Friday, March 11, 2011

This should be a very dynamite show (Frank Zappa from Lumpy Gravy part 1)

I've just finished reading a Zappa biography (Electric Don Quixote by Neil Slaven) which was okay for reminding about what a superb story teller Zappa was and it made me reconnect with the old albums again. It also brought me up to date to some degree with the late Zappa product - I'd kinda lost touch after Jazz From Hell.

It wasn't as jaw dropping as Ben Watson's The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play though. Interesting that this seminal Zappa book gets no mention in the Slaven book for some reason.

Thought I'd return to the start of Zappa's musical career for this post. Here he is on The Steve Allen Show playing a bicycle! It provides a glimpse of his extraordinary genius - even at a young age before the hirsuite look developed. And not only with sounds but he's funny!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

It is the evening of the day (The Rolling Stones)

A recent Uncut magazine special edition concentrated on The Rolling Stones and it took me ages to read it. Mainly because it was packed with great articles and reviews of all The Rolling Stone's albums (studio, live and compilations). Along with old interviews that were a hoot to read. It was great.

I have all of The Rolling Stone albums post Beggars Banquet on vinyl or CD. But I've never had an urge to get the earlier albums. Having read the magazine now, I've been keen to find the early albums on CD. No luck in the UAE though. The closest I could get was a couple of American albums that compiled various Stones tracks. UK's Latest Hitmakers has the awesome Route 66 and Carol and Flowers is a plain weird bunch of songs. I also found a copy of Big Hits and High Tides which is worthwhile.

I was talking about this, for some reason, to my Egyptian translator that we have work in my school. He's a guy in his thirties with a young family. He knows vaguely of the Beatles but, quite incredibly, he has never heard of The Rolling Stones. Nor even of Mick Jagger!!

How is this possible? A band who have been around since the early sixties, you would think that over the decades their story and their music has touched everybody at some point. Well no - not in the arabic world.

A few teachers at school notice my Beatles ties and ask who the figures are on them. When I say 'Beatles' a dim recollection comes into their body language. Something registers but they couldn't name a song or an album or tell me the four names (trust me - I've checked). So if the Beatles are a dim recollection - nothing else has a prayer.

The western pop world goes on unnoticed by the vast majority. Given the spread of interweb gossip and the arabs love of new technology (phones, play station, ipods etc) many of the younger generations will be more familiar with western pop.

Meanwhile, I'll continue to play Get Off Of My Cloud really loud in the car to and from work.

Love and peace - Wozza