Allan Holdsworth

I had the good fortune to see Allan Holdsworth play live a few times.  He was always amazing – but, then again, I was a huge fan of Tempest!

I managed to get some of his hard-to-find records / CD’s, too:

I.O.U. (US)

John Wetton

I will never forget finding Mogul Thrash, before I knew who was in them.  It was a terrible album on RCA UK.

Later, I discovered John Wetton was the bassist of Family, a band I loved very much.  I still think his best work was with Family.

Later still, he joined King Crimson…then Asia…had a solo career…while there are those who favor his K.C. activities, I always loved his work on “Fearless” and “Bandstand”, making my favorite Family 45 “Burlesque”.


Keith Emerson dies

Keith Emerson died today…
My interest in Emerson, Lake & Palmer goes as far as their 2nd LP “Tarkus”.  The debut album sounds AMAZING, if you can find an Island UK copy of the LP.  Not the Manticore re-issue, but an Island UK LP original LP.  Absolutely amazing sound.  I think I like the material on “Tarkus” better, though it has been years since I listened to it.  Not much of a fan of “Trilogy”.  “BSS” is better than “Trilogy”, but that’s not really saying much…

I like most of the work of The Nice, with my top Nice LP being “Autumn To Spring”, the collection of singles.  Side 2 of “Five Bridges” isn’t bad either.  And somehow, I have some very good Nice video, too!  (Truth is, there isn’t much decent EL&P video).

– Ron

Paul Kanter

I am considerably more affected by the death today of Paul Kanter than that of David Bowie.  Maybe it’s my age?  But the Jefferson Airplane LP’s crept in there so darned long ago that nearly everything sits on their shoulders, as far as I am concerned.

“Blows Against The Empire” has been a favorite LP ever since it’s initial release.  And for Jefferson Airplane, I’ll stick with “After Bathing At Baxter’s”; there is simply no way to overstate the importance of “ABAB” to me.  And, yes, I “Want Two Heads”!

I am getting tired of all the fawning over David Bowie, the constant repetition of people who worked with him “telling all” etc.  The guy died almost a month ago!

– Ron Kane, Los Angeles

Wayne Bickerton

Yesterday, happy birthday to impresario Jonathan King (1944). Today happy birthday to Tom Waits (1949).


I read last week that Wayne Bickerton died. Of Little meaning to most people, but as I was a King Crimson fan, it matters to me. For Mr. Bickerton produced the debut album by Giles, Giles & Fripp!


“The Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles & Fripp” came out on Deram Records in 1968 to little applause. When I first tried to find a copy (about 1971 or so), it was difficult, but I somehow managed to pull it off. It was inexpensive, as GG & F were not yet famous.


There is some decent music on that LP! What I got was a sealed copy of the U.S. version of “The Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles & Fripp”; $3.95 from a beloved record store that no longer exists (Ray Avery’s Rare Records, Glendale, CA).


It was not all that difficult to reconcile the GG&F LP to King Crimson. The sound is not all that dissimilar. It is easy to hear Mr. Fripp’s guitar work! Thankfully, King Crimson did not choose to use spoken word as intro / outro pieces.


I saw Mr. Bickerton’s name on a few other records I own – The World of Oz, for instance (Deram Records). And, of course, he was the same guy who bolstered The Rubettes, a wonderful UK 70’s glam rock band.


Mr. Bickerton also worked for a U.K. performing rights association, apparently. Anyway, he croaked.


So, if you’ve got anything with him as the producer, it’s likely fairly UK style cheese, waiting to happen on your turntable. It’s not all bad stuff, but…it is cheese.

Cilla Black

Happy birthday songwriter Jimmy Webb (1946), The Germs’ Pat Smear (1959), and Brazilian percussionist Airto (1951).

Today, we can discuss Cilla Black, who passed away recently.


Well, her records aren’t worth much, as there’s so darned many of ‘em. I’ve seen her albums on the innersleeves of Beatles’ records for decades! I had to check, but I do, in fact, own a Cilla Black LP, as part of my “UK Special Collections”, of course:


HER TWENTY GREATEST HITS        EMI NZ  HITS 8  LP           1974

1974 20 TRKS stereo LP collection


So, I own a 70’s NZ EMI LP of her “hits”, doubtlessly compiled by Bruce Ward, the guy at EMI NZ who also did the Dusty Springfield / Petula Clark / 60’s collections.


You could classify your CIlla Black LP’s a few different ways, but I prefer to have a “Friends of The Beatles” section, you know, the same place you put your Joyce Grenfell LP’s. And would Cilla be out of place in your “Beat Group” section, along with Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas, Gerry & The Pacemakers etc.?


Readers of this blog will know full well I lived in England for most of 1990, so Cilla Black hosted TV shows while I lived there – or was a guest on TV shows while I sat patiently, finger on the video pause button. I probably would’ve liked it better if she did TV commercials for cat food, “Whiskas” or some such.

Chris Squire

Happy birthday fusion jazz bassist Stanley Clarke (1951), jazz ‘loudmouth’ drummer Buddy Rich (1917) and Andy Scott (of The Sweet) (1949).

“The Fish” is gone.

As you’ll already know, Chris Squire, the man who gave Yes their distinctive bass sound passed away recently. I feel it’s not out of line to say that he was the main reason many of us were Yes fans. More than a few of my friends think his solo album, “Fish Out Of Water”, is as snappy as any Yes LP he played on. It is said he played on every Yes tour and every Yes LP.


I remember hearing “Created By Clive” by The Syn, long before I was a Yes fan. Like many other folks, I shuddered a bit when I heard about ‘Squackett’, which one presumes was a combination of a certain Genesis guitarist and Mr. Squire.


At least he’s not the first Yes death; Mr. Peter Banks left this Earth first. Now that’s another great LP / CD, “The Two Sides of Peter Banks”.


I understand Rick Wakeman is in the docket to check out next.


Is Steve Howe the Don Knotts of progressive rock?