Those Beach Boys and Rolling Stones weren’t the only septuagenarian rockers celebrating 50th (give or take) Anniversaries over the past twelve-or-so months, absolutely not. Just about each and every singer/songwriter/guitarist still standing – well, those with lucratively deep catalogues ripe and ready for recycling, that is – had multiple multi-media packages (and, in the Stones’ case, four-figure-plus concert tickets) competing for what remained of a loyal boomer’s nest egg throughout 2012.
So should you feel so inclined, unless you’re still busy searching for the real Bob Dylan via David Dalton’s Book Of The Year “Who Is That Man?” that is, may I wholeheartedly suggest investing in:
The – and this is no hype, either! – “Definitive Collector’s Edition” of our beloved Harry Nilsson’s The Point, which may indeed have begun life as a humble 1971 animated ABC Television Movie of the Week yet remains today, four decades later, one of the most, yes, pointed socio-pop parables ever produced any where, at any time. Narrated by everyone’s favorite cartoon Beatle, Ringo Starr, and of course written, scored and sung by his bosom pal Harry, this newly deluxe package comes complete with four bonus featurettes just to ensure you, well, get the whole point. Which you really, really should.
Also well worth grabbing is a rock ‘n’ roll comic of an entirely different color. Namely the truly tall tale (ending in his murder, I most definitely kid you not) of Revolutionary Comics domo Todd Loren’s The Story Of Rock ‘N’ Roll Comics. Publishing over 300 wholly unauthorized – “And Proud Of It!” – comic-book biographies on the likes of Metallica, KISS, Sex Pistols and New Kids during the very early Nineties, Todd survived lawsuits from Axl Rose and Bon Jovi, made pals with Frank Zappa and Mojo Nixon, successfully protected his right to draw via a landmark First Amendment battle in the California District Court, only to die beneath an assailant’s knife in a case which to this day remains unsolved. Gene Simmons, notably, could not be reached for comment …though Cynthia Plaster Caster was.
Other notoriously controversial rock comics such as Jim Morrison, The Replacements, and the redoubtable Ike Turner can now be viewed and reviewed anew via The Doors: Live At The Bowl ’68 (the landmark, vividly restored Hollywood performance Robby Krieger insists is the only gig those guys ever rehearsed for!), Color Me Obsessed: A Film About The Replacements (no longer young; still quite bastardly though) and Nadya and Bob Gruen’s utterly asphalt-worthy Ike & Tina: On The Road 1971-72, which goes a long, long way to supplement – and, whenever possible, CORRECT – the myriad misconceptions we’ve had to live with regarding this remarkable couple over the past couple of decades. Finally.
Also absolutely live for all to hear and see now are New Jersey’s rightfully legendary The Grip Weeds: Live Vibes, candidly captured right at home inside their House of Vibes studio (the “Hitsville of Highland Park”!) and the still-legendary – and THEN some – Bob Dylan and The Band: Down In The Flood, documenting that peculiarly thin wild relationship between The Voice of His Generation [sic!] and those formerly all-Canadian (well, almost) Hawks. Any chance one gets to watch Garth Hudson talk, let alone play, should be taken the utmost advantage of; say no more.
In retrospect especially, it’s more than obvious that one of the Zimmerman’s most impactful of all achievements was introducing four young amphetamine ‘n’ scotch enthusiasts from the north of England to the joys of all-American herbal jazz cigarettes. The result was, of course, no less than The Beatles: Their Golden Age, and all that those sixty or so iconic months entailed …and produced. Speaking of which, roll up as well with the grand new Magical Mystery Tour Collectors’ Edition. For starters.
Meanwhile, those cunningly anti-Beatles are typically well represented on this, their 49th – or is it 51st? – Anniversary with an even bigger than usual bevy of re-issues and re-masters. The long-thought-kinda-lost Charlie Is My Darling: Ireland 1965 should, of course, be considered Unarguable Required Viewing. Period. But then there’s those post-Brian Stones (…I suppose) fully on view too in The Rolling Stones Under Review 1975-1983: The Ronnie Wood Years and their reverently root-licking Muddy Waters and The Rolling Stones Live at the Checkerboard Lounge Chicago 1981, wherein even the above-mentioned Mr. Wood manages to, as he should, behave himself.
Lots more Stones to come throughout 2013 and well beyond as well, of course. Not to mention even more Beatles (50th Anniversary Commemorative Boxed Editions of each of their original albums, mono and stereo, complete with attendant single releases, out-takes, session sequences and documentary DVD’s starting momentarily with Please Please Me, you think? Don’t hold my breath) plus fresh Bob Bootleg Series (Basement Tapes, fingers crossed) and maybe even a 51st (!) Anniversary Beach Boys reunion, if certain Wilsons and/or Loves can bury some more hatchets.
Whatever the cases may be, it all just goes to show there still remain some after-tax profits to be made by what remains of the music industry, so long as there’s eyes and ears alive to consume said second-and-third-hand goods.
Meanwhile though, don’t forget there’s lots of great NEW music being made and played out there too. Just thought I’d let any of you still interested know,