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JohnO

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Posts posted by JohnO

  1. Bernie - I understand perfectly if you or Marv or anyone else doesn't care for a band's music.  That's fine - different strokes, and so on.........and God knows, I don't like the music of a number of bands/acts myself, many of whom are hugely popular.  What confuses me is bringing extraneous or seemingly irrelevant things into the equation. 

    Why, for example, the need to compare Big Star vs Raspberries?  Because a critic or two over the years, to simplify his explanation of power pop, lumped the two of them together?  Every Big Star fan I've ever met also loves Raspberries and Eric......and usually, Raspberries fans are pretty enthusiastic about Big Star as well. There are always exceptions.  To me, saying "I've listened to Big Star, and I don't care for their music -  it doesn't move me," is OK.  Saying they suck because Raspberries are better is a whole different kettle o' fish, though. If we apply that logic to rock & roll music in general, I'm guessing the conclusion might be that practically all bands suck because they're not as good as The Beatles.....and I don't know of ANY band or act that would disagree.

    Likewise, adding that critics have lionized Alex Chilton undeservedly, and Eric should have been getting similar adulation, makes no sense when evaluating Big Star's music. How were these two ever in competition?  Big Star, to me, was a great anomaly in Alex's career. It was damn near the only music he ever made which the critics loved when it was released. (And I do agree that he got too much credit for "#1 Record", seeing as Chris Bell wrote and sang lead on half of the album.)  It was also, far and away, the most melodic material he ever wrote or sang.  Why weren't they successful?  As in the case of Raspberries being promoted in an abysmal manner by Capitol, Big Star was screwed by their label Ardent, a subsidiary of Stax, which was used to promoting Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Booker T & The MGs, etc. I remember having trouble even finding their first 2 LPs in record stores back then. 

    Chilton certainly wasn't a critics' darling as a teenager in The Box Tops - too commercial for the critics in the 60s. And most of his post-Big Star solo career was also critically panned when it came out - too trashy sounding, lo-fi quality. I remember reading horrid reviews of "Like Flies On Sherbert", "High Priest" and his live in NYC album when they were released.  And critics everywhere trashed Big Star's 3rd album, "Sister Lovers" when it was released....as it was nothing like the poppier first two. What eventually won over the critics for Alex, IMO resulting in revisionism to a large extent, was the fact that he never stopped making music, and the fact that bands like REM and The Replacements kept telling interviewers that he was important to them.  He also produced a number of acts over the years, ranging from Panther Burns to The Cramps (a huge critics' darling) and The Gories (ditto) - and make no mistake - this was trashy, garage music, just like most of Alex's solo efforts.  Again, NOT in competition with Eric or his music. And regarding Alex's "bad boy" image.....Hell, he was stone cold sober, alcohol and drug-free for at least the last decade of his life, if not longer.

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  2. Hmmm......It appears not everybody hates Big Star or Alex Chilton here......seeing as Eric included a quote from Alex in the booklet for the just-released Essential Eric Carmen!  The quote - "I remember when I first heard the Raspberries.  Big Star were in a van traveling around doing some dates and we heard "Go All The Way" on the radio, and we said, "Wow, those guys are really doing it!"  I thought that was a great song."  Yet here, it's cartoons cussing out Big Star???

    P.S. Also just wondering where John M Borack (who posted here for years as Popdude) fits in.  In his book "Shake Some Action," he names "Starting Over" as the greatest power pop album in history........and the double disk set "# 1 Record / Radio City" by, you guessed it, Big Star, as the second greatest on his list of the 200 best power pop albums.  Perhaps he's a genius for his first pick, but an idiot for his second?

    Signed - huge Raspberries/Eric Carmen AND BIg Star/Alex Chilton fan.  And Eric - great, great job on the new collection!!!!  You are correct - significant improvement in sound on so much of the solo material......like night and day!!!

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  3. At the risk of nitpicking.........in that last post above, how did the names of Wilson, Caston & Poore wind up getting the songwriting credit at the bottom???  They're the guys who wrote The Temptations' song titled "Keep on Truckin"........and the lyrics to that song are completely different!

  4. On 9/11/2013 at 4:42 PM, Cayennegirl said:

    JohnO,

    The original song "Keep on Truckin'" may be a very old blues song.

    But, Hot Tuna definitely did write a song called "Keep on Truckin'."  I believe from the Burgers album but I could be wrong on that.  I also believe Papa John did play on the Burgers album in 1972.  Google it and you will be as disgusted by the lyrics as anything you've ever read.  And as Eric mentioned earlier, the screechy violin certainly didn't add anything to the hideousness of the band's songs and/or playing.

    Eddie Kendricks also wrote a song named "Keep on Truckin' (Baby)" which you will most likely remember.

    Cayennegirl - Yes, and my contention is that they stole/borrowed most, if not all, of their lyrics.....please read below.....from The Hangar website.........

    "For the origin of the lyrics to the Tuna staple, one would have to dig deep into the blues bag for a handful of songs that were passed around during the 1920s and '30s. A good place to start would be guitarist Tampa Red's "What Is It That Tastes Like Gravy?," an 8-bar blues with a melody remarkably similar to "Ja-Da" and filled with double-entendre lyrics that center on a woman's aroma and taste during sexual stimulation and the act of cunnilingus.

    From there, fast-forward to 1936 and a blues guitarist named Blind Boy Fuller, a contemporary of [Jorma's main influence] Rev. Gary Davis. Fuller made a series of recordings for the American Record Corporation (ARC), among them one that he called "Truckin' My Blues Away," whose chorus is identical to the Hot Tuna track. A couple of years later, Fuller returned to the same melody for another risque blues called "What's That Smell Like Fish."

    Jorma, who began singing a version of "Keep On Truckin'" as early as college, borrowed Carleton's original melody as coopted by Tampa Red and Blind Boy Fuller, the chorus of "Truckin' My Blues Away," and the key phrase and a handful of other lines from "What's That Smell Like Fish" to construct his own classic.

    But where Blind Boy Fuller suggested in his song that the answer to the question he posed could very well be "sardines but it ain't in no can," Jorma left the particular kind of fish out of his interpretation and answered instead with the name of his group."

     

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  5. Yes original Airplane members Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady were part of Hot Tuna. They basically played everything from blues to jazz to bluegrass. I believe the core of the band still exists today.

    Two really quick points of info.......(1) Hot Tuna most certainly did NOT write "Keep On Truckin".  It's a very old blues tune dating back to the 30s, via Blind Boy Fuller and Tampa Red.  I doubt that Jorma and Jack claimed that they wrote it, but stranger things have happened regarding songwriting credits.  (2) The screechy violinist with Hot Tuna was Papa John Creach, who recorded maybe 3-4 albums with Jorma, Jack and Joey Covington, as well as playing with Jefferson Starship later.

  6. The milk 'stache is a huge improvement over the real one that Salma grew for playing Frida Kahlo in "Frida" in '02. She decided that a fake one wouldn't look quite right, so she deliberately started shaving her upper lip to allow a real moustache to grow in. Rumor has it she now has to wax that lip regularly. Method acting.....

  7. Ira - According to the Republicans, Dagwood is a public servant of some sort....who cannot be fired, in spite of being incompetent, fraudulent, wasteful, abusive, etc. (Hence, he keeps his job....but don't worry, he'll get no pay raises for the next 75 years!)

    (On the other hand, it's also possible that he's not a public servant, but Blondie's doing Dithers on the side, unbeknownst to Dagwood!)

  8. I've seen dozens and dozens of posts, debates and arguments over the Eric/Joan J. Melody Maker over the years, but have never yet seen a reference to what kind of humbucker pups that Eric had installed in his MM. I'm guessing (and Bernie or Eric can correct me if I'm wrong) that Eric's never really been that big of a gearhead. If he were, I'm sure this info probably would have shown up at some point. And I've read arguments regarding, for example, the year of the guitar. Joan calls it a '68 and a California Model, but by that year, Gibson was using an SG body with pointed horns for their MM.....and there's no reference to a California Model MM on any Gibson site. My guess is it was a '65 or '66....but one-offs were occasionally made at Gibson, Fender, Gretsch, etc., throughout the 60s, so it could be a '68 made with an older body. Eric's customizing the old 60s MM resulted in the closest thing at the time to a Les Paul that wouldn't wear a player out due to the weight.

    While there's been a mystery as to the humbuckers he used, it has been documented that Joan used Velvet Hammer humbuckers in the guitar once she got it (made by Red Rhodes, Mike Nesmith's pedal steel player, who also designed and made boutique pickups), and the JJ Signature MM which came out several years ago had Burstbucker 3 pups, and was a copy of a copy of Eric's old guitar, and not an exact copy of JJ's #1 baby. Good luck.....

  9. OK, off the top of my head....and these are (or were) all real -

    ....And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead

    Her Majesty's Secret Cervix

    John Cougar Concentration Camp

    Dr. West's Medicine Show and Junk Band

    MDC (originally Millions of Dead Cops, but changed to the abbreviation when the band started getting hassled by the law for some reason...)

    The God Damn Whores

    Goblin Cock

    Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts (Russell Crowe's band)

    Death Cab For Cutie

    The Dead Kennedys

    Jerry's Kids

    Boris The Sprinkler

    Porno For Pyros

    The Butthole Surfers

    Trash Can Sinatras

    Ethyl Meatplow

    and my former best friend's band, Black Market Baby

    And I can probably come up with dozens more which are equally bizarre.....

  10. Former guitarist with Ronnie Dawson, Kim Lenz & The Jaguars, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and his own bands (most recently Nick Curran & The Low-Lifes), AND one of my Facebook Friends, Nick Curran, passed away this past Saturday at age 35, after battling oral cancer for the past 3 years. Saw him most recently in Maxwells in Hoboken in 2010. Nick looked bad, had lost a lot of weight, but he & his band fried our butts that night with his live show. Videos being posted soon. RIP, Nick....

  11. Frankly, I questioned Brian ever agreeing to do anything with Love in the first place, in light of all the past lawsuits and bad blood. This is consistent with Mike L's past behavior toward his former band members.

    Had Mike sat down with the other three, and told them that he wanted to take the Love/Johnston "Beach Boys" out on the road after the last 50th Reunion show was completed, and that he was afraid trhe original band might get overexposed, I'm guessing they might have agreed graciously, and gone back to their own bands and pursuits.....and they may have even agreed to record another album sometime in the future and reunite at a later date.

    What it appears happened is - Love instead wanted to throw his weight around and remind everyone that he owns the name "Beach Boys"....and he pulled this stunt without discussing it with Brian, Al or David. And I'm also sure he's laughing his ass off about the media referring to it as Mike "firing" Brian, Al & David. While those 3 appear to be disappointed, they certainly can't be surprised by Love doing something like this.

    I only hope that he tries to bill his band in some way that misleads the public into thinking they'll be seeing the other 3 originals....and he gets sued for it!

  12. Just saw him Saturday night at the Howard Theater (DC). Ian's also still got it live, even at age 73! He, of course, did the title track of the new album, and explained that he and the band didn't quite know how to end the song when recording it. . . .so he tossed in the line about pigs flying and "look at 'em!" Also said the new album would be entering this week's Billboard charts at #151. . . . may have been serious, but I doubt it. Only a few hundred people there, but everyone was a huge fan.

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