Apex point - © Robert Sommers 2024

Saturday, September 22, 2012


A pretty rotten weekend. My trip to Spain may be scuttled, my mother is in the hospital again in Maryland. Sister says that she has stabilized but we will see. A friend and restauranteur across the street had what was reported as a massive heart attack this afternoon, airlifted to Palomar. Critical condition, hoping he can pull through. Paramedics got him breathing again. I just drove down to the hospital, went to the wrong hospital, then got lost. Finally found it and got the word. No one knows how to contact his brother or daughter, who hail from back east. Get well, Michael.

Got another email today that the merchants on the corner, Budd and Pat, are giving it up after fifteen years of trying. Another nail in the Main St. Coffin. Brick and mortar, such a 20th century concept, I know. Wish I saw more younger people stepping forward with fresh ideas but they all seem equally lost.


While many dig the tunes I play on the blog, others are obviously not entirely down with it. Ron L. told me that he can't take all the twangy shit. Many don't grok the blues. Brigitte said last night that she can take some of the music. A lot just ain't her thing.

I have gone from Varese to Burl Ives on this blog and pretty much all points in between, with the exception of polka, which I frankly can't stand. I guess I play a lot of black music, that is when I'm not doing the bakersfield jewish cowboy shtick. Lately a small jag to british 60's psychedelic, these things go in small waves. Love Clapton's big hair. I play some rock but prefer to try to provide the more obscure musical stuff. Everything was hip in its day and usually for good reason. You just have to have an open mind. But my musical fare is certainly not everybody's cup of meat.

Anyway had dinner at a friend's last night who helped craft style personas for some 70's metal bands of the Crue, Hatchett, Maiden ilk. The first leather and lipstick bands whose lyrics and music were so utterly unremarkable and vapid. I know something of the subject, my mother Adelle Roberts Fisher (at the time), was Kiss's first agent in New York. At some point in the seventies this whole horrible, meaningless genre was foisted on we americans. Worse even than Toto, Triumph, Foreigner, Journey and that stuff. Music for muggles.

This was my favorite slimy record cover of the period, a friend in high school had it in 74. Silverhead's 16 and savaged.

Most of the music of this period is just male paeans to excess and overindulgence. Bad boys with bitches. I am not sure what made these leather pants guys tick, since the music is so terrible and lyrics so utterly stupid.

Think it largely had to be a marketing strategy concocted in some record company back room, guess they were trying to follow in the immortal prototypical steps of Keith's Moon and Richards, trashing hotel rooms and themselves and setting a fine example for rockers to come.

 The Stones may actually bear a big share of the blame for this whole genre, largely setting the standard, their own downspin starting around Goats Head Soup. Or at least when Mick Taylor left.

Perhaps all that incredible psychic energy unleashed by the great acid bands like the Who, Beatles, Hendrix, Airplane, CSNY and Dead had to be met by an equal and opposing pendulum swing of dumb. The genius's who sell records crafted a cartoon image of a rock and roller and stripped out all of the dangerous politics, rebellion and references to the psychedelic bomb that had recently exploded in the collective youthful brain. Tender american brain cells needed time to regrow and record companies need to sell records. The seventies, my decade, went in a couple different directions. There were what I call the blue jean bands, Dead, Allman's, Band - the art bands like Yes, ELP, Tull and Genesis and then Bowie, Reed, T.Rex and the more glam contingent. Somewhere Little Feat and Steely Dan arrived and I guess Springsteen. In the end there was punk and new wave.

My musician friend Eric, keyboardist for a lot of big time pop bands, first introduced me to the yacht rock genre of seventies music. Heavily into the major 7th, these performers would include Bread, Michael Martin Murphy and Seals and Crofts. Stuff can get really painful fast. Leslie bought a couple choice cd's from the period at the swap meet. So bad they are good and fun to hum. Me and you and a dog named blue.

She also got a Winwood CD that should have been called the bad period, when the founder of Traffic and member of the Spencer Davis Group and Blind Faith did his best Kenny Loggins impression in the eighties. The producer sought out every bad Winwood song he could find and made a cd.  Listen once and then destroy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow so sorry to hear about Micheal, a real good guy I hope he can tough it out. Again life is short. Robert if you can't change things here your Mothers health etc. go to Spain with your love and live like there is no tomorrow. Not one of us knows what moment will find us on the gurney.
Sad about favorite things they are great people.
Peace Sir.
Deli Guy.