Thursday, May 26, 2016

Miles Davis

90 years ago today in the town where I have lived all of my life, Alton, Illinois Miles Davis was born.  Miles Davis left Alton while he was just a tot and most likely never remembered the town, however Alton hasn't forgotten Miles and the city has a statue downtown in his memory.

While John Lennon always stated that his wasn't a fan of jazz music, he did meet Miles Davis during a Garden Party on June 12, 1971 at Allen Klein's house.    I am not sure what Davis and Lennon talked about, but video footage shows that they played a little game of one-on-one basketball (and neither of them were very good) with John's psychedelic Rolls in the background.   A wide variety of people were at the party, including Andy Warhol, but Miles Davis was the person that John was photographed the most with that day.    I wonder if he mentioned to John that he was born and grew up in Illinois near the Mississippi River.


  1. the group photo is amazing!! i put on my tumblr and gave you shout out. thanks for posting. there's film footage from this party in "Gimme Some Truth" but nothing of the quality of that group pic. wow.

  2. Michael, Paul´s brother once was a member of The Scaffold. The group was named after a film: Ascenseur pour L'échafoud (English Lift to the Scaffold). The film music was composed and played by Miles Davis.

  3. Fantastic. And I can't believe you have a statue of Miles in your town!!!!

    I would like to add: John very much liked Miles' music, and also John Coltrane (he specifically mentions "Crescent" in one of the Bed-In interviews). When John is talking about how "jazz is shit music"....he's talking about "trad jazz" which was a very watered down British version of Dixieland that was popular in the early rock and roll years, and against which the Beatles and their ilk were often pitted, in trying to find places to play.

    That's the source of John's jazz comments. I just happened to be listening to the Scott Muni 1971 interview with John and Yoko and he specifically mentions how he likes Miles' music. In fact, he mentions it when asked what current music he likes!

    So wow a Beatlefan, you must have great civic pride that your town has given the world just as powerful and as influential and as innovative, and as diverse a musical force as the Fabs were! Thank you, Liverpool! Thank you, Alton!!! Nothing is unaffected!

  4. I would have NEVER guess that they met. BIG Miles fan. And of course, LOVE the Fabs in any incarnation. Thanks Miss Sara!

  5. I thought this images were of the film Happy Birthday to John by Jonas Mekas, that shows Lennon's birthday en 1972. Are you sure they are not from there?