Small talk

Small talk

Postby bailbath » Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:17 am

This is a new thread for news items that feature Jerry Lee Lewis as a aside.
For example ... -love.html
Fielding 'gets hand-me-downs from Love'

Wednesday, November 12 2008, 17:22 GMT

By Simon Reynolds, Entertainment Reporter
Fielding 'gets hand-me-downs from Love'

Rex Features
The Mighty Boosh's Noel Fielding has confessed to wearing clothes that were once worn by rock star Courtney Love.

The comic told NME that he wants to pass on the T-shirt, originally belonging to model Helena Christensen, to another celebrity.

"This T-shirt is quite a special T-shirt for me," he said. "Courtney Love gave it to me. She got it off Helena Christensen and she gave it to me, so I think I have to give it to someone."

When asked who he would hand the item of clothing to, he replied: "I don't know who I'm going to give it to - maybe Daley Thompson or I don't know, Jerry Lee Lewis."

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Great Secret Kinetic Rocket Balls of Fire

Postby bailbath » Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:19 am ... where.html

Secret Kinetic Rocket Fire Balls Can Create Hell Anywhere

They are secret. They are kinetic. They are made of rubberised rocket fuel. And they fire up destroying absolutely everything they come across, bouncing through bunkers, filling buildings with extremely hot flames, obliterating everyone and anything inside with fierce heat. The Pentagon officially calls them "kinetic fireball incendiaries". Other people call them kinetic rocket fire balls, and the way they work make them absolutely terrifying weapons.

The difference between these fireballs and other high-temperature incendiary weapons like the CrashPAD or the Shredder--two modified bombs designed to eliminate Weapons of Mass Destruction--is that these don't do a good job on keeping hazardous substances under control. Once the bomb--made of explosive and incendiary material--hits the target, there's always an ejection of material to the atmosphere, which could be dangerous for the population or the troops.

The kinetic rocket fire balls, however, don't explode. Once they hit their target--delivered by a modified bomb--and ignite, they just bounce randomly finding their way across every part of the structure. In the process, they emit an extremely high temperature flame, vapourising everything around them at 1,000ºF (538ºC). This behaviour, bouncing everywhere and reaching every place, makes them extremely effective at destroying any kind of substance or contents in the structure.

In fact, these Weapons of Bouncy Destruction can be used against both chemical or bacteriological facilities, as well as nuclear facilities, without breaking the buildings and spreading radioactivity. For now, they are "secret" and have never been used in real action--or so they said--but they have been tested successfully in underground bunkers and may be already under limited production.

And yes, you can cue in the Jerry Lee Lewis. Now. [Danger Room]

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Postby bailbath » Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:46 pm

Picking up where we left off in Part One of our interview with the Okkervil River frontman, we delve further into his thoughts on the turning tide in the US, what he meant, exactly, by deciding to become a "professional failure", whether he considers himself an optimistic lyricist or not, and why fronting a band is of such import to him.

- - -

Do you feel it’s important that bands engage in wider political issues?

You know, this is where I start to differ from some people, because – you look at somebody like Bono and he’s done a whole lot of great stuff, but there’s…there’s something that’s really…annoying about him. We saw this book, actually – I was at this publicist’s and they had a coffee table book, about Hurricane Katrina. And the book featured faces of famous people, crying... and all this stuff celebrities had written – and it was the most obscenely self-aggrandising thing ever. There’s this impression you get from certain celebrities – that part and parcel of their social activism is they think their example is so incredibly meaningful to the ordinary, non-famous people, like they’re on some messianic quest for social perfection, which is just... gross. And I’m not that into it.

But at the same time it actually works, you know? I was talking to somebody I know who was in the Congo, and he was talking about celebrities trying to raise awareness of the plight of the people there, and his attitude about that was... he said: "you know, I have to honestly be really non-cynical here and say it’s a really good thing; it’s actually helpful; it actually does raise awareness." So it’s one of those things where I find it somewhat distasteful, but I do see that it’s a good thing. You know – the thing with the Green Tour was that it was expedient, we had to talk about it a bit.

Returning briefly then to Obama – I think it’s fair to say that there’s a general sense of optimism abounding…

I think there's a lot of work to be done – Obama’s inherited a broken country, which will be very hard for him to fix. My fear is that if he can’t fix it – and it is a pretty Herculean task – that it’s going to reflect badly on him, unfairly. But he’s an energising figure. People look at him and they compare him to JFK, but you know what? He’s at least as exciting – if not more exciting than JFK. And I think – you can look back at the titans, but this is a moment that we’re living in right now; it’s a historical moment, you know? And it’s a special thing – people are very excited; I think there is much more of a sense of optimism.

I was curious as to something you wrote in your biography of the band, about how one of the most important decisions you made in your life – this was around the time of the band’s inception I think, maybe before – was to be a total failure, a "professional failure." Does that synch with how things have been going since?

If…if you’re too concentrated on the idea of success, there’s a kind of conservatism that comes out of that. And I found that deciding to be a failure – professionally, personally, and artistically – were very helpful things for me. Personally, it kept me from being disappointed when my relationships fell apart and if I didn’t have any money, stuff like that. Professionally it kept me focused on the art instead of being like "why aren’t we more successful?" and artistically, deciding to fail right from the beginning means that you’ll take chances that you might not otherwise, ‘cause you have nothing to lose. It’s like, "obviously I’m not going to pull this off anyway, so I’m just going to go for it." And so, I think as a result we flew without a net a lot more, took a lot more chances and did a lot more stupid stuff that probably wouldn’t have worked if we hadn’t believed we were going to fail from the beginning. Like: "it’s all gonna go to shit anyway, so do what you want." That was sort of the root idea of the failure thing.

You can take it further and think, "I’m going to die" – it’s awful, but all this nice green room stuff and getting to play Shepherd’s Bush Empire is all well and good, but one day I’m going to die a presumably painful death – that can be a scary thought, but it’s also quite an inspiring thought. It’s like "f**k! If I’ve got something I want to do I better fucking _do_ it, as one day I’m not gonna be able to," you know?
- - -

I was thinking, when listening to The Stand Ins, that there’s often a sense of jubilant instrumentation – particularly on 'Bruce Wayne Campbell...' for instance – married to lyrics that are still marked by an air of pessimism. Obviously that’s one song about one particular person, but it made me wonder how you, personally, consider yourself as a lyricist. Do you think of yourself as optimistic in your songwriting, or is it not really something you dwell on too much?

I guess I do in a sense consider myself optimistic...I’ve always thought it’s very important to be optimistic. When I look at my favourite artists, or specifically time periods, where you look at all the amazing work that came out of the 1920s or the 1960s, you can see there’s a spirit of optimism, an idea that the future is going to be an amazing place. That idea comes very much out the notion that we’re going in a good direction. Now, that may not be true – it may be complete bullshit – but sometimes you have to fool yourself into thinking that it’s true.

I think it’s so important though, to try and be positive, to try and look for the positivity in a situation you might find unbearable; for the good in people that you might not see. But at the same time, people say that Okkervil River songs are really dark and bleak. I don’t think of them like that, I just think of them as realistic – I’ll try and acknowledge the worst-case scenarios in some aspects – like with Bruce Wayne Campbell, you know, Jobriath – like, that’s the worst way your career could go. And that’s what you open yourself up to when you decide to be an artist. That doesn’t mean that there’s not joy, or pleasure, or fun and glory in that path, ‘cause I think that there are all of those things. So while I do try to be hopeful, I also try to not pull punches when I talk about how things seem to be.

With regards Black Sheep Boy, I know you weren’t keen to make another record exactly like that straight away. Obviously that was a fairly expansive project, as these two albums have been, but I was wondering if you have any idea where you’re going to go next with the band...

I have, yeah, but I don’t really want to talk about it too much, because... I don’t put it into very specific words even to myself, you know? It’s one of those things, like, when interviewers ask me that the way I explain it is like: you have a camera, an old camera with film inside, and you could pull the back off the camera and pull the film out – you’ll get to see the film – but you’re not going to see the pictures of it; they’re never going to develop. I think talking about something too much changes it.

You’re playing some solo shows and also putting a 7" out with Charles (Bissell, of The Wrens), is that right?

Yeah – he played guitar with us for a little while – he actually just had a child. So yeah, we’ve got that 7” coming out and then there’s a few instores and stuff – just a mini, mini tour.

Is there anything musically, that’s really taken your fancy recently?

We toured with this band called Black Joe Lewis, and the guitar player Zach gave me a CD of Jerry Lee Lewis live at the Star Club in Hamburg. The Star Club is one of the places The Beatles played at, when they were starting out. This is from ’64 I think – maybe even later – when The Beatles have already become huge, and now it’s Jerry Lee Lewis, in a much lower state than he was in his heyday, playing at this dingy, Hamburg club. He plays these songs so fast – just blazes through them, the energy’s incredible – you can really hear this brutality to his piano playing and this incredible cockiness he has, The audience could not be more into it, they’re all there screaming "Je-rry! Je-rry!" and he starts making fun of them, like imitating their accents and chanting his name…it doesn’t really get much more badass than making fun of your own adoring audience! Especially at a time when he probably wasn’t finding that many adoring audiences…but it’s just – for everybody that heard he was a badass but never really knew what to listen to 'cause 'Great Balls Of Fire' has become such a cliché, it really does strip the paint and the gunk off your image of him and restore him to that swaggering, diabolical stature that people talk about. Been really enjoying that a lot.

How do you feel about your role as frontman in the band? Obviously it’s something you’ve explored a lot on your lyrics, but in terms of you, yourself, as a performer?

My favourite performers I’ve seen are people like Mick Jagger and Iggy Pop, James Brown – even somebody like Guy from Fugazi, he’s a really great frontman. I think performance is a very noble thing, and I think that in the end, no matter what route you’re taking through a show, you’re trying to make the audience feel something – like they’re there at that one moment seeing something special. And it’s supposed to be life-affirming thing. And it’s a lot about physicality, fun, partying…a lot about emotions too. It’s just really good to engage people. And each person as a performer has to find their own way to do it. But I think that frontman is a really nice role, a traditionally nice thing. And when you’re standing up there and you’ve got this whole group of people staring at you – at a certain time it used to really sketch me out; freak me out – but then there was this one point where something just switched in my brain, and I realised this is a fantasy position to be in, so I’m just going to live it like it’s my fantasy world, and at that point I started to have a whole lot of fun playing.

It really is all about us having fun onstage. It’s about the entire band enjoying themselves – a fun that the audience is invited into. I don’t know – one of the things people think about The Stage Names and The Stand Ins is that I’m acidly criticising entertainment, which isn’t true. I don’t think those records are saying entertainment is false – I mean, I think that they are, but they’re also saying that entertainment is great – and it’s what I do for a living, and it’s what I’m obsessed with when I’m not doing it for a living. It’s…my whole life, so I take it very seriously; it’s very meaningful to me. Even a song like 'Pop Lie' – which is really nasty and bitter, I think that there’s a lot of celebration in there too.

- - -

An air of celebration certainly surrounds the band's performance later on – a set resting heavy on the latest records engages and delights Shepherd's Bush Empire, Sheff buoyant and irrepressible as he caterwauls about the stage. A closing encore of 'A Girl In Port' (mournful), 'Okkervil River Song' (stomping) and 'Westfall' (riotous) bring down the house, leaving this scribe keenly anticipating whatever it is gradually developing on the spools of Sheff’s antiquated, weather-beaten camera. A wait lies ahead, mind, but hey; it's never too early.

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Postby bailbath » Sun Dec 28, 2008 7:08 am ... ach-other/

Songs in the Key of Toledo
Bands remember when musicians took care of each other
Written by Katherine Timpf | |

Sam Tarsha said he first learned about music from Johnny Gibson of the Johnny Gibson Trio.

“I was playing in the all-black group in high school,” Tarsha said, who lives in Toledo. “That’s how I learned my soul.”
Sam Tarsha

Sam Tarsha

Tarsha stayed with this band, the Tempos, from 1950 to 1952. Then, another Toledo band, the Storms, asked Tarsha to join. Although he was still in high school, he accepted their invitation.

“I was 16 and I was playing seven nights a week with those guys,” Tarsha said. “I was playing until 2:30 in the morning and getting up at 6:30 and going to school the next day.”

Tarsha said the Storms went on to win Toledo’s first Battle of the Bands Contest.

Fellow Storms band member Johnny Rank said he was proud to be a part of the band.

“I was fortunate enough to do it enough to make a living that pays the bills,” said Rank, also a former member of Toledo’s Johnny and the Thunderbirds. “We were just the first rock ‘n’ roll band around.”

Tarsha stayed with the Storms for more than one year, then he got a call from the Raging Storms after their old drummer got caught robbing a gas station.

Tarsha jumped at the chance.

“I was 17; I didn’t own a car,” Tarsha said. “I packed 10 pieces of drums and my dad dropped me off at the Greyhound bus station and away I went to Desell, Ill,. in 1960.”

Tarsha said a brutal snowstorm made his first show difficult.

“It took me 10 hours to get there,” Tarsha said. “I arrived there [with] only part of my drums. I played the first night without any sleep [and] only a partial drum set.”

The shows certainly got better from there. Tarsha remembers one show, Buffalo Bandstand in N.Y., when the audience got particularly wild.

“There was like 5,000 screaming kids in front of us,” Tarsha said, his eyes lighting up with excitement behind his thick, black-rimmed glasses. “I got tackled by four to five teenage girls. They started ripping my clothes off—all they wanted probably was a piece of my clothes or something. [The bass player] hollered at them so [they stopped.]”

Even though Tarsha thinks this is why he got pneumonia the second time, he said he never told the doctor because he didn’t want his family to find out.

Tarsha said the shows frequently got crazy.

“[Band member] Frankie Little would walk out into audience taking shots and would go into the women’s john playing his horn,” Tarsha said.

Tarsha played with the band for three years, getting the chance to play with a lot of big-name acts, such as Chubby Checker, whom he remembers as “arrogant and rude,” and Jerry Lee Lewis. Tarsha said Lewis once punched out his own drummer for bringing some underage girl on tour with them, and then asked Tarsha to be his drummer.

“I told him, ‘No, I punch back,’ Tarsha said.

Tarsha said he believed Toledo’s music scene began to decline after the increasing popularity of karaoke and disc jockeys. However, he still tried to organize young musicians a few years ago.

“They’re really not interested,” Tarsha said. “I think what they’re interested in is their own music and own bands. In my days, the musicians took care of each other. We were concerned. If this guy got hurt, we’d go play a benefit for them. We would go to their houses and offer what we could.”

Tarsha also said a lot of Toledo’s modern bands don’t practice as much as they should.

“I’m not criticizing their music, I encourage them to play their own style, but I know some of my music teachers, they would holler [if they heard it] …” Tarsha said. “I encourage them to play their style for the simple reason that I want the musical scene to continue. I don’t want DJs and people who think they’re artists to swallow up what we started years ago.”

As for Tarsha, he “keeps practicing, even though the phone don’t ring too much anymore.”

“I practice every day. I have a drum set in my basement. In a few hours, I’ll be there, as soon as I go to Dave’s Drum Depot and replace drumsticks I crushed last week.”

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Postby bailbath » Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:25 am

Until this year, the closest brush with musical notoriety for Dr. Rusty Robinson was when he was a medical student in Memphis, Tenn., and famed rocker Jerry Lee Lewis was rushed in for treatment.

Great balls of fire, look what's happening now. Robinson recently returned from New York, where he was in the studio with five other like-minded gynecologic oncologists from across the country in pre-production for their own CD of original recordings.

"It's a creative outlet for us," said Robinson, director of research at the Harrington Cancer Center and professor of women's health and oncology at the Texas Tech Medical School. "Those of us who have a creative bent kind of revel in things like this. This is a way to express that creative desire.

"A lot of surgeons have that in some way. Not necessarily music, but art or writing, too. It takes your mind off things. Unfortunately, there's plenty of downside in our profession."

These rock docs are combining their musical hobby with their passion for fighting women's cancers. Their CD is scheduled for release in September, which is Gynecologic Cancer Month. The CD will raise money and promote awareness of deadly cancers that don't have the same recognition as breast cancer.

The songs, all written by group members and played in classic and alternative rock style, deal with the issues many with cancer face.

Robinson, who plays bass guitar and harmonica as well as sings, penned one song, "Don't Start the Party." It's based on one of his most animated patients, who befriended several other women during their chemotherapy treatments.

"They played cards, laughed and sang songs and they got so loud our head nurse had to almost separate them," Robinson said. "As this patient was finishing her treatment one day, she turned around and told them, 'Don't start the party until I get here next time.' "

These physician musicians also have a name - NED. Not to be confused with Rock Hall of Famers R.E.M. - and not that anybody would - the name is an acronym that is music to the ears of patient and doctor. It stands for No Evidence of Disease.

"We use that all the time, and patients kind of pick up on that," Robinson said. "Some have said to me that's the best thing patients want to hear. It's obscure enough so that people will ask about it, but doctors and a lot of patients will get it."

So how do Drs. William Winter of Portland, Ore., John Soper and John Boggess of UNC-Chapel Hill, Nimesh Nagarsheth of Mt. Sinai, N.Y., School of Medicine, Joanie Hope of New York University Medical Center and Robinson come together in the name of rock 'n' roll and cancer awareness?

Mainly through social gatherings at professional conferences, and inquiring about hobbies and interests. Three months prior to the group's annual convention last February in Tampa, a member of the entertainment committee asked Winter if he could provide some in-house music. The calls went out and it was game on.

While each member practiced their set at home leading up to the conference, a blast e-mail went out in search of a lead female singer. Hope replied and even sent an audition tape. When they convened in Tampa, they practiced together twice before playing before more than 1,000 physicians.

"We were terrified," Robinson said. "I thought we'd be God-awful, but we were considerably better than we thought we'd be. We played encores and they loved us. Then we started to get more requests from other groups to play. We had to turn several down because we just didn't have time."

But they did find time for Motema, a New York record label that features jazz performers and also works with nonprofits. Motema contacted them this summer. Producing the CD is Mario McNulty, who also produces rocker David Bowie's music. The Columbia School of Journalism in New York filmed NED's first recording session. They return to record again in March, the only time their schedules allow.

"It's therapeutic, absolutely, no question," said Robinson, who has dabbled locally with The Blue Johnnies and Insufficient Funds. "It's painful to tell a young woman with children she has a disease she won't recover from.

"There's a line in one of our songs, 'Third person reality,' about what the patient and doctor are thinking as they're in the office that says, 'Come through the door, time to shatter another dream ...'

"Even though we do it for awareness and altruistic reasons, we all get a lot of personal benefit from it, too."

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wrong Lewis

Postby bailbath » Sun Jan 11, 2009 9:23 pm


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Re: wrong Lewis

Postby Tony Papard » Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:35 pm

bailbath wrote:

I love this. But only a month to read a complete Jerry Lee Lewis autobiography? Provided he had a good co-writer it should take 6 months to read at least, and that's if he cuts out the rest of the talented family and their ups and downs.
Long ago in Ferriday down in Louisiana, They all watched Jerry play and pump that old piana

My blog:

My Jerry Lee Lewis page:
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BLUES & MORE: Hail, hail, rock 'n' roll!

Postby bailbath » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:26 am ... 01/25/9873

Long before I actually "discovered" the blues when I went to college, I was an avid fan of the rock 'n' roll and R&B/soul I heard on AM Top 40 radio. In fact, I was just knocked out by R&B and even blues before I really knew what it was! It was "only rock 'n roll to me" as I eagerly rocked on to the sounds of Ray Charles, Solomon Burke, Hank Ballard, and even Jimmy Reed and Bobby Bland that I heard on Top 40 radio, not really knowing what I was listening to, only knowing that I really, really dug it.

Rock 'n' roll is often considered a bastard child of the blues, but it was Muddy Waters himself who said, "Blues had a baby, and they called it rock 'n' roll." Rock 'n' roll was the "jungle music" dismissed by the highbrow critics that just excited the hell out of me and millions of other youth across the land.

Rock 'n' roll was also the great leveler and door opener that brought the music of the riffraff, African Americans, and the other "undesirables" of the Eisenhower Era to our young white ears and, for some of us, was the opening wedge that made some of us more receptive to the countercultures that would explode in the mid-1960s.

Rock 'n' roll was, for me, the bridge over which I eagerly walked to support the Civil Rights Movement, the Berkeley Free Speech Movement and the early anti-Vietnam War protests. And it didn't hurt at all that this music I loved so much was consistently derided by my parents, teachers and other pillars of "respectable society"!

"Hail, hail, rock 'n' roll
Deliver me from the days of old."
- Chuck Berry

Rockers, white and black, really turned me on as a preadolescent and early adolescent youth in the late 1950s and early 1960s. I voraciously listened to the music of Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Chuck Berry and so many others that I heard on the radio and on TV's American Bandstand.

I developed my own little collection of favorite rock 'n' roll songs that gravitated toward the wilder sounds of this new, exciting music -- Huey Smith and the Clowns' "Don't You Just Know It," Jerry Lee Lewis's "Great Balls Of Fire," Elvis's "Hard-Headed Woman," Lavern Baker's "Jim Dandy," Little Richard's "Long Tall Sally," Conway Twitty's raucous remakes of the venerable "Mona Lisa" and "Danny Boy," and countless more from the Wild Side.

My rock 'n' roll tastes were catholic and indiscriminate: I just loved this music of the driving drumbeat and burning guitars, and if a sax played a fiery solo, so much the better. Yes, I could even dig the Teen Idols, such as Connie Francis, Fabian, Bobby Vee, Frankie Avalon, and ballads such as Jesse Belvin's "Goodnight My Love," Conway Twitty's "It's Only Make Believe" and Rosie and the Originals' "Angel Baby."

Rock 'n' roll was my musical world then, and even though my musical tastes and awareness have broadened considerably since then, it was rock 'n' roll that opened my musical ears and started that love affair with pop music that's carried on to this day. "Before Elvis, there was nothing," John Lennon said. That was true for me as well.

"Hail, hail, rock 'n' roll/Deliver me from the days of old," Chuck Berry sang. He also sang derisively of the "good music" my parents, teachers and school principals were always trying to foist on me and the other youth of our day -- that it sounded "just like a symphony." But it was precisely rock 'n' roll that led me to appreciate classical music, not as an alternative, but as confirmation and musical enrichment.

"Blues had a baby, and they called it rock 'n' roll."
- Muddy Waters

My love of the percussive sounds of rock 'n' roll opened my ears to the savage beat of Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring," the marvelous fantasia of Rimsky-Korsakov's "Schereherezade," and the mathematically precise harmonic explorations of Bach.

Needless to say, because rock 'n' roll came earlier, the dynamic enhancements of the British Invasion of 1964-65 and the rock that followed were made possible. "It's loud, and you can dance to it, and it's loud," was how the Lovin' Spoonful, one of the most creative of the later rock groups, expressed tribute to rock 'n' roll. It was just one (borrowing from Jerry Lee Lewis) Great Ball of Fire!

Rock 'n' roll records were produced as throwaway music, quickly recorded to garner quick radio airplay and climb the Top 40 charts. And yet -- this was certainly true of the best of them -- they were lovingly made, featured musicians and singers that could care about the music, and producers and engineers who had professional production values.

Remember, rock 'n' roll was recorded live in the studio by live musicians, and there was simply no way then to electronically enhance mediocre performances or electronically correct mistakes except by laborious splicing of tapes. And studio time was not cheap even then, and retakes were costly. So, unlike today, there was an emphasis on doing it well from the beginning.

This was an ethos that carried on in Top 40 even into the 1970s, and that ethos is what makes even the alleged "schlock" of that era still exciting listens today. I'll always have a warm spot in my heart for the vastly-underrated Lesley Gore, for Johnny Rivers's "Poor Side of Town," and the Grassroots' "Midnight Confessions," with its absolutely brilliant arrangement that incorporated an understated simple bass opening line with horns following in boldly brassy timbre. Try and find those kinds of production values in the music of Britney Spears, Jason Timberlake, Jay Z. and the other forgettables of our day!

"Remember, rock 'n' roll was recorded live in the studio by live musicians."

And yes, long before Hendrix or Clapton, there was outstanding musicianship, and outstanding ensemble work. Just consider the Champs' "Tequila" in this regard, recorded as an afterthought at the end of a studio session. And consider guitarists such as Elvis's Scotty Moore, or Link Wray, or Dick Dale. Guitarists Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley were major musical innovators, as were the Beach Boys with their elaborate explorations in harmony. (The Beach Boys were innovators in another way as well--in their original songs we find a clearly-stated angst of youth in that era, a wistful White Blues of otherwise arid white middle-class America.)

Although not nearly as subtle as the piano playing of the great blues masters, Jerry Lee Lewis's signature approach to the piano playing of the rock 'n' roll era makes him a dynamic standout even today, as he still knows how to rock the keyboards at 70, shown on his latest CD, Last Man Standing. (Reviewed in "Blues and More" on Nov. 11, 2007.) And what of that marvelously demented melange of nonsensical, repetitive lyrics that makes the Trashmen's 1964 "Surfin' Bird" one of the greatest rock 'n' roll records of all time?

Rock 'n' roll was many things. Sure, it was in part theft by white artists of black blues and R&B, but rock 'n' roll also opened the Top 40 charts to black R&B artists who would've remained virtually unheard of by white America, and made R&B an integral part of rock 'n' roll.

And don't forget rockabilly, where its Southern Roots incorporated white country sounds along with black sounds into rock 'n' roll. And the creation of the rock 'n' roll instrumental, which created a new sub-genre that went beyond rockabilly, beyond blues and R&B.

Yes, all of us who love good pop music owe a considerable debt to rock 'n' roll for opening our ears, and for some of us, opening our eyes to the seamy underside of America that exploded into that era of protest, defiance and rebellion that was the mid- and late 1960s.

Hail, hail rock 'n' roll indeed!

Broadcasting the Blues! A Down-home Compilation of Live Radio Blues from KJZZ

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Back pain!

Postby bailbath » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:29 am

Have you ever been shocked, or perhaps utilized a TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) unit to control pain? Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is like that, only much, much more. It stimulates you at the coaxial cable of all nerves called the spinal cord. A small specially built wire (called an electrode ) is carefully placed in the epidural space. That is the same place in the back where medication is placed to relieve a lady from labor pains. Then a small electrical current is passed through the electrode to shock the back of the spinal cord. That is spinal cord stimulation.
For more information on this procedure, contact:
The Chattanooga Center for Pain Medicine
1012 Executive Drive
Hixson, Tennessee
423-756-7246 (PAIN)
Roger W. Catlin, M.D., DABPM
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Why use it?

Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a way to control pain without medications. There are primarily two types of pain.

First , pain can come from damaged joints and ligaments and other non-nerve tissue, and is called somatic pain. This type of pain is only partially controlled by SCS. Second , pain can come from damaged or abnormal nerve tissue, and is called neurogenic pain . Chronic neurogenic pain, which may occur after a crush injury of a nerve or after back surgery, may be very effectively controlled by spinal cord stimulation.

So in short, SCS is used to treat people who suffer from severe chronic pain due to nerve injury that is not controlled by other medical treatments. It sounds awful! Well, not really. If a person hurts enough and does not like taking lots of drugs, or medications are relatively ineffective, or have side effects, SCS can be a great help!
First step.

All other reasonable pain relief measures must have been tried, or judged to not be useful by your doctors.

Second step. The person needs to see an interventional pain medicine physician who can perform the test to determine if SCS is effective, and do the implantation surgery.

Third step. Education is paramount! The patient and their family are taught about the treatment. The patient may be able to talk to other patients with spinal cord stimulation systems implanted. (Rock star Jerry Lee Lewis has one.)

Fourth step. All insurance companies require a patient to be "cleared" by a psychiatrist or psychologist. Depression and other emotional states can prevent the treatment of spinal cord stimulation from working well.

Fifth step. Test drive! The physician that will implant the permanent SCS system places an electrode through a needle, temporarily (5 to 14 days) so the patient can experience the sensation of SCS and determine if it will adequately block his/her pain. During this time, a small power source for the electrode is outside the body. That trial electrode is always completely removed.

Sixth step. Decision time. If the patient and the doctor believe that the SCS relieved enough pain, and no contraindications have risen, then it is time for a decision. The decision whether or not a SCS system is permanently implanted is primarily the patient's decision, and secondarily the implanting physician's decision. A SCS trial does not commit a person to have the permanent implant, even if "successful."

Seventh step. Implantation. The day of "permanent surgery" comes, and the device (electrode and impulse generator) is surgically placed in the patient.
What is placed in the person?

Two things. At this operation, two incisions, two to three inches long are needed. The incisions are not very deep. First , the electrode is replaced in the same position as the trial electrode. Second , a device that contains a battery (often rechargeable), a mini computer, a little radio transmitter and radio receiver, and the connections for the electrodes (called an impulse generator ), is placed under the skin.

The impulse generator (IPG), which looks like a heart pacemaker, is placed under the skin of either the abdomen or buttocks. The IPG implant site is very much a patient decision. Utilizing an externally handheld device little bigger than a computer mouse, the impulse generator can be adjusted, turning it up, down or changing stimulation patters at will. Doing so is totally within the patient's control, 24/7.

Additionally, a person with a spinal cord stimulator can expect to take less medication, will have few if any restrictions of activities, can drive a car, and can expect to set off airport security checkpoint alarms. It will not, however, shock you when you do not expect it. The device can be removed (surgically) and does no harm while it is in your body.

There are some risks, however the risks are small. Risks will be discussed with your doctor. Once implanted, like a hip prosthesis, nobody will know that you have a spinal cord stimulator in place. In most cases, you can still wear a two-piece bathing suit.

Spinal cord stimulator systems can relieve pain and possibly prevent the need for additional surgery. It is a very modern space-age technology that is accepted by Medicare and most insurance companies. Once you get to know about a spinal cord stimulator and that SCS can help you or a loved one control pain, it is not scary at all.

The pictures on this page will give you some idea of how it looks and where it is placed. However, nothing can replace an in-depth discussion with a pain medicine physician and his staff. Ask your personal physician to see a pain medicine physician for additional information. Please remember that if you do not need one of these expensive, high-tech systems, you certainly will not want it. However, if spinal cord stimulation can effectively relieve part of all of your pain, it is worth all the money in the world.
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Postby bailbath » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:41 am ... 0463.story

At Whisky A Go-Go, applause for co-founder Elmer Valentine
A crowd of admirers gathers to share memories of the late Valentine at the landmark West Hollywood club.
By Randy Lewis
January 28, 2009
They came to West Hollywood on Monday night not to bury one of the celebrated figures in L.A. music's storied past, but to praise him.

A few hundred family members, friends, former employees and just plain fans of Whisky A Go-Go co-founder Elmer Valentine, who died at age 85 in December, packed the venerated club he opened 45 years ago for a night of toasts and music. The music was led by Johnny Rivers, whose extended engagement as the Whisky's opening act in 1964 put the club and the singer on the national map. Among those joining Rivers on Monday at the club that helped launch countless careers were Stephen Stills, Byrds co-founder Chris Hillman, South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela and British blues band leader John Mayall.

Jack Nicholson, looking up to the stage from his spot on the floor about 15 feet back, described his longtime friend as "the man who looked like all seven dwarfs." The actor said one of his favorite life quotes came from Valentine, a Chicago cop who moved west to start a new life in the entertainment business. "He used to say, 'Some people score and they never know it. Jack, we scored, and we know it.' "

Doors drummer John Densmore didn't play, except for a quick drum roll he rattled off in memory of Valentine before Rivers took the stage, but lauded him as a rarity in the world of club owners, who as a group tend to elicit more curses than compliments from musicians.

"I've gotta say, I never met a music club owner or promoter who cared more about musicians and the people who made it than Elmer Valentine," said Densmore, who showed up in what he called his "hippie jacket," a buckskin number with fringed sleeves.

Densmore was caught up in conversation with Ronnie Haran Mellen, the Whisky's original talent booker, who first spotted the Doors at another club, the London Fog. "She came in on the last night we played there, the night we were fired. She came back to Elmer and said, 'This is a band that has to be our house band.' " Valentine agreed, and the Doors' run at the club put it on the fast track on its path to becoming one of the most celebrated rock bands of the era.

Chris Hillman laughed while recounting a night at the club in 1969 shortly after he'd left the Byrds to start the Flying Burrito Brothers with Gram Parsons. " Jerry Lee Lewis was there, and we were up there in the dressing rooms," he said, pointing to the balcony. "Jerry Lee was telling Gram that he'd taught the Beatles everything they knew and they'd be nothing without him. I remember thinking at the time, 'This is great -- this is history.' "

Valentine's old friend and business partner Lou Adler and Adler's son Nic organized Monday's tribute. "We waited a little bit after his passing to do this," said Nic Adler, who now oversees operations at the Roxy, which Valentine, his father and other partners opened in 1973. "Elmer wouldn't have wanted any crying. He just would have wanted laughter and people telling stories, and that's what is happening tonight."

The music Monday revolved around the Whisky's first wave of success in the '60s, some reflecting tacitly or directly the musicians' formative experiences on the Sunset Strip. Rivers, who recorded a string of live albums at the Whisky, sang several of his mid-'60s hits, swampy Southern pop-rock versions of Chuck Berry's "Memphis" and "Maybelline" as well as "Secret Agent Man." Stills offered "For What It's Worth (Stop Hey What's That Sound)" and "Love the One You're With." Hillman reeled off the Byrds' "So You Want to Be a Rock and Roll Star."

The opening of the Whisky helped revive a part of Hollywood that had been a destination for Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart and other members of Tinseltown's elite in the 1930s and '40s.

Folk music fans, who were plentiful in the late '50s and early '60s, had the Ash Grove, the Troubadour, PJ's and McCabe's in Santa Monica, but rock music hadn't yet established a beachhead.

Valentine, who was part owner of PJ's, came upon a foundering club on the Sunset Strip called the Party that he wanted to take over. He offered Rivers a one-year contract to open the club.

Valentine patterned his operation after a European discotheque called the Whisky A Go-Go that he'd visited in Paris while on vacation the previous summer, where patrons danced while deejays spun records, a form of nightlife that hadn't caught on in the U.S. yet. Valentine hired female disc jockeys to play records in the breaks between Rivers' three live sets each night so patrons could continue dancing. Valentine is credited with starting the go-go craze stateside.

"He put them above the bandstand," Rivers said. "They were right over my head. That bandstand was so small -- it was only about 5 by 7 feet. . . . Eventually, they had to put up a guard rail in front of the stage because dancers would be swinging their arms and they kept hitting the mike stand and whapping me in the mouth."

It was a mutually beneficial relationship. "After 'Memphis' came out, I started getting offers for one-nighters," Rivers said, "and Elmer was nice enough to let me out of the contract to do them. I went from making $350 a week to $5,000 a night. And that was a lot of money then."

The Whisky became one of the focal points of L.A.'s mushrooming rock scene, hosting future Hall of Fame acts such as the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield and the Doors. Soon, international acts including the Who and the Kinks were dropping in to play. In the '70s, it was also a breeding ground for progressive and hard rock. Van Halen built much of its early following through repeated appearances at the Whisky.

The club's fortunes ebbed and flowed over the years. Valentine and partner Mario Maglieri stopped booking live rock acts for a time in the mid-'70s when the folk singer-songwriting boom hit. They turned it into a dance club and then devoted the room to stage musicals.

When the punk-rock revolution began around 1976, the Whisky returned to live music, hosting the Runaways, X, the Motels and others on L.A.'s punk and new-wave scene. And it imported such influential acts as the Ramones, Talking Heads, Blondie, the Police and Elvis Costello.

Another lull came in the early '80s and the Whisky closed for a couple of years, reopening during the pay-to-play era in Southland music, when bands were required to pay up front for a performance slot and hope to generate a profit by selling the tickets themselves.

"Elmer remained in the background -- he was kind of a shy person," Rivers said. "But he always enjoyed showcasing new acts. He always wanted to give talented young artists a break, and when one of them became successful, it was almost like it was one of his kids."

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Postby Tony Papard » Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:05 pm

Chris Hillman laughed while recounting a night at the club in 1969 shortly after he'd left the Byrds to start the Flying Burrito Brothers with Gram Parsons. " Jerry Lee Lewis was there, and we were up there in the dressing rooms," he said, pointing to the balcony. "Jerry Lee was telling Gram that he'd taught the Beatles everything they knew and they'd be nothing without him. I remember thinking at the time, 'This is great -- this is history.' "

Not EVERYTHING - Little Richard taught them how to scream 'ooooh' during their songs, tho' I always preferred the Penniman original!
Long ago in Ferriday down in Louisiana, They all watched Jerry play and pump that old piana

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My Jerry Lee Lewis page:
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Postby bailbath » Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:41 am ... .cincotti/

NEW YORK (CNN) -- When singer-pianist Peter Cincotti showed up to speak to CNN in 2004, he was fresh-faced and impeccably dressed in a suit and shiny shoes.
Peter Cincotti rose to fame as a jazz pianist. His new album features pop songs.

Peter Cincotti rose to fame as a jazz pianist. His new album features pop songs.

Seated at a piano, and under the watchful eye of his very sweet mother Cynthia, Cincotti performed the standard "How High the Moon," showing off piano skills you'd expect from someone far beyond his 21 years.

His debut album had just topped the Billboard traditional jazz chart -- the youngest artist to claim such a feat.

Now 25, Cincotti is still fresh-faced, but he sings to a very different tune. Looking trendy in a fitted sweater, his hair a little looser, his personality more playful -- mom didn't come to this interview -- Peter has gone pop.

"He's this great jazz pianist," says producer David Foster, who worked on Cincotti's new album. "And he just turned the whole thing 180 and wrote these incredible pop songs."

To Cincotti, whose pop debut "East of Angel Town" was released last week on Warner Bros. Records, the switch isn't that big a deal.

"I'm a musician," he says. "I was just playing what I love then, and I'm playing what I love now." Video Watch Cincotti do what he loves »

Enlisting Foster to help navigate the transition was crafty: Foster is a 15-time Grammy winner with an undeniable knack for generating pop hits. He also has a reputation for getting his way in the studio. But Cincotti, a native New Yorker, didn't make things easy.
Don't Miss

* David Foster may be 'cheesy,' but he's 'very rich'

"He's a control freak, too, so we butted heads a lot," says Foster. "And he actually made me come to New York to make the record. And I don't like New York because I'm claustrophobic and I don't dig elevators. But he made me come here for three months. That's how much I loved his music."

Cincotti smiles when he recalls the expletive-ridden voicemail message Foster left him expressing his displeasure over having to vacate his Los Angeles base to work on the project.

"I saved that message," Cincotti says. "It's great."

Cincotti talked to CNN about new beginnings, old influences and playing piano in the fast lane. The following is an edited version of the interview.

CNN: What do you love about pop?

Peter Cincotti: To be honest I don't even categorize (my music) as that. It's just what I'm doing now. This is my first record that I've written everything. It's my first record of original material so the style changed and that's basically what I'm doing right now.

CNN: When a 25-year-old is writing songs, what experiences are you drawing on?

Cincotti: Well, this record is ... kind of like a debut, and I wanted to write about things that I never sang about before in songs. Things that either happened to me, personal experiences. And I didn't want to write a record of "I love you and you love me."

So a lot of the subject matter I think is a bit atypical of what's out there right now ... at least to me.

CNN: You've been playing the piano since you were how old?

Cincotti: I started when I was 3. My grandma bought me this ten-key toy piano, and she taught me how to play "Happy Birthday." It was my third birthday, and I sat down and I never stopped.

CNN: Which pianists have inspired you over the years?

Cincotti: There are so many. I'm still going through phases. I'll just listen to a certain musician. The first guy I remember ... I got my first cassette ... it was a Jerry Lee Lewis tape. I remember I was 5 years old and I went with my uncle to the record store. And I always liked "Great Balls of Fire" ... and I just couldn't stop trying to play like Jerry Lee Lewis.

So he was the first piano player guy that really got under my skin. And then that led to many others ... piano players like Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel. From Art Tatum to Shirley Horne ...

CNN: Jerry Lee Lewis played fast. Do you like to play fast?

Cincotti: Back then I did. Back then I was fascinated. The faster the better. Now, if it's called for, sure.

CNN: What was it like working with David Foster?

Cincotti: It was great. He was a pain in the ass! In a good way. And I was a pain in the ass back to him. But I love working with him. There was no BS. It was just a very honest relationship.

And I went through a period of taking my time figuring out what kind of producer I wanted for this record, and when he and I met ... we said "let's just do one song together and see if it works out." I was honored that he was interested, but at the same time I wanted the record to be right for what the vision was. But we got together and did 11 songs in three days. And it was one of those things that just clicked and happened. I couldn't imagine doing it with anyone else.

CNN: What do you have against Los Angeles?

Cincotti: I don't know if I have anything against it, but I'd rather spend my time elsewhere.

CNN: Like New York?

Cincotti: Like New York.

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Postby bailbath » Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:33 am ... 1-sun.html

Love it, hate it, dismiss it, "professional wrestling" is what it has always been: a mad mixture of athletics and over-the-top theatre.

Over the course of nearly four decades, Ric Flair built himself from up-and-comer to star to Hall-of-Famer, using flamboyance and outrageousness to make himself stick out in a world that already operated at an outrageous level of flamboyance.

Recently retired from the ring, one of the things Flair does now is public speaking/question-and-answer engagements, armed and ready, he promises, with more than a few stories to tell about years living in the crazy, hazy life of wrestling.

Many of us - whether we want to admit it or not - yelled and screamed and laughed at these lunatic, larger than life people on TV, in stinky barns and sold-out stadiums across the world. Imagine being inside that fishbowl.

"I've had an interesting life," said Flair from his home in Carolina, punctuating it with that mischevious-slash-evil laugh of his. "It's been great, thank you!"

So, it's a safe bet that the first thing that comes out of Flair's mouth when he walks on stage at Myer Horowitz Theatre this afternoon will be his signature "Whoooo!"

"I wake up in the morning and say Whooo!," confirmed "The Nature Boy."

"That's the first thing I do in the morning and the last thing I do at night."

The yell fits him.

"I've had it since '74, actually. I heard it from Jerry Lee Lewis."

Appropriate since Jerry Lee swaggered across the world as arguably the first true badass of rock'n'roll.

"I just took it to a different level," he said.

The laugh again.

Some wrestlers operated in grey areas between good and evil, naughty and nice long before Stone Cold Steve Austin did. But, old school was black-and-white, one or the other. The inside terms for the characterizations were "heel" or "babyface." Flair has a clear preference - full-on heel.

"I'm a much better bad guy!"

Oh, about that other aspect of pro wrestling: the actual wrasslin', the actual pounding, the thing that so many used to - and some still do - love to say, "It's fake!"

Flair is succinct: "A lot of athletics involved, absolutely. We have to get that straight. A lot of athletics. A little bit of choreography, but that's all that I'll budge on that subject."

It was the epic battle in wrestling. The Atlanta-based WCW went against Vince McMahon' s Monday Night Raw. Both shows were outdrawing Monday Night Football. Empires hung in the balance.

It was just before Stone Cold went off the charts for the then WWF. WCW had the Hulkster, now turned the nasty "Hollywood Hogan." They had Nash, Hitman, many next-in-liners like Benoit and Jericho.

Just as they hit their peak, WCW went trainwreck. They took the Hollywood part too literally. The beginning of the end was bringing in Jay Leno - yes, Jay Leno - to face Hogan at a PPV at, get this, Sturgis.

The end was when they made D-lister David Arquette - a skinny little dweeb regardless of whatever level of celebrity he'd achieved - their champion.

They scorched their own earth and the McMahon machine - striding into the Austin/Rock era - rolled right over it.

"It was awful," said Flair. "The biggest embarrassment for someone of my stature in the business. Anyone that couldn't see the problems and how bad it really was ..."

He trailed off. The biggest mouth in the biz left speechless.

In the last few years, Flair soaked up the adulation of wrestling's biggest crowds with McMahon's WWE.

As an elder statesman of the game, he'd give advice, he said, if others sought it.

"If they asked me, yeah. I didn't go out of my way to ... (but) I feel like if I gave someone that endorsement, they needn't ask anyone else.

"If I give someone advice about wrestling, it's gold. It doesn't go down in value."

But he never forgot something he was given.

"Best piece of advice I ever got? That I have four minutes on TV to separate myself. To show that I was different, unique and better than anybody else on that TV program.

"Jack Mulligan offered that on a ride home from Raleigh, North Carolina, one night," Flair said of the legendary Texas brawler known as Black Jack. He said, 'Kid, you've got four minutes. Show why you're different, show why you're better. Don't screw it up.' "

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Postby Andrew McRae » Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:11 pm

A number of other examples of 'Wooo!' are available on youtube for anyone with nothing better to listen to this Sunday morning!
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Shelby Singleton

Postby nicolaas » Sun Feb 08, 2009 1:26 pm

Shelby Singleton Jr.

(courtesy Dave Penny - - May 24, 2005).
There is a very interesting interview with SS in this month's Country Music People from his marriage to (and management of) Margie Singleton when she was just 13, through his association with Starday/Mercury and Smash and characters like Roger Miller and Jerry Kennedy.
Of particular interest is the account of his purchase of the Sun catalogue in 1969. It seems that Sam Phillips was then busy with Holiday Inn and had no interest in his old label - indeed everybody including Singleton's bank manager tried to persuade SS not to waste his money on it - nevertheless he bought it for a steal (SS doesn't divulge exactly how much - does anyone know?), but the canny Shelby was aware of a new ABC-TV series from Johnny Cash and within weeks after the purchase he had compiled and released Johnny Cash's "Original Golden Hits" volumes one and two, had made licensing deals with interested record companies all around the globe, and "had made back ALL the money I had paid within three months"!
Then when Elvis died in 1977 he rushed out the various bits and pieces that he had found in the purchase as the LP "Interviews and Memories of the Sun Years With Elvis" ("I had album covers ready within 24 hours of his death...we sold 600,000...then RCA got an injunction against me to stop sales. I agreed with them and paid a fee of $4000 and they went away...").
The Million Dollar Quartet release worked out even better; RCA again brought an injunction against SS, but this time he fought it - for 15 years - and finally made a deal that the now BMG could manufacture it and market it, but they had to pay *him* a royalty because, in his words, "I proved to them that I clearly owned 3/4 of it and the most they could own was Elvis' part".
A good read with some nice old photos of him in the studio with the likes of Margie, Ivory Joe Hunter, Jerry Kennedy and Patti Page.

On this take note site are other very interesting articles to be read about Jerry Lee

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