Nov 022012

How many positive things can you cite in this photograph? (Click photo for original source of photograph.)

Sometimes I stumble across a photograph of a musician that somehow suggests many things “right” about the state of the featured musician or musicians. This is one such photo. How often do we get to see David Byrne with his guard down? How often to we get to see his studious side, as he carefully tunes his cool 12-string Gibson guitar, rather than the outcome of his studies? The world needs more photos of David Byrne like this—and for the love of god, not another one of his solo albums!

Reports on either of his books are welcome. Has anyone read them yet?

Oct 162012


Has anyone read the excerpts in Rolling Stone from Pete Townshend‘s forthcoming autobiography, Who Am I? Has anyone yet read the book itself? Man, based on the excerpts what a bore! If any rocker could put together a great autobiography I thought it would be Townshend, who’s let us into the deep corridors of his mind through both song and rambling interviews as well as anyone. At least based on the excerpts, however, he writes about his own life with less spark than the well-meaning but pedestrian Who biographer Dave Marsh. Again, based on excerpts alone, it’s as if he took a standard Who biography or Mojo feature and switched the personal pronouns. I expected something more lyrical. Maybe the full book will deliver.

Mar 132012

I’m shocked that we’ve never done a Last Man Standing on the following subject: bands named after novels, including characters in novels. Bands named after works of non-fiction do not qualify. Bands named after plays, a short story, and poetry collections do not qualify. Bands named after works of literary criticism do not qualify. The band name must come from a novel, excluding the name of the author of the novel.

Beside Soft Machine, I’m sure you can think of a few bands who do qualify. Game on!

Jul 142011

From the desk of E. Pluribus Gergely.

Steven Roby and and Brad Schreiber‘s new book, entitled Becoming Jimi Hendrix, sheds new light on Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards. During the spring and summer of July 1965, Richards’ girlfriend, British model Linda Keith, found herself in Greenwich Village, making frequent visits to Cafe Wha ?, where she first saw Jimi Hendrix perform. After frequent visits, Hendrix became romantically involved with Keith (Linda, that is). When Richards found out about the affair, he called Linda Keith’s parents and warned them that she had become involved with a “black junkie.” Keith’s (Linda’s, that is) well-to-do father immediately flew to New York and dragged her home.

Simply put, Richards’ reputation as Bad Ass Mother No. 1 is at stake. RTH is asking that Richards come forth to tell his side of the story. Continue reading »

Apr 072011

The Rock Town Hall Mailbag has been left unattended for too long, but following are a few messages of particular interest.

Josh Wilker, author of Cardboard Gods, who recently took time to chat with us about baseball cards and rock ‘n roll, took to heart a Townsperson’s subsequent pince nez regarding a reference to “the first album by the Band” when Wilker obviously meant to refer to their second album! He wrote me offlist and asked that I share his mea culpa.

Man, I cannot believe I referred in the interview to the Band’s second album as “the first album by the Band.” I deserve to be, to quote a line from the actual first album, “tarred and feathered.” It is a deeply troubling comment on my frazzled mental state and deteriorating cognitive faculties that I would make this mistake. I don’t know why it happened. I must be turning much sooner than scheduled into a version of my beloved grandfather near his end, when he walked into rooms carrying his oxygen tank and, with widening eyes, said, “Now, damnit, why in the Sam Hill did I come in here?” I am a huge fan of The Band, who have been an intimate part of my life since even before I collected baseball cards. I’ve leaned on their music all my life, read whatever I can get my hands on about them (“Across the Great Divide” and “This Wheel’s on Fire” and “Invisible Republic”), had the luck to see Garth Hudson play at the Bottom Line, detoured on a rare trip back east to try to see Levon in his Midnight Ramble (it got cancelled at the last minute, unfortunately), blah blah blah—and now I realize I’m sounding even more like some blowhard poser trying to defend his legitimacy. Fuck! It is as if I misspelled Yastrzemski. I can’t believe I did that. I may need to go away for awhile to “rest.” If you see fit to share this moaning with the Rock Town Hall community, that’d be okay with me—maybe it’d even convince a fellow Band fan or two that I’m a fumbling dolt rather than a dispassionately superficial douche.

Anyway, thanks for listening, and thanks again for the interview!

– Josh

Don’t sweat it, Josh. This happens to the most obsessive of us. You are a better man for this experience.

Townsman chergeuvara sent in the following links for my enjoyment and education. These may be of interest to you, as well, but caution punk rockers: some myths are about to be exploded. Continue reading »


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