A very sad and troubled obituary for the drummer Anton Fier, who lived a rocketship of a life full of celebrity and achievement but could not reach escape velocity from his own inner demons. Read it here.
I saw him live twice. He was backing the guitarist Tony Scherr in front of a crowd of maybe 30 15? people in the intimate and far from sold out Living Room on New York City’s Lower East Side. I was there because my friend Walker was a fan of Scherr, who played guitar on at least some of Norah Jones’ records. It turns out I wrote about Fier and the Golden Palominos here in 2014.
“He was playing drums because that’s what he does.” Here he is playing drums with Bill Laswell and Fred Frith in Japan in 1984, ferociously. Rest in peace.
This clip is another example of Mike Douglas’s magic. John Lennon meets Chuck Berry for the first time and they do a kind of weak Memphis Tennessee because Lennon seems to be insisting on sharing vocals.
On Johnny B. Goode balance is restored.
I’m a fan of Yoko’s, but her mike seems to be cut in the Johnny B. Goode mix. It’s just weird during Memphis Tennessee.
Wesley Morris wrote about this version in the Times today, while making a bigger point.
I’ve always thought the Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes version was great, but even if you agree with that you’ll want to watch Patti LaBelle sing it.