Friday, October 15, 2010

Article I found on Facebook about East Bay Ray (former guitarist of Dead Kennedys) who was one of my heros as a teenager

EAST BAY RAY played guitar for DEAD KENNEDYS and penned some of the most recognizable and memorable guitar riffs to emerge from the West Coast punk movement. While most punk guitarists of the time were one-dimensional, Ray incorporated a variety of styles ...into his playing and hatched a truly original guitar sound, effortlessly rolling off an assortment of riffs (from surf rock, power chords and original open voicings to Ennio Morricone-esque spaghetti Westerns), in addition to creating spacey sounds courtesy of an Echoplex effects box. “Jello Biafra got all the press. But it was the guy beside him in the Dead Kennedys - East Bay Ray - who had the bigger hand in drawing up the blueprint for the second wave of American punk.” ~ San Jose Mercury News & Oakland Tribune, Nov. 7 2006: The Bay Area’s 25 Greatest Guitar Players East Bay Ray was born in California on November 17, 1958. He was inspired to do music by his father, who had a collection of 78RPM jazz and country blues records from the 1930's and 40's. When Ray's father was a teenager, he used to sneak into black jazz clubs to see Duke Ellington and Count Basie back when the country had legal racial segregation. His father would later take Ray and his brother when they were very young to see legendary performers like Muddy Waters, the Count Basie orchestra and Lightin' Hopkins. Ray's music was also inspired by his mother, who listened to the Weavers and Pete Seeger. Both his parents use to organize art and music festivals in their local neighborhood. In addition to music and art, his parents also taught him a sense of fairness and politically inspired him — both his mother and father were involved in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. At school, Ray studied architecture, but found it artistically restricting. When he did graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, Ray was writing and playing music and by then he found that it had become impossible for him to live without music. In 1978, Ray placed an ad in a San Francisco music paper looking for other musicians to form a band. JELLO BIAFRA and KLAUS FLOURIDE answered that ad and their meeting led to the formation of the Dead Kennedys. With the addition of drummer TED, soon to be replaced by D.H. PELIGRO, the group specialized in scalding-yet-witty political/social commentary, as evidenced by such classics as "California Uber Alles," "Holiday in Cambodia," "Police Truck," "Kill the Poor" and "Moon Over Marin" and their 1980 full-length debut, FRESH FRUIT FOR ROTTING VEGETABLES. Many DK songs have been included in the popular video games GUITAR HERO and ROCK BAND. Such further releases as 1981's IN GOD WE TRUST INC., 1982's PLASTIC SURGERY DISASTERS, 1985's FRANKENCHRIST 1986's BEDTIME FOR DEMOCRACY made the Dead Kennedys one of the world's top punk outfits. And, in a monumental achievement considering that the recordings were released on independent labels, GIVE ME CONVENIENCE OR GIVE ME DEATH is certified GOLD in both the United States and the United Kingdom and "Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables" and "In God We Trust, Inc." are certified Gold in the United Kingdom. With their success internationally, Dead Kennedys toured all across the world - throughout the USA, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Austria, France, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Russia, Poland, Hungary, Serbia, Turkey (the first punk band to play a Muslim country), Brazil. Argentina and Chile. Known in the alternative music scene for his unique artistry and multifaceted talents, Ray was featured in the January 2006 issue of GUITAR WORLD and in the April 2006 edition of GUITAR PLAYER magazine speaking about music, guitar playing, songwriting and record production techniques. In addition to playing guitar and composing for the band, East Bay Ray also supervised many of the band's recording and record releases. He produced and mixed Dead Kennedys' first single, "California Über Alles"/"Man with the Dogs," and sold the first copies from the back of his car to local record stores. He went on to produce or mix many of their other classic recordings, including "Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables," "In God We Trust, Inc.," "Holiday in Cambodia"/"Police Truck" and "Too Drunk to Fuck" (w/ GEZA X), "Plastic Surgery Disasters," and "Bleed for Me" (w/ THOM WILSON). When Dead Kennedys suffered from distribution problems owing to the band's controversial name and subject matter, Ray set up Alternative Tentacles Records as a formal record company in 1981 for the band to bypass the major record labels' reluctance to distribute their material as well as to release recordings by other artists. He remained a partner in the label until mid 1986. After the band stopped touring in February 1986, Ray played with other artists, including garage rocker PEARL HARBOUR and the lounge act FRENCHY. Ray recorded on the album SIDI MANSOUR by Algerian singer CHEIKHA REMITTI, which featured contributions by KING CRIMSON guitarist ROBERT FRIPP and RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS bassist FLEA and he added his guitar to (HED) PE's CD BROKE on the track "Waiting to Die." He also played with AMANDA PALMER, of the DRESDEN DOLLS, on her release WHO KILLED AMANDA PALMER, for the song "Guitar Hero." Ray also did soundtrack work for directors DAVID SEGAL and SCOTT MCGHEE (who would later enjoy acclaim with their 2001 thriller/drama THE DEEP END).

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Plastic Magic podcast #078 (10-10-10)

Hey everybody out there in podcast land! Tonight was: THE ANIMALS (1967), WEST, BRUCE AND LAING (1972), GINGER BAKER'S AIRFORCE (1971), SAVOY BROWN (1969), THE FROST (1969), QUICKSILVER MESSENGER SERVICE (1968), SOUTHWIND (1969), THE BEATLES (John Lennons would be birthday was yesterday), THE SWEET (1972), THE BLUES MAGOOS (1968), LONNIE MACK (1969), HOT TUNA (1973) and much more this here'a podcast # 078 and if you'd like to email a request for a future program or question go to  or you can leave a messege on this post...while we are at it, the Halloween show this year will be broadcast October 24th. As of yet it will start at 6pm CST as per normal, with a repeat on the following monday night 8pm PST, 10pm CST.