Thursday, July 11, 2013

Goosebumps (Thurs)

More of your favorite "Goosebumps Memories" ... including a couple of "once in a lifetime" moments ... 

Hi Kent,
I just get out of the hospital yesterday after smashing my ankle and ripping my quad last week.  Sux, huh?
But as Rod Stewart said, "Make the best out of the bad - come and laugh it up - hah!"  and so say I.
I may be slow on the draw here, but I've been offline for a week.  I have a rock and roll goose bump to share, and it's a pretty rare and unusual one.  

When I'm singing and playing bass and all the elements are just right, the next thing I know the song is over and I feel so, so good.  I call it "going away" and it's a musical high I live for and, fortunately, am able to reach a good deal.  Most musicians will know what I'm referring to.
Well, when I was with the Rip Chords, we played with Al Jardine and his Endless Summer beach band on several occasions (along with two of the Surfaris).  When we did, they just flew Richie Rotkin and me to do the shows with Al's band playing for us, as I was the musical director of the Rip Chords and I had to work closely with Al's musical director, Billy Hinsche.
I arranged for Mitchell Schecter to come with us on one occasion, too, 'cause I knew it would make him so happy to do it ... and he rocked his butt off, as usual. Now I believe the guys still play with Al, but with both full bands.
Anyway, Richie would sing "Hey Little Cobra" (and Billy Hinsche and I would double on the deep "shut 'em down", trying to out-low each other) and "Three Window Coupe."  I would sing two other songs, usually
"Mustang Sally" and one other.  

At this particular festival gig in Maine, I asked Al and Billy if I could sing "I Can Hear Music" and they
agreed.  This was real balls to the wall, pedal to the metal because 

1) Carl sang it with his one a kind sweet voice, 
2) It's not an easy song to sing, anyway, 
3) I sang and played bass on it in the Rip Chords in the key of A ... and these guys did it in D, and  
4) I was playing guitar, not bass, that day.  
Al counted off.  The band came in perfectly on this fairly sophisticated rocker in the key of A (no surprise with this crack crew) and I sang "This is the way ... the sounds of the city, baby, seem to disappear..." and that's it.  I can't remember a thing until I cued the band to the ending.
What did I do?  Did I f*ck it up? What happened?    
My usual good feeling was shared with some trepidation until Al leaned over (he stood next to me to me stage left) and smiled.  "Man, you sang the hell out of that, Bobby!" 
"I did?  Thanks, Al."   And, oh, thank YOU,  G-d."   :)
And that, my friend, is one of my rock and roll goose bump moments.
There ... now my leg feels all better!
Warm regards and juicy Chicago roast beef sandwiches,
Bob Rush, d.c.  

(a/k/a Dr. Robert, the Doc of Rock, for "The Beat" magazine, England, U.K.)  

I guess I am lucky I recall two Goosebump moments. The first time was when my wife and I visited Sun studios many years ago and the gent talking us through the history was playing from a remote control unit songs that had been recorded in Sun. The first goosebump was when he pressed the button and Whole Lot of Shakin’ came blasting out the speakers. The second goosebumps was when a few years later we visited the Clovis New Mexico studio of Norman Petty and whilst sat in the chair in the recording office Ken (the curator) pressed a button and played That’ll Be the Day. Two real goosebump moments and in both cases the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and I can assure you it doesn’t get much better than that.  
Rockin’ Lord Geoff
I can't imagine it gets much "realer" than that ... sitting in the actual studio where this magic was created and then hearing it played back through that very same system.  (What I wouldn't give to spend the day at Abbey Road with George and Giles Martin, pouring over their catalog of Beatles sessions!!!)  VERY cool, Geoff!  (kk)

Well, Kent, I may come across as a bit of a "Johnny Come Lately" here, but this is what I get for not keeping up with all your recent FH editions. The 'goose bump moments' story opened up a ton of 'goose bump' memories for me -- and I am truly blessed to have had dozens, perhaps, hundreds or more, in my lifetime.  Even if I am a bit late, I'd like to share a few of these with your readers just the same. 
Bill mentioned that he had to remove any Beatles or Beach Boys moments because it was so obvious -- or something to that extent -- but I have a special one that forty-seven years later STILL gives me 'goose bumps.' 
But before I pay homage to my dear lifelong friends, The Beach Boys, I'll pay homage to several others. While I had a number of 'goose bump' moments prior to 1958, including tuning in to CBS Television on the night of Saturday, January 28, 1956, and watching a very young Elvis make his first appearance on the Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey "Stage Show," that appearance certainly changed my life. Legend has it that it was a cold snowy night in the "Big Apple" and ushers were out on the sidewalk offering free tickets to passerby's in an attempt fill the half empty Studio 50.  
But as to 'goose bump' records that I heard, one of my first 'moments' was listening to a young singer from Denton, TX, as he belted out his rendition of "Little Willie John's" "Fever." I not heard of Ray Peterson but when I heard his incredible four and a half octave range, I was blown away.  Little did I know that a brief five years later, I would book Ray on number concert and night club appearances, get him a gig as an opening act for The Beach Boys, and, more important than that, Ray and I would become lifelong friends. He even performed "The Wonder of You" at my wedding to my first wife. I was honored to be asked by his wife, Claudia, to give his eulogy at his funeral in January 2005. 
Second, in the spring of 1966, I had called my dear friend, Brian Wilson, who wanted to speak to me about some Beach Boys bookings and to catch up on a few other business related matters. I had planned on driving up to his home in the Hollywood Hills, where he and Marilyn lived. Instead, he asked me to  meet him in the basement of Capitol Records on North Vine Street. We met in one of the small mastering studios where he was 'going to disc' from a handful of 1/4 inch tapes he was carrying. He asked the mastering engineer to turn off all the lights -- and with both of us sitting shoulder to shoulder on the linoleum floor -- and with a room almost totally black with the only illumination coming from the pilot lights and VU meters on the console -- and the 'tracking' light over the cutting lathe, I heard "Pet Sounds" 'front to back' for the very  first time. In fact, I was probably the first person to hear it other than Brian Wilson and the Capitol mastering engineer. I can guarantee you none of us knew at that time how important that singular album would become. In fact Brian was more concerned as to how his band mates would react to it, as much of it was done by the 'wrecking crew' while 'the boys' were on tour. My final 'goose bump moment,' at least for this initial offering, is each time I give a group, private or VIP tour of historic RCA Studio "B" here in Nashville. From 2004 to 2010, I was a volunteer educational tour guide at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, which operates the historic studio. Only three or four of us were selected to host the Studio B tours. While I am no longer giving public group tours, I occasionally am able to bring by a music industry friend, or in some cases other friends and family, I get 'goose bumps' every time I stand on the spot were Elvis, Roy Orbison, The Everly Brothers, Dolly Parton, Jim Reeves, Waylon Jennings, Hank Snow, Eddy Arnold, Al Hirt, Johnny Tillotson, and others recorded some of the greatest music of the 20th Century. And to think that most of those classics were recorded on two-track or four track tape -- many of them with no punches, overdubs, and certainly NONE with vocal tuning Yes, back in those days two 'sides' were recorded in far less than three hours -- often an 'A' side and 'B' side. Many were recorded in 20 minutes or so. They were often on the radio within two weeks. Now, it often takes 35 to 50+ hours per track and the label is lucky to get it out in six months. 
Fred Vail / 
Treasure Isle Recorders, Inc. / 
Music City, USA  

I guess mine has to be Be My Baby by the Ronettes. For a year I was listening and enjoying radio music by my mom playing the radio during breakfast.  I knew few of the song artists. I was sick and home from school and borrowed the transistor radio listening to WMCA. I then tuned more into the artists and titles and made my own top 10. I can vividly remember liking Donna The Prima Donna, Only In America, More, Washington Square and Busted. But one song stood far above the rest. Be My Baby by the Ronettes. Still one of my faves almost 50 years later.

"Be My Baby" grabbed quite a few of us ... most notably Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys (and most probably the producers of the hit film "Dirty Dancing" who opened their movie with this track!)  Something about that opening drum beat just grabbed you ... The Four Seasons used the same effect on their 1964 #1 Hit "Rag Doll" ... and it's still one of my favorites by them.  But "Be My Baby" epitomizes the Phil Spector Sound ... and it's just as affective today, all these years later!  (kk)
In 1966 the biker movie "The Wild Angels" starring Peter Fonda and Nancy Sinatra hit the movie theatres and my uncle Ray, who rode a groovy little motor bike, went to see the flick and he ran out and purchased the soundtrack. When mom dropped me off at Grandma's house to visit I went upstairs and picked the lock to my uncle Ray's bedroom to get into his Regular and Lime English Leather and Hi Karate and Jade East colognes and read his Hot Rod, Car Toons and Surf Toons  magazines and I saw that cool LP and placed the record on the stereo and when the song "Blues' Theme" began it was beyond goose bumps! It mutated me into another person! That was my introduction to the genius of Davie Allan & The Arrows. Today is July the sixth, two-thousand and thirteen and I still ride every fuzzed out note of that song as I did the first time I laid ears on it! Then forty plus years later I heard Davie Allan & The Arrows "The Stranger" and it was so beautiful I put the headphones on and put the repeat play function on and laid in bed that night and cried from the emotions it stirred up from within me. Talk about goose bumps! Then came "Mood Swing" right after that release and I got those wonderful goose bumps that still rise up every play of that tune. If the readers on this website "Forgotten Hits" want to spend two dollars today on a wonderful gift to themselves then go to Amazon or any search engine site that sells his tunes you prefer or go to (entire CD) and get "The Stranger" from "Restless In LA" & "Mood Swing" from "Moving Right Along" and those two instrumentals will convince you that Davie Allan's namesake should be worldly wise as famous as any top rated guitar player on this planet. He is so melodic and beautiful. It is very touching and fabulous. I will guarantee the goose bumps will pop up. If it don't move you then there needs to be a serious soul check!

Hey Kent,
Hope all is going good!!!
I wanted to chime in on the "Goosebumps". Being a Beatles fan there are many of their songs that come to mind. However, two Stones songs that most definitely caught me right away and had me run right out and get them were "Jumpin Jack Flash" and "Brown Sugar"!!! The open guitar chord and riffs just grab you immediately and still do 40+ years later. To this day, whenever they come on the car radio the volume gets pumped up!!!
Also, reading the comment from the person named Scott who was on the corner of Soledad and Bouquet Canyon in Saugus, Ca when he heard Arther Brown for the first time ... That is my neck of the woods now. I can only imagine what that intersection looked like back then. I've been out here 20 years and it has changed considerably since I've been here!
Mike Mertes

One thing I've got to hand to the Stones ... they ALWAYS came up with these AMAZING opening guitar riffs that just grabbed you and hooked you from the word go.  You're right ... these songs STILL make you turn up the volume every time they come on ... and you can add "Satisfaction", "Start Me Up", "Honky Tonk Women", "Bitch" and several others to this list, too.  The Beatles had a few clever opening guitar hooks ... "Day Tripper", "I Feel Fine", "Paperback Writer", etc ... very clever and addictive for their time ... but The Stones' riffs seem timeless in comparison ... got their hooks in you and never let go ... and this coming from a life-time Beatles fan!!!  (kk)     

My goosebumps experience was the Dave Clark Five's "Glad All Over".  The production on those records was just so different from what was coming out of the US and most of the UK as well. It just sounded HUGE, as if it was recorded with the LED pins just barely out of the red, and it made me go looking for why it sounded so strong.  What did I know, a young teenager playing mostly quartet jazz standards, practicing rock n' roll in the basement in my spare time.  That song just roared out of the radio, and I just had to find a way to be part of that.  Beatles and Stones, Ventures, the whole British Beat roster, the Beach Boys, Lesley Gore, the Motown and  Stax - Volt rosters, all that stuff just added to the repertoire I had to have ... but Glad All Over was the one that showed me the power that was available in that medium. 
All the best 
Rick Barr,  
New Colony Six / Shadows of Knight    

Something to go along with the 'Goosebump' song was when you first heard an MOR song on a AC radio station (usually when you were in your parent's car)  that you became a fan of but had to keep it to yourself, as it wouldn't be 'kool' to let your friends know! I loved 1968's  "Les Bicyclettes De Belsize" by Engelbert Humperdink but no way I could let my friends know about that one. I would enjoy to learn if others had 'secret songs'.
Yeah, but then that would morph into "guilty pleasures" songs ... and "Cheezy Easy Listening Songs" like Scott Shannon did a few years ago ... pretty soon before you know it this will turn into an all-encompassing list!!! (Which defeats the whole purpose of those goosebump moments!)  I'm talking about those rare occasions where something special and magical happened ... you heard a sound unlike anything you'd ever heard before ... something that spoke directly to you ... reached out and grabbed you ... and still holds on to this very day.
There's been a lot of controversy about the new Robin Thicke song "Blurred Lines", currently the #1 song in America ... but the very first time we heard it, we knew it was something special ... it stood out from EVERYTHING else that's currently on the radio.  Certain songs did that, too ... just separated themselves from the pack ... where you just KNEW this was going to be a #1 Hit ... but even as special as those songs are, they're still not necessarily "goosebumps" songs.
Maybe it's tough to narrow down specifically ... but once you've felt one, I think you know.  (kk)