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.


FonHom said...

Hello ALO! ...from the US east coast. We had a similar Sirius driving experience over the holidays - the riveting History of Howard Stern for two days driving to the Gulf Coast, and the incredible UG for two days on the way back.

I hadn't caught your show before, but I'm now hooked (in the benign way). You have a great talent for communicating with your unseen audience out here - thank you for the music, the thoughts and the most pleasant vibe.

An RS question - if you've seen Drudge or MSNBC online recently, they're reporting that Keith Richards was interviewed for Uncut magazine and calls Mick Jagger a "power freak" who is also a "bit vain."

"But he added: 'We want a vain bloke up there, don't we? Meanwhile, the band can go to work. Vanity will not carry a band. But a band can carry vanity...the guitarist also said he would have told his younger self to 'lay off' drugs."

I don't think the entire interview is online yet, but does any of this suprise you?

Lori said...

Great to find your blog!

Re Grammies - I dunno, I thought the Keys/Sinatra duet was an interesting but failed experiment. If no one had ever tried it, we'd never know it didn't work.

I respect Amy Winehouse as a talent and wish her the best but I thought she was cringemaking.

...And yeah, UG is phenomenal for road trips. I think I've said this before, but some day they'll find a mud-spattered Nissan Altima in a ditch in the hills of North Georgia, and it will be mine. I will have driven off the road laughing at your brilliant, inspired show.

All the best!
Liz in GA