Friday, March 29, 2013

End Of The Month Wrap Up

I haven't been around all that much, doesn't seem like I'm posting anything but this is our 12th blog for this month and basically a time to sit and reflect and plot the next course of action.

More passings: Hugh McCracken session guitar wizard died according to Elliot Randall on Friday.  You can hear his playing on The Ram album from Paul McCartney and that oddball guitar lick at the beginning of Hey Nineteen by Steely Dan, that's Hugh.  Could have been a member of Wings but he wouldn't move from New York.

Robert Zildjian, once part of the great Zildjian Cymbals family, got into a big tiff with his brother and moved over to form Sabian Cymbals in 1981 passed away from cancer at age 89.  Sabian was actually the old K Zildjian cymbals that were made in Canada but it didn't take long for Sabian to take away a good share of Zildjian and to some extent the Paiste folks as well. Phil Collins, Mike Portnoy, Terry Bozzio and Neil Peart was Sabian users.

Graham Stoker, the leader behind The Jordaniares, the best Nashville backing vocals groups ever formed passed away at age 88.  Elvis Presley loved them so much that he wanted them on his recordings but you can also hear them backing the likes of Patsy Cline, Ricky Nelson and The Blasters.  Lotta great musicians leaving for the Great Beyond, which leaves you and me.  For now.

Thanks everybody for making March the second best ever in terms of viewership although I don't get many replies to stories anymore.  The 1999 blog got the second most views and still can't figure that one out.  As always the runaway winner of the month as it has been ever since the beginning of tracking views is the Brains blog way out in front by 11,000 plus views over the second most, way back in the pack the Brian Howe Bad Company look at.  The First And Last Crabb Fashion Show in forth place behind the Mavericks review to which I don't think I'd played that CD since reviewing it.  The Top Tens of the month not all that outstanding, Waterlogged with 26 views the best and Shock And Awe Jive at 18 views the least but it seems to satisfy the hardcore, all the 15 of them.  Really no difference if I add pictures or not.  949 views for The Brains Blog this month is still great although Universal has yet to even reissue their albums.  A wasted effort don't ya think?

The big news of the month was the Printing Operations moving to Minnesota with or without us, which is the latter. Which means we'll be joining the ranks of the packaging folk unless they don't think we're cut out for that to which I'll sit on my ass for a year and let them pay me for it.  Heath wise I continue to get allergic reactions to hand sanitizers or Anti Bacterial soaps which gives me a bad case of jock itch and rashes.  And still paying for it a week later.  Weather wise it's been chilly, it's been cold and Friday was the first time we made it over 50 degrees which keeps us out of the years of 1915 and 1965 for the coldest March on record.  And 7 snowstorms this month.  Which explains why there hasn't been any bargain hunts.  Never trust a fucking groundhog from Bumfuk Pennsylvania to predict an early spring.  Better let that rodent sleep through the winter and not wake him up.

This year I only  bought 9 new releases and Eric Burdon's Till Your River Runs Dry and Bad Religion True North gets my vote for best of the year.  David Bowie's The Next Day the worst of the year and anything else is in the middle. I didn't buy the new Strokes (digipack) and nobody still has Richard Thompson's latest anywhere.  Next month promises a bargain hunt in Mad City and later in the month St. Louis before the bugs and storms hit.  Nothing set in stone yet.  I continue to focus my other energies on the new Townedgers projects, which means I'll be working the blogs over there trying to restore some sense of order. Next month has the Pistol Annie's latest and even though Blake Shelton has a new CD out, he continues to work with hack songwriters for his hits (The Peach Pickers, bleh) instead of trying of something new with Miranda Lambert his wife.  His duet with her on For The Record remains the best thing he's ever done.  Plus he got into it with Farce The Music the other day.  Pistol Annie Ashley Monroe has a new cd out and maybe I'll take a listen to that, provided if Best Buy has it, and most of the time Best Buy don't have shit. Somehow all the Frank Zappa albums that they had out are now gone. Update: Farce The Music still going after Blake it seems, somehow I don't feel that this is over yet.

And for the most part, CiCi's Pizza has closed their doors on the SW side of CR which meant problems with the franchise owner but there's promise of them coming back.  Just like Sonic right?  For the most part, all food places here changed their menus, jacked up the prices and give out smaller portions.   The key is to when going out, just asking for water and tell them to hold the high fructose corn poisons we call Pepsi.

Willie Nelson will be up here in Iowa in April and will be here a day before he turns 80, he plays the Paramount the day before his birthday.  Carnival Of Thieves return to CSPS in April as well.  They put on a great free show last year.

It must be spring the Red Wing Flying Shitbags are back.  When the Killdear return it will be summer. W00T!

Link of the day:

For all things vinyl.  So to speak.

Since nobody cares about new music anymore, most are talking about anniversaries of past classic albums and this month Dark Side Of The Moon came out and changed stoner rock for all time.  While Dylan Tracy sings high praises of this, I have never really gotten into this record and Dark Side shares with Frampton Comes Alive as the 2 albums of the 70s that everybody had that I never bought myself.  It's a headphones classic I'm sure and Alan Parsons did great strives into making it a headphones classic but I have never gotten into Dark Side although I did get Money as a 45 years ago.  Still cannot stand Clare Torry's screaming on The Great Gig In The Sky how original it may be for the rest of the world but for the most part that and a few other choice cuts made it to Echoes, the 2 CD overview of Pink Floyd and basically if I want to hear Dark Side, I go with that.  I actually passed on dollar copies of Dark Side the CD.  It's just something I can live without but there's some out there that think it's the best record ever made.  To which you can read one of those at this link:

Final Ratings Talk: we should clear 2800 views but if we get over 3,000 I'll buy pizza.

RIP Phil Ramone, producer to Billy Joel's best known albums and Chicago's 1978 classic Hot Streets and cult favorite Chicago 13.  The most least punk of all Ramones, he'll be missed.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Top Ten Of The Week: That Classic Rock Feel

Motown loses another producer/songwriter: Deke Richards who wrote hit songs for The Jackson 5 under the banner of The CorporationTM and later went on to produce Duke And The Drivers died of cancer. He was 68

Mark Evans, former bass player for AC/DC and heart of gold gold sold his gold record of High Voltage to pay for raise funds for a girl's soccer team for 4200 dollars.

KFMH, the infamous 99 plus is back up and running again on Net Radio.  Really wished they had something out there for me to listen to this while working but you can catch them at this link:

You may stripped me of my rights photo here got blacked out from a email from one of you that told me about it.  So basically the picture got censored here but you can see it all from this website. Let me know who this girl is, the one with the glasses behind her.   I would like to marry her, betcha she'd be a lotta fun  ;-)

Since the ground hog lied about an early spring and we been socked with 6 snowstorms this month, there was no bargain hunts anywhere else but in town.  While checking cheap flights to Arizona, Allegiant which promised 83 dollar fares to Mesa, ends up padding the bill with a outrageous 50 dollar baggage fee, a seat fee charging from 12 to 20 dollars and more fees for boarding first.  Turns out figuring out the summer AZ trip would run about 688 dollars which was 150 dollars more than last year.  A plan B may be in the offering but this fee crap is really sucking us dry.

And the world still miss Keith Moon.

The Top Ten:

1.  When The Time Comes-The Sand Rubies 1989   Tucson's beloved native sons, known as The Sidewinders and made two albums for Mammoth/RCA before dropped and being sued by a GD top forty cover band to which they changed over to Sand Rubies.  Bruce at the pawnshop loves them to death and so do I to a certain extent.  They have reunited from time to time but the albums they have made have been a bit less and less enjoyable  Return Of The Living Dead a very good album but the much harder to find covers album Release The Hounds and mas' cuacha spotty.  I like to smack David Shutes' butchering of Neil Young's Rocking In The Free World but they do a good cover of this Tom Petty classic, to which you can find on You're Gonna Get It.

2.  Roll Over Lay Down-Status Quo 1974  Tournament time in the NCAA's mean great basketball but it also gives us more pain in the ass commercials and they're getting more and more dumber.  If insurance companies would give such care and dedication for their commercials as they did to people wouldn't that be great.  And I wish a deranged bus driver would take out the Subway eating dufus riding a bike on those Italian Beef  plug (5 Dollar Footlong this Mutherfucker). Doesn't mean I noticed certain songs and on a Blackberry spot I heard a song that kinda reminded me of this hard rocking classic from the Quo, whose original fearsome foursome lineup gotten back together to play some one off gigs.  Never quite figure out why the US never gave the Quo that much love although the UK folks came out in droves to see them play.

3.  Loving Cup-The Rolling Stones 1972  Exile On Main Street is the Stone's all time classic but when they took their masters over to Universal, the mix was pumped up to ten and although I noticed a few more differences on the songs there's a brightness and loudness that damn near makes this unlistenable at times. It also means I won't be giving up my CBS CD anytime soon but may put this UMe version for sale.  This was the Stones last great classic before they became predictable but in their coke and drug induced glory they did reinvent themselves for a record that may have played a role in Americana too.

4.  Everything I Own-The Remingtons 1993  One thing about Bread is that even though they get lambasted and poo pooed by the hip young zitheads at Pitchfork that David Gates' songs have aged a lot better than My Chemical Romance or Smash Mouth or whoever is hogging the autotuner.  Not a big Bread fan but I do have The Best Of Bread and On The Waters, which I think is their best studio album but can't find a decent cd of that album for the life of me.  David Gates would become a country star although his records didn't sell a tenth of Bread sales and James Griffin, who was probably the more rocker of the band would follow suit into the country band field by hooking up with two other dudes to form The Remingtons who made two decent albums for BNA.  And this cover of a big Bread hit, which pales to the original (they all do) but it's still good.

5.  T B Sheets-Van Morrison 1967  No way avoiding Brown Eyed Girl if you want to hear this although that big hit, still catchy has been annoying on the radio since radio is playing it somewhere in the airwaves.  Van had his eye on other things when he came up with this moody little number which hints at the next big thing, Astral Weeks an album that Rolling Stone considers one of the top ten albums ever.  It's good but it's never been my favorite Van Morrison, (my vote: Moondance). Even though Van had one eye on the radio, his other eye was on improvisation and he could do both quite well.

6.  The Mule-Deep Purple 1971  Upon playing Song Pop in Facebook, I got this wrong simply of the fact that the idiots there put down the wrong song Fools whereas the sound bit was The Mule.  It's a very noisy track even with Deep Purple standards although the Made In Japan version was that 20 minute Ian Paice drum solo (seems like it) that Ian Gillan must have needed to go take a dump for it to be that long.  Sushi can do that to ya.  BTW, new Deep Purple next month, called Now What?!  Maybe somebody will have it.

7.  Magnum Opus-Kansas 1976  Leftoverture is one of those albums that defined a band, where else can you hear Carry On My Wayward Son for an album opener, still a killer cut, still overplayed on classic rock radio, hated by many, loved by few but I always thought What's On My Mind was a better song on the radio although that one bombed.  Plenty of FM cuts like Miracles Out Of Nowhere and this final selection which defines Kansas for who they are, prog rockers and perhaps the only song, with a couple selections dedicated to gnats, the state bug of Kansas although I believe Iowa is a close second.  Ain't seen no gnats yet, we still have snow on the ground.

8.  Civilisation-Richard & Linda Thompson 1979  The best husband and wife combination in rock history before it all crashed down a few years later Linda always seem to got the best out of Richard's songwriting although Sunnyvista sold squat and came after they split with Island Records.  The most pop sounding album, it was even hard to find when it came out on CD.  Seems to be a concept album of sorts.

9.  Shake The House Down-Molly Hatchet 1990  Danny Joe Brown was the spirit and voice of The Hatchet although I still have a soft spot for the soulful Jimmy Farrar when he took over for Beating The Odds and Take No Prisoners but The Danny Joe Brown band made a killer 1981 album for Epic and then Danny Joe return to the fold and brought with him John Gavin and the dreaded Bobby Ingram with him.  Terry Manning turned them into ZZ Top wannabes with The Deed Is Done, an album that I still like a lot to this day and perhaps the loudest drum sound ever recorded but by then, nobody cared that much and a move to Capitol and the forgotten Lightning Strikes Twice didn't help things.  Next year found them recording two new songs to Molly Hatchet Greatest Hits and really they do rock but it would be the last time we would ever hear from Molly Hatchet's lineup of the early 70s.  In the end, Danny Joe Brown and Ingram started up sessions for Devil's Canyon, the last good MH album but Brown took ill and Ingram replaced him with Phil McCormick, a dead ringer soundalike to DJ Brown.  Dave Hlubek remains the sole original member left while this band comes to a nearest casino near you. Above photo shows the 1983 version of band featuring Barry Borden (formerly of Mother's Finest, later of Marshall Tucker Band) on drums, and Riff West next to DJ Brown.

10.  Keep A Knockin-Mott The Hoople 1971  I still like the dirty rock and roll sound of the Guy Stevens era over the glam Bowie All The Young Dudes period although that album is rock and roll classic, makes you wonder what happened had Stevens taken over.  Their Island/Atlantic albums remains rock and roll spirit and you can consider them to be punks as well, you never knew where Ian Hunter was going to lead them. The only live song that survived (it was supposed to be a live album called Wildlife but was scrapped)  Andy Johns recorded them with plenty of distortion and overdrive and this has concluded a few of my late nite rock and roll party in the streets. Found a bootleg 2 CD live Mott that had a different version then the Sept 1970 concert, but no liner notes where at. (Philadelphia maybe).

What else have I been listening that you might care?

Baby Please Don't Go-AC/DC 1976
I'm An Adult Now-Pursuit Of Happiness 1988
Sit On My Face-Monty Python 1980
Sex Type Thing-Stone Temple Pilots 1992
Anyway The Wind Blows-J J Cale/Eric Clapton 2006

Bonus Track, Tom Dooley-Kingston Trio 1958 (from a Q and A with Jerry Osborne (Collecting Vinyl Records at

DEAR JERRY: One of the history channels ran a show about famous lynchings, including a segment on Tom Dula, who the Kingston Trio immortalized as "Tom Dooley."

Apparently there was insufficient evidence to convict Tom of killing his sweetheart, but he was neither the first nor the last whose innocence would not be determined until after the execution.

Seemed like a big story, so why did it take nearly 100 years for someone to make a record about it?
—Terry Lombard, York, Pa.
DEAR TERRY: A big story indeed, probably the O.J. trial of its day, minus Court TV.

What is known is Dula's pregnant fiancée, Laura Foster, was stabbed to death in Wilkes County, N.C., in May 1866. As to the killer's identity, the truth may never be known.

Reportedly, more evidence pointed to Ann Melton, Dula's "other woman," than to himself. Tom maintained his innocence without implicating Melton, right up to moments before he swung from the gallows (May 1, 1868).

The Kingston Trio's version suggests a lover's triangle existed between "a condemned man named Tom Dooley," "a beautiful woman" (Foster) and "a Mister Grayson."

Col. James Grayson did assist in the capture of Dula, but the third corner of that "eternal triangle" was Ann Melton, not Grayson.

Ironically, James Grayson's nephew, Gilliam B. Grayson, a singer and fiddler, wrote the first song about "Tom Dooley" (changed from Dula) in September 1929. He teamed with guitarist Henry Whitter, and, performing as Grayson and Whitter, they recorded G.B.'s tune (Victor V-40325).

From this original, the Kingston Trio retained the "hang your head, Tom Dooley, hang your head and cry, you know you're bound to die," refrain.

They also kept G.B.'s nod to his uncle James, so both versions include "hadn't a been for Grayson, I'd be in Tennessee."

Ninety years later, and allowing for a conviction loaded with reasonable doubt, the Trio omitted accusatory references such as "ya killed poor Laura Foster … you took her on the hillside and there you took her life."

To this day, an official marker stands near the execution site, placed by the United States Department of the Interior - National Park Service. It reads: "The song ["Tom Dooley"] did not reveal the other woman [Ann Melton], who may have done the deed."

What do you think of that  3D Billy?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Crabb Bits:Alford Choke Job Updated

Ah the NCAA's are here again and plenty of upsets are all around. Gonzaga was shown the door by Wichita State 76-70, Ole Miss took out Wisconsin and those of you who picked New Mexico to make it into the final four got the usual Steve Alford choke job when Harvard showed them the door which really riled certain New Mexico folks and sportswriters, to the point that one of them said he had enough and quit his job of following the Lobos for 33 years.  This comes after New Mexico gave the high and mighty Alford a 10 year contract.  And then he leaves to take the UCLA job on Saturday 3/30/13.

New Mexico had a very tough schedule  rated number 2 in the nation.  They did beat some quality teams and won their division and tournament, they were a very tough and defense minded team.  Problem is you might win 29 games in a regular season, but you play one bad game in the NCAA's and you're done, simple as that.  Iowa Hawkeye fans always never accepted Alford as their own, especially after the mess Bob Bowlsby did after getting rid of Tom Davis after Davis final season got the Hawks to the sweet 16 and making the former Indiana Hoosier superstar a Hawkeye coach.  What turned me off on Alford was him taking the player's names off the Iowa Jerseys and making them a faceless team of sorts, even when they won 26 games one year, the Alford magic stuck again and the Hawkeyes were one and done in the last NCAA appearance and the next season Alford couldn't get out of Iowa City fast enough when Albuquerque came calling.  Since then, he's had regular season success down in Lobos Land but continues to fail in the playoffs.

I didn't think New Mexico was a final four or even Sweet 16 but would have picked them over Harvard as well.  But they didn't bring their A game and Harvard outplayed them.  And Lobo Nation is pissed off.  New Mexico has all of their starters coming back next season and maybe they'll be pissed off too about the big let down that they will avenge and go deep into the NCAA's but Alford's method of operation has been lacking in the post season and if they fail to get past the first round again, all hell will break loose and Alford may have to leave town in a hurry 10 year contract or a buy out.  It's like the Hawkeyes, you have to finish the game and not take the other team lightly.

Look at it this way New Mexico fans, at least you made it to the NCAAs.  The Hawkeyes are still stuck in NIT land trying to turn their fortunes around after three dismal years of Todd Lickliter and Fran McCaffery trying to clean up the mess that both Lickliter and Alford left behind.  And for their effort have made their first trip ever to the Big Apple NIT final 4 next week.  It may be the NIT but the Hawkeyes have gotten farther this year then the mighty Lobos did before Harvard took them out.

But the big heyhoo was Saturday's announcement that Steve Alford has now accepted the UCLA job replacing Ben Howland who got beat by Minnesota and when the Gophers lost, Tubby Smith got canned.  Even after a 10 year extension did ya really think that Alford was going to hang around Albuquerque that long?  The pretty boy wants exposure and no better place to get it is UCLA and why not?  The Lobos team had 5 of them So Cal players on that squad and was ready to tear up the MWC once again before Alford took the money and run.  But usually that's been the MO that Alford has shown most of his career, hang at a school for five or so seasons and move on elsewhere.  Make no mistake he is a good coach, he just can't get the job done in the NCAAs or NIT's, one and done which means his two straight Iowa titles in the B1G tournaments the first two seasons he was at Iowa was a fluke.  Your typical springtime basketball coach which means when spring rolls around, his teams pack it in no matter how good they are.

So now, it looks familiar all over again but this time New Mexico fans are up in arms while Hawkeyes fans just shake their heads and say we know how that went.  Unlike the Iowa fiasco, New Mexico still has their team in tact and with a good coach they should be all right although nobody knows about the season after that.  Alford will strip the names off the UCLA's players jersey's try to teach team morals and sportsmanship and try to get the Bruins back to the storied NCAAs final four but one thing needs to change, and that's Alford's one and done mentality that has sunk the Lobos this season and the Hawkeyes' 26 win season of long ago but even that team the fans never did embrace the former Hoosier Hot Shot or Bob Bowlsby's folly which began the Iowa Basketball downfall, I blame Bowlsby more than I do Alford but at least Fran McCaffery's team made a final four of sorts this year.

As for Alford, he has his work cut out for him. John Wooden's ghost is all over Bruinland and although fans will enjoy winning 25 games or more in a season, they will not tolerate one and done in the NCAAs and Alford will have his biggest challage in not failing on game 1.  And this time if he fails, he may not be moving to a new job in five seasons, he might be out the door.

As for myself, UCLA can have Alford.,0,4790759,full.column

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Allen Reed Talks About The Gunfight At OK Corral

TOMBSTONE -- Past Boothill Graveyard and around the bend where Arizona 80 becomes Fremont Street, a larger-than-life statue of a man rises from a low sandstone pedestal. Clad in a duster and broad-brimmed hat, a sawed-off shotgun over one shoulder, Wyatt Earp stands guard at the entrance to this dusty town that calls itself "too tough to die."

Since the Oct. 26, 1881, "gunfight at the O.K. Corral," the famed frontier lawman has loomed large over this former boomtown. The silver deposits that gave birth to the city have long since been played out, but Tombstone has survived largely by mining the legend of the West's most infamous shootout.

And in popular culture, the Earps have always been the good guys; the McLaurys and Clantons, the bad guys.

But something peculiar has happened at the O.K. Corral: The white hats and the black hats have all gotten a bit grayer.

Hanging on the stucco wall surrounding the little amphitheater where the fusillade is re-enacted daily is a tiny bronze plaque. Unpretentious and easy to miss, it is dedicated, not to the badge-wearing Earps or their tubercular friend, John Henry "Doc" Holliday, but to the memory of brothers Frank and Tom McLaury -- two of the three men who died that day.

Beneath oval portraits of the two is a short, but enigmatic epitaph: "One owes respect to the living, but to the dead, one owes nothing but the truth."

To movie-goers who thought they knew the real story of the O.K. Corral, the McLaury clan's message is unmistakable.

"The stars of the gunfight were the winners," says Pam Potter of Mountain Center, Calif., the brothers' great-grand-niece.

Two new books seek to even the score a bit.

"In no way did the shootout represent a clearly defined duel to the death between Good and Evil," says former journalist Jeff Guinn, author of the just-released "The Last Gunfight: The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral -- And How It Changed the American West." ''But the poor McLaurys have gotten short shrift all these years, and they don't deserve it."

Paul L. Johnson agrees.

"They weren't angels," says the New Yorker, whose childhood fascination with the gunfight has resulted in "The McLaury Brothers of Arizona: An O.K. Corral Obituary," currently being vetted by the University of North Texas Press. "Innocent's a hard word to apply, because they were complicit in the various illegal dealings going on. ... It's this nuance business."

The shootout lasted just 30 seconds. But its echoes continue to reverberate 130 years later.

The immediate cause of the gunfight was Police Chief Virgil Earp's attempt to enforce the local ordinance against carrying firearms. But Guinn's research reveals that tensions between the Earps and the cowboys had deep roots.

The McLaurys came to the San Pedro Valley from Iowa in 1877 for the promise of cheap and abundant grazing land. The Earps, particularly Wyatt, followed a couple of years later with dreams of cashing in on the silver boom.

In a series of movies -- starting in 1934 with "Frontier Marshal," based on Stuart N. Lake's flattering and deeply flawed biography of the same title, continuing with John Ford's "My Darling Clementine" in 1946 and Kevin Costner's "Wyatt Earp" in 1994 -- the Earps have come across as straight-shooting, law-and-order types. But Guinn says it wasn't that simple.

Never mentioned are Wyatt's own brushes with horse theft and misappropriation of funds, or his time working in the floating brothels in Peoria, Ill., Guinn says. Also omitted is the fact that Wyatt's and at least one of his brothers' "wives" were convicted prostitutes.

"He (Wyatt) broke jail on a charge of horse theft back in Indian territory as a young man," he says. "Technically, he was a fugitive from the law his entire life. Nobody out in the West was completely pristine."
Wyatt had a well-earned reputation for toughness from his days as a deputy in the Kansas boomtowns of Dodge City and Wichita, preferring to "buffalo" -- or pistol whip -- his adversaries rather than shooting them. But while those methods worked with the itinerant cow-town populations, they didn't sit well with the "much more permanent" residents of Tombstone, says Johnson.

Wyatt had recovered some stolen Army mules from the McLaury ranch. And it is widely believed that the brothers were fencing rustled Mexican cattle for the Clantons and others.

But Guinn and Johnson argue they were no worse than other local ranchers trying to feed the insatiable appetites of the U.S. Army and Tombstone's burgeoning population.

The Earps were Republicans, while Cochise County Sheriff Johnny Behan and members of the cowboy faction were members of Democratic Party, the one more closely aligned with former Confederates. Wyatt desperately wanted Behan's job -- and its lucrative tax-collecting duties -- and saw a crackdown on the lawless cowboys as a way to achieve that goal, Guinn says.

Most historians agree that Ike Clanton was the fight's chief instigator. He had been drinking the night before and into the morning, and was going around town threatening to kill the Earps the next time he saw them. Virgil Earp arrested Ike on Oct. 26, but he was quickly released after paying a fine.

Adding to the tension: The Earps had publicly pistol-whipped both Clanton and Tom McLaury in the hours before the gunfight.

The McLaurys were about to leave for Iowa to attend the wedding of their sister, Sarah Caroline -- Pam Potter's great-grandmother. They stuck around Tombstone just a little too long.

One common misconception is where the shootout took place. While the Clantons and McLaurys were hanging out at the corral, the confrontation actually began in a vacant lot several doors east of the back entrance on Fremont Street, beside C.S. Fly's photo studio and boarding house.

Ike Clanton and Tom McLaury had checked their pistols in town, but Frank McLaury and Ike's younger brother, Billy, were carrying six-shooters. When Chief Earp -- with brothers Wyatt and Morgan, and a shotgun-toting Holliday in tow -- ordered them to throw up their hands, all hell broke loose.

When the smoke and dust cleared, Billy Clanton and the McLaurys lay dead. The only men not injured were Wyatt and Ike Clanton, who fled as the shooting started.

It is unclear who fired first. Initially, public opinion sided with the Earps.

The Daily Epitaph, run by Republican mayor and Earp supporter John Clum, ran the story under the headline, "EARP BROTHERS JUSTIFIED."

"The feeling among the best class of our citizens is that the Marshal (the town fathers had recently changed the title to police chief, Guinn says, in an attempt to seem more cosmopolitan) was entirely justified in his efforts to disarm these men, and that being fired upon they had to defend themselves which they did most bravely," Clum wrote. "If the present lesson is not sufficient to teach the cow-boy element that they cannot come into the streets of Tombstone, in broad daylight, armed with six-shooters and Henry rifles to hunt down their victims, then the citizens will most assuredly take such steps to preserve the peace as will be forever a bard to further raids."

The Epitaph was an Associated Press client, and it was Clum's pro-Earp version of events that readers across the country got first.

Locally, reactions were more mixed. The day after the shootout, three open caskets sat in the funeral parlor window under a sign that read, "MURDERED IN THE STREETS OF TOMBSTONE." More than 300 mourners on foot, 22 carriages, and dozens of riders on horseback accompanied the bodies to Boothill, while another 2,000 citizens lined the route, says Guinn.

Ike Clanton succeeded in obtaining murder warrants, and there was a monthlong preliminary hearing in which Sheriff Behan testified for the prosecution. While Justice Wells Spicer agreed there was credible evidence that at least one of the dead -- Tom McLaury -- was unarmed, he concluded that the killings were "a necessary act, done in the discharge of an official duty."

The Earps and Holliday, Spicer ruled, "saw at once the dire necessity of giving the first shot to save themselves from certain death. They acted; their shots were effective, and this alone saved all the Earp party from being slain."

This was not the end of the saga of the Earps. When Virgil Earp was partially crippled in a December 1881 assassination attempt, Wyatt took his place as deputy U.S. marshal. After younger brother Morgan's murder in March 1882, Wyatt went on the notorious "vendetta ride" that resulted in the killings of cowboys Frank Stilwell, Florentino "Indian Charlie" Cruz, "Curly Bill" Brocious and, some believe, Johnny Ringo.

Wyatt lit out for Colorado. Behan filed murder charges against the former lawman, but the governor refused to extradite.

The Earps may have won the national public relations battle, but they were essentially finished in Tombstone.
Tombstone has survived, says Guinn, "by offering a very simplistic, black-and-white, almost cartoonish version of events."

Women in bustles and men sporting six-shooters stroll the plank sidewalks along Allen Street. Next door to the original O.K. Corral office, tourists can purchase T-shirts and fake marshal's badges, catch a Tombstone documentary at the Historama narrated by late horror actor Vincent Price, then head down to the Crystal Palace Saloon for "Buffalo Burgers Good Whiskey (and) Tolerable Water."

"It's like a B-movie set," says Guinn. "You can't blame the people there for doing it. ... If you go to Disneyland, you suspend disbelief that a large mouse is really your host and will have his picture taken with you."

A docent at the O.K. Corral offers a balanced account of the gunfight. But the overall focus is still very much on the Earps and Holliday.

"I mean, you go into Tombstone and you can find mugs and T-shirts with Wyatt and Doc," says Potter, who has represented the McLaurys for the History Channel and just about anyone else who'll listen. "And the only pictures you can find of Tom and Frank are the coffin photo."

Bob Love, whose family has owned the gunfight site since 1963, says the truth is more interesting. But, he concedes, "It's harder to market."

"If you've ever traveled, by the afternoon you're tired, you've seen a lot of stuff and you can only process some much information," says Love, who put up the plaque of the McLaury brothers several years ago at the behest of their descendants. "So, yes, I think people would like simple, straightforward kinds of history. And this is not simple, straightforward."

Every day -- twice daily most weekends -- players re-enact the shootout in a little open-air theater behind the livery and feed lot's office, not far from the actual site. Stephen Keith, who portrays Holliday as a drunken, swaggering dandy, says he structured the play as "a Greek tragedy with cowboy hats and six-guns."
"Basically, I wrote the play as a kind of counter to the normal thing," says Keith, who's been staging the play there for four years. The Clantons and, especially, the McLaurys "are always targets in the movie, you know. That's all they're there for. And so I say that they're real people. They had lives; they had girlfriends and issues and everything else."

Keith admits to having taken copious poetic license. The play spends a lot of time on an alleged dalliance between Wyatt's niece, Hattie Earp, and one of the McLaurys, giving the playwright his Wild West version of the Capulets and Montagues.

But the play at least acknowledges the historical ambiguity. At show's end, Doc, acting now as Greek chorus, picks up his dusty cloak and addresses the audience directly:

"A tombstone marks each fallen head,
And graven there to see,
The charge of murder, made with lead,
And murder it may be."

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Top Ten Of The Week-Shock And Awe Jive

10 years ago, Duh Pickle Bush and his war monger buddy Darth Chaney invaded Iraq looking for Weapons of Mass Destruction and ended up doing nothing but prolonging a war that never should have started and we're still in that other wasteland Dumfuckastan losing more soldiers and continuing to cost us money while corporations continue to get tax breaks.  Enough of the bullshit Obama, bring the boys back home.  Add Donald Rumfeld and you got the true axis of evil from ten years ago. Mission accomplished?  Bullshit!

This year has sucked from January 1 onward, the ground hog lied, we get either snowstorms or too much rain to get water in the basement, I'm losing my job in the process and now my Discman of 12 years got broke all because of a GD jam in a POS printer tonight.  Don't think going to Minnesota to continue to deal with junk printers and managers up there that won't take your call.  May have to take the money and sit on my ass for a year to figure out the next step.

But in the meantime there's always the top ten of the week.

1.  Give It To Get It-Steve Gaines (1988)  It’s a shame that Steve Gaines passed in that tragic flight in 1977 that claimed Ronnie Van Zant and Cassie Gaines.  Granted Street Survivors was the best Lynyrd Skynyrd album and when Steve joined the band, they were the best.  On the side, Steve made a batch of demos to which MCA put out in 1988 that showed that he was pretty damn good songwriter as well.  I was watching CMT last night and they had on Southern Rock and talked about the rise of southern rock (Allman Bros) and the end (the Lynyrd Skynyrd plane crash), but southern rock never really went away. It’s still around the country stations.  Skynyrd is still around although Gary Rossington and Billy Powell are the last living links to the original members and though Johnnie Van Zant can sing em, he just can’t write them like Ronnie.  Ronnie was a very good observationist.  For sure.

2.  Ghost Riders In The Sky-The Outlaws (1980) Hughie Thomassen played in Skynyrd for about ten years before reforming The Outlaws before passing away himself.  Back around 1980 though, he did a rousing version of this oldtime country song and made a top ten hit with it.  In fact, I found the cd to this album. What can I say?  I have a knack of finding things.

3.  Dallas-The Flatliners (1972)  Wait long enough and Half Priced Books throws things into the bargain bins and they did with this minor country classic from a band that featured Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock although while listening to this I was wondering what the fuck that oddball noise in the background, turned out to be Steve Wesson playing a musical saw!  It has been done before or after, Ozark Mountain Daredevils played a wobbly saw on Chicken Train on their classic S/T album.

4.  In The Blood-Better Than Ezra (1995)  A holdover from last week, I have been on a Better Than Ezra kick.  Still like Deluxe, their Elektra/Swell debut a lot more than other turds they dropped later in the decade.  As for that voodoo mix of Porcelin on their best of...what were they thinking?

5.  Yellow Coat-Steve Goodman (1972)  Without Steve Goodman there wouldn’t be John Prine.  I love this lyric that Steve sings about meeting up a ex love interest...I wish you wouldn’t look at me that way.  And I wish you wouldn’t too either ;-)

6.  Please-The Kaleidoscope (1967)  Early band led by David Lindley, this is their most straight ahead ballad.  Strange how CBS/Epic issued this on CD back around 1991.  Even the dumbass at CDs Plus knew nothing about them when they opened up around that time.  It was supposed to be the alternative to the smokey Relics store that I used to hang out.  At least Relics lasted longer than the dumbass that said that.  I think he mutated into Dick Cheney.  (okay i’ll stop with the cheney bites)

7.  Inside Job-Little Village (1992)  Minor league super group that had John Hiatt, Nick Lowe, Ry Cooder and Jim Keltner in it.  The album you can get for a about two bucks shipping and handling at  That’s the problem with minor league super groups, like the majors, they never last.  And BTW Fleetwood Mac, keep Sheryl Crow out of your band.

8.  Between The Lines-Stone Temple Pilots (2010)  Say what you want about the loose nut that is Scott Wieland but I enjoyed his time in Velvet Revolver and the many comebacks he did with STP before they got tired of his jive and gave him the boot but upon reviewing the STP output for the RS Review Consortium (It's still there and going on from time to time) that I find their S/T 2010 is their most pop ever and although critics never gave them more credo, I have actually found them more entertaining than the grunge bands of the 90s (Soundgarden, Alice In Chains etc etc) but they were more straight line rock than the flannel of Seattle.  Core being the second to Shangri la Dee Whatever in least interesting STP albums out there but lots of folk overlook their final effort.  I like it fine myself.

9.  Going For The Pastor-Grand Funk Railroad (1976)  Produced by Frank Zappa, this album tanked big time but it’s probaly my favorite Grand Funk album since it rocks pretty hard.  I know that I concluded my Kirkwood Radio Show with this song once.  Didn’t land me any job at KCCK, they play jazz ya kno?

10.  Hang On To Your Life-The Guess Who (1971)  And finally a lost classic from that band from Canada that gave us Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman although Bachman was long gone when this song came out.  Dig the Jim Morrison fixtation at the end of this song.  Scared the hell out me when Jeff Kewley played the album version for me (and I had the edited forty five instead).

Five covers of note:

When The Time Comes-The Sand Rubies  (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers)
Forever Came Today-The Backsliders (Eric Ambel & Roscoe's Gang)
I'm Not Your Steppin Stone-The Monkees (Paul Revere & The Raiders)
Claudette-Dwight Yoakam (Roy Orbinson)
The End-The Townedgers (The Doors)

After leading the pack in most researched name, Pat Travers is two behind Samantha Fish for the top spot. Ratings are holding average.  The interest is still there.

Today is the first day of spring.  And we still got snow on the ground.  Never trust a Pennsylvania Groundhog to predict any weather here.  Fuck Puxatyory  Phil and his freaky top hat mutten chop dudes.

Last word comes from a dying vet pretty much saying my feelings about the Iraqi war of 10 years running and the two idiots behind that.

Couldn't said it any better myself.

Airfares to Phoenix are still cheap so perhaps another AZ Trip is coming into the future.  While making the comments about returning to Zia's Records and buying them out, they proceeded to leave this in the Crabb Mailbox.

we always get crabs in the summer!

If I get out there in June, it will be so hot that I'll be a baked Crabb by then.  As they say Zia's Rocks!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Review: David Bowie The Next Day

In my 40 years of reviewing and buying music, David Bowie remains the quintessential overrated artist that I have ever reviewed.  I go back to his Deram S/T album which was uneven but entertaining but his RCA years provided some of the most comical, influential and at times pompous as they come.  In fact the only time I could handle Bowie was the Changes One album to which I still have it remains a A+ record since it captured all of the Bowie that I enjoyed.  Another A album he did was 1976's Station To Station which is my favorite studio Bowie with the 10 minute title track and TVC 15.  Low had the failed single rocker Sound And Vision and I had the album once and didn't like it much.  Ledger was better but Scary Monsters was poo-tastic, meaning overrated  as well and Changes 2 cleans up the mess of those albums.

I give Bowie credit for showing off Stevie Ray Vaughan on Let's Dance and Peter Frampton got a second life on the underrated Never Let Me Down and Tin Machine rocked.  But since then Bowie made two listenable albums, 1993's Black Tie White Noise and 2003's Reality which was his swan song before going into retirement but the big buzz this year was The Thin White Duke returns with The Next Day.  And there's more guitars and Bowie attitude but the whole things seems tossed off.  Oh, it starts out pretty good with the title track although the lyrics are either self pitying or gothic (probably the former).  There's a nice guitar hook on the beginning of (You Will Set) The World On Fire but then it's gets to the chorus and Bowie can't decide to go with a rock sound or disco.  And with 14 meddling songs that don't really go anywhere and I can probably see Bob Lefsetz's view that nobody cares about David Bowie except for his dedicated following. To which I hope they find the melodies and words better than I did on The Next Day but the whole thing sounds half tossed, all down to the recycled album cover.

Chances are that The Next Day will beat out Bon Jovi for the top spot on the Billboard charts but unlike Station To Station or Aladdin Shane, there's hardly anything on The Next Day that sticks.

Maybe he should have stayed retired.

Grade C

Picks: The Next Day (song that is), Where Are We Now? 

Speaking of reality:

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Top Ten Of The Week: Waterlogged


This winter has been a bitch, especially after Ground Chuck Ground Hog predicted a early spring.  Sure in the hell hasn't happened here.  Had a very crappy weekend, two inches of rain and quick snowmelt and frozen ground equals water in the basement although it was manageable.  But what really pissed me off was the damn standing water in the gray car.  Must have plowed though the Wapsi onward to Anamosa Saturday Night and in the process forgot my wallet at El Ranchito.  Thankfully the owner was understanding and kind enough to let me pay for it next time I came into town but since I had to go to the grocery store made a second trip into town only to get wet shoes and a Lake Crabb in the driver's side of the car.  Made four trips to the damn Car wash to use the power vacuum just to dry the fucking thing and then have it come right back all wet down the road.  I was ready to strangle a FB friend about being thankful of rain and pray for more since we're in the drought.  Uh, sweetheart, not here,  this isn't SW Kansas with 16 inches in the red. I know we're not dry anymore and keep the rain down in your area.  3 words: Flood of 2008.  That's why I don't wish for rain anymore.  BTW, this is typical of March up here, ice jams in the Red Cedar River making a mess of things.

 Nobody still has the Richard Thompson Electric album in town, or in Iowa City.
 Photo: Thank you Premier Guitar and Mike Delaney for posting! Love being in one of my favorite magazines :)
BTW here's Samantha Fish for ya.

The Townedgers new album is becoming reality, the drums are finished, now all that remains is pairing down the song selection to a workable 14.  In the meantime, Maier Records reissued the 2009 Townedgers Country this week.

I had a couple news items here but the links expired and the pictures disappeared. Usual bullshit happenings, moving on.....

The Go Go's have booted Kathy Valentine out of the band.

Which leads to:

1.  Rattlesnake Blues-Krokus 2013  They actually do AC/DC better than the actual band on their latest Dirty Dynamite CD.  Never paid much attention to these guys back in the 80 although I did buy One Vice At A Time simply of Long Stick Goes Boom, a silly AC/DC rocker but Marc Storace can do a mean Bon Scott.  Only Rhino Bucket comes close although I'll give Airbourne credit too.  When you are old as I am, anybody that does straight hard rock blooze of the 70s gets a listen.  Sure beats anything that Pitchfork or NME touts.

2.  Blue Thunder-Galaxie 500 1989  They were alternative rock but they owe a lot to The Velvet Underground.  I did warm up to Dean Wareham and Luna enough to pick a Galaxie 500 album when it became available and On Fire was chosen.  Great album that earns it's hype.

3.  Gotta Keep Rockin-Royal Southern Brotherhood 2012  Devon Allman has moved on to his new solo album to which I heard good reviews but once again since no record store has it in stock, it's basically nonexistant, so we fall back upon last year's minor supergroup which features Cyrill Neville and Mike Zito being the three prong attack next to Devon Allman.  I don't play RSB at home all that much but it seems to get some spins when I'm at work and it sounds good.

4.  The Daily Planet-Love 1967  Tad talks about this album and promotes it a lot on his website too. Probably the best album that Arthur Lee ever put out with the original members of Love which imploded after this record didn't take off.  Mostly done with acoustic guitars with an electric lead from time to time, I never heard anything about this album till I got the Rolling Stone Review Guide and Tower Records had this on record when I ventured out in my ill fated Arizona 1986-87 residency.  Never did find a job out there but found plenty of great lost album classics in the used bins out there.

5.  The Money Will Roll Right In-Nirvana 1992  From Live At Reading and at times they could have been the best rock n roll band of the 90s and then Kurt Cobain would do something to revert them back to noisy punks again.  I think he intentionally messed up the lead guitar intro into Smells Like Teen Spirit and his Star Spangled Banner is awful awful.  It's Nirvana live for better or worse and you had to be there.  The 1992 Reading Festival was a who's who of bands, from Ride to Public Image Ltd to Screaming Trees to Charlatans UK but Nirvana was on the day they had Nick Cave, Screaming Trees, Mudhoney playing.  Again you had to be there. Wish I was.

6.  On My Own-Under The Influence Of Giants 2006  They were.  This was the bonus track on a bonus disc and perhaps they should have included it on the original album.  It's the hardest rocking song that they ever did.  I guess you could called them Bee Gees influenced with a Micheal Jackson style too although Scissors Sisters probably did this type of music better.  I like the album but they were never heard from again in the US although I'm sure they made more of an impact in the UK.

7.  Small Beginnings-Flash 1972  Peter Banks died.  The original Yes guitar hero moved on after the lackluster Time And A Word album to form Flash and made three great to good albums, their first remains their best, the edited version got some FM airplay and managed to make it on a even more edited form on a  K Tel record 22 Explosive Hits, one of a handful of albums that my brother took from my collection.  I hardly noticed it was gone.

8.  I Don't Want To Cry Over You-The Strikes 1957  Contrary to rumor garage rock in the 50s was going fairly strong although it wasn't played on the radio all that much.  The Strikes recorded  a couple sides for Imperial Records and this was the B side to their best known song Rockin, to which I have never heard on the radio at all.

9.  Sad, Bad, Glad-Stick McGhee  1953 thereabouts.  The sad fact that Stick McGhee was part of the early R and B scene with Drinking Wine Spo O Dee for Atlantic in 1949 but never hit the big time over there so he moved to King for another unsuccessful try at the charts.  Most of his songs seemed to be about booze or loaded dice or bad women but nowadays nobody really don't care about dead R n B artists and the ones that do are fighting a losing battle.  I can see it everytime I try to research these things.  This comes from a Highland quickie comp of a long ago quickie comp from Audio Lab which was part of King Records and had one side of music to Stick and the second side to John Lee Hooker, it's called Highway Of Blues and the cover art is like that of a 1.99 record.  Think I picked this CD up in Arizona in 1989 or 1990 at Tower Records.  Say what you want about Tower but they always seem to have the more obscure for music hounds like myself (see Forever Changes by Love).


10. The End-The Doors 1967  I find it hard to believe that The Townedgers would actually cover this song but you can do anything in music if you put your mind to it.  Even when I hear the end results I have to ask did they really cover it?  The Doors are/were my go to bands during the growing up years and anything they put out on 45 I usually would get, I somehow gotten two copies of Love Me Two Times and misplaced them both.  There's more Doors best ofs than actual albums and I remember wasting dollars on Weird Scenes Inside The Goldmine and playing it a couple times before replacing it with the 2 CD Very Best Of The Doors.  Strange Days was the first Doors album I got, which was a quarter at the Salvation Army and it seen better days with all that snap crackle pop a Rice Krispies album. At a flea market a few years later I did score a copy of the first album and still have that in my collection.  Nico did a cover version of The End for Island in the 70s, it's more unsettling. John Cale plays a role in that.

Five songs that The Townedgers have covered.

Midnight Rider-Allman Brothers 1970
Jet Airliner-Steve Miller Band 1977
Love's Made A Fool Out Of You-Bobby Fuller Four 1965
Tell Him No-Travis & Bob 1959
Pale Blue Eyes-Velvet Underground 1969

Talk about irony:  I was playing Negativeland's 1997 Dispepsi CD and left the house and drove down the road, only to have a Pepsi Semi coming across the curve who waved at me.  Saw another Pepsi truck down highway 1.  What's the odds of that happening?
2013 is not becoming a memorable year for new music or reissues although I did buy the new David Bowie Next Day album just to piss Bob Lefsetz off.  Doesn't seem to be a lot of interesting things for me outside of that. New Shooter Jennings could be his best ever. 80 year Petula Clark has a new album coming out, her first English album in 15 years called Lost In You (The End Records), Dicky Betts 1989 Pattern Disruptive gets reissued via Floating World (never heard of that label), Steve Earle's new one drops on April 16th. April 30th seems to be the best date for new music, new Deep Purple Now What?! (Ear/Eagle Rock), Blue Oyster Cult's Imaginos gets a third reissue via Real Gone Records to which I have say I have yet to buy anything from Real Gone, what they reissued I did have via Collector's Choice Music. But I might spring for the Cats On The Coast/On The Level that Real Gone will drop on the 30th.  May 7th is another interesting date for new releases from the Goo Goo Dolls (are they still around you ask?  Sure they are but they have 4 different producers which may not bode well for them).  Must get is the Pistol Annie's 2nd offering called Annie Up (did Blake Shelton had a hand in naming that?), less interesting is Rod Stewart's first rock album in years on Capitol (Universal or Sony, doesn't Capitol exists anymore?)  May 14th new Alice In Chains, the return of the Spin Doctors (on Ruf Records) and Snow Patrol's Greatest Hit(s).  Next week, AC/DC wannabees Airbourne put out album number 3.  I actually like their No Guts No Glory album still.  By then we'll know if we're Minnesota bound, Arizona bound, or heading off into the sunset.  Lord knows I need a vacation or new line of work.......

Friday, March 8, 2013

Reviews:Krokus, Jimi Hendrix

I haven't forgotten about y'all out there, I have been very busy trying to complete the latest Townedgers album and working and trying to figure out if I want to spend the winters in Snowball Minnesota or just take a year off and let them pay for it.  But I'm still listening to new music whenever it arrives.

Half Priced Books continues to throw things in the dollar bins on a regular basis and most of them are new imports that didn't sell, including the Not Now Rockabilly Series and I picked up the MGM and Imperial Label years.  I have no idea how HP Books are getting this stuff but one day they will pick up the Coral and ABC Paramount stuff.  The Imperial Story Of Rockabilly (One Day Music) gives plenty of loving to Bob Luman which we heard Red Cadillac And  Black Moustache and a few others, Lew Williams gets six tracks of his own and even rockabilly diva Laura Lee Perkins has all her Imperial sides in order and she gives Brenda Lee a run for the money and at times Wanda Jackson.  Plenty of early garage rock figures from The Strikes who has four sides of their own, two obscure things from Johnny and Dorsey Burnette without Paul Burleson and of course you gotta have Ricky Nelson to which One Day pulls out the less celebrated Boppin The Blues and B side to Believe What You Say, My Bucket's Gotta Hole In It which might be the wildest thing Ricky ever did.  James Burton adds plenty of guitar as well.  Certainly worth two bucks.

Less interesting is the Heroes Collection of Kenny Rogers And The First Edition (Pegasus), which they include 50 songs from the various albums and singles that The First Edition released via Reprise years ago.  MCA somehow put out a decent 20 song Best Of, but 50 songs is way too many for a band that relied way too much on Kenny Rogers, he was the best singer, Mike Settle the worst (although he did write some great songs, which Kenny sings on) and the chick singer whoever she was not as good as Gayle McCormick of Smith fame.  Of course all the hits are here (Somethings Burning, Ruby, Just Dropped In, Tell It All Brother) but some of the songs were poorly mastered or came from 2nd rate sources. I recall one radio station played the old album The Ballad Of Calico all four sides of it.  Wouldn't mind finding a copy but anyway The Heroes Collection is all over the map, has no liner notes and basically not worth your time.  Seek out the MCA CD or The Reprise Best Of Album, if you can find them.

Which leaves us to the new Krokus album Dirty Dynamite (The End/Sony Music Switzerland). These guys have been around forever, better known for their Arista albums of the 80s and AC/DC knock off Long Stick Goes Boom and Marc Storace who still sounds like Bon Scott after all these years although he like the band are up in age and whatever happened to Asia's Mandy Meyer?  He plays guitar on here as well as Fernando Van Arb.  Krokus has actually made some damn good albums of the past decade although their new one is their first new album I reviewed since the 1982 One Vice At A Time lp and this is no nonsense 3 chord AC/DC rock and blooze in each and every track on Dirty Dynamite is rockin fun although whoever thought that The Beatles Help sound done as a power ballad should be smacked upside the head.

Jimi Hendrix has been dead for 40 plus years but Jamie Hendrix although with Eddie Kramer continue to churn out reissues and unreleased stuff and People, Hell And Angels (EXP Hendrix/Sony Music) they plundered  in the vaults again for more unheard of Hendrix.  Does the world really need another Hear My Train A Comin?  This version is better than the one that came out off the Valleys Of Neptune to which Hendrix spits out  too bad that you don't love me more angrier than the Neptune version with Buddy Miles bashing away on drums.  In all honesty the whole album is better put together than Valleys Of Neptune is, although you do get some jamming here, on the Lonnie Youngblood driven Let Me Move You and the free form Easy Blues.  Highlights include another version of Izabella, Bleeding Heart and a pointed Crash Landing dedicated to a druggie girlfriend and it's nice to hear them in original form and not the Alan Douglas' overdubs of guest artists of said title.  I always loved Hendrix' guitar playing and have followed him back to the day when he was still alive and I'm sure I continue to follow whatever they find in the vaults; they said they still have a decade's worth of unreleased stuff left I'm if I have the money or time or still live I'm sure I'll be fool enough to buy.  And as long as there's still tape left in the vaults, the memory of Jimi Hendrix is still alive and ready to be heard when you have the dollars ready.

Essential Rockabilly: The Imperial Story (One Day) A-
Heroes Collection:Kenny Rogers & The First Edition (Pegasus) C
Krokus-Dirty Dynamite (The End/Sony Switzerland) B+
Jimi Hendrix-People, Hell & Angels (Experience Hendrix/Sony Music) B

PT's Song Pick of the Day: Into Money: by Robin Trower/Jack Bruce

I was informed that its Robin Trower's birthday so that's a good enough excuse to have him as today's "Rx". I loved this tune the first time I heard it. I am a complete Jack Bruce fan. I got to play with him for a couple of days him in London back in about 1990 (Cozy Powell was trying to put a trio together but things didn't work out). Everyone says the same thing about Jack "He's a sweetheart". Now Robin, I only met briefly when we did a couple of shows together around the same time. The one show I remember was next door to a Topless Bar and we had to walk through there to get into the show once the audience was in. Apparently Robin was somewhat offended by having to see all the girls doing their thing as he walked into the venue. The word 'prudish" was thrown around by some crew members. Those kinds of bars have never been popular with me but it was two minutes to the dressing room. C'mon Robin! Anyway there is no doubting his talent on the guitar so for today's "Musical Rx"....let's give a big Birth Day shout out to....Robin Trower....with Jack Bruce vocals and bass...and Bill Lordan on drums....."Into Money"! Cheers, PT

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The End Of An Era-Goodbye Printing Operations

Good evening folks.

It has not been a fun day for me today.  In the so called Town Hall Meeting, the operations manager has been for the past six months making inwards of moving our printing department up to some place in Minnesota, the first shot was fired when we had to do a prepare for the future of job elimination but in their smart P.C. mode called it something else.  A lotta people was kinda looking around but we didn't think much of it, although I noticed in the weeks since that some of our stuff we printed was being moved up north.  But today the smug dude said that most of what we print will be up in Minnesota by the end of August.  Therefore, my time after 25 years at the great NCS (RIP) and Pearson may be coming to a close.  And won't have a blue cart in my name for time rendered.

Which means the lifestyle that I have enjoyed for the past 25 years will be over.  There'll probably be no more Arizona trips or Vegas, the bargain hunts to Madison will be either be done or a weekend thing unless we move over to become a jack of all trades whereever Pearson needs help.  Which means packaging or scanning or whatever the hell peak season is down there.  Which means set breaks, set lunch and set exercises that don't a thing.  The plan is to bring the Iowa City folk up there, move printing to Minnesota and close down the PSY building and move that to the Iowa City location.

I'm not much into the rah rah shit, when we were down in Packaging we did our job the best way we know how but I work at a pace that doesn't set rates, that's a sticking point to them despite the fact I might been a dedicated 25 year employee, it's basically what have you done for me lately?  And I'm not sure if I'm the dedicated employee that has to hear the slightest bitchings and complaints and get written up for the slightest of things.

Everybody is in shock, it was bound to happen but I thought it would be moreso in 2015 but that before they decided to go with the Onotonna dude who was head up there.  When you're 52 years old, you don't have much chances out there, unless you know somebody and our department has been my family for the past 20 years.  Going to Minnesota would mean job security for a while, unless they lose a big contract and then you're hanging again and the internet and digital goings on has been killing our paper printing business for at least a decade.  The only advantage I would see is that it's a hour away from Minneapolis and St Paul which does have at least four Half Priced Bookstores to go too and a few more select record stores but the big drawback is that I know nobody from Minnesota there, unless they're big shots.

It's not bleak for me, I do have four choices of note.  1) Move up to Onatonna and try to fit in up there and work all them hours since they got all the work up there.  But the weather sucks in winter, they get twice more snow than I do,  it probably floods in the summer and I hate Minnesota.  They have a Wal Mart and a Target but anything close by for music I'm SOL.   2)  Roll the dice and hope on April 15th that we managed to get in on the other side of the department and humble ourselves to do their dirty work.  Will that mean a reduce in pay I don't know, I'm sure I make more than some of them anyway.  There's some good people that work there but there's a lot more snippy seniors and a no nonsense boss who charges you a dollar for a cookie that goes to Pearson Cares or some other thing they're hyping.  The drawback might be I make too much $$$ and may have to lower it four or five bucks more and this day and age I don't see bills being lower anytime soon.  The state of Iowa may have to start paying me again.  3)  Take a severance payout and live off them for a full year, the only advantage of being there 20 plus years.  The plus is that health and dental care will still be there, and may use that for a hangnail or gas problem.  This might be the way to go, if they plan to let us all go before September hits, that will enable me to use my 5 weeks vacation and week's personal time off before then and still get paid the full year which might enable me to spend more time out in the desert and even pay Diggy Kat a visit to do some music together, but that's a dream.  4) Retire, a blue cart dedication for my years of being there and live whatever is off the 401K but that would be going into poverty since 64,000 dollars doesn't go very far in this day and age.

Or the final solution: Die.

This also figures into any more future of blogging.  If I have to go into survival mode chances are I may have to ditch the internet and computer and go back to a nonexistent life before computers and the blog. To go into survival mode means I'd be cutting way back on eating out, cutting down on future bargain hunts and even Half Priced Books in town would see less of me unless they hire me on.  I could also open up a junk shop or antique store since I have enough things here at the Hoarder House to eek out a good living but God forbid if I have a major health issue unless it's a heart attack or stroke or walking out in front of a train.  But probably a better way just to open up a EBAY online store and go from there.

It's hard to believe back in 1988 when they first hired me that I'd be there as long as I had been.  I guess the reason why is that our department has been a family to me for all these years and even though some have come and gone that the majority of folk that has stayed these years have been good friends and great co workers.  I know they have put up a lot with me in my rants and ravings and when the machines breakdown or the form is shit I blow up in a rage and I can't do that if I move to Minnesota or packaging.  My anger issues need to be better under control but perhaps  a change or scenery or job might do wonders.  But I love each and every co worker that has been a part of second shift and to see this coming to an end does break my heart.  We have a great team of bosses in Kirk Hoeppner and John Allen, to which Allen has been one of the best managers that I had the pleasure of working with.  Nobody wants to see it end but sad to say it has been decided and implementation is starting to take place.  We don't like it but what you can do?  Either go with it or move on.

And this is the fork in the road that I face.  And I am still deciding which one to take.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Top Ten Of The Week-The Day Country Music Died

Another week, another top ten another snowstorm.  The fucking groundhog lied again. Another six inches of snow but since the temps have warmed up a lot since February, getting to work wasn't that bad since the roads were warm enough to make the snow easier to plow off the road.  But we're getting tired of the white crap.  Another storm coming for the weekend to make another mess.  Going from snow to rainy season sooner than we like.

This just in, Alvin Lee, the guitar slinger singer that make Ten Years After an sensation with his on fire solo on I'm Going Home at Woodstock passed away at age 68 from complications from surgery. His latest album is Still On The Road To Freedom that I just brought a couple weeks ago.  Bill Kopp interviewed him on the latest album awhile ago.

The Casino Vote was voted today and....the voters approved it by a 61 to 39 vote.  I guess this means that the Riverside Casino dude won't be building that water part here anytime soon.

Some interesting links to read: Margaret Cho gives you the top five male bands for lesbians.  A lotta thought when into this list and if anybody knows their lesbians, that would be Miss Cho

Queensryche has been in a mess and dissarry since Geoff Tate got booted and formed his own version of Q. The other members have decided to carry on as Queensryche as well and signed up with Century Media, the prime choice heavy metal bands.  The guys have carried on but Tate seems to be a pissed off judging by the way he's been sprouting off lately.

If you haven't been entertained enough, try this Rolling Stone interview with Greg Lake

Not a good year for Motown artist, another one packs it in, Bobby Rogers, who was part of The Miracles passed away at age 73.  Co wrote a few hits such as First I Look At The Purse, a minor hit for The Contours and J. Geils Band rocker.

What's on the list?

1.  Flo-Smash Mouth 1997  Their little tribute to the Progressive Insurance chick that has been on TV for eons it seems.  Just kidding on that comment, hard to believe that their breakthrough album came out in 1997, sixteen years after the fact and forgive me, I still like Smash Mouth's Fush Yu Mang which supposed to been part of what Al Pacino said in Scar Face when the man was trying to say F U Man, while drunk on Cocaine.  Too bad we can't all go back to the 90s eh?  Or at least before Limp Bizkit turned music into ear turds.

2.  Come Unto Me-The Mavericks 2013  Some of you actually wrote me and asking if their new album was a POS since I commented about the 8 minute Call Me When You Get To Heaven being a POS, well in all fairness had they left that track off In Time, it would have a better album.  At least they stuck it toward the end before the Spanish Version of Come Unto Me.  I'm guessing that this is the single that has been offered to Country Music Stations but as far as I know KHAK or 99.3 have touched it yet.  Would sound good down at the local Mexican eatery here.

3.  No Other Baby-Dickie Bishop And His Sidekicks 1957   I'm sure nobody knows anything bout this song and neither would I had Paul McCartney not covered it on his 1999 Run Devil Run CD.  Macca says that The Ravens did a version of this song but it is Dickie Bishop that wrote this.  Found this on a cheap 2 CD set titled The Best Of Skiffle, which was Britain on the folk rock blues scene of the late 50s to which they covered a lot of Leadbelly and Kingston Trio.  This Import has a bunch of titles under the Heroes Collection Series to which they make a generous 50 song, 2 CD collection of artists no longer profitable in the US but aboard people still care.

4.  Inject The Venom-AC/DC 1981  As the years go by, the rock and roll that I grew up to is now older than the majority of folks still living.  What's the term we're looking for, so much music, so little time and where did it all go?   Nobody really knew how big Back In Black would be, how dare they replace Bon Scott without somebody that couldn't sing but hell Brian Johnson survived longer in the band than the years that Bon Scott roamed the planet.  I miss him just as much as you did and Half Priced Books had Family Jewels, a 2 DVD set of their highlights, videos and hits for 7 bucks!  Can't beat that as well as a bunch of their Epic reissues in the bargain bins too. Really makes no difference if it's Atco or Epic or Columbia, it's basically the same thing rehashed and reissued.  Would've been easier to include a BIB track but since KRNA and The FOX and KFMW plays that album to death, let's go with a lesser known song from the problematic For Those About To Rock CD, to which I like side 1 but side 2 but kinda blah.  Could be worse, you don't get many requests from anybody to hear anything from Blow Up Your Video or  (meh) Stiff Upper Lip.

5.  La Papa Sin Catsup (Potatoes Without Ketchup) Gloria Trevi 1994  Back in the late 90s when I still familiarizing myself with the internet and all out there that I wouldn't know about had we not know about the internet, I cam across this Mexican rocker from the Mexican answer to Madonna although she owes more to Pat Benetar on this blues rocker.  She got in trouble with the law for corrupting with minors and spent a few years in jail but has since been released and continues to make albums that do go up to number 1 on the Mexico chart although her highest charting album Gloria made number 17 in the US, the only time I saw that album was down at Arizona Hastings music stores.  Rumour has it that Wal mart has banned the sales of Gloria Trevi's albums in their stores.  If you don't care about your music being Spanish sung only, I suggest checking out her La Historia Greatest Hits which contains her groundbreaking 90s stuff for Ariola/BMG. Those in the Phoenix area will be able to see her perform at the Celebrity Theater on the 17 of this month.

6.  Feel Like Heaven-The Joy 1977  The last Joy Of Cooking album to which by then featured only Toni Brown and Terry Garthwaite to which they go from Capitol to Fantasy and hook up with some great soul musicians on a forgotten album that Record Collector had two copies of in the dollar bins in my Iowa City trek a few weeks ago.  The music isn't any different than what Little Feat was putting out.  3 decades later, Little Feat would make albums with a female lead singer doing the bulk of the singing.  The Joy did it a little bit better.

7.  Look Away-Ozark Mountain Daredevils 1974  They were offbeat when they hit the airwaves with If You Want To Get To Heaven and I managed to steal my Aunt Cindy's copy of that album when she was working at Target back when she lived with us.  Great memories, however this was a minor hit that sad to say that Marion TV and Records ever got in stock but KLWW played this a lot in the early stages of 1975.  Next up single would be their breadwinner, Jackie Blue.  I can honestly say that I never liked that song all that much.  But I do have all of their albums.  Got to see them play at Kirkwood years ago when Mike Supa Granda was playing in the band and he was a crazy mo fo.  Still playing alongside John Dillon and Steve Cash although they are now semi retired but do play from time to time.

8.  You Are The One-Leon Payne 1956  When I was growing up in Marion, I would buy the rock and roll forty fives for myself but if I saw something in the country bins that my dad would go for, I would end up buying that for him.  Had a great country 45 collection but what he used to do was sing along to the words and recorded them on 8 track to give to relatives.  I'm sure most of them never got played at all but the old man was instrumental in one thing and that with his recording stuff, I could record my own stuff, back then I wasn't any good, just some zit face brat banging on coffee cans and screaming half wit bayings that nobody ever knew what I was singing about.  Thank our lucky stars I finally learned how to play and sing music.  But the old man loved old country honky tonk to which I think we went up to Marion TV and Records to buy a 2 dollar Pickwick copy of Guest Stars Of The Hee Haw Show which was old time minor hits for Buck Owens or Sonny James and George Jones although it wasn't George Jones that sang on this track, it was Leon Payne and it was recorded for Starday Records in the 50s.  As in the 70s stereo craze, this mono recording was remixed in fake stereo.  Payne is best known for writing I Love You Because which was part of the songs that Elvis Presley recorded for Sun Records.

9.  Masterpiece-The Temptations 1973  The Temps had a second lease on life once they hooked up with Norman Whitfield and throughout the late 60s and early 70s he gave them a new makeover. Whitfield did that too with Rare Earth on the 15 minute Ma but for the Temps Papa Was A Rolling Stone clocked in at 12 minutes and Masterpieces almost two minutes more longer.  KAAY played this song a few times although it was the single version, unless if Beaker Street came up then you would hear the full 13:49 version.  A parting of the ways, and the Temptations would never frequent the rock charts again.  The Temptations was part of the Motown family for years with the exception of an ill fated two album disco deal with Atlantic.  They later return to Motown and associated labels through Universal although it's more a quiet fire slow grooves than the radicalness that was Papa Was A Rolling Stone or Masterpiece.

10.  Monster-Steppenwolf 1969  Political corruptness has always a part of the American Political system and nobody fucks it up better than the Grand Obstructionist Party or Republican Party and nothing has changed since John Kay made a comment about it in late 69.  In fact  I'm surprised that this song hasn't been introduced back into the protest rock circuit.  Unless Cumulus/Clear Channel radio banned it.

More album cuts:

Rich Kind Of Poverty-Sam & Dave 1967
Invitation To The White House-Eric Burdon  2013
Whiskey Talkin'-Henry Paul Band 1980
Tulsa Turnaround-Kenny Rogers & The First Edition 1970
Para Los Rumberos-Santana 1971

PT's Pick Of The Week: I Am The Walrus-The Beatles

I've always thought that this was one of the weirdest songs ever recorded. There are so many recording effects (the "amp tremolo on John Lennon's voice-thanks for showing me that one Brian Wheat!), all the real time BBC radio, and of course the famous "tape flanging". So let's jump into the Way Back Machine and travel to a time when this song was on AM Pop's "Musical Rx" is from...The Beatles...."I Am The Walrus"! Cheers, PT

A very quiet winter from Drew at Drew's Odd And Sods but Tad has been keeping busy with his observations and music favorites while entertaining the masses at his place of work.  He had a interesting comment about the reissue of Rumours but at the same time we both agree that the Peter Green years and Bob Welch years also are worth remembering.  I really have no use for another reissue of Rumours and neither does Bill Kopp.  I think for the most part if I want to revisit Rumours without hearing it on the radio I still have that 4 CD boxset of The Chain which steals good moments off that album including Silver Springs, the best song that was left off that album, only appeared as a B side to Go Your Own Way (great song but way overplayed).  Tad's latest blog is here:

It was fifty years ago that we lost Patsy Cline, Hawkshaw Hawkins and Cowboy Copas in a tragic airplane accident. Country Music's version of the day the music died.

The RS Crabb Consortium reprinted the Tennessean's article of the events and can be found over there.

A side note, Billy Walker had an urgent message to return to Nashville in 1963 so Hawkshaw Hawkins gave him his commercial airline ticket (according to online Wikipedia on Walker's bio) and then flew on the ill fated private plane.  On May 21, 2006, Walker was killed in a auto accident in Alabama which also took the life of his wife and two band members.

Also last week, Chuck Goff, long time bass player for Toby Keith's band died in an auto crash outside Slaughterville Oklahoma.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Crabb Bits:Tornado Season,Birthday Greetings, PT

It's March and even though we have yet another winter storm bearing down upon us, Tornado Season officially begins.  Last year was a fluke with a high pressure "death ridge" on top of us most of the year we simply didn't have many severe storms per say.  This year things might be returning to normal judging by the way the snowstorms have been coming around since Groundhog Chuck predicted a early spring, he could have never been so wrong since we have gotten about 25 inches of the white shit since February.  But with the winds of change coming in March, we're be going from snow to severe storms with tornadoes having better chances this spring.  I also predict that the drought that has been upon us the past couple years will be a thing of the past and we'll be swimming in rain water once again.

If you have been in Linn County you have seen the pro and con commercials of a new Casino that voters that will be voting on Tuesday (results will be made on the Wed Top Ten).  I really haven't exactly cared if we get one or not, I was wavering toward NO when the Riverside Casino head huncho made a last second effort to chip in on making a water park and amusement park for Linn County if they voted NO, of course he wouldn't do it if we said YES but the sneakiness of this sleezeball made me decide I would cast a YES vote.  The biggest folks against having a casino here have been the Casinos in Waterloo and Riverside.  The Dubuque and Davenport Casino operators, although against having one here have stayed out.  Basically the Dubuque Casino is the closest to me than either Waterloo or Riverside and they provide free pop when I get a bit thirsty after hitting the river-trails.  Amazing fact that Cedar Rapids has made a big comeback from the infamous flood of 2008 with New Bo Market and District being a hot spot and downtown slowly getting back together as well.  A casino believe it or not will help the economy too but that banter about Jobs Jobs Jobs is a bit misleading, they're provide a few but not the thousand that the false advertisers content in their BS commercials.

Birthday greetings go out to Aunt Cindy who turns 55 (really?!?) Robyn Hitchcock who turns the big 60, London Andrews who still got a long way to go to catch up on us at age 29 and Dennis Lancaster, former Paraphernalia guitar player who is 51.  And Lisa Poe turns 44 on Wednesday.  Interesting comment that Robyn made that rock and roll is now a old man's game on a NPR interview and he does have a new album coming out Love In London to which I'm sure Best Buy will not have.  In the hospital, Penny Willard Sanford may be coming home on Monday after having surgery.  Hope you get home before the storm hits.
Hitchcock made a comment that turns out to be true, that when he was 30 he was reminiscing about the past but the older you get the less time you have yet so you make the most of it and it turned out to be true while writing the new No Exit record.  We spent too much time looking back when we should be living for the moment, the time past is that just.  One thing about blogging is that it documents the moments we live forever, or until the website blows up or shuts down.  It's a shame that the MSN Groups shut down the old blog, there were some precious memories that would have been great to preserve.  But we move on.
While Samantha Fish is in New Zealand doing a Girls With Guitars tour, little does she knows that Pat Travers has quietly snucked up behind her in the most searched list on this blog site, most of them coming from the Mexican Jumping Beans Top Ten, the all time best ten ever and still making headwave up the all time 5, although the 5 after that is untrustworthy.  Pat Travers checks in on his jamming with the legendary Sam Moore (of Sam N Dave fame)

Ok, so MT and I are about to get on the slab and head for the barn (oops, mixed metaphors). We had a great time down here in South Florida. Met a lot of new friends, especially in the pro golf world. Mark Calcavecchia, Pat Perez (and Ashley too!), and dig who was sitting at our table last night, Sir Nick Faldo! Most golfers seem to think he was one of the very best. Interesting guy. But for me the best moment came when Sam Moore asked me to get up on stage when he did "Soul Man". That was awesome! The band segued into Sly Stone's "I Wanna Take You Higher". Too cool! Made my year!