Ted Nugent or “The Nuge” is a hard rock/psychedelic guitarist whose musical career dates back to 1963. He has made his stance against drug and alcohol abuse part of his right-wing activism. He is an ardent Republican supporter, and is strongly in favour of gun rights. It is said that his stance against substance abuse had an influence on a part of the Punk Rock movement known as the “Straight Edge” movement.
Bill O’Reilly, a host on Fox-TV, also won’t ever be accused of accusing the Republicans of anything wrong, unless it involves Donald Trump. And he is also teetotal. His show The O’Reilly Factor, was the highest-rated news show on the Fox network, and brought in the style of news commentary where afflicting the afflicted and comforting the comforted becomes the norm. But he would tell you that his roots are working class. This, like much of what he says, is disputed. However, he there is no disputing that he studied at Harvard; that he has had much experience in journalism before becoming part of the punditry machine that is Fox News.
The band Game Theory existed in the 1980s, and had a good run as artistic output goes. But during their day, they were beset by various runs of bad luck: the folding of their record label, Enigma, and the lack of publicity they had during and after they folded. The group disbanded around 1989, and group leader, songwriter, lead guitarist and vocalist Scott Miller (1960-2013) formed the group The Loud Family, which lasted for several more albums until 2006.
But I wish to focus on the latest posthumous offering by Omnivore Records, a reissuing a couple of weeks ago, of the high water mark of the creative powers of Scott Miller and Game Theory, and that was the double LP, Lolita Nation. Omnivore released it on a single CD, and in addition provided another CD of “bonus tracks”. And a booklet of quotes from producers and band members that had a hand in creating the album. Former live-in girlfriend Donnette Thayer talked about her experiences as guitarist and vocalist. Even Shelley LaFreniere was brought out of obscurity to write a few blurbs about her memory of her experiences in helping out as their keyboardist and background vocalist. However, most of the writing seemed to come from producer Mitch Easter, drummer Gil Ray, tour manager Dan Vallor, who also helped out with backup vocals. They would be the people you would want to hear the most from anyway.
Of course, I found the need to listen to the CD of bonus tracks more than the actual album which I played to death in the 80s and 90s. To play to the fan base, they have the long version of Chardonnay as their first track, which was never on the original album. after that, a few tracks were, to my ears, better left on the cutting room floor. But that’s not what bonus tracks are for. Even bonus tracks for Beatles reissues have a lot of crap on them. But like any cult fan, you are there for the gems. And they deliver on that. There is an interesting cover of The Hollies’ Carrie-Anne, which I have never heard them sing before. They also cover Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart. The highlight was the acoustic solo of Game Theory’s own Together Now, Very Minor without the deep space echo of Scott’s voice that was in the Lolita album.
Altogether, I found the album quite enjoyable, and the Bonus CD did not disappoint.
Cuban born Perez Prado (1916-1989) showed himself as the Head Honcho of Mambo University. I guess it was the Latin kind, not the horizontal kind. During his tenure, Prado was known as the King of Mambo.
Living for most of his life in Mexico, he had a long recording and performing career which extended from the 1940s to the 1970s.
One of his most famous recordings has the unfortunate name of “Mambo #5.” While it’s not on this record, I thought that I would include a video of the original 1950 tune, followed by a cover version of the song (below) done by the Horizontal Mambo Man Lou Bega, performed 50 years later, around 2000. You are guaranteed not to be able to get the Bega version out of your head.
Many of us recognise the name Arthur Murray as being the name behind the international dance lessons franchise. Now, how do you “learn” to dance to Rock and Roll and “do your own thing”?
Big Dave and his Orchestra could be accused of cashing in somehow with some kind of bandwagon, but in fact, Murray picked out the tracks himself, and there was a serious intent to “teach” rock and roll dance to customers.
Speaking for myself, I dance like a 3-legged cow, but if I wanted to pay for dance lessons, I don’t think I would go for something free-form like Rock, but with something more structured that takes somewhat more effort, like tango, foxtrot, or that kind of stuff.
June Mary Gough (stage surname is Bronhill) (1929-2005) sports a long dress made from curtains taken from a rummage sale at the Sydney Opera House.
She is a renowned operatic soprano, and was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. She is here posing outside of an opera house in her native Australian state of New South Wales.
These neatly dressed lads and curtain-wearing ladies probably have no connection to this Canadian rock group that shares their namesake.
In fact, there are a number of current bands that share this name. One of them is an Irish trad band that sings such ditties such as “Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour on The Bedpost Overnight?” That version of the Black Diamonds has no women in it. Needless to say, I couldn’t find any straight information on this group.
This would be the soundtrack to Elvis’s first comedy, GI Blues, released in 1960 by Paramount Pictures, where he acts as Tulsa alongside some token girl named Juliet Prowse, who plays Lili.
This is not Elvez, but “El Vez” (The Time), played by Hispanic smart aleck Robert Lopez. He is not strictly an Elvis impersonator, and has been known to do covers of other artists.Lopez was born when the original album was created, and this parody was released almost 40 years later, in 1996.
Allmusic.com sums Pat Boone up best. Having started his hit-making career before the “British Invasion”, Boone was the only worthy rival to Elvis Presley. Boone was the “nice guy” of the set, seeming to symbolise wholesome values at a time when Rock and Roll was considered by many to be a sign of the apocalypse. Many can say what they want about him, but nobody can deny that he’s had 38 top-40 hits, all of them in a seven-year span between 1957 and 1963.
Boone, like Presley, were experts at picking music from R&B and so-called “race music” and delivering it to white audiences at a time that many radio stations would not play music by Black artists.
Descendant of frontiersman Daniel Boone (if Allmusic says it, therefore it must be true), Boone broke away from his recent Gospel singing efforts to blaze a new path for himself in 1997 with “In A Metal Mood: No More Mr Nice Guy”, the subtitle named after the Alice Cooper hit, which he covers.
Hear Boone sing Van Halen’s “Panama”, or Deep Purple’s “Smoke On The Water”; Guns ‘n’ Roses’ “Paradise City”; Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”. Some of this stuff I can imagine being more believable, though it is still a stretch: Nazareth’s “Love Hurts” or Jimi Hendrix’s “The Wind Cries Mary” could remotely be imagined to be sung by Boone. There are no satisfying audio clips that I could find, so you can just preview this stuff at sites like Amazon, where they will have 30-second clips. This link is to CD Universe.
While it should be clear that this album is an abomination on many levels, I think it was intended that way. And Boone knows that big band treatments of this kind of music is best served dedpan. Few had the stomach for this album, which peaked at #125 on Billboard in 1997.
It should be added that this album was recorded when Boone was at age 60. Much of his Christian following didn’t get the joke, and the Trinity Broadcasting Network dropped him from their program “Gospel America” after he appeared at the American Music Awards dressed in black leather and covered in wash-off tattoos.
Completed in 1978, long after they had the wind taken out of their sails by punk and disco, Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, and Carl Palmer released this light album, intended to complete their contractual obligations before their first breakup. Various re-releases have been issued, as late as 2008.
Light as it is, “Love Beach” still sports a 20-minute track called “Memoirs of An Officer and a Gentleman”.