JAMES BROWN: HEP JAZZ CAT??

This piece was originally published March 1st, 2011.

James Brown Post IconJames Brown has been known by more nicknames than any other musical legend in history…

An incomplete list would include, “The Godfather Of Soul,” “Soul Brother Number One,” “The Minister Of Funk,” “Mr. Please Please Please Please Her,” “The Boss,” “The Hardest Working Man In Show Business,” “The King Of Funk,” “The King Of Soul,” “Sex Machine,” “Minister Of The New New Super Heavy Funk,” and “Mr. Dynamite.”

However there are a few nicknames that he will probably never be known for, like “Mr. Jazzman,” “The Swinging Hepcat,” or “The Emperor Of Jazz.”



Jazz might not be a musical genre that immediately comes to mind when thinking about J.B. but, like so many things that this talent of super human proportions was able to pull out of his musical bag of tricks, James Brown had a definite Jazz side that easily stands proudly alongside the rest of his brilliant oeuvre.

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Finally…Ladies And Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones!

This piece was originally published December 10th, 2010.

Mick Jagger Post IconThree years onwards, from the tragic circumstances that made The Altamont Speedway Free Festival of 1969 such a disastrous black mark for its headliners/organizers, The Rolling Stones, 1972 would be the first time back for a large tour of the United States.

They would not be performing “Sympathy For The Devil” however, because of the (wrongly thought, but it seemed like a cursed tune to many at any rate) negative connotations associated with the murder at Altamont, again in the U.S. until at least 1975.


 

Now, embarking on a large tour to promote their recently released double album, Exile On Main Street, which was released in May of ’72 to mostly glowing reviews, they had surrounded themselves with a huge entourage of friends, associates, gal pals, and hangers on, and subsequently the tour was dubbed the STP Tour (Stones Touring Party).
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Discovering GOLD: 1968 Style…

This piece was originally published august 16th, 2010.Rob Tyner MC5 Post IconThe 1960’s was a time when the previous decade’s fledgling youth movement, which was sparked by early Rock and Roll, the hipster fringe Beatnik scene with their bebop jazz, coffeehouse poetry and reefer, and an increased post war affluence in general, was furthered along.

Not only by a growing social and political awareness, but most importantly, divided by a generational gap from the older folks, all leading to a desire for all styles of fresh ideas and changes from the “establishment.”

Created was a worldwide zeitgeist brought together through music, literature, clothing styles, sexual freedoms, breaking down racial barriers, anti war politics, the rise of the avant garde and anti art, taking recreational drugs and a mainstream pop culture that dipped into the underground “counterculture” both in order to find creative inspiration, and soon enough once “the man” was able to tap into all of it, make money off of the kids.

So much was the creativity of the 1960’s that forever has there been the trickle down of influence to this day be it via the Beatles, who formulated and popularized the idea of a musical group with its members writing and performing their own songs, or the rise of the independent film maker, raising his own finances and working outside of the established Hollywood studio’s big budget system by producing, writing, directing and often acting in their own scaled down cinematic visions.

So what 60’s counterculture films usually come to mind?

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IT’S…MONTY PYTHON’S INCIDENTAL MUSIC!

This piece was originally published April 19th, 2010.

Ever since I began watching Monty Python’s Flying Circus on PBS television in 1974 I was hooked and my obsession with Messrs Chapman, Cleese, Gilliam, Idle, Jones and Palin began…

1974 was the last year/fourth season for the Pythons, as well as the year that PBS began broadcasting the series (a bit of a happy accident when a PBS programmer in Texas decided to air a few sitting on his studio shelves, resulting in a snowball of laughs and in turn, PBS affiliates around the country running the show that year).

 
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THE GREAT BASEBALL RIOT OF 1974 a.k.a. 10¢ BEER NIGHT!

This piece was originally published September 7th, 2009

Baseball Head Girl IconIt seemed like a good idea at the time.

Have a promotional event that would increase poor ticket sales and give all baseball game attendees a nice, fun evening out at the ballpark.

Hell, it kind of worked once before, one week earlier: Same teams, The Texas Rangers vs. The Cleveland Indians.

This one was played at Arlington Stadium in Texas.

A gem of a game.

Players involved in a little forearming and face punching, throwing at the head. You know, light stuff. This time the “cheap beer night” promotion only ended with a bench clearing brawl that turned into fans hurling food and beer at various players and coaches coming out of the dugouts and a large crowd of drunken fans jumping onto the field.


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JAWS WEEK: A Tribute to the Scare of ’75

This piece was originally published June 15th, 2009

Jaws IconJAWS.

The mere mention still brings me back to the days of 1975 when it was the scariest film of the year.

The film was the first true summer blockbuster, and a cultural giant of a movie about giant of a shark that radically changed and forever crushed our innocent view of a happy day at the beach.

As a kid I grew up by a beach and spent much of my outdoor time swimming in its water and goofing around on the sand. It was the days of carefree (and legal!) bonfires, diggin’ up cool “stuff” and consistently being amazed at the hundreds of primitive monster-like horseshoe crabs that would wash ashore each year.

Little did I know that the most amazing of all monsters of the sea was soon to be unleashed upon us all.

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Little Steven’s Underground Garage: Celebrating 7 Years (So Far, and So Far Out) of Garage Rock Radio Greatness

This piece was originally published April 6th, 2009

Mop Top IconThe Little Steven’s Underground Garage syndicated weekly radio show began 7 years ago and is currently celebrating a seven year anniversary of playing selections from the ever growing umbrella of Garage Rock’s creatively wild, brilliantly defiant and just plain freakin’ good music from the ’50s to NOW. The current program is listed at show #366 and there is definitely no sign of slowing down.

One would be hard-pressed to find a better music radio host at the moment (ok Bob Dylan might be an equal, but he’s the subject of a future column) than the gravely voiced, street smart Dead End Kid who is Little Steven…

Steven Van Zandt a.k.a. Little Steven, was born at the beginning of the rock and roll decade, in 1950, to an Italian American family in Winthrop, Massachusetts. Moving to New Jersey when he was 7, his life as a musician will forever be one for modern music’s history books. Even an incomplete list of accomplishments is staggering: founding member of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, several early pre fame Bruce Springsteen bands, twice (and currently) a key figure in the legendary Springsteen E Street Band, activist and leader of the ’80s all star “Artists United Against Apartheid” Sun City benefit ensemble, and infamy as an actor in The Sopranos as the memorable Silvio. Hell, most folks would probably lounge on an island doing nothing else between recording albums and nightly four hour plus shows of touring with The E Street Band alone.

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Thankfully, for those of us who live, love and breathe cool music, Mr. Van Zandt seems to be a workaholic, and number one fan of all that he programs on his radio show.
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