Category: mine

George Harrison, “Here Comes the Sun”, August 1, 1971

From the Concert for Bangladesh of course. You can see at the beginning how nervous George was! Not only his first solo performance, his first concert appearance at all since 1966, featuring his first performances of his own compositions ever – but here, also for the first time on stage, vulnerable and stripped down to an acoustic guitar. George’s little smile as the audience reaches out to him is priceless.

His duet partner, Badfinger’s Pete Ham, later revealed that they hadn’t even rehearsed! “George just wanted to keep it simple,” he said. After George told him the chord changes, Pete ducked into his hotel room to listen to the version on Abbey Road a couple of times, and that’s all there was time for! 

The result: magic. And beauty and joy and, yes, sun, sun, sun! Here it comes!

(Mi pequeña, está toda bien!)

(Note that by the time you come across this post, the video may have been taken down. It happens. Here’s the YouTube search for you to find another version. Worth the extra clicks!)

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Do you ever post any Taste/Rory Gallagher? I tried looking through tags, but couldn't find anything – though that could also be Tumblr being its usual nightmare self.

Well, friend, ya stumped me! I’d heard Rory’s name but knew nothing about him (or heard him that I’m aware of), and had certainly never heard of Taste!

It turns out that our boy Rory had a stellar 1971, with his second solo album called Deuce, two Taste live albums, (Taste Live, and Live At The Isle of Wight), and finishing ahead of Eric Clapton to top Melody Maker’s poll for Best Guitarist!

As you know (and I discovered), he’d left Taste as 1970 ended, and the tale is a sad one, combining the usual record label nonsense of the era with the Irish Troubles. Taste, and Rory in particular, had gone from having vocal supporters in John Lennon and Eric Clapton (opening for both Cream’s final shows at the Royal Albert Hall and Blind Faith’s US tour) to a final show in Belfast on December 31, 1970 as a dozen car bombs ripped the city apart. 

Rory was 19 when the band started, and 22 when it all came crashing down.

An amazing telling of the tale here: The rise and acrimonious fall of Rory Gallagher’s Taste: Cork power trio Taste blazed onto the blues scene, propelled by Rory Gallagher’s incendiary guitar. Fours years later they blew up in a maelstrom of betrayal. (Read on – a genuinely fantastic read, even for folks like me who aren’t familiar with Rory!)

Taste was only around for a few years, so not a ton of photos, and most of the ones I’ve seen around the web are already on tumblr. I did find a couple I haven’t seen here yet, including a couple from that amazing 1970 edition of The Isle of Wight Festival:

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And one from 1975 that I think looks pretty cool:

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And a more tender one:

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I found all of these on the Pinterest of a user named Fenna Bosman, and none seemed to point back to tumblr images. If any of you have better sources, by all means let me know!

Anyway, YOU surely have a lot more to tell ME about all this, so feel free to drop me a line! My chat’s open if you want to keep it private, and I don’t post non-anon Asks without permission, so let me know what else I should know!

PS. Coming soon: more answered Asks!

“Live and Let Die”: Paul McCartney at Desert Trip, his killer band, plus lasers, pyro, some of the biggest video screens you’ve ever seen, and fireworks out the wazoo make the case for Macca as one of the most epic acts on the road today. 

(Edit: that headline is from 2016, when Desert Trip took place, and it’s still true.)

All the more amazing because this is about three hours into a show IN THE DESERT, around midnight, with a hot wind blowing sand everywhere. I could barely breathe, and here’s this guy jamming like a kid a third his age. 

Remarkably, this was hardly the finale of the show. Paul followed this with “Hey Jude” to end the main set, followed by an encore of “Birthday”, “Helter Skelter”, and the Abbey Road medley of “Golden Slumbers – Carry That Weight – The End”. The whole night was absolutely stunning, and my hand-held camera work (Nikon P900 DSLR) from over a quarter mile away barely does it justice. 

At the end, Paul covers his ears and laments, “Too loud!” He’s kidding! Crank it up! You’ll be glad you did.

(Lots more pics from this show, and other related, and non-related, stuff at my Instagram.) 

(This was Weekend 2, btw, and he’d been up late the night before dancing in the crowd to The Rolling Stones, and played just a few days earlier at a show in a remote mountain bar that I wrote about here. He’s a force of nature!)

Please post the cars (band)

I’m incredibly  flattered when people make requests like this! I feel like it’s saying, “You’re good at finding high-quality pictures that we haven’t seen a million times, so please show me something new and special from one of MY favorite bands.” That’s very sweet! I’m honored!

That said, The Cars, I dunno, friend. I’m not passing any judgements here – most of the people around me describe my musical taste as “kind of annoying” and I have to agree LOL – but The Cars are one of the bands that didn’t do much for me. 

Not that I gave them a chance. They featured two of my favorite acts as openers in the early-to-mid 80s – ‘Til Tuesday and Icehouse – and both times, I went to the shows to see THOSE bands and left immediately after their sets. (Both were awesome, btw.) Who knows? Maybe The Cars would have won me over if I’d given them a shot. That’s on me, for sure.

That said, Ric Ocasek did a couple of things that I’m NUTS about, both, it happens, in 1982. 

First, after their highly underrated debut album, It’s A Condition, Ric brought the San Francisco-based band Romeo Void to Boston to produce an EP called Never Say Never, released January 1982. 

You’ve surely heard the hit version of the title track, a chart-topping smash with a terrific video and a brash chorus with Deborah Iyall’s incantation, “I might like you better if we slept together….never say never” – in other words, “BUT DON’T COUNT ON IT.” LOL 

But here’s the thing. The EP version wasn’t the hit! The hit version came from the band’s second LP, Benefactor, released in August ‘82, and is defanged from the original, to say the least . Still tough as nails, still with that dissonant post-rock sax stab, but drenched in echo, cussing removed, two and a half minutes shorter, and generally much more mainstream-friendly. 

I do strongly believe in the convergence of punk and disco, and especially in the early 80s, dance punk was my favorite genre. The hit album version in late ‘82 was bouncy, but Ric’s earlier EP production was a punch to the face to distract you from the stiletto sliding between your ribs.

I’ve only found a YouTube clip for the entire EP, which is fine by me. Romeo Void is way too frequently remembered as a 2-hit wonder doing dance pop, but this is hard-core post-punk, as brutal and beautiful as anything from Depeche Mode or New Order, the kinds of bands you should be thinking of when you think about Romeo Void, rather than, say, Blondie or Martha And The Motels (both of whom you know I love, but THIS is not THAT.)

I mean LOOK AT THEM.

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They weren’t just posing. They were playing for keeps – and if you don’t think a Monkees shirt is part of a punk band playing for keeps, then you haven’t heard The Sex Pistols’ cover of “I’m Not Your Stepping Stone”. Origins matter less than the tale you tell down the road.

(Sorry not to have a better pic, though – the later, cuddlier version of the band is the one that survives.)

The punk community in Boston knew all this, including the band’s terrific first indie post-punk elpee. The place I found the Never Say Never EP was in a local punk record shop (I lived there in Boston in the early-to-mid 80s the first time, and again from 2000-2010), IN THE LOCAL BIN, with a handwritten-note appropriating this album on behalf of Boston post-punk because Boston’s own Ric Ocasek (by way of Baltimore, Cleveland and Bowling Green), produced it in Boston.

Not just “I might like you better if we slept together”, but “This is not my idea of a good time”, “Enjoy the privilege of earning twice as much”, “I’m not sorry”, “We’re not safe”, and twisted tales of predators and louts framing so many other declarations of strength and independence  (great quote from Trouser Press: “she sings not only of situations where love is absent, but also of when it should be absent”) – no wonder the record business had no idea what to do with Deborah Iyall! 

But Ric Ocasek did, and he helped make this EP a wall to wall masterpiece.

Put on yer headfonez and TURN THIS UP. Really is phenomenal production.

As much as The Cars didn’t move me that much, Ric Ocasek’s 1982 solo debut, Beatitude, very much DID move me. (It looks like Be-atitude, a reference to the Sermon On The Mount, but it was pronounced Beat-itude, which I thought was AWESOME.)

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The versions of the songs on the LP were okay, but where they really shined was the 12″ dance remixes. My favorite of these by far was “Connect Up To Me”, which was ONLY released as a 12″ dance remix (no  conventional 7″ single release), and frankly went nowhere outside Boston. The whole album disappeared, was never released on CD, and this version of the song didn’t appear digitally until it was included as part of Cars rarities box set. 

The album is available on Spotify, though, and lots of it is on YouTube, where I encourage you to dig in. Even though Ric was the primary creative force (albeit far from the ONLY driving force) behind The Cars, there are ways in which this sounds nothing like them. Even moreso on this 12″ single, which has more in common than Gary Numan (WHO HAD A HIT WITH A SONG CALLED “CARS”) or Kraftwerk than The Cars.

I played the ever-loving shit out of this thing. This version of the song, along with his work on the Never Say Never EP point to directions I wished he’d have explored more, but hey, it’s his career, and he did just fine with no help from me beyond the $6 I spent on this single and his share of the concert tickets where I left before he played.

BUT THIS. THIS.

So I ain’t saying that I’ll never get around to posting The Cars – Never Say Never, right? LOL – but I’ll say that I’m WAY overdue posting a couple of my favorite tracks from one of my favorite years, with roots in one of my favorite towns, and I’m grateful that you’ve given me the perfect excuse!

Thanks again for the generosity of spirit in your ask, too! I hope that these tracks are an adequate down payment on returning the favor for now.

hey sorry to bother! u r so good at finding pictures n stuff is there anyway you could find some of lita ford in japan '77 in this outfit? youtube/com/watch?v=-p-mC_B0KAc

It’s funny, there are other eras of The Runaways where we have pictures galore, but no video, but this particular trip was all about the video! 

Speaking of which, here’s the clip you linked to, embedded:

There’s a lot of other truly fantastic footage, but hardly any photos…so, challenge accepted! I’ll start digging around.

Until then, here’s a great poster from The Runaways Live In Japan record, which I highly recommend, featuring Lita’s distinctive hot pants and silver boots! Not quite the outfit in the video, but close enough for now. 

More soon!

hey have you ever listened to harry styles? do you have any opinions about him/his album? I hope you’re having a great day ! 😊😊

I like Harry a lot! I’m also very grateful to the hardcore Harry/1D fans who’ve driven up the notes on some of my 1971 Mick Jagger photos, where I agree with them that he looks especially Harry-like. (See for example here and here.) 

The first of those in particular took off like a rocket when Harry’s fans got hold of it, and it remains one of my most popular posts of all time. Notes whore that I am, I can’t thank you enough!

I’ll be honest, though, Sign Of The Times was a tiny bit of a let-down to me because of how quiet it is. Yes, I appreciate that he wanted to largely avoid 1D-style bangers and anthems, which solo, run the risk of sounding like recycled Oasis….although really, would that be so bad? Allow me to gently encourage our boy to do more like this, which I think he nailed:

I nevertheless recommend Sign Of The Times, even the ballads, to anyone losing faith in contemporary pop, or who still thinks that vocal competition shows are shite. Well, okay, the shows really are mostly shite as tv shows, but they’ve turned up some terrific performers, including Harry.

So I do think that Harry is a talent of the first order, and look forward to seeing what else he’ll grow into. 

Speaking of which, grow the hair back, son. I miss it!

PPS. I wouldn’t mind a 1D victory lap tour, either. No need to get back together for any length of time, but that all ended way too quickly.

Thanks for asking! And thanks again to the Harry/1D fans who’ve been so kind to me! 

soundsof71:

The Who’s Roger Daltrey at Desert Trip, Weekend 2, October 16, 2016. @silveraspens was there, too – who else?

(I was sitting about a quarter mile away when I took these, but I was at 2000mm on my Nikon P900.)

One thing that struck me is that even though Roger was singing while a blazing hot desert wind was blowing sand down his throat (I had to wear a bandana, and I was just in the audience!), he sounded AMAZING. He didn’t like how he was singing earlier in the decade, so he took voice lessons, started working out again, and is sounding fantastic. 

There’s other old guys on the road who are putting on spectacular shows – don’t miss McCartney and Jagger if you get the chance to see them this year – but there’s only one guy in HIS 70s still bellowing like he did in THE 70s, and that’s our boy Daltrey.

George Harrison, “Here Comes the Sun”, August 1, 1971. From the Concert for Bangladesh of course. You can see at the beginning how nervous George was! Not only his first solo performance, his first concert appearance at all since 1966, featuring his first performances of his own compositions ever – but here, also for the first time on stage, vulnerable and stripped down to an acoustic guitar. George’s little smile as the audience reaches out to him is priceless.

His duet partner, Badfinger’s Pete Ham, later revealed that they hadn’t even rehearsed! “George just wanted to keep it simple,” he said. After George told him the chord changes, Pete ducked into his hotel room to listen to the version on Abbey Road a couple of times, and that’s all there was time for! 

The result: magic. And beauty and joy and, yes, sun, sun, sun! Here it comes!

(Mi pequeña, está toda bien!)

(Note that by the time you come across this post, the video may have been taken down. It happens. Here’s the YouTube search for you to find another version. Worth the extra clicks!)