Rock and Roll lives, people!
First a couple of dates. I will be at The Ice House in Pasadena on June 2. I can’t say it will be a new hour but I will try to work through some stuff. Come hang out. I have reading events coming up in DC, NYC and Boston. Check the calendar to the left for deets.
I’m not even old enough to have the deep relationship that I do with music from the era before mine but I realized that I was alive in 1972. I was nine. I was living in a basement in Albuquerque, NM. It was a nice basement. It had shag carpeting and two twin beds where my brother and I slept. It even had its own bathroom. I also had somehow inherited a large AIWA cassette player that had removable speakers. It was a pretty cool piece of equipment for a nine year old. I think what had happened is my father moved up to reel-to-reel and vinyl and I got what I assumed was their old unit. With it came a strange collection of cassette tapes. Here is the list: Johnny Cash Live at San Quentin, Jerry Vale’s Greatest Hits, Bobby Gentry’s Ode to Billy Joe and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Cosmos Factory.
The one song that I played over and over again was Up Around the Bend. The opening guitar riff is searing. When the drum kicked in with John Fogerty’s voice and the rest of the band the drive was raw energy. I loved it. I couldn’t get enough of that song. When I look at the songs on that album it’s like a full education in rock, country, blues and soul. If not a history, an education.
I’m not sure where I picked them up but I’ve had the first three CCR albums for years. I think I got them from my aunt and uncle. I just recently picked up the vinyl of Cosmos Factory. It holds up. It all holds up. When I want to play my new set up for someone I put on the first CCR record. It sounds perfect. It was produced pure and remains so.
When I saw Fogerty at Sundance with Dave Grohl’s band it was one of the greatest performances I’d seen and it was only three songs and it was only because Fogerty was still totally true to himself and his sound and it seemed timeless. It stopped time. That is some amazing music and an amazing artist.
When I was given the opportunity to interview Fogerty I felt honored. I chose to stay away from his well-documented legal hassles to try to get his songs back and instead kept the conversation to the songs and his life. You will hear that talk today. His new album of collaborations is spectacular. The cover of Long As I can See the Light with My Morning Jacket is beautiful.
Speaking of originals and veterans of a form, on Thursday I talk to Phil Hendrie. Phil has a way of doing radio and now podcasts like no one else. He utilizes the medium in completely unique way that is really all his own. It was honor to speak to him. I can’t tell you how much I dig talking to real deal artists of any form. Love it.
Rock and Roll lives, people!