Saturday, November 27, 2021

November 27, 2021

Jimi Hendrix would have turned 79 today.

I've sometimes thought about what might have happened had the guy lived, and it's easy to say that he would have just continued to be a huge star, would have continued to be, for example, the number one rock concert draw in the world, etc., but most times, the world is not simple like that.

Like, what happens to Hendrix' star as disco and punk come around? What kind of record does Jimi make in 1984, for Pete's sake? The world, and music, went away from the kind of thing that Jimi had done. Sure, he would have evolved, but would he have evolved well? I'm not so sure.

Maybe instead of ill-conceived efforts to match the times, I imagine a sabbatical. Whether it would have been likes Miles', or like John Lennon's, I'm not sure, but when it ends, and he's out of the limelight, I'm guessing a series of low key blues albums, tours with his idols Buddy Guy and Albert King, niche stuff like that. Maybe at its best, a career arc like Jeff Beck's.

OK, the greatest electric guitar player in the world, but that doesn't always sync up with sales, or even talk.

But I am guessing that, had he reached the age of 79, he'd have been the kind of artist who was happy with the way it had gone, as he'd always had the opportunity--and the will--to put out what he wanted to.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Comment on Wings at Quora

So, some clown on Quora was talking shit about Wings, and then dropped a quote where Pete Townsend saw an early show and didn't think much of Linda's keyboard work.

This I could not abide:

First off, Wings was Paul & Linda . . . and Denny Laine. And THEN, yes, it was whoever Paul wanted to play with (who hadn’t recently gotten pissed off at Macca).

Without going through the entire Pete Frame tree, Denny Laine is a great musician, and Jimmy McCulloch was, too. And everyone whom I don’t mention in the band had their musical propers . . . one of which a priori was that Paul chose to play with them.

Second, Paul didn’t start Wings because he was encouraged to by Linda. He wanted to play in a group setting, because being in a group had worked kinda well in his previous job. And because it kind of reduced the glare. And THEN, because he loved his wife, and because he’d already made a record with her, he wanted to include her in the new project.

Third, in the summer of 1979, Wings was absolutely positively a vital concern, with no end in sight. Six months previous “Mull of Kintyre” became, like, the biggest single in British history, “Coming Up” was a huge hit in America, and Back to the Egg was a strong rock n roll album that Paul had enjoyed making.

Then came the Japanese tour, and The Bust. And then it turned out BTtE didn’t have the legs, saleswise, that some of his earlier records had had. And then, Lennon’s death. By the time 1980 had ended, Paul had soured on everything (except Linda of course). Eight months after promoting BTtE in glowing terms he was slagging the record and disbanding the group that made it. I know that there were some personnel issues esp. with Laurence Juber, too, so he was done with the whole thing and ready to move on. Probably made sense as well, after the better part of a decade (just like with the Beatles).

My guess is that the triple whammy that 1980 brought to Macca is what did it, not any one of them. If the bust happened but the last record sells better, maybe he sticks with it in the wake of his former bandmate’s death. If he avoids the bust, and Wings has a rousing tour of Japan, maybe a disappointing commercial response to his latest and the death of Lennon might say to him: “live record!” And of course if that psychopath doesn’t shoot his former bestie, I think everything’s on the table, including another Command Performance :-)

Anyway, went on too long, as usual, but basically, Wings were a great band, who made at least three great records, ’cause their leader was a great musician and a great songwriter who knew how to pick musicians who played well with him.

And then shit happened, which doesn’t negate any of it.

Friday, November 19, 2021

The Rick Wakeman Piano Show, Deluvial Conditions in South Florida, and Me

So, think I was saying six months ago or so that I'd purchased tickets for Rick Wakeman's Even Grumpier Old Rock Star tour.

And the date on the tickets said yesterday!

So my gal Mel and I made plans to mosey on over to the Amaturo Theatre in Ft Rockerdale, but man, was the weather positively crappy yesterday (and it remains so today, too!).

I left work 20 minutes or so early to help me get to the show by its 8PM start time, but the drive home was absolutely *brutal*, maybe not hurricane winds, but definitely torrential rains, streets and highways overwhelmed by unhandled storm water and you better believe it plenty of automobiles piloted by the crappy drivers for which SoFla is so justly famed.

I got home on time, but the drive home had drained me, and I wasn't sure I had it in me to *go back out* into those so-freshly-imprinted-in-my-brain awful road conditions. As I arrive, my gal clearly doesn't want to go out into the Great Wide Shitty Weather, either, so I say to her: I'll mull it over; let's look at it in a half hour.

I'm an old man and I've always been easily annoyed and my gut feeling on the day of *any* concert is, oh, I don't know, something just this side of dread. I don't wanna drive for an hour, I don't wanna have to find and pay for parking . . . can't I just stay home?

I always overcome these feelings and head out, and I always (or almost always) have an excellent time, so yesterday, I was finding it hard to separate actual and rational dismay at driving in the crappy conditions vs. my usual oh-fuck-this-is-just-a-pain-in-the-ass response.

I had just about come to the conclusion that the only way to go was to proceed to the show, weather be damned, how many more times is Rick Wakeman gonna come to America, when my search for an online parking map led me to a webpage (dated October 20 or so) that informed me the second half of Mr. Wakeman's tour, including his Ft Lauderdale appearance, had been rescheduled to February-March, due to lingering COVID issues.

Well, fuck. Best news I had all day. No longer tasked with Having To Make A Decision, I ripped off my dress shirt and popped open a Voodoo Ranger. It might be pouring outside, but I was staying home, and doing it absolutely guilt free.

So now the date is March 11, and without any ability to predict the future on my part, I can still fucking *guarantee* that the weather on that date will be better for driving to and parking at a rock concert than it was yesterday.

So, anyway, while I was still trying to decide what to do last night, I did burn off a copy of The Six Wives of Henry VIII, just in case. I listened to that on the way to work today, and then at lunch. (SPOILER: it's a really really good album!), and then when I came back from lunch it was a little slow, so I went to, which is Mr. Wakeman's website, and he had posted this vintage ad for the album that I've been listening to all day, so that was cool.