Posts filed under ‘Whatever happend to…’
On the wall next to me is a sketch of Jimi Hendrix, a little hazy looking. His guitar stands out and almost seems like an extra body part. You get that impression o almost all the performance images you’ll find of Hendrix. Why? Because this quiet and humble kind of geezer was able to express himself extremely well through his beat-up Fender Stratocaster. Definitely fascinating, unbelievable even.
Barrie Wentzel took the photo below in Jimi’s London flat at 23 Brook Street, his very own beat bungalow… It’s the place where he the Seattle-born artist lived with his girlfriend Kathy Etchingham from 1968 til 1969. It’s also believed that it’s the place where he wrote most of the songs to ‘Electric Ladyland’. The street has quite a bit of musical history because the house next door used to be the home of Baroque composer Friedrich Händel, whose ghost my favourite guitarist with the cosmic sound is rumoured to have seen in the mirror while shaving… You can watch a clip of the flat at the BBC.
If you’re in London this month, you can take a walk around the flat and see some personal song sheets, photos and rare film footage of the legendary psychedelic soul brother at the ‘Hendrix in London‘ exhibition. If you’re not bothered about any of that and just listen to his music, fair enough, go ahead and turn it up in memory of the man who died 40 years ago today.
James Marshall Hendrix was only 27 years old when he died but in that short time created some amazingly far-out sounds – for me, someone who has no real connection with the 1960s whatsoever, he will always stick in my mind as the musician who made me really appreciate music. When I was 14, the Jimi Hendrix Experience was playing heavily on my stereo and I found those sounds nothing short of spell-binding. Many thanks for that, Mr Hendrix.
What a name, what a guitarist & what a set of sideburns! Dennis Coffey started getting his groove on in the 1960s and was one of the first to introduce the wah-wah sound to Motown. Before working as a studio musician, he had another dream job offer: he was asked to go on tour with jazz organist Groove Holmes. Tough choice, but Dennis had a family to support, needed stady dough and decided to work at Motown.
Sure I know – there’s no need to fill you in cause you already knew, right?
Mr. Coffey not only worked with all the great moaners and groaners of funk & soul music – Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, George Clinton & Wilson Picket, to name a few – but also worked on a few soundtracks, including ‘Blackbelt Jones’ which I bought on VHS from a charity shop ages ago. Not the greatest film, but the music is…something else.
Here’s what our friends over at Dusty Groove had to say about the score to that drop-kick Blaxploitation flick:
“Black Belt Jones has always been the stuff of legend — mostly only issued as a promo single back in the 70s, but funky enough that it’s ranked among the best soundtracks of the decade! The score was composed and performed by Dennis Coffey and Luchi De Jesus — the former a funk star in his own right, the latter the composer of the ultra-hip Friday Foster soundtrack — and together, the pair have crafted some killer grooves that mix guitars, congas, and blasting orchestrations that could plow Enter The Dragon into the dust!”
Word has it he’s living on a farm somewhere in California. Shuggie Otis is definitely one of the most under-rated musicians ever, and I mean ever. He made his mark on modern music, but never got as much credit as he should have. His records have been sampled to death and the Brothers Johnson landed a chart topper with their version of his ‘Strawberry Letter 23‘.
Shuggie has not just got a very cool name, he was also a musical talent from early on. Aged 15, he played guitar and got title credit on all the tracks of Al Kooper’s ‘In Session’ and played bass on the Frank Zappa track ‘Peaches on Regalia‘. He released two solo albums.
Here Comes Shuggie Otis was followed by Inspiration Information, on which he was in his element: he played all the instruments on all songs, except for the string & horn arrangements, and also did early experiments with drum programming. After the album was released in 1974, it all got pretty quiet on the Shuggie front – mainly because he didn’t get the exposure he was hoping for. He withdrew from music and popped back on the scene in the 1990s with irregular appearances. He’s an urban legend who came up with some amazing tunes.
What’s he doing nowadays? No one knows. There’s a short video of Shuggie bigging up raresoul, in which he looks a little shaky, a performance with Mos Def and most recently, he contributed a track to the Novemberin’ compilation – whatever happened, it sounds like the man’s still got it.
It’s not just Christmas that’s being celebrated in a few days…
Krispy are a hip hop group from the north west of England: producer Mr Wiz and his brother Mikey D.O.N. have made a big impact on UK hip hop, especially in the early days when most of the new sounds still came from the US. They were brought up on a diet of roots reggae and dub, mainly through their father’s sound system MellowTone. Together with their homie Sonic G they formed Krispy3, got down to business and released “Coming Through Clear” in 1989. They’ve been on the scene ever since and Mikey now hosts a show on Manchester’s Unity FM (Tuesday, 8-10pm Brit time).
In the 1990s, the Finlayson brothers traveled Europe with MC D on the ‘Kold Sweat’ tour. Mr Wiz remembers: “Katch 22 was also on tour with us and I remember being in Dortmund in Germany, roundabout 1995. The atmosphere was amazing: Mode 2 was painting graff pieces and the crowd were going crazy. It’s something I won’t ever forget.”
This man has definitely got his place in the beat bungalow hall of fame: he’s been on a mission since the early 1980s and is a hip hop original, a next level originator. He invented the transformer and chirp scratches and made his debut with MC Marvelous on legendary Sleeping Bag Records.
What’s he doing now? I don’t know, but one thing’s for sure he’s not working at your local burger joint…more likely that he’s rocking tables across the world. You can check out a Cash Money mix from the 90s here. Also, an interview he did with Earwaks from Canada.
If you’ve ever seen DMC footage of him doing his thing, you know he means business. Straight up vinyl cat from Phillydelphia with lots of energy and a passion for music.
I’ve seen him play three or four times and it’s been a banger every time, especially when he’s been diggin’ in his collection of ultra rare breaks – he’s definitely got enough of ’em to keep you grooving for days. This photo was taken in England six years ago and I asked Cash Money to sign it at another gig, which was a year later in Manchester at the Music Box. Seriously, don’t sleep on this guy. period.