LEE SKLAR may look like Charles Andrews' grandpa, but he's exactly one day older


Last week in this space I told the tale of the “locksmith” who beat me out of a music journalist gig at a prestigious industry magazine in LA in the late ‘70s, and went on to fame and fortune (I can hear you laughing, Stephen!) as a result while I got left in the dust with advertising gigs.

Just kidding, on the regret. My buddy Stephen Peeples has an absolutely remarkable and priceless collection of memories and photos of his glory music days, but I met a backup singer in a bar, the Palomino, and somehow talked her into some 36 years of hanging out and having fun and great adventures and that might never have happened if I were in Stephen’s shoes. Which I never would be because they weren’t Western boots, “manly footwear,” all you’ll ever see me in, thank you. Plus, he fled to the Santa Clarita Valley for affordable housing, fine for him, but I’ve been six blocks from the beach in SM for 33 years, through a little bit of magic and smarts and hard work, and I’ll take that.

Oh, the advertising gigs? At the LA Weekly in the early ‘80s, handling all the nightclub advertising and all the privilege and insanity that went with it (I had clients who are still in prison, at least one for murder) — I probably was making more than Peeples in those days, and did he sit across from Tom Petty at the unannounced Neil Young gig at one of my clients’ venues? (Thank you, Tommy.)

But all that is in jest, and what made me think of Stephen recently was when I got a note from one James Fitzgerald, “just a fan of ‘60s music,” correcting some of what I wrote about Dylan’s famous “Subterranean Homesick Blues” video from 1965.

“Actually, the video was made in London in this alley which is located next to and to the right of the Savoy Hotel when viewed from embankment side.” He attached the photo he took. Looks exactly right.

Regarding my snarky comment in a previous column about the Stones being wimps for not forcing tRump to stop using their songs without permission, Fitzgerald pointed out correctly (I had forgotten) that “the Rolling Stones don’t have any say what happens to their songs that were recorded before 1970. Their then-manager Allen Klein basically stole the publishing from them, getting them to sign some dodgy papers!” You indeed can’t always get what you want, unless you have no qualms about stealing it.

So that’s the thing that made me think of Stephen. I get stuff like that because I’m out there with a music column, and I learned back in my college FM radio days at UNM that some people just love L-O-V-E to catch you in a mistake Mr. Big Shot Music Expert and tell you about it. (I enjoyed my exchange with Fitzgerald, though.)

Peeples was a lightning rod for all things Beatles when he started, wrote and produced “The Lost Lennon Tapes” for once-mighty Westwood One Radio, from early ‘88 to fall of 1990. It went worldwide, and obsessed souls who had some obscure piece of Beatlemania would contact him, badger him, in an effort to get it included in the archives. Memorialized for all eternity.

“Usually it was some godawful quality recording that they thought the world was waiting breathlessly to hear,” Peeples laughed. Like the Australian bloke who had a bad recording of a drunk John Lennon singing badly at some party in the mid-’60s during one of the Beatles’ “Down Under” tours. But Peeples spent his years at prestigious jobs with pretty good paychecks while I drifted in and out of the biz. I got some good stuff, he got much better stuff. And those photos. https://www.facebook.com/skpeeples/media_set?set=a.2256923100761&type=3


TONIGHT! & Fri, Sat, Sun – L.A. PHILHARMONIC with Principal Guest Conductor SUSANNA MALKKI (m’man Mahler went more conventional with his 5th Symphony after messing with people’s minds the first four but it’s got plenty to deal with, not even all in the same key, lasts more than an hour, big orchestra with glockenspiel, harp, tam-tam, tympani, tuba, even a whip, hang on to your seats because the evening leads off with a new STEVE REICH world premier, Music for Ensemble and Orchestra, co-commissioned by the LA Phil, thank you Dude), Thurs, Fri, Sat 8 p.m., Sun 2 p.m., Walt Disney Concert Hall, downtown LA, $20-$194.

TONIGHT! – SATYAGRAHA by PHILIP GLASS featuring Sean Panikkar – LA OPERA (Sanskrit for “truth force,” this may be exactly what we all need right now, the finale of the Glass trilogy of operas about personalities who changed the world with the force of their ideas, based on the early life of Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa, where he developed his ideas about non-violent resistance, described as “a powerful meditation on the lasting effects of human goodness,” it has gotten rave reviews worldwide), Thurs, next Thurs 7:30 p.m., Sun 2 p.m., Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, downtown LA, $21-$300.


TONIGHT! – 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), Thurs 7 p.m., Microsoft Theater, downtown LA, $50-130.

SONYA YONCHEVA (I know what you’re thinking, the old rocker is getting all full of himself, trying to go legit with all this classical stuff, well here’s the thing, I’ve been listening seriously and lovingly to all kinds of classical music since college, a stint in management at the fantastic but short-lived Odyssey Music chain taught me a lot and when my LP collection hit 7,000 almost a third of them were classical, but I never acquired the deep knowledge, extensive concert experience and resultant vocabulary to be a serious classical music critic but I know a lot and I know what I like and to be honest I don’t know a thing about Sonya here except the flyer I got billing her as one of the world’s leading sopranos, “a revelation” said the New York Times, and SMC’s the Broad Stage is bringing her right to your doorstep, no fighting traffic to get downtown LA so why wouldn’t ya?), Wed 7:30 p.m., the Broad Stage, Santa Monica, $95-$185.

LELAND SKLAR (sure you know him, how can you forget that name, that Father Time beard, that bass that’s recorded with and toured with quite possibly everyone from his gettin’ famous days with James Taylor through Ray Charles, Leonard Cohen, the Bee Gees, BB King, Alice Cooper, Michael Jackson, Joe Cocker, Diana Ross, Dolly, Bette, Barbra, Merle, the Doors of Venice, Santa Monica’s own Judith Owen, Derek Smalls, Waddy Wachtel and Jackson Browne and many more, roughly 2,600 albums so do you think he’s got some stories? — it’s a lecture and performance), next Thurs 7:30 p.m., Grammy Museum, downtown LA, $30.

JANE MONHEIT, Billy Stritch, Jim Caruso (harmonize on “Hollywoodland: Songs from the Silver Screen,” personally I’d rather have all Monheit but those two other cats own Broadway and they’ll probably quickly make you forget you’re in the Valley), next Thurs 7:30 p.m., Vitello’s Italian Restaurant, Studio City, $25-$45.

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

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