From Mohawks To Mullets

Images from 25 years of Phoenix music

After the eventual demise of the Jetzons, Connole (along with Doiron and drummer Alan Wiley) formed the popular Strand. Connole would later go on to front a pair of other successful, if short-lived, combos before disappearing into the abyss of full-time drug addiction. When he emerged again in the mid-'90s, it was sober, and with a surprising new twist. Gone were the musical pretensions and rock 'n' roll sensibilities; in its place a dark, raw country muse. Forming the Suicide Kings (who later changed their name to the Revenants) with guitarist Richard Taylor, Connole finally found his true voice as neo-traditional twanger, part Nick Cave, part Johnny Cash. Doiron, the consummate sideman who spent his life playing counterpoint to a succession of gifted yet difficult artists (Corte, Connole and Doug Hopkins -- whom Doiron sang for in 1985's Algebra Ranch), continues to play music, most recently with an unassuming pop combo called the Jennys. The Jetzons did re-form, briefly, on New Year's Eve 1991 for a one-off reunion gig. But as if a perfect metaphor for its career, a mile-wide power outage forced the group to cancel the show, leaving a packed house to wonder what might have been. -- BM

Mr. Record Man

I think he kind of rooted for the underdog. --Kimber Lanning, owner, Stinkweeds

Unless you count his stint in The Flying Moose Dicks From Outer Space, a Tempe garage band that never played a gig, Brad Singer didn't have much impact as a musician. But Singer, founder of the Zia Record Exchange chain, parlayed his love for rock 'n' roll -- and his hard-core work ethic -- into an Arizona music empire. Singer was not only the Valley's greatest music impresario, he was also its most devoted champion.

Unlike so many people who make their living from music, Singer was a genuine fan. For more than two decades, he was a constant presence at local clubs, a homer so committed to the scene that he hated to see even bands that he disliked get criticized in print.

Over the years, he not only got the music of bands like the Revenants, Beat Angels, Refreshments and Piersons on CD through his Epiphany label, but he quietly put money into the hands of countless down-on-their-luck local musicians. Though he was an unabashed product of '60s rock, his influence can be felt on the current generation of indie punks who populate Stinkweeds, a record-store chain opened by one of his old Zia employees, Kimber Lanning.

When Singer died of a mysterious viral infection in 1998 at the age of 45, he left a gaping hole that has yet to be filled. The Who's Who of Phoenix rock that filled Sinai Mortuary for his memorial service offered a reminder that Singer was the enduring point of intersection for the local music scene. -- Gilbert Garcia

Blue Desert

Hard to say what makes blues and jazz fly or fail in different parts of the country. Naturally, the blues will always be hot stuff in the South by nature of having been born there; and, hell, if a Civil War battle was fought at Picacho Peak, then maybe it's not so odd that the blues have made a strong and permanent stand in Arizona. If the music has flourished, it's been due to the efforts of a spirited and passionate group of performers, promoters and preservationists.

From local icons like Hans Olson, Big Pete Pearson, Chuck Hall and Chico Chisim to club owners like Bob Corritore to the members of the Arizona Blues Society, the Valley has no shortage of willing and dedicated torchbearers for the genre.

Jazz in Arizona -- well, that's something else. Historically, Southwestern jazz has long meant only the players and big bands of Oklahoma and Texas.

Still, the Valley has produced its fair share of worthy exponents, many of them top-notch ASU music grads. Others include longtime Valley cats like drummer Dennis Cook, crooner Dennis Rowland, the blues-jazz talents of singing siblings Margo and Francine Reed or transplants like organist Joey DeFrancesco -- himself jazz royalty having played sideman to both John McLaughlin and Miles Davis. -- BM

Well-Adjusted Nightmare

Someone once said that golf killed more rock stars than heroin. But truth be told, no golfer was ever as killer as Alice Cooper.

At his best, the Cortez High alumnus was the "It" rock star; a slenderly built, homoerotic pout-face weaned on TV and drunk on youth, vitality and beer. He wielded a gritty finesse and wit that deftly bottlenecked pop culture, suburban myth, drive-in horror and straight-up Yankee raunch.

Alice Cooper was a mockup of the patronizing rock 'n' roll star. He was, in effect, a man for the people -- but with a killer set of hips and a rag-doll frame. He was a precursor for many of the biggest delusions in the history of rock 'n' roll, too. Bands shifted millions nicking the Coop's depictions of decadence but missed the facetiousness and irony that made it work.

And the sing-alongs were aplenty: underrated fist-foisting album-cuts like "Be My Lover," "You Drive Me Nervous" and "Department of Youth" dovetailed nicely with teen screams of "18," "School's Out " and "Teenage Lament."

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
Loading...