Twilight Zone – Walking Distance… #1

Before we get to my number 1 episode…This has been so much fun I’m going to start a huge project. I want to review every Twilight Zone…all 156 episodes…so that will be next…my top 10 is not enough. I’ll start with S01E01 and work myself through and skip the 10 I’ve covered in this section. I’ve never rated shows or movies before but I will try that as well. 

This one gets a 5 out of 5 ★★★★★

Since ratings are subjective to who ever is going it…this is my system

★★★★★ This would be an exceptional episode…to me anyway
★★★★☆ This would be above the already high standards of the show
★★★☆☆ This would be a good to very good episode
★★☆☆☆ This would be just a little below average, the 4th season might see this
★☆☆☆☆ This would be a don’t watch…I don’t think this will ever be seen but I’m watching them all over to be sure

Now for my number 1 Twilight Zone episode! This one has my favorite element…Time Travel. How cool would it be to go back and meet your 11 year old self? Episodes 2-156 could change in my rankings but this one remains my favorite.

They really did this episode right. They followed through with everything. You were not wanting for answers at the end. It wasn’t just Martin who figured out he was back in time. It resolves it self nicely…with a valuable lesson. There are spoilers past this.

If you are new to the Twilight Zone this is a great one to start with…

Rod Serling’s opening narration: 

Martin Sloan, age thirty-six. Occupation: vice-president, ad agency, in charge of media. This is not just a Sunday drive for Martin Sloan. He perhaps doesn’t know it at the time, but it’s an exodus. Somewhere up the road he’s looking for sanity. And somewhere up the road, he’ll find something else.

Gig Young plays Martin Sloan who does a great job in this episode. Many people try to go back home but it’s never the same because of progress and change…Martin Sloan DOES go home and everything is the same…he even sees himself as a boy…and meets his parents…again. Also…watch out for a 4 year old Ron Howard…soon to be forever known as Opie on the Andy Griffith Show.

13 TV shows Ron Howard was on besides Happy Days and Andy Griffith

Rod Serling wrote this episode.

Martin Sloan (Gig Young), a 36-year-old executive, stops in a fuel station off an isolated country road. Not far away, 1.5 miles, is the sight of his hometown, Homewood, he’s very curious about all the kinds of things that shaped his childhood. Martin ventures to take a closer look, first he goes to an old shop where he used to get ice cream sodas. Martin is surprised to see the prices haven’t changed still a dime for a three scoop ice cream soda. Walking around Martin meets a kid, who is his old neighbor. It is then that he realizes he’s in 1934, when he was only 11-years-old. Things get complicated when he bumps into the young Martin, follows him to his house and meets with his parents. They won’t believe him when Martin says he’s in fact their grown up son. Later, Martin insists in talking with young Martin. He finds him on a carousel, where the child gets hurt falling. Martin will learn, after talking to his father, that every man has his own time and is perhaps better off not looking to the past.

Enough of my favorite episode…what is your favorite?

Rod Serling’s closing narration:

Martin Sloan, age thirty-six, vice-president in charge of media. Successful in most things but not in the one effort that all men try at some time in their lives—trying to go home again. And also like all men, perhaps there’ll be an occasion, maybe a summer night sometime, when he’ll look up from what he’s doing and listen to the distant music of a calliope, and hear the voices and the laughter of the people and the places of his past. And perhaps across his mind there’ll flit a little errant wish, that a man might not have to become old, never outgrow the parks and the merry-go-rounds of his youth. And he’ll smile then too, because he’ll know it is just an errant wish, some wisp of memory not too important really, some laughing ghosts that cross a man’s mind, that are a part of the Twilight Zone.

  • Gig Young as Martin Sloan
  • Frank Overton as Robert Sloan
  • Irene Tedrow as Mrs. Sloan
  • Michael Montgomery as Tweenage Martin
  • Ron Howard as Wilcox Boy
  • Byron Foulger as Charlie
  • Sheridan Comerate as Gas Station Attendant
  • Joseph Corey as Soda Jerk
  • Buzz Martin as Boy with Car
  • Nan Peterson as Woman in Park
  • Pat O’Malley as Mr. Wilson

Moody Blues – Tuesday Afternoon

Tuesday Afternoon was on the classic concept album Days of Future Passed which was released in 1968. This song was released as a single and was the second single from Days of Future Passed (the first being “Nights in White Satin“). It was backed with a song called “Another Morning”.

Ever since I heard the intro on Strawberry Fields I’ve loved the mellotron. This song uses the instrument. I did read where it was hard to keep running because it used a series of tape loops and you played it by a keyboard.

Mike Pinder was the keyboard player for the Moody Blues and a founding member. He used to work for a company called Streetly Electronics, which made the instrument. He was one of the few musicians who could keep the  device operational, and The Moody Blues became the first high-profile band to use it in live performances. It wasn’t always smooth… one their first American tour, the Mellotron burst open, spewing its tape out the back. After a break Pinder repaired the machine and the show continued on.

The “London Festival Orchestra”, which was the name Decca Records gave to their collection of classical musicians, played on this track. The original idea for the album was to record a rock version of a classical piece called “New World Symphony” by Dvorak.

The song peaked at #12 in the Billboard 100 and #24 in Canada in 1968.

Justin Hayward: “I sat down in a field, smoked a funny African cigarette, and that song just came out. It was a Tuesday afternoon.”

Days of Future Passed [Expanded Version]

From Songfacts

Justin Hayward had a dog named Tuesday, but the song has nothing to do with the pooch. In his Songfacts interview, Hayward explained: “It just so happened we were sitting in the field together, that’s all. But it was a Tuesday afternoon and I did smoke a joint and it was down there where I come from in the West Country and this song just came out.”

On the album, this was listed as “Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?)” at the insistence of producer Tony Clarke.

Hayward was earning a living playing music by the time he was in his late teens, so unlike most working stiffs for whom Tuesday afternoon was a time to knuckle down and get some work done, that part of the week could be quite relaxing for him. “I did think about that and about being someone who’s been lucky enough never having to do a proper job,” he told us. “I wasn’t hampered by any of that kind of stuff.”

This song uses a Mellotron. The instrument is a keyboard which triggers taped loops of a chosen instrument recorded at different pitches. It is not synthesized sound, but actual instrument recordings. In this song the recorded loops were strings. The strange and unique quality of the sound comes from the warble in the tape loops as they play back.

Tuesday Afternoon

Tuesday afternoon
I’m just beginning to see
Now I’m on my way
It doesn’t matter to me
Chasing the clouds away

Something calls to me
The trees are drawing me near
I’ve got to find out why
Those gentle voices I hear
Explain it all with a sigh

I’m looking at myself reflections of my mind
It’s just the kind of day to leave myself behind
So gently swaying through the fairyland of love
If you’ll just come with me you’ll see the beauty of
Tuesday afternoon
Tuesday afternoon

Tuesday afternoon 
I’m just beginning to see
Now I’m on my way
It doesn’t matter to me
Chasing the clouds away

Something calls to me
The trees are drawing me near
I’ve got to find out why
Those gentle voices I hear
Explain it all with a sigh

Twilight Zone – The Masks… #3

I’m going to write about my top 10 favorite TZ episodes in the next few weeks…Most of the Twilight Zones are like songs to me…to be enjoyed over and over. The Twilight Zone is not really an ordinary TV show. It’s THE TWILIGHT ZONE. This is my personal choice for #3 on my list.

Jason Foster is a wealthy person that is going to die…his daughter and her family are there to “visit” and they are truly awful people. This is one where justice gets served. Robert Keith is wonderful as Jason Foster and he has a surprise for his money hungry family waiting for him to die.

Rod Serling’s opening narration: Mr. Jason Foster, a tired ancient who on this particular Mardi Gras evening will leave the Earth. But before departing, he has some things to do, some services to perform, some debts to pay—and some justice to mete out. This is New Orleans, Mardi Gras time. It is also the Twilight Zone.

When Jason Foster’s doctor tells him that he could die at any moment, the wealthy Jason Foster gathers his heirs including his daughter Emily Harper, her husband Wilfred and their children Paula and Wilfred Jr. Jason doesn’t think much of any of them and it’s clear they can’t wait to get their hands on his fortune. It’s Mardi Gras time in New Orleans and he has one last request – for each of them to wear a carnival mask. Each of the masks is meant to reflect some aspect of their personality – and leave a lasting impression on them.

“The Masks” was the first and only episode of The Twilight Zone that was directed by a woman. Ida Lupino was known for making movies that commentated on the state of society and those who live under a specific social status.

Rod Serling wrote this great episode.

Jason Foster:  You’re cruel and miserable people! Because none of you respond to love! Emily responds only to what her petty hungers dictate! Wilfred responds only to things that have weight and bulk and value! He feels books, he doesn’t read them! He appraises paintings, he doesn’t seek out their truth or their beauty! And Paula there lives in a mirror. The world is nothing more to her than a reflection of herself. And her brother… Humanity, to him, is a small animal, caught in a trap, to be tormented! His pleasure is the giving of pain. And from this, he receives the same sense of fulfillment most human beings get from a kiss or an embrace! You’re caricatures! All of you! Without your masks, you’re caricatures!

Rod Serling Closing Narration: Mardi Gras incident, the dramatis personae being four people who came to celebrate and in a sense let themselves go. This they did with a vengeance. They now wear the faces of all that was inside them—and they’ll wear them for the rest of their lives, said lives now to be spent in the shadow. Tonight’s tale of men, the macabre and masks, on the Twilight Zone.

CAST

  • Robert Keith as Jason Foster
  • Milton Selzer as Wilfred Harper
  • Virginia Gregg as Emily Harper
  • Brooke Hayward as Paula Harper
  • Alan Sues as Wilfred Harper Jr.
  • Willis Bouchey as Dr. Samuel Thorne
  • Bill Walker as Jeffrey The Butler
  • Maidie Norman as Maid
  • Rod Serling as Host / Narrator – Himself

Simon and Garfunkel – Homeward Bound

It all started for me with a Simon and Garfunkel greatest hits package and I was instantly a fan.

Being a Beatle fan I always liked the version that Paul and George Harrison did on SNL in 1976 which was their highest rated episode up til that point. Paul played this and “Here Comes The Sun” with Paul Simon in 1976 on Saturday Night Live.

This was just the second Simon & Garfunkel single, following up “The Sound Of Silence,” which became a surprise hit when their record company added instrumentation and released it a year after it was first recorded. The duo had parted ways, but got back together in a hurry when “Sound of Silence” hit #1 in America.

The song peaked at #5 in the Billboard 100, #2 in Canada, #1 in New Zealand, and #9 in the UK in 1966. It appeared on the album  Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme  but they recorded it during the Sound of Silence album sessions.

Paul Simon: “That was written in Liverpool when I was traveling. What I like about that is that it has a very clear memory of Liverpool station and the streets of Liverpool and the club I played at and me at age 22. It’s like a snapshot, a photograph of a long time ago. I like that about it but I don’t like the song that much. First of all, it’s not an original title. That’s one of the main problems with it. It’s been around forever. No, the early songs I can’t say I really like them. But there’s something naive and sweet-natured and I must say I like that about it. They’re not angry. And that means that I wasn’t angry or unhappy. And that’s my memory of that time: it was just about idyllic. It was just the best time of my life, I think, up until recently, these last five years or so, six years… This has been the best time of my life. But before that, I would say that that was.”

From Songfacts

Paul Simon lived in Brentwood, Essex, England when he wrote this song. When traveling back from Wigan, where he was playing, he got stuck at the train station and wrote this. The song has a double meaning: literally, wanting for a ticket home to Brentwood, but on the other hand, yearning to go to his home in the US. 

Along with “I Am A Rock,” this was recorded at a late-night session in New York City with producer Bob Johnston. Simon played acoustic guitar, and Ralph Casale was on electric. Johnston was working on Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 album around this time, and Casale recalls that drummer Bobby Gregg and organist Al Kooper – both Dylan regulars – played on this Simon & Garfunkel session as well.

Paul Simon performed this song with Billy Joel at Joel’s concert on August 4, 2015 at Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, New York. This was the last concert at the venerable arena, and Simon was a surprise guest. It marked the first time Joel and Simon ever sung together.

Peter Carlin called his 2016 novel about Paul Simon Homeward Bound. “Given the immigrant story beneath Paul’s life and work (what are his many musical re-creations if not the assimilation process writ in music over and over again) ‘Homeward Bound’ worked too well to ignore,” he explained.

Homeward Bound

I’m sitting in the railway station.
Got a ticket to my destination.
On a tour of one-night stands my suitcase and guitar in hand.
And every stop is neatly planned for a poet and a one-man band.
Homeward bound,
I wish I was,
Homeward bound,
Home where my thought’s escaping,
Home where my music’s playing,
Home where my love lies waiting
Silently for me.

Every day’s an endless stream
Of cigarettes and magazines.
And each town looks the same to me, the movies and the factories
And every stranger’s face I see reminds me that I long to be,
Homeward bound,
I wish I was,
Homeward bound,
Home where my thought’s escaping,
Home where my music’s playing,
Home where my love lies waiting
Silently for me.

Tonight I’ll sing my songs again,
I’ll play the game and pretend.
But all my words come back to me in shades of mediocrity
Like emptiness in harmony I need someone to comfort me.
Homeward bound,
I wish I was,
Homeward bound,
Home where my thought’s escaping,
Home where my music’s playing,
Home where my love lies waiting
Silently for me.
Silently for me.

Twilight Zone – Time Enough At Last… #4

I’m going to write about my top 10 favorite TZ episodes in the next few weeks…Most of the Twilight Zones are like songs to me…to be enjoyed over and over. The Twilight Zone is not really an ordinary TV show. It’s THE TWILIGHT ZONE. This is my personal choice for #4 on my list.

This one I will be giving it all away…more than I usually do…so just a warning.

This one I love and it’s one of the most memorable episodes. If you have never seen it…stop reading now. It’s one of my favorites (and supposedly Rod Serling’s favorite of all that he wrote).

It’s so heartbreaking at the end and I feel so much for Mr. Bemis. This one more than any other Twilight Zone surprised me a bit. It is one of the best twists of any Twilight Zone.

Rod Serling Opening Narration: Witness Mr. Henry Bemis, a charter member in the fraternity of dreamers. A bookish little man whose passion is the printed page, but who is conspired against by a bank president and a wife and a world full of tongue-cluckers and the unrelenting hands of a clock. But in just a moment, Mr. Bemis will enter a world without bank presidents or wives or clocks or anything else. He’ll have a world all to himself… without anyone.

The show was written by Rod Serling and Lynn Venable.

Henry Bemis (Burgess Meredith) is a bookish bank teller who has a childlike fascination for the written word…any written word be it books, periodicals, newspapers. He delights in taking any moment to read, through his incredibly thick “coke-bottle” glasses, even on his salaried time. He is consistently harassed by his wife, customers, and boss for his love of print to the point that he must sneak into the bank’s vault where he works to read on his lunch hour.

During one such visit, a nuclear bomb blast levels his city, leaving him unscathed, whereupon he exits to find that he has “time enough at last” to read all he wants when he finds the local library’s contents scattered about. At this point, (warning: spoiler!) he stacks the books into towers and rejoices in the solitude that will allow him to read everything he can…but in reaching for a particular book, his glasses slip off his face and smash….leaving him to mutter: “That’s not fair… that’s not fair at all… There was time now…. There was…all the time I needed!.. It’s not fair”. The scene then closes with the image panning away from a crying Bemis.

The Twilight Zones are mostly moral plays and justice usually is delivered to a guilty party. On this one, Mr. Bemis isn’t a bad guy. I can’t help but feel pity for Mr. Bemis. It’s not like he was anti-social. He tried to bond with people, although awkwardly, he did try.

He wasn’t the best worker but not terrible and he did read on his lunch breaks. If this episode has a bad “guy” it would be his boss and wife who took away the thing he loved the most. Maybe he was a little selfish and single-minded…but he paid an awfully big price…but the positive…he did survive!

Rod Serling Closing Narration: The best-laid plans of mice and men…and Henry Bemis, the small man in the glasses who wanted nothing but time. Henry Bemis, now just a part of a smashed landscape, just a piece of the rubble, just a fragment of what man has deeded to himself. Mr. Henry Bemis, in the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Burgess Meredith – Henry Bemis
Vaughn Taylor – Mr. Carsville
Jacqueline deWit – Helen Bemis (as Jaqueline deWit)
Lela Bliss – Mrs. Chester

Rolling Stones – Get Off Of My Cloud

I love this era of the Stones. This song was about the record company putting pressure on the Stones to follow up their biggest to date…and their biggest hit ever, Satisfaction.

The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, Canada, and the UK in 1965.

It was on the US album December’s Children (And Everybody’s) released in 1965 and it peaked at #4 in the Billboard Album Charts.

Keith Richards: “‘Get Off My Cloud’ was basically a response to people knocking on our door asking us for the follow up to ‘Satisfaction,’ which was such an enormous hit worldwide. This, to us, was mind-blowing. I mean not only was it a #1 record but, boom! We thought, ‘At last. We can sit back and maybe think about events.’ Suddenly there’s the knock at the door and of course what came out of that was ‘Get Off Of My Cloud.’ Because within three weeks, in those days hey, they want another single. And we weren’t quite ready for that. So it was our response to the knock at the door: Get off of my cloud. And I’m surprised that it did so well. I mean it has a certain charm but I really remember it as a knee-jerk reaction. And it came out better than I thought.”

Mick Jagger: “That was Keith’s melody and my lyrics. It’s a stop-bugging-me, post-teenage-alienation song. The grown-up world was a very ordered society in the ’60s, and I was coming out of it. America was even more ordered than anywhere else. I found it was a very restrictive society in thought and behavior and dress.” 

From Songfacts

There was a bit of controversy over this song, as it sounded like it could be about drugs. Some radio stations shied away from the song.

Stones manager Andrew Long Oldham produced this.

Ian Stewart played piano on this track. Keith Richards explained: “That was just one of those things you could do in those days – shadow a guitar with a piano. As long as you didn’t make it obvious, it would add some different air to a track.” 

The B-side of this single was “I’m Free,” which remained obscure until it was revived by The Soup Dragons in 1990.

In 1973 The Dramatics scored an R&B hit with “Hey You! Get Off My Mountain,” which also contained the chorus lyrics, “Hey You! Get Off My Cloud.”

Get Off Of My Cloud

I live in an apartment on the ninety-ninth floor of my block
And I sit at home looking out the window
Imagining the world has stopped
Then in flies a guy who’s all dressed up just like a Union Jack
And says, “I’ve won five pounds if I have his kind of detergent pack”

I says, “hey, you, get off of my cloud
Hey, you, get off of my cloud
Hey, you, get off of my cloud
Don’t hang around ’cause two’s a crowd
On my cloud, baby”

The telephone is ringing
I say, “hi, it’s me, who is there on the line?”
A voice says, “hi, hello, how are you?”
“Well, I guess I’m doin’ fine”
He says, “it’s three a.m., there’s too much noise
Don’t you people ever want to go to bed?
Just ’cause you feel so good
Do you have to drive me out of my head?”

I says, “hey, you, get off of my cloud
Hey, you, get off of my cloud
Hey, you, get off of my cloud
Don’t hang around ’cause two’s a crowd
On my cloud, baby, yeah”

I was sick and tired, fed up with this
And decided to take a drive downtown
It was so very quiet and peaceful
There was nobody, not a soul around
I laid myself out, I was so tired
And I started to dream
In the morning the parking tickets were just
Like a flag stuck on my window screen

I says, “hey, you, get off of my cloud
Hey, you, get off of my cloud
Hey, you, get off of my cloud
Don’t hang around ’cause two’s a crowd
On my cloud, baby”

“Hey, you, get off of my cloud
Hey, you, get off of my cloud
Hey, you, get off of my cloud
Don’t hang around ’cause two’s a crowd
On my cloud, hey, you

Doors – Light My Fire

The organ intro to this song by Ray Manzarek is one of most iconic intros in rock. I first heard this song as a kid and automatically loved it. It is the song that the Doors are most known by. I like the album version that is longer and has more of a solo.

This was included on their first album and it was a huge hit. The song launched them to stardom. Before it was released, The Doors were an underground band popular in the Los Angeles area, but “Light My Fire” got the attention of a mass audience.

The producers of The Ed Sullivan Show asked the band to change the line “Girl we couldn’t get much higher” for their appearance in 1967. Morrison said he would, but sang it anyway. Afterwards, he told Sullivan that he was nervous and simply forgot to change the line. No that didn’t fly, and The Doors were never invited back.

The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, #2 in Canada, #7 in New Zealand, and #7 in the UK in 1967. Frankly, that surprises me because I thought it would have been an international number 1.

This was the second single on their self-titled debut album. Break On Through (To The Other Side) was their debut single.

The four band members were credited for writing this song Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger, John Densmore, and Ray Manzarek.

Jim Morrison indicated in his notebooks that he disliked this song and hated performing it. He also seemed to resent that the popularity of the band derived from this song, which he had just a small part in writing.

The Doors didn’t have a bass player and none was credited because studio musicians were not credited. Carol Kaye claims it was her.

From Songfacts

Most of the song was written by Doors guitarist Robby Krieger, who wanted to write about one of the elements: fire, air, earth, and water. He recalled to Uncut: “I was living with my parents in Pacific Palisades – I had my amp and SG. I asked Jim, what should I write about? He said, ‘Something universal, which won’t disappear two years from now. Something that people can interpret themselves.’ I said to myself I’d write about the four elements; earth, air, fire, water, I picked fire, as I loved the Stones song, ‘Play With Fire,’ and that’s how that came about.”

Krieger came up with the melody and wrote most of the lyrics, which are about leaving inhibitions behind in flames of passion.

At first, the song had a folk flavor, but it ignited when Jim Morrison wrote the second verse (“our love become a funeral pyre…”) and Ray Manzarek came up with the famous organ intro. Drummer John Densmore also contributed, coming up with the rhythm. Like all Doors songs of this era, the band shared composer credits.

On the album, which was released in January 1967, the song runs 6:50. The group’s first single, “Break On Through (To The Other Side),” reached just #126 in America. “Light My Fire” was deemed too long for airplay, but radio stations (especially in Los Angeles) got requests for the song from listeners who heard it off the album. Their label, Elektra Records decided to release a shorter version so they had producer Paul Rothchild do an edit. By chopping out the guitar solos, he whittled it down to 2:52. This version was released as a single in April, and the song took off, giving The Doors their first big hit.

To many fans, the single edit was an abomination, and many DJs played the album version once the song took off.

Elektra founder Jaz Holzman recalled to Mojo magazine November 2010: “We had that huge problem with the time length – seven-and-a-half minutes. Nobody could figure out how to cut it. Finally I said to Rothchild, ‘Nobody can cut it but you.’ When he cut out the solo, there were screams. Except from Jim. Jim said, ‘Imagine a kid in Minneapolis hearing even the cut version over the radio, it’s going to turn his head around.’ So they said, ‘Go ahead, release it.’ We released it with the full version on the other side.”

This was the first song Robby Krieger wrote to completion. Jim Morrison did most of the songwriting for the album, but he needed some help and asked Krieger to step in. The 20-year-old guitarist asked him what to write about, and Morrison replied, “Something universal.”

There are some pretty basic, but effective, rhymes in this song:

fire
liar
higher
mire
pyre

A “funeral pyre” is a platform used in ceremonial cremations. The image evokes spirituality and ancient mythology, as well as death, one of Jim Morrison’s favorite topics. Robby Krieger objected to the line at first, but Morrison convinced him it would work in opposition to the love-based lyrics that dominate the song.

This was produced by Paul Rothchild and was recorded in late 1966 and then released in April 1967.

The song topped the Hot 100 for the first three weeks of July 1967. It sold over one million copies and was the first #1 hit for their record label Elektra. 

This was the first rock song to feature both a guitar and keyboard in the instrumental section.

A blind, Puerto Rican singer named Jose Feliciano recorded a Latin-tinged version of this song that reached #3 in 1968 and won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Pop Vocal Performance, Male. For Feliciano, who also won the Best New Artist Grammy that year, the song was his breakout hit and introduced his style of acoustic, woodwind-heavy arrangements. Based on his “Light My Fire” performance, Feliciano was asked to sing the The Star Spangled Banner before Game 5 of World Series between the Tigers and Cardinals. He delivered the first non-traditional take on the National Anthem at a major sporting event, doing a slow, acoustic version and causing an uproar. Feliciano capitalized on the controversy by releasing his Anthem performance as a single, and it reached #50 in the US.

In 1968, Buick offered The Doors $75,000 to use this song in a commercial as “Come on Buick, light my fire.” With Morrison away, Krieger, Densmore, and Manzarek agreed to allow it. When Morrison found out, he pitched a fit and killed the deal.

This was the last song Jim Morrison performed live. It took place at the Doors concert at The Warehouse in New Orleans on December 12, 1970. Midway through the song, Morrison became exasperated and smashed his microphone into the floor, ending the show.

It was also the last song The Doors played live as a trio, as they continued without Morrison after his death. Their final performance took place at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on September 10, 1972.

According to Ray Manzarek on BBC Radio 2’s program Ray Manzarek’s Summer of Love, the baseline to “Light My Fire” was inspired by Fats Domino’s “Blueberry Hill.”

Manzarek told About.com how the keyboard solo came about: “It was exactly what we were doing at the time at Whisky a Go Go – letting the music take us wherever it might lead in a particular performance, just improvising. And that?s exactly the same way that solo came about.” 

She was a first-call studio pro at the time and had performed on a lot of the hits that were recorded in Los Angeles, including many of Phil Spector’s productions. She told Songfacts regarding her involvement: “The Doors weren’t there. Just a couple of the guys were there in the booth. We cut the track. I’m playing on that, but I don’t like to talk about it, because there’s too many fanatics about that stuff. I’m a prude. I don’t do drugs. I think it’s stupid. I think for people to be into drugs and to die on stage, I think that’s so stupid, and totally unnecessary. So I stay away from even talking about that. But I am on the contract, yeah, I played on the hit of that.” (Here’s our full Carol Kaye interview.)

The extended organ and guitar solos in the album version of the song are based on two of John Coltrane’s works: his 1961 track “Ole,” and his jazz cover of the song “My Favorite Things” from the motion picture The Sound of Music. 

Robby Krieger told Clash Music he put “every chord I knew into this song.” Most of the group’s songs to this point were three-chord compositions, so he wanted to do something more “adventurous.”

In concert, Robby Krieger never played the same guitar solo on this song. He would sometimes mix in bits of the Beatles song “Eleanor Rigby.”

Train covered this on the 2000 Doors tribute album Stoned Immaculate. Lead singer Pat Monahan sang with the remaining members (Manzarek, Krieger, Densmore) on the VH1’s Storytellers dedicated to the Doors. Other artists to cover the song include Jackie Wilson, Etta James, Shirley Bassey, Nancy Sinatra, Will Young, UB40, B. J. Thomas and Beastie Boys.

Light My Fire

You know that it would be untrue
You know that I would be a liar
If I was to say to you
Girl, we couldn’t get much higher

Come on baby, light my fire
Come on baby, light my fire
Try to set the night on fire

The time to hesitate is through
No time to wallow in the mire
Try now we can only lose
And our love become a funeral pyre

Come on baby, light my fire
Come on baby, light my fire
Try to set the night on fire, yeah

The time to hesitate is through
No time to wallow in the mire
Try now we can only lose
And our love become a funeral pyre

Come on baby, light my fire
Come on baby, light my fire
Try to set the night on fire, yeah

You know that it would be untrue
You know that I would be a liar
If I was to say to you
Girl, we couldn’t get much higher

Come on baby, light my fire
Come on baby, light my fire
Try to set the night on fire
Try to set the night on fire
Try to set the night on fire
Try to set the night on fire

Twilight Zone – Little Girl Lost… #6

I’m going to write about my top 10 favorite TZ episodes in the next few weeks…Most of the Twilight Zones are like songs to me…to be enjoyed over and over. The Twilight Zone is not really an ordinary TV show. It’s THE TWILIGHT ZONE. This is my personal choice for #6 on my list.

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: Missing: one frightened little girl. Name: Bettina Miller. Description: six years of age, average height and build, light brown hair, quite pretty. Last seen being tucked in bed by her mother a few hours ago. Last heard: ‘ay, there’s the rub,’ as Hamlet put it. For Bettina Miller can be heard quite clearly, despite the rather curious fact that she can’t be seen at all. Present location? Let’s say for the moment… in the Twilight Zone.

I always thought Poltergeist borrowed heavily from this Twilight Zone episode. Both girls were lost in another dimension and it Poltergeist plays out much like this episode. The inside of the dimension in this episode is done really well.

A couple awakens in the night to hear their daughter Tina crying. When the father, Chris, enters her bedroom, however, she is nowhere to be found. She can be heard as if she is still in the room, but not seen. Moments later, the family dog, Mac, runs into the room in a state of agitation, goes under the bed and vanishes just like Tina. Panicking, Chris and his wife Ruth call their physicist friend Bill, who comes over immediately and begins to investigate, moving the girl’s bed and looking for the “opening.”

Chris and Ruth are nonplussed, but suddenly Bills hand seems to disappear through the bedroom wall, and he explains that he thinks Tina and Mac are trapped in another dimension. He draws on the wall with chalk and outlines the opening, explaining the theories about alternate dimensions. Suddenly, Ruth realizes that she can no longer hear Tina. The adults move around the house in a frenzy and finally hear her voice again, seemingly coming from another place, as well as the dog’s barks. Bill says to let the dog lead her back out, and Chris repeatedly calls Mac… Will they get her out safely?

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration: The other half where? The fourth dimension? The fifth? Perhaps. They never found the answer. Despite a battery of research physicists equipped with every device known to man, electronic and otherwise, no result was ever achieved, except perhaps a little more respect for and uncertainty about the mechanisms of the Twilight Zone.

Cast

  • Rod Serling (Narrator)
  • Robert Sampson (Chris Miller)
  • Sarah Marshall (Ruth Miller)
  • Tracy Stratford (Tina Miller)
  • Rhoda Williams (Tina’s voice)
  • Charles Aidman (Bill)

Merle Haggard – Branded Man

***I have posted my 10 favorite covers of Beatle songs at Keith’s site nostaligicitalian ***

This takes me back to riding with my dad and him wearing a Merle Haggard 8-Track out completely. I knew so many of Merle’s songs before I was 6. One big regret I have is that I never saw Merle Haggard live. Haggard would be legally pardoned for his past crimes by California’s Governor Ronald Reagan in 1971.

This song peaked at #1 in the US Hot 100 Billboard Country Charts in 1967.

Merle Haggard went to jail for robbery in 1957, and was released in 1960. This song is about how he felt that no matter what he did, who would always be known for his time spent in jail “branded” as an inmate.

He was serving his time at San Quentin prison when Johnny Cash performed there. That event changed his life.

Future Eric Clapton drummer Jim Gordon played on this song.

Branded Man

I’d like to hold my head up and be proud of who I am
But they won’t let my secret go untold
I paid the debt I owed them, but they’re still not satisfied
Now I’m a branded man out in the cold

When they let me out of prison, I held my head up high
Determined I would rise above the shame
But no matter where I’m living, the black mark follows me
I’m branded with a number on my name

I’d like to hold my head up and be proud of who I am
But they won’t let my secret go untold
I paid the debt I owed them, but they’re still not satisfied
Now I’m a branded man out in the cold

If I live to be a hundred, I guess I’ll never clear my name
‘Cause everybody knows I’ve been in jai
No matter where I’m living, I’ve got to tell them where I’ve been
Or they’ll send me back to prison if I fail

I’d like to hold my head up and be proud of who I am
But they won’t let my secret go untold
I paid the debt I owed them, but they’re still not satisfied
Now I’m a branded man out in the cold

Now I’m a branded man out in the cold

Jimi Hendrix – Hear My Train A Comin’

In Jimi’s short life he must have stayed hooked up to a recording console 24/7. So many albums have been released posthumously.

The only Jimi Hendrix Experience studio recording of this song crops up on the 2010 Valleys of Neptune album. The documentary film Experience (1968) features the only version released during Hendrix’s lifetime.

The song was inspired by earlier American spirituals and blues songs which use a train metaphor to represent salvation. Hendrix recorded the song in live, studio, and impromptu settings several times between 1967 and 1970, but never completed it to his satisfaction.

It was also known as “Getting My Heart Back Together Again,” Hendrix often played this song live.

Hendrix first played it in studio on December 19, 1967. During a photo shoot session, he was given a guitar and asked to play something for the camera. The original tape was re-discovered in 1993 only and remastered by Eddie Kramer.

Hendrix producer/engineer Eddie Kramer: “It shows a complete at-oneness with his instrument. Jimi had a thought in his mind, and in a nanosecond it gets through his body, through his heart, through his arms, through the fingers, onto the guitar.”

From Songfacts

The version on Hendrix’s posthumous album, People, Hell & Angels, was drawn from Jimi’s first ever recording session with his old army pal, Billy Cox, and drummer Buddy Miles. He would later record the groundbreaking album Band Of Gypsys with the powerhouse rhythm duo. Co-producer John McDermott commented to Digital Spy: “Billy and Buddy understood how to set the tempo. If you listen to this recording, they play it the same way as they did on the Live At The Fillmore East album. They knew intuitively that the song should have a great, menacing groove; it shouldn’t be old-school, old-tempo, four-bar stuff. They wanted it to have a totally different feel, and that’s what makes it exciting.”

Hear My Train A Comin’

Hear my train a comin’
Hey
Wait around the train station
Waitin’ for that train
Take me
Take me away
From this lonesome time
A whole lot of people put me through a lot of changes
And my girl done put me down

Tears burnin’ me
Burnin’ me
Way down in my soul
Way down in my heart
It’s too bad you don’t love no more, child
Too bad you and me have to part, have to part baby
Have to part

Hear my train is coming
Hear my train is coming
Hear my train is coming
Hear my train is coming

Gonna make it bigger
With all that’s still in my heart
Gonna be a magic boy ooh child
Gonna come back and buy this town
An’ put it all in my shoe
In my shoe baby
You make love to me one more time girl
So I give a piece to you baby
Hey hey hey

Hear my train is coming
Hear my train is coming
Here come the rest of my soul
Movin’ through the washer baby
Hear my train a comin’ yeah yeah

The Temptations – I Wish It Would Rain

The Temptations classic lineup released this song in 1967 and peaked at #4 in the Billboard 100, #1 in the R&B charts, and #45 in the UK.

David Ruffin sings this song and you can feel the sadness and pain in his voice. The man had a tremendous voice. Naming my favorite Temptations song would be hard but this one would be near the top.

The song has been covered by Gladys Knight and the Pips, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin and The Faces.

This song was released right before the psychedelic soul hit Cloud Nine and the bands style began to change.

It was written by Norman Whitfield, Barrett Strong, and Rodger Penzabene.

I Wish It Would Rain

Hmm hmm

Sunshine, blue skies, please go away
A girl has found another and gone away
With her went my future, my life is filled with gloom
So day after day I stay locked up in my room
I know to you, it might sound strange 
But I wish it would rain, oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

‘Cause so badly I wanna go outside (such a lovely day)
But everyone knows that a man ain’t supposed to cry
Listen, I gotta cry ’cause crying eases the pain, oh yeah
People this hurt I feel inside
Words could never explain, 
I just wish it would rain, oh let it rain, rain, rain, rain, ooo baby

Let it rain, oh yeah, let it rain

Day in day out my tear-stained face
Pressed against the window pane
My eyes search the skies desperately for rain
‘Cause rain drops will hide my tear drops
And no one will ever know that I’m crying
Crying when I go outside
To the world outside my tears
I refuse to explain, ooo I wish it would rain, ooh, baby

Let it rain, let it rain
I need rain to disguise the tears in my eyes
Oh, let it rain
Oh yeah, yeah, listen
I’m a man and I got my pride
‘Til it rains I’m gonna stay inside, let it rain

Twilight Zone – Nightmare at 20,000 Feet… #7

I’m going to write about my top 10 favorite TZ episodes in the next few weeks…Most of the Twilight Zones are like songs to me…to be enjoyed over and over. The Twilight Zone is not really an ordinary TV show. It’s THE TWILIGHT ZONE. This is my personal choice for #7 on my list.

I have to watch these again before I write about them…Now I wish I would have made this my top 50.

Rod Serling Opening Narration: Portrait of a frightened man: Mr. Robert Wilson, thirty-seven, husband, father, and salesman on sick leave. Mr. Wilson has just been discharged from a sanitarium where he spent the last six months recovering from a nervous breakdown, the onset of which took place on an evening not dissimilar to this one, on an airliner very much like the one in which Mr. Wilson is about to be flown home—the difference being that, on that evening half a year ago, Mr. Wilson’s flight was terminated by the onslaught of his mental breakdown. Tonight, he’s traveling all the way to his appointed destination, which, contrary to Mr. Wilson’s plan, happens to be in the darkest corner of the Twilight Zone.

In this episode he plays a husband (Bob Wilson) who just suffered a nervous breakdown on a plane 6 months before. Him and his wife Julia were taking a flight and you could tell Bob was a nervous as soon as he boarded the plane. He had just spent 6 months in an institution getting over his breakdown and now his Doctor said he was ready to fly again. He sits by the window and the fun begins… after take off he thinks sees a creature of some sort out on the wing of the aircraft.

Because of the breakdown he is not sure he saw the creature or not. Bob starts freaking out and eventually gets a gun from an officer on the plane. Hmmm gun, nervous man, and a plane. Nothing good will come from that. Everyone thinks he is crazy…is he? This one is a thriller with a creepy creature.

Richard Matheson wrote this episode. He wrote 16 Twilight Zones in all.

This is an iconic episode of the Twilight Zone. It was redone in the 1983 movie Twilight Zone with John Lithgow in the title role. I’ll take the classic version though.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration: The flight of Mr. Robert Wilson has ended now, a flight not only from point A to point B, but also from the fear of recurring mental breakdown. Mr. Wilson has that fear no longer… though, for the moment, he is, as he has said, alone in this assurance. Happily, his conviction will not remain isolated too much longer, for happily, tangible manifestation is very often left as evidence of trespass, even from so intangible a quarter as the Twilight Zone.

Cast

  • William Shatner as Robert “Bob” Wilson
  • Christine White as Julia Wilson
  • Ed Kemmer as Flight Engineer
  • Asa Maynor as Stewardess
  • Nick Cravat as Gremlin

Beatles – She Came In Through The Bathroom Window

Besides having one of the most unique names in the history of rock songs…this one is a really cool song off of Abbey Road. It’s always one of my favorite songs of the medley.

It’s in the medley on side 2 for those of you who have the vinyl album. I always wondered who that was coming through the bathroom window. Paul wrote the song about a fan, thought to be Diane Ashley. She said that there was a ladder in Paul’s garden and bunch of girls put it against the wall and Diane climbed up and went through the bathroom window when Paul was at the studio. I seriously doubt if she was the only one…more probable…They All Came Through Paul’s Bathroom Window. The girls that hung out waiting for the Beatles were called “Apple Scruffs” by the Beatles.

Now married with four children, Diane keeps a framed photo of herself with Paul on her kitchen shelf and looks back on her days as an Apple Scruff with affection: “I don’t regret any of it. I had a great time, a really great time.” It shows you how different of a time that was compared to now.

Margo Bird was on of the girls who Paul negotiated with to get some of his property back…he didn’t care if they got small souvenirs but when pictures went missing, Margo helped him track them down.

This was credited to Lennon/McCartney but seems to be all McCartney. The Beatles ran through it a few times earlier in the year in the Let It Be sessions. They were going to feature it in their rooftop concert but didn’t feel confident in it.

The song fit nicely between Polythene Pam and Golden Slumbers in the medley. Joe Cocker covered this song also.

Apple Scruff Margo Bird: “They rummaged around and took some clothes. People didn’t usually take anything of real value but I think this time a lot of photographs and negatives were taken. There were really two groups of ‘Apple Scruffs’ – those who would break in and those who would just wait outside with cameras and autograph books. I used to take Paul’s dog for a walk and got to know him quite well. I was eventually offered a job at Apple. I started by making the tea and ended up in the promotions department working with Tony King.”

From Songfacts

Paul McCartney wrote this about a fan who broke into his house. Diane Ashley claims it was her. “We found a ladder in his garden and stuck it up the bathroom window which he’d left slightly open,” she said. “I was the one who climbed up and got in.”

Landis Kearnon (known at the time as Susie Landis) gave us the following account:

Here, all this time I thought this song was written about me and my friend Judy. What a surprise to learn there was someone named Diane Ashley who put a ladder up to Paul’s house and climbed in through the bathroom window. This and the bit about “quit the police department” being inspired by an ex-cop taxi driver in NYC tells me something I already know about songwriting, which is that many songs are composites. This one obviously was because Diane wasn’t the only person having a profound effect on Paul McCartney by crawling in a bathroom window in 1967 (maybe ’68 in her case). Judy and I were paid $1500 by Greene & Stone, a couple of sleazy artist managers driving around the Sunset Strip in a Chinchilla-lined caddy limo, to “borrow” the quarter-inch master of “A Day In The Life” off of David Crosby’s reel-to-reel, drive it to Sunset Sound studios in Hollywood where Greene & Stone duped it, then put it back where we found it at Crosby’s Beverly Glen Canyon pad. Crosby was playing with the Byrds that day in Venice so we knew his house was empty. This was the day after a major rainstorm so the back of his house was one big mudslide. We climbed up it, leaving 8-inch deep footprints and, you guessed it, gained access via the bathroom window, leaving behind footprints and a veritable goldmine of forensic matter. We were really nervous and did not make clear mental notes of how the master reel was on the player, but did have the sense to leave Crosby’s front door unlocked while we drove across town and back. After the tape was back on the machine (badly) we changed out of our muddy shoes, drove to the Cheetah in Venice, and hung out with the Byrds into the evening, thinking we were awfully clever and cute. We did not know why Greene & Stone would pay so much money for a copy of a Beatles song, other than the fact that is was a groundbreaking and mind-blowing piece, but found out the next day when we heard “A Day In The Life” on KHJ, I think it was. Greene & Stone had used it as payola to get one of their groups, The Cake, singing “Yes We Have No Bananas,” on the air. Which they did, and it sucked, but oh well. By the following day “A Day In The Life” was no longer on the air. And just a day or two after that there was a front page blurb in the LA Times about “A Day In The Life” getting aired one month prior to the release date of the single and the Sgt. Pepper LP, which apparently cost the Beatles plenty and they were suing Capitol or Columbia, whichever the label was, for $2 million… and McCartney was flying in from London to deal with the mess. Oops. Judy and I nearly sank through the floor. Though we were active “dancers” in the various nightclubs on the Sunset Strip, we lay low for a while, not knowing what to expect. In fact, other than a song being written and a GREAT cover by Joe Cocker, nothing happened. We got our money, spent it on groovy clothes, of course (what else was there?) and never heard a word about it.

“I knew what I could not say” and “protected by a silver spoon” seemed to explain why there were no repercussions. My dad was a TV director who had already threatened to bust and ruin David Crosby for smoking pot with and deflowering his daughter; he had clout and David was afraid of him. Judy was from money and influence too. I feel that David knew exactly who had broken in and borrowed the tape but couldn’t press charges. He probably wasn’t supposed to be playing the master for all his friends and hangers-on, so there must have been hell to pay for him. I always felt bad for the cred it must have cost him with his friend Paul McCartney.

Oh, the bit about “Sunday’s on the phone to Monday, Tuesday’s on the phone to me” – that was somebody named Sunday, maybe a detective, I can’t remember now, calling the producer Billy Monday about the break-in and song leak. Billy Monday, knowing she was a friend of McCartney’s, called Tuesday Weld, and it was she who called Paul in London and told him the news. Well, I guess I didn’t make this very short after all. But you can’t tell me that this incident didn’t feed into the overall inspiration for the song. I’m just glad it turned out so cool and hope it made a heap for them in compensation for the publicity costs at the outset.

It was interesting and exciting then, that’s for sure. Even though I came of age into that scene and had nothing to compare it to, I still had a sense at the time of being at the epicenter of something big. Some of that was attributable to the hubris of youth, but some of it turned out to be real, as it happened. Now, present time, it makes my day to come across someone who still finds it interesting or even knows what or whom I’m talking about. By the way, I never did get to meet the Beatles, though I was invited to party where they were staying once, when I was 17. My mother wouldn’t let me go! I never forgave her.

I lived in LA until 1987 where I was a model, actress, (groupie, but that wasn’t professional), marching band manager, religious (Buddhist) leader, newspaper columnist, secretary, copywriter, copy editor, account executive, screenwriter, songwriter, band leader, session singer, textile designer, artist. Since then, in the Santa Fe area and now, since 1992, in Tucson, I continued my artistic and musical endeavors, ran a fabric-painting factory, was a jazz singer for several years (which has mutated to something more individual and artistic of late), have worked numerous odd jobs from pizza delivery to bookstore management, and am now close to completing my first novel, which is set in a Buddhist cult in the early ’70s.

In the ’70s I traveled halfway around the world on a square-rigged cargo ship, lived and sang in Europe for three years, and, as of 1991, am a mother of one though I never married.

Subsequent to the bathroom window event, my friend and partner in crime, as it were, Judy, went off with a Dick Clark Productions road show (can’t remember the name of it but it was something timely) as “Irma the Dancing Girl.” Her job, nightly, in each new town, was to put on a bikini, dance, and paint wild, acid abstract canvases with her extremely long blond hair. I, on the other hand, joined a Buddhist cult, which was like living on another planet entirely, and completely disappeared from view, as far as the “scene” was concerned. Judy and I didn’t hang out much after we realized the impact of our little romp. We didn’t talk about it, but we may have decided at some level that we pushed our combined wildness a bit too far on that one and moved on to “safer” friends. I saw her once in the early ’70s. She had been married and divorced, was the mother of one, and that was the last contact we had.

The Beatles recorded this as one song with “Polythene Pam.”

The Beatles gave this to Joe Cocker, who released it in 1969. The Beatles released their version first. Cocker’s version was used on the soundtrack to the movie All This and World War II, released in 1976. A strange mix of World War II documentary footage set to the music of the Beatles, the movie bombed and has barely been heard of since. Others who covered The Beatles on the soundtrack include Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Tina Turner, Leo Sayer, Frankie Laine and the Bee Gees.

This is part of a suite of songs at the end of Abbey Road. They used bits from many songs they never finished to put the suite together.

McCartney played lead guitar and Harrison played bass. It was usually the other way around.

McCartney said in a documentary shown February 6, 2002 in England that part of the lyric was inspired by sitting in the back of a New York cab. The drivers name was on display (Quitts) saying “Ex Police Department,” which inspired the line: “And so I quit the Police Department and got myself a steady job…”

She Came In Through The Bathroom Window

She came in through the bathroom window
Protected by a silver spoon
But now she sucks her thumb and wanders
By the banks of her own lagoon

Didn’t anybody tell her?
Didn’t anybody see?
Sunday’s on the phone to Monday
Tuesday’s on the phone to me

She said she’d always been a dancer
She worked at fifteen clubs a day
And though she thought I knew the answer
Well, I knew what I could not say

And so I quit the police department
And got myself a steady job
And though she tried her best to help me
She could steal but she could not rob

Didn’t anybody tell her?
Didn’t anybody see?
Sunday’s on the phone to Monday,
Tuesday’s on the phone to me
Oh yeah

Twilight Zone – Come Wander with Me…#8

 I’m going to write about my top 10 favorite TZ episodes in the next few weeks…Most of the Twilight Zones are like songs to me…to be enjoyed over and over. The Twilight Zone is not really an ordinary TV show. It’s THE TWILIGHT ZONE. This is my personal choice for #8 on my list.

Probably one of the creepiest Twilight Zones. The way it ends keeps you thinking after the show is done. This was the final episode of The Twilight Zone to be filmed, although two episodes filmed earlier were aired afterwards.

Rod Serling Intro: Mr. Floyd Burney, a gentleman songster in search of song, is about to answer the age-old question of whether a man can be in two places at the same time. As far as his folk song is concerned, we can assure Mr. Burney he’ll find everything he’s looking for, although the lyrics may not be all to his liking. But that’s sometimes the case – when the words and music are recorded in the Twilight Zone.

Richard Donner wrote this episode. This one wasn’t rated as high as some of the others but it stuck with me for a long time. The desperation in Mr. Floyd Burney is something to remember. 

Come Wander With Me:  Singer Floyd Burney, a rockabilly singer, goes deep into the back woods hoping to find a folk song to buy and release. As soon as he arrives he hears a beautiful singing voice which draws him deeper into the woods. He eventually meets Mary Rachel who tells him the song he heard belonged to someone and that she’s forbidden to tell anyone about it. When she finally reveals it to him, Floyd learns that his future might be preordained. And the outcome might make him wish he never roamed into this strange place. 

Bonnie Beecher : Come Wander With Me (The Twilight Zone) : Aquarium Drunkard

Gary Crosby (Bing Crosby’s son) plays Floyd Burney and is very realistic as a fast talking rockabilly singer. Bonnie Beecher is the mystery of this show. She didn’t do much acting after this…her voice was used for the main song and it was beautiful. She ended up marrying Hugh Nanton Romney Jr. (Wavy Gravy) who was an entertainer and peace activist and was seen on the film Woodstock. 

Cast

  • Bonnie Beecher – Mary Rachel
  • John Bolt – Billy Rayford
  • Hank Patterson – Storekeeper
  • Gary Crosby – Floyd Burney

Beatles – Dear Prudence

I’m asked quite a bit…Max what is your favorite Beatle song? It’s hard to tell you because it changes from day to day. I would have to say A Day In The Life if I had to give one answer… but on certain days…this one would be it. Lennon to me was one of the best all time rock singers. He could do rock and pop/rock with ease. He never liked his voice and always wanted the producer George Martin to cover it up with echo or some effect.

The story behind this one is known to Beatle fans. They were in India with the Maharishi and were asked to meditate all day. Mia Farrow and her sister Prudence was there. Prudence was taking this very seriously and would not come out of her quarters and John wrote this song to cheer her up.

Image result for prudence farrow in india

American flautist Paul Horn, who was also with them in Rishikesh said that Prudence was a highly sensitive person, and by jumping straight into deep meditation, against the Maharishi’s advice, she had allowed herself to fall into a catatonic state.

Horn stated, “She was ashen-white and didn’t recognize anybody. She didn’t even recognize her own brother who was on the course with her. The only person she showed any slight recognition towards was Maharishi. We were all concerned about her and Maharishi assigned her a full-time nurse.”

The song was on their massive double album album “The Beatles” or better known as the White Album released in 1968. On this album you get a little bit of everything. 20’s style music, pop, folk, Avant Garde, rock, to hard rock.

Donovan was also there and taught John and Paul and guitar picking style called “clawhammer.” The clawhammer style, is played with the strumming hand formed into a claw, using the backs of the fingernails to strum down on the strings.

The song was not released as a single but remains a favorite album track.

Donovan:  “He was so fascinated by fingerstyle guitar that he immediately started to write in a different color and was very inspired” “That’s what happens when you learn a new style.”

Prudence Farrow: “They were trying to be cheerful, but I wished they’d go away. I don’t think they realized what the training was all about.”

From Songfacts

While Mia Farrow inspired such men as Andre Previn, Frank Sinatra and Woody Allen, her sister Prudence left her mark on John Lennon. According to Nancy de Herrera’s book, All You Need Is Love, Prudence met The Beatles on a spiritual retreat with their guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in India, which she attended with Mia. When Prudence, suffering depression, confined herself to her room, Lennon wrote this song hoping to cheer her up. It did.

Prudence Farrow wanted to “Teach God quicker than anyone else,” according to John Lennon. She would lock herself in her room trying to meditate for hours and hours. From A Hard Day’s Write, by Steve Turner: “At the end of the demo version of Dear Prudence John continues playing guitar and says: ‘No one was to know that sooner or later she was to go completely berserk, under the care of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. All the people around were very worried about the girl because she was going insane. So, we sang to her.'”

Ringo had left the group as the White Album sessions got very tense, so Paul McCartney played drums. When Ringo came back a short time later, there were flowers on his drum kit welcoming him back.

According to the singer-songwriter Donovan, who was on the retreat in India with The Beatles, he taught John Lennon a “clawhammer” guitar technique that he used on this track. 

John Lennon’s handwritten lyrics were auctioned off for $19,500 in 1987.

Lennon considered this one of his favorites.

Siouxsie And The Banshees covered this in 1983. Their version went to #3 in the UK and became their biggest hit.

“Dear Prudence” was the second Beatles song that the Banshees had covered from their White Album. Previously, they’d recorded a version of “Helter Skelter” for their 1978 LP The Scream.

“Helter Skelter was very much part of our live show before we recorded it,” mused Siouxsie Sioux to TeamRock. “The great thing was that the two Beatles songs we chose – ‘Helter Skelter’ and ‘Dear Prudence’ – were not originally singles by The Beatles, so it wasn’t necessarily a surefire: ‘Oh, they’re doing a Beatles song.’ And it was also a bit irreverent as well, I suppose. A good test of doing a cover version is when people think that you’ve written it. Quite a lot of people thought Dear Prudence was an original.”

This song was in the movie Across the Universe, which was based on The Beatles music. In the movie, Prudence (played by T.V. Carpio) locked herself in a closet after discovering that Sadie and JoJo were together when she thought she loved Sadie. Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood), Jude (Jim Sturges), Sadie (Dana Fuges) and Max (Joe Anderson) sing this to make her feel better. It gets her out of the closet and they end the song at a anti-Vietnam War rally. 

Siouxsie and the Banshees’ take on the song added to The Beatles’ simple original arrangement. “It was kind of an undeveloped song on the White Album,” Siouxsie said. “and so there was a lot of scope to put in your own stuff, really. What did I want to bring? Oh, some psychedelic transformation there [laughing].”

“No, I think that actual track’s fairly restrained, simple and understated on the White Album,” she added. “I was listening to singles like Itchycoo Park by the Small Faces, so I think it was wanting to capture the 60s, and all that kind of phasing. Also, it was where we were at the time.”

Dear Prudence

Dear Prudence, won’t you come out to play?
Dear Prudence, greet the brand new day
The sun is up, the sky is blue
It’s beautiful and so are you
Dear Prudence, won’t you come out to play?

Dear Prudence, open up your eyes
Dear Prudence, see the sunny skies
The wind is low, the birds will sing
That you are part of everything
Dear Prudence, won’t you open up your eyes?

Look around, round (round, round, round)
(Round, round, round, round, round)
Look around, round, round (round, round)
(Round, round, round, round, round)
Look around

Dear Prudence, let me see you smile
Dear Prudence, like a little child
The clouds will be a daisy chain
So let me see you smile again
Dear Prudence, won’t you let me see you smile?

Dear Prudence, won’t you come out to play
Dear Prudence, greet the brand new day
The sun is up, the sky is blue
It’s beautiful and so are you
Dear Prudence, won’t you come out to play?