Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Sunday Comments: The First Of May, 2016

Is there really any other way to start this week's issue???  (kk)

Cornerstones Of Rock:   
Tonight's Cornerstones Of Rock show at The North Shore Center in Skokie has completely sold out ... as did the recent appearance at The Arcada Theatre.  By all accounts, Chicago music, performed by our local heroes, is alive and well again ... and we couldn't be more pleased.
But fans who are just now FINALLY receiving their copies of the DVD they ordered last November when this concert first aired on WTTW are NOT pleased by what they're seeing.
Whereas normally when a program airs on this PBS affiliate and viewers purchase a copy through the station's pledge drive you receive additional bonus footage, for some reason on THIS particular release, fans are getting LESS than what was originally shown ... and they're none too happy about it.
In fact, they've been letting Forgotten Hits and WTTW just how displeased they really are.  (We received the three emails shown below all within the past week ... so we're reaching out to the artists who performed that night, as well as the PBS station to ask the simple question ... 

After much delay and many email inquiries, I finally received the "Cornerstones of Rock" DVD that I ordered. Actually I received two, but that’s a whole other story.  
I had ordered the $100.00 package immediately after the televised show on WTTW. My question is this ... I was under the impression that the DVD that I ordered was going to be the entire performance and not the edited version that was aired during their “begfest”. For example, reviews on your site indicated that The Cryan' Shames performed five songs at the performance, but only three appeared on the edited televised show. When I opened my package, the credits on the back of the DVD booklet indicate only three songs by The Cryan' Shames and not five.  In fact, the credits only list the songs performed on the edited version by all of the groups. In addition, there is no indication of the group “Louie Louie” performance which appeared at the end of the edited televised show.  
In your column you indicated that you had opened and watched your DVD. What exactly is on that DVD? Is there more than one version of the DVD? I do not want to play mine until I am sure it is the correct one that I thought I had ordered in case I have to return it. 
I really enjoyed the edited version that I saw on WTTW and thought the performance was extremely well done. But, from the start, the entire promotion, as handled by WTTW, was rampant with mis-information and I thought that the handling of the orders was very poorly done.  
Robert Campbell  
After all the time I waited for this to come (and numerous inquiries of my own), I still have NOT watched the DVD.  (I'm a little amazed by that myself as I was so looking forward to receiving it ... but after seeing the televised version several times I guess I just never felt the urgency to watch it again.  After all the delays, I, too, was a little disenchanted by the time the package finally arrived.)  
My understanding is that the DVD was supposed to include bonus footage not aired during the televised program ... but as to what "extras" might be included, this was never really made clear (other than the fact that interviews with many of the artists were supposed to be spliced in.)  
After talking to most of the artists who performed that night, they, too, were disappointed that their full performance had been edited by at least one song for broadcast purposes ... so while expecting to see the full show in its entirety on DVD may have been something we all hoped for, I don't know that WTTW ever explicitly stated what would and would not be included.  (This was kinda mishandled from the beginning ... the end credits during the broadcast referred to a tribute to the group Chase, but this segment was never televised.  I believe it IS on the DVD, however, but again I haven't watched it to confirm as such.)  
Between the defective manufacturing of the original DVDs and the delay this created in getting them to the subscribers who donated big bucks to PBS, it's been a rather unpleasant experience overall.  However, BOTH shows announced during the taping (first at The Arcada and then again this weekend at The Skokie Performing Arts Center) were complete sell-outs ... and another show has been added at The Arcada for September 3rd ... so this has proven to be a VERY hot ticket and the local fans are turning out in big numbers to support our Local Heroes ... which is all a VERY good thing.  (Sadly, a lot has happened since the original taping, including the death of American Breed lead singer Gary Loizo and now Jimy Sohn's stroke ... Dennis Tufano missed the first Arcada concert because of a previous commitment ... so we never really know for sure in advance just who we're going to see up on the stage on any given night.  They are still promoting "many surprises and special guests" so it'll be interesting to see just who turns up.)  
I've yet to see any of the live shows (although most of these artists DID perform at The Marty Grebb Benefit Concert earlier last year.)  We had planned to go to the Skokie show on Sunday (May 1st) because we had never been to this venue before but now that this one has sold out, too, I guess we'll have to miss it.  
As far as I know there is only ONE version of the DVD ... so open it up and enjoy it.  As you said, it was GREAT seeing all these guys performing together again, some setting aside YEARS of differences to do so.  If nothing else, the recent circumstances surrounding Marty, Gary and Jimy prove once again that life is just too short to hold grudges ... to ALL of the participating musicians, go on up there and do what you enjoy most ... and give the fans something to cheer about one more time.  (kk)       

Whatever you do, don't erase your dvr recording of the Cornerstones of Rock program.  The version sent to subscribers who made PBS donations has performances on it than the heavily-edited original broadcast, interrupted regularly for pledge begs.  (I've never heard of PBS offering LESS footage than their broadcast version before ... normally the enticement to donate is to obtain ADDITIONAL footage!  This has to be a first ... and is a MAJOR disappointment!)
Worst of all ... it doesn't contain the Jimy Sohns / Shadows Of Knight performance of "Gloria", the universal national anthem of garage band rock.  (How is this even possible?)
All in all, a tremendous letdown for fans who shelled out big bucks to see the full length and additional performances of those you refer to as our "local heroes".  A BIG disappointment, especially after waiting all this time for the disc to arrive.

I guess I'm not the only one who is disappointed with "Cornerstones Of Rock: American Garage DVD".
I, too, was under the understanding that it would contain all the songs on the TV broadcast and, at least, most of the remaining ones not shown, that were recorded that night. Instead we got LESS than was on the broadcast! 
I thought "Cornerstones" and "American Garage" were the theme of the concert. 
Why did we get Ides of March covering "Little Bit O' Soul" instead of one of their own songs?  
And in the biggest omission, where is "Gloria", acclaimed onstage by Jimmy Sohns as the ultimate garage rock song?
Not on this DVD set! 
I guess we're lucky we got "Kind Of A Drag" ... 
Whoever decided on the lineup on this DVD didn't do anyone any favors who truly wanted to get a package that was an all encompassing presentation of the original concert at the WTTW studios.  
In ending, if time limits for the DVD were a consideration, why not cut "Little Bit O' Soul" and include the true,  "Cornerstone of Garage Rock" song of the whole concert, "Gloria"?  
Still a good package to have, but don't delete your DVR recording of the original show!  
Bill Mulvy
OK, now I'm going to HAVE to open this sucker up and play it!!!
There is absolutely NO excuse for "Gloria" to be missing from this set ... it was one of the concert highlights.  (Unless there was a licensing issue of some sort ... we'll have to look into that.)
The DVD was promoted as containing additional footage (and I heard from most of the guys that they were interviewed for segments to be edited into the broadcast.)  This REALLY sucks if people who shelled out upwards of $100 - $250 bucks are getting LESS than they got during the original telecast.  (I sprung for the super deluxe set, which included the DVD, a CD "soundtrack" of the live performances from the show and an additional CD featuring all of the original versions of these local hits.  I wanna say it was close to $250 if I remember correctly.  To find out now that the dvd features LESS material than originally broadcast is a HUGE disappointment!  Plus now we're ALSO getting inundated with WTTW mail and email on a nearly daily basis looking for more money on other projects ... it's almost enough to make you not want to donate again in the future!) 
I'll have to watch the whole show sometime this week and see what's what.  (Meanwhile maybe some of the participants can let us know why even MORE material was cut from the DVD.)  kk 

As for not including "Gloria" by The Shadows Of Knight, the official garage band national anthem, this is sacrilege.  This track was the hands-down winner of our Forgotten Hits Top 50 All-Time Favorite Garage Bands Poll a couple of years ago ... and The Shadows Of Knight even beat out The Kingsmen as your all-time favorite garage band.  (Speaking of The Kingsmen, I don't see the "Louie Louie" finale shown on the dvd credits either!!!  What' up with that?!?!?)
You can read all of the results of our Favorite Garage Bands Poll here ... along with a special interview with Shadows frontman Jimy Sohns ... 

Kudos again to Forgotten Hits for always telling it the way it is. 
Jim Peterik sent in copies of his brand new cd for you to give away to Forgotten Hits readers yet you still ran an honest, unbaised review of his new album.  (I remember years ago when you covered a biography of Johnny Maestro that was a COMPLETE rip-off from cover-to-cover ... all 32 pages of it! ... after giving away autographed copies of the book.) 
THESE are the reasons that Forgotten Hits is one of the most respected publications out there ... you won't be swayed to sugar coat something no matter what the circumstances may be ... we will ALWAYS get an honest review from you. 
Believe me, it's hard sometimes, especially when you know the person and genuinely want to help them promote their latest work ... and there are several good moments on the new Jim Peterik CD that I really liked ... but there were definitely other areas where I felt disappointed by the routes taken to reimagine some of his true classics.  (This is why I used the "Layla" and "Hotel California" examples ... is there ANY track on this new CD that you really think a radio station might play as an interesting variation to what we already know and love?  Because if you didn't go in with the intention to create a brand new, unique take as an attention grabber, then what was the point of redoing these in the first place?)  For me, the BEST example is the reworking of "High On You" ... I would ABSOLUTELY play that one on my radio show ... if I HAD a radio show ... because this one (and "Caught Up On You") show a real, creative, new approach to these Peterik classics. 
I always try to structure my reviews as solid, constructive criticism when I find areas that I feel could have been some improved.  It is NEVER intended to be a slam at the artist ... just some food for thought, both for the potential audience and the artists themselves. 
I would NEVER go so far as to say "Don't buy this CD" ... your OWN opinions count FAR more than mine do ... and the very fact that Jim has applied a new creative process to reimagining this tunes may be enough incentive for you to give it a try ... my point is NEVER to sway ... but only to give you my own interpretation of how this music affected me.    
I've said it from Day One ... if all an artist wants from me is a "puff piece", then get your publicist to write it ... because I will ALWAYS call 'em as I see 'em.  This music is VERY near and dear to my heart ... and judging everything as a fan first, (which I ALWAYS do), I think I've got a pretty good handle on what us fans want to hear from our favorite artists ... and, as good as this is in some spots, I feel it comes up short overall ... and if this is the case, I'm going to say it.  (kk)   

This And That:     
>>>as well as undefinable hits like "The Girl From Ipanema" by Getz and Gilberto  (kk)    
If you REALLY want to define that one, it's jazz ... yes, and definitely jazz. Take it from a jazz lover who has it in his jazz collection. The Getz-Gilberto album from which it was taken doesn't even refer to Astrud Gilberto but to guitarist Joao Gilberto. Astrud (his then wife) had no professional experience prior to what was a landmark album in 1963/64 featuring Antonio Carlos Jobim on piano. Big noise in bossa nova back in the day, the album also produced Desafinado and Corcovado, jazz standards. You could call it jazz and not be subject to dispute.
Or, as Stan Freberg might say, "that's close enough for jazz"!!! (lol)  Every once in a while a track like this ("Take Five" by The Dave Brubeck Quartet also comes to mind) would find its way to the pop charts and catch the ear of an unsuspecting public.
This has ALWAYS been a favorite track of ours ... but my point was more to how to classify it in conjunction with all the other genres represented on the new Eric release.  (The '60's were a VERY interesting time ... you could take The Motown Sound, the R&B slant of Atlantic Records, all the British Invasion hits, pure pop, country, novelty hits, bubblegum, hard rock and early heavy metal, the folk / rock movement, protest songs, blue-eyed soul, East Coast / West Coast sounds and mix it ALL up to play alongside one-of-a-kind tracks like "The Girl From Ipanema", "Ringo" by Lorne Greene and even "Dominique" by The Singing Nun ... and nobody questioned a thing.  We were exposed to ALL kinds of music back then and, as such, had a much broader outlook as to what we liked.  Today's "cookie-cutter" radio format allows stations to only play music that sounds the same so that it fits as one big mega-mix ... and that's a shame because there is SO much more good music out there that most people will never be exposed to.
We just ran this clip a couple of months ago, but it's SO good that we're running it again today in Forgotten Hits.  Enjoy!  (kk)

Speaking of "the good ol' days", check out this article Tom Cuddy sent us ... OLD music is out-selling NEW music these days.  (Maybe folks really DO prefer a good melody after all, as opposed to some rap crap where at least one word in every line has to be bleeped from radio airplay!  Gee, who woulda thought?!?!?) 

Rolling Stone debuted the first brand new Monkees track on their website last week ... and it sounds just like The Monkees of old.  (In all fairness, some of the tracks on "Good Times", due out May 27th, ARE old tracks that have been resurrected for the new CD ... but this one's brand new, written by Rivers Cuomo of Weezer ... and it sounds GREAT!  Micky's voice is ESPECIALLY strong on this track.)  Check out the video clip below ...

And, speaking of The Monkees, FH Reader Tom Cuddy sent us this article spotlighting Michael Nesmith, who says that in addition to the brand new album coming out next month, they are also working on a 50th Anniversary television special ... 
All I can say is I hope it's a HELL of a lot better than their last one!!!  I was SO looking forward to The Monkees' TV special that came out in conjunction with their LAST new LP, "Just Us", especially because Papa Nez was the creative source behind it ... figuring that with all the GREAT videos he has done over the years ... and a renewed interest and affection for the vehicle that launched his career ... this would be one heck of a special.  I couldn't have been more wrong ... it was painful to watch (and I honestly don't remember a single, entertaining moment. I know I have this on VHS somewhere but I've never even had an inkling to watch it again!)  At least with their movie "Head" (which is also almost impossible to watch), you had a clear understanding as to what their motive and purpose was ... they wanted to break free of their "manufactured image" and doing something WAY out there.  I would LOVE to know what they felt the point of the "Just Us" television special was supposed to be.  (Hey, even their "33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee" television special from back in the day had us scratching our heads ... but at least we got a GREAT version of "Listen To The Band" out of that one!)  We'll keep you posted once we hear of an air date.  
Nesmith also says that if his schedule will allow it, he may make a surprise guest appearance at a couple of the 50th Anniversary tour dates that Micky and Peter are doing, even if only to sing a song or two.  I am SO glad to see Michael embracing his Monkees experience again ... but so SAD to see that all of this has happened AFTER the passing of Davy Jones.  (kk)        

Just reviewed your Sweet 16 / Motown's Greatest Hits list.  I would've preferred something like a TOP 16 "Obscure" Motown songs ... using tunes like the Velvelettes' "Needle In A Haystack". Brenda Holloway's "When I'm Gone", and the Isley Brothers "Behind A Painted smile" ... but that's just me.    
FYI, I have devised a point system for every song that charted TOP 50 during the decade of the 60's ...did that decades ago.  There are something like 1600 songs that racked up 300 points or more.
# 1 wasn't even close; when a song hits # 1 twice in a year and a half ... need I say more?     

Boy, that Motown 60’s list is sure a lot better than the overall one! Sheesh.  
Get Well Soon, Jimy Sohns!!!  

Paul Simon has released another track from his upcoming "Stranger To Stranger" CD ... you can hear "Cool Papa Bell" here ... but be prepared for some surprising, out-of-character profanity from this '60's icon ... 

Here's the latest update I've seen on the Stairway to Heaven piracy debate:  
It sounds like the first round of this case has gone in Led Zeppelin's favor ... which is honestly a bit surprising to me. I think this may drag on for awhile.  (kk)    

Hi Kent - 
A great show at the Kent (OH) Stage on April 30th featuring NE Ohio favorite Alex Bevan opening for Jonathan Edwards.  
An outstanding opening set by Alex Bevan performing songs from his two latest CD's, including Dreams Came, Boomer, Footsteps On The Moon, Lucky and of course everyone's favorite song, Skinny. A great performance by NE Ohio's favorite son. 

Next up was a fun and entertaining performance from Jonathan Edwards. Telling stories and singing some great songs, Jonathan kept the audience laughing and singing with a variety of old classics and songs from his new CD, including Honky-Tonk Stardust Cowboy, Girl From The Canyon, Down In The Woods, Johny's Come Home, and of course favorites Emma, Athens County, Sunshine and Shanty. Always a great show !!  
Tom Apathy

Be watching Forgotten Hits tomorrow for another EXCLUSIVE look inside some VERY rare music!  Stay tuned!  (kk)