an introduction to the punk note ideations of john yates

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I WAS NOT A FAN OF PUNK ROCK in the 1970s and ’80s. I ad­mired the po­lit­ical as­pect of the punk move­ment in the UK and the anybody-can-be-in-a-band spirit, but I didn’t con­nect with most of the music. (I still don’t care for most of it but have loos­ened up a bit with age.) I also didn’t care for the art­work that adorned the sleeves and jackets of punk records, al­though I did ad­mire the anybody-can-be-an-artist spirit. READ MORE

like, whoa, do the doobie brothers belong in the hall of fame?

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THE DOOBIES IN THE HALL OF FAME?” That’s a ques­tion that’s been asked a bit in the wake of their re­cent in­duc­tion into said Hall. There was a ver­sion of that ques­tion (“Are the Doobie Brothers Hall of Fame Worthy”) on Quora this morning. I an­swered it there and wanted to share my an­swer here.

But first, I am not that big a fan of the Doo­bies. READ MORE

what is the beach boys’ best album?

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WHAT IS THE BEACH BOYS’ BEST ALBUM? For most people, that’s an easy an­swer: Pet Sounds. But for afi­cionados of the group, it’s a tricky ques­tion that re­quires clar­i­fi­ca­tion. Fans would want to know does the ques­tion refer to the best album at­trib­uted to the Beach Boys or to the best album ac­tu­ally cre­ated by the Beach Boys as a group. READ MORE

the stairway to heaven leads to gilligan’s island

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IN MAY 1978, a rather silly record by a group with a rather silly name was re­leased by in the San Fran­cisco Bay Area. After making a splash in that market, radio sta­tions around the country picked it up for their playlists. Had things been left to them­selves, it might have been a hit, as nov­elty records still had a chance in the Top 40 at the time. READ MORE

captain beefheart appreciation 101 (son of sun zoom spark)

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I DON’T REMEMBER DREAMS. Even a few min­utes after I have been awak­ened by one of them, they im­me­di­ately start slip­ping away. If I want to re­member a spe­cial dream, I have to lug my scrawny be­hind out of bed—and I sleep on a futon on the floor and get­ting up from the floor when you’re 67 ain’t al­ways a given—and write it down. READ MORE

was beach boy mike love one of rock & roll’s greatest frontmen?

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OPINION QUESTIONS are big on Quora and I try to pro­vide an­swers that are ac­cu­rate but some­what off the beaten path. The ques­tion I re­ceived this morning was, “Who are the all-time great frontmen in music?” I read the ques­tion as who are the great lead singers of rock groups, as both vocal and vi­sual per­formers.

In an in­stru­mental group, the frontman would be the in­di­vidual who is out front leading the band, re­gard­less of the in­stru­ment he plays. READ MORE

this was a time when it would benefit an artist to stand up

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I WAS ONE OF THOSE TEENS who prided them­selves in having a re­ally cool record col­lec­tion, brag­ging about al­bums and sin­gles few of my clue­less high school peers had ever heard of. So, of course, I was a big fan of Warner/Reprise Records in the late ’60s. Aside from cham­pi­oning my beloved Kinks (and Grom­mett save them!), by 1970 they had signed one of my he­roes, the all-but-unknown Neil Young, and the group that was fast be­coming my new ob­ses­sion, the Beach Boys. READ MORE

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

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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! READ MORE

just how did david bowie affect your consciousness?

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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 Ziggy Star­dust pe­riod.

Of course, that title is a play on ‘coming out of the closet’ to one’s family and friends as gay.  READ MORE