Author Archives: Greg

Pearl Jam – 5 X 1 Through the Eye of Lance Mercer

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5X1book

Cameron provided one of the introductions to Lance Mercer’s 2006 photo book of Pearl Jam. Enjoy!

first song, first show.”Release.” moore theater. seattle. even then, pearl jam was something a little more personal, a little more passionate than you were prepared for, already with a history steeped in pain and rebirth and a deep-running love of music. it felt like a club, in the best way. still does. every album, every show still resonates like a bootleg, smuggled directly from the band to you. and every one of lance’s great photos pulses with that spirit. this is the backstage, onstage, every stage journey of pearl jam, forever strapped to the muse. so pick your disc, or spin your vinyl and turn it way up. these images are meant to be listened to, loud.

Cameron Crowe

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Dec 12, 2015

Lynyrd Skynyrd: Hell on Wheels…

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ls1976

Cameron chats with Lynyrd Skynyrd for this 1976 piece for the L.A. Times. Happy Monday all.

Lynyrd Skynyrd: Hell on Wheels Puts On the Brakes

When Lynyrd Skynyrd finally broke into the top 10 last month with its fifth album, “One More From the Road,” singer-founder Ronnie Van Zant could hardly wait to celebrate by canceling all future interviews. “The band doesn’t owe anything to anybody,” he declared happily. “Most of the media people, especially the press, have consistently portrayed us as either children or a bunch of rowdy drunks. That may or may not be true, but I know I’d much rather deal with the audiences that really put us here.”

After 10 grueling years of almost constant touring, Dixie’s Lynryd Skynyrd are anything but children. Their notoriously long record of pillage and arrest, however, does provide one thing. To the absolute delight of its hell-raising following, the band has boozed and brawled its way to top. But now, bolstered by the confidence that only long-sought success can bring, 27-year-old Van Zant is talking about changing that too.

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Nov 16, 2015

Rolling Stone 10th Anniversary: Top 10 Albums of Their First Decade

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katylied

To celebrate Rolling Stone‘s 10th Anniversary (way back in 1977!), each of their writers shared their Top 10 Albums of the magazine’s first decade. Here is Cameron’s list (he went with 8 albums and 2 singles), in no particular order. Happy Friday All…

Rolling Stone 10th Anniversary: Top 10 Albums of the Last 10 Years (1967-1977)

Katy Lied – Steely Dan

Anonymous, abosolutely impeccable swing-pop. No cheap displays of human emotion.

Todd Rundgren - Something Anything

Todd Rundgren – Something Anything

Something/Anything? – Todd Rundgren

Gloriously cheap displays of human emotion. Heart-wrenching teen classics.

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For the Roses – Joni Mitchell

In which Joni Mitchell so far outstrips anything else to emerge from the singer/songwriter boom that half the field promptly drops out.

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Physical Graffiti – Led Zeppelin

Harder than Exile on Main Street and three times as convincing.

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At the Fillmore East – The Allman Brothers Band

The tragic and ultimately garish aftermath of the Allman Brothers Band began immediately after the release of this magnificent live album. Now their memory is all but obscured; no one even yells out “Whipping Post” at concerts anymore. Their spooky pinnacle remains.

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Jackson Browne – Jackson Brown

Taken as a whole, this album is a southern California Catcher in the Rye. Jackson will doubtlessly continue to make more finely crafted records, but nothing as wide-eyed and endearing as his first.

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Spinner – The Spinners

Thom Bell, ladies and gentlemen. Thom Bell!

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White Album – The Beatles

In the words of semiprofessional session guitarist Danny Kortchmar, “You still can’t buy a better record.”

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“Take It Easy” – The Eagles

Those first two chords mean instant top-down summer . . . anywhere, any time. Not, however, worth the trip to Winslow, Arizona.

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“Ohio” – Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

If punk is any indication of the alternative, I’ll stick with the Sixties wimps.

Courtesy of Rolling Stone #254 – Cameron Crowe – December 15, 1977

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Oct 23, 2015

Roadies

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Episode 101 (Pilot)

YES!  Roadies has been picked up by Showtime.  Stay tuned for 10 stories about life, music, love and all points in between.

Here’s a look…

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Oct 14, 2015

Elizabethtown – 10 Years Later…

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bloomdunstcrowesmile

Orlando Bloom, Kirsten and Cameron. Photo by Neal Preston. ©Paramount Pictures

“Elizabethtown” was a movie written for my father, and the Kentucky side of our family.  The great cinematographer John Toll dug deep to capture the warmth of that Cicada-filled summer we spent in and around Louisville.  The My Morning Jacket boys showed us the ropes, and filled the set with music and laughs.  We all took our cameras and embarked on the very journey that made up the final stretch of the story.   It was a moviemade with a lot of love… and I’d like to dedicate this anniversary to the fans who have found this movie over the years and reached out to say they understood it. It’s a tip of the hat to tradition, to family heroes, and to those roller-coaster summers when life shows itself in all its indelible pain and glory.

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Jed Rees and Orlando Bloom. Photo by Neal Preston. ©Paramount Pictures

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Ruckus plays on. Photo by Neal Preston. ©Paramount Pictures

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Producer Tom Cruise visits the set. Photo by Neal Preston. ©Paramount Pictures

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The Spasmotica shoe

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Alec Baldwin and Orlando Bloom. Photo by Neal Preston. ©Paramount Pictures.

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Legendary cinematographer John Toll sets up the funeral scene. Photo by Neal Preston. ©Paramount Pictures

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Paul Schneider in Elizabethtown. Photo by Neal Preston. ©Paramount Pictures.

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Judy Greer in Elizabethtown. Photo by Neal Preston. ©Paramount Pictures.

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Orlando and Cameron discuss a take during the cemetery scene. Photo by Neal Preston. ©Paramount Pictures

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Kirsten Dunst. Photo by Neal Preston. ©Paramount Pictures

 

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Susan Sarandon. Photo by Neal Preston. ©Paramount Pictures

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Oct 14, 2015

My #1 – Pet Sounds By The Beach Boys

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petsounds

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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Oct 2, 2015

Led Zeppelin – Slowly Rising

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ledzep

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!

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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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Sep 22, 2015

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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Sep 17, 2015


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