Which Drumming Legend Received a 90 Day Jail Sentence for Possession of Pot?

In 1943, Gene Krupa was arrested for possession of two marijuana cigarettes and was given a 90-day jail sentence, of which he served 84 days. He was also charged with, but acquitted of, contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was exonerated/acquitted of all charges when it was subsequently proven that the entire episode was a trumped-up “frame”, as the prosecution’s key witness was paid to falsely testify against Krupa.

Gene Krupa’s version of the incident: 
“By then I was the glamour boy-15 camel hair coats, three trunks around me all the time-and my and a friend couldn’t think what to get me for a gift. Finally he thought, ‘Gee I’ll get Gene some grass.’ At that time, California was hot as a pistol, you could park your car for a bottle of beer and get arrested. So he had a rough time getting the stuff. He probably shot his mouth off a little-‘I’m getting this for the greatest guy in the world, Gene Krupa.’ Gene decided to leave the marijuana at his hotel. The police, being tipped off, began searching the theater where Gene’s band was currently playing. “I suddenly remembered the stuff’s at the hotel where they’re going next. So I call up my new valet and say, ‘Send my laundry out. In one of my coats you’ll find some cigarettes. Throw them down the toilet.’ But the kid puts them in his pocket and the police nail him on the way out, so I get arrested.” “The ridiculous thing was that I was such a boozer I never thought about grass. I’d take grass, and it would put me to sleep. I was an out-and-out lush. Oh, sure, I was mad. But how long can you stay mad? So long you break out in rashes? Besides, the shock of the whole thing probably helped me. I might have gone to much worse things. It brought me back to religion.”

Gene has often been considered to be the first drum “soloist.” Drummers usually had been strictly time-keepers or noisemakers, but Krupa interacted with the other musicians and introduced the extended drum solo into jazz. His goal was to support theGene with Avedis Zildjian. other musicians while creating his own role within the group. Gene is also considered the father of the modern drumset since he convinced H.H. Slingerland, of Slingerland Drums, to make tuneable tom-toms. Tom-toms up to that point had “tacked” heads, which left little ability to change the sound. The new drum design was introduced in 1936 and was termed  “Seperate Tension Tunable Tom Toms.” Gene was a loyal endorser of Slingerland Drums from 1936 until his death. Krupa was called on by Avedis Zildjian to help with developing the modern hi-hat cymbals. The original hi-hat was called a “low-boy” which was a floor level cymbal setup which was played with the foot. This arrangement made it nearly impossible for stick playing. Gene’s first recording session was a historical one. It occured in December of 1927 when he is noted to be the first drummer to record with a bass drum. Krupa, along with rest of the McKenzie-Condon Chicagoans were scheduled to record at OKeh Records in Chicago. OKeh’s Tommy Rockwell was apprehensive to record Gene’s drums but gave in. Rockwell said “All right, but I’m afraid the bass drum and those tom-toms will knock the needle off the wax and into the street.”

Image result for pictures of gene krupa               Image result for pictures of gene krupa

Gene Krupa will forever be known as the man who made drums a solo instrument. He single-handedly made the Slingerland Drum Company a success and inspired millions to become drummers. He also demonstrated a level of showmanship which has not been equaled. Buddy Rich once said that Gene was the “beginning and the end of all jazz drummers.” Louie Bellson said of Gene, “He was a wonderful, kind man and a great player. He brought drums to the foreground. He is still a household name.


What was the Big Deal About this Album Cover?

King Crim­son exploded right out of the gate in Octo­ber 1969 with In the Court of the Crim­son King, one of the few debut albums to become an instant clas­sic. Pop­u­lar music his­tory is lit­tered with exam­ples of acts that didn’t peak in artis­tic and/or com­mer­cial terms until well into their record­ing careers. Artists as diverse as Gen­e­sis, Brian Eno, and Radio­head searched for their voices until their third albums, and even the sainted Bea­t­les didn’t go from merely excel­lent to sub­lime until Rub­ber Soul, their sixth. But In the Court of the Crim­son King was the com­plete pack­age, and remains sig­nif­i­cant and influ­en­tial to this day in both musi­cal and visual terms.Eric Tamm describes the album’s impact upon the music scene as a sort of cos­mic big bang that pro­duced a num­ber of splin­ter genres:

The “In the Court of the Crimson King” album cover caused the music industry  to rethink what marketing possibilities existed in the sleeve. Also, this cover had no identification on its front. You would have to pick the album up to read the pertinent formation

Barry Godber (1946–1970), a computer programmer, painted the album cover. Godber died in February 1970 from a heart attack, shortly after the album’s release. It was his only album cover and the original painting is now owned by Robert Fripp, the band’s mastermind and guitarist.

Artist Barry God­ber attended Chelsea Art Col­lege, where his cir­cle of friends included Sin­field and future King Crim­son tour man­ager Dik Fraser. God­ber later joined them in their day job as com­puter pro­gram­mers, where they plot­ted a visual iden­tity for the band in their spare time. God­ber designed Michael Giles’ bass drum skins, the press kit, and a trippy con­cert poster printed on reflec­tive sil­ver foil, repro­duced in Sid Smith’s In the Court of King Crim­son (page 49) and the book­let for the 40th Anniver­sary Series CDedi­tion. But the main event was the imme­di­ately iconic sleeve paint­ing, exe­cuted in water­col­ors. Accord­ing to Smith, it was partly a self-portrait drawn from Godber’s own vis­age as seen in a shav­ing mir­ror, and partly a visual allu­sion to a William Blake print:

Godber’s scream­ing vis­age shares the etched dread of poet, painter and vision­ary William Blake’s ‘Neb­uchad­nez­zar’ (1795), in which the Baby­lon­ian king, in the words of Blake biog­ra­pher Peter Ack­royd, is “grown mad with unbe­lief.“
–Sid Smith, In the Court of King Crim­son, page 80

Peter brought this painting in and the band loved it. I recently recovered the original from [managing label E.G. Records’s] offices because they kept it exposed to bright light, at the risk of ruining it, so I ended up removing it. The face on the outside is the Schizoid Man, and on the inside it’s the Crimson King. If you cover the smiling face, the eyes reveal an incredible sadness. What can one add? It reflects the music.[5

The Who’s Pete Town­shend famously called it “an uncanny mas­ter­piece.” The album also boasts a sin­gu­larly unique cover that still reg­u­larly appears on best-of album cover lists. It ranked #62 on Rolling Stone’s100 Great­est Album Cov­ers in 1991, #9 on MusicRadar’s The 50 Great­est Album Cov­ers of All Time, and #50 on Gigwise’s Top 50 Great­est Album Cov­ers of All Time. It was selected for the book The Story of Island Records.

In some ways it fol­lows the design trends of its time: a lav­ish gate­fold LP pack­age sport­ing hand­made psy­che­delic art­work. For the ben­e­fit of younger read­ers who may have never even bought a com­pact disc let alone a vinyl long play­ing record, gate­fold sleeves first appeared in the 1950s, typ­i­cally employed for multi-disc sets. A side effect was the effec­tive dou­bling of the printed real estate to almost four square feet. That’s a lot of room for art and design.


The gate­fold sleeve gained trac­tion as an art ­form in the late 60s and early 70s. Sin­gle LP pack­ages (includ­ing such land­marks as Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and The Dark Side of the Moon) were some­times designed with a super­flu­ous flap, an extrav­a­gance sig­nal­ing extra value to the buyer. One can argue about whether or not it makes sense to put a price on music. For instance, how many songs does $12.99 buy? How many min­utes? You can, how­ever, put a price on pack­ag­ing. A gate­fold LP pack­age held the promise of addi­tional art­work, lyrics, and liner notes within, and a stur­dier sur­face with­out, ideal for prac­tic­ing more than one kind of roll (ama­teur snare drum prac­tice and rolling your own jazz cig­a­rettes). Some pack­ages uti­lized the extra sleeve to house book­lets (some nota­bles in my own col­lec­tion include Yes’ Frag­ile and Yessongs, and The Who’s Tommy and Quadrophe­nia), or other printed inserts like posters and stick­ers (I’m look­ing at you, Dark Side of the Moon). Even their thick­ness mat­tered; they stood out more in stores, and made their pres­ence known in home record collections.

The cover was also a brilliant marketing experiment as the cover bore no identification on the front, so you would have to pick the record up and flip it to where all the who’s, what’s, and where’s are located. It is then already in the customers’ hands.


What Famous Jewish Songwriter/Performer/Poet Lived as a Zen Monk for 5 Years?

The womanizing, the four bottles of wine a day and the five-year retreat in a Buddhist monastery are all behind him. Leonard Cohen embarks on his current first US tour And the former poet laureate of despair even keeps a smile on his face.

Cohen spent most of the 1990s in retreat at a Zen Buddhist centre in California. Then in 2005, following a return to recording, he discovered that his manager had run off with almost all of his fortune. No wonder that, at the opening concert of his world tour in 2008 he was given a three-minute standing ovation before he had even sung a single note.

Cohen had been a regular visitor at the monastery for more than a decade, sometimes spending three months at a time there. But this time it looked as though the world had lost him for good. He shaved his head, donned black robes and devoted himself to the study of Zen Buddhism. He was renamed Jiken, which means “Silence.”

For someone as wedded to words as Cohen, and so fond of talking, it seemed an ironic choice.

He never intended to be a singer and performer. He wanted to be a proper writer. Having learned to play the guitar as a teenager, Cohen formed a band called the Buckskin Boys at Montreal’s McGill University. But he freely admits that he became a singer because he couldn’t make a living as a poet. At his first major performance, with folk-singer Judy Collins at an anti-Vietnam concert at New York’s Town Hall in 1967, his guitar was out of tune, his voice was a hoarse whisper and he suffered a paralyzing attack of stage fright. But by the end of the evening he had conquered the crowd. A record contract with Columbia followed and Cohen soon found himself at the epicenter of 1960s New York. He lived at the Chelsea Hotel, hung out with Warhol and his Superstar, Nico, Baez, Dylan and Janis Joplin (who famously gave him head on an unmade bed).

“I had a great appetite for the company of women,” he has said of that time. “And for the sexual expression of friendship, of communication. And I was very fortunate because it was the 1960s and it was very possible.”

Cohen says that his experience on Mount Baldy strengthened his Jewish faith, which he has described as a “4,000-year-old conversation with God and his sages”. Yet, no sooner was he back in the world than he had to deal with the devil. A year after leaving the monastery Cohen was accusing his long-time manager, Kelley Lynch, of defrauding him of more than $5m. After 30 years’ recording and performing, he was had been left with just $150,000. In 2006, he was awarded $9m in a civil lawsuit but so far Lynch has ignored the verdict and Cohen may never see the money.

And something else happened on Mount Baldy. The black dog of depression, “a kind of mist, a kind of distress over everything”, which had dogged Cohen throughout his life, finally released its hold. Senescence appears to have brought serenity and a new contentment with the simple things of everyday life.

Image result for was leonard cohen the poet laureate of canada

Now in his ninth decade, the singer of what he recently referred to ironically as “a lot of Jew-sounding songs in different keys” is back at the top of his game. He has just finished a new album, which he says will be his last. Cohen is also finally getting recognition for the paintings and drawings he has been producing since childhood.


Which Jazz Genius Promoted a Brand of Laxative For Free?

Louis Armstrong was one of the greatest musicians in the short history of human entertainment.  What few people know, though, is Louis was also a great advertising pitchman.  His favorite product to shill was Swiss Kriss — a  laxative he used daily.  He would give Swiss Kriss to friends and new acquaintances as hello gifts.


Louis also sat for Swiss Kriss advertising cards that showed him, in bare bottom, sitting full on the toilet bowl!  Can you imagine a modern-day musical ingenue like Taylor Swift or a legendary singer like Tony Bennett promoting such a personal product?

The wild thing is Louis never took a penny for Swiss Kriss promotion He publicized the product for free because he loved that it worked so well.


Louis also sat for Swiss Kriss advertising cards that showed him, in bare bottom, sitting full on the toilet bowl!  Can you imagine a modern-day musical ingenue like Mariah Carey or Tony Bennett promoting such a personal product?

The wild thing is Louis never took a penny for the Swiss Kriss promotion. He publicized the product for free because he loved that it worked so well.

I was not aware of Swiss Kriss until I read the Armstrong biography, and when a friend bought a bottle at Walgreen, he  found it to be just as good as Louis’ historical recommendation.

Swiss Kriss is a low-cost, all-natural, laxative and it does work just as gently as expected.  Just make sure you drink lots of water with each tablet you swallow or things will start to slowly move, like a rock, in your gut over the next 12 hours.

The great thing about Louis Armstrong is that he wasn’t fake.  When you watched him perform, you knew the soul of the man behind the sound.  He led us into ecstasy by the ear and, in the end, showed how we could better our finishes with the delightful Swiss Kriss.

I also admire how Louis was not afraid of his wife’s poop, or his poop, or our poop.  Our bodily functions are a major part of defining who and what we are — and how healthy we have lived over the arc of history — and for Louis Armstrong to openly discuss his bowel movements with his fans made the topic something no longer taboo; we are all now open for plain contemplation. It is refreshing to have such a mindful mindset, while also knowing the body can still be a temple that evacuates its unwanted residues on a regular schedule.

BTW- Louis claimed that he smoked marijuana DAILY from the age of 12 until death.




Who was the Crazy Diamond?

Syd Barrett, a founding member of the band “Pink Floyd”  and one of the most legendary rock stars to develop a mental illness – most likely schizophrenia (triggered, it is said, by significant drug use  as well as the stress and pressure of his career), died in 2006 from complications related to diabetes. He had been living in a cottage in Cambridge, England, where he had lived a quiet life for the past three decades. He was 60 years old.

While there has been some confusion in the public’s mind about the mental illness Syd Barret suffered from, most of his band members and close associates have identified his mental illness as schizophrenia, and the mental health professionals that we’ve talked to also believe that he suffered from schizophrenia.

Comments by  bandmate Roger Waters and others suggest that Syd always had “odd thoughts” – a factor that has been linked to a biological predisposition for schizophrenia. He also suffered from a highly stressful childhood (his father died suddenly when Syd was a child), and by his early-twenties he was in a high stress career and he was using a wide array of street drugs – especially cannabis and LSD. Syd was also highly creative – and psychological studies indicate that highly creative people share an elevated risk of serious mental illness.

Shine on Crazy Diamond was conceived and written as a tribute and remembrance to their former band member Syd Barrett.

“The band was in the studio, and  Roger was sitting at the desk, and I came in and I saw this guy sitting behind him–huge, bald, fat guy. I thought, “He looks a bit…strange…” Anyway, so I sat down with Roger at the desk and we worked for about ten minutes, and this guy kept on getting up and brushing his teeth and then sitting–doing really weird things, but keeping quiet. And I said to Roger, “Who is he?” and Roger said “I don’t know.” and I said “Well, I assumed he was a friend of yours,” and he said “No, I don’t know who he is.” Anyway, it took me a long time, and then suddenly I realised it was Syd, after maybe 45 minutes. He came in as we were doing the vocals for Shine On You Crazy Diamond, which was basically about Syd. He just, for some incredible reason picked the very day that we were doing a song which was about him. And we hadn’t seen him, I don’t think, for two years before. That’s what’s so incredibly…weird about this guy. And a bit disturbing, as well, I mean, particularly when you see a guy, that you don’t, you couldn’t recognise him. And then, for him to pick the very day we want to start putting vocals on, which is a song about him. Very strange.”  — Richard Wright (Pink Floyd keyboard player, composer)


Which Jazz Player is in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Why?


Miles Davis is one of the key figures in the history of jazz, and his place in vanguard of that pantheon is secure. His induction as a performer into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a subtler and less obvious matter. Davis never played rock or rhythm & blues, though he experimented with funk grooves on 1972’s On the Corner and in some of his later bands. However, his work intrigued a sizable segment of rock’s more ambitious fans in a way that no other serious jazz figure had ever done – and not retroactively but while he was alive and making some of his most challenging music. In particular, the boldly experimental soundscapes of Davis’ 1969 album Bitches Brew spoke to the sensibilities of rock fans who’d been digesting the Grateful Dead’s expansive improvisations. Davis’ was acutely attuned to his environment and he once remarked, “We play what the day recommends.”

Davis’ exposure to the rock audience owes much to concert promoter Bill Graham, who booked Davis at his Fillmore auditoriums. Graham figured that his open-eared audiences would make the connection between venturesome San Francisco jam bands (like the Dead, Quicksilver and Santana) and Davis’ free-flowing ensemble. This exposure allowed Davis to cross over without compromise, and he actually recorded albums – Miles Davis at Fillmore and Black Beauty – at Graham’s Fillmore East and Fillmore West, respectively.

Image result for picture of miles davis with his back to the audience

It is important to note that Miles Davis did not make jazz-rock – a briefly popular hybrid in the late Sixties and early Seventies, whose chief proponents were Blood, Sweat & Tears and Chicago. Davis played jazz, period. But his forward-thinking sensibility, insatiably curious muse and eagerness to move music into uncharted realms made him a contemporary musician, irrespective of genre. The bond he established with rock’s more inquisitive listeners at that time carried through to his death in 1991. Moreover, his career-long example of pushing the boundaries has influenced many of rock’s leading lights, particularly those who eschewed the status quo for musical explorations on rock’s more experimental tip. He possessed one of the most gifted and curious minds in music history, and compromise was not in his blood.

What Hit Song was About a Romance with a Transvestite?

Lola” is a song written by Ray Davies and performed by English rock band the Kinks on their album Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One. The song details a romantic encounter between a young man and a possible transvestite, whom he meets in a club in Soho, London. In the song, the narrator describes his confusion towards a person named Lola who “walked like a woman and talked like a man”.

Ray Davies has claimed that he was inspired to write “Lola” after Kinks manager Robert Wace spent a night in Paris dancing with a transgender woman. Davies said of the incident, “In his apartment, Robert had been dancing with this black woman, and he said, ‘I’m really onto a thing here.’ And it was okay until we left at six in the morning and then I said, ‘Have you seen the stubble?’ He said ‘Yeah,’ but he was too pissed [intoxicated] to care, I think.”

Drummer Mick Avory has offered an alternate explanation for the song’s lyrics, claiming that “Lola” was partially inspired by Avory’s frequenting of transgender bars in west London Avory said, “We used to know this character called Michael McGrath. He used to hound the group a bit, because being called The Kinks did attract these sorts of people. He used to come down to Top of the Pops, and he was publicist for John Stephen’s shop in Carnaby Street. He used to have this place in Earl’s Court, and he used to invite me to all these drag queen acts and transsexual pubs. They were like secret clubs. And that’s where Ray [Davies] got the idea for ‘Lola.’ When he was invited too, he wrote it while I was getting drunk.

Despite claims that the song was written about a supposed date between Ray Davies and trans woman actress Candy Darling, Davies has since claimed this rumour to be false, saying that the two only went out to dinner together and that he had known the whole time of Darling’s gender identity.