The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Record Collector Nostalgia #3

12-24-08 Record Collector Nostalgia #3

(I’ll be back on Mon. 12/29!)

From reader Ken H.: “I believe Warren had just purchased “Tarkus” (or some other early EL&P album). We spun the LP for the first time on his family's console stereo system and sat in anticipation of tasty tracks. We listened to Keith Emerson's wicked keyboard work for a couple of minutes thinking "Wow, this guy is really a fast keyboard player..." until we realized that the turntable had been set at 45 RPM instead of 33 1/3 RPM. If Greg Lake's vocals had come in he would have sounded like a chipmunk. We promptly set the RPM speed correctly and never spoke of the incident again.”

I remember not being able to tell the album title from the group name (if the group didn’t have more than one LP) – Was “Osanna” the name of the album and “Palepoli” the group name? I certainly first heard Italian rock music on the FM radio, in the early 70’s. I used to stay up all night on Saturday and listen to KPFK-FM (90/7) – sometimes, there was a substitute disc jockey who played really interesting stuff (Hi, Greg!).

My teenaged years are not complete without mention of The Firesign Theatre. Either you know, or you don’t. “Waiting For The Electrician (Or Someone Like Him)”, “How Can You Be In Two Places At Once (When You’re Not Anywhere At All)?”, “Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me The Pliars” and “I Think We’re All Bozos On This Bus” – records capable of bending your youthful brain in a very special way. I still quote from those records, and you can tell immediately if who you’re quoting to knows or not. For my 50th birthday, I wore my “Quid Malborg En Plano” T-shirt in Portland. Pappoon for President!

While record collecting has always been my #1 hobby, I was very enthusiastic about film in the 70’s – I will never forget seeing “If…” and “O Lucky Man!” for the first time – at tiny art theatres. Or “Morgan” with David Warner. I love those films! “The Shout”, “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning”, “I’m Alright Jack” – I knew 100% that my current LTR was solid when she really liked “I’m Alright Jack”. Was it possible to separate one’s friends into two camps: ones who knew “Bedazzled” (the Cook & Moore original) and ones who didn’t? “Who wants to go with me to see “Repulsion” and “Cul De Sac” – up in L.A.?”

Eventually, I got around to some US films, too. “The Sweet Smell Of Success”, “The Loved One”, “Diary Of A Mad Housewife”, “Real Life” (Albert Brooks)…

Record collecting seemed to be a fairly good barometer, when it came to friends, community – Was I at home with the King Crimson fans? Yeah, mostly. I didn’t do ‘glam rock’ the first time through – but I am super OK with it now (Slade, Suzi Quatro, Sweet et al). I remember re-thinking a high school GF when she was too into Queen!

And I can’t seem to escape the female Elvis Costello fans!~

Happy Xmas. Thanks for reading my stuff.


Anonymous Jim Donato said...

Ah! The Sweet Smell Of Success! Watching that is almost like getting hit in the face with a rotten ham butt... and loving every hate-filled second of it!

The in-laws visited in October and that was my mother-in-law's pick for film night! Afterward, we all felt like taking a shower.

The ultimate Tony Curtis role and yet another feather in Burt Lancaster's cap. Hot jazz! James Wong Howe! But you know, I think it was a mistake about 2/3 in when there was a shot that took place in daylight! It grated - sort of like that tunnel shot in Bladerunner that wasn't swarming with effects and mattes. You know the one I'm talking about!
And wasn't The Loved One a British film after all? Evelyn Waugh certainly wasn't a Yank! Nor was Tony Richardson! The spirit of that production surely sits on the exact same shelf as Bedazzled, The Bedsitting Room or The Magic Christian.

7:14 AM  
Blogger Ron Kane said...

Guess another blog should be started just for discussing film, eh?

We got the AFI Top 100 list and we only had 20 of them between us.

We watched "If..." last Saturday evening, too.


7:06 AM  
Anonymous Rush Manbert said...

Tarkus at 45 rpm would be a hoot!

The first time I saw ELP was in 1974 in San Francisco. The Karn Evil 9 tour. I went with my 2 best friends who were both musicians. They played Tarkus and Keith Emerson was most impressive. He started playing the bass line with his left hand, watched it work for a while, then turned away to the keyboard opposite the Hammond and started playing the melody with his right hand. Being a drummer, I need to watch both hands and both feet at all times, so I was pretty excited to witness this.

We'll discuss Karl Palmer's left handed magic some other time...

7:55 AM  
Blogger Ron Kane said...

Left-handed magic!

7:16 PM  
Blogger chas_m said...

Sorry for the late comment, just catching up ...

Put me in the column of pals who know/love "Bedazzled" (Cook/Moore version ONLY!!).

As for the AFI Top 100 list ... I haven't checked it lately, but when it first came out (this must have been 2000? 2001?) I went over the list with my in-laws and had seen 78 of the films. Nobody in the family even came close, I think the best score besides mine was 12.

7:30 AM  

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