Back From Chicago

Back From Chicago
Brian Blows Windy City Style
Here's as good a place to begin as any. The Rolling Stones have always been my favorite band, I suppose I first became aware of them circa 1965. The Last Time, Satisfaction, Get Off Of My Cloud, Mothers Little Helper, 19th Nervous Breakdown and yes, not neglecting the bands stereotype busting classics such as Tell Me, As Tears Go By, Play With Fire, et. al. just blanketed the AM airwaves in the New York City area during that first rush of the British Invasion. And nothing cut through on a tinny tiny portable like the massive fuzz & stomp of a classic Stones 45. Sure, Dave Clark Five, Kinks & Yardbirds were always welcome additions to any playlist, but the snarling bad-assery of most any of the aforementioned Stones classics registered with these pre-pubescent ears like nothing else. There was no wavering or dilly-dallying in those days regarding the Stones, either you were, or weren't on board. As might be expected, Beatles fans hailed predominantly, and respectively, from the bryll-creamed and crinolined set, whereas we Stones fans were definitely aspirant teenage hoods and molls. Even if we were 4, 5 or more years away from actually being teenagers.

Of course a large measure of the bands impact during the era was visual, nobody else was even close in this regard.

This, in large measure, will be a primary focus of these postings. Namely, to present photos, and presumably music, from the sixties, and, as opportunity and/or necessity dictates, other era's, documenting the timeless cool, mysterious aura's & shattering impact that genuine Rock & Roll can impart.

As regards this stunning Stones photo, I'm guessing it has to be late 1964, back in the UK (or Europe?) from the first US tour. Note Brians jacket. I wouldn't doubt that he'd sport a leather jacket any time of year, but something about this pic suggests Autumn '64 to me. Where's the video for this performance? It's really quite distressing to think of how much of sixties television has been lost, though new discoveries seem to pop up daily. Newly discovered Stones footage has been somewhat scarce of late, though I certainly am guardedly optimistic that much more exists than currently circulates. Wouldn't this be a killer to see on You Tube, maybe they're miming to "Mona" ! Though I certainly wouldn't complain if it proved to be "Not Fade Away".

Well, this somewhat primitive posting will have to do for now, as I hopefully get the hang of this & find the time, more will surely follow. So if you dig the best of sixties (& surely some seventies) rock, garage, beat & ancillary mayhem stay tuned. I'll attempt to present images, observations, & whatever else comes to mind here at HIDEOUT66.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Velvet Underground with new lead singer

Here's a pic of an unusual lineup of the Velvet Underground. Certainly the band went through a number of personnel changes over the course of their 5 or so year career. But this rare photo captures them in performance with little known lead vocalist Mort Flornt. Mort's career with the band has been little documented outside of this one rare performance pic, I believe the song being performed is the lost VU classic "Never Become Emotionally Involved With Man, Woman, Beast Or Child". Rumours of surviving tapes of this gig have circulated for years, however it is widely believed that one note wrenched from Lou's insanely "got at" Country Gentleman was enough to destroy any tape deck or microphone within a five block radius. According to an account reportedly redacted from an initial draft of Sedition & Alchemy it appears that Mort was forced out of the band after failing to euthanize a potted ficus by screaming at it over a span of not less than a lost weekend.

Monday, November 16, 2009

1,000,000 Records In A Room

OK, well, a hall. Or several...The Congress Centrum in Utrecht, Netherlands to be specific. Having attended record fairs, shows, conventions, flea markets, etc... for 30+ years, I can say with certainty that there is nothing on this record planet to compare with the bi-annual events held at the Jaarbeurs center in Utrecht each spring & fall for the past 15 or so years. It's really beyond overwhelming just how much stuff appears twice yearly in this pleasant university town. Hundreds of tables crammed full of just about everything under the European drizzle, which is pretty much guaranteed to be the meteorolgical case this time of year. Not a problem, wouldn't want any punters to be tempted to pass on this event by wandering 'round the canals, cafe's & other sundry attractions owing to the rare appearance of a ray of errant sunshine.

The main thrust of items on offer is understandably of European origin, though dealers from South America, Japan, Africa (!), Canadia & varied Antipodes are sure to be in attendance. US dealers though are generally noticeable by their absence. Which is not tough to fathom, shipping costs & logistics attendant to transiting crate after crate of weighty vinyl makes for fraught prospects for profitable dealing. And make no mistake, this is a vinyl-centric event. This said, some are always in attendance, a triumph of optimism over experience more often than not.

Unless one brings the right stuff, which, as ever, is the universal trick. I'll be attending the fair this weekend, bringing a couple hundred 45's of the sort that rarely appear at this event. Mostly US pressings of garage, classic 60's, promo's, test pressings, 70's punk & a handful of items defying easy categorization. Plus a few LP's, of the mono variety whenever possible, and some paper goods, mags, tour programs, etc... Basically, anything lurking about that is well past any conceivable play by date that I could envision ( as in, has it been on the turntable in the last 15 years?) that I can bear to part with, wasn't snatched up at the WFMU event a couple of weeks back, will fit in my luggage & carry-on allowance, and can hopefully be sold for a reasonable price.

A bit of effort for a less than guaranteed return may appear a curious gambit, but the backstory tells the real tale. For there are still finds to be found, be certain of this! Of the more than a handful of deadly worldwide sides acquired over the years, a notable share were scored at various UK/European events. Including plenty of US pressings, we all know the tales of ravished stateside shops, jukebox wholesalers, defunct distributors, etc... that were cleaned out in the seventies and eighties by European dealers. Ever wonder why 90% of Rockabilly comps were of European origin? Hint: it's because they had the records!! In the good old days of the mid eighties when I first began attending these shows it wouldn't be unusual to discover soul specialists dumping garage, mainstream dealers literally giving away UK freakbeat, R&B, Mod, psych , euro-beat, etc...45's, classic mono 60's LP's selling in the single figures, and most assuredly not to forget the vinyl collections being dumped wholesale 'cos anyone could see that CD's were the future. Perfect sound forever and all that. And I'd be remiss to neglect mentioning the scads of ultra obscure seventies/eighties punk / DIY literally (and make no mistake, figuratively) turning up for pfennigs, kroner, francs, and so on.

Certain of which could be re-sold for a tidy return, or at least enough to underwrite the next junket.

So even as the golden discoveries of yore have surely, for the most part, entered the realm of fondly recalled nostalgia, one never knows. Being innit to winnit, and such still holds.

Lastly, it is somehow refreshing to attend an event that engages the collective collecting juices to the degree that Utrecht does. Anyone who has ever been to a record fair knows the sort of aberrant cross-sections of society they tend to attract. Well, in this regard Utrecht takes second place to no like focused event I've ever attended. Add to this the fact that simultaneously, in the same complex, there are comic book, coin, philately, movie poster, toy, beer stein, moor lamp, used shoe, you name it, collectors/dealers all in attendance, and the crazed sweep of this conclave resonates far beyond the walls of the hall, evidenced in the mad cackles of frenzied commerce, the despondent glazed glare of the thwarted enthusiast who just missed scoring the find of a lifetime, the labored grimaces of all too many of the attendees, the fevered outpourings of greed, lust, envy, delight & varied sentiments I will not attempt to categorize. All of which combine to raise a smile on my jaded mug, knowing that, whatever my personal afflictions regarding this sort of thing may be, amongst this ever shifting mass of passionately engaged societal outliers I am amongst my own . Or at least a few of 'em...

This link provides a much more detailed sense of the event. If one ever has the chance, and is inclined towards this sort of thing,it is certainly possible to do worse than to pencil in a pilgrimage to Utrecht before becoming at one with dust.

Keith Don't Go

Whew, that was a close one, almost lost our guy!

Here's the complete pic, I can hardly believe how cool they were circa 1964.