Barnes & Noble Vinyl Initiative

While shopping yesterday in the Barnes & Noble store in Westport, Connecticut, I noticed their associated marketing effort with the vinyl LP resurgence. This is a return volley to Amazon’s Vinyl Store.

The Barnes & Noble entertainment department featured a wall of vinyl along with a centerpiece display. This produces a dramatic effect versus the slapped together vinyl island I typically see in the middle of the Milford, CT store.

I also learned (posthumously) that Barnes & Noble held Vinyl Day twice in 2015. Once on July 25th and again on November 21st, the week before Record Store Day.

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Definitive Album Reviews by Uncut Magazine
Especially published a free sample issue for Barnes & Noble customers on Vinyl Day, Uncut Magazine (my favorite music magazine) presented a list of Definitive Album Reviews of amazing musical content ranging from bestselling favorites like the Beatles to exciting new releases from New Order.

The issue features an exclusive interview with Sir Paul McCartney that you are going to want to read.

Uncut Magazine’s Definitive Album Reviews is a must-read for great vinyl gifting ideas. You might find extra issues still on display in your local Barnes & Noble as I did yesterday 🙂

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Shop Barnes & Noble and BN.com for vinyl, turntables, and more at bn.com/vinyl.

I look forward to learning more about Barnes & Noble Vinyl Day(s) 2016.

 

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Hope For The Future By Sir Paul McCartney Out Now On Vinyl

Sir Paul McCartney is a creative music genius when it comes to technology expression. His willingness to take collaborative risks with unique artists and entertainment alternatives keeps him ever-present. Sir Paul McCartney is blessed with multiple expressive artistic outlets, songwriting, painting and a sharp command of technical expression.

Sir Paul McCartney has performed with such luminary artists as Nirvana, Kanye West and now has released “Hope For The Future” on 12″ vinyl. The song was written by Paul for the record-breaking video game ‘Destiny’ from Bungie, Inc.(Activision).

The vinyl tracklisting is as follows:

SIDE A:
A1) Hope For The Future (Main)
A2) Hope For The Future (Thrash)
A3) Hope For The Future (Mirwais Mix)

SIDE B:
B1) Hope For The Future (Beatsession Mix)
B2) Hope For The Future (Jaded Mix)

The vinyl also comes with a download card featuring all five tracks.

Ballad of the Skeletons – Allen Ginsberg, Sir Paul McCartney, Lenny Kaye and Phillip Glass

Ballad  of the Skeletons

Talk about your collaborations, this one was special.

The single The Ballad of the Skeletons, was Allen Ginsberg’s last recorded release, it is his musical masterpiece and deserves to be considered one of the most passionate, powerful, and articulate performances in the history of rock.

Allen Ginsberg Raps on this recording. Refer to the Allen Ginsberg and Paul McCartney performance video below to get a fuller sense of the mutual respect and dignity each man shared for the other.

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‘A Ballad of American Skeletons’ was performed by Allen Ginsberg and Sir Paul McCartney for an evening of poetry and performance at The Royal Albert Hall promoted by Goldmark entitled ‘The Return of the Reforgotten’ in 1995.

“Ballad of the Skeletons” with music by Philip Glass and Paul McCartney playing guitar.  The recording was a follow up to Allen Ginsberg’s “Ballad of the Skeletons”

 

 

 

 

Beatles Fest – A Saturday Report

We live right off the Metro North train line in Connecticut. It was easy to hop the 9:38 a.m express and get into Grand Central Terminal at 11:15 a.m. The Grand Hyatt is right next door to GCT where we entered The Fest for Beatles Fans 2014.

We decided to attend the day in between the two major Beatles 50th Anniversary events, the Beatles Invasion February 7th and the Ed Sullivan broadcast on February 9th.

After we checked in we headed up to the main ballroom on the 4th floor. We watched the balance of the film, Good Ol Freda which was a special treat as Freda Kelly herself appeared after the film. She brought a tear to my eye as her role in The Beatles family is devout, private but very caring. You could see how much she loves the fans as she met with them at the autograph table.

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Our focus for this event was the music in the main ballroom. Granted there were floors of art exhibits, video, presentations by authors etc. But we got anchored to the concert floor. The event was oversold and many people had to stand which made for a fire law problem. This meant we had to pretty much stay in our seats all afternoon which grew uncomfortable over 6 hours.

The Ballroom Agenda

Mark RiveraKen Dashow

Ken Dashow interviewed Mark Rivera who has performed with three of the Beatles, John Lennon, Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. Mark is Ringo Starr’s Musical Director for the Ringo Starr All-Starr Show where we’ve seen Mark play three times this past decade. Mark Rivera is also a band member of Billy Joel‘s band. He has a new album coming out, Common Bond which drops on February 18th.

The album includes a rare appearance by Billy Joel playing a sizzling Hammond B3 organ on Mark’s unique cover of the Jimi Hendrix classic Spanish Castle Magic. Ringo Starr, Robert Randolph, Nils Lofgren and Steve Lukather all give their great talents to what will be a most cool album!

It really rocks in a good old way – like we did back in the day. Your voice sounds great and the band kicks ass!”– Billy Joel

Gretsch Presents, Peter Asher, A Memoir of the 60’s and Beyond – Part 1

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We were pleasantly surprised by Peter Asher. He had a well-polished agenda for us. This speaks to his role as a producer. He interspersed his verbal talk which was filled with nostalgia about The Beatles with vintage video. He had a class back up band that increased the dimension of the Peter and Gordon songs. The Eric Idle introduction was funny. We especially loved the segment where Peter sang with Gordon behind him as they played. It was so comforting to hear them sing together that way with Gordon Waller having left us in 2010.

I was intrigued to learn that Peter and his sister Jane Asher had founded a book store and art gallery Indica in London where John Lennon met Yoko Ono at her art show.

Surprise Guest – Pattie Boyd – Martin Lewis

We were surprised by Pattie Boyd’s appearance. It was a warm, intimate 40 min conversation with Pattie and Martin Lewis where Pattie spoke about George Harrison, The Beatles in the day, the trip to India and her love of photography. I thought she was a delight and very honest interview subject.

Donovan

It was a joy to see Donovan perform. It had been 44 years since our last Donovan concert. This show was very immediate. We loved the magic he created for us. Donovan has always been a special artist in the music of our heart.

He was in good voice. I especially loved how he sounded phrasing wise especially on “Jennifer, Juniper”. I really dug with unique vocal sound he makes on “Hurdy Gurdy Man”. His one hour set went so quickly but he played all his hits which made it loving and lasting for us.

Donovan’s Set

  1. Catch the Wind
  2. Colours
  3. Universal Soldier
    (Buffy Sainte-Marie cover)
  4. Jennifer Juniper
  5. Lalena
  6. Wear Your Love Like Heaven
  7. Hurdy Gurdy Man
  8. Sunshine Superman
  9. Season of the Witch
  10. Mellow Yellow

   Encore

  1. Atlantis

Cousin Brucie’s Saturday Rock and Roll  Party

We were really happy to hang out with Cousin Brucie who has been a major force in our music listening lives. He has such energy and passion for what he does as an on-air personality. It was exciting to be part of his live SiriusXM broadcast. We often listen to his show on Sixties on 6.

We didn’t stay for the three-hour show as we were weary from the ballroom chairs. We figured we’d listen to the rebroadcast on Sunday night from 5-8 p.m. Which we are listening to that show now as I finish up that post 😉

I finally got to see Ronnie Spector live which was cool! Ronnie had some great stories about the boys and Murray The K. She then performed “Be My Baby”.

Donovan rejoined us next and paid Brucie a wonderful complement as a disk jockey. He performed “Hurdy Gurdy Man” and it was great to hear it twice in the same day!

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Cousin Brucie, “We Love You!”

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50 Years Ago Today, The Beatles Invade America!

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It was 50 years ago today that The Beatles arrived on our shores at JFK International Airport in New York City. It was a very exciting day for us Beatles fans. I listened to the JFK arrival and infamous press conference on my transistor radio in my Junior High Science class, thankful that my Science teacher was hard of hearing 😉

The Fest for Beatles Fans 50th Anniversary Event starts today and runs through Sunday evening February 9th.

JFK Salute The Moment

Today two bus loads of Fest Beatles Fans will be driven to JFK Airport to honor the Beatles arrival. Here is a picture of one of the two bus participants. It looks like fun 🙂

We Love You Beatles, Yes We Do…Oh Beatles We Love You”

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Music Journalism A-Z – Ben Fong-Torres

Ben Fong-Torres

Former Rolling Stone writer Ben Fong-Torres in 2007 Photo: Chris Stewart, The Chronicle

Today’s music blog post is about one of my favorite music journalists, Ben Fong-Torres. I grew up on rock music devouring each issue of Rolling Stone Magazine. I first found the newspaper staring up at me from under a rock on a newstand  in 1968. Coincidentally that was when Ben Fong-Torres started writing for Rolling Stone.  Rolling Stone lit a fuse in the music of our heart that has been burning brightly ever since.

I read many a cover story by Ben Fong-Torres. I love how he illuminated the artist, their music and the cultural time. I recall vividly the time he spent with Sir Paul McCartney and Wings on their North America tour.

He has written nine books. I own one of them, Grateful Dead Scrapbook. I treasure that book. Ben Fong-Torres close relationship with The Grateful Dead is clear throughout this beloved  title.

I am eager to acquire more of his books. The music journalism series A-Z will double the size of my music book library by the time I am done at the end of this month. But that’s okay as music writing and reading is my favorite pastime.