Today is the 40th Anniversary of Patti Smith’s landmark debut, Horses

Horses was a crucial step in the evolution of New York Rock & Roll, blending a reverence for Smith’s musical and literary influences, with a fresh and vital perspective on those traditions, and in so doing, it helped lay the groundwork for New York’s (and by proxy, the world’s), nascent Punk scene. Smith’s shamanic, poetic explorations were ably abetted by the sympathetic musicians who would form the core of her band, for the following several years (and further), Lenny Kaye, Ivan Kral, Jay Dee Daugherty and Richard Sohl, who provided both solid ground and an improvisational fluidity perfectly suited to Smith’s style. Add some help from Television’s, Tom Verlaine, Blue Oyster Cult’s, Alan Lanier, John Cale behind the board, god of all that is mastering, Bob Ludwig, on post-production, and the now iconic Robert Mapplethorpe cover photo, and you’ve got yourself a masterpiece, every bit as vital today as it was forty years ago.


Sparks – Big Beat Tour, Full Concert – 11/27/76 – Capitol Theatre

Great footage that was uploaded last year, but I had not seen til now

0:00:00 – Introduction / Nothing To Do
0:04:00 – I Want To Be Like Everybody Else
0:07:49 – Something For The Girl With Everything
0:10:47 – White Woman
0:15:02 – Talent Is An Assett
0:19:49 – piano & monologue intro
0:20:59 – I Bought The Mississippi River
0:23:36 – Everybody’s Stupid
0:28:22 – B.C.
0:30:46 – Equator
0:35:38 – This Town Isn’t Big Enough For The Two Of Us
0:39:56 – Amateur Hour
0:47:34 – Big Boy
0:52:58 – Fill-er-up

Russell Mael – lead vocals
Ron Mael – keyboards
Jim McAlister – guitar, vocals
Luke Zamperini – guitar, vocals
David Swanson – bass
Hilly Boy Michaels – drums

Song of The Day: The Sweet – Love Is Like Oxygen

I missed Andy Scott’s birthday yesterday, which means instead of a bevy of classic Glam era Sweet clips, you get the very ELO inspired, Love Is Like Oxygen, which seems to constantly sneak back into my life at the right times

Happy birthday, Pete Townshend

Some live clips, demos, and other odds and sods

The Who at the height of their powers, 1970 Isle of Wight

Pete talks about his unforgetable use of synths on Won’t Get Fooled Again and Baba O’Riley

Pete’s demos are fascinating glimpses of works in progress, and you get to hear him sing songs that would otherwise feature Roger Daltrey

Someday he’s gonna be dignified and old. Happy birthday, Jonathan Richman

The Modern Lovers self titled debut is the greatest posthumously released Rock debut of all time. Not only that, the 1972 demos that they made separately with John Cale and Kim Fowley, and live recordings of the era, all have material absent from the official release that is equally astonishing. Taking an obvious love of the Velvet Underground, The Modern Lovers distinguished themselves in part with the awkward, anxious, forelorn and frustrated, but ultimately introspective and romantic lyrics of Jonathan Richman.

Richman possessed a mentality at odds with the times. To a peer group obsessed with drugs and sex, Richman proclaimed “I’m Straight”, and wrote of tradition, love and values, not unlike a pent-up, Boston based, Ray Davies, circa Waterloo Sunset or Village Green Preservation Society. In a time of long hairs and flamboyant fashion, he wore his hair short and his clothes were decidedly unhip, if not square. It was almost as if he was challenging the idea of Rock and Roll rebellion, from within that very format. Before long, such notions, and his poppier musical sensibilities would create friction with the original band, all of whom were much more comfortable with the era’s trends. Though the newer music of Richman was adopted by the Punk and New Wave crowds, his fellow original Modern Lovers subsequent bands, The Real Kids, The Cars and Talking Heads, were all clearly an active part of the new movement. Now, some forty years after the break up of the original band, it’s clear that Jonathan Richman had an aesthetic that he was pursuing, one that he continues to refine to this day, that is uniquely his.


I have a particularly fond, if bittersweet, memory of a Jonathan Richman show several years ago, and remember being particularly taken with this charming number about his youthful pretension.

Birthday boy Billy Squier’s got the big beat.

I remember a Philadelphia hipster DJ buying Billy Squier’s Don’t Say No from me, for the kitsch/retro factor of The Stroke, and when I tried to tell him that it was a legitimately great album, he looked at me as if I was insane. For some reason, Billy Squier does not receive his due among the modern rocker scene. Sure, Big Beat became a Hip-Hop sample staple and Classic Rock radio still shows some love, but aside from that, Squier seems seldom discussed these days. Where are the deluxe reissues of the first three albums? Why are neither Piper (his band pre-solo fame) albums currently in print, with the cheapest CD twofer currently listed for $75 on Amazon? Sure the Rock Me Tonight video is an embarrassment of gargantuan proportions (see video and Dangerous Minds links below), but it’s beyond time to recognize the awesomeness of prime Billy Squier.

This single, lifted from Piper’s self-titled debut, should have been a massive hit. Classic Powerpop.

And who can forget this classic Squier soundtracked scene from Fast Times At Ridgemont High?

Alright, here goes the career killer video that is Rock Me Tonight. Even by 80’s standards, it’s fruity. It’s like Gay Flashdance filmed a scene on a Miami Vice set, with Squier prancing and writhing in a “how did no one stop him? There’s a whole team of people working on this and no one said anything?!” vein. The funny thing is, if you peruse his earlier videos, you will see plenty of evidence of questionable dance moves and fashion choices, it’s just that this one drew waaaaaay too much attention to it. Who cares? Look back and laugh. It was the 80’s, damn it! Dance like nobody’s watching Billy!

Song Of The Day: Pete Wingfield – Eighteen With A Bullet

Happy birthday to Pete Wingfield. You may know this song from it’s inclusion in Guy Ritchie’s, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. It always reminded me of some Ruben and The Jets style, Zappa doo-wop.

Just take those old records off the shelf, it’s Bob Seger’s birthday

Before Bob Seger became an ubiquitous seventies radio hit machine, he was cranking out some of the most rocking sides to ever roll off of the Motor City music assembly line. Here’s a buncha my favorites, recorded with the Bob Seger System, The Last Heard and a live recording from 1973 with the Borneo Band. I recommend digging online and finding any live shows from ’75 or before. His performances during this era are some of my favorites.

2+2 is one of the toughest songs that I’ve ever heard

Better known for the Thin Lizzy cover, Rosalie is actually a Bob Seger original, appearing on Back in ’72

Listen to the Bob and The Borneo Band kick up a gospel storm. Seriously, dig that transition from Will The Circle Be Unbroken into Bo Diddley/Who Do You Love. Ridiculous. Heavy Music is right!
01. Think 07:12
02. Higher & Higher 03:26
03. St. Dominicks Review 06:12
04. Circle Song 03:54
05. Bo Diddley 06:50
06. Someday 02:40
07. Rosalie 03:39
08. Long As I Can Play 05:38
09. Born Under A Bad Sign 06:29
10. Turn On Your Love Light 13:24