1st record/1st concert
The first record I owned was the L.A. Dodgers 1959 World Series play-by-play
lp voiced by Vin Scully ("Going, going. Gone!"). I was a serious
10-year-old Dodger fan from 1958, when they relocated from Brooklyn, to
1963, when they traded Duke Snider, who was my hero. This was in early
1960, when my dad bought our first record player, an Emerson two-piece
portable, at Record Center Stores on the corner of Wilshire and La Cienega
(where the John Wayne statue stands guard outside Larry Flynt's House
That Porn Built, formerly Great Western Savings).
My first rock/music record was Elvis Presley's "Stuck On You.
This was in Spring of '60, and again, my dad bought it for me. We went
to Wallich's Music City/Downtown at 7th and Hope ("Convenient Air-Conditioned
Demonstration Booths"), and as it was a 3-for-1 Sunday I also got
Fabian's "Hound Dog Man" and Brook Benton & Dinah Washington's
"Baby (You Got What It Takes)". I dug "Baby" ok, but
I think I got it to placate my dad (y'know, somethin' fer the older generation).
My first music lp was Peter, Paul and Mary's "In The Wind."
I bought it at Wallich's Music City in Hollywood, corner of Sunset and
Vine in late '63. It was the featured album on the KFWB "Joe Yocam's
Sunday Special" at Wallichs which included three 45s for the
phenomenal price of $2.99! Such a deal. I was a fledgling folkie ("Well
Doc, it all started with The Kingston Trio's "Tom Dooley" and
Johnny Horton's "Battle Of New Orleans"!") Now I'm just
an 'old' fogey/folkie.
The first concert I attended was at Dave Hull's Hullabaloo in Hollywood
on Sunset near Vine (now the Nickolodeon Theater) on December 12, 1965,
the 2 pm matinee. $1.50 admission! I was 15, living down the street (corner
of Santa Monica & Vine, just west of Gold Star Recording Studio!)
with my brother (no parental supervision/they divorced in 1963) and The
Hullabaloo was one of the first clubs (after It's Boss in West Hollywood)
to cater to young teens. Affordable and convenient.
The house band, The Palace Guard, kicked off the show. With matching red
'Buckingham Palace'-type uniforms, the group, with Emitt Rhodes on drums,
played the current hits ("Hang On Sloopy", "Michelle',
etc.) and their regional smash "Falling Sugar." Next up was
The Vogues, very hot with "Five O'Clock World" and "You're
The One." Finally, The Jan and Dean Show with the 8-10 piece J &
D Orchestra, led and conducted by Hal Blaine! Jan and Dean were my favorites,
and they came flying/zooming out on skateboards from opposite wings of
the stage (which revolved between acts), rolling up to the center mike
stand on cue to break into the SoCal battle cry "Bust your buns and
go Sidewalk Surfin' with me!" I was stoked! They continued with "The
Little Old Lady (From Pasadena"), "Dead Man's Curve", "Surf
City", "Honolulu Lulu", etc., all expertly accompanied
by Hal and his Wrecking Crew. The band blasted out the music from behind
chart stands sporting "J & D Orchestra" with their cartoon
caricatures on each. Wow!
Robert Leslie (sometimes Robert Leslie Dean) is a photographer
and historian, and too modest to mention his longtime friendships with
Bryan MacLean of Love, and Charles Connor of the Upsetters.
I say with pride (if thats the word for the coincidence of our meeting;
pleasure, maybe) that I know Paul Krassner, the Realist editor, a little
bit. So when I saw a sand-filled snake, a thing to put beneath a door
to keep out cold air, called a Draft Dodger for 5 bucks, I
sent it to him with a note I think its made in Canada.
I got back a nice note on ancient Realist stationery thanking me for the
door jamb, and that, yes, it is cold.
I was flummoxed. I had goggled that someone could so name a product, making
light of draft-dodging, which was such a hot topic 30 years ago. Didnt
he find it funny? Why he didnt write ha ha? Did he open the box
without reading the packaging? Did his wife do so, and then they scratched
their heads wondering why Art Fein sent them a door-snake?
I contemplated whether to ask if he got the joke: or was his deadpan thank-you
note calculated to match the tone of mine. So I e-d him, with an apology
for asking, whether he got the joke. He wrote back that he did, but it
was OK to ask bec You never know.
Les Faux Pas
Some of my memorable interview moments:
To Gerry Goffin, on my tv show: You and Carole wrote so many great songs,
but I think my favorite is Cryin In The Rain by the
Carole wrote that with Howard
To Neil Sedaka, in an interview: Youve written a lot of hit songs,
but my favorite is a flipside, Forty Winks Away.
Barry Mann wrote that.
What A Friend We Have In Robert Leslie!
Robert Leslie borrowed my Treasures Of The Hard Rock Cafe1
and returned it with this observation.
The poster on page 185 is
wrong. Its for a Saturday/Sunday July 4th/5th show featuring Little
Richard and Guitar Slim. Under Slims pic it says I Done Got
Over It. That was not recorded until 1958. I checked the almanac
and found that July 4/5 fell on Saturday/ Sunday in 1959. Little Richard
left rock & roll for the ministry in December 1957, so that poster
is either a fake or for a show with a Little Richard imitator!
I live for stuff like this.
1 Written by friend
Joel Selvin, hence my owning such a weighty tome.
An unexpected shot of divine rock and roll can paralyze me.
- Recently listening to a tape2
of a Billy Vera radio broadcast3
I was stunned
to suddenly, out of the blue6,
hear Long Tall Sally by Little Richard. It was just the right
moment to disable me. I was listening casually, my guard was down, and
then pow! that voice, the piano rumbling in, the saxes and drums pounding
-- it was like a race to -- what?7
I was completely swept away, and actually paralyzed, the magnificence
of that sound gripping me in its hold. KEEP YOUR GUARD UP.
- A few years ago, casually going up my driveway, the radio suddenly played
Whole Lotta Shakin Goin On. This was unexpected:
real rock & roll, 50s rock & roll, on an oldies station? The insistence
of the opening bass piano notes is a clarion call to revolution or battle.
This attack jammed right into my soul and held me frozen in the driveway,
captive, like in an electric chair of ecstasy. BE WARY!
- I was listening on headphones to a tape made by Paul Body and suddenly
the screaming guitar intro of Elmore Jamess Dust My Broom
came up. That guitar, that sound, Led Zeppelin has no bragging rights
over this guy. It was heavy like a hit in the head. I stood, scared, near
a pillar, and tried to look like I was not (!) crazy as I internalized
the massive pleasure attack. Talk about your Orgone box. ALWAYS BE PREPARED.
- In 1976, I took home the new and unbelievable Phil Spector Lost
Masters album from England, put the needle on the first track and
heard the soft maracas and shuffling drums of Paradise and
promptly fell to the floor. Having been deprived of REAL Spector music
for ten years (Beatles productions didnt count, though some were
good8) I was awash
in the slow sensuality of this unreleased Ronettes track and it transported
me to..... Paradise. STEEL YOURSELF.
- In 1981, I went to Dave Alvins room in his family home and we
sat and listened to the bootleg Million Dollar Quartet album he had recently
bought for an outrageous $20. To hear Elvis and Carl Perkins fool around
while Jerry Lee played piano, and then, gradually, hear Lewis, who had
not yet released a record, TAKE OVER the session was hilarious and mesmerizing.
I think we had candles lit, but Im not sure. EASE INTO IT.
- In 1958, my friend Johnny Olsen and I were listening to Rock &
Roll Is Here To Stay by Danny & The Juniors and we started hurling
ourselves around the room like dervishes, jumping, yelling and flipping
out in pre-sexual madness. YOUD THINK ID GET OVER THAT PHASE.9
2 I was assaying
this tape, wondering why I had kept it, then heard him mention my name.
Tapes are the only way to capture radio moments. A CD of a radio show
is too metallic. Radio is warm.
3 He had a terrific
show full of early R&B on KCRW, the lefty station, then
he was scuttled because his audience was too old. Curious that a public
radio station should be concerned with ratings. Or shouldnt.
4 On the tape,
his pledge pitch said to phone a 213 number. That was a shock to any local.
As late as 1988, we were all under the 213 umbrella? That seems like a
5 At my dentists
in Van Nuys (thats the valley, 818 area code) the young
receptionist asked if my phone number was same as its always
been, 323 bla bla. I playfully said, Well, it hasnt
ALWAYS been 323. When I first started coming here there was no area code.
What do you mean? she said.
We were all 213, there was no 818.
I dont understand.
You just dialed 7 numbers.
But what about the area code?
It was incomprehensible to her. I didnt tell her about postal zones.
6 This was an
Elviss roots show, and I knew all the old ones (Smiley Lewiss
One Night etc.), so I wasnt looking to be startled.
7 Little Richards
recordings command a titanic forboding. Theyre like pain that pleases.
The massive attack of drums, sax, and piano are like invaders coming to
slay you with pleasure. Also, hearing him singing Lucille
on a 1957 Alan Freed radio broadcast (bootleg) lp with an enormous, thundering
big band is so cataclysmic it sounds like the Gates of Hell opening up.
(You call that good? I do.)
8 Spector records
were best when he controlled everything. His work with the Beatles, collectively
and individually, was just ducky, but nothing they ever did is as great
as A Christmas Gift To You From Philles Records.
9 The rock &
roll explosion of 1956 was an atom bomb of perfection, but over time its
fallout steadily decreased. After Elvis/Chuck/Richard and lesser-known
genii came Spectors music, utterly magnificent but with a debt to
those 50s Gods who pushed open the doors. Then the Beatles and whoever
til the pointless muddle its in today.
Mock n Roll
There isnt much great nouveau-50s10
rock; nothing immediately comes to mind. But you gotta know about these
How Could I Be So Wrong, Dave Edmunds, Riff Raff
album, Columbia 39273, penultimate cut, 1984. Not known for his slow numbers,
this wonderful 50s style ballad destroys me.
The Love I Want Carlos Guitarlos, Straight From the Heart
CD. This song has haunted me since I first heard it 20 years ago (when
it was closer to the 50s!). It got recorded finally in 2003. Appearances
to the contrary, Carlos is a genius.
I Want To Thank You Mr. DJ The Charms. I had this on a comp
album, now I cant find it. It is actually from the 50s (early 60s?)
but for me encapsulates up everything great about pop doo-wop. (I am now
veering off my initial theory.)
Tenderness On The Block Warren Zevon, Excitable Boy
album, Asylum 6E-118, penultimate cut, 1978. This is none of the above,
but it chills me with its 50s early 60s imagery, even if it sounds
exactly like the year it was recorded. Rock On by David Essex
also fits this description.
10 For nouveau
early-60s, I think the Little Shop Of Horrors musical11
sums up the New York/4 Seasons era better than anything. Certainly
better than Grace Of My Heart.
11 In the Geffen
bio book, it says he banked heavily on the success of this musical. Happy
Days was still on tv and Grease was a success, and he
saw this as a shoo-in to top them all. I concur utterly, though it was
a massive flop: I back failures rife with greatness even more than him.
The purpose of a review is to advise readers whether to go to a show.
To review a past show is useless. It is merely a platform for the writer.
In the 1970s Mark Leviton worked for a local newspaper that ran reviews
only of shows that ran, as they did in those days, for a solid week --
otherwise why would anyone want to read about them? To get the reviewers
Dont be silly. Nobody cares what a reviewer thinks. The purpose
of a review is to aid the reader.
Where Seldom Is Heard An Encouraging Word
In the review portion of her Jan 10, 04 L.A. Times scan of our Elvis show,
Nuttily Knuckles distantly noted12
several acts then roared to life throwing mud13
-- the critics forte -- at James Intveld and Rip Masters14.
When I started at Variety in 1973 as music crit, I avidly avoided writing
negative reviews of little-known acts17.
Pandering? Lily-livered? No, I suffer from empathy. You dont use
an elephant gun to shoot a flea, and the damage I could do to a struggling
act by slamming it in Variety weighed on me18.
Knuckless grinding of those acts under her heel shows indignity,
not indignation. When your blunderbuss is as big as the L.A. Times, you
should be careful how, and whether, you shoot.
12 Not a peep
of delight or discovery. Were they all not her style? She reviewed only
the middle acts, suggesting she stayed little more than an hour. Pity:
some great acts came at the beginning and end.
13 Thereby achieving
every critics goal, to be noticed: In subsequent days, normally
diverse Elvis fans said to me with a single mind Whats the
MATTER with that girl?
14 Several people
that night, unaware of Knuckless disapproval, commented how much
they enjoyed Rip -- but then, she wasnt there to enjoy herself,
as they were. And comparing Intvelds A Little Less Conversation
to grunge music was oddly ...... wrong. (She might have missed the humor
of his performing the re-mix version15.)
He was dressed kinda grungy, in a pre-Seattle sense; was that his (her)
problem? Also, she glossed over Fred Willard heartfelt version of Faded
Love, blinded perhaps by the fact he was a goofy
actor-comedian. (Thank you, Nuttily!) Seeing beneath
the surface is not her long suit.
15 I must begrudgingly16
thank Todd Everett for this observation.
16 (He gets too
much space in here already.)
17 That year I
reviewed twenty comedians at the Comedy Store. Twenty years later I mentioned
this to a comedian friend and he said, Fein? FEIN? You reviewed
me in 1973! I did not remember it, but he showed me the review,
which he saved. After praising various good acts - Franken & Davis
stood out - I wrote Bill Morrison did a balloon act. This
I recognized as shorthand for someone who bombed. He said I
BOMBED that night, but you didnt say so. I really appreciated that.
I felt good.
18 Am I saying
all news should be good news? Nah, but I give performers a lot of leeway.
If the fenders fall off my Ford, it should be shouted from the rooftops;
Ford is big, they can take it. But you dont clobber a small, struggling
artist. If theyre bad, the market will find them out. And if they
succeed anyways, thats between them and their audience, its
not up to you or me to jeer. (Not only is Kenny G bad, but his fans
are idiots.) Note to reviewers: Have a heart, it could use the exercise.
I recently viewed one hour of the 16-DVD Joe Esposito Definitive
Elvis set. Back last summer I mocked the soulless moron (not worth
looking back to find his name) who reviewed it for the NY Times, but suffice
that he made the usual hah-hah Elvis comments alongside the also well-trod
who cares? path. Typical non-expert newspaper garbage.
The hour I looked at (Elvis On TV) had the usual talking heads,
and a lot of footage I19
had never seen20.
But I was struck by the diversity of the commentators, and the depth with
which it treated the trek from Dorseys to Berle to Allen to Sullivan.
Thats the luxury you get from having 16 episodes! I hope to see
the whole thing, and review it.
19 I rank myself
a 5 or 6 on the Elvis-nut ten scale.
20 Two things
struck me wrong. Putting Memphis Mafia under George Kleins
name without quotation marks might seem, to the uninitiated, like hes
a member of La Cosa Nostra. And when they illustrated the fact that Elvis
appeared on a local Birmingham, Alabama, tv show in 1955, they inserted
the gold-coat footage you always see with the Jailhouse Rock
banner behind him. Tsk, tsk.
Wrong Wrong Wrong21
I see mangled cliches everywhere, especially the pu-terrific I could
care less. If you care a LOT then you could care less. If you COULDNT
care less, then you care very little. It should be obvious. Lately Ive
noticed something easy is said to be shooting fish in a barrel.
I suppose you could do that, but why? Who shoots fish? This is a bastardization
of two cliches, shooting a sitting duck and catching
fish in a barrel.
And what about preaching to the choir? The phrase is preaching
to the converted, meaning Dont waste your breath trying
to convert us, were already with you. Is the choir a higher
registry of churchgoers than the congregation? Can you only GET into the
choir (are you FORCED into the choir?) once youve pledged yourself
100% to the Lord? The choir stands behind the preacher. Maybe it means
you are preaching with your back to the congregation, like the Jefferson
Airplane used to do to its audience.
Recently someone wrote that Bruce Springsteens top-ranking take
was the lions share of 2003 concert tour moolah22.
I reminded him that the lions share is not the majority, it is as
much as the lion wants. Was he saying that Bruce was content with
the $200 million, but if he wanted he could have taken all the money earned
by everyone? I know Bruce is popular, but please........
21 The Everly
Bros had a great song called Gone Gone Gone. And Shirley &
Company had Shame Shame Shame. You You You by
the Ames Brothers was pretty corny. Love Love Love by the
Clovers was good. Hi Hi Hi was tremendous! Cant think
of any other triplets.
22 Oddly, the
L.A. Times put this in the arts and culture section rather
The Worlds Newest Profession
Whats news? J-Lo and Ben? For some. Theres other stuff, like
world events, but like bad money drives out good, entertainment news crowds
out real news: movie stars on the covers of news magazines, tv-show coverage
on tv news, Michael Jackson updates on radio news. Its market-driven;
more people want entertainment than news, so entertainment, ultimately,
In this realm, I hold the NY Times to higher standards than our local
birdcage-liner, but quake when I see them permit the word supermodel.
Who draws the line between model and supermodel? And why?
The L.A. Times reported, without sarcasm, that Halle Hit & Run
Barry was voted the worlds premiere endorser by people
who vote on such things. She holds a product shes never seen or
used23 and says
This is an important person! This is a person to admire! Maybe P. Lorrilard
can cough up the dough for her to ease the lawsuits against their use
of asbestos in Kent cigarette filter-tips in the 1950s.
Why not? As a super-model shes super-available, for a super-price.
Borowitz Report, the thrice-weekly humor column, reported that
Celine Dion was sequestered for three weeks in a laboratory formulating
her new perfume line.
Robert Leslies (Not So) Distant Cousin
From Mark Leviton (Again!?24)
Today the L.A. Times ran a
useless David Segal pick-up from the Washington Post which indicated the
Grateful Dead 'rarely' played encores (only almost every show for 30 years!)
and posits that they didn't play an encore in Chicago in 1980 which they
did all three nights: 8/19 Johnny B Goode, 8/20 US Blues, 8/21 Alabama
I remember that Segals premise was his discovery that encores are
compulsory at rock shows. As if it hasnt been that way for 30 years!
Never more true was the signoff to the SNL news in the early 1990s --
Im Kevin Nealon, and thats news to me!
24 This is the
perfect spot for an interobang, a combination exclamation point and question
mark that debuted in the 1960s and never caught on.
When I had L.A.-born Brian ONeal of the Busboys on the show, I remarked
kiddingly about his Irish name, then had a flash: Phil Lynott, black like
ONeal, was actually Irish, and more incredibly both had a hit song*
called The Boys Are Back In Town. ONeal, who recently
was supervisor for the Haunted Mansion CD soundtrack, said
that Lynott in fact once came to a Busboys show in Cherry Hill, N.J.,
and they had a good laugh about it.
I remembered that Lynott was called Black Irish around that
time, but knew it was wrong. I still dont know quite what the phrase
* Lynotts band was Thin Lizzy; their Boys Are Back In Town
hit #12 in 1976. The Busboys Boys was a hit insofar
as it was in the 1982 movie 48 Hours, and launched them onto
nearly ten years of concert success.
Its Everly Time Again
The Everly Brothers must have seen The Bad & The Beautiful
in 1952. In an early scene the characters sing Dont Blame
Me and later in the film Temptation is playing.
And of course Phil and Don in the Wings song Let 'Em
In is an homage to the Everlys.
More Things Everyone Knows That I Just Found Out
I bought a hand-crank 78 player with a circular resonator on its 10-pound
tonearm, for the couple dozen 78s I own. But every time I wound it up,
it ran for half a minute then slowed to a halt. Recently I met Steve Worth,
78 collector and Victrola expert. When I told him my problem, he asked
how often I changed the needle. Not yet, I said, how
often should it be changed? He said, With
every record you play.
So THATs why there were 50 needles enclosed in the case. My worn
and blunted needle was digging a trench in the record and acting as a
It was the only way to rip music back then.
From Jake Austen in Chicago, re Fingertips by Stevie Wonder:
"What key, what key' is my
favorite Stevie Wonder lyric. It's even clearer on the CD remaster and
to add to the magic the emcee who intros Little Stevie (Pervis Spann,
as I'm sure you know) starts to introduce someone obscuro before "Fingetips"
is over, certanly not recognizing the magic of the performance. That comes
after where the 45 fades.
La Vie En Music
Robert Wyatts album title, Matching Mole, is a play
on machine molle, french for Soft Machine, his group. When
a woman gets her period in France they say Cest
les anglais qui debarque - the British are coming.
(The British were the redcoats.)
- 57 -
This years show was terrific/dismal.
Terrific bec the bands were all terrific. Dismal bec the venue was obtained
two weeks before the show, and word did not get out so it was greatly
underattended: I opened the show with Good evening lady and gentleman.
New venue? Between Jan 8 2003 and mid-October when I called the House
Of Blues, the club got a new booker who knew nothing about my lock
on the night. They had Chris Isaak booked in, but now that they heard
from me, maybe that would be moved. They kept me hanging til just before
Christmas, and even then didnt tell me -- I saw it in an ad.
In light of this shock I planned to just cancel the event, but L.A. City
Councilman Tom Labonge, a longtime Elvis fan (and, sometimes, imitator)
and Elvis show attendee and supporter, got hold of the Avalon, the old
Hollywood Palace across from Capitol Records, which is mainly a dance
club now, and secured the night for me.
The deal was great. Whereas the House Of Blues confiscates the first $8500
at the door before you get any money, the Avalon, same capacity (1000
or so people), had us pay only incidental expenses (for this charity event)
so we were WAY ahead. In fact, with our paltry turnout of 160 -- last
years 430 at the House of Blues was the previous low -- we still
had enough to pay the band and helpers, tho for the third straight year
no money went to charity. (This is a dig-Elvis show. If theres a
profit, it goes to the needy. And the House of Blues had a sellout night
for Isaak, so they made the right choice.)
Rehearsal ran from 4 til 7. The Elvis Bash Band, led by Marty Rifkin on
steel and sax, with Paul Marshall on bass, Skip Edwards on keyboards,
Steve Duncan on drums, and Harry Orlove on guitar, get together once a
year for this, which they all call their favorite gig of the year. And
heres the order of the show: Harry Orlove Mystery Train,
Paul Marshall Long Black Limousine, Candye Kane
Peace In The Valley Tryin To get To You,
Penta Heartbreak Hotel, Dusk Devils Hardheaded
Woman, Lisa Finnie Crawfish, Billy Vera
My Baby Left Me, Evie Sands Too Much Jailhouse
Rock, Justin Curtis Lawdy Miss Clawdy, Ian
Whitcomb I Want You INYILY Fool Such As I,
Fred Sokolove Loving You, Fred Willard Faded
Love, Coal Train Burnin Love, Carlos
Guitarlos Cant Help Falling In Love, Marcy Levy
One Night, Barry Holdship Promised Land,
One Broken Heart For Sale, Rod & Tonemasters Dont
Be Cruel, Rip Masters Stuck On You, Got
A Lotta Livin To Do, Levi Dexter Shake Rattle
& Roll, I Got A Woman, Glen Glenn Revue Baby
Lets Play House Mean Woman Blues, Alan Clark
Got A Lotta Livin To Do Blue Suede Shoes,
Don Wilson Long Tall Sally, Steve Moore Party,
Cadillac Angels Tiger Man Good Rockin Tonight,
Lance Legault Baby What You Want Me To Do Chicken
& The Hawk, Doug Fieger One Night Latest
Flame Ray Campi Milkcow Blues Mystery Train,
James Intveld Thats When Your Heartaches Begin,
A Little Less Conversation, Russell Scott Wearin
That Loved On Look I Need Your Love Tonight, Groovy
Rednecks Dont Talk Bad About The King Treat
Me Nice, Hellbound Hayride So Glad Youre Mine,
Lightnin Willie Lonesome Cowboy Shake Rattle
& Roll, Robby Vee Thats Alright Mama,
I See Hawks In L.A. Kentucky Rain, Lynda Kay Parker
Hardheaded Woman, Fur & Steve Follow That
Dream Leslie Knauer Hound Dog, Pep Torres
Girl Of My Best Friend All Shook Up (Spanish version).
Notes: Songwriter Ben Weisman was in the audience but did not come onstage.
He heard two of his songs, Crawfish and Got A Lotta
Livin To Do, performed. Tommy Sands, who a couple of years
ago suffered a brain concussion in a mugging, was ill and did not perform.
Backstage was Larry Geller, an Elvis confidante, and Dan Ackroyd, they
tell me. (Ackroyd came to many of the House Of Blues shows, but I figured
that was because he was a part-owner. For him to come to the Avalon, he
must like the Elvis show!) Rod Del Campos did a fine but loud instrumental
version of Dont Be Cruel, and blew out one of the speakers
in Marty Rifkins amp. (Formerly we used the House of Blues
back-line.) Marcy Levy and Doug Fieger both did One
Night, an oversight, both great. As children, they attended the
same summer camp in their native Detroit, and both have co-written famous
songs, Fieger with My Sharona, Marcy with Lay Down Sally.
I See Hawks In L.A. did a non-Elvis song for their second tune, an abominable
crime. (Groovy Rednecks do their own song, Dont Talk Bad About
The King, but at least it involves Elvis.) Bill Buster
Bateman played drums for Levi Dexter, this year as last. Penta formed
a girl group, the Dynette Set, in Seattle in 1980, and, as Leslee Swanson,
sang the first cut on Rhinos Girls Cant Help It
album. Robby Vee, son of Bobby, came in all the way from Minnesota for
the show, and brought along Little Richards sax player XXXXXXXXXXXXXX.
Lance Legault brought the tambourine he played on the 68 Special.
Fur and Steve are Jennifer Dixon, former member of the old Hollywood Hillbillies
who played my rockabilly shows at Club Lingerie in the 80s, was the Cramps
bassist in the mid-80s for 6 months, and Steve Warner, who plays guitar
for the Glen Glenn revue, is also an editor at Easy Riders magazine. Coal
Train is the new identity of Billy Tulsa & The Psycho Crawdads. Barry
Holdship sometimes plays under the name Jesse Garon (Elviss dead
twin), and his brother Bill was longtime music editor of BAM magazine.
Evie Sands, who did the first version of Angel Of The Morning
(one of the last records issue on Cameo, which then went belly-up) and
then I Cant Let Go which the Hollies covered and also
Take Me For A Little While which was a hit for Vanilla Fudge,
finally had her own hit in 1969 with Anyway That You Want Me.
She has had significant 21st century success with the album Women
In Prison, which produced several tracks that charted high in England.
Fred Willard did a song, but was not my co-host this year. I invited Pat
Boone to play, but he was out of town. Danny Blitz, whose powerful performance
has become a much-anticipated tradition at the Elvis show, sat this one
out after having surgery for a brain tumor, which has left his left arm
and hand paralyzed. He is expected to recover, God willing.
And finally, someone left a guitar strap behind. Anyone missing it?