Archive for the ‘John & Beverly Martyn’ Category

Georgie Fame & Alan Price

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Listen: Rosetta / Fame & Price, Price & Fame Together

By the time these two guys teamed up, they’d outgrown their hardcore, grimy beginnings, especially having to play the late, late, late night white blues and soul clubs that typified 60′s Mod. Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames and The Alan Price Set respectively had done their time in the all-nighter trenches of London’s Flamingo, and other even nastier spots around the UK. Miraculously, even though they were having mainstream hit singles, their labels allowed both to record what each clearly preferred, jazz funk and RnB.

But I guess hits meant tasting success and some money, so by the early 70′s, both Georgie Fame and Alan Price were involved with televsion, films and soundtracks. Somewhere in that mix, a suggested musical partnering reflecting their apparent camaraderie actually took way.

Great plan. Their voices sounded superb together, and the first single released as Fame And Price, Price And Fame Together landed them a #11 UK hit in ’71.

Fuck was I pissed ‘Rosetta’ never got airplay in America. Initially, the single was included in a pile gotten off Harry Fagenbaum, the Syracuse University college radio rep for Warner Brothers. Despite Harry being another Anglophile, he hardly mentioned it. Supposedly, this record was just too adult and schmaltz for him. He wrongly assumed I would agree.

Can recall vividly returning home that Sunday evening, having spent the day trolling the SU campus record shops, then hanging out at Harry’s dorm, listening to The Pretty Things GET THE PICTURE album. Seriously, we played it at least twice, as I still hadn’t scored my copy. That was a damn hard one to get even in ’71. Imports were starting to become more common, but not older titles. So I’d always run straight for it in his wall shelf.

I remember him trying to edge in Ron Nagle’s BAD RICE album, and Deep Purple’s ‘Strange Kind Of Woman’ 7″, both of which he’d just given me. My logic was to promise I’d listen once home, but in the meantime, let’s hear The Pretty Things. And I did check those out that night, as well John & Beverly Martyn’s ‘Primrose Hill’, yet it was ‘Rosetta’ that hands down stole the thunder.

Alice Cooper

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

alicecaughtusa, Alice Cooper, Straight, Frank Zappa, Warner Brothers

Listen: Caught In A Dream / Alice Cooper AliceCooperCaught.mp3

I became pretty friendly with a couple of Syracuse University students, Fred Perry and Harry Fagenbaum, via their Sunday evening late night show on WAER, the student run radio station. It was as much a case of me finding them as them finding me.

I couldn’t sleep, it was late on a very cold Sunday night and despite school beckoning the next morning, I started fiddling with the wireless part of the TV/stereo/radio combination counsel, as much a piece of time period furniture as it was a media center. This was 1968, and I was so desperate to hear the new single by The Move, ‘Fire Brigade’, that I actually believed I’d find it on some far away radio station, beaming it’s way to me back when late night signals bounced to unlikely places. Lo and behold, I found my first ever college radio station, and was stunned. These two guys were playing some fantastic music: Ten Years After, John Mayall’s Bluesbreaker and The Kinks. I could not believe my luck.

Twenty minutes into the bliss, onto the air comes ‘Fire Brigade’ by The Move. Holy fucking shit. It was like I was possessed or something. Having tossed and turned, feeling frustrated to be growing up in a town and country where the radio stunk, I get out of bed and find what I was looking for. I know you’re thinking this is being exaggerated to make for better copy, but I swear, it’s true. Yes, be careful what you wish – it can be a little unsettling when it comes true.

So I made a low volume, long distance call to these DJ’s. Not only had I found a weekly oasis for my musical desires, they’d finally found a listener who wanted to hear the stuff. We agreed to meet up and talk English groups.

A year or so later, Harry became the Warner Brothers college rep, and would occasionally let me troll through his trunk full of promos, not anywhere near as often as I wanted, or as often as I’d have let him had the situation been reversed. Still, I was appreciative for the high.

One of those Saturday trunk scores included white label promos by Deep Purple ‘Strange Kind Of Woman’, John & Beverly Martyn ‘Road To Ruin’ and Alice Cooper ‘Caught In A Dream’, back when the name of the band, not the guy, was Alice Cooper. The Zappa partnership still seamed strong, with the WB label prominently including Frank’s Straight logo. Lots of good singles from Alice Cooper were still to come, but I think this one remains their best.