i flew up from bogota to atlanta to get together with SVZ and catch the april 25th phillips arena, bruce springsteen & the E street band show. this was bound to be a moving experience, as it would be the first time that bruce and the Estreeters would be in concert since the passing, burying, and paying of respect to founding keyboard, zane gray and maven, maestro danny federici.

Bruce and Danny

before the we met SVZ in the lobby of the four seasons hotel
and SUV'd around the corner to a local wop-hop eatery. the food was wunderbar, the host and service very cage de follies. the host was so graceful that when we'd finished chopping, noshing, dishing and wishing ray davies waterloo sunsets and pete townshend a great now that he's old,SVZ WAS TOLD THAT HIS MONEY WAS NO GOOD AT THE INN BUT THAT HIS THOUGHTS AND SIGNATURE ON A RESTURANT plate would be more than appropriate for the food consumed.



the evening before the atlanta bruce concert, we drove down to athens, ga to
catch BRMC at the 40 WATT venue. i'm interested in any town that produced REM. BRMC are a group i've loved for a long time. their records are great, i just
wondered what was it? the group, the management, the vibe, the timing, record company... that had stopped them breaking on through.

i had thought it might be the record company as to how could the big machine stay on top of, stay on the street with, and support BRMC as they hoe'd the road. they are terrific on stage, really, but they take so damn long abut it. Their audience is faithful and full of bravo, but if they ever want to appeal to those of us who 9 to 5 they had better get the chops down and moments up. do not get me wrong, i loved them, as did the audience, they are awesome. but to tease us with the high end of their collective talents only once, and on the very last song, is impudent to say the least.

on their very last song of their show you heard the totality of their power,
instrumentally and vocally. you heard the national anthem they could
become, but after two hours, or what seemed like two hours it's just not enough.
it's just a subjective opinion, no one else seemed to object, but when i like
something, i want it for the world.

a big hail to BRMC member robert who said a nice hi, glenn was a charmng
host and robert's dad, mike, who said hi after manning he lights for the band.
athens...nice pizza town. all of you lucky enough to be schooling in athens are
blessed. use it well.


Sid and Andy 1

had breakfast the next morn with my old new york pal, sid maurer. after years in
the art and music trade in new york, sid has settled in atlanta to attend to his
first love (after barbara) and that is to paint. we had not caught up for nigh
on 15 years and brekky was great. we'll have more news about sid in the next


bruce was magic. i have not seen him since the bottom line in ' 75 (thanks jon
tiven for taking me there back then) and then an amnesty international MSG gig at the end of the 70's with jackson browne (thanks bob krasnow for that one).

the atlanta show kicked off with some great halibut and broccli backstage with the
crew; thanks to the lady-in-charge for super duper food. said hallo to max
weinberg. after charlie watts there’s ringo, jim keltner, jim gordon and max..... and hal blaine and is it gary chester that was the drummer on gene pitney's "every breath i take" ?

SVZ did his wunderbar meet and greet with the UG people and fans and that was quite a cirque du soleil with good vibes. then it was showtime....


it started with a moving video tribute to danny federici then just went slam dunk, slam run, we ran all the way home and out in the streets, the shore, the life, the movement, the reason, the angst, and the spirit and joy. it is an american
heartfelt experience. i could call it a religious experience, it's not, it's a
social experience with soul on. clarence, steven, max all the E street loonies
just keep laying out those tunes and pouring out those magical charts with so much heart and knowing.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

10-Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

i had decided that lou reed wasn’t so difficult after seeing him in the Q & A at SXSW. then i received a "care package" from steve belgard at the STARZ network. (steve often sends a box of goodies down to colombia to make sure i'm up to date on stuff) this time it was the "ROCK' AND ROLL HALL OF FAME 2008" show which had been misbroadcast earlier on VH1 , a channel i do not get here in bogota.

the opening inductees were kenny gamble & leon huff. the duo are the first recipients of "the ahmet ertegun award". they were graceful and cool in their acceptance speech. they have an incredible body of work, the artists they have written and produced include the o'jays, the soul survivors, harold melvin and the bluenotes, archie drell and the drells, bunny sigler, diana ross, jerry butler, the jacksons, billy paul and dusty springfield…

and the songs...let's get lost in the songs! "if you don't know me by now", "me & mrs jones", "love train", "i'm gonna make you love me" and so many more!

then on rolled patti la belle to “murderiah carey” her way through "if you don't know me by now". i hated it! there is nothing worse than a bunch of rich white folk acting up as if they are in church and patti, you led 'em there. the original record by mr. melvin & the bluenotes just sat there and kept you grounded, it progressed meticulously slow, it was taking it's time, it incrementally took over your heart with it's sound and story. simply red later homogenized it into a sorta hit, but patti la belle threw it away with tricks. good tricks, but nonetheless tricks. hard not to do, but an easy meal at the waldorf astoria ballroom where the audience are gonna get off just to justify the price of the meal. however, it can be done…done without the vocal juggling and box of tricks.

i remember a few year ago going to the awful MOTOWN 45th or 50th anniversary in hollywood. it was saved by beyonce (or was it kelly rowland) doing diana ross and the supremes featuring mary wilson. amazing. sexy. the works. she was diana ross and it was a throwback to magic. the other thrill was gladys knight and the pips who did the sexiest, low key, low roller version of "i heard it through the grapevine" just like the record.... no tricks... no extra unneeded bonbons, just the record, ma' am and it was sublime.

lou reed was a disgrace, he seemed unprepared, although that could have been part of his preparation, he quoted lyrics and rambled, he made it about himself as opposed to the artist he was inducting, leonard cohen, who may have no place being in the RRHoF anyway. but cohen did show up and the least he could have done was sing one of his songs instead of leaving to damien rice to sweat and pine his way through "hallejujah". it needs a fellow to sing that song, not a young fop.

the ventures, all geezers as old as cohen at least picked up their instruments and played and gave us an example of why they had been inducted. the best act of the night was john mellencamp, that's how bad it was. he was inducted semi-hilariously by billy joel who, from his anti-music business rant either has a very secure recording deal, or is not looking for a new one. the best spark of the night was joan jett, she looked and played feisty in a tribute to the dave clark five. there was a moment when, and no, i'm not quoting the shangri-la's, there was a moment when she had a glint in her eye that was pure rock'n roll magic ---- which she is.

tom hanks went on too long in his induction of dthe dave clark five but it was nice of him to do so. the kathleen turner award from yours truly goes to madonna who, regardless of all the lame protests and shrill attempts to justify her induction has as much business being in the RRHoF as leonard cohen. gent of the evening was dave clark. his acceptance speech was hearfelt, the right length, graceful, eloquent and he spoke on behalf of himself, his five and us all.

so basically this years RRHoF was schlebville with a few highlights. perhaps they'll make up for it by inducting next year the hollies, donovan, manfred mann and a list of should-be's that rocks on forever.....i had decided that lou reed was not so difficult after seeing him in the Q & A at SXSW then i received a "care package" from steve belgard at the STARZ network, steve often sends a box of goodies down to colombia to make sure i'm up to date on stuff. this time it was the "ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME 2008" show which had been misbroadcast earlier on VH1, a channel i do not get here in bogota.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

09-SXSW, Glen Falls

SXSW Logo 2008

i finally returned to bogota yesterday after nearly two weeks in both austin,
TX and upstate NY. i was in austin attending the 22nd SXSW music festival the and in the glens falls area, attending to my families health at the natural health improvement center.

in glens falls and we were taking care of some of my wife's wellness issues at our friend lenny chiriboga's biosync and healthQuest location in the same town. the
weather was march snows so my son max and i headed over to west mountain and took some snowboarding lessons with aaron. by the second day max was at the top of the mountain snowboarding down and i was on my second lesson. it was an exhilarating way to follow the exhausting wonderful SXSW.

ALO Max Snowboarding 01

we arrived home to more bleatings from equador against colombia, a
continuence of the three week ago crisis between colombia, venezuela and
equador. the crisis was over colombia having killed a FARC leader and 18 followers who were entrenched just inside the equadorian border. life is never dull here and it will be even less so later in the day when i go to the dog resort and pick up our dog gruff.

SXSW was very successful. it has been for 22 years. this year the new york
times reported an attendence of 1700 bands ( which is more than SXSW
reported but if you include all the street buskers and " nearly performed"
brigade it might be so). in 2001 only 700 people registered, this year the
number was 12,500. the suppressive ones love heaping, " it's over" at SXSW,
they've been at it a good dozen years. it's not, in fact…it's just getting it's second or third wind.


the biggest reason sxsw has been freed up is how rapidly the record companies have sealed their own tombs over the past two years. they just seem hell bent on burying themselves dead. of course, they can still serve some acts, but for fresh young bands it is now as though the record companies invented the wheel. the record companies still think they are the same giant, while the rest of the world has wings. this factor, the not needing to bother factor, has freed young
bands of the luggage of even looking into record companies. unless you bleat
in way that would attract mark ronson or clive davis your route is the internet... and vinyl.

Lou Reed SXSW 2008

the keynote speaker was lou reed, interviewed in a Q & A by producer hal
willmer (with whom i've had the honor of sharing marianne faithfull). lou was
blunt and fun and was an example of obsessing on yourself as a brand and a
career when all the other obsessions have been said goodbye to before they
killed you. the couple of clips we were allowed to see from the julian
schnabel directed "BERLIN" (lou reed’s) were rivetting and magno. I hope the
rolling stones " SHINE A LIGHT" does the same for me.


well, just wanted to let you know i survived my reunion with kim fowley, (seriously it was a great catch-up) , but now i've got to go get the dog. be back later in the week with the rest of my SXSW news.

PS it was a simple pleasure of grace to be back in the kindness and
hospitality of america. nobody does it better!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

08-america, al kooper, russ titelman, and jerry ragavoy

i just came back from a tremendous time in america…north america, our land of music, land of the free.

the most heartfelt moment (of many) came while watching the grammys; all four hours of it with the ear bleeding commercials seeming to rise in volume every hour. the kick-off, as was a lot of the show, was just plain awful. the "duet" between alicia keys with frank sinatra even had ole' blue eyes looking embarrassed. that is no mean feat considering that mr. s. recorded his contribution of "learning the blues" in the early 60's.

i loved the foo fighters with the orchestra conducted by my old mate, led zep bassist, john paul jones. i loved vince gill accepting an award from ringo starr, i also loved george martin accepting an award from ringo. george showed the mannered deferential correctness the beatle deserved. however vince gill…that was the heartfelt moment.

when vince said (and here i paraphrase), "music…where democracy lives, where every note is equal". i got that pop lump in my throat and i nearly teared up. gill was graceful.

i suppose the shambled success of the show was amy winehouse. gotta hand it to the girl. she brings back to america and the world american 40's and 50's chops that america don't serve up no more with relish and style. shame about the crack, girl.

the UK sunday times weighed in with mick, keith and my take on the subject. click here


another highlight of my trip to america was catching the al kooper "when i'm 64" birthday concert at BB King's (west 42nd street in NY).

BB Kings

what a lovely show, all of al's milestones. national anthems, humor and recall, swung and sung by one of america's maestros (more than the brooklyn bridge). i also enjoyed the chance to hang with top daddy super producer russ titelman

Andrew and Russ Titelman

also i got the chance to hang with my old mate songwriter/producer jerry ragavoy:

Andrew and Jerry Ragavoy

jerry gave us: "piece of my heart", "stay with me, baby", “cry baby”, “try (just a little bit harder)”, “get it while you can”. jerry gave the stones and us "time is on my side"


another treasure was just driving over connecticut and upstate NY and listening to the underground garage. it helps a lot to hear more of the music and all of my fellow DJ's. nothing like being at the wheel in america listening to channel 25.

Monday, January 21, 2008

07-bill wyman and eric clapton

Bill Wyman UK Telegraph

the finest article i've read in a while is the bill wyman interview in the UK daily telegraph conducted by robert sandall. i have attached the article here for your enjoyment.

mr. sandall is not your usual journo.

he is a former punk and post punk musician and a member of bands that "have never gone down in history". he's a former ski-bum, he’s worked at Q magazine and the UK sunday times…and was a good choice for bill wyman.

whilst at the UK times he wrote what must have been the last, or almost last, piece on the revered champ of brit DJ's, the late john peel. (you can read here)

peel spoke with robert just before he left for his last holiday in peru, which is where he died. sandall was actually editing the piece when the news broke that peel had died. tiz a moving piece, it was as much a friendly, concerned diagnosis as anything else the article contained.

i may have met sandall in the mid-90's. it was the oddest of occasions. i was in london and to have dinner with my barrister. (a barrister is the legal person who stands up for you in court and wears a white wig and black robes and
addresses the judge as "m' lud"). my barrister was a very accomplished
lady named margaret puxon. in the UK high court system they are known as QC's. you may be familiar with them from a myriad of tele and/or filmed efforts. these efforts range range from "witness for the prosecution" to TV's "rumpole of the bailey". anyway it was an odd place to meet robert but my QC liked to "keep in touch with what youth was up to".

i like the bill wyman article because mr. sandall has allowed bill to skate over the sensitive area of his relationship, both personal and professional (with the rolling stones), without having bill fall through the ice (the hole determined by sandall's pen). in addition the sub-editors (those who determine the headline) have gone gentle on both the subject and topic which is a rarity in the UK and almost anywhere.

we live in an era where pro-tools have both improved and debased our music
and it's potential to affect our daily lives. at the same time the computer has both improved communication and debased the meaning and standard of
journalism, via the "everybody is a star" blog-ville in which we all reside.

of course it's more than computer, it's a whole social discourse ranging
from rupert murdoch to the decaying of the family unit by economical and
egoic wants and needs. also its our affection for schadenfreuden and the
belittling of others seemingly more fortunate than we may be. this article
is from the old school about the old school and it works. it's a rarity.....but so is bill.


Eric and George

a couple of months ago i raved both on my shows and on this page about the
eric clapton biography. i had read an extract that was published in VANITY FAIR. a few days ago i popped into my english book
carrying shop here in bogota and picked up a copy of the actual book.

i was concerned about it from the moment of purchase. it was thinner in pages than i'd thought it might be, it was lacking in photographic amities to the written
proceedings and the cover was brasher than i'd imagined. the cover was more Rosanne barr or farrah fawcett than gore vidal or gay talese. i sorta ignored this as i cancelled my nightly meet with " law & order" and set into eric. i was

vanity fair had done a superb job of presenting the best aspects of the book. the rest did not stand up to that standard. i have written two volumes of biography and am hard at work on a third. it is a very thin line, like the one tightroped by bill wyman, chez robert sandall in the above telling the truth without going tabloid. with ronnie wood there is no danger, he does not even notice it. regarding eric, had my life been changed and futured by seeing God in it's forms as cream and/or blind faith and had that treasured moment trampled on by eric talking about the gig or tour that had improved my lot as something he was " not there for"…i'd feel like whacking him. honesty has to be respectful to another fellow's recall.

another vomit moment is eric's naff betrayal of his "best friend" , the late beatle george harrison. by betrayal, i do not mean it was back in the day. i refer to the way it is written up now. eric has given both God and musos a bad name with his self-serving agenda of dismissal and moving on.

sorry eric, but this God can move to the judus section of the table.


staying in the realm of the musical holy we have some great VATICAN PICKS
coming up on the UNDERGROUND GARAGE. our "vat-man" has come up with a slew of goodies for the upcoming weeks.

this week it's the stones and "get yourself together", recorded in november of '66 at olympic studios in london. i do not actually remember this session. the times they were a-straining and some six months later i would be leaving the band. this track is hitherto unreleased. glyn johns was the engineer. ian stewart is tentatively playing piano holding back whilst wondering whether
his little three chord wonders are going to pull it off. they don't, otherwise it would have been finished, mixed and released. the human riff (keith)
has the figure down, the bottom end is starting to swing and mick is gamely
trying to secure a song. tiz a gem.

we have quite a few more gems coming up from VAT-MAN in the coming weeks so please listen in.