π‘π‘–π‘π‘˜ πΏπ‘œπ‘€π‘’: π‘ˆπ‘›π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘Ÿπ‘Žπ‘‘π‘’π‘‘ π‘ƒπ‘Žπ‘›π‘‘β„Žπ‘’π‘œπ‘› πΌπ‘›β„Žπ‘Žπ‘π‘–π‘‘π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘.

“Ol’ Drain”, as Mr. Nick Lowe is called in some circles {i.e.: The None}—it’s his middle name, and a fine one—wears more than a few musical hats, and pulls it all off in such fashion as would create, probably, a dither of aesthetic paroxysms in any milliner or hatter. Earlier on, (than…??) Lowe, often with mate Dave Edmunds, in Rockpile, showed an uncanny talent for creating clever, charming, quite diabolically catchy songs that perhaps represented the very embodiment , the K2-like apotheosis, of Pure Pop Wonderment. Really…well, it was not fair. One had little to no choice but to come ’round to the man’s idiosyncratic ways. No one, however, minded, it seemed; either that, or such monumental courtesy was shown to Nick {OK, I’ll love it…} than to any other mammalian, extant or extinct.

To siphon away all the hysteria sure to erupt the very second one’s “Earlier on…” gaffe—or was it???—becomes public, let’s open our collective aesthetic Golgi apparati to Brinsley Schwarz. No, not the haberdasher. And yes, I understand that a haberdasher by no means specializes in hatwear, except for those who do. Formerly Kippington Lodge, Brinsley Schwarz gave Mr. Lowe a forum for his musical nascence—he penned So It Goes, and What’s So Funny whilst nestled in the Schwarz collective—and also, presumably, provided a harrowing de facto tutorial on how **not** to name bands.

Right. The supremely accomplished Nick Lowe, and the vastness of his achievements, cannot be adequately summarized. It won’t do. And I’ve already squandered most/all of the allocated space, ranting about…well, if anyone figures that out, do contact me, or the proper authorities. Therefore, I hereby resign my post, and retire to private life. To quote the man himself, as he signed off on a certain Elvis Costello LP: “Now, get happy. Your friend, Producer Nick Lowe.” I think that’s pretty damn cool. Because it is. Costello paid his friend homage many years later, quoting what was proclaimed in the midst of Peace, Love, and Understanding, during the Brinsley years. On Letterman. No. Brinsley Schwarz, nΓ©e Kippington Lodge, did not appear on Letterman. {Nick did, obviously}. Don’t be difficult.

π»π‘œπ‘œπ‘π‘™π‘’! {π‘€π‘œπ‘‘π‘‘, π‘‘β„Žπ‘’β€¦}

Mr. Ian Hunter, the lead vocalist and braintrust of Mott the Hoople {so named after a 1966 novel by Willard Manus}, realized early on in his life, that, at least in terms of music, he quite simply was *not* like the others. It affected him much, much more powerfully.

Hunter joined a band called Silence, which was then renamed on a whim by the svengali-like Guy Stevens, noted impresario and bon vivant. Mott enjoyed some success, but was nearing the end of its tether, when one David Bowie offered them a song. All The Young Dudes became, of course, a huge hit, an anthem, the sound of an era.

Ian continued with Mott until December, 1974, then led a somewhat less hectic and more varied lifestyle. He worked briefly with the great Mick Ronson; the final track we here offer is an almost impossibly beautiful, wistful piece of music, and it is enhanced by Ronson’s mandolin. Mott the Hoople leave a unique legacy; a band beloved well beyond what their fame/fortune would indicate…yet they are really not a “cult” band, either. How dare they.

π΅π‘Ÿπ‘–π‘Žπ‘› π‘€π‘Žπ‘¦, πΉπ‘Ÿπ‘’π‘‘π‘‘π‘–π‘’ π‘€π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘¦…π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ 𝑄𝑒𝑒𝑒𝑛.

Queen, featuring vocalist Freddie Mercury, and guitarist Brian May, with a live You’re My Best Friend, performed in December of 1979 at the Hammersmith Odeon. This shows Mercury in top form vocally; a true maestro at work.

Another shining exemplar of Queen’s formidable power is this iteration of the remarkable hit single Killer Queen. Recorded June 7, 1977 at Earl’s Court, this rendition is quite canonical. The synergy between Freddie Mercury and guitarist Brian May is really working, and both are in magnificent form. Speaking of Mercury, Roger Daltrey once stated that he was “the best virtuoso rock β€˜n’ roll singer of all time”, and well known soprano Montserrat CaballΓ© felt that β€œhis technique was astonishing; he sang with an incisive sense of rhythm; he also had a great musicality, and he was able to find the right colouring or expressive nuance for each word”. An extraordinary, charismatic performer, Mr. Mercury was described by guitarist Brian May as being so magnetic β€œhe could make the last person at the back of the furthest stand in a stadium feel that he was connected”. The British vocalist also was unafraid to rank 58th in a poll of 100 Greatest Britons, finishing just behind Alexander Graham Bell. And The Cliff Richard (??). George Harrison was bettered, however, and in the most controversial decision, legendary Welsh actor Richard Burton came-a-cropper, finishing behind—by a significant margin—the great vocalist. Observers reported the Welshman appeared visibly shaken, ashen-faced, and extremely bitter during the ceremony. Some claim he wiped away tears, as he abruptly stormed off to whereabouts unknown.

Burton later claimed ill health, but those near him were positive the Welshman wept openly, clenched his fists in impotent rage, and frequently muttered uncomplimentary remarks whilst shaking with hysteria, losing his balance more than once.” -Thrustus Simmonds, noted author of “Titans of Britondom, and Such”.

Lastly, the rousing Keep Yourself Alive. Live, 1974, at The Rainbow. Truly uplifting, and the musicianship, as was typical from this band, occupied Upper-Echelon terrain. This band indeed changed lives.

π‘‡β„Žπ‘’ π‘ƒπ‘’π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿ π‘€π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘β„Žπ‘¦: π‘‰π‘Žπ‘šπ‘π‘–π‘Ÿπ‘–π‘π‘Žπ‘™π‘™π‘¦-π‘ƒπ‘’π‘Ÿπ‘ π‘’π‘Žπ‘ π‘–π‘œπ‘›π‘’π‘‘ 𝐷𝑒𝑖𝑑𝑦.

In re: the above, and the below: One of those riveting performances Peter Murphy has been known to deliver, the kind that provokes ponderings such as “Hmm. Is P.M. the greatest person to ever draw breath? Oh, right. He’s probably *not* a person, as such…”. I’m sure you have entertained such mysteries. Still emphatically vampiric, all the more impressive given the attire; Bela, say, would not be caught dead, undead, or in some interstitial state about which we know little {OK; nothing}, in such garb. But, yep; vampiric as they come. He is in full command of his towering vocal abilities, as per. A mesmerist is in the house. And, *you* let him in!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Cuts You Up {1992, on D. Miller} vid has become somewhat, oh, infamous, due to Murphy’s {elegant} gesture (which was *not* “giving {Miller} the finger”, as the rattled, indignant, incorrect host proclaimed…’twas a nose-thumbing, a snook-cocking); it was a perfect moment in time, making crystal clear that some people are human {Miller, for example: and a jackass to boot. He had just finished offering forth banal, insulting words about his Guest, then plays the Innocent…}, and some are more of the god-like/vampiric/undefinable/ambiguously-formatted persuasion.

{above prose appended 8/8/2019; I’d already referenced this topic in post originale, below, but I feel a need to avoid revising/excising. And, you cannot make me.}

The ever enigmatic and other-worldly Peter Murphy still presents an imposing, daunting figure, one who seems unlacking in self-assurance. And, if anything, his *astonishing* vocal talents are fully—possibly more than fully—intact. Like unto a god. Or whatever he is.

His immense powers, presence, and unearthly priest-like {Ambiguously Benevolence’d Category} attributes are all on display in these videos; and, for the connoisseurs, the Great Man delivers (whilst exiting the stage, post “Cuts You Up”) unto host and mere mortal Dennis Miller a profound gesture, one flawless, snook-cocking nose thumb, with all the impeccable style and ease that would be expected.

To reiterate: I am *not* removing, now, or ever, the Miller quasi-debacle bit here, addenda or no addenda.

π‘…π‘œπ‘”π‘’π‘Ÿ πΉπ‘’π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘Ÿ.

This masterful, stylish Swiss athlete, Roger Federer, has achieved such towering heights, in tennis, that he is *generally* considered the sport’s greatest ever practitioner. He has given many, many thrills over the years…with his nonpareil artistry and creativity; his indomitable will; his uncanny proclivity to produce his best when it matters most, when so many others wilt. At his best, Roger’s game was—and, is—nothing short of poetry, the poetry of a genius…a slightly mad one, at that.

I’ll always recall my first viewing, against American Andy Roddick, in the 2003 Wimbledon semi-finals. His preternatural grace and *feel* for the game I simply found astonishing. Magical. When Federer closed out the second set with, really, something no one had seen—a running, forehand half-volley {usually a defensive shot} utterly whipped into the corner for an uncontested winner—both men had to smile. Commentator John McEnroe, quite capable of producing his *own* magic with a racket, was incredulous. “That’s not possible.”

On a personal note, I was fortunate enough to partake of the Great Man at very close quarters; a practice session. Being at such proximity to Mr. Federer would have to be included in one’s rather intimately scaled coterie of “Religious Experiences”. Plus, he also rather casually did something impossible. He’s like that.

π‘Ίπ’•π’‚π’Šπ’“π’”…𝒕𝒐 π‘΅π’π’˜π’‰π’†π’“π’†. 𝑨𝒏𝒅 π‘Ίπ’π’Šπ’…𝒆𝒔.

A bit of existentialism. Martin Rak accounts for the top three images; then Alper Γ‡ukor for the succeeding five. Michel Rajkovic has two more, Shane Lyman one, and the last is unknown. Fittingly.

π‘Ίπ’‘π’“π’Šπ’π’ˆπ’”π’•π’†π’†π’.

The songΒ BadlandsΒ is belted out with supreme force (Get It Straight!!) and something else I won’t attempt to name. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a crowd react in quite this way. 2002, in Barcelona.Β Badlands, defiant and uplifting,Β is one of Bruce’s best, to meβ€”the first cut off Darknessβ€”but this is simply transcendent. One sees here, for reals, why many witnesses to Springsteen’s legendary shows view him as an almost religious figure.

From 2009. The mighty and just a bit intense Bruce Springsteen unleashes the goods, ALL of β€˜em, on the moving Something in the Night. This song, from the great 1978 album Darkness on the Edge of Town, is, probably, if gun were put to head , to me, the greatest song the great man wrote. There are many. But this, this just totally embodies Springsteen.

𝑿𝑻π‘ͺ, π’‡π’†π’‚π’•π’–π’“π’Šπ’π’ˆ π‘¨π’π’…π’š π‘·π’‚π’“π’•π’“π’Šπ’…π’ˆπ’†.

Few bands can match XTC’s accomplishments as far as writing/performing memorably quirky, intellectual, and, yes, catchy songs. Lead vocalist Andy Partridge provides the oddball genius charisma to generate a potent cocktail of aural nirvana.

A masterpiece from Rockpalast.
A brilliant, somewhat crazed version.

𝑿-π‘­π’Šπ’π’†π’”: 𝑷𝒂𝒑𝒆𝒓 𝑯𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒕𝒔 {π‘»π’π’Ž π‘΅π’π’π’π’‚𝒏}.

The brilliant character actor Tom Noonan gives a towering performance as serial killer/child predator John Lee Roche, who may, as it turns out, be responsible for the disappearance of Fox Mulder’s sister Samantha—the entire crux of the series.