Fake News and Alternative Facts

Being a periodic brain dump of miscellaneous stuff that doesnt seem to quite fit anywhere else. 

►Earlier this month, a guy named Rick Hall died at the age of 85. If that name is unfamiliar to you, he is the guy that started FAME studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

Wikipedia – “Though Hall grew up in a culture dominated by country music, he had a love of R&B music and, in the highly segregated state of Alabama, regularly flaunted local policies and recorded many black musicians.”

These include Wilson Pickett, Clarence Carter, Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding. Duane Allman was one of the session guitarists there and his brother Gregg recorded his final album Southern Blood there. If you haven’t seen it, check out the 2013 documentary Muscle Shoals

►HBO is currently screening a documentary called David Bowie: The Last Five Years. I’ve watched it. It’s good stuff. Bowiemaniacs will appreciate the title.

►They play a lot of live stuff on satellite. I listened to the Eagles do “Hotel California” note-for-note. Impressive but I’m thinking, why go see a band if they’re gonna do that? If they’re not gonna cut loose a little I suppose the only reason to go see them is to hear a human juke box

But what really drives me crazy is when the singer lets the audience sing the tune. Sometimes that’s really moving like when Bono lets the audience sing “One.” But I was enjoying a live version of “Breakdown” and Petty (we miss you Tom) let the audience shout-sing it. Sure I’d be singing along too. But I don’t pay 150 bucks (or whatever) to hear tha audience sing. The Springsteen channel is notorious for live shows with the audience going “woh-woh-woh” for half an hour. Pass.

►Speaking of the Allmans, Dickey Betts has confirmed he will come out of retirement for a “select tour” this year. The only confirmed date thus far is the Peach Music Festival in Scranton, PA, in July (sounds like a hippie jam band lovefest if there ever was one.)

►BTW, if you’re a blogger and you’ve gotten a slew of Outlook email followers lately with email addresses like gabalansnaliciacg@outlook.com, don’t get irrationally exuberant. Your popularity has not suddenly skyrocketed. I checked with WordPress support and it’s some fucking douchebag with too much time on his hands. Delete them.

►The latest issue of Rolling Stone has a pretty good interview with Bono, mystical Irish shaman. It’s been reported that he had a near-death incident (not the bike accident) but won’t talk specifically about it. Still, a good read.

►Having now blogged for over two years, it occurred to me that there was any number of good tunes that were languishing in that back catalog of posts. I figured I’d go back and listen to them. Then it dawned on me -Hey, dummy, create a Spotify list. So I did.

I didn’t grab every single tune but cherry-picked a bunch that I thought sounded good in the car. So a compendium of rock, blues, rockin’ rock, bluesy blues, a little bit of soul and fusion. Two (2) songs by Clapton about being a motherless child, two versions of “Baby Don’t You Do It.” And, of course, the Grateful Dead.

Imagine this – There are 106 miles to Chicago, you have a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark and you’re wearing sunglasses.* No worries. You’ll be well onto Route 66 before you run out of tunes.

*Apologies to the Blues Brothers.

11 thoughts on “Fake News and Alternative Facts

  1. Great tidbits in here, Jim, and BTW nothing fake or alternative, as far as I can tell!

    That FAME documentary sounds really intriguing. The fact that Duane and Gregg Allman recorded there makes it pretty cool in and of itself. I also understand there is the FAME Gang, which sounds a bit like the equivalent to Stax’ Booker T. and the M.G.s. Lynyrd Skynyrd (who sang about another FAME band called The Swampers in their anthem “Sweet Home Alabama”), Joe Cocker and The Rolling Stones have recorded with these guys – wow!

    As for live rendition of songs, sometimes I’m a bit torn what I want. If it’s such a perfect tune like “Hotel California,” I kind of don’t want the band to fool around with it, though I suppose it would be easy to double or triple the length of the killer guitar solo at the end. On the other hand, I’m also with you to question what’s the point of going to a live concert when all songs sound indistinguishable from their studio versions. So I suppose a bit of variation is okay! 🙂

    Route 66 – I know it sounds very cliche, but one of these days, I’d like to get my kicks and drive on what’s left of the good ole mother road in a bad ass “Bullitt” Mustang (’68 Fastback, or whatever that model is) with a great car stereo!


    1. No it’s all real stuff. But Trump and his cast of liars, thieves and thugs have so enriched our language I could hardly resist. 😀 Yeah there’s definitely some Stax/Fame parallels. Those guys all knew each other for sure.

      As to live shows, like you I’ve seen a million and looking back, the great majority were terrific. I like really good bands that push the envelope live. That doesn’t necessarily mean twenty-minute jams but consider J. Geils and their mighty, mighty machine for just one example. Or George Thorogood.

      As to Route 66, alas you may be greatly disappointed. I was in Tulsa on business a year or two back. A part of Rte.66 was just outside and it was indistinguishable from any other highway. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Bummer about Route 66! My understanding is there are barely any original sections left, and to your point, to the extent it still exists, most of it looks like a regular road.

        In any case, the thought of driving from Chicago to L.A. 3,000 miles away and get my kicks in a badass 68 Mustang Fastback has an appeal I can’t quite explain. Of course, you gotta have plenty of great music for the trip – and hope you don’t hit any radar controls!😜


        1. Yeah, the road has s certain timeless appeal. You have my Spotify list for 14 hours worth anyway. Just flip it over on the way back. 😂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Good nod to Rick Hall. The grass roots guys that did the right thing when it took balls. The whole Muscle Shoals thing, you gotta know CB is all over that one (watched a doc that had me thinking of you Doc, ‘It Might Get Loud”). Funny on the ‘Baby Don’t Do It’, coming up soon on CB’s station. Not hard to guess what version. The two you picked are just fine with me. Absolutely fantastic play list. I’d listen to that DJ any day. “The Midnight Doctor is prescribing some tunes to take care of your ills”. How’s that for a tag.


    1. Yeah, the ‘Shoals’ thing is good. I saw it a while back but it’s worth dialing up again, if only in Hall’s memory. I actually watched ‘It Might Get Loud’ a while back with Sonny Boy. It’s one of his favorites. As to the playlist, boy am I digging it. I put it on Spotify about a week ago and I’ve hardly listened to anything else since. It’s nice to hear back-to-back good tunes every once in a while. CB should take that list out for a spin on his next walk. ‘Acadian Driftwood’ is my tribute to him. As to that tagline, I liked it so much I added it to the summary information on the Spotify page as a description. Let that be your legacy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So many of those tunes speak to me. Practically them all. Fave part in ‘It Might Get Loud’ is when Page is listening to the Link Wray cut. No different than us Doc, just a fan. Sonny Boy has good taste. I’ll take ‘Driftwood’ any day.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It seems there’s been a bit of a _____ (artist) plays _____ (album) live trend for a few years now. Personally, I’d probably just listen to the album and hope to see the band again when it’s a ‘normal’ tour. Unless it’s the Eagles. I’d avoid them either way.

    Not much of a Bono fan, but I do like the whole Muscle Shoals thing and that documentary has been on my list a while. Need to check that it’s still on Netflix, actually.


    1. Steely Dan came to town for a couple of nights a few years ago. One of the nights was a couple of albums all the way through, the other was just a typical concert. We chose the latter, figuring we’d get a good mix. Bono is, I suppose, an acquired taste. Not sure if that documentary is on Netflix but maybe ITunes, Amazon?


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