On Friday, May 27, I took advantage of Fleet Week in New York City and visited two ships. USS Bataan is a Landing Helicopter Dock amphibious assault ship in use in today's Navy. The first thing visible inside the door is a giant banner: THE BATTLING BASTARDS. This, of course, refers to the doggerel slogan … Continue reading Peninsula, Then Ship
When I first glommed onto the Far East Prisoners of War as a favorite topic, one of the first memoirs I read was Alistair Urquhart's The Forgotten Highlander. Just about everything bad that could happen to any white dude as a prisoner of the Japanese happened to Alistair Urquhart. He's #5 here, and no surprise … Continue reading Reasons Alistair Urquhart Is Pissed Off
Crash Course for the Ravers Album: David Bowie, 1967 Prior Level of Acquaintance: Almost nil Three-Word Review: Tuneful, eclectic, narrative On June 1, 1967, an album came out in England describing a vintage brass band that plays nostalgic dance tunes. It included a slightly out-of-tune instrumental break "by" said band. Coincidentally, on that same … Continue reading I Was Lord Kitchener’s Gravedigger
From the 1901 founding of the Victor Talking Machine Co. to great music being made today, in five easy steps.
The New Musical Express Top 30 in the UK July 17, 1963. A snapshot in hits, including a whopping three versions of 'Twist and Shout,' more than one song issued in the US two or three years earlier, a film theme, and, at the bottom, Cliff Richard struggling to retain his relevance while his former backing band … Continue reading The Summer of Twisting and Shouting
Just for fun, I pulled together a few mid-20th-century image of London-area music venues with my own photos of them, taken last month (June 2015). The 2i's Coffee Bar, 59 Old Compton Street, Soho, London The building is more or less intact and has a historical marker. It's now the House of Ho rather than … Continue reading Sixties Music Venues: Then and Now
A very brief introduction in Three Songs I Can't Stop Listening To. First in a series. Alexis Korner didn't care for the sobriquet "Father of the British Blues," but I'm going to keep calling him that anyway. He was an unlikely bluesman: born in 1928 Paris to a Greek mother and Austrian father, he grew up in … Continue reading Three Essential Songs: Alexis Korner