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MUSIC OLD & NEW

UNDER CONSTRUCTION
 
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  1989
  Demo of "God Said..."

Lyrics: Greg Iles
Music: Greg Iles, Courtney Aldridge
GOD SAID...Frankly Scarlet
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One of the few pics I have of Frankly Scarlet in any form.

Far right is Mike Chapman, our first drummer, who played the Police better than anybody but Stewart Copeland, and is now a talented photographer.

 

On this demo (drums and background vocals) is Richard Courtney, a great singer who succeeded Mike on drums in Frankly Scarlet, and whom I'm working with again this year. Lead vocals on "God Said..." are myself (second from left) and Bobby Hensley (second from right) the lead singer of this band. Bobby was a few years behind me at Trinity Episcopal School, and we played together several years. He's a successful attorney in North Carolina now. On bass (far left) is Monty Lamaze, who played most of his life for acts from Percy Sledge to Anders Osborne and is now retired.

Steve Martin Rocks with the Rock Bottom Remainders and Roger McGuinn

Steve Martin Rocks with the Rock Bottom Remainders and Roger McGuinn

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Above we're playing at UCLA with Steve Martin after a comic discussion. Steve played a hell of a "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" before this, and Roger did some excellent flatpicking. (I'm sitting behind Ridley Pearson, doing low harmony.)  Below, you see the "real Remainders" backstage rehearsing the same song, the Byrds' version of Dylan's "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere," when founder Kathi Kamen Goldmark was still alive. Most times we're cutting up a lot more than this, and the band is almost all comedy. (That's Matt Groening, creater of The Simpsons, to Ridley's right, after all). But when McGuinn is onstage, everybody takes it a bit more seriously. When I was playing "Eight Miles High" and "Turn, Turn, turn" outdoors at UCLA on the same mic as Roger, I FELT eight miles high! Great times, man.

Rock Bottom Remainders with Roger McGuinn

Rock Bottom Remainders with Roger McGuinn

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Below you see me with Tony Fields (possibly the best male singer in Mississippi, and principal of the Natchez public high school) and Kevin Dukes, session guitarist originally from Natchez, who toured with Jackson Browne, Billy Joel, and Don Henley, as well as having a full-time career as a studio guitarist (when that job still existed in L.A.!) Kev's mostly retired, but we're working together on some songs. "The Devil's A' Walkin'"--below, we wrote for a documentary my son was making about my friend and Pulitzer finalist Stanley Nelson, who inspired Henry Sexton in "Natchez Burning." Listen to the bridge of "Ooohs": Man, Tony kills it!

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The Devil's Walkin' Tony FieldsTony FIelds
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Tony Fields: Full Production at Left

The Remainders played Prince's FIRST AVENUE

Below are some pics and video from Minneapolis. After our afternoon sound check, I had sit down with my missing leg to play "Purple Rain," a song we've never done. I ain't no singer, but I had to do it for myself. A couple of the employees who were around when Prince was alive came in from backstage and listened, then shook my hand afterward. It was like his ghost was in the room. Laugh if you want. I was there.

"Purple Rain" in Prince's
1st Avenue club after rehearsal.
     
"How's the family?"  (Morris Day)

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With our great sax player and gentle soul Erasmo Paolo beside Prince's motorcycle from "Purple Rain."

In 2014 I worked to revamp the one-sided Historic Natchez Pageant, formerly known as the Confederate Pageant. Ultimately it was a doomed endeavor--the pageant is no longer performed. But for two years, some very brave and talented local Natchezians worked hard to present the Black side of antebellum Natchez--which is some tough history. Below is some rehearsal footage, and three of our best singers weren't even here on this day. I have some remarkable rehearsal footage of this song, "Oh, Freedom," performed with dirgelike beauty in a small rehearsal room, and I hope to find and post that soon. Also a couple of great cast photos (and we've already lost one cast member who wasn't even thirty. This is a tough world we live in.)

Below is Deanna Hayden, who played the toughest scene in the entire production, as a young enslaved mother with her child. From her joyful smile below, it's hard to imagine her even doing that scene, but she sang with unbelievable passion, and I saw many people in the audience cry night after night before leaping to their feet in a standing ovation. She never failed to bring a 99% white crowd to its feet in awe and new awareness. I will post footage of her singing soon. Below are stills and a candid interview at the end of the run, when she discusses a certain "Caucasian lady's reaction" to her performance, and the necessity of showing the reality of slavery. One night Deanna was offered a full college scholarship at a prestigious but mostly white liberal arts college based on her singing and bravery, but she turned it down to go to Spelman in Atlanta, where to no one's surprise, she has excelled. This young woman blew me away in the first minute when she showed up to audition and told me her favorite song was Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come." Wait till you see her sing it.

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