Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Death May Be Your Santa Claus

Dale "Buffin" Griffin (Mott the Hoople drummer) 1948-2016


Glenn Frey (Eagles guitarist/vocalist) 1948-2016




It's been a long week, and it's only Tuesday.

16 comments:

Billy B said...

Buffin, too? Damn. Brain Capers is a great album. A story I've heard was that, when Verden Allen listened to the final mix, he beat the crap (or tried to) out of the producer, Guy Stevens, as the latter had mixed Allen's organ way down.

As for Glenn Frey, I was never a big Eagles fan (too much airplay), but I did like a few of Frey's tunes, namely "Take It Easy", "Already Gone", and "James Dean". Note that Mott the Hoople dedicated "Brain Capers" to James Dean.

steve simels said...

That Verden Allen story is true, BTW.

Mark said...

Brain Caper IS a great album,and I think Mott's best, and DEATH MAY BE YOUR SANTA CLAUS is a killer track from the album. To see Buffin in action -- and Mott in its prime -- go to this French TV clip of Mott from 1971 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Juo7nZ9qrwM).

What's that line you use about death, Steve?

cthulhu said...

Never a big fan of either the Hoople or the Eagles, but I liked plenty of both's work, and both of these are very sad nonetheless.

I watched the Eagles documentary a few months ago and damned if I didn't enjoy it (guilty pleasure: I had forgotten just how goddamned sexy Linda Ronstadt was in the mid-'70s). Saw the Eagles in concert on the "Hotel California" tour in 1977 and, despite the justified accusations leveled against them of "loitering on stage", it was still a most enjoyable show. Frey wrote some good songs.

Like you say Steve, this death shit is really starting to piss me off...

Marc Platt said...

The Rock n Roll Grim Reaper is on the prowl. The 1960's-70's icons who smoked, drank and partied hard are now paying the price. Unfortunately, the party does not go on forever, but these humans all contributed in a great way to their chosen artform and should be remembered. Just sayin'.

Anna said...

Oh, okay...I'll admit it. Working in a record store during the Eagles' middle period (On The Border–The Long Run), I played their stuff and sang along, and kind of enjoyed them. But then a co-worker introduced me to Gram Parsons, and I kind of lost interest in the Eagles. RIP, Glenn.

But we *really* lost a great one with Buffin, and as I said before, to that bastard Alzheimers. Playing the hell out of Mott AND Bowie now.

And did the rest of you see that Jack Daniel's is releasing a limited edition "Motorhead" version of their swill? Lemmy'd have a laugh, I'm sure. But that's corporate America in a nutshell, right there.

Alzo said...

'All the Young Dudes' is my favorite album of all time. I had it on vinyl (twice), 8-track, cassette, and CD (twice). Losing Bowie and now Buffin is like a great book coming to its last page.

Anonymous said...

Buffin was a sweetie. So gentle and antithetical of the stereotypical "rock drummer". I cut my finger and bled all over their first album cover when I opened it with a blade. Those dried blood drops on that Escher sum up my relationship with the band from the beginning and I won't part with it till .... Side One was amazing. By the time I flipped it over and heard "Rock and Roll Queen," I knew that they had a first-class rock drummer.... Jumpin Jack Flash it's a gas, gas, gassssss... Plus I got to meet and see the whole band in Hollywood 1972. With Verden even. At the Hyatt and the Rainbow and the Palladium. Sheer luck.

I guess the first time I accidentally saw Glenn Frey was when he and Souther opened for Poco at the Troub circa 1970. Timmy B was already there and Messina hadn't left yet. I also accidentally saw him and the boys backing Linda Ronstadt at Disneyland summer 1971. Once they got started as an independent unit, they were hard to avoid. Sometimes mismatched, they opened for Procol Harum, Yes, Edgar Winter, the J. Geils Band, Linda Ronstadt and Neil Young at different shows during that formative time in So Cal. Local FM DJ's were blown away by the band's versatility and abundance of talent. Four writers, four singers and great harmonies. Seriously. And pretty good looking too if you make allowances for Bernie. In the beginning, they had a bit of an edge in the live setting. Later, they got so polished that it was like playing the records. But I 'spose there's something to be said for that as well.

Saw 'em scads of times in cut-offs and bikini tops with the warm smell of colitas rising up through the air. Even some of the post 1994 reunion gigs including last year at the MGM Grand. Most memorable gigs - Bridges Auditorium, Claremont Colleges open for J. Geils - but mainly for what happened surrounding the gig; The Civic 1973 when they played the entire new LP "Desperado" in sequence and then the 1st LP nuggets; The Forum 1980 where they had the good sense to employ Roy Orbison as the opener 8 years before he got cool again.

They were mersh. They had a broad appeal. They were overplayed to the point of aggravation. They inspired countless guys to christen their custom vans "Hotel California." They were never as authentic as Gram. But Leadon wrote a nice song about him.

What one would give to have "Tequila Sunrise" and "Desperado" in their canon. The Teen King had it going on. But it's your world now so I guess you'll have to eat your lunch all by yourself. He's already gone.

VR

So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains.
And we never even know we have the key. Rest In Peace. Just like a bird do what it please.



Anonymous said...

stop...please, just stop.

Anonymous said...

don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy

VR

Ken J Xenozar said...

Not sure what it means that I was waiting for VR to post on this all day.

Strumming chords to Peaceful Easy Feeling.

Anonymous said...

VR,

It's not the sound of our own wheels that are driving us crazy. It's the relentless sound of yours.

Billy B said...

VR - Don't stop. I really enjoy your posts.

Anonymous said...

Steve,
Thanks for putting up the photo of Glenn Frey. I know you were not a huge fan of the Eagles but I appreciate your having enough respect to pay tribute. I, on the other hand, am a huge fan of their work; "ONE OF THESE NIGHTS" was the second rock album I ever owned and their show in Toronto at Maple Leaf Gardens in March, 1977 was the first rock concert I ever went to. (Actually, you did say, in AUG '75 review in SR of "ONE OF THESE NIGHTS" that Frey had a "terrific rock voice", whether he was "faking a country twang or not" - turns out he wasn't). It's funny, too, how artist's personalities are often different from their work; I remember Jock Baird, in an article in MUSICIAN magazine around 1984 or '85, saying that Frey was "one hell of a funny bastard" and actually not all that "laid-back or mellow". I feel really sorry about his passing; I could probably go on for many paragraphs but I won't. I will say one other thing: I just re-watched a portion of an interview Glenn did only nine months ago with DAN PATRICK. He was talking about some of the acts the Eagles opened for in the early '70s and he said the members of PROCOL HARUM, one of your all-time favorite bands, were a "great bunch of guys". He said they'd drink with the Procol guys after shows and sometimes gather 'round a piano and sing with Gary Brooker. So that's a nice memory.
Thanks again,

J. Lag

Anonymous said...

don't let the sound of your own spiel drive us crazy

Anonymous said...

Billy B said...

VR - Don't stop. I really enjoy your posts.


Give her your email.