Friday, July 27, 2012

Aleka's Attic (River Phoenix's band) - 1989-1993 - miscellaneous tracks

Aleka's Attic
(River Phoenix's Band)
Miscellaneous tracks (1989 tape, unreleased 1993 album)
Gainesville, FL

mp3 @ 128 kbps

While we are discussing the Gainesville music scene in the late '80's, I have to mention Aleka's Attic, the band formed by and featuring Hollywood film actor River Phoenix. In 1987, The Phoenix family, with multiple children with budding acting careers (River, Rain, Joaquin, and Summer) and had already appeared in numerous films and TV shows, moved to the Gainesville Area (first, in town, then later to a large ranch in the surrounding area), to get away from the corrupting influence of Hollywood. And River was by far the most succesful, having appeared in major films such as Stand By Me, Mosquito Coast, Running On Empty, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and receiving much acclaim and notoriety, even an academy award nomination, and all by the age of 17. Anyway, as River became immersed in the emerging Gainesville Music scene, it inspired and stimulated his musical creativity and ambitions. River formed his band, Aleka's Attic, which also featured his sister Rain and a couple of his new Gainesville friends. The Band was started in late 1987, and almost immediately became the buzz of the area. Through his industry connections, he received a development deal from Island records to record an album within 2 years. Unfortunately, due to his growing movie career and schedule, they were unable to complete the album within that time, and ultimately Island opted out of the deal. But when River was in Gainesville, he devoted most of his time to the band, and they recieved much notoriety in a short time, often playing at the Hardback Cafe, and receiving some important opening act gigs with national touring bands like The Psychedelic Furs, Sonic Youth, and others. The band became very popular around the area, and even received national attention, and in turn bringing national attention to the Gainesville Music Scene. He was friends with big names like Michael Stipes (REM) and Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers), and was immensely liked, as an actor, musician, and positive role model for teens. The band put out a short (4-song) independent tape that they sold at gigs around 1989-1991, but no records were ever commercially released. Only one track, 'Across The Way' was ever released commercially during this time, as part of a benefit album, 'Tame Yourself' for PETA, one of many causes and charities River actively supported. By 1993, River was more determined than ever to put together an album, which he was funding himself, and apparently recorded many new tracks for it. Among his friends it was often said that, as good as he was as an actor, music was always his true passion. But all band activity came to an abrupt end in October 1993, when River tragically died of a drug overdose in California, at age 23. Although it has been reported that in subsequent years Rain spent alot of time going through the recordings to prepare an album, still no Aleka's Attic album has ever been released (rumored to be due to a dispute among other band members), although a few isolated tracks have appeared on other compilations. River Phoenix himself has remained immensely popular among fans, with numerous tribute web sites, books, and songs written about him. It would seem that eventually his music will be officially released, too. Not surprisingly, however, most of the recorded Aleka's Attics songs (including the nearly complete 1993 album, tentatively titled 'Never Odd or Even' or 'Zero') have been available in various forms as bootlegs over the internet for several years.

So, then, the big question is, was Aleka's Attic really any good, or were they just popular because of River's fame? Well, now, you can decide for yourself. Here are all the available Aleka's Attic songs, from their early 1989 tape, to the unrelaeased 1993 album. To be honest, I was never a big fan, but I think there was definite potential in those early tape songs (I hear a cool kind-of XTC vibe and feel in songs like 'Goldmine' and 'Too Many Colors'), whereas some of the 'neveroddoreven' (a palindrome, River seemed to like palindromes and wordplay) stuff is pretty spaced-out or mildly annoying. But I know that some really like the band. Even back in their heyday, there was a definitive split in local opinions about them, from those that were really into the band, and those that thought they only got attention because of River's fame. Overall, I think they are quite interesting, and who knows what they might have been able to do if River hadn't died so young. Certainly worth checking out.  Anyway, here they, another unique entry in the Gainesville music scene, Aleka's Attic.

Note: I have purposely only posted low bitrate versions of these tracks (they are the most common forms available on the web) in order to give people a chance to hear these, but yet not actively compete with higher quality official versions, if they should ever be released (which I think they will someday). BTW, it has been reported that Michael Stipe bought the rights to all of River's demos and recorded material from the original Island recording deal, so perhaps that might also be released someday.

1989 band tape
1. Goldmine
2. Too Many Colors
3. Across The Way
4. Blue period
Miscellaneous unreleased
5. In The Corner Dunce
6. Popular Thinks (Live)
7. Where I've Gone

Unreleased album 1993 - tentative title: 'Never Odd Or Even' aka 'Zero'
1. Alone We Elope
2. Below Beloved
3. Bliss Is...
4. Dog God
5. Get Anything
6. Note To A Friend
7. Safety Pins & Army Boots
8. Scales & Fishnails
9. Senile Felines
10. You're So Ostentatious

Aleka's Attic original lineup:
River Phoenix: vocals, guitar
Rain Phoenix: vocals
Josh McKay: bass
Josh Greenbaum: drums
Other contributing musicians (later tracks):
Tim Hankins
Sasa Raphael
Michael Perfitt

Sunday, July 22, 2012

WHAT anne LIKES... - 1990 - self-released cassette

WHAT anne LIKES...
Original Self-released Cassette Tape
Soundboard recording, good quality, digitized from original cassette
mp3 @ 320 kbps

Continuing with my look at Gainesville, FL, we now shift to the late '80's (the time period I was there) and a relatively thriving music scene, where bands played at places like The Hardback Cafe, MFP, and Simon's among other constantly changing venues. I guess most of the bands would be generically termed 'alternative', but there was a wide variety of styles. For me though, the band that most set the tone for the Gainesville music scene at that time was a band that only rarely even played live, but when they did, it was an occasion worth celebrating. That band was 'Vulgar Boatmen', but more about them later. Today, I feature something a bit different. Unlike Tom Petty, or Don Felder and Bernie Leadon, who went on to musical fame and fortune after leaving Gainesville, today I am featuring a completely obscure Gainesville band that popped up in the late '80's, played for awhile, self-released a single cassette-only album, then, as far as I know, dissappeared. They were called 'WHAT anne LIKES...', and they were a really fun, spirited, and quirky band, that I really enjoyed at the time. They merged many styles, sounds, and influences, but basically, were just a lot of fun. Lead by the songwriting/performing team of Bill Stephenson and Ned Davis, they featured a bright, driving guitar, with songs highlighted by Bill's trumpet and/or horn arrangements. And I found that, over the years, I kept coming back to play that one cassette of theirs, because it was just really cool. Anyway, that cassette was independently released by the band in 1990. I left Gainesville soon after that, so don't really know what happened to the band, which was composed primarily of UF students or possibly graduate students, but never heard anything more about them. In doing a web search for them, I did find an old website (but very little else), consisting of a single page, that indicated they were planning a new album, but that they were going through changes, with Ned and Paul leaving the band. Don't know what year this was from, but apparently quite awhile ago. I do know that drummer Jonathan Isley joined up with Vulgar Boatmen shortly after they released their cassette. Anyway, their cassette release, which, as far as I know, has been completely unavailable anywhere since shortly after 1990, is very good, and worth checking out for a number of reasons. Although their original songs are very good and quite memorable, for many, it may be the covers included here that attract the most attention. For fans of Elvis Costello, there are actually 2 stunning covers included here, first, an outrageous mash-up of Costello's 'Pump it Up' and George Clinton's 'Atomic Dog' called 'Funk it Up, Dog!', then a gorgeous re-invention of one of Costello's most obscure songs, 'Poison Moon'. This song was only available as an unfinished, underdeveloped demo recording from Costello's early home tapes, But WaL has enhanced and polished it up to stunning effect, and a finished song that I'm sure even Elvis himself would fully appreciate. Anyway, here is WHAT anne LIKES, from 1990, and another part of Gainesville's interesting history. I realize that this is really obscure stuff, but for the adventurous downloader, this is some really interesting stuff. Admittedly, the sound and recording are not very polished, but it has great drive, spirit, inventiveness, musicality, and humor. Give it a listen. 

1. Tin can
2. Please Don't Start
3. Manly Man
4. Dr. John's Suitcase
5. Funk it Up, Dog!
6. Poison Moon
7. Not To Remember
8. Fat Man
9. Faculties
10. Tributary

WHAT anne LIKES... :
Bill Stephenson: vocals, guitars, trumpets
Ned Davis: guitars, vocals, fretless bass, hand drum
Paul Miller: five-string bass
Jonathan Isley: drums, percussion, background vocals

(BTW, if anyone associated with WaL is still out there, let me know, I'd love to hear from you. My purpose in posting this is to let more people hear the music they created, but if anyone connected with the band objects to posting this opposes this, I will remove it. thanks.)

Lin updated (03/30/21)
WHAT anne LIKES_1990_cass.rar

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Eagles - 1975-05-17 - Philadelphia

(featuring Bernie Leadon and Don Felder)
May 17th, 1975
The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA

Audience recording, good quality
mp3 @ 320 kbps

Like Tom Petty, Don Felder was born and raised in Gainesville, FL, and started playing guitar at around age 10. Being a couple years older than Petty, Don was already a good guitar player when he started his first band at age 15, The Continentals, which also featured another young guitar player by the name of Stephen Stills (Stills was a military kid and his family moved around quite abit, but happened to be in Gainesville for some of his high school years). In 1964, another young guitar-banjo-mandolin player, by the name of Bernie Leadon, also moved to Gainesville for his later high school years (his father was an Aerospace Engineer, who took a faculty position at the University of Florida there). Although Bernie was more partial to country and bluegrass music, and Don was rock n' roll, Don and Bernie became good friends (hanging out at Lipham's Music), and when Stills left the band soon after that, Bernie came in to replace him. And at that time, around 1965, the band's name changed to the Maundy Quintet. Over the next couple years, Don and Bernie's Maundy Quintet and Tom Petty's The Epics were noted as the best of the local high school bands. By 1967, they had finished high school, and Bernie head off to the west coast to join some other friends there and check out the California music scene. Don headed to New York to join a band called The Flow. Of course, Bernie's California adventures soon lead him to stints with country-rock pioneers Dillard and Clark, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and ultimately the Eagles. Don's band had fallen apart, and he did various session work and gigs. But then in early 1974, as the Eagles were beginning to really take off, Bernie gave Don a call to join them to add some slide guitar to a song they were doing ('Good Day in Hell') to finish up their next album (On the Border). The band really liked Don's guitar work and style, and after playing for them just one day, The Eagles asked Don to join the band, which, of course he did, and from then on The Eagles were a quintet. Don's harder rock guitar sound fit in well with the more rock-oriented direction the band was interested in (well, all except Bernie) at the time. So, for the rest of 1974 and 1975, Bernie and Don were both part of the Eagles as they became a superstar band. Not surprisingly, there are no recordings of Don and Bernie from their Gainesville days, but, of course, there are many from their Eagles days together. This is a show from the 1975 tour. But, of course, Bernie and Don's days together with the band did not last that long. Tensions were mounting between Bernie and Don Henley and Glenn Frey, as Bernie's style and music were being pushed to the back ground and Henley and Frey took greater control of the band, their style, and marketing. The division between them was never more obvious than on the One of These Nights album (1975), where most of the album contained a much slicker, pop sound (designed for top40 radio), whereas Bernie's 2 songs, the cosmic Banjo instrumental 'Journey of the Sorcerer' and the folkie 'I Wish You Peace', stuck out as out of place from the rest of the album. Tensions mounted through the 1975 tour, This show, from Summer 1975, was near the end of Bernie's run with the band, as just a few months later, Bernie would infamously pour a beer over Glenn Frey's head, and walk away from the band for good. Bernie was rather quickly replaced by rocker gutarist Joe Walsh. Don would stay with the band for many years, but certainly not without drama of his own. When the Eagles officially broke up after a particularly contentious concert in Long Beach in July 1980 (where Felder and Frey were constantly bickering and threatening each other all through the show), it certainly looked to be end for them. But then, 14 years later, in 1994, The Eagles re-formed, and invited Don back into the band (but not Bernie, because he had quit them), and Don continued, albeit rather unhappily, until he was fired from the band in 2001. Lawsuits and allegations followed, and eventually, Don wrote and published a rather scathing 'tell-all' book about his time in the band titled 'Heaven and Hell: My Life in the Eagles'. Although Bernie kept active in music, he maintained a rather low profile in his years after the Eagles, preferring to just play in other's bands and do session work, etc. He has had two solo albums and worked with countless other groups, especially those of friend Chris Hillman, but has never really sought the kind of stardom he had with the Eagles. Don, also has done mostly session work and miscellaneous gigs, since leaving the Eagles. But, here they both are, hopefully in happier times, as part of the Eagles. So, here for the next part odf our tribuite to Gainesville, FL, are Gainesville High School's own, Bernie Leadon and Don Felder (and some other guys) in The Eagles in 1975.
1. Take It Easy
2. Outlaw Man
3. Doolin' Dalton/Doolin Dalton Reprise
4. Train Leaves Here This Morning
5. Peaceful Easy Feeling
6. Desperado
7. Ol' 55
8. One Of These Nights
9. Instrumental (Blackberry Blossom)
10. Midnight Flyer
11. Journey Of The Sorcerer
12. Too Many Hands
13. Already Gone
14. Good Day In Hell
15. James Dean
16. Witchy Woman
17. Chug All Night
18. Best Of My Love
19. Tequila Sunrise

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (w/Stevie Nicks) - 2006-09-21 - Gainesville, FL

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
September 21st, 2006
With Special Guest Stevie Nicks
30th Anniversary Concert
Stephan C. O'Connell Center, University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 

Soundboard recording, very good quality
mp3 @ 320 kbps

Here's one more Tom Petty/Gainesville show, this one commemorating the 30th Anniversary of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. It was another special homecoming for Tom and the boys, 13 years after their last Gainesville show. It was proclaimed "Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Day" by the Gainesville mayor, and in a pre-concert ceremony each member of the band was presented a key to the city of Gainesville, as well as receiving the Uinversity of Florida Distinguished Achievement Award (regarding the key, Petty quipped "It's a lot nicer than the one we got in Chicago"). The concert itself, held once again at the O'Connell Center at the University of Florida, sold-out quicker than any event there ever, with all tickets sold in about ten minutes. And it was a very special event. Not only did it commemorate their 30th Anniversary, but they also had Stevie Nicks as a special guest to sing on several songs, including Tom and Stevie's hit duet performance of "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around". So, here it is, another magical homecoming concert event for Tom and the city of Gainesville.

1. Listen to Her Heart
2. Mary Jane's Last Dance
3. I Won't Back Down
4. Free Fallin'
5. Saving Grace
6. I'm a Man
7. Oh Well
8. Handle With Care
9. Stop Draggin' My Heart Around (with Stevie Nicks)
10. I Need to Know (with Stevie Nicks)
11. It's Good to Be King
12. Down South
13. Southern Accents
14. Insider (with Stevie Nicks)
15. Learning to Fly (Acoustic - Stevie Nicks backing vocals)
16. Don't Come Around Here No More (with Stevie Nicks backing vocals)
17. Runnin' Down a Dream
18. You Wreck Me
19. Mystic Eyes
20. American Girl (with Strevie Nicks)

New Link! Updated 06/17/20
Tom Petty_2006-09-21_GainesvilleFL.rar

Tom accepts key to the city of Gainesville, FL (09-21-2006)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers - 1993-11-04 - Gainesville, FL

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers
November 4th, 1993
Stephen C. O'Connell Center, University of Florida,
Gainesville, Florida 

FM Broadcast recording, very good quality
mp3 @256 kbps

As mentioned in the previous post, following the break-up of Mudcrutch in 1975, Petty and fellow Mudcrutchers Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell, joined up with some other Gainesville musicians, bassist Ron Blair and drummer Stan Lynch, to become Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, in 1976. But, even then, success was not immediate, and they still had some struggles ahead. When their first album was released in November 1976, it initially received little attention, selling only a few thousand copies over the first several months. They released two singles, 'Breakdown' and 'American Girl', and both failed to chart in the US. Apparently, people were confused, they looked like a punk band (the album cover photo especially), but the music was pure rock n' roll with a definite 60's throwback style. Fortunately for them, at least the UK seemed to 'get it', and they became popular there, with the album climbing to #24 on the British charts. Slowly, after news of their success in Britain, the album began picking up some interest in the US, finally entering the US charts almost a full year after its initial release. 'Breakdown' was re-released, and this time made it into the top 40. Shortly thereafter, their second album You're Gonna Get It! was released, and became a hit.right away. Although they were now becoming popular, more problems were coming up. During the recording sessions for their third album, their label, Shelter, was bought out by MCA, who then took over, which Petty didn't like at all, and he rebelled. MCA then sued him for breach of contract, Petty filed for bankruptcy, work stopped on the album, and MCA tried to take possession of anything that Petty had already recorded. The legal hassles continued for quite awhile, but eventually a settlement was reached, and Petty was signed to Backstreet Records (ironically, a subsidiary of MCA) and received a more favorable publishing contract. When his third album, Damn the Torpedoes finally was released in late 1979, it became an immediate breakthrough success, rapidly climbing to #2 (behind Pink Floyd's The Wall) and staying there for several weeks. Although the supporting tour got off to rough start when Petty lost his voice and had to cancel several shows due to tonsilitis, the band was now very successful, and many more hit albums followed, inlcuding Hard Promises (1981), Long After Dark (1982), Southern Accents (1985), and Let Me Up (I've Had Enough) (1987). In 1988, Petty took a break from The Heartnreakers and joined legends Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, and Jeff Lynne as The Traveling Wilburys, to tremendous success. He followed that with what was deemed his first 'solo' album, Full Moon Fever (although all of the Heartbreakers played on it, as well as several 'Wilburys' and guests, and produced by Jeff Lynne), which became his biggest hit yet. In 1991, he returned to the Heartbreakers for Into the Great Wide Open, which continued where Full Moon Fever left off.
Back in Gainesville, the community was very supportive and proud of Petty's success. However, by the time I was there in the late 80's, there was also some growing resentment, that Tom had forsaken his hometown, that now that he had made it big, he rarely came back to his local fans and his roots there. Thus, the show presented here, from 1993, represented his homecoming to Gainesville, his first major concert there since packing up his van and leaving with Mudcrutch, almost 20 years prior to this. This show was just prior to the release of his greatest hits album (and while he was in the process of moving to a new label). The greatest hits album also included 2 new recently recorded songs ('Mary Jane's Last Dance' and a cover of Thunderclap Newman's 'Something in the Air'), both of which are included in this show. And the show was broadcast on the radio nationwide, in very good quality. So, here is Petty's triumphant, yet somewhat overdue, return to Gainesville. Although some of the circulating FM versions of the show are shortened substantially, this is the full show in all it's glory. The next phase of our Gainesville tribute.  

1. Love Is A Long Road
2. Into The Great Wide Open
3. Listen To Her Heart
4. I Won't Back Down
5. Free Fallin'
6. Psychotic Reaction
7. Ben's Boogie
8. Don't Come Around Here No More
9. Something In The Air
10. Mary Jane's Last Dance
11. King's Highway
12. A Face In The Crowd
13. Ballad Of Easy Rider
14. Take Out Some Insurance
15. Thirteen Days
16. Southern Accents
17. Yer So Bad
18. Driving Down To Georgia
19. Lost Without You
20. Refugee
21. Running Down A Dream
22. Learning To Fly
23. Rainy Day Women
24. American Girl
25. Alright For Now


Monday, July 2, 2012

Tom Petty - Mudcrutch - 1971 & 1973 - Gainesville, FL

January 14th, 1971 & 1973
University Auditorium & The Rathskellar, University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida

Audience recordings, very good quality
mp3 @ 320 & 192, respectively.

Tom Petty was born and raised in Gainesville, FL. His interest in Rock n' Roll was ignited at age 10 when he met Elvis Presley on the set of 'Follow That Dream', which was partially filmed in nearby Ocala, FL. He got his first guitar at 13, and after seeing The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, Tom knew he wanted to be part of a band. The center of music activity in Gaineville was (and probably still is) Lipham's Music shop. Tom would hang out there (and also worked there for awhile), learn and jam with the other local musicians, such as Don Felder, who helped teach Petty guitar and piano, and Bernie Leadon and his brother Tom.  Petty's first high school band was 'The Sundowners', then he was in 'The Epics' with Tom Leadon, which was very popular at his high school (as was another high school band at that time, The Maundy Quintet, which featured future 'Eagles' Don Felder and Bernie Leadon). Then in 1970, Tom Petty and fellow 'Epic' member Tom Leadon formed 'Mudcrutch' with drummer Randall Marsh and guitarist Mike Campbell. The group became very popular on the local music scene, becoming the house band at Dub's, a local club, and playing frequently at UF. A bit later, Benmont Tench was added on keyboards (Petty met him at Lipham's Music while Tench proceeded to play the entire 'Sgt Pepper's' album on keyboards), Tom Leadon left the group in 1973, and was replaced by Danny Roberts. In 1974, Petty and the band packed up the van and headed West to find fame and fortune. Although they did sign a record deal with Leon Russell's Shelter Records later that year, their first single 'Depot Street' failed to garner any attention, and subsequent attempts at an album deteriorated, and eventually the band broke up in 1975. Petty then began working on a solo album instead, but realized that he really preferred the sound and feel of a real band as opposed to session players. In the meantime, Mudcrutchers Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell had re-grouped with some other Gainesville musicians, bassist Ron Blair and drummer Stan Lynch. So, when Tom dropped in on them and heard them play, he knew that this was the band that he wanted. Soon after, they began recording as 'Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers'. And, of course, the rest of the story, as they say, is rock history, as Tom and the Heartbreakers became one of the top American Rock n Roll bands. And Mudcrutch, of course, later gained worldwide recognition, when Tom in 2008 took the unusual step of taking a break from his current highly successful band, getting back together with his old, unsuccessful band (some 35 years later), and re-forming and re-connecting with his old Gainesville mates to record a new album and go on tour as Mudcrutch (which was then very successful). Here, however, we have Mudcrutch in their earlier days, in 2 very different live sets, one from 1971, the other from 1973. These are apparently the only known surviving live recordings from this stage of the group's history. And they represent very different aspects of the band's repertoire. In the first set (1971), they completely show their country and folk roots with this set of twangy country gems featuring plenty of pedal steel, etc.(this must have been part of a larger country-oriented show). The later, 1973 set, shows the band in pure Rock n' Roll mode, and shows how they became a very accomplished bar band, featuring straight-up rollicking Rock n' Roll jams and covers of classics by Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, and more. Remarkably, these also are very good recordings (surprisingly good for this type of thing). Both shows were from the University of Florida campus, the first one in the Auditorium (probably part of a larger show), and the second from the local University bar, The Rathskellar, known as 'The Rat', where they set the place a blaze with good ol' throwback rock n roll.  So, please enjoy this look at Tom's early band, Mudcrutch, and a first look at the Gainesville Music scene.  

1. Don't Send Me Letters       
2. My Kind Of Country          
3. Up In Mississippi Tonight    
4. Honky Tonk-Itis             
5. Instrumental                
6. Isn't It A Pity             
7. Please Come Home            
8. Outro                       

'The Rat' 1973
1. Rip It Up                             
2. Not Fade Away                         
3. Let The Guitars Sing                  
4. Keep On Singing                        
5. All Shook Up                          
6. That's What I'll Do                    
7. School Days / Hail Hail Rock 'N' Roll  
8. Untitled (cut)                        
9. I've Been Trying Baby                 
10. What Do You Want Me To Do             
11. Shake Rattle & Roll                  
Link Updated 04/14/2019