Monday 31 March 2014

Grace Slick Art Exhibition

The Fingerhut Gallery, at 210 Forest Ave. in Laguna Beach, is slated to present an exhibition of works by Grace Slick on Saturday.

The former model and singer, known for her time with Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship, will be at the venue from 6 to 9 p.m.

"You can come to the gallery, hang out, slurp up some refreshments, chat with yours truly, look at my paintings, buy them or not, then go home and talk about what a semi-talented weirdo Grace Slick is," the artist wrote in a news release.

For more information, call (949) 376-6410 or email


‘It just proved to be so unwieldy’: Greg Lake on Emerson Lake and Palmer’s budget-busting 1977 orchestral tour

Greg Lake can pinpoint the exact moment when he understood that Emerson Lake and Palmer’s outsized decision to tour 1977′s Works with a full orchestra was going to bankrupt the band.
“I remember one night, I was looking for the tour manager,” Lake says, in a newly posted concert Q&A. “We used to book hotels — not rooms, whole hotels. And I went looking for the tour manager, and I’d go up floor by floor on the elevator, and I’d pop my head out. I’d look down the corridor and there would be all of these room service trays, with buckets with wine bottles stuck upside down in them. And I realized I was paying for it all!”
The idea of combining rock with classical music had been at the heart of Emerson Lake and Palmer’s goals from the beginning, but recording vs. touring in that format were two very different things. Besides the obvious bank-draining budget concerns, ELP was also working in an era of terribly antiquated equipment.

Read on...

Erik Norlander and The Galactic Collective

Erik Norlander – keyboards
Jeff Kollman – guitar
Mark Matthews – bass
Nick LePar – drums
“Erik Norlander and The Galactic Collective will perform an all-instrumental set at the NJProghouse on Sunday April 13, 2014 promoting Erik’s two latest multi-disc releases, The Galactic Collective – Live in Gettysburg and The Galactic Collective – Definitive Edition, both available at www.thetank.comand fine prog rock retailers everywhere.
The Galactic Collective is a re-imagining of Norlander’s favorite instrumental songs written for his band Rocket Scientists, his chanteuse spouse Lana Lane and his many solo albums including Threshold, Into the Sunset, Music Machine and Seas of Orion. Norlander will bring the music of The Galactic Collective to the stage on this second leg of his North American tour following a successful west coast run in the fall of 2013.
The Galactic Collective Definitive Edition
2CD1DVD - £19.99

The Galactic Collective Live in Gettysburg
2CD1DVD - £19.99


It's one of the great ironies in Alan White's career that he came to fame in the shadow of the drummer he replaced in Yes, Bill Bruford. In a way it was neither musician's fault — Bruford was considered, after Carl Palmer, the hottest drummer in England, while White had, in the public's perception, played in a few highly visible bands and gigs without a lot of acclaim. In fact, at 23 years of age, he had a decade's experience as a professional musician. White's father was an amateur pianist, and his own first instrument was the piano. He gravitated toward the drums, however, and at age 12 he got his own drum kit from his uncle, who was also a drummer.

He quickly abandoned lessons in favor of developing his own style and approach. By 13, he was playing in a group called the Downbeats and becoming the subject of local press articles because of his age. In his mid-teens, White was playing gigs seven nights a week for a good part of the year, primarily doing covers of Beatles and other British beat tunes of the early to mid-'60s. White tried studying technical drawing, with the hope of eventually pursuing a career as an architect, but musical success intervened when his group, rechristened the Blue Chips, got a contract with Polygram Records after winning a Melody Maker band contest in London.

They cut a single in 1965, and sometime after that White joined Billy Fury's backing band, the Gamblers, spending three months playing with them in Germany during 1966. White passed through the lineups of a lot of short-lived late-'60s outfits including Ginger Baker's Airforce (playing some keyboards there as well), where he was in the unfortunate position of working alongside legendary drummer Phil Seaman, who managed to eclipse his younger colleague at every turn. From that group, he moved on to a brief tenure in Balls alongside Denny Laine and Trevor Burton, late of the Moody Blues and the Move, respectively, and Graham Bond, and then played with Joe Cocker.

He also spent two years as a member of Terry Reid's band. It was in 1969 that he got his highest exposure, however, as a member of John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band. Lennon first pressed White into service for the Toronto Rock 'n Roll Revival show that became the Live Peace In Toronto album, although at the time no LP was intended — by sheer luck, the existence of a bootleg release resulted in an official Apple Records LP that sold millions of copies, and had White's name placed on an equal footing in the band credits with Lennon and Eric Clapton.

He also played on the single "Instant Karma" and on the Imagine album, which were some of the hottest records of the era. White played on albums by George Harrison, Doris Troy, Gary Wright, and Alan Price between 1969 and 1972. Additionally, Price had worked as the producer with a band of White's called Griffin, which included Graham Bell, Ken Craddock, Pete Kirtley, and Colin Gibson, who had cut an LP in 1969. He was getting as much exposure as any British drummer of the era when his entry to Yes took place. The group's original drummer, Bill Bruford, had already carved out a name for himself in four years with the group that made him the idol of tens of thousands of aspiring drummers around the world. Known for his complex rhythms and a very jazz-influenced approach to playing, Bruford had become both popular and respected as a member of Yes. He had also grown unhappy, however, with some of the music that the group was generating on their fifth album, Close to the Edge.

Read on...

Union (Standard DVD)
DVD - £9.99

Union (2CD)
2CD - £7.99

Rock Of The 70's
DVD - £12.99

The Lost Broadcasts
DVD - £7.99


Rob Ayling writes: 

"Thom the World poet is an old mate of mine from way back in my history. Even pre-dating Voiceprint, when I was running "Otter Songs" and Tom's poetry tapes and guest appearances with Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth Mother Gong are well known and highly regarded. It just felt right to include a daily poem from Thom on our Gonzo blog and when I approached him to do so, he replied with in seconds!!! Thom is a great talent and just wants to spread poetry, light and positive energy across the globe. If we at Gonzo can help him do that - why not? why not indeed!!" (The wondrous poetpic is by Jack McCabe, who I hope forgives me for scribbling all over it with Photoshop)

MAGISTER LUDI posited a world of mathematical certainties
similar to the Grail of Wittgenstein's Grammar
Snakes&Serpents are both DNA &slippery phenomenae-
Black Swans,Heisenberg,Heraclitus,Flux&Flow
Until maths and physics projected Possibilitity Theories
and Bi-location became a CERN certainty.Yes,Dorothy-
you can be Schrodinger's cat.You can bi-locate.
Once elementary particles dance a two-step
bi-polarity became hilarity.Bye-bye Materialism!
Most of us is holes and space and distances
We live within/are enmeshed between multiverses
simultaneous and synchronous/and this hasalways been a dance
Levity and gravity,direction and energy-the steps perhaps Mandelbrots,
spirals,codes,seashells or any metaphor worth exploring.
Maths alone describes a cage of thought."Dreaming 13 impossible things before breakfast"
is both beginning and foundation.O-and there is none-just the journey/exploration..

ONWARD !THROUGH THE FOG!(sez Captain Quackenbush!


CD - £9.99

Sunday 30 March 2014

GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: OM Namah Shivaya - Krishna Das


Rob Ayling writes: 

"Thom the World poet is an old mate of mine from way back in my history. Even pre-dating Voiceprint, when I was running "Otter Songs" and Tom's poetry tapes and guest appearances with Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth Mother Gong are well known and highly regarded. It just felt right to include a daily poem from Thom on our Gonzo blog and when I approached him to do so, he replied with in seconds!!! Thom is a great talent and just wants to spread poetry, light and positive energy across the globe. If we at Gonzo can help him do that - why not? why not indeed!!" (The wondrous poetpic is by Jack McCabe, who I hope forgives me for scribbling all over it with Photoshop)

up close and personal(skin/in
far away(astronomy/traveling
in transit(temporary/transitory
molecular level(microscopic
in between events(meditation/waiting for
in the midst of 
what you saw
what you felt
what someone else saw(witnesses
what someone else felt(reminiscences
with the aid of(glasses/memory
clearly/indistinctly/in and out of focus
by way of stories told to/by/for children/adults
a song that triggers emotional response
someone you saw that you will never see again.what they said
a Sacred Place /where Something Happened
long times when nothing particularly happened.
the speed of now.the slow of YES!

color blind.snow blind.blind.


Steve Hackett has created a career and a legacy out of pushing music forward. For his current tour, however, he's returning to his roots and, with his six-piece band, revisiting the works he helped create with legendary rock band Genesis. "It's surely nostalgic and a chance to reinterpret them in the way that I play them now, with the guys I am working with to also put their own stamp on it," says Hackett, from his home near West London.
In the early '70s, Hackett and fellow players Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel and Mike Rutherford helped create what became known as progressive rock, which fused elements of classical and jazz, often-cerebral lyrics and theatrical stage performances. "There's a spirit and respect for the genre that runs through this that I think my generation and later generations appreciate," he says of the musical template he helped design. "But it wasn't quite the Sermon on the Mount, if you know what I mean."
Yet many were listening. Never one to casually toss around compliments, John Lennon was an outspoken fan of Genesis' 1973 album Selling England by the Pound, and the likes of Queen, Rush, Iron Maiden and Phish have all cited early Genesis as a crucial influence. Contemporary neo-folkies Fleet Foxes have pledged their allegiance, too, and the late Jeff Buckley recorded an engaging cover of 1974's "Back in NYC."
"That's great and certainly flattering, but as any young player, you're influenced by what you hear. Nobody comes out fully formed," Hackett says. "I'm very influenced by the other guys in Genesis. On the first day that I worked with Phil, he said, ‘We are bound to influence each other.' And we did."

Spectral Mornings
DVD - £5.99

40 Years Ago: King Crimson Release ‘Starless and Bible Black’

Possibly the only thing more challenging, unpredictable, and even befuddling, at times, than King Crimson’s otherworldly musical creations at the start of the ’70s was their ever-shifting personnel. By the end of the band’s first half-decade of existence, leader Robert Fripp had already gone through several lineups of musicians.

Thankfully, for Crimson’s sixth long-player, ‘Starless and Bible Black,’ which was released on March 29, 1974, they had found some measure of stability around Fripp, bassist/vocalist John Wetton, drummer Bill Bruford, multi-instrumentalist (violin, viola, keyboards) David Cross, and lyricist Richard Palmer-James, whose unorthodox wordplay capably filled the role vacated by Fripp’s longtime foil, Peter Sinfield.

Musically, though, King Crimson’s restless experimenting continued thanks to a renewed focus on improvisation that saw all but two of the new album’s songs recorded live in concert, then overdubbed and cleansed of crowd noise in the studio. Both of those studio-only creations kicked off ‘Starless and Bible Black,’ whose title was an allusion to Dylan Thomas’ ‘Under Milk Wood.’ The first melded skittish tempos and drastic soft/hard dynamics with a beautifully ethereal interlude lasting mere seconds, while the second, by comparison, opened gently and plainly, sweetened by Cross’ violin, but soon embarked towards darker realms on an ominous Wetton bass line.

Wetton’s instrument also starred alongside subversive guitar interjections across the understated ‘We’ll Let You Know,’ which then gave way to lusher, almost Spanish-flavored chords on ‘The Night Watch,’ a minimalist, virtually percussion-free instrumental (one of many) in ‘Trio,’ and finally static-encrusted lounge jazz for ‘The Mincer.’ And that was just side one.

The second half of ‘Starless and Bible Black’ bowed under the daunting weight of two epic instrumentals averaging ten minutes – edited down from their concert originals — of wanton improvisation. The title track slowly gained intensity around Fripp’s distorted, dive-bombing guitar-strangling until finally locking into a steady groove five minutes in, and then gradually decomposing again. By Fripp’s own admission, ‘Fracture’ challenged even his abilities with its complexity, and yet, the tight interplay between all involved throughout the song’s protracted ebb and flow is on display.

Read on... |

Concert: Yes to play ’70s albums at Congress Center

The new lineup of Yes, with singer Jon Davison in the center.

Classic rockers’ Three Album tour with new lead singer is winding down

Pioneering progressive rock band Yes returns to Prague for the first time in a decade, and there have been some substantial changes to the lineup since their last show. Bassist Chris Squire, the only member to be on all of their studio albums, remains the “keeper of the torch.” Long-time guitarist Steve Howe and drummer Alan White are also still in the roster. Vocalist Jon Anderson, who was an original member when the band formed in 1968 has been replaced by Jon Davison. Up until 2008, he had been on every album except 1980’s Drama. The keyboard player in Yes has changed often, and the current one is Geoff Downes, who worked previously with The Buggles and Asia.

YesThree Album TourWhen: May 30 at 8 p.m.Where: Prague Congress
Anderson had health issues that prevented him from touring and recording, and was replaces in 2008. Davison, the current singer came on board in 2012 after being recommended to Squire by Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins.
The band is looking back at its career by performing three of its classic albums in their entirety: 1972’s Close to the Edge, 1977’s Going for the One and 1971’s The Yes Album. The encore has consistently been “Roundabout.” Aside from the title tracks on the first two albums, the show includes the hits “And You and I,” “Wondrous Stories,” “Starship Trooper” and “I’ve Seen All Good People.”

Read on...

Union (Standard DVD)
DVD - £9.99

Union (2CD)
2CD - £7.99

Rock Of The 70's
DVD - £12.99

The Lost Broadcasts
DVD - £7.99

Saturday 29 March 2014


Steve Hackett revisits the Scottish Rite

Steve Hackett (Photo by Bill Banasiewicz)

On October 13th of last year Steve Hackett and his band mesmerized a Collingswood crowd with selections of Genesis music from 1971-’77, his period in the influential group. By overwhelming popular demand, the Genesis Re-Visited Tour returns for two shows on March 27 and 28. “I look forward to returning to the Scottish Rite Auditorium,” says Steve from his home in West London. “It has a great atmosphere and a fantastic audience. In fact, it’s the only venue in America that we are returning to, after performing Genesis Re-Visited there last year.” Anyone who was in attendance last year will be happy to know that the 2014 version will be a bit different. “Yes there will be some changes to the show,” says Steve. “Favorites from last year with some new stuff as well, Genesis classics we’ve not yet played. It promises to be a colorful ride with a new twist.”

Since forming during 1967 at Charterhouse School in England, Genesis have gone on to be one of the most successful and influential bands of the progressive genre with albums such as: “Nursery Cryme,” “Foxtrot,” “Selling England By The Pound” and “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.” The classic lineup of: Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett, Phil Collins, Michael Rutherford and Tony Banks were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. Even though many of these compositions are over 40 years old, to Genesis fans, they remain relevant. “Our music is timeless,” says Steve, “Because it continues to give enjoyment to many people and has stood the test of time.”

Respected as a virtuoso guitarist, Hackett himself didn’t start playing until the age of 12, and although he never took any formal lessons, he went on to develop a truly unique style of playing, becoming one of the first guitarists to use a two-handed “tapping” technique, which later became the industry standard via Edward Van Halen. According to Steve, “The ‘tapping’ originally came about when I was trying some ideas out on the acoustic guitar. I was pleased when Edward Van Halen went for it, and brought it to the forefront of rock music.” Steve’s playing has influenced not only Van Halen, but also the likes of Alex Lifeson of Rush and Brian May of Queen among others.

Genesis fans wanting to see a reunion of the classic lineup had their hopes dashed in 2011 when Phil Collins announced that he was retiring from music. Last year however, Collins announced that he was seriously considering a comeback to music, “Even with Genesis,” thus fueling reunion rumors. Peter Gabriel, who will be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame this year as a solo artist, told Rolling Stone in December “A Genesis reunion has never been ruled out. I'm trying to picture a time when it would top my priorities list though.” As far as Steve’s concerned, “It still seems unlikely, but my door remains open.” The last time the “classic lineup” of Genesis performed together was in 1982.

Read on...

Spectral Mornings
DVD - £5.99


A legendary folk band will be touring next month with a unique programme of music.

Fairport Convention formed in 1967 and are known as the originators of British folk-rock music.

They will be bringing their latest work to The Coronation Hall in Ulverston this month as part of their tour around England, Scotland and Wales.

The five-piece band consists of Simon Nicol the main guitarist and lead singer, Dave Pegg who plays bass guitar and does backing vocals, Ric Sanders who plays the violin, Chris Leslie who does vocals, plays the fiddle and mandolin and Gerry Conway who plays drums and percussions.

Simon Nicol who co-founded Fairport Convention in 1967 says:“We always enjoy visiting Ulverston and The Coronation Hall is a great place to play. As a band, we always look to the future and after nearly fifty years on the road we still really look forward to getting out there to play in front of audiences.”



Rob Ayling writes: 

"Thom the World poet is an old mate of mine from way back in my history. Even pre-dating Voiceprint, when I was running "Otter Songs" and Tom's poetry tapes and guest appearances with Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth Mother Gong are well known and highly regarded. It just felt right to include a daily poem from Thom on our Gonzo blog and when I approached him to do so, he replied with in seconds!!! Thom is a great talent and just wants to spread poetry, light and positive energy across the globe. If we at Gonzo can help him do that - why not? why not indeed!!" (The wondrous poetpic is by Jack McCabe, who I hope forgives me for scribbling all over it with Photoshop)

Kerosine,vapor trails,chemtrails,carbon monoxide,car exhausts
industrial emissions.Since coal mining slowed in England
the air is almost Chenobyl clean.O disrupted weather patterns!!Hurricanes,tornadoes!
The instant hailstorm was not usual hailstones.Get used to canned air!(like Canned Heat
In China,fortunes are made!San Fran-oxygen machines(pure!$5=15 minutes
Immune systems down-cyclists wear face masks.Curved Air.
BREATHE in the airs of Pink Floyd."Music hath charms to soothe the savage breasts"
With my last breath-i share the meaning of life...

When one gold coin turned up first morning
we all watched with wonder.Now,we sleep in
The price of gold fluctuates like daily temperatures.
Gold markets manipulated like blood diamonds
Gold flakes on Japanese rice.Gold plated toilets
Now the land belongs to laminates.NO PARKING!
Forget that Gold Standards are like Land Values?
Dollar is just a note.Gold is a ring,a kiss

Your love affair with precious metals is a commodity.

Friday 28 March 2014

Merrell Fankhauser & Ed Cassidy: Blurt Mag Press

Merrell Fankhauser-Ed Cassidy (Spirit) Summit Resurfaces

CD “On The Blue Road” arrives…
By Blurt Staff
Merrell Fankhauser is considered one of the main innovators of surf music and psychedelic folk rock, and is widely known as the leader of the instrumental surf group The Impacts who had the international hit “Wipeout”. His travels from Hollywood to his 15 year jungle experience on the island of Maui have been documented in numerous music books and magazines in the US and Europe. Merrell has gained legendary international status throughout the field of rock music; his credits include over 300 songs published and released. Merrell Fankhauser has presented a number of television programs over the years including ‘California Music’, ‘Route 66 TV Live’, and in 2001 he began hosting a music show called ‘Tiki Lounge’ that airs on the California Central Coast, Southern California, Hawaii and parts of the East Coast.
In the early ’90s Merrell teamed up with Spirit drummer Ed Cassidy, which eventually led to the Fankhauser Cassidy Band.
Says Merrell about Cassidy, “We started on the first one I think in 1994 and he and I were friends for years. We met back in 1969 in passing back stage at a concert but never really had a conversation. Then we bumped into each other again around 1990 and the band Spirit was kind of in a lull then, and he said, “Hey we ought to do some recording together.” At the time I was doing a national satellite TV show called California Music and so I had him on that show and then Randy California said, ‘Oh I’d like to be on that show’, so I interviewed Randy and then I ended up jamming with them all. And then Cass decided he wanted to move further out of the Los Angeles area and he moved up here to the central coast, and I helped find him a house not even a mile from my house, so it was perfect and he wanted to do something blues oriented. So I started writing a bunch of tunes and then we did some classic covers of songs like ‘High Heel Sneakers’ and the Muddy Waters song ‘Going Down To Louisiana’ and ‘Walking The Dog’, and then I wrote a bunch of songs that were in a similar vein that was perfect for me to play slide on. I loved it.

“I think in about four-and-a-half/five months we cranked out the first album, ‘On the Blue Road’ and my son Tim was singing and playing on a few tunes and we had a regular bass player Leroy Richards at the time who did all of the bass. So we finished that first album and I sent it to Alligator Records in Chicago and they loved it, but they were full up with releases and I made a deal with D-Town Records from Detroit at the time, and they put out groups like the Ohio Players and Lee Rogers, and even one on the football player Rosey Greer. And they loved it and released the CD and and it started getting a lot of airplay all over the place, even in Australia. Then it was nominated for a Memphis Blues Award which surprised me. We didn’t win but it was just great to do the nomination!”
In closing Merrell had this to say about Cassidy, “Cass was my musical guru, to be able to play drums the way he did into his late ’80s was amazing! I miss his drumming and also his wit and wisdom…we were close friends for nearly 25 years until his passing a year ago. I think this release is a fine tribute to him.”

Tracks: Disc 1-1. Further On Up The Road 2. 32/20 Blues 3. Bright Lights Big City 4. Excited (M. Fankhauser) 5. Walking The Dog 6. Louisana Blues 7. High Heel Sneakers 8. Tale Of Misty Mountain (M. Fankhauser) 9. Possession over Judgment Day 10. On The Blue Road (M.Fankhauser)11. Nickys Song (M.Fankhauser) 12. Psychedelic Dreams (M. Fankhauser) , , Disc 2- 1. Hot Night In Louisville (M.Fankhauser) 2. Milk Cow Blues 3. Who Shout The Lightnin (M.Fankhauser) 4.Goin Back To Delta(M. Fankhauser) 5.Stolen Guitar Blues (M.Fankhauser & E.Cassidy) 6. Brian Berry Blues (M.Fankhauser & E.Cassidy) 7. Cosmic Lady (M.Fankhauser & T. Fankhauser) 8. Voodoo In The Jungle (M.Fankhauser) 9. Cassidys Big Beat (E.Cassidy) 10. Long Rifle ( T. Fankhauser) 11. Papa Told Me (Larry Willey) 12.Ed Cassidy Interview.

Rainbow Bridge Revisited
DVD/CD - £9.99

Area 51 Suite
2CD - £9.99

Tiki Lounge Vol 1
DVD/CD - £12.99

The Best Of
2CD - £11.99

The Return To Mu
CD - £9.99

Tiki Lounge Vol 2
DVD/CD - £12.99

Brand X: Missing Period French review translated

BRAND X: Missing Period - 2013 Edition (1999)
Posted by Aladdin_Sane the 02/21/2014 Genre (s): JAZZ /ROCK
(A listen)
01. Pretty Dead, 02. Kugelblitz, 03. Ancient Mysteries, 04. Why Will not You Lend Me Yours? 05. Miserable Virgin, 06. Tito's Leg TRAINING: Phil Collins (Drums), John Goodsall (Guitars) Percy Jones (bass), Robin Lumley (Keyboard) TAGs: 70's , Fusion ,Jazzy , Technical

"Missing Period" is the reissue of a compilation of unreleased recordings from the period 1975-1976, that is to say before the release of the debut album "Unorthodox Behaviour."  Children of Miles Davis were at this time already created their group, they are also in place ( Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report, Return To Forever ) and the electric jazz no longer scandal since the early 70's. It is in this context that landed an English band with a drummer already well known by the name of Phil Collins . Musically, Brand X has nothing to envy to other formations of jazz-rock of the era. There aa beautiful less mystical than the Mahavishnu Orchestra , under World-music as Weather Report , it is as technical as Return To Forever .Their music develops very accessible jazzy theme (too say their critics) and guitar John Goodsall sometimes recalls the sound and the particular set of Santana (listen to "Ancient Mysteries").
That there are interesting with Brand X , is his ability to master a variable tempo from one song to another and especially a musical sequence to another while still falling back on its feet. The musicians enjoyed playing together and it shows. We can appreciate the desire to Phil Collins to flourish as a drummer with the training while continuing adventure Genesis in parallel during this period.
Far from being a collection of demo, "Missing Period" brings to light training a bit overshadowed by those that are sometimes called children of Miles Davis with a collection of songs that, without great originality, dépareilleront not at all good lovers of jazz-rock.

More information about



Hustlin' Blues
CD - £9.99

GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: Kevin Ayers - Clarence in Wonderland


Kevin Ayers (16 August 1944 – 18 February 2013) was an English singer-songwriter and a major influential force in the English psychedelic movement. Ayers was a founding member of the pioneering ..

Kevin Ayers: define as you please, the songs, the singer. The Whole World: organist David Bedford, saxophonist Lol Coxhill, bassist Mike Oldfield, and on this occasion, drummer Robert Wyatt. Whilst th..

Another landmark for Fairport Convention

File:Fairport 40th.jpgAs they approach their 50th anniversary in 2017, Fairport Convention clock up another landmark this year as the folkrock legends head out on their 30th consecutive winter tour.

The line-up features Simon Nicol (vocals, guitar), Ric Sanders (violin), Chris Leslie (mandolin, fiddle, vocals), Gerry Conway (drums) and Dave Pegg (bass guitar), the band’s longest-serving member.
Dave joined two years after the start. Simon was one of the founders, but as Dave puts it, “had five years off for good behaviour at one point!”

Dave is happily realistic about the big anniversary in 2017: “It sounds close, but as you get older, you realise it isn’t. Ten years ago, something three years away would have sounded nothing, but I am 66 now, and the aches and pains get more! The Stones are still out there doing it, but I expect they have got better tablets than we have! And I am sure Robert Plant has got a stairlift to heaven by now!”
Dave was originally invited to join Fairport by Dave Swarbrick who was playing violin with the band in 1969.

“He had been in The Ian Campbell Folk Group, a really great Scottish traditional band, and I played double bass with them. My prime instrument is the bass guitar. I didn’t come from a folk background. I was really a bass guitarist in Birmingham, but I was invited to play some sessions with them on double bass. I met Dave Swarbrick and he went on to join Fairport, and when their line-up split in 1969, I was invited.”

Looking back over his long years with the band, Dave says inevitably he recalls it all as a succession of different periods and eras: “Fairport has had 26 different members in its career. That sounds like an awful lot, but we are talking about 46-47 years. If it was a small office, you would have a lot more change-over than that.

“But we have always been a very happy band.

“When people have come and gone, it has never been acrimonious. It has been because the group has become limiting for some people, for people like Richard Thompson who is now an incredibly-well known – as he deserves to be – performer and song-writer.

“He is one of the best guitarists and song-writers in the world, but he left, strangely enough, after I had been in the band for about a year. I don’t think that was anything to do with it. I am sure it wasn’t! He has asked me to play with him since. But Fairport would have been too restricting for him if Richard had stayed on.”

Live In Maidstone 1970
CD - £7.99

Live At Maidstone Castle 1970
DVD - £9.99

SINGAPORE: Stories, Songs & Friends (Roger McGuinn)

Stories, Songs & Friends (Roger McGuinn) | 3.5/5
SINGAPORE - Many might know Roger McGuinn for his time with The Byrds, but there’s more to the man than just being the lead singer of a band that excelled in reinterpreting folks song into palatable pop. In this CD/DVD set, McGuinn sets about telling the story of his life in music. Taken from a concert he did in 2012, the album opens, rather appropriately, with My Back Pages, the Bob Dylan track he covered while still in The Byrds. 

This time round, there is no band backing him, it’s just McGuinn and his guitars and banjo. And in true troubadour style, McGuinn regales audiences with tales of his life in-between songs in his soft-spoken style. He tells of how his appreciation for folk music was born and how he embraced the various genres - classical, country, folk, rock and jazz (his solo on Eight Miles High, for example, was not a nod to psychedelic rock, which was big at the time, but his attempt at mimicking John Coltrane) - to create a sound that was wholly his own. 

Read on...

The Lost Broadcasts
DVD - £9.99
What happens when you mix what is - arguably - the world's most interesting record company, with an anarchist manic-depressive rock music historian polymath, and a method of dissemination which means that a daily rock-music magazine can be almost instantaneous?

Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.