To Be Young and Well-Strung (Jim Campilongo, Stella Brooks, Beth Lisick riff)

I’ve done about 500 posts now and have about 20,000 hits, which works out to roughly about 50 people per post. I got to thinking most of them stop by on their way to something else. At first I numbered each post in Roman Numerals, like the Super Bowl, which has the amusing effect that the thirtieth post, about street musician Emily Palen, is a huge hit: people find it while seeking out porn (“XXX”). It is true that I ocassionally post some blue material, but more likely I talk about the blues. Do you consider the Groucho Marx joke about shooting an elephant in his pajamas dirty? I’ve probably referenced that bit about ten times here in “Plastic Alto”; I also said that when Candye Kane was removed from a festival in Alabama that she would do slightly better in Tuscaloosa. (She’s doing fine, god bless).

I have a picture of Beth Lisick on a post under the headline “To Be Young and Well-Hung in Palo Alto” which is actually about the Stein family who had a collection of Matisse here, famously. Looking back (and repenting) I clicked thru to a Beth Lisick post in the Chron where she talks about Jim Campilongo and Norah Jones playing at the Make-Out Room in 2002. They played a song named “Stella” which makes me wonder if it is somehow related to Stella Brooks (who, I should disclose, i was for 18 months working for her estate or at least her niece on “legacy” work — as compared to the fact that I am a fan of Jim Campilongo but I don’t recall ever hiring him; at one point I had his cellphone number and when I was subletting Jenny Scheinman’s Carroll Gardens apartment I was supposedly also authorized to look for a place for Jim Campilongo — I guess I missed out on the chance to be a bigger part of his picture. He may have played Cubberley with Steven Yerkey, in 1995).

The link above or embed shows a player named João Pedro Martins· Joao Pedro Martins doing a minute of the Campilongo “Stella”. We presume it has lyrics in the version Norah joins.

There is also a 45 minute tutorial and conversation with Jim and Justin Sandercoe.

Jim’s site has numerously teaching aids where you can learn how he plays many of his riffs.

I have two of his earlier cds, and hope to someday complete my set.

I did see the very early Norah Jones show with Jim at the Jupiter.

Beth Lisick, who like myself once attended elementary school in Saratoga, performed at Cubberley in 1996 or so as Beth Lisick Ordeal (BLO), opening for Ozomatli and she sometimes takes my call or answers my emails years later.

With her long brown hair pulled back into a ponytail and a pair of specs perched on her famous face, Blue Note chanteuse Norah Jones took the stage at the Makeout Room last Sunday night, sitting in for a couple songs with local guitar hero Jim Campilongo. Last week, in 2002, she means.

Stella Brooks is a jazzsinger who recorded for Moe Asch Smithsonian Folkways six tracks or so, in 1946, then left the limelight to return to SF and was a hair stylist, but she also was a muse or friend to people like Marlon Brando, Tennesse Williams and Terry Abrahamson. I still think someone should re-release her tracks on a local imprint with an update on the liner notes, but what do I know?

edit to add, hours later: fact-checking the first 600 words here, I found this strange Stella Brooks tribute (coming from me!), someone adding cue drops to a novel “The Recognitions” by William Gaddis, which includes “Little Piece of Leather by Stella Brooks. Gaddis pops up sometimes when I am checking up on Stella but I haven’t quite grasped what it is, other than the fact he has a fan who would post 38 cues. To wit:


About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player, and blogger; he also sang in local choir, fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32 Reads 'Howl' and owns a couple musical instruments he cannot play
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