Music » Music Lead

Makin' the Scene

Before his regular Wednesday show at Fat Fish Blue, Robert Lockwood Jr. sat at the bar and received congratulations on his Grammy nomination for Best Blues Record.

"I got a Grammy comin'," he told one well-wisher. "All the judges say I'm going to win."

What made I Got to Find Me a Woman more Grammy-worthy than his other records? According to Lockwood, it was the label, PolyGram. "Big companies do good for musicians. Little ones are talent killers .. . If I'd been with a big company, I'da had this thirty-forty years ago."

If he wins, don't expect the 83-year-old's acceptance speech to shower the voters with humility. "I got as good a chance as anybody else. I should have a better chance."

"Because I have done so much. What can I say? I've opened so many doors. I've done so much for this business."

One thing, though, may keep Lockwood from grabbing his trophy in person. "I hate flying," he said.

The 41st annual Grammy Awards will be presented February 24 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

A Saturday Night Live game-show spoof flashed pictures of celebrities and asked contestants whether they were "dead, alive, or Canadian." Sam Phillips, the founder of Sun Records, seems like one of those guys who would elicit more "dead" answers than "alive" or "Canadian."

Lucky for us (and him), he's among the oxygen-intakers. Phillips is a late addition to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Elvis celebration. The 76-year-old producer, who was inducted into the Rock Hall in 1986, will speak at the museum Wednesday, January 27, at 7:30 p.m.

Bonus Elvis grits: The museum is offering guided tours through the Presley collection and will show Elvis flicks (the good ones) at 3 p.m. on January 17, 18, and 31.

Third bit of Rock Hall-related news: Colin Quinn recognized Terry Stewart's appointment as executive director during "Weekend Update" on January 10's Saturday Night Live. The cement mixer-voiced anchor said Stewart's charge is to rectify the hall's attendance and financial woes. Quinn's reasons for the shortcomings? "Location, location, location." Ouch.

Uh ... thanks? Cleveland became the sixteenth U.S. city to inspire an Absolut vodka ad. Too bad "Absolut Cleveland" brings to mind San Francisco as much at it does C-Town.

Absolut had its heart in the right place. Drew DeSarno, marketing manager at Seagram Americas, the vodka's importer, says Absolut wanted to recognize a midsized, backbone American city. "More importantly, we wanted to get a chance to honor Cleveland's rock and roll heritage."

The Absolut campaign has frequently celebrated artists, beginning with Andy Warhol in 1985. Alton Kelley, who created posters and album cover art for bands such as Pink Floyd, Journey, the Stones, and the Grateful Dead, had agreed to contribute to the series. Absolut and its ad agency, TBWA Chiat/Day New York, recognized symmetry between Kelley and Cleveland, and the piece was commissioned.

"With the vibrancy of the music scene in Cleveland and with Cleveland's honor in being selected as the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it came together with Alton Kelley as a way to honor Cleveland," DeSarno said.

But was it too much of a stretch? It could be argued Kelley's psychedelic style is more readily identified with the Dead (and its sprawling hippie culture) than with the spirit of rock and roll. And everyone knows the Dead broke out of 'Frisco, not Parma.

What's done is done. At least Absolut didn't commission a painting of a fumbling Earnest Byner or a booting Tony Fernandez to symbolize another Cleveland trademark.

Local musician Paul Sidoti met his "absolute superheroes" when he worked the first leg of Kiss's Psycho Circus tour. Sidoti, who plays bass with Gary Lewis and the Playboys, sold the band's "high-end collectibles" (read: really expensive crap) at shows. Much of the merchandise was autographed, and Sidoti spent hours with the band members as they scribbled their signatures.

Kiss fans will be delighted to know the guys were a pleasure to work with. They traded jokes with each other, bowled in Chicago with Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen, and "were always upbeat about everything." When Sidoti learned the guys were Gary Lewis fans, he had Lewis send each member an autographed photo, which Gene Simmons especially seemed to appreciate.

Interesting trivia: Paul Stanley's the best bowler, and the code word for the video crew was "Nippleodeon Theater."

Dinky, Destination's eight-foot pink flamingo mascot, will appear on the Friday, January 15 episode of The Ghoul. Destination drummer Mike Smollen says Dinky tangles with Ghoul 'scot Froggy, and singer Tim Greene participates in a pierogi-eating contest. The band also contributed a song, "Ghoul Show." The Ghoul's theme song, "Ghoul Power," was penned by the Electric Ghoulardies, the Raven Slaughter/Kidd Wicked side project. Catch the show Fridays at 11:30 p.m. on WB affiliate WBNX-TV/Channel 55.

Five former members of Oroboros--Bill Cogan, Rob Luoma, Mike Bradley, Dave Downing, and Mike Verbic--have a new band, Dream Circuit, that makes its club debut at the Rhythm Room Thursday, January 14.

Ivet postponed the release of its second CD, Sick House, until singer Frank Silver recuperates from a December traffic accident. Band manager/WBWC personality Jim Benson says Silver, who was driving a van for Airborne Express when the accident occurred, received seven stitches in his head and had pins inserted in his broken foot. Ivet should start playing again in late February.

Ted Riser, host of musicians' night at Stinger's Bar & Grille, will give away a Sam Ash guitar Thursday, January 14. The club will hold musicians' nights--bring the instrument of your choice and hop onstage--every Thursday until June. Riser says to look for two more guitar giveaways in the future.

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