Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Can we still be friends.

Can't you just hear ole Reginald Dwight going "D'oh! Why didn't I think of that?"

TNA presents the first ever Bulb versus Gorjus THROWDOWN over
William Alexander Chilton

Bulb begins:

I've long wanted to make a more sustained argument about why I rate Alex slightly lower than most of my hipper than thou bros (note he has grown on me over the years, and I'm closer to understanding why he gets the cred he does given the scattershot nature of his career). If we can avoid some post-Romantic, post-Goethe Byronic bullshit notion of the tortured artistic genius who's so brilliant he can't get his act together (look at the fulfilled corpuses of stone cold junkies like Miles Davis and Charlie Parker and just step back son) My argument can be made in two words: Todd Rundgren.

Let's examine the facts, shall we:

The early Teenbeat Years

Nazz-"Open My Eyes"
Nazz-"Hello, It's Me"

The Box Tops-"The Letter"
The Box Tops-"Neon Rainbow"

A virtual dead heat except for maybe this famous line "he was the Nazz with god given hands [or is it ass"?]" hmm . . .well, I rapdidly call Snopseitis, cuz span style="font-style:italic;">Ziggy Stardust is 4 years after Nazz's debut; The band was named after a Yardbird's song "The Nazz are Blue" from Roger the Engineer itself named after the comic Lord Buckley's monologue "The Nazz" about Jesus —wait for it—of Nazareth. aha!

Artistic Maturity

Big Star 3 albums 2.5 good ones
Is Third really even a Big Star record after all?

Bonus points to Chilton (along with drummer Richard Rosebrough) for inspiring one of the Bay Area's better record stores: Berkeley's Mod Lang, now up BART in El Cerrito.

Todd Rundgren solo

Something/Anything one of the greatest solo "studio recordings" ever/Top 10 all time double discs.
Hermit of Mink Hollow annual rating 4-star

He's already slightly ahead, and I haven't mentioned anything about Utopia or a late single like "Bang the Drum All Day" or his leadership role on guitar and vocals with the "New Cars" or his cover of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" with Joe Jackson and the quartet Ethel or his Pee Wee's Playhouse soundtrack work.

A record producer to die for in a way that Ric Ocasek only wishes he could be (yup they don't really care for each other or at least Ric has a thing about the "new Cars"). Proof and I'm cutting his vast output down to 6 key records/artists:

The Psychedelic Furs-Forever Now
Meatloaf-Bat of a Hell
New York Dolls
Patti Smith
Hall & Oates

Hell, as Jim Steinman said, "Dude is a genius."

He's also a major player in Silicon Valley where art/music/technology intersect. Among other things, he's a co-inventor of the Flowfazer screensaver.

and, oh yeah, he unwittingly raised Liv Tyler as his own daughter to age 8; Bebe Buell was such a ho. Even after Steven Tyler's paternity was established, Todd kept on raising her through a least her 12th birthday party. My insider sources also told me Steven Tyler was still paying child support to Buell after Tyler was a successful actress. 'Nuff said about it.

No disrespect to Mr. Chilton, but Mr. Rundgren is somebody who really ought to be idolized and have HIS OWN SONG.

Counselor for the Defense Gorjus, the floor is yours!

Gorjus continues:
[I first wrote gorjus on 11/16/07 about this "project." Almost 2 weeks have passed (I wanted to wait a reasonable amount of time after the Thanksgiving holiday to allow him to respond, as I knew he was very busy with professional duties recently); however, at this point I can only assume he has no defense of Mr. Chilton to mount. Should one arrive eventually, I will dutifully post it here.

Oh yeah, Gorjus really does have other very important stuff on his mind, most notably this fantastic event; as Pete Townsend would intone, "You are forgiven forgiven forgiven".]

Now You can decide for yourself.

Some Commentary from the Peanut Gallery

brent writes:

Was in college (East Carolina U.- hippie/pirateland) in early/mid-70's working
as a magic marker display ho at Record Bar. Remember most. Sold nearly all
below in the spiritual purge before taking a first teaching job 1,000 miles
away. Cumbersome vinyl/cardboard anchors but now secretly longed for in the
middle of the night. {Earlier foolishly had a go at illustrating album covers (sort of the IMAX for the 'shroom generation) and was offered PT hours by Dean (of "Jan and Dean") Torrance's company, Kitty Hawk Graphics, in CA. Chose to teach in Nebraska.}


Something/Anything was an explosion like unto the spectral White Album- caused everyone to go home and jimmyrig a studio in their garage/bathroom/car. Genius stuff template. But "Utopia" (the band) is equivalent to "Wings". Sorry.

After vacuuming the record shop, I got all the good promos (corner punched-
can't do that to a CD!) and vibrantly recall taking first Big Star record home.
Revelation- sonic addiction- tried as ever to proselytize all. Soon, they never
made money, dissipated, and took 10 years to become cultic. I always loved Box
Tops' "Neon Rainbow" and sang it loudly while cutting grass (lawn mowing). I
love and am scared of Alex Chilton, Vincent van Gogh, Nijinsky, Montgomery
Clift, and Jackie Sherrill as a clown.

The SECOND concert (first was Herman's Hermits at 32 degrees in a football
stadium) I attended in Charlotte, N.C. was Box Tops/Wilson Pickett MJQ/The Intruders (!!!) at about 15- the whitest person there. Strange, incredible.

Todd Rundgren did produce the bestest XTC LP, Skylarking (also love Mummer, English Settlement, Oranges and Lemons, Nonesuch) altho Partridge and the Runt tried to kill one another. "Nearly Human" by Rundgren is my favorite. I own an unpublished, ltd, hand-drawn book that Andy did after Disney/James and the Giant Peach threw his commissioned soundtrack out for Randy "safebet" Newman's, given to me by Henry Selleck's (Director/T. Burton produced)) partner Craig Newman, who made films with me in college and ran off to Hollywood to do visual effects on "Tron", while I went to graduate school in painting. Andy P. is truly as genius as Todd- but noone trumps Brian Wilson or two headed monster Lennon/McCartney. Thank God, my two musical sons (22/27) care about these last three more than even me. (plus Jeff Lynne) I can die now.

Had enough?

Music that sparked me from the eternal promo bin era: (anyone?)

Glass Harp
United States of America
Joe Byrd and the Field Hippies
Beaver and Krause
Captain Beyond
Wackers Hot Wacks
Sleepy Hollow
Spirit/ Dr. Sardonicus
B S & T/ Child is Father...
Crabby Appleton
Zombies/ Odessey
Colin Blunstone
Marc Wirtz
Emitt Rhodes
Al Kooper solo lp's
[bulb's note: Al Kooper was a famed 60s session man—he played organ on "Like A Rolling Stone" for instance—key member of both The Blues Project and Blood Sweat & Tears, producer extraordinaire, and most famously "discoverer" and first recorder of Lynyrd Skynyrd on his Sounds of the South Label, a subsidiary of MCA]
Beach Boys/ Sunflower

Treat yourself now to the retro-psychedelic "Andorra" by Caribou.

HeyDan writes:

I forwarded your message to Todd's wife who will probably show it to him. : )
Did you know I'm friends with Todd from when we lived in CA together? ; )

* * * * *

He moved to Hawaii and built a house there. Here are some photos of
his house under construction:


He's got a 60th birthday coming up and is planning a big party to
celebrate that and the release of a new album. I've been invited but
I'm not sure if I'll make it or not...

* * * * *

One correction -- Todd raised Liv to at least age 12. I remember a
long ride in a limo that I took with Liv, Bebe, and Todd on our way to
Liv's 12th birthday party.

* * * * *

Todd's wife Michele replied to your message: "Pretty funny, Dan. If I
could understand his monologue...I think I'd hire him as Todd's PR
person. HA!"


John said...

Well Alex Chilton recorded what might have been the first song about AIDS. Doesn't that count for something?

G. E. Light said...


A hit, a very palpable hit."

Points to John and Mr. Alex!