Monk Centennial, Pt. One


First album I ever bought by him. Pretty fortunate choice, really. I learned more about him as an interpreter here. Also, one of his wonderful LP jackets.

PS: Mine is not a 1964 original, of course, but a weird thing is that, while Bill Evans clearly wrote the (brief) liner notes — there are no credits anywhere on the LP. So other than knowing Monk does piano, I had no clue who was doing what.

R.I.P.[?]: Tom Petty

I was the only employee/manager of a small record shop in Missoula when Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers came out. Hard to convey how precarious rock and roll was right then. Disco was going to destroy it. All the hipsters said punk was mere racket. Yet here was this blonde guy from FLA, rattling your bones and hollerin’ “OF COURSE rock and roll is gonna be FINE!!” I found his belief contagious and irresistible and played that LP over and over, esp. for customers who looked likely. He saved that winter. I didn’t get the big live anthology when it came out, but I will now.


R.I.P.: Basil Gogos

He made Famous Monsters of Filmland into a masterpiece on the magazine rack.

I bought loads of these throughout the ’60s (he seemed to get tired of the routine in the ’70s). I was thrilled to find there was a collection of his cover work: Unfortunately, a bit of a collectors’ item now.

Hard to convey how exciting wacky magazines were to a kid in an isolated MT town back then. This book looks like it might be fun. But I think I have enough such stuff already.

“All I Listen To Are Number Ones” Pt. 1

About 30 years ago this last summer I did a big piece for the Boston Phoenix that examined the history of popular music from 1957-1987 through Number One hits. I made a series of cassettes that collected what I thought of as the finest examples of #1 in chronological order. Listening to the tapes now, the only regrets I have are, well, the sound quality of cassettes, and that I bought hordes of 45s to make sure the versions were the ones heard on the radio and there are pops and scratches (less than you might think, tho…)


TAPE ONE: July 9, 1955 — April 24, 1961


Bill Haley, “Rock Around the Clock”

Elvis P., “Heartbreak Hotel”

“I Want You, I Need You. I Love You”

The Platters, “My Prayer”

Elvis P., “Don’t Be Cruel”

“Love Me Tender”

“All Shook Up”

“(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear”

The Crickets, “That’ll Be the Day”

Everly Bros., “Wake Up, Little Susie”

Elvis P., “Jailhouse Rock”

Sam Cooke, “You Send Me”

Danny & the Juniors, “At the Hop”

Elvis P., “Don’t”

The Champs, “Tequila”

The Platters, “Twilight Time”

Everlys, “All I Have To Do Is Dream”

Ricky Nelson, “Poor Little Fool”

Tommy Edwards, “It’s All in the Game”


The Teddy Bears, “To Know Him Is To Love Him” (Not Shoot Him)

The Platters, “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”

Lloyd Price, “Stagger Lee”

The Fleetwoods, “Come Softly To Me” (Not On Me)

Wilbert Harrison, “Kansas City”

Elvis P., “A Big Hunk O’ Love”

The Fleetwoods, “Mr. Blue” (Not Deacon)

Marty Robbins, “El Paso”

Mark Dinning, “Teen Angel”

Everlys, “Cathy’s Clown”

Brenda Lee,”I’m Sorry”

Hank Ballard, “The Twist” (I put the correct Hank Ballard version in here –” EEee-yaw!”  — and it certainly fit in the flow as well as the bogus version)

The Drifters, “Save the Last Dance for Me”

Ray Charles, “Georgia”

The Zodiacs, “Stay”

The Shirelles, “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”

Del Shannon, “Runaway”