What a day. We started off this morning watching a film and presentation by Invisible Children, an organization dealing with a major humanitarian crisis in Africa… frustratingly, I should say, ONE of many. This one involves the brutal LRA and its subhuman leader, Joseph Kony. If you ever question the need for a gun or sword or the military to step up and stop terror and destruction and the most insane violence you can think of, here is a reason. Peace is the ideal, the end goal, but sometimes it must be achieved through a fight. This man, a term I do not like to use to describe him, must be stopped. After our donation, we now own the DVD, so we will gladly arrange a screening or loan it out. It is something that must be seen.
Children are being raped, killed and shockingly abducted into rebel armies, for no other reason than power and greed. The ruthlessness of groups like this and Al Qaeda are all too real and must be stopped. This is where the UN should be putting its energies… not on speeches by Ahmadinejad and jokingly letting countries like Syria and Libya head the Human Rights Council.
So there was that… Then this afternoon I had the pleasure of spending time with Cathy, Tatiana, Joe and the amazing LA institution, rock DJ Rita Wilde on a bus/rock tour of LA. Thank you to the BEST RADIO STATION IN LA… 100.3 THE SOUND!!!
Sadly, many of the clubs, buildings and recording studios are no longer here… they are now empty lots, do over buildings, or just shells of the historical spots they once were. LA has little regard for its own history, it seems… which is crazy given the art and music and style this city has given the world.
A lot of great music came out of Hollywood and West Hollywood… and a lot of great music was lost there. The tour definitely talked about where legends dined and died. So how to balance the two parts of my day? Is it possible?
We started off at Capitol Records and saw Studio A, where many a classic track was laid down… we saw the newly unveiled Flying Pig on top of the famed building, to announce the new Pink Floyd masters… all 14 albums… of which we got to hear a few. We talked about Janis Joplin, Love, The Doors and Van Halen… Ian Whitcomb was a surprise guest and on the bus for a while, regaling us with some never-before-told stories from his own personal adventures… What a pleasure. I had him sign a CD for me. So what to listen to… Hmmm…
Janis Joplin – Pearl
Yes, she is a member of the 27 club. She died from bad heroin on October 4, 1970 at the Landmark Motor Hotel. We were there today. Strange. Her voice was like no other. She was a cast off in high school, teased and left to her art and music, but she was also a fighter. She made some amazing music in a short time and obviously had so much more to give.
Pearl is her fourth album and was released posthumously on Columbia Records. It wound up being her biggest hot and was the only one recorded with the Full Tilt Boogie Band. She did two before that with Big Brother and the Holding Company and one with Kozmic Blues Band.
Paul A. Rothchild, who produced The Doors did wonders with this one and knew how to highlight Janis’ unbelievable vocals… Man, this album is so damn good! What a waste…
I love the two-disc version, which has amazing live tracks and the birthday song she recorded for John Lennon (“Happy Trails”) which ironically arrived after she had passed.
“Me and Bobby McGee” written by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster.
Feel the tenderness and yearning in “Trust Me”… and close your eyes and listen to “Buried Alive in the Blues.” Janis died before she could add the vocals, so all you can hear is what might have been. It is one sweet song as is, and one that might have been even sweeter.
Los Angeles – Where beautiful music is found… and also where it’s lost.