Wednesday, January 27, 2016



saw everyone's favorite rehearsal hall compound Swing House Studios move from crowded Hollywood digs to spacious Atwater environs, with extra rehearsal/showcase/production rooms and elbow room galore. In celebration of same in addition to the holidays, owner Philip Jaurigui threw the Super Secret Swing House Show/Holiday Edition annual party for hundreds
of Swing House friends on 12.19.15.

 Six incontestably up and coming bands were showcased to ring in the Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa cheer on two separate stages, sets timed for the physically fit to catch them all. I myself caught 5/6ths worth. Clockwise from the top left shots above, personal faves and saviors of real rock and roll Dr. Boogie (see LINK, in other words one third of last year's rave photo reviews,) strutting singer/crooner/jazz belter Jessica Childress (look out Jill Scott!), The Mowglis, and a young guy named as one of the 8 best new guitarists in the world today by Total Guitar, Jared James Nichols

With thundering bass, pounding drums and rapidfire guitar and vocals, this last artist and  his power trio proved a powerhouse surprise. They sounded like Mountain!  ("Mississippi Queen" howled at devastating volume, Leslie West, 'remember?) With Scandinavian rhythm section in tow, Wisconsin native, 23-year-old Nichols also is a coolly seasoned performer, easily engaging his audience between volcanic onslaughts. JJN threesome also covered Grank Funk's "We're An American Band," but better. Rounding out the bill was Dream Club, pictured  in montage below, and band Dorothy. 

 More Dr. Boogie firing on all cylinders at Swing House! 
More Jessica Childress raising the roof at Swing House!
more Jared James Nichols band shredding at Swing House!  
Dream Club at Swing House

       Cheers from Jessica Childress!

Thursday, January 21, 2016


Countering the sad rock deaths news of late, I catch up on the great gigs of last year with an evening of power pop punk supreme, THE ZEROS co-billed with THE FLAMIN' GROOVIES at The Bootleg Theatre, downtown L.A., 11.28.15.



 Shakin' some action bigtime, The Flamin' Groovies sported three original members and one Zeros' drummer (their bassist actually!) on loan, replete with Zeros' drumkit. All date from the era when fun, pre-punk, hard rock was in short supply in the early 1970s. In the U.K. its few practitioners called it "pub rock," while Stateside it evolved into "powerpop," with no one evolving faster than San Francisco's The Flamin' Groovies. Their "Teenage Head,""Shake Some Action" and "Slow Death" achieved substantial radio airplay, important for the time.

Founded in 1976 and even featured in my 1978 book Punk Rock and Roll, The Zeros (see LINK) rightly have been deemed Pioneers of West Coast Punk, and continue their strong and rockin' reunion these decades later as a threesome with originals Javier Escovedo, Baba Chenelle, and Victor Penalosa (brother of orginal bandmember Hector.) Songs like "Wimp," "Don't Push Me Around" and their cover of the Standells' "Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White" sound just as terrific as the first time around. Don't miss any chance to see The Zeros live this time!

The less said about the opening act for the Zeros and Flamin' Groovies, a misplaced, misbooked frat band, the better.  If you can't write something nice...

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

R.I.P. Glen Frey

Although one might expect dialogue from me similar to Jeff Bridges' rant in The Big Lebowski, I'll take the high road here and note that The Daily News of our San Fernando Valley CA reported, in its Glen Frey obituary, that The Eagles frequented Dr. Hogly Wogly's Tyler Texas Bar-B-Q in our nearby Panorama City CA. This is significant because it is a non-reservations, extremely informal, down home (and messy-entrees!) place in a dubious part of our city. Frey was also mentioned as the independent contractors' most polite client ever ("He treated me like we were on a date, was so nice, took us to fine restaurants") in the tell all book "You'll Never Have Sex in This Town Again." So there...

When reported on my personal social network page, this prompted much discussion about our local Bar-B-Q eatery. I offered, r.e. ambience, that a waitress there once handed my husband his messy entree and purred "Enjoy your sushi!". Whenever I personally  contemplated taking visitors there, I remember its non-reservations policy and the long lines of smart locals enjoying gourmet Bar-B-Q at bargain basement prices queing to get in. Not every Hollywood/Malibu type can cope with this, so it's to the Eagles' credit that they could...

Friend Jeanette wrote: "I hope that's not what killed him at age 67. Death due to Hogly Wogly" while Frank Meyer of The Street Walkin' Cheetahs wrote "I LOVE Dr. Hogly Wogly's!!! I have to say, Mr. Frey gets retroactive points for that (oh, and all that hit music too I guess.)"

Thursday, January 14, 2016



Lemmy of Motorhead, David Bowie and now Alan Rickman, the curse of the three deaths. Age 69, cancer. Rickman always has been one of my favorite ever actors to watch, always presenting fascinating, unique and different portrayals with "that voice" and those hands. 

Most fun role to watch if you don't mind getting teary and sniffley half the time: Truly Madly Deeply, above right pic (photographer unknown) with Juliette Stevenson, wherein he plays a very tactile ghost of her musician lover, come back to help her move on from debilitating grief. Pretty humorous in parts: his ghost friends drop in to watch her video collection and won't leave.  One great scripted observation: that the couple are/were classical musicians has no bearing on their love of all good music, like all classical musicians I'v ever met. A highlight in the film is the characters' spirited and raucously sung duet of The Walker Brothers' "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Any More." 

What most fans never knew: Rickman had lived with his same girlfriend he met in 1965 in school, Rima Horton Young, above left with Rickman (photographer unknown,) for the last 50 years. They wed only this last year, no doubt when illness trespassed their lives to simplify any inheritances, because heretofore they were content to be the unconventional, living together couple. He was the world famous and well-loved actor, she was the liberal politician and Economics lecturer at university. Rest in peace, Alan Rickman. 

For happier thoughts, enjoy 2 minutes and 18 seconds of superb comedic acting from Alan Rickman, not forgetting Miss 10:30 and Miss 10:45 (bring a friend.)*


Monday, January 11, 2016


And then there was one. Too much choreography--
 album release, birthday, expiration date in one week. My
friend Shel Greenberg Erba wrote,"This (Bowie) album
changed my life." Not every popstar inspires people
so. And when it all began, it was all brand, spankin'
 new, that music and those fun personas. I photographed
 him live in 1972, Santa Monica Civic auditorium. I art-directed
his "ISOLAR" tour concert program, and he was a difficult 
employer, eventually removing my name from the credits.  
I'll just quote a member of the band Coba Seas' private
 observation on the previous blog entry: 
"This post went from joy to sorrow. 
Hug your loved ones out there."

Sunday, January 10, 2016



 Two from 1972-- today's birthday boys David Bowie and Rod Stewart.

Thursday, January 7, 2016


A supersession for singer Reesi Rocca and her beloved Golden Retriever Miss JJ, photographed as superheroes for this advertisement for the former's "Never Afraid" single its attendant (and quite elaborate) video (LINK*.) Look for it February, it indeed is everything as advertised, flying Polaris Slingshot cars, dancing with Michael Jackson et al!


Tuesday, January 5, 2016


Mike Campbell

 Marc Ford

 Jeremy White
of The Blessings

11.24.15 emerged as Night of the Blues/Rock Guitar Heroes at the Echoplex (Silverlake, L.A.) and proved a great night of music with its ultra-strong triple bill of Tom Petty Heartbreaker Mike Campbell in his solo band The Dirty Knobs, Marc Ford (onetime guitarist of The Black Crowes and Burning Tree) and The Blessings (Jeremy White and compatriots' vision of the early to mid-1970s Rolling Stones' ragged glory come to life again.)

Knobs' lead guitarist Mike Campbell remains a great frontman, is an expressive singer with simultaneously flawless fretwork, and is very aware of his audience. He interacts one on one, singling out individuals by name or other distinctions. F'rinstance, onstage he noted that my hairstyle reminded him of Pattie Boyd (an easy mistake since there's always a camera covering my face which otherwise would have spoiled the illusion.) 

Mike Campbell striking a pose familiar to fans of Iggy and The Stooges' Raw Power guitarist

The Dirty Knobs -- guitarists Mike Campbell and Jason Sinay, drummer Matt Lang and bassist Lance Morrison--ensemble really put on a cool  show, a little dirtier, swampier, eclectic-ier than your Petty fare, with a plethora of selections you just might not have anticipated-- oldskool blues, a ditty from The Rolling Stones' Rock and Roll Circus, some Grateful Dead, and a Beatles cover from Revolver which you might not have thought duplicatable live.

Dirty Knobs' set list: Shake These Blues Up, She Got The Sugar, Poor Boy Makes Good, Easy Wind, (Grateful Dead cover,) She Said She Said (Beatles cover,) El Chapo, Humdinger (J.J.Cale cover, prompting a "she likes to lick my fingers" chorus singalong with the audience,) Wreckless Abandon, Victim Of Circumstance, Yer Blues (Dirty Mac, Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus) Still  I Love You, RoadRunner (the original Bo Diddley one, not the Modern Lovers' future Massachusetts' State Song.)


Mike made sure that his favorite animal rescue charities TAZZY FUND (LINK*) and ROCK THE DOGS (LINK**) were given shout outs onstage as well.

drummer Matt Laug→ 

onstage Bloodhound caddy for guitar picks, towels
 guitarist Jason Sinay→

Known for his rapidfire licks which never sacrifice soul, Marc Ford and his power-blues compadres inclusive of standup bass, impressed both the audience and the headliners, who invited him to jam their encore. No wonder Ford was "poached" away to The Black Crowes from one of my favorite L.A. bands of the 1980s, Burning Tree (they also had a real, live Keith Moon-style drummer  [inventive, 100 mph but accurate]) all those decades ago...

 Marc Ford Band drummer     

Marc Ford stylin' in looks and licks

 Well written songs with a blues-rock groove and the two guitars, rhythm section, keyboards, backup singer template prompt the early to mid-1970s Stone's comparisons The Blessings inspire, reminiscent of Sticky Fingers/Exile on Main Street with an entirely different vocalist. Always a fun show by this troupe who are great local favorites. 
 The Blessings are: Jeremy White, lead vocals, guitar; Mike Gavigan, lead guitar; Jeffrey Howell, keyboards; Jason Upright, drummer; Lavone Barnett, vocals; Duffy Snowhill, bass. Look for their latest EP Shipwrecked with irrepressibly catchy choruses, and Tomahawk Inn full album.

Jeremy White's Keith Richards' look emerges when the chapeau is


Colleague Donna Balancia, Editor of California Rocker photographed the sets as well.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...