Today is: Friday September 20, 2019 | Status: Under Re-development | Version 2.99.03
John Waters

John Waters

by Michael Sherer

For forty eight years, John Waters has been directing what have been become the most well known of U.S. independent, unconventional and exploitative films. With ‘72’s Pink Flamingos being John’s first hit, it afforded him name recognition and a degree of cult status, which has grown a great deal over the decades since. It was the ‘70’s that John also embarked on a side career, that being stand up comedy.

I personally respect the ability for one to do two or more challenging crafts well, as John does. Stand up comedy is not only a difficult endeavor, it also takes a tremendous amount of courage and confidence, as one is all alone up on stage and has nothing to hide behind.

I caught this side of John for the first time at the classy and cool venue called City Winery, located just north of Canal Street in lower Manhattan. John is proverbially lanky and tall, which was the first thing that struck me. I also noticed quickly that John carefully prepares his entire set, in a script fashion, as that’s what works for him. While some comedians use elements of improvised material, John is one that operates along highly developed and guided lines. John noted later that as with most all comedians, he’ll modify his material as he sees how the audience reacts to the bits, as well as when new experiences occur.

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Mick Taylor

Mick Taylor - Iridium, NYC, 5.13.12

by Michael Sherer

For a great deal of Rolling Stone fans such as myself, the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s was their finest period. They had truly found their own voice by then, after starting as essentially a cover band doing mostly blues based songs. To my mind, they had more swagger, ferocity and bite than ever before or since during this second period. This era coincides with the years that guitarist Mick Taylor was in the band, having replaced original member Brian Jones. Jones was sacked in ‘69, and shortly after tragically drowned in his outdoor swimming pool. He was 27. Taylor joined in ‘69, at the age of 20, and quit five years later in ‘74. One of the reasons he left was that his girl friend at the time persuading him to, predicting that the band didn’t have much life left. Look at how that turned out, 38 years on.

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Bernard Purdie

Masters Of Groove - Live at Iridium, NYC, 3.30.12

by Michael Sherer

Masters Of Groove are literally just that. These three guys, Bernard “Pretty” Purdie on drums, Grant Green, Jr. on guitar and Reuben Wilson on Hammond B3 organ, (also handling bass with it) kick serious ass. They serve up greasy and supremely funky, grooving, extended original jams, as well as interpretations of others’ memorable songs. These included “Stella By Starlight” by Victor Young, “It’s Your Thing” by The Isley Brothers, “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers, and “Mr. Magic” by Grover Washington, Jr., to name a few. They add their own thing to them, “funkitizing” the sound and locking together as players in the most proverbial way. They conjure the mid to latter ‘60’s soul/funk/jazz vibe completely, and remind anyone who knows shit from shimola musically that was the golden era for the confluence of those impactful genres.

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Gregg Rolie & Alan Haynes

Gregg Rolie & Alan Haynes

by Michael Sherer

As a founding member of Santana and then Journey, Gregg Rolie has an illustrious past. Since ‘80 though, when he left Journey, he’s had a much lower key life. That’s the kind of performance that he led at the Iridium, a jazz geared club in the heart of midtown Manhattan. With only Rolie’s piano and singing accompanied by guitarist Alan Haynes, it was a bluesy, mellow and soulful affair. There were some well known songs from Rolie’s past, such as such as Evil Ways and Black Magic Woman by Santana, and the lesser known Look Into The Future by Journey, and the rest were a hodge podge that included songs that he and Haynes have composed together.

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Andy Mitchell

The Yardbirds

by Michael Sherer

While The Yardbirds are often thought of as serving as the starting point for, respectively, guitarists Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, they are one of the most important rock, blues and pop bands of the ‘60’s. They didn’t become huge like their British counterparts The Beatles, Stones, Kinks, etc., but did have some notable hits such as “For Your Love,” “Heart Full of Soul,” “Shapes of Things,” and “I’m a Man.”

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