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Sunday, May 19, 2013



The Rolling Stones
1962-2013 (51 Year Anniversary) :: “The Rolling Stones lasting twenty, thirty years—what a stupid idea that would be.” – Lester Bangs, CREEM, December 1973

Crossfire Hurricane (Eagle Vision DVD) :: The greatest Rolling Stones concert I ever saw was the gold long-sleeved jumpsuited evening show at Maple Leaf Gardens on July 15, 1972. Sure, the white short-sleeved jumpsuited with audience-supplied black top hat matinée show was great; and the two long-haired striped pajama shows I saw in 1975 were almost as equally awesome—especially since I took over 150 photos while I was there—but there’s nothing like seeing the Stones swelter on stage in a 110 plus degree concrete sweat box on a hot July night to see what kind of stern stuff they’re really made of.

You may not need a Weatherman to know which way the wind blows, but when there is no wind, you can always depend on crack meteorologist Mick Jagger to give you updates on the quarter hour.

After three songs: “It’s good to back in the black hole of Toronto...where it’s about 150 degrees...but that’s alright...”

After six songs: “It’s hotter than a crotch up here!”

After nine songs: “I think...I’m going to”

After 12 songs: too pooped to prattle, the singer douses himself with a full bucket of water and the guitarist passes out from heat stroke as soon as he tumbles off stage.

Meanwhile, the second greatest Rolling Stones movie I ever saw was back in the ’80s when Robert Frank brought a mint print of his officially Stones-suppressed Cocksucker Blues and screened it at Massey Hall to a few thousand of the mary jane faithful, followed by a Q&A bull session. But that’s a story for another time and another column because what we’re here to talk about is the greatest officially Stones-sanctioned movie I’ve ever seen.

You can forget all about their 25th anniversary VHS-era documentary 25x5: The Continuing Adventures Of The Rolling Stones ’cause Crossfire Hurricane contains the most awesome array of rare Stones footage ever amassed in one place. Even better, director Brett Morgen has taken chunks outta almost every Rolling Stones movie extant—from Charlie Is My Darling and One Plus One to Rock And Roll Circus and Gimme Shelter to Ladies & Gentlemen and, yes, the aforementioned CS Blues—and assembled them chronologically in a socio-political context, all underscored with continual cogent and very candid contemporary comments from everyone who ever saddled up with the Stones and is still around to tell the tale.

To the band’s everlasting credit they don’t shy away from such controversial topics as the decline of Brian Jones; the disaster at Altamont; the dissipation of heroin; and the decay of Keith Richard’s teeth. Indeed, they confront everything to the point of almost morbidly wallowing in it with uncharacteristic unassuaged guilt.

To the band’s everlasting shame, they don’t mention the name “Ian Stewart” even once but, hey, it was only Stu’s band before the young’uns took it over so what the heck. Of course, it’s grievous lapses in judgment like that all throughout their career that makes the Stones the Stones, which is why this fifty year assemblage of archival footage is so fascinating to watch from beginning to end.

But not nearly as fascinating as the joyous surprise redemptive life-affirming closing credit sequence that, against all odds, will leave you with a big smile on your face and realizing that you’re a whole heckuva lot younger than you think.

The Rolling Stones
– “Mother’s Little Helper” (Decca) :: “What a drag it is getting old,” my ass.

The Beatles
– “Birthday” (Apple) :: Exactly!

Be seeing you!

Sun, May 19, 2013 | link 

Sunday, May 12, 2013





SIZZLING BOOK OF THE WEEK: Steve MillerDetroit Rock City: The Uncensored History Of Five Decades Of Rock ’n’ Roll In America’s Loudest City (Da Capo Press) :: I thought Dave DiMartino’s seminal study Motor City Mayhem: Michigan Music Unmasked As Told By The Madmen And Motherfuckers Who Made It! (Binky Books, 2011) was the absolute last word in socio-political historical hagiographies, but I was wrong.

And because I was born and raised and still live in Detroit, you can take my word for it as the Godspell truth when I tell you that you can forget all about Arms McNeil’s Please Kill Me and Rubble Hoskyn’s Led Zeppelin and Paul Tonka’s Open Up And Bleed because Steve Miller’s exhaustively titled Detroit Rock City: The Uncensored History Of Five Decades Of Rock ’n’ Roll In America’s Loudest City is hands down without a doubt nothing less than simply the all time greatest heavyweight champion Detroit rock ’n’ roll oral history book about Detroit rock ’n’ roll oral history that has ever been written, let alone published.

Trust me, I know whereof I speak because, when I wasn’t cutting classes at Cody High School or getting expelled from Wayne State University, I was listening to WKNR and CKLW via my Realtone transistor radio and soaking up the ether that led to my first job as the midnight man at W4 FM which, in turn, would lead to my getting hired first as the Showbiz Columnist at the Detroit Free Press and then as the Gossip Columnist at the Detroit News.

Next came an extended stint working for three decades in the CREEM magazine office at 210 South Woodward Avenue on staff as their Senior Political Advisor; followed by a shorter but no less rewarding ten year tenure at Metro Times as their Society Editor Emeritus.

As Boy Howdy! is my witness, you can believe me when I tell you that nobody knows more about Detroit rock ’n’ roll than I do—and that’s why I’m unconditionally qualified to give this book two “Devil Horns” up for it’s unabashed authenticity and verifiable veracity.

If author Steve Miller says a cow can lay an egg, don’t ask how—grease that skillet!

So when Ted Nugent claims on Page 11 that he never shot and killed two men (contrary to what CREEM printed); and when Ted Nugent additionally asserts on Page 40 that he never tried to get out of the draft (contrary to what he told me in a CREEM interview) YOU CAN TAKE THAT TO THE FIDELITY BANK OF MICHIGAN!!!

Because if there’s one thing that rock ’n’ roll doesn’t need—especially Detroit rock ’n’ roll, which is the most noblest form of rock ’n’ roll that America has ever known—it’s layers of obfuscating subterfuge.

Now would I say something that wasn’t true?

– “Would I Lie To You?” (RCA) :: Exactly!

Be seeing you!

Sun, May 12, 2013 | link 

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