Saturday, February 26, 2022


So I’m working on a long-gestating essay about those gloriously strange, of-the-era, early- and mid-70s budget compilations on the Pickwick label that featured recordings of contemporary hits by faceless and anonymous session musicians, in this case going by the band name Kings Road. I’m well into research but am asking help on the off chance that someone knows someone who knew someone who knew a musician who worked on these sessions, or who might have leads on Pickwick recording info I’m unaware of. If you have any info at all, please comment below or hit me up at All vague and semi-promising leads welcome!

Thursday, February 24, 2022

All over again

I'm only in the early pages of Lenny Kaye's Lightning Striking, and I can already tell it's going to be one hell of a read. If you think you've read everything about rock and roll's formative and epochal eras, this book will disprove that: Kaye's knowledge is unsurprisingly vast and sturdy, but he's also witty, evocative, and often poetic in his writing, shedding new light, and insight, into the oft-scoured corners of music history. 

As the great music books do, his sent me back to my collection. Thirty four years ago I was living in Athens, Ohio; one typical night I closed down the bar(s), staggered home, and switched on the television, which back then was still airing late-night commercials plugging Elvis albums. I counted my change and bravely ordered an album that I couldn't afford. As Presley comps go, it's a great one, well-chosen if poorly annotated, and was where I first heard his Sun recordings, "Mystery Train," "That's All Right," and "Good Rockin' Tonight" issuing from my crappy stereo and changing my life. I'd later collect the Sun recordings via the proper reissues, but I still retain deep affection for this album, which also includes a ton of great early- and mid-60s tracks. I pulled it out last night and, after Kaye's words, the music crackled with life all over again.

Saturday, February 12, 2022

In my basement

l-r, Peter Zaremba, Marek Pakulski, Lenny Caldron, Keith Streng in 1977. Photo by James Hamilton
Over at FFanzeen: Rock'n'Roll Attitude With Integrity, Robert Barry Francos has unearthed an interview with Peter Zaremba, Keith Streng, Marek Pakulski, and Lenny Calderon conducted at the infamous house in Queens where Streng and Pakuslki lived and where in the basement they'd discovered the left-behind instruments that would spark the eventual formation of The Fleshtones. The conversation took place at a Halloween party in 1977, and also hanging around were Chris Stamey, Gordon Spaeth, filmmaker M. Henry Jones, and The Zantees and future A-Bones' singer Billy Miller. Alas, there's no info on who's wearing what costume.

My favorite passage:
FF: What do you do during the daytime?
Peter: Generally, I wake up six or seven in the evening. And then we rehearse.
Billy Miller: Then he goes over to Miriam’s [Linna] house.
Peter: Then I go over to Miriam’s house.
Keith: And listen to her great record collection.

FF: Do you plan to tour?
Keith: Yeah, tomorrow we play in his house and the day after in my basement.
Ah, youth. Full interview here.