"We used to play acoustic delta blues on the corner of Prospect and Herschel. We would put on really nice suits and shine our shoes and look like we didn't need the money. But we'd make a fortune."
That's how Earl Thomas remembers the late 1980s, singing the blues on a La Jolla street corner with his band the Rumboogies. The Pikeville, Tennessee-born bluesman started singing the blues locally in 1987. Three major artists, Etta James, Solomon Burke, and the late Screamin' Jay Hawkins, recorded six of his songs. "When Etta recorded [my song] 'I Sing the Blues' in '91, my life changed. Her version was used on [TV's] ER. I still receive royalties."
By Ken Leighton, Jan. 13, 2005 | Read full article
Mojo Nixon: "Freedom to say what I wanted to say. And freedom from commercials."
"The only F-word I wanted to say was 'freedom,' " says Mojo Nixon in response to KGB exec Mike Thomas's quote in the San Diego Business Journal January 10 about why KGB lost its afternoon-drive personality to Sirius Satellite Radio.
Thomas was quoted as saying, "He is now able to do a show where, if he wants to say the F-word, he can say the F-word."
Nixon, 47, counters, "I wanted freedom from playing the same 50 songs over and over again. Freedom to say what I wanted to say. And freedom from commercials."
By Ken Leighton, Jan. 27, 2005 | Read full article
Slightly Stoopid has market savvy
"What do indie musicians and Tupperware have in common?" That's what an article in the June 20 issue of Newsweek ponders as it suggests local O.B. reggae-rockers Slightly Stoopid have tapped into a hipper version of "Mom's Tupperware parties" to sell CDs.
The article notes the trend of small-label bands holding pre-release parties in dorm rooms and at coffee shops to get fans to pre-order CDs. Newsweek quoted Slightly Stoopid manager Matt Phillips: "If a hard-core fan will spread the word to their community of friends, that's better than radio or MTV or anything."
By Ken Leighton, June 23, 2005 | Read full article
"It was so Godchaux could learn the songs...he ended up storing them on his parents' houseboat in Alameda."
The Deadheads' Holy Grail — tapes of every concert the band has ever played — is within grasp, thanks to a phone call from the former wife of onetime Dead keyboardist Keith Godchaux. Official Dead archivist David Lemieux says Donna Jean Godchaux-Mackay called a few months ago to say she had a box of tapes given to her husband in 1971 by Jerry Garcia.
"They were all live shows from summer 1971, none of which have ever circulated [among Deadheads], and the band has never had copies.... Jerry was always giving out tapes. It was so [Godchaux] could learn the songs...”
By Jay Allen Sanford, June 23, 2005 | Read full article
One lady got angry with an employee because they didn't have Osmond's music turned up loud enough.
Screaming Middle-Aged Women showed up to see Donny Osmond at the Barnes & Noble in Mira Mesa on June 22. He emerged from the bathroom and began signing his new CD. Females grabbed at him and screamed. A lady said, "I can't believe I just saw him come out of the bathroom."
One lady had driven from Fallbrook and had pictures from when she met him 30 years ago. Another person came from Riverside. One gal got to the bookstore at 8:00 a.m. even though the store didn't open until 10:00. A few hundred people showed; 90 percent were female. The few men I talked to said they had been dragged there by their wives.
By Josh Board, July 7, 2005 | Read full article
Kevin Stapleford: "The bulk of the early 91X library was made up of 12-inch singles, most of which did not indicate which speed they should be played at.... the Thompson Twins' 'Lies' sounded better at the slower speed."
"Oh, you mean Cheap Channel?" 91X morning DJ Chris Cantore joked on the air last month. A few years ago, nobody at the modern-rock station made on-air jokes about Clear Channel, the mega-chain that owns 91X. Cantore said what he said possibly because he knew the station was about to leave the Clear Channel fold.
Last week, Clear Channel announced the sell-off of 91X, urban oldies Magic 92.5, and hip-hop hits station Z-90. The FCC ruled last year that Clear Channel had to unload a handful of stations in order to comply with the eight-station-per-market legal maximum.
By Ken Leighton, Aug. 4, 2005 | Read full article