Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Woggles/Temperance League/Modern Primitives photos, Snug Harbor, Charlotte, NC, Sept. 27, 2014

Temperance League
Modern Primitives
Kick Out The Garage
Snug Harbor
Charlotte, NC
September 27, 2014
all photos copyright 2014 Daniel Coston

NBC News used one of my photos of Arthur Smith in their coverage of his passing last April

It's the last photo you see. It's not the first time that I've had photos on NBC, but pretty amazing, nonetheless.
September 30, 2014


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Reminder Of Our Kick Out The Garage Show Tonight At Snug Harbor

Tonight!!! It's time for our 2nd Annual Kick Out The Garage spectacular tomorrow night (September 27th) at Snug Harbor, with The Woggles,Temperance League and Modern Primitives. Doors at 9pm, show at 10pm. See you there.
September 27, 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

James Lowe/Electric Prunes interview about touring with the Beach Boys, 2013

In 1967, The Electric Prunes were riding high on the charts, heralding the coming Psychedelic Rock sound. Among those that noticed was the Beach Boys, who invited the Prunes to open for them for several shows in the early part of 1967 alongside the Left Banke, Question Mark and the Mysterians, and others. In 2014, the Prunes returned again with their new album WaS, continuing the mission that the band was on when they opened for "America's Band." Lead singer James Lowe remembers those days in this 2013 interview.           

Daniel Coston: How did the Prunes come to tour with the Beach Boys?

James Lowe: "I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night" started breaking out in a lot of markets, so I guess since the attendance at that time was based upon radio play, we got invited to tour. I do remember it was a last minute thing.

Coston: Describe opening for the Beach Boys. What were their crowds like?

Lowe: Good crowds. Mostly college oriented. Some bigger venues, and some under 1000. It was nice to see America that way, at that time. The Electric Prunes had not solidified a fan base then, so we didn't know WHO would listen to our records or come to shows. We were very green at that time, so it served to give us experience on the road. It was a good gauge on what to expect from the live audience, we thought.

Coston: How long a set did you play?

Lowe: About 15 minutes, as I recall. They kept moving us around in the show as we got better reviews, or better reactions in some places that the BB, so it finally came down to a college and whomever was producing the show told us, "You're going on first tonight" (in a college setting, if the audience is hostile this can be the death nell). We went on first. We killed them, and from then on we were the band that played right before the Beach Boys came on no more moving us around. 

Coston: Was it better it was to play through the Beach Boys' PA and monitors, as opposed to playing through other systems (or no systems) on club shows? '

Lowe: The system was OK. It wasn't the best, or the worst. The best part for us was that someone else was setting it all up and taking it all down. We were a garage band and we had just come from doing all our own work, so it was nice to relax and concentrate on the shows. Back then you got HORRID systems and no foldback speakers in most venues, and no monitors for the vocals. It was a crap shoot every night, so at least the Beach Boys was a known crap shoot!

Coston: How many times did you open for the Boys?

Lowe: Seven or eight, I think? Enough times that our band knew their set, and we both liked the theremin!

Coston: Talk about any special memories you have of those shows? Conversations you had with the Beach Boys, partying with them, that sort of thing.

Lowe: We noticed when their (Beach Boys) wives joined the tour, the party got quieter. In fact, it became non-existent. The Left Banke were pretty green then, too, I think it may have been their first tour. ? Mark and the Mysterians kept to themselves as my band did, as well. We were trying to be professional, most of the time. 

Coston: How were the Beach Boys to interact with? Did you all travel together?

Lowe: No. We had station wagons across America. Maybe a few planes, but a lot of driving to hook up with the Boys. This adventure seemed a little new to everyone, including the promoters. I think the idea of multiple bands was fairly new outside of stadium shows supported by radio stations. The BB band seemed kind and respectful, as I remember. 

Coston: Describe the various Beach Boys band members.

Lowe: Carl was the heavier guy (about 6 feet) with the cool hair, and "In My Room" in his nailed part of the set. Mike Love was blonde and goofy, more sardonic like LA people, but he was glue to the band in a funny way. Al was smaller and quieter. Blonde haired Dennis banged the drums and got all the chicks, Bruce Johnston was about 5'9" and had just joined on keyboard with the band, and he was a very nice guy and interested in making it better. 

Coston: Did you cross paths again with the Beach Boys after that 1967 tour? 

Lowe: I did gamble at the roulette table with Mike Love in Vegas one night, though I am not sure why we were even in the same hotel? I did make some records with Van Dyke Parks later in the scene, if that counts.

Coston: What was the lineup that played those shows with the Beach Boys in early 1967?

Lowe: Mark Tulin bass, Weasel Spagnola rhythm, Ken Williams lead, James Lowe vocals, Preston Ritter drums.

Coston: What are you working on these days?

Lowe: We’re in the studio. We are finishing up what will be our last recorded offering. Mark Tulin died in the middle of our trying to finish up a CD. We decided we need to let people hear this stuff. I mean, you should say goodbye, I think. The band, James Lowe, Steve Kara, Jay Dean, Walter Garces and a new bass player will do a few live shows in the coming year.

Coston: What would you like to say to the Beach Boys, these days?

Lowe: I liked those Good Vibrations. A LOT! Can Mike pay me back that 20 bucks he borrowed from me in Vegas? What else can I say? Keep Sanding!!!!

Left Banke interviews about touring with the Beach Boys

On Tour With The Beach Boys: The Left Banke
by Daniel Coston

The Beach Boys are not the only masters of harmony to return to the stage in recent years. In 1966, the Left Banke crashed the top 5 with “Walk Away Renee,” a stunning blend of melancholy strings and three-part harmony. Over the next two years, the band stayed on the road constantly, all while still producing great singles like “Pretty Ballerina,” “Desiree” and several others. This touring included several dates with the Beach Boys, a double-bill of harmony-pop titans that is still discussed among fans.

In 2011, original bandmembers and singers Tom Finn and George Cameron reformed the Left Banke with a pair of sold out shows at Joe’s Pub, in New York City. Now touring as a ten-piece band, Finn and Cameron have thrilled audiences by delivering the band’s layered sound on stage, something that they did not have the chance to do in the 1960s. As a longtime fan, the return of the Left Banke has been both a thrill, and a pleasure to see and hear.

Tom Finn and George Cameron talk about touring with the Beach Boys, and the current edition of the Left Banke. 

Coston: How did the Left Banke come to tour with the Beach Boys?

Tom Finn: We were chosen by The Beach Boys, whose management procured some groups that had recent hit records, so they could fill seats.

Coston:  Describe opening for the Beach Boys. What were their crowds like?

Finn: Opening for the Beach Boys was a thrill. We were very excited because the crowds were much larger than the shows we had done before this. The crowds were mostly younger teens, but I also noticed some older folks who brought their children. 

George Cameron: The crowds were great, energized and ready to hear music.

Coston: How long a set did you play?

Finn: We played three or four songs, about 15 minutes. This was because there were about four or other groups on the bill.

Coston: Tom and George, you’ve said in the past that you preferred playing through the Beach Boys' PA and monitors, as opposed to playing through other systems (or no systems) on club shows. 

Finn: Oh Yes!!! No question about it. We were so happy to be able to hear ourselves singing. We sounded infinitely better on The Beach Boys tour. They had monitors, which we never used before, and the sound in the room also were loud and full. It was wonderful.

Cameron: It was grand. They where a big vocal group, so their system was excellent. We could finally hear ourselves what a plearsure, and these guys were great to tour with.

Coston: How many times did you open for the Boys?

Finn: If I can recall, I think we did about ten shows.

Coston: Talk about any special memories you have of those shows? 

Finn: I remember we had a piano player named Emmitt Lake, who looked like a bearded mountain man. The rest of us were all slim, and mod looking. At one show, I recall that during the pause after the bridge in "Pretty Ballerina" Emmitt produced a starter pistol (fake gun) and shot it at [lead singer] Steve Martin-Caro, who fell to the floor pretending that Emmitt shot him. After about five seconds Steve got up and continued the song. We were out of our minds. Laughing our asses off. 

Cameron: Al Jardine invited me and Steve over to his place. We had fun, they liked us and we liked them.

Coston: How were the Beach Boys to interact with? Did you all travel together?

Finn: Generally speaking, I found them very easy to interact with. Of course they were several years older than us, so there was a respectfulness that we exhibited toward them. No, we didn't travel with them. But, we were provided with a Cadillac limo to travel from show to show. Also the tour was very professionally run, so, there wasn't more than about four or five hours drive between cities.

Coston: Describe the various Beach Boys bandmembers. I know that both Carl and Al were really nice to you guys.

Finn: Yeah! Carl and Al were very friendly toward us, I think I recall Dennis Wilson hanging around with Steve Martin-Caro a little bit, too. I also remember going to Al or Carl's room, and hanging out and talking a little bit. They were curious how a group as young as us could sing and record like we did. Bruce Johnston was also curious about "Pretty Ballerina," so he played it on stage at one show, and The Beach Boys sang a few bars and broke into harmony as we watched from the wings. So, it was obvious that they liked us a lot.

Coston: After 43 years away, the Left Banke returned to the stage in 2011. How did that come about?

Finn: It was George's idea. He was inspired when I told him about how many people were liking The Left Banke on my Facebook Left Banke Fan Page, which I started because of thousands of friend requests. George wanted to reform the group, but [with us] as singers, with a backing band. 

Cameron: Let me tell you, I was humbled after all these years, people still liked us and our music.

Coston: The response so far to the LB's return has been great. What does this mean to you both?

Finn: It means a lot to me, to know that so many people like our music. There seems to be many thousands of new fans. It's just a miracle. We worked so very hard to make the group sound better than we ever have on stage live. 

Coston: How is it to play live with string players, something you didn't do back in the 1960s?

Finn: It's a great feeling to bring our recorded sound to the public consciousness, because back in the 60's, we were just thrown out there on the road, with no strings or harpsichord or any of instruments that were in our records, whatsoever. But now, we have a cellist, a violinist and a second keyboard that plays orchestral samples along with our live strings, thereby making our sound full and authentic.

Cameron: For me, it's a dream come true. Although we don't have Steve [Martin-Caro], we finally sound like we should have sounded years ago. I love strings and having them on stage, what a feeeling.

Coston: What's next for the Left Banke?

Finn: An album, hopefully. I've written some new songs and George is writing, too. We'd also like to get some new songs from Michael Brown, who joined us on stage recently. 

Coston: You're back on the road, and so are the Beach Boys. What would you say to the Beach Boys, if you had the chance?

Finn: I'd like to say, "It would be so great to do a duet recording with The Beach Boys and The Left Banke."

Cameron: Hey guys, let’s do it again.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Mike Pender pics and show review, September 10, 2014

Mike Pender of the Searchers
British Invasion Tour
Sands Event Center
Bethlehem, PA
September 10, 2014

Mike Pender doesn't get to play in America very often, which is a shame. The legendary voice of the 1960s British band the Searchers usually has an ocean between himself and American fans. The recent British Invasion Tour has been a rare chance to see several of that era's best musicians in the United States, and Mike's part of the show was definitely a highlight of the show.

Moving across the stage and engaging the audience throughout the show, Pender delivered all of the Searchers' classic songs with a lot of energy. It was also great to see Pender play his Rickenbacker 12-string guitar, as much a trademark to the Searchers as Pender's own voice. While it would have been even better to hear a full evening of Searchers songs ("Have You Ever Loved Somebody" and "Umbrella Man" would be fantastic to hear live), that will have to wait for another trip to the States.

Come back soon, Mike.
-Daniel Coston
Sept. 18, 2014

Check out more photos from this show in another post below.

All photos copyright 2014 Daniel Coston

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

RIP George Hamilton IV

Safe travels, George. We'll miss you.
September 17, 2014
photo copyright 2011 Daniel Coston

Possibly My Proudest Moment Of Last Week's Trip To Pennsylvania

Hello All-

The show was in the event center for a casino. As I walked into the casino, I was stopped and carded, to make sure that I was over 21 and could enter the venue.

In November, I will turn 21, twice over.

Perhaps it was all the oxygen that they were pumping into the casino.
September 17, 2014

Monday, September 15, 2014

British Invasion tour, Sands Event Center, Bethlehem, PA, September 10, 2014

British Invasion Tour
BIlly J. Kramer
Mike Pender's Searchers
Chad Stuart (of Chad & Jeremy)
Denny Laine
Terry Sylvester
Sands Event Center
Bethlehem, PA
September 10, 2014
all photos copyright 2014 Daniel Coston

Diarrhea Planet photos, Charlotte, NC, September 5, 2014

Diarrhea Planet
Snug Harbor
Charlotte, NC
September 5, 2014
all photos copyright 2014 Daniel Coston

Monday, September 8, 2014

Announcement of my involvement with a new exhibition at the Birthplace Of Country Music Museum

I'm proud to announce that some of my photos go Johnny Cash and the Carter Family will be exhibited in Bristol VA/TN, as part of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum's upcoming exhibit on the family, and the nearbyCarter Family Fold. The exhibition opens the same week as the Rhythm & Roots festival, and will be there for six months. Stop by and say hello.-Daniel
September 4, 2014

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Mum photos, Charlotte, NC, October 2004

Neighborhood Theatre
Charlotte, NC
October, 2004
all photos copyright 2004 Daniel Coston
thanks to Hannah for reminding me about this show

Monday, September 1, 2014

My Photos On Procol Harum's Website


More pics posted soon,
September 1, 2014