Miracle Workers – You’ll Know Why

These garage bands were a breath of fresh air in the 80s. They sound like their 60’s predecessors but with an updated sound.

The Miracle Workers were formed in January 1982 in Chicago by Gerry Mohr, and Joel Barnett. The original guitarist and drummer left the band early on. Matt Rogers, a friend of Joel’s, became the guitarist. The band finally stabilized in 1984, with the addition of Dan Demiankow, and Gene Trautman.

They ended up recording 5 albums and 8 singles and EPs between 1984 and 1995. They play garage rock and fit with the  revival acts, such as The Chesterfield Kings and Lyres that I have covered.

They broke up in 1992 because of musical differences. The band came together back in Portland to record their last album “Anatomy of a Creep” and released it in 1995.

You Know Why

You thought you’d be back here but it’s not that
that it works for you, but you don’t know where it’s at
You’ll know why when you learn to cry
You can’t see through another’s eyes

Someday you’ll be hurt like others have been by you
Can you feel the pain inside when there’s nothing you can do
You’ll know why when you learn to cry
You can’t see through another’s eyes

You could be who you want to be if you change your state of mind
Look inside and you will find something you just can’t hide
You’ll know why when you learn to cry
You can’t see through another’s eyes

Toronto Rock and Roll Revival 1969

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.
  • Yer Blues.
  • Cold Turkey.
  • Give Peace a Chance.
  • Don’t Worry Kyoko (Mummy’s Only Looking for Her Hand in the Snow)
  • John John (Let’s Hope for Peace)

Performers 

John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band

Whiskey Howl

Bo Diddley

Chicago

Junior Walker and the All Stars

Tony Joe White

Alice Cooper

Chuck Berry

Cat Mother and the All Night News Boys

Jerry Lee Lewis

Gene Vincent

Little Richard

Doug Kershaw

The Doors

Kim Fowley The Master of Ceremonies

Screaming Lord Sutch

Chicago – Saturday In The Park

Chicago’s main songwriter, Robert Lamm, wrote this song.  Lamm and Peter Cetera sang lead on the track. Robert Lamm based the melody of this song on “You Won’t See Me” by The Beatles, something he openly admitted.

The piano riff, in the beginning, hooks you right away. The song peaked at #3 in the Billboard 100 and #2 in Canada in 1972.

Robert Lamm: It was written as I was looking at footage from a film I shot in Central Park, over a couple of years, back in the early ‘70s. I shot this film and somewhere down the line I edited it into some kind of a narrative, and as I watched the film I jotted down some ideas based on what I was seeing and had experienced. And it was really kind of that peace and love thing that happened in Central Park and in many parks all over the world, perhaps on a Saturday, where people just relax and enjoy each other’s presence, and the activities we observe and the feelings we get from feeling a part of a day like that.

From Songfacts

Like most Chicago singles, this didn’t chart in the UK. In America, however, it was their biggest chart hit to that point and also their first gold single, which at the time meant selling more than a million copies (“25 Or 6 To 4” somehow was never certified gold).

This song contains some of the most famous nonsense singing in rock: after Robert Lamm sings the line, “Singing Italian songs,” he sings some made up words approximating the Italian language.

In the 2000 Adam Sandler film Little Nicky, this song was used for comedic effect when it was played backwards to show that it contains satanic messages.

Other movies to use the song include The Spirit of ’76 (1990) and My Girl (1991). TV series to feature the song include The Sopranos (2002), My Name Is Earl (2005) and Fringe (2011).

Chicago and Robin Thicke performed part of this song at the 2014 Grammy Awards in a medley of Chicago’s hits leading into Thicke’s song “Blurred Lines.” The occasion: Chicago’s first album entering the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Saturday In The Park

Saturday in the park,
I think it was the Fourth of July
Saturday in the park,
I think it was the Fourth of July

People dancing, people laughing
A man selling ice cream
Singing Italian songs
Everybody is another
Can you dig it (yes, I can)
And I’ve been waiting such a long time
For Saturday

Another day in the park
I think it was the Fourth of July
Another day in the park
I think it was the Fourth of July

People talking, really smiling
A man playing guitar
And singing for us all
Will you help him change the world
Can you dig it (yes, I can)
And I’ve been waiting such a long time
For today

Slow motion riders fly the colors of the day
A bronze man still can tell stories his own way
Listen children all is not lost, all is not lost, oh no, no

Funny days in the park
Every day’s the Fourth of July
Funny days in the park
Every day’s the Fourth of July

People reaching, people touching
A real celebration
Waiting for us all
If we want it, really want it
Can you dig it (yes, I can)
And I’ve been waiting such a long time
For the day, yeah yeah

Hoo hoo oh
Hmm hmmm
Hmm hmmm

Max Headroom Hijack Airwaves in Chicago

Someone in 1987 hijacked the airwaves in Chicago and to this day no one has been identified.

On Sunday, Nov. 22, 1987, Chicago sportscaster Dan Roan was covering the sports highlights of the day like normal. This night would be different. At 9:14, Dan Roan disappeared from the screen. In fact, everything disappeared from the screen as it flickered into darkness. Then, 15 seconds later, a new figure appeared.

Someone with a rubber Max Headroom mask with just static…started bobbing his or her head on the screen. It only lasted around 20 seconds and Dan laughed and blamed it on the computer. The employees of the station thought it was an inside job but it wasn’t…they searched everywhere in the building but it did not come from inside the station. It was creepy but harmless…but whoever did it wasn’t finished yet.

Later on, viewers watching “Doctor Who” on WTTW-TV in Chicago got a big surprise.  A 90-second hijacking of the airwaves, featuring the same person dressed as Max Headroom. This time it was a little more action. Headroom bobbed his head again and said a few things. The audio was hard to make out on one viewing. He held up a can of Pepsi while reciting the Coca-Cola slogan “catch the wave.” Max Headroom was, at the time, being used as a spokesperson for Coke. Near the end, he turned around and was spanked by a woman…There was more to it and both videos are below in the post.

Most of Chicago found this hilarious but…The FCC did NOT see the humor at all. They used all of their resources to see who hijacked the airwaves. They offered a reward for anyone knowing the people responsible. They released this message:

“I would like to inform anybody involved in this kinda thing, that there’s a maximum penalty of $100,000, one year in jail, or both,” Phil Bradford, an FCC spokesman, told a reporter the following day.

“All in all, there are some who may view this as comical,” WTTW spokesman Anders Yocom said. “But it is a very serious matter because illegal interference of a broadcast signal is a violation of federal law. ”

The hijacker was never found and to this day people still wonder who it was and why they did it. The FCC worked out how it could have been accomplished without expensive equipment…by placing his or her own dish antenna between the transmitter tower, the hacker could have effectively interrupted the original signal by good timing and positioning.

1st incident.

 

2nd incident

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Headroom_broadcast_signal_intrusion

 

 

 

Chicago – Saturday in the Park

I’ve always liked early Chicago when Terry Kath was part of the band. Love the intro to this song and it takes me back to when I first heard the song. Saturday in the Park peaked at #3 in the Billboard 100 and #2 in Canada. Robert Lamm who wrote the song openly admits he based the melody on The Beatles “You Won’t See Me.”

Robert Lamm on Saturday in the Park

“Saturday in the Park is a prime example of how I take from what I experience in the world. It was written as I was looking at footage from a film I shot in Central Park, over a couple of years, back in the early ‘70s. I shot this film and somewhere down the line I edited it into some kind of a narrative, and as I watched the film I jotted down some ideas based on what I was seeing and had experienced. And it was really kind of that peace and love thing that happened in Central Park and in many parks all over the world, perhaps on a Saturday, where people just relax and enjoy each other’s presence, and the activities we observe and the feelings we get from feeling a part of a day like that.”

From Songfacts.

Chicago’s main songwriter, Robert Lamm, wrote this after a particularly exhilarating 4th of July spent in New York’s Central Park, where there were steel drum players, singers, dancers and jugglers. Lamm and Peter Cetera sang lead on the track.

like most Chicago singles, this didn’t chart in the UK. In America, however, it was their biggest chart hit to that point and also their first gold single, which at the time meant selling more than a million copies (“25 Or 6 To 4” somehow was never certified gold).

This song contains some of the most famous nonsense singing in rock: after Robert Lamm sings the line, “Singing Italian songs,” he sings some made up words approximating the Italian language.

 

Saturday In the Park

Saturday in the park, 
I think it was the Fourth of July
Saturday in the park, 
I think it was the Fourth of July

People dancing, people laughing
A man selling ice cream
Singing Italian songs
Everybody is another
Can you dig it (yes, I can) 
And I’ve been waiting such a long time
For Saturday

Another day in the park
I think it was the Fourth of July
Another day in the park
I think it was the Fourth of July

People talking, really smiling
A man playing guitar
And singing for us all
Will you help him change the world
Can you dig it (yes, I can)
And I’ve been waiting such a long time
For today

Slow motion riders fly the colors of the day
A bronze man still can tell stories his own way
Listen children all is not lost, all is not lost, oh no, no

Funny days in the park
Every day’s the Fourth of July
Funny days in the park
Every day’s the Fourth of July

People reaching, people touching
A real celebration
Waiting for us all
If we want it, really want it
Can you dig it (yes, I can)
And I’ve been waiting such a long time
For the day, yeah yeah

Hoo hoo oh
Hmm hmmm
Hmm hmmm