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Correcting Injustices of Rock Music's Past

Steve Young shares stage with Indian musicians on recent cultural tour

The world of rock music is an ongoing work of science fiction. Deep down, we all know it. The mass perception that without Elvis there would have been no rock & roll (at least, as we know it) is only one of many myths supporting this twisted sense of reality. Do we really believe that the Rolling Stones are (or were) the greatest rock & roll band in the world? Would music die without superstars massively promoted by large media corporations? Is there anyone left in music mega-corps who really cares about the music and not just the bottom line? Hell if I know, but I do know that the past four decades have created a land of Oz for stars and have left the music to fend for itself.

I have always believed that somewhere to the east or west of yet another televised visit to Graceland or (name your city's) Hard Rock Cafe exists the real world of rock--- one of VH1 and MTV, yes, but also of radio and records (okay, CDs) and visits to local clubs and laying on the bed with headphones blaring. And occasionally--- just occasionally--- through all of the music which serves as background for most of our lives there erupts a gem which lays us on our ear and changes our own personal musical landscape, for from that point on it is neither the Led Zeppelins nor Rolling Stones nor Springsteens which anchor us, but the Cargoes and Glass Harps and Cowboys and Gypsys. The unknowns and little-knowns in a world where, thank gawd, the music still rules!

Future generations will certainly remember The Beatles and the Stones and U2 and the plethora of music representing The Industry, but the music and history of what really happened will soon be lost in the dust storm of the musically correct, the hand-picked alt.Truth spoonfed us by the Industry-controlled media. But it is not Truth at all, rather a reflection of statistics and charts and press releases repeated endlessly until they begin to insert themselves into some warped alt.Reality. We have been duped, my friends, and the detour is strewn with carcasses of the music as it really was, a Truth in itself.

So, in a fit of monumental ego (and sometimes rage), I shall attempt to rectify a few of the injustices to rock music and its artisans perpetrated by Gargantua (The Industry) over the decades merely by providing a few reviews of the rock world past, along with the occasional interview and history of various more than worthy artists who were tossed aside to create this Bizzarro music alter-world in which we are now seemingly trapped. Let us attempt to blast our way out, armed with a few rock grenades and the mantra “the truth is in the grooves”, the “banzai” of the real rock music lover. Ready? Begin.

SCOTT BOYER & THE DECOYS--- A rundown of Scott's 1991 album, ostensibly a Decoys LP, now available at CDbaby.

CARGOE--- The lost link to Ardent Records' history. A look at Tulsa's Cargoe, whose music refuses to die. Links to other sites with info on the band and their history.

CHRISTIAN ROCK--- A look at the beginnings of contemporary Christian music.

Ardent's JOHN FRY--- An interview conducted in 1975, shortly after Fry's label, Ardent Records, went down for the count. A tragedy, considering the popularity, today, of Big Star and then virtually unknown Cargoe and the Hot Dogs.

NOTARY SOJAC--- One of the best bands to come out of the Pacific Northwest in the '70s, Notary Sojac is only beginning to be appreciated for their unique approach to music. Few who saw them play would argue the point.

WHITE ELEPHANT--- A stop on an incredible musical journey for a number of jazz/rock greats, including Hugh McCraken, Nick Holmes, Michael Mainieri, Steve Gadd, Randy Brecker and Michael Brecker, among others.

STEVE YOUNG--- Young, along with the likes of early Poco and the Burritos, was long before alt. This is a review of his first solo album, Rock Salt & Nails, released in 1969. A true classic!!! Watch these pages for reviews of and information about each of Young's releases. A super talent!

Finds of the future, TODAY:
--- Reviews of and info on the best independent music available (always a work in progress)
SCOTT BOYER/Talks About the Capricorn Rhythm Section
CAPRICORN RHYTHM SECTION/Alive at 2nd Street Music Hall
GABRIELLE GEWIRTZ/Great Music, Wonderful Voice
GILEAH/Chaos of Love, Fury of Life (Breathtaking)
THE GRIP WEEDS/Updated '60s-style psych/pop of the best variety... a great album!
(Perry Jordan &) HEARTSFIELD/Guitars a-Blazin' Country Rock!
GREG LASWELL/Taking One For the Cause
JENN LINDSAY/This Is Your Brain On Power Pop
MAGGI, PIERCE & E.J./Dog Bites Band! (Phenomenal!!)
AUDREY MARTELL/Great Indie R&B, Pop--- Five Stars!
BILL PILLMORE/Former Cowboy Returns to the Studio
JESS PILLMORE/Dancing On the Edge
EMILY WELLS/And the Yaks Laughed (Awe-Inspiring!)
STEVE YOUNG/A Fortuitous Return to the Past

More indies and rock history here.