February 27, 2015

20,000 Vinyl LPs 34: Leonard Nimoy ~ The Way I Feel (goodbye Mr. Spock)

photo by Styrous®

Mr. Spock died today. Actually, Mr. Spock will never die; Spock will go on forever. It's the man who portrayed him on the ground breaking TV series, Star Trek, who died. Of course, he did many other fine performances in various productions but it will be his "Spock" that will live in my memory of him.

Of the many wonderful characters on the Star Trek series, and there were many, Spock was my favorite. Being a closet nerd all my life I could relate to him. Thinking about this as I write, I suddenly realize the origins of my current fascination with The Big Bang Theory. I seem to attract/am attracted to nerds.

The Way I Feel is the third studio album by Leonard Nimoy. It was released in late 1968 by Dot Records, the same year Two Sides was released.  

Unlike the first two albums, Nimoy stepped away from his Mr. Spock persona on this album. There are no science fiction, Spock themed songs, or outer space sound effects featured on the album. The album consists of folk songs. However, it is believed that the spoken word tracks, Consilium and Where It's At loosely tie into the Spock persona.

The songs

My favorite music cut from this album was actually written by Nimoy and Don Christopher. Please Don't Try to Change My Mind is a fun, bouncy, country-western feeling tune in which he sounds amazingly like Johnny Cash.

In Where It's At, features Nimoy speaking rather than singing the words, ergo, it's one of the best songs on the album. It is a lovely, gentle kind of beat that wanders around, through and over the words of Nimoy. Very nicely done.

Consilium is also a spoken rather than sung piece. It was written by Nimoy but this  time with Charles R. Grean. The words are beautifully relevant to the reality of everyday survival that holds true today evan as it did then.   

Nimoy's voice is not the greatest you've ever heard nor is it the greatest album ever recorded but it is fun to listen to it in reference to the career of Nimoy.

ø ø ø

Leonard Nimoy died this morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Westside Los Angeles, California. His obit says he was 83, but, no . . .

. . . he was Timeless!

Live long and prosper!

Track listing: 

Side one:

  1. "I'd Love Making Love to You" (David Schudson)
  2. "Please Don't Try to Change My Mind" (Don Christopher, Leonard Nimoy)
  3. "Sunny" (Bobby Hebb)
  4. "Where It's At" (Cy Coben)
  5. "Both Sides Now" (Joni Mitchell)
  6. "If I Had a Hammer" (Pete Seeger, Lee Hays)

Side two:

  1. "Here We Go 'Round Again" (Paul Evans, Paul Parnes)
  2. "Billy Don't Play the Banjo Anymore" (Randy Sparks)
  3. "It's Getting Better" (Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil)
  4. "Consilium" (Leonard Nimoy, Charles R. Grean)
  5. "Love Is Sweeter" (John Hartford)
  6. "The Hitch-Hiker" (David Somerville, Bruce Belland)


  • Produced by Charles R. Grean and Tom Mack
  • Arranged by George Tipton ("Both Sides Now", "If I Had A Hammer", "Here We Go 'Round Again" and "It's Getting Better"),
  • Arranged by Charles R. Grean ("Where It's At", "Billy Don't Play The Banjo Anymore", "Consilium" and "The Hitch-Hiker"), Ray Pohlman ("I'd Love Making Love To You" and "Please Don't Try To Change My Mind"), and Bill Stafford ("Sunny").
  • Engineered by Thorne Nogar.
Released: 1968
Label: Dot Records
Producers: Charles R. Grean and George Aliceson Tipton    

Leonard Nimoy complete bio on Wikipedia
New York Times obituary with video 
Star Trek Homepage  


Leonard Nimoy songs on YouTube:  

 Please Don't Try to Change My Mind 
Where It's At  
If I Had a Hammer 

~ ~ ~

I started the Vinyl LP series because I have a collection of over 20,000 vinyl record albums I am selling; each blog entry is about an album from my collection. Inquire for information here.   

~ ~ ~

Styrous® ~ Friday, February 27, 2015

February 26, 2015

101 Reel-to-Reel Tapes 97: Electric Prunes ~ Release of an Oath

reel-to-reel tape box cover detail
cover photo by Sid Avery
detail photo of cover by Styrous®

In addition to my 20,000 Vinyl LP collection I'm selling, I have reel-to-reel, pre-recorded tapes for sale. If interested, contact me by email please, not by a comment. 

The Electric Prunes ~ Release of An Oath , reel-to-reel tape, was for sale on eBay. I have others for sale on eBay now (see links below).    

~ ~ ~

The Electric Prunes is an American rock band that achieved international attention as an experimental psychedelic group in the late 1960s. Its big hit was the 1966 song, I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night. The band is also recognized for the song Kyrie Eleison from the Mass in f minor.  

The founding members were Ken Williams (guitar), James Lowe (lead vocal, autoharp), Michael Weakley, Joe Dooley (drums) and Mark Tulin (bass). At first they called themselves The Sanctions, and later, Jim and the Lords.

reel-to-reel tape box cover
cover photo by Sid Avery
photo of cover by Styrous®

photographer unknown

Japanese magazine

Prunes Manager, Lenny Poncher, and Prunes producer, Dave Hassinger, struck upon the idea of an orchestral rock version of a mass in Latin. Release of An Oath is the fourth studio album by The Electric Prunes, released in 1968. Following the musical pattern of their Mass in F Minor, it is a rock music setting of a service intended to release a penitent from an oath "made under duress and in violation of his principles" (liner notes). 

The album is subtitled The Kol Nidre - a prayer of antiquity, and is often referred to simply as The Kol Nidre. The Jewish Kol Nidre prayer, on which the first track is based, remains in current use as a central part of Jewish worship.  

Despite the subtitle and popular name, the remaining tracks of the album are based on a mix of Christian and Jewish liturgies.

reel-to-reel tape box cover back
art direction by Ed Thrasher 
photo by Styrous®

Liner notes:

"Through the centuries and out of the travail of the past, man has many times, in his search for a better life, been forced by powers beyond his control to foreswear the principles of his fathers and to accept the yoke of a conqueror who might vanquish his body, but not his soul. But no man of principle can live with himself having foresworn the ideals that he lives by. In yearning to free his spirit of the conqueror's yoke, he has conjured up a psychological release that enables him to break the chains that bind him to any oath made under duress and in violation of his principles. Such a lament is the Kol Nidre - a prayer of antiquity which cleanses the spirit and enables man to start anew, with his eyes again on the stars.  

This, then, is the music of the Kol Nidre, which is as modern and meaningful today as when it was first written. David Axelrod has brought the music into a contemporary stance by blending the melodies of the centuries with today's contemporary sounds. David Hassinger has taken the efforts of David Axelrod and, with his provocative talents, has in turn blended them into this artful presentation by The Electric Prunes." 
(Jules B. Newman - cover of 'Release Of An Oath')

All the songs are predominantly instrumentals with very little vocal. Kol Nidre starts with a slow, mysterious and dramatic orchestra with a male chorus, 1 minute intro which goes into a moderate rock beat with orchestra then slows down with the male chorus again. This goes back and forth a couple of times; there is a very dramatic and liturgical feeling to the song as there is with most of the other ones on this album. 

Holy Are You has a slow, very quite piano start that goes into a duet with a male vocal intro. It has a very slow and dreamy feeling with some GREAT guitar work by either Howard Roberts or Lou Morrell

reel-to-reel tape box cover back detail 
art direction by Ed Thrasher 
detail photo by Styrous®

General Confessional has an organ start with an hesitant bass guitar intro that sounds very church-like, reverent feeling. This goes into a slow rock instrumental with a full orchestral backup with lots of guitar work. Three and a half minutes into the melody there is a five second male chorus, no more.

reel-to-reel tape box cover back detail 
art direction by Ed Thrasher 
detail photo by Styrous®

Individual Confessional starts suddenly with organ and drums. "For all our sins Oh, God sustain us . .  .". It is mostly instrumental with a full orchestral backup again on this one. It is faster than the General Confessional.

reel-to-reel tape box cover back detail 
art direction by Ed Thrasher 
detail photo by Styrous®

Our Father, Our King starts with a piano and bass guitar intro. It has a moderate speed rock tempo, again with the full strings backing it.

reel-to-reel tape box cover back detail 
art direction by Ed Thrasher 
detail photo by Styrous®

The Adoration opens with organ, guitar and orchestra. It is a moderate speed, gently syncopated piece with great organ, drums and guitar work. 

Closing Hymn starts suddenly with organ, drum, bass guitar. A slow march beat with full orchestral backup. This song has the most vocal to it. 

reel-to-reel tape label detail
detail photo by Styrous®

Track listing

All tracks composed by David Axelrod

Side 1: 
  1. "Kol Nidre" 4.14
  2. "Holy Are You" 4.05
  3. "General Confessional" 4.15
Side 2: 
  1. "Individual Confessional" 2.10
  2. "Our Father, Our King" 3.10
  3. "The Adoration" 3.48
  4. "Closing Hymn" 2.53


According to Wikipedia, although credited to the Electric Prunes, the album is largely the work of composer and producer David Axelrod and a group of session musicians. Personnel included:
Only the vocals appear to have been recorded by the band members.  

More info about the Electric Prunes on Classic Bands   
Great photos of & more info on the Electric Prunes here
More info about Release of an Oath on the Jewish Quarterly   

Electric Prunes songs on YouTube:        

I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) on the Dick Clark show   
links to Mass in f minor  

Release of an Oath music on YouTube:    

Kol Nidre    
Holy Are You     
Closing Hymn   

The Electric Prunes ~ Release of an Oath, reel-to-reel tape, was for sale on eBay 

Other reel-to-reel tapes now for sale on eBay     

February 23, 2015

101 Reel-to-Reel Tapes 96: Joe Harriott Double Quintet & John Mayer ~ Indo-Jazz Suite


In addition to my 20,000 Vinyl LP collection I'm selling, I have reel-to-reel, pre-recorded tapes for sale. If interested, contact me by email please, not by a comment. 

The Joe Harriott ~ Indo-Jazz Suite reel-to-reel tape, was for sale on eBay. I have others for sale on eBay now (see links below).    

~ ~ ~

Joseph Arthurlin "Joe" Harriott was a Jamaican jazz musician and composer, whose principal instrument was the alto saxophone. He was a pioneer of free-form jazz. Harriott was part of the wave of Caribbean jazz musicians who arrived in Britain during the 1950s, including Dizzy Reece, Harold McNair, Harry Beckett and Wilton Gaynair.

Joe Harriott Quintet ~ Indo-Jazz Suite 
reel-to-reel tape
photography by Michael Joseph
photo by Styrous®

Harriott was born on July 15, 1928, in Kingston, Jamaica, where he received his schooling. Harriott was influenced by Charlie Parker. He developed a style that fused Parker with his own Jamaican musical sensibility - most notably the mento and calypso music he grew up with. He turned to what he termed "abstract" or "free-form" music. He had been experimenting with some loose free-form ideas since the mid-1950s, but finally settled upon his conception in 1959. Harriott's free-form music has been compared to that of Ornette Coleman. Harriott's method demanded more complete group improvisation than displayed in Coleman's music, and often featured no particular soloist. Instead of the steady pulse of Ornette's drummer and bass player, Harriott's model demanded constant dialogue between musicians, which created an ever-shifting soundscape. Tempo, key and meter always free to alter in this music, and often did so. The presence of pianist Pat Smythe also gave the band a completely different texture to Coleman's, which by then had dispensed with the need for a pianist.  

Joe Harriott Quintet ~ Indo-Jazz Suite 
reel-to-reel tape box back
photo by Styrous®

His line-up consisted of Shake Keane (trumpet, flugelhorn), Pat Smythe (piano), Coleridge Goode (bass) and Bobby Orr (drums). The legendary Frank Holder also toured with Harriott and contributed to recording projects over this period. He recorded three albums during this period. The quintet effectively broke up when Shake Keane moved to Germany in 1965. From this point onwards, Harriott worked freelance.

Joe Harriott Quintet ~ Indo-Jazz Suite 
reel-to-reel tape box back detail
detail photo by Styrous®


"Written and directed by John Mayer in 1966, the Indo-Jazz Suite offered the closest ever collaboration and fusion of East and West music. Based on the five-note raga -- or tonic scale that Indian classical music emanates from -- and Western modalism." 

"The band Harriott assembled for this album included pianist Pat Smythe, bassist Coleridge Goode, and drummer Allan Ganley -- as well as trumpeter Kenny Wheeler, flutist Chris Taylor, Diwan Mothar on sitar, Chandrahas Paiganka on tamboura, Keshan Sathe on tabla, with Mayer playing violin and Harriott alto sax. Of the four pieces, the "Overture" and "Contrasts" are rooted in blues and swing, though they move from one set of ascending and descending notes to the other, always ending on the tonic, and involve more than the five, six, or seven notes of Indian classical music, while the latter two -- "Raga Megha" and "Raga Gaud-Saranga" -- are out to lunch in the Western musical sensibility and throw all notions of Western harmony out the window."  

- Thom Jurek review on AllMusic (link below)

Joe Harriott Quintet ~ Indo-Jazz Suite 
reel-to-reel tape box back detail
detail photo by Styrous®

Joe Harriott died of cancer on January 2, 1973, and is buried in Bitterne churchyard, in Southampton. On his gravestone, his own oft-quoted words provide his epitaph: "Parker? There's them over here can play a few aces too." 

Joe Harriott Quintet ~ Indo-Jazz Suite 
reel-to-reel tape box spine
photo by Styrous®

Joe Harriott Quintet ~ Indo-Jazz Suite 
reel-to-reel tape box spine details
detail photos by Styrous®

Joe Harriott Quintet ~ Indo-Jazz Suite 
reel-to-reel tape
photo by Styrous®

Joe Harriott Quintet ~ Indo-Jazz Suite 
reel-to-reel tape label detail
detail photo by Styrous®


Side 1:

A1     Overture     8:03
A2     Contrasts     9:28

Side 2:

B1     Raga Megha     8:30
B2     Raga Gaud-Saranga     9:10

Companies, etc.:

    Manufactured By – Rhino Records (2)
    Distributed By – Scorpio Music, Inc.

    Alto Saxophone – Joe Harriott  
    Bass – Coleridge Goode   
    Drums – Alan Ganley*   
    Flute – Chris Taylor (5)   
    Piano – Pat Smythe     
    Sitar – Diwan Motihar   
    Tabla – Keshav Sathe   
    Tambura – Chandrahas Paigankar  
    Trumpet – Kenny Wheeler   
    Violin, Harpsichord – John Mayer (2)   
    Supervised By – Denis Preston  
    Written-By – John Mayer (2)    
    Engineer – Adrian Kerridge     
    Liner Notes – Charles Fox (3)    
    Design [Album Design] – Marvin Israel 
    Photography By – Michael Joseph (4)  

Atlantic ‎– ALC 1465   
Format: reel-to-reel
Country: US  

Indo Jazz Suite review by Thom Jurek on AllMusic 

The Joe Harriott Quintet ~ Indo-Jazz Suite, reel-to-reel tape, was for sale on eBay 

Other reel-to-reel tapes now for sale on eBay  

February 21, 2015

Happy VD (all for the Love of Bacon) ~ 2015

I was at the annual New Year's party for the JABC in January when I saw a poster, "For the Love of Bacon", advertising a bacon and beer paring to be held at the Pig and Pickle in Concord. Now, my chosen family niece LOVES bacon, has a hard-on for beer and her birthday was coming up in a week so I thought to myself, "What a great birthday present that would be for her." So I made up a birthday card with the image of the poster on it that was an invite to go to the pairing the following month on Valentine's Day.

photo by Styrous®

She was VERY delighted when we gave her the card with the invitation and raring to go, as we all were. The restaurant had two dinner seatings, one at 5 and one at 7 PM with no reservations taken; first come, first served, no problem. So, we planned on going to the 5 O'clock seating on Valentine's Day

The day of the event, we were excited but because of work we were kind of late and knew we wouldn't make the 5 PM seating so we shot for the 7 PM one. We left Alameda for Concord around 6 but we got lost and didn't get to the restaurant until after 7. We were told it was sold out.

Obviously disappointed, we thought we'd make the best of the situation and looked around to see what was available there in Concord. 

photo by Styrous®
Agave Grill, Concord
Mexican & Spanish Restaurant?
photo by Styrous®

Agave Grill, Concord
dining room
promotional photo (Oh, my!)

We didn't really want to go to a movie and a restaurant that couldn't decide if it served Mexican or Spanish food seemed a bit risky so we beat a hasty retreat. 

 on the sidewalk in front of the Agave Grill  
photo by Styrous®

We couldn't find anything else in Concord that looked interesting, so, we headed back to Oakland where we knew we could find good food (Oakland's come up in the world of culinary art) and have a good time as well.

On the way back to Oakland, I remembered there was a tiki bar in Alameda I'd always wanted to try. This is where things really went awry. Now, all my life I'd considered tiki bars tacky until one opened near my studio. It was called Tiki Tom's and it WAS tacky but we had the best times there. The food was guaranteed to harden the arteries in seconds. We used to call it, "Tacky Tom's" until it burned down (see link below). 

So, we changed direction and headed ourselves off to Alameda to hit the tiki bar there which is called the Forbidden Island

The interior of the bar is truly a typical, tacky tiki bar in every way. Its decor is finished off with electrified Tetraodontidae (blow fish) lamps.

Forbidden Island tiki bar interior
photo by Styrous®

Tetraodontidae (blow fish) lamp
Forbidden Island tiki bar
photo by Styrous®

Of course, no proper tiki bar would be complete without a

Forbidden Island tiki bar
photo by Styrous®

We ordered guacamole with ROUND corn chips, a truly tip-top 'n tacky touch!

guacamole with ROUND corn chips 
Forbidden Island tiki bar
photo by Styrous®

 It wasn't all that great an experience, however, it took 45 minutes for us to get our drinks (I had my usual Jack Daniels, neat). Now how long does it take to pour a shot into a glass with no ice? And when I got my drink, it was in a glass that hadn't been washed; it was pretty groady (bet you haven't heard THAT word in a while). I didn't want to be a party pooper and I didn't want to wait another 45 minutes for another drink so I didn't say anything. I just dipped my napkin into my Jack Daniels (fortunately, with no ice, it was pure alcohol) and wiped the class clean with it. I know, I know, hepatitis (plural: hepatitides), etc.

To be fair, the music the DJ was playing was pretty cool lounge, jazz and other mellow sort of music which was very relaxing, so there was that. After we downed our drinks we decided just to go back to the studio and cook up our own dinner of pasta with mussels, which is what we should have done in the first place.

mussels with pasta
photo by Styrous®

From that point on it was smooth sailing and we talked, laughed and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves for the rest of the evening. We were good friends having a good time. What more could any one ask on a special day like this?

Maybe a little bacon? 

Styrous® ~ Saturday, February 21, 2015 

February 19, 2015

Movie articles

In order of appearance

Suspiria ~ Goblin      
Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats?          
The Member of the Wedding       
The Wild One   
The Lion In Winter      
Blackboard Jungle             
Searching for Sugarman & Sixto Rodriquez      
The Outlaw        
Love Story            
The War of the Worlds ~ Worlds on Film          
The War of the Worlds ~ Jerzy Maksymiuk & Józef Skrzek
Some Like It Hot         
The San Francisco Story             
La Carrera Panamericana [VHS] ~ Pink Floyd
Who Killed Marilyn? ~ Glenn Danzig             
Star Wars (the movie)   
The Force Awakens            
all things Star Wars            
RoboCop takes a bubble bath   
Star Wars: Episode VII ~ The Force Awakens in 3D             
James Dean    
The James Dean Story         
Action Jackson
Purple Rain             
Top Gun                 
Let's Make Love         
Rocky Horror       
Zsa Zsa Gabor ~ European flair             
Carrie Fisher ~ Forever Princess Lea             
Singin' In the Rain                 
Marilyn Monroe ~ Queen of the Screen           
Marilyn Monroe ~ Imperfection is beauty                
Roxie Theater          
Howard Hughes in Hollywood     
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest       
Battlefield Earth ~ L. Ron Hubbard        
John Williams ~ A Soundtrack King     
Star Wars @ 40     
Bernard Herrmann ~ Psycho     
I'll Cry Tomorrow ~ Susan Hayward      
David Prowse 1980 interview
Charles Laughton reads The Night of the Hunter   
Fred Neil ~ A Midnight Cowboy      
Robert Mitchum ~ Hollywood bad boy       
Nina Horn & the Orinda Theater battle
George Romero's Day of the Dead              
High Society & Grace Kelly     
Divine ~ A transformative performer