Tuesday, October 30, 2012

with The Dahlmanns
Friday, November 2nd 2012

A night to remember for sure and I didn't even mention the Rock Boys Formation Dance troupe yet. It's all happening at Klubb Lennart. For a great guy, sadly missed.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

RIP – Johan Lindsay Hutton

“I (we) always knew this day would come but that don’t make it better” –

“Don’t Fade Away” -by Andy Shernoff

I hope my friend doesn’t mind my using a slight twist on his lyric here but it captures the feeling around here pretty succinctly. My brother Iain and I finally lost our mum last night after months of her grappling with cancer. In the end it was some kind of infection that seemed to seal the deal and this is neither the time nor the place to ponder that.

Aside from the shell-shocked-ness of the actual event, my senses are working overtime. The anxieties of the past couple of weeks seem so futile now and I’ve no doubt whatsoever that we feel relief for her. Mum was dealt a bad hand in this game of life palaver.

Her god-bothering days never seemed to be taken into account at any time of her going through this. A good Christian, someone who would do anything for anyone, I guess she and my father did enjoy some glory days in their twilight years. When asked how they were I would often say that they gallivanted a lot more than me. Garden centres and cafes all over Scotland must be feeling the pinch in recent times in addition to the enforced austerity.

Mum loved animals and cats in particular. More than she did people.

I took her to the hospital on January 6th of this year and she hadn’t been back in her own house since then. Why she couldn’t have had a bit of quality life after dad passed away, I just don’t know. The urge to flavour that last sentence with an expletive is strong but I’ll try to retain some decorum.

One of her early jobs was in an electrical shop here in the town. It was called McLaughlins and they sold records. That’s where the first 45 I ever got came from – “Fireball” by Don Spencer. So I guess that maybe lit the blue touch paper.

At this point everything is kind of numb. I remember taking her to the Hippodrome for her birthday a year past last month. After that, the wheels well and truly started to come off. The positive aspect of her illness was that she seemed to be blissfully unaware of just how bad it was until this past two weeks. She was generally bright and she just let fly with whatever came into her head. Sometimes that was funny. Sometimes it was toe-curling. We couldn’t help thinking about how mortified she’d be to see herself like that.

But that didn’t stop us trying to wind her up to keep the engine running.

So Andy’s words really chimed with me. Ahead of the actual event they almost prepared me for the inevitable but that really doesn’t make it better.

Thanks to our extended family across the planet for their positive vibes at this peculiar time.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Saturday, October 20, 2012

RIP - Sylvia Kristel

It’s early Saturday and I’ve been fannying about with e-mail and stuff. Now SOTS has started and I’m thinking that maybe I won’t even venture over the door today. We shall see...

It’s raining outside (for a change – not) and the weather is similar in my heart. That Wunderle news yesterday was just the icing on a particularly crappy cake. Further bolstering the soul-searching that suggests one never knows when their number will be called.

Any which way – I’m stuck for the foreseeable but there are a couple of lights in the not too far distance that will provide incidental respite from the wearing down process. If we actually manage to stumble into 2013 then perhaps it’s time to take a different tack?

Reckon it would take a year to ebay the contents of my garrett for starters. There’s another can of worms ready to be kicked over.

Friday, October 19, 2012

RIP - Jim Wunderle

(Thanks to Stefan Nilsson for the link)

I couldn't believe it when I saw Stefan's facebook post and called Joe Terry who sadly confirmed that it was so. Deeply saddened about this and always looked forward to actually meeting J rather than having e-mail exchanges about haggis, etc. Amy and Eric just saw him with the gang when they had a show in Springfield just a couple of weeks ago.

Condolences to his friends and family out there at the buckle on the bible belt and beyond.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Brother Donald C caught the travelling salvation show that is Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby in San Francisco - the lucky so and so. I talked to both Amy and Eric last night as they were about to leave Seattle for Portland and they were in great spirits so that was good to hear. Anyway, over to Don...

"What a show Amy & Eric put on last nite!! Not my fave joint -- the Hemlock. I go there so infrequently it took me and my buddy James a half hour walking up and down Polk Street trying to remember where it was. Finally spotted a street (more like an alley) sign saying "Hemlock" -- duh. What annoys me about this place is that it's a big oval bar with a tiny room in the back for music. Suppose that's better in some ways so you don't get the bar noise. Certainly defines the term "intimate setting".

Ran into Roy Loney and his girlfriend just as we got in and also spotted Wally of Wally Sound -- (where we recorded the Rue '66 demos, which I just happened to be carrying around with me).

Said hi to Amy just before they went on and got a big hug. She looked great in a black print dress with roses all over it, black tights and boots. Eric wore a brown cowboy shirt and brown cords and shades and looked very good-- much slimmer than last time I saw him. They had lots of guitars: Amy had her trusty beat up Gibson J-45 but started off with a really cool solid body Harmony with the same much loved pickups in the Harmony Meteor (famously heard on very early Stones). She also had a Dano 12 string as seen on the cover of “Favourites”.

Eric began with a white Mustang bass with flower stickers on it. He also had his Guild hollow body (like the one Dave Davies had on Kontroversy) and Japanese Rickenbacker copy that he didn't use. Traynor amp with 12" bass cab. Amy went thru a Roland Jazz chorus amp with a pair of 10" speakers. She also had a Roland keyboard hidden in a vintage looking cabinet. They both had numerous pedals.... echo, fuzz, tremolo among them.

They came on like gangbusters running through (by now) old faves like “Astrovan” and “Til the Wheels Fall Off” and some very old Eric tunes like “The Donovan of Trash” (that Amy says is being re-released). “Raising the Bar”, “Please Be Nice to Her“ (still gives me chills that one), PF Sloan's “I Get Out of Breath” and more including some great stuff from “A Working Museum”.

Eric finally got around to his greatest hit “Whole Wide World” (yes Amy, it is the best 2 chord song ever writ) followed by Amy's greatest “Don't Ever Change”. They each entertained the crowd in between songs with tales of the road and Eric said he was disappointed with the trip west as "it's all the same. I was expecting little brown men raping fetuses or something!". Amy, however, was not disappointed with their first day in Frisco as someone held a parking spot for her only to ask for a ten dollar reward for his effort. Eric introduced "Reconnez Cherie" by saying that he thought he was writing a song in French but found out later "it wasn't French it was rubbish".

Rubbish perhaps, mais magnifique -- this was always my favorite song of his. They also did both sides of the most recent single and “Bobblehead Doll” was just tremendous. What that would've sounded like if they had a band behind them!! Really if they had a band they would just tear the roof off the whole country with this material.

Easily the best I've ever seen them do as a duo. I must say that up til now, altho a big fan of each of them, I never felt they worked as well together as they did solo. This show totally changed my mind.

Amy bought us drinks afterwards. Roy downed a shot of vodka and smartly left to catch his coach before it turned pumpkin. James (who first turned me on to Amy) and I stayed and hung out for a bit which meant we had to wait over an hour on the human toilet bowl known as Market Street for the N-Owl. But it was well worth it and I'd do it again tonight. Lucky folks n Seattle can do so. 

And I think Portland is next and San Diego and LA after that". - Don

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Please, if you're in NY or can get there - be at the Mercury Lounge tomorrow night. You have to be there for 7pm sharp or you'll miss The Dahlmanns and that'd be just plain daft. Meanwhile if you're in Cleveland tonight - Moss Rock City, Norway's version of Nigel Tufnel will be reciting the immortal words...

I've been preoccupied lately hence the silence. Some of you know why. It irks me that I don't have the time to keep this up to date and here's a prime example why.

Now I know you can't contribute to funding everything, we're all being squeezed, but a few shekels toward this Joe Meek documentary wouldn't go amiss. Really.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Can’t remember exactly but it’s usually about now that we get inundated by people looking for yon contest that hijacked our namesake. Maybe they’ve finally been shaken off? And while hat would be a turn up for the books, one had better not start counting that fowl just yet. Desperation makes folk do peculiar things at the best of times and having anything to do with such a beastie scores high on the desparometer in my book. Not to be confused with the despairometer you understand.

Went to the post office last week and eagle-eyed counter guy guessed that I was posting an “album”. The package was a dead giveaway and he immediately thought I was an ebayer. Of course, I put him straight but just lately I’ve thought about dipping my toe in those poisoned waters again. The consideration is to raise funds and get the chuff out of Dodge, away from the fading pulsebeat of wage slavery. I’ll be 55 soon and a lot of people haven’t been adding 10 to that too much lately, in the case of Nick Curran – WAY short of that. Actually, I got a message from a friend in PA earlier that's helping a friend sell a 45 collection but I think he wants it all to go at one time. If you'd like me to forward the list then leave your e-mail. Chances are though that you might be out to unload too?

So yes. Perhaps, maybe it’s time to consider taking a flyer? What’s the worst that could happen? I’m still sort of counting on those Mayans but a Rezilloshow in Edinburgh wouldn’t be too bad a location for an exit, right? To counter that, there are people and things worth sticking around for but there has to be more to this existence than having to tolerate situations and individuals that don’t fall into that category. There are people and things worth putting up with the bullshit - and a ton more livin’ to do should the absolute need arise. I’ve really had it up to yonder though – gestures at lamp post outside the window so woe betide those that are just posturing, serving up the jargon and hitching their sad wagons to the outright enemy.

There are two categories as I see it – problem and solution – it’s time to kick ‘em out!

The Dahlmanns are heading USA-ward and can be seen at the following pitstops.

More details at the Pop Detective and individual venue websites. I can’t make it so please cut along and support this fine Moss ensemble as they shake it up on each and every night. Mercury Lounge show is with The A-Bones and Palmyra Delran! All others are with The Deadbeat Poets and The Jellybricks.

Friday October 12th - Cedars, Youngstown, OH

Saturday October 13th - Lake Lucerne, Cleveland OH

Sunday October 14 - Mercury Lounge, NY NY

Thursday October 18 - Midtown Arts Theater, Harrisburg, PA

Friday October 19 - Roxy and Dukes, Dunellen, NJ

Saturday October 20 - Consolidated Firemans Hall, Bordentown, NJ

Sunday October 21 - The Bowery Electric NY NY

Saturday, October 06, 2012

RIP - Nick Curran

To say this week sucked would be gilding the lily. In a perfect world I would just have stayed in Madrid but as you know it is not – and may never be – a perfect world. And furthermore, I mislaid what I had assembled and haven’t been able to sit down and gather my scrambled thoughts until now so here’s how I think it went from what is left of the fried circuitry inside my noggin.

Hit the ground running an hour or so behind schedule in the wee hours of Saturday. The rain made it feel like wandering around Glasgow and a tartan brolly was purchased for the princely sum of 5 euros.

Taking a cab to the vicinity of Weirdo! seemed like a good idea but those little streets are not easy to negotiate if you don’t know the general direction. I’d been past there before but obviously from a different trajectory. After much wandering around in circles – the location was arrived at following an intervention by a rather peculiar looking blonde sherpa.

Weirdo! is a fantastic place and not weird at all. More like yet another watering hole that very much feels like home with cool art on the walls, Ed Roth models up on the gantry and some fine, fine music being served up by La Hembra Alfa and Mss Blanche Cucamungo – collectively known as Las Ya Yas. I found out that the owner Bratto, was a Los Ass Dragger, one-time Crypt recording artists. It was such a relief to get in there, I can’t even begin to tell you. From there, a pitstop at Wurlitzer spun out to the limits of 6am. It’s always a pleasure to visit this mainline to a grand time. It’s like Cheers with devil horns. Once again it rose to the heady heights above expectations. Satisfaction guaranteed.

Let’s see, now how did Saturday start, oh yeah – breakfast at Iowa, now a staple of any visit to Mad-town. Coffee, orange juice and “bikini”, always comin’ right up.

It was soon time for Pasablanca and some really fantastic local food. Good times. The deep fried breaded Buletos (?) are to die for. If you visit Madrid then I’d very much recommend this place. Big thanks to Sara and Blanca for schlepping us over there.

From yonder, the troupe headed back toward the square that I always find myself in close to Chez Munster. Indeed Inigo came out to join us for a bit before everyone dispersed for pre show siestas, protests and more aperatifs. Dropped in to Castle M with some gear for the little Munsters – Luka and Gari. Lukas is going to be Lux Interior when he grows up. Gari, well - he’s gonna be in charge of ruckus inc.

Just a short breather to roll some giveaway posters up and then a wander up to Wurli where the soundchecks were just about to get underway... no sleep til’... Got a little lost again as El Stupido (me) totally blanked on where Marcela and Raquel were. Ended up making for Madklyn and another dose of whereduhfukawe? Another amazing hostelry on the site of where Garage Sónico used to be. This is of historical significance to our tale because it’s where Las Ya Yas met.

Hostess Blanca (a different one from before) used to work in Sarti’s in Glasgow, tis a small world. So many great bars, so little time. Hmmm, that sounds like a blog waiting to happen? I could just relocate to Madrid and “review” all these joints?

Fantastic to hook up with Ulla + Lagarto again and I think The Down Down Downs were on when we got in there. It was all becoming a bit of a blur. The Downs recreated a Hope and Anchor vibe for a while by batting out pub rock chestnuts. “I closed my eyes for quite a few minutes and they were gone” and it was time for those Dahlmanns. As you know, I am entirely biased but they were even better than when I saw them in June. Limbering up for the impending US venture – full show dates and info coming by the weekend – they even threw in the new tune “Lucky” that sounded like an old friend already.

Quite a few attendees came up and told me they dug it so I felt vindicated and proud of the kids for managing yet again to confound a jaded old git some years past his sell-by date. There was a lot of love in the room in addition to the spirit of a sadly absent friend. So much carrying on went into the small hours again. The youngsters apparently got back to their hotel around 8am, less than a couple of hours before they had to head for the airport.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. This is the greatest rock’n’roll city on earth. If there’s a better one then by all means send in your nomination. I LOVE Madrid and those crazy Madrilènes that make we visitors so welcome. I’m too old to be doing 36 hour marathons but somehow the magic of this city fires up them old duracells. The passion and sheer good-timery that these people possess is surely a lesson to us all. May they never EVER lose that particular BEAT! Not EVER!!

Dahlpic by Lady Marcella San Martin Hermosilla of El Sol

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

RIP - Big Jim Sullivan

(Heard about this several hours ago and have been looking for an obit of note but nothing as of yet - will link something in due course)