PROS (Robert Vaughn and Leon Russell, R.I.P.)

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Their kind of enduring, semi-iconic mid-level fame no longer exists. If they have thirty-ish equivalents now, you can be certain that, if they live to their seventies or eighties, they will not be remembered by anything like the same number of people or with anything like the same degree of fondness. Maybe the superstars will be.

Or the presidents.

Maybe.

Permit me to doubt.

(“Superstar” B. Bramlett/L. Russell)

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MOST LIKELY YOU’LL GO YOUR WAY AND I’LL GO MINE (Snuff Garrett, R.I.P.)

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(Leon Russell (l) with Snuff Garrett in the late sixties)

I may have to start a separate site to keep up with the Death Train. Somehow, in the hurly-burly that was mid-December, I missed the passing of Snuff Garrett, a man who made sneaky great records throughout the sixties and seventies.

Beyond what you can find on Wikipedia and the usual obit sites I don’t know a thing about him, except that he drove punks and Puritans crazy. I doubt anybody made a larger number of the specific records that supposedly made the cleansing noises of the late seventies’ underground “necessary.” And if that picture above doesn’t say how much he was likely to worry about it, nothing I could add ever would. A true American Hustler from the get-go and a Pop Genius like they don’t even come close to making anymore.

And, as for me, I’ll trade the intro to “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves,” and the way Cher lands on “preach a little gospel,” for every record the Ramones ever made.

May God bless and keep you brother.

And just in case you thought he couldn’t make a straight-up great record without┬ástarting a run on the smelling salts: