Helter Skelter

Bono once said before playing the song  “This is a song Charles Manson stole from The Beatles, well we’re stealin’ it back.” Charles Manson did, in fact, hijack the song from the Beatles. The song is about an amusement park attraction (not a coded message to Charlie). A “Helter Skelter” is an amusement ride popularized mostly in the U.K. with a slide built in a spiral around a high tower. Paul McCartney read an interview with Pete Townshend saying that the Who just recorded the loudest, rawest and dirtiest song ever…well it was “I Can See For Miles.” A great song… but not what Townshend described it as exactly…

Paul then started to write a song that fit that description and went above it. Helter Skelter was recorded with all four Beatles in studio two with their amps on 11. It’s a great brutal hard rock song. It is one of the rawest songs ever released by a well-known band at that time. If I hear someone call the Beatles only a pop band…I just point them to this song. Covers of this song range from Motley Crue who despite their image their version sounds like a light pop song compared to this, Pat Benatar version is not up to this one…U2’s version tries but no version gets close to the Beatles version in rawness. Some credit this song as one of the inspirations of Heavy Metal…

This song fits great on the White Album. The album is the most diverse the Beatles ever made. On the same album, you have Helter Skelter, Rocky Racoon, Sexy Sadie, Honey Pie, Back In The USSR, Blackbird, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Revolution Nine and many more.

When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide
Where I stop and I turn and I go for a ride
Till I get to the bottom and I see you again

Yeah, yeah, yeah, heh, heh, heh, heh
But do you, don’t you want me to love you?
I’m (Ahhh) coming down fast but I’m miles above you
(Ahhh) Tell me, tell me, tell me, come on tell me the answer

Well, you may be a lover but you ain’t no dancer
Now
Helter skelter

Helter skelter
Helter skelter
Yeah!
Woo!, hoo!

A Will you, won’t you want me to make you?
(Ahhh)
I’m coming down fast but don’t let me break you
(Ahhh)

Tell me, tell me, tell me the answer
You may be a lover but you ain’t no dancer

Look out!
Helter skelter
Helter skelter

 

Charlie Rich – Mohair Sam

It’s a song by Charlie Rich who is more known as a country artist and his 1970s hits “Behind Closed Doors” and “The Most Beautiful Girl” off of his album Behind Closed Doors. This is not like Rich’s other hits but it’s a good song.

I first heard about this song when I read The Beatles were listening to this song when they met Elvis and Elvis had it on his jukebox when they all met. The song peaked at #21 in the Billboard 100 in 1966. The song became a hit, ending up in the top 30 on the pop charts.

Charlie played piano on Sun Records in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and then signed with Grove records…after that, he signed with Smash records and this was his first release on that label.

The song was written by Dallas Frazier who also wrote “Elvira”…the song that the Oak Ridge Boys made famous.

Mohair Sam

Well – who is the hippie that’s happenin’ all over our town?
Tearin’ up chicks with the message that he lays down
Who is the coolest guy, what is, what am?
That’s fast-talkin’ – slow walkin’ – good-lookin’ Mohair Sam
Chicks are making reservations for his lovin’ so fine (so fine)
Screamin’ and shoutin’ he’s got ’em all waitin’ in line
Who is the coolest guy, what is, what am?
That’s fast-talkin’ – slow walkin’ – good-lookin’ Mohair Sam
Who is the hippie that’s happenin’ all over our town?
Tearin’ up chicks with the message that he lays down
Who is the coolest guy, what is, what am?
That’s fast-talkin’ – slow walkin’ – good-lookin’ Mohair Sam

Deep Purple – Woman from Tokyo

This song is all about the riff…it is a memorable riff… The song has drive and suspense. Woman from Tokyo peaked at #60 in 1973. This is one of the group’s most popular songs, but they never liked it very much. They didn’t start playing it live until they re-formed in 1984 after their 1976 split.

Because of endless touring and fatigue, Ian Gillan gave a six-month notice and stated that he was leaving the band after fulfilling all of his commitments in 1973. The album Who “Do We Think We Are” was released in January of 1973. The release generated the hit single “Woman from Tokyo.” “Smoke on the Water” was also busy that year becoming Deep Purple’s biggest hit of all-time.

After lead singer Ian Gillian left Deep Purple in 1973 they had two other lead singers before reforming in 1984…and they were David Coverdale and Joe Lynn Turner.

From Songfacts

Deep Purple started recording their Who Do We Think We Are in Rome in July 1972. At this point, the band had yet to tour Japan, but they had three shows scheduled there for August: two in Osaka followed by one at the Budokan arena in Tokyo. Drawing on Japanese imagery (“the rising sun,” “an Eastern dream”), they concocted a story of a lovely lady from that country who drives them wild.

Rome was sunny and relaxing, so the band spent a lot of time in the swimming pool in lieu of working. There was also a sound problem in the studio, and the only track they got out of those sessions was “Woman From Tokyo.” The rest of the album was done in Germany.

In 1973, this was issued as a single, achieving a modest chart position of #60 in America. It aged well and got a lot of airplay on AOR and Classic Rock radio stations, keeping it alive. The stretched out “Toe-Key-Oh” became a bit of an earworm and helped embed the song into many an auditory cortex.

On some compilations from the ’70s, this song is listed as “live,” which Roger Glover insists is a lie, since they never did the song live in that decade.

Woman from Tokyo

Fly into the rising sun
Faces, smiling everyone
Yeah, she is a whole new tradition
I feel it in my heart

My woman from Tokyo
She makes me see
My woman from Tokyo
She’s so good to me

Talk about her like a Queen
Dancing in a Eastern Dream
Yeah, she makes me feel like a river
That carries me away

My woman from Tokyo
She makes me see
My woman from Tokyo
She’s so good to me

But I’m at home and I just don’t belong 

So far away from the garden we love
She is what moves in the soul of a dove
Soon I shall see just how black was my night
When we’re alone in Her City of light

Rising from the neon gloom
Shining like a crazy moon
Yeah, she turns me on like a fire
I get high

My woman from Tokyo
She makes me see
My woman from Tokyo
She’s so good to me

Avatar: The Last Airbender

If I would not have had a son growing up when he did I probably would have never watched this series. In 2007 my son was 7 and we started to watch this and I have to admit I got hooked. It is extremely well animated and an entertaining series. The stories are such that an adult can easily watch it. The scripts are intelligent and you get drama, comedy, and action. The show was critically praised and won many awards (listed at the bottom of the post from wiki).

I would recommend this to anyone of any age. It does contain violence and fighting. The show starts off light-hearted for the most part and then grows darker.

It starts and finishes the ongoing story in 3 seasons. The episodes are around 24 minutes long and very easy to watch. You see these characters grow while watching it. Netflix has announced that they are coming out with a live action version of it.

There was a terrible live action movie that was released…avoid at all costs. Some have regarded it as one of the worst movies ever made…

I looked for a short synopsis of the series…I found this and altered it a little on IMDB.

In a lost age the world is divided into four equal powers: Water Tribe, Earth Kingdom, Fire Nation, and Air Nomads. In each nation, there’s a group of gifted people known as Benders who have the ability to manipulate their native element using martial arts and elemental magic. For thousands of years, the nations lived together peacefully. But then disaster struck. The young ruler of the Fire Nation, Fire Lord Sozin, began a war of world conquest. The only one who could have prevented it was the Avatar. The Avatar is the human incarnation of the Spirit of Light, he alone can master bending all four elements. But, just when he was needed most, he disappeared.

Now, 100 years later, a young Waterbender named Katara and her older brother Sokka stumble upon the long lost Avatar, Aang (he was around 12), who was encased in an iceberg for 100 years. They must help Aang master all four elements before summer when Sozin’s grandson Fire Lord Ozai will use a comet to deal one last deadly strike against the other nations and claim a Fire Nation victory. But, all that is easier said than done with the Fire Lord’s determined and hot-tempered son, Prince Zuko, hot on their trail.

Below is the intro to the series.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avatar:_The_Last_Airbender

 

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominee Status
2005 Pulcinella Awards Best Action Adventure TV Series Avatar: The Last Airbender Won[78]
Best TV Series Avatar: The Last Airbender Won[78]
2006 33rd Annie Awards Best Animated Television Production Avatar: The Last Airbender Nominated[79]
Storyboarding in an Animated Television Production Lauren MacMullan for “The Deserter” Won[79]
Writing for an Animated Television Production Aaron Ehasz and John O’Bryan for “The Fortuneteller” Nominated[79]
2007 Nickelodeon Australian Kids’ Choice Awards 2007 Fave Toon Avatar: The Last Airbender Nominated[80]
34th Annie Awards Character Animation in a Television Production Yu Jae Myung for “The Blind Bandit” Won[81]
Directing in an Animated Television Production Giancarlo Volpe for “The Drill” Won[81]
Genesis Awards Outstanding Children’s Programming “Appa’s Lost Days” Won[82]
59th Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Animated Program “City of Walls and Secrets” Nominated[83]
Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation Sang-Jin Kim for “Lake Laogai” Won[84]
2008 2008 Kids’ Choice Awards Favorite Cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender Won[85]
Annecy International Animated Film Festival TV series Joaquim Dos Santos for “The Day of Black Sun, Part 2: The Eclipse Nominated[86]
Peabody Awards N/A Avatar: The Last Airbender Won[87]
13th Satellite Awards Best Youth DVD Book 3: Fire, Volume 4 Nominated[88]
2009 36th Annie Awards Best Animated Television Production for Children Avatar: The Last Airbender Won[89]
Directing in an Animated Television Production Joaquim Dos Santos for “Sozin’s Comet, Part 3: Into the Inferno Won[89]
Golden Reel Awards Best Sound Editing: Television Animation “Sozin’s Comet, Part 4: Avatar Aang” Nominated[90]
Nickelodeon Australian Kids’ Choice Awards 2009 Fave Toon Avatar: The Last Airbender Won[91]
2010 Nickelodeon Australian Kids’ Choice Awards 2010 Top Toon Avatar: The Last Airbender Nominated[92]

The Who – Happy Jack

It took me a few listens to warm up to this song…after that, I’ve been hooked. Roger Daltrey on Happy Jack. “I remember when I first heard ‘Happy Jack’, I thought, ‘What the f–k do I do with this? It’s like a German oompah song!’ I had a picture in my head that this was the kind of song that Burl Ives would sing, so ‘Happy Jack’ was my imitation of Burl Ives!”

The song peaked at #24 in the Billboard 100 and #3 in the UK in 1967.

 

From Songfacts

Pete Townshend based the “Happy Jack” character on the strange and not-too-intelligent guys who used to hang around English beaches and play with the kids. Townshend would play on the Isle Of Man beach as a kid.

This was featured on The Who’s second album, A Quick One. In the US, the album title was changed to “Happy Jack” due to record company fears that the original title was a reference to sex.

In 1966 The Who were slotted to film a television series in much the same vein as the Monkees series. For the pilot episode, the band filmed a clip to go along with this song. It featured the 4 of them as robbers attempting to rob a safe. They get distracted, however, by a cake sitting close by and wackiness ensues as The Who smear themselves from head to foot with frosting. Finally a cop busts in and foils their plan, chasing them out of the room. The show never aired, but the clip can now be found in the Kids Are Alright DVD. The clip is light years ahead of its time for what other bands of the ’60s were doing.

A live version can be found on the expanded Live at Leeds album.

At the tail end of the song, you can hear Townshend yelling the phrase “I saw yer!” to Who drummer Keith Moon. Apparently, Moon had been banished from the studio and was trying to sneak back in. 

This song was used in an ad campaign for the Hummer H2 in 2004. The commercial featured a boy in a wooden car rolling straight down a hill to win a soap box derby instead of taking the winding road down like everyone else. 

Happy Jack

Happy Jack wasn’t old, but he was a man
He lived in the sand at the Isle of Man
The kids would all sing, he would take the wrong key
So they rode on his head on their furry donkey

The kids couldn’t hurt Jack
They tried and tried and tried
They dropped things on his back
And lied and lied and lied and lied and lied

But they couldn’t stop Jack, or the waters lapping
And they couldn’t prevent Jack from feeling happy

But they couldn’t stop Jack, or the waters lapping
And they couldn’t prevent Jack from feeling happy

The kids couldn’t hurt Jack
They tried and tried and tried
They dropped things on his back
And lied and lied and lied and lied and lied

But they couldn’t stop Jack, or the waters lapping
And they couldn’t prevent Jack from feeling happy

I saw ya!

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 threw 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 an amusement park and ends up in a land of Hats…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 they did….and besides Land of the Lost 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.  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. In these shows, 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

Related image

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.

 

The brothers sued McDonald’s and won for ripping off H.R. Pufnstuf and Living Island. I can see a resemblance…

Image result for sid and marty krofft mcdonalds compare

The Bugaloos

The-Bugaloos.jpg

Lidsville

lidsville-blog480.jpg

Sigmund and the Sea Monsters

sigmund-and-the-sea-monsters.jpg

The Banana Splits

banana-splits-06252015.jpg

? & the Mysterians – 96 Tears

I absolutely love the organ riff that starts out this song. It was performed on a Vox Continental.

Well, it’s an original name I will say that much for the group…or the lead singer anyway. This song was written by “?,” the band’s frontman who wanted to be anonymous (he’s listed on the composer credits as (Rudy Martinez). At one point he referred to the individual band members only by three-letter names (at one point, the band was known as XYZ). The mystery helped market the group, who wore dark glasses to add to the intrigue.

The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100 and #37 in the UK in 1966.  They were an American garage rock band of Mexican origins from Bay City and Saginaw in Michigan who were initially active between 1962 and 1969.

From Songfacts

Since mystery has always been a staple of their act, it’s hard to know which stories about the group are factual. When they recorded this song, they were a five-piece whose families migrated from Mexico and Texas to work in the Saginaw Valley in Michigan.

? tells us that the song was always called “96 Tears,” and never “69 Tears” or “Too Many Teardrops” as sometimes reported. He insists that the number 96 has a deep, philosophical meaning, but refuses to tell us what that is. Here’s the full interview with ? – it’s quite an adventure.

Note that the singer is not the one crying the 96 Tears. He’s been dumped, and plans to get revenge by reuniting so he can dump her back. That’s when she’ll be crying the 96 tears.

When the group came up with this song, ? didn’t want to use a title with a number in it because he thought they would be accused of ripping off The Rolling Stones, who had a hit with “19th Nervous Breakdown.” His bandmates convinced him to go with it.

The record was taped in a converted living room in Bay City, Michigan. The band then had the Texas-based Pa-Go-Go Records press 500 copies so they could distribute them to the DJ’s in southern Michigan. The song became the most requested record on WTAC Flint, and CKLW out of Windsor, Canada, which went into Detroit. Cameo Records, having solvency problems, picked up the record after one of its staffers heard it on CKLW.

In our interview with ?, he talked about how this song came together: “Little Frank [keyboard player Frank Rodriguez] comes in singing a tune, and I said, ‘I’ve heard that before. And I ain’t going to do nothing until I’ve heard where that music and the title of it comes from.’ He played it for like 45 minutes. Everybody’s getting mad. And then all of a sudden it dawned on me, I said, ‘Oh, I know where I heard that. I wrote that song long time ago.’

Then the lyrics came out: ‘Too many teardrops for one heart to be crying,’ all that came out just like that. Boom. See, it was meant to be. There are certain things that are meant to be.”

The follow-up to “96 Tears,” “I Need Somebody,” peaked at #22 in 1966. Three more singles followed including “Can’t Get Enough Of You, Baby,” which made #56 in 1967. The group disbanded in 1968, but have reunited from time to time since.

The organ riff on this song is one of the most recognizable in rock, and helped define the sound of that era.
Often thought to be a Farfisa, the band’s keyboard player Frank Rodriguez used a Vox Continental on “96 Tears.” 

This trashy bar band sound would later become vintage – many musicians use a Vox or Farfisa to get a retro sound (see: “Dirty Laundry” by Don Henley). Hearing this sound causes a rush of nostalgia for those of a certain age.

Garland Jeffreys covered this in 1980, with moderate success at the end of the disco era. ? & the Mysterians re-formed that year, with ? the only original member.

This was very popular with American soldiers during the Vietnam War.

96 Tears

Too many teardrops
For one heart to be crying
Too many teardrops
For one heart to carry on

You`re way on top now since you left me
You’re always laughing way down at me
But watch out now, I`m gonna get there
We`ll be together for just a little while
And then I`m gonna put you way down here
And you`ll start crying ninety-six tears
Cry, cry

And when the sun comes up, I`ll be on top
You`ll be way down there, looking up
And I might wave, come up here
But I don`t see you waving now
I`m way down here, wondering how
I`m gonna get you but I know now
I`ll just cry, cry, I`ll just cry

Too many teardrops
For one heart to be crying
Too many teardrops
For one heart to carry on

You’re gonna cry ninety-six tears
You’re gonna cry ninety-six tears
You’re gonna cry, cry, cry, cry now
You’re gonna cry, cry, cry, cry
Ninety-six tears

Come on and lemme hear you cry, now
Ninety-six tears, woo
I wanna hear you cry
Night and day, yeah, all night long

Uh, ninety-six tears, cry cry cry
Come on, baby
Let me hear you cry now, all night long
Uh, ninety-six tears, yeah, come on now
Uh, ninety-six tears