Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What I am thinking about while writing my book...Besides Sparks music

Charles Aznavour

Public Enemy

Kenneth Williams

Jacques Tati with Ron and Russell Mael (Sparks)

Young and slightly older James Fox

Dave Clark 5

Sparks' "Exotic Creatures From The Deep"

In all honestly I can't think of an album that is more important than Sparks' "Exotic Creatures From The Deep." I bet my life on it. If you don't think it' s not that magnificent , then please don't even talk to me. We're not on the same planet. It's as simple as that.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Mike Leander Sound

Mike Leander, arranger, songwriter, and the man behind Gary Glitter. But alas, he had a huge music past. For instance

Marianne Faithfull singing "As Tears Go By." Arranged by Mike Leander (with interview by Brian Epstein)

Marianne Faithfull singing "Summer Nights" Arranged by Mike Leander

And he worked for Atlantic Records where he worked as a Producer and Arranger and recorded this song

The Drifters singing "Under The Boardwalk" (Arranged by Mike Leander)

Even the great Billy Fury

Billy Fury singing "In Thoughts Of You (Produced and Arranged by Mike Leander

Billy Fury singing "I'll Never Find Another You"

As an one -off studio project, Leander and the Kink's manager of the late 60's got together to write, produce a single called "The Changing of the Guard." The lead singer is Robert Wace, the Manager of The Kinks. The video down below is Wace's voice but not his face or body. They found a good looking bloke on King's Road - and his moment of fame

Marquis of Kensington singing 'The Changing of the Guard" (1967)

The great and totally underrated Paul Jones. A song by Mike Leander for the film "Privilege"

Paul Jones singing "Privilege" (1967) Produced and Written by Mike Leander

The Punk and Horror version of Paul Jones singing "Privilege" Produced and Written by Mike Leander (this is a classic!)

Patti Smith singing "Privilege" Shot sometime in 2007

Gary Glitter and Mike Leander were really tight as friends, and it took many years for the both of them to discover the sound of "Gary Glitter."

Here are the results:

Gary Glitter "Do You Wanna Touch Me" Co-written, produced and arranged by Mike Leander

Gary Glitter "Hello, Hello I Am Back Again" (Co-written, Produced and Arranged by Mike Leander

Gary Glitter "Rock and Roll Part 2" (Co-Written, Produced and Arranged by Mike Leander

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Banality of Images and what lurks Evil Underneath...

This is from my diary while I was in Paris:

I brought up to the dinner party the subject of color photographs that were found recently of the German occupation of Paris. When I saw the catalogue in a bookstore I was shocked in seeing these images in beautiful color. The shocking aspect is that the city itself hasn’t changed since the Occupation. So when I see the images it is like seeing Paris now, but there are Nazis roaming around the streets. Everyone looks happy and going through their daily schedule except for the occasional old women or young man with a bright yellow star sewed on their winter coat.
What are captured in these images are the banal aspects of evil doing what they do best – acting totally normal. Frank told me that these were propaganda images from the Occupation and he was quite emotional about them saying that they told a lie. But to my eyes the images are just plain creepy and weird. Really scary and just awful yet fascinating at the same time. The image often, doesn't represent the reality.

Here is the layout I believe from the Sunday Times Magazine. Photographs by André Zucca.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My London Diary July 24, 2008

Look Back in Anger

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

Mick Jagger singing 'Memo From Turner" from the film "Performance"

"Carry On" with Kenneth Williams

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

TamTam Books' Tribute to Immediate Records (Andrew Loog Oldham's label)

Small Faces with P.P. Arnold

Small Faces "itcycoo Park"

Small Faces "All or Nothing"

Billy Nicholls "Girl From New York (Audio only but a fantastic song backed by the Small Faces)

P.P. Arnold "First Cut is the Deepest"

P.P. Arnold "If You Think You Are Groovy"

The Nice "America" (with David O'List, who was in early Roxy Music before Phil Manzanera)

Little Andrew Loog Oldham documentary

"All I Want is My Baby" Oldham/Richards song. Recorded by Bobby Jameson and Mick Jagger

A very early Nico song (a year before the Velvets) produced by Jimmy Page for Immediate Records

The Poets "Now We're Thru"

And this is one of my favorite film footages ever of Swingin' London"

Monday, July 14, 2008

TamTam Book's Publisher Tosh Speaks! On Boris Vian! At the Mountin Bar

And here is the song list on the CD that was given out free to the audience:

1) Susan (The Sage) The Chico Hamilton Quintet / Elmer Bernstein
2) Cora (1958) Alain Goraguer
3) Ce Mortel Ennui Alain Goraguer Et Son Orchestre
4) Blues Andre Hodeir
5) Témoin Dans La Ville Barney Wilen
6) Final Pour Pierre et Béatrice Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers
7) Le petit commerce Boris Vian
8) Brigitte Strip Blues Georges Arvanitas Quintet
9) No Hay Dinero Caballo (1961) Gonzalo Fernandez & Martial Solal
10) Générique (Le Saint Mène La Danse) (1960) Michel de Villers
11) Cha Cha Cha Du Loup Serge Gainsbourg & Alain Goraguer
12) Fuite Du Rouquin Serge Gainsbourg & Alain Goraguer
13) Maxim's Serge Gainsbourg
14) Generique Miles Davis
15) Danse André Hodeir
16) Trope A Saint-Trop Andre Hodeir
17) Tom Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers
18) Amanda (1958) Alain Goraguer
19) Jazz Et Jazz Andre Hodeir

Friday, July 11, 2008

Images in my head while working on the Sparks' book Part 2

I am working on a book about Sparks and London and other things as well. These following images are what I am using for the work I am doing at the moment. I will put them up and you'll try to figure out what it means. ok?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Jean Paul Yamamoto's "Instant Couture"

My wife Lun*na Menoh just did a performance with her band Jean Paul Yamamoto, that did include music - but not in the regular way. I guess you had to be there to hear the amplified sewing machines mixed in with the music. Nevetherless here's lun*na's introduction to the afternoon

I am Lun*na Menoh from Jean Paul Yamamoto, a Los Angeles based band. We are known for combining high fashion, art performance, and rock n' roll theatrics. Today we have a special event that is not our regular 'live music' performance. Jean Paul Yamamoto will be doing an improvised sewing show in front of the audience. We will design and make 12 one-of-a-kind T-shirts (100% white cotton) and they will be completed during the art performance. If you would like to have a designed T-Shirt, please come inside and place an order – and yes, this is "Instant Couture!"

Also during our performance, we will have a floor fashion show, where every 5 minutes a series of models will be walking around the floor wearing stage costumes worn by Jean Paul Yamamoto from their various live music shows of the recent past.

Fashion models:

Maki Asako
Sachi Nina

Hair and make up:

Special appearance

Also a continuous DVD screening of Jean Paul Yamamoto & Seksu Roba performances, Relah Eckstein’s films (with Lun*na doing the art direction and costumes) and Lun*na Menoh’s previous Fashion/Art events in the Royal T’s VIP Room located back of the gallery.

Enjoy the Event"

Photographs by Hana Kidaka of the "Instant Couture" event that took place at Royal T in Culver City - July 6, 2008

Friday, July 4, 2008

Images in my head while working on the Sparks' book

Although they may seem to be random, these images are in my head as I write the Sparks' book.

...Nothing is straight forward in my life!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Islington, London

Revolutionary Islington

History of Graffiti in Islington

TamTam Books' Tribute to Angel Islington and of course, Upper Street

For the past month or so, this area had become a home to me. The streets, not anyone's house - but just me getting on and off buses, and eating on Upper Street before going to the Sparks' shows at the Carling Academy located in N1. So in a sense this is what i know of London, and today for some reason I really miss it.

London Bus 73 to Angel, Islington

London Bus 4, Upper Street, Islington