From The Desk Of Simon Love: An Introduction

Welsh singer/songwriter Simon Love just released his sophomore solo album, Sincerely, S. Love x (Tapete). You should buy it immediately. The foul-mouthed Love will also be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Please allow him to introduce himself. And remember, kids: Love is all around and all you need.

Hello! My name is Simon Love, and I will never own a house. I’m very sorry but I’m nothing to do with the 20th Century Fox’s motion picture Love, Simon. To fill in the gaps for those of you who don’t know who I am, I’ve answered (some) of the questions from the application form to join the Church Of Satan:  

If you were granted three wishes, what would they be?
One, no more money issues. Two, happiness for my friends. Three, the painful death of all my enemies.  

What is your life’s goal, and what steps have you taken to attain it?
To be an good human and make music. I’ve tried my best to live the dream on limited means.

How many years would you like to live?
At least until I’m 70? I don’t know. My grand-dad lived to be 91. I don’t think I could take another 50 years of all this.

What are your musical tastes? 
I like pretty much everything (except reggae), but I especially love the work of Paul McCartney and Harry Nilsson.  

Cite four motion pictures you consider your favorites
A Hard Day’s Night, Superbad, Harold And Maude and The Wicker Man (the original one, of course).

What are your food preferences?
Pizza, curry, baked beans and chicken schitznel (not all together).

Cite four books you consider favorites
Revolution In The Head by Ian MacDonald, Confederacy Of Dunces by John Kennedy O’Toole, Getting Rid Of Mr Kitchen by Charlie Higson and All These Years Vol 1: Tune In by Mark Lewisohn.

As a child, what were your favorite pastimes? 
I really loved riding my bike, playing football and discovering pornographic magazines in woods. 

Of which country other than the one in which you now reside would you prefer being a resident?
I’d love to live in America. New York to be precise. My son was conceived there, and like the Beckhams, we’ve named him after the precise area it happened. Bedford–Stuyvesant Love has a beautiful ring to it.  

What is your personal definition of magic?
My friend Andrew can do really good close-up card tricks. I believe him to be a male witch. 

Are you self-sufficient or are you most productive in a group?
I feel that my ability to work well within a team and yet take individual responsibility are important qualities in a job of this nature. 

Do you make friends easily if you so choose?
All depends if they’re dickheads or not. 

In what organizations do you hold membership?
I was a member of Pulp’s fanclub from 1994 until the early 2000s. I always wanted a Blue Peter badge but was too working class to get one. 

Tell one of your favorite jokes.
I went to a pet shop to buy a fish. The man asked, “Do you want an aquarium?” And I said, “I don’t care what starsign it is.”

Do you drink alcoholic beverages? If so, to what extent? State preferences.
Oh, yeah! Sometimes to excess. Vodka and orange, brandy and Coke, lager beer. Or anything that’s going. 

Do you have any tangible services or resources which you would care to contribute
I am a rock-hard fighter and monkey trainer. 

Define Satan.
A smooth, glossy fabric, usually of silk, produced by a weave in which the threads of the warp are caught and looped by the weft only at certain intervals.

From The Desk Of Peter Holsapple: The Luxuriant Sedans

It makes sense that since Peter Holsapple has long been the go-to guy for musicians such as R.E.M., Hootie & The Blowfish, John Hiatt, Indigo Girls, the Troggs, Juliana Hatfield and too many others to name here that when he needed assistance on his first solo album in 21 years that he would turn to, well, himself. Game Day (Omnivore) is a solo record in the truest sense of the word, as the dB’s co-founder pretty much did everything himself on the LP. Holsapple will being guest editing magnetmagazine.com—for the second time—all week. Grab some beer and some pizza: It’s game day.

Holsapple: My contemporaries from the Winston-Salem music scene, all grown up and playing an articulate and muscular sort of blues music. We grew up in a phenomenally rich musical town, from the “5” Royales to the Vagabond Saints Society, and Ed Bumgardner chronicled an era of it as music writer for the Winston-Salem Journal for 26 years–and lived it as bassist for many bands. This one is a badass modern unit with stunning guitarists Rob Slater and Gino Grandinetti trading unique riffs. Mike Wesolowski brings his precision harp sound along with his gruff voice to the front of the stage—Weso is also a harp amp developer with Mega Tone Amps. New drummer Larry Carman makes his debut with the band’s new release, Fourth Gear. The tradition shines through the technique, and the result is that the Luxuriant Sedans give their blues a good rejuvenation in the hands of modern masters.

From The Desk Of Peter Holsapple: “A Short History Of A Small Place” By T.R. Pearson

It makes sense that since Peter Holsapple has long been the go-to guy for musicians such as R.E.M., Hootie & The Blowfish, John Hiatt, Indigo Girls, the Troggs, Juliana Hatfield and too many others to name here that when he needed assistance on his first solo album in 21 years that he would turn to, well, himself. Game Day (Omnivore) is a solo record in the truest sense of the word, as the dB’s co-founder pretty much did everything himself on the LP. Holsapple will being guest editing magnetmagazine.com—for the second time—all week. Grab some beer and some pizza: It’s game day.

Holsapple: He was Tommy Pearson in school, and he was in my graduating class at R.J. Reynolds Senior High School in 1974. (Also the same class as Sen. Richard Burr, but that’s a different story.)

As T.R. Pearson, he has written 17 novels (plus three others under the name Rick Gavin) as well as a handful of non-fiction books. His first novel was A Short History Of A Small Place, which was published in 1985. It was a hell of a debut novel as far as I’m concerned—the writing style was deep and rich, the story very Southern and evocative. And it had a monkey in a prominent role. I felt when I first read it that Tom had obviously paid much closer attention in English class than anyone and had absorbed much of William Faulkner’s gift of description and Marcel Proust’s effortless skill at making a sentence into a paragraph or a chapter.

It was the first of his “Neely trilogy” about the fictional N.C. town (that would seem to be Reidsville in truth). Off For The Sweet Hereafter and The Last Of How It Was were the other titles, and they’re well worth your time, too.

From The Desk Of Peter Holsapple: Plush Amplifiers

It makes sense that since Peter Holsapple has long been the go-to guy for musicians such as R.E.M., Hootie & The Blowfish, John Hiatt, Indigo Girls, the Troggs, Juliana Hatfield and too many others to name here that when he needed assistance on his first solo album in 21 years that he would turn to, well, himself. Game Day (Omnivore) is a solo record in the truest sense of the word, as the dB’s co-founder pretty much did everything himself on the LP. Holsapple will being guest editing magnetmagazine.com—for the second time—all week. Grab some beer and some pizza: It’s game day.

Holsapple: The iconic Kustom amps of the 1960s and 1970s are not the only rigs with tuck-and-roll naugahyde covers. Plush Amplifiers combined the best technology of Fender’s pre-CBS amplifiers with Kustom’s bright and squishy look, and even now, they’re among the best sounding amps I’ve ever played through.

I own a midnight-blue Plush P1000S that I had 12-inch speakers installed to replace the factory 15-inch oness, making it more adaptable as a guitar amp. Ultimately, it’s a twin reverb; the gentleman who sold it to me was afraid I was going to cannibalize the Plush for its transformer and other parts. I assured him that I’d been waiting to own one since I was old enough to know the Jeff Beck Group used ‘em on their U.S. tour. With their Buick-like portholes, Plush amps are still reasonably priced for vintage amps, and their sound is strong and pure, just how I like it! And pretty, too!

From The Desk Of Peter Holsapple: Phil Cook’s “People Are My Drug”

It makes sense that since Peter Holsapple has long been the go-to guy for musicians such as R.E.M., Hootie & The Blowfish, John Hiatt, Indigo Girls, the Troggs, Juliana Hatfield and too many others to name here that when he needed assistance on his first solo album in 21 years that he would turn to, well, himself. Game Day (Omnivore) is a solo record in the truest sense of the word, as the dB’s co-founder pretty much did everything himself on the LP. Holsapple will being guest editing magnetmagazine.com—for the second time—all week. Grab some beer and some pizza: It’s game day.

Holsapple: Tonight, I am missing Phil Cook’s record-release party at Cat’s Cradle, and I wish I could be there. I feel certain that it’s a packed house of people who love Phil’s sound and attitude. He begins national tour dates in conjunction with People Are My Drug. His last album, Southland Mission, was my summer album a couple years ago—buoyant and blissful meditations on Phil’s world, like “1922” (very Southern and very soulful.) His new album continues that spirit but, as Phil says in an interview in the INDY, “I’ve got a chance now to show the world not what’s in my head, like I did on Southland Mission, but what’s in my community. That’s what People Are My Drug feels like.”

Proud Triangle transplants a decade ago, Phil and his brother Brad have made another delightful and lively album, simpler and less lead guitar-y than its predecessor; but if there’s any justice in the music world, it will resonate with an eager public. A duet with Amelia Meath from Sylvan Esso, “Miles Away” has gotten a lot of attention, and for good reason—it’s a swampy, easygoing and inviting tune that’s designed to bring you into Phil’s wondrous world.

From The Desk Of Peter Holsapple: Occoneechee Speedway, Hillsborough, N.C.

It makes sense that since Peter Holsapple has long been the go-to guy for musicians such as R.E.M., Hootie & The Blowfish, John Hiatt, Indigo Girls, the Troggs, Juliana Hatfield and too many others to name here that when he needed assistance on his first solo album in 21 years that he would turn to, well, himself. Game Day (Omnivore) is a solo record in the truest sense of the word, as the dB’s co-founder pretty much did everything himself on the LP. Holsapple will being guest editing magnetmagazine.com—for the second time—all week. Grab some beer and some pizza: It’s game day.

Holsapple: More than 70 years ago, Bill France, Sr. bought a horse racetrack and made into one of the first two NASCAR tracks in 1949. All the earliest drivers competed on the nine-10ths mile oval short track in Hillsborough, N.C., including Louise Smith, the organization’s first female driver. During its 19 seasons, Occoneechee Speedway was a popular attraction with 32 NASCAR Cup events until local ministers made racing illegal on Sundays. After Richard Petty won the last race in 1968, the track languished, abandoned and overgrown.

Forward to 1997, and the Historic Speedway Group purchased the property and began managing the track and the remaining buildings in an effort to preserve and restore the Speedway. There are yearly events featuring classic stock cars running the oval again, on display for nostalgic fans and excited youngsters. The North Carolina Mountains-To-Sea Trail passes by the track. It’s a nice place to explore of a Sunday afternoon, and you can almost imagine racers like Lee Petty, Curtis Turner and Fireball Roberts sliding through the flat dirt turns half a century ago.

From The Desk Of Peter Holsapple: Lou Christie

It makes sense that since Peter Holsapple has long been the go-to guy for musicians such as R.E.M., Hootie & The Blowfish, John Hiatt, Indigo Girls, the Troggs, Juliana Hatfield and too many others to name here that when he needed assistance on his first solo album in 21 years that he would turn to, well, himself. Game Day (Omnivore) is a solo record in the truest sense of the word, as the dB’s co-founder pretty much did everything himself on the LP. Holsapple will being guest editing magnetmagazine.com—for the second time—all week. Grab some beer and some pizza: It’s game day.

Holsapple: My favorite falsetto in rock, and one of the most prolific guys to record, Lou Christie shares my birthdate, and I’ve been somewhat obsessed with his music since I heard “Two Faces Have I” (one of the U.S.’s first hits with a reggae beat, maybe?) as a stripling youth. When I got older, I began trying to collect Lou’s many singles on dozens of labels. I think I got up to about 50 or so 45s before my collection went under in Hurricane Katrina. And every one of those singles had intriguing production values and ultra-memorable melodies. From 1964’s “Have I Sinned” on Colpix to “If My Car Could Only Talk” and “Painter” on MGM to “Self Expression (The Kids On The Street Will Never Give In)” on Columbia, Lou’s tenor brings a high drama to story songs, many co-written by Lou and Twyla Hebert. No less a fan than Alex Chilton covered “I’m Gonna Make You Mine.” Even 1981 period piece “Guardian Angel,” a tribute to NYC’s security force from the era, is sorta fascinating, like his summer anthem “Riding In My Van.” Lou still performs and records, and his falsetto would seem to be unchanged by time.

From The Desk Of Peter Holsapple: Iain Matthews

It makes sense that since Peter Holsapple has long been the go-to guy for musicians such as R.E.M., Hootie & The Blowfish, John Hiatt, Indigo Girls, the Troggs, Juliana Hatfield and too many others to name here that when he needed assistance on his first solo album in 21 years that he would turn to, well, himself. Game Day (Omnivore) is a solo record in the truest sense of the word, as the dB’s co-founder pretty much did everything himself on the LP. Holsapple will being guest editing magnetmagazine.com—for the second time—all week. Grab some beer and some pizza: It’s game day.

Holsapple: I met Iain Matthews in Austin during South By Southwest in the 1990s when he was labelmates with Continental Drifters on the glorious and soulful Blue Rose Records out of Germany. We were in our deep Fairport Convention-appreciation-society phase that was born from a tribute to Sandy Denny we did at St. Ann’s in Brooklyn with a ton of vocalists. Iain was not among them, but Edgar Heckmann from Blue Rose saw the possibility/need of getting his two artists together. Band and Iain clicked immediately, and we backed him up on a show in New Orleans at the Howlin’ Wolf as part of our guest-star series. Over the years, we’d find ourselves in the same place at the same time, including a house concert in Durham, N.C. last year.

He’s a veritable juggernaut, with more than two dozen solo albums over the years, touring steadily and creating, creating, creating. This year, he released the first Matthews’ Southern Comfort album in decades, a beautiful sound that’s gotten a welcome return. His energy is ceaseless, his humor is sly and droll, and his voice is timeless. All of that will undoubtedly come into play in his forthcoming autobiography, Thro’ My Eyes: A Memoir.

I wanted to mention him here to: a) remind everyone who knows Iain’s work that he persists; and b) suggest to anyone who doesn’t know the amazing catalog of Iain Matthews has a gaping void in their collection that should be filled before any more time elapses. Proud to know and sing with the guy.

From The Desk Of Peter Holsapple: “20th Century Boy” By Duncan Hannah

It makes sense that since Peter Holsapple has long been the go-to guy for musicians such as R.E.M., Hootie & The Blowfish, John Hiatt, Indigo Girls, the Troggs, Juliana Hatfield and too many others to name here that when he needed assistance on his first solo album in 21 years that he would turn to, well, himself. Game Day (Omnivore) is a solo record in the truest sense of the word, as the dB’s co-founder pretty much did everything himself on the LP. Holsapple will being guest editing magnetmagazine.com—for the second time—all week. Grab some beer and some pizza: It’s game day.

Holsapple: Wow! 20th Century Boy, artist/author Duncan Hannah’s journals of his young Manhattan, has been a total treat to read. So many stories, so many characters, it almost seems impossible it could’ve all happened to one person. It was the New York I’d begun reading about back in North Carolina: It sounded irrepressible, artistic and musical, and mostly fun. And Duncan was there and a constant part of it. He had the savvy to write it all down—the subtitle is Notebooks Of The Seventies, and the author has decided to keep his observations intact from their entries. It’s charming, rakish and always written in a somewhat offhand voice.

It’s funny to read this at the same time as I was reading Chris’ autobiography. They’re of an overlapping time in Manhattan, and the circles both Chris and Duncan ran in would conceivably have intersected in a club somewhere downtown. I’m grateful to have both books, to really remember the sense of what drew me to live in New York for my formative adulthood. It was where I wanted to grow up, which I got to do, and I feel that throughout these pages.

From The Desk Of Peter Holsapple: Duke Law School Wrongful Convictions Clinic

It makes sense that since Peter Holsapple has long been the go-to guy for musicians such as R.E.M., Hootie & The Blowfish, John Hiatt, Indigo Girls, the Troggs, Juliana Hatfield and too many others to name here that when he needed assistance on his first solo album in 21 years that he would turn to, well, himself. Game Day (Omnivore) is a solo record in the truest sense of the word, as the dB’s co-founder pretty much did everything himself on the LP. Holsapple will being guest editing magnetmagazine.com—for the second time—all week. Grab some beer and some pizza: It’s game day.

Holsapple: The exemplary work of the Duke Law School Wrongful Convictions Clinic was celebrated this January when the North Carolina NAACP presented them with the 2018 Charles A. McLean Award at their 34th Annual Humanitarian Of The Year Awards Banquet. It was for their efforts to exonerate prisoners who were victims of wrongful convictions. Among those freed was Howard Dudley, who had served 24 years on a charge of child sexual abuse—convicted on the testimony of his daughter, who later recanted, Dudley’s conviction was overturned March 2016.

They have also worked on behalf of Dontae Sharpe, whose case was the subject of an episode of Oxygen Network’s Final Appeal in its first season. I was proud to accompany clinic assistant Sarah Webb Holsapple to the Banquet, where we met and sat with Mr. Dudley and the other members of the clinic’s team: founders/professors James Coleman Jr. and Theresa Newman and clinic attorney Jamie Lau. We also met Rev. Dr. William Barber II, North Carolina’s prominent voice for civil rights and leader of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For A Moral Revival. It was a night of great inspiration and the tremendous feeling of power when people are gathered together in the name of seeking justice, and I was proud to accompany the Wrongful Convictions Clinic’s members that amazing night as they were being honored.