It occasionally strikes me that, aside from their music, many of our most revered rock stars often have nothing very valuable to say. Often, the reason for their very celebrity lies in their personal dorkery; that is, they’ve excelled in music because of failings in other areas, whether social, personal, skin-related, or the size of their sex organ.
Indeed, many rock stars often sound like virtual idiots in interviews–particularly in so-called “question & answer” formats, where their logical facilities are laid bare for the entire world to see and, again, chuckle at heartily.
That said, I would like to point out one major exception. His name is Mr. Perry Farrell. And he said something during a recent BAM interview that struck me as astoundingly compelling and forward-looking.
“Ultimately,” he opined, “I would love to have orgies, and freedom to try out all the plants and spirits that we have on this earth.”
Me? I think Perry is a funny name!
PAUL KELLY Live At The Continental And The Esplanade (Vanguard) Imagine a world where one of the finest songwriters in pop music is dropped by a major international label–and is instead relegated to a well-meaning, long-lived and small label that, bless ’em, will never in a million years be able to provide the promotional push he so clearly deserves. A fine live album by Kelly–his third for Vanguard–this set should please his fans, but, all things considered, probably not win him any new ones. Perhaps it’s his hairdo. 4.5/5
KISS You Wanted The Best, You Got The Best!! (Mercury) Highlighted by two exclamation points in its title, this profoundly influential disc serves up several songs from past Kiss live albums, as well as several previously unreleased tracks. Here’s the song/influence breakdown: “Room Service”–later ripped off by Dylan; “Two Timer”–later swiped by Bono; “Let Me Know”–later stolen by Elvis Costello; “Rock Bottom”–later “borrowed” by P.J. Harvey; “Parasite”–later blatantly copied by Philip Glass; “Firehouse”–later purloined by Paul McCartney; “I Stole Your Love”–later filched by B.B. King; “Calling Dr. Love”–later plundered by the Sex Pistols; “Take Me”–later performed without author acknowledgment by Elvis Presley; “Shout It Out Loud”–later plagiarized by Yo-Yo Ma; “Rock And Roll All Night”–later appropriated by Diane Warren, Michael Bolton, and Desmond Rouge; “Beth”–later plagiarized by President Bill Clinton in front of Congress. Furthermore, lots of “Kiss Tells All,” the “bonus” audio interview with rocker Jay Leno, sounds like the sort of thing Van Morrison’s been telling people lately! 2/5
SCENIC Acoustica (World Domination Recordings) Charming instrumental music that appears to be striving for faux-soundtrack effect, this package–featuring graphics, packaging, and, er, actual playing by Bruce Licher–simply looks too good to open and play! Frankly, I don’t know what to do about it. 4/5
FARM DOGS Last Stand In Open Country (Discovery) At a party in May 1974, I stood up on a couch, a beer in each hand, and drunkenly declared: “In 22 years, it is my absolute intention to review in print an album that will be made by Elton John’s lyricist, the guitarist from Blossom Toes, Cockney Rebel, and Family and Rod Stewart’s band–no, two guitarists from Rod Stewart’s band!–and the former lead singer of the Buckinghams!” As the partygoers looked on in horror, I continued: “Outlandishly enough, it will be surprisingly good!” Sadly, minutes later, I puked on my shoes. 4.5/5