Monthly Archives: November 2012

So So Glos Mount Hurricane Sandy Benefit

 

Happens tomorrow, Nov.
15. Watch their special video below too.

 

The So So Glos put on their working gloves and pile in their
broke-ass van after braving the beast that was Sandy
to help clean up the devastation in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
You want to see how some band guys prepare a superstorm fight and then take
back the night? Well here it is – in all the tattered glory you might expect.
Food rations and imbibing fizzy beverages via candlelight, to wader boots and
sludgy trash removing.

 

 

 

 

Among the many affected by the storm was Alex and Ryan’s own
dad, who lost nearly everything because of flooding. In true DIY style the band
has been jumping in to do everything they can to help. Now this Thursday,
November 15th, for The So So Glos guitarist Ryan’s birthday, the band is
rounding up the troops for a show at their own Shea Stadium, located at 20
Meadow St.,
Brooklyn, NY, 11206.

 

The show starts at 9 PM. Portions of proceeds are going to
the Red Hook Initiative and directly to Ryan & Alex’s father Danny Levine.
For more info on the Red Hook Initiative: http://rhicenter.org/

 

Listen to Damon Albarn’s BBC90 Mashup

 

That’s the sound of
Big Ben you hear at the start. Then it goes from stuff to fun.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Today was the 90th anniversary of the debut of
the BBC Radio – which you’d be forgiven for not noticing unless you actually
lived in Britain, although here at BLURT central we did enjoy listening to a
couple of tributes broadcast this afternoon on the local NPR/PRI affiliate – and
to mark it each BBC station on the planet aired an unusual sonic collage, 2LO Calling, which Blur/Gorillaz
frontman Damon Albarn put together. The ever-restless musical aesthete put out
a call for people to submit their ideas of what would be most representative of
the BBC for someone encountering it 90 years hence – and he subsequently
assembled a three-minute piece.

 

Read more about it at the BBC, and check out the audio as
well:

 

 

First Look: New Graham Parker & Rumour

 

Three Chords Good, out
next week on the Primary Wave label, could be the lads in 1976 – but it’s also
absolutely
now. Listen to a track
from it, below, and click the link for the band’s North American tour dates,
starting Nov. 19.


By Steve Pick

 

A blast of groaning guitars and keyboards massaging an
opening chord, and then a reggae groove as slinky as any rock band has ever
snuck out of Jamaica.
Of course, that’s “Don’t Ask Me Questions,” by Graham Parker & the Rumour,
from their debut album Howlin’ Wind back in 1976. It’s also “Snake Oil Capitol of the World” by the same band on
their first album together in 31 years.

 

 


Coathangers by Graham Parker Official

 

Parker has made plenty of solid to terrific albums in the
intervening years, but it is clear that the Rumour are his perfect
collaborating musicians. After all, three of their first four albums were among
the greatest in rock music history. Three
Chords Good
won’t match those, but it’s awfully nice hearing Martin Belmont
& Brinsley Schwarz trade guitar licks, Andrew Bodnar & Stephen Goulding
propel the bass & drum lines, and secret weapon Bob Andrews play wondrous
keyboards.

 

Parker’s new songs are sharp, especially a made-for-Rumour
gem, “Live in Shadows” and a powerful pro-choice rocker, “Coathangers” (listen to it, above). But it’s the sound
of songwriter matched to band that makes this record so deliriously good.

 

Graham
Parker & the Rumour begin a North American tour on Nov. 19 in Poughkeepsie,
running through Dec. 19 in Saint Paul.
Dates:
http://www.facebook.com/GrahamParkerOfficial/events

 

MP3: Meet Songwriter KaiL Baxley

 

“Say Goodbye To
The Night” taken from the SC folk-rocker’s double EP collection. Oh, and
in case you were wondering… that’s him above, on the left…

 

By Blurt Staff

 

KaiL Baxley grew up in the small backwater town of Williston in Barnwell
County, South Carolina,
the birthplace and stomping grounds of the late great soul legend James Brown. The
idea of playing music only arrived to KaiL after his godfather, a former band
director, bought him a guitar for high school graduation. He never put it down.
After years of singing for his supper across the South, Europe and parts of
Africa, KaiL found himself in California
working on his debut album; actually two EPs. Check out the track “Say Goodbye
To The Night”:

 

 


KaiL Baxley – “Say Goodbye To The Night” by TeamClermont

 

 

It’s as if he tells his life story through this Victorian
veil with the haunting, indie folk of The Wind and the War EP. Then, he
flips on this switch for the HeatStroke EP and drops us in ‘The Dirty
South’, mixing blues, hip-hop, gospel and soul with a swagger all his own. “Say
Goodbye To The Night,” in fact, is a perfect blend of these two EPs.  It’s
from the newer, more produced Heatstroke, but carries the quiet,
lonely desperado feel of The Wind And The War.

New Blurt Magazine Now on Newsstands

 

Hey hey hey, it’s
November the 13th, and today is your lucky day – it’s BLURT #13!

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Subject
header says it all: the lucky 13th issue of BLURT is hitting stores
(including Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and selected indie record shops)
and mailboxes as we speak, er, type. What, you say? You didn’t realize that
Blurt-online is but one component of a vast media empire that also includes the
print milieu? Now’s your time to discover the sublime pleasures of Blurt, The Magazine.

 

     On the cover this
time around is GRIZZLY BEAR: Contributor
MAX BLAU talks to the acclaimed Brooklyn indie-rockers about their remarkable
career to date-which most recently has been marked by (in their words)
“opportunities, total shock” and moving well outside their usual comfort zone.
Also:

 

     MUSICIANS’ ADVICE (PT. 2): Once again, Perfect Sound Forever editor JASON GROSS
asked an eclectic array of veteran artists what kind of career planning young
musicians should be mindful of. Among his respondents: Patti Smith, Bob Mould,
Holger Czukay, Ian MacKaye.

     ANIMAL COLLECTIVE: Knit together by close personal relationships and a shared aesthetic
vision, the eclectic indie rockers still finds ways to get weird, and Contributing
Editor A.D. AMOROSI is on hand to collate the data.

     FLYING
LOTUS
: Swooping through his music like a trapeze artist working without net
or partners, the electronic maven (who boasts an impressive jazz lineage,
incidentally, with the name “Coltrane” in his DNA) talks to Amorosi as well.

     TAMARYN: Moments of hope and little glimpses of light from the
Kiwi-to-San-Fran dreampop connection, featuring the titular young lady’s
luscious vocals. Listening in: JHONI JACKSON.

     FAREWELL TO DONALD “DUCK” DUNN: The
legendary Stax bassist passed away suddenly this past May. His peers and
compatriots-among them, Dan Aykroyd, Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper and Tom
Petty offer personal tributes to Associate Editor ANDY TENNILLE.

     OUR BAND COULD ACTUALLY BE YOUR LIFE: The
alt-rock explosion spawned a generation of musical dreamers. Here’s what
happened to one young band from rural Tennessee,
along with its members’ dreams. A true
story
, by J.T. ESS.

     GARAGE ROCK SPECIAL: Ty Segall, Thee Oh
Sees, Sic Alps and Fresh & Onlys spearhead a Bay Area insurrection.
Somehow, Contributing Editor JENNIFER KELLY survived the decibel assault and
filed this report.

     CALEXICO: Long identified both
musically and geographically with their hometown, the Tucson
group found it fortuitous to shift operations to New Orleans to record their latest album. JOHN
SCHACHT traces their travels.

     SHOES: Mention the word
“Shoes” to any serious power pop fan and you’ll get a response that
has nothing to do with footwear. In a new series for our magazine, “The BLURT
Case Files,” pop aficionado DAVE STEINFELD talks to the Murphy brothers about
their long running combo and their sudden high profile for 2012.

     JEFF BRIDGES: The Dude still abides – It
was Fear & Loathing time all over again at this year’s DNC, but Bridges had
things beyond politics on his mind. In an interview with MICHAEL PLUMIDES, he
outlines his thoughts on music, film and, most important, the “No Kid Hungry”
program which he so passionately supports.

 

     Elsewhere in the
new issue you’ll find coverage of Metz,
John Cale, Ian Hunter, Bright Little Field, Bettye LaVette, Catherine Irwin,
Divine Fits, Henry Rollins, the Old Ceremony, the Sword, Shovels and Rope,
Swans, Will Sergeant
and Yeasayer,
plus more than 50 reviews dotting
our CD, Books, Film/DVD and Video Game sections. And if you present your I.D.
card to the clerk at the counter, you will receive authorization to read the
latest, greatest installment of our popular artist-penned series “The Most Fucked-Up Thing I’ve Ever Seen.” This time around we get the good, the bad, the ugly and the X-rated from Peter
Himmelman, Neil Hamburger and Martin Kennedy (of All India Radio).

 

     If you can’t find
us on your local newsstand, consider taking out a subscription, or shoot us an email at Blurt@blurt-online.com for details on ordering individual issues.

 

 

 

Report: Ben Gibbard Live in Chapel Hill

 

The frontman for Death
Cab For Cutie dazzles a packed crowd on hand for his solo appearance at
Saxapahaw’s Haw River Ballroom (near Chapel Hill)
on November 10.

 

By Liz Hester / Photos by Margaret Hester

 

When introducing his new album Saturday night at the Haw
River Ballroom, Benjamin Gibbard told the audience that it felt “egocentric” to
call a record solely his own since he was used to collaborating with many
talented musicians. He even gave a half turn around to acknowledge them before
remembering he was alone on stage.

 

Gibbard, best known as the front man for Death Cab for Cutie
and The Postal Service, is touring behind his solid solo record “Former Lives.”
He played a stripped down show in Saxapahaw, NC,
accompanied only by his guitar or piano.

 

 

 

 He seemed at ease in the intimate setting, at times joking
with the audience and telling a few short stories about the songs. But mostly
he just played – alternating guitars for the first part of the show, and then
moving to the upright piano. The setting was the best showcase for Gibbard’s
lyrics about complicated love, loss, and the beauty found in the mundane parts
of life.

 

After starting the show with the a cappella introduction
from his new record, “Shepherd’s Bush Lullaby,” Gibbard went straight into
“Such Great Heights” from the Postal Service album “Give Up.” It was a bit
reminiscent of All-Time Quarterback, but richer, more polished and grown up.

 

For the next 90 minutes, Gibbard wowed the audience with
tracks from his new record, Death Cab favorites, songs from the near-perfect
Postal Service album and his collaboration with Jay Farrar, “One Fast Move or
I’m Gone.”

 

 

 

 

Personal highlights included, a haunting version of
“Passenger Seat” (where I swear no one in the audience was even breathing it
was so still), “Unobstructed Views,” and of course, “Carolina”
from “Home: Vol. 5,” his 2003 album with Andrew Kenny. (Gibbard said he hadn’t
performed that one in five years.)

 

Owen Ashworth, touring as Advance Base, opened the show
playing a mix of synthy pop songs and electronica. His witty lyrics and deep,
soothing voice made you feel like he was the missing guest at your last party
-you know, the quirky guy everyone ends up talking to in the kitchen and walks
away from the night feeling just a little smarter and cooler for knowing.

 

To close the encore, Gibbard played “I Will Follow You into
the Dark,” which was fitting to have stuck in your head as you walked out into
the clear, star-filled night. (There’s nothing like a North Carolina
country sky in the winter.)

 

About 30 minutes from Carrboro, the Haw River Ballroom’s
expansive ceilings, exposed brick and homey feel were the perfect setting for
Gibbard’s haunting and stripped-down performance. The audience was able to
fully focus on the lyrics and Gibbard’s voice, a much different listening
experience than hearing him with a full band.

 

If Ashworth is the guy you want at the party, Gibbard is the
guy you want around all the time to help you see the depth
and richness of life and to fully appreciate the beauty of the moment, no
matter how painful.


Bettie Serveert Returns w/Single, Album

 

Beloved Dutch band drops
new single “Had2BYou” this week, with full-length arriving in February.

 

By Fred Mills

 

It’s been over nearly three years since we heard a peep out
of Holland
rockers Bettie Serveert, featuring the winsome vocals of frontgal Carol van
Dijk. Good news for fans has arrived, however: due in early February will be
their delightfully-titled tenth album Oh,
Mayhem!
, which like 2010’s Pharmacy
of Love
will be issued Stateside by Second Motion Records. More details
very soon. (Full disclosure: the label is an immediate business partner of
BLURT – but in even fuller disclosure, ye old editor of BLURT has been a huge
Bettie fan going all the way back to 1992’s Matador-released Palomine, so if you can’t dig that, go
get your own record label and music magazine and champion the band you love.)

 

Meanwhile, this week first Oh, Mayhem! single goes to iTunes, and we’ve got the freakysexycool
– and decidedly surrealistic – video for it for ya right here. Enjoy!

 

 

Ethyl Meatplow’s John Napier R.I.P.

 

Also helmed the
Basura! record label.

 

By Fred Mills

 

Sad news for the indie rock world and fans of Carla Bozulich’s
early ‘90s band Ethyl Meatplow: her bandmate John Napier has passed away, of
unspecified reasons that look to be drug-related. Ethyl Meatplow was a dynamic,
outrageous combo that pushed the envelope sonically and sexually, although it
only mustered one full-length, 1993’s Happy
Days, Sweetheart
. Following the demise of the band Bozulich went on to
greater fame in the Geraldine Fibbers and then as a solo artist, while Napier started
the indie label Basura! and formed  the
groups E. Coli and Buccinator.

 

Bozulich posted a long note at her Facebook page that read, in part:

 

A thing like this really makes you
remember the times where your life changed course forever because you knew a
certain someone. I feel extremely lucky ever to have found my “voice”
not just my singing voice, and much of that has to do with John drawing me out
of my shell and saying, “Come on, Carla, you are still a musician. it’s just
one song on a 4-track….

 

John was the most dynamic performer
I’ve ever known. Sick, scary and loving. The cat that knew the best
books and records and shortwave channels. He would pull things out of nowhere.
I shiver to think what I would have missed and maybe someday I’ll make a list!
That was John.

 

 

Beatles Pop-Up Vans Hit NYC, L.A.

 

Special limited
edition location-specific teeshirts make it an additional draw…

 

By Blurt Staff

 

To mark the
release this Tuesday, November 13, of the Beatles’ back catalog on remastered,180-gram
vinyl, in a one-day-only promotion, mobile Beatles pop-up shops in the form of
customized double-decker buses will hit the streets of New
York and Los Angeles,
making several stops in each city throughout the day. 

 

In addition
to the 14 vinyl LPs, available individually or collected in a deluxe boxed
edition with a stunning, elegantly designed 252-page hardbound book, the mobile
pop-up shops will offer The Beatles’ remastered studio album CDs in stereo and
mono, as well as DVDs and Blu-rays for this year’s restored Magical Mystery
Tour
and Yellow Submarine feature films, and several Beatles merch
items.  In each city, a special Beatles t-shirt (one unique to New York and another to Los Angeles) will be available exclusively on
the bus with minimum purchase, while supplies last.

 

Confirmed
locations:

 

 

New York:

* Midtown
(9:30am – 11am):  Seventh Avenue, between
49th Street
and 50th Street

* SoHo (12pm – 1:30pm):  Broadway, between Prince Street and
Spring Street

* Wall
Street (2:30pm – 4pm):  Broadway, between Cortlandt Street and Liberty Street

 

 

Los Angeles:

* Hollywood
(9:30am – 11am):  Capitol Records, 1750 North Vine Street

* Santa Monica (12pm – 1:30pm):  ICE at Santa Monica, 1324 5th Street at Arizona Avenue
(seasonal ice skating rink)

* Downtown
(2:30pm – 4pm):  L.A.
Live, at Olympic Boulevard and South
Figueroa Street

 

 

SONIC REDUCER / CARL HANNI

 

Last Train to Memphis:
The Rise of Elvis Presley (Peter Guralnick)

 

By Carl Hanni

 

Like my last posting here at
Sonic Reducer, this one is considerably after the fact; this mighty book about
the early life of Elvis Presley was first published in 1998, so it’s got 18
years of hair on it, but don’t let that take any of the shine off; it’s still
as fresh and impossible to put down as the day it was published. 

 

Last Train to Memphis tracks the life and career of Elvis Presley from his birth in 1935 until his
induction into the army in 1958, at the early peak of his career. A second
book, Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley, picks up the story
where this one left off, up until Presley’s death in 1977. 

 

All celebrities of Presley’s
caliber – a highly select and finite group – should be as lucky as Presley to
have a writer of Guralnick’s caliber take such a sympathetic and comprehensive
look at their life and work. The scope of the book is staggering – 488 pages on
the first 23 years of Presley’s life. That kind of coverage allows for
literally a day by day (or even hour by hour) exploration of a life that few
biographies can match. Last Train to Memphis (and presumably Careless Love, which I haven’t read) is a masterwork
of research that will likely stand for all time as the definitive book(s) about
Elvis Presley; it’s impossible to imagine anyone topping it in any
fashion. 

 

With Last Train to Memphis, Guralnick
takes on the super-human task of humanizing Elvis Presley and trying separate
the man from the myth. This is no easy task; Presley may be the single most
iconographic American figure of the 20th Century, a person whose image has so
over-saturated the culture that it’s hard to see him as anything more than a
series of images, some vital and vibrant and others sad and embarrassing.
Guralnick goes into this knowing full well that to many Presley was a joke, to
others an outrage and to others something akin to a deity. No matter what you
feel about Elvis Presley going in, you’re almost bound to come out of it
feeling differently after reading his book.

 

Guralnick – the author of other
highly acclaimed books on American culture and music like Lost Highway, Feel Like Going
Home
and several others – is a writer of unnatural skill and grace. The
narrative flows in a way that is so natural that it borders on the aquatic. His
gifts for evocation brings the past alive in a way that is so pronounced that
you can practically smell it and feel it. This is particularly true of Elvis’s
teenage years in Memphis, where his family moved
from Tupelo, MS, in 1948, when Elvis was thirteen.
Guralnick lays out central Memphis
street by street, then moves Presley, his family
and friends around in it over several years before his sudden, wildly
improbable rise to super-stardom. He follows Presley on his forays to Hollywood and Las
Vegas, and on his numerous tours around the South and
East, and right on into the army. Always, they return to Memphis. 

 

It’s unlikely that Elvis Presley
would have existed as he did without Memphis,
and without his earlier upbringing in Tupelo.
As a dirt poor, post-World War II child of the South, Elvis was raised in
an environment where poor blacks and whites rubbed shoulders with each other,
and where music – gospel, blues, hillbilly, country and later R&B – was
everywhere. Memphis – along with Nashville and New
Orleans – was one of the great bastions of Southern
music, with powerful and influential radio stations (and radio personalities,
like Elvis’ early booster Dewey Phillips), night clubs and concert halls,
jamborees, gospel revivals, record stores, local musical legends and local
labels and recording studios. And where, as the story has been told over and
over, local studio owner and fledgling label owner Sam Phillips, saw something
in a oddball kid who kept hanging
around his Sun Studios and let him cut a couple of tracks. The rest is, indeed,
history. 

 

The big picture facts of Elvis’
life during this time are public record, but no one has gotten into the
miniature of it in the way that Guralnick does. He seems to have spoken to
everyone who ever encountered Presley, and recaptures
their memories with sparkling detail and clarity. But much more importantly is
how deeply he digs into, and peels back the layer of Presley’s personality and
reveals the young man underneath. What he finds, and conveys with infinite care
and sympathy, is fascinating and eye-opening. Young Presley emerges as a fairly
simple, straightforward guy; but of course he’s also infinitely complex. He’s
completely devoted to his parents, especially his mother (to the point of being
a classic mama’s boy, really). He’s an oddball in school, especially high
school, but still has a local gang in the Memphis
housing project that he spent his high school years in that he’s loyal to. He
starts cultivating an image as a young teenager that eventually becomes a look
and an attitude that sets American culture on its ear. He shows so little
promise as a musician as a young man that his eventual stardom floors everyone
who knew him.  He seems completely racially color blind. He’s neither a
natural leader or a follower, really a sort of perpetual outsider that somehow
became one of the biggest selling, most controversial and polarizing, and then
most famous entertainers of his time. 

 

The whole story is wildly
improbable, but Guralnick makes it plausible by breaking it down day by day and
showing EXACTLY what happened. Elvis meets Dewey Phillips; Elvis meets Sam
Phillips, finally convinces him to let him record something; Dewey Phillips
plays it on WHBQ; it takes off like wildfire, and within a year local misfit
Elvis Presley is the hottest thing in ‘Hillbilly’ music in the region. Then the
whole South. Then the country. Then Hollywood
beckons.

 

No one had ever seen anything
like it. And, with the exception of
Beatlemania a few years later, ever did again, or likely ever will. Talk about
being the right guy at the right place at the right time; Elvis Presley
uncovered a need that no one knew existed until it rolled over the top of them.
He struck a chord in the teenage psyche of the country that (apparently) was
just lying there waiting to be struck, and it unleashed a culture changing
floodgate of hysteria that’s hard to understand today. To fully comprehend it,
check out the earliest footage of Presley that you can find; the best I’ve ever
seen are a few short clips that are featured on the excellent “History of Rock
& Roll” series that Time/Life put together several years ago, and I covered
in considerable detail in a previous Sonic Reducer. It’s mind-boggling: Presley
is a man possessed and the action from the crowds has to be seen to be
believed.

 

Aside from the story itself and
the look into Presley’s psyche, the other greatest virtue of Last Train To
Memphis
is the way that Guralnick illuminates multiple aspects of American
culture in the 1940s and 50s. It’s most likely hard for anyone considerably
younger to understand how fundamentally different America was when Presley first
broke in the mid 1950s. It many ways it really was a far more innocent (or
perhaps naive) time. Reading about Presley and his pals is like stepping into
an episode of “Happy Days:” kids (at least these kids) went out on chaste
double dates, went to the movies or the park, sipped Cokes, obeyed their
parents, went to church on Sundays, played football, gathered around the radio
to listen to the Grand Ole Opry and Louisiana Hayride (this was the south,
after all). Sure, there were a few hoods and greasers, a few teen pregnancies,
always the possibility of the draft and the threat of The Bomb (and if you were
black, the KKK); but seriously, reading the day by day of this era is not
unlike a Dixie-fried “Mayberry RFD,” the difference being that Presley and his
pals were poor, and just around the corner was Beale St., the beating heart of
Memphis’ black culture.

 

Presley was devoutly religious
and ascribed his talent to being ‘a gift from God.’  He would just as soon
sing spirituals around the piano with family and friends, much to the dismay of
a young Natalie Wood who came out for a four day stay and only lasted two,
bored and discomfited by all the homeliness. Herein lays the contradiction of
Elvis Presley: the seemingly lascivious, dangerously sexy character who really
DID induce mass sexual frenzy amongst his teenage fans was just a homeboy at
heart, who REALLY wanted nothing more than to please his mother and make her
proud. The public Elvis was known for his gyrations, outrageous clothes and
cross-over music; but the one thing that literally everybody who ever met Elvis
even in passing first says is how polite and humble he was. Elvis (at this
point anyway) didn’t drink, smoke, use drugs, forbid profanity in front of
women, donated to charities, sent flowers, tirelessly signed autographs –
stopped and helped strangers change tires, for Christ’s sake. Of course he also
screwed his way through Hollywood, Las Vegas and Memphis,
but also seems to have kept
genuinely chaste relationships with at least most of the numerous young women
he dated (sometimes 2 or 3 at a time) during this time. You know, the good
girls. The ones you marry. 

 

Finally, and just as full of
insights, stories and lore, Guralnick gives us indelible portraits of seemingly
everyone in Presley’s orbit from the time he was born. His dad Vernon and
prematurely sad mother Gladys (she just couldn’t stop worrying about Elvis),
his extended family, all of his neighbors and high school pals, his
shape-shifting Memphis posse (including several cousins) and his later posse additions
from Las Vegas and Hollywood are drawn in sharp relief. Of course much ink is
spilled on Col. Tom Parker, the former carny turned promoter who grabbed Elvis
and ran with him all the way to Hollywood
and to the bank. Several banks, really. But also every DJ, record producer and
engineer, A&R man, local promoter, RCA Records staff member who ever worked
with him, session musician and every soda jerk or car hop who ever served Elvis
seems to have been interviewed by Guralnick and included in the book. It should
be exhausting, but it’s not; it’s exhilarating. 

 

As he should, Guralnick pays
special attention to the three folks that really played the most in forming
Elvis Presley: Sam Phillips and Elvis’ original two band-mates, guitarist
Scotty Moore and bass player Bill Black. It’s entirely possible that the
phenomenon of ‘Elvis Presley’ never would have happened without Scotty and
Bill; if he was the look and the voice, they were the sound. Their two-person,
hopped-up combo of hillbilly twang and blues punch had never quite been heard
before, and they lit the fire under Elvis that blew up with such a startling
roar. It’s incredibly sad to see them slowly but surely marginalized, then
squeezed out of the picture altogether, and as generous as Elvis could be he
never seemed to realize that he wasn’t taking care of these two fellas from the
neighborhood that made it all happen. There’s more than a few warnings in their
story for anyone contemplating a life in the music business.

 

Sam Phillips was the guy who really
made the young Elvis Presley and boy does he know it. A world class character,
self made man and kingmaker for Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Roy
Orbison, Charlie Rich, Ike Turner’s ‘Rocket 88″ and others in addition to
Elvis, Phillips is a true American original, the guy who molded the key to the
kingdom of rock & roll. Fortunately for us all, Phillips was as color blind
as Presley, and between the two of them they kicked started a cultural
revolution that is still winding out today. 

 

Really, no kidding. Read it to
believe it.

 

 

***

 

Carl Hanni is a music writer, music publicist, DJ, disc jockey,
book hound and vinyl archivist living in Tucson, AZ. He hosts “The
B-Side” program on KXCI (streamed live on Tuesday nights 10-12 pm at
KXCI.org) and spins around Southern Arizona on
a regular basis. He currently writes for Blurt and Tucson Weekly.