Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ramblings:-->Howard The Duck - Vista Start Menu - & - Uriah Heep

"There rides the Rainbow Demon...
On his horse of crimson fire.
Black shadows are following closely...
On the heels of his desire."
Uriah Heep

Comic book writer Steve Gerber passed away last week (Feb 10, 2008), and was perhaps best known for his incredibly original character..."Howard The Duck".

Howard the Duck #1 began in 1976...and was published by Marvel Comics.

And, in spite of a firestorm of pressure and creative interference...lasted through issue #31, dated May 1979.

Among Gerber's long line of antagonists was Disney...who threatened to sue Marvel for making "Howard" look too much like..."Donald"!

Steve Gerber wrote the first 27 issues.

"Howard The Duck" was notoriously cynical about everything... And we loved him for it. "Trapped in a world he never made"... was his tag-line.
Howard The Duck & the Mysterious Dr. Bong #15
Gerber was given (for a time) free reign...and allowed to experiment with engaging reality and surrealism together in ways not tried. And, for an all-to-short period, Howard The Duck began gaining an underground fan base that included notables such as Stephen King and The Pretenders.
Howard The Duck also created abuzz by entering the 1976 presidential race via the "All-Night Party". He lost to Jimmy Carter.

The concept of "Howard The Duck" was whack and wonderful...and Steve Gerber was the genius behind this gig. He'll be missed.

Add "Howard The Duck" to your collection.
Good stuff!

If you want to spiff up your start menu..not to mention make it more efficient to use...then check out Vista Start Menu.
This is how Vista Start Menu looks upon opening the start menu.

Vista Start Menu is a free program that changes the look of your start menu (Vista or XP).
It is safe! It does not change any of your setups...making it easy to install as well as remove.

I like it a lot. It is aesthetically pleasing and makes the old start menu more user friendly. No learning curve at all. The start menu simply works better. Check It Out!
Good stuff!

Not only did Uriah Heep give us one of the best album covers of all time with their 1972 release..."Demons and Wizards". But possibly one of the more unappreciated LPs, as well.

Unfairly looked upon as the poor man's..."Sabbath" and "Zep"...Uriah Heep were truly paving their own way with a more progressive RnR agenda.

While not Uriah Heep's best CD release..."Demons & Wizards" show the band again tapping into a mystic rock sound rarely duplicated. And listening to UH majestically storm the speakers with powerful keyboards and piercing vocals can still carry us away today.

Uriah Heep performing "The Wizard"...just one of several gems
from "Demons & Wizards".

Darting from beautiful acoustic guitars to dragon-snapping Fender-Benders on a moment's notice, only makes for better play. And though there is a datedness, at times, with their sound...most songs hold up fine, thank you.

"Rainbow Demon" is one of several lost gems from D & W...this time with Mick Box contributing a very nice solo.

And if you are new to Uriah Heep...well...it's all gravy. Pass the biscuits.

Uriah Heep:-->"Rainbow Demon" (Demons & Wizards) (1972) (Must Own)


WZJN said...

Sadly, Uriah Heep is not as well known as they should be. In a time when one would capriciously buy an album based on a whim and great cover art, I bought "The Magician's Birthday" and was instantly smacked into a long time love of UH. I can't say that I loved every album, but certainly "Demons And Wizards" and "The Magician's Birthday" are a few of the albums that made the jump to having in my collection as CD's.

Magical choice for an blog entry!

whiteray said...

For whatever reason, all I've ever known is "Easy Livin'"! There aren't many gaps in my knowledge/listening experience, but you found one! Thanks, Casey!

Casey said...

wzjn..."The Magician's Birthday" is one of their better CDs. With another "Roger Dean" cover art.

whiteray...My knowledge is sorely lacking as well. The last LP I can find around the basement is..."Return To Fantasy" ('75).

Looking over Uriah Heep's discography...they put out TWELVE other releases after that!

A few of those may be pretty good. Hard to tell...The band went through beau coup member changes.

WZJN said...

Speaking of 'beau coup member changes', little trivia - the drummer for Elton John - Nigel Olsen (if I have the name right), played with Uriah Heep for a very short time.

Casey said...

wzjn...Nigel Olsen (Olsson) as drummer for Heep surprises.
After all...didn't he score a hit with a bubblegum number..."Dancing Shoes".
Have to admit...I kind of like that song.

Michael Verity said...

We loved Heep! In high school, our preternaturally hirsute guitarist used to wander around our basement practice room, wearing a cape and quoting Uriah Heep lyrics. You'll find him hanging around a lot of renaissance fairs speaking King's English with a slightly bent New England accent.

Fusion 45

Casey said...

Fusion 45...
The Renaissance period seemed to be the spoon that stirred Uriah Heep.

And we have an annual Renaissance Fair here, too...that is put together pretty strong...should your friend want to trip off into a nice time continuum.