UPDATE: Confirmed – Tom Petty has died. When does this sadness stop?!

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is with a heavy heart and sadness that I announce to you the passing of Tom Petty.http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/03/entertainment/tom-petty-obit/index.html 


I never met Mr. Petty in person, but I knew one of his neighbors.  Tom Petty had a big heart. He truly cared about others and his surroundings. I recall back during the LA riots, Tom Petty came on with Public Service Announcements and wrote and recorded a song trying to bring peace. Tom Petty was against violence in all forms and stood up against war and what have you. He was a peaceful man and neighborly. In the first Malibu fire, Tom lost his home, but as fire was approaching went around the neighborhood helping his neighbors evacuate.
The neighbor of his I once knew told me a story of how he happen to catch Tom (usually one never knew he was at home as he was not a party animal and all that, he was always very quiet) coming out to get his mail or newspaper. This neighbor was also a musician and was having a small party that night. Nervously, he approached Tom and invited him to his party. Tom gave a pleasant, but non-committed answer. Later that evening about an hour into the party, the door bell rang and standing there was Tom Petty with a bottle of wine in one hand and a guitar in the other. I was also told that there was music shared.
When Tom had his guitars stolen not long ago by a studio security guard, it was reported that the guard tried to pawn them and the pawn shop owner immediately reported it to the authorities. Tom Petty himself went to the shop and gratefully retrieved his prized guitars. Asking the owner of the shop if he was coming to the show the next night, the owner replied that he wasn’t sure due to other commitments. Tom said with a smile, “Well, why don’t you come down anyway and enjoy the show, front row.”

I can only imagine what the industry is going through right now as are we. Tom’s family friends and all the band were at hospital at his side.

In Tom’s honor try to play some of his music perhaps, those of us in any aspect of industry including journalists, are now half-mast in Tom’s honor as we try to get through this difficult time.

Tom Petty, you will be greatly missed! Rest in peace Tom.


Steppenwolf – The Second

Artist: Steppenwolf
Genre: Rock, Psychedelic rock
Title: The Second
Released: 1968
Label: Dunhill
Format: Vinyl
Musicians:John Kay – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, harmonica, Michael Monarch – lead guitar, Goldy McJohn – organ, piano, Rushton Moreve – bass, Jerry Edmonton – drums, backing vocals
Producer:Gabriel Mekler
Engineer: Bill Cooper & Richard Podolor

From wikipedia: Steppenwolf is a Canadian rock band that was prominent from 1968 to 1972. The group was formed in late 1967 in Toronto by lead singer John Kay, keyboardist Goldy McJohn, and drummer Jerry Edmonton (all formerly in Jack London & The Sparrows from Oshawa, Ontario). Guitarist Michael Monarch and bass guitarist Rushton Moreve were recruited by notices placed in Los Angeles-area record and musical instrument stores. Today, John Kay is the only original member, having served as the lead singer since 1967. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steppenwolf_(band)

I’ve often wondered about a parody of this group. I’d change the name to “Stepped In Wolf” and would have song titles such as: “Bottom Of My Shoe”, “What’s That Smell”, “Can’t Get It Off”, “Watch Your Step”, etc. Ok, now that I’ve had my little joke, let’s get on with it.

The name change from The Sparrows (The Sparrow) to Steppenwolf was suggested to John Kay by Gabriel Mekler, being inspired by Hermann Hesse’s novel of the same name.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steppenwolf_(band)

The Second is the second studio album by Canadian-American rock band Steppenwolf,featuring a style that incorporates psychedelic music and hard rock, released in October 1968 on ABC Dunhill Records. The album contains one of Steppenwolf’s most famous songs, “Magic Carpet Ride”. The background of the original ABC LP cover was a shiny “foil”, in contrast to later (MCA Records) LP issues and the modern CD sleeve. My copy is the foil one.

Side one
“Faster Than the Speed of Life” (Mars Bonfire) – This track is just awful in my opinion. Structure is sloppy and the vocals are horrid.
“Tighten Up Your Wig” – Effects were added to this track to simulate a house party or similar, but only made for poor sound. At least it is better than the first track in my opinion.
“None of Your Doing” (Kay, Gabriel Mekler) – Again, a poorly structured song in my opinion.
“Spiritual Fantasy” – This song sounds like it was supposed to be hip, but it is just a poor ballad. That said, the lyrics are well written in this song. It is about false spirituality and such.
“Don’t Step on the Grass, Sam” – Another sloppy and disturbing song in my opinion.

Side two
“28” (Mekler) – This track sounds very similar to the first track on side one.
“Magic Carpet Ride” (Kay, Rushton Moreve) – This is the only hit from this LP and happens to be the best song on the album in my opinion. The single version differs noticeably from the album version with a different vocal take by Kay used for the first verse of the song and differing instrumental balances, most notably the introduction feedback. The single version is also much shorter than the album version, with a running time of 2 minutes and 55 seconds. (The album version is 4 minutes and 25 seconds long.) From wikipedia:The lyrics “I like to dream, right between my sound machine” were inspired by a hi-fi home stereo system John Kay bought with royalties from his first album. *Editor’s note:How appropriate is that?!
“Disappointment Number (Unknown)” – While this song and the following are listed separately on the album jacket, this is actually a suite of songs. It starts out with birdsong and then adds steel blues guitar and blues style vocals, then about a minute or two in it jumps to more of a pop style.
“Lost and Found by Trial and Error”
“Hodge, Podge, Strained Through a Leslie”
“Reflections” (Kay, Mekler)

I had to give a low rating to the music on this LP. It just doesn’t grab and hold me at any point.


H Nilsson – Nilsson Schmilsson

Artist: Harry Nilsson

Genre: Singer-Songwriter, Pop
Title: Nilsson Schmilsson
Released: 1971
Label: RCA/Victor
Musicians:Harry Nilsson – vocals; piano, Mellotron, organ, harmonica, electric piano, Jim Gordon – drums,percussion, Klaus Voormann – bass, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, Chris Spedding – guitar, Herbie Flowers – bass, John Uribe – acoustic guitar, lead guitar
Additional personnel: Henry Krein – accordion, Richard Perry – percussion, Mellotron,
Jim Price – trumpet, trombone, horn arrangements, Jim Keltner – drums, Roger Coolan – organ, Bobby Keys – saxophone, Gary Wright – piano, organ, Paul Buckmaster – string and horn arrangements, Roger Pope – drums, Caleb Quaye – guitar, Ian Duck – acoustic guitar, Jim Webb – piano, George Tipton – string and horn arrangements.
Producer: Richard Perry
Engineer: Robin Geoffrey Cable
Mix Engineer: Doug Sax

From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Nilsson Harry Edward Nilsson III (June 15, 1941 – January 15, 1994), usually credited as Nilsson, was an American singer-songwriter who achieved the peak of his commercial success in the early 1970s. His work is characterized by pioneering overdub experiments, returns to the Great American Songbook, and fusions of Caribbean sounds. A tenor with a three-and-a-half octave range, Nilsson was one of the few major pop-rock recording artists of his era to achieve significant commercial success without ever performing major public concerts or undertaking regular tours. Continue reading