Strange Days

Happy birthday to singer / songwriter Bob Dylan (1941)!

“Strange Days” magazine in Japan has ceased publishing a print edition of their magazine.  I have been reading it faithfully since about 2009, though I do have issues prior to 2009.  They were always very good about writing about all progressive rock.  Apparently they first published in 1998 – I couldn’t understand their message on their page…

So, “Time Machine” came from them.  The recent popular “Progressive Rock” 6 part list came from a magazine that still publishes:  ‘Record Collector’s Magazine’!

I am sorry to see “Strange Days” join Music Life, Swing Journal etc.  Let’s hope ‘Record Collector’s Magazine’ is healthy!

Time Machine

Happy Birthday to Yoko Ono (1933)! Also on this date in 1978, “Psycho Killer” by The Talking Heads charts.

Time Machine

Time once again for the Time Machine article from Strange Days magazine in Japan. This time, December 1974!

Yes “Relayer” (Atlantic UK LP K 50096); Gryphon “Red Queen To Gryphon Three” (Transatlantic UK LP TRA 287); Argent “Encore” (Epic UK LP EPC 88083); George Harrison “Dark Horse” (Apple / EMI LP PAS 10008); Grand Funk “All The Girls In The World Beware!! (Capitol US LP SO1356); Johnny Winter “John Dawson Winter III” (Columbia US LP PZ 33292); and Joe Walsh “So What?” (ABC – Dunhill US LP DSD-50171).


Never really my favorite Yes album, but I do enjoy the custom label designs! No, ain’t going to go for the 5.1 version.


Probably my favorite Gryphon LP, either this or “Midnight Mushrumps” – they never played live in the US, that I am aware of. US copies on Bell, UK copies on Transatlantic – you do the math!


Oh, I was so done with Grand Funk in 1974 – this album was truly somebody else’s problem; not my cup of tea!


Never really stuck with Johnny Winter after his 3-sided 2nd album, though I do like him and his brother.


And Joe Walsh – not really a fan, and I likely prefer “The Smoker You Get” LP with “Rock Mountain Way”.

Time Machine

Yesterday, 12/28 happy birthday to Alex Chilton singer of The Box Tops and Big Star (1950, Memphis, TN); also yesterday R&B singer / songwriter Johnny Otis (1924)!

Today, Happy birthday to Ray Thomas of The Moody Blues (1942).

It’s really jostling my memory to go through all of these cartons of unsorted LP’s! Little by little, I am seeing everything that I’m thinking I have. Very soon, I will prepare a “dupe list”, so please let me know if you’d like to see a COPY of that!


Today is a Time Machine day, courtesy of Strange Days magazine, in Japan. This month it’s November 1974: Genesis “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” (Charisma UK 2LP CGS 101); Queen “Sheer Heart Attack” (EMI UK LP EMC 3061); Roxy Music “Country Life” (Island UK LP ILPS 9303); Eno “Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy” (Island UK LP ILPS 9309); Sparks “Propaganda” (Island UK LP ILPS 9312); Slade “Slade In Flame” (Polydor UK LP 2442 126); The Sweet “Desolation Boulevard” (RCA UK LP LPL1-5080); Ringo Starr “Goodnight Vienna” (Apple UK LP PCS 7168); Jack Bruce “Out Of The Storm” (RSO UK LP 2394 134); Roger Glover & Guests “The Butterfly Ball” (Purple UK LP TPSA 7514); Kraftwerk “Autobahn” (Philips Germany LP 6305 231); and Can “Soon Over Babaluma” (United Artists Germany LP UAG 29673).


My least favorite Genesis album. My favorite Queen album! (“Tenement Funster”) Not a bad Roxy Music album. An OK Eno album. A Sparks LP I’ve never heard. A Slade soundtrack LP that I like a lot – see the film! A decent LP from The Sweet (though I didn’t think so in 1974)! One of the better Ringo albums! A super Jack Bruce LP! I have a CD of the Roger Glover album, but can’t bring any of it to mind, actually. Loved the Kraftwerk LP at the time, a bit less so now. A real favorite Can LP, with a shiny metallic-looking cover.

Time Machine

Happy birthday to Canadian singer / songwriter Gordon Lightfoot (1938); and to actor Rock Hudson (1925)!


How should I approach entering my LP’s / 12” / 10” singles into my list? Shelving first or cartons? I ponder this as the CD list is now…done.


Back to the Time Machine! Set the controls for October, 1974 with Quoichiro Iwamoto and Strange Days magazine!


October 1974 releases: John Lennon “Walls and Bridges” (Apple UK LP PCTC 253) with a funny folding cover; The Rolling Stones “It’s Only Rock & Roll” (Rolling Stones UK LP COC 59103); David Bowie “David Live” (RCA UK 2LP APL2-0771); Rod Stewart “Smiler” (Mercury UK LP 9104 001); King Crimson “Red” (Island UK LP ILPS 9308); Jethro Tull “War Child” (Chrysalis UK LP CHR 1067); Leo Sayer “Just A Boy” (Chrysalis UK LP CHR 1068); The Sensational Alex Harvey Band “The Impossible Dream” (Vertigo UK LP 6360 112); If “Not Just Another Bunch Of Pretty Faces” (Gull UK LP GULP 1004); Montrose “Paper Money” (Warner Brothers US LP BS 2823); Bay City Rollers “Rollin’” (Bell UK LP BELLS 244); and Bob Marley & The Wailers “Natty Dread” (Island UK LP ILPS 9281).


Today, I am OK with 100% of these titles, even if I am totally unfamiliar with one of ‘em (The If album). Yes, I was aware of If, as they had been on Island UK during the golden period, where anything on Island UK was “of interest”: to my little first year of high school ears. In 1974, I was in a variety of record stores constantly, with open eyes.


The big hit here (for me) was obviously the King Crimson album; I awaited whatever it was that was forthcoming anxiously. No, I didn’t want an Atlantic US LP, I wanted an Island UK LP of it, thanks. And I got one – it’s still in the other room. Any questions?


Seemed to me that Lennon had gone flat by this time. Yes, I own it – but it’s far from my favorite JL piece. Can I name even 1 song off of The Rolling Stones LP other than the title track? No, I’d have to get a CD of it out and look. Not my favorite Rolling Stones LP – by any stretch of the imagination. One had to be aware of what the rock music aristocracy was up to, however. So, they were still all alive? My Bowie star burned bright – to the end of 1972. I didn’t buy the albums then, but I own ‘em all now and am OK with ‘em all. At some point, I duly got an original US 1LP of the first live album, and a re-mastered CD; I’d buy the DVD-A of it, if it presented itself and I had a large enough credit slip. I recently got a UK LP of “Smiler” by Rod Stewart, so fat & sassy on that one, go get ‘em, Rod. Jethro Tull was lost to the mists of time by now, along with Black Sabbath etc. – my late 60’s / early 70’s favorites were subject to a type of attrition at this time – out with the old, in with the new. I am not 100% certain that I have an LP of this Leo Sayer title, I may – but it’s in one of 60+ unsorted cartons of LP’s, He’s pretty good, even if it eventually all turned to “pop”. I have gone “on the record” for saying that if I had one wish, it would be to see The Sensational Alex Harvey Band play live on a stage at the peak of their powers. Ronnie Montrose had a variety of things going against him, competing for my spurious teenaged attention: He’s American, and signed to an American label – how can that possibly compete with being British or German and signed to a European-based label? And this LP had a stupid unimaginative cover design, too. With all this other stuff floating in the whirlpool – NEXT! (to paraphrase Jacques Brel and Alex Harvey). The Bay City Rollers weren’t the lowest form of music possible – even I knew that. They were…Scottish? Signed to a dubvious label that seemed to really crank out the ‘product’…with the sound of “Saturday Night” ringing in everyone’s ears. Not sure how large my soft spot is for the Rollers, but it did and does exist – even now. 1974 was not the time of redemption for our Scottish heroes. It was, however, the time of redemption for Bob Marley & The Wailers! What is this shit? Is he American? Or English? Natty who? So, your religion is based upon smoking so much dope that you can’t eat, Chris Blackwell thinks your rhythm will change / modify all of the other rhythms? What about all those Germans with sequencers, Bob? Wayne Perkins?


It sounds like ‘comedy”, but these records all flooded into record stores all over the USA, during October 1974. My flipping fingers couldn’t obviously make sense of much of it, but I tried. And I’m almost there. From October 1974 to July 1976 isn’t a really long time. By July, 1976 – I was “in”. Record Store job, ahoy!

Time Machine – September 1974

Happy birthday to Tom Petty (1953); Ric Lee (of Ten Years After fame) (1945)!

Time Machine: September 1974, as discovered in Strange Days magazine, and written by Quoichiro IWAMOTO.

Electric Light Orchestra “Eldorado” (Warner Brothers UK LP K 56090) 2. Todd Rundgren / Utopia “Todd Rundgren’s Utopia” (Bearsville BR 6954) 3. Robert Palmer “Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley” Island UK LP ILPS 9294) 4. Judas Priest “Rocka Rolla” Gull UK LP GULP 1005) 5. The Raspberries “Starting Over” Capitol US LP ST 11329) 6. Traffic “When The Eagle Flies” (Island UK LP ILPS 9273) 7. Hawkwind “Hall of the Mountain Grill” (United Artists UK LP UAG 29672) 8. Supertramp “Crime of the Century” (A&M UK LP AMLS 68258) 9. Fleetwood Mac “Heroes Are Hard To Find” (Reprise UK LP K 54026) 10. Herbie Hancock “Thrust” (Columbia US LP PC 32965) 11. Jackson Browne “Late For The Sky” (Asylum US LP 7E 1017) and 12. Frank Zappa / Mothers “Roxy & Elsewhere” Discreet US 2LP 2DS 2202).


I’ve got ‘em all, except for the Todd Rundgren, Jackson Browne, Herbie Hancock, Raspberries, and Fleetwood Mac. No time for Todd; I like Jackson Browne about as far as “Doctor My Eyes”; I would definitely own the Herbie Hancock, if the Japanese had done it as an SA-CD or mixed it into 5.1, but… Could never figure out The Raspberries – serious group or studio buffoons? Fleetwood Mac got me about as far as Kiln House, then I lost track.


Never my favorite E.L.O. album, but I can see it’s value. Robert Palmer = Ropbert Palmer, I prefer him as a singer in Vinegar Joe. Judas Priest were always entertaining, though I prefer “Sin After Sin”. I like this Traffic album, but it did take a while to ‘get it’. Hawkwind plodded on, but I kept up, and this was a good one! Never the biggest Supertramp fan, my fav is their 45 “Land Ho”, and I do own a wonderful 180g re-issue of this LP.


I was solidly a Frank Zappa fan by the time of the release of “Roxy & Elsewhere”. I still have my white label 2LP promo LP, and a few other versions, as well – incl. the lovely recent Zappa Records 2LP re-issue. No idea why Frank kept messing with “Cheepnis”, but he apparently did. There are some really good performances on this LP set. Good sound quality, too – though a better pressing helps! ZFT: Where’s the video?

Time Machine July 1974

Happy birthday to Horace Silver, Blue Note Records recording artist! (1928)!


Time Machine, July 1974 – from Strange Days magazine in Japan.

July, 1974 releases: Bryan Ferry “Another Time, Another Place” (Island UK LP ILPS 9284); Robert Wyatt “Rock Bottom” (Virgin UK LP V 2017); Eric Clapton “461 Ocean Blvd.” (RSO UK LP 2479 118); Rory Gallagher “Irish Tour ‘74” (Polydor UK LP 2659 031); Mountain “Avalanche” (Columbia US LP KC 33088); Ted Nugent’s Amboy Dukes “Tooth, Fang & Claw” (Discreet US LP DS 2203); Neil Young “On The Beach” (Reprise US LP MS 2180); Stevie Wonder “Fullfillingness’ First Finale” (Tamla US LP T6-332S1) and Sly & The Family Stone “Small Talk” (Epic US LP PE 32930).

I only own 3 of the titles presented here today, Ferry, Wyatt & Clapton.

I’ve been OK with Bryan Ferry for over 40 years; any of his E.G. Records LP’s are OK with me. Robert Wyatt “Rock Bottom” is a powerful and important LP in my collection; I would’ve got it the first time when I was about 15/16? I’d only hipped to Matching Mole (after loving Soft Machine) when I found out about Robert’s accident – going from not knowing if he would ever perform again to the superiority of “Rock Bottom” – Wow! That album brought Ivor Cutler in focus for me! To be honest, I only ever got Eric Clapton’s album “461 Ocean Blvd.” because they made a 5.1 SA-CD of it, earlier this century.

I am and had been a Taste fan, but I did not follow Rory Gallagher into his solo career; it just wasn’t my style! I had enjoyed Mountain through their first 2 or 3 LP’s, but they lost me at their first live double LP. Never particularly interested in Ted Nugent, though I was working in a hippie record store at the right time to understand what it is that he does. I finished with Neil Young either after the “After The Goldrush” LP, or when he got so damned popular, with the “Harvest” LP of “Heart of Gold” 45. I don’t dislike Stevie Wonder, but I was not a soul music fanboy in 1974 – my favorite band was Faust. I’d previously been entertained by Sly Stone, but predominantly by his R&B 45’s, such as “Runnin’ Away”. The record company wasn’t the only place his taking forever to release a new LP was noted; in the fan base, you can’t expect someone to wait beyond a year or two for a new LP – in 1974.

Jim Donato

Happy birthday Daryl Dragon (aka The Captain of Captain & Tennille fame) (1942, Los Angeles, CA) – older brother to a member of The Surf Punks! Happy birthday to Phil Shulman of Gentle Giant (1937); Willy “Mink” DeVille (1950); Glen Matlock (of Sex Pistols fame).


A year ago today, I was sitting in my old office at work – dreaming of my ‘retirement’. It was an ordinary day – some work actually got assigned! I came home at lunch, put the lock back on the gate after the gardeners had been…and went about my usual ‘way’.


And what ‘way’ is that? I try and sleep for 8 hours a night – not always successfully; I am still bolting awake quite early. It’ll take some time to stop waking up to go to work!


I still spend a lot of time up in Los Angeles, at the home of my GF of many years. Easier access to L.A. record stores like Rockaway, Amoeba, Record Surplus


In October, Jim Donato is headed to California for a visit. He’s a vegetarian and I’m not quite sure he even drinks coffee! (Much less anything else). Still, it’ll be fun to entertain more visitors!

Time Machine

Happy birthday guitarist Mike Bloomfield of The Butterfield Blues Band and “Super Session” fame (1944, Chicago, IL)! I also understand (by one source) that today is Rick Wright’s birthday (1945) – the keyboard player of The Pink Floyd! Happy birthday to Rachel Sweet (1962)!

Today’s Time Machine is from June, 1974. That puts me in nigh school, at the end of my first year there. I was entranced with the alternative music of the day: Gong, Hatfield & The North, Robert Wyatt etc.

Strange Days magazine in Japan runs their Time Machine column, so I type it up in English and we all grin and recognize the months.

June, 1974: Steve Harley / Cockney Rebel “The Psychomodo” (EMI UK LP EMC 3033); BeBop Deluxe “Axe Victim” (Harvest UK LP SHVL 813); Kevin Ayers / John Cale / Nico “June 1st, 1974” (Island UK LP ILPS 9291); Elton John “Caribou” (DJM UK LP DJLPH 439); Barclay James Harvest “Everyone Is Everyone Else” (Polydor UK LP 2383 286); Gentle Giant “The Power & The Glory” (WWA UK LP WWA 010); Uriah Heep “Wonderworld” (Bronze UK LP ILPS 9279); Bad Company “Bad Company” (Island UK LP ILPS 9279); James Taylor “Walking Man” (Warner UK LP K 56042); Bob Dylan / The Band “Before The Flood” (Asylum US 2LP set AB 201); Grateful Dead “From The Mars Hotel” (Arista US LP GD 102); and Jerry Garcia “Garcia” (Rounder US LP RX 102).


Never really into Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, but in 2014 I understand their place in the pantheon of UK 70’s glam rock. I go back and forth on Bill Nelson / BeBop Deluxe, but in 1974 – this wasn’t on my radar. I loved the Harvest label, but this didn’t grab my ears. By ’74, between Kevin Ayers, John Cale or Nico – likely it was John Cale that got me to buy this LP straightaway; I didn’t know what to make of post-Dr. Dream Kevin Ayers and I have never been a fan of Nico. Elton John certainly had his share of gold-dust, and “Caribou” was a fine album of the day; I still like it! Why didn’t they make an SA-CD of it? Never particularly bothered with Barclay James Harvest – I mean, they weren’t even on Harvest Records anymore! Gentle Giant could do no wrong during and after “In A Glass House”, but as they were now getting released in the US, I kinda didn’t care about them anymore. I like it much better in 2014, than I did in 1974. Uriah Heep lost me after their debut LP, sorry. Bad Company should’ve interested me more than it did. Their debut LP on Island did nothing for me at the time. It just looked like major label excess. James Taylor in 1974? Are you kidding? Bob Dylan & The Band double live LP didn’t get my goat (or cash) in ’74, but I am OK with it in 2014. Grateful Dead didn’t interest me then or now – somebody else’s troubles…


Time Machine

Happy birthday Deborah Harry of Blondie (1945, Miami, FL). Happy birthday Delaney Bramlett of Delaney & Bonnie fame (1939, Pontotoc Co., Mississippi). Also happy birthday to Willie Dixon (1915).

From Strange Days magazine in Japan, today we have the releases of May, 1974:

The Kinks “Preservation Act #2” (RCA UK LP LPL2 5040); Kevin Ayers “The Confessions of Dr. Dream” (Island UK LP ILPS 9263); 10cc “Sheet Music” (UK Records UK LP UKAL 1007); Sparks “Kimono My House” (Island UK LP ILPS 9272); Rick Wakeman “Journey To The Center of the Earth” (A&M UK LP AMLS 63621); U.F.O. “Phenomena” (Chrysalis UK LP CHR 1059); Henry Cow “Unrest” (Virgin UK LP V 2011); Santana “Lotus” (CBS Japan SOPZ 7/8/9 – triple LP with extremely detailed packaging!); Renaissance “Turn Of The Cards” (BTM UK LP BTM 1000); New York Dolls “Too Much Too Soon” (Mercury US LP SRM-1-1001); The Edgar Winter Group “Shock Treatment” (Epic US LP E 32461); and Ry Cooder “Paradise and Lunch” (Reprise US LP MS 2179).

By 1974, I was already in high school. Looking at the above titles, I was all over the Henry Cow LP & the Kevin Ayers LP. I saw Santana “Lotus” original Japanese 3LP edition when it was a new release and somehow I found the cash to buy an original Japanese pressing with probably the most expansive, detailed packaging I have still to this day ever seen!

No time for The Kinks, 10cc, Sparks, Rick Wakeman, Renaissance, New York Dolls, Edgar Winter Group or Ry Cooder in 1974. In 2014, I enjoy 10cc a lot and I own an LP of the Rick Wakeman title. My Ry Cooder fandom pretty much stops at the 3rd solo album. I like ”Frankenstein” by Edgar Winter as much as the next guy, but I never investigated any release beyond “They Only Come Out At Night”. Renaissance I am good with up to the first LP on Sovereign. For the New York Dolls, I probably only have the “Millennium Collection” CD. The Kinks I am OK with as long as the releases are on Pye Records or Reprise Records – their RCA stuff always baffled me.

I remember breaking up with a girl at school who was my GF, largely due to her liking Sparks and me finding them so disingenuous to be unacceptable listening. I recently ran into her and we’re corresponding again! (38 years after the fact)

It’s one of the better Kevin Ayers LP’s – it even has Nico on it! And “Unrest” by Henry Cow is the final Henry Cow LP that absolutely flattened me as a teenager, spoiling me towards a lot of other music. And don’t criticize it if you haven’t heard it.

Time Machine – March 1974

King Crimson

Time Machine – March 1974

Yesterday, 4/27 Marco Pirroni of Adam & The Ants, born 1959. Also yesterday, happy birthday Peter Ham of Badfinger (1947, Swansea, Wales, England).

From Strange Days magazine in Japan – another edition of the Time Machine, this time from March, 1974 – Curious releases that presently interest the Japanese psyche, as revealed by…

Camel “Mirage” (Deram UK LP SML 1107); King Crimson “Starless & Bible Black” (Island UK LP ILPS 9275); Queen “Queen II” (EMI UK LP EMA 767); Mott The Hoople “The Hoople” (CBS UK LP SCBS 69062); Kansas “s/t” (debut) (Kirshner US LP KZ 32817); Rush “s/t” (debut) Mercury US/Canada LP MN-100); Aerosmith “Get Your Wings” (Columbia US LP KC 32847); Robin Trower “Bridge of Sighs” (Chrysalis UK LP CHR 1057); Peter Frampton “Something’s Happening” A&M UK LP AMLH 63619); Cat Stevens “Buddah & The Chocolate Box” Island UK LP ILPS 9274); Steely Dan “Pretzel Logic” (ABC US LP ABCD-808); and Abba “Waterloo” (Polar Sweden LP POLS 252).

At that time, the only really important title to me was the King Crimson title – I had seen them live the previous year – and was firmly enchanted with Mr. Fripp’s band. I liked the Mott The Hoople LP’s on Island, but it took a few years for me to discover the worth of their CBS era. Always enjoyed Queen’s singles, even saw them live once! I had loved Robin Trower in Procol Harum, but his solo career proceeded largely without me. Cat Stevens was always interesting, too – I had been a huge fan of “Tea For The Tillerman”, but only his singles really made much of an impression on me.

In 2014, I own these LP/CD releases by King Crimson, Mott The Hoople, Robin Trower and Cat Stevens. I own other, different titles by Camel and Queen. Kansas, Rush, Aerosmith, Peter Frampton, Steely Dan and Abba are all “off my radar”, though I will confess I would buy an SA-CD of the live Frampton album, if I could find one cheap enough.