the history of rock & roll in a nutshell (300 words or less)

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)

bravi bravata and the south they all ignore!

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 photography, 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… Continue Reading bravi bravata and the south they all ignore!

meet the new boss (true tales from the men’s room)

IT WAS 1975, and I was out of my hippie wannabe stage. I was playing it straight; not out of choice, but necessity. (But that’s another story.) I was still as anti-authoritarian as all get-out—at least when it came to bosses who were really bullies with authority—taking crap from no one. Except, of course, from my girlfriend. In fact, my boss at the place where I worked was such an arsewhole that to this day I wish I had asked him to step outside and duke it out! But I didn’t. Being the wuss that I was, instead of having it out with him, I was… Continue Reading meet the new boss (true tales from the men’s room)

just how did david bowie affect your consciousness?

HAH! THE ORIGINAL TITLE to this piece on David Bowie was “Damn That Damn Disco Music!” But that was really an inadequate opening for the tone of this ‘true story’ about conversion. Then I dallied with variations on “The Day I Came Out as a David Bowie Fan,” which was an allusion to his androgynous (does anyone use that term anymore?) Ziggy Stardust period. Of course, that title is a play on ‘coming out of the closet’ to one’s family and friends as gay. And it is a process that Mr Bowie seems to have made less difficult for thousands of young men with… Continue Reading just how did david bowie affect your consciousness?

I thought they were the bangs, not the bangles

In 1984, Elaine and I were living in Scottsdale and I was a wee bit enamored of the Psychedelic Furs. When they came to play at the Mesa Amphitheatre, E and I sprung for tickets. This was a big deal for us as we tended not to like LOUD live music (was there any other kind in the ’80s? or now?) and the often rude (passive aggressive?) behavior of “concert” goers. It was a damn near perfect Arizona evening and we got there early to find choice spots on the grassy incline looking down into the stage. We were almost… Continue Reading I thought they were the bangs, not the bangles

allan clarke as springsteen trailblazer (is this part 6 of “was bruce springsteen ever blinded by the light?”)

I would be remiss in my love for the Hollies if I did not mention the exploits of their on-again/off-again lead singer, Harold Allan Clarke. In his second (?) sojourn from the group he helped found in Manchester, England, in 1962, he took a rather different approach stylistically to the material with which his fans had come to associate with him. He was one of the first “name” artists to recognize Springsteen’s gifts as a tunesmith and this insight is carved into vinyl. In 1974, he recorded If I Were The Priest, which was issued on the ALLAN CLARKE album. In… Continue Reading allan clarke as springsteen trailblazer (is this part 6 of “was bruce springsteen ever blinded by the light?”)