Friday, August 17, 2012

Catching Up (One More Time!)

Quite a few more comments to share today ...

So let's dig right in!

Here are a few with a decidedly Beatles flavor ...

Hi Kent -
What a bummer to hear about the loss of the hard drive. So glad to see you are up and running again.
We happen to share the same sign-off, KK. I've used it ever since I have been on the net.
Anyway, I had found this in an old album sleeve and thought you may want to share it with your readers.
I thought of it when I was reading the sign off, asking DJs to just play good music of any genre. Those were the days, when the music just had to be good. Feel free to post or use however you like.
Keep the faith,

Cool chart ... and VERY 1964 ... four Beatles chart entries ... and two more titles that they wrote for other artists! A pretty impressive Top 40. And neat to see "Ain't She Sweet" so high on the list ... always one of my favorite John Lennon vocals! (kk)

Speaking of The Beatles, FH Reader Clark Besch recently sent us THIS amazing piece of information ... $35,000 for a Beatles single?!?!? Damn, wish I had a copy! (That'd solve a few problems!)  kk
Guys, the below site gives thought to the idea that the recent sale of a rare mint Beatles 1964 Vee Jay 45 for $35000 might have come from the unearthing of the WGN record collection sale. Any thoughts? Mr. Weber, do you think it possible that you might have been sitting on this gold mine for a few years? This would be a REAL Lyle Dean report!! Nick, as a current WGN staffer, moving to that plus new studio might have unearthed an amazing find?? Worth a segment on your show if so! Melissa, hope Dusty Groove finds some 45s like this in the stash your store bought from WGN!!
Rarest U.S. Beatles Record Fetches $35,000
The rarest Beatles 45, a promotional record, featuring the songs "Ask Me Why" and "Anna," has fetched $35,000 (after buyers premium) in an auction on July 24th.
The record, by Vee Jay Records released in 1964 (Vee-Jay Special DJ No. 8), is thought to be extremely the rarest Beatles Promo released in the United States. It's believed that only five or six copies were ever produced.
It's also one of the top rare vinyl sales of 2012. "This is the highest-priced vintage (record) vinyl sale I've seen all year." Says James Massey publisher of , a website tracking rare item sales worldwide.
According to (the seller) Heritage Auctions; "This is, by far, the rarest Beatles 45 in the entire USA, period. Purportedly as few as five copies of this promotional 45 were ever produced (for reasons still unclear to this day)."
According to Ultimate Beatles Collection; "The record was given out to a few Los Angeles radio stations in 1964 to test the market for the single." UBC claims there are only six (6) examples known, which is one more than Heritage's claim of five (5). Either way it appears to be extremely rare.

"Ask Me Why" has never really been one of my favorite Beatles tunes ... but even I have to recognize the complexity and sophistication of this tune coming along this early on in their career.  The overall construction of this piece of music (with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight) just shows what lay in store for the talented songwriting team of Lennon and McCartney.  (kk)

In other Beatles-related news, it sounds like the "live in the studio" performance Paul McCartney did a few months back to launch and promote his latest CD "Kisses On The Bottom" will be making its way to PBS shortly ... here's the scoop, courtesy of FH Reader Frank B (by way of WCBS-FM):
Earlier this year, Paul McCartney released Kisses On The Bottom, a new album of pop standards that pre-date the rock and roll era (along with two new songs written in that style). And while he didn’t tour to promote it, he did perform the songs at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles (where he recorded the album) on February 9. That set, called Live Kisses, will air on PBS’s Great Performances, which premieres Friday, September 7th at 9 PM (check local listings).
For this performance, he opted not to play instruments (fans know that Paul plays bass, guitar or keyboards while singing at his concerts), and simply concentrated on his vocals at this one-time-only (so far) event. His backing band included jazz superstar Diana Krall on piano, and highlights included his drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. harmonizing with him on “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter,” “The Glory Of Love” and “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive.” Meanwhile, Eagle (and brother-in-law to Beatle Ringo Starr) Joe Walsh plays acoustic guitar on “My Valentine” and “Get Yourself Another Fool.” The set is already available online: it’s called iTunes Live From Capitol Studios.
Meanwhile McCartney, who also put out an expanded reissue of his 1971 album Ram earlier this year, is said to be working on a new record that sees him returning to the more familiar territory of rock and roll.
I happened to catch this the first time around ... and it will play very well on PBS' Great Performances series. Definitely worth tuning in. Meanwhile, we've been watching the "My Valentine" video (featuring Natalie Portman and Johnny Depp, signing the lyrics ... albeit sometimes incorrectly!) quite a bit lately. It took a while for this song to catch my ear ... I found it very contrived in the beginning ... but there's something about a McCartney melody that attaches itself to you (whether you want it to or not) ... and my hunch is that years from now, music fans will be calling this one another one of his classics. (kk)

Here's more on not only Paul McCartney's PBS Program but some other great rock and roll events coming to PBS ... including another batch of Ed Sullivan Television Appearances! (kk)
Click here: VVN Music: Paul McCartney, Ed Sullivan and Doo Wop Set For PBS

And, if by any chance, you happen to be free tonight ... and are reading this out on the East Coast ... here's a Beatles extravaganza you may want to check out!


Friday August 17, 2012 - 7pm



at "DANBURY FIELDS FOREVER" Beatles Music Festival

featuring CT's own Mike "Ringo" Streeto on drums
240 Naugatuck Ave Milford, CT
Includes Dinner - Dancing - Prizes - Surprises - Open Bar
Hosted by Boppers DJ Charles F. Rosenay!!!

$40.00 Per Person - Call for reservations
Aldario's Reservations: (203) 874-6096 Event Info: (203) 795-4737

Here in Chicago, this past weekend was "The Fest For Beatles Fans" (formerly known as Beatlefest).
We weren't able to attend ... but FH Reader Clark Besch posed an interesting query for Beatles Historian (and fellow FH Reader) Bruce Spizer:

Hi all you Chicago friends.
I hope you were able to go to this ... Bruce Spizer is THE Beatles expert, especially in respect to tracking down legal documents and facts about the Beatles' facts and records. His books are amazing. He was in Chitown Aug 10 - 12, which relates directly to the 1966 Chicago Beatles visit at which the Cryan Shames supposedly reserved a whole row, from what I remember hearing.
Something Bruce should track down is the fact that there was a planned concert here in my town of Lincoln, Nebraska, on August 13, 1966! A local promoter at the time contacted Brian Epstein and received info and contracts for a concert to take place at NU's Memorial Stadium that would have been similar to the Shea Stadium concert of a year earlier. I spoke with the promoter's son 20 years ago here and he said they still have the contract somewhere. From my memory, he told me the Beatles would take a gate percentage AND an added flat fee as well, but I'm not 100% sure if that was correct in my memory or not. Everything was supposedly headed to a great concert until football coaching legend Bob Devaney nixed it by saying the fans would wreck his football field. Despite the fact that the promoter assured Devaney and the university that he would have plenty of police security to keep fans off the field, time ran out as the U drug their feet and eventually things fell apart and (I think) Chicago got two concerts on the 12th and Detroit got the Lincoln gig on the 13th and did NOT have a sellout in the motor city. I imagine Lincoln would have had a 70,000 crowd, not to mention what a publicity memory it would have today! It would be great to see if Bruce's sleuthing would get to the truth of this item. His recent appearance on the PBS History's Detectives show on the Beatles' 65 Miami appearance was just great!
Anyway, I hope you guys spread the word and maybe get American English's guys to go, too!
Clark Besch
As I said, we didn't attend this year ... but Beatlefest typically brings their own excellent Beatles sound-alike band, Liverpool ... one of the very best I've ever seen. I'm sure a splendid time was guaranteed for all ... maybe some of the folks who WERE there will chime in and drop us a line of their own. (kk)

And here's a Beatles-related question that we were saving for our next edition of "Helping Out Our Readers" ... but it seemed to fit here, too ...

I really like your site.
Here's a question: Most of us are familiar with the Beatle tribute songs that came out after the boys hit the states in '64 (and continued forever after): "We Love You Beatles" by the Carefrees, etc. ... BUT were there any tribute songs to other British Invasion artists? A song about Herman's Hermits, the Dave Clark Five, the Kinks, Gerry and the Pacemakers, etc?
I know there are songs written about the Rolling Stones, for example, but not in the same vein (novelty?) as those Beatles songs. Much appreciation!
Gene Laufenberg
Hey, GREAT question, Gene! And you're right ... The Beatles and Rolling Stones songs are most familiar ... but I wonder if there WERE any other songs written about the British artists invading our shores at the time. I can't think of any off the top of my head ... but maybe some of the MAJOR British Invasion Fans on our list can shed some light on this. (Even cooler would be if you could send in a couple of examples so that we can share them with everybody else!) kk

Still at War
Lawsuits steal glory from Lowrider Band

by Gabe Meline
It starts with a cowbell and then that amazing, ascending bass line, landing off-time on the upbeats. A quick roll of the drums and the rhythm kicks in, full of syncopation and soul. Congas, organ and harmonica propel the action, punctuated by a Spanish-tinged lead guitar lick that every 14-year-old in Los Angeles has learned how to play for the last 40 years.
"Low Rider," the song, has become such an anthem that it almost no longer belongs to its creators but to the world at large. It's been endlessly covered, featured in movies, and used as a joke every time a kid with a banana-seat, chain-link-handlebar bike comes rolling down the sidewalk, from Whittier to White Plains.
And in fact, the legacy of "Low Rider" doesn't belong to its creators. Well, four-fifths of them, at least.
Howard E. Scott, B. B. Dickerson, Lee Oskar and Harold Brown are four of the five original living members of War, but due to one of those unfair, cutthroat lawsuits you hear about so often in the music industry, they can't perform under the name War. They can't even mention that they're original members of War on their concert posters. The venues they play aren't allowed to mention War in any advertisements for their shows. There's another band, fraudulently called "War," who by court order gets to do all those things—and it contains just one original member.
The "Lowrider Band" might sound like a name for a War cover band, but the fact is they're far closer to the real thing. Drummer Harold Brown once went to see War, and watched as keyboard player Lonnie Jordan was introduced as "the man who wrote all the songs." As he told Joel Selvin of the San Francisco Chronicle in 2009, he registered his complaint in direct fashion: he picked up a pie and hurled it at his former band mate.
Want to hear hits like "The World Is a Ghetto," "The Cisco Kid," "Spill the Wine" and "Why Can't We Be Friends" played by a bunch of hired hands and one original member? Then go see War, whose guarantees are so high that when a local promoter once called me for advice on whether to book the show, the ticket price would have been set near $50 just to cover expenses.
But if you want to hear that timeless, classic soul, played by the very people who absorbed Los Angeles' melting pot of African-American and Latino culture and swirled it into musical history, then you know which band to go see.

Buddy Holly's have been returned to Lubbock, Texas!!! (Who'da thunk?!?!?)

Check out this poster from Chicago's "Summer of Stars", circa 1966, that FH Reader Frank Buongervino, Jr., sent in ... and look at some of these ticket prices! Man, we missed some GREAT shows back then! (Or course in 1966 I was only 12 years old ... and had really been making the concert scene yet ... but still ... this is pretty amazing!) kk

The twelve-date Monkees reunion tour has already completely sold out ... got this from FH Reader Tom Cuddy regarding their east coast dates ...

How about some Good Old-Fashioned Forgotten Hits?  We've lined up a dozen of 'em for ya ... so be sure to check back on Saturday and Sunday for some long-forgotten gems.  (kk)