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Groovin' To The 70's

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Max's Kansas City Oct. 19th, 2008 @ 12:54 pm
kevin_avery
In January of 1973, a few weeks after Elliott Murphy first played his demos for Paul Nelson, then an A&R guy at Mercury Records, Paul presented him the recently released debut album of another songsmith: Bruce Springsteen's Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. Later that same month, Paul invited Murphy to join him at Max's Kansas City, where Springsteen was playing with a very early incarnation of the E Street Band.

This week over at Wolfgang's Vault—which features free streaming of vintage live concert performances—the featured concert is, with relative certainty, the show in question. Recorded January 31, 1973, after the show Paul introduced Elliott to Bruce, thereby launching a friendship that continues to this day.

Copyright 2008 by Kevin Avery. All rights reserved.

Bumping into Geniuses Aug. 25th, 2008 @ 01:14 pm
kevin_avery
Rock journalist. PR guy for Led Zeppelin. Nirvana's manager. Good friend to Kurt and Courtney. Record company executive. These are but a few of the descriptions you might apply to Danny Goldberg, whose latest book, Bumping into Geniuses: My Life Inside the Rock and Roll Business, hits the bookstores next month. In addition to the appellations I've already dropped, among the many behind-the-scenes tales Goldberg tells are how he covered Woodstock when nobody else wanted to, when he talked Kiss into taking it all off (makeup-wise), and how he launched Stevie Nicks' solo career. What emerges is the profile of someone savvy enough to know that doing business is all about relationships—and that you can't succeed at either one at the expense of the other.



For our purposes here, Goldberg also writes about such Paul Nelson favorites as Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Ian Hunter (whom Goldberg now manages), and Neil Young. Most importantly, he writes about Paul.

Touching on Paul's five years at Mercury Records, when Goldberg was writing for Circus magazine, he also reflects on Paul's role in the Warren Zevon saga in a lengthy and loving chapter about the singer/songwriter's final years (Goldberg was head of Artemis Records and released not only Zevon's last three studio albums but also the fine tribute album, Enjoy Every Sandwich: The Songs of Warren Zevon). He also reflects on Paul's memorial service at St. Mark's Church on September 7, 2006.

What emerges is Goldberg's admiration for both Paul the man and Paul the writer. As he wrote for RockCritics.com shortly after Paul's death:
Paul was hopelessly miscast as a PR guy. He was literally incapable of hyping an album or artist he did not believe in and was always apologetic when he called about a Mercury artist.... Paul was far more likely to go into a track by track analysis of the latest Leonard Cohen album on Columbia than even to mention a mediocrity on Mercury. I don't know how he got himself into a position where he was able to sign the Dolls (not normally the kind of thing a PR person could do at record companies) but I suspect he just wore out his superiors. But he did enjoy the expense account that allowed him to take a long list of writers to La Strada and other Midtown restaurants.

Towards the end of Bumping into Geniuses, Goldberg realizes that "People like me were only valuable to record companies to the extent we could identify and sign commercial talent. And the way that the business world judged your talent for picking and signing and working with artists was not how smart you were, how much you loved music, how hard you worked, what skills you had, or what critics thought of your taste. To be taken seriously by the grown-ups you had to be associated with big hits. That was the coin of the realm."

Which pretty much sums up why Paul Nelson's record company career ended in 1975.

Copyright 2008 by Kevin Avery. All rights reserved.

Current Location: Brooklyn, NY

Bob Dylan Revisited Aug. 14th, 2008 @ 09:07 pm
chidder
Paul Nelson wrote: "It is hard to claim too much for the man who in every sense revolutionized modern poetry, American folk music, popular music, and the whole of modern-day thought; even the strongest praise seems finally inadequate. Not many contemporary artists have the power to actually change our lives, but surely Dylan does—and has."

Paul wrote this in 1966, the year after Dylan "went electric" at the Newport Folk Festival and left behind a heretofore devoted audience of dyed-in-the-wool folk-music enthusiasts (an event that also contributed to Paul resigning his post as managing editor of Sing Out! magazine—but that's another story). 

Performing Tuesday night at Prospect Park in Brooklyn, Dylan remained just as artistically unyielding. 
 
The last time I saw Dylan live was 20 years ago and also outdoors, near Park City, Utah. His face was puffy and he was slightly hunched forward, as if he were being crushed by the weight of his own reputation. One of his surlier periods, he would just blast through song after song, each one almost indiscernible from the next. This wasn't Dylan gone electric—it was Dylan gone electrically bombastic.

But I was not surprised. I knew from recordings that Dylan performing live was a chameleonic chimera. There was the bellowing Dylan (with the Band) from 1974's Before the Flood; and two years later there was the punk-rock Dylan spewing fiery deliveries on Hard Rain. What we got at Prospect Park this week was a defiantly elegant Dylan, his voice at once ravaged and ravishing, as thin as a whip and just as dangerous. His band was sharp and exact—like a surgeon's knife, or Jack the Ripper's blade. He played his music the way he wanted to play it, everybody else be damned.

So it was with some amusement that, on our way out of the park after the concert, we heard grumblings to the effect that Dylan "didn't even know the words to his own songs," which "didn't sound the same," and (my favorite) "He didn't even play 'Mr. Tambourine Man'!" 

Forty-three years after Newport, he's still got it. And 42 years after Paul's words, even the strongest praise still seems inadequate.

Copyright 2008 by Kevin Avery. All rights reserved. 

Current Location: Brooklyn, New York

Perceiving the Doors Jun. 10th, 2008 @ 07:27 am
kevin_avery
Paul Nelson didn't write a lot about the Doors--and he only briefly met Jim Morrison--but what words he did put to paper were poetic, to the point, and unashamedly revealing of a critic yearning to understand not only the the band's music but the nascent and far from established new art form called rock & roll. For instance:

And Jim. To see him sing is like witnessing a man dangling in some kind of unique and personal pain. Watching Morrison come face to face with some ultimate truth in song can be truly frightening. The shrieks and screams come from a subconscious layer under the conscious artistry: Morrison is levels, not all of them pretty.

                                     

When I learned that the intense and talented writer and director Tom DiCillo (Living in Oblivion, Box of Moonlight, and his most recent film, Delirious, are among his best) is feverishly at work on a Doors documentary, I forwarded him Paul's rare writings about the group, the best of which is "Perceiving the Doors," a piece written for the long out-of-print songbook We Are the Doors. "What an amazing writer," DiCillo responded. "It is pretty astonishing. I particularly liked his analysis of the Doors' sound":

When they play, they seem to be held together by both terrific, almost terrifying, strength and by sheer nervous tension. They expand, contract, and the song is stretched like a live thing to a point of birth or breaking or both. The passion is always contained within the control. Ray [Manzarek] plays the organ like a holy man, his thoughts almost as visible as smoke, while Robby [Krieger] oozes out those slow, melted flamenco notes as if he were shaking them from a slow-motion guitar. John [Densmore] is all speed and power on the drums, a perpetual-motion machine. And Jim. To see him sing is like witnessing...

"It is close to my own view of what distinguishes the group," DiCillo continued, "but he writes extremely eloquently and with real, knowledgeable detail. I thought his review of the first album showed real perception." In fact, so alive was Paul's forty-year-old prose that DiCillo had a request: "Can you please pass my admiration on to him?"

I informed him that Paul had passed away in 2006. "I had no idea," he replied, "It touches me deeply. It has much deeper meaning now." 

Copyright 2008 by Kevin Avery. All rights reserved.


Rod Stewart May. 11th, 2008 @ 04:59 pm
kevin_avery
The backstory: In the early Seventies, Paul Nelson accepted a publicity job at Mercury Records. One of the artists with whom he worked closely, and with whom he became good friends, was Rod Stewart. During Paul's five-year tenure at Mercury (he eventually was promoted to A&R, in which capacity he would sign the New York Dolls to their first recording contract), Stewart produced some of his best albums, including Gasoline Alley, Never a Dull Moment, and one of the best rock & roll albums of all time, Every Picture Tells a Story.

In 1975, the same year Paul resigned from Mercury and returned to writing full-time, Stewart switched labels and landed at Warner Bros. where his first album was Atlantic Crossing. Writing in Rolling Stone, Paul gave the album a rave review, concluding: "If Atlantic Crossing isn't Rod Stewart's best record—and it isn't—it at least comes within hailing distance of earlier masterpieces."

In 1978, Paul wrote one of his best articles, a lengthy, praising piece that sympathetically depicted Rod at odds with his ex-lover, actress Britt Ekland, who was suing him for $12 million, at odds with the burgeoning punks, who had singled him out as their anti-poster boy, and at odds with the critical mass in general, who were of the opinion that he'd sold out and gone Hollywood (which he literally had, having relocated from England).

In 1981, Paul co-wrote a book with Lester Bangs that pilloried Stewart and his music, with Paul recanting much of his earlier praise. He wrote: "As a young man in his twenties, Rod Stewart seemed to possess an age-old wisdom: some of the things he told us we could've learned from our grandfathers. In his thirties, however, he suddenly metamorphosed into Jayne Mansfield."



Fast-forward to Thursday afternoon when I received a phone call that asked: "Can you meet Rod Stewart for drinks tonight?" I'd been trying to secure an interview with him for almost a year and a half. Four hours later, I found myself at the St. Regis Hotel in Manhattan, across the table from a very dashing and dapper-looking Rod Stewart. (Due to a miscommunication between his manager and publicist, he'd been waiting for me for twenty minutes there in the sedate Astor Court—while I'd been waiting for him for twenty minutes around the corner in the rowdy King Cole Bar and Lounge.) Looking still very much the young rogue on which he'd made his reputation, the 63-year-old Stewart was charming and funny and, of course, occasionally bawdy. My scheduled fifteen- to twenty-minute interview ended up lasting almost forty-five minutes.

Stewart fondly remembered Paul Nelson as I did my best to stir up his memories and remind him of incidents that had occurred more than three-and-a-half decades ago. As I sipped on my Bloody Mary (which, according to legend, had been invented by King Cole bartender Fernand Petiot, circa 1939) and he on his martini, we traded stories: his about the Paul he knew, me about what had happened to Paul in the many years since Stewart had seen him last.

I even quoted Paul's contention that Stewart had "metamorphosed into Jayne Mansfield" and asked him how it had felt having his friend savage him in book form. I asked him if there had been any validity to what Paul had written. And he answered every question honestly and to the best of his ability.

What he had to say will appear, of course, in the Rod Stewart chapter of Everything Is an Afterthought.

When Stewart's twenty-seven-year-old wife Penny Lancaster arrived, he announced that the interview was over and rose to greet her. When he introduced us, he told her, "We've been talking about a dear old friend of mine." And before we parted, he wished me luck with the book and added, "Thank you for just doing it."

Copyright 2008 by Kevin Avery. All rights reserved.
Current Location: Brooklyn, New York
Other entries
» Gloria Gaynor and Pet Shop Boys
Сегодня нашел еще три хитовых песенки, точнее ремикса, Глории Гейнор, но неизбитые совсем (кроме Love is Just a Heartbeat Away, но она классная все равно=) )

Скачать Gloria Gaynor - I Never Knew (hq2_club_mix).mp3 с WebFile.RU

Скачать Gloria Gaynor - Love is Just a Heartbeat Away.mp3 с WebFile.RU

Скачать Gloria Gaynor feat. D.O.N.S - Supernatural Love (Burnett and Cooper funktime edit).mp3 с WebFile.RU


И еще наконец-то заполучил "Rent" Pet Shop Boys - очень забавны слова в исполнении мужчин =)

Скачать Pet Shop Boys - Rent.mp3 с WebFile.RU

Скачать Pet Shop Boys - Rent (extended mix).mp3 с WebFile.RU

И в догонку еще раз дивный cover Лайзы Миннелли на "Rent" (чтоб не говорили мне тут, что она бездарность) =)

Скачать Liza Minnelli - Rent.mp3 с WebFile.RU


Не знаю за каким чертом выкладываю, может все таки кто-то скачает, да послушает. Более того, может кому-то даже понравится. Так что вот.
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I'm helping my mum sell this awesome piece of music memorabilia.


Here is the ebay auction

Bidding starts at £29.99, shipping is £2.50
» Bruce Springsteen
"There were a few people who picked up on me very early before my first record, when I was playing solo at Max's Kansas City," Bruce Springsteen said about Paul Nelson, "and he's the one who stands foremost in my mind."



From 1975 to 1982, Paul wrote a series of infrequent but expansive meditations about Springsteen, his music, and his remarkable relationship to a rapidly burgeoning audience. How accurate were Paul's perceptions? "Oh, they could come out right now," Springsteen said, "and they'd be right on the money. That was my job the way that I saw it, and he perceived it. That's quite a connection to make."

I spoke with Springsteen Tuesday afternoon, an interview that, by the time all was said and done, took eight months to arrange. In the interim, Springsteen wrapped up his tour with the Sessions band and released a live album documenting it; recorded a new studio album with the E Street Band, Magic, due out October 2nd; and suffered the death of his longtime friend and assistant, Terry Magovern, who passed away in his sleep on the night of July 30th.

As an interviewee, Springsteen was open, funny, and philosophical without being pretentious. And on the subject of Paul Nelson, he spoke eloquently.

Paul entered Springsteen's life in 1972 when the young singer/songwriter (who was then 22 or 23) would take the bus from New Jersey into New York City to play the opening half of double bills at Max's Kansas City. Paul was impressed enough to keep coming back, bringing with him other writers and artists (including Elliott Murphy) and turning them on, too, to the New Jersey phenom.

Everything Is an Afterthought examines Paul's friendship with Springsteen (mostly in Springsteen's own words) and how the artist's special brand of rock & roll represented for Paul more than just music. The book will reprint all of Paul's articles and reviews about Springsteen, presenting for the first time Paul's preferred texts, based on his original manuscripts. (For instance, Paul's review of The River is considerably different than what got published in 1980 and which can be found online.) 

Documenting Springsteen's early career, Paul's writings reflect not only his fondness for the man but how he had to come to terms with his friend's music when it took turns down alleyways both unexpected and dark.

Copyright 2007 by Kevin Avery. All rights reserved.

» hockey in italy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUtXmyYORWQ
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