It’s just come to my attention that Martin Scorsese is directing a biopic about the Grateful Dead. In the spirit of the casting call that we had for Downtown Abbey a while back (https://www.rocktownhall.com/blogs/meet-the-cast-of-downtown-abbey/2/), I propose we help Marty out by providing some casting suggestions. Jonah Hill has already signed on as Jerry. I’m leaning toward Seth Rogan as Pigpen. Let’s hear your ideas!
I just finished watching the enjoyable and nostalgic documentary “Somewhere You Feel Free” about the making of Tom Petty’s Wildflowers. Some mindless related web surfing led me to this photo, supposedly from 1976, which was followed by more trails leading to various subjects like Dwight Twilley and Phil Seymour (did you ever notice the striking similarity between the juicy guitar riffs of Twilley’s “I’m on Fire” and Petty’s “Strangered in the Night”?), Leon Russell and Denny Cordell (Shelter Records), Tom Leadon (Mudcrutch).
It’s obvious what set me off searching for more information: Who the heck is the extra dude in this photo, standing next to Petty and wearing the perhaps silk Japanese baseball jacket or kimono? It sure looks like an official band photoshoot, but it could be an interloper, guest, or studio collaborator. I found no answers (it’s surely none of the above-mentioned people) and no mention of there ever having briefly been a 5th Heartbreaker.
Townspeople, can we figure this out? There’s probably a simple answer rather than a big rock mystery.
(L-R: Mike Campbell, Benmont Tench, Tom Petty, ?????, Ron Blair, Stan Lynch)
(Update — see later comment regarding this newly found photo.)
Did you ever wonder what it would be like if Skunk Baxter, Jay Ferguson, Bob Welch and members of Spirit, the Doobie Brothers, REO Speedwagon, the Knack, Heart, and Manassas did a bunch of blow and then plugged in the old guitars and just fucking went for it? Me too! I’ll bet it would look a little something like this…
I sometimes feel like it’s a failing of mine that I don’t “get” some Rock Nerd sacred cows such as Pet Sounds, Nina Simon, and most of Joni Mitchell’s catalog. These are but a few examples of art/artists held in high regard by a lot of friends with excellent and generally comparable musical tastes to mine. Why don’t I get it? Am I too musically unsophisticated? Am I shallow? Maybe, just maybe, could this be a difference of opinion and taste instead of some shameful personality deficiency?
I will revisit some of this stuff every few years to see if my tastes have evolved in a way that will allow me, for instance, to appreciate the bittersweet, openheartedness of Tony Asher’s lyrics, but for now they still sound like a Hallmark greeting card. So far, Raw Power has been the only one to break through.
I will, however, read a bio or watch a documentary about almost anyone, even if I despise their music (Twisted Sister), despise them as a person (David Crosby), or both (Papa John Phillips). And so, I ended up watching The Sparks Brothers on Netflix last night, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I first heard of them when they appeared in the mid-70s disaster movie Rollercoaster. Similar to when I saw Devo on SNL for the first time, I couldn’t tell if Sparks was a real band or a joke. Over the years, I’ve taken an occasional stab at listening to some of their stuff. I definitely do not like their music. But this documentary is great. I found their relationship with each other and their relentless pursuit of a shape-shifting muse to be really endearing. Even though I can’t find any musical common ground with them, I’m glad that I live in a world where they exist. Much like Rush, I like everything about them except for their music.
I highly recommend the movie. There have been Sparks posts on RTH in the past and our staunchest Sparks defenders are AWOL, so that leaves it to me, a non-Sparks fans to try and convince you to check it out. There will almost certainly be some moments that will annoy some of you, but I encourage you to power through to the end. It’s worth it. Come on, these guys have been at it for 50 years, can’t you spare them 2 hours?
Simple thread, this one. One of my favorites is from T. Rex.
(I offer this live version mostly because of the first comment below the vid, one clearly directed to EPG.)
Here’s the studio version, the better to hear the “One and a-two and a bubbly, bubbly, boo, boo, yeah!”
What’s your favorite count in on a song?
There’s a part of me that’s somewhat saddened by the discovery of this footage, which provides incontrovertible proof that ZZ Top’s Worldwide Texas Tour was, in fact, a very real thing.
I recently came across a tribute band called Alter Eagles. I’m not suggesting you watch the video included with this thread; I include it only to show I didn’t make up the band’s name.
I don’t care one way or the other about tribute bands; I guess they have their time and place. I am a fan of tribute band names and I think Alter Eagles is a good one.
My challenge to Rock Town Hall: Tell us your favorite tribute band name. The catch is you can’t submit an actual tribute band name without being creative and telling us the tribute band you wish existed. If you don’t want to bother with an actual name, that’s fine but you have to have a made-up one.