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Fruitopia commercials scored by Kate Bush and the Cocteau Twins
08.16.2017
08:12 am
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If I say the word “Fruitopia” to you, there’s a decent chance you’ll respond with some comment about the 1990s—the savviest among you might even say “1994” specifically. Fruitopia was the brainchild of a marketing head at Coca-Cola named Sergio Zyman—he also brought the world the overt GenX pandering elixir OK Cola right around the same time. The fruit-flavored tea concoction was a clear attempt to move in on the territory staked out by Snapple, and while Fruitopia had its day in the sun, as is often the case the first product to define a niche gets to own that niche.

Fruitopia is remembered today for its neo-hippie trappings. The flavors had names like The Grape Beyond, Tangerine Wavelength, Citrus Consciousness, and Raspberry Psychic Lemonade, and the marketing consisted mainly of trippy and “deep” kaleidoscope commercials featuring cosmic music scored and performed by Kate Bush and the Cocteau Twins and the Muffs, among others.
 

 
Marty Cooke and Andrew Chinich of Chiat/Day oversaw the campaign; they reached out to Bush and were delighted when she agreed to do nine spots for the drink. According to Cooke, Bush indicated that “she was interested in providing a lot of variety, from Japanese drummers to Moroccan music ... and she came through in spades.”

In Graeme Thomson’s book Kate Bush: Under the Ivy, we get this:
 

[Bush] accepted a commission to write several brief pieces of music to accompany the $30m US TV ad campaign for the launch of Coca-Cola’s ne fruit drink Fruitopia…. It seemed an incongruous move. Bush had consistently turned down advances of this nature….

The motivation for her changing tack wasn’t clear but was probably varied: far from the commercial ingenue she sometimes appears, certainly the financial rewards would have been extremely significant; perhaps she liked the tone of the ads, which were relatively innoative and visually stimulating and over which she was given complete artistic control. She may also have recognised an opportunity to cast the net of her music a little wider, while also finding a home for all the melodic waifs and rhythmic strays that had never quite found a home in her “proper” songs. ... [each melody hinted] at a longer piece, several reminiscent of the kind of odd, rhythmic, electronic pop she was making around the time of The Dreaming.

 
Here are the ads—in some of them, Bush supplies identifiable vocals, as in “Fighting Fruit” in which you can hear her chant “Hey hey fruit!” and “Skin,” in which you can hear her uttering a sort of “bol,” or Indian rhythmic syllable, that sounds like “digga dha.”

Kate Bush, “Fighting Fruit”

 
Much more after the jump…...
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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08.16.2017
08:12 am
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Mysterious photos of Ozzy Osbourne in the nude performing with a naked hippie band back in 1969
08.15.2017
10:17 am
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Ozzy reacting the same way I did to the news that photos from his brief stint in an all-nude hippie band have surfaced.
 
Okay, here’s the deal—I’m posting two images of what looks like a very young, and completely nude Ozzy Osbourne for a couple of reasons. Reason one is that I am a lifelong disciple of OZZ and look for any legitimate reason to write about Ozzy, Tony Iommi, and his bandmates in Black Sabbath and beyond. However, today, I’m hoping that one of our DM readers, or perhaps Ozzy himself might be able to shed some much-needed light on these mysterious images. Here’s what I know about them so far. Help us, Ozzy, you’re our only hope

According to a site once run by a Germany-based Black Sabbath fan, Black-Sabbath.de, someone sent them two photos of Ozzy from a source in Scandinavia. The first photo allegedly shows a very young Ozzy holding a what appears to be a Fender Precision bass on stage completely nude while sharing a microphone stand with a naked brunette. As much as I’d like to be, I’m no expert when it comes to band gear, and the grainy photos below make it nearly impossible—for me at least—to tell what Ozzy actually has slung over his shoulder. The rest of the all-nude-review includes a drummer—a guy with lambchop sideburns who looks a bit like Monkee Michael Nesmith hitting a bongo, and a beardie nude dude playing a stand-up bass.

The second photo features Ozzy hanging out backstage at the gig with the stand-up bass player and the buck-naked brunette. What makes this strange scenario plausible is the fact that Sabbath played a a TON of gigs in 1969 including multiple stops in Copenhagen. Since I had gone this far, I decided to research the bands Sabbath played gigs with in 1969 in the hope that one of them would reveal themselves to be the nude quartet jamming with Ozzy. Sadly, the closest I got was that perhaps Ozzy’s hippie band might have been comprised of members of English band Bakerloo who at one time were photographed as the “The Bakerloo Blues Line” along with a cute, unidentified brunette who was perhaps a member of the band. Bakerloo previously toured with Sabbath while they were still known as Earth in London and likely elsewhere. However, as there is a naked bongo player in this scenario, it’s possible that Ozzy is hanging out with members of local Birmingham band, Rare Breed.

Where are those goddamned meddling kids and their snack-happy dog when you need them?

Despite my heroic heavy metal efforts to resolve this mystery, this is where my investigation into Ozzy’s nude (maybe) Scandinavian escapade ends. You can see the intriguing NSFW black and white photos for yourself and draw your own conclusions, after the jump.

Wait are you waiting for?

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.15.2017
10:17 am
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Amusing vintage outsider art of Debbie Harry done by a teen fan
08.15.2017
10:09 am
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Debbie Harry and one of writer/blogger Toby Weiss’ illustrations of Harry that was done by Weiss in 1979.
 
I’ve said it before a thousand times—I love my job here at Dangerous Minds. And today that fact is especially true as I will be sharing a few choice vintage illustrations of Debbie Harry done by one of her teenage superfans.

Posted on her blog M.E.L.T., St. Louis-based writer Toby Weiss chronicled her devotion to the fabulous Ms. Harry by revealing a handful of her charming illustrations of the pop icon that she did between 1979 and 1983. Here’s a little bit from Weiss concerning her adoration of all things Debbie Harry:

“I’d never experienced anyone like her; she was so beautiful and powerful and talented that she seemed more like a comic book hero. Everything I needed to know about life, sex, fashion, and music, I looked to Debbie. And because American media was now as infatuated with her as I was, it was easy to get all the advice I needed.”

Fantastic. Weiss’ adorable, self-described “teenage scribbles” of Harry below.
 

June, 1979.
 

November, 1979.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.15.2017
10:09 am
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‘Starry Night’: Music from the wonderful (and criminally overlooked) Chican@ punk band The Brat
08.15.2017
09:21 am
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The influence of Mexican-American musicians on L.A. punk is undeniable thanks to key bands like the Zeros, Plugz, Bags, Stains, Suicidal Tendencies, Los Crudos et al sporting either partly or entirely Chicano/a lineups, but the full story really has yet to be told. That’s partly due to a schism in the L.A. scene—bands from East L.A. really didn’t get to participate much. In a segregated and cliquey city, East L.A. bands weren’t typically prioritized by a scene centered in the more affluent West Side areas where all the clubs were located.

But as ALWAYS happens when a sufficiently motivated creative scene is stifled or confined, a vibrant DIY ethos emerged. In 1980, East L.A. venue The Vex began supplementing a thriving gymnasiums-and-backyards gig circuit, and a creative community grew, a community that included the Boyle Heights band The Brat. Formed in 1979 and fronted by vocalist Teresa Covarrubias, the band purveyed an irresistible catchy, poppy, sound that was underpinned with punk aggression, politically conscious lyrics, and three-chords-and-a-cloud-of-dust arrangements. They were championed by Plugz/Cruzados main man Tito Larriva, who in 1980 released their 5-song E.P Attitudes on his Fatima label. They also released, on the 1983 Los Angelinos: The Eastside Renaissance compilation, a song called “The Wolf,” which sounds for all the world like an inspiration for Concrete Blonde’s indelible “Still in Hollywood” riff.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Ron Kretsch
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08.15.2017
09:21 am
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Gloriously pointless trading cards for the awful ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ movie


 
I’ve never seen the movie Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which came out in 1978. The movie was directed by Michael Schultz, whose best-known movies are probably Cooley High and Car Wash, both of which are pretty good. Considering the inescapable Britishness of the Beatles and especially Sgt. Pepper, the cast of Sgt. Pepper’s LHCB is simply an extended head-scratcher, with few Britons (Peter Frampton, comedian Frankie Howerd, Donald Pleasence and Paul Nicholas) to be found among a group that includes, most prominently, the Bee Gees, George Burns, Earth, Wind & Fire, Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, Steve Martin and of course, Frampton. (How could Billy SHears not be English?) The real problem with this movie seems to be its essential California-ness, as it was clearly conceived poolside at a Hollywood bungalow by some coked-up asshole who had never once pondered the lonely existence of Eleanor Rigby.

Late-era Beatles songs didn’t exactly lack for colorful characters, and the people behind the movie crammed a bunch of them in there, including Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Mr. Kite, Billy Shears, and the eponymous sergeant (all from the album), as well as Maxwell (of “Silver Hammer” fame), Mean Mr. Mustard, and, erm, “Strawberry Fields,” none of whom have anything to do with the album. How they neglected to find someone to embody Lovely Rita, who is just begging to be turned into a mesmerizingly gorgeous movie character, I’ll never know. Rather than recruit Bungalow Bill, Polythene Pam, Desmond and Molly, Sexy Sadie, my dear Martha, or Rocky Raccoon, the movie features several wholly invented characters like B.D. Brockhurst, played by Donald Pleasence, and Billy Shears’ brother, whose name is Dougie Shears. (This is the guy that really gets me. THERE ARE NO “DOUGIES” IN THE BEATLES CANON!!!)

Over the weekend, I spotted a trading card with Steve Martin from early in his career, and the caption read “Dr. Maxwell Edison” and I just couldn’t for the life of me figure out who the fuck that was supposed to be—my best guesses were the protagonist of The Man with Two Brains (actual name: Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr) and the sadistic dentist in Little Shop of Horrors (actual name: Dr. Orin Scrivello). That led me to the usual bout of Internet research, through which process I learned that Donruss released a set of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band trading cards in 1978, the same year the movie came out.

From the vatange point of nearly 40 years after the movie came out, every card really reads as a devastating critique of the movie; in essence the entire set is an extended series of exhibits as to why the movie sucks. Don’t believe me? See for yourself.
 

 

 

 
Much more after the jump…...

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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08.14.2017
10:27 am
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Mega-post full of rare vinyl picture discs from Russ Meyer, Blondie, Divine, AC/DC & more
08.14.2017
09:44 am
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A limited edition picture disc for Blondie’s 1978 record ‘Parallel Lines.’
 
The first thing I learned while pulling this post together is this—there are entirely TOO many Madonna-related picture discs. The flip side of that dated news flash is the fact that an astonishing number of rare, collectible picture discs exist, many of which I’m sure you will want to get your hands on, if you can. The other thing I learned about picture discs today is that there is a shit-ton of pretty looking vinyl that features nudity. For instance, a few soundtracks from the films of titty-titan Russ Meyer such as Mudhoney, Supervixens and Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! have all gotten special, topless picture disc pressings.

The vast majority of picture discs in this post contain interviews with the artist or band, though in some cases they do actually play music like a record should. Now before you remind me that music doesn’t sound all that great on a picture disc, I’m already well aware of this. I do however love collecting vinyl of this nature not just for their novelty appeal but because I also view them as a form of art that is still a vital part of vinyl culture today. When I called this a “mega-post,” I was not kidding as there are over 25 images below for you to check out, many of which are NSFW thanks to Russ Meyer of course. You have been warned!
 

Side A of a picture disc featuring music from the Russ Meyer films, ‘Good Morning…And Goodbye!,’ ‘Cherry, Harry & Raquel,’ and ‘Mondo Topless.’
 

Side A of a picture disc featuring music from the Russ Meyer films, ‘Up!’ ‘Beneath The Valley Of The Ultra Vixens,’ and ‘Supervixens.’
 

Side B of the Russ Meyer album above.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.14.2017
09:44 am
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‘I’m A Cult Hero’: The Cure side project that featured an eccentric postman on lead vocals
08.14.2017
09:37 am
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Cult Hero cover
 
In mid-1979, Robert Smith, the singer-guitarist-leader of the Cure, started hanging out with Simon Gallup, bassist for the Magazine Spies. The pair got together every Saturday night at a pub in the English town of Horley to beer it up. It was during one of those evenings of inebriation that the idea of making a record with “Frank the Postman”—a local mail carrier—came to be.

Full-figured postman Frank Bell was one of Horley’s stranger legends. When not stuffing letter boxes he was often hanging out with the local wrecking crew, decked out in a t-shirt that proclaimed: “I’m a Cult Hero.” Robert Smith had met him and was taken by his bold personality. Smith was convinced that the mailman had all the makings of stardom. When Bell’s name was mentioned in the pub one night, Smith had a brainwave: “I thought, ‘Get him in the studio and write a disco song.’”(from Never Enough: The Story of The Cure)

For the Cult Hero recording session, Smith, Gallup and Bell were joined by the Cure’s drummer, Lol Tolhurst, and Magazine Spies keyboardist, Mattieu Hartley; former and future member of the Cure, Porl Thompson; as well as the pre-teen duo, the Obtainers, who Smith had recently produced. Smith’s two sisters and a selection of Horley residents also took part. The Cure’s bass player, Michael Dempsey, who just happened to be on holiday at the time of the session, later added synth. By this time, Smith had begun to weigh his options regarding Dempsey, as the two had a chilly relationship and Smith couldn’t stand the thought of going on another tour with him.
 
I'm a Cult Hero
 
The Cult Hero 45, “I’m a Cult Hero” b/w “I Dig You,” was released in December 1979 on the Cure’s UK label, Fiction Records. The A-side is post-punk bliss, with Bell essentially talking his way through the tongue-in-cheek lyrics, while the B-side is a playful hybrid of disco and punk, with amusingly vapid words, again coming from the mouth of Bell. The single appeared on different labels in a couple of other countries; the Canadian issue on Modulation Records actually became a hit, selling 35,000 copies in the Great White North.
 
More more after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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08.14.2017
09:37 am
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We have a new contender for best / worst screamingly funny BAD cover version of a classic rock song!
08.11.2017
08:00 am
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OK, so maybe it’s not quite as bad as this butchering of “Sweet Child of Mine” or this total annihilation of “Comfortably Numb,” but this gloriously awful choral rendition of Foreigner’s classic rock radio staple, “Cold As Ice,” surely deserves its own page in the annals of terrible cover song history.

This video, uploaded three years ago, purports to be Fairhope High School Choir’s entry into a competition to play onstage with Foreigner in Mobile, Alabama.

I almost feel bad laughing at this because they’re kids and they’re trying so hard… well, OK, admittedly they’re not trying all that hard.

The bizarro costume choices (what’s up with the white hoodies?), inexplicable makeup (is that green blush?) and choreographed dance moves add an extra layer of WTF to this particularly unrocking arrangement. The kids, at times, look truly embarrassed to be involved in this and you can’t help but feel a little sad for their cruel humiliation. I’m sure it was their greatest unfulfilled dream to play onstage with Foreigner some day!

These poor, poor kids.

Watch it, after the jump…

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Posted by Christopher Bickel
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08.11.2017
08:00 am
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Elvis Presley’s adventures in yoga and Eastern mysticism
08.11.2017
07:44 am
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Col. Tom Parker, Elvis Presley and Larry Geller on the set of ‘Spinout’ (via Bodhi Tree.com)
 
In the spring of 1964, Elvis’ hairdresser, Larry Geller, introduced him to the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda. The founder of the Self-Realization Fellowship had a lasting impact on Elvis, who often visited the SRF’s Mt. Washington headquarters and Pacific Palisades retreat during his Hollywood years, and developed a close relationship with Yogananda’s successor, Sri Daya Mata.

Priscilla did not welcome the arrival of cosmic consciousness in her life with the King:

Larry was a total threat to us all. He would spend hours and hours and hours with Elvis, just talking to him, and he wasn’t anything that Elvis represented; he didn’t represent anything that Elvis had believed in prior to that time… [Elvis] read books studiously for hours and hours. He had conversations with Larry for hours and hours — he was going on a search for why we were here and who we were, the purpose of life; he was on a search with Larry to try to find it. You know, Larry would bring him books, books, books, piles of books. And Elvis would lay in bed at night and read them to me. That was the thing when you dealt with Elvis: if he had a passion for something, you had to go into it with him and show the same love he had for it. Or at least you had to pretend to.

Of course, these new enthusiasms were amplified by Elvis drugs. Not acid, so much—during the one trip Geller and Elvis took together, they ordered pizza and watched The Time Machine on TV—but friends observed troubling interactions between the King’s diet pills and his Kriya Yoga practice. From the second volume of Peter Guralnick’s Elvis biography:

He felt a new serenity in his life. To the guys it seemed more like madness, and they felt increasingly alienated, resentful, bewildered, and angry all at once. Elvis appeared to be leaving them with his almost daily visions, his tales of going off in a spaceship, his delusions of being able to turn the sprinkler system of the Bel Air Country Club golf course behind the house on and off with his thoughts, his conviction that he could cure them of everything from the common cold to more serious aches and pains by his healing powers.

 

 
Geller’s spiritual counsel did not endear him to Colonel Tom Parker. Guralnick reports Larry’s contention that one terrible number in 1967’s Easy Come, Easy Go was a clear message from the King’s manager:

The inclusion of the musical number “Yoga Is As Yoga Does,” which Elvis performed as a duet in Easy Come, Easy Go, was no accident, Larry felt, but intended, rather, as a direct insult to Elvis’ (and Larry’s) beliefs — but Elvis went ahead and recorded it anyway. Only after the scene in which it was included was shot did Elvis finally react. It was then, in Larry’s account, that Elvis “stormed into the trailer, shouting, ‘That son of a bitch! He knows, and he did it! He told those damn writers what to do, and he’s making me do this.’”

More after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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08.11.2017
07:44 am
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Space-rock legend Fumio Miyashita does something amazing on Los Angeles cable access, 1979
08.09.2017
02:06 pm
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Fumio Miyashita was the leader of one of Japan’s most far out space rock units, The Far East Family Band, which also included the future new age composer, Kitaro. The Boffomundo Show was a Los Angeles public access television show focusing on prog rock in the late 70s and early 80s. Boffomundo producers Aaron Weiner and Ron Curtiss partnered with a well-connected guy named Tony Harrington of a label called All Ears Records to create The All Ears Boffomundo Show, which is how Fumio Miyashita came to appear on the show, twice, all of which is soon getting a release on vinyl by Drag City.

I asked Ron Curtiss a few questions via email:

First off, tell the readers about The Boffomundo Show.

Ron Curtiss: Aaron Weiner and I started The Boffomundo Show in 1979, which featured sit-down interviews with our progrock heroes.  As cable television expanded, it mandated a “public access” broadcasting option allowing local subscribers to produce their own shows.  Boffomundo roughly means “big world.” Watching the TV show, Happy Days, and hearing Fonzie say “correctomundo,” I replaced the “correcto” part with “boffo,” which refers to high grosses in show biz talk and voila!  At a progressive music festival in Downtown LA we met a former A&R executive from Atlantic Records called Tony Harrington, who had traveled the world in the mid-70’s with King Crimson, Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Genesis. He provided us with a brilliant litany of guests: Robert Fripp and John Wetton (King Crimson); Bernardo Lanzetti (PFM); Phil Collins and John Goodsall (Genesis and Brand X) and of course, Fumio Miyashita. The show continued after Tony, into the 80’s and 90’s, where we interviewed King Crimson’s Adrian Belew, Bill Bruford (Yes, Genesis, King Crimson) and fusion guitarists, Larry Coryell and Al Di Meola. 

How did you come into contact with Fumio Miyashita and arrange for him to be on the show?

Ron Curtis: Tony Harrington had his own record label called All Ears Records.  He had connections to progressive bands in Japan, including Fumio, whose Far East Family Band was already legendary. The award-winning synthesist, Kitaro, was a member and they had the honor of having Tangerine Dream’s Klaus Schulze provide production work on several of their albums. Tony brought Fumio to Los Angeles in 1978, where a new version of The Far East Family Band performed at the world famous Troubadour for two nights in March of that year.  In 1979, Tony invited us to Fumio’s home, where we discussed a solo appearance on The Boffomundo Show.  We had never tried live music before. The studio was the size of a small bedroom, but that didn’t stop us!

Anything notable that happened behind-the-scenes during the taping?

Ron Curtiss: Fumio showed up at Theta Cable Studios in Santa Monica, CA with many synthesizers, gongs, mixers and various percussion.  Somehow the Theta Cable staff pumped all the sound through one small bookshelf speaker. The speaker sat on a wooden stool with a single microphone!  The sound quality was very good considering nothing like this had never been done in that studio before. In 1980, Fumio with a guitarist and bass player, graced The Boffomundo Show a second time. Both performances are brilliantly captured on the new album. 

How did the release of this come about?

Ron Curtiss: Last August I got a message on our Boffomundo Facebook page from Scott McGaughey at Drag City Records. It seems that he and Animal Collective member, Brian “Geo” Weitz were fans of the show and of Fumio in particular. They wanted to remaster the sound and edit together portions of both the 1979 and 1980 shows for vinyl. Vinyl is perfect.  We are honored to have these shows memorialized and dedicate the record to the memories of Fumio Miyashita and Tony Harrington. 

Will there be more like it?

Since we remastered the old shows and posted them on YouTube some years ago, we have close to a million hits. The old fans and new prog kids support us all around the world. The shows were not seen by a lot of folks at the time. They capture the end of the original progressive rock movement. The highlights are the fresh memories of these amazing musicians, avoiding the softening of opinions over many years. We offered the musicians a forum to tell their tales on TV, in an intelligent, uncommercial venue.  A few years ago I was approached to do a book, Robert Fripp The Boffomundo Interview 1979 and now a record!  We are humbled by the reaction to the old shows and always welcome original ideas to present them to an even wider audience.

Fumio Miyashita Live on the Boffomundo Show comes out on September 22 from Drag City. Pre-order it here.

An excerpt from Fumio Miyashita’s appearance on ‘The Boffomundo Show’

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.09.2017
02:06 pm
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