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September 29, 1971 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1971-09-29

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Page Two


Wednesday, September 29, 1971

Page Two THE MICHIGAN DAILY Wednesdciy, September 29, 1971

Steve Miller


Elvin Jones: Power of the sea

... A disappointment

If you are a die-hard Steve
Miller fan, you have two op-
tions confronting you: (1) start
circulating the rumor that Rock
Love, Capitol SW 748, when
played backwards and listened
to upside down, distinctly hints
that Steve o.d.'d on hot chile
and that a talentless look-alike
has taken his place or (2) do as
I have done and assume that
Rock Love is the result of some
horrible blunder by Capitol Re-
Rock Love has to be a mis-
take. Miller's previous albums,
if never great, were consistently
good.He made up for his mere
competence as a singer and
guitarist with a flair for writ-
ing songs that were, if always
simple and highly derivative,
often exciting by virtue of their
freshness of approach. While
lacking the creativity to trans-
cend his blues and rock'n roll
influences, he possessed enough
imagination to recombine old
elements, into new songs. The
results were cuts that, without
sounding distinctively like Mil-
ler, avoided sounding like any-
one else either.
Steve's saving grace, though,
was his nearly impeccable good
taste. On his first five albums
there was hardly a badtrack or
a wasted lick. That's because he
always remained faithful to his
own musical tastes and had
some sense of the range of his
talents, never indulging in any
musical doodlings that his mea-
gre improvisational skills could-
n't sustain. In a world of Super-
hype, Blind Faith, and Satanic
Majesties, with super-poops fu-
sioning and fissioning like amo-
ebas gone beserk, Miller's mu-

sical integrity, as well as his
music, was refreshing.
Rock Love fails to fulfill any
of the expectations generated
by Miller's previous albums. Al-
though he hasn't actually had
a keyboards man in his group
since his second album, organ
and piano have always been a
staple of. his sound, supplying a
density to the music that Mil-
ler's guitar alone couldn't pro-
vide. On a few cuts, notably
"Kow Kow" on Brave New
World and "Your Saving Grace"
on the album of the same
name, Nicky Hopkins' virtuo-
sity supplied the magic needed
to transform good cuts into
great ones. On Rock Love, Mil-
ler aided only by Jack ing on
drums and Ross Vallory on bass,
tries to go it alone by playing
more lead than he has on any
previous album; but even
though he generally plays well,
it's just not enough. The cur-
rent configuration of the Steve
Miller Band would provide a
solid nucleus for a larger rock
group, but its members lack the
virtuosity to make it as a trio.
The songs on Rock Love are
the poorest collection Miller has
ever assembled. Most of them
lack any coherence at all.
"Blues With Out Blame,"
though not the worst composi-
tion, is typical. It starts off
nicely e n o u g h complain-
ing about the difficulties an af-
fluent white has singing the
I asked my baby for a nickel,
She gave me a twenty-dollar
I asked her for a drink of
She gave me a liquor still.
Oh yeah, yeah, what can a
poor boy do?

Ain't it hard, ain't it hard,
when you have to live the
From then on, however, it de-
generates into a routine blues
number that ends with cliched
Lord have mercy, Lord have
mercy on me.
Lord have mercy, Lord have
mercy on me.
I'm trying to find my baby.
Won't somebody please bring
her home to me?
Rock Love's problems are
compounded by the presence of
two sprawling cuts that take up
half the LP. The album, which
contains ,only seven cuts, begs
to be edited and replenished
with material of more sub-
stance. "Love Shock," for ex-
ample, a live cut that consumes
over eleven minutes of the al-
bum, starts off badly enough
and further degenerates into a
boring jam, complete with sup-
erfluous drum and bass solos.
"Deliverance" is better, with
Miller on acoustic guitar this
time, but he stretches a nice
idea into a repetitive nine min-
ute cut that can't possibly hold
the listener's attention.
The only song on the album
that even hints at the original-
ity Miller displayed in some of
his earlier works is "Harbor
Lights". The song begins as a
dirge with the boys mournfully
harmonizing, backed up by an
acoustic and a slide guitar that
echo the singer's despair. The
lyrics are the words of a pri-
soner. After four verses of grie-
vous lament, Miller, speaking
alone now as the guitars con-
tinue to ooze sorrow in the
background, recites these words:
My dearest darling, as I am
writing you this letter,
They're coming to take me
They beginning to shave my
head now, sweetheart,
But as they're doing it, I
just want you to know, that I
wouldn't have it any other way.
I'm glad that I killed your
She was a low-down, dirty old
But in the end, Darling, you'll
get your revenge,
Because you see, they're go-
ing to send you my belong-
ings in a plastic bag.
Miller's voice cracks into a
giggle on the last word and he
repeats "plastic bag . . ."'in a
falsetto as the music stumbles
to a halt. At last a song that
belongs on a Steve Miller al-
Unfor'tunately, a good sequel
to Zappa's "My Guitar Wants to
Kill Your Mother" does not
make this album belong in
anyone's record collection. In-
stead it only serves to remind
us of a time when Miller was
able to fill an LP with material
of high calibre. Perhaps he still
can: perhaps his next album
will be full of good cuts, just
like the old days, but, oh no,
please, please, not a Greatest
Hits album . - .

It is 8:00 Sunday night in Sam
and Jane's car. Sam is driving
with the heels of his palms on
the wheel trying to open another
roll of Tums. We are going to
Detroit. Now Sam, except for his
drinking habits, is an exception-
ally sensible person, so why is
he, why are we, headed for
godawful Detroit City at 8:00
p.m. on a hungover Sunday?
Listen to Coltrane's A Love
Supreme, listen back into the
record to the drums. That is
Elvin Jones. He drums like the
sea. His cymbals incandesce
with the power of the sun on the
beach till you feel heatwaves
rising, or flash cool like moon-
rays on wavetops. Tides rise and
fall, storms break and pass. He
plays with that understated, in-
exorable power of the sea. May-
be you have heard of him. Maybe
you came across his name in
some Playboy poll, or maybe
Rolling Stone mentioned him. I
don't know. Maybe you have
heard of him, but you should
hear him.
Sam has heard him, and he is
going to Detroit now to see him.
Elvin Jones has come to the Ibo
Cultural Center in Detroit. Down
at McNickels and Third, some
dude with a walking staff is sell-
ing incense at the entrance and
a self-proclaimed "man on the
street" touts the show to any-
one who will listen. Upstairs,
the words "Michigan Daily"
transport us magically past the
card-table box office into the hall
itself. Elvin Jones is talking to
the cashier.

The band is announced, gets
itself to the stage by bits and
pieces, and swings into the first
number. They play a round of
solos with Jones riding a shift-
ing rhythm and then breaking it
up for each. Tenor, tenor, elec-
tric piano, and then just the
bassist, Gene Pearl. Pearl plays
sweetly, plays rhythmically and
Jones punctuates, responds, and
finally joins in and leads him
into the finale. The second num-
ber features Joe Farrel on flute.
It is too nice, too sweet, not
even the band seems to take it
seriously. They are back to work
for the third piece: Frank Fos-
ter is on soprano sax now and
he plays it hard and good, Farrel
on flute again, and then Jo)n
H a m m o n d sprinkles, syncho-
pates, and runs his piano notes
into a celestially breathtaking
solo. The piece ends full blast,

For us, the concert is over,
Sam's stomach insists. So we
leave. The band members are
sitting around in the room, talk-
ing. The guy with the incense
has raised the cash to get into
the show and he is pushing his
wares at the back of the room
as we leave. On the road, we
mull over the concert. It was
an exhilerating disappointment.
Jones played like Thor. Thun-
der, lightningbolts and raindrops
all flowed from his hands. But
he did not play like he played
with Coltrane. It was like watch-
ing Muhammad Ali spar. All the
skill was there, but it was not
being pushed to its limit, it was
not pushing on beyond what it
had done before.

leaving the auidence
the last note for a
the first set ends.

hanging for
while, and






Marcel Marceau
Added performance
slated for Marcean

in their NEW THEATER,
at HILLEL, 1429 Hill
TRYOUTS: THURS., SEPT. 30, 7-11 P.M.
Info: Jon Bernstein, 761-4000
Daily Classifieds Get Results

A special matinee has been
added to Marcel Marceau's ap-
pearances opening the Univer-
sity Musical Society's Interna-
tional Presentations in the new
Power Center for the Perform-
ing Arts at The University of

All seats
15 and 16

for Marceau's
at 8:30 p.m.
have already


... The best yet

Steve Miller is back again,
with Rock Love (Capitol SW-
748), his best album since Sail-
or days. Always an underrated
guitarist overshadowed by Clap-
ton and others, A'iller demon-
strates a virtuos. y here that
is matched by none, as he and
his tight rhythm section rip
into two extended jams.
The first jam, titled "Love
Shock," is a live recording with,
Miller playing some Hendrix-
like wah-wah in a blazing style.
Ross Valory adds a hypnotical-
ly-simple, eminently rhythmic
bass solo to the piece, but Jack
King messes things with a bor-
ing interlude on his drums.
"Deliverance," the other jam,
features Miller's voice and
acoustic guitar in a fast jazzy
Miller's sweet blues style, evi-
denced by his work with John
Lee Hooker on Endless Boogie,
is displayed here in a nice
"Blues With Out Blame." There
is a lot of inventive guitar here,
although the overall effect of
the song is hurt a little by Mil-
ler's vocal gymnastics.
Other highlights of the al-
bum are the simple ballad "Har-
bor Lights" and "Let Me Serve
You," a grinding rocker played
in traditionally - tuff Miller.
fashion. The 'first song works
even though Miller steals some
lines from an old dirge called
"The Prisoner's Song": If I had
the wings of an angel, O'er
these prison walls I would fly.'
"Let Me Serve You" is interest-
ing in that it shows Jimmy
playing here.
Poco's new album From the
Inside (Epic 30753) is a huge
disappointment, thanks largely
to the emergence of banal Paul
Cotton as an influential band
member. Cotton contributes
three self - conscious songs and
some suspect lead guitar to this
effort. Richie Furay also strikes
out this time, with a host of
forgettable songs including the
atrocious "Hoe Down," which is

almost a parody of Poco's ear-
lier work. Rock's premier steel
guitarist, the incredible Rusty
'Young, doesn't get to do much
playing here.
And who would have thought
Gene Clark (A&M) could pro-
duce such a bummed - out solo
album? Coming off his two-
country-classic numbers with
Doug Dillard and company,
Gene turns to long syrupy bal-
lads and falls flat on his face.
Every song is alike: poetic dir-
ges accompanied by various
acoustic instruments and sung
in Clark's melancholy voice.
The presence of some excellent
sidemen, ex-Burrito bassist Chris
sidemen, ex - Burrito bassist
Chris Ethridge and organist
Bed Sidran included, fails to
much enhance this wrong num-

However, all 1,400 tickets for
the newly-added matinee at 3
p.m., Oct. 16, will go on sale
Thursday (Sept. 30) at the of-
fices of the Musical Society in
Burton Tower. Admission prices
are set at $2, 3, 4, or 5.
Marceau points out that
"mime has been employed as an
adjunct, more or less, to the
arts of acting and dance. Great
ballet dancers must know the
arts of mime to round out the
areas of silence in every play or
ballet that has a story.
Corner of State and Liberty Sts.
DIAL 662-6264
( Special Price for
Ladies from 1-6 p.m. Wed.
ends today "PANIC
OPEN 12:45
Shows at 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 P.M.
"TIN HiredBHd"

Hailed throughout the world
as the foremost interpreter of
one of the oldest, least prac-
ticed and most difficult of the
performing arts - the art of
gesture - he is known to Am-
erican audiences not only
through the theater, but also
via movie and television appear-
His latest motion picture
"First Class" in which he por-
trays 17 different characters, is
currently being shown in the
United States.
The Michigan Daily, edited and man-
aged by students at the University of
Michigan. News phone: 764-0552. Second
Class postage paid at Ann Arbor, Mich-
igan. 420 Maynard Street, Ann Arbor,
Michigan 48104. Published daily Tues-
day through Sunday morning Univer-
sity year. Subscription rates: $10 by
carrier, $11 by mail.
Summer Session published Tuesday
through Saturday morning. Subscrip-
tion rates: $5 by carrier, $6 by mail.
N $1.50.

APIPstunning future-fantasy
of whte urban-guerrilla struggle
-made in U.S.A.-
documentary of a revolutionary state-of-mind
New York, 1968; or is it 1980, or '84? Young white revolutionary
filmmakers, artists, and a future Weatherwoman act out a fan-
tasy of an armed underground propaganda unit fighting "within
the belly of the monster."
The War is now in Mexico. Government repression is a Mitchell-
Utopia. Middle America is still stoned on living standards and the
media drone, but slowly awakening to Imperial crisis.
The guerrillas struggle to maintain their humanity under pressure
of the omnipresent SecPol and liberal sell-out, cop-out, defeatism
and procrastination. They seize a high-rise apartment complex
and show the people films of a raid on an oil refinery, suppressed
in the "news." sex and violence? yeah. and vision:

7:00 & 9:30
$1 contribution

Natural Science Aud.

free coffee
UM Film Society

Zero Dc Conduite,
dir. Jean Vigo, 1933. Concerns the oppressive life
in a boarding school and the eventual revolt of the
boys. Banned in France for 16 years because of its
attacks on French educational methods.
330 Maynard
across from Nickels Arcade
sponsored by ann arbor film cooperative







DIAL 8-6416
Shows Tonight at 7-9 P.M.


DIAL 5-6290
3 =,Ta Po er; cd
the passi theterror
of_ Eily Bronte s immortal
story1y'' g g lve.
Fu " r

"like a lonely rock and
roller . . . songs explore
the outer limits of lone-
liness and unhappiness,
expose games . . . with
a rare musical integrity
. Album 11 is one of
the major records of the
year and this is one of
our major talents."
-----Rolling Stone
August 5, 1971


Allnounci ng a SpeI Added
Performance by Marcel Marceau!
In response to an extraordinary demand for tickets, we are pleased to
announce a special matinee performance by Marcel Marceau on Saturday
afternoon, October 16, at 3:00 p.m. in the Power Center for the Performing
Arts. Special matinee prices are $2, $3, $4, and $5. Tickets go on sale tomor-


I r WED,


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