The Purple Pinup Guru Platform

When purple things are pulsating on your mind, I'm the one whose clock you want to clean. Aiding is Sparky, the Astral Plane Zen Pup Dog from his mountain stronghold on the Northernmost Island of the Happy Ninja Island chain, this blog will also act as a journal to my wacky antics at an entertainment company and the progress of my self published comic book, The Deposit Man which only appears when I damn well feel like it. Real Soon Now.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Not more than two weeks after the long delayed release of Keys to Ascension Volume 2, Yes' new label, Beyond Music (a subsidiary of RCA/Victor or BMG) released 'Open Your Eyes' their first full studio album in three years in record stores. Two new albums performed by the same band with two different line-ups? Certainly, a feat unheard of. Unfortunely, the majority of Yes fans worldwide consider this the worst slapped together collection of original material ever assembled under one package. A experiment of bridging the gap between the pompous over the top seventies material with the middle of the road eighties pop sensibilties that made them household names with 90125. Recorded in Van Nuys- it seems the band was seeking some kind of a easy listening adult contemptory sound with sunny Beach Boys harmonies that collides fatally with Andrew Lloyd Webber results - and that sound could not sound more evident on what is possibly the most idiotic song that Yes has ever composed, "Man on the Moon" . The first pure blooded American to ever join the group, Las Vagas local boy, Billy Sherwood was the one who penned that song.

The history of Sherwood's involvement with the band goes back to late eighties and early nineties when Chris Squire checked out one of Billy's performance with his band World Trade. Along with the lead guitar player of that band, Bruce Gowdy- they were slated to replace Jon Anderson and Trevor Rabin just before the idea germinated in Anderson's head to form Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, & Howe- so Chris and Billy sat down and wrote some songs together. Two of the songs only ever managed to get recorded: 'Love Conquers All' wound up as the only brand new song to appear on Yes' first box set compilation, YesYears and 'The More We Live' made it to the Union album. In the proverbial nick of time, Sherwood was rescued from assuming lead vocal duties when Anderson and Rabin decided to still be involved with Yes West- after easing his trepidation of pulling another Trevor Horn. Eventually, Billy relished on taking a more behind the scenes approach with the band, taking on versatile duties such as engineering their albums and touring as a additional utility guitar and keyboard player on the Talk tour. However, with the new label demands of recapturing that 80's pop magic, Billy was talked into become a more permanent member in filling in Trevor Rabin's shoes when the band started to record Open Your Eyes at his home studio.

The bulk of the material on Open Your Eyes seems to be borrowed from unused material that Sherwood and Squire wrote together as a offshoot band "the Chris Squire Experiment" which changed its' name to Conspiracy in 2000. The most disturbing thing that the PP Guru discovered about this album is a song titled Somehow, Someday which is a song that has turned up on two previous Jon Anderson solo albums- it was first recorded with some members of Toto on his City of Angels disc in 1987 and then redone for Jon's classical project "Change We Must" released approximately at the same time that this disc was released (incidentally, Toto keyboardist Steve Porcaro appears as a guest musician on Open Your Eyes).

The are a very few memorable tracks on this album. In fact, the PP Guru hasn't heard this digital platter for a good number of years. He was never happy with the idea of the title track (originally titled Wish I Knew) being made as a single, but he can groove to a New State of Mind, which he admits was a outstanding way to open the album. Fortune Seller has a familar 90125 Hold On vibe to it. Jon Anderson's lyric to Universal Garden teeters on the brink of New Agey insanity, but a subtle little Howe/Anderson acoustic ditty entitled From the Balcony brings Anderson back down to earth as a song that he dedicates to his second newlywed wife, Jane (who you can always spot in the first couple of rows of every show dancing away in the aisles like some Grateful Dead hippy chick coming down off of a Timothy Leary plastic flashbulb). And for those who bought the album way back on it's initial release, you can find a bonus track of nothing but a atmospheric 23 minutes of an ambient soundscape filled with chirping birds and roaring ocean waves interspersed with accapella versions of some of the vocal work done in previous tracks.

The PP Guru saw the Open Your Eyes tour when it did a brief stop at the Universal City Ampitheater in December of that year. It was a monumental show for him, because it was the first time that he had ever heard Revealing Science of God played live in its' entirety. Also the addition of Russian keyboardist, Igor Khoroshev made an impression on the PP Guru on that tour. The PP Guru also had a opportunity to attend a Tower Records signing with the band in Glendale - which was originally rerouted from its' Sherman Oaks location. The PP Guru got Jon Anderson a little peeved off at him for bringing up the passing of Carlos Castenada to his attention. Maestro Jon A was in full denial of the incident.

The Blond Avenger aka Cindy Johns w/ friend.

On the other PP Guru side of life in 1997, he was still getting more letters and articles published in Comics Buyer's Guide. His popularity certainly wasn't on the wane at that point - but neither was it increasing either. However he did irk a irritated reader response in a form of a death threat that was sent to the Rookies & Allstars address over a letter he wrote berating the studio chiefs of the Fox Kids Network over the producers of the X-Men animated series pandering their religious views on a episode that had Nightcrawler pushing Wolverine to start reading the Bible. This incident raised some concern to the store's main proprietor, John J. Lindsay who was hospitalized for the good course of a year after getting a hip replacement inquiring as to why the PP Guru was using his store's address as the PP Guru's personal publicity office. While John was on sick leave, his partner, Obi-Dan Kenobi left the PP Guru to run the store full time. And therefore he was responsible for ordering all the merchandise. And the PP Guru took the opportunity to make himself a advocate for the self publishing underdog- which mainly meant that the PP Guru was going to make this comic book store into a small press haven. A lot of the letters to CBG written that year, talked about the plight of the small press publisher peddling to get his book seen in stores. The PP Guru felt sympathy because he knew that one day- he would want to garner the same type for respect when Cary Coatney was good and ready to put out his Deposit Man project. So he went and did something daring- he invited local publishers to bring 25 copies of their titles and he try to form his own Oprah book club and have local readers comment on why their book would or wouldn't sell. John was at first ok with the idea, as the letters in Comics Buyer's Guide was bringing attention to the store (it even brought Star Trek's Chekov Walter Koenig and Adrienne Barbieu to check the store out. Adrienne came by to ask the PP Guru to help her locate a book called Rat Bastard, for research into a movie role that she was offered.), but he wasn't keen on the added expenses it took to stock these titles in the store. John wanted strictly mainstream titles in the store and the PP Guru took umbrage with this approach after the PP Guru put in a year of life cementing the store's reputation- John Lindsay and the PP Guru had a massive blow out as they were about ready to transmit the first of 1997's Diamond's order which resulted in the PP Guru angerly throwing his copies of the store's keys into the parking lot before storming out the door.

Carlos Saldana's Burrito - the li'l burro that could -as a friend of PP Guru during his campaign to get more independently created books into the mass majority of comic specialty stores

Although the PP Guru was persona non grata at the store he help founded, at the same exact time Obi-Dan Kenobi fielded a phone call from the office from Beth Holley who represented the exhibits area at San Diego Comic Con International. After reading some of the PP Guru's letters in Comics Buyer's Guide (in his mortal guise of Cary Coatney), they decided that the PP Guru would be the perfect candidate to work as their new Small Press Coordinator for the 1997 show. They said the job wouldn't pay anything - but his expenses would be covered for transportation to office meetings to help select the candidates who would be displaying their wares at the show. Also, the PP Guru got free room and board, as they set him up in a lavish suite at a hotel where he took the liberty of purchasing 16 pizzas from Domino's and charged it to con's expense account in order to throw a party for the vendors in his department. The party was a washout and the PP Guru wound up giving the pizzas away to his neighbors at the hotel. The PP Guru worked with a lot of interesting people like Mike Hersh of Krankin' Comics, Carlos Saldana of Burrito, David Spurlock of Vagabond Press and Cindy Johns with Fauve who were promoting The Blonde Avenger. The PP Guru handed all the publicity for his department, even assuming the mantle of writing all the press release junkets for Comics Buyer's Guide and Comics Journal (Cary Coatney uncredited) and it was publicized with Fae Desmond's permission, that the PP Guru would be editing a special give-away book to given out to convention patrons that would be touting his small press department. He contacted many artists to contribute a one page strip (Cary Coatney collaborated on a Burrito story with Carlos Saldana that still has not seen the light of day) to the book. As the convention drew closer, James Pascoe, Fae's assistant at the time got the project nixed due to his handling of the con's budget and assigned the blame to the press over the PP Guru's overzealousness of wanting to be a attention whore.

This would be the first in a series of blow outs that PP Guru would have with the Convention's secret clandestine committee - although the fatal blow would come from a outside source. An old nemesis would once again rear her hidious plastic surgery head into the PP Guru's life and make a ton of trouble for him.

To be continued.

Yes lineup for Open Your Eyes - Band members: Jon Anderson: vocals Steve Howe: guitars, vocals Billy Sherwood: guitars, bass, keyboards, vocals Chris Squire: bass, vocals Alan White: drums, percussion. Additional musicians: Steve Porcaro: keyboards (2) Igor "Ivan" Khoroshev: keyboards (1, 4, 5) Produced by Yes

Favorite lyric: Take hold of your chances/Defy all the odds that have been made/Making every movement count, we step toward a golden age- Fortune Seller (Anderson/Howe/Sherwood/Squire/White)

Giving in, giving out, it's all up to:




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