Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Sunday Comments ( 09 - 04 - 11 )

Lots of good stuff this week ... Enjoy!
(Click photos to enlarge)

We told you last week about Ron Smith's website countdown of your Top 500 Favorites ... and now comes news from FH Regular Frank B about the WCBS-FM Top 1001 Countdown going on all weekend long!
Kent ... 
WCBS-FM is doing a new listener-voted Top 1001 Labor Day Weekend Countdown.
Here's a sample:
1001 = Celebrate - Rare Earth
1000 = So Far Away - Flock Of Seagulls
  999 = Big Girls Don't Cry - 4 Seasons
  998 = Over My Head - Fleetwood Mac
  997 = Easy Lover - Phil Collins & Phil Bailey
  996 = Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band - Beatles
  995 - Who Are You - Who
  994 = Kokomo - Beach Boys
  993 = Travelin' Band - CCR
  992 = Turn Your Love Around - George Benson
  991 = Moondance - Van Morrison
  990 = What's Love Got To Do With It - Tina Turner
  989 = Thunder Island - Jay Ferguson
  988 = This Magic Moment - Jay & Americans
  987 = Seperate Ways - Journey
  986 = Spooky - Atlanta Rhythm Section
  985 = Have You Ever Seen The Rain - CCR
  984 = Hawaii Five O - Ventures
  983 = Private Eyes - Hall & Oates
  982 = If You Want To Be Happy - Jimmy Soul
  981 = The Lion Sleeps Tonight - Robert John
Tuesday morning , Dan Taylor interviews Davy Jones.
Frank B.

Once again you can check out Ron's list here:

Hi Kent,
Thank you very much for the glowing review and the help promoting our new Christmas CD, Chicago O Christmas Three. We are happy you had a good time at the show and extend the invitation to come and see us any time we are in your area. We especially appreciate you helping to show your readers how to find our CD. We are promoting this CD as our first release on the Chicago Records II label ... and with people like you helping us get the word out, we are confident that this will be a successful one. 
We are always happy to hear when something we've done at a show has touched someone's life as with your daughter 22 years ago. Here's to a happy and long lasting marriage.
Thanks again,
Lee Loughnane

This is so awesome!  Thank you.  
Jason Scheff

Sounds like the show you saw in Chicago is pretty much the same show I just saw here in New York City.  Here are a few more pictures for your blog, courtesy of Brad Joblin.  The first two were taken this past May in Waterbury, CT.  The next two are from the show I saw last week at The Beacon Theatre.
Tom Cuddy

 All photos courtesy of Brad Joblin
Loved your review of the Chicago concert at Ravinia.  I was there that night, too, and the hits just never stopped.  What else can you tell us about the new Christmas CD?
Chicago recruited legendary producer Phil Ramone to oversee their latest release ... and are promoting it on their own record label, Chicago Records II.  (It sounds like this arrangement allowed them to spend a little extra time and money to get the album EXACTLY the way they wanted it ... and they're all very proud of the end result ... the fact that they're already performing a Christmas track during their summer shows shows you just how excited they really are about the new CD!  Lee Loughnane told me that they're absolutely THRILLED with the outcome.)  The official release date is October 4th ... but we're hoping to "sneak peek" a track for you before then.  If you check out that short YouTube clip, you'll get a quick rundown on all the tracks ... and see that it contains many Christmas favorites, 'specially arranged by the band.

I and my wife saw a Chicago concert in Mt. Pleasant, Mi. about 3 or 4 years ago. They were excellent! I don't know if it was Jason Scheff singing with them or not, but from the listener's review, it seems it was. I thought, at the concert I saw, that it WAS Peter Cetera until my wife pointed my attention to the big screen and we saw someone who was way too young to be Peter.   My only complaint about that concert was that I did not get to hear my two favorite Chicago songs; "Lowdown" & "Dialogue".  
Jason's been with them for 26 years now ... and he DOES sound an awful lot like Peter Cetera but has really come into his own as a key member of the band, especially vocally.  (I've always liked him ... I think he sounds great ... and I've probably seen them seven or eight times since Jason's been onboard.)
We were pleasantly surprised to hear "Dialogue" at Ravinia ... always one of Mrs. K's favorites (and one we featured not too long ago here in Forgotten Hits.)  We also featured "Lowdown" (another favorite) as part of our Forgotten Hits / True Oldies Channel Twin Spin Weekend:  One You Know ... One You Didn't Even Know You Forgot.  (Hey Scott, isn't it about time to do that again?!?!?) kk

Good to hear that Chicago is still doing their thing, even if the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame doesn't appreciate them. A look at my Whitburn book shows they've had 35 Top-40 hits, so commercial appeal isn't the problem. Maybe The Hall takes points away for "Hard To Say I'm Sorry," but the many classics from their great horn era more than make up for it. Great to see a band still performing two generations of hits at such a high level.

Kent --
Robert Lamm and "Howie and Mark" all look fantastic.  It would have surely been worth it to hear Everything That Touches You, one of my very FAVORITE Association tunes and definitely the highlight of their semi-psych-pop BIRTHDAY album.  It would also have been well worth the trip to hear Chicago do the entire Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon!!!  Such wonderful memories -- thanks again for letting us know about it. 
Bobster (Rashkow)
Both shows were top notch.  We've had a pretty good summer for music here in Chi-Town this year ... despite some pretty ridiculous heat!!!  (kk)

I noticed you posted the link for the artwork, which as a blind guy doesn't mean much to me. <grin>
Came across this yesterday, though.  Check out the price.
Pricey to be sure ... but the die-hards will cough it up for this release.  (It also comes in a couple of other variations, too ... you know, for the folks who don't need 35 versions of "Heroes And Villains" or "Good Vibrations" in their collection!  (lol)  Honestly, I can't wait ... especially to hear this in pristine sound after all these years of enduring bootleg copies.  (kk)

LOTS of hype kicking in for the new SMiLE release ... check out some of the SUPER deluxe editions available.  (Anybody out there saving up for the $6000 edition?!?!?)

Actually, I may have to start a "coin jar" just to raise the $170 ... but it'll be SO worth it!!! (kk)

Kent --

'I saved my pennies and I saved my dimes, so I could buy a brand new 409' :)

A much more impressive way to introduce an album than it was in '66 -- a press release and maybe a small 8 x 11 one-sheet  :) Wow. What a presentation. And, it better be for $170!! Enjoy!

Fred Vail
Nothing short of amazing!!!  OK, they've got ME convinced!  (kk)

But not EVERYBODY is willing to shell out this kind of money ... read on ... 
Hi Kent,
Just looked at the price of the Smile Box. Something like $170?
Wow! Plus some of the stuff is on vinyl. While I guess that might be cool and some folks might feel that this will add to the collectability of the box, it seems dumb in this day and age to me.
I don't want to have to go down to my turntable to play some of the things if I just shelled out $170. Yeah I could convert them myself, but the whole thing just smells of ripoff.
Now will I buy it? Probably, just to have everything I already have in better sound quality.
But I still think that Capital is totally taking advantage of all the fans who have waited for this to come out. I suspect they figure it won't sell a bunch since it isn't everyone's glass of Root Beer, but I still think it stinks.
Just wondering if any other Forgotten Hits readers agree with me.
It's expensive, to be sure ... but I've already put it at the top of my Christmas Wish List ... that is if I can stand waiting that long to get my hands on a copy!!! I think after making us wait 44 years for it to come out, the deluxe treatment is to be expected.  ($170 is still a whole lot cheaper than the $6000 version mentioned above!!!  lol)  And, if I'm not mistaken, everything on the vinyl LPs are also available on CD so you can pick your listening preference, so to speak.  No, it's not for everybody ... this was designed much more as a collector's piece than anything else ... but after all these years, how can you NOT want a copy!!! (kk)

And, after seeing Brian Wilson's show here at The Arcada Theatre a few weeks ago ... and then getting the chance to visit with Brian and Jeffrey Foskett backstage for a little while ... it was GREAT to see this little review (and back story) put together by Bob Lefsetz:

Click here: Lefsetz Letter » Blog Archive » Brian Wilson At The Canyon Club

And, after we took our daughter and her fiance' to see Brian Wilson at The Arcada, (and I explained to him not only how we had tried to help arrange a surprise appearance by Paul McCartney that night, since he was already coming into Chicago that week anyway to play at Wrigley Field ... but also how much The Beatles and The Beach Boys had influenced each other back in the '60's, albeit in a competitive way), I was SO pleased to have him tell me a few weeks later how he was reading some recent album poll which cited the two most important albums of all time as (#2) "Pet Sounds" and (#1) "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" ... especially since I had just told him how McCartney has gone on record to say that without "Pet Sounds", there might never have even BEEN a "Sgt. Pepper" album.  (kk)

And, speaking of The Beatles ...


I never realized, till now, that the "final" Beatles concert almost never took place.
-- dB
Here's a look at the past. Items have been culled from The Chronicle's archives of 25, 50, 75 and 100 years ago.
Aug. 29: It was 20 years ago today that the Beatles ran onstage at Candlestick Park for what would be their last concert. The 33-minute scream-fest seemed larger than life then, but only 24,000 Beatlemaniacs were there. It was lucky that the concert came off at all.
The Beatles were exhausted and tried to back out. But Tom Donahue, then a DJ for KYA who
co-produced the show, stormed down to Los Angeles and presented the Beatles with a court summons to perform. As it turned out, he lost money.
"It was a financial disaster for my father," said Tom Donahue, Jr. Donahue blames Lennon's flippant remarks about the Beatles being more popular than Jesus. Backstage, John Lennon wore a button that said "Moses." "I've been demoted," he said.
In the years since the break-up, all of The Beatles have pretty much acknowledged that they knew the San Francisco show would be their last.  They had pretty much had it with touring and by this time were world-weary travelers, all content to make their music in the studio from this point forward.  As such, I would have thought they would have embraced this concert as some sort of "closure" ... and have never heard the story that it took a court order to get them to take the stage that day.
In fact, in "The Beatles Anthology", they tell quite a different story:
PAUL: By Candlestick Park it was like 'Dont' tell anyone, but this is probably our last gig.'
RINGO: There was big talk at Candlestick Park that this had got to end.  At that San Francisco gig it seemed that this could possibly be the last time, but I never felt 100% certain till we got back to London.
GEORGE: When we got to Candlestick Park we placed our cameras on the amplifiers and put them on a timer.  We stopped between tunes, Ringo got down off the drums, and we stood facing the amplifiers with our back to the audience and took photographs.  We knew 'This is it -- we're not going to do this again.  This is the last concert.'  It was a unanimous decision.
Roadie NEIL ASPINALL: When we got to Candlestick Park we knew this was the last gig.
JOHN:  We've had enough of performing forever.  I can't imagine any reason which would make us do any sort of tour again.  We're all really tired.  It does nothing for us anymore -- which is really unfair to the fans, we know, but we've got to think of ourselves.
Reading all of this ... plus all that has been said over the past 45 years since the last Beatles concert (August 29, 1966 ... 45 years ago last week!) ... makes one wonder if this is simply a case of "history rewriting itself" again after all these years.
The "Anthology" book shows a copy of the contract signed between Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California and NEMS Enterprises ... signed by Tom Donahue as one of the principles, guaranteeing The Beatles $50,000 against 65% of the gross, showing a potential gross of $179,631.50!  Not a bad take considering ticket prices were $4.50, $5.50 and $6.50 ... and this was just a one night stand!  (kk)

The Hollywood Walk of Fame celebration for Buddy's star is on September 7th, which would've been his the 75th birthday. I should be receiving the guitar by then.
We're doing the San Diego Street Fair on September 25th. The latest "Arrows" are Mike Vernon on bass and the best drummer ever, Dusty Watson.
Thank you!!!

How TOTALLY cool is this?!?!?  Thank you, Davie!  (kk)


I wanted to send you a photo of the MONY sign from 1968 as Tommy James would have seen it the year they did the song!

Here's what Tommy James saw when he looked out the window in the 67/8 era searching for a girl's name to put into a song.  He saw the MONY sign at top of picture.  How could you NOT see it??  Note the billboard to the left for Palisades Park and to the right for Zenith.  

I also have the WKYC radio ad (audio) for the Tommy James & the Shondells Cleveland concert in 1968 to send.  Here's a photo up close from that concert sponsored by "Heavy 11" (1100 on dial) with Tommy dressed quite dapperly.  Note the WKYC logo in background on curtain.

You may know that the "Do Something To Me" 45 was the FIRST 45 Tommy produced for himself!  The somewhat sparse sounding stereo version from the "Mony, Mony" Lp was NOT produced by him (I need to get home and check it), but the 45 was remixed and produced by Tommy.  The B side, "Gingerbread Man" was in itself a hit on WKYC (can send audio too) and, if you have both the LP and 45, you will notice Tommy's use of echo in the break on his 45 production that is not in the original producer's LP version.  Tommy knew he needed to get with the times and soon, "Crimson" would come along and prove his point! 

You might not post any of this until I see if I can find my stuff at home to go with this.  WLSClark

Hi Kent,
Jeez, we must have been hipper than I thought back in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Not only did we hear most if not all of the Hollies first US hits that you mentioned -- even the ones that didn't chart very high -- but we got a dose of "Lo Mucho Que Te Quiero" as well.  (I remember it because I always raced to the radio to change the station whenever it came on. <grin>)
I think the B-Side was in English. If not, they must have done a radio promo in English because we heard it both in Spanish and in English at various times.

I'm not seeing an English version on the flip side (maybe a radio station promo???) ... but they DO sing part of the song in English, even during the Spanish version ... so who knows! 

Hard to believe that this song competed on The Top 40 side by side with OTHER hits like "I Heard It Through The Grapevine", "For Once In My Life", "I'm Gonna Make Your Love Me", "Soulful Strut", "Cloud Nine", "Love Child", "Hooked On A Feeling", "Cinnamon", "Going Up The Country", "Abraham, Martin and John", "Crimson And Clover", "Son Of A Preacher Man", "Touch Me" and "I Started A Joke" and "Everyday People"  ... all side-by-side Top 20 Hits the three weeks that "Lo Mucho Que Te Quiero" peaked at #14.  Those were the days, my friend!  (kk)

And, speaking of The Hollies ...

Here's a promo clip for the new DVD sent into us by FH Reader Jersey John:

Many thanks for the well-written concert reviews this week. Sounds like these were great shows, and that you had a blast. Great review of the Hollies DVD, too! You and I had our birthdays, but it looks like Frannie's been skipping hers for a few years - she looks so young.

Yep, she's one hot grandma!!! (lol)  (Uh-oh ... I think I just blew it ... if I had simply forwarded your comment without adding mine, I just might have gotten lucky tonight!!!)  kk

Hello Kent,
David Peck here, Director of the Hollies film you so kindly raved about.

It's very nice when so much hard work is put in that a writer such as yourself takes the time to really watch it and really review it. It's very obvious that you watched every frame and I truly thank you for that.

When I first read your review I was walking with my six year old daughter and I reacted with a very loud YEAH! and then, after she asked me why I was so happy, I had to explain how good it feels to have someone compliment your work. I guess it's a good thing that it was a positive review cause I would have hated to have to explain what the word "shit" meant.
All the best,
David Peck

Reelin' In The Years Productions
It's a stellar piece, David ... everyone connected should be very proud of the results.  (Love your "oh shit" comment, by the way!!!  lol)  Not to worry here ... we absolutely LOVED it ... and please let us know as new titles are being released so we can help to spread the word.  (With your collections featuring Gerry and the Pacemakers, Dusty Springfield, Herman's Hermits and The Hollies already in our collection, you can tell that we're VERY big fans of this series!!!)  kk

Loved all of your reviews this past week.  Wish I could have seen the Happy Together show and Chicago, but thanks to your excellent recap I feel like I was there.  And you can count me amongst the first in line to buy the new Hollies DVD when it's released.  Thanks again for always keeping us up to date on these music happenings.
This was a rare and special week for me, too, being able to post three back-to-back-to-back reviews of musical excellence.  It's a side of Forgotten Hits that we don't get to show that often ... so I was really pleased to do it.  (kk)
(If you STILL haven't read our reviews of the new Hollies DVD, the Happy Together Again Tour Stop in Chicago or the Chicago homecoming Ravinia concert, simply scroll back to the beginning of last week ... they're all there for your enjoyment.)  kk
A few more comments tomorrow to round out the holiday weekend.  Thanks for stopping by!