Program Notes 22

I had a nice chat with the promoter of the Snoop Doggy Dogg concert, which takes space at the Arena tomorrow (Friday). Rhamel Richardson, a veteran rap promoter at only 28, says we should expect no problems at what might be the biggest concert of the year (Eagles and Stones don't count any more). Richardson, who got his start with a pre-Grammy party at the Ritz in New Yawk a few years ago and went on to become the genius who brought live music to Atlanta's annual Freaknic blowout, says he's spoken to the proper authorities: "We came to an understanding. We're working together, it's going to be comfortable. I don't expect police interference or any other problems. Not in Miami."

Butthorn of the week and the media circus: Ignorance. The local media. Same thing. Does stuff really happen if it don't make the news? On September 6, Nicky Hopkins, one of the most important figures in the history of rock, died in Nashville. He was 50 and had suffered stomach ailments for years, according to his friend Woody Graber, a local publicist. Hopkins played keys on the best Stones records, was a member of the Jeff Beck Group, released several solo albums, and, thanks to his contributions to recordings by groups such as the Beatles, the Who, Small Faces, and the Kinks, was immortalized by Ray Davies in the Kinks song "Session Man." Not that any of this merits a proper obituary. "Nicky Hopkins was the greatest rock-and-roll keyboard player I can think of, a consummate performer, the session man to all the big English bands in the Sixties," says Graber. "He was integral to the British Invasion, then he was able to make the transition to working with Neil Young. He was a genius on the keys, a good friend, and a nice person in a business where there are a lot of schmucks and creeps." The end.

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