Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Sharing A Joke With Frank

Sharing A Joke With Frank
Antonio G. Pereira © 2016 Antonio G. Pereira
________________________________________

                                                     Nov. 2nd, 2001

Sharing a joke with Frank
at some little table
in a cafe (Is this France?)

Laughing uproariously
Gail is sitting next to him
Some joke or little phrase
one of us gave the Punch Line to
And every couple of seconds
after we thought about it again
helpless laughter

Dusk
The liquid refreshment flows
and we're still laughing
at that stupid Punch Line!
My God
I'll never forget this evening (you folks are so much fun) and you.

Monday, July 11, 2016

George Martin, In Celebration

George Martin, In Celebration
Antonio G. Pereira © 2016 Antonio G. Pereira
_______________________________________

For a life well lived. Just to review:

        To access a very rare discussion that was conducted during The Beatles Anthology Sessions, Go to The Internet Archive http://www.archive.org Type http://www.vex.net/~paulmac/beatles/rs/19950522.html into the Wayback Machine. Then choose 2008.
        After reading the interview/discussion, you can access the Gobnotch Homepage on the bottom left hand side of the page, where you can access the Complete History of The Beatles Anthology Sessions; from it's beginnings to conclusion.
        Besides his wonderful work with The Beatles, an exceptionally beautiful album George Martin produced and performed on, with Cleo Laine and Johnny Dankworth was, 'Born On A Friday' http://www.allmusic.com/album/born-on-a-friday-mw0000100068 which includes deeply moving versions of Ralph McTell's, 'Streets Of London' and Randy Newman's, 'I Think It's Gonna Rain Today'.

George Martin's work has aged well, like a fine wine. His final gift to us all. You can savor it for a lifetime....

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/10/arts/music/george-martin-producer-of-the-beatles-dies-at-90.html?_r=0

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Martin

Friday, May 20, 2016

Photograph by Ringo Starr

Photograph by Ringo Starr
Antonio G. Pereira © 2016 Antonio G. Pereira
______________________________________


        Photograph by Ringo Starr.

www.amazon.com/Photograph-Ringo-Starr/dp/1905662335

        What immediately grabs your attention about 'Photograph', is it's exquisitely beautiful design. Ringo has put this book together as a photographic diary of his life. His prose throughout the pages, is very informative, poignant and funny.

        Three things that are very obvious from the childhood pictures of Richard Starkey ('Richie', as his relations affectionately called him), that make up the beginning of the book; (1) he was really loved by his family, (2) there was something special about him, and (3) when you see Richie with his friends, you can feel the warmth.

        The photographs of Rory Storm and The Hurricanes (the very popular Liverpool group Ringo was in before The Beatles) are quite extraordinary. They were an exciting band to see in concert! And we see every stage of The Beatles' career up until Rishikesh and the beginning of the white album (during the recording of which) Ringo felt he was unwanted in the band anymore (which of course was not true) and he came back to a warm welcome from John, Paul and George. This was also when he began to branch off into films, on his own; starting with 'Candy'. He talks about all of these things, and it makes fascinating reading.

        Ringo Starr is quite a remarkable and exceptional photographer. (I first noticed Ringo's talent as a photographer, when I saw his photographic portraitures of John, George and himself with their wives and children, and Paul with Jane Asher, in Hunter Davies' 1968 biography, 'The Beatles'. There is also Ringo's post-Beatles furniture design business, 'Ringo Or Robin Limited', which also showcased another facet of his talent, crafting and building beautifully original housewares and furnishings; which was mentioned (along with pictures of some examples of the furniture) in the book, 'The Beatles Forever' by Nicholas Schaffner.) Most of the photo prints in 'Photograph' are really beautiful, as we see his eye for catching moments that make you smile. Besides The Beatles and their families, there are also pictures of Brian Epstein, George Martin, Murray The K, Alfred G. Aronowitz, Phil Spector, Richard Lester, Wilfred Brambell, Norman Rossington, John Junkin, Mal Evans, Neil Aspinall, Peter Sellers (and just people that Ringo came in contact with, whom he wanted to remember); as well as Marc Bolan, Keith Moon, Harry Nilsson, Billy Preston, Carl Perkins, Eric Clapton and many more.

        This is a wonderful book, that you'll really enjoy reading, and treasure for a long, long time. Good Work Ringo! Most Highly Recommended.

        Now, if I heard Ringo correctly in his enjoyable two part interview on Tavis Smiley, he's talking to the other Beatles' families about putting a book together containing photographs that were taken by each member of the group during their heyday (John, Paul, George and Ringo were all camera buffs, as you can see from some of the photographs in the book!); and I'm looking forward to THAT ONE!

     

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Criterion Collection: The Complete Monterey Pop Festival

The Criterion Collection: The Complete Monterey Pop Festival
Antonio G. Pereira © 2016 Antonio G. Pereira
__________________________________________________

        Well Folks, Folkies, Folkish and Folklike, the 3 DVD set, The Complete Monterey Pop Festival, is the closest we'll ever get to the definitive version of what happened at Monterey almost 50 years ago. http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Monterey-Festival-Criterion-Collection/dp/B00006JU7P
        The Filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker (already well known for his previous two documentaries on Bob Dylan's 1965 and 1966 concert tours of the UK, known respectively as 'Don't Look Back' and 'Eat The Document' {O.K. D.A., where's the Box Set with Extra Features for 'Eat The Document'?}), has done a good job with this 1967 collection. Disc 1 is the original film 'Monterey Pop', beautifully reproduced, with Extra Features including new interviews with Festival co-producer Lou Adler by D.A. Pennebaker. Historically recorded archival interviews with Festival co-producer John Phillips, Festival Publicist Derek Taylor (occasionally lapsing into his tired and uninformed colonialistic views- i.e. Chuck Berry), Mama Cass Elliot (Cass has her dates mixed up! The Experience played the Hollywood Bowl for the first time as The Mamas and The Papas opening act AFTER Monterey, on August 18th, 1967. See Mitch Mitchell's book, 'Inside The Experience' Published by Harmony Books, New York. For a further fascinating anecdote about the party after the Hollywood Bowl show, at John and Michelle Phillips' house in the Hollywood Hills, where Hendrix meets, makes friends and Jams with Fred Neil (extraordinary musician and composer of the massive hit song 'Everybody's Talkin' - theme song from the film 'Midnight Cowboy'), check the 'Mojo '60s' Issue No. 4 article, 'Fred Neil: The Man Who Wasn't There' pages 110-119. Also mentioned in this article is Fred Neil's final Public Performance in Tokyo, Japan in 1977 with the Rolling Coconut Revue, a relation to The Dolphin Project. {I remember seeing a news story about this Benefit on the NHK Network in 1977, that featured footage of Richie Havens, John Sebastian and Jackson Browne; during my final years of college.}), and David Crosby (then a member of The Byrds). A photographic portfolio collection of the Festival by Photographer Elaine Mays, Theatrical and Radio Promos, Engineer Eddie Kramer detailing how the restoration process of the entire Collection was done, A detailed explanation of The Monterey International Pop Festival Foundation, and a Monterey Pop Scrapbook containing a complete page by page reproduction of the original Festival Program Book; all reproduced on the DVD with crystal clarity. Disc 2 contains the two films, 'Jimi Plays Monterey' with an interview with Pete Townshend of The Who in Special Features, and 'Shake! Otis At Monterey:' with an interview with Phil Walden (Otis Redding's Manager) in Special Features. Both of these films make it abundantly clear why Jimi Hendrix' and Otis Redding's performances at the Festival became legendary, and they in turn were forever loved. Disc 3 contains The Outtake Performances, along with some additional footage shot by D.A. Pennebaker in the Backstage Artists Bar (known as The Hunt Club) of Tiny Tim performing Pop Songs from the 1920s and 1930s. Tiny Tim, very witty, singing and performing on his ukulele. This is priceless stuff and funny as hell. And makes it blatantly obvious why he was such a curiosity back then.
        The Outtake Performances on Disc 3 are very good. Most of these are standouts, including Laura Nyro (who contrary to some other opinions, was very good and professional). Missing unfortunately, from the Outtake Performances is The Electric Flag performing a superb version of 'Gettin' Hard' from their soundtrack to 'The Trip', that was in the cut of Monterey Pop I saw in the movies a couple of decades ago; though their version of 'Drinkin' Wine' (included in this collection) is very good. 'Flute Thing' by The Blues Project is a beautifully inventive performance. Then we have Big Brother doing an explosive version of 'Combination Of The Two', Buffalo Springfield (with David Crosby sitting in on guitar as Neil Young had left the band, and what looks like Bruce Palmer on bass), doing a great version of their top ten hit 'For What It's Worth', The Paul Butterfield Blues Band doing a smokin' version of 'Driftin' Blues', Jefferson Airplane with an excellent version of 'Somebody To Love', Country Joe and The Fish doing what they do best, a wonderful piece of satire with 'Not-So-Sweet Martha Lorraine', Quicksilver Messenger Service with a punchy Rock-Blues 'All I Ever Wanted To Do (Was Love You)', Simon and Garfunkel with a beautiful 'Homeward Bound' and a powerful and deeply moving (this is the original acoustic version) 'Sounds of Silence', and The Who kickin' butt with 'Substitute', 'Summertime Blues' and their mini Rock Opera (Pre-Tommy) 'A Quick One, While He's Away'. This version, almost as explosive as the one they performed the following year on The Rolling Stones Rock 'n Roll Circus. Additionally, David Crosby's very well timed speech between songs, when The Byrds perform beautiful versions of 'Chimes of Freedom' and 'He Was A Friend Of Mine', is incredibly powerful and moving. That was one hell of a Festival!
        During the final segment of Outtakes, Mama Cass (almost with child at the time, by the way) always a marvelous raconteur, echoes the fundamental message of Love delivered in previous days of the Festival by Janis Joplin, Otis Redding and Jimi Hendrix. Her re-telling of her meeting and conversation with John Lennon about The Mamas and The Papas recording of his composition 'I Call Your Name' is hysterical. (We also can't forget the wonderful MC jobs done by people like Tommy Smothers, Brian Jones and Eric Burdon.) The Mamas and The Papas then do a comical version of 'I Call Your Name', as well as a wonderful version of 'Monday Monday'; before Scott McKenzie comes out and sings 'San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)'- {McKenzie by the way, when questioned in Melody Maker a few months later about 'Flower Power', and the obvious 'at the time' explosive racial situation and resultant riots in Detroit, gave a highly open to question answer (see The History of Rock/1967-Uncut Magazine Issue No. 3, Page 94); that left one wondering whether his personal philosophy perhaps was more selective than he was singing about. (For an even clearer, in depth clarification, see The John Lennon Letters review http://observer1984.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-john-lennon-letters.html  )}, and The Mamas and The Papas end the Festival with a joyful version of 'Dancing In The Street'.
        When we get to the accompanying Booklet to the DVDs however, we have a mixed bag. Of the four essays therein, Michael Lydon's, which takes up half the Booklet, is a real waste of time. Jann Wenner's (which is about the aftermath of the Festival, when the Producers wanted to do it again the following year, which ultimately was blocked from ever happening again by the Conservative element in the Monterey area), is quite informative and makes engrossing good reading. British johnny-come-lately 'Mojo' Magazine Journalist Barney Hoskyns, is another waste of time and space. And finally, Armond White (who used to write for local New York newspaper The City Sun) makes some very good and thoughtful observations about the Festival and the film. With the mixed bag exception of the Booklet, this 3 DVD Collection is well worth checking out.It will bring back many treasured memories, and since you can access individual songs and performances anywhere in this Collection, you can make wonderful combinations. Highly Recommended.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Arthur Lee, An Appreciation

Arthur Lee, An Appreciation
Antonio G. Pereira © 2016 Antonio G. Pereira
_________________________________________

        Today is Arthur Lee's birthday, and I'm posting a direct link to John Densmore's wonderful Special to The LA Times, from 2006. Enjoy. http://articles.latimes.com/2006/aug/07/entertainment/et-lee7

        And I'm also adding this eye opening two-part interview with lead guitarist and co-founder of Love, Johnny Echols; that was conducted last year by Doors Examiner. Go to the Internet Archive: http://www.archive.org  Type http://www.examiner.com/article/johnny-echols-talks-about-love-and-the-doors http://www.examiner.com/article/johnny-echols-talks-about-love-and-the-doors-pt-2 into the Wayback Machine. Then choose 2015.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

One Righteous Man: Samuel Battle and The Shattering of The Color Line in New York

One Righteous Man: Samuel Battle and The Shattering of The Color Line in New York
Antonio G. Pereira © 2016 Antonio G. Pereira
____________________________________________________

        In these times in which we live (the year is 2015, and on this morning's news the Confederate Flag is finally coming down in Columbia, South Carolina, as racists claim it as their 'heritage'), it is very fitting that the biography, 'One Righteous Man: Samuel Battle and The Shattering of The Color Line in New York' by Pulitzer Prize winning author Arthur Browne, is being published. http://www.amazon.com/One-Righteous-Man-Samuel-Shattering/dp/0807012602
       Samuel Battle, who hailed from New Bern, North Carolina, came to New York in the late 1890s and made New York his home. This book, of which much of the information is taken from Battle's unpublished autobiography that was done in collaboration with the legendary Harlem Renaissance writer, Langston Hughes, covers his early youth in the brutally racist Jim Crow South; through his move to New York, and subsequently becoming the very first Black Policeman in New York City. We get a very clear and detailed picture of what America was like during that era. Not only in the South, but in the North as well. We get a crystal clear picture of how the foundation was laid for the garbage element that still populates Law Enforcement in this City of New York. The Garbage Element, being those characters who were able to slip  through the screening process (for some strange reason), get on the Police Force, and end up with a badge and the authority to carry a gun; who put citizen's lives at risk by their behavior and actions. These are the characters whose extent of authority normally, based on their mentality, would go no further than mopping floors someplace. This is the garbage element on the Police Force that not only puts the lives of the populace at risk, but through creating an atmosphere of animosity, makes the job of the Police Officers who have always been dedicated to serving the Public and doing their best to build bridges and help people, that much harder. The good thing about this book is you see a clear detailed history of how the garbage element was able to take hold in Law Enforcement in turn of the century New York, and why this situation continues in perpetuity; even after Frank Serpico and the Knapp Commission Trials during the 1970s.
       Historically, this book is a goldmine. It carries us through World War I, The Harlem Renaissance, The Depression, World War II, and the effects on people's lives during those eras. We see how different people like heroic Black World War I Veterans, ended up in despicable circumstances, as well as Casper Holstein, the Black man who invented the numbers game (the precursor to what we now know as the lottery), and used his wealth to help as many Blacks as he could, but ended up penniless, and Samuel Battle, himself a trailblazer, all ended up forgotten; until this book was published. The lesson being, if you don't keep your own history continually alive, who will?
       Historically, this book makes mention of British Shipping Heiress Nancy Cunard's wonderful anthology, 'Negro'. http://www.amazon.com/Negro-An-Anthology-Hugh-Ford/dp/0826408621 A 'must have' book. {Ms. Cunard was quite a fearless bolt of lightning, and way, way ahead of her time. Her life story would make one powerful movie.} And memories were brought back to me by the mention of Rev. Herbert C. Bank's church, St Cyprian's; which had once stood in the spot where the entrance to Lincoln Center now stands. And Rev. John H. Johnson's church, St. Martin's, that sponsored the one unit St. Martin's Tower in Upper Manhattan, which opened in 1971. Rev. Johnson also authored and self-published a book, 'A Place Of Adventure'. {The second chapter in his book, 'Dutch Bells over Harlem', which is about the origin of St. Martin's 42 Bell Carillion, is deeply moving and breathtakingly beautiful.}
       'One Righteous Man' is an incredible monumental work, and the author Arthur Browne has done an admirable job. I only have one minor criticism. Near the end of the book the author forgot to complete the sentence, 'In 1957, nine African American students walked into all-white Little Rock Central High School under the protection of the 101st Airborne, dispatched by President Dwight Eisenhower', with the complete truth, which was, 'after a very angry and blatantly outraged Louis Armstrong, preparing to go on a State Department Goodwill Concert Tour overseas, EMBARRASSED EISENHOWER INTO DOING IT.'

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/23/opinion/23margolick.html






Thursday, December 3, 2015

Poems and Inspirations

Poems and Inspirations
Antonio G. Pereira © 2015 Antonio G. Pereira
______________________________________

Wed. Feb. 24th, 1979 - Denver Colorado

Awakening
_________

This morning
I woke up
with "Evergreen"
playing in my head
I'm gonna be all right now.

Sunday June 3rd, 2012 - New York City

Awakening 2
___________

This morning woke up
As theme song from The Sandpiper, 'The Shadow of Your Smile'
was playing in my head
Deep Purple and Blue shadings
Someone's waiting
Paintbrush colours
Orange and Blue
Someone's waiting
Wonder who
_______________

Some men see things
As they are
And ask why,
I dream things that never were
And ask why not

                           Bobby Kennedy - 1968

I have a dream today....

                           Martin Luther King Jr. - 1963

My Soul spoke unto me and counselled me
to love all that others hate,
and to befriend those whom others defame

My Soul counselled me and revealed unto me
that love dignifies not alone
the one who loves, but also the beloved
Unto that day love was for me a thread of cobweb
between two flowers
close to one another
But now it has become a halo with neither
beginning nor end
Encircling all that has been, and waxing
eternally to embrace all that shall be

My Soul counselled me and taught me
to see beauty veiled by form and colour
My Soul charged me to gaze steadfastly
upon all that is deemed ugly until it appears lovely
Before my Soul had thus charged and counselled me,
I had seemed to see beauty like unto wavering torches
between pillars of smoke,
But now the smoke has dispensed and vanished
and I see naught but the burning

My Soul counselled me and besought me
to watch while others sleep
and to seek my pillow while they are wakeful,
For in all my years I had not perceived their dreams,
nor they mine.
But now I am winged by day in my daydreaming,
and when they sleep I behold them free upon the night,
and I rejoice in their Freedom

My Soul counselled me and charged me
Lest I be exalted because of overpraise
and lest I be distressed for fear of blame.
Until that day I doubted the worth of my own handiwork,
But now I have learned this:
That the trees blossom in the Spring,
and bear fruit in Summer,
and drop their leaves in Autumn
to become utterly naked in Winter
without exaltation and without fear or shame

My Soul counselled me and assured me
that I am neither higher than the Pygmy
nor lower than the Giant.
Before that day I beheld mankind as two men,
the one a weakling whom I derided or pitied,
and the other a mighty man whom I would either follow,
or oppose in Rebellion.
But now I know that I was formed even
from the same dust of which all men are created,
that my elements are their elements,
and my inner self is their inner self.
My struggle is their struggle,
and their pilgrimage is mine own.
If they transgress, I am also the transgressor,
and if they do well, then I have a share in their well-doing.
If they arise, I too arise with them,
If they stay behind, I also, to company them.

My Soul counselled me and instructed me
to see that the light which I carry
is not my light,
that my song was not created within me,
For though I travel with the light,
I am not the light,
and though I am a lute fastened with strings,
I am not the lute player

My Soul counselled me, my brother
and enlightened me.
And oftentimes has your Soul counselled
and enlightened you.
For you are like me,
and there is no difference between us
Save that I speak of what is within me
in words that I have heard in my silence,
and you guard what is within you,
and your guardianship is as goodly as my much speaking.

                                 Kahlil Gibran - My Soul Counselled Me