Full Circle

  • Iconoclasts: The Ballad of Phil Ochs

    The Revelle Campus Cafeteria at UCSD, 1970, was the first time I became entirely aware of folksinger/anti-war activist and counter culture hero Phil Ochs. He was performing to a full house of hippies, New Left agitators, Marxist professors with a collective lapse of enthusiasm for talk of revolution, rattled undergraduates, and unsmiling advocates for black […]

  • 100 Candles for PETE SEEGER

    If we were to choose one person to represent North American folk music, the obvious choice is Pete Seeger (1919–2014). He brought songs out of the hills and onto the airwaves, engaged continuously with the public—from lowest to highest—and embodied the social consciousness of folk music in the labor, civil rights, pro-peace, and environmental movements, […]

  • Noel Paul Stookey: There Is Love (with a capital L)

    Take a look at the Billboard Hot 100 songs of 1962 and you will find Ray Charles and Ricky Nelson, Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison, the Everly Brothers and the Isley Brothers, the Kingston Trio and the Beach Boys. That’s the year that Peter, Paul and Mary made the list with “If I Had a […]

  • Jorma Kaukonen–Been So Long: My Life and Music

    There’s an old saying that goes “If you can remember the Sixties, you weren’t there.” Those 60 and over go ha-ha, ho-ho, I get it; too many flashbacks, too many bong hits, far too many uppers to balance all those downers, and too many long drum solos. The conceit was that there was too much […]

  • The Story of The Band: From Big Pink to The Last Waltz

    When you explore the annals of rock ‘n’ roll aristocracy, rarely do you think of Canadians as being perched near the top of the heap (Randy Bachman, Joni Mitchell, and Neil Young notwithstanding). The gutbucket elements of rock ‘n’ roll belong to the greasier exponents of the Deep South. It’s that gritty, grimy, salt-of-the-earth aspect […]

  • All I Want for Christmas is THE BEATLES!!! or Art in the Slaughterhouse of Commerce

    Yo! Ho! Ho! Friends and neighbors… Once again, it’s that time of year to personally and/or collectively reject or embrace the traditions of the holiday season. Call it Kwanzaa, Chanukah, ChristMass–we embody the mythologies and symbols that suit us. Thankfully, we’re free to celebrate the Solstice anyway we imagine. And personally, if there’s one thing […]

  • Marty Balin: An Appreciation

    Marty Balin, co-founder, lead singer, and a principal songwriter for the iconic ’60s band Jefferson Airplane, died September 27, 2018, at the age of 76. The cause of death hasn’t yet been disclosed. It’s always sad when a musical talent from your prime music listening years passes on, and although natural as it is to […]

  • Bobfest: A Celebration of All Things DYLAN

    What is a Bobfest? Someone once said that writing about music is like dancing about architecture. If so, designing a celebration of Bob Dylan must be like constructing a building of rainbows. Ross Moore has stepped up to the challenge and assembled an all-day all-Dylan extravaganza, recognizing the artist’s contributions to poetry, literature, the visual […]

  • Remembering Aretha Franklin: The Voice That Shook the World–She taught the world how to spell RESPECT

    Aretha Louise Franklin, who Rolling Stone magazine correctly identified as “the greatest singer in the world,” made her transition into the next world on August 16, 2018, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 76 years old. Franklin came into African-American consciousness first as a child, singing gospel music in the church of […]

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