Today In Music, January 23rd


From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Wednesday 23rd January):


Birth

1950. Patrick Simmons (The Doobie Brothers) born in San Jose, California.


On Tour

1996. Madonna‘s driver and secretary are detained by Argentinian police after a fan is knocked down outside the singer’s Hyatt hotel. Madonna was not in the car. No charges are being brought against the driver as the young man who was knocked over is unhurt.


In Court

1978. Billy Peek, 37 year old lead guitarist with Rod Stewart‘s band is found not guilty of possessing cannabis at Glasgow Sheriff Court. The verdict comes more than a year after he was arrested and charged at the city’s Albany Hotel during a drug squad raid that found the stub of a reefer in his room. A road manager with the group, 22 year old Arthur Kemish, was also found not guilty of similar charges. The raid had taken place on January 4th 1977 when Rod and his band were playing the city. As he left the court, Peek complained that clearing his name had been a nightmare and cost him two trips back to Glasgow from his home in America. He said, “I could have pleaded guilty a year ago and saved myself all the trouble and expense”. Had he done so, a drugs conviction could possibly have barred him from entering the U.K.


On The Road

1963. Janis Joplin quits her course at the University Of Texas and hitch-hikes to San Francisco with Chet Helms. Within a couple of days she’s playing coffee houses and hanging out with Jorma Kaukonen, David Crosby and Nick Gravenites.


On Television

1987. Tyne Tees Television announces that it has banned Jools Holland from presenting “The Tube” for six weeks after he swore on television during a live “plug” advertising the programme on Friday, january 16th.


Death

1978. Terry Kath (Chicago) is fooling around with a gun at a friend’s house. He boasts that it isn’t loaded by pointing it at his head and pulling the trigger. Unfortunately it is loaded and Kath is dead.


Daily Babble

Been trying to tidy the dining room for redecoration. It’s been used as a dumping ground for ages. Saw an old pewter tankard on the dining table. Thought it was one that my dog won more than 20 years ago. It wasn’t. It has the 1970’s palm-tree Island Records logo engraved into it and the wording: “To Brian Humphries. Wishing you all the luck in the future from all the gang at Island Studios Hammersmith”. As far as I can work out this was given to Humphries on leaving Island Studios to join Britannia Row.
 
At Island, Humphries was engineer for Nirvana, McDonald and Giles, Mott The Hoople, Black Sabbath‘s “Paranoid” and Traffic‘s, “John Barleycorn Must Die”, “Welcome To The Canteen”, “The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys” and “When The Eagle Flies”. On moving to Britannia Row, he was engineer for Pink Floyd‘s “Wish You Were Here” and “Animals”.
 
My big problem at the moment is that I can’t remember where I got it. I must have had it at least 17 years. Maybe it will come to me but in the meantime, I think it may go up on eBay very soon! 
 

Now Playing

Gnac – “Friend Sleeping” (1999)

The first instrumental album by Mark Tranmer of The Mongolfier Brothers. 10 distinct soundscapes that play with the listener. The opening title track starts as experimental and opens into a multi-layered cinematic piece perfectly at home in a black and white work of the Nouvelle Vague. It’s followed by “Hennebert Sleeve”, which sounds like a snippet of a tone poem. Carefully intervowven rhthmic cadences that are somewhat skewed by the addition of a beat-box mid way through the track. “Continental Balcony Twilight” doesn’t quite know which country its set in, Spanish guitars evoking warm evening air melting into French streets. The general feel is kept until “Nanani Togarashi” which initially seems annoyingly out of place but leaves you wanting more. It seems oddly childlike, even humourous.

“Stepping Aside”, at almost 10 minutes, may well be the most complete work on the album and the only one that can be described as truly ambient. Carefully layered clever themes, rekindling memories of other things. Its end is way too abrupt. You’re left wanting so much more. There’s a feeling that Tranmer has taken one work and, much like William Burroughs, cut it up, rearraninging it into a completely different piece. Some tracks, seemed snipped from their middle and end, others merely stop. An interesting, challenging work of great depth if you have time to explore it.  


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