One of my favorite bands from the 60s has to be Love. Their music is so unexpected and so unconventional, both lyrically and sonically. I give Arthur Lee the lion's share of credit for this (sorry Bryan MacLean). Lee was truly one of a kind.
I've just watched the recent documentary about Love, Love Story.
Lee formed the band under various names in Los Angeles in the early 60s. It was one of the very first integrated rock bands to hit the scene and gain popularity -- something that is discussed in the film quite a bit, as band members feel they were represented to the press/public early on by colorful psychedelic drawings as a way for the record company to avoid presenting the potentially "risky" fact that the band was made up of both black and white musicians.
Love was one of the first rock bands to sign to Jac Holzman's Elektra Records and it was not to be a simple relationship between the band and their label. The band members spend a great deal of time in Love Story accusing Holzman of not promoting their work enough. Holzman counters this by pointing out Lee's aversion to touring outside of California. Regardless, the band made three brilliant albums within a span of a year and a half (!) -- Love, Da Capo and Forever Changes -- and increasingly, Lee's moments of brilliance were aggravated by longer and longer durations of virtual insanity because of his drug use.
It’s finally chilly in Hollywood. I mean, I still have my French windows open wide, but it’s about as cold as it ever gets, with breezes blowing from my hometown in the north, Nevada City, where loved ones are covered in white blankets of snow. (That’s a metaphor – probably very few of them have bed-sheets constructed of crystalline water ice.)
My friends in Nevada City, Jaime, Alison and Dan made a snowman. I don’t get that pleasure here. I suppose I could make a clumps-of-dying-grass-cigarette-butts-and-dog-feces man, but who has that kind of time? I have a blog to write!
Here's a picture of the snowman my friends made.
The best part will be watching him slowly melt over the next couple weeks.
My choices in music are always influenced by weather. When it’s hot city in the summertime, I’ll gravitate towards artists such as Stephen Malkmus, Thin Lizzy, or Sly & The Family Stone. If it’s a rainy day, you can bet some Siouxsie & The Banshees will be trilling from my stereo. I look out the window and see the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse trampling the Hills with all the fury of Heaven and Hell as they take the stage for a final battle in which every human soul will come to greet its eternal home in either the awesome glory of the Almighty God or the foul depths of Hell as lorded over by the king of wickedness, Satan, and more often than not I’ll play a little Burt Bacharach. Because it’s always a good time for a little Burt.
This is a video to a single from an album by Rough Trade called “For Those Who Think Young.” I’m pretty keen on the lead singer, Carole Pope; I dig her husky vocals and her facial expression when she sings. Her face often twists, ugly, and looks close to screaming in horror, then suddenly breaks into a plaintive sadness – a combination which reminds me of Joan Crawford before she was doped out on [insert any liquor here].
Interesting to note is that Carole Pope was lovers with another singer, Dusty Springfield.
Burt Bacharach, along with lyricist Hal David, also wrote “Walk On By” for Dionne Warwick. It was one of many collaborations between the songwriters and singer. She was their muse. Between them they released a dizzying amount of Billboard Hot 100 hits.
A lot of people from my generation (unfortunately) associate Warwick with two moments in her career: the schmaltzy #1 hit “That’s What Friends Are For” (which – laugh at it though you may – did raise a few million dollars for AmFAR) and her stint as co-host of infomercials for the Psychic Friends Network, along with celebrity psychic, Linda Georgian.
In the mid-1980’s, my sister Jacquie was Linda Georgian’s personal assistant and housemate. My Mom and I visited her at Linda’s house in Fort Lauderdale. When Linda wasn’t reading tarot cards for Liza Minnelli or casting out evil spirits from the summer home of David Hasselhoff, she liked to make her own jewelry, and she taught me how to string necklaces. She also read my aura and saw a lot of “lavender.”
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