Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Some Of Your Mid-Week Comments

Getting some good stuff this week that just can't wait ... check it out!

We told you last week he was EVERYWHERE ... and now comes this insider's, behind-the-scenes look at part of Micky's press jaunt from last week ... busy guy ... but having LOTS of fun!!!  (More fun than a barrel full of Monkees???) It seems to be Micky-Mania all over again!!! 

(Check out ALL the details in James Edstrom's Times Square Gossip column!)

Micky Dolenz with (L-R) Sarah Gore, Jane Hanson and Jacque Reid
(Certainly there are WORSE ways to spend an afternoon!!!)
Micky Dolenz with Scott Shannon (The True Oldies Channel)

 Micky Dolenz presenting his Monkees script at Planet Hollywood (with Jim Kerr)

Micky Dolenz at Q104.3's NY studio last week with morning man Jim Kerr 
(and Shelli Sonstein), talking about a memorabilia presentation, later that day, 
at Planet Hollywood: A 1967-original script from the NBC show 'The Monkees' called 
“The Monkees Blow Their Minds.”  
Kerr introduced Dolenz at a packed-Planet Hollywood later that day.

FH Reader Ken Voss sent us this recent blurb ...
So what happens to legendary rockers?
Here's the story of Sly Stone:
Funk legend Sly Stone now homeless and living out of a van in LA

In his heyday, he lived at 783 Bel Air Road, a four-bedroom, 5,432-square-foot Beverly Hills mansion that once belonged to John Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas.  The Tudor-style house was tricked out in his signature funky black, white and red color scheme. Shag carpet. Tiffany lamps in every room. A round water bed in the master bedroom. There were parties where Stevie Wonder, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Miles Davis would drop by, where Etta James would break into “At Last” by the bar.

Just four years ago, he resided in a Napa Valley house so large it could only be described as a “compound,” with a vineyard out back and multiple cars in the driveway.

But those days are gone.

Today, Sly Stone -- one of the greatest figures in soul-music history -- is homeless, his fortune stolen by a lethal combination of excess, substance abuse and financial mismanagement. He lays his head inside a white camper van ironically stamped with the words “Pleasure Way” on the side. The van is parked on a residential street in Crenshaw, the rough Los Angeles neighborhood where “Boyz n the Hood” was set. A retired couple makes sure he eats once a day, and Stone showers at their house. The couple’s son serves as his assistant and driver.

Inside the van, the former mastermind of Sly & the Family Stone, now 68, continues to record music with the help of a laptop computer.

“I like my small camper,” he says, his voice raspy with age and years of hard living. “I just do not want to return to a fixed home. I cannot stand being in one place. I must keep moving.”

Stone has been difficult to pin down for years. In the last two decades, he’s become one of music’s most enigmatic figures, bordering on reclusive. You’d be forgiven for assuming he’s dead. He rarely appears in public, and just getting him in a room requires hours or years of detective work, middlemen and, of course, making peace with the likelihood that he just won’t show up.
There was a time when Sly was difficult to escape. Stone, whose real name is Sylvester Stewart, was one of the most visible, flamboyant figures of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The multiracial, multi-gender band that Stone assembled fused funk, soul and psychedelic rock and became one of the most influential acts ever. The San Fran-based group released a string of hits beginning with the 1968 album “Dance to the Music,” followed by “Everyday People,” “Family Affair,” “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” and “Stand!”
The group’s costumes and showmanship were just as memorable. The members favored giant afros, flashy capes, Beatle boots, neon vests and leopard-print jumpsuits.
Stone learned to sing in church as a child. He grew up in a middle-class, Christian household in Vallejo, Calif., and he and three of his siblings sang in a gospel group. As a young man, he studied music at a local junior college and worked as a soul disc jockey at a local radio station. He played in several bands with his brother, Fred, a guitarist.
The lineup of Sly & the Family Stone, which included Fred and sister Vet, solidified in 1966. The band’s energetic live shows, positive lyrics and diverse membership earned it buzz in the Bay Area, and the Family was signed by CBS Records.
Appearances on shows like “Music Scene” and “The Ed Sullivan Show” soon followed, and in the summer of ’69, at the peak of their power, they managed to turn what should have been a snoozy middle-of-the-night slot at Woodstock into one of the highlights of the festival. As the band began to play, tens of thousands of people creeped out of their sleeping bags to watch. They left the stage with the audience still roaring, “Higher!”
And then the inevitable cracks began to appear. Sly moved to Los Angeles while the rest of the band remained in the Bay Area. He started hanging around with unsavory characters. There were whispers of cocaine and PCP abuse, Mafia connections and guns being pulled on people.
Things got dark. Stone started missing rehearsals and even performances. In 1970, he failed to show up at 26 of the band’s 80 gigs and quickly developed a reputation as mercurial.
“There were these people that say I had to pay a $50,000 bond, so if I’m late, they keep the money, right?” Stone says. “It seemed that people saw to it that I was gonna be late, and I get there, and this promoter ran out and started shouting, ‘You gonna be late again? F--k you! We don’t need that s--t, man!’ I’m thinking about music, and the only time when I can play is when I am happy. So I just leave.”
Sly & the Family Stone began to fall apart. Drummer Greg Errico and bassist Larry Graham (who’s credited with creating the much-imitated slap-bass sound) bolted in the early 1970s, and by 1975 the group called it quits.
Drugs took a tighter hold. One night close to Christmas, Stone headed out to buy presents for his young son, Sylvester, whom he had with Kathy Silva, a model he married on stage at Madison Square Garden in 1974.
“I had about $2,500 to spend,” Stone recalls. “By the time I get [to the store], I had spent it all on drugs. Yes, I did. And when I getting close to little Syl’s house, I thought, ‘Oooh, man. I never should have done that.’ When I saw him, I said, ‘I spent your money up on drugs. I spend it up on dope.’ ”
Over the years, Stone has dropped tens of thousands of dollars on his other hobby: automobiles. In his early days, he drove a Jaguar XKE he painted purple. There were Hummers, a London taxi and a beloved Studebaker, which Stone asked to have painted in exchange for this interview. (The Post declined.) A few years ago, he would cruise around LA on a bright-yellow, custom three-wheel chopper. He was known to give cars to friends.
By 1980, the group’s popularity had declined enormously from its heyday. Stone appeared on an episode of “The Mike Douglas Show” and promised, “I’m going to do one more album real quick, and if it’s not instantly platinum, bye-bye.” Sly & the Family Stone’s 10th and final album, 1982’s “Ain’t But the One Way,” flopped.
Stone kept his word and mostly vanished. He was arrested a few times in the 1980s for cocaine possession and performed sporadically, but his days of sold-out shows and magazine covers were gone. A 1987 performance would prove to be his last for 19 years.
He finally reappeared during a 2006 Grammy tribute, shuffling on stage, his posture hunched and his neck bent as a result of a fall he suffered at his home. He arrived midway through a medley of his classic hits, played the keyboard and sang for a few bars, waved, then inexplicably left the stage before the song concluded.
Today, Sly is disheveled, paranoid -- the FBI is after him; his enemies have hired hit men. He refuses to let The Post into his camper, but, ever the showman, poses flamboyantly with a silver military helmet and a Taser in front of his Studebaker.

Sly Stone, now 68 years old, shows he can still get funky -- 
brandishing a Taser for a photo session in front of his Studebaker. 
(photos by John Chapple)

The singer claims his money troubles escalated in 2009, when his royalty payments stopped flowing after Stone accused his manager, Jerry Goldstein, of fraud. Stone says he was tricked into signing a rotten contract with Goldstein in 1989, giving the manager control of his finances in exchange for a weekly paycheck.

Last year, Stone sued Goldstein for $50 million, alleging fraud and 20 years of stolen royalty payments. (Contributing to the singer’s dire financial situation, he foolishly sold his valuable music-publishing rights to Michael Jackson for a reported $1 million in 1984.)

Goldstein did not return calls seeking comment.

The performer’s cash-flow problems forced him out of his Napa Valley house that he rented with money from a 2007 European tour and into cheap hotels and the van in 2009. Stone hopes to soon put the lawsuit and his other woes behind him.

“My music is a format that will encourage you to have a song you won’t forget. That’s why I got so much money, that there are so many people around, and that’s why I am in court. Millions of dollars!” Stone says. “But now please tell everybody, please, to give me a job, play my music. I’m tired of all this s--t, man.”
Earlier this year, Stone released an album of his hits re-recorded with other artists. Stone has new songs, but he no longer trusts record companies or managers and is wary about making a deal to release another album. He works constantly on new music, often staying up for two days straight, then sleeping for the next two. (In a nice piece of symmetry, some of his 1971 album, “There’s a Riot Goin’ On,” was recorded in a Winnebago.) He has hundreds of new tracks recorded in his van that he keeps for himself. For now, at least.
“But, with new energy, it will feel good to step on stage,” he says. “I see all the guys playing those old songs. Let these guys know, like Lady Gaga, let me come in, just let me come in and pay me if you like it.”
William Alkema is the director of the Sly & the Family Stone documentary, “Dance to the Music,” to be re-released this year.

If you're a Beach Boys Fan, you've got ALL kinds of things to look forward to all of a sudden.  Check out this list of up-coming releases sent into us by Phil from Pray For Surf:
A great rock-and-roll story is a magnet, and the Beach Boys story has one of the strongest pulls of all.  Author Jon Stebbins has been producing literary and televised Beach Boys productions for years, and now Backbeat Books' newest FAQ title puts his mammoth knowledge of Beach Boys history and obscure lore into one entertaining, fast-paced tome.  So pull up a chair or catch a wave -- it's time for fun, fun, fun in the summertime.
The Beach Boys FAQ: All That's Left to Know About America's Band (Backbeat Books, $19.99) dives down deep into the legend.  Great for casual fans, Stebbins discusses the album Pet Sounds, Brian Wilson's reclusiveness, TV appearances, and solo careers.  But, this book will also take readers beyond the shoreline:  Why are they considered the American Beatles?  What was the truth behind Murray Wilson, Showbix-Dad?  How did the band affect global warming?
The Beach Boys FAQ covers everything from the stories -- like the time Al Jardine went out to learn to surf with Dennis Wilson, but was disgusted to learn they were surfing exactly where LA's sewage was emptying into the South Bay -- to stats and lists such as instruments, addresses, song charts, and which boys sang which songs.  With access to the Beach Boys, their families, friend, and collaborators, Jon Stebbins has created the ultimate Beach Boys guide in a format that allows readers to choose to dip in a toe or plunge in headfirst.
Jon Stebbins is the author of Dennis Wilson: The Real Beach Boy and The Lost Beach Boy.  His liner-notes credits include the 2008 Sony Legacy edition of Dennis Wilson's Pacific Ocean Blue.  Stebbins has also written and produced shows for BBC-TV, including the documentary The Beach Boys: Wouldn't It Be Nice?
BRIAN WILSON - IN THE KEY OF DISNEY  (available October 25th)
Brian Wilson's forthcoming Disney album will have Disney film music classic songs re-interpreted by Brian.  Songs include:  You've Got A Friend in Me, The Bare Necessities, Baby Mine, Kiss The Girl, Colors of the Wind, Can You Feel The Love Tonight?, We Belong Together, I Just Can't Wait To be King, Stay Awake, Heigh-Ho / Whistle While You Work, When You Wish Upon A Star and A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes.  You can listen to Brian's interpretation of "Heigh Ho / Whistle While You Work" on his website at
THE BEACH BOYS SMiLE ALBUM  (available November 1st)
Artwork and Track Lists have already been unveiled
Never-Before-Released 1966-1967 Album Sessions compiled for 2 CD and Digital Packages and Deluxe and an Expanded Box Set ... Special Packages to be available exclusively from
Rolling Stone Magazine calls "SMiLE" "The most famous unfinished album in rock and roll history."  Produced by Brian Wilson, Mark Linett, Alan Boyd and Dennis Wolfe in Los Angeles, all of The SMiLE Sessions' physical and digital configurations include an assembled collection of core session tracks, while the box set delves much deeper into the sessions, adding early song drafts, alternate takes, instrumental and vocals-only mixes and studio chatter.
Artwork for all of The SMiLE Sessions physical and digital configurations has been created with and inspired by Beat-Pop artist Frank Holmes' original 1967 LP sleeve art and booklet designs intended for the SMiLE album.  With its three-dimensional shadowbox lid, The SMiLE Sessions Box Set offers a whimsical peek inside the storied SMiLE Shop.
View here (at

And, speaking of The Beach Boys, here's more on The Wrecking Crew ...

I read the postings about The Wrecking Crew. I can't believe Carol Kaye's so upset. We went to a screening and met Denny Tedesco. I think it's a great film and he did a remarkable job with it. I don't envy him all the music licensing, but I hope he works it out. It's so obvious that he loved the subject ... and not just his dad's part of it ... and I thought he went out of his way to portray Carol and all of them in a positive light. But it happens ... it's happened to me. I guess it's true that you can't please all of the people all of the time.
Carolyn Travis
I don't quite get it either, Carolyn ... and I'm hoping Carol will eventually contact us to discuss this more thoroughly ... the quotes attributed to her thus far, however, are pretty intense!
(Carolyn Travis is the film maker who put together the "Airplay" video we've been telling you about these past couple of years.  It has aired numerous times on PBS affiliates across the country and is now available for purchase.  In fact, we've got a copy to give away to a lucky Forgotten Hits Reader.  Interested?  Drop me an email and we'll add your name to the list.  Then, we'll draw one lucky winner and award them the brand new "Director's Cut" Edition, featuring lots of material NOT shown during the
PBS broadcasts.  (kk)

Ricky Nelson was my Favorite 'Teen Idol' singer. I loved the articles.
Whenever you feel down in the dumps, tune in a current radio station, and think of what we grew up with !! that would cheer anyone.
How very lucky we were!
Take Care,
Sweet Dreams
Charlie Fraser


Here’s an update on the terrific new Zombies CD, “Breathe Out, Breath in.”  The group’s U.S. agent, Chris Tuthill, tells me the album is currently available as a digital download at Amazon and as an import (for $17.27) on Amazon as well.  They are currently working on proper U.S. distribution.

And, here are some more tour dates missing from the list you ran the other day: 

Tuesday, September 27th - City Winery - New York, NY

Wednesday, September 28th - State Theatre - State College, PA

Friday, September 30th - Celebrity Theatre - Phoenix, AZ

Saturday, October 1st - The Canyon Club - Agoura Hills, CA

Sunday, October 2nd - The Coach House - San Juan Capistrano, CA

~ Saw The Zombies in concert at The Cannery Casino and what a concert it was.

Colin Blunstone can still belt out the tunes like no other and Rod Argent is a master on the keyboards. Kuddos to the rest of the band as they were excellent as well. A few of the classics performed were "Time Of The Season", "She's Not There", "Tell Her No", "Hold Your Head Up", and "I Love You". The only drawback is I wish they would have had a meet and greet after the show for the fans. All in all though, it was a GREAT concert from a legendary band!
-- John Blazier,

Indianapolis, Indiana

Just got through reading the comments for this Sunday and from what I remember (and I could be wrong) and from what you said at the end of the comments, apparently someone in your family is getting married (daughter no doubt). For one week leading up to the wedding, why don't you feature a FH that is wedding related. For example, June Valli's THE WEDDING, Connie Francis had a 1969 song THE WEDDING CAKE, etc. One song I am sure you do not want to post is Tammy Wynette's D-I-V-O-R-C-E. Have a great week.
Actually, it sounds like we've now got TWO daughters getting married in the next six months ... and since we're already IN the poor house I can't even blame these nuptial events for putting us there!!!  Personally, I always loved Julie Rogers' version of "The Wedding" (a different song) and haven't featured that one in AGES!  (We did "White On White" by Danny Williams last week however!)  kk

Just thought of another song you could possibly use as a wedding type of song leading up to
your daughter's wedding. One of your readers spoke about doowop music. There is the
Willows 1956 song CHURCH BELLS MAY RING, later covered by the Diamonds. Currently I am watching the NFL game on television and they just ran a commercial which I have never seen before. The background music was the  Students' EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK.

Would you believe I just thought of another wedding type of song to use if you decide to go that route. the Platters' 1967 WITH THIS RING.
Actually, there are TONS of wedding songs we could feature I suppose ... I'll have to give this some thought as the date draws nearer.  Thanks, Larry!  (kk)


To be honest with you, I was not familiar with the James Brown song in today's FH. I double checked my surveys and sure enough, it did not make the local survey here in OKC. However, I do have the song on one of my Brown albums.


Absolutely loved this week's Sunday comments installment. I checked out the Neil Diamond Johnny Cash clip ... it gave me chills ... man, Neil was a cutie!

The Beatles in Arkansas story was pretty cool ... who knew?

Sorry to hear that Mark Lindsay is no longer with the Happy Together tour ... he was the star of the show I saw. I can understand why the Association is out ... they were the weakest link. Micky Dolenz and Gary Puckett are no slouches though. I hope the 2012 tour comes back this way.

As usual Kent ... good job.


My hope is that this will free up some time for Mark Lindsay to fill in a few more solo dates, giving fans an expanded set of Paul Revere and the Raiders and solo hits.  Micky couldn't do the 2011 tour because of The Monkees' Reunion Tour.  Rumors that they'll also regroup in 2012 are also circulating ... but time will tell.  If I'm surprised by anything regarding the new line-up, it's that The Grass Roots are still on the bill.  MOST of the mail we received this past year indicated that fans were overall NOT happy with this new representation of the group ... on the other hand, a billing like "The New Grass Roots" could easily change all of that ... so we'll see what happens.  (It's not that they don't do the material well ... or that they don't have a real affection for it ... it's more a case of without a single original member on board, it's tough to sell this act under the original brand name.  Folks still wanna hear the tunes ... but purists want the "Truth In Music" Act to take precedent, too. 
And how weird is this?!?!?  Howard Kaylan of The Turtles tells me that HE learned of the 2012 Happy Together Tour Line-Up by reading it in Forgotten Hits!!!  (I think that's the first time we ever scooped the ARTIST!!!  lol)  They're also hoping to do much more west coast cities this time around (which should satisfy many of the FH Readers who wrote in last year asking "Why doesn't The Happy Together Again Tour ever come out OUR way?!?!?)    kk