-January 2006-

Other Fein Messes

First Record/First Concert

It’s hard to pinpoint the very first record that I bought because music was always around the house. I mean, I was playing Louis Jordan 78’s on the record player when I was in diapers. As I got older my aunt Alice would always buy my brother Charles and I, whatever new elvis record was out around Christmas time. I will never forget the 45 of “jailhouse rock”, I think we also got “wake up little Susie” by the everly brothers. So I didn’t buy any of those but I owned them. I wore out the elvis record. “treat me Nice”, the flipside of “Jailhouse rock” was my meatball. So I believe the very first record that I bought with my hard earned cash was the Ritchie valens album, the one with “donna” and “la bamba” on it.

I got it for my birthday in October of 1960. Ritchie had been dead for over a year and I remember seeing the album in the advertisements for 12 records for 1.00 or something, I think it was Columbia record club, don’t know for sure. But I remember underneath the album it called him, recently dead…..immortal. so I figured his album had to be pretty good.

So anyway one Saturday in October of 1960, I went up to johnson’s music store on myrtle avenue in Monrovia and bought my copy of the Ritchie valens album. It cost 3.98. I still have the album and the price is till there for all to see, barely. I remember it was Saturday, so after “gunsmoke”, I put it on and it knocked me out. The song “in a Turkish town” was world music before there was such a thing and the song “hi tone” reminded me of this girl named Doris Bullock that I was infatuated with at time.

I played the album constantly for the next few weeks but by then I started buying other records like “when Will I be loved b/w be bop a lula” by the everly brothers and “the hucklebuck” by chubby checker with his cover of “whole lotta shakin’ “ on the other side. I soon forgot about the girl and jumped right into music.

So anyway the 60’s were rolling along, the Motown thing was happening, james brown was on the scene and the impressions too. Sometimes you had to go a little further down the am dial to pick them up. In November of ’63, the week before kennedy was shot I bought “baby, Don’t you weep b/w for your precious love” by garnet mimms and the enchanters and by this time, another girl had my nose open. Dolores butler was her name. of course, the next week the world changed and everything went dark for awhile.

Which brings me to the first show that I ever saw, it must have been early November of ’63 at the Duarte armory, there was show featuring the rumblers, round robin. Robin ward and keith colley, I think. It was a Saturday night  and we were all there, dressed up like pride and dignity. Everyone lip synched except for the rumblers. They were for real. Remember this was the time of petti coats and spike heels and trying to slow dance to every song. It was a great evening. It was my first experience at a live show and it did not prepare me for the hysteria, 2 years down the line.

Within a two week period I saw the stones and bob Dylan, both at the height of their powers. My buddy got me the stones ticket because he snuck off campus and stood in line at a record store in arcadia, the neighboring city. The show was at the sports arena, downtown L.A. it was quite night, the stones were loud, ragged and right that night. See, for the longest time. I didn’t even know that anybody could go to a show, I always thought you had to be special. Had I known different, I would have started earlier. 2 weeks later, Dylan and the hawks (the Band) were at the Pasadena civic. Dylan was has white as ghost and he had on that brown checkered suit that he was wearing at the time. The Hawks (the band), looked like a bunch of country preachers. But the music that they played that night was for knife fighting and whisky drinking.

I remember seeing my future brother in law walk out because this during the time of that Dylan has gone electric period. He was blowing the folkies minds. You  have to remember that this was 1965 and Dylan and the stones on stage, well that was a nightmare to some people because the walls were beginning to crumble. I was really never the same after that. Much to the chagrin of my great aunt effie. Despite all goodness of all of that, here was a show that I missed at the Pasadena civic, Ray charles, his orchestra and the raelets featuring Margie Hendricks. It was a Friday night in January 1961 and I wanted to stay home and watch the twilight zone. Go figure

Paul Body, spoken word person, sheiks of shake drummer, television panelist on the poker party, video clerk at video journeys, a lover of paris and author of “love is like rasputin” and soon coming sometime this millennium “hostage to the Beat”. If you want to hear more about 1965, I have copies of the cd “love is like rasputin”.

Another Fein Mess
AF Stone’s Monthly
January, 2006


Crazy times1. Had some PRESSURE on my MIND in Nov/Dec. I lost interest in eating, though I ate. It’s weird to disconnect from food. You look at it and think “I should be stimulated by this, but it’s meaningless.” I lost 25 lbs, which should be enough. Recently regained a bit of hunger, hope not to resume my old constant-eating habits.

Went to a hypnotherapist. For $125 (!!!) I was in for an hour. After a 40-minute inquiry he put me under. Sort of. I never was hypnotized before and didn’t quite believe it this time. “Your arm will now rise by itself” he said confidently. I raised my arm not to disappoint him. I laid back on the reclining chair, closed my eyes on cue, and heard him softly build up to one word, “acceptance.” Crap. For that dough I wanted a whole litany to ward off the pain I was feeling.

I believe the subconscious feeds the mind. In a Self-Hypnosis book/tape2 I bought, I learned that the phrase “Every day in every way I’m getting better and better,” which I’d heard parodied in the 50s, was a byword for a 1930s movement which maintained that the subconscious locks in good things which, when repeated, led you down the expressed path. Which made me think warily of my own mantra the previous two weeks, “I want to die” and “I want to kill myself.”3

I felt no better after leaving. But 5 days later I thought I was cracking up, so I called again. He went throught the hypnotism rap again, but this time I went under fast, like I was glued to the chair. He shortened the preamble and presented stories, parallels, pointing toward the solubility of my problem. “Put it in a box” he said. “Enjoy, in retrospect, the wonderful thing you once had, and celebrate it.” (Let’s say I lost my little red wagon.) “Everything changes and things move on, so just appreciate the fact that you had something that wonderful.”

It was a good rap, and I walked out of there dizzy like I’d taken a drug. That calmness lasted well into the evening, when the ‘calamity’ reshaped itself and revisited me.

But I had a tape. The therapist (no medical degree, PhD in psychology) made it while talking to me, and suggested I use it at home. (The trance you enter into is voluntary, and since you’re conscious you can break out of it at will.) It was only 20 minutes on a 90, so I made my own affirmations. repeated ten and twenty times over like the ‘30’s people. As days passed I added more items, and by the end was skipping the therapist portion entirely, choosing to concentrate on my problem as I identified it. It works sometimes, is all I can say.

1 Decent song by Gene Vincent. Co-written by my fr Paul Hampton.

2 The folks at the Bodhi Tree should have given me 50% off. It was a TAPE. Nobody wants a tape, except me. Copyright was 1995.

3 Though I did utter these things many times, I never was serious. I could not kill myself for a simple reason. I believe that everyone leads everyone else’s life, eventually. (Time is, of course, an illusion.) I think this because I have had an untroubled life. No major successes in any field, but I have not suffered, really, ever. No great pains, no limbs lost, not born with irregularities, no horrid mistakes, not born to a poor family in Rwanda, not burned at a stake, on and on. It guides me in dealing with other people: if I hurt or swindle you, I will someday experience that same malfeasance when I’m you. Next time around I might be an ant that’s burned to death on a sunny day by a kid with a magnifying glass. I’m certain I have lived and am still living an easy life, up in the top 1% of all human existence, so I’m in no hurry to see what comes next.

Old Record News

In 1971 I got the Drifters “Their Greatest Recordings” album from Atlantic. Saw “There Goes My Baby” at the very end, cut 14, and a bunch of other stuff I didn’t know. “Darn” I would have reviewed it if I’d reviewed it, “what a ripoff.”4

Of course, when I got to know all the mid-1950s, pre-”There Goes My Baby” stuff, I changed my tune: “Three Thirty-Three,” what a rocker, Clyde McPhatter singing. And “Whatcha Gonna Do?” And Clyde again on “The Bells Of St. Mary,” obviously the model for Bobb B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans’ version. And, Clyde once more, “White Christmas” - holy smokes, the version that Elvis did on his Xmas album.

Some gifts come in surprising packages.

At a book store in Walnut Creek in December I saw a 10-CD box set called “Rock ‘n’ Roll.” The promise of Chuck Berry, Bill Haley, Carl Perkins, and others made me think “Chuck Berry on Mercury, Bill Haley on Warner Bros and Carl Perkins on Columbia” and other similar off-label junk. But I turned the thing over and glanced at the 6-pt titles of the non-name songs that followed each “star” lead-off: Dig Me Little Mama, Back Up Buddy, Sag Drag & Fall, Diggin’ & Datin’, Jumpin’ From Six to Six, Rock Me Baby, Beetle Bug Bop, Real Gone Rocket, Saucer Boogie, Bawlin’ & Squawlin’, Whoa Boy, Good Deal Lucille, Dig That Hot Rod.....

That’s 14 titles. There were 186 others on the box. It was a lalapalooza, a goldmine of country and rockabilly and boogie faves from the early and mid-50s. A bonanza for the epicure, and probably a drag for the ones who want to hear the hits. (But maybe if they buy it they’ll catch on.)

The set cost $29.95, and I was the only one buying.
Order # 223002 from Membran International GmbH, Hamburg Germany

4 Even then I would not have used that cliche.

Progess, Shmogress

I had the trans rebuilt in my ‘86 Volvo. It was that or buy a new car for $30,000. The Volvo has 350,000 miles on it, but only 110,000 on the rebuilt engine. What’s so special about this car? Nothing. It’s a square car (literally, figuratively) that has a big enough trunk, and I can see 360 degrees around from the inside. (When I crane my head. I don’t have eyes in the back.)

I learned from Rip Masters that the window area of a car interior is called the greenhouse. (Nice!) This car’s greenhouse differs from any new car’s in that it has strategically placed posts and supports, but no convertible-toplike cowling that cuts out visibility. All cars today are designed with blackout spots! And moreover, today’s cars’ rear’s rise. You look out the back and the trunk lid slopes up. That way it’s difficult to know where the car ends. A downsloping trunk gives you, again, good visibility. So I’m sticking with what I know.

I Almost Took A Job 5

Among many humiliations in my life, job-applying, back in the
Mesozoic Era, ranks high.

* Just out of high school in Chicago I applied at an employment agency downtown. The kid interviewing me was about a year older with an accent from, oh, Kentucky. He gave me a test form and after I completed it said “That’s great, Arthur, only one wrong.” Which one?, I said. He showed me a math problem. “The answer is .001, not .01.” I protested that it was right, and showed him. “Well, goll-lee, you sure are smart. Now tell me, how much would you be willing to pay for a job?” I left.

* Sometime later, applying somewhere, I took another test that had you pick out one thing out of phase in this series: Table, chair, dresser, window, chesterfield.

I wrote window, bec all the others were furniture.
“No,” the man said, “the answer is chesterfield. That’s a cigarette.”

I reeled, and took hold of the test.
“This test is from Canada. They call a sofa a chesterfield there.”
The guy thought me dumb. The feeling was mutual.

* Being too smart (Oh, the burden!) isn’t so good. At a company meeting at Elektra Records a department head proclaimed “The new Joe Walsh album is going to be our penultimate new release.” Afterwards I pulled him aside and said “I know you meant the primary or most important, but penultimate means next to the last.” He countered with, “No it doesn’t. I learned that word from a promotion man in Boston.”

I didn’t last long at that job.

5 A famous David Crosby song?

The Ignoramus Is Not An Endangered Species

This bit of mean-spirited rock writing from Michael Corcoran, Austin American-Statesman, describing Joaquin Phoenix in the Cash biopic as "Ray Liotta with a harelip." Speaking of overcoming medical handicaps, how about a sentence written by someone with shit for brains? (KB)

Police Notes

In November I saw four police motorcycles sandwich the two black limos heading up Highland by the Hollywood Bowl. A lone motorcycle cop headed into a sidestreet and made a U-turn and stood sentry, insuring the limo passengers’ safety from side-fire. I wondered what head of state was in town, but quickly realized it was the Rolling Stones.

How the hell do you HIRE uniformed L.A. Police? If I have enough money, can I make them drive around in circles for my amusement?

Antiques Roadshow

This venerable PBS show has undergone a change toward kindness. Every item shown is a winner. In the past, they’d include people holding useless things and record their disappointment. Like the guy who had a beat-up violin with the name “Sophia” written inside it. “Someone told me Sophia was Stradivarius’s girlfriend” he said. What a riot!

But every so often this blonde gal Lara Spencer appears and hollers some unwanted information. Maybe PBS viewers are all hard of hearing.

Tales of LA City (-adjacent)

When Virginia’s ‘82 Toyota was totalled she got $1500 in compensation and sought another car. She saw only heaps in L.A., and when in San Diego on a Sunday phoned an ad that offered a 1999 Chevy Corsica for $3500. She left her cell-phone #, and got a call-back from a man at a country-club who said the car had 99,000 miles on it and was well-maintained. “I have only $1500” she said. He said the price was $3500. “Well, I’m a 75-year-old single woman holding two jobs. Does your country club ever give consideration to needy people?” He said he would talk to the officials. Ten minutes later he called back and said “Come pick up your car.”


I can think of two stores that sell cell phones in poor reception areas. To test them you have to walk out the door and down the street. The stores have been there for years. Do they have an ironclad 20-year lease? The Sprint store in Studio City has a line to pay your bill, and a notice saying it will cost you $4 to do it.

I love the new vacuum cleaners that display the dirt and eliminate bags. The bags were invented to make disposal neat! Now you have to shake the plastic jar over a trash can and get dust in your face.

Breaking News! Everyone’s ordering online. You send in money and they mail you merchandise. Just like the Montgomery Ward catalog in 1900.

This Just In: El Pollo Loco, which had supplied good plastic ‘cutlery’ has thinned out their implements so they bend. But they haven’t yet gotten to sporks, so we should be grateful.

And how about the thrill of on-line banking? The ads show a customer wide-eyed to learn that he can do all the bank’s work -- and they don’t charge him anything for it! The world has gone nuts.

Man it's great to live in the center of the universe. 
I went to Amoeba Music6 at 10 p.m. to pick up my drivers license. That's not so pretty: I’d been searching for hours, they'd had it for days (didn't need it til this morning), they made no effort to contact me. After all, people who lose things don't usually know where they lost them! Regardless, I went in at 10:10 headed to see if any Alison Kraus CDs were cheap (like Dolly Partons that occasionally drop to $5.98 - nope) and I heard a familiar song. Jesus Christ, it was "Too Much," the original, on 4 Star by Bernard Hardison. I ALWAYS KNEW ABOUT IT BUT NEVER HEARD IT. It was on a Memphis or Nashville R&B 1945-1955 CD put out by the Country Music Foundation - Volume 2! I was dizzy from the serendipity of encountering it. So I picked up a Kendalls album for $1.98 and a 20-cut Helen Humes CD for $4.98 when I heard this incredible New Orleans back beat. I asked the guy if it was Smiley Lewis, and he said "Close," not the answer you'd get everywhere. He showed me the Champion Jack Dupree CD on Atlantic. "Sold" I said. (He was pricing it, at $5.98 used.) This was an incredible 15 minutes in my life. 

6 Amoeba, at Sunset and Cahuenga, is absolutely the most immense record-sales depot in L.A. It’s wiping out many smaller (every other store is smaller) stores like the venerable Aron’s, which is closing its doors.

Outside the Modern Folk Quartet show, Kulak’s/North Hollywood, Dec 18th. Jerry Yester, Cyrus Faryar, Paul Surratt (formerly of Shilo, owner of Research Video, L.A.), partly hidden - Chip Douglas, Tim Hauser, Henry “Tad” Diltz.

Blasters, AF 12/15

Carlos Guitarlos, Marcy Levy, Liquid Kitty/Santa Monica. 12/18

Carlos, Todd “Slim” Everett, Santa Monica. 12/18

- 57 -


Every Xmas the last five years, we've been going up to Kutshers, one of the last remaining old-school Catskills resorts. (Kosher kitchen - no butter on the table at dinnertime!)

Sunday night, onstage at the Stardust Room: Joey Dee & the Starliters. Out front -  Dee, David Brigati and Bob Valli - latter two being bros of you know whos.

Midset, Brigati steps up to the mic and asks if anyone in the crowd can help him decide which Medicare Prescription Drug Plan he should sign up for. After 40-odd years in the biz, the man knows his audience!

Bob Valli kind of looks like Frankie, albeit put through the Addams Family rack:  According to Dee's onstage banter, he's a "44 long." Actually he looks like Frankie crossed with SCTV's Joe Flaherty in Count Floyd mode...from the audience, the whites of his his eyes looked completely red.
Not easy bein' Frankie's not-very-successful bro, I'd surmise.
Especially in Jersey.

The set, by the way, was one-third Starliters songs, one-third Four Seasons/Frankie V. solo material - Bob sounds close enough - and one-third Rascals songs, even though the only Eddie Brigati-on-lead Rascals tune they did was "How Can I Be Sure." (So, sadly, no No "Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore.") Then again, David sounds enough like Eddie and Felix Cavaliere combined that it was pretty good.

Random historical musing: While we all associate "Shout" with the Isley Brothers, it was actually Joey Dee's version that was the Top Ten pop hit (#6 in March, '62.) While released twice-- '59 and '62--the Isleys' original never made the Top 40 nationally. True fact.

Even better: At the show, Dee threw in "What Kind of Love Is This?' their last big hit, from summer '62. Listening, it finally dawned on me that the words AND melody of its opening line--"What kind of love is this?" --is another Isley rip-off...stolen from "Respectable" ("What kind of girl is this?")...said song to be found, along with "Shout," as we all know, on the Isleys' '59 debut LP. And just to rub it in, of course, the Outsiders re-did "Respectable" and had a hit with it in '66.
A double steal, then...pretty rare!

Billy Altman

From Neal McCabe

In the LA Weekly, Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics says this:
"Early Eurythmics videos were based on everything from Salvador Dali to Marcel Duchamp."
Since both of these guys were Surrealist painters, this is undoubtedly the most narrow (and thus the most meaningless) range I have ever encountered on the Fein scale!
Man Ray

This One From Peoria

Hey Art,
hope things are going well this hectic time of year.

I got an email from a friend of a friend about his days going to hear Link Wray play for frat boys. Dig it:

Dear Mike:

Your long message and World Tour attachment came at the perfect time. I checked my e-mail Tuesday morning soon after learning that Link Wray died on November 5 at age 76 in Copenhagen. I got to know "The Link" as
we called him in the early 1960s. He played fraternity parties at the three big weekends at Cornell U. and quickly became a legend. Recordings do
not capture the power and magic that Link Wray brought to the small parties held in the basements of TKE and other houses. He loved dance parties--and drew energy from the crowd. Definitely shades of "Animal House." Link and his band would drive up from Dunn, NC, in an old hearse (I think a Caddy) pulling a trailer with the drums and amps. Was the music loud? Oh, yes. After three hours one was in pain--but, of course, a
good kind of pain. When I transferred to Union College in Schenectady in 1963 I encouraged friends at fraternities to book the Link and he became a legend there. Those were the days when rock was accessible. Small venues were the norm. Bo Diddley played fraternities at Cornell and I remember that the campus cops used to take him from one gig to another because the band was so stoned. But oh was the music dynamite. Please pardon my trip down memory lane. I obviously have fond recollections of the good ole days before the Beatles changed the landscape in 1964.

Cheers, Chuck

Art, I asked another friend who grew up at that time why everyone stop digging Bo and Link when the Beatles came along? Bo and Link were still good, correct? These fans liked them and then they didn't because the Fabs flew into JFK? Puzzling.

Michael Ochs' pix of Conway are fantastic! I love "Long Black Train" on MGM and "Give Me Some Lovin'" on Mercury as well as the smattering of Sun stuff I've heard. Oh, and "Lonely Blue Boy."

One last thing. Peoria native Richard Pryor died last week and up comes one of my favorite puzzlements: the chitlin' circuit. "Richard cut his teeth on the chitlin' circuit...etc etc." Where is this circuit? Someone must have researched this by now. There has to be an actual route. Or is it just a metaphor for backwoods clubs and there is no acutal rhyme or reason to the geography of it. If you know, please clue me in.

Happy Holidays, bob paton

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