Monday, November 30, 2009

Stax Volt Revue Live In Norway April 7th, 1967

Stax/Volt Revue Live In Norway April 7th, 1967
Antonio G. Pereira © 2009 Antonio G. Pereira

What do you say about something that is such pure magic, that when you see it, you are left just totally enraptured by all of it?

Such is the Stax/Volt Revue Live In Norway April 7th, 1967. This concert was filmed during Stax' legendary and groundbreaking tour of Europe in the Spring of 1967. The best of what everything the Real America represented at that time, was projected on that stage. During a period when Dr. Martin Luther King, Fannie Lou Hamer, Rev. Ralph Abernathy and countless Civil Rights Workers, and just plain Americans who all believed in an America whose culture was all inclusive and embracing, had already been instrumental in the passing of the Voting and Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965; that broke the back of the old racist policies of the old south, and began to build a New South. Stax Records, and in particular THIS TOUR, was what emerged from that. And the world was watching. Many more battles for Civil Rights were still being fought during the time of this Stax concert tour of Europe in 1967 (this time in the Northern U.S. cities, and again, The World Was Watching). So this concert in a foriegn land represented more than just mere musicians on a stage doing a nameless one nighter. This was History taking place, right before your eyes. It is obvious from the sheer joy expressed by the audience, and the love for what they are hearing and seeing; from the learning of the rhythms and call and responses, to the infectious music of Booker T. and The M.G.s, the precise rhythm steps of The MarKeys, the vocalists singing their hearts out, who one right after the other, Arthur Conley (a protege of Otis Redding), Eddie Floyd, Sam and Dave, and finally Otis Redding himself, leave the Norweigian audience with a memory that they will never forget for the rest of their lives. And now with the release of this carefully and lovingly put together film document, everyone who wants to, can experience the same magic that the audience did at that concert in Norway, long ago in 1967. Reelin' In The Years Productions ( ), who are also responsible for a continuing string of releases of wonderful Jazz Concerts from the same era, Wes Montgomery {reviewed in an earlier posting on this blog}, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, John Coltrane}, have done a fabulous and masterful job on this one. In the Extra Features on the DVD are reminicences of the tour by Jim Stewart (Co-founder of Stax Records), Sam Moore (Sam and Dave), Steve Cropper (Booker T. and The M.G.s) and Wayne Jackson ( The MarKeys). The 24 page Booklet included with the DVD, has a wonderful collection of photographs and additional reminicences by the performers, and comments by the Producers of the DVD. The writer Rob Bowman, whose essay, 'The Stax/Volt Revue: Oslo 1967', though adequate at retelling the historical facts of Stax Records, on a business level, tends toward the current trend of self important long winded Journalists who analize and pick apart something without acknowledging the fact that if it wasn't shown to them in the first place, they wouldn't have a clue. (For a prime example of some first class journalism on Stax Records, see British Journalist Valerie Wilmer's profile of drummer Al Jackson, in the October 1977 issue of Black Music, page 32; 'He didn't do anything, you see. He just played.') But the overall significance and presentation of the Norway Concert, is what matters. And people the world over, will be enjoying this for many years to come.

Thank You Reelin' In The Years Productions!

Antonio Pereira

Friday, October 9, 2009

John Lennon: The Life

John Lennon: The Life
Antonio G. Pereira © 2009 Antonio G. Pereira

John Lennon: The Life, by Philip Norman, is quite a remarkable biography. Published by Ecco Books (an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishing), it is a massive work; 851 pages in length in it's entirety. There are two things that deserve mentioning: (1). I am not convinced by the picture, (of questionable sincerity) painted of Lennon's father Freddie Lennon, and (2). The author's (which I can only term as) happily ignorant additional portrayal, of John's paternal grandfather (also named John Lennon), who after arriving in America in the late 19th Century as an immigrant, and becoming a Blackfaced Minstrel, as something worthy of mention in the story of someone whose life was as meaningful as John Lennon's (and to whom, for some strange reason, the author continually makes comparisons); I find a little questionable also, in this, the 21st Century. This exercise ends up being a pointless distraction in the biography. That said, this is the type of book that is so well written, you just can't put it down. Philip Norman has really outdone himself, and surpassed his previous book on the Beatles, 'Shout! The Beatles In Their Generation'. (Although, if you want to read the best first hand account of what the Beatles were like as a group and individually, that would be Press Officer Tony Barrow's book, 'John, Paul, George, Ringo & Me: The Real Beatles Story'. Published by Thunder's Mouth Press {U.S. - an Imprint of Avalon Publishing Group, Inc.}, Andre Deutsch Limited {U.K. - an Imprint of Carlton Publishing Group.}) Here, you find John Lennon's life in greater detail than ever before. The only other book I can think of, which covered John's life in such detail, was the late British Journalist Ray Coleman's epic two volume work, 'Lennon: The Definitive Biography' (mentioned in my previous posting:

What you do get with John Lennon: The Life, is an expanded view of his relationships with his Mother Julia, and Father Alf (Freddie), Aunt Mimi and Uncle George (who became his Surrogate Parents), his Half-Sisters Julia and Jacqueline, Cousins (among them his favourite, Leila), assorted Aunts and Uncles, Liverpool College of Art Teacher, Arthur Ballard (who recognized and nurtured his talent as an Artist), friendships with Stuart Sutcliffe (and later, Actors Peter Cook, Victor Spinetti, Actress Eleanor Bron, and Journalist Maureen Cleave), his Wives, Cynthia Powell and Yoko Ono (and their Children, Julian and Sean), his Mother-In-Law Lilian Powell (for the first time you see the whole picture very clearly), Stuart Sutcliffe's Wife, Astrid Kirchherr, Brian Epstein (very clear picture here too), Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (fascinating to read, within it's layers of simple yet complex enlightenment, and ultimate disappointment), Dr. Arthur Janov (under whom John took Primal Therapy, which resulted with one of his best solo albums 'Plastic Ono Band, full of powerfully raw rock songs, and gorgeous love songs; as well as the 'Lennon Remembers' Rolling Stone Interviews, one of the longest and most detailed interviews he ever gave.), the other Beatles, various Musicians and Artists, Girlfriends (some known and some previously clandestine), and Business Associates.

I don't think it will get much better than Philip Norman's biography. You see Lennon as a complete three-dimensional human being. Covered from every angle, from birth to death. Good and bad. And done with great knowledge and respect.

It is well worth reading (especially on this, his birthday), and being reminded, why John Lennon, remains so important and unforgetable in people's lives, the world over.

Highly recommended reading.



Wednesday, July 29, 2009


The Pipes Of Pan
Antonio G. Pereira © 2009 Antonio G. Pereira

Some of you may remember an album that quietly came out on Rolling Stones Records in 1971 named, Brian Jones Presents The Pipes Of Pan at Joujouka. Rolling Stones Records - COC 49100. One can consider that had he lived longer, Brian Jones might have done for North African Folk Music, what George Harrison did for East Indian Folk Music; and what Taj Mahal has been doing for many decades for the diverse forms of Folk Music in North America, the Caribbean and West Africa.

In 1972, a second album was released on Adelphi Records named, The Master Musicians Of Jajouka. Adelphi Records - AD 3000. Included with the album, was an insert with liner notes by Music Journalist Robert Palmer, and Artist/Painter Brion Gysin.

This posting is for the Musicians of Joujouka.

Last year, on July 29th of 2008, The Musicians of Joujouka performed a concert in commemoration and remembrance of a young Welshman named Brian Jones, who loved music, and walked into their small village 40 years before; and because of whom, 40 years later, was instrumental in pasting The Master Musicians of Joujouka into the memories and hearts of music lovers and admirers around the world.

May their talent continue to bring us all wonderful inspiration and pleasure for many more years to come.


The Musicians have several wonderful, fascinating and informative sites on the Internet, which are listed below; and a real enjoyment to explore.

Finally, I would be remiss if I forgot to mention these other fantastic albums on Lyrichord Records, which also feature Moroccan Folk Music.

Music of Morocco: The Pan-Islamic Tradition - Lyrichord Stereo LLST 7240

The Rwais: Moroccan Berber Musicians From The High Atlas - Lyrichord Stereo - LLST 7316

Moroccan Sufi Music: Islamic Mystical Brotherhood - Lyrichord Stereo - LLST 7238

Moroccan Folk Music - Lyrichord Stereo LLST 7729

Enjoy Them All.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Antonio G. Pereira © 2009 Antonio G. Pereira

Today is Arthur Lee's birthday. The frontman of the influential 1960s Los Angeles band Love. Quite a colourful and talented musician, he was constantly changing (much like Miles Davis), and never ceased to amaze with the ideas he came up with. If you don't know anything about him, you may really enjoy the article below, by clicking on the link, which was my very first posting after creating this blog.

Additionally, you can also explore what is, in my estimation, the best site on the Internet, devoted to Arthur Lee:


And finally, a wonderful page on MySpace for John Echols, who was the lead guitarist, vocalist and composer in the original Love.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Victor Spinetti: A Very Private Diary

Victor Spinetti: A Very Private Diary
The New York Public Library For The Performing Arts
At The Bruno Walter Auditorium
Saturday, Jan. 10th, 2009
Antonio G. Pereira © 2009 Antonio G. Pereira

He remembers
What it was like
To be at the center
Of an exploding creative
At a time
When Compassion
And Humanity
Were expressions of Reality
And not Slogans
For the next Publicity Campaign

This son of Wales
With the ever flickering
Glint of fire
In his eyes
Whose soul burns brightly
With memories
As he tells his tales
Each precious story
To the audience
And we are grateful
For his gift
As time stands still
For a moment
In wonderous smiles of admiration and adoration

Friday, January 2, 2009

Eight Days A Week: Inside The Beatles' Final World Tour

Eight Days A Week: Inside The Beatles' Final World Tour
Antonio G. Pereira © 2009 Antonio G. Pereira

Eight Days A Week: Inside The Beatles' Final World Tour, by photographer Bob Whitaker with Marcus Hearn (Published by Metro Books) , is a photographic record of the Beatles 1966 World Tour; that took them through concerts in Germany, Japan and the Philippines.

Bob Whitaker, an Australian photographer, was hired by Beatles' manager Brian Epstein, to be their official photographer, during their 1964 concert tour of Australia.

The collection of photographs here, are quite stunning to look at, as they capture the Beatles traveling en route, in hotel, backstage and during performance. (Note that Bob Whitaker's previous book, The Unseen Beatles {Published in 1991 by Collins Publications - A division of Harper-Collins}, contained another collection of Beatles photographs, including a few from this one. And in 1986, JAM Publishing in Japan, released a beautiful collection titled, The Beatles In Tokyo, of all of the photographs of the Beatles' stay in Japan in 1966, taken by Bob Whitaker; that included photos of their arrival, hotel stay {including a gorgeous fold-out reproduction of the painting that all four Beatles collaborated on together} and in concert.)

The book, which begins with their concert tour in Germany of Munich, Essen and Hamburg, goes on to their stopover in Anchorage, Alaska (due to a Typhoon warning), before going to Japan and the concerts there, another stopover in Hong Kong ( where the Beatles had previously played in 1964, with Jimmy Nichol on drums substituting for an ailing Ringo) to change planes, and finally the Philippines; which ended the tour with the two largest concerts they ever performed, and a very disturbing turn of events with the Marcos Government.

Eight Days A Week is quite a collection. Colour and black and white photographs, in a sizeable book, beautifully bound in Singapore. The photographs, very easy to look at, and the accompanying text, very easy to read. Well done and highly recommended!