Thursday, December 31, 2015

Final post of 2015

And if you read this far, thanks everybody for reading and supporting the efforts of Record World, to which this month I had the most viewers ever this month.  4,543 views doesn't seem like much for the better known sites but it's a very big deal here since the last time we made this far with so many folks was two years ago. No surprise that the most viewed blogs were ones that dealt with floods and tornadoes of years before.  Another blog that remains popular is the My City Is Gone Marion, which big thanks to David Ray for mentioning that blog on his Facebook site.  All credit is due  to Mr. Ray for the providing most of the vintage Marion pictures that you see on the My City Is Gone blog.  I thought those pictures are worthy to keep online and to remember once upon a time Marion Iowa was a nice place to live before the roundabouts came into town and before the big shot Marion City council decided to demolish most of my hangouts when I was growing up.  Marion TV and Records and Town Square Bookstore still in my thoughts and I miss the kindly old lady at the Salvation Army Thrift Store who called me the record boy.   She ought to see my collection now.

Donna Will remains one of my favorite people to talk music and she has come back online via Twitter.   She always puts a smile on my face when she stops and says hi and SMOOOOCH.  She'll always have a special place in my heart.

The amazing Rodney Albaugh, who liked the new Townedger album so much that he wanted me to revisit a few of the songs to update them to studio sound quality, to which I been working with him most of this week.  And he has a nice recording studio to experiment things as well, as having many guitars and a drum set to redo the songs.  All I had to do is show up with my guitar and have fun with it. He's a wizard in the studio.

Bob Harrington at Ragged Records, The Old Hippie at Moondog Music, and Paul from Sweet Living Antiques have been instrumental in having some of the old time records that I grew up listening to in my collection.  In fact they managed to have certain 45s and LPs that replaced my old scratched up records that I once had and used for Frisbee's.  I'm sure they'll see a lot of me in the new year.

To all the Cedar Rapids music makers  that I jammed with and made me feel at home when I unretired and got back playing the drums again.   Too many to mention.  I'm not sure if I'll continue to jam on the weekends like I have been but as long as it remains fun, I continue to be around to support new music.  My favorite bands on the local music scene remain  Wooden Nickel Lottery, Past Masters/Lab Rats, Julie And The Mad Dogs, Sky Pilot Band, FLEX, Smoking Guns, Kick It plus a few others yet to be discovered.  Wooden Nickel Lottery remain special to me, they were kind enough to send me a autographed CD of their latest album. 

I'm not much into bar hopping but I have never felt more at home than at Rumors Bar And Grill on F AVE SW in Cedar Rapids.  You can't go wrong going to Checker's Bar And Grill and Wrigleyville in Marion, especially during Cubs baseball season when they're winning and they actually got the game on,unlike WGN Waste-A-Station (bring back sports).

10 years ago, Half Priced Books opened their doors in the Twixt Town Strip Mall, which years ago was the the old Phar-Mor store.  I recall in one of my successful Madison trips that if this town opened their own HPB store I'd make it my second home.  That became reality in 2005 and much to their chagrin it's still my second home.

Tom Gray and Delta Moon have been a big part of the Record World/RS Crabb blog for almost 10 years as well.  I came across them while researching my all time rated blog about his previous band The Brains but at this point, Delta Moon has been around longer and made twice more albums as well. They were kind enough to autograph their latest CD for me.  I'm hoping some day Delta Moon will play up here, they'll fit in very well at Parlor City in New Bo.  If you're reading this Tom,  you'll like the New Bo area.  Very blues based players hang at the bar.  Look up Dan Johnson and tell him that Crabby sent ya.  You might have to remind him about me, he tends to forget me during jam sessions ;-)

Diggy Kat and Lucky Star Radio.  Diggy's been a big supporter in whatever I do.  He's getting more in demand on net radio and he shall go far.

Well, that's it for this year.  The future remains unwritten, like a blank page.  Whatever 2016 will bring, let's hope for a better year.

Thanks for reading and making this month the best ever for Record World.  Wishing each and every one of you a better new year.  Cheers and thank you for your support. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 A Year To Forget

On the eve of the ending of the year, I managed to write up my 100th blog of the year with the summary of this year.

In short, this year sucked.  I never had such a GD crap year when things went wrong on a regular basis.  I've seen plenty of good people die and still Donald Trump and Ted Cruz and Dick Cheney still live, which makes me tend to think that Jesus isn't coming back on this planet anytime soon.  It is kinda sad to watch King Of Kings on Silent movie Sundays on TCM and getting caught up in the hope that the Son Of God will return but in the meantime, bad things happen to good people and vice versa.  What else to explain Trump's high approval rating in the polls.  Or how Corporations continue to distort news and music.  Cable TV continues to drain itself into the cesspool of crap and still raises rates due to programming, which is bullshit.  But then again I don't watch cable outside of TCM or whenever ESPN decides to show an Iowa game.  But most of the time it's hot air from dumb has been jocks or ratings whores like Colin Cowturd Cowherd, to which I have given him too much publicity.

We all think that the new year will bring in better luck, it's been commonplace for as long as I live and still the same results of crap continue.  I've tried to upgrade to the latest technology and new computers. In May I end up going to Office Max to replace the old Dell, that worked well for 10 years before Microsuck decided to end Windows support and cast my lot and 576 dollars for a Lenovo that is a step up from Gateway but has failed to live up to expectations and getting the GD blue screen sad face about needing to update everytime I try to watch something on You Tube for more than 10 minutes. I haven't seen new and improved while trying to read an online article and have about 10 pop ups and black screens for more commercials.  Is there's not anything sacred anymore?  Plus the fact, while typing, my fingers which have minds of their own will hit the wrong keys or hit a wrong button and I lose everything already written.   Or the usual server not found messages that are more common than not.  But I haven't gotten fed up and destroyed this computer yet.  I also tried to upgrade to a CD recorder since the old Marentz was getting up and years and doesn't like CD R that don't say Music CD Rs, so I took a chance on a TEAC.  9 months down the road the piece of shit quit working, since I was writing out the next edition of Townedger Radio, the GD POS would lose its mind and I end up getting writing errors.  So that got donated.  It seems like everytime I tried to upgrade or have shows to preserve the music that I like on net radio shows, the powers to be thought otherwise and after a while I just gave up.

This year was full of being at the wrong place wrong time, and it didn't help while some Linn County Deputy pulling me over for a slow and go stop on a isolated highway and I didn't see no cars coming. Another case of bad judgement and 225 bucks removed from my wallet.  So much for being honest. It didn't help while doing jam sessions and watching me drop drumsticks on drum solos either or spilling my drink while missing the fucking table.  Christmas may have been the worst of all time, nobody was in a good mood, and I tried to dress up trying to learn how to tie a necktie and took an hour to come up with a so so knot and my mom didn't like it much, nor my wavy hair all over the place.  Or yelling at us to smile while trying to take a picture, and we couldn't decide to sit on the couch or stand up, just take the damn picture and get it over with.  We may never celebrate Christmas ever again.

But the year pretty much defined itself in June, in Dubuque with the infamous Cancer Walk and the irate Redwing, who had 500 people to choose from but decided on me.  A fucking shame that I can't have this type of luck winning the lottery.  What annoyed me even more was the lack of understanding from the crowd and the smartasses laughing about it.  Which is basically the mindset of America anymore, laugh at the ones who get the misfortune of life  or take pictures to post on You Tube or Facebook.  Too many concerned about the happenings of the Kasdashians or the local Muslims who trying to live their lives.  Not everybody is an terrorist.  Whatever the case may be, it seems from now on we'll have to wait till the corn grows high in July to take walks in this wonderful state due to some fucking dumb redwing who decides to build their nest on a busy trail or parking lot.

The two trips to Madison were another exercise in trying to tolerate bad traffic, roundabouts, every red light hit in town and finally saying the hell with it after a disastrous fall trip, which I  couldn't find a motel room for the night.  Another case of wrong place wrong time.

The year was full of deaths from the music world.  BB King passed away, so did Lemmy which ends Motorhead.  Ernie Banks didn't get to see the Cubs make the playoffs this year.  Meadowlark Lemon, best clown prince of basketball skills said goodbye.  Scott Wieland finally found the right drugs to take him out of here. Allen Toussaint, PF Sloan, Gail Zappa, Billy Joe Royal, Kyle Oyloe, Ben Cauley, Martin Milner, Chris Squire, Vic Firth, Jim Ed Brown, Ornette Coleman, Johnny Gimble, Ben E King, Stan Freberg, Percy Sledge, Don Covay, Leslie Gore, Gene Gene The Dancing Machine all left us in 2015 and many more.  Wayne Rogers and Natalie Cole also left us on New Year's Eve as well, he was 82, she was 65. Natalie has rejoined her dad in the afterlife.  Unforgettable.

The weather up here was not as chaotic as it was this year in other spots, with Winter Storm Goliath Goddam becoming a major tornado and rain maker to the point that most of Missouri and Illinois were drowning in a foot of rain and floods not seen since 1993.  St Louis really got kicked in the teeth as nearby areas such as West Alton had to see evacuations and levees that failed. On a different note this planet has been the warmest ever and El Nino really playing havoc.  We ended up getting five inches of a combination of snow and sleet, which was a heart attack in itself while trying to shovel it, but we all know it could been much worse.  

Now that you're depressed, there were some highlights of note.  Not everything was all that bad.  For baseball it was a fun season watching both the Quad City River Bandits have the best record in minor league baseball and Cedar Rapids Kernels battling it out.  I spent more time in Davenport watching the Bandits than I do staying at home to watch the Kernels, and one of the highlights was Bobby Boyd throwing a baseball up to me after an inning in the playoffs.  Nevertheless, The Kernels took them out in the first playoffs and managed to get to the finals before losing in five games to Western Michigan.  For baseball this season, The Chicago Cubs in yet another year of transition, convinced Joe Maddon to be their manager and he somehow got the team turned around with them getting hot in July, August and September and managed to clinch a spot in the playoffs and they took out Pittsburgh in the wild card game and managed to shock the baseball world by eliminating the St Louis Cardinals in the next round before running out of gas against the hated New York Mets, which Kansas City beat them 4 games to 1 to win the World Series.  Jake Arrieta won the Cy Young Award, Kris Bryant Rookie Of The Year and Joe Maddon Manager Of The Year.

The other surprise was the Iowa Hawkeyes going 12-0 in their season and drawing the ire of ESPN and one Colin Cowpie Cowherd, ESPN reject and Fox Sports Horehound  who managed to get a ratings boost with his anti Iowa rhetoric, pissing off the Iowa faithful would like nothing more to run him off into a flooded river if he ever stepped foot in this state.  There were bumps along the way, Iowa needed a 57 yard FG from the erratic Marshall Koehn, and a Wisconsin fumbled snap that sealed another victory.  However, the Hawkeyes managed to fill up their trophy case with the return of Floyd Of Roseland, the Cy Hawk Trophy, The Heartland Trophy and the Heroes Trophy by beating Minnesota, Iowa State, Wisconsin and Nebraska.  Alas, the Iowa offense didn't come through on the Big Ten Championship, as Michigan State went on a 22 play drive that won the game for them and the trip to the College Football Playoffs.  For their showing, Iowa did get to go to the Rose Bowl for the first time in 25 years.  And the Iowa basketball team did get revenge by beating number 1 rated Michigan State in basketball Tuesday 83-70.

This year the best moments for me was in May when Dennis Lancaster came into town and that ended up being the reunion of my old band Paraphernalia Tyrus in May.  For the first time in 30 years that most of the guys that I grew up playing in the band were in the same room.  On a bit of irony, my high school sweetheart Penny ended up marrying Karl and had the reception up at the same bar where the Paraphernalia Tyrus reunion was held at.  We all would get together once again, with the addition of Doug Bonesteel at the Marion class of 1980 35th reunion which also was a sort of the class of 79 reunion.  It was also special talking to my grade school best friend Jeff Kewley again.  That meant a lot to me as well.  It also finally put to rest that the one girl I thought was the one that got away, turned out to be nothing more than the worst girlfriend that I ever had, in Janice and that her friend Sue, who made my high school life hell, a stuck up snoot. She never did made an effort to talk to me when we saw each other at the reunion.  If I knew now what I knew back then, Janice and Sue would have been told to piss off and not have a second thought of it.   But outside of that, the 35th reunion wasn't too bad and out of all the Freshmen girls that chased me around the school, only Jenny was the one that talked to me that night.

If the band reunion did anything, it did spin the wheels about me going back into playing on the weekends during jam sessions up at Rumors Bar And Grill in Cedar Rapids and Wrigleyville in Marion which I got to become friends with T Ray Robertson, Dave Bonham and Bart Carfizzi.  Later on I got to jam with some of Cedar Rapids' finest musicians along the way.  In August, Me and my best friend Russ would share the stage for a few songs for the first time since the OK Lounge of December 7, 1984 and two weeks later, our guitarist DeWayne would jam with me for the first time since The Legion Hall Gig in October of 1984.

For bargain hunting, most of them were either in Dubuque or Davenport with isolated trips to Iowa City and Waterloo.  There were some finds at the Salvation Army or St Vincent De Paul but it was great to finally find a much better copy of Cruel World/Till I Found You from Don Hollinger.  Bob had a tub full of promo 45s that this obscure single was found along with about 80 dollars worth of other singles.  A week later, some dollar 45s I bought at Moondog had My World Fell Down by Sagittarius and The Electric Prunes Get Me To The World On Time.  Again The Salvation Army Davenport Store came with the cheapest and winning 45s, most notably Pita Pita by Miriam Makeba and I Wanna Know Her Again by The Wagoners.

It's been a full year since a certain outdoor pussy cat decided to call our yard her home which is a surprise itself.  With the neighbor from hell next door ready to shoot her or any cat that comes in their yard (another outdoor cat Rocky Rococo wasn't so lucky RIP) Callie Marie Rustbucket has defied the odds of living and still continues to stalk the shrews, mice and frogs around the yard.  After years of saying Hell No to cats, Callie somehow adopted me and my brother as one of her own and at times it has been a trying of my patience, but we actually have come to understand each other and even love her too.  I just didn't see any value of taking her to a animal shelter to have her put down when nobody would want her or have somebody abuse her.  Callie has provided some comic relief at times and it's hilarious to see her jump between the footprints in the snow.  She also tends to annoy me when she plops on the recently washed car and walk on the side of the cardoor to which I shot this after dark picture.  For a cat on her own freewill, this free cat managed to relieve me of a 100 dollars to get her fixed in exchange of being here, but the returns have paid off.   In my lifetime I have never witness such a happy and content cat like Callie Rustbucket.  Even she knows she has it good here.

While there was good moments, 2015 still had too many bad moments to consider this a good year.  I hope 2016 has to be a better year.  Nobody should have to deal with irate redwings at social gatherings.  I certainly don't want to stay indoors all spring to keep away from the flying shit bags.  Hope that next Christmas we can all have a civil time together at the folks.  It should be the most happiest time of year.  But with El Nino going beserk and flooding the hell out of Missouri and tornadoes unleashed in the south the weather shouldn't be frightful.

In my heart I do believe something special will happen in 2016 and I hope it will be for the good and life changing.

On behalf of myself and the whole gang  Good riddance  and F U 2015.

 (Chris Fowler: photo credit on Phil Campbell's showing up at a Cardiff bar in tribute to the late Lemmy)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Week In Review: Lemmy RIP Winter Storm GD, Stevie Wright

El Nino has been a very active pattern this winter.  Certainly down south where it seems like the end of days is coming, record flooding in the St Louis area.  Massive tornadoes in Texas and ice storms in Oklahoma and having to managed most of that crap weather, Winter Storm Goddammit (Goliath to the Weather Channel)  will finally ushered in the snow and cold that has been lacking up here.  It's strange to think that we had a white Thanksgiving, only to see that melt away with a record rain fall from Winter Storm Bitchflakes.

(Photo: Mindy Dennis) 
December has felt more like April with the major floods and twisters.  From Manchester Missouri to Manchester UK, both had major flooding this weekend.  The GOP may deny climate change but it's too bad that that Texas Tornado didn't flatten George W Bush' fortress, like it did with other people's houses  in Garland.

(Photo:Ron Baselice)

Earlier in the month somebody found a picture of Robert Johnson, the legendary blues singer in a old desk from years ago.  It may have been fake.

Death never takes a holiday off:

Ian Lemmy Kilmeister, was a one of kind musician that made life fun. Once a roadie for Jimi Hendrix, Lemmy became bass player in Hawkwind and in his time there, they made their best known albums, Space Ritual being their live classic.  After getting booted from the band in 1976,  Lemmy formed a power rock band you all know as Motorhead.  The classic lineup of Fast Eddie Clarke and Phil 'animal' Taylor who also passed earlier in the year, Mercury issued Ace Of Spades, which is considered their classic album but Overkill before that (produced by Jimmy Miller (RIP) would boast their classic songs in the title track, No Class and Stay Clean.  In 1981 No Sleep Till Hammersmith captured Motorhead in their full blown glory but after Iron Fist, Eddie Clarke left and Brian Robertson replaced him.  Overall, guitar players came and went, Pete Gill replaced Taylor on drums for a time before Taylor came back and two new guitar players Phil Campbell and Mike Burston came onboard.  Lemmy would help write songs for Ozzy Osborne's No More Tears and got rewarded with a record deal with CBS records which Motorhead made two albums on the WTG label.  Taylor would exit and King Diamond's drummer Mikkey Dee replaced him.  Motorhead then made their best album overall with Bastards in 1993 after leaving CBS records and once Burston left, Motorhead had their longest living lineup of Phil Campbell on guitar and Mikkey Dee on drums and Lemmy being himself.  Motorhead bounced from label to label from CMC International to Sanctuary/Metal Is and SPV and UDR Music.  Their most recent album is Bad Magic. But the signs of hard living and rock and roll was beginning to take a toll on Lemmy and he eventually quit drinking jack and cokes although he never did give up smoking.  Motorhead had to cut short and cancel some live dates, since Lemmy wasn't feeling up to par. However he did finished a concert in St Louis to good reviews.

Four days after making it to 70, Lemmy's body finally gave out and he passed away Monday from cancer.

Here at Record World Lemmy played a part of making fun comments and post some interesting pictures.  While the majority of my friends didn't care for his music, I always enjoyed his three chords of loud rock and roll, I never considered Motorhead heavy metal.  Even in past interviews Lemmy mentioned that he didn't think he lived to see age 70 but he did.  It's with heavy heart that we say goodbye to one of rock and roll's bad/good guys who would managed to sneak in to some movies too (Airheads come to mind). With this, 2015 shapes up to be a morbid year, many rockers have gone to the great beyond, and even Lemmy got tired of answering questions of when he was going to die.  In everybody's life the one thing we all share is birth and death.  The passing of Lemmy ends an fascinating and long career of sex and drugs and rock and roll, and Lemmy lived all three of them to the fullest.  Born to lose but he lived to win.

Stevie Wright was the lead singer of the Easybeats.  He passed away Saturday at age 68.

Luigi Creatore, who also produced the Mexican Jumping Beans long time ago also left us this year.  He was 93. 

Craig Strickland, country vocalist of Backroad Anthem, went duck hunting in a severe thunderstorm in Oklahoma  in a boat that capsized in a lake and he drowned in the accident. He was 29.  Also Chase Morland who was with him announced they were going to kill ducks during Winter Storm Goliath.  His body was found on January 4th.

John Bradbury, drummer for The Specials, passed away on Monday, he was 62.  One of the best drummers of the 2 tone beat to which you can hear on the first two Specials albums.

Meadowlark Lemon, one of the best basketball entertainers ever passed away at age 83. Better known being in the Harlen Globetrotters, Lemon came out here in the 80s and 90s under his own team Meadowlark's Superstars..

Best Christmas gift came from Donna Will aka Brooksie.  She managed to cheer me up after a Christmas disaster with the folks with this greeting.

Merry Christmas my dear Crabby! SMOOOOOOOOOCH!!!

(We love ya Brooksie)

The other Christmas gift I got: A full moon on Christmas Day (Photo taken by me)

Christmas weekend has been great for the Crabb/Record World blog with three straight days of 200 plus views and those who took the time to read them, I thank you for peaking through the archives. Strangely, most of the most viewed blogs are related to tornadoes and floods and rain.  Later in the week, I'll do a wrap up of this wonderful year I had, with the good and bad points.  It won't hit 150 views like the Best of 2015 blog did but one never knows, I might stuff that blog with pictures of floods and tornadoes as well.  They seem to bring out the best in views.   As always at this end of year I put things into perspective and see if I have enough left in the tank to commit to another year of blogging.  It's fun when a blog strikes a chord but most of them are few and far between and it usually takes two to three hours to compose a blog and do my best not to have errors upon reading them.   It's odd how back in 2002, I decided to do this on a week by week basis and had the blessings of my original readers out there in About. Com and then moving to various dead social media sites to talk tunes (My Space, Multiply, Yardbird's Roost).  This also proves that I have no life and the fact of continue to do this with only a handful of readers continuing to read them behind the scenes.   A habit that is hard to break.  In a music world which too many stories thrive on the talentless out there and Kim Kadashian's butt and the even more worthless Bristol Palin I try not to focus on the lazy and the beautiful.  And I'm sure Rolling Stone would have not said anything about Stevie Wright's passing.

The bargain hunts of the hard to find singles and albums and CDs, the at the moment happenings around town has become what Record World is, two years after retiring the Crabb Top Ten.  And maybe there'll be more of that next year.  We'll see.  As I been saying all along: something special will be coming in 2016.  Don't know what yet but tune in to find out.

Big turnout at Chrome Horse for the Justin Case/Karl Hudson reunion Sunday night.  Too many people and couldn't find a seat to sit in so I make a quick cameo and went to deal with another Wal Mart self checkout machine that didn't work and I knocked over my tea at the jam session.  Just another line of bullshit crap luck that continues for me.  I managed to hang to hear the ending of Suite Madane Blue and the beginning of Paradise Theater.  I doubt if I would have jammed anyway. Karl didn't know me. But members of Past Masters/Lab Rats were there.

Columbia House is bringing back those 12 LPs for a dollar offers, but I betcha they won't be selling LPs that cheap.  After closing down their DVD and CD record club they have revived themselves as a vinyl selling place once again.  What's next 8 Tracks?  Still in a era that LPs are very much overpriced it'd be interesting to see how Columbia House will sell vinyl, especially Neil Young LPs were go for 40 plus dollars for a single LP?  Because sound matters right?  But not enough to deflate my wallet.  It's a wait and see shall we want to buy 5 LPs for a dollar or so forth. 


The Grassroots-Lovin Things (Dunhill 1969)

By then this band was trying the shred themselves of P F Sloan although he does contribute three songs, this is where Steve Barri takes over production and takes the Roots into a more pop direction. The best of the Sloan written songs is City Woman, I Can't But Wonder Elisabeth probably the most boring thing he wrote.  I Get So Excited would be redone later as Temptation Eyes or Heaven Knows  and even if Barri can be full of himself, songs like Pain and (you gotta) Live For Love even the hired hands and arrangements of Jimmie Haskill sound like they're having a good time.   My favorite song remains Fly Me To Havana, a song that actually borrows the percussion bit from Steppenwolf's Rock Me and it sounds fine on the 45, but on the record the guitars sound so out of tune.
Grade B

Silver (Arista 1976)

A minor league supergroup, this pairs John Batforf up with Brent Mydland (later The Grateful Dead), Harry Stinson (later of Marty Stuart's Superlatives) Tom Leadon (later of Mudcrutch) plus Greg Collier.  While best known for the pop schmultz of Wham Bam a song that John Batdorf disowned and disliked, Silver owes more to the vocal style of Poco more than the Eagles, with a bit of Firefall thrown in.  Mydland tends to be the overblown singer, while lead off track Musician (Not an easy life to live) is something we can relate to, Climbing is that type of song that would annoy Dead heads once he joined that band.  John Batdorf, rebounding from losing Mark Rodney, gives two passable songs on the second side.  I can also see why the guys didn't care much for Wham Bam. it's bubblegum crapola that Clive Davis forced them to do.  While Harry Stinson is a damn good drummer, he's underused on the majority of the folk rock that producer Tom Sellers provides.  He's a step up from Jim Mason who didn't do Firefall any favors. The record isn't a total washout, the secret weapon is Collier who writes the three best songs, almost a carbon copy of the Poco sound. And they come alive with an extended jam on No Wonder to which Stinson finally gets his due on drums and the uptempo Trust In Somebody that ends side 1.  Too bad they didn't go more in that direction instead of Wham Bam.
Grade B-

Glass Moon-Sympathetic Vibration (MCA 1984)

I know TAD from his site has said many a great things about their first album, which I never heard and alas, the thrift store had a badly warped copy, but their followup album gave them their best known hit, a cover of The Hollies On A Carousel and was more of pop rock rather than prog rock.  On this third album from David Adams, they're back into a more Prog rock feel, aka Peter Gabriel's Shock the Monkey to which David Lord who produced Gabriel's So, figured into Vibration and you can feel the Genesis sound as well on the title track and Jungle Song.  David Adams, the main songwriter and keyboardist/singer goes for a sound that YES got on 90125 on side 1 with Cold Kid and Touching In The Dark.  I think Day After Day After Night and ...and the rain have a Marllion  type of sound as well.   Certainly there's nothing on Sympathetic Vibration has anything as radio ready as Owner Of  A Lonely Heart or Shock The Monkey but it still is a good listen.  Too bad that David Adams and company never achieved more than cult status.  They deserved better.
Grade B+

Beatlesongs (Rhino 1982)

Back when Rhino Records were putting together alternative best ofs and compilations before being bought out by Warner/Elektra/Atlantic and becoming corporate shrills they were into putting out oddball stuff like this tribute to The Beatles.  There's some minor but historical stuff from The Carefrees (We Love You Beatles), Jack Nitzsche and Gary Usher, I'm guessing the new cut in (for 1982) from Buchanan and Greenfield (The Invasion, where the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are not from the Fab Four themselves but a soundalike band) and of course there should be something from The Rutles.  The four turds that lead off side 2, are a subpar Beatle rap that sound like the actors from the cartoon Beatle show of long ago, a yawner from Dudley Moore and Peter Cook, and garbage from Wild Man Fischer that shouldn't be on there and Alan Sherman who sounds like he did hate the Beatles.  At least The Four Preps had more fun with their song Letter To The Beatles, than Sherman or Fischer.   A curio piece in Rhino fashion but it's one of those Rhino albums that you can live without too.
Grade C

Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart (Capitol 1976)

While people disagree, I tend to like Changes, the last Monkees album before Davy Jones and Mickey Dolenz retired that name before the money making reunion tours of the late 80s came calling.  Colgems was absorbed into Bell Records and while the Davy/Mickey single flopped, Jones did have his last top ten regional hit with Rainy Jane. Bobby Boyce and Tommy Hart had a couple of A&M hits (I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight, Alice Long).  This record is more of a update of the pop sounds that Boyce And Hart and The Monkees did and while this is not the return of the teen idols as older/wiser, it shows them in the same boat as with The Hudson Brothers.   It doesn't start out promising, Right Now sounds like a Barry Manilow reject and I Love You (and i'm glad that i said it) isn't much better but somehow they do had a bit of rock to the pop on the remake of Teenager In Love.   Sail On Sailor does evoke a bit of glam rock.  You didn't feel that way last night is the rocker but it also sounds too much like another certain Boyce/Hart number we call I'm Not Your Steppin Stone which was much better.  Along Came Jones is just silly.    It's hard not to like DJBH, some of it is pretty catchy for 30 something ex teen idols but then again it's hard not to take it seriously.  It's not going make you forget The Monkees Greatest Hits or I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight. But it does give you a mindset into pop music 1976 for better or worse, as D, J, B & H made their way to a local county fair event that year.  Not bad but not memorable either.
Grade B-

Bill Haley And The Comets-Rock And Roll Revival (Warner Brothers 1971)

In the age of Woodstock, Haley was an oldies act, still loved in Europe but in the US, the kids didn't care.  And how Warner Brothers decided to issue such an album of old 50's classic by an oldies band was probably done by nostalgia.  Haley does remake Rock Around The Rock to a more polished sound rather than the 1954 rockabilly stomp.  You heard them all before but Haley sounds like he's having fun with them, especially on Whole Lotta Shakin Going On.  My faves are the lesser known No Mail Today and Detour, both the most country sounding on the album.  In 1971 the new rock was Who's Next, Led Zeppelin 4 and Black Sabbath and the flop from the new edition of The Electric Prunes who false advertised Just Good Old Rock And Roll.  Perhaps Bill Haley should have taken that title instead.  This is good old fashioned rock n roll.
Grade B

And now Mark Lee Goodale's 45 collection. (Photos by Mark Lee Goodale)

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas 2015

So this is Christmas, and what have you done?

For the second year in a row, we had a brown Christmas, despite the fact that we had a white Thanksgiving.  Best thing about this Christmas was that we had a full moon on display in the morning and in the evening after the clouds faded away.  It has been a strange and wet and active year for rain and storms and if it did snow it stayed to the west and north of here. 

As I was fumbling through trying to do a Platt Knot and trying to tie a tie from the start for over an hour, I was trying to get dressed up for the typical Christmas pictures that my mom wanted to take and for us to look good.  I bought this snazzy little tie full of drums on it and a nice blue dress shirt at the thrift store for 8 dollars back in October and wanted to wear that on that special occasion. The folks are getting up in age and these Christmas get togethers will eventually become history.  Like all Christmas past we had great moments and not so great moments.  I think the last time we had a full moon in 1977 something happened and there was a big family pow wow.  This Thanksgiving was special, everybody got along and went home happy.

Across the area, my fellow musician friends are playing on Christmas Night.  Kick It the band with T Ray Robertson, Dan Hartman and Herm Sarduy are playing at Rumors and down the road Julie Gordon showed up her new version of The Mad Dogs at Cedar River Landing with Terry McDowell playing drums.  He's everywhere.

Work was slow and I took Monday off and we didn't have to spend time in Packaging Hell land.  I managed to catch up on emails and added a few things on the last blog post and took pictures of the sights and sounds of the seasons.  Christmas shopping I did very little of and ended up buying candy for the old man, found a couple of Christmas CDs for Mom and a CCR CD with money in it for my brother.  The folks at Real Gone Music came through with the Christmas CDs, even with Media mail I got the CDs a week before Christmas.  I did hit Iowa City Monday by finding a few CDs and LPs and chatting with the Sweet Living Antiques owner and him letting me borrow a CD of obscure garage bands of the 60s.  And managed to take advantage of the snowless days by walking on the nature trails at Matsell's and the ones at home, and found out the hard way that the C St trail, they took the bridge out, so I had to find a different place to walk.  I really haven't had much luck about the dating scene this year, most of who I talk to have husbands or boy friends playing in local bands and anything is strictly casual.   One of them looks attractive still at age 65 to which perhaps the fountain of youth remains in a pack a cigarettes a day and rock and roll.  I wouldn't know.  It always puts a smile on my face when Brooksie aka Donna pops in once in a Christmas full moon to which happy holidays and a Smoooch to boot.  That goes back to the days of the About.Com classic rock chat.  But anytime I hear from her she puts a smile on my face for a minute.

So here I am, already an half hour late and trying to fuck with something I'm not familiar with: neckties, pulling up the internet to see how to construct a rightful knot and hope I don't look silly in the process.  So, it's off to Marion, and just as soon as I got on the highway, here comes some Bubba Dick in a red Dodge Ram going 80 MPH and almost swiping the car passing me.  And then some specialty idiot from either Illinois or Wisconsin with the plates Gypsy 4 cuts off in front of me. And then the usual red lights that Marion has to offer.  Thankfully Walmart was closed and so was Hy Vee but Family Video and Casey's were open.

My mom has prepared dinners and suppers for Thanksgiving and Christmas for many years now. I don't think she should do it, we could do a Christmas Buffet and save wear and tear on her and the dishes.  She's been married to the old man for over 55 years, and if there's anybody who earned her wings for angels my mom should have a pair waiting when the time comes.  I apologized for being late and blamed the novice knot tieing.  I don't think she that impressed with the way I looked and perhaps the drum necktie stood out too much.  Anyway, I went downstairs and watched a ballgame with dad and we had supper and later chatted with my Aunt Fern, who's been in frail health but still is living at age 91.

Things got bad for the worse and Dad didn't help things by complaining about the ham we had tonight.   But it was time to take the annual family pictures, somebody always ends up by the asshole and I drew the card.  I played around with my hair and it'd looked worse and Mom yelled at me to go brush it.  Once that got done she begin to order us to smile and look pretty, at that time I had folded up arms, a force of habit but she didn't like that at all.  All of sudden I become the five year old that won't behave, no matter what I did, asking shall we sit on the couch or stand up she turned five shades of red and I snapped 'Just take the fucking picture'.  On that note, the night was ruined and I was the bad guy.

There was a couple of half hearted pictures of us, but I don't think she'll post them, she'll end up deleting them anyway.  Certainly I did wrong and tried to make it up in the best way I know how but all I did was dig a deeper hole.  All I could do in the end was say I'm sorry for being an A hole, and hugged her and told her I love her.  But we had the tension filled silence you can cut with a knife and nothing we can do is just go home and let the storm blow over.

For what is supposed to be a time for families to get together and enjoy one's company and to share the love and the presents, this Christmas wasn't any of that.  It was The Bickersons all over again and the brat kids.  There wasn't much Christmas spirit today on this side of the fence.  We always hurt the ones we love the most, not by intention.  So basically I went home feeling bad about the whole episode, and hopefully thinking next Christmas things will be better.

I don't think I'll be wearing my drummer's necktie and blue shirt anymore.  Think I will donate them to Goodwill and hope it brings better luck to the next person.   If it's any consolation, I did get what I wanted for Christmas, a Full Moon, in the early morning and on the way home before the clouds covered it up again.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Week In Review: Reviews, Weather And Ivy Too

It's been a rotten year for San Diego as the Chargers fizzled out and quite a bit this season but what might be their last game at San Diego they did beat Miami 30-14.  Phillip Rivers threw an interception but recovered the fumble 50 yards after the INT.   Will it mean that they will return back to Los Angeles after being gone for 5 plus decades?  Will I continue to root for them as LA?  I really don't know, I haven't been much into the NFL all season.  Too many commercials about E.D and the piss poor Southwestern Pauly Shore Wannabe.  After the game Eric Waddle decided to capture what might be the last moments in San Diego around the 50 yard line taking it all in.  This might have been the last time.

I haven't been to Iowa City/Coralville in a while so thought I pay my friends down there a visit.  Somehow managed to find a whole bunch of Dr Demento CDs for 1.88 at Goodwill, but before I could see the rest of them some other dude picked them up.  Some odds and ends, the Crusin' Series, of old radio station DJ airchecks and commercials are always fun to listen to, although they tend to select painful listening songs,such as Bobby Goldsboro's morbid Honey.  My good friend from Sweet Living Antiques let me borrow his CD of Unknown Garage Rock Bands of the 1960s provided if I bring it back to him next time I'm down there.  I did find four albums of note. The Dolenz, Jones, Hart and Boyce 1977 Capitol album (or 1976), plus The Grassroots Lovin Things, Silver (the 1977 minor super group of Tom Leadon, Brett Myland and John Batdorf) and Glass Moon's 1984 album for MCA. Housewerks had four more decent LPs from Sam The Sham Revue (I seldom see anything that not's tore up on record from Sam), Bill Haley And The Comets (WB), Beatlemania, a Rhino comp and a old Johnny Rivers on Pickwick that my dad had but had seem better days.  And Record Collector had a Jonathon King UK album from 1972 for a dollar.  The Coralville stores had nothing to offer but buildings are popping up all over the place, the new Aldi's is open and about 10 more fucking roundabouts to mess traffic up.  But for an Iowa City trip, I managed to find some things, and during the Christmas holidays I almost bought out Goodwill on the Demento stuff before putting them back.

Oh the weather is so frightful....Tornadoes before Christmas?  Strange about Wed afternoon is that temps snucked up to 55 degrees before the front came through and temps dropped about 20 degrees in an hour and half.  In the meantime across the Mississippi in Rock Island country, Scrooge sent a weak twister in that area.  And then freezing temps and icy roads.

Meanwhile down south a killer twister carved out a 250 mile path, killing 7 people, a sad tragedy that shouldn't happen before Christmas you think.

Ivy Doomkitty brings you some Christmas cheer.  Through the years of Record World Ivy has brighten up this blog with her presence and with help from Geri Kramer Photography as well.   I hope some day to visit her and get a picture of us together.  It may happen.

And while Mother Nature continues to throw her wrath at the world due to blizzards, storms, tornadoes and floods, trailer trash Bristol Palin popped out another baby.  And in the rest of the world 20,000 other mothers have given birth as well.   We spend too much time on such trivial and meaningless bullshit such as the Palins.   Bah Humbug indeed.

Nothing on TV and they're still raising cable rates and Time Warner, Mediacom, Dish Network hope you don't pay attention.   Since my life is basically on the internet I have no time for cable's bullshit and NBC managed to make It's A Wonderful Life go from 2 and half hours to an ungodly 4 hours with five minutes of movie compared with five minutes of commercials.  It makes no sense to really TV anymore, sports are nothing more then beer and the blue pill and every cable channel has unreality reality shit.  I'm content to leave it off, unless I want to put a DVD in and fall asleep watching Columbo shows.   But then again, I can't access reading something off the internet without ten pop ups or the now standard answer the question survey.  If my brother wants to cut the cable, I'm all for it since he pays that bill. 


Cruisin' 1968  (Increase 1986)

Back in the early CD age, we would get some interesting CD compilations that focused a lot on obscure singles of the golden era of rock and roll.  Almost 30 years after the fact oldies comps are bout as worthy as your old cassette mixtapes, but the folks at Increase managed to score some old air checks of legendary AM DJs of the past and on this 1968 overview WCAO's Johnny Dark is featured.   There are other series of past years beginning with 1955 and I think the cut off date was 1970.  Increase got together with Rykodisc for The Cruisin Years which ends at 1967 with Judy In Disguise and if you can find that one, it's the one to get, it does play better as AM radio with plenty of commercials spots and hits of the times.  Or American Graffiti as AM radio. The Increase CDs are brief, about a half hour with 10 songs for better or worse and the commercials spots not as many.  There are the hits, some good (Magic Carpet Ride, Spooky) some so so (Angel Of The Morning, Midnight Confessions, Cried Like A Baby) and then there's Honey (less said the better).  Unless you're nostalgic for old time AM radio and how it used to be, you can live without this.  But if you want to remember radio more than just bullshit Corporate Radio, well here ya go.
Grade B-

Johnny Rivers (Pickwick 1970)
Jeremy Spencer (Reprise/Real Gone Reissue 2015)

Nostalgia runs deep here at Record World.  It shows on the records that I buy and what looks good from the flyer of Real Gone Music.   Johnny Rivers made it big with his Whiskey A GO GO revamps of Memphis and Seventh Son but this Pickwick LP of long ago shows him trying either for an Elvis sound, or a Ricky Nelson sound or Buddy Holly although side closer Darling Talk To Me makes you wish he'd shut up and go away.  My father has this record in his collection, (it's trashed) so I found a better copy at Housewerks.  What I remember most from memory is that these failed 45s of long ago and far away sounded better back then than now.   These 10 cuts that comprise this album come from singles released between 1958 and 1960,  That's My Babe and Your First And Last Love came out via Coral 62425 in 1964, probably Coral's way of muscling in on the success of Memphis.  Two singles via CUB  (Everyday, Darling Talk To Me-Cub K9047  & The Customary Thing/ Answer Me My Love  (Cub 9058 later reissued as MGM K-13266)  One single for Guyden (You're The One/Hole In The Ground  Guyden 2003) and the last one was recorded for Dee Dee (Your First And Last Love/White Cliffs Of Dover  239) and I have no idea where Such A Fool For You was issued on.  Further research reveals Dolores (Dee Dee) Fuller would hock these demos to other labels when Rivers started making hits.   While there's nothing really remarkable about the songs on this Pickwick album it's kinda cool to hear how Johnny Rivers got his start.  The call and response of White Cliffs Of Dover is fun to hear and you can sing along to Hole In The Ground.  The Customary Thing is a nice rip off of Shimmy Shimmy Ko Ko Bop if you listen to it just right.  For a 1.99 curio that's all it amounts to be.   Dolores Fuller is no Lou Adler.

Jeremy Spencer's solo album never came out in the States but it has somewhat of a connection to Johnny Rivers in terms of style.  Whereas Johnny Rivers was trying to find himself, Jeremy Spencer on the other hand returned back to the days of Buddy Holly and doo wop and the songs he did do, did not fit on the Fleetwood Mac album Then Play On.  If nothing else Jeremy Spencer, the album is more of an template to what would be Kiln House, the next Mac album after Peter Green left.  This is an actual Mac album despite Peter Green playing only on one cut (on banjo no doubt). But his love for Buddy Holly rock is evident on Linda and Jenny Lee.  He didn't retire his trademark Elmore James blues rips, they're on Mean Blues (Sic).  And side one, Spencer balances his blues, rockabilly and doo wop quite well, but it wears thin on Take A Look Around Mrs. Brown (Sic).  He doesn't do well with surf numbers and the only song that would have fit on Then Play On, If I Could Swim The Mountains is more bizarre than memorable. The bonus track is bad Elvis.  What separates this from Kiln House is on that album, he gets bailed out by Danny Kirwan and Station Man.  This sinks into 50s parody after the 9th song.

Grades:  Johnny Rivers B
               Jeremy Spencer B+

Spike Jones Is Killing The Classics (RCA 1971)

RCA issued this in the early 70s as a concept album of Spike Jones and his City Slickers revamping classical music and turning it into something other than classical. And for myself, this remains my favorite Spike Jones album of all time.  The Dance Of The Hours would later be the theme music for Second City Television (SCTV) before NBC picked them up.  Plenty of guests appear, Homer And Jethro on Pal-Yat-Chee between hiccups, gunshots and belches.  And Carmen in this version is probably all that you need if you're not into opera or high pitched soprano lady singers.  And it's not complete with Doodles Weaver and his manic voiceovers, which gives way to Beetlebaum and the horse race segment on William Tell Overture.   Still a classic throughout the years.
Grade A-

The Spokesmen-Dawn Of Correction (Decca 1965)

Believe it or not, I actually like their original songs more than the obligatory Dylan covers, one that they do a credible Turtles soundalike of It Ain't Me Baby, the other Love Minus Zero sounds like Sonny Bono. Credit Jimmy Wismer (Tommy James) and Artie Butler (Monkees, Vogues, Neil Diamond etc) for impeccable arrangements.  John Madara can sing just anything, be it Billy Joe Royal (Down In The Boondocks), or John Lennon (You Got To Hide Your Love Away) and *Yawn* Phil Ochs (There But For Fortune or Donovan (Colours).  The other guys are David White (who co produced with Madara) and Ray Gilmore who, in keeping up with the times of the mid 60s cover folk protest songs and then came up with Dawn Of Correction, the answer to Eve Of Destruction.  Back then it was good intentions but hearing it now  sounds more like  wishful thinking than progress.   While the originals lack substance, I do like lead off track It Ain't Fair and For You Babe which sounds like The Fireballs (Bottle Of Wine era although that song was two years away).  Dawn Of Correction, the single managed to hit number 36, whereas It Ain't Fair didn't chart, which is a shame, I think it was better than Dawn Of Correction.  I actually found a decent mono copy of the LP and although it's dated now, it's still a fun listen.   But in the end, it's the stellar backing band lead by Wismer and Butler that wins out.
Grade B

Nino Tempo/April Stevens-Deep Purple (Atco 1963)

The brother and sister team of Nino and April made a couple choice singles and albums for ATCO in the early 60s and there's a certain cool and charm to Deep Purple the song, Tempo turned out to be a damn good arranger himself, adding a Everly Brothers charm to Baby Weemus, and a hard rocking bossa nova to One Dozen Roses.  Collectibles, while reissuing this calls this jazz, some might call it pop but there's a lot more rock and roll beneath the surface, all the way to I've Been Carrying A Torch For You For So Long That I Burned A Great Big Hole In My Heart, which almost rivals Ray Stevens Jeremiah Peabody Pills for longest song title in rock history.  I've shortened Stevens' title, takes too long to type it out.
Grade B+

Nino Tempo/April Stevens-Swing The Standards (Atco 1964)

The quickie followup to Deep Purple has them revisiting the older songs with the arrangements like Deep Purple but less successful results.  They try a couple things, taking St. Louis Blues to the blues and on Who, adding the Papa-om-mow-mow backing singing and Honeysuckle Rose gives Slim Whitman a run for the money with Nino's yodeling.  And Begin The Beguine adds a bit of doo wop to the swing pop.  A Sophomore slump as they call it, although Stardust is a bit different, I'm Confessing That I Love You is basically Deep Purple part 2, I Surrender Dear, Deep Purple Part 3 etc.
Grade B- 

Various: 60s Garage Unknowns Volume 2 (Gear Fab 1999)

Stolen from Sweet Living Antiques (I promised I give it back after listening to it but I've changed my mind)  these garage rock bands are even more obscure than the ones that was on the Teenage Shutdown series, which tends me to think that somewhere in somebody's basement or attic lies more 3 chord artifacts from the 60s.  Certainly The Beatles come into the songs and the Stones but also Paul Revere And The Raiders and 13th Floor Elevators and The Viceroy's Five Steps To Hell might be the forerunner to what would become heavy metal.  A lot of these bands scraped enough money to do a sloppy one take of their original songs, which either the drummer couldn't play the waltz to the chorus of Love Go Round by The Counselors or the band couldn't afford another take.  Still it's fun rock and roll as to hear these 29 obscure Vox and Fuzz guitars songs of bands that went under the radar. The Barons' Drawbridge or The Mark V's Over You.  Go Away by The Rockin Roadrunners, had Lenny Kaye heard of it would fit perfectly on Nuggets.  Or for that matter Pebbles.  You'll need a microscope to read the liner notes in the CD booklet but Fab Gear did a nice job of recreating the history of the unknown Garage bands of that time.  Here's hoping I can find Volume 1 before I'm dead and gone.
Grade B+

Singles Going Steady Medley:

Must Be Love-James Gang (Atco 45-6953)  1973  There was life after Joe Walsh for The Gang, although the Dominic Troijano years were bland at best.  Enter Tommy Bolin, late of Zephyr who managed to kick them in the can and put out a rocking single and album called Bang. After being on ABC for about 5 years, they took their act to Atlantic, which put them on the ATCO side.  This did get some FM airplay for a time and KLWW played it too.  The number 54 showing on the Billboard is a bit misleading, it did make top ten on the local charts in certain areas.  It also turned out to be the final top 100 showing for The Gang.  After the disappointing Miami, Bolin went solo before replacing Richie Blackmore in Deep Purple in 1976 and overdosed later on.  The James Gang soldiered on with two more ATCO LPs before calling it a day after the forgotten Jesse Come Home finale.

20th Century Man-The Kinks (RCA Victor 74-0620) 1971 From the last classic Kinks album they made before the rock and soap operas Muswell Hillbillies this single didn't chart at all and I overpaid for this record, 6 dollars compared to the 3 dollars for Must Be Love but I never see any Kinks RCA 45s and perhaps my favorite of the RCA years although it's a butchered edit.  Consider the fact that from Face To Face to Muswell Hillbillies, Ray Davies and company made perhaps the most classic albums in a row since The Beatles but unlike the Fab Four, The Kinks' albums weren't chart toppers. On a related note, Ray appeared during a Dave Davies concert and performed You Really Got Me last week.  Betcha didn't see that coming.

You're The One That I Love-The Everly Brothers (Warner Brothers 5466)  1964 The one that got away.  There was a DJ promo copy of this at Goodwill but alas the record was chewed up and probably best for a reference copy.  Of course The Everly's made the classic for Cadence and the first year or two for Warner Brothers before the hits dried up due to the British Invasion but Phil and Don were still putting together well crafted songs with those trademark harmony vocals.  Nobody was buying this song which may have been on the bubbling under chart but that's about as far as it goes.  This should have deserved better. 

Stardust-Nino Tempo & April Stevens (Atco  45-6286)  1964  One of the original singles that I remember growing up, this made number 32 on the charts but I don't think I ever heard it on the radio.  I always note the various types of music Mom would buy at the old Cigarette/Liquor stores in Lincoln although I don't recall much of anything outside of the record player or store.  Their tenure at Atco consisted of two albums and a handful of singles, B side 1:45 contained the note that the time of song was 1:45 + 1:00, probably Nino Tempo's sense of humor behind that.  I don't think it ever made it on CD although Collectibles did issue the two Tempo/Stevens albums on CD.

Mailbag: On the rating whore ESPN reject Colin Cowherd Cowpie C word
(and why you should quit giving him a second thought)

 The problem here is us Iowa fans/Cowherd haters. He continues his pointless, half fact ridden rants and we as fans/haters continue to give him the feedback he so desperately wants. You don't reward a 3 year old for throwing a tantrum by giving him a piece of candy. You get down to their level, talk slowly so they'll understand, and show them the proper way to act. Cowherd is that 3 year old.
 Jake Maine

RIP William Guest:

Friday, December 18, 2015

Week In Review: Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Inductees 2016

I haven't heard who else got in, outside of the five in question, but the 2016 inductees are probably the most classic rock and roll based in many years with the exception of NWA.   Probably Jann Wanner being pissed off about Deep Purple and Chicago getting into there by the popular vote so NWA got in there by default.  Let's take a look at those who got in there in order of my preferences.  Of course Yes and The Cars got kicked to the curb but I'm guessing 2017 will be the year that one or the other or both get in.  But never the Moody Blues, Jann hates them.  Or Yes although the fans will burn down his house if he refuses them in.  But  if it means anything Deep Purple, Steve Miller Band, Chicago and Cheap Trick are in the Crabb Real Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

Deep Purple

Out of all the bands in question, I followed Deep Purple through their career, the original lineup with Rod Evans and Nick Simpler before Richie Blackmore kicked them out, the classic lineup with Ian Gillan and Roger Glover coming over from Episode Six, a folk rock group and turn Deep Purple into a heavy rock band. I still find the early Purple albums of Shades, Book Of Talyisen, and the S/T album to have some great songs among the hippie dippy and progressive rock leanings.  Although Rod Evans was a shouter, he wasn't the screamer dry wit singer that was Ian Gillan, but I still love Kentucky Woman and Bird Has Flown and Listen, Learn Read On.  With Gillan/Glover on board, Deep Purple became the ultimate hard rock band beginning with Black Night, which Warner Brothers didn't bother to issue on the classic Deep Purple In Rock album. (or Harvest in the UK which issued DP albums)  Fireball and Machine Head upped the ante and even if Who Do We Think We Are paled in comparison, it is a damn good album.  And of course, one of the best live albums ever made, (Made In Japan) to which Ian Gillan screamed in full glory and the full bombast of Child In Time and the side 4 20 minute Space Truckin.   By then Blackmore had enough of Gillan and Ian moved on to his own solo band, Roger Glover went into production and later part of Rainbow, and both were replaced by David Coverdale, a booze soaked R and B rocker and the high notes taken over by the overpowering Glenn Hughes.  However Burn turned out to be a nice rocking album with the title track and Might Just Take Your Life the highlights.  Maybe Ian Gillan wasn't missed?

If Burn was a comeback album, Stormbringer was a disappointment outside of the title track.  Blackmore got bored and left to form Rainbow with members of Elf and Ronnie James Dio and the ill fated Tommy Bolin took over for the underrated Come Taste The Band, but alas, Bolin overdosed in 1976 and Deep Purple took a break, Coverdale forming Whitesnake, which would featured Jon Lord and Ian Paice for their best albums before Blackmore kissed and made up with Gillan for Perfect Strangers.  While critics remained somewhat stagnant on House Of Blue Light, I liked it better than Perfect Strangers. But the temperamental Blackmore finally had enough and after The Battle Rages On,  (1990 Slaves And Masters featured Joe Lynn Turner for one album before the rest of the guys demanded Gillan to be back into the fold) he moved on to the medieval folk of Blackmore's Night (with wife Candace Night).  But Deep Purple didn't break up, instead, Steve Morse replaced Blackmore and has remained with the band ever since the 1996 Purpledicular album which might be one of the best records in their history.  Jon Lord bowed out after the 1998 Abandon record and Don Airey replaced him.  And this lineup of Gillan/Morse/Glover/Airey/Paice has been the most stable.  Gillan can't scream he once did, so basically Child Of Time has been retired but Deep Purple continues to make pretty good albums, Now What?! was the most recent and produced with Bob Ezrin.   It's interesting to see who shows up or if anybody can locate Rod Evans, which would be more of a shock if he did show up than Blackmore's appearance.  Nobody can deny Deep Purple's role in hard rock/heavy metal, their inclusion makes sense.   If anything they should have been there before Metallica, which was influenced by Deep Purple.  And if anybody says Deep Purple was a one hit wonder, smack them upside the head  and tell them to learn rock and roll history and their single.  There's more to them than just Smoke On The Water.


The two phases of Chicago.  The horns era is their best and perhaps Terry Kath figured greatly in their development. He can play damn near anything, can be jazzy at first and then wailing away fusionwise the next.  But their songs are set in concrete on radio be it Saturday In The Park or 25 to 6 or 4 or Beginnings.  Robert Lamm was the main songwriter and with William James Guercio found the perfect song for AM radio.  Highlights are many, I like the lesser charting singles of Lowdown and Free and before Peter Cetera became Mr. Soft Rock, he had some nice album songs such as In Terms Of Two or the heavy metal riffing of Hideaway before getting a major number 1 single in 1976 with If You Leave Me Now, which would serve "the beginning" of the dreaded David Foster produced years.  It was Terry Kath that kept Chicago rocking and rolling and with his senseless death in 1977.  Donnie Dacus replaced him and although Kath was irreplaceable, I liked his contributions to Hot Streets with the hit single Alive Again and the Peter Cetera written Gone Long Gone and Little Miss Lovin' (with The Bee Gees doing backing vocals, they were everywhere). But fans and record buyers weren't getting less impressed with each album. Chicago 13 was unlucky for them, it didn't help when Columbia issued Dacus' Must Have Been Crazy as a flop single. Dacus then left, Chris Pennick replaced him and 14 (the Thumbprint album) Chicago lost their way.  Their resurrection came when David Foster come on board and decided to go with a updated (at that time) sounds of keyboards and cheesy keyboards and more ballads and Hard To Say I'm Sorry was the start of cheese ballads with Peter Cetera doing the lead vocals (Cetera actually did a 1981 Full Moon album of hard rocking songs that remain his best solo album overall). By then this direction, I had enough and wrote them off, only album that I got since 16 was the Ron Nevison produced 19 which had a hit with Look Away.  Chicago remains highly in demand on the oldies circuit, and I like their lost years before the ballads and David Foster ruined them.  Even in the afterlife, Terry Kath remains a guitar genius.

Steve Miller Band

He was a FM cult favorite before The Joker and Fly Like An Eagle made him forever associated with classic rock radio, but he's always had one foot in the blues throughout his career.   With Boz Scaggs and Glyn Johns, the early Capitol albums were perfect for FM radio, but as a whole they are uneven, Children Of The Future side 1 is basically a song collage and the best songs were written by Boz Scaggs.  A slowed down Key To The Highway makes Little Walter's version sound like speed metal. Sailor was better but still Miller tends to throw in overlong songs that bore me (Song From Our Ancestors) and Boz Scaggs has the best song in Dime A Dance Romance.  After Boz moved on to a solo career that still going strong (his new album is quite good).  The albums got better, at least the next one Brave New World was a consistent listen, giving us Space Cowboy and Tim Davis being the other vocalist.  Your Saving Grace was a fine title track (Sung by Tom Davis) but the album wandered all over the place (the boring Baby's House) and Number 5 improved.  However Tim Davis left and the next two records Rock Love and Recall The Beginning were so bad, that Miller never bothered to issued them on CD.  Capitol did put out Anthology, which did captured most of the best moments off Brave New World, Number 5 Sailor and Your Saving Grace but ignored Children Of The Future and Rock Love but for an overall picture of the early years a much better best of that came out in 1991 has rendered Anthology useless.

Miller's classic years revolve around three albums, the blues based The Joker to which the title track has become a bar standard but the album was slightly better than the two farts known as Recall The Beginning and Rock Love.  On 1976 Fly Like An Eagle, Miller teams up with Lonnie Turner and Gary Mallaber and the result was three gigantic hits in the title track, Take The Money And Run and the basically simple to do Rock'n Me, one of my favorite songs before classic rock radio ran it down our throats too often.  Highlights include Mercury Blues which is more stripped down than the hippie dippy version that you can find on Rhino's History of Texas Music Volume 3 and Serenade.  With the big success of Fly Like An Eagle, Miller quickly followed with Book Of Dreams which he got big hits from Jet Airliner, Jungle Love, Swingtown and a Rocky Mountain Way cop of The Stake to which somebody should have given Joe Walsh credit.  Capitol then issued a greatest hits 1973-1978 to which all the hits were there (except Your Cash Ain't Nothing But Trash and Living In The USA, which was reissued as a single in 1974 and B side to Rock N Me in 1976).

Miller then took more time off and then came back in 1981 with Circle Of Love but then things were beginning to change different.  Circle Of Love was half assed, with the title track being a decent hit but the whole thing is shot down by the side 2 Macho City.  With Abracadabra, Miller actually went more power pop then ever before, take away the goofy title track and there's a more pop sound with Keeps Me Wondering Why, Give It Up, Never Say No.  At this point Gary Mallaber seems to be the other important member of the band, writing 8 of the 10 songs (only Miller wrote the title track).  This album would make it to number 3 on the charts, the last top three album Miller would write.  Mallaber would figure into the role of other bands, helping out Gerald McMahon and Kid Lightning for two decent albums and later Tracker that made one so so album for Elektra).  Alas Italian  X Rays was a farce, Miller going with more keyboards and less guitar and the results was a disappointing 106 showing, the goofy Bongo Bongo a failed single.

After that Steve Miller returned to a more blues based sound, Living In The 20th Century the last time Gary Mallaber would figure into the band, the album is famous for having half of the songs written by Jimmy Reed.  Born 2 B Blue is Miller going jazz/blues with mixed results.  Wide River, recorded in 1992 shows Miller leaving Capitol in favor of Polydor and while he tries to recapture the pop rock magic of his late 70s albums, it falls short of expectations. Since then, Miller has issued two albums in the 2010's on Roadrunner, Bingo and Let Your Hair Down, basically uptempo party rock versions of blues songs.  Something akin to George Thorogood. But for the most part Steve Miller basically tours as a oldies classic rock act.

Cheap Trick:

While fans have been waiting and demanding that Cheap Trick get in the rock hall of fame, I have mixed emotions about Rockford's most famous band.  While some people consider their debut to be their best, I think it falls short.  Tom Werman was the better producer for the next two records In Color and their best album remains Heaven Tonight. Cheap Trick At Budokan broke them big; something bout their power pop rock and roll made the Japan girls scream like it was Beatlemania all over again, but I'm sick of I Want You To Want Me, which for a live song was better than the studio. But nobody plays the studio version so I do instead.  Their albums got uneven.  Dream Police is bogged down by the 9 minute disco Wanna Raise Hell and Need Your Loving was better on the Budokan album. After that, I did listen to All Shook Up and didn't care much for it. They sold out on The Flame and Lap Of Luxury and the less said the better.  I did see them twice in the 1990s and they put on a great show.


Whatever made be the case, N.W.A. has a rock attitude, Straight Out Of Compton was Urban Rap Madness. In my book, rock attitude doesn't transcribe over to rock and roll as music and I don't listen to rap outside of Body Count.  Not my idea of music.

So that's your inductees to the Jann Wanner Hall Of Fame.  Let me know when Foghat gets into the hall.  They're still waiting.


It's been a slow news week here but death does on regardless. Adam Roth passed away Thursday from cancer he was 57 and played in a few bands but mostly worked with Dennis Leary on music projects.

Also on Thursday, Snuff Garrett, famed producer for Liberty years ago (Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Del Shannon, Brian Hyland) then had success with his own label Viva in the 1980s passed away at age 77.  Garrett also produced albums for Sonny And Cher during their comeback year on Kapp in the early 70s, as well as Vicky Lawrence's The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia. 

Other news; REM, The Warner Brothers years will be reissued via Concord Bicycle Group. Which means the albums Green through Live At The Olympia will be reissued with bonus tracks and other oddities to get the consumer to buy them once again.  Don't know about the Reveal/Up/Around The Sun albums, the worst that REM ever put out (they should be in the box set called the Drone Era) but the thinking is that REM will follow Led Zeppelin's way and issued them via long digipak format. Which means you can't fit them on your CD case very well.

Not a full blown reunion but Ray Davies and brother Dave got together during Dave's show and performed You Really Got Me which made the social and music media.  At least they're talking and being friendly enough to get together to do at one song, but keep those Kinks reunion rumors to yourselves. 

Out with the old, in with the new:  While Family Foods in Anamosa goes by the way of the dinosaur, in its place will be a Fareway store.Fareway have been quite popular in small town Iowa, Monticello, Marion, Nevada and Maquoketa has one of their own.  The problem of Family Foods was that they were overpriced as hell, but they were open 24 hours a day.  Fareway stores are open till 9 and closed on Sunday but for those who detest Wal Mart, Fareway is probably the way to go in small towns.

The weather has been more March than December.  The Thanksgiving week snow has melted and Winter Storm Dopamine of last weekend was a rain event of 2.25 inches of rain which got the rivers out of their banks and flooding the wetlands and low lying areas.    If this was 2009 we'd had two feet of snow on the ground. Thanks to El Nino, it's shaping up to be a brown Christmas with slight snow chances before hand.  Kiddies will be disappointed though of a non White Christmas but for those who have to drive to and from areas, the lack of snow on the roads and salt will enable the cars life to be extended another year.

In 1930 the planet Pluto was so far out that only drawings could show what the planet's surface looks like.  Thanks to technology and the advancement of science we now have the power to build explorers to beam back pictures of the surfaces.  Here's the most recent shot of the planet Pluto. Having a good time wish you were here.

After flirting with 200 views per day last week, we're back down to closet cult status again despite adding more content and the Best of 2015 which did garner the most views in quite a while and promoting some of the best unheard of bands around the area.  There's always the grim reminder that things may wind down to nothing and Record World goes by the way of Family Foods, but my plate is full on things to do and 2016 promising to be more offline than on. After 40 years of records and CDs and fads, the old Crabb is winding down on life and raring to get back into focusing on playing music and preserving my band's music although record collecting will still play a vital role in what I find at thrift stores and Half Priced Books. From what I know about rock and roll, the groups and artists that I grew up listening to are now senior citizens or dead.and the call list of 2015 who passed on might have been the most diverse in years although Scott Wieland shouldn't mix cocaine and ethanol together.  But he won't do that anymore.

For 14 years, I have regularly blogged week in week out, in various stages and various websites, most have gone by the wayside. There's a couple that have managed to read them throughout life and I thank them for the ongoing support behind the scenes.   Basically a labor of love, time consuming and doesn't pay at all but if I managed to get a band recognized via Icons or Forgotten Bands (mucho thanks to The Swinging Steaks for sharing my blog on them which still gets viewed) then it's all worth the effort.   Or finding off the wall singles and posting them.  There's a few more I need to scan pictures of and I'm sure they're surface on later blogs.  There's lots more to be discovered out there and if my force of habits have any say of this, I'm sure I'll won't be gone from Record World.  This labor of love of music and musings has lasted longer than any of my relationships.  And I suppose that it will always be that way.  Music has been my mistress for five and a half decades. So be it.  

From Ian Gillan:

Dear Friends, Families and Fans,
Putting the past shenanigans to one side, the induction is not - in clear fact - for Deep Purple.

It is an arbitrary selection of past members, which excludes Steve Morse and Don Airey; both of whom have been with the living breathing DP for a very long time.

Obviously this is very silly, and so my response is quite simple: 'Thank you very much'.

And….what a coincidence…This morning I got an invitation to a wedding from some dear old friends. Unfortunately my family was not invited and they said that I would be required to sit next to my ex (we divorced decades ago) at the wedding feast.

They were shocked when I called to thank them and decline the invitation.

Ian Gillan
Copyright © Ian Gillan 2015


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Townedger Radio 15-Christmas Edition

(Broadcast on Lucky Star Radio 12/17/15)


Fuck Christmas (long version)-Fear
Baby It's Cold Outside-Homer And Jethro (Guest star June Carter)
Stranded-Manfred Mann Earth Band
Run Run Rudolph-Lemmy, Billy Gibbons, Dave Grohl
God Rest Ye Gentlemen-Ronnie James Dio
Blue Christmas Lights-Buck Owens
One Of Everything You've Got-The Townedgers
Santa Claus-The Sonics
There's Trouble Brewing-Jack Scott
Christmas Boogie-Canned Heat/The Chipmunks
Santa Bring My Baby Back To Me-Elvis Presley
Sleigh Ride-The Ventures
Scrooge-The Townedgers
What I Want For Christmas-Nicole Blackman
Cool Yule-Tony Rodelle Larson
All I Want For Christmas Is You-Foghat
Christmas Time Is A Comin'-Ben Keith
It's About That Time -The Idea
Sock It To Me Santa-Bob Seger And The Lost Herd
I Want An Alien For Christmas-Fountains Of Wayne
Christmas Spirit!?!?-The Wailers 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Rock and Roll and passive aggressive

Hard to figure that we are half way through this month and no snow on the ground.  2 inches of rain over the weekend gave us the most rain in the month of December, the downside of El Nino, but on the flipside, if we had 2 and a quarter of the wet stuff it would have been 20 inches of snow.  In 2009 we would have been buried.

It's been a busy month of compiling the best of 2015, finishing up listening to the new music of the year and trying to figure out where the hell the year went by so fast.  And trying to hit the local music scene after so many requests from local bands to check them out.  I'm not sure if my world of mouth will help any exposure but I do stand by the albums of 2015 that bands like Wooden Nickel Lottery and Tommy Bruner's latest album are better than most of the best of lists I have seen.  The Ultimate Classic Rock site's top 20 best of 2015 is quite laughable. Somebody forgot Killing Joke on their list and even that big chart showing by UFO doesn't change the fact that their record is not found around this area.

But I also kept busy on the jamming circuit.   Wrigleyville has announced that the Tuesday Night Acoustic Jam sessions are be only held on the first Tuesday of the month.   So far Parlor City will have their jam nights on Tuesday Night.  I did venture into the Sunday jam with Dan Johnson, Tim Duffy, Brook Hoover and Jon Wilson and although it was another small turnout, the usual faithful was there with their trademark songs, and Tanner from In The Attic doing a half hour's work of drumming.  But I felt like the forgotten man there and as the day progressed on I was promised that I'd be up there, I could have gone on first but Mike got on first, Tanner second and while Jon return to the drumset, I begin to wonder if I got passed over once again.   Perhaps it was the rain and my attitude beginning to sour, after all the songs I wanted to do, were done earlier in the evening, Dan doing a speed version of Let's Work Together, and I could have sang House Of The Rising Sun, my butt was glued to the chair and didn't move.  By the final song which they were going to do Rocky Mountain Way, I finally took two shots of courage and yelled YOU FORGOT ABOUT ME!!!!!!!

...musicians get into a groove and when they're locked in a groove they tend to be in their own world and you have to barge in there and have to bang on tables.  Passive people get passed over and I had to subject myself of hearing Tanner trip over his drumsticks on certain songs that employ a 4/4 beat. Still, there was a couple that danced on this clumsy remake of One After 909.  Perhaps maybe I should have went first instead of pointing to Mike and saying he can go first and then Tanner.  And then I'd save the best for last by playing last.  Or if I was going to play.

For many years I am the loner that walks into the bar and hangs from afar.  Exchanging pleasantries and talking music and than doing my best to support the struggling artist and bands out there.  After all I am one too.  And coming out of retirement this July I managed to somewhat captured the sound and fury of playing drums, but I'm not the same destructive dude I was 30 years ago, a heart attack waiting to happen.   I made a few friends along the way too but I still remain very shy and aloof when I do show up at Rumors, a bar that I have finally considered to be a second home outside of Half Priced Books.   And one of the main things of my bucket list was to finally get up stage and do some songs with Dan Johnson, who has been one of mainstays of the music scene in Cedar Rapids, his duets with Dennis McMurrin at Parlor City are worth seeing on a Thursday Night.  He does keep busy, and is blues based.  Now I have been jammed with Tim Duffy, who's part of the Lab Rats and sometimes takes over for Bart Carfizzi in the Past Masters, and he's an excellent singer in the R and B tradition.  However, the one person I really wanted to trade tunes on is Brook Hoover, one of the more eccentric players out there.  Brook was part of the Meekrats, a band that made a couple independent releases in the 1990s and that band featured the late Kyle Oyloe, to which his untimely passing earlier this year was talked about and lamented. Brook is part of the Surf Zombies, which are part Ventures, part Pulp Fiction and part Raybeats and lots of punk attitude.  There are times I threw a couple suggestions for songs that we could probably do, Jack The Ripper via The Raybeats.

Jon Wilson, the drummer might have had the most basic drumset up there.  A snare, bass drum, hi hat and one cymbal, which was a 20 or 22 inch ride, somewhat akin to a Paiste Signature flat ride, not much crash but had a nice muffled ping, perfect for a small setting.   Jon might be the tightest time keeper in the music scene.  He plays a very locked down beat, almost like Charlie Watts. Very business like too. (note: it wasn't Paiste, but perhaps an Instanbal  or UFIP jazz ride?)

I was content at the start to let the kids have their fun on drums and then take over the last half hour and close things down.  But as songs were being played, the ones that I knew, I begin to wonder if there would be anything for me to do that I did know.  Oh I could improvise if need be, after all having heard over a million songs and many versions of the songs  I could add my own beat if need be. By the time, Tanner took over guitar and did the waltz song, I was getting frustrated.  Do I say something, do I make a scene, in the end I decided to be nice about it and hopefully get the invite up.  But then again being nice doesn't get you very far, especially hanging all throughout the 2 hour 45 minute jam session (it ended at 6:45).  And I didn't come out in a pouring record rainfall just to drink two glasses of tea and make 4 bathroom breaks.  Out of all the jammers up there, there was one person that had the number 1 single for two weeks in July on Lucky Star Radio and he wasn't on stage.   I was putting my jacket on, getting ready to go, I knew  there wasn't much time left, they had to pack up and go and maybe catch another gig.

Sometimes there's a person deep down inside of me that if annoyed enough I'd take things into my own accord and go with that.  So I lost out on House Of Rising Sun and a couple others, and Dan and company were ready to take on Rocky Mountain Way and I jumped out of my seat and said HEY GUYS YOU FORGOT ABOUT ME.   Russ got up to sing his song of Sitting On Dock Of The Bay and they were ready to pack it up with the Tyrus Paraphernalia song of long ago, and I'm not going to waste another minute.  I did that for the first three hours of being there.   I heard the other guitar player (I think he was called Rod too) trying to remember words to songs, I sat through 35 minutes of Tanner playing drums and a couple of his own numbers, and Mike got to sing his song and played for an half hour too. So I wasn't happy about being passed over but then again that's not their fault, nor the hosts, they can't read my mind.  I had to do something, I played nice too long and wanted at least to do a song to at least  make this trip not a wasted effort.  I support the starving musician but I too am a starving musician.  Give the old coot a moment in the light.

To which Dan did let me finally join for the last song. Told them to play anything they want, you want to do Rocky Mountain Way we can.  I'm a professional too, I just have a day job that pays the bills better than being a musician.  So Dan thinks up of All Night Long  it's a shuffle beat, not one of my favorite type of beats, and I didn't work much up a sweat playing it.  Very simple, ride the cymbal and do a roll or two but it was worth the wait to finally get to play alongside these guys.  Another thing to cross off the bucket list.  And we managed to chat a bit before going home and grabbing a copy of Brook's Surf Zombies LP.  I still hope that the next time I can jam a bit more than one song with these guys, but Dan is right by saying I should have spoken up sooner than later.  This passiveness tends to bite you in the ass if you get too passive.

Even for one song, I loved every moment of it.