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Bob Dylan admitted to heroin addiction in 1966
05.24.2011
10:14 am

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Heroes
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I guess when you’ve reached 70-years-old, and certain things come out about your past, you can brush if off a lot easier when the events in question have a vintage of 40+ years. Yesterday, the BBC reported that a previously unheard interview with Bob Dylan reveals that he was once addicted to heroin.

After a concert late one Saturday night in March 1966 Bob Dylan, while on tour in the US, boarded his private plane in Lincoln, Nebraska bound for Denver with his friend Robert Shelton.

Over the next two hours Shelton taped an interview with Dylan which he later described as a “kaleidoscopic monologue”.

At one point, the singer, who turns 70 this week, admits he had been addicted to heroin in the early 1960s.

“I kicked a heroin habit in New York City,” he confesses. “I got very, very strung out for a while, I mean really, very strung out. And I kicked the habit. I had about a $25-a-day habit and I kicked it.”

There have been rumours that Dylan was involved with heroin. But Mick Brown, a writer on The Daily Telegraph who has interviewed Dylan, says he has never heard the singer confirm the speculation.

“It’s extraordinary that he should be talking about it quite so candidly,” he remarks.

Elsewhere on the tapes, Dylan reveals he contemplated suicide after people started calling him a genius.

“Death to me is nothing… death to me means nothing as long as I can die fast. Many times I’ve known I could have been able to die fast, and I could have easily gone over and done it.”

“I’ll admit to having this suicidal thing… but I came through this time,” he says.

Shelton describes Dylan as “twisting restlessly” during the interview - animated at times, despondent at others.

Dylan, who turns 70 today also says on the tapes, regarding his songwriting talents:

“I take it less seriously than anybody. “I know that it’s not going to help me into heaven one little bit, man. It’s not going to get me out of the fiery furnace. It’s certainly not going to extend my life any and it’s not going to make me happy. You can’t be happy by doing something groovy.”

Robert Shelton’s Dylan biography, No Direction Home: The Life and Music of Bob Dylan, first came out in 1986 and was the result of twenty years of work. The historic tapes were discovered during research for a new revised and updated edition.

Below, Dylan meets the press…
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘You Light Up My Life’ Composer Joseph Brooks’ astoundingly awful ‘If Ever I See You Again’
05.23.2011
09:37 pm

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Amusing
Current Events
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Music
R.I.P.

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Dangerous Minds pal Ned Raggett has been bravely looking into the career and ultimate downfall of You Light Up My Life composer Joseph Brooks who committed suicide this past weekend.

Read the New York Magazine article for the full deal about why this man will not go mourned by most of humanity. But if you want a picture of deeply hilarious delusion-in-action, enjoy this collection of bits from his WTF 1978 romantic melodrama If Ever I See You Again (With Jimmy Breslin and George Plimpton, who aren’t in this selection of scenes—Shelley Hack, sadly, is immortalized forever.)

 

 
Patti Smith must have thought he was alright…

 
Patti Smith clip originally posted on DM here

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
Kill City: James Williamson of The Stooges
05.23.2011
12:55 pm

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James Williamson of the Stooges discusses the newly remixed, remastered version of 1977’s Kill City, a little-known album in the Iggy canon, but one that is ripe for rediscovery 34-years after it was first released. James also talks about what it was like to stand on-stage with people throwing beer bottles at the band the night that Metallic K.O. was recorded, his career as a rocker turned SONY executive turned rocker again and the current Stooges tour.

Read Beyond the Law: Brilliant reissue of 1977 Iggy Pop & James Williamson album ‘Kill City’
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The Modern Utopian: Jimi Hendrix in ‘Rainbow Bridge’
05.22.2011
05:07 pm

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“Rainbow Bridge” by Jeff Kopp

For those you reading this lucky enough to be in Los Angeles tonight, our pal Jodi Wille of Process Media will be hosting a special screening of the freak-o-delic new age documentary, Rainbow Bridge at Cinefamily, along with a discussion, in conjunction with the new Process title, The Modern Utopian: Alternative Communities Then and Now

Back to the Land. Urban homesteads. Sustainable cooperatives. The movement that swept the nation in the 70s is back with a new passion. Economic, permaculture, and social concerns have drawn thousands across the country to rediscover the benefits of collective living. The new Process book The Modern Utopian is the definitive examination of the alternative communities in the ‘60s and ‘70s, documented by those who knew it and lived it—from the fabled Drop City to Morningstar Ranch, Timothy Leary at Millbrook to Detroit’s Translove Energies and the still-thriving Stephen Gaskin’s Farm.

Join Process Media’s Jodi Wille as she leads a conversation with members of a new generation (mostly in their 20s and 30s) of intentional communities in Los Angeles. Afterwards, Process presents a rare screening of the 1972 documentary/concert film RAINBOW BRIDGE. This gem of occult/commune 70’s cinema features Warhol stars Pat Hartley and Chuck Wein, Dr. Bronner, cosmic surfers, black power soul sisters, clairvoyant shamans, Jesus freaks, and the actual inhabitants of a chic mansion commune in Maui called the “Rainbow Bridge Occult Research Meditation Center.”

Then Jimi Hendrix drops in, and on the slopes of the Haleakala volcano, he performs for his penultimate live concert in the U.S. before his departure from the planet only two months later.

Rainbow Bridge is is a mind-blower. It was directed by a guy named Chuck Wein who palled around with Andy Warhol in the 60s and who “discovered” Radcliffe debutante Edie Sedgwick (at their mutual therapist)

Cinefamily, 611 N Fairfax Avenue, 7pm, but if you get there early, there is a meet-n-greet with snacks thing on the patio with the special guests.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Awaiting Rapturization…


 
Just thought I would check in and report on how it’s going on the other side of the world on this momentous day. And I just LOVE this “Prairie-Dog Rapture” pic! Well, so far so good… unless you are a fundie, I guess. No sign of any earthquakes or bodies being mysteriously sucked up into the sky. Yet. There’s still two hours to go ‘til the official kick-off time so you never know, it might happen, but reports from the expanses of the planet that have already hit that 6pm deadline report nothing unusual. Oh, wait, there WERE a couple of earthquakes in the Pacific, but they were small (3-4 on the Richter scale, surely not God bothering size?) and apparently there tends to be a small earthquake somewhere in the Pacific every day anyway.

I am in Ireland at the moment and interestingly (for such a predominantly Catholic country) no one seems too fussed by this whole rapture malarky. Maybe the populace have had other things to think about. This week has seen a royal visit by Queen Elizabeth, the first visit to this isle of a British monarch since Ireland fought for, and won, independence way back in 1922. Now THAT is a momentous occasion. People who would normally be described as “patriots” and who within their own lifetimes have seen periods of real animosity against the British were seen cooing and ahhing at the British monarch’s presence. There were protests, of course, but the turnouts were small, estimated at around the 200 mark. This is what they looked like from the inside:
 

 
By all accounts the visit was a roaring success. Liz had a tour of ghostly Dublin, where roads were blocked off to keep people away from her highness. She was brought to Croke Park, the 80,000+ capacity sports arena that has a very special significance in the history of Irish nationalism. Bought by the Gaelic Athletics Association in 1913, it was used to encourage the playing of indigenous sports hurling and Gaelic football (at a time when the country was under strict British rule) and was seen as a hotbed of anti-British conspiracy by the then powers-that-be. It was at Croke Park that the infamous original Bloody Sunday occurred in 1921 when, in retaliation for a number of assassinations by the IRA, the British army and the Royal Irish Constabulary indiscriminately shot into the crowd during a Dublin-Tipperary football match killing 13 spectators and the Tipperary football captain. It was this incident that turned the tide of the war of independence against the British and ultimately led to the withdrawal of British troops from most of the island. The fact that the Queen visited this specific arena says a lot about how far relations between the Irish and the English have come in the resulting ninety years. 

Her Madge also stopped off at the Coolmore Stud, the world’s largest breeding centre for thoroughbred horses, and in Cork city made a visit to its famous English Market. That bit was of particular significance to me, as my mother’s family have had a fruit and vegetable stall there for over 100 years. The English Market is a beautiful, hidden treasure in the vastly under-rated city (Cork is MUCH nicer than Dublin!) and could dearly use a boost in visits and trade in this era of multinationalization.
 

The English Market - the white haired man is my uncle.

Even more excitingly though, for me and a lot of people other people anyway, on Monday we will be being graced by a visit from President of the United States and the First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama. It’s only a flying visit really, as he is on his way to the UK for 4 days, but while here he will be travelling to County Offaly to look up some of his ancestors, and giving a public address on College Green in Dublin city centre. I expect the turn out for this to be very strong, and even though there will be a stepped up security presence, I really don’t think he has anything to worry about. In fact I think he will be greeted by a very warm Irish welcome, something that eluded President Bush a few years back. I won’t be here then, unfortunately, but the Irish media will be supplying day-long rolling coverage of his visit if you are interested in watching. I expect there to be protests too, but they will most likely be Queen-sized.

Anyway, so where was I… oh yes! The Rapture. Hmm, well there’s still a bit of time to kill before believers get hoovered up (or not). If there is any breaking news on this side of the pond I will dutifully report it. Or I might not actually, preferring to spend that time with my family. But for some reason or other all day I just haven’t been able to get this bloody song out of my mind. Any ideas why? Answers in a comment to the usual address…
 

 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Club Zanzibar and Newark’s dance revolution
05.20.2011
12:38 am

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History
Music
Pop Culture

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In the late 1970s into the 80s, before its disintegration into a magnet for prostitutes and crackheads,The Lincoln Motel, located on the Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel, was a powerful vortex in the disco universe. While downtown Manhattan had the Paradise Garage and Midtown had Studio 54, Newark had Club Zanzibar.

Located in the second floor ballroom of the Lincoln, Zanzibar took over the space formerly known as Abe’s Disco. Under the creative direction of Al Murphy and with its formidable line-up of massively influential deejays, starting with Hippie Torrales and Gerald T, the club became the laboratory from which was spawned some of the best dance music to appear on the planet. Many of the deejays became influential producers like the mighty Tony Humphries, some started record labels like Francoise Kervokian. Others, like the late Tee Scott and Larry Levan, went on to pioneer new styles of club music that incorporated garage and house and eventually techno.

Music historian Bill Brewster describes Club Zanzibar’s lavish debut:

The opening night of Club Zanzibar was on August 29th, 1979. Newark had never seen anything like it. Local television filed reports from the club; there was a live feed from radio station WNJR. There were jugglers and magicians, Le Clique-style dancers adorned in paste-diamond jewelery and showered in glitter. To top it off, Murphy and Berger had installed real lions and tigers in cages. The whole of New Jersey’s musical royalty turned out, with Kool & The Gang, Tasha Thomas and the All Platinum stable hanging out in the DJ booth. Remembers Hippie Torres: “[All Platinum’s] Joe Robinson came up to me saying, ‘Look, we have this record. The first it was played was last week on a radio station in Texas. Nobody else has played it in the New York area. I want you to play it.’ It was ‘Rappers’ Delight’. Those were the kinds of things happening on opening night. It was a really amazing night.”

Zanzibar was close enough to New York to pick up on the Manhattan vibe, but far enough to create its own sound, often referred to as Zanzibar music or the “Jersey sound.” In addition to its own brand of flavor, Zanzibar deejays were known for dropping songs into the mix from bands like The Rolling Stones, B-52s, ESG and Talking Heads. The crates were not segregated. No song was exempt, as long as it shook the dance floor. Latin, rock, garage, house and disco shuddered the boards.
 

Mix master Tony Humphries
 
Despite superficial differences, Club Zanzibar was to dance music, what CBGB was to punk - a raw space where young artists could freely explore their creativity, experimenting in front of open-minded and enthusiastic crowds. In both clubs the D.I.Y. spirit thrived. Zanzibar was a testing ground for new sounds that would eventually pop up on the shelves of record stores in the form of 12 inch dance mixes. The turntables at Zanzibar launched many one-hit-wonders. It was almost impossible to keep up with the amount of vinyl that was piling up in places like Manhattan’s legendary Vinyl Mania.

I think the reason clubs like [the Garage and Zanzibar] were such an experience was because the records weren’t just of one type,” reflects Tony Humphries of that lost era. “It wasn’t like going to a house club or a techno club or a classics club, everything was intertwined. The hours were long so obviously you didn’t want to hear ten hours of straight house music. If you’re going to pay $15-20 to hear this guy, you want to hear the whole damn spectrum and whatever it is, it better be quality. And, believe me, you had to come with everything possible. Talking Heads and The B-52s don’t sound like Zanzibar/Garage records but they were. They were just funky records. I think that’s what the appeal was.”

The Lincoln Motel was demolished in 2007, long after Club Zanzibar had closed. It had become, in the words of The New Times, “a depressing symbol of Newark’s downfall” and, as described by one real estate developer, “a blemished, rat-infested drug-haven eyesore.”

Like so many of the seminal music venues of the 1970s and early 80s, Club Zanzibar’s influence has outlived its brief red hot history. Some things are etched in the memory, others, like Zanzibar, work their way down to the bone.
 

 
DJ Punch reminisces about the glory days of Club Zanzibar. Plus, video of Vinyl Mania’s closing day after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Malcolm X documentary in honor of his birthday
05.19.2011
06:37 pm

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Heroes
History
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Race

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Sharing the 1994 documentary Malcolm X: Make It Plain is a fine way to celebrate Malcolm’s birthday.

For a truly in-depth look at Malcolm X, I recommend he newly published “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention” by Manning Marable. The result of over two decades of tireless research, it clarifies many of the facts and fictions surrounding both Malcolm’s life and death. The fact that the book was an immediate bestseller indicates that Malcolm’s message is as timely today as it was when he was alive. Marable’s book not only helps set the record straight regarding many of the fictional and inaccurate elements in Alex Haley’s book “The Autobiography Of Malcolm X,” it brings Malcolm’s character and humanity into tighter focus. It is an engrossing and illuminating look at a life that has only grown in stature over the years. Malcolm, now more than ever.

Flawed prophet though he may have been, Malcolm X set the standard for young Black men like our President and helped kick down the door that Barack Obama walked through many years ago on his way to where he is now. While no one will mistake President Obama for Malcolm X, there is no doubt that Malcolm instilled in Obama a sense of Black pride and self-respect that, in his better moments, propels the President into doing the right thing despite negative political ramifications. I feel that in those all-too-rare moments when Obama stands up for the disenfranchised and marginalized people in our society, it is because of the long righteous shadows of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. Obama can run but he can’t hide from his own people’s history.
 

 
Illustration by Gluekit.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Classic heavy metal: Huge auto junkyard for sale
05.19.2011
01:54 am

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History

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A 50-year-old auto salvage yard in Maxwell, Nebraska is liquidating hundreds of cars made from the 1940s through the 70s on Sunday, July 17, 2011.

Here’s the auction website.

I don’t want to see these artifacts of a bygone age sent to the metal crusher. I may buy one and use it as a giant planter in my backyard. Yeah, they were once gas guzzling pollution machines, but stripped of their engines, they persist as art.
 

 

 

 
Via Jalopy Journal

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Live footage of Terry Riley and La Monte Young in the 70s
05.18.2011
11:32 pm

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Heroes
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It must be Terry Riley week. How else to explain the sudden emergence of this pristine footage, which I’m sure some smarty-pants will shortly point out to me is actually from some DVD or such, this week along with revelations about the fine composer’s questionable eating habits. Terry Riley’s all night organ and tape loops concerts are the stuff of legend and it’s pretty marvelous to finally have a bit of filmed evidence to gawk at.
 

 
Even more interesting is this sadly brief little clip of the quartet of Riley, La Monte Young, Pandit Pran Nath and Marian Zazeela playing live in Rome. Riley doing a respectable job on the tablas:

 
And just for good measure and because it sounds great to me at the moment, here is a portion of La Monte Young’s The Second Dream of the HighTension Line Stepdown Transformer for your listening pleasure:

 
With thanks to Lance Grabmiller

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
The ancient Buddhist roots of industrial music
05.17.2011
05:37 pm

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Belief
History
Music

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Moscow-based artist and musician Alexei Tegin shifted from his experiments in electronic and industrial sounds toward the traditional ritual music of ancient Tibet. Tegin began exploring the roots of Tibetan Buddhism and the ceremonial practices of the pre-Buddhist philosophy of Bon and gathered like-minded artists to form his group Phurpa (named after a Tibetan ritual dagger.)

Employing various instruments, including drums, cymbals, gyaling oboes, dunchen and wandu horns, Phurpa is keeping an ancient musical tradition alive and introducing it to the West.

Tegin’s evolution from industrial music to ancient drone seems a perfect transition. The soundwaves of the human voice when amplified in the cavities of the throat, mouth and larynx is an awesome instrument, a virtual chest shuddering roar. The grinding of the spheres.

Overtone singing and incantation converge in a hypnotic, powerful resonant roar in this Bon mantra.
 

 
More Phurpa after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
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