Feb 032009

On this great and very special day in rock history, I’d just like to take a step back from the daily hubbub, and the bickering, the cynical asides and take my All-Star Jam opportunity to tell you all that I love you.


  8 Responses to “All-Star Jam: The Day The Music Died Edition”

  1. Mr. Moderator

    At his excellent Setting the Woods on Fire blog, our very own Townsman Hank Fan posted this cool idea to chew on and discuss:


    Check it out and see if you don’t have some ideas to share with him and his loyal readers!

  2. hrrundivbakshi


    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s office moved on Friday to quash claims he attended a mystery concert featuring ABBA lookalikes singing to him from behind a veil at a military-style compound.

    Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov reacted after the London-based Bjorn Again, a long-established act that imitates 1970s pop super-group ABBA, said it had put on a show, cloaked in secrecy, for Putin, seven male guests and a woman who may have been the premier’s wife.

    “I can tell you officially and for sure Vladimir Putin never took part in any concert of the kind. He wasn’t there,” Peskov said.

    However the musicians’ manager, Rod Stephen, said he was in little doubt about whom the concert was for, and one of the band’s singers said she saw Putin himself at the performance.

    “It was quite obvious where Mr Putin was sitting,” Aileen McLaughlin, who doubles for blonde ABBA vocalist Agnetha Faltskog, told AFP by phone from London.

    “I got a glimpse of his face in the lights.”

    Stephen, also speaking by phone from London, said the band had been told beforehand that the show was for Putin.

    “It was categorically stated and had been alluded to in the week leading up to the event,” Stephen said.

    The description offered by performers put a colourful twist on the mythology around the former KGB agent and ex-president, who has sternly rebuffed media incursions into his private life and denied claims of marital strife.

    McLaughlin described a nine-hour drive through icy countryside to a military-style compound where the ABBA foursome were put up in barrack-like accommodation and shared a canteen with Russian soldiers.

    The group was taken to a small theatre where they performed before Putin — dressed in dinner jacket and bow tie — together with fellow guests obscured by a gauze curtain arrangement, she said.

    “Although there were so few people, from the beginning they made us feel very welcome, applauding ‘Bravo!’ and enjoying the performance, swinging their arms and clapping and joining in,” she said.

    She described as “a bit bizarre” the arrangements to obscure the audience from the performers as well as the intense security in which the band were under the permanent gaze of a minder and armed guards patrolling nearby.

    But referring to the gauze curtain, McLaughlin added: “It was obviously for their discretion.”

    The band were warned in advance not to try to speak to the audience or leave the stage and Putin made no attempt to speak to them afterwards, instead going off to watch fireworks, she said.

    While not previously known to like ABBA, Putin is reportedly a fan of the Beatles, whose music was banned in Soviet times, and has hosted ex-Beatle Paul McCartney in the Kremlin.

    President Dmitry Medvedev, who took Putin’s place as president last May, is a fan of British heavy rockers Deep Purple and revelled alongside other top officials in a specially ordered concert by the band last year.

  3. hrrundivbakshi

    I always knew I was a Medvedev man!

  4. hrrundivbakshi


    Hey —

    The other night, Townsman mockcarr and I heard a song in a bar we both recognized but were unable to identify. It’s from the early 80s, we think, and its most noteworthy component is a silly vocal refrain, steadily increasing in volume, pitch and speed, delivered over a repetitive guitar riff, which goes:

    “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah-YEAH!”

    Imagine the second “set” of “yeah”s — the ones connected by hyphens above — to be delivered at twice the speed of the first. The number of “yeah”s above is precisely accurate.

    I thought the tune might be a Fleshtones number; it had that goofball Vox organ/twang/garage-y sound to it. The closest analog to the riff I can think of is that it sounded — in notes, NOT in sound/production — like the riff to “Misty Mountain Hop,” played at 45 RPM. You know, A-G-E on the guitar.

    Any ideas what this song was? We were racking our brains and quite surprised we couldn’t ID it.

  5. alexmagic

    I could be way off, but the description makes me think of Devo’s Uncontrollable Urge.

  6. hrrundivbakshi

    I just went out to the iTunes Music Store, and… YES! That’s the song! Thanks, alexmagic.

    This reminds me of something I’ve been meaning to post: buying mp3s from amazon.com is *much* better than iTunes — if for no other reason than Amazon doesn’t make you buy entire albums in order to get sprawling, 10-minute+ songs. I got “Head Hunters” by Herbie Hancock and “Right Off” from Miles’ “Tribute to Jack Johnson” for 99 cents each. “Right Off” is 26 bloody minutes long — that’s a of of value for 99 cents!

    And speaking of Jack Johnson… don’t miss the EX-cellent Ken Burns documentary on Johnson, which I caught the first half of last night on PBS. It’s great!

  7. hrrundivbakshi



  8. dbuskirk

    Thanks for the Vanda and Young heads-up, I’d been wanting to check that stuff out. Nice to hear there stuff mixed among the covers.

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