Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Week In Review: J.Geils, Hall Of Fame notes, Ann Shaw

(From Ultimate Classic Rock)

Been busy doing other things but the highlight of the Rock Hall Of Fame honors had to be Geddy Lee playing bass on Roundabout with YES. While that is going on, Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman renamed themselves YES featuring ARW.  And basically the official YES band had to consent, since Jon Anderson owns part of the name.   Other notes was seeing Journey reunite with Steve Perry on stage, with Ainsley Dunbar being part of the band and Greg Rolie.  While Perry was gracious with the honor and thanking each and everybody of the band, he didn't take the stage.  However, Neil Schon did find time to add Dunbar and Rolie into part of Journey set.  David Letterman did give the speech inducting Pearl Jam. And of course ELO and Joan Baez had their moments too.

(Photo:AP) (L to R: Steve Smith, Ross Valory, Anysley Dunbar, Greg Rolie, Neil Schon, Jon Cain)

(plus the other guy: Steve Perry, Photo:Getty Images)

John Warren Geils, aka J.Geils who played in his namesake band was found dead in his home Tuesday, he was 71.  He was part of the blues rock band that made the classic Live Full House album of 1973.  While they had hits for Atlantic, their career took over, going over to EMI America for three albums, best known was Freeze Frame which had their number 1 hit Centerfold, which featured Martha Quinn as one of the girls in the video.  Of course MTV played that video every hour on the hour and that song remains a Corporate Rock Staple.  After Peter Wolf left for a solo career, the band made one album and broke up, Geils joining up with Magic Dick to do a few blues albums.  When the band got back together, Geils filed a lawsuit trying to stop them from using J Geils Band name but failed, to which afterward he quit the band.

Reality wise, the Failed Reality Star is shooting Tomahawk Missles at Syria and basically putting pot holes in their runway.  In the meantime, gas prices has shot up 30 cents in two weeks, which means since we have GOP oil barons running things, we'll be back up to 4 dollar gas again.  The main story was the antics of United Airlines, which continues to overbook flights and uproot people trying to get to their destination.  On a flight to Louisville, the story was that United had four workers needing to get their for some reason and United tried to bribe passengers with tepid pocket change, offering 400 dollars, then 800 dollars and still no takers.  So then a computer chose four unlucky people, one of which was a so called Doctor that had a shady past but was a good poker player, somehow he was the chosen one to which the goon squad came on board and forced him off.   Of course the CEO of United blamed the doctor for being disruptive but once social media showed what really happened he was forced to make another apology.  But no matter, the damage has been done and United sucked as a airline anyway.  Tales of lost baggage, busted guitars and the usual body searches on flight has really forced me never to fly them again.  One Arizona trip they managed to bungle my return flight home and I basically had to spend a night at Sky Harbor before getting on a late night flight and making it home just in time for the morning rush hour traffic.   Southwest is contemplating a new slogan, Southwestern: beating the competition, not our customers.  However, they been known to bump a few off the plane as well.   I didn't mind using Allegiant till they started five dollaring me to death on seat choices and carry on fees.  So in essence if I decide to hit the desert I may as well rent a car.

The new music today, I only reviewed four total and outside of wanting to hear the Chuck Berry album and Buckingham McVie, it's going to be slim pickings.  There really hasn't been much out there that has impressed me all that much.  Sometimes something will come out of the way in internet land and perhaps one of the better songs I heard comes from Scotland born, Hawaii based rock and roller Ann Shaw, who's latest single In Drive, could basically be played on country radio as well.  I'd love to hear more songs from her. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ys71yKH272o

(Photo: Ann Shaw Music)

Come to think of it, Ann might have better luck getting this on Country Radio, given how lame Modern Rock has become.   Best of luck Ann.  You can find her at Facebook, she's very good at responding to your requests as well.   Plus she has plenty of pictures of her as well.

Since I have been working the past couple weeks, I have not have much time doing the Bargain Hunts and Half Priced Books hasn't had much in the dollar bins.  But there's always next week.

Changes continue for the New Bo District, which means I may have to find a new path to do my walking at since they have plans to turn the green area which has been that way since the flood of 2008 into more pricey condos and apartments.  Plans call for extending 16th Avenue to St. Wincelaus Church, with of course another roundabout as well.  Guess we don't have enough of the fucking things as is. It also brings up finally turning the abandoned Sinclair bridge (half eaten away by the 2008 flood) into a walk/bike trail bridge, all fun and good till the next big flood comes around.  I will miss walking on the old sidewalks that used to be in front of my friend's house Dennis Pusateri's and more memories lost in the name of progress.  All this crap slated to be done by the end of the year.

More passings:  Banner Thomas, bass player for Molly Hatchet died from Pneumonia Tuesday.  He was 63.  Keni Richards, drummer for Autograph died from a short illness on Monday, he was 60.
Bob Wooten, long time guitarist for Johnny Cash's Tennessee Three replacing Wayne Perkins died Sunday, He was 75.

It seems to me that all but Dave Hlubek and Steve Roland from the original Molly Hatchet band are now jamming in the great beyond.  Banner Thomas joins, Duane Roland, Danny Joe Brown, Bruce Crump and Riff West, and if you can hear the wind just right, you can hear the beginning of Flirting With Disaster.

Rock Candy the metal reissue import label has taken the task of reissuing the last three Columbia albums from Frank Marino,  What's Next, The Power Of Rock And Roll and Juggernaut.  While fans might be happy to finally get these albums, Marino distanced himself and cited ongoing problems with Sony Music and  didn't contributed his thoughts on the subject.  Thing about this is that Marino said the recording masters were subpar and he's right.  What's Next suffered greatly from a very tinny and distorted mix and Power Of Rock And Roll was not much better.  If you look at the history of Frank's albums starting with Maxoom, he was more into the guitar playing side of things.  Maxoom is still somewhat corny as Frank demonstrated  a love of Axis: Bold As Love Hendrix but Child Of The Novelty and Strange Universe I consider to be his best albums.  Frank continues to promote these albums over the Columbia LP, starting with Mahogany Rush 4 up till Juggernaut album. On his website Frank has warmed up better on The Power Of Rock And Roll although he's still not a fan of the title track or wanker cover art, but if given a better remaster or mix the record would be a better listen.  All three albums are a good three star rating.

Marshall Chess on Chuck Berry's Funeral: http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/features/7760376/marshall-chess-chuck-berry-funeral-interview

Ten Best J. Geils Band Songs:

It's easy to stick Centerfold up at number one, but since I have a disdain for it, you won't see it on my ten best.  In essence that song did change the band to MTV wonderkinds and it may have to do with the implosion of the band.  Plus it didn't help they were on EMI America, the worst label to be on.  So what to decide on the best of the bunch?  The songs that got me interested in the first place.  Centerfold remains a fun song, likewise Freeze Frame but I'm sick of hearing both.  Your 10 best will vary.

1)  First I Look At The Purse (Live Full House)
While people say the Blow Your Face Out was the better of the live albums, Full House was much rougher and to the point.  The studio version hinted what the band could be, the live version shows why J. Geils Band and Peter Wolf were the best live acts at that time.  You can make a case for Looking For A Love.

2)  Give It To Me- (Bloodshot)

The single version and the album version are different. The album version cuts into a major jam, but the single version sounded quite nice on AM radio too.

3)  Looking For A Love-(The Morning After)

The song that I first heard by these guys and it was played on WLS.  None of the stations played this song.  I think I'm more prone into the guys wailing it out back in the early 70s rather than the MTV era.

4)  Rage In The Cage (Freeze Frame)

The only song from that album that echoes from the past with raging harmonica and call and response from the band.  It was a B side to Centerfold.

5)  I Don't Need You No More (The Morning After)

Actually the single before Looking For A Love but got pulled at the last minute, it's your typical Geils rocker and perhaps Whammer Jammer, might have been the better choice.  But those Rave ups that this band did will win me over more so than Harmonica Jams.

6)  Ain't Nothing But A House Party (Bloodshot)

This band always had an open ear to cover other songs of note and they chose this obscure cut from the Show Stoppers, this got played a few times on FM radio.

7)  I Do (Monkey Island)

Another cover from another unknown band The Marvellows, this originally was on Monkey Island, to which that album begins the transition from bar band to a more modern rock sound.  Monkey Island sold very poorly and eventually Atlantic dropped this band.  This became a modest hit on the Showtime live album in 1982.

8)  One Last Kiss (Sanctuary)

After being let go by Atlantic, they signed on to EMI America and they made a underground classic record with Sanctuary to which the band expanded on what they were doing on the Monkey Island.  It turned out to be a fine song with a hooky chorus.  I don't have this as a single but I did find the two followups, Take It Back and Wildman for a quarter when Sam Goody was getting rid of unwanted 45s.

9)  I Musta Gotten Lost (Nightmares And Tales From The Vinyl Jungle)

Again, the single version and album version differ, I never heard the album version till I bought Nightmares and promptly liked it more.  Most radio stations still play the single cut.  J. Geils Band were perfect at creating the R and B sound when they wanted to and this original does pay tribute to the soul bands of long ago and far away.

10)  Love Stinks (Love Stinks)

With Love Stinks, J. Geils Band went full bore into new wave and while fans and critics were scratching their heads over that move, they did managed to put some interesting stuff on this album, including the anti Valentine's Day number that gets played from time to time.

Honorable Mentions:

No Anchovies Please (Love Stinks)
Stoop Down 39 (Nightmares)
Love Itis (Hot Line)
Whammer Jammer (Full House)
Freeze Frame (Freeze Frame)
Detroit Breakdown (Nightmares)
Cry One More Time (The Morning After)
Hard Driving Man (The J. Geils Band)
Southside Shuffle (Bloodshot)
Monkey Island (Monkey Island)

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