Legendary radio personality Jim Ladd turned off the mic for the last time this past weekend, passing away at 75 after suffering a heart attack. Ladd spent the majority of his career in Los Angeles, most famously at KMET, “The Mighty Met,” before signing on with Sirius XM in 2011. His radio exploits inspired Tom Petty’s album The Last DJ, a scathing indictment of the music business in an era of increasingly tight playlists and extreme homogenization.
Not only was Ladd a purveyor of free-form radio, he was also an outstanding interviewer, hosting the nationally syndicated show “Innerview” beginning in the '70s. Each week Ladd would chat informally with rock stars of the day, often smoking a joint with them (and talking about it on the air!). He was an inspiration and one of the people who motivated me to pursue a career in broadcasting. Thanks, Jim.
Nicki Minaj will play Toyota Center on Thursday, May 9, in support of her new album Pink Friday 2. Seats are still available in most sections, but if you want to go all out, a VIP ticket will get you a seat in the first 10 rows and exclusive merch, plus admission to the Gag City Headquarters, a lounge featuring cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a DJ and a Press On Nails station.
Tickets are on sale for Eric Johnson at the House of Blues on Saturday, April 6. This outing has been dubbed the “Tone-a-Rama Tour,” which is certainly appropriate in the case of Johnson, an infamous tone chaser who, it has been said, can tell, just by hearing, what brand of battery is powering a guitar effects pedal.
Jazz fusion outfit Spyro Gyra will perform at the Heights Theater on Thursday, May 2, in celebration of the band’s 50th anniversary. ‘Cause Knowledge is Power: Saxophonist Jay Beckenstein named the group after a type of algae he studied in college. Tickets are on sale now.
Concerts This Week
Just in case you haven’t gotten enough Christmas music so far this holiday season, it’s Christmas Jazz at the Dosey Doe tonight. Joe Burlison will lead a group of musicians putting a jazzy spin on holiday favorites, and this means you probably won’t hear that Mariah Carey song.
Guy Forsyth has been a fixture on the Austin music scene since his arrival in 1990. Mixing a variety of influences, he has played as a solo act and as a member of the Asylum Street Spankers and the Hot Nut Riveters. Early in his show business career, Forsyth toured the country performing as Robin Hood at Renaissance festivals, getting the crap kicked out of him by Friar Tuck. Forsyth is at the Mucky Duck on Thursday, celebrating the recent release of his EP Rider.
Befitting the holiday season, it's a trio of reunions at the Continental Club this week. On Thursday, the Hightailers will regroup for the Happy Holidaze Happenin’ and generate the band’s unique psychedelic Gulf Coast shuffle. Beetle ended its 21-year Continental Club residency this past summer, but, as promised, the band is getting back together periodically, this time for a Christmas reunion concert. On Monday, Molly and the Ringwalds will throw a No Cover Christmas Party. The band promises “no cover, all fun,” and with its repertoire of ‘80s faves, is there any doubt that it will be?
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE...
Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.