A great choice of Google doodle today celebrating what would have bee BB King’s 94th birthday. Of the many descriptors used for guitar tone, I think BB is the only one whose tone I would describe as ‘sweet’.

If you like BB I highly suggest you check out the BBC iPlayer… those outside UK may need to use your creative methods… and check out a documentary called Sounding Out which is 25 minutes long and is footage and interview from a recording session with BB, in London, from 1972. One man, one guitar, one amp, and a whole load of talent.

Happy birthday BB!

Hope you will forgive me for a little bit of Cross Posting. Today is Tuesday, and so it is People First Newsletter day. Unusually, this week’s offering is very much centered on music … specifically on Roger Waters. Maybe just an extract to entice you to click through if you haven’t already seen it.


But did he (Johnny Rotten) really hate them (PInk Floyd)? After all Chris Thomas (the mix engineer on Floyd’s Dark Side of The Moon) produced ‘Anarchy in the UK’ – the Sex Pistols’ first single. Years later Lyndon went on record saying that he actually loved (and loves) ‘Dark Side of The Moon’ saying in this interview;

“Listen, you’d have to be daft as a brush to say you didn’t like Pink Floyd.”

John Lyndon

Read the whole thing here.

Back in November 2015, on the WTF podcast, Marc Maron interviewed Robert Trujillo (Metallica bass player) and Flea. Trujillo had made a documentary about, self-appointed greatest bass player in the world, Jaco Pastorius… turns out he was the greatest! In the course of the interview they discussed a phenomenon that I am all too familiar with because it’s happened to me a number of times.

So what is it? Well, it’s when you have a band or an artist that you really like and then, for some reason, you find yourself not liking the individuals any more and you’re now left in a situation where it’s difficult to listen to the music because there’s always the spectre of the artists hanging over it.

It’s happened to me on three occasions:

The Police – or more specifically Sting. I’ve been in to them since 1980 and it was sometime after Ten Summoner’s Tales that I just got fed up with Sting’s preaching to people but, more specifically, I got hacked off with how he always seemed to go to great pains to try and minimise Stewart and Andy’s contribution to the band. When the reunion happened he seemed to be a total diva. This was the artist that Flea said he’d experienced this with although he didn’t elaborate on why.

Frank Zappa – to a lesser extent than Sting but, nevertheless, in the last 10 or 15 years (can’t believe it’s nearly 26 years since he died) it’s become more and more apparent that FZ was a bit of a douche. Not sure why this bothers me particularly given that a bunch of his band members wrecked his last tour (just desserts?) but, there you go…

Edward Van Halen – I’ve played guitar for about 33 years and Eddie was the one who inspired my to go from just playing songs to actually aspiring to be a lead guitarist. VH were a fantastic band – I like both Dave and Sammy eras. I moved on after ‘For Unlawful…’. Although I didn’t follow them through the Gary Cherone era, and watched, with amusement, from afar regarding the in fighting that developed, I was still able to enjoy the first 9 albums… BUT… when Mike was kicked out to be replaced by Eddie’s son on bass I thought that was a dick move. That said, Mike seemed to be OK and promptly formed a supergroup with Sammy, Joe Satriani and Chad Jones. Then, when Eddie started running Mike down publicly and minimising his contribution to the band I soured on Eddie. His drink problems are well known about and, I guess, maybe this was him being bitter that he was no longer viewed as the king of rock guitar. Even the most ardent fan would have to admit they haven’t really done anything new or significant since the mid 90s.

This seems to be becoming a more common phenomenon – I’ve heard people commenting that present day Morrisey has soured them on the Smiths. I sometimes struggle with Miles Davis due to his tendency to have song authorship credited solely to him when you know he didn’t write it… Blue In Green? Grrr.

Maybe this is due to the fact that we just get too much information about artists that we like. Seems that in the 80s/90s you didn’t know as much about the artists that you liked beyond liner notes and music magazines. That may have been a good thing.

In closing, happy to say that I recently heard a Sting song from Dream of the Blue Turtles – Fortress Around Your Heart – and was able to enjoy it again. Ended up buying the CD (5 bucks!) as I’d only ever had it on tape. It’s still a great album.

Sting may be about to be granted parole! Here’s a live performance from the subsequent Dream of the Blue Turtles tour…

It’s one of those songs that stays in your head awhile (at least for me). Found via sound designer and producer Dean Hurley’s portfolio, Dream Wave by Tiny Ruins (originally a solo project of the song’s author, Hollie Fullbrook). A sweet, dreamy song in my opinion…

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This is a great piece by Ted Gioia. If you don’t know him, he wrote a great book called ‘The History of Jazz’ (1997) that is a great read. I was given it as a gift when it came out – I’d never heard of him and, to be honest, haven’t heard much since. I recently stumbled across his YouTube channel – he has less than 700 subscribers and this video has less than 5000 views.

I don’t think Ted is doing it for the views. Given the regular discussions that come up about streaming services – physical media or streaming, which streaming service is the best – this may be of interest. It’s only 10 minutes long and it takes a wider view of what streaming might mean for music and, indeed, what it might mean for visual media too.

For the record (pun absolutely intended!), I’m with Ted on this one.

Someone (forget who) recently posted about the inability to have liner notes with streaming services. I’m not a user of streaming servs, but recently got the 70th anniversary vinyl reissue, from original tapes, of Birth of the Cool. Two discs with 16 pages of awesome liner notes. Actually a booklet in gatefold, with amazing reproductions of band pictures. The quality is amazing, and comes with a new essay about the recording. I’d definitely miss this on streaming!