Portugal. The Man with manager Rich Holtzman and their youngest fan Frances Gourley, the daughter of lead singer John Gourley. (Photo: Catie Laffoon)
Los Angeles celebrated the legacy of T. Rex with the release of T. Rex vs. KCRW Soundclash, a five song tribute album composed of four KCRW DJ remixes of T.Rex originals and a Portugal. The Man cover of "Main Man." The official release date was celebrated with a T. Rex-inspired concert. KCRW DJs Gary Calamar and Dan Wilcox kicked off the evening with individual sets before Portugal. The Man took the stage to perform original tunes as well as a cover of T. Rex's "Children of The Revolution" and their rendition of "Hey Jude."
Portugal. The Man bassist Zach Carothers said the band was thrilled to be a part of such an epic evening. "We are very inspired by T.Rex -- especially our singer ( John Gourley) and myself. Their style is weird enough, it's just poppy enough, and it's just groovy enough to where you can really tell that those guys just went out and really did what they wanted to do and I really respect that. People went crazy over it and I think it's really cool though and they've just got a style that they kind of built and it's all their own."
Portugal The Fan: Bassist Zach Carothers mingling with fans. (Photo: Catie Laffoon)
Carothers said the band picked "Main Man" to cover and that they recorded it very last minute. "We had never played it before together. We just sort of came up with a groove and wrote it out and it was really fun. We like doing things like that. We're always unprepared with whatever we do. It's fun and it keeps things more real and alive for us. That's the cool thing about rock and roll. That it's not perfect."
The Artist Organization's Rich Holtzman, who has been managing Portugal. The Man for the past six years, said that at this point in time, he and the band are like family. Holtzman told Billboard.biz that he is quite busy these days. "We have a lot of clients making records right now in late 2012 and 2013. Portugal. The Man are in the midst of recording their next release, which is showing signs at this early stage of being a milestone record in their career. The Joy Formidable just finished their new record, James Vincent McMorrow is finishing up some touring as he takes a break from working on his sophomore release, and our newest band, Kids These Days, are putting the finishing touches on a debut that has Jeff Tweedy from Wilco and Mario C. ( Beastie Boys, Beck, etc) doing production."
KCRW DJs Dan Wilcox (left) & Gary Calamar. (Photo: Catie Laffoon)
Calamar told .Biz that in addition to manning the radio waves on Sunday nights, he's been music supervising on HBO's "True Blood." "I actually co-wrote a song that was in a couple of episodes that was performed by Iggy Pop and Bethany Cosentino from Best Coast. It's my toe into the songwriting world and I could not be more thrilled about that. It's called 'Let's Boot and Rally.'" KCRW's Dan Wilcox said he also has been acting as a music supervisor and recently worked on the film Ruby Sparks that is currently in theaters. "It's Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris's new movie -- their follow up to Little Miss Sunshine. It was a really fun experience."
Mark Fried, President/founder of Spirit Music Group (left) and Rolan Bolan (son of T.Rex's Marc Bolan). (Photo: Catie Laffoon)
We caught up with Mark Fried, president/founder of Spirit Music Group, who manages T.Rex's publishing. Fried says that Spirit has been looking for collaborative partnerships to help expand the T. Rex brand -- especially to the young generation -- for quite some time. "Teaming up with KCRW and their broad demographic reach seemed like a fantastic way to achieve that. What's great about these remixes is that these DJs have created something very artful. It's respectful of what Marc Bolan was trying to do with his music and takes the songs to another place. It's such a great way to bring music that is 40 years old to a 30 and under context."
In addition to working with the T. Rex catalog, Fried has been collaborating with Pete Townshend on revitalizing some of the lesser known Who projects as well as his solo works. "We're blessed to have Pete as an active collaborator," said Fried.
Rolan Bolan holding a photo of his father from the Who Shot Rock Live photo exhibit. (Photo: Catie Laffoon)
Rolan Bolan, son of T.Rex's Marc Bolan, told Billboard.biz that seeing his father's legacy live on has been a wonderful experience. "It's pretty amazing that forty years after my father put out that record that here I am here in Los Angeles with KCRW -- who is a big part of the LA scene. The remixes are great and now that the music is getting to a new audience, it's beautiful." Bolan is in the process of finishing up his latest music project in which he's injecting his rock and soul spin into his father's music. "My dad passed away when I was so young so basically this is how I got to really experience his music."
The Atlantic Crew and Friends (L to R): Christine Cao (CAA); Rhea Pasricha (Atlantic Records A&R); Kyle O'Quin (Portugal. The Man Keyboardist); Kelly McWilliam (Atlantic Records Publicity); Tracy Kreutzer (Atlantic Records Radio Promotion); Chelsey Northern (Atlantic Records Publicity); Jana Coffey (Atlantic Records A&R); Brad Rains (Atlantic Records Brand Partnerships); and Beth Maurer (Sony). (Photo: Catie Laffoon)
Also spotted in the crowd was the Atlantic Records team who grabbed a pre Portugal. The Man cocktail and punk rock photographer Edward Colver who was mingling with photography fans.