When I get home in the afternoon I go to my music room and sit at my computer with a couple of screens. I usually work on my posts, record a little, or I’ll watch a little Youtube. Youtube has started to replace TV for me in a lot of ways. I find the oddest things on there that I would never have dreamed of.
Magnet fishing seems like a lot of fun. I’ve seen people pull out a lot of junk but also guns, coins, and motorcycles every now and then. I started to watch a guy in the UK at first and he found a spot that he said was in a bad neighborhood. He pulled out guns and knives from different eras. He calls the police when he finds them.
One UK father and son found a safe with around 10,000 Australian dollars in it. They are trying to find the owners.
I saw a group pull out a live hand grenade… yes a live one. They had the bomb squad come down and detonated it. Many of the people that do this actually take the junk to the dump and get rid of it so it’s nice that they are cleaning some of the environment.
One Australian named Bondi has a popular channel that he goes all over and does this. He finds rings, safes, necklaces, guns, and much more. One group found a gun that helped convict a murderer.
If you decide to go…most likely you will find junk but you never know…I guess that keeps people going back to doing this.
Happy Thanksgiving! Watching The Last Waltz is just as part of Thanksgiving as the meal with the family…that and Alice’s Restaurant which is coming.
The Band on Thanksgiving in 1976 at the Fillmore West. The film starts off with THIS FILM MUST BE PLAYED LOUD! A cut to Rick Danko playing pool and then it then to the Band playing “Don’t Do It”…the last song they performed that night after hours of playing. Through the music and some interviews, their musical journey and influences are retraced.
This film is considered by many the best concert film ever made. It was directed by Martin Scorsese. I love the setting with the chandeliers that were from the movie Gone With The Wind. The quality of the picture is great because it was shot with a 35-millimeter camera which wasn’t normally done with concerts.
Before the Band and guests hit the stage, Bill Graham, the promoter, served a Thanksgiving dinner to 5000 people that made up the audience with long tables with white tablecloths.
The Band’s musical guests included
Ronnie Hawkins, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Dr. John, Paul Butterfield, Van Morrison (my favorite performance), Joni Mitchell, Eric Clapton and Muddy Waters
The Staple Singers and Emmylou Harris also appear but their segments were taped later on a sound stage and not at the concert.
Robbie wanted off the road earlier and that is what the Last Waltz was all about…the last concert by The Band with a lot of musical friends. He was tired of touring and also the habits the band was picking up… drugs and drinking. Richard Manuel, in particular, was in bad shape and needed time.
The rest of the Band supposedly agreed but a few years later all of them but Robbie started to tour as The Band again. Richard Manuel ended up hanging himself in 1986. Rick Danko passed away in 1999 at the end of a tour of a heart attack attributed to years of drug and alcohol abuse. Levon Helm died of cancer in 2012.
The Band sounded great that night and it might be the best version you will ever hear of The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.
The Last Waltz is a grand farewell to a great band and a film that I revisit at least twice a year… once always around Thanksgiving.
The complete concert is at the bottom…without cuts.
This post is about phone scammers and what they will do to con people out of money. I usually stay into pop culture but I thought I would stray a little bit today. There are some good youtube channels on shutting them down or limiting their damage.
Recently, I received an email from “The Geek Squad” below saying that my subscription to the Geek Squad will be renewed. There is one problem with this statement…I’ve never used the services of Geek Squad…ever. I’m sure Geek Squad is a fine business but I’m in IT so I really don’t need them.
I knew this was a scam…the first clue…always look at the email address they send it to you from. This one is from “Budsch| Billing Dept. <email@example.com>.” Now…why would Geek Squad or Amazon be sending bill info from a Gmail account? They would never do that.
I called them and had some fun. I toyed with them for a while acting dumb and getting them aggravated just because…I truly hate scammers. They take advantage of people, especially older people who don’t know. They steal thousands of dollars a day from people who just don’t know computers or are just tricked.
These YouTubers will hack into the scammer’s computer and delete their files and sometimes warn people when they are getting scammed. They have been successful in shutting many of the scammers down.
I’ve seen some of these guys show a picture of the scammer, delete their files, get into their security cameras, and cause general mayhem and close down scam call centers. Many of them work together to take them down. The best one I’ve found is Scammer Payback but there are many to pick from…all of them have a sense of humor and are entertaining.
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.
I watched a documentary on a shopping mall in Alabama that is dying. It’s not a unique story at all. The malls I grew up with are starting to fade away. It’s a sad thing to me.
I came of age in the 1980s and in America, the place to be was the Shopping Mall. We would cruise around, walk around it, and go to the shops inside. No reason and very little money…just hanging out with friends or trying to meet girls. We had to travel to Nashville to see them but we had around 4-5 good size ones that we would visit. Is it the Malls I miss or just being young and cruising around? Probably a little of both.
This mall they are focusing on is in Jasper Alabama and it’s incredibly sad. Knowing these were once vibrant places but Amazon and other online sites have made them obsolete…not to mention the jobs that went with them. As I got older I didn’t really like going in them anymore but I still got a feeling of nostalgia when I think of one.
I would recommend this documentary…it’s not exciting by any means but an interesting story that shows how real people were affected by its dwindling popularity. They try to revive it with different things and to their credit…it’s still open. It was made in 2018 and wiki said they picked that mall because it hadn’t been remodeled since 1981 when it opened.
If you have time to kill and want to watch something different…you could do worse.
I first noticed this song on the concert film The Festival Express a few years ago. I’ve heard the two studio versions but that live version is the one I like best. It’s something about it I really connect to. Garcia and Weir sound great singing together along with Pigpen playing the harmonica. It’s just a simple blues-type song but it works well for me anyway.
As soon as I heard it I took one of my acoustic guitars off the wall and kept running back the video file back and playing with them…I didn’t think they would mind.
This song was first released by the Dead in 1966 as their first single with Stealin on the flip side. That version is good and it reminds me of the band Them…not the voice but the music. They also released it again on their Go To Heaven album in 1980 but that version to me is a little too slick. The version on Festival Express shows all the ragged edges in the best way. It is pure Americana. They would do it live many times later on but I still go back to the Festival version.
They also covered it before they were the Grateful Dead. They started off as a jug band called Mother McCrees Uptown Jug Champions and most likely covered it when they were called the Warlocks.
They might have heard the version of the song by Henry Thomas…an old blues artist that lived from 1874 to around 1930. If you want to learn more in detail about Thomas and this song go here to Jim’s site. It also sounds close to a song by Jelly Roll Morton called Don’t You Leave Me Here. On the Go To Heaven album, it’s credited to “traditional arranged by The Grateful Dead.” The single that was released in 1966 was credited to Garcia but I’ve read where he didn’t authorize that and didn’t ask for a credit.
Speaking of the Festival Express…it was The Transcontinental Pop Festival… better known as the Festival Express. Great idea on paper… rounding up musicians in 1970 and placing them on a train going across Canada and stopping along the way to play festivals. What could go wrong? Actually, I would have loved to have been on that train. The lineup: The Band, The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Buddy Guy Blues Band, The Fly Burrito Brothers, Sha Na Na, and Delaney & Bonnie & Friends.
There were artists that were not in the film like Traffic, Ten Years After, Tom Rush, Ian & Sylvia, Mountain, and more.
A DVD was released of this in 2004. All these musicians were on a train full of liquor and an assortment of drugs… liquor was the popular choice among the musicians on this ride. The tour was to have events in Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, and Vancouver. The Montreal event was canceled as was Vancouver. In Toronto, protesters were saying the festival promoters were price gouging so The Grateful Dead played a free concert in a park nearby to ease tensions with the protesters.
When watching the film you can see the performers are having a ball jamming with each other because they didn’t get a lot of chances to do that on the road.
Here is the link to the full movie free on youtube…if you have time…it’s worth it!
Bill Kreutzmann (drummer for the Dead): We celebrated Janis Joplin’s birthday at the last stop the traditional way: with birthday cake. In keeping with our own kind of tradition, somebody—within our ranks, I would imagine—had secretly infused the cake with a decent amount of LSD. So it quickly became an electric birthday celebration. Allegedly, some generous pieces of that birthday cake made it to the hands and mouths of the local police who were working the show. “Let them eat cake!” (To be fair, I didn’t have anything to do with that … I was just another cake-eating birthday reveler, that night.) And that was it for the Festival Express. It was a wonderful time and I think what really made it great was the level of interaction and camaraderie among the musicians, day and night, as we were all trapped on this train careening across the great north. It probably helped that we were all trashed the entire time. Whiskey was in the conductor’s seat on that ride.
I would recommend getting the DVD of this event. It’s a great time capsule of that time in music and culture.
Don’t Ease Me In
Don’t ease, don’t ease, don’t ease me in I’ve been all night long coming home, don’t ease me in
I was standing on the corner, talking to Miss Brown When I turned around, sweet mama, she was way across town So I’m walking down the street, with a dollar in my hand I’ve been looking for a woman, sweet mama, ain’t got no manDon’t ease, don’t ease, don’t ease me in I’ve been all night long coming home, don’t ease me inThe girl I love, she’s sweet and true You know the dress she wears, sweet mama, it’s pink and blue She brings me coffee, you know she brings me tea She brings about every damn thing, but the jailhouse keyDon’t ease, don’t ease, don’t ease me in I’ve been all night long coming home, don’t ease me inDon’t ease, don’t ease, don’t ease me in I’ve been all night long coming home, don’t ease me inDon’t ease, don’t ease, don’t ease me in I’ve been all night long coming home, don’t ease me in
Talking to Miss Brown Well I turned around, sweet moma She was way cross town
So I’m walking down the street With a dollar in my hand I’ve been looking for a woman, sweet moma Ain’t got no man
The girl I love She’s sweet and true You know the dress she wears, sweet moma It’s pink and blue
She brings me coffee You know she brings me tea She brings ’bout every damn thing But the jailhouse key
If you have the slightest bit of interest in documentaries or in silent movies, this is the series to watch. Not only is it a great wealth of info on the silent era…it’s one of the best documentaries I’ve ever watched. It is made up of 13 different one-hour sections. It’s quite a series at 676 minutes.
There is one misconception about silent films that most have. When you think of a silent film what do you think of? Some people think of the hard-to-see Keystone cops running about like they snorted Peru… that is NOT what most silent films looked like. They played at normal speed and the cinematography was breathtaking in many of them. They are as clear as any movie you will watch if the print has been taken care of or restored.
There was a problem with some prints after the silent era. The holes in the film were at a different gauge for the then-modern film projectors and they played them fast and transferred them fast…that meant everything was sped up.
This documentary is to the Silent Era what Ken Burns Civil War doc is to the Civil War. It starts with the pioneers of the movies to the very end when sound took over and changed and some people say ruined an art form. When movies were silent…they were international…no need for translations…just different text. The sound changed all of that and silent movies were at their height.
You get to know the great directors, actors, actresses, cameramen, stuntmen, and movie moguls.
They interviewed these ladies and gentlemen in the late seventies and it was many of their last appearances on film before they passed away. I’m thankful that Kevin Brownlow got this finished and we now have first-hand knowledge of films’ most exciting eras.
I do wish sound pictures would have been held off a few years. The studios weren’t ready for talking pictures. The first “talky” pictures were clumsy and still. The mics had to be placed in flower vases and other stationary places. The silent artists perfected the art of pantomime. Most had great quality (especially in the 20s) that looked better than movies 40 years later. One problem was with the early transfers from the films…now with Criterion and others cleaning up the transfers…we can watch these beautiful movies the way they were intended.
Just like today, you had your formula movies and your great movies. In my opinion, I think the best genre of silent movies is comedies. Not Keystone Cops…they are more like cartoons than films. For me, it would be Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. They both had some of the most subtle and genius gags. Many of their gags have been copied to this day. There were others like Harry Langdon and Harold Lloyd that were popular.
I know it’s a big task BUT…if you like documentaries or silent movies…this series is worth it! Every episode is out there on youtube.
This is a film I so wish they would clean up and release. I watched a bootleg version of it in the 80s VHS.
This was a film that covered Bob Dylan on his 1966 European tour backed up by the Hawks that eventually became The Band minus, Levon Helm. The film was to be shown on ABC television but ABC rejected and saying it was “incomprehensible” because Dylan himself was one of the editors and wanted the film to have more of an artistic feel.
It was filmed by D.A. Pennebaker who filmed Dylan’s 65 European tour when he played acoustically called Don’t Look Back. Don’t Look Back is terrific. This film is very disjointed. That is not saying I don’t like it. This is the Dylan period that probably is my favorite. The Hawks are raw and powerful and Dylan was
There are some highlights to this odd film. A spontaneous piano duet with Dylan and Johnny Cash, John Lennon and Bob Dylan very high riding around in a cab, and the famous concert where an audience member yells out “Judas” because of Dylan’s conversion to electric music. After the Judas remark, he proceeds to tell Robbie Robertson to play it loud and they kick off in a vicious “Like a Rolling Stone.” My favorite live version of that song. Those folk music fans were harsh.
The film is disjointed and frustrating to watch because some of the songs you want to see and hear are there…but only partly. You will be seeing Dylan performing something and then flash away to something else. Some of the concert footage and film from this ended up in the Martin Scorsese movie No Direction Home…I would recommend No Direction Home to everyone.
Bob was pale and nervous and there is no secret he was doing drugs heavily throughout this movie. After the tour, Dylan had a motorcycle wreck heard around the world and after he recovered he didn’t tour for years.
The cab ride with John Lennon is historical now. Both of them in sunglasses and Lennon trying to inject humor into the situation and Dylan is ok at first and then starts getting sick as the filming stops.
If you are a Dylan fan it’s worth a watch. I’m glad we have “No Direction Home” to see some clear film segments on that tour. Eat The Document has not been officially released but you can get a bootleg of it or watch most of it on youtube.
My son Bailey bought us tickets to see The Beatles rooftop concert in the IMAX theater on Friday night. If you get a chance to do this…do it. It sounds like you are there listening live. It lasts around 1:30 minutes. They added a brief Beatles history and a little followup after the performance.
They played on the freezing rooftop of Apple Records on January 6, 1969. It was the first time they played in front of an audience since August 29, 1966. You could see the breath of people on the roof and in the street. It is not easy playing in cold weather. Your fingers freeze and you cannot feel the strings. It’s a wonder their guitars didn’t go out of tune more.
It was clear that the Beatles could have toured like their peers The Stones, Led Zeppelin, and The Who and sounded every bit as good. They were very raw and earthy sounding because of the type of songs they were writing at the time. Songs that could be played live, not the Sgt Peppers experimental music. The songs linked to the style of the White Album.
They had just written these songs and rehearsed them that month so the songs were new to them except One After 909. John and Paul wrote that one when they were teenagers. It’s hard to believe how young they were at the time. None of them were thirty but they had packed a lot of living in their years being The Beatles.
John Lennon was normally a rhythm guitar player but he plays the lead on Get Back and you can tell he enjoyed stepping up and doing that. They would complete one more album after this…and that was Abbey Road. That is called going out on top.
To see them in an IMAX theater was amazing. It looked like it was recorded yesterday…not 53 years ago. I’ve seen the Get Back documentary twice but it’s nothing like seeing the concert at a theater…it changes the dynamics of it…plus IMAX just makes it that much better.
It would have been interesting to see them play in a more controlled enviroment but I’m glad we got this. Right after John Lennon said ” I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we pass the audition.”…someone in the theater shouted out…”You most certainly did John”
Just saw this a few minutes ago. Lately I’ve been living in a bubble because of work but this is the new Get Back trailer. This is not the sneak peak Peter Jackson released before. On November 25,26, and 27th… 6 hours of the Let It Be/Get Back music, comedy, and drama will all unfold on the Disney plus.
As a very young Beatle fan I read about these sessions and only saw still photographs. Later on I saw them do Get Back on MTV while on the rooftop and it was like photos coming to life…I read where they had 56 hours of video footage sitting in a vault from this album. Now we will see 6 hours out of that anyway…you what what? I would happily sit through 56 hours… Peter Jackson has done such a great job on the look of the film…it looks like it could have been filmed yesterday. Peter, need an assistant for free?
With the previews I’ve seen…it looks like it was a lot of fun and the bad drama was not prevalent through the filming. Ringo has said that people have focused on the negative but it was much more positive than that. What is great about Get Back is the good time they had and it wasn’t all doom and gloom. I can’t imagine the pressure they were under to deliver and be as good as their last album. In this case, when they filmed this, it was just a few months after they released The White Album…The Let It Be album didn’t get released until after their last studio album Abbey Road.
Such a great band but such a frustrating story. Robyn Hitchcock remarked, “Big Star is like a letter that was mailed in 1972 but didn’t arrive until 1985.” That is a great way to explain them. They made three of the best albums of the decade that were not heard until much later. When they were finally discovered they influenced many artists such as The Replacements, REM, Cheap Trick, Matthew Sweet, and more. The last time I checked it was on Netflix…watch this documentary.
When these musicians and critics talk about Big Star…they talk about them like people talk about The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Who, and The Kinks. In this documentary you have Cheap Trick, REM, Mitch Easter, Robyn Hitchcock, and others talking about the band.
The first album got great reviews…you couldn’t ask for better. When the label called radio stations trying to get them to play it…the stations would say it’s not selling. When someone actually heard the songs on the radio, they couldn’t find the record to buy it. This was basically the same story with all of the albums.
Distribution problems and just bad timing. Stax didn’t do a good job of distribution…they made a deal with Columbia before the second album to distribute the album…problem solved right? Nope, Clive Davis who made the deal was then fired at Columbia. The deal fell through and then Stax disintegrated.
Chris Bell who was key in creating the sound the band had quit after the first album. He came back but then quit again. Chris had depression problems and wanted badly to do something on his own. Alex Chilton continued and finished the second and third album with a new bass player on the third album.
After that, it follows Chris and Alex’s career to the end of both. It also covers Jim Dickinson’s role on the third experimental album. Family members, fans, and rock writers also share their love of Big Star and memories of the band members.
In May of 1973 Ardent Studios where Big Star recorded invited 100 rock writers down to Memphis to hear Big Star live. They all loved Big Star and it went over great…but that wasn’t the band’s problem…it was the business side. What would have happened if they would have signed with a label more suited to them?
Before watching this documentary, a couple of years back I didn’t realize Chris Bell was so instrumental in developing their sound. I knew it wasn’t the Alex Chilton band, but Chris was invaluable and started the ball rolling. All 4 members did contribute writing and singing but Chilton and Bell were the Lennon and McCartney of the group.
It’s a great documentary about a great band that had the talent, but fate wasn’t on their side.
There is the often-used Peter Buck quote that everyone who bought the first Velvet Underground album went out and started a band…the same is true with this band.
My recommendation? Watch it…NOW
Billy Altman … Self – Writer
Jon Auer … Self
Lester Bangs … Self (archive footage)
Chris Bell … Self (archive footage)
David Bell … Self – Chris Bell’s Brother
Norman Blake … Self
The Box Tops … Themselves (archive footage)
Panther Burns … Themselves (archive footage)
Cheap Trick … Themselves
Stephanie Chernikowski … Self – Photographer
Alex Chilton … Self (archive footage)
Rick Clark … Self – Writer and Musician
Stephen Ira Cohen … Self – U.S. Congressman (archive footage) (as Steve Cohen)
The Cramps … Themselves (archive footage)
John Dando … Self – Band Manager, Ardent Studios 1972-1975
Luther Dickinson … Self
Mary Lindsay Dickinson … Self
Steven Drozd … Self
Van Duren … Self – Musician
Mitch Easter … Self – Musician and Producer
Bruce Eaton … Self (voice) (archive footage)
William Eggleston … Self
Tav Falco … Self
John Fry … Self – Founder, Ardent Studios
John Hampton … Self – Engineer, Ardent Studios
Douglas Hart … Self – Bass, The Jesus and Mary Chain
Robyn Hitchcock … Self
Andy Hummel … Self (archive footage)
Ross Johnson … Self – Writer and Musician
Ira Kaplan … Self
Lenny Kaye … Self – Writer and Musician
John King … Self – Promotions, Ardent Studios 1972-1975
Curt Kirkwood … Self
John Lightman … Self
Carole Manning … Self – Ardent Studios 1972-1975
Mike Mills … Self
The Replacements The Replacements … Themselves (archive footage)
Steve Rhea … Self – Promotions, Ardent Studios 1972-1975
Will Rigby … Self – musician
Richard Rosebrough … Self – Engineer, Ardent Studios 1972-1975
Kliph Scurlock … Self
Tom Sheehan … Self – Photographer
Chris Stamey … Self – Musician and Producer
Big Star … Themselves
Jody Stephens … Self
Sara Stewart … Self – Chris Bell’s Sister
Michael Stipe … Self
Ken Stringfellow … Self
Matthew Sweet … Self
Alexis Taylor … Self
Marge Thrasher … Self – Hostess of Straight Talk (archive footage)
Jon Tiven … Self
Pete Tomlinson … Self – Writer
Jaan Uhelszki … Self – Writer (as Jaan Uhelzski)
Terry Edwards … Conductor, London (uncredited)
We wrapped up Hanspostcard’s album draft…100 albums in 100 days. We are going into extra innings and extending three more picks from these categories… favorite Soundtracks, Greatest Hits, and a music related movie. This is my pick for a music related movie: The Who in The Kids Are Alright.
I acquired a VHS copy of this in the mid-eighties. It wasn’t a great copy but my friends and I wore it out. One of them worked at a small cable station. The station was in a small county that usually aired farm reports and advertisements. Basically, it was a very small building in the middle of nowhere. All they would do there is broadcast videos.
We had the tape in hand and wanted to see it so we went there one afternoon. He popped it in the VHS player and played it. He had no idea but it was going out live all over the region. Near the end of the film, he took a phone call from his boss. I didn’t think anyone ever watched that station…but it turns out they did and they were not fans of The Who. He didn’t get fired but they took his key for the door for a little while. It was a big subject the next day at school as some teenagers loved it but their parents didn’t appreciate their farm reports being interrupted by My Generation and Keith Moon in bondage.
I’ve seen this film so many times I can almost quote it while it’s playing. The Who albums made me a huge fan of their music…this film made me a huge fan of band.
This film covers the original Who and being such a Who fan I’m glad Jeff Stein (director) was so persistent in doing this because many of the tapes he was able to borrow probably would have been erased and used again by the BBC as was their policy.
Jeff was a fan of the band and pestered them until they let him do this. He had no prior experience in filmmaking but this was the 1970s and he got the gig. His timing was eerily perfect. He caught the original band at the very end of their tenure with Keith Moon.
He searched high and low for clips of the band in earlier years. Stein keeps the appearance mostly in order. There is sadness in this. You see the band through the years from 1964 to 1978… you see all of them gradually age of course but Keith Moon ages faster than any of them. I’ve read where it hit him hard while watching the rough cut right before he died. His lifestyle had taken its toll on him. He saw himself as a young energetic kid that looked like Paul McCartney’s younger brother to a man who was 32 and looked like he was in his 40s at least.
This may be the first or one of the first film bios on a major rock band. Led Zeppelin had The Song Remains the Same but it focused on one concert in New York… The Beatles had Let It Be but those films didn’t show their history like The Kids Are Alright.
In this film you see a band that is fun… unlike their peers Zeppelin and Sabbath the Who were more open to their audience and didn’t have a dark mystique hanging over them. They would crack jokes from the stage…Moon and Townshend treated it like a High School talent show until they started to play…then they got serious.
You see film segments that were fun like the video of Happy Jack, the interview on the Russell Harty Show, Keith with Ringo, and Keith and Pete sharing a joke that only they could understand. One of my favorite segments is The Who playing Barbara Ann with Keith singing and the band having a good time. They also played I Saw Her Standing There but it didn’t make the final cut…you can watch it in the outtakes. I can’t imagine the big bands of that time doing Barbara Ann and goofing for the camera.
The Who did a couple of live shows for the film besides being interviewed. Stein mostly used old clips but he convinced the band to do a couple of free concerts in May of 1978 where he could get a definitive version of Won’t Get Fooled Again… which personally I think is the greatest live performance song live you will ever hear. You see Keith’s last performance as he is looking pudgy, older, and slower but still pulls it off. Pete wasn’t too thrilled about doing the concerts for the film but it turned out good. They ended up only using a version Won’t Get Fooled Again and Baba O’Riley from the 78 live show.
Keith died a few months before The Kids Are Alright debuted on June 15, 1979. The film showed The Who at it’s best. Kenney Jones from the Faces replaced him but it was never the same. You cannot replace Moon…he was the engine that drove the Who. Later on in the 90s Zak Starkey…who was Ringo’s son and Keith’s God son played drums for the Who and still does.
If you haven’t watched the film…stop what you are doing and watch it. It still holds up as one of the best music documentaries that rock has produced.
Transcontinental Pop Festival… better known as the Festival Express. Great idea on paper… rounding up musicians in 1970 and placing them on a train going across Canada and stopping along the way to play festivals. What could go wrong? Actually, I would have loved to have been on that train.
The Grateful Dead
Buddy Guy Blues Band
The Fly Burrito Brothers
Sha Na Na
Delaney & Bonnie & Friends
There were artists that were not in the film like Traffic, Ten Years After, Tom Rush, Ian & Sylvia, Mountain and more.
A DVD was released of this in 2004. All these musicians on a train full of liquor and an assortment of drugs… liquor was the popular choice among the musicians on this ride. The tour was to have events in Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, and Vancouver. The Montreal event was canceled as was Vancouver. In Toronto, protesters were saying the festival promoters were price gouging so The Grateful Dead played a free concert in a park nearby to ease tensions with the protesters.
There are some very good performances on the film. My favorite is Buddy Guy and Janis Joplin’s performance. I also like the Dead’s “Don’t Ease Me In” with Pigpen on blues harp. The festival lost money and the film was thought lost for over 30 years. Janis would be gone a few months after this but her performance of Cry Baby is electrifying.
The train was where the fun was at. They actually stopped at a liquor store and bought out the complete store…including the giant display bottles. The Dead’s crew even dosed some of the liquor…and cake with LSD as you will see below… on board. When watching the film you can see the performers are having a ball jamming with each other because they didn’t get a lot of chances to do that on the road.
Bill Kreutzmann (drummer for the Dead) from his book “Deal”
We celebrated Janis Joplin’s birthday at the last stop the traditional way: with birthday cake. In keeping with our own kind of tradition, somebody—within our ranks, I would imagine—had secretly infused the cake with a decent amount of LSD. So it quickly became an electric birthday celebration. Allegedly, some generous pieces of that birthday cake made it to the hands and mouths of the local police who were working the show. “Let them eat cake!” (To be fair, I didn’t have anything to do with that … I was just another cake-eating birthday reveler, that night.) And that was it for the Festival Express. It was a wonderful time and I think what really made it great was the level of interaction and camaraderie among the musicians, day and night, as we were all trapped on this train careening across the great north. It probably helped that we were all trashed the entire time. Whiskey was in the conductor’s seat on that ride.
I would recommend getting the DVD of this event. It’s a great time capsule of that time in music and culture.
Since I posted Paul McCartney’s Concert for Kampuchea yesterday I thought I would concentrate on the festival John Lennon popped up at in 1969… The Toronto Rock and Roll Revival. Unlike Kampuchea which was spread out on multiple days and nights, this festival was held on one day September 13, 1969.
John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band just played fifties songs plus John’s new song that Beatles rejected…Cold Turkey. The reason for the fifties’ songs was because the band had limited time to rehearse and they wanted to do songs they all knew.
It was a great festival lineup but it’s remembered mostly by John Lennon’s participation. The Doors were the headliners and John only agreed to do it
The concert was conceived by promoters John Brower and Ken Walker with financial backing from Eaton’s department store but stymied by poor ticket sales, the venture began to lose support. The festival was almost canceled but Brower called Apple Records in the UK to ask John Lennon to emcee the concert. Lennon agreed to appear on the condition he would be allowed to perform.
The Lennons flew in from England with a makeshift band that included Eric Clapton, Klaus Voormann, Alan White, and Yoko. They arrived at the backstage area at about 10 p.m, while Cat Mother and the All Night Newsboys were singing Good Old Rock ‘n’ Roll to an audience of about 20,000.
Lennon was quoted as saying “I threw up for hours until I went on” because it had been three years since he played live in a concert setting. The band went on and did a good job…ragged but it was a hastily assembled band with only a rehearsal on the plane ride and backstage.
John Lennon:“The ridiculous thing was that I didn’t know any of the lyrics. When we did Money and Dizzy, I just made up the words as I went along. The band was bashing it out like hell behind me. Yoko came on stage with us, but she wasn’t going to do her bit until we’d done our five songs….Then after Money there was a stop, and I turned to Eric and said, ‘What’s next?’ He didn’t know either, so I just screamed out ‘C’mon!’ and started into something else.”
Little Richard: “I remember the show that people were throwing bottles at Yoko Ono. They were throwing everything at her. Finally, she had to run off the stage. Oh, boy, it was very bad.”
John Lennon:And we tried to put it out on Capitol, and Capitol didn’t want to put it out. They said, ‘This is garbage; we’re not going to put it out with her screaming on one side and you doing this sort of live stuff. And they just refused to put it out. But we finally persuaded them that, you know, people might buy this. Of course it went gold the next day.”
John Lennon and Yoko’s setlist
Blue Suede Shoes.
Money (That’s What I Want)
Dizzy Miss Lizzy.
Give Peace a Chance.
Don’t Worry Kyoko (Mummy’s Only Looking for Her Hand in the Snow)
When I posted a Rockpile song last week… I heard from Sharon E. Cathcart talking about this concert. A few days later Val mentioned this concert on a Little Richard post. I haven’t thought of this concert in years so I thought it would be a great subject.
I did see a copy of this in the 80s at some point. I’ve watched it the last few nights and it is really good. A few facts about the show…The Pretenders debut album was released the day before they played, this was John Bonham’s last appearance on stage in England, and the Wings last concert appearance.
Concert for the People of Kampuchea was a series of concerts in 1979 featuring Queen, The Clash, The Pretenders, Rockpile, The Who, Elvis Costello, Wings, and many more artists. I’ll post the entire lineup at the bottom. These concerts had a great amount of British talent that would not be rivaled until Live Aid in 1985. The proceeds would be directed to the emergency relief work of the U.N. agencies for the civilians in Kampuchea.
The concerts were held at the Hammersmith Odeon in London over 4 days from 26-29 December 1979 to raise money for the victims of war-torn Cambodia (then called Kampuchea). The event was organized by former Beatle Paul McCartney and Kurt Waldheim (who was then Secretary-General of the UN, later Austrian president).
Waldheim initially approached McCartney, hoping his current band Wings would participate. But he also discussed a performance with George Harrison, and then the gossip wheel started turning. The Beatle reunion rumors started to overtake the press for the show itself. Paul had to completely deny it of course. He was quoted saying: “The Beatles are over and finished with,” “None of us is even interested in doing it. There’s lots of reasons. Imagine if we came back and did a big show that wasn’t good. What a drag.” None of the ex Beatles showed…except Paul
An album and EP were released in 1981, and the best of the concerts was released as a film, Concert for Kampuchea in 1980. The album wasn’t released until 1981 and it peaked at #36 and the song Little Sister by Rockpile and Robert Plant peaked at #8.
When Wings’ main set was complete on the last night, McCartney invited a Who’s Who assemblage of British rockers to the stage to play four songs as an encore as the “Rockestra”. The list included three members of Led Zeppelin (Plant, John Bonham and John Paul Jones), Townshend, former Small Faces/Faces bandmates Ronnie Lane and Kenney Jones, Procol Harum’s Gary Brooker, Wings, plus members of Rockpile and the Pretenders, among others.
Here is a complete list.
Piano: Paul McCartney
Keyboards: Linda McCartney, Tony Ashton, Gary Brooker
Guitars: Denny Laine, Laurence Juber, James Honeyman-Scott, Dave Edmunds, Billy Bremner, Pete Townshend, Robert Plant
Bass: Paul McCartney, Bruce Thomas, Ronnie Lane, John Paul Jones
Drums, Percussion: Steve Holley, Kenney Jones, Tony Carr, Morris Pert, Speedy Acquaye, John Bonham
Horns: Howie Casey, Steve Howard, Thaddeus Richard, Tony Dorsey
Vocals: Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney, John Paul Jones, Ronnie Lane, Bruce Thomas, Robert Plant
That is a talented bunch.
McCartney did assemble the above musicians with some more like David Gilmour to record a couple of songs on the Wings Back To The Egg album…So Glad to See You Here and Rockestra Theme.
Here is the complete list of acts who played during the concerts.
Ian Dury and the Blockheads (with guest Mick Jones on “Sweet Gene Vincent”)
Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Rockpile (with guest Robert Plant on “Little Sister”)
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