Sony

Yes, the hack was a criminal attack.

But I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’ve been laughing over the revelations, while I’m not crying over the racist comments.

The truth is these Hollywood mavens think they’re better than us. And they can’t stop crying about piracy, can’t stop bitching that someone moved their cheese, all the while believing they’re entitled to their millions because they’ve been anointed with “special juice,” that gives them divine insight into America’s entertainment wants. Hell, if the entire Sony studio caved in, our culture would be none the worse.

But it’s the racist comments that bug me. We’ve got a Supreme Court which declares racism is over, with voting rights laws no longer needed, and then we have the so-called west coast liberals making fun of the President.

Makes me puke.

I agree we should not be beholden to terrorists. We must not be cowed as a nation, certainly not artistically. But I’d be more upset if the movie wasn’t “The Interview” but something meatier, whether it be “They Shoot Horses Don’t They,” or “Carnal Knowledge” or a true work of art, like “Ulysses.” But we don’t make those in America anymore. Business is the religion of America, God is second to cash, just ask the evangelists passing the plate, and if it delivers cash, it’s all right.

Now no one wants their private e-mails revealed. Then again, what kind of nincompoop puts heinous bigoted thoughts on the company server? Do these nitwits truly believe they’re untouchable? Can’t they at least get a Gmail account for the stuff they don’t want to ever go public? Hell, the regular Fortune 500, the Wall Street Fortune 500, the industrial Fortune 500, know that e-mail is forever, that it will be subpoenaed in some case where the corporation skirted the law or someone wants to make the company pay, rightly or wrongly. How come Amy Pascal doesn’t know this? Teenagers know this! They know they’re building a public record all the while, they self-edit all the time, afraid they’re going to lose a job or be unable to get into the educational institution of their choice. But the Sony execs, they’re above the law, above public suspicion. And then they hire David Boies to scare the media into submission. As if Boies won all the time. As if anybody should listen to anything these people say. I think it’s great this info comes out. It’s great that everybody knows these execs are as bigoted and stupid as the rank and file. You mean you want to influence our culture, whether it be with smoking or the products you place in your films, but we cannot comment upon you?

Ain’t that an entertainment exec. Criticize the actors, those on stage, while I hide in anonymity. While I keep my gig as the talent fades. If it’s all about money, are you really entitled to judge Adam Sandler flicks? No one put a gun to your head to make them. As for making a Steve Jobs biopic, wouldn’t it be fine if Sony actually innovated itself, moved the culture in significant ways, but the execs are all about keeping their jobs while they party amongst their brethren, believing, once again, that they’re better than us.

We’ve got a security problem. One that corporations don’t want to take seriously because they don’t want to pay an IT department. Hell, they can’t take these problems seriously, they’ve got more important things to do. But it’s funny, because they keep saying technology is the enemy, you’d think they’d be more savvy in their own house.

But the truth is we all have dirty laundry. We all have flaws. As Chris Rock stated, just because you’re rich, that does not make you smart.

We’re so busy pointing the finger at someone else, we take no responsibility for our own actions. Everyone in entertainment is above the law. Entitled to their seven and eight figure salaries. Deeming the public to be a parasite out to get them, even though it’s these same people keeping them alive. Which way do you want it? To criticize downloaders or have them overpay to see dreck?

Meanwhile, you still can’t stream all movies for one low monthly price online. At least we figured that out in music. Oh, that’s right, the idiot acts want to kill Spotify!

So, Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton… Just know, the more you protest, the more you try to steer this story from your behavior to that of the hackers, know that it’s not working in the eyes of the public.

You won’t lose your jobs. You’re too successful. They only fire those who don’t keep their companies in the black.

Furthermore, if you do get fired, you’ll just get hired elsewhere, the film business is a cabal run on relationships.

We live in a technological world.

We live in a global world.

And the oldsters want to deny technology and the ignorant want to save manufacturing jobs whilst paying a hundred fifty dollars for a flat screen.

Everybody’s out for themselves.

Everybody’s ignorant.

The rich are no better than us, they just have more money.

If west coast white people are making racist jokes about Obama, you wonder how he can govern at all.

Meanwhile, it’s just a movie. Sony is not curing cancer.

But thoughts and dreams are the currency of our culture. And when these blowhards are in control, when they decide who gets to shoot flicks, it makes you happy that YouTube stars are getting rich, that suddenly there’s an alternative to YouTube itself, that’s the big story of this week, Vessel.

The more things change the more they stay the same.

Those in power want more of it with no scrutiny.

And technology keeps changing the game.

And I’m stuck here in the middle with you.

Rhinofy-WABC All American Survey for Week of 15 December 1964

1. “Come See About Me”
The Supremes

My favorite Supremes cut!

A Holland-Dozier-Holland composition, it’s all about the groove.

I distinctly remember dancing to this at the following year’s bar mitzvah parties. That’s right, some tracks are so rhythmic they incite us to get up from our chairs and ask Nancy or Betty or Jennifer to dance. And it’s not about them so much as us. We hold our heads high in the air as we sing along. At least I did!

2. “I Feel Fine”
The Beatles

The flip side was “She’s A Woman,” number 7 on this list, and the funny thing is I never dug it back then but it resonates with me now even more than “I Feel Fine”!

It was all about George’s guitar, the distortion, the riff, we were banging our heads long before metal came into vogue.

This was off “Beatles ’65,” which everybody had and played until the grooves turned grey. But even though the album contained these hits, it was the one-two punch of the opening cuts that made us swoon. Come on, remember dropping the needle and hearing John singing “This happened once before…”? And then, when that was done, “I’m A Loser” with that jaunty beat and the lyric that no one would sing today. Today everybody’s a winner, no one’s three-dimensional, all we get is smiling idiots. No wonder people tune out.

Of course the Beatles are not on Spotify, but you know this song by heart, right?

3. “Mr. Lonely”
Bobby Vinton

That’s right, the British Invasion didn’t wipe the slate completely clean, not right away, some of the oldies held over, and as a result I know this by heart, we all do, back when we couldn’t tune out for fear of missing the next Beatles/British Invasion hit.

4. “She’s Not There”
The Zombies

Haunting!

That’s the power of music, it sets a mood instantly, takes you away from the humdrum to a mystical, magical world where you’re your best self and it’s all right to be sensitive.

5. “Love Potion No. 9″
Searchers

Of course it was a cover of the Clovers hit, but that hit back in 1959, before most Beatlemaniacs were listening to the radio, before transistors became ubiquitous.

Composed by Leiber and Stoller, this track still sounded positively British. Listening you felt like you were experiencing a movie, you were right inside it. Back when music infected you and took you away. When the notes were more powerful than the flicks. Before both caved and faded and we all paid penance to television, the seemingly only honest medium left.

6. “Goin’ Out Of My Head”
Little Anthony and the Imperials

Funny how something so dated sounds so modern.

I always liked this. But I prefer “Tears On My Pillow” and “Hurts So Bad,” but they’re all good.

7. “She’s A Woman”
The Beatles

See number 2 above.

8. “Time Is On My Side”
The Rolling Stones

It’s that screechy, whiny, thin guitar intro and then the way Mick Jagger seems to sing with his mouth wide open.

You’ll come runnin’ back

This sounded like it was about a neighborhood in London inhabited by no one else on the radio. We were intrigued.

Of course, this is a cover of the Jerry Ragavoy composition. Furthermore, there are two iterations. The famous one, the one you know, begins with guitar, but the one on “12 X 5″ begins with an organ. I’ve included both iterations.

9. “My Love, Forgive Me”
Robert Goulet

I had to hear this to remember it.

Our parents’ music was not completely done, the MOR artists were all over television, dominating variety shows and late night. Little did everyone know we were at the advent of a youthquake, about to turn the entire nation upside down.

10. “You Really Got Me”
The Kinks

Funny how time changes things, “You Really Got Me” is now seen as a Van Halen song, even though we thought it was a cheap shot when it appeared on the band’s debut album.

Sure, the guitar is great, but it’s Ray’s sneer that endears you. What kind of people are these? Who don’t care about authority, who don’t know to respect their elders, who have such attitude.

Soon we all had attitude.

12. “Ringo”
Lorne Green

Our Jewish patriarch from the Great White North who headed up the Cartwright family which beamed into our homes every Sunday night this was the William Shatner hit before Bill became famous as a vocalist but this was no joke. And by this time we all knew Ringo Starr, we could not deny the connection to this song, even though there was none.

Once again, note the mood.

13. “Any Way You Want It”
The Dave Clark Five

Not on Spotify, of course, Dave Clark is waiting until Spotify is superseded before he deigns to license his group’s material, but of course it’s on YouTube, check it out here:

Dave Clark Five – Any Way You Want It (1965)

This exploded out of the dashboard.

15. “Keep Searchin'”
Del Shannon

He’s more famous for “Runaway,” but this is almost as great.

Once again, it’s about the feel, completely different from the work of the British acts.

And when Del sang about following the sun, we couldn’t help but make the connection to “I’ll Follow The Sun” on “Beatles ’65.”

And if you don’t know this, stay at least through the organ solo!

16. “I’m Into Something Good”
Herman’s Hermits

Their first hit, soon to be superseded in the public consciousness by “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter,” “I’m Into Something Good” is a stone cold smash that pays dividends over the years, it’s one of my favorite records ever. Sure, it’s a cover, but there’s the energy and the innocence, the way Peter Noone is singing more to be famous than to get laid, that is so infectious.

I was eleven when this came out. I remember singing the title to myself as I had my initial camp romances. Isn’t that what we’re all looking for, to be into something good?

The funny thing is some prepubescent act could cut this today and it would be a hit all over again, that’s how timeless this Goffin-King composition is.

19. “The Jerk”
The Larks

I couldn’t have told you who did it, but I know it.

Back in the era of dance crazes, when we watched TV to know what to do at parties, back when no one even knew the word “choreographer.”

You can almost hear Prince in this one hit wonder.

23. “As Tears Go By”
Marianne Faithfull

The hit version of the Stones song. More sing-songy, but all over the radio.

I bought and enjoyed the “Broken English” Marianne Faithfull, but this is the one who will be remembered.

26. “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved You)”
Marvin Gaye

Like with “You Really Got Me” above, this is seen more as a James Taylor song now.

Marvin Gaye doesn’t get enough respect.

He croons. How different from today where everybody oversells.

28. “The Leader of the Laundromat”
The Detergents

I may not have known who did “The Jerk,” but I knew the Detergents did this answer song to the Shangri-Las’ “Leader Of The Pack.” You had to give the creators credit, they had a sense of humor.

61. “All Day and All of the Night”
The Kinks

There’s that sneer once again!

Soon to follow “You Really Got Me” up the chart, this song had a riff that we all played on the guitars we got in the wake of seeing the Beatles on “Ed Sullivan.”

And bubbling under, we had Petula Clark with “Downtown” and Reparata and the Delrons with “Whenever A Teenager Cries.” And you wonder why the sixties are considered a golden era.

That’s right, today most people have no idea what’s number 1, never mind number 10! But back then the entire younger generation was addicted to the radio, we knew every cut, every lick. We bought the records, sang along to the radio, and every baby boomer will testify that this music is far from forgettable, not just representative of the era, but CLASSIC!

The musicians were figuring it out as they went along. They were following the Beatles and writing their own songs, it was a badge of honor to be able to play. And everyone at home was forming bands, singing these songs, the same way today’s youth follows technology.

The entire modern music business is built upon this foundation.

Dig in.

P.S. Thanks to musicradio77.com for the WABC playlist:

WABC’s All American Survey for Week of 15 December 1964

P.P.S. My favorite jock was always Cousin Brucie, I smile when I hear him on Sirius XM today, but this was also the era when Scott Muni was a fast-talking jock on AM, before he slowed down and dominated on WNEW.

Rhinofy-WABC All American Survey for Week of 15 December 1964

Aspen-What’s Happened So Far

ANDY

Andy got hurt. Badly.

It was the last run, but it’s always the last run when you get hurt, right?

We were skiing Spar Gulch, which once upon a time was literally a “V,” but they flattened it out a few decades back and there was a bunch of sun and I’m skiing along and I start to hear yelling and I stop and turn around and see Andy face down in the snow. I thought he was dead. Truly.

Then he suddenly rolled over once, and then played dead again.

I was scared.

So I climbed up and Amy skied down and Andy’s glasses were broken and he wasn’t fully coherent, but he said he’d just had the wind knocked out of him and he’d be fine to ski down.

But then the ski patrol came along and Andy couldn’t sit up straight and he started moaning and groaning and they gave him oxygen and took him down to the ambulance…

He has a partially collapsed lung. A fractured scapula. Five broken ribs. And some brain trauma, i.e. a concussion.

His spirits are good, he’s cracking jokes, and they said he’d be back on snow in 8-10 weeks, but what freaked me out most, other than the injury itself, was how you can be completely normal one moment and in an instant disaster strikes and you’re not.

It appears that he was fearful of colliding with Amy. So he either skied over the back of her skis or he didn’t. Either he crossed his tips or he didn’t. There’s a huge gash in his K2, down to the core, but no one knows exactly what happened. A bystander said Andy fell on his head. Andy said he did not.

Life is risky. Live it to the fullest.

And I only hope when my time comes I can be as upbeat as Andy Somers.

PETER MENSCH

A tour-de-force. Put a dime in the jukebox and Peter Mensch tells mind-boggling stories, whether it be showing up in Paris with AC/DC’s per diem not knowing that he’d already been fired or talking about A&R’ing the Stones’ “Steel Wheels” album. And having Keith tell him to tell Mick…

The music business is comprised of iconoclasts. People who are passionate about tunes and couldn’t make it anywhere else. Those who go to college and have more records than anyone else in the dorm. Who went to shows alone because no one else would.

That’s Peter Mensch’s story.

And that’s mine too.

And there was so much more. I was riveted by the tales of his growing up. Having no friends. Being traumatized by switching schools at an impressionable age. Having his sister kidnapped. Getting out of the draft after sitting on the Group W bench.

You know “Alice’s Restaurant,” don’t you?

Of course we talked the modern music business.

But even more interesting was how Peter got to where he is. Starting as a tour accountant. Sidling up to AC/DC, who were opening for Aerosmith, being told he couldn’t manage the Scorpions because he had no experience and then having their U.S. lawyer relent. Signing Def Leppard. Mutt Lange coming to his flat in London every night with just one syllable of “Pho-to-graph.”

Peter said too many one act managers don’t know touring, and therefore make all-over deals with Live Nation or AEG, he thinks you can make more on your own.

Peter said that an album has to be great. Literally. Ten or twelve solid tracks. Good is not good enough. He’s working with Matt Bellamy on the Muse album as we speak, Peter flew into Aspen from London.

And it’s all about having enough good songs that when the consumer hears the ad on the radio and snippets are played, they’re desirous of going. Put up 15-16 great tracks and you’ve truly made it and have the road business to show for it.

And radio is key, Q Prime has its own department. They oftentimes get stuff started on Sirius and then cross it over to terrestrial. It’s about hard work and…

Once upon a time everybody knew Q Prime. But today the youngsters get all the press. Should you seek out Cliff and Peter and benefit from their experience?

Yes.

SETH GOLDSTEIN

Seth used to work for Fred Wilson. The dean of New York VCs.

Then he started turntable.fm.

Now he’s got a deejay app, DJZ:

DJZ

And to hear Seth talk about Silicon Valley, the venture capital world, is to hear what got Peter Mensch and me excited about music all those decades back.

Tech is where it’s at. But investors don’t want to touch anything that requires music licenses. But if you can build it on the back of something without licenses, they’re interested.

I was excited and riveted in a way that music rarely gets me anymore.

But there’s a nexus.

TOURING

Where all the action and all the money is. The labels get the glory. The promoters get the money.

I could listen to Rick Mueller analyze the business all day long. Don Strasburg too.

Live is burgeoning. Everybody shows up at the promoter’s door, that’s where the money is.

And the show is where it’s at. People may not want to pay much for music, but they’ll overpay for a ticket to the show.

It’s very exciting.

Rhinofy-Clapton Guest Appearances

“Dirty City”
Steve Winwood

Steve can shred quite nicely thank you, as anyone who’s seen him tear apart “Dear Mr. Fantasy” recently is aware. But despite killing it live, despite putting out one of my favorite albums of the twenty first century, “About Time,” independently, doing everything right, the man was fading in impact. So, he signed with Columbia and put out the mainstream album “Nine Lives” to almost no effect in 2008. That’s right, rather than stretching out and testing limits Winwood did it their way and few cared. However, there are two killers on “Nine Lives,” the opening cut “I’m Not Drowning” and this, where Clapton positively wails.

Get ready to have your mind blown.

I’m including the long version, all 7:46 of it, be sure to stay to the very end. This is music as you remember it, everything you’re yearning for. You’ll be stunned this isn’t a well-known classic.

“They Dance Alone”
Sting

Sure, he’s made some tone-deaf statements, about tantric sex and such, but the truth is Gordon Sumner is immensely talented and “They Dance Alone” is one of the best tracks on his best solo album, “…Nothing Like The Sun.” It features not only Eric, but Mark Knopfler and Fareed Haque. You probably know it, but it sounds so good, enjoy it, you can never burn out on it.

“Go Back Home”
Stephen Stills

Of course, Jimi Hendrix was on Stills’s solo debut too. Upon release the album was castigated for its unending guest contributions, but at this distance the album is astounding. “Love The One You’re With” was the hit, but “Go Back Home” is one of the stellar moments. And Eric was on it!

“Alacatraz”
Leon Russell And The Shelter People

Leon’s initial solo, with “Delta Lady” and “Roll Away The Stone,” was his best, but this uneven LP was the one that cemented his legend, when he began his victory lap after “Mad Dogs & Englishmen.” “Alcatraz” was one of the best cuts, it finished side one.

“Beware Of Darkness”
Leon Russell And The Shelter People

Yes, from the same album. And, stunningly, Clapton appears on the original, from “All Things Must Pass.”

“Prince Of Peace”
Leon Russell

From that legendary initial solo LP referenced above. Almost completely forgotten, “Prince Of Peace” will put a smile on your face if you know it.

“Romance In Durango”
Bob Dylan

The album AFTER “Blood On The Tracks.” It got very positive reviews and a lot of ink regarding controversial tracks “Hurricane” and “Joey.” The cuts you remember are “Isis,” “Mozambique” and “One More Cup Of Coffee.” But this, with Eric, is on the album too.

“Save It For A Rainy Day”
Stephen Bishop

From before “Tootsie,” before “Animal House.” The hit was “On and On,” but this got airplay, hell, it made it all the way to #22! How Eric ended up appearing on it I don’t know! But I do know being able to sing and write used to be important. Bishop rode these skills to the top, however briefly. Technology has put them in the backseat, unfortunately.

“If Leaving Me Is Easy”
Phil Collins

From his blockbuster solo debut. Phil returned the favor by producing “Behind The Sun,” a return to form by Clapton, with the stellar “She’s Waiting” and “Forever Man.”

“The Challenge”
Christine McVie

The connection is Russ Titelman, who produced both of these artists.

“Deep In Your Heart”
Paul Brady

Legendary songwriter who never broke through big on his own. This is from Brady’s 1985 album “Back To The Centre.” Start with the Gary Katz produced “Trick Or Treat” if you want to investigate further.

“Willpower”
Jack Bruce

With his old Cream-mate. A trifle, but the elements resonate.

“Early In The Morning”
Buddy Guy

Two guitar sensations working it out.

“Runaway Train”
Elton John

From Elton’s 1992 album “The One.” This is good, but if you’re interested in comeback albums, check out Elton’s 2001 LP “Songs From The West Coast,” where he recaptured the magic and not enough people cared.

“It’s Probably Me”
Sting

The big hit off the monstrous “Ten Summoners Tales” was “If I Ever Lose My Faith In You,” when Sting seemed to be able to throw off radio-ready ditties at will. The album is near-perfect, and Eric plays on this track.

“Gonna Be Some Changes Made”
Bruce Hornsby

Not Hornsby’s best work, but “Halcyon Days” is a return to form after “Big Swing Face” and Clapton plays on its two best tracks, this, the opening cut and…

“Candy Mountain Run”
Bruce Hornsby

Infectious, great groove, it’s the best cut on “Halcyon Days” and Clapton is featured.

“Every Time I Sing The Blues”
Buddy Guy

From Guy’s 2008 album “Skin Deep.” This resonates. Check it out. You’ll dig it.

“Roll On”
J.J. Cale

Where the maestro repays the debt he owes to the man who wrote so many of his famous tracks.

Of course Clapton played on the Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” but he also played on the lost Jon Astley classic, “Jane’s Getting Serious.” The above is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Clapton’s work, but it illustrates that not all of his playing was done on his own behalf.

Rhinofy-Clapton Guest Appearances