What The Beatles Learned From Negroes
File under SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG
Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on October 12, 2014
The Rodney Bingenheimer of today seems always to be smiling through a deep sadness. He is a small man who still has the youthful cuteness that must have won him friends in his early days. His hair is still combed in the same tousled mid-1970s rock star style, and his T-shirts are the real thing, not retro. He lives now in an inexpensive apartment jammed with records, tapes, discs, and countless autographed photos of his friends the stars. And, yes, they are still his friends; they have not forgotten him, and David Bowie, Cher, Debbie Harry, Courtney Love, Nancy Sinatra and Mick Jagger all appear in this film and seem genuinely fond of Rodney.
Well they might. He introduced some of them — Bowie in particular — to American radio. He was known for finding new music and playing it first: The Ramones, the Sex Pistols, the Clash, Nirvana. Stations all over the country stole their playlists from Rodney. “Sonny and Cher were kinda like my mom and my dad,” he says wistfully at one point. He ran a little club for a while, featuring British glam rock, and the stars remember with a grin that it was so small the “VIP Area” consisted simply of a velvet rope separating a few chairs from the dance floor.
The story of how Bingenheimer entered into this world is apparently true, unlikely as it sounds. As a kid he was obsessed with stars, devoured the fan magazines, collected autographs. One day when he was a teenager, his mother dropped him off in front of Connie Stevens’ house and told him he was on his own. He didn’t see his mother for another five or six years. Connie wasn’t home.
He migrated to the Sunset Strip, but instead of dying there or disappearing into drugs or crime, he simply ingratiated himself. People liked him. He hustled himself into a job as a gofer for Davy Jones of the Monkees (they looked a little alike), and then became a backstage caterer; a survivor of a Doors tour remembers a Toronto concert where Rodney had enormous platters of fresh shrimp backstage. But the Beatles were backstage visitors, and Rodney gave them the shrimp, so there were only a few left for the Doors, who had paid for them. Challenged by The Doors, Rodney shrugged and said, “Well, they’re the Beatles.”
Wherever Bingenheimer went in the music and club scene, his face was his passport. Robert Plant says, “Rodney got more girls than I do.” We hear a little of his radio show from the old days, and what comes across is not a vibrating personality or a great radio voice — it’s kind of tentative, really — but an almost painful sincerity. He loves the music he plays, and he introduces it to you like a lover he thinks is right for you. The road downhill was gradual, apparently. We get glimpses of Rodney today, repairing his mom’s old Nova with a pair of pliers, shuffling forlornly through souvenirs of his glory days. He seems very even, calm, sad but resigned, except for one moment the documentary camera is not supposed to witness, when he finds that another deejay, a person he sponsored and gave breaks to, is starting a show of new music — stealing Rodney’s gig. He explodes in anger. We’re glad he does. He has a lot to feel angry about.
The film was directed by George Hickenlooper, who made the classic doc “Hearts Of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse” (1991), about the nightmare of Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now,” and the wonderful fiction film “The Man From Elysian Fields” (2001). Why did he make this film (apart from the possibility that someone named Hickenlooper might feel an affinity for someone named Bingenheimer)? Hickenlooper has been around fame at an early age. He was 26 when he released the doc about the Coppola meltdown. He cast Mick Jagger and James Coburn in “Elysian Fields.” He was aware of Rodney Bingenheimer when the name still opened doors. His film evokes what the Japanese call mono no aware, which refers to the impermanence of life and the bittersweet transience of things. There is a little Rodney Bingenheimer in everyone, but you know what? Most people aren’t as lucky as Rodney. – Roger Ebert
Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on June 2, 2014
Shoes were formed in Zion, Illinois, in 1975 by Jeff Murphy, John Murphy, Gary Klebe, and Skip Meyer, with the Murphys and Klebe all sharing songwriting duties. After one self-made and extremely limited album (only 300 were pressed), 1975’s Un Dans Versailles, and the unreleased Bazooka (1976), they recorded their true debut for national consumption, Black Vinyl Shoes, in Jeff Murphy’s living room and released it on their own label, Black Vinyl Records. Though it was barely distributed, enough critics and key people heard the record to start a word-of-mouth buzz. Eventually, Greg Shaw, the head of Bomp! Records, heard the record and arranged for the band to release one single, the brilliant “Tomorrow Night”/”Okay,” on his label. A contract with Elektra Records soon followed, and the label released the group’s next three textbook power pop albums: Present Tense (1979), Tongue Twister (1981), and Boomerang (1982). Despite the instantly accessible, catchy quality of the songs, the band was unable to achieve mainstream success — among specialists, however, these albums, along with the debut, stand as the high points of the era. –Allmusic
Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on November 6, 2013
A TSA agent allegedly allowed a suspected ‘drug kingpin’ to pass through security at Buffalo Airport under an alias so he could buy cannabis.
Minnetta Walker, 43, a behavioural detection officer, is also accused of helping other drugs traffickers evade scans and searches to take cash – but not drugs – through the airport in Western New York.
She was charged yesterday along with Derek Frank, the alleged dealer prosecutors say she worked with.
The Selva Pascuala mural, in a cave near the town of Villar del Humo, is dominated by a bull. But it is a row of 13 small mushroom-like objects that interests Brian Akers at Pasco-Hernando Community College in New Port Richey, Florida, and Gaston Guzman at the Ecological Institute of Xalapa in Mexico. They believe that the objects are the fungi Psilocybe hispanica, a local species with hallucinogenic properties.
Like the objects depicted in the mural, P. hispanica has a bell-shaped cap topped with a dome, and lacks an annulus – a ring around the stalk. “Its stalks also vary from straight to sinuous, as they do in the mural,” says Akers.
This isn’t the oldest prehistoric painting thought to depict magic mushrooms, though. An Algerian mural that may show the species Psilocybe mairei is 7000 to 9000 years old.
French police have found jewellery worth €18 million hidden in a sewer in Paris, three years after one of the most audacious robberies in French history.
The jewels were stolen in 2008 in what the New York Times called a “brazen and meticulously planned robbery” from a store just off the Champs Elysee, involving four or five thieves – two of them dressed as women – who walked off with €80 million worth of jewels as Christmas shoppers milled around
The administration that promised more openness with government information has instead taken a tougher stance on whistle-blowing than any other White House in the last four decades.
Since taking office, President Barack Obama’s Department of Justice has filed criminal charges in five separate cases involving unauthorized distribution of classified national security information to the media. Before Obama, the government prosecuted a total of three cases during the previous 40 years.
When we wrote a few weeks ago about Eric Holder, Wikileaks and Bank of America, we focused on the irony of the U.S. Attorney General threatening to prosecute an organization (Wikileaks) that possibly holds the very information on which he might draw up his very first indictment of a major bank or Wall Street executive.
Why hasn’t Eric Holder asked to see the evidence, which Wikileaks claims to have, that executives at one of our largest banks may have committed serious crimes?
Two fetuses will be presented as witnesses before an Ohio legislative committee that is hearing a bill to outlaw abortions after the first heartbeat can be detected inside a woman’s womb.
The fetuses will appear live and in color before the committee on a video screen projecting ultrasound images taken from their pregnant mothers’ bodies. Janet Folger Porter, head of Faith2Action, an anti-abortion group, said the fetuses will be the youngest witnesses to ever testify when they come in front of the House Health and Aging Committee Wednesday morning.
Transit police say they have arrested an 18-year-old Sunset High School student caught on video placing feces on a TriMet bus driver’s seat last week at the Sunset Transit Center, The Oregonian’s Joseph Rose reports on commuting blog Hard Drive.
About a dozen tips from people who saw a photo of the woman on Hard Drive and other websites led police to to Gloria C. Soto, 18, who has been charged with felony criminal mischief and misdemeanor interfering with public transportation.
Last week, Rose reported that someone wiped dog feces all over the steering wheel and operator’s seat of a No. 62 bus while the driver was a taking a break at the Sunset Transit Center.
Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on March 10, 2011
Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on October 17, 2010
The Yardbirds – Stroll On from Blow-Up (1966)
Rolling Stones – Little Red Rooster (1965)
Unit Four Plus Two – Concrete And Clay (1965)
The Searchers – Love Potion No. 9 (1966)
The Swinging Blue Jeans (NME-1964)
The Pretty Things – Midnight to Six (1966)
Spencer Davis Group – Keep On Running (1965)
The Hollies – I Can’t Let Go (1966)
Lulu – Love Loves To Love (1967)
Kinks – Everybody’s Gonna Be Happy (1965)
The Beatles – A Hard Day’s Night Live at Shea Stadium (1965)
The Who – I Can’t Explain (1965)
Small Faces– Sha La La La Lee (1966)
The Creation – Making Time (1966)
Them – Gloria (1966)
The Animals – We Gotta Get Out Of This Place (1965)
Donovan – Hurdy Gurdy Man (1968)
Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders (NME-1965)
Freddie & The Dreamers – I’m Telling You Now (1966)
Gerry and the Pacemakers – I Like It (1963)
Tremeloes – Here Comes My Baby (1967)
The Zombies – She’s Not There (1964)
Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on August 15, 2010