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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Just, day-yum! This (still) makes me sad... updated

Buddy Blue 1957 - 2006

"Buddy was a San Diego legend and a founding member of The Beat Farmers, the best band to ever come out of San Diego"
-- thanks to Tbogg - comments...
A memorial for Buddy will be held this Friday, April 7, at 12:00 noon.
Those whose lives were touched by Buddy are urged to attend. Please be
at the amphitheatre at Harry Griffin Park, 9550 Milden St. La Mesa, CA

update: 5-14-06
Joe Bonamassa's blog entry (with links to YouTube videos of The Beat Farmers):

update: 4-11-06
Bernard ``Buddy'' Seigal

LA MESA, Calif. (AP) - Bernard ``Buddy'' Seigal, a member of the country-rock band the Beat Farmers and a fiery music journalist, died Sunday. He was 48.

Seigal died of a heart attack at his home, said Will Swaim, a colleague at the OC Weekly, for which Seigal had written features and music reviews since the mid-1990s.

The singer and guitarist, who performed under the stage name Buddy Blue, was a founding member of the Beat Farmers, who formed in 1983. He left the band in 1986 and later enjoyed a successful solo career, playing under the marquees of acts including the Buddy Blue Band, the Rockin' Roulettes, the Jacks and Raney Blue.

Starting in the 1990s, he worked as a music writer, contributing to the Los Angeles Times, the San Jose Mercury News, The Orange County Register and The San Diego Union Tribune.

some great the definitive "Powderfinger"

and his latest masterpiece with The Farmers...

a taste from the upcoming Beat Farmers documentary

Another taste of what we have lost...this time as a writer.
Buddy's latest newsletter, (2006-03-22) "Blue Journalism" offering:

How cool is it when your favorite pop stars turn out to be exactly who you thought they were, who you want them to be'Pretenders' braintrust Chrissy Hynde is so exquisitely Chrissy Hynde, you get the sense she'd be the selfsame Chrissie Hynde if she'd been born in another solar system a millennium ago.
Rocker chick; biker mama; sneering punkette; potty-mouthed malcontent ' Hynde is all these things wrapped in a complex package of razor-wire wit, humor and intelligence; cultivated androgyny offset by a uniquely Hynde-ian femininity.
A rock & roll fanatic and wayward youth, Hynde moved to London at age 22, all alone on a whim, possessed of a dream to be in a band, not to have a band, not to become a rock star, just to be in a band.
Of course, that came to pass in ways Hynde never anticipated, the Pretenders were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last year, and were just honored with a five-disc boxed set, 'Pirate Radio.'
When discussing the expansive anthology, Hynde seemed vastly more excited about the enclosed poster by infamous underground cartoonist/gleeful filth-monger S. Clay Wilson than the tribute accorded her band. Wilson, part of the Zap Comix crew, specializes in tales of pirates, bikers and demons engaging in the sort of perverse atrocities that tend to inspire serial killers.
'I wanted to do something with S. Clay for years, and when I found it was called 'Pirate Radio,' I was like, 'Perfect! Fuck! I found it!'' cackled Hynde. 'That's a big part of the whole fuckin' thing for me, it's the coolest thing ever! S. Clay really influenced me. I did all kinds of shit a normal kid wouldn't have done because of him. I got into some trouble with some bikers and I blame S. Clay for a lot of it. I thought it was normal to 'hit people in the back of the head so it don't leave no mark.' He seduced me with his pornographic violence. I was even nicknamed after one of his characters when I was at Kent State people called me Bernice, because she had a penis tattoo with the slogan "Wish I Had One."
Pressed if she felt any sense of artistic esteem due to 'Pirate Radio,' Hynde sneered, 'I don't give a fuck about any of that kind of stuff,' a response she conferred upon several similar queries. Hynde did, however, fess up to one upshot, she's happy if it bestows some attention upon late Pretenders guitarist, James Honeyman-Scott.
'Jimmy was one of my personal agendas on the boxed set, because I think he was one of the great, great guitar heroes,' said Hynde. 'He died so young, a lot of people don't recognize that. For myself, I don't care if I'm remembered or not ' when I'm gone I'm outta here -- but I know Jimmy would have wanted to be remembered as a great guitarist, and I'd like to make sure that happens.'
Let us now, then, acknowledge Scott's greatness, along with original Pretenders bassist Pete Farndon, drummer Martin Chambers, and, greatest of all, Hynde herself. The initial line-up produced one of the most magnificent, electrifying rock & roll albums of any era with it's self-titled, 1980 debut.
'The Pretenders' featured throbbing, psychotic punk tracks like 'Precious' and 'Tattooed Love Boys' side-by-side with the radio-ready hits 'Brass In Pocket' and 'Stop Your Sobbing,' establishing a career-long, schizoid methodology.
It was an oddball outfit for sure, three accomplished musicians from the countryside of England with decidedly different tastes, led by a tuff, barmy chick from Akron, Ohio with no training and a major 'tude.
'I was a Yank and they were guys who were a couple years younger than me from out in the sticks,' Hynde recalls. 'I'd been hanging out with all the punk bands in groovy London -- the Damned, the Clash, the Sex Pistols -- and the guys were outsiders. Jimmy Scott had no time for the punk thing at all, he hated it, he thought it was unmusical.'
Somehow, it all coalesced to perfection. Hynde's alternately enraged, tender, obscene and uniformly brilliant lyrics counterbalanced her uncanny knack for constructing infectious pop melodies. Her purring vocal vibrato, half-spoken asides and shouted tirades were complimented by Scott's Jeff Beck-ly guitar heroics, Farndon's R&B muscle and Chambers' uncanny ability to realize Hynde's often difficult vision; sometimes playing in thorny time signatures to befuddle the most outre jazz musician.
Sadly, the original line-up was fleeting. Scott and Farndon OD-ed within months of one another in 1982, with a scant two albums under their belts. Although Hynde led endlessly re-vamped versions of the Pretenders on to greater commercial triumphs, 'Message Of Love' and 'Back On The Chain Gang,' among others, remain classic rock radio staples to this day -- the sound and dynamic were never the same.
'(Scott and Farndon's deaths) took the wind out of my sails and it was hard to find the edge again,' says Hynde. 'It took me seven years to find those guys in the first place. It's a marriage. You see a lot of guys you fancy but you don't want to fuck all of 'em and you certainly don't want to marry all of 'em, and when you do, you regret it anyway. Getting the right chemistry is a once-in-a-lifetime deal.
'You know, we went through 25 years of tapes for the boxed set. Not all of it is great, but it seemed to be a good cross-section of stuff. It shows that sometimes I lost the plot but sometimes managed to retrieve it along the way, and let's face it ' that's life.'
Life has taken strange turns indeed for Akron's preeminent rock & roll rebel. Hynde lived her dream, but often finds the resultant price to be a curse. For starters, she resents it when feminists expect her to be a role model or spokesperson.
'I never wanted any gender issues, but women, mainly, have tried to get me to say that I had to work extra hard to prove myself, blah, blah, blah. C'mon, it's show business. It was a novelty that I was a chick to some degree, that's all.'
Worse yet to Hynde is the perception of respectability that walks hand-in-hand with commercial success.
'That was out of my control, that was everything I never wanted,' harrumphed Hynde. 'I never wanted to court the mainstream in any way. It was like being inducted into the Hall Of Fame ' 'Thanks guy, but no thanks.' I don't want to be famous, I don't want every fucker out there to recognize me when I go for a walk, I don't want to know them and I don't them to know me. I want to stay in the dark, I want to live outside the law, I don't want to be part of the establishment. This is an industry and everyone's trying to sell their fish. All I'm doing is trying to keep my thing alive.'

The Pretenders, March 27-28 at House Of Blues, 1055 Fifth Avenue, 8PM, $45, 619.299.BLUE.


Jimi Hendrix transcended everything. Nobody ever said, 'Jimi Hendrix ' Black Artist.' He brought cosmic consciousness into it, he brought musical virtuosity, he did stuff with a guitar no one had ever done, he was always searching for the lost chord in the tradition of the great jazz musicians, looking up all the time. Plus, he rocked and he looked fucking great!

I think he's probably the best rock poet. He's a great mover, he's real honest about what he does, he writes genius songs all based around great riffs -- and he's fun.

I went to see Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels at an amusement park when I was 13, and they had a fistfight onstage. I was mesmerized! I begged some friends to stay and watch the second show with me, and they had the same fistfight again. That's when I began to understand what show biz is all about.

A great singer, a great showman, a great songwriter, he had a great band with great riffs and was a total original. To my mind, he's the only one that ever brought theater into rock & roll successfully.

I'm not too sure that American audiences get him, but he's got incredible charisma coming from a very English place. I don't think America appreciates Oasis, but Liam Gallagher is a great frontman.

He had the most sensual, glorious, full-bodied, evocative voice of all-time, I think. He had this yearning quest for the hobo, that Dharma Bum, that early hippie optimism, that freight train freedom ride agenda, to everything he wrote. He transcended all genres, he did things his way and there was never anyone like him, ever.


Blue Notes
By Buddy Blue

About fifteen years ago, I noted a curious trend of clearly desperate '70s rock guitarists suddenly determining that their true calling was actually as 'bluesmen' rather than former arena-rockers faded from popularity. Robin Trower, Les Dudek, Alvin Lee, Rick Derringer'there were others but I can't recall them all now, which is probably best for my mental health in any event, as the recorded results were predictably undignified to downright appalling (these guys were all great axe-slingers who were about as equipped to be blues singers as they were, say, gangsta rappers or CPAs).
Saddest of all to fall was Derringer, because I loved the guy for years; from the time he was frontman of '60s Indiana garage-rockers the McCoys ('Hang On Sloopy,' 'Fever'); to his brief tenure with Johnny Winter And ('twas actually Derringer that wrote such kick-ass Johnny-associated tunes as 'Rock & Roll Hoochie Koo,' 'Cheap Tequila' and 'Still Alive And Well'); to his subsequent work as a foil for brother Edgar, both with White Trash and the Edgar Winter Group; to his belated but briefly sensational career as a solo artist (Derringer's 1974 debut album, 'All American Boy' remains one of the most thrilling guilty pleasures from a decade rife with such entities).
The boy could shred with rare, relentless, and inspirationally tasteless speed; he boasted both a pouting face and skreeking voice like a hormonal 13 year old girl; he was known to don rouge, mascara, silver leather, spandex and outlandish ugg boots (betcha he was a fave pin-up boy among San Quentin inmates), and was known for twirling about onstage like a sugar-overdosed toddler, as he inevitably exhorted the throng to relate its desire to wanna 'ROCK & ROLL,' followed by the inevitable, 'I CAN'T HEAAAAR YOU!'
If the 'bluesman' transformation weren't degrading enough, Derringer deigned an album of elevator-worthy smooth jazz called 'Free Ride' a few years back that included several re-workings of his old faves that came off like Richard Cheese gone instrumental (one must actually hear 'Frankenstein' as Kenny G fodder to believe it). Most troubling was that you got the impression it wasn't merely a bad joke a la Cheese; Derringer actually seemed serious about it.
The good news this week is that Derringer's current tour is promoted as 'Rockin' In The U.S.A 2006,' which bodes well for a return to tasteless shredding and adenoidal vocalizing, if not rouge and spandex. For Derringer, you see, is no longer capable of serving as pin-up fodder for hardened cons or anyone else for that matter ' at 58, he's now short-haired, dumpy and jowly, more resembling San Diego's Freedom Guitar owner Ves Bowen than a teen-aged Joan Jett.
That's okay, that's life, it's like Grace Slick recently opined to MSNBC, 'I've never seen any old people, including myself, I like to look at. It's like rotting fruit. Old people should be heard and not seen. Young people should be seen and not heard.'
See him, feel him, touch him, heal him when Derringer plays 'Canes tonight. Yell requests for 'Teen-Aged Love Affair'!

Tomorrow night, super-sexy blues/soul (with a touch o' jazz) diva Janiva Magness hosts a CD release party for her excellent new disc, 'Do I Move You' (the answer is obvious, toots!), at Humphrey's Backstage Lounge on Shelter Island, while rip-roarin' East L.A. vato-rockers the Blazers tear it up at Tio Leo's Lounge in Bay Park.


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