July 16, 2012

Words Of Wisdom From John Lennon

Many thanks to Lizzie for sending me this.
Fifteen Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy

More on The Beatles in no particular order:

Beatles documentary takes viewers on a magical history tour
George Harrison's Apple Years Box Set To Be Released

The Beatles: Good News For Fans This week
Paul McCartney: Destiny Game Song "Hope For The Future"
Beatles Lyrics Reveal Enduring Words Of Love And Life
Glyn Johns: Defining That Classic-Rock Sound
The Traveling Wilburys: Their History
John Lennon or Paul McCartney? Matt Schichter Documentary Offers 550 Answers
Are These The Best Double Albums Ever?
Sir Paul McCartney To Induct Ringo Starr Into Hall Of Fame
'American Pie' Lyrics Sell For $1.2 million In New York

 Penny Lane: Original On The Block, Minus The Fanfare
Lost Beatles US Concert Movie Blocked From Release
 Beatles’ First Recording Contract to Be Auctioned For An Estimated $150,000 
The Beatles 1 To Be Reissued With 50 Videos  
John Lennon Born 75 Years Ago Today  
John Lennon's Long-Lost Gibson J-160E Guitar Sells for Record $2.4 Million
Ringo Starr Reflects On His 35 Year Marriage
George Harrison: Tribute GeorgeFest Is Coming
The Beatles Anthology: Streaming Now.
Unseen Beatles Footage Released
George Harrison - This is Love
Celebrating The Beatles' Revolver 50 Years On
The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years 
The Beatles 'Love' And Cirque du Soleil
Long Lost Live Beatles Exhumed!
Celebrating George Harrison



July 11, 2012

Singer Jordie Lane finds the soul of the Grievous Angel: Gram Parsons - Updated


I posted this story a long time ago, and have since updated it. 
After listening to a few Gram Parsons’ songs it was very easy for me to become a fan of his. 
Sadly this happened a long time after his untimely death.
Still, his legend lives on.
His vision of “Cosmic American Music”, his influence on many other performers, the tribute shows like “Return To Sin City”, Gandulf Henning’s documentary – “Fallen Angel”, a DVD for which I paid a small fortune for a bootleg copy on eBay many years ago, but no regrets, and now finally a stage show!

TO call Jordie Lane a fan of American alt-country legend Gram Parsons would be an understatement. The Melbourne singer songwriter recorded some of his last album, last year's Blood Thinner, in the California hotel room where Parsons, aged 26, died of an overdose 39 years ago. 

Now Lane is taking his devotion to Parsons's music a step further by playing him in a stage production, Grievous Angel: The Legend of Gram Parsons, that opens at Melbourne's Athenaeum Theatre next week.

Yesterday, Lane, one of Australia's most promising folk singers, donned a replica of one of the famous Nudie suits worn by Parsons as he rehearsed for the show alongside its creator, Canadian writer and musician Michael Bate.

The show tells the story of Parsons' short and tumultuous life and career, which included spells in bands such as The Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers before he recorded two solo albums, GP and Grievous Angel, the latter released after his death.

"I was frightened by the idea at first," said Lane, who is acting for the first time.

He also sings many of Parsons's best-known songs, some of them alongside Aussie performer Clare Reynolds, who plays the part of Emmylou Harris, Parsons's singing partner in the latter part of his career.

"There is so much in the music," Lane said. "It's not just country; there's soul and R&B in there as well. I can identify with the sensitivity and vulnerability in his voice . . . I really felt a connection with that."

Bate, who forms part of the backing band for the show, has enjoyed success with it in the US and Canada. 

He was the last man to conduct a recorded interview with Parsons in 1973, six months before the singer's death at the Joshua Tree Inn motel. The production draws in part from that interview.

Parsons's music was not commercially successful at the time but has been recognised since as a significant influence on many artists, from the Rolling Stones to alt country singers such as Lucinda Williams and Ryan Adams.

"He was a mass of contradictions," Bate said. "People handed him opportunities. He had it all . . . a trust fund, Harvard, he was good looking and talented and he threw it all away with both hands."

The show, which Bate plans to take to Sydney and Brisbane next year, opens on July 20.

Emmylou Harris on Gram Parsons

Keith Richards on Gram Parsons
The Nudie Suit

The clip above features Emmylou Harris singing “Luxury Liner”, with The Hot Band: Albert Lee, Emory Gordy, John Ware, Glen D Hardin, Rodney Crowell, Hank Devito.(1977) 
Fortunately I have this concert on DVD!
My tribute to Gram Parsons on You Tube.

Many thanks to George for sending me this article.
Also, a special “Thank You” to Annie for buying me “Return To Sin City” many years ago, and making me a somewhat huge fan of Gram Parsons. 

This post is for you!
                                          Jordie Lane and Michael Bate

Gram Parsons and The Flying Burrito Brothers appeared at the Altamont Speedway Concert along with the Rolling Stones and many others.
 More info here.

Update #1:
I really enjoyed the show and have no hesitation in recommending it!

 Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Gram Parsons at Nellcote.

One of the best clips of Gram Parsons available - at the moment (above).


  Gram Parsons and Keith Richards


Gandulf Hennig on making, "Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel".

  See also “In Search of Gram Parsons”.

 Related posts in no particular order:

The Rolling Stones To Release Two Heritage Concerts On DVD & Their Australian "On Fire" Tour

Ronnie Wood: His Art and The Rolling Stones
And Australian Tour Cancelled and now rescheduled. 

Keith Richards - His Life with the Rolling Stones and His Book

July 07, 2012

Updated: Will the Rolling Stones Stop Rolling? No!

Having lived through what I consider the best times for Rock/Pop music it is hard to ignore the work and contribution of the Rolling Stones.

What can one add about the Rolling Stones that has not already been said?

Although I have a few posts about the Beatles this is my first post about Sir Mick and the rest of the group. The writer, below, has listed his favourites, and I am going to add “Start Me Up” as I love the opening riffs! 


Of course there are many other favourite Stones’ songs but I can’t mention all of them.

Fifty years is quite a range of songs to go through and decide. Almost impossible!

In an earlier post I mentioned the connection between Keith Richards and Gram Parsons – another favourite of mine. Gram has been gone for a long time, sadly, but he still had a degree of influence over the Stones.

I also would like to mention the artistic ability of Ronny Woods.

I was most fortunate to see an exhibition of his works in San Francisco several years ago and I was very impressed! 

I could not afford any of them, and no photos were allowed or even available in a catalogue. However there are some here.

No doubt you can find your own favourites.

If the Rolling Stones decide to retire I think they deserve it! Their music will live on.

Update: The band has celebrated the 50th anniversary of its first gig at a bash in London and despite being well over retirement age, the Stones have no plans to quit.

Read it at the link below.
With thanks to The Australian.


“ Music critic John Aizlewood said the Stones' contribution to rock 'n' roll is “immeasurable.”
“They are a founding father of rock music as we know it,” he said. “Other bands have tried and not pulled off that amount of sexiness, allied to a kind of street-fighting menace.” end quote.


From Iain Shedden in the Australian 

With many thanks.

IT'S not a question many performers get to ask themselves: should we stop after 50 years or plough on until we are no longer capable?
That's what has been floating around the Rolling Stones camp of late as the band prepares to celebrate a half-century of rock 'n' roll. That celebration was to be accompanied by yet another Stones global extravaganza, their first world tour since the two-year, multi-million-dollar-grossing Bigger Bang tour of 2005-07.
However, plans for such a high-level undertaking have been shelved and it could be that the Bigger Bang experience in Australia, which was well-received and reviewed in 2006, will turn out to be the group's live farewell to Aussie audiences.

Rumours persist that the Stones will bow out next year with a handful of shows culminating in a headline slot at the closing night of England's Glastonbury Festival, rather than undertake a lengthy international farewell.
Core members Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts have a combined age of 272, so it's easy to see why the greatest rock 'n' roll band in the world might want to swap lifestyle for more leisurely pursuits.
Drummer Watts, the oldest at 71, has said for years that he doesn't enjoy life on the road.

There have been questions also about Richards's health and whether, after a lifetime of indulgence, his 68-year-old frame is up to another two years of touring.
While the world awaits an answer to the tour question, there is plenty of Stones activity centred on the 50th anniversary of the band's first show, on July 12, 1962

To get things rolling, as it were, the band commissioned US graphic designer and illustrator Shepard Fairey to update its classic Tongue and Lips logo, which first appeared in 1971 as part of the marketing campaign for the album Sticky Fingers.
Fairey famously designed the Hope poster used by president Barack Obama in his 2008 election campaign.
Chief among the marketing enterprises is a new book, called, appropriately, The Rolling Stones 50, in which the four present members contribute their memories of events stretching from the last tour all the way back to the 1960s, or in Wood's case to 1975, when he joined the band to replace Mick Taylor.

Accompanying the personal reflections are hundreds of photographs, many never published before, culled from the musos' personal archives or from newspaper files. The book, published next week, is to be followed in September by a documentary film that also traces the band's complete and extraordinary history, from swinging 60s pin-up boys through the sex 'n' drugs 'n' rock-roll phase of the 70s and the stadium rock experiences that became the centre of their business from the 80s onwards.

 The band recruited film director Brett Morgen, whose films include The Kid Stays in the Picture, to take charge of the project.

Like the book, it includes a wealth of archive material that has never, or rarely, been seen.
Jagger described these archives recently as being like "opening a family scrapbook".

"For anyone who wants to experience the band, this is the film that will defy convention and create a sonic tapestry to transport viewers into the world of the Rolling Stones," Morgen says on the band's official website.
"The film will deliver the original, bold, sexy and dangerous flavour of the iconic rock band."

It was on July 12, 1962, that the Rollin' Stones, as they called themselves for the occasion, performed for the first time. The line-up at London's jazz and blues club The Marquee, a landmark in England's rock history, featured singer Jagger, guitarists Richards and Brian Jones, Ian Stewart on piano and rhythm section Dick Taylor and Tony Chapman. Bill Wyman arrived to replace Taylor in December and Watts to replace Chapman a month later.

Since 1963 the Stones have been high in the public consciousness. And while in the past three decades they haven't had hits or sold albums in the quantities they did in their heyday, the Stones have maintained their position as one of the world's foremost live attractions.
In Australia, the Stones have left their mark. They have toured here six times, the first time in 1965, relatively fresh-faced and keen to play down their rough and trumble image.

"We use more deodorant than the Beatles and we all wash regularly," was how Richards chose to introduce the band when it arrived at Sydney Airport.

Harry M. Miller, who brought the band to Australia in 1965 and 1966, recalled in a 1995 interview with The Australian that each band member was well-behaved.
"They were always first downstairs (from the hotel) waiting for the bus," Miller recalled.
"They were never late for a show. They were never short of girls but that was their business and I thought they handled it with great discretion."

It remains to be seen if we'll see the Stones back on Australian soil. Richards, who published his memoirs, Life, to much acclaim in 2010, told Rolling Stone in March that the band wasn't ready for a world tour, but suggested next year was "more realistic".
That was before talk of Glastonbury came up.

In the meantime each of the four Stones has been occupying themselves with side gigs.

Richards has joined Eric Clapton, among others, on stage and is working on his next solo album. Jagger performed for President Obama at the White House in February, while Watts has pursued his jazz interests.
On Wednesday night in London Wood played a concert in tribute to the blues and R&B label Chess Records, backed by a band that featured original Stones bassist Wyman and their 1970s guitarist Taylor.

As Richards told The Australian during the band's visit in 2003, it's the diversions from the main game that keep it alive.

 "All of us, including Ronnie (Wood) and Charlie (Watts), did interesting things outside of the band and I think that helped. I learned a lot about what it's like to be the frontman from Mick's perspective. It takes more than just having the best players in the world around you. We all came back to the Stones having learned something."

So will there be a last time for the Stones? Regardless, for every Rolling Stones fan, next Thursday is a day worthy of celebration.

Iain Shedden's Rolling Stones Top 5

1. Brown Sugar (1971) - a song, penned mostly by Mick Jagger, where all of the great components of the Stones come together in one magnificent swagger, topped by the singer's cocksure delivery and ``I said yeah, yeah, yeah ...woooo'' sign-off.
2.The Last Time (1965) - A hint of the psychedelia that was to come and one of the best examples of the Brian Jones/Keith Richards guitar spoils, with Jones on the distinctive riff and Richards on rhythm and (fairly primitive) solo. Killer chorus too, especially the harmony.

3. You Can't Always Get What You Want (1969) - the epic closer to the album Let It Bleed. The choral backdrop lends a glorious, celebratory air to a song documenting the malaise at the heart of 60s culture. Producer Jimmy Miller played drums instead of Charlie Watts.

 4. Rocks Off (1972) - The opening four and half minutes of Exile on Main Street oozes rock `n roll from every pore - albeit with a pschedelic breakdown in the middle. Bobby Keys particularly cool on the brass outro. Charlie on fire throughout.

5. She's a Rainbow (1967) - just because it was so weird when I first heard it as a child. The piano and ``ooh la la'' bit still gives me the creeps, but in a good way.

Further update: Even better than they were thirty years ago!

The Rolling Stones back with a bang at intimate Paris warm-up gig.

Story, pictures and videos at this link.


Classic Stones - 1990 - Paint It Black! 

This post now dedicated to my sister who passed away recently. 
She was a huge fan of The Rolling Stones.These pictures are from her collection.



Some other posts featuring The Rolling Stones – a summary:


The Rolling Stones To Release Two Heritage Concerts On DVD & Their Australian "On Fire" Tour

The Rolling Stones To Release Two Heritage Concerts On DVD & Their Australian "On Fire" Tour

Rolling Stones Book To Cost $5,000 (or $10,000)

Behind The Song: The Rolling Stones, “Wild Horses”

Jagger Gives Charlie Watts A Special Gift!

Glyn Johns: Defining That Classic-Rock Sound

The Rolling Stones - A New Book

Altamont at 45: The Most Dangerous Rock Concert Ever?

Are These The Best Double Albums Ever?

The Rolling Stones: New Tour Announced - Zip Code Updated: Releases from The Vault And A New Album for Keith Richards

'American Pie' Lyrics Sell For $1.2 million In New York

 The Rolling Stones: Sticky Fingers: Super Deluxe Edition

Bill Wyman: The Rolling Stones Never Forgave Me For Leaving 

The Rolling Stones To Create Their Own Museum

Don Henley Recruits Mick Jagger And Dolly Parton For Country Album Cass County

Rolling Stones' Ronnie Wood’s - "How Can It Be? A Rock & Roll Diary"

The Who Release First Song In 8 Years: Be Lucky 

Bob Dylan Named Greatest Songwriter Ahead Of Lennon and McCartney According To Rolling Stone

Keith Richards ‘Under The Influence’

Keith Richards Says Jagger’s Ego Sent Him Solo

The Rolling Stones’ 'Satisfaction' Was The Result Of A Faulty Amp

Rolling Stones Rehearse Rare Songs For Their South American Tour

The Rolling Stones: A New Movie About The Making of 'Exile on Main Street'

The Rolling Stones’ ‘Havana Moon’ In Cinemas Worldwide

Rollings Stones’ Keith Richards Is Evolving, Not Ageing

The Rolling Stones:Olé Olé Olé: A Trip Across Latin America

The Rolling Stones: First Music From New Blues Album

Rolling Stones Reclaim Soul On Blue & Lonesome