John York & Kim Fowley,
West Coast Revelation
(Global Recording Artists, 2011)

Think of this CD as a book on CD, with songs. Fowley, in fact, describes it as "a musical talking book" in the form of an album. In it, old-time Los Angeles musical figures John York (a veteran of just about every West Coast band you can name, from Doug Sahm & Friends to Delaney and Bonnie to the Byrds) and Kim Fowley (legendary producer, rock gadfly and creator and manager of the Runaways) got together to write some songs about the old days and tell stories about them.

Mostly, Fowley interviews York, who tells war stories about his days on the L.A. musical scene, revisiting and recreating the era. If you were there and get the references, you're in for a good, if nostalgic, time. If you're too young to have lived through, say, the rise of the clubs on the Sunset Strip or the Summer of Love in San Francisco, you're going to be experiencing social history, told to you by two guys who lived it.

Are all of their stories equally interesting? Well, no. Occasionally, the two of them appear to be more interested in crying out, "I was there," than clarifying a scene for a listener, but still, you'll enjoy spending an hour in the company of these two guys.

And the songs aren't bad, either.

music review by
Michael Scott Cain

22 October 2011

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