Category Archives: Clarion Rock

Jim Morrison’s Ancestors

As the lead singer of legendary band The Doors, he was the embodiment of 60s America.

But the family tree of Jim Morrison can be traced back to the Outer Hebrides in the 18th century – a little-known fact highlighted by Jeremy Corbyn on his tour of marginal seats in Scotland.

The Labour leader revealed he was a fan of the late Riders On The Storm star last month on a visit to Lewis, which was once home to the singer’s ancestors.

Jeremy Corbyn at Callanish Stones during a visit to the Isle of Lewis.

Jim’s former brother-in-law, author Alan Graham, says the Doors frontman would have seen the politician as a kindred spirit.

Alan, who lives in California, said: “Jim and Jeremy are like two peas in a pod – vociferous, passionate, rebellious lads.

“The FBI had a file on Jim and he was considered a dangerous leftie.

“Just look at the lyrics of the song Five To One – ‘They got the guns/But we got the numbers.’

“Morrison was almost a revolutionary talking that kind of stuff at concerts.

“I bet Jim would have loved Jeremy.”

During his visit to Lewis, Corbyn was asked by reporters if he would welcome Donald Trump, whose mother was born on the island.

Jim Morrison of The Doors in 1968
Would Jim and Jeremy be kindred spirits?

The Labour leader said he would rather see Jim Morrison, whose relatives also hailed from there.

Alan, who was married to Jim’s younger sister Anne, said: “I laughed my ass off when I read that.

“Of course, I can imagine why Jeremy Corbyn said that.

“Trump is so unpopular now in America. Even his supporters are souring on him.

“A poll last week showed that just a third of voters believe the president is drawing the country together. People now look fondly on George W Bush.”

Jim Morrison’s family tree shows that direct ancestor Alexander Morrison was born in Lewis in 1750.

But according to Alan, Jim’s family – his father George was an admiral in the US Navy – spoke very little about their roots.

Alan, 73, said: “The admiral said the family was originally from the Outer Hebrides. He also said he was a direct descendant of Robert the Bruce in an almost jokingly way – but there are some Bruces in the family tree. However, I don’t think they did research.

Jim’s former brother-in-law Alan Graham.

“Jim knew from his parents he was Scottish but never lived to see the research I did. I think he would have found it interesting. He might even have written about it or incorporated it into his poetry.”

Alan discovered that Alexander Morrison emigrated to America in April 1781 and settled in Hagerstown, Maryland.

Alexander’s wife is not named on records but he had three sons.

John was born in Lewis in 1780 and second son William was born just six weeks after the family arrived in America.

William married Sarah Slemmons, from Ireland, and their youngest son Stephen was born in 1826 in Butler County, Pennsylvania.

Stephen, who was Jim’s great-great- grandfather, fought on the Union side in the American Civil War, and took part of the Battle of Gettysburg, in which more than 50,000 were killed or injured.

A photograph of Stephen Morrison shows a remarkable resemblance to the Doors singer, who died in Paris in 1971, aged just 27.

The resemblance is uncanny

Alan, author of the book I Remember Jim Morrison, said: “When I morphed the two photos together, I thought, ‘Wow!’ They both have the same amazing eyes, lips and nose. It blew my mind. I asked myself, ‘How could Jim look so much like his great-great-grandfather?’

“The answer must be strong genes in the Morrison family.”

Alan, originally from Liverpool, met Jim’s younger sister Anne in London where she was studying.

They married in 1966 and moved to the US two years later, where Alan met his brother-in-law for the first time.

Alan said: “He stepped off a flight on a hot Californian day wearing a World War II leather bomber jacket.

“He looked both ridiculous and cool at the same time. He was wearing aviator sunglasses with a green tint, Levi’s and cowboy boots, and carrying an antique briefcase stuffed with his writings.”

Alan said he got on well with his brother-in-law but added: “I hold the distinction for being the first guy to knock his ass out.

“He had a reputation for causing trouble wherever he went. Everyone wanted to beat him up but he met a kid from Liverpool who wouldn’t take his s***. I knocked the crap out of him and gave him two beautiful black eyes. He looked liked a panda for the next three weeks.”

Jim’s ancestry can be traced back to Lewis.

Alan could see that the singer was spiralling out of control.

He said: “Jim became the greatest guy in the world after a few drinks. After a few more, he became the roughest guy in the world and you had to knock his ass out.

“He had a serious drinking problem from a young age, and when I met him he was well on his way to being 6ft under.

“We met for breakfast and even before our eggs arrived, he had knocked back two double tequilas and a beer. That was eight in the morning.

“I remember him saying that he woke up one day and felt he was surrounded by spirits. His sister said, ‘Yeah, Jim Beam, Jack Daniel’s and Johnnie f****** Walker.’

“He didn’t have too long to live and I think he knew it. He had a tragic aura. He died at 27 but, to be honest, he was really gone by about 25.”

 

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Doors legend Jim Morrison’s Scottish heritage uncovered.

Doors legend Jim Morrison’s Scottish heritage uncovered as former brother-in-law reveals rock star’s striking resemblance to great-great-grandad

The American Poet’s family tree can be traced back to the Outer Hebrides in the 18th century

But the family tree of Jim Morrison can be traced back to the Outer Hebrides in the 18th century – a little-known fact highlighted by Jeremy Corbyn on his tour of marginal seats in Scotland.

The Labour leader revealed he was a fan of the late Riders On The Storm star last month on a visit to Lewis, which was once home to the singer’s ancestors.

Jeremy Corbyn at Callanish Stones during a visit to the Isle of Lewis.

Jim’s former brother-in-law, author Alan Graham, says the Doors frontman would have seen the politician as a kindred spirit.

Alan, who lives in California, said: “Jim and Jeremy are like two peas in a pod – vociferous, passionate, rebellious lads.

“The FBI had a file on Jim and he was considered a dangerous leftie.

“Just look at the lyrics of the song Five To One – ‘They got the guns/But we got the numbers.’

“Morrison was almost a revolutionary talking that kind of stuff at concerts.

“I bet Jim would have loved Jeremy.”

During his visit to Lewis, Corbyn was asked by reporters if he would welcome Donald Trump, whose mother was born on the island.

Jim Morrison of The Doors in 1968
Would Jim and Jeremy be kindred spirits?

The Labour leader said he would rather see Jim Morrison, whose relatives also hailed from there.

Alan, who was married to Jim’s younger sister Anne, said: “I laughed my ass off when I read that.

“Of course, I can imagine why Jeremy Corbyn said that.

“Trump is so unpopular now in America. Even his supporters are souring on him.

“A poll last week showed that just a third of voters believe the president is drawing the country together. People now look fondly on George W Bush.”

Jim Morrison’s family tree shows that direct ancestor Alexander Morrison was born in Lewis in 1750.

But according to Alan, Jim’s family – his father George was an admiral in the US Navy – spoke very little about their roots.

Alan, 73, said: “The admiral said the family was originally from the Outer Hebrides. He also said he was a direct descendant of Robert the Bruce in an almost jokingly way – but there are some Bruces in the family tree. However, I don’t think they did research.

Jim’s former brother-in-law Alan Graham.

“Jim knew from his parents he was Scottish but never lived to see the research I did. I think he would have found it interesting. He might even have written about it or incorporated it into his poetry.”

Alan discovered that Alexander Morrison emigrated to America in April 1781 and settled in Hagerstown, Maryland.

Alexander’s wife is not named on records but he had three sons.

John was born in Lewis in 1780 and second son William was born just six weeks after the family arrived in America.

William married Sarah Slemmons, from Ireland, and their youngest son Stephen was born in 1826 in Butler County, Pennsylvania.

Stephen, who was Jim’s great-great- grandfather, fought on the Union side in the American Civil War, and took part of the Battle of Gettysburg, in which more than 50,000 were killed or injured.

A photograph of Stephen Morrison shows a remarkable resemblance to the Doors singer, who died in Paris in 1971, aged just 27.

The resemblance is uncanny.

Alan, author of the book I Remember Jim Morrison, said: “When I morphed the two photos together, I thought, ‘Wow!’ They both have the same amazing eyes, lips and nose. It blew my mind. I asked myself, ‘How could Jim look so much like his great-great-grandfather?’

“The answer must be strong genes in the Morrison family.”

Alan, originally from Liverpool, met Jim’s younger sister Anne in London where she was studying.

They married in 1966 and moved to the US two years later, where Alan met his brother-in-law for the first time.

Alan said: “He stepped off a flight on a hot Californian day wearing a World War II leather bomber jacket.

“He looked both ridiculous and cool at the same time. He was wearing aviator sunglasses with a green tint, Levi’s and cowboy boots, and carrying an antique briefcase stuffed with his writings.”

Alan said he got on well with his brother-in-law but added: “I hold the distinction for being the first guy to knock his ass out.

“He had a reputation for causing trouble wherever he went. Everyone wanted to beat him up but he met a kid from Liverpool who wouldn’t take his s***. I knocked the crap out of him and gave him two beautiful black eyes. He looked liked a panda for the next three weeks.”

Jim’s ancestry can be traced back to Lewis.

Alan could see that the singer was spiralling out of control.

He said: “Jim became the greatest guy in the world after a few drinks. After a few more, he became the roughest guy in the world and you had to knock his ass out.

“He had a serious drinking problem from a young age, and when I met him he was well on his way to being 6ft under.

“We met for breakfast and even before our eggs arrived, he had knocked back two double tequilas and a beer. That was eight in the morning.

“I remember him saying that he woke up one day and felt he was surrounded by spirits. His sister said, ‘Yeah, Jim Beam, Jack Daniel’s and Johnnie f****** Walker.’

“He didn’t have too long to live and I think he knew it. He had a tragic aura. He died at 27 but, to be honest, he was really gone by about 25.”

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Lee “Baby” Simms

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In 1968 Admiral Morrison was Commander In chief of Carrier Division Nine fighting the war in Vietnam. Clara Morrison was visiting the far east at the time and sent back gifts to us including a couple of Happi Coats, I gave one (pictured above) to Lee and we both wore them until they fell apart.

If you lived in San Diego back in 1968, and you listened to the radio, you must remember Lee “Baby” Simms, one of the top DJs of the time.

“This is K. Ceeee B. Q. Theeee number one radio station in San Diego, California.”  Lee jumped out of the radio and into your car with you. He was too cool for San Diego and he was almost part of the hit songs he spun.

Once I called in to request a song, and after a little bantering back and forth, we became good friends. I had asked him to play a Beatles tune, and at that time, I was fresh from Liverpool with a thick accent to match. During the course of the conversation, he said, “You sound like Paul McCartney.” I explained the acute differences or nuances in the degrees of Liverpooleese. John, Paul, and George all had the same accent, which was middle class rather than the distinct working-class brogue of Ringo. If you watch the movie “A Hard Day’s Night,” it is a tutorial on the genuinely hilarious expressions used by the lads and the rest of the cast, who in fact to a person all spoke with their real accents rather than an actor trying to sound like one.

For those who remember all of this, you will also remember that it was all on AM radio. FM  was still a thing of the future, and the recordings were decidedly limited when it came to listening quality.

One day Lee called me up and asked me to call in during the show and impersonate Paul McCartney. The next night, Lee made a big deal about how cool the new Beatles’ album was and that he was going to do a weekend-long Beatles marathon of all their songs. 

Together we pulled it off, he asking questions all about Liverpool, the Cavern club, and of course, the Beatles’ early days, which I not only knew, but as a lad of twelve, I saw the boys preform with a skiffle group called The Quarrymen before they even formed the Beatles.

For weeks and months after the show, people in Coronado were still talking about the time Paul McCartney called into KCBQ radio and spoke with Lee Baby Simms for an hour even waiting between commercials. I remained blissfully silent, and even though I wanted to tell everyone, it was more mysterious and exciting to keep the secret.

Ironically, when I did try to tell people that it was I and not Paul McCartney, they just would not believe me.

It saddens me deeply to report that Lee was diagnosed with stomach cancer and became so despondent that he took his own life.

“Goodnight sweet prince and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”

From: Hamlet. William Shakespeare.  April 1564 ? April 23, 1616.

It has been widely reported that radio legend Lee Baby Simms took his own life at his home in Walnut Creek, California on January 28, 2015. He had reportedly been diagnosed with cancer. Simms was 71.

One of the most colorful air personalities during the heyday of American rock and roll radio, Simms worked at 35 stations in 22 cities and found himself on the wrong end of a pink slip at least two dozen times.

Billboard magazine - August 20, 1966 (l-r:) Lee Simms & Woody Roberts
Billboard magazine – August 20, 1966 (l-r:) Lee & Woody
The Hartford Times - October 7, 1966
The Hartford Times – October 7, 1966
The Hartford Times - January 13, 1967
The Hartford Times - January 13, 1967
The Hartford Times – January 13, 1967
The Hartford Courant - July 8, 1967
The Hartford Courant – July 8, 1967

Like many of the stops in his radio career, Lee’s Hartford engagement lasted only a year. It’s worth noting that at first his crosstown competition was WDRC’s Ken Griffin (the man he replaced at WPOP) and, later, Joey Reynolds (another ex-WPOP Good Guy who was just as unpredictable and uncontrollable on the air). It made great listening for Connecticut teens

Click here to read a tribute to Lee Baby by West Coast broadcaster Ken Levine.

Click here to read a biography from Ted Webb’s Radio Years website.

Click here for an index of WPOP personalities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Jim Morrison Movie

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Jim Morrison: Back to the Sixties, Darkly :

Ultimate bad boy’s life story THE DOORS comes to the big screen

Danny Sugerman thought that then-hot disco king John Travolta might make a good Morrison. So he introduced him to the Doors–and he and Manzarek squirreled Travolta around town, taking him to places where the group had hung out. But the other Doors balked. (“John was a nice guy and all that. But he was too nice. He didn’t have Jim’s dangerous edge,” Krieger recalled.) When it became clear that all the rights couldn’t be acquired for Travolta to officially play Morrison, there were talks about Brian De Palma directing Travolta in a fictionalized project, like the thinly disguised Janis Joplin saga, “The Rose.”

Other film makers approached Harari and the Doors–and vice versa. Among them: Jonathan Taplin, Jerry Weintraub, Aaron Russo, Irving Azoff, Michael Mann, Francis Coppola and Martin Scorsese.

As all this was happening, a feature-length Doors documentary was in the works. (It was later abandoned because of efforts to make the feature.)

Morrison’s sister and her husband also announced their intention to make a Morrison movie. But first, stated Anne Morrison Graham and her then-husband, Alan Graham (no relation to Bill Graham), they would stage a rock opera in which seven actors would play various aspects of the Morrison persona. And they planned to make a 90-minute TV documentary.

The rock opera actually happened–at Gazzarri’s on the Sunset Strip, where the Doors had played 16 years earlier. Krieger still laughs about the night that two of the Morrison look-alikes showed up at a club where he was playing and got in a fight with each other.

Though the Grahams have since divorced, Alan Graham remains impassioned about one day making a film about his former brother-in-law. He has a company called Lizard King Productions–so named because of Morrison’s moniker as the Lizard King (from a Doors song). From time to time, Graham sends out announcements of pending projects. Currently in the works: the provocatively titled rock opera, “Who Killed Jim Morrison?”

Harari eventually dropped the option on “No One Here Gets Out Alive,” but he didn’t drop his interest. In 1985, he succeeded in acquiring the rights of the three Doors.

Then Tony Krantz and Tony Ludwig, of Creative Artists Agency, got the idea to bring rock promoter Bill Graham into the project–to deal with the Coursons and the Morrisons.

During the ’60s, the Doors often played Graham’s clubs in San Francisco and New York City. He still remembers their first show at Fillmore West in 1967, in which they were billed with the Jim Kweskin Jugband.

(The Doors were to have other memorable nights at Graham’s clubs–including the time Morrison showed up drunk at Winterland, took to the stage and started throwing the microphone around. At one point, it flew across the room, hit Graham and knocked him down.)

Graham eventually succeeded as a rock ‘n’ roll Henry Kissinger with the estate. “They were not against a movie coming out,” Graham explained. “They’re against the exploitation or the exaggeration of what really went down. After all, those children were reared by those people. The parents want to retain some dignity.

“It’s obvious that this wasn’t exactly Jack Armstrong who was coming through life in that turbulent time. We can’t whitewash Morrison, or Pam. But we want to respect them.”

As it turned out, there was an attempt at a whitewash when the Coursons tried, unsuccessfully, to invoke a clause that would have forbidden any depiction of their daughter using drugs. One stipulation they did get: Pamela Courson-Morrison cannot be depicted as having anything to do with Morrison’s death.

Then there is the contract stipulation involving the Morrisons: With the exception of a pivotal scene involving Jim’s childhood encounter with Indian shamanism, the parents cannot be depicted.

The Coursons and Morrisons also wanted–and got–assurances that the movie would not be an adaptation of “No One Here Gets Out Alive.”

Ironic footnote: eventually, the film makers bought the book’s research materials from co-author Jerry Hopkins. And Sugerman recently came aboard the film, as a consultant.

When all the rights were at last acquired in 1985, Harari put in a call to Oliver Stone’s agent. Would Stone be interested in scripting? On the very day Stone was scheduled to meet with Harari, Stone got the go-ahead to make “Platoon.” The next day he left for the Philippines.

From 1985 until the summer of 1987, the Doors project was at Columbia, under then-chairman Guy McElwaine. But when David Puttnam came to the studio, the project was dropped.

Within 24 hours, Harari got calls from United Artists and Warner Bros. He also got a call from Tony Ludwig, who had left CAA to become the president of Imagine Entertainment.

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MOVIE (Book Store) THEATER

100-Year-Old Theater Is Now A Bookstore And It’s Spectacular

When I die, you can just bury me here….

For the girl whose dream in life is to have an exact replica of the “Beauty and the Beast” library in her house, visiting this bookstore would be like letting a kid loose in a candy shop. El Ateneo Grand Splendid lives up to its name by being both grand in size, and splendid in decoration.

Grand Splendid was originally built in Buenos Aires, Argentina as a tango theater back in 1919. In 1929, it was converted into a cinema and then finally into the grand bookstore it is now in 2000.

 
 

The architect behind the renovation, Fernando Manzone, aimed to preserve the detailed elegance of the theater, from the ornate balconies to the colorfully frescoed ceiling.

 

The bookstore covers a sprawling 21,000 square feet, draws in more than a million tourists, and sells about 700,000 books every year. And while most of the titles are printed in Spanish, just marveling at the theater-turned-bookshop is worth a trip.

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ODE TO LA WHILE THINKING ABOUT BRIAN JONES DECEASED

brian_jones

Lewis Brian Hopkin Jones

 (28 February 1942 – 3 July 1969

I’m a resident of a city
They’ve just picked me to play
the Prince of Denmark

Poor Ophelia

All those ghosts he never saw
Floating to doom
On an iron candle

Come back, brave warrior
Do the dive
On another channel

Hot buttered pool
Where’s Marrakesh
Under the falls
the wild storm
where savages fell out
in late afternoon
monsters of rhythm

You’ve left your
Nothing
to compete w/
Silence

I hope you went out
Smiling
Like a child
Into the cool remnant
of a dream

The angel man
w/ Serpents competing
for his palms
& fingers
Finally claimed
This benevolent
Soul

Ophelia

Leaves, sodden
in silk

Chlorine
dream
mad stifled
Witness

The diving board, the plunge
The pool

You were a fighter
a damask musky muse

You were the bleached
Sun
for TV afternoon

horned-toads
maverick of a yellow spot

Look now to where it’s got
You

in meat heaven
w/ the cannibals
& jews

The gardener
Found
The body, rampant, Floating

Lucky Stiff
What is this green pale stuff
You’re made of

Poke holes in the goddess
Skin

Will he Stink
Carried heavenward
Thru the halls
of music

No Chance.

Requiem for a heavy
That smile
That porky satyr’s
leer
has leaped upward

into the loam

Jim Morrison  August 1969

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Angel’s Flight

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The time you wait subtracts the joy 
Beheads the angels you destroy 
Angels fight, angels cry 
Angels dance and angels die

From: We Could Be So Good Together.  Jim Morrison

 

It is Sunday morning in late December of 1969,  I am riding shotgun in the Blue Lady and it is raining cats and dogs. Jim was at the zenith of his rock-idol period. His celestial sphere sat  directly above at High Noon.

He was also days-drunk but also acting like he was not. He was on automatic pilot stopping only to pass a bottle in a brown bag or to ask me for another cold beer sitting at my feet.  He switched between radio stations playing only driving rock, his own music, and the rest of the top songs of the day.

It would be a year before his Swan Dive in Miami, and as his own eerie lyrics so fatally predicted, this rock rebel, mischievous angel would tumble from the heavens. He would become mortal, never to fly again.

We cruised through downtown Los Angeles which at the time was still a colossal slum. A few years earlier, Bunker Hill sat in ruins peopled by the dregs of society,  once a fabulous district of old victorian mansions was now rapidly dissembling in  gruesome symbiosis. 

The beginnings of new Los Angeles skyline had now replaced a shameful “Bowery slum” with new high rises and a swanky convention center. In the surrounding streets, it was still “those dark satanic mills”.  The appalling living conditions were on par with any third world country.

I asked Jim if we could go see Angels Flight.  We pulled over to the curb and sat at the top of Bunker Hill watching the deluge. He looked at me for what seemed like an eternity.  Then he turned off the radio and said, “What did you say?”

I repeated, Angels Flight.  It’s around here somewhere, right?

I was puzzled that he seemed so surprised. Then he said ,”How could you possibly know about Angels Flight?” Now it was my turn to be surprised. Surely he had seen it in most gangster movies or detective shows in early Los Angeles film noir. It was seen in TV shows — Dragnet, Perry Mason, and movies like Kiss Me Deadly, and even very silly movies such as The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies.

He listened intently as I rattled off the names of the very same films and TV series he also cherished as  much as any historian. We talked back and forth about gangsters,villains, and heroes, movies about cowboy legends, war heroes,  bad guys, and naughty  girls. 

“So where is Angels Flight?” I asked again.

We headed downtown where the rain was now hitting the streets like rapid gunfire with swift flowing gutters. Touch Me was blasting on the radio. The torrential gatling-gun-rain was louder.

We sat looking at Angels Flight or I should say, the site where it once rested. Jim looked over at me and said “Tt’s gone. They tore it down this summer.” We sat in silence, or to sharpen the point, “in rapt funeral amazement” .

We were both startled by the the absolute polar opposite mood we were dragged into. Scarborough Fair was playing in all its far too pleasant, feel good lyrics, “parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme”. We both contemplated visceral suicide. Jim changed the station, and soon we were released from the dreadful happiness and back to Steppenwolf’s Magic Carpet Ride’. We drove off singing at the top of our lungs in a desperate attempt to shake off the sickeningly sweet lyrics “Are you going to Scarborough Fair?”

Two years later Jim would be dead, but this memories are as vivid as they were on that day. Whenever I visit Los Angeles if I do not visit the new site it matters not for just being in proximity is as good as being there and those indelible remembrances prevail.

Twenty-seven years later in 1969, the funicular railway was  lovingly restored, then reopened to my delight. Just to see it running again is to take a trip back in time to the sweet never-to-be-seen-again era of silver and celluloid.

 

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OLD SCHOOL COOL

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YOU KNOW YOU GREW UP IN CORONADO WHEN – REDUX

We ran this story back in 2010 and much to my delight. Coronado’s who have left here never to return still read about the way we lived. As you will read in the story and the post’s and comments section, friends are still trying to locate each other to renew old memories of precious times gone by.

A.R. Graham (Editor)

YKYGUICW

YOU KNOW YOU GREW UP IN CORONADO WHEN

Excerpts from the Facebook blog exclusively for those of us who grew up in Coronado:

YKYGUICWhen…

Does anybody remember the reverend (I think it was Reverend Brown) of the Episcopal Church, when he dyed his hair blonde and bought a corvette? This was probably back in the 50s? He was the talk of the town. That was my church growing up — still a beautiful church. – Maureen Rutherford Nieland

That’s a hoot! We could have used him over at Graham Memorial. Carson was like a raven.  – Suzi Lewis

Oh, I remember him driving that car around town, LOL! – Helen Nichols Murphy Battleson

 

 

John
N/Ax
jonnybvd@gmail.com
68.7.250.52
I’m looking to get a hold of Ken Brown, thanks!

 

Ken Brown
800ozbrown@gmail.com
75.16.34.40
Would you believe….for the 50th CHS reunion the ‘Centaurs’ put it together one more time. Drew Gallahar (Base & Vocals/Santee) coordinated a rehearsal studio in San Diego. Surprisingly to us, sound was good and we decided to show up for the reunion. Good thing since Cliff Lenz and myself were in the class of ’64.

We had Bill Lamden (Sax,Flute,Base & Vocals/San Diego), Danny Orlino (Lead Guitar, Base & Vocals/ Guam), Ken Brown (Drums & Weird Noises/ Westlake Village), Drew Gallahar (Base, Guitar & Vocals) and the glue that brought us together, Mr. Cliff Lenz (Piano, Organ, Guitar, Base & Vocals/Seattle). We were extremely excited when Mike Seavello (Tambourine/San Diego) agreed to coordinate Sound, Equipment and our sanity checks.

For 50+ years out…. we didn’t sound bad and we all had a great time. Just wanted to thank all that supported our musical efforts throughout the years. They were glorious times for each of us and hope we represented good times for you as well.

Original Members:   Cliff Lenz: keyboards, lead guitar
Rick Thomas: lead guitar 
  Doug Johnson: bass 
  Pat Coleman: drums

“The Centaurs” by Cliff Lenz: Funny how a love affair with rock and roll and a seven year odyssey of performing, recording, road trips, and opening for some of the biggest names in rock can begin with just a casual meeting between two high school kids. In the fall of 1962, a classmate and friend of mine at Coronado High, Doug Johnson, said there was a new student named Rick Thomas who played electric guitar and that we should meet. I had a Les Paul Jr. and a breadbox size amp and thought that two guys could sound a lot more like the Ventures than just one guy. So I called Rick and we got together at Doug’s house with our guitars for a jam session. Miracle of miracles, we could actually play something together that didn’t sound half bad, the Venture’s tune “The McCoy”,  E, A, and B7th and lots of open string melody notes, but what the hell it was a start and it was a thrill. I’m sure that it’s a thrill for all young musicians who, never having played with someone else, experience for the first time what collaborative music making can be.

We started practicing on a weekly basis putting a repertoire together. Pat Coleman became our first drummer and we enlisted Doug Johnson to play bass. Having no prior musical experience, it was a little too much for Doug and he politely resigned from the band after a few weeks. Not long thereafter the (now) trio was asked about playing for an after-football game dance. Assistant Principal, Mr. Oliver, wanted to make an announcement over the school PA that a band would be performing but we didn’t have a name. He actually suggested we call ourselves Rick and the Shaws or Cliff and the Dwellers!We had been thinking about possible names. At the time, the Air Force had rolled out its new ballistic missile, the Atlas Centaur – That’s It! Call ourselves the Centaurs and every time they fire one of those babies off, we get free publicity. It was decision time in the principal’s office, and so the group was officially launched with Mr. Oliver’s announcement that the “Centaurs” would be playing that night. I think we had maybe fifteen tunes and played everyone of them three times, but we made it through the gig without a single tomato flying toward the stage. Another thrill and we were hooked.

The new venture would include the frequent addition and deletion of personnel. (This is not necessarily in chronological order).We added a girl singer, Clair Carlson, and saxophonist, Randy Chilton. Kenny Brown became our new drummer with the prettiest pearl Ludwig drum set in San Diego. Drew Gallahar (a guitarist and trumpet player in the CHS stage band) joined us on bass. I got a Fender Strat and Bandmaster amp. Not to be outdone, Rick got a Fender Jaguar and Showman 15 amp and a Fender reverb unit! We got the gig as the house band at what would become the legendary Downwind Club – the Junior Officer’s Club on North Island where we played for six years barely keeping our heads above the oceans of beer served every Sunday. A wonderful saxophonist from La Jolla, Bill Lamden, replaced Chilton. For a time, Janie Seiner was our vocalist. There were dances, concerts, and car shows all over San Diego, and we even played for a change-of-command party at North Island with more captains and admirals than you could count. A major thrill was recording a couple of surf tunes in the United Artists Studio in Hollywood, a session that was produced by Joe Saracino, who had been the producer of the Ventures. We also played on the Sunset Strip in the summer of ’66 in the same club where the Doors became famous.

Rick left the group late in ’66 and was replaced by Danny Orlino. The rest of us were now at San Diego State and Danny was still at CHS. He was a truly gifted player. Bob Demmon, longtime CHS band director and rock guitarist with the famous surf group, the Astronauts, once told me that Danny was maybe the finest guitarist he had ever known personally. I now doubled on guitar and organ. I think we were the first rock group in San Diego to use a cut down Hammond. The keyboards were in one box and the guts in another for portability. I also invested in a Leslie speaker, which really enhanced our sound.

From ’62 to ’67, the music had morphed from Pop to Surf to R&B to Psychedelic. We now had a new chick singer, Linda Morrison (she lived in San Diego), a great talent who became a real driving force with her powerful vocals. Not bad to look at either. She later became Miss San Diego. Steve Kilajanski took over on sax for awhile. We also now had an agency booking engagements for us, Allied Artists of San Diego, and we joined the musicians’ union. Kenny Brown became our manager giving way to several new drummers, all excellent players – Kenny Pernicano, Rick Cutler, the late Paul Bleifuss (formerly with the great S.D. band, the Impalas), Carl Spiron (who played with one of San Diego’s all time great groups, Sandi and the Accents/Classics), and later Terry Thomas.

With great reluctance in 1969, I left my last band (Bright Morning) and my long-time guitar buddy Danny Orlino to head north to go to graduate school at the University of Washington. Danny left San Diego and has been a famous guitarist and singer in Guam for many years. Kenny Brown converted his band manager skills and keen business sense into a successful real estate and property management career in the Los Angeles area. Bill Lamden became a dentist. Drew Gallahar still has his hands all over guitars but now he makes them. He’s a guitar builder at the Blue Guitar in Mission Valley. I had a 20-year career as a television producer and the host of “Seattle Today” on the NBC affiliate in Seattle, but I was also composing and performing music at the same time. Along the way I received an Emmy for composing the theme music for the Phil Donahue Show. I have returned to music as a guitar and piano teacher in the Seattle area. Sadly, Rick Thomas died of cancer in 2004 after a career as an electrical systems maintenance engineer. I visited him in Chico, CA a few months before he passed away. We got out the guitars and played and reminisced. A few months after he died, his parents sent me his guitar, which I will always treasure. It’s an uncommon Fender model called the Coronado.

Thanks to all those of you who listened and danced to our music over the years. It was a great party! (Cliff Lenz, co-founder/leader- the Centaurs)


“The Centaurs” by Ken Brown: The Centaurs rock ‘n’ roll band from Coronado during the 60s meant something special because “The Centaurs” were part of the 60s Rock ‘n’ Roll Revolution. I can remember an article in the Coronado Islander, our high school paper, which pictured the Centaurs success on par with the Beatles. They were riding high and so were we. When you are young, talented, and restless, the imagination becomes your reality. We were on top of the world, our world, and it was great fun for all who participated. We went from playing at Sea World to the Downwind Club to All Night High School Parties to our own Dance concerts. A highlight was the Centaurs opening for ‘The Doors’ at Balboa Stadium. The participants had their own special role for they too were part of the 60s Rock ‘n’ Roll Revolution.

I can safely say that I would not trade a moment of this musical bonanza for any other. We were living life at a fast pace with all the trimmings. Local people knew we were the Centaurs. We carried it wherever we went. We were young talented musicians (all in the local musicians’ union) who had set a new stage and pace for rock and roll. We had the 62 + 64 Chevy 327 Impalas, the Delorean, the Lotus ,and Hemi engines, and a bunch of other hot cars of the time. The Centaurs were sexy with strapping lads and foxy singers. If you were not in the ‘mood’ before our event inevitably you left in the ‘mood’. And that’s my point.

During our 25th Centaur Reunion at the Coronado Women’s Club, we had an array of people, some family, others were supporters with their special memories of what “The Centaurs” did for them. We brought the new 60s sound to Coronado and all its surroundings. We opened the musical doors for our generation. We may have never competed with the Beatles, but we sure promoted their music, along with the Rolling Stones, and a whole lot more Legendary Rock Bands of our time. Can’t have much more fun than that because “We lived the Dream”. (Ken Brown, Drummer and Business Manager of “The Centaurs” and “Framework” from Coronado)

After publishing we received this great comment from Cliff Lenz, original member of The Centaurs:

Thanks for putting the Centaurs in the Rock ‘n’ Roll issue of the Coronado Clarion. (And first up no less!) A side note to the article I thought you’d be interested in- my father was a navy officer- graduated in the same class as Admiral Stephen Morrison from the Naval Academy (class of ’41). They were life long friends and ended up retiring together in Coronado. When I found out that he was the father of Jim….I was excited about the opportunity to ask him about his superstar son. However, my mother warned me to never bring the subject up with his parents as he was persona non grata within the family. The picture of the Admiral in the Academy ’41 Yearbook looks like Jim with a flat-top!

Another sidebar- We opened for the Doors in the old Balboa Stadium in July ’68. Amazing concert- 25,000 stoned/screaming fans. Years later Oliver Stone comes out with “The Doors” with Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison. My stock went up with my two sons when I told them that their dad’s band opened for a Doors concert in San Diego. A few years later my son, at the University of Oregon, told me that he was walking to class with a girl friend and the movie came up in the conversation.
Trying to impress her he reported that his dad had a band that opened for the Doors at a big stadium concert. She said: “Cool, My dad was actually in the Doors!” Turns out she (believe her first name was Kelly) was the daughter of drummer John Densmore!
As they say- small world.
Thanks again for the inclusion of my old band in your magazine- I dearly miss those days……… Coronado and the music of the ’60’s.

Regards,
Cliff Lenz

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The Night of the Lizard King

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The Night Of The Lizard King

A Ghost Rock Opera in three acts

Written By: Alan Graham

 

ACT I

SCENE I. Pacific ocean

Dec 7th 1941

Enter Admiral Morrison singing.

 

ADMIRAL

Grandma love a sailor
who sailed the frozen sea.
Grandpa was a whaler
And he took me on his knee.

He said, “Son, I’m going crazy
From livin’ on the land.
Got to find my shipmates
And walk on foreign sands.”

This old man was graceful
With silver in his smile.
He smoked a briar pipe and
He walked four country miles.

Singing songs of shady sisters
And old time liberty.
Songs of love and songs of death
And songs to set men free.

Yea!

I’ve got three ships and sixteen men,
A course for ports unread.
I’ll stand at mast, let north winds blow
Till half of us are dead.

Land ho!

Well, if I get my hands on a dollar bill,
Gonna buy a bottle and drink my fill.
If I get my hands on a number five,
Gonna skin that little girl alive.

If I get my hand on a number two,
Come back home and marry you, marry you, marry you.
Alright!

Land ho!

 

Work In Progress

 

 

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Photographer Robert Sijka

Maine Coon Cat

Maine Coon Cat

 Maine Coon Cat

Maine Coon Cat

  

Maine Coon Cat

Maine Coon Cat

 Maine Coon Cat
 Maine Coon Cat
 Maine Coon Cat 

Maine Coon Cat

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Alfred Corn – Poet

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It is my honor and privilege to present Alfred Corn, the great American poet and essayist.
Mr Corn was asked by J.D.M.P.S to write a poem in remembrance of Jim Morrison and we are delighted with his submission.
The true Jim Morrison fan has read every single word of Jim’s writings, so “Stranger” is nothing less than poetic scripture lovingly crafted using Morrison’s own repository then presented to delight us one and all.

A. R. Graham.

Stranger


For Jim Morrison


Wilderness scout unaware a sidewinder
during the night has slipped into the tent: he rolls
over onto a two-point bite through his T-shirt.
*
Adam woke one morning to a missing rib.
Eva appeared. Snake eyes: a knowing apple
later, the pair denuded of their innocence
joined wounds and became one flesh again,
though it severed them forever from their garden.
*
Prometheus, Firebringer, chained
to the gods-ordained rock, in agonic
dialogue with a vulture, whose box-cutter
beak finds a way through the ribcage
to dig out chunks of liver. Bright sunrise
to warm sunset: the thief of heat and light
lives as carrion for his winged tormentor.
*
Spear-wound through which the dying Master’s
blood and water poured: in the epilogue
it served (“Put your fingers in the hole”)
as court evidence to doubting Thomas.
Who wouldn’t do it, choked up, and believed.
And Paul’s equivalent? Even during a feast
of friends, he felt a “thorn in his side,” a burr
under the saddle that pricks and gives no rest.
*
Jim, my frontman! We won’t find a Fender burning
at your side. You light a fire in the chest’s beating
hearth, exacerbating a stab wound nothing
will ever stanch. Both entrance and exit,
a door of perception. Go in, strut a little hour
on the stage, be their Dionysus: twice born,
ripped from a mother’s womb and housed
in Zeus’s side until gestation was done. Wasted,
you wanted not this numbed-out cage of ours
but infinite, eternal room. Death’s got that.
It stretched its arms outward to a T, the crossbar
calling you to break into an amniotic otherland
where laughter and soft lies couldn’t wake you.
The embers are with us now, electric, ravaging.
Ah but you: wandering the wilderness like Cain
on your stone highway to the end of the night.

American author Alfred Corn has published ten books of poems, including Stake: Selected Poems, 1972-1992 (1999) and, most recently, Unions (2014). He has also published a novel, Part of His Story, a study of prosody The Poem’s Heartbeat, and two collections of critical essays, The Metamorphoses of Metaphor and Atlas: Selected Essays, 1989-2007. His second novel, Miranda’s Book, will be published in late 2014.

As a graduate student in French literature, he received a Fulbright Fellowship to study for a year in Paris. For his poetry, he has received Guggenheim, NEA, and NYFA fellowships, an Award in Literature from the Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, a fellowship from the Academy of American Poets, and the Dillon, Blumenthal, and Levinson Prizes from Poetry magazine. 

For many years he taught in the Graduate Writing Program at Columbia University and held visiting posts at UCLA, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma State, and Yale. 

His book reviews have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the Nation, the New Republic, the Hudson Review, and Poetry London. He also writes art criticism for Art in America and ARTnews magazines. 

In 2001 Abrams published Aaron Rose Photographs, for which he supplied the introduction. In 2003 he was a fellow of the Rockefeller Study and Conference Center at Bellagio, Lake Como, and for 2004-2005, he held the Amy Clampitt residency in Lenox, Massachusetts. From 2005 to 2011 he lived mostly in London, teaching a course for the Poetry School, and one for the Arvon Foundation. His play, Lowell’s Bedlam, premiered at Pentameters Theatre in London in 2011. In 2012, he was a Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, working on a translation of the Duino Elegies, and in 2013 Clare Hall made him a Life Fellow. In 2014 he won the international Andersen Prize, awarded for a fairy tale, by the Comune di Sestri Levante in Italy. 
Corn lives in Rhode Island and spends part of every year in the UK.

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MORRISON HOTEL/Hard Rock Cafe by The Doors

MORRISON HOTEL/Hard Rock Cafe by The Doors

(1970/Electra Records, NY).


The album’s front and back covers, as photographed on December 17th, 1969 in Los Angeles by Henry Diltz with art direction by Gary Burden. 


Here’s the front cover of the album, the Door’s fifth album, released in 1970. The members of the band are, from left to right, Ray Manzarek (piano, organ), Robbie Krieger (guiter), Jim Morrison (vocals), and John Densmore (drums).



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz)


This is where the cover was photographed: 1246 South Hope Street, Los Angeles. At the time the building was a low-rent hotel for transients called “The Morrison Hotel.” It has been closed for several years.



Here it is PopSpotted – with the album cover placed in the exact position where the photo was taken.



And the same view, but from a wider angle; click to enlarge.





TO give you a view of how big the hotel was, here’s the former Morrison Hotel from across the street. (CLICK TO ENLARGE)





Here’s an aeriel view from Bing’s bird’s eye view.




The hotel was located in downtown Los Angeles. Here’s where that is in relation to Hollywood, Beverly Hills and the Pacific Ocean. Downtown LA is having a resurgence now, but for many years was overshadowed by the glamourous parts of Los Angeles nearer the ocean.




A few days before the shoot, Ray Manzarek and his wife were cruising through the neighboorhood looking for funky locations for the photoshoot, when they spotted the hotel. They recommended to the group that the cover shot be be taken there.

When the entourage arrived several days later, the desk clerk told the photographer that the group would not be allowed into the building for any photos. So the band took some photos outside while while they figured out how to take a picture incorporating the Morrison Hotel sign in the front window. Here’s one in the doorway.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


And another version from a different angle.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


The photographer, Henry Diltz, covered the scene from many different angles in pursuit of the perfect picture. Here’s Jim Morrison posing out front.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


This is a close-up of the sign in the front window. I doubt there were mints under the pillows.




Photographer Henry Diltz is on the left side of this photo taken from a documentary featuring the shoot made years later in the Morrison Hotel lobby (see Addendum for more info). To the right is Gary Burden the art director. They worked together on many albums in the 1960’s to 1970’s. More on them later.

In between them is the front desk. Back when they were photographing the Doors, when they saw the desk clerk leave for a break, they quickly got the Doors to rush into the hotel and pose, looking out the front window under the “Morrison Hotel” sign. Diltz managed to shoot a roll, starting at the window then moving back across the street and using a telephoto. Then they left and the security guard never knew the photo shoot had taken place.



(still shot from the DVD “Under the Covers.” See Addendum for more info.) 


Here’s the first photo taken, as the Doors are sneaking in to take their places.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


First, Ray and Jim show up.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


Then Robbie and John show up.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


Gary Burden, the art director, also shows up in the background. Can you see him?



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


Here he is in close-up.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


That’s Gary Burden on the left with with Mama Cass and Henry Diltz from back in the day



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


Now Gary has left and Henry Diltz is close to the cover shot, going now for a straight-on shot.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


Bingo! Here’s the final shot: One of the most perfect “form-and-function” rock shots ever – perfectly composed for an album cover, complete with cool typeface, not to mention the name of the lead singer built in!



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


I liked it so much, I’m going to show it to you again with a circle showing the reflection of the photographer, Henry Diltz.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


If you go to Google Images and search for “1246 South Hope Street,” this great photo from that era pops up on several websites, but there is no mention as to its origin. It looks like it came from Henry Diltz’ photo session, except that: 1) the venetian blinds in the window are at the level from after the photoshoot, 2) there is no “rooms $2.50 sign” in the window, and 3) most vividly, the shadows from the sign in the “greenish” picture are very pronounced), so it most likely was taken on a different occasion by a different person.



(photo origin unknown) 


Here’s a shot from Henry Diltz’s session from about the same place (taken off a computer monitor). Notice that the venetian blinds are lower.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


Here’s the cover shot inserted into the older photo. The venetian blinds have ben pulled up to get a clear shot of the hotel name.




So, with the cover shot complete, then the guys decide to drive around and find a place get a beer, since it’s daytime and they are rock stars. They go a few blocks and – lo and behold – look what they wander upon …a bar called, fortuitously, the Hard Rock Cafe.

The restaurant chain named The Hard Rock Cafe would later take it’s name from this album. One can only wonder though, where the name “hard rock” came from to the owner of this low-rent cafe near skid row Los Angeles. Hard labor? Hard rock to blast to make the highway? The denizens of this bar don’t seem like Zeppelin fans…though ya never know.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


The Doors show up.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


Let’s backtrack a little: The corner is the southwest corner of East 5th Street and Wall Street, Los Angeles; about 8 blocks from The Morrison Hotel.




Here’s a panorama of the corner. (CLICK TO ENLARGE)





And here, I’ve overlayed the back of the album cover over the scene as shot by Google Street Maps.




(interior photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


So if we follow the band into the bar, you see this stool…



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


..That’s the one the drummer John Densmore is sitting on in the double-wide inner sleeve photo.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


And if we pull the camera back a little, we can see the whole center gatefold of the album. Looks like the boys have ordered some of the beverage du jour. (Well, I woke up this morning and got myself a beeeeerrr!)



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


It also looks like Jim even ordered a bag of chips for the guys.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


Here are some more outtakes from the bar shoot…



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


…and another…



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


…and another. This time, one of the guys from the bar gets in on the shot.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


He clearly does not mind being in the spotlight.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


The beers having been consumed, the guys walk back outside.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


…followed by their new friend, who unfortunately, didn’t know how to play an instrument, and missed his opportunity for rock immortality.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


Here’s where all that took place: the Hard Rock in relation to the Morrison Hotel.




Well, that’s all folks! If you want to buy any of these photos, call up The Morrison Hotel gallery, Henry Diltz’s rock photography store at 124 Prince Street in Soho, New York (pictured below), or visit the store online at MorrisonHotel.com.




Even the front window looks like the old album cover. Fun to take your photo in front of and to email your fellow Doors fans back home.






Addendum 1: The front cover of UNDER THE COVERS, a DVD by photographer Henry Diltz and art director Gary Burden featuring the behind-the-scenes stories of taking the photographs and designing the covers for many of the iconic albums covers of the 60’s and 70’s. It’s available through most online DVD stores.




The back cover to Under the Covers listing many of the albums featured in the video documentary.




Addendum 2: Some ads from the time of the album’s release.





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Shakespeare allusions in Jim Morrison`s poetry

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Jim Morrison (1943-1971) was one of the most educated and well-read poets of his time. He was interested in Greek drama and Artaud theater and just the theater concept in itself. A born poet, signer and actor Morrison managed to reveal his talents while working as a frontman of The Doors. He didn`t just sing but acted trying this or that role of a shaman-poet, of a Greek god Dyonis, of a mythic Lizard King. Morrison was a real poet-performer, he created his own tragedy in his mind and through his poetry he dramatized his inner feelings and emotions.

Though Morrison preferred the epic theater of Brecht and the Theater of Cruelty of Artaud to traditional theater associated with Shakespeare for the latter lacks the possibility of involving the spectator into the action as a participant of a certain rite, Morrison respected greatly Shakespeare`s works and while reading Wilderness we can`t but find lots of Shakespeare allusions in his poetry.

In Ode to LA while thinking of Brian Jones, Deceased Morrison writes:

I’m a resident of a city
They’ve just picked me to play
the Prince of Denmark…

The poet feels himself a Hamlet – and that may seem old-fashioned and even banal but the thing is that the existential problem of to-be-or-not-to-be is actually the only one worth mentioning in poetry. Death may surely be called one of the central problems in Morrison`s poetry. Morrison as a true visionary poet forsaw lots of things and predicted his own death. He died a very young man at the age of 27. Image of death, the end, appears throughout his poetry. A poet feeling his end too close couln`t but asked himself whether the life was worth living, whether the life was worth being a sacrifice for a revealed truth:

…You’ve left your
Nothing
to compete w/
Silence…

Ode to LA is devoted to Brian Jones, a rock musician (The Rolling Stones) whosemysterious death in a swimming pool influenced Morrison and provoked him to writing a poem languorous with images of water, pools, trampling board and dead bodies:

…Poor Ophelia

All those ghosts he never saw
Floating to doom
On an iron candle

Come back, brave warrior
Do the dive
On another channel

Hot buttered pool
Where’s Marrakesh
Under the falls
the wild storm
where savages fell out
in late afternoon
monsters of rhythm…

Shakespeare`s Ophelia may have some resemblence to Brian Jones and even to Morrison`s own death as he died in a bathroom in Paris in 1971. The official version was heart attack. Applying Morrison`s death to the poem makes the latter twice more terrifying:

Ophelia

Leaves, sodden
in silk

Chlorine
dream
mad stifled
Witness

The diving board, the plunge
The pool

You were a fighter
a damask musky muse

You were the bleached
Sun
for TV afternoon

horned-toads
maverick of a yellow spot

Look now to where it’s got
You

in meat heaven
w/the cannibals
& jews

The gardener
Found
The body, rampant, Floating

Lucky Stiff
What is this green pale stuff
You’re made of

Poke holes in the goddess
Skin

Will he Stink
Carried heavenward
Thru the halls
of music

No chance.

Requiem for a heavy
That smile
That porky satyr’s
leer
has leaped upward

into the loam

Another important image in Morrison`s poetry is the Far Arden. Far Arden is known to the reader from Shakespeare`s As You Like It. In Morrison`s poetry Far Arden symbolizes freedom, joy and music, it is a mystic forest where songs and dances rule:

Ladies & gentlemen:
please attend carefully to these words & events
It’s your last chance, our last hope.
In this womb or tomb, we’re free of the
swarming streets.
The black fever which rages is safely
out those doors
My friends & I come from
Far Arden w/dances, &
new music
Everywhere followers accure
to our procession.
Tales of Kings, gods, warriors
and lovers dangled like
jewels for your careless pleasure

(he enters stage)

The poet tries a role of a middle age minstrel, a vagabond, a wanderer, who chose his life be an ever feast of life. Tales of kings and queens attract Morrison`s imagination. He admires the illusion of harmony in Shakespeare`s world:

Under the moon
Beneath the stars
They reel & dance
The young folk

Led to the Lake
by a King & Queen

O, I want to be there
I want us to be there
Beside the lake
Beneath the moon
Cool & swollen
dripping its hot
liquor

(Signals)

A poet of the XXth century, when a man was left alone, when the death of the god was officially proclaimed and life was changed for existence with no aim in life, Shakespeare`s Far Arden stands for middle age utopia, a world of fiction and illusions, a beautiful forest where young folk sing and dance and the poet would gladly plump for this world of dreams.

Traditionally Shakespeare`s images are reflected intertextually in the works of the poets of the following centuries. Morrison as a poet of tradition contributed this tendency greatly. He interpreted Shakespeare`s images through his own scope of vision of a poet born in the XXth century whose poetic style was worked out on the base of existential philosophy combined with the tradition of visionary poets, Indian religion and American avant-garde of the 1950-60s.

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Coronado Clarion Front Cover Summer Edition 2016

Clarion-front-cover-Summer-2016

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RAIN DANCING

“Life isn’t how to survive the storm, it’s about how to dance in the rain.”

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Claudio Parentela


INTRODUCING  CLAUDIO PARANTELA

JIM8 JIM7 JIM6 JIM5 JIM4 JIM3 JIM2 JIM1

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WILLIAM BLAKE – JIM MORRISON

THE POET BEHIND THE DOORS: JIM MORRISON’S POETRY AND THE 1960S COUNTERCULUTRAL MOVEMENT

Steven Andrew Erkel, B.A. Thesis Advisor: Ricardo L. Ortiz, Ph.D ABSTRACT

While there has been a wealth of literature on Jim Morrison, the lead singer of the Doors, little work has actually been done to engage in a serious critical study of his poetry and lyrics. As a result, critics have continually misrepresented his work (usually linking it to a drug culture), the poetic tradition from which he built, and, most importantly, his place within the context of the 1960s. Looking at both his poetry and his lyrics, this thesis begins to discover reasons for Morrison’s fractured relationship with his generation. This relationship can be better understood by examining Morrison’s work alongside two cultural phenomena that were incredibly popular during the 1960s: Eastern religion and also communal living. While, on the one hand, Morrison uncompromisingly insisted upon individuality, allowing people to become the creators of their own reality through their imagination, the spiritual practice of Eastern religion and the material practice of communal living on the other hand insisted upon people following specific creeds and doctrines to reach a higher level of spiritual cognition and/or inner peace. By understanding the reasons for this fractured relationship, we can not only better understand the context of “Five to One” and his notorious 1969 concert in Miami – two instances where Morrison insults his generation for their lack of willpower and their enslavement to a fixed system of order – but we can also see that Morrison himself was highly aware that his core message that he preached throughout his career (1966-71) was radically opposed to the messages and visions embraced by his generation.

Take the highway to the end of the night

End of the night
End of the night
Take a journey to the bright midnight End of the night
End of the night

Realms of Bliss Realms of Light

– Jim Morrison, “End of the Night,”
Jim Morrison – undoubtedly one of the most celebrated performers of the Rock era, one of its most successful songwriters, and one of its most charismatic figures – has since his death in 1971 invited discussions from critics and fans regarding his life, work, and impact on the radical decade of the 1960s.1

While Morrison always considered himself to be a poet, the vast majority of

critics of his work have never taken into account his poetry, instead choosing to base

their examination on Morrison’s myth or legend, concepts which have little

resemblance to who Morrison actually was or what he tried to accomplish. Perhaps this

“myth” began in 1980, when Danny Sugerman, an assistant to Morrison and former

manager of the Doors, wrote in the Foreword to No One Here Gets Out Alive: “Jim Morrison was a god.” poses an inherent problem: Jim Morrison was not a god nor did he see himself as one.

Sections of this thesis appeared in another essay entitled “Fanny Howe and Jim Morrison: A Vision

Beyond the Senses.” The sections of that essay that appear in this thesis have since been modified and expanded.

In his introduction to The Doors: The Complete Lyrics, Sugerman contradicts (or corrects) his earlier remarks on Morrison, writing: “Jim Morrison didn’t want to be a god” 

However innocent this line may be, I argue it What is more troubling, indeed, is that these lines were written in the first major biography on Morrison, and have reached more than a million readers.

Not surprisingly, then, Sugerman’s perception of Morrison in No One Here Gets Out Alive has become a catalyst for other critics and fans to propel the “Morrison
myth.” Like Sugerman, Wallace Fowlie, the late professor at Duke University, refers
to Morrison as the Greek figure “kuros” (Fowlie 105). William Cook, who responds to Fowlie’s remarks here, argues that: Fowlie ignores the literary qualities of [Morrison’s] poetry. Like most people that encountered Morrison, either through books or in person, Fowlie never seems to get past the myth. In view of this unfortunate aspect of his discussion of Morrison’s poetry, his approach is neither scholarly nor enlightening 

For the best biography on Jim Morrison, see Jerry Prochnicky and James Riordan’s Break on Through: The Life and Death of Jim Morrison. In the opening pages of their biography, they recognize the decades of writing that fabricated the Morrison myth. As they write:  I’ve learned the hard way that it’s not easy to separate truth from myth and the bigger the legend the more difficult it becomes. All good myths soon become self-perpetuating and each person who recounts them tends to add a little something of his or her own. Add this to the fact that there are a host of people out there consciously perpetrating the Morrison myth for their own financial gain, and the maze because a considerable one. The funny thing is that Morrison never needed exaggeration. His truth is indeed far stranger than the fiction that has grown up around him.

Nonetheless, the passage of twenty years [the book was written in 1981, twenty years after Morrison’s death] has clouded the issues and led to many obstacles – lost documents, an absence of witnesses, selective memory, and even worse, creative memory – people remembering what they wish would’ve happened instead of what actually did 

Fowlie further writes:
As far as I can ascertain, it is not the name of a god, or even a minor god. It is a general term designating in Greek a young man, an adolescent: kuros […] The word is applied to a youth attractive to men and women. At times it is in praise of beauty. At other times it is hurled almost as a curse at those youths who insolently torment older people. This name I suggest as representative of the nonhypocritical innocence of Jim when he was not aware of the power of his appearance and his personality (Fowlie 105).

While I would not suggest that Fowlie’s “approach is neither scholarly nor enlightening,” as it is the first piece of scholarship to at least engage with Morrison’s poetry, I agree with Cook that “by concentrating on the myth of Morrison” in this instance, Fowlie’s work continues to propel the Morrison myth, rather than engaging in a serious academic analysis on the “literary qualities of” Morrison’s “poetry.” In other words, by continuing a dialogue that fosters the Morrison myth, Fowlie has failed – and, in so doing, has encouraged others to follow in his path – to judge Morrison based on the platform upon which Morrison invited his readers to judge him, his poetry.

Take, for instance, three other prominent books on Morrison – John Densmore’s

Riders on the Storm: My Life With Jim Morrison and the Doors (1991); Patricia

Kennealy’s Strange Days: My Life With and Without Jim Morrison (1992); and Ray

Manzarek’s Light My Fire: My Life With the Doors (1998) – which have all taken the

form of a memoir. While these authors’ personal narratives of Morrison and the Doors

are clearly worth sharing with the public, the overwhelming amount of literature on

Morrison has taken a variety of similar forms, but none of which has sought to examine

 his poetry and lyrics.

Far too much has been written on Morrison’s life, his relationship with the Doors, and his myth; by extension, far too little has been written on Morrison’s poetry

Prochnicky and Riordan support this argument, writing:
The image Jim Morrison created for the media was considerably different from the real person. The press saw the side of Morrison that best suited their needs. Predictably, their accounts were steeped in paradox: Writers praised the emotional insights in Morrison’s lyrics and then criticized him for trying to be a poet. The press called him ‘King of Orgasmic Rock’ and attacked him for being pretentious. They praised him for the fusion of rock and drama that The Doors created and then put him down for carrying it too far. They hailed him as the chief shaman of new religion and then questioned his sanity for taking himself too seriously  and lyrics. We cannot understand Morrison, his lyrics and his poetry, his life, his understanding of the human form, and his relationship with the 1960s countercultural movement – areas in which Morrison critics have continually tried but failed to understand – unless we begin to extract Morrison the “poet” from how decades of critics and fans have seen him, and begin to have a serious examination of his poetry and lyrics. Strictly as a poet, Morrison’s place in history remains to be seen, not because his lyrics and poetry are not worthy of critical study, but because critics and fans have only engaged with his legacy through the lens of his celebrity.

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William Blake 1757-1827.

A Poison Tree

 BY  WILLIAM BLAKE

I was angry with my friend; 
I told my wrath, my wrath did end. 
I was angry with my foe: 
I told it not, my wrath did grow. 
And I waterd it in fears, 
Night & morning with my tears: 
And I sunned it with smiles, 
And with soft deceitful wiles. 
And it grew both day and night. 
Till it bore an apple bright. 
And my foe beheld it shine, 
And he knew that it was mine. 
And into my garden stole, 
When the night had veild the pole; 
In the morning glad I see; 
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.
 william_blake_quote

William Blake was born in London on November 28, 1757, to James, a hosier, and Catherine Blake. Two of his six siblings died in infancy. From early childhood, Blake spoke of having visions—at four he saw God “put his head to the window”; around age nine, while walking through the countryside, he saw a tree filled with angels. Although his parents tried to discourage him from “lying,” they did observe that he was different from his peers and did not force him to attend conventional school. He learned to read and write at home. At age ten, Blake expressed a wish to become a painter, so his parents sent him to drawing school. Two years later, Blake began writing poetry. When he turned fourteen, he apprenticed with an engraver because art school proved too costly. One of Blake’s assignments as apprentice was to sketch the tombs at Westminster Abbey, exposing him to a variety of Gothic styles from which he would draw inspiration throughout his career. After his seven-year term ended, he studied briefly at the Royal Academy.

In 1782, he married an illiterate woman named Catherine Boucher. Blake taught her to read and to write, and also instructed her in draftsmanship. Later, she helped him print the illuminated poetry for which he is remembered today; the couple had no children. In 1784 he set up a printshop with a friend and former fellow apprentice, James Parker, but this venture failed after several years. For the remainder of his life, Blake made a meager living as an engraver and illustrator for books and magazines. In addition to his wife, Blake also began training his younger brother Robert in drawing, painting, and engraving. Robert fell ill during the winter of 1787 and succumbed, probably to consumption. As Robert died, Blake saw his brother’s spirit rise up through the ceiling, “clapping its hands for joy.” He believed that Robert’s spirit continued to visit him and later claimed that in a dream Robert taught him the printing method that he used in Songs of Innocence and other “illuminated” works.

Blake’s first printed work, Poetical Sketches (1783), is a collection of apprentice verse, mostly imitating classical models. The poems protest against war, tyranny, and King George III’s treatment of the American colonies. He published his most popular collection, Songs of Innocence, in 1789 and followed it, in 1794, with Songs of Experience. Some readers interpret Songs of Innocence in a straightforward fashion, considering it primarily a children’s book, but others have found hints at parody or critique in its seemingly naive and simple lyrics. Both books of Songs were printed in an illustrated format reminiscent of illuminated manuscripts. The text and illustrations were printed from copper plates, and each picture was finished by hand in watercolors.

Blake was a nonconformist who associated with some of the leading radical thinkers of his day, such as Thomas Paine and Mary Wollstonecraft. In defiance of 18th-century neoclassical conventions, he privileged imagination over reason in the creation of both his poetry and images, asserting that ideal forms should be constructed not from observations of nature but from inner visions. He declared in one poem, “I must create a system or be enslaved by another man’s.” Works such as “The French Revolution” (1791), “America, a Prophecy” (1793), “Visions of the Daughters of Albion” (1793), and “Europe, a Prophecy” (1794) express his opposition to the English monarchy, and to 18th-century political and social tyranny in general. Theological tyranny is the subject of The Book of Urizen (1794). In the prose work The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790-93), he satirized oppressive authority in church and state, as well as the works of Emanuel Swedenborg, a Swedish philosopher whose ideas once attracted his interest.

In 1800 Blake moved to the seacoast town of Felpham, where he lived and worked until 1803 under the patronage of William Hayley. He taught himself Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and Italian, so that he could read classical works in their original language. In Felpham he experienced profound spiritual insights that prepared him for his mature work, the great visionary epics written and etched between about 1804 and 1820. Milton (1804-08), Vala, or The Four Zoas (1797; rewritten after 1800), and Jerusalem (1804-20) have neither traditional plot, characters, rhyme, nor meter. They envision a new and higher kind of innocence, the human spirit triumphant over reason.

Blake believed that his poetry could be read and understood by common people, but he was determined not to sacrifice his vision in order to become popular. In 1808 he exhibited some of his watercolors at the Royal Academy, and in May of 1809 he exhibited his works at his brother James’s house. Some of those who saw the exhibit praised Blake’s artistry, but others thought the paintings “hideous” and more than a few called him insane. Blake’s poetry was not well known by the general public, but he was mentioned in A Biographical Dictionary of the Living Authors of Great Britain and Ireland, published in 1816. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who had been lent a copy of Songs of Innocence and of Experience, considered Blake a “man of Genius,” and Wordsworthmade his own copies of several songs. Charles Lamb sent a copy of “The Chimney Sweeper” from Songs of Innocence to James Montgomery for his Chimney-Sweeper’s Friend, and Climbing Boys’ Album (1824), and Robert Southey (who, like Wordsworth, considered Blake insane) attended Blake’s exhibition and included the “Mad Song” from Poetical Sketches in his miscellany, The Doctor (1834-1837).

Blake’s final years, spent in great poverty, were cheered by the admiring friendship of a group of younger artists who called themselves “the Ancients.” In 1818 he met John Linnell, a young artist who helped him financially and also helped to create new interest in his work. It was Linnell who, in 1825, commissioned him to design illustrations for Dante‘s Divine Comedy, the cycle of drawings that Blake worked on until his death in 1827.

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POETS KENNETH PATCHEN & JIM MORRISON

Jazz got into poet Michael C. Ford’s blood at an early age and it’s been flowing there ever since.

The 43-year-old Chicago native recalls listening to singer June Christy on the radio at age 9, and standing outside Zardi’s at 12, hearing “brass waterfalls” soar from the band of Stan Kenton, “whose ghost is still one of my heroes.”

But it was experiences at 15 that started Ford on a lifelong romance with words and music. A man named Jack Hampton began presenting jazz at the Crenshaw Theatre on Crenshaw Boulevard, where Ford used to see such films as “Between Midnight and Dawn” and “Gun Crazy.”

Sometimes there would be poets on the bill as well. Ford heard writers such as Kenneth Patchen, Kenneth Rexroth and Ken Nordine reading their poetry, accompanied by such musicians as Shorty Rogers, Art Pepper and Teddy Edwards. He was immediately inspired.

Poet Michael C. Ford remembers Kenneth Patchen. He came down from San Francisco, along with Allyn Ferguson’s Chamber Jazz Sextet in his West L.A. apartment that he dubbed “an alchemist’s cave where quality lead is turned into fool’s gold.” “Ferguson’s charts were designed for Patchen’s poetry. The band started, then Patchen walked out in a red tux coat, sat down on a bar stool with his work on a music stand and just cooked . It was unbelievable. I realized that was what I wanted to do.”

Ford, who was first influenced by poets like Dylan Thomas, started writing as a teen-ager and was first published in Germany in 1962. But he didn’t stick with it, and didn’t write much between 1963-69. Instead, he played bass with jazz-influenced rockers like pianist Ray Manzarek (the Doors) and drummer Ed Cassidy (Spirit) and traveled. He also “schlepped scenery” for John Houseman’s Theatre Group at UCLA Extension, a job he got through Oscar-winning actor F. Murray Abraham, and where he met poet/musician Jim Morrison.

After his debut reading with Morrison and Michael McClure at the Cinematique 16 Theatre on the Sunset Strip in 1969, Ford began writing with a passion. Since 1970, he’s published at least one volume a year–from large, fold-out “broadsides” to small, staple-bound “chapbooks.” He’s also conducted numerous teaching seminars and workshops in Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California. For the past five years, he has been San Joaquin County coordinator of California Poets-in-the-schools, a seminar-for-teachers program under the auspices of the Humanities Department at San Francisco State University. Here he gives teachers ideas on how to help students “find new ways that will allow them to find some avenue of (written) self-expression.”

Despite his jazz roots, Ford doesn’t consider himself a jazz poet. “I’m glad I’m not (that limited),” he said. “I tend to go for something more inside. Everything I write comes through a very complicated, multi-layered funnel of the poetic imagination.”

Some of Ford’s poems center on jazz personalities like Art Pepper, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk and Bobby Troup. Others, such “Virgin River Gorge,” which alludes to the sound of five trombones in describing a river’s roar, reveal that the writer’s musical experiences from the late ’50s-early ’60s are freely scattered throughout his work.

“Yes, I use that music as part of my image life,” he said. “There’s a whole era of piano bars and jazz clubs that’s got to be remembered, and people are too willing to say goodby to it.”

He reads his poetry tonight ()at McCabe’s in a reunion with McClure, and Sunday at the Lhasa Club, where he’ll work in between screenings of “The Jazz Tapes,” which features greats Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Lester Young and Count Basie. Ford has also just released a debut spoken word LP, “Language Commando” (Freeway Records), which he describes as “a cross section of pop culture images with some of the past tense.”

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THE LIVERPOOL PIES

If you’ve ever been driving along the M57 and noticed ‘The Pies The Pies’ written on a motorway bridge, you were probably a bit confused (and hungry. ) 

But 30 years after their name first started appearing on motorway bridges all around the north west, The Pies have finally released their debut album.

In case you didn’t already know, The Pies are a Liverpool band who somehow managed to become a phenomenon without anyone knowing what they actually do.

Giant graffiti spelling the word pies on the Mersey tunnel ventilation shaft at Birkenhead
Giant graffiti spelling the word pies on the Mersey tunnel ventilation shaft at Birkenhead

Formed in the late 80s and regulars on the Liverpool music scene, the original Pies split around 1993 After an ill-fated US tour.

The original graffiti was painted on a bridge above the M57 after the band said they ‘became stuck’ on the bridge and ‘didn’t know what else to do.’

The Pies graffiti on the M6

Guitarist, singer and songwriter Ashley Martin formed a new line-up around 2000 and even performed on top of Walton Prison. 

He told the BBC: “The M57 is the famous one, ‘The Pies The Pies’ was basically because we got stuck on the bridge and we didn’t know what to do, so we wrote The Pies again.

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A Death In Paris (1971) By: A. R. Graham

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A Play in three acts’

Act 1.

Scene One.

The deck of an American world war two aircraft carrier The Bon Homme Richard (Bonnie Dick).

The heavily decorated ships Captain stands alone looking out at a tempest tossed ocean as the wind, rain, and lightening process.

He turns to the audience and begins a  mournful soliloquy on loss of blood and treasure.

He ends with…

“I wish I could have told him in the living years”

fade to black.

Scene 2.

A brief silence ensues broken by the strained bursts of discordant violins,  followed by   a single male voice reciting (not singing) the lyrics to Gershwin’s… (I love Paris  every moment, every moment of the year)…

Lights up on Jim Morrison standing alone, dressed in a cap and gown at his high school graduation day ceremony.

Enter stage left Pamela carrying a black box from which she produces a rolled parchment and a silver dagger.

Above them on the god walk appears the apparition of  Jean Paul Marat and Charlotte Corday deeply embroiled in a mime heated argument.

Corday waves aloft a document a “Last Will and Testimony” in fact.

Marat call out to Morrison “Aidez-moi, ma chère amie!”

The stage fractures left and as the lights are slowly dimming on Jim and Pamela, Corday, using the silver dagger, points an accusing finger at Pamela…

A didgeridoo vibrates loudly as the right side of the stage illuminates to a winters day in Per La Chaise Cemetery…..

two grave diggers are excavating a tomb…

fade to black.. 

 

Work In Progress.

 

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RARE ALICE

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‘Extremely rare’: A first edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Books specialist Francis Wahlgren on a remarkable true first edition published in 1865 — one of only 23 surviving copies

‘This is a true first edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,’ says Francis Wahlgren, Christie’s International Director of Science & Books, of an original 1865 edition of the Lewis Carroll fantasy that went on to become one of the most famous works in children’s literature. It will be offered in a stand-alone sale taking place at 12pm on 16 June, immediately following the Books & Manuscripts auction at Christie’s New York.

A lecturer in mathematics at Oxford, Carroll’s real passion was for storytelling, says Wahlgren. ‘This copy (estimate: $2,000,000-3,000,000) is interesting because we can trace its history back to the Oxford days,’ he notes. ‘It was given to a little girl by her father, who had a position at Oxford, and it stayed with her for her entire life.’

The story of the 1865 edition begins on 4 July 1862 when Charles Dodgson (alias Lewis Carroll), along with a friend The Rev Robinson Duckworth, took the three daughters of Dean Liddell of Christ Church, Oxford — Lorina, Alice and Edith — on a boat trip on the Thames. During the afternoon he related the first parts of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, the precursor to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. On their return, Alice asked him to write down the story.

Working with renowned illustrator John Tenniel of Punch magazine, Lewis Carroll developed the elements of the story into this book. Three years later, during June 1865, the first edition was printed with the intention to have Macmillan & Co. of London publish it on 4 July 1865. Lewis Carroll requested 50 advance copies to give away. A few days later Carroll heard from Tenniel that he was ‘entirely dissatisfied with the printing of the pictures.’ Carroll withdrew the entire edition of 2000 and asked for the advance copies he had sent to be returned.

Dodgson, Charles Lutwidge (‘Lewis Carroll’), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. London: [The Clarendon Press for] Macmillan, 1865. 42 wood-engraved illustrations by the Dalziel brothers after John Tenniel. Original publisher’s red cloth decorated in gilt, original endpapers with Burn bindery ticket on rear pastedown. Estimate: $2,000,000-3,000,000. This work is offered on 16 June at Christie’s New York

 ‘Seeing an 1865 Alice is a very special thing,’ Wahlgren continues. ‘There are only 23 surviving copies, of which all but five are in public institutions.’ This edition has remained remarkably intact over the intervening 150 years since its publication, and still features its original binding, binder’s ticket and title page. ‘It has the original integrity which any collector really values,’ Wahlgren adds. It is one of ten surviving copies still in original red cloth, only two of which are in private hands, the other described as ‘heavily worn’.

This copy was given by Lewis Carroll to George William Kitchin, a colleague of Carroll’s at Christ Church, and Secretary of the School Book Committee for the University Press. Kitchin later gave the book to his daughter Alexandra (‘Xie’) Rhoda Kitchin (born 1864), who was one of Carroll’s favourite photographic models. The book is accompanied by an original photograph of her taken by Lewis Carroll. She sold the copy at auction in 1925, but, sadly, died on the day of the sale.

‘This book is extremely rare,’ says Wahlgren, ‘and really epitomises why I do my job and why I’m here at Christie’s.’ 

Posted in Clarion Rock, Summer 2016 | Leave a comment

JIM MORRISON CAVE

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Public access to a popular hiking destination known as the Jim Morrison Cave has been closed after California State Parks officials said the graffiti is out of control.

The Corral Canyon Cave is deep in the mountains of Malibu Creek State Park. The cave was named after the Doors’ frontman who has never actually stepped foot in it.

 

Craig Sap, district superintendent for state parks, said the graffiti has become a growing problem.

“Typically, people will be arrested, cited and booked. The restitution is very substantial. It can be up to several to $10,000 per incident,” he said.

As the Eyewitness News crew ventured to the cave, a park ranger found a group from Texas packing three cans of spray paint. They said they wanted to honor a woman’s son who died last year. They received a citation.

Park rangers said social media posts are inspiring others to leave their mark on the cave. Now that it’s off-limits, the state will spend about $40,000 to scrub off all the graffiti. But vandals have aimed outside of the cave as well.

“Several hundred a week are heading up there. Most of them aren’t engaging in this activity – just a few. But those few have done substantial damage,” Sap said.

Parks reps aren’t sure when the cave will reopen to the public, but the graffiti problem doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

Jim Morrison’s Mythical Cave Closed Over Doors-Inspired Graffiti

As the Doors song goes, this is the end.

Fans of the band who have marked up a scenic cave on the California coast with psychedelic graffiti will have to find another place to spray out their love for frontman Jim Morrison. It has closed indefinitely for cleanup.

The trend began with a social media myth that the singer wrote songs in Corral Canyon Cave in Malibu Creek State Park.

Remembering Jim Morrison: 10 Classic Tracks By The Doors Revisited

It was always a popular hiking spot for nature lovers seeking sweeping views of the surrounding scenery and always had some vandalism, but it has spiraled out of control in the past year.

The cave now looks almost tie-dyed with multicolored swirls inside and out. Doors lyrics such as “love me 2 times” and “try to set the night on fire” are scrawled on its walls. There also are declarations like “Use your third eye” and “Try LSD,” along with more crude tags.

The problem is the combination of tags and hashtags, with people putting pictures of the “Jim Morrison cave” on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, though he never wrote a known word there.

Doors Members Robby Krieger and John Densmore Reunite for All-Star Tribute to Ray Manzarek

“It exploded over last summer, and graffiti has been increasing ever since,” California State Parks District Superintendent Craig Sap told the Los Angeles Times. “People are posting pictures of the cave 30 or 40 times a day.”

Approaching the cave, you can almost expect to catch someone ready to mark it, Supervising Ranger Lindsey Templeton said.

“We come in and we hear shaking cans,” Templeton said. “It’s like fish in a barrel.”

The now-closed cave will be blasted with walnut shells, which will clean off the graffiti without damaging the rock walls. The cleanup will cost $40,000, and there’s no word on when hikers can head back to it.

It’s a misdemeanor to go to the cave, with a fine of nearly $400, and a felony to spray-paint on it.

 
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HOT, SEXY, DEAD

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Kelly’s mother picked up the phone for the fifth time that night. It was for sixteen-year-old Kelly.

“Who’s speaking?” the mother asked.

“Eddie,” the boy answered.

“I’ve got it,” Kelly shouted.

When Kelly hung up the phone, her mother inquired, “Who’s Eddie?”

“A friend,” Kelly replied.

“Where’s he from?” She didn’t like the sound of the accent.

“Oh, I think he’s from Spain,” Kelly said and slid out of the den.

Puerto Rican, the mother worried. Just what she wanted for her blond-haired, green-eyed daughter. The next day, she was cleaning Kelly’s room. In a small wooden frame on the bureau was a picture of a young man. His hair was long and curly. He wore no shirt. His arms were spread out as if he were being crucified.

When Kelly arrived at her Long Island home that afternoon, her mother confronted her with the picture, “Is this the animal you’re going out with?” she asked.

Kelly glanced at the picture and laughed. “Mom, that’s Jim Morrison. From the Doors. A band,” she said, tripping upstairs to her room. “And he’s dead anyway,” Kelly continued as her mother stood in the door-way, still waving the picture. Kelly was relieved that she hadn’t noticed the other pictures of Morrison on her fireplace mantle.

Kelly will tell anyone who asks that her favorite group is the Doors. She even bought Eddie-from-Spain a black T-shirt with her favorite picture of Morrison on the front. Kelly can’t always name any of the Doors’ songs, but if you sing one, she’ll know it.

Just why Kelly’s into Jim Morrison is difficult to explain, but there’s no doubt that she and most of her friends can recite, in great detail, the story of his life. Their talk centers on the drinking, the drugs, the performances that ended in near riots. An arrest in Las Vegas for a fight with a cop. Trouble on an airplane bound for Phoenix, resulting with Morrison in hand-cuffs. An onstage bus in New Haven for rapping about a backstage confrontation with police. And the most famous bust of all, his arrest after a show in Miami on several counts of indecent exposure and lewd and lascivious behavior. Most of these teenagers couldn’t care less whether Morrison actually exposed himself or not; they simply adore the fact he would even think of doing it. The new generation of Doors fans, many of whom were in kindergarten when the band peaked in the late Sixties, is attracted to Morrison’s unabashed sexiness, the lure of his voice and the hot, ornery lyrics. A song like “The End,” in which Morrison, in an Oedipal rage, screams, “Father, I want to kill you/Mother, I want to fuck you,” is heady stuff for a seventeen-year-old. To these kids, Morrison’s mystique is simply that whatever he did, it was something they’ve been told is wrong. And for that they love him.

The extraordinary distance between his life, his stardom and their own youth likely fuels the worship: maybe if these kids saw Morrison today, they wouldn’t be so certain all his activities were godlike. But in death, he remains their ageless hero, the biggest of them all.

“It’s amazing,” says Bryn Bridenthal, vice-president of public relations for Elektra/Asylum Records, the Doors’ label. “The group is bigger now than when Morrison was alive. We’ve sold more Doors records this year than in any year since they were first released.”

The statistics are impressive. Every album in the Doors catalog, for instance, doubled or tripled its sales in 1980 over the previous year. Aided by Elektra’s decision to drop the list price of The Doors, Waiting for the Sun and The Soft Parade from $8.98 to $5.98, kids all over America began scooping up the old records. In fact, of twelve Doors albums, ten have now been certified gold or platinum.

“The Doors’ catalog is an amazing success,” affirms Joe Smith, chairman of Elektra Records. “No group that isn’t around anymore has sold that well for us.”

The Morrison revival began about three years ago and has grown from a modest renaissance into a landslide. Though the roots of this posthumous popularity are not perfectly clear, music-industry executives tend to trace its origins to the 1979 release of Francis Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, which prominently featured “The End.” This unexpected bit of reexposure was soon followed by the appearance of An American Prayer, an album of Morrison reading his own poetry (recorded in 1971) with instrumental backing added years later by the remaining Doors. Though sales were poor, it stirred further interest in this disembodied voice, this done from the past. But the big push came with the publication of a Morrison biography. No One Here Gets Out Alive, by Daniel Sugerman and Jerry Hopkins. To date, 740,000 trade and mass-market-paper-back copies have been printed, and the book made the best-seller lists. Its last chapter, which raises numerous questions about the circumstances of Morrison’s death and the disposition of his remains, is just the sort of dark, eerie, mysterious tale that tends to set impressionable minds dreaming.

Soon, FM stations were sneaking the Doors back onto their playlists. Together, the renewed airplay and the lowered LP prices had the kids buying Doors discs in sufficient quantity to put three of them on the charts again. A phenomenon was reborn.

“It’s a whole new audience,” says Bob Gelms, music director of WXRT in Chicago. His station, along with many other FM rock outlets, is playing Doors songs with the frequency of many current popular bands. As Ted Edwards, music director at WCOZ in Boston, points out, many younger kids are hearing the Doors for the first time.

“The Doors sound perfect next to Van Halen,” says Hugh Surratt, music director of KMET in Los Angeles. “We treat them as a very viable part of our programming. It’s amazing a band like that has gone on for so long. It’s as if they’re still recording. It says something for their durability and for the cyclical nature of things. Everything comes back around.”

Yet all this chronology, all these facts and figures pall beside the most important aspect of Morrison Resurrectus: the need today for kids — perhaps for us all — to have an idol who isn’t squeaky clean. Someone rebellious, someone with a smirk that’s more cynical than mean, someone whose sexiness is based on steamy eroticism, not all-American good looks. James Dean, not Shaun Cassidy; handsome with problems gets them always.

 

Posted in Clarion Rock, Summer 2016, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dead Good

By : Alan Graham

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  • Dead Good
    In Liverpoolease the phrase “Dedd Gudd” means exceptionally good.
    Jim Morrison was Dedd Gudd, for sure, but he was also Dedd Gudd in a different way.
    Listening to the Doors music is “Dedd Gudd,” but when people in the music industry say it, their
    meaning is literal, since Jim’s death meant a perpetual harvest or “movable feast” would ensue
    when it came to the sale of records and other ancillary items which soon surpassed profits even
    at the height of career.
    Dead Rock stars are worth far more dead than they are alive. Prince died suddenly on April 21st, 2016 and by April 25th, you could not find a single song for sale anywhere. The diminutive music icon’s material had become pure uranium almost overnight.
    Prince had been in a long standing battle royal about retaining ownership and control of his music. Unlike most other artists, he had succeeded in wresting that power from the notorious record executives before he died, much to their chagrin. In their minds, having long used the industry’s standing practice of “creative book-keeping” to pillage and loot the earnings of their artist/clients, the artist’s rightful reclamation of creative control amounted to theft by an
    indentured servant.
    Jim Morrison’s estate was looted by his accountant Bob Green, his fellow band members and most everyone who knew or worked with him when he was alive. Today Jim Morrison and the Doors music is King all over the world and anything and everything relating to Jim Morrison is considered to be on a par with rare iconic collectables.

The relentless fascination and dedication to Jim Morrison is illustrated  perfectly in the following story.

Public access to a popular hiking destination known as the Jim Morrison Cave has been closed after California State Parks officials said the graffiti is out of control.

The Corral Canyon Cave is deep in the mountains of Malibu Creek State Park. The cave was named after the Doors’ frontman who has never actually stepped foot in it.

 

Craig Sap, district superintendent for state parks, said the graffiti has become a growing problem.

“Typically, people will be arrested, cited and booked. The restitution is very substantial. It can be up to several to $10,000 per incident,” he said.

As the Eyewitness News crew ventured to the cave, a park ranger found a group from Texas packing three cans of spray paint. They said they wanted to honor a woman’s son who died last year. They received a citation.

Park rangers said social media posts are inspiring others to leave their mark on the cave. Now that it’s off-limits, the state will spend about $40,000 to scrub off all the graffiti. But vandals have aimed outside of the cave as well.

“Several hundred a week are heading up there. Most of them aren’t engaging in this activity – just a few. But those few have done substantial damage,” Sap said.

Parks reps aren’t sure when the cave will reopen to the public, but the graffiti problem

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Work In Progress:

 

Posted in Clarion Rock, Summer 2016 | Leave a comment

CHINESE WISDOM

Submitted By: 

Knight Kroger

According to Confucius and other Chinese philosophers, we shouldn’t be looking for our essential self, let alone seeking to embrace it, because there is no true, unified self to begin with. As Confucius understood, human beings are messy, multidimensional creatures, a jumble of conflicting emotions and capabilities living in a messy, ever-changing world. We are who we are by constantly reacting to one another. Looking within is dangerous.

Instead of struggling to be authentic, Confucius proposed another approach: “as if” rituals, that is, rituals meant to break us out of our own reality for a moment. These rituals are the very opposite of authenticity—and that’s what makes them work. We break from who we are when we note the unproductive patterns we’ve fallen into and actively work to shift them—“as if” we were different people in that moment.

When you hear your girlfriend at the door and make yourself go to greet her instead of sitting there absorbed in your iPhone, you are creating a break. When you make a point of ignoring your mother’s harping and solicit her guidance, you are recognizing that both of you are constantly shifting and changing and capable of bringing out other parts of each other. Instead of being stuck in the roles of nagging mother and put-upon child, you have behaved “as if” you were someone else. It turns out that being insincere, being untrue to ourselves, helps us to grow.

Confucius lectures students in a silk painting from around the Song dynasty (960-1279).
“But if there’s no true self and I’m always changing,” more than one student has asked, “how can I decide on the career that’s right for me?” Today’s students want a plan for their future, which makes sense. Their high-school activities—AP classes, varsity soccer, the service trip to Haiti—were aimed at the goal of college admission, and they believe that a clear road map will help them to take the next step toward a fulfilling and profitable career.

Here again Chinese philosophy offers an alternative, rooted in the idea that the world is a glorious mess.

Consider Mencius, a Confucian philosopher who saw the world as anything but stable. Hard work does not necessarily lead to prosperity. Bad deeds will not necessarily be punished. There are no guarantees. Mencius advocated thinking not in terms of making decisions but of setting trajectories in motion.

Imagine a student who has decided he wants to become a diplomat. He’s always been great at mediating conflicts among his peers. He was involved in Model U.N. in high school, the international section is his favorite part of the newspaper, and he’s become pretty fluent in Spanish. He knows that majoring in international relations and taking his junior year abroad in Spain will give him the experiences that will propel him toward that career in diplomacy.

So he goes off to Spain, but after a month falls ill with a severe respiratory virus that lands him in the hospital. It is his first experience of hospitalization, and it plants a seed: He becomes curious about how and why doctors and hospitals do what they do.

Things can now go one of two ways. He can remain wedded to his long-term plan and let that interest in health care die out. The hospital experience will make for a few good stories for his friends, but it won’t interfere with his plan to take the diplomatic world by storm. Or he can keep diving into his new obsession, reading everything he can, maybe making friends with some of the young residents on his medical team, and eventually return to the U.S. and devote himself to a health-care field instead.

None of this has anything to do with the fact that he was in Spain; it’s just that one series of experiences led to another and opened up things to him that weren’t part of the plan. There’s nothing wrong with spending a year in Madrid or majoring in international relations. But there is something wrong with going abroad as part of a plan that fits in with a vision of who you already are and where you’re going.

Concrete, defined plans for life are abstract because they are made for a self who is abstract: a future self that you imagine based on a snapshot of yourself now. You are confined to what is in the best interests of the person you happen to be right now—not of the person you will become.

Mencius encourages us to think of life not in terms of decisions but as a series of ruptures that lead us from one thing to another. He would say to the students of today and their anxious parents: Live with a constant awareness of the ever-changing world and your ever-shifting self. Train your mind to stay open and constantly take into account all the complex stuff that is you.

But how do you train your mind to stay open, you ask? Zhuangzi, another ancient Chinese philosopher, has the answer: Make a point of breaking out of your limited perspective every day. Live spontaneously at every moment.

But don’t we do that already? We live in a culture that positively reveres spontaneity. We find predictability boring. We chafe at rules. We admire the free thinker, the person who dares to be different, the lone genius who dropped out of college on a whim and founded a startup.

But spontaneity, for Zhuangzi, wasn’t about doing whatever you want whenever you want. What we call spontaneity, he would call the unfettered expression of desires, and there’s no way anyone can embrace that sort of a life all of the time.

Zhuangzi embraced “trained spontaneity.” When you train yourself to play the piano or learn tennis, trying to reach a joyful place where you can play a Mozart sonata or gracefully arc a lob, you are following his advice. You are putting effort into reaching a moment when your mind does not get in the way. You are training yourself not to fall into the trap of seeing yourself through one fixed perspective. You are training yourself to spot the shifts that make for an expansive life.

Doing this doesn’t require formal mastery of an activity; it can happen in everyday life, too. Take a walk with someone very different from you: a toddler, your grandmother or even a dog. Notice that they experience the walk differently from you: The toddler stops to gaze at every rock; your grandmother, an avid gardener, names every flower she sees; the dog tunes into a world of scent.

Realize that each of us moves through a narrow set of instincts. One of them has to do with how we define ourselves: This is what I’m good at, this is what I’m doing to build my life toward the future; these are my leisure activities, which I fit in on the weekends.

But there’s a reason that so many Nobel Prize winners are also musicians, artists, actors, dancers and writers, just as there’s a reason why Steve Jobs drew on his knowledge of calligraphy, which he’d studied in college, when he designed his iconic typography for the Apple computer. It isn’t that diverse activities, so unconnected from the primary work of scientists, help them to loosen up. It’s that a breadth of experiences and perspectives helps break them out of their pathways and see new connections and opportunities everywhere.

With this kind of trained spontaneity, you become able to make connections so that you’re not even waiting for those breaks. In fact, you create the conditions in which they will happen. And you are no longer attempting to fit the diverse experiences you have into a definition of who you are. You are training yourself to see your life as a constant flow of possibilities.

But possibilities, in and of themselves, are not enough. As the Chinese philosopher Xunzi would implore us to remember, what’s most important is what we do with them.

Consider how many of today’s students were raised: Their talents were identified early. They were “athletic,” “good at math,” “a natural at the violin.” Soon enough, they were winnowed into a stream that would allow those talents to flourish. They learned to stick with what they were good at. Over the years, it became instinctive to sideline the interests for which they didn’t show a natural aptitude.

Xunzi argues that we should not think of the self as something to be accepted—gifts, flaws and all. He would argue instead that we should think of the self as a project. Through experiences, we can train ourselves to construct a self utterly different from—and better than—whatever self we thought we were.

A man we know was diagnosed as dyslexic at a very young age. Because of this diagnosis, he became determined to train himself to understand the complexity of languages and sentence structure. He eventually mastered Sanskrit, one of the world’s most difficult languages.

As Xunzi reminds us, nothing is natural. The talents and weaknesses we are born with get in the way if we allow them to determine what we can and cannot do. The only thing you really need to be good at is the ability to train yourself to get better.

We have seen the practical effect of Chinese philosophy among students who have opened themselves to these ideas. There’s the young man who excelled at math and came to Harvard expecting to major in economics, since it played to his strengths, until a semester of foreign language led to travel abroad and new interests; he ended up in a graduate program in East Asian studies instead.

There’s the student who mapped out a career as a scholar in Asian philosophy until his work in music and computing allowed him to develop a new form of electronic instrument, so he founded a company to manufacture it.

Then there’s the young woman who agonized over taking a job on Wall Street because she had planned since high school to work on maternal health issues. She accepted the offer and discovered that working in finance was exactly the “break” she needed.

All of the changes in the lives of these young people came about not through assuming they knew their talents and following a trajectory, but through deliberately breaking with what they thought they knew about themselves. “All I know is America, and I should just experience what it’s like to live somewhere else,” one student told us. “I’m curious about modern dance even though it will have nothing to do with medical school,” said another. “I’ve never been good at languages, but I’m going to take Italian this semester and just see what happens.”

The students we know who have taken these teachings to heart are not expecting that a new interest will necessarily lead to a new direction or a new career. For them, the goal is simply to break from what they think they know about themselves.

So if you want not only to be successful but also to live a good life, consider these subversive lessons of Chinese philosophy: Don’t try to discover your authentic self; don’t be confined by what you are good at or what you love. And do a lot of pretending. We could all benefit from a little more insincerity.

Dr. Puett is a professor of Chinese history at Harvard University. Dr. Gross-Loh is the author of “Parenting Without Borders.” This essay is adapted from their new book, “The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life,” published next week by Simon & Schuster.

Posted in Clarion Rock, Summer 2016, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

THE ILLUSTRATED LADY

Written by:  Alan R. Graham.

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All day long, she processes legal documents concerning the most awful transactions between human beings in the dreary proceedings of the restraining order. Esperanza looks ten years younger than he real age, no doubt from clean living. Even now, she does not drink or smoke and her only vice is the adoration of Rock ‘n’ Roll music.

 
We will call her Esperanza Rosas (Hope Roses). A ‘soul child’ blessed with sweet innocence and an unbound adoration for music.
 
She loves to go to concerts of the top Rock and Roll Stars (those still living), and celebrates their artistry like a true fan.
 
I call her “The Illustrated Lady” because she bears rather unusual tattoos, ones that are the names of songs – “I Can See Clearly,” “Let It Be,” “Three Little Birds,” others – all songs of joy and peace.
 
I told her about the book “The Illustrated Man,” written by Ray Bradbury. It became a movie of the same name, starring Rod Steiger, and the plot was dark and foreboding. 
 
The Illustrated Man is classic Bradbury, a collection of eighteen startling visions of humankind’s destiny, unfolding across a canvas of decorated skin, visions as keen as the tattooist’s needle and as colorful as the inks that indelibly stain the body. The images, ideas, sounds and scents that abound in this phantasmagoric sideshow are provocative and powerful: the mournful cries of celestial travelers cast out cruelly into a vast space of stars and blackness, the sight of gray dust settling over a forgotten outpost on a road leading nowhere, the pungent odor of Jupiter on a returning father’s clothing. Here living cities take their vengeance, technology awakens the most primal natural instincts, Martian invasions are foiled by the good life and the glad hand, and dreams are carried aloft in junkyard rockets.
 
Esperanza’s tattoos are the polar opposite of that grim tale; they signal only happiness and pure unadulterated bliss.
 
The tiny bit of sadness etched on her sweet soul is barely visible as she deals with the worst scenarios of terrible conflict between neighbors, friends, and family members. All of this she can rise above because she is steeled with her own passion and drive to accomplish her coolest quest, to see Elton John LIVE in Las Vegas.
 
Hope Roses Rocks.

 

Unknown

Afterthoughts:

I sent the rough draft of the article for Hope’s approval before publishing and I received the following response “…

Hi Alan,

Thank you for the rough draft. I enjoyed the article and thank you for not using my real name.
I do approve. That’s very kind of you to say those things and it’s a nice change to meet someone as insightful as yourself to see beyond yourself and the issues that brought you to my window.
Most people who come in are already an emotional wreck and can’t see further than themselves and that’s okay. I get my joy from helping them, to calm them, to empower themselves, to make sure they leave my window with more knowledge and inner strength to deal with whatever their issues might be.
But I could never do that without the passion for music to therapeutically get me through my day so I can help them help themselves. It was a pleasure meeting you. 
As I write this, Moon Shadow comes on the radio. That one might be my next tattoo!
When we were kids, my sister used to sing this to me. It was her favorite song.
She has since passed.
There are no coincidences. 
Ciao 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Clarion Rock, Summer 2016, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Where Is The Blue Lady?

  1. 1967 Shelby GT500 in Nightmist Blue.

In April of 1967 there were few rock stars in America bigger than The Doors’ singer and songwriter, Jim Morrison. Seemingly appearing out of nowhere, Jim and his band mates were riding the crest of a mighty wave as their debut album, The Doors, had gone gold and its second single, the contagious Light My Fire, was the number one song in America.

Owing to the fact that that this was his record label’s first chart-topper, Elektra Records founder and President, Jac Holzman, decided to offer each band member any gift they wanted as a reward. Keyboardist Ray Manzerak and guitarist Robbie Krieger opted for state-of-the-art reel-to-reel tape recorders, and drummer John Densmore chose a horse.

What did Morrison want? He knew he wanted a car, but didn’t know what kind. That is, until he saw the Shelby Mustang GT350 owned by his hair stylist (and future Manson Family murder victim), Jay Sebring. Jim thought the car looked both classy and brutal, and asked Holzman for one. Holzman agreed and did one better, buying Jim a brand new, Nightmist Blue 1967 Shelby GT500.

The car was christened “The Blue Lady” by Morrison’s friend, Babe Hill; it was named after a character in a screenplay Morrison had been working on. Jim’s Shelby was equipped with a 428 Police Interceptor powerplant with dual quad Holley carburetors and a four-speed manual transmission. The car was unusual in a number of ways, as it had a parchment interior in lieu of the black more commonly found with Nightmist Blue cars.

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It also lacked the bumper-to-bumper Le Mans stripe that most Shelbys had draped across the top. It had the rare 10-spoke wheels, and was not equipped with air conditioning. As an early production car, it also differed from the GT500 norm by having large, round, twin fog lights paired close together in the center of the grille. Later cars had smaller, rectangular lights towards the outer corners of the grille to comply with Federal vehicle regulations.

Equipped as it was, Jim’s GT500 packed 335 horsepower at 5,400 rpm, and 420 lb-ft of torque at3,200 rpm. This was good for a consistent 0-60 mph time of 6.5 seconds and a standing quarter mile of 15.0 seconds at 95 mph. Heady stuff for 1967.

Jim was fond of the prodigious output, and often liked to use its full potential in less than lawful ways racing around the canyons of the Hollywood Hills at breakneck speeds. Seeing Jim at gas stations pumping high-test into The Blue Lady was likely a fairly common sight around Los Angeles, as the car only averaged 10 mpg, and likely far less given his driving habits.

A troubled artistic genius, Jim was known to be a hard drinker, and as we all know that does not mix well with cars. As such, The Blue Lady suffered many accidents during his ownership. In each case, Jim managed to plow down a part of the Los Angeles scenery and walk away unscathed, only to report the car stolen later and have it repaired. One such incident allegedly involved Jim running down some young trees right in front of a police station.

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In the Spring of 1969, Jim and his friends Babe Hill, Frank Lisciandro, and Paul Ferrara decamped to the desert near Palm Springs to shoot what was essentially an extended trailer for a feature film that Jim intended to direct and star in. The movie was to be called Highway, but was later changed to HWY: An American Pastoral.

It told the story of a psychopathic hitchhiker who kills a man that gives him a ride, and then steals his car. Not surprisingly, the vehicle in the film happens to be one 1967 Nightmist Blue Shelby GT500. The movie was shot over a period of several weeks in 35mm, and was later edited into a one-hour demonstration of what the feature could be. Jim appears in the film with very long hair and a thick beard, and persists in thrashing the Shelby along dirt roads and desert locales, doing donuts and indulging in general automotive mayhem.

Not long after HWY was shot, something happened to Jim’s Shelby. Friends of his have differing recollections and summations as to what transpired. According to some, one evening in the Fall of 1969 Jim was driving recklessly and ran into a telephone pole on Sunset Boulevard. After inspecting the damage, Jim wandered off on foot to a favorite bar for the rest of the night.

When he returned, the car was gone; ostensibly towed away by the police. Others suggest that Jim left the car in long-term parking at LAX for an extended period of time during a concert tour, and when he returned it had been towed and sold at public auction. Still others contend that Jim totaled the car in some feat of misadventure, and that it was crushed for scrap. Although none of these stories have been, or can be verified, three things are certain: 1) Jim was never seen driving the Shelby after that Fall; 2) For the duration of his time living in Los Angeles, he was seen driving a variety of rental cars; 3) The car has been missing ever since.

Many a car collector in the past has set out to track down a significant lost car with the intention of restoring it to its former glory. But values of vintage Shelby Mustangs are at an all time high, and interest in Jim Morrison has never been stronger. Couple that with auction prices of cars formerly owned by iconic figures reaching stratospheric levels (such as we have seen with the recent sales of Steve McQueen’s automobiles) then it should be no great surprise that at this very moment, there are literally dozens of people actively on the trail of what could potentially be the most valuable Shelby of all.

According to the California DMV, “The Blue Lady” was last recorded with the state on April 30, 1969. Its ownership was listed as James Douglas Morrison, care of Johnson/Harband, the accounting firm that handled The Doors’ finances. Amateur Blue Lady sleuths who have contacted the firm, now known as Johnson/Harbrand/Foster/Davis, have been greeted with something less than enthusiasm when discussing the car on the record. But they have suggested that they get the feeling the firm is, in fact, holding back some pertinent information.

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LOST LIZARD RECORDINGS

By Al Graham

The audio isn’t the best, it frequently cuts out because of failing batteries, every once in a while someone talks over it, and because it’s recorded on a cassette player with the sound coming through The Doorsamplifiers at times it sounds like a parody of The Doors especially some of Jim Morrison’s singing. But it fills a hole in The Doors history giving us a document of what The Doors performance in Dallas on December 11, 1970, which was the second from last night The Doors would perform live with Jim Morrison.

The show was taped by Jim Bayliss who drove overnight to make the concert, he snuck his tape recorder in in a knapsack, and was able to capture four songs “Palace in the Canyon”, “L.A. Woman”, “Riders on the Storm” both of which would have been new to the audience as The Doors were still in the process of recording the “L.A. Woman” album, and “The End”. You can listen to the entirety of Bayliss’ tape in the video with this article.

Bayliss who has posted a review of the concert on Mild Equator in which he describes the atmosphere of the show, how the auditorium seemed to have been built as an opera house with an orchestra pit, large cushioned seats, and “operatic balconies”. Frisbees where flying around the room, he noticed a buxom young lady making her way up the aisle, a guy at the front row who was talking up a girl and was either John Densmore or someone who could have passed for him. The opening act was a band named The Courtship who played for about a half hour before The Doors came on. The band played “Roadhouse Blues”, “Crawling King Snake” and “Ship of Fools” before starting the Morrison poem/song “Palace in the Canyon” which is the point Bayliss turned on his tape recorder. You can read Bayliss’ full review at the Mild Equator website.

The tape became known because Bayliss first posted the “Palace in the Canyon” fragment on Youtube on February 18, it was linked to on the Freedom Man forum where Chris Simondet noticed it and did some research and was able to find Bayliss and got the tape digitized at his expense and sent a copy to The Doors (Simondet is a researcher who can find tapes and films of bands even with little information and a 40 year cold trail. If you have something that may be of interest or need researched you can find Simondet on Facebook). With the 50th anniversary of the release of The Doors first album coming up in January 2017 might this be something The Doors will be able to re-master and release for that anniversary?

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Another One Bites The Dust

By: Alan Graham

Unknown images

Keith Emerson Dead From Gunshot To Head In Apparent Suicide

On their official Facebook site, the band wrote, “We regret to announce that Keith Emerson died last night at his home in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, aged 71. We ask that the family’s privacy and grief be respected.” Band member Carl Palmer stated on his personal page, “I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my good friend and brother-in-music, Keith Emerson.” 

Palmer went on to call his bandmate “a gentle soul whose love for music and passion for his performance as a keyboard player will remain unmatched for many years to come. He was a pioneer and an innovator whose musical genius touched all of us in the worlds of rock, classical and jazz. I will always remember his warm smile, good sense of humor, compelling showmanship, and dedication to his musical craft. I am very lucky to have known him and to have made the music we did, together.” Gossip Cop has reached out to the band’s management regarding the situation, but we have yet to hear back.

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THE FIFTH BEATLE

images

 By: A. R. Graham

The so-called ‘Fifth Beatle’ signed the band (then minus Ringo) in 1962 and introduced lavish arrangements into their songs.

George Martin, the “Fifth Beatle” and British treasure who signed the Fab Four to a label contract when no one else would, produced virtually all their songs and introduced lavish arrangements into “Yesterday” and “A Day in the Life,” has died. He was 90.

Beatles drummer Ringo Starr shared the news on Twitter, writing “Peace and love… George will be missed.” A Universal Music Group spokesperson confirmed Martin’s death, though details are not yet clear.

The producer, executive, arranger, musician and British knight was behind a whopping 23 No. 1 singles in the U.S. and 30 in the U.K.

As head of EMI’s Parlophone Records, which in its early years concentrated on jazz and comedy, Martin was on the lookout for a rock act when he met Beatles manager Brian Epstein in February 1962. Every other British label had passed on signing the foursome — John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best.

Martin called their demo made for Decca Records a month earlier “rather unpromising,” but there was something about those Lennon-McCartney harmonies, so he scheduled The Beatles for a recording session at EMI’s Abbey Road studios in June. He liked what he heard and signed them up. (The Hollies would later join Parlophone as well.)

Martin chose not to promote one of them as the frontman, suggested they replace Best (Starr came on board) and allowed them to record their own material. Their first single, “Love Me Do,” peaked at No. 17 on the British charts.

For The Beatles’ first U.S. single, “Please Please Me,” in November 1962, he convinced the boys to speed up the tempo. It proved to be a smash hit. “Gentlemen, you have just made your first No. 1 record,” he memorably told them from the control room.

Martin also served as The Beatles’ arranger. He suggested strings be added to “Yesterday,” which would become one of the most covered songs of all time, and conducted the string section for “Eleanor Rigby.” He played piano on “In My Life” and composed its harpsichord section; was responsible for the breathtaking orchestral windup in “A Day in the Life;” and used backward tapes to help shape the psychedelic elements of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Martin described his relationship with The Beatles in his 1979 book, All You Need Is Ears.

“I must emphasize that it was a team effort,” Martin wrote. “Without my instruments and scoring, very many of the records would not have sounded as they do. Whether they would have been any better, I cannot say. They might have been. That is not modesty on my part; it is an attempt to give a factual picture of the relationship.”

Martin received an Academy Award nomination for best music, scoring of music, adaptation or treatment for The Beatles’ 1964 classic film A Hard Day’s Night, directed by Richard Lester; arranged the score for their 1968 animated movie Yellow Submarine; and scored, with Paul and Linda McCartney, the 1973 James Bond film Live and Let Die.

He also worked on such film as Crooks Anonymous (1962), The Family Way (1966) and Pulp(1972), which starred Michael Caine and Mickey Rooney.

In 2006, Martin remixed, along with his son Giles Martin, the music for Love, the Cirque du Soleil production that celebrated Beatles music in conjunction with Apple Corps. It included a new orchestral song, written by Martin, for a solo version of Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

Martin also produced for Cilla Black (for her hit song “Alfie”), Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, Mahavishnu Orchestra, America, Jeff Beck, Cheap Trick, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, Kenny Rogers, Neil Sedaka, Jimmy Webb, Dire Straits, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Meat Loaf, Carly Simon, Celine Dion and Kate Bush, among others.

Martin was knighted in 1996 (a year before McCartney received the honor) and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.

Martin was born on Jan. 3, 1926, in Highbury, London. He received a few piano lessons as a child but mostly learned to play by himself and had “fantasies about being the next Rachmaninoff.”

Martin entered the Royal Navy, and after leaving the service in 1947, he received a government grant to study music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, a London college, where he learned composition, orchestration and how to play the oboe.

Martin said he decided to pick up the oboe because he figured it could help him earn a living, and indeed, it helped him score a job producing classical baroque recordings at Parlophone, run by Oscar Preuss.

Martin became the head of A&R in 1955 when Preuss retired and found success with such comedy records as Peter Ustinov’s 1952 novelty record “Mock Mozart” (Anthony Hopkins played harpsichord on one song) and worked with Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. Lennon, a big comedy fan, surely was impressed by this facet of Martin’s career.

In 1962, under the pseudonym Ray Cathode, Martin put out an electronic dance single, “Time Beat,” recorded at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, which fueled his desire to find a rock ’n’ roll group with whom to work.

In 1963, records produced by Martin spent 37 weeks at No. 1 in the U.K.

He left EMI in 1965 but continued to work in a freelance capacity, producing The Beatles’ final album release, Abbey Road. (Phil Spector took over, for the most part, on the Let It Be album and documentary.) He opened the AIR recording studios in London and the Caribbean and attracted such artists as The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder and The Police to record.

Martin’s work with McCartney also included producing his albums Tug of War (1982), Pipes of Peace (1983) — which featured McCartney collaborations with Wonder and Michael Jackson — and Flaming Pie (1997). Along with his longtime engineer Geoff Emerick, Martin oversaw postproduction on an eight-track analog-mixing desk for platinum-selling compilations like Live at the BBC and Anthology, which featured unreleased songs “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love.”

Martin wrote three books, including his 1979 autobiography, All You Need Is Love, co-written with Jeremy Hornsby. He produced and hosted The Rhythm of Life, a BBC documentary series that highlighted artists and discussed musical compositions, and the 2011 documentary Produced by George Martin gained worldwide acclaim, offering an insider’s peak into the producer’s life.

In 1997, Martin rerecorded Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind,” originally written by John and Bernie Taupin about Marilyn Monroe but retooled as a tribute to Princess Diana. The song became the second best-selling single in history, and Martin called it “probably my last single. It’s not a bad one to go out on.”

A year later, Martin’s produced the album In My Life, on which artists and actors covered songs in The Beatles catalog; Robin Williams and Bobby McFerrin provided the vocals on “Come Together.”

Martin married Sheena Chisholm, whom he had met in the service, on his 22nd birthday in 1948, and after they divorced, wed Judy Lockhart-Smith, a Parlophone secretary, in 1966.

In addition to his son Giles, survivors include his other children Alexis, Gregory and Lucy

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ALIVE & WELL?????????

VIDEO: Jim Morrison found ALIVE in New York, new shock claim

DOORS frontman Jim Morrison faked his death and is living homeless in New York, a filmmaker claims.

Videos of an ageing, bearded hippy singing, citing poetry and performing the Lizard King’s trademark dance have emerged online.The vagrant insists his name is Richard and refuses to confirm or deny he is Morrison – who supposedly died aged 27 on July 3, 1971.

But an amateur cameraman has followed “Richard” for seven years – and released footage he believes proves Morrison lives.

Homeless man Richard is supposedly Jim MorrisonSGLOOKALIKE: Homeless Richard (left) is a looks similar to Jim Morrison 

“You can’t hide the voice”

Josh Hicks

The Light My Fire singer – who would be 71 if he were alive – was reportedly found dead in the bath of an apartment in Paris, France.

He was said to have died of heart failure after years of abusing booze and drugs.

But conspiracy theorists have long claimed he faked his death and has been sighted in many places – from the Bahamas to Paris and Oregon in the US – since.

YouTube videographer Brokkenstar begun documenting the Morrison doppleganger – who appears to have a similar taste for alcohol and cigarettes – in 2009.

Seven videos chart an apparent friendship with the hairy hobo – who he calls Jim throughout.

Jim Morrison and Richard pulling a similar dead-eyed stareSGDEAD RINGER: It’s easy to see why people think Richard is the Lizard King

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Summer Edition 2016 Back cover

summer-of-love-ron-magnes

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Strange Tales of Jim Morrison, Part Three

Strange Tales of Jim Morrison, Part Three

By: Zack Kopp

In which your reporter was graced with an audience by email and Skype a few years ago with the esteemed Alan Graham, former agent provocateur of Larry Flynt, and benefited from renewed contact with that worthy, brother in law of Jim Morrison and faithful defender of his good name against a sensationalistic media.

His Brother’s Keeper

Over the last fifty-eight or so years, expatriate Englishman Alan Graham, who now lives in the San Diego area, had first-hand experience of a number of pop-cultural hot-points—he witnessed the Beatles’ hometown heyday via their lunchtime sessions at the Cavern Club on Matthew Street in Liverpool, England; became brother in law to American poet and rock and roll superstar Jim Morrison of the Doors; served as assistant and spokesman for Hustler publisher Larry Flynt; was falsely accused of making a bomb threat against former U.S. president Ronald Reagan—and those are only the standouts. Graham was lucky or fated bystander to multiple noteworthy people and events in the latter portion of the 20th century. For the record, Mr. Graham has categorically denied all of Floyd Bocox’s allegations. After I finished the first draft of this article, I reestablished contact with the esteemed Mr. Graham, living witness of multiple cultural flashpoints in the onngoing war between freedom and control, living icon of a strain in recent United States history which, in this reporter’s opinion, has yet to be properly esteemed in the public record.

Alan Graham

After moving to London, where his brother, John, was managing the rock group Johnny Kidd and the Pirates (of “Shakin’ All Over” and “I’ll Never Get Over You” fame), Graham met his American girlfriend, Anne Morrison, daughter of a career Navy man, Admiral George Stephen Morrison. Graham married Anne in 1967, which was being touted in newspapers as the “summer of love,” and shortly after they married, Anne’s brother, Jim, became incredibly famous as the vocalist and frontman for a rock group based in Los Angeles called the Doors well known for its provocative anthems about breaking through to the other side and getting higher. Jim was touted in the press as an “erotic politician.” Contrary to this volatile, dangerous image, the Jim Morrison Alan Graham knew and loved was his friend, his wife’s brother, and the son of her family. All his recollections of Jim are colored by this affinity, even those concerning Jim’s penchant to upset his own apple cart periodically. “On Thanksgiving morning, 1969, Anne, [Jim’s brother] Andy, and I drove from Coronado to Jim’s house in the Hollywood hills. We brought a big cooked turkey and spent the day visiting with Jim and his ‘girlfriend,’ Pam Courson, until a simmering feud from the night before suddenly erupted into a knockdown, drag out fight. In the movie, The Doors, Oliver Stone cut and pasted that scene from my manuscript with another piece of mine entitled The Japanese Restaurant.”
Alan Graham2 When Jim died young of apparent heart failure in 1971, after the conclusion of his trial for indecent exposure while onstage in Miami and the completion of what turned out to be the last Doors album, L.A. Woman, rumors appeared in the mainstream press that he had faked his death, something he’d reportedly spoken of wanting to do in the past. Graham agrees this is possible, if unlikely.  “In this day and age, I don’t know . . . The only person who knows is Pamela Courson (who died of a drug overdose in 1974). Don’t forget the body was put on ice overnight. The morgues were closed. It was left on Saturday and Sunday night till Monday morning and his body was really blue. She never saw it. Nobody saw that body till it came from the morgue in the coffin, ready for the funeral. Pamela wouldn’t look at it. Nobody looked at it. The likelihood that it could’ve been somebody else is extremely high and Morrison could’ve seen it and went into hiding and said this is my chance to get away from . . . his life and the people around him.”

At the time we first spoke, Graham had no patience for things like the “Jim Morrison’s baby scam” being perpetrated by Lorraine Widen and her son, soundalike Cliff Morrison who refuses to consent to a DNA test to prove Jim’s paternity, supposedly because he’d rather “let people decide for themselves,” nor the ongoing exposure of fraudulence conducted by Cliff’s former manager Floyd Bocox—but without any feeling of malice or offense, both of these derivative outgrowths are simply beneath his notice. “You know I heard Cliff’s actually come to believe the whole fantasy now. To him it’s not even a scam anymore, but for her, it’s the worst possible form of child abuse.” Graham hosts a podcast called “House of Detention” on the Ghost Radio Network, and his Ghost Radio International Paranormal Investigation Team (GRIPIT) regularly tracks down and investigates opportunists claiming to be the real Jim Morrison or his son or his daughter. Notably, Doors guitarist Robby Krieger’s son, Waylon, has played bass and guitar in Cliff Morrison’s Lizard Sun band as well as supporting his father (the author of “Light My Fire”) on guitar and vocals at several tribute appearances.
Cliff and his mother, Lorraine Widen, who claims to have had an affair with Jim, are by no means alone in their attempt to assert a connection with Morrison after formal declaration of his death. Every identifiable aspect of a rock star like Jim Morrison is parceled out and marketed as a signature trait for the fans’ efficient consumption, and after Jim dies or disappears, anything can happen to the image he left in the world. Oregon rodeo website owner Gerald Pitts claims to be Jim Morrison’s agent. He even claims to have convinced former Doors Robby Krieger and John Densmore that his “client” (a rancher named Jim Loyer, owner of the Jim Morrison Sanctuary Rach, who has long since denied any connection with Gerald Pitts) is Morrisonand to have almost arranged a Doors reunion, only to have been prevented by evil genius Ray Manzarek, who “want(s) to see Jim personally and Jim will not tolerate it. He wants to work through his agent. So, when that game started, I knew there was no use for him to come over here because if he came over to meet with me, he’d want to go up and talk to Jim on his own and I’d be left out of the project.” (In other words, demand proof and the deal’s off).

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British author David Icke, who believes the world to be controlled by extraterrestrial reptilians disguised as kings and queens and presidents, has proposed Jim was an experimental individual in the service of these reptile overlords, since Morrison wrote a few songs about lizards. Once you get fame in America, the purpose is feeding the fame. Personal truths can be toys in the hands of a self-devouring cannibal like that. Jim’s immediate relatives, the likeliest authorities on who he really was, have remained aloof from biographical representations of their deceased loved one because they feel themselves bound by a military code of privacy and decency, and as a result, have generally been excluded from the manipulation of Jim’s image since his departure from the public eye. As evidenced by the role he played as consultant in the making of Oliver Stone’s film, The Doors, Alan Graham has been steadfast in his efforts as the “odd man in” to redeem Jim Morrison’s image. In addition to co-producing with Anne a four-phase documentary project about Jim called Poeté Somnolant  “Sleeping Poet” (Sylvester Stallone and John Travolta both vied unsuccessfully for the starring role), Graham has written a book called I Remember Jim Morrison intended to include the humanizing element noticeably absent from bestselling portrayals of Jim like the one in Jerry Hopkins and Danny Sugerman’s No One Here gets Out Alive, and counteract all the attempts to sensationalize the dark side of Jim’s image as rock god dead by misadventure.
Graham’s wild years outlived dear lost brother Jim. During Hustler publisher Larry Flynt’s fifteen minutes of infamy in the 1980s Graham served as Flynt’s assistant, his unspecified job to provide a kind of buffer zone between Flynt and the general public during a time when the outlaw publisher felt especially sensitive. Flynt said he felt his stay at the U.S. Medical Centre For Prisoners for contempt of court and desecration of the U.S. flag was “cruel and unusual punishment,” since he was not receiving adequate medication and food (he had refused prison food after reportedly surviving a poisoning attempt, and was striking for better conditions). At the time, it was Graham’s assignment to make a statement to the press, and he told them, “Someone in the kitchen informed him that [the food] was tainted, and he refused it.” Next Flynt stated,  in an impromptu jailhouse phone interview with CNN, “I have confessed to putting a contract out on President Reagan’s life—I want to kill him,” adding, “I have threatened to kill both federal judges who have sentenced me . . . I’ve threatened to kill at least a half dozen employees at the prison in Butler. I just got 152 days in the hole for hitting a priest between the eyes with an orange.”

Graham prevented Flynt from carrying out any of his wild threats, and further, he kept the many different species of predators away such as con men, ex-military now-mercenary operatives, hookers, hit men, hustlers, liars, thieves, lawyers, mental cases, and all manner of misfits away.  Eventually he was examined by a psychiatrist, who deemed him incompetent; and as a consequence, a conservatorship petition was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court claiming the publisher suffered from a mental illness “consistent only with an irrational drive to destroy or lose all his holdings” and that he had “drained the company of millions of dollars in cash for bizarre and imprudent personal expenditures.” Somewhere in all this uproar, two former security guards of Flynt’s told federal authorities they believed Graham was “behind the bombings” presumably referring to the bomb threat against Reagan, which he successfully dismissed as a fantastic story, though it provided a convenient hook for Bocox’s statement in an interview years later that Graham was “known for making bomb threats.”

Alan was consulted during the creation of Milos Forman’s film, The People vs. Larry Flynt, concerning Flynt’s much-publicized mental breakdown in 1984, one result of which was his spontaneous contrariness in court on Flynt’s part to stump. This served to flummox the jury in his trial for slandering Jerry Falwell, during which period Graham served as his aide under the codename, “Captain Pink.” As can be seen in the transcript of Flynt’s deposition, his own behavior seems more that of the crafty antagonist than an addled bumbler, while leaving ample room for potential disqualification as testimony due to certain anomalies. Says Graham, “I thought that the movie told the story very well from a chronological standpoint but missed many of details of the real story. A reporter asked [Larry] why Captain Pink aka Alan Graham was not in the movie and he said (with a smile, “I didn’t know how to explain him” What he meant was I would show things that might detract from his slightly sanatized version of what went down, and the ‘Adventures of Captain’ was a story all to itself.”

And it’s a story only he can tell, currently languishing in Google docs of old newspaper clippings from Springfield, MO., where much of the action took place, and other parts of the US landscape, where Alan Graham ended up after his rocket ride from the Beatles birthplace through the heart of Los Angeles and the myth of the American night with Lizard King Jim Morrison to the self-made Nebuchadnezar of sleaze and free speech, Larry Flynt. Mister Graham is uniquely positioned as a living case history of the evolution of organic expression in media and culture over the last sixty years in American culture, a process which, in this reporter’s opinion, has not yet been properly charted. Captain Pink is hard at work. He is currently hard at a memoir about his madcap career under Flynt subsequent to his recovery from cruel treatment of him and his wife by a greedy robber baron, about which unconscionable state of affairs he’s filming a documentary for eventual dissemination as a reality show, and written an article called “The Asshole Of The Century,” referring to said robber-baron, which will precede the documentary/reality show’s release. Alan and Anne were divorced in 1986, but his time as James Douglas Morrison’s brother in law has obviously left an indelible impression on Graham despite the years he spent as aide and mouthpiece for the erratic, colorful Flynt after Jim’s passing. Graham has always been bothered by the grossly inadequate portrait of Jim Morrison that has been growing in the public eye all these years. Says his sister, Norma, “After reading each and every book, I would call Alan and ask him, ’Is this true or fiction?’ His reply would always be the same. ‘Norma it is lies, all lies. Nobody outside the Morrison family ever knew the real Jim. One day when the time is right, I am going to write my own book and tell it like it really was, who the real Jim Morrison was’. Like a mantra he would repeat, ‘One day when the time is right I will tell it like it really was’.”

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With the Admiral’s death in 2008, the time was finally right. Graham’s I Remember Jim Morrison stands forth as the only retrospective on Jim Morrison with a tangible core of emotional obligation to its subject. Where other biographers are moved to turn Jim’s story into a train wreck and charge admission, Alan Graham’s inspiration is to commemorate the emotional effect of their time together. “More than forty books have been published about him, and each one reveals nothing more than the last. The reason for this is because no one in the Morrison clan has ever revealed the true details (nor will they ever) about Jim’s life inside the family. My personal account of these events provides rare glimpses and intimate insights into the other side of Jim Morrison and the people who loved him.” Graham’s book is highly recommended, as is the subsequently released Before the Beatles were Famous, detailing his years around the corner from ground zero of the beginning of the Beatles’ worldwide breakout, at the Cavern Club, on Matthew Street in Liverpool. Certain persons are fated as witnesses to certain events, friends and family of certain culturally impactive people, and participants in certain feelings, which are singular unto their times while being noteworthy in timeless fashion. After playing witness to the Beatles and the Doors, Alan Graham manifested his own manic jester persona to culminate his personal expression of the time in his years as Larry Flynt’s attache. This reporter was fortunate enough to witness a glimpse of this opus in progress entitled “Larry Flynt and the Lizard King” (Flynt’s drug-addicted ex-wife Althea was a known Doors obsessive; the chapter concerns Althea’s efforts to produce Graham and his first wife Anna’s play, “Morrison: A Rock Opera” for the big screen), surely only a taste of what’s to come, besides the gems already published. Keep

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ZOOMTOWN

 ZOOMTOWN  – The Rock Opera

 Alan Graham  – Composer     

Words and Music Copyright  January 1st 2016

 

Cast Of Characters:

Wiltz and Waltz

The Two Zooms

Pop The Cop

The Quiet Girl

Big Fat Yellow Man

The Wobble Girl

Ugly Sisters: Tera, Dac, and Tyl.

Moonshine Bonnie

Jack The Black

Quick Nick

Lonely Boy

Pop The Cop

The Sideways Gang

Frankie Setback and the Ghost Cowboys

Banger Banger Dan

Banger Banger Dan Jr,

 Mrs Lucy Banger Banger

The Royal Waiter, Singer, Lawyer, Painter,

Wall Eyed Wilf  Wolf

The Hoodlum Cowboy Priest

Chessy Bessie

The Tree Killer

Zoomtown Dog Band

Zoomtown Cat Orchestra

MacFrankie Setback

”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

Music By: Alan Graham

Musical Director:  Chad Watson

Animation: Rachel Battleson.

Overture: Zoomtown

Songs:

  1. Jack The Black
  2. Sideways Gang Opus
  3. Zooming
  4. The Royal Ballad
  5. The Quiet Girl Sonata
  6. Frankie Setback Is Back
  7. The Sad Girl Ballad In Plain D
  8. Tinsel Rain
  9. Redneck Blues For Mandolin
  10. Memory Lane
  11. Pop The Cop

 

Auguries of Innocence

BY WILLIAM BLAKE

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour
A Robin Red breast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in a Rage
A Dove house filld with Doves & Pigeons
Shudders Hell thr’ all its regions
A dog starvd at his Masters Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State
A Horse misusd upon the Road
Calls to Heaven for Human blood
Each outcry of the hunted Hare
A fibre from the Brain does tear
A Skylark wounded in the wing
A Cherubim does cease to sing
The Game Cock clipd & armd for fight
Does the Rising Sun affright
Every Wolfs & Lions howl
Raises from Hell a Human Soul
The wild deer, wandring here & there
Keeps the Human Soul from Care
The Lamb misusd breeds Public Strife
And yet forgives the Butchers knife
The Bat that flits at close of Eve
Has left the Brain that wont Believe
The Owl that calls upon the Night
Speaks the Unbelievers fright
He who shall hurt the little Wren
Shall never be belovd by Men
He who the Ox to wrath has movd
Shall never be by Woman lovd
The wanton Boy that kills the Fly
Shall feel the Spiders enmity
He who torments the Chafers Sprite
Weaves a Bower in endless Night
The Catterpiller on the Leaf
Repeats to thee thy Mothers grief
Kill not the Moth nor Butterfly
For the Last Judgment draweth nigh
He who shall train the Horse to War
Shall never pass the Polar Bar
The Beggars Dog & Widows Cat
Feed them & thou wilt grow fat
The Gnat that sings his Summers Song
Poison gets from Slanders tongue
The poison of the Snake & Newt
Is the sweat of Envys Foot
The poison of the Honey Bee
Is the Artists Jealousy
The Princes Robes & Beggars Rags
Are Toadstools on the Misers Bags
A Truth thats told with bad intent
Beats all the Lies you can invent
It is right it should be so
Man was made for Joy & Woe
And when this we rightly know
Thro the World we safely go
Joy & Woe are woven fine
A Clothing for the soul divine
Under every grief & pine
Runs a joy with silken twine
The Babe is more than swadling Bands
Throughout all these Human Lands
Tools were made & Born were hands
Every Farmer Understands
Every Tear from Every Eye
Becomes a Babe in Eternity
This is caught by Females bright
And returnd to its own delight
The Bleat the Bark Bellow & Roar
Are Waves that Beat on Heavens Shore
The Babe that weeps the Rod beneath
Writes Revenge in realms of Death
The Beggars Rags fluttering in Air
Does to Rags the Heavens tear
The Soldier armd with Sword & Gun
Palsied strikes the Summers Sun
The poor Mans Farthing is worth more
Than all the Gold on Africs Shore
One Mite wrung from the Labrers hands
Shall buy & sell the Misers Lands
Or if protected from on high
Does that whole Nation sell & buy
He who mocks the Infants Faith
Shall be mockd in Age & Death
He who shall teach the Child to Doubt
The rotting Grave shall neer get out
He who respects the Infants faith
Triumphs over Hell & Death
The Childs Toys & the Old Mans Reasons
Are the Fruits of the Two seasons
The Questioner who sits so sly
Shall never know how to Reply
He who replies to words of Doubt
Doth put the Light of Knowledge out
The Strongest Poison ever known
Came from Caesars Laurel Crown
Nought can Deform the Human Race
Like to the Armours iron brace
When Gold & Gems adorn the Plow
To peaceful Arts shall Envy Bow
A Riddle or the Crickets Cry
Is to Doubt a fit Reply
The Emmets Inch & Eagles Mile
Make Lame Philosophy to smile
He who Doubts from what he sees
Will neer Believe do what you Please
If the Sun & Moon should Doubt
Theyd immediately Go out
To be in a Passion you Good may Do
But no Good if a Passion is in you
The Whore & Gambler by the State
Licencd build that Nations Fate
The Harlots cry from Street to Street
Shall weave Old Englands winding Sheet
The Winners Shout the Losers Curse
Dance before dead Englands Hearse
Every Night & every Morn
Some to Misery are Born
Every Morn and every Night
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to Endless Night
We are led to Believe a Lie
When we see not Thro the Eye
Which was Born in a Night to perish in a Night
When the Soul Slept in Beams of Light
God Appears & God is Light
To those poor Souls who dwell in Night
But does a Human Form Display
To those who Dwell in Realms of day

Work In Progress………..

 

 

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Like Melting Snow

By: Alan Graham

Work In Progress…

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David Bowie and Glenn Frey are now headlining in Rock-n-Roll Heaven. Two rockers dead within the same month is a major bummer for me; and so I indulge in a mournful but sweet celebration by playing their music and remembering those magnificent days of my young life.

Bob Dylan’s beautiful but sad ballad “Bob Dylan’s Dream” captures the same wistful remembrance of friends, lost never to be seen again, and that wishful dream wherein friends never part and endless joy abounds.

“Bob Dylan’s Dream”

While riding on a train goin’ west
I fell asleep for to take my a rest
I dreamed a dream that made me sad
Concerning myself and the first few friends I had.
With half-damp eyes I stared to the room
Where my friends and I spent many an afternoon
Where we together weathered many a storm
Laughin’ and singing ’till the early hours of the morn’.By the old wooden stove where our hats was hung
Our words were told, our songs were songs
Where we longed for nothin’ and were satisfied
Joking and talking about the world outside.

With haunted hearts through the heat and cold
We never thought we could ever get very old
We thought we could sit forever in fun
Our chances really was a million to one.

As easy it was to tell black from white
It was all that easy to tell wrong from right
And our choices they were few and the thought never hit
That the one road we traveled would ever shatter and split.

How many a year has passed and gone
Many a gamble has been lost and won
And many a road taken by many a first friend
And each one I’ve never seen again.

I wish, I wish, I wish in vain
That we could sit simply in that room again
Ten thousand dollars at the drop of a hat
I’d give it all gladly if our lives could be like that.

 

The bitter-sweet Irish ballads “Carrickfergus” and “The Parting Glass” are also time travel machines to a long ago time and place.

I wish I was in Carrickfergus
Only for nights in Ballygrand
I would swim over the deepest ocean
Only for nights in Ballygrand
But the sea is wide and I cannot swim over
And neither have I the wings to fly
I wish I had a handsome boatsman
To ferry me over my love and I

(This verse is only sung on the “40 Years” CD)
My childhood days bring back sad reflections
Of happy times there spent so long ago
My boyhood friends and my own relations
Have all past on now with the melting snow
So I’ll spend my days in this endless roving
Soft is the grass and shore, my bed is free
Oh to be home now in carrickfergus
On the long road down to the salty sea

Now in Kilkenny it is reported
On marble stone there as black as ink
With gold and silver I would support her
But I’ll sing no more now til I get a drink
Cause I’m drunk today and I’m seldom sober
A handsome rover from town to town
Ah but I’m sick now my days are numbered
Come all me young men and lay me down
Come all me young men and lay me down.

The Parting Glass

Of all the money that e’er I had
I spent it in good company
And all the harm I’ve ever done
Alas, it was to none but me

And all I’ve done for want of wit
To memory now I can’t recall
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be to you all

So fill to me the parting glass
And drink a health whate’er befalls
Then gently rise and softly call
“Good night and joy be to you all”

Of all the comrades that e’er I had
They’re sorry for my going away
And all the sweethearts that e’er I had
They’d wish me one more day to stay

But since it fell into my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I’ll gently rise and softly call
“Good night and joy be to you all”

But since it fell into my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I’ll gently rise and softly call
“Good night and joy be to you all”

So fill to me the parting glass
And drink a health whate’er befalls
Then gently rise and softly call
“Good night and joy be to you all”

Good night and joy be to you all

 
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COOL EGG HOUSE

If you’ve ever wished you could post up on a mountaintop forever, then meet your new home.

Ecocapsule is a tiny, 86 square-foot living capsule that, as soon as next year, will enable owners to live virtually anywhere. Each mobile pod comes with sleeping space for two, a mini kitchen, a fully functional toilet and shower, storage space, a desk and two windows.

The pods, which are currently in pre-production, harvest rainwater and remove bacteria all on their own, while powering themselves with sun and wind. The capsule’s battery can also charge electric cars, Gizmodo reports, making the location possibilities breathtakingly endless — from beaches to jungles to wide-open prairies.

Pricing for the Ecocapsules is not yet available, but Slovakia-based Nice Architects do know that shipping the pods to the U.S. will not be cheap — it’s estimated to cost about $2,400 to have a pod shipped to New York City.

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Posted in Clarion Rock, Summer 2015 | 1 Comment

DINER

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Posted in Clarion Rock, Summer 2015 | 1 Comment

THE WORK ETHIC (OLD SCHOOL)

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Clint Eastwood is a tough man and patriot who has had extraordinary success in Hollywood. He is perhaps the most successful conservative actor in the history of American cinema, especially when you consider his directing skills… including the recent box office smash hit “American Sniper.”

But just because Clint could buy his son anything he wanted, doesn’t mean he did it! Good parents teach young children that things shouldn’t be handed to you, and you should work for what you have. Clint made his son, who is now 29, have a job “for as long as he can remember.”

“My dad was pretty old school,” Eastwood tells PEOPLE for its latest issue. “I’ve had a job since I can remember and it’s not like he was like, ‘Hey, what kind of car do you want?’” he says with a laugh. “My first car was a ’91 Ford Crown Victoria that was $1,000. And I had to buy every car after that. I had to do it all.”
via People

For most of his life, he used the name Scott Reeves to stay out of the spotlight. He is humble and has good manners, because of Clint’s excellent parenting skills!

“I like being under the radar. I didn’t get into this business to become famous,” he said. “I got into this business because I like acting and I want to make movies. I would be happy living the rest of my life never famous.”
Scott graduated with a degree in communications from Loyola Marymount in 2008 and Clint hasn’t given Scott an easy route to pursue his acting ambitions either.

“My dad always says, ‘Just stick around.’ Everybody thinks it’s an overnight success. But the reality is, it takes years of hard work,” the hunk said.
Good job, Clint! Many ‘Hollywood’-style parents would easily buy their children sports cars and pay for their college. That can lead to major problems later in life.

But Mr. Eastwood taught his son the value of hard work and discipline. Fantastic!

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Slings & Arrows

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‘To be or not to be, that is the question’. Read Hamlet’s famous soliloquy by Shakespeare below, along with a modern translation and explanation of what ‘To be or not to be’ is about’.

The question for him was whether to continue to exist or not – whether it was more noble to suffer the slings and arrows of an unbearable situation, or to declare war on the sea of troubles that afflict one, and by opposing them, end them. To die. He pondered the prospect. To sleep – as simple as that. And with that sleep we end the heartaches and the thousand natural miseries that human beings have to endure. It’s an end that we would all ardently hope for. To die. To sleep. To sleep. Perhaps to dream. Yes, that was the problem, because in that sleep of death the dreams we might have when we have shed this mortal body must make us pause. That’s the consideration that creates the calamity of such a long life. Because, who would tolerate the whips and scorns of time; the tyrant’s offences against us; the contempt of proud men; the pain of rejected love; the insolence of officious authority; and the advantage that the worst people take of the best, when one could just release oneself with a naked blade? Who would carry this load, sweating and grunting under the burden of a weary life if it weren’t for the dread of the after life – that unexplored country from whose border no traveler returns? That’s the thing that confounds us and makes us put up with those evils that we know rather than hurry to others that we don’t know about. So thinking about it makes cowards of us all, and it follows that the first impulse to end our life is obscured by reflecting on it. And great and important plans are diluted to the point where we don’t do anything.

To be, or not to be–that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep–
No more–and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to. ‘Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep–
To sleep–perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th’ oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely
The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th’ unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprise of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action. — Soft you now,
The fair Ophelia! — Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remembered.

 

Posted in Clarion Rock, Summer 2015 | 1 Comment

I REMEMBER


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SPECIAL EDITION ZUB SCUM SCAM

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CORONADO CLARION SPECIAL EDITION SUMMER 2014

BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR DONALD WILLIAM ZUB THE CHARITY SCAM ARTIST.

Please post your stories about this bottom feeder;  

Editor Coronado Clarion

Drago Hood

WARNING!
I am sick and tired of it. How many times do we have to clarify this?
Zub is NOT one of us. Zub is NOT like us. We are NOT like Zub.
I just wonder what it is that people can’t see through his scams. What he knows about our (SEAL) community is more from what he was told by real Team Guys then from what he experienced in the Teams. To me he is just a BUD/S graduate, who went afoul with SEAL Team shortly after reporting there, and left in disgrace. He doesn’t represent us. He knows NOTHING about SEAL Teams. He is a disgrace.
At this point there is nothing we can do to fix what Zub stole, scammed or swindled, but it is our moral obligation to the people who trust us and support us veterans. We must warn and protect people from this crook who is using the respect given our Trident as a way to prey on people’s desire to support veterans. As it has been said many times, we tried to help Zub behind the scenes, and that tactic only resulted in more and more people being scammed and hurt. Enough is enough.
He wont change, so we need to change the game and make it public. Please share it wide.
Now you have been warned!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/718701218168913/

P. M. Hancock
3 hrs
Try the facts, just the facts on Zub and only Zub… give the facts to the police and/or NCIS (can they intervene if he is scamming Gold Star families?), call DPS and give em a heads up, then copy every PD from Moore OK to TX with a copy and a POC. Give em names and phone numbers of folks who were scammed along with $ amounts. Anything else is just gossip. Contact every WC Team guy and family with a simple – Do not give him money, beer or a bed to sleep in and SOMEONE who has some years in AA 13st step him and see if he is open to getting sober and making amends. Those are my suggestions. Anything other than full legal pressure gives him wiggle room and really he needs to hit bottom before he will get sober anyway.

 

Robert Guzzo
My response. Because Zub’s kids need to know why.
“Before you come at me, you need to sit down with your dad and have him tell you honestly why this is all going down. What roll has he contributed to get a good portion of the SEAL community involved. My part in all of this, is that I lost my son 18 month ago. A son you say your dad loved as a brother. So explain to me Tommy, why did your dad rip us off of cash that was to be spent on my sons funeral? That’s not all of it. Before I continue this conversation, you need to have a heart to heart with your dad about his actions concerning my son. People who love people don’t exploit, con or rip them
off when they have passed or in a position of trust. And remember this, I am only one story of hundreds where your dad has stolen, cheated, or scammed them out of money or destroyed their property. He has continued to put himself in these situations regardless of the many verbal interventions we have tried and the many chances he has had to correct his ways. To add insult to this entire mess your dad continues to pimp our Trident as a means to continue to con people out of their money. A fair warning, if he continues, we will go public and document all his transgressions to be presented to a higher authority, and to the legal ramifications of exploiting money from one person to another using electronic means or wire. Well that can only get ugly on a federal level. So before you go cursing and making idle threats, you only need to look as far as your own father for explanation. That is if he can be honest to you or himself.

Donny Bassett
As requested by Drago, here is my interaction with Zub. Last summer he and or his son Tommy stole from me. He got high with his son Tommy (16yrs old at the time) and some teenage kids.
Zub sat and had beers with a scumbag who was bad mouthing SEALs and other military saying :”..over paid, should pay their own health insurance, and that they are far from heroes… They should try working for a living instead of being welfare whores draining society.” I got up and walked out but Zub stayed as the guy was buying him beers.
Zub and Dana were both in on a scam for a fake job that had me move out to California. There was Nothing there at all. Dana is Evil, a psychotic pathological liar. They are or were at the time close friends and they put me in a very bad circumstance that I was lucky to have friends and family to get me out of the jam. Some of those friends are here in this group.
Zub also told me he never saw any action was in for only 4years and was part of an SDV team not a SEAL team.

This car was supposed to be raffled off, Tickets sold at $50 a pop… to this day he still has this vehicle. So where did the ticket money go ?

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Jim Morrison, Jean-Yves Reuzeau

The inevitable subjectivity of a biography may be more than positive. This is the case of the one dedicated to The Doors singer, Jim Morrison, written by Jean-Yves Reuzeau, for whom this book is not a first attempt. The author has the merit, apart from writing, to present Jim Morrison as the poet he was throughout his short and loneliness life. It would have been easy to focus on the “showman” pointing first and foremost judicial setbacks that precipitated his fall, many pitfalls that the author escapes. The poet first of all, to whom, from an early age, “reading stands out as a consuming passion”. He was not twenty years old when he found out Kerouac, Ginsberg, the pre-Socratic philosophers. But he will quickly prefer the poets like Rimbaud and William Blake. The visionary side of the French poet fascinated him for a long time, into his songs. He defined himself as a “word man”, probably the most important aspect we should also remember about Jim Morrison. The Doors lyrics are all poems, often incantatory, he set to music with the band. Along with poetry, the singer of the Doors is also fond of cinema, and especially French cinema. His references, shared with many other students at UCLA, are Godard, Truffaut, Fellini and John Cassavetes. The New Wave is emulated in the USA and Jim Morrison will do everything for his film projects lead, for which the assistance of Jacques Demy and Agnes Varda is required. Jim Morrison also ran off a real loneliness that seems to be explained by different events in his childhood. First of all, the accident which he witnessed at the age of four years old, during which several Indians Sandia Pueblo tribe lose their lives. The child he was, petrified at the sight of bleeding bodies, sitting in the back seat of his father’s car. Many of his texts bear the mark of this scene, and the allusion is even more accurate in Peace Frog, on the album Morrison Hotel. The accident occured in December 1947. Another determining factor it is facing in his adolescence, racism plagued George Washington High School which will admit its first black student in 1961. “Witness of racism and segregation, Jim observes the white bourgeoisie obnoxiously arrogant in her convictions.” This bourgeoisie, which includes his family (his father was a military who obtained some rank quickly) will be at odds with the world he built with Nietzsche, Kafka, Camus and many others, and he will not cease to fight with blows of words and concerts where the provocation lead him to trial and exile in France. His rebellion against authority, his love of words characterize the one that has revolutionized rock music, who dared to make the scene an area of ​​freedom, who did not hesitate to declaim poetic texts during his shows. Thereby he said: “I’ve always been attracted to ideas that were about revolt against authority. When you make your peace with authority, you become authority.”

Guy Donikian

L’inévitable subjectivité d’une biographie peut s’avérer plus que positive. C’est le cas de celle consacrée au chanteur des Doors, Jim Morrison, par Jean-Yves Reuzeau, pour qui cet ouvrage n’est pas un coup d’essai. L’auteur a le double mérite, outre l’écriture, de présenter Jim Morrison comme le poète qu’il fut tout au long de sa courte vie et comme une réelle et profonde solitude. Il eût été facile de mettre l’accent sur la « bête de scène », de montrer d’abord et avant tout les déboires judiciaires qui vont précipiter sa chute, autant de pièges auxquels l’auteur échappe. Le poète tout d’abord, celui à qui, dès le plus jeune âge, « la lecture s’impose comme une passion dévorante ». Il découvre très tôt Kerouac, Ginsberg, les philosophes présocratiques le passionnent alors qu’il n’a pas vingt ans. Mais ce sont les poètes qui auront rapidement sa préférence, comme Rimbaud et William Blake. Le côté visionnaire du poète français le retiendra longtemps, jusque dans ses chansons. Lui-même se définissait comme « un homme de mots », sans doute l’aspect le plus important qu’il faille aussi retenir de Jim Morrison. Tous les textes des chansons des Doors seront des poèmes, incantatoires souvent, qu’il met en musique aves le groupe. Parallèlement à la poésie, le chanteur des Doors est aussi épris de cinéma, et surtout de cinéma français. Ses références, partagées avec de nombreux autres étudiants de l’UCLA, sont Gogard, Truffaut, Fellini ou encore John Cassavetes. La nouvelle vague fait des émules aux USA, et Jim Morrison fera tout pour qu’aboutissent ses projets cinématographiques pour lesquels le concours de Jacques Demy et Agnès Varda sera sollicité. Jim Morrison fut aussi une réelle solitude qui semble s’expliquer par différents événements survenus dans son enfance. Cet accident tout d’abord, dont il est témoin à l’âge de quatre ans, au cours duquel plusieurs Indiens de la tribu Sandia Pueblo perdront la vie. L’enfant qu’il était reste pétrifié à la vue des corps ensanglantés, assis sur le siège arrière de la voiture du père. Nombre de ses textes portent la marque de cette scène, et l’allusion est plus précise encore dans Peace Frog sur l’album Morrison Hotel. L’accident a eu lieu en décembre 1947. Autre facteur déterminant auquel il est confronté dans son adolescence, le racisme, qui sévit dans le lycée George Washington qui n’admettra son premier lycéen noir qu’en 1961. « Témoin du racisme et de la ségrégation, Jim observe une bourgeoisie blanche odieusement arrogante dans ses certitudes ». Cette bourgeoisie, dont fait partie sa famille (son père est un militaire qui obtient rapidement du grade), sera aux antipodes de l’univers qu’il se construit avec Nietzsche, Kafka, Camus et beaucoup d’autres, et il n’aura de cesse de la combattre à coups de mots et de concerts où la provocation le dispute à l’énergie, provocation qui lui vaudra des procès et son exil en France. Sa révolte contre l’autorité, son amour des mots caractérisent bien celui qui a révolutionné le rock, qui a osé faire de la scène un espace de liberté, qui n’a pas hésité à déclamer lors de concerts ses textes poétiques. Ainsi déclara-t-il : « j’ai toujours été attiré par tout ce qui parlait de révolte contre l’autorité. Celui qui se réconcilie avec l’autorité se met à en faire partie ».

Guy Donikian

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Italian Radio Interview.

Fabio Cubisino lead singer of  ‘Other Sides Of  The Doors   ‘ along with the newly added members of the classical section to the band will appear LIVE on  TRS Italian Radio to discuss their upcoming Rock Opera, and the book by Alan Graham “I Remember Jim Morrison”  at 2pm  Saturday, April 12, 2014 (CEST)   www.trsradio.it

 14:00 HOURS OTHER SIDES OF THE DOORS Live Studio

16:30 MOONFRO ‘ Warehouse Live Music Merula
 
The Other Sides Of The Doors will tell and talk about their new project ” Rock Opera ” that will take place in 2014 , produced by Alan Graham, who discovered the band Torinese and in which he found the spirit of Jim Morrison in Fabio Cubisino. The agreement is magical, among boys and Alan was born soon a relationship and a mutual esteem united by a passion for both Jim and Doors. Alan for those not familiar is the former coganto the same Jim Morrison, was married Anne , sister of Jim ( www.irememberjimmorrison.com .) The official website and ‘ www.OTHERSIDESOFTHEDOORS.COM

Look forward to your questions at 338 1036101
 
The direct continuous with the ShowCase Warehouse Music by Merula with MOONFRO The name of this group was not chosen at random; a pun on words , a play on words that evokes a fusion of English and Piemontese. Perché this are the Moonfrò; five young musicians from Piedmont, different from each other and grew up with the stories music as diverse but united by one great passion for the Blues and the Blues Rhythm’n, as well as the stage and the desire to have fun making music together with a repertoire ranging from the great classics of the delta, to the modern sounds of the blues-rock ’70s.


 

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ORE 14:00       OTHER SIDES OF THE DOORS  diretta da studio

ORE 16:30       MOONFRO’                       diretta Magazzino Musicale Merula

Gli Other Sides Of The Doors si racconteranno e racconteranno il loro nuovo progetto “Rock Opera” che prenderà vita entro il 2014, prodotta da Alan Graham, che ha scovato la band Torinese e nella quale, ha ritrovato lo spirito di Jim Morrison in FabioCubisino.L’intesa è magica, tra i ragazzi ed Alan è nato subito un rapporto e una stima reciproca accomunata da una grande passione di entrambi per Jim e i Doors.Alan Graham per chi non lo conoscesse è l’ex coganto dello stesso Jim Morrison, fu sposato con Anne, sorella di Jim ( www.irememberjimmorrison.com).Il sito ufficiale e’ www.OTHERSIDESOFTHEDOORS.COM Aspettiamo le vostre domande al 338 1036101

la diretta continua con lo ShowCase dal Magazzino Musicale Merula con i MOONFRO’. Il nome di questo gruppo non è stato scelto a caso; un pun on words, un gioco di parole che evoca una fusione tra l’Inglese e il Piemontese.Perché questo sono i Moonfrò; cinque giovani musicisti piemontesi, diversi tra loro e cresciuti con le storie musicali più disparate, ma accomunati da un’unica grande passione per il Blues e il Rhythm’n Blues, oltre che per il palco e la voglia di divertirsi facendo musica insieme con un repertorio che varia dai grandi classici del delta, alle sonorità più moderne del rock-blues anni ’70.

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Coronado Company Cartel


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Excerpted from : My Life Inside The Coronado Company Cartel.

By Kimberley Dill-Graham

SENOR VILLAR

Senor Villar aka Luis Enrique Villar was a Spanish teacher as well as water polo/swim coach at Coronado High School in the 1960s.  He was a handsome man in his mid-20s with dark chocolate brown, wiry hair cropped close to his head, bright blue eyes, a charming smile, and wore black-rimmed eyeglasses or prescription Ray-ban sunglasses.  He stood about six feet tall.  He was slim and fit and looked quite dashing in his collegiate tweed sports jacket, black slacks, and crisp white dress shirt with a thin black tie, a standard uniform for him.  Always charismatic, he was a real charmer to both female and male students alike as well as his fellow colleagues, faculty, and the students’ parents.  He drove a bright red convertible Corvette and really stood out among the generic, drab staff of Coronado High School not to mention the community in general.  Like the generation he would teach, he was youthful and a product of the 60s’ bohemian lifestyle and influence.

When he arrived from the East Coast in 1964 to take the teaching position, he was only 26, not much older than the students he would teach.  As a result, he formed an unusual bond with his students bordering on older brother status and almost peer but more as to someone for the impressionable kids to look up to for camaraderie as well as guidance  — and in the case of water sports, a real coach.  He would learn to body surf alongside his surfer students and in time the distinction between he and his students became blurred.

Senor Villar came to Coronado High School from his alma mater Syracuse University in upstate New York.  He had been a college basketball star while attending the university and acquired his teaching credentials.  He would marry for a short time and divorce before leaving New York.  Born in Cuba in the late 1930s, he was from a family of landowners of Castilian descent.   His mother was a blonde, blue-eyed beauty, and his father he did not speak of very much.  When Castro took over the Caribbean island with his Communist regime, the land belonging to his family was confiscated by the military junta.  Luis’ family were displaced and suffered a severe fall from financial grace and social status.  His Aunt Maria would migrate to the United States soon thereafter bringing her favorite nephew along with her.  Luis was a young teenager at the time.  They moved to Brooklyn where the young Cuban had a very difficult time fitting in as he spoke not a word of English.  Ambitious and driven, he would soon learn the language and become a great achiever in school and with the ladies.  After graduating high school, he would attend Syracuse University on a basketball scholarship where he also excelled.

In 1968, Senor Villar would marry a local Coronado girl from a prominent naval family, Katherin Stocker.  Kathy was also a former student of his.  Luis Enrique Villar would now don the name Louis Henry Villar or Lou and had assumed the youthful helm by marriage of a reputable Coronado “old guard” family.  Lou and Kathy would have a big wedding with a full mass at the local Sacred Heart Catholic Church with no expense spared at the ceremony and reception.  It was a big “to do” in town and the talk of all.  With his nuptials to one of our local girls, Senor Villar would establish himself as “one of us” — kind of.

Lou and Kathy Villar became a “cool” couple of the 1960s, and the youth affiliated with the twosome would admire them and enjoy hanging out with them at their home or at school functions or at the beach for some water fun.  Kathy was pretty and young and a product of the times as were her peers.  She quickly became a “hippie” type from a varsity cheerleader-type smoking pot with her husband and donning the uniform of the hipsters and practicing Transcendental Meditation with Lou as well.  Lou traded in his shiny red Corvette for a green and white VW “surfer” bus, and together they were among the leaders of the march towards the unconventional lifestyle that was establishing itself in our community and the rest of our nation. 

I was nine years old when Senor Villar made his grand entrance to the Emerald Isle.  It would not be long that even I at this very adolescent age would become aware of the popular high school Spanish teacher.  One of my friend’s sister would ooh and aah about her dashing instructor at school.  She and all of her other girlfriends would become quite giddy at even the mention of his name.  Full of curiosity, a pack of pubescent girls would begin to visit this enigmatic educator at recess.  He was quite charming and we along with the older gals became quite smitten as well.  Senor Villar would flirt with us and welcome us into his classroom teasing us with Spanish tongue twisters asking us to repeat them back.  I sat in one of the student desks in my go-go boots and big-flowered Mary Quant dress out of my mind with curiosity and at the same time frozen in my seat with shyness.  I would just stare at him with my big brown doe eyes and hope he would never call on me.  Thank goodness he never singled me out and really did not take much notice of me in particular.  But it was obvious, that he loved all the attention and soaked it all up even from us who were still girl children.

Later on, the Villars would become best friends with my parents.  Both couples were like minded in the quest to be cool and hip and current with the changing times.  It was in this element, that I would soon become the “scandal” of Coronado for years to come as I evolved and was “coached” into the teen lover of Senor Luis Enrique Villar.

COOL PARENTS

Concurrent to my metamorphosis into a new creature unrecognizable as my childhood being, my parents were both morphing into a new breed of free thinkers or as many of my friends would call them “cool parents.”  Simultaneously, although I think my dad was taking the lead from my mother, they became extremely permissive and open minded with their parenting skills, a trend that had unwittingly begun a few years back.  Now they would consciously proclaim this enlightened approach.

Don and Jan Dill had at present donned the attire of the hippie movement.  They attended rock concerts like Elton John with us, both grew their hair out, and even began dabbling with marijuana.  Since my father had shut down his medicine cabinet and coffee addiction, he became more relaxed and for him a bit “mellow-yellow.”  My mother began entertaining the ideas of the women’s movement that had taken hold in this decade and was questioning her role as a housewife, wife, and mother.   She like many other women of the time “burned her bra.”

My dad, who was very much a racist as was his father before him often used the word “nigger” to identify a black person, started listening to the radio speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr.  I found this interesting as I at the time had no idea what it all meant.  The true historical import of the late reverend and civil rights activist literally “king” of the movement was yet to be realized.  My dad may have become more open minded but he would still remain a racist and use the “n” word.  Fortunately for us kids and our embarrassment, Coronado had very few “n’s” so this misnomer did not come up very much.

Together they experimented in an approach to the mind and its mechanization known as Transactional Analysis aka TA aka “I’m Okay, You’re Okay.”  This was also the precursor of the “New Age” thinking, a huge trend that would take hold in the ‘70s and would affect all manner of organized religion, the approach to treatment in the professions of psychology with psychoanalysis taking the dominant lead, and everyday thinking in general.

At any given day and at any given time, there were always a collection of friends and their friends and strangers who were to become my parents and our family’s friends hanging out at our house.  Many times you would find them sitting in a circle in our communal den playing out transactional exercises to open up the soul being led by my newly found guru mother.

Our home became a go-to destination for all sorts of teenagers and young adults with problems at home and in life to come explore their feelings and options, many of whom were invited to not only hang out at our house whenever they wanted but also to stay with us.  

My father, who became somewhat liberal in much of his thinking as a physician and its approaches to medicine and various treatments and cures, began assisting family friends who were “in trouble.”  At the time, abortion was very illegal.  I remember sitting in the living room when our doorbell rang, and my beloved babysitter, would arrive in tears only to be comforted by my father who said he would assist her on the “hush hush.”  Arrangements were made to be followed shortly by another visitor.  This time a controversial Coronado character showed up at the front door.  I was wondering why Bud “The Butcher” could possibly have any reason for being at our house.  I would later figure it all out after my inquiries were sort of answered that our family friend was pregnant, still a teenager, she did not want to have the baby nor did she want her parents or anyone else for that matter to know of her “dirty little secret.”  The Butcher was the “go to guy” for all such matters.  

 In those days, the option for a pregnant teenager was either to be sent away to have the baby in quiet during which times adoption arrangements were secured or more dangerous methods were employed including fetus-mutilation by coat hanger.  At any rate, it was a rather dismal, inhumane situation to find oneself in.  Not only was the young girl’s reputation destroyed, but her self respect and self worth would be shattered for many years to come if not for always.  It was in these dark times that my father would become a Knight in Shining Armor to some of these damsels in distress arranging secret rendezvous with the local butcher.

The Dill parents explored new relationships with people they hadn’t normally associated with in the past including Lou and Kathy Villar.  The newlywed couple would become a fixture in our transactional analysis forums with Lou often competing as the leader of the sessions.  The Villars would eat and prepare meals with our family, establish craft making sessions in our backyard such as creating handmade candles and tie-dying T-shirts.  Camping became a ritual in an effort to get back to nature for all of us.  Lou and Kathy would become our troop leaders as my parents became rather incapacitated with their new found preoccupation of smoking pot and “trippin’.”  The cannabis was also supplied by our troop leaders. The usual vacations to Mexico and romantic getaways would be substituted with weekends in Idyllwild to attend folk music festivals with not only the Villars but other more progressive-thinking friends of my parents.  

It was in this environment of change and the metamorphosis of the construct of my home that I was sent away to an exclusive all girls private boarding academy for guidance and tutelage my parents felt unable to perform.

After her high school graduation, my mother no longer pursued any higher education as all of the focus was on getting my father through medical school.  This was not unusual in the 1950s for young women as the social expectation for the female was to marry at an early age to a promising beau with a path to a good profession that would provide financial security while they purchased their white picket fence home and began a family.  Women were to be seen and not heard and to work would only be out of necessity.

The primary focus for the up-and-coming housewife would be concentrated on developing their cooking and shopping skills, managing a household, a representative of a good family image with proper morality, and of course, the maintenance of the home itself.  Sewing skills were also preferable but not always necessary if you could mend, darn a sock, and be able to press a good pleat with a hot iron and spray starch.  Even when I was in school, one of the subjects of our curriculum was home economics — a definite prerequisite to the life of a married house woman which just enhanced the lessons passed down from their own mothers and grandmothers.  It was also very important to behave as a lady with physical sports not encouraged and coarseness in any form not a welcome trait.  Beauty was a key essential and if not naturally pretty, many products and salons were in place to elevate even the most dowdy of women to a state of attractiveness.  Besides hair spray holding every curl in place, mounds of make up was freely applied from bright scarlet rouge to a facial foundation with mascara, eyeliner, eyelashes, eyeshadows, eyebrows penciled in, and the finishing touch a dark red lipstick preferably.

Jan Dill had all aspects of professional housewifery down pat.  She was the envy of all for not only was she drop-dead beautiful, but she was a definite trendsetter on all fronts from the way she dressed, to how she decorated, to how she threw a fabulous dinner party, to how she amazed all men, to how she raised her children, and best of all as a magnificent arm piece to the very handsome and debonair Dr. Donald M. Dill, M.D. – a title my father insisted on.

Being the center of attention always, my mom, the “Reigning Beauty Queen of Coronado,” could afford to be dismissive of not only her husband’s doting attention and affections but the rest of the very generic, unappealing gentlemen that surrounded her in our town.  I can count on one hand any of the handsome, appealing “mad men” of Coronado.  Believe me, as I would entertain my own crushes on them.  The cutest men were the boys, and Jan, would flirt with them more so than the men in her peerage.

It was a surprise to all of us when one day Mom announced that she was going to take a night school class at the high school.  We all wondered what that could possibly be and worried for her as we weren’t sure whether she would be able to perform on an academic level.  The class she had designated was “Beginners Conversational Spanish.”  It seemed logical to us when we heard the subject matter because of my parents’ extreme fondness for anything south of the border and also since we had a live-in maid, Catalina, who knew very little English.  Mom also went to Tijuana often to work with the third-world artisans who would handcraft our furniture according to her designs.

This Spanish class would be taught by none other than the heartthrob of all the pre-teen and teenage girls of our town, Senor Luis Enrique Villar.  When I found this out, I almost asked my mom if I could go to class with her.  All my schoolmates prodded me to do so.  

Needless to say, when Mom brought Senor Villar and his newlywed bride home for show and tell, I was thrilled but frightened into a complete standstill position not only physically but mentally.  It was a good thing I could hide behind the fact that I was after all just a kid.

Lou was handsome and his wife was pretty.  You could tell my mother had definitely placed him in the category of worthy of her flirtations and over-the-top antics.  Jan was not used to feeling these dips into true romantic and sexual desire.  As a result, she became quite obvious in her superficial behavior and was no match for a professional flirter, who was more sophisticated in that skill than her usual male counterparts.  He was used to being a star.  He was used to receiving plenty of female attention and coquetry.  My mom had without doubt met her match.  Lou, although flattered, became bored quickly, and instead would set his sites on the youthful enigmatic innocent, me.  I hardly knew what flirting was, and I recoiled from my mother when she behaved in such a manner.  From a very, very infantile age, I had sensed this behavior as a definite threat to my security in her dedication and devotion to my father and her family, and I was somewhat right.

Senor Villar began to show me a very intense inordinate amount of attention as if this distillation process would somehow absolve him from the mediocrity of life both as a married man again or as a break-out conservative teacher seeking a more intriguing and challenging relay race.  When I would come in the room, he would light up shining his enormous smile upon me making it quite known that it was my presence that accounted for his exhilaration.  His blue eyes became saucers and would twinkle in accompaniment to his thrilled countenance.  He almost made a whistling sound or at least I always thought I heard one seething behind his ecstatic facial expression.

I was entirely confused and not at all flattered as I did not even begin to understand or identify with this behavior towards me.  I may not have understood it, but there were two people always in the room who did – my mother and his wife.

Work In Progress.

 

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Jim Morrison Book On Antiques Road Show

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GUEST: I brought a book that was called The History of Magic. It was a Christmas gift to me. A roommate of mine in college, we exchanged Christmas gifts. I think I gave him a print or a drawing. I was an art student, and he gave me this.
APPRAISER: Well, apparently you’ve read the book. You’ve kind of hounded it a little bit. All the edges are worn away.

GUEST: Yeah, I’ve…it’s not the kind of book you sit down and read cover to cover, but I’ve looked at it over the years.

APPRAISER: It’s also got wonderful illustrations in it.

GUEST: Yeah, it does.

APPRAISER: If you go in, there are actually pieces like this, which are old illuminated manuscript art. Old engraving. Engraving, wood cuts, et cetera, yeah.

GUEST: The subject matter is, you know, mysterious and interesting.

APPRAISER: I guess you say it’s a compilation, which is true, and it was under the name of Kurt Seligmann, who put it out. But what interested me, you know, this book, I’m going to cut right to a value here for you. This book in this condition is worth about $100.

GUEST: Oh, really.

APPRAISER: However, when you had it at the table and you were talking to me, in here, I opened the flyleaf and I noticed who your college roommate was: Jim Morrison of The Doors.

GUEST: That’s right.

APPRAISER: So all right, let’s pounce on that. I have all kinds of questions for you, because I’m a Jim Morrison fan.

GUEST: Oh, really? I met Jim Morrison, I was in a rooming house renting a room–this was in Tallahassee, Florida–and this other guy lived there and we got to be friends. We’d walk to school and so forth. And he was…it was Jim Morrison.

APPRAISER: I see that he’s inscribed it as a Christmas gift, “1963 from Jim Morrison.” And he had been a Florida native, and Jim had bounced out to New Mexico and he ended up back at Florida State, where you were, and he decided to take a few classes. He kind of went in in typical Jim Morrison spirit, and I guess that he had a few run-ins. He was originally in a video that was promoting the college.

GUEST: I remember that.

APPRAISER: Really?

GUEST: Yeah, and that’s just a little part of a film that’s promoting Florida State. It’s really very… it’s very dull.

APPRAISER: Right. So what kind of a student was he? I’d hate to hear that he was, like, a shy and meek guy.

GUEST: For his age, I’d say he was probably the most…intellectually deep person and well-read I ever met.

APPRAISER: And he was 19 when you met him? 19, 20?

GUEST: Probably, something like that.

APPRAISER: He gave you the book on the occult. It’s always been assumed that he had an interest in the occult.

GUEST: Yeah, he did.

APPRAISER: In the band, he often took on the name of the Lizard King.

GUEST: All the band stuff came after I knew him.

APPRAISER: Right.

GUEST: And he was, I would say, interested in the idea that maybe people that are criminals are really saints and the saints are criminals. 

APPRAISER: He was so attractive to the public. There was a following after his death. He died young, you know, he has all the components of value. You know, beauty, early death, intelligent, wild. That’s Jim Morrison to a tee. So this, what a wonderful early, early view into his life and, you know, his relationship with you as a young college kid. The value on this at auction with the occult level, if it weren’t that book, I’d put $4,000 to $6,000 on it. But because it’s that book, because it’s early in his life, which generally doesn’t help, I would say that the value on it is $8,000 to $10,000 at auction.

GUEST: No kidding.

APPRAISER: Yes.

GUEST: Wow. I’m surprised at that.

APPRAISER: When we’re done here, you want to have a beer?

GUEST: Yeah, we could. My daughter’s here, she’d go along with it.

APPRAISER: We’ll take you over and I’d love to hear your stories. That’d be so awesome, yeah.

APPRAISER: All right.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/archive/201306A49.html

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FIVE LANGUAGES

 

Giuliano & Ana

I Remember Jim Morrison now published in English, French, Swedish, and  soon be available in Spanish and Italian.

One year after the death of Jim Morrison Giuliano Amoruso was born in Naples Italy. He now a promoter and resides in Andalusia Spain with his beautiful spanish wife Anna an artist.  Together they will work on both the Spanish and Italian translations of  ‘I Remember Jim Morrison’.

 

“Carry me Caravan take me away 
Take me to Portugal, take me to Spain 
Andalusia with fields full of grain 
I have to see you again and again 
Take me, Spanish Caravan 
Yes, I know you can”

Spanish Caravan: Doors

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ODE TO LA WHILE THINKING OF BRIAN JONES, DECEASED

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 This impromptu work by Jim Morrison was written the day after Brian Jones was found dead in his swimming pool on July 3rd 1969. I remember Jim passing the poem out to everyone he met, it was published in pamphlet form on pale green bleached parchment with olive green ink.

In the text her refers to Jones as a satyr, a word only a poet would use. He payed tribute to Jones as a pan like figure less human and more mythical.

Ironically two years later on the very same day Jim Morrison himself was also found dead in a body of water.

 In Greek mythology, a satyr is one of a troop of male companions of Pan and Dionysus with goat-like (caprine) features, including a goat-tail, goat-like ears, and sometimes a goat-like phallus. In Roman Mythology there is a similar concept with goat-like features, the faun being half-man, half-goat. Greek-speaking Romans often use the Greek term saturos when referring to the Latin faunus, and eventually syncretize the two. The female “Satyresses” were a late invention of poets — that roamed the woods and mountains. In myths they are often associated with pipe-playing. 

 Alan Graham.

I’m a resident of a city
They’ve just picked me to play
the Prince of Denmark

Poor Ophelia

All those ghosts he never saw
Floating to doom
On an iron candle

Come back, brave warrior
Do the dive
On another channel

Hot buttered pool
Where’s Marrakesh
Under the falls
the wild storm
where savages fell out
in late afternoon
monsters of rhythm

You’ve left your
Nothing
to compete w/
Silence

I hope you went out
Smiling
Like a child
Into the cool remnant
of a dream

The angel man
w/ Serpents competing
for his palms
& fingers
Finally claimed
This benevolent
Soul

Ophelia

Leaves, sodden
in silk

Chlorine
dream
mad stifled
Witness

The diving board, the plunge
The pool

You were a fighter
a damask musky muse

You were the bleached
Sun
for TV afternoon

horned-toads
maverick of a yellow spot

Look now to where it’s got
You

in meat heaven
w/ the cannibals
& jews

The gardener
Found
The body, rampant, Floating

Lucky Stiff
What is this green pale stuff
You’re made of

Poke holes in the goddess
Skin

Will he Stink
Carried heavenward
Thru the halls
of music

No Chance.

Requiem for a heavy
That smile
That porky satyr’s
leer
has leaped upward

into the loam

Jim Morrison Los Angeles 1969 

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LOST AND FOUND

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An original Super 8 film, shot by Jim Morrison of his girlfriend, Pamela Courson, in a cemetery in Corsica. Filmed using his Braun Nizo S56 Super 8 Camera during a ten day holiday in May 1971. Archivally preserved, with the original spool retained. The film is 2 minutes and 37 seconds long and has never been shown publicly. It is referenced specifically in Patricia Butler’s book Angels Dance and Angels Die: The Tragic Romance of Pamela and Jim Morrison: “The scene cuts to Pamela, slowly walking between an aisle of gravestones. Her head is bowed, and her long red hair shields her face from view for a moment, before she slowly looks up to stare pensively into the camera. A moment later, an extreme close-up of her face, again slightly out of focus, shows Pamela pouting in the direction of Jim, who is operating the camera. It is easy to make out the words she speaks as she tells him, “I don’t want to move”. So the camera pans away from the uncooperative subject, who changes her mind suddenly and runs back into the camera range, reclaiming the scene by dancing wildly among the gravestones, her hair flashing about her like a flaming banner. All at once, Pamela disappears behind a mausoleum, but Jim anticipates her moves and the camera catches her reappearance, running from behind the marble monument and continuing her wild dance.”

On the last night of his life, as recorded in ‘The Last Days Of Jim Morrison: A rare look into the rock god’s journals’ in Rolling Stone magazine, ‘Jim started threading Super-8 films of their travels in the projector. Pamela said they sang together as they watched their dark, jerky, out-of-focus movies of Spain, Morocco and Corsica on the wall. Jim (according to Pamela in all her narratives) played old Doors records- even ‘The End’- far into the night’.

Price: £16,500.00

Notes: Whilst Morrison is known to have shot home movies with this camera regularly, this would appear to be the only one to have surfaced in the 42 years since his death.

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I Remember Jim Morrison-French Edition

press-release-I-Remember-header2POUR DIFFUSION IMMEDIATE

Contact:  (619) 277-1552,  lizardalive@yahoo.com

Lorsque j’ai écrit mon premier livre Je me souviens Jim Morrison, mon voeu le plus cher était de le voir publié en langue française, mais mes tentatives dans ce domaine sont restées vaines, je n’ai trouvé aucun éditeur, ni même un traducteur prêt à assumer la tâche. Puis, comme par un miraculeux alignement des étoiles et du destin, j’ai reçu trois beaux emails pour mon livre, trois emails de trois femmes différentes, vivants dans trois régions différentes du globe. Tous les emails disaient presque exactement la même chose – le livre était le meilleur qu’elles aient jamais lu au sujet de Jim Morrison.

Toutes ces coïncidences étaient incroyables. Mathématiquement parlant, ce pôle d’activité au même endroit, au même moment dans le temps, n’a pourtant rien de miraculeux. Tout au long de ma vie d’adulte, j’avais lu et entendu parler de la puissance de la synergie et de la synchronicité, mais je ne les avais jamais autant vu à l’oeuvre dans ma propre vie que lors de cette impressionnante équation. Un des emails provenait tout droit de France. C’était une jeune femme, fan de Jim depuis son enfance, qui m’écrivait. Emilie Thiry-Bourg me remerciait pour mon livre. Je lui ai proposé de le traduire, elle a immédiatement accepté et c’est ainsi que mon voeu le plus cher a été exaucé.  Je me souviens Jim Morrison est désormais disponible en français sur amazon.com et sur www.irememberjimmorrison.com

L’auteur y brosse un portrait intime de Jim Morrison et des forces qui ont façonné sa vie, sa mort… Ce livre n’est pas un remaniement de plus, des sempiternelles rumeurs que l’on a pu lire maintes et maintes fois, mais il apporte un véritable éclairage sur Jim Morrison, dit le ‘‘Roi Lézard’’, avec ce recueil de souvenirs doux-amers sur sa vie et sur une époque trépidante.

“Ces histoires et toutes ces anecdotes sont comme un album fait de rêverie et de souvenirs ; l’écrire m’a donné la plus grande des joies et mon souhait est désormais de partager cette expérience avec vous, mes lecteurs. Le Jim Morrison que vous connaissez, contrairement à la plupart des personnalités publiques, repose en grande partie sur l’image que l’on a donné de lui durant les cinq dernières années de sa vie. Plus de quarante livres ont été publiés à son sujet, et chaque nouvel ouvrage ne dévoile rien de plus que le précédent. La raison à cela est qu’aucun membre du clan Morrison n’a jamais révélé de véritables informations concernant la vie de Jim au sein de sa famille. Mon récit personnel de ces événements fournit des éléments rares et dévoile une analyse intime de la face cachée de Jim Morrison et des gens qui l’ont aimé.”

Alan Graham, l’auteur de Je me souviens de Jim Morrison, était le beau-frère du chanteur des Doors.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: (619) 277-1552 , lizardalive@yahoo.com

When I wrote my first book I remember Jim Morrison, my dearest wish was to see published in French, but my attempts in this area have been in vain, I found no publisher, nor a translator ready to take on the task.  Then, as a miraculous alignment of the stars and fate, I received three beautiful emails for my book , three emails from three different women living in three different regions of the globe. All emails saying almost exactly the same thing – the book was the best they have ever read about Jim Morrison.

All these coincidences were amazing. Mathematically speaking , this division in the same place at the same moment in time, has nothing miraculous. Throughout my adult life,  I had read and heard about the power of synergy and synchronicity, but I had never seen so many at work in my own life at this awesome equation.  An email came straight from France. She was a young woman, a fan of Jim since childhood, who wrote me.  Emilie Thiry -Bourg thanked me for my book. I asked him to translate it immediately accepted and this is my dearest wish has been granted.

I remember Jim Morrison is now available in French on amazon.com and www.irememberjimmorrison.com .

The author paints an intimate portrait of Jim Morrison and the forces that shaped his life, death … This book is not a reshuffle addition, endless rumors that it has been read over and over again , but it brings a real insight into Jim Morrison, ” said the Lizard King ”, with this collection of memories bittersweet on his life and a hectic time.

” These stories and these stories are like an album made of dreams and memories , writing gave me the greatest joy and now my wish is to share this experience with you, my readers Jim Morrison you. know, unlike most public figures, is largely based on the image that was given him over the last five years of his life. More than forty books have been published about it, and each new book reveals nothing more than the last. the reason for this is that no member of the clan Morrison never revealed information about the real life of Jim in his family. My personal story of these events provides rare elements and reveals an intimate analysis of the dark side of Jim Morrison and the people who loved him .”

Alan Graham , author of I Remember Jim Morrison, was the brother in law of singer of  The Doors.

 

 

 

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Something Completely Different

Using her own skin as a canvas, british artist eliza bennett has realized a self-inflicted sculpture, woven into the palm of her hand. considering the flesh as a base material, bennett carefully stitches patterns and lines into the epidermis of her body using colored thread; ‘a woman’s work is never done’ results as an incredibly worn-looking hand, overworked and fatigued. by using intricate embroidery techniques — traditionally used to symbolize femininity — and applying it to a context of its opposite, bennett challenges the pre-conceived notion that ‘women’s work’ is light and easy. ‘through a personally charged perception, I explore a range of issues relating to the formlessness of both individual and social reality’, the artist says of her ephemeral sculpture’s significance. the administered piece on the surface of her skin aims to chronicle the effects of labor intensive work, while drawing attention to low paid jobs such as cleaning, caring, and catering, all of which are traditionally considered to be gender specific towards women.

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THE GHOST COWBOYS


The Return Of Frankie Setback 
The Ghost Cowboys 

FRANKIE SETBACK- LEE HARPER- CHAD WATSON- VERN MONNET

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THE GHOST COWBOYS

Frankie Setback And The Ghost Cowboys Are Coming to Coronado Soon

Frankie-Poster9

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NO GREEN MEANIES

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JUMP START

Original Members: JB (nado-native): vocals, percussion; Dave Shoudy: lead guitar, vocals; Al Cosgrove: bass, vocals; Dave Maggiora: guitars, vocals; Gregg Miller: drums, vocals; Later Members: Alex Agundez: guitars, vocals; Alan Neff: drums; Steve Patrick: rhythm guitar, vocals; Becky Russell: drums;

The JumpStart Band ROCKS!!   

Jumpstart introduces “Steve Patrick” on rhythm Guitar and vocals. Steve is a very well known 5th grade teacher in Coronado and lives on Palm with his wife Libby, who was Dave Shoudy’s son’s kindergarten teacher back in the mid-90s. Steve replaced Alex Agundez, who sings lead vocals and plays lead guitar with his own group, Slight Return.

Steve Patrick at his first gig with JumpStart

Dave Shoudy comments, “It was in front of my face all the while as I’ve known Steve for ages. However, it never dawned on me until I walked down Orange Avenue on Open House Night, 2009. Across the street and upstairs from the Village Theater, I heard a band and thought ‘oh well, not my party’ and walked on. About an hour later, I ran into Steve and his gang in front of Danny’s. It was his band that was doing that gig. We went to the Brigantine and celebrated the start of the new Holiday Season after that.” A month later, Steve performed his first Jumpstart gig at the Hotel Del Coronado for the Coronado Realtor’s Association.

 

Most recent member of JumpStart: Becky Russell

 

 When Becky was nine years old, her big brother brought home a pair of drum sticks from school. She took those sticks from his room into her room and began banging on the furniture. He later said, “Keep them, they’re yours.” And that was the start of it. Soon after, Becky’s mom bought the toy snare, then the junior drum kit.For a short time, Becky was with “The Stiletto’s” entertaining crowds in San Diego’s Gas Lamp, Coronado’s Island Sports & Spirits, and McP’s. She was soon to do similar with “Big Rig Deluxe” for years. Later, joined with Coronado grad Dave Paseman’s band, “Hoosier Daddy” playing private parties and having a whole lot of fun. Often, Becky would set with “The Robin Hinkel Band” performing all over So Cal. Robin’s shows used a variety of musical talent, always changing.

After relocating to Nashville in sixth grade, she joined up with the school band. The first day at the chair challenge, she tied for first chair. All jealousy broke loose as the last chair boy began to heckle. Becky beat him up. Becky was very fond of the Junior High Band situation. Many of the kids’ parents were musicians as well. Her stepfather, Kenneth Hunt, was a songwriter in Nashville. And, today, her younger stepsister, Amanda Hunt-Taylor, is a songwriter as well.

Soon it was time to move again. This time to Dallas –Dallas, Georgia. A new town and a new school, but by this time she was diversified performing in the marching band, the concert band, and for school dances, and a jazz band.  Becky was also in the “Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps”. In the middle of her sophomore year, she moved to Coronado.  It was like going from the sticks to paradise. She played in the concert band in Coronado, then decided to keep her drumming at home. She switched interests and it was all about cross-country running.

In June 1980, Becky, a CHS grad, jumped back into the music scene. This time a garage band, “New Toys” and performed local casual scenes. Years later, she would join “Solstice” who performed in San Diego night clubs. Other bands followed: “Bonneville 7” — a psycho-billy band with two billy brats and Pip Hancock and Johnny Bowler from well known UK group called “Guana Batz”.

Becky is currently performing shows with fellow 1980 CHS grad, Dave Shoudy, and the group, “JumpStart”. The group “JumpStart” also consists of Coronado native JB Cosgrove (vocals), husband Al (bass), and Coronado teacher, Steve Patrick (guitar), entertaining most all of Coronado.

SPECIAL NOTE:  JumpStart will be playing live along with Luv Nutz at the After the Coronado 4th of July Parade Party from 12:00-4:00 p.m., Monday, July 4, at the VFW Post 2422, located at 557 Orange Avenue.  Stop by for some fun music, snacks & celebration!  Happy 4th!

 
 

 

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BILLY THOMPSON

A Man in His Own Right


Billy, having grown up as an army brat, has lived all over the U.S including our Coronado, where he played in local bands. He started playing music in his late teens and developed his early musical stylings through his San Diego-based bands such as, Johnnie Cook, The Fingers (with Joey Harris), and The Mighty Penguins. The crafting of his blues work was heavily influenced by his touring and time spent with Larry “Arkansas” Davis, who stated, “Bill, you’re writin’ the blues of the future.” Vintage Blues magazine has said of Billy, “He sings with no boundaries and literally picks his a–s off.”

Billy’s major influences include the likes of Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Duane Allman, Buddy Guy, Albert King, BB King, and many more. He has performed live with: Little Milton, Albert King, Art Neville, Earl King, Larry “Arkansas” Davis, Elvin Bishop, Chuck Berry, Sir Harry Bowens, Billy Branch, Leslie Uggams, Ivan Neville, Daryl Johnson, and Gary Puckett. He has opened for: BB King, Buddy Guy, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Boz Skaggs, The Neville Brothers, Dickey Betts, Joe Cocker, Sonny Landreth, Robert Cray, Taj Mahal, John Hammond, Jr., Bobby Womack, Robben Ford, Junior Walker and the Allstars, Lee Roy Parnell, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Albert Lee, Joe Louis Walker, War, Jimmie Vaughan and Gallactic – Is that just to name a few?

Theater performances include: 2009-European tour as featured guitarist with Queen Esther Marrow and the Harlem Gospel Singers; 2004 – Guitarist / Songwriter / Musical Supervisor for the Keith Glover play entitled, “The Rose of Corazon”; 2002 – Lead guitarist for Tony Award winning playwright Keith Glover’s critically acclaimed, “Bluesical”; “Thunder Knocking On The Door” featuring original music by Keb Mo and Anderson Edwards; 2001 – Lead guitarist for the Broadway musical, “It Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues” directed by Randal Mylar (Love Janis) and musical direction: Dan Wheatman. Discography — Original Albums: Coat of many Colors – The Mighty Penguins 1994; Tangerine Sky – Billy Thompson 1998; Area 51 – Billy Thompson 2005; Remixed and Remastered- Billy Thompson – 2009; & A Better Man – Billy Thompson- Papa Lee Records 2011.

The fifth CD “A Better Man” was produced by Grammy Award winning producer Tony Braunagel. Braunagel, currently drummer forThe Robert Cray Band, enlisted a strong lineup of former band mates and friends to play on the CD. Braunagel, who played drums on the project, describes Billy as “a funky mofo with a soulful vocal style and songs that draw you in.”

Musicians on the CD include some of the industry’s most experienced including members of Little Feat, Taj Mahal, Bonnie Raitt, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Joe Cocker, and the Phantom Blues Band. In addition to Thompson on guitar and vocals and Braunagel on drums, Johnny Lee Schell adds guitar and sings background vocals and is joined by bassists Hutch Hutchinson and Kenny Gradney, keyboard player Mike Finnigan, percussionist Lenny Castro, trumpeter Darrell Leonard, and saxophonist Joe Sublett from the Texicali Horns. The lineup is rounded out by San Diego standout Michael Leroy Peed on piano and clavinet as well as background vocalist Niki Morrissette.

“A Better Man” official release date was 1/ 11/ 2011and is receiving airplay nationally and in Europe.  Currently, available on www.CDBaby.com and for digital download at www.billythompsonmusic.com.

Billy Thompson — A Better Man

“Pardon the cliché, but Billy Thompson is a force of nature. Funky gospel infused Memphis-style soul oozes from his very being. His husky soulful voice wrapped up in a blues-hipster delivery is hard to resist, especially when it’s propped up by a grooving band of A-list musicians such as Mike Finnigan, Kenny Gradney, Hutch Hutchinson, Johnny Lee Schell, Lenny Castro, The Texacali Horns and producer-drummer Tony Braunagel. The blues part of the equation is delivered by Billy’s slithering electric slide work, that at times is so locked in with his voice that it’s coming from one place. Finnigan’s organ provides a groove-filled cushion for Billy’s workouts to float atop. The percussion one-two punch of Braunagel and Castro beef-up the attack. The music possesses such freshness that it comes off as always being there. Nothing sounds forced. Billy’s slide moves the tunes along effortlessly.

I’m hard pressed to pick a favorite here, as brilliant touches abound at every turn. The lyrics in this batch of originals are of the reflective, positive and spiritual type. After a listen, you feel as if you’ve been to a funky-soul church. The revival feel of the opener “Are You Ready” is a gospel-drenched affair, which quickly displays the power of the snaky slide work. It sounds churchy, but it’s a profession of love to a woman. This song slips right into the cool-groove jazzy-boogie shuffle of “A Better Man” that benefits from Finnigan’s jazzy organ. Thompson also shows he is no slouch at playing regular guitar on this tune and others. A herky-jerky rhythm brew of slide and percussion make “Noreen” fit like a glove. “Just like a ballgame and a hotdog” is one of the many analogies used to describe the muse of “Met My Match”, which puts the punchy Texacali Horns to good use. The slide-master once again comes to the rescue as it skips along in the brisk “Downside Up”. The band is just as adept at a more relaxed pace, as witnessed on the R&B-gospel inflected love song “Born Again” and the soulful “Oneness”. A harsher tone is applied to his slide playing on the ominous “Bleed” which speaks to the world’s dire state. The haunting background vocal of Niki Morrissette completes the atmosphere. The device of playing what he sings is used here, owing a debt to the old school country-blues masters. “As If” has the feel of a cool day chillin’ in the park. “Up In The Morning” the only real blues song wraps things up with acoustic slide and harmonica propelling this easy country blues.

Music as uplifting, life reassuring and seamless as this is a gift that deserves to be enjoyed by the masses. It sounds as fresh at each additional listening as it does the first time around. Musical or lyrical gems continue to jump out at you. If this music experience doesn’t move your feet and soul, seek help NOW!” Reviewer Greg “Bluesdog” Szalony hails from the New Jersey Delta. He is the proprietor of Bluesdog’s Doghouse at http://bluesdog61.multiply.com.

“Billy Thompson’s music bristles with the infectious, syncopated sounds of New Orleans, the electricity of great rock ‘n’ roll, the punchy verve of Memphis soul and the heartfelt power of blues, funk and jazz.”
–George Varga, music critic San Diego Union-Tribune

Billy moved from the Wind ‘n’ Sea area of La Jolla to Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, 1.5 hours out of D.C., and says, “So, I’m in WV…haha…I never would’ve thought that I’d move here in a million years, but I’m quite happy, actually!”

“For someone so seemingly headed to hell in a hand cart, I was lucky enough to pull things together! Case in point…and I don’t know how I rated this gift, but my son, Michael, now 24, and a Washington and Lee University graduate, was President of La Jolla High School (2004) as well as President of all San Diego City Schools. www.wlu.edu/x27151.xml

In a large part, thanks to his mother, Rebecca, her family and a handful of other friends, I found many a positive influence, and though seemingly taking much of the credit for Michael’s success, such is not the case! I’m just saying, I am thankful for how things have turned out! I consider myself lucky to have played a part in making a positive contribution to this, ever changing, wild and crazy, world!

I was quite the opposite at his age, as many would remember! — deepest apologies to all I may have offended in my dysfunctional youth, sincerely! I was quite the opposite at his age, as many would remember! — deepest apologies to all I may have offended in my dysfunctional youth, sincerely!

Though, fairly recently divorced, the woman I’m with now is a college professor and co-wrote five of the songs on the new album, A Better Man.  

Growth and change came knockin’ on my door, but once again!  Life is good.
Best wishes to all.” –BT–

Billy will be back in San Diego performing at Humphrey’s BackStage on August 18, 2011 and very possibly opening for his friend Keb Mo at Humphrey’s Open Air Concerts on August 11.  Do yourselves a favor and check our Coronado musician friend out.  Guaranteed enjoyment!

Check out more of Billy Thompson on Facebook or at: http://www.reverbnation.com/billythompson

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JANIS UNDERSTOOD !

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By Lynne Koen

Janis Lyn Joplin was born to loving parents Seth and Dorothy Joplin in Port Arthur,Texas on January 19, 1943. Janis had a happy family life, yet she was very shy when it came to relating to others outside the home. She never seemed to quite fit in with the other girls at school. Janis wasn’t pretty enough to be one of the “popular girls”. She was awkward and different. At Thomas Jefferson High School in Port Arthur, Janis tried fitting in by joining various clubs on campus. As a result, she joined Future Teachers of America Art Club and the Math Club. Janis thought she’d finally become popular and likable, but her superior intellect far outshone that of her fellow students further alienating Janis from her biggest desires to belong, to be liked, and maybe even to be loved.

In those early days, Janis took out her sadness and frustration out in her art. She was always drawing or painting. Janis also loved music only not the type of music her classmates enjoyed. Janis went for the Blues. She loved the black singers’ songs about hard work, loss, and pain. As she got more and more into the Blues Sound, Janis’ appearance began to change radically. She teased her frizzy hair up high and wore all dark clothing. Janis was being led to the “Beat Scene”.

She found friendship with five smart, intellectual-type boys at school. Though highly intellectual, these boys were also major non-conformists. They marched to a different beat, and Janis fit right in. Janis finally had some confidence, and she started speaking up in class about equality for blacks and civil rights in general. Boys at school would follow her around throwing pennies at her and shouting “nigger lover”, but Janis didn’t care. She had her tightly knit group now. Janis and the boys would travel all over — hanging out in coffee houses and going to concerts. They drank heavily and even dabbled in drugs (mostly speed). One day they were returning home to Port Arthur and Janis was singing along with the car radio. One of the boys remarked, “Damn, you can SING!” Janis giggled and said, “Yeah, I guess I can!”

Janis graduated from high school in June 1960. In the fall, she attended a technical college and learned “keypunch” an early cousin to computer programming. Janis’ mother, Dorothy, knew Janis wanted a life outside Port Arthur, outside Texas, and thought Janis could get a good job just about anywhere with her technical skills.

Janis went to live in Los Angeles under the watchful eyes of her mother’s two sisters. She got a job as a keypunch operator for the telephone company in L.A. Soon the 9-5 grind got tedious for Janis who longed to live the total Beat life on her own even if it meant struggling to make ends meet.

One day while traveling on the bus, Janis struck up a conversation with a fellow traveler. She learned this man lived in Venice Beach. On a lark, Janis passed her stop and went with him to Venice. There Janis found the artistic freedom she craved. Creativity and expression of freedom not to mention drugs and alcohol were seen as portals to heightened experience and deeper understanding of life. In Venice, Janis found a ramshackle place she could afford on her own, and there she settled in happily singing and playing guitar at local coffee houses. This lasted only a short while though as Janis felt stifled in L.A. She’d heard of a larger Beat community in San Francisco’s North Beach area. So she went up there to check out the scene. There she befriended a fellow artist who was a doorman at the Fox and Hound Coffee House.

The first time Janis showed up to sing there she wore a WWII bomber jacket, Levis, and a blue work shirt. She had a cigar dangling from her mouth. Janis went from not fitting in to standing OUT in a big way!

Janis wasn’t making enough money to support herself so she went back to Port Arthur in December, 1961. She shocked everyone with her clothing style — newfound “California Swagger” and aggressive ways. In retrospect, this was Janis’ way of covering for the fact that she didn’t make it on her own in California and also to mask her massive insecurities.

Restless, Janis soon discovered that she couldn’t stay home for long so she followed a few friends to Austin and the University of Texas in the summer of 1962. There she was voted “ugliest man on campus”. Janis treated this as a joke, but in a letter home to her parents, she asked how people could be so cruel. Austin had a very strong music scene — mostly country, bluegrass, and folk. Janis joined a band and became very popular in Austin.

Janis bragged to friends about her many sexual escapades in California, but truth be told, this was much exaggerated as part of the whole Janis’ character she was trying so hard to convey. One night while Janis performed at an Austin club, a music promoter from San Francisco approached her and talked her into trying the San Francisco scene once again. She was promised an enthusiastic audience as the scene there evolved into a pre-hippie mode. Back in San Francisco, Janis became hugely popular as promised.

Musicians didn’t make much money, but they were allowed to “pass the hat” at the end of each performance. Janis’ hat always filled to the brim each and every night. A fan offered Janis a free place to live — a basement apartment Janis shared with a friend, fellow artist, and kindred spirit, Linda Gottfried. It was at this point that Janis began drinking heavily. She considered drunkenness as an aid to personal spontaneity and total freedom. She also began taking a large amount of speed because it was cheap and seemed to counter balance the alcohol effects. Janis was functioning but never sober.

By 1965, Janis was in love with a speed freak named Peter de Blanc. Shortly after they became engaged, Peter was hospitalized for speed-induced psychosis. This was enough to scare Janis straight for the time being. Once released from the hospital, Peter helped Janis buy a bus ticket back to Port Arthur promising to join her there shortly. Janis went home and began planning her wedding. She gave up the radical look and seemed to embrace the traditional lifestyle she’d rejected for so long. She even enrolled in a “poise” class in summer school. Janis also began seeing a therapist to whom she admitted trying various drugs while in California.

In addition to the constant use of alcohol and speed, she also experimented with Quaaludes and Demerol to help come down off the speed. During this time, as Janis waited for de Blanc, she didn’t even take a drink. Peter de Blanc wrote to Janis and even visited Port Arthur once. It gradually became clear that de Blanc was seeing other women. So Janis called the marriage off and began seeing other men.

In the summer of 1966, Janice was asked to sing for a San Francisco band called “Big Brother and the Holding Company”. Janis had been sober for 12 months and was confident she now could withstand the California drug culture. The San Francisco scene had changed markedly while Janis was away. The Beats had paved the way for the new Bohemians, the hipsters now known as “hippies”. Free Love was all the rage along with mass quantities of drugs and alcohol. Janis was known to enjoy the sexual company of both men and women. She was comfortable with her bi-sexuality and communal living. LSD or Acid was fairly new on the scene and was still legal until possession became a misdemeanor in October 1966. In the music scene, folk and blues had given way to psychedelic rock.

Big Brother and the Holding Company were known for their “freak rock” music. Loud and raunchy, Janis fit right in. It was a perfect fit for all, and six days later, Janis was in the band. At this point, Janis was simply one of the guys not yet touted as a star.

The band along with their extended families all moved to a large hunting lodge in Lagunitas, north of San Francisco in Marin County. There the band could rehearse any time they wanted without bothering anybody else except maybe the Grateful Dead who had a lodge down the road. They were unlikely to mind!

Those were very happy times for Janis. She began seeing Joe McDonald of Country Joe and the Fish. Janis took Joe to her apartment in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood — the Mecca of hip in those days. There, Joe saw a softer side to Janis. Her apartment was warm and welcoming filled with Victorian “fru fru”, velvet couches, and ornate antiques. From there, Janis and Joe would call local radio stations and request their bands’ songs be played. Then they’d sit back and listen, basking in their newfound fame.

However, with fame came pressure from fans for Janis to get wilder and louder on stage. She started doing drugs again — this time heroin, always mixing with alcohol, her favorite being Southern Comfort. With this combination Janis felt she was invincible — whatever inhibitions she once had no longer existed. Janis fed off her fans’ feeding frenzy. They wanted to see her get crazy on stage– the wilder the better. Janis gave them what they wanted and then some.

Big Brother and the Holding Company were known primarily for their concerts and not their record albums. It was the visual of Janis doing her thing that attracted the fans. By 1967, thousands of young people were pouring into San Francisco. The vibes of peace, love, and harmony were alluring to young folks in an uncertain world. The highlight of the year was the “Summer of Love” which officially began in June with Big Brother and the Holding Company among the acts at the Monterey Pop Festival. As she skipped onto the stage, Janis looked like any other hippie chick: Peasant top, blue jeans, long frizzy hair framing her face. But when she started singing, she blew everyone away with her voice that concurrently purred and wailed sending shivers through the crowd.

Cass Elliot of the Mamas and the Papas sat in the front row. After hearing Janis sing “Down On Me”, Cass sat stunned mouthing one word over and over again: “WOW!” With this performance, Janis Lyn Joplin became a mega star. For Janis, Monterey was a harbinger of fame and fortune changing the history of women in Rock and Roll forever. When the festival was over, Janis partied with members of the Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, and Jimi Hendrix. Everybody was drinking whiskey, smoking pot, and dropping acid — Hendrix more than anyone.

As her band’s fame grew to epic proportions so did their checkbooks. Janis began a life of outlandish opulence and luxury. She drove a psychedelic Porsche around San Francisco where fans and friends would always leave notes under the windshield wipers wherever the car was parked. Janis wore the finest “threads”: silk, satin, feather boas, beads, and bangles.

While touring with the band, Janis would hang out in the streets and park with fans. She also began partying with members of the Hells’Angels — a motorcycle gang that often provided “security” for concerts. While music was her life force, audience’ adulation fed Janis’ restless spirit. Peter Albin was leader of Big Brother and the Holding Company and also the band’s spokesperson. Janis started vying for that role which caused discord among the band members. Suddenly, the band took a back burner to the sensational chick singer, Janis Joplin. Interviewers and media were only interested in talking to Janis not to the band as a whole.

Riding high on the band’s strong reviews, manager Albert Grossman scheduled a U.S. tour that began in February of 1968. Right before the tour began, he changed billing. From now on the band was to be known as Big Brother and the Holding Company featuring Janis Joplin. Janis was the big draw and everybody knew it. Later that year, while in the studio working on the album, “Cheap Thrills”, the whole ethic of the band began to unravel. Trying to wedge their experimental sound into a tight album format was failing. As Janis was dead-on every take, the increasingly unhappy band members kept making mistakes. Out on the road, the world had turned ugly. The ideals and values of the “Summer of Love” were badly shaken as the war in Viet Nam raged on, and the civil rights movement reached a fevered pitch, but the band played on. Now known as Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company, the whole band was so unhappy at this point that they all started shooting heroin just so they could stand to be on stage together.

Janis had outgrown Big Brother. Janis was torn as she’d been with the same band for so long and became famous with this group. Sadly, Janis knew she had to move on. Rolling Stone magazine described Big Brother as “messy and a general musical disgrace”. The album, “Cheap Thrills”, was certified gold before it was even sold on the market. The pre-order sales were off the charts. Unfortunately, it was already too late as Janis announced she was leaving the band in the summer of 1968.

Janis formed a new band called the Kozmic Blues. With only 3 weeks to prepare for their debut, the group didn’t have enough practice or time to get to know each other. They failed to work well as a group. This pushed Janice even deeper into drugs and alcohol. She became very depressed, and she missed the camaraderie she had with her bandmates in Big Brother. In the year that Janis toured with Kozmic Blues, the band received cool welcomes at U.S. concert venues. The reviews were a bit kinder in Europe, but not much. It was obvious that Janis was unhappy, and the band was mechanical in backing her up. During this time, Janis was constantly high. She became cocky and rude, completely out of control in public on a regular basis. With her outrageous rock-star antics, it was hard to believe that Janis was actually a very intelligent, well-read person. However, those in the know-knew. Janis actually had her own production company, Strong Arm Music. She’d performed over a hundred live concerts in three years and had the forethought to create a corporation, “Fantality” to merchandise fan memorabilia.

Then came Woodstock. The days of August 15-17, 1969 would go down in history as the biggest musical extravaganza ever. Janis was right there, seemingly happy for the first time in a long while amidst a slew of fellow rock stars such as Jimi Hendrix and Joe Cocker. Kozmic Blues toured heavily throughout the rest of the year. Janis pushed herself harder and harder begging her fans to get up and dance with her. As she poured her soul out to the crowd, they rewarded her with the adulation she so badly needed. By the end of 1969, it was a year marked by profound highs and devastating lows.

Janis knew she needed a break. She found it in a new home in the mountain community of Larkspur, California where she moved in December of 1969. Janis decorated her new home much in the same fashion as her Haight-Ashbury apartment — Victorian knick knacks, velvet furnishings, lots of stained glass, and Oriental rugs. Kozmic Blues disbanded at the beginning of 1970.

Worn out, Janis began to plan her first real vacation with a friend. They decided to go to the Carnival in Rio. Janis kicked heroin cold turkey and fell in love with a man named David Neihaus. Her plan was to return home with Neihaus, but he was detained due to a lapsed visa. Janis let her upset become an excuse to use heroin again, and when Neihaus showed up two days later, Janis was high and planning another tour. The couple agreed they each wanted different things from life so they parted ways.

Janis connected with singer and movie star, Kris Kristofferson, at a party one night which became a three-week, drinking-drugging binge. Janis had formed a new band called “Full Tilt Boogie”. This band had a stripped-down, sound design to showcase Janis vocals. Janis continued to see Kristofferson, who even moved in with her for a brief period of time. One night, he sang her a song he’d written called, “Me and Bobby McGee”. Janis included the song on the playlist for her new album, “Pearl”. Though their romance fizzled, Kristofferson had unknowingly given Janis what would become her most famous song. Janis loved the idea of being in love, but her drive to perform and insatiable need to connect with her fans far outweighed any one personal love affair.

In June 1970, Janis appeared on the Dick Cavett Show with Full Tilt Boogie. Janis announced on the show that she was going back to Port Arthur for her ten-year high school reunion. Janis’ career was at an all-time high though her alcohol and drug abuse was starting to show. Her face became muddled and puffy. She’d gained weight, which she tried to cover up with ever more flamboyant costumes.

In September of 1970, Janis and Full Tilt Boogie began studio rehearsals for the new album, “Pearl”, named after African-American singer and actress, Pearl Bailey. In what was to become one of her last interviews, Janis was asked why she worked so hard. She replied: “It sure as hell isn’t for the money.” She went on to say: “At first it was to get love from the audience, but now it’s to be able to go as far as I can go — to reach my full potential.” Sadly, Janis had her demons. They lurked right out of sight waiting in the wings to pounce.

Janis had been rehearsing a song called, “Buried Alive in the Blues”. She planned to record it the next morning. Tired, drunk, and alone in her room on the night of October 3rd at the Landmark Hotel, Janis shot her last dose of heroin. Right after, she went to the lobby and bought a pack of cigarettes, went back to her room, and sat down on the bed. A few minutes later, shortly before two in the morning, Janis slumped over, wedging herself between the bed and the nightstand. When she failed to show up for rehearsal that morning, John Byrne Cooke drove to the Landmark and found Janis dead of an accidental overdose of heroin mixed with alcohol. Janis Joplin was 27 years old. Her obituary in Time Magazine reported: “She died on the lowest and saddest of notes.”

A stage play “Love, Janis” (based on the book of the same name) written by Janis’ sister Laura Joplin, features some of Janis’ iconic performances and also excerpts from some of the letters she wrote home to her family over the years. It’s a revealing look at the different sides of Janis Joplin. The wild-eyed rock star versus the sweet, loving sister and daughter. Janis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on January 12, 1995. 

 

Posted in Clarion Rock, Current Issue, Spring 2012 Issue | 1 Comment

ALL THINGS BRIGHT & BRITISH: THE FAB FOUR

THE FAB FOUR

(Excerpt from upcoming The London Dialogues, by Alan Graham)

I worked at Jackson’s Tailor Shop in Liverpool, England. It was nineteen sixty-two, and I was seventeen years old. Lunch time was the most exciting part of my day. My lunch was always the same and never lost its wonderful taste — an ice cold coke in the old-fashioned glass bottle and a hot dog with onions. I would make a short walk to a narrow back street in the busy fruit market area. Most of the buildings were storage warehouses save for a single pub. One of these warehouses had been converted into a cramped basement nightclub.  

Monday through Friday were dedicated to matinee performances by up-and-coming rock ‘n’ roll groups who played American rhythm and blues as well as rock ‘n’ roll music from the likes of Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, Roy Orbison, Sam Cooke, Joe Tex, and a fabulous never ending host of other greats. Included in these would-be rockers were Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Searchers, Cilla Black, and Rory Storm and the Hurricanes — all of whom would become part of the great new “Mersey Beat”. As my lunch hour ended, I had heard “Sweet Little Sixteen”, “Long Tall Sally”, “Tallahassee Lassie”, “Three Cool Cats”, “Rip It Up”, and many more.

Among all of these rockers in the making, one group stood out showing much promise. Clothed in black leather jackets, Levis, high-heeled boots with silly haircuts, these lads were cool, cheeky, and gave it their all. Very soon, this group, my favorite, would become famous, seemingly overnight. They transformed the City of Liverpool, Rock ‘N’ Roll, and the Liverpudlians themselves.

The Beatles would leave Liverpool and head for “The Smoke” (London – the Big City). I never saw them perform live again, but marvel at their meteoric rise.  They were now singing their own compositions. Suddenly, the old music was left behind in the dust as a new paradigm shifted.

We all sang the new material with home-grown pride. Their first hit was “Love Me Do” followed by “Please, Please Me”. What followed was nothing less than an avalanche of creative energy not seen since the 1920’s renaissance in Paris.

When the Beatles left the City of Liverpool, my lunch time was not the same.   Even though the new music raged on, for me something was missing. So, I too left following my “Fab Four” to the Smoke. I took the midnight mail train out of the Liverpool Central Station, the cheapest fare you could find. It was a six-hour journey as the train stopped to deliver mail at each city down the line.

At six a.m., I stood outside of Euston Station surveying my new surroundings and wondering where the Beatles might be. I took a tube train to Marble Arch. I picked the biggest hotel I could find and went in to ask for a job. There weren’t any, but a sweet old lady in the personnel office gave me a lead to a construction site in a beautiful rural town on the outskirts of the city. The work was grueling, yet the pay was three times more than I ever would have gotten in Liverpool. 

One morning, I was digging a ditch for a gas main when two Rolls Royce Silver Clouds passed by. The fellow working with me said, “You know who that was, don’t you?” I said, “No, who?” “That was the Beatles. They live just across the street at St. George’s Hills.” St. George’s Hills was a luxurious gated community where only the very wealthy resided. It now included the world-famous Beatles.  Of all the places I would land for work, it would be right where my beloved Beatles dwelled. Although, I never saw them in the flesh or did those Silver Clouds ever pass by again, it was a quiet thrill that I had followed them unknowingly to precisely where they lived.

When that job ended, it was onto the next which would be a stint working in the Helena Rubenstein Cosmetics factory. After that, I worked in a factory that produced fiber glass materials such as mannequins and retail displays. I then went to work with British Railways as a night porter. Eventually, I landed in Earl’s Court aka Bed-Sit-Land, a bustling, upscale West London borough populated by mostly single, young people. The 1860’s era terraced housing was now converted into single rooms and two-bedroom flats – hence, Bed-Sit-Land, short for bed sitter flats. Bed-Sit-Land was also a cosmopolitan tourist hub that attracted students from all across the globe. 

“Michelle, ma belle, these are words that go together well, ma Michelle…” My favorite group was now world famous and their songs dominated the air waves.  It was wall-to-wall Beatles music in addition to fabulous groups like the Rolling Stones, the Who, and Pink Floyd. My favorite perfume at the time, was girls. I liked them very much, and they liked me just as much. I had two girlfriends from Sweden, one from New Zealand, one from France, one from Germany, and several from Earl’s Court who just happened to be from England. The number would eventually grow to ten. I now worked as a fry cook at the local Wimpy Bar, the equivalent of the American burger joint named for the hamburger-gulping character from the Popeye cartoons.

Since the Beatles’ phenomenon, England had shed its dreary bounds. It was now awash with an explosion of music, art, and fashion – outrageous fashion, bizarre art, and super cool music. I was in paradise and I was as free as a bird. At the drop of a hat, I would hitch-hike to France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Norway, or anywhere else that took my fancy. 

One summer evening, I stood in front of Earl’s Court Station watching/studying people, another one of my favorite pastimes. A strikingly beautiful girl with long brown hair and blue eyes came out of the station. She looked at me and kept on walking. I followed her asking if I could walk with her. She said, “Well, I’m going home.” So, I volunteered to escort her. “Where do you live?” I asked. “In Vasagatan” “I have never heard of Vasagartan. Is it around here?”   “No,” she said, “it is in Stockholm. I am from Sweden.” She stopped and laughed at my surprise. “This could be a very long walk”, I thought to myself.

Tanya explained that she had been working in London for the summer and was about to leave hitch-hiking her way back home. That very evening, she was taking the midnight ferry from Dover to France. I volunteered to escort her all the way to Sweden. It was now she who was surprised, “You would? You would?” I would and I did.

I went directly home, packed a few things in a knapsack, and off we went. We had a wonderful adventure crossing Europe through France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, and all the way home to Vasser Garten (Water Gardens) in Stockholm.

I stayed with her for a couple of weeks.  Although she was lovely and fun to be with, Sweden was dull and so were the people. I was used to gregarious, outgoing, friendly people. The Swedes were decidedly reticent and emotionless.  The night before I left, I sat in a small club, where a local guitarist played Beatles’ music, if you can believe that. He was struggling with the lyrics as he translated, “Yellow Submarine”. When it came to the part, “We all live in a yellow submarine”, the musician was having difficulty finding the word for “submarine”. Submarine as a single word is nonexistent in Swedish. He simply replaced it with “under vasser buss” (underwater bus). No matter where I went, the Beatles had been there ahead of me and had left their magic mark.

Back in London, Earl’s Court was as groovy as ever. Hordes of tourists and students came flooding into the community to see and hear the English music scene. The Liverpool accent was now a major asset. Excited American girls would sit and listen to my every word trying to mimic me as they giggled with delight. “Please come and meet my friends” was a common request. As surely as a celebrity “without portfolio”, I was the next best thing to a Beatle. “Talk like John Lennon. Talk like Paul McCartney. Can you sound like Ringo?” I spoke as I usually do in a thick Liverpool brogue, but to my audience it was as magical as hearing an English rock star. I was the only Liverpudlian (scouser) in town which set me apart from everybody else. I was a very singular fellow indeed. I was untethered to anyone or anything. I was floating in the land of milk and honey surrounded by beautiful girlfriends.

Rock ‘N’ Roll ruled the world. A massive upheaval in a once-stuffy society had now blossomed into a wild, hippie culture. Young people were very close and friendly, sharing and caring for each other in a near fantasy world. The new music kept on coming, so did the college kids. I was at a magical crossroads and each new face presented a fresh, new adventure.

American kids were friendly, generous, and intelligent. They were bringing their culture to ours. We shared each other’s customs like gleeful children. A decade earlier, it was the Americans who ruled the roost. Elvis was king of the world and English musicians mimicked American rock ‘n’ roll.

Now, the Beatles were king. They had simply taken Rock ‘N’ Roll and transformed it into a sort of early punk rock, just four kids and their instruments. The original was ladened with brass backup – sax, trombone, trumpet, and big bass drums — but now, anyone who could play guitar or a set of drums could form a band. Very soon, there were hundreds of new groups as the Mersey Beat and the English Sound set off to conquer the world.

ALL THINGS BRIGHT & BRITISH

by Alan Graham

It was nine a.m., and the little town of La Mesa was awakened by the sound of John Lennon’s voice belting out “She Loves You Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!” He was not alone: Paul, George, and Ringo were singing along with him.

The Fab Four had not aged in all these years and looked like they were ready to appear on the Ed Sullivan Show as they chatted with customers outside of “All Things Bright and Beautiful”, a little British shop.

A news crew was setting up for an interview. So the lads went inside and stood before the cameras. They were innocent, cheeky, cute, and contagiously funny as they answered questions.

A reporter asked “How do you find America?”  John Lennon answered, “Turn left at Greenland.”

I suppose I should also say that although it really was not the Beatles, it might as well have been. It was a tribute band called “Britain’s Finest”. Not only did all of them look very much like the lads themselves, which was good enough for me, they sang just like them, and they actually captured the true essence of the original band.

All in black right down to the Beatles’ boots, they tapped their pointed toes to the beat as they stood singing, “Falling, yes, I am falling, and she keeps calling me back again”.  I have seen many look-a-like acts over the years, and in each case, there was always something missing. The voices were good but did not look the part or looked good but sounded awful. Britain’s Finest rules. They have it all: the look. the sound, the mannerisms, and the very spirit of those four lads from Liverpool.

CONTACT INFO: (858) 598-7311 www.BeatlesTributeBand.net

 

 

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THE OZ FEST BOOK CAPER

OZZY OSBOURNE  SIGNS AUTOGRAPHS IN SAN DIEGO

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FINGERS REUNION 2012

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CORONADO’S ROCK ‘N’ ROLL – THE PAST, THE PRESENT
&
THE FUTURE

CORONADO’S ROCK ‘N’ ROLL – THE PAST:

A Look Back at the Great Bands, Musicians, and Times of Coronado Island 
As Compiled by Dean Atkinson:

“One of the great things about Coronado, California was the music scene during the 50s, 60s, 70s, and on. Great musicians developed through the Coronado school music programs, through private lessons, or learning to play by ear and jamming with friends.

Some really great talents developed at an early age. We were all aspiring to grow our talents, develop our skills, and experiment with new sounds that we heard on the radio, or someone found in the record bin at Perkins Book Worm. There was nothing better then getting a new record and
working on how to play it, or catching one of the other bands in Coronado at a party or function that already had figured it out, and was playing it.

There was at times a bit of competitiveness between players and bands, but it was more a sense of community of musicians, learning, growing, playing, and having fun. Camaraderie was built between the bands as bands were formed and evolved over time. Many friendships from these bands have been lifelong relationships.” – Dean Atkinson

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Special Rock ‘N’ Roll Edition

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CUBIC FEET (1966)

Original Members:

Robert Mansueto: lead guitar, vocals   John Chambers: keyboards, vocals
  Dean Atkinson: drums, vocals   Richie Heinz: bass guitar, vocals

The Cubic Feet stayed together for five months. Dean dropped out after a car accident in Nov ’66 that left him in a cast for six months. Richie, Robert, and John renamed the Band ‘The Towne Cryers’ and added Eric MacKnight on drums and Danny Orlino on guitar. After Eric left, Charlie Wilhoit joined. The Town Criers would merge with the Bachs, (Art Battson, Gary Maltby) to form the West Coast Iron Works. Charlie went to the Family Jewels with Dave Young and David Matsouwaka.


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BACHS & NULL SET- (1960s)

Original Members: Bruce Christensen: rhythm guitar, vocals
Doug Christensen: lead guitar, vocals
  Gerry Rahill: bass, vocals
  Art Battson: drums, vocals

From Art Battson: “The first group I helped form was ‘The Null Set’ with Bruce and Doug Christensen in 1965. Dad had just brought home a set of Pearl drums from Japan in June of 1965, so I spent the summer banging on them pretending I was Ringo. In the fall of ’65, Bruce was doing some bitchen air guitar work in Mr. Burgess’s English class, so we got to talking. Then we got to playing (an instrumental version of “We Can Work It Out”) and finally to singing (“Surfer Bird” – assuming you can call that singing). We were so bad that I was actually the lead singer for what seemed like years (it was actually months, but the neighbors still swear it was years). Bruce Christensen was a great rhythm guitarist and Doug managed a good lead guitar. Bruce was also excellent on backup harmonies. Gary Maltby joined us in late 1965 or early 1966. Gerry Rahill later joined us on bass although I’m not sure we ever played in the same key together. (Gerry re-emerged as part of the Pre-Fab Four for our 40th Reunion Tour down Orange Avenue in 2006.) I have some video of the Bachs if you are interested. The Bachs were literally the new packaging container for the Null Set. Back in those days we had to continually change our name to get another gig.

By the time of summer of 1966, Bruce and Doug left the band and were replaced with Robert Mansueto and Richie Heinz. That’s when we became the West Coast Iron Works. By this time, I was delegated to singing Ringo songs and told to come up with a name for the group while they plotted to have me learn some Pete Best tunes. (OK. I made that last part up.) Actually, I was the one who found the name West Coast Iron Works in the GTE White Pages. This was no small task since I started with A’s and worked down to the end of the alphabet. Had I not been so patient we might have been called Art’s Auto Supply. (I toyed with the idea of changing Gary’s name and calling ourselves Rusty and the Iron Works, but it never worked out.) The West Coast Iron Works just seemed perfect for the time and place.” (Art and Gary were original members of the West Coast Iron Works.)


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THE CENTAURS

Original Members:   Cliff Lenz: keyboards, lead guitar
Rick Thomas: lead guitar 
  Doug Johnson: bass 
  Pat Coleman: drums

“The Centaurs” by Cliff Lenz: Funny how a love affair with rock and roll and a seven year odyssey of performing, recording, road trips, and opening for some of the biggest names in rock can begin with just a casual meeting between two high school kids. In the fall of 1962, a classmate and friend of mine at Coronado High, Doug Johnson, said there was a new student named Rick Thomas who played electric guitar and that we should meet. I had a Les Paul Jr. and a breadbox size amp and thought that two guys could sound a lot more like the Ventures than just one guy. So I called Rick and we got together at Doug’s house with our guitars for a jam session. Miracle of miracles, we could actually play something together that didn’t sound half bad, the Venture’s tune “The McCoy”,  E, A, and B7th and lots of open string melody notes, but what the hell it was a start and it was a thrill. I’m sure that it’s a thrill for all young musicians who, never having played with someone else, experience for the first time what collaborative music making can be.

We started practicing on a weekly basis putting a repertoire together. Pat Coleman became our first drummer and we enlisted Doug Johnson to play bass. Having no prior musical experience, it was a little too much for Doug and he politely resigned from the band after a few weeks. Not long thereafter the (now) trio was asked about playing for an after-football game dance. Assistant Principal, Mr. Oliver, wanted to make an announcement over the school PA that a band would be performing but we didn’t have a name. He actually suggested we call ourselves Rick and the Shaws or Cliff and the Dwellers!We had been thinking about possible names. At the time, the Air Force had rolled out its new ballistic missile, the Atlas Centaur – That’s It! Call ourselves the Centaurs and every time they fire one of those babies off, we get free publicity. It was decision time in the principal’s office, and so the group was officially launched with Mr. Oliver’s announcement that the “Centaurs” would be playing that night. I think we had maybe fifteen tunes and played everyone of them three times, but we made it through the gig without a single tomato flying toward the stage. Another thrill and we were hooked.

The new venture would include the frequent addition and deletion of personnel. (This is not necessarily in chronological order).We added a girl singer, Clair Carlson, and saxophonist, Randy Chilton. Kenny Brown became our new drummer with the prettiest pearl Ludwig drum set in San Diego. Drew Gallahar (a guitarist and trumpet player in the CHS stage band) joined us on bass. I got a Fender Strat and Bandmaster amp. Not to be outdone, Rick got a Fender Jaguar and Showman 15 amp and a Fender reverb unit! We got the gig as the house band at what would become the legendary Downwind Club – the Junior Officer’s Club on North Island where we played for six years barely keeping our heads above the oceans of beer served every Sunday. A wonderful saxophonist from La Jolla, Bill Lamden, replaced Chilton. For a time, Janie Seiner was our vocalist. There were dances, concerts, and car shows all over San Diego, and we even played for a change-of-command party at North Island with more captains and admirals than you could count. A major thrill was recording a couple of surf tunes in the United Artists Studio in Hollywood, a session that was produced by Joe Saracino, who had been the producer of the Ventures. We also played on the Sunset Strip in the summer of ’66 in the same club where the Doors became famous.

Rick left the group late in ’66 and was replaced by Danny Orlino. The rest of us were now at San Diego State and Danny was still at CHS. He was a truly gifted player. Bob Demmon, longtime CHS band director and rock guitarist with the famous surf group, the Astronauts, once told me that Danny was maybe the finest guitarist he had ever known personally. I now doubled on guitar and organ. I think we were the first rock group in San Diego to use a cut down Hammond. The keyboards were in one box and the guts in another for portability. I also invested in a Leslie speaker, which really enhanced our sound.

From ’62 to ’67, the music had morphed from Pop to Surf to R&B to Psychedelic. We now had a new chick singer, Linda Morrison (she lived in San Diego), a great talent who became a real driving force with her powerful vocals. Not bad to look at either. She later became Miss San Diego. Steve Kilajanski took over on sax for awhile. We also now had an agency booking engagements for us, Allied Artists of San Diego, and we joined the musicians’ union. Kenny Brown became our manager giving way to several new drummers, all excellent players – Kenny Pernicano, Rick Cutler, the late Paul Bleifuss (formerly with the great S.D. band, the Impalas), Carl Spiron (who played with one of San Diego’s all time great groups, Sandi and the Accents/Classics), and later Terry Thomas.

With great reluctance in 1969, I left my last band (Bright Morning) and my long-time guitar buddy Danny Orlino to head north to go to graduate school at the University of Washington. Danny left San Diego and has been a famous guitarist and singer in Guam for many years. Kenny Brown converted his band manager skills and keen business sense into a successful real estate and property management career in the Los Angeles area. Bill Lamden became a dentist. Drew Gallahar still has his hands all over guitars but now he makes them. He’s a guitar builder at the Blue Guitar in Mission Valley. I had a 20-year career as a television producer and the host of “Seattle Today” on the NBC affiliate in Seattle, but I was also composing and performing music at the same time. Along the way I received an Emmy for composing the theme music for the Phil Donahue Show. I have returned to music as a guitar and piano teacher in the Seattle area. Sadly, Rick Thomas died of cancer in 2004 after a career as an electrical systems maintenance engineer. I visited him in Chico, CA a few months before he passed away. We got out the guitars and played and reminisced. A few months after he died, his parents sent me his guitar, which I will always treasure. It’s an uncommon Fender model called the Coronado.

Thanks to all those of you who listened and danced to our music over the years. It was a great party! (Cliff Lenz, co-founder/leader- the Centaurs)


“The Centaurs” by Ken Brown: The Centaurs rock ‘n’ roll band from Coronado during the 60s meant something special because “The Centaurs” were part of the 60s Rock ‘n’ Roll Revolution. I can remember an article in the Coronado Islander, our high school paper, which pictured the Centaurs success on par with the Beatles. They were riding high and so were we. When you are young, talented, and restless, the imagination becomes your reality. We were on top of the world, our world, and it was great fun for all who participated. We went from playing at Sea World to the Downwind Club to All Night High School Parties to our own Dance concerts. A highlight was the Centaurs opening for ‘The Doors’ at Balboa Stadium. The participants had their own special role for they too were part of the 60s Rock ‘n’ Roll Revolution.

I can safely say that I would not trade a moment of this musical bonanza for any other. We were living life at a fast pace with all the trimmings. Local people knew we were the Centaurs. We carried it wherever we went. We were young talented musicians (all in the local musicians’ union) who had set a new stage and pace for rock and roll. We had the 62 + 64 Chevy 327 Impalas, the Delorean, the Lotus ,and Hemi engines, and a bunch of other hot cars of the time. The Centaurs were sexy with strapping lads and foxy singers. If you were not in the ‘mood’ before our event inevitably you left in the ‘mood’. And that’s my point.

During our 25th Centaur Reunion at the Coronado Women’s Club, we had an array of people, some family, others were supporters with their special memories of what “The Centaurs” did for them. We brought the new 60s sound to Coronado and all its surroundings. We opened the musical doors for our generation. We may have never competed with the Beatles, but we sure promoted their music, along with the Rolling Stones, and a whole lot more Legendary Rock Bands of our time. Can’t have much more fun than that because “We lived the Dream”. (Ken Brown, Drummer and Business Manager of “The Centaurs” and “Framework” from Coronado)

After publishing we received this great comment from Cliff Lenz, original member of The Centaurs:

Thanks for putting the Centaurs in the Rock ‘n’ Roll issue of the Coronado Clarion. (And first up no less!) A side note to the article I thought you’d be interested in- my father was a navy officer- graduated in the same class as Admiral Stephen Morrison from the Naval Academy (class of ’41). They were life long friends and ended up retiring together in Coronado. When I found out that he was the father of Jim….I was excited about the opportunity to ask him about his superstar son. However, my mother warned me to never bring the subject up with his parents as he was persona non grata within the family. The picture of the Admiral in the Academy ’41 Yearbook looks like Jim with a flat-top!

Another sidebar- We opened for the Doors in the old Balboa Stadium in July ’68. Amazing concert- 25,000 stoned/screaming fans. Years later Oliver Stone comes out with “The Doors” with Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison. My stock went up with my two sons when I told them that their dad’s band opened for a Doors concert in San Diego. A few years later my son, at the University of Oregon, told me that he was walking to class with a girl friend and the movie came up in the conversation.
Trying to impress her he reported that his dad had a band that opened for the Doors at a big stadium concert. She said: “Cool, My dad was actually in the Doors!” Turns out she (believe her first name was Kelly) was the daughter of drummer John Densmore!
As they say- small world.
Thanks again for the inclusion of my old band in your magazine- I dearly miss those days……… Coronado and the music of the ’60’s.

Regards,
Cliff Lenz

 

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WEST COAST IRON WORKS – (1960s)

Original Members: Gary Maltby: lead vocals
Robert Mansueto: lead guitar
Gary Carter: guitar
Rich Heinz: bass
  Art Battson: drums
Later Members: John Chambers: keyboards
Charlie Wilhoit: drums
Dave Vaughan: drums

 

“THE SIXTIES
WE WERE THERE
AND WE REMEMBER…”
— THE WEST COAST IRONWORKS

As any generation will attest, music plays an integral part in the make-up of their youth. In the early 1960s, when the British invasion swept our shores, a new era of rock ‘n’ roll emerged. With the birth of this new music, a group of five young men from Coronado, California got together to form a rock ‘n’ roll band. It was June 1967, three weeks before graduation, when Gary Carter was sitting in his car listening to the radio. Grooving to the tunes, he heard a tap at his window. Standing there was his good friend, Gary Maltby. Gary asked him if he would like to be in a rock ‘n’ roll band. Carter thought for a moment, had visions of fame, women chasing him, and the opportunity to play music; and without hesitation, Carter said, “I’m in.” The first practice was held at Artie Battson’s (class of ‘66) parents’ garage. The band at that time consisted of Richie Heinz (class of ‘69), Gary Carter (class of ’67), Gary Maltby (class of ‘69) and for a short time Dugan Richardson, who was replaced later by Bob Mansueto (class of ‘70).

Practicing every day after school, the group began brainstorming on a name. With less than inspirational ideas i.e., Gary and the Playboys, Artie Battson picked up the phonebook. Thumbing through the yellow pages, he stumbled across a business called the West Coast Ironworks and with only X, Y, and Z left the Xylophonics wouldn’t do and neither would the Yellow Zebras. With heavy rock metal becoming popular i.e., Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Steppenwolf, why not the West Coast Ironworks? The band now had a name, members, and songs; and they were eager to play. Over the months, the band members changed when Artie Battson had to return to college at UCSB. Fortunately, for the West Coast Ironworks they found a drummer to replace Artie named Charlie Wilhoit (class of ‘68). During this time, they acquired a keyboard player named John Chambers (class of ‘68 from Chula Vista) since the band John was playing in, the Rubber Band, split up.

The West Coast Ironworks entered the Battle of the Bands contest and won

The band went through another change with a drummer when Charlie got married. Dave Vaughan (class of ‘67) became the third drummer for the West Coast Ironworks. The band was very popular during this time playing for many school dances and private functions. In 1967, the West Coast Ironworks organized and played in the first annual “Be There” concert, which was held at the old city dump in Coronado. This area was formerly Rancho Carrillo, the pig farm. Now this area is the Coronado Cays. Teens from all over San Diego crammed into their cars for a night of dancing and drinking. The final and fourth annual “Be There” was in the summer of 1970. Organized by Carter, it was held at the old reservation, which is right next to the Amphib Base, and now the sight of the park and boat landing. Unfortunately, the West Coast Ironworks did not play at this event.

When I interviewed the West Coast Ironworks, I asked them, “What funny things happened when you were together?” Heinz, recalled the time the group played for a nudist colony, a.k.a. American Sunbathers Association. They were greeted at the venue by a group of overweight, dark-tanned, naked adults, and were directed to the staging area. By the time the band was ending their last set, the nudists announced that it was time for the band to take off their clothes and swim. Gary Maltby quickly announced that there would be one more song,”We Gotta Get Out of These Clothes, I Mean Place”; and when the song was done, the band were down to their boxers except for Heinz who wore a pair of briefs with a lovingly hand-stitched peace symbol, by Cindy Grant, on them. Vaughan recalls the time the West Coast Ironworks, for the second time, entered the Battle of the Bands contest. We wanted to do something different and go against the flow. The band members all switched instruments and won the contest for the “Best Song”. This led to an appearance on a local television show. Dressed in their colorful Nehru shirts, they lip-synced their song on live television.

The West Coast Ironworks had dreams of playing music forever.They all agreed that they would get together once a year for the annual All Class Reunion that is held every year on the 4th of July in Coronado.They have gone their different ways and some live in different states, but the one common bond that brought them together, music, has never escaped them.

What have they been up to? Drummers: Artie Battson, retired as Director of Instructional Technology at UCSB, and is currently working on classroom design for the UC as well as producing online media for the Veritas Forum www.Veritas.org. In 1978, he joined a group called Reverie.This band split up when three of the members went to join Mike Love (formerly of the Beach Boys) to form the band Endless Summer. In 1985, Artie played with a band called the Staff Infection until they split up in 2005.Charlie Wilhoit, his whereabouts are unknown. Dave Vaughan lives in Boise, Idaho and works in commercial real estate. He is in a rock ‘n’ roll band called the Fabulous Chancellors. When in town, he will play with the West Coast Ironworks. Guitarists: Gary Carter is the Dean of Arts and Humanities at Chabot College in Hayward, California. With his many arts-related disciplines, he oversees the Department of Music, where he is often asked by his students to jam with various college ensembles. He also is known to settle ongoing questions about 1960’s rock ‘n’ roll trivia. He continues to play with the West Coast Ironworks. Bob Mansueto is a San Diego dentist. He continues to play jazz and sits in with the West Coast Ironworks from time to time. Richie Heinz lives in Ocean Beach, California. He

Richie Heinz lives in Ocean Beach, California. He is a piano technician/tuner along with playing in a Celtic band www.highlandway.us. He continues to play with the West Coast Ironworks. Keyboards: John Chambers lives in San Diego and has been playing rock ‘n’ roll all his life. After college, he did the urban cowboy thing and played country music. But 12 years ago, he became hooked to the accordion sound. It was only natural for him to pick up the squeeze box again as that was the first instrument he played when he was eight years old. He has formed the Bayou Brothers and they play all over town. He also continues to play with the West Coast Ironworks. Lead Singer: Gary Maltby lives in San Clemente and works for Lexus, Inc. He keeps his vocals tuned by being a regular at the Karaoke scene and occasionally sings with bands in the area. He still sings with the West Coast Ironworks.

SPECIAL NOTE:  Hope you can catch the original Iron Works at the All Class Reunion on July 3rd when we do a tribute to Sgt. Pepper and on the 4th of July when the Class of ’66 parades down Orange Avenue on the “America Rocks” float with the “Pre-Fab Four” doing American Pie and a medley of Buddy Holly/Richie Valens/Big Bopper tunes. Although there’s no guarantee that we’ll hit all the notes all the time, a splendid time is guaranteed for all. – Art Battson

CHS All Class Reunion

July 3, 2011 from 8pm to 11:30pm – Coronado Golf Course Clubhouse for graduates of Coronado High School and their friends, must be 21 years old to attend. Proceeds help support the Coronado Schools Foundation. Cost: $10 at the door

CHECK OUT WEST COAST IRONWORKS PLUS FRIENDS IN PAST ALL STAR REUNIONS:

http://web.mac.com/artbattson/iweb/music/allclass2009.html

http://web.mac.com/artbattson/iweb/music/video2010/2010-reunion/Welcome.html

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THE COACHMEN

Original Members: Steve Oder: guitar
Chuck Newby: guitar 
  Jim Smith: vocals
  Dean Atkinson: drums
Later Members: Jim Moran: rhythm guitar, vocals
Tom Moran: bass guitar, vocals
Robert Mansueto: lead guitar, vocals

The Coachmen Story

Like most of the bands that came out of Coronado, the Coachmen began as a group of guys jamming in someone’s garage just for the fun of it. The composition of the jam session players was always very fluid. But, of course, that was the whole idea – we each learned from one another whether it was a complete song or just a cool new riff, drum sequence, or chord pattern. The important thing was to have fun making rock ‘n’ roll music together!

But back to the Coachmen story. Steve Oder begins by recalling,“Chuck Newby and I were passing notes back and forth in a class one day in the late spring of 1966 and ended up writing a song together. So we thought it would be a good idea to start a band. I remember coming up with the name for the band in a conversation with Chuck, because like everybody, we wanted something British-sounding.That version of the Coachmen with Dean Atkinson on drums and Jim Smith on vocals did a gig at the VFW hall soon thereafter. I didn’t stay in the band long because I had a crappy electric guitar and no amplifier of my own. I did have a really good acoustic and was perfectly happy playing acoustic stuff already.”

Thinking back on those days, Chuck Newby continues, “I remember that in those days it seemed that just about everyone was into playing either rock ‘n’ roll or folk music, so jamming at someone’s house was a common occurrence. I remember playing my 1965 Harmony, a fairly good Stratocaster knock-off, through an assortment of Fender amplifiers – including a Bandmaster, Showman, and Bassman as well as others, I’m sure – until I was able to buy my own Super Reverb. Now that was a very sweet amplifier! Although the memories are faded, like Steve and Dean, I also remember playing at all of the usual places around the island that spring and summer including several pool parties, the VFW, the Women’s Club, and the Mexican Village. I recall quite vividly how Dean was always hustling gigs for us. And the price was always right – in many cases, just free beer between sets!”

Dean Atkinson adds, “I remember that it was Steve and Chuck’s idea to organize a new band named the Coachmen. They were the original guitar players with various bass players including Chuck Tesh and others filling in whenever we had a gig. (I had just left the Rogues.) I was the original drummer for the Coachmen and, as I recall, Jim Smith on vocals joined right after Steve Oder left. Jim Smith stayed only a short time and was replaced by Jim Moran on guitar and vocals and his younger brother, Tom, as one of our bass players. Tom left the band to join the London Beats in the early summer of ’66. So Chuck and I were the only members to stay ‘til the final gig at the Women’s Club dance in August of ‘66.”

Dean continues, “After one gig at the VFW, Steve quit because in his own words, his electric guitar was a piece of crap and because there were too many guitar players, and nobody on bass.The Coachmen, in various forms, played at EM clubs around San Diego for six months before calling it quits in August of ’66. Their final gig was the first half of a Women’s Club dance that they had booked in May.

Since Tom Moran had already left the band for the London Beats and Robert and I had just started the Cubic Feet with Richie Heinz and John Chambers, the remaining members of the Coachmen decided that they wanted to go out with a bang. So Jim, Robert, Chuck, and I, along with Richie on bass and John playing his ‘new’ Vox organ, played the first two hours of the Women’s Club dance – it was more like an organized jam session – then turned the stage over to the Cubic Feet who played out the rest of the night.

There isn’t much more to tell except to say that that is the true story of the Coachmen – a great group of Coronado guys who had a lot of fun playing rock ‘n’ roll music for their friends and anyone else who wanted to rock out to the music of the late ’60s.”




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BREWDOGS – (1987-1995)

Original Members: Dave Shoudy: guitar, vocals
Alex Agundez: guitar, vocals
  Lane Carter: bass, vocals
  Randy Seol: drums
Later Members: Chris Butterworth, drums, vocals
“Man Mountain” Mike Mangette: bass
Kevin Milner: bass

In 1986, new band ideas were planned by Dave Shoudy and Lane Carter. A phone call was made to old Tryax member, Alex Agundez, requesting his presence in the new group.The final member, Randy Seol (original member of the Strawberry Alarm Clock), was a weekly Reader find. Starting out slow, later, the Brewdogs turned up to 10 gigs per month.The Brewdogs gig’d heavily on the pub scene along with some of the larger venues: the Bacchanal, the Hop, Chillers, Sand Bar, the Grant Hotel. Brewdogs also performed at many benefits and special events: Special Olympics, Multiple Sclerosis Society, multiple weddings, and holiday parties. Coronado gigs included the Island Saloon, Mexican Village, McPs, and Hotel Del Coronado.




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ETCETERA ROCK REVIVAL

Original Members: George Sanger: guitar
Paul Ephrom: bass
Ron Michelson: keyboards
David Sanger: drums


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CORONADO GROWN – David Sanger

by Alessandra Selgi-Harrigan

When he was 11 years old, David Sanger was in a band called Etcetera Rock Revival. By the time he was 13, the band went on tour for two months across the U.S. Etcetera Rock Revival’s other members included his older brother George, who was 16, and two 17-year-olds.They traveled in a van, performed at friends’ houses, stayed with family, friends, or campgrounds along the way.

The music hasn’t stopped for Sanger. Since 1986, he has played the drums for Asleep at the Wheel, a band that has won nine Grammy Awards.

Like his three siblings, Sanger chose his instrument in fourth grade, and still remembers the name of his drum instructor, Bruce Sharp.The Coronado-based Etcetera Rock Revival performed at pep rallies and high school dances.”We would’ve liked to play more but we weren’t playing popular music. We were playing oldies when people didn’t want to hear oldies,” he said. Sanger also played in the Coronado High School marching band and was recruited when he was in seventh grade. “Back in those days, the high school band was so small they recruited three from my junior class to fill up the ranks,” he recalled. At 14 years old, he left Coronado to attend a private school in Los Angeles and stayed there until he graduated from Occidental College with a degree in history. Throughout his high school and college years, he kept playing in a band with his brother George, who also lived in Los Angeles.

Playing the drums was something that came easy for Sanger. “I didn’t have to work on it very much. It was fun to do all the time,” he said. But Sanger didn’t think making a career out of playing music was a possibility. As a child, he remembers knowing only one person in Coronado that was a musician for a living and his job title was listed next to his name in the phonebook. “Now, kids literally grow up around professional musicians. It was an alien planet for me. I couldn’t imagine … I couldn’t think I could go and do it,” he said.

In 1984, Sanger, now 45, moved to Austin, Texas, considered the live music capital of the world, and started playing with W.C. Clark band. Two years later, he was the drummer for Asleep at the Wheel.

Asleep at the Wheel plays big band music from the ‘30s and ‘50s using the fiddle, steel guitar, and western instruments, and is known for reviving the genre. “It’s western swing. It’s cowboys playing jazz,” he said. The band has performed in Europe, Brazil, Japan, and still tours regularly in the U.S. The bread and butter of Asleep at the Wheel is reinterpreting older music. Last November, the band released four new records. Recently the band wrote a musical play on Bob Wills, who was the inspiration for the band, called, “A Ride with Bob”. Apart from working as a musician, Sanger owns Texas Music Roundup, a record and music distribution company.

The early Coronado influences have stayed with Sanger through the years. People like Joey Harris, Bruce Sharp, Rick Lee, and high school band director, Bob Demmon. played a role in shaping his musical career. “They were guys older than me that played music. These guys had a huge influence on me,” he said. Demmon was the first person that recorded Sanger’s music.

What did his parents, who were both physicians, think about his music career? Sanger recalls the moment when his dad thought it might be okay after all. It was when he was talking to a nurse and he told her his son was in a band called Asleep at the Wheel and she exclaimed, “I love that band!”

For more information on the band, visit: www.asleepatthewheel.com

Asleep at the Wheel, David Sanger on drums

David Sanger now

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THE NOBLES

Original Members: Nanson (Chops): drums (first band); Dave Kruger: baritone sax (first band); Gary Hawthorne: organ, guitar; Gary Cobbs: tenor sax; Pat Romero: alto Sax; Dale: guitar; Lee Barnes: guitar; J.W. Langham: bass; Buddy Brown: trumpet; Mike Fay: trumpet; Rene Martinez: trumpet; Leonard Snowden: vocals; Dave Johnson: vocals; Dorothy Williams: vocals; Little Eddie Gross: vocals;

Nanson “Chops” Hwa writes: “In junior and senior high, I was one of the founding members of a band called the “Nobles”. We started with two guitars and drums playing music at junior and senior high school dances (Ventures and Duane Eddie). With changes in popular music, we began playing other forms of rock, r&b, jazz, and old-time favorites. The Nobles quickly became one of the best bands in San Diego during the Sixties. In 1965, the Annual Auto Show held a Battle of the Bands at the Community Concourse in downtown San Diego. Seventy bands throughout San Diego and Imperial Counties participated. The Nobles took 1st place playing songs by the Supremes, and James Brown, and Ray Charles. Prizes consisted of cash awards, a trophy, and a sense of joy.”


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TRYAX (1981)

Original Members: Dave Shoudy: guitar, vocals
Alex Agundez: guitar, vocals
Bo West: bass, vocals
Marty Scott: drums


After CHS, the college era begins, and Dave Shoudy spots musical opportunities beyond Coronado’s surrounding moat. Free SD Reader ads come in handy for the starving student musician; and Shoudy joins Tryax. Tryax performed covers and originals at all kinds of parties, the Poway Mine Company, weddings, and other special events. And even won 1st in North County’s Battle of the Bands. Although the group never performed locally in Coronado, a four-cut-recording was distributed widely among Islanders (Brian Mealy says he still has his). Recorded at Circle Sound it was a first timer for all. It was also Shoudy’s first round as a paid performer.

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LONDON BEATS

Original Members: Danny Orlino
Bill Lyons: guitar
Joey Simpson: lead vocals
Tuck Lyons: guitar
Tom Moran: bass
Later Members: Nick Garrett: lead guitar
Charlie Cates: lead guitar
Bobby Pickford: drums

The London Beats formed in February, 1966, about three years after Coronado and the rest of the U.S. were rocked by the British Invasion. Inspired by the Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Herman’s Hermits, Them, and especially the Rolling Stones, the members of the band collectively decided to emulate the look as well as the sound. Upon seeing a photo of the band in a news clipping from an article in the Coronado Journal, the late Nick Reynolds of the Kingston Trio once contended that they didn’t look scruffy enough, a kind of confirmation that the London Beats had achieved the deliberately “packaged” look of British pop acts of the time.

The music was something else. Because the founding band members sought to emulate Rolling Stones’ aggressive, R&B driven sound, the London Beats weren’t as slick as they looked, opting instead for an imposing lead vocalist and the vibrant sound of not one or two but three guitars plus bass and drums. The band began when Joey Simpson, Bill and Tuck Lyons, and Tom Moran got together with Danny Orlino and Howie Clark.

Shortly after the formation, Bob Pickford replaced Howie on drums and Danny Orlino left to be replaced by Nick Garrett as lead guitar. The band achieved moderate success in playing the usual high school dances, pool parties, and car shows around Southern California. Nick Garrett was later replaced by Charlie Cates on lead guitar.

During the summer of 1967, Jay Traylor replaced Charlie Cates and Glen Stock replaced Bill Lyons and the name changed to the Louisiana Fish and Poultry. By the summer of 1968, college and the draft had become a preoccupation and the members went their own directions.

Bill Lyons became a building contractor in Coronado. Joey Simpson went on to become a painting contractor and astrologer. Jay Traylor continued playing and attended Berkley College of Music (only to later pursue a successful career in real estate). Bob Pickford continued playing and is now a college professor. Tom Moran went on to college and medical school before settling in Coronado as an MD. Charlie Cates left for the Navy and returned to San Diego for a medical career. Glen Stock finished college at UCSD and then took a job with the government, only to pass away at an early age. Tuck Lyons finished SDSU and took a job in law enforcement.

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LOUISIANA FISH & POULTRY

Original Members: Jay Traylor: guitar
Glen Stock: guitar
Tip Tisdale: bass
Bob Pickford: drums

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TEXAS CHAINSAW BAND

Original Members: Dan Hervey: vocals, guitar
Ed Olmos: vocals, guitar
Dave Paseman: vocals, bass, sax
Bob Pickford: drums

From Ed Olmos: “Texas Chainsaw Band was a rockabilly cover band that played often at the Island Saloon (years before it was renovated), McPs, and hosted amateur nights at Krishna Mulvaney’s. We only played locally so we could get sh**faced drunk and not have to worry about getting home!”

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I DON’T KNOW

Original Members: Jim Hobbs: vocals
Bob Wilson: guitar
Doug Robinson: bass
Will Beecham (Beauchamp): drums
Bobby Pickford: drums

“Will Beauchamp’s contribution included the band name: I Don’t Know. The band gigged poolside for a few weeks at the Hotel Del and played its farewell performance at Bruce Johnson’s infamous summer of ’71 pool party. Then we pooled our money, bought an old school bus, and moved to Northern California, a great story, too good not to tell (later)”–Bob Pickford

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CORONADO’S ROCK ‘N’ ROLL – THE PRESENT:

Joey Harris began his musical career in the late 70s playing lead guitar for proto-Americana songwriter John Stewart. In 1983, MCA records released Joey Harris and the Speedsters, which showcased Harris’ skill as songwriter, vocalist, and guitar virtuoso. In January 1985, Joey joined the Beat Farmers, perpetually touring the United States and Canada, and visiting England, Germany, and the Scandinavian countries. Harris wrote, sang, and played on five Beat Farmer LPs released by Curb/MCA, and indie label, Sector 2. Joey also toured and recorded with Country Dick Montana, Dave Alvin, and Mojo Nixon as a member of their Las Vegas-style review band, the Pleasure Barons, releasing a live CD on Hightone Records in 1993. Harris was on hand when Montana recorded another project featuring Mojo, Rosie Flores, Katy Moffett, John Doe, Candye Kane, Dave Gonzales, and Dave Alvin titled the “Devil Lied to Me” posthumously released by Bar/None in 1996. Country Dick Montana died onstage at the Longbranch Saloon in Whistler, British Columbia, November 11th, 1995. The Beat Farmers soon disbanded and Joey toured with his own band, worked with songwriter Paul Kamanski, (author of several Beat Farmer tunes), and Mojo Nixon. Harris joined forces with Beat Farmer Jerry Raney and his band Powerthud and released a CD in 2002 called “Wide”. In June 2009, a new CD titled “Joey Harris and the Mentals” was released by San Diego-based, Double Barrel Records. The CD, with ten tracks written by Harris, features Joey on vocals and guitar, backed by San Diego musicians, Mighty Joe Longa, Jeff and Joel Kmak, and Josh Mader. Recorded and produced by Mississippi Mudshark, Scottie Mad Dog Blinn, the new CD is the first solo project for Harris since 1983’s “Joey Harris and the Speedsters”.

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FINGERS – (1978-1980)

Original Members: Joey Harris: lead guitar, vocals
Paul Kamanski: guitar, vocals
Bill Thompson: guitar, vocals
Paul “Vic” Vicena: bass
Chris Sams: drums

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ELECTRIC SONS – (1984-1985)

Original Members: Joey Harris: guitar, vocals
Paul Kamanski: guitar, vocals
  Paul “Vic” Vicena: bass 
  Frank “Hoop” Hailey: drums
Dave Fobes: Sax


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JOEY HARRIS & THE SPEEDSTERS – (1978-1980)

Original Members: Joey Harris: lead guitar, vocals
  Lee Knight: bass
Bruce Donnelly: keyboards 
  Mark Spriggs: drums


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JOEY HARRIS & THE MENTALS

Members: Joey Harris: guitar, vocals
Jeff Kmak: bass
Mighty Joe Longa: organ, piano
Josh Mader: drums

Arguably one of the finest singers, guitar pickers, and songwriters to come out of Southern California, Joey Harris is undoubtably San Diego music royalty. His latest CD, “Joey Harris and the Mentals”, is a gem that has taken him into the next phase of an already long and successful career. This is Joey’s first solo CD since his legendary days in the Beat Farmers and is a perfect example of someone at the top of their game. The ten-song CD is Joey at his best, both irreverent and introspective, and simply put…Rockin’! Backed by his outstanding band, the Mentals, Joey tears through the CD like a man on a mission. Songs like “Little Boy”, “Brother Of The Grape”, and “I Haven’t Been Cryin’” show off Joey’s blues chops, and “Don‘t Go”, “Get Out Of My Way”, and “She’s On The Pill” will rock your face off with huge vocals and guitar tones. “Apologies To R. Newman” gets the funk out, while “Baby You’re A Star”, “Don‘t Seem Like Love”, and “Miguelita” show a mature side to Joey’s writing. Adding to the main ingredients of vocal, guitar, drum, bass, piano, and Hammond B3, Joey has peppered the CD with killer harmonies, percussion, acoustic guitar, mandolin, and an angelic choir of angels. “Having been a huge fan of Joey’s (and the Beat Farmers) since the age of 16, it has been an honor co-producing this CD with him. The drive, focus, and fun he injected into every cut were truly inspirational. From the blistering guitar volumes, beers, smokes, and laughs, I’m just now regaining feeling to the right side of my face!”
~~Scottie “Mad Dog” Blinn/ Double Barrel Records

Quoting Joey himself: “I’m a local Coronado boy. My family are all musical — my mother, Jane Meade, sisters, brothers, and my Uncle Nick Reynolds of Kingston Trio fame.” Joey Harris has added to the family tradition in a very successful way and he continues to make the whole town proud with his musical prowess. Thanks Joey for years of great Coronado Rock!

You can find more information on Joey Harris & the Mentals at www.reverbnation.com/joeyharristhementals

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ROCK TRIO

Original Members: Joey Harris: guitar, vocals
Paul Kamanski: guitar
Caren Campbell-Kamanski: vocals


SPECIAL NOTE: ROCK TRIO (Joey, Paul & Caren Kamanski) will be performing at McP’s Irish Pub once a month starting May 29th on the patio from 4 to 7 p.m.

For more information and entertainment on these featured bands as well as other great bands of Coronado’s Past, Present, and Future, visit Dean Atkinson’s website at: www.coronadobands.com

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WHOM?

WHO RESCUED WHOM?

By Lynne Harpst Koen

It’s the day before Halloween, but I’m not going to candy coat anything. Yes, I am that “Dog Lady”.

I’m not over the top PETA queen, but I do consider my dogs as very much a part of the family. It’s always been that way as far back as I can remember. I was maybe three years old when I figured out my Mom loved the dog more than she did me. It didn’t bother me, it just was. During my first 17 years of life, we had several dogs at home. Only one at a time though. These dogs were from circumstances beyond our comprehension — abandoned, abused, neglected, left to starve.

I never knew it was possible to just go out and BUY a dog. I thought they showed up mysteriously in the night and then we took care of them for the rest of their lives!

When I was in college and living on my own, I got a dog and named him “JD” (just a dog). Oh, how I loved that boy! He was a shaggy, black-and-white mutt with the sweetest disposition. My tiny back yard had an alley behind it. One day as JD and I were playing in the yard, I heard some commotion in the alley — rummaging of some sort and then a crash! I flew out to the alley to see what happened. There I found the skinniest little dog. She could barely walk. Upon closer inspection, I saw she had a badly broken leg. She had probably been hit by a car — no tags or collar. I got some blankets, wrapped her up, and gently put her in the car. She was so frightened. She was shaking uncontrollably. The vet said I should have her put down because she probably had numerous problems aside from her obvious malnutrition and busted leg. I told him to do whatever it took to make her well enough so I could care for her at home. He looked at me like I had three heads but agreed to treat her. A week later, I had two dogs in my little yard on I Avenue! I decided to name my new girl dog “Rosie” after the wildly popular Saturday Night Live character Roseanne Rosanna Danna (played by Gilda Radnor). Rosie and JD got along great. They were best friends from day one!

This was back in the 1970s. That’s when I started the “Noah’s Ark” theory. From that time on, I always had two dogs in residence. When I had my babies and didn’t have as much time for the dogs, JD and Rosie had each other. They both lived long, happy lives and eventually passed away of old age. They were so special to me as they were my very first fur-babies. Since then we’ve had more dogs, cats, birds, horses, and even goats join the family! The interesting thing is that since the Rosie rescue, the animals have come to me much like they did to my Mom when I lived at home. I’ve always rooted for the underdog, pun intended!

Our animals were special in that they seemed to choose us rather than the other way around. Not one pure breed in the bunch. Just sweet, simple creatures who needed a loving home. Most had special needs that some people would not have tolerated or bothered with. To me, having a pet is like having a child. If there’s something wrong, you handle it. Plain and simple. I was in it for the long haul no matter what. This is the way God intended it to be. In my book anyway!

I’ve always treated my critters with love and respect. They return that affection 100+ fold in most cases. Only twice have I had to find other homes for my dogs. Both cases were because the dogs presented a danger to my children. The first case was Norman named after Norman Bates in Psycho. I knew Norman was odd, but I did my very best to accommodate him. However, it turned out he wasn’t a family-type dog at all. One Christmas, he bit just about everyone in the family. Norman had to go. Luckily, I found him a good home with an older couple who lived by themselves. Happy ending.

The other dog “Wendy” did not like children. As I had four kids in residence at the time, Wendy couldn’t stay. I tried so hard to find her a home, but everyone I knew had young kids like I did. Everyone except my Mom that is. Mom was “dogless” at the time. She really liked Wendy and Wendy liked her. However, Mom swore she’d never have another dog. Hard sell. I tried for months to convince Mom that Wendy was perfect for her. I begged and pleaded. The answer wasn’t just “no” but it was HELL NO. So the sad day came when I was going to take Wendy to the shelter. I was crying and so depressed. I thought what do I have to lose, so I tried asking Mom just one more time. She resounded with a very grouchy “Oh, alright.” I was overjoyed! Wendy was treated like a queen, living a life of luxury at Mom’s. It was truly a perfect match. One that God Himself had made to be sure.

I’ve always loved my dogs with all my heart. My single complaint is that they don’t live long enough. There comes a time when their quality of life slowly descends. Putting a dog to rest is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, hands down. Each time I literally thought I’d die from the grief. It never gets any easier, no matter what people may say. Now I have dog rescues that I help support. I usually stick to the smaller ones. That way I actually know where my money goes! I’ve taken to fostering dogs from time to time. That can be pretty tricky when there are resident dogs who get a bit jealous. Each time I’ve fostered, it’s been in pairs. Dogs who have been together all their lives who are up for adoption. The only criteria I’ve insisted upon is that the dogs are adopted together. Not everyone wants to take on two strange dogs at once. However, there are people who will. I know this to be true as they’ve all gone to great families. It just sometimes takes longer to make the right match.

Last year, a friend of mine went to a local estate sale. She mentioned to me that the matriarch of this family had passed away and left two animals behind — a dog and a cat. Turned out nobody in this family wanted the animals because they were both quite elderly. The dog “Peaches” was 14 and the cat was 12. This story made me so sad. I already had my hands full with our resident dog “Rockit” and our newly adopted dog “Boomer”, but I somehow HAD to meet Peaches! I just couldn’t ignore the circumstances. So my husband and I took our dogs over to Peaches’ house for a meet-and-greet session. Everybody did just fine! So Peaches came to live with us later that same day.

She was surprisingly fit for such an elderly lady. She was almost blind and completely deaf, but she got around amazingly well. She’d follow me everywhere. I loved her instantly. My husband thought I was nuts taking on such an old gal. He was just trying to protect me from the inevitable, Peaches being called to Heaven. For the next six months, Peaches was very much a part of the family. Our boy dogs readily accepted her, and everybody who met her loved her at first sight. She brought such joy to me. Sometimes I think I can still hear her tiny paws clicking on the tile floors! If my friend hadn’t have gone to that estate sale, I never would have known that Peaches needed a home. As with all the others, Divine Intervention. No doubt about it!

There are cute little puppies at every pet store. I don’t deny the fact they need good homes, but there are literally thousands upon thousands unwanted dogs at shelters and rescues. It’s heartbreaking beyond belief. These dogs’ days are numbered as there are very few “no kill” shelters. The majority of these dogs are there because of human error. Someone gets a cute puppy then that puppy grows up. Maybe that pup hasn’t been trained correctly so it acts badly and ends up in a shelter. Like children, dogs don’t naturally know how to behave. They must be taught. Training takes time. If you don’t have the time, then don’t get a dog — especially a puppy! Adopting an older dog can have it’s challenges, but it’s so worthwhile.

In a perfect world, all dogs would have happy, loving forever homes. No dog would be mistreated, cold, lonely, or hungry. However, life can be cruel; so it’s up to us as humans to help as much as we possibly can. I know that having a dog isn’t for everyone, but we can still help out by donating to a local shelter, and/or rescue. If you do decide to adopt, make it stick. Think about it like you would as if you were adopting a child. You don’t just throw a child away because he/she misbehaves! Adopting a dog is a permanent commitment. Not to be taken lightly or done on impulse. If done correctly, a decision to adopt can change your life for the greater good. The love of a dog is like nothing else in life. Dogs are not judgemental. Their love is unconditional. Dogs are loyal, furry blessings with cold noses. People can learn much from dogs!

 

 

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Stallions

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CORONADO’S ROCK ‘N’ ROLL – THE FUTURE:

OKAY OKAY
Members: Eric Castellanos: Vocals
Keniff Mors: Bass
Tito Valentino: Guitar
Austin Graham: Guitar
Joshua Charfauros: Drums


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MUSIC HIGH

MUSIC HIGH is not just another high school musical. In the treatment, the story centers on a high school campus in the San Diego Unified School District which nobody wants to work at let alone attend. A teacher, who has recently ended up joining the faculty, comes up with an idea to give the kids a way to become unified and to improve the morale of not only the students but the staff as well. He decides to put on a music competition, but it’s really more of a “Band Off”. Hell High, as it is nicknamed, rallies the student body to perform eight musical genres with all the kids rallying behind their heroes. The producers of this upcoming major motion picture have selected one of Okay Okay’s songs from their upcoming CD as part of the performances for Music High’s Band Off. Not only will their song be featured in the film, but they are getting musical credits and financial incentives. Our Coronado band will have spots as extras in the crowd rallying behind their own song and maybe even roles.

Okay Okay performs locally with a strong following. One of their favorite spots to play is the Ruby Room in North Park. The band also plays at stores like Hot Topic, high school auditoriums, and private house parties. When not all plugged in, their songs arranged acoustically are very rhythmic with a lot of jazz-infused riffs. The lead singer writes most of the lyrics for their songs and has visions of writing a rock opera to feature the band. They have just finished recording their first CD to be released in the near future. Austin Graham, one of the two lead guitarists is born & raised in Coronado. Before joining Okay Okay last summer, he was a member of the popular “screamer” band, Casino Madrid, who rose to great popularity in the youthful population of San Diego playing mostly at Soma, a venue devoted to their genre. Okay Okay are staged and ready for a very promising career in Rock ‘N’ Roll. We are very proud of them!

You can visit their site, book them, or contact them at: www.facebook.com/okayokay619
www.reverbnation.com/okayokay  and www.coronadoclarion.com

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CORONADO “THE ROCK” ROVING ROCK ‘N’ ROLL REPORTERS’ REVIEWS

As Reported by Lynne & George Harpst-Koen, daughter, Jeanette, & the Graham Family (Albert, Kimberley, Ariel, & Austin)


Our roving Rock ‘N’ Roll reporters have been quite busy of late. Not only have we been attending local performances from the likes of Joey Harris and Okay Okay, we also rocked out to the cool sounds of Robby Krieger at the stunning Anthology Dinner Club in downtown San Diego. Following that extraordinary evening was a blues rock out with the legendary Eric Clapton at the former Sports Arena. Not getting enough rock yet, we headed for the Hollywood Bowl to enjoy one of the best performances any of us had ever witnessed: Stevie Nicks and Rod Stewart. Well, we also had to get a bit of old fashioned funky rhythm & blues in there, so the Grahams headed to the Forum for a night with Prince. We were all so thrilled with Rod Stewart’s performance at the Bowl that we are heading for Las Vegas to see him again this summer.

Huge Doors fan & huge fan of Robby Krieger & all things Rock ‘N’ Roll from the bygone era of the 60s, Jeanette poses atop Robby Krieger’s prized possession


In January, we witnessed one of the best jazz concerts ever by Robbie Krieger and his jazz quintet. Robby is best known as the lead guitarist of the Doors and wrote some of the band’s best known songs including “Light My Fire”, “Love Me Two Times”, “Touch Me”, and “Love Her Madly”. He is listed as number 91 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time, and he is also a Grammy nominee this year for “Best Pop Instrumental” for his album, “Singularity”.

The Doors with Jim Morrison as their lead singer sold some 80 million albums in the decade they played together. As a result, Robby has definitely earned rock cred to do whatever the heck he wants. And love it or hate it, what Robby wants to do is play jazz. It also doesn’t hurt that the jazz Krieger likes to play takes him down roads paved by greats like Django Reinhardt and Wes Montgomery and is born from his deep respect for some of jazz’s heaviest hitters. The rock ‘n’ roll purists don’t sweat it as his current band always throws in tribute songs of the Doors. Evan Marshall, a local musician and vocalist, sat in to belt out these tunes including “LA Woman” sending the crowd into a frenzy of singing and shouting along. Robby not only tours with his jazz rock ensemble but also collaborates with Ray Manzarek, the prolific organist of the Doors, in international tours.

Posing with lead singer, Evan Marshall, who rocked out some Doors tunes with Jim Morrison bravado

Jeanette’s photo op with Robbie Krieger as he signs her I-phone & collector LPs: It was an evening she will never forget & will go down in her Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame experiences

 
 

 

 

 

Eric Clapton

 

 

 

 

 

So, we gave our rockin’ & a-rovin’ a bit of a break after swinging to the sounds of Robby Krieger’s jazz and classic Doors rock for a month. Then we jumped back on our rockin’ wagon to attend legendary Eric Clapton at Valley View Casino Center. After having a scrumptious local Italian dinner at Il Fornaio, we headed for yet another evening of screaming, dancing, and singing with our teenage representation in Jeanette. Together we represented the young and the not-so-old or so we do think because our ages never stop us from having a great time and you would have to stop us to remind us that we weren’t teens of the 60s still.

Eric belted out some of his greatest hits, and of course, we all helped him “shoot the sheriff” as if we were rock legends ourselves. And who doesn’t love “Hoochie Coochie Man” as well as “Layla”, “Crossroads”, and without incriminating ourselves, belting out, “Cocaine”.

Eric Clapton is a three-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee. He enjoys the status as one of the greatest and most imitated guitarists of the past four decades. During his two-hour-long concert, he demonstrated his finely honed craftsmanship and effortless instrumental mastery. Now, 65-years-old, Clapton has mellowed and transcended into being a quiet and unassuming legend. He may have mellowed and transcended, but no one in the audience young or not has. If you ever get a chance to attend one of his shows, you will be exuberantly entertained. Now, we must go rest up for our next experience at the Hollywood Bowl! Enjoy video of the concert on our website: www.coronadoclarion.com

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ROD STEWART & STEVIE NICKS LIVE AT THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL

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“FOREVER YOUNG”

By Cheryl Schou

For as long as I can remember my life’s journey has had rocking, soulful Rod Stewart as a companion, a friend, and one who ignites old memories and continues to create new ones. As I hit the milestone of 56 this month, how incredible it is to see Rod still so full of life and passion, he is one serious inspiration.

My life with Rod began decades ago when he was with Faces. My high school friends and I would travel by car, plane, train, or bus to see him in concert. Yup, full-on groupies without knowing it at the time. When my best friend, Nancy Sparadeo, got her first dog, she was of course named – Maggie May! Could there have been a different name? We made our way through the junior and high school years inundated with floods of great bands from here and abroad. Ah, but when you have Rod as your true north, you flirt, but remain forever loyal and forever young.

I could bore one with pages of Rod memories, but I think it is better to keep moving forward at this juncture in time as he continues onward. I recently bought his “Songbook” CD that is Rod slipping into his Sinatra suave. It makes me crave a martini with two olives! How can a man be so sexy and so full of life at age 65? Doesn’t really matter; let’s just enjoy the memories and continue making new ones. I envy all who saw him with Stevie Nicks at the Bowl last week and I shall not miss another opportunity in the future. Rocking Rod is the music of life. Keep “sailing” and stay “forever young” Rod.

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ROCK ‘N’ ROLL WILL NEVER DIE

By A. R. Graham

When some dear friends invited me to go to a rock concert at the Hollywood Bowl, my memories of the Sixties floated back like a band of affectionate ghosts. My days of large venue rock concerts had long since passed, and I felt that those days were simply memories, that were difficult, if not impossible to relive.

We walked from the hotel to the event on a warm Saturday night and stood amidst a crowd of 18,000 fans. It was a sold-out show, and as the sun went down, a full moon began peeping through the tall trees on the surrounding hillsides.

A sixty-five year old man grabbed the microphone and proceeded to transport me back in time. The performance was flawless and the songs never more vibrant. I stood under a full moon rockin’ my old bones and got lost in the sweet memories of my youth. The songs were somehow new all over again. The musicians were superb. The light show and the new sound technology were overwhelming and Rod Stewart never sounded so good.

“The First Cut is the Deepest” knocked me out. Stewart sang it with a heartbreaking melancholy invoking in me, sadness and happiness simultaneously.

Stewart gave it everything he had! We had such a good time, we are following his road show to Las Vegas in August!

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THE PRINCE REIGNS!

By Kimberley Graham


Having been a Prince fan for decades, not for his diminutive, weird appearance or behavior, but for his charging rhythm ‘n’ blues-rock combination as well as prolific songwriting capabilities. With this in mind, I dragged my youthful children up to the Forum in Inglewood to live the Prince experience with me. I was a bit nervous whether or not they would enjoy themselves, and thanks to this artist, I was not ashamed or disappointed. I am not sure who enjoyed the show more myself, or Ariel and Austin, my young adult children. It was certainly a thrill to “boogie” the night away with them as it is hard to find events that we can all enjoy together with such enthusiasm. At one point, we were opting for a Disneyland experience instead, and at the last minute, we chose to do rock ‘n’ roll – what else? We were not the only ones having such a great time. Prince has been playing three shows a night at the Forum for a month and all are sold out. Each night, celebrities join him on stage to dance to his frenetic funk. On our evening, Halle Berry, Robin Wright Penn, and Susan Sarandon were up there amongst many others we couldn’t even keep track of. Well, I must say, I never thought I would still be dancing after 1999, yet I sure am. I think it is what keeps me “forever young”. One more note, I am 55 and Prince is 53. He put on a two-and-a-half hour show followed by three encores surrounded by a frenzied dancing auditorium of fans with an ocean of lighter flames which no “purple rain” could have extinguished. Who does this at our age? The Prince of Rock ‘n’ Roll, of course!

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REMEMBER THESE DAYS: 
PARTIES AT 1132 GLORIETTA BOULEVARD

Where the heck were our parents? At the parties, where else? 1132 Glorietta Boulevard holds its own claim to fame as one of the ultimate Rock ‘n’ Roll destination spots for parties in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Whose house was it? The Dill’s house, infamously and fondly held in many Coronado citizens of those times as the place to be.  We had a lot of great fun in this memorable residence as well as many “spooky” Halloweens with Janet Dill, being a very scary witch with great trick or treats as well as cauldrons of smoking dry ice. But the funnest part were the Rock ‘n’ Roll parties behind our parents’ backs or with and sponsored by them. The local police even tried to attend but we always threw them out. Long live these legendary events. We hope the kids of Coronado these days are having as much fun!


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STILL ROCKIN’ AFTER ALL THESE YEARS: GEORGE KOEN

George Koen is a prolific songwriter and soulful lead vocalist, who records with the band, the Hammers, from time to time. George, known as George K, was born in Norman, Oklahoma, but was moved to Southern California at the tender age of two. As a kid who loved music, George grew up listening to a diverse selection of musical styles. His favorites were artists such as the Beatles, the Doobie Brothers, the Eagles, and Eric Clapton among others. He knew he wanted to be a singer and started his first band in high school with two of his best friends, Steve Simmons and Sherwood Ball. With big dreams and playing at all the local and high school events, they were quickly noticed and offered a record deal, but like your basic rock and roll story, band member personalities didn’t let it happen. George’s next band was Moxie which recorded three songs and included Eddie Bertrand, from Eddie and the Showmen and the BelAirs, on guitar. Eddie had several surf hits in the 60s. George and Eddie wrote and recorded for 20 years on and off and are still good friends today. George K’s next band project was Pax who were a regular at Busch Gardens and Orange County night clubs. His good friend, Sherwood Ball, worked with him in this band. Sherwood is the eldest son of the late Ernie Ball, musician and founder of Ernie Ball Strings. George and Sherwood grew up together and played in several bands from high school on and off for about four years. Sherwood is also one of the writers of “Flag of Freedom.” (featured in the Military edition of the Coronado Clarion www.coronadoclarion.com) His performing credits include Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Brown, and many other great bands.

Never one to sit still, George moved forward with a band called Diamondback, a country rock band based out of Southern California. Ben Arrington, the bass player for the group, and George quickly became friends. Diamondback opened for artists like Billy Preston, Paul Williams, Leon Russell, Jerry Jeff Walker, Hank Williams Jr., and many more. George sang lead on the band’s first single, “King Cotton”, which was a moderate hit with airplay from over 300 radio stations. But, like all good things; this too did pass. George and Ben went their respective ways but stayed in touch often. In 2007, George and Ben met in Las Vegas where George had recently relocated. George played several songs for Ben he’d written such as, “When You Wake” and “Running With the Wind”. Ben told George about the band he was in called Jerry McCoy & the Hammers and they began recording George’s songs soon after: first with some holiday songs, then with some good old rock & roll.

George said he got the idea to write “Flag of Freedom” from Ben who said “Hey, why don’t you write a song about freedom, independence, you know, the Fourth of July.” George thought about it for a while, thinking fire crackers and hot dogs. Then it came to him. Write the song about our founding fathers and how they gave everything for freedom, and how the heroes of yesterday and today should be honored every day, not only on patriotic holidays. Hence, “The Flag of Freedom was born. “Then we started on the circle of friends CD recorded in Arkansas, Nashville, and Hollywood. This took about a year to get the CD finished, but it came out great. It was the same cast of characters but this time, everyone got to sing lead on a couple of songs. This gave the CD a little different sound and something for everyone to enjoy with different styles of music and different styles of singers. Johnny Neel, Kim Morrison, Jerry McCoy, and myself each sang at least two songs and the others played there instruments and sang background. It came out wonderful. All but two of the songs were written by me. I am now recording ten more songs with the same musicians and will add them to the “Circle of Friends” CD as they are finished including a few sung by my daughter, Melinda.” – George K

According to George, what comes next no one knows, but there is a feeling the Hammers and George K will be writing and recording for a long time to come. The new Hammers CD, was released in November 2008 and is one we hope everyone has a chance to give a listen to. Our message is one of hope, and how if you truly believe in yourself, and don’t give up…anything is possible!

 

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Excerpts from: “I Remember” By A.R. Graham

COMING TO AMERICA

Beginnings: I met Anne Robin Morrison in London in the summer of 1966. Her father, Captain George Stephen Morrison, was recently promoted to rear admiral and was stationed at the Navy building next to the American Embassy. At that time, Anne did not know her brother was famous. He had disappeared in 1964 after attending UCLA.

Soon after we met, the Admiral was called back to Washington D.C to begin his new assignment at the Pentagon. Anne stayed behind in London and a few months later, we married. When Anne gave birth to our first child, Dylan, we left England to live in America: the Land of Opportunity.

THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW GOES UP IN FLAMES

When we arrived in America in the summer of 1968, we lived in the plush suburb of Arlington, Virginia. The Admiral was stationed at the Pentagon as the Vietnam War raged on. We were introduced to the top ranks of military society. We attended the formal naval functions and sat in V.I.P. boxes at military ceremonies.

One of Clara Morrison’s nephews was about to be married and was set for deployment to Vietnam. We attended a giant celebration at the family home in Silver Springs, Maryland on the day of the wedding. On this auspicious occasion, another dramatic and most incongruous event would intersect creating profound consternation amongst the guests. The event in question was that family institution, The Ed Sullivan Show.

The wedding and the reception were formal ceremonies. Top rank and highly decorated military officials in full dress uniform accompanied by impeccably coiffed and bejeweled wives consumed copious amounts of delicious hors d’oeuvres and pink champagne.

At the end of the day, everyone gathered around television sets to watch The Ed Sullivan Show, which only presented clean-cut, all American entertainment. Not long before, Ed had presented the world-famous Singing Nun, and her number-one-in-the-nation hit, “Dominique”.

What followed was nothing less than jaw dropping. As the show commenced this very special evening, the stone-faced Sullivan stepped forward and made his proud introduction: “Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the wonderful Topo Gigio!” Topo Gigio was the lead character of a children’s puppet show on Italian television in the 1960’s and a very popular visitor to the program. Next came a violently patriotic men’s college quartet. They were followed by acrobats, jugglers, and all sorts of generic entertainment for the extremely traditional audience.

The show, or so we thought, culminated with Kate Smith, a mountain of a woman, who belted out “God Bless America” with such force it blew people’s hair back. She ended with a bang, but there was an even bigger bang, locked, loaded, and waiting in the wings.

Someone said, “Hey, this is a rerun.” Very soon after that, a cabal of women surrounded Clara Morrison and rushed her into the kitchen. The Admiral followed. He inquired, “What the Sam Hell is going on in here?” Clara’s sister was hissing and looking out at the most prestigious guests. Clara gave the Admiral the news and his jaw locked like a bear trap.

Before anyone had a chance to take action, Ed Sullivan announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, from Los Angeles, California – THE DOORS!” OH, MY GOD!! — the guests sat frozen like a paused movie. Glasses were in midair and the only thing moving was cigarette smoke. A woman emptied a bottle of champagne into her goblet, which spilled out onto the counter and down onto the floor tiles. She stood there like a statue in an overflowing fountain of pink bubbles.

Jim Morrison stepped onto the stage at the world famous Ed Sullivan Theater dressed head-to-foot in black leather (pants, jacket, and boots) with a pure silver Concho belt and a white Mexican peasant shirt. He had the long, dark hair of an outlaw. He started singing “Light My Fire”, which was still on the top of the play list of the nation’s charts.

Ed Sullivan had warned Jim that he was forbidden to use suggestive words such as higher on a live show. Jim Morrison sang the song with cool precision. When he got to the forbidden words, he didn’t yell them. Instead, he spat them out as loud and as hard as he could.

The military guests had all known Jim since he was a boy. So, to see him transformed from a well-mannered, well-dressed bookworm to a long-haired, commie, pinko, traitor, draft dodger, Rasputin monster in black leather was impossible for them to process.

Uncle Howard, Clara’s brother-in-law, was the first to react. He wiped the condensation from his steamed-up, golden horn-rimmed glasses and blurted out, “Look at those filthy cuffs on his shirt!”

Morrison ended the song with: “TRY TO SET THE NIGHT ON F-I-R-E!!!”

Everyone looked at each other again. It was as if they had all experienced a UFO incident and the frightening alien in black leather had disappeared.

A vice-admiral, who strongly resembled the great actor, Lee J. Cobb, and wore enough medals and citations to fill a trophy shop, slowly closed his eyes and started a silent belly laugh. It got louder and louder until everyone joined in. The whole crowd was laughing and laughing and laughing. Admiral Morrison laughed too. The crowd was doubled up not knowing quite why we were doing so. It was almost like a collective sigh of relief.

The marriage celebration and festivities that day were utterly usurped by another celebration. To this group, it was a polar opposite, and an altogether disturbing celebration. For it was: the Celebration of the Lizard King.

MEETING JIM

Admiral Morrison accompanied by his wife, Clara, drove to Dulles Airport to pick up their daughter, Anne, her husband, Alan Graham, and their new grandchild, Dylan.

For six weeks, the newlyweds lived with the family in the posh suburb just a few miles across from the Potomac River. A retired secretary of defense, a retired admiral, and a Pentagon intelligence official were among their neighbors – a veritable who’s who of Washington’s elite.

On the sixth day of the sixth week, the Admiral received orders to immediately fly to Coronado, California, in order to assume command of Carrier Division Nine Battle Group. He left the next day. Clara was left behind to pack up all of their belongings and have them shipped along with the rest of the family to their new home, wherever that might be. For military families, this is commonplace. These families are similar to a nomadic tribe who can pack up their tents in the night. By next morning, they have left no trace of their presence.

Anne, Alan, and Dylan flew on ahead to stay in San Diego, California with the Morrison’s lifelong friend, Commander Andy Richards. Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and Hollywood were all just a two-hour ride away. So, the Graham tribe set off to find Anne’s once-disappeared and now-rediscovered older brother, Jim Morrison of the Doors. They rented a car and headed off for the megalopolis — Los Angeles.

On the way, Alan stopped to call information for the listing of Elektra Records in West Hollywood. He got the number, called the recording company telling them who he was in relation to their hottest artist, and that he wanted to contact Jim. They gave him The Doors’ office number. He called and repeated the request. The receptionist, after a shell shocked, ten-second silence, said, “Could you repeat that, please?”

She informed Alan that Jim was returning from a big concert in Texas and that he would be on the eleven a.m. flight from Houston to LAX. The Graham tribe arrived at 10:50. The following is a true life account of that meeting.

When Jim Morrison stepped off a jet at LAX in the summer of 1968, he was wearing an original World War II bomber jacket. Followed by Manzarek, Krieger, then Densmore, he sauntered through the terminal carrying an antique but cool-looking leather briefcase filled with his notebooks and pages of poetry and songs.

The Lizard King was wearing naval aviator glasses and black leather cowboy boots which rendered him utterly ridiculous and ultra cool in the same instant. He was ultra cool to any teenager back then, but equally repulsive to people like Art Linkletter, the famous television pitchman. As he strode along, Linkletter had crossed directly in front of Jim causing him to stop abruptly so as not to be bowled over by the obvious disdain the pitchman harbored for all things hippie.

Morrison watched as the rude, angry personality elbowed his way through the crowd. Jim adjusted his military/hippie outfit and said out loud but to no one in particular, “That was Art Linkletter. What an asshole. Ahh, never mind. I never liked him anyway.”

Linkletter had a colossal hatred for all druggies or radicals and was estranged from his eldest daughter, Dianne. Like so many millions of young people of that time, they were considered by their parents to be morally bankrupt.

His daughter had joined the ranks of acid dropping teens and was out of her father’s control just like Jim Morrison was. The very next year, Dianne Linkletter jumped to her death from her sixth floor apartment. Linkletter immediately blamed The Beatles for turning her onto LSD through their evil music.

Morrison grabbed his bag from the luggage carousel. As he turned to leave the terminal, a young woman with a babe in arms approached him saying, “Hi, Jim.” Manzarek, Krieger, and Densmore kept on walking for they had witnessed this same ritual a thousand times before. A young fan would spot the group and would come over to meet Jim.

Often the others would be ignored or thought of as secondary because Jim loomed larger than the mere Doors. He was a Rock-God-Idol and the others were his assistants. At least it was that way to millions of star struck teenage girls all over the world who would, and often did, throw their knickers at him and would have made love to him on the spot in front of God and all.

Morrison slowly put down his briefcase and was poised to sign another autograph, right? Not so. Not this time. Even though this beautiful young woman with long flowing hair and an adoring smile had presented herself before Jim, she was not offering him her autograph book. Instead, she was offering her baby for him to hold.

Jim Morrison had never autographed a baby before and he certainly had not held one recently, if ever. So, he was utterly flummoxed.

Morrison took off his sunglasses and blinked twice still wondering why there was no pen or request for the usual autograph. He looked again at the baby, and then, at the woman. He blinked again and again and again.

The Doors were now looking back to see if this woman was showing Jim Morrison the result of yet another romantic liaison from a one-night stand she and he had engaged in. Was she now demanding child support? In fact, this very same thought was starting to seep into Jim’s mind. The Doors decided that they would keep on ahead after all. As they left, they saw Jim holding the baby in his arms looking very confused. Jim looked at them helplessly as Ray, Robby, and John, disappeared like snow in August.

Jim’s eyes slowly returned to the woman, studying her face closely, and then, gingerly offering, “You wouldn’t happen to be my sister, would you?” Anne smiled from ear to ear. Speaking in an excited gush, she blurted out, “Yes, I am and say hello to your nephew. His name is Dylan Stephen and this is my husband, Alan.” Jim looked at the three of them for a long time before he spoke. This Rock-God-Idol was speechless. He could only stand there looking at Anne, whom he had not seen since he disappeared three years earlier.

Jim Morrison, Rock-God-Idol, was actually returning to a reality that he had abruptly abandoned when he decided to erase all connections with his family.

Now that very same reality, in the form of his sister as a married woman with a child (whom she had just physically thrust into her brother’s arms) was standing before him.

We all stood looking at each other. After what seemed an eternity, Jim shifted the baby to his hip and it was as if he had never been away from his sister at all. As he marched proudly through the terminal, he said, “Come on. I want you to meet everyone.”

We were in L’America: Los Angeles — Hollywood, California –standing with Jim Morrison in the summer of 1968 just before all hell broke loose and the whole shit house went up in flames.

We drove from the airport on a glorious summer day. Jim sat up front talking excitedly to Anne as if she was the one who had disappeared and he was trying to catch up on the news of her life. He never once mentioned his father or mother during the conversation, but focused instead on his sister and his little brother, Andy, and their lives. It was as if he needed several missing pieces to complete some sort of visceral jigsaw puzzle.

We took the San Diego Freeway north for a few miles, then west on the Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Highway (Santa Monica Freeway) to the City of Santa Monica.

To purchase your print edition, go to IRememberJimMorrison.com, or visit Amazon.com.

Also available in Kindle edition and on Apple’s iBooks Store.
Just search for Jim Morrison on your iPad or iPhone.

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