Bill Campana, What Are You Listening To?

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Bob Nelson
Bill Campana

The Valley poet has participated in poetry slams both locally and nationally and can be found at various events around the state.

When you put your key in the ignition and turn on the radio, what station would
play right now?
It's hard to say. I change the station constantly. It could be KBAQ, KJZZ, KLSX, KCDX, KRCI, KOOL, and KTAR during baseball season.

What's the last song played on your portal music player? Ray Charles is on my boom box right now singing "Hard Times".


What's the first record you bought?
The Kinks Greatest Hits! "You Really Got Me," "All Day And All Of The Night"--we didn't have a record player in my house until 1968.

What's the first concert you saw? Elton John at the Public Auditorium in Cleveland, Ohio, with my two older brothers. This was in 1971 before Elton became the pop star he is today. It was just piano, bass and drums.

What's your favorite concert you've ever been to? Avant-garde soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy at the Rhythm Room. I sat with my feet on the stage while he played and shook his hand afterward.

Preferred format: CD, vinyl, cassette, 8-Track or digital? I miss vinyl in that I would spend hours shopping for jazz records, reading liner notes in order to figure out if I might like the record. There weren't listening stations back in the stone age. I prefer CDs because of the cleaner sound, and they take up less space. As for an iPod--I've never owned one and I'm not sure I ever will. I don't trust them.

What's your favorite CD? Dances and Ballads, by The World Saxophone Quartet--Oliver Lake, David Murray, Hamiet Bluiett, and the late Julius Hemphill, recorded in 1987. To my mind, it is right up there with A Love Supreme (John Coltrane) and Kind of Blue (Miles Davis). It didn't break new ground musically, but for sheer beauty and prime composition, it should be more prominent on everyone's top 10 list. It is out of print.

Who is your favorite singer or band? The John Coltrane Quartet. They had it all--the vision, dedication, the energy.

Does you computer track how many times you've played something--if so, what's at the top of the list? I don't play music on my computer, but the one in my head thinks it might be the Miles Davis version of Thelonious Monk's "'Round Midnight,"recorded in the year I was born (1955). I've been listening to that song since 1975.

What was your favorite new or new-to-you album from 2010? Alban Berg, The Complete String Quartets. Music you can listen to over and over and find new magic each time.

What one song would you play if you had a world-wide radio audience? "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)", by Bob Dylan from the album Bringing It All Back Home. Recorded in January of 1965, it is the 1960s. It is the culmination of a brilliant folk movement looking the beginnings of hard rock right in the eyes, and the stare-down was extraordinary.

 

What is your favorite music video? Hail! Hail! Rock n Roll!, the documentary film about Chuck Berry's 60th birthday. The concert footage with Chuck, still spry, rocking with a band lead by Keith Richards.
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1 comments
Gary B
Gary B

The "It's Alright, Ma" linked to video is the Budokan performance, not the '65 recording Bill specified--but it is worth listening to, and when it's finished, several other versions reveal themselves, including Bill's favorite. As one of Bill's Sound Effects players, I recited all the lyrics one Saturday, and thought then and think now that the spoken words, predating slam poetry as they do by more than twenty years, also presage slam poetry (three minute limit notwithstanding).

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