Aaron’s LX Chilton Boots

My dear friend Aaron Gregory passed away recently. He's survived my his two lovely daughters Alice and Karyn.

I've known Aaron for years. In fact, it was Aaron who recorded much of what became my first solo record (Brother Aldo). I was going through some of our correspondence recently.

I dug out this song from an unrealized project that was a passion of Aarons.

Aaron wrote:

"From 1985-`89 Alex Chilton, with bassist Rene Coman [Panther Burns] & drummer Doug Garrison [Charlie Rich], began doing Solo Shows for the 1st time in the SF Bay Area. He played mostly obscure covers, some new originals, a few by the Box Tops & a little Big Star."

Recorded with his consent, Aaron gathered every show that Alex played in the Bay Area during that period and melted it down to one action packed disc. Someday I'd like to release it and turn any money made over to his daughters college fund or something. Don't laugh, Alice his oldest daughter graduated from Princeton last year with honors. No surprise really, Aaron was a bright dude. I miss him dearly.

*This Dan Penn cover was recorded at the Oasis. Anyone remember this gig? It was an old Motel across from where the Paradise Lounge was. They covered the swimming pool and built a stage at one end.

[ Alex Chilton - Live @ The Oasis - MP3 ]

Open House With Travis

Open house with Travis.

Travis has a studio out at the old Hunter Point Naval base. (Toxic as hell out there. Keeps out the yuppies I guess). He was born Travis Somerville, in 1963 in Atlanta, Georgia to an Episcopal minister and a school teacher.

I paid him a visit. We socialized and talked shop and listened to the Clash's Sandanista. Travis offered me a bottled water from his little fridge. Travis is one of—if not the most- humble, down to earth artists I've even known. A seriously light hearted dude. He's the preacher's kid for god sakes! As for the mediums, he mixes it up good; he's part litho, part collage, part oil paints, and part found photographs. 

When the Katherine Klark gallery had the good taste to pick up Travis back in 1995 or so, I was there. Since then, the rest of the world—as the rest of the world will—has slowly caught on. He's picked up some queer collectors along the way. Whoopi Goldberg among them. Could Ted Danson be next?

Hell, what do I know about Art? But check this shit out: MLK portraits replete with Nike logo's? One of my favorite pieces is not pictured (The Raft of the Grand Wizard). Dig that title! Travis's work forces us to look how far we've come. And sometimes how far we HAVEN'T come baby. Unlike say David Mamet, in Travis's work, there's people talking over people and narratives overlapping over other narratives. And until I really got the chance to stand in front of em, I was dare I say, more than a little confused. I couldn't help thinking: would John Murry and Travis hit it off?

He's no art poseur, Travis knows who he is and where he comes from. He may not know where he's going, but hopefully, he'll let us in on it when he gets there. Until then, this is the studio where it all goes down.

Sonny’s Fruitvale Bash

I called the landlord, the sink was overflowing. We had a party to attend. (((belle sound))) recording artist, Sonny Smith was celebrating the release of Fruitvale with a show at the Make Out.

Stephie played the part of Celleste sans wig. Kelley Stoltz cut loose. Virgil Shaw itched and twitched. 

"Oh, oh, oh, Mario..." Still runnin' through my brain. I've looked everywhere for that thing. Whatever it is, Sonny's got it.

Danny and Alison’s Digs

I trekked out to the Excelsior district this AM to visit with Danny Plotnick. He and his lovely wife Alison Faith Levy (a great sinner/songwriter in her own right) bought into this place 6 years ago. This morning we gathered with some friends to tape a Podcast in the living room. Danny's the blurry dude in the upper left corner.

Danny has been championing Super 8 for years. Fat City Death Sled, I Socky, and Sugarbutts just to name a few are among his 18 lost masterpieces. He has shown his films around the world, anywhere someone can tack up a sheet, from Chico to Groningen and back. His awards include Best Music & Best Props @ 1999 Ed Wood Memorial Film Fest. and many others to numerous to mention.

But times have changed... Kodak has scrapped sound super 8 stocks... Danny's moved on to 16 mm and is quick to tell people he's "embracing a new dying medium." Dig the color scheme in their pad. No we didn't smoke any opium. There were kids around for gods sake! And dig the earthquake kit and playroom with the drum kit in the basement.

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