FAMOUS ROCK/ROLL IMAGE OUTTAKES: BEATLES FOR SALE

BeatlesForSale_1The Beatles’ fourth studio album Beatles For Sale came out fifty years ago today in their homeland.  Here in America, Capitol Records spread the new songs over two records, Beatles ’65 and Beatles VI.  Beatles ’65, of course, was released on December 15, 1964. News to me.  Their first gatefold LP came less than four months after their famous night with Bob Dylan and marijuana and the record shows the influence of both.

An interesting story recently surfaced about the title of the album without any proof of its accuracy. Last year, the story emerged of Margaret Svenson and a contest she entered to name the next Beatles album.  She submitted the name “Beatles For Sale” and received a letter to meet the band “along with three other winners”. Unless they all picked “Beatles For Sale” and were all invited out of fairness….this is already sounding fishy, despite the photo of Margaret with the band (below).  But not for several British papers that ran a story about a retired nurse, a sister of a friend of Margaret’s, who gave them an album to get signed by the band.  The album went up for auction last year, expecting to fetch £2000-3000.  It went for £11,100.00 ($17,400 US). I’m sure Boldon Auction House authenticated the signatures but ran the story about the album title too. There’s no evidence of such a contest.Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 12.05.23 AM

Slightly more believable is the story of Betty Littlewood who went to see the band at Leeds on October 22, 1964.  She handed over a photo with her name and address on the back for the band to autograph to…..whom?  We don’t know. Was this common practice?  Well, she received the photo back and, not only was it signed by John, but someone, presumably the doodle-prone Lennon, drew some mock ups of their, then, unreleased and, presumably, untitled album.  Dig that Parlophone logo. Strangely enough, it too went up for auction last year, where it sold for £5,640 ($ 8,845 US)Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 11.35.03 PM

for sale uncropped

Robert Freeman’s autumn scene cover photo fits the mood perfectly. The road-worn weary faces and self-depricating title say even more. Freeman’s third Beatles cover in a row was shot at Hyde Park in London near the Royal Albert Hall in the fall of 1964.  An assistant held up a branch with leaves in front of the camera lens for some foreground bluriness. Paul McCartney recalled: “The album cover was rather nice: Robert Freeman’s photos. It was easy. We did a session lasting a couple of hours and had some reasonable pictures to use … The photographer would always be able to say to us, ‘Just show up,’ because we all wore the same kind of gear all the time. Black stuff; white shirts and big black scarves.”

Le outtake

Freeman climbed up into a tree for some shots that were used as the back cover.  In America they became the front cover for The Early Beatles.

Uncropped

for sale back bwearly_beatlesI was mostly finding smaller versions of these but Diboland had all of the above images on their page.  San Francisco Art Exchange actually has two of them for sale.

Short 90 second “making of” clip from the recent reissues. Paul comments on George’s turnip top hair.

Beatles For Sale era from the Anthology documentary

Australia

Australia

Four song EP

Four song EP

German

German

iViva Mexico!

iViva Mexico!

Check out even MORE OUTTAKES including the first three Beatles albums on our Facebook page or our “BEATLESS” photo gallery full of rare, interesting pictures of that one band.  Make sure to “like” us to keep up on when we feel like sharing.
bfs legos
beatles-lps

 

THE BALLAD OF JOHNNY CASH’S MIDDLE FINGER

It is one of the most famous music photographs in history. Images this iconic usually first appeared on the covers of albums or magazines.  This one graced neither.  When it first became notorious, the picture was nearly twenty years old and, to this day, most people don’t know just how it happened.  When I first searched for an outtake online and couldn’t find one, I assumed it was a one-off.  When I finally found snapshots taken just milliseconds before, I couldn’t believe that no one had posted them online.  I didn’t want to share what I’d found until all of my questions about the famous finger were answered.  Two years later, they’re still not.  Glad to see there’s still some mystery in the world…

Jim Marshall started taking photographs of musicians in the 1950’s with one John Coltrane and was quickly in demand by every major record label imaginable, eventually shooting more than 500 album covers. He was hired by the Beatles to document their very last concert in 1966 and took some of the most well-known pictures at the Monterey Pop Festival, Woodstock and countless other historic events. He’s considered by many to be the first real rock photographer and possibly the greatest ever.

Marshall first met singer Johnny Cash in 1962 at a Greenwich Village cafe when he was introduced by another regular subject of his, Bob Dylan. When the two hit it off, so began a 30 year relationship, visually collected in the 2010 Chronicle Books release, Pocket Cash.  Marshall had already photographed Cash at several folk festivals when, at Johnny’s insistence, he was hired by Columbia Records to photograph the recording of the famed At Folsom Prison album in 1968.  The idea of recording a concert at a prison had been kicking around for years and, with shake-ups at Columbia, Cash finally had a supporter of the project in producer Bob Johnston.

Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 11.25.46 AMThe Man In Black is synonymous with prisons thanks to his first big hit, “Folsom Prison Blues”, though he never actually served a prison sentence.  Cash was arrested seven times and spent a few nights in jail but he wrote extensively on his empathy for prisoners and how close he always felt to them. Those feelings may have began while he was serving in the U.S. Army in West Germany in the early 1950’s and his platoon watched the 1951 film Inside The Walls Of Folsom Prison. It inspired him to pen the song that would hit #1 on the country charts in 1955. He began to get deeply personal letters from inmates and invitations from jails all over the United States.  Cash’s prison first performance took place in Huntville, Texas in 1956 and he played them regularly throughout his career.

folsomThough now it seems like a no-brainer to record an outlaw country legend like Johnny Cash in a room full of prisoners, Columbia Records was taking a huge chance on something that had never been done before. Cash had only recently cleaned up after years of erratic drug-and-alcohol fueled behavior. With it being the namesake of Cash’s biggest hit, Folsom Prison in northern California seemed an obvious choice to host the recording, but the label also pitched the idea to the state’s largest facility, San Quentin State Prison. Cash had played Folsom in 1966 and they responded first, so the album was recorded there on January 13, 1968.  The gamble paid off.  The record went to #1 in the country charts, #12 on the pop album chart, was universally hailed as an unforgettable recording and revived Cash’s career.

After the success of Folsom, Columbia Records released the compilation album Heart Of Cash and, in early 1969, they put out Cash’s new LP, The Holy Land, which mostly contained religiously themed songs.  It was a far cry from the rawness of performing in a room full of criminals but the album went to #6 on the country charts and the Carl Perkins-penned single “Daddy Sang Bass” was a huge hit, staying atop the country charts for six weeks.  With the public eager for more jailhouse rock, it was no huge surprise that Cash did another live record next. This time they went just a little over 100 miles southwest of Folsom to San Quentin State Prison, across the Bay from the famous Alcatraz Prison. Cash had already played there three times before, including New Years Day 1958.

Shot of archived masters posted to Jim Marshall Photography LLC Facebook page

Shot of archived masters posted to Jim Marshall Photography LLC Facebook page

Once again, Marshall was asked to take photographs for the album and England’s Granda Television arranged to film the concert for a BBC documentary. On February 24th, 1969 they arrived at the prison early to set up for the show.  Because it was being filmed by a full camera crew at quite an expense, the producers wanted to make sure they got what they needed. Cash was obviously fed up with the demands of the Brits, his label and the prison. Before he played “I Walk The Line”, he told the inmates, “They said, ‘You gotta do this song, you gotta that song.  You know, you gotta stand like this or act like this.’  I just don’t get it, man. You know, I’m here to do what YOU want me to and what I want to do.”  His specially-penned ode “San Quentin” was so scathing and the prisoners loved it so much that he played it twice in a row. Time and time again, he said the very things he was asked not to and did it with a grin because he knew he could get away with it. The prisoners couldn’t but he was an invited guest….with a microphone.

cash-vs-bbc

Rare shots of Johnny tolerating BBC suggestions.

Like its predecessor, San Quentin was a huge success, even bigger than Folsom, in fact.  While the album and his version of Shel Silverstein’s “A Boy Named Sue” topped the country album and single charts, they also became crossover pop hits.  The LP topped the pop album charts for five weeks in the fall of 1969 and won the Grammy for Album of the Year while “Sue” went to #2 in Billboard’s pop singles charts.  Over time, the album recorded at Folsom has become the more famous of the two, probably thanks to its namesake hit.  Both albums reached the three million dollar mark in sales in 2003.

the-bird-cd-bookletIn 2000, when Columbia released the full San Quentin show on cd, the liner notes included an essay by singer Marty Stuart, recollections by Cash’s wife June Carter Cash and Stuart’s interview with one-time San Quentin inmate Merle Haggard. Haggard was so inspired by Cash’s performance, that he let his fellow inmates convince him to ditch an escape plan to pursue a singing career.  Johnny Cash’s own two paragraph contribution is titled “The Bird”.  In it, he explains that during the show, the camera crew was onstage blocking the inmates’ view.  “At some point,” he explains “I walked around my microphone and yelled ‘Clear the stage! I can’t see my audience!’ Nobody moved.  So I gave them ‘the bird’. Hence the picture.”  Included is a shot that looks like it was taken just before the finger came out.  Cash is already forming the famous “F”, biting his lower lip. It’s a great story but Johnny remembered it wrong.  He’s not the only one.

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When I first started to look for other photos taken that day, all I could find were a few shots of the band performing in dark suits. I’d never looked that closely at the backlit Man In Black on the cover of the LP but noticed that he wasn’t wearing the same outfit as he is in the finger shot.  I finally found that Marshall’s famous picture was actually taken at a rehearsal earlier in the day while Cash was wearing a prison jumpsuit that was auctioned off in 2010.  Julien’s Auctions expected to get $3000-$5000 for it.  It went for $50,000.

Dig the Monkees-esque logo

Dig the Monkees-esque logo

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Photos from the Rollcall Blog

Johnny_Cash_At_San_QuentinAccording to Marshall, they didn’t even use one of his photographs for the cover, though it’s often credited to him.  It seems strange that they would hire a well-known photographer like Marshall and not use his shot for the cover. Marshall dismissed it as “more stylized”. They did use twelve smaller color photographs of his for the back cover, including one reversed shot so Cash looks like he’s playing his guitar left handed. The original liner notes credited one Henry Fox with the cover shot but there is no information to be found on him.  In fact, if you search for “Henry Fox photographer” online, time and time again, you find information on 19th century British inventor Henry Fox Talbot, who is credited with the development of the photographic process.  I had to wonder if maybe it was Marshall using a pseudonym for some reason.  In the 2000 Columbia album reissue, which has many extra shots not on the original release, it solely credits Marshall with the album’s photography.

Not surprisingly, the middle finger shot was not used as part of the album’s artwork when it was released on June 4, 1969, less than four months after it was recorded.  It’s hard to imagine that the rehearsal photo was ever NOT famous but it actually remained almost completely unseen for nearly 20 years. It was shown on occasion at Jim Marshall photography shows but very few prints were made.  Somehow, posters and t-shirts with the photograph started to show up in record stores in the 1980’s. Marshall often called it “the most ripped off photograph of all-time”.

not fade awayThe first book of Marshall’s photography, Not Fade Away, was published in 1997 and the Cash photo was included.  Thirteen years later, word spread on music websites that he had finally revealed the secret behind the photo but in the book, Marshall offered this explanation:
“I forget why he flipped the bird in this picture, it might have been directed at the television crew who was filming there, or I might have suggested doing a special shot for the warden, but for whatever reason, this has become a very famous, iconic picture”

Bill Graham, San Francisco 1967

Bill Graham, San Francisco 1967

Before this came to light, people often assumed that Cash was frustrated with whoever was taking the picture. He’s definitely looking right at the cameraman but giving Jim Marshall the finger was nothing new, even in 1969. Marshall is a famous self-proclaimed hard-ass who loved guns but he was adored by his subjects, which is why he got such personal expressive shots of them.  That’s why Cash asked him to shoot at both Folsom and San Quentin. “It shows John’s individuality,” Marshall noted on his own website, “but the gesture was definitely done in jest. John’s got a great sense of humor and this was not a serious shot.”

Cash downplayed the dangerous nature of the photo, noting that his mother-in-law is standing behind him and he’s got a wedding ring on the next finger over. The Man In Black was an outlaw country legend, adored by prisoners worldwide but he was also a religious man constantly battling his demons. It’s these contrasts that make Marshall’s shot such an interesting image and made Cash such an interesting man. Marshall knowing about his desire to do the right thing probably helped the photo stay unseen for so long.  Bill Miller, close friend of Johnny Cash and founder of JohnnyCash.com and Johnny Cash Radio said, “I can tell you that Johnny did not like the photo and disliked signing them even more.”

jcashmug1

Johnny Cash was arrested in October 1965 when U.S. Customs agents found hundreds of pep pills and tranquilizers in his luggage. The Man in Black–who was returning by plane from a trip to Juarez, Mexico–spent a night in the El Paso jail, and later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count. Cash paid a $1000 fine and received a 30-day suspended sentence. Photo from TheSmokingGun.com

When the photo finally appeared in Marshall’s book in 1997, Cash’s career was on a huge upswing, thanks to a series of records produced by Rick Rubin, who’d previously been known for working with acts like Beastie Boys and Slayer.  Their first album together, 1994’s American Recordings, was the quietest album Cash had ever made, done with just him and his acoustic guitar and recorded in Rubin’s living room.  The album was a huge success and won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Performance. Suddenly, he was playing to thousands of young alternative-nation citizens at places like England’s Glastonbury Festival and doing a guest spot as a coyote on The Simpsons. It was such a pleasant surprise to Cash, that he agreed to do something different for the second record he did with Rubin, 1996’s Unchained.

Before American Recordings, Cash was reluctant to make a record that deliberately appealed to Gen X’ers.  Rubin assured him that he wanted to do it Johnny’s way and they’d see how it went. Maybe it was his intention all along to make something like Unchained but once Cash was open to suggestion, the floodgates opened.  Having Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers as the backing band for the album kept it in the country-rock world but now he was singing songs by Beck and Soundgarden with Flea on bass.  If the Lollapaloozers liked him before, now they LOVED him.

For years, Cash had been ignored by modern country radio. An album as stark as American Recordings would’ve sounded completely out-of-place next to the slick, young stars of the day but Unchained had a full sold country-rock band behind him.  Still, the record got no love from American country radio stations and no nominations at that year’s Country Music Awards. The Grammy voters from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, however, have had a long history of favoring veteran artists, like when Jethro Tull famously beat Metallica in the first ever Hard Rock/Metal category. Sure enough, Unchained was nominated for two 1998 GrammysBest Male Vocal Performance for “Rusty Cage” (which went to VInce Gill’s “Pretty Little Adrianna“) and Best Country Album, which Cash won, beating out Alan Jackson, Patty Loveless, George Strait and Dwight Yoakam. The album category was added in 1965 and was won back-to-back years by Roger Miller but then done away with until 1995, making Cash only the fifth singer to win the award.

Cash's Grammy for "Hurt" from the Johnny Cash Museum

Cash’s Grammy for “Hurt” from the Johnny Cash Museum

Although it had been a long while between trips to the podium, Cash’s trophy case was hardly empty. Between 1968 and 1971, he won six Grammys (including awards for liner notes he wrote for At Folsom Prison and Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline) and six Country Music Awards (including five in 1969 after the success of San Quentin).  Although he received a spoken word Grammy for being part of 1987’s “Interviews from the Class of 55 Recording Sessions” and a Grammy Legend award in 1990, 24 years had passed since Cash had received a Grammy for a new recording.  In all, he received 18 Grammys, including six for his work with Rubin.wb-ad

It’s standard practice for record labels to take out ads congratulating their Grammy-winning artists in Billboard Magazine, which has been the bible of the biz for over 100 years. Warner Brothers took out an ad congratulating all the 1998 winners on record labels under their umbrella, which included American Records. The ad included Cash but Rubin had an idea that was straight out of Cash’s very own playbook.

Click to zoom n quint.

Click to zoom n quint.

In 1964, Cash had immersed himself in the history of the United States’ treatment of American Indians. He recorded an entire album of songs on the subject, called Bitter Tears. The lead single chosen was “The Ballad of Ira Hayes”, the tale of a Pima Indian war hero who was immortalized in the famed Iwo Jima photograph but had died a penniless alcoholic. Without support from radio stations or his own record label, it went nowhere. An editor at a country music magazine insisted Cash should resign from the Country Music Association because “you and your crowd are just too intelligent to associate with plain country folks, country artists and country DJs.” In response, Cash wrote an open letter to the music business and had it placed as a full-page ad in Billboard which ran on August 22, 1964.  The letter explained his motivation for writing the song and then he addressed the hit-makers. Some highlights:

“D.J.’s — station managers — owners, etc.,
Where are your guts?” I think you do have guts – that you believe something deep down (And pardon the dialect – mine is one of 500 or more in this land). Still actual sales on Ira Hayes are double the ‘Big Country Hit’ sales average. Classify me, categorize me, STIFLE me-but it won’t work. These lyrics take us back to the truth. You’re right! Teenage girls and Beatle record buyers don’t want to hear this sad story of Ira Hayes but who cries more easily and who goes to see sad movies to cry??? Teenage girls. Yes I cut records to try for ‘sales’.  Another word we could use is success. Regardless of the trade charts — the categorizing, classifying and restrictions of air play, this not a country song, not as it is being sold. It is a fine reason though for the gutless to give it a thumbs down. ‘Ira Hayes’ is strong medicine. So is Rochester, Harlem, Birmingham and Vietnam. But as an American who is almost a half-breed Cherokee-Mohawk (and who knows what else?), I had to fight back when I realized that so many stations are afraid of Ira Hayes. Just one question: WHY???

NOBODY BUT NOBODY MORE ORIGINAL THAN JOHNNY CASH”jc deputy

It worked.  The song went to #3 in the country charts. Likely knowing about Cash’s love of public showbiz shaming and having recently seen the finger photo, Rick Rubin suggested they take out an ad in Billboard “thanking” the country music world with Jim Marshall’s photo.  In the Country Music Television documentary Johnny Cash vs Music Row, Rubin talked about how the $20,000 ad came about.

“When I first suggested it, he just laughed and said, “Great.”  He said, “I’m not going to tell you to do it but I’m certainly not going to tell you not to do it.” and actually Johnny and I wrote it together.  We went back and forth.  I remember he wanted it to say “music establishment” as opposed to just country radio.  We talked about it.  We talked about it a lot.

willie-nelson-flipping-birdFrom the Unearthed liner notes:
“The ad struck a resonant chord with Johnny’s fellow musicians. Like the 1969 San Quentin prison concert where the “bird” photo came from, it was the perfect gesture of defiance, of an individual squaring up to the establishment and its arbitrary, hard-hearted rules. Suddenly, the American offices were deluged with requests for copies of the ad from artists, most of whom bristled at their treatment by the music industry. It got to the point where American had posters made of it, because every day another musician or recording studio would call up with a request. (Ironically, even executives at Warner Brothers Records proudly displayed framed copes of the ad in their offices). And Willie Nelson posted it in his tour bus, with no end of travelling bands following his lead.”billboardad314

George Jones told USA Today that he laughed out loud when he saw the ad and threatened to run one for his next single filled with baseballs, footballs and basketballs with the caption “If radio had any, they’d play this record.”  Some industry leaders backpedaled publicly. WSM-FM in Nashville offered to broadcast a live Johnny Cash concert but Radio & Records music editor Steve Wonsiewicz responded that “if there was a huge demand for their music, it would get played.”  While the ad did get its fair share of press at the time, it was mostly within music business circles that it became legendary. Billboard is a trade magazine, so a lot of the general public never heard about the stunt in 1998 and even fewer today know that it was the advertisement that first made the photo famous.

jc light

Get it on etsy, hipsters.

Through Yer Doin’ Great, finding and sharing outtakes of famous photos has become a fun passion. Once I started posting these shots, there were two that I wanted to find most: the cover of the Clash’s London Calling and the prison shot of Johnny Cash.  I finally came across a Clash songbook that had another shot of Paul Simonon’s famed bass-smashing but the San Quentin shot eluded me.  I’d look for it every so often but could barely find any shots taken that day, let alone a few seconds before or after.  I figured that because it was taken in the pre-digital days where every shot counted and film wasn’t free, that maybe there were no extra images of those moments.

marshall_proofI kept finding interesting details but often found well-respected, official sites getting the date, location and other facts wrong (usually placing it at Folsom Prison from the year before).  I figured that if I couldn’t find an outtake, I’d at least try to tell the tale and get it right. It’s too good of a story not to share. Then, I accidentally came across a page on the official Jim Marshall Photography website late one night about his 2004 book ProofThe page even had a Johnny Cash prison contact sheet but it was from the Folsm concert. A few clicks later, I found a description of the book that mentioned the “bird” photo among other highlights.  I couldn’t order a copy fast enough. Marshall’s website linked to Amazon, which showed that it was out-of-print but finding a used copy only took a few extra minutes.  Thanks again, internet.

When it arrived a few days later, it turned out to be a library copy from Centerville, Ohio.  I thumbed through a dozen famous photos before coming to the pages featuring San Quentin.  On the right page was the famous shot, with a short caption and a mention of doing the shot for the warden. On the left page is the proof sheet with 34 black and white shots taken from before the concert.  Other than five shots of Johnny sitting at a table talking to the Granada Televsion staff, the roll is full of fairly uneventful shots of the band rehearsing in prison jumpsuits. Noticeably absent is the shot used in the 2000 reissue I thought was taken just before. Looks like Cash told Marshall to eff off more than once that day. Maybe he told the BBC crew too.cash-proof-top-n-bottom

Two shots into the rehearsal, Marshall captured a bit of fun that would become his most famous shot. He snapped three frames of Johnny flipping the bird. The third shot was marked with a blue grease pen and destined to go down in history.  In Jim Marshall’s book Pocket Cash, he recalled “Three frames, a 21-millimeter lens. I don’t know if the film crew caught it. Elton John bought all three frames.”  Holding that ten year old book, it felt like me and Elton were the only two people in the world who knew or cared about all three pictures.  I almost shared them that night but wanted to get the story right before I did. Two years later, here we are.cash-3x-fingers

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After all of these years, interest in Cash’s prison concerts is still huge. Just last week, new unseen Jim Marshall photos from San Quentin became available at Sonic Editions and everyone from Esquire to Dangerous Minds shared the good news. Still, the mystery remains whether the finger was for the BBC or the warden. When author Jonathan Silverman asked Marshall about it in 2004, he said “It was some of each. It was thirty five years ago.  I don’t fucking remember.” Marshall died on March 23, 2010 in his sleep in New York.

Jim Marhsall signing his famous photo.  Photo by Grover Sanschagrin

Jim Marshall signing his famous photo. Photo by Grover Sanschagrin

Johnny Cash continued to record with Rick Rubin despite a variety of illnesses, releasing two more albums for the American series and recording enough to fill two more posthumously before he passed away on September 12, 2003. His accomplishments are legendary.  He was inducted into both the Country and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was the oldest artist to be nominated for an MTV Video Music Award, received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1996 and ruined the middle finger for the rest of us. As obscenity has become less scandalous over time, the gesture is now pretty tame but Jim Marshall’s photograph still speaks volumes about danger, attitude, individuality and biting the hand that feeds.  Giving that salute at a time when morality was so different and doing it under the intense scrutiny of a maximum security prison is something no one will ever touch.

C’mon, you really think that even the most dangerous criminal in this day and age putting up their finger has half of the power as that picture?  Fuck you.

Author in mural'd San Diego Hard Rock Hotel corridor

Author in mural’d San Diego Hard Rock Hotel corridor, December 2014

A FEW MORE SOURCES & WORTHWHILE FINGERS
THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF JIM MARSHALL PHOTOGRAPHY
JOHNNYCASH.COM
JOHNNY CASH MUSEUM in Nashville
THE BIRD, THE FINGER, THE LEGEND. The Selvedge Yard’s collection of historic middle finger photos
THIS LAND IS THEIR LAND The Bluegrass Special’s piece on In A Heartbeat and a Guitar: Johnny Cash and the Making of Bitter Tears by Antonino D’Ambrosio
THE BITTER TEARS OF JOHNNY CASH from Salon.com
JOHNNY CASH LIVE AT SAN QUENTIN PRX’s hourlong audio story on the concert, other PRX specials on Johnny Cash available here
NINE CHOICES: AMERICAN CULTURE AND JOHNNY CASH by Jonathan Silverman
JOHNNY CASH INFO CENTER

JOHNNY CASH’S MIDDLE FINGER FACEBOOK GROUP
SAVING COUNTRY MUSIC

CASH’D OUT World’s greatest Johnny Cash tribute act, straight outta San Diego
“GRANDPA GEEZER” JOINS CASH’D OUT AS JUNE CARTER
BASTARD SONS OF JOHNNY CASH Another band with San Diego ties that tips their hat to Johnny
MORE FAMOUS ROCK/ROLL IMAGE OUTTAKES
at Yer Doin’ Great’s Facebook page

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BAM! THE STORY BEHIND THE INFAMOUS “LARRY GIVES DIRECTIONS” VIDEO

Back in the ancient days before Youtube and things that go viral, it was not a common occurance for videos to get widely circulated. They had to be copied from VHS  to VHS tape, usually one at a time and handed off to a like-minded friend. In 1996, I traded tapes online with a comedian who happened to have a huge collection of fun, weird videos. On his list, he rated each video’s hilarity and one called “Larry Gives Directions” was rated highest. Without spoilers, I asked him to include it and he was right.  It was hilarious. Two guys on vacation from California stop to get directions to a Motel 6 in Longview, Texas. They happen to stop one Larry Williams. For reasons unknown, they videotape him giving the directions, which are so funny that even the cameraman can’t help cracking up.

Since it was nearly impossible to find to discover the origins of the video, I put a page up on my lo-fi website hoping to find answers. Thousands of people found it and dozens left theories and rumors in the page’s guestbook.  The tape was circulated by Hank Williams Jr. The drivers were producers working on a Corona ad campaign. They were location scouts for Robert Longo’s movie “Johnny Mnemonic”. In March of 2006, I got an e-mail from the friend of Kim Rust, the man in the passenger seat of the video.  I dropped Kim a note and he was happy to answer questions about the famous video. He probably wasn’t shouting but I left his CAPS LOCK responses intact.

Shortly after posting the interview on my band’s website (for lack of other webspace), I let my website account close and with it went Kim’s 15 minutes of fame.  Six years later, I started this page and thought I’d repost it here. When I finally went to find it on archive.org, I could access the entire deceased band website….except for the page about Larry.  That meant that the only place I could find it was on a backup Zip disc I hadn’t touched in eight years. To my shock, my MacBook Pro recognized the zipdrive and I found the HMTL page from the website. As soon as I copied the text, I got a spinning rainbow trying to open another file on the disc and that was that.

Here it is.  Resurrected for the holidays….

Alright, Kim. Besides answering these questions, please give us your reactions on hearing about how popular it’s become. Thanks in advance. We’re honored.

IT’S STRANGE BECAUSE WE WENT OUT OF OUR WAY TO NOT HAVE THIS THING GET OUT. I DON’T THINK IT WAS GIVEN TO OVER 7 TO 10 PEOPLE. IT’S INTERESTING HOW IT HAS GOT AROUND. YEARS AGO IT WAS WRITTEN ABOUT IN THE SAN FRANCISCO NEWSPAPER AND THE LA NEWSPAPER. SUPPOSEDLY, ACCORDING TO ONE ARTICLE, JAMES CAAN AND ROB REINER HAD COPIES OF IT.

First, when was the video shot? Were you the cameraman or in the passenger seat? Who was your friend?

THE VIDEO WAS SHOT IN MAY OF 1988. I WAS THE BIKE RIDER IN THE PASSENGER SEAT WHO SPONSORED THE TRIP. THE DRIVER AND CAMERAMAN WAS ROBIN WREN, WHO I HAVE LOST TOUCH WITH.

You guys were in Longview, Texas. Where were you heading to and from and why?

AS ONE OF SEVERAL ‘MID-LIFE CRISIS” ENDURANCE EVENTS, I DID A 29 DAY, COAST TO COAST BICYCLE RIDE STARTING IN JACKSONVILLE, FL AND ENDING IN SAN DIEGO, CA. IT WAS TO BE PART OF A BOOK THAT WAS NEVER PUBLISHED.

Were you just filming ANY fun stuff you came across on your trip? Is that why you decided to film someone giving directions? Lucky you did. That seems to be the most obvious question: WHY did you choose to film Larry? Did he just look like he had pornstar potential?

WE SHOT LOTS AND LOTS OF FILM. EVERYTHING FROM THE LANDSCAPE TO PEOPLE WE INTERVIEWED. ALTHOUGH THIS WAS THE FUNNIEST, OTHERS WERE VERY INTERESTING & FUNNY. I have many times thought a couple of guys could spend 6 months on the road and put together a blockbuster of a film with a mixture of funny stuff combined with “Charles Karult” Americana. Frankly, it is something I would be good at and enjoy. Shoot the stuff, develop a theme, then edit. WE ASKED HIM FOR DIRECTIONS. HE STARTED TO RESPOND. WE KNEW, WHEN HE DID, SOMETHIING FUNNY WAS ABOUT TO HAPPEN. WE TOLD HIM TO WAIT, STARTED THE VIDEO AND HE STARTED OVER, PRETTY OBLIVIOUS TO THE FACT THE VIDEO WAS RUNNING. IT WAS ONLY SHOT ONCE AND EVERYTHING WAS TOTALLY IMPROMPTU. THE THING ABOUT ASKING HIM HOW BIG HIS DICK WAS, WAS IN RESPONSE TO HIS MENTION OF “DEEP THROAT”.

Were either of you really a bike rider or a movie producer?

ROBIN WASN’T A PRODUCER, BUT I DID RIDE COAST TO COAST IN 29 DAYS.

Do you remember how funny you thought it was right after it happened? The cameraman can’t stop laughing in some parts.

WE DID KNOW IT WAS FUNNY RIGHT AWAY. THAT NIGHT, BECAUSE, I HAD SET UP PEOPLE TO MEET ALONG THE TRIP, WE WERE INVITED TO HAVE DINNER WITH AND SPEAK TO A SMALL BICYCLE CLUB IN ONE OF THEIR HOMES. WE SHOWED THE VIDEO TO THE GROUP WITH TREMENDOUS RESPONSE.

Were his directions good enough to get you where you needed to go? Did you use the video to get you there?

WE DIDN’T USE THE VIDEO TO FIND THE PLACE AND, ACTUALLY, THE DIRECTIONS WERE VERY CONFUSING AND, AS I REMEMBER, NOT VERY ACCURATE. IT WAS ONLY ABOUT A  MILE AWAY AND PRETTY STRAIGHT FORWARD.

Did you send him a letter? He left off his zip code so I sent a few letters to different 302 Brown Streets in Longview. All the letters were sent back. Someone left us a note saying many houses in that part of town are now gone.

WE NEVER TRIED TO COMMUNICATE. GUYS LIKE THAT DON’T STICK AROUND ANY PLACE VERY LONG, OR LIVE TOO LONG, FOR THAT MATTER.

How many people do you think you’ve made copies of the tape for?

AS I PREVIOUSLY SAID, LESS THAN 10, WITH INSTRUCTIONS TO NOT COPY OR DISTRIBUTE.

I got the tape in trade from a standup comedian who traded videos online. I put it on a 2 hour compilation that I’ve made dozens of copies of. I’ve seen it on several websites over the years. When did you realize that the tape had circulated so much? How do you think it happened?

I HAVE NEVER SEEN IT ANY PLACE. MY DAUGHTER, WHO IS NOW LIVING IN ASPEN, CO, SENT ME AN EMAIL A COUPLE OF MONTHS AGO WITH A LINK TO A PORN SITE WITH THE VIDEO ON THE SITE. SHE HAS MANY, MANY COLLEGE FRIENDS WHO CAN RECITE THE WHOLE THING AS THEY USED TO, AND STILL DO FROM TIME TO TIME, HAVE LARRY WILLIAMS “ROCKY HORROR” PARTIES.

Do most of your good friends know about the video?

MY FRIENDS DO KNOW ABOUT IT, HOWEVER, THEY ARE OF THE AGE IT DOESN’T MATTER. ALL MY DAUGHTER’S FRIENDS, ON THE OTHER HAND, DO.

Has anyone ever randomly mentioned the video and you said “That was me!”

NO

Kim Rust….in action.

Kim Rust….in action.

How often do you watch the tape? Is it as worn as some of the duped copies you’ve seen? The version on youtube.com is awful. In looking around, I found a better copy which has a few extra seconds on the beginning that I’d never seen before of a random guy putting on a bicycle helmet (with Simple Minds playing) and the passenger actually asking Larry how to get to Motel 6. It was like seeing a deleted scene from your favorite movie.

I RARELY WATCH IT. I HAVE IT STORED WITH ALL THE OTHER ORIGINAL TAKES SHOT ON THE BIKE TRIP AND OTHER ENDURANCE EVENTS I DID THAT YEAR. THE GUY WITH THE HELMET IS ME. IT WAS SHOT ABOUT 15 MINUTES BEFOR MEETING LARRY WHEN I HAD COMPLETED THE BIKE RIDE FRO THE DAY, STARTING AT SCHREVEPORT, LA.

I assume you’ve watched it enough to quote it. Do you ever? Many of my friends do.

CERTINLY I CAN QUOTE SOME OF IT, THERE ARE THOSE, HOWEVER, THAT CAN QUOTE THE WHOLE THING.

What’s your favorite part or parts? Anything worth noting that most people might not catch?

ONE OF MY FAVORITE PARTS IS ABOUT HIS DICK, HE SHOWS HOW LONG IT IS THEN, AFTER LOOKING AT HIS HANDS EXTENDS AND ADDS TWO OR THREE INCHES.

How old were you and your friend when you shot it? What are you both doing now? Does your friend have stories about the video circulating?

I WAS 45. I AM A PARTNER IN AN OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION COMPANY AS WELL AS A PARTNER IN AN MERCHANT BANKING FIRM. I HAVE LOST TOUCH WITH ROBIN.

How do you feel about your valuable contribution to popular culture?

I’M AMUSED. I DO THINK IT WOULD BE FUN TO GO ON THE ROAD, TRAVEL THE U.S. AND SHOOT A PROJECT. IT WOULD BE, CORRECTLY DONE, NOT ONLY, AS YOU PUT IT, A POPULAR CULTURE TIME CAPSULE, BUT A FINANCIAL SUCCESS. IT’S SOMETHING I COULD DO.

Thanks for your interest. I can be contacted at this email address: climber3333((at))msn((dot))com or by phone (withheld, clearly Larry’s influence of giving out personal information has stayed with Kim)
Kim Rust

FIN/BAM

Looking around for any info online that’s cropped up online since 2006, there was almost nothing other than this hysterical mapped version of Larry’s directions…..
According to some Youtube comments from the past year, there have also been some recent Larry sightings in Longview.  If anyone knows the man, drop us a note at YouDownWithOLD (@at gmail dot calm) or through our Facebook page.

Here’s an old, hysterical e-mail from the relative of the legendary R&B singer also named Larry Williams (the Beatles recorded several of his songs) that someone who put the video on their site received:

> Frankly you have it all wrong > my late father was Larry Williams > the character in this video looks nothing like my father. > my fathers career did slow down in reguards to music, but never, ever was >he that dam broke that he would beg for money. I don’t know what you get >out of this but I would advise you to talk to those hippies who filmed >this and find out what kind of weed they were smoking when they labeled >this man my father the artist.
>
> hoefully you didn’y pay for this video if so… you got burned > I would appreciate if you would get your facts straight > I will begin an investigation to have the persons > whom are false accusing my father of being this man > remove this trash , or at least take his name off this video.
>
> that is not the the artist that wrote and performed the hit songs that >made him famous > Nice Try! > Dad live in Hollywood Burbank in Laurel Canyon > why would he need to beg in texas

Note that record company. BAM!

Note that record company. BAM!

FROM THE OLDE GUESTBOOK:
I would truely like to find out the origin of that video and actually find Larry himself. Called Longview Texas PD about 10 years ago and spoke to a Sergeant there who at the time advised he had never heard of the video or of Larry Williams. PS. LaQuinta Inn became a hit with us as a result of this video.

ALSO FROM THE OLDE GUESTBOOK:
i grew up in Longview and Larry’s directions are very precise. there really is a large factory with big domes, and everyone always said they built bombs there. he is standing at the corner of HWY 80 and Spur 63.

JELLYFISH TALE #4: HIT THE ROAD, JACK

With their debut album complete, Jellyfish prepped to play their first concerts ever. The band would end up touring almost nonstop for a little over a year. Andy Zax writes about their first moments playing live in the liner notes for Fan Club

With promotional duties looming, Jellyfish were going to have to transform themselves from what had previously been a studio-only project into a functional live band.  To do that, they urgently needed to find a bass player (Jason and Redd Kross’s Steve McDonald had played most of the parts on the album).  After a fruitless search, Roger suggested his younger brother Chris – who was just about to graduate from college – for the job.  Although Chris’s musical credentials were decidedly shaky compared to those of Andy, Roger and Jason, an audition session was quickly arranged.  The venue: an unused janitorial closet.  It was the first time the group had played any of the songs together in one room all at once.  Hearing their music live in 3-D, even in very rough form, left them giddy with excitement.  It was decided that, with some coaching, Chris would be able to handle the bass duties, and he was officially inducted into the band.  Jason quickly set about teaching him the bass parts, while carpooling to the rehearsal studio each morning enabled Roger and Jason to instruct Chris in the art of three-part harmony by singing endless choruses of Kansas’ “Carry On Wayward Son.”

How to pad a set when you’ve only got one ten song album to pull from?  A ten song album with eight playable songs.  Unlike most bands who play for years and have enough songs to make two albums when they first go in the studio, Jellyfish had a bunch of demos they weren’t that happy with as leftovers.  So, they started from scratch, writing three great crowd-pleasers just for their live show.  “Hello” was obviously designed to be a Cheap Trick-styled opener to start a set off with a bang. “Mr Late“, a favorite of producer Albhy Galuten, went through changes and ended with an impressive cascading acapella ending.  “Will You Marry Me?” was a Jelly-styled ode to nuptials with a big blues-rock ending.  They all went over great but the band never recorded any of them, though the solo of “Joining A Fanclub” echoes them a bit.  Tim Smith and Eric Dover told me they’d learned the songs before the band’s second tour but they were never played again.

In Fan Club‘s liner notes, Roger recalled how they learned the song “Always Be My Girl”, though they never did play it….
“One of my fondest and funniest tour memories occurred while this song was being rediscovered by the band.  We’d always felt very proud of this older Beatnik Beatch tune, but for one reason or another it was never made a priority track for the BELLYBUTTON album.  We desperately needed material to fill an hour-plus set on our first U.S. tour, so Jason and Chris began to learn the song shortly after we set out cross-country in our band motor home.  Time was of the essence, so Chris spent every waking minute learning this lightning-fast and incredibly difficult walking bass part.  There was only one problem; the motor home we had rented had blown rear shocks.  So every time we’d drive over the tinniest pebble, it felt as though the back of this vehicle would shoot two to three feet up in the air.  (This meant no napping/eating/reading or any other kind of relaxing in general.)  But Chris was determined to learn his part by the next night’s show.  As we all attempted to sleep up front, Chris went to the back of the motor home with his bass guitar and a Walkman cassette player.  Four hours later he emerged from his quarters having mastered the part.  But he had been so immersed in the task at hand that he didn’t realize that he had become severely nauseous and had inadvertently inflicted bruises on his legs, chest and face.  Needless to say, it takes a special type of person to be a member of Jellyfish.  Way to go, Chris!”

With their keen sense of pop history and fun, it’s not surprising that their early shows were filled with great covers. In their first shows, they played “The Logical Song” by Supertramp, the MTV theme, “Live & Let Die” by Wings, “Sugar and Spice” by the Archies, a Big Mac ad, “Couldn’t I Just Tell You” by Todd Rungren, and a Dennis DeYoung (Styx) soundalike contest where the band members sang “Come Sail Away”.  They stuck with “Let Em In” and “Jet” by Wings plus “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac for most of their first year of touring and kept playing Badfinger’s “No Matter What” for the entire life of the band.

They rehearsed a lot but also had to stock up on clothes to go along with the image they’d dreamed up. There was no doubting they were ready to make a visual impact.  Dr. Seuss hats, bell bottoms, platform shoes, and frilly things were gathered at thrift stores and taken out on the road. They would later complain that their image got out of control, but, Roger was on MTV licking a huge lollipop from the get-go. Jason said he went for a sort-of Faces look and managed to avoid most of the worst fashion no-no’s.  They packed up the costume box, Christmas lights, white picket fence, LIte Brite and bubble machine and hit the road with soundman Shalom Aberle. The Bay Area soundman was in the midst of moving to Atlanta when he was offered the job.  “I said I really couldn’t do it,” Aberle told Mix Magazine, “but they sent me a copy of Bellybutton [the bands debut] before it was released, and I knew I would be going. The music was totally up my alley.”

These photos have been living quietly on bassist Chris Manning's Facebook page for five years without almost anyone noticing. Thanks to Harry Gale & Geoff Leamon for leaving me clues.

These photos of the band’s very first show have been living quietly on bassist Chris Manning’s Facebook page for five years without almost anyone noticing. Thanks to Harry Gale & Geoff Leamon for leaving me clues.

mj cartoonNot a whole lot of well-known bands have made a major-label record without playing a live show.  The band’s very first gig was a secret set at Santa Rosa sportsbar the Studio Kafe on August 9th, 1990, two days after Bellybutton was released. Billed as Smürf, the show was a quick warmup before an official coming out the next night at Club DNA in San Francisco, where they would also play their first Spilt Milk show in 1993.  Programs with cartoon drawings of the band and a board game drawn by Jim Bricker were given out at the DNA. Andy asked that Bricker use the 1970’s Jackson Five cartoons as inspiration and Bricker happened to have a book focused on the art of Jack Davis which had some of The J5 character model sheets. Bricker remembers the band did the MTV Theme several times that night and closed with “Fever”, which Beatnik Beatch also used to cover. Apparently, the band also played a show at Sacramento’s Cattle Club around this time. Three weeks later, they began a nationwide tour opening for World Party that started in early September of 1990.

dna1990-08-10-1

Program ℅ DNALounge.com

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Band drawing from DNA program ℅ Chris Manning.

Band drawing from DNA program ℅ Chris Manning. Drawing by Jim Bricker, who Andy suggested use the Jackson 5 cartoons for style inspiration. Jason commented “I look like Steven Adler….and I like it”

90 ss

Apparently, the first date of World Party’s American tour was headlining 91X’s stage at San Diego Street Scene, which I went to. Nigerian singer Majek Fajek cancelled his opening set because of immigration problems so the Blasters were called down from LA to fill in at the last minute. I’m not sure why Jellyfish wasn’t already on the bill or why they didn’t get the call but I’m not sure I would’ve been ready to see them without warning.  I recently found a handwritten account of the night I did and edited it down by about 95%. So if you’re curious about how World Party, Stan Ridgway, the Blasters or the Origin were that night, check it out.  The singer from locals the Origin, Mike Andrews, would later start the band Elgin Park, who played several shows with Jason Falkner before becoming a successful soundtracker.  Here they are covering the Kinks for fun….

Apparently, from the very beginning of the tour with the world partiers, they blew minds. When I first started my Jellyfish site in 1996, I got an email from a Russ Thompson about one of the very first shows at the Wadsworth Theater on UCLA’s campus. “During every tune the crowd’s mouths were down to the floor in awe, including mine,” he said. “In-between songs people were yelling, ‘Who are you?'”  The next night, the tour rolled on to San Francisco at the Warfield.  ConcertVault.com has audio of World Party’s performance from that night on their site and a photo of Jellyfish’s set ended up in their boxed set.  I didn’t know musician John Walters was a fan until he got his copy and pointed out himself in the front row of the photo. He writes, “They opened with Live and Let Die….amazing set. The singing was insane….great show. Too overwhelmed to even remember World Party.”90 warfield

There’s little or no other evidence of the tour online. After their monthlong coast-to-coast theater jaunt with fellow 60’s/70’s pop revivalists, Jellyfish came home in October and did a short series of shows at universities around southern California, including one just a few miles from where I grew up at UCSD.

UCSD gym steps.  Photo by Merlyn Veray

UCSD gym steps. Photo by Merlyn Veray

On October 27, 1990, my high school friend Jim Cathcart was watching MTV in Santa Barbara and saw the video for “The King Is Half-Undressed”. He liked it so much that he went to see them that night at The Pub at UCSB by himself.  Meanwhile, near Los Angeles, California, I was attending my first year of college away at California State University at Northridge. I had spent my freshman year living at home and having a blast doing audio production at San Diego State University’s KCR. But, LA is the place to be to do the music thing, so off I went to the city of smog.

A few days after the show, Jim sent me a tape on which he explained to me how great Jellyfish was. He raved about them doing “Live & Let Die” and how a friend of theirs played a funky tambourine that prompted Roger to say “Inspiral Tim!” Since he didn’t have the album, he sang “King” to the best of his recollection. I totally remember him saying, “…and then it goes ‘Bapa bapa baaaaaaa…..'”  Needless to say, his one part harmony didn’t clue me in as to what I would soon be hearing.  A few weeks later he sent me a cassette copy of Bellybutton and…well…I really didn’t listen to it that much. He’d put a mix of songs on the other side that I listened to more. Once I gave it a shot, I liked it fine but didn’t love it, much to Jim’s frustration. He would soon return the favor by taking forever to get into the Posies’ Dear 23 album, despite my constant nagging.

Still, I was dying to see them live. Where the hell were they? KROQ had started to play “That Is Why” and I couldn’t believe that a California band wasn’t playing LA.  They spent November playing shows everywhere from Washington DC to Arizona, opening for Maggie’s Dream several times.  Finally, in January of 1991, I heard that they were playing a show in San Diego the following month.  Check please.

BACK TO JOINING A FANPAGE
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MY FAVE TOONZ (circa 1996)

Originally posted on my Dumyhead Central page back in 1996. I added to it for a little bit then it just sat there and disappeared with the site. I dunno how many of these would still be on my list of all-time faves but it’s an interesting read 18 years later….

You can’t just sit and write a list of your favorite songs. You have to hear them randomly on the radio and think “I love this song!” (like Ione Skye in Say Anything). So anyways, that’s what I started to do. The less I hear these songs, the more likely they are to stay faves. Famous songs must be REALLY good for me to have heard them so much and still love ‘em. This is in no order, except for the first one which is undoubtedly the greatest performance of any song in the history of mankind. This is pretty random. Here goes…..

A Quick One (While He’s Away) by The Who (live on Rock n Roll Circus)
She’s A Rainbow by The Rolling Stones
Under Pressure by David Bowie & Queen
Not Too Soon by The Throwing Muses
Push by The Cure
Venus by The Shocking Blue
Sugar Kane by Sonic Youth
Is It Like Today by World Party
More Than A Feeling by Boston
More Than A Feeling by Moog Cookbook
Waltz #2 by Elliott Smith
All Day Long by New Order
Makeout Club by Unrest
I Am The Resurrection by The Stone Roses
Tobacco Road by The Nashville Teens
Henry The VIIIth by Herman’s Hermits
Natural One by Folk Implosion
This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us by Sparks
Green Green by Young Fresh Fellows
Junior Panthers by Sloan
After The Beach by Sandycoates
I’ve Got A Feeling (outtake with John replying “Good!” to the title) by The Beatles
Ripple by Jane’s Addiction
Obligatory Cover (For The Kids) by Funland
Two Headed Boy by Neutral Milk Hotel
Spicks & Specks by The Bee Gees
When The Levee Breaks by Led Zeppelin
Heart Are Trump by Trio (most of Trio & Error actually)
Borderska by Camper Van Beethoven
1952 Vincent Black Lightning by Richard Thompson
Open Every Window by The Posies
Only In Dreams by Weezer (and all the non-hits on the first album)
Buying The Ground by Tucker
Sweet Talkin’ Woman by ELO
Groove Is In The Heart by Deee-Lite
Get Me Away From Here, I’m Dying by Belle & Sebastian
Goodbye Goodbye by Oingo Boingo
Pearl by Chapterhouse
Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except For Me & My Monkey by The Beatles
Nowhere Man by The Beatles
China by The Red Rockers
Down In Splendour by Straightjacket Fits
It’s All Over Now Baby Blue by Them
Rain by The Boomtown Rats
I Don’t Like Mondays by The Boomtown Rats
Carolyn’s Fingers by The Cocteau Twins
Like A Rolling Stone by Jimi Hendrix Experience (most of Live at Monterey)
Mrs. Robinson by The Lemonheads
American Girl by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Letter From America by The Proclaimers
The Lady In The Front Row by Redd Kross
Goodbye Girl (fast version) by Squeeze
I’ve Returned by Squeeze
Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush
Wuthering Heights by White Flag
Polkas on 45 by Weird Al Yankovic
Reveal Love by Saltine
Ever by Built To Spill
Can’t Find My Way Home by Blind Faith
You’re On My Mind by The Event
I Sing The Body Electric by Wade Lassiter (from Fame)
Eloise (extended version) by The Damned
Don’t Box Me In by Stan Ridgway & Stewart Copeland
Hands Across The Sea by Modern English
Being Around (acoustic) by The Lemonheads
Wish I Was Skinny by The Boo Radleys
A Girl Like You by Edwyn Collins
Lust For Life by Iggy Pop
Real Love by John Lennon
Yoo Hoo by Imperial Teen
Da Beautiful People by Marilyn Manson
rerun_danceThe What’s Happenin’ Theme Song (not really but I’ve been dying to put Rerun SOMEwhere!)

Who’s On First!? Who did it first with rockstars?!

Saw this cute comic by Stephan Pastis parodying Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s On First?” go viral before my eyes tonight…..  comic If it sounds familiar….
THE CREDIBILITY GAP (1974)
Harry Sheerer (SNL, Spinal Tap, Simpsons) and David L. Lander (Laverne & Shirley)

SCTV (1981)
Eugene Levy & Tony Rosato

ANIMANIACS (1994)
Slappy and Skippy Squirrel

ROOKIE CARD (2006)
what's on second
Click on the can to buy it or listen to the song “What’s On Second?” by Rookie Card at http://www.SecretBonusTrack.com

O.G.
Originally developed on the vaudeville circuit in the mid-30’s, the 1945 film Naughty Nineties might be their most recognizable performance.  It’s much funnier in Japanese.  Trust me.

 

I’LL WRITE YOU A LETTER TOMORROW (a belated Replacements hometown tale)

How do you get the last word on the Replacements’ first hometown show in 23 years?  Wait a month to write it.  It didn’t help that I read so many other great reviews of their show at Midway Stadium (especially Zach McCormick’s piece for the Minnesota City Pages and Caryn Rose’s Jukebox Graduate blog). It’s already been said how great the band was that night.  This is more of a love letter to the people of Minneapolis for letting me watch them love their band. Seems fitting to finally finish it the night of their last scheduled reunion show…so far. mats paper headline

I did not travel 2000 miles to see the Replacements. That would be ridiculous. I flew from San Diego to Minneapolis to stand inside of a stadium with 13,000 of their fans. There’s just something about a homecoming show. It’s the reason I drove to Los Angeles to see Redd Kross play their first show in ten years.  It’s why I flew up to see the last Seattle Posies show in 1998 before they ruined my bragging rights and started playing again just a few years later. It’s why I went to Georgia to see Neutral Milk Hotel last year.  It’s why Drive Like Jehu’s recent reunion show on a beautiful San Diego night was one of the most special things this town has ever been a part of.

Charity poster by Aesthetic Apparatus. Closeted and awaiting wallspace.

Charity poster by Aesthetic Apparatus. Closeted and awaiting wallspace.

Last year, I saw the Replacements at the Denver Riot Fest. Like so many fans, I had mixed feelings about their reunion, even veering into purist rally cry territory (“Well, it’s not REALLY them.”). Just before they hit the stage, I felt old, tired and silly for coming all that way to see them.  Then, they ran on in dresses and orange cowboy hats and all of our heads exploded. Thanks to the damn internet, I knew almost every song that they were going to play, but, without being a drunken coverfest shit-show, it was full of hilarious banter and unexpected songs. “I think we need to play one we haven’t played,” singer Paul Westerberg announced at one point. “…in fact, one we don’t know. ‘Shiftless When Idle’…it’s in F sharp.” and off they went, playing a song they hadn’t played in 30 years….and haven’t done again since.

I wanted my reaction to be as pure as possible when seeing them for the first time in 23 years but was too damn curious. I ended up watching endless videos from their first two reunion shows in Toronto and Canada. I thought I couldn’t get excited about watching them play the songs I already knew were on the setlist. I was wrong.  To see it in 3-D at full volume was indescribable. I felt elated that I could still get excited by the rock and the roll but knew I’d never have that full-on feeling again with them.  When I heard rumors of a string of Los Angeles shows, I wasn’t remotely tempted to brave the traffic. Whispers of a San Diego show barely raised my eyebrow. Go to Coachella?  AT MY AGE?! Then, they announced that, after a year on the festival circuit, they would finally play a REAL headlining show…in their hometown…in a stadium that was about to be demolished.  A parody of the old Minnesota Twins logo accompanied the announcement. Check please.mats mn show logo

Seeing a band in their hometown is one thing but the tale of this band has always involved the land that spawned them: the people, the cold, the trees, the lakes, the basements, the skyways.  I was born in Chicago but hadn’t stepped foot in the midwest in almost 25 years.  I’d never been to Minnesota.  I love old baseball stadiums. Built in 1982? Ok, old-ish. Close enough. When Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and Hot Club of Cowtown(!) did a tour of minor league baseball stadiums in 2004, I kicked myself for not flying out for a show.  That tour stopped at Midway Stadium, the home of Hamline University’s baseball team and the St Paul Saints, a pro team not affiliated with Major League Baseball that is co-owned by Bill Murray, who took tickets at the last homegame just a few weeks earlier.  What better place to see the band that so many critics and fans thought deserved to be in the big leagues?  My birthday was five days after the show. I had to go.

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Photo by Mark Vollrath

I was prepared to go it alone but I asked a few fellow fans if they were interested and found at least one was already planning on making the trek. That was good enough for me. When tickets went onsale, I got in quick and got my reservation for one.  I hopped on Facebook to see other fans as excited as myself but saw just as many people complaining that they’d been shut out.  People who were from Minneapolis that had been huge fans long before I was. Hundreds of excited locals posting online eased my Jewish guilt. I couldn’t wait to stand among thousands of fellow freaks and observe a 35 year love/hate affair of a band and its hometown.

mats 30 rock hallwayI had plenty to distract me in the months leading up to the show but got just a tad excited when it was announced that the band would be playing the Tonight Show the same night that Keith Richards would also be a guest.  Typical me, I started thinking of all of the connections between the band, Keef and 30 Rock and stayed up all night putting together a piece about it.  After drummer Josh Freese and Westerberg manager Darren Hill linked to what I’d written on Facebook, thousands of people read it, our Facebook page finally broke the 1000 “like” mark of (less-pathetic) respectability and, once again, the band was on the brain something fierce.  Not having a real TV to watch the show, I ended up near my parents’ house and tried to recreate 1986, the last time the band had performed in the NBC building.  Sadly, I could barely finish half of my unhealthy Carl’s Jr dinner, Baskin-Robbins was out of Mint Chocolate Chip and Keith didn’t play with the band as many had hoped.  Luckily, they looked and sounded incredible and it was great to see Paul drop behind Jimmy Fallon, even if Tommy didn’t take the bait and push him over.  The hallway photo from behind that the band posted made my year.

Before I knew it, I was buying my typically late airfare/hotel combo and packing up my Skyway suitcase, a gift I’d had for God knows how long before I noticed the manufacturer’s name. I saw someone online say that they’d talked to no less than ten people at the Austin airport who were flying up for the show but had no such luck hearing fans singing “Baggage claim is this way…” to themselves like I kept doing in San Diego and at my layover in Phoenix.  Like many travelling that day, I picked up the brand new Rolling Stone which had a great four-page article on the band.  I’m coming, Minnesota.mats rs on plane

Upon arrival, I was so distracted that everything in the Minneapolis airport says Skyway on it that I rode the train two stops in the wrong direction. As much as I wanted to see the city, it was already dark and time to head to the We Can’t Hardly Wait benefit for guitarist Slim Dunlap.  I wasn’t expecting a ticker-tape parade but sometimes it felt like no one in town was in on it.  Just ask anyone driving a cab, heading to the Mall of Americas or wearing a Vikings jersey.  I went from unsuccessfully running into fellow fans in three different states to cabbing straight to the ultimate Replacements Booster Club’s national convention.  To raise funds for Slim, who’s still recovering from a recent stroke, friends, family and filmmakers put together a night of music, raffling and outtakes from Color Me Obsessed, the 2011 documentary about people who like this band too much (totally not me). I thought one fan gathering in a packed stadium was enough for one trip but…it’s for Slim.  I RSVP’d and even brought a Westerberg promo cd to donate for the raffle.

Photo by Gorman Bechard

Photo by Gorman Bechard

I grinned as I pulled up to the eighty year old Parkway Theater and saw Color Me Obsessed on the marquee.  My people.  Here was a theater of folks I could probably talk all night with…but I didn’t know any of them. Recent instant online friend Dave James from Costa Mesa’s Factory Records was there but I’d never actually met him.  I just knew he had a habit of screaming for his favorite Replacements song when he saw the band. So, as soon as Slim’s kids, Emily and Louie, were done singing the heartbreaking Slimbob classic “Two By Two”, I yelled “CUSTOMER!” at the top of my lungs from the back of the theater.  After what seemed like a long silence, I saw some movement in the darkness of the back row and heard someone quietly say, “Adam?”

Dave and his local friend Shaun seemed like great folks, but they were taking off early, which left me to watch the documentary screening by myself.  Director Gorman Bechard was one of the organizers of the event and cut together a special “drunken” edit of the film, full of unseen outtakes (now available online).  Many fans unknowingly first saw the film thinking it would be a band bio, instead of a music-less homage to their fans.  I knew what I was getting into but, even as a fan of their fans, wasn’t as knocked out as I’d hoped, watching it on my computer.  There were some great moments but seeing a shorter, ragged version on the big screen in a theater full of insiders that were either in the movie or really knew the tale was a completely different…and awesome experience.  I’d once driven a few hours to see the LA premiere of the band documentary Love Story and had that same feeling of camaraderie watching it with the most appreciative crowd imaginable.

Photo by Deidre Caron

Photo by Deidre Caron

After the movie, it was back to the awkward situation of being surrounded by people I’d probably love talking to but was suffering from a rare bout of shyness.  Looking for eye contact or an in led to a brief talk with a couple because one of them was wearing a friends’ band shirt (thanks, Dragons!). After a few lonely laps around the theater, I finally recognized Slim’s wife, Chrissie Dunlap. It was absolutely surreal to have her introducing me to people and mentioning that I was good friends with Michael Buchmiller, who’d designed the genius Songs For Slim logo, which was everywhere that weekend.  They had it draped over the bass drum while Slim’s friends played his songs that night plus I saw necklaces and dozens of shirts at the Midway show. So strange to see it two time zones away from San Diego but not any stranger than having Mexican food as my first Minneapolis meal next door at Pepito’s.  Damn, if it wasn’t amazing.

Photo by Mark Vollrath

Photo by Mark Vollrath

Friday night’s frost warning was pretty disappointing.  It was sunny with a nice breeze the whole time I was there. I was definitley not getting the full Minneapolis weather experience but was saving money not having to buy a cap and gloves. The next morning, I slept in and went to my hotel’s second floor for a touristy photo of my first skyway. I incorrectly had thought it was a nickname for their train system like “The El” all these years. I got a quick lunch around the corner then started walking to Electric Fetus Records, an amazing record store south of downtown. Instead, I accidentally went north and ended up getting to see the famed First Avenue club, the Twins’ home Target Field and an unreal amount of clubs, theaters, shops, lofts and restaurants.  The streets were practically deserted but this was one of the cleanest, most beautiful downtowns I’d ever seen.

Jew, take the skyway.

Jew, take the skyway.

I successfully avoided spending money on records at Electric Fetus, despite the huge parking lot sale, but spent plenty on other random kitsch there. The girl who rang me up recommended the shakes at Bad Waitress and ten blocks later, I was ruining my dinner appetite with a caramel/coffee malt(!). When Dave called to tell me that he was record shopping at Roadrunner Records, on the same street, I continued heading south, stopping at some great vintage stores, eying pretty suburbs and wondering if I should just hop on a bus.  By the end, I’d walked seven miles and still had to stand in a baseball stadium for a few hours.  No matter. I was really seeing the city and loving it.  My college friend Christie, who lives nearby in Stillwater, swung by with her friend Shannon and whisked me up to Hola Arepa for yucca fries before heading out to St Paul.

Photo by Jeff Wheeler (Star Tribune)

Photo by Jeff Wheeler (Star Tribune)

Exterior stadium selfie with Stillwater VIP's and stellar bald head photobomb

Exterior stadium selfie with Stillwater VIP’s and stellar bald head photobomb

The sun was setting on St Paul as we arrived at Midway Stadium to a breathtaking view.  I couldn’t help but blurt out, “LOOK AT ALL THE WHITE PEOPLE!” The tailgate scene was buzzing like Heavy Metal Parking Lot but with much better music.  Normally, I frown upon listening to the band you’re about to see but being surrounded by this many cars and stereos blaring the Replacements was the exact scene I flew in for.  So much flannel. So much beer. Such long portapotty lines.  So many dudes peeing against the fence.  The girls left me to nerd out with some of the locals, but, though it’s very nice to meet you, Mr Guy Who Pressed Record On The Cops From Stink!, I’ve got a show to catch.

Photo by Nate Ryan (The Current)

Photo by Nate Ryan (The Current)

Jay Russell captures what I missed by going in late.

Jay Russell captures what I missed by going in late.

A dead phone meant I wouldn’t be able to meet up with anyone. I’d be sharing this experience alone….with thousands.  I didn’t get a chance to really enjoy the stadium view inside because I entered to find 10,000 people rocking out to local faves the Hold Steady in the blackness.  It was a sight I hadn’t really considered.  Wouldn’t EVERYONE want to be as close as me?  I slowly weaved my way through the masses, knowing that as soon as the Mats hit the stage, it would be complete chaos. I barely remember the few Hold Steady songs I saw. I’d seen them and Lucero before and hadn’t been over or underwhelmed by either of them. In a year full of so many great choices for their reunion shows (from bandmates to setlists to wardrobe to unique venues), getting a few younger bands that they influenced to open their hometown show was disappointingly normal.  I wanted The Time more than anyone else (I know, could you imagine?) but I would’ve taken a GnR tribute or a blues band of seniors or….anything truly left field, so to speak.

Photo by Nate Ryan (The Current)

Photo by Nate Ryan (The Current)

Trashmen air guitar. Photo by Tony Nelson, City Pages

Trashmen air guitar. Photo by Tony Nelson, City Pages

I got within a couple of hundred feet and I would’ve been an asshole to try and get closer, so I made nice with the folks surrounding me. The Mayor of St Paul coming out to officially declare it Replacements Day was a fun gesture but having “Surfin’ Bird” by the Minneapolis born Trashmen blaring when the lights went down was exactly the kind of grin-inducing wink to their hometown that I was looking for. When the band came bounding on in matching plaid Mr Turk suits, it was absolute bedlam.  But, unlike every other huge concert I’ve ever been to, 1000 jerks didn’t use the opportunity to elbow past.  All of my new friends remained within earshot as we all screamed our heads off to “Favorite Thing” (BAM), “Taking A Ride” (BAM!) and “I’m In Trouble” (BAM!!).  It was so amazing that I almost didn’t notice that it took more than a few songs to turn up Dave Minehan’s redhot guitarin’ so we could hear it. Whatever doubts I had about not being able to enjoy seeing them play these songs again one year later was out the window thanks to the energy of Josh Freese’s slammin’ drums and thousands of people witnessing it for the first time all around me.

Photo by Wendy Smith via We Love The Mats

Photo by Wendy Smith via We Love The Mats

Photo by Nate Ryan (The Current)

Once things settled down a little, I was painfully aware of my new best friend, directly to my left.  I knew that oversized grin.  I completely understood why he was so excited to share this moment with everyone around him (especially since his girlfriend seemed to care more about the Hold Steady).  I’d crossed many state lines for that feeling. But there was no denying that in his eagerness to bond and show off how well he knew all the words, he was turning to sing almost every line right into my ear….and BADLY.  I couldn’t break his heart by telling him to stop, so in slow-motion cinematic style, I let other people creep between us.  I saw a hint of sadness as he looked over to see me fading into the crowd (“Noooooooooooo!”) but I had to let him go to enjoy myself.

c/o Temple Of The Blogs

c/o Temple Of The Blogs

Photo by Wendy Smith via We Love The Mats

Photo by Wendy Smith via We Love The Mats

The nods to their hometown were mostly left unsaid. When Paul muttered “Sorry we took so long” early in the set, Tommy countered “No, you ain’t!”  After they played “Take Me To The Hospital”, with an unreal advertisement for a local hospital looming in rightfield, Paul mentioned that Slim was back in the hospital and absolutely deflated the crowd. It was nice of him to say “We wish he was here” and immediately play a bit of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” but a sentimental speech would’ve been…awkward. As much as we all would’ve loved nods to angels Bob Stinson and Steve Foley, not to mention longtime drummer Chris Mars, who lives in town, we all knew it probably wasn’t gonna happen.  Still, the whole concert seemed to be a big thank you to their birthplace, whether they’d admit to it or not.  It’s all in the songs, anyways.

Photo by Jeff Wheeler (Star Tribune)

Photo by Jeff Wheeler (Star Tribune)

Photo by Nate Ryan, The Current

Photo by Nate Ryan, The Current

As predicted, without festival schedules to deal with, the band was ready to play almost everything they’d been doing for the past year.  Of the forty or so songs that they’d probably rehearsed in the past year, they played all but twelve of them (“White and Lazy”,  “I.O.U.”, “Hangin Downtown”, “Wake Up”, “Little Mascara”, “Psychopharmacology”, “Hold My Life”, “Customer”, “Message to the Boys”, “Another Girl, Another Planet”, “Judy Is A Punk” & “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” but really, who’s counting?).  Like before, I really didn’t care what they played as long as they dished out the usual spontanaity. Not surprisingly, they served up a few tunes that they hadn’t played in a very, very long time.

Photo by Jeff Wheeler (Star Tribune)

Photo by Jeff Wheeler (Star Tribune)

First, they brought out longtime local blues harmonica player Tony Glover for a fun run-through of Jimmy Reed’s “Going To New York”, foreshadowing their upcoming show the following weekend in the Big Apple. True to form, they didn’t play it for the New Yorkers, nor did they cover “Judy Is A Punk” which they played in Georgia earlier this year (despite the Ramones hailing from Forest Hills, where the show was).  They also resurrected their very first b-side, the countrified “If Only You Were Lonely” and Don’t Tell A Soul‘s “I Won’t”, which started with Tommy’s only lead vocal turn. It confirmed earlier microphone shenanigans when he went to sing and his mic was off.  Several times in the set, Paul went over to join Tommy on his mic and it was inaudible.  Holy mute button.  It sounds like it was coming through the monitors, so hopefully all the official cameras and recording gear got the goods.

Getting to first base in the outfield on "Kiss Me On The Bus". Photo by David Tanner, Minneapolis Post

Getting to first base in the outfield on “Kiss Me On The Bus”. Photo by David Tanner, Minneapolis Post

The set rolled on and on until they were doing the longest reunion set yet.  About 25 songs in(!), they played their favorite Sham 69 cover (“Borstal Breakout”), the beautiful “Swingin’ Party” (Slim’s favorite) and a Westerberg solo tune (“Love You In The Fall”) in a row and started to lose the people around me a bit.  It was time to break out the Big Four .  Four songs that were about to get the stadium anthem treatment that they’d so richly deserved all of these years. They’d done “Can’t Hardly Wait”, “Bastards Of Young”, “Left Of The Dial” and “Alex Chilton” at all twelve of their previous reunions shows.  Well, of course they skipped “Left of the Dial” in Boston but, you know, it’s not a big college town. When Paul kicked into “Can’t Hardly Wait”, the second wind that whipped through that stadium was unbelievable.  The place EXPLODED. Only they could take such a simple guitar riff, play it 3000 times in a row and come up with something incredible.

Photo by Nate Ryan (The Current)

Photo by Nate Ryan (The Current)

The end was near, so they were either going to go out like they’d been doing all year or let it fall apart for giggles.  I’d already seen how great it was for them to goof it up for their encore in Denver, so I was rooting for something ridiculous to go with a chugging “Bastards of Young”, followed by “I Don’t Know”.  When the crew was setting up just before they started, a roadie brought out an acoustic guitar and I caught myself nerding out loud about it.  That meant we’d be hearing “Skyway” or “Here Comes A Regular”…or both.  About an hour and a half later, when Paul came out by himself for an encore, it was going to be good either way. It was “Skyway”.  No introduction.  No acknowledgement that the town’s weather and glass walkways inspired it.  It was for Minneapolis.  We all knew it.

Photo by Rick Marino

Photo by Rick Marino

Photo by Darin Kamnetz

Photo by Darin Kamnetz

That would’ve been plenty, but the rest of the band came back out wearing St Paul Saints baseball jerseys.  Paul pretended to refuse, referencing other acts who’d played at Midway and probably hadn’t worn them (REM & Bob Dylan).  This was a man who recently wore a Montreal Canadiens jersey onstage in Toronto so for him to relent and put on the hometown colors was a swell gesture.  They knocked “Left Of The Dial” and “Alex Chilton” out of the park, so to speak and exited again.  At that point, they’d played 31 songs. 31 well-played, rehearsed songs. To some, it was like the band owed Minneapolis a show like this for all the times they’d watched them play 31 drunken covers.  They had always prided themselves on not doing what they were supposed to do but here they are in their fifties giving the people what they wanted.

Photo by Mark Vollrath

Photo by Mark Vollrath

Ironically, the only song left on their setlist that night was “I.O.U.” and, like they did in Denver, they shunned that song to do something unforgettable.  Paul came out again by himself with just a 12-string electric guitar and a dangling cigarette. He started picking out a melody that I thought might’ve been a fitting “When The Saints Go Marching In” but then he went into those unmistakable chords I’d learned just last year for our own Slim benefit in San Diego. Slicing Up Eyeballs and Stereogum, two of the biggest indierock music sites on the web, both reported the Replacements playing “Unsatisfied” for the first time in 23 years as their headline news.  The band rarely played it on their last tour in 1991 and Westerberg has done it even less often since they broke up. I can understand why. It’s plodding and repetitive and….it’s our themesong.mats-headlines


(recently uploaded multi-camera vid cut from Youtube videos)

What an ending.  Tommy put down his bass and waited for Paul to head offstage to give him the biggest hug you’re ever gonna see. Then they both walked off, arm in arm, not even looking at the crowd.  After all these years, they’re still not gonna let on that they care about getting it right. We’re just lucky we got to see it one more time or, for many, the first time.  it almost makes me want to see them again, in case they ever play “Here Comes A Regular” or “Answering Machine” or “Within Your Reach” or “Talent Show” or “Never Mind” or “Sixteen Blue” or “Kids Don’t Follow” or “The Ledge”, not that I just looked up the recent poll by Minneapolis radio station the Current to see which of the top 30 they haven’t played yet because, seriously, who does that?

Photo by Darin Kamnetz.

Photo by Darin Kamnetz.

The Last Midway exit. Photo by Jim Walsh, Minneapolis Post

The Last Midway exit. Photo by Jim Walsh, Minneapolis Post

Thousands headed for the exits but many stayed behind to breathe it in, exchange knowing looks, steal grass from the outfield as a keepsake or randomly run into old west coast highschool classmates(!). In the afterglow, the crowd parted and I saw my new friend and fellow San Diegan, Howard. He was the hero of the Slim benefit from the night before because he’d come all the way from California without a ticket and deservingly won one in a raffle. We hugged and laughed and he told me how now he just HAD to get to New York by the following weekend to see them one more time. All around us, people who had not yet witnessed the reunion excitedly talked about how it couldn’t have been more perfect.  I grinned along, happy to witness the band giving the town a helluva homecoming dance, filled with nods to their old stomping grounds without being overly sappy ‘cos that’s not what we want from this band.

Undisclosed downtown hotel room shortly before getting naked with local press.  Everyone's gotta have a hobby.

Undisclosed downtown hotel room shortly before getting naked with local press. Everyone’s gotta have a hobby.

mapThat town.  I couldn’t get enough, so I got up early the next morning, walked across the street and took a guided city bus tour.  I was happy not to take the fanboy route and find the Let It Be house and other band-related sites until I saw artist Kevin Cannon’s amazing map that someone could’ve used to make a few bucks taking fans around town that weekend.  I lucked out and got hilarious, retired newscaster J.B. Eckert as the host and he was a walking Wikipedia of the Twin-Cities.  Everywhere we went, it was beautiful lakes, huge theaters, revitalized downtown construction, endless tree lines and historical buildings of all kinds.

mats jukebox

Yeahbut smart enough to have Chilton/Bell? Huh.

For lunch, I tried the infamous Jucy Lucy burger at Matt’s Bar. Apparently, there’s no “i” in melted cheese goodness and no Mats on the jukebox, despite the namesake name (seriously?).  I spent the rest of the afternoon south of downtown seeing old friends and meeting new ones, just to make it even harder for myself to leave.  Perhaps most surprisng was that seeing the Flaming Lips perform 1993’s Transmissions From the Satellite Heart for the first time at the legendary First Avenue wasn’t anti-climactic after such an epic previous night.  Funny what a little glitter and the most appreciative crowd I’ve ever seen will do.lips in mn

I got what I came for.  I wanted to see a city embrace its long-time heroes.  Where else could I have stood in a STADIUM with so many other people who felt that way about those songs?  Where else would they be on the cover of every weekly magazine and all over the papers?  Where else does a 12 year old working a fashion outfit app on an iPad ask, “Dad, do you think Paul Westerberg would wear this?!”  It was bizarro world and the weather was nice to boot.

Pleased to meet you, Minneapolis.

Photo by Darin Kamnetz.

Photo by Darin Kamnetz.

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Click on any of the pictures to see larger versions or more by these amazin’ photographers.  Every time I thought this thing was done, I’d find another amazing set of pictures I wanted you to see. Per usual, they’re all credited and linked wherever possible.  If you want a link, credit or photograph changed or removed, just let us know.