Beatles – Yer Blues

Great hard bluesy song on one of my favorite Beatle albums…The White Album. This is one reason I like the White Album so much. The variety it gives you is off the charts…but there is no mistaking who the band is in every song. The Beatles kept their style through the lush soft songs to the hard ones.

What I like about it is the rawness. This song and Helter Skelter have enough to spare.

The room they recorded this in was called Room 2A, which was next to the control room of EMI Studio Two and was a mere 8 ft. by 15.5 ft. The room had been used for storing four-track machines before it was emptied. It was very tight quarters for The Beatles once they set everything up. That added to the sound. They jammed together from 7pm to 5am and after 14 takes produced this song.

John Lennon wrote this in India while The Beatles were on a retreat learning meditation with the Maharishi.

Lennon was self-conscious about singing the blues.

John Lennon: “There was a self-consciousness about suddenly singing blues,” John continues. “Like everybody else, we were all listening to Sleepy John Estes and all that in art school (in the late ’50’s).  But to sing it, was something else. I was self-conscious about doing it.”

Ringo Starr: “We were just in an 8 foot room, with no separation, just doing what we do best: playing.”

A 9 minute version with Lennon, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and Mitch Mitchell was performed on the Rolling Stones’ Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus. They called themselves the Dirty Mac.

Yer Blues

Yes, I’m lonely
Want to die
Yes, I’m lonely
Want to die
If I ain’t dead already
Oh, girl, you know the reason why

In the morning
Want to die
In the evening
Want to die
If I ain’t dead already
Oh, girl, you know the reason why

My mother was of the sky
My father was of the earth
But I am of the universe
And you know what it’s worth

I’m lonely
Want to die
If I ain’t dead already
Oh, girl, you know the reason why

The eagle picks my eye
The worm he licks my bone
I feel so suicidal
Just like Dylan’s Mr. Jones

Lonely
Want to die
If I ain’t dead already
Oh, girl, you know the reason why

Black cloud crossed my mind
Blue mist round my soul
Feel so suicidal
Even hate my rock and roll

Want to die
Yeah, want to die
If I ain’t dead already
Oh, girl, you know the reason why

 

John Lennon – Cold Turkey

Not the most pleasant song available from John but it does get your attention. I do like the guitar sound that John and Eric Clapton get in this song.

This song is about drug withdrawal. Quitting “Cold Turkey” means abruptly stopping drug use and the effect it has on your body and mind. John Lennon quit cold turkey because he wanted to get off drugs and start a family with Yoko.

John wanted to record this with the Beatles but they rejected it so he went off and recorded it on his own.

Eric Clapton and John played guitar on this, Ringo drummed, and Klaus Voormann played the bass, It was released as a single in 1969 as The Plastic Ono Band. The song peaked at #30 in the Billboard 100, #14 in the UK, and #30 in Canada.

This was Lennon’s second single away from The Beatles. “Give Peace A Chance” was released a few months earlier. This was also the first song John took complete credit for as he dropped the McCartney from Lennon and McCartney.

Its first public performance on September 13, 1969, was recorded and released on the Live Peace in Toronto 1969 album by the Plastic Ono Band.

John Lennon: “Cold Turkey was banned. They thought it was a pro-drugs song. But I’ve always expressed what I’ve been feeling or thinking at the time. So I was just writing the experience I’d had of withdrawing from heroin. To some it was a rock ‘n’ roll version of The Man With The Golden Arm because it showed Frank Sinatra suffering from drug withdrawal.”

From Songfacts

Lennon performed this on September 13, 1969 at The Toronto Rock and Revival Show, where he introduced his Plastic Ono Band (at least the configuration of it for this show). Eric Clapton was on guitar, Klaus Voorman on bass, and Alan White on drums. Yoko Ono was also part of the act, and she made an impact during “Cold Turkey.” As the song played, she emerged from a bag on stage, stepped up to a microphone, and made turkey-sounding noises (not out of character). The set was released as a live album called Live Peace In Toronto 1969.

Eric Clapton played some of the guitar on this. Lennon asked Clapton to join The Plastic Ono Band, but Eric declined.

Lennon wrote and recorded this song before attending Arthur Janov’s Primal Scream therapy workshop, which played a part in his song “Mother.” The screams he used in “Cold Turkey,” he was actually emulating Yoko singing.

When John Lennon decided to return his MBE (Member of the British Empire) award on November 25, 1969, he sent it to Queen Elizabeth II with a note explaining, “I am returning this MBE in protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against ‘Cold Turkey’ slipping down the charts.”

Cold Turkey

Temperature’s rising
Fever is high
Can’t see no future
Can’t see no sky

My feet are so heavy
So is my head
I wish I was a baby
I wish I was dead

Cold turkey has got me on the run
My body is aching
Goose-pimple bone
Can’t see no body
Leave me alone

My eyes are wide open
Can’t get to sleep
One thing I’m sure of
I’m at the deep freeze

Cold turkey has got me on the run
Cold turkey has got me on the run

Thirty-six hours
Rolling in pain
Praying to someone
Free me again

Oh I’ll be a good boy
Please make me well
I promise you anything
Get me out of this hell

Cold turkey has got me on the run

Tom Petty – I Won’t Back Down

I always liked this song. It is defiant and cocky and in times like these, we need it.

Before recording Full Moon Fever, an arsonist burned down Tom Petty’s house while he was in it with his family and their housekeeper. They escaped and spent much of the next few months driving between hotel rooms and a rented house, but Petty was badly shaken.

It was on these drives that he came up with many of the songs for the album, and the fire was a huge influence, especially on this song. Petty felt grateful to be alive, but also traumatized – understandable he could have been killed. According to a report, an arsonist had drenched the house’s back staircase in lighter fluid. Petty and his family was deeply disturbed by the fact that someone had wanted to kill them. The case remains unsolved.

The song was on Full Moon Fever which I bought as soon as it was released. The song peaked at #12 in 1989 in the Billboard 100. Full Moon Fever peaked at #3 in the Billboard Album Charts that same year. The song was written by Petty and producer Jeff Lynne.

Tom Petty: “At the session George Harrison sang and played the guitar. I had a terrible cold that day, and George sent to the store and bought a ginger root, boiled it and had me stick my head in the pot to get the ginger steam to open up my sinuses, and then I ran in and did the take.”

I remember loving the video to this song. George Harrison and Ringo appear and guitar player Mike Campbell plays George’s guitar “Rocky” for the solo.

Songfacts

“I Won’t Back Down” was his way of reclaiming his life and getting past the torment – he said that writing and recording the song had a calming effect on him.

The arsonist was never caught, which made Petty’s plight even more challenging. As for motive, there was no direct connection made, but 11 days earlier, Petty won a lawsuit against the B.F. Goodrich tire company for $1 million. Goodrich wanted to use Petty’s song “Mary’s New Car” in a TV commercial, and when he wouldn’t let them, their advertising agency commissioned a copycat song that the judge felt was too similar.

This was the first single from Full Moon Fever, which was produced and co-written by Jeff Lynne. Petty and Lynne worked on the album at Mike Campbell’s house. As guitarist for the Heartbreakers, Mike has written and produced many songs with Petty.

He told us what happened when they brought the album to MCA Records: “We thought it was really good, we were real excited about it. We played it for the record company and they said, ‘Well, we don’t hear any hits on here.’ We were very despondent about the whole thing and we went back and recorded another track, a Byrds song called ‘I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better,’ thinking at the time that maybe they’ll like this one. In the interim, they changed A&R departments and a whole new group of people were in there. We brought the same record back like six months later and they loved it – they said ‘Oh, there’s three hits on here.’ We were vindicated on that one. It was the same record. We played the same thing for them and they went for it. I guess it’s a situation of timing and the right people that wanted to get inspired about it. At the end of the line, if the songs are good and if the public connects with certain songs, that really is the true test, but you’ve got to get it out there.” (Read more in our interview with Mike Campbell.)

This was Petty’s first single without the Heartbreakers credited as his backing band. Members of the band did play on the album.

The video, directed by David Leland, features Ringo Starr on drums, with George Harrison and Jeff Lynne on guitar. Harrison did play on the track and contributed backing vocals, but Ringo had nothing to do with the song itself – a session musician named Phil Jones played drums on the Full Moon Fever album.

In some shots, Mike Campbell is playing George Harrison’s Stratocaster guitar, which he called “Rocky.” It was Harrison’s suggestion for Campbell to play it.

Around this time, Petty was active in the group The Traveling Wilburys with Lynne, Harrison, Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison.

This is perhaps Tom Petty’s most personal song. In a 2006 interview with Harp, he said, “That song frightened me when I wrote it. I didn’t embrace it at all. It’s so obvious. I thought it wasn’t that good because it was so naked. So I had a lot of second thoughts about recording that song. But everyone around me liked the song and said it was really good and it turns out everyone was right – more people connect to that song than anything I ever wrote. I’ve had so many people tell me that it helped them through this or it helped them through that. I’m still continually amazed about the power a little 3-minute song has.”

Many fans have felt a connection with this song. “The one that most strangers come up and tell me about is ‘I Won’t Back Down,'” Petty told Mojo. “So many people tell me it meant something in their lives.”

Petty played this on September 21, 2001 as part of a telethon to benefit the victims of the terrorist attacks on America. Celebrities at the event included Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks, Bruce Springsteen, and Tom Cruise. Almost 60 million people watched the special in the US.

In response to this being used as a patriotic anthem after September 11th, Petty said: “The song has also been adopted by nice people for good things, too. I just write them, I can’t control where it ends up.”

This was one of four songs Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers played at the halftime show of the Super Bowl in 2008. The others were “American Girl,” “Runnin’ Down A Dream” and “Free Fallin’.”

Tom Petty died on October 2, 2017, the day after a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas that killed 58. On October 7, Jason Aldean, who was on stage during the shooting, opened Saturday Night Live with a performance of this song, which served as both a tribute to Petty and a call for togetherness. “When America is at its best, our bond and our spirit is unbreakable,” he said before playing it.

When the shooting took place, Aldean was performing “When She Says Baby,” which was inspired by Petty’s “Here Comes My Girl.”

I Won’t Back Down

Well, I won’t back down
No I won’t back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won’t back down

No I’ll stand my ground
Won’t be turned around
And I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down
Gonna stand my ground

And I won’t back down
(I won’t back down)
Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out
(I won’t back down)
Hey I will stand my ground
And I won’t back down
Well I know what’s right
I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around
But I’ll stand my ground
And I won’t back down
(I won’t back down)
Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out
(I won’t back down)
Hey I will stand my ground
(I won’t back down)
Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out
(I won’t back down)
Hey I won’t back down
(I won’t back down)
Hey, baby, there ain’t no easy way out
(I won’t back down)
I will stand my ground
And I won’t back down
No I won’t back down

Ringo Starr – Oh My My

I had this single as a kid from a cousin. The song was off of the 1973 Ringo album that was his most successful album. Three of his former bandmates helped contribute to this album. It contained Photograph, You’re Sixteen, and this one that were hit.

Lennon jokingly sent a telegram to Ringo after the success of this album and said: “Congratulations. How dare you? And please write me a hit song.”

The song peaked at #5 in 1974 in the Billboard 100.

 

 

 

 

Oh My My

One, two, three, four!

I phoned up my doctor to see what’s the matter,
He said, “come on over.”
I said, “do i have to?”
My knees started shakin’, my wrist started achin’
When my doctor said to me:

“oh my my, oh my my, can you boogie, can you slide?
Oh my my, oh my my, you can boogie if you try.
Oh my my, oh my my, it’s guaranteed to keep you alive.”

The head nurse she blew in, just like a tornado,
When they started dancin’, i jumped off the table.
I felt myself healin’ and as i was leavin’,
This is what they said to me:

“oh my my, oh my my, can you boogie, can you slide?
Oh my my, oh my my, you can boogie if you try.
Oh my my, oh my my, it’s guaranteed to keep you alive.”

(oh – yeah hey!
All right!
Oh!
Yeah! Yeah!
Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!
All right now!
Ooh!)

Now if you should slow down and you’re feelin’ low down,
Don’t call up your doctor, just grab you a partner.
It’s what you’ve been missin’, i’ve got your prescription,
That boogie woogie remedy.

“Oh my my, oh my my, you can boogie, you can slide?
Oh my my, oh my my, we can boogie ’til we die.
Oh my my, oh my my, it’s guaranteed to keep you alive, alright.”

“oh my my, oh my my, watch me boogie, watch me slide,
Oh my my, (ow!) Oh my my, born to boogie, born to slide. (can you boogie?)
Oh my my, oh my my, oo-wee, boogie, oo-wee, aye. (can you boogie?)
Oh my my, oh my my, play that boogie, play that slide. (can you boogie?)
Oh my my, oh my my, love that boogie, love that slide. (can you boogie?)
Oh my my, oh my my, oh, my boogie, oh, my slide. (can you boogie?)
Oh my my, oh my my, come on, baby, come on now. (can you boogie)
Oh my my, oh my my, come on, baby, i’m willing to die. (can you boogie?)
Oh my my, oh my my, come on, baby, come on, try. (can you boogie?)
Oh my my, oh my my.”

Robbie Robertson – The Weight…Around the World

Playing For Change, a global nonprofit which helps provide music education to young people around the world has just released a collaborative version of Robbie Robertson‘s “The Weight,” the classic song recorded by The Band in 1968 for their debut album, Music From Big Pink

https://playingforchange.com/videos/the-weight-song-around-world/

Paul McCartney – Take It Away

That simple bass guitar riff hooks me when it comes in during the drum intro.

A good pop song from Paul McCartney in the 1980s. This was on an album called Tug of War which peaked at #1 in the Billboard album charts. The highlight to me is another McCartney bass line. The song peaked at #10 in the Billboard 100 in 1982.

Paul played bass, Ringo played drums, and George Martin played electric piano. Eric Stewart from 10cc influenced the layered backup vocals.

Paul McCartney:

“Well, there were a couple of songs that we ended up recording which Ringo asked me to write at a certain period. I was writing some songs for Ringo and “Take It Away” was in amongst those songs. I thought it would suit me better the way it went into the chorus and stuff; I didn’t think it was very Ringo.”

“I mean, the chorus I think, was Ringo, the other bits… but that’s how that comes to be that kind of track I think, I was right in that sort of direction with Ringo in mind actually.”

 

Take It Away

Take it away
Want to hear you play
Till the lights go down
Take it away
Don’t you want to stay
Till there’s no one else around?

Take it away
Want to hear you play
Till the lights go down
Take it away
Don’t you want to stay
Till there’s no one else around?

Lonely driver
Out on the road
With a hundred miles to go
Sole survivor
Carrying the load
Switches on his radio

Take it away
Want to hear you play
Till the lights go down (down down)
Take it away
Don’t you want to stay
Till there’s no one else around?

Take it away
Want to hear you play
Till the lights go down (down down)
Take it away
Don’t you want to stay
Till there’s no one else around?

In the audience
Watching the show
With a paper in his hand
(In his hand, in his hand)
Some important impresario
Has a message for the band

Oh
Take it away
Want to hear you play
Till the lights go down (down down)
Take it away
Don’t you want to stay
Till there’s no one else around?

You never know who may be
Listening to you
Never know who may be
Listening to you
You never know who may be
Listening to you
Take it away, take it away

After hours
Late in the bar
By a darkened corner seat
Faded flowers wait in the jar
Till the evening is complete

Ah
Ah
Ah
Ah

 

 

 

Beatles – Rain

This song would make my personal top ten of Beatle songs… Rain was the B side to Paperback Writer. Personally, I like this song better. First off the sound was different compared to previous songs…the bass comes through like never before and Ringo’s drumming complimented the bass so well.

They experimented with a new way of recording bass.  This technique involved “using a loudspeaker as a microphone,” explains engineer Geoff Emerick.  “We positioned it directly in front of the bass speaker and the moving diaphragm of the second speaker made the electric current.”

The peaked at #23 in the Billboard 100 in 1966.

Ringo on this recording is outstanding and some think it’s his best moment on record. Personally, I like his playing on A Day In The Life but this one is great.

At the end of the song, the vocals are backward. There are different stories on how this happened. One was that a stoned John took the tape home and put it in backward and was astonished at what he heard and wanted the whole song backward. George Martin remembered it differently: “I was always playing around with tapes,” Martin explains, “and I thought it might be fun to do something extra with John’s voice.  So I lifted a bit of his main vocal off the four-track, put it onto another spool, turned it around and then slid it back and forth until it fitted.  John was out at the time but when he came back he was amazed…They all thought it was marvelous.”

Whichever way it was…it fits this song perfectly

Paul McCartney said this about who wrote the song:

I don’t think he brought the original idea, just when we sat down to write, he kicked it off. Songs have traditionally treated rain as a bad thing and what we got on to was that it’s no bad thing. There’s no greater feeling than the rain dripping down your back. The most interesting thing about it wasn’t the writing, which was tilted 70-30 to John, but the recording of it.

From Songfacts

John Lennon wrote most of “Rain.” It was his first song to get really deep, exploring themes of reality and illusion – after all, rain or shine is just a state of mind.

This was the first song to use a tape played backward, which created the strange audio effect. John Lennon discovered the technique when he put the tape for “Tomorrow Never Knows” on the wrong way. He was stoned at the time, and producer George Martin had to convince him that using a backward recording for the entire song was a bad idea. 

Ringo Starr has said this is his best drumming on a Beatles song.

The backward vocal at the end fade out is actually the songs first line: “When the rain comes they run and hide their heads”.

This was one of the first Beatles records to feature loud, booming bass. McCartney’s bassline is extremely recognizable, in contrast to The Beatles’ older records. 

This was released as the B-side of “Paperback Writer.” It was recorded during the Revolver sessions.

As part of the studio manipulation that gave this song such an unusual sound, the rhythm track was played fast and then slowed down on tape.

The Beatles shot a video for this song with director Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who was tapped because he worked on the UK music show Ready, Steady,Go!. The videos for “Rain” and “Paperback Writer” were shot at the same time, with some footage recorded at Abbey Road studios, but most of it outdoors at the Chiswick House gardens in London.

These videos were done so The Beatles could promote the single without actually performing on the various TV shows that drew huge audiences and drove sales. In doing so, they set a standard for music videos, as other bands followed suit. The “Rain” video uses many elements that would become commonplace, including candid shots from between takes.

Rain

If the rain comes 
They run and hide their heads
They might as well be dead
If the rain comes
If the rain comes

When the sun shines 
They slip into the shade
And sip their lemonade
When the sun shines
When the sun shines

Rain, I don’t mind
Shine, the weather’s fine

I can show you 
That when it starts to rain
Everything’s the same
I can show you
I can show you

Rain, I don’t mind
Shine, the weather’s fine

Can you hear me
That when it rains and shines
It’s just a state of mind
Can you hear me
Can you hear me

Ringo Starr – Back Off Boogaloo

Back Off Boogaloo was Ringo’s follow up to his 1971 hit It Don’t Come Easy. It was released as a single only in 1972.

Some say Ringo wrote this song about Paul McCartney to stop his snide remarks in the press about the other Beatles and also to make better music. I can see why some people saw that in:

Wake up, meat head
Don’t pretend that you are dead
Get yourself up off the cart

Get yourself together now
And give me something tasty
Everything you try to do
You know it sure sound wasted

That last line was because Paul was very fond of Cannabis at the time. Ringo has since cleared that up and said it was inspired by Marc Bolan of T-Rex. Bolan had often said the word Boogaloo and Ringo wrote the song. Later on, George helped him finish the song but didn’t want songwriting credit as was the case in It Don’t Come Easy.

The song peaked at #9 in the Billboard 100 and #2 in the UK in 1972.

Chris Welch wrote in Melody Maker: “A Number One hit could easily be in store for the maestro of rock drums. There’s a touch of the Marc Bolan in this highly playable rhythmic excursion … It’s hypnotic and effective, ideal for jukeboxes and liable to send us all mad by the end of the week.”

 

Back Off Boogaloo

Back off, Boo-ga-loo, I said
Back off, Boo-ga-loo, come on
Back off, Boo-ga-loo, Boo

Back off, Boo-ga-loo
What d’yer think you’re gonna do
I got a flash right from the start

Wake up, meat head
Don’t pretend that you are dead
Get yourself up off the cart

Get yourself together now
And give me something tasty
Everything you try to do
You know it sure sound wasted

Back off, Boo-ga-loo, I said
Back off, Boo-ga-loo
You think you’re a groove
Standing there in your wallpapers shoes
And your socks that match your eyes

Back off, Boo-ga-loo, I said
Back off, Boo-ga-loo, come on
Back off, Boo-ga-loo, Boo

Ringo Starr – Photograph

One of Ringo’s best songs. This one and It Don’t Come Easy is at the top of my list of Ringo’s solo songs. The song fits Ringo perfectly. Photograph was off of what is Ringo’s best album “Ringo” that peaked at #2 in the Billboard album charts, #7 in the UK and #1 in Canada. Ringo wrote this with George Harrison. Ringo was the lead vocalist and drummer for the track, while Harrison sang harmony vocals and played 12-string guitar.

The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada, and #8 in the UK in 1973. I saw a John Lennon interview where he said he used to worry about Ringo and what he would do after the Beatles. Suddenly Ringo was on top of the world and John jokingly said he telegrammed Ringo and asked Ringo would he “write me a hit?”

From Songfacts

In this song, the singer laments the loss of his girl. The pain is made more intense by a photograph he has that keeps reminding him of the good times they had.

 Ringo performed this song at the Grammy Awards in 2014. Despite the affliction described in the lyric, Ringo did a very joyful rendition, turning the song into one more about nostalgia – old photos from his days with The Beatles were projected on the backdrop to complement this interpretation.

Later in the broadcast, Ringo backed Paul McCartney on drums for Paul’s song “Queenie Eye.”

Photograph

Every time I see your face
It reminds me of the places we used to go
But all I’ve got is a photograph
And I realize you’re not coming back anymore

I thought I’d make it the day you went away
But I can’t take it ’til you come home again to stay

I can’t get used to living here
While my heart is broke, my tears I cry for you
I want you here to have and hold
As the years go by, and we grow old and gray

Now you’re expecting me to live without you
But that’s not something that I’m looking forward to

I can’t get used to living here
While my heart is broke, my tears I cry for you
I want you here to have and hold
As the years go by, and we grow old and grey

Every time I see your face
It reminds me of the places we used to go
But all I’ve got is a photograph
And I realize you’re not coming back anymore

Every time I see your face
It reminds me of the places we used to go
But all I’ve got is a photograph
And I realize you’re not coming back anymore

Ringo Starr – It Don’t Come Easy

Maybe Ringo’s best solo song. Ringo is the only songwriter credited on this, but he had a lot of help from George Harrison, who was very generous in giving him full writing credit. The track (less Ringo’s vocal and horn parts) was already completed when Harrison gave it to him, and it included a scratch vocal by George (youtube video at the bottom).

The song peaked at #4 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada and  #4 in the UK in 1971.

Pete Ham and Tom Evans from Badfinger are on this track.

From Songfacts.

If you listen carefully during the guitar solo, the backup singers throw in a “Hare Krishna,” which was mixed way down. This is a nod to George Harrison’s 1970 hit “My Sweet Lord,” where he sings the mantra. 

This was Ringo’s first big hit as a solo artist (his cover of “Beaucoups of Blues” made #87 US a year earlier). From 1971-1975 he had a string of hits, including two #1s: “Photograph” and “You’re Sixteen.”

Peter Ham and Tom Evans of Badfinger sang on the intro to this song (“It don’t come easy, ya know it don’t come easy”). Badfinger was signed to The Beatles’ Apple Records, and helped out George Harrison’s first solo album. 

This song served Ringo well throughout his career. When he assembled his first “All Starr Band” in 1989 (featuring Dr. John, Clarence Clemmons, Joe Walsh and Billy Preston), this was the opening number on their tour. Throughout several subsequent incarnations of the band, “It Don’t Come Easy” typically remained at the top of setlist when they performed live.

Ringo performed this song with his good friend, musical cohort, and brother-in-law Joe Walsh when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.

Here is the George Harrison version

It Don’t Come Easy

One, two,
One, two, three, four!

It don’t come easy
You know it don’t come easy
It don’t come easy
You know it don’t come easy

Got to pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues
And you know it don’t come easy
You don’t have to shout or leap about
You can even play them easy

Open up your heart, let’s come together
Use a little love
And we will make it work out better

I don’t ask for much, I only want your trust
And you know it don’t come easy
And this love of mine keeps growing all the time
And you know it don’t come easy

Peace, remember peace is how we make it
Here within your reach
If you’re big enough to take it

Got to pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues
And you know it don’t come easy
You don’t have to shout or leap about
You can even play them easy

Peace, remember peace is how we make it
Here within your reach
If you’re big enough to take it

I don’t ask for much, I only want your trust
And you know it don’t come easy
And this love of mine keeps growing all the time
And you know it don’t come easy

“What’s my name?” Ringo!
“What’s my name?” Ringo!

“Just in case anybody forgot”

My Favorite Drummers

This is my top ten favorite drummers…I’m sure I’m going to leave some great ones out. Like guitarists, I like drummers with feel more than technique. Anyone who has read this blog knows who my number 1 is without question…

1…Keith Moon, The Who – It’s hard if not impossible to copy this man’s drumming style. He changed the Who completely and was their engine. I’m not a drummer so I really never cared like some drummers do if he played by the rules in drumming…Was he disciplined? No, but it worked well for him and for the songs. Songs like Bargain and Goin’ Mobile are great examples of Keith.

Related image

2…John Bonham, Led Zeppelin – Without Bonham, there is no Led Zeppelin as we know them. He was the ultimate groove drummer. He was a bricklayer and had hard hands and hit the drums incredibly hard but with a light touch also.

Related image

3…Levon Helm, The Band – Not only was he a great drummer but also a soulful singer. He brought something many drummers didn’t… a bit of the old south.

Related image

4…Charlie Watts, Rolling Stones – Charlie and Ringo made their respective groups swing. Charlie can play blues, rock, big band, and jazz. Charlie and his rhythm section partner Bill Wyman were overlooked being in the same band with Mick and Keith. On top of his drumming skills…Charlie grounds the band much like Ringo did for the Beatles.

Related image

5…Ringo Starr, The Beatles – He was not Moon or Bonham in flash but he played exactly what was needed…He could have gone overboard and the songs would have suffered. He played for the song. Some have called him the human metronome. I cannot imagine any other drummer for The Beatles. His tom tom work on Sgt Pepper alone is excellent.

Image result for ringo starr drumming 1968

6…Mitch Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix Experience – Any holes left in Jimi’s music would be quickly filled in by Mitch. He was a jazz drummer who fused it into rock.

Image result for mitch mitchell

7…Ginger Baker, Cream – If this was a list of “likable people” Ginger would not be in the top 1000 but his drumming was some of the best of the sixties and I’m sure he would say “ever”… He was as big of part of Cream’s sound as Clapton or Bruce.

Image result for ginger baker

8…Bobby Elliot, Hollies – Drummer from the Hollies that other drummers have admired. He hit the drums hard and his fills were great… He is often overlooked but he is always spot on.

Image result for bobby elliott drumming

9…Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters, Nirvana – He can play anything… He fuels those Nirvana songs…and is really great at whatever instrument he plays.

Image result for dave grohl drumming

10…Clem Burke, Blondie – An exciting drummer that was heavily influenced by number 1 on this list. He has played with Pete Townshend, Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop, and David Bowie.

Image result for Clem Burke

 

Honorable Mention

Gene Krupa, Buddy Miles, Mick Fleetwood, Max Weinberg, “D.J.” Fontana, Benny Benjamin, Stewart Copeland, and Hal Blaine.

Yes, I know… No Neil Peart…yes he is a great drummer…just not my style of music.

 

 

 

Ringo or Robin Ltd RoR

Ringo Starr and Robin Cruikshank formed a partnership in 1969 and they were located in the Beatles Apple building on Savile Row. In 1972 relocated with Apple to 54 St James Street.

Robin had originally worked for Ringo to design a stainless steel fireplace for Ringo and his wife Maureen.  Ringo started to give Robin some suggestions and the two started to worked together on furniture and different designs for years after that. The partnership lasted until 1986 and after that Ringo let Robin use the name so Cruikshank could continue different projects.

If you ever run across anything made by RoR you probably have something very valuable.

Below was designed by RoR. I can’t imagine what it would have cost. I would take it in a second.

Related image

I remember seeing the below item on the news. Very expensive because they didn’t use reproduction parts…they all had authentic Roll Royce grills.

Related image

Here are some tables by RoR.

ror_table.jpg

ror_table2.jpg

Below is Robin’s website featuring his new designs plus much more history.

http://rorint.com/

They worked with Disney to produce some mirrors with Disney characters on them.

Related image

 

Below is a video on some history of RoR

Jimmie Nicol – The Fill-In Beatle

You would think this would be a dream come true…but having sudden fame thrown on you without acclimating could be a bad thing.

In June of 1964, Ringo Starr collapsed with tonsillitis with a tour coming up. Ringo had to go to the hospital. The Beatles wanted to cancel the tour rather than go out without their drummer. Brian Epstein and George Martin did not want the momentum they help create to stop and disappoint all of the fans.

George Harrison said it would not be the Beatles without Ringo. As Brian and George Martin tried to reason with them all, George Harrison said that they would have to find two replacements because he would not go without Ringo.

Epstein and Martin pleaded with them and told them about all the fans they would disappoint. It would only be until Ringo was well again.

Someone actually brought up Pete Best’s name. John Lennon said no because that would be bad for him because he would think he was back in the band. George Martin looked up drummers and finally found Jimmie Nicol. He was the drummer for an unknown group called The Shubdubs and also did some studio work. Martin thought he was a good fit so they rang him up.

Jimmie came over to Abbeyroad for the rehearsal. He had played Beatle songs before so he knew the arrangements. The Beatles were welcoming to Jimmie knowing he was in a tough spot. A little over 20 hours later he as playing his first concert with them in Copenhagen. Denmark. He was given the Beatle haircut and he even wore Ringo’s suit. He as reportedly paid 2500 a show…which was a huge amount in 1964.

Sudden fame can be a hard thing to handle. Jimmie said that before he played with the Beatles no girls were interested in him but while he was with them that girls were everywhere. Supposedly Jimmie and John spent a night in a brothel.

Jimmie played eight shows altogether with The Beatles and thirteen days altogether with them… before arriving in Melbourne. Austrailia where Ringo was well enough to play again. During his time with The Beatles, he did help inspire a song 3 years later. Every time John and Paul asked him how he was doing he would always answer “Getting Better.” Paul thought of this in 1967 while walking his dog and ended up with John writing “Getting Better” for Sgt Pepper.

After it was over he declared bankruptcy in 1965 but he eventually joined a band that had some success called The Spotnicks and they did two world tours. He eventually moved to Mexico and then got out of music. Here are a couple of his quotes.

“The day before I was a Beatle, not one girl would look me over. The day after … they were dying just to get a touch of me. Strange and scary all at once. It’s hard to describe the feeling but I can tell you it can go to your head. I see why so many famous people kill themselves.” 

The last quote is telling of his character.

“After the money ran low, I thought of cashing-in in some way or other. But the timing wasn’t right. And I didn’t want to step on The Beatles’ toes. They had been damn good for me and to me.”

The Beatles with Jimmie

 

Two sites where I got info

https://www.beatlesbible.com/people/jimmie-nicol/2/

https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/entertainment/meet-jimmy-nicol-the-forgotten-beatle-standin-drummer-for-ringo/news-story/0f79dd8eda8adc579d3c35c6bfb32f1f

jimmie over.jpg

jimmie.jpg

beatles with Jimmie.jpg

I had to add this quote…

 “I thought I could drink and lay women with the best of them until I caught up with these guys.”

Beatles at the Star-Club 1962

These are the punk Beatles. Raw and relentless playing fast and furious. The Beatles before the world was paying attention to them. This was recorded on an old reel to reel recorder on the slowest speed to conserve tape. It was not meant to be an album or anything commercial. A friend named Ted “King Sized” Taylor the leader of a band called the Dominoes, put a microphone near the stage to record them. The quality is poor, to say the least.

It was released in 1977 and the record company sunk 100,000 dollars just to make the audio listenable.

The Beatles were playing to an audience of sailors, prostitutes, drunks and gangsters. They would rip through songs at such a speed that only 2 songs on this double album are over 3 minutes long.

They are a great band here. You catch them with their guard down and acting completely natural.

The Beatles were in their last club dates at Hamburg. They had already recorded Love Me Do and it was on the charts. They did not want to be back in Hamburg but they honored a previous agreement and was there. They didn’t mail the performances in but they were loose and relaxed.

It contains mostly cover songs with very few originals. The track listing is at the bottom of the post. This is close to what Brian Epstein heard when he first saw them, this is why they took over Liverpool and this is why they got signed.

Casual fans will not want this album but serious Beatles fans will love it. This is more than a low fidelity album…it is history. John Lennon always said that the world didn’t hear the best of the Beatles live…I agree.

After they became THE Beatles…they could not hear themselves play because of the long constant jet taking off screaming. On this album you hear them as they were before the screams.

I was 11 when I bought this and I didn’t get the importance to a few years later.

This is out of the book Tune In… Without a doubt the best book out on the Beatles. It’s the first of three volumes.

Their playing is adept and hyper-energetic, and the microphone catches many important moments. The tape’s value has been downplayed on the basis that the Beatles are musically sloppy and perhaps even lazy, knowing they’ve one foot out of the door, but this is to ignore its virtues. The Beatles did hate being in Hamburg this last time … but the recording shows them still cutting the mustard on stage. They’re sloppy because, here, they can be, but they’re not lazy, and they’re not playing with extra care because they’re being recorded: this is an authentic eavesdrop on their club act, not something fizzed-up for the tape machine.
At least three sets were recorded, and because the Beatles rarely repeated themselves in Hamburg, there are only five duplicates among the thirty-seven songs. The repertoire is a real surprise. The only self-written pieces are “Ask Me Why” and “I Saw Her Standing There” (twice), so there’s no “Love Me Do,” “PS I Love You,” “Please Please Me,” “One After 909” or any of several other possibilities, and there are few of the songs from the spine of their all-conquering 1962 stage sets—no “Some Other Guy,” “Soldier of Love,” “Please Mr. Postman,” “Don’t Ever Change,” “A Shot of Rhythm and Blues,” “Devil in Her Heart,” “Baby It’s You,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody,” “Hey! Baby, A Picture of You,” and so on. What’s here is an idiosyncratic selection of old rock numbers all played at breakneck speed—Prellies pace. The nights of half-hour “What’d I Say” marathons are past: everything is high velocity, only three numbers tipping into three minutes.

 

 

 

Side one
  1. Introduction/”I Saw Her Standing There” (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) – 0:34/2:22
  2. “Roll Over Beethoven” (Chuck Berry) – 2:15
  3. “Hippy Hippy Shake” (Chan Romero) – 1:42
  4. “Sweet Little Sixteen” (Berry) – 2:45
  5. “Lend Me Your Comb” (Kay Twomey, Fred Wise, Ben Weisman) – 1:44
  6. “Your Feet’s Too Big” (Ada Benson, Fred Fisher) – 2:18
Side two
  1. “Twist and Shout” (Phil Medley, Bert Russell) – 2:03
  2. “Mr. Moonlight” (Roy Lee Johnson) – 2:06
  3. “A Taste of Honey” (Bobby Scott, Ric Marlow) – 1:45
  4. “Bésame Mucho” (Consuelo Velázquez, Sunny Skylar) – 2:36
  5. “Reminiscing” (King Curtis) – 1:41
  6. “Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey” (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, Richard Penniman) – 2:09
Side three
  1. “Nothin’ Shakin’ (But the Leaves on the Trees)” (Eddie Fontaine, Cirino Colacrai, Diane Lampert, John Gluck) – 1:15
  2. “To Know Her Is to Love Her” (Phil Spector) – 3:02
  3. “Little Queenie” (Berry) – 3:51
  4. “Falling in Love Again (Can’t Help It)” (Frederick Hollander, Sammy Lerner) – 1:57
  5. “Ask Me Why” (Lennon, McCartney) – 2:26
  6. “Be-Bop-A-Lula” (Gene Vincent, Bill Davis) – 2:29
    • Guest lead vocal by Fred Fascher, Star-Club waiter
  7. “Hallelujah I Love Her So” (Ray Charles) – 2:10
    • Guest lead vocal by Horst Fascher, Star-Club manager
Side four
  1. “Red Sails in the Sunset” (Jimmy Kennedy, Hugh Williams) – 2:00
  2. “Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby” (Carl Perkins) – 2:25
  3. “Matchbox” (Carl Perkins) – 2:35
  4. “I’m Talking About You” (Berry) – 1:48
  5. “Shimmy Like Kate” (Armand Piron, Fred Smith, Cliff Goldsmith) – 2:17
    • Based on The Olympics’ arrangement of “I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate”;[32] sometimes misidentified as “Shimmy Shimmy” or “Shimmy Shake”
  6. “Long Tall Sally” (Enotris Johnson, Robert Blackwell, Penniman) – 1:45
  7. “I Remember You” (Johnny Mercer, Victor Schertzinger) – 1:54

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live!_at_the_Star-Club_in_Hamburg,_Germany;_1962

 

Cream – Badge

One of my favorite Cream songs. Badge was written by Eric Clapton and George Harrison. In Georges handwritten lyrics he wrote the word “Bridge” as in bridge of a song and Clapton that it was “Badge” so they named the song that. In 1969 Badge peaked at #60 on the Billboard 100 Charts, #18 on the UK Charts and #49 in Canada.

It appeared on Cream’s final album “Goodbye.”… Ringo Star threw in a line also.

George Harrison on writing Badge with Clapton

I helped Eric write “Badge” you know. Each of them had to come up with a song for that GoodbyeCream album and Eric didn’t have his written. We were working across from each other and I was writing the lyrics down and we came to the middle part so I wrote ‘Bridge.’ Eric read it upside down and cracked up laughing – ‘What’s BADGE?’ he said. After that, Ringo [Starr] walked in drunk and gave us that line about the swans living in the park

Badge

Thinkin’ ’bout the times you drove in my car.
Thinkin’ that I might have drove you too far.
And I’m thinkin’ ’bout the love that you laid on my table.

I told you not to wander ’round in the dark.
I told you ’bout the swans, that they live in the park.
Then I told you ’bout our kid: now he’s married to Mabel.

Yes, I told you that the light goes up and down.
Don’t you notice how the wheel goes ’round?
And you better pick yourself up from the ground
Before they bring the curtain down.
Yes, before they bring the curtain down.

Ah Ah Ah, yeh yeh yeh
Ah Ah Ah, yeh yeh yeh

Talkin’ ’bout a girl that looks quite like you.
She didn’t have the time to wait in the queue.
She cried away her life since she fell off the cradle.