Posts Tagged ‘Ray Neal’

WE RING IN THE NEW YEAR WITH A PRIVATE RESERVE: WITH TOO MANY SONGS AND NOT ENOUGH BAND, BILL SPOONER LAUNCHES FIRST CHUD!

December 29, 2018

The first solo album by Tubes founder Bill Spooner. It is disputed as to whether or not it is truly Spooner’s first as he recorded and released an album under the name of Warren S. Richardson on Cotillion Records in 1969. We’ll be focusing on First Chud.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I see they have added banner ads to the content on this site. I guess the economy is SO great under Trumonomics, the host site has to make my already annoying content even more annoying with pop-down banner ads. I do not begrudge them. This host site has been great to me for many years. I hope to be able to continue my relationship with them for years to come. But please know it is not my personal preference. However, if that’s what it takes to keep this site going and to maintain the archive of atrocities from my feeble, drug-addled, vitriolic brain, so be it. Additionally, as this is the first Private Reserve review, the concept behind it is, I will review vinyl, imports, rare stuff I have or find for my own collection that might be exceptionally unknown, an artist of personal favor or a piece of artistic quality. The hope is I can turn folks on to things they may not know are out there, and to hopefully resurrect interest in these otherwise lost treasures.

Gonna hope we can cut down on these author’s notes in the new year. And happy new year to you! Let’s launch First Chud…

Some times a band hits a brick wall. Try as they may, try as they might, nothing puts them back on the track they were originally on. For Bill Spooner, that band was the Tubes. For the Tubes, that track was success. I’ve gone on and on about the role Todd Rundgren played in the demise of not one but two recording contracts with two separate labels for the Tubes. For the uninitiated, the first time was after Remote Control on A&M in 1979. Then after the tumultuous Love Bomb sessions, not only were the Tubes dropped by Capitol Records during the 1985 tour, while Rundgren’s Utopia was opening for them, Utopia’s label Passport/Jem/Utopia records just up and folded.

It came around to bite Rundgren on the ass.

While Bill Spooner was on Team Rundgren when it came to the production of Love Bomb, lead vocalist Fee Waybill rallied for the return of David Foster. It was Foster who had spoon-fed the Tubes hits by bringing in ‘ringers’ to write and even record parts on songs! While Roger Steen reproduces the solo on one of their hits, “Talk To Ya Later” from Completion Backward Principle with more passion than the recording, it was actually Steve Lukather who played on recording. Foster brought in Tom Snow to co-write some songs, brought in Martha Davis of the Motels to duet on the cover of “Monkey Time” and more that I’m forgetting most likely.

The only guest Rundgren ever brought in was himself.

Spooner loved having Rundgren around. Spooner picked up a lot from Rundgren. Rundgren would co-opt keyboardist (the late, great) Vince Welnick for tours and recording for years until Welnick would get caught up in that whole worthless Grateful Dead-centric universe that, I feel, would ultimately cost him his life.

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EDITORIAL: THESE ARE NOT THE UTOPIANS YOU ARE LOOKING FOR! RUNDGREN TAKES OUT YET ANOTHER BOGUS VERSION OF THE BAND!

April 6, 2018

This photo shoot includes Ralph Schuckett, who would later drop out due to health issues. Those issues being it was making him sick not being able to play like retired Utopia keyboardist Roger Powell. Photo courtesy Sirius XM

I’m out. No, seriously, I am done following and listening to (and reporting on) Todd Rundgren. Most likely his name won’t appear in this blog again outside the context of referring to him as producer, engineer, etc. I have yet to get his latest solo CD “White Knight“. Which is unheard of for me, having once pestered a local record store merchant by going to their store EVERYDAY asking about the not yet released Adventures In Utopia album.

Sicker still, I find it difficult for people to comprehend, but I prefer Rundgren’s more esoteric efforts. No, I hate Something/Anything, that and his Bossa Nova album With A Twist… Then he went EDM. Awwww hell no!!! But I stayed there with Rundgren through all the musical twists and turns he chose to make in his career. Spending a healthy dime on records, cds, posters, T-shirts, pins, on and on and on. Since 1974…

So I feel that (among other things) qualifies me to make these statements.

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PHOTOBLOG: LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE AS MARK MULCAHY RETURNS TO THE BOOT AND SADDLE WITH ENOUGH POWER TO BLOW THE DOORS OFF THE PLACE!

November 20, 2017

Mark Mulcahy returns to the Boot And Saddle this time with his new band. Photo by Lynn Vala

“Aw fuck, seriously?” That’s what I said when I was informed that Mark Mulcahy would be returning to the Boot & Saddle in Philadelphia. Not that the Boot and Saddle is a bad place, it has a lot of charm and most of the folks who work there are really nice. Although, when we were there for Miracle Legion last April, the waitress totally forgot our order. So this time I knew better not to even ask. We went over to the Broad Street Diner before going to the venue. Pretty good food there!

Also, not a big fan of the “exhibitionist” bathrooms at the B and S. Who puts a weighted sliding door on the entrance to the restrooms? Most of the people who went into them didn’t close the door all the way! Nobody wants to see that.

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THE MUSICAL COMET THAT IS LORD RUSS RETURNS WITH FUTURISTIC VISIONS OF THE PAST. HAVE YOU HEARD???

July 17, 2017

The newest take on some established songs, done Lord Russ style! Photo courtesy Russ Brooks

Lord Russ has a past with this blog. That sounds so sordid, doesn’t it? But that ‘past’ is a good one! Lord Russ found me while I was still with Princeton Record Exchange. He took advantage of my open position that “if you have the balls to accept what someone who knows something about music has to say about yours, bring it!” and brought me his first delightful album Heir Of Mystery! Easily the best “indie” (in the truest sense of the word, Lord Russ’ neighbor, Mark Mulcahy and his band Miracle Legion roadied for themselves on their recent reunion tour, set up, tore down, and loaded out, here’s a band that’s been on TV, David Letterman, Adventures Of Pete and Pete, too numerous to list, having to roadie their own shows because that’s how the record industry is now) disc to come my way this year. The fortunate part of the Miracle Legion show was the availability of two new releases, two double live CDs, one from Miracle Legion, and one from Polaris. The difference being, no Ray Neal in Polaris, his place was filled by another Lord Russ neighbor, Henning Ohlenbusch who played lead guitar and allsorts. The CT/Mass music scene is a very intriguing one. If what Fatso Jetson leader Mario Lalli claims is correct, the High Desert/Wonder Valley scene is dead.

But I digress…

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MARK MULCAHY FOLLOWS HIS PATH TO BEING HIS VERY OWN TRUE STAR AS THE POSSUM IN THE DRIVEWAY SOARS INTO NEW TERRITORY

May 28, 2017

The newest from Mark Mulcahy “Possum In The Driveway” Photo courtesy of Mezzotint

Mark Mulcahy and I have something in common. We both like the music of (the newly indoctrinated) Dr. Todd Rundgren. A while back I remember reading an interview with Mulcahy in which he expressed dismay over Dr. Rundgren’s initial comments upon taking the stage: “If you came to hear the hits, you may as well turn around and get your money back…”. Much akin to the Doc’s recent position on Donald Trump.

It seems I was in that audience with Mulcahy the night Doc said it. This means little as I am (or was) in a lot of Rundgren’s audiences.

Now keep in mind, Mulcahy is Mulcahy, Rundgren is Rundgren. What that means in at least one aspect, the Rundgren’s time is soon to end. He looks old, he claims to be blind (but I’ve heard that before), and I have yet to purchase or analyze his latest album White Knight. But I know he no longer has the time or patience to make another A Wizard A True Star.

Enter Mark Mulcahy…

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THE END IS HERE! BOULEBLOG GOES ROGUE TO BRING YOU THE LAST OF THE MIRACLE LEGION!!

April 21, 2017

One of the last hurrahs of Miracle Legion. Photo by Lynn Vala

Life is too short. Sometimes certain events cause you to rethink what you had previous thought. The farewell tour of Miracle Legion is an event that should not be missed. I would have liked to bring you this revue earlier but they did not come my way until last night, April 20, 2017.

The waiting was worth it. I have been into Miracle Legion since the mid 90’s when Polaris, (their fracture group formed at the request of the producers of Nickelodeon’s The Adventures Of Pete And Pete, who wanted to use Miracle Legion music in the show) was first seen romping about in the Pete’s front yard. I researched into Polaris and found the hidden treasure that is/was Miracle Legion.

Miracle Legion’s downfall was no fault of their own. They are a tight band. Once the lineup of Mark Mulcahy (vocals, winds, guitar) and Ray Neal (guitar) was solidified with the addition of Dave McCaffrey (bass and vocals) and Scoutt Boutier (drums), this band became a killing machine! Rage Against The Machine? Outside the obnoxious angst RATM offered, Miracle Legion was a better oiled machine. Mulcahy’s lyrics carried more weight in controversial areas than Zack de la Rocha could ever dream of. During the show’s “encore” (the band could not leave the stage due to the bizarre location of the stage in the venue) Mulcahy related how, after the release of their song “Snacks And Candy” about the killing of Yusef Hawkins, and how they were invited to and did meet Al Sharpton.

The super-sized Sharpton.

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WE RETURN WHERE WE LEFT OFF! ANNOUNCING THE NEW MARK MULCAHY ALBUM AND THE NEW MIRACLE LEGION LIVE ALBUM! WE ARE RESPLENDENT WITH GOODNESS!

April 8, 2017

A future look at the new Mark Mulcahy album “Possum In The Driveway”. Photo courtesy Mezzotint

It has been 366 days, to the day since I last posted. I will only say this was out of a legal necessity. I have waited out that contract so now, I am free to publish what and how often I do so. I choose to do so by picking up where we left off last year. Promoting the works and music of Mark Mulcahy and Miracle Legion.

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MIRACLE LEGION REUNITE, ANNOUNCE REISSUE AND TOUR DATES! THIS IS NOT A DRILL

February 24, 2016
The cover for Portrait Of A Damaged Family coming out on vinyl during April's Record Store Day.

The cover for Portrait Of A Damaged Family coming out on vinyl during April’s Record Store Day. Photo courtesy of Mezzotint

I’ve been away from this blog for a while and for good reasons. The only one you need to know is, I wanted to show my support for Eagles Of Death Metal. I said I would not take down that post until they got back to form. For all you EODM fans, you KNOW the boys came back strong and loud in Paris, with Josh Homme joining in!

So let’s move on to the real meat of the matter, the reunited MIRACLE LEGION!!!

I never thought I’d type that…

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PHOTOBLOG: DEAR MARK J. MULCAHY, WORLD CAFE LIVE LOVES YOU – 3-10-14

April 11, 2014
Mark Mulcahy wails on his trusty Epiphone.  Settle in for some amazing songs, stories and smiles.  Photo by Lynn Vala

Mark Mulcahy wails on his trusty Epiphone. Settle in for some amazing songs, stories and smiles. Photo by Lynn Vala

For all intents and purposes, I had retired from covering live shows.  My body is old and beaten, your average concert attendant is more concerned with getting drunk and being obnoxious as opposed to sitting and listening to the performer du jour.  After all, you are talking to someone who was actually kicked in the head during a Nine Inch Nails show!  Some inconsiderate booby was running in the row behind my seat and clocked me in the head with his leg!

This was many years ago, before NIN had become the joke that it is today.

But when I got word through Facebook that Mark Mulcahy was coming to one of my all-time favorite venues, World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, the prospect of seeing Mulcahy live was too overwhelming to pass up.  Retirement be damned!

My first course of action was to reach out to the accommodating folks at WCL, specifically one Danielle F.  For those who have a history with the club, I used to have a relationship with Lauren Squazzo who moved on to greener pastures (as if there are any greener pastures than working at a killer club that has an upstairs bar with a stage for local and up and coming performers as well as hosting children’s shows, but is also affiliated with and houses Drexel University’s WXPN radio and has a killer theater/restaurant/bar in the lower level that has hosted acts from John Wetton, Laurie Anderson, Todd Rundgren, Robert Fripp’s words and music tour, to date his last solo US tour, Adrian Belew, Adrian Belew’s Power Trio and Power Trio bassist Julie Slick, a Philly native, as well as more that I am forgetting).

Every good wish to Lauren, but Danielle is equally a joy to work with.

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THE REVIEW WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR! MARK MULCAHY RESURFACES AFTER SOME HARD TIMES. DEAR MARK J. MULCAHY, WE ALL LOVE YOU!

August 14, 2013
This disc is one that has been long anticipated by the fans fellow recording artists, and perhaps more people we don't even realize… yet!

This disc is one that has been long anticipated by the fans, fellow recording artists, and perhaps more people we don’t even realize… yet!

Art is often born of tragedy.  War memorials, natural disaster memorials, Van Gogh…  But some tragedies are needless, senseless. In 2008, Mulcahy lost his wife Melissa, who left behind two daughters.  An all star tribute album Ciao My Shining Star, The Songs Of Mark Mulcahy was released featuring covers of Mulcahy tunes by such notables as Thom Yorke, Frank Black, The National, Dinosaur Jr., Michael Stipe, Juliana Hatfield, Mercury Rev, David Berkeley and Frank Turner, which served as a benefit album for Mulcahy.

Before you get all critical, no I was not waiting for this review because of Ms. Mulcahy’s passing, but rather, I have been aching to put Mr. Mulcahy’s music into your ears.  He is truly an amazing songwriter, singer and overall presence.

This hasn’t been the first bit of hard luck Mulcahy has faced.  His break-through band, Miracle Legion, couldn’t catch a break with the help of the entire Red Sox outfield roster.  They had signed to fledgling label Morgan Creek.  If you are asking why that name sounds familiar, it is because Morgan Creek also operated a movie distribution/production company.  As the band built up steam despite the exodus of various members of the rhythm section such as Jeff Wiederschall, Joel Potocsky, Steven West, final Miracle Legion players Scott Boutier and Dave McCaffrey went on to form Polaris with Mulcahy to be house band for the Nickelodeon show The Adventures Of Pete And Pete.  For one episode A Hard Day’s Pete, Ray Neal rejoined the band for a cameo appearance playing the Polaris tune “Summerbaby”.

But Neal departed the music business after getting a true spoonful of the corruption and deceit that were rampant in the final few years of the music industry’s hay day.  You see, Miracle Legion were the real deal, often compared to R.E.M., Mulcahy’s lyrics were far more impassioned, far more literate than anything Michael Stipe came up with.  The majority of you will disagree.  You may want to make an informed decision on that by getting any and all Miracle Legion, Polaris and Mark Mulcahy products, hearing them and THEN making your decision.

But let’s get back to the new music from Mark Mulcahy, Dear Mark J. Mulcahy, I Love You.

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