Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Month: June 2015

Frank Zappa’s Clio Award

Animator, Ed Seeman – who would later film the Mothers of Invention’s famed 1967 shows at the Garrick Theater in New York City (and quite a bit more over the course of 13 months) – initially joined forces with Frank Zappa when he formally contracted the bandleader and composer to

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Nobody Bothers Nils Lofgren

Long-time DC music fans are likely very familiar with this remarkably tuneful work-for-hire product (“Nobody Bothers Me“) created by none other than Nils Lofgren for Jhoon Rhee Self Defense — but for everyone else, this might be a revelation, especially those who seek out examples of advertising jingles that bring

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“Reggae Bagpipes”: Pop Reggae in the Extreme?

As I asserted in an earlier piece, string arrangements – when appropriate or called for – have the potential to enrich a song (reggae included)    Given Jackie Mittoo’s fundamental role in the development of Jamaican music as both a founding member of The Skatalites and music director at Studio One

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Rufus Harley’s “Scotch ‘n’ Soul”

Rufus Harley‘s sole 45, “Bagpipe Blues” on Atlantic Records – an original amalgamation of Scottish highland and African-American musical traditions from 1965 – was undoubtedly the first of its kind.  The title track of Harley’s second Atlantic album – “Scotch and Soul” – would find a way to incorporate Afro-Cuban

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Hop Wilson’s Steel Guitar Blues

Rolling Stone released two compendiums of Record Reviews in the early 70s, back when Lenny Kaye, John Mendelsohn, Lester Bangs, Greil Marcus, Bud Scoppa, Ed Ward, Richard Meltzer, Al Kooper, Ralph J. Gleason, Paul Gambaccini, Stephen Davis, Jon Landau, Jann Wenner, and (occasionally) Nick Tosches, and even Peter Townshend (Meaty

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Billy Preston & Sly Stone: ’66

Two electric keyboard innovators who helped move popular music forward with their “futuristic” sounds – Billy Preston and Sly Stone – collaborated briefly in a musical partnership that produced this A-side, “Can’t She Tell”: “Can’t She Tell”     Billy Preston (featuring Sly Stone)     1966 Jointly written by Billy Preston & Sly

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Hedges & Jordan: Two-Handed Tappers

The most radical thing about Emmett Chapman’s Stick is that it requires you play the neck of a guitar like a piano, with each hand playing an independent part and the fingers tapping the strings in a keyboard-like fashion.  As Alphonso Johnson stated in that 1979 Rolling Stone piece (Zero

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First Steinberger Bass Sighting?

Q:  Do you remember where were you the first time you encountered that newfangled electric bass of the 1980s made out of some kind of industrial epoxy — and invented by an industrial furniture designer who had no prior experience with musical instruments?   Home video of The Dixie Dregs playing

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"Elephant Talk"
Zeroto180

Alphonso Johnson + The Emmett Chapman Stick

I was having a rare meal out alone and needed something to read, so I purchased a Rolling Stone back issue from 1979 that included an article about a new and somewhat radical 10-stringed electric instrument invented by Emmett Chapman called “The Stick.” Emmett Chapman in 1970 with prototype and

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Perrey & Kingsley’s Secret Ondioline

Jean Jacques Perrey & Gershon Kingsley – originators of funny & futuristic-sounding 60s instrumental music with massive kid appeal – found common cause intermittently as a recording act that produced a total of three full-length albums and two single releases.  Perrey & Kingsley’s appearance on an episode of I’ve Got

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