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Tuesday, 13 September 2016 04:04

The Kongos, Ray Charles and the Beatles

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There it was, a message from rising band The Kongos telling me to "act now to get tickets to see them on The Jimmy Kimmel Show."

I had to act right then so I gingerly pressed the link and there I was right smack dab in the middle of an audience casting service that operates under the egis of “1iota.” First question is age and I thought "well that’s going to automatically rule me out" because everyone knows that the casting cut off age to rock n’ roll is 30.

I learned that harsh piece of casting reality back when I had been cast to appear in the Alice Cooper segment in “Wayne’s World” when Alice Cooper had complained about my being in his scene when I was too old to rock n’ roll in his performance. Excuse me Mr. Cooper, but you are OLDER than I am. At the time I was running a nightclub called The Cave which featured live rock bands.

That horrible confrontation led to my writing an article for rock rag Metal News titled “Too Old To Rock N’ Roll…Don’t Believe It “ where I outlined the hypocrisy of the industry for its cut off age of 30.

I still feel that mentality it is hypocritical; and to sell tickets to a concert and hold back the entire first few front rows slated to seat models that had been cast for their youthful beauty is cold. This was done by Guns N’ Roses for their recent show at Dodger Stadium which was being filmed.

I had mentioned Guns N’ Roses in the Metal News article as the most recent concert that I had attended at the time and who were much YOUNGER than Alice Cooper at the time.

Around this time former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant also had his late night TV appearances cast as well. Again, the man is older than me and yet cannot be surrounded by folks of his own “advancing” age when it’s live or filmed.

It has been put forward that perhaps it isn’t the performer’s fault. Maybe, just maybe the TV shows and production teams are the ones casting their shows/films and not the acts.

It is a possibility, but since “reality” TV shows are actually loosely scripted and make celebrities out of no talent “actors” that act more like trained chimps than actors I tend to think NOT. I cannot help but feel that aging acts are more concerned with their “image” than the money that aged out over 30 fans are spending on them.

Did anyone catch Cooper, Johnny Depp and Joe Perry’s “Hollywood Vampires” appearance on the Grammy Awards Show awhile back? Ouch! Definitely not iPod worthy. The Kongos’ recent “Egomaniac” release is iPod worthy.


Right now I am seriously thinking about selling off my ticket to see The Kongos at The Wiltern Theater at the end of October due to the fact that I feel that they could have done something to off set the ageism of the casting for The Jimmy Kimmel Show.

It’s galling to think that the fact that it’s ok for an over 30 writer to promote a band, buy their music etc. and yet are not allowed to set foot near an act on TV or film lest they be seen by the viewing public. In the case of Kimmel, it’s no great loss and now I fully understand why I don’t watch his show.

As this story is being written the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science (AMPAS) are coping with charges of ageism for trying to push out a writer who is 91-years-old. The AMPAS people say it’s because this person has not done anything of note in decades and should have an emeritus status and not vote.

If that’s the case, I am very active in my genre of choice so there is no reason to age me out. After all, it’s not as if I’m asking to be cast as a young dancer or something…just me. Believe it or not, I can still dance and do so when the mood strikes. I studied dance as a kid with the best pelvic thrusting teacher of that time Bobby Banas, it’s real dancing with real dance moves and not that humping stuff such as Jamie Lee Curtis and John Travolta use in that turkey of a film “Perfect”.

Also, the beer commercials’ most “interesting” man has been aged out at 77 because at his age, he is no longer “interesting."

For those of you out there that are nearing 30 or are a bit older than 30, you should be concerned about your being casting worthy for a music performer that you care about’s performance on a casted audience show such as Jimmy Kimmel.

It’s a well known fact that my generation is not about to be type cast into a rocking chair on the porch snapping pea pods.

If you have paid attention, the rocking chair on the porch is empty.


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Hope you all had a chance to enjoy The Beatles exhibit “Ladies and Gentlemen…The Beatles” while it was at the Grammy Museum at LA Live July 1 to September 5.

It sure took me back to the day I was belly crawling along the floor sneaking into my brother’s bedroom and discovered the 45 record cover for their invasion song “I Wanna Hold Your Hand." I let out a yelp as I had never seen that type of hair before and was hooked.

Shortly after that I went to Ernies’ Record Shop on Lankershim Blvd. in NoHo and “I Wanna Hold Your Hand" was the first record I ever bought.

The exhibit had all those crazy fan things to purchase like a lunch pail, wigs, trading cards, pins and much more. It was a great exhibit to relive the past or to explore the amazing phenomena that was The Beatles.

Loved “playing” Ringo’s drums and walking across Abby Road with my friends. Lots of film about them as well as their costumes from some of their tours. While this exhibit didn’t reveal any new info to me, I’m sure that those that never got to experience them during their heyday did get a proper introduction into the phenomena that was The Beatles.

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Coming in on the heels of that exhibit is Ron Howard’s film about the Fab Four “Eight Days A Week…The Touring Years” which was 1962 to 1966. The film is slated for a September 15 release and will be shown at a few select venues including Laemmle’s Monica Film Center.

“Eight Days A Week” is a cut from their 1964 “Beatles For Sale” LP which was rereleased as “Beatles VI” in 1965 and was their 7th Billboard #1 hit. As a touring act, they were the first “stadium” band and were destined for IDOL status.

This film did offer up an important piece of info that I never had heard of before. The Beatles had it written into their concert contacts that they would not perform if the venue excluded Blacks and/or segregated them at their concerts.

This piece of info tells it all in my mind. The band was truly blazing a new trail with it’s invasion of America…racial equality.

It isn’t a leap to conclude that the band stopped touring the world spreading their brand of musical sensibilities because the screaming was so loud that no one could hear them. I remember when I saw them at the Hollywood Bowl on August 22, 1964 and all of the screaming... eardrum splitting screaming levels to out do any siren. Oh and mustn’t forget being pelted by hundreds of jelly beans.

The film is also slated to stream in an exclusive deal with Hulu. There is a trailer on Youtube that gives a thumbnail tease of what surprises the film has in store. Google Ron Howard Eight Days A Week and the link will appear for you to click. The is no link address to list.

One review states that the film “Embraces The Beatles as a live super sensation” which is an understatement in my mind. The film does contain rare footage from their tours which includes colored films taken by fans at their concerts. Paul McCartney can be heard saying “We were out to capture the world!” in the trailer which is just what they did and continue to do.

Also released this month is the new re-recording/reworking of The Beatles at The Hollywood Bowl which is a companion LP to Howard’s film. Chris Carter’s “Breakfast With The Beatles” on 95.5 KLOS on Sunday morning 9/11/2016 premiered a bit of it and with all of the new studio technology that comes with a remix from recently discovered master tapes in Capital Records’ archives, it’s not ruined by all the screaming of fans. Rated iPod worthy.


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Managed to make it over to The Hollywood Bowl for a few shows one of which was an ultimate tribute to Ray Charles by Maceo Parker. It was great to hear Charles' best hits with a big band slant.

The person that introduced the opening act, Christian McBride Big Band was none other than the Soul Man James Brown’s cape man Danny Ray. Seems that Ray held that distinction for some 40 years which is an impressive amount of time for a gig.

Watching Ray brought back memories of him draping Brown’s cape over him while singing “Please, Please, Please” and leading Brown away and then Brown would break away and start singing again and of course Ray would drape the cape again. This would repeat around 3 times and I always took it as Brown’s built in encores.

See you all on the flip side. Cheers.


Read 3707 times Last modified on Tuesday, 13 September 2016 13:19
Caroline McElroy

The muse struck at a young age and began with Ernie's Record Shop on Lankershim Blvd. In North Hollywood where I purchased my first Beatle record "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and a record by Major Lance titled "Um,Um,Um,Um,Um,Um". From there I saw the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl and I was hooked...on Rock N' Roll. At the age of 13 it seems as if the magical world of Rock N' Roll opened up and welcomed me. A trip to Indio with Frank Zappa and possee, and subsequent gigs as a dancer at The Teen Fairs at the Hollywood Palladium sealed the deal. As a trained journalist, I've written for magazines, newsletters,newspapers and blogs. In addition, I have run a nightclub by the name of The Cave. Music is the thread that weaves a patchwork quilt of genres, venues and experience out of my life and in the process have introduced many fine acts to my followers.

For the rest of my story dear readers, read my articles and it will unfold like the petals of a lotus flower. 


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