Stephen K. Peeples at the Dakota

I MET STEPHEN K. PEEPLES

Even before I moved to LA from Albuquerque. Sort of. I made a few forays out here to plow the ground for employment, with my contacts in the music industry, and found myself one day with the managing editor of Cash Box magazine, along with Billboard and Record World the bibles of the music biz.

We chatted for about 20 minutes and then he asked if I knew much about country music. “Are you kidding?” I responded, “Look at these boots! I grew up in New Mexico!” Lying through my teeth but, fake it till you make it, right? He told me they had a staff opening for a country music person and how would I like to interview with “the Old Man,” the crusty East Coast-style owner. “You may not get the gig but it will be an experience,” he winked.

It was, and I didn’t, even though I handled myself well. I tell myself that when I listed a NM phone number on my application that sunk me, even though I swore I would be there for work the next morning if I got the call. These were pre-Internet days when a distance across three states was… well, a bridge too far, in LA’s fast-moving worlds.

But the killer was when I did shortly thereafter move here and found out the job at Cash Box went to — the locksmith, the guy who was there that day to fix some door locks and said, hey, I can do that job, I know EVERYthing about country music. The locksmith! Timing is everything, of course.

But that “locksmith” was Peeples, who was looking to break into the biz and took that job with a company he knew had clients in the music industry. It was no accident, he was prepared, he did the job well and kept advancing as a writer and publicist for Capitol, Elektra/Asylum, Radio One Westwood, Rhino, with gold records on his walls now from those heady days. We met and became friends, he sometimes threw me some publicity work that kept the wolf from the door, much appreciated (and years later I got to hire and pay him), and after very nearly 40 years now he is my “oldest” friend in LA.

His gig at Westwood One led him to helm The Lost Lennon Tapes show for many years, which led him to sit at John’s white “Imagine” piano at the Dakota, priceless photo, but now, like a good Saturday afternoon serial, you will have to wait until next week to find out what that’s got to do with what I wrote last week about the famous Dylan “Subterranean Homesick Blues” video of 1965.

I know, that’s cheap, but I’ll bet you’re curious now, and mainly, I’m out of space!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:

TONIGHT! — VERNON REID’s BAND OF GYPSYS REVISITED, Pegasus Warning, Van Hunt (this may be the live music bargain of the year and you have no idea what I’m talking about, some of you do but let me try to explain, do you remember a mid-’80s band named Living Colour, never huge because despite the indubitable legacy of Jimi Hendrix it was still hard for people then to grasp a band of black guys who played rock and roll, not funk or soul or R&B, just ask Fishbone, and so Living Colour was no charts hit but almost everyone noticed that guitar player Vernon Reid was the beyond-real deal, who went on to collaborate with legendary jazz man Ornette Coleman, turns out as a young man Reid was profoundly moved and guided by Hendrix and particularly his Band of Gypsys live album and can do a whole treatise — 16:40 in — on the cultural and musical significance of just “Machine Gun,” so now it would have been Jimi’s 75th birthday and Reid is out there performing that album and no doubt other scintillating stuff as only one who has lived it for nearly half a century can, with his still-jaw dropping axe skills, so I just now decided this one has to be HIGHLY RECOMMENDED), Thurs 9 p.m., Zebulon, LA, $10-$30.

RECOMMENDED:

TONIGHT! — LUCHA VaVOOM Halloween Spectacular (hard to believe this wild show has been glam-slamming the canvas for more than 15 years but here it is, the masked Mexican wrestlers mixing in cool live music and DJs and old school burlesque and comedy, at first it seemed so LA but they’ve wowed audiences from here to Tokyo to Australia), Thurs, 8 p.m., the Mayan, downtown LA, $40-$75

TONIGHT! — JESSE COLIN YOUNG (the top banana of the groovy San Francisco smile-on-your-brother ‘60s Youngbloods went on to a successful if not chart-topping career with a steady string of solo efforts built on his alluring voice and well-crafted endearing songs that built a following that will likely fill the joint tonight so I hope y’all can still get a ticket), Thurs 7:30 p.m., Janet & Ray Scherr Forum Theatre, Thousand Oaks Civic Plaza, $61.

TONIGHT! –The ROCKY HORROR HIPSTER SHOW (“sins and songs from the cult classic with an extra dose of glam rock fantastic, live band, hot babes and sexy gender-bent madness, you’ll be finding glitter in your God-knows-where for weeks,” they proclaim, I can tell you this, Three Clubs, do NOT call it the Three OF Clubs, has been one of the coolest off the radar Hollywood hangs since before I moved here in ‘80), Thurs-Fri-Sat 9 p.m., Three Clubs Cocktail Lounge, Hollywood, free.

TODAY! — ACE VENTURA: POLITICAL CARTOONIST (this could appeal to you in several ways, years ago I saw Jim Carrey do stand-up, long after he became mega-famous, a very rare performance, at the Strand, a Redondo Beach club where I also saw Miles Davis and best of all, my wife’s vocal trio The Goils, and it was so weird and wonderful — Carrey, that is — I will never forget it, you probably won’t catch him in person at this show of his art but you will get a peek into his strange synapses and visual art skills, it’s been his work as a political cartoonist that has caught fire with a global Twitter audience, with “fearless dark comedy, gift for mimicry, knack for emphatic satire, haunting, funny, utterly unsettling editorial pictures”), today through Dec. 1, Tue-Sat 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Maccarone, Boyle Heights, free.

ELIZA GILKYSON, NINA GERBER (this should be a great show, these two ladies each have a following of many years, I used to catch Gilkyson back in NM in the ‘70s when she was living in Santa Fe and went by Lisa, her career has been remarkable and I think some fans drive across states to see her, Gerber has a very different but no less noteworthy career, having emerged from the shadows and tutelage of the late great Kate Wolf to gain a quiet but astounding notoriety among a worldwide swath of name players and producers as a most exquisitely gifted guitarist that any musician would die to have by their side, McCabe’s is the perfect place to hear them make their magic together), Sun 8 p.m., McCabe’s, Santa Monica, $25.

BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB, BAD RELIGION, SOCIAL DISTORTION, Rancid, Surf City Blitz, the Interrupters (the South Bay punk scene lives!! this Sunday anyway, not enough to warrant the hike for me but BRMC on the other hand, if you have never caught them you must, not punks but noisy melodious raucous rockers of the first order, they are just so good live you wonder why they are playing clubs and beach gigs when they should be filling stadiums around the world, maybe they are but here’s your chance outdoors on the beach on a sunny SoCal Sunday afternoon, man I love this town), Sun 12 noon, Huntington State Beach, $50-$200.

ST. VINCENT (I like her, I like her videos a lot, but have you noticed that it seems a lot more expensive to see anyone with a bit of a name now than even say a couple years ago, you’ve got to carry around a Franklin to buy a ticket to most any good show these days, but since the income stream for their recorded music pretty much dried up I guess touring is the only way to make much of anything and that can be a grind, so I grant them that, where would we be without our artists and their art?), Mon 7 p.m., Hollywood Palladium, $60.

JOAN JETT & the BLACKHEARTS, Morrissey (I know, I know who the star of this show is, Morrissey is God but not to me, I’ll watch original Runaway Jett kill the opening set then walk out and hand my ducat to some poor sniveling Morrissey minion who couldn’t get in and stroll off before he can profusely thank me for saving his pathetic life), next Thurs 7 p.m., Microsoft Theater, downtown LA, $50-130.

Charles Andrews has listened to a lot of music of all kinds, including more than 2,000 live shows. He has lived in Santa Monica for 32 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at therealmrmusic@gmail.com

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *