Friday, April 11, 2014

The British Invasion ... Then ... And Now!

THEN ... 

50 Years Ago This Week:  

After owning The Top Five Spots on Billboard's Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart the week before, THE BEATLES maintained five Top Ten Hits the following week, too, with CAN'T BUY ME LOVE holding down the #1 spot, TWIST AND SHOUT locked in at #2, SHE LOVES YOU at #4, I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND at #7 and PLEASE PLEASE ME at #9.  THE DAVE CLARK FIVE remained in The Top Ten as well with GLAD ALL OVER, moving up from #10 to #8. 

Making our way down the chart, other British hits included NEEDLES AND PINS by THE SEARCHERS at #13, THE BEATLES' DO YOU WANT TO KNOW A SECRET making a HUGE leap from #46 to #14, another DAVE CLARK FIVE hit, BITS AND PIECES, jumping from #48 to #22, HPPY HIPPY SHAKE by THE SWINGING BLUE JEANS holding steady at #24 and THE BEATLES' flipside I SAW HER STANDING THERE falling to #38.  WE LOVE YOU BEATLES by THE CAREFREES also cracked the Top 40 this week, climbing to #39.  DUSTY SPRINGFIELD held down the #62 spot with STAY AWHILE. 

Another BEATLES' flipside, YOU CAN'T DO THAT, was at #48, followed by six more Fab Four recordings:  ALL MY LOVING at #50, FROM ME TO YOU at #52, THANK YOU GIRL at #61, THERE'S A PLACE at #74, ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN at #78 and LOVE ME DO premiering at #81.  (This was THE BEATLES' first U.K. single, being released here in America some 18 months after it first charted in England, where it peaked at #17.  Incredibly, here in The States, it would go all the way to #1, despite its by now very "primitive" sound.)  If you're keeping score, that's a total of FOURTEEN Top 100 Hits for THE BEATLES this week, another timeless record that will most likely never be broken. 

Vintage Vinyl News paid tribute to The Beatles' amazing accomplishment this past week ... 
You can read their coverage here:   

Not much new here in Chicago on The WLS Silver Dollar Survey this week in 1964.  "Glad All Over"'s at #2 (held out of the #1 spot by the Terry Stafford hit "Suspicion", a HUGE Hit here in Chi-Town), "Can't Buy Me Love" is at #3, "Twist And Shout" is down to #5, "Thank You Girl" is at #7, Cliff Richard's "It's All In The Game" is #11, "Bits And Pieces" climbs to #14, "All My Lovin'" is right behind it at #15 and "Beatle Time" is #31.  Jeez, it ALMOST looks like a lull this week!  (Notice how here in Chicago "Thank You Girl" was the charted hit instead of the real A-Side "Do You Want To Know A Secret"???)   

... AND NOW ...  

LOTS of buzz about the PBS Dave Clark Five Special that ran earlier this week ... so let's get right to it!   

re:  The Dave Clark Five:   
Did you get a chance to watch the brand new PBS Two-Hour Dave Clark Five special Tuesday Night?  This was a jam-packed, full two-hour show ... not a little throw-away stretched out over two hours due to PBS Pledge Drives.  (In fact, as I understand it, the dvd that they were hawking after the show contains an additional two hours of BONUS footage ... and, hopefully, some of the full-length video clips they showed throughout this program.)  
Speaking honestly, this was a bit of a one-sided presentation ... it is, after all, a Dave Clark Production, written, directed and produced by Clark ... but one certainly gained a clearer insight to Dave's business savvy, especially when folks like Paul McCartney (who has signed a bad contract or two during the course of his career) complimented Clark's business skills.  (In all these years I don't think I've ever seen any of The Beatles so much as acknowledge their existence ... played up in the media as "rivals" of The Beatles, for all intents and purposes, it seemed The Fab Four simply pretended they weren't really there and virtually ignored them publicly!)  Usually the REAL competition at the time always came down to either The Beatles and/or The Stones back then ... and some of the other British Invasion Groups were unfairly dismissed as almost being "lightweight" by comparison ... but this simply wasn't the case.  (Check out our on-going Friday Feature as we look back each week at The Evolution of The British Invasion and you'll see what I mean!) 
Clark literally managed every aspect of the band ... plotted their direction and called all the shots regarding contract negotiations, concert and television appearances, recordings ... even butting heads with their record label over the release of a ballad ("Because", which went on to be come one of their biggest and best-loved hits) because the record company didn't feel it was in keeping with their raucous reputation ... and managed to retain control of all of their recordings in a virtually then unheard of negotiation.  (As pointed out in the film, Dave Clark never really had to worry much about the band switching drummers!) 
The first twenty minutes were a bit repetitious, featuring the same snippets of hits ("Glad All Over", "Bits And Pieces" and "Do You Love" me repeatedly to illustrate the band's rise to fame) ... and the last half hour to forty minutes dragged for me a bit ... by this point, the group had already decided to call it quits ... so most of the focus was on Dave Clark's solo projects.  I did find the profile of Clark's musical "Time" to be quite fascinating however ... amazing to think how many big names were attached to that project.  I used to have the soundtrack LP but it's long gone ... and may have to start a search party to grab that one again.  I was also disappointed that they didn't do a deeper profile of Mike Smith, who truly was the voice of The Dave Clark Five ... and a HUGE part of their sound and success.  (Of all the hundreds and hundreds of concerts I've seen over the years, one of the ones that meant the most to me was catching Mike Smith live in concert at The Star Plaza in Merrillville, Indiana ... just an INCREDIBLE show ... very relaxed, very personal ... yet he could still belt out all of his tunes with the best of them.  Sadly, just one month later is when he had his terrible fall and ended up paralyzed from the neck down, as he remained until the day he died.  What a sad, sad ending to an incredible career.) 
Seeing all the clips again was great ... while I've had most of these on video for years, there were a few shown that I'd never seen before, which is ALWAYS a very pleasant surprise.  Meanwhile, they must have said at least half a dozen times during the program that The Dave Clark Five appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show eighteen times ... but as Forgotten Hits Readers know, it was really TWELVE ... the other six were repeat or rerun performances ... but that's STILL a pretty remarkable feat. 
I loved, too, Bruce Springsteen and Little Steven reminiscing about the impact the Dave Clark Five had on their own sound ... and The Boss talking about how he'd walk into a store or restaurant back in 1964 and immediately put on a British accent!  (Too funny!!!  The thing is, we ALL did that ... it's little things like that that you forget about the mania ... we ALL wanted to be British ... or have people THINK we were British ... because THAT is what was happening at the time.  For many of us, we had never even HEARD a British accent before!!!  And it didn't matter if you were a kid growing up in New Jersey or Chicago ... THIS is what you wanted to be!!!) 
To be sure, Dave Clark is a control freak ... and I will NEVER be convinced that holding on to this wealth of material, making it unavailable to the fans and the public, was a wise business decision.  Instead, it should have been shared with the world ... and would have helped them to keep a presence in the mainstream.  Instead, by now, far too many have already left us, including 60% of the band itself. 
Their Rock And Roll Hall of Fame snub is legendary ... thankfully, they finally got it, albeit shortly after Mike Smith's death.  Perhaps now that Clark has made this film public, some of the other material he's had under lock and key will start to resurface ... the complete Dave Clark Five music catalog on "legal" CD for example (most of us fans have owned the "bootleg versions" for YEARS now!!!); the complete "Ready, Steady, Go" television series library, profiling SO many of the great groups not only of The British Invasion but of that whole generation of music ... heck, he could lease THOSE to PBS and I'd be thrilled to see them all again!!!; the aforementioned "Time", released as both a film and a soundtrack ... SO much great stuff that's been sitting in the vaults now for decades.  Let's hope he has a change of heart and that this self-produced (and somewhat self-serving) television special is just the first step in opening the floodgates of DC5 Mania, circa 2014!!!  (kk) 

Hi Kent -   
The Dave Clark Special was Fantastic! Five cool dudes who did great originals and cover songs. 

OMG, I just love these guys.  I had forgotten how much great music they gave us ... and how cute they were! 

Hi Kent ... 
First let me say that I've always been a fan of the DC5. Their music represents everything I like in rock 'n roll.  The Dave Clark 5 - Glad All Over  PBS Special was very engrossing ... a combination of documentary, interviews and concert music that kept you interested for two hours.  Lots of music, mostly their big hits, Glad All Over, Bits and Pieces, etc., while flashbacks showed how the band grew, including flashbacks of their childhood in Tottenham, England.  Thus pitting the rivalry between the Tottenham quintuplets -v- The Liverpool Fab Four.  Much info that I either don't remember or had totally forgotten about included the 18 times the DC5 were on the Ed Sullivan Show (most of any British Invasion groups) or the fact that Glad All Over charted higher than the Beatles' I Want to Hold Your Hand in the U.K.  I didn't realize that they charted songs by other artists until I actually brought up my 16 iTune songs by them.  
Commentary by DC5 fans such as Tom Hanks, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen & Steven Van Zant, The Osbourns, Gene Simmons, original DC fans, band members etc kept the show <sort of> interesting.  I will say that there was too much repetition in the music without playing a song all the way through. 
I'm not much of a reviewer but this'll give you a little insight of how I enjoyed this special.  Thank you for putting out the info otherwise I'd never have heard about it.  
I, too, was a MAJOR Dave Clark Five fan at the time ... and still am.  I can't remember a record I wanted more than their first Greatest Hits album in late '65 ... I begged my parents for WEEKS about getting me that for Christmas ... and I remember telling them even if it's the ONLY present I got, THAT was the one that I really wanted.  When I did, I couldn't plop in on the turn-table fast enough.  And let me tell you, it was all thriller, no filler, from start to finish.  I literally wore the grooves out of that record. 
I never got wrapped up much in the whole rivalry thing (although I certainly did read 16 Magazine and all the Beatles Spectaculars that came out at the time, playing up the so-called competition between the two bands.)  I was able to appreciate BOTH groups for what they brought to the table ... and never believed that they themselves ever felt it was any kind of real competition.  The way the British acts took over our charts at the time, it seemed to me that there was plenty of room for EVERYBODY ... the more the merrier!  Every week we were introduced to a new sound by a new artist ... and we couldn't get enough! 
I agree that there was too much music repetition, especially at the beginning ... I was hoping that this pattern wouldn't continue throughout the program ... and I am also hopeful that the deluxe DVD edition may offer full-length versions of many of these songs. 
Overall, I enjoyed it ... and it's definitely something I'd watch again (and over and over and over again!)  kk

Actually, I'll probably just order the 2-DVD Set so that I can do exactly that ... plus catch the two hours of BONUS footage included!
Click here: Dave Clark Five: Glad All Over: .: Movies & TV    

It appears Dave Clark was nothing but a fake!!! 
What Dave Clark was, was a VERY shrewd business man ... he hired his "team" of musicians, threw himself in as the center of attention (even though it was typically Mike Smith who handled all of the lead vocals), and labeled the venture after himself as The Dave Clark Five.  I've heard for YEARS now that he rarely did his own drumming in the studio and scarcely contributed much to the song-writing and singing efforts ... but as you watch this special, it's Clark's face you see center-stage throughout ... even when Mike Smith is singing lead, the camera is typically focused on Dave playing drums ... and singing the harmonies. 
If all of this Ron Ryan story is true, it's disappointing to hear ... and even more surprising that in all these years, his bandmates have never come forward with anything negative to say about him.  (By the same token, if Ron Ryan's story is 100% true, then why didn't he write a hit for himself somewhere along the way?)
Bottom line is that Dave Clark took what was, in effect, a pretty good ballroom band on the weekends and turned them into MEGA superstars that toured the world (and made a good buck ... and had a WHOLE lotta fun ... doing it.)  Yes, I believe they were all salaried, hired hands ... but it sounds like he also treated them to vacations in Hawaii and the Fiji Islands and God knows where else.  If this was, in fact, a deal with The Devil, it seems that all parties involved feel they got a pretty fair shake out of that deal. 
I guess the bottom line is, does it make you love the music any less? 
I've come to realize that much of what we thought was real in the '60's really wasn't.  Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain?  It's the men behind the curtain who created all this great music in the first place.  The most important thing at the time was creating music that would last ... and that they did.  Does it really matter HOW they did it?  Watching The Wrecking Crew and talking to artists like Peter Noone and Carl Giammarese and so many others ... like session man extraordinare Vic Flick ... has taught me one thing ... it was ALWAYS about the music ... get it as good as you can get it, lay it down ... and it'll last forever.  And it has.  (kk)   

All in all a good show. While the Beatles were fabs of most of the crowd, I always preferred the DC5. They just kicked ASS!!!  Plus who could sing like the BOOMER!! Anyway, I never did get to see them. 
Flash forward to 2003 and holy cow ... am I seeing right? Mike Smith is back to performing and at the Abbey in Chicago?!?! How fortunate I get to see the this great man singing all the hits then. Then in a most ironic twist of all, I got to see him again the same year in Vegas. 
Let me explain ... 
My friend Jim Gritis was paralyzed from the neck down in a water accident. Later the doctors tried to operate and Jim passed away. I went to the funeral and stayed with a mutual friend. He knew I loved the 60's and I believe it was a casino (Cannery) that had a British Invasion show and I got to see Mike Smith again ... how wonderful!! Later that year Mike fell off his roof and was paralyzed. Talk about irony!  I really enjoyed seeing this great man sing twice that year. The PBS show was good, but I wished they had some clips of Rick, Lenny and Denny being interviewed.  And I thought for awhile Dave Clark was with Mike Smith and it was called "Mike Smith and Friends".  I am sure someone could enlightened me.  I felt the show was more of Dave than the Dave Clark Five, but then again look who produced and directed it? 
Another comment ... in the whole world, does anyone know if there is a DC 5 TRIBUTE BAND? There should be for Pete's Sake! BUT then again how many bands have an organ player and a sax man?? 
Last but not least, I will never forgive the rock and roll hall of fame for not inducting the DC5  a year earlier. From my understanding the DC5 did not get in because a certain editor thought they needed a rap group instead. Sadly the next year it was too late for Mike. 
Mike DeMartino  
The subject of a Dave Clark Five "cover" or "tribute" band has come up before in Forgotten Hits ... we found a couple on YouTube ... but have yet to find one that comes anywhere near close to doing the band justice.  One of the biggest surprises we found was The Fab Faux, known for their spot-on Beatles covers, doing The DC5's "Catch Us If You Can" as part of the "Tribute To Mike Smith" concert held shortly after his death.   It's damn near perfect! 

As for The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame snubbing of The Dave Clark Five, we helped to break that story back in 2007 after Fox News caught wind of a bit of "behind the scenes tampering" that apparently was going on.  In fact, we called The Rock Hall on it ... and they refused to talk to us, even cancelling a previously scheduled interview.  Ironically, the timing (for us) couldn't have been better ... this all happened right in the middle of our ten-part Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Series, where we took a look back (and evaluated) many of the artists previously inducted (and ignored) up to that point.  (In my wildest dreams, I couldn't have planned or orchestrated a timed media frenzy.)   
Our candid commentary had already been picked up by radio stations across the country ... and we were finding ourselves quoted from coast to coast.  Several artists contacted us (but would only speak off the record.)  In fact, the ONLY artist willing to speak ON the record was Howard Kaylan of The Turtles, whose Forgotten Hits quotes also made oldies radio headlines.  Suddenly Forgotten Hits was all over the radio and media ... at one point I was doing seven radio interviews a day!!!  A MAJOR turning point in our so-called success.  Literally THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of oldies music fans discovered our publication as a result of this non-stop barrage of coverage.  In fact, the list became so large that it became impossible to email our newsletter anymore ... and THOSE circumstances necessitated the very website you're visiting right now! 
The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame became VERY aware of our series and, at one point Terry Stewart, then President of The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Museum, agreed to an exclusive, no holds barred Forgotten Hits interview.  But then The Dave Clark Five scandal hit the press and, because we covered it, the interview was immediately cancelled ... and we've had no communication with their organization since. 
Ironically, reading it back now, we never flat out accused them of anything.  (You'll have the chance to read it on Sunday when we rerun that piece in its entirety.)  Several times in our coverage we commented that "IF" this story was true, it would prove to be permanently damaging to The Rock Hall ... never definitively speculating either way as I had absolutely no way of knowing for sure. 
It was really nothing new ... throughout the article we took The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame to task for some of their ludicrous and ridiculous inductions, all the while ignoring far more deserving artists, many of whom to this day have still yet to be inducted. 
Far more disturbing was the fact that we could never get a concrete answer as to just who the nominating committee consisted of ... and, as such, speculation has run high for years now that that distinction is held by a committee of one, that one being Jann Wenner, Rolling Stones Publisher and Founder of The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.  With last night's induction of The Class of 2014, this whole topic has become timely again ... so please check back on Sunday to read some truly classic Forgotten Hits. 
On the plus side, SEVERAL of the wrongs have since been corrected ... and nearly a dozen of the names that used to be on our Top 40 Deserving And Denied List have now made their way to the coveted Hall.  But pushing The Dave Clark Five back year ... and then having Mike Smith pass away just weeks before the ceremony is, as you said, unforgivable.  And a REAL shame.  (kk)   

re:  And The Hits Just Keep On Coming!:  
Inspired by our on-going British Invasion Series (not!!!), it sounds like a full-scale British Invasion Tour is coming back to The States to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of their 1964 chart take-over on this side of the pond.  Just got this from FH Reader Tom Cuddy:   

The Return of Rock Royalty ... 
Sharing the stage for the first time ever, the iconic singers of the legendary 1960’s music revolution:  
Gerry & The Pacemakers
Chad & Jeremy
Billy J. Kramer
Mike Pender’s Searchers
Denny Laine (of The Moody Blues & Wings) 

September 12th – The Wellmont Theater

NEW YORK (April 9, 2014) - This tour commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ momentous arrival on these shores in February 1964. They called it THE BRITISH INVASION and in the wake of the massive mop top hysteria, all of the participants in this once-in-a-lifetime concert experience dominated the music world and scored more than forty worldwide Top 40 hits. Their sound and look changed popular culture forever and now they are back to celebrate and honor some of the greatest songs of the twentieth century. 
Tickets on sale Friday, April 11th at 10am through, charge by phone 866.858.0008 and select Ticketmaster outlets. If tickets remain, they will be available at the venue box office on Saturday, April 12th.
The artists (all original singers of the classic hits) will be ably supported by a five-piece backing band faithfully recreating the classic sound of the vintage recordings and a full multi-media video package highlighted by rarely seen footage and incredible archival ephemera. The experience will be completed by a full presentation of unique performance clips pre-show and during intermission of other fab combos of the era, such as the Hollies, Zombies, Manfred Mann, Yardbirds, Pretty Things and many more!
Gerry & The Peacemakers Gerry Marsden personifies Merseybeat, the sound that dominated the world in1964. A close friend and associate of the Beatles in their native Liverpool, initially his UK chart success even outstripped that of the fab four, when his first three singles all hit #1. Produced by George Martin and managed by Brian Epstein, Gerry Marsden is as close as you’ll get to being transported back to the famous Cavern Club. This tour marks one of his rare Stateside appearances.
Chad & Jeremy Chad Stuart & Jeremy Clyde were another successful duo of the era, bringing a modern twist to classic two-part harmony. They hold the distinction of being one of the few British rockers to take up residence in the United States at the height of their popularity. This allowed them to appear individually and collectively on such television programs as Batman, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Patty Duke Show, My Three Sons, Laredo and The Dating Game. Their esteemed songwriting embraces traditional folk, sunshine pop and visionary psychedelia; their blend is timeless. 
Billy J. Kramer
Billy J. Kramer was another of Brian Epstein’s legendary protégé’s and in fact the first true British Invader (since his first visit to America pre-dates that of The Beatles). Like Marsden, this Liverpudlian’s early recordings were produced by George Martin and penned by Lennon & McCartney.
Mike Pender’s Searchers
Liverpool’s Searchers were one of the most influential bands of the early 1960’s. Their lead singer, Mike Pender, played the jangly Rickenbacker twelve-string riffs on such proto-folk-rock hits as “Needles And Pins” which gave way to the West Coast music revolution closely identified with the Byrds. Along the way the Searchers popularized the tunes of such classic songwriters as Jackie DeShannon, P.F. Sloan, Jack Nitzsche and Tony Hatch. This tour marks Pender’s first full Stateside tour in decades.  

Denny Laine (Of The Moody Blues & Wings)  
Denny Laine broke out of Birmingham with a Top 10 hit, “Go Now” as a member of The Moody Blues. He went on to find even greater success as a songwriter (“Say You Don’t Mind” for Colin Blunstone of The Zombies) and as the partner of Paul McCartney in Wings (scoring twenty-four Top 40 hits, including six #1 singles).

Date / Venue / City:

Friday, September 12, 2014 - The Wellmont Theater; Montclair NJ

Saturday, September 13, 2014 - The Keswick Theatre; Philadelphia PA

Sunday, September 14, 2014 - The NYCB Theatre; Westbury NY

Monday, September 15, 2014 - The Birchmere; Alexandria VA

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - The Palace Theatre; Greensburg PA

Friday, September 19, 2014 - The Saban Theatre; Los Angeles, CA

Saturday, September 20, 2014 - Harrah’s Rincon Casino; Valley Center CA

Sunday, September 21, 2014 - The Mountain Winery; Saratoga (near San Jose), CA

THE BRITISH INVASION tour is produced by Keith Putney & Andrew Sandoval and booked by The Agency Group. This tour follows in the wake of the producer and agents’ critically lauded relaunch of The Monkees. Focusing on presenting all of the hits, plus deep cuts and the most creative archival multimedia currently in production, these shows are without a doubt not to be missed.

The British Invasion – Featuring forty Top 40 Hits

Gerry & The Pacemakers

“Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying”

“How Do You Do It”

“I Like It”

“I’ll Be There”

“Ferry Cross The Mersey”

“It’s Gonna Be Alright”

“You’ll Never Walk Alone”

“Girl On A Swing”

Chad & Jeremy

“Yesterday’s Gone”

“A Summer Song”

“Willow Weep For Me”

“If I Loved You”

“Before And After”

“I Don’t Wanna Lose You Baby”

“Distant Shores”

Mike Pender’s Searchers

“Needles And Pins”

“Sugar And Spice”

“Don’t Throw Your Love Away”

“Someday We’re Gonna Love Again”

“When You Walk In The Room”

“Love Potion Number Nine”

“What Have They Done To The Rain”

“Bumble Bee”

Billy J. Kramer

“Little Children”

“Bad To Me”

“I’ll Keep You Satisfied”

“From A Window”

“Do You Want To Know A Secret”

Denny Laine of The Moody Blues

“Go Now”

“Say You Don’t Mind"