Sunday, August 31, 2008

as August ends, a ROCKIN' potpourri of items discovered this summer

(above) friend and ROCKIN' TV supporter Darrel Burnett
with his sweetie Kelly and Darrel's black & white Thunderbird
(viz: The Delicates' song of the same name)
at the USAF Thunderbirds event in Rockford, IL
(above) finally, a great shot of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters' bus,
FURTHUR (also known as FURTHER)
(above) Janette Beckman's shot of RUN DMC
in their hometown of Queens, NY (courtesy Morrison Hotel Gallery)
(above) Commander Cody in Modesto, in the '70s,
with opening act Butch Whacks and the Glass Packs
(handbill art by Chris Frayne--George's brother)
(above) outtake shot of Bob Dylan and then-girlfriend Suze Rotolo;
photo by Don Hunstein, who took the FREEWHEELIN' cover shot
(above) typically nervy handbill art for John Seabury's own band,
Psycotic Pineapple
(above) 2008's never-say-never renegade, Amy Winehouse,
signing autographs, in her car
(above) Green Day, in (their) car, in New Orleans, photo by Danny Clinch
(photo courtesy Danny Clinch)
(above) Muddy Waters, bluesman and bandleader,
on the bus in the mid-'60s, in Europe
(photo courtesy Reelin' in the Years Productions)
(above) Fats Domino's car's license plate, outside his
New Orleans home, photo courtesy Geary Chansley, photo researcher
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(left) found at Amoeba Records, in Berkeley, CA, but the cover art's something of a disappointment, considering the novelty of the song itself
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So here we are on the last day of August, before school officially begins for my wife Jane (she teaches special ed at the award-winning Lincoln Elementary School in Vallejo, CA, where the school topped the entire district with its test scores--hooray!!), and for our son Jordan, whom we just dropped off at Georgetown University to begin his freshman year. And what else did I do this summer, you may ask?
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Besides acquiring, from our daughter Jessica, a smart as all heck Yorkie-Poo (Yorkie Terrier / Poodle mix) named Charlie, we basically celebrated the end to high school (and volleyball and soccer and enormous cuts of red meat and huge washing machine loads) for both our kids, and got ready for the long-anticipated trip to Washington DC to install Jordan . . . and I kept searching for all things rock-and-cars.
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From the top:
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(1) Next month, many presentations begin taking place to develop ROCKIN' DOWN THE HIGHWAY into television. This is being headed up by Michael Rose Productions, out of Marina del Rey, in Southern California. Michael is a tremendous filmmaker, responsible for (among much else) the acclaimed television series GREAT CARS. He's a rocker, too.
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Among many rockers who've elected to join the cause as a support team member, is Darrel Burnett, who's based in Rockford, IL (along with radio program director John "Brizz" Brizzolara, whom you'll meet shortly in another blog). You see Darrel (and Kelly) above, with his black and white Thunderbird, at the Rockford airport where the USAF team of F-16 C/D Flying Thunderbirds gathered for an airshow. It was quite an achievement for Darrel to be able to wheel his 'Bird out onto the tarmac. All this is relevant to ROCKIN' because one of the episodes will be devoted to The Delicates, who wrote and performed "Black and White Thunderbird," of whom Denise Ferri and Bernadette Dente are also on the ROCKIN' team. More on them shortly, too (and refer back to the essay on The Delicates in ROCKIN', please).
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(2) If I didn't already tell you, it's been much harder than I'd ever thought finding THE picture of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters' bus FURTHUR (or FURTHER). But here's one which arrived in my lap quite unexpectedly. DAY GLO!!!
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(3) Morrison Hotel Gallery has become of the top locations (in several cities, and on the Internet) for showcasing the work of the top rock photographers. Here we see RUN DMC outside their home, and by a car (of course), in Queens, NY, photographed by Janette Beckman.
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(4) One of my great joys in writing THE ART OF ROCK (Abbeville Press, 1987) was meeting George and Chris Frayne. George is Commander Cody, and Chris (now passed) was his artist brother. Chris created many of the Cody band's great posters and handbills. Here's an unusual one, for a Modesto, CA gig, with Butch Whacks and the Glass Packs (now there's a rock-and-cars band name) also on the bill.
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(5) Earlier this year, Suze Rotolo released her book of reminiscence, A FREEWHEELIN' TIME: A MEMOIR OF GREENWICH VILLAGE IN THE SIXTIES. Rotolo was Dylan's girlfriend during the time he wrote songs like "Blowin' in the Wind," "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall," and "Masters of War," and Dylan penned other songs about their love affair, including "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right," "Boots of Spanish Leather," "Tomorrow Is a Long Time," and "One Too Many Mornings."
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Rotolo was photographed with Dylan for the cover of FREEWHEELIN' WITH BOB DYLAN, strolling down a street in Greenwich Village in New York City, about which I blogged some time back. The photo above, by Don Hunstein, is an outtake from that legendary session. Check out Anthony DeCurtis' visit with Rotolo in the NY Times' "Memoirs of a Girl from the East Country (O.K., Queens)") which appeared on 5-11-08.
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(6) The original artwork for a Psycotic Pineapple handbill-to-be, is by John Seabury, also a bandmember in Pyno, and is typical of John's brilliant outrageousness. His flyers are among the all-time-most-amusing-ever, in Berkeley, CA--where millions of flyers have been created and posted since the middle '60s. John's a good friend who you can meet at many NorCal poster events, and even, every so often, at national poster events such as Flatstock, now being held for the 18th time, this time again at at Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle this weekend. You can read more about John at http://runawaydinosaur.com/2008/01/29/rock-art-wednesday-john-seabury/ and see more Pyno art by searching the archive of his art at http://www.gigposters.com/.
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(7) Amy Winehouse, autographing for fans, in her car, somewhere in the UK. Great singer, but "nuff said.
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(8) Green Day, in the truck of their car, in New Orleans, shot by Danny Clinch. I cannot say enough about Danny's talent. It was an absolute joy to have his work included in ROCKIN'. And I hope that everyone survives Hurricane Gustaf, another humdinger of a storm, which seems to have come just minutes after Katrina in the scheme of things.
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(9) Muddy Waters, in his tourbus, somewhere in Germany, in the mid '60s. I thank the greatly respected photo researcher (and my pal) Geary Chansley for turning me on to the resource known as http://www.reelinintheyears.com/. Check it out, you'll see why. At some point I intend to blog about Chansley, because it's people like him who help authors like me discover spectacular and previously unknown material. Among much, much else in his career, Geary was the Package Coordinator for CELEBRATE: THE THREE DOG NIGHT STORY, 1965-1975.
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(10) It was Geary who turned me on to this shot of Fats Domino's car, parked in front of his 9th Ward home in New Orleans, years before Katrina. The photo is by Paul Harris, in Geary's words "a cool cat from England who's come to the American South many times to photograph guys like Fats . . . plus other great stuff." FYI you can see more of Paul's work at http://www.paulharrisphotography.blogspot.com/.
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Fats' home has now been rebuilt, but will it withstand Hurricane Gustav? I hope and pray it will. Fats is a national treasure.
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(11) And finally, trippin' around Amoeba Records in Berkeley (one of the last great independent record stores in America, with two other locations, in S.F. and L.A.) I stumbled across this '45 single for the Chordette's "No Wheels." That novelty song is well known among aficionados, but the cover art is, shall we say, lacking. But it is history. And the history of the rock-and-cars interface is a lot of what I'm all about these days.
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Hope to hip you to what's happening with ROCKIN' television shortly. Hope everyone had a relaxing and rewarding summer.
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