In Graham Nash’s recently published memoir, there is a surprisingly candid anecdote about David Crosby, his bandmate in two of the biggest ever folk rock bands, Crosby, Stills & Nash (CSN) and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSNY). Presumably in the early 1970s, when CSN had come into some money, Crosby and Nash, then scruffy, long-haired hippies, walked into a Mercedes dealership in California and to the surprise of the salesmen, promptly bought a car each, paid, and left. But the real story comes later. Soon after buying his new Merc, Crosby sold it to a drug dealer to pay for whatever substance he needed. The story doesn’t end there. When the drug dealer died of an overdose, Crosby sneaked into his house and stole the sales slip, which gave him back the ownership of the car. [Read more]
Recommendation: If you haven’t watched the music critic and author Anthony DeCurtis’s more than an hour-long interview with Reed, there’s a link here.
For much of the last fortnight, I have been listening to Lou Reed’s music, re-exploring especially his and the Velvet Underground’s discography of the 1960s and early ’70s. But there’s been quite a bit of new music on my playlist too. Here’s a listing in no particular order. [Read more]
Tucked away deep in the recesses of the iTunes store, I found a 2-CD compilation named The Psychedelic Salvage Company
. In it was a set full of songs by bands that I’d barely heard of. Dating back to the 1960s and 1970s, these were bands that were part of the British underground wave of psychedelic rock during those two decades but not quite the ones I was familiar with. Instead of Pink Floyd, Traffic, Cream or Soft Machine, this compilation had bands such as Toby Jug, Peggy’s Leg, Out of Darkness, Ptolomy Psycon, The Roland Kovac Set, and Sam Gopal
. Strangely named bands all of them but with one common thread: they made music that sounds deliriously trippy. Music that immediately conjures up images of groovy bell-bottoms, peace signs, platform shoes and droopy moustaches. They have another common factor: all of those bands are among the early vanguard of the British prog-rock movement. [Read more]
It’s rock that does it best for me. It can come in whatever stripe – indie, heavy metal, with an orchestra or without, with a synth or without, folk-infused, progressive… you name it. Rock is my first preference when I want to listen to music. I like the blues too and R&B, some hip-hop, some post-rock, electronic dance music even, and sometimes experimental avant garde but not as much as I like rock. But there are those occasions when nothing but a classic jazz album will work for me. At such times, my well-thumbed sleeve of Miles Davis’ 1970 double album, Bitches Brew is brought out, and spun and, in spite of the nasty scratch on Spanish Key (first track on Side 3), I marvel for the umpteenth time at the fabulousness of that towering jazz-rock fusion album, its tracks, of course, but also the deadly line-up that trumpet guru Davis got together for it. [Read more]