Thirty years ago last Friday--on February 22, 1983--Nicolette Larson played the Commodore Ballroom. It wasn't a major concert event by any means, but it was definitely a potential night out for Larson fans who'd been following her career since '78, when her debut album Nicolette spawned a hit version of Neil Young's "Lotta Love".
Hardcore Young fans were already aware of Larson's singing talents through her work on his 1977 Crazy Horse album, American Stars 'n Bars, where she and her close friend Linda Ronstadt--dubbed "the Bullets"--had contributed vocals to the tracks "Old Country Waltz", "Saddle Up the Palomino", "Bite the Bullet", "Hold Back the Tears", and "Hey Babe".
The blues world lost one of its elder statesmen yesterday when Morris Holt--aka "Magic Slim"--passed away at the age of 75 at a hospital in Philadelphia. He had been under medical care since late last month, when breathing problems caused him to suspend a tour with his longtime band the Teardrops.
Born the son of a Mississippi sharecropper, Holt first got hooked on the blues after hearing John Lee Hooker's “Boogie Chillen” on the radio. His first love was the piano, but after he lost the little finger of his right hand in a cotton-gin accident he took up guitar.
Seventies-rock freaks and prog-metal hounds rejoice: Rush is coming back to Vancouver.
The legendary power trio from Toronto--which was finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year--announced this morning that it would make a return to Rogers Arena on July 26. That's a Friday night, in case it matters.
It will be the band's first local gig since it played here on its Time Machine Tour in June of 2011.
The show starts at 8 pm, but you can always show up at a quarter to if you feel you're in the mood.
Last Wednesday I got the chance to cross American pop-rock singer-songwriter Marshall Crenshaw's name off my bucket list of interviews I've wanted to do.
On his way to L.A. from New York City the guy who wrote "Someday, Someway" and "Something's Gonna Happen" pulled over to the side of the road "in Pennsylania somewhere" and called me up for a nice 25-minute chat in advance of his show at the Vancouver Fan Club on February 28.
How cool is that?
Right-wing gun nut and Obama-hater Ted Nugent was in da House (of Representatives) in Washington, D.C., tonight (Tuesday) when the American president delivered his State of the Union Address.
The Nuge--who drew the attention of the Secret Service last year after declaring that he would "either be dead or in jail by this time next year" if Barack Obama got re-elected--attended the event as a guest of Republican congressman Steve Stockman from (you guessed it) Texas.
"I am excited to have a patriot like Ted Nugent joining me in the House Chamber to hear from President Obama," said Stockman in a press release. "After the Address, I'm sure Ted will have plenty to say."
Vancouver metal genius Devin Townsend isn't normally known for his forays into film criticism, but just last night he got his two-bits in Siskel-style on a recently released monster-disaster flick.
Sometime around 12:30 last night (or early this morning, for all you picky types) I was channel surfing and came across a listing for a 2011 movie called Mega Python vs. Gatoroid. "Monstrous reptiles clash in the Florida Everglades when giant pythons threaten the alligator population," read the description. Then came the kicker: "Starring 1980s pop stars Debbie Gibson and Tiffany."
Never one to let something that sounds so extremely godawful go by unnoticed, I quickly tweeted a photo of the TV listing on @earofnewt with the message: "Now this I gotta see."
I've been reminiscing a lot lately about rock stuff that happened 30 years ago. I recently posted interviews originally published in the Straight back in '83 with Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton and Canadian guitar hero Pat Travers, whose bands played together at the Pacific Coliseum on January 21, 1983.
Like anyone else who'd been a rock-crazed teen in the '70s, I was totally psyched for that gig.
It was two years ago yesterday that Irish guitar hero Gary Moore died from a heart attack while on holiday in Spain. A former member of Thin Lizzy, Moore was a stunning player who deserved to be ranked among the world's best.
Eric Clapton would surely agree.
On his upcoming album Old Sock--scheduled for release March 12--Clapton covers "Still Got the Blues", the title track of the 1990 Moore album that marked his move from hard-rock to electric blues. The Still Got the Blues disc featured guest appearances by George Harrison and blues legends Albert King and Albert Collins, and was Moore's most popular release.
I've reviewed three Hollywood horror flicks already this year, and man, were they hurtin'. But things are looking up on the fright front with news out of Australia that director Greg McLean started lensing the sequel to his Wolf Creek last week.
For those sad sacks who might have missed it, Wolf Creek was one of the best horror flicks of 2005--if not the best. It was about backpackers being waylaid by a vicious psychopath in the Australian outback, and starred the amazing John Jarratt as one nasty bit of business.