History, Mystery, Music and Pop…

Random thoughts on books and events.

Month: December, 2013

Elvis and the Band

A popular repeat

History, Mystery, Music and Pop...

1971: noone could quite believe it: not his father, not his now-unemployed band; not any of the hangers-on. Not Priscilla, who was quite relieved, really. But Elvis, sick of the exploitation, the mistrust, and, really, sick of not being in control, sacked Tom Parker. It was the Memphis sessions. Chips Moman had told him he was fat and lazy. A man had a choice. Accept it. Or change. The Colonel was comfortable and wanted Elvis comfortable to ensure his own continued comfort. So the break came.

Parker tried fighting; but as Elvis’s attorneys dug into Parker’s past, they found stories that Parker didn’t want told. Once they realised that 1) he didn’t have a US passport; 2) he didn’t have a US passport because he wasn’t eligible for one 3) he wasn’t eligible for one because he was illegal immigrant and 4) he was an illegal immigrant for allegedly terrible…

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Toppermost Queen

Here is your author’s list on the great Toppermost site. Regular readers already know my affection for Queen. Here’s my thoughts. At least today.

Queen toppermost 10

the insane beauty of the banjo

An old blog which I think is ok.

History, Mystery, Music and Pop...

I hate self-indulgence, but I need to explain from where my beloved Washburn B9 banjo comes. Due to a set of circumstances I don’t need to relate here, students and some staff at the institute where I teach chipped in and bought it for me. I still can’t express the gratitude I have for them doing that. I had played a tenor banjo some years back, and the B9 is a 5-string. So, a new instrument. (I also think the tenor was tuned like a guitar… ok, I cheated.)

As you’ll see from my profile pic, I play mandolin (that’s a solidbody I’m holding). I also play guitar and bass. The beauty of the mandolin is its symmetry. Not just horizontally, but vertically, everything works. You play a chord shape or scale on one set of strings, you can play it on another. What I quickly discovered on the banjo…

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