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Dean Wareham with Terry Tolkin (photo: Howard Thompson)
Dean Wareham with Terry Tolkin (photo: Howard Thompson)

Last week Terry Tolkin passed away. He was the A&R man who played a significant part in the begiining of Luna and signed them to Elektra when he was an A&R with the label.

Terry Tolkin has passed away this day in New Orleans, age 62. He was hospitalized a few weeks ago, has been dealing with sepsis and organ failure. His brother Daniel has been watching over him this week. Terry has been through a lot in recent years, I honestly think he is now in a better place. He was a key figure in my life, for Luna and many other musical artists he believed in. Dean Wareham (Instagram - 21st January 2021)

I wasn’t surprised at all when they broke up, because I did it. I took Dean to lunch and told him that I was going to be leaving for a major label (Elektra) soon, and I just wanted him. He breathed a long sigh of relief. Dean’s not that confrontational and Galaxie 500 coulda dragged on for even another fucking album because of it. Terry Tolkin (Temperature’s Rising: Galaxie 500 - an Oral History)

Terry wanted me to be his first signing at Elektra. […] [He] got me $3000 to record the demos for Elektra. I booked time at Wharton Tiers Fun City studio on East Twenty-second Street. Jimmy Chambers of Mercury Rev came into town to play drums on most of the tracks, with Hamish Kilgour of The Clean doing a few of them too. I played the guitar and bass and keyboards myself. Seven songs in total, which I delivered to Terry at Elektra. Dean Wareham (Black Postcards, 2008)

In 2015 Dean made the demos available on Bandcamp to help pay Terry’s medical bills.

Terry also ran his own label, No.6 that released Dean’s first solo single (from the demos mentioned above) as well as a Luna EP and the Cagney & Lacee album Six Feet of Chain (Cagney & Lacee was Dean Wareham’s side project with his then wife Claudia).

Cagney & Lacee - Six Feet of Chain (No.6, 1997)
Cagney & Lacee - Six Feet of Chain (No.6, 1997)

“Terry was a wonderful storyteller and bon vivant, and people loved being around him,” Wareham tells Variety. “We were the musical artists, but he was the one who lived like a rock star, running up hotel and restaurant tabs, riding in limos, getting in trouble, and sharing everything he had.” Dean Wareham (Terry Tolkin, Veteran A&R Exec for Elektra Records and Others, Dies at 62 - Variety)

A few years back I had a couple of lengthy video chat’s with Terry, not sure why - he just messgaed me one day and asked if he could call - I agreed on the condition that he didn’t spend time dissing Damon and Naomi - which he agreed to (although didn’t completely abide by!) - we stayed in touch through occasional email, IMs and on Facebook. I never met him but I’m grateful for these brief interactions and for the part he played in the beginning of Luna.

RIP Terry Tolkin (1959 - 2022)

Terry Tolkin introducing Luna in Austin (Photo: Joakim)
Terry Tolkin introducing Luna in Austin (Photo: Joakim)

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Dean & Britta
Dean & Britta

Dean Wareham’s upcoming UK dates have been postponed again because of the ongoing pandemic.

The much rescheduled dates, originally scheduled for April 2020, have been cancelled and the tour will now take place in July.

Confirmed dated so far

  • 21st July 2022 - Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
  • 22nd July 2022 - Islington Assembly Hall, London
  • 23rd July 2022 - The Venue, Worthing
  • 25th July 2022 - The Fleece, Bristol
  • 27th July 2022 - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
  • 28th July 2022 - The Cluny, Newcastle
  • 29th July 2022 - Liquid Room, Edinburgh
  • 30th July 2022 - Oran Mor, Glasgow

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Dean Wareham - Duchess
Dean Wareham - Duchess

This leaked out last week so you may have already seen it but if you haven’t your in for a treat. Dean has just shared the new video for his gorgeous cover of Scott Walker’s Duchess and the video is as lush as the song.

Dean Wareham - Duchess (dir: Robert Ascroft)

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Luna promo (1992)
Luna promo (1992)

So at some point in January, Luna will become 30 years old - first gig with Stanley was at Maxwells so might be this one in February 1992 where Dean says “This is Stanley Demeski, our newest member” -

But there were shows before that with Byron Guthrie on drums - so … I don’t have an exact date - I have a pre-Stan recording from CBGBs on 17th Jan and Dean mentions a show at Bunratty’s in Black Postcards.

When we arrived at Bunratty’s, Byron announced that he had forgotten his sticks. A small thing. He forgot his sticks. It could happen to anyone. But it seemed significant to Justin and me. When we came back from Boston, I called Stanley Demeski, the drummer for the Feelies.

But … all of that is by-the-by… what I’m really thinking is that this is a good excuse for the next issue of the Everything’s Swirling fanzine!?

And this is, kind of, a call for submissions - it can be of any sort – documentary, fictional, poetic, visual, photographic, etc. – possibly even considering a (download only) audio annexe if anyone fancies it…

Everything’s Swirling #1 celebrated Galaxie 500’s birth

Everything’s Swirling #2 memorialised Galaxie 500’s demise

Everything’s Swirling #3 will celebrate Luna’s 30th birthday - get in touch if you have anything to contribute!

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On Monday afternoon Dean Wareham was a guest on WFMU’s Three Chord Monte. The show featured a nice playlist of Dean, Dean & Britta and Luna tracks and an interview with Dean over the phone from Austin ahead of the short Luna tour that was about to kick off.

You can listen to the whole show and he confirmed that he was going to be playing a couple of tracks from his solo album with Luna including Corridors of Power that got it’s debut at a Luna live stream earlier in the year.

Luna - The Corridors of Power (live, May 2021)

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Luna 1999
Luna 1999

A couple of Luna shows from the late 90s are currently being seeded on bittorrent site Dimeadozen.

The first is a nice audience recording from a show in Austin, TX in April 1998, and well worth grabbing - here’s an mp3 sample of them playing Firnedly Advice.

Dimeadozen: Luna - 1998-04-04 - Austin TX registration required

The second is a beautiful recording of them while touring The Days of Our Nights in Burlington, VT in December 1999 - it’s a treat to hear the songs from that album that so rarely get an outing these days! Here’s an mp3 sample of them playing Hello Little One. This was one of Justin’s last shows with the band (it may even have been his very last). I suspect that’s him on the trumpet here.

Dimeadozen: LUNA - Burlington, VT 1999-12-13 (SBD Master - Stellar!) registration required

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Dean Wareham and Cheval Sombre poster
Dean Wareham and Cheval Sombre poster

A new video for Midnight from Damon & Naomi’s recent album A Sky Record has just been shared. The beautiful watercoloured/animated/illustrated video was made my Elisa Ambrogio (of Magik Markers).

Damon & Naomi - Midnight (Elisa Ambrogio, 2021)

So this bull is not Zeus, but they are not a regular bull either; they are special. This bull has a robe. The bull meets a reflective spinning sphere, and suddenly is not alone.

There are many subtle layers to this song, it has a wonderful momentum and purity of purpose, and it has so much water lyrically: rain, beaches — the first words are being washed by floods (of feeling). It made me think about a type of love that can feel secret but is all-consuming, and I thought of the type of love a vocation becomes.

I started with movement of watercolors that do not immediately saturate but run, and then soak the page, creating patterns like veins and waves hitting the shore, staining the table, turning the paper delicate and easy to tear. Leonora Carrington conferences of anthropomorphic creatures, a Laurie Anderson instructional diagram, Gary Larson’s The Far Side and old Tennessee Tuxedo cartoons all informed the vibe.

The sphere leads the bull to the places they can go together. The forbidden quality of midnight, nighttime, and the newly forbidden quality of the crowd, the absent cacophony of voices. Together they find a return to the cacophony, the chaotic joy of others. That is fraught in its own way, things have been forgotten and must be relearned. To feel alien is alien. Or is the bull still alone in a bare bulb room, projecting into rooms filled with hands and mouths, being visited not by the bluebird of happiness but the chicken of depression? There’s a place we can go, this song promises, and I chose to believe it.

– Elisa Ambrogio

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Dean Warheam - I Have Nothing to Say to The Mayor of L.A.
Dean Warheam - I Have Nothing to Say to The Mayor of L.A.

It’s been one week since the release of Dean Wareham’s fantastic I Have Nothing to Say to The Mayor of L.A. so here’s a quick round-up…

Reviews

For listening

For reading

Upcoming On Saturday (23rd October) Dean will be presenting a listening party via Zoom:

join us while we listen to Dean Wareham’s new album I HAVE NOTHING TO SAY TO THE MAYOR OF LA with a video premiere and a short Q & A with Dean and others who worked on the record, this will happen Saturday via Zoom, starting at 11 a.m PST. It’s limited to the first 100 who sign in that morning

… limited to the first 100 who sign in so… bookmark that link!

11:00 PST is…

  • 13:00 EDT
  • 19:00 BST
  • 20:00 CET

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A collection of AHFoW related releases on Bandcamp

A collection of AHFoW related releases on Bandcamp
Bandcamp releases

On Fire | 30

A 30th anniversary celebration of Galaxie 500's masterpiece

On Fire 30 CD sleeve (design: John Conley)
Buy On Fire | 30