Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Return Of The Count Viglione - Original Bio on Vampire Freaks . Com

Count Viglione Returns!

The Original Count is back with the re-release of his four landmark albums released in Paris in the 1970s and 1980s.

Hear THERE'S NOTHING LIKE A HIT from the Life's Work CD


In 1969 at the age of 15 a young collector of 8mm science fiction/fantasy films, Joe Viglione, published Varulven Magazine in Arlington, Massachusetts. The fanzine's name taken from a used book written by Nordic author Aksel Sandemose (English title - The Werewolf, about the psychological aspects of a love triangle), it featured film reviews, an interview by writer Jim Miller with the late screen actress Ilona Massey- an article referenced in the book It's Alive as well as the DVD of Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein, coverage of Viglione's first two film shorts - Vlad, The Count Possessed and Two Nights Of Terror, interviews with Ray McNally, co-author of In Search Of Dracula, photos of an Alfred Hitchcock film premiere for Torn Curtain, the first interview with Jonathan Richman since his sabbatical, and the first coverage of Lou Reed's Rock 'n' Roll Animal tour, September 1, 1973. During this time there was music being developed by the emerging artist in Arlington and Winthrop, Massachusetts, original music being composed as early as 1969 was put to tape on a half-track reel-to-reel with three songs airing on WBCN in 1971 and another three airing in 1972. "Rare Tape Nights" hosted by Buffalo on WBCN were a particular favorite of the writer/performer, and Marc Bolan's acoustic broadcast from that station was taped from the speakers onto a cassette recorder. Giving that tape to an artist signed to the Varulven label years later resulted in that individual sending it overseas where it has, unfortunately, been bootlegged. The artist that sent the private tapes overseas ended up writing the liner notes to the Crosby, Stills & Nash boxed set, go figure. Two and a half years later the magazine turned into a record label, Boston's original rock label, Varulven. Along with releases by Viglione's own band, The Count, the imprint issued comedian Paul Lovell a.k.a. Blowfish, music by Willie "Loco" Alexander, Thundertrain, Third Rail, Mr. Curt, Unnatural Axe, Fox Pass and other New England region pioneers. In 1978 Patrick Mathe' of Flamingo Records issued their first contract to the twenty-four year old Joe Viglione. Flamingo was a subsidiary of the dance label, Carrere Records, Mathe' releasing a 12" record by another group after having signed Viglione with the debut lp from The Count the label's first album release. Joe became the house agent for Cantones, an Italian restaurant in the Financial District of Boston, launching his first Rock & Roll Spectacular at The Paradise Theater on June 29, 1978. His showcases brought The Stompers, Mission Of Burma, The Lyres, Thrills, Unnatural Axe, The Neighborhoods and other acts into Boston's best concert club for the very first time. Some of these acts went on to become "house bands" at the club, though as of 2003 Viglione holds the record for performing 49 times in the room where David Johansen filmed his famous Animals medley, where Billy Joel tracked the hit "She's Got A Way", where U2 recorded the flip side of "I Will Follow" and where tons of live concerts by The Cars, Bette Midler,Blondie and other acts were taped, usually by Starfleet, which also recorded the second Count Spectacular. Around this period Varulven Magazine started publishing a regular column on Lou Reed's work. At a Reed show in Paradise Philip Milstein obtained a copy of the Jonathan Richman issue of Varulven, the issue that declared it was time for "The Velvets Appreciation Society." Milstein contacted Viglione and said he would start "The Velvet Underground Appreciation Society", with Joe contributing to the first few issues of that fan club's magazine. Viglione was also writing a monthly column in Musician's Magazine, and would go on to pen articles for The Boston Globe, The Real Paper, The Improper Bostonian, Preview, The Beat, Discords, a commentary in Billboard Magazine (August 31, 1992), his record company scribblings in CMJ, along with liner notes to the various compilation albums his label was releasing, most notably the Moe Tucker/Count e.p. Another View, a title which Polygram utilized later for their own sequel to the V.U. disc. Joe had sent copies to Bill Levenson, producer of the V.U. and the "other" Another View album, with Jimmy Miller and Joe Viglione in Levenson's office while the next "V.U." was in the planning stages. A little beyond coincidence that Joe's brilliant play on words "another vee you - another view" (of The Velvet Underground) would both be composed by two different individuals. Joe had already sent copies of his "another look" at the V.U. album (different versions of Foggy Notion and "I'm Sticking With You") to Levenson, so after the meeting, sent them again. CMJ reviewed both discs simultaneously refusing to call the original EP "Another View". As James Brown said about the record business on a New Music Seminar panel with Lou Reed and Madonna about giving your ideas to the record industry... In 1980 Viglione became the A & R rep for Mathe's new European label signing Willie Alexander to New Rose / RCA after the split up of MCA recording act The Boom Boom Band. Billboard Magazine interviewed him the day the Loco disc hit the American shores. In 1983 Varulven act The Daughters became the back-up band for Johnny Thunders, the former New York Doll who was being produced by legendary Rolling Stones' producer Jimmy Miller, not to be confused with Varulven Magazine writer Jim Miller. Manager Jim Nestor brought the tapes to Joe's attention and after meeting with Miller at Euphoria Sound Studios, Viglione signed Thunders to a deal with New Rose Records, now distributed by Musidisc in Europe. Thunders, The Count and The Daughters had a record release party at The Paradise Nightclub, of course. In Cold Blood by Johnny Thunders became the biggest selling record for the New Rose Label in the mid 1980's. Jimmy Miller then recorded the third Count album, The Intuition Element, for New Rose, eventually forming a production company with Joe called Miller/Viglione Productions. This synergy resulted in an artistic achievement when Buddy Guy recorded five sides with the pair, Miller producing Genya Ravan, Jo Jo Laine and Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry on the sessions, Viglione producing Nils Lofgren on the tapes. Offers from the record industry were not what Guy's manager was interested in at the time, and the recordings have stayed in the vaults. In a strange twist of fate it was Viglione's PR work with former Joe Perry wife Elissa Perry which brought Buddy Guy to the team's attention. It was Willie Alexander's ex-wife, Billie Montgomery, former art director for Varulven, and now married to Joe Perry, who negotiated Perry's involvement on the Buddy Guy tapes. Miller/Viglione's next project was former wife of Wings guitarist Denny Laine, the Jo Jo Laine album after some interest from Arista. Jo Jo managed The Mannish Boys out of the U.K. and Miller/Viglione attracted attention from Motown in America on this project tracking four songs at Normandy Sound in Warren, Rhode Island. In 1988 Miller/Viglione Productions moved to Mission Control Studios where a band called New Kids On The Block emerged. It was a time of transition. A live "Count" album was recorded, as was live material by Unnatural Axe, a band whose debut EP on the label in 2003 sells for $225.00 on, with the track "They Saved Hitler's Brain", produced by Viglione, appearing on the Rhino/Atlantic release Mass Ave., a compilation of Boston area music. In 1991 Joe began producing legendary disc jockey Harvey Wharfield's Boston Music Showcase with The Demo That Got The Deal - a series of interviews with Jonathan Richman, J.Geils frontman Peter Wolf, Letters To Cleo, Barry Tashian of The Remains, Didi Stewart, Charlie Farren and other New England rockers playing their demos and telling how they landed their record or publishing deals. Rare tracks like RTZ's live version of "Dreams" (featuring ex-members of the band Boston, the pre-J.Geils Band The Hallucinations, the original lost 4 track demo of The Fools "Psycho Chicken" and other nuggets were aired on the show, Viglione and Greg Hawkes of The Cars cleaning up that band's original demos for Hawkes interview on the show ("The demo That Got The Deal" is referenced twice in Rhino's Cars Deluxe re-issue of the band's first album). They played Aimee Mann's "I Should've Known" before any radio station in the world. The show moved to a variety of different AM and FM stations, Viglione becoming program director of AM 1670 on March 11, 2000. Simultaneous with the production work at 93.7 FM in 1992 Viglione became head of A & R for CD Review Magazine's label for Wayne Green Enterprises. Joe signed Spirit releasing a new version of "Nature's Way" featuring Sara Fleetwood on vocals (then wife of Mick Fleetwood) which got AAA radio attention, and Better Generation, a new album from Marty Balin of The Jefferson Airplane. As Epic/Legacy was about to reissue Spirit product on the double disc entitled Time Circle, the band leader Randy California asked Viglione to help negotiate the deal. This resulted in photographs from California's collection and insight being added to that retrospective. The return to television was inevitable, his original TV Eye show from 1979 having been produced by eventual Executive Producer of Madonna's Truth Or Dare film, Jay Roewe. The idea for Visual Radio-Television got shelved when Joe was hired as Director of Research for national TV company North American Media. They developed PBS specials for actor Paul Sorvino and mezzo soprano Marilyn Horne. During his time with North American Media while negotiating a possible PBS special for The Jefferson Starship (and a meeting where Reverend Paul Kantner granted him absolution, dressed like a priest), Visual Radio-Television was launched with an extensive Marty Balin interview and some rare and exclusive Jefferson Starship footage. In 8 years the show has taped 300 interviews, concerts and lectures including Laurie Anderson, Richard Branson, Greg Hawkes of The Cars, Linda Ronstadt, Professor Stephen Hawking and many others. It was the 1999 interview with Suzanne Vega which was picked up by the All Media Guide which led to Joe's writing articles for AMG. He is writing a book on Lou Reed's 1973 Rock 'n' Roll Animal tour, continuing to produce TV and radio, and archiving thirty years of recordings for possible reissues, writing liner notes (penning the essay to the re-release of Andy Pratt's first album Records Are Like Life, among others). He is working on his fifth film, The Salt Water Summers (formerly The Summer Wind), with appearances scheduled by sixties stars Diane Renay, Barbara Harris of The Toys, Bobby Hebb, Buzzy Linhart, Eddie Rambeau, Marty Balin and others. The original "Count" album on Flamingo/Carrere is selling for over $50.00 on and while various 45's by Willie Alexander, Moe Tucker as well as the two Count eps are going for $25.00 - $35.00 or more. The materials show up on eBay, and other sites, the internet giving new exposure to the pioneering label created by Boston's singer/songwriter "for artists by artists", a tag and philosophy that Propeller Records and Wampus Media, two labels that came later, also embraced.