Amoeblog

Rock’n’Roll Pioneer Fats Domino Dead At Age 89

Posted by Billyjam, October 25, 2017 01:23pm | Post a Comment
Album cover of Live In Austin, TX LP (also on CD) issue by Fats Domino who died today at age 89.

Today it was announced that Antoine Dominique Domino Jr., aka American music icon Fats Domino, has died at age 89. The influential  rhythm-and-blues (R&B) vocal powerhouse / boogie-woogie piano player and rock’n’roll pioneer was responsible for literally dozens of timeless hit singles from over half a century ago such as "Ain't That a Shame," “Blueberry Hill,” “I Hear You Knocking,” “The Fat Man,” “I’m Walkin’,” “Whole Lotta Lovin,” “I’m Ready,” “Blue Monday” and “Walkin’ to New Orleans.” The New Orleans, Louisiana born and perennially proud native, who grew up in the Big Easy’s Ninth Ward and always lived in N.O.  (famously refusing to leave his home during Hurricane Katrina in 2005), died at his latter era Louisiana home located just seven miles outside New Orleans, according to a statement by his brother-in-law Reggie Hall who was his former road manager. So far no exact cause of death has been announced.

Proudly rotund, “Fats” was long known for being an upbeat happy music loving character and the life of the  party whenever he played in clubs, beginning in his teens. From age ten Fats Domino was drawn to the piano, an instrument that he mostly self-taught himself to play to accompany his powerful singing voice. His boogie-woogie styled playing and commanding soulful head-nodding singing, that was often sprinkled with words he’d make up, led to him landing a record deal at age 21 with Imperial Records. His first big hit for that label was “The Fat Man” (also his nick name) recorded in 1949 and becoming a hit two years later. That track, like many of his later hits, was technically a "rhythm and blues" song. However this African American created music would soon after morph into and/or be considered “rock’n’roll.” That was back in a racially segregated era (both societal and music chart wise) when R&B music was adapted and revised for white audiences to become rock'n'roll. Routinely black artists’ music would be covered by white artists to be marketed with a white face to a mainstream audience. A prime example was Fats Domino’s “Ain’t That a Shame” (aka “Ain’t It a Shame”) that comparatively soul-less white singer Pat Boone would cover and score a number one pop hit with. Over time Fats Domino would get the mainstream exposure and acceptance that he deserved, ultimately leaving a legacy unmatched by anyone else.

Continue reading...

Four Decades Later, KISS Still Rules

Posted by Billyjam, June 24, 2014 09:58am | Post a Comment
KISS on the streets of New York City: June 24th, 1976

Above is a classic KISS photo shot on the streets of New York City exactly 38 years ago to the day (June 24th, 1976) when the hard rock band were still in their relative infancy - having formed only three years earlier in January 1973 out of the ashes of the NYC group Wicked Lester that was co-founded by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. Fast forward on four decades to just last night, June 23rd, 2014 (see video below shot by KISSonline's Keith Leroux) when KISS kicked off their 2014 summer, 40-date tour in Salt Lake City, Utah and performed, among other fan favorites, their amazing "King of the Night Time World" which opened their headlining set. The intense nine-week cross-country tour, on which Def Leppard are joining them as opening co-headliners, is already mostly sold out and proves that KISS - even four decades (technically 41 and a half years) later - still command a loyal large following. The SLC show reportedly delivered what KISS fans have come to expect from their cult heroes - loud rock'n'roll from the cartooned costumed KISS members with lots of stimulating grand scale visual effects accompanying such hits as "Shout It Out Loud" off their 1976 album Destroyer. The tour, which finishes in Texas on August 31st, will be rolling through California for several dates/locations in the beginning of July including July 3rd in Wheatland, July 5th at Irvine Meadows, July 6th at Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Chula Vista, and July 8th at The Forum in LA.  In the meantime check out KISS' impressive five page, back-catalog online at the Amoeba store.

Continue reading...

Red Bull Sound Select Interviews: Isaac Rother & The Phantoms

Posted by Billy Gil, February 12, 2014 10:02am | Post a Comment

Opening the Red Bull Sound Select show presented by Amoeba Feb. 27 at The Echoplex will be Isaac Rother & The Phantoms. The band plays a wicked rock 'n' roll inspired by classic blues, classic horror films and novelty monster songs—think "Monster Mash" and "Purple People Eater." Rother plays the star on his album The Unspeakable Horror of..., playing The Phantom, who leads his band through a howling set of Bo Diddley-style blues riffs, surf-rock touches and growling vocals.

The band plays with FIDLAR, the newly announced Cheatahs and Cherry Glazerr at the show. It's $3 with RSVP and $12 without. Doors are at 8 p.m. Check back here this week for interviews with FIDLAR and Cherry Glazerr!

We caught up with Isaac Rother as he moved his project from Olympia, Wash. to right here in Los Angeles with a new lineup.

Most L.A. people are new to your band. What should we expect from an Isaac Rother & the Phantoms show? Or do you prefer people to leave expectations at the door?

Rother: Expect the majestic spell of rock 'n' roll to be cast over thine body. Expect to be transported to a higher plane of existence where one can truly be free to experience the everlasting moment that is now. I want everyone who sees The Phantoms to be uplifted and inspired by the music because that’s what music does for me. Expect to be entertained and expect to have a good time. 

Continue reading...

Joel Selvin Talks About "Peppermint Twist" Book That Links The Mob With The Twist

Posted by Billyjam, October 18, 2012 11:50am | Post a Comment
      

To be published next month Peppermint Twist: The Mob, the Music, and the Most Famous Dance Club of the '60s, which links the mob to the famous sixties New York nightclub the Peppermint Lounge and the national dance craze that it fueled, is billed as "A bold new book that takes readers behind the scenes at the world's most famous rock and roll club in the Swingin' 60's" and "Tells the story of the gangster who secretly owned the club, Johnny Biello" back in a time period "when mobsters still ruled New York." 

The book, which is co-written by Joel Selvin and John Johnson Jr. who  got the inside story from Biello's son-in-law Dick Cami, covers a lot of history (and near history) such as "the night the Boston Mob almost put a hit on Ringo the night the Beatles came to the Peppermint Lounge." Almost? So what exactly happened? Rather than wait for when the book is published by Thomas Dunne Books on November 13th this week I reached out to co-author Joel Selvin (who was the chief pop music writer at the San Francisco Chronicle for many years) to ask him about this and other new facts unveiled in this new book.

Continue reading...

"Baby Please Don't Go" Has Remained Popular with Artists Over the 75 Years Since It Was Written By Big Joe Williams

Posted by Billyjam, May 27, 2010 06:51am | Post a Comment
Big Joe Williams "Baby Please Don't Go"

Written, recorded, and released back in 1935 by the great delta blues musician and songwriter Big Joe Williams, the sBig Joe Williamsong "Baby Please Don't Go" has been popular with countless artists in the seventy five years since, having been covered by dozens upon dozens of different musicians to the point that it ranks among the top ten most recorded blues songs in music's history. 

Perhaps the most famous or recognizable cover version of "Baby Please Don't Go" is the 1964 recording/release by Them -- the Belfast, Northern Ireland blues-rock ensemble featuring Van Morrison. Them's cover (with "Gloria" on the B side), which was a top ten single in the UK in 1965 and a US AOR radio staple in consequent years, injected a whole rock n roll energy into the classic blues song. 

themSo influential was Van & co's version that nearly all of the versions of the song recorded or just played after 1965 (including by fellow Irish blues-rockers Taste featuring Rory Gallagher) are rock inflected covers a la Them rather than the original blues version by Williams. Another Irish rocker to cover the song was guitarist / vocalist Eric Bell, who was an original member of Thin Lizzy. 

Continue reading...