Donovan SunshineSuperman Taiwan record 600

the cheesiest semi-legal records in the world!

I MOVED TO CALIFORNIA from Penn­syl­vania in June 1978. I naively be­lieved I would find some sem­blance of “the six­ties” hidden away in San Fran­cisco. But in only a few years, most of it had been blotted out. There were still a lot of hand-painted Vic­to­rian houses and a few hip coffee shops and bookstores.

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follow my new publication on medium that’s all about elvis

WE LAUNCHED our new pub­li­ca­tion Tell It Like It Was on Medium on Jan­uary 1, 2019. The ar­ti­cles within ad­dress pop­ular music, pri­marily rock & roll from the ’60s. “We” are John Ross (my fa­vorite music blogger), Lew Shiner (my fa­vorite nov­elist), and my­self. We love the music (and the books and the movies and the styles and the girls girls girls) of that era. [Continue reading]

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the #1 hit records on the pop charts 1965

THIS IS THE SIXTH in a se­ries of ten ar­ti­cles ad­dressing the #1 records of the year on Cash Box mag­a­zine’s pop chart from 1960 through 1969. It was orig­i­nally pub­lished as “Let’s Hang On To Our Ticket To Ride” in my pub­li­ca­tion Tell It Like It Was on Medium back on June 2, 2019. [Continue reading]

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introduction to the #1 records on the cash box pop chart of the ’60s

ON JANUARY 1, 2109, I launched a new pub­li­ca­tion on Medium, the largest and most-read blog­ging plat­form in the world. The pub­li­ca­tion is called Tell It Like It Was and is a joint ef­fort by my­self along with John Ross and Lew Shiner. It covers rock & roll and re­lated pop music from 1955 through 1975, fo­cused on the ’60s. [Continue reading]

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the day I uncovered the secret of the universe (and then forgot it)

I CAN TRULY SAY that I knew it all—The Se­cret of the Uni­verse. Once. Briefly. I can also say that this essay has little to do with record col­lecting, but it does touch on psy­che­delic music of the ’60s, so here it is (in­stead of on my other, epony­mous blog). [Continue reading]

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on brian wilson and SMiLE (a convoluted conversation part 3)

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. [Continue reading]

RRR turntable BobClark 1500

introduction to rather rare records

(a blog for those who never gave up their turntables)

MY INTRODUCTION TO WRITING RECORD REVIEWS was for my high school news­paper in 1969. Like most nerds with cool record col­lec­tions given a pulpit, I wrote con­de­scendingly about the artists and music that my class­mates liked. I re­member damning Glen Camp­bell and dis­missing Cream’s farewell album. [Continue reading]

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what was the first “rock” double-album of the ’60s?

 IT IS ACCEPTED “FACT” that two sem­inal works of pop­ular music—the Beach Boys’ PET SOUNDS and Bob Dy­lan’s BLONDE ON BLONDE—were re­leased on the same day, May 16, 1966. And there was a second reason to cel­e­brate that date: BLONDE ON BLONDE was also the first rock double-album of all-new studio record­ings, beating the Mothers of In­ven­tion’s FREAK OUT! [Continue reading]

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my review of paul williams’ “outlaw blues” for goodreads

WHILE I HAVE USED GOODREADS AS A SOURCE on my web­sites, I have not ac­tu­ally par­tic­i­pated in the com­mu­nity of readers and re­viewers. Until now: I just posted my first re­view for Paul Williams’s book Outlaw Blues for Goodreads. Oddly, it is only the second re­view of this im­por­tant book (and the first was lukewarm). [Continue reading]