Category Archives: Music

R.I.P. – George Jones

George Glenn Jones (September 12, 1931 – April 26, 2013) George Jones, singer, songwriter, performer, drunk  and raconteur was considered by many to be the greatest living country singer – that is, up until this morning.

Throughout his long career, Jones made headlines often as much for tales of his drinking, stormy relationships with women, and violent rages as for his prolific career of making records and touring. His wild lifestyle led to Jones missing many performances, earning him the nickname “No Show Jones.” Jones had more than 150 hits during his career, both as a solo artist and in duets with other artists.

Jones recalled a story where his 2nd wife Shirley hid his car keys so he couldn’t drive to the nearest liquor store 8 miles away. She didn’t however hide the lawn mower key – Says George,  “There, gleaming in the glow, was that ten-horsepower rotary engine, a key glistening in the ignition. I imagine the top speed for that old mower was five miles per hour. It might have taken an hour and a half or more for me to get to the liquor store, but get there I did.” In her 1979 autobiography, 3rd wife Tammy Wynette ( and recording partner) recalled waking at 1 AM to find her husband gone: “I got into the car and drove to the nearest bar 10 miles away. When I pulled into the parking lot there sat our rider-mower right by the entrance. He’d driven that mower right down a main highway. He looked up and saw me and said, `Well, fellas, here she is now. My little wife, I told you she’d come after me.’






George and Tammy










Big Fan: Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys

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.

Big Sandy

Big Sandy

Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys

Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys













His Name Was Liberace

Wladziu (or Vładziu) Valentino Liberace – (May 16, 1919 – February 4, 1987) I remember thinking the first time I saw the Austin Powers movie, that the funniest line was when Mike Myers character wakes up after 40 years, and while reading a history book to catch up he says; “Wow, Liberace gay? I never saw that coming.” Nor did my mom or all the other women (and men) who loved ‘Lee’ Liberace in the 50s, 60’s and into the 80’s.
Liberace was not just the flashy boob he would become in later life, he was a classically trained and well respected classical pianist, forging a pretty good career for a number of years. It’s told that at one point in his young career he wore a white tuxedo on stage, something classical pianists would never do – ever. Along with changing his concerts to a touch of classical music w/ lighter fare, Chopin right next to Home on the Range, his career sky rocketed and he never stopped mixing things up. This guy was huge, HUGE. One of the first performers to actually turn a concert into a SHOW. (* Elton John was not the first gay piano player to dress up). As is often the case, he went to far and became a parody of himself. He would eventually be sued for palimony  by his gay chauffeur, Scott Thorsen, and eventually died of AIDS in 1987. As an aside Steven Soderburg just released his Liberace biopic starring Michael Douglas as Lee and Matt Damon as Scott Thorsen called Behind the Candelabra.







A Young Vładziu Valentino Liberace

A Young Vładziu Valentino Liberace


M~ sun0227e-liberacerose

Lee & Elvis

Lee & Elvis



Liberace at the Las Vegas Hilton. 2-25-74.


Lee and Muppet Dog Ralph

Lee and Muppet Dog Rowlph



Happy St. Pats – From Ireland’s Favorite Son

Shane Patrick Lysaght MacGowan

NPG x30443; Shane MacGowan by Steve Pykeshane2shane111

Shane & the Missus - Victoria

Shane & the Missus – Victoria







Design: The Best Cover in Years – David Bowie’s ‘The Next Day’

David Bowie turned 66 on January 8th and released his first LP in 10 years on March 13th – a cause for celebration. One of the things that make it so special is the cover – a simple rework of his 1977 LP, Heroes – or so it would seem. This type of artwork might suggest a greatest hits or a remastered version of the earlier album. Not the case at all. This is a totally new work and is fantastic. No need for a review, it’s the cover were talking about. This is so simple and so potentially misguided, it’s amazing that it works, and it does.

Artist Jonathon Barnbrook explains – “The Heroes cover obscured by the white square is about the spirit of great pop or rock music which is ‘of the moment’, forgetting or obliterating the past.”

“However, we all know that this is never quite the case, no matter how much we try, we cannot break free from the past. When you are creative, it manifests itself in every way – it seeps out in every new mark you make (particularly in the case of an artist like Bowie).”

“We worked on hundreds of designs using the concept of obscuring this cover but the strongest ones were the simplest – it had to be something that was in direct contrast to the image underneath but that wasn’t too contrived (we know all design is contrived, that is the essence of the word ‘design’).”

“It would have been clearer to many people if we had scribbled all over the cover but that didn’t have the detachment of intent necessary to express the melancholy of the songs on the album. Yes, having said all this, we know it is only an album cover with a white square on it but… often the most simple ideas can be the most radical.”


Bowie at 66

Bowie at 66

In the Studio (with a banjo?)

In the Studio (with a banjo?)


The cast of video "The Stars are Out Tonight". Tilda Swinton 2nd left

The cast of video “The Stars are Out Tonight”. Tilda Swinton 2nd left

David and Tilda - separated at birth

David and Tilda – separated at birth

Promo with photo of William S. Burroughs & Bowie

Promo with photo of William S. Burroughs & Bowie

Heroes - 1977

Heroes – 1977

With wife, Iman

With wife, Iman




Packaging: Design Overkill?

Now that anyone can basically steal any bit of music they want, how does the record industry make up for falling sales. Among other things, the answer is to make outlandish, super deluxe versions. You could probably find all this music online but you wouldn’t get the extras, like books, t-shirts, a working amp or turntable. Some of these are beautifully designed, some are just plain crazy and all are expensive.

Alice Cooper Old School_800Alice Cooper – School’s Out/Retrospective   6 CDs in a wooden desk, 2 books, a couple of 7′ singles, various prints and photos – $800.00

whitestripes-vinyl-500The White Stripes – Working portable record player, headphones, box of red vinyl singles, slip mat. $500

burton-elfman-box-set-13-500Tim Burton & Danny Elfman Box – Every soundtrack plus music written for the box (17 discs) all in a working zoetrope with book and photos. $500

acdc_200AC/DC – European Tour 1977 – 5 discs, 1 vinyl, photos, badges, ticket repro, tour poster and a working amplifier – $200

costes_10_250Hotel Costes – The Collection. 10 Discs housed in a beautiful faux suede case – $250

motorhead-box-set750Motohead – Every Motorhead disc (15) in a sweet plastic skull-thing w/ various extras. $750

yo-yo-ma-90-900Yo-Yo Ma – The Box. Career spanning collection of 90 CDs in a beautifully designed wood box with a coffee table hard bound book. $900

pixies-minotaur-600The Pixies – Minotaur. All the studio LPs w/ 3 hardcover books, prints autographed by the band, vinyl versions of each LP in a 3 foot 10lb box. $500

queen-live-at-wembley-super-deluxe-300Queen Live at Wembley – 2 CDs, 2 DVDs in a touring case. Comes w/ soccer scarf, Hawaiin Tour shirt, blow up Freddy doll, back stage laminates and posters. $300

rammstein_300Rammstein – Liebe ist Fur Alle. 1 CD in metal tour case w/ 6 dildos, modeled from each member of the band, handcuffs and lube. $300

cat_screamadelica_150Primal Scream – Screamidelica. 5 CDs 2 vinyl LPs, T-shirt, slip mat, prints and a hard bound book. $150

And the biggest money waster is….

u2_13_500U2 – Achtung Baby. 6 CDs of outtakes and original LP, 4 DVDs, badges, vinyl version of LP, Bono’s sunglasses, a couple of singles, prints and posters. Remember this is for 1 LP that really isn’t that great. $500

And the most expensive

karajan_240_3300Herbert von Karajan. 240 discs (no T-shirts or posters) $3,300


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 106 other followers