I would like to tip my hat to all the musicians out there that play music because they have to, because deep inside them is the burning desire to create in an era of destruction and death. It’s an age where the winner of “American Idol” is out shilling for Ford a week after he won the contest, while the real musicians barely get their recordings played on community radio. Yet they keep at it. Not because they want to become a star with a swimming pool, a Porsche and a B-actor for a mate (though they probably wouldn’t mind if it happened), but because they love the camaraderie of their band, cheap beer and seeing their audience having a good time. If not for you, there would be no music.
Sonic Youth are celebrating 25 years of boring and pompous drivel that the NYC posers describe as high art, As if they were Robert Fripp, or someone of talent. At their best, Sonic Youth sounded like 100 people that I know playing drunkenly in their basement, but the secret of Sonic Youth’s success is that they were able to spray gold paint on the turd and put a nice frame around it. The so-called heroes of underground music have been able to send their children to private schools and own lofts in lower Manhattan. Ever feel like you’ve been cheated?
Moore has released a great debut of rocking anthems reminiscent of Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust”-era. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Liani Moore plays like the goddess that she is. Add ace guitarist Mike Farrell (Losin’ Streaks/Daisy Spot) to the mix of bassist Steve Robinson and darling drummer Alexa Golden and you got one hot CD. (www.mooretheband.com)
Former Baraboo folkie, now San Francisco rocker, Brittany Shane (aka Safranek) has been busy in the studio with Zack Smith of Scandal doing the producing. (www.brittanyshane.com)
RIP- Way too many musicians died this month to mention, so check out the Dead Rock Star Club website.
IAN NELSON Died April 23, of a heart attack. Born in 1956, he played woodwinds and was a member of Red Noise and Fiat Lux and worked with his brother Bill Nelson and Be Bop Deluxe.
ANDY CAPPS Died May 18, in Idaho, at the age of 37. He was the original drummer of Built To Spill.
CY COBEN Died May 26, of a heart attack. He was 87, and a songwriter, pianist and guitarist. He wrote Bill Monroe’s “A Good Woman’s Love” and Eddie Arnold’s “I Want to Play House with You.” Hank Snow, the Beatles, Jerry Reed, Chet Atkins, Rosemary Clooney, Homer & Jethro, Willie Nelson, the New Riders of the Purple Sage and the Traveling Wilburys have recorded his songs.
VINCE WELNICK Died June 2, by suicide. Keyboardist for the Tubes, the Grateful Dead and Todd Rundgren, he was born on Feb. 21, 1951 in Phoenix, AZ, and was a Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Inductee.
BILLY PRESTON Died June 5, in Scottsdale, AZ, after a long battle with malignant hypertension that resulted in kidney failure. Born Sept. 2, 1946, in Houston, the keyboardist, singer and songwriter had hit songs with “Will it Go Round in Circles” and “Nothing from Nothing.” Preston played keyboards on the last two Beatles albums and worked with Ray Charles, Mahalia Jackson, Little Richard, the Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Sammy Davis Jr., Sly and the Family Stone, Stevie Winwood, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Jackson Five and Eric Clapton.
SCOTT PALMER Died June 7, of cancer of the gall bladder. The bassist of John Brown’s Body was 38.
LOUISE GARFORTH Died June 10, after giving birth to her daughter Annabelle. The bassist for the Swiss punk band Snitch was born June 14, 1979.
MATTHEW HUTCHINSON Died June 11, in Wilkes-Barre, PA, after he accidentally shot himself in the head. He was the 18, and the guitarist of Steel Toed Youth, a non-racist skinhead band. Hutchinson had bought the gun to protect himself from racist skinheads who had issued threats towards him.
DAN & COREY WOOLEY Died June 18, in Pierce, CO, in a murder-suicide. Dan shot his son, Corey, then shot himself. They were members of the Wooley Brothers.
DUANE ROLAND Died June 19, of natural causes, in his St. Augustine, FL, home. The guitarist of Molly Hatchet was born Dec. 3, 1952, in Jeffersonville, Indiana.
CHARLES SMITH Died June 20. A founding member and guitarist of Kool & The Gang, he died in Maplewood, NJ after a long illness.