Chamblee54

Wonderful Tonight

Posted in Book Reports, History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on August 25, 2018


Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me is the book for Pattie Boyd. Ms. Boyd has the copyright to herself, with presumed ghostwriter Penny Junor given *with* credit. The former Patricia Anne Boyd has had quite a life.

Ms. Boyd was born at a young age. Her family moved to Kenya, where they had many cool adventures. Her parents split up, her mother remarried, and her stepfather was a horrible man. The Boyds, who by now included several more children, moved back to England. Pattie went to convent school, then went to live in London. She got a job in a beauty salon, when one day someone suggested she try modelling. At times, this story sounds like a movie.

Pattie was working as a model, including some TV commercials. Richard Lester noticed her, and hired her as a school girl in “A Hard Days Night.” George Harrison noticed her, and they were soon an item. Meanwhile, swinging sixties London was in fast forward mode. Pattie Boyd plugged herself into the sex, drugs, and rock and roll lifestyle, and had her share of good times.

George wrote “Something” about his glamorous young bride. His pal Eric Clapton took note, and wrote “Layla.” Eric was in pursuit for many years, writing many beautiful love letters. Finally, as her marriage to George was winding down, Pattie took up with Eric. It was great fun for a while, until Eric’s alcoholism spoiled things. Pattie left Eric, came back, got married to him, and stuck around until Eric got another lady pregnant. (Conor Clapton died tragically in 1991.) The story goes on, and on, until the book was written in 2008. According to wikipedia, Pattie is going strong in 2018. She married Rod Weston, husband number three, in 2015.

Wonderful Tonight is a fun book to read. Penny Junor knows how to tell a story. The life of Pattie Boyd is full of struggle, as well as glamour. Many of the people, including Pattie’s sisters, struggle with addiction. One gets the sense that this, like many autobiographies, puts the subject in the most flattering light possible. There is probably another side to many of these stories. If they can be told as skillfully as this one is, these stories would be worth reading.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. “Winter bathing, Smiths Casino, Miami, Feb. 6, 1921″ W. A. (William A.) Fishbaugh, copyright claimant … No renewal found in Copyright Office.

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Coat Of Many Colors

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on August 21, 2018








PG saw a story, and thought about the song, “Coat of many colors”. The b side was by Porter Wagoner, “Coat of many sequins”. COMC is about a woman who is too poor to buy her little girl a coat at the store, so she makes a quilt. The other kids make fun of her, but little Dolly knows that the coat is really made of love.
The song talks about a story in the Bible. PG had heard about the story, but didn’t remember the details. He must have been daydreaming in Sunday School when that story was taught. With the help of google, Genesis 37 appears, as if by magic. Pass the popcorn.

2 These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.
3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age:
and he made him a coat of many colours.
4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.

Ok, hold on for a minute. Israel had at least two wives. The Biblical definition of marriage must be between a man and two women.
The story gets a bit weird here. Joseph has this dream, where he becomes the boss hog brother. The other brothers decide something needs to be done, that Joseph needs to die. Reuben tries to help Joseph, and has a plan to save him. Joseph is stripped of the coat of many colors, and placed in a pit, with no water. Before Reuben can sneak Joseph out of the pit, a camel caravan comes by. Twenty pieces of silver change hands, and Joseph is sold into slavery. The brothers decide to pull a cover up, and make it look like Joseph was dead. Reuben made another sandwich.

31 And they took Joseph’s coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood;
32 And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said,
This have we found: know now whether it be thy son’s coat or no.
33 And he knew it, and said, It is my son’s coat; an evil beast hath devoured him;
Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.
34 And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.
35 And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted;
and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.

This feature was originally posted in 2012. The pictures, from The Library of Congress, are 6 years older. Dolly Parton is 6 years younger.







August 16

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on August 16, 2018


This morning brought the sad news about Aretha Franklin. The lady was a national treasure. It is tough to imagine the United States without the Queen of Soul. Rest in Peace.

August 16 has been a busy day for the grim reaper. In 1977, Elvis Presley met his maker August 16, 1977. Other famous people to die on August 16 include Robert Johnson, 1938, Babe Ruth, 1948, Margaret Mitchell, 1949, Bela Lugosi, 1956, and Idi Amin, 2003.

As a partial replacement for Elvis and Aretha, Madonna was born August 16, 1958. Other births on August 16 include T. E. Lawrence, 1988, Charles Bukowski, 1920, Fess Parker, 1924, Eydie Gormé, 1928, and Julie Newmar, 1933

August 16 “is the 228th day of the year (229th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar.” On August 16, 1858, “U.S. President James Buchanan inaugurates the new transatlantic telegraph cable by exchanging greetings with Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. However, a weak signal forces a shutdown of the service in a few weeks.” Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Richards

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Music by chamblee54 on August 1, 2018

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A comment at a recent post mentioned “Jenning’s Rose Room, a classic poor white juke and dance hall … where Trader Joes now sits.” PG had been in that building when it was called Richards. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

There is no telling what the original use of the building at 931 Monroe Drive was. It was across the street from Grady Stadium, and adjacent to Piedmont Park. The railroad tracks that became the beltline ran behind it. The parking lot was primitive, with a marquee sign built at some point. (PG drove by that sign several nights and saw that Lynyrd Skynyrd was playing.)

There was another nightclub building on the hill behind JRR. One night, PG went to see a jazz band there, accompanied by someone who lived in a nearby house. After seeing the band, PG was led to a horse stable behind the bar. The horses were not well maintained … you could see the ribs sticking out. There is a story of a goat getting loose from the stable, and being chased out of the jazz bar during happy hour.

Jennings Rose Room was before PG’s time. There is a story that some men had lunch there, and made a bet. The idea was to hit a golf ball from the JRR parking lot, and putt it into a hole at Piedmont Park. A biscuit was used as a tee. The first shot went across the street, onto the field at the stadium. Eventually, the ball was hit across Tenth Street, onto a green, and into the cup.

At some point, Jennings Rose Room closed. A gay club called Chuck’s Rathskeller was opened in that location. A rock and roll club or two did business there. Then Richards opened.

The first time PG was in the house was after a Johnny Winter concert at the Fox. There were rumors of visiting musicians dropping by Richards to play after their shows. Mr. Winter was only onstage for a couple of minutes after PG got there.

The most memorable trip to Richards was during the summer of 1973. The headliner was Rory Gallagher, who was ok but not spectacular. The opening act was Sopwith Camel, one of the forgotten bands of the seventies. They performed a novelty hit, “Hello Hello”. Someone in the audience liked it, and paid them to do it again. The band wound up doing “Hello Hello” five times, and said that was the most money they made in a long time.

Average White Band was making the rounds that fall, and had a show at Richards. A lot of the audience was black, and they hit the dance floor in unison when “Pick up the Pieces” was played. Fellow Scotsman Alex Harvey was in town, and joined AWB to sing “I heard it through the grapevine”.

Muddy Waters played at Richards one night. The band did most of the playing, with Mr. Waters tossing in a few licks on bottleneck guitar. He might have sang a couple of times.

About this time, Iggy Pop played a few shows at Richards. One night, someone snuck up on him, and gave him a hug. It was Elton John, wearing a gorilla suit.

PG saw three more shows (that he can remember) at Richards. Richie Havens was worth the two dollar admission. Soft Machine played in the winter of 1974. Larry Coryell played a show that summer, with the Mike Greene Band opening. PG got to talk to Mike Greene that night. The National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (who do the Grammy Awards) had a President named C. Michael Greene at one time. PG thinks this is the person he talked to that night.

Two friends of PG went, as their first date, to see Spirit at Richards. They were married a few years later. Towards the end of 1974, Richards was running out of steam. They advertised a New Years Eve show starring B.B. King, and sold high priced tickets. When the crowd showed up for the show, they found the doors locked. Richards had closed.

The next tenant for 931 Monroe Drive was going to be Cabaret After Dark, a gay club. There was a fire the night before the grand opening. The building was never used again. Eventually, a shopping center was built on the site.
UPDATE: Here is an article, from the Great Speckled Bird, about Richards. The 010975 edition of the Bird had an article about Richards closing. This is a repost.

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Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell

Posted in Book Reports, History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on July 25, 2018


A few weeks ago, PG was at the library. He had a story to take home, before going over to the biography section. There he found Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell. At least with fiction, you know you are dealing with a made up story. With biography, you have to use judgment.

It is a familiar story. Joni was born in the frozen north, was a rebellious girl, and got pregnant. She gave up the daughter for adoption, only to be reunited many years later. Joan Anderson gets married to, and divorces, Chuck Mitchell. Joni sings, writes, tunes her guitar funny, becomes a star, gets too weird to be popular, makes and loses money, smokes millions of cigarettes, and becomes an angry old lady. There is a bit more to the story than that. Reckless Daughter fills in a few of the blank spots.

Millions of cigarettes might be an exaggeration. Joni started smoking when she was nine. When she was a star, she was almost as well known for her constant puffing as her pretty songs. When Joni was in a Reagan era slump, she was going through four packs a day. Just for the sake of statistics, lets call it two packs, or forty fags, a day. Multiply forty by 365 and you get 14,600. If she started at 9, and had her aneurysm at 72, that gives you 63 years of nicotine abuse. If you assume that there were forty fags a day for 63 years, that gives you 919,800 smokes. IOW, while seven figures is not out of reach, it is rather unlikely that Joni smoked more than 2,000,000 cancer sticks.

The author of Reckless Daughter, David Yaffe, is a problem. He talks about the mood of America in 1969, four years before he was born. Mr. Yaffe goes to great lengths to show us that he knows about making music. Some readers will be impressed. There are mini-essays on Joni songs from her golden years, the time between “Ladies of the Canyon” and “Hejira.” And gossip, gossip, and more gossip. Joni is well known for her celebrity lovers.

We should make the point that PG enjoyed Reckless Daughter. The inside stories are fun, and pages turn over without too much head scratching. Maybe this is a statement about the career of Joni Mitchell. You enjoy the music for many years, and then complain about the details. Reckless Daughter follows the trajectory of other celebrity biographies. The star is born, takes up a craft, gets a break, becomes successful, goes over the mountaintop into a long decline. With Joni, nothing after “Mingus” was well received. The chanteuse was broker, and angrier, by the minute.

On page 13, Joni hears Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Sergei Rachmaninoff. This is the piece that makes her want to be a musician. One page 129, we learn the story of A&M studios in Hollywood. At one time, The Carpenters were in studio A, while Carole King was recording “Tapestry” in studio B. Joni was recording “Blue” in studio C, which had a magic piano. One time, Carole King learned of a break in the studio C booking, and ran in. Three hours later, “I feel the earth move” was recorded.

A few years later, Joni was on the Rolling Thunder tour with Bob Dylan. One of the concepts was support for Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, whose story can be found elsewhere. Joni became disillusioned with Mr. Carter. When Joan Baez asked Joni to speak at a benefit concert, Joni said she would say that Mr. Carter was a jive ass N-person, who never would have been champion of the world. Joni later got in SJW trouble for posing in blackface, for the cover to “Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter.”

On page 251, we learn that Bob Dylan does not dance. Other items include “Free man in Paris” being written about David Geffen, and Jackson Browne writing “Fountain of Sorrow” about Joni. Mr. Brown is a not-well-thought-of ex of Joni. As for Mr. Geffen…. Joni stayed at his house for a while, at a time when Mr. Geffen was in, and out, of the closet. Did they make sweet music together?

So this book report comes to an end. Joni is recovering from a brain aneurysm, and will probably not produce anything else. The book is going back to the library, and PG will move on to something else. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

688

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Music by chamblee54 on July 19, 2018

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There was a comment at Chamblee54. “Steve Loehrer – So tell me what you know about Rose’s Cantina. I booked the music there from 1978-80 – Thorogood, Delbert, The Thunderbirds, The Fans, The Razor Boys and on and on. I was the one that did it. And I probably know you.” This blog has previously published features about the Great Southeast Music Hall, Richards, and the Georgian Terrace Ballroom. One more music venue post is not going to hurt anyone, and will be a good excuse to post some more pictures, from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. This is a repost.

688 Spring Street is a nondescript building, located down the hill from the Varsity. At one time, a company called Southern Tailors made wine jackets there. It is currently a Concentra Urgent Care Center. In between, it was the site of two rock and roll nightclubs, Roses Cantina and 688. One block over, at 688 West Peachtree, is a Catholic Construction management office.

House manager Rose Lynn Scott is quoted as saying “You know, we really aren’t sure exactly when it all started and ended,” Scott said. “Honest to God, we weren’t paying that close attention.”PG first knew about it around 1977, and really didn’t go very often. There is a running list for this post, and whenever a new band sinks into the mush, it is duly noted. Some band did “Love Gun,” which sounds remarkably similar to “Amphetamine Annie” by Canned Heat.

The punk rock revolution did not completely pass Atlanta by. A band called the Fans said they were making the pop music of the eighties. PG saw them twice and Roses, and they might be the only time he ever paid to get in. They were an impressive outfit, doing Velvet Underground and Telstar. Later, they opened for Talking Heads at the Agora, and were pretty awful. Much, much later, PG shared an apartment with the brother, of the drummer, for the Fans. Also living there was the brothers wife, a cable guy, seven snakes, a ferret, and a cat.

Back to the words of Rose Lynn, “It was a dive bar supreme and proud of it.” The stage was in the middle of the house, with a game room behind the stage. If you liked to shoot pool and listen to bands, this was the place. As for drinking, PG might get a beer or two, but mostly got bombed at other spots.

In those days, PG would go rambling from club to club, often accompanied by his friend Dinkson. One night, they stumbled in on a three piece band. They did a song called “Madison Blues”, with the guitar playing slinging riffs, and the bass playing playing the same notes over and over, never changing the look on his face. This was George Thorogood and the Destroyers.

One other night, PG stumbled in on the last few minutes of a show by the Brains. They wrote a song called “Money Changes Everything” that Cyndi Lauper did well with. This is another great local band that never seemed to get a national audience. Another night, some old black man, possibly John Lee Hooker, was playing guitar.

Around about this time, PG decided to either grow up, or take his childhood seriously. He wound up in Seattle WA. That wore off after a while. On the greyhound bus going home, PG talked to a young lady, who said something about a punk rock club in the Roses Cantina space. This was the 688.

A few weeks later, Iggy Pop did a week at 688. Here, through the miracle of copy paste, is the story. It isn’t plagiarism when you wrote it yourself.

At any rate, by the time PG got back from Seattle, some brave investors decided to have a punk rock club at 688 Spring Street. Soon, Iggy Pop would be playing a week there. In the seventies, the bands would play for five days at the great southeast music hall or the electric ballroom, two shows a night, and if you were really cool you would go on a weeknight before it got too crowded. Soon after that, it was one night in town only, and you either saw it or you didn’t.

PG had a friend at the Martinique apartments on Buford Hiway. There was someone living in the complex known as ZenDen, who sold acid. You would go to his place, wade through the living room full of grown men listening to Suzi Quatro, and purchase the commodity.

On to the the 23 Oglethorpe bus, and downtown to 688 Spring Street. Before anyone knew it, the band was on the stage. A veteran of the Patti Smith Group, named Ivan Kral, was playing bass. Mr. Kral sneezed, and a huge cocaine booger fell across his face. He was not playing when the show ended.
There was a white wall next to the stage, and someone wrote the song list on that wall. That list of songs stayed on the wall as long as 688 was open. “I want to be your dog” was on the list, as well as the number where Iggy pulled his pants off and performed in his underwear. Supposedly, in New York the drawers came off, but the TMI police were off duty that night.

The show was loud and long, and had the feel of an endurance event…either you go or the band does. Finally, the show was over, and PG got on the 23 Oglethorpe bus. You got the northbound bus on West Peachtree Street. You could look down, from Fourth street, and see the Coca Cola sign downtown. Freeway expansion sent that section of West Peachtree to old road hell.

Twenty years after that, PG worked in a building at that corner of Fourth and West Peachtree. If he had known about the future of working for Redo Blue, PG might have jumped under the 23 Oglethorpe bus, instead of getting on it. The Coca Cola sign was long gone by then.

There was band called Human Sexual Response in those days. PG caught their act at 688. They had three vocalists, wearing matching outfits, and sang a lot of lyric happy songs with really cool harmonies. The problem was, PG was not familiar with those oh so witty lyrics, and did not know what it was all about. At least he got out of the house.

Kevin Dunn played guitar for the Fans. (He had an ad for guitar lessons on the bulletin board at Wax and Facts. It said that raising racing turtles was more profitable than playing guitar.) One night at 688, he performed with his band The regiment of women. They opened for someone, possibly the Plastics, who we will get to in a minute. So, this guy plays guitar and sings, and a woman plays a drum machine. No skin pounding drummer, but a lady who twisted the knobs on a machine.

The Plastics were from Japan, and did a killer version of “Last Train to Clarksville”. It was about this time that PG got a job, and decided that he liked sleeping better than hanging out downtown.

One night, about 1983 or so, PG made an exception. The band that night was Modern English. Before the show, PG ate three z burgers from the Zestos on Ponce de Leon. During the show, the singer rubbed his stomach, and said to feel the music. About this time, the z burgers were making their presence known, and PG could feel something, but it wasn’t the music.

The last show PG saw at 688 was Hüsker Dü. The best guess is February 14, 1986. There was a totem pole, made of old TV sets, in the front part of the club in 1986. Here is the story.

Hüsker Dü means “do you remember” in Danish and Norwegian. PG saw them sometime in the eighties. It might have been the metroplex, but it might have been the 688. There is a list of shows they played, and the metroplex is not on there.

PG saw a show at the Metroplex the next night. The band is forgotten. The metroplex was a dark spooky building on Marietta street near the omni. The balcony was very dark, with everything painted black. PG tripped over a bench.

688 was a different story. PG saw a bunch of shows there, both as 688 and Rose’s Cantina. HD may have been the last show PG saw before they closed. PG was well into the work/sleep lifestyle that preoccupied his life after a certain point, and just didn’t make it out much anymore. A friend won tickets to the show or he wouldn’t have made it.

PG didn’t get into the show very much. HD was a trio, with the later-outed Bob Mould as the guitar g-d. For all of his musical skills, Mould is not much for onstage charisma. PG felt that if he had been more familiar with their music, he would have enjoyed it more. Some bands you can see without hearing their records and get into it right away, where others need a bit of familiarity.

Jesus PTSD

Posted in Library of Congress, Music, Religion by chamblee54 on July 18, 2018

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Annabelle is a song by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. It is quite lovely. Annabelle is the daughter, and the one bright spot in a hard life. This life of toil lasts until we “go to Jesus.”

PG has had a tough time with Jesus. Rudeness, disrespect, verbal abuse, and humiliation have been landmarks on the journey. When you don’t agree with the plan for life after death, you wonder if the bad parts of Jesus are worth it. To PG, the negatives overwhelmingly outweigh the positives. Just hearing a passing reference to Jesus can set him to brooding.

This morning, PG wondered if it was always going to be like this. When people talk/sing/act out for Jesus, is it always going to remind him of the pain? The Jesus worshipers have so much fun with their noise, that they scarcely notice the discomfort of others. They usually don’t care. .

Some youtube listeners felt the same way. gotohellgoogle2223 i just wish the words weren’t religious. 001Bigred @gotohellgoogle2223 I don’t find this religious except in the aspect that it tells the TRUTH. You can’t have all things to please you til you go to Jesus. Hope you find Him.

PG has found Jesus, in the words and deeds of his believers. It has been one of the worst experiences PG has known. When you decide that Jesus was killed for being a trouble maker, and his death has nothing to do with what happens to you when you die… it takes away the one justification for all the abuse. Maybe one day there will be no Jesus, and PG will know peace.

This is a repost. Pictures from The Library of Congress.

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Page 99

Posted in Book Reports, History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on July 1, 2018


PG woke up one Sunday morning, and started to look in his archive. He found a post from July 2009, Genius And Heroin Part One. The G&H book had been mentioned in a couple of blogs, The Page 69 Test and The Page 99 Test. Both of these blogs are still publishing nine years later. The idea is to critique a book by what is on page 69, or page 99.

Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell is a book PG adopted from the Chamblee library. A journalist had a series of interviews with Joni, and morphed a book out of it. Maybe a look at pages 69 and 99 will give us some text to go between the pictures.

On page 69, Joni is a young lady, performing in Miami Beach. She has had a baby, left her husband, and is trying to make it as a musician. One night in a club, David Crosby saw her, and saw the future. The two became a couple, which did not last very long. Joni and David went to California, where David introduced her to some buddies in the music business. David produced Joni’s first album, and apparently did not know what he was doing. Both of them moved on.

On page 99, Joni has put out her second album, and is gaining momentum. It is 1969, and America is in turmoil over Vietnam. The author, David Yaffe, goes into some detail about the mood of America in 1969. Mr. Yaffe was born in 1973. Why does he discuss the mood of 1969?.

Pictures, for this Sunday morning space filler, are from The Library of Congress. The Montana photographs were taken by Marion Post Wolcott in August, 1941.

The Kinks

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Music by chamblee54 on June 20, 2018

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Dangerousminds brings the sad news that Pete Quaife, the original bass player for The Kinks , passed away yesterday. He was 66, and had been in dialysis for several years. Maybe it is time for Chamblee54 to do a post about The Kinks. This is a repost.

Battling brothers Ray and Dave Davies are the core of The Kinks. (The name is pronounced like the american Davis, as though the e did not exist). Ray was the vocalist, writer, and rhythm guitar player. Dave was the lead guitarist, and sparring partner for his brother. The fisticuffs were not restricted to the brothers. This led to the band being barred from performing in the United States between 1965 and 1969. The sixties happened anyway.

There were several hits in the early days, most notably “You really got me”. (This later became a signature tune for Van Halen). The band had numerous adventures, but never became the superstars that other British bands of that era did. Ray Davies developed as a songwriter, with many witty tunes, full of social commentary and britishness.(spell check suggestion:brutishness)

In the seventies The Kinks kept trooping on. They did an album called Preservation Act, which became the basis of a theatrical presentation. The next album was called Soap Opera, with a theater like production. This is where PG got to see The Kinks.

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It was sometime in the spring of 1975, at the Atlanta Municipal Auditorium. Elvin Bishop was the opening act. The Kinks had started when PG arrived, buying a $4.00 balcony seat. Alex Cooley was in the box office counting money, and broke open a roll of quarters to make change for a five.

The band was playing “Celluloid Heroes” when PG walked into the auditorium. There was no one on the door checking tickets, so PG walked onto the floor and found an empty seat on the 13th row. The next number was “Lola”.

Ray Davies introduced the song by saying
” If you are a man, sing LO. If you are a woman, sing LA. If you are not sure, clap your hands”. The next number was about demon alcohol. There were lights shining on the crowd during this number, as Ray Davies asked if there were any sinners in the audience. The band did several more songs, ending the first half of the evening with “You really got me”. Dave Davies got some spotlight time with a rave up intro to this number.
The second part of the show was a theatrical presentation of “Soap Opera”. The band wore rainbow colored wigs, and stood at the back of the stage while Ray Davies told the tale. “Soap Opera” was about a rock star who traded places with Norman, who lived a boring life. The flat Norman lived in has pictures of ducks on the wall, which drove Ray/Norman to scream
“I can’t stand those f*****g ducks”. This led into a rocking ditty called, predictably, “Ducks on the Wall”.
As the show dragged on, Ray/Norman was embarrassed by the mess he was in.
“You can’t say that in front of The Kinks, they are my band, and that is my audience.” The audience lights were turned on again, and the band played a medley of hits from 1964.
Finally, the real Norman came back to reclaim his wife, put the ducks back on the wall, and kick out The Kinks. The band gave up on theater before much longer, and were popular for the rest of the concert happy seventies. Ray Davies was the babydaddy for Chrissie Hynde . Eventually, the band quit performing, and continued to cash royalty checks.

Pictures are from the “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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Amazing Grace

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on May 25, 2018

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This story was originally posted by Gartalker and chamblee54. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. It is probably fiction.
Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play my bagpipes at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper’s cemetery in the Kentucky back-country.

As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost; and being a typical man I didn’t stop for directions. I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight.There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch.

I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late. I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. I didn’t know what else to do, so I started to play.
The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I’ve never played before for this homeless man.

And as I played ‘Amazing Grace,’ the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, and we all wept together. When I finished I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head hung low, my heart was full.

As I was opening the door to my car, I heard one of the worker say, “Sweet Mother of Jesus, I never seen nothing like that before and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years.”

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Bob Dylan’s Birthday

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Music by chamblee54 on May 24, 2018









This is a repost. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. Today is Bob Dylan’s seventy seventh birthday. This chamblee 54 birthday tribute is composed primarily of three previously published pieces of work.

This compendium was assembled in 2016. On David Bowie’s in 2016, PG created a computer playlist, and assembled a few blog posts into a birthday celebration. Three days later, David Bowie was dead. PG decided to do the same thing to Bob Dylan on his birthday. Instead of dying, Bob Dylan won the Nobel prize. A similar effort on RuPaul’s birthday had no effect on the performer.

It was a late may morning in Atlanta GA, and a slack blogger was searching his archives. Yes, Issac Asinov never got writers block, and when he wasn’t going to the bathroom he was typing, but that is a lifestyle choice. Easy writing makes tough reading. So, anyway, in the may archive for 2011 there was a post about Bob Dylan’s seventieth birthday. People were taking bets on whether he would make it to thirty, and here he is at seventy seven.

Hibbing MN is a cold place. At least it can claim to be the birthplace of Robert Allen Zimmerman. That’s Allen ,with an e, and double L, just like hell. The original initials were RAZ, which might be a good trivia question, or, with a silent W in front, radio station call letters. The problem is, he legally changed his name to Bob Dylan, with no known middle name. Those initial are BD.

On May 24, 1941, the curly haired wonder boi arrived. The world was a different place. Europe was in flames, and eyeing the young men of America as fresh cannon fodder. This was twelve years, eleven months, and eighteen days before PG graced the planet. A twelve year old in Hibbing MN would have no reason to think of a newborn baby in Atlanta GA.

These days, not everyone knows who Bob Dylan is. Auto tuned automated canned music is the next big thing. If auto tune had been around in 1963, we would never had known how badly Mr. Dylan sings. In an age where rappers pay ghost writers to compose their tweets, being able to write songs is not valued. There is just no telling. And so it goes.
A.J. Weberman has made a life out of going through Bob Dylan’s garbage. He wrote a book, “The Devil and Bob Dylan”.
“THIS BOOK CHALLENGES ALL PREVIOUS CONVENTIONAL THINKING ABOUT BOB DYLAN. DYLAN IS JUST THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT YOU BELIEVE HIM TO BE. BUT WHAT PURPOSE DOES IT SERVE EXPOSING HIM AS A RACIST, HIV POSITIVE EX-JUNKIE AND HOLOCAUST DENIER? NONE EXCEPT THAT OF TRUTH, AND THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE. $17 INCLUDING POSTAGE! THE BOOK IS 500 PAGES AND FULLY ILLUSTRATED.
There was a comment on the Bob Dylan webpage…
Everybody knows by now that there’s a gazillion books on me either out or coming out in the near future. So I’m encouraging anybody who’s ever met me, heard me or even seen me, to get in on the action and scribble their own book. You never know, somebody might have a great book in them. PG doesn’t write books. He did grow up in America, and has a few opinions about Bob Dylan. It ought to be good for a few hundred words here. (HT to dangerous minds ) (Chamblee54 has posted about Mr. Dylan before.)
The first time PG heard of Bob Dylan was probably at the record rack of Zippy’s dime store in Cherokee Plaza. There was an album of his greatest hits, and it came with a poster. The poster had a drawing of the man, with psychedelic waves of hair cascading in multi colored glory to the edges. PG never did buy the LP.

The former Mr. Zimmerman was never big on top 40 am radio. Somebody somewhere was getting a headache over those lyrics, but Atlanta GA was not somewhere in those days. By this time, Mr. Dylan had crashed his motorcycle, and gone into hiding. As the counter culture exploded (if only someone had disinfected that counter) the curly haired poet was in hiding, the subject of much speculation. At one point, people were stealing his garbage, and claiming to find evidence of investment in munitions firms. The neoscience of Dylanology continues to this day.

As PG got older and stupider, he heard more and more Bob Dylan music. In the summer of 1972, there was a performance at the Concert for Bangladesh. A couple of albums released during this era sucked, and some people stopped caring about Bob Dylan.

At the start of 1974, a tour was announced. The Band was to be the backing group. The circus came to the Omni, and PG got some of the mail order tickets. He couldn’t find anyone to use the second ticket, and sold it to a stranger outside the arena.

The show was nothing special. Bob Dylan excels at writing, is ok in the studio, and blah on stage. Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter was at the show, and was said to look bored. Mr. Dylan was invited to the Governor’s mansion after the show, and talked to the Governor. A lot of people in Georgia were surprised that Jimmy would want to run for President.
As the Seventies went me me meing into sex and drugs oblivion, Bob Dylan regained both his writing touch, and love of the spotlight. The Rolling Thunder tour happened, he got back together with Joan Baez, divorced his wife, became born again, became more Jewish, counted money, and generally lived the life. PG did his own version of all that, without Joan Baez or being circumcised again.

In the winter of 1991, America was consumed by war fever. Saddam Hussein had been elevated to next Hitler status, and had to be taught a lesson. One night, Bob Dylan played on a music awards show, and performed “Masters of War”. He played a discordant version of that ditty, with the result that few understood what he had said. By this time, Mr. Dylan had assembled a band, and gone out on the “Never Ending Tour”. A Bob Dylan concert had gone from being a special event, to being another name on the festival roster. Overexposure will do that.

On the last night of the Olympics in 1996, Bob Dylan played the House of Blues downtown. PG won a pair of the $80 tickets in a radio station contest. It was his only trip downtown during the games, and had to wait in a security line to get into Centennial Olympic Park.

The only celebrity, other than Mr. Dylan, seen at the House of Blues that night was Bill Walton. The band was competent…they impressed PG as being like a bar band that did a lot of Dylan songs, with a strangely authentic lead vocalist. The sound in the room was not good, at least in the spot where PG stood. The only song he recognized was “All along the Watchtower”, the Jimi Hendrix classic. Mr. Dylan got a cheer when he put his harmonica appliance on.










The aptly named dangerousminds has a link to a story about the recording of Blonde on Blonde, by Bob Dylan. It only happened once.

Bob Dylan was 24 years old, newly married, and had “sold out” i.e. started to play electric guitar. A bunch of Canadians known as The Hawks (later The Band) was touring with him. Barely a month after the release of “Highway 61 Revisited”, sessions started at a New York studio.

The New York sessions did not work, so a decision was made to go to Nashville. Al Kooper played organ, and served as a music director. A crew of Nashville players was recruited. A bass player named Joseph Souter, Jr. would become famous a few years later using the name Joe South. Kris Kristofferson was the janitor at the studio.

Most studios have bafflers, or sound proof room dividers, splitting the studio into cubicles. For these sessions, the bafflers were taken down, and the band played together as a unit.

The second session in Nashville started at 6pm and lasted until 530 the next morning. Mr. Dylan was working on the lyrics to “Sad eyed lady of the lowlands”, and the recording could not start until he was ready. The musicians played ping pong and waited. At 4am, the song was ready, and the record was finished in two takes.

PG had marginal encounters with two of the players on this album. He met a lady once, who worked in an insurance office. One of the customers was Joe South. His driving record file was an inch thick.

Al Kooper had a prosperous career after his association with Bob Dylan. The former Alan Peter Kuperschmidt produced the first three Lynyrd Skynyrd albums, sold that contract for a nice piece of change, and lived happily ever after.

One night, Mr. Kooper was playing a show at the Great Southeast Music Hall, and PG sat in front of the stage. During a break between songs, PG asked his friend “what time is it?”. Mr. Kooper heard him on stage, and said it was 11:30.










If it ever quits raining, PG is going to walk to the Chamblee library and return a book, and a cd. The cd is by Bob Dylan, and is a work of genius. The book is about the former Mr. Zimmerman, and is a piece of garbage. (BTW, Dylan is not the only Zimmerman to hit the big time. Ethel Merman was born Ethel Agnes Zimmerman.The Zimmerman telegram got us into World War I. The less said about George Zimmerman, the better)

When returning cd’s to a library, you need to get a check in receipt. Once, PG returned a stack of cd’s to the Brookhaven library. When checking them in, one was missed by the scanner. A few days later, there was a note in the mail about an overdue cd.

The good news was, the cd was on the shelf when PG went back to investigate, and the matter was quickly settled. It did not help that the cd was a collection of disco music called “Shake your booty”.

“The freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” was released in the early sixties, when the man was barely old enough to buy a drink. There is not a bad song on it, and several are classic rock staples. At a time when mindless pop dominated pop music, here were thoughtful, moving lyrics.

In 1991, with America in a war frenzy, Mr. Dylan appeared on a music awards show. He performed “Masters of War”, at a time when the majority would be appalled if they could understand what he was singing. Mr. Dylan has been reinvented many times, and often the lyrics get gargled.

Five years later, PG won tickets to a Bob Dylan concert. It was the last night of the Olympics, and the man was appearing at the House of Blues. (Tickets were $80, so the radio contest is the only reason PG went). It was like hearing a good bar band, that did nothing but Dylan songs, with the man as the vocalist. Due to the mix of the sound, PG could not recognize many of the songs.

The book is Bob Dylan: Prophet, Mystic, Poet by Seth Rogovoy. It tells the Dylan tale as a story of Jewish prophecy. PG got to page 16, where the author claims that “Like a Rolling Stone” “almost single handedly revolutionized rock’n roll music”. Huh?

PG was eating dinner, and did not have anything else to read. He got to page 38. Nothing in the next 22 pages changed his mind away from ditching the book. How does nonsense like this get published?








The Great Southeast Music Hall

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Music by chamblee54 on May 20, 2018

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The Great Southeast Music Hall was an important part of life in Atlanta during the seventies. It was located in the elbow of a shopping center, Broadview Plaza. A bowling alley was downstairs, a two level K mart next door, and Atlanta’s first hispanic neighborhood across the street. Like almost everything else here, Broadview Plaza was torn down, and replaced by a more uppity set of stores.

When you went into the lobby of the Music Hall, you noticed the walls. Performers were given a magic marker, and encouraged to leave a message. John Mayall found the ladies room, and said he likes to be near the ladies. The late Phil Ochs said “Impeach Nixon and Agnew”. What happened to those boards is a good question.

The auditorium held about 500 people. The stage was only three feet or so above the floor. There was an empty space in front of the stage, and a few rows of bench backs behind that. When the place opened, there were lots of pillows on this floor, with the Music Hall logo. The carpet in this front area was fresh when the place opened, and got progressively grosser as the years went by. Beer was served in aluminum buckets, and inevitably some wound up on the carpet.

The show the Music Hall is most famous for is the US debut of the Sex Pistols. PG didn’t make it that night, but has heard from a few who did. The performance was said to be horrible. There are stories of Sid Vicious wandering through the apartments around Broadview trying to find heroin. Years later, PG was reading about that night in Please Kill Me, when the train he was riding pulled into the Lindberg Marta station. This is across the street from the Broadview Plaza, still standing at the time.

These days, the intersection of Lindbergh Drive and Piedmont Road (about a mile north of the park) is next to Hiway 400. When the Music Hall was in it’s prime, the land for the Highway was owned by the State of Georgia, which was fighting legal battles over the highway. The land had a network of dirt roads, one of which connected Buford Hiway to Lindbergh Drive. When you went from Chamblee to the Music Hall, the most direct route was over this dirt road. This dirt road is where Sidney Marcus Boulevard is today. Broadview Plaza was torn down, and replaced by a Home Depot.

Eventually, the business model for the Music Hall did not work, and the facility moved to Cherokee Plaza. This Music Hall was in a movie theater. The Cherokee Plaza Theater was the scene for the world premiere of Son of Dracula . This move did not work, for a number of reasons. The parking lot was too small, and people who wanted a loaf of bread from the A&P were blocked out during shows. Cherokee Plaza is just outside the city limits, on Peachtree Road. In the late seventies, DeKalb county was aggressively fighting drunk driving, and had roadblocks. Many of these roadblocks were outside the Music Hall, which kept many people from attending. Before long, this Music Hall closed.

Many years later, PG bought a second hand typewriter, and needed a ribbon. (Younger readers should ask an older person about this.) He went into an office supply store in Broadview Plaza, and soon realized that he was standing on the site of the Music Hall. He asked the clerk if he could have a bucket of beer, and got a very strange look in return.

One industrious afternoon during this era, PG made a list of shows he saw at the Music Hall. The memory cells are already protesting, but we are going to try and remember as much as possible about these shows. A big thank you to Wikipedia for help with spelling and names.

New York Rock Ensemble – PG walked into the auditorium during the last part of the first show, as the band played “A whiter shade of pale”. The bass player wore lace up boots, with the pants legs tucked into them. Before long, the second show came on stage. Keyboard player Michael Kamen was the central focus, acting out the lyrics to “Anaconda”.

Silverman Deborah McColl fronted this drummerless band

Al Kooper PG has written about an unfortunate incident involving Al Kooper during this show. This would have never happened in “The Catcher in the Rye”…the kids always knew what time it was in that story. Mr. Kooper did a solo show, including “Sam Stone” by John Prine.

Ellen McIlwaine/ James Cotton Blues Band Ms. McIlwaine was pregnant, and played slide guitar. Mr. Cotton played harmonica. One of his players started to fan him with a towel, because he was hot.

Breakfast Special/ Doc and Merle Watson Breakfast Special was a local bluegrass crew, who did “The coming down song”. The Watsons did ” Deep River Blues” and “Thats All”, among other things. PG had a copy of their latest LP, and asked Merle to autograph it. He wrote his name on one side, turned it over, and signed Doc’s name on the other side.

Mason/Atlanta Rythym Section This show was the night Led Zeppelin played Atlanta Stadium.

New Riders of the Purple Sage When the Music Hall opened, a performer would typically play from Tuesday to Sunday. NRPS was a one night show. They worked well in the packed hall, and shined on “Glenville Train”. The next year, they did a tour with Commander Cody and The Lost Planet Airmen. Commander Cody opened, and raised hell. NRPS followed with a mellow rock show, and before long people were getting bored and leaving.

David Buskin / Loudon Wainwright III Chamblee 54 has written about this show before. Mr. Buskin talked about doing a show at Max’s Kansas City, the person sitting next to PG said “Gross”.

Steve Martin / Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Chamblee54 has written about the show by Mr. Martin . This was his last tour as an opening act. Nitty Gritty was a sight to behold. John McEuen played fiddle, and recited a poem about life.

Martin Mull / Melissa Manchester PG went to see Mr. Mull, who opened the show with a three piece band. (After the show, Mr. Mull said the name of the band was the (your name) (draws a blank with his fingers) orchestra.) The headliner was Ms. Manchester, little known at the time. She was a knockout. While standup comedy has it’s place, for emotional impact there is nothing like a singer.

Texas Gary Bennett / Weather Report Mr. Bennett played acoustic guitar, and sang, as an opener for a packed house of jazz rockers. It did not go well. At one point, trying to get some rapport with the crowd, he said ” has anyone here been busted at the Omni?” (The authorities had begun arresting people for smoking pot at the major concerts.)

Weather Report was amazing. Josef Zawinul had the loud keyboard sound, Wayne Shorter played his leads on soprano sax, and there was a drummer and percussion player. There was tons of rythym, to go with the electronic jazz sounds. When it was over, PG went up to Mr. Zawinul, shook his hand and, and said thank you. He was pouring a glass of beer from a pitcher, and looked a bit startled.

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David Pomerance / Rahsaan Roland Kirk Chamblee54 has written about this show before. Mr. Kirk was a force of nature, the modern miracle of the tenor saxophone. He did not suffer from false modesty. This was the night Richard Nixon resigned, which pleased Mr. Kirk no end. The blind Rahsaan said that he did not want to see his audience, because we were too ugly. At one point, his band had been jamming for about ten minutes, when PG realized that Mr. Kirk had been holding a single note the entire time. The three saxophones at one time thing was a visual shocker, but he got sounds that way that you cannot get from a single instrument. At one point, Mr. Kirk pulled his sunglasses off, and made a face at the crowd. It was an amazing evening.
Chic Corea / Return to Forever This was a disappointment. Tickets were $4.50, which may be the most PG ever paid at the Music Hall. The band only played about an hour. It was all electric, ignoring the acoustic instruments set up on stage. RTF was a four piece, all star band. They had Chic Corea on keyboards, Stanley Clarke on bass, Al Demeola on guitar, and Lenny White on drums. That sounds like a great show, but it turned out to be four solo artists jamming. There was no cohesion, and the overall sound was less than the sum of the individual parts. Corea leaned over his keyboard, twisted knobs, and made faces, as if to say “look at how intense this is”. It wasn’t.

Mccoy Tyner The former Coltrane sideman played a very nice show. He had a percussion man, with several tables covered in exotic instruments. PG took a break after to first show to hang out at a neighborhood disco. When he got back, there was no doorman checking tickets, and anyone could walk in for free. PG took advantage of this discovery many times over the next few years.

Bill Crystal / Jean Luc Ponty Former Frank Zappa player Jean Luc Ponty played at the Music Hall, with a bass player who was a fellow Zappa alumni. The surprise of the evening was then-unknown Bill Crystal. A few weeks after this show, “Soap” would premiere, and make him a star. Mr. Crystal did a killer impersonation of a gila monster.

Between shows, Mr. Crystal had been entertained by a local musician. During the second show, he held his finger to his nose, made a snorting sound, and said thank you. PG heard this, and yelled “Locker Room”, the name of a “deooderizer” that some liked to get a buzz sniffing. Mr. Crystal said “Locker room. Jeez, I need to get the hecklers rosetta stone to know what he means”. Good times.

Keith Jarrett This is another show that might have been better than PG’s enjoyment. At one point early in the show, PG moved over to the front of the stage, to look at Mr. Jarrett’s hands. After the show, people told PG that the player had been giving him dirty looks when he did that. PG asked Mr. Jarrett about it, and he said that PG had interfered with his concentration.

This show featured a quartet, instead of a solo piano. The bass player was Charley Haden, who seemed a bit puffy faced. PG later learned that he had been addicted to heroin at the time.

Melissa Manchester Ms. Manchester came back for another week at the Music Hall, about a year after her first appearance. At one point, she asked the band if they were ready to do a new song, and then performed “I got eyes” for the first time in public. This was later the b side to “Midnight Blue”. One of the players in her band was a man named James Newton Howard. Part of the deal for touring with her was that he could play a solo number on piano, called “Newton’s Ego”. He later played with Elton John, and became wealthy writing film scores.

Flora Purim /Airto Moreira On PG’s 23rd birthday, Flora Purim played at the Music Hall. At the time, PG had a profound appreciation of her albums. The band had a nice sound, and was the equal of her records. The Chic Corea tune “Light as a Feather” was a standout. Her husband, Airto Moreira (eye, ear, toe) fronted the band on some of the numbers, and had some funny routines. Ms. Purim held two microphones throughout the show, with one connected to some audio filters. PG found holding two microphones to be visually distracting. PG had known of the Jewish ancestry of Ms. Purim, but had not thought much about it. Then he saw her live, and realized that she does, indeed, look Jewish. A Piedmont Park show in 1987 was rained out.

Hot Tuna Hot Tuna is a dependable, though not spectacular, band. On a previous show in Atlanta, they went on stage at 10:55, and played without a break until 2:50. This night, a fried of a friend was working at the Music Hall, and PG got in before the crowds, to get a prime spot, in the first row of benchbacks. At one point, PG was rocking back and forth against the benchback, and a neighbor asked him to quit. Those buckets of beer were influential.

Shakti This was an acoustic, Hindu oriented band fronted by guitar superman John McLaughlin. The numbers seemed to go on forever.

David Manion / Mark Almond This was a long awaited Atlanta performance by Mark Almond. (This is a jazz/blues band, totally different from the Soft Cell vocalist with a similar name.) They played two sets, which were only an hour or so long. This was disappointing to the people who could not wait for the second show. In the second show, they “took the shackles off” saxophone player Johnny Almond, and he played a wild solo during “The city”.

The incident we are about to describe may or may not have involved David Manion. What happened was, a small portable radio was playing on the edge of the stage. The spotlight was on the radio, which sounded like gibberish to most of the audience. Gradually, the chattering audience got quiet, and tried to listen to the radio. After a few minutes, a man came out, and stood in darkness behind the radio. The PA speaker announced “The new force of rock in Atlanta”. The man then dropped a large piece of granite on the radio, smashing it into bits.

Laurie Chapman / Stomu Yamashta Laurie Chapman was a singer/piano player, with some good stories. She told of a trucker, driving beside her and talking to her on a cb radio. ” You better get that drink out from between your legs before it gets too hot to handle”.

Stomu Yamashta is somewhat of a star in Japan. The show here was filmed for showing on TV there. His band, Go, was an all star collection, including Ava Cherry. She was a backup vocalist, and girlfriend, with David Bowie. After the show, PG was introduced to Spencer Davis in the lobby.

The next few shows were at Cherokee Plaza.

Martin Mull Mr. Mull was a solo star this time. He did a song about doing nothing, adding that dead people can do it too. The parking lot was packed, which was a major problem at the new location.

The week before the Super Bowl in 1994, Mr. Mull filmed a Comedy Central show in Woodruff Park. The Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders were kicking field goals. After the filming PG stood a few feet away from Mr. Mull, but could not think of anything to say.

Sun Ra PG went to a wedding, and a bunch of people from there went to see Sun Ra. This was an entertaining spectacle, with a big band and dancers. After the show, PG asked Sun Ra how he could afford to take a band like that on the road. He said he was doing it for beauty.

David Bromberg This was another big band production. PG showed within a few minutes of the gateman leaving his post, and saw about 45 minutes without buying a ticket.

Lester Flatt/John Hartford One boring Saturday night, PG walked up to the Music Hall, and saw the two fiddle players jamming. A few weeks later, Lester Flatt passed away. This is a repost. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. As a bonus to the reader(s) here, we are reposting Great Southeast Music Hall Stories. It is a collection of comments from an earlier posting of this feature.

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Chamblee54 posted a tribute to The Great Southeast Music Hall a few years ago. This was a concert venue, with no hard liquor and a 500 person capacity, next door to a bowling alley on Piedmont Road. It was about a mile north of Piedmont Park, and in front of the dirt road that became Sidney Marcus Boulevard. GSEMH hosted some great shows. This was when record companies would invest in new bands by putting them on promotional tours, and Atlanta was a popular stop.

The chamblee54 post attracted 85 comments. This is a slow day for Matt Walsh, but is a record for chamblee54. Most of the comments were boring … great place to play, I saw Steve Martin there and drank too many buckets of beer. A few of these comments tell stories. This post puts the best of the GSEMH comments in one place. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. See if you can guess which one was taken at GSEMH.

Neal B. – Som Records June 10, 2012 at 5:18 pm Great reading! Brought back some memories. I saw three shows at the Music Hall – The Dixie Dregs, Elvin Bishop and David Allan Coe. I saw Coe the night before my SATs in 1978 or ’79 and it was (and still is) the most bikers I’ve ever seen in once place. Elvin Bishop just tore it up, really good.

jake lamb May 17, 2011 at 11:34 am Great stories of our past. I can’t remember the shows I went to, but after reading your post it certainly helps clear the fog. As I went thru the list I noted, “Yep I was with CG at that show, that one too, oh yeah, I remember Al saying to you what time it was but didn’t you delete the expletives? Odetta blasting the audience for not showing her the proper respect…what a crybaby! The autographed Marc Almond Album, meeting them backstage to learn how the finger was ripped from Jon’s hand after a tree limb caught on his ring finger when he jumped out of a tree during a photo shoot, resulting in having to learn how to play the saxaphone with one less digit ala Jerry Garcia, and the Hot Tuna Show with Papa John Screech. Flora and Eye Ear Toes logo on his equipment. Was it there that we went on Halloween, me dressed as a bagman for Nixon (A paper sack over my head) and you going as a Bee-keeper (a vegetable strainer over your head)? God we were hilarious! It’s all beginning to come back, but what never went away was remembering the great friend I went with.

Eugene Gray June 24, 2012 at 11:30 am I grew up in Atlanta so thanks for the memories about the shows at The Great Southeast Music Hall. I attended numerous shows between the years 1974 and 1977. From what I can remember (I do have “70s Memory” after all), here’s some highlights: Kinky Friedman — Smoked a huge cigar throughout the show and tipped his ashes in an ash tray attached to his microphone stand. Brought the house down with ‘Sold American.’ David Allan Coe — Played the first half of the show in his “Country Crooner” persona wearing a white suit and white cowboy hat; then played the second half as The Mysterious Rhinestone Cowboy complete with rhinestone jacket and black mask. Played a hard-rockin’ version of ‘Bossier City’ to close out the show. Best memory: New Riders of the Purple Sage Show opened late with only John Dawson (acoustic guitar) and Buddy Cage (pedal steel) taking the stage. Seems their limo made the right exit off of 285 but the other limo kept going. After Dawson telling us that, he said, “Well, you might not have all of us but you do have two.” He and Cage then played a short set together including a beautiful version of ‘Gypsy Cowboy.’ The other members trickled in and started playing, all having a good time with the audience about their site-seeing tour of Atlanta via 285. Fantastic show and my best memory of The Hall. Weirdest experience: For lack of something to do, went to see the New Zealand group Split Enz. A fun but bizarre show with a group outside my typical taste. Sort of a cross between Devo and Bowie and the Bay City Rollers. Truly a strange show. Worst experience: Pure Prairie League — I was always, always let in and served beer before I turned 18 in ’76. Except for one time. Missed Pure Prairie League because we were all carded; the only time I was ever asked for my ID here. Always regretted missing them since the original band broke up right after this tour. Damn. Thanks again for a spot to remember one of the best concert venues (ever) in Atlanta.

Anonymous July 11, 2012 at 3:03 pm Saw many great shows at the Music Hall; Leon Redbone, Don McLean, Bruce Cogburn, but the funniest thing was at Darryl Rhoads show. My girlfriend (now wife of 30 years) went missing when she left to go make the parent check-in phone call. I found her coming around the corner in the hallway, mad at some guy who wouldn’t get off the phone in the lobby. The “guy” was Darryl and he made a few comments to her from the stage during the show just to keep her pissed. It’s funny now, but I could have died then…

Pharmacist Jim April 28, 2013 at 12:01 pm How about when Jimmy Buffett opened for Billy Joel there in 1974. I was a Pharmacist at Eckerd Drugs in the plaza at the time when Jimmy called me and asked me to call his physician in Key West for a prescription–a musician who wanted to get a legitimate prescription, unheard of!!! I was already a Buffett fan, but this just made me respect him that much more and I’ve been a “Parrot Head” since, now so more than ever since I live in Florida.

Anonymous October 23, 2013 at 8:29 am My best friend and I moved to Atlanta (on purpose) for just the summer of ’73 and attended MANY MANY great shows at the Music Hall. It was SO awesome. Saw Billy Joel right around the Captain Jack release time and he asked me out after the show. Of course, I answered with a resounding “NO! Thank You!!” (you see, I was ABSOLUTELY too cute for him…hehe — not to mention, I thought his nose was entirely too big.) Also, saw Jimmy Buffett who talked to us from the stage because we were from Hattiesburg, MS and he had gone to school there at the University of Southern Mississippi. SOOO COOL!!!

Rod Pearman May 28, 2015 at 10:00 am Couldn’t help but have a smile on my face as I read all these comments. THE Great Southeast Music Hall and Emporium………man, the memories. Sometimes I think I could write a book. My roommate and I lived at Bordeaux Apts. on Buford Hwy, which was just a hop skip and jump over to The Hall via the dirt road which is now Sidney Marcus……..we lived there from 1972 to early 1980, which might be a record for two dudes that were party animals to have survived that long in one apartment complex. Anyhow, we frequented GSEMH about once a month when an act we wanted to see was to play there. A couple of my fondest memories now that I’m in my mid 60’s is, it had to be sometime in ’75. We went to see The Dirt Band (one my favorites of all time) The opening act was this guy named Steve Martin, who at that time, no one on the planet had ever heard of him. Well he comes out, and within 30 seconds he has us so cracked up we’re shooting beer out our noses from his comedy. Really funny stuff, and had no idea it was coming. Well, he does his gig, then the Dirt Band comes out. They play a great set, take a little break, and when they came back out on stage, here comes Steve Martin with a banjo over his shoulder. So we’re all thinking this will be something funny, this guy with a banjo. This guy took off on his “ban-jer” and everybody’s jaw hit the floor. He really tore it up. Then the Dirt Band joined in and he played a few tunes with the band. The guy was incredible on the banjo. Then a few months later, Saturday Night Live did their first show, and there’s Steve Martin on TV. I look over at my roommate as he’s looking at me, and we’re both saying in unison, hey, that’s the guy from The Great Southeast Music Hall. Pretty neat that we got to see him when nobody had a clue of his talent. … I got home later that night, and my roommate (yeah, the same guy I mentioned in earlier chapters of this book….) said he saw something on TV that I wouldn’t believe. Turns out, one of the local TV stations (2, 5, or 11) had sent a reporter over to cover the final show of The Great Southeast Music Hall, and while reporting out front of the establishment, there were about a dozen folks standing there sorta behind the reporter. Well, this one fair lady decided to nonchalantly pull a boob out of her tank top and display it for all the world to see, right there on live TV. My roommate said it was something he’d never forget, and we tell the story often. (I wonder who that young lady was sometimes……) but I digress……..

alun v September 23, 2014 at 11:54 am As the Audio Engineer and last guy to walk out the door @ the Lindbergh (and Cherokee Plaza) locations, the walls, painted and autographed by many of the acts, were destroyed; (legal issues I guess). I still have the door to the tech room, signed by Cowboy, a personal favorite. BTW, I saw the concrete sidewalk @ Peaches, with hand / foot prints and signatures, also destroyed and hauled off………lawyers.

julia guthrie November 26, 2015 at 10:38 pm I just caught the 50th anniversary! of Alice’s restaurant masacree on pbs. Brought back the memory of seeing Arlo at the Great Southeast Music Hall. I was drunk(and maybe other) and it was my birthday, so my bf said I should try to talk to Arlo because my name is Guthrie! I was just drunk and young enough to do just that. I finagled my way to the tourbus door(was pretty good at talking my way into things back then), announced that I was a cousin, and ended up sitting at the little bus table, smoking and talking with Arlo and fam. Pretty sure all I added to the conversation was a shit-eating grin, but it was one of the highlights of my youthful escapades. Loved going to the Music Hall! Ah…youth and happy times. I also lived at Bordeaux apts for a while! Peace:)

Rod November 27, 2015 at 11:06 am You can’t beat Alice’s Restaurant on Thanksgiving Day. I used to have an annual tradition of listening to that song on my Technic’s turntable for probably 30+ years, but somehow that tradition faded out a few years ago. (Maybe because my turntable is sitting on a shelf in my closet Definitely great memories at the Hall. Hard to believe it’s been 40 years ago, give or take. I lived at Bordeaux for 7 years through the ’70’s, which might be a record. We were in G building, and had some of the best parties in NE Atlanta. It was standing room only, kegs on the deck, music crankin’ just below distortion level. Those were the days!

BRIAN HOLCOMB June 19, 2015 at 6:00 pm I was a freshman student a GSU in 74 After one of the shows (can’t remember who) I was standing outside in the corridor waiting on some friends. When out the door came my General Chemistry Professor Dr Sears arm in arm with the best looking girl in my class. They turned beet red turned and got away from me as quick as they could. I often wonder if I could have went and bribed an A out of him. LOL

SideShow Bennie December 1, 2015 at 5:24 pm I just stumbled across this article when I Googled GSMH. I lived in Atlanta in 1972-73 and attended a lot of shows at the Broadview Plaza location. I was at one of the Howdy Doody Revival shows that is on the poster pictured in the article. I remember Bob Smith hitting a bad note on the piano, reaching inside and pulling out a pack of ZigZag rolling papers saying, “Clarabelle leaves these things everywhere.” Other shows I remember seeing were Johnny Nash with Sons of The Jungle (The first actual Jamacian Reggae band I ever saw) John Hartford, The Earl Scruggs Revue, Joe Walsh with Barnstorm, Jim Croce, Harry Chapin, Doc Watson, The Hahavishnu Orchestra, Martin Mull, Doug Kershaw. I am pretty sure I was at the Ellen McIllwain and the Breakfast Special shows you mentioned but there were show where a lot of beer buckets were emptied so a lot of those shows are a little hazy. I still have a bucket or two around the house here somewhere. Thanks for the memories!!

chamblee54 May 20, 2018 at 12:31 pm There was a facebook meme. The idea was to say 10 things about yourself, 9 of which were true. Facebook nation was supposed to guess which one was false. PG posted a GSEMH version. He listed 10 acts, 9 of which he saw at the Music Hall. (PG never said Great Southeast, just *the music hall*). The 10 acts listed: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Steve Martin, Martin Mull, Weather Report, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Sex Pistols, Melissa Manchester, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Doc and Merle Watson, Atlanta Rythym Section. You will have to read the post to see what act is the lie, and the 9 acts that PG did see.
David Manion May 20, 2018 at 12:54pm Yes I smashed a transistor radio just before my opening set for Marc almond.
Doug DeLoach May 23 2018 at 4:20 pm “The performance [by the Sex Pistols] was said to be horrible.” You must have exclusively heard either from people who weren’t there or scene trolls who hated punk rock in the first place. The show was about as awesomely punk as punk can get.

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