Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Some Tasty Tuesday Tidings

Following up on a couple of pieces from yesterday ... 

re:  PAUL ANKA:  
Well, we sure screwed THIS one up!!!  
After building up to Paul Anka's epic T-Shirt rave-out, I then ran the wrong clip to accompany the story!  (See what happens when I rush this stuff together in the morning and then don't have time to double check it before I have to leave for work?!?!?)  
Anyway, this one's just too good to pass up ... so I'm giving it another shot this morning ... 'cause you just GOTTA hear this.  (My guess is you'll never think of Paul Anka the same way again!!!)  kk  

Here goes ...  

>>>It's a good biography but I often felt like Paul was rewriting history here and there.  To hear him tell it, he's been the Forest Gump of pop music for the past five decades ... any place ANYTHING was going on or happening, he seems to have been involved in some fashion.  From Elvis and Buddy Holly to JFK and The Beatles ... from billionaire Kings, Princes and land developers like Steve Wynn and Donald Trump to Michael Jackson, Michael Buble and Princess Diana. (kk)   

Sounds like Freddy Cannon's biography, which has him touring the UK with Eddie Cochran on the tour that Eddie would pass away during (although from a concert poster I saw some time ago, Freddy apparently didn't even touch UK soil for his first tour over there until three months after Eddie had passed away).   
By the way, does Paul Anka's biography mention his rant about T-Shirts?   
-- Tom

No, great rap 'tho!!!  (lol)  Gives whole new meaning to why he calls his book "My Way". 
Honestly, I get it ... a bit harsh, but I get it.  (Sounds like this is where all of his gangster background comes into play ... he sounds a lot more "wise guy" than Canadian on this tape!!!  lol) 
Strangely, he never mentioned the time his teeth fell out and flew into the audience either.  (kk)

re:  PROM SONGS:  
I danced at my Prom with my future Husband to "Colour my World"...it was magical.

In today's column the subject of Prom songs came up. Through the years I've somewhat imagined it was Prom Night during May of 1960. The guy goes up to his favorite girl and says to her, "Would you like this dance?  They're about to play our song". Suddenly one hears Walter Brennan's DUTCHMAN'S GOLD.  What a record to dance to. LOL Incidentally, one of my all time favorite narrative type of records.
Superjock Larry Lujack used to play "Old Rivers" by Walter Brennan and refer to it as the very first rap record.  Always good for a chuckle.  (kk)

>>>I'm so disappointed to hear that Howard Kaylan doesn't hold "You Know What I Mean" in very high regard ... it's one of my absolute Turtles favorites!  (kk)

You Know What I Mean by the Turtles is my all time favorite song by them, something I never heard on oldies radio when I was growing up in the 1990's (and certainly not one oldies radio would touch today, sadly) and when I first heard it on the Turtles 20 Greatest Hits cd, I just fell in love with it. It's not uncommon for an artist to not be fond of certain songs they've recorded, but sometimes they could be huge fan favorites.  I'll be seeing the Turtles on the Happy Together tour later this month, but I won't hold out hope that they will do the song, even if I think they should.
Tom Diehl
When I saw The Turtles / Happy Together show here two years ago I exchanged texts with Howard a couple of hours before the show (we were his guests back stage that night) and asked him if there was any chance they'd be doing "You Know What I Mean" - and he said no, they were only sticking to the hits this time. But "You Know What I Mean" WAS a big hit - Top 20, in fact ... it peaked at #12 nationally and went to #9 here in Chicago, where I saw them perform it during my very first Turtles concert back in 1967 ... they played at my high school that year!!!  I've seen them about fifteen times since then and I think I may have only seen them perform this one once or twice ... so not one of their favorites, I guess.  Personally, I LOVE that song - one of my faves ... but I wouldn't count on hearing it this time out either.  (kk)  
Here are a couple of shots of Frannie and I backstage that night with Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman ...

You Know What I Mean hit #12 ... sounds like a hit to me!
My local oldies station (when it existed) loved to play lesser known hits, B sides, etc.  They played a LOT of Turtles records but never You Know What I Mean, strangely. I think strangest of all was how often they played Kick That Little Foot Sally Ann by Round Robin, which wasn't even a top 40 record, but it was a good one anyway.
Last year I saw the Turtles backstage at the Proctor's Theater in Schenectady, NY, during the intermission of a concert they were the headlining act at.  I saw Howard sitting in a chair with his eyes closed so I didn't have the nerve to approach him at all, but Mark was walking around (looking for the promoter, I think) and I got to speak to him for about 30 seconds, which was neat. And they put on a stellar show that night. I'm sure I could've watched the whole thing backstage since the promoter didn't kick me out, but I didn't want to feel intrusive so once I got my autographed items back (which I gave the promoter before the show to get signed for me), I left.  BJ Thomas and Ronnie Spector were also on the bill that night but I didn't get autographs from either of them ... Ronnie had security around her preventing anyone from even saying hello, and BJ high-tailed it out of there as quickly as possible without any human interaction (which he also did at another show I saw him at in Delaware last year).
I'm sure after 50 years these artists are tired of saying hello to every single fan, but they should give a break to the younger generation like me which is determined to help keep their music alive long after they are gone. I know I will treasure my Turtles autographs forever (and I'd love to send scans of them now but I have them kept safely in storage at the moment ... they were in my bedroom for several months until I recently moved them into my storage locker).
Having seen the Turtles a number of times, they don't seem to ever come out for autographs but they seem to be more than gracious to sign anything you've got for them backstage (on one of my 45s that I had in a White Whale sleeve instead of a picture sleeve like the rest, they signed both the record label and the sleeve). They sure made one younger fan very very happy.
There aren't too many artists who will sign every single thing you put in front of them, and many times if you do have a lot, artists may think you're looking to sell them on ebay instead of keeping them.  I've never sold anything I've gotten autographed, which is why I try to get things personalized when I can ... they become worth less on the resale market that way! I recently saw Johnny Tillotson in concert and while he did look a little annoyed that I had a HUGE stack of 45s for him to sign (I love his music, what can I say? It was about four or five picture sleeves and a few other 45s), he did sign everything for me, and he was surprised at the end of the stack when I showed him a rare promotional item (which I still need to scan and email to his wife per her request).
On my 22nd birthday (not THAT long ago) back in 2007, I saw Ronnie Dove in concert and I had brought along 47 of my 45's of his to show him just some of his music I had collected up to that point.  My friends and I got to sit with him in his dressing room and while they were pining over a Blue Suede News article on Ronnie, Ronnie looked at my 45s and then proceeded to sign the sleeves of all 47 of them (and I didn't expect him to sign even one, I just wanted to show them to him). Some artists are just as gracious as can be and I think in all honesty that Ronnie tops the list.
Unfortunately so many of the so-called fans are trying to make a buck these days by selling this autographed material online through outlets like eBay, I totally understand why many of the artists have refused to keep signing things.  (We've covered this before in Forgotten Hits ... in fact many of the artists today will DATE their signature on a vintage album to prevent it from looking like it was signed "back in the day".)  I've found the opposite to be true of The Turtles ... again, I've been to about fifteen shows over the years and I would have to say that these guys have come out to meet the fans at most of them.  Frannie still wears a ten year old autographed t-shirt that both Mark and Howard signed, even though it is pretty well worn and has certainly seen better days ... she LOVES it!
As much as I, too, would love to "meet and greet" some of our favorite artists, I understand and respect their wishes in this regard.  (Then again I've also seen lines that have lasted two hours after a performance because EVERYBODY wants to meet their faves ... and most of the time, the artist will wait until the very last fan has been satisfied.  I don't know if putting 47 items in front of them to sign is necessarily fair ... (Hey, maybe YOU'RE the reason these lines take so damn long!!!) ... but another reader once wrote in that he met Bobby Rydell after a concert once and had brought in his collection of LP's to which Bobby replied, "Hey, if you bought 'em, I'll sign 'em!" and then went on to sign each and every one.  I've told the story before how Ronnie Rice of The New Colony Six once joined me at my table at a Chicagoland Record Convention and signed every single album and single by The NC6 that I had, all on his own ... including tracks he wasn't even on!!!  (lol)  
Most of the artists that I've seen after these shows genuinely love meeting with their fans ... maybe it's in some small way "giving back" for all those years of support.  And let's face it ... it's not like the old days when many of these guys had to run for their lives after a show!  Things have calmed down now ... we're all a bit more mature and respectful ... but these artists need to know just how much this music meant to us over the years.  The fact that The Turtles are still selling out shows from coast to coast nearly 50 years later is certainly a testament to that!  (kk)

Hi Kent,
I really enjoyed the content and variety of Monday's posting.  I'm with you on the whole "You Know What I Mean" Howard thing. Also one of my favorite Turtles songs.

What???  Howard Kaylan doesn't hold 'You Know What I Mean' in high regard?  An absolute fave of mine!  So mysterious and romantic ... I don't care about its simplicity, it says a lot.  (I don't care for the words "a lot" either, but it fits here)

Shelley Sweet-Tufano

I sent some of the praise for "You Know What I Mean" to Howard Kaylan last night, just hoping to get a reaction.  

Well, I got one ... and this tells me that they won't be adding it to the set list any time soon!  (kk)

And that's what makes horse races.
So says Kaylan

Oh well ... we tried!  (kk)