Monday, April 25, 2016

Hell's Kitchen Radio #260: Rest In Purple

Stream yet another TRIBUTE, HERE!
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Aw man, really? Not cool, universe. Not cool. This has been one shitty year for music legends. I can kind of understand how Lemmy went. Bowie? That one hurt, but OK, fuck cancer and all that. But Prince? 57 years old. And now we're hearing that it may be a "Michael-Jackson's-doctor-kinda-thing". Do the JWs have something against meds? He was raised a Seventh-Day Adventist. We're they against meds? Or is it the other way around, and he was on too many meds? DAMN!

This one hurts, because he didn't stop being so damn prolific throughout the years. I read a great article about six months ago about how he could and would often record entire records in a matter of hours; overdubs and all. He has a vault of nearly complete releases that he just wasn't ready to release. I have to wonder when, if ever, those recordings will be released.

I first listened to Prince when Purple Rain came out in the summer of 1984. I was just shy of 14, and it was huge almost immediately upon release. The film came out a few months later, and that quickly changed the attire of many of my high school classmates. I was not into the fashion, but his guitar work quickly caught my attention. So many of my friends were metal-heads, and Deadheads, who wouldn't give him the time of day, but when I would play the guitar solo from "When Doves Cry" even they had to admit this guy was on his own level. Though Jimi has been dubbed the number 1 guitar GOD by too many critics (and who am I to disagree?), Prince is a very close second, in my opinion.

My father actually sold a ring to him during Prince's visit to SF in 1985, when he played a sold out Cow Palace. My father was the manager for Granat Brothers Jewelers on Grant and Geary in downtown San Francisco at the time. Prince walked in with his bodyguard, "Big Chick" who was this HUGE white former wrestler with long white hair. Prince sat down in a chair, and the bodyguard asked for the manager. My father approached, and the bodyguard looked at my dad, pointed to Prince and growled "Do you know who that is?". My dad said "no". The bodyguard replied "that's Prince. He's going to be the biggest music star in the world!". He then asked to see a number of rings. My father presented them to Prince, who chose a beautiful diamond, ruby, sapphire ring. They paid in cash and walked out. True story.

Now Prince is dead. Prince is dead, and my father ended up going to see him perform at the Cow Palace for that show, which was the Purple Rain tour. I wonder where that ring is today?

I was a mobile and club DJ for many years between 1988-2002. Prince was always in the mix. ALWAYS. How couldn't he be? Prince made the cut in every club DJs set. And if you're a wedding DJ then you have no choice either.

One good thing that may come from his passing, is this may have kicked MTV into actually playing music videos again!

Prince, I hope wherever you are it bathed in purple, with your pick of lovers and guitars. I can imagine a very long receiving line for you, and you not disappointing anyone in attendance.

So for tonight I offer you a showcase of some of my favorite Prince from over the years, as well as a few favorite covers; many of which you would never expect.

You may fade from the scene, but you will never fade from our soul.

RIP Prince Rogers Nelson. You left us all way too soon, but not without plenty to keep your memory alive.

(The image above was created by my friend Joe Mangrum, a sand artist, who you can see almost daily in Washington Square Park, in NYC. The original photo came from Theo Wargo)



Hell's Kitchen with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia in SF

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Batdance: Prince
Sign O the Times: Prince

Creep: Prince (Live 2008 Coachella)
Get On The Good Foot/Rockhard In A Funky Place: TJ Kirk
When Doves Cry: Patti Smith
How Come you Don't Call Me: Alicia Keys

Erotic City: George Clinton and P-Funk All Stars
I Would Die For You: Prince

1999: Gary Numan
If I Was Your Girlfriend: TLC

Little Red Corvette: Prince (Orange Bowl - April 7, 1985 - Miami, FL)
Track 5: Nelson (Prince) - Cymone - Rivkin

While My Guitar Gently Weeps: Petty, Lynn, Winwood, Prince (RRHOF 2004)
Let's Go Crazy: Prince (Saturday Night Live - 40th Anniversary After Party)

Let's Pretend We're Married: Tina Turner
Raspberry Beret: Warren Zevon (Live November 20, 1990)
Movie Star: Miles Davis (Live at Montreux July 7, 1988)

Can I Play With U? Prince and Miles Davis
Kiss: Richard Thompson

Whenever anyone asks me about the greatest guitar solo, I always show them this video. It's the all-star jam following the posthumous induction of George Harrison into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, featuring Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, and Prince. You have to watch the solo all the way to the end. Really, do not miss what he does at the end. DAMN!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Hell's Kitchen Radio #259: Sweatin' To Hell

Stream the Heat, HERE!
Download the Aural Workout HERE!
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Hot times in the ol' studio tonight! Radio as the premier aural artform. Some classic covers on this night, some deeply hidden live tracks, some jazzy goodness, perfect for the hot night that it was. Plenty of witty banter that will tickle your funny bone as well as clue you in to the back story of many of these timeless tunes.

Have you tuned into the "new" KFOG? And I thought they were bad before! Seriously, it does not appear that they have evolved into anything fresh and new! Good job, Cumulus. You fired DJs who cared about the local listeners, all the while playing crappy, lowest-common-denominator pablum, that they had no choice over. I swear I would LOVE for any GM to call me up and ask me to program a station for just one day. ONE DAY! There is too much quality music that KFOG has continuously passed by. Father John Misty? Jenny Lewis? Dave Alvin? COME ON! Lame KFOG has just proved once again why you NEED Radio Valencia. You already knew that though.

Let's start a petition to get KFOG to hire John Hell for one day to do its music programming. If they hate it then I'll quietly leave. If they love it, then I'll have my lawyers call theirs.

Next Monday you just know I'm going to have a lot of rare Prince to play for you. RIP Purple One.



Hell's Kitchen with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia in SF

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In The Flesh: Pink Floyd
California Sun: The Dictators
Rich Brat: Redd Kross
Surfin Bird: The Ramones

Double Fine: Honky
This Never Happened To The Other Feller: Sex Mob

When It's Sleepy-time Down South: Gaucho
Fiesta En El Solar: Marc Ribot Y Los Cubanos Postizos

Lilin: John Zorn's Bar Kokhba
Drugs: Talking Heads

New Carrion: Naked Lights
Stronger Than Dirt: The Traditional Fools
Andalusia: The Phantom Surfers

My Man: Delaney and Bonnie and Friends (WPLJ July 22, 1971)
Black Magic Woman: Fleetwood Mac (BBC March, 24, 1968)
Blue 'N' Boogie: Miles Davis

Bronx Blues: Stan Getz and The Oscar Peterson Trio
Tattoo: Petra Haden

Tape Kabob: Can (BBC 73-75)

Ruins: Low Flying Hawks


Monday, April 11, 2016

Hell's Kitchen Radio #258: Back In The Saddle

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Ok, alright, I know that I told you that I was going to die, and you would no longer have dear old John Hell to kick around anymore. Well, it appears that my orthopedic surgeon actually does know his ass from a hole in the ground, and I'm back to tell the tale.

On March 16th I underwent ACL and meniscus reconstruction. That was
fun. Laying on my ass for three weeks was not. My God it was so damn boring. Too much time on the couch. Too much Trailer Park Boys. Actually, there can never be too much Trailer Park Boys. Ricky is such a dick. Bubbles on the other hand is quite brilliant. I watched my share of movies, read a few great books and comics, and caught up on a few records that have been sitting in the stack for too long. But the sitting really took its toll. I have also come to the conclusion that ICE is my best friend.

I have never wanted to get back on the air as much in my life. And let me tell you by the end of my show tonight I was in some serious pain. Look what I do for my art.

There's a good mash up of genres tonight, and a small tribute to the late Merle Haggard, who died last week on his 79th birthday. I've got some new Melvins for you, music from the first Charles Moothart (CFM) solo effort (he's Ty Segall's guitarist in Fuzz and the Ty Segall Band), along with some soon-to-be-released Zig Zags!!! There are some oddball choices tonight, as I've had a few weeks to consider what to play for you. The next few shows ought to be pretty fun too.

Tell you friends and my enemies that John Hell is back on the air.

See you next Monday night at 8.



Hell's Kitchen with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia in SF

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Shit Luck: Modest Mouse
Two Headed Dog: Roky Erikson
Strange: Wire

The Bottle Let Me Down: Merle Haggard
The Bell: First Aid Kit
Shot By Both Sides: Magazine

A Friend In Need Is A Friend You Don't Need/Lifestyle Hammer: Mike and the Melvins
Ain't Gonna Rain Anymore: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Set The Controls for the Heart of the Sun: Pink Floyd

***Set of the Week***
Street Car History: Charles Moothart (CFM)
Revolution Part 2: Butthole Surfers
Sweet Loafed: Jad Fair and Daniel Johnston
Highway 61 Revisited: Bob Dylan

Moonlight in Glory: Brian Eno and David Byrne
Dancing Barefoot: Patti Smith
Dollar Days: David Bowie

They Came For Us: Zig Zags
Double-Crossing Time: John Mayall's Blues Breakers
Stop Start: Lee Morgan

Poison Apple: Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats
Out of Touch: Lucinda Williams
I Must Have Been Blind: Eugene Chadbourne

Cold In Effect: Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five

Oh, here's a classic that I enjoyed while laying on the couch: "Heavy Metal Parking Lot". This totally reminds me of hanging out in the Cow Palace or Oakland Coliseum lots before metal shows back in the 90s. Ah, the fucked up memories. It's only about 17 minutes long.