Photo by Jeanne RiceWhy would anyone name their kid "Albino Brown"? 'Cause "Al Green" was already taken . . .
>The Equators, Hot. A new recording by this legendary Birmingham, U.K., pop/rock band that inspired such greats as the English Beat and UB40. A brilliant album!
>Twist and Crawl. I'm really diggin' this hard-to-find book on the English Beat. Since I dig the Equators so much, it's exciting to read about how the Equators' management picked up the Beat and how the Equators went to Stiff Records with Elvis Costello (and were produced by Eddy "Electric Avenue" Grant).
>For the Record. My favorite Orange recording studio—great analog sound, great engineers. Owner "E" is also the grandson of actor Pat O'Brien, who co-starred with James Cagney in one of my favorite films, Angels With Dirty Faces.
>Puya. The most underrated band in the universe. How could MCA not move this band by taking advantage of the popularity of Latin rock and skate-thrash metal-rap rock? Perhaps they were too busy chasing such bubbles as the A-Teens. Other bands that deserve to reach the masses: the Equators, Pinehurst Kids and Weapon of Choice.
>The Sun Theatre. Favorite still-existing venue. It was incredible to see ABC's first U.S. show in 20 years here last year.
>Spanky's Cafe. Favorite no-longer-around venue. A classic and memorable Riverside club where No Doubt and the Skeletones played all the time. There were almost no lights and no room—the place held about 60 people. I used to have video of No Doubt that I shot standing on top of the salad bar. For years, the owner promised to remodel the place. After No Doubt's sold-out Tragic Kingdom shows at the Pond, I joked with the band that I'd heard they remodeled Spanky's, but that I didn't know it was going to be on such a grand scale.
>Gwar vs. the Aquabats.My favorite website —www2.ucsc.edu/people/milesch/ gwarvstheaquabats.html.
>Showdown at the Ghostown. A 1993 concert at the Western movie set from The Three Amigos in Colton. This was one of the greatest shows ever, with live performances by the English Beat/General Public's Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger, No Doubt, the Untouchables, Sublime, Face to Face, Suburban Rhythm, Voodoo Glow Skulls, and more. Great bands! Excellent venue!
>Liberace's platforms. One of my favorite music collectibles: a pair of shoes once owned by Liberace, which I used as the narrative thread for my street-poetry documentary Albino Brown in Liberace's Shoes.
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