The Lovin’ Spoonful, led by John Sebastian, and guitarist Zal Yanovsky, was formed in 1965, and produced a cavalcade of very distinctive hits until their 1969 breakup. Sebastian, though, carried on, and had more magic up his sleeve. A great composer, performer, and person.
Month: July 2020
The serial predator and killer Martin Vanger appears in both the American and Swedish iterations of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. He is equally disquieting in both. Peter Haber portrays Vanger in the 2009 Swedish release, and Stellan Skarsgård does the honors for the 2011 American film. Both performances are brilliant, and chilling. Haber’s portrayal is earnest and volatile, while Skarsgård is more haughty, detached, dispassionate. Both work perfectly.
Jim Brown is the consensus pick of most experts as the greatest running back in NFL history. I, myself, never witnessed Brown work his magic on Sundays; for those players, see Vol 1 and 2 of The Great Running Backs. Brown gets one of his own. A remarkable blend of power, speed, desire, and elusiveness was #32.
Sanders and Sayers could both cut full-speed on a dime. Human highlight reels, and 2 of the 4 greatest backs I’ve ever seen. See Vol. 1.
Including the collegiate version of Reggie Bush. Electric, astonishing.
Badfinger, a Welsh/English group primarily known for their early 70s work, were led by Pete Ham, and featured also Tom Evans and Joey Molland. A truly great, and too-oft forgotten band that was to be plagued by tragedy.
Mr. Harry Nilsson was unquestionably one of the premier songwriters of his generation. Witty, trenchant lyrics, frequently concerning isolation, accompanied wonderful melodies. When asked who his favourite American band was, John Lennon unhesitatingly replied “Nilsson”. As did Paul McCartney, for that matter.
Eric was simply otherworldly in his approach, especially on bass clarinet and alto saxophone. A number of jazz titans held him near and dear, including Charles Mingus and John Coltrane, with whom some of his most stunning work was achieved. No one sounds remotely like Eric Dolphy. In his improvisations, he could be intensely intimate and tender, or utterly explosive and groundbreaking, or both, often in rapid succession.
Upon hearing of Eric’s death, at 36, Mingus said:
” Usually, when a man dies, you remember—or you say you remember—only the good things about him. With Eric, that’s all you could remember. I don’t remember any drags he did to anybody. The man was absolutely without a need to hurt.”
Dolphy’s shocking death came shortly before the release of his masterpiece Out to Lunch. He was supposedly very interested in playing in Albert Ayler’s group, and was even preparing to play with Cecil Taylor.
Iconic singer-songwriter Emitt Rhodes died today. He left behind some of the most memorable music of his era, and on the recorded versions, he oft-times played every instrument. He will be missed.
Gifted with one of the most magnificent voices ever to be heard, Linda Ronstadt knew how to use it, as well. A vibrant performer with great presence, as is well-documented in the above vids. Can’t fault her material, either; she covered the likes of Emitt Rhodes, Warren Zevon, and Buddy Holly, to name just a few. A remarkable vocalist.