Sunday, May 24, 2020

Hard Rain

Another Hard Rain - - he may have blown out his voice on this but it was worth it. Was sitting like in 6th row afternoon show in Providence within a couple of days of this recording. Mick Ronson with greatest guitar. Whole band powering chords. Rob Stoner bass leading the ensemble. Dylan declaiming. A total blast.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Little Richard

I got to see Little Richard one time. He headlines a Dick Clark Oldies Show at Milwaukee Summerfest in 1971. Following the lead of the declining Beatles (“Get Back”) and reborn Rolling Stones (“Brown Sugar”) and the periodical hood ornament light of Creem magazine, we were migrating to rocknroll and glad to be in the presence of the pioneer spirit Richard, who had begun to go on the Johnny Carson Tonight Show to be outrageous.

Now he has left this world. May 9, 2020.

So, Richard was top of the bill, but that was a tough one, cause it was quite a bill. I am sure he would be hard to follow, but on the other hand it wasn’t easy for him to follow the Drifters, Coasters, Bo Diddley (who I got to talk to through the chain link fence at the foot of the stage) and Chuck Berry. Chuck really hit a home run. As a result, Little Richard was kind of anti-climatic. He went straight to ‘acting up’ and he kept repeating that he was the greatest, the prettiest, the thingiest and so on.

He however was a great favorite. I got his 16-greatest hits at Soulville on Main St in Racine about the time that Lady Madonna or Fats is Back came out, and every number was a beauty. Nothing over 2 minutes and 24 seconds. In a way I think he was the essential leader of rocknroll, cause he had that wildmanness. Which he put into rock like a knife in the back. Tutti Frutti, Long Tall Sally, Send Me Some Lovin, Rip it Up, Keep a Knockin, Good Golly Miss Molly, Jenny Jenny. True Fine Mama. Lucille. Miss Ann. More. He was King of RocknRoll.

I had a summer job at Johnsons where I was paired as a painter with Jim Chones (he painted the high stuff, I painted the low stuff). And one day he asked me what kind of music I liked. I said: "Little Richard."

And Jim said: "I hear he's a punk."

Woh, that was scary. At that point I'd never seen him, only heard his records.

Punk was a term I hadnt heard used that way before. "Punks" were guys from St. Josephs in Kenosha who wore leather jackets, delinquents carrying lead pipes, etc. But I could tell that Jim was using "punk" to say 'gay'.  Well it's got a good beat and you can dance to it... not sure how the conversation wound down ... but changing the subject was okay with me.

Anyway, to finsh, "punk" is Richard in a way -  the whole crazy excuberance of rocknroll and - later - punk rock starts with Little Richard abandon. He greatly influenced Paul McCartney. He practically cloned Larry Williams from his own rib – who greatly influenced John Lennon. He also was the inspiration for Otis Redding and James Brown. And where else could you say that a massive chunk of Mick Jaeger persona came from? Or glass eating hard hitting Iggy Pop?

I knew he was getting on in years and this day would come. I'm so glad he lived so long and was able to do so much.

So many great renditions of Richard live on online. There is he in England in the 60s with the Sound Syndicate one of the Shindig house bands and with three saxes. I think he was showing off his advantage over Jerry Lewis. Doing Whole Lotta Shaking Going on - which was orignally done by Sunnyland Slim...but that is another story!

Of course, a great part of the Richard Story was the slippin and sliding to and from Gospel. One night in early October, 1957 before 40,000 fans at an outdoor arena in Sydney, he had an epiphany.

“That night Russia sent off that very first Sputnik,” he told a writer named White, referring to the first satellite sent into space. “It looked as though the big ball of fire came directly over the stadium about two or three hundred feet above our heads. It shook my mind. It really shook my mind. I got up from the piano and said, ‘This is it. I am through. I am leaving show business to go back to God.’” [From the New York Times obituary.]

Go on Little Richard! Go on with your Total Self! And that's the way it is. Now you know the Rest of the Story. This is Paul Harvey, Good Day! - Paul Harvey

Little Richard - An Original

Monday, April 27, 2020

Earth rising over the Moon captured by the Japanese lunar orbiter spacecraft Kaguya

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