Sunday, August 29, 2010

VIDEO: Stan Ridgway " Neon Mirage " (A video by John Trivisonno)


Stan Ridgway " Neon Mirage " / from the album Neon Mirage

A video by John Trivisonno - an old neon signs collage ! For a tune from Ridgway's new album "NEON MIRAGE" - more here: Stan writes on this guitar instrumental from his website: " Morricone and Alessandroni, Dick Dale, Duane Eddy, Jeff Beck and so many others have used the electric guitar in place of a singing voice. By that I mean that the melodies played by the guitar could just as well be sung if there were words - that's how close they sound to seemingly saying something profound and not just "riffing." They speak. I love the guitar and this piece was inspired by folks like them and their music.) ...more on the song: "Like something you think you see, and are drawn to, but aren't sure if it's real or not. But you know the journey to find the Truth of what it is will be long and filled with great sacrifice. And it may take much longer than you think. Then, what if we do finally get there and it's like Gertrude Stein said of an unfortunate Bayside city, "There is no there, there"?! Or, upon arriving where you'd seen it last, it suddenly jumps out in front again, miles and miles away and out of reach. Is it playing with us? True victory is not always measured in my mind by material possessions, or awards, or money. Victory can also be just as much the quest itself - an end in itself. And the end becomes the beginning. Onward march to victory. Even if it is just a mirage. We've already won." - website: purchase link:

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REVIEW BY Stephen W. Terrell here:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Elmer Anderson with a Powerful Show of Incomprehensible Images! Art of the Lowest Order!


Elmer Anderson Returns with a Powerful Show of Incomprehensible Images! Art of the Lowest Order!

My second staggering post devoted to the most remarkable talentless artist in postcard history. Previous Post is HERE. (Collect them all!)

Group of Elmer Anderson Postcards, circa 1950 Collection Jim Linderman


Elmer Anderson, The Third Worst Cartoonist in History Postcards

(Click to Enlarge)

The esteemed Elmer Anderson. Or as he is known anywhere a stamp would reach, the GENUINE Elmer Anderson. Biographical information on the prolific post card Picasso is precious... but his primary genres have been identified: 
Tit Jokes
Stinky Things
Why did I get Married?
Occupationals and Situationals (Bars, Fisherman, Doctors)
Animal Kingdom (Peeing Dogs and Unwelcome Storks)

And most notable, the renowned "Ugly People" series done at the peak of his Elmer powers in 1951. (Interestingly, the year before Mad Magazine debuted) Early Elmers were self-published with a plain reverse. As his fame spread, Elmer created a "stamp here" logo, presumably a self-portrait. All seem to have come from Waterloo, Iowa, certainly an artistic hotbed of the 1950's.

Group of Genuine Elmer Anderson Postcards, c. 1950 Collection Jim Linderman

(For previous entries in the World's Worst Cartoonist Series click blue subject heading, or use search box above)


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Niney the Observer presents bring the Dub come-King Tubby in Dub & Sledgehammer Dub in the Streets of Jamaica

Niney the Observer presents bring the Dub come-King Tubby in Dub

22 dubs from Niney The Observer mixed at King Tubby's.
Tracks 3-12 are described as being from the "Lost Album".
 In the 70s it was commom practice for most of the top music producers in Jamaica
to take their tunes to King Tubby's studio for dub mixes.
 Tubby remixed the songs and dubbed them over on his 4 track mixer.
 A copy was given back to the producer and Tubby would keep other copies with different mixes,
 which were only exclusive to him, for his sound system.
The lost album comes from a set of these tapes that were found at King Tubby's after his murder in 1989.
Over an hour's worth of excellent dubs featuring Tubby's distinctive trademark in the mixing and editing.

bring the dub come

continuing in the next post.....



For full info: ~~~ 

From the album 'Sledgehammer Dub (Motion Records) Avaiable from iTunes. A compilation of alternative mixes to Dennis Brown B-Sides from 75/76 (many of the vocals can be found on the "Deep Down With Dennis Brown" LP), "Sledgehammer Dub" was first released on the Observer label in late 1976 and original copies have been the subject of bidding wars between reggae collectors ever since. Why? Because the bugger ain't just a quarter century old and damn good, its also seriously scarce. The initial pressing run was tiny, somewhere around 300 records, so all praises due to Motion for making it more widely available." The secret to the success of all his best works, says Holness, is in the rhythms. Not the lyrics, not the skill of the singer, the band or the producer, but the power of the rhythms themselves. [REAL GROOVE Magazine]




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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Richie Unterberger: Billy Boy Arnold talks about Bo Diddley

Richie Unterberger

Welcome to the website of Richie Unterberger, author of books on music history and travel, and reviewer of too many albums to count for various books, publications, and databases. Whether you've found my address in my latest books, arrived here via a link from another site, or just typed in my name for the heck of it hoping to find me on the Internet, I'm glad you're checking it out.

Billy Boy Arnold

His name isn't well known, but few Chicago blues artists have been as intimately involved with the city's blues scenes over the last five decades as Billy Boy Arnold has. One of the first Windy City blues singers who was actually born in Chicago, Arnold was learning harmonica from the original Sonny Boy Williamson in the late 1940s, before even entering his teens. By the early 1960s, he was performing with an unknown Bo Diddley on street corners, playing the classic stop-and-start harmonica riff on "I'm a Man." A stint as a solo artist on Vee-Jay in the 1950s yielded some fine sides, especially "I Wish You Would" and "I Ain't Got You," both to be covered by the Yardbirds when Eric Clapton was in the band. Arnold had only sporadic opportunities to record as a leader from the 1960s through the 1980s, but a deal with Alligator Records in the 1990s boosted his visibility to its highest level for forty years.

When did you first start playing with Bo Diddley?

Around '51. Over on Maxwell Street they played on the street weekends. These were unprofessional guys, mostly. I heard that some of the guys like Muddy Waters and those guys played on the street corner over on Maxwell Street in the early forties, it was real popular to play on the streets around Maxwell Street. 'Cause it's an open market. Most of those guys hadn't recorded as a professional. But it wasn't common to see people just playing up and down the street around the South Side, but every now and then you might see Bo Diddley, like a young group, he wasn't playing clubs, and that was one way of making some money. I heard Earl Hooker used to play on the street corners too. But it wasn't common to walk down the street and see somebody playing on the street.

When I first started playing with Bo, he was playing blues, like doing Muddy Waters tunes, he didn't have any originals at the time. He made up songs, you know. He played a rhythm boogie-woogie type of guitar, and then he played some of the kind of Latin beats that he was known for later. But mainly he was trying to play boogie-woogie blues, same as Muddy Waters, "Catfish Blues" and stuff like that.

He was the type of guy that was always--he wasn't what you'd call a straight blues player like Muddy Waters or Jimmy Rogers. He always had his own little gimmick way of playing, and his tunes were different from most of the other guys. He made up some tunes, and he played the hambone beat on the guitar and things like that. But he doesn't say, I'm gonna write any special songs for that especially. He already had "I'm a Man" and a couple of other tunes, but it wasn't like he said the song "Bo Diddley" wasn't even in the picture. That was created on the spot in the studio. The Bo Diddley name, the song, didn't even exist. He didn't go in the studio and say, I got a song called Bo Diddley and I'm Bo Diddley. His name wasn't Bo Diddley, it was Ellas McDaniels.

How did the song "Bo Diddley" come about?

He was playing the hambone beat, as I said. He was singing, "Papa gonna buy his babe  a diamond ring," and playing the hambone beat. And I suggested, why don't you say Bo Diddley? That's how that name came into the picture. 'Cause instead of saying papa gonna buy his babe a diamond," why don't you say, "Bo Diddley's gonna buy his babe a diamond ring." That's how that word, and that's how--I wrote some of the lyrics on the song, about three of the verses. And we made up on the same song on, just as me suggesting. Why don't you say Bo Diddley gonna buy his babe a diamond ring. Because there was a guy at Indiana Theater, which had Midnight Rambler shows on Saturday night. And his name was Bo Diddley, he was a comedian. And they had Butterbeans & Susie, Big Bill Broonzy. Every Saturday night at midnight, they had what they called a Midnight Rambler. Memphis Minnie would play there sometimes, Big Bill Broonzy played there. They'd feature one major blues star every Saturday night.

The first time I heard the word Bo Diddley, I was playing with him on the street in 1951. And the bass player said, "Hey Ellas, there go Bo Diddley," talking about this guy that played the Indiana Theater. And I thought that was the funniest word in my life, I just cracked up. I never forgot that name, Bo Diddley.

So we was doing this recording thing. We had "I'm a Man," we had which was later changed to "You Don't Love Me, You Don't Care," and we had a song called "Little Girl," and we had a song called "Little Grenadier." He had the Bo Diddley type of rhythm, the hambone rhythm on a guitar. He was singing, "hey dirty mother"...and we had to make up a lyric, 'cause that kind of lyric wouldn't have went on the record. Leonard Chess wanted to know, what did Bo Diddley mean? He thought that was a derogatory word or something, 'cause he had never heard it. So I explained that it meant a comical, bow-legged type of a guy. We didn't know--we made the song up, as I said I wrote three of the verses. I was too young to capitalize on getting half the song. I didn't even pay any attention to that. When the record came out, to our surprise, the song was "Bo Diddley," and to our surprise, he named the artist Bo Diddley.

We figured that he might use the word Bo Diddley for the song, but we didn't know that he gonna call the artist Bo Diddley. We thought the record was gonna be Ellas McDaniels and the hipsters singing "Bo Diddley." When we saw the record, it was "Bo Diddley" by Bo Diddley. So that's how the word Bo Diddley and the song "Bo Diddley" came about. It was like a fluke, you know. It wasn't something that was made up in his hands.

It was a hit record because of the beat and the guitar. It ain't nothing but the hambone beat, actually. But he's playing it on the guitar with the tremolo. It had that organ effect, and the words was comical. The fact that it was called Bo Diddley might have helped.

What was the atmosphere like, recording at Chess?

When we did the Bo Diddley session, Leonard Chess directed Bo Diddley like a solo act. He would tell him where the solo should come in, and where the singing should come in. And he worked with the artist, like, Play it man! Give me more of this and more of that! Whereas at VJ, they were more laid back. You came in and whatever you had, you just sit down and write it down, so to speak. And that was that.

I was much younger than Bo Diddley. He was about eight or nine years older than me. Leonard did say, he didn't like Little Walter when he first met Little Walter, he told me that. Leonard thought I was a cocky, smart-aleck type of kid. He told Bo he didn't like that harmonica player. Not the music, but my personality. So Bo Diddley told me...see we went there, both, to record. I wanted to record my stuff, he wanted to record his stuff. Bo told me, well, Leonard don't like you, maybe you better go to another record company. And I said okay. And that's why I went to VJ. When Leonard found out that I did, he say, you know, when I first met you, I didn't like you. When I first met Little Walter, I didn't like him. Meaning that he had changed his mind. But it was too late, 'cause I had recorded for VJ.

How did you get set up with VJ as a solo artist?

'Cause when we did the second Bo Diddley record, which was called "Diddley Daddy," that's how that came about. I said if you don't like me, heck, I'll go to another company. And I wrote a song called "Diddy Diddy Dum Dum," and that was supposed to be Bo Diddley's second record. We were playing [live], and I was singing and playing the harmonica like on "I Wish You Would," and Bo Diddley was just playing the guitar. Leonard was there, and he told Bo Diddley, "that's your next record." When they came by for me to go the studio, I was downtown at Universal recording for VJ. But they didn't know it. So Leonard told Bo Diddley, wait till we get Billy tomorrow, and then we'll record it. So when I came to the studio, Bo Diddley started singing and playing, and I was playing the harmonica. And Leonard said, wait a minute, let Billy sing it. And I said, I can't record, 'cause I already recorded for VJ. I had recorded "I Wish You Would," I had changed the lyric, but it had a similar beat and I was using the same harmonica thing. That's how I got from Chess to VJ.

How did "I Wish You Would" come about?

As I say, I wrote the song "Diddy Diddy Dum Dum." And I told VJ I had a song that I wrote for Bo Diddley. And they said, okay. So he told me, why don't you change the lyric around? So I went home and wrote "I Wish You Would." The only reason why I made a record was the Bo Diddley beat. Because I was playing with Bo Diddley at the time. I had no intention of ever capitalizing on Bo Diddley's beat. I had wrote this song, "Diddy Diddy Dum Dum," and I was playing the harmonica like I did on "I Wish You Would." That's how "I Wish You Would" came about. See, Bo Diddley's "Diddy Diddy Dum Dum" went bawm-bawm, bawm-bawm, bawm-bawm, bawm-bawm-bawm, bawm. Well I had Jody Williams, a more advanced guitarist, and he was the same age I am, so he was (sings riff faster). So then I'd made me get a label for the rest of my life with a Bo Diddley type of song. Which I had no intention of ever doing. I was a straight blues guy. I didn't want to be capitalizing on no Bo Diddley type of thing. But once you do something, you're stuck. That's how I got labeled with the Bo Diddley type of thing. Bo Diddley's stuff was rock'n'rollish, it wasn't straight blues, and when I did "I Wish You Would," and it had that similar type of beat, that just throws me in the same pot with Bo Diddley, 'cause everybody identified the song as a Bo Diddley type of song. But I had no intention of ever doing anything like Bo Diddley, 'cause that wasn't my style of music, and I didn't play the guitar like he did. That's his music. But I wrote the song, and he said Leonard didn't like me, and so I went to VJ, and that's what happened.

What do you think were the main ways the Chicago blues scene changed since you started in the 1950s?

In the fifties, it was real hard, electric blues. Muddy Waters in his heyday in 1950 and '51, Little Walter's harmonica was blasting and really on  Muddy's records, which was 75 or 80% of the success of Muddy's records is Little Walter's harmonica playing. That's my opinion. Walter made "Juke," I think, in '52, and that launched him with a hit record. Electric blues and harmonica and Muddy's type of country singing and low-down blues was at its pinnacle at that time. In fact, you couldn't even get a job in a club unless you had a harmonica player in the band. Harmonica players were popping up from everywhere. All up and down the little small clubs on Madison Street, South side, West side, you could hear that harmonica blasting on the amplifiers. The two guitars strumming behind 'em. 'Cause that was the thing. And if you had a saxophone player in the band at the time, nobody wanted it. The saxophone players couldn't hardly get jobs. And piano was just about obsolete. There was a few piano players around, like Sunnyland Slim, Henry Gray, and Otis Spann. Spann and Henry was about the best. Elmore James featured piano, but most bands didn't have a piano.

See, piano started losing ground in the late forties. You must remember that this music changed drastically from 1940 to 1950. Pianos were on their way out in the late 1940s. Piano dominated blues music in the twenties and thirties and til the late forties. See, acoustic blues that original Sonny Boy Williamson was playing, Big Bill Broonzy, and Memphis Minnie, they all used piano. Piano was a dominant instrument. It wasn't guitar. Listen to Big Bill's records, his guitar, it was like fill-in guitar, it wasn't the type of guitar like B.B. King, T-Bone Walker was doing. You listen to T-Bone Walker's records in the forties and everything, the guitar stands out. It's the main instrument. But he had horns and background stuff like that, but T-Bone's guitar stood out like B.B.'s stood out in the fifties. He used piano and everything, but piano started out dying in the late forties. By the fifties, most of those clubs didn't have pianos in 'em. The new clubs that were coming up, they didn't have no pianos. Most of the major old clubs had pianos, old uprights. But a lot of times, the piano wasn't even used, 'caused the bands was using two harmonicas and two guitars, and drums. That was the way the music had changed from, say, 1948 to 1950.

The sixties was pretty good with the blues, blues went on until the late sixties, early seventies, hardcore blues, the style that was going strong in the fifties started fading away more to rhythm and blues type of stuff. Rhythm and blues started taking over, harmonica, Little Walter was sort of like losing ground as king of the harmonica players. And when he was started losing ground, everybody else--the popularity of the harmonica and the two guitars was sort of fading out in '67, '68. The hardcore blues, the type that Muddy and Wolf then was playing, it had this stronghold on the South Side and the West Side and some of the clubs, but it wasn't nearly as popular as it had been in the fifties.

The country blues wasn't as popular in Chicago in the sixties as it was in the early fifties. More bands starting coming in with horns, started coming back. Earl Hooker then was using the organ and horns and harps wasn't in demand, as it was a few years earlier. And Muddy, in the late sixties, Muddy's popularity fell off to the point where he was struggling to hold jobs, and playing for less money, just to keep a band together. Then in 1965 we started playing on a North Side club called Big John's, they didn't even know who Muddy was. We started playing up there, Paul Butterfield was playing there, and I started playing up there in this place on certain days. Then Junior Wells and Buddy Guy and the Aces got a job up there. Then they discovered who Muddy was, and Muddy worked up there for a while. Then Muddy started going on the road. It was more or less, the blues was changing over to a white audience. And Muddy didn't play around Chicago. Wolf played around Chicago continuously, five nights a week, six nights a week, or whatever. But Muddy had lost popularity. Muddy wasn't a hard worker; he relied on his band. Wolf was a dynamic showman, and he kept recording singles, and Muddy's singles was tapering off. Little Walter's popularity wasn't as great as it had been. Junior Wells was playing at clubs, he played a lot of rock'n'roll type of clubs. Then he finally wound up at Theresa's.

A lot of people started going to Europe in the seventies, mid-sixties and seventies, eighties. They wasn't making any money, they was taking advantage of 'em, rippin' 'em off. Go over there, work for a month for peanuts.  A lot of the guys just wanted to go over to Europe to play, and the European people found out they could get you for nothing. They were playing big auditoriums and packing them in, and people here was telling them, I have to pay 'em too much money. The middleman was probably taking all the money. The people that was getting you over there might have been getting more money than you're getting. So it's always been a ripoff in the blues, as far as the artist is concerned. Everybody made more money than the artists.

We were playing for all-black audiences in the sixties and the early seventies. Now it's all white audiences, it's 100% white. All the blues clubs that are functioning is on the North Side. People who like blues are white audiences. Blacks sort of like, they've heard it, and it's an economical thing too. Most of the black people that used to support the blues became economically uptight. So they couldn't support the clubs, and the music, and it might have been because they heard the music, so it wasn't nothing new. The white audiences, it was like new music to them. They had never heard this type of music before. They heard it, liked it, sort of revived it, and now it's worldwide.

When I was recording for VJ, I was totally inexperienced. The VJ guys were the best musicians that I ever recorded with. Henry Gray, Jody Williams, Earl Phillips, and people of that caliber. The Alligator Records are pretty good, they came out pretty good. Most of the original blues singers, like Otis Spann, Sammy Lawhorn, all those guys, they're no longer around. So you have to use other people to make the blues now.

Jody Williams is a very underrated guitar player.

Jody started on the scene as a very young kid, and he played with Howlin' Wolf, recorded with Howlin' Wolf. He was one of the top guitar players around Chicago. Then he went on the road with Bo Diddley in the late fifties, and he wrote a song called "Love Is Strange." Mickey & Sylvia stole the song. Stole his guitar licks, all those guitar licks on "Love Is Strange" was Jody's creation. He was playing that guitar with Billy Stewart before Mickey Baker ever heard it. They heard Jody playing that guitar style at the Apollo Theater, and they stole the song, Jody had wrote the song. And they stole the guitar parts and the song and recorded it, and ripped Jody off for the money. Chess tried to sue. Anyway, he claimed that Bo Diddley double-crossed him or something. After that, he got disillusioned. He figured that he was tired of producing stuff and getting ripped off, and everybody was coming along like the Rolling Stones using Jody's licks and his thing, and they were making millions and he wasn't making anything, so he quit playing. He went into electronics. That's the story I heard, and I heard him say similar to that.

Why would you say the blues has managed to thrive in Chicago more than it has anywhere else?

Chicago blues--Chicago's one of the cities that, it's more blues in Chicago, it was in the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, than there ever was in any other city. If you go to places like St Louis or Memphis, there was quite a bit of blues there. But the Chicago blues is based on the country blues that John Lee Williamson and Big Joe Williams and Robert Nighthawk and all those guys was producing in the late thirties and early forties. It came into the electric blues in the fifties. The reason why Chicago was different from all the other places, 'cause all the singers migrated to Chicago, because all the people came to Chicago. All the jobs--the people came here for the jobs. The steel mills, the restaurants, the domestic work, construction work, factories, and everything. When they came here, the people on weekends could go out and hear Big Bill Broonzy, Sonny Boy Williamson, Lonnie Johnson, in Chicago in the forties. You could hear Memphis Slim, all those people was playing Memphis Minnie, all these people was playing in Chicago. Roosevelt Sykes--they was playing all over this city, South Side and West Side. So there was countless clubs where you could go out and hear the blues. I don't think there's any other city where you could hear that many blues singers. Recording companies like Columbia and RCA Victor had their recording studios here. The singers would come here and record in Chicago. The ones who lived here played all the clubs around Chicago, and they could make a living, 'cause of the different spots all over the city. You could go out and hear blues any night of the week.

Chicago's always been--I have never been in any other city in the United States where as many blues clubs and many blues musicians congregated as in Chicago. People could just live here and depend on the clubs. In those days, they didn't do a lot of traveling on the road like Jimmy Reed and Bo Diddley and all the people did in the fifties, on those package tours, going down south and touring. At that time, they didn't do a lot of touring. They just played the clubs, they made records and played all the local clubs. They went down south on occasion, but in the fifties it changed over, where B.B. King and all the guys was touring the road, playing different cities all over. But Chicago's been the place--there's more blues clubs in Chicago today, just as many or more clubs than you could anyplace else. Just 'cause the South is the South, that don't mean they like the country blues. It don't have a stronghold like Chicago. You go down to New Orleans now, you can't hardly find country blues played anywhere. You come to Chicago, you can find the guys playing all over the North Side playing blues.

Chicago has always been the greatest city for the blues that I can remember. When I was a kid, the clubs was teeming with blues singers. When I met Sonny Boy Williamson in 1948 I was only twelve, but he was playing at the Club Georgia, Big Bill Broonzy, he was playing at Gatewoods up on the West Side. Memphis Slim was playing, Memphis Minnie.

It's only a few clubs in Chicago, you got a place like the Checkerboard, its popularity rests on Buddy Guy and Junior Wells' popularity. Buddy's no longer affiliated with it now. But Buddy made the Checkerboard worldwide all over, like Junior and Buddy made Theresa. The whole world knows about Theresa's, and the Checkerboard through Buddy Guy and Junior Wells. They put that on the map. Now Buddy Guy is at Buddy Guy's Legends, he has the premier club in Chicago. They have other clubs, but none of them compare with Buddy Guy's. That's the best-playing club, and the club to work. They treat you right. Buddy has a great thing going down there. So Chicago is still the city, where you can come to Chicago and go out every night and hear six or seven different bands, or more. You go into a place like St Louis, you probably won't find no more blues in the city.

It was a way of life in Chicago, Memphis. Bobby Blue Bland, Howlin' Wolf was playing down in Memphis, it was the same thing as it is in Chicago. It was a way of life. The hard working people who supported the blues, which was all black, they wanted to hear the blues. It was a way of life for them--they lived the life, they go out and hear their music, their singers were singing, experience that the people in the audience had lived. The singers lived the same experience too. Wolf and B.B. and all, they lived the same. They worked on the plantations, they had the hardship, they lived under the oppression. They knew what the blues was. If you escaped to Chicago, you escaped here because you wanted to directly off from under your oppression. So they came to Chicago. And when you got here, the reason why Chicago was such a great place for people to come, where there was jobs galore, and everybody here was from somewhere--Memphis, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, everywhere. So when you on a job and a club, everybody was from the south. And they all had one thing in common--they was escaping oppression, the thing that gave them the blues in the first place. If it hadn't been for oppression, there never would have been any blues.

If you look in history, they brought blacks to the Caribbean and all the different islands, right. Only the blacks in America discovered the blues, created the blues. The blacks in America was oppressed more severely than the blacks in the Caribbean and other places, like Haiti. So the blues was created--those are the same slaves that came from Africa in Haiti and Jamaica, same ones--some of them came to Alabama and Mississippi and all of that. Same people, cousins and brothers and stuff. But in America, they were severely oppressed. And this severe oppression created the blues. That's why you hear the blues played in the world today, because it's a severe oppression. And it became a way of life. Not only it relieved tension and pressure, and when you came to Chicago, you was homesick, you didn't want to go back down there because of the oppression, so there was somebody singing, experiencing, you felt a sense of freedom. You was up north where you wasn't under direct oppression. If you lived on the South Side or West side, you didn't come into contact with plantation owners and guys with guns and lynch mobs and this kind of thing. You can listen to the blues and enjoy it, 'cause it was a way of life. People sung the blues when they were happy, sad, or whatever. Then they started singing about their troubles with the women and if you got laid off the job, you had the blues.

Anything else you want to add about the blues?

The blues, as a music that covers all spectrums of all people, 'cause everybody at one time has had the blues, whether you're black, white, or whatever. If you get a pink slip tomorrow and you were planning on getting married in a few months and had this great job, you got the blues, right? If your best girl call you up and say, well, I think I like this other guy better, you got the blues, man, she's floored you, you go and get you a drink and listen to the blues. If you don't even listen to the blues, you have the blues. That's why the blues is so worldwide in appeal, because any time people have had any kind of suffering or oppression in any shape form, whether it's slavery or war or whatever, they have had the blues. That's why I think the Europe embrace the blues so strongly, because they went through a lot of hardship during the wars over there. So they know what the blues is. They like the blues in Japan, they had the blues too. 

contents copyright Richie Unterberger, 2000-2010
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Monday, August 23, 2010

Captain Beefheart documentary (in 6 parts) & more...

We've had this posted before, but here it is again! Plus some more documentarian-type Beefheart vids...

Great BBC documentary from 1997, narrated by John Peel, featuring Beefheart himself, Frank Zappa, Ry Cooder and More!







Gary Lucas on Captain Beefheart

Gary Lucas on Captain Beefheart - Magic Band guitar virtuoso Gary Lucas discusses working with music visionary Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet), filmed at the Swiss Cottage Hotel, London, Sept. 2005



Beefheart on Letterman



captain beefheart interview

captain beefheart interview LA eyewitness




Captain Beefheart - Lick my decals off, baby (advertisement)

The advertisement for Beefhearts' album "Lick my decals off, baby". Great fun. The album itself is a work of genius.

For info on the refusal/`'ban' of this clip: visit the ultimate Beefheart website:

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Buk in Wormwood Review - A Great Read

The following piece, modified slightly, was written by Marvin Malone in the mid 1980s.

Buk at typer. 1963This editor tries to avoid literary criticism and speculations about the private lives of the poets published in Wormwood. However, a bit of history might be interesting to those who follow the little magazine scene. Since the very first,Wormwood has had a policy of not publishing the writings of the editor's intimate friends. On the other hand, manuscripts are not secured in a purely random manner via the U. S. mail. The arrival of Charles Bukowski in our pages was the product of a sequence of interrelated discoveries, associations, and affiliations.

In 1948 I discovered the New Directions annuals, which led me to read all of the authors sponsored by James Laughlin--including Henry Miller and Céline. About the same time, I came across The Little Magazine: A History and a Bibliography as written by Hoffman, Allen, and Ulrich (Princeton University Press, 1946). The book launched a personal enthusiasm for the little magazine as a publishing institution that has not yet dimmed.

At that time, the only publishers unafraid of the "unpublishable" Henry Miller were James Laughlin, Bern Porter, and Judson Crews. In the process of collecting and reading Henry Miller, in collecting and reading little mags, and in moving to Albuquerque, New Mexico, I would eventually meet Judson Crews in Taos, New Mexico.

A poet and a one-man publisher of astonishing books and little mags (Motive and Este Es presses), Crews had just published Bukowski's "Layover" in his current mag titled Naked Ear. Even though Naked Ear was very modest in size and format, it is now regarded as a little magazine classic. Crews has always had a good ear for the authentic and was then picking up and publishing many new poets who were (like Henry Miller) considered too far out for the established literary quarterlies of that day. Bukowski's debut was in issue 9 (1957), and he shared the pages with people as diverse as Mike McClure and Larry Eigner (new poets) and Norman Macleod (an establishment outsider). Crews, generous and proselytizing, gave me copies of Existaria #7 (published by Carl Larsen in Hermosa Beach, California) and Hearse #2 (published by E. V. Griffith in Eureka, California). Existaria contained three good Bukowski poems and Hearse (subtitled A Vehicle Used to Convey the Dead) contained one. Crews terminated Naked Ear at about that time, indicating to me that Hearse was its "spiritual successor." I placed subscriptions for both Existaria and Hearseand began a limited correspondence with Larsen and Griffith. Griffith launched a series of chapbooks with number one being Carl Larsen's Arrows of Longingand number five being Bukowski's first book, Flower, Fist and Bestial Wail(1960).

Moving to Connecticut in 1960, I became involved with the Wormwood Review--defunct after two issues. Resuscitation seemed possible. At about the same time, Larsen moved to New York City to seek the big-time literary scene. Being a literary neighbor of sorts, he was approached for manuscripts to relaunchWormwood. Larsen was then producing a mag called rongWrong (one of the first mags of the so-called mimeograph revolution), and Bukowski was scheduled for the second issue. At that time, Larsen and Bukowski were friendly rivals and frequent correspondents, so it was easy for me to get Bukowski's address and send him complimentary copies of Wormwood (probably issues 5 and 6) without comment. Poems were received for consideration-also without comment. In issue 7 (October 20, 1962), Bukowski made his debut with "Thank God for Alleys." Appropriately, that issue (printed offset from paper plates) also featured Carl Larsen and Judson Crews.

Many other editors have written me for Bukowski's address and have received it--notably d.a. levy and Douglas Blazek, who went on to publish some of Bukowski's most sought after books. This rather casual process (based on literary enthusiasms) is typical of the best of the little mag scene and keeps literature alive and current. I should point out that I have never met Bukowski. I met Crews once, Griffith once, Bern Porter once, and Larsen twice. Our associations have been primarily through our publications and secondarily through correspondence. Certainly there is some mutual respect there, but it would be very difficult to say that we constitute a group of personal friends. One common denominator is that we all operate independent of the present literary establishment, and this seems important to us. I do not believe a magazine filled with one's personal friends can be taken seriously as literature, and I do not believe a magazine filled with establishment figures can be contemporary in a meaningful way.

Bukowski, 1963Wormwood was given the right of first refusal on the poems not used for the two Bukowski books produced in 1963 and 1965 by Loujon Press, owned by Lou and Jon Webb, who started out by publishing the famous little mag The Outsider. Since that time, Wormwoodhas always had a thick sheaf of unpublished Bukowski poems. Virtually every issue (chapbook issues excepted) contains two to four Bukowski poems that seem to fit the general mood of the issue. Wormwoodhas published four special sections (chapbooks within the magazine) featuring Bukowski: Grip the Walls(issue 16, 1964), Night's Work (issue 24, 1966), 55 Beds in the Same Direction (issue 53, 1974), and Good-Bye to Hollywood (issue 81-82, 1981). In addition, issue 71 was wholly devoted to Bukowski's Legs, Hips and Behind (1978) and issue 95 to Horses Don't Bet on People and Neither Do I(1984). Twenty-four copies of issues 16 and 24 were numbered and signed by Bukowski and are probably the most elusive items for collectors. Issue 24 also printed the first bibliography of his work (assembled by this editor). Forty copies of issue 53, sixty copies of issue 71, and 50 copies of issue 81-82 were numbered and signed. In 1969 Bukowski was awarded the Wormwood Award for "the most overlooked book of worth in a calendar year" for his first book of prose, Notes of a Dirty Old Man, which was published by Essex House, a "dirty book" publisher. Four years later, it would be republished by City Lights Books.

The above is history of a sort. The 1963 Bukowski poem appended here was used for several years on a Wormwood mailer to solicit subscriptions. Therefore, it must carry this editor's ultimate endorsement and must say something about what the Bukowski-Wormwood relationship is all about:

Same Old Thing, Shakespeare Through Mailer

into all instants before we like
woodchoppers die I would like to
think that what we've said will
not necessarily follow us into
that dark hole that is not love
or sex or anything we know now,
and when the troops marched into
Turkey they ran through the first
village raping the young girls
and some of the old ones too,
and Anderson and I found a café
and sat there drinking listening
to the air-arm overhead sinking
in its fangs and I said it's the
same old thing Shakespeare through
Mailer sticking his wife with the 
same thing but the wrong thing,
and I thought if we could die here
now in a minute like a camera
snapped it would be much best
all the mules and drunken ladies
gone the bad novels march
stuck in the mud it is best
to die when you are ready
like razorblades and beersongs
to an ancient Irish tune
and then some Turk took a shot
from the staircase and split my
sleeve like a tight ass bending
and I fired back like people in
a play and I kept thinking
Maria Maria I wonder if I'll
ever see Maria again and
immortality did not seem
important at all.

Malone clearly valued Bukowski's continuing contributions to Wormwood. In fact, Bukowski was the most frequent contributor to Wormwood overall, appearing in 97 issues. When Malone died in 1996, he still had a substantial backlog of unpublished Bukowski poems that were to appear in future issues of the review (all subsequently returned to Bukowski's widow). The following quotes taken from letters written by Bukowski to Malone over their long association show Bukowski's reciprocal respect for the Wormwood publisher:

"Crazy guys like you keep crazy guys like me going. . . . I know that the bad poems will come back and that you are man enough to know them." (1965)

"Wormwood appears to be consistently and eternally #1 of the literary mags, and it's going to be a sad day for all of us when you hang up the gloves."(1968)

"I have never had any magazine treat me like dear old Wormie. . . . I'm lucky. And I'm lucky that Wormie has been around. I sometimes think of you. Then I think, it's lucky we have never met. It's lucky we have a professional distance. It's lucky you do what you do and I do what I do and we do it without politics and personal relationships. It's lucky, Malone, lucky, we have been a splendid pair. I salute your guts and your way." (1978)

"You are the quiet worker of magic. . . . I believe your comments on some of the rejects are right there. . . . After the stuff comes back from you, I go through it again, agree that most of it isn't so good but usually find a few to send elsewhere." (1982)

"You are one of the quietest most invisible editor-publishers about. You do your fucking work without self-fanfare. And as I've said before, the day you lay it down, that day is going to be a sad sad bad bad horrible, sad and horrible bad day and time and year for many including this Chinaski. . . . You have scored a wonderful fight. Indeed." (1985)



via Purple Stickpin

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Tiny Wisdom: On Understanding

Tiny Wisdom: On Understanding

“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” -Paul Boese

Sometimes resentment and anger may seem involuntary–like reactions you have to indulge for a length of time to proportionate to how badly you were wronged. It might even feel like your anger is a justified retaliation, and you’d be weak if you let it go.

The irony is that after we’ve been hurt, we choose to continue hurting ourselves. Bitterness never feels good, no matter where it’s rooted.

Psychologists suggest that when other people make mistakes, we tend to assign them character flaws (i.e.: he’s selfish, or she doesn’t care who she hurts) whereas when wemake mistakes, we more frequently cite external causes (i.e.: I’ve been overworked, or Ihaven’t been getting enough sleep.)

It’s almost as though we’re willing to let ourselves off the hook because we have to live with ourselves, but when it comes to other people we’re quick to condemn and slow to forget.

You might not be able to forget what happened yesterday, but you can choose not to let it suffocate today. We all have character flaws and we’re all affected by external causes. Today if you have a hard time forgiving, ask yourself this question: do you want to feel bitter or better?


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Monday, August 16, 2010

Korla Pandit - Photo Collection




Korla Pandit - Photo Collection

I was pleased to acquire this group of Korla Pandit images from a seller who had purchased 
The top image is an 8 x 10 matt finish original press photo stamped on the back: Photos By Robert H. Churchill. This photo intrigues me as because of the setting. Pandit is surrounded by items that he may have owed. Note the gas lighting fixtures. If I were to guess, I would say that this photo was probably taken inside of Pandit's living space.

The second photo is an autographed Polaroid photograph.

The third image is also a Polaroid of Pandit caught in a more private moment. I believe, when comparing other Pandit hand writing samples I have on hand, that Pandit has written on the back of the photo: "Mar. 26 - 2: AM Santa Rosa, (Initials?).

The fourth image is an 2 x 3 original photo also stamped on the back: Photos By Robert H. Churchill.

(via Dante Fontana)

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DOWNLOAD (from Robyn Hitchcock): The Hungry Moment: Thank You, Time Girl & Violet Rain

Available as a free download from
for one week only from August 16th,
Thereafter local rates apply.
Photo: Michele Noach




   Available as a free download from
   for one week only from August 16th,
   Thereafter local rates apply.
   Photo: Michele Noach



   The Robyn Hitchcock video archives are now open.  
   Click over to the Video page to check out the first 
   installment of Tram Watch a new series that finds Robyn 
   delivering musical performances to unexpected 
   locations.  Moving forward, we’ll be posting new clips on 
   a regular basis.  Some will be newly created for your 
   viewing pleasure while others will be gems unearthed 
   from the past.

Click over to the Video page to check out the first
installment of Tram Watch a new series that finds Robyn
delivering musical performances to unexpected
locations. Moving forward, we’ll be posting new clips on
a regular basis. Some will be newly created for your
viewing pleasure while others will be gems unearthed
from the past.


The Hungry Moment: Thank You, Time Girl & Violet Rain

Side A: Thank You, Time Girl (3.38)

Free Download

The Hungry Moment is a new psyche ‘n’ western group comprising Abigail Washburn (vocal & banjo) Rayna Gellerd (vocal & fiddle) and Robyn Hitchcock (vocal & guitar). These two songs were written by Robyn and recorded by Bert Battaglia in Nashville in October 2009.

Published by August 23rd Music / Bug Music

Side B: Violet Rain (4.52)

Free Download

Thank You, Time Girl was written for a visit to Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. A version was recorded there with Jody Stephens on drums and vocals which will be available as a physical 45 on Indie Memphis Records and from our webstore in October 2010. This version was recorded 3 days later with The Hungry Moment.

Side A: Michèle Noach
Side B: Robyn Hitchcock

Side A: Thank You, Time Girl (3.38)

The Hungry Moment is a new psyche ‘n’ western group comprising Abigail Washburn (vocal & banjo) Rayna Gellerd (vocal & fiddle) and Robyn Hitchcock (vocal & guitar). These two songs were written by Robyn and recorded by Bert Battaglia in Nashville in October 2009.

Published by August 23rd Music / Bug Music

Side B: Violet Rain (4.52)

Thank You, Time Girl was written for a visit to Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. A version was recorded there with Jody Stephens on drums and vocals which will be available as a physical 45 on Indie Memphis Records and from our webstore in October 2010. This version was recorded 3 days later with The Hungry Moment.

Side A: Michèle Noach
Side B: Robyn Hitchcock    for one week only from August 16th,
   Thereafter local rates apply.

Posted via email from ttexed's posterous