Regarding "Current Events" ...

In the (unlikely) event that I, Tonio K. (so-called), do hereby (or eventually, or ever) swear and declare, in good faith, that should I do anything (professional or personal) in any format, using any technology, known or currently unknown, in any media, or "in-the-flesh," anywhere in the known universe, I will notify my beloved friends, fans and family on this very site. Simply press the Current Events button in the site menu from time to time and, who knows, I may have actually "posted" some comment or thought (or demand, with accompanying terrorist threats); or, highly unlikely as it may be, what with me having retired from the stage years ago, news of some gig or public appearance. It may end up as a sort-of-kind-of-a "blog," though I also promise, swear and declare etc, etc, to never use that word, in print or in person, again, as it sounds too much like the sound we all used to make in high school while vomiting (after too much beer or cheap tequila).

Now, go back to the top of the paragraph and realize that I haven't actually promised to do any of this, yet; I've simply sworn that if I ever do do anything like the above, I'll let you know here. I swear and declare it. But, then again, I could be drunk and take it all back later.

OK, Here's One: The Crickets!

Sonny stonehenge 1973
Those are my friends J.I. Allison and Sonny Curtis in front of Stonehenge back before the fence (circa 1974). I was in the band for a couple of years during that era, along with Rik Grech and Albert Lee. Very cool band. Great guys. Taking issue with Elvis Costello, I'd have to say J.i. and Sonny are the "funniest fuckers in the world." The stuff they've done; the stories they tell. The stories I could tell ... about them. Maybe I will someday, on this very site. For now:
 
The Crickets were finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recently! Their lead singer and guitarist, a guy named Buddy Holly, was inducted in the "inaugural class," back in 1986, but the band was overlooked. A howling error, in my (and many others') opinion: These guys (Buddy, J.I. and Joe B. Mauldin) were arguably the first Garage Band; the first Rock and Roll band, period. Everyone else (Elvis, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, etc.) was a solo artist who hired a band. The Crickets were Lubbock, Texas teenagers who wrote some songs (often in J.I. or Holly's bedrooms), went into the garage and rehearsed them, and played them at gigs at the High School or local roller rink. Then they made some demos, first with Owen Bradley in Nashville, then with Norman Petty, in Clovis, New Mexico. The song's these kids wrote between 1956 and 1958 had names like "That'll Be the Day," "Peggy Sue" (J.I.'s girlfriend at the time) and "Not Fade Away," to name a few. Then they got a record deal and went out on the road. And the rest really is history. The first album, the one with most of the hits on it (released in 1957), was The Chirping Crickets, by ... The Crickets! Sounds like the first Rock and Roll band to make it, to me.
 
And why is this here on my so-called "current events" page? Because I love these guys, was in that latter-day, post-Holly version of the band for a couple of years in the mid 70s ... and went to the "induction party" in Nashville last week (7/21/12). I'm actually writing this at J.I.'s farm, "White Trash Ranch," outside of Nashville right now. A while ago, when I mentioned that "Peggy Sue" was the first record I ever bought (a coral-colored 45 RPM single on the Coral label), J.I. showed me a promotional copy of the record (a pre-release blue label 45) that he recently found at his parent's house in Lubbock.  His mom had saved it all these years. Next to the title and writer credits, it's signed:
"To Peggy Sue with all my love, Jerry."  
 
So how about that shit, tuff guys.  An actual "current event" worth mentioning. 

But wait, I just thought of another one:
 

Dionne Warwick

I got a copy of "Love's Still the Answer" by Dionne Warwick from Burt B. today (8/3/12). It's really good, if I do say. The song has been recorded by Ronald Isley and a few others, U.S. and Euro, thus far. This version was produced by Phil Ramone for a new album of Bacharach hits, new and old, by Dionne. Not sure when the record is out; Burt says our song will be the first single ... whatever that means these days. Can't put the track up yet, but you can hear the song in the "covers" section of the Songwriter drop-down.

Burt Bacharach

The Burt Bacharach autobiography, Anyone Who Had a Heart, and its accompanying best of Burt Bacharach CD (on Universal Records) is out. Our song, "Love's (Still) the Answer," the version by Ronnie Isley, is included on the CD. I have, and have heard, many of the Burt "compilations" and best-of CDs and box sets over the years; I'm always struck by the same thing: the guy is a monster. An unbelievable body of work. And a really good guy. So proud to have written with him and call him my friend.

Robert Randolph

Check out the Robert Randolph CD, Lickety Split, just out. I co-wrote the title track with Robert. Also, while we're discussing Robert, if you don't have the CD he did with T Bone Burnett, We Walk This Road, get it. Robert is, in a phrase, Jimi Hendrix on pedal steel guitar ... with strong genetic links to the origins of the Sacred Steel movement of the 1930s. I co-wrote much of that CD with him, too.

Dick Dale

Just put a "more Dick Dale" (Surf Version) mix of "The Funky Western Civilization" on the Life In The Foodchain link. Way too much surf guitar, but fantastic!

 

Sons of Anarchy

I've been writing with Bob Thiele, Jr. for the Forest Rangers CD (tentatively titled Land Ho!). The Forest Rangers are the house band on the FX smash hit Sons of Anarchy (a great series about mostly awful people). I'm not an official Ranger but was a real Forest Service Fire Lookout volunteer at a tower on Tahquitz Peak (9,000 ft. elv.) above Idyllwild, CA. last Fall. Multi-instrumentalist Greg Leisz, who is a Forest Ranger, was also an actual "forest ranger" in Montana years ago. Only he didn't just sight a fire, report it and then have lunch like us volunteers; he actually got a shovel and went out and fought the fire like a man. I've co-written several songs on the CD, which is pretty cool.

 

The Forest Rangers

And heres that CD now! Recently released (mid-2015) and available for streaming or other forms of theft...or you could buy one from their site.
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Katey Sagal

And speaking of Sons of Anarchy, Katey Sagal recorded a song Bob T and I wrote, "Follow the River," for her recent CD-which also includes a great version of Jackson Browne's "For a Dancer." (Don't start.)

Always Woodstock

Katey and "Follow the River" are also in the movie, Always Woodstock, out November 2014.

 

Speaking of The Crickets

Remember these guys? You do, whether you do or not: The Crickets (Buddy Holly, Joe B. Mauldin and Jerry Ivan--J.I. --Allison).
Joe B. moved on up to “Rock-N-Roll Heaven" earlier this year. Many of the remaining Crickets (there were many over the years)
will be playing a memorial gig at the (in)famous Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa on Feb. 6, 2016. I’ll be among them.

Remember these guys? You do, whether you do or not: The Crickets (Buddy Holly, Joe B. Mauldin and Jerry Ivan--J.I. --Allison). Joe B. moved on up to “Rock-N-Roll Heaven" earlier this year. Many of the remaining Crickets (there were many over the years) will be playing a memorial gig at the (in)famous Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa on Feb. 6, 2016. I’ll be among them.

Crickets Gig at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa

Last place Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper played, Feb. 2, 1959. Last Crickets gig, Feb. 6, 2016.

Last place Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper played, Feb. 2, 1959. Last Crickets gig, Feb. 6, 2016.

Also, it was, in fact, the last Crickets gig...for now. Hopefully J.I. and Sonny will change their minds down the road...
although, they have been on that road since 1957. A total blast and, as they say, one for the Rock history books.

Here's a link to the local Clear Lake/Mason City GlobeGazette article about the show:

  http://globegazette.com/news/local/crickets-show-at-clear-lake-ballroom-was-their-last/article_c7a66567-0174-55e9-9629-3683b86d03ba.html
 

BURT BACHARACH AND TONIO K "Original Demos" CD

Booklet bb 16 pages

That's right: Burt Bacharach and Tonio K. Original demos. Soon to be released (May 15th) by Contante y Sonante, a small label in Madrid, España (that's Spain, for you Amerikans): a 1000 copy numbered/limited edition CD of the demos of some (14) of the songs Burt and I have written over the last 20+ years. About half of these songs have been recorded and released (by people like Ronnie Isley, Dionne Warwick, Chicago, etc), but these are the demos! Not that singers like Billy Valentine, John Pagano, Warren Wiebe or Bill Champlain are anything but great singers, as well. Very cool record and a real labor of love on the part of everyone involved. I was asked by label owner, Gabriel Raya, (and authorized by Burt) to reminisce and write the liner notes, which I did. It was a real trip down memory lane and pretty darn interesting, if I do say. Like the time Burt wondered if I'd be interested in writing a song with him and Brian Wilson... Ha! Good songs; good times. 

As I understand it, the CD (available in hard copy only) will be sold mostly in Europe and Japan, but, I assume, can be gotten online, too...while they last.
Apparently it really is 1000 copies, period. Now get out there and consume! Here's a link to the site: 
https://www.contanteysonante.com or https://www.contanteysonante.com/burtbacharachtoniok-originaldemos

Updated update, March, 2018:

Well, I believe this original notice was back in the spring of 2016 (or was it 2017?). The CD was in fact released...and sold out the 1000 copies quickly. Sorry.

Maybe those of you in desperate need can find one on the blazing secondary market. If not, here's a "complimentary" track. It's called "Who Are These people?".

Originally written and recorded during the Bush II administration, the version on Burt's Grammy-winning At This Time CD was sung by Elvis Costello. This is the demo: 

https://www.contanteysonante.com/burtbacharachtoniok-originaldemos

The Girl Hannah

The girl hannah

Pretty damned cool if I/we do say.

This is a newly/finally released (iTunes and streaming only) "Album" of songs/tracks originally recorded in the early 2000s.

What is today, March-something, 2018?  Well, that's how the Business-formerly-known-as-Music works these days.

Larry Klein and I wrote these songs mostly to amuse ourselves and to hear young, beautifully-voiced Hannah Mancini sing them. (A few of them were for movies.) Then we decided we were a band. Then we couldn't get a record deal. Then the tracks sat around for 10 or 15 years. Then they finally got released... last week. March 1, 2018. The cover, with Hannah inserted in the "cloud" is from a collage piece of mine. The liner notes are interesting/informative. And the music... well, we like it a lot.