We all know there’s deeper, darker more important events happening right now – and goddamn that orange turd, but here’s a bit of rock n roll love to get you through the day. Stay strong, love when you can and keep laughing. Let’s start with Bowie and Iman (who would be barred from entering the US today).
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.
All these come from about 1963-1966. It’s hard to believe that The Beatles even existed in the same time period as, say, Howlin’ Wolf or Etta James, and that the Stones were ever second on a bill to Brian Poole and the Tremelos, or that the opener for The Monkees could have been The Jimi Hendrix Experiance. Design-wise, they are beautiful. Usually cheaply produced, hand silk screened on heavy paper with minimal colors and tons of fonts. They would be sent to venues with a blank portion, usually the top, were the club could include their own name, dates and cost (Jesus Christ man – Howlin Wolf and Muddy Waters for $4.00).
You may know Jon Langford as the founding member of British punk group The Mekons or perhaps alt country bands The Pine Valley Cosmonauts or The Waco Brothers – or you may not know him from Adam. When he’s not playing music, he’s painting these memorials to famous and forgotten country stars. Painted on board or etched copper plates his work is very recognizable, very beautiful and very cool. Jon continues to perform and paint and show his work mostly in his adopted home town of Chicago (originally from Wales) and around the world.