Monday, December 15, 2014
Somewhere during the course of SPACE PIRATE RADIO, I started to accumulate voices that weren't my own and were not on record or tape. Of course, this was a natural (or possibly unnatural) evolution out of sound collages that weren't song based vocals. When the show went truly freeform in Summer '74, voices came from everywhere. A lot of it started from the television set, hanging in the production studio, used mainly to simulcast the Friday Night Rock Concert on ABC with the stereo tape broadcast to audiophiles. I found that late Sunday night, very early Monday morning, under the inspiration of German white wine and things, late night movies on Channels 13, 11, possibly 9, 7, 5 and 2, recorded with echo and dial switched quickly, could add a different layer of audio experience to the lengthy music being played...as I recorded and experimented.
The commercials were hilarious too. The real ones, I mean. The cheap ones on Channel 13 with the same two announcers: one male; the other female. Alternating on where to get your muffler tuned in Alhambra or your hair permed in El Monte.
TV wasn't the only source of strangely inserted voices. The PSAs or Public Service Announcements sent to the station offered High Surrealism. What To Do In The Event Of A Nuclear Emergency was always great to drop in just before the bomb goes off in CAN's Tago Mago. Or Jack Van Impe's Christian Crusade and Salvation Army Radio Dramas could be cut and randomly inserted into Klaus Schulze, like something out of Gysin/Burroughs with Extra Spaciness and Triple Entendres.
The roaming tape recorder in search of found sounds soon followed. When I left KTYD and joined the News Team at KTMS, I had a lovely tape recorder used for interviews. It fit nicely in my sports coat pocket and only the top line Sony Mic was visible. Environments happened, especially at functions like movie premieres, art gallery openings, parties and even car parks. Stuff could find its way into the mix.
But this leads into the collection of voices recorded as guests of SPACE PIRATE RADIO, in interview, happenstance and/or general whimsy.
General Whimsy? Didn't he command Major Disturbance, Corporal Punishment and Private Affair?
It's in the Files. Unclassified.
Saturday, October 11, 2014
As you remember last time, it was Northbound for Kraftwerk in Oakland. So now we reverse the poles and head South to the City of Angels. An appropriate location for a meeting with the Dark Lord and his servants: King Crimson.
We are boarding the Omtrak. A Train Of Thought. Departing from the station of Our Lady of the Total Experience. Destination: The Orpheum Theatre. Orpheus Depending. The neon lights...on Broadway. Downtown Los Angeles.
Now like our previous trip to Oakland to see Kraftwerk, and San Francisco to see likewise Kraftwerk, and Magma and Porcupine Tree before that, patterns emerge. Besides choosing a hotel with a suite, we find all three cities have an aura of mystery and flavour with something called Chinatown. And in the case of L.A., Little Tokyo for added zest. I dig it. It brings out my latent Lamont Cranston and Sax Rohmer.
Little Tokyo will be the major environs in our L.A. Noir caper. Our hotel rises 21 floors over the community (actually 20, as the 13th floor is non-existent on the elevator). Our suite is on the 19th floor, with a shine on you crazy diamond shaped wedge of living room area and bedroom & bath, jutting out, two windows, Southeast front room, Southwest bedroom. Very cool. Except the Sun, of course. A heat wave is on. But the Sun Rises in the front room, which is appreciated for late sleepers like us. The nocturnal urges are not completely repressed. Both window views actually connect, with Little Tokyo being the primary landscape. The bedroom window displays the Metropolis like image, with the US Bank building being the biggest dick in a group grope of lesser, but still impressive, erections. The original Phallus Angelic, City Hall, exposes itself away from our view, at the Northern edge of the wedge and obscured by the multitude of Civic and Police buildings.
Hotel lobby living. I love it, when the time is right. But we are here to see and hear the Crimson King.
Now the last quality time I had with this band was in 1984 when they did two shows the same day in the old Mission Theatre in Santa Barbara. This was when I had drummer Bill Bruford in KTYD studio for an interview. The band stayed at the less than palatial El Prado Hotel on State Street: a very friendly Adrian Belew greased up at the pool; Robert Fripp downtown at a Chinese restaurant; Tony Levin seeing the sights. The wife has caught many shows since: House of Blues and the Wiltern. But this tour was essential. After doing Kraftwerk in Oakland, I told the little lady we should go see something in Los Angeles. If King Crimson was touring, that would be the show. Then in early Summer, it was confirmed. A return to early form.
Bruford had announced earlier his retirement from performing. So Fripp decides to continue adding drummers. Three this time and in the front. I'm skeptical at first. This will not last. Tony Levin is mandatory. Though not a part of the early days, his skills as a bass player are a foundation to what the band has become. Tony has been on SPACE PIRATE RADIO since the beginning. Albeit as The Clams, with his brother, performing "Close To You." He's been supportive of the radio show, sending me Papa Bear recordings up to the last programs. I'm there.
And Mel Collins is back, so it's vintage Crimson folks. I first met Mel when he was touring with Roger Waters on the RADIO KAOS tour. This man's work with Camel alone gives him carte blanche. I'm really there.
I learn early on that this tour is focusing on the earlier albums, with a touch of ConstruKction of Light and VROOM. The wife likes to be surprised, so no set list spoilers from me. Basically, the three eighties albums will be noticeable by their absence. This is okay with me, as favourites Larks Tongues and Red will dominate. Knowing the initial set list, I ask the wife what song hasn't she heard live that she would wish they'd perform. Starless is her reply. I smile inwardly, poker face outwardly visible.
At the show, the trio of drummers that had initiated skepticism, becomes a minor revelation. Pat Mastelotto, Bill Reiflin, and Gavin Harrison, whom I had seen with Porcupine Tree in Hollywood are a dynamo in syncopation. I haven't been this impressed by drumming since seeing Christian Vander with Magma in San Francisco. The wife, a drummer of past, appears in satori. It's an amazing show. And probably more of an inspiration in a SPACE PIRATE RADIO sense than if we had seen Yes in San Jose or Ian Anderson in Oakland. These cats embody the word Progressive better than other more road weary and philosophically tired bands on the road today.
And speaking of satori, we sneak away in our environment in Little Tokyo.
In Oakland, our Chinatown food experience included two Chinese restaurants, one Mexican, Italian from the hotel restaurant and American served up in the suite kitchen. In Little Tokyo, we didn't manage to get over to a Vegetarian Japanese restaurant we wanted to try. I did discover a Mediterranean restaurant under the Civic Center which had a terrific falafel and hummus. Ate twice there. Pizza from two different places. Some pasta from room service that did not agree with me and Subway for in-betweens.
When the wife was at show number two, I lingered in the Hotel Lobby Bar. Pastor Melissa Scott, banished from her Evangelical Roadshow at the United Artists Theatre, now the Ace Hotel, rather than returning to an alleged previous career in adult films, was now tending bar, or so it seemed. A Vodka Collins with a salad and fries from the adjacent restaurant made for pleasant people watching in the lobby.
With Absolut and spuds working their alchemy on my system, the lobby lighting like out of a Peter Greenaway film, I contemplated the week's adventures. From the rock formations of Simi Valley and Chatsworth seen from the train, backdrop to hundreds of westerns ("Have Gun, Will Travel") and serials ("Blackhawk"), the Incredible Shrinking Man Rubik's Cube scene with Hello Kitty museum backdrop, to the sensei moments of Little Tokyo.
And all framed in a Downtown Los Angeles growing and changing from the playground of my youth. An area I would bus into weekly for my JEEPERS' CREEPERS horror TV days. A place to visit the three grindhouse movie theatres to catch Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee flicks. Or the Pussycat Theatre for late night kink. The 24 hour magazine store for British and European film magazines. A psychedelic draft physical. A leggy random encounter. Or the days when a broadcaster had to pass a rigorous FCC exam in the Federal Building if they wanted to infiltrate the airwaves with subversive Foreign Electronic Muzik. "Just the facts, ma'am."
"Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty. How can you lose?"
Sunday, September 14, 2014
Now what this leads to, is the fact that some really excellent music, first heard on SPACE PIRATE RADIO, would wind up on my non freeform, other nightly KTYD shows. For a long time, I did two regular Midnight to 6 A.M. shows Friday and Saturday nights, before Sunday's SPACE PIRATE RADIO ritual. Something eccentric but accessible would premiere on Sunday, then wind up in the regular mix the following weekend. This could include Kevin Ayers, Kate Bush, Robert Wyatt, Esperanto, Alquin, Golden Earring, Focus, Solution, Tasavallan Presidentti, Roxy Music, Brian Eno, Phil Manzanara, Gong, National Health, Hatfield and the North, Terje Rypdal, Passport, Jan Akkerman, Grimms, Bonzo Dog Band, Gruppo Sportivo, Man, Deke Leonard, Help Yourself, early Scorpions, Embryo, Vangelis, Aphrodite's Child, Genesis, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Alan White, Rick Wakeman, Jean Yves Labat, Patrick Moraz, Bill Bruford, Pierre Moerlen, Sadistic Mika Band, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Yukihiro Takahashi, Kazuhiko Kato(h), Carmen, King Crimson, Robert Fripp, Steve Hillage........even Amon Duul 2 and Kraftwerk.
In later years, one would add The Police, Ultravox, Klaus Nomi, Human League, Re-Flex, Blancmange, Telex, Siouxsie and the Banshees, XTC, Toyah, Nash the Slash, Dead Can Dance, Cocteau Twins, Monsoon, Sheila Chandra, Thompson Twins, Babble and The Art of Noise. Often, who produced or played on a new album meant give this a listen. I wouldn't have discovered The Police if they hadn't worked with German avant garde artist Eberhard Schoener. Or Siouxsie and the Banshees if they hadn't been produced by Steve Lilywhite. I told the Score Brothers in A Flock of Seagulls that I picked up their first work simply because Bill Nelson had been involved.
I still giggle when it is pointed out that the Average White Band were first played on SPACE PIRATE RADIO because they were Scottish (it was an import show). Of course, they might be followed by Flying Lizards or White Noise. :)
One area of music that got a lot of attention from myself was British folk rock. A large part of the non-SPACE PIRATE RADIO weekend and weekday shows included artists like Jethro Tull, Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention, Sandy Denny, Gryphon, The Bothy Band, Planxty, The Incredible String Band, Pentangle, Third Ear Band, Strawbs, Gay and Terry Woods, Maddy Prior, Fotheringay, John Renbourn, Renaissance. And Gentle Giant. There was a lot of crossover here. Mix and Match. The Art of the Segue.
For a time, on the Saturday night/Sunday morning shows, when the sun was coming up and the dawning reality was making itself apparent on my Nocturnal Transmissions, I would chill out the final 5 A.M. to 6 A.M. hour with a Really Oldies selection of the above mentioned Brit Folk Rock artists. I called the hour HERMITS & VIRGINS and somewhere next to Robin Williamson would be Cat Stevens or Ian Anderson.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Omtrak is a train of thought.
My yoga mat is made with unbleached flour.
New Rave Drug Among the Elderly: Coca Beano. It's a Gas! And then it's not.
New Rave Drug Among the Elderly: Alpha Beta Meta Mucil. High sense of euphoria and fiber content. Causes irregular regularity.
The Andy Griffith Show on Rave Drugs: Featuring Aunt E Bee Za.
Prague's major nighttime cold relief medicine: Coughka.
Stephen King writing new show for Nickelodeon: "iCarrie."
Bought bread from the new Hunter S. Thompson bakery: Fear and Loafing.
Wanted to start up rival network Tweezer, but then felt, "Oh, pluck it!"
Bruce Springsteen joins King Crimson: "Larks' Tongues in Asbury Park IV."
Among my professional skills and resume: Span structure arsonist.
"Du machts meine loins gertingle!" Marlene Cheesebreath to Erich von Stroganoff in Josef von Stringbien's early classic film "Der Tot Bag" (1929).
Heinrich Himmler's Favourite Game Show: "What's My Fraulein?"
Heinrich Himmler's Favourite Trousers: Swastikhakis.
Discarded Sequels: "The Four Penny Opera" with Mack the Fork.
I will not validate your parking.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
No more Reef...er."
"And now back to... Hawaiian Eye."
"The soft island breeze brings you strange melodies."
Ah, yes. The Music. When Space Pirate Radio began broadcasting from the Eighth floor of the Granada Building, that nighttime view, looking down State Street to the Santa Barbara Harbour. The frightening offshore oil platforms by day, now reflecting ocean lights in the after midnight morning. They were vessels at sea, Matey. And this Captain? Playing the hypnotic electronic sea songs and progressive shanties. We were on course. Full speed ahead!
Gong's "Isle of Everywhere." PFM's "L'Iosola di Niente." King Crimson, singular. Mike Oldfield, plural. Or something on the Island label.
Les Baxter and "Caribbean Moonlight?" Or maybe Martin Denny and "Quiet Village?" Arthur Lyman? Let's all sing in calip sync.
"Appearing Nightly, Cricket Blake in the Shell Bar."
Or we can just lie back and enjoy the night sky with the sound of the waves. SHORTWAVES? Checking out the wave length.
What does this all mean? Should I be Morse Pacific?
If the Pirate comes back for another takeover, than the course is...set sail for the Seven Seize. Arctic, Antarctic, North Pacific, South Pacific, North Atlantic, South Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The Big Pitcher.
Perhaps I can blame these musings on our Summer Heat Wave. Tropical Madness. Hugh Midi Tea and the Barrow Metrics. It's those Waves again. Love a woman in uniform. Love a woman out of uniform. Naval gazing.
It could be in the blood. My Father was once in uniform. US Army Air Force. Stationed in the Forties on Spy Island. Up all night watching radar for German submarines off the coasts of Africa and South America. And other Hush Hush stuff. Carmen Miranda meets the Fathers of Kraftwerk while the Master Musicians of Jajouka play in the background. Creepy environment, I'm sure. Mood altering nights. Like Indiana Jones on the Island of Dr. Moreau. And the poor tired Turtles are not quite "Happy Together."
So choose your land mass. Oahu and Maui? "The hands tell a story," while the night air is filled with the scent of plumeria. The Seychelles? Isle of Skye? Cuba Libre? A touch of Voodoo? "This is your Haitian Divorce." The Giant Rat of Sumatra? Greenland or the British Isles? Singapore, Hong Kong or Manhattan?
Catalina and the Channel Islands? After all, California was believed to be an island from the 1500s up to 1747, when the King of Spain declared it was not, despite maps that claimed otherwise. A land of Gold, ruled by a Queen and her Amazon women. A Treasure Island indeed.
Or one can always read another book. Ernest Hemingway and Sigmund Freud: Islands In the Stream Of Conscious.
How about The Isle of Yew?
"Isle Of Yew???"
I love you, too. :)
Sunday, July 13, 2014
Orson the cat with his namesake, Baby Orson (juvenile actor Buddy Swan) from "Citizen Kane" (1941).
This photo originally posted on the Twit Hair thingee, the Conway Twitter in the Southern portions, the Herr Twitt for followers in Deutschland. Cats and porn very popular (obvious joke there, will just walk away, Rene).
For biographical purposes, Orson the cat is one of four brothers born to look alike mom Glenda (named after Glenda Jackson) and two fathers (very similar to Charlotte Rampling's first marriage :)X ). The known dads were named Malcolm (after Malcolm McDowell) and Nico (oddly, after Nico). The other brothers are Bowtie, also sarcastically but lovingly referred to as Raymond Purr; Pixie (so called because he and Bowtie looked alike as distant kittens and were identified as Pixie & Dixie), and Jazz, the literal black sheep of the family. All were outdoor hobo kitties, till enticed to the indoor comforts of Casa Saint Francis the Talking Mule Sanctuary, except for Jazz, who remained feral and came home no more, sadly.
The Trio of Bros are still with us. Inside and ironically outliving their collective parents. The two fathers also had a sister that we named Kinski after Nastassja from "Cat People" (her brother being Malcolm). But the family lived up to their name and sister Kinski was the only cat we felt would be better off living in a different locale.
So as you can see, I am living my golden years in a true cathouse. Me and the little one have the habit of naming our critters after cult film stars or obscure artists. We are at the "No Vacancy" point, but I wouldn't mind naming the next one Om Purri.
Friday, May 9, 2014
Musique avec fromage: Morcheeseba.
Musique avec fromage: George Thorogouda & The Destroyers.
Musique avec fromage: KRAFTwerk.
Musique avec fromage: Camembert Bacharach.
Musique avec fromage: Cheddar and Jeremy.
Musique avec fromage: Pharaoh Parmesanders.
Nicolas Roeg directs Star Wars: Ewokabout.
Billy Wilder directs Star Wars: Some Like It Hoth.
Haute couture porn: Behind The Green Dior.
Haute couture porn: Deep Tote.
Literary Rock Bands Today: Anais Nin Inch Nails.
Literary Rock Bands Today: The Plath Matics.
Existential Disco: Sartre Day Night Fever.
Willy Wonka as Doctor Who. Series written by Roald Dahlek.
Dalek Skin Cleanser: "EXFOLIATE!"
The Cream of Sherlock Holmes, or Ginger Baker Street.
Stop Me If You've Heard This Joke Before: A Jew, a Mexican and a Triple Speed Rug Shampoo Carpet Cleaning Machine go into this bar........
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Space Pirate Radio has the unsung honour of being the first radio program on commercial air to play German group Kraftwerk. The first 2 LPs followed by Ralf and Florian and then Autobahn. All import albums. When Autobahn was released in the U.S. on Vertigo, my fellow DJs thought I was nuts to love this album. But then it became a success. Wundebar!
Like countless other bands heard on Space Pirate Radio, I played them in abundance but never went to any early concerts stateside. I've seen a goodly amount of artists, obscure and/or recognizable, in the Seventies and Eighties, but the list of those I did not is sizable and (in an alternate universe) regrettable. But then my wife entered the picture...
The Little One is addicted to the Concert Experience. No rehab on earth exists to cure this passion. Younger than the Wise One of the Wireless, she has nonetheless multiplied my concert total to the near infinite. When grumpy, I might claim that my list touts Quality Over Quantity, but I must, on occasion, admit a respect for events she has attended.
So Kraftwerk, we are agreed upon. Of course, I like to attend one performance and one performance ONLY these days, of any given artist. Not so with the little lady. Multiple performances is a marathon sport with her and I've adjusted my survival needs to this other side effect of her addiction.
Kraftwerk. We were talking Kraftwerk. The Mensch Maschinists. The Dusseldorf Meisters.
The endurance queen saw them before me, in 1998 at the Hollywood Palladium. Together, we saw them in San Francisco at the Warfield in 2004. A wonderful time. Then in 2005, we saw them again in Los Angeles at the Greek Theatre. I used to ask people to guess what my favourite recent concert was and what my least favourite was. The answer: Favourite. Kraftwerk, San Francisco. Least Favourite. Kraftwerk, Los Angeles. Not due to musical quality, but to audience attitude. San Francisco was an audience to see and hear the band. Los Angeles was an audience to see and hear themselves. An excuse to party, no matter who was performing. Lovers of electronic music were in the minority, surrounded by inebriates. The only feeling that I was watching a German band performing came in the Oktoberfest gathering of storm troopers. It was like a redneck scene out of Cabaret. I have not returned to the Greek Theatre.
So this reinforces two concepts of mine. Avoid outdoor venues if you can. And see a show in the Bay Area over Los Angeles if possible. The Fox Oakland fits these requirements.
Now the Little One plans on seeing all eight shows in Los Angeles at the Walt Disney Theatre. These include the concept performances of eight individual albums presented in their entirety, plus a best of second half. Two shows a day over four days. Getting tickets is like Rommel planning tank movements in the African desert. Seeing all eight seems impossible to secure, so Oakland announced for three nights becomes a backup. She gets two days at Disney in a row, both shows each day. I will sit these out, but the old man is in for one night of two in Oakland (which will ultimately be all three, 'cause how can I deny her?). This will be like the Warfield shows in San Francisco, where we attended the first night together. A successful test run, she would do their second night solo, while I relaxed in our suite in the Marina. So it will be in Oakland. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday performances. I will share Monday. She will compare the sandwich.
It's also a pleasurable experience not driving, but taking the Trans Europa Express to Compass Point North. Vienna is lovely this time of year, but so is Gilroy. Who needs the Swiss Alps when you have the Cuesta Grade?
It wasn't San Francisco, but discovering Oakland Downtown today was great fun. I don't travel as much as I did (though the last six months has been more than three years), but if I do, I like a nice environment. Staying in a David Lynch suicide motel, just to save twenty dollars is not for me at this stage of my life. Give me a suite with a view that isn't the parking lot. We stayed Downtown, pulpishly elbowed in Chinatown. One BART stop away from the theatre. Nice restaurants on each block. "This is the life, eh Moriarty?"
And Kraftwerk? That Bay Area magic still prevailed. The Fox Oakland is a beautiful theatre. Like the Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara now. Refurbished in reds and gold of antiquity, though more pagan and Eastern than the Moorish Spain of the Hotel Granada. The Phantom and his Bride were up in the highest corner of the Stage Right balcony and Erik enjoyed it immensely.
I'd tell you more, but it loses something if you can't hear my Rick Steves impression.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Heinrich Himmler's Favourite Breakfast: Luftwaffles.
Heinrich Himmler's Favourite Restaurant: The Night of Long Knives and Forks.
Heinrich Himmler's Favourite Gasoline: Es Esso.
Heinrich Himmler's Favourite Musical Group: The Guess Who Stoppo ("She's come unDunkirk").
Heinrich Himmler's Favourite Author: Edgar Allan Gestapo.
Adolph Hitler's New Cold Sore Medicine: Mein Kampf O-Phenique.
Desert Fox News now available on CD Rommel.
DJ Len Deighton's Playlist: Emerson, Lake and Harry Palmer.
DJ John Le Carre's Playlist: Tinker, James Taylor, Soldier, Spy.
DJ John Le Carre's Playlist: The Taylor Dayne of Panama.
Painful medical condition, having a Heil Hatel Hernia. Causes Axis Reflux.
Richard Boone's son and Orson Welles' daughter have a son. A director named Luis Boone-Welles.
Benito und Jerzey's Cold War Ice Cream. Served exclusively at Mussolini & Franco's Hollywood restaurant.
Myra Cardial: Watch out. She will steal your heart.
An early rumour that JFK's assassin was Bazooka Joe, and ONLY Bazooka Joe. Thus began the Lone Gumman Theory.
Going to make a movie about finely ground tobacco which is inhaled. Wonder what I should call it?
Monday, February 10, 2014
"...waiting for miracles."
Speaking on the Sputnik. Talking on the Telstar. Chatting on the Coffee Can & String.
On the phone with my dear artist friend, David Fontana. He and I have been winding up the Year of the Snake and beginning the Year of the Horse, like Mirror Images.
We both have been seeing off the passing of our final parent. He, his Father. Me, my Mother. And like the brilliant art of his Space Pirate Radio G3 of Pyramids, we two figures have been spinning the same record. A Turn of the Cards indeed. Phasing. And hopefully, it's just a phase we're going through. Left Coast. Right Coast. Each going through our respective parents' belongings, memories and affairs. Dealing with family. Siblings. 2 Brothers, he. 1 Sister, me.
Mirrors. Reflective. Synchronistic, yet the Reverse. Feels like a piece of fiction.
I hope all people can have conversations with friends of over forty years, where the mood and text of the talks seems like you just met someone who shares a fondness for your most obscure tastes. Yet in a parallel world, both persons have a shared history. A history and a mystery. Many mysteries. So each person is always surprising the other with nuggets of nostalgia and discoveries du discos. New ARTeries.
Yours truly is lucky to have a small circle of such comrades. My best male friends are often named David. Mr. Fontana, like myself, is blessed with the companionship of a long term best friend, also called in certain circles, a wife. We are two pods in a pea. Yes, folks. It is like a piece of fiction.
"What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger." I think that was an insurance ad jingle. Owlstate. "You're in Good Barns." "Who gives a Hoot?" Progresso, I've. "You're covered...IN SOUP!" ******** Sorry. Lost my mind there.
Oh, yeah. My friend David Fontana. Brilliant artist. Check out his blog sites. They are on my profile page under Blogs I Follow. They're all his. Artist. Musician. Magus. Great Wit. Lesser mortals sometimes think he's me. (Poor Meester Fontana.) Nope, he's an Original. And in conversation? It's a Meeting of the Mimes. Two Rack On Turds. Excuse-A-Moi!
"Did you lose your mind again, Monsieur?"
Besides his talents as an artist, of which I have always had great admiration, it is the music that inspires our mutual muses. David absorbs the variety of foreign sounds and styles that began our friendship and collaborations. He is my best Italian friend, always bringing me into an environment of Fellini and PFM. Per Un Amico. But like my initial obsessions with Space Pirate Radio, he is quick to remind me that it is the German musicians that ignite the flame of inspiration. David has been kind to say on his blog DJ Scungilli, that it was hearing Ash Ra Tempel and Cosmic Jokers; Amon Duul 2 and Popol Vuh on the air, that fueled his early days at art school. In later years, he went to Germany to play music with some of the experimentalists I aired. In England, he hung with the Canterbury musos. When Daevid Allen sojourned in Santa Barbara, Banana Fontana was ready to be in the next evolution of Gong. The Pot Head Pixie even used my friend's cool guitar, both musically and photographically, on a single shot I believe.
While talking on the wireless, I mentioned to my friend, that water plays a Greek Chorus in our lives. The Naughty Cal wordplay abounds. The Pacific of Santa Barbara in the '70s. The amon dual bodies of water in Florida. I can't imagine turning Space Pirate Radio into what it conceptually began without the addition of that seaside, night time view of the Santa Barbara harbour from the Eighth Floor of the Granada Theatre building. Blobfish sailed in his boat during those wee coastal mornings. Each of us Captains of our Vessel. It was magic, folks!
Well, that's what good art, amongst good friends will do to you. Time to make magick again.
"Lord have mercy upon the many. Lord have mercy...on me...and...on you." :)X
Monday, January 27, 2014
As discussed before, this odd new musik coming out of Britain and Europe, inspired by psychedelic rock from San Francisco, Eastern music, jazz, classical, sci-fi film soundtracks and cheesy lounge music...this mix of moods and enthusiasms motivated the birth of the show. The Beatles and Pink Floyd had broken the rules, others were following. Why wasn't the U.S. of A. tuned in?
This had to be changed. Freeform non-commercial FM radio was the hope for innovation. But commercial radio had to be subverted. AM radio would play the edited version of The Doors' "Light My Fire." FM the full piece. Plus "The End" and "When The Music's Over."
Longer cuts over the 2 minute single played on a turntable that was sped up, creating that Chipmunks quality so necessary for extra ad time. Basta! "We want our sounds, and we want it........NOW!" :)
Pink Floyd's "Echoes" and/or "Atom Heart Mother." The Beatles "Revolution #9." Brian Auger & Julie Driscoll doing Donovan's "Season of the Witch."
So how about this new stuff? Tangerine Dream's "Atem." Amon Duul 2's "Yeti." Ash Ra Tempel. The Cosmic Jokers. Popol Vuh. Heldon. Banco del Mutuo Soccorso. Le Orme. Can, for Goddess' sake!
George Harrison, liberally helping himself to others' music on "Wonderwall" and "Electronic Sounds." Zappa's "Freak Out"? Slide into Guru Guru's "UFO" or "Kanguru." Early Kraftwerk, Kluster (with a K, followed by Cluster with a C ), and Klaus Schulze, the pre-Wagnerian dreamer.
And Mike Oldfield. Because of Soft Machine and Kevin Ayers. And Robert Wyatt. And Daevid Allen.
Gong. Caravan. Hatfield and the North. Egg. National Health. Canterbury or Oxford? The English Magick...from Small Faces' "Ogden's Nut Gone Flakes" (one of my first import purchases, in the plastic snap case, with fold out and ciggie papers) to Manfred Mann with and without the Earth Band.
Kate Bush, Incredible String Band, Gentle Giant, Gryphon and Third Ear Band. Curved Air and Darryl Way's Wolf.
France: Ange. Mona Lisa. Atoll. And Magma! Spain: Granada. Triana. Japan: Sadistic Mika Band. Far East Family Band.
Alquin, Kayak and Earth & Fire from Holland. Telex from Belgium.
I still have my hand written, improvised playlist from that first Space Pirate Radio show of Saturday night/Sunday morning January 27th, 1974. (This was in essence an audition show, live and at full tilt bluff. The midnight to six experiment fooled the teachers, and Sunday night/Monday morning, the Deadest of Airtimes, would become my grave robbing broadcast home.)
The show opened with Hawkwind's "Earth Calling" from the double live "Space Ritual" album. Perhaps not the aesthetically best first choice (after all, Hawkwind permanently deafened my left ear at their Space 1999 show with Man in Los Angeles at the Embassy Concert Theatre), but its "We've landed Earthlings...Protect Your Women" tone seemed appropriate on a radio station accustomed to Jackson Browne. :) I was making an entrance. And trance?
Entranced! :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
:) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)