If you read anything (besides "Program Notes") this year, it should be the new Musicians Guide to Touring & Promotion, especially if you're a musician. (Duh.) The 132-page package includes label contacts, publishing companies, tape and CD manufacturers, radio, press, and publicity outlets, clubs, and more, such as advice from dozens of pros, including a couple of locals. Graham Drout of Iko-Iko fame is quoted on page 30: "Don't think you can make money on the road if you can't make any at home. It doesn't make a lot of sense to tour if you don't have anything to sell." And on the same page, Farrcry's Mark Christian states, "Do know the blue laws in each state you play...." To obtain a copy of this highly recommended reference, send $6.95 to The Musicians Guide, 33 Commercial St., Gloucester, MA 01930. Or phone Musician magazine at (508) 281-3110.
The folks at Cheers in Fort Lauderdale are at it again. This Sunday they'll stage a number of excellent bands - Big Mama Blu and the Bluz Club, Big Bob and the Blue Tornadoes, Kilmo and the Killers, Stet Blancett and Crossfire, Shades of Blue, and the Royal Insects among them - in an effort to raise funds for David Lindsey, the Broward paramedic maimed by a hit-and-run boater while diving. Chip in at least a Lincoln at the door, or send donations directly to the David A. Lindsey Trust Fund, c/o Broward County Paramedics and Firefighters, P.O. Box 15292, Plantation, FL 33317.
Don't call me overeager. Don't Call Me Buckwheat, the latest from Garland Jeffreys, was recommended in this space last week. A couple of days ago, I got a note from my close friends at RCA saying the album won't be available to the public until March 24. (They made a mistake and forgot to send any info along with the CD, so I didn't know.) Mark it on your calendar; it's worth a few listens just because it's Garland Jeffreys. And don't call it a comeback.
Mel Morley is producing five songs by Shantel Baker (no relation to yours truly) at New River.
See this week's National Enquirer for Bill Cooke's photos of Madonna cavorting in Miami. Being the serious and responsible professional music editor that I am, I called Cooke and bid on the snaps for use in this space, but my offer of 50 bucks and a six-pack (cold) was turned down flat. Oh well. To be honest, what we're really looking for are some skin pics of Jose Canseco.
Butthorn of the week: So there I am, out of it on the streets of South Beach after midnight, being the serious and responsible professional music editor that I am, when I decide to walk up to the door of a certain nightclub whose name is best left unmentioned (Egoiste). I don't get within twenty feet of the entrance when a giant cop lunges forward and blocks my path. "What do you want?" he barks. "Um, gee...." He stays in my face, very intimidatinglike, and I politely tell him why I'm there, and I graciously thank him for his kind assistance. Oh yeah, I'll be back.
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They're a butthorn, you're a butthorn: Why? Why do you people support this bullshit? No, not this stupid column. This: U2's previous area concert (a not very good one, and yes, I've seen them more than once) was at the Orange Bowl (capacity: 75,000). This time they book one night at the Arena (capacity: 17,000), and, natch, it sells out in seven seconds. Thanks to an investigative project I was working on, I learned that demand for tix was, um, high. A second show would have sold out easily, I'm certain. So why were you willing to pay $500 for a ducat? No, why was U2 doing this to the people who keep them wealthy? I called the promoter, Cellar Door, but they didn't know. I called the band's booking agent, Premier Talent, but they couldn't say ("It's just what they decided to do this time"). I called the group's label, Island, who told me to talk to U2's independent publicists, who explained that U2 is playing, like, 30 cities in as many days, man, and there was no way to squeeze in an extra date. Satisfied?
The media circus: I recently asked, as sarcastically as possible, where the pro-rape contingent was. Guess what, jeans? Found it. During the tumult in Ireland caused by a teen-ager, who was impregnated by a rapist and was pleading for an abortion, someone was spotted on CNN holding up a placard that read, "Protect Our Right to Procreate by Rape." Of course, the sign holder may have meant that sarcastically.
More media circus: New Times, in the issue of June 6, 1990, wrote about Channel 7 news under the headline "If It Bleeds, It Leads." In March of 1992, South Florida magazine writes about Channel 7 news under the headline "If It Bleeds, It Leads."
Pet corner: The Cosmetic Toiletry & Fragrance Association - which advocates animal torture - convenes at the Boca Raton (translates as Rat's Mouth) Hotel and Club at 501 E. Camino Real this weekend. On Saturday at 12:30 p.m. hundreds will gather there to protest the savagery of the cosmetics business. You're welcome to attend.