Friday, January 18, 2013

The Friday Flash

We recently spoke with Mike Love, and when he started talking about songs that came lyrics first (unusual for The Beach Boys), he singled out "The Warmth Of The Sun" as an example.
Here's what Mike said:
Brian and I wrote that together in November of 1963. And the reason I remember it was that we woke up in the morning to the news that President Kennedy had been shot and was on his way to Parkland Memorial Hospital. We all know the result of that incident.
But it was such a haunting, melancholy, sad musical composition, the music was. And the only thing I could relate to in terms of lyrics was the loss of someone you love. In that lyrical treatment, it was about somebody who you were in love with, but they don't feel the same way anymore. So they fell out of love with you. And that's a loss of love, but not quite as dramatic as being shot and killed.
We didn't change the lyrics to conform to the event, but because of that event, when we recorded that song just a day or two later, it was charged with emotion. There's no doubt about that. And I think you can feel it in the lyric and the music combined.
But that was a case where I had written a poem about that experience of being enamored of somebody and they no longer felt that way. So that was The Warmth of the Sun. Leaves you of the feeling of having felt love, having felt the feeling of being in love at one time.
As Fred Vail pointed out in Forgotten Hits, the recording of the song took place amid extraordinary events, and the song will forever be associated with that tragic day.
Here's the full interview with Mike Love:  
Be Well, 
Carl Wiser  
As we learned when we did our own investigation into the true song history of "The Warmth Of The Sun", this has been an evolving (and ever-changing) story for quite some time. The official version as documented by Fred Vail is recorded on The Forgotten Hits Website here:  
Click here: Forgotten Hits - The Story Behind The Beach Boys' Classic "The Warmth Of The Sun" 
After our piece ran in Forgotten Hits, it was picked up by "Endless Summer Quarterly" and run in their publication as well. If you read the entire article, you'll also see that Brian and Mike have BOTH changed their stories numerous times as to the song's true origins and sequence of events leading up to both the writing and the recording of the song ... so I don't know that we'll ever REALLY know the whole story on this one. Meanwhile, the "legend" has permanently tied it to The Kennedy Assassination ... and that's the way it will most likely always be remembered. As such (and because I believe that there had to be SOME kind of tie into the tragic events of the day), we will acknowledge that "The Warmth Of The Sun" will ALWAYS be tied emotionally and spiritually to the assassination of our 35th President ... and that's a connection we can all live with. 
However, there is one part of Mike Love's memory that we need to clarify once again. In his interview with you, he states: We recorded that song just a day or two later ... and this simply isn't the case ... again, if you check out the website, you'll see the actual session log for "The Warmth Of The Sun" ... recorded on January 1st, 1964 (along with their hit "Fun Fun Fun" ... that's a full six weeks after the assassination. 
Everybody's memory fades ... and, when you tell a story as many times as THIS story has been told, pretty soon any inconsistencies simply blend into the "best-remembered facts" ... rather than the REAL facts of the incident. (I remember working on a piece on The Mamas and the Papas several years ago and John and Michelle Phillips talked about how Cass was finally invited into the group to sing. Up until that point, John wasn't happy with her voice ... and, truth be told, her appearance. Then one night, while rehearsing, Cass got hit in the head with a pipe ... and from that point forward, she could hit notes that she had never hit before ... and, as such, was invited to join the group. John later admitted, "I've told that story so many times now that I actually can't remember if it's true or not." lol Well, at least he was being honest!!!) Good interview, Carl! I think Mike Love's role in the success of The Beach Boys is sometimes overlooked ... but, quite honestly, he brings some of that on himself with his arrogant,pompous attitude. However, the (song)facts don't lie ... together, he and Brian created a library of elite, timeless tunes. (kk)  

I've seen the Guess Who with Burton still in the band ... Steely Dan was the opening act. I've seen Bachman & Cummings a couple times. We both attended the same show in Chicago years ago. I've also seen the band without Cummings. They actually opened for BTO. It's a good show, but without Burton, it's not the same.
Jack (I may be old, but I got to see all the cool bands).
Between Guess Who concerts in the '70's (when the band was in their prime), solo shows by both Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman ... and one or two of the Cummings - Bachman reunion shows, I've probably seen these guys nine or ten times over the years ... ALWAYS an energized, entertaining show. The Guess Who rank amongst my favorites of this era ... had every album the band ever released on RCA Records back in the day. To see the current version of the band (featuring bassist Jim Kale and drummer Garry Peterson) without the vocal talents of Burton Cummings simply holds no appeal to me ... pure and simple, he was the SOUND of The Guess Who. (That being said, I've heard they're very good ... as are Creedence Clearwater Revisited, featuring original CCR bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford ... but it just ain't the same.) When I read about these Burton Cummings and John Fogerty sound-alikes they've hired to front the band, I always flash back to "Eddie And The Cruisers", when Saul put together a new "Cruisers" band with a "fake Eddie" upfront ... but this is the age we live in and, let's face it, we've all got to earn a living! (If given the choice, why would anybody go see Herman's Hermits WITHOUT Peter Noone ... but people in Europe do it all the time!) kk   

I loved all the Boyce and Hart songs. WCFL even had a jingle for disc jockey Buddy Carr made around the music of "Alice Long" back in 68!
As for Smokie, my Vietnamese friend loved Smokie when he was hearing their music in Vietnam back then! My first cross with the song "If You Think You Know How To Love Me" was when Allan Clarke included it on his great solo album "I've Got Time" and released it as a single on Asylum in 1976. It came from the pen of Chinn and Chapman, responsible for many of Sweet's 70's hits as well as many others. 

Don'tcha just love it when all this stuff ties together! (kk) 

Hey Kent.  
I appreciate how you handled the note from Joe Viglione regarding "Na Na, Hey Hey, Kiss Him Goodbye." Click here: Forgotten Hits: Na Na, Hey Hey, Kiss Him Goodbye  
As you point out, your information was based on reliable sources, and if you get a statement from Gary we'll be happy to amend the Songfacts entry. The song is popular here in Connecticut (I remember the Whalers playing it the few times they won hockey games), but haven't heard anything about it being officially adopted.
Be Well,
Carl Wiser

I think we fairly reported the facts at the time ... and my offer to both Gary DeCarlo and Joe Viglione still stands, should either of them like to go on the record and make a comment / statement to Forgotten Hits. So far, nobody's biting ... and, as such, I don't see a reason or need to update anything. Besides, we already explained the way Gary feels today by way of our recent article. It would just mean more to hear it from him. (kk) has put out a list of the safest and most dangerous songs to drive to ... You're always talking about the songs you hear in your car ... What do you think of this list ?
Frank B.
One of our local jocks (Scott MacKay on 95.9, The River) covered this story about a week ago ... then proceeded to play selections from both lists on the air. (And I'll be the first to admit ... as did he ... that I was unfamiliar with a good percentage of these tunes ... so I guess that still leaves me in the "safe driving" category!) There is not doubt that some songs DO make you "kick it up a notch" when they come on ... but some of the "soothing" tunes they're suggestion just might also cause you to fall asleep at the wheel ... which I guess in a way makes THEM dangerous songs as well! (kk)   

New York, NY (January 14, 2013) – On February 26, 2013, Eagle Records is proud to release Spirits Of The Western Sky by Justin Hayward.
As lead guitarist and vocalist of the legendary rock band, The Moody Blues, Hayward is one of the most prolific singer - songwriters in music. Justin’s songs include “Nights In White Satin,” “Tuesday Afternoon,” “Question,” “The Voice,” “Your Wildest Dreams,” and “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere,” to name just a few of his worldwide hits. Performing and recording for more than 40 years with The Moody Blues, during which the group has sold more than 60 million albums, Justin Hayward has been a driving force in the band’s success.
Spirits Of The Western Sky, recorded in Genoa, Italy and Nashville, is Hayward’s first solo album since 1996’s The View From The Hill. It features his trademark vocals and guitar work on tracks such as “One Day, Someday,” “On The Road To Love,” and album opener “In Your Blue Eyes,” and also highlights orchestrations by Academy Award-winning composer Anne Dudley. Additionally, Hayward moves into new areas with the three country and bluegrass-influenced tracks “What You Resist Persists,” “Broken Dream,” and “It’s Cold Outside Of Your Heart.”
“Anne [Dudley] is one of the true greats,” states Justin, “in the same rarefied class of orchestrators as Peter Knight, who was such an inspiration in my early Moody Blues days. I’ve worked with Anne on different projects over the years and it’s always a joy (when she is arranging, all the studio musicians know it’s going to be wonderful). I also co-wrote a song with my friend Kenny Loggins for Spirits Of The Western Sky. He and I were both on the road and staying in the same hotel. We had a great day playing guitar together and we came up with ‘On The Road To Love’. Kenny plays and sings on the track with me. This album is a labor of love. It’s been my whole life for the last few years. I know we all have many choices nowadays and I thank everyone who gives my album a listen and brings these songs into their collection. Every track is truly from my heart”.
Building on the best of his work throughout an incredible career, Spirits Of The Western Sky is an album guaranteed to delight Justin Hayward’s legions of fans around the world.   

Here's a song that would still sound great coming out of your radio (if radio would only play it!!!)
It's an early Phil Spector production (before the Girl Groups and The Wall Of Sound) that made The Top Ten in 1961.

And you know what they say ... 
If the girl's that nice, you gotta sing her name TWICE!
Here's another goodie just for fun.