George Harrison – Any Road

I heard this song before George passed away…a live version of it by him on a VH1 special that he was on. The interviewer kept pushing him to do a song…I’m glad he did now. When I heard it I smiled because it was so George. With George’s songs, you could expect a good melody, slide guitar, and his own nugget of knowledge that he left behind.

This song was on George’s last album “Brainwashed” in 2003. George wrote the song in 1988 while working on a video for “Cloud Nine.” The song peaked at #37 in the UK chart in 2003.

George Harrison - Any Road VH1

George played this song on a VH1 show that ended up being his last performance before he died in 2001. You can tell he wasn’t really rehearsed or ready to play it but he gamely did…and I’m glad. George did not completely finish the album before he died so his son Dhani and Jeff Lynne helped finish it.

George’s son Dhani said that while he and his father were in Hawaii, they walked by a beach and saw a sign that read, “If the wind blows, you can always adjust your sails, but, if you don’t know where you’re going, then any road will take you there.” The sign was the inspiration for the song.

A form of the phrase also is in the exchange between Alice and the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland:

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where—” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“—so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”

I thought this song was a good song for George to leave us with…It has his trademark slide and some ukulele in it.

“Any Road”

(Give me that plenty of that guitar.)

But I’ve been traveling on a boat and a plane
In a car on a bike with a bus and a train
Traveling there, traveling here
Everywhere in every gear

But oh Lord we pay the price
With the spin of the wheel with the roll of the dice
Ah yeah you pay your fare
And if you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there

And I’ve been traveling through the dirt and the grime
From the past to the future through the space and the time
Traveling deep beneath the waves
In watery grottoes and mountainous caves

But oh Lord we’ve got to fight
With the thoughts in the head with the dark and the light
No use to stop and stare
And if you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there

You may not know where you came from
May not know who you are
May not have even wondered
How you got this far

I’ve been traveling on a wing and a prayer
By the skin of my teeth, by the breadth of a hair
Traveling where the four winds blow
With the sun on my face, in the ice and the snow

But oooeeee it’s a game
Sometimes you’re cool, sometimes you’re lame
Ah yeah it’s somewhere
And if you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there

But oh Lord we pay the price
With the spin of the wheel with the roll of the dice
Ah yeah you pay your fare
And if you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there

I keep traveling around the bend
There was no beginning, there is no end
It wasn’t born and never dies
There are no edges, there is no sides

Oh yeah you just don’t win
It’s so far out, the way out is in
Bow to God and call him Sir
But if you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there
And if you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there
If you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there

(Yeah hey! Ah ee ah! Ah he ah!)

Paul McCartney – All Things Must Pass

No, I didn’t type the artist wrong.

It was touching to see Paul cover this great George Harrison song in the Concert For George…a year after George passed away. I don’t think Paul really got this song until he performed it. Not only did he do it in that concert but he would play it live occasionally after that. He knocks it out of the park with this version.

It’s simply one of the best songs George ever wrote. It was the title track of his debut album released in 1971. The song was worked up with the Beatles during the Get Back sessions and started to sound really good. It wasn’t rejected…they just moved on with different songs. There were songs they worked up that ended up on McCartney’s debut album as well. The same with John Lennon’s Gimme Some Truth.

A few days before George passed…Paul and Ringo joined him and talked about old times. George also told Paul to start getting along with Yoko because as he very well knew…life is too short. Paul did just that.

Paul McCartney: “I sat with him for a few hours when he was in treatment just outside New York. He was about 10 days away from his death, as I recall. We joked about things – just amusing, nutty stuff. It was good. It was like we were dreaming. He was my little baby brother, almost, because I’d known him that long. We held hands. It’s funny, even at the height of our friendship – as guys – you would never hold hands. It just wasn’t a Liverpool thing. But it was lovely.”

Eric Clapton: The only minor difficulty arose over who should sing “Something.” Olivia thought I should sing it. Paul McCartney had been doing it on the ukulele in his shows and wanted to do it that way, and I wanted Paul to sing “All Things Must Pass,” which I considered the key song of the whole event. In the end, we compromised and Paul and I did “Something” as a duet, and later in the show he performed a brilliantly soulful version of “All Things.” It was a great night, and everybody who was there or has seen the DVD agrees that it was the perfect sendoff for a man we all loved, and who gave us over the years so much beautiful music.

 ‘Those guys’ (Beatles) inability to express love for one another was classic, the exception is Ringo, who says [in the film], ‘I love George, and George loved me.’ That wouldn’t have been so easy for Paul.’”

 “Paul had to admit that he didn’t know ‘All Things Must Pass,’ and that was an awful thing to confront. It was huge humble-pie stuff for Paul to be among these people who he may have thought had a better relationship with George than he did.

“But I believe Paul missed George as much as — if not more than — anybody.”

All Things Must Pass

Sunrise doesn’t last all morningA cloudburst doesn’t last all daySeems my love is up and has left you with no warningIt’s not always gonna be this grey

All things must passAll things must pass away

Sunset doesn’t last all eveningA mind can blow those clouds awayAfter all this, my love is up and must be leavingIt’s not always gonna be this grey

All things must passAll things must pass away

All things must passNone of life’s strings can lastSo, I must be on my wayAnd face another day

Now the darkness only stays the night timeIn the morning it will fade awayDaylight is good at arriving at the right timeIt’s not always gonna be this grey

All things must passAll things must pass awayAll things must passAll things must pass away

Bob Dylan – Must Be Santa

My friend Dave (A Sound Day) asked some of us bloggers to write about a Christmas song that was special to us for Turntable Talk…so I went with Mr. Bob Dylan… who won’t be mistaken as the jolly old guy any time soon.

I would never bet against Bob doing anything. When one of my friends told me at the time that Dylan released a Christmas album…I thought he was kidding. No, he wasn’t…and I liked it when I heard it. This song was based on a German drinking game, with the lyrics taking on a ‘call and answer’ structure… “Who’s got a beard/That’s long and white?/Santa’s got a beard/That’s long and white.”

Must Be Santa” was written by Hal Moore and Bill Fredericks. The song was first released in 1960 by Mitch Miller. In 2009, Bob Dylan covered Brave Combo’s arrangement as part of his holiday album, Christmas in the Heart.

All of the profits from this album went towards Feeding America Crisis, and the World Food Program. In 2009, Dylan told Bill Flanagan that he had intended to make a Christmas record for some time: “Yeah, every so often it has crossed my mind. The idea was first brought to me by Walter Yetnikoff, back when he was President of Columbia Records.”

If you want to know what Dylan considers to be a great Christmas meal… it would consist of “Mashed potatoes and gravy, roast turkey and collard greens, turnip greens, biscuit dressing, cornbread and cranberry sauce.”

Bob Dylan: “This version comes from a band called Brave Combo. Somebody sent their record to us for our radio show [Theme Time Radio Hour]. They’re a regional band out of Texas that takes regular songs and changes the way you think about them. You oughta hear their version of ‘Hey Jude.'”

Bob Dylan – Must Be Santa

Who’s got a beard that’s long and white?
Santa’s got a beard that’s long and white
Who comes around on a special night?
Santa comes around on a special night

Special Night, beard that’s white

Must be Santa
Must be Santa
Must be Santa, Santa Claus

Who wears boots and a suit of red?
Santa wears boots and a suit of red

Who wears a long cap on his head?
Santa wears a long cap on his head

Cap on head, suit that’s red
Special night, beard that’s white

Must be Santa
Must be Santa
Must be Santa, Santa Claus

Who’s got a big red cherry nose?
Santa’s got a big red cherry nose

Who laughs this way: “HO HO HO”?
Santa laughs this way: “HO HO HO”

HO HO HO, cherry nose
Cap on head, suit that’s red
Special night, beard that’s white

Must be Santa
Must be Santa
Must be Santa, Santa Claus

Who very soon will come our way?
Santa very soon will come our way

Eight little reindeer pull his sleigh?
Santa’s little reindeer pull his sleigh

Reindeer sleigh, come our way
HO HO HO, cherry nose
Cap on head, suit that’s red
Special night, beard that’s white

Must be Santa
Must be Santa
Must be Santa, Santa Claus

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen
Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen
Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton

Reindeer sleigh, come our way
HO HO HO, cherry nose
Cap on head, suit that’s red
Special night, beard that’s white

Must be Santa
Must be Santa
Must be Santa, Santa Claus
Must be Santa
Must be Santa
Must be Santa, Santa Claus

Charles Monroe Schulz 

The Banner

On November 26, 1922…Charles Schulz was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He would have been 100 years old today. He would read the Sunday cartoon feature with his dad every week. Schulz had asthma and his mom would give him a pencil and paper in bed to draw and that started it all.

He created the Peanuts strip (originally entitled Li’l Folks) in 1950, introducing a group of characters based on semiautobiographical experiences.  That first year, the comic strip came in last place in the New York World Telegram’s reader survey of cartoons… however, a book of Peanuts reprints helped the strip gain a larger audience. Shulz encapsulated the kid’s point of view as good or better than anyone. The grownups didn’t talk; it was all about the kid’s world. When I was growing up I would not miss a Sunday Cartoon feature or holiday special…not to mention the movies that came out.

Schulz channeled the loneliness that he had experienced in his army days and the frustrations of everyday life into Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown was familiar because he was us. . Linus was named after a friend and fellow cartoonist Linus Maurer. Peppermint Patty was inspired by his cousin Patricia and Snoopy is based on Schulz’s intelligent childhood pet dog. Woodstock is just a miniature of Snoopy…he is drawn the same way.

Philip Van Pelt’s wife, Louanne, inspired Lucy Van Pelt, Linus’ sister. Schulz introduced the feisty…some say mean brunette, known for pulling away footballs just as Charlie Brown is about to kick them, to the cartoon strip in 1952.

The comic strip would explode and be a pop culture icon in the 50s until now. So Happy Birthday Charles Schulz!

When I was a kid I would occasionally get a Peanuts item…watch or something with them on it. My favorite characters were Schroeder and Pigpen since I stayed dirty much to my mom’s horror. No matter how much she tried…and she tried and tried to get me somewhere clean…it hardly ever happened. She got me ready for Church one morning and she had a brainstorm. She got me ready 15 minutes before we left. It was a cool spring day so she put a scrubbed-clean Max into the back seat of our car. When she came out she was horrified…I had dug around in the ashtray and was filthy…therefore Pigpen suited me fine.

In the late 1990s while my wife and I were dating…we would go to flea markets and antique shops and buy Peanuts memorabilia. We both had rediscovered The Peanuts in our 20s. Over 2-4 years we bought thousands of dollars of older collectibles. If being late on rent meant getting a rare Peanuts item…so be it! No, we were not the most responsible around at the time. It was a cool bonding activity between us and we still have all the things that we bought. At Christmas, we get a lot of it out and decorate the house. We slowed down when our son Bailey came along and we realized…hmmm better start saving money!

So the Peanuts were with me as a child and an adult and if we ever see a Peaunts item out and about…we usually get it.

If you get in the mood to watch The Peanuts… try A Boy Named Charlie Brown and Snoopy Come Home…their first two movies.

My role model Pigpen

 

 

Loretta Lynn and Jack White – Portland Oregon

I was listening to Led Zeppelin earlier and now I have switched gears. After Loretta Lynn passed away  I spent the night listening to her Van Lear Rose album and finding again how great that album is. I would recommend taking a listen to this song. It works for country, rock, and pop. I love the opening line… Well, Portland, Oregon and sloe gin fizz, If that ain’t love then tell me what is, uh huh, uh huh. 

She did a lot for women in the business and paved the way for later stars. Songs like The Pill and X Rated were largely ignored by country radio at the time but that didn’t stop them from hitting #1. She was one of the best songwriters in country history.

The White Stripes dedicated their 2001 album, ”White Blood Cells,” to her and she found out about them. Jack was still with the White Stripes at the time, but he approached her backstage and the two had a conversation that led to him following Lynn home to Tennessee and making an album with her.

They recorded and released this album in 2004. She wrote this song years before about a romance that wasn’t…she pretended to have a romance with her guitar player at the time to make her cheating husband jealous.

This one is a duet between Jack and her and it’s great. As I said yesterday…if modern country was like this…I would listen. Their voices go really well with each other.  Country radio would not play it but the album still peaked at #2 on the Country Charts and #24 on the Billboard 200 in 2004. They didn’t win any country music awards but came away with two Grammys.

jack White must have liked Nashville because, in 2009, White opened the doors to his very own Nashville-based record label, Third Man Records.

Jack White: “I said when I was first asked about her what I thought and I said years ago that I thought she was the greatest female singer-songwriter of the 20th century. I still believe that, she was such an incredible presence and such a brilliant genius in ways that I think only people who got to work with her might know about. What she did for feminism, women’s rights in a time period, in a genre of music that was the hardest to do it in, that’s just outstanding and will live on for a long time.”

The top video is Lynn and White receiving a Grammy… I would recommend watching the Letterman show version of the song at the bottom. The youtube police took the good quality one away but I found another.  I like how White and the band make a LONG build-up…and the anticipation mounts before Lynn comes on. Jack White has that country band really rocking. Their voices sound so good in this song.

The video below is Lynn and White winning a Grammy…its really funny.

Portland Oregan

Well, Portland, Oregon and sloe gin fizzIf that ain’t love then tell me what is, uh huh, uh huhWell I lost my heart, it didn’t take no timeBut that ain’t all, I lost my mind in Oregon

In a booth in the corner with the lights down lowI was movin’ in fast, she was takin’ it slow, uh huh, uh huhWell, I looked at her and caught him lookin’ at meI knew right then we were playin’ free in Oregon

Next day, we knew last night got drunkBut we loved enough for the both of us, uh huh, uh huhIn the morning when the night had sobered upIt was much too late for the both of us in Oregon

Well, sloe gin fizz works mighty fastWhen you drink it by the pitcher and not by the glass, uh huh, uh huhHey bartender, before you closePour us one more drink and a pitcher to go

And a pitcher to go(And a pitcher to go)And a pitcher to go(And a pitcher to go)

And a pitcher to go(And a pitcher to go)Yeah

And a pitcher to goAnd a pitcher to go

Loretta Lynn 1932-2022

Very sad news that Loretta Lynn passed away at the age of 90. I met the lady one time and she was wonderful. She was the definition of the word classy.

When I was eight years old, my mom took me to Loretta Lynn’s ranch. I actually had breakfast with Loretta Lynn. My mom knew someone who knew her… we were at her Ranch that was just opened to the public. She saw us and pointed and said “come in here” and we sat at the table and ate with her. She was very nice. She kept asking if I needed anything and if I was having a good time.

She was one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever met. Even though I was young, she didn’t talk down to me…she talked to me. It was a wonderful experience and even I knew at that age it was special…that this didn’t happen all of the time.

She wrote about real-life situations with women during her career. Her songwriting was honest and pure.

It saddens me that she just passed away. She is up there with Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, and a host of other country legends. I was happy back in 2004 when Jack White of the White Stripes produced her album Van Lear Rose.

Jack White of the White Stripes is a huge fan of Loretta Lynn. The White Stripes dedicated their 2001 album, ”White Blood Cells,” to her and invited her to share a bill with them at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan.

Jack White produced her album “Van Lear Rose” and he asked Loretta to write all 13 songs for the album. The title refers to the Van Lear Coal mines from her youth. White said he would have been happy just to play tambourine on the album as long as he got to work with her.

Country radio snubbed “Van Lear Rose,” and the album received no CMA Awards nominations but it still reached #2 on the country charts and #24 on the Billboard 200. Lynn notched five Grammy nominations for her new music. In February 2005, she and White won Grammy awards for best country album and best country collaboration.

The album is great and this is the song that I liked best. If modern country music was this…I would actually listen! As I type this…I get mad all over again by the way country radio treated this album.

Van Lear Rose

One of my fondest memories
Was sittin’ on my daddy’s knee
Listenin’ to the stories that he told 
He’d pull out that old photograph
Like a treasured memory from the past 
And say child This here’s the Van Lear Rose

Oh how it would bring a smile 
When he talked about her big blue eyes
And how her beauty ran down to her soul
She’d walk across the coal miner’s yard 
Them miner’s would yell loud and hard 
and they’d dream of who would hold the Van Lear Rose

She was the belle of Johnson County
Ohio river to Big Sandy
A beauty to behold like a diamond in the coal
All the miner’s they would gather ’round 
Talk about the man that came to town
Right under their nose 
Stole the heart of the Van Lear Rose

Now the Van Lear Rose could’ve had her pick
And all the fellers figured rich
Until this poor boy caught her eye
His buddies would all laugh and say
Your dreamin’ boy she’ll never look your way
You’ll never ever hold the Van Lear Rose

She was the belle of Johnson County
Ohio river to Big Sandy
A beauty to behold like a diamond in the coal
All the miner’s they would gather ’round 
Talk about the man that came to town
Right under their nose 
Stole the heart of the Van Lear Rose

Then one night in mid July
Underneath that ol’ blue Kentucky sky
Well, that poor boy won that beauty’s heart
Then my daddy would look at my mommy and smile
As he brushed the hair back from my eyes and he’d say
Your mama
She’s the Van Lear Rose

[Chorus]

Right under their nose
Stole the heart of the Van Lear Rose

Lemmy …A Documentary

This is about Lemmy Kilmister the founder of Motorhead. The documentary is called Lemmy: 49% motherfucker. 51% son of a bitch. His name was Ian Fraser Kilmister…better known as Lemmy.

I’m not a huge fan of Motorhead but I do like a few of their songs. Lemmy though is another matter. He is a great subject for a documentary. This was made in 2010 and it’s hard not to like the guy. He was who he was and he wasn’t changing for anyone. He reminds me a little of Keith Richards…but a rougher version.

Lemmy saw The Beatles in the Cavern and is a huge fan which surprised me. He was a roadie for Jimi Hendrix and he played with Hawkwind and later formed his band…Motorhead. They took punk and heavy metal and cross-pollinated the two forms in some ways.

This documentary was released in 2010. Some of the people in this documentary per Wiki are Slash, Duff McKagan, Ozzy Osbourne, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Robert Trujillo, Kirk Hammett, Nikki Sixx, David Ellefson, Scott Ian, Dave Vanian, Captain Sensible, Peter Hook, and Marky Ramone, as well as Nik Turner and Dave Brock of Lemmy’s former band Hawkwind. The filmmakers were also able to capture many candid moments with colleagues such as Dave Grohl and Billy Bob Thornton conversing with Lemmy in bars and recording studios.

Lemmy passed away on December 28, 2015. Even if you are not a fan…you probably will enjoy this.

This is the complete documentary.

View-Master

I had view masters as a kid and loved them…tonight I was able to see some view master slides in a view master projector with a screen. I always wanted one as a kid but never could get it. I had the “click” model you held in your hand.

A few months ago…my cousin Mark came over. He and I collect things from the 50s-70s. Mark has been collecting View-Masters and the round slides. He shopped on Market Place and found someone with a 1950s View-Master projector. The projector is very clear.

dav

All of us (wife, son, Mark, and myself) spent over an hour watching the view-master slides on a screen that he bought from different people.

Of course, the slides are not 3-D when projected but it still was really cool. We saw Busch Gardens, Silver Dollar City, Acapulco, Sequoia, Kings National Park (I think), and some other places. It was like stepping back in time to the 60s or 70s which I guess was the idea. All the pictures came from the 50s through the 70s.

As a kid, I would spend hours clicking the round slide over and over. For some reason, I remember an outer space slide selection I had. The 3-D made it look like you could touch it. When my son was around 5 we got him one and he loved it. I would recommend picking one up if you see one somewhere…no matter how old you are…they are still fun!

Small View Master

The View-Master was based on the stereoscopic viewer, which dates all the way back to the 1800s.

stereoscope

Guided By Voices – Glad Girls ….Power Pop Friday

I liked this song on my first listen. Guided by Voices is an indie rock band formed in Dayton, Ohio, United States in 1983. The band’s lineup has changed several times throughout the band’s history, with its only constant member being singer/songwriter Bob Pollard. They are still together and touring… Bob Pollard is with the current lineup.

If this band is anything…it’s prolific. They have had 35 studio albums, 12 Compilation albums, 19 EPs, 39 singles, 2 live albums, and 2 books! On top of that they have appeared on several soundtracks including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Crime and Punishment, Scrubs, and many more. They also counted Rik Ocasek as one of their producers.

Their first EP came out in 1986 and their first LP came out in 1987. They have released 14 albums since 2016.

Isolation Drills.jpg

Glad Girls was released in 2001 on the Isolation Drills album. The album peaked at #6 on the Heat Seekers Charts, #8 in the Indie charts, and #168 on the Billboard Album charts. Here is an interesting fact… “Glad Girls” was nominated for the High Times “Pot Song of the Year” award.

Metacritic gives the album a score of 83 out of 100. Sonicnet: Ditching lo-fi aesthetics for a more radio-ready sound in the spirit of, say, the Raspberries or Badfinger, Pollard has wisely chosen not bury his songs in oblique lyrical references and muddy tape hiss.

Glad Girls

Hey, glad girls
Only want to get you high
Hey, glad girls
Only want to get you high
Hey, glad girls
Only want to get you high

And they’re alright
And they’re alright
And they’re alright
And they’re alright

Glad girls
Only want to get you high
Hey, glad girls
Only want to get you high
Hey, glad girls
Only want to get you high

And they’re alright
And they’re alright
And they’re alright
And they’re alright

There will be no coronation
There will be no flowers flowing
In the light that passes though me now
In the light that passes though me

Hey, glad girls
Only want to get you high
Hey, glad girls
Only want to get you high
Hey, glad girls
Only want to get you high

And they’re alright
And they’re alright
And they’re alright
And they’re alright

There will be no graduation
There will be no trumpets blowing
In the light that passes through me now
In the light that passes through me

With the sinking of the sun
I’ve come to greet you
Clean your hands and go to sleep
Confess the dreams

Of good and bad men all around
Some are lost and some have found
The light that passes though me now
Yeah, the light that passes though me

Hey, glad girls
Only want to get you high
Hey, glad girls
Only want to get you high
Hey, glad girls
Only want to get you high

And they’re alright
And they’re alright
And they’re alright
And they’re alright

And they’re alright
And they’re alright
And they’re alright
And they’re alright

Why The Beatles Are Still Relevant… and my 5th Year Anniversary.

This is my 5th-year anniversary on WP. Thank you all for still reading and commenting. 

This was part of Dave’s at A Sound Day “Turntable Talk” series…hope you like it. It’s also a more in-depth re-working of my first post on September 18, 2017. I never dreamed I would be accepted in such a large community of like-minded people. It’s not easy to meet Big Star fans in real life…here in this community, they come to you. My mission was…if I could get one person to at least give Badfinger, Big Star, or the Raspberries a listen…my job was done…but it’s been so much more than that because I’ve learned more than I’ve given. Yes, I love the Beatles but they don’t need my cheerleading.

I usually write shorter posts than this…but it was a lot to say on this subject.

So why are The Beatles still popular with older and younger generations? Their influence seems never-ending. It’s as though they have never left. There are other bands that left a legacy but nothing like the footprint of the Beatles.

The Beatles shaped culture instead of following it. Society changed after that appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. They cast such a large net in music compared to everyone else. They influenced everything from rock, folk-rock, power pop, psychedelia, progressive rock, and heavy metal. They practically invented the thought or image of a rock band. They moved passed that and have become a huge part of the culture they helped create.

The Beatle’s breakup was announced in 1970. Many rumors flew that they might regroup through the years but that ended on December 8, 1980, in New York with the assassination of John Lennon.

Through the seventies, the Beatles were still quite popular with the Red and Blue greatest-hits albums released in the early seventies. The greatest hits album Rock and Roll Music (terrible silver cover) was released in 1976. Capitol released Got To Get You In My Life as a single off of the album and it peaked at #1 in Canada and #7 in the Billboard 100 in 1976. This was 10 years after it was released as an album track on Revolver.

I bought my first Beatle album (Hey Jude Again) in 1975 when I was 8 and then bought the Rock and Roll Music album. So, I was a 2nd generation Beatles fan and there were many of us. The solo Beatles dominated the charts to the mid-seventies. After 1975 they had hits but not as many as before. Beatles’ popularity waned in the mid to late 70s when the “newer/ younger” generations considered the Beatles as belonging to their parents. Many youngsters believed Led Zeppelin, Queen, and all newer bands would replace the Beatles in scope and success.

Everything changed when Lennon was murdered. A newer generation heard the music. Their popularity would go up and down but with the first Beatle CDs released in 1987…again another generation heard the Beatles. Sgt Pepper was re-released 20 years after the original and it went to number one.

What really cemented them in the public’s mind happened on November 20, 1995. The Beatles Anthology CDs were released, and the documentary was viewed during prime time on ABC. Since then, they have never left. On November 13, 2000, they released the compilation album “1” which was the best-selling album of the decade worldwide. The Beatles were also the largest selling band between 2000-2010. In 2009 The Beatles Rock Band game came out and…yet another generation found their music. One was my son who was born in 2000.

Between 2010-2020 they remixed and reissued many of their classic albums with 50th-anniversary editions. The Get Back film by Peter Jackson is the latest project that has thrust them in the spotlight again…but really, they have never left.

The bottom line for their staying power is their music. The songwriting was outstanding. Even the early music was something new. They used minor chords, and different rhythms, along with harmonizing over the top. I’m not going to go into musical theory, but they never repeated themselves. Every album stands on its own.  John Lennon’s rhythm guitar was quirky and inventive, George Harrison brought in a Chet Atkins style along with jazz chords, Paul brought bass playing to a new level, and Ringo was a left-hander that played right-handed with an open high hat. The main thing was the songwriting, quality, and quantity that is rarely if ever seen.

Bob Dylan: “Their chords were outrageous, just outrageous, and their harmonies made it all valid.”

They rarely included their singles on albums. Most bands used singles to sell albums, but The Beatles treated both formats as different entities. Songs that weren’t released as singles include Norwegian Wood, You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away, With A Little Help From My Friends, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, All My Loving, A Day In The Life, Back In The USSR, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, Helter Skelter, Michele, The Night Before, and one of the most popular Beatles song Here Comes The Sun, and many more. Any other band would have released these songs as singles but with the Beatles…they were just album cuts. That is how deep their songwriting was at the time, and from 1966 onward George was contributing to the quality as well. George developed into a great songwriter in the impossible situation of being with two of the best in history.

They had more variety than many others. They were rockers in Hamburg and The Cavern. They were pop stars in the Beatlemania years. They were rock-folk-pop in the middle period of Rubber Soul and Revolver. They were Psychedelic rockers during the Sgt Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour era. Then they went back to their roots and were rockers again with the White Album and Let It Be. Abbey Road saw them perfecting their craft in all genres. They knew when to make an exit…while still on top.

They broke up because they outgrew each other and were together constantly, much like brothers. John, Paul, and George grew up together in Liverpool and they knew Ringo well early on. They were never made to stay together like the Stones. The Stones developed a business/brand attitude, but the Beatles were more of a family and things were more personal.

They were not this clean polite band that Brian Epstein and the press created. In fact, the Stones and Beatles’ images should have been reversed… but to make it…they had to clean up to get through the international door. After they did, the door was open for all others. They did however speak of whatever was on their mind. They said things stars just didn’t say, even in the early days. There was something honest about them that is still there to this day.

They were symmetrical… John brought in Paul, Paul brought in George, and George brought in Ringo.

Their story adds depth to their legacy. The odds of them finding Brian Epstein, George Martin, Stuart Sutcliffe, and everyone on the way was nearly zero. If one key person would have would have gone the other way…the story would not be the same or might not have happened.

In a hundred years…the question will still be asked… why are the Beatles still relevant?

Real or Memorex? Lip Syncing and Backing Tracks

I saw an interview with Paul McCartney and he called out major bands playing live with backing tracks but refused to say which ones. I also saw an article about Motley Crue using pre-recorded tracks to bolster their sound.

McCartney: “To me the concert experience is at the heart of what music is about. You come to a show and you are in the room so it is the real thing.  I have been to concerts where I think, ‘Oh, I really am in the room with Tony Bennett and it is like he is in my living room’. That is a great part of the experience. I then think, ‘Wait a minute, people must think that about me’. When we make mistakes playing live, we always now turn it and say, ‘Tell you what  this proves we are live

McCartney and his band did just that when I saw him. They messed up an intro of a song…Paul laughed and went on.

Before you read the rest…I might be harsher than some people. I didn’t even like it when after 1981… the Stones started to fill up their stage with different musicians to sweeten the sound…and professional backup singers…I would rather hear Keith sing backup. The same applies to the Who… who did the same thing on their 1988-89 tour. That was more because of Townshend’s hearing problems but I would have rather heard the four of them and maybe a keyboardist…BUT at least those bands were not faking it…they didn’t hide anything…they just added more musicians.

Sometimes backing tracks have to be used…Backing tracks are sometimes used when a band cannot have an orchestra or an exotic instrument which I totally get. I’ve seen KISS use it when Peter Criss would sing Beth…I totally get that. I’ve seen The Who use a backing track for Won’t Get Fooled Again and Baba O’Riley which again I totally get. They don’t try to hide it…it’s a part that would be hard to duplicate live and is the main part of the song. That is the reason Keith Moon wore headphones while playing those songs so he would come in on time.

Those tracks are not what I’m talking about. What I’m getting at is when a guitarist, bassist, or vocalist mimes what they were doing and you are NOT hearing it live. You are hearing what they perfected in a studio sometime in the past.

There are places when this has to be done. Many TV studios are not made for rock bands and they have to lip sync to a backing track…most of the bands don’t like doing it but if they want to promote a song they do. In music videos for the most part…they have to lip sync also… so there are times when there is no other choice.

When you are paying $100 for a ticket…I don’t believe lip-syncing or faking should be allowed or they should have to tell you they are doing it. I could take four more bloggers (any volunteers?) and we could mime to Jumpin’ Jack Flash…would anyone want to pay $100 for that? Many acts that dance and jump about…when you hear them sing you hear no panting or breathing hard and you SEE them panting and breathing hard. I’m not a fan but I admire the fact that Lady GaGa actually called some performers out for lip-syncing.

“I don’t think it’s cool to lip-sync, I’m not judging if people do, because it’s everybody’s own style and type of artist they’ve decided to be. But I think that if you pay money for a ticket to see a show then the artist should f**king have some pipes and sing their records for you”I agree with her.

Paul McCartney is 80 and sometimes his voice goes off… not a lot but sometimes…so what? Mick Jagger goes off at times…but that makes them human. I’m old fashion about this…  but I cannot respect anyone that goes out and mimes their greatest hits in a live atmosphere. I’ve been listening to a lot of concerts in the 70s… Lynyrd Skynyrd, Aerosmith, The Who, Led Zeppelin, etc. How did they do it without autotune? How did they do it without an extra Jimmy Page guitar pre-recorded? If they messed up…they messed up…big deal…they are human. Some performers have said since the ticket prices are so high…they want to give a perfect show. No, I don’t want a perfect show…I want a real show warts and all.

What do you think? If you go to see a band live…do you want to hear guitar, vocal, or bass tracks that were recorded earlier? Live music…should be live… right? Am I’m expecting too much? It may not bother many people.

Artists who have been caught lip-syncing include Mariah Carey, Katy Perry, Milli Vanilli, 50 Cent, Justin Bieber, Beyonce, Selena Gomez, Madonna, and more.

Ah…I cannot conclude this post without Miss Ashley Simpson…the poster child for lip-syncing.

Freedy Johnston – Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)

I had the original single in my collection by Edison’s Lighthouse. I heard this on Lightning 100 back in the 1990s in Nashville. Johnston did a good job updating it.

Freedy Johnston was an artist that I found in the late 90s. I first heard him on an alternative radio station I would listen to. They would play cuts off of his Never Home album. I bought that album and fell for a song called Seventies Girl. A few years later they played this song off his 2001 Right Between the Promises album. I grew up with this song and although it leans heavily toward bubblegum…I’ve always liked it. Freedy did a good version of it.

Johnston has never burned up the charts but he did have a minor his in 1994 with the song Bad Reputation which peaked at #54 on the Billboard 100. This song got some airplay on alternative stations. Love Grows peaked at #25 in the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart in 2001.

The Edison Lighthouse version was the original back in 1970.

The British producers Tony Macaulay and Barry Mason wrote this song with Sylvan Mason, who was Barry’s wife at the time. Sylvan is often uncredited, but her divorce agreement provides hard evidence that she co-wrote this song and the Tom Jones hit “Delilah.”

Macaulay and Barry Mason recorded the song using session musicians. When it became a hit, they put together a band from members of the group Greefield Hammer in order to perform it live. McCaulay eventually put together another group using the Edison Lighthouse name.

A session singer named Tony Burrows sang lead. He was the voice of several studio groups, including White Plains, The Pipkins, Brotherhood Of Man, First Class (“Beach Baby”), and the Flowerpot Men (“Let’s Go To San Francisco”). He famously appeared on one UK TV show three times in one night when three different groups (all fronted by him) were due to perform their current chart hits.

The Edison Lighthouse version peaked at #5 on the Billboard 100, #3 in Canada, and #1 in the UK.

Slyvan Mason: “Tony [Macaulay] came over with a melody and rough idea for a song, which title originally was ‘It’s My Heart You’ll Be Breaking Apart,’ but he said he wanted to put a girl’s name in the title because that’s what sold records in those days. The girl’s name Rosemary fitted with the title so we started the song from scratch merely using the name Rosemary.”

Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)

She ain’t got no money
Clothes are kinda funny
Hair is kinda wild and free
Oh, but love grows where my Rosemary goes
And nobody knows like me

She talks kinda lazy
People say she’s crazy
And her life’s a mystery
Oh, but love grows where my Rosemary goes
And nobody knows like me

There’s something about her hand holding mine
It’s a feeling so fine
That I just gotta say
She’s really got a magical spell
And it’s working so well
That I can’t get away

I’m a lucky fella
And I just gotta tell her
That I love her endlessly
Oh, cause love grows where my Rosemary goes
And nobody knows like me

Yeah, I’m a lucky fella
And I just gotta tell her
That I love her endlessly
Oh, cause love grows where my Rosemary goes
And nobody knows like me

TV Draft Round 10 – Pick 6 – Paula Selects – Frasier

Welcome to the Hanspostcard TV Draft. I hope you will enjoy it! Today’s post was written by Paula at http://paulalight.com

FRASIER

Frasier is a spin-off from Cheers, starring Kelsey Grammer as Dr. Frasier Crane, a psychiatrist who leaves Boston (where Cheers was set) to return to his hometown of Seattle as a radio show host. Costarring is David Hyde Pierce as Frasier’s brother Niles, also a psychiatrist, and it’s amazing how much the two actors resemble one another. They’re both drolly hilarious as well and play off each other superbly ~ though the writers didn’t originally intend for Niles to have such a large part, they reconsidered after discovering how much Niles added to the show. John Mahoney (RIP) plays their father, Martin, a retired cop, who frequently argues with his sons, and there are two funny women on the show in recurring roles ~ Peri Gilpin as Roz (Frasier’s producer) and Jane Leeves as Daphne (Martin’s caretaker/physical therapist). The show won 37 Primetime Emmy Awards, which was a record at the time. It also won the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series for five consecutive years. Supposedly there is a “revival” coming at some point, starring the brothers. The original ran for 11 seasons, beginning in 1993 and ending in 2004.

If you recall, during Cheers Frasier was married to fellow psychiatrist Lilith (wonderfully played by Bebe Neuwirth), and they are divorced when Frasier begins, with Lilith having primary custody of their son Frederick. Immediately thwarting Frasier’s plans for a wild single life is his father, injured on duty, and requiring 24/7 assistance. Frasier brings Martin and his annoying dog Eddie to live with him, and they hire Daphne, a British caregiver. Niles makes frequent appearances, and one recurring motif is that his wife Maris is an impossible person, whom he constantly complains about, yet we never see her face (same as Norm’s wife on Cheers). Niles falls in love with Daphne, and eventually he leaves Maris and marries Daphne. Frasier and Niles are snobby intellectuals (though endearing in their inability to solve their own problems while helping others), and Martin is more of a “regular guy,” so that dichotomy generates clashes. Lilith makes several appearances on Frasier under various premises, from calling in to his radio show to sleeping with Niles due to despair that her next husband left her for a man.

One amusing piece of trivia is that Frasier had announced on Cheers that his father died. That had to be retconned into the Frasier universe by revealing that Frasier had lied about his father dying. The fab theme song “Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs” was composed by Bruce Miller and sung by Grammer. Though the show is very Seattle-centric, only one episode was actually filmed there; the rest were shot at Paramount Studios and around Los Angeles. (All info from Wikipedia.)

~*~

Paula Light is a poet, novelist, flash fiction fan, cupcake connoisseur, mom, grandma, cat mommy, etc. Her blog can be found at http://paulalight.com.

TV Draft UPDATE

Tomorrow morning we will kick off our last TV draft round! We have 8 more TV Shows coming…we all want to thank you… the readers who have made this possible and a fun experience. I also want to thank the bloggers who have reviewed all of these shows and we have covered every decade from the 1950s until now. Below are the picks that began in January and will end on July 3. Thank you… Paula, Lisa, Dave, John, Keith, Mike, Liam, Vic, Hanspostcard (who started it), and Kirk for all of the reviews below.
Round 1 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1. Doctor Who Vic https://cosmic-observation.com/blog-posts/
2. The Sopranos Mike https://musiccitymike.net
3. Bozo’s Circus John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
4. Barney Miller Max https://powerpop.blog
5. The Wire Kirk https://slicethelife.com/
6. Police Squad Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
7. Only Murders in the Building (OMITB) Paula http://paulalight.com
Round 2
1. The Odd Couple Mike https://musiccitymike.net
2. Cartoon Town John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
3. Fawlty Towers Max https://powerpop.blog
4. Rockford Files Kirk https://slicethelife.com/
5. Mission Impossible Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
6. Firefly Vic https://cosmic-observation.com/blog-posts/
Round 3 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 Hogan’s Heroes John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
2 Seinfeld Mike https://musiccitymike.net
3 Starsky & Hutch Vic https://cosmic-observation.com/blog-posts/
4 Perry Mason Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
5 Upload Paula http://paulalight.com
6 Lovecraft Country Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
7 King Of The Hill Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/
8 Adam 12 Max https://powerpop.blog
Round 4 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 Breaking Bad Mike https://musiccitymike.net
2 The X-Files Vic https://cosmic-observation.com/blog-posts/
3 Columbo Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
4 Six Feet Under Paula http://paulalight.com
5 Shameless Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
6 Friends Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/
7 Monkees Max https://powerpop.blog
8 JAG John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
Round 5 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 Sisters Vic https://cosmic-observation.com/blog-posts/
2 30 Rock Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
3 One Day At A Time Paula http://paulalight.com
4 Ray Donovan Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
5 Emergency Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/
6 The Andy Griffith Show Max https://powerpop.blog
7 CSI: Miami John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
8 Mad Men Mike https://musiccitymike.net
Round 6 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 The Twilight Zone Max https://powerpop.blog
2 Tell Me Your Secrets Paula http://paulalight.com
3 My Name Is Earl Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
4 Ed Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/
5 Get Smart Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
6 The Unicorn John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
7 The West Wing Mike https://musiccitymike.net
8 The Gong Show Max https://powerpop.blog
Round 7 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 All In The Family Paula http://paulalight.com
2 Trailer Park Boys Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
3 Downton Abbey Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/
4 Life On Mars Max https://powerpop.blog
5 Burn Notice John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
6 Friday Night Lights Mike https://musiccitymike.net
7 The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show Liam https://othemts.wordpress.com/
8 The Honeymooners Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
Round 8 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 New Tricks Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
2 SCTV Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/
3 WKRP In Cincinnati Max https://powerpop.blog
4 The Two Ronnies John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
5 Star Trek: Voyager Mike https://musiccitymike.net
6 Siskel & Ebert Liam https://othemts.wordpress.com/
7 Sherlock Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
8 Curb Your Enthusiasm Paula http://paulalight.com
Round 9 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 Jeopardy Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/
2 Saturday Night Live Max https://powerpop.blog
3 Riverboat John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com
4 Suits Mike https://musiccitymike.net
5 The Kids In The Hall Liam https://othemts.wordpress.com/
6 Arrested Development Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
7 L.A. Law Paula http://paulalight.com
8 Resident Alien Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
Round 10 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 Max https://powerpop.blog
2 John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com
3 Mike https://musiccitymike.net
4 Liam https://othemts.wordpress.com/
5 Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
6 Paula http://paulalight.com
7 Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
8 Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/

TV Draft Round 9 – Pick 2 – Max Selects – Saturday Night Live

I wanted to do a more modern show other than Life On Mars…and this would qualify as it…kinda. It has been on the air since 1975… a whopping 47 years. It’s been on life support at times but has always pulled through. It’s an institution at this point. There is not enough room on a post to go over every cast. Everyone has their favorites some were extremely funny and some were extremely bad (1980 – 1981 cast) and they all make up the history of this show. 

I’m going to concentrate on the original cast and how the show became SNL. Most of you have favorite different casts…usually, the one you grew up with. 

Even if you don’t like this show or what it’s become…it was a cultural landmark and no one can deny that. It changed television forever. The show started because Johnny Carson wanted more time off. NBC had been airing reruns of Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show on the weekends to fill space in their lineup. This allowed them to double-dip on profits from Carson’s outrageously popular show without spending another dime on production costs. He told NBC he would only be making four shows a week, which meant that best-of Carson shows that had been airing on Saturday nights would now need to be moved to a weeknight.

 NBC executive Herbert Schlosser sought to create a new show with an old format…a variety show to fill the slot on Saturday Night. He picked Lorne Michaels, a Canadian writer who only had a handful of credits to be the producer. Michaels started a show that was far different than Schlosser imagined but to his credit… Schlosser was behind it and pushed for it to be on the air. The first two shows were experiments but by the third show, they found the format they would keep to this day. The funny thing is…Johnny Carson never liked the show. 

Lorne Michaels made the show to appeal to baby boomers with a touch of Avant-Garde and “guerrilla-style comedy.” It was a game-changer much like All In The Family was to sitcoms. Late-night was never again a wasteland. This show helped open the doors for David Letterman and other shows to follow it. 

It started out as “Saturday Night.” The Saturday Night Live title belonged to ABC for a show hosted by Howard Cosell who was out of his league. After Cosell’s show was cancelled, ABC let Saturday Night have the “Live” part.

Who was the best cast through the years? This is a question that is debated over and over again. People argue and usually pick the cast they grew up with. I grew up in the Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo era. Personally, I always thought the original cast was the best era of the show. Yes, I thought the Murphy and Piscopo casts were very funny along with later casts that had Dana Carvey, Michael Myers, Chris Farley, Chris Rock, and many others that followed. The first five seasons had something extra that others would not and could not have. It had an underground feel that vanished after it became a pure comedy show. They had a massive amount of talent in that first class. 

John Belushi, Dan Ackroyd, Chevy Chase (though I liked his replacement better…Bill Murray), Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin, Garrett Morris, and my favorite overlooked cast member Laraine Newman. They were the perfect cast for that time. 

Why do I like the original cast the most? They tried new things and went out on a limb. Some of the skits succeeded some fell flat but they were different from anything on TV at that time…and also at this time. That cast pushed the envelope and made the network executives worry. The host each week was usually under the radar actors, writers, comedians musicians, and sometimes athletes. The musical guests were mostly rarely seen performers that weren’t on tv…prime time or otherwise. Frank Zappa, Leon Redbone, The Kinks, Patti Smith, Ry Cooder, Kinky Friedman, and others. You would have more popular musicians like Paul Simon but the show gave you a great variety. 

No way would Michaels ever dream of that now…he usually gets whoever is the most popular to draw in ratings. He can no longer do what he did in the 70s because of that. He also used the complete ensemble. It was not Eddie Murphy, Joe Piscopo, and everyone else of the early eighties. It was about building an unknown cast and all of them having a shot…not a star-driven show that gave all the best bits to the big names. He made sure the entire cast had a lead in skits and parody commercials. Dick Ebersol who followed Lorne Micheals, was famous for getting stars in the cast and the show revolving around them.

A lot of the skits are now famous… Ackroyd’s Bassomatic, the Samurai, the uncomfortable but funny Word Association with Richard Pryor, The Killer Bees, The Mr. Bill Show, Weekend Update, Roseanne Rosannadanna, Land Shark, Bag of Glass, The Wild and Crazy Guys, the Coneheads, The Lounge Singer, Mr. Mike, The Blues Brothers and many more.

The writers for the show were not in the variety show comedy vein..they were not in the current SNL vein either. The style was more aggressive, especially with Michael O’Donoghue. He was a comedy trailblazer with National Lampoon and added black humor to SNL. Other writers were Franken and Davis, Rosie Shuster, Alan Zweibel, Marilyn Miller, Anne Beatts, Herb Sargent, Tom Schiller, and also Ackroyd and Chase.

The original group also did some serious skits along with comedy and trips into the bizarre (See the ultra-dark “Mr. Mike”). …It separated the original from any other cast.

I like the feel of the underground the first five years had but you can only be that for so long…popularity takes over. Those first 5 years (the first four were great…the fifth very good) set the foundation that holds to this day…just without the daring and danger.

Ann Beatts was one of the original writers who saw the popularity of the show rise beyond anything she ever imagined. She knew the risk-taking traits in the show would have to end because of it. “You can only be avant-garde for so long until you become garde.”

By the 5th season (1979-1980), it was a circus grown out of proportion. The cast by that time were usually bigger stars than the guest hosts.  Everyone left after that season along with Lorne Michaels. The show went on without him until 1985 when he rejoined. It was never the same again. Sometimes it was funny and sometimes not but it was never the same experimental show it was at the start. 

What other show would introduce “Acapulco Gold” and “Orange Sunshine” to a national television audience?

SNL2.jpg

The Bassomatic…something you cannot explain with words.

The best Star Trek parody…