Billy Davis American Music Editor Speaks
It's the 20th Anniversary of American Music: The Blasters / Dave Alvin Newsletter. Wow! It's been so much fun and I expect it will continue to be. I had to think for a minute: 'What can I write about this anniversary that I didn't say at the 10th Anniversary?' Looking back at how I felt ten years ago, I read my prediction from the tenth anniversary issue: "I'm sure I'll have more to talk about when the twentieth anniversary comes around."
What's so satisfying about the second ten years of the newsletter is that I am just as passionate about the great people associated with these bands and their music as I was during the newsletter's first ten years.
Growing up in NYC in the 70s and 80s, I came of age during the era of arena rock. But that was before I was enlightened by roots music and the world of the Blasters American Music. Superstars from my youth, like my favorite band Kiss, are not necessarily nice or real people you can identify with. They don't live normal lives. It's all about their music as entertainment, so it doesn't matter if you like how they live their life. On the other hand, American Roots music people tend to be the type of genuine people I admire. Their songs speak to us with a reality.
When I first got into roots music, I discovered that I actually admired the artists who write and perform my favorite songs as real human beings. This connection greatly enhanced my experience with the music.
In the second decade of the newsletter, I have realized even more how much I enjoy all of my friendships with fans and collectors of American Music. I have close friends I see on a regular basis, and there are some that I see once every year or two at a show. I always enjoy catching up and talking about music with them. The Blasters and Dave Alvin have always allowed me to hang out backstage at shows, but most of the time I choose not to, so that I don't miss out on saying hello to old friends and new ones.
American Music: The Blasters / Dave Alvin newsletter started out as a fan club. But fan clubs usually don't run twenty years. Often, when preparing the next newsletter, I wonder if the stories will be interesting enough for my readers, so that we're not rehashing what we've done before. But when every issue is finished, I'm astonished to find out something new about the world of American Music. Each time, I'm as proud of the issue as I am of any other.
Equal credit goes to two other key people. Tom Wilk started writing for the newsletter in May 1999; he continues to come up with a wide range of interesting, unique stories. I can't thank him enough for his tireless efforts. Tom also provides The Blasters Newsletter with all the latest news items. Craig Frischkorn has been with the newsletter since 1997 as copy editor; he cleans up all the grammar, spelling, etc., and makes it all shiny. He suffers the most when the writers have deadlines and he has to proofread everything in a small window of time before each deadline. He's the unsung hero. Thanks, buddies.
Speaking of deadlines, I need to explain the less-frequent newsletters. Recently, I've been busy playing in three cover bands, one of which has found some success. We're called Show No Mercy: NY's Slayer Tribute band. I also have a fourth band that is currently recording an original progressive metal concept CD. It's a project that I've tried to get off the ground since even before the newsletter started. None of these projects are roots-based, so normally you'll never hear about it in this newsletter. But I just want everyone to know that the gap between newsletters is caused by one passion delaying another