Monthly Archives: November 2015

THRUST INTO THE SPOTLIGHT (FOREVER)

For better or for worse, the Southern California rock band called Eagles of Death Metal has become part of history in the wake of the Paris terrorist attack at Bataclan. Thankfully, the band was safe. They were the lucky ones. A sold-out show, in an old French theater named for a 19th century operetta by composer Jacques Offenbach, never happened.

PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 14: People place flowers and candles on the pavement near the scene of yesterday's Bataclan Theatre terrorist attack on November 14, 2015 in Paris, France. At least 120 people have been killed and over 200 injured, 80 of which seriously, following a series of terrorist attacks in the French capital. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)READING, ENGLAND - AUGUST 26: Jesse Hughes of Eagles of Death Metal performs live on the Main Stage on Day Three during the Reading Festival 2012 at Richfield Avenue on August 26, 2012 in Reading, England. (Photo by Simone Joyner/Getty Images)

Bands always struggle with getting the word out. Trying to find new listeners, radio support, YouTube videos and friendly reviews in the press. Now the whole world knows who the Eagles of Death Metal are. They were part of the unimaginable. History is full of those unexpected turns and tragedies that push regular folks or minor players front and center whether they like it or not. Like the Who in Cincinnati or The Stones at Altamont, once again fun loving rock and roll is in the front row of a major tragedy and forever in the history books.

By | 2015-11-17T01:22:44+00:00 November 17th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on THRUST INTO THE SPOTLIGHT (FOREVER)

ALLEN TOUSSAINT (1938-2015)

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NOLA’s favorite son has left us. I know, I’ve blogged about Allen before…and I’m sure there’ll be more to come. He was such a force and at the same time, a gentle giant. He was truly one of America’s great songwriters. When he sat down at the piano (saw him again in concert just last year) all of us in the audience were like little kids eating out of his musical hand. His stories both musical as well as the ones around the songs always made me smile. Isn’t that what music is all about? Making you feel good (or at least feeling better).

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In my garage band days back in 1966 I saved up all my money and bought a used Fender Precision bass. One of the first riffs that came out of my amp was that cool bass line from his Working in the Coal Mine. His song list is just plain remarkable; Mother-in-Law, Southern Nights, Fortune Teller, Java and What Do You Want the Boy to Do? The Stones, Labelle, Elvis Costello, Harry Connick Jr, Jerry Garcia and Glen Campbell owed so much to him. Allen gave them the songs that they put their fingerprints all over.

I’ll never forget during an interview in NYC back in 1998, Allen caught wind of the fact that it was my birthday and he smiled that big grin of his and while perched over the piano he began playing “Happy Birthday” just for me! One of my greatest memories. God bless and thank you Allen Toussaint.

 

By | 2015-11-11T01:53:51+00:00 November 11th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on ALLEN TOUSSAINT (1938-2015)

MY LAST BEACH BOYS' SHOW

Well, that’s a bit dramatic.  I met Al Jardine a couple of months ago and he was raving about Brian Wilson, their new band and it’s sound.  Yet, it was Brian I was worried about.  I didn’t want him plunked down in the middle of the stage with some sort of Beach Boys’ tribute going down all around him.  I had seen the a band a ton over the years but never with Brian.  And once Carl Wilson left us I was finished with the concept.  As a musician friend of mine who once toured with the BBs told me, “how can you have a Beach Boys without a Wilson?”

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Even after a pretty good “California Girls” (2nd tune) I still wasn’t convinced.  It’s like the Beatles, the Byrds, and the Buffalo-Springfield, it’s very sacred territory that I don’t give up easily.  But slowly, my icy reluctance melted into a really fine musical celebration.  The audience loved the set, Brian seemed to be enjoying himself and Al Jardine and the band were musically outstanding.  By the time “God Only Knows” happened, which Brian said was his favorite (mine too), the deal was sealed!   Blondie Chaplin even showed up and brought the house down with “Sail On Sailor” with Brian smiling like a proud papa.

Brian’s music is truly a treasure that he has shared with us over fifty years.  I sang along, loved it like a 14 year old and got the chills as we stood and cheered after a perfect “Love and Mercy”.

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By | 2015-11-09T01:50:35+00:00 November 9th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on MY LAST BEACH BOYS' SHOW