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ABOUT RAR: For those of
you new to this site, "RAR" is Rick Alan Rice, the publisher
of the RARWRITER Publishing Group websites.
Use this link to visit the
RAR music page, which features original music
compositions and other.
ATWOOD - "A Toiler's Weird Odyssey of Deliverance"-AVAILABLE
NOW FOR KINDLE (INCLUDING KINDLE COMPUTER APPS) FROM
CCJ Publisher Rick Alan Rice dissects
the building of America in a trilogy of novels
collectively called ATWOOD. Book One explores
the development of the American West through the
lens of public policy, land planning, municipal
development, and governance as it played out in one
of the new counties of Kansas in the latter half of
the 19th Century. The novel focuses on the religious
and cultural traditions that imbued the American
Midwest with a special character that continues to
have a profound effect on American politics to this
day. Book One creates an understanding about
America's cultural foundations that is further
explored in books two and three that further trace
the historical-cultural-spiritual development of one
isolated county on the Great Plains that stands as
an icon in the development of a certain brand of
American character. That's the serious stuff viewed
from high altitude. The story itself gets down and
dirty with the supernatural, which inATWOOD
- A Toiler's Weird Odyssey of Deliverance is the
outfall of misfires in human interactions, from the
monumental to the sublime.The
book features the epic poem"The
well as artwork by New Mexico artist Richard
Meets Larry McMurtry
I am offering another
novel through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing service.
Cooksin is the story of a criminal syndicate that sets its
sights on a ranching/farming community in Weld County, Colorado,
1950. The perpetrators of the criminal enterprise steal farm
equipment, slaughter cattle, and rob the personal property of
individuals whose assets have been inventoried in advance and
distributed through a vast system of illegal commerce.
It is a ripping good yarn, filled
with suspense and intrigue. This was designed intentionally to
pay homage to the type of creative works being produced in 1950,
when the story is set. Richard Padilla
has done his usually brilliant work in capturing the look and feel of
a certain type of crime fiction being produced in that era. The
whole thing has the feel of those black & white films you see on
Turner Movie Classics, and the writing will remind you a little
of Elmore Leonard, whose earliest works were westerns.
Use this link.
EXPLORE THE KINDLE
If you have not explored the books
available from Amazon.com's Kindle Publishing
division you would do yourself a favor to do so. You
will find classic literature there, as well as tons
of privately published books of every kind. A lot of
it is awful, like a lot of traditionally published
books are awful, but some are truly classics. You
can get the entire collection of Shakespeare's works
for two bucks.
Amazon is the largest,
but far from the only digital publisher. You can
find similar treasure troves at
Barnes & Noble site),Lulu,
has been four years since alternative media journalist Dave McGowan
published Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon: Laurel Canyon, Covert Ops &
the Dark Heart of the Hippie Dream. It didn't exactly set the
publishing world on fire when it came out, and it isn't exactly doing that
now, but it hangs around and slowly gains ground with conspiracy buffs.
McGowan is an amateur investigator, and a writer
without formal education, whose previous interest in weird stories had been mostly
around UFOs. But then he came upon this odd statistical anomaly.
He started looking into the development
of the 1960s music scene, with many venues centered in West Hollywood, as described in the story on
the right (Nancy's Great Hangover), and he started looking into the
family backgrounds of the people involved. Laurel Canyon was populated
with young creative types, who played the clubs along the Sunset Strip
and moved still-new Rock'n Roll into a rapidly developing swirl of
musical styles, from the jangle rock of The Byrds, through the surreal
brooding of The Doors, the progressive rock of Frank Zappa, and the
country rock of Buffalo Springfield. Linda Ronstadt, Joni Mitchell, Neil
Young, The Mamas and the Papas, and many other legends-in-the-making came
out of that single musical scene. Many resided in the rugged and leafy
Laurel Canyon, just minutes from what in the late 1960s was America's
McGowan determined that many of those
young people, who became enormously successful and influential in
American musical culture, were the children of CIA and military
families. And he further determined that they may have been influenced to be
in Laurel Canyon in the first place because there was a Top Secret CIA
research facility there. (That property was recently purchased by
musician and Oscar-winning actor Jared Leto.)
Exhibit 1, in McGowan's conspiracy
framework, is Jim Morrison, the front man of The Doors, who named his
band after LSD pioneer Aldous Huxley's book The Doors of Perception.
Morrison was the son of the admiral who had been in charge of the fleet patrolling
the Gulf of Tonkin. An incident there, which conspiracy buffs believe to
have been a false flag operation, was the trigger that dragged the U.S
into the quagmire of the Viet Nam War. It is ironic that the Lizard
King, an avatar of anti-establishment convention, was the progeny of a
man complicit in sending his son's generation to war.
It only begins there. Laurel Canyon had
influential salon keepers, most notably Frank Zappa and David Crosby.
Frank Zappa grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, near Edgewood Arsenal, where
his father, who had top security clearance, was a chemical warfare
specialist. Zappa somehow got unusual attention early on, even showing up on
Steve Allen's Tonight Show playing the bicycle as a musical instrument.
He represented counter-culture, but listen to any Zappa interview and you'll see
his inclinations were not what one might expect. He was a pro-military
Zappa took over a commune known at the
time as "The Tree House" that served as a crash pad where the famous
bedded down with runaways and others from the area's active street life.
According to McGowan, attendees over time included Mick Jagger Marianne
Faithfull, members of the Animals, Mark Lindsay from Paul Revere and the
Raiders, Alice Cooper who joined Zappa’s Mothers of Invention, Janis
Joplin, and Roger McGuinn and Mike Clarke from the Byrds. LSD guru
Timothy Leary was there, according to reports, as were George Harrison
and Ravi Shankar.
David Crosby's soirees are legendary -
the kind that only a trust fund kid could host.
David Van Cortlandt Crosby is the progeny
of American aristocrats from the Van Cortlandt and Van Rensselaer
families. Van Ressselaers founded the Dutch West Indies Company, and
since the 1600s have held positions of prominence in all aspects of
American governance and military leadership. Ditto the Van Cortlandts.
That means that Crosby's ancestors were closely associated with the African
In McGowan's thesis, Laurel Canyon in the
late 1960s was a place of avant garde salons, charismatic charlatans
(including Charles Manson)
with secretive agendas, and LSD. Central to the premise was the savant
Owsley Stanley, who is notable as the largest private producer of LSD in
history. Stanley had become involved in LSD research being done at St.
Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington DC. He wasn't a researcher, but
rather a 15-year old test subject in the CIA's MK-Ultra program.
Stanley was something of a genius, who
eventually came to California to work at Jack Parson's Jet Propulsion Labs (JPL).
That cutting edge research facility was led by a founder with
connections to Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, Church of Satan
founder Anton Lavay, and the infamous occultist Aleister Crowley.
Crowley allegedly documented the first encounter with a Grey alien, if
that's what the entity Lam was, which was conjured up through Crowley's
Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO) rituals. Parson's was allegedly the first to
encounter the Nordic alien race.
Owsley Stanley became the soundman for
the Grateful Dead, which in the conspiracy world was a band whose reason
for being was to encourage the creation of a "Hippie Movement" to
protest the War in Viet Nam. The idea was that the CIA used all of
the well-placed, well-resourced Laurel Canyon people to create a Hippie
icon, a type of straw
man so ineffectual and ridiculous that it would undermine the anti-war
If that was the goal, it may not have
worked. Timothy Leary inveighed for the
troops to "turn on, tune in, drop out" for the purpose of creating an
army of "Dead Heads". Many historians would argue that
anti-war demonstrations eventually made continuance of the War in Viet
That only touches upon McGowan's
treatise, which presents a raft of other Laurel County celebrities with
connections to military intelligence and defense industry groups. My
guess is that there is probably some truth to all of it, no absolute
truth to any. As a child of
that era, I know that messages were sent and received that stayed with
segments of the Baby Boomer population for decades, and resonate to this
Here is an interview with McGowan that
won't convince you that anything he says is real, but at least gives him
the opportunity to use his words.-RAR
and Steve Cropper are touring a
"rock and soul revue" show this summer, meaning that you can see two
legendary players together. Mason, of course, was a co-founder of the
legendary band Traffic, along with
Stevie Winwood. Steve Cropper is a national treasure - there should, and
probably will be monuments to him - who was a central figure in the
music coming out of Memphis in the 1960s, including that of Otis Redding
and Booker T and the MGs. The Baby Boomer generation of guitarists all
grew up playing what we learned from listening to Steve Cropper. Both
Mason and Cropper have a duffle bag full of hits, and this would be one
of the few "legends of rock" type of shows that I would care to see.
By the way, check out Dave Mason's website at
https://www.davemasonmusic.com/the-band/. When he credits "the band"
he includes the sound man, the guy who drives the truck, the tour
hostess... I love that he does that.
I'm not sure that the Colorado band
Firefall was ever really hot - no one in California even knows who they
are, though I hear Rick Roberts' "You Are the Woman" playing all the
time as I wander around Raley's picking up groceries - but they seem to
be making a late-life comeback. They always had a great deal of talent,
including the excellent Boulder guitarist Jock
Bartley and the multi-instrumentalist
David Muse. They also had the pro material of songwriter
Rick Roberts, who also provided a
commercial voice, and they had another contributing songwriter in
Larry Burnett. They scored some top 20
hits in the mid-70s, when music was almost as interesting as laundry,
which was solid success, though the band seemed to feel it could have
done better with better producers. Jim Mason
had done a good job of giving Firefall its initial direction, but their
record label insisted on other producers who seemed to insist on the
band making elevator music. All of the original members, other than Jock
Bartley, left the band. Front man Rick Roberts had health problems,
former Byrds drummer Michael Clarke died, but Bartley played on with
replacement parts, and they weren't magic. But now original members Muse
and Burnett are back, and by all reports the old energy has returned,
sans Rick Roberts' commercial pop. Bartley is a real guitar player and
word is that the reunited band has juice again. Go figure.
Wow, Madonna is only 60? It just seems
like she got old so long ago.
I think I was around Boulder, Colorado a
little too late to have met Gerard McMahon, who now goes by G Tom Mac,
but he came through that creative community on his way to L.A., and I'm
sure many readers of this site do know him. He wrote the song "Cry
Little Sister", which was used in the soundtrack of the wonderful
vampire movie The Lost Boys. G Tom's tune gave the whole movie an
epic feel, as if there was some great human story overlying this
entertaining tale of brothers trying to protect themselves and their
mother from a coven of California vampires. Joel Schumacher made the
film, and somehow G Tom Mac has obtained the rights to do a musical
prequel - A Lost Boys Story - to provide the back story to the film,
explaining how Keifer Sutherland's character became Keifer Sutherland's
character. I'm not sure why anybody would care, but I did love "Cry
Little Sister" and understand why G Tom Mac would want to leverage its
legendary sucess for further mileage, and I have enjoyed other of G Tom
Mac's work. He got a backdoor Grammy when Eminem sampled part of one of
his songs and turned it into an Eminem hit ("You're Never Over").
You can listen to the musical on YouTube (see the video below, where the
story begins), though it is available for purchase on Spotify, iTunes,
other outlets. G Tom Mac is also playing live to promote the project,
which is now in pre-production as a Broadway show. The whole thing
sounds a little iffy until you listen to the tunes. G Tom may have
More Round and Round...
Beck and Paul Rogers are
touring, along with Nancy Wilson,
with a tour they call the "Stars Align Tour". That's probably a legit
night out. Philadelphia band The Chairman
Dances has a new CD out, Child of My Sorrow.
Eric Krewson leads a synth-heavy
band that is musically audacious in supporting Krewson's strong lyrical
nature. He is sort of like lightweight David Bowie, not as fetching as a
singer, but a guy with grand designs. Daniel
Smith did a nice engineering job.
Wow, it's been 20 years since
Fastball emerged out of Austin,
Texas riding the hit "The Way". My wife is still singing that stupid
song, and now she'll be inspired by the re-release of the LP it appeared
on, All the Pain Money Can Buy. That was a CD 20 years ago, but
the anniversary release will be on vinyl, as well, and include bonus
band united ghosts out of L.A. is
absolutely wonderful. Vocalists Sha Sabi
and Axel Ray have a pounding,
trance-beat sound that mixes the bass and drum way forward so that it
replaces your heart beat with theirs. It's cool stuff, not great
songcraft, but excellent sonic design. I'm sure they are cool as school
wouldn't shock me to learn that Detroit singer-songwriter
Sara Marie Barron grew up in a house
where her parents played Maria Muldaur on the stereo; maybe a little Amy
Winehouse, too. If so, thank you to them. I like this singer and her
languid style and straight forward piano song approach. She has a sort
of old school R&B feel to her, not Back to Black, but maybe a little
like Laura Nyro might if she knew a guy with a trumpet. Sara Marie has
an LP out, titled Sad, but True. Great sound, really great
All the Time is a funny name for a band, and the ethos
implied carries through to their music, which is essentially a cleverly
written, fuzzed-up punk rock, augmented by dynamite vocals. The press
releases for these guys are hilarious, and much about them reminds one
of Weezer, though Tired All the Time is sometimes epic in their sound.
This is big concept stuff. There is really sharp songwriting and
musicianship in this unit. Really strong stuff on their new EP, Be
Well. If you happen to be in the Washington D.C. area, home base for
these guys, you might see if you could catch them someplace. You have to
love how difficult Tired All the Time makes it to find any serious
information about their band, which they position as a corporate
research project. Here's what we have in the personnel list: Edward
Barakauskas: Chief Operations Officer'; M. Richard Talley: Lead
Executive Strategist; Brian Miller: Head of Research and Development;
Daniel Euphrat: Senior Design Officer, Brand Consultant. HINT: Brian
Miller mixed the EP.
Sometimes Portland, Oregon inspires a
great notion, which it may have done with the synth pop duo
Small Million. It is a collaboration
between Ryan Linder, who besides
composing music is good at engineering electronic incarnations of same,
and female singer-songwriter Malachi Graham.
Linder writes the music, Graham the lyrics. Together they do dark,
melodic indie pop. Their backgrounds are quite different, which no doubt
influences this thing they do. Linder is an L.A. transplant. Graham
comes from Americana music, quite different from what Small Million is
doing with the song in this video.
and Will Prinzi were members of the
pop punk band Reckless Serenade,
which put them on a Vans Warped Tour. Sometime during that experience,
this duo decided to create an alt-pop act of their own, and so you have Broken
Bellows. This is great stuff, expertly produced, and featuring great
vocals. These guys are fine songwriters, very accessible and engaging.
Nancy's Great Hangover
of my favorite websites is The Great Hollywood Hangover (click
here), which was launched way back in the year 2000. It is truly
great for all kinds of reasons, including that it is a beautiful
dinosaur from an early age of personal websites. The primitive level of
its design and technology seems perfectly aligned with the authenticity
of its purpose, which is to commemorate a wonderful time from long ago -
West Hollywood in the late 1960s.
The Hollywood that is being remembered is
that which existed along that section of Sunset Boulevard sandwiched
between Beverly Hills and the city of Hollywood. The area initially
lay outside the corporate boundary of Hollywood, which exempted it from
certain legal restrictions, and so it became a hotbed of sub-culture
activity. In the 1920s, it was a place where prohibition was violated,
and organized crime moved in. They opened gambling
casinos and high profile night clubs (Ciro's, the Mocambo, the
Trocadero). It was an area where movie people hung out. The storied
Chateau Marmont is at its eastern border. Movie people started to avoid
the place as it became a tourist destination, but in the '60s it also
became a counter-culture magnet, with venues like the Whiskey A Go Go and
The Roxy hosting The Doors, The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, and every
other L.A. band you can think of from that era. And it was special, at
least through the eyes of Nancy Deedrick, who was witness and
participant to American cultural history.
Deedrick (pictured above, center-right,
with her sister Dixie) was an exotic dancer who arrived in West
Hollywood from Champaign, Illinois, with her sister, about the time The Doors broke.
They were playing at a dive called London Fog on the Strip, but were
about to hit the big time. Nancy, who went by the stage name Nancy
Seaman, was on her way to becoming the Strip's first dancer to go fully
nude. It made her somewhat famous, though she drew plenty of attention
since arriving in town with a Groupies nameplate in the back window of
her car. Even as an exotic dancer, she entered topless contests and won
amateur titles. The Tonight Show became interested in her, but Nancy was
conflicted. Her parents back home would not have understood that her
life in L.A. was all good fun and good spirits.
Nancy knew everyone, dating the legends
of rock. It all left her a little shell-shocked, according to her own
extraordinarily honest site. She gave up stripping in the 1970s and
moved to Nashville to become a singer-songwriter, surviving for two
decades on dreams that didn't work out. She spiraled into emotional and
mental problems, all part of what she eventually called "the Great
Hollywood Hangover". And then somehow she exorcised her demons and
committed to letting others know that they could do it, too.
I was not around to know Nancy Deedrick,
though I would come to know people who knew her in those West Hollywood
days. She eventually had three children and emerged out of the back end
of her long, dark, post-Hollywood period, but with her website she
contributed greatly to the documentation of an important time and place
in time. And she reaffirmed the notion that young people can be wild and
crazy, and leave wonderful memories, which will help when the bills for
living a life finally come due.- RAR
Travis Fullerton Pays Tribute
That is Travis Fullerton, pictured
center in this clipped photograph of Sylvester and the Hot Band, from
back in the day. Starting in San Francisco, from 1966 to 1980, Fullerton
played drums for bands ranging from Sam the Sham to Graham Nash. He was
around during the heyday of West Hollywood Rock, as described by Nancy Deedrick, and we had a mutual friend, the late Buddy Zoloth, who
was known to many readers of this site. One of the joys of the late
Nancy Deedrick's The Great Hollywood Hangover is using her home page
search tool to find people you know. I found Buddy Zoloth, and I found
the excerpt below from Fullerton, which is the finest summary I have
ever read of our late friend's life.
Some comments about our
good friend Buddy Zoloth......I met him when he came out to LA from
Florida with Blues Image. I think it was 1970 and after playing around
town, they quickly became the house band for Marshall Brevitz's club,
Thee Experience, on Sunset. Buddy earned Marshall's trust, managed the
bar, then the entire club. By that time, BI had a big hit on their hands
with "Ride Captain Ride". I played with various bands at Thee Experience
when I met Buddy. His intelligence was one of the first things I noticed
about him. His mind worked at a higher "clockrate" than folks around
him....he was always three steps ahead in those days. He loved people,
he was a great communicator, and boy, did he had fun doing it! So, in
the days of English roadies (being the cream of the crop), Buddy was one
of the handful of American roadies, that were also experts at their
craft. He went on to manage Marshall's new club, Thee Club, but by that
time the call of the road was summoning Buddy. After a short stint with
Rita Coolidge & Graham Nash's fine band (sorry, I couldn't resist), he
joined Stephen Stills with his best friend, Joe Lala. Along with the
great keyboardist, Jerry Aiello.......Joe, Buddy, and Jerry became an
inseparable trio for years in Hollywood. Buddy and Joe went on to work
with Stephen and then Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young in their various
forms. Years later he was captain of a sloop, based out of Amsterdam,
and worked and lived in the Virgin Islands for a while. One year ago,
Buddy came to see me and take a little trip on our boat in the Seattle
area. We hadn't seen each other for over 20 years, so we had a lot of
catching up to do. It was great fun to reminisce although he was greatly
weakened by the growing tumor in his kidney. His spirit, curiosity,
humor, and intelligence was still evident. A month before he passed away
on June 10th, I sent him a mail about some opportunity and he responded
with "what have I not done in my life? I've done it all." It's true,
Buddy lived the life folks dream about! Those of us lucky enough to have
shared the "dream life" with him, will remember him fondly.
Geisler passed away recently - in fact, there was a memorial service for
him just this week in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he lived with his
family. He was 68.
I hadn't talked
with him in years, but did reconnect with him not long ago through
Facebook. And I read his daughter's touching announcement of his
passing, apparently in his sleep. And I found this photograph, snipped
apparently from his wedding album. That is the Jimmy I remember.
We shared a place in Boulder, Colorado for a
while in the early 1980s. He had some successes as a manager of
Willis Alan Ramsey ("Muskrat Love") and the Boulder band Firefall.
Also with us in those days was Buddy Zoloth (see the story above).
Like Buddy, who I believe introduced us,
Jimmy was a great deal of fun. Both were wicked smart and experienced
way beyond what I was and it was an education being around them - often
an exasperating one. Jimmy did work for the Gary Hart
presidential campaign of 1984, and stuck me with a giant phone bill. One
night, while my parents happened to be visiting, Jimmy, who always
walked with a cane, cracked some guy over the head who tried to mug him
in the alley behind the Blue Note night club, and arrived back at our
apartment in a lather over the deal. I think he broke the head off his
cane, which seemed to upset him while also making him inordinately proud
of himself. He had really whacked that guy. Over dinner one night, he
talked my dad into footing the cost of recording three of my original
tunes, which we did at a relocated version of Mountain Ears Recording
Studio. Sam Broussard arranged the songs (co-wrote them, really),
played guitar and produced the sessions, which were engineered by
Steve Strassman, and I believe John Aldridge was there, too,
for some parts. Steve Conn played piano, Greg Overton
played bass, and Andy Peake was on drums. They all did a great
job, but nothing ever came of the whole affair. Still, I credit Jimmy
for making it all happen - another valuable learning experience.
Jimmy had hidden talents, including
abilities in the fine arts. He stiffed me on the rent, in the end, and
tried to make it up to me by giving me a metal sculpture he called "King
Rat". It was fantastic, and I really loved that rat, but I needed the
rent money more and Jimmy and I had some problems.
He disappeared for a few weeks and then
called me up and said he wanted to talk. We went for a long car ride in
the mountains above Boulder and he told me how sorry he was, and I could
tell he meant it. I feel sad to learn that he is gone now. I will miss
Jimmy, and I for darn sure wish I had that King Rat back.
Stranger and Other Apparitions
I think it might be impossible to find a
human or near-human who couldn't put the musical chords C, DM, EM, F, G,
and AM together, in various arrangements, and create "a song". Bob Dylan
turned the combination into "Like A Rolling Stone", minus the AM, and
changed the world. While it can be done to extraordinary effect,
organizing piano or guitar chords is not a high art - not like
organizing them into a high art is.
Magic exists in our world, most notably
through the alchemy of combined musical elements. Only a rare few
practitioners have the ability to blend melody, lyric, chord forms,
rhythm, and arrangement together in a way that has lift, but that is
exactly what you, as a listener, feel when you hear it come together
right. Receptors in your brain light up and you become elevated.
- musician-turned-lawyer-turned-musician - always strikes me as one of
those songwriters who has that magic. Working out of Boulder, Colorado
with his musical partner, multi-instrumentalist
Bob Story, Wanebo writes really smart
songs that sound great on all devices. That last part is a big deal,
requiring real engineering and mastering skills, and the credit must go
to Story, who is fantastic on several levels. He arranges and engineers
the recording of Wanebo's material, and his musicianship is high level.
He plays a drippingly evocative slide guitar that brings George Harrison
Besides having composer
skills and wonderful song ideas, Wanebo is an exceptional high-range
singer - in fact, this always jumps out at me when I listen to his
recordings, that they seem to kick into a higher gear when he goes into
a chorus and the high harmonies come in.
The two have a new CD out called "The
Stranger & Other Apparitions".
Click here for a track review. - RAR
More Round and Round...
you happen to see that little nugget there to the right? New York people
who liked The Doobie Brothers back
in the day will be able to relive the experience, as original band
members Tom Johnston, Pat Simmons,
and John McFee will be doing two
full album performances at the Beacon Theatre: Toulouse Street
and The Captain and Me. You might want to make your November
plans early, as dinosaur traffic is expected to be heavy.
How about Austin trio
Nobody's Girl? BettySoo, Grace Pettis
and Rebecca Loebe met over a decade ago at the Kerrville Folk Festival
in 2008, according to their press release, and they have been making
music together since. It certainly sounds like they have spent plenty of
time refining their act, because they sing really well together. Check
out this video from their EP Waterline.
is an interesting sound coming out of Texas, where
Peter Shults (songwriter/guitar) and
Josh Halpern (production/drums) are producing infectious
soul-pop sounds under the name Teddy Glass.
Check out this smooth Soundcloud offering, Lean On.
Documentary: Capital Radio 604
Musical Defense Against Apartheid
WDIA in Memphis is typically cited as the first
radio station in the United States to target its playlist to the
"African American" market, though in 1949, when a young B.B. King got an
on-air talent job there, it was likely not referenced that way. There
was a time when music, via the radio, pushed societal change in the way
that GitHub pushes code and technological change today. It is hard to
imagine, in our present-day age of media fracture, but there was once a
time when a pirate radio voice could move mountains and make history. It
happened with WDIA, and on another cultural front it happened across
America through XERF-AM, which was broadcast from Ciudad Acuña in Mexico
in covered the entire United States. It introduced most of America to
Wolfman Jack, and in many ways created a Rock'n Roll radio culture that
shaped subsequent generations of people around the world. Radio was once
something really special.
Such is the story of Capital Radio 604, a pirate
radio station in South Africa that has become the subject of a
documentary looking for development and distribution help. Check out the
trailer below, which does an excellent job of setting up the story.
Until 1991, South Africa was a country in which majority Black
populations were restricted to autonomously ruled ghetto regions that
kept them apart from one another, and out of the daily lives of the
ruling White population. Then an enterprising group of rebels, with the
help of the U.K.'s Capital Radio network, and charity sponsor Richard
Attenborough CBE, used Apartheid's own restrictions against it,
mounting a powerful radio transmitter on land the government couldn't
touch. They played the music the government had banned: The Police, Dire
Straits, and other stuff that was mainstream fare in most of the world
but outlaw thought in South Africa. And they broadcast the political
truth of South Africa to the world via short wave radio transmissions.
Capital Radio 604 worked, and it is inspiring to
watch this trailer and learn of their story. - RAR
The CCJ at RARWRITER provides a steady stream of news
feeds from a variety of sources. Use this link to visit the
Music News page.
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