Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year

Safe travels to all, and I hope to see you soon in 2015.
December 31, 2014

Monday, December 29, 2014

John Fry Memorial Piece About Alex Chilton That He Sent Me In 2010

An unexpected and unwanted event occurred on March 17, 2010. At about  
7 pm, I received a call from Jody Stephens, who had gone to Austin  
that day to participate in SXSW. He quickly said that he had received  
a call from Laura, Alex Chilton’s wife. He had suffered symptoms at  
home and been taken to a hospital where he had died in the emergency  
room. There initially was nothing more to say beyond “What, say that  
again, are you sure?”

Then we said to one another, I guess we better cancel everything. I  
was about to hang up when it occurred to me to say “It’s your  
decision, but you guys should talk about it among yourselves. Maybe  
you want to go ahead with everything as a tribute to Alex.” They  
called back in a couple of hours and said they were going to perform  
with guest artists. I think it was the right decision.

There was a tremendous outpouring of love and support from the artist  
community at SXSW. The media were courteous and respectful in s far as  
I have seen. We all are grateful.

The band has also decided to go ahead with the already scheduled show  
at The Levitt Shell in Memphis on May 15. It will be similar to the  
SXSW show, essentially a Big Star gig with guest performers, honoring  
Alex’s memory, but playing only the Big Star repertoire, rather than  
trying to cover ever era of Alex’s long and varied career.

The first time I met Alex was during Box Tops overdub and mixing  
sessions at Ardent in 1967. For all the years hence, we had been  
friends and colleagues. He was a brilliant, widely read man, with a  
vast knowledge of music from many genres, art, literature, politics,  
and history. Big Star played in London in 2008 and 2009. For some  
reason, I felt almost compelled to go and see both shows. I am glad  
that I did. The shows were great. Alex and his wife Laura were so  
happy together. I ask myself “why now?”, and of course, there is no  

One week ago, I picked up the Big Star boxed set, looked at the cover  
photo with their smiling faces, and reflected on the fact that there  
are now two of these four people about whom I have received shocking  
sudden death phone calls, one in 1978 and another in 2010.

Alex and Chris are sorely missed, much loved, and deeply respected.
-John Fry
spring, 2010

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Peace On Earth, and good will toward men.

Wouldn't it be nice?

(with help from Charles Schultz, and Brian Wilson)
December 25, 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014

RIP John Fry

"People have asked me when I am going to write my memoirs, like I needed to leave behind some sort of legacy. If you put the Big Star boxset together with Chris’ I Am The Cosmos reissue, that could be my legacy. Those two came closest to my heart." -John Fry, said to me, 2010.

Safe travels, John,
December 18, 2014

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Hello All-

While I'm getting ready for Saturday's book signing in Boone, NC this Saturday, and one radio appearance next week (more soon on this), I wanted to remind you that Christmas is a great time to get a Therapiggy. They're cute, cuddly, and quite affordable. Check out their website, and read up on the adventures of Blinker, who also happens to be my Therapiggy.

December 17, 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

Book Signing This Saturday (December 20th) in Boone, NC

Hello All-

Happy holidays. I'll be back at the Mast General Store in Boone, NC this Saturday, December 20th, selling and signing copies of my North Carolina Musicians book from 11am to 4pm. Please come out and say hello, and I hope to see you there.

Safe travels,
December 15, 2014

The Last Christmas Dinner

I never see you
in my dreams,
in my memories.
And in a moment,
as the first sight
of snow 
begins to fall, 
I can still see you, 
all those years
in the past.

We all arrived
that night 
for our Christmas dinner
in that nice restaurant,
before they tore
it all into
something else,
and turned it into
something you
wouldn’t recognize.
The flocks of tour buses
that line their gates
now stumble
through the doors
in their praise,
you and I know
what they 
really missed.

You sat
near the window,
backlit by the holiday,
where you can us
looking back 
at you
with love
and guarded
You believed
in the doctors
as much as
you believed 
in us.
Did they fail you? 
Did we fail you
for not trying
to change your 
Or had the 
eventual truth
already had its
and we were 

for the impact
of what
to come?

When I 
and close
my eyes,
I can still see
and feel
it all, 
in slightly yellowed,
yet beautiful

Was it their lighting,
or am I remembering
what I want
to remember,
just as I 
can still feel
out to you,
wishing you a Merry Chrtistmas,
one more time.

I never see you
in my dreams
in my
that change and gray
with every
passing year,
no matter
how hard I try
to hold on
to them.

And wherever
you are,
I wish 
to remind me
of where I am, 
who I was
when you knew me,
and how much
I loved 
Then, and in
the snows
to come.

-Daniel Coston
December 5, 2014

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Ghost In A Quiet Tirade

I see you
to make me
notice you,
while you act
like I’m 
not here.
You move 
through the faces
with poisoned arms,
glancing off
the flecks
of orange light,
running in
your circles
Lips move,
but no one
close to you
will dare say 
the truth.

We know 
you did,
and yet 
that is somehow 
my fault.
all of the distant actors
are the ones
that were really 
to blame,
then why 
are you the one
that acts
the guilty role,
as you retreat
to places
where no one
will tell
what has happened,
or what is
to come?

is acquirement, 
and stepping
from the person
who have been, 
to the person
you can still 
Until that time,
you are a ghost
walking in the spaces
that you 
trip over,
you still believe
is moving forward.

I see you
but don’t believe you,
just as much
as you claim
that you don’t

-Daniel Coston
December 11, 2014

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Trampled By Turtles photo

Trampled By Turtles
Neighborhood Theater
Charlotte, NC
December 9, 2014
photo copyright 2014 Daniel Coston

A Few Stories About Ian McLagan, And Me

Hello All-

Just a few stories about my experiences with Ian McLagan.

-I met Ian in 2003, hanging outside a bar in Austin, TX during SXSW, where Joe Ely & Jimmie Dale Gilmore were playing. I took posed photos of all three within minutes of each other. It was just magical, hanging out with him, and all of these musicians that I considered legends.

-I ran into Ian a year later, again at SXSW. He had been very complimentary of my photos from the previous year. He also knew that I'd done photos with Alejandro Escovedo. "Was that your photo of Al that was in today's paper?" He asked. "It was really good, and I figured that you took it." I hadn't taken it, but the compliment took my breath away.

-Ian came and played Raleigh, NC in 2005. We talked a good while after the show, and at one point he leaned in close to me and asked, "Do you know where to find some pot?" I demurred a bit, as I don't smoke, anything (severe allergies). I explained that I didn't live in Raleigh, so I didn't know the key people in that regard. "That's right, I forgot that you live in Charlotte," he answered. "You seemed like a cool person, and might know about those things." I did recommend that he ask a couple of locals that I thought might know the answer that Mac was looking for. Ian winked and said, "Thanks, mate."

-I got to see Ian play with Pete Townshend of the Who at SXSW in 2007, at a tribute for Ronnie Lane. Wow, it was awesome. Ian saw me afterwards and hugged me. "Daniel! I was hoping that you'd be here! Did you get some photos?"

Yes, Ian, I did. Thanks, mate,
December 10, 2014

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Dirty Guv'Nahs photos, Charlotte, NC, December 5, 2014

Featured here-

December 7, 2014

Friday, December 5, 2014

Happy 2nd Birthday Milah

Happy 2nd birthday to my niece Milah, whom I don't see often enough, and who always reminds me how good that life can be. Have fun this weekend with mommy and daddy (aka Karen Coston Parks and David Parks), and I look forward to many more birthdays with you. In the words of George King, "Happy birthday, ol' kid."
December 5, 2014

Thursday, December 4, 2014

RIP Nick Talbot, aka Gravenhurst

"The Prize", one of my favorite songs from the past couple of years. Enjoy.
November 4, 2014

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Ian McLagan/Pete Townshend SXSW photos, March 2007

Ian McLagan & Pete Townshend
Ronnie Lane tribute
Austin Music Awards
March 2007
all photos copyright 2007 Daniel Coston

My 2005 Interview with Ian McLagan

Ian McLagan interview, 2005

Ian McLagan: From Hero To Sixty
Interview and introduction by Daniel Coston
originally published in the Big Takeover Magazine, summer 2006 issue

Legendary musician, and an all-around great bloke. For forty years, Ian “Mac” McLagan has played keyboards on more great records that you or your momma ever dreamed of, and is still going strong at the age of sixty. Joining the Small Faces in 1965, Mac and guitarist/vocalist Steve Marriott, bassist Ronnie Lane and drummer Kenney Jones produced some of the greatest songs of the 1960s, and helped to influence the 1970s punk scene, ‘80s mod revival, and the current garage rock movement.

After Marriott’s departure in 1969, the remaining bandmembers hooked up with Rod Stewart and Ron Wood [now of the Rolling Stones] to form the Faces, a band whose 2004 boxset “Five Guys Walk Into A Bar” brought new appreciation for their fun, bluesy sound. After the Faces’ run ended in 1975, Mac has played with everyone from the Rolling Stones to Billy Bragg, and currently resides in Austin, Texas with his own Bump Band. 

Why interview Mac? Because I could, and it gave me an excuse to talk to him for an hour. ‘Nuff said. Let’s begin......

BT: You just had your 60th birthday party. Tell me about it.

McLagan: It was unbelievable. We’d already planned to have a party, but my wife and my son surprised me with a tractor. My son, and my wife’s brother flew in from England unannounced. And Lynne, the person that handles my website [, and], surprised me with a birthday scrapbook that a lot of people contributed to. She gave it to me, and I cried like a little girl. It was a great party. 

BT: Last night, I saw a Japanese band [Elekibass] that was very inspired by the English scene of the mid 1960s, and their guitarist was dressed exactly like Steve Marriott circa 1967, right down to the suspenders and scarf. 

McLagan: (laughing) It’s amazing how much people care now about the Small Faces. Just the other day, someone emailed me and asked, “When you all were living in the same house in 1968, which one tended to wake up and shower first?”

BT: Now there’s a question I hadn’t planned on asking you.

McLagan: Thank you! I should’ve written him back and said, “We’re English. We never shower.” (laughs)

I [recently] went back to England to play with Billy Bragg for a benefit. And after the show, Kenney Jones came around and we had a few drinks after a show. So we were getting ready to leave, and we saw a bunch of people waiting for us, and I thought, “Oh, this is gonna be trouble.” It was a bunch of 15 year-old kids. They’d heard that we were around, and they wanted to meet us. 

It’s the younger fans that amaze me. One time, I was at a festival walking around backstage, and these teenage girls came up and said, “You were in the Small Faces, weren’t you?” And I said, “Yes, how’d you know?” They said, “Oh, we’ve got the videos. You guys sounded great. Bands today, they get onstage and just fake it, and don’t sound good.” I couldn’t believe it. They got it. They understood what we doing.

BT: Do you keep in touch with Kenney on a regular basis?

McLagan: I just talked to him yesterday, actually. That instinct, that timing is still there with me and Kenney. It’s very easy to play with him.

BT: Have you ever heard that timing with many other musicians?

McLagan: The guys in the Bump Band have that. [Guitarist] Scrappy Jud Newcomb, [bassist] Mark Andes, who was also in Spirit, Firefall, Jo Jo Gunne, and [drummer] Don Harvey. It’s an absolute pleasure to play with them.

The thing I like to say is that you’re in the Bump Band for life. Even [producer/musician] Gurf Morlix still sits in with us from time to time. You can never get too far away for us. (Laughs)

BT: There’s a photo on your website, circa 1964, of you in a car with [blues legend] Howlin’ Wolf. What’s the story behind the photo?

McLagan: Howlin’ and Hubert Sumlin [Wolf’s longtime guitarist] came over to Europe. Back then, a lot of American blues artists came over to play Europe. Sonny Boy Williamson II had come over the year before, and the Yardbirds backed him up. And when Howlin’ came over, Eric Clapton had just left the Yardbirds, so they were hung up at the time, and my band at the time belonged to the same booking agency as the Yardbirds, so we ended up playing three gigs with Howlin’ and Hubert.

Howlin’ actually gave me a hundred bucks when we were in the London Airport, and sent me to buy him some bourbon and Jack Daniel’s. Unfortunately, the airport didn’t have any alcohol. They didn’t have any airport bars, like they do now. There was no way I could get it. So I had to give him his hundred dollars back.

I got to see Hubert again last year, and told me, “Man, Howlin’ loved you! He wanted to take you back to Chicago.” 

I actually was doing my usual Thursday gig down here last night, and there’s this guy who has been telling me, “One night, I’m gonna bring James Cotton down here.” James was the harmonica player on the first record I ever bought, Muddy Waters Live At Newport (1960). So I always said, “Yeah, sure.” So last night, he shows up before the break, and says, “Hey, I’ve got James with me tonight.” I couldn’t believe it. We went and found a harmonica for him, since he didn’t have one on him, and he got up and played a couple of numbers. I loved it.

Muddy At Newport was a big record for me. And that was the first record that Steve Marriott ever bought, and those songs were some of the first things that we ever played together. And in fact, when the Faces got together later, Rod [Stewart] and Woody [Ron Wood] also knew that album really well, and that helped to bring us together. I talked to James after the show about doing some recording at my studio. I’ve love for that to happen.

BT: Are you working on a new Bump Band record?

McLagan: Yes. We have no label to worry about, which is just the way I like it. We can do whatever we damn well please. (laughs)

I’m also currently working on a Ronnie Lane two CD best-of. A collection of his solo recordings, and an extended version of Rough Mix (1976), that record he did with Pete Townshend.

BT: I really like Rough Mix.

McLagan: I hadn’t heard it when it came out. I’d had a row with Ronnie at the time. It’s a good record.

For me, Ronnie was the real leader of the Faces. I didn’t really realize that until I was working on the [Faces] boxset. He was the most prolific writer, and when he left, the band ended. He lived here in Austin for a long time, and no one has any bad words to say about him.  He was also one of the funniest people that I ever met in my life. An absolutely sweetheart, and brilliant guy.

BT: I saw that [the Small Faces’] Playmates and 78 In The Shade [1976 and 1978, respectively] got re-issued on CD. What are your feelings about that?

McLagan: I don’t know where they got the tapes to master them from. I’ve got the masters here, actually. The CDs have horrible sound, and the volume drops dramatically on one song. 

BT: What was it like to do those records? That time in the band’s history is not often looked at.

McLagan: It was fun, but different than how we’d worked before. I would get together with Steve [Marriott], and show what him I’d been working on, and he’d say, yeah, that’s great. And then I’d meet up with Ronnie, and do the same. Steve and Ronnie had previously written together, and they still had a beef going on.

And then, on the second day of recording, Ronnie got very grumpy and walked out. But to be fair, Ronnie told me that he found out later that this was the beginning of his MS [multiple sclerosis]. Ronnie really was not much of a drinker. He never drank that much, even after shows. But all of a sudden, if Ronnie drank, he would get very grmupy, and his legs would start to give way. And that turned out to be the MS.

BT: What would you like people to know about Steve Marriott?

McLagan: He was a great guy, very funny. A lot of people don’t know that he was the first choice to join the Rolling Stones, after Brian Jones left. But he couldn’t agree with Mick about having a voice in the band.

BT: Did the Faces boxset help to set the record straight about how good the band really was?

McLagan: I think it did. Hearing all of those BBC recordings, many of which I’d never heard before, and all the live tracks was just great. I think our reputation did proceed us, after a while, and somehow it got ‘round that we were a sloppy band. We always had a good time, but we cared a lot about how we sounded. And I think that the live recordings show that.

[Paul Westerberg] sent a letter, which we printed in the boxset, saying “I saw the Faces a hundred times, and not once were they ever sloppy.” He testified for me! (laughs)

And another thing was that [the Faces] were a band. A real five-piece band. We all had a part in it. Someone sent me a link to a website for a movie recently, and they said, “They’re using ‘Stay With Me’ in the movie. And I go to the website, and they had it listed as a Rod Stewart track! Those f--kers. That wasn’t a Rod Stewart track, bless his soul.

BT: So what keeps you going after all these years?

McLagan: Lack of funds, really. But the fact is that I love music, and this is something I love to do. Once, I was having a bad day, and my wife [Kim] says, “When you get down to it, what do you really like to do? And I said, “Play the blues very loud.” 

I still love playing live. I think I’ve always preferred playing live over playing in the studio. We’ve got our own Bump Band gig every Thursday night here in Austin at the Lucky Lounge, and when I come home afterwards, and Kim asks, “How was it?” Rarely do I ever not say, “It was absolutely fantastic.” I really love it.

I’m an enjoyer of life, Daniel. I love music, and I’m a very lucky guy for having the right woman in my life. She keeps me sane, or relatively insane, which is what we all need. 

RIP Ian McLagan

I first met Ian McLagan in 2003, at SXSW. From the first time I met him to the last, Mac was one of the nicest, and coolest people I have ever met in my life. I was thrilled every time that I saw him, and hugely saddened every time I missed the chance to see him (which includes a show in Raleigh just six weeks ago). I interviewed him, I hung out with him, he posted my photos on his website, and gave me some of the nicest compliments I've ever gotten. The fact that I will not have the chance to cross paths with him again, at least in this earthly place, is something that I, like many others, may never get used to. And yet, so much music, and so many laughs. And that will always stay with me. Safe travels, friend, and always remember how much you were loved down here.
December 3, 2014

Photo 2003 Daniel Coston, that wonderful day I first met Mac.