Can you believe it’s been more than 11 years since Vanilla Sky was released? We thought it we be fun to revisit Cameron’s Journalism piece from the Guardian, which includes an unlikely connection to Mr. Elvis Presley. Enjoy…
More than a few times over the years, I’ve attempted to compile the definitive road-tape collection of the best of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. It’s not easy. In fact, each time I’ve tried, it’s been a hideous undertaking, log-jammed with endless questions like these: “Do you go with the amazing acoustic-intro live version of ‘The Waiting’ or the walk-away-perfection of the original?” “Is ‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” a true Heartbreakers track?” “How about including covers like ‘Something In The Air’ or ‘Psychotic Reaction’ for flavor?” “What about the live B-side version of ‘Change Of Heart?’” “And why not throw ‘Peace In L.A.’ on there?” Arguments like these can eat up days on end…. ’til the point arrives when you just pack up all the albums and drive. See, when the bounty you have to choose from is the work of the greatest and most consistent American band of the last twenty-five years, any Heartbreakers collection is gloriously controversial. Trends come and go, bands of the moment break up, re-form and break up again….and through it all, every year or so, the Heartbreakers unleash a new album full of fire, raw truths, aching melancholy and flat-out jubilation. Any Heartbreakers “best of” is destined to be a great ride filled with road signs leading to the albums that each of the tracks came from. Each album matters. And for every track on this anthology, there’s a “No Second Thoughts” from You’re Gonna Get It, “Mary’s New Car” from Southern Accents, or “Keepin’ Me Alive” from the stellar box set Playback.
So, daunting tasks aside, let’s now celebrate the killer flow of this line-up. From “Breakdown,” through the wrenching beauty of “Straight Into Darkness” to the brand new recording of “Surrender,” the song Petty wrote in 1977 and didn’t get around to recording until 2000, this new collection throws a white-hot spotlight on the truth of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. From their beginnings in Florida, through their journey out west and beyond, this is a band of fans. And by the way, this is one of the very few seminal bands that has actually performed the impossible–they stayed together. So here is a living mix tape, a portrait of a band still growing. These carefully chosen songs, classics and hidden-classics alike, are constant reminders of the way Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers can make you feel, on any given afternoon, when you’re craving something real, and one of these songs hits the radio.
You can’t beat it. You can barely contain it on a couple discs. All you can do is crank it up, and take the ride. Only one question. Is it too late to consider including the live version of “Time To Move On” from Saturday Night Live? And “You Don’t Know How It Feels?” And then there’s always…wait… see, this is how it all starts to unravel. Best to leave this to the professionals.
Cameron Crowe. September 2000
Courtesy of Tom Petty: Anthology – MCA Records
It began in clubs, of course. The faces were closer to the stage back then, and during the breaks, there were the cigarettes and coffee, the warm beer and the instant feedback. It was the beginning of a long relationship between Paul McCartney and his audience, that group of fans who’ve followed him from the beginning, and found his music a powerful marker in their own lives. With “The Space Within US,” it becomes more obvious than ever. Paul McCartney has been feeling the same thing on his side of the relationship. “I relate to them,” he says in one of this film’s remarkably personal interviews, “It’s quite emotional for me … ”
The Doors – Weird Scenes Inside the Goldmine (Electra 8E-6001)
Before last July, they called him a pervert, a satanist, a syphilitics maniac, an alcoholic, and a transvestite.
After last July, they called him a genius, a virtuoso vocalist, a superb showman, and a worthy idol to millions.
“He” is Jim Morrison, famed lead singer of The Doors. July 3, 1971, he died. The man who was once the object of critical ridicule is now an immortal. Weird Scenes Inside the Goldmine is his eulogy.
Enclosed inside the two-record set is a soundtrack to a generation. The generation that shredded their flower-power image with The Doors, marveled the wonders of acid with Strange Days, discovered country-rock with Soft Parade, came down from Altamont with Morrison Hotel, and got drunk with Absolutely Live.
The LP is actually a form of the “greatest hits” concept, being the cream of the album cuts, or, as the album sticker implanted on the jacket states, “22 Classic Doorsongs.” The single hits were previously released before Morrison’s death as 13.
Weird Scenes Inside the Goldmine, when listened to in it’s entirety proves several things. In almost every pre-Other Voices album reviews of Doors albums the subject of the similarity between all the songs is touched upon. I can remember Chris Van Ness of the Free Press said of L.A. Woman, “Every song every recorded by the group sounds the same as the first album’s material.” This album seems to be the necessary evidence to prove the contrary. The Doors were a changing band. They evolved, while Morrison’s extremely conspicuous voice remained constant presenting the illusion of stagnating consistency. It isn’t hard to distinguish the difference between “Break on Through” and “Riders on the Storm” when they are conveniently placed on the same album. The former cut was raw Doors, while the latter an excellent mellow attempt to appeal to a vast James Taylor-Joni Mitchell-Gordon Lightfoot hungry audience. The sole item The Doors, in their last days, had in common with the early Doors was the above mentioned consistency of Morrison’s vocals.
Another evidency is the overall noticibility of their inevitable break-up. The Doors were actually Jim Morrison and back-up band. The crowds came to see Morrison. The public bought records to hear Morrison. Look at the sale of, say this album and compare it with the sales of Other Voices. It is quite obvious that sooner or later the other members, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek, and John Densmore would get the ever-popular creative urge for equality, ala Creedence.
It can’t be said that Jim Morrison was The Doors, but it can be said that Morrison made the Doors. Without him, Krieger, Manzarek, and Densmore have lost their uniqueness. They immediately fall into the category of being a two-bit band that sounds just like a thousand others.
Weird Scenes Inside the Goldmine is actually two collections. A mandatory collection of some of the best Doors music recorded, and a mandatory collection of the best music ever recorded. And you can be sure there’ll be none like it again.
Courtesy of the Door (aka San Diego Door) – Cameron Crowe - February 24, 1972 – March 9, 1972
Even though the Carrie remake (starring Chloë Grace Moretz) was recently pushed back to October 2013, we still wanted to debut this 1979 Rolling Stone cover story and interview with the original Carrie, Sissy Spacek. The topic of Carrie is covered, along with Badlands, Coal Miner’s Daughter, some projects that didn’t quite get off the ground, Sissy’s musical background and much more. It’s a 6,500 word journey and we hope you take the trip with us.
It’s awfully hard to figure this band out. Many times an album, especially a debut album, will go in numerous directions functioning as an exposure to the band’s versatility. This album can head in as many as three different paths within the tight boundaries of a two-and-a-half minute track. I’m not saying it’s good…I’m just saying I like it.
Let’s look at the LP opener, “Go All The Way.” A commercial piece of music if ever there was one, the cut sounds for the first five seconds like a Stones or Humble Pie track. The curt, sassy sound of a twanging lead guitar. A moment later and the guitar is replaced by a disciplined strum behind a falsetto vocal.
Three cuts later and we are served up a tasty piece of rock ‘n roll in “Rock & Roll Mama,” a classic tune that, had the Stones themselves done it, every pimply high school band in America would chalk up in the repertoire.
Raspberries is the type of band that in a year could either be headlining the Sports Arena or a part of the never-never land of oblivion.
Courtesy of the Door (aka San Diego Door) – Cameron Crowe - June 8, 1972 – June 22, 1972