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)

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