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November 20, 2009 Volume # 4  Issue # 44

CD or DVD Releases
News Flash
House of Blues Radio Hour
Roots Blues Airplay Charts
Blues Festivals
About Us
Blue Road features the husband and wife team of veteran blues guitar slinger Gary Gand and keyboardist Joan Gand. Fronting the band is legendary Chicago singer Jimy Rogers. The Chicago Sun Times calls him "a bundle of dynamite." In the 1960s, Jimy and his band The Mauds were the first white band to record at Chess Studios. Some 40 years later, Jimy is back on the scene without losing any of his chops. This well recorded live release captures a classic set of blues, R&B, and soul with the unmistakable Chicago urban sound. The Chicago Tribune chose Blue Road's CD Release party as one of their "10 Must-See Shows.” Regulars in the blues clubs and perennial favorites on the summer festival circuit, Blue Road closed the 2009 Chicago Blues Festival with a monster blues jam.
The new CD “Live at Gabe’s Backstage Lounge” was chosen for Hambone's Top 5 CDs of the Month on Radio personality Hambone says, “Jimy Rogers is one of the finest vocal stylists and dynamic entertainers in Chicago. Their version of Curtis Mayfield’s People Get Ready is killer!!”
Blue Road puts a modern twist on old-school tunes. Hold On is an updated version of the familiar Sam and Dave tune The Mauds covered in the late 60’s on Mercury Records. Rogers’ vocal power is evident, as is the driving rhythm section and Gand’s searing guitar. Organ lovers will enjoy Green Onions featuring Joan Gand’s soulful playing in the tradition of organ greats like Booker T and Jimmy Smith. You’re Gonna Need Me is intensely emotional with a heavier feel than the original Albert King version. John Fogerty’s 110 In the Shade showcases Gand’s slide guitar. Graham Nelson’s virtuoso harp throughout is a tasty treat. You’ll definitely want to take a trip down the Blue Road
Press button to hear "You're Gonna Need Me"

Mac Arnold's career reads like a "who's who" of Blues/R&B legends. James Brown played piano in his Macon, Georgia high school band. In 1965, Mac moved to Chicago to work with saxophonist A.C. Reed, and soon began playing with the Muddy Waters Blues Band, helping to shape the electric blues sound that inspired the rock and roll movement of the decades to follow. Regular guests of the band included Eric Clapton, Paul Butterfield, Mike Bloomfield, and Elvin Bishop. Mac also appeared on seminal recordings by John Lee Hooker and Otis Spann. After leaving Muddy's band, Mac formed the Soul Invaders, backing up artists including the Temptations and B.B. King. Mac then moved to Los Angeles, where he worked at ABC Television and Laff Records (Redd Foxx). This led to four years on the set of Soul Train and work with Bill Withers before moving back to South Carolina in the 80's.
Mac now resides in Pelzer, South Carolina, where at the age of ten he got his first taste of the blues when he learned to play his brother Leroy’s home-made guitar. Going back to his roots, Mac is serving up a mess of blues with his own band, Mac Arnold & Plate Full O' Blues. The band consists of Danny Keylon on bass and vocals, Austin Brashier on guitar and vocals, Max Hightower on keyboards, harmonica, guitar and vocals, Mike Whitt on drums, and Mac Arnold on vocals, bass and Gas Can Guitars. Country Man was produced by Bob Margolin, who sits in on three songs.
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Louisiana Red moved to Chicago in the early 50s, after serving in the Korean War. He made some recordings on Checker, backed up by Little Walter and Muddy Waters. Strongly influenced by Lightnin’ Hopkins, Arthur Crudup and Muddy Waters, he soon found his own voice and guitar style. He went on to play with Otis Spann, Jimmie Rogers and Baby Leroy Foster before striking off on his own. In a career spanning over half a century, Red has played with virtually every major bluesman, and released many critically acclaimed CDs. In 1983 he won a W.C. Handy Award as best traditional blues artist. Red now makes his home in Germany, but continues to travel to worldwide stages, where he is always welcomed as one of the real living legends of the blues.
David Maxwell met the blues in his hometown of Boston in the 60s, when artists like Muddy Waters and Otis Spann came through town. Soon he was sitting in with Muddy and touring with Freddie King, Bonnie Raitt, James Cotton, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, Hubert Sumlin, Johnny Adams, Ronnie Earl and others. Over the years David has gained the respect of artists, critics and fans and has established a reputation as one of the finest blues pianists alive. In the last decade alone David has received over half dozen Blues Music (W.C. Handy) and Grammy nominations and a Grammy award for his work with James Cotton. David has performed on dozens of records, and released his own albums on Tone-Cool, 95 North and Blue Max Records.
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After battling months of financial troubles, Bill’s Blues will close next week.
Chicago- “I’m really sad and disappointed,” said Bill Gilmore, the bar’s owner and founder. “But then again, I’m also really relieved. I’ve worked harder in the past year than I ever have in my life, and I’m known for my work ethic. So in a sense, it’s a relief.”
The recession has taken a major toll on Bill’s Blues, 1029 Davis St., causing a drop in customers and revenue, he said. The bar, which opened in 2003, was known for its live jam sessions and performances, ranging from blues to folk to indie. The bar failed to pay their state license fees and rent, said Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, who signed the order to close the bar. “They owed so much money that they had to close,” Tisdahl said. “It would take a year before they could reapply for a license.”
The bar needed $50,000 to stay afloat, and there were initiatives to keep the establishment in business, but none could raise the necessary funds, Gilmore said. Although it was necessary to close the bar, the city’s residents will miss the bar’s trendy environment and vivacity, Tisdahl said. “I like the blues, and I like the atmosphere,” she said. “It’s definitely a loss to the city. I’m sorry I had to sign the order to close them down.”
Gilmore said he was most proud of the diversity of patrons at Bill’s Blues. “We had a diverse crowd racially, economically and even age-wise,” Gilmore said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough of everybody.” Medill freshman Ben Shartar regrets never visiting the bar. “I recently have gotten into blues music, so I really wanted to go to Bill’s,” Shartar said. “It’s a shame it’s closing down because it looked like a fun, intimate and close-by venue to hear some good local music.”
Gilmore said he first noticed a significant decrease in attendance in September 2008. The bar’s liquor license was revoked earlier this month after Gilmore failed to make payments. “Fewer people were coming, and the few who were coming were spending less money,” Gilmore said. “Our core blues group was by and large North Shore people who owned a house and had kids, so they were saving money.”
Despite this loss, Gilmore said he has plans for the future. When he has sufficient funds, he will attempt to open another music club similar to Bill’s Blues closer to Chicago. “I’m just going to try to make money so I can send my kid to college,” Gilmore said. “That’s what’s most important to me at this point.”
Shartar said he thinks the closing of Bill’s Blues is indicative of the changing times. “Most venues for music are in Chicago, so one closing so close to campus is kind of sad,” Shartar said. “It is another sign of the slow death of local music joints.”

Blues guitarist and singer Sean Chambers’ latest CD, Ten Til Midnight, on Blue Heat Records and nationally distributed by Burnside Distribution, is the third CD from the Tampa-based artist. It showcases the powerful blues guitar style which has earned him critical plaudits from a host of magazines, radio stations and blues societies around the world. Just a few weeks after its release, Ten Til Midnight had already reached #24 on The Living Blues Radio Chart. He also recently opened shows for Johnny Winter and Robin Trower.
Sean’s aggressive, yet fluid blues guitar approach is evident throughout the album’s seven originals, as well as covers of songs from ZZ Top (“Brown Sugar”), Luther Allison (“All the King’s Horses”) and Eddie “Guitar Slim” Jones (“You’re Gonna Miss Me”). It’s that combination of reverence for tradition along with his special jolt of energy that makes his sound so unique.
Sean played with the legendary Hubert Sumlin as his guitarist and band leader from 1998-2003, including several tours throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. Britain's "Guitarist" magazine named Chambers as “one of the top 50 blues guitarists of the last century.” After his tenure with Sumlin, he performed three more tours throughout England on his own, and in 2003 was asked to headline the Maryport Blues Festival.
His previous albums include Strong Temptation and Humble Spirits, which featured special guests Bernard Allison and The Toler Brothers, and was produced and engineered by Bud Sneider (Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule).
The Sean Chambers Band is currently touring through the rest of 2009 and planning tours throughout the Northeast and the Midwest in 2010 in major markets where Ten Til Midnight has been getting airplay. The band is also pursuing festivals and clubs overseas, as the new CD has been getting extensive airplay around the globe. If you like your blues blazin hot, this trio will definitely light your fire!
For more information, visit
Click to hear "Blues and Rock N' Roll " from Sean Chambers
Tour Dates
11/21            The Back Room                                     Boca Raton, FL
11/28            Aces Lounge                                         Bradenton, FL
12/11            JC Cravers                                            Palm Harbor, FL
12/18-12/19   Ringside Café                                        St. Petersburg, FL
1/29-1/30      L-Cross Ranch - “Riding with the Angels”    Okeechobee, FL

Recipients for 2010 Announced
Memphis, TN - Nineteen individuals and organizations will be honored with The Blues Foundation's 2010 Keeping the Blues Alive (KBA) Award during a recognition brunch at the Downtown Doubletree Hotel Saturday, January 23rd, 2010, in Memphis, Tennessee. The KBA ceremony begins at 10:00 a.m. and will be held in conjunction with the 26th International Blues Challenge (IBC) weekend of events that will feature the semifinals and finals of the world's largest gathering of blues bands, as well as seminars, showcases, and receptions for blues societies, fans, and professionals.
The Keeping the Blues Alive Awards recognize the significant contributions to blues music made by the people behind the scenes. Each is selected on the basis of merit by a panel of blues professionals. KBA Chairman Art Tipaldi notes with respect to this year's recipients: "We are very pleased to bestow this recognition on people and organizations who have promoted blues music for many, many years. Increasingly, this is an international effort, and this year's recipients reflect the worldwide impact of blues music."
The 2010 Keeping the Blues Alive Award recipients are:
Art and Photography: Michael Maness, Memphis, Tennessee
Blues Club: Bradfordville Blues Club, Tallahassee, Florida
Blues Organization: Connecticut Blues Society
Education: Spencer Bohren, New Orleans, Louisiana
Festival: Heritage Music Blues Festival, Wheeling, West Virginia
Festival International: Piazza Blues, Bellinzona, Switzerland
Historical Preservation: Eric Leblanc, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
International: Finnish Blues Association, Helsinki, Finland
Journalism: David Fricke, Rolling Stone, New York, New York
Literature: Crossroads: The Life and Afterlife of Blues Legend Robert Johnson, Tom Graves, Memphis, Tennessee
Manager/Agent: Pat Morgan, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Print Media: Block, Almelo, Netherlands
Producer: Andy McKaie, Universal Music Enterprises,Santa Monica, California
Promoter: Pozitif Productions, Istanbul, Turkey
Publicist: Richard Flohil, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Radio Commercial: Charles Evers, Jackson, Mississippi
Radio Public: Rick Galusha, Omaha, Nebraska
Record Label: Crosscut Records, Bremen, Germany
Visual Broadcast: Film, Television and Video: Pocket Full of Soul, Houston, Texas
Tickets to the KBA ceremony are sold only as part of the IBC Big Blue ticket package, available online at or by calling 901.527.2583. The IBC weekend, commencing Wednesday, January 20, 2010, is sponsored in significant part by ArtsMemphis, bandVillage, Beale Street Merchants Association, Budweiser and its local distributor D. Canale Beverages, FedEx, Gibson Guitars, Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau, Smokin Bluz, Tennessee Arts Commission, and Tennessee Film, Entertainment Commission.
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BB King Signed Michael Maness Blues King Print
The Blues Foundation is pleased to offer this opportunity to own a piece of blues history.
This month we are offering a Michael Maness print of his original painting of B.B. King entitled, Blues King. This print has some special artistic additions by Michael and is signed by both the artist and by B.B. King. The signatures took place at the 2009 Blues Music Awards. This print measures approx. 22" x 28" and is done appropriately in shades of blues.
The Philosophy of the Paintings by Michael Maness:
Contrast and color have always been staples of my life. I look at the world from a different angle than most people do. I see a different perspective, instead of a constant changing world, a crowd doing the expected; I draw the individual and focus on the individual spirit to tell a story.
I used to see the world in black and white, not a contrast of right and wrong, not in popular culture, but in light and shadow. Now because of changes in my life I see the world through a kaleidoscope. I see the colors that make-up a color. I choose a subject to paint based on the mood I can create with my acrylic pallet. I try to pick a story to paint rather than a moment passing through time. I hope that as a person views my work they feel a story, one that has a beginning, character development, a problem to solve, and a happy ending. I hope to show through my use of color and tone that happy ending.

Works of music journalist Palmer collected
NEW YORK, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- The works of the late U.S. music journalist Robert Palmer, best known for his books on the blues, are out in anthology form, the editor behind the book said.
Rolling Stone magazine contributing editor Anthony DeCurtis said he compiled the works of Palmer, who died in 1997 at the age of 57, to reflect Palmer's love and dedication to music, the rock magazine reported Friday.
"Bob deserved that treatment," DeCurtis said. "This is somebody who really believed that music could take you to another world."
"Blues & Chaos: The Music Writing of Robert Palmer" presents Palmer's works, ranging from his interviews with music stars like Eric Clapton and Jerry Lee Lewis to album liner notes to his books like "Deep Blues," about the history of Mississippi Delta music.
Palmer wrote regularly for Rolling Stone and The New York Times, but to truly encapsulate his works, DeCurtis said he also gathered information from scores of old clips he tracked down.

Blues Fest canceled for 2010 due to economy, venue issues
Quincy, IL- There will be no Quincy Area Blues Fest next summer.
The Mid-Mississippi Muddy Water Blues Society announced Friday that the longtime Washington Park event won't take place in July 2010 because of economics, decreasing attendance and venue issues.
"We as an organization feel we cannot risk the large financial undertaking that this event requires at this time," Blues Society President Linda Gertz said in a news release. "If we are to host a festival in 2011, the festival logistics will have to be reworked to give the event a chance to be a more self-supporting festival with stronger local fan support."
There have been 16 Blues Festivals in Quincy, with all but one at Washington Park. At one time, it was a three-day weekend event, but in the past few years it has featured Friday night and Saturday day and night performances.
Jerry Davis of the Blues Society says attendance was down over the summer despite "perfect conditions." He said Blues in the District, a summer series of free Friday night concerts in Washington Park, also played a role in smaller crowds.
"I had a lot of people ask why they should pay to see our concerts when they can go free the week before and the week after," Davis said. "But I'm not dogging Blues in the District at all. Honestly, we've accomplished one big part of our mission to have local blues awareness, and it's better than it's ever been."
Davis said Washington Park is a great venue but Blues Fest organizers often clashed with Quincy Park District officials, who put a 10:30 p.m. curfew on evening performances because of complaints of noise from downtown residents.
"Ending at 10:30 was one of our financial downfalls," he said.
The Blues Society is considering other venues for a possible 2011 event.
"Realistically, I'm not that hopeful of 2011, as long as what is going on is going on," Davis said.
The event will have a lasting legacy for bringing awareness of the blues to Quincy. Gertz said the Blues Society will focus on blues education and awareness, including reviving blues awareness in local schools.
Davis said he was born and raised in Quincy but didn't discover the blues until after he moved away from home.
"I am tickled pink people know what the blues are and kids know what blues are," he said.
Statue in Ellis Square honors Mercer legacy
Bronze likeness unveiled at downtown square during midday ceremony Wednesday, the songwriter's 100th birthday
Savannah- Johnny Mercer casually leans against a fire hydrant, peering up from his newspaper with a smile and a glimmer in his deep-set eyes.
An inviting image of the lyrical legend, first captured by photograph in New York City and now immortalized as a bronze-cast statue in the heart of Mercer's native Savannah, where almost 200 people gathered Wednesday to honor the 100th anniversary of his birth.
"It's perfect," said Jim Corwin, grandson of the world-renowned songwriter. "It's not bigger than life, and Johnny didn't like being portrayed as bigger than life. He would really appreciate it."
Corwin, in town from Los Angeles for the midday celebration at Ellis Square, was among descendants who uncloaked the life-size statue, drawing a chorus of cheers from the crowd. Watch as the statue is unveiled.
Sculpted by local artist Susie Chisholm, the likeness sits on the square's western edge, near the City Market entertainment hub.
The undertaking begun three years ago by the Friends of Johnny Mercer Inc. involved extensive work - from procuring an actual New York fireplug to fitting Mercer's great-nephew with a vintage overcoat and fedora. He modeled for more than an hour as Chisholm took painstaking measurements.
"I hope I've done him justice - we were very particular about everything being just right and correct," said Chisholm, who also read a Mercer biography during research. "It was important to make it as authentic as possible. Not only did his clothes have to be right, but his personality had to be right."
Count Savannah Mayor Otis Johnson among delighted observers.
"It's a monument that will be treasured and enjoyed by people from all over the world," said Johnson, who earlier noted the strong presence of nature in Mercer's music. "If you see a picture of Johnny Mercer and then see that statue, (Chisholm) did a magnificent job re-creating that."
Mercer spent his youth in Savannah before moving on to New York and California and garnering worldwide acclaim. He died in 1976, leaving a legacy of more than 1,000 songs that included such classics as the pointed "Blues in the Night" to the reminiscent "Moon River."
Friends recalled Wednesday his frequent, often unexpected, trips back to Savannah and the city's influence on his work. Yet none of the compositions he recorded directly referenced Savannah - until Wednesday. As organizers were preparing for the centenary tribute, they uncovered a lyric called "You're in Savannah" that never was published.  Disney composer Richard Sherman set the lines to music, and the song was recorded in recent weeks by Michael Feinstein.
The new, old song was played Wednesday. "It was a surprise to everybody - nobody knew it even existed," said British record producer Ken Barnes, who worked with Mercer in the '70s. "So, finally Johnny Mercer writes a song about Savannah."
De Gassman, a retiree, was among the crowd's awe-struck listeners. "That was amazing - I just cried," Gassman said afterward. "Especially the way it was done after he died. Just amazing."

The Southwest Florida Blues Festival (SWFBF) is one of the best kept secrets in all of Southwest Florida, gaining recognition from many people around the country as one of Florida’s premier Blues Festivals. Over the past few months this “laid back” festival has fans inquiring about this year’s lineup.
Continually more and more musicians are requesting to perform at the Southwest Florida Blues Festival, not only local and regional talent, but national and international touring artists as well. Everyone is amazed with the quality of talent we bring to the stage each year with overwhelming praise on how professionally the event is presented. This year’s lineup is no exception and the Mariners are very excited because they will be presenting Seven Great Bands for your listening enjoyment.
Saturday November 21st. will be a day of music you will not want to miss, so mark your calendars and plan to attend the 10th Annual Southwest Florida Blues Festival. This event will take place at the German American Social Club located at, 2101 SW Pine Island Road, Cape Coral Florida 33991 (a.k.a. State route 78). This is an outdoor venue. Blankets chairs and sunscreen are encouraged. No coolers, carry in beverages or pets, please. This is a Matlacha Mariner nonprofit fundraiser which supports music education, youth groups, senior citizen support networks and other local charities. Admission is a $10.00 advance donation for adults or just $15.00 at the gate. Children 11 and under are free with paid adult. The Mariners have ensured there will be plenty of ice cold beverages, lots of great food, and a variety of art and craft vendors. The Mariners will also be raffling off to give away at the event, two different kayaks and a 46 inch big screen TV. During the festival the Mariners will also have tickets available for a chance to win a 2010 Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe motorcycle. Each ticket requires a $20.00 donation and there are only 1,500 tickets available. The Matlacha Mariners invite you to come out and enjoy a fantastic day of music, food and fun during the 10th Annual Southwest Florida Blues Festival. It all takes place on Saturday November 21st. 2009. Gates open at 11:00 AM, with music from 11:30 AM to 9:00 PM.


Supergroup Cream in 1967: Jack Bruce (left), Ginger Baker (centre),
and Eric Clapton (right)
The Independent - He formed the first supergroup with Eric Clapton, and boasts he's the best (he might even be right). But don't ask about Ringo. John Walsh meets rock's most truculent superstar. 
His kit featured two bass drums, tuned slightly differently, so that he could play counter-rhythms with both feet, while his hands belaboured the snare, toms and cymbals. His arms flailed; his wild red hair shook like a Celtic warlord's. He was, rumour had it, the most truculent of rock stars, handy with both verbals and fists; while his Cream co-members, Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, were mostly cool and understated, he was mysteriously agitated, bug-eyed and feral, like a pissed-off wizard.
Some reasons for his rage can be found in his book, modestly titled Hellraiser, The Autobiography of the World's Greatest Drummer, out this week. It's the story (partly ghosted by his daughter, Ginette) of a wartime London kid, raised in Eltham, who didn't shine at school but discovered he had a God-given flair for percussion, who flourished in half a dozen Fifties jazz bands, achieved massive if short-lived fame in the rock'n'roll Sixties, injected tidal waves of dangerous narcotics, enjoyed the company of numerous "tasty chicks" (and one famous university professor) and found peace on horseback in early middle age. 
At a hotel in West London, Ginette ushers me into the bedroom, where Ginger Baker, now 70, is in jeans, shades, a violently floral shirt and a mid-morning grump. The duvet is piled up behind him, suggesting he's been through a night of frantic sex or terrible dreams. He chain-smokes and groans one-word replies until we hit the subject of war. 
He was born the year it broke out, and he loved it. "People get the wrong impression of the effect the war had on kids, particularly boys," he said. "It was very exciting." He loved explosions. A jazz drummer was born. 
His bricklayer father was killed in action in 1943 when Ginger was four, and he was brought up in near-poverty by his mother, stepfather and aunt. Baker was always in trouble. He stole records, joined a gang, was attacked with a razor. His sole amusement was cycling, until he discovered something he was really good at. 
"I was always tapping and banging at things when I was young," he says. "We used to go to all the jazz clubs, like the Hot Club in Woolwich. I'd go to watch the drummers, like Lennie Hastings, and try to learn from them. At this party, there was a little band and all the kids chanted at me, 'play the drums!'. I'd never sat behind a kit before, but I sat down ? and I could play! One of the musicians turned round and said, 'bloody hell, we've got a drummer', and I thought, 'bloody hell, I'm a drummer'." 
Soon he was playing jazz gigs in Gladstone Park and Wembley. Contriving to fail his National Service, he hung out at the Star Café in Soho, meeting the likes of John McLaughlin and his hero Phil Seamen. His teen years were a dizzying round of gigs, drinking, fights with police, crashing cars, discovering marijuana and smack, and falling for his first love, Liz Finch, whom he married in 1959 when they were both 20. It was also the period when he learned to sight-read notation and devour guides to song arrangement, like Basic Harmony and The Schillinger System. It's a constant refrain in his conversation that he isn't just a drummer, thanks a lot, but a Real Musician. 
When the Sixties pop era arrived, Baker was playing complex rhythms with Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated and the Graham Bond Organisation. Also, heroin was making him, in his words, "an obnoxious little git". He didn't have much time for the 4/4 beats of the pop world. In the book, he cites Charlie Watts and Pete Townshend as "proper musicians," but doesn't mention The Beatles. Hadn't he admired Ringo Starr's drum style? 
"HAH!" Baker lets out a roar of delight, or possibly pain, at the idea. "They weren't musicians!" he says, drying his eyes. "I worked with George Harrison and he was a musical moron. He didn't understand music at all. He tried to explain what he wanted, and I couldn't understand a word. The only musician was George Martin, he was The Beatles. Paul McCartney boasts that he can't read music. How can a musician boast that he can't read music?" Baker's rant is delivered with the certainty of a man who put in the hours studying Bach and Mozart. He is just as dismissive of other sacred monsters of the time. "Mick Jagger and Brian Jones were playing at the Ealing Club, and Alexis asked us to play behind them for the interval. We weren't very happy, so we played complicated time things to throw Mick off the beat. He would lose it completely and Brian would have to get him back on. Mick Jagger got everything from him. The original sound of the Stones was Brian Jones leaping about and doing all the showmanship. Jagger just stood there at the microphone." 
And when they became the world's greatest rock band? "I never could stand the Stones," said Baker. "They were like a load of little kids trying to play black blues music and playing it very badly ? but that's what people went for, because it was naive and banal. The lack of technique and musicianship was its appeal, from the start. It was extremely commercial, musically. The guitarist, Keith, sometimes has a go at Eric [Clapton]. but Eric is 150,000 times better a musician than he'll ever be. But because of their fame and fortune, they believe they're special." 
Even the sainted Jimi Hendrix gets a telling-off. He sat in at a gig at London Polytechnic in 1966 and greatly impressed Clapton. Sounding distinctly Scrooge-like, Baker reports: "Hendrix could play okay. But he started doing all this showman shit when he sat in with us. If I had to choose a guitarist from history, I'd pick Eric over Jimi every time. Jimi was good but he was too interested in that... stuff. His big thing was pulling chicks, which he was very good at." 
Despite his lack of matinee-idol looks, Baker himself is no slouch in the chicks department. As the book records, he picks up willing bedmates across the globe, from Nigeria (interrupted by an irate Tuareg husband) to California, where he met his third wife, Karen. At a 1969 BBC concert in Shepherds Bush, he caught the eye of Germaine Greer, then 30, in the audience. Unaware that he was pulling the about-to-be-published author of The Female Eunuch, he took her home.
"She wasn't kinky at all." Baker reports. What, she didn't want to be tied up? Or dominated? How extraordinary. "I mean she didn't want any... kinky stuff," said Baker, circumspectly. "Just straight, normal, man and woman... She's a really nice girl, Germaine. I've always thought the world of her." 
Hellraiser features Baker's attempts to "set the record straight" about the formation of Cream. Baker and Jack Bruce, the bassist, first met in the Jazz Marquee at the Cambridge May Ball in 1962. They played together in the Graham Bond Organisation, but cracks soon began to show. At a gig in Golders Green, Bruce joined in a Baker drum solo, then interrupted it by shouting "You're playing too loud, man!" and a fist-fight broke out. Baker was later deputed to tell him he was fired from the band. Baker and Clapton met in 1966 at a university gig, when Clapton was playing with the Yardbirds. Impressed by Clapton's playing, Baker met him in Oxford and said, "I'm getting a band together. Would you be interested?" Clapton agreed. His nomination for a bassist was Bruce, whom Baker had fired years before, but Ginger decided to give the stroppy Glaswegian another chance. Bruce has a different version of the story, and a strong whiff of bile and rancour comes off the pages whenever his name comes up. 
"He thinks I'm a wonderful drummer, but ignores the fact that I'm a musician," says Baker. "Jack's got an ego problem. He thinks he was the musical genius behind Cream. But all the arrangements Cream played were by me." What rankles with Baker is that some of the band's classic songs (like "White Room" and "Politician") are credited to "Bruce/Brown" ? Jack Bruce and Pete Brown, a performance poet whom Baker invited in to write lyrics ? ignoring the vital contribution of guitarist and drummer. 
By the time Cream broke up in 1969, they'd sold 15 million records and played a key role in the birth of heavy metal. Baker and Clapton formed the brilliant but short-lived Blind Faith, with Stevie Winwood from Traffic and Ric Grech from Family. Post-Faith, Baker moved restlessly in and out of bands ? Air Force, Hawkwind, the Baker-Gurvitz Army ? travelled in Africa (he now lives in the Western Cape) married twice more and discovered polo. Until this epiphany, the most intense obsession of his life, after drumming, was drugs. 
The book is a chronicle of drug ingestion. He was doing class-A in massive quantities for 31 years, "but I came off 29 different times. Coke is terrible stuff. Several times I've thrown a large amount down the toilet, then, two hours later, I'm saying, 'I wish I hadn't done that'." Had he been able to play while tripping? "I could always play, whether I was totally pissed or totally stoned. You either got it or you haven't." And that, all through his life, is the burden of Baker's song: he always had the talent and musicianship, while around him musical morons came and went and he never received the recognition he craved. Even on the last page, he's still complaining, about the Zildjan Drum Awards in 2008, in which the programme suggested that the epitome of British rock drummer was John Bonham of Led Zeppelin, because he fused the styles of Keith Moon, Mitch Mitchell and Ginger Baker. "Absolute rubbish!", cries Baker. 
The book is a fantastic tirade of drugs, guns, trouble, crashes and violence. How have you managed to live so long? "It's miraculous," says Baker gleefully. "They put me in the Playboy Dead Band in 1972 with Janis Joplin, Greg Allman, Jimi Hendrix. I was reported dead several times ? once when I was driving a Shelby Cobra with three tasty chicks, and the radio station announced I was found dead in my hotel room from a heroin overdose." He takes a drag on his eleventh cigarette, then yells: "Oi! Any chance of some more tea?" 
'Hellraiser: The Autobiography of the World's Greatest Drummer by Ginger Baker' is published by John Blake, 

Twenty-five-year-old Girindra Pradana, a resident of Pejaten, South Jakarta, says attending music concerts in Jakarta is a bittersweet choice for him.
“Most of the concerts, especially those presenting famous foreign artists, are packed into venues that are too small, creating uncomfortable acoustic and viewing experiences for some members of the audience, including me,” Girindra, who runs an events agency, said. But, that was not the only problem, he said.
“Before and after shows you can almost guarantee, if you are a motorist like me, you will have to spend a long time dealing with cars because often at concert venues there are not enough parking spaces.”
Finding that watching concerts in Jakarta was often stressful, Girindra said he preferred to save up and fly to Singapore if there were any top international bands or favorite artists performing there.
“Even though it is a bit expensive, at least I don’t need to worry about the quality of the show or getting to the venue,” he said.
In recent years, Jakarta has been attempting to position itself as the creative industry hub of the Southeast Asia region, by holding dozens of music festivals such as the Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival, Java Rocking Land, JakJazz and Jakarta International Blues Festival.
Earlier this month, at the opening of the blues festival, Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo said he hoped to see Jakarta become “the city of music festivals.”
Experts, however, say the governor’s vision will be impossible to achieve if his administration does not place more concern into improving infrastructure for the music industry in Jakarta.
Music industry observer Denny Sakrie, for example, said the administration should build a new venue that could accommodate an international-scale music concert.
“At present, most music concerts are held in venues that were not designed for music,” said Denny, citing the Jakarta Convention Center’s Plenary Hall and Senayan Indoor Stadium in Central Jakarta.
“Instead of allowing investors to build more shopping malls, why doesn’t the administration allocate some city spaces and budget to build a representative concert hall?”
The establishment of a world-class music concert hall would be a good investment for the city since it would attract international artists and concertgoers to Jakarta, University of Indonesia urban economics expert Sonny Harry Harmadi says.
“It will be a strong icon to show Jakarta to the world,” he said.
The idea to develop the city into an arts and cultural center is not a new concept.
Singapore, for example, has gone a few steps further by establishing its Esplanade Theatres on the Bay, which features a 1,600-seat concert hall and a 2,000-seat theater, aiming to be a leading center for performing arts in Southeast Asia.
Hong Kong also plans to build a 40-hectare integrated arts, cultural, entertainment and commercial area in the city.
Responding the call from residents and experts to build a more representative concert hall, Deputy Governor Prijanto said while he welcomed the idea the city administration currently had to prioritize budget and resources for more important programs, such as flooding mitigation and the improvement of road infrastructure.

Buckwheat Zydeco started out as a soul man, but swapped his Hammond B-3 organ for an accordion back in the seventies. He's been sharing his vision of Louisiana music ever since. Buckwheat hunkers with Elwood to talk about his new record, LAY YOUR BURDEN DOWN, about his conversion from R&B to zydeco, and about finding hope through music in post-Katrina Louisiana. Elwood shares some of Buckwheat’s favorites with us as well: his hero Clifton Chenier, his friend swamp rocker JJ Grey, and Eric Clapton. The Radio Hour brings you new music from Maria Muldaur, going back to her jug band roots with GARDEN OF JOY. And elsewhere on this very site, you will find a chance to win a CD of Cream’s Jack Bruce teaming up with Procol Harum’s Robin Trower, recorded live in the Netherlands. Also: vote here for the best CDs of 2009. 
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