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Well before Harrison Ford was jumping into waterfalls and trying to stay one step ahead of Tommy Lee Jones terrifying case of lockjaw there was The Fugitive as a television series. What a strangely downbeat and moody bit of television this inexplicably popular series was. It ran for 120 episodes from 1963-67, was created by Roy Huggins (The Rockford Files), starred Richard Janssen as Dr. Richard Kimble, the falsely accused title figure, and the last episode remains one of the highest rated in TV history.
Having recently hitchhiked through the full first season (Paramount DVD, 4 discs, $38.99), my dim memories of the series needed a serious recharging. The TV show was neither a cut-and-run suspense machine as I thought, and Janssen’s central figure was far more complex and decidedly less heroic than I recalled. What actually attracted me to this show as a Beaver Cleaveresque pre-teen? It depicts a monumentally grim world, with the truly laconic Janssen sleepwalking from one location to the next, all the while pursued by his equally tortured nemesis, the visually drained and dogged Barry Morse’s Lieutenant Phillip Gerard. The show allows for no reoccurring characters outside of the intertwined duo (a twosome that were decidedly weird for primetime—-both twitchingly neurotic, hollow and haunted), as Kimble stays on the road and on the run, backing himself into the deep shadows of America’s backwaters, stumbling into the briefest friendships and quickly doomed romances.
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Greatest Hit !!!
This is gonna go all over the place folks but I think it's an essential point in rock and roll for me. I've been thinking about the equation all evening. Obviously, "the kids" screaming at The Rolling Stones back in 1965 got a hint too. Pop culture as we know it was changed, once again, by a gaggle of skinny young British guys with messy hair and crazy talent. The rest is history.
Otis "King of Soul" Redding and Jerry "The Ice Man" Butler wrote and produced "I've Been Loving You Too Long", or "I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)" in some instances, in 1965. Redding recorded the song that same year on the Volt/Atco label. It was a huge R&B hit A-Side single (B-Side, "Just One More Day") at the time. Destiny has it's way with artists and songs, and certainly Redding's body of work was destined, and it has been for decades, to be classic.
For all his greatness, Bruce Springsteen’s official releases can be frustrating. Frustrating because some of the unreleased material outshines the actual output.
The projects below (in chronological order) represent three sterling examples of what might have been. Please note I have omitted the long-rumored ’94-’95 hip-hop project, which ranks as the most frightening potential release by a major artist ever.
The Ties that Bind: Following the lengthy lawsuit that preceded Darkness, Springsteen was determined to speed up his recording process and get records in the store more quickly. This is the result; a tight, peppy, poppy (somewhat) masterpiece that included several tracks that would turn up remixed or with different takes on “The River.” Others would show up on “Tracks,” some 20 years later. But “The Ties that Bind” shines with a clarity of purpose, immediacy, and features a stellar collection of songs – including “Loose Ends,” a definitive “Stolen Car,” the gripping first-take “The Price You Pay” with an added verse, and the underrated brilliant and slightly re-arranged “Be True” (called “To Be True” in this incarnation). All this and none of the bloatedness and tinny production of “The River.” Springsteen scrapped this as “not enough” after the No Nukes concerts in Sept. 79.
He was wrong. It was plenty enough. And essential.
As Al Green sings repeatedly, on the great Call Me album,
"Jesus Is Waiting."
George Coleman's nickname was Bongo Joe, but no one seems to know why, least of all George. In Houston during the late '40s, he was turned down for a job as a drummer in a local band because he did not own a set of drums. George got real mad, found a discarded oil drum (Houston has plenty!), dented it with an axe, and hit the streets.
A self-made beatnik, George played for tourists in Galveston and found work in a coffeehouse in Houston. But no one really appreciated his art so George moved to San Antonio, where he played for small change in front of the Alamo and where, on December 7, 1968, on portable equipment, this bizarre album was recorded.
Coleman's instrument is a 55-gallon oil drum which he pounds with the handles of oil cans filled with pebbles and BB-shot. His voice is that of a '50s R&B shouter. At odd moments, he will mumble to himslef, and when he cannot think of anything to say, he whistles or makes bird noises. He is given to mad outbursts of panting and laughter. Although seemingly composed on the spot, his lyrics are hip, filled with bawdy humor and structured as fables. George slings the bullshit real good.