Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Eight Years Too Late


Eight years ago, Radiohead suffered a tragedy when their stage collapsed in Toronto, Canada. Their drum technician died as a result and now we learn that it really was negligence all along:

Radiohead have shared a new statement following a recent hearing investigating Domenic Cugliari, the engineer who had been responsible for the design of the stage at Toronto's Downsview Park that collapsed in June of 2012, killing drum technician Scott Johnson. During the hearing, conducted by the Discipline Committee of the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario, Radiohead write that Cugliari "has acknowledged...his catalogue of errors and the negligence on his part that led to the stage collapse and Scott’s death."  
"These admissions are 8 years too late," they continue. "If the evidence now accepted by Mr Cugliari had been agreed at the original court case brought against him, @livenation and the contractor Optex Staging, it would have been complete in one day, with a very different outcome and some justice would have been delivered. As it is, Mr Cugliari has now retired and, is seemingly beyond any legal recrimination."

This is awful.  And, what's more, without justice, who's to stop the next engineer from doing the same thing when live touring resumes? This is one of those preventable experiences that should have resulted in serious modifications and changes to how things are done. Instead, this man Cugliari escapes without being held accountable.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Peter Frampton

Peter Frampton has a new book out and it serves as a reminder that he has never been fully appreciated for his guitar playing abilities.

PF: My credibility as a guitar player came from Humble Pie, and that’s where I developed a guitar style that, well, I can recognize as me when I hear it [laughs], and I did a lot of sessions between that period and the period when I recorded Frampton Comes Alive! My audience was very much 50:50 male to female because the guys liked the guitar playing and I guess the girls liked the way I looked, so I sort of had it down. Unfortunately, with the amount of photographs of me, as well as the movie [the poorly-received 1978 musical comedy Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band] and also the record I’m in You, the teenybopper thing really took over, and I lost my credibility with the guys. It happens a lot with people who are blessed with good looks, which I was. It’s very difficult sometimes to take someone really good looking seriously for their art, and this happens over and over again. So, I was in the doldrums. Basically, my career was over by the time I was 30.

Then, in ‘85, I put out another album [Premonition], my first album in a while, and David [Bowie] heard that and called me up. We’d been friends since school—he’s a lifelong friend, almost like my older brother—and he called me up and said, “I love your playing on the new record, can you come and do some of that for me?” So I went to Switzerland and recorded the album with him, and while I was there he asked me if I would go on the road with him to play guitar on the Glass Spider Tour, and that was just a dream come true for me because that’s my default good place to be: on stage, being the guitar player behind the singer. Because I write my own songs and I have my own band, I end up doing it all, but I love being in that situation where all I have to do is play guitar. What David did there is give me an incredible gift. He knew I’d lost my credibility as a musician, as a guitar player—which is what he always saw me as—and he grabbed me, stuck me on stage in stadiums and arenas around the world, and reintroduced me as the guitar player. That was the beginning of getting on the ladder again. I wasn’t even on the first rung at that point, and then David gave me this wonderful gift.

Frampton was diagnosed last year with degenerative muscle disease, which is just a cruel fate for anyone, let alone a guitarist.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Let's All Pay Twenty-five Bucks for an Album We Already Own


Something has gone awry here.

Tower Records is back as an online store. But if you dig a little deeper into what's happening, you come away with the sense that someone thinks we're all fucking idiots:

Tower Records, the iconic music store chain that closed its doors nearly 14 years ago, is back. On Friday, the beloved franchise announced it’s returning as an online service — just in time for vinyl’s record-breaking growth.

The new Tower Records has plenty of music on sale already, including vinyl, cassettes, and CDs. They also have a merchandise section, online events, and a digitized version of their original Tower Pulse! magazine. Browse their virtual shelves at the official Tower Records website.

This new version of Tower Records was originally scheduled to be revealed at the 2020 edition of South by Southwest, but they decided to hold off when the coronavirus pandemic caused the event to be canceled. Reportedly, they hoped to have the announcement coincide with Tower Records pop-up shops, an idea that’s also been put on hold due to COVID-19 but hopefully will be rolled out when life goes back to normal.

Let's see what they have in stock. Here's Radiohead's OK Computer:

It's out of stock.

The list price is $29.98, but, don't worry because they have knocked it down to $24.58.

I already have this on CD (and don't forget, they re-released a deluxe version a few years ago) so I don't know why I would need this on vinyl, but there you go. And, just like the Tower Records of old, they want you to overpay for something they can't even be bothered to keep in stock.

Tower Records seems to think we're going to restock our music collections with overpriced vinyl records and they're probably right. But I think I'm gonna pass on that.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Sophie Ellis Bextor Sings Wuthering Heights


As God is my witness, this is the greatest thing ever.

"You've had enough sweets, Mr. Jones."