The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in 10 Songs – Greil Marcus

 

Greil Marcus selects ten songs recorded between 1956 and 2008, then proceeds to dramatize how each embodies rock ’n’ roll as a thing in itself, in the story it tells, inhabits, and acts out—a new language, something new under the sun.

The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in 10 Songs is available for purchase in stores and online. Disregard the September 2, 2014 availability date. I saw it on the shelf today at Barnes & Noble, Inc.

The Facebook page for this book is being managed by the Publisher, Yale University Press. It’s quite informative in positioning the 10 songs and includes the YouTube links for each song.

 

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Sudan 365 – The Beat Continues

Keep this drumming circle going. Help the people of North and South Sudan.

Sudan365 is a year of campaigning for Sudan. It has been organized by a coalition of groups including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Save Darfur, FIDH, Refugees International, Darfur Consortium and Arab Coalition for Darfur.

More info at http://www.sudan365.org/

Thunderclap Newman Re-Emerging

I was listening to Classic Vinyl station on SiriusXM Satellite Radio (which is broadcast from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on weekends) when they played “Something In The Air” by Thunderclap Newman. I drifted back in time to when this single first broke on FM radio.

Thunderclap Newman is a British  group that Pete Townshend of The Who and Kit Lambert marshaled circa December 1968 – January 1969 to showcase the synergistic talents of John “Speedy” Keen, Andy “Thunderclap” Newman and Jimmy McCulloch.

They made one album, Hollywood Dream that established them as a way ahead of their time, cinematic art rock group. I purchased that album in  late 1970, marveling at such gems as “Accidents”, “The Reason”, and “Wild Country”.

As I dug deeper today I discovered the Thunderclap Newman’s Official Web site.  I am pleased to learn that Andy Newman re-established Thunderclap Newman in 2010 with:

  • Andy Newman – Piano, Woodwind and vocals
  • Mark Brzezicki – Drums and vocals
  • Josh Townshend – Guitar and vocals
  • Nick Johnson – Guitar and vocals
  • Tony Stubbings – Bass Guitar

The really cool part is the linkage with the Townsend family with Simon Townsend’s son Josh Townsend continuing the legacy connection with Thunderclap Newman.

Here they are doing Hollywood Dream Instrumental live. I hope they come to America in 2011, I’d go see them in a heartbeat 😉

Here is a link to a Facebook fan page dedicated to the music of Thunderclap Newman: The Revolution’s Here: Thunderclap Newman

Pocket Cash, March 24, 2011, SoHo, New York City

Last night, Rosemary and I attended two events in SoHo which celebrated the life and work of the late photographer Jim Marshall. Morrison Hotel Gallery and Apple’s SoHo Store partnered to present with the Jim Marshall Estate and Chronicle Books a multimedia narrative that shared the unique friendship of Jim Marshall and Johnny Cash.

The photography book Pocket Cash contains a rich set of warm photographs representing the 30+ year bond of friendship and trust between these two seminal figures. The tribute to two old friends took on a special meaning when it was learned that last night’s event was the one year anniversary of Jim Marshall’s death in New York City. (Jim died the night before the Match Print Morrison Hotel Gallery event on March 24, 2010.) My wife and I had planned to attend the Jim Marshall Match Print event in 2010. It helped in the healing process that we were able to be there last night.

The Apple SoHo Store event was led by Michelle Dunn Marsh, editor at Chronicle Books who worked closely with Jim Marshall in putting together the book Pocket Cash. Michelle shared her remembrances of Jim Marshall with loving admiration. She said that Jim Marshall hated two things, “inaction and onions.”  She also described Johnny Cash as a rock and roll artist, because “Rock and Roll is about attitude.” She also depicted him as a blues and country artist.

Michelle’s slide show exhibited pictures from Pocket Cash. The photographs revealed a unique glimpse into the lives of Johnny and June Carter Cash with such backdrops as Folsom Prison, San Quentin, The Johnny Cash Show, their home and recording studio,

My wife and I were very taken with this photograph of John and June Carter Cash. It spoke to us warmly 🙂

© JIM MARSHALL PHOTOGRAPHY LLC, 1969

We also liked the photographs of Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash on The Johnny Cash Show. I’ve been playing Nashville Skyline a lot today as I reminisced about Dylan’s country period with Cash in Nashville.

© JIM MARSHALL PHOTOGRAPHY LLC, 1969

After the Apple SoHo event we went across the street to the Morrison Hotel Gallery Loft for the exclusive showing of Jim Marshall’s photography exhibit, Pocket Cash. We soaked in the ambiance of the exhibit and partook of Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Burbon. Peter Blachley of the Morrison Hotel Gallery told us that the only burbon Jim Marshall would drink is Woodford Reserve. Now I know why as that was the best whiskey sour I ever tasted 😉 We then purchased the paperback edition of Pocket Cash and headed back to Connecticut. We were thankful we attended this event and honored Jim Marshall’s memory.

Thank you Morrison Hotel Gallery, Chronicle Books, Apple SoHo Store and the Estate of Jim Marshall for a lovely evening filled with fond remembrances.


Owsley “Bear” Stanley 1935-2011

I was upset to learn of Owsley “Bear” Stanley‘s untimely death last night. I had just come home from Brooklyn, logged into Facebook when I picked up the R.I.P. Bear discussion threads taking place with Sam Cutler and Bill Kreutzmann.

It hit me like a thunderbolt…. sigh…

As one of many extended Dead family members my heart goes out to Bear’s family, Sam Cutler, the members of the Grateful Dead and all who knew him in San Francisco, Australia and elsewhere.

My purpose in writing this blog post today is to pay tribute to Owsley “Bear” Stanley. He made significant contributions to our counter-culture as a chemist, genius sound engineer, band manager, and music archivist.

I just read Bob Weir and Phil Lesh‘s thoughts about Bear and wanted to share them with you from dead.net

Bob Weir wrote:

I met Owsley at the age of eighteen. I had just left home, having run off with a Rock&Roll band. Bear, as we knew him, was one of my all-time biggest influences. Always, when I think of him, I think of the endless stuff he taught me or somehow made me realize, all stuff that I’ve been able to use to the benefit of countless people who probably don’t know much about him or how deeply he influenced me and the rest of the band. Most important was the approach he taught me and us: Always be open and engaging – always critical and questioning, but not negatively so much as playfully. He taught me to take myself and my interests out of the picture and work with the subject under consideration so that the best deductions or conclusions are made. I guess this means working from the point of view of the higher self, though that term never came up; it was always just assumed…

-Bob Weir

From Phil Lesh:

A Beautiful Mind

I received a text in the middle of last night that Bear Stanley has died in a car accident in Australia. Bear, for me, was a true kindred spirit; when we first met, it was as if I had met a long-lost brother from another lifetime. I am heartbroken and devastated at his passing.

He was a friend, a brother, an inspiration, and our patron at the very beginning of our creative lives. We owe him more than what can be counted or added up- his was a mind that refused to accept limits, and he reinforced in us that striving for the infinite, the refusal to accept the status quo, that has informed so much of our work.

He never gave up his quest for pushing the limits of whatever he was working on. We had just been discussing his concept of point-source sound reinforcement in relation to a new project of mine, and his vision incorporated the latest developments in technology and perceptual research.

My heart goes out to his family, for whom he had such love and pride- his wife Sheilah, his children, grand-children, and great-grandchildren- who have lost their patriarch.

A mind like Bear’s appears very rarely, and it’s been my privilege and honor to have known and loved two such minds- Jerry and Bear. I always laugh when I think about what Jerry once said about Bear: There’s nothing wrong with Bear that several billion fewer brain cells wouldn’t fix.

I am eternally grateful for all of the gifts that Bear brought to the scene and to the music.

Fare you well; I love you more than words can tell.

– Phil

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Happy Birthday Peter Wolf

Cover of "Blow Your Face Out"
Cover of Blow Your Face Out

I was thinking of singer, bluesman, radio disk-jockey Peter Wolf today. I strolled over to his Facebook Page and learned it is his birthday, Cool. Wishing Peter Wolf a Whammer Jammer of a birthday today!

Here’s Peter Wolf and the J. Geils Band at Fenway Park in Boston from 2010.

Blow Your Face Out