The Bobs

Happy birthday to Jorge Santana (of Malo) (1954)!

The Bobs are an acapella group that is still active…at least I think they are still active.  And there aren’t very many acapella groups that I follow at all…

CD                20 SONGS – 20 YEARS                              ACAPELLA US             PAC 2950

2003 20 TRKS stereo CD collection, acapella


CD                BOBS, THE                                                  RHINO US                  R2 71464

1987 15 TRKS stereo CD “Art For Art’s Sake” – their debut

LP                 BOBS, THE                                                  KALEIDOSCOPE US   F-18

1983 11 TRKS stereo LP acapella, insert – “Art For Art’s Sake” – their debut


CD                COASTER                                                    ACAPELLA US             PAC 2900

2000 18 TRKS stereo CD acapella


CD                COVER THE SONGS OF…                          ROUNDER US            CD 9049

1994 13 TRKS stereo CD acapella


LP                 MY, I’M LARGE                                          GREAT AMER US       GAMH 001

1987 12 TRKS stereo LP insert, acapella


CD                PLUGGED                                                   ROUNDER US            CD 9059

1995 14 TRKS stereo CD acapella


CD                SHUT UP AND SING!                                 ROUNDER US            CD 9039

1993 13 TRKS stereo CD acapella


CD                SING THE SONGS OF…                             KALEIDOSCOPE US   K-48

1991 13 TRKS stereo CD acapella


CD                SONGS FOR TOMORROW MORNING    RHINO US                  R2 71466

1988 15 TRKS stereo CD acapella

Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin

Happy birthday to drummer Charlie Watts (The Rolling Stones) (1941)!

Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin; everything I’ve ever seen for sale.

CD                BIG IDEA, THE                                                           RYKODISC US      RCD 20172  1990 10 TRKS stereo CD


7″                 BUSY DOING NOTHING (PS)                                   BROKEN UK         BROKEN 5    1983 2 TRKS with pic sleeve


12″               I’M IN A DIFFERENT WORLD                                   BROKEN CAN      QDC-304      1984 3 TRKS stereo 12″ with pic sleeve


12″               IT’S MY PARTY                                                           PLATINUM CAN  PRD 001       1982 2 TRKS stereo 12″ with pic sleeve


7″                 IT’S MY PARTY / WAITING IN THE WINGS            PLATINUM US     PR-4              1981 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo


7″                 IT’S MY PARTY / WAITING IN THE WINGS (PS)    BROKEN UK         BROKEN 2    1981 2 TRKS with pic sleeve


7″                 LEIPZIG / RICH FOR A DAY (PS)                              BROKEN UK         BROKEN 6    1983 2 TRKS with pic sleeve


12″               LOCOMOTION, THE                                                 BROKEN UK         BROKIT 8      1983 3 TRKS stereo 12″ with pic sleeve


7″                 SIAMESE CAT SONG (PS)                                         BROKEN UK         BROKEN 4    1983 2 TRKS with pic sleeve


CD                SPIN                                                                           RYKODISC US      RCD 20213  1991 10 TRKS stereo CD


CD                UP FROM THE DARK                                                RYKODISC US      RCD 10011  1986 14 TRKS stereo CD

Work #2

Happy birthday to singer Tommy Roe (1942) and singer Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield) (1944).

From West Covina, I was offered a job at the distributor that owned the store I was working for.  Late ’78 or early ’79?  No girlfriend, all the high school girlfriends were busy now in college!  My band was “active” at that time, too.  The distributor was in Glendale, CA – about 35 miles from my home, but I could carpool with my late brother, who also worked there.

I worked for the guy who had taken over the ‘imported’ product; so I pulled orders and got to use the shrinkwrap machine a lot!  My brother worked in the special order office and he seemed to fit in to working there better than I did.  I am maybe 21 at this time.  It was during this time that I first went to England and Europe.

I continued working at Superior Music Distributor, working more and enjoying it less.  Little did I know that the main course was just on the horizon!

I went to work for Tony Harrington in 1982.  USS&M, with an understanding that bI could run a mail-order business ANZ Imports.  I went to New Zealand 7 times between 1980 and 1987.  I imported LP’s from New Zealand from about 1982 to 1987.  I knew (and know) lots of music business people – in New Zealand.

A guy I met in NZ moved to England, and earned a lot of money.  He wanted a tax break, so he asked me about setting up an exporting company.  I had worked at an importer; I knew how to write catalogues, and how to arrange for shipments to be picked up etc.

The then-wife and I moved to England in late 1989, to check things out and to discuss further what paperwork had to be done for us to officially move to England.  We moved to England in February, 1990.

The guy hadn’t set any of it up.  He’d leased premises, but that was it!  It took ages to get accounts at record companies; and the shipping of product took more than a small bit of figuring out.

We only stayed in England a year, both the wife and I did our respective parts – she wrote a book catalogue and I wrote an LP / CD catalogue – all items that could potentially be exported.

The food wasn’t very good in England, in 1990.  We had to go to Holland to buy groceries!


Happy birthday to Texan guitarist / singer / songwriter Johnny “Guitar” Watson (1935), Dave Davies (of The Kinks, 1947) and singer Melanie (1947). This is also “the day the music died” – Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Richie Valens all go offshore, permanently.


My first exposure to France’s pop culture was in the 70’s – I got the debut LP by Michel Berger, the on one WEA with the heart on the cover. It was recorded at Chateau D’Herouville, like some really good Elton John LP’s had been. It’s pleasant enough pop music, and he passed away in the early 90’s of a heart attack.


Next blip on the musicology radar was when I got the debut LP by Lard Free, on Vamp. Lard Free = L’Art Frit = Free Art, but a slight perversion of that translation. It was like nothing else I had ever heard, and I had no trouble believing in it. In 1979, when I first went to Paris, I met Gilles Yepremian, Lard Free’s manager – he lived in Pigalle, then. I also met Roland Bocquet, the keyboard player who made a great not-on-CD album called “Paradia” on Cobra Records. Roland had been the keyboard player for a band called Catharsis.


There used to be a company up in Portland, OR called Intergalactic Trading Company. I dealt with a guy called Archie Patterson. He sold me all kinds of oddball French pop (and not-so-pop) musique.


In Paris, I particularly liked Crocodisc, on the rue des Ecoles, left bank. I also frequented FNAC, the large co-op record store. I succeeded in seeing Jacques Higelin; I did not succeed in seeing L’Affaire Louis’ Trio – their show had been cancelled and moved to a much later date (Pre-internet world! N’existe pas maintenant!).


Then there is the post-CD world of French pop musique, with all those wonderful clips on Boulevard Des Clips. Thrill to Les Rita Mitsouko (saw ‘em in L.A.!), Niagara, Charlelie Couture (saw ‘em in Malakoff, in Paris), Etienne Daho, Les Drellas, Jay Alanski (he wrote back to me!). And so many others! Peter & The Electro Kitsch keyboard player Igor Bolender was actually in my car, a few times. His wife Yael moved to Los Angeles, to be closer to the spirits of Jim Morrison and Mark Hollis, the Talk Talk singer. Here’s her store, where I DJ almost monthly:


And the food is really good in France! I love having dinner at La Coupole, in Montparnasse. When I die that’s where you should have my wake. And order something really good! And go downstairs and look at the decorative stuff by the restrooms. I think it used to be a dancehall, in the 30’s. Haven’t been there lately, so my info might be old hat now.

Where Were You in 1990?


Where were you in 1990?

I was living in England, working for a newly-formed export CD company in 1990.  I got to watch British TV as much as I wanted and I got to hear a bunch of interesting pop singles by new artists that I wouldn’t have heard otherwise.  I was watching “Top Of The Pops”, “The Chart Show”, “Bedrock”…listening to Radio 1…

I believe that we can all identify and assign music to certain times in our lives – this set of songs are particularly easy for me to name – I was living in England when I first obtained most of them. I do still listen to plenty of English music, notably Scritti Politti, The Monochrome Set and A Certain Ratio, but I haven’t been back to England since 1990.  Try and make yourself the following collection:

A CERTAIN RATIO – Spirit Dance (from “Four For The Floor”, also found on their wonderful remix A&M album, “ACR:MCR”)

INGA HUMPE – First 5 Minutes (from the “Planet Oz” CD, co-written with Liam Sternberg, a writer who had previously worked with Lene Lovich – Inga used to have a group with her sister, “Humpe Humpe” – remember them?  Germans!)

ADAMSKI – Killer (featuring Seal) (This song reminds me of Saturday mornings walking around Bristol – I would hear this blaring out of record shops & cars)

FRAZIER CHORUS – Cloud 8 (7” version) (I first saw this on “The Chart Show” and fell in love with it – I love all of their stuff and wish there was more!)

THE STRANGLERS – Sweet Smell Of Success (one of their last singles with Hugh Cornwell, from the album “10”)

DARLING BUDS – Tiny Machine (7” version) (another one that reminds me of wandering around the town that I lived in, Bath – overcast Saturday mornings)

L’AFFAIRE LOUIS’ TRIO – Chacun De Son Cote (the lead off single from their 3rd album – while living in England, France was close and cheap enough to go on the weekends…and I frequently did!)

JESUS JONES – Real Real Real (7” mix) (another one probably introduced to me by “The Chart Show” on TV – nice riff!)

THE CHARLATANS – The Only One I Know (I think I have Radio 1 to thank for this one – or maybe I heard it playing in a record store – my first thought was “Who’s covering ‘Hush’ by Deep Purple?” – this is before they sign to Beggar’s Banquet)

NED’S ATOMIC DUSTBIN – Kill Your Television (I liked the name and sentiment – I do not remember where I first heard it – again, before they signed to a big label – Sony)

LUXURIA – The Beast Box Is Dreaming (7 inch) (I was a big Magazine fan – and had actually seen Luxuria in L.A., before this single – my memory is of going to Bristol to buy an autographed copy of Howard’s book of lyrics)

WONDER STUFF – Circlesquare (I had been following The Wonder Stuff since their debut album – I noticed an EP on the Polygram release sheet, “Lunarthug EP” GONCD 9, which was never released – this was what got released in it’s place, but it got a new number, GONCD 10.  I never got to see this band live – too bad)

THE NITS – Radio Shoes (Like France, Holland was close enough to go for the weekend – I got to stand in the rain and watch The Nits work on the video for this – a stop-frame-motion thing – as I recall, they had me improvise an introduction for this song on tape – or possibly film)

JANE CHILD – Don’t Wanna Fall In Love (Definitely a Radio 1 song – which I remember making fun of – I found an inexpensive Japanese 3” of it sometime later – presumably to listen and laugh at – nice unsubtle lyrics – horrid video)

THE CREEPS – Ooh I Like It (one from “The Chart Show”, though I doubt it charted in England – wonderful Swedish band with about 4 albums total, I think – it was songs like this that made it really fun to watch cruddy TV in England!)

THE ADVENTURES OF STEVIE V – Dirty Cash (another one I used to make fun of and laugh at – so typical of the time – I found a CD of it recently for less than $1)

OH WELL – Oh Well (This must be one that I purchased just to see what the hell it was – a techno-y version of the Fleetwood Mac classic with Zappa samples in it!  The same group also did a similar version of Golden Earring’s “Radar Love”!)

MICHEL POLNAREFF – L.N.A.  H.O. (from his masterpiece “Kama-Sutra” – my friends in Paris were telling that Polnareff had been there, holed up in the Royal Monceau hotel for months – I needed to hear what that sounded like!  To date, this is his final album of new material – much to the chagrin of the MPM’s – ‘Michel Polnareff Maniacs’, of Tokyo, Japan)

KIRSTY MacCOLL – Don’t Come The Cowboy With Me, Sonny Jim (the 4th of 4 singles from her wonderful “Kite” album – I saw this played live on the French & Saunders show – it was tons of fun to buy 3” CD singles in 1990!)

PREFAB SPROUT – Looking For Atlantis (the CD single for this was a truncated Greatest Hits CD, so that suited me.  I probably bought it on name recognition)

MANO NEGRA – Pas Assez De Toi (1990 French CD single from “Puta’s Fever” – probably purchased on a weekend trip to France – I also bought the “Pita’s Fever” video, where you can see the video for this – amazing!)

Missing from this collection: World Party  “Way Down Now”, Candy Flip “Strawberry Fields Forever” (I only have it on a 12”), They Might Be Giants “Birdhouse In Your Soul” (I saw them on dozens of TV shows playing this song), The B-52’s “Roam” (again, all over TV – even children’s shows!), MAM “Oote” (Dutch art rockers that are friends of mine), Joe Meek singles (I listened to tons of Joe Meek material while I lived in England – I got to meet the guys from the fan club and the author of the Joe Meek book, John Repsch – Jim Blake from the fan club gave me tapes of “I Hear A New World”, the Silas Dooley Jr. album and LOTS of Meek-produced singles…also concurrent with my year in England was the debut I.R.S. single by Dread Zeppelin “Heartbreaker”, my old Pasadena friends…

What were you listening to in 1990?

Ron Kane