Five Things I Saw & Heard This Week: Wednesday 17th October

Rock Me, Davy!
1972, Fulham. Tony Cane Honeysett calls me over to his record player. Listen to this! he says. The 45 starts with a snarly riff, before going into a moody, groovy blues, with snappy drums and hooky fuzz guitars. The singer sounds both pop and familiar. After a few minutes I tumble. It’s David Cassidy, essaying a new, more grown-up direction, trying to move on from teen fandom to a kind of rock/blues. In May of ’72 he’ll pose nearly naked for Annie Leibovitz in Rolling Stone. This week in 2012, four of Cassidy’s albums from this period are re-released. Not sure I’ll check them out, but for old times sake (Hey, Tone!) I re-listen to Rock Me Baby, and it’s great. The Wrecking Crew rhythm section—Hal Blaine on drums and Joe Osbourne on bass—get down while Mike Melvoin (father of Wendy) prowls around the edges on piano. In the centre of the soundstage Larry Carlton and Dean Parks strut and fret, combining to brew up a nasty Southern Rock snarl. It’s just great, and I’m back in Anselm Road with Tony…

Seamus Ryan Sings ‘Liverpool Lou’
We had 12 minutes to photograph Billy Connolly in a room in a painfully Boutique Hotel™ this week. Photographer [to the stars] Seamus breaks the ice and makes a connection by revealing that he’s Dominic Behan’s godson, and Billy, famously, once decked Dominic in a bar, a fight broken up by Ronnie Drew of the Dubliners. Billy remembers the incident in detail, including the fact that he apologized the next morning to Dominic (sober throughout the whole fracas). At one point in the twelve minutes Seamus sings a few bars of Liverpool Lou, one of his godfather’s most famous songs [he also wrote The Patriot Game], very prettily. On a recent Desert Island Discs, Yoko Ono selected Liverpool Lou as one of her choices, remembering that her husband had sung it to their son as a lullaby. Oh, and Seamus delivered, as always.

Now This Sounds Intriguing…
The Coen brothers’ next film is Inside Llewyn Davis, about a struggling folk musician in the Village at the height of the 1960s folk scene. Apparently, the film’s title character is based on Dave Van Ronk. Bob Sheldon called him The Mayor of MacDougal Street [the name of Van Ronk’s autobiography, written with Elijah Wald] and everyone who went through Greenwich Village at that time seems to owe him a debt, most famously Dylan. John Goodman was interviewed in US Esquire this month by Scott Raab, and talked about it:
Raab: What are you shooting in New York?
Goodman: Inside Llewyn Davis. I’m playing a junkie jazz musician for Joel and Ethan Coen. I haven’t worked with them since O Brother, Where Art Thou?—15 years. Boy, it’s great to be back with them again. We have a real good comfort zone. I just adore being with those guys. It’s like hanging around with high school guys or something.
Raab: I’ve heard the film is based on folk singer Dave Van Ronk’s life. So it’s set in Greenwich Village in the ’60s?
Goodman: Right on the cusp of Dylan’s big explosion.
Raab: I’m probably one of the few people who’s seen Masked and Anonymous, the movie you were in with Dylan, half a dozen times. It’s such a strange movie, and it has so many moving parts. It’s a fascinating film. How was Dylan on set?
Goodman: Being around Bob was a trip. I just hung back and watched him. When the cats had downtime, they’d go somewhere and play together. And I’d listen to that. The film got a god-awful reception at Sundance. There were a lot of walkouts, but who cares? It was kind of an absurdist, futurist piece. It was fun. And I got to work with Jeff Bridges again. I got to stand next to the fabulous Penélope Cruz for a little while. That was worth the price of admission. Senorita Cruz.”

Mortification Corner
1>
“Diana Krall has collaborated with Academy Award winning costume designer Colleen Atwood and acclaimed photographer Mark Seliger to create a series of beautiful and striking images for Krall’s new album, Glad Rag Doll. They are inspired by Alfred Cheney Johnston’s pictures of the girls of the Ziegfeld Follies taken during the 1920s.” Well, if you say so…
2> Pity poor Art Garfunkel as he sits on the sofa being interviewed by the One Show dolts whilst they implore the Mrs Robinson’s in their audience to text photos of themselves, preferably with toyboys. Art tried to modify the disdain in his expression, but didn’t quite succeed…

King Harvest (Has Surely Come): Hyde Park, Saturday

“Corn in the field, listen to the cars when they cross Hyde Park Corner…”

Five Things I Saw & Heard This Week: Wednesday 10th October

Genius Idea Of The Week
Nick Paumgarten writes about record producer Scott Litt, New Yorker, October 1st.
When Scott Litt built a recording studio in the back of his house, in Venice, California, seven years ago, he did it with Bob Dylan in mind. He pictured Dylan sitting there at the Hammond organ, accompanied by nothing but drums and a standup bass. Or maybe in an arrangement featuring a banjo and a trumpet. “I always imagined him having a Louis Armstrong Hello, Dolly sound,” Litt said the other day. “Musically, that’s as American as it gets.” [Sadly, when Litt was hired to engineer Bob’s latest, Tempest, and] …got up the nerve to mention his idea, it didn’t go over very well. [Bob] just went, “Heh heh heh—Hello Dolly.”

This, From The Very Wonderful “Letters Of Note”
In 1919 [at which point he was just 9 years old] Samuel Barber wrote the following letter to his mother and left it on his desk for her to find. She did, and a year later Barber began to compose his first opera, The Rose Tree. He was still only 26 years of age when, in 1936, he finished his most famous work, Adagio for Strings.
“NOTICE to Mother and nobody else
Dear Mother: I have written this to tell you my worrying secret. Now don’t cry when you read it because it is neither yours nor my fault. I suppose I will have to tell it now without any nonsense. To begin with I was not meant to be an athlet [sic]. I was meant to be a composer, and will be I’m sure. I’ll ask you one more thing.—Don’t ask me to try to forget this unpleasant thing and go play football.—Please—Sometimes I’ve been worrying about this so much that it makes me mad (not very),
Love,
Sam Barber II

Roll On, John
Stanley Reynolds’ piece for The Guardian, 3 June 1963, reprinted this week: “Inside the club, down CND symbol smeared walls to a dark and bronchial cave, the dancers have originated the Cavern Stomp, because they did not have room enough to twist. In the dressing room off stage a steady flow of rock artistes come to talk with Mr Bob Wooler, the Cavern’s full-time disc jockey whose visiting card tells you, with Dickensian charm, that he is “a rhythm and blues consultant.” That is The Cavern, duffel coats and feigned boredom. On tour it is like a Hollywood success story. At the Odeon, Manchester, in the Beatles’ dressing room, the four boys were asking a reporter from a disc magazine to please see if she could do something to stop girls from sending them jelly babies. She had once said they liked them. “We’ve got two ton of them now,” John Lennon said. “Tell them to send us E-type Jaguars or button-down shirts.” Someone came in and said two girls had won them in a contest. “Just who are these girls who won us?” John Lennon asked. “I mean, how long have they won us for.”

“Hear What I’m Saying, I’m Not Saying It Right”
Random Acts [a series of short films chosen for their bold and original expressions of creativity] Channel 4.
Comedian and poet Sean Mahoney, directed by Jeremy Cole. An age-old subject, a harrington jacket, a little bit of Mike Skinner in the delivery. Vulnerable and sharp at the same time. A talent. Lovely.

Record Cover Of The Week

Paris flea market purchase. Just listened to. As you’d expect, The Surfaris via St Malo.

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