FASTER

George Harrison was born in Liverpool, England on this day in 1943 and passed away nearly ten years ago. His late ’70’s music video titled “Faster” was dedicated to the memory of Formula One racing driver Ronnie Peterson and includes a cameo appearance by British F1 champion Jackie Stewart.

Inspirational and reflective, George had a deep interest in travel, photography, film making, motorsports, and of course music. As The Beatles lead guitarist, his riffs and songwriting are legendary. He owned a vintage Porsche 911, Mini Cooper, Dino 246, Aston Martin DB5 and was one of the first to purchase a McLaren F1 road car. He was also an avid gardener and introduced many to Eastern thought and music. Continue reading “”

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RUMORS

This month in 1977, Fleetwood Mac released Rumours. The album went on to sell more than 30 million copies and spent 31 weeks at #1 in the US, where it debuted. This collection of catchy pop tunes offered a voyeuristic view into the hedonistic lifestyle and the fractured interpersonal relationships of the group. Affairs and break-ups had affected every member of the band, and communication were severely strained during the album’s recording sessions. At the time, Fleetwood Mac’s line-up consisted of guitarist and vocalist Lindsey Buckingham, drummer Mick Fleetwood, keyboardist and vocalist Christine McVie, bassist John McVie, and vocalist Stevie Nicks. I saw them play their last show on the world tour supporting this record and you could cut the tension with a knife. Continue reading “”

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KATE BUSH

It was recently announced that Kate Bush will reissue four of her albums later this year: 1982’s The Dreaming, 1985’s Hounds of Love, 1989’s The Sensual World, and 1993’s The Red Shoes. This is good news because a few of these have been out of print (except for lossy downloads) for some time. Unfortunately, this still leaves The Kick Inside, Lionheart, and Never For Ever unaccounted for. Continue reading “”

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ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER

On this day in 1968, Jimi Hendrix began recording Bob Dylan’s song “All Along the Watchtower.” It eventually appeared on his album Electric Ladyland in the fall of that year. Dylan had released his original understated version on the 1967 album John Wesley Harding, following his motorcycle accident in the summer of ’66. Continue reading “”

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VINYL LIVES

If you are a follower of my site, you have probably read about my lifelong fascination with records (yeah, those old 7″ and 12″ LPs). When the “vinyl revival” started picking up momentum about five years ago, I watched with interest as a multitude of new pressings and turntables (not to mention new cartridges and phonostages) began appearing on the scene. Made me glad I didn’t sell off my record collection in the late 80’s when CDs were king.

Now it’s downloads (and vinyl records) that have captured the imagination of the young and old alike. The ubiquitous CD is still being released as a physical format, but I wonder for how much longer. For those eager to try (or return to) larger art and a higher resolution warmer sound, playing records has never been easier. Continue reading “”

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PACIFIC OCEAN BLUE

Dennis Wilson, The Beach Boys drummer, produced his one and only solo album 33 years ago. This record resonated with gravelly melancholic vocals and soulful music of lost love and a hopeful future. As might be expected, the depth of emotion contained within the grooves won over a cult following. Continue reading “”

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JOHN LENNON

It was 30 years ago today that John Lennon was senselessly murdered. He was 40 years old.

Many people remember where they were when they first heard the news. Like when JFK was shot in 1963, or when the second plane hit the World Trade Center building. These attacks to all common decency changed history forever and stand out in our minds.

Coincidentally, it was 50 years ago that John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Pete Best first met with Brian Epstein. Epstein wanted 25% of their gross fees each week to manage them. He promised that they would never again play for less than £15, except for Cavern lunchtime sessions. Lennon, as leader of The Beatles, accepted on their behalf. Continue reading “”

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WHEN BLACK FRIDAY COMES

Tomorrow, your local indie record store may just be the place to hang out. That’s because independent music stores across the country will be providing some very exclusive audio for sale on “Black Friday.” Some of these items are limited and are sure to sell out quickly. George Harrison album All Things Must Pass has reportedly been re-mastered from the original analog tapes and will be available in a numbered limited edition 3 LP collection commemorating the album’s 40th Anniversary. It’s also available as a high-res download and is sure to sound better than the last digital mastering. Continue reading “”

Randy-Wells-Auto-Transportation-Porsche-Ford-Ferrari-Classic-Cars-Photographer-Writer-Filmmaker

Randy has the good fortune to photograph, write about, and film cars and transportation for the best manufacturers, advertising agencies, collectors, auction houses, and magazines full-time for over 30 years. His work has appeared in more than 20,000 publications worldwide, including National Geographic.

Here’s Randy’s Client List
His award-winning Instagram page is at @cars.randywells

See Randy’s secure archive for licensing, screensavers, prints and products where over 5,000 of his searchable images can be downloaded here:
WELLS IMAGERY

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ELVIS

55 years ago on this day, Elvis Presley attended the fourth Country Music Disc Jockey Convention in Nashville, Tennessee where he was voted the year’s most promising male artist. Back at his hotel, Mae Boren Axton played him a demo of a new song she had written with Tommy Durden called “Heartbreak Hotel.” Two months later, Presley made his first recordings for RCA choosing this moody song. It was quickly released as a single, bringing Elvis national recognition, his first Billboard #1 hit, and his first gold record. Continue reading “”

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JOHN COLTRANE : MY FAVORITE THINGS

Today is the 50th anniversary of the recording of John Coltrane’s famous jazz rendition of “My Favorite Things” on the album of the same name. It Coltrane’s first session on Atlantic Records. This album clearly marks the epic saxophone player’s change from bebop to modal jazz (with hints of free jazz to come), following his contribution to Miles Davis’ landmark album Kind of Blue. Continue reading “”

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NEIL YOUNG : LE NOISE

Every once in a while Neil Young hits on the notes and words that resonate deep within the subconscious in a fresh and organic way. Think of his latest album Le Noise as music for your soul – homegrown and emotionally satisfying. From the opening distortion laden riffs of “Walk With Me” enveloped in Daniel Lanois’ atmospheric production, you know you’re onto something good. All tracks were recorded without overdubs in fellow Canadian Lanois’ unique home studio with reverberating chambers. Most of the songs are newly written, reflecting where Neil’s at right now. The autobiographical “Hitchhiker” is one exception and is most welcome in its new sonic guise. Continue reading “”

FLEETWOOD MAC

There have been at least three different versions of the band Fleetwood Mac over the years.

This rare video captures the short lived ’71-72 line up with rhythm guitarist Bob Welch on lead vocal, lead guitarist Danny Kirwin and keyboardist Christine McVie on back up vocals, and the band’s founders, Mick Fleetwood on drums and John McVie on bass. Here they are playing a live “Moses (Lay It All Down)” from the 1971 album Future Games – one of my faves. You will want an original UK LP with yellow cover for best sound. Continue reading “”

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DECIPHERING BEATLES STAMPERS

I’ve had some inquiries on how to decipher the small markings in the vinyl next to the label on UK Beatles LPs. You can deduce the numbering system for early EMI pressings by looking at the label and going to 6 o’clock in the dead wax (run off groove) area of the vinyl. The following holds true for all records pressed by EMI during the 60’s and 70’s. Continue reading “”

THE EARLY 911, FILM AND VINYL – PART 3

So why do those who cling to artifacts from the past continue their quest for experiential freedom? Well, for one there is a considerable amount of “feel” connected to these arguably archaic hobbies of vintage sports cars, film and vinyl. The pursuit of these involvements is more art than science. It’s not pure instrumentation and technology that will get you all the way there. Intuition and a willingness to be open to a non-black and white world are often necessary to achieve that elusive bliss these fans strive for. The pay off is a feeling of satisfaction when the visceral pleasure of playing a great LP, using a mechanical rangefinder, or driving an early Porsche 911 well is truly experienced. Even ordinary tasks become part of the appeal of caretaking something so old, unique and inherently valuable. Continue reading “”

THE EARLY 911, FILM AND VINYL – PART 2

My history with cameras is remarkably similar to that for early 911s. I learned to photograph and develop my own black and white film in 1979 with a German made Leica M3. That first rangefinder camera led to the use of numerous film-based Leica cameras and lenses, which have a smoothness and mechanical precision missing from many other models. I still love using the Leicas for their purity, quiet shutter and silky film advance lever. However I’ve made Canon digital SLRs my choice for most subjects since photography has become my profession (and Leica discontinued its SLR line.). Continue reading “”