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Posts Tagged ‘Mick Jagger

“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life”*…

 

Greenwich Hospital (from the North Bank) source: The Queens’ London

Accurately imagining what the world will be like one hundred years in the future is always going to be fraught with difficulties (see this attempt, and also this). The writer of this piece “London a Hundred Years Hence”, which appeared in an 1857 edition of The Leisure Hour, certainly swayed a little off the mark when it comes to an imagining of 1957 London – sadly in being a little too utopian. In addition to the eradication of all poverty and crime, the author talks of a smoke-free city, and the “crystal waters” of the Thames, with fishes seen darting over the “the clear sand and white pebbles lying at the bottom”. However, the vision is surprisingly accurate in other quarters. In addition to predicting the vast geographical expansion of the city in which “Kew and Hammersmith were London; Lewisham and Blackheath were London; Woolwich and Blackwall were London”, it also gets it right with specifics, such as the building of Embankment (which would actually begin only five years after the piece was published): “instead of shelving shores of mud, I saw solid walls of granite, … part paved for wheel-carriages, and part a gravelled promenade for the citizens”. There is also a foreseeing of the shopping mall:

I beheld vast associative stores, the depositories of the skilled worker in every craft, where all that talent could invent or industry produce was displayed in magnificent abundance beneath one ample roof. One shop of this kind for each single branch of commerce sufficed for a large district, and the decreased expenditure in rent, fittings, and service, reduced the cost of management, and consequently the price of products … The purchaser walked through long galleries, where, ranged in orderly array, glittered and gleamed the gold, the gems, the jewels of every clime.

The piece is really notable, however, for its anticipation (albeit a little too early for 1957) of internet shopping:

I observed that from each of these district shops innumerable electric wires branched off in all directions, communicating with several houses in the district to which it belonged. Thus, no sooner did a house-keeper stand in need of any article than she could despatch the order instantaneously along the wire, and receive the goods by the very first railway carriage that happened to pass the store. Thus, she saved her time, and she lost no money, because all chaffering and cheapening, and that fencing between buyer and seller, which was once deemed a pleasure, had been long voted a disgraceful, demoralizing nuisance, and was done away with.

And then also the connectivity across distances which the telephone, and then internet, would bring:

The electric wires ran along the fronts of the houses near the upper stories, crossing the streets at an elevation at which they were scarcely visible from below; and I noticed that the dwellings of friends, kindred, and intimates were thus banded together, not only throughout the whole vast city, but even far out into the provinces, and, in cases where the parties were wealthy, to the uttermost limits of the realm.

More at “London a Hundred Years Hence (1857),” where one will find the full text and links to scans of the original.

* Samuel Johnson, as quoted in Boswell’s The Life of Samuel Johnson LL.D. (Vol 3)

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As we look right, we might recall that it was on this date in 1967 that Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Marianne faithful, and friends were busted:

Just after eight o’clock, on the evening of February 12 1967, the West Sussex police arrived at Keith Richards’ home, Redlands. Inside, Keith and his guests – including Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull, the gallery owner Robert Fraser, and “Acid King” David Schneiderman – shared in the quiet warmth of a day taking LSD. Relaxed, they listened to music, oblivious to the police gathering outside. The first intimation something was about to happen came when a face appeared, pressed against the window.

It must be a fan. Who else could it be? But Keith noticed it was a “little old lady.” Strange kind of fan. If we ignore her. She’ll go away.

Then it came, a loud, urgent banging on the front door. Robert Fraser quipped, “Don’t answer. It must be tradesmen. Gentlemen ring up first.” Marianne Faithfull whispered, “If we don’t make any noise, if we’re all really quiet, they’ll go away.” But they didn’t.

When Richards opened the door, he was confronted by 18 police officers led by Police Chief Inspector Gordon Dinely, who presented Richards with a warrant to “search the premises and the persons in them, under the Dangerous Drugs Act 1965.”

This then was the start to the infamous trial of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Robert Fraser…

[More at “The Great Rolling Stones Drug Bust“]

Richard Hamilton’s portrait of Robert Fraser and Mick Jagger under arrest

source

 

Written by LW

February 12, 2016 at 1:01 am

“Don’t hate the media; become the media”*…

 

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“Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?”

Johnny Rotten aka John Lydon’s closing words at the last Sex Pistols gig (watch it online) seemed apt this week when Virgin Bank announced their current line of credit cards would feature the band’s signature artwork. That Jamie Reid’s famous cut-n-paste zine-cum-Situationalist aesthetic has turned into a bit of capitalist plastic for your wallet is an irony that the Sex Pistols might never have seen coming back in 1976, when they played the “gig that changed the world.”

Recreated above in a clip from Michael Winterbottom’s 24 Hour Party People, the June 4, 1976 gig at Manchester’s Lesser Free Trade Hall spawned the British punk movement and the post-punk movement that was soon to follow in a scant two years. For in the audience were future members of the Buzzcocks Howard Devoto and Pete Shelley (who organized the gig and opened for the Pistols); a nascent version of Joy Division; the two founders of Factory Records Martin Hannet and Tony Wilson; Mark E. Smith of The Fall, Mick Hucknall of Frantic Elevators and much later Simply Red; and a one Steven Patrick Morrissey, who would form The Smiths. (That’s Steve Coogan playing Tony Wilson in the clip, by the way.)…

More on that extraordinary evening– with audio clips of the Pistols’ performance– at “The Sex Pistols’ 1976 Manchester “Gig That Changed the World,” and the Day the Punk Era Began.”

* Jello Biafra

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As we politely pogo, we might recall that it was on this ate in 2002 that Queen Elizabeth II issued her annual Honours List, on which she tapped 60-year-old Mick Jagger for a Knighthood.

Sir Mick Jagger, his two daughters, and his then-92-year-old father at the Investiture

 source

 

Written by LW

June 14, 2015 at 1:01 am

How the other half lives…

 

Andy Warhol’s beach home– the Church Estate, Montauk, Long Island (photo: Warhol Foundation)

Montauk Life recalls the 1972 emergence of America’s best-known artist on the then-quiet Long Island scene…

As his career progressed, the shy, retiring Andy forged an identity that would reshape the way America looked at artists. In a time when revolutionary changes tore down the walls between art, fashion and every day life, Andy held the first sledge hammer. He bought a large loft on West 47th Street and opened the Factory, an industrial approach to art. Not content to re-shape the face of modern art, he took on film, music, writing and journalism. Surrounded by an entourage of up and coming hipsters, drag queens, budding journalists, aspiring actors, drug addicts, and society cast-offs, Andy became king of New York’s avant garde scene…

He wanted… to be famous, to rub shoulders with the brightest and best. To do that he engineered an image, as bizarre and unusual as any. Pasty faced Andy, with his white fright wig, haunted expression and monosyllabic style became as well known as any Hollywood star or Washington politician. By skillfully manipulating the publicity game, this painfully shy artist made himself into a glittering star of the social night, seen everywhere from art openings to the nightly melodrama of Studio 54…

[But] if there was one thing Andy loved more than fame, it was money. That’s what first brought the intensely urban Warhol to wide open Montauk. A long time visitor to the Hamptons proper, he and Paul Morrissey, director of many of Andy’s early avant garde films, decided a home here would be a great investment…

They settled on the Church estate, a collection of 5 classic, clapboard houses built in the 1920’s. Set on 20 acres high above the Atlantic, the buildings had been designed by noted architect Stanford White. The main house, with 7 bedrooms, 5 baths, 4 stone fireplaces and large living areas would be perfect for entertaining. The 4 smaller cottages would be guest accommodations. Andy and Paul split the $225,000 cost– as it turned out, the best buy of Andy’s life.  Currently on the market for a cool $50,000,000, it’s the most expensive home for sale on the East End, and one of the most expensive in all of America.

Andy and Paul were pleased at the prospect of occasional entertaining, but needed to make the property pay; Lee Radziwill led the parade of celebrity tenants (bringing with her– literally, in their visits– the cachet of the Kennedys).  But the renters who re-framed the reputation of the Hamptons were The Rolling Stones.

Warhol’s next door neighbor in Montauk, photographer, writer, painter, playboy, you-name-it-he-was-it Peter Beard had befriended Mick Jagger while serving as the photographer companion to Truman Capote (as reporter for Rolling Stone) on the Stone’s infamous Exile on Main Street Tour in 1972– at the completion of which Mick visited Beard on the Island.

In planning the preparatory rehearsals for their 1975 tour, Jagger decided that Long Island would be a perfect spot– and rented Warhol’s estate.

The Rolling Stones, with guest percussionist Ollie E. Brown, outside their rehearsal room at Andy Warhol’s Montauk estate (Ronnie Wood, who had just stepped in to replace Mick Taylor, was still technically a member of The Faces)

Montauk, 1975 — Jagger, Catherine Deneuve, and Warhol, taken by Peter Beard

The Stones, “at home”

One of the indelible remains of the Stones stay in Montauk, is the song “The Memory Motel”. Named for the [nearby] bar and motel of same name, this lament for a lost girl has become one of the Stones signature tunes.

Hannah honey was a peachy kind of girl
Her eyes were hazel
And her nose were slightly curved
We spent a lonely night at the Memory Motel
It’s on the ocean, I guess you know it well
It took a starry to steal my breath away
Down on the water front
Her hair all drenched in spray
(Jagger/Richards – C- Rolling Stones/Virgin Records 1975 )

The other legacy of the Stone’s stay?  As Warhol recalls in his Diary, “Mick Jagger really put Montauk on the map.”

[TotH to The Selvedge Yard, from whence the photos above– by Ken Regan, except as otherwise noted]

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As we remind ourselves that It’s Only Rock and Roll, we might recall that it was on this date that same fateful year, 1975, that “Tania”– Patty Hearst– was captured in San Francisco and arrested for armed robbery.  Ms. Hearst had been kidnapped in February, 1974 by a group known as the Symbionese Liberation Army and held as a “prisoner of war.”  The SLA demanded that her father, publisher Randolph Hearst, pay millions of dollars in food relief to secure her release.  Hearst made the donations; the SLA raised its demands.  But in April, 1974, the situation changed:  Ms. Hearst declared, in a tape sent to the authorities, that she was joining the SLA of her own free will, and would thenceforth be known as “Tania.”  Later that month, a surveillance camera took a photo of her participating in an armed robbery of a San Francisco bank, and she was subsequently spotted during the robbery of a Los Angeles store.

In May, 1974, the FBI raided the SLA’s Los Angeles headquarters, and killed the group’s leader (Donald DeFreeze, aka General Field Marshal Cinque), but most of the group was absent.  A cross-country manhunt ensued, and for more than a year Ms. Hearst and her conspirators-or-captors eluded the Feds.

Ms. Heart’s defense was that she had been brainwashed by her captors; but her argument wasn’t convincing to a jury. She was convicted in 1976 and sentenced to seven years in prison.  (She never did that time: President Carter commuted that sentence; President Clinton later conferred a full pardon.)

“Tania” in action, captured by a bank surveillance camera

 source

 

Written by LW

September 18, 2012 at 1:01 am

Get a Life (“Oh! The Places You Will Go”)…

 

Via Buzzfeed, a peek at how Dr. Seuss’ covers would have appeared if they’d been… well, candid…  e.g.,

More at “What Dr. Seuss Books Were Really About.”

 

As we struggle to hear a Who, we might recall that it was on this date in 1965 (at the time that they had their first big hit with “Satisfaction”) that three members of the Rolling Stones (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Bill Wyman) were fined five pounds each for urinating on the wall of a London gas station. They had asked to use the restroom but it was out of order.

The Stones in 1965 (source)

Looking back…

…if you think that, in the past, there was some golden age of pleasure and plenty to which you would, if you were able, transport yourself, let me say one single word: “dentistry.”
– P.J. O’Rourke,
All the Trouble in the World

Still, nostalgia has its uses.  The economy seems poised for another dip in the tank; the weather is delivering hotter, wetter warnings of the wages of climate disruption; health care costs are reaching escape velocity; education and infrastructure are (literally) crumbling, as state funding implodes…  one could go on.

Instead, one turns one’s gaze to the past; one conjures up the remembered comforts of times gone by:  “it didn’t use to be this way”…  As P.J. O’Rouke suggests, it’s more often that not the flimsiest kind of illusion– out-of-context features of a whole-cloth past, selectively recalled (indeed, too often imagined), then amplified by the need for consolation.

Still, one does it– one “remembers”– because…  well, because it’s what one does.

And so, Dear Readers, three “seed crystals”– three blasts from the past– that can, your correspondent hopes, help one (as they’ve helped him) spin stories that amuse, even as they help us find our way past the challenges that are the stuff of our days…

First, from the ever-informative Brain Pickings, “7 Must-See What’s My Line Episodes“:

The premise of the show was simple: In each episode, a contestant would appear in front of a panel of blindfolded culture pundits — with few exceptions, a regular lineup of columnist Dorothy Kilgallen, actress Arlene Francis, Random House founder Bennett Cerf, and a fourth guest panelist — who would try to guess his or her “line” of work or, in the case of famous “mystery guests,” the person’s identity, by asking exactly 10 yes-or-no questions. A contestant won if he or she presented the panel with 10 “no” answers.

Over the 17-year run of the show, nearly every iconic cultural luminary of the era, from presidents to pop stars, appeared as a mystery guest…

Indeed, over it’s 17 year run through the 50s and early 60s, WML was basically the only media property that could “have” any celebrity or cultural figure. (Sullivan could out-book WML on the entertainment front, but only there.) This was perhaps largely due to the involvement of Random House founder Bennett Cerf who, through his deep connections in the journalism and media world, was but a Kevin-Bacon’s-breath away from essentially any public figure.  In any case, no one said “no” to WML.

BP has curated seven of the very best examples of this pull:  Alfred Hitchcock, Lucille Ball, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jean Desmond (a girdle tester), Walt Disney, host John Daly (in an early example of meta-comedy), and…

See them all here.

Second, for somewhat younger readers, from our old friend The Selvedge Yard, a look back at The Rolling Stones when they were still “The Rolling Stones.”  TSY muses on the theme of this missive:

When I’m feeling roadworn, forlorn, or the subject of scorn– nothing takes me to my happy place faster than great old pics of guitar porn.  I came across the below Stones’ porn pic sifting through the internets and became mesmerized by the artfully haphazard array of axes.  You can almost smell the sweat, smoke  and stale beer as you gaze at the overturned cans, ash, and listing guitars.

The late ’60s – early ’70s was an epic time for the Rolling Stones, and Rock & Roll as a whole.  It was a time I largely missed (being born in 1970), but feel like I experienced, partially at least, vicariously through my mom.  She was a music junkie, went to Woodstock, worshipped Janis Joplin.

The Stones' Guitars

Berlin, 1965

Many more here.

And finally, for younger readers still, a glance back at the 80s and one of that decade’s indelible icons:  from Walyou, “16 Cool Mr. T Themed Designs.”

For those who grew up on the A-Team TV Show or are big fans of Rocky, Mr. T will always be a memorable personality which is simply larger than life. Although you do not see him as much in TV or movies these days, he is still a personality to be reckoned with.

This collection of 16 Mr. T designs includes various pieces of art, design, products and more which prove that Mr T is still popular today, and if you don’t agree…then I pity the fool.

Mr T Cookie Jar

Mr. T Infographic

See the rest here.

As we stroll down memory lane, we might recall that it was on this date in 1905 that Ty Cobb, “The Georgia Peach” made his major league debut; playing for the Detroit Tigers, he doubled off the New York Highlanders’s (later Yankees) Jack Chesbro, who had won a record 41 games the previous season.

Ty Cobb

So you wanna be a rock and roll star…

Q: How do you get a drummer off of your front porch?

A: Pay for the pizza.

In a recent interview, Mick Jagger (who studied, one might remember, at the London School of Economics) observed that the financial lot of a recording artist has been pretty dodgy since the beginning of the 20th century.  As the BBC reports:

“When the Stones started out they didn’t make any money out of records because record companies didn’t pay you,” he said. “Nobody got paid. I always wonder if Frank Sinatra got paid.

“Your royalty was so low. If you sold a million records you got a million pennies. It was all very nice, but not what you imagined you were going to get.”

However things changed as musicians became more adept at controlling their creations.

This came at about the time the Stones hit what many see as their peak, which included the 1972 release of the critically acclaimed Exile on Main Street.

Later the boom in music sales through the development of the compact disc bolstered the earnings of those on lucrative royalty deals.

“There was a small period from 1970 to 1997 where people did get paid and they got paid very handsomely,” Sir Mick said.  “They did make money but now that period’s done. If you look at the history of recorded music from, say, 1900 to now, there was that period where artists did very well but the rest of the time they didn’t.”

So how does a musician fare these days?  According to a recap in The Root…  well, You Can’t Always Get What You Want:

Read the whole sad story at The Root.

As we reconsider taking out a loan to pay for that additional floor tom, we might recall that it was on this date in 1954 that Sun Records released the first single by Elvis Presley, “That’s All Right (Mama)”/”Blue Moon of Kentucky.”

The tracks were covers that clued early listeners to the influences that Presley would marry with such power as he rose to royalty: “That’s All Right” is a blues song by Arthur “Big Boy” Cruddup, while “Blue Moon of Kentucky” is a bluegrass ballad by Bill Monroe.

But that stardom was still in the distance; while Presley’s renditions became instant hits in Memphis, hometown of both Elvis and Sun, the 45 received mixed reviews in the rest of what would become Presley’s kingdom.

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