WHITLOCK REIGNS — I knew Bobby Whitlock was going to be good at B.B. King’s last night, but I couldn’t have predicated just how joyous a ride it would be. Playing almost the entire Lalya album (the holy grail of rock albums for sure) Whitlock, fired up and with an almost eerie energy, was just a dynamo onstage. With his wife Coco Carmel –who was married to Delaney Bramlett for a time- and guitarist Ricky Byrd (the original guitarist for Joan Jett) on just a stellar-guitar (very Clapton and Harrison for sure) it was just a sensational show. Opening with “Anyday” and ending with “Layla,” Whitlock had the crowd in the palm of his hand from the moment he stepped onstage. His Clapton and Harrison stories were great, although I had hoped he might play something from the iconic All Things Must Pass album. “Got To Get Better In A Little While” and “Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad” just stellar as well. He also performed “Bell Bottom Blues,” which he revealed Clapton had officially added his name as writer recently; certainly edging up Whitlock’s bank account. Coco, besides being a great visual to his whole show, was a riveting presence as well; with a sultry vocal prowess and some great chops on guitar. Together, they are a very impressive duo in a very, real Delaney & Bonnie way. I well remember Bobby’s first two solos albums back in the day, Bobby Whitlock and Raw Velvet and while he didn’t do anything from that, he and Coco performed one of her numbers which was just terrific. It wasn’t a huge crowd for Bobby, but a reverent one for sure. One of the best shows I’ve seen this year. Bravo!
CHICAGO’S THURSDAY NIGHT — This Thursday night in Times Square, the principal songwriters for the American band that has consistently contributed more quality and prolific tunes than any other in the last 50 years, will be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Chicago’s founding members, Robert Lamm and Jimmy Pankow, will be on hand to accept and perform in the main ballroom of the Marriott Marquis.
In case you missed them, on the eve of their induction, here are some interviews done over the past week with Robert and Jimmy:
PALLENBERG RIP — Anita Pallenberg, an actress and model who had been the girlfriend of both Keith Richards and Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, has died of unknown causes. She was 73.
The news was made public by Stella Schnabel, the daughter of painter and director Julian Schnabel. “I have never met a woman quite like you Anita,” she wrote on Instagram. “I don’t think there is anybody in this universe like you. No one has ever understood me so well. You showed me about life and myself and how to grow and become and exist with it all. I was a little girl thinking I was big but I became a woman through knowing you. The secret lyrical you. My best friend. The greatest woman I have ever known. Thank you for the most important lessons – because they are ever changing and definitive. Like you. We are all singing for you, how you liked it. Go in peace my Roman mother; you will always be in my heart.”
Born in Rome on Jan. 25, 1944 to German parents, a 2008 profile in The Guardian said that she was expelled from boarding school at age 16, after which she was involved in the art scenes, first in Rome and then New York, before moving to Paris and became a model.
In 1965, she and a friend attended a Rolling Stones concert in Munich, at which she got backstage and met Brian Jones. “My first impression was of a woman who was very strong,” wrote Keith Richards in his autobiography, Life. “I was right about that. Also an extremely bright woman, that’s one of the reasons she sparked me. Let alone that she was so entertaining and such a great beauty to look at. Very funny. Cosmopolitan beyond anyone I’d come across. She spoke three languages. She’d been here, she’d been there. It was very exotic, to me.”
However, her time with Jones corresponded with his descent into drug addiction, and he would occasionally beat Pallenberg and Richards, who was spending a lot of time with the two of them, drew closer to Anita. In March 1967, Jones, Pallenberg, Richards and two others had planned a drive to Morocco. However, Jones dropped out after the first night due to pneumonia, and by the time the vacation was over, Pallenberg and Richards were a couple.
In 1970, Pallenberg starred with Mick Jagger in Performance. In Life, Richards said that she and Jagger had an affair on the set, a charge Pallenberg repeatedly denied. The guitarist blamed writer-co-director Donald Cammell with facilitating it. But the couple had much bigger problems looming; they had started using heroin.
The couple were arrested upon landing in Toronto in 1977 when a spoon was discovered on Pallenberg. A stint in rehab for both followed, but The Guardian said that “it worked for him, but not for her.”
Two years later, while Richards was recording with the Stones, Scott Cantrell, a 17-year-old with whom Pallenberg was having an affair, shot himself in their bedroom in South Salem, N. Y. It was rumored that they were playing Russian roulette, but Pallenberg was eventually cleared. “I didn’t feel anything,” she told The Guardian. “That’s one of the wonders of drugs and drink.” Pallenberg and Richards broke up shortly thereafter, and it wasn’t until 1987 that she got clean.
Later in life, she studied fashion design and resumed her acting career in the late 90’s.
SHORT TAKES — Robert Miller’s Project Grand Slam will formally launch their new album, The PGS Experience, at Rockwood Music Hall in NYC, on Monday, July 10 @ 7:00 PM. They launched their last album there (The Queen’s Carnival) last August. We’ll be there front and center … Micky Dolenz, in Chicago this week for two shows at the City Winery, did the afternoon chat-show Windy City Live yesterday afternoon. Their producer Cassandra Belek worked on Micky’s profile on the Oprah Winfrey: Where Are They Now TV-show two years back. Writer Jeff Elbel from the Chicago Sun Times reported that the Tuesday opener was joyous and fun and said Dolenz was in great form … Jersey-PR maven Randy Alexander at Smith’s downtown Tuesday afteroon … The Summer of Love tour with Micky Dolenz and Mark Lindsay begins Friday, July 14 in San Diego and has signed on with PR-pasha David Salidor for PR-representation for the tour. Rehearsals start shortly and we’ll have a look behind-the-scenes on this one … According to TV Newser: A re-run of CBS’ 60 Minutes more than doubled the viewership of NBC’s Sunday NightWith Megyn Kelly. In head-to-head competition, 60 Minutes, which was Sunday’s most-watched show, drew 7.9 million viewers while the second episode of Kelly’s show, which included an exclusive interview with Erin Andrews, averaged 3.6 million, down 42% from its debut episode a week earlier. Ouch!