Review :Songer Singwriter —- Alan Merrill (2012)


http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/alanmerrill19
Songer Singwriter-Alan Merrill 2012
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/alanmerrill19
Songer Singwriter was released in 2012, the fourth mega-album collection of Alan Merrill.
Alan Merrill’s name is not as well known as it should be. You could farm out almost any of his songs to a major recording artist and every one would strike a chart hit. Alan Merrill is one of the few people who manages to write interesting, unique material and yet still combines that with killer hooks and a commercial sound. Merrill’s music always has an interesting edge and reflects a lifetime of experiences most people could not even imagine. He is a man with many tales to tell, stretching from his infancy as the child of celebrated jazz performers, through Greenwich Village in the mid 60s, through pop stardom, first in Japan and later in the UK where his band The Arrows had a number of chart hits and were a regular fixture on TV for two years.
Alan Merrill is the man who wrote the song “I Love Rock’n’Roll” that has been covered successfully by some really big names;- and it isn’t even his best song… there are so many more that with the right circumstances could have done equally well.
But Alan is not just an amazing songwriter. He is the whole package. People really ought to be made aware of his incredible rock vocal talents, easily comparable with Paul Rodgers or Bill Medley in his youth, but has developed his own unique style over time that is as instantly recognizable as any of these. Listen to the gentle-as-snowflakes “Who in the World” or “Waiting” and then listen to “Next Time” or “Heaven and Hell” to appreciate the depth and diversity of this incredible voice. Equally at home in a hard rocking blues or a jingly piece of pop floss, Alan Merrill has all the shades and dimensions you can expect from one of the greatest of all rock singers. It seems almost criminal how little his work has been appreciated. Even “I Love Rock’n’Roll” is more often than not mistakenly miscredited to other writers. It’s time to change all that. Prepare to fall in love …

 


Fascinating new interview with Alan Merrill, the writer of “I Love Rock’n’Roll”


Terrific E-zine “Indie Music Impact” has conducted an excellent new interview with Alan Merrill that for once concentrates on his career and not the usual boilerplate interview questions about Joan Jett’s cover version of his original self-penned song “I Love Rock’n’Roll.  A wide ranging look at everything from growing up as a Jazz Brat in the Bronx to his start in Greenwich Village and opens with some  in-depth questions about his early career in Japan and then going right through to talk about his talented children and how he perceives his own legacy as a songwriter and performer

http://www.indiemusicimpact.com/interviews/alan_merrill.html

photo by Phil Fiumano

Alan Merrill June 2014

http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/AlanMerrill <<< Purchase Alan Merrill’s music here


Letting Go of the Past


Yesterday I attended the funeral of a friend. It was a good funeral in a lot of ways; a few people spoke, my friend’s favourite songs were played. There was no religious element at all, which was exactly what he would have wanted, but it made me understand better why most funerals have hymns. I think hymns serve as a cohesive element that bonds the mourners together. Singing together breaks down barriers between people, and nobody understood that better than Roger. Music was the force that drove him most of his life. Listening to Roger’s favourite songs piped over the crematorium’s PA system made me sadder than I can even say. The room was full of musicians. I can’t help but wonder if something played live would have brought us more together?

Thirty years ago Roger and I and a whole bunch of other people, mainly lads in their late teens to early 20s hung out together all the time. We lived in a few squats, drank together, had lots of funny adventures and escapades. He was a natural comedian, but it was never for effect. He was rarely bothered about what anyone thought of him. He was himself, for himself, and everyone else could take it or leave it.

I always felt at the time that there was a strong bond there between all of us in that group, something tribal. Roger had been kind to me at a time in my life when nobody else was, but it was never a boy/girl thing, we were just friends, and made each other laugh so much. He drew me into his group of friends and included me, though I was a bit of an ill fitting oddball. Maybe that’s what he liked about me. Roger was always for the underdog and a befriender of outcasts. Possibly he felt that way himself. It was hard to tell with Roger, it was hard to know what was going on under that ever cheery, affable exterior. He certainly was unlike any other person I have known, highly intelligent, but largely self-taught, he was a mine of odd and slightly arcane information. I always suspected that his depths were so deep even he didn’t want to examine them too closely, preferring to be gliding effortlessly on the surface like a swan rather than focussing on the maelstrom of self-propulsion beneath the surface. I liked his cheeky independence, his extraordinary “gung-ho, Let’s Go!” fearlessness and his philosophical acceptance of the consequences of whatever scrape he got himself (or all of us) into.
That happened quite a lot. It was hard to get angry with him. He’d listen to what you said, and then grin and carry on doing whatever the hell he liked. Completely infuriating, but a quality I think we all envied in so many ways

Roger had been the hub of a lot of other friend groups in his time, but I didn’t have much overlap with many of those other people. I hadn’t seen all that much of Roger since the 1980s, and time has moved on of course. Perhaps that is less true for me than for others. Yesterday there were only a few of my old crew there, surprisingly few. It was a weekday of course, and people have to work, also funerals are never fun, but Roger was such a huge figure in my personal story, that I couldn’t help but be surprised at who was not there as much as I was delighted to see those who were. Perhaps I am the one who is malfunctioning here, but if I haven’t seen someone I care about in a long time, I make a point of telling them how good it is to see them, despite the awful tragic circumstances.

I don’t know what I expected really. Too much I suppose. There was a sense of disconnection, the main thing that we had in common was Roger, and he was not there. I’m not great at social situations at the best of times, but for all my love for Roger, I felt like I perhaps should not have gone after all.

If Roger had been there he would have brought a guitar, he would have got wild and crazy, he would have mocked the stiff, awkward formality of this disparate bunch of socially awkward people and everyone would have had an amazing time instead of feeling, as I did, rather like a fish out of water. Funerals are not the best place to reconnect with people. Roger was not there

Roger was the net that held the many and various social balloons together. Those of us who had not seen him too recently perhaps felt his absence on a very different level from his family and more current social circle. I was not there to witness him in his illness, although I did try to reach out to him. I sent someone over to his place with a message for him to call me whenever he wanted to. But it was too little and much too late of course. He didn’t need me, why would he? I was part of the past, long past when he was that crazy golden college boy with dreams of playing in a band. I lost Roger a long time ago.

Roger was not really a cliquey person, he was alright with you if you were alright with him, whoever you were. He was incapable of being any other way. That sense of being a part of his tribe was something I brought with me, part of my insecurities, wishful thinking on my part to have the sense of belonging to a group, having friends. That was something that was important to me.

I think I learned something about myself at Roger’s funeral. I think he had just one more lesson for me.
Since the 1990s I have always missed him being in my daily life, but now is the time to let go. rogerw10679962_10152422340960418_5016420491326500719_o


“Looking Down” inspired by the genius of Amy Madden


Down…. I look down, and away, trying to slide past the neighbour children unseen. They have not been taught, as we were, about manners. They see nothing wrong with making loud personal remarks to a lady, a stranger to them, as old as their grandmother no doubt; laughing and catcalling at my confusion and discomfort.
Down…. Going “down Town” to sign my name at the jobcentre Waiting on a chair so low that the only way out of it is to roll out and
Down….to the side onto my knees and push up from there. In a public building, on my knees in supplication like a penitent, for having no job, no prospect of a job, for being old, and unwanted and poor.
Down…. the fear of falling, that an ankle or a knee might fail, that I will not be able to stand, to walk….
Down…. How these tablets make me feel. Like I am full of poison in my belly and in my head.
Down…. to the doctor’s, to the nurse. I’m like some old bag-lady with my bad attitude, ready tears and anger when they tell me to get a taxi back later as nobody is available to dress my wound.
Down…. I point to my shoes with three inch long holes in and ask if I look like I can afford a fucking taxi
Down….The way Dr Jamie DoubleBarrelled Entitlement looks at me, like I am a squishy caterpillar in his rosebed of wealthy compliant stalwarts who would sooner tear out their eyes than show the least emotion in public.

Up…. being spoiled by my Mum, a wonderful and resourceful cook, Doing the crossword together and the Sudoku. Watching our quiz show with all our middle-class intellectual snobbery to the fore. Rejoicing in the stupidity of the contestants, while knowing full well that under the glare of lights, our intelligence would fly from us birdlike and we would gawp and stutter as they all do
Up…. and online and talking to my friend, who, like someone’s over excitable Great Dane puppy, one can love unconditionally and appreciate all the better for knowing one is not the one responsible for feeding and walking such a creature.
Up…. Loud LOUD music. Fuck you neighbours and your screaming and shouting and violence. In this place I am the world’s greatest singer. I play encore after encore for the dusty books and piles of laundry
Up….Being nocturnal, making pancakes or toffee at 3 am
Up…. a new blog at Writerless. Reading it aloud, hearing my own voice spill into the darkness as the words drop and roll, not to their knees but into air, like skydivers, first falling then drifting gently, alighting on the chaos and confusion that is this place and shedding a light of their own.


Arrows | Walk Away Renee – Dreamin’ | CD Baby Music Store


MI0001984936Arrows | Walk Away Renee – Dreamin’ | CD Baby Music Store.

I received a big bundle of  Alan Merrill/ Arrows CDs at the beginning of August. It’s always great to get a package, but the package arrived on the very day that Arrows former guitar player Jake Hooker sadly passed away, so I felt it appropriate to be a little downbeat and quiet about all my new acquisitions. I decided to take my time over discovering them and life has a way of stretching that process out a little as other things crowd in for attention

Well this “CD maxi-single”  turned out to be a series of very pleasant surprises! I’m such an idiot to have let it sit on the stack unplayed for 2 months. I need a slap. This is fantastic.

As with all recently repackaged Arrows material there is an embarrassment of riches here. How Alan Merrill can call anything with more than 4 tracks a single or EP is anyone’s guess. As far as I am concerned this 6 track CD is a stonking huge album.

Wonderful rare tracks from the proto-Arrows band known as Streak which are savage and wild. What a huge rock sound. I feel like this is how Arrows could have been if they had been allowed to go their own way. I love these early tracks.
Also included here are some great rare cuts from Arrows including that famous Granada TV show version of I Love Rock’n’Roll everyone knows from You Tube. The extra track is a snippet of the voices of rock impresario Mickie Most and Alan Merrill speaking in the studio.

This disc was a surprise and a delight. Get one NOW!!


English Genealogy


It’s here!

I am in business.

I have 35 years experience in genealogy and family history to put at your disposal. I am happy to tackle any challenge. It’s not just about England, I have researched families in many countries which hold English language records, not just those in the UK. My website is at www.englishgenealogy.webs.com, or you can contact me via Facebook at www.facebook.com/EnglishGenealogyWebsCom  just as well . My current charge, as an introductory offer, is £25 p/h which is a very low rate indeed for professional standard research. I am eager to take on new challenges right now. Please share my information as widely as you can in the real world as well as online. I am looking to help all sorts of people find their roots. Maybe people who are too busy and do not have time , or people who are uncomfortable using a computer, perhaps the elderly. If you find someone like that, a telephone number can be provided on request.  Please, dear friends. This will be my sole income henceforth.  Any help you can give me would be deeply appreciated ..

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My Aunt Jill


ludovicah:

Please check out my professional genealogical research service http://www.englishgenealogy.webs.com and find us on Facebook too! :)

Originally posted on Ludovicah's Blog:

In honour of officially launching www.englishgenealogy.webs.com I thought I’d reprise a few of my blogs about Genealogy.

Please check out www.englishgenealogy.webs.com. I have 35 years experience as a genealogist, starting long before the Internet came along. If you’d like to know more about where you came from, but dont have the time or expertise to Do-It-Yourself, I’m just the person to help.

My mother was born in May 1934 to an English couple visiting back home after some years away in the United States. They already had two American born children, a girl, Jill and a boy, Evan Michael.

Nobody living knows the story now, but for some reason the new baby was unwanted, and was dumped on her maternal grandparents and uncles. The family returned to the USA.

Mum’s Grandmother Jane-Caroline refused to allow her flesh and blood to be sent to the orphanage so for a while the baby…

View original 1,165 more words


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