Sunday, June 1, 2008

sandy bull

a big slice of little beirut.

Well, it's a done deal. The twin blocks came safely cascading down in a torrent of debris and dust at a little after 9:30 am. Klaxons announced the detonation and cell phone cameras poked out of windows on the other side of the exclusion zone like snipers taking a holiday snapshot before the kill.

I even videoed the event with the intention of posting it, and got so far as previewing the footage a couple of times before passing it back to Rosa only to find it had "disappeared". Puff! Was it accidentally deleted ? Apparently not. It was just no longer there - erased from short term memory like an Alzheimer victim's latest transgression. It's a sore point, but I'm sure I'll find something remarkably similar on YouTube later this afternoon.

As early as 7, police with sniffer dogs patrolled the Rose Garden - a tiny patch of well tended shrubbery - between my own block and ground zero. Black plastic sheeting wound around the tower blocks behind them like ribbons on a poorly decorated wedding cake. It seemed a fairly futile light early morning excercise. Any tiny packets of narcotics stashed carefully in the flower beds were surely now long gone. The German shepherds at least appeared well fed and groomed. Not as unkempt as the few spectators with sleep creased faces.

Emmett over on Art Decade recently introduced me to the versatile Sandy Bull. In 1965 on the cover of his second album he looked like he'd stepped straight off the set of the Ed Sullivan Show. Clean-cut and as collegiate as Dennis Wilson. Dip into his eastern flavoured recording and you soon discover the manicured image cannot have been self-imposed.

By the time of his fourth release in 1972, the last cut for Vanguard, Sandy was already deep in the grip of a heroin habit and the industry suits were at a loss as to how best market him. Cast adrift without a label to support his talent, this pioneer of fusion struggled through the next decade just to reach an audience.

This album, as per virtually all Bull recorded, has a fragile crystal clarity.

SANDY BULL: GOTTA BE JUICY (OR IT AIN'T LOVE) from "Demolition Derby" LP (Vanguard) 1972 (US)

SANDY BULL: CARNIVAL JUMP from "Demolition Derby" LP (Vanguard) 1972 (US)



Anonymous said...

I like how your blog site looks, you eccentric scot! Very quirky, It beats reading a music mag, let alone paying for one. I will be looking in every day for more rich music education,
from a loyal art decade & siblingshot fan.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Rosa - the subterfuge of anonymity clearly works!

Anonymous said...

a rare contributor to my site just pulled this vinyl on me a week ago and threatened to review it. when he put it on, that tremolo kick knocked me right out. fine pick!

ib said...

Cheers, Brendan. It may be petty, but I'm glad I got the jump on your contributor and got in first! Just joking. Sandy Bull is one of those increasingly rare musicians whose contribution to fusion is overlooked; he deserves all the coverage he can get.

Scarab said...

Thanks again for opening my ears to this guy. I first heard him on, I believe, The Rising Storm. What a great talent & again, I am sure vastly underrated.

ib said...

Cheers, Scarab. It is sad that Sandy Bull should have been so overlooked in later years.

An excellent musician and disturbingly troubled soul.