So I see in Danas that Roxy Music is set to play concerts in Ohrid and Belgrade. People of my generation may remember them as the group that began its career by putting out three albums, every one a transcendent beauty fully worthy of the Nobel Prize for Pop Music, and then spent several years putting out heaven knows how many albums which were for the most part just this side of mediocre. My first response on seeing the announcement was hey, that's pretty cool. My second response was wow, are they still alive?
There are a number of pop figures who remain a mystery to me. When I was in Argentina, I encountered the belief that the personification of pop was (not Fito Páez but) some American musician named Johnny Rivers. My friends were shocked that I had never heard of Johnny Rivers, so I asked my mother. She told me he had been a one-hit sensation sometime in the mid-sixties, and I guess he went on to become the personification of pop in the Southern Cone, something like a Patagonian Dean Reed. The other one is a guy I saw in an old Russian documentary, but never learned his name (he looked a lot like Glen Cambpell). He went around the CCCP singing a little bit of Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis covers, doing the occasional performance in solidarity with the people of Chile--I'm guessing this must have been the early seventies. The high point of the documentary was him on a hilltop belting out the Ode to Joy in Spanish. Wish I knew who the fellow was.