My #1 – Pet Sounds By The Beach Boys

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Cameron shared his #1 for Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time issue. Happy Friday!


My Number One – Pet Sounds – The Beach Boys

I was thirteen, and I wanted to buy a Jackson 5 cassette. The knowing geek behind the counter shook his head and advised me to get Pet Sounds instead. Desperate for his cool-guy validation, I bought it. It sounded weird, introverted, not that melodic. And what about that cover? Odd-looking guys dressed like Elizabethan-period accountants feeding animals at the zoo? I thought the album sucked and I stashed it in a drawer. Within a year, Linda Alvarado (not her real name) savagely broke my heart. For some fateful reason, I gave Pet Sounds another chance. Suddenly, music was more than just confection. Those strange guys feeding animals at the zoo understood; even the music sounded like I felt. When you find songs so personal that they feel like someone’s been reading your diary, you tend to study the album credits to find out who the hell wrote this stuff. And that leads you to the heartbreaking genius of Brian Wilson. Pet Sounds is the high-water mark of songwriting and production so meticulously rendered that you ache hearing these songs; they’re filled with secret cries for help disguised in baroque and candy-coated harmonies, the sound of Brian Wilson’s universe coming together and falling apart. The album was a flop in its day, unappreciated in a world addicted to Wilson’s Beach Boys hits. Just three years ago, it finally went platinum. For me, Pet Sounds is a souvenir, a masterwork, an underdog story and a record that takes you gently by the lapels and says, “Here’s what it feels like to be alive.”

Courtesy of Rolling Stone #937 – Cameron Crowe – December 11, 2003

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Led Zeppelin – Slowly Rising

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Cameron gets the scoop on Led Zeppelin’s latest album, Presence. This August, 1976 story is brand new to the site and marks our 251st article/interview in the Journalism section. Happy Monday!


Zeppelin Rising . . . Slowly

Jimmy Page tells how Led Zep turned an accident into an album: ‘We started screaming and never stopped’

Los Angeles – Had singer Robert Plant’s sedan not slammed into a tree on the Greek island of Rhodes, shattering his ankle and all the bone supporting his left leg, Led Zeppelin would surely have dwarfed all touring competition is golden rock & roll summer. But Plant, who is not one to perform from a chair, is still months away from complete recovery. Until that day, the band even Elton John calls “the world’s biggest act in music” is stilled.

Presence, Zeppelin’s seventh and latest album, remains one of the best-selling albums of the year, even without benefit of a tour, a single or even a photo of the band. A film of the band in concert, The Song Remains the Same, is set for release this fall. All this at a time when most heavy-metal heroes have either tempered their approach or died an unsuspecting death. Such is the enigma of Led Zeppelin.

Jimmy Page, the band’s guitarist and mentor, was on a working vacation in Los Angeles with Plant, drummer John “Bonzo” Bonham, manager Peter Grant and various members of Bad Company. Page was keeping a low profile. His easy pace of writing, relaxing and supervising a band called Detective, the newest act on Led Zep’s Swan Song label, was interrupted by only one nightclub visit – to the Roxy for Doctor Feelgood – and one interview.

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Chris Cornell – Higher Truth

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“…the first thing you hear needs to be kind of a cool thing.”#HigherTruth

Posted by Chris Cornell on Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Here’s a couple of clips from Cameron’s recent chat with singer/songwriter Chris Cornell to discuss his new album, Higher Truth. Don’t miss Chris on Jimmy Fallon tonight ahead of the album release tomorrow!

“That’ll fuck up the magic…so I don’t do that.”

Posted by Chris Cornell on Wednesday, September 9, 2015

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Almost Famous 15th Anniversary Celebration!

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Stillwater Cleveland Poster (Sorry, just a prop everyone!)

Can you believe it has been 15 years since Almost Famous hit theaters? While the film premiered on September 8th, 2000 at the Toronto International Film Festival, we will be celebrating its release with a bunch of fun photos (behind the scenes, Stillwater, etc.) daily for the next 10 days or so. So let’s begin and please share your memories of the film in the comments section!


backstage passes made for the film.


With Jason Lee and Billy Crudup. Photo by Neal Preston. ©Dreamworks

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The Marshall Tucker Band

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Cameron talks about the rock and roll business with the Marshall Tucker Band for this 1974 Rolling Stone interview. Happy Tuesday everyone…


Marshall Tucker: The South Also Rises

Atlanta, GA – It’s Friday night and Richard’s, the lively hotspot of Atlanta’s rock-club scene, is jumping. Onstage, a local favorite is grinding out rock raucous blue standards. The dance floor is an euphoric mass of squirming young bodies.

Welcome to the great lost teenage innocence. David Bowie may set the coasts afire with his 36 costume changes and the New York Dolls can mincingly sing of decadent trauma, but for this typically well-scrubbed Southern crowd, “drag” is when you’ve waited too long to buy your Allman Brothers tickets.

“That glitter shit,” drawls one sweat-drenched regular, “is for the people that don’t care about the music, dontcha think? Here in the South we got our own bands who don’t need any of those…gimmicks. Like Lynyrd Skynyrd or the Marshall Tucker Band or, acourse, the Brothers. Man, they just get out there and fuckin’ play.”

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Meet the Crew: Scott Robertson – 1st Assistant Director

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Aloha 1st AD Scott Robertson surveys the scene from a unique vantage point. Picture courtesy of Andy Fischer. © 2015 The Uncool.

Scott Robertson has been working in the film industry for more than 25 years. He’s worked on a great mix of comedies (Superbad, I Love You Man, Eastbound & Down) and dramas (Moneyball, Foxcatcher, Zero Dark Thirty). In addition to Aloha, Scott’s work will also be seen in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant starring Tom Hardy and Leonardo DiCaprio.

You’ve had a long film career dating back to 1991. Tell us how you broke into the business?

I was working in a record/video store called Music Plus in Hollywood. This was 1989 and I was 20 years old. Back then directors/producers and assistants would come in and rent movies so that they could reference other films while shooting or editing their own movies. Well before YouTube. Anyway, one of my usual customers came in and asked me what I wanted to do with my life. Asked me if I would be willing to work long hours with no pay. I jumped at the chance. I was given an 8:00am call time the next day at 20th Century Fox. The job was a movie called The Abyss and I was hired to be a film runner. Eventually I found myself working as Jim Cameron’s second assistant. That’s a whole other story.

How do you see the role of a 1st AD on the film set?

To support the director and the film. Every director and movie is different. I find myself taking on whatever role best fits both.

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Doobie Brothers – Rock Magazine 1973

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The Doobie Brothers, July 15, 1973 Balboa Stadium, San Diego California. Photo by Julian Baum.

Cameron has a quick chat with The Doobie Brothers for this 1973 interview with Rock Magazine.

Nice Guys Don’t Win, But Doobies Do

Nine months ago, in a Warner/Reprise mail-out by the name of The Circular, a contest was declared. The Doobie Brothers, owners of an obscure first album, were about to finish a second and needed title for the LP. Readers were encouraged to send in their suggestions, and the winner, besides receiving credit for the verbal creation, would have his picture plastered on the album’s cover.

“We had a tough time deciding what the name of the album should be,” Tiran Porter, Doobie’s bassist reminisces. “That particular contest for the name never worked out. We had a lot of “Doobie Doo” and some clown even thought up “Dickey Doo and the Don’ts.” Needless to say, there was no winner. The album was simply called Toulouse Street after one of the album’s cuts.

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Stills & Young Tour – Rolling Stone 1976

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Stephen Stills and Neil Young circa 1976.

In this new addition to the site, Cameron chronicles the on again/off again Stephen Stills and Neil Young tour for this 1976 Rolling Stone piece. Happy Friday everyone…


Quick End to a Long Run

In which Neil Young and Stephen stills find that old magic and lose it all to a sore throat

Los Angeles – Forget the balding pate and those wisps of gray. Stephen Stills and Neil Young, their hair cut summer-short, looked eerily like they did on the cover of Buffalo Springfield Again. But gone, at least temporarily, was the carefree abandon of those days. This was serious business.

The scheduled three-month-long Stills-Young band tour had been rolling only two weeks, and while it came close to jelling in Boston just a few days before, the show still teetered on the edge of the magic that everyone knew they were capable of.

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