Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Summer's Gone: Bruce Brown RIP

I seem to recall that when British television was making the big switch to colour, Brown's film was shown repeatedly as an example of great colour cinematography. However, it's not just the visuals that stuck in my mind, but the disarmingly engaging narration. Great film.

Bruce Brown, 80, Dies; His ‘Endless Summer’ Documented Surfing

Richard Sandomir
The New York Times
12 December 2017

Bruce Brown, whose documentary “The Endless Summer,” which followed two surfers on an epic adventure in pursuit of the perfect wave, became an unlikely hit when it was released nationally in 1966, died on Sunday in Santa Barbara, Calif. He was 80.

His son Dana said the cause was probably heart failure.

Mr. Brown had been making surfing films — mainly for his fellow surfers — since the late 1950s. But as he contemplated making “The Endless Summer,” he had a bigger mission: to change the way surfers had been depicted in popular culture.

He had been surfing since age 11 and believed that surfers were not beach bums or losers.

With a budget of $50,000, he set out in 1963 with two Southern California surfers, Robert August and Mike Hynson, and a Bolex 16-millimeter camera for Senegal, Ghana, South Africa, Australia, Tahiti, New Zealand and Hawaii, following the surf over several months as if summer would never end.The Endless Summer - Trailer Video by Cinedigm

“The title was just a pipe dream,” Mr. Brown told the website of Dusters California, a skateboard maker, in 2014. “Gosh, if you’d travel around the world, at the right speed, you’d be in the middle of summer 365 days a year.”

The movie was completed in 1964, but at first Mr. Brown could not find a distributor willing to believe that a surfing documentary could appeal to people living outside the East and West Coasts of the United States.

He knew audiences liked the film, though, from the response he had received when he took it on tour — showing it in school auditoriums and at other venues, where he narrated it and played surf music records as accompaniment.

He tried other strategies to prove the film’s broad merit. In February 1966, he rented the Sunset Theater in Wichita, Kan., for two weeks and audiences came in droves. But he still lacked a distributor. That June, he borrowed $50,000 to blow up the print from 16 to 35 millimeters, rent the Kips Bay Theater on the East Side of Manhattan, and promote it.

“I put everything on the line,” he told The Los Angeles Times in 1991. “If it wouldn’t have worked, it would have been the ballgame.”

It worked. The film’s success there led to a distribution deal with Cinema V later that year.

In completed form, “The Endless Summer” had a musical soundtrack from the Sandals, a surf-rock band, and an amiable narration by Mr. Brown. (Some critics, he said, felt he sounded like Howdy Doody.) It reportedly grossed $30 million worldwide, according to “The Encyclopedia of Surfing” (2005).

Critics like Pauline Kael of The New Yorker and Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times praised it.

In his review, Mr. Ebert called it a “completely uncomplicated film, fresh and natural, designed only to please.” And, he said, “It does.”

Matt Warshaw, the author of “The Encyclopedia of Surfing,” said “The Endless Summer” was transformative.

“What Bruce did, and what nobody has done since, was to square the circle,” Mr. Warshaw said in a telephone interview. “He was able to present surfing as it really is, to non-surfers.
The poster for “The Endless Summer,” designed by John Van Hamersveld

“Up to that point, surfers had gotten media they were happy with, like Bruce’s early movies and John Severson’s Surfer magazine. But surfers weren’t happy with how we looked in ‘Beach Blanket Bingo’ or how we sounded in the dopier surf songs.”

Bruce Alan Brown was born in San Francisco on Dec. 1, 1937, and moved with his family to Long Beach, in Southern California, shortly after World War II. His father, Dana, owned a small chain of toy stores; his mother, Myrna, was a schoolteacher.

He took an interest in surfing early on, and it developed into a passion; for two of his teenage years, he never missed a day on the waves, rain or shine. After high school, he served aboard a Navy submarine for two years and made eight-millimeter surfing movies of Hawaii in his free time while he was stationed in Pearl Harbor.

Mr. Brown enrolled at Long Beach City College on his return but, his son said, lasted there only a week or two. In 1958 he became a lifeguard in San Clemente and worked in a surf shop owned by the surfboard manufacturer Dale Velzy. Mr. Velzy showed the home movies Mr. Brown had made, charging 25 cents a ticket.

“We spent the summer negotiating about making a ‘real’ surf film,” Mr. Brown told Surfer magazine this year. “He’d pay for it and I would make it. Eventually, Velzy put up $5,000, which was to include, among other things, camera equipment, 50 rolls of film, six plane tickets to Hawaii and my living expenses until the film was completed.”

Mr. Brown rounded up several surfers for the filming. On the flight to Hawaii, he read a how-to book on moviemaking.

What resulted was “Slippery When Wet” (1958), which he followed with “Surf Crazy” (1959) and four other full-length documentaries before he directed “The Endless Summer.” He rented out theaters and high school auditoriums to show them. His wife took the tickets. As he would later do with “The Endless Summer,” he provided narration.

Mr. Brown pursued another personal interest, dirt bikes, when he made the motorcycle racing documentary “On Any Sunday” (1971). Featuring Steve McQueen, whose company produced it, “On Any Sunday” was nominated for a 1972 Academy Award for best feature documentary. (It lost to “The Hellstrom Chronicle.”)

In his review in The New York Times, Vincent Canby said that after “On Any Sunday” and “The Endless Summer,” Mr. Brown was in line to become “the unofficial poet of the sports world.” He added, “By putting his cameras on the cycles, Brown achieves audience-participation effects with speed that amounts to marvelous delirium.”

Mr. Brown returned to surfing for his final film, “The Endless Summer 2” (1994). In its review, Variety said that with a bigger budget than the original, it had more “spectacular scenery and a most impressive technical and visual sheen,” but added, “The narration is not as diverting and tongue-in-cheek as that of the first film.”

In addition to his son, who wrote and directed a sequel to “On Any Sunday” in 2014, Mr. Brown is survived by his daughter, Nancie Brown; another son, Wade; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. His wife, the former Patricia Hunter, died in 2006.

With enough money from his filmmaking and investments, Mr. Brown did not work after making “The Endless Summer 2.” He pursued hobbies like target shooting, collecting old cars and racing rally cars.

And he continued surfing until about nine years ago, when he injured a shoulder.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

The Beach Boys: 1967 - Sunshine Tomorrow 2 and Live Sunshine

Image result for sunshine tomorrow 2

Beach Boys Unearth Rare Studio, Live Tracks for New 'Sunshine' Sets
'1967 – Sunshine Tomorrow 2: The Studio Sessions' features 29 studio session recordings; 'Live Sunshine – 1967' includes 109 live recordings

Ryan Reed
Rolling Stone
8 December 2017

The Beach Boys unearthed more archival material, including dozens of previously unreleased songs, with their two new retrospective sets, 1967 – Sunshine Tomorrow 2: The Studio Sessions and Live Sunshine – 1967. The digital audio collections, available to purchase or stream now, follow the June-issued double-LP, 1967 – Sunshine Tomorrow.

All three of the releases document the group's pivotal post-Pet Sounds period – including sessions for Smiley Smile and Wild Honey, the two 1967 albums they recorded after shelving the famously ambitious SMiLE LP.1967 – Sunshine Tomorrow 2: The Studio Sessions includes 29 studio session recordings, and Live Sunshine – 1967 features 109 live recordings, most of which are previously unreleased.

Highlights from the Studio Sessions set include an a cappella version of "Heroes and Villains," the previously unreleased "Tune L" and outtake "Good News." The live set includes recordings from Hawaii, Detroit, Washington D.C.; White Plains, New York; Pittsburgh and Boston.

The Beach Boys oversaw the creative process for all three collections, which Mark Linett and Alan Boyd co-produced. 1967 – Sunshine Tomorrow included Linett and Boyd's first-ever stereo mix of Wild Honey; the previously unreleased "live" album Lei'd in Hawaii, studio recordings from the Wild Honey and Smiley Smile sessions and concert recordings spanning 1967 to 1970.

The Beach Boys: 1967 – Sunshine Tomorrow 2: The Studio SessionsTrack List

All tracks previously unreleased

1. "Heroes And Villains" - A Cappella
2. "Vegetables" - Track And Background Vocals
3. "She's Going Bald" - Track And Background Vocals
4. "Little Pad" - A Cappella
5. "With Me Tonight" - Session Highlight
6. "Wind Chimes" - Track And Background Vocals
7. "Gettin’ Hungry" - Track And Background Vocals
8. "Whistle In" - Track And Background Vocals
9. "Aren't You Glad - Stereo Single Mix
10. "I Was Made To Love Her" - Track And Background Vocals
11. "Country Air" - Track And Background Vocals
12. "Darlin’" - Track And Background Vocals
13. "I'd Love Just Once To See You" - Track And Background Vocals
14. "Here Comes The Night" - A Cappella
15. "Let The Wind Blow" - A Cappella
16. "How She Boogalooed It" - Track And Stereo Last Verse
17. "Lonely Days" - Session Highlight And Track
18. "Time To Get Alone" - Backing Track
19. "Cool Cool Water" - Alternate Mix
20. "Can't Wait Too Long" - Alternative Mix With Tag
21. "Tune L - Session" - Unreleased
22. "Good News" - Outtake
23. "Surfin' - Lei'd In Hawaii / Studio Backing Track
24. "Heroes And Villains" - Lei'd In Hawaii / Studio Version
25. "With A Little Help From My Friends" - Session Highlight And Track With Background Vocals
26. "Barbara Ann" - Lei'd In Hawaii / Studio Backing Track
27. "California Girls" - Lei'd In Hawaii / Studio Stereo Mix
28. "God Only Knows - Lei'd In Hawaii / Studio Stereo Mix
29. "Surfer Girl" - Lei'd In Hawaii / Studio Stereo Mix - Alternate Take

The Beach Boys – Live Sunshine – 1967 Track List

* = track previously released on 1967 – Sunshine Tomorrow / all other tracks previously unreleased

1. "Heroes And Villains" - Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
2. "God Only Knows" - Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
3. "Good Vibrations" - Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
4. "The Letter" - Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
5. "You're So Good To Me" - Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
6. "Hawaii - Rehearsal" / Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
7. "All Day All Night" - Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
8. "California Girls" - Rehearsal Take 1 / Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
9. "Surfin'" - Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
10. "Sloop John B" - Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
11. "Wouldn't It Be Nice" - Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
12. "California Girls" - Rehearsal Take 2 / Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
13. "The Letter" - Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
14. "Hawaii" - Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
15. "You're So Good To Me" - Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
16. "Surfer Girl" - Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
17. "Surfin'" - Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
18. "Gettin’ Hungry" - Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
19. "Sloop John B" - Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
20. "California Girls" - Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
21. "Wouldn't It Be Nice" - Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
22. "Heroes And Villains" - Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
23. "God Only Knows" - Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
24. "Good Vibrations" - Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
25. "Barbara Ann" - Live In Hawaii / 8/25/67
26. "The Letter" - Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
27. "Hawaii" - Rehearsal" / Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67 [new edit & mix]
28. "You're So Good To Me" - Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
29. "God Only Knows" - Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
30. "Help Me Rhonda" - Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
31. "California Girls" - Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
32. "Good Vibrations" - Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
33. "Heroes And Villains" - Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67 [new edit & mix]
34. "Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring" - Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
35. "The Lord's Prayer" - Rehearsal / Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
36. "Hawthorne Boulevard" - Instrumental / Live in Honolulu / 1967 *
37. "Hawaii" - Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
38. "You're So Good To Me" - Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
39. "Help Me Rhonda" - Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
40. "California Girls" - Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
41. "Wouldn't It Be Nice" - Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
42. "Gettin’ Hungry" - Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67 [new edit & mix]
43. "Surfer Girl" - Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
44. "Surfin'" - Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67 [new edit & mix]
45. "Sloop John B" - Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
46. "The Letter" - Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67 [new edit & mix]
47. "God Only Knows" - Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
48. "Good Vibrations" - Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
49. "Heroes And Villains" - Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
50. "Barbara Ann" - Live In Hawaii / 8/26/67
51. "Barbara Ann" - Live In Detroit / 11/17/67
52. "Darlin'" - Live In Detroit / 11/17/67
53. "Country Air" - Live In Detroit / 11/17/67 *
54. "I Get Around" - Live In Detroit / 11/17/67
55. "How She Boogalooed It" - Live In Detroit / 11/17/67 *
56. "Wouldn't It Be Nice" - Live In Detroit / 11/17/67
57. "God Only Knows" - Live In Detroit / 11/17/67
58. "California Girls" - Live In Detroit / 11/17/67
59. "Wild Honey" - Live In Detroit / 11/17/67 *
60. "Graduation Day" - Live In Detroit / 11/17/67
61. "Good Vibrations" - Live In Detroit / 11/17/67
62. "Johnny B. Goode" - Live In Detroit / 11/17/67
63. "Barbara Ann" - Live In Washington, D.C. / 11/19/67
64. "Darlin'" - Live In Washington, D.C. / 11/19/67
65. "I Get Around" - Live In Washington, D.C. / 11/19/67
66. "Surfer Girl" - Live In Washington, D.C. / 11/19/67
67. "Wouldn't It Be Nice" - Live In Washington, D.C. / 11/19/67
68. "God Only Knows" - Live In Washington, D.C. / 11/19/67
69. "California Girls" - Live In Washington, D.C. / 11/19/67 *
70. "Wild Honey" - Live In Washington, D.C. / 11/19/67
71. "Good Vibrations" - Live In Washington, D.C. / 11/19/67
72. "Graduation Day" - Live In Washington, D.C. / 11/19/67 *
73. "Johnny B. Goode" - Live In Washington, D.C. / 11/19/67
74. "Help Me Rhonda" - Live In White Plains, NY / 11/21/67
75. "Barbara Ann" - Live In White Plains, NY / 11/21/67
76. "Darlin'" - Live In White Plains, NY / 11/21/67
77. "Surfer Girl" - Live In White Plains, NY / 11/21/67
78. "Wouldn't It Be Nice" - Live In White Plains, NY / 11/21/67
79. "God Only Knows" - Live In White Plains, NY / 11/21/67
80. "California Girls" - Live In White Plains, NY / 11/21/67
81. "Wild Honey" - Live In White Plains, NY / 11/21/67
82. "Graduation Day" - Live In White Plains, NY / 11/21/67
83. "Good Vibrations" - Live In White Plains, NY / 11/21/67
84. "Help Me Rhonda" - Live In Pittsburgh / 11/22/67
85. "Barbara Ann" - Live In Pittsburgh / 11/22/67
86. "I Get Around" - Live In Pittsburgh / 11/22/67
87. "Darlin'" - Live In Pittsburgh / 11/22/67 *
88. "Surfer Girl" - Live In Pittsburgh / 11/22/67
89. "Wouldn't It Be Nice" - Live In Pittsburgh / 11/22/67
90. "God Only Knows" - Live In Pittsburgh / 11/22/67
91. "California Girls" - Live In Pittsburgh / 11/22/67
92. "Wild Honey" - Live In Pittsburgh / 11/22/67
93. "Good Vibrations" - Live In Pittsburgh / 11/22/67
94. "Johnny B. Goode" - Live In Pittsburgh / 11/22/67
95. "Graduation Day" - Live In Pittsburgh / 11/22/67
96. "Sloop John B" - Live In Pittsburgh / 11/22/67
97. "Help Me Rhonda" - Live In Boston / 11/23/67
98. "Barbara Ann" - Live In Boston / 11/23/67
99. "Darlin'" - Live In Boston / 11/23/67
100. "Surfer Girl" - Live In Boston / 11/23/67
101. "Wouldn't It Be Nice" - Live In Boston / 11/23/67
102. "God Only Knows" - Live In Boston / 11/23/67
103. "California Girls" - Live In Boston / 11/23/67
104. "Wild Honey" - Live In Boston / 11/23/67
105. "Good Vibrations" - Live In Boston / 11/23/67
106. "I Get Around" - Live In Boston / 11/23/67 *
107. "Sloop John B" - Live In Boston / 11/23/67
108. "Graduation Day" - Live In Boston / 11/23/67
109. "Johnny B. Goode" - Live In Boston / 11/23/67

Mark Linett discusses Sunshine Tomorrow 2and Live Sunshine

Related image
New Beach Boys digital releases round up 1967 live and studio recordings

Pop Culture Safari
8 December 2017

Last summer, the Beach Boys released the excellent 1967: Sunshine Tomorrow double-CD set, which included a gorgeous stereo re-mix of the Wild Honey album and related studio outtakes and live recordings.

Now comes the rest of 1967 via two digital collections. These releases follow in the band's tradition of making available recordings that would otherwise become public domain in Britain. Over there, artistic works become pubic domain after 50 years. That means, unless the artist reasserts rights over the materials, anyone is free to issue them and keep the profits. However, by "publishing" the recordings via official release this way, the Beach Boys/Capitol Records extend their copyrights over them for another 50 years. Plus, we get to hear it all!


Today, The Beach Boys release two new digital audio collections worldwide via Capitol/UMe, revealing much more of the legendary band's pivotal 1967 creative work in the studio and onstage. Following the acclaimed 2CD and digital 1967 – Sunshine Tomorrow collection released in June by Capitol//UMe, 1967 – Sunshine Tomorrow 2: The Studio Sessions presents 29 studio session recordings and Live Sunshine – 1967 features 109 live recordings, most of which are previously unreleased.

1967 – Sunshine Tomorrow, 1967 – Sunshine Tomorrow 2: The Studio Sessions, and Live Sunshine – 1967 dive deep into a fascinating and frenetic chapter in The Beach Boys' long, groundbreaking creative arc, exploring the band's dynamic year through their recordings. The Beach Boys have personally overseen the creative process for the three collections, which are produced by Mark Linnet and Alan Boyd. Pitchfork reviewer Jesse Jarnow praised 1967 – Sunshine Tomorrow as "remarkable," saying, "These recordings make it possible to hear The Beach Boys simultaneously as the moody pop geniuses of Pet Sounds and the fresh-faced surf-rockin' teens from Hawthorne, California."

1967 – Sunshine Tomorrow features Linett and Boyd's new, first-ever stereo mix of The Beach Boys' 1967 Wild Honey album and all three collections throw open the legendary band's vault to debut sought-after rarities, 50 years after they were put to tape. Previously unreleased highlights across the titles include The Beach Boys' shelved "live" album, Lei'd in Hawaii, studio recordings from the Wild Honey and Smiley Smile album sessions, and standout concert recordings spanning 1967 to 1970. Wild Honey's 2017 stereo mix is also available in a 180-gram vinyl 50th Anniversary Edition.

The Beach Boys' final studio session for the shelved SMiLE album took place on May 18, 1967, with Smiley Smile album sessions booked at Brian Wilson's new home studio from June 3 through the end of July. The band's 12th and 13th studio albums were released exactly three months apart to cap the year's studio efforts: Smiley Smile on September 18 followed by Wild Honey on December 18.
For the Smiley Smile sessions, "I wanted to have a home environment trip where we could record at my house," recalls Brian Wilson in the liner notes for 1967 – Sunshine Tomorrow. "I wanted to try something different, something new. I produced Smiley Smile, but Mike inspired me. He said 'Brian, let's make a really good, easygoing album'. We had an engineer convert my den into a studio. We had my piano detuned to make it ring more."

"Just prior to that, Brian had built up this production peak and then just completely reversed field, and (for Smiley Smile) did something so light and airy, and y' know, easy," explains Mike Love. "That was an underground album, I figure, for us. It was completely out of the mainstream of what was going on at that time, which was all hard rock, psychedelic music, and here we come with a song called 'Wind Chimes.' It just didn't have anything to do with what was going on – and that was the idea."

"Times were changing," adds Al Jardine. "We were happy to put our musical skills to work. We didn't have to look at the clock; there was virtually 24-hour availability to experiment."

"Take away their sorrow / Give them sunshine tomorrow"

On August 25 and 26, 1967, The Beach Boys (absent Bruce Johnston, but with Brian Wilson on organ for his first concert appearances with the band in more than two years) recorded two concerts and rehearsals inHonolulu for a prospective live album to be titled Lei'd In Hawaii, applying a new Smiley Smile-inspired aesthetic to the performances. Just over two weeks later, the band (with both Brian and Bruce participating) began re-recording the live set in-studio at Brian's house and at Wally Heider Recording in Hollywood, after the Honolulu concert tapes were deemed unusable. Although completed and mixed, the final planned audio element of a canned concert audience was not added and the Lei'd In Hawaii project was canceled. Those live, in-studio performances morphed into sessions for the Wild Honey album, primarily comprised of originalBrian Wilson/Mike Love compositions.

Two days after wrapping the Wild Honey sessions on November 15th, 1967, Mike Love, Carl and Dennis Wilson, Al Jardine, and Bruce Johnston returned to the road for The Beach Boys' Thanksgiving Tour, premiering several songs from the forthcoming album at their concerts.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Dead Poets Society #59

Image result for john keats

Ode To Autumn by John Keats

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Huck Pease RIP

Richard: Sad news from SF. Huck served me my first beer in the Saloon in 1992 and I’ve been back to see him every year since.

RIP Huck.

Photo: Annie Holland via The Saloon/Facebook

Huck Pease, Longtime Saloon Bartender, Has Passed Away

Joe Bonadio
Saturday 3 June 2017
by Joe Bonadio

Huck Pease, longtime bartender of The Saloon in North Beach, San Francisco's oldest bar, passed away on Friday, June 2nd of pancreatic cancer. He was 63 years old.

A native of New England, Pease moved to San Francisco in 1974, and began bartending at the Saloon in 1984. Well-known and loved in the neighborhood, he never failed to make a strong impression, on customers and coworkers alike.

Shane Sadoski, a fellow Saloon barkeep who began working with Pease nearly two decades ago, presided over a crowd at the bar on Friday afternoon as friends of Pease gathered to pay their respects.

Behind the bar, a makeshift shrine featured a photo of Pease taken at Yosemite just weeks before his death. Originally scheduled for August, the trip—one of Pease's final wishes—was moved up when his illness progressed more quickly than anticipated. Alongside the photo was a shot of the tequila that Pease so enjoyed.

"Huck's energy, that's what I'm going to remember. He was always bouncing to the music, constantly. He'd pour drinks to the music," Sadoski told us. "Huck loved to party, you know. His morning was 7 at night. He'd have a shot of Jose Cuervo right off the bat, sometimes even before hello!"

"He liked to put on the song 'Dreams' from the Allman Brothers to start the night." (Aptly, band leader Gregg Allman passed away just six days before Pease.)

Ethan Saint, who lives upstairs from The Saloon, has similar memories. "Huck just never seemed to get tired of it," he said. "It was like seeing a 22-year-old kid, fresh on the job."

A testament to the bartender's energy, Pease worked his last shift on May 6th, a Saturday night less than a month before his death.
The Saloon. | Photo Dan Deluca/Flickr

Brian Stoner, a Saloon regular who has known Pease since 1998, marveled at the effect the bartender had on people. "I've seen tourists come back 10 years later to see him. I've literally seen kids whose parents came here 20 years ago come in looking for the cool bartender with the ponytail who served their folks."

"He was such a positive person, with just an amazing personality," Stoner told us. "He sort of came to embody the character of the place."

Hoodline was lucky enough to interview Pease in March of this year; you can read the piece here. When he spoke to us, Pease may have said it best: "Any monkey can pour a drink. It's dealing with the customer, and making sure the bar runs smooth, and people have a good time. That's the hard part."

You'll be missed, Huck.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Los Lobos in Auburn

Last night Los Lobos played their smallest gig in 30 years at the Auburn Event Centre in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. A crowd of about 250 were able to see the perfect warm up show for Saturday’s Fillmore concert, including your lucky UK correspondent, who at the time of writing is en-route to San Francisco to see that show.

It was a long day / night starting way too early in the award-winning Moonraker brewery in Auburn. But that’s another story...

Richard Perdik

Picture L-R:
Conrad Lozano, Louie Perez, Steve Berlin and David Hidalgo of Los Lobos

Friday, 1 December 2017

Dead Poets Society #58

Image result for maya angelou

Pickin Em Up and Layin Em Down by Maya Angelou

There's a long-legged girl
in San Francisco
by the Golden Gate.
She said she'd give me all I wanted
but I just couldn't wait.
I started to
Pickin em up
and layin em down,
Pickin em up
and layin em down,
Pickin em up
and layin em down,
gettin to the next town

There's a pretty brown
in Birmingham.
Boys, she little and cute
but when she like to tied me down
I had to grab my suit and started to
Pickin em up
and layin em down,
Pickin em up
and layin em down,
Pickin em up
and layin em down,
getting to the next town

I met that lovely Detroit lady
and thought my time had come
But just before I said "I do"
I said "I got to run" and started to
Pickin em up
and layin em down,
Pickin em up
and layin em down,
Pickin em up
and layin em down,
getting to the next town

There ain't no words for what I feel
about a pretty face
But if I stay I just might miss
a prettier one some place
I started to
Pickin em up
and layin em down,
Pickin em up
and layin em down,
Pickin em up
and layin em down,
getting to the next town

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Last night's set lists

At The Habit, York: -

Ron Elderly: -
Can't Help Falling In Love
House Of The Rising Sun

Da Elderly: -
One Of These Days
I Don't Want To Talk About It

The Elderly Brothers: -
When A Man Loves A Woman
What A Wonderful World
Sitting In The Park
Somebody Help Me

The Habit was well attended, given that it was a bitterly cold night, with some new faces at the microphone. The Elderlys dug out some songs we hadn't played for a while, with offerings from Percy Sledge, Sam Cooke, Georgie Fame and The Spencer Davis Group. The after-show jam included several Everlys songs, selected tracks from The Beatles (White Album).... inc. some dimly remembered lines from Revolution 9..... plus songs by the Moody Blues and Solomon Burke.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Loudon Wainwright III - Liner Notes

A Walk with Loudon Wainwright III

Andy Friedman
The New Yorker
27 November 2017

Loudon Wainwright III, who is currently on tour, began his career as a singer-songwriter quickly, almost fifty-years ago, with help from a motorcycle accident. Not his own, but the one that left the namesake to his song, “Talking New Bob Dylan,” out of commission at the height of his stardom. “Labels were signing up guys with guitars / Out to make millions, looking for stars,” Loudon sings of that time.

“It happened that fast,” Loudon recalled, on a recent morning walk through Greenwich Village. “I wrote my first song in 1968, and had a record deal by 1969.” John Prine, Steve Goodman, David Bromberg, Leon Redbone, and Bruce Springsteen were some of the other Dylan understudies to arrive in the wake of their hero’s sudden absence. As the Loudon lyrics go: “We were new Bob Dylans / Your dumbass kid brothers!”

Loudon and I met on the corner of West Fourth and Mercer, in front of a math-and-science building owned by N.Y.U.

The ground floor of the building used to house the Bottom Line, the fabled cabaret that was owned by the local promoters Stanley Snadowsky and Alan Pepper, and where, for over a quarter century, Loudon famously held court.

If Loudon were Sinatra, the Bottom Line would have been his Sands Hotel and Casino.

“This used to be the room,” he remembered. “Now it’s a lecture hall.”

Like 1966’s “Sinatra at the Sands,” 1993’s “Career Moves,” recorded live at the Bottom Line, best preserves Loudon’s essence as a performer, which includes the intimate rapport that he has always been known to share with his audience. On the record, Loudon’s trademark blend of acerbic wit and jolly self-deprecation abounds. “Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder,” “Unhappy Anniversary,” and “I’d Rather Be Lonely” are a few of the staples included in the program. In “T.S.M.N.W.A.,” which stands for “They Spelled My Name Wrong Again,” Loudon complains in a waltz about the consistent misspelling of his name, whether in print or on the marquee: “Tell me why do I put up with it / Sinatra would have a shit fit!”

Somewhere in the middle of “Career Moves,” a request is shouted from the back of the room, which happens a lot at Loudon’s shows. “Sing ‘Motel Blues’!” a woman yells. “Sing ‘Motel Blues’?” Loudon confirms, as the awkward task of tuning his guitar is completed. “No, I’ll, uh, possibly do that another time,” he politely explains over a smattering of giggles. “I want to do [a different song], and my therapist has told me to be particularly assertive with women.” The audience laughs loudly, which prompts him to further summon his inner class clown, another Loudon specialty. “ ‘Don’t do stuff you don’t want to do for ’em!’ ” he guffaws, quoting his shrink. “So, I’m sorry,” he continues, as his composure is regained, “but—no.”

Laughter is another frequent occurrence at Loudon’s concerts. Humor is often celebrated in his songs, even when the stories they tell are sombre.

“The Man Who Couldn’t Cry,” from 1973’s “Attempted Mustache,” is so sad that it’s funny. It sets a new record for the amount of hard luck to befall a character in a country song. The previous mark was suffered by the bedevilled protagonist in David Allan Coe’s “You Never Even Called Me by My Name,” a song written by fellow “New Dylanites” Steve Goodman and John Prine. A drunken drive in the rain to pick up his mother after her release from prison ends in tragedy. Coe sings, “But before I could get to the station in my pickup truck / she got runned over by a damned old train.”

In “The Man Who Couldn’t Cry,” Loudon invents a mythically unluckier figure, and turns his catastrophic tale of damnation and subsequent redemption into a parable.

Unlucky as he is, the unflappability of the man who couldn’t cry also makes him a freak of nature: “Napalmed babies and the movie ‘Love Story’/ For instance could not produce tears.” His wife leaves him, his dog dies, and he’s fired from his job: “Lost his arm in the war, laughed at by a whore / Ah, but still not a sniffle or sob.”

After the character’s novel is rejected and his movie is panned, his Broadway show tanks. He winds up in jail, where he’s abused, starved, and forced to make license plates, until he’s transferred to a mental institution. Amid the sterile isolation, the song’s protagonist makes friends, discovers a love of chess, and weeps whenever it rains. He dies when a storm of Biblical proportions causes him to cry so much that he dehydrates. Posthumously, his work finds an audience, and all of his wrongdoers perish in their own evil twists of fate. In Heaven, all of his misfortunes are reversed.

Johnny Cash sings “The Man Who Couldn’t Cry” on 1994’s “American Recordings,” his comeback album, which was recorded alone on guitar and produced by Rick Rubin. “He gets the laugh!” Loudon proudly exclaimed to me. “That song was recorded live at the Viper Room, in Los Angeles. At the end, when the guy gets rejoined by his arm up in Heaven—Cash gets the laugh!”

“It’s fun to throw a couple of laughs into a serious song,” Loudon said. “They’re like little surprises or land mines or whatever.”

But, sometimes, there’s nothing funny about a Loudon Wainwright III song.

In “Hitting You,” also from “History,” Loudon grapples with the shame and guilt of having struck his young daughter on the thigh in a fit of frustration over her wild behavior in the back seat of the car on a family trip: “I said I was sorry and tried to clean the slate / But with that blow I’d sewn a seed and saw it was too late.”

“I don’t know how therapeutic songwriting is,” Loudon said. “I don’t know how much it solves anything. But it offers perspective, and provides a service to the audience. They’re thinking about whacking their kid, too, or having their crappy Thanksgiving dinner, or contemplating their own family dysfunctions, you know?”
Image result for loudon wainwright liner notes
In his new memoir, “Liner Notes: On Parents & Children, Exes & Excess, Death & Decay, & A Few of My Other Favorite Things,”* Loudon offers the concert of a lifetime. “In a certain way, songwriting was preparation for writing the book,” Loudon mused.

To tell the stories in “Liner Notes,” many of which have been told, at least to a certain extent, in his songs, a new form of creative discipline that Loudon doesn’t afford his songwriting was required. “You can’t just meander around in your mind waiting for some song to happen,” he said. “You really have to sit there and do it. But I actually enjoyed that. I wasn’t sure I would, but I looked forward to it.”

Interspersed throughout the book is a carefully curated retrospective of song lyrics that inform the narrative, as well as reprinted Life magazine articles written by his father, Loudon Wainwright, Jr. “When I was growing up, it was a big deal,” Loudon recalled. “I mean, I was the son of the famous writer.”

Loudon is far from the last Wainwright to carry on the family trade, or reconcile with a father’s fame and success. Rufus and Martha, whose mother is Kate McGarrigle, of the folk duo the McGarrigle Sisters, as well as Lucy, whose mother is Suzzy Roche, of the Roche Sisters, also a revered folk duo, are all writers of songs. “There was a lot of tension, I think, and a little bit of an oedipal thing going on,” Loudon said, about his relationship with his father, whom he’s written about in abundance, both in his songs and in his memoir. “Surviving Twin,” a one-man show that connects readings of his father’s pieces with performances of their corresponding songs, débuted, in 2014, at the West Side Theatre, in Manhattan. It enjoyed another run the following year at SubCulture. “You know, that competitiveness was just par for the course—we had the same name,” Loudon said.

“I never thought I’d write a book, until somebody told me that I had one in me,” Loudon admitted. “It was like a medical diagnosis. I had to get it out!”

In 2016, a few months before the Presidential election, Loudon had something else that needed to come out. “I Had a Dream,” a song that correctly predicted the nightmare of a Trump Presidency, featured a video that premièred as an exclusive on the humor Web site Funny or Die. Rolling Stone was quick to recognize it as a favorite among the burgeoning genre of anti-Trump protest songs: “He made a bad deal with Putin, a secret pact with Assad / Told the Pope where to go, I swear to God.”

Loudon has yet to write a follow-up, now that his dream has come true. His audience still shouts requests for the song, but he doesn’t play it. “It’s not funny anymore,” Loudon said. “It’s just not.”

Besides, I’ve been busy,” Loudon added. “I’m an author now, so I have an excuse!”

On the subway platform, before we parted ways, I informed Loudon that he and I had once met, briefly, when I was a teen-ager. After a concert at the Stephen Talkhouse, in Amagansett, he signed a caricature that I had drawn of him (with the hopes of having it autographed). I was barely old enough to drive. My date, who had introduced me to Loudon’s music, had been listening to his songs since childhood. Her mother was a fan. They lived alone together. “Divorce, and a lot of the other stuff that Loudon sings about, wasn’t openly discussed in my mom’s circles,” she recently told me. “So here was this guy who sang about it all with a sense of humor. His music became the soundtrack to my life. It was very comforting. It normalized the dysfunctional-family dynamic.”

I also thanked Loudon. As a newly divorced father of two, I’ve been able to relate to his songs in ways that were formerly impossible. “Well, it’s all part of the service we provide,” he said with a wry smile, before stepping onto the uptown D.

* signed copies still available from Cole's Books in Oxfordshire:

or from here:

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

78/52 Hitchcock's Shower Scene

Image result for 78/52 poster
78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene
Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Guillermo del Toro, Peter Bogdanovich, Danny Elfman, Elijah Wood, Bret Easton Ellis, Eli Roth, Karyn Kusama

Captivating. Does full justice to how Psycho changed the heartbeat of the world.
— Owen Gleiberman, Variety


The screeching strings, the plunging knife, the slow zoom out from a lifeless eyeball: in 1960, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho changed film history forever with its taboo-shattering shower scene. With 78 camera set-ups and 52 edits over the course of 3 minutes,Psycho redefined screen violence, set the stage for decades of slasher films to come, and introduced a new element of danger to the moviegoing experience. Aided by a roster of filmmakers, critics, and fans—including Guillermo del Toro, Bret Easton Ellis, Jamie Lee Curtis, Eli Roth, and Peter Bogdanovich—director Alexandre O. Philippe pulls back the curtain on the making and influence of this cinematic game changer, breaking it down frame by frame and unpacking Hitchcock’s dense web of allusions and double meanings. The result is an enthralling piece of cinematic detective work that’s nirvana for film buffs.


Official Selection
Fantastic Fest

Official Selection
Sundance Film Festival