Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tuesday This And That

re:  The Beatles:
>>>Believe it or not, last week (November 19th) marked the 25 Year Anniversary of The Beatles Anthology airing on ABC Television.  (Unreal!!!)  This also means that it's the 25th Anniversary of the release of "Free As A Bird", the first new piece of Beatles music since the group disbanded in 1970.  (kk)
Believe it or not, I don't believe it! The Beatles' Anthology, which I taped off of TV (and still have the VHS of somewhere) aired between November 19 and 23, 1995, making it only 20 years ago.
Tom Diehl  
You are absolutely correct, sir, and I stand corrected.  (Funny thing is I KNEW it was the 20th Anniversary and yet I typed "25th" anyway.  Must be that 67 hour work week!)
In fact, here's the release sent out by The Fest For Beatles Fans, whose information we also passed along about the 2016 New York show ...
NOVEMBER 19, 1995: It was 20 years ago today,The first installment of The Beatles Anthology first aired on a Sunday night on ABC. Over 47 million people watched and at the end of the show was the world premier of the first new Beatles song in 25 years - Free As A Bird. We got to HEAR and SEE it for the first time. The next day most radio stations around the country were playing it. Capitol Records wanted to take no chances of a leak, so they did something unprecedented in the industry. They changed the release date of Beatles Anthology 1 to Monday, Nov 20th (NOT the usual Tuesday). To make that  happen, at their own expense, they FEDEXED all shipments on the Saturday so that no store would receive it until Monday. It ended up selling over 3.5 Million copies. The single for Free As A Bird was not ready for another 3-4 weeks and it made it to #6 on the charts. Had it been released that same week, it most certainly would have gone straight to Number 1.   3 Nights later Anthology Part Two aired and we heard and viewed Real Love for the first time. Anthology Part Three would air the next night on Thanksgiving night.
I also taped the entire television series ... and then waited in line (in VERY cold temperatures!) a few years later when the complete series (with ALL kinds of bonus footage) was first released as a VHS Box Set and went on sale at Midnight at Best Buy ... and there were quite a few of us in that line, too!  It is nothing short of amazing the amount interest that still surrounds this supposed "flash-in-the-pan", never-gonna-last band from Liverpool who have captivated the hearts of the world since 1962.  (kk)
re:  And Another Anniversary ... :
Kent ...
On 11/20/1955 Bo Diddley was supposed to sing "Sixteen Tons" on the Ed Sullivan Show.
He switched songs at the last minute. Ed didn't like it.  That's what it says in Ron Smith's book.
Frank B.
re:  The Wild Wayne 40th Anniversary Interviews:
More play-by-play from FH Reader Frank B.
(Hey, I've got to be careful here ... this is starting to turn into The Frank B Newsletter!!!)
Interview Date:  February 15, 1989 - The late Niki Sullivan (The Crickets)
Wild Wayne asked Niki to tell the story about what happened on October 5, 1957.
When Niki stopped laughing, he told this story ...
The Crickets traveled from the east coast to Corpus Cristi, Texas.  They arrived at the motel at 10 PM. Tired, they just wanted to get some sleep.
When they open the door, what do they find in their room?
Not one or two ... but A THOUSAND!!!
They complain at the desk ... no empty rooms available.
The guy says sweep them out of the room.
Do you know how long it takes to sweep 1000 crickets out of a room ?
Buddy sure picked the right name for his group.
On one of their early recordings a cricket outside the window can be heard on the record.  Now there was a room full of crickets.
Like they say truth is stranger than fiction.

Interview Date:  September 16, 1984 - Bobby  Vee
One person's career ends, due to tragedy ... turns out to be a break for somebody else.  
In February of 1959, Bobby was 15 years old ... a sophomore in high school.
After Buddy Holly's death, the next scheduled stop on their tour was Fargo, North Dakota.
Radio station asks for local talent to help out. Bobby and his group , The Shadows, open the show. This led to a recording contract with the local Summa Label.
In 1959, "Suzy Baby" becomes Bobby Vee's first Hit. It's later picked up by The Liberty Label.
Frank B.
re:  Sonny Geraci:
Kent ...
According to Ron Smith's book, 11/22/1947 = Today is Sonny Geraci's Birthday. 
Do you have any information on how he's doing?
Frank B.
We get asked about this all the time ... at one point we were in contact with one of Sonny's daughters, who would give us updates ... but lately we've been relying on Sonny's close friend Dennis Tufano, former lead singer of The Buckinghams, to fill us in.
We ran this posting from Dennis recently on the website ...
Sonny Geraci is slowly coming back. Mentally he is in  very good stead but physically he is not strong 
enough to get on the stage. He’s working hard to get back out there.
The jerk who stole the money has been released from his prison stay and there’s hope that he will be paying back the money or go back to prison. 
I will keep you posted as much as they keep me posted.  Thx.  
re:  This And That:
Here is a GREAT concert review, sent in by Forgotten Hits Reader Tom Cuddy, of a recent Brian Wilson show in Easton, PA.  Sounds like pretty much the same show we saw only this time Blondie Chaplin was back in the line-up. 
And apparently the "Love And Mercy" closer gets to Brian every time.  Read on ...     
Rant 'n' Roll:  Brian Wilson Is The Beach Boys - Accept No Substitute
by Mike Greenblatt, November 18, 2015
Easton, PA — The music of the Beach Boys, since 1961, and their debut “Surfin’” single, has been the soundtrack to our Baby Boomer lives. I was 10. I thought it was the greatest thing I ever heard. As hit after juvenile hit assailed our young ears over the radio in the early ‘60s, the Beatles were listening, too, and putting out their own string of juvenile hits across the pond. The difference between the two pioneering bands is that while The Fab Four matured into writing whatever the hell they wanted, Brian, while also maturing in compositional scope, was lambasted by his own band, management, label and lawyers into putting out the same feel-good pop they started with. So instead of naturally growing, he turned inward, and with the help of a copious amount of drugs and a creeping mental illness, turned into America’s Recluse.  
That was fine for The Evil Beach Boy, Mike Love, who always only wanted “Fun Fun Fun” and still does. So if you want empty jukebox soulless versions of these songs performed in robotic fashion as if time has stood still and nostalgia is the primary emotion, indeed, go see Mike Love and his feel-good traveling whore band of non-Beach Boys calling themselves The Beach Boys. But if you want the real thing, with chances taken, with all of the profound angst and rock ‘n’ roll adventurism that only the true giants embrace, you owe it to yourself to see Brian Wilson and his band of 10 that includes original Beach Boy Al Jardine and, at the State Theatre in Easton, Pennsylvania, recently, a wonderful surprise.  
That surprise came in the form of Blondie Chaplin who added some stirring rock-out moments. His vocal on “Wild Honey” tore the house down and his lead guitar electricity was as exciting as anything he ever did with the Rolling Stones both onstage and in the studio from 1997 to 2007. Chaplin, along with fellow South African Ricky Fataar, joined the Beach Boys in 1972 as full-fledged members. They infused the Boys with promise anew and made them stronger, tougher than the rest and awash with creativity. When Chaplin launched into singing “Sail On Sailor,” a song on which he originally sang lead on the Beach Boys’ 19th studio album in 1973 (Holland), all bets were off and we were dizzyingly transported to a time when this music was hardly nostalgic, but vital. Chaplin wandered about the stage shredding for some supreme moments, looking like a demented Lou Reed. The dude’s a classic.  
Only four songs out of 31 (in 1:45) were not Beach Boys tunes. They were from Brian’s current — and quite excellent — No Pier Pressure. Al Jardine was goose-bumpingly good singing “Shut Down,” “”Little Deuce Coupe” and a cover of Phil Spector’s “Then I Kissed Her.” When his son, Matt Jardine, took the mic with his absolutely perfecto falsetto for “Don’t Worry Baby,” I think the crowd had a collective orgasm as his voice matched and exceeded the intent of the song as originally sung by Brian off 1964’s Shut Down Volume #2.  
To hear such timeless classics as “In My Room,” “Surfer Girl,” “Darlin’,” “Surf’s Up,”, “Good Vibrations,” “Heroes And Villains” (the opener, preceded by a stunning a cappella “Prayer” which stunned the expectant crowd with wholly gospel fervor), “California Girls” and “I Get Around” performed so beautifully and harmonically dexterous was, for me, spiritual.  
“This is the best song I ever wrote,” said Brian as a kind of a hush fell over the crowd for “God Only Knows,” from the eleventh — and best — Beach Boys album, 1966’s Pet Sounds. It would be the album that Paul McCartney salivated over for months before attempting to top it with his band’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967. The much-deserved encore included “All Summer Long,” “Help Me Rhonda,” “Barbara Ann,” “Surfin’ USA,” “Fun Fun Fun” and the last song raised a lump in more than one throat. Brian almost couldn’t get through “Love And Mercy,” the theme song to the exquisite movie of the same name, because he had taken chances vocally all night long. Coughing, sputtering on some of the lyrics, it didn’t matter at that point. We were all standing and kvelling* for this American Treasure. 
(“Kvelling” is a Yiddish word I heard growing up that means bursting with happiness and pride.) 
Kent ...
Starting tomorrow at 10 AM (New York Time) Top 500 Countdown starts on WCBS-FM.
Maybe you can sneak in a few songs while you're at work.
I'm gonna go out on a limb and say neither one of us will like the #1 song.
Frank B.
What??? You don't think "Boogie Oogie Oogie" will win the top honors this year?!?!?  (kk)
Enjoyed Sunday's FH, especially the video you posted of Maurice Williams and Luke Balbosa doing STAY. Even though he is considered to be a "one hit wonder" today with his song STAY, Maurice Williams did have a couple of follow-ups I somewhat liked.
As for the hits of Johnny Rivers, probably one of his biggest hits here in OKC was his remake of the Miracles' TRACKS OF MY TEARS. I always did like his remake version better than the original by the Miracles.
John was giving you his reminisces about his experiences with his first transistor radio. Reading that and listening to the tune by Freddy Cannon, reminded me of a tune that Frankie Lymon came out with in 1958 on Roulette Records. Kent, do you remember or are you familiar with the song PORTABLE ON MY SHOULDER? Frankie had a "portable" on his shoulder and his baby by his side.
Larry Neal
We're hoping to have a word with Maurice Williams after the holidays to share with our readers.  "Stay" is TRULY a timeless classic ... it has won over the hearts of every new generation to hear it since it first topped the charts back in 1960.  (Remake versions by The Four Seasons and Jackson Browne performed pretty well on the charts, too ... but it was the original version, clocking in at just under two minutes, that captured our hearts all those years ago.  Non-stop use in movies, commercials and television have kept the song alive ... and it still sounds just as fresh today as it did way back when.  (kk)
Saying goodbye to a New Orleans legend ...
Kent ...
Stole this one from Ron Smith's Oldies.
Don't tell Ron.
Orpheum Theater Fills With Allan Toussaint Fans And New Orleans Musicians As Star-Studded Tribute Set To Begin / NOLA.com
From FH Reader Ken Voss ...
P. F. Sloan (born Philip Gary Schlein; September 18, 1945 – November 15, 2015)
Some unique notes of his career:
* Wrote or co-wrote:
"Eve of Destruction" (Barry McGuire)
"You Baby" and "Let Me Be" (The Turtles)
"Secret Agent Man" (Johnny Rivers)
* Was the lead falsetto voice instead of Dean Torrence on Jan & Dean's top 10 hit "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena"
* Session guitarist with The Wrecking Crew
* Production credits range from Ann Margaret to The Robbs
* Was original founder of The Grassroots
* In 2015 published memoir - What's Exactly the Matter With Me? Memoirs of a Life in Music
Dear Film and / or Bob Dylan Buffs,
Gary Pig Gold's look at that the "Bob Dylan Revealed" documentary has just reappeared at the virtual address below.
So don't forget to read, as well as reprint, re-post, quote from or even link to if you so desire ...
Here's a recent interview with Eric Carmen, sent in by FH Reader Tom Cuddy ...
Kent ...
I found your follow-up Shangri-Las story very interesting.
Mary Weiss, lead singer, tried a solo comeback.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TY8UVqCUJnwFrank B.
In Saturday's FH I was immediately reminded of a record that came out in 1961 and was fairly big here in OKC. It was Jerry Wallace's EYES (DON'T GIVE MY SECRET AWAY). I don't think it charted nationally and of course, don't know how it did in your part of the country. It was on Challenge Records of course. Also, today's feature reminded me of a girl I knew years ago from back East.
I always did like to look into THE EYES OF A NEW YORK WOMAN.
Also, while watching a football game on television just now, I saw for the second time within a few days a commercial which I believe was for Android - Google. The background song was DOWN IN MEXICO, the tune that the Coasters did back in 1956. I don't believe it was the original recording by the Coasters, but I would say it's a close second.
Hello Mr Kotal! 
Just picked up a new book last night - "Everybody Knows About The Bird" by Rick Schefchik. 
It's a new book on the Minnesota music scene in the 60's featuring The Trashmen of Surfin' Bird fame.  The little I have perused it I think I am in for a good read. Of course you can get it on Amazon. Just thought you and the rest would be interested in it. 
I was looking at the index in the back at the people, groups and songs annotated in it ... well, you will be impressed ... Al Kooper, The Beach Boys, the Stones, Elvis ... well you get the point.
And you can find a great interview with him about the book on the "Holding Court" podcast with Ron Rosenbaum.  Enjoy both!
Pete Heger
I hadn't heard anything about this one ... and I can't find a link on Amazon.  Maybe you can send us a review once you make your way thru YOUR copy???  (kk)
I can do that. It might be a bit as I am saving it for our vacation here in a couple of weeks.  You always need a good read on the plane, you know.  Put it out there 'tho.  The little bit I have looked at it brings back so many memories.  I just wish my group of friends back in high school would have been the kind to go to all these shows.  I really missed out.  I will report back when I finish it.
Wow, a book report ... like eighth grade all over!
Yeah, but a FUN one!!!  Enjoy your trip, Pete!  (kk)
And, speaking of cool give-aways, Davie Allan has promised to send an autographed copy of his two latest cds, "50th Anniversary" and "King Of The Fuzz Guitar" to a lucky Forgotten Hits Reader.
Interested in winning a copy?  Drop me a line and simply put "Davie Allan" in the subject line.
Or you can order your OWN copy directly from Davie himself ... get BOTH CD's for only $15, including shipping ... and he'll sign YOUR copies as well
Holiday Special (two new CDs):
"50th Anniverary" AND "King of the Fuzz Guitar" for $15 (that includes the shipping).
Davie Allan
12100 Coventry Way
Unit 306
Tustin, CA 92782
These very well may be the last physical cd's that Davie releases ... seems like EVERYBODY has joined the digital age of downloading.  (Not me ... I bought half a dozen brand new cd's last week ... but it IS getting harder and harder to find them!!!)
Don't miss out ... grab YOUR chance to pick up these cd's stat!  (kk)
And a few more great reviews of Harvey Kubernik's EXCELLENT new Neil Young book ...
An excellent review of Neil Young: Heart of Gold at the website for reviews, Curled Up With a Good Book.
Neil Young's career has traced an arc over five decades. The ups and downs of his career could fill a book, and luckily we have the supremely talented Harvey Kubernik to provide us with it. 
The author is a cultural historian with not only a tremendous gift as a writer but also the insight and understanding to unravel not only who an artist is but why.
Kubernik follows Young from his roots in Canada all the way through his most recent solo album (number 36, if you're counting) titled The Monsanto Years. In between those two goalposts, the author follows Young through the important years of the Buffalo Springfield, his work with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and a solo career that began in the '60s. 
There are exhaustive interviews here with many of the key players in Young's life including Graham Nash, Nils Lofgren, Ian Hunter, Robbie Robertson, Richie Furay, and many others. They provide a picture of an iconic artist who has long been hard to define.
Young's extensive catalog of music is analyzed and interpreted. As side pieces to the discography, archival photos and personal memorabilia adorn this beautifully packaged book.
Once again, Kubernik has taken the reins of a wild horse and tamed him. He gives a face and focus to an artist nobody has really understood -- until now. 
Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com.
copyright Steven Rosen, 2015  
Neil Young: Heart of Gold
Harvey Kubernik
Backbeat Books
224 pages
September 2015

rated 4 of 5 possible stars
A number of years ago I was talking Eric “Roscoe” Ambel, of Del-Lords and Steve Earle and the Dukes fame, about some of his extracurricular activities, one of them being handling production chores for Nils Lofgren’s ’92 album Crooked Line. While working on a particularly brawny track called “Drunken Driver” Ambel remarked to Lofgren that it reminded him a lot of Neil Young & Crazy Horse; the lightbulb apparently went on over Lofgren’s head, because a day or so later who should wander into the studio but Young himself. Ambel soon found himself trading electric guitar lines with the music legend. Subsequently, while listening to the playback, Lofgren asked Young what he thought of the riffing. 
“It’s ugly, it’s horrible, it’s nasty — it’s just right for the song,” was Young’s response.
That scenario came to mind while absorbing the latest book by veteran L.A. author / journalist Harvey Kubernik (most recently: 2014’s Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows, reviewed HERE). Neil Young: Heart of Gold is rife with such moments, when Young made an artistic call based not on what would seem to be the obvious or logical or even commercial decision, but upon his gut feeling, of what his instincts told him would serve the moment — and certainly the song or the album or the concert at hand — best.
With each of its 10 chapters set up to detail a specific timeline in Young’s life, the 224-page, photo-rich NYHoG pulls off the remarkable event of presenting those timelines with orderly precision based less on uniform blocks of time (for example, the “Expecting to Fly” chapter depicts 1966 - 69, while “A Long Road Behind Me, A Long Road Ahead” covers an entire decade, 1996 - 2006) and more on how proximate releases, tours, events and personal digressions informed and related to one another. Just to cite one chapter, the “Keep on Rockin’” 1987 - 96 period: late ’87 found Young legally free of Geffen Records, with which he’d had a rather, er, fractious relationship (a few years earlier the label had sued him for submitting albums that were “unrepresentative” of the man they’d thought they were signing) and back home on Reprise, where his first release was the horns-heavy/blues-rocking This Note’s For You (the accompanying tour was recently documented on the 11th installment of Neil’s archive series, Bluenote Café); apparently freed psychically as well, Young would go on a sustained creative roll and enjoy one of his most celebrated eras ever, including the release of iconic anthem “Rockin’ In the Free World,” the now-legendary “Smell the Horse” tour with Crazy Horse of the US and Canada that featured Sonic Youth as opening act, the platinum-selling Harvest Moon album, an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song for “Philadelphia,” the Kurt Cobain-referencing Sleeps With Angels album that earned him his “Godfather of Grunge” sobriquet, and high-profile tours with both Booker T & the MG’s and Pearl Jam serving as his backing band.
Don’t mistake this 8.5” X 10.8” volume for “just another coffeetable book,” however. Folks who spot it in the book store might initially compare it to the 2013 Neil Young: A Life in Pictures, given the similar size and similar wealth of photos — many of them familiar and considered “classic” but quite a few also quite rare and/or relatively obscure — that dot each spread and cover literally every stage of Young’s career (from high school yearbook photos all the way up to his appearance in April of this year in L.A. at Stephen Stills’ Light Up the Blues benefit for Autism Speaks).
But for my money, NYHoG is as worthy a Young biography as, say, Jimmy McDonough’s Shakey, from 2003, or Johnny Rogan’s 2000 tome Zero to Sixty. As a lifelong Young fan who even saw Buffalo Springfield back in the day, Kubernik certainly owns those books and many others, and it’s likely that he didn’t feel the need to retread similar narrative ground. Instead, he structures his book as an oral history that synchs nicely with the images he presents, quoting from Young intimates (David Geffen, David Briggs, Elliot Mazer, etc.), journalists and filmmakers (John Einarson, Henry Diltz, Stanley Dorfman, etc.), musical peers and bandmates (Randy Bachman, Eddie Vedder, Graham Nash, Richie Furay, Nils Lofgren, Frank Sampedro, etc.) and scores more. At the end of the book an appendix lists all of Kubernik’s respondents along with a capsule bio for each, so while a name like Nash or Lofgren probably needs no further explication, it’s nice to know the bonafides for some of the lesser-known people who provide quotes for the book. (Kubernik lists all these folks as “contributors.” Nice populist touch, that.) Another appendix lists the original sources (books, magazines, etc.) for all quotes not collected by Kubernik himself.
He also drops in Young quotes where appropriate, additionally making judicious use of brief but pertinent narrative segues — mindful no doubt of the number one pitfall for oral histories, namely, the ever-present risk of jumping from one “voice” to another without any accompanying context, thereby leaving the reader confused. And to bolster the time-line theme of the book, an appendix provides a very detailed 25-page discography of every Young-related official release.
Ultimately, Neil Young: Heart of Gold strikes the right balance between text and images, between brain food and eye candy. You can proudly leave it out on the table in the living room to impress visitors with your obvious appreciation of The Icon Known As Neil Young, sure. But it’s also the kind of book you can pick up while listening to a record or wondering about some stray bit of Young lore and come away feeling just a little more informed than you were previously.
And hey, Christmas is coming, and everyone’s got a Young fan in the family or circle of friends in need of a good gift idea, so… Now excuse me, I have to go. I’ve been putting off organizing into a database my 500+ Neil Young bootleg LPs, CDs, tapes and downloads for far too long, and I suddenly have an incentive to do just that. 
-- Fred Mills
Order your copy here: