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July 12, 2024

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John Mars
John Mars [Cassette] (Ugly Dog Records)

By: Gary "Pig" Gold

Today's history lesson takes place in scenic Sydney, Australia circa 7 / 69. Near the set of the Ned Kelly film (don't even ask!), Marianne Faithfull, the only woman who cast herself over three Rolling Stones and lived to write about it, gazes into a mirror and beholds, in her debauchen stupor, the image of the recently-expired Brian Jones before her. "Come with me, Marianne", the aberration beckons. "It's nice here. Please join me". But instead of cashing in her chips there and then - and in the process avoiding that interminable flight back to London in the morning - Ms. Faithfull decides to linger with us here in the land of the living.

However, as a parting tribute to Brian, she stood at that mirror fitfully chopping yards off her trademark golden locks until she'd been successfully transformed, from the shoulders up at least, into the very image of the newly- dead Stone. Whew!

Flash forward a decade to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada: in many ways the closest you'll ever get to Sydney in this hemisphere. Daniel Lanois, he of Dylan / U2 / Emmylou-too fame, is about to produce his VERY FIRST rock'n'roll session. Out on the studio floor, looking and sounding defiantly unfaithfull in all the coolest ways, stands the one and only John Mars alongside his merry band of Canuck anti-Stones. Within ten minutes, their tear'n'blood-soaked tribute to Marianne, Mick, and all things Sixties is already in the proverbial can. Said opus, called "Cut Her Hair", now joins nine other sonic wonders on this best- of (sorta) collection against which that Voodoo Lounge is revealed to be the old foggies home it really is. Brian would've wanted it that way, I betcha.

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