Monday, May 13, 2019

A Monday Morning Quickie!

Did you hear about The Beatles’ Butcher Cover LP that sold for $234,000 this past week? 
It was John Lennon’s personal copy of the rare LP, called back by Capitol Records as being “too controversial” for its time when it was first released back in 1966.  (The cover bears the signatures of John, Paul and Ringo … and this same auction house sold Ringo’s personal copy of The Beatles’ White Album last year for $790,000, which currently holds the record for the most money ever paid for a vinyl record.  Lennon’s signed copy comes in third place on the all-time list, behind an Elvis Presley acetate of “My Happiness,” purchased in 2015 by Jack White.) 
A baseball signed by all four Beatles at their final live appearance at Candlestick Park in San Francisco fetched $75,000 at the same auction.  (I would have thought that to be FAR more valuable than that!)  kk

In somewhat Beatles-related news, how cool is it that Dhani Harrison is touring with Jeff Lynne’s ELO this summer!!!
We have been looking forward to this show since we saw Jeff last year (the concert we ranked as our #1 Concert Of The Year for 2018) … and this extra special bonus really pushes things over the top!  (kk)  

Mod Squad “It Girl” Peggy Lipton (she played Julie Barnes) died of cancer on Saturday, May 11th.  Certainly one of the ‘60’s hottest pin-up girls in boys’ bedrooms around the world, Lipton went on to marry Quincy Jones (with whom she had daughter Rashida, who went on to star on The Office, Parks And Recreation and Angie Tribecka).  She also dabbled with a short-lived, unsuccessful singing career.  Lipton came back into the spotlight on the cult-TV favorite Twin Peaks … and recently reprised her role on the Showtime reboot.  (She also played Angie Tribecka’s mom to Rashida on that just-cancelled television series.)  Always one of our female, favorites, we bid a sad goodbye.  (kk)

Harvey Kubernik remembers Peggy Lipton ... 

Peggy Lipton: An Appreciation
By Harvey Kubernik 
I read the news today that actress / recording artist Peggy Lipton passed away from colon cancer. 
Lipton co-starred as Julie Barnes in the counter-culture television series The Mod Squad from 1968 - 1973, and earned a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in 1971. 
Over a fifty-year career she acted in movies and numerous TV spots in The F.B.I., Mr. Novak, The Invaders, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, in the nineties for David Lynch’s Twin Peaks portraying Norma Jennings and a 2017 episode of Angie Tribeca.    
I met and encountered Peggy Lipton a handful of times from 1964 - 1982 around Hollywood, California. A couple of times on the Sunset Strip 1966 - 1968 with my surfer pal, Peter Piper, who went to Hollywood Professional School with her on Hollywood Blvd. Peggy had earlier briefly attended University High School. 
I interviewed Peggy this decade a few times for books. 
In 2012 for A Perfect Haze: The Illustrated History of The Monterey International Pop Festival and for the 2014 book on photographer Guy Webster:  Big Shots Rock Legends and Hollywood Icons.  I quoted Peggy in 1967 The Complete Rock Music History of The Summer of Love published in 2017. 
Guy Webster and Peggy had a bond. Guy was her principal photographer from 1965 - 1970. Peggy is seen on the Turtles’ “Happy Together” b/w “She’d Rather Be With Me” picture sleeve and LP front cover. The photo session was done outside famed Gold Star Recording Studio. 
Webster shot the cover of her Ode Records album Peggy Lipton, a cult favorite in Japan. It was released on CD in an expanded edition in Summer, 2014, by Real Gone Music. 
“I knew her from childhood, long before television and The Mod Squad,” recalled Webster in a 2014 interview we conducted. “She worked at the Village Theater in Westwood, selling candy, taking tickets. I love her, even today. She did an album for Ode. We were old friends and she trusted me completely.” 
Guy was just the right photographer for me as my career started out,” Peggy told me in a separate interview. 
I was uncomfortably shy and didn’t like being photographed. With him, I was safe and I knew he had an amazing eye. He wasn’t hesitant to tell me if something wasn’t right. I was 20 years old and he became my go to guy for all my stills. I loved him as a person. He was gentle, fun and encouraging without being phony. He had photographed such great stars and musicians but I was oblivious to all that. 
On my sessions with Lou Adler, he came and did black and whites of me in the studio. One still hangs in my living room. Can you say someone captured your inside life? If so, Guy Webster did. And I let him. That was our communication. Plus we laughed a lot. It was all a great joy!”
In the eighties, we crossed paths at Cherokee Studios when her husband, Quincy Jones, was producing a session with Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney. Her daughter Kidida went to Fairfax High School, where I earlier graduated from.
Peggy was always inclusive if you saw her and Quincy Jones at a music show or television taping. During 1982, I sat with her and Quincy, along with Patti Austin and Levi Stubbs, when Richard Pryor taped his Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip at the Hollywood Palladium.
In the early nineties, Lipton attended Milton Katselas’s master acting weekly class as a director / observer. 
Beneath all her Mod Squad telegenic beauty was a passionate rock ‘n’ roll woman who studied with the spiritual leader, Indian woman Gurumayi Chidvilasannanda.  Nameste, Peggy. 

Excerpts from Peggy Lipton and Harvey Kubernik 2012 Interview:
“I was 21 and went up to the Monterey International Pop Festival with my best friend, who I had known since I was 16, Allen Warnick. He was a renaissance man, a decorator, and an actor and tight with Jack Nicholson. He later had a part in Chinatown. We were so much on the same page so I felt safe with him.  He was my biggest supporter and booster. Years later Allen even fixed me up with Quincy (Jones). 
Allen and I stopped at a motel and Stephen Stills and David Crosby were rehearsing in this room. I loved Buffalo Springfield. I used to see them at the Whisky and I loved the Byrds. I saw them at Ciro’s and dated the drummer Michael Clarke. I adored him. One of the reasons I went was because the Byrds were there.
Laura Nyro played a night at Monterey. Nobody got her. She was my roots. She was Doo Wop. When I look back, Lou (Adler) really got her. I met Laura and went to her concert. She was my idol. I saw her musically as something that was incredible. I met Laura Nyro in 1968 / ’69 at Clive Davis’ house in New York. The first album More Than A New Discovery had been out.
Monterey reached its climax for me in the early afternoon and there was a light drizzle and we went to hear Ravi Shankar. I remember I left my body. That was it for me. It was beautiful, peaceful and chilled everybody out. Ravi transported me. It was gently raining and he transported everybody. We were all taken there. It was like we were put on a spaceship and driven to another planet.
Besides Ravi Shankar the other total thrill we had was Otis Redding. He was electric! And, I think I forgot about Sir Paul (McCartney) during that performance. I secretly hoped Paul would show up. Maybe that’s why I even went. And maybe that’s why I was such a friggin’ wreck. I was so nervous. It was about Paul McCartney. Oh My God. I love you for discovering my ulterior motive. (laughs).
I was at Monterey. I loved music my whole life and was into the music but I was there to see Paul McCartney. (laughs). Oh My God I feel so bad now. (laughs).
It’s really funny. And I think now what makes sense is the thing about Ravi Shankar and the reason I relaxed was that I wasn’t looking for Paul McCartney. I was finished with backstage nerves and stuff and I got out there with everyone else and we didn’t have good seats, they weren’t bad, and that’s when it rained and I released all of it. And that’s the Ravi Shankar effect. I called my autobiography [written with David and Coco Dalton] Breathing Out
In the crowd I was like everybody else at Monterey. But on the heels of Monterey things were different for me starting in 1968.
Before The Mod Squad TV series I was anonymous. I remember when Clarence (Williams), Michael (Cole) and I were on an ABC-TV promo tour and we were with this marvelous agent, Connie Stone. And we were in an airport. We were just kids, you know ... Michael and Clarence were, of course, more mature. And Connie said, ‘Just note this. You will never be anonymous again.’ And we looked at her and went ‘Huh?’ And she said ‘Trust me. I’m telling you.’ And we all remember that. It’s not like we don’t. We remember that day. Because we were free and laughing and promoting a show. 
“I have to tell you I felt like a different person when I came home from Monterey.  I think I was still living with my parents. I didn’t move out of my parents house until I did the movie Blue in 1967 with Terrence Stamp. It changed me in a way. Everyone was on the same note. And yes, we were walking out on Sunset Blvd., protesting. We walked instead of having cars. We made it our place.
Monterey did change me. I’ll tell you what I felt. In one way, we were all on the same page. We’re all going for the same music. And yet there was a loss of innocence. You would hear Love’s ‘Little Red Book,’ a Burt Bacharach and Hal David song on the radio. KFWB or KRLA once in 1966 or ’67 and go to the music shop and pick it up as a single. We can’t even do that anymore.
I think with Monterey Pop everybody was brought together in a very loving way. It still had the stamp of we love music and we want to be around music I think and we want all of us to be the same. Yes we can idolize our people but we’re really all the same. Because we are the music. And then after I felt change.
Things were consolidated. Like, OK, every weird person I loved, now everybody loves them. And that’s what I think changed the most. Is when it became exposed. Jimi Hendrix, Laura Nyro. That’s when it changed.
Even though I came back from Monterey with a feeling of love and music, and we’re all on the same page, it was also like, ‘OK. Everyone knows about this. This was not a hidden thing, just a little concert on a hill.’
This was a major commercial ‘Let’s put it out there.’ And so I felt both. I felt connected more with the music and also it had changed.  And it was different for the people at Monterey and the music of Monterey, too. The business changed after Monterey.”
-- Harvey Kubernik 

A couple of GREAT interviews came out this past week, featuring a couple of our favorite local guys …  

Jim Peterik talks to Ultimate Classic Rock about the new “World Stage” album that features a slew of guest vocalists … everyone from Dennis DeYoung to Kevin Cronin to Jason Scheff to Jimi Jamison to Don Barnes to Matthew and Gunnar Nelson to David Pack and more.  (They also have a bit of fun discussing his purple hair!)  
You can read the full interview here: 
And you can still register to win a copy of the new CD, out this week!  (kk)

Meanwhile, Carl Giammarese of The Buckinghams does a lengthy interview in the new issue of Goldmine Magazine … discussing the on-going success of the band, the early days and their upcoming appearances as part of the 2019 Happy Together Tour.  (Some very interesting stuff here!)

And some great news on the Dick Biondi Film front …

This from Pamela Enzweiler-Pulice … 

In response to the success of the Good Times Rock ’n Roll Fundraiser, the Dick Biondi Film Team announces stepped-up post production.  

Director Pamela Enzweiler-Pulice writes:

Due to the outpouring of support at our fundraiser, we expect the film to be completed this year. While we still need to pay for music and media rights, color correction, audio sweetening, subtitles, E&O Insurance, legal costs and more, THE VOICE THAT ROCKED AMERICA: THE DICK BIONDI STORY is on its way to the finish line.  Thanks to everyone who made this possible — our dedicated committee and volunteers, our wonderful sponsors, our attendees and backers, and all of you fabulous artists who gifted us with your time and talents, including you, Kent, for always supporting our efforts.
Hey, hey! We’re on our way!
Stay tuned for announcements regarding special screenings of the film where viewer input will be taken into consideration before the final edits to the film are made.

This is a very exciting time for all of us who grew up loving Dick Biondi … thanks again to ALL the Forgotten Hits Readers who pitched in to help make this film a reality.  (kk)  

Another one bites the dust …
Yet another prominent rock station has been bought by Christian Broadcasting Company K-Love to be converted to New York’s first Christian Rock Station.
The latest casualty … WPLJ … home for YEARS to Scott Shannon … and long considered to be a New York powerhouse station.  (After being a dominating force on the New York rock scene for the past fifty years, ratings have plummeted ever since Scott Shannon decided to jump ship a few years ago to take over the morning show at WCBS-FM.  He just recently celebrated his five year anniversary with the station.)  
With more and more rock stations being purchased for Christian Broadcasting (including two here recently in Chicago), Christian Rock will soon have a commanding force to be reckoned with in the programming arena.