The Glorious Corner
RIP CHICK COREA — Chick Corea’s Return To Forever unit, with Stanley Clarke, Al Di Meola and Lenny White,, really set the stage for jazz-fusion standard. RTF, along with John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra, set hearts afire with their music; brilliantly mixing elements of jazz with rock. RTF’s brilliant Romantic Warrior album in 1976 was an album that sounds as good today as it did back then. Each member was truly inspired; unique and masterful.
As a young buck, I was wowed by DiMeola’s guitar work, and bassist Clarke and drummer White were also extraordinary. Corea, however, was utterly masterful and in a class by himself. Transcended for sure.
He passed yesterday at 79 and an amazing career (23 Grammys) that not only included some brilliant work as a soloist, but also with Miles Davis, Stan Getz and Herbie Mann. I’d seen Corea many times, most notably back at the Blue Note here in NYC two years ago and he was as good as ever. I even had the chance to speak with him as we talked about past shows. He was as gracious as ever.
Regrettably, jazz is nowhere near the force it once was. WBGO is the only station I can think of that plays it on a regular basis. Growing up, bands like Weather Report, the Brecker Brothers and artists like Billy Cobham, Herbie Hancock , Pat Metheny and George Duke were regular staples in my playlist.
It’s sad because it is a fantastic genre. Chick Corea us a huge loss. RIP.
Here’s a great remembrance from Roger Friedman/SHOWBIZ 411:
ELLIOT MAZER — Elliot Mazer, the longtime producer and engineer who helped craft albums for Neil Young, Linda Ronstadt, and the Band, among others, died at his San Francisco home on Sunday. He was 79. Mazer’s daughter Alison confirmed the producer’s death, adding that the cause was a heart attack after years of battling with dementia.
“Elliot loved music,” his sister, Bonnie Murray, tells Rolling Stone. “He loved what he did; he was a perfectionist. Everybody has so much respect for him, and he’s been suffering for a couple years.”
Mazer is best known for producing multiple albums by Young, beginning with 1972’s Harvest. He’d go on to produce the 1973 live LP Time Fades Away, his lost 1975 album Homegrown — which Young finally released last year — as well as 1983’s Everybody’s Rockin’ and 1985’s Old Ways. He also introduced Young to digital recordings.
“A master in the studio, Elliot was a really good guy,” Young said of the producer. “He had a great way about him and I wish we had gotten to do more together. I am happy and thankful though that we got what we did get. Harvest is one of my most recognized recordings and it all happened because of Elliot Mazer.”
Mazer was born on September 5th, 1941 in New York City. Shortly after his birth, his parents relocated the family to Teaneck, New Jersey, where he and Bonnie grew up. Their neighbor, Bob Weinstock, owned the jazz label Prestige Records and hired Mazer when he was just 21, where he organized tapes and delivered records to radio stations. The first album he worked on was 1962’s Standard Coltrane, assembled from a collection of John Coltrane outtakes he had found.
Following Prestige Records, Mazer took a job at Cameo-Parkway, an independent label in Philadelphia. “It was an amazing place,” he told the website Shadowplays in 2011. “It had its own studio. There were songwriters, artists and musicians there all the time. I was their jazz guy, but I loved pop records and therefore wound up working with Chubby Checker.”
Through the late Sixties and early Seventies, Mazer took his love of pop and began working on albums like Big Brother and the Holding Company’s Cheap Thrills and Ronstadt’s 1970 LP Silk Purse. “He was a mysterious guy to me,” Ronstadt told Rolling Stone. “But I didn’t know what I was doing at the time; I didn’t know how to sing yet. I recorded that song [‘Long Long Time’] at ten o’clock in the morning, when we could get into the studio, and he got me really good players and introduced me to the people who arranged it.” (“What you hear is Linda’s second take on the song,” Mazer later recalled in the liner notes to 2006’s The Best of Linda Ronstadt: The Capitol Years. “She was so tired afterwards, she came into the control room and fell asleep.”)
While at a dinner party in Nashville in early 1971, he met Young, who spontaneously asked him to produce Harvest. According to Young’s biography Shakey, Mazer was only vaguely familiar with Young because his girlfriend played After the Gold Rush constantly. Mazer connected Young with Nashville session players like bassist Tim Drummond, drummer Kenny Buttrey, pedal steel guitarist Ben Keith, and pianist John Harris.
A majority of the album was recorded at Mazer’s Quadrafonic Studios as well as inside the barn of Young’s Broken Arrow Ranch in Redwood City, California.
Mazer was there to witness Young’s famous quote during the recording, when he rowed Graham Nash — who had overdubbed vocals on the record — out to the middle of the lake to play him the album. “What he’d done is he’d wired his house as the left speaker and his entire barn as the right speaker, and they played Harvest,” Nash recalled. “And at the end of it, Elliot Mazer comes down to the shore of the lake and goes, ‘Neil how is it? Neil turns around and shouts, ‘More barn!’“
“We all knew there was something very special going on,” Mazer told Shakey biographer Jimmy McDonough of Harvest. “Looking back, I don’t really think I felt at ease with him, even though we spent hours and hours in the studio. The serious amount of pain he was in and his mood shifts — greatly controlled by drugs — kept everybody at a distance.”
Mazer also produced several albums for Gordon Lightfoot, including 1968’s Back Here on Earth and 1969’s Sunday Concert, as well as engineered the Band’s 1978 live album The Last Waltz.
Mazer is survived by Murray and his children Alison, Danielle, and Jack Reid. The family has asked that all donations be given to MusiCares.
SHORT TAKES — After their sold-show last week at the Sellersville Theater in Philadelphia; Romeo Delight has a return to The Landis Theatre on Saturday, June 12 Get tickets here: https://www.etix.com/ticket/p/7069740 ….\
Terrifically impressed by singer/songwriter Phoebe Bridgers on SNL last week. She kind of reminds me, musically and visually, of the great Aimee Mann; from Till Tuesday. Also, loved that on “I Know The End” she was playing a Danelectro guitar … which she smashed. A junior Pete Townshend? You never know. Actually the most impressive new act I’ve seen if far too long. Here’s a clip from the show with her attired in her best Harry Styles:
This whole Bring Springsteen/tequila episode is cute, but has been blown far out of proportion. Apparently, the Boss was offered a shot of tequila by some adoring fans. He took it … who wouldn’t. Jeep pulled their fantastic Super Bowl ad and everyone is not talking. It apparently happened last November and I’m sure had it been public knowledge, the ad would never have happened. Sad all around … Michelle Williams has been tapped to play the singer Peggy Lee in a bio-pic directed by Todd Haynes … Great choice, Williams is superb … and, NBC’s Katherine Creag suddenly passed Wednesday night. Terrific reporter and will be much missed. RIP
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Robert Miller; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Deb Caponetta; Andrew Fuhrman; Melissa Davis; Peter Shendell; Barry Fisch; Eppy; Steve Walter; Anthony Noto; Airto; Gail Moran; Fred Greenberg; and, CHIP!
WOODSTOCK COVER STARS — (Via Best Classic Bands) — Bobbi Ercoline’s name may not be familiar to most, but millions own her photograph: Bobbi, whose last name at the time was Kelly, and her then-boyfriend, Nick Ercoline, were huddled together under a quilt at the 1969 Woodstock festival when photographer Burk Uzzle snapped their picture. The couple, both then 20, were unaware that their photo had even been taken until several months later, when the three-LP Woodstock soundtrack album was released. They were among friends when they first realized the couple on the album cover was them.
“We were passing the jacket around when someone pointed out the staff with the orange and yellow butterfly,” Nick told AARP in 2019 for the organization’s magazine. “That belonged to Herbie, a guy from Huntington Beach, Calif. He was lost and having a bad trip, and we hooked arms with him until he was clear-headed. Then we saw the blanket. Oh my lord, that’s us!”
Bobbi and Nick only lasted one night at Woodstock, and never even got near the stage. They had given it their all trying to get to the festival, ditching their car when traffic became snarled and walking the final two miles. They spent most of their single day there on the hillside where the famous photo was taken.
Two years later, in 1971, they married. They remained together until Bobbi Ercoline’s death Saturday (March 18, 2023).
Nick posted the news on Facebook: “It’s with beyond great sadness that I tell my FB family and friends, that after 54 years of life together, of the death of my beautiful wife, Bobbi, last night surrounded by her family. She lived her life well, and left this world in a much better place. If you knew her, you loved her. She lived by her saying, ‘Be kind.’ As a School Nurse she always championed the kids … ALWAYS! As a person, she always gave. ‘How much do you really need if you have all you need or want?’ So she gave and gave and gave. She didn’t deserve this past year’s nightmare, but she isn’t suffering from the physical pain anymore and that brings some comfort to us.”
We’ve spoken much over the years about how that Woodstock event was so cataclysmic – culturally; musically; and certainly philosophically. Elliot Tiber wrote beautifully about it in his first book Taking Woodstock – a classic if you’ve never read it.
They tried to re-create it in 1994 and though it was good, it just didn’t have that magical flavor of the first one. I wasn’t at either, but as you can imagine, music from that 1969 concert still lives passionately today. I was, however, at Live Aid and that was my Woodstock for sure.
Not to get too poetic, but I came across a great quote yesterday: It’s worth being older now, to have been young then.
SHORT TAKES — Derek & The Dominoes Bobby Whitlock on Jim Gordon: “Carl Radle and Jim Gordon … Didn’t get any better than that. The only other alternative [for Derek and the Dominoes] was Jim Keltner. And that’s who should have been the guy and who was supposed to be the guy. But it didn’t turn out that way. He was busy. The rhythm section of Carl and Jim propelled the songs we put together. Jim Gordon is the most musical drummer I ever heard. All of the drums were in tune. literally tuned to a key on the piano. Big kit. But Jim had this wonderful ability to interpret the nuances you could feel but not hear. Carl was solid as a rock. A downbeat player and right on it. So, we have Carl who is solid and down and Jim who is up and on it. So, it was perpetual motion” …
Do you remember “Vehicle” by The Idea of March back in 1970? It became the fastest-selling single in Warner Brothers history. A little-known fact is that 14 seconds of the completed master of “Vehicle” was accidentally erased in the recording studio, (primarily the guitar solo), and the missing section was spliced in from a previously discarded take. The song reached #2 in Billboard, and #1 in Cashbox. The album “Vehicle” reached #55 nationally … Dolly Parton sings with Elton John on “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” on her forthcoming rock ‘n roll album. I bet it’ll sound great, but how many covers of that song has there been? Maybe they should have picked a John/Taupin deep-cut like “Come Down In Time” or “Amoreena.” Just saying … Does the phrase DLYZECOMKIN mean anything to you?
Believe it or not, in one of those crazy-jumble games online, the phrase translates into Micky Dolenz. Crazy, right? See for yourself: https://invasion24.com/2023/03/19/daily-jumble-puzzle-answers-march-19-2023/
… Speaking of Dolenz, he departs Thursday on a Flower Power Cruise; then starts his Headquarters-tour on April 1 in Orlando …
Charles F. Rosenay does the Zach Martin Big Fat American Podcast next week, for his new release, The Book of Top 10 Beatles Lists (KIWI Publishing) … HAPPY BDAY Gia Ramsey!
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Carol Geiser; Bob Meyerowitz; eYada; Andy Rosen; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Paul Haig; Terry Jastrow; Anthony Pomes; Mark Bego; Charles F. Rosenay; Bill Graham; Kip Cohen; Heather Moore; Charley Crespo; [Robert Miller; John Luongo; LIME; Carl Strube; Jen Ramos; and CHIP!
Carmine Appice and David Salidor
SIXX APPICE –— (Via Ultimate Clsssic Rock) Nikki Sixx spoke out against Carmine Appice’s claim that guitarist Mick Mars had been in dispute with his bandmates in the run-up to his retirement from Motley Crue. Mars’ departure was announced on the completion of their 2022 Stadium Tour, with John 5 named as his replacement soon afterwards. The official reason given was that Mars’ longterm illness had finally caught up with him – but in a recent interview, former Ozzy Osbourne and Vanilla Fudge drummer Appice suggested otherwise.
“[Mars] told me, ‘When I was on the Stadium Tour, I was not happy,’” Appice told Ultimate Guitar. “Basically, everything was on tape; it was all planned out and ultimately a lot of crap. … The truth is that everything has been weird for a while with Motley Crue… Mick told me that people that came to see it could tell that it was all pre-recorded and that everything was on tape.”
Appice added that Mars “would travel alone on a bus while the other guys flew everywhere,” and continued: “He said, ‘Man, these guys are pissing their money away, flying to every gig.’ They were all busy still trying to be rock stars, and Mick just wanted to play the music. … [T]here were a lot of disagreements. I think he was just done.” When Mars was told about Crue’s World Tour with Def Leppard, Appice claimed, the guitarist told his colleagues: “You can do it. I’m not going out with you for this.”
Earlier this week Sixx appeared to refer indirectly to Appice’s comments, tweeting: “Love how people talk FOR us without talking TO us. This is why the media has lost credibility. Obviously by printing BS they make money off of advertising and we’re not into that clickbait game. When the truth comes out it will be FROM us.”
But he was more direct during a Twitter Q&A session last night. “A washed up drummer trying to speak for us? And bottom feeder media running with it to make money off of lies? Welcome to the sad new world of LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME,” the bassist wrote.
He more or less repeated the same answer when asked: “Is what Carmine Appice said true?” Sixx replied: “A washed up drummer speaking for our band without any of the facts is as ridiculous as bottom feeder media running with stories without fact checking. When you hear the truth it will be from us.” He later commented: “It’s a funny money game.”
Crue will continue on the road through much of the year. Asked if 5’s status in the group was secure, Sixx stated: “Of course. He’s our guitar player. We have big plans.
Seems like there’s really a rumble in the metal-jungle. First off, I love these names … but, the name ‘Carmine Appice’ actually sounds pretty normal.
The metal world is a rough one for sure with fanzines named Blabbermouth; Louder Sound; Metal Edge; Metal Anarchy; Chaoszine; and Metal Injection. Remember, look before you leap!
SHORT TAKES — Growing up, every Sunday night was family-dinner night at the steak-eatery The Longhorn in Rockville Center, Long Island. Sure it was a long-time ago, but the memory survives (as does the memory of our favorite waiter Tomas). Did you know that Micky Dolenz’s father George, owner and operated a restaurant in the heart of the Sunset Strip called The Marquis? The always regal-Alison Martino did a terrific piece on it, check it out here: https://martinostimemachine.blogspot.com/2022/02/the-marquis-restaurant-once-located-on.html?m=1&mibextid=uc01c0&fbclid=IwAR3wCiU_sgRmpjqWGpda_mEHthrj7OS1UfLOVkvYdbfVP_d5Iz0fO-KZbUw
JIM GORDON RIP — If you’re a music fan, you know the name Jim Gordon well. Brilliant musician, part of the Wrecking Crew; Mad Dogs & Englishmen; Delaney & Bonnie; Derek & The Dominoes; Eric Clapton; George Harrison … dead at 77. I’m not going to go into the trouble he had, you can read it below in Variety’s terrific story, but suffice to say, he was an amazing musicianDid he do things that he shouldn’t have? Of course … as we all have. He had a most troubled road and hopefully is now at peace. His music will however, live on. Sad, sad story for sure.
Celebrity-scribe Mark Bego, who is working on a bio of Joe Cocker (for Yorkshire Publishing) had this to say: “Gordon brought a very professional edge to Joe Cocker and his still-gestating Mad Dogs & Englishmen tour. Gordon was one of three drummers on stage for that outrageous tour. Having been a member of The Wrecking Crew, Gordon, despite some head-scratching antics, helped give the rough-and-tumble troupe a much-needed degree of professionalism. However, Gordon began displaying a violent nature on that tour when he hauled off and punched Rita Coolidge in the face, one night after the show.”
Bego’s Cocker bio is provisionally set for release during the holidays.
GOTHAM — Gotham: The Fall and Rise of New York is an exciting exploration of New York City’s history and the legacy of its six mayors from 1966-2013. At the turn of a new century, learn how New York went from a failing city with over 2,200 murders, 93,000 violent robberies and over 500,000 annual felonies only to rise-up as America’s Greatest City.
Featuring twenty-six interviews, archival footage and re-enactments, Gotham puts viewers in the middle of the action exploring how a city turn-around happens.
New York City became what it is today through the blood, sweat, hard work, innovation, and creativity of a handful of heroes who were willing to challenge the status quo. Learn what they did and why it matters.
“We want the audience to get a historical sense of what was going on in New York during this tumultuous time,” said writer, director, and producer Matthew Taylor. “Through the courageous leadership and determination of many, the city was able to turn-around a common perception regarding crime in the area, which can serve as a blueprint on how to revitalize our great cities today.”
Featuring candid interviews with former NYC mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, and former NYPD commissioners Ray Kelly and William “Bill” Bratton, the film also features interviews with more than one dozen important figures who helped resurrect the city. Here’s the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45EXpx2JDz8&t=2s
REVIVAL69 — (Via Deadline) Shout! Studios has acquired North American rights to the music documentary Revival69: The Concert That Rocked The World, about a historic happening that’s been called “the second most important event in rock & roll history.”
Ron Chapman directed the film, which held its U.S. premiere this week at SXSW in Austin, Texas, playing in the festival’s 24 Beats Per Second section. The documentary tells “the remarkable, behind-the-scenes story of how a little known, but life-altering music festival came together — against all odds,” according to a description of the film. “Young, scrappy concert promoter John Brower puts his life on the line (literally) to turn his failing Toronto Rock n Roll Revival into a one-day event… The festival united rock legends like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley, and Gene Vincent, with The Doors, who were the biggest band in the world. But it was the 11th hour arrival of John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band that ignited a truly seminal moment for the 20,000 fans at Toronto’s Varsity Stadium.”
The film draws on rare behind-the-scenes material, as well as unreleased concert footage shot by D.A. Pennebaker, the vérité/direct cinema legend who directed the landmark Monterey Pop documentary.
“With its improbable backstory, incredible line-up and indelible D.A. Pennebaker footage, Ron’s wonderful film joins an elite group of unforgettable music documentaries that tell a great story while preserving a seminal moment in pop culture history, Shout has deep roots in the music business, so this was a very happy deal to do.” read a statement from the company.
The film draws on rare behind-the-scenes material, as well as unreleased concert footage shot by D.A. Pennebaker, the vérité/direct cinema legend who directed the landmark Monterey Pop documentary.
The second most important event in rock and roll history? Dunno about that, Bangladesh and Live AID sort of stand out a bit more. That said, interestingly enough, the packaging of the film in its box, looks a lot like Harrison’s show, so maybe its more of an intended subliminal message. In any event, it solidified Lennon’s full departure from The Beatles and his performance was extraordinary as usual. Definitely an integral part of rock history.
Here’s the trailer:
SHORT TAKES — Here’s the trailer for the forthcoming doc on Little Richard entitled I Am Everything. Looks fantastic.
Roger Friedman’s Showbiz 411 reported that the Friar’s Club on 55th street in NYC is officially closed for now. https://www.showbiz411.com/2023/03/16/sad-obit-the-friars-club-is-padlocked-shut-closed-after-years-of-mismanagement-and-malfeasance-comes-end-of-era Sad. I spent many marvelous nights there as well as having numerous meals there – I always said they had the best chopped salad in town. 21’s gone; Tortilla Flats; Lucky Strike; China Grill … 3 of the 4 Palms, all gone now. New York’s a changed place now for certain … Great post by producer/manager John Luongo on the resurgence of vinyl. Check it out and BTW, he’s absolutely right: https://www.johnluongomusic.com/post/a-vinyl-countdown …
And, the long-awaited David Johansen movie, Personality Crisis is here (executive produced by Martin Scorsese). Check out the trailer: https://deadline.com/2023/03/david-johansen-personality-crisis-trailer-streaming-premiere-date-showtime-1235301450/
… RIP Lance Reddick from Fringe and Bosch … HAPPY BDAY Steve Garrin and Donna Dolenz!
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Scarlett Rae; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Kent Kotal; Cynthia Ronzoni; Kim Garner; Steve Ross; Ahmet Ertegun; Andrew Sandoval; Terry Jastrow; Harrison Jordan; Bob Small; Kent and Laura Denmark; Jim Kerr; Liz Rosenberg; Ken Dashow; Joe Banadonna; Eppy; Wayne Avers; Jay Fagen; and CHIP.
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