Sunday, October 21, 2018

Peter Amft and The Blues Brothers

Image result for peter amft

In 2009 I had the pleasure of speaking with Peter Amft, a famous rock and blues photographer, about his experiences and photographs. After several of these calls, I received a large box in the mail. It was filled with original photos, slides, notes, and a first printing of an unreleased Rolling Stones album cover. It was amazing. I never expected anything - i simply enjoyed our many conversations together. I never heard from him again.

Thank you, Peter, for enriching my life with our conversations, I will never forget.

Amazing story that Peter told to me

Sunday Night Blues

Image result for the j. geils band

I'm from the Boston area - growing up, the J. Geils Band was a legend, long before MTV. This is a great story and if you are not familiar - a great band.

J Geils Band LIVE

J. Geils Band singer Peter Wolf made worlds collide (and gossip columnists' heads spin) when he married critically acclaimed Hollywood star Faye Dunaway.

The glamorous Dunaway, already Oscar-nominated for her work in 1967's Bonnie and Clyde – and soon to pick up her second nomination, for 1974's Chinatown – may have seemed like an unlikely match for Wolf, a harmonica-toting blues belter whose sweaty antics as the J. Geils Band's one-of-a-kind frontman had helped the group earn an ardent live following even as their record sales struggled. But whether or not anyone in the press thought their relationship made sense, it worked for the newlyweds. For a while, anyway.
"We were there for each other, without an effort," Dunaway wrote in her 1998 memoir, Looking for Gatsby. "We were like two warriors standing shoulder to shoulder. That's how we used to think of ourselves. There was no ego clash between us, though we were always ambitious. If he needed something, I would help him with it. And if I needed something, he would help me with it. ... With Peter, I never had to worry if he loved me. He simply did."

Of course, given the demands of their divergent careers, time for standing side by side came at a premium. While Dunaway's acting career continued to take off, Wolf was in the middle of an exhausting run with the J. Geils Band, who'd release 10 albums in the eight-year span between 1970-78 while honing their renowned live show with a grueling touring schedule. They dated for two years before tying the knot on Aug. 7, 1974, but the wedding happened in a blur. The couple reportedly tied the knot just one day after getting engaged.

"My life now is such that I could get hung up on a lot of diversions if I wanted to, but I don't," Wolf told Sounds in 1976. "The J. Geils Band is the thing I love and wanna do. I could spend by time party-hopping with an impressive list of people, but that list of people has nothin' to offer me, and I probably have nothin' to offer them. I ain't got the time to waste."

For a while, the effort of juggling their professional obligations wasn't too much of a strain. In her autobiography, Dunaway writes of feeling "a sense of the infinite promise of life" during the early days of their marriage, and although the J. Geils Band's annual album releases seemed stuck in the mid-to-lower reaches of the Top 40, their profile certainly wasn't hurt by Wolf's association with Dunaway, who won her first Best Actress Oscar for 1976's Network.
Eventually, however, the strain started to show: as Dunaway wrote in her book, "time, life, and the world kept wearing away at our relationship." They separated in 1978, and their divorce was finalized in 1979 – the year before the J. Geils Band scored its highest chart showing in nearly a decade with the (allegedly) coincidentally titled Love Stinks. The band finally notched a No. 1 record the following year with Freeze Frame, but by 1983, Wolf had to face the reality of another severed union, as he parted ways with his bandmates to pursue a solo career.
"There were dark moments ... valleys and plateaus," Wolf admitted in a NME interview from 1979. "The band was affected by the personal snooping, the trials and tribulations, motions and commotions."

Painful as those splits had to have been, they weren't entirely irrevocable. Wolf and Dunaway have remained on friendly terms over the years, and after more than 15 years apart, the J. Geils Band came together for the first of an ongoing, sporadic series of reunion gigs in 1999 (although Geils was estranged from the others by the time of his 2017 death). During a 2010 interview with No Depression, Wolf stressed equanimity with all of his famous former partners.

"We were in a romance, she worked hard and was very dedicated to her work. I worked hard and was very dedicated to my work," Wolf recalled when asked about his relationship with Dunaway. "We both shared each other’s worlds and we both respected the work. And, I might say, we made it a very assertive attempt not to become a celebrity couple. We turned down all these Barbara Walters-coming-to-the-house kind of things and yak, yak, yak. It was something that we really – I think – wisely avoided."

He offered a similar show of respect for the J. Geils Band, saying, "When we were together making music, it was a deep bond and we worked hard night after night because putting on a J. Geils show required – it wasn’t just standing there and doing the music. You had to do it body and soul. And so we were there, and unfortunately, it dissipated. And every now and then, we get together and celebrate what we accomplished as musicians as far as a body of work."

Crazy good looking soup in Voldolsta, GA tonight! Cool Ramen restaurant, perfect on a cool southern night! Def not what I expected! Taste is amazing

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Socks, I'm in Love - - -- with socks


Hello, my name is / The Beatles White Album

It's been a while.

I find myself struggling to express myself and I have returned to the scene of the crime.

I hope SOMEONE will be reading these. Despite my sarcasm, I will continue to force my interests and opinions ( maybe a recipe or two ) on YOU! My unsuspecting readers. Yes, both of you. Cheers

I am fixated on the reissue of The Beatles (White Album).

The Beatles returned from India in 1968 with plans, For their new album, they wanted to play together as a band once again, and to do so required practice. Why they picked Harrison’s home as the site of their rehearsals is up for debate. The vibes at Chez Lennon were understandably tense as divorce loomed, and McCartney’s Regency townhouse in central London was perhaps too close to the hustle and bustle of city life – to say nothing of EMI’s Abbey Road Studios, a five-minute walk away – to inspire calm.

So they hunkered down at Kinfauns with some acoustic guitars, light percussive instruments and an Ampex 4-track tape machine and just let it roll. The result was a joyous, stripped-down, warts-and-all peek inside the band’s creative process. Of the 27 songs known to exist from the day, 19 would wind up on the White Album, two would be held over for Abbey Road and six were never issued by the group as an active unit. Lennon contributed a whopping 15 compositions to the proceedings, McCartney seven and Harrison five. When all was said and done, Harrison made a mono mix of the tape and a presented a copy to each of his bandmates as a reference for the upcoming sessions.

Exactly what happened to the recordings afterwards remains a mystery. Although a handful of these takes saw the light of day nearly three decades later on the Beatles’ Anthology 3 collection, the vast majority remain officially – and tragically – unreleased. Thankfully, audio has leaked in recent years, becoming available to all on YouTube. As a document, the Esher demo tape is both entertaining and historically invaluable, providing a fascinating work-in-progress glimpse of the band’s most varied collection.

It was one of the first Bootlegs I ever purchased.

Blackbird is probably my favorite song - of all the songs recorded for the White Album, “Blackbird” dates back the furthest. The seeds were sewn in the late Fifties when a 16-year-old McCartney learned the introduction of Bach’s “Bourree in E Minor” on guitar in a somewhat misguided effort to impress girls. “You often did things just as party pieces, things to show off, literally, at a party,” McCartney recalled during a seminar at Rollins College in Orlando in 2014. “You know, ‘Hey girls …’ You would do that. Unfortunately, none of them bothered.” The budding musician’s rudimentary classical guitar skills rendered the rest of the movement prohibitively difficult, so he improvised an abbreviated ending – one he never forgot. “Part of its structure is a particular harmonic thing between the melody and the bass line which intrigued me,” he explained to Barry Miles. McCartney expanded on the guitar figure while visiting his Scottish farm shortly after returning from India in the spring of 1968. “I developed the melody on guitar based on the Bach piece and took it somewhere else, took it to another level, then I just fitted words to it,” he told Miles. “I had in mind a black woman, rather than a bird. Those were the days of the civil rights movement, which all of us cared passionately about, so this was really a song from me to a black woman, experiencing these problems in the States.” The words were fully in place by the time he debuted the song at Kinfauns, but the musical structure needed work. The opening line is played only once, rather than repeated, and the wordless mid-song guitar wind-down present on the White Album is absent. But given the stripped down nature of the final recorded version, the demo sounds fairly similar. The demo is primarily a solo venture, but McCartney’s double-tracked vocals and acoustic guitar picking get some help from Lennon, who enthusiastically contributes bird sounds.

Added BONUS!! The NYT Review of the White Album - classic

Monday, July 30, 2012

Boca Tampa Ciro's Speakeasy and Supper Club The Samba Room

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