Monday, February 12, 2007

Brett Smiley on Russell Harty video clip!

You can now view the long lost footage of Brett's appearance on The Russell Harty Show. Click on the title above. Cheers!

Brett Smiley gig March 6, 2007, New York City!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Colin Quinn & Nick DiPaolo launch new radio show

Imagine my surprise when I tuned into WJFK-106.7 last night and heard Colin Quinn & Nick DiPaolo's new radio program! These two are extremely entertaining and intelligent; it is hilarious to listen to them riff off each other. It appears that their show is based out of New York and, according to what they were saying, on a trial run. I hope that it turns into something permanent, as I would hate to see the abysmal Peter Rosenberg slide back into the 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. slot. Quinn's superb Comedy Central show, "Tough Crowd" was cancelled last year. Nick DiPaolo was often a guest. As cutting-edge as Comedy Central would like to be, the channel wasn't smart enough to keep Colin or his show. Let's hope that Colin & Nick's radio program has a longer life. Cheers!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Brett Smiley IS recording!! September 2005!!

In the immortal words of Napoleon Dynamite, "SWEEET!" Brett Smiley is kicking ass in the studio again. Here's the latest, straight from the man himself:

Date: Sun, 11 Sep 2005 07:07:40 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Ain't So Cool Anymore

We laid down basic tracks for Ain't So Cool. As hard as digital is for me, it sounds pretty good. I hadn't recorded in a studio in maybe 10 years, and of course Gary, who owns The Batcave, is still mastering the transition to digital, and Mick, who practicaly built the place were at it over the this and thats... Sal from Milk n' Cookies played bass. He's great. A gentle giant. A pleasure to get to work with him.
Boy, me in a recording studio... As they're getting the levels, mike placements, wires, bla bla bla worked out, I go back in time looking for the bottle, coke and dope etc... I had to take the elevator downstairs and walk over to Union Sq to breath three times. What a piece of work, 'eh??? Kept remembering Sinatra at Cherokee Studios. He showed up, did two takes and said "that's great", then split. That's what I call making records..

"Please Your Honor, I'm as guilty as can be! He said - Get out of this courtroom and go plant a tree..."
from ain't so cool anymore

x brett

How awesome is this! The world will finally get to hear what they've been missing all these years. SWEEET!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Coop releases a "Perfect" album!

Following 2003's "The Eyes Of Alice Cooper", The Coop unleashed "Dirty Diamonds" on August 2, 2005. Fans of 70's-style Alice will revel in this album. The single, "Sunset Babies (All Got Rabies)" is a nod to The Stones' "Honky Tonk Woman", "Perfect" is just that--the perfect pop song. Alice worked hard on his lyrics and has always been keen on pop culture. There's even a song about a truck drivin' transvestite titled "The Ballad Of Jesse Jane" sung in his best Johnny Cash voice. Alice is living proof that you don't have to be drunk or high to put out a great album. This album ROCKS. "Pretty Ballerina" is a gorgeous ballad and a cover of The Left Banke's gem. Alice is criminally underrated regarding his slower tracks. How can you forget classics like "Only Women Bleed", "You & Me" and "How You Gonna See Me Now?" You can visit Pure Volume to hear some clips from "Dirty Diamonds." Here is a rundown of all of the tracks:

  1. Woman Of Mass Destraction
  2. Perfect
  3. You Make Me Wanna
  4. Dirty Diamonds
  5. The Saga Of Jesse Jane
  6. Sunset Babies (All Got Rabies)
  7. Pretty Ballerina
  8. Run Down The Devil
  9. Steal That Car
  10. Six Hours
  11. Own Worst Enemy
  12. Zombie Dance
  13. Stand

I HIGHLY recommend this album. Once you start playing it, you won't be able to stop. The Coop is my hero. Get out there and support him this Fall. He's on tour with the fabulous Cheap Trick.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Brett Smiley Appearing At Pianos, New York City, August 6th

Brett will be playing live at Pianos, New York City on Saturday, August 6th. Pianos is located in the lower east side of Manhattan at 158 Ludlow Street. Their business hours are: 12pm - 4am, seven days a week. If you need to contact their staff during business hours, call 212.505.3733.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Brett Smiley Interview by Phil King in NEW issue of Bucketfull Of Brains U.K. Magazine

Brett Smiley has the cover story for the newest issue of England's Bucketfull Of Brains magazine. Cool photo, Brett!

Interview by Phil King:

Brett Smiley first came to the attention of the British public in 1974. Neon letters at the top of the Post Office Tower flashed his name across the capital; a poster campaign for his single "Va Va Va Voom"--with Brett arched forward on a chair in black leather platform boots, hair in his face, a cigarette dangling from his lower lip (a classic rock'n'roll pose) seemed to be plastered on every hoarding. He made an unforgettable appearance on The Russell Harty Show with ex-manager of The Rolling Stones Andrew Loog Oldham in tow...and then nothing, til RPM finally released his shelved album, Breathlessly Brett in 2003 and he came over to play some dates. Acclaimed writer Nina Antonia--who has written books on The New York Dolls, Johnny Thunders and Peter Perrett--was so mesmerised by Brett's appearance on television that evening in 1974 she decided to write a book, which is published by SAF this May, called The Prettiest Star--Whatever Happened To Brett Smiley? It looks at the nature of fandom, the vagaries of fame and asks, as Marc Bolan so succinctly put it, "Whatever happened to the teenage dream?" I caught up with Brett on the eve of his return to London to play some dates and to promote the book.

PHIL KING: So Brett, whatever did happen to Brett Smiley?

BRETT SMILEY: I ask myself that every morning...and then I look in the mirror and then I go, "Oh there". It's hard to start a party without me being there.

PK: You came to London in '74 after signing a huge publishing and recording deal ($200,000), were on the cover of DISC (a music paper that championed Glam) with the headline The Most Beautiful Boy In The World, and appeared on The Russell Harty Show. It must have felt like you were on the top of the world?

BS: I was very young then, I was only 18. I do believe I was talented, but so full of a lot of affectation. When I look back with hindsight I feel that, having come from a background in the theatre (the lead in a Broadway and trouring production of Oliver), I hadn't paid my rock n' roll dues. It also felt like the Andrew Loog Oldham show at times. I loved what was happening musically in England. I had come to London a few years before with another manager and a band called Sky. I was 16 or 17 trying to get a deal. Sky's singer, Doug Fieger (later of The Knack) was a prima donna. I wasn't a prima donna at that time, so they got me till he finally returned. I had some good songs which I recorded with them at RCA Hollywood. I'd got turned onto Marc Bolan and T. Rex in London, and of course, David Bowie. It was a real exposure to the next wave in music. I was so enthralled with it all. The music was of my heart and soul ...and the glamour and the glitter. A very hedonistic life. At the time I was very naive. Although I wasn't in certain ways, as far as drugs and sex goes, I was very innocent in a lot of the realities of life that go with it.

PK: It must have been amazing recording your album Breathlessly Brett with such great musicians as pianist Ken Ascher, guitarist David Spinozza and drummer Jim Keltner, who were all playing with John Lennon at the time?

BS: We did the tracks in London, New York and Nashville. It was an international project. Andrew was based out of New York and one of his peers, Jerry Brandt, had just pulled off an enormous deal for Jobriath--who was very theatrical and the first openly gay singer--and Andrew thought, "Oh yeah, I'll show you" and got a better deal and I think a better artist too! I listened to Jobriath's material recently and I was more impressed now listening to it than back in the day.

PK: And at the same time such a disappointment when the album was then shelved?

BS: There was so much distrust and intrigue between the label at the time, Anchor Records, the distributors, and myself with Andrew. I didn't trust him, he didn't trust me. I just got to a point where I was living in London and just left. I came to New York and was living in the Chelsea Hotel for a long time. I hit a bottom of sorts there and moved to the west coast. After there you've got to swim. Stayed at the Chateau Marmont, got thrown out of there. I had an apartment at the Sunset Tower (a beautiful Art Deco hotel on Sunset Boulevard popular with movie stars of the '30's and '40's). I hit a series of bottoms but kept showing up in the L.A. glitter, glam rock scene. I was popular but wasn't doing anything productive. I did a coupla films. Worked around Hollywood. A series of love affairs. It was a very dramatic time. That's why these interviews can be very hard for me. They really can. I was there trying to hold on to what I could but yet my life was a real mess. A lot of drugs, a lot of drinking. I saw a thing in the paper last night about the Sunset Tower. It's now called The Argyle. I remember I was there, but I also remember I was carried out on a stretcher and taken to the neuro-psychiatric institution. When I get real about it, it was very tragic actually. Getting the silver platter of a deal and then everything just screwing up righteously. Not all entirely my fault but definitely I had my part in it. Just the nature of the business.

PK: The money was running out by then?

BS: That I don't know. That was part of my distrust of Andrew. I really didn't know what was happening to the money. All I knew was that we got a lot. He got the Mercedes and I didn't. To this day I still call music people, gangsters. They're basically gangsters if you ask me. I really do have a disdain for the record industry. It really is hard on...the type of nurturing I got from Andrew and Anchor Records back in the day was nice but very shallow. It wasn't real nurturing. It was like "Here's some money, I'll call you when I need you." When I moved back to L.A. I lived off what money I had until that ran out. I wound up back on my mother's couch. After living on the 11th floor of a really nice building overlooking Hollywood. It all just crumbled. All I had was the pink gaberdine suit I'd worn on The Russell Harty Show, some other clothes from Granny Takes A Trip and a few boots. I could still look good that was for sure.

PK: What was it like finally seeing the album coming out after all these years?

BS:I had very little to do with it coming out, but it was a relief as it was one helluva wait. I had put everything on the shelf and said, "Oh that's something to tell the grandchildren someday." I think it needed to come out because there was a lot of good work put into it a long time ago.

PK: Your first manager was DJ and promoter Russ Gibb, who was behind The Paul Is Dead stunt.

BS: And quite a few other little schemes! He also ran The Grand Ballroom in Detroit. I met Russ in Los Angeles in 1971, the year that there was an earthquake. After the earthquake we thought "Who cares?" and so we stopped going to school, and instead I would bring my guitar and would sit around on the campus playing.

PK: Is that when you were hanging out with the sons and daughters of movie stars?

BS: Yes, Stewart Granger's daughter. She was a part of all that. Frank Sinatra's valet's son. Michael Jackson was in my junior high school in West Hollywood. Families were either in the motion picture or the recording industry. The son of Lenny Bruce's attorney, Tony Freed, who I wrote "Run For the Sun" with. A good friend of mine his father (Billy James) had signed The Doors to Elektra. My friend's name was Mark James. A lot of industry offspring I would call it.

PK: Michael Jackson?!

BS: Oh, yeah. We did woodwork class together. I remember that very well. We spent the whole year making a chessboard. We just barely passed with a D grade. We were the only two guys who got a D grade. Most people excelled in woodwork. It wasn't a heavy task! It was just cutting wood, varnishing and polishing. He was a nice guy. He was from Indiana originally, but they had all moved Hollywood. Whether he's guilty or innocent I know what the business can really do. It's hard enough keeping my head on right. I think he really is a child. He never really had to grow up other than to perform and work on stage.

PK: As a child you were living in New York and you were Oliver on Broadway for four years?

BS: Yes, I toured with that a lot as well. I grew up in showbiz. I then went to Hollywood. I was getting into music then. My mother let me do what I wanted. I really didn't want to pursue the acting any more--it was real work. Music was happening. I was a singer, so I started writing songs.

PK: Did you originally go to Hollywood to pursue your acting career?

BS: There was a couple of reasons. That's where my mother's mother was living. She wanted to be near her. It seemed those days everybody was thinking "Go To California". L.A. was the place to be. It's really in
reality a very seedy place.

PK: Didn't you audition for The Partridge Family?

BS: Yes, that was later when they were looking for a replacement for David Cassidy. I auditioned for quite a few things. I didn't pursue the film acting as much. There were a few things I did over the years. I always focused on the music, writing the songs and getting some sort of deal. Along the way is when I met Andrew Oldham. I would come back to New York and get involved in the scene there. I wound up in Detroit with Russ Gibb. Lived all around. Did a lot of travelling. Most of my younger years when I was in the theatre we toured a lot.

PK: And you met Andrew at a party?

BS: Somebody who Russ Gibb knew in Detroit steered us together. A guy from Motown. He said Andrew Loog Oldham was in town. We were looking for a producer. Met him and played some songs and he was really taken.

PK: What did Andrew do after everything fell apart?

BS: He was doing a lot of production jobs out of Memphis, Motown, Nashville and Detroit. He recorded Jimmy Cliff and a Donovan album.

PK: Did you know Donovan recorded a version of Bowie's "Rock And Roll With Me" with Andrew producing?

BS: I was at that session. I introduced Andrew to Bowie. I'd met David Bowie in Detroit when Russ Gibb had promoted him on his first tour there. I thought "Oh, this is so strange." It was all so new to me.

PK: You've come full circle now working in the theater.

BS: Yes, I now work in an actor's theatre workshop in New York. It's what I've been enjoying recently. I would like to incorporate music with theatre. That's real work. When I was younger I would think "Great idea" but it takes a lot of work to realize it.

PK: Especially incorporating "Blame It On The Moon" (which featured on the last Bucketfull of Brains CD), you can imagine that being the showstopper in a musical.

BS: There's the story there and I've got the songs. It's a labour of love. You know I'm heading in that direction with a playwright friend. He's getting his stuff produced.

PK: I guess it has to be the next project. You've had the album, the book's coming out and now the musical. I hear you are recording some new material?

BS: There's about five musicians that I'm working with at the moment. We've set the date to go up to a studio on a mountaintop in Connecticut, owned by a guy named Jerry Taylor. We're going to spend a week laying down some basic tracks. "Ain't So Cool Anymore" I hope to do that one. "Just How Bad You Can Be." I went down to DC last week and put together a set list and went "Oh my gosh." There's so many to choose from. I've got a lot of songs. It's just deciding which ones are worthy or contemporary enough or are relevant enough to do. We'll see. I hope to put down at least half dozen songs and from there pick a single of some sort that I can bring to England with me, when I come over to play in April and May. Then I hope to be going to L.A. in the spring as well. There are some people there who are saying "Whatever Happened To Brett Smiley" also.

PK: An ideal time to go, as both Rodney Bingenheimer and Steve Jones have been playing tracks from Breathlessly Brett on their radio shows out there.

BS: In the Hollywood area there were a lot of people into glam. I knew a lot of people, not that I could remember. To this day I run into people that I know but I have no idea how or where I met them. There's a lot of those memory cells which have died off or have been sleeping.

PK: Apart from playing shows in London you are also coming to promote Nina Antonia's excellent book The Prettiest Star--Whatever Happened To Brett Smiley? which is out in May.

BS: It was hard for me in the interviews for that. For sure I can remember the real glorious and glamorous times, but there was also a lot of internal pain. It dredged up a lot of painful memories regarding relationships and aspirations. I've lost a lot of friends, whether through drugs, car accidents or HIV/AIDS. I'm very lucky to be alive, in all sincerity. I learnt what's valuable in life. To have and have not then to have the opportunity again.

PK: Is it painful to listen to Breathlessly Brett then?

BS: No, the music is so good I get carried away. In my vocals I can hear a lot of cocaine. Of course being the artist I'm critical of my singing. I do believe I am a better singer now that I have more character. That was a character, Breathlessly Brett. I don't want to say David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust--but Breathlessly Brett was definitely a character. It was what was happening at the time. David Bowie has gone through many different transformations. Believe me I have too, if you read Nina's book. One minute I'm in jail, in hospitals. Doing real good and then doing real bad again. I try to look at it as an adventure and not to dwell on the more painful memories, but I also don't deny them. I don't regret the past nor do I wish to close the door on it. The whole thing with the book is that the end result really inspires me to live in the present.

PK: It must be strange for you after having the initial attention, then nothing for 30 years and then suddenly there being interest in you again?

BS: Not to sound too vain here but I have always stood out in a crowd and still do. People that know me always say "Brett, why aren't you doing something?" Each morning I look in the mirror and I go, "Yes, why aren't I doing something?" I showed the album to someone at a party recently and she said, "Oh, yes, I've got that record. He's some mysterious recluse, who disappeared from the music industry because he was fed up with it". It sounded really good. I've got to live up to the myth I suppose. Maybe there is some truth to it.

New Brett Smiley Photos

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Chelsea Doll Launches Web Site

Happy Wednesday!

Just a quick post to announce that Chelsea Doll has officially launched her web site. You can check it out here. As mentioned below, Chelsea is a fourteen-year old wunderkind from Los Angeles with unusually good taste in music. She has recorded a cover of Brett Smiley's "Va Va Va Voom" -- how cool is that? According to Chelsea's website, you can request "Va Va Va Voom" on Rodney Bingenheimer's Los Angeles radio program,"Rodney On The Roq." We love you, Rodney!

In the meantime, you can order Chelsea's single for a mere $6.00 -- FREE shipping! Send 6.00 (cash or check) to:

1335 N. La Brea
Penthouse Suite #415
North Hollywood, CA 90028

Psssssssssssssst, Chelsea---have someone set up a Paypal account for you--you'll get orders faster. Anyway, all for today!