The 1990's are from the great town that is Glasgow, Scotland. This great little town, which I recently found out is not really that little, has already brought us Franz Ferdinand, Belle & Sebastian, the Fratellis, Bis, Mogwai, and The Yummy Fur. Two member of the 1990's were in the Yummy Fur. Lead Singer, Jackie McKeown and bassist, Jamie McMorrow. This should remind you a bit of Franz Ferdinand. Both Paul Thomson and Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand were in The Yummy Fur. If you like Franz Ferdinand, you would probably like the 1990's. But they really don't sound that much alike. They are reminding me a bit of Imperial Teen. Imagine a British or Scottish Imperial Teen or maybe Sloan or Phoenix. They also remind me of that other 90's band Pavement. They are one of those bands that create wonderful little catchy pop songs. It is very easy to get addicted to these songs. The same thing happened with me and the band Sloan. All I wanted to do was listen to Sloan after I first heard them. This could easily happen to you after listening to these guys. It was what I liked so much about the fun music that was 90's britpop. Bands like Blur and Supergrass were just fun to listen to.
Yes, brothers and sisters, it’s time once again to dry clean that Nehru jacket, re-string those beads … on this date in 1968, the Apple Boutique closed due to extreme financial difficulties. Once located at 94 Baker Street, on the corner of Paddington and Baker in London, the Boutique was one of the first business ventures, albeit unsuccessful, made by The Beatles and Apple Corps. Paul described the Apple Boutique as "A beautiful place where you could buy beautiful things." The staff included Pattie Harrison's sister, Jennie, and Peter Shotton (He played the washboard in the Quarry Men and also, according to legend, helped Lennon with the lyrics to “I am the Walrus.” Shotton also co-authored the book The Beatles, Lennon and Me.
Tuesday morning, July 30, the staff was instructed to give away everything for free. Word quickly hit the streets. Within hours, an onslaught of buzzards attacked the store, picking it clean to the bone: shelves and livelihoods were trashed, plundered, and gutted by several hundred rabid and rioting patrons. Oh, the humanity! The night before, some of the Beatles and their wives and girlfriends paid their last respects to the ailing boutique and, before pulling the plug, grabbed what they wanted. And why not? The previous September the Beatles paid a Dutch trio known as “The Fool” (Seemon Posthuma, Josje Leeger and Marijke Koeger) over 100,000 pounds to design and stock the store.
In addition to being the setting for countless movies, including Clint Eastwood's Escape From Alcatraz and Burt Lancaster's Birdman of Alcatraz, the island of Alcatraz, aka "The Rock," has also been the setting for some music videos. Eighties metal guitar gods the Scorpions chose the former prison setting, smack in the middle of the San Francisco Bay, as the set backdrop for the video of their popular song "No One Like You" (see clip below).
The next decade horror-core, hardcore Sacramento producer/rapper Brotha Lynch Hung got permission to shoot scenes on Alcatraz for one of his music videos. During the overnight shoot, Brotha Lynch Hung swore on his life to me, in an interview for XXL at the time, that he witnessed a ghost in one of the creepy abandoned old cells on the small island.
Listed as a historic landmark for over twenty years, the best way to access daily tours of Alcatraz (home to the oldest operating lighthouse on the west coast) these days is by taking the ferry from either the Fisherman's Wharf in SF or from the other direction: Angel Island and Tiburon. For more information on Alcatraz, which is well worth a visit and is administered by the National Park Service, click here.