The Beatle Cartoon Series

I have all 39 episodes taken from VHS tape but you can view most on youtube. The cartoon reminds me of the style of Rocky and Bullwinkle.  John and George were voiced by Paul Frees who did the voice for Boris Badenov on Rocky and Bullwinkle. They ran on ABC from 1965-1969 though only 65-67 were first run episodes.

The show was made on the cheap and the cartoon Beatles were put in usual cartoon situations like a jungle, haunted house, or on a boat. The main thing was to play a Beatle song in the background while our heroes got out or into a jam.

They were a rating success. I watch them now and think…why not get actors with real British accents to voice them? They are silly and fun but George especially had no accent at all. The Beatles had nothing to do with them and didn’t really like them at first when they were first on air. They started to appreciate them more as time went on.

With season 3 you start seeing more pop art being incorporating in the episodes. They have segments where flower power framed the newer songs. Some of the segments looked really good but then they would go back to their younger selves. Some of the episodes could be considered so bad they are good…but I like them.

I never got to see these until the 1980s.

Below is an episode in the 3rd season where at least they show updated pictures of the Beatles in the title sequence with a groovy background.

Below are the episodes descriptions from Wikipedia

Season 1 (1965–66)

1. A Hard Day’s Night / I Want to Hold Your Hand: The Beatles are in Transylvania rehearsing in a haunted house with “monstrous” visitors, including a vampire, a ghost, a werewolf, and a witch, with a parody of Boris Karloff; To hide from their fans, the Beatles run inside a diving bell which drops them into the ocean with a lovesick octopus. Sing Alongs: Not A Second Time / Devil In Her Heart

2. Do You Want To Know A Secret / If I Fell: The Beatles go to Dublin, Ireland for the weekend where they meet a leprechaun named Wilhelmina Morris; John is kidnapped by Dr. Dora Florahyde and Igor, both of whom want John’s brain for their monster. In the I Want To Hold Your Hand Sing Along, Ringo is shown inside a submarine. Sing Alongs: A Hard Day’s Night / I Want To Hold Your Hand

3. Please Mr. Postman / Devil In Her Heart: Ringo loses 15 rings he bought with all of the Beatles’ spendings and they are expecting a telegram from manager Brian Epstein for more money; Ringo wanders into the woods in Transylvania where he meets a witch who wants Ringo for a husband. Sing Alongs: If I Fell / Do You Want To Know A Secret

4. Not A Second Time / Slow Down: The Beatles abandon their flight and land in Africa while trying to get away from their fans, but three girls keep tracking them down. They later encounter a few crocodiles; The Beatles are on the way to the town Ringo Ravine (named after Ringo) until they encounter a donkey that smells gold named “Gold Nose”. Sing Alongs: Baby’s In Black / Misery

5. Baby’s In Black / Misery: Paul gets kidnapped by Professor Psycho who wants Paul to marry his creation Vampiress, half girl and half bat; The Beatles go to a wax museum where a vampire follows them. Sing Alongs: I’ll Get You / Chains

6. You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me / Chains: In Africa, Ringo asks a medicine maker named Jack to help fix the Beatles’ flat tire. He then turns a worm into a snake and it lusts for Ringo; After getting knocked out, Ringo dreams about himself as Captain William Bligh from the movie Mutiny on the Bounty (1962). Sing Alongs: Slow Down / Honey Don’t

7. I’ll Get You / Honey Don’t: The Beatles run into hunter Alan Watermain (a parody of Alan Quartermain) in Africa after escaping from their fans and go out hunting for a lion; Ringo is mistaken as a bull rider, and the cowboys send him to ride on a super-tough bull named Honey. Sing Alongs: You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me / Any Time At All

8. Any Time At All / Twist and Shout: The Beatles imagine themselves as the Three Musketeers (Plus One) while they are on a tour at a museum in France; The Beatles attend an art show where a girl tries to be like other artists. They inspire her with music. Sing Alongs: I’ll Be Back / Little Child

9. Little Child / I’ll Be Back: A Native American girl on a Texas Indian reservation wants to prove that girls are as good at trapping as boys are by trapping the Beatles; The mayor of a Texas town gives Ringo a golden guitar as a gift, only to be stolen by three men, prompting the Fab Four to hunt for the thieves and get the guitar back. (The song “Ticket to Ride” is heard at the beginning of this episode.) Sing Alongs: Long Tall Sally / Twist And Shout

10. Long Tall Sally / I’ll Cry Instead: The Beatles stay at a castle for the night during a fog. John and Ringo try on a couple of cursed armor suits and start to fight each other; After signing too many autographs in Japan, George’s hand gets swollen and suffers “autographitis”. His bandmates take him to a hand doctor but end up in a karate class by mistake. Sing Alongs: I’ll Follow The Sun / When I Get Home

11. I’ll Follow the Sun / When I Get Home: The Beatles’ car breaks down and they are captured by a highwayman who happens to be a car repair man; The Beatles explore the Notre Dame in France where they later meet its famous hunchback Quasimodo. Sing Alongs: I’ll Cry Instead / Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby

12. Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby / I Should Have Known Better: The Beatles, spending the night at a temple in Japan during a rainstorm, are mistaken for Japanese ancestors of four girls; The Beatles are in Rome trying to find a theater to rehearse. Their last resort is the Coliseum. Sing Alongs: I’m A Loser / I Wanna Be Your Man

13. I’m A Loser / I Wanna Be Your Man: In Hollywood, Ringo gets hired as a stuntman by Incredible Pictures Inc. and ends up in the hospital after getting pulverized in many scenes; In Rome, the Beatles buy a statue of the Goddess of Musica made from stolen gold coins melted down and sculptured. Sing Alongs: No Reply / I’m Happy Just To Dance With You

14. Don’t Bother Me / No Reply: In Rome, The Beatles are being followed by two spies who are after their songbook, “New Beatle Songs”, marked “Top Secret”. The Beatles movie Help! and Oddjob from the James Bond movie Goldfinger are spoofed; In Japan, The Beatles are warned by a Charlie Chanlookalike about a jewel thief named Anyface. Things become complicated when Anyface shows up disguised as Paul. Sing Alongs: It Won’t Be Long / I Should Have Known Better

15. I’m Happy Just To Dance With You / Mr. Moonlight: The Beatles are in a Roman Street Festival where Paul wins a dancing bear named Bonnie; The Beatles meet Professor Ludwig Von Brilliant who is on a mission to view an eclipse. After being adrift at sea, they escape from an island on a submarine. Sing Alongs: Don’t Bother Me / Can’t Buy Me Love

16. Can’t Buy Me Love / It Won’t Be Long: John is given a friendship ring from a Polynesian tribal chief, which means he must marry the chief’s New York-accented daughter who dislikes pineapples; While picnicking in Japan, John goes for a swim in a pond with shrinking potion in it and gets shrunk. The other Beatles think John is a Beatle doll and chase after him. Sing Alongs: Anna (Go to Him) / Mr. Moonlight

17. Anna / I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party: In Japan, Paul gets lured into a ghost ship called “Ah-Nah”. The other Beatles dash off to the rescue before they might lose Paul for good; Paul, George and Ringo sneak away from John and go to Greenwich Village for some fun time at a Beatnik party rather than going to a museum. Sing Alongs: Matchbox / Thank You Girl

18. Matchbox / Thank You Girl: In Hawaii, John buys a trailer for the group to stay in rather than staying at a hotel so many times. They later encounter a group of Hawaiians who are evacuating from a volcano; The Beatles sneak away from their manager to get something to eat at a French restaurant by enrolling in a cooking course. Sing Alongs: I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party / Help!

19. From Me To You / Boys*: In Hawaii, a surfer named Surf Wolf challenges George to a surfing duel; The Beatles participate in a Mr. Hollywood Contest in California. Sing Alongs: Please Mr. Postman / I Saw Her Standing There
Note: The opening title erroneously shows “With Love From Me To You”

20. Dizzy Miss Lizzy / I Saw Her Standing There: John and Paul secretly sign George up to an ice boat race, and he partners up with a girl named Lizzy; In Madrid, John and Paul visit a restaurant where John develops a hot foot with ashes in his boot. Rosita falls for John, and her boyfriend Jose challenges John to a duel. Sing Alongs: Ticket To Ride / From Me To You

21. What You’re Doing / Money*: The Beatles are on a fishing trip, and Ringo runs into gypsies. One of them falls for Ringo and wants to marry him. George comes in as a woman claiming he’s engaged to Ringo to get him back; John puts Ringo in charge to keep their money safe in his jacket pocket. Later Ringo is being followed by a mystery man at a carnival who is after the money. (The song “Help!” is heard at the beginning of this episode.) Sing Alongs: Dizzy Miss Lizzy / All My Loving

22. Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand* / She Loves You: The Beatles visit the Bavarian alps mission is to climb up a mountain with the dog Gunthar to put up their own flag on top; The Beatles are about to rescue a girl who they think is held as a prisoner on a ship. As a result, her boyfriend, a knife thrower, comes to her defense…with knives. Sing Alongs: Bad Boy / Tell Me Why

23. Bad Boy / Tell Me Why: The Beatles visit the Bavarian Alps. They encounter a runaway named Hans who wants to be a Beatle, prompting The Fab Four to run after him with their music (in which Paul plays the bass right-handed) and take him back home. (The song “Slow Down” is heard in the background); In Spain, Ringo is the jockey of a donkey that can run like a horse whenever she hears loud music. Sing Alongs: Please Please Me / Hold Me Tight

24. I Feel Fine / Hold Me Tight: Paul thinks Hollywood’s a phony. Actor Dick Dashing wants to prove Paul he is wrong by putting him in some different movie scenes; In New York, George and Ringo visit the Statue Of Liberty until they have spotted a man with a package which they think is a bomb. Sing Alongs: What You’re Doing / There’s A Place

25. Please Please Me / There’s A Place: In Madrid, a bull named El Taco gets knocked out, and the Beatles decide to help out with the bullfight with Ringo as the matador, and John and Paul as the bull; John’s sympathy helps a trained ape named Mr. Marvelous escape from the television studio and go out to explore the outside world. Sing Alongs: Roll Over Beethoven / Rock And Roll Music

26. Roll Over Beethoven / Rock and Roll Music: The Beatles are on their way home after visiting New York City until Paul gets grabbed by an elephant named Beethoven; The Beatles are invited to play at the Duke’s Palace, but they are mistaken for a string quartet. Sing Alongs: I Feel Fine / She Loves You

Season 2 (1966)

27. Eight Days A Week / I’m Looking Through You: A great movie lover named Lips Lovelace loses his ability to kiss. Paul decides to take his place in the studio with a leading lady who falls for him; The Beatles are in Egypt. They are wandering around in a pyramid until Ringo encounters a ghost who wants a body, and he chooses Ringo’s. Sing Alongs: Run For Your Life / Girl**

28. Help! / We Can Work It Out: Paul and Ringo go to a fashion show in Paris, but the designs are stolen by a thief named Jacques Le Zipper. Paul chases Jacques to the Eiffel Tower, and has trouble with heights; George becomes superstitious. The Beatles encounter the Lucky Wizard who is really a thief trying to give them bad luck and rob their money. Sing Alongs: The Night Before** / Day Tripper

29. I’m Down* / Run For Your Life: The Beatles are on a tour at a wine factory in France where Ringo accidentally knocks down a vat of wine. If it does not get fixed in two hours, the factory will go out of business; The Beatles are on a tour at the Palace of Versailles. Ringo gets knocked out by a statue, and dreams about the days of Marie Antoinette. Sing Alongs: Eight Days A Week / Paperback Writer

30. Drive My Car* / Tell Me What You See*: The Beatles help a young man and his girlfriend get their old jalopy running in a car race, the Popsville Hot Rod Race; While visiting “the man of a thousand faces”, The Beatles fool around with his makeup machine and change into different characters. (John briefly imitates Jimmy Durante and Swee’Pea from “Popeye” makes a cameo.) Sing Alongs: Yesterday** / We Can Work It Out

31. I Call Your Name* / The Word*: Ringo is convinced to release his pet frog Bartholomew in the swamp. Later a movie producer offers a filming deal to Ringo and the frog, and the Fabs have dashed off to find Bartholomew; The Beatles are being punished after gazing at the girls’ unveiled faces. The only way to get out of the situation is to say the password: “love”. Sing Alongs: She’s a Woman** (original broadcast, replaced with a repeat of I Feel Fine) / Wait

32. All My Loving / Day Tripper: The Beatles are in India where they learn how to charm an animal at an “Indian Charm Skool”. When the animal is revealed to be a tiger, they use music to tame it when it is about to claw John and Ringo (The song “Love You To” is heard in the beginning of this episode.); After watching the movie The Way Out Creatures From Planet Glom, the Beatles take a trip out into space with a beautiful woman who is actually an alien taking them on a one-way trip 23 billion miles from Earth. Sing Alongs: I’m Looking Through You / Nowhere Man

33. Nowhere Man / Paperback Writer: The Beatles walk into a cave for some exploring which is a home of a hermit who wants to be alone. He tries to get rid of them, but no luck; Each of the Beatles write fictional stories of how they met with Ringo as a theatre actor, Paul as a scientist, George as a secret agent, and John as a war pilot. Sing Alongs: And I Love Her** / Michelle**

Season 3 (1967)

34. Penny Lane / Strawberry Fields: In a spoof of James Bond, the Beatles are jealous of a detective named James Blonde who gets more attention from many women, so the Fab Four head to their hometown of Liverpool to stop a robbery on Penny Lane so they can be heroes; Traveling with their driver James, the Beatles use music to add color and happiness to the lives of the children at an orphanage, a reference to Strawberry Field in Woolton, a suburb of Liverpool. John sums up the experience with “It’s all in the mind, you know.” Sing Alongs: Good Day Sunshine / Rain**

35. And Your Bird Can Sing / Got To Get You Into My Life: The Beatles and a couple of hunters hunt for a rare bird called a green double-breasted tropical woosted that can sing anything, including “Hound Dog” and “She Loves You”; The Beatles are in India, learning how to escape from their bodies from Swami Rivers. It works, but the problem is that the souls’ bodies are moving by themselves, and they must get them before it’s too late. (“Love You To” is heard in the background) Sing Alongs: Penny Lane / Eleanor Rigby

36. Good Day Sunshine / Ticket To Ride: Ringo thinks he’s a jinx. When the Beatles arrive at Carney Island, it starts to rain. Their music turns the rainy day back into a sunny day which makes Ringo happy. (The song “Little Child” is heard at the end of this episode.); The Beatles each have their own hobby. Paul paints, George builds a three-eyed robot, John writes and Ringo collects “birds” which is an English slang term for girls. Paul releases the only one Ringo caught and he runs after her. Sing Alongs: Strawberry Fields Forever / And Your Bird Can Sing

37. Taxman* / Eleanor Rigby: The Beatles get knocked out while carrying tons of money to the bank, and dream about the days of Robin Hood. Paul exclaims: “It never happened”; A group of children claim that an elderly woman named Eleanor Rigby is a witch. The Fabs tell them the true story about Eleanor Rigby in a song. (The song “I Feel Fine” is heard at the end of this episode.) Sing Alongs: Got To Get You Into My Life / Here, There and Everywhere**

38. Tomorrow Never Knows*/I’ve Just Seen a Face*: The Beatles fall into a well and end up in the inner world with foreign natives. The chief wants the Fabs to marry his daughters, and they began to run away. (The song “Love You To” is heard during this episode.); Ringo loses his singing voice. For treatment, his three mates send Ringo to a haunted house to scare his voice back. Sing Alongs: She Said She Said** / Long Tall Sally (repeat)

39. Wait / I’m Only Sleeping*: The Prince of Krapotkin’s girlfriend is in grave danger. The Beatles help him to save her from the Prime Minister who wants to marry her; John falls asleep while telling a story to a couple of children. In his dream he volunteers to help King Arthur and Merlin slay a vicious dragon. However, John and his mates opt instead to play music to put the dragon to sleep. Sing Alongs: Penny Lane (repeat) / Eleanor Rigby (repeat)

 

 

Shell Shocked: My Life with the Turtles

One of the most self-deprecating books I’ve ever read. Howard Kaylan goes through his career with the Turtles who never really took themselves too seriously. They wanted to be the American Beatles…just like every other band at the time but did it with a sense of humor. They were a singles band that had quite a number of top 40 hits. According to Howard, they lucked into most of it. They only wrote a couple of their hits.

Their hits included “Happy Together” #1, “It Aint Me Babe” # 8, “She’d Rather Be With Me” #3, Eleanor #6, “You Showed Me” #6 and many more.

After the Turtles broke up, he and Mark Volman went by the name “Flo and Eddie,” for legal reasons and made a career of unusual rock-comedy albums and developed a following. They immediately began playing with Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention and was there when Frank was pushed off the stage at the Rainbow. They were also in the Zappa movie 200 Motels.

After Zappa, they worked as a duo and released a lot of albums for many different labels.  They were more known for their live performances and they were a good opening act. Howard and Mark were columnists, radio hosts, session backup singers, talk show hosts, actors, composers, and anything else to make ends meet. They did the background vocals on Hungry Heart by Bruce Springsteen.

Howard and Mark wrote the Strawberry Shortcake theme and they wrote music for the Care Bears.

Another rock autobiography…big surprise! But unlike some of the others…Howard wasn’t rich and could not live off of royalties or constant touring like many of the other rock stars that have spilled it all recently.  After the breakup, The Turtles could not even tour as the Turtles until later on because of their label. They were broke many times but opportunities would pop up like being radio hosts and would help them make it to the next big thing.

Now they tour on the Happy Together tour with other artists and have been doing it since the eighties off and on.

They ended up owning their name and the master recordings from the 1960s because the label went broke and they were smart enough to get the rights… Howard and Mark were the first to sue rap artists for sampling their material without paying for it. They won and now everyone has to pay to sample anything from another artist. The Turtles were the first big artists with a catalog to sign with Rhino Record and helped the label to take off.

It may be the funniest of all the recent biographies. He ran into a lot of famous people and even made a movie out of meeting the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix in 1967 at the Speakeasy in London called “My Dinner With Jimi.”

It is a funny book with a lot of laughs but you have to scratch your head while reading about Howard making the same mistakes over and over. For Howard, it was drugs, women, marriage, drugs, a girlfriend, divorce, marriage and more drugs…maybe it’s not that much different from the richer stars after all.

I was never a big Turtle fan. I have an account with Audible and this was recommended. Overall I did enjoy it.

Below is an excerpt from the book about meeting The Beatles in 1967 and John Lennon being vicious toward Turtle rhythm guitar player Jim Tucker… Today Jim Tucker denies this ever happened. He said that John didn’t even say a word to any of them so who knows?

Paul said, “I really enjoyed your record.” And then, to me, “Great voice, man. Nice set of pipes.” I was bursting.
Then Lennon. “Yeah, that’s a lovely bit of Flower Power in the middle there with those ba-ba-bas.” And then all three of them sang the ba-ba-bas. And we were all beside ourselves with swollen pride.
“So, where did you learn to sing?” Paul asked me.
“High school choir, I guess. Then we formed the band and started playing local clubs, you know, a little bit of R&B stuff—”
“What kind of R&B stuff.”
“Oh, you know, ‘Money,’ ‘What’d I Say,’ ‘Justine’…”
“‘Justine’ by Don and Dewey? I love that song.”
And then Paul began to sing the Crossfires’ trademark soul song. I joined in on the answers and the chorus. Ringo played spoons on the tabletop while the customers watched and Lennon looked on as if bored to death. When we were done, there was a smattering of applause and Paul said, “That was great. I’d love to do that with my band some day. You sing great.”
“Oh my God, thank you,” I gushed.
“Still, it is a bit sappy on your record there when you sing ‘invest a dime’ with that cry in your voice. A bit light in the loafers, if you ask me.”

“What?” Yeah, I became defensive all right. “We’re just trying to be the American version of you!”
“Touché” said McCartney.
“Well, that’s not bloody likely, is it?” Lennon piped in. His eyes skipped from Turtle to Turtle, checking us out for the first time. “And what do you call that guy over there?” John pointed at Tucko, who was cowering in his wrinkled brown suit, thrilled just to be noticed.
“That’s Jim Tucker, our rhythm guitar player “
“Bad suit, son. And an even worse haircut. Did you tell your barber to give you a Beatle cut? It’s awful, man. You give rhythm players a bad name.”
Tucko, oblivious, stumbled for words. “You’re like a god to me, man. You guys changed my life.”
Much to his credit, Pons tried, in vain, to turn the conversation around. “We just heard Sergeant Pepper and I’ve got to thank you on behalf of the entire world for the greatest album of all time!”
Paul graciously nodded thanks and toasted us with his beverage. But John was not to be denied.
“Tucko, is it? I could have a lot of fun with that name. Let’s see… Tucko Tucko, bo bucko, banana fanna fo fucko…”
Tucker winced and Lennon saw the weakness and went in for the kill.
“There was a boy named Tucko, a very stupid fellow—”
Finally, Jim realized that he was the butt of Lennon’s abuse and could hold back no longer.
“What is your problem, man? You’re supposed to be the Beatles! I fuckin’ loved you guys and you turn out to be assholes.”
Lennon feigned shock and recoiled at the words.
“Tsk, tsk … such language. What would your mum say?”
“She’d say you were a dick, that’s what! Man, was I wrong. You’re a total shit! I’m sorry I ever met you!”
Lennon shook his head slowly, savoring every syllable. “You never did, son. You never did.”
And with that, Jim Tucker walked away from the table, up the stairs, and into a cab. And, following the few British shows we had lined up, Jim flew home and never played music again. The Turtles would continue on as a five-piece band from that time forward. The other guys followed Jim upstairs, and our goodbyes were a lot sadder than our hellos had been.

 

 

The Byrds – Drug Store Truck Driving Man

This song is on the Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde album by the Byrds. The song is decent but the interesting part is the story behind the song. It was written in response to an on-air argument with Ralph Emery, at the time an all-night country DJ on a country radio station. It was written by Roger McGuinn and Gram Parsons.

In 1968 The Byrds were in Nashville promoting their new country album “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” and got a cool reception at the Grand Ole Opry. They got into an argument with Emery on air when he said that “You Ain’t Going Nowhere” wasn’t country and then proceeded to call them long-haired hippies and would not play the record. He also didn’t understand what the song meant and Roger told him that Dylan wrote it…that didn’t help.

Ralph Emery would not budge…It was the 1960s in a very fifties Nashville and Ralph could not get past the hair. It would open up a bit in the early seventies with Outlaw country music by Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, and Waylon Jennings.

This is from an interview with Chris Hillman.

“There was the funny story with Ralph Emery, the DJ in Nashville, where he had The Gilded Palace Of Sin tacked on the wall outside of his office, and with a big red pen it said, ‘This is not country music.’ Roger and Gram had gone to do an interview with him when we were all still with the Byrds, and Ralph was such a jerk to them then that they wrote that song “Drug Store Truck Driving Man”. A classic! I wish I’d written a part of that. But later, whenever I’d go on his show with the Desert Rose Band, Ralph would ask, “Did you write that song?” Finally, I had to say, “No, but I wish I had!” So when Roger was on later, Ralph would say, “Well, how is Gram doing?” and Roger would answer, “He’s still dead.” McGuinn was pretty darned quick in those situations!” 

Lyrics

He’s a drug store truck-drivin’ man
He’s the head of the Ku Klux Klan
When summer rolls around
He’ll be lucky if he’s not in town

Well, he’s got him a house on the hill
He plays country records till you’ve had your fill
He’s a fireman’s friend he’s an all-night DJ
But he sure does think different from the records he plays

He’s a drug store truck-drivin’ man
He’s the head of the Ku Klux Klan
When summer rolls around
He’ll be lucky if he’s not in town

Well, he don’t like the young folks I know
He told me one night on his radio show
He’s got him a medal he won in the War
It weighs five-hundred pounds and it sleeps on his floor

He’s a drug store truck drivin’ man
He’s the head of the Ku Klux Klan
When summer rolls around
He’ll be lucky if he’s not in town

He’s been like a father to me
He’s the only DJ you can hear after three
I’m an all-night musician in a rock and roll band
And why he don’t like me I can’t understand

He’s a drug store truck-drivin’ man
He’s the head of the Ku Klux Klan
When summer rolls around
He’ll be lucky if he’s not in town

He’ll be lucky if he’s not in town

This one’s for you, Ralph

 

 

Roger McGuinn

Those glasses and Rickenbacker equals the sixties rock band. One of my favorite guitar players ever. I loved the jangling 12 string Rickenbacker that McGuinn is famous for… Roger heard George Harrison use one and then McGuinn took it to a new level in songs like Eight Miles High.

I was lucky to see him solo in 1987. He will not rip into a Hendrix solo but the sound he gets out of his 12 string Rickenbacker is great. On the songs, he did only on his 12-string acoustic he makes them sound full without a band.

His sound is the sound of the mid-sixties. He was a founder of the Byrds and was with them through all of their incarnations. The jangly pop, country rock, and the more rock music jamming faze in the early seventies.

The Byrds started in 1964 and lasted until 1973. McGuinn was the only member to remain with the band the entire run. Personally, I like all of the phases of the band. The last phase is probably the least well known but with Clarence White playing guitar with his B-Bender was fantastic. Songs like “Lover of the Bayou,”” Ballad of Easy Rider,” and “Chestnut Mare” are memorable.

McGuinn also collaborated with Bob Dylan on the soundtrack “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid” and joined Bob in the mid-seventies on his Rolling Thunder Revue tour.

The Byrds influenced many artists like Elvis Costello, The La’s, Wilco, REM, and The Jayhawks but the one I think of the most is Tom Petty. Tom helped revive the jangly sound in the seventies with American Girl which sounded very close to McGuinn. This is Roger talking in 2014:

“When I heard ‘American Girl’ for the first time I said, ‘when did I record that?’ I was kidding but the vocal style sounded just like me and then there was the Rickenbacker guitar, which I used. The vocal inflections were just like mine. I was told that a guy from Florida named Tom Petty wrote and sings the song, and I said that I had to meet him.

Roger invited Tom to open up for him in 1976 and they were friends after that. Roger released an album in 1991 titled “Back To Rio” with help from Tom Petty, Elvis Costello, and others.

His solo career was never too successful until 1989 with a country hit “You Aint Going Nowhere” that made it to number 6 in the Country Charts. That was ironic after being told by Nashville disc Jockey Ralph Emery in 1968 that the song wasn’t country when the Byrds covered it. In 1991 he had his most commercial album “Back To Rio” that made it to #44 on the Billboard Charts and two singles “King of the Hill”#2 and “Someone To Love”#12.

Roger, Chris Hillman, Marty Stuart are currently doing a small tour for the 50th anniversary of Sweetheart of the Rodeo…I see the Ryman on there and I see me there.

https://www.jambase.com/article/byrds-co-founders-roger-mcguinn-chris-hillman-announce-sweetheart-rodeo-50th-anniversary-tour

 

 

 

Let It Be movie 1970

This movie was released in May of 1970.

All of the Beatle movies have been remastered, cleaned up, and released except this one. Let iT Be was released on Laserdisc, Betamax, and VHS in the 1980s but that is it. It’s frustrating that all we have are old grainy copies of it.

I wrote briefly about this movie earlier but now that Yellow Submarine is being released in theaters…it’s past time for Let It Be to at least be cleaned up and released on Blue-Ray. I’ve read where there are thousands of feet of the film that has never been seen. This is historical now. From what I’ve read the Harrison and Lennon estate have held it up because of the acrimony between the members at that time. They act as if this is some secret not known to the public.

The acrimony in the movie is apparent between Paul and George during one scene, especially where Paul is directing George on how to play something. John is pretty laid back throughout the film with the presence of Yoko by his side. Ringo is…Ringo. All in all the film leaves out most of the bad feelings. Behind the scenes, George quit and John Lennon supposedly said they should call Eric Clapton to take Georges place or fill in because ““He’s just as good and not such a headache.” Of course, if this is true we don’t know for sure.

George did come back and participate and brought Billy Preston. That was a brilliant move on George’s part. You always act a little better when guests come over. Everyone was probably on their best behavior. Billy also added some great organ parts to their songs.

I have mixed emotions watching this as a Beatle fan. Yes, the end is coming but they would get together again in a few months and make one of the Hallmark albums of their career and one of the best albums ever with Abbey Road.

The film is not all doom and gloom. The first of the film was shot at Twickenham Studios starting each day early in the morning and you can tell the mood wasn’t good. After a little over 20 minutes into the film, they moved out of Twickenham to Apple and things picked up quite a bit.

The music. The soundtrack is not the Beatles best album but it is still a good album. When you have Let It Be, Get Back, The Long and Winding Road, Don’t Let Me Down and Across the Universe on an album how bad can it be? It would make another bands career to have 2 of those songs on their album. That is the quality of the Beatles.

You will hear the Beatles very raw. That was the whole idea of the movie in the first place.

The payoff of the film comes via the rooftop of Apple at the end. They all got together and played a mini-concert on the roof. We do not see everything they actually played on the roof. This would be the Beatles last public performance. It was a good performance considering it was cold in January in London at the time. They all seem to be having a good time. The performance was at lunchtime and stopped traffic and drew the police up to the roof to stop the music. If they sounded this good on the roof in January I can’t imagine what a tour what have sounded like…

Just release the movie guys. It’s past time to do it.

Paul McCartney interview for Rolling Stone magazine in 2016

You mentioned the Let It Be film. Is there any chance it will ever be rereleased?
I keep thinking we’ve done it. We’ve talked about it for so long.

What’s the holdup?
I’ve no bloody idea. I keep bringing it up, and everyone goes, “Yeah, we should do that.” The objection should be me. I don’t come off well.

Ringo Starr interview for Rolling Stone magazine in 2012

Are you thinking about releasing the Let It Be movie on DVD?
I think that’s also a possibility. One day that will come out. But we’re not talking about it right now. As you know, there’s very little that hasn’t come out. I’d forgotten that one though. You just mentioned the one thing that hasn’t come out. I’m too busy living now.

Loyal Roadies

Roadies have always been an important part of a band. Occasionally some will be rise above and become well known and some will end up as an executive in the band’s organization. Some will burn out like their bosses and below are a few famous roadies.

Neil Aspinall – Beatles

The first roadie the Beatles employed. He started to help the Beatles out by driving their van from gig to gig. He was soon their road manager and personal assistant. He ended up being the Chief Executive of The Beatles company Apple Corps until 2007. He passed away in 2008.

He was a trained accountant and knew George and Paul when they were kids. He was well trusted by all members. He stayed neutral in all of the arguments while he continued to run a prosperous Apple Corps to the end.

Mal Evans – Beatles

He was hired to help out Neil Aspinall as a roadie. Mal became their personal assistant after they stopped touring. After the Beatles broke up he did some producing…he produced the Badfinger’s single “No Matter What”. He also produced Keith Moon’s first album “Two Sides of the Moon” but was replaced midway through.

In the seventies, he still did work for some of the Beatles accompanying them on trips and odds and ends. He then separated from his wife Lil and after that, he started to have bad depression. While depressed and reportedly using downers, he was shot by LAPD while holding an air rifle and refusing to put it down. He was thought highly of by all the Beatles…See George’s quote below.

George Harrison on Mal Evans

, “Mal loved his job, he was brilliant, and I often regret that he got killed. Right to this day, I keep thinking, ‘Mal, where are you?’ If only he was out there now. He was such good fun, but he was also very helpful: he could do everything…He was one of those people who loved what he was doing and didn’t have any problem about service. Everybody serves somebody in one way or another, but some people don’t like the idea. Mal had no problem with it. He was very humble, but not without dignity; it was not belittling for him to do what we wanted, so he was perfect for us because that was what we needed.” 

Red Dog – Allman Brothers

Duane Allman befriended Joe Campbell (Red Dog) a Vietnam vet and Red Dog stayed with the Allman Brothers for three decades. He gave the band his disability checks to help them stay afloat at the beginning. He soon became a trusted member of the team. His picture with all the roadies is on the back cover of the At Fillmore East album.

Here is a quote from Cameron Crowe on Red Dog when he published his book.

“I’ll admit it right now. I am a big fan of Red Dog, and have been even before he allowed me to interview him back in 1973 for a story in Rolling Stone. Hell, he was already legendary back then. But now I just have to say that I am extremely jealous of the Great Dog, because I’ve just finished reading A Book of Tails. True rock, the kind that lasts forever, is about honesty and humor and love and chasing the elusive buzz of greatness.

Ramrod – Grateful Dead

Lawrence Shurtliff (Ramrod) joined on the Grateful Dead in 1967 and in the seventies became the President of the Grateful Dead board of directors until Garcia’s death in 1995.

Bob Weir on Ramrod

“When he did join up, it was like he had always been there. I won’t say he was the missing piece, because I don’t think he was missing. He just wasn’t there. But then he was there. And he always will be. He was a huge part of what the Grateful Dead was about.”

 

 

The Lovin’ Spoonful

This band was huge in the mid-60s. They were famous for jug band music but would have pop/rock success. The members were John Sebastion, Zal Yanovsky, Joe Butler, and Steve Boone. They started in the folk scene in the early sixties. They were signed in 1965 to Kama Sutra Records and released “Do You Believe in Magic” which reached #9 in the charts.

After that, the hits kept coming…You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice (#10), Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind (#2), Daydream (#2), Summer in the City (#1), Rain on the Roof (#10), Nashville Cats (#8), Darling Be Home Soon (#15), Six O’ Clock (#18) and She Is Still a Mystery (#27). They had all of these hits between 1965-1968

In the 1980s I really got into this group. I purchased one of the many greatest hits of this band. I first heard of John Sebastion in the 70s when he wrote and sang the theme song of  TV show Welcome Back Cotter called “Welcome Back” that went to #1.

The Lovin’ Spoonful were considered by producers to be in a television show but they were dropped over a conflict of song publishing rights. It’s probably a good thing that happened or they would not have been taken seriously. The producers were the ones that a short time late started the Monkees.

Their songs are grounded in folk, jug music,  and blues. I don’t know if it is possible to be in a bad mood while listening to them. Their songs are now staples on oldies radio stations.

Zal Yanovsky left in 1967 after being dissatisfied with John’s more personal songwriting and a pot conviction. John Sebastion left the group on 1968 and with him gone the hits dried up.

A fun band to listen to. You won’t hear rock operas or rocking solos but you will hear a band that sounds like they are having a good time.

They reunited in once in 1979 and for their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2000.