Some over looked solo Beatles songs.

Not much by the Beatles have been overlooked. As a group their songs have been inspected, dissected and analysed more than any other rock group. That doesn’t mean there still isn’t some out there hidden a little bit…. But this is for John, Paul, George and Ringo on their own…some songs you don’t hear as much. Just one each right now.

I Know (I know) – John Lennon off of Mind Games. Some say it was written as a message to Paul and it does have some Beatles references in there. John said later it was about Yoko…it could be both or neither…Personally I think it’s about both…It’s a wonderful pop song nonetheless. I just recently started to listen to this song again. My favorite Lennon solo song after 1971.

Junior’s Farm – Paul McCartney…It was an A side to a single… It was a hit but it’s not played much anymore. It was recorded in Nashville. I wished he would have made more like this…the rawness that Paul can do well when he wants to…which is not very much. Sally G the B side is a quaint country song of it’s time. It was also recorded in Nashville. It’s a fun song  that was influenced by his trip to the Music City in 1974.

Any Road – George Harrison recorded this for his last album Brainwashed before he died. It was finished up by his son Dhani Harrison and Jeff Lynne. It has the trademark slide guitar by George who had a slide style completely his own. George always got swallowed up by the enormity of John and Paul but he wrote some great songs.

Early 1970 – Ringo Starr wrote this song and is it a great song? No not really but he makes it perfectly clear he wanted to play with the remaining Beatles…and what he felt about each one at the time. For a Beatles fan it is interesting to hear this. Ringo had a lot of hits in the early 1970’s and this one was not one of them. As a fan you were pulling for him.

The Marx Brothers

 

Describing the Marx Brothers in their Paramount movies is like describing a hurricane and a car wreck combined. The brothers were in vaudeville from the early 1900’s to 1924 where they finally made it to Broadway in a play called “She Say’s It Is”. Broadway audiences had never seen anything like them. They literally tore up the stage with being so energetic. The brothers names were Julius (Groucho), Adolph (Harpo), Leonard (Chick-o) and Herbert (Zeppo). They had another brother that was not in the act Milton (Gummo).

Groucho was always in a power position in the plays and movies. Harpo and Chico would be there to take him down a few notches. Zeppo would be the straight man. Harpo of course would play the harp in a musical part, Chico would play the piano and Groucho would sometimes play the guitar…but the comedy is what everyone came to see.

They started movies around 1928 and again no one had ever see anything like them on screen. The five movies they made for Paramount were Coconuts, Animal Crackers, Monkey Business, Horse Feathers and Duck Soup. These movies were anarchist chaos. After 1933 they signed a deal with MGM and their movies were tamed down to have more of a story line and some were good but never matched the wildness of the Paramount movies where they had no respect for authority and lived and talked by their own rules. Groucho would say things that we would love to say in real life but we could never get by with it…he would say them in real life…and get by with it.

They are hard to compare to anyone else. The Three Stooges were not the same comedy whatsoever. In the 1970’s college students were drawn to the Marx Brothers and their popularity went up with college students standing in lines around the block to see Animal Crackers in a theater. Their movies are still relevant today and can be enjoyed by every generation….

Harpo is my favorite…who never said a word in any film. He was a master of prop comedy and he could have been a big star in silent comedy. He was also a really good harp player also. He wrote the best biography (Harpo Speaks!) I’ve ever read. For fans it’s great and for the average person it’s an interesting read. The book is what first got me into the Marx Brothers.

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Groucho Marx Quotes

Groucho’s one liners and insults beating anyone I’ve ever heard… here are a few.

 

“Please accept my resignation. I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member”

“I was married by a judge… I should have asked for a jury”

“A man’s only as old as the woman he feels”

“As soon as I get through with you, you’ll have a clear case for divorce and so will my wife

“I married your mother because I wanted children, imagine my disappointment when you came along”

“Behind every successful man is a woman, behind her is his wife”

“Women should be obscene not heard”

“Marriage is the chief cause of divorce”

“Marriage is a wonderful institution but who wants to live in an institution?”

“Those are my principles If you don’t like them I have more”

“You’ve got the brain of a four-year-old boy, and I’ll bet he was glad to get rid of it ”

“Who are you going to believe, me or your lyin’ eyes?”

“You’ve got the brain of a four-year-old boy, and I’ll bet he was glad to get rid of it ”

“Paying alimony is like feeding hay to a dead horse”

“Remember men, you are fighting for this lady’s honor; which is probably more than she ever did”

“Last night I shot an elephant in my Pajamas and how he got in my pajamas I’ll never know”

“I worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty”

 

 

A few things from the 70s

If I could have been a teenager in any decade it would have been the 1970s. I barely remember the 70s  I grew up mostly in the 80s. I was always envious of people who grew up in the decade before I did…. Great music, split level houses, earth tones, funky clothes, cool cars, great tv shows and bad variety shows…so bad they were great…. Everyone and everything had their own personality. It was a decade where all generations intersected with each other. You had a Paul Lynde Halloween special with Tim Conway, Kiss, Florence Henderson (singing That Old Black Magic no less) Donny and Marie!, Margaret Hamilton and the eternal Betty White. What other decade would have that? The birth of Saturday Night Live….with Laraine Newman, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris, and Chevy Chase…

I’m not saying anything bad didn’t happen…they did… Jonestown, Kent State, Watergate, Iran hostages, inflation and gas shortages and more. But every decade has its tragedies and bad things.

Really good things were no cellphones, no AIDs, we had vinyl records and we would study the front cover art or picture and the fold out for hours, real honest to goodness rock stars who had talent, no auto-tune, pictures that were not doctored so much you weren’t sure they were real, Intellivision, Atari games, libraries were still relevant, hanging out with friends after school, not nearly as much commercialism (fewer choices to make), more freedom, individualism, you could tell a Ford from a Chevy, Now everyone wants the same things because we are hit with ads 24/7 to be like everyone else.

The 1980s is when commercialism really started in full earnest.

In the 70s people and companies were not afraid to take chances to do something different and new…like movies, houses and cars….even if you didn’t like them (AMC Pacer!) at least you weren’t seeing the same thing in different colors. Yes disco was there but I still like it better than boy groups now. Real musicians played on them. I will admit the lit dance floors were pretty cool…that’s all I will give disco. You could go and see The Who, Led Zeppelin, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder for 12 bucks and under…sometimes cheaper.

Many people would disagree with the 70s but I still like the chaise lounge chairs with the groovy fuzzy feeling (I have one), green shag carpet the dark restaurants and Star Wars! Before the awful….for the most part Star War prequels.

I can think of many more things both good and bad. I just wish I could have seen more of the seventies at an older age than I was then. But I enjoyed what I had of them…I just wished we had more individualism now.

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Can’t forget the Pacer (rolling fish aquarium on wheels)

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The best Peanut Butter ever…KOOGLE… it came in 4 flavors and Banana was my favorite. I so wish Kraft would bring this back…I really miss this…

 

 

 

 

The Wonderful World of Sid and Marty Krofft

Growing up in the seventies watching shows on Saturday morning was a wonderful experience and Sid and Marty Krofft could really be on the strange side….but a great strange.

It has been rumored that the brothers were inspired by hallucination drugs such as LSD and or pot. The brothers have always denied this claim. Shows with titles H.R Pufnstuf and Lidsville (Puff and a Lid) and the lyrics led to accusations.

H.R. Pufnstuf, who’s your friend when things get rough?
H.R. Pufnstuf, can’t do a little, ’cause you can’t do enough!

A quote from them…”We screwed with every kid’s mind,” says Marty Krofft of the loopy shows — such as H.R. Pufnstuf, Lidsville and Land of the Lost — that he created with brother Sid in the early 1970s. “There’s an edge. Disney doesn’t have an edge.”…from Hollywoodreporter.

H.R. Pufnstuf – A boy with a talking flute got in a boat and then the skies turned gray and there in the sky was Witchiepoo… He ended up at a place with H.R. Pufnstuf (who has to be seen) his friends and talking trees…terrorized by Witchiepoo…. with a hint of psychedelic thrown in…as was most of the shows they created. It’s awesome to know that kids watched this strange show… Give me this over Barney….

Lidsville – A boy falls down a large top hat at a amusement park and ends up in a land of Hats…No kidding…there was also a genie named Weenie…who played Witchiepoo in HR Pufnstuf. The bad guy was Charles Nelson Reilly the magician and he would go around zapping people. The show is just plain bizarre…for me it is the strangest show of the group….and that made it my favorite.

Sigmund and the Sea Monsters – A couple of boys find a friendly sea monster hiding from his mean family of sea monsters. the boys hide Sigmund from everyone else. This is probably the most normal one of them all…It was a popular Saturday morning show.

The Bugaloos – Singing insects…Watch it…Most boys had a crush on the Butterfly Caroline Ellis.

The Banana Splits – An animal rock group with a catchy theme song…which all of the earlier shows had a catchy theme. This show was made by Hanna-Barbera but the costumes were made by the Krofft brothers.

The Land of the Lost – The best written show of them all. See the Land Of The Lost post.

There were other shows like Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, The Space Nuts, The Lost Saucer and Wonder Bug but they were not in the same league as the top group. The Krofft brothers moved away from the puppets…which they were known for… and the wild themes.

Sid and Marty Krofft also had an inside theme park in Atlanta

In 1976, a developer asked the Kroffts to develop a very cool amusement park for the new Omni International complex in downtown Atlanta. The World of Sid and Marty Krofft was the world’s first indoor amusement park, but due to poor attendance it was closed after just six months. The Omni International building that contained the amusement park was renamed the CNN Center when the site was converted to the present CNN headquarters.[4]

The brothers sued McDonalds and won for ripping off H.R. Pufnstuf and Living Island. Here is what happened. 

The Bugaloos

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Lidsville

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Sigmund and the Sea Monsters

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The Banana Splits

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1980’s Music

To be truthful I never was enamored of the 1980s very much. I spent my teenage years stuck in that MTV decade. As far as music…I didn’t give up my loves…Beatles, Who and Stones although that was not the most popular choice then. Personally, I didn’t like the 80’s music much at all…Michael Jackson, Madonna and a long string of synth and big hair bands were terrible to me. I hated the sound of fake drums and the tinny guitars from the so-called heavy bands. Raw was out in the 80’s in popular music and it showed.

The Heavy Metal guitar players would learn classical riffs and then continue to put them in every solo. It was more about technique than feel. Feel and looseness was gone. It was about who could play the fastest and it didn’t matter if it fit the song or not… It seemed no one played for the song anymore.

Not saying I hated everything…I really liked… Bruce, Tom Petty, Prince, John Mellencamp, The Bangles, The Wilburys, U2, REM, Dire Strait and some great one hit wonders. AC/DC I didn’t appreciate as much at the time but they at least had a rawness to them.

I remember the radio stations playing Phil Collins over, over, over and over some more. If they weren’t playing him…they played Genesis. I had my fill of Phil…I believe everyone did then…

It was the era of big-selling albums…. Born In The USA, Purple Rain, Thriller, Pyromania, Back In Black, Brothers In Arms, 1984, Synchronicity and The Joshua Tree.

The performers I held high…The Stones (Dirty Work), The Who (It’s Hard) and Paul McCartney (Pipes of Peace) made the worst albums…in my opinion of their careers…all in the 1980’s. You can hear the 80’s sound infiltrated all of them.

ZZ Top made Eliminator and Aerosmith made Permanent Vacation and then continued to make the same album over and over again…

I am not the biggest fan of Guns and Roses and Nirvana but I do credit them for helping to wipe the 80’s of big hair bands…like squashing an irritating bug.

There are songs that take me back to good times in that decade. Salt In My Tears, Going for a Soda, Come on Eileen, Darlington County, Raspberry Beret, All The Good Ones are Taken, Walking on Sunshine, Starting Over, Old Man Down the Road, Video Killed the Radio Star etc….

It wasn’t enough to listen to the radio but we just had to see the video. Videos took over as the most important thing. Videos had been an important tool since the 60’s but in the 1980’s they were the driving force…. A bad video could kill a career…. ask Billy Squire.

Video killed the radio star… truer words were never spoken.

 

 

The Traveling Wilburys

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Gilligan’s Island

The questions:

Mary Ann or Ginger? (Poll)  Why did the professor bring that many books? Why did the Howells bring that much cash on a 3-hour cruise? How many dresses did Ginger pack? How many red/blue/white shirts did Gilligan, Skipper and the Professor own respectively? Why did they let Gilligan participate in getting rescued ploys? The Professor was a Macgyver times 20…. He could make anything out of coconut shells, vines and a spare part off of the SS Minnow…but he couldn’t build a raft or boat?

You tend to over look that and just have fun. The network and critics hated the show. The public liked it and it has never stopped being broadcast because of syndication. Every day after school this was always on and I was always hoping as a kid for them to get off that island. I had no clue it was filmed years before I was watching it. They finally were rescued in some TV movies in the 70s long after the show had gone off the air. When I was a kid I went to a muscular dystrophy telethon and there she was…Dawn Wells standing there and I was 10 years old. She gave me an autographed picture and shook my hand…I didn’t wash that hand for at least a week…until mom made me. Sadly I lost the picture but I will never forget meeting her. She was down to earth and really kind.

Gilligan’s Island was a fun slapstick comedy show. My favorite episode is the one with The Mosquitos rock band. The Mosquitos were really a group called the Wellingtons… they are the group that sang the theme song.

My son’s 14th birthday party happened a few years ago and we had a projector for the television…what did 14-year-old kids want to see in 2014? Gilligan’s Island. One thing I notice about the season 1 and 2 color shows…they are very vivid….the color jumps out at you.

 

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Mary Ann of course…

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The Mosquitoes…Bingo, Bango, Bongo and Irving.. love the glasses that Irving is wearing.

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The Mosquitoes “live”