Teasing the Korean

Buzzin' Fly by Tim Buckley

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Produced by my late friend Zalman Yanofsky.   Coincidently I just got a copy of Zal's only solo record: "Alive and Living in Argentina" from the notes of which I discovered he'd produced a Tim Buckley record. 

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You knew Zal Yanofsky?  I always wondered what was the real story behind his leaving the Spoonful.

Buckley really hit his peak around the time of Happy Sad, Blue Afternoon, and Lorca.  Would like to see a discography of those sessions.

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My first two Buckley albums were Lorca & Starsailor, both found in cutout bins about a month or two apart. Both were seriously WTF? experiences that sent me off to the rest of the catalog more or less right away, and all of it being pretty much anti-clmatic in comparison, not bad, just not nearly as much in my zone of the time as those two. Although, I found a 45 of Dolphins that really fucked me up, so I went into Sefronia expecting it to all be like that.Oops! Can't blame a man and/or label for trying, but still...that one song, this was a few years before Coming Home came out, and when everybody started buzzing about the powerful ending and this Tim Buckley song, yeah, absolutely.

Great artist, though, and geez, what a visionary, really a pioneer of fusion, I mean, "I Had A talk With My Woman" could have had Charles Lloyd & Keith Jarrett instead of Lee Underwood and the end result have been particularly/significantly different, not? That's right - not.

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I bought both Lorca and Starsailor when they came out.  I kinda liked Lorca (though thought it was low energy compared to Blue Afternoon and Happy Sad) but never warmed to Starsailor.  Too artsy-fartsy, too much in Zappa's orbit.  I also thought it was a huge fuck-you to his audience, which never helps.  I more liked Greetings From L.A., though many songs were obviously gauche and/or creepy.  In retrospect, he was trying to do Prince's subject matter (way before Prince) but hung on a old-fashioned R&B frame.  The truth probably was that it accurately reflected his lifestyle, which served to accelerate his downfall.  A look at the cover of his last album says it all: "Look At The Fool."  Sad, very sad, not happy sad.  Still, someone could take his last 3 albums and piece together a pretty excellent album.

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2 hours ago, mjzee said:

You knew Zal Yanofsky?  I always wondered what was the real story behind his leaving the Spoonful.

Buckley really hit his peak around the time of Happy Sad, Blue Afternoon, and Lorca.  Would like to see a discography of those sessions.

I think the official story is true: he got busted and  named his dealer which  caused so much antagonism towards the group that they came to a parting of the ways.  Plus, I think he was tired of "the scene". (He complained about it a lot--IIRC he especially complained about Phil Ochs.)  When I met him he was driving a cab.  Then he was briefly a disc jockey on a hip fm station but got fired for playing The Beach Boys and Buck Owens.  He made one record under his own name and began producing (ironically with Jerry Yester who replaced him in the Spoonful), backed up several musicians including Kris Kristofferson and Tony Kosenic  and eventually opened a great restaurant in Kingston, Ontario  called Chez Piggy.   He was still at that when he died. 

 

38 minutes ago, JSngry said:

 Although, I found a 45 of Dolphins that really fucked me up,  

If you liked that I hope you've heard Fred Neil's version. He wrote it just like he wrote Everybody's Talkin' but never gets credit for either. 

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9 hours ago, mjzee said:

...never warmed to Starsailor.  Too artsy-fartsy, too much in Zappa's orbit.

Always seemed more Patty Waters than Uncle Meat to me. But yeah, if you're looking for that sensitive folky thing, it ain't here!

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11 hours ago, medjuck said:

I think the official story is true: he got busted and  named his dealer which  caused so much antagonism towards the group that they came to a parting of the ways.  Plus, I think he was tired of "the scene". (He complained about it a lot--IIRC he especially complained about Phil Ochs.)  When I met him he was driving a cab.  Then he was briefly a disc jockey on a hip fm station but got fired for playing The Beach Boys and Buck Owens.  He made one record under his own name and began producing (ironically with Jerry Yester who replaced him in the Spoonful), backed up several musicians including Kris Kristofferson and Tony Kosenic  and eventually opened a great restaurant in Kingston, Ontario  called Chez Piggy.   He was still at that when he died. 

 

 

Zal Yanofsky was a great guitarist. He played all kinds of stuff within the context of the Spoonful.

I saw a short interview with John Sebastian on a PBS station where he said that Zal left the Spoonful because Sebastian was moving toward a more singer/songwriter direction and Zal wanted to play rock & roll. That might or might not be the story - or part of it. There was also a story about how they were doing a bus tour with The Supremes who were singing "Where Did Our Love Go?". Sebastian said that he and Zal talked about doing something similar and that's where "Daydream" came from.

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9 minutes ago, paul secor said:

Zal Yanofsky was a great guitarist. He played all kinds of stuff within the context of the Spoonful.

"Denny said, 'Golly, Zally, don't you think that I wish I could play guitar like you?'"

- The Mamas & The Papas, "Creeque Alley"

Edited by mjzee
Spelling of Zolly/Zally within the context of the song.

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14 hours ago, mjzee said:

I bought both Lorca and Starsailor when they came out.  I kinda liked Lorca (though thought it was low energy compared to Blue Afternoon and Happy Sad) but never warmed to Starsailor.  Too artsy-fartsy, too much in Zappa's orbit.  I also thought it was a huge fuck-you to his audience, which never helps.  I more liked Greetings From L.A., though many songs were obviously gauche and/or creepy.  In retrospect, he was trying to do Prince's subject matter (way before Prince) but hung on a old-fashioned R&B frame.  The truth probably was that it accurately reflected his lifestyle, which served to accelerate his downfall.  A look at the cover of his last album says it all: "Look At The Fool."  Sad, very sad, not happy sad.  Still, someone could take his last 3 albums and piece together a pretty excellent album.

YMMV situation for sure.  'Goodbye and Hello' was the classic Buckley album to me, with the debut, 'Happy/Sad', and 'Blue Afternoon' all ringing in as pretty great, the saner half of 'Lorca' working for me, and the rest of the original studio catalog registering varying shades of "Huh?" to me.  I remember buying 'Starsailor' out of a cutout bin and being just horrified by it, and still pretty much am.  I think it was Robert Christgau who said that on that album, Buckley sounds like a man having his liver torn out - slowly.  Some of his late 60's live stuff is pretty fantastic.  Lee Underwood's guitar worked OK for me in this context.

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What is the reference recording for the proven sound of a man having his liver torn out - slowly?

I'm curious, and it's Christmas. A gift awaits, surely!

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5 hours ago, mjzee said:

"Denny said, 'Golly, Zally, don't you think that I wish I could play guitar like you?'"

- The Mamas & The Papas, "Creeque Alley"

"Zal and Denny, workin' for a penny.."  
That song haunts me. 

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Yeah!  "Buzzin' Fly" is a long-time favorite of mine.

 

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LORCA and BLUE AFTERNOON fans will absolutely want to own this:

MI0001731022.jpg

I pretty much find something of value on all of Buckley's recordings, but, generally speaking, the riskier the better.

 

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Here's a little curio for you.  The mysteries of the Internet: this is my recording.  I brought my $40 Norelco cassette recorder to the Felt Forum and recorded both Buckley (opening act) and Zappa's Grand Wazoo.  I may have given copies to one or two people in the intervening 40 years.  Yet here it is on YouTube, pitch-corrected no less.  A good snapshot of where Tim was at this point in time.  And yes, he begins with Buzzin' Fly.  Check out his Yoko Ono-isms towards the end of his set!

 

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Gee, I feel almost famous!  The "recording information" section is pure bull...how could they know?  It was a Norelco cassette recorder that cost me $40 at Crazy Eddie's back in 1971.  But it was indeed a Sony microphone, which came from my aunt's reel-to-reel.  The tape was an Ampex extended frequency 60-minute cassette (I made sure to use 60's rather than 90's for their durability).  As for why this particular recording sounds pretty good, I was sitting in the front row of the mezzanine, on the right side (so in front of the speakers, and with no crowds in front of me); also the Felt Forum was half-empty for Tim's set.

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