Made in Sheffield (DVD)

Happy birthday Eddie Cochran (1938), James Darren (1936) and Chubby Checker (1941).

Made In Sheffield – The Birth of Electronic Pop (DVD)

This DVD is something I picked up, probably at an Amoeba store.  The bands on this in question are The Human League, Cabaret Voltaire, Heaven 17, Clock DVA,  ABC, and Pulp.  Of particular note was the amount of time spent discussing Vice Versa, the pre-ABC group!

The documentary itself is 52 minutes in length, it’s from 2004/5, so one guesses that while pretty everyone involved was still alive it was decided to make this film.  The “extra” interviews are fairly interesting, all 76 minutes of ‘em.  There is a handy “Family Tree” of many artists from Sheffield – the booklet details who would not allow their music to be used (Cabaret Voltaire, Clock DVA); the footage from The Human League and Heaven 17 is generally very nice – but it generally does not involve stuff they recorded with Virgin Records.

The Hacienda etc.

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:

July 1982

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!).

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!

The Nice

Happy birthday Keith Emerson (1944) of The Nice and Emerson Lake & Palmer!

Like many others, I really first heard Keith Emerson in The Nice. Those LP’s were everywhere, once upon a time. And not so expensive!

 

The debut LP by Emerson Lake & Palmer is impressive. And if you have a UK LP of it, it sounds good, too!

 

But today, let’s talk The Nice!

 

7″                 AMERICA / (Same)                                                                     IMMEDIATE US   ZS7 5008

1967? 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo

 

LP                ARS LONGA VITA BREVIS                                                        IMMEDIATE UK   IMSP 020

1968 11 TRKS stereo LP re-issue

LP                ARS LONGA VITA BREVIS                                                        IMMEDIATE US   Z12 52020

1968 13 TRKS stereo LP 2nd LP

 

LP                AUTUMN ’67 – SPRING ’68                                                       CHARISMA UK    CS 1

1973 9 TRKS stereo LP collection; all of their ‘Immediate’ singles

SHM-CD     AUTUMN ’67 – SPRING ’68 (Jpn)                                             CHARISMA JPN  VJCP-98003

2015 11 TRKS stereo SHM-CD collection, kami sleeve, 2 x bonus tracks

LP                AUTUMN TO SPRING (US)                                                       CHARISMA US    CAS 1

1973 9 TRKS stereo LP collection

 

7″                 BRANDENBURGER / HAPPY FREUDS                                  IMMEDIATE UK   IM 072

1968 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

 

7″                 COUNTRY PIE – BRANDENBURG CONCERTO promo      MERCURY US     DJ-274

1970 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo-only

7″                 COUNTRY PIE / ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE                           CHARISMA UK    CB 132

1970 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

 

CD               ELEGY                                                                                           CHARISMA UK    CASCD 1030

1990 10 TRKS stereo CD

LP                ELEGY                                                                                           CHARISMA UK    CAS 1030

1970 4 TRKS stereo LP full size hatter label, 4th LP

LP                ELEGY (US)                                                                                 MERCURY US     830292.1

1970 4 TRKS stereo LP alt U.S. only cover / packaging

LP                ELEGY (US)                                                                                 MERCURY US     SR 61324

1970 4 TRKS stereo LP promo

 

LP                EVERYTHING AS NICE AS MOTHER MAKES IT                  IMMEDIATE US   IMOCS 102

1969 6 TRKS stereo LP

 

CD               FIVE BRIDGES                                                                            CHARISMA UK    CASCD 1014

1990 13 TRKS stereo CD

LP                FIVE BRIDGES                                                                            CHARISMA UK    CAS 1014

1970 5 TRKS stereo LP scroll label, 3rd LP

 

CD               NICE, THE (aka EVERYTHING AS NICE AS…)                    LINE DE                9.00233

1983 6 TRKS stereo CD

 

LP                THOUGHTS OF EMERLIST DAVJACK, THE                         IMMEDIATE US   Z12 52004

1967 8 TRKS stereo LP debut

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.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cilla_Black

 

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.

Feature Films

On 7/24, Happy birthday to Francois Cahen (1944), a great French jazz keyboard player; also Tony Joe White (“Polk Salad Annie”) (1943) and Andy Mackay (of Roxy Music) (1946).

I do not usually talk about feature films, but today I will.

I really like the Criterion DVD / Blu-ray company – they make usually really nice versions of feature films. They tend to all look GREAT, and sound GREAT!

On DVD, I have “Armageddon”, “The Bad Sleep Well” (Kurosawa), “Bad Timing”, “Charade”, “Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas”, “Fishing With John” (John Lurie), “Gimme Shelter” (Rolling Stones), “Knife In The Water” (Polanski), “The Last Wave”, “Life Aquatic”, “Life of Brian” (Monty Python), “The Man Who Fell To Earth”, “Monterey Pop”, “The Rock”, “This Sporting Life”, “Time Bandits” (Gilliam), “Tokyo Drifter”, “Traffic” and “Z” (Costa-Gavras). My favorites here are “Bad Timing” (with Art Garfunkel), which I first saw in a theatre in Auckland, New Zealand, and “The Last Wave”, which made me very curious about Australia.

 

On Blu-ray, I have the magnificent John Cassavetes boxed set: with “Shadows”, “Faces”, “A Woman Under The Influence”, “The Killing Of A Chinese Bookie” and “Opening Night”; “Cul-De-Sac” (Polanski), “Diabolique”, “A Hard Day’s Night”, “Island of Lost Souls”, “Medium Cool”, “Quadrophenia”, “The Red Shoes” and “Repulsion” (Polanski). Gosh, “Faces” by John Cassavetes remains a favorite, as does “A Hard Day’s Night”, the wonderful Beatles’ film. The “Faces” DVD & Blu-ray have an alternate beginning to the film, effectively making it even longer than it already is! Seymour Cassel!

 

The 2 x movies I really enjoy on DVD don’t have “proper” soundtrack LP’s, but the 2 x Blu-ray films I mention both do – “Faces” has an OST LP on Columbia Records and “A Hard Day’s Night” used to be on Parlophone / Capitol, but is on Universal these days.

 

If you haven’t seen “Faces”, get up from your computer, go rent the DVD of it somewhere, watch & believe. One of the few independently-produced films to ever get an Oscar nomination (for script, I believe). Depending on who you are, you probably have at least a DVD of “A Hard Day’s Night”, a film capable of making one as interested in England as they are about The Beatles.

 

“Bad Timing” with Art Garfunkel really caught me off guard. I first saw it in a Queen Street Auckland movie theatre, with someone who was disappointed it didn’t have more of a pornographic aspect. It’s set in Vienna, and Art isn’t a very nice guy.

 

“The Last Wave” totally redeemed Richard Chamberlain, as far as I am concerned. Neat spooky special effects, too. How much is really real?

Thanks, Mr. Dana Madore for suggesting this topic.

Eddie Jobson

Happy birthday to violinist / keyboardist Eddie Jobson (1955)!

It’s really quite amazing that Mr. Jobson was in Roxy Music, Yes, Curved Air, U.K., Jethro Tull, Frank Zappa’s band and a version of King Crimson!

 

And for some reason, I always associate his violin playing with Todd Rundgren. Not 100% certain that this is so, but that’s what’s stuck in my abiding memory.

 

Roxy Music was always a bit of a ‘revolving door’ for anybody who wasn’t Bryan Ferry, Phil Manzanera or Andy Mackay. Curved Air had their ups and downs, with members coming and going, as does Jethro Tull; interesting that a British person infiltrated Zappa’s band, but he wasn’t the first – that would be Aynsley Dunbar!

 

A few years ago, I saw a version of U.K. on a stage at the Universal Ampitheatre; only thing I remember about that show was that John Wetton looked as though he hadn’t missed many meals; and, of course, dear old Steve Howe is presently the Don Knotts of progressive rock. Plus there was an attraction to see Geoff Downes!

 

I never had any time for Mr. Jobson’s “Zinc – The Green Album”, my loss? Guess he never sufficiently impressed me with his progressive rock prowess.

 

Well, today is his birthday, so I presume everything is now permitted. Truly a ‘sideman’, Jobson contributed things to all of the aforementioned artists, but was never the draw card. Well, not for me anyway. I’ll be honest, I had to look him up to see if he was English or not!

Spooky Tooth

Happy birthday, “Ace” Paul Frehley (of Kiss) (1951).

Yesterday 4/26, Happy birthday to Gary Wright (of Spooky Tooth) (1943)!

 

I have been a fan of Spooky Tooth for many years now. But I remember the “hype”, before I ever heard them, “Spooky Tooth is coming!” etc. Yes, they lived up to my expectations, but I wonder now about the “hype”.

 

I think “The Last Puff” is a really under-rated album. It’s as good as anything else from 1969 – 1971, but it never ends up on ‘best album’ lists – in this country, at least.

 

Interesting / odd that Gary Wright went on to have a solo career, and was so successful – for a while anyway. Luther Grosvenor made his way through Mott The Hoople as “Ariel Bender”, but didn’t have much success as a solo artist, despite my having been a fan of “Under Open Skies” since it’s release!

 

And no clue as to why Mike Harrison never had a decent solo career. He’s got a great voice, in the tradition of Joe Cocker or Paul Williams (the Tempest singer, not the ‘imp’ that wrote Carpenters hits).

 

Another band that never really got their due was Juicy Lucy, now that I’ve mentioned the British Paul Williams. “Get A Whiff A This” is another great album that never seems to be taken seriously. I remember hearing “Who Do You Love” on the FM radio, but until I got their LP’s, I never heard anything else by Juicy Lucy.

 

I think for Spooky Tooth, that LP they did with Pierre Henry, “Ceremony” kind of threw people for a big loop. British hard rock bands didn’t make records with French noisy synthesizer people! Seriously, I didn’t much care for that album upon it’s release, but I am more or less OK with it these days.

 

Maybe the hype surrounding the initial push for Spooky Tooth had more to do with stuff like “Sunshine Help Me”, their early 45. It’s a great track that almost never makes it onto anything but Island Records anniversary collections.

 

And post-“Last Puff” Spooky Tooth almost never gets discussed anywhere! Well, I like “Witness” and “You Broke My Heart, So I Busted Your Jaw”! Do you? I still have all of my original Spooky Tooth LP’s & 45’s, and I got a late 80’s CD’s for “The Last Puff” & “Second Album”. For the debut album, I have a fairly spiffy Japanese SHM-CD with quite a few bonus tracks.

 

All hail Spooky Tooth!

England

On 2/10/68, Sly & The Family Stone’s “Dance To The Music” charts!

England

It’s true, I didn’t really enjoy the British food. I found the bureaucracy stifling. But damn, I love British pressings on British artists! My late brother (Mr. Jim Kane) was who hipped me to British pressings, about 1967. When the floodgates eventually opened up, I “received”!

 

Everybody knew The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. We all watched The Avengers, and then Danger Man and The Prisoner. When I lived there, I had someone take me to ‘The Village’, in Wales.

 

I first went to England in 1979. I backed off a bit about 1981, because I got interested in New Zealand. I lived in England for most of 1990, and that was the last time I was there!

 

I remember going to all of those Soho record stores, and finding all sorts of stuff. I remember buying the Ian Carr book, “Music Outside” – everything you’d ever want to know about British jazz. Mr. Pete Brown (Cream lyricist) was who took me to Mole Jazz in Pentonville. He also told me that the people who lived in Birmingham had been experimented upon.

 

Uber L.A. record collectors like Jeff Gold gave me London info, too. I remember running into Phil Culp in London – he & I didn’t get along then, but we do now.

 

Unlike Paris and Amsterdam, I never went to very many shows in London. I saw Lene Lovich in Paris! I got to meet Dick Heckstall-Smith in London, again, with Pete Brown.

 

When I lived there, I remember getting a Music Week directory, and writing letters to everyone who interested me. Of course, when we were closing up shop – it seemed like everybody called me the final week! Peter Ker, Aaron Sixx, Olav Wyper – that kind of person.

 

For years my passport had all the paperwork from the British police, from when we lived there. I was glad to see the back of that one! Never got to see Ivor Cutler play live, however – he cancelled his show that was scheduled when I lived there, Coulson Hall, Bristol 1990.

 

When I went up to Birmingham to see Dread Zeppelin, I saw Joe Castle’s doppelganger!

 

England, long may it wave.

Music Week

Happy birthday to guitarist Duane Allman (1946, Nashville, TN); guitarist / singer / songwriter Joe Walsh (1947)!

On 11/21 Happy birthday to Dr. John – Mac Rebennack) (1940).

On 11/22 Happy birthday to Talking Head Tina Weymouth (1950)!

On 11/23/1985 I was working for Tony Harrington @ USS&M in Studio City, CA. We’d get Music Week magazine from England, which is sort of like the British equivalent of Billboard magazine. Best thing about this is the release schedule!

23 NOVEMBER 1985 – notable releases in England

Vinyl (12” Singles):

 

VIRGINIA ASTLEY – Darkness Has Reached It’s End (Elektra UK 12”)

 

BAND AID – Do They Know It’s Christmas (Mercury UK 12”)

 

THE CARS – Tonight She Comes (Elektra UK 12”)

 

CHRIS & COSEY – Sweet Surprise (Rough Trade UK 12”)

 

COCTEAU TWINS – Echoes In A Shallow Bay (4AD UK 12”) 12” only indicated

 

ERASURE – Heavenly Action (Mute UK 12”) limited edition indicated

 

BRYAN FERRY – Windswept (E.G. / Polydor UK 12”) limited edition indicated

 

GENE LOVES JEZEBEL – Desire (Situation Two UK 12”)

 

LEVEL 42 – Leaving Me Now (Remix) (Polydor UK 12”) also issued as a 10”

 

PAUL McCARTNEY / Frog Chorus – We All Stand (Parlophone UK 12”) “Reactivated”

 

MIKE OLDFIELD – Pictures In The Dark (Virgin UK 12”) 12” has extra track

 

PROPAGANDA – P-Machinery (Remix) (ZTT UK 12”)

 

ALEXEI SAYLE – Play That Funky Music Jewish Boy (CBS UK 12”) Gee, I don’t remember seeing this one before!

 

THOMPSON TWINS – Revolution (Arista UK 12”)

 

ROY WOOD – Sing Out The Old…Bring In The New (Legacy UK 12”)