As reported in a previous column, Easthampton's Flywheel recently snared a rare performance by Jimmy Destri, founding member of Blondie. In addition to being a veritable coup for the venue, it was also an opportunity for the Crawler to talk shop with bona fide New Wave nobility.
Destri's tight schedule wouldn't allow for a pre- or post-show sit-down. But in the true spirit of the band he helped launch into multi-platinum stardom, Destri soon arrived at a commonsensical solution.
"Call me," he concluded in an email. Here's how the subsequent conversation went down.
Nightcrawler: Thanks, Jimmy. It's an honor. And been a long time by my clock. What prompted to you to get back on the stage now with your Sound Grenade band?
Jimmy Destri: It has been a long time. I think the last time I played with Blondie was 2004. And I was perfectly content, getting into some acting. Then some friends called who been playing with Black Flag and asked me if I wouldn't mind "coming all the way out to Jersey" for a show. What they didn't know was that I had moved to Jersey, so it was right in my back yard. I hit the stage and got the bug again.
So much has changed in terms of the biz and technology since then, huh?
It has, but at this point in my life, I'm just doing this for fun. And I love technology. I would be disappointed if things stopped moving, and I think Steve Jobs saved the record industry. My only complaint is that it's so internalized now, kids listen alone with earphones. In my opinion, music should be more social and shared.
And through it all, the music of Blondie holds up as strong as ever.
That makes me so happy I cry two times a year—when I still get my checks from it [laughs]. But, yeah, we were doing some eclectic stuff with an ultra-cool singer, and good songs will always stand the test of time.
In other news, a regional supergroup of sorts will band together this Thursday, April 26, at The Rendezvous in Turners Falls.
"The band is called The Neighborhood, and we are covering the entire album of same name by Los Lobos," singer Scott Lawson Pomeroy (best known for fronting circuit staples Orange Crush) reports of the musical assemblage that is seeking to pump funds into the THRIVE Project, a nonprofit aimed at helping local youths in search of educational and cultural opportunities.
Other boys in the 'hood include drummer Doug Plavin, bassist Paul Kochanski and guitarists Jim Henry and David Goodrich.
In a similar act of audio altruism, the Valley's own Dave LaValley hosts a Blues for the Cure Booster Party on Saturday, April 28 at The Elevens in Noho.
This weekend's show will feature The Ten Foot Polecats, The Scissormen and a blues jam, and in addition to raising funds for the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias, the Booster will also serve as a performance primer for the annual show proper June 24. Stay tuned for more details as they emerge.
Last but not least, on the international front, it could be said that organizers for the 2012 Olympics shot for the Moon when it came to securing a headlining act for this year's games. Then again, the band they contacted—The Who—did just play the Superbowl halftime show in 2010. But it was one invitation in particular that left the band's manager, Bill Curbishley, wondering if the powers that be really even know who's who.
"[I] was approached to see if [original drummer] Keith Moon was available to perform with the surviving members of The Who," Curbishley told London's Guardian newspaper. In light of the fact that Moon has been dead for some 34 years now, Curbishley says that he emailed back the following reply: "Keith now resides in the Golders Green Crematorium. If [the organizers] have a round table, some glasses and candles, we might contact him."
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