Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New York City Images As Album/CD Cover Art #10 - Stan Fisher "Hi-Fi Harmonica Over Broadway"

(Image via: ArtSkoolDamage)

Stan Fisher

"Hi-Fi Harmonica Over Broadway"

Released: 1960

Subways of Times Square, NYC - 1986

Spotted this over at Gothamist earlier today - cool video of the Subways running beneath Times Square circa. 1986 - something I never experienced until 1997. Quite a different experience from a subway ride in NYC these days - much less visually stimulating now. And right away you'll notice - no one on a cell phone. No one texting. People seemingly walking with a destination and a purpose, actually looking where they were going. Sometimes 1986 doesn't seem all that long ago...other times it seems like a million years ago.

A Tune For Tuesday: Druel "Lift Me Up"

T.A.T.S.O.L. thanks Youtube user PeaceFistMultiMedia for FINALLY uploading some DRUEL!

One From The Archives: 03/29/05 Mudvayne/Life Of Agony/American Head Charge/Bloodsimple @ Roy Wilkins Auditorium, St. Paul, MN

03/29/05 Mudvayne/Life Of Agony/American Head Charge/Bloodsimple @ St. Paul, MN
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Scene On The Street: 03/19/11 - Video Camera, 1st Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN

(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)

The P.M.R.C. Files: 09/12/85 - "Furor Over Rock Lyrics Intensifies"

P.M.R.C. Filthy Fifteen List (1985)
(Images via: NYCDreamin Archives)

"Furor Over Rock Lyrics Intensifies"
by Robert Love
Rolling Stone Magazine - 09/12/85

A small group of well connected Washington women is spearheading the most serious protest against rock lyrics since Spiro Agnew's 1971 crusade to rid popular culture of drug references. This time the primary targets are the heavy-breathing hits of Prince and Madonna and the "sadomasochistic" messages of heavy metal groups like Motley Crue and Judas Priest. The Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC), which includes the wives of Treasury Secretary James Baker and Democratic Senator Al Gore of Tennessee, wields sufficient political clout to have already persuaded the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee to tenatively schedule hearings on the subject for September 19 [1985].

The PMRC wants the music industry to voluntarily institute standardized ratings, similar to movie ratings, for records, tapes and videos. Songs with sexually explicit or profane lyrics would receive an X; those that refer to the occult would receive an O; and those that glorify violence would receive a V. Also on the group's agenda is a demand that printed lyrics be available so that parents can look at them prior to purchasing a record. In addition, record labels, distributors and broadcasters are being pressured to "exhibit voluntary restraint" in what the group calls "pornographic" nd violent material.

"We're not censors," Tipper Gore, 37, a co-founder of the five-member PMRC and the mother of four young children. "We want a tool from the industry that is peddling this stuff to children, a consumer tool with which parents can make an informed decision on what to buy. What we're talking about is a sick new strain of rock music glorifying everything from forced sex to bondage and rape."

Tipper Gore at Tower Records with a copy of the [then] latest LP by California metal outfit Bitch, titled "Be My Slave"

Cited as particularly offensive examples are Prince's "Darling Nikki" ("I met her in a hotel lobby/Masturbating with a magazine") and Judas Priest's "Eat Me Alive," a song Gore says is about "oral sex at gunpoint."

In attempt to forstall legislative action, the recording industry has been meeting privately to discuss preventive strategies. When contacted, chief executives at the major labels have refused to comment. But Stanley Gortikov, president of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), has met with executives of nineteen lables, and in an August 5th letter to PMRC president Pam Howar, he presented the record industry's position. The PMRC's requests, Gortikov wrote, "involve complications that would make compliance impossible." Publishers, he explained, not record companies, own the rights to print lyrics. In addition, a label never has full control over packaging or display of recordings or over the way its artists present themselves in performance or on video. A rating system that requires for or five categories, Gortikov wrote, would be "totally impractical."

Instead, the RIAA members would agree to "individually apply a printed inscription on packaging of future record releases to identify blantant, explicit lyric content in order to inform those concerned parents and children. An industry-wide text will be developed and used." The labels, through the RIAA will work with the PMRC to finalize the stickers language, but Gortikov's letter offers one suggestion: "Parental Guidance: Explicit Lyrics." Use of the sticker would be determined on a company-by-company basis.

Explicit Lyrics Sticker
The Sticker! The Sticker will save us from these evil, perverted rock groups.

This practice - applied most recently for Eurythmics' 1984 soundtrack album and for Marvin Gaye's "Dream of a Lifetime" - doesn't seem to satisfy the PMRC. "I don't think that addresses the problem, " Says Gore. "We want an industry-wide standard created by the industry. If you're going to leave it up to the individual record comapnies, just leave the mess the way it is."

Though rock lyrics have come under attack in the past, the PMRC's crusade has garnered an unusual ammount of attention. As Gortikov wrote in a confidential letter to record companies, "I cannont escape continuing dialog with the PMRC group, particularly in view of its Washington links."

"The Washington Wives," as they've become known, had met with Edward Fritts, president of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), after his wife attended a lecture given by the group. Fritts acted with urgency, requesting that forty-five record labels send lyric sheets with new releases to all radio stations to aid program directors in their choices. He also sent warning letters to 806 station owners, enclosing the lyrics to "Darling Nikki" and another Prince composition, Sheena Easton's "Sugar Walls," a song with thinly veiled references to female arrousal.

"What we've got is a group of well connected Washington parents who are raising the issue to the level of national public debate," said Fritts. "If the industry does not voluntarily respond, the PMRC would be prepared and in a position to propose legislation which would restrain the industry, which we are against."

Since Federal Communications Commission (FCC) guidelines already determine the acceptability of what may go on the air, many in the broadcasting industry considered Fritts' actions to be alarmist. As Charlie Kendall, program director of WNEW-FM in New York, remarked, "We know what the lyrics are to the songs we play, and I know what my community can take. There is always gonna be an element that doesn't like rock and roll. But as long as I keep it clean and within FCC guidelines, I say 'Fuck 'em.'"

The PMRC's primary objective, a standardized record-rating system, similar to the one instituted in 1968 by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), has been consistently dismissed by the record companies as impractical and ultimately ineffective.

According to RIAA statistics, roughly 2500 LPs, each with about ten songs, are released every year, some within days of recording. If a rating system were imposed, all 25,000 songs would have to be rated, because of the possibility of release as a single. "We would clearly be looking at a very large staff of people to rate that many records," says Robbin Ahrold, a vice-president of communications for RCA Records. "Tunes on the smae album can be very different, and you really can't give a single rating to an LP."

A spokesperson for CBS Records says, "We feel that there is already in place an informal system of checks and balances, which involes producers, record-company executives, broadcasters and teh artists themselves - and it functions pretty well. These women have been documenting a miniscule number of offensive lyrics; it's the same songs over and over again."

Beyond the logistics of a rating system are thornier questions of artistic freedom and integrity. Who would rate the records, and how would it be done? Motion picture guidelines are quite specific; nudity and four-letter words require that a film get a certain rating. "In films, there's no interpretation," says Ahrold. "Record-lyric rating, by it's very nature, would have be highly interpretive. And that brings up the question of whose standards rule the ratings. We feel that is a basically irresolvable issue."

Russ Solomon, founder of the Tower Records retail chain says, "A rating system would be conterproductive. If it ever comes to pass, it will only increase the sale of certain records." Solomon, who says he has never refused to carry a record because of its lyrical content or potentially offensive artwork, also thinks such a system would be impractical. "Ratings would have to get into slang and language that no one understands. When they finally realized what [Jefferson Airplane's} 'White Rabbit' was about, the record was dead and gone for four years."

The PMRC has also aimed its sights at rock video, particularly because of MTV's popularity among young children. "I'm disturbed by the portrayal of women and the graphic violence on MTV," says Gore. "An older person or a teeneager can look at this and see the humor in it, but an eight - or - ten-yer-old isn't anesthetized yet. Powerful images on television, wheter it's MTV orthe A-Team, have a strong effect on younger kids." She recalls that two of her preteenage children were confused and alarmed by Van Halen's "Hot For Teacher," a video in which a teacher strips down to a brief bikini, to the delight of her students.

MTV initiated a meeting with the PMRC, according to a spokesperson, "to outline for them the standards that we've had in place from the very beginning. We program for a twelve-to-thirty-four-year-old audience, and we think our standards are stricter than the networks." MTV executives pointed out to the groupthat videos don't exist for many of teh songs the PMRC objected to. "Or if they do, we have either declined to play them or played them only after they were sent back for editing."

The PMRC has additionally sought to have offensive album covers kept from public view, and the group wants warnings issued to prospective buyers of concert tickets for "burlesque-type" stage shows. Gore cites reports that Billy Idol allowed two young female fans to fondle him and that Twisted Sister encouraged female fans to strip on stage.

The PMRC is only the most visible organization in a growing network of more conservative regional groups. The National Music Review Council, a nascent organization started by William J. Steding, executive vice-president of two radio stations in Dallas and Kansas City, wants to initiate a seal of approval for acceptible, positive records. "If a record is found objectionable by the council," says Steding, "it will make it out to the stores and radio stations, but without the seal. It's apositive approach, not unlike the Good Housekeeping seal." Steding, who has banned from his stations such songs as J. Geils' "Love Stinks" and Devo's "Whip It," has sought the support of Smokey Robinson, who, as a Motown vice-president, has spoken out recently against what he calls "porn rock."

"I don't want to name names, but you know who they are," said Robinson. Ironically, two of his label's acts, Rick James and the Mary Jane Girls, are consistently criticized by the PMRC for suggestive lyrics.

Editorials by former Reagan aide David Gergen in US News and World Report and articles in The Washington Post and Newsweek ("Stop Pornographic Rock") have decried the blatant lyrics of Prince, Madonna, and even Cyndi Lauper. Syndicated columnist M. Lee Smith tagged Prince and Kiss "purveyors of filth."

After testifying at the congressional hearings, the PMRC plans to participate in a panel discussion at the NAB convention in Dallas this September and is busy organizing its wealth of grass-roots support. "We're going to have to put a national organization in place, on a state-by-state basis," says Tipper Gore. "We're seeking a coalition with the PTA, the American Academy of Pediatrics, labor, anyone who is willing to help. The key question for the industry, whether its records or MTV, is: Could you exercise some self restraint where these excesses - explicit sex, grapic violence -have occured?"


"The P.M.R.C. Files"...to be continued.

Remembering Randy Castillo 12/18/50 - 03/26/02

Randy Castillo on the cover of "Modern Drummer" Magazine - November 1987

From Wikipedia...
Randy Castillo died on March 26, 2002. He was 51 years old. During the final weeks of his life, Castillo had been working with ex-Ozzy Osbourne and Alice in Chains bassist Mike Inez on a new band and was in the process of hiring a singer.

In 1984, Randy was hired to play drums for Lita Ford and was featured on her Dancin' On The Edge album. Lita introduced Randy to her boyfriend, Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx, and Nikki’s bandmate Tommy Lee. Shortly after the “Dancin’ on the Edge” tour, Tommy called Randy from a party he was at with Ozzy Osbourne and told him Ozzy was looking for a new drummer. Despite being unable to audition right away due to a broken leg he suffered while skiing, Randy was hired by Ozzy a couple months later and ended up staying with the Ozzy Osbourne band for ten years, recording five albums with Ozzy during that time. These were The Ultimate Sin (1986), No Rest for the Wicked (1988), an EP entitled Just Say Ozzy (1990), No More Tears (1991), and a double-disc live album, Live and Loud (1993).

After recording Ozzy's live album in 1993, he joined Red Square Black. Castillo also briefly returned to Osbourne's band in 1995 for a tour, and played drums on several tribute albums during this time. He played with Ronnie James Dio on a cover of Alice Cooper's "Welcome To My Nightmare" on the Alice Cooper tribute album Humanary Stew and performed all drumming duties on a star-studded Def Leppard tribute album titled Leppardmania.

In 1999, after Tommy Lee had left Mötley Crüe, Sharon Osbourne called Randy and told him about the job opening. Mötley Crüe gave him the job without an audition. He'd previously briefly played with Vince Neil as a touring drummer for the Vince Neil Band, and was an old friend of the band. His only recording with the band, 2000's New Tattoo, was somewhat of a return to the classic Mötley Crüe sound. However, fan reaction was mixed and the album was not as successful as the band was hoping it would be. Still, there was excitement over the upcoming tour due to the revival in interest of many '80s hard rock acts, and the band geared up for their "Maximum Rock" tour with thrash metal legends Anthrax and Megadeth.

A couple of weeks before Mötley Crüe was set to tour the “New Tattoo” album, Randy became ill while performing with his mariachi side project Azul at the Cat Club in Hollywood. Immediately after the show Randy took a cab to nearby Cedars Sinai Hospital where he collapsed as he was being admitted. The doctors discovered a duodenal ulcer that had ruptured his stomach and performed emergency surgery that saved Randy’s life. While taking time off from Mötley Crüe to recover from his surgery, Randy discovered a small lump on his jaw and a month later, after it had grown to roughly the size of a golf ball, he sought treatment and was diagnosed with Squamous cell Carcinoma, a common form of cancer that is not usually fatal if it is discovered early but can spread rapidly if left untreated. The cancer went into remission in mid-2001, and he was rumored to be rejoining Osbourne's solo band for that summer Ozzfest tour (along with Geezer Butler on bass), though these rumors were later revealed to be untrue.

Within a few months the cancer returned, and a few days after returning to the doctors, Randy Castillo died on March 26, 2002.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

One From The Archives: 03/23/60 "Go, Johnny Go!" Opens @ New Prague Theatre, New Prague, MN

03/23/60 Go Johnny Go @ New Prague, MN
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)

In this 1959 film, rock-n-roll promoter Alan Freed holds a talent search to develop a new rock star, then must find the elusive, mystery contestant who doesn't know he has won.

Featuring the talents of: Alan Freed, Jimmy Clanton, Sandy Stewart, Chuck Berry, Jackie Wilson, Richie Valens, The Cadillacs, Jo Ann Campbell, The Flamingoes, Eddie Cochran.

51 years later, the movie makes its debut here on T.A.T.S.O.L. - Enjoy!

New York City Images As Album/CD Cover Art #9: Miles Davis & John Coltrane "Live In New York"

Miles Davis & John Coltrane Live In New York
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)

Miles Davis & John Coltrane
"Live In New York"
Released: 1959/Re-Issued on CD in 2006

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Saturday, March 19, 2011

First Avenue Shows New York Rockers Some Love

Last summer, we reported that famed music dive First Avenue in Minneapolis was getting a makeover...the years old, faded paint job outside was getting a fresh coat of paint. I worried that some of the "stars" painted on the walls of the exterior of the club might be painted over. And damned if they didn't do just that. But...they re-painted most of them - adding some new ones and getting rid of a few deemed not worthy. I've only been downtown a few times since the fresh coat of paint dried, and I never had my camera...until today.

I decided to get photos of all the New York City Rock and Rollers (and a few rappers too!) who've graced the First Avenue stage over the years, now represented on the walls outside the club...you might know some of these.

03-19-11 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN01

03-19-11 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN (Ace Frehley)

03-19-11 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN (Anthrax)

03-19-11 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN (Beastie Boys)

03-19-11 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN (G.G. Allin)

03-19-11 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN (Jim Carroll)

03-19-11 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN (Johnny Thunders)

03-19-11 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN (Misfits)

03-19-11 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN (Patti Smith)

03-19-11 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN (Plasmatics)

03-19-11 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN (Public Enemy)

03-19-11 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN (Ramones)

03-19-11 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN (Run DMC)

03-19-11 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN (Sick Of It All)

03-19-11 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN (Sonic Youth)
(All Images: 03/19/11 via NYCDreamin Archives)

Suggested Reading: "Making Tracks: The Rise Of Blondie" by Debbie Harry, Chris Stein and Victor Bockris (1982/1998)

Making Tracks: The Rise of BlondieMaking Tracks: The Rise of Blondie by Debbie Harry

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The definitve, must read history of Blondie. Debbie Harry, along with Chris Stein and Victor Bockris take the reader back in time, tracing the history of the band from it's humble Bowery origins all the way through their breakthrough worldwide succeses of the early 1980's. The (now) rare book is packed with amazing rare photos that make a copy worth almost whatever price you have to pay to obtain one.

03/19/82 Remembering What Was And Wondering What Might Have Been: The Tragic Death of Randy Rhoads

Randy Rhoads (Photo by John Livzey)0001
Blizzard Of Ozz guitarist Randy Rhoads (photo by John Livzey)
(Originally published: Guitar World Magazine, June 1987)

29 years ago today, hard rock/heavy metal fans around the world were saddened to learn of the tragic, senseless and completely avoidable death of Ozzy Osbourne's 25 year-old hotshot guitarist, Randy Rhoads, who was killed in a small airplane crash in Leesburg, Florida. Also killed in the crash were the pilot, Andrew Aycock, who was Ozzy's tour bus driver at the time, and the band's costume designer and cook, 58 year-old Rachel Youngblood.

I recently stumbled across this clip on Youtube which contains some archived audio from original radio and TV broadcasts from the day of - and the days immediately following - Rhoads' death.

You can read the rather disturbing and heartbreaking Coroners report on Rhoads' post-mortem autopsy at OzzyHead.com.

Randy Rhoads Final Resting Place, Mountainview Cemetery, San Bernardino, CA  (Photo by Anthony Saint James)
Final resting place of a guitar God.
Location: Mountainview Cemetery, San Bernardino, CA.
(Photo by Anthony Saint James - Guitar World Magazine March 2005)

Friday, March 18, 2011

33 Years Ago Today: An Intimate Little Gathering Known As "Cal Jam II"

(Image via: Audio Heritage.org)

On this date in 1978, nearly 300,000 music fans packed into the grounds of the Ontario Motor Speedway near Los Angeles, California to enjoy a day of sunshine and rock and roll provided by some of the mega-stars of the time - the event was called "Cal Jam II."

(Image via: iOffer.com)
According to a review of the show in Circus Magazine, tickets ranged in price from $12.50 to $17.00. Additionaly, "The largest single crowd in California and possibly the biggest paid attendance in the history of rock stretched for a mile and a half beyond the stage. In spite of 1,000 security guards surrounding the Speedway, an ambitious few thousand crashed the gates. By 7:00pm Friday night, the San Bernardino Freeway leading into the festival was choked with cars. It wouldn't clear until 9:00am the next morning. Scheduled for Saturday from 10:00am to 10:00pm, the Jam started at 9:00am and lasted till 11:00pm."

"Hmmm," you say. "I bet that was a fun show."

Yeah, no SHIT, sherlock. See for yourself...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Suggested Reading: "Punk Diary: The Ultimate Trainspotters Guide to Underground Rock 1970 - 1982" by George Gimarc

Punk Diary: The Ultimate Trainspotter's Guide to Underground Rock, 1970-1982Punk Diary: The Ultimate Trainspotter's Guide to Underground Rock, 1970-1982 by George Gimarc

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"Punk Diary: The Ultimate Trainspotter's Guide to Underground Rock 1970 -1982" by George Gimarc is not really a book you sit down and read - there is just too much information contained in the 744 pages of this book. It's the kind of book you keep around and pick up when you have 5 or 10 minutes to kill and just open it up and begin reading any page...you will always come away learning something about a band you like listening to. The Foreword of the book describes it perfectly:

"What makes this unlike any other rock book is that it treats the scene on a day-to-day basis, diary style, the way it actually happened, the only way that this tangled web can make sense. Each entry details record releases, bands getting together or breaking up, riots, arrests, and revealing quotes from personalities of the day. There's even a "live tonight" gig guide of who was playing where each night. The sources include a decade's worth of music newspapers, front-room fanzines, a towering stack of records, magazines, in-depth personal interviews and copious notes. You'll find detailed listings for 1,276 bands (!), 3,187 singles, 1,334 albums and 12-inch singles, and even 50 cassette-only releases.

Going through the book from beginning to end, you will experience what it was like to watch the scene unfold, without having to change wardrobe. This is not a book of record reviews. In Punk Diary: The Ultimate Trinspotters Guide to nderground Rock 1970 - 1982 there are no foregone conclusions, no value judgements. Make your own connections between the people and events and see who influenced who, what was real and what was contrived. There will be myths shattered and forgotten heroes found."

This book is an absolute must-own for anyone who considers themselves knowledgable about the 1970's era "underground" punk scenes in both the U.S. and the U.K. Within it's pages, you will re-read some things you already know and have read previously in other publications, but I guarantee you, you will also find much here that you didn't know and have not previously read - an amazing wealth of information.

First Avenue Axes Ticketmaster

Local music writer Chris Riemenschneider, writing in this week's print edition of Vita.MN, reports legendary Minneapolis music venue First Avenue has severed ties with the evil Ticketmaster.

According to the piece: "First Avenue is ending its relationship with Ticketmaster. With its longstanding Ticketmaster deal expiring, the vaunted Twin Cities club is switching to eTix. First Avenue general manager Nate Kranz promises more efficiency and smaller fees. He predicts that handling fees will drop by 20 to 40 per cent, depending on the show."

And to this news, we here at T.A.T.S.O.L. say "Hell yeah!"

Tickets For Upcoming Twin Cities Area Concerts On Sale This Weekend

06/24/11 Motley Crue/Poison/New York Dolls @ Target Center, Minneapolis, MN (ad)
On Sale Friday at 10:00am

Complete list of Motley Crue/Poison/New York Dolls Tour Dates HERE.

05/07/11 Tesla @ Medina Entertainment Center, Medina, MN (ad)
On Sale Sunday @ 10:00m

Tesla played the Treasure Island Casino in Welch, MN on 01/14/11. We were there - full show review and videos available for your enjoyment HERE.

One From The Archives: 03/17/07 Sevendust @ Myth, Maplewood, MN

03/17/07 Sevendust @ Maplewood, MN
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New York City Images As Album/CD Cover Art #8 - Blondie "Autoamerican"

Blondie Autoamerican (1980)
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)

Released: November 1980
Artwork by: Martin Hoffman

Update: 6:45am
*NYC based blogger and fellow music enthusiast Alex over at Flaming Pablum recently had a few thoughts on Blondie's "Autoamerican" LP as well. Click the link to check that out.

One From The Archives: 03/16/06 Naked Beggars @ Dibbo's, Hudson, WI

03/16/?? Naked Beggars @ Hudson, WI
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

An Epic Interview With Gary Lachman a.k.a. Gary Valentine

Thanks to Jo Caulfield for sending us the link to this great interview with Gary Lachman a.k.a. Gary Valentine, former bassist for Blondie. Coincidentally, I'm currently reading the long out-of-print (1982 - republished briefly in 1998) "Making Tracks: The Rise of Blondie," a book filled with rare photos and great stories from Debbie Harry and Chris Stein. The book was written by them along with Victor Bockris. I'll have a review of that here shortly.

In Stores Today: New York Dolls "Dancing Backward In High Heels"

The New York Dolls' newest set, "Dancing Backward In High Heels" hits store shelves today. Get off your ass, get to your local record store and pick up a copy and see if we can help the Dolls sell at least a few thousand units in their first week of release.

A Tune For Tuesday: War & Peace Edition

Which will it be?

Gorky Park
"Peace In Our Time" (1989)

"Violent Revolution" (Live at Wacken Germany, 2005)

One From The Archives: 03/15/06 The Cult @ First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN

03/15/06 The Cult @ Minneapolis, MN (Top)
03/15/06 The Cult @ Minneapolis, MN (Bottom)
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)