Today is Frank Zappa’s birthday! Big ’76!
I will listen to something in his honor…
- Ron Kane
Today is Frank Zappa’s birthday! Big ’76!
I will listen to something in his honor…
Happy birthday Thelonious Monk (1918), playwright Harold Pinter (1930) and 2 members of Procol Harum, Keith Reid (the lyricist) (1946) and Alan Cartwright (1945) – Nothing much else to say about them. Also, “Hot Rats” by Frank Zappa is released today in 1969; an album that I have loved since it was released.
At present, I have something like 34,800 albums in my collection. Yes, at times it is overwhelming. When I see good titles, I usually buy ‘em. However, if I got rid of all other titles that I already similarly have – I could easily say that I see 35,000 as being the maximum number I require. Yes, I have over-collected. So, how do I say when I am done collecting something? In the 70’s / 80’s, it used to be if I found a Japanese LP or German LP. Since the advent of SA-CD, I lean towards having an SA-CD of a title, and usually an “original” LP (for the packaging). This is because of such care that goes into the mastering of any given title, for the SA-CD.
So, if I limit myself to 35,000 titles, I’ve got about 200 left before I have to do anything. And if I want, all I would have to do is “make room” for a newer title by eliminating an older title. Just formulating this idea, so we’ll see.
It is physically massive, owning almost 35,000 titles – at least 3 rooms of my home are nothing but phonograph record shelving.
So, I will try to keep my collection down to just 35,000 titles. I bet I can do that!
Happy birthday Carl Wayne of The Move (1944)!
I have been reading the book by Peter Hook “The Hacienda – How To Not Run A Club”; here’s a sample month of bookings:
Saturday 3rd FUNKAPOLITAN
Wednesday 7th LIAISONS DANGEREUSES
Friday 9th A CERTAIN RATIO
Weds. 14th ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN
Saturday 17th SIMPLE MINDS
Monday 19th BLANCMANGE
Thursday 22nd THE BIRTHDAY PARTY
Weds 28th BUZZZ (never heard of ‘em, perhaps a Manchester band?)
Friday 30th J. WALTER NEGRO & THE LOOSE JOINTZ (never heard of ‘em, perhaps a Manchester band?)
The book is fairly straightforward about how they (New Order) did not know how to run a nightclub.
Of the above bands, I saw A Certain Ratio (about 1984/5 “Club Lingerie”), Simple Minds (at the time of “Sons and Fascination”, “Whisky A Go Go”) and The Birthday Party (at “The Roxy”, within a year of them playing at The Hacienda). All 3 of those bands were ‘to my taste’, the first two British, The Birthday Party being Australian (a BIG difference!).
Happy summer Solstice! And happy birthday to guitarist Chet Atkins (1924); Alan Longmuir (of Bay City Rollers) (1953); and to Nigel Morris (of Isotope) (1948)!
Early June and the record collecting bug didn’t bring much. The following records came from two record stores in downtown Long Beach, one of which was rather dirty – but who cares?
CORNELIUS – FANTASMA orange, WARNER JPN 2LP re-issue
No serial Number. So what is this? It is meant for Japanese domestic sale? Still, it’s more than was on vinyl previously – and it was cheap for a 2LP new issue (under $20).
GREENWOOD, MICK – …TO FRIENDS, MCA US LP
Weird one, this. Only 99 cents, but with Barry De Souza, Jerry Donahue, Tony Cox…I can see interest in him via the late great STRANGE DAYS magazine, so I bought one. Not bad – guy has an unusual voice.
MYTON, CEDRIC / CONGOS – CAN’T TAKE IT AWAY, GO FEET UK 12″
Not many who aren’t The Beat on Go Feet, but Cedric Myton & The Congos were one!
SEVILLE, DAVID / BAGDASARIAN, ROSS – OH JUDGE, YOUR HONOR, DEAR SIR, SWEETHEART, LIBERTY US 7″ promo
Only one I didn’t get to yet. But I am fairly familiar with Ross Bagdasarian, the creator of The Chipmunks.
TRIUMVIRAT – ILLUSIONS ON A DOUBLE DIMPLE, HARVEST US LP
German progressive rock LP via Harvest Records USA, that I had previously examined and deemed it unworthy of further attention. For $2.-, it wasn’t a bad LP. But would I buy a whole set of Triumvirat LP’s even at $2 an LP?
Happy birthday Ray Thomas (of The Moody Blues) (1941) and Marianne Faithfull (1946). I like both of them!
“Into Battle” by The Art of Noise was an anonymous 12” single by a British band, The Art of Noise. We all knew Trevor Horn from The Buggles, whose debut album sounded really good. But “Into Battle” was different. Was it entirely made up of PPG / Fairlight keyboards? Sounded that way…
Big groan of disappointment that Kraftwerk didn’t seem capable of making an album in 1983. This was a war we wanted the Germans to win! But others were present. “Henk” by The Nits was a Dutch band that used the PPG synthesizer in 1986, while Kraftwerk were still reading the manual for the PPG.
But “Into Battle” wins. The first (and best?) PPG / Fairlight recording. Mind you, I am fairly fond of Mainframe “5 Minutes”, too. But “Into Battle” wins yet again – by a few years! So, who was first to use the Fairlight? Who used it the best? Where was it invented? Wikipedia says the Fairlight comes from Australia, so maybe the British did have access before the Germans?
Peter Gabriel and Raymond “Boz” Burrell had the first two in England, according to Wikipedia. No matter. Loads of Fairlight devices popped up all over England / Europe by the mid-80’s.
It took until 2011 for there to be a ZTT / Salvo CD of “Into Battle” (together with a collaged album “Worship”, which was unreleased until 2011). There had been other Art of Noise CD’s, but never “Into Battle” until 2011. Played it the other evening, sounds great to me!
Happy birthday to Mr. Frank Zappa (1940) and Russian bad guy Joe Stalin (1879).
My heart nearly skipped a beat when Universal Japan scheduled a NEW SET of Zappa kami (paper) sleeve CD’s. But it was short-lived, and the series got cancelled quickly. Saved myself a couple hundred bucks, right?
“Finer Moments” was a FZ 2LP set that I knew nothing about. Even says it’s an “Official Release” (#94). But there didn’t appear to be a CD of it, then. So, I bought one.
Next I probably saw a new 2LP re-issue of “Roxy & Elsewhere” – a good FZ album, on many levels. Definitely a “new package” of an old favorite. Even says it’s an “Official Release” (#19). New mastering. So, I figured…better get a copy.
Probably the last new FZ LP I got was “Apostrophe”. For a single LP, it was a tad expensive. Totally re-designed rear cover, 180g LP, New mastering. I bought one anyway.
“Overnight Sensation” was not a difficult choice. The original US LP’s always seemed to have a mastering flaw, by where the LP didn’t sound great. The new Universal LP re-issue sounds great. Rear cover completely re-designed.
“Uncle Meat” 2LP re-issue must’ve been inexpensive, somewhere. Spine and rear cover totally re-designed. New mastering, 180g LP’s, nice printing – the booklet! An easy no-brainer for me.
“Freak Out” took some deciding, on my part. Most of these LP re-issues have been from “as good as possible” tapes, so I approached it via that avenue. Cover seems a little bit blurry. Really good 2LP set! It’s from original tapes, so it doesn’t have the ‘digital’ sound of the older CD.
I do not know where entire shows of older bands come from, but they’re here! There are 3 or 4 FZ ones, but only one I bought was “The Mothers Of Invention – Wollman Rink, Central Park, NY August 3rd 1968”. So this is a bootleg, right? Sound isn’t 100%. Perhaps not even a professional recording?
I hope Dweezil Zappa & Co. re-issues more quad (or 5.1) FZ, as we know Mr. Zappa mixed several albums to quad, way back when. “Apostrophe”, “Overnight Sensation” – any others? “Grand Wazoo”? A 5.1 “200 Motels”?
Happy birthday Donny Osmond (1957), Joan Armatrading (1950) and Rick Danko (of The Band) (1943). The “ex” liked Donny Osmond; I like the debut album by Joan Armatrading; jury still out on the guy from The Band. Unless there’s video, it’s hard to tell who is singing!
I love sorting and re-sorting my collection! Earlier today, I re-filed some stuff that I doubt I ever listened to. Not only that, but I am writing this on 12/8/15. Where’d my backlog go?
I do another DJ set this coming Saturday, at Cuculapraline in Los Angeles. For December, it’s Xmas music (audible sound of groans etc.) – but I do this every December!
To choose from, here’s some of the CD’s I’ll use:
V.A. – Café Apres Midi Christmas (Toshiba Japan) feat. Roy Wood, The Chipmunks etc.
V.A. – Merry Merry EpiChristmas (Epic / Sony Japan) feat. Bros, TM Network, Dreams Come True etc.
V.A. – Merry Merry Christmas! (CBS / Sony Japan) feat. Percy Faith, Johnny Mathis, Mitch Miller etc.
THE SINGING DOGS – Jingle Bells (RCA) whatever happened to Don Charles?
CANNED HEAT – Christmas Album (Fuel US)
CHRIS SQUIRE – Swiss Choir (Stone Ghosts US)
THE SUPREMES – Merry Christmas (Motown Japan)
Happy birthday Ray Collins (singer of The Mothers Of Invention) (1937).
Recently, while in Portland, OR I had the option to buy the new Frank Zappa album, “Roxy – The Movie”. I selected the CD + Blu-ray version and bought it at Music Millennium (a store very much like Rhino Claremont).
First off, this is NOT “The Roxy & Elsewhere” double LP nor is it the “Roxy By Proxy” recent CD; it’s a whole new kettle of fish! It will be easy to find, if you look for it this year, but – no guarantees after 2015!
I have heard for decades that they (The ZFT = Zappa Family Trust) have TONS of unsynched / unsynchable footage of the December 1973 Roxy shows by Frank Zappa & The Mothers. Someone who used to work for Mr. Zappa told me that.
However, what wouldn’t have been possible even 5 years ago is now…commonplace? That someone with a computer can, in fact, synch up unsynchable footage? Well, that’s true. And someone did synch up a whole bunch of Roxy footage! And it doesn’t look bad at all, if you can forgive some absent pixie dust, and Mr. Zappa’s usual warning about stuff being “live” and “not overdubbed”.
It is heavily mightily “synched” – when they don’t know what to do, something goes to soft focus or the backs of heads. And, I must say, Pamela Miller never looked better!
There’s an 11 track CD that comes with the movie, though the 5.1 mix of the movie audio will likely suggest that I watch the movie again, as opposed to play the CD. The packaging says Mr. Zappa mixed the whole thing to quad in 1974…
And it’s the first Frank Zappa blu-ray disc! Let’s hope they have more waiting in the tank, ‘cause this one was fun. “Dub Room Special”, “200 Motels”, “Baby Snakes” can all be re-sold to Zappa fans, anxiously awaiting further blu-ray releases. But what will they do?
Certainly they don’t seem to be hurrying to release any more DVD-A releases, like the powerful “Quadraphiliac” (or thereabouts). Mr. Zappa himself did, in fact, mix lots of his 70’s work into quad, so one thinks it could possible that the ZFT lets go…but at this point, it seems somewhat unlikely.
By 1976, I was busily chasing European music, trying to “fill in” my collection with Can LP’s etc. I was particularly fond of French music, notably Lard Free. We were also trying to figure out who to get to be in our band (our first LP was released in 1978).
Summer of 1976 brought my first record store job – Bellflower, CA. I was regularly going to record collector swap meets and as many record stores as I could find! I had yet to develop my theory of “There are records anywhere there are lots of people” – in 1976, it was “go wherever there are colleges, and there will be record stores”, which was true back then. That theory worked for some California locations, such as Berkeley, CA, Orange, CA – there were so many record stores in California!
Truth is, once I started working full-time, I could only go to record stores when I wasn’t working. I was always in search of “imported” LP’s, which were not absolutely everywhere.
After a few years of working in a record store, it became obvious that I needed to go to Europe, in search of further European music. So, in the fall of 1979, with some advice from record collector friends, I went to London, England without a hotel reservation.
Very intoxicating for a 21 year old record collector to go to the U.K. for the first time! Who could be bothered with reservations? The first place I went to didn’t have anyplace for me, but – they kindly directed me to somewhere that did have a reasonable place to stay, Goldhawk Road area. I knew absolutely nothing about the size / scope of London. I only knew Los Angeles and San Francisco!
I easily figured out the tube / trains; I picked up my mail at the American Express office in the Haymarket! I didn’t care much for the food / drink in London. I got to France easily, and the food improved!
Arriving in Paris, I looked up as many musician’s names as I could in the phone book, mostly leaving messages; some had to be called a few times. I did successfully reach a few people: Gilles Yepremian and Roland Bocquet! Gilles Y managed Lard Free / Urban Sax – Lard Free had been my favorite band for several years. Roland Bocquet had been in the band Catharsis and I loved his recent album, “Paradia”.
When I went to Germany, I looked up Holger Czukay of Can – in the phone book. He picked me up at the Koln train station in his Volkswagen!
Sweden and Finland were a bit more problematic, as I couldn’t find any names I knew in the telephone books I could find. What do they even call record stores in Sweden? How do I look it up?
I caught the boat to Helsinki in Stockholm, and stayed at a glorious hotel that I spotted, “Hotel Helsinki” in that fall of 1979.
Venice, Italy! I had an intro to Aldo Tagliapietra of Le Orme and he directed me to a tiny place in Mestre, just outside of Venice. He was super nice to me and spoke perfect English. He put me onto Ronnie Thorpe, in Milan.
Happy birthday, Ed Cassidy (of Spirit) (1931); Zal Cleminson (of The Sensational Alex Harvey Band) (1949).
Yesterday 5/3 Happy birthday to agitator / singer / songwriter Pete Seeger (of The Weavers) (1919); Welsh singer Mary Hopkin (1950); soul-man James Brown (1928).
Buena Park swap meet, April 2015 – Most are from $2 Bob. But they were $1 45’s!
ALPERT, HERB / TIJUANA BRASS – TASTE OF HONEY, A&M US 7” re-issue
ALPERT, HERB / TIJUANA BRASS – MEXICAN SHUFFLE, A&M US 7” re-issue
ASSOCIATION – PANDORA’S GOLDEN HEEBIE JEEBIES, VALIANT US 7” early 45
AVERAGE WHITE BAND – WALK ON BY, ATLANTIC US 7”
AVERAGE WHITE BAND – CUT THE CAKE, ATLANTIC US 7”
BARE, BOBBY – HE WAS A FRIEND OF MINE, RCA US 7” promo, Don Bowman co-write
BEAU BRUMMELS – TWO DAYS ‘TIL TOMORROW, WARNER US 7” ’67 promo
BELAFONTE, HARRY – HELLO EVERYBODY, RCA US 7” ’55 promo
BIG BROTHER / HOLDING COMPANY – PIECE OF MY HEART / TURTLE BLUES, COLUMBIA US 7” promo, edited A-Side
BROOD, HERMAN / WILD ROMANCE – SATURDAYNIGHT, ARIOLA US 7”
COASTERS, THE – YAKETY YAK / ALONG CAME JONES, ATLANTIC US 7’ re-issue
COFFEY, DENNIS / DETROIT GUITAR BAND – SCORPIO, SUSSEX US 7” instrumental
COFFEY, DENNIS / DETROIT GUITAR BAND – TAURUS, SUSSEX US 7” instrumental
COLLINS, DAVE AND ANSIL – DOUBLE BARRELL, BIG TREE US 7” early reggae 45
COOPER, ALICE – ELECTED, WARNER US 7”
DINO, DESI AND BILLY – I’M A FOOL, REPRISE US 7”
DRAKE, PETE – FOREVER / MIDNIGHT IN AMARILLA, SMASH US 7” instrumental
DYLAN, BOB – HURRICANE (PART 1), COLUMBIA US 7” promo
ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA – SHOWDOWN / IN OLD ENGLAND TOWN, U.A. US 7” with B-Side
ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA – SHOWDOWN, U.A. US 7” promo, without B-Side
FINN, TIM – THROUGH THE YEARS / GRAND ADVENTURE, A&M US 7” US
FIXX, THE – SECRET SEPARATION, MCA US 7”
FLEETWOOD MAC – OH WELL (Part 1) / GREEN MANALISHI, REPRISE US 7” re-issue; I never knew Warner / Reprise acknowledged the existence of this 45, after F. Mac got popular!
GENTRYS, THE – KEEP ON DANCING, MGM US 7”
GOODMAN, DICKIE – HORROR MOVIES, RORI US 7” ’61 promo
GOODMAN, DICKIE – WATERGATE, RAINY WEDS US 7”
GRASS ROOTS – RIVER IS WIDE, DUNHILL US 7” promo
GUESS WHO – NO SUGAR TONIGHT / AMERICAN WOMAN, RCA US 7” re-issue
GUESS WHO – LAUGHING / UNDUN, RCA US 7” re-issue
GUESS WHO – RAIN DANCE / SOUR SUITE, RCA US 7” re-issue
GUESS WHO – ALBERT FLASHER / BROKEN, RCA US 7” re-issue
HARRIS, ROLF – SUN ARISE / SOMEONE’S PINCHED MY WINKLES, EPIC US 7”
HENDRIX, JIMI – PURPLE HAZE / FOXEY LADY, REPRISE US 7” promo, re-issue; but it’s a freakin’ Hendrix promo white label 45!
IRON BUTTERFLY – GET OUT OF MY LIFE WOMAN, ATCO US 7” EP promo-only, from the time of “Heavy”, yeah!
JETHRO TULL – MINSTREL IN THE GALLERY / SUMMER DAY SAND, CHRYSALIS US 7” with a B-Side!
LOGGINS AND MESSINA – YOUR MAMA DON’T DANCE, COLUMBIA US 7” promo, my complete collection of Loggina and Messina!
MILES, BUDDY – WHOLESALE LOVE, MERCURY US 7”
MILES, BUDDY – GIVE AWAY NONE OF MY LOVE, MERCURY US 7”
NILSSON, HARRY – SPACEMAN / TURN ON YOUR RADIO, RCA US 7”
PATIENCE AND PRUDENCE – TONIGHT YOU BELONG TO ME, U.A. US 7” re-issue
PICKETT, BOBBY ‘BORIS’ – MONSTER MASH, PARROT US 7” promo, novelty
PINK LADY – KISS IN THE DARK, ELEKTRA US 7” W/PS stock copy!
QUATRO, SUZI – ROCK HARD, DREAMLAND US 7” W/PS ’80
RASCALS / YOUNG RASCALS – HOW CAN I BE SURE, ATLANTIC US 7”
RASCALS / YOUNG RASCALS – I AIN’T GONNA EAT OUT MY HEART ANYMORE, ATLANTIC US 7”
RASCALS / YOUNG RASCALS – GOOD LOVIN’ / MUSTANG SALLY, ATLANTIC US 7”
REED, JERRY – FIGHTIN’ FOR THE U.S.A., RCA US 7” ’65 promo
RE-FLEX – POLITICS OF DANCING, CAPITOL US 7” W/PS my complete collection!
ROSS AND THE SUPREMES, DIANA – BACK IN MY ARMS AGAIN, MOTOWN US 7” ’65 R&B
RUFFIN, JIMMY – WHAT BECOMES OF THE BROKENHEARTED, TAMLA MOTOWN UK 7” ’66 R&B
RUN DMC – WALK THIS WAY, PROFILE US 7” W/PS ’86 R&B
SAXOPHONE CIRCUS – ISADORA’S THEME, AVCO US 7” promo
SESAME STREET – RUBBER DUCKIE / SESAME STREET, COLUMBIA US 7” the debut Sesame Street 45?
SHOCKING BLUE – MIGHTY JOE, COLOSSUS US 7” a 45’s that’s not “Venus”!
SILVER CONVENTION – GET UP AND BOOGIE, MIDLAND US 7” W/PS
SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE – IF YOU WANT ME TO STAY, EPIC US 7”
STEVENS, RAY – BRIDGET THE MIDGET, BARNABY US 7” promo
STEWART, ROD – I KNOW I’M LOSING YOU / MANDOLIN WIND, MERCURY US 7”
STILLS, STEPHEN – CHANGE PARTNERS / RELAXING TOWN, ATLANTIC US 7”
SWEET – LITTLE WILLY, BELL US 7” promo, mono / stereo
THOMAS, RUFUS – WALKING THE DOG, STAX US 7”
TURTLES – LET ME BE / YOUR MAW SAID YOU CRIED, WHITE WHALE US 7”
U.K. JOE – SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES / DEADWOOD CENTRAL, BELL US 7” promo, could this be Mike Berry?
WHO, THE – REAL ME, THE / I’M ONE, TRACK RECORD US 7”
So, 45’s are what make me happy and $2 Bob prided me with the above for $1 each.