Aug 052020

Was the German true stereo pressing of Magical Mystery Tour.

No, I’m just kidding.

The most expensive record I ever bought was a live album called June 1, 1974, by Kevin Ayers, John Cale, Eno & Nico.

I bought it in 1974 or early 1975 at E.J. Korvette’s in Springfield. I didn’t understand why an album with that title was available at that point in the discounted rack. I was totally unfamiliar with Kevin Ayers. I knew Cale from the Velvet Underground and the same with Nico, but knew nothing of their solo work. I knew Eno was a member of Roxy Music; I knew a bit about them but, again, nothing of his solo career (which at that point had only just started).

I take flyers on albums all the time now, but it was unusual then; there wasn’t a lot of disposable income and each purchase had to count. But the price tag on this album was $1.99 and so was a small risk to learn about Cale, Eno, & Nico. And Kevin Ayers, whoever he was.

But wait a minute…$1.99…most expensive?!?!

Here’s how that makes sense; here’s the sense in which I mean it.

I don’t think there is any other album in my collection which has so directly led to so many other purchases.

It started off with two Eno songs, “Driving Me Backwards” and “Baby’s On Fire.” I loved them. Then Cale’s version of “Heartbreak Hotel.” Wow, great! And then Nico’s cover of “The End.” The remaining five songs were Kevin Ayers.’

This is my favorite track from the album and my favorite ever Kevin Ayers song.

This show was an Ayers gig at the Rainbow Theatre in London, to which he invited Cale and Nico. Cale brought along Eno. Robert Wyatt and Mike Oldfield were also guests, sitting in with the band.

Ayers was the real revelation of this album for me. I immediately loved him. I’ve since bought all his solo albums as well as the first Soft Machine album; he was a founding member of that band but only stayed for the first album. I still love John Cale and have bought everything he has put out. And I was definitely in for Eno’s pop albums and do have a few of the early ambient ones including the collaborations with Robert Fripp. Add in a couple of Nico albums.

Those Ayers albums and the Eno ones were all imports, pricey at the time.

So, this $1.99 album led directly to about 80 albums being purchased. Yes, it was a mighty expensive album. But it was a lot of great music.

What’s the most expensive album – in this way – in your collection?

Aug 052020

I hope you’ve been enjoying our Pandemic Relief Reboot of Rock Town Hall. I believe all of you who have been regular participants in our resumed discussions have contributor/author rights, meaning you can enter the Back Office and draft new thread content for the Main Stage. Let me know if you have any questions or need a refresher on how drafting posts works. This is your Rock Town Hall. Feel as comfortable as the members of a reunited Buffalo Springfield felt in Stephen Stills’ living room in 1986. Thanks.

Aug 042020

In a nearby thread, my close personal friend E Pluribus Gergely mentioned his regret over having missed The Specials‘ show in Philadelphia in June 2019. It was a rare show I didn’t regret missing, and better yet, I took my oldest son to the show with me. It was our first show together where he could be among the drinking-age crowd. Thinking about this made me realize that many of us are probably old enough now to have a great concert experience or two with our kids. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard stories direct from a few of you. And perhaps we were all once young enough to have had a cool (or not-so-cool, as I know is the case with Townsman andyr) experience of being taken to a real-life concert by our parents. Share away!

I was uplifted by the Specials’ show, and my son loved it, too, which raised my spirits even higher. He’d already developed a taste for third-generation ska, which I try not to be too didactic over, so it was important to get him closer to the real thing. Was this the full-blown reunited Specials I promised I’d hold out the rest of my life to see, at least a reunited Specials involving both Terry Hall and Jerry Dammers? No. (How does a guy like Dammers pay his bills after all these years seemingly doing almost nothing? What do I know about the daily lives of Dammers, Tom Verlaine, et al. That’s a topic for another day…)

Jul 312020

I’ve been musing over Kate Bush all day, and not for the same reasons I used to. I was kind of on board with her for the first three albums, her stock was high if only for the memory of my grandma screaming and falling off her chair when she saw her on Top of the Pops doing “Wuthering Heights.” Priceless. A mate always bought the albums as soon as they were released and taped them for me, I found them recently and realised I had only listened to them up to Hounds of Love. I’ve no idea what stopped me at the time, we agreed about almost everything musically, it was as if I was in some way scared of hearing them, which makes as little sense now as it did then.

I’d be interested to hear whether any others gathered here have music which you actually own but have avoided listening to for reasons you’re unable to put a finger on, or is it just me?

Jul 292020

During these difficult times, it’s always a pleasure to know that relief is right around the corner via a back porch dinner with those you love, namely, the “I promise to love you no matter how much of an asshole you are now or will become in the not so distant future” wife; my sister, whose saved my ass on countless occasions; and her husband, one of those Survivor types who can do and get through anything and still have a sense of humor. Last Saturday night’s dinner was especially noteworthy because Supertramp Syndrome was finally fine tuned. It all began when Supertramp’s “Logical Song” reared its ugly head in the middle of a fairly pleasant playlist that featured a lot of surprisingly good ’70s stuff. Tem seconds into the thing was all it took to bring on a plethora of horrible feelings: physical discomfort, embarrassment, shame, etc. Hence, Supertramp Syndrome.

Jul 292020

Brendan, the gamer dude who posted this video on YouTube with commentary, is really annoying me. I have never heard of Brendan and his game before in my life. Probably thinks Zack de la Rocha is a cool singer. Okay.


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