Gram Parsons and Keith Richards on a motorcycle. Never saw this photo before and I’m totally in awe of Keith’s sunglasses.
Thanks to Nick Kent.
Gram Parsons and Keith Richards on a motorcycle. Never saw this photo before and I’m totally in awe of Keith’s sunglasses.
Thanks to Nick Kent.
Well, sort of…
And while one may be tempted to criticize Lee’s artistic interpretations of jazz standards, you do have to admire his spryness. He’s still incredibly involved in the community (this video was taken at Comikazi, a comic, sci-fi, and fantasy convention), and he’s never stopped working.
Lee’s Spider-Man Chronicle: A Year by Year Visual History is slated for release October first. Not bad for an 89-year-old!
Impressions of John Coltrane is an excellent trio of television performances featuring John Coltrane, with his own quartet, the Miles Davis Quintet and alongside Eric Dolphy. Filmed between 1959 and 1963, each performance reveals the quality and range of the great man’s playing.
The first comes from the series The Jazz Casual, originally aired in 1963. Here you’ll find the perfect line-up of Coltrane (tenor sax/soprano sax), McCoy Tyner (piano), Jimmy Garrison (bass), and Elvin Jones (drums). This is said to be the only time Coltrane’s “classic” quartet was caught on camera. Together they give great versions of “Impressions” and “Afro Blue”.
The second is from 1959, and has Coltrane playing with the Miles David Quintet - Davis (flügelhorn/trumpet), Coltrane (tenor sax/alto sax), Wynton Kelly (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), and Jimmy Cobb (drums). They are accompanied by Gil Evans and a 15-piece orchestra. And certainly get going on “So What”, “The Duke”, “Blues for Pablo” and “New Rumba”.
The third is from West German TV in 1961, which shows Coltrane playing with Eric Dolphy (alto sax/flute), McCoy Tyner (piano), Reggie Workman (bass), and Elvin Jones (drums), who hit the spot with “My Favorite Things” and “Impressions”.
03. “Afro Blue”
04. “So What” (with Miles Davis)
05. “The Duke” (with Miles Davis)
06. “Blues For Pablo” (with Miles Davis)
07. “New Rumba” (with Miles Davis)
08. “My Favorite Things” (with Eric Dolphy)
09. “Impressions” (with Eric Dolphy)
Thanks to Jazztification
I have to hand it to the crew at Get on Down, they really know how to do shit right. The specialty label known for their innovative packaging that actually has people purchasing physical copies of music again, today released their most ambitious project to date.
The latest in their hip-hop “Master Series” is a deluxe, limited to 1000 edition box set of Raekwon’s legendary “mafia rap” classic, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, considered by some to be the greatest hip-hop album of all time.
From the press materials:
Hip-hop fans who will salivate at this reissue already know the story: in 1995, Wu-Tang Clan frenzy was at an all-time high. First there was the Wu-Tang Clan’s epic 1993 debut Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), which changed the shape of ‘90s hip-hop, with ripples that still resonate today. Then the solo albums, all produced by Wu patriarch RZA: first was Method Man’s Tical (late 1994), then Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version (spring 1995).
By the time Raekwon’s debut was ready, fans were knocking each other over on album release day. And so, on August 1, 1995 as the legend goes, the first 10,000 cassette buyers – NOTE TO YOUNG’UNS: back in 1995, fans bought hip-hop albums on cassette more frequently than CD or vinyl – ran home and opened their plastic cases to discover that the tape itself was a stunning shade of lavender.
The rest, as they say, is history… and limited-edition history at that. After the initial purple versions, RCA Records switched to the usual clear plastic to house the legendary tape. “The Purple Tape” became an instant collector’s item, a Holy Grail for Wu-Tang disciples, coveted by those who could claim to be the earliest devotees of Raekwon’s lyrical genius. The album is still called “The Purple Tape” to this day, by Raekwon and other Wu-Tang members.
But, colors aside, let’s not forget about the album itself! Backed by arguably RZA’s most wide-ranging, hard-hitting and at-times lush beats on any Wu-Tang family album before or since, Raekwon and co-MC Ghost Face Killer run the lyrical gamut, introducing “Wu-Gambinos” slang, dishing out “Ice Cream” for the ladies, and melting “Glaciers of Ice” along the way to influencing just about every MC who followed in their wake.
Boasting five singles – “Heaven & Hell,” “Glaciers of Ice” (promo only), “Criminology,” “Ice Cream / Incarcerated Scarfaces” and “Rainy Dayz” – the album was revered from the get-go, earning 4.5 out of 5 Mics in The Source (retroactively upgraded to 5 Mics in 2002) alongside raves in publications from SPIN to the Los Angeles Times. It went gold in two months.
Beyond Ghost Face (who shines on 12 out of the album’s 17 tracks), guest appearances from Nas, Method Man, Inspektah Deck, Master Killa, RZA and the debut of Cappadonna (aka Cappachino) locked the album as an undisputed classic. It’s a record that hit hard in 1995 and continues to resonate with new fans to this day, 17 years later.
As Raekwon explains in the new “Purple Tape Cassette Box” liner notes book: “A lot of rappers wasn’t being creative [at that time] and we came with a potion that just shocked the game. We introduced shoes, we brought about different names and aliases. That record inspired maybe 95% of the game’s lyrics [afterwards], and integrity on just making music, period. People from our era know how real it is. It’s timeless.”
Weighing in at 4 pounds, the purple cassette is housed in a glass-top, “piano lacquer” display case with gold-colored hardware, embossed white-on-black Raekwon logo and “The Purple Tape” placard on front. It includes a 32-page, hard-cover book with text by Brian Coleman, featuring an in-depth interview with and track-by-track reminisces by Raekwon.
The Purple Tape Cassette Box is only available at GetOnDown.com, but we’ve got one box set for a lucky Dangerous Minds reader. All you have to do to win is this:
Then send an email to RaekwonContest@gmail.com to enter and we’ll chose one winner at random. You must be a resident of the United States and the winner will be chosen and contacted on Friday. Good luck!
And believe it or not that solo was played on spoons - just like these ones, Blue Peter presenter Christopher Trace tells his audience, at the end of this wonderful, little clip of The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band performing “Won’t You Come Home Bill Bailey?” on the show in February 1966.
With thanks to Vivian
When Billy Eckstine came to St. Louis, with Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, Miles Davis went to see them play.
Davis was playing trumpet with Eddie Randle’s Rhumboogie Orchestra, and one day, after rehearsal, he went round to the theater to see Gillespie and Parker perform.
Davis arrived with his trumpet slung over his shoulder, dreaming of how one day he might be up there playing along with the likes of his idols Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie or Charlie Parker. Just as he reached the theater, Gillespie appeared, noted Davis’ trumpet and rushed over to the young musician.
‘You play?’ Gillespie asked.
Davis told him he did.
‘We lost our trumpeter, and we need one fast. You got a card?’
Davis nodded ‘Yes’.
‘Then you’re in.’
Davis played with Gillespie and Parker for the next 2 weeks, and this was the start of Mile Davis’ incredible career.
In 1970, Miles Davis played to a 600,000 audience at the Isle of Wight Festival. It was the largest pop festival in history. At the time, many questioned why Davis had agreed to perform at it, as man of his success and talent was middle of the bill, sandwiched between Tiny Tim and Ten Years After.
Davis had just released his double album, Bitches Brew, which proved to be a game-changing moment in Modern Jazz. The album divided critics. Some reviled it, claiming Davis had sold out, and was no longer relevant. But the audience loved it. And Bitches Brew became Davis’ biggest success, going gold within weeks.
In August 1970, Davis decided to play Bitches Brew at the Isle of Wight Festival. It was a myth-making appearance, where Davis improvised much of his performance.
That festival, and Davis’ role in it, are revisited here in Murray Lerner’s documentary Miles Electric: A Different Kind of Blue, which inter-cuts Miles’ astounding performance together with members of his band and those who knew the great man.
The Cure onstage at the San Miguel Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona on June 1, 2012.
Great set—with good audio quality—but with each passing year Cure leader Robert Smith looks more and more like a roly-poly version of “The Joker.” His look is getting to be a bit tragic for a man his age. I wonder if his fans would abandon him if he ever cut his hair (like when Felicity‘s Keri Russell cut hers) or gave up on the smeared-lipstick thing?
02. Pictures Of You
04. The End Of The World
07. Inbetween Days
08. Just Like Heaven
09. From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea
10. Hungry Ghost
11. Play For Today
12. A Forest (Happy Birthday Dear Simon)
There are still tickets available for the Greg Dulli curated “I’ll Be Your Mirror” rock festival that’s happening in NYC this coming weekend. “I’ll Be Your Mirror” is an offshoot of the artist-curated “All Tomorrow’s Parties” fests and the line-up for this one is especially good. The three nights of the Dulli/ATP co-curated “I’ll Be Your Mirror” shows will take place at Pier 36 in Lower Manhattan.
R&B performer/songwriter Frank Ocean is the headliner of the Friday night opening show: the reformed Afghan Whigs top the bill the following night and Sunday night Godspeed You! Black Emperor headline (It’s The Magic Band, yes, players from Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band, who I see as the real draw that night. No offense to anyone else, but The Magic Band? Count me in!)
Quite a line-up:
PHILIP GLASS & TYONDAI BRAXTON
LEE RANALDO’S ‘HANGING GUITAR’
EDAN THE DEEJAY
THE AFGHAN WHIGS
MARK LANEGAN BAND
CHARLES BRADLEY AND THE EXTRAORDINAIRES
GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR
THE MAGIC BAND
THEE OH SEES
THE ALBUM LEAF
LEE RANALDO (Full Band Show)
THE PSYCHIC PARAMOUNT
QUINTRON AND MISS PUSSYCAT
DJ JONATHAN TOUBIN
Tickets on sale now, priced at $199 for the entire weekend. A limited amount of day passes are also available priced at $60 for Friday & $75 for Saturday/Sunday. (Friday runs from 5pm-midnight; Saturday and Sunday run from noon-midnight)
Below, the Afghan Whigs tear if up at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC back in May with a cover of Frank Ocean’s “Love Crimes.” I’ve heard from several people that their shows since reforming have been amazing and this clip is certainly a testament to that buzz:
Update: I cannot get this song out of my head.
I have always liked Barney Hoskyns’ writing. He has a subtle and incisive way of getting to the seed of any story. His biography on Montgomery Clift, Beautiful Loser was sublime. More recently Hotel California: Singer-Songwriters & Cocaine Cowboys In The L.A. Canyons was perhaps the best book written on West Coast music. He also wrote a commendable biography on Tom Waits, and written histories on Glam and Soul, particularly the exceptional Say It One Time For The Brokenhearted: Country Soul In The American South.
Now Hoskyns has delivered Trampled Underfoot: The Power and Excess of Led Zepelin, which is the best biography written about Zeppelin to date.
It’s the best because Hoskyns’ book is a mammoth oral history of the band, told through over 130 interviews, featuring the key players, the management, the wives, the girlfriends, the roadies, the producers, the engineers, the PR people, the record label, the security, the druggies, right down to the designers of the album sleeves and office staff. Where there have been gaps, caused by death (drummer John Bonham, manager Peter Grant) or refusal (Kenneth Anger), Hoskyns has lifted directly from the original, key interviews, to maintain the story’s immediacy.
In an exclusive interview with Dangerous Minds, Barney Hoskyns talked to about Trampled Underfoot and the power and excess of Led Zeppelin.
DM: Why did you choose Led Zeppelin?
Barney Hoskyns: ‘I chose Zeppelin because I love them. The mission really was not to preach to the converted, if you like, it was to an extent to preach to the unconverted. Obviously, I hope that the Led Zeppelin community will read it and take to it, and embrace it. But I think I wanted to pitch it at as much skeptics, to say look a) Zeppelin’s music was incredible and b) the story is extraordinary.
‘And I think there was an opportunity to demystify the story a little bit, just to sort of get away from glorifying the usual larks and antics, and Hell-raising, and to make the story a bit more real. I think, was the mission, and that’s kind of how the book mutated into an oral history. Because it didn’t start out like that, but the more interviews I did, I ended up doing over 130, the more it became clear to me there was an opportunity to tell the story in a different way, with the kind of immediacy you get from people just talking quite openly and candidly. And I thought let’s see if we can tell the story in a kind of continuous way, from start to finish. That was the mission and that was the methodology.’
Hoskyns starts the book from the with the earliest moments in the band member’s careers. This is a youthful Jimmy Page showing his prodigious skills on TV with his skiffle band, before going onto a brief career as a session musician.
Page was so talented a guitar player that unlike most session musicians, he played both acoustic and electric guitar. Jimmy could play anything, and was the guitar on records by The Kinks, Donovan, Lulu and even Val Doonican. As can be seen from Hoskyns’ book, Page dedicated himself so much to playing his guitar that he was removed from the world, becoming that slightly isolated, mysterious figure of his adult years.
Most session men were middle-aged, with an interest in angling and loft-conversion. Yet, it was at one session that Page met a bass player and sometime musical arranger, John Paul Jones. The pair got on because of their age, but also because they had a respect and admiration for each other’s talent.
While Page and Jones were connecting in recording studios, Robert Plant and John Bonham were performing with various bands across Birmingham, which in the mid-1960s was considered to be the next Pop Capital of Britain after Liverpool, as it had so many music acts (The Move, The Moody Blues, Steve Winwood) coming to the fore. Plant and Bonham were equally dedicated to their talents. Bonham was a self-taught drummer, who even then was showing the skill and innovation that his contemporaries found difficult to match. It’s interesting to note that all these years later how many people in Hoskyns’s book still describe Bonham as the best.
Robert Plant was also trying out his skills fronting various bands. He had a love of Blues and Rock, and was developing his powerful and unique way of singing.
The turning point came when Page joined The Yardbirds at Jeff Beck’s insistence, which led Page into the orbit of manager Peter Grant.
Grant had the reputation of a hard man, one that he liked to play up. When stories circulated he had hung some recalcitrant manager over a penthouse balcony by his ankles, Grant neither admitted nor denied the charge, only quipping, “Let’s say I acquainted him with the view.” This was the kind of whispered tale that created the fear and myth about Grant.
As manager, Grant became like a father to Page and helped support the young guitarist with his vision to create a new Supergroup, one that he could lead. Page contacted Jones, and then through different connections, Plant and Bonham were brought in. The foursome that was to become the biggest band of the 1970s was born.
Author: Barney Hoskyns
DM: Why did Led Zeppelin take-off? Was there a gap, say after The Beatles split?
Barney Hoskyns: ‘I think there was a gap there and Peter Grant spotted the opportunity, if you like. I think he intuitively knew there was room for a new band, a supergroup, you might call it, though Zeppelin weren’t a supergroup in the sense of Cream was a supergroup. The disbanding of Cream left a gap for Atlantic Records. Clapton had decided to mellow out and to calm down, and that allowed some other bands, or Zeppelin to step into the breach.
‘I think it was an evolution musically. ‘There are 4 guys with extraordinary talent, who have respect for each other. And they all kind of liked each other. They hung out with each other. There weren’t ego struggles, until the tensions start coming in as a result of many things, not just drugs. But until that moment, you know, these 4 guys, they weren’t punching each other in the dressing room. They’re having fun.
‘And, it was about the alchemy of these 4 musicians that was at the heart of everything. Without that you can hype a band to death and but it’s not going to mean much if there isn’t some substance and quality there form the outset, and there was that. But that’s not the whole story, as the book makes clear, there was an awful lot else that went on around this. There was the machinery, an extended family, that all contributed in creating this machinery, that all contributed to creating the phenomenon.
‘It was all very sudden and was done by sheer brute force in many ways. Peter Grant was a powerful figure who decided that Zeppelin was going to be his mission then nothing was going to stop him from turning that band into the biggest band on earth. And it was kind of brilliantly done. If the music hadn’t been as great as it was then even Peter Grant would never have succeeded in that mission.
‘The thing is there will always be a wave of adolescents, a new generation coming through that will need a band of its own. I’m not sure that’s the case now, as I think pop culture, rock culture, is very different, but then, there was a new generation, a semi-generation coming through, for whom bands like The Beatles and The Stones belonged to their older siblings, or boys and girls who were 4 or 5 years older. I think Led Zeppelin were the best in every sense technically and mythologically, as they sort of captured the imagination at that time, especially in North America, where there was almost a religious aspect, a mass cult of Zeppelin, the likes of which we will never see again.’
More from Barney Hoskyns plus bonus of Led Zeppelin ‘In Concert’, after the jump…
Advisory stickers with the message: “WARNING DO NOT BUY THIS ALBUM! THIS MAN BEATS WOMEN” have appeared on copies of Chris Brown’s CD Fortune, at HMV music stores in Cambridge and London.
The stickers were first spotted in Cambridge, and were tweeted by the Cambridge University Union Student Union Women’s Campaign, the NME reported adding:
...though the [CUSU] - whose stated aim is to “represent women students in Cambridge and campaign for gender equality” - are remaining coy about their involvement in the stunt.
A spokesperson for HMV told E! News:
“It was very much an isolated incident and nothing to do with HMV or representing our views. It would appear a member of the public popped into one of our stores yesterday and stickered a handful of CDs.
“These were spotted and quickly removed, but, before we could act, the individual concerned must have taken a photo and sent it to the media. To our knowledge there are no further stickers in our stores now.”