The Vinyl Dialogues Blog

Stories behind memorable albums of the 1970s as told by the artists

Month: October 2014

David Knopfler: On his own ship of dreams for 30 years

DK-PosterBanner2014-MINI_02Even though he co-founded the band, David Knopfler doesn’t listen to Dire Straits. He doesn’t think about Dire Straits. He’s not a fan of Dire Straits.

“I wasn’t even a fan at the time,” said Knopfler.

Though his name will likely forever be linked with the band – which formed in 1977 and included his brother Mark Knopfler, John Illsley and Pick Withers – David points out that his time with the group was only about three years out of his life.

And that’s left him a lot of life in the interim to make the kind of music that he wants to make.

It’s the three decades since he left Dire Straits – in 1980 after its third album – as a solo artist that he chooses to celebrate. And he’s doing so with “30th Anniversary Tour” that includes nine shows in eight cities throughout the U.S. Northeast.

The … Read more

Two guys who knew how to set the stage for World Series memories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leo Woith was a running buddy of my dad’s back in the 1950s and 1960s. And the two of them provided me with a couple of my favorite World Series memories, even though one of those memories wasn’t actually a memory at all but a story because it happened before I was born and it’s part of family lore.

My dad was the superintendent of Rankin Grade School, a small rural school just south of Pekin, Illinois. The nameplate on his desk read a very official “E.E. Morsch,” but his close friends called him “Eddie.”

Leo was a local businessman who owned and operated Leo’s TV and Appliances in downtown Pekin. Leo’s kids attended Rankin – that’s how he and Dad knew each other – and as they became friends, they discovered that each shared a love of baseball. … Read more

Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. offer new respect for The 5th Dimension’s ‘Earthbound’ album

The cracks in musical cohesiveness among the members of The 5th Dimension were evident to the group’s members by the time they began work on the “Earthbound” album in 1975.

They had reunited with songwriter Jimmy Webb, who had penned the group’s first pop hit, “Up, Up and Away” in 1967. Webb was going to produce “Earthbound” and Marilyn McCoo and husband Billy Davis Jr. were both excited about working again with Webb.

But rehearsals were tense. Recording sessions were tense. At the center of the discomfort was the direction the band was heading by 1975.

Since the mid-1960s, the original five members – McCoo, Davis, Florence LaRue, Lamonte McLemore and Ron Townson – had produced a string of hits in addition to “Up, Up and Away,” including “Stoned Soul Picnic,” “Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In,” “Wedding Bell Blues,” “One Less Bell To Answer” and “(Last Night) I Didn’t Get To … Read more

The Empty Hearts: ‘Supergroup’ ready to hit the road with a new album

This isn’t the first time Elliot Easton has cut a debut album with a new band.

In late 1977, he spent 21 days in London where he took only a day-and-a-half to lay down all his lead guitar parts for the record. He and the rest of the band were staying in a beautiful rented house in the Mayfair District of central London, and when not in the AIR recording studio – an independent studio founded by Beatles producer Sir George Martin – Easton would explore the area.

The punk movement was going strong by that point, and all the young people roaming the local markets in and around London were wearing mohawks and dressing outrageously.

“The first thing I wanted to do was go to the marketplace,” said Easton. “They had these stalls where you could get custom-made boots and clothes. I wanted a pair of snakeskin boots like … Read more

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