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Showing posts from November, 2018

I Remember Finding Out About You; The Unrivaled Heartbreak of Badfinger's "Straight Up"

There are many tragedies in the world of music. Mozart dying young and penniless, buried in a common grave. Billie Holliday ignominiously handcuffed to her deathbed, charged with drug possession. The shockingly overpopulated Forever 27 Club. But few stories in pop music are as full of woe as the tale of the Welsh group that came to define power pop, Badfinger. The first band signed to The Beatles' Apple Records, they seemed destined for pop greatness—if not outright picking up right where the Fab Four left off—but mismanagement, deceit, and plain old bad luck scuttled all their aspirations. Within an eight year period between 1975 and 1983, the songwriting duo of Ham/Evans, the central creative forces in the band, had both committed suicide. Their deaths were blamed on a convenient combination of despondency over their lack of mainstream success and their sense of betrayal by record companies and managers who had swindled them out of their earnings, but a careful analysis of their…

Months of Garcia #1: January 1978

Welcome to my recurring monthly feature, the cleverly titled "Months of Garcia." In each installment, I'll pick a month of Jerry Garcia's career at random and listen to all the shows, across all his various bands, and write up my thoughts about the various highlights, lowlights, etc. At the end of each entry, I'll reveal the month randomly selected for the next edition. You get the idea. This first entry's randomly chosen month is January 1978, an impressively busy month for Garcia, with 13 Grateful Dead shows over the span of 26 days, most of which are well above average in enjoy-ability, if not in creativity.
The Itinerary

1/6/78 Swing Auditorium, San Bernardino, CA 1/7/78 Golden Hall - San Diego Community Concourse, San Diego, CA 1/8/78 Golden Hall - San Diego Community Concourse, San Diego, CA 1/10/78 Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA 1/11/78 Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA 1/13/78 Arlington Theatre, Santa Barbara, CA 1/14/78 Bakersfield Civic Auditor…