I just ran into a post saying that Billy Miller died yesterday. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck. This one hurts. Miller wasn't a person so far removed from people like us. Having a beer with him seemed like a genuine possibility, if ever in the same bar. He was co-editor, with Miriam Linna, of one the earliest of the ultra-fiend type zines, Kicks, and co-founder, with Linna, of Norton Records, specializing in the crazy, wild, rare, underappreciated and overlooked.
He had a way with words in those Kicks magazines, and I still have some of his lingo in my lexicon, decades after the first read ("Whoa Dad!", "jiggle club", etc). Never mind the music I was turned onto. Holy shit. Hasil Adkins, Esquerita, Ronnie Dawson, Chan Romero, Mighty Hannibal...where do you start? I learned of dozens and dozens of bands from the pages of Kicks, and later the Norton label. Just thinking of all the music that would have just rotted away in some dusty old box of tape if not for him and Linna. The records that you'd never hear because there were only 1500 pressed on some podunk label 50 years ago in some shithole town, reissued with only us nut cases in mind. He did a good thing getting all that music out there and keeping the fires lit.
~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~Listen:
Esquerita - Crazy, Crazy Feeling mp3 at Rocky 52
Hasil Adkins - She Said mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Chan Romero - Hippy Hippy Shake mp3 at Mp3 Rockabilly
Ronnie Dawson - Rockin' Bones mp3 at Mp3 Rockabilly
Billy Miller, Curator and Historian of Fringe Music, Dies at 62 at NY Times
Miriam Linna and Billy Miller - Norton Records - Interview at Dust and Grooves
Lengthy interview with Billy Miller at Turn It Down This is excellent: Kicks, Norton Records, Esquerita and Hasil Adkins