Saturday, June 11, 2005

Introducing Brett Smiley

Good Sunday!

Hello out there! This is my first post on my brand new blog. My name is Paula and I dig music, especially flashy, lushly produced rock. If it's got that extra special something that stands out, all the better. Some of my favorites are Iggy Pop, Cheap Trick, T. Rex, Alice Cooper, David Bowie, The Cars, Sweet & AC/DC. I try to keep up on current artists as well and I am particularly fond of decent songwriting. Jack White of "The White Stripes" is always coming up with new ways to present a song, and I've got to hand it to him. Who else could come up with lyrics like "I'm thinkin' 'bout my doorbell, when ya gonna ring it, when ya gonna ring it?" Not exactly rocket science, but there's a simplicity and naivety that transcends the song.

My purpose today is to shed some light on an artist by the name of Brett Smiley. Andrew Loog Oldham (The Rolling Stones 1st manager) produced a record for Eighteen-year-old Brett, back in 1974. Unfortunately for Brett, the album never saw the light of day --- until 2003, when RPM Records, U.K. (Thank you, Phil King!) jumped on the venture. Brett's album, entitled "Breathlessly Brett" is a phenomenal work of lush craftmanship. Glam rock was a fabulous time for music. "Breathlessly Brett" is a FIVE STAR album. A legendary lost gem from 1974 that has finally seen the light of day. One song teeters with giddy delight, the next crushing meloncholy. Brett should have been our answer to England's T-Rex & David Bowie, but Anchor Records dropped the ball and Brett's album vanished like a thief in the night with no release date in sight. Brett's story is a fascinating tale of redemption through sheer tenacity and will. Nina Antonia, one of my favorite authors, has written a wonderful memoir, entitled "The Prettiest Star--Whatever Happened To Brett Smiley?" She chronicles her own painful upbringing with Brett's subsequent rise and heartbreaking fall onto the boulevard of broken dreams. Luckily for us, both Nina and Brett are true survivors. Nina went on to publish renowned books about The New York Dolls, Johnny Thunders and The Only Ones' Peter Perrett, another artist that has proven to be as elusive as Brett Smiley. Brett continues to write, and according to an interview on the web is in search of someone to produce his songs. C'mon people! Wake up! This guy has something to say and his music, like his life, has evolved. I am including a link so that the uninitiated may hear some newer tracks by Brett, "Our Lady Of The Barren Tree" and "Ain't So Cool Anymore." The songs are approximately one hour into the program.

Brett Interview/2 NEW SONGS

Brett was in the U.K. recently to play some live gigs and promote Nina's book. Here is a recent pic taken by Brian David Stevens:


New Brett Pic


Brian also took some wonderful pictures of Brett a few years ago:

More Brett Smiley Pics (Thank you, Brian! Your photos are fantastic!)

If anyone else out there has some photos or links they would like to share regarding Brett, don't be shy. And if you want to add a real treasure to your music collection, buy Brett Smiley's "Breathlessly Brett" from RPM Records or Amazon or Amazon U.K. Until the next time!

Paula

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