MY FIRST "POST" was with the Wyoming Valley West High School newspaper, where I was the nerd who got the gig of reviewing records. That was 1969 and, like most nerds with super cool record collections, I wrote condescending reviews of records that all my non-nerd classmates bought. 1 I remember damning Glen Campbell (in the '60s, teens actually bought Glen Campbell albums and were still cool) and dismissing Cream's last album, GOODBYE. Then, everything changed. In 1970, I found Paul Williams's book Outlaw Blues, a collection of his writings from Crawdaddy magazine. Williams didn't write negative reviews—he wrote… Continue Reading An Introduction to Rather Rare Records
WAS THE LEGENDARY "SMiLE" ALBUM based on Brian Wilson's experiences with LSD? Did Brian consciously or unconsciously incorporate aspects of Zen Buddhism into SMiLE? Who was Arthur Koestler and what did he have to do with SMiLE? What the hell is 'bisociation' and why is it a part of a conversation on Sixties rock music? Did the other Beach Boys really hate his new music of Brian's, or just Mike Love? Read "Convoluted Conversation Part 1" on Brian Wilson and SMiLE and learn. This article was compiled from a series of conversations between William Tobelman and me. It was supposed to be about Bill's… Continue Reading on brian wilson and SMiLE (a convoluted conversation part 1)
THIS ARTICLE ADDRESSES BRIAN WILSON and the inspiration for his legendary SMiLE album. It bears the unwieldy title of "On Brian Wilson And SMiLE (A Convoluted Conversation Part 2)," because it is the second of a three-part article. Please find Part 1, which is an introduction to Arthur Koestler, and read it before continuing with this article. This is the cover for Capitol DT-2580, the Beach Boys SMILE. It was scheduled or release in August or September 1966. Not only was the album not ready for release at that time, but the featured single Good Vibrations wasn't ready!… Continue Reading on brian wilson and SMiLE (a convoluted conversation part 2)
THIS ARTICLE ADDRESSES BRIAN WILSON and the inspiration for his legendary SMiLE album. It bears the unwieldy title of "On Brian Wilson And SMiLE (A Convoluted Conversation Part 3)," because it is the second of a three part article. Please find Parts 1 and 2 and read them before continuing with this article. This is the cover for Capitol DT-2580, the Beach Boys SMILE. It was scheduled or release in August or September 1966. Not only was the album not ready for release at that time, but the featured single Good Vibrations wasn't ready! Nonetheless, slicks for the jacket… Continue Reading on brian wilson and SMiLE (a convoluted conversation part 3)
THE NUTSHELL IS THIS: Rock & roll has had two golden eras, both times when the artists took control of the music and its direction and led the way. But that's not the norm for popular music: the norm is for businessmen in the form of owners, Artists & Repertoire (A&R) men, and other "bean-counters" to say what's so. In the beginning, a bunch of old white men in the A&R departments of the major record companies dictated what was recorded and what was played on the radio based on their idea of what middle-aged white women wanted to hear. The major companies (Columbia and RCA Victor were the… Continue Reading the history of rock & roll in a nutshell (300 words or less)
IF YOU'RE ON FACEBOOK, you've received requests from friends to “like” a page of theirs. These "likes" are the surest way to have your page “shared” and circulated on that social media platform. I receive a few each week, and I always have a look at these new pages—so it was that I discovered Bravata. People launch these to display their phởtography, their hobby, their culinary creations, and of course their pets. The most common request I receive is to like a new page from a band. Many of these bands are new, the musicians young, and Facebook is a free… Continue Reading bravi bravata and the south they all ignore!
DURING THE BRITISH INVASION OF 1964–1966, 'serious' information on the British groups—in fact, on rock & roll artists in general—was very hard to come by for we American fans. Fans had to turn to the teenybopper fan mags of the era for any transfiguration of their tastes from the ordinary to the extraordinary. The dearth of meaningful data was the opposite of the overkill of info that has been the hallmark of publications in the current “celebrity culture,” which has been made even worse by the Internet. Fifty years ago, there were the trade publications Billboard, Cash Box, Record World,… Continue Reading the transfiguration of young man mose allison
THE WEBSITE FOR GRACELAND posted a condensed version of my article, "Elvis Presley’s ’68 Comeback – Burbank to Graceland." This was done to commemorate the anniversary of the original broadcast of the NBC-TV Special on December 3, 1968. This posting on Elvis Presley's "official" website has sent tens of thousands of interested readers to the Best Classic Band's Facebook page to find the complete, original article. (For more information, see the previous post on this site.) So, now more people have read this article in one weekend than have read all the articles on my own Elvis site in three years. That's all the articles combined! A close-up of Elvis… Continue Reading poor boys and pilgrims are going to graceland