Black Rock - Hendrix, Berry, Funkadelic, Living Colour, Prince, Lenny Kravitz, RHCP, Mandrill

Subject: LIVING COLOUR DISCUSSION

 We had a little discussion about Living Colour...

 

 

 

'Which Way to America?

 

i look at the t.v

your america's doing well

i look out the window

my america's catching hell

i just want to know which way do i go to get to your america

i just want to know which way do i go to get to your america

i change the channel

your america's doing fine

i read the headlines

my america's doing time

i just want to know which way do i go to get to your america

i just want to know which way do i go to get to your america

go west young, go west young man

don't want to crossover

but how do i keep from going under?

where is my picket fence?

my long, tall glass of lemonade?

where is my vcr, my stereo, my t.v. show?

i look at the t.v.

i don't see your america

i look out the window

i don't see your america

i want to know how to get to your america

i want to know how to get to your america

 

 

Elvis Is Dead

Tabloids scream ...... Elvis seen at a shopping mall

That's the kind of talk..... That makes my stomach crawl

Picture a zombie Elvis....... In a tacky white jumpsuit

Just imagine a rotting Elvis.... Shopping for fresh fruit

You can't cause

Elvis is dead

Elvis is dead

Elvis is dead

Elvis is dead

Elvis is dead

Elvis is dead

Elvis is dead

Elvis is dead

When the king dies....... He was all alone

I heard that when he died...... He was sitting on his throne

Alas poor Elvis....... They made us know you well

Now you dwell forever........... In the Heartbreak Hotel

Elvis is dead

Elvis is dead

Elvis is dead

Elvis is dead

Elvis is dead

Elvis is dead

Elvis is dead

Elvis is dead

Elvis was a hero to most...... But that's beside the point

A Black man taught him how to sing..... And then he was crowned king

The pelvis of Elvis...... Too dangerous for the masses

They cleaned him up and sent him to Vegas.... Now the masses are his slave

Slave? Slave

Yes, even from the grave...... Elvis is dead

I've got a reason to believe..... We ALL won't be recieved at Graceland

Elvis is dead

Elvis is dead

Elvis is dead

Elvis is dead

Elvis is dead

Elvis is dead

Elvis is dead

Elvis is dead

 

 

Love Rears Its Ugly Head

I always thought our relationship was cool

You played the role of having sense

I always played the fool

Now something's different

I don't know the reason why

Whenever we separate

I almost want to cry

Oh no, please not that again

Love rears up its ugly head

And when I come home late you don't complain or call

So as a consequence I don't go out at all

My friends are frightened

They don't know what's going on

They think you put a spell on me

And now my mind is gone

Love's not so bad they say

But you never know where love is gonna go

Does anybody really know?

I'm standing at the altar

As they play the wedding march

I'm in a black tuxedo with my collar full of starch

She looks as lovely as she's ever gonna get

I wake up from this nightmare in a pool of sweat

What you gonna do

What you gonna do when it comes and gets you?

 

 

Someone Like You

Do you remember

The time of laughter

Children playing, life was so sweet

Before our city forgot us

And let the druglord take our street

Pacify me politician

Pacify me with your lies

Blind to the people suffering

Deaf to the children's cries

But I know what to do

With someone like you

Police

They chased my brother

Policeman licensed to kill

Oh how I miss my brother

Good shoes are so hard to fill

Policeman are you happy?

You snuffed a medical student out

Maybe he could have changed the world

I guess we'll never find out

But I know what to do

With someone like you

I know what to do

With someone like you

It's never too late to change your ways

It's never too late to change your ways

Too young

Gave her body

She was afraid of being alone

One baby having another

Sweet baby wants to be grown

But there's an angel on your shoulder

Always speaking to your soul

Listen and your heart will be glad

You'll never have to be alone

'Cause I know what to do

With someone like you

I know what to do

With someone like you

I know what to do

With someone like you

I know what to do

 

 

  • Thanx 4 jolting my memory ...I couldnt resist dusting off my living colour CD after seeing the lyrics in print <s> Living colour allowed me to broaden my musical taste and before I knew it I was picking up The red hot chilli pepers as well as other rock CDs along with my usaul R&B Jazz & rap on my trips to the music store.....Cult of personality and love rears its ugly head were truly The JAMS! Thanx
  • THANK GOD..A PERSON WITH AN OPEN MIND AND SOME SENSE!!!!..
  • Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrgggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!
  • HOW DID I MISS THIS????????????????????????
  • america...america MY personal favorite off 'vivid' ..well, no..it's actually second to 'open letter to a landlord' :> ......ya'll just don't know..this is YOUR MUSIC..get hip to it.. ..first of all..u like mah boyz RHCP..so that makes u like..of the most kewlness :>
  • ..second, u allowed yourself to open the door and broaden your horizons with music..people tend to forget that rock n' roll was originated by black folks..and, as is our habit, we allowed it to be stolen from us..nowadays, people stick with what we were 'allowed' to retain (which is a joke, cuz white folks have encroached upon soul, r&b, funk & blues too)..
  • Now, don't get me wrong, nothin' wrong with that..if the feelin' gets ahold of ya..go for it..but rock n' roll has been completely whitewashed and re written groups like living colour, fishbone, screaming headless torsos, joan armatrading, tracy chapman and the classic bad brains have NOT forgotten where rock n' roll came from and are keeping "black" rock alive..that 'label' bothers me.."black" rock.. cuz that's what rock n' roll has always been. most of the white rockers will tell u that someone black influenced them, little richard, chuck berry, sam cooke..their music is what created a love in them for OUR music people around here laugh at me cuz i like rock n' roll..<shrug>..that's cuz it's in me it's part of me it's part of BLACK FOLKS i'd love to see more black check out some of these groups they just might be surprised what they find and the
  • ..i think it's great u got back to your 'rock n' roll roots' ..keep rockin' sistah cuz i'm rollin' with ya!
  • Hi, Thanx 4 replying to my posting on the BB. I listen to a few of the artist you listed like C Chapman anb fishbone ....screamin headless torso is a new 1 on a sistah..lol Buuuut since they made your cut with some of the greats, I will definitely be checking them out <s>
  • Screaming headless torsos aren't for everyone <G>..but they're kewl to me..i like tracy chapman alot!..and fishbone..whew!..those dudes make some FUNKY STUFF..very reminiscent of the funk from my youth <G>..if u haven't checked out "give a monkey a brain and he'll swear he's the center of the universe" give it a shot..there is some SERIOUS social commentary on there..'properties of propaganda' and 'nutt megalomaniac' are THE funkiest cuts onthere..ahhhh..another sista that rocks..most kewl :>
  • Screaming Head Torsos...isn't that the band Dave Fiuczynski plays with? I've read about him in Guitar Player a few times. He also recorded with Me'shell NdegeOcello. I've beenmeaning to check them out for sometime, but never got aroundto it.
  • ^5 Half !!! Take me to the river!! You are truly one of the fearless vampire killers. What's your favorite color baby??
  • "Black Flowers" always brings me to tears, especially after hearing Angelo Moore scream at the top of his lungs. That is just so painful, and it reminds me of those early Funkadelic albums, where some words are just unintelligible, but you can feel what they're screaming about.
  • the Screaming Torso's guitarist (the bald guy) has solo LP also. He's more fusion in his solo stuff. but he's plenty funky. Fuse-from Screamin' Torsos is pretty darn good for what style he plays. He has solo LP's too.
  • Vernon Reid has done some duos w/ jazz guitarists . Scatterbrain"Lp w/ Bill Frissell. But I haven't heard it.
  • LIVING COLOUR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ........the beautiful thing about being half n' half..is that BOTH living colour and red hot chili peppers can be mah boyz..and both of 'em are F U N K E E !!!!!!!!!!!!
  • i'm tellin' ya'll..fishbone is FUNKY FUNKY FUNKY..and the way i fell into 'em was diggin' thru the used cd's at a pawn shop one day..i picked up "give a monkey a brain" on the off chance it would be 'interesting'..WELL DAYUM..after i washed all the damn towels those brotha's made me use..(yes, rock can be towel material 2 for me..lol)..i went out and looked for anything of theirs i could get my hands on..'black flowers' kicks a**..it does make u wanna cry..cuz the message is so true...
  • Interesting note you posted. For those not in the know, Vernon came to be known in the jazz world for playing with Ronald Shannon Jackson's band. Wait a second, I got one the discs he's on...Mandance by Ronald Shannon Jackson and The Decoding Society, ah yes, here we go. Recorded in June of 82 (well, it actually says recorded live in the studio, then adds "decoded by Ron St. Germain at Electric Lady Studios-shoot! that was another place I wanted to see while I was in NYC!!!!-NYC, June 82). Besides Vernon (who is credited with playing electric guitar, steel guitar, Roland guitar synth and banjo, this disc also features bassist Melvin Gibbs, who I THINK went on to play with Henry Rollins amongst others. I seem to also recall reading that Vernon played with Defunkt as well, but don't quote me on that. Anyway, yeah, I remember that Living Colour pretty well, in that I remember reading about Vernon in Guitar Player (he was on the cover at about the same time Vivid was released) and seeing the video. Yeah, I remember the hair and Corey Glover's wetsuits. I remember seeing them on one TV show and it looked like besides the wetsuit he was wearing, he even had a jacket (like a high school jacket) that looked to made of neoprene. I think what happened with Living Colour was they were a very diverse band. I mean, look at their singles, Cult Of Personality was a straight hard rock song not too far removed some of those classic Led Zeppelin songs, but with some strange twists, like the spoken word samples (of Malcolm X, JFK and oh, geez, I'm afraid to admit, I can't remember who said the other one, I think it was Teddy Roosevelt) and that weird guitar solo. Vernon definitely let his freaky free jazz roots show without hesitation at moments like that. Then, on the other hand, there was stuff like Glamour Boys which drew highly from African pop music (I forget exactly which particular style it was, but I recall that Vernon said that one of the stars of that style was a 2nd cousin of his).
  • They were EXTREMELY diverse, as you point out, and that may have created a problem with the record execs, in terms of marketing. Going by their logic (and I'm afraid this sometimes true) some people might have liked stuff like Cult Of Personality (just because it "ROCKS, dude") but not something like Glamour Boys (because it's "too wimpy, dude") and vice versa. Trying to market them to radio was probably even harder. First they release a hard rock single, which probably didn't get too much airplay on "black" radio because it didn't sound "black enough", but perhaps got played on so called rock stations or "white" radio stations (though some of them may have said it sounded too funky or something). Then with Glamour Boys, it was the other way around, the song was "black sounding", but since they'd already established themselves as "hard rock band" none of the radio stations probably wanted to play it. Surely, if the "white" stations felt that Cult Of Personality was too funky, well, you know what they felt about a song like Glamour Boys (and I haven't even touched on to the topic of out and out racism, which was probably there in places). On top of that they were REAL experimental, not just in the sense of playing different styles of music, but also in terms of stuff like using vocal samples and drawing on the more outside leanings of Reid's musical experience (like I said, listen to the solo on Cult Of Personality and you already see the tip of the iceberg).
  • You also mentioned that Doug Wimbish played on Stain, and referred to him playing on the old Sugar Hill records, but wasn't he also involved in Tackhead? They were sort of a strange dance/techno/industrial/experimental group. I only ever heard a couple of their tracks, but they were pretty intense. I think having him in the band could have pushed the outer bounds of Living Colour's music even further.
  • Yeah..living colour was a diverse band..they were also something that mainstream america couldn't deal with..like u say, hard to 'categorize' them..well, plain and simple, they're a rock band..i used to ask black folks if they had heard of this badd a** band and getting blank stares and laughs that brotha's would actually 'attempt' to have a rock band..mtv and mick jagger helped put living colour on the map with the public..their opening for the stones opened doors for them and turned a lot of white folks onto their sound..'cult of personality' was played on some (not all) of the rock stations in cleveland..(wmms was good for playing them)..but i don't recall EVER hearing ANY of their music played on any black stations anywhere i ever lived..even 'glamour boys', which i personally don't consider 'black' at all.. 'open letter to a landlord' is to me their most soulful song on 'vivid'..it makes me cry everytime i listen to it..(ironically, when i was in chicago a couple years ago, just as we were driving past the cabrini green projects, that song came on)..'which way to america' was a straight out social commentary on the racial divide in this country..i can't EVER recall hearing it given airplay..'desperate people' is a plea to folks to 'get their sh*t together'..'funny vibe' about the problems of being a black male in america..aside from the kick a** rock the band created, their message is what turned me onto them. .i like music with a message to it..as far as their incorporation of different styles, artists etc. into their sound, i truly feel that was their way of saying "hey, u can put all kinds of styles (just like people) together into a funky cohesion and make it WORK!"..and that's just what they did J
  • (go on virginia, play it loud. your neighbors will love it.)
  • Yeah, I can never understand why people would say something to the effect that a bunch of "brothas" (hope you don't mind me using that expression) would dare to play rock music. The original rock n roll music (well, a lot of it, anyway) was played by "brothas". Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Bo Didley, Hank Ballard and lots others were amongst the early rock n rollers (and for the record, I don't consider Elvis Presley to be the king of rock n roll, selling a bunch of records, then running off to Hollywood to make some of the worst movies ever and record middle of the road 60's pop music doesn't make you rock n roll royalty in my book). And of course, we all know Jimi reinvented the electric guitar and helped to reinvent what rock music sounded like in the late 60's. And I don't think I need to talk about Funkadelic here. :-) It's really sad when you think about how great a ROCK band Funkadelic was in the early and mid 70's (before Clinton started using the Parliament name) and they really didn't get the attention they deserved. I believe it was Bob who said they were never important enough to be anything but the "opening band" on the bill at the shows he went to. And you know, Prince put out some pretty heavy rock stuff too. I have to say, Purple Rain is a GREAT rock album. While I was in NYC a couple weekends ago, I finally got to see a couple minutes of The Undertaker (the video he put out in Japan a few years ago). Unfortunately, I was down to about $40 and then the guy's VCR crapped out on him and the tape got stuck in the machine, so I didn't really get the chance to buy it. Next time I see it, though, I'm definitely getting it, because it looks like it's straight up my alley!
  • Actually I do have a problem with u using the term brotha's when referring to living colour.. but that's beside the point..and i really don't think anyone on this board needs to be taken to 'school' about the roots of rock n' roll..i know i certainly don't considering i'm always reminding people of that..prolly one of the reasons i think more people ought to take a closer look at the rock n' roll bands in this thread..see, for much too long we blacks have allowed people to rape us..music is just one of the many that have occured over the centuries..we allow our history to be rewritten by someone else as well..like the people at 'guitar player' magazine for instance. .it's as if they are the 'bible' on rock n' roll..same thing for 'rolling stone'. .fact of the matter is.they are continuing the rape of black music..and they are whitewashing it for a mindless mass public to take as gospel..modern music as we know it is BLACK music. except maybe for country which basically is the blues dipped in bleach.. now there's nothing wrong with taking something that grooves u and giving it your own twist, but to have COMPLETELY taken something over then hand out a few 'props' to the very people who's creation it is?..that's a friggin FARCE..if it wasn't for the little richards and chuck berry's there would be no rolling stones, led zepplin or aerosmith..without a miles davis there wouldn't be a david sanborn or a tom scott..without a james brown or parliament there wouldn't be any bee gees or 'disco'..without an aretha franklin and marvin gaye there wouldn't be any hall & oates or boy george..modern music owes it's very EXISTENCE to black american musicians..YOU are the one getting an education on what music is on this board. .we are the ones who have lived, appreciated and taught it to those of u who came after us. so don't try and teach the teacher..ok?..just sit back, put your little magazines aside and learn the TRUTH..
  • First of all, I take exception to your comment on Guitar Player. As far as I know, they've never "rewritten" the history of anything! Over the years they've written numerous articles on P-Funk, Bad Brains, Chuck Berry and other important black artists. Sure, they write about a lot of music I don't care about, but they also write about a lot of stuff few other publications touch on to, like avant garde music. As for your insinuation that without Parliament there'd be no Bee Gees, the Bee Gees were around back in the 60's and had numerous hits through out the late 60's and 70's LONG before Saturday Night Fever came along. And saying that the we wouldn't have David Sanborn or Tom Scott without Miles, well, from my point of view that's a bad example. I think a world without elevator music smooth jazz would be a nice place to live. I think a better example there would be "without Miles, there'd be no Mahavishnu Orchestra".
  • And the only rewriting of history I've ever seen in Rolling Stone was when they used a song by Tupac Shakur which was basically an unending stream of epithets and slurs aimed at someone he didn't like (some rival of his, I forget who) as an example of how brilliant his work was! Gee, I didn't know you could be labeled a genius just for writing a song where the entire meaning seemed to be "I'm gonna f*** you up if you f*** with me!". Oh, and if you don't like me not using a certain word, then I suggest you not use it around me. Saying that you can use a certain word but I can't is just as discriminatory as anything else.

 

  • LOL..i see u understood EXACTLY the point i was trying to make otherwise u wouldn't be so defensive..you're right..stick with your magazines..u have not and never will LIVE any of this..u will ALWAYS be on the edges of all this greatness. u can't EVER get inside..but don't be bitter. Far better than u have tried as well..that's why they had to steal it all..no?
  • I'm only being defensive because I think a lot of what you say was SERIOUSLY inaccurate. Can you give me a specific example of Guitar Player magazine re-writing history? And I can't see how you can be any closer to the inside of "the greatness" than anyone else.
  • >>Can you give me a specific example of Guitar Player magazine re-writing history?<<
  • Your question made me look, so I pulled out some of my old copies of Guitar Player Magazine that I still have from the early 1980's when i was into Blues music. I have 10 of them I pulled at random spread out on the floor beside me.

 

  • EVERY SINGLE COVER HAS A WHITE GUITARIST FEATURED We have spoken many times here on the board about the power of marketing being the true force in the music industry and the reason why some artists become stars and others don't (keep an eye on the evolving Meters thread). If during the 1980's Black guitarists couldn't get their face on the cover of Guitar Player magazine, doesn't that contribute to a historical inaccuracy?

 

  1. Wasn't Chuck Berry still around?
  2. What about Ray Parker?
  3. Nile Rogers?
  4. Curtis Mayfield?
  5. Eddie Hazel
  6. Rick James
  7. Sonny Sharock
  8. Muddy Waters
  9. George Benson
  10. Phil Upchurch
  11. Jon Butcher
  12. etc.
  13. etc.
  14. etc.
  15. etc.
  16. etc --------------->
  • Guitar Player magazine may be a "bible" to some people however I would suggest to you that during the 1980's they chose to "distort history", by suggesting that the ONLY guitarists worth featuring on the cover of their magazine were white!
  • Granted, this was likely a decision made by their marketing department to appeal to a certain "demographic" and generate more sales. .......(and that's the point) This is precisely what Vernon Reid was fighting AGAINST when he formed the Black Rock Coalition (BRC) during the 1980's. Sometimes I wish that I could play for all of you the tape of a BRC radio show from 1990 that we gave away to our triva contest winners last year. That tape provides a rich example of just what "black rock" is & yup....(Black Rock is FUNK!!) It's also at the heart & soul of just what 20th century American music is, despite the marketing efforts of Guitar Player magazine.
  • For a brief shining moment in time Living Colour brought things back together again and did so with style. They weren't able to keep it together because of the forces of marketing.
  • I am of the firm belief that when you bring the music together, you also bring the people together & THAT is the road that Living Colour was taking us down. Another tragedy for us all, that they were unable to continue :(
  • I can see where you're coming from, but to come to GP's defense, I've seen articles on all (except Rick James) the artists you named. Some of them (like Jon Butcher) were short, one page type deals) while others were feature articles that went way in depth into the music those artists created. Chuck Berry's been on the cover at least once (in 87) and Muddy Waters was on the cover in 83 around the time he passed away. Also, in the early 80's Guitar Player was a very different magazine than it's been in the last 10 years. They missed the boat big time by not covering the more obscure areas of music. After a change up in editors and publishers in the mid-80's, that's when things got more impressive, in terms of covering people like Sonny Sharrock, Derek Bailey or Hans Reichel. You're talking about what the magazine was during a small window of time over 15 years ago. The magazine has been around for over 30 years now, I think it's best to look at it in the regard, with particular attention to what it is today.  
  • you don't give a d*mn about inaccuracies you want to try and get the last word in. any comparisons i made between various artists in the genres of music i discussed isn't the point here..the point of the matter is you are coming from a position of someone who did not live any of this..i have seen all of this happen over MY lifetime..i didn't have to read about it in some magazine by the very people who have committed this crime against black american musicians..when you were still an egg in your mother's ovaries i was listening to little richard, miles davis and jimi hendrix..so i have seen this travesty first hand..i was jammin' to parliament while visiting my cousins in east cleveland during the summer..i was in the disco's of the u.s. and europe before you were even born..i witnessed this theft as it was taking place..THAT is where i am coming from on this issue..so go ahead and argue semantics with me..most people who are fundamentally wrong always take that route..it's a means of trying to JUSTIFY something..there is nothing here for you to justify..here, let me break it down to a level you might understand..white america stole the music of black america and made it their own and continues to this day to do this..i heard a phrase someone around here coined for that..culture bandits..to this day little richard tells the world he didn't get sh*t for his music..for years there were little jazz clubs in cleveland where miles' music was played..my godfather was one of those musicians..my dad used to take me to listen to them rehearse..he was the ONLY white person that would step foot in there..nowadays the serious jazz and blues concerts and festivals are a sea of white faces..when hip/hop and rap were being born i was there checking them out nowadays when i watch my son and his friends i see little snot nosed white kids trying to be something they're not..black..they take on the music, the style, the attitude..this is history repeating itself again and again..culture bandits.. everything has been 'reworked' for the sake of profit what is inherently black has been whitewashed..mainstreamed..labeled..categorized..
  • i am a black woman..i am part of that greatness..i am a living witness to it's rape..and i mourn for it..i take great offense at those who attempt to tell me i am inaccurate..you, my dear child, are the one who is hopelessly inaccurate..
  • First of all, I was trying to flip with the remarks about smooth jazz. I still thinking you're crazy when accuse Guitar Player of being racist. If they rewrote history, it could just as easily be pointed out there were plenty of white artists that they've never written about. Cases in point: Hawkwind (they did recently do an overview of space rock, which kinda touched onto Hawkwind, but that was 25 years after their first album was released), Can, Marillion, Nektar and lots of other bands. If one is going to accuse them of "rewriting history", let's also point to all the artists that haven't gotten their due in the pages of the magazine, not just the black ones (and as I pointed out in my last post, a lot of the black artists that Bob mentioned HAVE been written about in Guitar Player, frequently, in fact, they were given feature articles).  
  • I think we should look at something here. First of all I thought that Living Colour was a great band for what they were doing. However...they got the major record deal and the Bad Brains didn't. The Brains had been performing before 1978 and I believe they came to NY in 1980...eight years before Vernon even thought of the group."Pay To Cum" was recorded in 1980-81. As I have stated many times and I'm not saying this because I personally know them,.the record industry would not sign the Bad Brains in 1987-88 because of their attitude and because they were considered mavericks.If you don't believe me go look at past articles in publications like the Village Voice and read the history. In the year 1988 in New York, there were many capable bands they could have been signed. but they weren't. The Brains were at the top of a lot of major critics polls at the time...even Melody Maker.As far as speed metal/ thrash goes...ain't nobody as fast as Dr. Know. A Black band playing rock at the time wasn't really that usual and Epic knew what they were doing.(Isn't that the division of Columbia that at one time had Sly and the Family Stone on its artist roster??) Remember that there were bands like Defunkt, Fishbone, and the Specials playing what was termed still "new wave" by mainstream critics as was the Talking Heads and Devo up until the mid 80's. Alternative radio at the time was still relegated to college and non-commercial stations and MTV had to start playing more Black artists in order to survive. We also have to remember also that many of the most popular "alternative" acts were still on independent labels. I believe that Living Colour was set up by the founder of the BRC to get the message out and the industry folks wouldn't promote the group. They fulfilled their contract and they let them go. I just can't buy that disagreement story. You said it yourself...."it was always about the music, never about the image".
  • I met Vernon back in the early 80's when he was touring with Ronald Shannon Jackson. The Decoding Society was baddd!!! It was kinda like Jimi Hendrix and Billy Cobham jaminning with Ornette and Miles if you can imagine that. As for Ron Saint Germain, he also produced and engineered some of the Bad Brains recordings. He did this around the same time period, 82-84.The Glamour Boys were not ready for prime time, .they were ahead of their time and the record companies weren't marketing world beat yet to say nothing of getting airplay on Urban and AOR stations. They were and are still committed to playing "race" records.
  • I agree with what said earlier about Bad Brains. I think the record company execs knew this was a band that would NOT do things the way they wanted them to. I can just picture an A&R man saying "Uh, guys, I don't really hear a hit single here" and stuff like that. They didn't play the games that one has to in order to get on a major label. That happened to a lot of bands, and still does. Meanwhile, all Hanson had to do to get a record deal was grow their hair out so you couldn't tell which gender they were (I'm still not convinced the keyboardist is a male!) and look cute for all the teenage girls. They didn't even have to write decent songs! Such are the frequently stupid and idiotic paradoxes of life!
  • Kevin, I loved your description of Decoding Society. You always hear stories (or at least I have) about how Jimi was getting into jazz or how he was supposed to work with on an album with Gil Evans. I wish I could remember where I read this, but in one of the books or magazines, some writer was talking about going to Jimi's funeral. He was riding in the same car as Miles, who at one point says something like "Man, I wanted to play with him!" and the writer goes "Oh, that's too bad". Miles response? "No, man, it's good cuz now he's jamming with Trane!" There's a thought for ya: Miles, Trane, and Jimi! Throw in Jaco on bass and Tony Williams on drums. Oh man, there's one possible "One he!!uv a band in rock n roll heaven!" for sure!
  • You're probably right, but before I go on, what "disagreement" story are you talking about?
  • But you are on the money, there have been quite a few bands like Living Colour, Fishbone, and Bad Brains over the years. As for Columbia/Epic, there was a time when at least there was "some" type of musical freedom. Look at the late 60's and early 70's, Columbia and Epic had some of the most diverse rosters around: Chicago, Blood Sweat & Tears, Chambers Brothers, The Rascals, Bob Dylan, Sly & The Family Stone, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Ramsey Lewis, Loggins & Messina, Santana... these were albums I grew up listening to because they were in my household, for no other reason other than good music. These days, you have to dig deeper to find any good music, and most likely you have to go to an indie label.
  • So you're probably right about the BRC wanting to give Living Colour a boost. It's odd to think there has to be such a term as "Black Rock" considering where the music originally comes from. You're right about no major labels wanting to sign Bad Brains back in 87-88, especially not when bands like Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth, and Slayer were on the rise (even though they too called the Bad Brains as a major influence, especially Scott Ian of Anthrax). Major labels were more than willing to sign speed metal bands, but not groups who had been around for over 10 years.
  • When I was a teen, and I had my share of punk friends, they all bought the tapes on RIOR and loved it, not because they were black, but because it was great music you couldn't find anywhere else. Listening to Bad Brains wasn't about being "cool", it was about listening to this great band that no one knew about, and it sounded great.
  • But, you are right. The 80's really sucked in terms of the record industry, paved the way for what exists now. But that... is another long story.

 

  • On the "disagreement" part of your letter, are you talking about what I said about Vernon Reid and Corey Glover having musical differences? Well, at least that was the "official" word from Epic Records, and we all know how much BS the record companies give us. I think it's sad that Living Colour ended the way it did, but glad that they ended with the album that shows them in top form.

 

  • >>(and as I pointed out in my last post, a lot of the black artists that Bob mentioned HAVE been written about in Guitar Player, frequently, in fact, they were given feature articles). <<

But as you pointed out they weren't on the cover!

I stoped reading Guitar Player quite a while ago. My only point was to say that magazines make decisions about whom to put on the cover based on marketing considerations. And Guitar Player magazine is no different. Since they are mostly trying to appeal to a white audience, it comes as no surprise to me that they would be reluctant to put the faces of Black musicians on the cover of the magazine. That would be something like "race mixin" (& we can't have that!)

 

  • "I have a reason to believe ....we ALL won't be received at Graceland.." --Vernon Reid

 

  • Off the top of my head, here are some black musicians who HAVE been on the cover of Guitar Player:
  1. BB King (at least once and I'm pretty sure twice)
  2. John Lee Hooker
  3. Jimi Hendrix (many, many, many times)
  4. George Benson
  5. Buddy Guy (twice)
  6. Otis Rush
  7. Vernon Reid
  8. Muddy Waters
  9. Charlie Christian
  10. Albert Collins
  11. Chuck Berry

and I'm sorry to say those are the only ones I can name for certain. Seems likely to me that they MUST have had more blues and jazz guitarists on the cover, but I'd have to do more research before I name anyone further. I do see what you're talking abuot, in terms of marketing. I can't address that issue though, you'll have to take that up with GP's editorial staff, past and present. I care far more about the actual content of the magazine than who or what is on the cover. I've felt they've shown poor taste when selecting some of the people who they've written about (including some of their recent articles on some of the contemporary "alternative" rock groups), but they've also written about people that most of the other musician oriented magazines have never touched, like Sonny Sharrock, Derek Bailey and Hans Reichel. This is why I've subscribed to the magazine for most of the last 11 years.

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