Friday, August 2, 2013

Three Dog Night

Sharing some of your comments today ...     

Hi Kent, 
Thanks for the review. Glad they are still sounding good. I haven't seen the 2 Dogs for a while now, but they were always great. 
Just thought I should correct you on a couple things, though. 
Maybe others already have. <grin> 
The guys that were the players back in the day were actually part of the 3 Dog Night brand -- it wasn't just the 3 singers. Also Jimmy Greenspoon did leave for a while, not exactly sure when, but he was replaced by Frank "Skip" Konte who had been in Blues Image. As I recall he was quite a shoman. I think I have a PBS show with "the dogs" on it in the days when he was playing. I know he was on the album Hard Labor. 
I was simply referring to the fact that they have managed to maintain a relationship with Greenspoon for some nearly fifty years ... I believe drummer Floyd Sneed has also returned to the fold at various times over the years.  But they were, without a doubt, a cracker-jack band and had a HUGE amount to do with the sound of their success.  Their line-up during the biggest hit years also included Mike Alllsup on guitar and Joe Schermie on bass.
The players that Cory and Danny are touring with now are no slouches either ... all are seasoned musicians who have played with any number of name artists throughout the years ... and they're able to recreate this sound to perfection on the live stage.  All in all a very enjoyable show.  (kk)   

Hi Kent, 
Nice to see you and Frannie last night ... I thought the show was excellent too.  Too bad that's the last one at EGV ... they've been good.  Thanks to Murray and Elk Grove Village for bringing out some good old bands. Hope it continues next year.  
We've seen some great shows there over the years ... Dean Torrence and The Surf City All-Stars, Micky Dolenz, The Chicago Gold Sounds of The Cryan' Shames, Dennis Tufano, Ronnie Rice and Jimy Sohns ... and it sounds like the budget has already been approved for next year ... so we're already looking forward to that.  It's a nice place to see a show (although I think it's rained probably 50% of the times I've been there!  lol But that's not Elk Grove's fault.)  You GOTTA sit up close though ... if you go too far back, the echo between the buildings makes it almost unlistenable.  (kk)   

We were at the Three Dog Night concert last night, too, and just read your review --- and agree completely with everything you said.  Of course, it would have been nice to see Chuck there, too, but Cory and Danny still put on a great show.  I'm so glad we went. 
Things have never been the same since Wells and Hutton severed ties with Chuck Negron ... but perhaps all is not "roses and rainbows" between these two guys either.  We heard from different three readers this week, ALL of whom wished to remain anonymous, who have done shows with the two-thirds version of Three Dog Night over the years, and all of them told us that, despite what you see on stage, Danny and Cory really do not get along at all ... in fact, they don't even speak to each other offstage.  We've heard that they typically enter from different sides of the stage, they have separate limos and their rooms are on different floors of the hotel and that they literally don't socialize or have anything to do with one another once the show is over.  I can only say that I saw no evidence of this at all at this week's concert.  The guys DID enter the stage together and seemed to genuinely have a good time up there, putting on a GREAT show for the large crowd on hand.  They're still making brand new music together (and it sounds great, too) and we found it to be a very enjoyable concert experience.  
Fact is, if it was only about the money, they would have invited Chuck back ages ago ... these guys are passing up untold millions by not doing the full-blown reunion.  They'd be playing to sold out world tours in huge arenas, just like the good old days, instead of casinos and outdoor fairs. 
It's funny 'cause when you're a trio and one-third is gone, it REALLY shows ... especially if your name is THREE Dog Night!!!  Let's face it, Dan Peek left America and Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley have continued on to great success ever since without him, never missing a beat.  Today we look at America as a duo, no questions asked. (Of course Dan's recent passing now makes this a permanent arrangement ... but these guys have been playing together now nonstop for 45 years!!!  It's kind of like Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman of The Turtles ... they've put together a partnership that has lasted longer than most businesses, doing what they love doing the most.)  Kudos to Danny and Cory for keeping it together ... they don't need Chuck's voice to carry on the sound (although, as I mentioned in the review, there were a couple of rough spots where it was noticeably missing) and the sentimental, nostalgist in all of us wishes that everybody could just play nice and get along ... but this isn't the case here.  The good news is that now you get to see BOTH camps out on tour ... but one big final reunion ... even for a live television special or something ... sure would be nice.  These guys were KINGS of the pop world back in the day.  

By the way, I forgot to mention in my review that Cory Wells displayed the old show-biz adage "The Show Must Go On" that night.  Delta Airlines lost his luggage so he had to perform in "casual wear" instead of his usual on-stage garb.  Didn't matter ... Tuesday night is was all about the sound.

I saw Three Dog Night three times back in the '70's ... they were, without a doubt, one of my favorite bands of this era.  The first time was at the old Chicago Auditorium Theater ... and their warm-up act that night was the virtually unknown Elton John!  Elton had yet to have a hit here yet ("Your Song" would follow just a few months later) but Three Dog Night had already recorded a few of his tunes for their albums (including that one!) and they invited him out to tour with them to help break him in America.  (Yes, they had that kind of power back then!)  Three Dog Night ALWAYS had an ear for a good tune ... and introduced us to SO many great songwriters back then, many of whom later went on to have hits of their own.  They were very big on the Randy Newman sound and cut several of his tunes ("Mama Told Me Not To Come" being the biggest, a #1 Hit in 1970) ... as well as Nilsson ("One"), Leo Sayer (the above-featured "The Show Must Go On" ... Leo had several hits in the '70's, kicking off with "Long Tall Glasses" shortly after his big Three Dog Night payday), Dave Loggins ("Pieces Of April" and "Til The World Ends" and Hoyt Axton ("Joy To The World", their biggest hit, and "Never Been To Spain".)  They also recorded three Top 20 Paul Williams tunes ("Family Of Man" along with "An Old Fashioned Love Song" and "Out In The Country".  In fact, Danny says that Williams gave them both of those songs together on the same demo tape for consideration, along with a third track ... "We've Only Just Begun", which went on to top the charts for The Carpenters!)  Cory, Danny and Chuck had an impeccable ear for a hit song and, as we showed you the other day, they went on to score 21 one big ones ... 21 Top 40 Hits in a row from 1969 - 1975.  Wow!  (kk)  

Two Dog Night is one of the best concerts I've seen live (however for my money I'd say the Moody Blues put on a better show, and when I saw the Beach Boys on the 50th Anniversary tour I thought they sounded better, too). I don't think re-adding Chuck to the group would make them sound better as a group (and I think they know it) but it would've made the show even more enjoyable. I saw Chuck on the Happy Together tour and I felt that his voice was a little rough around the edges, though given all he's been through I'm not surprised. It could also be that he may have had a cold, as some of the other performers did and they sounded worse than usual too, but this was the only time I had seen Chuck live. From the stage, Chuck did appear to at least feel sad about not having the other members of Three Dog Night on the stage with him (and he did mention them by name a few times), and it's a shame that a group with all of their primary vocalists still living can't patch things up after almost 30 years ... I guess the group figures they have a good thing going so why mess it up, yet they don't seem to realize how huge their tour could be if they would just let Chuck back into the group ... even if it were for only a few shows a year with him. The most recent time I saw 3DN live, someone shouted "Where's Chuck?" to which one of the others replied "I don't know, he's probably at home".
I just think that if the original members of the Rascals can reunite after so many decades apart, why not Three Dog Night? 

Tom Diehl  
I would agree with that assessment ... Two Dog Night don't need to bring Chuck back to sell out shows and put on a good show ... and they must have invested well and don't need the money that a full-blown reunion could bring in.  Like I said, I get it ... Chuck burst their bubble when the band was sitting on top of the world ... and that's hard to forgive.  But it HAS been nearly 40 years now ... and he's clean and sober and out there singing these same songs anyway.  I'd love to see it happen ... but the truth is THAT show would sell out so fast, I might not even be able to get a ticket!  Now I can just grab a lawn chair or head out to a casino and know that I'll get a seat!  And STILL see a great show!  (kk) 

>>>One thing I've got to say is that back in the day, Three Dog Night had one of the best back-up bands around ... these guys totally killed and were often given their own spotlight as part of the show.  (kk)  
Live at the Forum (one of my top 10 live albums) is testament to that.  
KKiley (from Jersey!)  
And that was really early on in their career ... their biggest hits were still ahead of them at that point!  But the label wanted to capture the magic of their live shows and rushed out this LP.  As a fan of this album, you might be pleased to know that the guys have put "It's For You" back in the act, exercising those same vocal gymnastics amongst all of the members that they used to do as a trio back in the day.  Personally, I never particularly cared for their rendition of this little known Lennon-McCartney tune, but I think I was in the minority ... and the crowd sure seemed to love it Tuesday night, too!  (kk)

A two out of three dogs concert was one of the first non-British Invasion concerts I took my children to see.  Since then, we have had the pleasure of also experiencing one dog out of three.  The incurable romantic in me agrees with your suggestion about a reunion.  I have been able to imagine all three on stage at both types of concerts.  I would love to actually see it.  It would require harmony off-stage that was sincere though, or the harmonies on-stage would come out sour.  Another lesson from the 60's:  Life isn't always as we would wish it.  We need to strive to change the wrongs into rights, but that is many times more difficult than we first imagined.
Shelley J. Sweet-Tufano 

It's strange that we never hear "Liar" on oldies radio, and serves as another example of a great Forgotten Hit that charted rather high. My wife references it often, though. When she senses I'm not being thoroughly transparent about something, she immediately says "There's a Three Dog Night song about you, David." It doesn't get played around the house or car, so tonight I played it on YouTube and after three seconds she yelled "That's Liar." 
David Lewis  
Yep, it's a good one ... and I'm betting that a few of the jocks on our list dug this one out of mothballs, too, to play it on their programs this week.  Here's the Argent original for the benefit of anyone who may not have heard it before.  (kk)


The other day I mentioned the fact that Danny Hutton recorded the Brian Wilson track "Time To Get Alone" prior to launching Three Dog Night ... but the band (Redwood) had to pull the record back when The Beach Boys decided to record this track themselves.
Well, further research shows 
A) That Brian Wilson actually gave them TWO tracks to record ... and even helped produce the session.  Neither track was commercially released by Redwood, as The Beach Boys released them both themselves.  The other track?  Their Top Ten Hit "Darlin'"!
And ...
B) Cory Wells and Chuck Negron BOTH sang on these recordings with Danny.  Just think ... if these HAD been released and had become early hits for the group, they may never have become Three Dog Night and we might know them today only as Redwood ... in which case TWO guys performing as three guys probably wouldn't phase anybody!!!  (lol)  kk