Monday, 24 January 2011
News, Views and Music Issue 88 (Intro)
Well here we are again, ain’t been round since you know when – last issue in fact. To fill you in on our latest news – we’re now cruising past 4000 hits (as of this morning we were on 4119) and our Beatle Sims are still doing well (George Harrison is now a proper five-star celebrity, the highest you can achieve! Well, he was anyway, of course, but now he is all over again – viva 2011 Beatlemania!) We have, however, had a surprising bit of negative feedback from our last few postings on other sites which has surprised me – is our site really so hard to navigate? (It can’t be that bad or you wouldn’t be reading this now!) And is it really so bad for such a low budget site (readers get their reviews for free after all – not for us the big advertising budgets of lesser sites that are all surface and no substance!) Keep sending in your comments to us – good and bad, it all gets noted, although there honestly isn’t anything I can do to make the site more navigatable – and let us know what you think. Do our postings make you feel so high you touch the sky? Or is our writer just Thick As A Brick?! In the meantime, there’s a nice lot of news this week so let’s move on...
♫ Beach Boys News: There’s a new semi-official DVD out about Brian Wilson out this month, titled ‘Songwriter 1962-69’ and analysing Brian’s magnificent pop creations from the band’s ‘Capitol’ era. Brian himself isn’t speaking in the doc but an impressive number of his friends and colleagues are, including fellow band members David Marks (who got the push in 1964) and Bruce Johnston (who became Brian’s tour replacement in 1965 and has stayed with the band intermittently thereafter). Backing musicians Carol Kaye and Hal Blaine, who played on all the band’s recordings from 1965-68, are in there somewhere too and always make for good interviewees. The DVD also promises a great deal of unseen home movie footage and rarely seen TV clips – although whether its the usual shots from Leonard Bernstein’s show and the band’s tour of Europe in 1968 or something rarer I’m not yet sure. More news if and when.
♫ CSN News: Alas the Rick-Rubin produced CSN album, which has been talked about since 2009 and discussed at length on these pages, doesn’t look like it’s going to happen now. The facts are still unclear but it looks as if CSN have got tired waiting for Rubin to finish his other projects – including working with Kid Rock who are OK but hardly in the trio’s league you have to say and Metallica, who are laughable – and have decided to walk out of the project. Alas it looks as if 2000’s ‘Looking Forward’ will remain the last time CSN/Y will be together in the studio at the time of writing and that’s such a loss not just to fans but to music lovers at large. The archive 1974 Wembley Stadium concert recording is still being planned for release, however, so all might not be lost for CSN fans in 2011, though the loss of the Rubin project – for which the band signed a much-needed seven-figure sum of money – is a huge blow for a band that’s been without a major label deal for 17 years now. For goodness sake, if the Spice Girls can get a recording contract with no hassle, surely the world’s greatest band can too?!
♫ Human League News: The band’s first album for nine years, titled ‘Credo’, is finally out next month – only the 10th studio release of the band’s 32-year career! Personally I really liked the poorly-received ‘Secrets’ of 2001 – or bits of it at least - so I‘m willing to take the uniformly bad reviews for this new album with a pinch of salt. More news when the record is finally out.
♫ Monkees News: An extended version of Eric Lefcowitz’s good but ridiculously short biography ‘The Monkees’ has just been released, now titled ‘Monkee Buisness: The Revolutionary Made-For-TV Band’. The original, which ended with the 1980s three-way reunion, has been expanded to take the story up to the present day (not that a lot has happened with the band since 1997 to be honest) and gone into greater detail than before. A good introduction to Monkees newbies, but personally if you’re a Monkeephile I’d recommend any of Andrew Sandoval’s books on the band.
♫ Oasis News: ‘Beady Eye’, Liam Gallagher’s new band with fellow latter-day band members Gem Archer and Andy Bell, are due to release their new album ‘Different Gear, Still Speeding’ in February. This will be the first release by any of the band since their split in the Summer of 2009, although rumours are that Noel Gallagher has been sitting on his first solo album for a while (but wanted to take time off to look after his new-born child and doesn’t want to compete directly with Liam’s band). Beady Eye already have a single available to download from their website, as mentioned here a few issues back, ‘Bring The Light’, backed by a cover of World Of Twist’s song ‘Sons Of The Stage’.
♫ Rolling Stones News: There’s been an unusual Rolling Stones reunion last month, with three members of the band from different eras uniting in a benefit concert for London’s ‘100 Club’ where members of the band and several others played in their early 1960s beginnings. Dick Taylor (one of the founding Stones who left to join The Pretty Things in 1962), Mick Taylor (guitarist with the band between 1969 and 1974) and his replacement Ronnie Wood (guitarist 1976-present) joined forces to raise money to keep the club open. Owners say that a recent hike in rent means that the club – which had been running under its present name since 1964, which must surely be some sort of record – will have to either charge double the current amount to get in or close for good. The target to raise is £500,000 and £150,000 has been made so far.
♫ The Who News: We mentioned on these pages a while back that a planned deluxe re-issue of ‘Quadrophenia’ had been cancelled – well, it’s back on the schedules for release this Summer to coincide with a new tour of the rock opera by the two-man Who, last performed complete in 1996. Which comes as surprising news to us, seeing as they’d all but announced their split the last time the band were on our news page! More news if and when...
♫ Neil Young News: We don’t often plug other publications on these pages, but the Feb 2011 issue of Mojo has a rather interesting Neil Young issue this month, with various artists discussing his best work – including AAA members David Crosby, Nils Lofgren and Paul McCartney (two of which think ‘Old Man’ is Neil’s greatest song, interestingly!) Nils also writes an interesting article on meeting the Neilster, although as ever the cover CD – made up of covers of Neil’s worst-album-of-the-70s ‘Harvest’ by people I’ve never heard of plus ‘I Can’t Let Go’ writer Chip Taylor – is mind-numbingly awful. Apologies for the late posting – my copy of the magazine went missing and/or is heavily delayed by the snow so I’ve only just managed to buy a new copy! STOP PRESS: owing to the idiosyncrasies of the postal department this Winter I have just received my subscription copy of Mojo and now have an issue going spare if any like-minded Neil Young wants a copy? Just email me your address (to firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll email it to you in return for a comment on our forum or two...
ANNIVERSARIES: Happy birthday to the following AAA superstars (January 19-25th): Janis Joplin, who would have turned 68 on January 19th and Eric Stewart (guitarist, keyboardist and engineer with 10cc 1972-83, 1992 and 1995) who turns 66 on January 22nd. Anniversaries of events include: The Beatles are offered $30 million to reform by promoter Bill Seregant – a ridiculous amount for a one-off gig at the time and one that Lennon and McCartney at least seriously considered before saying no (January 19th 1976); The Beatles’ first proper American LP ‘Meet The Beatles’ is released, combining tracks from the first two UK releases (January 20th 1964); George Harrison becomes the second Beatle to get hitched, marrying Patti Boyd at Epsom Registry Office after a courtship involving filming on ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ (January 21st 1965); John Lennon’s first posthumous single – the unfinished ‘Nobody Told Me’ – hits the American charts (January 21st 1984); Those bad boys The Rolling Stones are at it again – this time getting into trouble for refusing to join the other guests at the finale of ‘Sunday Night At The London Palladium’ (January 22nd 1967); Brian Epstein officially becomes The Beatles’ manager after signing a contract to that effect, surprisingly late after meeting him 18 months earlier (January 24th 1962); Brian Wilson divorces first wife Marilyn after 15 years – the pair met at an early Beach Boys gig when Brian accidentally knocked hot chocolate down her dress and she goes on to be the Beach Boys’ greatest muse during the 1960s, inspiring many songs (January 24th 1979) and finally, JohnandYoko celebrate the start of a new decade in style, declaring 1970 to be ‘year one’ and shaving off their hair for charity (January 25th 1970).