Youtube really does unearth some interesting tv clips from the past…
Some time back I spent a day digitizing a lot of vinyl, most of which I hadn’t played in years, it was basically much of what we on the west coast were listening to through the late sixties and into the seventies. Finny, another westcoaster, just posted the Youngbloods on Earworms and and that was enough to send my off to my iTunes file to find some of those vinyl cuts, always loved the Youngbloods. So here’s a short playlist, I suspect that many of them will be familiar, but you, like me might not have heard them for a while.
I think it’s what those square DJ’s call ‘A trip down memory lane’ or ‘A blast from the past’.
A good way to start a week?
The Asafareans (Ancient Mystical order of the Revered Dinosaur – Lahontan Branch) are once again holding their Memorial Day fundraiser concert at the Fillmore. An over zealous member has booked 11 bands with only 10 spots available. Won’t you, our parishioners, would be parishioners or even barely interested pagans please help us by picking one band to headline & one to go on next years list of hopefuls. Be gentle they’re all great folks & just want to help others get their freak in order. Remember – Dinos are fond of a large aural space to frolic in so if you have speakers with a large set of woofers it’ll make them smile. Play thingy on this side to listen to in a blissfully unaware state or play thingy with playlist for those impatient for knowledge on the other side. Click gently so you don’t disturb the dinos.
It may be a song much used & abused by karaoke maniacs, bedroom youtubers, & egotistical pop stars but let us not forget what a phenomenal tune it really is. Cat may have sold it to PP for £30 back in the day – but which version of the three do you prefer? Or do you know of a better one (I have looked for a noisy indie rock version, and failed, but would love it if there was one in existence)?
‘Spill points are available, and there are bonus ‘Spill points if you can
explain why Tom Waits is holding a bunny. caption the Tom Waits & bunny photo.
I mentioned in El Blimp’s EOTWQ that I am dismantling my RV, yesterday as I was taking out the radio I found a stack of tapes that have sat hidden for about 20 years, there was one I used to play a lot. John Cale’s ‘Paris 1919′ on one side and Procol Harum’s ‘Grand Hotel’ on the other, haven’t listened to either in years. Thank god for youtube.
Brand new super sleazy and heavy 70s-style rock from young London upstarts. Can’t stop listening to this track at the moment.
This week we are moving in a new area for me. We are going to share some tracks from an interesting period in Asian popular music. I think that the Chinese are a maybe a little like the Italians of Asia. They tend to talk a lot, are very funny, and are very romantic and nostalgic and this is reflected in their popular music. The 1940 – 1980 period saw a huge change for Chinese speaking peoples. The war and revolution in China lead to the establishment PRC of course but also Taiwan became an independant country and Hong Kong, as the last colony in Chinese territory grew into a wealthy centre for trade and finance for the whole of Asia. Chinese language music was now developing in three very different environments, but some how there seems to be thread holding it together.
China. Still, in some ways, a land of mystery to us in the West. So big, so many people. How on earth can you get your head round somewhere so vast, so different, so ancient ? We’d like to introduce you to some Chinese tunes this week. Many of them heavily “Westernised” and , therefore, somewhat easier on the ear than traditional Chinese music. Hope you enjoy them
40 years ago, after almost two months in Yurp*, the Grateful Dead tribe of 50-odd (some very odd) musicians, roadies, managers, techies and associated ‘other halves’ packed up their equipment and belongings and headed back to the San Francisco Bay Area, taking with them an estimated 17 miles of music-coated magnetic tape. By all accounts, they had enjoyed themselves and accumulated good memories that would last for some considerable time. Continue reading
THE sponsors of the Bickershaw Pop Festival were today counting the cost of the big flop. They spent thousands of pounds promoting the three-day festival which ended in the early hours of today. One of the sponsors, market trader Mr Harry ‘The Count’ Bilkus [real name Harry Cohen] commented at his home just over the road from the festival site: ‘It’s a total disaster. I have lost everything. I don’t know what to do.’ Just 40,000 fans turned up to the festival, braving ankle deep mud during rain storms – only one third of the number which organisers had hoped for. In all, it could mean a £60,000 loss.
…which is well over half a million pounds in today’s prices. Musically, however, it was anything but a flop. And a ‘bloomin’ catastrophe’ on the tower was avoided…
Click Here for more details (in an unashamed attempt to remind you of my on-going trip).
In 1974, Argentina came out with a new peso coin (the peso leya).
It was 2mm thick, weighed 5 g, and was made of aluminum-bronze. It was generally described as round, and had a narrower rim than the 1976 peso coin. In addition, the sun on the 1976 peso coin was larger than on the 1974 peso coin. The edge was milled. Lettering on the coin read: REPUBLIC ARGENTINA on one side and 1 PESO on the other.
This was a period of high inflation in Argentina. It took 11.90 pesos to buy one American dollar at the start of the year, and by February it had jumped to an exchange rate of 12.30 pesos. There was little change in March, but in April it jumped to 13.30 pesos. By the end of May it took 14.40 pesos to purchase one American dollar. There was again only a modest increase for one month, but by the end of July the exchange rate was 16.60 pesos to one American dollar. In August the exchange rate increased to 17.55 pesos per American dollar. By the end of September the exchnage rate was 18.70 pesos, and by the end of October it had risen to 20.05 pesos. November saw a minor increase to 20.90 pesos, and by the end of December you would need 22.00 Argentinian pesos to purchase $1US.
Meanwhile, also in early 1974, in the UK Les McKeown was hastily re-recording lead vocals on the Bay City Rollers’ forthcoming single, “Remember (Sha La La La)”. It was the break the Edinburgh pop/rock/pop rock/bubblegum pop/glam rock quintet needed as it became a sizable hit and a lead-in to a series of UK chart hits.
In a first attempt to introduce some stability to their currencies in relation to the US dollar, the six member states of the European Economic Community (West Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands) agreed, at a meeting in Basel 40 years ago today, to create a currency exchange rate system. It became known as the ‘snake in the tunnel’: the ‘snake’ being the various intra-European exchange rates and the ‘tunnel’ being the limitations created by the dollar’s exchange rate with them. Continue reading
Beat-Club was a TV music program that ran from September 1965 to December 1972, broadcast from Bremen, in what was then West Germany. Many UK and US acts, and Kraftwerk, performed on it and a fair number of clips from the show – including performances from the likes of Alice Cooper, King Crimson, ELP, Deep Purple, The Doors, Canned Heat, BB King, Jethro Tull, Cream and The Who – can be found here.
[Achtung: Sie verlassen jetzt die Totenfreizone!] Continue reading
Unlike television in their homeland, Danish TV was willing to broadcast the Grateful Dead live, in stereo and without numerous ad breaks. They didn’t air the hour-long Dark Star/Sugar Magnolia/Caution but a fair number of the earlier songs were supplied to the Danish public’s ears and eyes. What seems to be the full broadcast show from the second night at the Tivoli on April 17th 1972 is now on YouTube (see below).
To add some visual interest to the show (let’s face it, there’s not a lot of snazzy stagecraft in a Dead performance), they donned their Bolo and Bozo masks to play Big Railroad Blues (at the hour mark in the video).
On the same day that the penultimate voyagers to the Moon lifted off from Florida in Apollo 16, the Grateful Dead played a concert to 700 people in the very crowded cafeteria of Aarhus University. They opened the first set with Bob Weir’s speeding rocker, Greatest Story Ever Told, the first line of which is Moses come riding up on a quasar, setting up this post for me 40 years later, in which I connect their blazing start to that of Apollo 16 (and Moses).
Except they didn’t really blaze. Bobby stumbles over the lyrics, Garcia doesn’t hit it right and even Phil fails to nail it (although Keith makes a good fist of the piano part). Donna, whose vocals add to the mayhem of the song when it’s played right, went completely AWOL for the night. Typical! Continue reading
The source I’ve been using for the ‘40 years ago’ events says of April 14th, 1972: The Grateful Dead played their first paying concert in front of a foreign language crowd, in Copenhagen, Denmark at the Tivolis Koncertsa. (They played a free concert in the grounds of the ‘Honky Château’ in Hérouville, France in 1971, meaning good old Wikipedia is technically correct). So, as I don’t need to construct a tenuous link today, I’ll just play a song from what was the first of two nights at the Tivoli.
This is one of several from Ace, the ‘solo’ album they’d been helping Bob Weir to record just before coming over the Atlantic: Looks Like Rain. Continue reading
On April 11th, 1972, the United States Conference of Roman Catholic bishops was opened to the press for the first time and 75 reporters turned up to the meeting in Atlanta to hear Cardinal John Krol deliver his speech. In Latin.
The Cardinal told reporters, “We told you we’d let you in. We didn’t tell you what language we’d talk.” Pranksters can be found in the most unlikely of places, it seems.
There were also language issues when the Grateful Dead buses headed up to play the Newcastle-upon-Tyne City Hall on the same day, expecting that it wouldn’t be until they sailed across the North Sea that they’d have difficulty understanding the locals….
Fortunately, music is a universal language. Continue reading
Almost everyone has used Elmore James’ version as a template for their cover – it’s more of a standard 12-bar blues song than Tampa Red’s earlier composition – and the Grateful Dead were no exception. But they played it slower than most and, as ever, their interpretation is not just the singer and lead guitar over a formulaic blues backing.
Despite Pigpen’s deteriorating health (he died a year later), he makes a valiant attempt to emulate his bluesmen heroes and plays some decent harmonica on this performance from Wembley on April 8th, 1972. Garcia set a much slower pace for most of the later versions on the tour, causing poor Ron to hold those harmonica notes even longer, but this is just about right, I reckon. The overall performance is subtly understated, delicate even, and what Ron’s voice lacks in power is made up for by the excellent tone and dynamics of the instrumentation.
…that Mormon Sunday School teacher and would-be FBI agent Richard McCoy Jr. boarded United Airlines Flight 855 under the alias ‘James Johnson’. By threatening to blow the plane up mid-flight, he struck a deal with the airline to have half a million dollars and a parachute ready for him at San Francisco airport. After landing there, collecting his loot and releasing the passengers, the plane returned to the skies and he jumped from it at 16,000 feet over Utah, landed safely and hitch-hiked home. He and most of the money were found two days later and he received a 45-year prison sentence. He escaped from jail two years later but when the FBI caught up with him again, they shot him dead.
At the same time as McCoy’s hijacking exploits, the Grateful Dead’s road crew were suspending parachutes from the ceiling of the Empire Pool in Wembley, in an attempt to improve its dire acoustics prior to the band taking the stage for the first concert of their first European tour…. Continue reading
I just stumbled across these little mindf**ks. It’s great that someone has had the musical breadth of interest to make them but I really can’t decide what I think about the results…
I wanted to start a series of occasional posts about how I came to discover some different artists and this will be the first of the series. So this series will be about how I discovered some different English language artists and I tell the story by including tracks by the artists that lead me to the discovery.
Beg to differ? No problem. For any who care to stick around – my dance card has plenty of spaces. Hard to tell what exactly defines disco – i tend to lean towards the funk / r&b end of it. Left out quite a few decent poppy disco tunes too. Have any personal faves, feel free to post below. I left a lot out. Some may sound very familiar – lots of covers of of the old disco tunes.
1. Yarborough & Peoples – Don’t Stop the Music
2. Evelyn Champagne King – Shame
3. Michael Jackson – Working Day and Night
4. Teena Marie – Lovergirl
5. Mary Jane Girls – In My House
6. Anita Ward – Ring My Bells
7. SOS Band – Take Your Time (Do it Right)
8. Cherelle – I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On
9. Indeep – Last Night a DJ Saved My Life
10.Evelyn Champagne King – Love Come Down
11. Earth, Wind & Fire – Getaway
12. Prince – I Wanna Be Your Lover
13. Janet Jackson – The Pleasure Principle
14. Cameo – She Strange
15. Rufus – Tell Me Something Good
16. Brick – Dazz
17. Slave – Slide
18. Ronnie Hudson and the Street People – West Coast Poplock
19. Mtume – Juicy Fruit
20. Zapp & Roger – More Bounce to the Ounce
21. Pointer Sisters – Yes We Can Can
A: No times
Q: So how many times do you plan to see them in 2012?
A: At least three and probably 4 times…
Because Too Much Ain’t Enough
This post was inspired by those Pete Frame “Rock Family Trees” diagrams that I’ve always found so engrossing and which are a great way to waste an afternoon.
The idea for this particular one came from me listening to the first, eponymous album by the band UK, which featured Bill Bruford, John Wetton, Eddie Jobson and Alan Holdsworth, with Bruford and Wetton being the rhythm section that powered the great “Lark’s Tongues In Aspic”, “Starless And Bible Black” and “Red” incarnation of King Crimson. The presence of Eddie Jobson reminded me that he did some violin overdubs for the KC live album from this period, “USA”.
Then I wandered mentally from UK and USA to Asia, another band that featured John Wetton and which also had Steve Howe from Yes, the band where Bill Bruford started out. You can see where this leads, can’t you?
So, I thought I’d put together a playlist that had one rule; the music must feature at least one member of either Yes or King Crimson playing under a different banner.
The musicians I have used are Greg Lake (KC’s original bassist/ELP), Ian McDonald and Michael Giles(also from the original KC line-up/McDonald and Giles), Bill Bruford (Yes and KC/Bruford/AWBH), John Wetton (KC/Asia – also played live with Roxy Music), Robert Fripp (KC – obviously/David Bowie/Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins), Mel Collins (KC/Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins), Steve Howe, Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman (all Yes/AWBH), Vangelis (Yes/Aphrodite’s Child), Boz Burrell (KC/Bad Company and Eddie Jobson (KC in the studio/Roxy Music)
So, the track listing is;
Emerson, Lake and Palmer – The Barbarian
McDonald and Giles – Flight Of The Ibis
Asia – Only Time Will Tell
Aphrodite’s Child – The Four Horsemen
Roxy Music – Out Of The Blue
David Bowie – “Heroes”
Bill Bruford – Beelzebub
John Wetton – New Star Rising
Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins – The Other Man
Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe – Order Of The Universe
Bad Company – Bad Company
There are lots of other connections that you can find if you are an obsessive about such things. If you wanted to branch out, you could link Yes to UK to Soft Machine and to Gong via Bill Bruford and Alan Holdsworth (because Holdsworth played with UK, the Softs and Gong). You can also link King Crimson to Gong via Theo Travis, who has played live with Robert Fripp. There are also links via Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn, Tony Levin and Adrian Belew. You can even link King Crimson to Hall and Oates via Fripp and his work on Darryl Hall’s first solo album, “Sacred Songs”. It goes on and on. I am sure that people can find other links.
Incidentally, the only reason I don’t have a UK track here is that for some reason I don’t understand, my PC was unable to open the CD.
He’s Gonna Step On You Again – John Kongos
Freedom To The People – The Heptones
You Know You know – Mahavishnu Orchestra
Dig Deep In Your Soul – Bobby Boyd Congress
Feel Flows – The Beach Boys
The Lady With The Braid – Dory Previn
People Make The World Go Round – The Stylistics