Welcome to my asylum for ideas and thoughts on movies, politics, culture, and all things Bruce Springsteen.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Late Addition!

Stop the presses! I've found it! The long-lost, longer-to-be-found 1973 album New Train by Paul Pena. Pena lives in the Bay Area and recorded some great music in the early '70s but New Train was his "best" album. I use the "" because upon wrapping up production, Pena's record company tied the album up in legal wranglings and so Train never saw the light of day. Finally, in 2000, the album was liberated by Pena and others trying to help the musician who had by the 1990s faded into obscurity and more or less from the music scene after struggling with health issues, the loss of his wife, and other personal crises. David Gans on "Dead To the World", KPFA's weekly radio show deadicated to the music of The Grateful Dead and Dead-related artists, spun the record when Train saw the light of day, and I remembered being bowled over by it. However, I looked and looked while in Fresno and never stumbled across it. Of course I could have purchased it via the Internet, but that's not very rewarding. I found it tonight at the family-friendly-grab-your-ankles-this-will-only-hurt-for-a-while Barnes and Noble bookstore for just shy of $20. It's worth it, and I say that having paid $20 for the first time for an album. Funk, gospel, r & b, country, straight ahead rock, flares of 70's singer/songwriter stylings; this record has it all. Listening to it I keep asking, "why hasn't everyone purchased this?" My favorite purchase of the year (due to the search for this white whale), right up there with the new live Derek Trucks album and the My Morning Jacket release from last year. Moving to Brentwood has really cramped my record buying and not really digging much contemporary music, I love finding treasures, either new or old, that make me feel like I've just discovered rock and roll for the first time. We all remember hearing "epic" records for the first time and being knocked out by those haunting sounds that instantly hooked us - The Allman Brothers' Fillmore East, Crosby, Stills, and Nash's first, Hotel California, Tommy, Born To Run, The Wall, anything by Dylan in the '60s, Layla. I'll never forget the first time I heard "Ripple" by the Dead, and it was by a rock band in the Sierra foothill town of Twain Harte where my parents once owned a cabin, and I'll probably never forget it. What album or albums do you remember changing your life? I'd like to know.