Beatlemania Show In 1983

My cousin Mark won tickets in 1983 on the radio to a show called Beatlemania. He called me up because he knew I was a huge Beatles fan and wanted to know if I wanted to go with him…well yes.

I was excited but I had no clue about what to expect. In the back of my mind, I thought they would cover 1964 and maybe the early part of 1965…nothing but the early period. I only had read about this show a little in the past where the Beatles took Beatlemania to court… Never read on how good or bad it was…

We got there and went to the lobby before the show. The actual band was in the lobby talking to some people. We went over to get something to drink and I heard a couple of people talking “hey they are going to try Lady Madonna tonight for the first time”, that surprised me. That is the second I started to get really excited about the show…I thought hmmm they might play more than just the early songs. The Beatles stopped touring after 1966 and so many of the songs from and after Revolver were never played live.

They came out in the suits and started off with Twist and Shout and sounded really good. Those early songs work well live.

After playing several songs an intermission was announced. They came back out dressed in Sgt Pepper outfits and started to play Sgt Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour songs. I kept thinking that these songs could not have been pulled off in the era they were released in live. I didn’t think I would ever hear these songs live…if I closed my eyes a little…it was as close to the real thing as I could get.

Another intermission and out they came dressed like the Abbey Road period and covered songs from the White Album, Let It Be, and Abbey Road.

To hear these songs live was incredible. They were very good musicians and did a good job emulating the Beatles. I’ve since seen other Beatle cover bands in Disneyworld and Opryland and they have been decent…but never as good as this show.

It’s odd giving a review of a show that happened 35 years ago but it was really enjoyable. In 2010 I saw Paul McCartney do many of the songs live that I had not heard since that night in 1983…but this time I didn’t have to pretend as much. The giant sound McCartney had was better than I ever could expect.

But as a 16-year-old Beatle fan on September 13, 1983, these pretend Beatles were a great experience.

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Hail! Hail! Rock ‘N’ Roll 1987

This documentary starts off in 1986 with Chuck Berry reminiscing about the Cosmopolitan Club where he played in the earlier days.

The film is centered around Chuck Berry’s 60th birthday and Keith Richards assembling an All-Star Band to support Chuck in concert. Chuck had been touring since the 60s by traveling town to town and playing with any pickup band he found…all he brought was his guitar. He would get paid with cash in a paper bag in many places. That was his motivation more than playing with a good band. Chuck could be very sloppy playing live.

Chuck could also be difficult, to say the least. Keith was determined that Chuck was going to be backed by a great band for this concert… Chuck was Keith’s idol but Chuck seemed to want to give Keith as much trouble as possible. Richards says in the documentary that Chuck was the only man that hit him that he didn’t hit back. During the rehearsals for the song “Carol”, you can feel the tension in the air between the two.

Seeing Keith’s reaction to Chuck at times is worth the price of admission and I’m glad Keith was persistent and patient and got this done. It’s great footage of Chuck playing his classics.

The concert at the Fox Theatre ended up a success. Chuck sounded great and so did the band.

During the documentary, there are some great comments by Little Richard, Bo Diddley, Bruce Springsteen, Jerry Lee Lewis, Willie Dixon and more.

Little Richard, Bo Diddley, and Chuck have a very interesting conversation about how hard it was to get played on the radio because of being African American in the 50s. They also talk about payola and Alan Freed.

The band was incredible… Keith Richards, Robert Cray, the great Johnnie Johnson (Chuck’s original piano player), Steve Jordan, Bobby Keys, Chuck Leavell and Eric Clapton guests on a few songs.

Some of the artists that came on and sang were Etta James, Linda Ronstadt, and Julian Lennon.

Chuck was a complicated man but he was a poet as well. I can’t recommend this documentary enough. If you are a music fan you should like it. Chuck Berry may have influenced Rock and Roll more than anyone else…

My favorite story is from Bruce Springsteen. Bruce and the E Street Band volunteered to back up Chuck Berry for a show in the early seventies. Being Chuck’s temporarily pickup band must have been nerve-wracking for musicians. Chuck didn’t tell them what songs he was playing or what key…this is Bruce’s quote “About five minutes before the show was timed to start, the back door opens and he comes in. He’s by himself. He’s got a guitar case, and that was it,” Springsteen said. “[I said] ‘Chuck, what songs are we going to do?’ He says, ‘Well, we’re going to do some Chuck Berry songs.’ That was all he said!”

Below is the video…not extremely clear but watchable.

 

Tommy James and The Shondells – Crimson And Clover

I grew up with this single. The song was a number one hit on the Billboard 100 in 1968. This song separates itself from others… I learned what tremolo was about with this record. After full tremolo on guitar…at, the end of the song, a microphone was plugged into the guitar amp with the tremolo effect on the vocal for good measure.

Good pop song

From Songfacts

Tommy James constructed this slice of psychedelia from his favorite color and his favorite flower. In our interview with Tommy James, he told us: “They were just two of my favorite words that came together. Actually, it was one morning as I was getting up out of bed, and it just came to me, those two words. And it sounded so poetic. I had no idea what it meant, or if it meant anything. They were just two of my favorite words. And Mike Vale and I – bass player – actually wrote another song called ‘Crimson and Clover.’ And it just wasn’t quite there. And I ended up writing ‘Crimson and Clover’ with my drummer, Pete Lucia, who has since passed away.”

Crimson and Clover

Ah, now I don’t hardly know her
But I think I could love her
Crimson and clover

Ah when she comes walking over
Now I’ve been waitin’ to show her
Crimson and clover over and over

Yeah, my, my such a sweet thing
I wanna do everything
What a beautiful feeling
Crimson and clover over and over

Crimson and clover over and over
Crimson and clover over and over
Crimson and clover over and over
Crimson and clover over and over

Donovan – Season of the Witch

I’ve always liked the groove of this song. Season of the Witch was released in 1966 on the Sunshine Superman Album but not as a single. It remains one of Donovan’s most well-known songs. The song has been covered many times and often bands start the song and draw it out to a jam. Jimmy Page plays guitar on the recording.

I rediscovered the song in 2012 when it was on the animated movie “Paranorman.” The song was written by Donovan and Shawn Phillips.

From Songfacts

The genesis of this song goes back to an evening at folk music notable Bert Jansch’s house in north London when fellow acoustic master John Renbourn showed Donovan a D ninth chord. From that Donovan built up a riff that, according to the memories of those present, he then played solidly for the next seven hours.

“There was a feeling, even then, that all was not perfect in the Garden of Eden,” he said of the song in an interview with Mojo magazine June 2011. “Dealers were moving into Bohemia and hard drugs were on the fringes. The song was also prophetic. It was about the bust, although of course, I couldn’t know that then.”

During Led Zeppelin’s soundchecks, they often warmed up by playing this. The song allows for lots of jamming when played live, which makes it a popular cover for many bands.

Season of the Witch

When I look out my window,
Many sights to see.
And when I look in my window,
So many different people to be
That it’s strange, so strange.

You’ve got to pick up every stitch,
You’ve got to pick up every stitch,
You’ve got to pick up every stitch,
Mmm, must be the season of the witch,
Must be the season of the witch, yeah,
Must be the season of the witch.

When I look over my shoulder,
What do you think I see?
Some other cat looking over
His shoulder at me
And he’s strange, sure he’s strange.

You’ve got to pick up every stitch,
You’ve got to pick up every stitch,
Beatniks are out to make it rich,
Oh no, must be the season of the witch,
Must be the season of the witch, yeah,
Must be the season of the witch.

You’ve got to pick up every stitch,
The rabbits running in the ditch,
Beatniks are out to make it rich,
Oh no, must be the season of the witch,
Must be the season of the witch,
Must be the season of the witch.

When I look out my window,
What do you think I see?
And when I look in my window,
So many different people to be
It’s strange, sure is strange.
You’ve got to pick up every stitch,
You’ve got to pick up every stitch,
The rabbits running in the ditch,
Oh no, must be the season of the witch,
Must be the season of the witch, yeah,
Must be the season of the witch.
When I look, when I look.

The Impressions – People Get Ready

You can’t go wrong with Curtis Mayfield. A beautiful song with a gospel slant. The song was released in 1965 and peaked at #14 on the Billboard 100 and #3 on the Billboard R&B Charts.

The song was written by Curtis Mayfield and continues to be covered to this day. Here is a quote by Curtis.

“While I had written a few Gospel songs, what would be looked upon as Gospel, I called them more inspirational, such things as ‘People Get Ready,’” he said. “This is a perfect example of what I believe has laid in my subconscious as to the preaching of my grandmother, and most ministers when they reflect from the Bible.”

From Songfacts

This song resonated with African Americans during the civil rights struggles of the ’60s. The song speaks for the downtrodden, and Mayfield made it clear that transcended race. “It doesn’t matter what color or faith you have,” he told Goldmine in 1997. “I’m pleased the lyrics can be of value to anybody.”

 

People Get Ready

People get ready, there’s a train a comin’ 
You don’t need no baggage, you just get on board 
All you need is faith, to hear the diesels hummin’
Don’t need no ticket, you just thank the Lord 

So people get ready, for the train to Jordan 
Picking up passengers coast to coast 
Faith is the key, open the doors and board ’em 
There’s hope for all, among those loved the most 

There ain’t no room for the hopeless sinner 
Whom would hurt all mankind, just to save his own, believe me now
Have pity on those whose chances grow thinner 
For there is no hiding place, against the kingdom’s throne 

So people get ready there’s a train a comin’ 
You don’t need no baggage, you just get on board 
All you need is faith, to hear the diesels hummin’ 
Don’t need no ticket, you just thank the Lord

Ranking Led Zeppelin Albums #1 – #5

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5. Led Zeppelin III – 1970

This album was a disappointment to some fans when it was released because it wasn’t as hard as the previous album. This record leaned heavy on acoustic and mixed with hard that Led Zeppelin IV would have to perfection. My favorite songs off this album are Tangerine, Immigrant Song and Since I’ve Been Loving You.

Tracklist

Immigrant Song
Friends
Celebration Day
Since I’ve Been Loving You
Out On The Tiles
Gallows Pole
Tangerine
That’s The Way
Bron-Y-Aur Stomp
Hats Off To (Roy) Harper

 

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4. Houses of the Holy – 1973

The band was determined not to repeat themselves after the success of IV. This album is diverse with songs Over The Hills and Far Away, The Ocean, The Rain Song and the funk of The Crunge. This album was a perfect gateway into their next album.

Tracklist

The Song Remains The Same
The Rain Song
Over The Hills And Far Away
The Crunge
Dancing Days
D’yer Mak’er
No Quarter
The Ocean

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3. Physical Graffiti – 1975

It’s big, bloated, self indulgent…and great. This album had a big variety with the classic rock Kasmir (possibly their best song), the funky Trampled Under Foot and a song that would have fit on a Stones album…Night Flight.

Tracklist
Custard Pie
The Rover
In My Time Of Dying
Houses Of The Holy
Trampled Under Foot
Kashmir
In The Light
Bron-Yr-Aur
Down By The Seaside
Ten Years Gone
Night Flight
The Wanton Song
Boogie With Stu
Black Country Woman
Sick Again

 

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2. Led Zeppelin II – 1969

Nicknamed the “Brown Bomber” this album is explosive. The album was recorded in sections while on tour. It has a live feel to it. Classic songs such as Heartbreaker, Whole Lotta Love, Livin’ Lovin’ Maid, and the album never lets up. After this album, the band starts to change into more of their famous light heavy feel.

 

Tracklist

Whole Lotta Love
What Is And What Should Never Be
The Lemon Song
Thank You
Heartbreaker
Livin’ Lovin’ Maid (She’s Just A Woman)
Ramble On
Moby Dick
Bring It On Home

 

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1. Led Zeppelin IV – 1971

No suspense here. This album is nearly perfect. The light and heavy were perfectly balanced. If I never hear Stairway to Heaven again I’ll be happy but I could listen to just the drums to When The Levee Breaks… all day. A Great album at the peak of their career.

Tracklist 

Black Dog
Rock And Roll
The Battle Of Evermore
Stairway To Heaven
Misty Mountain Hop
Four Sticks
Going To California
When The Levee Breaks

Johnny Cash – I’ve Been Everywhere

I don’t think any performer is as popular and liked across generations and genres as Johnny Cash. I’ve met hard rock, country, and blues fans who love him. He was/is an American Icon.

Hank Snow made this song popular in 1962 by taking this song to #1 on the Country chart and #68 on the Billboard 100. Johnny covered this song in 1996 and it’s the version I remember. Cash had a way of making a song his own…

From songfacts.

Johnny Cash recorded a popular version of this song that was used in commercials for Comfort Inn and also in the 2004 remake of the movie Flight Of The Phoenix. Other artists to record the song include Rolf Harris, Lynn Anderson, Willie Nelson, and The Statler Brothers. This was written by the Australian songwriter and country singer Geoff Mack.

“I’ve Been Everywhere”
I was totin’ my pack along the dusty Winnemucca road,
When along came a semi with a high and canvas-covered load.
“If you’re goin’ to Winnemucca, Mack, with me you can ride.”
And so I climbed into the cab and then I settled down inside.
He asked me if I’d seen a road with so much dust and sand.
And I said, “Listen, I’ve traveled every road in this here land!”

I’ve been everywhere, man.
I’ve been everywhere, man.
Crossed the desert’s bare, man.
I’ve breathed the mountain air, man.
Of travel I’ve a-had my share, man.
I’ve been everywhere.

I’ve been to
Reno, Chicago, Fargo, Minnesota,
Buffalo, Toronto, Winslow, Sarasota,
Wichita, Tulsa, Ottawa, Oklahoma,
Tampa, Panama, Mattawa, La Paloma,
Bangor, Baltimore, Salvador, Amarillo,
Tocopilla, Barranquilla, and Padilla, I’m a killer.

I’ve been everywhere, man.
I’ve been everywhere, man.
Crossed the desert’s bare, man.
I’ve breathed the mountain air, man.
Of travel I’ve a-had my share, man.
I’ve been everywhere.

I’ve been to
Boston, Charleston, Dayton, Louisiana,
Washington, Houston, Kingston, Texarkana,
Monterey, Faraday, Santa Fe, Tallapoosa,
Glen Rock, Black Rock, Little Rock, Oskaloosa,
Tennessee to Hennessey, Chicopee, Spirit Lake,
Grand Lake, Devil’s Lake, Crater Lake, for Pete’s sake.

I’ve been everywhere, man.
I’ve been everywhere, man.
Crossed the desert’s bare, man.
I’ve breathed the mountain air, man.
Of travel I’ve a-had my share, man.
I’ve been everywhere.

I’ve been to
Louisville, Nashville, Knoxville, Ombabika,
Schefferville, Jacksonville, Waterville, Costa Rica,
Pittsfield, Springfield, Bakersfield, Shreveport,
Hackensack, Cadillac, Fond du Lac, Davenport,
Idaho, Jellico, Argentina, Diamantina,
Pasadena, Catalina, see what I mean-a.

I’ve been everywhere, man.
I’ve been everywhere, man.
Crossed the desert’s bare, man.
I’ve breathed the mountain air, man.
Of travel I’ve a-had my share, man.
I’ve been everywhere.

I’ve been to
Pittsburgh, Parkersburg, Gravelbourg, Colorado,
Ellensburg, Rexburg, Vicksburg, El Dorado,
Larimore, Admore, Haverstraw, Chatanika,
Chaska, Nebraska, Alaska, Opelika,
Baraboo, Waterloo, Kalamazoo, Kansas City,
Sioux City, Cedar City, Dodge City, what a pity.

I’ve been everywhere, man.
I’ve been everywhere, man.
Crossed the desert’s bare, man.
I’ve breathed the mountain air, man.
Of travel I’ve a-had my share, man.
I’ve been everywhere.

I’ve been everywhere.