Wednesday, October 31, 2007


RICHARDSON IN CONCORDMy story about Bill Richardson's seven-minutes-and-change at Tuesday's MSNBC debate in Philadelphia can be found HERE. The highlight was when after criticizing Obama and Edwards for attacking Hillary, Richardson said, "I trust Senator Clinton, but I don't agree with a majority of her policies."

The piece I reference in the story == about Richardson's repeated claim that the U.S. ranks 29th in math and science -- can be found HERE.

Unfortunately Richardson didn't get to talk about the sinister Roswell cover-up during the debate itself, even when Dennis Kucinich confirmed his UFO sighting. However, he did speak about it during the post-debate yack on MSNBC.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Yikes, things are looking rough for the governor's presidential hopes.
The new American Research Group poll shows him embalmed in single digits in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina (one percent there. Stephen Colbert wasn't even included in this poll.)

In New Hampshire, he's slid from 8 percent last month to 5 percent now. In Iowa he's down from 10 percent to 7 percent. Granted these numbers are so small it's all within the margin of error. Trouble is, he doesn't seem to be going up anywhere.

(Heath had a good overlook at other bad poll news for Richardson yesterday.)

Then there's the National Journal, which yesterday changed its ranking of Richardson from fourth place, where he's been for months, to SIXTH! That's behind Dodd and Biden. Chuck Todd and Mark Armbinder wrote,

"... the rumor that he's going to eventually quit the race to pursue a Senate seat may eventually take its toll (it already has on the buzz front). The issue we have with Richardson is that he's a terrible liberal; it's not in the guy's DNA. He's trying to become the anti-war candidate but doesn't seem like a credible messenger."
As I said above, "Yikes!"

My story about the effect on Richardson of Iowa moving its caucus to Jan. 3 is HERE . (Please ignore the headline and remember, reporters rarely if ever write headlines!!!!!!) The experts I talked to basically said that moving the caucuses isn't necessarily the kiss of death for the gov in Iowa, where he has devoted most of his advertising dollars.

Maybe a last minute surge from UFO enthusiasts will save him.

Monday, October 29, 2007


Only about a week after the news broke about Porter's lung cancer, Porter is dead.

One good thing you can say about it is that instead of dying in pennyless obscurity like so many great artists, Porter went right after releasing his strongest album in years. He might not have been at the top of his game, but as far as thiscritic is concerned, Wagon Master is the best country album this year.

And now more than ever, I'm extremely jealous of my friend Alec, who saw Porter open for The White Stripes in New York a few months ago.

My review of Wagon Master is HERE

My review of The Versatile Porter Wagoner is HERE

An old column about RFDTV, which shows re-runs of The Porter Wagoner Show, is HERE.

I will do a proper musical tribute to this great country singer on The Santa Fe Opry, 10 pm - midnight Friday night on KSFR.

Here is Tabby Crabb's tribute to Porter from the early '80s.


Sunday, October 28, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

email me during the show!

Now Simulcasting 90.7 FM, and our new, stronger signal, 101.1 FM

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Buried Alive by The Pretty Things
In a Young Man's Mind by The Mooney Suzuki
Thai Noodles by Col. Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains
Several Sins by The Birthday Party
Trouble Man by The Band of Blackie Ranchette
Scarred by Johnette Napolitano
Ex-Guru by The Fiery Furnaces
Gilligan's Island by Manic Hispanic
Concentration Moon by The Mothers of Invention

Before the Money Came (The Battle of Bettye LaVette) by Bettye LaVette
When the Other Foot Drops, Uncle by Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
Slinky by The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker
Chicago Falcon by The Budos Band
Freddy's Ribs by The Soul Providers & Bosco's Billionaires
Sliding on Thin Ice by Swamp Dogg
Where'd You Get Those Pants by Fishbone
(I'm a) Roadrunner by Jr. Walker & The Allstars

HELLCHILD Haunted House by Sam the Sham & The Pharoahs
Don't Shake Me Lucifer by Roky Erickson
(It's A) Monster's Holiday by Buck Owens
The Witch by The Sonics
Witchcraft by The Spiders
Eye of the Zombie by John Fogerty
I Drink Blood by Rocket From The Crypt
Spookshow Baby by Rob Zombie
Monster Rock by Screaming Lord Sutch

Monster by Fred Schneider
You Must Be a Witch by Dead Moon
Voodoo Priestess by Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Big Black Witchcraft Rock by The Cramps
Look Out There's a Monster Coming by The Bonzo Dog Band
Halloween Spooks by Lambert, Hendricks and Ross
Monsters of the ID by Mose Allison
Happy Halloween by Zacherle
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Friday, October 26, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

email me during the show!

Now Simulcasting 90.7 FM, and our new, stronger signal, 101.1 FM

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
If You Don't Love Jesus by Billy Joe Shaver
Long Dark Night by John Fogerty
Party by The Collins Kids
Fannie Mae by Dizzy Elmer
Long, Long Ponytail by The Fireballs
Kissy Baby by Heavy Trash
Fugiyama Mama by Wanda Jackson
Oh Boy by The Donettes
Lover's Rock by Johnny Horton
You Better Move On by Johnny Paycheck with George Jones
Sally Sue Brown by Elvis Costello

Happy 2B Flying Away by Carolyn Mark
Smells Like Teen Spirit by Patti Smith
Trampled Rose by Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
Waymore's Blues by J.J. Cale
Sadie Green, The Vamp of New Orleans by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
When I Was a Cowboy by Jim Kweskin Jug Band
Gunsmoke Trail by Tex Ritter

I Still Want To Be Your Baby (Take Me Like I Am) by Bettye LaVette
Thin White Mercury by Todd Snider
Outside of a Small Circle of Friends by Phil Ochs
Society's Child by Janis Ian
Jimmy Parker by Ed Pettersen
Tombstone Blues by Tim O'Brien
I Can't Help Being Cool by Cornell Hurd
Pardon Me, I've Got Someone to Kill by Tex Edwards & Out on Parole
Green Acres by The Meatmen

Lover Let me Be by Marlee MacLeod
River Roll On by The Judds
Red Dog Tracks by Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez
Ole Virginny by Bone Orchard
El Dorado by Michael Hurley
Angel Flying Too Close To the Ground by Willie Nelson
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list

Friday, October 26, 2007


You can find my story on the governor's health-care proposals HERE.

My companion piece about objections from a coalition advocating a single-payer system, or something like it, is HERE.

The governor's plan and related documents can be found HERE

That Health Security for New Mexicans campaign, the coalition backing the single-payer concept, has a Web site HERE.

A more free-market plan being proposed by J.R. & Barbara Damron can be found HERE. (Note, Dr. Daron told me yesterday that there have been some amendments to his proposal. I'm not sure whether this version is up to date.)


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
October 26, 2007

Named after director Herschell Gordon Lewis’ classic 1972 grind-house movie — the plot of which is described on the Internet Movie Database as “ditsy reporter enlists the help of a sleazy private eye to solve a series of gory killings of female strippers at a Chicago nightclub” — The Gore Gore Girls play a basic, slightly retro, guitar-crunch rock.

Judging from their new album Get the Gore, you can tell they’ve listened a lot to Joan Jett (Kim Fowley, who discovered Jett and managed The Runaways, co-wrote one song here). But they don’t quite have the sublime snarl of L7 (I still love you, Suzie Gardner!) or the genius howl of Sleater-Kinney.

Perhaps the best comparison is with their homegirls and Bloodshot labelmates The Detroit Cobras (with whom they share bass player Carol Ann Schumacher). However, GGG frontwoman Amy “Gore” Sardu doesn’t have the slinky charisma of Cobras singer Rachel Nagy. And the Gore Gores can’t match the material of The Cobras, who specialize in covering great old forgotten rock and R & B tunes from the ’50s and ’60s, most of which are so obscure they might as well be original.

The Gore Gores do have a few cover songs here. The Crystals’ “All Grown Up,” with lyrics like “I’m all grown up and I’ll go where I wanna go, see who I wanna see, stay out late,” seems a little too cutesy and calculated. But the song “Where Evil Grows,” written by Terry “Seasons in the Sun” Jacks, is sinister in a psychedelic way. It even features a sitar. Was this song ever used in a Roger Corman or Russ Meyer movie?

The best original songs are “You Lied to Me Before,” which sounds like the early Kinks, except with female singers, and “Pleasure Unit,” co-written by Fowley. “Deep down inside I’m a selfish witch/One half tomboy and one half bitch/Breaking hearts is what I do/Getting through to creeps like you.” The Girls thunder on this one.

You can “get the Gore” at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, when they play at the O’Shaughnessy Performance Space at the College of Santa Fe, 1600 St. Michael’s Drive. Tickets are $8 at the door.

Not recommended:

* We Are the Pipettes by The Pipettes. Like the Gore Gore Girls, this British trio has an affection for sexy ’60s retro fashion. The GGGs favor sleek, mod, go-go miniskirts while The Pipettes go for polka-dot mini-dresses.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. But for The Pipettes, fashion — more than music — seems to be their whole reason for being. “We’re the prettiest girls you’ve ever met,” they chirp in their Monkees-like title song. Maybe I’m jaded, but I see a slightly hipper version of The Spice Girls here.

The Pipettes’ music has been likened to that of the the early ’60s girl-group era. As with that Phil Spector-dominated phenomenon, the basic sound is sweeping and bombastic. But this new, synthy “wall of sound” sounds as if it’s made of Styrofoam. The Pipettes and their producers try to make up with sheen and sleekness what they lack in heart and soul. The faux early-1960s soundtrack of the ’80ske of Little Shop of Horrors has more meat to it than this album. Maybe The Pipettes should cover “Suddenly, Seymour.”

That being said, I have to confess I do kind of like “Dirty Mind.” Not just because I have one, but because it reminds me of “Roam” by The B-52’s.

But if you want to hear a modern presentation of the spirit of the girl-group era, check out Dangerous Game, the comeback album of former Shangri-La Mary Weiss (reviewed a few months ago in this column).

And for what it’s worth, I think the Spice Girls are prettier than The Pipettes.


*Balboa Island by The Pretty Things. Despite their name, these aren’t the prettiest boys you’ve ever met. These guys probably are the closest thing we have to a real-life Spinal Tap. They’ve been around just about as long as The Rolling Stones. Guitarist Dick Taylor actually played in an early version of The Stones with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Brian Jones.

The Pretty Things have broken up and reformed a few times. Some members have come one and come back again. Recently they’ve had to live with the indignity of knowing that a whole generation of potential fans might mistake them for a bunch of young whippersnappers who call themselves “Dirty Pretty Things.”

But the good old clean Pretty Things still have original members Taylor and singer Phil May as well as Jon Povey (keyboards), Wally Waller (bass), and Skip Alan (drums), all of whom first joined the band before the ’60s were over.

And the new album is surprisingly vital and strong — at least most of it. The first song, “The Beat Goes On” (no, not the Sonny & Cher hit) is a memory-lane look at the stardom they nearly had. “Way back in 1964, we came a-crashing through the door,” May sings as the drums pound and the guitar tension builds. This song even name-checks that other band. “So now the Dirty Pretty Things are fixing up with broken strings. ... There’s no more fame, the beat goes on, you have your day, and your day is done.”

The next several numbers are almost as riveting. “Buried Alive” sounds as if Keith Moon came back from the dead. And the eight-minute “(Blues for) Robert Johnson” is hypnotic. Maybe it goes on a little too long for most listeners, but I find myself not wanting it to end.

But The Pretty Things come from the pre-CD days when the album was much shorter. By the end of Balboa Island, the songs begin to fade. There are a couple of straight blues tunes (the best being a Percy Mayfield-influenced tune called “Freedom Song”) and a couple of Beatlesesque numbers that frankly aren’t that interesting. Finally, there’s the title song, a dirge about a highway accident that never seems to go anywhere.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Mekah Gordon really does.

On Monday, after sending a press release to The New Mexican announcing her candidacy for the District 25 state Senate seat, Gordon, who would be the state's only openly transgendered legislator, decided instead to run for the District 47 state House of Representatives seat.

Here's the link to my story.


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
October 25, 2007

Last week when Attorney General Gary King announced an investigation of a Public Service Company of New Mexico lobbyist working for Gov. Bill Richardson’s administration during the last session of the Legislature was completed and no evidence of wrongdoing was found, a spokesman for the governor basically said, “I told you so.”

“It is unfortunate that the attorney general had to take the time to respond to these outrageous allegations that were designed to advance one person’s agenda,” Gilbert Gallegos told The Associated Press.

Gallegos might have been referring to Ben Luce of the watchdog group Break the Grip, which called for the investigation. Luce contends PNM lobbyist Art Hull helped Richardson win Republican votes to pass the Renewable Energy Transmission Authority bill. While the bill is supported by some environmentalist groups, Break the Grip claims the administration during the last session weakened the renewable-energy requirements in the bill, and the legislation will make it easier to transmit electricity generated by nuclear plants and coal-fired facilities.

But not to worry. Apparently the attorney general didn’t spend an outrageous amount of energy investigating the “outrageous” allegations.

Correspondence released by the Attorney General’s Office last week seems to indicate the AG basically is taking the governor’s chief of staff at his word that Hull did not lobby for energy bills that could affect PNM while he worked for PNM’s “loaned executive” program between November and April.

If I ever get in trouble, I hope I’m investigated this thoroughly.

Chief of Staff James Jimenez argued in his letter to the AG that because the state didn’t compensate Hull — PNM paid his salary — there was no violation of the state anti-donation clause. All Hull got from the state were a desk with a phone and computer, business cards, a badge and a parking space in the Capitol.

Those of us who had to trudge several blocks through the January snow to cover the Legislature might argue that a parking space shouldn’t be considered a nothing. But that’s a different story.

Jimenez in his letter said Hull was directed to not actively lobby on any matters that presented a possible conflict of interest.

“The only exposure Mr. Hull had to any energy-related matters was when he was approached by individuals such as legislators who had factual questions or wished to convey questions to the Governor’s Office,” Jimenez wrote.

Apparently some Republicans did have questions.

“With regards to the Renewable Energy Transmission Authority, there were a number of members of the House Republicans who had serious concerns about the legislation,” House Republican Leader Tom Taylor and House Republican Whip Dan Foley wrote in an opinion piece in The New Mexican in July. “Mr. Hull is an expert regarding transmission of electricity and was very familiar with the legislation. ... He discussed the concerns of our members and helped them see the protections in the legislation for the state of New Mexico, its citizens and the existing electrical infrastructure.

“He did not act as lobbyist by advising or recommending how to vote on the issue,” Taylor and Foley wrote. “He only provided factual explanations of what the bill contained.”

Let me get this straight: The House Republicans had concerns. Hull told them about the “protections” in the bill. Then they voted for it.

And that’s not lobbying, the Republican leaders and the Governor’s Office insists.

Maybe it’s only considered lobbying if you buy lunch for the legislators. According to secretary of state records, Hull spent only a modest $163 on food and beverages during the session. You call that lobbying?

Play ball!: Last week in this column, I pondered the possibility that in the event of a Colorado Rockies/Boston Red Sox World Series, would Richardson — a professed Sox fan, but the only Western governor in the presidential race — be in the position of rooting against our neighbors, the Major League Cinderella story of the year, the Rockies?

Richardson already got into hot water this year on Meet the Press by saying he’s a fan of both the Red Sox and the New York Yankees, which devotees of both teams say is nearly the equivalent of saying you love God as well as Satan.

But now it’s official. Asked Wednesday who the governor is for, a spokesman said in an e-mail, “After moving to (Massachusetts) to go to school, Richardson became a die-hard Red Sox fan and will be rooting for Boston to win.”

That’s probably a wise answer. Giving any props to the Rockies could be construed as a flip-flop. Besides, as I pointed out last week, the state of New Hampshire, home of the first presidential primary, is a hotbed of Soxmania.

So Richardson can sit back, enjoy the series and be glad he’s not Rudy Giuliani, whose hometown papers are running huge headlines proclaiming the former New York mayor to be a “Traitor!” and “Redcoat!” for saying he’s rooting for the Red Sox.

Plame on!: Outed spy Valerie Plame Wilson and her husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, will make their New Mexico television debut on Lorene Mills’ Report from Santa Fe this Saturday.

Though the Santa Fe couple recently has been on several national shows to discuss her new book, Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by The White House, the show, which was taped last week in the Capitol television studio, will be their first time to be interviewed by a local television host. Mills promises that, unlike Larry King, she didn’t refer to her guest as “Valerie Flame.”

The program airs 6 a.m. Sunday on KNME, Channel 5.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Monday, October 22, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Mondays Mountain Time
Guest Host: Steve Terrell
Substituting for Susan Ohori

Now Simulcasting 90.7 FM, and our new, stronger signal, 101.1 FM
email me during the show!

Babulu Music by Desi Arnaz (Weird Al remix)
Porry by Sorry Bamba
It Calls Me by Hazmat Modine with Huun-Hurr-Tu
Ah Ya Assmar El Lawn vy 3 Mustaphas 3
Fists of Curry by Anandji & Kalyanji Shah
Virginia by Os Mutantes
A Little Fez by Kalesijski Zvuci

Fever, Fever, Fever by Kult
Oh Agony, You Are So Sweet Like Sugar I Must Eat You Up by Frank London's Klezmer Brass All Stars
Itkin by Vartttina
Martha Cecilia by Andres Landeros
Meow by Cat
On the Road Again by Istanbul Blues Kumpanyasi

Hero by Lucky Dube
Hasabi by Thsomh Meteku
Zobi la Mouche by Les Negresses Vertes
Lessons Learned from Rocky 1 to Rocky 3 by Cornershop
The Shadow by Garaj Mahal
Cactos Erectos by Cabruera
All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name by Joseph Spence

World Twang Set
Fraulein by Bobby Helms
Made in Japan by Buck Owens
Lost to a Geisha Girl by Skeeter Davis
Spanish Two Step by Merle Haggard
Cagey Bea by Junior Brown
Lost Highway by Sabah Habas Mustapha
Kaw-Liga by Silver Sand
Keys to the Kingdom by Ralph Stanley with Jadoo

Cler Achel by Tinariwen
I'm Your Mom by Flamenco A Go-Go
Heart in Me by Cordero
Forks and Knives by Beirut
Menyekse by Atomic Bomb Zigoto
Tokyo Surf by Stuurbaard Bakkebaard
Tu Veux Ou Tu Veux Pas by Brigitte Bardot
The Body of an American by The Pogues

Ode Le'eeli by Ofra Haza
One Thousand Tears of a Trantula by Dengue Fever
Oi Bori Sujie by Animal Collective vs. Kocani Orkestar
Chaje Shukarije by Esma Redzepova
The Carrier by David Byrne & Brian Eno
Somewhere Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World by Isreal Kamakawiwo 'ole

Hey, I think the last time I did this show was way back in 2004

Monday, October 22, 2007


Sunday, October 21, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

with special guests Chuck McCutcheon, Liisa Ecola and Scott Gullett
Now simulcasting 90.7 FM, and our new, stronger signal, 101.1 FM
email me during the show!

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Timothy by The Buoys
Gimme Dat Harp Boy by Captain Beefheart
Misery Goats by Pere Ubu
Duplexes of the Dead by The Fiery Furnaces
Where Evil Grows by The Gore Gore Girls
Slum Goddess by The Fugs
Tijuana Hit Squad by Deadbolt
The Whole Thing Stinks by Rico Bell
I Have Been To Heaven And Back by The Mekons
Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms by Deadmen's Hollow

Ghost Song/Dawn's Highway/Newborn Awakening by Jim Morrison & The Doors
Morrison by Robert Mirabal
Alabama Song by Kazik Staszewski
Wreck on the Highway by The Waco Brothers
Back Door Man by The Doors

Hulkster in Heaven by Hulk Hogan
The Cutester Patrol by The Grandmothers
Comin' Around the Mountain by Hound Dog Taylor & The Houserockers
Feast of the Mau-Maus by Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Shoot Your Shot by Junior Walker
All Night Lover Man by Swamp Dogg
Dozin' and Droolin' by Root Boy Slim & The Sex Change Band
Banana Split for My Baby by Louis Prima

Sensitive New Age Guys by Christine Lavin
La-Ti-Da by Marcia Ball
Whatever Happened to P.J. Proby by Van Morrison
Niki Hoeky by P.J. Proby
El Rebelde by Al Hurricane
The Man in Paper Hat by Eleni Mandell
So Long Baby Goodbye by Jo-El Sonnier
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Sunday, October 21, 2007


One of the nost interesting people I've met on the job lately was Bob Edgar, the new president and CEO of Common Cause.

My preview of a speech he gave in Albuquerque Saturday can be found HERE.

In addition to his new job, Edgar has been a Congressman, a candidate for U.S. Senate, the head of the National Council of Churches, and a Methodist pastor.

Edgar was in the news back in 2000 when, with the NCCC went to Cuba to bring the grandmothers of Elian Gonzales to the U.S. in an effort to bring the child back to his homeland and his father. (Don't get me started on that issue. As a divorced father who went through a custody battle in the '80s, it's pretty obvious where my sympathy was. Besides I thought it was pretty ironic that the same people screaming about "family values" all the time were the ones who wanted to keep Elian away from his dad.)

But the part of Edgar's resume that fascinated me the most was the fact that he was a member of House Select Committee on Assassinations, which in the mid-'70s investigated the killings of President Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Although that wasn't the topic of his speech, or the reason Common Cause set up the interview with me, I couldn't resist asking him about the assassinations.

“I interviewed James Earl Ray,” Edgar said. He said he believes that Ray shot King, but if he was aided it was by members of his own family, who, Edgar said might have been interested in collecting a $50,000 bounty offered by white supremists who wanted King dead.

As for the JFK assassination, Edgar said he dissented on the committee’s conclusion that the president was killed by a conspiracy based on police radio recordings of apparent gunfire. Improved accosutic technology, he said, has since cast doubt on the committee’s consclusion, Edgar said.

“If there was a conspiracy, I believe it might have been related to Jack Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald,” he said. “I don’t think it was a Mafia hit. Some Mafia higher-ups wanted Kennedy dead. But if they did it, they would have hired a pro, not someone like Oswald.”

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Friday, October 19, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

email me during the show!

Now Simulcasting 90.7 FM, and our new, stronger signal, 101.1 FM

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
The Wreck on the Highway by Roy Acuff
Reason to Believe by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Crows by Ray Wylie Hubbard
Ain't I'm A Dog by Ronnie Self
Red Necks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer by Johnny Russell
Back to Black by Terry Allen with Lucinda Williams
Polk Salad Annie by Sleepy LaBeef
Where the Rio de Rosa Flows by Carl Perkins

Creedence Song by John Fogerty
Bad Moon Rising by The Seldom Scene
Drunk By Noon by The Handsome Family
Boney Fingers by Hoyt Axton
Call Me Shorty by Martha Scanlan
Georgia in a Jug by Eugene Chadbourne
Oklahoma Trooper by Acie Cargill
Skip a Rope by Henson Cargill

Ramblin' Man by Clothesline Revival with Tom Armstrong
This Train I Ride by Snakefarm
Keys to the Kingdom by Ralph Stanley with Jadoo
Sex Crazy Baby by Hasil Adkins
LSD Made a Wreck of Me by Tex Edwards & Out on Parole
Double Line by Heavy Trash
Dirty On Yo Mama by James Luther Dickinson
Cool and dark Inside by Kell Robertson

I can't Stop Loving You by Van Morrison with The Chieftains
Iowa City by Eleni Mandell
That Nightmare is Me by Mose McCormack
Wish I'd Have Stayed in The Wagon Yard by U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd
The Club by Nick Lowe
Midnight Sun by Rolf Cahn
Green Green Rocky Road by Dave Van Ronk
I Tremble for You by Johnny Cash
A Long Journey by The Holy Modal Rounders
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list

Friday, October 19, 2007


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
October 19, 2007

Two accidents this morning, one four miles south of Española, the second near Tucumcari, killed two persons, state police reported. ...
Vasilio Quintana, 67, of San Pedro, met death on State Road No. 30, State Police Captain A.B. Martinez said, when a truck driven by Tony Montoya, also of San Pedro, left the road at a dip and overturned. The officer said the truck had been converted to carry workers to Los Alamos from the Española area. ...
Martinez said nine other persons were riders, four of which received minor injuries and were given treatment by an Española physician.
The Santa Fe New Mexican, Oct. 17, 1947, Page 1

Me and my, uh, mother and father and a grandmother and a grandfather were driving through the desert, at dawn, and a truckload of Indian workers had either hit another car, or just — I don’t know what happened — but there were Indians scattered all over the highway, bleeding to death. So the car pulls up and stops. That was the first time I tasted fear. I must have been about 4 — like a child is like a flower, his head is just floating in the breeze, man. The reaction I get now thinking about it, looking back — is that the souls of the ghosts of those dead Indians ... maybe one or two of em ... were just running around freaking out, and just leaped into my soul. And they’re still in there.
Jim Morrison from “Dawn’s Highway” on An American Prayer,
music by The Doors

Brad Durham, a novice filmmaker from McMinnville, Tenn., believes that the traffic fatality that occurred 60 years ago on N.M. 30 as it traverses San Ildefonso Pueblo is “the most important accident in rock ’n’ roll history.” Says Durham, “It didn’t kill a rock star. It created one.”

Those familiar with the history and mythology of The Doors singer Jim Morrison know his story about seeing the accident. “Indians scattered on dawn’s highway bleeding/Ghosts crowd the young child’s fragile eggshell mind,” Morrison recites on his song “Peace Frog.” In the 1991 movie The Doors, Oliver Stone turns this incident into a recurring motif. The accident victim, played by Floyd Red Crow Westerman, is a mystical shaman whose spirit tries to guide Morrison through his troubled life.

But if what Durham has uncovered is true, Morrison’s childhood memory of the wreck on the highway is not quite accurate. In fact, even though that stretch of road runs through Pueblo land, the “Indians scattered” might not have been Indians at all.

Durham, who earns a living as a fundraiser for a high-school sports team, believes that seeing this wreck was a turning point in Morrison’s life, making an impression on his young mind that helped lead to his life as a poet — a death-obsessed poet many would say — a musician, and something of a shamanic figure himself.

As if he, too, were touched by some mystic spirit guide, Durham set out to research the accident. He’s read countless biographies of Morrison and The Doors (I saw about 20 books on the singer in Durham’s motel room in Santa Fe when I recently spoke with him). He’s interviewed Morrison’s friends, including Frank Lisciandro, whose recording of Morrison’s account of the incident appears on the album An American Prayer.

And he’s spent hours at the New Mexico Commission of Pubic Records office poring over newspaper accounts of highway wrecks that happened during the short time the Morrison family lived in New Mexico. Durham’s research forms the basis for his documentary Dawn’s Highway. He hasn’t completed it yet; he was recently filming at the accident site.

As Durham discovered, Morrison’s father, George Stephen Morrison, a U.S. Navy officer who eventually became an admiral, worked in Albuquerque at the Sandia and Kirtland bases from February 1947 to February 1948. Jim was 3 when the Morrisons moved to New Mexico; they lived on Williams Street near the downtown area. The family moved to Mountain View, Calif., in 1948 when George Morrison was reassigned. They returned to Albuquerque in 1955, where Jim attended seventh and eight grades at Monroe Junior High School.

Durham (pictured at right, at the spot where he believes the accident took place) has not proved beyond all doubt that the N.M. 30 wreck is the one that young Morrison saw. He has not been able to locate the accident report for the San Ildefonso crash.

Peter Olson of New Mexico’s Department of Public Safety said fatal-accident reports are kept for up to 20 years, so there’s no known record of the Morrisons being at the scene of the accident. “But I challenge anyone to find any other accident that matches this description,” Durham said.

The wreck on the highway

The big story on Page 1 of The Santa Fe New Mexican on Oct. 17, 1947, was a boring piece about the state government and highway funds. Apparently there was a lull in the news for a few days. On other days during October 1947, there were some big headlines like “FBI Nets 2 in A-Bomb Threat,” “Arabs Move Troops Along Border to Seal Off Palestine From the World,” and stories about Reds infiltrating Hollywood.

But near the bottom of Page 1 on Oct. 17 was a headline: “Mishaps Take Two Victims Over State.” The report was from that morning (The New Mexican was an afternoon paper back then): “Bacilio Quintana, who is survived by his wife and seven children, died as a result of a broken neck. The officer said an inquest may be held some time today either in Española or Santa Fe.” (The paper misspelled Quintana’s first name twice in the story. His name was "Basilio," Durham learned.) Quintana was about to retire as a janitor at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Durham said.

There was another fatal accident with musical import reported in that day’s paper. Elizabeth Garrett, described as a “blind composer and daughter of the sheriff who killed Billy the Kid,” died in Roswell the night before when she fell on the street and struck her head on a curbstone. Her Seeing Eye dog, Tinka, was at her side. The story said Pat Garrett’s daughter, who wrote New Mexico’s state song, “O Fair New Mexico,” frequently said, “My father had to bring harmony with a gun in the early days. I tried to do so by carrying a tune.”

The next day, the paper reported that the inquest for the San Ildefonso wreck did occur. It was revealed that the accident happened because a commercial bus apparently struck Tony Montoya’s converted truck while trying to pass it in a no-passing zone.

Bus driver Ruben F. Vasquez of Chamisal said he was trying to pass the other vehicle, which he said swerved to the left. The paper also reported that Ernesto Montoya, father of the truck driver, had suffered a fractured skull in the accident and was hospitalized.

Durham has located Tony Montoya, now 80, as well as Montoya’s friend Willie Quintana, 75, of San Pedro (no relation to Basilio), who went to the scene of the accident soon after it happened. “They were scattered all over,” is how Willie Quintana described the scene to Durham. Quintana is not familiar with Morrison or Doors lore, Durham said.

Basilio Quintana did not consider himself an Indian, Durham said. He was Hispanic and living in the village of San Pedro. State historian Estevan Rael-Gálvez, who has helped Durham with his film, said he can see how people not familiar with New Mexico’s cultures might believe they saw Indians at the crash when they really saw Hispanics. “Identity is a complex thing,” he said.

The West is the best

One big question is why the Morrison family, living in Albuquerque, would have been traveling along a two-lane highway south of Española. Durham said he has no definitive answer to that.

As it does now, tourist literature of the ’40s encouraged people to visit Indian pueblos.

George Morrison is on record as saying that the family was driving to Taos when they saw the accident. N.M. 30 is not the main road to Taos. But in his movie, Durham quotes historian David Kammer, who says that for someone wanting to see pueblos, N.M. 30 would have been an “enticing detour.”

The road goes through San Ildefonso and Santa Clara pueblos and affords a great view of Black Mesa — considered sacred by Pueblo Indians — and also offers a chance to see Otowi Bridge, one of three suspension bridges in the state at the time.

When the music’s over

Durham has loved The Doors’ music ever since he heard “Hello, I Love You” in high school. But don’t call him a fan of Jim Morrison. “Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, people like that, they have fans,” he said. “His music, his words speak to us still today. That’s why I like him.”

Surprisingly, The Doors aren’t even his favorite band. That would be The Who.

But Durham said he’s fascinated by the things that shape the minds of the artists he loves, the events that lead artists to find their creativity. In the case of Morrison, Durham said, that event occurred on a lonesome road in the shadow of Black Mesa.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
October 18, 2007

True confession: I started going through Gov. Bill Richardson’s latest list of presidential campaign contributors on the Federal Election Commission Web site Tuesday morning before I even made coffee.

That’s pretty pathetic. I know.

Actually, it’s probably a good thing I wasn’t drinking coffee when I came upon a name on the second page of Richardson’s Third Quarter contributor list. I probably would have spit it onto my computer.
At the NH State Democratic Convention
Blackwater LLC, P.O. Box 606, Aynor, S.C. $500.

Blackwater! Could it be that Richardson, who has morphed into the most anti-war Democratic candidate this side of Dennis Kucinich, is actually taking money from the security company that’s been accused of shooting down innocent civilians in Iraq?

As it turns out, no.

After a couple of cups of coffee and some quick checking, I learned The Blackwater in South Carolina — a property management firm — is not the same as Blackwater USA, the controversial security company that has a headquarters in North Carolina. (Apparently there’s a difference.)

Blackwater LLC is operated by the J. William F. Holliday family in Aynor, S.C. An employee answering the phone there Wednesday said the name “Blackwater” is a reference to the Little Pee Dee River, which she said has a lot of black water.

More baseball blues: America’s pastime might come back to haunt Richardson in the World Series. His comment on Meet the Press this year that he’s both a New York Yankees fan and a Boston Red Sox fan caused dismay among rabid fans of both rival teams.
But if the Red Sox make it to the World Series, the Western-governor candidate, who proudly brings up his “westerness” every chance he gets on the campaign trail, will be in the position of having to root against our neighboring team, the Colorado Rockies. Not only are the Rockies the closest thing New Mexico has to a “home team” in major league baseball, but their 20-out-of-the-last-21-games winning streak is a true Cinderella story.

If Richardson tries to say he’s both a Red Sox fan and a Rockies fan, I don’t think anyone in New Hampshire — which considers the Sox their “home team” — would forgive him. If the Sox pull it off against Cleveland, I bet Richardson takes his chances being the Western governor who roots against the Rockies.

But he might have some explaining to do at the Democratic National Convention next year in Denver.

That pesky Senate question: The editors at The New Republic have made one of the strongest statements seen in the national media in favor of Richardson’s dropping out of the presidential race and running for the U.S. Senate.

“Richardson’s presidential campaign has failed to take off,” the editorial, published Wednesday, said. “He’s mired in the single digits in the polls, and — barring the simultaneous collapse of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards — it’s hard to see how he’ll capture the Democratic nomination. ... Put a fork in Richardson ’08; it’s done.

“Except it’s not,” the editorial continues. “There’s one campaign Richardson has a good shot of winning in 2008: the race for New Mexico’s U.S. Senate seat that Republican Pete Domenici will vacate after six terms.”

The editorial notes Richardson has dismissed all requests for him to run for the Senate, insisting he’s going to win the White House.

“Richardson, of course, has the right to nurse his hopeless presidential ambitions until his fellow Democrats unmercifully crush them in the actual caucuses and primaries,” the editorial said. “But, if Richardson truly cared about his party — not to mention his country — he would give up that right, abandon his presidential campaign, and toss his hat in the ring for the U.S. Senate.”

Musical judges: The announcement of Richardson’s appointment of Albuquerque lawyer Charles Daniels to the state Supreme Court on Wednesday left out an important part of Daniels’ career.

He’s a musician. No, he’s not the same Charlie Daniels who sang “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” but he did play bass for years with a country-rock band called Lawyers, Guns and Money. According to one of my sources in the state judiciary, the justice-to-be also has played in a band with a couple of former judges from Albuquerque, Woody Smith and Tommy Jewell.

Maybe Daniels can get together for some courtroom jams with Appeals Judge Rod Kennedy, who is known to pick and sing and write songs.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I was the "staff" in a couple of "Staff & Wire Reports" stories in today's New Mexican.

In the article about U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce entering the Republican primary, runn ing against U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson, I added the part about U.S. Rep. Tom Udall being pressured to reconsider his decision not to run in the Democratic Senate primary. The source I quoted is betting that Udall doesn't run for Senate. Another source said Udall began reconsidering after talking to Gov. Bill Richardson in New Hampshire over the weekend. Udall was in Manchester to speak at a global warming conference. Richardson reportedly assured Udall that he would definitely not run for Senate, even if his presidential race folded by the filing day for Senate.

The Pearce article also has my confirmation from former Attorney General Patricia Madrid will not be running for U.S. Senate, though she hasn't ruled out a House race.

In the article about Richardson''s contributors, I just added a few names to the Associated Press story, including some gaming tribes from outside the state that contributed to Richardson.

I also have an article about the fact that once again, New Mexico has flunked in a national study of campaign finance disclosure laws. Oh well, like our legislative leaders have told us, it's not politicians who need disclosure laws, it's the media and those do-gooder groups. Oh well, you can find the study HERE.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Sunday, October 14, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

Now Simulcasting 90.7 FM, and out new, stronger signal, 101.1 FM
email me during the show!

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) Techno Remix by Pink Filth
2wce by Mission of Burma
Automatic Husband by The Fiery Furnaces
Buried Alive by The Pretty Things
Electric Sweat by The Mooney Suzuki
The Kids by Lou Reed
Let's Get the Baby High by The Dead Milkmen
Oops, I Did It Again by Richard Thompson

The Eternal Question by The Grandmothers
Big Leg Emma by The Mothers of Invention
Girl From Al-Qaeda by The Jack & Jim Show
Depression Medley by Tiny Tim (with Eugene Chadbourne)
The Indian of The Group by Farrell & Black Band
Build Me a Woman by The Doors
Shakin' All Over by Johnny Kidd & The Pirates

Istanbul (Not Constaninopal) by They Might Be Giants
Telephone Call From Istanbul by The Red Elvises
Fourty Four by Istanbul Blues Kumpanyasi
Tajo by Cankisou
In the Mausoleum by Beirut
Not a Crime by Gogol Bordello
Mystery Train by Nightlosers
Frankie & Johnny by Kazik Staszewski

Dice Men by David Holmes
Satan's Blues by Junior Walker & The All Stars
I'm In Love by Nathaniel Mayer
Hot Pants Road by Ravi Harris & The Prophets
Them Hot Pants by Lee Sain
The Spark That Bled by The Flaming Lips
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Sunday, October 14, 2007


He's Jimmy Carl Black and he's the Indian of the group Last night The Jack & Jim show, featuring avant maniac guitarist Eugene Chadbourne and Jimmy Carl Black, former Mother of Invention, forever the Indian of the Group, played at the Outpost in Albuquerque. Not only was it a fantastic show, but it was great catching up with an old friend.

I first met Jimmy back in the very early '80s when he was living in New Mexico. (I can't remember whether it was Taos or Albuquerque. He lived in both places back then.) I was introduced by our mutual pal Erik Ness.

During those years I interviewed Jimmy at least three times for The Santa Fe Reporter -- a general profile, a review/profile of his local band, Captain Glasspack & The Magic Mufflers, which used to play Club West, and a story about his recording sessions at Kluget Sound in Cerrillos with The Grandmothers, a band featuring Don Preston, the Fowler Bros. and other ex-Zappa folk.

Jimmy also recorded on my album in the summer of 1981. That's him drumming on "The Green Weenie" on Picnic Time For Potatoheads.

Jimmy left New Mexico for Austin, where he teamed up for awhile with Arthur Brown (as in The Crazy World of). Brown and Black made music and painted houses.

Eventually Jimmy ended up in Germany, where he still lives today. About seven or eight years ago he came to Santa Fe to play The Paramount with his German blues band Farrell & Black. My group The Charred Remains opened for them. That's the last time I'd seen him until Saturday.

Jimmy's 69 years old now. And he's suffering from leukemia. "It's a mild form of leukemia," he said matter-of-factly. I didn't know there was such a thing. But he looks good. He still knows his way around a drum set. And he's still got his signature growl of a singing voice.

It was a wonderful show. Jimmy was happy because his children and grandchildren drove up from El Paso for the concert.

I'd never seen Chadbourne before. He's even better live than on his albums. He looks like a mad scientist and plays like one too. Dr. Chadbourne and Jimmy did a few Zappa and Beefheart songs (you haven't lived until you've heard "Willie the Pimp" and "The Dust Blows Forward and the Dust Blows Back" done on banjo), mutated blues, country (from Haggard to Kinky to Ernest Tubb), a DMX song about robbing a liquor store ("One More Road to Cross") done bluegrass style, a bizarre novelty tune called "Mr. Spooky," classic rock tunes such as "The Shape of Things to Come" and some original Chadbourne political commentary on songs like "Cheney's Hunting Ducks" and a wicked bosa nova nova parody, "The Girl From Al-Qaeda."

I was very happy to find that those Cerrillos Grandmothers sessions, which never saw the light of day on an American release, finally made it to CD. Jimmy put it together with some live tracks on a 2002 CD called The Eternal Question. A couple of those tunes -- the title song (originally titled "What Was Zappa Really Like?" and "The Cutester Patrol" -- have been in my head for 25 years. Pretty soon you can hear them on Terrell's Sound World.

I see by their schedule that The Jack & Jim Show rolls on to Minneapolis tonight and Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska after that.

Hope Captain Glasspack doesn't stay away so long next time.

Check out my snapshots of the show. CLICK HERE.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


This just in:
Brian Egolf, who has been campaigning for 10 months for the Santa Fe state Senate seat currently held by Sen. John Grubesic, announced Saturday that he will instead run for the House seat currently represented by Peter Wirth — who late last week jumped into the state Senate race.

Egolf, 31, says he and Wirth — both Democrats and lawyers from Santa Fe’s east side — appeal to many of the same constituents.

“I believe that Santa Fe will be best served by having two strong progressive Democrats serving together in the legislature, not running against each other," Egolf said.

Grubesic announced earlier this month that he wouldn’t run for a second term for his District 25 seat.

Read more in toorrow's New Mexican.


*Rise Above by The Dirty Projectors. This is not your typical tribute. True, it's a remake of songs from Black Flag's first album Damaged. But instead of a slavishly reverent recreations of this 1981 L.A. punk-rock classic , Dave Longstreth (the main force behind the DPs) filters Black Flag tunes through the Bizarro World. The first song "What I See" sounds like Morrisey fronting Ween -- except where did those African guitars come from? No, it doesn't sound much at all like Black Flag, but it's a dangerously addictive sonic treat. One complaint: No "T.V. Party."

*Damaged by Black Flag. I downloaded the tunes I didn't already have on Flag's Wasted retrospective. (And for reasons best known to music biz attorneys, the song "Rise Above" isn't available for download on eMusic. I had to resort to iTunes to get this.)

Funny, this doesn't sound at all like The Dirty Projectors.

*Now's the Time by Rosie Ledet. The biggest disappointment of this year's Thirsty Ear Festival was that Zydeco princess Rosie Ledet's set was cut short by the rain.

This album, released in 2003, is good, but it doesn't quite match the energy of Ledet's live performance -- judging from the short sample I saw.

Recommended cuts here include "Biker Boys," "Little Rosie," and a classy cover of Leo Sayer's "More Than I Can Say."

*Armchair Boogie by Michael Hurley. The recent release of Hurley's The Ancestral Swamp inspired me to get this.

Armchair goes back to 1971. It originally was released on The Youngbloods' Racoon records. Apparently Hurley is a boyhood chum Youngbloods frontman Jesse Colin Young, who produced and played on this record. Unfortunately eMusic doesn't have Hurley's other Racoon album, Hi-Fi Snock Uptown.

There's yet another version of perhaps Hurley's most recorded tune "The Werewolf" here. But my favorite song on this album is "English Nobleman," which Hurley sings in a strange British accent to poke fun at the Ruling Class. "My dignity would be besmirched if you hit me in the face with a pie," There's something so American about this. I can imagine Mark Twain singing it. But there's a universal democratic spirit at work here too. I also can imagine Benny Hill singing it.

* The Unfortunate Rake by Various Artists. Hurley's The Ancestral Swamp has versions of "Dying Crapshooter's Blues" and "Streets of Laredo," both of which spring from a British ballad of debauchery, death, regret and pride called "The Unfortunate Rake." In researching the history of these tunes I stumbled across this article by Rob Walker, which mentions this album and talks about several songs on it. Then, lo and behold, I find it waiting for me on e-Music.

However, I actually wish I wouldn't have downloaded the entire album. I enjoy some of ye olde versions of Crapshooter/Laredo/St. James Infirmary/Rake tunes, especially the title song by A.L. Lloyd. (Did you realize that unlike Little Jessie or the Laredo cowboy, the original rake was killed by VD, not a gun!) And Dave Van Ronk's "Gambler's Blues" is classic Van Ronk. However, there are just too many lame parodies of "Streets of Laredo" that wouldn't make it in Mad magazine somehow are deemed authentic folk music by the same uppity crowd that booed Bob Dylan at Newport. And guess what -- there's no actual "Dying Crapshooter's Blues" here at all. That hoodoo wagon left this station.

*St. James by Snakefarm. Actually, eMusic mislabeled this one. It's actually an album called Songs for My Funeral. St. James is an EP with only three songs. (Sometimes eMusic is downright sloppy about these things.) Whatever it's called, Walker's essay also led me here, to this 1999 album of high-tech, Soul Coughing-like trip-hoppy renditions of traditional American murder ballads and bucket-of-blood laments like "House of the Rising Sun," "Frankie & Johnny," "Black Girl" (think "Where Did You Sleep Last Night"), "Tom Dooley" -- and, yes, "St. James Infimary" and "Streets of Laredo." (But no "Dying Crapshooter's Blues." I guess that tune is considered a "modern" creation, although author Blind Willie McTell admitted he used elements from various "folk" sources to write the tune.) Singer Anna Domino sounds like a yearning ghost on these songs. I'm a sucker for these ancient/space-age, banjos 'n' samplers musical concocations. I'd put this up there with Moby's Play and the lesser-known but just as wonderful works by Clothesline Revival.

* I've Known Rivers And Other Bodies by Gary Bartz. The title song of this album is based on a poem by Langston Hughes, "A Negro Looks at Rivers." I remember loving the song back in the mid '70s when KUNM used to play it frequently -- but I never knew who did it until now. It reminded me a lot of Pharoah Sanders' "The Creator Has a Master Plan," though Bartz's vocals don't have Leon Thomas' yodel. Bartz is an alto sax man (and singer) who has played with some of the giants. He was on the first Miles Davis album I ever owned, Live Evil. This album, released in 1973, was recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival.

* After all these I had one track left over. (On eMusic, you can't carry over your tracks to the next month. It's use 'em or lose 'em.)

So I decided to get a little jump on a new album, 100 Days, 100 Nights by Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings. I downloaded the title track and will pick up the rest next week when my account refreshes. I'll say more about the album then. Right now, let's just say I'm very much looking forward to the rest of the album


Friday, October 12, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

Now Simulcasting 90.7 FM, and our new, stronger signal, 101.1 FM
email me during the show!

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Come A Long Way by Loudon Wainwright III
Diesel Smoke, Dangerous Curves by The Last Mile Ramblers
Biker Boys by Rosie Ladet
Pistol Pete and The Ringo Kid by Acie Cargill
Gunslinger by John Fogerty
The Governor by Pat McDonald
Haley's Comet by Tom Russell with Dave Alvin & Katie Moffat
Bury Him Like a Prince by Ronny Elliott

In Honor of the Jim & Jack Show Coming to The Outpost on Saturday
Lonesome Cowboy Burt by Frank Zappa featuring Jimmy Carl Black
Devilish Mary by Eugene Chadbourne
Harder Than Your Husband by Frank Zappa featuring Jimmy Carl Black
The Last Word in Lonesome is Me by Eugene Chadbourne

When Two Worlds Collide by Roger Miller
Logtown Days by The Peasall Sisters
Dolores by T. Tex Edwards & Out on Parole

Let the Mermaids Flirt With Me by Mississippi John Hurt
Married to a Mermaid by Jacek Sulanowski & Tom Goux
Mermaid by Bobby Bare
The Emerald Outlaw by The Texas Sapphires
Bohemian Boys by John Lilly
Say a Little Prayer by Mary & Mars
Tijuana Jail Break by The Broadway Elks
Never Going Back to Nashville by Cornell Hurd
I'm Satisfied by John Sebastian & David Grisman

Drink Me by The Dolly Ranchers
Must Be the Whiskey by Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez
Whiskey Flats by Bone Orchard
Rainwater Bottle by Chipper Thompson
The Jewel of Abilene by Grey DeIsle
The Open Road Song by Peter Case
Farther Along by Hayseed with Emmylou Harris
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list

Friday, October 12, 2007


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
October 12, 2007

What does it mean when the last two releases that I’ve really liked from The Flaming Lips aren’t albums but DVDs? Seriously — the Lips’ last album, At War With the Mystics, pretty much left me cold, while the main thing I remember from 2002’s Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots is the gorgeous “Do You Realize?”

But I loved the band’s 2005 documentary film The Fearless Freaks, which lovingly portrayed Lips leader Wayne Coyne as the bighearted, working-class, Okie goofball we knew he was all along.

And I am truly impressed with the new Lips DVD, U.F.O.s at The Zoo: The Legendary Concert in Oklahoma City. Maybe this is a band that needs to be seen as well as heard.

First, let me disclose a prejudice. Chances are I’d be inclined to like anything shot in what is now officially known as the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden. It was one of my favorite childhood haunts back when we used to just call it the “Lincoln Park Zoo.” (Sad note: I just discovered that Judy the elephant, who had been in the zoo since 1949, died in 1997. Matilda the hippo, who had been there nearly as long, died a year later. I remember well both of these wonderful pachyderm ladies.)

But this DVD isn’t really about the zoo, or Oklahoma City for that matter. It’s about the crazy big-time rock ’n’ roll spectacle the Lips present. Descending in a huge plastic bubble that comes out of an even huger flying saucer that “lands” on the stage, Coyne is a disheveled master of ceremonies of a show that borrows heavily from classic P-Funk, Pink Floyd, and Spinal Tap.

Yet, with all the Santas and space aliens dancing around (lucky Lips fans are recruited for these roles before the show) — and, of course, the music — you never forget which band is in charge here.

And yes, besides the showmanship, the music is in fine form — even those Mystics and Yoshimi songs that didn’t excite me that much in their original forms. Coyne knows he’s playing to a home-team crowd, and he and the other Lips give it their all.

While some of their more recent material tends to sound like soundtrack pieces played live with a basic four-man band — it’s pure, high-energy rock ’n’ roll. The live version of Mystics’ “Free Radicals,” for instance, packs a much harder punch than the studio version. Singing in a strange falsetto, Coyne calls to mind Prince being probed by alien abductors. That’s also true for the crazed instrumental “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Part II.” It’s an explosion of raw, crunching psychedelic noise.

The songs lean heavily toward the band’s more recent albums, including The Soft Bulletin (1999). They reach back to the mid ’90s for their first big MTV hit, “She Don’t Use Jelly.” One of my only complaints is that there is not more pre-Soft Bulletin material. “Bad Days” from Clouds Taste Metallic is still my favorite Lips song of all time, and they really ought to revive it.

One of the things I like about this DVD is that it has a link that allows you to download MP3s of any or all of the songs from the concert. I hope this commendable feature becomes a full-fledged trend — nay, a required feature — of concert DVDs in the future.

Speaking of Lips downloads, at the time of the DVD release of The Fearless Freaks, the Lips gave away (!) the movie soundtrack as MP3 downloads. You still can find that soundtrack at

Like many rock-concert films, U.F.O.s at The Zoo unfortunately wastes too much time with worthless footage of fan babble. These people came all the way from Houston to see the show. How dedicated! This girl’s wearing a funny animal costume. How unique! Who cares? Get back to the show.

But, corny as it sounds, I believe the Lips really are fond of their followers. In the package behind the actual disc is a message that says, “The Flaming Lips Will Always Love You.” The proof is in the show they put on.

Another recommended DVD:

* Fancy
by Les Claypool. You won’t find a bunch of fan interviews on this disc. The stage show isn’t on par with The Flaming Lips, although Claypool and his cronies do an impressive array of masks and funny hats. And unfortunately there’s no link to MP3 downloads either.

All you have is a bunch of fine tunes by the ex-Primus bass ace/frontman and his latest band. The footage was shot at various shows in various cities by Claypool fans, and the sound is some kind of fancy brew of mixing-board recordings and bootleg fan tapes.

I always liked Primus, but this band may be even more impressive. While Primus was a basic bass/guitar/drums unit, the Claypool ensemble on Fancy includes a sax (played by a man called Sherik), vibraphone, and marimba (Mike Dillon); drums by Paulo Baldi; and a sitar. Not a cheesy, ’60s-era electric sitar but a real, big old sitar played by a woman who goes by the name Gabby La La. She also plays ukulele and theremin.

Most the songs on the DVD are from Claypool side projects and solo albums, including his 2006 Of Whales and Woe, 2002’s Purple Onion, and 1996’s Highball With the Devil. I wouldn’t have minded a new take on Primus tunes like “My Name Is Mud” or “Bob’s Party Time Lounge,” but these lesser-known songs do just fine. Especially impressive is “Cosmic Highway,” a wild ride of raga rock, free jazz, and Claypool’s trademark bouncy doofus metal with electric hillbilly vocals.

Pretty darn fancy!

Thursday, October 11, 2007


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
October 11, 2007

One problem that political reporters and bloggers are having since last week’s news that Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., isn’t running for re-election is coming up with fresh metaphors for the effect that announcement is having on state politics.

Earthquake. Upheaval. Reshuffling the deck. Tsunami. Frenzy. Stampede. I believe all of those have been used, many of them by me. So let’s just go all the way and say it ripped a hole in the fabric of political reality in New Mexico.

So now I’m going to talk about a Hurricane. No, not another metaphor for tumult. I’m talking about the man with the eye patch who definitely is the most colorful supporter who attended Rep. Heather Wilson’s otherwise low-key announcement news conference in Albuquerque last week — the Godfather of New Mexico music, Al Hurricane.

Unfortunately, he was only there to show his support for Wilson’s Senate bid, not to sing. But, talking to Hurricane after the announcement, I learned something about Heather Wilson I’d never imagined.

She plays the banjo!

Hurricane said he and Wilson were at a presentation for students at an Albuquerque middle school, and she joined him on banjo for a song.
If state Democrats don’t want to lose the all-important bluegrass vote, they might have to bring in Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.V., to do a little fiddling on the campaign trail. Indeed, this race could take a turn for the musical. Democrat Marty Chávez, besides being mayor of Albuquerque, plays electric guitar. He played “Louie Louie,” “Hang on Sloopy” and some other songs with the band that opened for Joan Jett at a Fourth of July concert at Balloon Fiesta Park.

Meanwhile, back on Capitol Hill: Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce of the state’s southern Second Congressional District was still sitting tight as of Wednesday, though sources close to him confirmed the congressman “has started talking to folks about putting together a finance committee and some form of exploratory committee.”

One rule of thumb: When a potential candidate starts talking about “exploratory committees” that almost always means he or she is going to run.

One Republican with whom I spoke this week said Pearce doesn’t need to jump in the Senate race right away. He can sit back, see whether Gov. Bill Richardson decides to run for Senate (I haven’t bugged the Richardson camp today to get a denial, but earlier this week I got an emphatic “No.”) and keep raising money for a House race, which could be transferred to a Senate campaign.

The exploratory committee route might suggest that’s what Pearce is doing.

But my source close to Pearce said, “I don't believe that's a strategy he would pursue. He is strongly considering a run now and will make a decision sooner rather than later. Once the pieces are in place and he's comfortable with a decision, (Pearce will) put out a statement. But it could go either way.”

The club of The Club: While state Republicans were casting their first stones at Chávez on Tuesday, attacking his record as mayor, Wilson was facing an attack — from her right. The conservative Club for Growth, a national anti-tax group, released a statement saying Wilson’s economic record “runs both deep and wide in liberal waters.” The statement quoted club president Pat Toomey saying, “Last time I checked, supporting tax hikes, pork projects, and other liberal policies is not the mark of an economic conservative.”

Replacing Heather: About the time that Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White was announcing his bid Wednesday to seek the GOP nomination for Wilson’s congressional seat, a Democrat, former Health Secretary (and St. Michael’s High School graduate) Michelle Lujan Grisham, announced she’ll be holding a news conference to announce her intention to run for the seat.

One person who is not having a news conference is state Rep. Al Park, D-Albuquerque. Park said last week that he was considering the race for CD 1. He confirmed Wednesday that he won’t be entering the race. “I’ve got to put family first,” he said. He will, however, run for re-election to the state Legislature, where he chairs the House Judiciary Committee.

So far in that congressional race, Republican candidates include White and possibly state Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones of Albuquerque, while Democrats include Albuquerque City Councilor Martin Heinrich, former assistant Attorney General Jon Adams and (probably) Grisham.

Bad news from Nevada: Gov. Bill Richardson has said many times that he needs to do well in Nevada to keep his presidential hopes alive. Therefore a new poll from the Silver State by American Research Group has to be extremely disappointing for his campaign.

The poll of 600 Nevada residents likely to participate in the Democratic caucus in January show only 5 percent support Richardson, putting him in a distant fourth place. What’s worse for the governor is this is one point down from the last ARG Nevada poll in June. The poll was taken Friday through Tuesday and has a 4 percent margin of error.

Another ARG poll released Wednesday shows Richardson pulling 7 percent among likely Arizona Democratic primary voters. That poll interviewed 600 likely voters and had a 4 percent margin of error. U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton has a wide lead in both states.


Seeing Al Hurricane last week made me realize that the profile I did of him nine years ago hasn't been up on the Internet since my original web site went down several years ago. So what the heck ...

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
June 7, 1998

It's star time New Mexico style.

The band is pumping a Norteno beat and the audience is warmed up. Literally. It's an outdoor show on a hot afternoon, but nobody seems to mind the sweat and the sun.

"Are you ready for the star of the show?'' the man behind the keyboards asks. The crowd roars in approval.

"Well, sorry. We're not bringing him out yet.'' But the bandleader's smile gives away his little joke. "No, I'm just kidding. Here he is, ladies and gentleman, the star of the show, the Godfather of New Mexico music, and my father, Mr. Al Hurricane!''

The Godfather emerges from his tour bus parked to the left of the stage as all eyes turn to him. He cuts a dashing figure white suit, white shoes, a mop of black curly hair and a face marked by a black eye patch a grim souvenir of a life as a traveling musician turned into a celebratory trademark of a man and his music.

"Orale!" Hurricane shouts, waving his hand in greeting and grinning. Some shout back. Others just clap and cheer louder. By now it's a standing ovation and he hasn't even started.

He basks in the moment. This more than the money, he says is what propels Alberto Nelson Sanchez, the man behind the Hurricane.

For about 40 years Sanchez/Hurricane has been making a living with his music. He owns his own record company, Hurricane Records, which still thrives in the age of the compact disc. In past years his family also owned its own recording studio and nightclub in Albuquerque.

And while the entertainment business is full of stories of careers destroying family relationships, the musician's road seems to have had an opposite effect on the Sanchez clan.

Hurricane has shared the stage with his younger brothers "Tiny Morrie" and "Baby Gaby," who was part of a recent show at Camel Rock Casino. He has seen his son, Al Jr., grow up to become his bandleader, and his nieces and nephews find musical careers of their own. He currently is working with his youngest daughters on what he hopes will turn into a recording project.

But the road has had its share of pain and loss for Hurricane as well.

He lost an eye in an automobile wreck on the way to a gig in Colorado in November 1969.

Both of his marriages ended in divorce, the second one with extremely tragic consequences.

In 1986, soon after his second divorce, his ex-wife's boyfriend killed his 2-year-old daughter. The boyfriend, Ruben Lopez, and Hurricane's ex-wife each were convicted of charges of child abuse resulting in death. Both served time in prison. Hurricane had a heart attack soon after the killing.

But his family, his music and his fans all helped him heal and go on.

The Godfather! ("Don't call me `El Padrino'," he later cautions a reporter. "There's a singer down in Texas who goes by El Padrino.") As the crowd outside of Camel Rock Casino cheers, it's easy to see that the man called Hurricane has won a big spot in their hearts. And you can tell he feels that love. Maybe that's why he doesn't immediately take the stage, but goes right for the center of the crowd.

Holding a wireless microphone, Hurricane sings his first several tunes right there among the people. Between songs he shakes hands with his fans, tells jokes with the men and flirts with the ladies. (Nothing raunchy, mind you. Not far away in the audience is Bennie Sanchez Hurricane's mother). During one song, he dances with a little girl who has come to the show with her parents.

Indeed, it's an all-ages show. As Hurricane finally joins his band on stage and more couples start dancing, you can see many generations. Men and women who look old enough to be the parents of the 61-year-old Hurricane dance next to couples in their teens not to mention small children who scamper about the concert area.

It's an inter-generational gathering on stage also. Hurricane's son, Al Jr., 38, leads the band and is a recording artist in his own right. At the recent Camel Rock gig, two daughters, Erika, 20 and 13-year-old Danielle the twin sister of the girl who was killed sang a few songs. Other sons and daughters have played with him in the past.

Hurricane has been playing music in public since he was younger than Danielle.

He was born in Dixon in 1936, but spent most of his early years in Ojo Sarco. His mother gave him the nickname "Hurricane'' as a child.

"I couldn't reach across the table without spilling a bunch of things and knocking everything over," he said in a recent interview at one of his favorite Mexican restaurants in Albuquerque.

The Sanchez family moved to Albuquerque when Al was 9 years old. At first he found himself picked on because of his light complexion and natural blonde hair. (His jet black toupee is one of the worst-kept secrets in New Mexico entertainment circles).

But his music helped him win acceptance. Both his mother and his father, Margarito, who died in 1979, encouraged him in this direction, he said.

As a youngster he worked as a strolling troubadour at restaurants in Albuquerque's Old Town. As a student at Albuquerque High School he formed his own band.

During the late 1950s and early 1960s, Bennie Sanchez began a career of promoting rock shows at the old Civic Auditorium in Albuquerque. Among those who performed were James Brown, Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley. Hurricane said he played with Chubby Checker in Santa Fe at a show his mother produced.

The young Hurricane's group was frequently chosen to open the show for touring national acts and sometimes was hired as a ``pickup'' band for famous singers coming through town without their own backup groups.

This is how Hurricane hooked up with Fats Domino. For a short time he traveled with Domino, though he said he turned down a chance to tour Europe as a part of Domino's band in the early 1960s because he did not want to leave his wife and young children.

Hurricane had married his high school sweetheart Nettie. The couple had four children Al Jr., Darlene, Sandra and Jerry.

Hurricane said he also played some concerts as a guest guitarist with Marvin Gaye's band in the mid-1960s.

While he loved rock and soul music, by the late 1960s he realized "people here were hungry for Latino music."
The Godfather-to-be cut his first album Mi Saxophone in 1967 for a small independent record company. Soon after that, he and his family started Hurricane Records, which produced albums for Hurricane, Tiny Morrie and Baby Gaby, and later Al Jr.

More than 40 albums would be released on vinyl during the next couple of decades. Like other record companies in recent years, Hurricane now only deals in CDs and tapes. Hurricane said he has six of his own albums currently available on CD.

Meantime, brother Morrie and his mother set up a family recording studio on San Mateo Boulevard, purchasing recording gear from Norman Petty Studios in Clovis. "Norman Petty offered us a deal on his Buddy Holley equipment," Hurricane said.

And noticing that there was no venue in Albuquerque for Chicano music, the family bought the Far West nightclub on west Central Avenue.

Thus the Sanchezes became a mini-music industry of their own recording music at their own studio, distributing it on their own label and playing live at their own nightclub.

The family toured quite a bit in those days, mainly through the Western states with cities that had sizable Hispanic communities.

It was on the way to one of those out-of-state gigs that Hurricane lost his right eye.

"It was November First, 1969, in Walsenberg, Colorado,'' Hurricane recalled. "We were in our way up to a show in Denver. I was in a car, there were six of us, band members, you know. We were pulling a trailer with our equipment. Tiny, Gabe and my mom were behind us about two or three hours.''

The car hit an icy bridge and started to slide, Hurricane said. ``It turned over five times and I came out of the driver's side.''

There was a shard of glass stuck in his eye.

Hurricane's wife and children came to the hospital, he said. They got off the elevator as nurses wheeled him by in a gurney, "I heard my wife tell my son, `Look at that poor man. I hope your dad is not in that bad of shape.' My face was so swollen up my own wife didn't recognize me.''

The accident and the new eye patch didn't stop the music. But his first marriage soon came to an end. Hurricane remarried in 1971.

With his new wife, Hurricane had four more children Nelson, Erika and the twins Danielle and Lynnea.

By the early 1980s, Hurricane decided to sell the nightclub and the recording studio.

Tiny Morrie and his family moved to Mexico, where his son Lorenzo Antonio became something of a teen idol. Morrie's daughters would form a Spanish-language pop group called Sparx a few years down the road.

Baby Gaby by this point had decided to quit the music business. He became a postal worker but still performs occasionally.

The mid-1980s became the most horrible time in Hurricane's life the second divorce, the killing of Lynnea, the heart attack, which he says came about due to the stress of losing his little girl.

Lynnea Sanchez was pronounced dead on arrival at University of New Mexico Hospital on Nov. 5, 1986. An autopsy later showed that she died of blunt trauma to the back or the abdomen.

Hurricane's wife, Angela Sanchez, then 34, and her boyfriend Ruben J. Lopez, then 44, were arrested. In September 1987 a jury convicted both of child abuse leading to death.

Lopez was sentenced to nine years in prison. He was released in 1992 and is still on parole. Angela Sanchez was sentenced to six years and served about half her term.

Hurricane said he had no choice but to go on and be strong. "She went to prison and suddenly I had to be the mother and the father of my children, '' Hurricane said. "You know it really touched me. Last Mother's Day my son Nelson called me and said `Happy Mother's Day, Dad. You were my father and mother.' ''

These days Al Hurricane has slowed down. Not nearly as much touring, just a couple of gigs a week. He says he's working on a new album but doesn't want to say when to expect it. "Whenever I say, it would be later,'' he said.

But he still loves the music, still loves the applause, still loves it when a fan interrupts an interview to get an autograph and a kiss.

And the Godfather loves passing his music on to a younger generation. He recalled a recent show at a school in Las Vegas, N.M. The students he said were just as enthusiastic, if not more, than his regular audiences. "They were grabbing me, caressing me, '' he said. "I told the vice principal later that I felt like Elvis Presley. He told me, `You are our Elvis Presley.' "


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