7 musicians kicked out of the band they helped start By Danny Gallagher
published in The Week
Cocaine is a hell of a drug
The longstanding feud between Stone Temple Pilots lead singer Scott Weiland and, well, the rest of the Stone Temple Pilots came to a head when the band recently announced that Weiland had been fired. No one was more shocked by the news than Weiland, who responded that he plans to fight the firing because he's "not sure how I can be 'terminated' from a band I founded." The move might not make sense to him right now, but if rock and roll's rocky history holds any legal precedent, he may not have as strong a case as he thinks.
Here, 7 musicians who were kicked out of the bands they helped found:
1. Brian Jones from The Rolling Stones
This founding member and guitarist for the legendary British rock band had a tumultuous relationship with drugs, drink, dames, and just about every other dangerous vice that has been featured in the hallowed annals of rock. Jones was one of the band's driving forces in the early days, and his playing and demeanor helped define the band's style and image. But over time, his partying became too difficult to control. He became so "unmanageable" that the band kicked him out in 1969; a month later, he was found dead in his swimming pool. His death was ruled an accidental drowning due to the significant amount of alcohol in his system, but conspiracy theories abound that Jones was actually murdered.
2. Steven Adler from Guns N' Roses
The founding drummer of the popular hard rock band found himself jobless when his bandmates kicked him out of Guns N' Roses in 1990. Lead guitarist Slash blamed Adler's termination on the usual suspects: "With Steven, it was sex, drugs and rock and roll. It was all he lived for. Then it was drugs and rock and roll. Then it was just drugs." Adler tried to sue the group, but his drinking and drugging got so bad that he almost "stroked out" from a cocaine binge. He told Rolling Stone that he didn't get sober until 2008, crediting his successful rehab to an appearance on Dr. Drew Pinsky's "Celebrity Rehab." He called it "the best thing I ever did for myself."
3. Glen Matlock from The Sex Pistols
The infamous British punk band fired its bass player in 1977, allegedly because of his love for another British band: The Beatles. At first, Matlock and the group said the split was amicable, but the group's manager Malcolm McLaren later told a different version of the events. McLaren told reporter Derek Johnson that Matlock was sacked because "he went on too long about Paul McCartney," and "The Beatles was too much." Matlock went on to play with Iggy Pop, Frank Black of Pixies, and even Sid Vicious, his replacement with The Sex Pistols.
4. Dave Mustaine from Metallica
The heavy metal behemoth's guitarist only lasted a year in the group. Mustaine joined in 1982, and helped establish the band's unique style and sound, but his addictions took a toll on his bandmates. The rest of the band decided to kick him by telling him that they had bought him a Greyhound bus ticket instead of a plane ticket to their next gig. Lars Ulrich joked in the band's biography, "Not only was he out of the band, but he had to sit on a bus for four days and think about it!" Mustaine went on to find success as the founding member of another iconic metal group, Megadeth. He also said in a recent interview that he holds no ill will against Metallica. "I still like [singer James Hetfield]. I don't like Lars, but I still like him." SEE MORE: Why the confirmation of Obama's new EPA chief might get nasty
5, 6 and 7. Brian Wilson, David Marks, and Al Jardine from The Beach Boys
One of pop rock's most memorable and beloved groups has also had one of its rockiest histories. Just as the group was celebrating their 50th anniversary, singer Mike Love announced that longtime bassist and songwriter Brian Wilson and guitarists David Marks and Al Jardine would not be joining him on the rest of their 50th anniversary reunion tour. Wilson was perplexed by the announcement, and said in an interview that it "feels like we're being fired." Love denied the move as a "firing" in a letter published in the Los Angeles Times.
In my local paper:
Tandyn Almer, enigmatic composer of ‘Along Comes Mary,’ dies at 70
By Matt Schudel,
When Tandyn Almer was 23, he wrote a catchy pop song that topped out at No. 7 on the Billboard charts. Great things were expected of him as a songwriter, and some thought he might even become a star in his own right.
But in all the decades that followed, there were few triumphs, and certainly nothing like the acclaim he received for composing the words and music of “Along Comes Mary.”
In 1966, the bouncy, enigmatic song became the first hit for the Association, one of the most popular bands of the era. Mr. Almer was praised as a musical mastermind who brought a fresh sophistication to the sun-dappled pop-rock of the time.
He was interviewed on national television by Leonard Bernstein, the conductor of the New York Philharmonic, and recorded an album of his own music. He became a close friend of Brian Wilson, the troubled creative force of the Beach Boys, with whom he collaborated on a couple of tunes in the 1970s.
And then he disappeared.
From time to time, people interested in the music of the 1960s wondered what had become of the young composer with so much promise. His half brother, Nicholas Minetor, recalled reading online speculation about whether Mr. Almer was still alive.
“That just tickled him to death,” Minetor said. “He liked being mysterious. And we knew he was living in a basement in Virginia.”
For the past few years, Mr. Almer had occupied an unkempt basement apartment in McLean, where he died Jan. 8. He had a combination of atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to his sister-in-law, Randi Minetor.
He was 70. Several acquaintances were surprised that he had lived that long.
For years, Mr. Almer had no health insurance. He had been a chain smoker and made no secret of a bipolar disorder, which often led to dramatic mood swings. His right leg was amputated below the knee in 2011.
He told people that he came to Washington in the mid-1970s to compose music for a movie but that the project fell through. Stranded and all but penniless, he simply stayed. He didn’t become a recluse, exactly, but the heady days when he almost became a star were long in the past.
Yet somehow, Mr. Almer was never quite forgotten. Among fans of California sunshine pop, he remains something of a cult favorite, and tributes began to appear after his death. An online disc jockey played his music for an hour. An album of 15 of his songs, recorded by a British group in the 1960s, is scheduled for release in March.
“He’s one of the lost and hidden voices of the ’60s, and he left behind a body of work that’s ripe for rediscovery,” said Parke Puterbaugh, a former senior editor of Rolling Stone who wrote the liner notes to “Along Comes Tandyn,” the album coming out on Sundazed Records. “There’s a whole catalogue of incredible songs that he wrote that no one’s ever heard.”
When Puterbaugh began working on the project about five years ago, he didn’t know whether Mr. Almer was alive or dead. He eventually found an address in Northern Virginia and wrote a letter. A few months later, his telephone rang, and Mr. Almer was on the other end.
Although they never met in person, they often spoke about Mr. Almer’s personal history and his journey in music. Their last conversation took place Dec. 28.
“He was of the caliber — although he wasn’t as prolific or as well known — as Brian Wilson,” Puterbaugh said. “He was very gifted, but he lived a kind of subterranean life.”
Tandyn Douglas Almer was born July 30, 1942, in Minneapolis. According to his half brother and sister-in-law, his parents couldn’t settle on a name, so they came up with Tandyn almost as a whimsical afterthought.
By the time he was 4, young Tandyn was playing classical music by ear on piano. When his parents separated, he and his mother moved into an apartment — a basement apartment — with two pianos.
Tandyn somehow pushed them together and played both at the same time.
He attended a conservatory in Minnesota in his youth, but he soon became fascinated with the jazz of John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Ahmad Jamal. He quit high school at 17 and moved to Chicago to become a jazz pianist. By about 1961, he was in Los Angeles, where his musical interests shifted to the rapidly evolving world of pop and rock music.
“He told me that his head was completely turned around by Bob Dylan,” Puterbaugh said. “Up until then, he had been a jazz freak.”
According to an account he wrote to an acquaintance on Facebook, Mr. Almer practiced at the music department at UCLA and graduated in 1964 from Los Angeles City College. By that time, he was becoming a fixture at the Troubadour, a Los Angeles folk-music club where he occasionally accompanied Linda Ronstadt and other performers on bass.
He also began to experiment with marijuana and LSD, and in some circles, he became renowned for inventing a kind of water pipe, or bong.
By 1965, he had written “Along Comes Mary,” which was picked up by the Association. Something about the tune — its rhythmic complexity, its soaring harmonies, the intricate wordplay of its lyrics — impressed more than just the teenagers who danced to it.
“Let me put it this way,” Puterbaugh said. “Leonard Bernstein in 1967 thought enough of him to bring him to the attention of the world in the CBS special ‘Inside Pop.’ Two of the people he spotlighted were Brian Wilson and Tandyn Almer.”
On the program, Bernstein lit Mr. Almer’s cigarette and praised his sophisticated use of the Dorian mode, a musical scale often used in classical music and jazz.
George Benson, Hugh Masekela, Cal Tjader and other jazz musicians recorded “Along Comes Mary,” and amateur musicologists tried to unravel the complicated lyrics, with their internal rhymes and images of youthful alienation.
When vague desire is the fire in the eyes of chicks
Whose sickness is the games they play ...
And when the morning of the warning’s passed, the gassed
And flaccid kids are flung across the stars.
Was the song about a girl named Mary, the Virgin Mary or, as many thought, the effects of smoking marijuana?
Even today, Jim Yester, who sang “Along Comes Mary” on the Association’s original recording, occasionally reads the lyrics to audiences before singing the song.
“It is mind-blowing when spoken, as opposed to being sung,” Yester wrote in an e-mail. “An amazing set of lyrics. What it is saying . . . your guess is as good as mine.”
If anyone asked Mr. Almer, he wasn’t coy about the meaning: Yes, of course, it was about marijuana.
‘The next Dylan’
The success of “Along Comes Mary” made Mr. Almer almost a minor star.
He recorded an album of 11 new songs for Warner Bros. and released a single, "Degeneration Gap" in 1969 that featured his driving piano and his clear, if unrefined, baritone voice.
“Everyone thought he was going to be the next Dylan or Elton John,” recalled Joseph Deaguero, a musician who introduced Mr. Almer to Wilson, of the Beach Boys.
“Tandyn was totally an eccentric, but he was in a league of his own. You listen to his music and say, ‘God, this guy was really good.’ ”
He was handsome and talented, but before the spotlight could find Mr. Almer, he retreated from it. He was paralyzed by stagefright, and the album that could have made him famous was never released. He seemed to prefer it that way.
He was a staff songwriter for A&M Records for a while and collaborated with Wilson and others on two songs for the Beach Boys, “Marcella” and "Sail On, Sailor", the latter of which echoes with the internal rhymes characteristic of Mr. Almer.
By 1974, though, Mr. Almer “got frightfully despondent,” Deaguero recalled, and left Los Angeles, never to return.
“He packed up everything,” Deaguero said, “and I took him to the train station.”
After finding his way to Washington, Mr. Almer wrote songs in the 1980s and 1990s for Hexagon, a political satire revue. In the late 1980s, he rented a room in Northern Virginia from jazz saxophonist Herb Smith. He practiced in the rehearsal rooms at Northern Virginia Community College’s Annandale campus, where Smith teaches.
“He’d jump on the piano, and I couldn’t get him off,” Smith said.
Mr. Almer played music day and night, sometimes going without sleep for four days or more.
“He used to tell me the music got better the longer he stayed awake,” said Thomas Bernath, a bass player who occasionally rehearsed with Mr. Almer and who is now cataloguing hundreds of tapes found in his apartment. “He didn’t feel like playing until he had been awake for two or three days.”
Mr. Almer often read books on science, and he began attending local meetings of Mensa — the high-IQ organization — in 1977. Several people said he had occasional long-term girlfriends, but he never married.
“He wasn’t shy at all,” Bernath said. “He was, unbelievably, a happy guy. There was never any complaining or gnashing of teeth about money.
“He was so sensitive — not in the way of having his feelings hurt. But I almost felt he could read my mind. I’ve never been around anybody who was that perceptive.”
Although he briefly drove a taxi and had a job building computer circuit boards, Mr. Almer lived almost entirely on intermittent royalty checks. Whenever he came into money, he’d buy a new musical keyboard or, sometimes, a used Lincoln Continental.
He was an erratic driver and was often in accidents. Smith said he once got Mr. Almer out of jail after he was arrested for disruptive behavior on a Fairfax County bus.
“He was not sad, really, about these calamities,” Smith said. “His bipolar, whatever that is, it never did affect me, and it didn’t limit him. I always dug Tandyn being around.”
One day, Smith noticed that Mr. Almer had cut his shoulder-length hair. He wanted to look presentable, he said, for his first visit in years to his mother, June Minetor, who is 94 and still lives in Minneapolis. His half-brother, his only other survivor, lives in Rochester, N.Y.
In recent years, Mr. Almer corresponded with acquaintances on Facebook and began to reconnect with old friends. Mostly, though, he stayed in his room, playing music that no one else could hear. He left a body of work of at least 75 songs and possibly as many as 300.
“There are some incredible songs,” said Puterbaugh, the music writer who got to know Mr. Almer in the final years of his life. “It’s hard to speculate why some of these brilliant compositions never saw the light of day.”
“The psychodramas and the traumas [are] gone,” Mr. Almer wrote in “Along Comes Mary.”
“The songs are left unsung and hung upon the scars.”
• Album of the year: “Babel,” Mumford & Sons.
• Record of the year: “Somebody That I Used to Know,” Gotye featuring Kimbra.
• Song of the year: “We Are Young,” fun.
• New artist: fun.
• Pop solo performance: “Set Fire to the Rain (Live),” Adele.
• Pop vocal album: “Stronger,” Kelly Clarkson.
• Rock performance: “Lonely Boy,” The Black Keys.
• Urban contemporary album: “Channel Orange,” Frank Ocean.
• Rap/sung collaboration: “No Church in the Wild,” Jay-Z, Kanye West featuring Frank Ocean, The-Dream.
• Country solo performance: “Blown Away,” Carrie Underwood.
• Country album: “Uncaged,” Zac Brown Band
• Pop/duo group performance: “Somebody That I Used to Know,” Gotye featuring Kimbra.
• Traditional pop vocal album: “Kisses on the Bottom,” Paul McCartney.
• Rap performance: “N****s in Paris,” Jay-Z, Kanye West.
• Rap song: “N****s in Paris,” Shawn Carter, Mike Dean, Chauncey Hollis, Kanye West.
• Rap album: “Take Care,” Drake.
• R&B performance: “Climax,” Usher.
• Traditional R&B performance: “Love on Top,” Beyonce.
• R&B song: “Adorn,” Miguel Pimentel.
• R&B album: “Black Radio,” Robert Glasper Experiment.
• Rock song: “Lonely Boy,” The Black Keys.
• Rock album: “El Camino,” The Black Keys.
• Hard rock/metal performance: “Love Bites (So Do I),” Halestorm.
• Alternative music album: “Making Mirrors,” Gotye.
• Dance recording: “Bangarang,” Skrillex featuring Sirah.
• Dance/electronica album: “Bangarang,” Skrillex.
• Latin pop album: “MTV Unplugged Deluxe Edition,” Juanes.
• Latin rock, urban or alternative album: “Imaginares,” Quetzal.
• Latin jazz album: “Ritmo!,” The Clare Fisher Latin Jazz Big Band.
• Tropical Latin album: “Retro,” Marlow Rosado Y La Riquena.
• Country duo/group performance: “Pontoon,” Little Big Town.
• Country song: “Blown Away,” Josh Kear, Chris Tompkins.
• Gospel song: “Go Get It,” Mary Mary.
• Gospel album: “Gravity,” Leerae.
• Blues album: “Locked Down,” Dr. John.
• Folk album: “The Goat Rodeo Sessions,” Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile.
• Americana album: “Slipstream,” Bonnie Raitt.
• Bluegrass album: “Nobody Knows You,” Steep Canyon Rangers.
• Reggae album: “Rebirth,” Jimmy Cliff.
• World music album: “The Living Room Sessions Part 1,” Ravi Shankar.
• Children’s album: “Can You Canoe?,” The Okee Dokee Brothers.
• Spoken word album: “Society’s Child: My Autobiography,” Janis Ian.
• Comedy album: “Blow Your Pants Off,” Jimmy Fallon.
• New age album: “Echoes of Love,” Omar Akram.
• Jazz vocal album: “Radio Music Society,” Esperanza Spalding.
• Jazz instrumental album: “Unity Band,” Pat Metheny Unity Band.
• Large jazz ensemble album: “Dear Diz (Every Day I Think of You),” Arturo Sandoval.
• Pop instrumental album: “Impressions,” Chris Botti.
• Compilation soundtrack album: “Midnight in Paris,” various artists.
• Score soundtrack album: “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross.
• Song written for visual media: “Safe & Sound” (From “The Hunger Games”), Taylor Swift, John Paul White, Joy Williams.
• Musical theater album: “Once: A New Musical,” Steve Kazee, Cristin Milioti.
• Producer of the year, classical: Blanton Alspaugh.
• Producer of the year, non-classical: Dan Auerbach.
• Instrumental composition: “Mozart Goes Dancing,” Chick Corea.
• Orchestral performance: “Adams: Harmonielehre & Short Ride in a Fast Machine,” Michael Tilson Thomas (San Francisco Symphony).
• Opera recording: “Wagner, Der Ring des Nibelungen,” James Levine and Fabio Luisi.
• Choral performance: “Life & Breath: Choral Works by Rene Clausen,” Charles Bruffy.
• Short-form music video: “We Found Love,” Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris.
• Long-form music video: “Big Easy Express,” Mumford & Sons.
• Historical album: “The Smile Sessions” (Deluxe Box Set), Alan Boyd, Mark Linett, Brian Wilson, Dennis Wolfe.
There are people out there making money on your videos
by posting them on youtube and collecting advertisement revenue.
I'm all in favor of my stuff being posted on youtube,
and I don't mind about the money yet.
But I will if one of my songs takes off.
And such things have happened: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Pound_Fish
youtube has a Creator & Partner Resources Hub to get you started.
On the other hand, there could be a kompoz channel on youtube,
and/or an additional service that kompoz could provide: "Put your song on youtube"
[note added much later: I was mistaken in my assumptions: see below]
Whale of a tale: Pakistani fishmonger now pop star
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Muhammad Shahid Nazir is a testament to the age-old adage that if you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day, but if you teach a man to sing about fish, his song will shoot up the British pop chart.
The 31-year-old Pakistani fishmonger catapulted to fame in recent weeks in the unlikeliest of circumstances: while hawking frozen snapper and mackerel for one British pound ($1.61) at Queens Market in London.
Not comfortable with shouting about his merchandise to attract customers, as many vendors do, he came up with a simple ditty that someone caught on video and posted on YouTube earlier this year. It became a viral sensation and has been viewed over 7 million times.
"One Pound Fish changed my whole life," said Nazir, who returned to Pakistan on Thursday to a hero's welcome and has been inundated with requests to perform and do advertisements. "I am so happy now."
To describe the song as catchy would be a gross understatement. It drills deep into your brain and sits like a lyrical jack-in-the box that goes off every few minutes, causing one to break into song involuntarily to the amusement, or perhaps growing despair, of those nearby.
"Come on ladies, come on ladies, one pound fish! Have a, have a look, one pound fish!" sings Nazir, as he points to his wares behind him. "Very, very good, one pound fish! Very, very cheap, one pound fish!"
In an era in which the Internet seems to bestow almost everyone with 15 minutes of fame, Nazir's YouTube video could have been the end of the story. But Warner Music offered Nazir a deal to record a techno-infused version of "One Pound Fish," he said. In a Bollywood-style video, he performs in a snazzy suit alongside scantily-clad dancers to a South Asian-influenced pop beat.
The music video has been viewed nearly 9 million times since it was posted on YouTube about three weeks ago. As the song gained momentum, people began talking about it as a serious contender for the fabled No. 1 Christmas single in the United Kingdom — the song that tops the chart in the week the holiday falls. Past chart-toppers include The Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You."
In the end, "One Pound Fish" made it to No. 29 on the top-40 chart. It was beaten by another Internet sensation, PSY's "Gangnam Style," which clocked in at No. 6. The No. 1 spot was clinched by a version of the Hollies' "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" by The Justice Collective, a group of star musicians who recorded the charity single for victims of a stampede at a soccer stadium in 1989 that killed 96 people.
Nazir definitely doesn't view missing out on the No. 1 Christmas single as a setback. He has returned to his home country to get a visa for France for the release of his hit song there and also has plans to take "One Pound Fish" to the United States, where he hopes it will make a big splash.
It has been quite a ride. He grew up in the little-known town of Pattoki near the eastern city of Lahore. His father owned a transport company, but his passion was always music, and he spent his youth singing both religious songs and pop hits by stars like Michael Jackson.
He traveled to Britain to study but eventually got a work permit and started working as a fishmonger in London nine months ago, he said. He now wants to pursue a career in music, but the fish stall inLondon will always hold a special place in his heart.
"I can't forget England, Queens Market, my fish stall because that place changed my whole life," said Nazir.
I must admit I was rather disappointed in the songs [except for "Red Solo Cup"].
I was, however, VERY impressed with the production qualities of the show.
46th annual Country Music Association Awards:
Female Vocalist of the Year: Miranda Lambert
Entertainer of the Year: Blake Shelton
Male Vocalist of the Year: Blake Shelton
Vocal Group of the Year: Little Big Town
New Artist of the Year: Hunter Hayes
Album of the Year: Eric Church, "Chief"
Song of the Year: Miranda Lambert, "Over You"
Vocal Duo of the Year: Thompson Square
Single of the Year: Little Big Town, "Pontoon"
Music Video of the Year: "Red Solo Cup," Toby Keith
Musical Event of the Year: "Feel Like A Rock Star," Kenny Chesney (duet with Tim McGraw)
Musician of the Year: Mac McAnally (Guitar)
Odd Stagings #5:
THE TCHAIKOVSKY VIOLIN CONCERTO CUTTING CONTEST SMACKDOWN
The Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35, written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1878, is a virtuoso piece considered to be the epitome in the repertoire of most, if not all, concert violinists. There are pieces that are much more difficult, almost unplayable, technically, and there are pieces that are, perhaps, more emotional. But this piece combines those two elements to such a degree that puts it, in my opinion, miles past the nearest contender.
In this, what we shall call the TVCCC, there are two violinists instead of one.
This fact alone would rankle the ego of any master of strings. Perhaps the most problematical aspect of this idea is getting two prima donnas to agree to do it in the first place.
A “cutting contest” is a New Orleans jazz term for a contest between musicians and/or orchestras. The most famous of these was between the bands of Chick Webb and Benny Goodman in 1936 [Benny lost!]. When played as a one-on-one competition between two players of the same instrument, the pugilists would take turns playing and improvising on a tune, each doing a phrase while the other listened and waited for his cue to respond. At first, one player would play a full chorus before giving the other his chance, the other sometimes filling the gap with a toot or two, but then the intervals would get shorter and shorter, "trading fours" [four measures each], then two, then one, then simply trying to outblow the other.
[Aficionados of musical history will recognize this as typical of the African musical traditions and patterns of call-and-response, “playing the dozens”, signifying, etc.]
In the TVCCC, there would be no improvisation in the usual sense. The competitors wouldn’t play any notes that were not there in the sheet music.
Perhaps only the first movement is played.
The combatants would each take turns playing the violin part. At first, they would take long phrases, but as the concerto progresses, each would take a short phrase, four measures or less, sometimes playing over each other, sometimes playing together.
I would like to think that such a thing could be spontaneous, but it probably would have to be scored in advance, to prevent it from becoming an aural mess.
Nevertheless, each of the divas would be egging each other on, with facial and hand gestures and their bodies and attitudes, waving their bows and the violins while the other played, getting physically aggressive without actually touching each other.
It’s all an act.
At the end, the violinists are playing together, each trying to be LOUDER than the other. And when the piece is finished, and the audience is going nuts, they tuck their violins under their arms, and salute each other with their bows.
This is how to prevent violins in the streets.
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