Category Archives: Big Fan
Nicholas Drain “Nick” Lowe (born 24 March 1949) Nick Lowe was a tad older than the rest of the guys in the class of ’77. He’d already gained some fame w/ British pub rockers Brinsley Schwartz and by 1976 was the in-house producer for new punk label STIFF – whose motto was “If it ain’t Stiff it ain’t worth a fuck”. Nick would release the first Stiff single “So it Goes” b/w “Heart of the City”. Lowe would go on to produce his friends Elvis Costello and Graham Parker and the Rumor, among others and have hits of his own, scoring a Top 40 Hit w/ “Cruel to be Kind” in the US and a Top 10 UK hit w/ “I Love The Sound of Breaking Glass”. He also wrote the single “What’s so Funny ’bout Peace Love and Understanding” for his friend Elvis Costello. *Side Note: In 1979 he became Johnny Cash’s son-in-law by marring his step-daughter, Carlene Carter. The marriage would ended in 1990 but they all stayed on good terms. Johnny would even go on to record a few of Nick’s songs on his American Music series LP’s. Nick continues to tour and record regularly, most recently with Los StraitJackets.
Sly Stone (born Sylvester Stewart, March 15, 1943) He was young, handsome, and hugely talented, had a killer afro and a huge drug problem, but Jesus Christ, what the hell happened to Sly. It’s hard to imagine just how popular and influential Sly and the Family Stone were in the late sixties. It’s also hard to imagine how groundbreaking it was to be a multiracial funk band at that time. Sly along with Parliment-Funkadelic led the charge in late sixties early seventies funk explosion. S & the FS hits would include Dance to the Music, Stand, Hot Fun in the Summertime and Everyday People (to name only a few). more below
Then came the drugs (cocaine & PCP) and the concert no-shows. Live bookings had steadily dropped since 1970, because promoters were afraid that Stone or one of the band members might miss the gig, refuse to play, or pass out on stage from drug use. At many of these gigs, concert goers rioted if the band failed to show up, or if Stone walked out before finishing his set.
The 80’s saw Sly release 4 LPs under his name and the Family Stone moniker but w/ no original members and to limited success. A collaboration w/ George Clinton of Parliment failed to bring any hits. And then he vanished – sort of. It wasn’t until the Grammy appearance in 2006 that anyone really saw what became of Sly Stone. Sporting an enormous blonde mohawk, thick sunglasses, a “Sly” beltbuckle and a silver lamé suit, he joined in on “I Want To Take You Higher.” Hunched over the keyboards, he wore a cast on his right hand (the result of a recent motorcycle mishap), and a hunched back caused him to look down through most of the performance. His voice, though strong, was barely audible over the production. Stone walked to the front of the stage toward the end of the performance, sang a verse and then with a wave to the audience, sauntered offstage before the song was over. And that’s pretty much, that. Sly has sense sued is former manager receiving $5 million but continues to live out of his van in the Crenshaw neighborhood of LA. He appears occasionally but can’t really seem to make it through more than a song or two.
Richard Willis Hawley (born 17 January 1967 – Sheffield, England) Difficult to put in any specific category, part folk, part troubadour, a bit rockabilly and a bunch of pop, Richard Hawley is a truly unique artist. His first brush with popularity came with his Brit-Pop band The Longpigs in the early 90’s. Leaving the Longpigs in 2000 he played for a short bit with his friend Jarvis Cocker in Pulp. Leaving Pulp he struck out on his own recording a number of well received solo LPs – being nominated for the Mecury Prize twice. When not working on his own music Richard has written and recorded with The Arctic Monkys, Nancy Sinatra, Elbow and REM to name a few. He is currently writing music for a new Lisa Marie Presley LP (?).
With Jarvis Cocker and/or PULP
About 2004 and earlier
The Devils Arse – On Dec. 5 2008 Richard played a live show at The Peak Cavern (or Devils Arse, named for the flatulent sound the cave makes when water drains away). The name of the cave was changed in 1880 from “Devil’s Arse” to “Peak Cavern” in order not to cause offense to Queen Victoria during a visit for a concert. More recently the cave has been promoted using its older, more vulgar name.
Big Sandy (nee Rusty Williams) and his Fly-Rite Boys. Formed in the late 80’s as part of the Southern CA Rockabilly Revival their sound has grown to encompasses folk, bluegrass, Western swing, Cajun, and mariachi influences. Sandy and the boys have recorded about a dozen albums of great roots sound. Start with the LP Jumpin’ from 6 to 6 and go from there. Each one’s a bit different but all have one foot stuck firmly in Rockabilly, country and western swing.
David Sylvian along with his brother Steven Jansen and 2 other school chums, Mick Karn & Richard Barbieri formed the glammy rock outfit – Japan in the early 70’s. Signing to a major lable and releasing their first LP ‘Adolescent Sex’ in 1978, Japan was completely out of step with the times. Punk was exploding all over Britain and these guys were not punks – far from it. It wasn’t ’til the early eighties that they hit their stride with a mix of Roxy Music, a little David Bowie, a touch of Eno and their own synth touches to create a couple of LPs that would crack the British top 40. Never a huge draw – though they were superstars in Japan – they disbanded around 1982. David Sylvian would go on to have a successful, though eclectic career, working with Riuchi Sakamoto (Yellow Magic Orchestra), scoring a hit with ‘Forbidden Colors’ – the title song to the David Bowie film ‘Merry Christmas Mr. Lawerence’. He has sense worked with, among others Holger Czukay (Can) Bill Nelson (Be-Bop Deluxe) Marc Ribot and Robert Fripp (King Crimson). In 1990 he reunited with the band members of Japan under the name ‘Rain Tree Crow’ to release a well received one-off LP. He has gone on to release a number of albums on his own lable Samadhi Sound, a mostly improv free form mixture of jazz, ethnic sounds and electronic. He’s currently working on a collaboration w/ Joan as Police Woman and still has a nice head of hair.