Absolute Elsewhere

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THE ROLLING STONES AT 60 (2022): And then there were two

8 Apr 2022  |  1 min read

There are many ways to measure the longevity of the Rolling Stones: since their formation in 1962 they’ve rocked on through 14 US presidents, 13 British prime ministers and almost 30 James Bond movies. The only two original founding members – Sir Michael Philip Jagger, net worth about $800 million, and Keith Richards – have outlived half the Beatles, half the Who and any... > Read more

THE MOVE: ALWAYS AND FOREVER; BELATEDLY (2022): Classic pop, great rock then forgot

28 Mar 2022  |  8 min read  |  4

Anyone dumb enough to rely on an encyclopedia of rock or -- worse -- that self-described disgrace which is "Classic Hits" radio, would be forgiven for not knowing that the Move ever existed. Those DJs at "classic rock" certainly would have no clue . . . but we expect them to be clueless, I suppose. Shame on them.  It seems the Move -- despite their... > Read more

Fire Brigade

YOKO ONO, REVISITED AND RESPECTED (2022): Octogenerian great-grandmother of avant-indie kids

19 Mar 2022  |  2 min read

When Marlon Williams sang Nobody Sees Me Like You Do at his sold-out Auckland Town Hall concert in 2018, it’s a safe bet few who loudly applauded knew who had written the song: Yoko Ono. Although she remains reviled by some older Beatle-obsessed fans for her artistic and personal relationship with John Lennon – who she has outlived by more than 40 years – Ono has... > Read more

BRITISH PROG 1970-75: (2022): Yes, but is it rock?

14 Mar 2022  |  15 min read  |  3

Warning!!!!!  This was big stuff, songs went for 15 - 20 minutes, there were double albums and triple albums, records had linked narratives so you have to listen to the whole thing . . . Whew! So not pop then, huh?  ORIGINS OF PROGRESSIVE ROCK The Beatles extending the contract of pop into Yesterday and Eleanor Rigby (both with strings) and the St Peppers album as a... > Read more

THE JAZZ BUTCHER REVISITED, PART III (2022): A farewell to the Fish

7 Mar 2022  |  1 min read

Although Elsewhere profiled Britain's Jazz Butcher (the vehicle for singer-songwriter Pat Fish) in 2017 and 2018, it's likely that Fish's extraordinary output has meant almost nothing in the Antipodes. Perhaps the first some had heard of him was when he died of a heart attack in late 2021, a couple of months short of his 64thbirthday. A literature graduate inspired by the freedom and... > Read more

LOU ADLER PROFILED (2022): What a wonderful world his would be

21 Feb 2022  |  2 min read

In '69 the producer, songwriter, film producer, club owner and impresario Lou Adler - because he could -- took a bunch of soulful musicians into the studio to record a bunch of Bob Dylan's songs in a gospel style. That long forgotten item -- The Brothers and Sisters, Dylan's Gospel -- was  reissued in 2014 and so Lou Adler's name went back into the wider world as reminder of what... > Read more

Oh No, Not My Baby

THE ELECTRIC PRUNES 1966-1969, REVISITED (2022): From high times to High Mass

21 Jan 2022  |  2 min read

As with the Blues Magoos, LA's Electric Prunes were in the vanguard of psychedelic pop-rock with their singles I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night and Get Me to the World on Time, the latter reflecting them being a bridge between garageband and psychedelia. It's likely most people would be happy with just those two songs by them (both on their self-titled debut album, Dream on the original... > Read more

Get Me to the World on Time

THE DREAM SYNDICATE, REVISITED: (2022): Fifty-one shades of Grey

16 Jan 2022  |  2 min read

In mid-'86, the LA indie-rock band the Dream Syndicate released their third album Out of the Grey. The critical consensus had it as their best to date – and in retrospect still their finest studio moment – but as so often happens, it didn't sell as expected. And expectation was high because songwriter Steve Wynn (who went on to a very creditable solo career after the band broke... > Read more

Dying Embers

I'D LOVE TO TURN YOU ON (2022): The psychedelic year of 1967 in Britain

12 Jan 2022  |  9 min read  |  1

"Tune in, turn on, drop out" -- LSD advocate Dr Timothy Leary THE MUSICAL JOURNEY FROM MARIJUANA TO LSD: '66 TO THE SUMMER OF LOVE IN 1967 after years of British dominance in the middle of the decade as we noted in this article, the focus moves back to the US Psychedelic music inspired or influenced by the consciousness changing drug LSD aka acid becomes a dominant style.... > Read more

THE BEATLES AS CHANGELINGS and MID-SIXTIES POP, 1965-66. (2022): The pivotal period from pop to rock

10 Jan 2022  |  15 min read  |  2

"I've met them. Delightful lads. Absolutely no talent" -- actor/writer Noel Coward on the Beatles. "The thing with them is that almost every track on each of their albums is memorable. When they arrived at the beginning of the Sixties there was a lot of dross in the charts, and the Beatles legitimised coming from England in the face of all this brilliant American... > Read more

WEST SIDE STORY. THEN, AFTER, NOW (2021): Something's coming, and it just kept on coming

24 Dec 2021  |  3 min read

In her 2021 autobiography Last Chance Texaco, Rickie Lee Jones wrote about her affection for the musical West Side Story, a film she saw when she was only nine. She loved the drama of the Jets and Sharks street gangs, from her Arizona-distance she was seduced by the romance of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet star-crossed young lovers relocated to tough inner-city New York, and found... > Read more

Maria, by PJ Proby (1965, from In Town, Elsewhere vinyl remix!)


20 Dec 2021  |  10 min read

What an odd year in music when the discussion points were the new chart-topping but mundane Abba album, something from Elton John again and the Beatles who – thanks to Peter Jackson – invited us in to their recording sessions 52 years ago. We just needed a new Sir Cliff album to have a retro-fitted villa full of period charm. Nice to have Adele and Tony Bennett back though.... > Read more


20 Dec 2021  |  8 min read

Yep, a lousy year for many, especially those like us who endured a seemingly endless and dull second lockdown in Auckland. But we should count ourselves lucky. Very few of our fellow citizens died and, although many fell ill, the message finally got out and people got vaxxed up to protect themselves and their families . . and by extension their fellow citizens. We also had books, TV and... > Read more


13 Dec 2021  |  9 min read

As we sometimes remind, we can blame or thank Bob Dylan perhaps, after all it was his five record, 1985 Biograph box set of rare tracks and unreleased material which alerted record companies and the marketplace there was interest in such things. Five years later the first of his Bootleg Series box sets confirmed it. Since then it has been open slather. Here Elsewhere picks the best... > Read more

THE AMA (NEW ZEALAND) HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES 2021: The five essential ingredients in a melting point of talent

12 Dec 2021  |  24 min read

There's a circularity about Annie Crummer, Dianne Swann, Margaret Urlich, Kim Willoughby and Debbie Harwood being inducted as legacy artists at this year's Aotearoa Music Awards. As the group When the Cat's Away in the late Eighties they enjoyed hits, tours, music awards, a best selling live album and an award-winning documentary. But as Urlich told the Listener in January 1990,... > Read more

WHAM BAM, THANK YOU GLAM, 1970-75 (2021): From pop music to Roxy Music

6 Dec 2021  |  7 min read  |  1

"the men don't know, but the little girls understand" -- from Back Door Man by Willie Dixon (sung by Howlin' Wolf, 1961) THE RISE OF GLAM ROCK Marc Bolan (T.Rex) "At nine years old I became Elvis Presley" -- Marc Bolan  "Long before David Bowie, Gary Glitter or even Alvin Stardust tightened a single pant, brushed on the first load of... > Read more


30 Nov 2021  |  1 min read

There's always been talk that the Beach Boys didn't mean that much after the seminal Pet Sounds and the lesser Smiley Smile in the late Sixties, and yes, they did seem a bit directionless. But by the early Seventies they were steering a more confident course through the Sunflower and Surf's Up albums which mixed pop and their signature harmonies with songs which had a... > Read more

THE BEATLES' GET BACK DOCUMENTARY (2021): The truth, the whole truth and nothing but another truth

22 Nov 2021  |  4 min read

When George Harrison quit the Beatles on January 10, 1969 it was surprisingly undramatic: “I'm leaving . . .” John Lennon stops playing guitar: “What?” “The band, now,” says Harrison, although adding waspishly on the way out the door later, “see you 'round the clubs”. That night he wrote in his diary, “Got up went to Twickenham... > Read more

JOHN HANLON, HARD, CRUEL AND NAKED TRUTHS (2021): No country for old men?

18 Nov 2021  |  3 min read

It's an interesting measure of the landscape of popular music that many -isms are called out (racism, sexism, etc) but older artists are marginalised, or worse, ignored completely. Yes, a few get through (Leonard Cohen, Bill Fay) and if 71-year old Tom Waits released a new album you know it would be reviewed. People remain curious and even keen to hear new music from Dave Dobbyn and Don... > Read more

Muriwai Road

NEAL CASAL, REMEMBERED IN TRIBUTE (2021): It feels just like a dream now . . .

17 Nov 2021  |  3 min read

When a depressed Neal Casal took his own life in August 2019 he was 50 and left a wide legacy of musical associations and compositions. Born in New Jersey, he came to attention during a four-year stint as the lead guitarist in the Southern rock band Blackfoot in the late Eighties/early Nineties. But it was his subsequent time in Ryan Adams' Cardinals (notably on the acclaimed albums... > Read more