Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Living Legends: They Live Among Us

Roky Erickson performed a successful series of live shows this past year, with more to come in 2007. Not only will Roky and his band the Explosives play at Coachella this year, they will also be at the Noise Pop festival on March 7 in SF, and at the Ponderosa Stomp on May 2 in New Orleans.

Here's a great Austin Chronicle article about Roky's present life, and his relationship with his brother Sumner, who is Roky's guardian. Being the occasionally obsessive music nerd that I am, I created a list on eMusic of all the Roky Erickson covers available there (only a few of which appeared on Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye, a fine tribute album).

One of my favorite stories about Roky is when he was asked about the Sex Pistols. Roky said he liked them, and that his favorite Pistols song was called "Hot Cars". The Angry Samoans imagined what "Hot Cars" might have sounded like, and recorded a "cover" of it for their classic first EP, Inside My Brain.

Here's another great article about Atlanta's own Colonel Bruce Hampton (Ret.), who has led such bands as the Aquarium Rescue Unit, the Fiji Mariners, the Arkansas Travelers, and the Hampton Grease Band (creators of one of the worst-selling albums ever). A documentary film entitled "Basically Frightened" has been made about Col. Hampton.

I used to go to those weekly 89 cent shows at the Little 5 Points Pub (as mentioned in the article) all those years ago. The article omits mention of Dr. Dan Matrazzo, the fine keyboard player who accompanied Col. Bruce on those weekly gigs. I remember they sold Stroh's Dark on draft for a dollar. I once shared a flight with a guy who worked for the brewery, and I asked him why their dark beer wasn't available in bottles. He said they just added molasses to the kegs. So much for my refined taste in beer.

Bruce Hampton's current live band, the Quark Alliance, will perform on Saturday, February 24 at Tree Sound recording studio in Norcross. Buy yourself some Bruce music and merch here.

The Spades (1965): We Sell Soul
Bruce Hampton (1984): Fixin' to Die


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