Kuala Lumpur

On 10-10 Happy birthday to Keith Reid of Procol Harum (he’s their lyricist). Also having a 10-10 birthday is Alan Cartwright of Procol Harum! And, of course John Winston Lennon was born on 10-9 in 1940, and yet another 10-9 birthday: John Entwistle the bassist of The Who (in 1946).

I decided to go to Singapore and Malaysia at the end of 2009; I had a Japanese friend (Shin-san) in Kuala Lumpur.

 

I messed around Singapore for a few days, having Singapore Slings and an Xmas “High tea” at Raffles Hotel. The botanical gardens were interesting, too. But Singapore is about shopping! Muji, Kinokuniya etc. Not much in the way of CD shopping, however.

 

I arrived in Kuala Lumpur and there were crossed wires about my friend – he went to the domestic airport and I arrived at the international airport. I couldn’t call him, I didn’t have a cell phone!

 

Outside Kuala Lumpur airport there were taxis around – so I caught one to the hotel, figuring my friend would turn up later on. Almost immediately, the taxi driver had to stop for gasoline! The drive into K.L. seemed to take a long time – and I really didn’t want to get ripped off!

 

I stayed at The Traders Hotel, in downtown Kuala Lumpur. The hotel was SUPER nice and I was treated very well by the staff. And my friend showed up and took me to dinner at Jalan Alors! (An outdoor eating area).

 

It was weird being in Malaysia; it’s sort of British, sort of not-British anymore. There aren’t really many legit record / CD stores; most all of the stores I saw had bootlegs of everything, particularly DVD’s. Yes, I went to the Tower Records in K.L. and in the big mall across the park from the hotel, there was another legit CD store.

 

I cannot stress enough how nice The Traders hotel was! If only I’d had my 50th birthday there! (Yes, Kuala Lumpur was one of the places in consideration for that event). It’s not too late for my 60th birthday party to be held in Malaysia!

 

Anybody feel like joining me in Kuala Lumpur in 2018?

International Month

Happy Birthday to jazz saxer Stan Getz (1927), singer Graham Nash (1942) and fusion jazz bassist Alphonso Johnson (1951). On this date in 1949, RCA Records issues the first 45rpm record.

 

Each day this month, I will examine a different country & their popular music culture. As some of you may know, I have special knowledge of some cultures, such as New Zealand and Japan. Interesting that my knowledge tends towards the east, as I’m definitely from the west.

 

I first went to England in 1979, when I was 21 years of age. I first went to Japan in 1994, at 36 years of age. I could easily list my years that I was first in other countries, but as far as us record collectors go, those two are easily the most important.

 

I first saw Paris in 1979, Kuala Lumpur in 2009. I stayed with Gilbert Artman (of Lard Free & Urban Sax) in Paris, saw Urban Sax play live in Caen! Kuala Lumpur was a bit different – I bought very little music there, and I may not (easily) return there. But I met Shin-san there! Shin-san is Japanese and he is who I go to, when I can’t read something on Japanese records that I obtain. Yes, Shin-san is Japanese, from Osaka.

 

Before meeting Gilbert Artman in Paris, I met his manager, Gilles Yepremian – who speaks perfect English – and he seemed to know everybody in Paris. Well, everybody that I wanted to know, too! In 1979, I also met Holger Czukay in Koln (right before “Movies” came out), Germany; Also Aldo Tagliepietra in Venice, Italy (at the time of “Florian”).

 

In New Zealand, I met Fane Flaws! Mike Chunn! Chris Knox! Fane Flaws was responsible for making one of my favorite LP’s ever – “I Am Joe’s Music” (Mushroom Australia LP). I appear on a Tall Dwarfs LP, “The Short & Sick Of It” (Flying Nun NZ LP + 12”). And Mike Chunn was very kind to me, always seemed to have time for me – I absolutely love his 45 with Greg Clark “I’m So Up”! And you have to have his LP’s with Citizen Band, for your Split Enz collections!

 

My best friend in England is Mr. Pete Brown, the lyricist for Cream and Piblokto! He introduced me to Dick Heckstall-Smith in London! I got Dick H-S’s book autographed, even. I talked to Olav Wyper on the phone in 1990, he was responsible for starting the Vertigo and Neon labels, for their respective major record labels. I also talked with Mike Ker in 1990, and I asked him about Love Sculpture (a great welsh band) and his part in producing Arthur Brown’s Kingdom Come’s LP’s – do you like “Galactic Zoo Dossier”? It’s from planet 1971, but it’s still pretty sharp, even now!

 

So, in February 2015, I will tell my tales of record collector adventures / conquests etc. Sit back and relax, and prepare to be taken to some other worlds – some of which no longer exist!