Chamblee54

Growing Up With Joni Mitchell

Posted in Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on January 13, 2018

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A facebook friend went on a Joni Mitchell kick. First it was a link to an interview. Then it was a quote from The Last Time I Saw Richard. A lady said Blue was her favorite album all all time, and a man enthusiastically agreed. This is a repost.

Given the apples and oranges quality of her catalog, it would be tough to pick one album as a favorite. PG then realized that fbf was going to be thirty soon. PG is sixty. These are two different perspectives on the craft of Joni Mitchell. One has driven through the storm, not knowing what was next. The other is presented with an almost complete body of recorded work.

PG has known about Joni since high school, and been a devoted fan since 1976. Joni’s most popular album, Court And Spark, came out in 1974, eleven years before fbf was born. Who would be the equivalent female musical force from 1943, when PG was minus eleven? The answer is nobody. (Coincidentally Roberta Joan Anderson was born on November 7, 1943.)

ms mitchell After the comment about Blue, PG listened to For The Roses. Joni’s craft is like a cluster bomb… there are lines that you never fully felt, bomblets waiting to explode in your gut. Let The Wind Carry Me has one of those hidden threats. Mama thinks she spoilt me, Papa knows somehow he set me free, Mama thinks she spoilt me rotten, She blames herself, But papa he blesses me.

The first thing PG heard by Joni was Big Yellow Taxi. It was on The Big Ball, a 1970 mail order sampler from Warner Brothers. This was when Joni shacked up with Graham Nash. The next year saw Blue, followed by For The Roses, and Court And Spark. PG always thought Joni was someone he should like, but somehow didn’t. It wasn’t until 1976 that PG broke through the barrier, and became a Joni Mitchell fan. Seeing her in concert did not hurt.

On February 3, 1976, PG took a study break. (He scored 100 on the test the next day) Joni Mitchell was playing at the UGA coliseum a few blocks away, and the door was not watched after the show started. PG found a place to stand, on the first level of the stands. The LA express was her band that night, and created a tight, jazzy sound, even in the UGA coliseum. Tom Scott pointed at Joni, said she was crazy, and drew circles around his left ear. The one line PG remembers is “chicken scratching my way to immortality” from Hejira.

The Hissing of Summer Lawns might not be her best album, but it is certainly her bravest. Court And Spark was a commercial success. Instead of producing a bestselling followup, Joni took a ninety degree turn. Summer Lawns, for all its eccentric sparkle, confused the record buying public. The gravy train took off in another direction.

In those days, 96rock played a new album at midnight, which people were known to tape. On the night of the Lynyrd Skynyrd plane crash, the album was Hejira. This was followed by Mingus, another curve ball. Finally, Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter appeared, and did not make a good impression.

The eighties, nineties, and aughts appeared. PG, and Joni, lived their lives. 1996 saw a frightening interview in Details magazine. It was startling to see that for all her granola glory, Joni Mitchell might not be a very nice person. In a pot and kettle moment, David Crosby said “Joni’s about as humble as Mussolini.” Music is a tough way to make easy money.

More recently, there was a long interview on Canadian television. She is not mellowing with age. The cigarettes have not killed her, even if her voice is not what it once was. The recent albums that PG heard are strong. There seem to be more on the way. Maybe the facebook friend will have have the “what is she going to do next” experience after all. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

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What Is Dirty About Louie Louie?

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Music, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on January 12, 2018

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The sixties were a great time to be a kid. As long as you were too young for a Vietnam Vacation, there were kicks to be had.

One of the more enduring legends was the dirty lyrics to “Louie Louie”. Recorded by an obscure band called the Kingsmen, the song was a massive hit in 1963 (It never was Number One). When WQXI put out lists of the greatest songs of all time, “Louie Louie” was at the top of the list. This is despite, or because of, the raucous sound. The song was recorded in one take, when the band thought they were playing a rehearsal. The vocals are difficult to make sense of, and rumored to be obscene. No one was ever quite sure why. With the garbled sound on the record, the listener could hear almost anything they wanted to.

The Governor of Indiana, Matthew Welsh, banned radio stations from playing the song in that state. On February 7, 1964, Attorney General Robert Kennedy got a letter from an outraged parent about the lyrics to “Louie Louie”. An F.B.I. investigation followed. After thirty months of investigation, the Bureau concluded that they could not make sense of the lyrics.

PG had a neighbor named Carol. A tomboy who could whip most of the boys, she had a pet skunk named Napoleon. Carol claimed to have heard a band at Lenox Square play “Louie Louie”. “He said the words real slow so you could understand them. I can’t repeat what he said, but it was dirty”.

Louie, Louie Oh no, me gotta go.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, said, ah
Louie, Louie Oh, baby, me gotta go
A fine little girl she waits for me Me
catch a ship for cross the sea.
Me sail that ship all alone Me never think how I make it home.
Ah, Louie, Louie No, no, no, no, me gotta go.
Oh, no. Said, Louie, Louie Oh, baby, said we gotta go.
Three nights and days I sail the sea Think of girl, oh, constantly.
Ah, on that ship I dream she there
I smell the rose, ah, in her hair.
Ah, Louie, Louie Oh, no, sayin’ we gotta go.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,
but, ah, Louie, Louie Oh, baby, said, we gotta go.
[Yelled] Okay, let’s give it to ‘em right now! [instrumental]
Me see Jamaica, ah, moon above.
It won’t be long, me see me love.
Take her in my arms again, I got her; I’ll never leave again.
Ah, Louie, Louie Oh, no, sayin’ me gotta go.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
But, ah, Louie, Louie Oh, baby, said, ah, we gotta go.
I said we gotta go now, Let’s get on outta here.
[Yelled] Let’s go.

Transcribed by David Spector Sept. 2000 Public Domain. If anyone reading this can explain what was so dirty about this song, please leave a comment. Thank you Wikipedia for your help in assembling this. This is a repost. Pictures by The Library of Congress

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Judy Roasting On An Open Fire

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Holidays, Music by chamblee54 on December 12, 2017

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SFFILK (Not his real name) passes along a story about Mel Tormé. It seems like Mr.Tormé was eating a leisurely breakfast at a food court in Los Angeles, and a quartet appeared singing Christmas songs. They wound up performing “The Christmas Song” for co- author Tormé … and the singers had no idea who he was. It is a good story, better told in the link. (The link no longer works.) This is a repost, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

According to the inerrant Wikipedia, Mr. Tormé collaborated with Robert Wells, until they had a falling out. One afternoon, on the hottest day of July in 1945, Mr.Tormé went to visit Mr.Wells, and saw the first four lines of “The Christmas Song” (including “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose”). The lines were on a note pad, and the two agreed to beat the heat of summer by completing the song. Supposedly, Mr. Tormé did not like the song very much. After three divorces, he probably didn’t see many of the royalties.

Mel Tormé was the music director of the ill fated “Judy Garland Show” in the early sixties. He wrote a book about it… The Other Side of the Rainbow: With Judy Garland on the Dawn Patrol . The story is that Miss Garland would get blasted, call Mr.Tormé in the middle of the night, and pour out her troubles. (This review is much less sympathetic towards Mr. Tormé.) While the show did not last longer, there are some great youtube clips left over.

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Rudolph

Posted in Holidays, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on December 7, 2017












The story below is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. There is an appearance by Gerald Rudolph Ford, and his women. Betty was a merry soul.

Someone posted a bit of revisionism about a holiday classic. As he sees it, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” is about racism.

In a bit of yuletime synchronicity, the urban mythbusters at Snopes posted a piece about Rudolph the same day. It seems as though the Rudolph story was originally written for the Montgomery Ward Stores. The idea was to print a Christmas booklet to give to customers. A staff writer named Robert L. May was picked for the job.

Originally, there were concerns about the red nose, and the connection to heavy drinking. At the time, the original meaning of “merry christmas” had been forgotten. Merry meant intoxicated, and a merry christmas was a drunken one. The booklet was released. It was a big hit with shoppers.

Mr. May had a brother in law named Johnny Marks, who was musically gifted. Mr. Marks wrote the song, and somehow or another Gene Autry came to sing it. A story (which PG heard once, but cannot find a source for) had Mr. Autry doing a recording session. The session went very smoothly, and the sides scheduled to be recorded were finished early. There was a half hour of studio time paid for. Someone produced copies of “Rudolph”, gave them to the musicians, and the recording was knocked out. It became a very big hit.

Gene Autry had a radio show, “Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch”. He created the “cowboy code”. Number five gets our attention today. Under this code, the cowboy must:

1. never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage. 2. never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him. 3. always tell the truth. 4. be gentle with children, the elderly and animals.
5. not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas. 6. help people in distress. 7. be a good worker. 8. keep himself clean in thought, speech, action and personal habits. 9. respect women, parents and his nation’s laws. 10. be a patriot.

“Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” has become a beloved standard, without the troubling religious implications of many holiday songs. It is the second biggest selling record of all time. The only song to sell more is “White Christmas”.
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Fleetwood Mac

Posted in Georgia History, Music by chamblee54 on November 17, 2017

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PG has read the autobiography of Mick Fleetwood. If this had been a made up tale of fiction, no one would believe it. Mick is not the manufacturer of enemas, nor the namesake of a Cadillac Model. The possibility does exist that he has used those two products.

John Mayall gave his guitar player, Peter Green, some studio time as a birthday present. “The Green God” used a rhythm section from the Bluesbreakers, Mick Fleetwood (drums) and John McVie (bass). At the end of the day, Mr. Green wrote “Fleetwood Mac” on the can holding the tapes.

Before long, Mr. Green started his own band, and named it after the rhythm section. (Does anyone know the bass player and drummer of the Atlanta Rhythm Section?) Fleetwood Mac started as a blues band, and became popular in England. Mr. Fleetwood celebrated by getting together with Jenny Boyd, who became his wife. Miss Boyd is the sister of Patti Boyd, the wife of George Harrison, aka Layla.

The first Fleetwood Mac album in the USA was “Then Play On”. The first show in Atlanta was at the Oglethorpe University gym, and by all accounts was a wild night. PG saw the sign advertising the event, but did not attend.

About the time of “Then Play On”, Peter Green started to get a bit weird. He dropped out of the band, but Jeremy Spencer and Danny Kirwan were still playing guitars. For a little while. Jeremy Spencer took a walk outside a Los Angeles hotel, and got recruited by the Children of G-d. Danny Kirwan had some issues, and decided to leave the band. Bob Welch stopped by for a few years, joined by Christine McVie, the wife of John.

The band was managed at this time by Clifford Davies, who by all accounts was a nasty piece of work. A man named Bob Weston had joined the band, and lasted until he had an affair with Jenny Fleetwood. Mr. Weston was fired, and a tour canceled. Clifford Davies decided that he owned the name Fleetwood Mac, and hired a group of players to go out and do shows. Fleetwood and the Mcvies were not amused, and Mick Fleetwood took over as the manager of the band.

By 1974, the band was pushing along, and selling about 300,000 copies of each album. On Halloween night 1974, Fleetwood Mac played at the Omni with Jefferson Starship. PG was at the Municipal Auditorium that night, seeing Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt.

In late 1974 Mick was looking for a studio. He came to a place, and an album came on the speakers, Mick was impressed by the guitar player. Soon after, Bob Welch felt the need to leave the band, and Mick thought the guitar player he heard at the studio was a good fit. (The band never did auditions, just asked people they liked to join). The guitar player was Lindsay Buckingham, and his girlfriend/musical partner was Stevie Nicks. This was the band that set sales records.

The first album with Buckingham/Nicks, simply titled “Fleetwood Mac”, became a phenomenon. The band was soon headlining in stadiums, and was on every fm radio station in the land. The band went into the studio to record a follow up. The second album took over a year to produce, and saw the McVies and the Fleetwoods get divorced. Buckingham and Nicks split their common law arrangement. Out of the turmoil came “Rumours”, which has sold roughly thirty million copies.

On August 29, 1978, PG got to see Fleetwood Mac at the Omni. Mick Fleetwood was on top of his game, pounding the skins with a glee that could be seen from the cheap seats. Fleetwood was a highlight, standing two meters tall and creating havoc on the drum stand.

Reading the book tells the rest of the story. Fleetwood’s father had died earlier that summer, and Mick was devastated. The band was straining under the pressures of super duper stardom. Mick had attempted a reconciliation with his wife, which was a painful failure. There was an affair between Mick and Stevie Nicks at this time. The idea that Mick Fleetwood could perform like he did that night tells you what a trooper he was.

The story continues. The book was written in 1991. There might be a volume two. This is a repost.

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Arlo Guthrie

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Holidays, Music by chamblee54 on November 7, 2017

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This is a rerun post, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. The original post was half about Arlo Guthrie, and half about Ralph Reed. Today, only the part about Arlo Guthrie will be shown. If you absolutely must read about Ralph Reed, you can follow the link above, or read Lisa Baron And Ralph Reed TMI.

The entertainment today is about Arlo Guthrie . Thanksgiving is intimately connected to Mr. Guthrie. Unlike the turkey, Mr. Guthrie has gone on to have a flourishing career. He probably will not come down with Huntington’s Disease, which killed his father Woody Guthrie.

The video that goes with this text was the first time PG saw Arlo Guthrie. This was broadcast January 21, 1970. PG was an unhip fifteen year old, who had not heard Alice’s Restaurant, seen the movie, or been to Woodstock. He did see the Johnny Cash show this night, or at least the part where Arlo Guthrie did the motorcycle song.

To quote the digital facility PG is borrowing from:
” Born Arlo Davy Guthrie on July 10, 1947, in New York, NY; son of Woody (a folksinger) and Marjorie Mazia (a dancer; maiden name, Greenblatt) Guthrie; married Jacklyn Hyde, October 9, 1969; children: Abraham, Cathyalicia, Annie Hays, Sarah Lee.” Abraham and Sarah Lee play in Arlo’s touring band.
The Alice’s Restaurant Masacree is a part of Americana now. There are two bits of knowledge, that are as true as anything told to a Persian king. When trying to dispose of some garbage, and finding the city dump closed, Arlo found some litter by the roadside, and made a value judgment…One big pile of garbage is better than two little piles.

The second is about the draft, and the business of choosing people to fight our wars. There is a regulation today that says that Gays and Lesbians are not supposed to be soldiers and sailors. In the tale of the thanksgiving dinner, it was litterbugs. (There was also a draft, and a different war. Lots of Americans were coming home in boxes.) The bottom line: Mr. Guthrie is confused about not being considered moral enough to kill people, because he was a litterbug.

A few years into his career, Arlo Guthrie had a hit record called “City of New Orleans”. It was about a train, and said “Good Morning America”. “City of New Orleans” was written by Steve Goodman, who is no longer with us. Mr. Goodman also wrote the perfect country and western song .

PG heard a story about Steve Goodman.
“The songwriter is Steve Goodman. He gave a show at the Last Resort in Athens GA, that a friend of PG attended. Mr. Goodman tells a story about performing on a train, during a series of concerts supporting Hubert Humphrey. It seems like Mr. Goodman had to use the restroom on the train. Now, in those days, the trains did not use holding tanks, but just ejected the matter by the tracks as they rode by. Mr. Goodman was told, do not flush the commode while the train is in the station. Mr. Goodman forgot the instructions. Mr. Humphrey said ”I am going to give the people of this country what they deserve”, Mr. Goodman flushed the commode, and sprayed the crowd. PG is not sure if he believes this, but it is a good story.” ( A biographer of Mr. Goodman said said that the candidate was Edmund Muskie. He also says that David Allen Coe had nothing to do with the last verse of the perfect country and western song.)
As previously noted, this is a repost from five years ago. In that time, the policy against gay people serving in the military has been dismantled. The Ralph Reeds of the world are more upset about the concept of gay marriage, than by gay people killing Muslims. Vietnam is a peaceful country, and is enjoying economic good times. The draft is something old fogies remember. The current fashion is to support war by demanding a tax cut.

Arlo Guthrie continues to make music. USA Today had a feature recently, Arlo Guthrie celebrates 50 years at ‘Alice’s Restaurant’. Arlo Davy Guthrie has a twitter account, @folkslinger, and a full head of white hair. His wife of 43 years, Jackie Guthrie, died Oct. 14, 2012. The Lenox Square theater was torn down to make way for a food court many years ago.

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Coat Of Many Colors

Posted in Library of Congress, Music, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on August 29, 2017








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 5 years older. Dolly Parton is 5 years younger.







The B-52s

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on July 29, 2017








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There used to be a chinese restaurant, on the Atlanta Highway, called Hunan House. One night, a few people shared a flaming volcano, and formed a band. The b52s played their first show at a valentines day party in 1977. They were named for a bouffant hairstyle.

The b52’s were Ricky Wilson, his sister Cindy, Kate Pierson, Fred Schneider III, and Keith Strickland. The Wilsons and Mr. Strickland were from Athens. Miss Pierson and Mr. Schneider were from New Jersey. Planet Claire was the ancestral home.

Fred had lived in Atlanta before he moved to Athens. He stayed in an apartment on Monroe Drive, across from S&M clutch and brake company. PG knew some of his neighbors, and once rested his feet on a rug, formerly owned by Fred Schneider.

Somebody had connections, and The b52’s were playing shows in New York before long. They released a 45 on db records, “Rock Lobster” and “52 girls”. The first of the girls mentioned…there are only 23 named…is Effie. There was a famous whorehouse in Athens named Effies.

One night, they played a show at the Big Dipper, on Ponce de Leon Avenue. The Big Dipper was a former Maryland Fried Chicken, and is now something else. After the show, either Kate or Cindy was in the parking lot, talking to a local character named Beulah. As was his way, Beulah was talking about Mick Jagger this, Mick Jagger that. Finally, Kate had enough. “Fuck Mick Jagger. One day Mick Jagger will come see me, me, me.”

The b52’s were a fun band. Ricky had an unusual style on guitar, and Kate played a farfisa organ. The girls always wore big hair wigs. Fred was somewhere up front singing.

On Labor Day, 1978, PG saw the b52’s in Piedmont Park. There was a third girl that day, Wendy, who wore an inflatable beach float, and danced. The only songs PG is sure they did were “Downtown” and “Rock Lobster”. A few months later, PG saw the b52’s at the Agora ballroom. The Brains opened.

Sometime in late 1979, the eponymous first album came out. It became a hit, with dance clubs all over playing “Planet Claire”, “Dance this mess around”, and “6060-842”. In the summer of 1980, PG talked with a former Athenian in a hostel in Cannon Beach, Oregon. He mentioned that Cindy was the only heterosexual in the band.

The years went by, and more albums were released. On October 12, 1985, Ricky Wilson died of AIDS. He is buried in Oconee Hill Cemetery, behind Sanford Stadium in Athens. He sold bus tickets at the Greyhound station in downtown Athens before he hit the bigtime.

The band continues to this day. At some point, “Love Shack” was released, and became a hit. It is probably the best known b52’s song today. This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

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688

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Music by chamblee54 on July 11, 2017








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.








The Kinks

Posted in GSU photo archive, Music by chamblee54 on June 30, 2017

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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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The Last Night Of Judy Garland

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on June 21, 2017






“In march of 1969, Judy married her fifth husband, Mickey Devinko, better known as Mickey Deans, a gay night-club promoter. Judy had an unfortunate habit of marrying gay men. They lived together in a tiny mews house in Chelsea, London. The evening of Saturday June 21 1969, Judy and Mickey were watching a documentary, The Royal Family, on television, when they had an argument. Judy ran out the door screaming into the street, waking the neighbors.
Several versions of what happened next exist, but the fact remains that a phone call for Judy woke him at 10:40 the next morning, and she was not sleeping in the bed. He searched for her, only to find the bathroom door locked. After no response, he climbed outside to the bathroom window and entered to find Judy, sitting on the toilet. Rigor Mortis had set in. Judy Garland, 47, was dead.
The press was already aware of the news before the body could be removed. In an effort to prevent pictures being taken of the corpse, she was apparently draped over someone’s arm like a folded coat, covered with a blanket, and removed from the house with the photographers left none the wiser.
The day Judy died there was a tornado in Kansas…. in Saline County,KS, a rather large F3 tornado (injuring 60, but causing no deaths) did hit at 10:40 pm on June 21st, that would be 4:40 am, June 22nd, London time, the morning she died. I know the time of death has never been firmly established, but since Rigor Mortis had already set in, I think this tornado may very much be in the ballpark in terms of coinciding with time of death…. Other news articles suggest the tornado struck Salina “late at night” which could certainly also mean after midnight on June 22, or roughly 6:00 am London time…

The Toledo Blade for June 24th, also in an article located right next to a picture of Garland, in a write-up on the Salina tornado noted that “Late Saturday [June 21] and early Sunday [June 22, another batch of tornadoes struck in central Kansas.” So it seems the legend seems confirmed.”

The text for this story comes from Findadeath. You can spend hours at this site. This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.






Duane Allman And The Coricidin Bottle

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on May 27, 2017





Gregg Allman appeared on Live Talks LA, selling a book, My Cross to Bear. Yes, he was coherent. Mr.Allman says something about going through rehab seventeen times. No one argues disputes that he has had an interesting life. This remarkable life ended May 27, 2017. RIP

The chat has a few parts left out. Dicky Betts and Cher are not mentioned. The title of “strangest dude I ever met” goes to Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson, aka the black guy in the group. Gregg says he used to listen to stuff by Roland Kirk.

The story of Duane Allman learning to play slide guitar is good. Duane was sick. Gregg came to see his brother, who was playing the guitar in a new way. It seems the doctor had given him some pills called Coricidin. You take the pills out of the glass bottle, soak the label off, and you have a guitar slider.

When PG was a kid, his uncle was a representative for the company that sold Coriciden. There were boxes of samples in the house, which all came in the glass bottle. PG had not heard that name for forty eight years. The spell check suggestion is Coincidence.

Not everyone at amazon was impressed by the book. “the book was so damged the binding and jacket were ripped that a did not read the book and will not buy an more nick malick.”

This is a repost, with pictures from The Library of Congress. There are two group shots, broken down into smaller images. One is a graduating class of a nursing school at Georgetown University. The photographer lists the date as between 1905 and 1945.

The other image is a line of people waiting to vote. The well dressed citizens are in Clarenden VA. The date is November 4, 1924. The democratic presidential candidate, John W. Davis, was nominated on the 103rd ballot of the democratic convention. He lost to Calvin Coolidge.