by Dan Bolles
Since last we met — that would be yesterday — I've been inundated with a whole bunch of nifty little tidbits to send your way. Most of it came in too late to throw in the column, which is too bad because I could've used some extra fodder. In any event, I thought I'd send the overflow your way.
Gordon Stone miraculously recovered his 1977 Stelling Bellflower banjo this week. I mentioned this in the column, but didn't have the whole story until today. Here's the e-mail I received recounting the tale:
The Theft – Over Memorial day weekend 2007, Gordon Stone’s van was broken into
at the Four Star Sheraton in Norwalk, CT. Among the items stolen was the 1977
Stelling Bellflower Banjo that he had been playing for over 30 years –
it’s one and only owner.
The Internet – On May 29th, the word went out over the internet. Gordon’s own
website, his myspace page, EBay, Craigslist, The BanjoHangout.com,
Cybergrass.com, every possible web connection that could be made or was
suggested was posting the stolen gear and instrument. People wrote in
from all over the Northeast, (including the bands moe. and Max Creek, to say they too
were posting this sad event on their website.
The Recovery – a Good Samaritan (fellow musician) saw the banjo for sale at a
flea market for $275.00 and immediately was suspicious. He went home to check
Google and the first item on the page for “stolen banjo” was the cybergrass
mention of Gordon’s banjo. The Good Samaritan went back to the flea
market and the banjo was gone. He called Gordon and the search began. His efforts, the
internet, and the honesty of the owner of the flea market ended in the
reuniting of Gordon and his Stelling Bellflower in a parking lot in
Bridgeport, CT on Sunday July 29th, 2007….not even 30 miles from where it had been stolen.
The BanjoHangout.com? Wonder what they talk about over there? Probably A-Rod.
Colin Clary sent me a link to former Freeps music writer Brad Searles' blog in Beantown. It's all about former Fags front-man Eugene Hutz and his rise from Ukrainian immigrant in Burlington to Madonna's dance partner at Live Earth. It's a great read and there's an awfully cute pic of Mr. Cooley in all his youthful punk-rock glory. Check it out.
You guys ever hear of someone named Grace Potter? I'm told she's pretty hot. Anyway, she and The Nocturnals just did the theme song for VPR's new daily news magazine Vermont Edition which premieres — as a daily, anyway — on 8/13. Apparently, they "jammed out" using their song "Nothing But The Water" as a template. Take a listen starting tomorrow. Heady, bro.
Also, there's a "secret" GPN show at Club Metronome next Tuesday — the day their major label debut This Is Somewhere hits the streets. To get an invite, you have to pre-purchase the new disc at Pure Pop. It's kind of funny because the only time I've seen GPN live was when they opened for my old band, The Middle Eight, at Metronome some three or four years ago . . . sigh.
Finally, I completely spaced on mentioning this in the column, but there's a pretty weird early show at Nectar's next Tuesday. Cellist Helen Money composes instrumental rock songs and plays them — electric with numerous effects pedals — through her cello. Trust me, it's bizarre. But it's definitely worth checking out if you're looking for something to do on a Tuesday evening.