This last Sunday (April 3, 2022) marked the occasion of a lovely celebration of the life of Keith Allison. His stunningly lengthy list of credits includes: star of Where the Action Is, bassist and songwriter in Paul Revere and the Raiders, guitarist in the (post-Buddy) Crickets, actor in the Bee Gees’ Sgt. Pepper movie, solo opening act for the Rolling Stones (twice), roommate (at Tittenhurst) of Ringo, vocalist on Beach Boys Party and SMiLE, producer of Cher sessions, session musician on Monkees demos and studio tracks, band leader of Dolenz Jones Boyce & Hart, guest artist at some of the wonderful Wild Honey benefits in L.A., guitarist on a recent Billy Bob Thornton session, and much much much much more.
He was also my good friend. For a few years we had been working together on his memoir/autobiography. He passed away after a short illness last fall, and the celebration was scheduled for earlier this year, but had to be postponed due to the infernal pandemic. I wasn’t able to attend the rescheduled date, but I was asked to provide a video message. Of course I was honored to do so; it’s a reading of an edited excerpt from our unfinished book. It’s a little slice that makes the point that Keith was one of the great storytellers. The best I’ve ever had the pleasure to know, in fact. I miss him.
Me and Keith, May 2018 in Sherman Oaks CA
The whole celebration is well worth viewing; a great deal of love and care went into its making. My six-minute bit starts around the 1:35:57 mark.
(Pro Tip: DO NOT turn on YouTube’s “chat replay” feature. Some people are jerks, complaining as if they were attending a paid entertainment event. They should be ashamed.)
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4500-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he taught a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.