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Spend ‘An Evening with Don Was’ notes - April 2nd, 2012

From fellow fan Robert Silverstein:

For context, here’s a link to the concert:  Spend ‘An Evening with Don Was’

The show took place in a mostly full theater. Gary Graff gave an enthusiastic introduction to Don Was (noting that to fully describe DW’s accomplishments would take up most of the evening.) DW came out with an acoustic guitar and sang “Somewhere in America There’s a Street Named after My Dad” solo, a beautiful haunted version with occasional strumming of the guitar (as he noted to Gary Graff, “I’m not a folk singer”). He then sat down in a chair at the side of a stage, next to Gary Graff, and they had a conversation about his early interest in music. Then he brought out the other 2 members of the Saturns, his high school group, and the 3 of them played “If I had a Hammer” all on acoustic guitar. It turns out that a good portion of the audience were fellow graduates of DW from Oak Park High School class of 1970 (including Steve Brown, who put his hands on Zaz’s neck that day in the park!). After more conversation he brought out Was (not was):

first set:

second set:

third set:

between the sets there was more conversation with Gary Graff which I won’t try to reproduce. A few highlights:
DW’s new post as president of Blue Note Records
Bonnie Raitt’s management would have dumped DW (“for a real producer”) from the Nick of Time project if she had signed a record deal before he finished the project.
it was Milli Vanilli that had their tape break in the middle of song during the Club MTV tour.

When Gary Graff asked him about future plans, Don mentioned that he is writing songs with David, and eventually would like to do another WNW album. If Ididn’t mention this, he was very complimentary of David Was’ lyric writing, when Graff asked him if it was difficult assembling musicians to make the first WNW album, he said that the quality of David’s lyrics made it easy to attract quality musicians to the project.

He also mentioned that they knew the 6 record stores in Detroit that reported to the dance charts, and a calculated effort was made to buy up the first record (the first 12 inch, I think) at those stores to get the record on the charts. They were then pleasantly surprised that it became a club hit in England.

It was a great evening of music and conversation, I’m happy to have been there.
BTW, Terry “Thunder” Hughley is the drummer for the Detroit jazz/rock/funk institution The Sun Messengers, and plays with DW at the Concert of Colors revue he organizes every year in Detroit.

Excellent radio interview with Don on WDET - March 14th, 2012

From last year:
Don Was Interviewed for Ann Delisi’s Essential Music

Music legends from the Stones to Bob Dylan call on producer Don Was for expert guidance - July 15th, 2011

There are kids who want to grow up and become rock stars.

And then there are the Don Fagensons — the ones whose visions of musical glory lie amid the microphones and mixing boards of a recording studio.

Read more at Detroit Free Press

David Weiss Writes - July 15th, 2011

Brother David is writing a blog – You can read it at Play Goes Strong

Live At Red Rock Rocks Lounge Las Vegas NV - September 4th, 2010

The band will be apperaing at the Red Rock Rocks Lounge Las Vegas NV Sat, Oct 16, 2010 10:00 PM. Tickets can be purchased here

The charmed musical life of Don Was - May 28th, 2010

A Rolling Stones fan’s idea of heaven would be something like living in the skin of Don Was. The bassist and record producer was, for years, a huge Stones fan, having seen them live countless times, including as a kid during the group’s first wave of British Invasion popularity in the 1960s.

Then, in the early 1990s, Was — who appears with his band Was Not Was at the Santa Cruz Blues Festival on Sunday — became the Stones’ record producer, and has helped them shape their studio sound ever since, producing every studio album since 1994’s “Voodoo Lounge.”

“I got the best seat in the house,” he said.

More @ Santa Cruz Sentinel

Luis Resto - May 12th, 2010

Luis Resto has a new album on Orchide Records titled “Combo De Momento”. It’s a vinyl only release and there’s a video for one of the songs on YouTube

Here’s some other Luis links:
Luis’ Facebook Page
Luis’ MySpace Page
Follow Luis on Twitter
Luis on SoundCloud

Thanks go to Freddie Brooks for the information.

Was (Not Was) releases career collection ‘Pick of the Litter’ - February 24th, 2010

A review of Pick of the Litter 1980-2010, an interview, and some history from the Detroit News

David Was Interview - February 9th, 2010

A long interview with David appears in issue five of “Wheel Me Out”

Pick of the Litter 1980-2010 Now available at Amazon - December 3rd, 2009

Pick of the Litter 1980-2010

Pick of the Litter 1980-2010 is now available on pre-order from Amazon.

Track List:
1. “Wheel Me Out” (1980)
2. “Out Come the Freaks” (7” Version) (1981)
3. “Tell Me What I’m Dreaming” (1981)
4. “The Sky’s Ablaze” (1981)
5. “Should I Wait – Sweet Pea Atkinson (1982)
6. “Knocked Down, Made Small (Treated Like a Rubber Ball (1983)
7. “Walk the Dinosaur” (1988)
8. “Spy in the House of Love” (7” version) (1988)
9. “Dad I’m in Jail” (1988)
10. “Somewhere in America There’s a Street Named After My Dad” (1988)
11. “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” (Promo Edit Single) (1990)
12. “I Feel Better Than James Brown” (1990)
13. “I Blew Up the United States” (1990)
14. “Semi-Interesting Week” (2008)
15. “From the Head to the Heart” (2008)
16. “Hello Operator . . . I Mean Dad . . .I Can’t Even Remember Who I Am” (Rehearsal Version) (1989)
17. “Shake Your Head” (Steve “Silk” Hurley Remix) featuring Kim Basinger and Ozzy Osbourne (1992)
18. “Elvis’ Rolls Royce” featuring Leonard Cohen (1990)
19. “Zaz Turned Blue” featuring Mel Tormé (1983)

OrderBuy Now!

WAS (NOT WAS) TO RELEASE THREE-DECADE RETROSPECTIVE SET, ‘PICK OF THE LITTER (1980-2010),’ ON FEBRUARY 23, 2010 - December 3rd, 2009

Was (Not Was), dubbed “the funkier art-funk band” by The New York Times, have spanned three decades with their mutant mix of jazz, rock, R&B and funk. On February 23, 2010, Micro Werks will release Pick of the Litter (1980-2010).

More at PR Inside

Was (Not Was) at The Newport Jazz Festival - May 15th, 2009

Reports indicate that Was (Not Was) will be at the Newport Jazz Festival May 16/17 2009.

More at Daily Pilot

New Gigs - May 7th, 2009

Was (Not Was) descend on Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way in Santa Cruz, for shows at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $20 in advance at moes alley.

The Don Was Detroit Super Session - July 16th, 2008

Don Was no longer requires an introduction in these pages. One of Detroit’s most successful musical expatriates of the last two decades, the producer and Was (Not Was) co-leader returns this week to front an All-Star Detroit tribute at the Concert of Colors.

METRO TIMES: So tell us about the origins of the Don Was Detroit Super Session Show. We heard today that it looks like David [Was] isn’t going to make the show now.

DON WAS: Well, we’ll know when the plane leaves L.A. (laughs) He may; he may not – I don’t know for sure. But the whole thing really came about in a haphazard way. The Arab American Museum saw the Wasmopolitan site I’d done online, where we recorded and videotaped 11 Detroit artists. And they said “How about a live version of that?” I thought that’s a pretty cool idea, to do it as a revue, where everyone gets onstage and does one song. So, it’s basically an outgrowth of Wasmopolitan. But we’ve added the Detroit Cobras and the Dirt Bombs. Mitch Ryder, John Sinclair and Wayne Kramer. Lola Morales. But it’s most of the same people from the website —Black Bottom Collective, Black Merda, Sisters Lucas, the Go, the Ramrods, the Muldoons. Luis Resto. Hopefully David. (laughs).


Detroit Metro Times

Video – Walk The Dinosaur and Interview - July 2nd, 2008

Wonderful Was (Not Was) video (looking youthful from the 80’s) on YouTube. The lip-sync of ‘Walk The Dinosaur’ is as painful as anything from this era, but just wait for the interview at the end of the video – hilarious and brilliant. — Thanks to Mark.


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