First and foremost, the great Roy Wood, who turned 57 on Saturday. I can't believe I overlooked this one. I've written about my admiration for Wood's work before, but my devotion is mostly inspired by his brilliant 60s and 70s albums, either on his own- playing every instrument, doing all the vocal tracks, writing all the songs, producing and even painting the album cover art like he did for his 1973 release Boulders, always listed on that personal top 25 albums list I keep threatening- or with groups like the Move (see link in the link box at right), Electric Light Orchestra, and Wizzard. His work since 1977 just hasn't seen much release over here in the colonies (although that's been getting better in the last few years...but now I just can't afford), so I don't have a lot of it, and much of what I've heard is fine but doesn't quite match his earlier standards, as is so often the case with so many great musicians. Anyway, happy belated BSBdG's to ya, Mr. Wood. And tour America sometime before I die, will ya? Credit where credit is due dept.- the droll concert photo above was pinched from the website of one Jon Hinchcliffe, whose name rings a bell.
I also missed the birthday of Rickie Lee Jones, who turned 49 on Saturday as well. She's another artist whose work I liked a lot at the beginning of her career but have lost track of due to a couple of mediocre releases in the early 90s- but she always remains worthy of a listen because she seems determined to follow her muse no matter what. Favorite album: 1981's Pirates. Underrated: 1993's Traffic From Paradise. She's another artist I'd love to see live someday.
Finally, BSBdG's go out today to Greg Lake, 55. I've enjoyed enough of his work with King Crimson, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Peter Sinfield that I thought I should give him a shout out. I've always had a perverse admiration for his side of ELP's Works Vol. 1. Let's just keep that between friends, OK?