What do Paul Stanley and I have in common? Chest hair? Makeup? Goofy stage banter? Nope. Not much, really, except for one formative event: at age 5, we were both pole-axed by Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto (Piano Concerto #5). Here’s PS waxing eloquent on the subject:
I was absolutely god smacked. To know that music could have that kind of power, although I was so young, the music had such heroic qualities to it and mammoth chords. To this day it’s some of the heaviest and most glorious melodies ever. So that really was my introduction to the gravitas that music could have and how emotive it could be. So at the core of music for me is Beethoven.
As for me, it was the first piece of music I fell in love with when Col. Renfield brought home a copy and put it on the ol’ console. The Beatles came a year or so later.
If you’re interested, there are many good recordings and a handful of great ones. But to my ears, Rudolf Serkin owned this work. Here he is with Leonard Bernstein and the NY Philharmonic competing with him for attention. The winners are we, the listeners.
What happened to “aw shucks” country-boy virtuosi like these guys, Glen Campbell, and Roy Clark? Are they still out there? Are they all just session guys since no one like them could lauch a solo career in Nashville these days? But would there even be sessions for such players? I hear nothing in current country music that would require this level of musicianship.
If you enjoy failed-rock-festival porn, check this out. Apparently things got so dark that even the reigning Dark Lords of rawk and Satan’s representatives on earth, Black Sabbath, felt compelled to cancel.
WARNING: Some of the artwork featured in this interview is inappropriate for the work environment. (You know, pee-pees and whatnot.)
From Fritz the Cat to Mr. Natural – meet the cult cartoonist Robert Crumb, whose artistic world is full of anti-heroes and demons from modern America and his own subconscious. In this rare interview, Crumb talks frankly about refusing to adhere to political correctness, and about his never-ending urge to unravel the layers of delusion in the world – as he says: “I’m still digging.”
Ron Cobb, an underground political cartoonist, who happened to befriend a young Spielberg, and went on to design Star Wars Cantina creatures, the Back to the Future Car, the Nostromo (ask Makerbot), a time traveling DeLorean, and ET (Spielberg gave him a cut, and made him so rich he fucked off to Australia and was never heard from again), has died. His political cartoons were ridiculously prescient, and are sadly still timely. Comic above is from 1968!