TICKETS TORN IN HALF: January 16,1971- HOT TUNA/TAJ MAHAL/ BRETHREN @ FILLMORE EAST

According to my friends I possess a somewhat eclectic taste in music and by my constantly seeking out new shows to attend, sometimes it is difficult to find an accompanist who would enjoy what I was going to see/listen to. This show was one of those nights. HOT TUNA (Jorma and Jack) was on a semi-official departure from JEFFERSON AIRPLANE, a band I was fascinated with.The last two times watching the Airplane, one night at Suffolk Community where there was more TUNA than AIRPLANE, and their last November Thanksgiving run at FILLMORE EAST when HOT TUNA did a complete set outshining the (newer) AIRPLANE, I was ready for this, HOT TUNA. Seems like most of my guy friends had plans or worse case scenario, had no interest in this particular show. So, a good friend, a woman accompanied me to FILLMORE EAST for HOT TUNA, TAJ MAHAL and BRETHEN. Brethren was a band out of New York, and a friend of mine knew one of the members so that connection made me pay close attention to what they were doing. They were alright, just alright, but somehow in the next few months they continued to pop up on the bills of other shows I attended. I learned to appreciate that band when I became familiar with their stuff.

TAJ MAHAL on the other hand was noteworthy from the git-go. He slipped out on stage, sat on a stool, and started to play a National Steel guitar. While slowly working through his repertoire other members of the band “appeared” without announcement of fanfare,  to the point were there were four tubas on the stage accompanying him. FOUR TUBAS. It was mind blowing. Besides Taj his band consisted of HOWARD JOHNSON on tuba (later to be musical director for SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE), JOHN HALL (later of ORLEANS fame and update NY politics) on guitar, JOHN SIMON, piano (producer of THE BAND’s “Music From Big Pink”, BIG BROTHER’S Cheap Thrills, BLOOD,SWEAT and TEARS “Child is the Father To The Man” and other recordings) and ROCKY DziDzournu on congas, a standout in my memory as  he was the cat who takes THE STONES’ “Sympathy For The Devil” to new heights, along with a host of other musicians, totaling ten players on stage.Great stuff . A month later, at the same venue TAJ MAHAL is back to record his live album.

To close out the night, Hot Tuna which was now ELECTRIC HOT TUNA was ear shattering loud, to say the least, and being seated second row on the left directly in front of a huge bank of speakers…LOUD.Will Scarlett on harp, the aforementioned JORMA KAUKONEN on guitar, JACK CASADY, my favorite bass player, SAMMY PIAZZA, a (adequate) drummer (I miss Spencer Dryden) and PAPA JOHN CREACH from the AIRPLANE on violin/fiddle. The boys were on fire. Overall, it was another great night at FILLMORE EAST, a truly great night.

Set list from TUNABASE.com

Fillmore East, New York, NY

Water Song

Been So Long

That’ll Never Happen No More

Keep On Truckin’

Trial By Fire

Sea Child

Milk Train

Feel So Good

Come Back Baby

Papa’s Jam *

TICKETS TORN IN HALF- Terry Reid @ Bitter End January 1974

January 1974
Date unknown early 1974: TERRY REID at Bitter End: Terry was hiding for the last two years from Mickey Most, as was “most” of his roster of artists.After basing himself in California with the likes of David Lindley and Graham Nash, Terry returns with a new look, a new record company and a new collection of tunes. Using my limited connection at Atlantic I received two press passes for Terry Reid at The Bitter End. David Lindley was and is an amazing guitarist, anything with strings he can master,saw him with Jackson Browne at PHILHARMONIC HALL a few months ago and Terry was in great voice this night. At one point Terry dropped his slide which rolled out to my seat. After the show I picked the slide up, sought out a stage guy to return it. He said ,“Terry’s right back there”. Bingo, Terry answers the door and is most thankful. The pictures on Terry’s website from THE BITTER END gig, both on stage and backstage are mine.

Human Be-In:San Francisco- January 14, 1967

One event started what later became the SUMMER OF LOVE. Fifty-one years ago today, it was the celebration entitled “the HUMAN BE-IN” at Golden Gate Park in January of 67, an idea of MICHAEL BOWEN the avant-garde artist and co-founder of THE ORACLE, a premier “underground” newspaper which kicked off everything. This”Be-In”inspired the play HAIR: The American Tribal Love -Rock Musical by Rado and Ragni. Also, TIMOTHY LEARY asked the attendees to “turn on,tune in,drop out”.About 30,000 attended.

The mainstream media picked up the story, highlighting Tim Leary, the drugs (LSD and mushrooms), the clothing and the music. These photos and images were shown on the nightly news. TIME magazine ran a cover story on THE HIPPIES and even CBS NEWS had a special report that August.This influx of “flower children” arrived to the 25 square block area of San Francisco with the cross streets , the intersection of it all HAIGHT-ASHBURY.

With psychedelic music and drugs prevalent, one could only predict that the future of THE HAIGHT would not be so rosy or happy. Homelessness, drug abuse, poverty became rampant. The BEE GEES even wrote a song, MASSACHUSETTS, in response to what was happening in SAN FRANCISCO, a ditty about someone who lost the vision, the hope, and was homesick.

Yet, the SUMMER OF LOVE despite its misgivings gave us a great soundtrack for that time and for years to come: THE WHO, JIMI HENDRIX, BIG BROTHER and THE HOLDING COMPANY, COUNTRY JOE and THE FISH,THE ELECTRIC FLAG,QUICKSILVER MESSENGER SERVICE,STEVE MILLER,MOBY GRAPE,HUGH MASEKELA,THE BYRDS,LAURA NYRO,JEFFERSON AIRPLANE,BOOKER T and THE MG’s,OTIS REDDING, THE BLUES PROJECT,BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD and the organizers of Monterey Pop THE MAMAS & THE PAPAS.

Grace.

ON THE TURNTABLE: January 12, 1969-Led Zeppelin-LED ZEPPELIN aka Len Zefflin

WHATEVER BECAME OF LEN ZEFFLIN?

scan 3

Ah, the joys of being an opening act for a major rock band. Consider the following: you are four young men from England, traveling together for the first time as a new up and coming act. Since your band has been recently signed to a major record label, say, ATLANTIC RECORDS, it has been decided by shared management that you will tour with a label mate of some renown, The VANILLA FUDGE. It’s late 1968 and THE FUDGE is, well, still relying on their remake of THE SUPREMES “You Keep Me Hanging On” to put hineys in the seats. You meet up on the west coast for your scheduled romp across The States, 41 dates, with fees ranging from a low $320.00 to a high of $1500.00. At some point your band will leave THE FUDGE and finish the short tour opening for IRON BUTTERFLY of “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” fame.So, who or what is this band?

Ladies and Gentlemen…LEN ZEFFLIN. (cue applause). In short order,club owners will know how to spell the name for they will make some headlines, in one year’s time they will release two noteworthy albums, and in two years time they will be the biggest concert draw in America.

1968/1969:

For those who only know of the power and popularity of Led Zeppelin of latter days, let me take you back to a time before their very first album hit the stands.

Jimmy Page was one of the “three”, the triumvirate of rock guitarist gods who moseyed through a British band of some renown named THE YARDBIRDS. This band ,who legend states took their name from Charlie YARDBIRD Parker was somewhat known in the USA, but more popular in their homeland of Great Britain. Without giving the long history of the Yardbirds let’s just say they got a CRAWDADDY (a club) gig when the spot was vacated by THE ROLLING STONES, a band on the move. Eric Clapton was the YARDBIRDS guitarist at that time who became uncomfortable with the band veering away from it’s blues roots, heading into a pop direction. Clapton leaves and suggest Jimmy Page take his spot. Page was the “go to studio guitarist” at the time and didn’t want to vacate that profitable role, so PAGE suggested JEFF BECK who took the gig.

With BECK’s influence the YARDBIRDS moved toward a psychedelic route with fuzz tones, feedback, and overall guitar virtuosity. By 1966 JEFF BECK was voted Melody Maker’s GUITARIST OF THE YEAR.When the bass player drops out of The Yardbirds JIMMY PAGE steps in for a spell. When a new bassist is recruited PAGE stays on for a BECK/PAGE new dual guitar attack approach. Beck gets sick, misses a few gigs and ultimately leaves the band to Page.With the lead singer Keith Relf’s alcoholism and the band not having any more hits, as well as with the rise of CREAM and JIMI HENDRIX, soon most of The Yardbirds disappeared, leaving Jimmy Page with the name. To fulfill  some contractual commitments,with a new manager PETER GRANT on board, the band hits the road as THE NEW YARDBIRDS.

Page had recruited TERRY REID as vocalist but he, with a new MICKIE MOST contract, could not leave. Reid suggested a friend, ROBERT PLANT who brought along his drummer friend JOHN BONHAM. Page called his studio buddy JOHN PAUL JONES for bass and keyboards and after a short tour of Scandinavia, the NEW YARDBIRDS hit the studio to record what would become LED ZEPPELIN’s debut.

The album is released January 12,1969. Some of the tunes hit the New York FM airwaves after the band’s now legendary performance as the opening act for IRON BUTTERFLY at FILLMORE EAST January 31 and February 1, 1969, this being Led Zeppelin’s first US tour. Pete my buddy at Dubbings Electronics attended one of those shows that weekend. He raved about this new band who blew Iron Butterfly off the stage, leaving Iron Butterfly to play just one song, their hit IN A GADDA DA VIDA, and according to Pete, Led Zeppelin came back out due to the booing of Butterfly and the calls for “more” Zeppelin. I have never been able to verify that but Pete said it,so…it must be true.

A few days later while at work Pete asked me to join him to see LED ZEPPELIN at THE SCENE a club in Manhattan. With little provocation I agreed to go to the Wednesday night show. But alas, the shows were cancelled due to John Bonham’s son falling at home in England and Bonham was needed there. So, I made due by purchasing LED ZEPPELIN and listening to the debut album, over and over again.

January 12,1969: LED ZEPPELIN is released.I almost burnt that record out. It was on heavy rotation with JETHRO TULL’s “This Was” on my turntable.Geez, it was so good in early 1969, and is still a good listen today.Nothing like it at the time. Dump the cd, get the vinyl.

ON THE TURNTABLE- Best of 1969

ON THE TURNTABLE -1969:

Putting out my BEST OF for this past year made me nostalgic in a way. So I dug out some listings from yesteryear and over the next few weeks I’ll post a few.My brother and I actual compiled lists of our favorite records but this listing is from most of the records I bought that year, in no particular order or preference.

It’s 1969 and my record collection was growing in leaps and bounds. Seems like the more money I had the more records I bought. However, my stereo was not what one would expect of a serious record collector.  I was using an old split speaker (in a case) record player propped up on my desk. But hey, the sucker did the job. That and my portable single speaker cassette player tucked along side my portable PANASONIC AM/FM stereo radio made up my “sound system”. I also had an AM/FM radio bedside. A friend had a huge stereo unit, one with humongous speakers,a turntable with a “stylus” no less, but alas he had virtually no records, always borrowing mine.

Records In My Rotation throughout that year included:

The debut album from LED ZEPPELIN “Led Zeppelin”, I bought this early on in the year after a recommendation from my work buddy, Pete, who saw this “unknown” band open for IRON BUTTERFLY. This album was amazing and it took me a few days to realize that this JIMMY PAGE was the same JIMMY PAGE from THE YARDBIRDS. Later, in the year after its release and after seeing the band live twice I copped LED ZEPPELIN II. Geez, these recordings were unique, and the band was …WOW.

THE BEATLES “Abbey Road” was and still is a hard listen for me, yet when it first was released I played it continuously, usually picking out a song or two before moving on to some other record .It was probably the Harrison tunes that I liked the most.

THE WHO “Tommy” is another difficult record to listen to all the way through, but that year I did see the band perform “Tommy” in its entirety twice, and I must say, live WHO was better than any record.

KING CRIMSON’S “In The Court Of The Crimson King”was/is a great record, one that for its time was truly original. This band blew me away when I saw them in the fall of 69, opening for FLEETWOOD MAC and JOE COCKER. After their 34 minute set, I bought the album the next payday. Speaking of FLEETWOOD MAC “Then Play On”( their 3rd album) drew me to see them live and I became a PETER GREEN fan that night. This collection showed the originals of the name sake take their blues influenced and mostly refurbished recordings a step further. I must have recited the opening of  “Oh, Well-Part 1” a million times to friends, to the point where I was annoying. I still am, say some. And JOE COCKER’s “With A Little Help From My Friends” which I grabbed in the early summer after hearing some of his tunes on the radio and before seeing him and THE GREASE BAND open for The AIRPLANE at FILLMORE EAST was a goodie, but again, live he was a trip.

Also, there was NEIL YOUNG’s masterpiece “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere”, along with FRANK ZAPPA’s “Hot Rats” which help change my musical perspective and soon led me to CAPTAIN BEEFHEART  “Trout Mask Replica”.

Two debuts, one from CROSBY, STILLS AND NASH, a summer hit and Blind Faith’s one and only official release, which I thought was a mess, as was their show at MADISON SQUARE GARDEN. “Nashville Skyline” by BOB DYLAN was a pleasant surprise, even my POP liked it, well, it had JOHNNY CASH on it.THE FLYING BURRITO BROS “Gilded Palace of Sin” was a good pick up and  ISAAC HAYES’ “Hot Buttered Soul” arrived unannounced when I did not respond in time to a record company selection deadline but boy was I glad I got that gem. CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY’s debut double set before they shortened their name to CHICAGO, and coincidentally was the only record I ever bought by them. JETHRO TULL’s “Stand Up” was a mainstay on the turntable along with the profane MC5’s “Kick Out The Jams” which was played on minimal volume as not to upset the parents. And then there was the profanity nestled in JEFFERSON AIRPLANE’s “Volunteers” another record which kept a low profile when played.

I practiced my drums listening to  THE GRATEFUL DEAD’s “Live Dead” but was not enthused with The DOORS “Soft Parade”, and

PINK FLOYD’s Ummagumma was, well, just listen to “Careful With That Axe ,Eugene” and wonder why my Mom would yell, “What is that? Please, no more.” She didn’t particularly enjoy THE STOOGES “The Stooges”, either, no matter how many times I played it. Speaking of Mom’s taste, THE VELVET UNDERGROUND “The Velvet Underground” was more to her liking as was THE KINKS “Arthur”.

JOHN MAYALL’s “Turning Point” was bought the same day as PHAROAH SANDER’s “Karma”, late 1969. Both late night incense burning albums.

and of course, THE ROLLING STONES Beggar’s Banquet which never left my turntable and the follow-up release Let It Bleed (see blog Oct. 20, 2018)

PROCUL HARUM’s “A Salty Dog” which was actually my kid brother’s record found it’s way into my room many a night, along with his SLY and The FAMILY STONE’s “Stand” and JANIS JOPLIN’s “I Got Dem Ole Kosmic Blues Again Mama” but not any of his CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL or his “Odessa” by THE BEE GEES. Just the red felt cover on that one turned my stomach. Continue reading

ON THE TURNTABLE:(My) Best of 2018

Mine for 2018-

#1: JOHN COLTRANE- “Both Directions At Once” -The missing link the critics say. The best release, should be all of my TOP TEN as nothing comes close, nothing will, its COLTRANE guys.

#2: ROSANNE CASH- “She Remembers Everything”- Five years is along time to wait but here it is, a sentimental favorite for me as my brother loved him some Rosanne Cash.“From this point on there’s nothing certain/except there’s not many miles to go,”…

#3: RICHARD THOMPSON- “13 Rivers”-According to Stephen M. Deusner in PITCHFORK.com “After fifty years and nearly twenty solo albums, the low-key guitar god finds new ways to renew old sentiments as a singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist on what may be his best album this century.” Who am I to disagree?

#4:DAVID BYRNE-“American Utopia” David Byrne drives me crazy, and me thinks he does it on purpose. Each outing is different from the previous one but is actually the same, sorta. I loved T Heads, still do.My brother and I had most everything they did, demos, bootlegs, singles, rarities, etc and  I also have (vinyl) ENO and his runs with 801, et.al. So this recording is  a bit of all those and others.It’s has day to day lifetime themes,but not necessarily our life scenes.”Everybody’s Coming to My House”,”Every Day Is A Miracle” and then finally, “Here” “Here too many sounds for your brain to comprehend / Here the sound gets organized into things that make some sense / Here is something we call elucidation / Is it the truth? Or merely a description?” Whew…

#5:FRANK TURNER-“Be More Kind”- Just the one tune “Let’s Make America Great Again” should piss off a few of THE NUT PATROL but I don’t care. Here is an Englishman who knows how fucked up we, THE USA,  have been since November 8,2016.

From nme.com: Frank Turner spends his seventh album considering the dire state of the world from multiple angles and, unlike the tidal wave of terrified tin-pot politics plonked incongruously in the middle of every alt-rock album for the past eighteen months, he even proffers some tentative answers.‘Be More Kind’ opens with ‘Don’t Worry’, a reassuring gospel-folk plea for sanity, calm and human connection – rather than social-media isolation – in a world gone wild. “I don’t know what I’m doing, no-one has a clue,” Frank tells Britain’s bewildered generation, “but you’ll figure it out, I might too”. From there he spends the opening half of the record tackling Brexit and Trump with a passion and vitriol that he’s recently only been directing at himself – with inspiring results. ‘1933’ astutely likens the West’s poverty-inspired rightwards swing to Hitler’s ascent to power by blaming immigrants for the desperate state of early-‘30s Germany; amid some of Turner’s fieriest rabble-rock bluster, he reflects the confusion and ignorance of the age. “I don’t know what’s going on anymore!” he yells, though he clearly does: “Don’t go mistaking your house burning down for the dawn,” Turner warns, “be suspicious of simple answers, that shit’s for fascists and maybe teenagers”. A few tracks later he addresses Trump’s ascendance and the moral decline of America on ‘Let’s Make America Great Again’. Frank’s solution: “Making racists ashamed again/Let’s make compassion in fashion again”.

#6-#10 in No Particular Order

MITSKI -“Be A Cowboy”

JAYHAWKS-‘Back Roads and Random Motels

BOZ SCAGGS-“Out of the Blues”

COURTNEY BARNETT- “Tell Me How You Really Feel”

LUCERO- “Among The Ghosts”

Re-issues(all vinyl)

THE BEATLES- The Beatles

JEFF BUCKLEY- Live at SinE

BOB DYLAN- More Blood On The Tracks

THE KINKS- Village Green Preservation Society

and new but old…

RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE-Live and Rare

TICKETS TORN IN HALF:Neil Young-Solo @Carnegie Hall-January 9,2014

January 9,2014: NEIL YOUNG Solo @ Carnegie Hall

Including stints with CSNY, Crazy Horse, Booker T and The MG’s, and solo I have seen Neil Young perform nine times and this was by far one of the best.Neil, his guitars, keyboards, harmonicas, and a slightly nasty attitude toward the audience members whom were yelling out requests, he was in a zone. Two sets with a slight intermission, and a few encores, while the tickets were expensive, they were worth every penny.

From Billboard: But the highlight of the evening was the sheer strength of the performances of the classic material. Young played versions of songs like “Only Love Can Break Your Heart,” “Ohio,” “Old Man,” “After the Gold Rush” and “Comes A Time” as powerfully and cleanly as you’ve ever heard him play those songs. Performances of 30 or 40-year old songs are rarely so breathtaking and compelling. The gravitas of the venue was a likely contributor to that feeling, but a room can’t carry an entire performance. The credit for that goes entirely to Neil Young, who, at age 68, still has an abundance of grit and fortitude. These songs are giants, and at Carnegie Hall, they were performed as such.

Set 1:

From Hank to Hendrix

Helpless (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song)

On the Way Home (Buffalo Springfield song)

Only Love Can Break Your Heart

Love in Mind

Birds

Mellow My Mind

Are You Ready for the Country

Someday

Changes (Phil Ochs cover)

Harvest

Old Man

Set 2:

Goin’ Back

A Man Needs a Maid

Ohio (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song)

Southern Man

Needle of Death (Bert Jansch cover)

The Needle and the Damage Done

Harvest Moon

Flying on the Ground Is Wrong (Buffalo Springfield song) After the Gold Rush

Journey Through the Past

Heart of Gold

Encore:

Comes a Time

Long May You Run (The Stills-Young Band song)

ON THE TURNTABLE: TOP 40 LPs of 1979: Courtesy of VILLAGE VOICE

ON THE TURNTABLE: TOP 40 LPs of 1979: Courtesy of VILLAGE VOICE

Every January since 1965 my brother, KEVIN PATRICK and I would exchange lists of our favorite albums of the year. We both had eclectic tastes for teens. He tried to steer me toward MOTOWN records while I dragged him through Anglophile and English blues related groups. After we secured each others lists we would search far and wide to find published lists to see which of us garnered more points in the standings, which we made up: 20 points for #1, one point for #20, etc. As time went on others joined our small collective of nut jobs. Twenty plus years ago a college friend of my brother’s started an organized group and actually publishes the sometimes embarrassing results , but all in good fun.

My kid brother passed away in February at age 64 after a long fight with cancer and cancer related heart issues. Seems the chemo of the 70’s slowly wore away the walls to his heart. Up until his last breath he was a true collector of all kinds of music, and his lists each year reflected it.This is my first year without his list.

Searching my archives I found how strange our 1979 listing had us in almost a virtual tie. The scoring criteria that year and for many other years was the work of Robert Christgau and his annual BEST OF. Thank you Bob for all the years of enjoyment,and I hope you are not offended that I publish it here.PS: My brother beat me out with THE SHOES and THE BUZZCOCKS. We both had THE CLASH and ELVIS COSTELLO in the top 3, a balancing act for our totals. Neither of us had AIR.

1. The Clash (Epic) 18. 2. Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Rust Never Sleeps (Reprise) 17. 3. Pere Ubu: Dub Housing (Chrysalis) 14. 4. Van Morrison: Into the Music (Warner Bros.) 11. 5. Air: Air Lore (Arista Novus) 11. 6. Graham Parker & the Rumour: Squeezing Out Sparks(Arista) 9. 7. The B-52s (Warner Bros.) 5. 8. Nick Lowe: Labour of Lust (Columbia) 5. 9. The Roches (Warner Bros.) 5. 10. Arthur Blythe: Lenox Avenue Breakdown (Columbia) 5.

11. Tom Verlaine (Elektra). 12. Donna Summer: Bad Girls (Casablanca). 13. Talking Heads: Fear of Music (Sire). 14. Wreckless Eric: The Whole Wide World (Stiff). 15. The Only Ones: Special View (Epic). 16. Shoes: Present Tense (Elektra). 17. James Monroe H.S. Presents Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band Goes to Washington (Elektra). 18. The Buzzcocks: Singles Going Steady (I.R.S.). 19. Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Live Rust (Reprise). 20. Marianne Faithful: Broken English (Island).

21. Linton Kwesi Johnson: Forces of Victory (Mango). 22. Dave Edmunds: Repeat When Necessary (Swan Song). 23. Fashion: Product Perfect (I.R.S.). 24. James Brown: The Original Disco Man (Polydor). 25. Gary Numan & Tubeway Army: Replicas (Atco). 26. Michael Jackson: Off the Wall (Epic). 27. Culture: International Herb (Virgin Internatioal). 28. Chic: Good Times (Atlantic). 29. Millie Jackson: Live and Uncensored (Polydor). 30. Living Chicago Blues Volume 1 (Alligator).

31. Lene Lovich: Stateless (Stiff/Epic). 32. Tom Robinson Band: TRB Two (Harvest). 33. James Blood: Tales of Captain Black (Artists House). 34. Cory Daye: Cory and Me (New York International). 35. Mutiny: Mutiny on the Mamaship (Columbia). 36. Steel Pulse: Tribute to the Martyrs (Mango). 37. Blondie: Eat to the Beat (Chrysalis). 38. Roxy Music: Manifesto (Atlantic). 39. George Jones: My Very Special Guests (Epic). 40. Elvis Costello: Armed Forces (Columbia).

TICKETS TORN IN HALF: After The Springfield- Three Nights with CSN&Y

After Buffalo Springfield:CSN&Y

Winter was slowly turning into Spring of1967, while me as a 15 year old spent some afternoons watching “WHERE THE ACTION IS” with its usual cast of characters featuring the likes of PAUL REVERE and THE RAIDERS,DON and THE GOODTIMES,when the show’s host Dick Clark introduces a new group, BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD.Two night later the same band is on THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR. A few weeks hence, same guys (or so I thought at the time-see bass player arrested) wearing cowboy hats and fringed leather jackets were on HOLLYWOOD PALACE (verified by angelfire.com).Who are these guys? More importantly, Where do I get their music?

In short order I have their 45, “For What It’s Worth” b/w “Do I Have To Come Right Out And Say It?”. Not enough, I needed more. So I hop on the bus to the neighboring TSS store which had a great record department. There I pick up a mono copy of the band’s first album but while at the register the guy behind the counter informed me this collection in hand did NOT have the “For What It’s Worth” single on it.He suggested I pick up the newer copies, the ones with “Newest Hit Single Included” sticker on it, to which I did.Looking back, as I vinyl record collector I wish I would have purchased the original copy, worth a few bucks today. Anyway,I digress, this is where my Neil Young, and in many parts Stills and Furay, story begins…I loved listening to the Buffalo Springfield, however short their time in the limelight was.

POST SPRINGFIELD:

SEPTEMBER 20,1969: CROSBY, STILLS, NASH and YOUNG/ LONNIE MACK @ FILLMORE EAST

During the Summer of 1969 I purchased 2 tickets to see CROSBY, STILLS and NASH who would be headlining a bill with COUNTRY JOE for the weekend of July 25/26 (3 weeks BEFORE Woodstock)at FILLMORE EAST.Great seats arrived. Their debut album was on heavy rotation on my turntable and needless to say I was excited to see them live.But as fate would have it, they cancelled.Then mid-August, a FILLMORE EAST ad in THE VILLAGE VOICE announced shows for September and October. BINGO, Crosby Stills and Nash were advertised but it included Neil Young a part of the group???“Seriously”, I thought, “no way they added NEIL YOUNG”!!! Oh, I must go. Great seats, fourth row center arrived.

Now, its’s a month after Woodstock and here they are, CSN&YOUNG. Ahhhhh… The opening act, Lonnie Mack was playing his legendary Flying V Gibson offering a very tasty, short and sweet set. Along with 2600 others I waited patiently as the crew prepared the equipment for the next act. A Hammond B-3, huge drum riser, plenty of different models and types of amps, racks of beautiful guitars, and more microphones then I ever saw graced the stage.Bill Graham did the intro and the band (CSN) seated on strolls, playing acoustic guitars kicked off with the album’s opening track, Suite:JudyBlue Eyes. After a few more tunes a bass player and drummer join in as did NEIL YOUNG. What was already a great show, a 10 out of 10, but once Neil Young plugged in he pushed the band into the stratosphere. The highlights of the night for me were Broken Arrow, Wooden Ships and the closer, Down By The River.

Set List:

SUITE: JUDY BLUE EYES

BLACKBIRD (Beatles cover)

HELPLESSLY HOPING

GUINNEVERE

LADY OF THE ISLAND

GO BACK HOME

4+20

ON THE WAY HOME

BROKEN ARROW

I’VE LOVED HER SO LONG

YOU DON’T HAVE TO CRY

Second Set:

PRE-ROAD DOWNS

LONG TIME GONE

BLUEBIRD REVISITED

SEA OF MADNESS

WOODEN SHIPS

DOWN BY THE RIVER
Nine months later, a life time for an 18 year old in 1970: JUNE 7: CROSBY, STILLS, NASH and YOUNG

Earlier that spring Bill Graham announced the listing of shows booked for the remainder of the season. He also told the crowd that a new FILLMORE EAST sound system would be installed over the summer, as if this place needed a new one, already having the best system around.  One of the announced shows was a six night engagement featuring Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, no opening act, one show per night at 9PM. These tickets sold out in an unprecedented time. My SASE returned without tickets, a true first for me. I was disappointed but hey, I saw them once.

The Friday night of the CSNY run I attended my girlfriend’s senior prom. There at the table, the 8 of us, four couples, vowed to attend the next night’s show. Even if we did not get tickets we would stay outside listening to the music. Arriving early in hopes of scoring tickets we wandered around the famed venue in our attempt to get tickets. But to no avail. Our lady friends took it upon themselves to wait on line for “stand by” tickets. The show was scheduled for 9PM, and the box office usually released the “stand by” tickets about an hour before show time.  However, tonight was different as the woman in the ticket booth, after listening to our girl’s tale of woe took pity on them. The girls bought two tickets each, totaling eight tickets, all seated together in the fourth row center.

The CSNY show was recorded each night and the best performances from that week were compiled and released a few months later as FOUR WAY STREET. Our show started with solo sets from each performer doing a few of the classic tunes they were known for. KING MIDAS IN REVERSE, a HOLLIES classic was done by Nash. Stephen Stills did manic solo piano work on 49 BYE BYES, Crosby scored with TRIAD. But for me the highlight was acoustic Neil Young. Geez, what a great start to a show. And the band didn’t even do their collective electric set yet. It only got better.

Acoustic Set:

Suite:Judy Blues Eyes

Blackbird

On the Way Home

Teach Your Children

Tell Me Why

Triad

Guinnevere

Another Sleep Song

Man in the Mirror

Don’t Let It Bring You Down

The Loner

Cinnamon Girl

Down By The River

Black Queen

49 Bye-Byes

America’s Children

Love the One You’re With

Electric Set:

Pre-Road Downs

Long Time Gone

Helplessly Hoping

Southern Man

As I Come of Age

Ohio

Carry On

Encore:

Woodstock

Find the Cost of Freedom

36 Years Later:

I lost interest in CSN and/or CSNY as a collective unit early on, probably about the time I first saw the NEW YORK DOLLS. Somehow, guys sitting on a stool playing acoustic guitars made little sense to my rock n roll mind. Don’t get me wrong, I would go see Neil Young at the drop of a hat and did many times. Stills, once solo at a good show in Tramps, and Crosby once recently at City Winery NY, he still has the pipes. Nash showed up at the Steve Earle benefit last year, and well, best left unsaid. But 1970-2006 I had zero enthusiasm for the band(s)CSN/CSNY recorded or live. Then, my buddy’s wife bought a bank of 20 tickets expecting my bride and I would join the gang.

August 22, 2006: CSNY Freedom of Speech Tour @ Jones Beach

My notes are limited so I leave it to a review from VARIETY:

For the half of the 3½ hour show in which Young took the spotlight, you could believe that music may have the power to change events. He and a band that includes longtime Young collaborators Spooner Oldham and Ben Keith performed songs with a raggedy intensity that perfectly suits the material’s broadside emotions.

He opened the show with “Flags of Freedom,” a compassionate account of a family sending their son to fight in Iraq; they ended the second set with “Find the Cost of Freedom,” accompanied by thumbnail photos of the war’s 2,576 fatalities. He’s especially offended by the fact that President Bush has yet to attend a funeral of a fallen soldier (a fact twice mentioned on the “Living With War” news reports that run during his songs). With CSN adding their harmonies in place of the 100-voice choir on “War,” the new songs bristle with a righteous anger.

The other three never left their late ’60s/early ’70s comfort zone. You could argue that Nash’s “Military Madness” has some relevance today, but it’s hard to make that case for Crosby’s “Almost Cut My Hair” or Nash’s “Chicago” — for most people nowadays, the image of someone “bound and gagged” and “chained to a chair” does not bring up memories of Mayor Daley and the ’68 Democratic Convention. And closing the first set with “Deja Vu” only served to remind people that, yes, we all have heard this all before.

Their attitude turned protest into nothing more than a pose; it’s as if they believe that by replicating the sounds of ’60s protest, they’ll be able to ignite a similar movement today. Like one of the peace signs on their backdrop, the band is looking a little worse for wear. Nash’s voice is often strained, while Stills’ is ravaged. When he takes the lead, the results are sad to hear; unlike other singers whose voices have aged badly, he doesn’t seem to have figured out ways to get around it. On “Wounded World” and “Treetop Flyer,” he veers into Bob Dylan territory. Crosby, on the other hand, ignores all medical science, retaining his voice against all odds.

For all its faults, a show like CSNY’s brings up some intriguing questions about what protest music in the 21st century should sound like. In our more corporate time, in which record labels and radio stations tread lightly on controversial topics, perhaps only a band such as Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, which no longer cares about radio airplay and has a loyal cadre of fans, can get away with calling for the president’s impeachment and project the lyrics of Young’s indictment onto giant video screens. They may be preaching to the choir, but it’s still good to hear.

Band: David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Neil Young, Spooner Oldham, Chad Cromwell, Rick Rosas, Ben Keith, Tom Bray. Reviewed July 31, 2006.

ME: Needless to say, the bill should have read NEIL YOUNG with…

Flags of Freedom

Carry On

Wooden Ships

Long Time Gone

Military Madness

After the Garden

Living With War

The Restless Consumer

Shock and Awe

Wounded World

Almost Cut My Hair

Immigration Man

Families

Déjà Vu

SET 2

Helplessly Hoping

Our House

Only Love Can Break Your Heart

Guinnevere

Milky Way Tonight

Treetop Flyer

Roger and Out

Southbound Train

Ole Man Trouble

Carry Me

Southern Cross

Find the Cost of Freedom

ENCORE

Let’s Impeach the President

For What It’s Worth

Chicago

Ohio

What Are Their Names

Rockin’ in the Free World

ENCORE

Teach Your Children

 

 

TICKETS TORN IN HALF: January 5, 1980-ROBERT GORDON @The Silver Dollar Music Saloon, BAYSHORE,NY

TICKETS TORN IN HALF: January 5, 1980-ROBERT GORDON @The Silver Dollar Music Saloon, BAYSHORE,NY

I grew up on all kinds of music; my dad’s big band collection, some Johnny Cash, the radio hits of the 1950’s and early 1960’s which included street corner doo-wop bands, girl groups, a little folk music, some matinee idols, a few Broadway tunes tossed in, and then… February of 1964 changed everything with The BEATLES appearance on Ed Sullivan. After that it was a hop, skip, and jump to WOODSTOCK.  I along with everyone else my age experimented by listening to every type of music that was thrown my way. Late night free form FM radio influenced my listening habits and of course my purchasing habits. As the Woodstock Nation scattered away from the meadows of muddy joy and celebration, we moved on to college or gainful employment, and with that our tastes in music changed again. The Beatles broke up and corporate/ arena rock took over. Fortunately, for those of us living in New York City we had the rise of small clubs, where occasionally you could see an up-and-coming band before they hit the big time. Unfortunately, many times bands in these small clubs were expected to play the hits of the day. It was about this time in one of those small clubs that we first heard the uniqueness of The New York Dolls. That moment for me my friends changed everything. At some later date I’ll give you my meandering thoughts on what occurred with the band and of course how the band influenced others. But for now I’ll throw it out there on how the Dolls playing in clubs like Max’s Kansas City and later others in CBGB’s changed the course of music moving away from the drabness and into a new light. The Dolls even though their aspirations were to become huge, while disappointed by the lack of enthusiasm across middle America. However, they soldiered on and in doing so inspired others to form bands. This “newer wave” (sorry) of bands were diametrically opposed to the progressive rock sounds of corporate music. Mostly labeled “garage” bands, these combos consisted of drums, a bass player,a guitar player or two ,and a singer. Sometimes the label of “singer” was a stretch.

The year of the Bicentennial 1976 was a true turning point in music, especially music found in the clubs of New York City and music played on the radio. THE RAMONES first album was released and poor TOM PETTY was labeled “punk rock”, a phrase he hated all because he wore a leather jacket on the cover. The point is everything was changing, quickly. Every Tom, Dick, and Joey Ramone, all we’re looking for that moment in the sun but were looking for it in their own unique way. Bands popped up all over the place. There were duos like Suicide, trios like early Talking Heads, strange acts like the Contortionists and who can forget Wendy Williams and the Plasmatics. Life was grand. On any given night you would go out knowing you would be thoroughly entertained.Patrons of those NYC clubs were rarely if ever shocked.

All this jibber jabber is just a way for me to introduce the TUFF DARTS a band I saw a few times at CBGB’S and their short term lead singer Robert Gordon who broke away from them to concentrate on a rockabilly revival career.Shortly after the split from TUFF DARTS I met Robert Gordon in the New York City club, Hurrah, while we will both there separately to see my friends band, The Werewolves. Robert had a new look with a slicked back, high piled pompadour. He was accompanied by a gentleman in sunglasses a few years older then us whom he introduced to me. I immediately recognized the name, Link Wray, as a guitarist of some renown to say the least. Robert briefly informed me that he was working on a solo album and Link would be playing guitar. A few months later the album was released and gigs announced. For whatever reason our paths did not cross, I missed his performances with Link,and again a few years later with Chris Spedding but did get to see the January 5, 1980 performance with another guitarist of some note Danny Gatton,”the world’s best unknown guitarist”. Robert Gordon and his band did not disappoint. The sparse audience, mostly “dolls and cats” as he called them, followed him from gig to gig, dressed to the nines with men in white shirts with thin bolo ties,dolls in poodle skirts, all wearing mostly anything from the ROCKABILLY era. The show sometimes is the show, meaning the audience is ACT 1.Needless to say, it was a blast.  So ROCKABILLY was just one of the niches carved out in the mid seventies and ROBERT GORDON was one of it’s shining stars.

NYT:April 23,1978-Rob’t Palmer

During the late 50’s, the rockabillies ran into trouble. Jerry Lee Lewis was hounded out of England by the press when it was discovered that his wife was only 13 and his cousin. Carl Perkins was disabled by an automobile accident at a critical juncture his career, and never found a suitable follow‐up to “Blue Suede Shoes.” The second‐string wild men—Sonny Burgess, Billy Lee Riley—never really found a mass audience outside the South and Midwest. Elvis Presley, whose early records started it all, fell increasingly under the sway of Nashville and Hollywood. An army of bland young men, the’ Fabians and Frankie Avalons, launched a counter‐attack on cleaned‐up teen television shows like Dick Clark’s “American Bandstand.” By 1960, the rockabilly era was definitely over.

But popular fashion runs in cycles, and rockabilly is back. The smooth, mass‐produced blandness of 70’s pop made a raw, uninhibited new wave inevitable, and when it came along, in the person of the punks, rockabilly came with it. In some cases, the rockabilly influence in punk rock is minimal, a question of dyed hair, black leather jackets, or an occasional song or vocal mannerism. But one prominent new:wave rocker, Robert Gordon, has based his entire repertory and performing persona on rockabilly:. Two of his most popular numbers are Billy Lee Riley evergreens.