On a scale of ‘one’ to ‘all of the’... how much cocaine is the singer of Kansas on here?
03.31.2015
07:06 am

Topics:
Drugs
Music

Tags:
cocaine
Kansas


 
Whether or not you’re a fan of their unique brand of turgid hardboogie-prog, this recently uploaded video of Kansas performing their signature hit “Carry On Wayward Son” in 1978 at the Canada Jam is, to say the least, energetic.

Perhaps it’s unfair to make speculations about ‘70s rock band members cocaine habits—to firstly assume they are on the drug—and to further assume Scarface office desk levels of the white stuff being inhaled before the show, but holy shit THIS VIDEO. The band, or at least singer Steve Walsh, appear to have had some degree of chemical enhancement working in their favor.
 

 
A few online sources mention that years later, in the ‘90s, Walsh was supposedly arrested for possession and threatened with jail time. We also know from this 700 Club interview that guitarist Kerry Livgren and bassist Dave Hope were seriously addicted until they “found God.” In that particular interview, Hope admits to having spent $40,000 (in 1980 dollars!) on cocaine the year before his Christian rebirth. We can only guess what the differences would be between Dave Hope’s and Steve Walsh’s level of commitment to the white lady, but this performance seems to indicate Walsh was in imminent danger of flying off the stage and into the stratosphere at any second.

Me personally, I think “Carry on Wayward Son” is a killer ‘70s jam. It’s not even a “guilty” pleasure—and I don’t really care what was getting them through the show—to me, this totally rules. Your mileage may vary. If Kansas’ brand of arena rock is not exactly your cup of tea, you might just want to watch a guy completely out of his mind, going absolutely apeshit on what is probably a mountain of blow. In that case, proceed directly to 1:46 and 3:39 in this over-the-top performance.

There ain’t no dust in the wind here.
 

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Danna nanna nanna nanna SUN RAAAAAA: The space-jazz guru’s astounding ‘Batman and Robin’ LP
03.31.2015
06:34 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music

Tags:
Batman
Sun Ra
Batman and Robin
Al Kooper


 
In 1966, an unremarkable-seeming children’s album called Batman and Robin was released, by an insignificant label called Tifton Records, to cash in on the very popular Adam West Batman TV series. Apart from the remake of the TV show’s theme, the album was mostly instrumental, and had nothing in particular to do with Batman, but it remains an item of interest because of who played on it. While it was credited to “The Sensational Guitars of DAN & DALE,” the actual studio band was made up of members of Al Kooper’s Blues Project and Sun Ra’s Arkestra! Organs on the Batman and Robin album are played by Ra, saxes are performed by Arkestra stalwarts Marshall Allen and John Gilmore, and guitars are played by the Blues Project’s legendary Steve Katz and Danny Kalb. (Kalb is the only “Dan” present; there is no one named Dale in the credits as far as I can find. It should be mentioned that there are a ton of crappy albums credited to Dan & Dale on the Diplomat label, and I can’t imagine there’s any way that the Arkestra and Blues Project played on them. That’s a junkyard rabbit-hole for another day, though.) The album—and again, this was marketed to children to cash in on a goofy TV show—is accordingly badass, full of satisfying soul riffs and fiery surf-guitar leads. It also nods to classical music and the Beatles. Per Bruce Eder’s deeply-researched Allmusic overview:

No, Batman and Robin doesn’t match the importance of the Blues Project’s own official recordings, or anything that Sun Ra was doing officially, but what a chance to hear these guys kicking back for a half-hour’s anonymous blues jamming. Everything here, apart from the Neal Hefti “Batman Theme” is public domain blues built on some familiar material (including Chopin, Tchaikovsky, and Bach), one cut, appropriately entitled “The Riddler’s Retreat,” quotes riffs and phrases from a half-dozen Beatles songs, and another, “The Bat Cave,” that’s this group’s answer to “Green Onions” (and a good answer, too). Along with Sun Ra, who dominates every passage he plays on, Steve Katz and Danny Kalb are the stars here, romping and stomping over everything as they weave around each other, while Gilmore, Allen, and Owens occasionally stepping to the fore, Blumenfeld makes his percussion sound downright tuneful in a few spots, and some anonymous female singers throw out a lyric or two on a pair of cuts, just as a distraction.

 

 
As Eder pointed out, the female singer on the following two tracks is uncredited. Whoever she is, good GOD, she deserves her accolades, especially for the blowout performance on “Robin’s Theme!”
 

Sun Ra & the Blues Project, “Batman Theme.”
 
More Sun Ra and the Blues Project after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Fan photos of John Lennon in London and New York
03.31.2015
06:30 am

Topics:
Heroes
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:
Yoko Ono
The Beatles
John Lennon
Paul McCartney
photography
fan photos

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Being one of The Beatles meant being mobbed, followed and even stalked everywhere you went. They quit Liverpool for London for its mix of anonymity and excitement—and because everything happened there. Eventually, John, George and Ringo moved on to the stockbroker belt to find peace, quiet and happy isolation. But even there, Lennon had unwelcome visitors who wanted a photo or to say that they understood what his songs were about, and touch the hem of his clothes.

Eventually, Lennon moved again, this time to New York where he said he could walk the streets without anyone bothering him. Going by these fan photographs of Lennon in London and New York, it’s obvious he was just as mobbed by devoted fans in the Big Apple as he had been back in the Big Smoke.

These fan snaps capture Lennon from the late 1960s, through his relationship with Yoko Ono, to just before his untimely death in 1980.
 
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John Lennon signing an autograph outside the Abbey Road Studios, 1968.

More fan snaps of John Lennon, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The air hostess with the mostest: Awesome images of vintage stewardess uniforms
03.30.2015
03:59 pm

Topics:
Fashion
History

Tags:
Airline uniforms


 
I’ve always dug old school airline flight attendant uniforms. Perhaps it’s the nostalgia of being a kid and totally excited about going to the airport and hopping on a plane. When you asked for a can of Coke, you got it. An entire can.

These days I dread the experience of going to the airport as much as I dread tax season. I hate it. It’s miserable for me, filled with lots anxiety and zero patience. Flying used to be glamourous! Now a flight is like getting on a bus… an air bus. Soon they’ll have you standing in the aisles, mark my words!

I like to look at these old photos and remember a time when traveling wasn’t an experience from hell. Oh, and when flight attendants looked as cool as shit.
 

 

Early 1970s Braniff International Airways photo
 

Southwest Airlines, 1970s
 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment