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Showing posts from May, 2009

Kicksville 66, a place you must visit

Kicksville 66 is Miriam Linna 's new blog. Miriam, one of my first New York pals along with her co-conspirator Billy Miller, runs the empire known as Norton Records for many years. It is a mighty place, full of the most crazed rock and roll music ever invented and committed to tape (much involving Miriam and Billy's band, the A-Bones ); this blog, however, starts years before, when Miriam came to NY from Kent, Ohio in 1976 to play drums for the Cramps . It is the kind of first-person account that blogs should be: expertly written with energy and wit, and recalled intimately and comprehensively (and with pictures). It is a story set in the beginnings of the New York music scene that I, like Miriam, followed from afar via magazines and records, and that the dB's became part of a year or two later. I'm so excited this exists, and each new entry will be savored like an issue of Kicks Magazine always has been.

New Orleans trip, Pt. 4 - one vignette I forgot

After we demolished the insides of Mark's house and shed, we left the detritus on the sidewalk of St. Bernard Avenue to be picked up at some point. Among the storm-ravaged stuff were old amps, Drifters' cds and Mark's backup Fender Precision Bass. (Mark had evacuated with only his main bass, the old Precision with what I believe is an anodized pickguard.) The backup bass was in pieces and had been submerged in the toxicity for quite a while. At some point, Robert went by the remains of the house and grabbed what was left of the backup bass and took it back to Memphis where he and his family had settled after the storm. I don't think Mark gave the bass a thought, knowing how everything else in his home and utility space had been decimated. Earlier this year, when Chris and I played at Folk Alliance, we stayed with the Mache family in their comfortable digs. Robert said "Peter, I have to show you something." He pulled out a Fender Precision bass and asked

New Orleans trip, Pt. 3

Friday comes right after Thursday; I think they move it closer in New Orleans to squeeze every ounce of weekend out of visitors. I woke up with barely a voice left from rocking the Circle Bar and then visiting with old friends there. Gee, good work, I only have the main show I came down for left to do... Carrollton Station is my old haunt in New Orleans. It's a former workingman's bar, located kitty-cornered from a 'car barn' for the St. Charles streetcar line. I played every Sunday there for years, inviting visiting and local songwriters to join me on stage. It was there that I was serenaded for my birthday one year by Graham Parker and Bob Andrews AND Pat McLaughlin. The huge wooden sign on stage with the streetcar on it had fallen on my daughter's rental violin once and shattered it; I was pleased to note that it was now permanently secured on the back wall. I'd spent many nights there, starting years before I moved to New Orleans, so coming back was

New Orleans trip, Pt. 2

As it was when I lived there (although for different reasons) the time I spent in New Orleans last week is starting to blur around the edges a little. So I'll try to compile what all I did when I was there in something of a digest form until I get to Thursday and Friday. 1. Drove out to Mark Walton's house to find that the house was no longer there, the house we'd gutted a couple years before. I don't know why, since Mark had been looking for someone to mow the lot for him, but I guess the fact that the house was demolished had escaped me. So I pulled up on St. Bernard Avenue to where the driveway used to be. I got out, looked for anything I recognized, saw nothing and began to cry. Sometimes it's those final moments that drive it all home to you--so many rehearsals, band dinners, birthday parties for the boys, the trike I ran over while unloading gear, Mark's hard work on renovating the living room, kitchen and family room... all consigned to memory. 2.

New Orleans trip, Pt. 1

Carrollton Station, Friday May 1 (which will be discussed later, I just liked the photo) ******** Quite a week in New Orleans to relate. One of the hardest losses in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was that of a network of my good friends, many of who were in the Continental Drifters ' circle. The band had ground to a halt after 9/11 put the kibosh on another European tour, this one in support of Better Day and the Fairport ep. Vicki had moved back to Los Angeles, but the rest of us were still in New Orleans. There was some rancor among the ranks, absolutely. I put my cds of the band away, and I started a little mid-life crisis, MC-5-esque combo called the People's Revolutionary Army of St. Bernard for yucks and therapy. Susan and Russ got her solo career underway and recorded an album. Robert was playing with anybody and everybody, idle hands, you know.... and we saw each other, and we interacted with each other, just not with instruments in our hands and not all the