Just some miscellaneous music notes. cameron crowe’s LZ interview. the fabulous pam des barres. a beatles timeline. some jerry garcia / grateful dead notes. simmons fav stories. maybe more.
dec 16 2010
some notes on reading march 1975 cameron crowe interview with jimmy page and robert plant for rolling stone magazine
– it’s an odd situation for LZ in March 1975. LZ has sold over a million each of its first five albums since it formed 6 years before in late 1968. They draw a lot of fans to concerts. And yet they’re apparently not respected by media. why? critics not hearing it like the fans are? or are the reputation issues somehow making the media ignore the actual popularity to try to bury them?
– jimmy page, in march 1975, speaks of love of change. likes to travel, to have contrast, to evolve. no competition, just playing the music you like to play and being glad people like it.
– robert plant speaks about having fun. in 1975, at 26, is upset that the LA he knew in 1968, at 19, seems to be gone. people less fun. “jaded 12-yr-olds.” misses people like the GTOs. some have grown up. no need to grow up. he’s into fun.
Pam Des Barres – Muse Extraordinaire
drafting stuff for youtube
messy stuff to draw from
wikipedia: DeVille was fired and replaced by Pennsylvanian guitarist Richie Kotzen. Poison’s fifth album, Native Tongue, was released 8 February 1993. It was strongly influenced by Kotzen’s fresh songwriting contributions and guitar performance. It marked a change for the band as they abandoned their anthemic party tunes to focus on more serious subjects, and was far more blues-rock oriented than glam metal. Containing the singles “Stand“, “Until You Suffer Some (Fire And Ice)” and “Body Talk“, the album received generally positive reviews, but sales were sluggish compared with the first three albums, selling only 2 million copies worldwide. The band toured in support of the album, but tensions mounted between Kotzen and the rest of the band. Kotzen’s future in the band was doomed when it was discovered that he had become romantically involved with Rockett’s ex-fiancée Deanna Eve. Kotzen was promptly fired, and replaced by Blues Saraceno who completed the world tour with the band. A concert from the Native Tongue world tour was released on VHS/DVD titled “Seven Days Live“.
Since the issues of whether Grateful Dead’s smooth improvs were “psychedelic”, & whether they were pioneers in “psychedelic rock” came up in other discussions, I was going to make a quick list of psychedelic music vids. But after quickly adding Byrds ‘8 Miles High’ to the list, I ran into a problem. The next song that came to my mind was ‘Incense & Peppermints’, but, when I played it, I wasn’t so sure if it was “psychedelic” or not. On the one hand, the meaning of “psychedelic rock” is clear. It’s rock n roll music that’s related in some way to the psychedelic experience (I think that’s mainly LSD, though there may be other drugs and Carlos Casteneda was famously writing about similar experiences among Yaguii native americans in northern mexico and sw usa from peyote cactus). As with most things, becoming more precise raises new distinctions & questions. As I’m reflecting on the question of what’s psychedelic rock, I’m realizing that the music was used for different purposes related to the psychedelic experience, again mainly LSD: enhancing the drug experience, evoking aspects of it without drugs, promoting it, and also expressing the new normal self that seems to result in everyday life due to successful past use of the drug. I think Moody Blues music is an example of all four of those things together. The Doors too, but with a very different energy. Moody Blues were more gentle, mellow, serene, Apollo in Nietzsche’s Birth of Tragedy dichotomy. Morrison is known to have thought of himself as a wild raging Dionysus energy in the Nietzsche dichotomy. For years & into the late 80s, I said to myself & others, “What IS IT about Moody Blues music that creates this, I don’t know, this feeling, this sense, this something? It’s different somehow.” With a busy life, I had never read or paid attention to the lyrics & was surprised one day when a relative told me their music was about LSD. I was a bit stunned — because their music & they seemed so clear, crisp, cool, centered, intellectual, smart, classy, steady, mature, hip, measured, disciplined, precise, elegant, sometimes ethereal/celestial, sometimes gorgeous & romantic (Nights in White Satin) — but even a short careful look at the lyrics & album cover art said the comment about the LSD central theme was clearly true. It’s only since late 90s that I’ve spent more time studying rock music’s social impact. Over the years, I’ve noticed several groups, albums, & songs intended to promote the use of LSD. Examples: Beatles’ “Lucy in the sky with diamonds” on the Sargent Pepper’s album, Doors “Break on through to the other side”, much of Moody Blues music including “Timothy Leary’s dead” (Legend of a Mind) track, Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” with famous “feed your head” line, & probably more. Why would they do that? Answer: Their view, like Kesey’s, Leary’s, & Huxley’s and I think some of the 1950’s Beat Generation and definitely a lot of the 1960s generation, was that the more people who had the psychedelic LSD experience, the better people around the country and world would be able to live together without or with fewer social problems, nuclear wars, other wars, environmental catastrophe, etc.. They believed the states of experience that a relatively few spiritual people reached around the world throughout history, through meditation & peyote drugs & other disciplines, could be reached quickly & on a massive scale by ordinary people with the LSD shortcut. (I never had the psychedelic experience myself, despite my interest in following it as an idea & social phenomenon/force … i could see that a lot of people were better, deeper, more themselves, more authentic, more well from having it once or a few times in their past — vs dangerous continuous use of LSD & other less psychologically strategic “recreational” addictive drugs — but i quietly rebelled at the idea that Mother Nature had made drugs necessary to full healthy mental & spiritual well-being. I thought of my life as my own quiet little experiment in “natural high” – interested in various aspects of thinking — philosophy, science, psych, meditation’s various meanings, prayer’s various meanings, love’s various meanings, relationships, organizations, religions, spiritualities, world view stuff, etc, — anything and everything that adds up to the world we live in & whether and how it supports well-being.
_gd2 – More by & about Jerry Garcia & Grateful Dead
Description: In live performances, the Grateful Dead would often play ‘Scarlet Magnolias’ & ‘Fire On The Mountain’ together with lots of improv in each. They began to call it, Scarlet-Fire. In 1977, they played the 2 songs for nearly 26 minutes. It’s easier to see from these paired songs how Jerry Garcia & The Grateful Dead had things in common with Jefferson Airplane. Not that the two bands *sounds* are similar, but these long smooth jazzy Grateful Dead improvs have a lot of *mood* in common with a lot of J Airplane & other psychedelic rock. That insight, I think, turns out to be funny, & a little backwards, since I think Grateful Dead might be the original pioneers in psychedelic rock. I got thrown off by my 1st impressions of the bouncy folksy Uncle John’s Band & other fun stuff that is also a part of GD’s eclectic mix — Another issue: What’s going on with the band name, The Grateful Dead? I always just assumed it was a clever twist on the old joke, “life’s a bitch & then you die.” But maybe not. For Jefferson Airplane, the official story is it was an open enthusiasm for something nonsensical & funny. But it might also be an encoded insider joke made by pot/LSD hippies to reflect their view that their values were the real American ideal of freedom. Jeffersonian principles, getting high, flying high? After all, Marty Balin & the guys were free spirits & their 1st female singer, Signe, left the band because she married & had a child with a Ken Kesey Merry Prankster. In the case of Grateful Dead, I’ve now seen at least three stories of how the name was chosen. But they could all be nonsense, since the real explanation could be Jerry Garcia & his hippie pals were just having a little fun by choosing a name nobody would ever be able to figure out. 🙂 But let’s have a look anyway. What all the accounts have in common is the band found their name, the Warlocks, was being used by another band who just signed a recording contract. That they had the name, Warlocks, suggests possible influence/interest in magick, wicca, or other spiritual plane stuff which was not unusual in California & later not unusual in lots of places. A warlock is a male wiccan, right? Witches & warlocks, right? Good witches & bad witches, right? Glinda vs. the Wicked Witch of the West in Wizard of Oz, right? 🙂 Anyway, the story that sounds right is from Phil Lesh’s autobiography. He said Jerry was thumbing thru Funk & Wagnalls Dictionary of Folklore. Jerry asked Phil what he thought about using a term he found there, “grateful dead”, an idea in several cultures (eg, Rome’s Cicero, fairy tales in various places in Europe). It meant the souls of the dead, or their angels, grateful to the living who attended to their burials properly, later returning the favor to the living by intervening in various ways. So the “grateful dead” were, essentially, grateful guardian angels.:) Starts to sound like the 80s band name, The Police (with Sting), where some accounts suggest the name referred to a belief or a wish on a lot of people’s parts that they, other people, or existing angels could become essentially a spiritual police force of guardian angels. Some accounts of people having the psychedelic experience (I never did) suggest people sometimes perceive they reach various spiritual states that seem like communication or travel. Yeah, I know, I know. But we’re interpreting the 60s mentality – hippies, peace, love, meditation, transcendence, drugs, turn on, tune in, drop out, age of aquarius, etc. So what both Police & GD may have been referring to, or appealing to, is the widespread wish or belief that guardian angels existed, or people could be like guardian angels, & do helpful things in the world. Flock of Seagulls is another 80s band name sometimes spoken of that way. But maybe Jerry & the guys just used “Grateful Dead” because it was an unusual cool expression, with an interesting meaning, that fit the magickal, spiritual plane, wiccan, maybe crowley, sorcery, lavey currents flowing around in 1960s hippie psychedelic San Francisco. Some accounts say other band members & record company didn’t like it & tried to get Jerry to change it, but it caught on quickly, & the rest is history. So two interpretations on the band name: (1) “grateful dead” was counterculture insider code about ideas related to guardian angels or (2) it was just a term Jerry Garcia stumbled into in his folklore dictionary, thought was cool, tried, & it worked. Maybe both? 😉 — Going back to Grateful Dead as “possible” pioneers in psychedelic rock. One account says they 1st used the new name at one of Kesey’s acid test events in 1965. It doesn’t get very much closer to the beginnings of psychedelic rock than playing the music at Kesey’s LSD “acid test” events 🙂 — Ok, that’s progress. Interesting stuff — The best of the 60s “counterculture” became part of mainstream culture. The other parts live on as a lively story about how it all happened.
_gd1 – Jerry Garcia & His Band, TheGrateful Dead
Description: Here’s a famous person & band I should know something about, but I really don’t. In the Jefferson Airplane discussions, Jerry Garcia showed up as big influence on JA’s 1967 “Surrealistic Pillow” album. That reminded me yet again that — though I’ve often heard of Garcia, of his Grateful Dead band, people mention rhythm guitarist Bob Weir & bassist Phil Lesh a lot, people talk about the “deadheads” who followed the band from venue to venue camping out (where’d they get money to support selves to do that?) — for all this that one hears, I don’t really know much about Garcia, the band, the music, the lyrics, etc. Oh, I also knew the Ken Kesey story intersects with Garcia & Grateful Dead because, according to Tom Wolfe’s book & many sources, Jerry & the Dead provided the music for Kesey’s “acid test” events in 60s. So, connected with Grace Slick & Airplane, plus Kesey’s Merry Pranksters, pretty much puts Jerry at the center of 60’s psychedelic counterculture. As far as knowing any of the music, there’s one song I heard enough times to finally walk over to the jukebox to check out the band’s & song’s name a few years ago. The band was Grateful Dead & the song — a bouncy tune with a name something about happy jack’s or capt jack’s cabin or something like that. Another comment prior to checking out Jerry & the band, Garcia is — along with Joplin, Morrison, & Hendrix — sometimes mentioned, sometimes seriously, as one of the rockers whose death was faked. The official view is Jerry died in 1995. Anybody seen him around anywhere since then? 😉 Then there’s the Ben&Jerry’s ice cream named after him, “Cherry Garcia”. See what I mean? A name’s got to be well-known to become a standard ice cream flavor! 🙂 As kiala would say: amirite? So, if so well-known, how come I don’t know anything about them? So that’s the pre-CheckingThemOut data —- And so we begin — Wiki says Scarlet Begonias was one of GD’s hits. Onto the playlist it goes 🙂 Found the song I was trying to remember. It’s Uncle John’s Band (1970 single on ‘Workingman’s Dead’ album), not ‘captain’ ‘jack’ or anybody’s ‘cabin’ 🙂 Here’s a familiar song, ‘Truckin’, that’s also GrDead. Those three songs give a good starting view. Garcia may have been big influence on jefferson airplane’s iconic surrealistic pillow, but, so far, the style of his own band’s music is totally different, folksy, bouncy, not dramatic — It looks like the Grateful Dead had a sense of history. They saved lots of tapes & memorabilia. They even had a tape vault archivist, Dick, whose name was given to a published collection, Dick’s Picks. The Univ of Calif at Santa Cruz accepted all the material & manages it now. The pres of UCSS thought it was enough of a big deal to have a press conference about it. —- Musical styles? Apparently, very wide. Eclectic within a bluegrass, folk, blues, psychedelic scope. Maybe wider. Don’t know yet. Wiki says they “fuse” “rock, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, country, jazz, psychedelia, & space rock”. Space rock? That, apparently, is PinkFloyd-like stuff which, to me, is brainy, intellectual, often feels kind of spiritual, psychological, slower, long improvs. I guess Space rock’s as good a term as any for that. Haven’t seen anything like that yet from GD yet. Grateful Dead famous for lots of jamming / improv —- Discography? Lots of studio & live albums, collections, box sets, & even extensive digital downloads of full live concerts —- ok, i know this song. the bouncy realistic but optimistic “i will get by” song is a GrDead song & is really called “Touch of Grey” (1987 single on the “In The Dark” album). —- How dark do they get? i.e., any overlap with heavy metal? A name like Grateful Dead makes one wonder. But “Friend of the Devil” is more folksy, pro-underdog, & whimsical, rather than dark — So far, it’s feel good music for real people, plain folks, ie, smart thoughtful folks who are also able to be plain & real. quite a few notches north of country music in the smart department (don’t misunderstand. i love country, including the wonderful funny foolishness. just trying to verbalize GrDead style here) — Song, “Ripple”, fits that. — Who writes the songs? Music by Garcia & musicians in the band. Lyrics: Much, maybe most, lyrics from John Hunter, friend early on of Garcia, not member of the band — Here’s another one I know well, but didn’t know the name was, Casey Jones (1970). Johnny B Goode’s (1972) a fun cover of early rock song (Chuck Berry 1958). So Grateful Dead played covers they enjoyed & wrote a bunch more. Lots of silly little fun songs. Funiculi funicula. Quinn the eskimo. 🙂 Eclectic. Fun. Serious. Serious fun. Being smart. Being human. Being real. There’s lots more to explore, but the essence has come through pretty clearly already. Ok, Fire In The Mountain (1978) is an example of the more sophisticated part of their stylistic range. Dark Star (1968) too.
22 nov 2010
john lennon timeline
– motivated by new pbs lennon biopic. most data from wikipedia.
1940 – born, october
– beginning of 3 pre-beatles years in hamburg. john, paul, george. ringo came later.
– marries cynthia
– 8 April 1963 – son julian born
– ed sullivan show
– icy reunion with dad (according to pbs biopic)
– first LSD.
“At a 1965 dinner party given by John Riley, a dentist, the Lennons, Harrison and Pattie Boyd were given LSD without their knowledge.  Against the repeated advice of Riley and his wife, they later went to various nightclubs. At one club, they thought the lift up to the club was on fire; crawling out of the lift for which Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull and Starr were waiting. Harrison later drove them back home in Boyd’s Mini Cooper at no more than 10 mph, as he was feeling the effects of the drug. They stayed up all night at Kenwood, experiencing the full effects of their first LSD trip. Lennon then started taking LSD on a regular basis. The Beatles publicly renounced drugs—although never completely—after their initial meetings with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in London, and took a train to Bangor, in Wales, to meet him again in the summer of 1967. Epstein had previously agreed to travel to Bangor after the August Bank holiday, but died of a drug overdose on 27 August.“
– 27 august – brian epstein dies
– (begin dec 1966 – release 1967) sgt pepper’s lonely hearts club band album
– disillusioned in india
In the interim came The Beatles, a double LP popularly known as the White Albumfor its virtually featureless cover. Creative inspiration for the album came from an unexpected quarter when, with Epstein’s guiding presence gone, the group turned to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as theirguru. At his ashram in Rishikesh, India, a three-month “Guide Course” became one of their most creative periods, yielding a large number of songs including most of the thirty recorded for the album.Starr left after ten days, likening it to Butlins, and McCartney eventually grew bored with the procedure and departed a month later. For Lennon and Harrison, creativity turned to questioning when Yanni Alexis Mardas, the electronics technician dubbed Magic Alex, suggested that the Maharishi was attempting to manipulate the group. After Mardas alleged that the Maharishi had made sexual advances to women attendees, Lennon was persuaded and left abruptly, taking the unconvinced Harrison and the remainder of the group’s entourage with him. In his anger Lennon wrote a pointed song called “Maharishi”, but later modified it to avoid a legal suit, resulting in “Sexy Sadie“. McCartney said, “We made a mistake. We thought there was more to him than there was.”
– apple corps formed on return from india. a brian epstein idea for “tax effective” operations.
– white album. breakup before the breakup.
During recording sessions for the album, which stretched from late May to mid-October 1968, relations among the band’s members grew openly divisive. Starr quit for a period, leaving McCartney to perform drums on several tracks. Lennon’s romantic preoccupation with avant-garde artist Yoko Ono contributed to tension within the band and he lost interest in co-writing with McCartney. Flouting the group’s well-established understanding that they would not take partners into the studio, Lennon insisted on bringing Ono, anyway disliked by Harrison, to all of the sessions. Increasingly contemptuous of McCartney’s creative input, he began to identify the latter’s compositions as “granny music”, dismissing “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” as “granny shit”. Recalling the White Album sessions, Lennon gave a curiously foreshortened summing-up of the band’s history from that point on, saying, “It’s like if you took each track off it and made it all mine and all Paul’s… just me and a backing group, Paul and a backing group, and I enjoyed it. We broke up then.” McCartney also recalled that the sessions marked the start of the break-up, saying, “Up to that point, the world was a problem, but we weren’t” which had always been “the best thing about The Beatles”. Issued in November, the White Album was the band’s first Apple Records album release. The new label was a subsidiary of Apple Corps, formed by the group on their return from India, fulfilling a plan of Epstein’s to create a tax-effective business structure. The record attracted more than two million advance orders, selling nearly four million copies in the US in little over a month, and its tracks dominated the playlists of US radio stations. Despite its popularity, it did not receive flattering reviews at the time. According to Jonathan Gould,
– more yoko
– The Yellow Submarine LP finally appeared in January 1969.
– beatles break up
– sept 3 – john and yoko leave uk to live in america
– dies in new york city, december
– 17 April 1998 – linda eastman mccartney dies of cancer. first diagnosed in 1995. married to paul 1969.
dec 22 2010
gene simmons fav stories
– u/w on pw bcast increase “prayer”, pw’s 1st guy, public places with pw … hold this for me … towel & amoretto … ♥