Thursday, July 31, 2014
A Test of Faith: Small Town Church Worship and Inevitable Changes: When the Charismatic Ceases to Lack Charisma, the Journey of Faith Continues
Thursday, July 24, 2014
The Great Songwriter of 60s and 70s Classics, P. F. Sloan Appearance Sold Out in Berkeley, California
Sloan's friend Mike Somavilla, who often books concerts at the Art House Gallery, reached out to Phil when his new biography, "What;s Exactly the Matter With Me?" and the rest of the story follows these photographs.
As you read the story you can also enjoy more "you-are-there" photos of Joaquin Montalvan as well.
Berkeley music lovers learn ‘Whatever happened to P. F. Sloan?’
Suppose you threw a party and everyone you invited actually came? That’s what happened at Harold Adler’s Art House Gallery & Cultural Center. It’s because Mike Somavilla, concert promoter and record producer, in his role as the walking Wikipedia of anyone and everyone who is important in music, has many, many friends. One of those friends, Phil, had just completed a new book and had not been making many public appearances in the United States in a long time.
That is, until Mike called Phil and said, “Just read your book; you have to come to Berkeley and meet a few people. And please bring your guitar.” And, that was all it took for Mike Somavilla to get Phil Sloan and his co-author Steve Feinberg to come see Mike, and a sold-out crowd at Berkeley’s favorite in-spot for music you can enjoy, in a peaceful atmosphere free from distractions.
The occasion was the revelation of the stories behind the music of Phil Sloan, most of the time credited on records as “P. F. Sloan,” and his new book with S.E. Feinberg, “What’s Exactly the Matter With Me?”
It was such a popular evening that Adler ran out of chairs and quickly found cushions for people to sit on the floor. They were just happy to be there to learn some of the most poignant stories in the long career of Phil Sloan. Phil was treated like anything but music royalty by some who are, because they have great press agents, revered as “geniuses” in the business. The masks were stripped away by the truth, but understand—not with anger were the revelations offered, but with grace. That’s the best part of the story.
It’s so easy to mistake the happy, up tempo songs that are his works, and which are surely part of the oft-used “soundtrack of your life” as being written by someone who rows a boat on “Lake Happy,” and while there is “introspective and insightful” sufficiently to the point where he can also compose deep tracks of message and meaning.
That’s not how it happened, not by a long shot, and in fact, the young prodigy was on a gifted path, boosted by thoughtful kindness of stars along the way, only to run into the wall of jealousy by industry movers and shakers, who can only be described as “below basic” humans.
Those who mangled the truth said that Sloan co-wrote songs that he wrote outright, something that happened all the time to everyone back in the day. But, he was treated like garbage by some “stars,” who were protected by, and say, profited from, decisions, actions, and inactions of industry leaders, some in turtlenecks and berets. Others in shiny suits and plastic smiles. And, it would take 45 years before others who would beat him down would be shown for their true characters in tell-all books written by their own relatives. One such example is John Phillips, whose reputation went from genius to jerk in 23 seconds, but not by Sloan’s doing.
Phil Sloan had his life threatened, he was been beaten up, robbed, cursed, lied to, manipulated, and humiliated and yet, in what can only be described as “through the grace of God and a handful of angels along the way," Phil Sloan has chosen his friends and colleagues today wisely, and selectively. And, he’s being reunited around the country with people who have loved him all his life, many of whom he’s known for decades and has not seen in as long.
Others never knew him personally beyond his name on record singles and albums in collections held by others like “gold” for years because of the meaning of the songs to their own worlds. Upon the occasion of the Art House Gallery evening, “Sloan was greeted by longtime friends Buzzy Linhart, Keith Dion and Peter Kraemer, and it was a great reunion,” said Mike Somavilla. “The music was fantastic, and Phil was very engaging and thoroughly entertained the audience with his stories and music.”
Steve Feinberg, Sloan’s coauthor of the biography, was pleased to see the response, saying “The hip beat and Berkeley cool of Harold Adler’s Art House Gallery and Cultural Center was perfect for P.F. Sloan, who was there amongst friends.” He shared:
Buzzy Linhart was there--a friend of Phil's from Greenwich Village and Cafe au Go Go--the great session vibraphonist for Hendrix and Richie Havens and Carly Simon, among others. Buzzy knew all about Phil being left for dead one night in his apartment--all of his guitars stolen by a guy who jumped off the roof of a building a week later. The whole Village thought Phil was dead. He wasn't.
Feinberg also said
Phil Sloan shows are rare. And what is interesting to me is that people hang out after the show. They don't leave the venue. They talk about their own lives to each other--share memories about music and life and how things were and how things are and sometimes, how things ought to be. P. F. Sloan draws people out that way.
Indeed he does. But he’s not crossing the country making a lot of personal appearances. He’s visiting friends and taking his guitar and a few books when he chooses to appear.
The only other chance to see Sloan for the next few weeks will be Sun., Jul. 27, 3 p.m., at Diesel Bookstore in Malibu. Phil’s friend and former Grass Roots recording artist and band member, Creed Bratton, will join him for some music and memories. Three words: “Get there early!”
Diesel, A Bookstore, 3 p.m., Jul. 27 23410 Civic Center Way Malibu, CA (310) 456-9961
Next up at the Art House Gallery & Cultural Center will be the great Sopwith Camel. Art House Gallery & Cultural Center, 7:30 p.m., Aug. 2 2905 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley, CA 94705 (510) 472-3170
It’s the summer of great music, California-style. Don’t miss a minute of it, and get your copy of “What’s Exactly the Matter with Me?” for a story with revelations that will truly open your eyes to what you only thought you knew about the music industry. Check out the slide show of Joaquin Montalvan’s exquisite photos from “An Evening with P. F. Sloan,” which he generously shared with examiner.com readers.
If you’ve ever heard Jimmy Webb’s song, “P. F. Sloan,” perhaps you, too, had been seeking Sloan. In the pictures, see for yourself that P. F. Sloan is alive, well, playing his music and he and Steve Feinberg have shared a beautiful story of how to find good interspersed in people caught up in the web of the bad ol’ days of rock and roll. The gracious gentle man, and his music, play on.
The original story published on examiner.com was at this link but is no longer available onlineHERE.
MALIBU BOOK SIGNING ALERT! THIS SUNDAY, JUL. 27, 3 P.M.
P. F. Sloan and S. E. Feinberg will be joined by Grass Roots band member Creed Bratton at the Diesel, a Bookstore, Malibu location. Don't miss that but you'd better get there very, very, very early..
Saturday, July 19, 2014
“Begin Again” is a cast of Hollywood and television favorites joined together to play nobodies, and somebodies, who have experienced gradations of fame, fortune, falling down, and sinking further down, in the music business, without violence or overly gratuitous displays of “stupid.”
Keira Knightly sings.
John Carney has used his spirit from "Once" to make another feel-good movie. CeeLo Green is fun to see and doesn't overdo it, spot on. Adam Levine is having fun in his first feature film. My guess is that he dreamed as a kid of being in a movie and now, he is.
Click HERE for the full movie review.
Here's an in-depth review of some of his work. Click HERE. To say "he will be missed" is one of the least powerful statements in the world, but he will be. Plain and simple, just the way he was. A Hollywood legend. He is survived by his wife Lois, and their daughters Gigi and Kim, and their families, and a legion of movie and TV actors who most enjoyed working with him.
Classic Rocker Paul Revere Puts Himself on Temporary Hiatus But Sends His Raiders on the Road with His Love and Blessings
What's fine about this hiatus is that it gives Paul Revere a chance to truly rest. He's done a fantastic job of managing to perform and receive medical treatment for some health challenges in the past year, but his spirit and will to be there for the fans is a fine offset to the "kick-you into your recliner" feeling you get when you have to take medicines and are told "sit down, rest, and heal." For more than a few months, as Paul's doctors would chime in with this chorus, he'd come back with "la, la, la, la, I can't hear you." Or something close to that. Today, he's listening.
Read the full story. Click HERE
And go see those Raiders in concert because you'll love every minute of the music of your childhood.
In the story you'll find links to send messages to Paul because--although he can't be on the road right now--he can be on the computer reading Facebook posts and e-mails. Tell him why you love his music. That will keep him in smiles. He's resting up for the 2015 "Where the Action Is" cruise from Concerts at Sea! Want to know more about that? Visit www.concertsatsea.com and Harmon Travel and happy sailing!
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Carl Giammarese of The Buckinghams and Gale Sayers of the Chicago Bears Help Bring 60s Weekend to Wrigleyville
The Chicago Cubs tweeted this picture of Giammarese before he headed toward the mound.
To see the video from Susan Rakis of Carl's and Gale's pitches click on the story link here.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
P.F. Sloan sings his "Where Were You When I Needed You" cowritten with Steve Barri from back in the day. Sloan will appear July 19, 2014 at Berkeley Art House Gallery & Cultural Center.
Any classic rock music lover and faithful vinyl album liner note consumer knows the name P. F. Sloan as the brilliant songwriter who, in many cases along with writing colleague Steve Barri, is not much short of a genius. Somavilla shared that "Sloan is, in a major or minor way, responsible for the successful careers of musicians including The Rip Chords, Jan & Dean, Barry McGuire, The Turtles, The Searchers, Johnny Rivers, Herman’s Hermits, The Fifth Dimension, and oh yes, the Grass Roots." As the co-author (together with S.E. Feinberg) of the just-released memoir, “What’s Exactly the Matter with Me?” Sloan is about to make music history one more time.
P.F. Sloan has long been described as elusive, not given to public appearances in general. He is described as “one of the influential geniuses to emerge from the golden age of the 1960s.” Reality is that fame, fortune, stardom and pedestals have come to many amongst the giants in the music business, because fans live through every note and melody of a song they claim as “theirs” for one reason or another.
In actual fact, songwriters chronicle the pain, the joy, the fears and the successes of the “average person,” as brought to life by performers whose gifts elevate those songs to “hits,” played by radio stations that make them “monster hits,” and when purchased en masse by the greater audience, elevate them again to “music that has stood the test of time.” If you disagree, it’s time to reconsider.
What songs on the radio today do you think anyone will really give a flying fig about? I might personally select “Let it Go,” and “Happy” as potentially bringing a smile to the newest members of the AARP group in the year 2064. But you can’t, for a minute, think that there will be a reunion tour the likes of the Happy Together Tour in 2064 featuring the music of Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Drake, or Robin Thicke. And yet, there’s P.F. Sloan, whose songs have relevance and importance almost 50 years after he wrote them.
Today across the country, legendary performers with careers that have endured still play his songs to audiences that keep demanding they be heard. Ask Mark Dawson, the current lead singer and bass player for the Grass Roots since 2008, how much Sloan's work matters. On any given night when the Grass Roots perform across the country, you’ll potentially hear: “Things I Should Have Said,” “Wake Up, Wake Up,” by Sloan or “Only When You’re Lonely,” “Where Were You When I Needed You” or “Tip of My Tongue” by Sloan/Barri, who co-produced as many Grass Roots songs on the Dunhill Label as they wrote. When asked on Monday, Mark Dawson said, "anyone who is anywhere near Berkeley and loves Grass Roots song needs to be at that Art House concert!"
Even though Herman’s Hermits also recorded “Where Were You When I Needed You” and are equally identifiable with that hit, the names of P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri are well known to classic rock devotees but remain among “the best kept secrets in show business” on a more global scale. Sloan was, undoubtedly, a starmaker with so many of his own songs. He did record his own albums, such as "Twelve More Times, "Songs of Our Times," and "Measure of Pleasure," but most of his acclaim came via the public faces, and voices of others. Somavilla said, "Sloan was an incredibly important part of the success of The Mamas and the Papas during his work at Dunhill Records."
Every time the engaging and charming Peter Noone has audiences within his hands, and sings, “A Must to Avoid,” that’s P.F. Sloan’s song. Whenever Howard Kaylan is on the uber-successful Happy Together Tour with Mark Volman, causing chaos and conundrums of frivolity, hitting every perfect note backed by Godfrey Townsend, John Montagna, Steve Murphy and Manny Focarrazzo, on “You Baby,” or “Let Me Be” or “Can I Get To Know You Better,” that’s P.F. Sloan. When Johnny Rivers starts out that easily identifiable screaming guitar hook on “Secret Agent Man,” that’s P. F. Sloan.
When the father of all protest songs, “Eve of Destruction” by Barry McGuire is loaded up in the cart machine in some terrestrial radio oldies station or if it's simply soaring through the airwaves of Sirius/XM Radio, via their 60s on 6 channel, that’s P.F. Sloan who wrote that #1 Billboard chart hit. When The Rip Chords make a festival appearance for fans in Anywhere, USA, and do “One Piece Topless Bathing Suit,” that’s P.F. Sloan. When Jan & Dean would do “(Here They Come) From All Over the World” or “I Found a Girl,” you guessed it, Sloan again. “Another Day, Another Heartache” took the Fifth Dimension to the Top 50 of the Billboard Charts. You've heard countless DJs say it before, "And the hits just keep on coming!"
There’s plenty of stories behind each song, and you only have one night to hear them. Only because music producer and concert-gathering guru Mike Somavilla was asking, did Sloan say “yes” to the San Francisco Bay Area, so don’t look for a list of big U.S. tour dates. There’s not one. It’s a one-night-only chance of a lifetime to meet the artist and hear him play his own songs and learn what happened to him to make him title his own memoirs, “What’s Exactly the Matter with Me?”
Sloan was always the person who shunned the spotlight such that he was long considered as simply “elusive.” Many writers have sought to learn more about the man behind the music, but he chose a less public life of preferred privacy until recently.
Multiplatinum-selling songwriter, Jimmy Webb even wrote his own tribute, aptly titled, “P.F. Sloan.” The video accompanying this story is Sloan singing and playing his own composition made most famous by the Grass Roots, “Where Were You When I Needed You.” His version of “Secret Agent Man” (also on YouTube) is equally charismatic.You can hear this song, and many more, from the man who wrote, or co-wrote them, this weekend, if you act fast.
This Saturday night, July 19, 2014, get there early to Berkeley’s Art House Gallery and Cultural Center, located at. 2905 Shattuck Avenue, between Ashby Ave. and Russell St. in South Berkeley. Doors open at 7 p.m. Call Harold Adler at (510) 472-3170 for details and advance tickets ($15) to make sure you won’t be out in the parking lot wishing you’d have arrived hours sooner. Somavilla said, "There are no do-overs or make-up dates. Saturday night is the night."
If you must miss the concert, be sure to check out Sloan’s new book. The Kindle version is online now, but you can get an autographed copy that night, as Jawbone Press has made some early print books available. It’s another must-read rock music book by the guy who was there at the beginning and who, by virtue of his talents, made careers and lives for so many other grateful, working musicians.
P.F. Sloan deserves a standing ovation before he ever says a word or plays a note. Make plans now to be a part of the crowd who was there. Thanks to Mike Somavilla and Crest of the Waves Productions for the interview and heads-up on his latest great show produced in the Art House Gallery and Cultural Center.
Originally published July 15, 2014 at: http://www.examiner.com/article/iconic-p-f-sloan-to-share-new-rock-memoir-and-music-memories-berkeley-ca where it earned
Sloan was a young genius whose childhood was as unpleasant as they come, and yet, he rose above it to find inspiration and opportunities to make his mark on the music world. His autobiography, coauthored with S.E. Feinberg, is a must-read. I'll review the book in depth very soon as it is an outstanding work.
Berkeley's Art House & Cultural Gallery is hosting some of the best of the best musicians in the venue now becoming truly well known as the Bay Area's best music source. Owner Harold Adler is working with concert promoter and walking Wikipedia of classic rock, Mike Somavilla, to keep the music coming, and the quality of the entertainment is phenomenal.
Click for the story http://dawnleewakefieldblog.blogspot.com/2014/07/pf-sloan-in-concert-and-sharing-stories.html See also on this website, a copy of the July 15, 2014 story "Iconic P.F. Sloan to Share New Rock Memoir and Music Memories in Berkeley, CA" (originally published online at examiner.com)
here to read the full story about what you'll hear at the Art House on Jul. 19, 2014.
P. F. Sloan was so influential in the successful careers of so many that amazing songwriter, Jimmy Webb, even wrote a song about Phil. There's a tremendous singer, Rumer, whose voice is special to Sloan and Webb and together, and the YouTube has a story in Webb's own words and music that is both memorable and charming. Check it out. Then you might have a hint why the Berkeley Art House & Cultural Gallery will be filled to the gills on Saturday. If you have a song written about you, you've more than made your mark on music.