The Sonny Smiths and an Ed Ruscha

I bought the Sonny Smith box set from Gallery 16 a couple years ago, but have not given it much of a sit and spin. (Speaking of which, and as I mentioned earlier, I’m at the laudromat waiting for the spinning to banish the evil wetness from our sheets); it features a variety of styles, a bunch of fake band names and art or mock cover art by numerous artists, including the very over-qualified Ed Ruscha. His is for a piece called Half Boy Half Girl by the Wayward Youth (or by The Spectones — confusing — alternate title thing).

I’d been hearing about Sonny Smith for a while. I had not been hearing or seeing him. I met him the other night at MakeOut Room season party — all the bands picked by Parker Gibbs, his favs — but didn’t realize who I was speaking with, at first. I was on my way out — to get back to Palo Alto at a reasonable time — and left the building, waiting for my ride-share-thingy and just blurted out to the people leaning on a car right in front of me that this is like a high school reunion, in that a lot of these bands got going in the 1990s, when we were all lean and less gray. He said who he was — apparently he had been on stage during a period I was back by the bar and only part listening — and then I said, mock-imitating him or what he might be thinking “Nineties bands? Fuck that! I’m in a current band!”

Here’s the Ruscha cover: ( the youtube has only 250 views, so this is pretty obscure stuff — reminds me of the Chris Johanson exhibit at Altman Siegel in which I was not sure if the backroom had actual flyers or fake flyers.).

almost a reggae vibe here. he has a jonathann richman vibe. His real name I think is Sonny Smith Shorenstein but he is not related to Walter Shorenstein who brought Sammy Davis to the Fairmont, in the way that Bobby Lurie of Billy Nayer Show is not likely related to Bob Lurie former Giants owner (nor John Lurie, who I watched 20 min of today — pre laundry — from 1984 and Hungary — the girl said she was not hungry — ) and I recall that Etienne DeRocher who purportedly turned down a major label deal because they were going to force him on Glen Ballard, or in, who someone quipped — and this is all apocryphal or fake news – is actually named Ted From Richmond. I bought the Sonny Smith breakout album just last week from Down Home of Not Richmond but El Serio. En serio!



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; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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