-December 2005-

Other Fein Messes

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 

    photos by Michael Ochs
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, don’t they?


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 going.


Another Fein Mess
AF Stone’s Monthly
December 2005

I’m A Rock Crit

The new Carlos Guitarlos album, Hell Can Wait, his second, is the greatest thing I’ve 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 Shakespeare’s Sister) is Carlos’s co-singer on several moving cuts.

I wish the record hadn’t opened with the good but ‘regular’ blues of “Love Me From The Start.” It makes you think it’s 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 Carlos’s 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 can’t 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 didn’t 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 Taylor’s (Blasters) boogie woogie piano - and Carlos’s 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

The finale, “I’ve Been Dead Since You’ve Been Gone,” is a beautiful cry of loss that took affected Carlos so emotionally that he put off recording it for a year.


Thank God for Carlos Guitarlos.



(1 E. OF BUNDY), West Los Angeles


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 Weiser’s 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. It’s 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.

Generation Gap

There’s 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 sheep’s body - it’s 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 TJ’s” 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 doesn’t 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 Esquire’s ‘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, they’re plastic. And they’re 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 royalties.

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

There’s 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 they’re defending the artistry and integrity of John Lennon can’t know what John would think. Maybe he’d say “Sure, let’s get it sorted out.” Other aspects of his life indicate he was a reasonable guy.

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 she’s 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 company’s 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 empire, we’d 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 I’m making now is my 29th film in 10 years. Do the math.”

Page 4 hed: “A Broadway Blockbuster Does The Hollywood 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 I’d get advice from someone familiar with it! Sad thing, the kid’s editor is probably 40, a reasonably old age, and he, too, knows only the cliches about the 60s and probably thinks “Grease” is a documentary.

2 Do you remember everyone wearing peasant clothes and long hair in that movie? Maybe he was watching “Hair.”

3 My kid needed “90’s” 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” producer’s resume includes “everything from television movies to an ‘N’Sync 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 big flood.

* If you have to use “Think,” as in “He’s a bombastic drone - think rock crit,” at least use THIMK, like they did in Mad in the 50s.

* 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.

High Anxiety

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 (I’m 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 you’re not supposed to lose weight that fast. My doctor said it was OK. If I drop dead this month, I’ll know he’s wrong.

4 What caused it? I couldn’t say.


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.

Maslon’s next graph opens “These claims - legitimate, by the way .....”
Janny, you been taking LSD too? No, it’s pot that’s 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! It’s only the chorus!) I could sing you right now “Love, Love, Love,” the 1956 Clovers recording (and I’m 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 song “Sgt. Pepper’s 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. I’m 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 there’s 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 thusly: “But whether the Ito family will farm strawberry fields forever is anyone’s guess.” HURRAH!

Woids Of Endearment

The L.A. Times dropped some columnists, and added some others. In Joel Stein’s rambling debut (11/15/05), he spake those words we Southern Californians so love to hear: “I’ve lived in this city for 10 months...”

That’s 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 York.

And Chris Gaither, 11/14, in his (?) article about mergers of internet companies and movie companies, cites “The difference between Hollywood’s 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 car’s not one.

But we’re 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 “You’ve murdered twenty people and I’ve 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 Denver’s music, and they are many, won’t like it any better after seeing ‘Almost Heaven.’ ”

I’d like to kick him down a flight of stairs. That sentence is not for the reader, but for his fellow rock-clucks: “Hey, I don’t like John Denver, he’s 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? It’s 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 opening lines.)

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 woman scorned’ “

This is ABOMINABLE. The man’s 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 amusing way.

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 Hendra’s daughter shot back a book about Hendra molesting her. Her tale is sordid. But it is belated, and only backed up by ... people who weren’t there.

I’m 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, it’s 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 it’s 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 driver’s door, two beeps the front two doors, and three beeps all four doors. Bec some people, like women late at night, don’t 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. “Let’s 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. Something’s wacky.

Tales of La City - 2

At Albertson’s 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 “I’ll 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.

Dashed Dreams

This from Gary Giddins’ “Bing Crosby, A Pocketful Of Dreams, The Early Years 1903 -1940” (Little, Brown, 2001), in a capsule bio of bandleader Paul Whiteman:

“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 Whiteman’s 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 Carlin’s book, Silly Putty & Napalm

- If I’m legally drunk, what’s 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 Lucy’s El Adobe Restaurant, Nov 15, 2005.

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.

Email Art Fein

Other Fein Messes