Early Fleetwood Mac

27 Mar
Hippie at Goose Lake International Rock Festival 1970 August

When I was discharged from the army in August 1968 I returned to my home in Detroit, Michigan and began attending concerts listening to all the new music that was exploding everywhere. I purchased a copy of English Rose around Christmas and loved the album, especially “Albatross.” One day in the late 60’s as I was listening to the WABX, Detroit’s then FM “underground radio station” I heard that Jeremy Spencer quit the group to join a “Jesus Freak” communal group called the “Children of God” The radio DJ said that “Jesus just ruined another great group.”

On “Labor Day” weekend in 1970 “Fleetwood Mac” appeared at the Eastown theater in Detroit so I purchased tickets in advance. Iggy and the “Stooges” played before them so the audience was all fired up and ready for a rocking out blues rock show. When the band came out there were only three people, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and Danny Kirwan. I didn’t know that Green had left the group. Instead of playing the blues they were playing do-wop type and other unfamiliar songs and at one point Mick Fleetwood became frustrated and threw his drumsticks down on the floor as he got up and stormed off the stage. A few minutes later he returned and the show continued. When it was over I was very disappointed and then to make matters worse my car was stolen because the protected lot was too full and I parked on the street.

Three days later the police found my car in an unpaved alley a few blocks from the Eastown. It was 2:00 AM when I got to the car and it was completely stripped with no wheels and sitting on the ground. Everything removable was gone and I knew that if I didn’t get it out of there that morning that even the motor and transmission would be gone. A friend helped me and I put it back together again. Other than slightly bending the frame when they hit something it ran perfectly.

Then a little over 6 months later on March 12, 1970 “Fleetwood Mac” appeared again at the Eastown theater along with “Black Sabbath” on either their first or one of their first tours of America. Once again I got tickets and I have to say that it was the only time in my life when I attended a concert that I was afraid of being crushed by a crowd. The Eastown theater held about 2500 people and there must have been at least 4,000. It was festival seating and the crowd pushed us into the main auditorium which had most of the seats torn out so we sat on the concrete floor. Back in those days people mostly sat during concerts because they were so stoned on acid, mescaline or whatever else besides clouds of pot smoke floating in the air.

Sir Lord Baltimore, a power trio from Brooklyn, New York opened the show and then “Black Sabbath” came on and their one hour set was made up of material from their first two albums. When “Fleetwood Mac” finally took the stage there were a total of 5 people in the band with a grand piano was on the left side of the stage. It was Christine (Perfect) McVie’s first tour with the band. To my delight Peter Green was back with the band and he was in perfect form. He wailed on his guitar and Christiane McVie’s voice rounded out their sound perfectly. It was a great show and one that I remember very well.

Fleetwood Mac Peter Green – Black Magic Woman (Live Boston Tea Party) 1970 – YouTube

Top 10 Rory Gallagher Songs

25 Mar

Top 10 Rory Gallagher Songs – Blues Rock Review

Rory Gallagher was born in Ballyshannon, Ireland, March 2, 1948 and grew up in a home devoid of musical influences including the absence of a record player. Nevertheless he discovered early rock & roll artists like Elvis Presley which piqued his interest in American early blues. He was able to listen to the radio and began to play a cheap guitar when he was 9 years old. He was soon winning local talent shows and purchased a “1961 Sunburst Fender Stratocaster” that he quickly mastered. Gallagher joined a couple of identically suited “showbands” where he earned his chops playing until he formed his own band, “Taste” in 1966. “Taste” was a blues rock power trio initially based in Cork, Ireland and then reformed and moved to London. They opened in “Royal Albert Hall” for “Cream’s” farewell show and then for “Blind Faith’s” short career. The high point for “Taste” was when they performed at the “Isle of Wight Festival” in 1970 on the same stage with Jimi Hendrix and the “Who.” Soon afterwards in 1971, he disbanded “Taste” and formed a band using his name and releasing an eponymous initial album. The “Rolling Stones” asked him to play guitar in the place of Mick Taylor and “Melody Maker” named Gallagher as the “International Top Guitarist of the Year” in front of Eric Clapton. He collaborated with Muddy Waters and other important blues and rock artists and influenced everyone from “U2’s” The Edge to Slash from “Guns and Roses.” The 1970’s was his most prolific period when he released 10 albums and has sold over 30 million albums worldwide. He performed over 2000 concerts during his career which ended when he died in London, England due to complications following a liver transplant on June 14, 1995 at the age of 47.

Top 10 Rory Gallagher Songs – Blues Rock Review

The Convoluted Path Part Seventy-Two

24 Mar
John Fahey Albany, Oregon 2000

Technically the twenty-first century doesn’t begin until the year 2001 which one of the members in the audience pointed out to the emotional member of the “Zen Tricksters” that talked with eloquence about the turn of the millennium at the New Years show. After the final show was over on New Years Eve, Crazy Ronnie who lent me his 400mm F4 lens to shoot Eric Clapton helped me out and we loaded his van with my display panels and artwork. I followed him from the convention center to the freeway with my car since we had to come separately. He drove like a maniac running lights and driving over the speed limit. I had to follow him and didn’t want to lose him. Once we got on the freeway it wasn’t any problem and besides he knows where I live and if he beats me there he can either unload everything himself or wait for me.

On the drive back to Salem I had the radio playing and was thinking about Jungian psychology as it relates to Jesus’s message of the kingdom of God is identical is identical to me. How? Both argue for reaching our maximum potential. I can therefore be a Jungian Christian. The parable of the sower and seeds or talents, etc. all speak of becoming your potential culminating with individuism. Deliberate neglect or failure to do so is the sin that Jesus points out to earn the one talent man a place in hell.

During this time period I was very spiritually minded because I knew that I was fucked financially and that the only way that I would survive was by faith. My faith was stretched to the breaking point and I was communicating with my old friend Ed Martinez from when I lived in Los Angeles. I wrote him a lengthy email message making my statement of faith at that particular moment in time on March 15, 2000. This is straight from the printed out email that I sent Ed. I might add that when I came to LA the last couple of times Ed wasn’t interested in seeing me. One time I called him and the next we had an Agape in reunion in 2010 and he didn’t come to that after I emailed him about it. I assume my theology got to liberal for Ed or maybe it was when I told him that I was smoking pot.

I was just thinking about how Paul commended the Berean’s for checking out the scriptures to make sure that they jived with his point of view. I’m taking Paul a step farther, that is I am also checking out the information on a practical application level. However, I don’t think that the proving ground is the church, but everything outside of the church. I think that Paul was a marketing genius who took the teachings of a mystic holy man who got crucified in the first centrury and developed his own point of view on the subject. If he was the only one it would be hard to prove but he was only one of many. All the losers of the multi-century battle either became heretics or led schisms. So we have Gnosticism, antimonianism, pelagianism, etc. periodically re-occuring throughout history in Protestants, Catholics, etc for thousands of years. You have to conclude that the bottom line is that if you are smart enough then you can figure out how it works and systematically record that discovery. Then your work will eventually make you the founder of a new religion and if it’s unique enough, or just a heresy if it’s to similar. I’ve concluded that when Jesus said that I am the way the truth and the life he was saying that he found out how to make it work and that he was holding himself up as an example of how others could do it. I believe that part of his message was to use the existing mythology and put his own spin on it. We all have to do the same thing. Then we can say come follow me, if that’s your thing. I believe that each age and culture needs its own messenger. They are everywhere. Not everyone is receptive to the same approach, so the same message is packaged in countless ways. The message itself is revealed to anyone who wants to seek it. The way that you seek is to pick a path and then follow it. Religion, and some philosophical schools are the entrances to the path. They are all gates leading into the meadow of enlightenment.

All faiths encourage some sort of prayer or meditation. What is this other than an attempt to rise above the mundane, and experience transcendence and draw power from something beyond ourselves. Carl Jung talks of the unconscious mind being as important if not more important than th conscious one. He also believed that it was at the unconscious level that God actually communicated with us. Terefore, the better a relationship the conscious mind has with the unconscious one the more efficient the communication. I still pray in tongues. In fact it’s the only way that I can pray anymore, other than out of necessity for grace or something. I don’t find it hypocritical or anything because it’s one of those things that I picked up along the way that I found useful, like the Bible.

Sometimes I would read some of the apocryphal or psuedopigraphal books like the “Gospel of Thomas.” I just saw a stupid movie last week called “Stigmata.” It was based on Catholic theology but it was a stretch. It was the exorcist in reverse, with God as the tormentor this time. Nevertheless it really pushed the Gospel of Thomas, in fact it was almost like a plug to get people interested in it.

I asked plant manager Cliff Koch if he would let me photograph him in his office and he agreed and then let me shoot him in front of the office and even on the workroom floor. What started as just an excuse to bring my camera in to get an occasional group shot to remember the past with turned into a bigger project as Cliff began talking about my book on the post office. Who knows, maybe someday I’ll end up putting out a book of photographs called “The US Postal Service at the Turn of the 21st Century.”

The last time that I ended up seeing John Fahey was in the Summer of 2000 when he performed at the Venetian theater in Albany. I told Tim Knight at Guitar Castle that I was going to come and take photographs so he would tell John. John was moving around so much that I lost track of how to contact him and if he wanted me he would call. In this case I just used a middle man and when I arrived Fahey was in the vestibule so I briefly talked to him. He complimented me on my mustache and goatee that I grew since I last saw him and then walked out the door.

TK was standing there and said that John was stressed out and went for a walk to get his head together and hoped that he would return. A couple of minutes after seven when the show was already supposed to begin on the hour John returned. He walked directly up and onto the stage without a word and sat down in the chair provided and picked up the Fender Stratocaster electric guitar sitting there. For nearly an hour Fahey played snippets of songs and weaved a disjointed tapestry of his repertoire beginning and ending with “Poor Boy Long Ways From Home.” I got the set list from the show.

#1 Various fragments

#2 “Poor Boy Long Ways From Home”

#3 “City of Refuge #3”

#4 Death Don’t Have No Mercy”

#5 “Nightmare”

#6 “Dance of the Cat People”

#7 ?

#8 “Marilyn”

#9 “Poor Boy Long Ways From Home”

John Fahey – Poor Boys Long Way From Home – YouTube

The “Door Magazine” (Wittenburg Door) published my dual interview with “Hot Tuna” members Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady. They had both been original members of the most popular Haight Ashbury hippie band of the “Summer of Love” namely “Jefferson Airplane.” Frustrated with the frequent stagnation of the “Airplane” Jorma and Jack, who grew up together back east in Washington D.C. would jam on old blues standards and formed their own side group. They even played at the legendary “Woodstock” music festival in 1969 with both “Jefferson Airplane” and “Hot Tuna.”

I interviewed them back in December of 1999 but like all magazines there is lead time and it took six months from the time that I submitted the interviews until they were published in the July/August 2000 issue. I loved the “Door” because it had been my constant mentor and companion through all my trials and tribulations coming to a final conclusion about my feelings towards the church and Christianity in general. Nobody could ever accuse me of not investigating the source of my faith objectively.

I was still attending church on occasion at West Salem Foursquare where Robert Flores my Bible college friend was the pastor. His success was impressive and would make me jealous if I cared anymore. There was a time that I felt destined to be in the ministry and just about destroyed my life and my family trying to fulfill that destiny. I may not make a living as a music and religion journalist but then neither do many of the other freelance photographers and journalists that I meet at all the shows that I attend.

I couldn’t believe the success that I had at getting my work published and all the connections that I was making in the music business. Many of the publicists that I dealt with handled multiple artists and once they knew that I was legit they would go out of their way to help me get tickets, photo passes and even interviews on site and by phone with the artists. Once I realized that I had a publication that would pay me for every interview that they published I began to expand my horizons.

The next interview that I did for the “Door Magazine” was with Mickey Hart one of the two drummers for the “Grateful Dead.” It was a relaxed interview where they had me come to his room in downtown Portland, Oregon at the Benson Hotel. I wanted to make it an easy interview so I asked him to talk about the spiritual significance of the two books on drumming that he wrote as well as how it all relates to the “Grateful Dead” itself. I took a few photos of Mickey holding the “Door Magazine” before I left. That evening Mickey Hart and “Drum Planet” played at the “Roseland Theater” in Portland and I photographed it.

The summer of 2000 was the first year that I attended the Portland, Oregon Waterfront Blues Festival. Jonny Lang was one of the headliners so I attended on the night that he performed. I couldn’t believe how photographer friendly it was when I went through the gate security. It only cost $5.00 and two cans of food to get in and there were three stages with entertainment playing non-stop on at least one of them continually. There wasn’t a photo pit anywhere, so photographers had to maneuver through the crowd to get as close as possible. I found out that if I got a photo pass that I could go up on stage to get better shots.

I like to drink a few beers or even mixed drinks but I hate drunks. I’m talking about people that turn into complete assholes after they have a couple of drinks. Such was the case when I was trying to get a decent shot of Jonny Lang. As I asked people if I could get in front of them to get a better shot I was finally stopped by one guy who was really pissed. I don’t know if he was drunk or just pissed because of waiting but when I asked if I could get in front of him to get a better shot since he was taller than me he explodes. “I’ve been here all day saving this spot and you want to get in front of me? Hell no you can’t get in front of me. So I stood behind him and positioned my lens left or right to avoid his head.

Alanis Morissette 1995

22 Mar
Alanis Morissette 1995 #1

Back in November of 1995 Alanis Morissette had just released Jagged Little Pill and was beginning her tour promoting it. The night before she performed at “Berbatties Pan” that only held a couple hundred people. Tonight she sold out the three thousand seat Salem Armory. Next Spring she will sell out the Rose Garden Arena in Portland that holds 18,000 people.

Alanis Morissette 1995 #2

Alanis Morissette – You Oughta Know (Official 4K Music Video) – YouTube

Racism Sucks!

20 Mar

Racism not only sucks but is stupid. All human beings are the same. This is a basic belief that was first made popular by Christianity in the 1st Century AD (CE). Take a look at Galatians 3:28 for the best quote which states:  “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” People who want to get rid of Christianity will destroy the concept of equality with it.

Racism Sucks!

Reverse Racism and Kenny Wayne Shepherd

19 Mar

Kenny Wayne Shepherd

Kenny Wayne Shepherd “Blue on Black” Live At Guitar Center’s King of the Blues – YouTube

Kenny Wayne Shepherd began playing guitar at the age of seven and was playing on the same stage with blues greats B. B. King, Buddy Guy and was regularly included in the “Experience Hendrix” tour that included the top blues rock guitar players influenced by Hendrix in the world. Because he owns a car that was in the “Dukes of Hazard,” which was one of the most popular TV shows of the early 1980’s he was called a racist. The car has a confederate flag painted on the roof, so Kenny covered it with a tarp but the hateful, small minded nitwits that want to reverse everything that Martin Luther King Jr. stood for and believed in are trying to exacerbate racial division. The blues led to rock and roll and created the vehicle that allowed black and white to come together in. Music was the primary tool of the civil rights movement and was used to unite the races. Now these unrighteous and evil people are trying to use what was a beautiful uniting force as a dividing one. The only just response to this injustice is to either reverse the stupid decision or boycott the Blues Foundation. Amen.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd live | Leverkusener Jazztage 2019 | Rockpalast – YouTube

The Black Crowes

16 Mar
The Black Crowes 2001

The “Black Crowes” are a Southern rock & roll band and originated in Marietta, Georgia when they first formed in 1984. The core of the band’s only constant members over its 37 years of on and off existence are brothers Chris and Rich Robinson. Their first recorded album Shake Your Money Maker was released in 1989 and since that time they have released 8 studio albums. I saw them perform twice, once in 1997 at the “Furthur Festival” at Portland Meadows and in 2001 at the “Roseland” theater in Portland, Oregon. I also saw and photographed Chris Robinson with “As the Crow Flies” and with the “Chris Robinson Brotherhood.”

The Black Crowes – Remedy – YouTube

The Black Crowes 1997

Who Is Joe Bonamassa?

15 Mar
Joe Bonamassa

Joe Bonamassa was born in 1977 in Utica, New York where he began playing guitar at the age of four. His father encouraged him and he listened to Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck records for inspiration. After taking lessons from Country music guitar legend Danny Gatton at age eleven Joe formed “Smokin’ Joe Bonamassa” by the age of twelve. He began gigging on weekends around western New York and Pennsylvania while attending school during the week and opened for B. B. King. After failing to get a solo recording contract in the early 1990’s he was a member of “Bloodline,” a band whose core was made up of the progeny of famous music artists. Aaron Hagar was the lead singer, Erin Davis on drums, Waylon Kreiger on rhythm guitar, Berry Oakley Jr. on bass guitar along with Lou Segreti on keyboards and Smokin’ Joe Bonamassa on lead guitar. After the band broke up in the mid 1990’s Bonamassa ended up connecting with legendary recording engineer and record producer Tom Dowd who produced his debut solo album A New Day Yesterday in 2000. Since then Bonamassa has released a plethora of albums both as a solo artist and in combination with other artists in the blues rock genre to become the number one blues rock guitarist of the twenty-first century. 

The Ballad of John Henry – YouTube

Litany of Fares

11 Mar
Cross and Cab

The Transcendent Taxicab: Litany Of Fares

As a cab driver you chauffer a plethora of people over a period of years.
People of every profession, disposition and pecking order position.

Good people.
Bad people.
Nice people.
Nasty people.
Violent people.
Peaceful people.
Poor people.
Rich people.
Middle class people.
Drunk people.
Sober people.
Stoned people.
High flying people.
Disgusting people.
Smelly people.
Stinking people.
Putrid people.
Nauseating people.
Pissing people.
Shitting people.
Vomiting people.
Crashing people.
Withdrawing people.
Cold Turkey people.
Insane people.
Crazy people.
Demonic people.
Saintly people.
Sane people.
Intelligent people.
Stupid people.
Idiotic people.
Gifted people.
Cursed people.
Tormented people.
Angry people.
Kind people.
Frustrated people.
Depressed people.
Suicidal people.
Psychotic people.
Neurotic people.
Sociopathic people.
Fearful people.
Terrified people.
Arguing people.
Loving people.
Kissing people.
Fucking people.
Living people.
Dying people.
Escaping people.
Released people.
Traveling people.
Visiting people.
Partying people.
Working people.
Welfare people.
Homeless people.
Illegal people.
Illiterate people.
Immigrant people.
Teaching people.
Studious people.
Tiny people.
Little people.
Big people.
Obese people.
Blind people.
Deaf people.
Footless people.
Legless people.
Armless people.
Limbless people.
Wheelchair people.
Walker people.
Brain damaged people.
Faceless people.
Pregnant people.
Born people.
Sick people.
Convalescing people.
Well people.
Intimidating people.
Scary people.
Terrifying people.
Eating people.
Drinking people.
Naked people.
Sexual people.
Puritanical people.
Offended people.
Complimented people.
Lying people.
Cheating people.
Thieving people.
Religious people.
Law abiding people.
Lawless people.
God hating people
Godless people.
God fearing people.
God loving people.

Smashwords – The Transcendent Taxi Cab – a book by Bob Gersztyn

In the Beginning

9 Mar

The Transcendent Taxicab: In The Beginning

Day Shift Began at 4:00 AM

When I first started to drive a taxi cab back in 2004 I worked on the day shift from 4:00 AM until 2:00 PM but then sometimes I would pick off a driver on Friday or Saturday night to drive the graveyard shift. Graveyard was twelve hour shifts beginning at either 2:00, 3:00, 4:00 or 5:00 PM. I made twice as much on the first Friday night that I worked as compared to day shift. I requested night shift and got it so I worked for the rest of my nine years on night shift and I kept a journal that I turned into a book. These are all the links but you can read it for free on my blog.

The Transcendent Taxicab: In The Beginning

Smashwords – The Transcendent Taxi Cab – a book by Bob Gersztyn

The Transcendent Taxi Cab by Bob Gersztyn | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)

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