Friday, 30 November 2012



Photo by will.the.brain

Friday, 16 November 2012

All You Need is Cash

I can remember when this first aired in the States, and I bought the soundtrack album and listened to it heavily for a number of years. I rented it on DVD recently and nearly wet myself, I was laughing so hard. It's top-notch satire, but what really makes this amazing (as I've ranted previously) is Neil Innes' brilliantly observed songs, each of which incorporates elements from several different Beatles songs.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Evening Star

Today ended with one of the most beautiful autumn evenings I can ever recall in London, and the colours of the sunset, as well as the feelings they inspired, took me back to this wondrous album.

Scenes from London life


Monday, 12 November 2012

Riding with Neil

Neil Young is 67 today. There are few people as cool, in my book, and I struggle to think of many who have brought me as much enjoyment through their music.

Back in ancient times, there was a guy named Larry whose parents lived across the park from my house in East Memphis. He was a couple of years older than me, and I didn't really know him when we were kids, though I did have a crush on his younger sister at the time. Years later, when my buddy, Mark Edwards, and I were trying to start our first band, we "auditioned" (a pompous and misleading term, given that typically it felt like we were trying to woo people to join in our tuneless racket-making) Larry as a drummer. I had seen him at some sort of university party with another band, and he was a decent drummer, plus he was a funny guy and seemed to know how to have a good time.

Anyway, invariably our rehearsals in those days were short on musical content and long on drinking and talking. Larry regaled us with tales of his job as a room service waiter at the Hilton in East Memphis. He seemed to have met all sorts of rock stars in the course of his work, and it must have been a real shock to knock on the door of room 515, or whatever, only to discover Pete Townshend on the other side. But he seemed to be pretty cool about it all. Maybe it was all made up, who knows, and who cares?

The best one I remember was when he knocked on a door and was greeted by a very bored Neil Young, who bribed him to take him out in his car to buy a six pack of beer and drive him around Memphis for a couple of hours, talking and listening to the radio as Neil smoked the occasional "left-handed cigarette."

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

More from the Panther vaults

I've never seen this gem before, but thanks to the miracle of YouTube, here we witness Lorette Velvette, Giovanna Pizzorno, and George Reinecke, tooling around in Tav Falco's signature 1965 Thunderbird through some of Memphis' most scenic streetscapes, and into the wilds of Mississippi along Highway 61, before encountering the man himself, to the band's cover of Z.Z. Hill's classic "Shade Tree Mechanic." I think this was 1988/89, because I remember missing a party at which I believe this may have had its premier, as I was living in Japan at the time. But it was a long time ago, and I could be wrong.


Panther Burns, 1979

I wish there were more footage from this era on the web. This would be about six months to a year before I first saw them play, but this is very much the way I remember them sounding, apart from the fact that Alex and Ross seem much more coherent and sober in this footage. I don't recognize the venue, but through the murky light I think I recognize a few young faces as being familiar. Also noteworthy is that the band was still known as "Panther Burn" at this point.



Tuesday, 6 November 2012


Apparently there is something happening in the political arena Stateside today. If only a cigar-smoking chimp and alcoholic, snake-handling rock-star were actually involved...