Helen Remembers Joe

In 1970 I was wearing out the grooves on a copy of Mad Dogs and Englishmen. Joe Cocker. That voice. What power, what soul, what raw emotion. I couldn’t get enough. If someone had told me then that sometime in this life I’d end up on a first name basis with that British invasion rock legend I would have asked them what drugs they were on.

Fast forward 26 years to the winter of 1996. We moved to a tiny town in the middle of nowhere Colorado. I soon learned that the legend himself lived in the next town over – Crawford, CO – even tinier and more in the middle of nowhere. One dark, snowy night I was baking cookies. I turned on the local radio station and Joe was in the studio giving a live interview to his good friend DJ Geitz. I dropped everything, bundled up and walked the 3 blocks to town hoping I could get a glimpse of him through the window. I couldn’t. The blinds were drawn. It took another dozen years before I actually came face to face with him. In those years I learned that sightings were rare because he still toured the world most of the year and was still as powerful and vital a musical force as ever. I also learned that he and his wonderful wife Pam were legendary locally for their acts of charity. Aside from supporting every other local charity, their Cocker Kids Foundation funded computers, playgrounds, band uniforms, arts programs and more for underfunded schools. It funded dreams for kids who couldn’t afford them. It even kept the heat on in the winter in homes where paying the utility bills was a struggle. To raise funds for these gifts, the Cockers gave of themselves. They opened up their home for tours. They cleared out their closets and had yard sales. They hosted garden parties. And twice, they gave concerts. It struck me that this would be a very different world if everyone who had celebrity status used it to do good the way the Cockers did.

We finally met him when, in 2009, Pam called and hired us to play at their Halloween party. Joe was dressed as King Henry the Eighth. He was such a presence that it was easy to imagine that he was the reincarnation of King Henry. I stood next to him in my 60’s Carnaby Street costume too terrified to speak. The following year Pam called again and told us that Joe was doing another local concert for the Foundation and asked us if we’d like to open. They had rented the local fairgrounds. It held in excess of 4,000 people. A small crowd for Joe, but for me still the biggest thrill of my professional life. After that, we saw him from time to time at parties or out and about. He was always soft spoken (!), friendly, gracious and accessible – and very British. He greeted us by name and was more interested in talking about what we were up to than talking about himself. When he passed on last month, the outpouring of tributes world wide reminded me that he was an international superstar. Even so, I’m sure glad we got to know Joe Cocker, regular guy.

photo by Kathy Browning, Delta County Independent

Reflections On The Scones Past & Future




Now that our band, The Scones, has moved on from its Strolling Scones moniker and total immersion in the wild and heady decade of the 1960s We were reflecting upon what took us there and what it means today.

The 1960s were a time when myths, which reflected some of mankind’s deepest  desires, were created and on display in “living color”.  As Joseph Campbell stated, “people need their myths”.  There was the Beatles and Beatlmania (called by many the greatest band of all time), Hendrix (called by many the greatest guitarist of all time), and soo much music (which is still being played and covered more than the music from any other decade (sorry Gershwins, Jerome Kern, Cole Poter, etc.)  There was the Kennedy’s and Camelot and a feeling that we could finally solve many of the globe’s maladies. It was a time when CEOs actually turned down pay raises because they felt that making 15 times what the their average worker was earning was just fine.  Back then the Earth was greener, the ice caps were larger, and there was more diversity in the animal kingdom.  The civil rights movement exploded on the scene as did the environmental movement, women’s lib, the anti-war movement, and space exploration.   There was a feeling amongst a large segment of society that a better world lay ahead.  It does seem that this feeling is lacking somewhat today and I think that is why so many folks, young and old, look back to the 60s with rose colored glasses.

Besides loving the music from that era, all of the other elements of that  interesting decade drew us, as a band, into the vortex of the 60s.  As we move further from the reality of that era (it’s now half a century ago) the myth in the public’s mind seems to be growing and now as an original band in the 21st Century we as The Scones will still carry a bit of the hopes and aspirations of that period in our back pocket.

The Ice Is Broken

Imagephoto by Mary Hockenbery

After an intense few months of work and with all 3 shows of the Galactic Premiere Weekend sold out, our first foray into live theater is over and the original musical comedy “Ladies and Gentlemen, It’s The Strolling Scones” has been officially launched. There were 24 very talented people in the cast and crew including our amazing director, Lenore Cambria, who blocked and choreographed all of the scenes and dances.  The show debuted 8 brand new Rick Stockton original songs and included 7 more that came from previously recorded Scones CDs.   Helen played the leading female role, Yardley London, and Rick, Harry, Ellen Hutto, and David Snider were in the orchestra area holding down the musical end of things.  We had a blast doing it and are now looking forward to editing the video (and maybe doing an encore performance or two… stay tuned).

The world of live theater is quite different from performing live music and we are delighted to have had the experience and to have thrown our hats into the rich circle of  the thriving Colorado theater scene.

photo by Steve Huntley

photo by Steve Huntley

photo by Mary Hockenbery

photo by Mary Hockenbery

photo by Steve Huntley

photo by Steve Huntley

Making Wavez from Colorado

This is the third in our series highlighting very cool radio stations that play independent artists.

One of the best friends an independent artist could have in the radio business is dj Carmen Allgood. Carmen revolutionized commercial radio in Oklahoma City in 1986 by hosting a highly successful show featuring only local artists.

Nearly 25 years later, Carmen Allgood produces and hosts the world’s first and only syndicated indie music radio shows – The Colorado Wave and Indie Music Wave, showcasing the best in independent music from Colorado and around the world. To date, these weekly shows have featured over 20,000 indie artists, are broadcast on over 100 affiliate broadcasting platforms throughout the world, and have 170,000 podcast subscribers. You can listen to Carmen’s podcasts through her website at http://www.thecoloradowave.com/jup/ .

In addition to the music radio shows, Carmen also has a weekly broadcast with music industry specialist and author David Barber and Indie 104 iRadio LA general manager Mark Maverick where they share decades of experience with hundreds of thousands of listeners from all over the world about the ins and outs of the music industry.

Also a published author and contributing writer to WakeUpWorld.com out of Sydney, Australia, Carmen writes extensively on one of her favorite subjects – love.

Carmen Allgood possesses a delightfully wry sense of humor and one of the coolest radio voices in broadcasting history. Check out her complete bio at http://www.thecoloradowave.com/jup/index.php/carmen and while you’re at it, pick up some great vegetarian recipes off of her website.

Radio Seagull


This is the second in our series highlighting very cool radio stations that play independent artists.

Radio Seagull broadcasts from a radio ship named the Jenni Baynton in Harlingen harbour in the Netherlands. It serves the northern half of the country, and can also be heard on the east coast of England, in Scandinavia, Germany, and Switzerland. It is streamed worldwide at http://www.radioseagull.com. Radio Seagull’s motto is “There Is More To Music Than Hits Alone” and we couldn’t agree more! This is an AM station where presenters (DJ’s) still program their own shows and are passionate about the music they present.

The current incarnation of Radio Seagull was launched in 2003 and is one of the last of the radio ships – a trend that first started in the 1960’s and whose romantic past was immortalized by the 2009 movie “Pirate Radio”. In the mid 60’s, while British rock groups like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, and many more were topping the American charts and creating the soundtrack for a generation, the government-dominated BBC only allowed one hour of rock and roll to be played a day. Radio ships began to spring up in the North Sea and, anchored in international waters, they illegally beamed rock and roll at the shoreline 24 hours a day. Hugely popular with the public, the ships that rocked garnered enormous audiences and made stars of the presenters who staffed them as well as the artists whose records they played.

The original Radio Seagull first broadcast in 1973 from a 1920’s era schooner named the Mi Amigo. It eventually mutated back into Radio Caroline, the station previously broadcast from the ship and the one which inspired the Pirate Radio movie. The Mi Amigo had many brushes with shipwreck in her long history, but finally sank, not to be recovered, in a force 10 gale on March 20th, 1980. Our contact at Radio Seagull, program director Stevie Gordon, was senior presenter for Radio Caroline on the Mi Amigo at that time. He sent us a fascinating account of his experience of being on that sinking ship and trying to get everyone aboard (including Wilson, the ship’s canary) safely loaded onto a lifeboat that was desperately trying to stay close enough in high winds and rough seas. Stevie was the last to get off and, although he almost went down with the ship, he was ultimately rescued.

I was young then

Stevie Gordon aboard the Mi Amigo (Radio Caroline) in 1978…

Stevie at sea - May 2009

… Stevie Gordon still broadcasting today – now from the Jenni Baynton as program director for Radio Seagull.

There is A LOT more interesting background on the pirate radio ships than can be included in this article. There are some links at the end if you would like to learn more.

Radio Seagull first supported the Strolling Scones in 2011 by playing our EP “Something Happening In The Air”. We’ve recently heard from several of the presenters that they are currently playing our latest release “Like Ripples Across The Pond”. Presenter Des Withey is planning a 6 week feature of the whole album. To find out when the feature will air, “Like” Radio Seagull on Facebook and watch out for Des’ announcement. (https://www.facebook.com/RadioSeagull?fref=ts) While you’re at it, if you haven’t “liked” the Strolling Scones, it’s https://www.facebook.com/pages/Strolling-Scones/273958438875?fref=ts.

Some interesting links:
History of the Mi Amigo – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_Mi_Amigo
Radio Caroline at sea in the 60’s – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zeKYdHVC6E
Radio Caroline ship sinks – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJdT-CKDwHw

Strolling Scones Go Solar!


Sunshine in the winter, spring, summer & fall. We’ve got lots of it out here in western Colorado. Somewhere around 245 sunny days annually! After seeing how our venerable drummer, Harry Knipe’s house (and the Scones rehearsal facility) was being effectively powered and heated by the sun, It seemed like a no brainer to consider it for our house and recording studio here in Paonia. It has not only freed Harry up from paying any electric bill for the past several years, but he also has received payment from his provider for times when he generated more than his needs. We made the plunge and now we’re online with the Sun. The transition was amazingly easy and the solar arrays should cover the house’s electric needs for years to come. The life of the panels is estimated to be at least 30 years. That’s a lot of free electricity and now we can just laugh when the power company decides it’s time to raise the rates! Does this mean we’re going to start playing Sunshine Pop?

3rd Annual Paonia Film Festival


Our home town of Paonia is located in the mountains of western Colorado somewhere between Aspen and Telluride as the crow flies, and we just love it here. Besides breathtaking scenic beauty, organic farms, fruit orchards, wineries, and a brewery (along side a coal mine or two), it has become a magnet for artists, musicians, writers, and film makers, creative types of all shapes and hues – a virtual incubator for the arts.  With all the creativity around, there is usually something interesting to do in town, and this last weekend was no exception.

The 3rd annual Paonia Film Festival played to sold out audiences at the Paradise Theater on Grand Ave. for two days. This entertaining event attracts film makers from the surrounding area and presents short films which fall within the categories of documentary, films featuring kids, music video, promotional, drama, environmental and art, and comedy. All of the films that were accepted were shown on Friday night and Saturday afternoon and the showings ran somewhere around three hours. We attended the festival on Friday night and the three hours went by very quickly. We were thoroughly entertained. The show provided interesting subjects, excellent cinematography, funny stuff, some fine acting, and, of course, some cool music videos.

We produced a video for our song “Sleeping In The Midday Sun” back in November utilizing our friend John Hutchison’s “Junk-Art Garden” and various other locations in the area. It was a crazy two or three of days of filming with the skillful David Jacobson doing the camera work. We all contributed ideas for the story board and Helen did the final editing. We entered our video in the festival, as did some of our musical friends. There are some fine musicians around here who had made some excellent videos. There were 7 music videos in the final screening. The judges for the festival were from Aspen, Telluride, and Denver, and honestly we thought it was a toss up, but we are proud and honored to say that we took the prize for Best Music Video. We had a blast being part of the event, and of course that is what it is all about anyway, but hey, we’ll enjoy our 15 minutes in the fishbowl – plus it gives us a good excuse to write this blog.  Another page in the annals of Sconesology.

The Paonia Film Festival is really a wonderful event.  HERE is the link to the “Sleeping In The Midday Sun” video and a couple links to other films we enjoyed at the festival:

The Dreaded Red Line – by Hutman Media – environmental film

Rich Man – by Jordan Schevene – music video featuring Sticky Mulligan

Footnote – We also won Best Music Video at the 2012 Paonia Film Festival with “Something Happening In The Air”, which you can view HERE.