I’ve been going through a Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young kind of “phase” for many months now since reading Barney Hoskyn’s great book about the Laurel Canyon rock scene, Hotel California, so when I heard about this new DVD documentary about 60s British Invasion legends the Hollies, I perked up a bit. When I found that it was released by the “Reelin’ In the Years” team (via Eagle Rock) I got even perkier (more on this below).
First off, The Hollies: Look Through Any Window (1963-1975) is fun to watch, with charming interviews of Graham Nash, Alan Clarke, Tony Hicks and drummer Bobby Elliott talking about the history of their criminally underrated band. Nash and Clarke met when they were six-year-olds at school in Manchester. They bonded over a mutual obsession with the Everly Brothers (and Buddy Holly) and formed a group. Those gorgeous vocal harmonies The Hollies were so famous for, they developed them the old-fashioned way, by practicing their hearts out.
Most American music fans are probably more familiar with the 1970s, post-Nash, almost easy listening sounds of The Hollies, say a ballad like “The Air That I Breathe,” or the ultimate middle-of-the-rad anthem “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother,” but as the DVD proves, they had much more to offer. They’re hovering somewhere at or just below the level of The Zombies or The Animals in the 60s beat pantheon, if you ask me. Personally, I’d go for “Sorry Suzanne” or “King Midas in Reverse” if I wanted to turn someone on to The Hollies’ sound.
And that’s what great about the DVDs put out by “Reelin’ In the Years”—they give you the ENTIRE clips seen in the documentary. There’s nothing worse than a tantalizing blip of something for 30 seconds in a rockumentary. The idea to give the punters unedited clips without people talking over them is what elevates the “Reelin’” productions above all others: They give you the whole song! You can watch the doc straight through or you can choose to watch just the music clips. Look Through Any Window contains 22 complete musical performances in all, plus footage of the Hollies recording at Abbey Road Studios in 1967 and backstage “home movies” shot on tour. (“Reelin in the Years” have similar DVDs out on Dusty Springfield and The Small Faces that are also worth checking out, to say nothing of their outstanding jazz releases.)
Although the string of chart topping singles petered out around 1975, The Hollies have never broken up and continue to perform. In 2009 they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Below, “Bus Stop” on German television, 1968.
After the jump, a nice performance (post Graham Nash) of “Carrie Anne” from 1969.
Compiled by friend of Dangerous Minds Elizabeth Veldon, and available as a free download from the net label Black Circle, Russia’s Full of Queers is a 29 track album designed to highlight the abuse of LGBT people’s rights currently being passed as law in several Russian cities. Elizabeth says:
This album is a response to proposed laws in Russia that would outlaw any discussion of homosexuality, bisexuality or transgenderism.
The artists involved gave their tracks free and in many cases produced work to a tight (24 hour) schedule.
There is a wide variety of styles here from Harsh Noise through weird Jazz Cut-Ups to Hip Hop and Ambient.
We only ask that you sign the online petition against these laws and pass the word on.
Alone our voices are tiny, when raised together we can change the world.
You can sign the petition here, and you can download Russia’s Full Of Queershere.
Fashion designer Michael Fish created some of the most memorable outfits of the 1960s and 1970s, most famously the “men’s dress” as worn by Mick Jagger and David Bowie. His designs were also graced the films Modesty Blaise and Performance.
Here is Mr Fish as he introduces a brief taster of his 1969 collection, from German TV’s Aktuell.
John Waters in rattling good form on Clive James’ chat show Saturday Night Clive from 1990.
Antipodean James started off as a sixties folk singer, before establishing himself as a respected TV critic and presenter. James is left mainly as a spectator as Waters brilliantly improvises on deviants who make adverts; how he’d like to cast Mother Theresa as a hooker; why Jayne Mansfield was the first “female female impersonator”; American fashion; his fan mail from prisons; and how his failure as a juvenile delinquent led to his first film.
Much respect to The Roots’ Questlove for what has to be one of the best TV punkings of all time. When Michelle Bachman appeared on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon last night, his band The Roots played the Fishbone track “Lyin’ Ass Bitch” as she stepped on stage (as NO-ONE applauded). We couldn’t think of a better song! Questlove has since been “grounded” by Fallon (whatever that means), but we wouldn’t worry too much about it - aside from all his excellent music work, this guarantees the guy legendary status.
Michelle Bachman’s entrance onto Jimmy Fallon:
Here’s Fishbone playing the original, live in Japan in 1987:
In the past few years the City of Los Angeles has painted over and buffed into oblivion more than 300 murals effectively destroying the city’s reputation as the mural capitol of the world.
Some of the problems started in 1986, when the city was looking for a way to alleviate the growing scourge of billboard blight. The city was being blanketed with unsightly commercial advertising, so the Los Angeles City Council adopted a code to reduce commercial billboards. The new restrictions exempted artwork. Advertisers responded by suing the city, arguing that they had the same right of free speech as the muralists. So in 2002 the Council “solved” the matter by amending the code to include works of art. “The law left many murals technically illegal,” wrote the Times in an Oct. 29 editorial, “no matter how talented the artist or how willing the owner of the wall or how inoffensive the subject matter.”
Since then, murals that were already in existence have come under increasing threat from two sides: from graffiti “artists” who mark their territory by defacing murals, and from a city that seems determined to find any pretext to paint over them. This is the subject of Behind the Wall: The Battle for LA’s Murals (above), a six-minute documentary by students in the Film and TV Production MFA program at the University of Southern California. It was directed by Oliver Riley-Smith, shot by Qianbaihui Yang, and produced and edited by Gavin Garrison.
The loss of these murals is not just a blow to the world of art it diminishes the culture of the people who’s lives and history are depicted in the murals. L.A. is a lesser place without these glorious human creations.
As L.A rejects these artists, they are being welcomed in cities all over the world who want art to beautify the walls of their buildings. Check out El Mac’s website and see the possibilities.
A behind-the-scenes look at the making of Charles Bukowski’s semi-autobiographical movie Barfly, with Mickey Rourke, Faye Dunaway, director Barbet Schroeder and the great, Bukowski, who explained the film’s title:
‘I was the barfly. I would open the bar and I would close the bar and I had no money. It was a place to be. It was my home.’
Bukowski wrote the script for Schroeder, who was so passionate about making a film with the poet, that when backers Canon planned to exclude the project form its production schedule, the director threatened to cut-off his own finger with a battery-powered saw if he didn’t get the finance to make it.