Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Battle of the Album Covers

My buddy Chris sent me this little montage. Some graphic design kid has a lot of time on his hands. But God bless him!

It's a Legal Matter, Baby

Turns out that Roger Daltrey was spot-on about Miss Heather - months before the big separation between Beatle Paul McCartney & Heather Mills McCartney. She's been Macca's worst nightmare since Yoko. Shortly after the big Live 8 Concert in London's Hyde Park in the summer of 2005, Roger had these things to say about Heather Mills McCartney to the English paper, the Sunday Mirror :

"She was at Live 8 with a camera...scary. I looked down the barrel and saw her face - and I thought: 'This is the coldest human being I have met in my whole life.'

"She was one cold fish."

Mind you, this was well before anyone knew of any marital problems between Paul McCartney & Heather Mills McCartney. I thought at the time that Roger was being pretty harsh on Heather. She seemed very direct, yes - but we had no overt reason to dislike her. "Roger must be one cantankerous fellow," I thought. But I have to give credit to the Who's lead singer - knowing how many other rock stars that were backstage at Live 8, it's interesting that he was the only one to note Heather's bad behaviour. What can I say besides that the man is a damn fine judge of character.

And now we see the divorce proceedings between Sir Paul & Heather get very confrontational.

In other music news, listen to the new U2/Green Day single of "The Saints Are Coming" at This track will be on their upcoming Best Of set entitled "U218 Singles". It's a rousing version of the Skids 1978 single. Never had heard of The Skids - but I do know now that their lead singer was later to become Big Country's Stuart Adamson. Stuart took his own life in Honolulu 2001.

Links in this post:

image of Roger:

Details of Heather's abuse claims:

Friday, October 13, 2006

Found: The USS Macon

It's been a while since Pablo's Point has posted anything about Zeppelins, blimps or dirigibles. This week I found an article on the USS Macon (through Arts & Letters Daily) from Der Spiegel in Germany. It details the deep sea discovery & subsequent ocean floor investigation of the great Zeppelin Aircraft Carrier - yes, that's right - a flying aircraft carrier. From the Akron Beacon Journal: "The Macon had acted as a flying aircraft carrier; planes were lowered from the cargo bay with their engines running at flight speed. When they were released, they were already in full flight. To return to the ship, pilots had to maneuver under a catch-hook to be pulled back into the bay."

This beauty was designed to carry 5 Sparrowhawk fighters on it - the fighter planes took off from the zeppelin & hooked back up to it upon return. In mid-air they'd have to hook up their plane to the harness to "land". The pilots were called "trapeze artists". Amazing. The Macon was a helium dirigible built by Goodyear & The Zeppelin Company of Germany. And ironically it's the remains of these Sparrowhawk fighters that are the most visible remains on the ocean floor off the coast of California. (Der Spiegel has a photo gallery where you can really see the outlines of the wings of these biplanes.)

Wikipedia also has a nice entry on the USS Macon with photos & more stories - as does OceansLive. LucidCafé.com has an interesting piece on the crash and the subsequent end of the US Navy's Airship program. The Christian Science Monitor has a report on this and a great undersea picture of the Macon's landing gear. The Akron Beacon Journal also has a nice piece on the phenomenon that was the USS Macon. The San Jose Mercury News has a neat article on the exploration of the wreckage too.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Everyone Stares: The Police Inside Out

While recently on vacation in lovely Maui, I picked up the new Andy Summers' memoir, "One Train Later". It got a nice write-up in Entertainment Weekly (compared favorably over U2's new coffee-table book, U2 X U2 - not to mention more travel-friendly). And being on vacation, I splurged and picked it up at the Kahului Borders. (Despite the fact that I already had 3 books that I hadn't touched on the 9 hour plane ride over from Dallas!) The Police are one of those music acts that I come back to every blue moon and rediscover. They were my first concert in 1983 back in the brand-spanking-new Reunion Arena.

We got the tickets for the 2nd and final night's show from our 8th grade pal, Jimmy Farrell. He had extras and they were on the floor! But they were $15 tickets. Wow. That's cost a few lawn mowings. UB40 opened up the show for them. Sting had the flu. Stewart played the drums really fast. They tore through their set.

I'm 3/4 of the way through the book. Andy just got to the early days of the Police (by page 155 or so). Surprisingly, he had a long music career before the advent of punk music. He played with the Animals. He pal'd around with Eric Clapton. He makes it very clear how tough a musician's life can be. I'm going to have to dig up my old Police cds and listen to them all over again. It's always nice to hear them for a fresh listen after a few more years life experience. They are still very fresh sounding. There's an exuberance there throughout the albums that reminds me of the EE OOO EEE YAY, EEE YAY OOOH chants that kept me up past my bedtime back that night in '83.

I remember driving around Plano in Leo's Suzuki Samurai listening to Regatta de Blanc on the tape deck. Was Leo at the '83 show too? Can't remember. Leo?

The Police were huge back then. Hard to compare to today's standards of course. This was before the wide acceptance of the compact disc - at the beginning of MTV - way before the internet, YouTube and MP3s. I recall a junior high talent show where some classmates of ours put together their own power trio - played spot-on Police covers - a triple shot that had the hall jumpin' - in spite of their amps being plugged into the school's crappy PA system. It was Dave Barton on drums, Kevin McKinney on guitar and - who was on bass? Anyone? Regardless - it was exhilarating to see our buddies rock like that. But at the same time, it was devastating to see them up there instead of us. We had to stick to air guitar and clock radio shower vocals.