Friday, August 14, 2009

40 years ago this weekend - WOODSTOCK

Wow, 40 years. I was 23 at the time, living in Seattle, where we seemed to have a mini-Woodstock every weekend out on someone's farm in the surrounding foothills.

Below, Santana performing at Woodstock. Note the conga player coming into view at about 0:23.

That's Mike Carabello. In 1968 he was in my little local San Francisco band, originally called "Four of a Kind." We played in the strip clubs on Broadway in North Beach, and in some local bars out in the Mission District and elsewhere. Our lead singer was Rick Stevens, who went on to Tower of Power, and whom I will soon see for the first time in 40 years, during one of my upcoming trips over to Walnut Creek.

Yeah, Sly at Woodstock, man...

I woulda liked for The Sons of Champlin to have been at Woodstock.



Above, with Cuz Jojo on bass, Steve Zoeger on tubs (fine drummer), in a bar in Bellevue, WA. Below: My first original song, written 40 years ago:


There are rules, and

There are fools
Who pretend they do not see.

Simple laws

Reveal the Flaws

In the ways we choose to be.

Those who lead

Make you bleed,

But, soon they too will know the pain,

And, no matter what comes down,

It shall not have been in vain.

There are fears, and
There are tears,

Some are real
And some are not.

Fragile shells that sometimes break

To leave you hanging on the spot.
Take your time on your way
To whomever you might be, for,

No matter what comes down,
We shall all be there to see.

There is Love,

There is Hate,

Each in context to the other.
As we learn to clear our minds,

We might locate one another.

Many questions still surround me, but

There’s one thing now quite plain:
That no matter what comes down,

It shall not have been in vain.

Words & Music Copyright © 1969, 2009 by Bobby Gladd, All Rights Reserved.

Mushroom-assisted Steven Stills-ish cosmic thingy with a waft of "protest" (given the raging Vietnam war at the time). Groovy, man, far out...

Oh, gawd!

Forty years later, still writing. Had this idea last week on my way over to Walnut creek, while listening to some Gospel music station. It's about 95% done. Excerpt, first verse and last verse:


What do I know?
Well, not all that much.
Survive by my wits,
Play in the Clutch.
Burned a few bridges,
Built a few more.
Done lost any interest
In sett'ling The Score...

...Where do I go
When I'm drowning in doubt?
Show up at your door,
And you sort me out.
What do I know?
Just these two hearts,
Greater than
The sum of our parts.
One thing is certain,
With you there's no hurtin',
Always been,
And shall ever be so.
This is just
The one thing I know.

Words & Music Copyright © 2009 by Bobby Gladd, All Rights Reserved.

Peace, man...


Backbeat Village US. Excellent new band. See my prior post on their recent debut gig. Come and check 'em out. You won't be disappointed. I will be there to cover this show.


AARP Magazine arrive in my mail today.

Springsteen turns 60' eh? Dude, I'm 63.

Well, this reminded me of an NPR segment I heard a couple of weeks ago, "Scalping And Scarcity: The Economics Of Live Music."
August 3, 2009 - With the record business decimated by illegal downloading, the live concert represents the ailing music industry's biggest source of revenue.

But as journalist John Seabrook reports in The New Yorker, the live concert business has yet to reconcile two competing sides of its identity. For the world's leading concert promoter and ticket seller — LiveNation and Ticketmaster, respectively — a concert is a moneymaking venture. For diehard fans of top-grossing touring artists like Bruce Springsteen and U2, it's a unique experience of "instant cousinship" with other fans (as one pioneering promoter puts it).

Meanwhile, Internet scalping on sites like TicketNow and StubHub has drastically changed the the economics of concert-going, pushing the market prices of tickets much higher than artists and managers sometimes set them.

The live music industry has grown over the past 40 years from a predominantly local business run by individual regional promoters to one almost entirely dominated by LiveNation and Ticketmaster. In early 2009, the Wall Street Journal reported that the two companies were preparing to merge, a move that would have consolidated the whole business under the roof of one corporate monolith.

Around the same time, controversy erupted, reaching as high as the U.S. Senate, when tens of thousands of Springsteen fans who logged on to Ticketmaster in February to purchase tickets for a May arena concert were diverted to the scalping site TicketsNow — which Ticketmaster owns...

I subscribe to The New Yorker, and I subsequently read this article when the issue arrived. Highly recommended (it's not available online yet). Here's the NPR interview audio.

Does this merger of LiveNation and TicketMaster simply portend more ways to screw the artist? Maybe not if you're Bruce Springsteen or The Eagles, etc., but what about lesser tier/upcoming acts?

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