Thursday, March 03, 2005

Spider John Koerner film/music update

The time has come! I have been waiting for this moment. The World Premiere: Mar. 25 - 31 at Oak St. of the Spider John Koerner film by highly acclaimed film director/producer, Don McGlynn, of Amsterdam, who did the phenomenal Howlin' Wolf film I saw last fall at Oak St., that is avail. on DVD. It is a favorite music documentary of mine. Mc Glynn, an old friend of Koerner's, has been around and says we have a world center of Blues here. It's not Chicago, it's the West Bank of Minneapolis. At places like the Viking Bar, and the Cabooze. Spider John, one of my favorite musicians and highly influential on too many people to mention, performs free Sunday's at the Viking Bar at 1800 Riverside Ave. on the West Bank.

I'll keep you posted re: music events, etc. around this great landmark event. There will be a new Koerner album soon, possibly available around this time . . . Red House Records will have a table of rereleased recordings at this event, including not previously available for a long time. . . RUNNING, JUMPING, STANDING STILL with Willie Murphy (a vinyl on ebay is going for $175 I hear.)

Tonight on KFAI, Koerner was a performing guest on the House Party between 5 and 6 pm. Besides playing solo tunes live, they played songs off of the Beatles/psychedelia influenced Running Jumping Standing Still album which Koerner and Murphy toured the country with in the late 60's early 70's including Summer of Love, San Fran. This is truly a phenomenal album. Koerner not only noted briefly and quietly the influence on David Bowie (in "a magazine" -- Bowie cited in Vanity Fair last year that Koerner Ray and Glover's Blues, Rags, and Holler's is one of Bowie's top 10 all time influences), and Lennon (who wrote Dave Ray a personal handwritten letter in the 60's saying how much Blues, Rags, and Hollers meant to him, lots, he really loved it), Koerner is featured in this month's MN Monthly Magazine. He noted (in his voice that's often on the edge of quiet laughter, wry) that there must have been some misunderstanding there, as they titled the article: "Koerner: the Original Dylan".

We got to hear on today's show some of Koerner's kernels of wisdom which those of us more familiar with him have heard oft, but never ever tire of. Such as: the human race is nuts. . . he proceeded to give views on the dumb things about recycling, and about talk radio going on about urban sprawl pollution, etc. but no politician, businessmen or religious person EVER talks about the real problem of "too many people." He added we need to grow down, have less children. (yay, him for addressing this). He talked about religion, saying perhaps 10 religious advocates will say the correct way to live. "At least 9 out of 10 are wrong. And you've got to suspect the 10th."

He got calls in, saying agreement to his views, commenting that real estate and commodity prices would escalate with less people (to which Koerner easily replied: for every change to benefit society there's a price, and it would take a while to adjust but it may well be worthwhile). Musical partner Tony Glover called in to make notes of rereleased Koerner Ray and Glover material (I missed the location of this), that Koerner was unaware of till that moment. It was another informative, funny and endearing time with this legendary Stargeezer.

It was a great show overall during which I laughed alot while working in the music library there, stopped in the hall to say "hey" to Koerner, and later went over to his show for the popular Wednesday Juke Joint series weekly at the legendary Viking Bar on the West Bank, which was filled with well over 100 people in this small spot. It's one of the VERY last vestiges of late '60's and 70's and later legendary folk and R and B performers such as Koerner, and Willie Murphy, and many new ones such as Crush Collision Trio and Charlie Parr, and Rena Haus and many many more. I so highly recommend supporting this place and keeping it alive for a few more years, hopefully, in this endangering climate of commercial venues.

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