Observations and comment.

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May he not fade away.

Fifty years ago today my relatively serene childhood was cruelly upended by the sudden death of my idol, Buddy Holly, in a plane crash in the corn fields of Iowa.

This precocious twenty-two-year old rock & roll singer/songwriter/guitarist was lost to the world after writing and recording an inspiring body of work in three short years. (I would argue that Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Buddy Holly were the prime R&R movers in the '50s.)


First impressions.

These uncertain economic times find many of us looking for work, dusting-off resumes, and gearing up for job interviews. I suppose it's a "duh" that we have to make a great first impression on these interviews. But in case we need reminding, I thought I'd dig out another story from my rock & roll memoirs to make the point.

In the rock world the job interview takes the form of an audition. You come in and play, because if you can't cut it musically there's nothing to talk about. But the principle's the same: you want to make a killer first impression.

This was a lesson learned the hard way for me thirty-five years ago when I was making a living in music. I had heard that the Ike & Tina Turner Revue—one of the hottest R&B groups on planet Earth at the time—were looking for a drummer. I was playing piano in honky-tonk bars at the time but drumming was what I did best, and I was able to talk my way into an audition.

I remembered seeing Ike & Tina open for the Rolling Stones at the LA Forum when Tina upstaged them with a wildly feverish performance that forever put her on the map as a powerhouse singer. The Ike & Tina Revue were a world-class act.


Sweet home Alabama.

Here's a deeply disturbing video of the Leningrad Cowboys and the Russian Army in concert. First it was Georgia on their mind, now Alabama. But we've decoded the pattern here at blfr.

Eastern Europe was merely a smokescreen. It's the American Deep South they're after! And they're using our rock & roll to turn the tables against us.


Passion and profitability.

Canaligator Of the dozen musical ensembles I performed with in my twenties—the "artistic period" of my life—the most interesting one was a street-singing band, Uncle Crusty and the Venice Canaligators.

The group was named after the scenic canals of Venice, California and the scenic Uncle Crusty. His real name was Hook McGuire, a lovable, grizzly, one-armed harmonica player (he lost his hook in prison) who sang like Howlin' Wolf.


The long and winding high road.

Imagine being unexpectedly and hastily canned from a small business without ever receiving an explanation why—a business that you had worked diligently to build up for two years.

And imagine the customers of this business being so distraught at your dismissal that they rioted at the injustice of it.

And imagine this small business achieving worldwide popularity a year-and-a-half later, and your former partners becoming multi-gazillionaires while you scraped around for any job you could find. You could be forgiven for being a tad bitter. In fact, no one would blame you for being indefinitely pissed-off.


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