Jim Shelley & Book Of Kills

Good Practice! Bad Day in Rock Music...

We had a good practice last night. In particular we worked on three songs that I've rarely or never played live before and we came up with some really interesting arrangement variations. As I've written before in the last two or three weeks, this is going to be a long time coming thing. I can't see us playing publicly before...I don't know...April? May? I think George is going to Spain for a week in May so it could be June before we really get ourselves ready for a debut performance. No recordings from the practice. Again, they're distorted and unlistenable, but I think I discovered the problem when I got home tonight and re-checked all the settings on the recorder. So, perhaps fourth time will be the charm?

Influential guitarist Dave Davies of The Kinks was born on this day in 1947.

I note these passings every year on my website. This year won't be any different. On this day in 1959, Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, and Richie Valens died. Holly was 22. Valens was only 17. Both were so extraordinarily talented that I can't imagine where their muses would have taken them in the '60s.

In 1967 on this day, the great (if terribly troubled) production pioneer Joe Meek shot and killed himself after murdering his landlady with an ax. I suppose one could say Meek was the world's very first independent music producer. His most famous work was undoubtedly the instrumental "Telstar', the first record from England ever to hit number one in America. Interesting (and true) story: Meek was a big believer in spirituality. During a visit to a spiritualist in 1958 he was told to warn Buddy Holly that he (Holly) was going to die on February 3. While Holly was on tour in England, Meek tried in vain to contact him to warn him but failed. Holly, of course, would die a year later on that very date.

“Musically he was a moron but a genius as far as sound was concerned. The production on it ("Telstar") was superb and although we’ve since recorded "Telstar" with modern equipment, we have never got close to the sound he created.” – Clem Cattini (guitarist on "Telstar")