new riley rock report drops Friday, Feb 10
Different platform, same sizzle.
With tomorrow’s issue, the riley rock report makes the big leap onto substack. Readers can now easily access the newsletter and podcast all in one place. Share with friends and librarians.
Stay tuned for more on how music history spices the Big Now.
This issue celebrates Rick James (1948-2004):
The Boston Phoenix sent me to cover the Rick James comeback show at the Channel in September, 1989. He died in 2004, but not before engaging with his two biggest rivals: Prince, and Terence Trent D’Arby. James would have turned 75 on February 1.
“Rick James seems like a perfect case of a performer who peaked too soon.”
“Like the Jacksons’ Victory Tour, which eschewed all songs from the album of the same name, James was out to prove his longevity more than to hawk his new product.”
“James’ mock-supremacy bit in his songs is equaled only by his annoying tendency to let his female compatriots go uncredited even on duets.”
“In a year of Big Comebacks, he has the left-handed advantage of not having nearly as much to live up to as Brian Wilson or Patti Smith. And lucky for him, his already converted audience is simply glad to see him again.”