My earlier blog post was about Jackson Browne’s song, “The Birds of St. Marks”. So in the spirit of continuity I write….
I recall the day, many years ago when I skipped high school in Connecticut with friends and headed into New York City by train.
We took the subway to Astor Place in the East Village. Next we headed to St. Marks Place the hippest street I have ever been on. I bought a black and white Jimi Hendrix poster at a head shop. I hung it on my bedroom wall.
These memories surfaced due to a forthcoming NYC history book, St. Marks Is Dead: The Many Lives of America’s Hippest Streets by Ada Calhoun. (Thanks for that tweet, Will Hermes)
I wish I didn’t have to teach on Monday night, November 2nd or I would be attending Ada Calhoun’s book release party at Cooper Union.
Now I just have to figure out how to get an autographed copy of her book 😉
There is something hauntingly romantic about the Jackson Browne song, “The Birds of St. Marks”.
“This is a song I always heard as a Byrds song, and that was even part of the writing of the song because Nico loved the Byrds. She even said on a couple of occasions, ‘Oh, you can play something like Jim McGuinn?’”
“The Birds of St. Marks” was originally written in 1967 when Jackson Browne was 18 and returning home to California after a brief stint living in New York where he was recording with Nico. A time of innocence and lost love. A time of youth.
Nico: Chelsea Girl
Three of Jackson Browne’s first songs were recorded on Nico’s solo album. He played electric guitar on her recording as suggested by Andy Warhol to create a modern sound.
- These Days
- Fairest of the Seasons
- Somewhere There’s A Feather
St. Marks Place Landmarks – East Village, New York City
St. Marks Place was a vibrant community in the late sixties and early seventies. It’s still a happening scene today.
#13 – Home to Lenny Bruce in the mid-1960s.
#19-#25 – The Dom, Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey turned The Dom into a nightclub in 1966, which served as a showcase for the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, Warhol’s multimedia stage show for the Velvet Underground.
#19-#25 – Became The Electric Circus. Billy Joel filmed his video, “A Matter of Trust” (1986) inside The Electric Circus.
131 Second Avenue (corner St. Marks Place), Gem Spa – Home of the Egg Cream 😉
#96 & #98 – The Led Zeppelin album Physical Graffiti features a front and back cover design that depicts these two buildings, which feature carved faces. Keith Richards and Mick Jagger are in front of same building in the Rolling Stones music video “Waiting on a Friend“.
I am excited that the new Bill Murray film, Rock the Kasbah, will release to movie theatres on October 23rd. My interest has built since I first saw the trailer. According to Bill Murray he modeled his role on two legendary concert promoters, Ron Delsener and the late Bill Graham.
I met Ron Delsener at the last King Crimson concert, July 1, 1974 at the Schaeffer Music Festival in Central Park. He was very personable with me that day. I still have his business card he gave me as we discussed the possibility of a future interview (never materialized, unfortunately).
I have noticed that the movie hasn’t been getting great reviews but I don’t base my movie choice primarily on what the movie critics report.
Here’s the trailer:
Since I posted about Leslie West’s upcoming album, Soundcheck I have been listening intently to Mountain, Cream and the supergroup in between, West, Bruce and Laing.
I recall the early 70’s on WNEW-FM, NY City’s progressive rock station. It was Scottso, Scott Muni who premiered West, Bruce and Laing in November, 1972. I had just started attending community college. We had a student lounge with a Marantz receiver connected to a Bose shelf speaker. I would arrive there early because it was a superior sound system to the hi-fi I had in my bedroom.
West, Bruce and Laing was a hardcore rock trio performing with piss and vinegar. I loved the tradeoff between Bruce and West. They were equally strong vocalists. Corky Laing’s drumming style accented their interplay.
Why Dontcha is the album you want to play, loud!
Leslie West’s forthcoming album, Soundcheck pegs the needle in the red. That is the infamous sound we have come to expect from this premier rock guitarist.
Soundcheck is the sixteenth solo album from the legendary rock guitarist Leslie West.
Leslie lays down some of his most inspired musical magic to date with by collaborating with renowned British guitarists Peter Frampton and Brian May, ex-Jeff Beck keyboard virtuoso Max Middleton, vocalist extraordinaire Bonnie Bramlett (Delaney & Bonnie) and the late great Cream bassist and longtime friend of Leslie’s, Jack Bruce.
Closing out his new album “Soundcheck”, is a treasure for all longtime fans of Leslie West: a live version of Willie Dixon’s, “Spoonful,” recorded with Jack Bruce on bass and vocals and Joe Franco on drums, played in the classic Cream style as captured on 1968’s Wheels of Fire. “Back in 1988, I recorded an album called, Theme, which featured Jack on bass. We recorded at Millbrook in upstate New York, and the owner of The Chance in Poughkeepsie called and asked if we wanted to come over and do a set there, with no advertising, no nothing. Jack was into it, and the engineer at Millbrook, Paul Orofino, came with us and recorded the gig with a small portable stereo machine. “After hearing of Jack’s passing, we edited it down from its original length and decided it would be great to include on the record. As you can hear, I was trying to reincarnate myself into Eric Clapton! The first time I listened to Jack’s voice and the tone of his bass on the recording, I had tears in my eyes. I loved Jack so much.”
LESLIE WEST – SOUNDCHECK
Label: Provogue Records
Release Date: November 20, 2015
01. Left By The Roadside To Die
02. Give Me One Reason
03. Here For The Party
04. You Are My Sunshine
05. Empty Promises Nothin Sacred
06. A Stern Warning
07. People Get Ready
08. Going Down
09. Stand By Me
10. Eleanor Rigby