Every Sixties recording artist seemed to have ’em:  There were the Beach Boys’ Hite Morgan tapes, the Stones’ IBC demos, the Byrds’ notorious Jet Set sessions, and even the Velvet Underground’s attempts at becoming East Coast studio stringers for Gary Lewis and the Playboys (…just kidding about that last one) (I think).

As a brand new collection called The Beatles with Tony Sheridan: First Recordings, 50th Anniversary Edition more than proves, even the almighty Fab Four were not immune to this pre-fame plague of skeletons-in-the-audio-closet. For you see, when not binging on Chuck Berry, Preludins and Schnaps in Hamburg’s red-light district throughout their, um, formative years, our heroes also served as in-studio back-up band to one of Britain’s then very biggest rock stars. 


PIGSHIT: Much more of The Monkees

Can it really be true that Rolling Stone publisher/magnate Jann S. Wenner has personally conducted a decades-long campaign to bar The Monkees from induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Far-from-dummy Monkee Peter Tork certainly thinks so.

“He doesn’t care what the rules are and just operates how he sees fit,” Tork told the New York Post in 2007. “It is an abuse of power. I don’t know whether The Monkees belong in the Hall of Fame, but it’s pretty clear that we’re not in there because of a personal whim.” 

Reviews and Suggestions

Valente’s Day is Coming Soon – Gothic Country Style

Robert Valente – Alive
Label – Self-released

For many years, from the late ’70’s to the mid ’90’s at least, bands and artists seemed to be constantly trying to outdo each other as to how much money they could spend recording and producing an album. What started comparatively modestly with the then-huge budgets afforded bands like Pink Floyd and Fleetwood Mac later spiraled out of control as bloated act after act tried to spend as much as they could adding whatever gee-gaws they could to record their latest disaster-piece. Now, I am not talking about indie acts but mostly music released on the big labels at the time. Also, note that this endless spiraling of costs conspicuously coincided with the best money-making years of the music business and was a game played with artists as the labels wanted their artists to spend as much as they could so more could be recouped before any of these misguided artists got paid. Eventually, this spending proved their undoing as the business now sits, wasted and spent, headed towards certain extinction as the power of the Net has put business in the hands of the musician finally.

Enter artist Robert Valente, who seemingly prefers his music bare-bones and raw, which makes sense right now, with the music business in its’ huge sort of insanely terrible flux. Not that Valente seems to care a whit about the “music business” per se – this is music from an artist who sounds as if he recorded his album on his back porch. Which is not a bad thing, I guess, just a very interesting and often unsettling one, but in the way of the music being immediate and downhome, not in a “bad-quality” sort of way.