1st record/1st show
I was such an unhappy teenager when I was living in Columbus, Ohio that
in desperation I joined AZA, a Jewish club for teens. As usual, I did not
fit in. These were not My people. However, our one black disc jockey, Dr.
Bop, (this is Dr. Bop on the scene, with a stack of shellac and his record
machine) pulled a Buddy Holly movie scene with Conway Twitty's "It's Only Make Believe" -
locking the doors and playing that one record over and over all night long.
The way this ties into AZA is that our club got a call the next day from Conway
Twitty's desperate manager. Conway needed a venue to perform on a last minute
basis and they wanted to know if we wanted Conway free for an AZA dance that
weekend. I was the only one who had heard Dr. Bop the night before and knew who
Conway was so I talked our club into agreement.
Needless to say, Conway was amazing - backed up by only two musicians, he gyrated
like Elvis and sang damn near as good. I took 3 photos with my little Brownie
Hawkeye camera which have subsequently been used on Twitty reissue covers. In
most interviews, Conway would tell the story of how "Make Believe" broke
out of Columbus - but, understandably, he never mentioned AZA
The first record I ever bought
was Bill Dogget's Honkey Tonk cause it was an instrumental so I figured
it was a good investment as I wouldn't get tired of the lyrics. Back
then a 69 or 98 cent record was expensive on a 50 cent weekly allowance.
- Michael Ochs - Everybody knows the michaelochsarchives,
Elvis Show 2006 is scheduled for Jan 8th, 8 pm til midnight, again at the Henry
Fonda Theater in Hollywood.
Things are moving slowly. We hope to have a good turnout to keep the tradition
Another Fein Mess
AF Stones Monthly
Im A Rock Crit
The new Carlos Guitarlos album, Hell Can Wait, his second, is the
greatest thing Ive heard in a century. I could not believe such an album could be
made today. It harkens to the best parts of the early 70s country/rock hybrid
movement (The Movement With No Name), though it is fundamentally an r&b record.
(Delaney & Bonnie with James Burton on guitar?) I listen to it over
and over again. I cannot get enough of it. I have not listened to an
album constantly in this fashion since 1978.
Marcy Levy (Marcella Detroit, who, when a background singer for Eric
Clapton co-wrote Lay Down Sally and was co-singer and writer of Stay, a
1992 UK hit for Shakespeares Sister) is Carloss co-singer
on several moving cuts.
I wish the record hadnt opened with the good but regular blues
of Love Me From The Start. It makes you think its a blues album. Got
No Time, second cut, is fine too, but I would have led off with cut 3, Get
Back, an emotional powerhouse with brilliant Bobby Bland-style horns, sung
by Carlos and Marcy. (And Carloss brother, Ray Ayala, a prominent L.A.
singer in his own right.) On cut 4 Carlos trades off vocals and guitar with David
Hidalgo of Los Lobos (they also share cut 10, Keep Me Satisfied,
with Hidalgo on accordian) to excellent results. Cut 5 is another sharer
with Marcy Levy, and it is tremendous.
It EXPLODES with cut 6. I Found Someone, is deep and moving love
ballad with r&b footing that is simply incomparable, aided again by the marvelous
Marcy. Cut 8, Drinking Again, which Carlos wrote about his old bandmate
the late Top Jimmy, is so brilliant I cant speak; it connects directly
to the 50s in ways I never thought possible today.
I first heard this CD on a portable player, but got distracted somewhere
in the 19 tracks and didnt realize what a MASTERPIECE it was until at the gym
(I go, barely) (clothed, but reluctantly, I mean) I heard cut 16, I Feel
Love, another original. The cry of his soul is so eloquent ....
you CANNOT HELP BUT CRY at its beauty.
The razzle-dazzle of Gene Taylors (Blasters) boogie woogie piano - and
Carloss lyrical - improvisation on cut 9, Say You Love Me, is
a wonderful blast of Joe Turner/Pete Johnson done anew. Cut 18, Hole In
My Pocket is Howlin Wolf reincarnated, great like his other
blues blasts that are
NOT EMBARASSING LIKE SO MANY CONTEMPORARY BLUES EFFORTS.
The finale, Ive Been Dead Since Youve Been Gone, is
a beautiful cry of loss that took affected Carlos so emotionally that
he put off recording it for a year.
IT IS BRILLIANT.
Thank God for Carlos Guitarlos.
CARLOS APPEARS SUNDAY NIGHT, DECEMBER 11th at
THE LIQUID KITTY, 11780 PICO BLVD
(1 E. OF BUNDY), West Los Angeles
10 AM- 2 PM ADMISSION IS FREE 21 & OVER
New Old Stuff
I just looked at a videotape I didn't know I had, a Midnight Special
from 1973 hosted by Jerry Lee, and realized I must've been there. In the
shadows I could divine Rockin' Ronny Weisers monkeylike movements. I recently saw
Live At TJ's, the 1965 pilot tv show spotlighting the Dave Clark 5. (Not commercialy
available.) Bear Family has issued something like twenty 2-hour late 50s comps
of the L.A. country music show Town Hall Party, with 2-hour discs of Johnny Cash,
Marty Robbins, the Collins Kids. Its like finding the Dead Sea Scrolls!
And Bear Family has also issued six 2-hour DVDs (6 shows each) of The Beat, the
1966 Nashville Soul tv show, including one hosted by Otis Redding featuring Percy
Sledge, Sam & Dave and Garnett Mims.
Theres a painting/poster aping Nighthawks At The Diner portraying Elvis,
Marilyn, Brando, and James Dean at the counter. This reminds me of a scene in
O Lucky Man, where we see a guy whose his head is sewn onto a sheeps body
- its as unlikely a combination. Of the foursome, the oddest man out is
Elvis, as he represents rock & roll, to which the other three had
absolutely no connection. The thought of them at one place at one time
suggests dead, uncomfortable silence. (Hey, they ARE all dead. But Brando
was alive when it came out.)
But generations in rock & roll are a slippery slope. When the Beatles ruled,
much before them slipped into obsolescence. It was my friend Sid Griffin who
protested Hey, Phil Everly is only one year older than John Lennon. Yet
the Everlys remained pretty much overlooked as the 1964 generation defined
itself. Watching the Big TNT Show, Petula Clark was comfortable on the
world stage, was not a new rocker, and seems odd in the teen show. The
age diff was bold when she tousled the hair of one boy, indicating she
was an adult singing to kids. (The boy whose hair was tousled, on the
right, was Johnny Legend.)
That Live At TJs 1965 pilot mentioned above was hosted by Sal
Mineo and Phil Spector. Both look uncomfortable in their roles, but Sal Mineo?
It showcased the Dave Clark 5. Sal Mineo was in Rebel Without A Cause! That was
ten friggin non-rock years earlier. Considering it now it doesnt seem that off, Mineo
was 26, but his presence in a Dave Clark 5 context seems ... Well, Gregory
Peck rushed up to meet the Beatles in 1964 when they arrived in L.A.,
so who knows.
The 9/4/05 NY Times headline Why Is This Man Smiling? is from Esquires Dubious
Achievement Awards issues in the 1960s. It ran annually beneath
a picture of Richard Nixon laughing. (I assume they retired it by the
time he died.)
Two Seinfeldisms currently on tv: An ad for some beer has a girl in a
bikini holding up two bottles saying Yes, theyre plastic. And theyre
magnificent. From the falsies episode. And another one, for
an investment firm, urges you to be the master of your domain, a
citation to an early contest episode. I wonder if Jerry gets
In a Marilyn Monroe bio, they show an audiocassette tape with her name on it,
and the v/o says this is her audio diary. Did she have a special deal with Norelco
to get a cassette player in 1963 before they were sold?
The Name Game
Theres talk among no-lifers1 that
Paul McCartney is arrogant asking for his name to come first on Lennon-McCartney
songs he originated.
Those who feel theyre defending the artistry and integrity of John Lennon
cant know what John would think. Maybe hed say Sure, lets
get it sorted out. Other aspects of his life indicate he was a
But the anti-Maccans bear strange witness: by standing by his widow they are
endorsing her claim to be the bearer of his soul.
1 I am reminded of a Mad magazine
showing a two women under hair dryers, one saying What does that Jackie Kennedy
think shes DOING?
Nov 6, 2005 NY Times
He Still Speaks German, But With A Motown Accent. What in hell is
a Motown accent? Black? In fact the record companys founder strove
to keep their speech uninflected.
Oh, they mean Detroit, the Motor City. Is it now standard to say Detroiters
come from Motown? Then if the Five Stairsteps had launched a huge music
all be calling Chicago Windy C.
The Motor City has a resonance. Motown is a truncation, named for
a company which deserted Detroit.
Nov 6, 2005 NY Times again
Page 3 Movie sect: The film Im making now is my 29th film
in 10 years. Do the math.
Page 4 hed: A Broadway Blockbuster Does The Hollywood Math.
ENOUGH WITH DO THE MATH!
The page 3 actor can be excused. Like you and me he heard this phrase many times
but unlike us was not fazed after its thousandth repetition: Rote repetition
is a facet of his craft. But what about the headline-writer?
Moreover, what about the story-writer? The kid, Jesse McKinley, writes
that the Producers movie
is set in fedora-clad 1959 (Does he mean 1939?) rather than the movie,
which was set in the hippie-happy 60s.2
The child needs counseling. 1968 had some long-haired hippies, but the main populace
was conservative. The hippie-happy 60s arrived in the 70s.
I admit I know nothing about recent changing times. (Have there been eras lately?)3.
But if I were writing about today Id get advice from someone familiar with
it! Sad thing, the kids editor is probably 40, a reasonably old age, and
he, too, knows only the cliches about the 60s and probably thinks Grease is
2 Do you remember everyone wearing
peasant clothes and long hair in that movie? Maybe he was watching Hair.
3 My kid needed 90s clothes
for a school project, but when we went to a fancy resale store no one
could identify the 90s.
Bonus Recurring Gripe
This same tyke, McKinley, says the Producers producers resume
includes everything from television movies to an NSync concert
film to Vanilla Sky. Wadda range!
In the Kinky Friedman article by Dan Halpen in the 8/22/05 NYer:
Everyone from Jerry Garcia and Ken Kesey to Abbie Hoffman and Keith Richards
showed up to see them...
Were they both in pairs? Then who is between them?
* The only allowable use of arc is regarding Noah and the
* If you have to use Think, as in Hes a bombastic drone
- think rock crit, at least use THIMK, like they did in Mad in
* Legendary refers to anyone or thing over 50. It is also, inadvertently,
a slap. Legends are Paul Bunyan, WMDs. If someone says Your intelligence is legendary, think
before you smile.
* Use of the phrase went ballistic is now officially forbidden.
Between November 8th and December 2nd I lost eighteen pounds.
Not gambling in England.
The secret of quick weight loss is tremendous emotional distress4.
I lost my appetite. Still, I ate, oh, a scoop of cottage cheese and a
few grapes for breakfast, an apple for lunch, something for dinner, reminding
myself to eat. Call it semi-fasting. I weighed a staggering 198 (Im 5 feet-almost-9)
and could see my burgeoning stomach and double chins on tv, no matter
how I tried to hide them. Now I can fit into 34-waist pants. Which in
fact is no big deal. Onward and downward.
I hear youre not supposed to lose weight that fast. My doctor said it was
OK. If I drop dead this month, Ill know hes wrong.
4 What caused it? I couldnt
I love Donovan, especially Hurdy Gurdy Man and the first two Epic
albums. In a review of his new book in the 11/28 NY Times, Janet Maslin cites
his claim that he pioneered Flower Power, World Music, New Age Music, the
boxed-set album package, using LSD, and the lyric Love, Love, Love before
the Beatles did. And folk rock.
Maslons next graph opens These claims - legitimate, by the
Janny, you been taking LSD too? No, its pot thats supposed
to fuzz up your synapses and make you forget things.
Saying he invented taking LSD is like saying the first man to step foot
in America was Columbus. Other men were here. What about the early-60s
scholastic and scientific LSD-takers, what about the Gamblers 1961 record LSD-25? What
were they writing about - a WWII landing vessel? Maybe Don means he was the first
long-haired guy in a robe. HE first wrote Love, Love, Love?! (What
Beatle song is he talking about? Not All You Need Is Love I hope!
Its only the chorus!) I could sing you right now Love, Love, Love, the
1956 Clovers recording (and Im sure the Diamonds cover was the same).
Jeez, Louise. Far as I know he was the first guy to come out festooned in flowers
(a look and regimen he created right here in L.A. at The Trip nightclub, subject
of the song The Trip on the Sunshine Superman album) right after
his Dylan period, and maybe some other claims are legit, but I
invented World Music?
Tell it to The Weavers.
A PBS 60s docu says the Beatles brought in the Summer of Love with their
Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. Just that song? Well, the Animals
helped too, it says, with their San Francisco Nights.
Well anyone who felt a warm San Francisco night was on a
powerful drug! Eric Burdon was great, but he was no Summer of Love leader.
If You Wait Long Enough ...
In my life I have had a couple of them. Situations where a joke or pun
comes to life. Im sure Vonnegut has a word for them.
* When my gf and I were in Edinburgh, we thought about taking a train
trip to Wick (the uppermost train stop in Scotland) but decided we were
too tired to take two daylong train trips, so skipped it. Which meant,
I later realized, that theres no Wick for the rested.
* At a family dinner in Chicago recently, my cousin ordered chicken soup,
but then changed it to pea soup. My mind fired up - This was my chance!
- and I hollered Hold
the chicken. Make it pea.
* Teresa Watanabe, in the 11/12/05 L.A. Times, writing about the uncertain
future of a Southern California strawberry farm, opened the second graf
whether the Ito family will farm strawberry fields forever is anyones guess. HURRAH!
Woids Of Endearment
The L.A. Times dropped some columnists, and added some others. In Joel
rambling debut (11/15/05), he spake those words we Southern Californians so love
to hear: Ive lived in this city for 10 months...
Thats all he had to say, really. Lack of a familiarity with L.A.
is the first thing we look for. No need to add that he comes from New
And Chris Gaither, 11/14, in his (?) article about mergers of internet
companies and movie companies, cites The difference between Hollywoods glitzy
sensibilities and the smarty-pants culture of Silicone Valley and later,
it merges two inherently different cultures: the brash, flashy ethos of
entertainment executives and the rumpled, brainiac realm of computer nerds. Where
are the cliche police?
Knocking Gas-guzzlers gives us all a place to preen, if our cars
But were mistaken. Saying my car uses less gas than yours is fallacious.
Many people can afford the new gas prices; this is a rich nation. And the Hummer,
for example, has high ground clearance and is safe, which is something. If I
said my Prius is morally superior to your SUV, I might as well say Youve
murdered twenty people and Ive murdered only nine.
When Will They Ever Learn?
In the 11/10/05 NY Times, Neil Genzlinger opens his review of a John
Denver tribute show with this encomium: People who dislike John Denvers music, and
they are many, wont like it any better after seeing Almost Heaven.
Id like to kick him down a flight of stairs. That sentence is not for the
reader, but for his fellow rock-clucks: Hey, I dont like John Denver,
hes stinky, I like cool stuff.
That he is a jerk is not the point. What is the matter with the NY Times?
He turns this in and they print it? Where is their dignity? Responsibility?
the goddam paper of record! Years from now the makers of this tribute will still
feel the sting they do today looking back on this review, and readers will be
misled. (Gut-licker later tells us there are also many people who
LIKE Denver. So put that up front: many people only read
Ignoramus Gal 2
Claire Luna, L.A. Times 11/18/05 lede:
The stabbing death of his 13-year-old son showed Jean-Marc Weber in the
most strange of ways the truth in the proverb Hell hath no fury like a
This is ABOMINABLE. The mans CHILD was MURDERED. Apparently the prosecutor
used the term woman scorned in his statement, and Claire
extended it to be sorta funny, like the guy got what was coming in an
So then would she write Alice Jones found out the hard way what Jackie
Gleason meant when he said, One day, Alice - Bang! Zoom! when
her husband stabbed and beat her to death?
Of course not. Woman on man death is a matter of concern but also of sympathy:
why did she do it? did he provoke it? is it funny?
Man on woman: men are bad.
Last year actor Tony Hendra wrote a highly-praised6 book
about his Catholic mentor Father Joe. This year Hendras daughter
shot back a book about Hendra molesting her. Her tale is sordid. But it is belated,
and only backed up by ... people who werent there.
Im not a lawyer, but I look for facts. While I lean toward her story --
why would she make this dastardly charge? - the press is staunchly lined up behind
her, for if a woman accuses, its as good as true.
6 The subsequent oft-cited charge
by a movie associate that Hendra overstated his role in the creation
of This Is Spinal
Tap is marched out as if it is some enormous revelation. Like its
all the naysayers have.
More Things I Just Found Out
- We shed a million skin particles an hour. Bloodhounds follow our skin trail,
not our blood.
- If you set your modern VCR (remember them???!!!) to record at full speed on
a timer, the machine will know the amount of tape left on the reel and will slow
down the speed to make it fit.
- When you press the remote door-opener on a modern car (in my case,
a rental), one beep opens only the drivers door, two beeps the front two doors, and
three beeps all four doors. Bec some people, like women late at night, dont
want all the doors to open.
- When you press the Walk button (in L.A.) it will not affect
the rate of light change, it will only permit the WALK sign to light
when the stoplight gets around to changing in its own sweet time.
- Stores no longer give S&H Green Stamps. (I already knew this.)
On I Love Lucy, she wins $1000 and Ricky snatches it away to pay bills. Lets
see, we have $250 for rent... That was a lot of dough in the 50s. Even
for NY. In a thing about Mark Twain they said He made $400 a night lecturing,
which was the same thing he made in a month as a riverboat captain. A hundred
a week for a riverboat captain in 1865? You could buy a house for $400 then.
Tales of La City - 2
At Albertsons grocery store on Hillhurst. Jessie and I put about $50 worth
of stuff on the belt, and when it was tallied I said Oh, heck. I left my
wallet in the car. The next guy in line, unpreposessing, in his late 40s,
with a look of concern on his face said Ill get it for you. Was
he a lottery winner? Or just a man concerned that another man did not have the
money to buy food for his family? I laughed - stupidly - and said, No,
really, I have the money in the car and dashed out. Kinda dizzily.
This from Gary Giddins Bing Crosby, A Pocketful Of Dreams, The Early
Years 1903 -1940 (Little, Brown, 2001), in a capsule bio of bandleader
He was born in Denver, in 1890, the son of music educator Wilberforce J.
Whiteman, who abominated jazz and broke with his son over it. (Two of the elder
Whitemans other students, bandleaders Jimmie Lunceford and Andy
Kirk, would become leading figures of the Swing era: he must have considered
himself a total failure.)
And this, attributed to megaphonic popular singer Rudy Vallee, whose
theme song was My Time Is Your Time, upon hearing the new Crosby singing style: My
time is short.
From George Carlins book, Silly Putty & Napalm
- If Im legally drunk, whats the problem?
Not to belabor the obvious --
A Christmas Gift To You From Philles Records is
a gift that sure keeps on giving.
- 57 -
Xmas Pics For You
From The Kinky Friedman party at Lucys El Adobe Restaurant, Nov
1. AF, Chuck E. Weiss. Friends for 40 years.
2. Danny Hutton, Van Dyke Parks.
3. Jenny Angel, of the Bakersfield band the Dusk Devils, and Kinky.