I can't believe this happened. I still have goosebumps. Patti Smith, live at Amoeba.
I also can't believe she chose to do some of the very songs that have held me close in safety these past few years: "Gimme Shelter." "Perfect Day." "Helpless." That's weird and beautiful, scary too ... thank you, Patti Smith.
I thought after meeting Tina Turner, I could just die. Hey, life doesn't get any better than that! Climax! Then Joan Baez did an instore at Leopold Records in Berkeley, and I got to meet her as well. Of course I thought: now I can die. Zenith! (I am aware that this is not healthy thinking, okay?)
Those were the records that I listened to as a child -- these were the women who saved my life. How many chances do you get to look someone in the eye who stormed the world and demanded change, and damn well GOT THE CHANGE? How many chances does a person get to thank them -- in person?
But if you're digging back in the crates of time, you can't ignore that one Saturday night on NBC, I was maybe about 8 years old ... The Patti Smith Group performed. All of a sudden, I knew this was a world that I could live in, I could thrive.
Confused because many, if not most, of your mail asks me which character from "Hill Street Blues" I most identify with.
First of all, this seems to me an absurdly obtuse line of questioning. As a reference for psychological profiling, the cast of some cop show from the 1980's, now lost in a sea of copycats and time, is hardly an adequate tool. It's as equally preposterous to me as say, concluding that I must be "really romantic, a good match for people born under the sign of Aquarius, and inclined to keep trophy-cuttings from those I kill," simply because I was born in the month of October.
While I appreciate that said TV show (the first two seasons of which are available on DVD at your local* Amoeba Music store) is chock full of humanity, likeable and endearing characters, realistic police procedure and deft dialogue, I balk at your insistence that I be summed by any one of its cast. I am unique! I am an individual!
It reminds me of the episode wherein Officer Joe Coffey tries to convince fellow officer, Lucy Bates, of his true feelings for her. She doesn’t believe him and by the end of the episode he gets shot. You see? It doesn’t pay to pigeon-hole.
Is this a veiled promotional spot for “Hill Street Blues”? Could I be so square? So out-of-touch or quaint?
Speaking of radical upcoming shows, did you know that underground heroes Gary Higgins and Mark Fosson are coming to town for their first San Francisco appearances, despite the fact that their records were made oh, about 30+ years ago? Yes, they have been revived, thanks in part to the vigilant Zach Cowie in the case of Gary Higgins, and thanks to Mark Fosson's cousin Tiffany Anders in his case, each of whom rediscovered the records that never got their due: Mark Fosson's Lost Takoma Sessions and Gary Higgins' Red Hash, and managed to get them released on the illustrious Drag City Records.
Mark Fosson's songs were recorded for John Fahey's label in 1977 but were actually never released cause the label dissolved soon after. It's super fitting that Fosson's record was gonna come out on Fahey's label cause he's a definite influence. He plays the 12 string guitar and his songs are all instrumentals and beautiful!
Gary Higgins' story is a little more complicated. In 1973 he recorded his album Red Hash, put it out on his own label, promptly got arrested for pot possession and spent a couple of years in the pen; Thus he was unable to tour or promote the record, and thus the record made pretty much no mark on the world at large. True to its title, Red Hash is definately a stoner folk record. There's much hypnotic repetition, lots of hippie-isms and a lotta acoustic guitar hooks.