Newsletter December 2003

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Our major effort on the site this month is for Arthur Brown, the massively influential writer and singer of Fire who still manages to evade the success of other stellar sixties fellow agitators. He deserves a serious piece of attention. Here’s a quick read:

Arthur Brown's 60 years have been as adventurous and as colorful as anyone's. After early experimental bands in the sixties, he hit worldwide prominence with The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown and Fire in 1968. As he wryly comments on his own Web site, not seeing any royalties whatsoever from his #1 hit was the first of a career of missed opportunities (the law suit is still pending). Fire essentially started the heavy metal genre, and many bands such as Black Sabbath and Deep Purple have acknowledged his influence.

After what remains his most visible achievement, he progressed through a series of musical adventures which included, in the early seventies, the first use of a drum machine on record and on stage. His electronic inclinations took him to prominent album recordings with German synthesizer pioneer Klaus Schulze in 1980. Since then, he has been sporadically active, continuing to record and release albums although (as he puts it) 'they tend to escape rather than be released.'

His newest offering, released September 2003, is Vampire Suite.

Arthur's connection with the Stereo Society is his guest appearance on a track on the forthcoming Thorne CD The Contessa's Party. The Stereo Society interview with him is published ahead of the release (which should be early in the new year), since it was conducted in summer 2002 and we didn't want it sitting around any longer.

Arthur’s albums are once more widely available. We offer a select discography and links to Amazon for bits of purchasable plastic.

Also, in the sharing holiday spirit, we have posted an extensive set of links to other sites which we think do Arthur some measure of justice. Our Links page expands monthly, and connects with all our related artists.

Arthur’s next gig, not quite the Meadowlands or Wembley Stadium but (we assure you) not a casual affair, is at the down-home Grays Pub and Bar, Brighton, England, Sunday December 7 2003. It might just be the coolest place in the Crazy World/Universe for a cosmic moment or two.
And other family members still exercise during the holiday season.

BETTY, those inveterate social animals, salute the holiday season with four Sunday dates at Joe’s Pub, New York City, December 7/14/21/28. Bookings are looking strong, so get there ASAP. 7pm start every night, $20 a pop or, if you’re a total BETTY nerd you can get to all four for $60.
Non-city dwellers can see them December 12 at Maxwell’s, Hoboken, New Jersey. Farther afield: December 20 at The Birchmere, Alexandria, Virginia (that’s just outside DC for any ingénues out there).

And then there is the New Year’s BETTY Bash at the Belt Theatre in New York City, scene of the crime that was BETTY Rules, their six-month run of that different musical.

The Shirts' next gig, at CBGB's, will be on Saturday December 20 (2003, for you extra-terrestrials). They will play even more brand new songs than before. A renaissance CD is well in progress, based on live recordings from this series of CBGB's gigs.

We know it’s getting to be a self-satisfied habit, but we have to thank you all again for the exceptional traffic that enjoyed in November 2003. No fewer than 33,477 of you came to see us in November 2003. Since hits are most PR boosters’ measure, even though we don’t think they’re the best measure of magnetism, we have to boast that ours totaled 414,968 last month. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow must be half a million, but then we note that in heavy rain you often see a double rainbow……

For pro-active leisure reasons, we may opt out of a January site update, so please don’t hold your breath. On the other hand, we may get bored over the holidays. There is a lot on the way.

And, finally, happy holidays to all of you. See you again in 2004.