Monday, May 18, 2009

Happy Monday.  A few notes before heading down the highway to Boston for the week.  

Heard from John Fry at Ardent.  The Big Star box set is slated for a September 15th release.  Details as they become available.

Larry (blogger) raised a few points in a reply to one of my recent posts.  (He agreed with me – and Alex – about that the Radio City lyrics are effective at creating an overall impression or vibe for each song.  You don't need to break them down line by line.)  When I played with Alex in 1981 we were doing at soundcheck at the Mudd Club and I heard guitarist Jim Duckworth call Alex "Butch".  I quizzed Jim about it and he said, "Yeah, that's Alex's nickname."  So for 28 years I thought that I had cracked some secret code to the lyrics to September Gurls ("I was your Butch, you were touched").  Even had a little part about it in the book.  Then I asked Alex, John Fry, and Jody Stephens about it and no one could remember Alex ever being called Butch.  So the mystery remains...

As far as The Blue Reimondos and Peter LaBonne (in the book)...I've got it in mind to do a long piece about him soon and post a few mp3s once I figure that out.  One of the most wildly talented musicians I've ever heard anywhere, he's so far off the grid (he lives in a cabin in a remote part of the Adirondacks - mostly recording for his own amusement / edification and a few lucky friends) he gives a whole new meaning to the term "outsider".   He can be heard on the New Orleans sessions Richard Hell did in the 1980s with Zig Modeliste (fantastic guitar solo on The Hunter Was Drowned)  and his only solo disc: Meditation Garden (on Travis Chandler's Sonic Trout label).   (Yours truly did the cover art – it's a good collection of some of Pete's more recent low-fi cabin recordings.  He plays all the instruments.  His thing is so unique it'd be almost possible for him to record with other musicians at this point.)  

Keep those cards a letters coming.  

6 comments:

Debbie said...

I just finished the book - great job Bruce!

fmills3 said...

Hi Bruce, awesome blog, and great book. We have some additional info today about the box set at Blurt: http://blurt-online.com/news/view/2303/

Mark said...

I wonder if Butch was a nickname that Dickinson gave to Alex after hearing September Gurls...and perhaps Alex just selectively chose not to remember that detail. ;)

yarn said...

Hey Bruce. Really superb job with the book. I've read 9 or 10 in the 33 1/3 series now, and can't say I've loved them all. Several have actually dampened the experience of listening to the music, as they can be quite analytic, picking apart notes and lyrics with an almost forensic intensity. Not so with "Radio City." By giving the artists and technicians a chance to air their side of the story, your book presents a much more refreshing, user-friendly take on the making of this incredible album. A question about the blog: do you think it might be possible to post some more photos here? I noticed they printed rather dark in the copy of the book I purchased. Many thanks for a great read.

Percy said...

Bruce, you have written the best book on Big Star to date. Truly excellent. I agree with the lyrics being impressionist. It is how they sound rather than what they mean or don't mean. Radio City is like REM's Murmur in that respect.

A small issue but the book could be improved by correcting some of the spelling/editing errors. For instance is Alex's brother "Reed" or "Reid" and the reference should be to "Lawson" not "Looson".

sam said...

Bruce,
Just a quick note to let you know how much I enjoyed the book. You really nailed it. I found this album in my early 20's(which I think you know)and can vividly remember listening to it waking up one day in my then girlfriend's Boston University dorm room and feeling that I had been let in on a very deep secret. I remember her and her friends didn't get it at all, but it hit me as so right, I got on the phone and called Bill(yes, that Bill) and screamed how this was the greatest album I'd ever heard and he was a genius for turning me on to it. No albums had ever done that to me before, or since. And your writing is the first I've ever seen that so accurately encapsulates those feelings.

Congratulations on your achievement.

Sam