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R.I.P. Herschell Gordon Lewis, the Godfather of Gore

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 26, 2016 08:02pm | Post a Comment

Today Something Weird Video broke the news that Herschell Gordon Lewis -- “godfather of gore,” Herschell Gordon Lewis“sultan of splatter,” and direct marketing guru -- passed away. He may have been 87 years old or he may have been 90 years old, he may have been a genius or he may have been a highly creative hack (he'd probably say, what's the difference?), but one thing is certain -- the world of cinema was changed forever when the former English professor-gone-ad exec-gone nudie cutie filmmaker decided to combine his interests in exploitation film, marketing, and bloody Grand Guignol-style theater with 1963's Blood Feast (made with his business partner David F. Friedman).

Considered the first American gore film, Blood Feast follows the adventures of Fuad Ramses as he Blood Feastmurders young women in order to create an "Egyptian feast" for the goddess Ishtar. A tongue is cut out, legs are cut off, brains are removed, and the viewing audience got to see it all in all it's bright red Technicolor glory. Like any forward-thinking writer/ad man/smut peddler, H.G. Lewis understood his market and his market was made up of the horny kids at the Drive-In. Lewis went on to make countless more works of gory art in quick succession, including Two Thousand Maniacs (1964), Color Me Blood Red (1965), A Taste of Blood and The Gruesome Twosome (1967), She-Devils on Wheels (1968), The Wizard of Gore (1970), and The Gore Gore Girls (1972), just to name some of the most memorable. Some years he released five to seven films, often designing the poster and hitting the booking market before making the film.

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Prince Fondly Remembered By Amoeba Employees

Posted by Amoebite, May 10, 2016 06:51pm | Post a Comment

prince vinyl

Few artists have meant as much to us as Prince has here at Amoeba, and his death has been hard on us, coupled with the passing of David Bowie just months prior. A few of us shared memories of our first Prince albums, seeing him live and what he meant to us beyond the music.

Patrick O’Donnell

It has been tough. Prince has been and always will be a huge part of my life. It's hard 2 put into words the depth of the emotional connection that I made with his music. Over the years I would use his music as a source of strength and joy 2 get through tough times, enhance great times, and just generally inspire me on multiple levels. In addition 2 the music, the man himself has been a huge inspiration 2 me as well. Prince would work his ass off, never give less than 300% and wouldn't settle until he had as close 2 perfection as possible. His standards were impossibly high, his creativity endless and his style impeccable.

I was lucky enough to witness him do his thing on a number of occasions. SO lucky. I've been playing many of those moments over and over in my mind. Every time I saw him was different, unique, surprising and just flat out incredible. During the course of one night, he could work you up into a frenzy of dance, make you laugh and then have you on the verge of tears from the sheer beauty of a song. His talent, his presence and energy were unparalleled. He could play just about any instrument at a virtuoso level. During one show, I saw him play guitar, piano, bass, drums and a saxophone ... FLAWLESSLY. He could hold a note while running across the stage, drop into the splits, pop back up spin around 360 degrees and then jump on top of a piano. ALL IN HIGH HEELS. And he'd do it for four full hours — then, more than likely, play a second and maybe even third show later that night. There is, was and probably will never be again, anything/anyone like him. I really thought I was going to be able to experience him again. R.I.P Mr. Rogers Nelson u will be sorely missed but absolutely NEVER forgotten.

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R.I.P. Merle Haggard

Posted by Amoebite, April 6, 2016 11:27am | Post a Comment

merle haggard

Merle Haggard (1937-2016)

Country music legend Merle Haggard died today on his 79th birthday, following a battle with pneumonia.

Haggard was a pioneer both of the twangy Bakersfield sound and outlaw country movement, scoring dozens of No. 1 country hits across his half-century-long career. His outspoken socio-political views and criminal history helped make him a singular and influential voice in country music. Haggard was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994. His final release was 2015's Django & Jimmie, a collaboration with Willie Nelson.

Read more about the legendary musician here. Read our Top 10 Merle Haggard Albums list. And take a listen to some of his best-known songs below.

76-Year-Old Clarence "Blowfly" Reid Is Cancer's Latest Victim

Posted by Billyjam, January 17, 2016 06:50pm | Post a Comment

Yet another lost to cancer! Today Clarence Reid, the man known to music fans as Blowfly (aka the original dirty rapper), passed away from terminal liver cancer and multiple organ failure. He had been diagnosed a few years ago but not too many people knew about it until this past week when his musical collaborator Tom Bowker announced how Reid had just entered hospice care in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida and that he was not expected to survive much longer in his battle against cancer.

Again today it was Bowker, via social media, who announced Blowfly's death, writing how "Clarence Reid, the genius known both by his given name and as Blowfly, the Master of Class, passed peacefully today, January 17th, in his hospice room."  In his original message to the late artist's fans, he thanked those who in 2014 had rallied their financial support and helped save Blowfly from losing his house and by so doing "kept his last days comfortable." He also noted how Blowfly had been making one final album ("his best album since the early 80s") that he called "a fitting epitaph for one of the great performers of all time." Entitled 77 Rusty Trombones, it is scheduled to be released next month and will be the artist's follow-up to 2012's Black In The Sack.

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Amoeba's Favorite David Bowie Albums

Posted by Billy Gil, January 11, 2016 06:50pm | Post a Comment

David Bowie

There are few artists who unite music fans like David Bowie does. News of his passing hit us hard at Amoeba. As we're all still reeling and grieving the loss of this immeasurably influential and beloved artist, we've been sharing stories with each other about the first time we heard Bowie, and what his music and persona meant to us each individually. We've compiled anecdotes from some of the Amoeba staff about our favorite Bowie albums, and we hope you'll share with us your Bowie memories in the comments.

KAREN: It is nearly impossible to pick a "favorite" bowie record. He has always been in my life, and each new record would make me stop and listen. 
 
When i first took notice, it was probably the Hunky Dory record. I had seen his name and the albums in the record store before: Space Oddity, The Man Who Sold the World. I was 10 years old and already haunted record stores almost daily. That record was one in my collection amongst The Jackson 5's ABC, Simon & Garfunkel's Sounds of Silence, Marvin Gaye's What's Going On, Cat Stevens' Tea for the Tillerman, Rod Stewart's Gasoline Alley, Badfinger's Straight Up, The Beatles, Elton John, Aretha, The Who, Velvet Underground. He was part of the wallpaper of images and sounds that I was gobbling up voraciously. Exploring all of it.
 
But I would have to say Ziggy Stardust was the one that got me. I already felt like an outsider. I didn't know yet that we ALL did. And he spoke to that part of us. He gave that unique, creative, brave spirit inside of us a voice. A deep voice. A fearless, shocking, exhilarating, comforting voice.

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