Showing posts with label James Williamson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label James Williamson. Show all posts

5.11.2017

JAMES WILLIAMSON AND DENIZ TEK LAUNCHED A NEW EP "ACOUSTIC K.O."

Deniz Tek (Radio Birdman) and James Williamson (Iggy & the Stooges) photo Anne Tek

FROM DENIZTEK.COM 

Fans of The Stooges and Radio Birdman are in for a real treat this spring as guitarist James Williamson and singer/guitarist Deniz Tek have teamed up for a new spin on four classic Williamson compositions from the early/mid '70s. The two proto-punk icons have unplugged their amps for drastic, yet no less gratifying reworkings of two numbers from Iggy & The Stooges’ seminal Raw Power album (“I Need Somebody” and “Penetration”) as well as two tracks from Pop & Williamson’s often-unsung masterpiece Kill City (“Night Theme” and “No Sense of Crime”). These songs were orginally composed by Pop & Williamson, with the exception of "Night Theme" which was penned by Williamson and Scott Thurston.


Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Williamson explains hooking up with Tek and working with him on this effort, “I first met Deniz in 2011 when doing the Ron Asheton Tribute show at the Michigan Theatre in Ann Arbor. Deniz had been a good friend of the Ashetons (having come from Ann Arbor like them) and had been asked to play on some of the old Stooges tunes that night.”

“Later we stayed in touch during the times I would visit Australia on tour with the Stooges, and it also turned out that he visited the Big Island of Hawaii frequently, as do my wife and I. In fact, during one of our get togethers on the Big Island Deniz mentioned that we should record some acoustic songs together. Maybe do some of my old stuff. It was later that day, hiking in a remote area, that we came across some abandoned trucks. His wife, Anne, got her camera out and said 'there’s your record cover!’”


ACOUSTIC K.O. TRACKLISTING:
I Need Somebody
Penetration
Night Theme
No Sense Of Crime

Oddly, in a parallel development, a long time fan and incredible collector of Stooges memorabilia, Hakan Beckman, had suggested to James a couple of years earlier that “Night Theme” should be orchestrated. Further, he had developed a fantasy album cover called Acoustic K.O. James loved these ideas and now, with Tek, had the vehicle to realize them.

“That’s how it all started,” Williamson admits. “However, once we began recording, the project took on a life of its own. If this was to be called Acoustic K.O. it needed to be entirely acoustic. Michael Urbano broke out his old 1920s drum kit and Gregg Foreman used my old 1930s pump organ and a piano. Guitars, of course, were acoustic, and the only exception was the bass that Bob Glaub played - an old hollow body Kay since an upright just didn’t sound right for these songs. The horn section rounded everything out.”


“For ‘Night Theme’ I enlisted the help of Mark Culbertson, musician extraordinaire who had played contra-bass for me on the albums Ready to Die and Re-Licked, to do the arrangement. He did an extraordinary job! I was able to find an incredible group of players called The Awesome Orchestra from Berkeley, CA under the direction of David Moschler to realize Mark’s arrangement and I couldn’t be happier with the results.”

“It all came together once we layed down Deniz’s vocals while in Hawaii, and with the help of Petra Haden doing some backing vocals and violin, along with Annie Hardy (Giant Drag) doing the duet with Deniz on ‘No Sense Of Crime’ we had performances to be proud of.”

Deniz Tek and James Williamson’s Acoustic K.O. EP will be available March 31st on vinyl and digital (iTunes, Amazon, etc.) formats. Read Full Article Here

2.07.2014

LA 1973 IGGY AND THE STOOGES: ROCK PHOTOGRAPHER HEATHER HARRIS:



How a born and bred Los Angeles person like yours truly came to appreciate Detroit/Ann Arbor/Michigan music from afar at a relatively early age... Rock and Beatles/Stones had saved my sanity from a toxic family, and I liked my music loud and fast. While I preferred Lennon's hard-edged rocker covers my chums gravitated to their beloved McCartney ballads and worshiped the latest faux-Joni. Egad, why?


Experts contend that in popular musical tastes, females prefer emphasis on great lyrics and males fixate on insistent beat or groove. Balderdash. If you don't remember the power and musicality of a song first, how can you later dissect what was sung? With this in mind, I tried to infiltrate any club that didn't catch my underaged ass and began photographing that to which I could get access in 1967. I was open to anything good, preferably great. With greatness in mind, a lot of focus came upon The Stooges circa 1970.


I was fortunate early on to encounter the in-person musical orbit of John Mendelsohn, a music writer for Creem Magazine and Rolling Stone who mattered in the late 1960s and 70s. And he didn't just like but loved the Stooges as kindred subversives. He trumpeted same to anyone who'd read or listen, particularly like-minded, quirky new friends such as visiting rookie musician David Bowie on the latter's first USA trip.

 
Corroboration of Mendelsohn introducing Bowie and consequently, for better and worse, his management MainMan to the Stooges' music can be found on page 148 of Paul Trynka's first edition of his Iggy Pop bio "Open Up and Bleed.") Here in L.A. as with most of the world in the pre-internet Pleistocene, absolutely no one beyond Midwestern zip codes had any prior Stooge exposure prior to Mendelsohn's lauding thereof.
 

Hence the importance of Mendelsohn's 1970 Entertainment World feature, one of the first if not the first nation-wide cover stories on The Stooges in a mainstream multi-arts magazine, not just a regional, music-based one. Their centerpiece article by Mendelsohn featured lots more natural stage light, live performance photos which took great skill then (and a close, personal relationship with a pro lab that would push film beyond recommended specs) by Kurt Ingham (AKA singer Mr. Twister) (and future Mr. Fastfilm.)
 

Unfortunately I hadn't met the great arbiter until after the first Stooges gigs in California mid-1970, so my first opportunity to photograph them became the Whisky A Gogo, Hollywood CA in 1973. At the only freebie possible for this impecunious college student/photojournalist, my twenty-two minutes of photographing an appallingly short second set of two songs ("She Creatures Of The Hollywood Hills" and "Open Up And Bleed") yielded all my vintage Stooges' shots since seen over the years in domestic and international periodicals both print and online. They were everything heretofore touted, wild yet precise musicians, wasted, cute and dangerous. The audience initially was scared of them: I thought it was hilarious. At the time, 1973, I could only sell a single image. The world had yet to catch up.


As a Fine Art major at UCLA, I was used to true innovators in my art history lessons being ignored by their contemporaries. Outliers are outsiders, so the slander and malediction of The Stooges meant zero to me. At least in this instance forty plus years later, its audience finally caught up with the onetime maligned Iggy and The Stooges, inducting them into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010, acknowledging what punks everywhere had known in those intervening decades: they fucking ROCKED. I have been sufficiently fortunate to photograph Iggy and The Stooges in about a half dozen venues, nowadays always to huge, out-of-control-enthusiastic audiences. See LINK to find them all.

 Scott Thurston, James Williamson and Heather Harris

Iggy and The Stooges were my gateway drug to all that Detroit/Ann Arbor/Michigan music had to offer: now let's hear it for The Ruiners and Turn To Crime! -Heather Harris 2014

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