Thursday 29 April 2010

News, Views and Music Issue 58 (Intro)

April 29:

Helloooooooooooooooo and welcooooooooooome to anooooooooother issue of everyooooone’s favooooourite newsletter. Ah that’s better, sorry, we seem to have a sticking key which seems to have sorted itself out now. Well, I can’t say I’ve seen much action from my Record Collector advert yet but we are slowly working our way up to our second thousand views so please keep visiting, keep writing in and keep nagging everybody you know with a modicum of musical taste to visit the site. Meantime, we’ve got another packed issue for you, full of – rather suitably – a handful of news, a plethora of views and a whole tonne of music so enough of me nattering, read oooooooooooooooooooon (darn it).  


CSN News: This is only for our American readers, alas, but Graham Nash has yet another exhibition of his many rock and roll photographs taking place in San Francisco this June. Titled ‘Taking Aim’, the gallery features a hundred photographs of artists from all eras of music, from Elvis to Nirvana with lots of obscure artists as well as the more obvious ones, taken by a legion of photographers down the years as well as some by Nash himself. Best of all, Graham has recorded an ‘audio tour’ for the event, which is apparently full of anecdotes about the musicians and Graham’s memories of each of them. There’s no mention of whether Graham’s two bands – CSN and The Hollies – are included, but rather sweetly Graham’s ex, Joni Mitchell, is.   

Rolling Stones News: The long awaited CD re-issue of the band’s 1972 album ‘Exile On Main Street’ is finally here (News and Views passim), over a year since the last batch of Stones re-issues from the 90s and 00s (which arguably didn’t need re-mastering anyway). This double album is now represented on two CDs, with the second disc containing 10 unissued songs released officially for the first time – including unheard songs Following The River, Pass Down The Wine, Plundered My Soul and Dancing In The Light as well as alternate takes and mixes of album tracks. The set, which comes out on May 17th, is accompanied by yet another ridiculous Rollers rip-off: a deluxe set containing the CDs, an LP of the same and a 30-minute DVD including a selection of footage from the legendary unfinished film Cocksucker Blues.  ‘Plundered My Soul’ is also being released as a 1000-copy limited edition 7” vinyl ahead of the album on 17th April (to celebrate ‘record store day’ apparently – whatever happened to ‘overworked internet reviewer day’?!), although given the hefty price tag I think most of us will settle for hearing it on the album in a month’s time. In a busy few months for the Stones, there’s no less than three DVDs on the band due out: ‘Rare and Unseen’ on April 20th (including footage of Jagger on ‘World In Action’, Richards at the Berlin film festival and lots of local news reports about the band), ‘Stones In Exile’ sometime in June (a making of ‘Exile On Main Street’ due for broadcast on BBC International sometime soon) and the long awaited unscreened mid-60s concert/documentary ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones’ sometime in the Autumn.    

Paul Simon News: One of the more unexpected musical stories of the year is the emergence of Paul Simon’s son Harper, releasing his debut album ‘Harper Simon’ this month at the age of 37. The album has got rave reviews so far and fans of his dad’s might want to take note of it thanks to a collaboration between father and son on the album track ‘Ha Ha’. Rather than a debut record, though, Harper feels like an old friend - Paul’s frequently mentioned his son in his lyrics with Harper the babe in arms on the lullaby ‘St Judy’s Comet (‘Rhymin’ Simon), the ‘child of my first marriage’ in ‘Graceland’ and Harper also  starred alongside his dad in the feature film ‘One Trick Pony’ (see review no 78 for more).

10cc News: Fans of 10cc might be interested to learn that Eric Stewarts old band from the 1960s, The Mindbenders, are finally getting the retrospective weve been crying out for on this site since goodness knows when. A Groovy Kind Of Love: The Complete LPs and Singles 196-68 is slightly misleading, inasmuch as its only complete from the period when lead singer Wayne Fontana left and Eric Stewart stepped up to be the bands lead singer as well as their lead guitarist and main songwriter. The set does, of course, feature the title track the only hit the band had without Fontana although lesser known singles like The Letter and Groovy Kind Of Loves B-side Love Is Good (which, I think, is the first time Eric ever got a songwriting credit although Im not as fully up to speed with this band as I am with the AAA groups) are equally welcome to have back on our shelves. Word has it the Groovy Kind Of Love album is a bit disappointment and the two reviews of this set Ive seen have been decidedly miserly about the whole thing but thanks to record company Retro for finally delivering half of the set we asked for aeons ago in one of our 10cc reviews.

Traveling Wilburys News: Why is nearly everything connected with this 90s supergroup so expensive? Anyway, Genesis – the book publishers behind George Harrison’s multi-hundred pound autobiog ‘I Me Mine’ in 1980 – are at it again with a Wilburys collection of photographs priced at £195 (that’s around £1.25 a page). To be fair if you do buy this book you do get a load of ‘special features’ – facsimile lyrics and correspondence between the band on a variety of forms from letters to post-it notes (!), but personally I’m going to wait for the half-price paperback (it may have taken 22 years but I did get ‘I Me Mine’ for a fiver eventually!)

Happy birthdays this week (April 19-25th) go to Jack Nitzsche (keyboard player with Crazy Horse 1971 and producer of various Buffalo Springfield and Neil Young tracks) who turns 73 on April 22nd and Traveling Wilburys member Roy Orbison who would have been 74 on April 23rd. Anniversaries of events include: the first meeting between the Beatles and the Stones during the latter’s gig on home soil at London’s Crawdaddy Club. Despite what you may have read in biogs and press releases of the time the band gets on very well indeed and become firm friends over the next decade (April 21st 1963); Janis Joplin wows the crowds at London’s Royal Albert Hall during her first – and as it turned out only – European tour (April 21st 1969); A lot of things happened on the roof of the Beatles’ Apple building – a less remembered event than the one in the ‘Let It Be’ film is John Winston Lennon changing his middle name to Ono ‘because she changed her surname and my name now has more O’s in it which is considered lucky’ or something like that; April 22nd 1969); as part of the conditions of not giving Keith Richards a life sentence for drugs possession, the Stones perform the first of two shows for the blind in Toronto – rumour has it a blind fan Keith had looked after on each of the Stones’ Canadian tours wrote to the judge telling him how kind the guitarist had been to her hence the rather odd court condition (April 22nd 1979); Pete Ham of Badfinger commits suicide after yet another failed business deal scuppers the band’s fortunes (April 23rd 1975) and finally, four months after McCartney’s drug bust losses the band a fortune, Wings officially disband after Denny Laine walks out of sessions for the album which becomes Macca’s ‘Tug Of War’ LP (April 25th 1981).

And for the following week (April 26th-May 2nd): Happy birthdays to AAA friends Klaus Voormann (Beatle friend, bassist and sleeve illustrator) who turns 68 on April 29th; no less than two girlfriends of Stephen Stills referenced on many a CSN album, Judy Collins (who turns 71 on May 1st) and Rita Cootlidge (who turns 66 on the same day) and finally, Jo Callis (synthesiser with The Human League 1981-85) who turns 55 on May 2nd. Anniversaries of events include: the release of the first Stones LP (April 26th 1964); Ringo Starr and his twin Ognir Rrats starr in a rather odd TV special ‘Prince And The Pauper’ plugging the ‘Bad Boy’ album (April 26th 1978); It’s a good week for Ringo in fact – he marries second wife and former Bond girl Barbara Bach on April 27th 1981; Andrew Loog Oldham sees the ramshackle Rolling Stones perform for the first time at their ‘home’ club the Crawdaddy and signs a contract with them to be their manager the next day (April 28th 1963); Dark Side Of the Moon tops the American charts – for a total of one week, despite staying in the top 200 charts for a ridiculous 15 years (April 28th 1973); The Kinks, supported by The Yardbirds, headline their first UK tour (when they actually get it together enough to turn up – cancelled Kinks shows are legendary among fans, April 30th 1965); Roger Daltrey’s film ‘McVicar’ about the escaped and reformed convict premieres in London – the other members of The Who get a credit for ‘musical supervision’ (April 30th 1980); A sad day for collectors as The Beach Boys officially scrap ‘Smile’ (May 2nd 1967); On the same day in 1979 The Who’s film ‘Quadrophenia’ premieres – a mere six years after the double album of the same name came out – and The Who Two debut in concert, with Small Faces drummer Kenny Jones taking over from Keith Moon a year after the latter drummer’s death (May 2nd) and finally, Pink Floyd’s single ‘Another Brick In The Wall’ is famously banned in South America after children take it up as a rallying cry against the poor education and services on offer there (May 2nd 1980.    

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