By now I'm sure that everybody already knows that surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reunited on stage at McCartney’s show at Dodger Stadium Saturday Night (July 13th). Birthday boy Ringo (he turned 79 on July 7th) came out after McCartney’s “new band” performed The Beatles’ hit “Birthday” … and then stuck around long enough to play drums on “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “Helter Skelter,” the two former bandmates exchanging “I love you, man”’s a couple of times before Ringo left the stage. (Earlier in the evening, before performing his tribute to John Lennon song “Here Today,” McCartney told the audience that this is a song he had written about "a conversation I wish we'd had,” following up that comment by saying “If you want to tell someone you love them, tell them before it's too late."
It was an incredible surprise for the sold out crowd of 56,000 fans on hand that night, who also witnessed Joe Walsh (Ringo’s brother-in-law) join the band for their Abbey Road Medley encore. What an incredible night of music … and what a way to wrap up the US leg of Paul’s 2019 “Freshen Up” tour. He left the stage by saying “Farewell to you guys, farewell to America. There’s only one thing left to be said: We’ll see you next time.”
McCartney’s set list for his final US show:
A Hard Day's Night
Can't Buy Me Love
Got To Get You Into My Life
Come On To Me
Let Me Roll It
I've Got A Feeling
Let 'Em In
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
Maybe I'm Amazed
I've Just Seen A Face
In Spite of All the Danger
From Me To You
Love Me Do
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite
Band On The Run
Back In The U.S.S.R.
Let It Be
Live and Let Die
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Carry That Weight
In other Beatles news …
On the strength of the new film “Yesterday,” five Beatles songs have re-entered the Billboard Hot Rock Song Chart. (We never ran our review of the film because I didn't want to give anything away … or run a negative review and ruin the experience for anybody else who was still looking forward to seeing it. Suffice to say we were very disappointed … the premise was interesting enough but there just weren’t any likeable characters in the movie … and the “surprise twist” … now long out of the bag … sparked nothing for me. On a 1-10 rating, I gave it a 4. It’s another one of those movies where the trailer is better than the film.)
According to Billboard, “Here Comes The Sun” has proven to be the most popular … again (it also leads Beatles downloads on iTunes … and has since they first obtained the rights to The Beatles catalog) … premiering at #9. (For all the Lennon-McCartney hype over the past 60 years, George currently occupies the top two Beatles spots on our Classic Rock Essentials list, too, with “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Here Comes The Sun” both drifting in and out of The Top 20.)
It was followed by “Let It Be” at #12, “Yesterday” at #14, “Hey Jude” at #16 and “Come Together at #17.
Even more remarkable is the fact that Billboard is reporting 51.2 million streams of Beatles music the week after the film opened. (I can’t believe there are 51.2 million people out there who don’t already OWN some of this music that they can play from their own collections!)
The film’s lead actor Himesh Patel’s version of “Yesterday” debuted at #37 all on its own … and The Beatles’ “1” album now sits at #43 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums Chart.
And, speaking of the film “Yesterday,” Richard Curtis, the guy who wrote the screenplay, says that he originally had planned to have all four Beatles make appearances in the film … but only the John Lennon character made the final edit.
In the final cut of the film that proposes there were no Beatles, Jack Malik (played by Himesh Patel) meets John Lennon, who is still alive because he never became famous and therefore was never killed at The Dakota in 1980.
Director Danny Boyle goes on to explain, “I remember thinking, that is just fantastic, because you think you’re in one kind of movie, and then for a moment it just allows you to sit in something wondrous. There’s something very acute about the violence, the senselessness, of what John faced for a moment. Gone way before nature really took any kind of toll … it’s particularly acute for that.”
Writer Curtis said that he imagined Lennon might have been inspired by living in the port city of Liverpool. “You get the sense that he’s been a sailor, that he’s traveled around the world, that he’s been political. He says at one point that he's fought for a lot of things and won once or twice, and also that he's made some brave decisions on love, as John did. We're not specific about who with, but it's the idea that he had to fight to get love right, which John did.”
In early versions of the script, Curtis also had Malik running into George Harrison and Ringo Starr in a Liverpool pub. “It was, I hope, a sweet scene, and they were just two delightful, oldish men who'd once been in a band together,” he said. “They were clearly music enthusiasts who had never got any further ... happy people who loved music, like so many of us do, and formed a band or been in a pub band” … but just never really made it.
Paul McCartney would have made an appearance in the film, too, at the close of the movie. “At the very end, Jack was going to move to the Isle of Wight, to a cottage, and you were going to hear outside his window someone saying, 'Vera, Chuck, Dave!' There were going to be three dogs, and Paul was going to be walking them.”
On the decision to have only Lennon appear, Curtis said: “It was the scene that had the most meaning, and was in some ways the pivotal scene of the film.”
Have you seen “Yesterday?” (Or, perhaps more appropriately, do you believe in yesterday?) Send us your thoughts and we’ll run them in a future issue of Forgotten Hits. It just didn’t do it for me … and I was SO looking forward to this film coming out. Later that same night we watched a God-awful film starring Keanu Reeves called “Knock Knock” … which I found far more interesting and thought-provoking. And that’s a real shame. (kk)
OUR EFFORTS TO SAVE CLASSIC ROCK:
Omg. I was driving home Friday around 5 pm and I heard Take It Easy by the Eagles not 1, not 2, but 3 times in an hour!!!
Bravo on your attempt to enlighten the program directors!
Here are the latest Ballot Updates
Top Ten Vote Getters
# 1 – Crimson And Clover – Tommy James and the Shondells (by a VERY large margin … this one CRUSHED the competition!)
# 2 – Come Monday – Jimmy Buffett (not the Jimmy Buffet track you’re most likely to hear … but clearly a favorite)
# 3 – Closer To Home (I’m Your Captain) – Grand Funk Railroad (Missed the #2 spot by only one vote. Give “Some Kind Of Wonderful” a rest once in awhile and play THIS one instead … you’re listeners will respond to the surprise change)
# 4 – Crystal Blue Persuasion – Tommy James and the Shondells (Two songs in the Top 4 by Tommy James! That’s awesome!)
# 5 – Crossroads – Cream (we expected to see this one on the list!)
# 6 – Come Sail Away – Styx (A Styx favorite … and FM Classic Rock staple)
# 7 – Cryin’ – Roy Orbison (Another surprise. You’re already playing “You Got It” several times a week anyway … why not dip into the Orbison catalog a little deeper and dig out a gem like this one. After Roy’s “Black And White Night,” headed by Springsteen several years ago, he now has a broader audience appeal … and being one of the Traveling Wilburys didn’t hurt his career either!)
# 8 – Come And Get Your Love – Redbone (an unusual surprise that fits)
# 9 – Court Of The Crimson King – King Crimson (When’s the last time you heard ANY station play something by King Crimson. No, they do not have across the boards appeal … but SOMEBODY out there must like them in order for them to score this high in our little Classic Rock Favorites poll)
# 10 – Conquistador – Procol Harum (Great track … and a nice change of pace from “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” every now and then)
These tracks just missed making The Top Ten …
C’mon Everybody – Eddie Cochran (missed The Top Ten by only one vote – and is probably the #1 song on the list of least-likely tunes to make this kind of a showing! Will Classic Rock ever play it? Probably not ... but once again, it helps to teach your audience where classic rock came from)
Crystal Ship – The Doors
Cover Of The Rolling Stone – Dr. Hook (more votes than you would think ... and a nice diversion that'll surprise your listeners)
Come Dancing – The Kinks
Come On Eileen – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
Cry Like A Baby – The Box Tops
Colour My World - Chicago
Cruel To Be Kind – Nick Lowe
Creeque Alley – The Mamas and Papas
Close To The Edge - Yes
But perhaps even more surprising than any of those tracks that just missed making the cut is the fact that Heart’s “Crazy On You,” Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” “Come Together” by The Beatles and “Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd … all presumed shoe-ins … did NOT make The Top Ten … making the tracks that did (by acts like Roy Orbison, Redbone, King Crimson and Procol Harum) even bigger surprises. (Think about how many times a week you hear … or play … those tracks by Heart, Queen, The Beatles and Pink Floyd under the delusion that THIS is what your listeners want to hear! Wake-Up Call … Yikes!!!) kk
Top Ten Vote-Getters:
# 1 – Do You Believe In Magic – The Lovin’ Spoonful (NEVER expected this one to come in at #1 … in fact, I didn’t think it would make The Top 20! But the fans have spoken … and this is evidently one of their favorites)
# 2 – Deacon Blues – Steely Dan (outscoring “Do It Again,” the usual favorite by them, by a margin of 4 to 1)
# 3 – Day Tripper – The Beatles (a GREAT track by The Fab Four with a killer hook)
# 4 – Do It Again – The Beach Boys (another timeless favorite … not normally thought of as Classic Rock, perhaps … but I’m willing to bet you’ll get a positive reaction to it if you give it a chance)
# 5 – Dirty Work – Steely Dan (Two big hits in The Top Five for Steely Dan on Ballot #8 … this one has always been one of my favorites)
# 6 – Do Ya – Electric Light Orchestra (not one of theirs that I figured would score this high on the list)
# 7 – Do Wah Diddy Diddy – Manfred Mann (sure, you’re going to hear “Blinded By The Light” every single day … but THIS is the one that launched Manfred Mann’s career … and it still sounds just has fresh today as it did back in 1964 when it first captured our hearts)
# 8 – Desperado – The Eagles (the first song Don Henley and Glenn Frey ever wrote together … and the hits just kept on comin’!)
# 9 – Daniel – Elton John
#10 – Daydream Believer – The Monkees (just a real good, feel good song … this one would brighten any classic rock play list if only because it’s so unexpected!)
Five points or less separated these tracks from The Top Ten:
Day After Day – Badfinger
Dialogue Part I and II – Chicago (not one of their over-played tunes … but apparently still a fan favorite in order to score this high)
A Day In The Life – The Beatles (we’ve seen this one top similar polls in the past … but based on the voting that we’ve received so far, it isn’t even one of your Top Three Beatles favorites, much less ahead of at least a hundred others)
Different Drum – Linda Ronstadt / The Stone Poneys (another surprise)
Delta Lady – Joe Cocker (This one REALLY surprised me. Not one you hear very often but, based on our results, one that definitely deserves a spin now and then)
Dirty Water – The Standells (This one scored well … but not as well as I thought it would. How can anybody sit still when this track comes on? It just moves you!)
Dancing In The Street – Martha and the Vandellas (outscoring both the Mick Jagger / David Bowie version and the Van Halen version by about 8 to 1 … and proving that there IS a place for Classic Motown on a Classic Rock stations)
Devil With A Blue Dress On / Good Golly Miss Molly – Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels (a few people listed this as their #1 favorite from this list … again, a BIG surprise when weighted against some of the other Top Rock Songs Lists we’ve seen)
Dirty Laundry – Don Henley (several of Don’s solo hits made the cut)
Dancing In The Dark – Bruce Springsteen
Do You Know What I Mean – Lee Michaels
This ballot proved to be the tightest race so far … 21 tracks vied for The Top Ten … and you could make a good case for all of them. Things are heating up!
Other songs that scored well:
Detroit Rock City by Kiss
Did You See Her Eyes – Illusion
Do You Want To Know A Secret – The Beatles (not one I’d expect to find on the classic rock play list … but their music is so infectious it’s hard to rule out anything!)
Dark Star – Crosby, Stills and Nash
Dedicated Follower Of Fashion – The Kinks (not one I’d expect to find on this list)
Dedicated To The One I Love – The Mamas and Papas (one of my all-time favorite tracks … so this was a pleasant surprise)
It seems the choice is either "don't" or "down" songs, for #9.
First of all, a song about busking … Don’t Try To Lay No Boogie Woogie On The King Of Rock and Roll, a topic near and dear to me over the years. That makes this an automatic fave. Too bad Green Tambourine won't be mentioned for a few more days. FH member Tony Hatch, via Petula Clark, probably gave us some of the best songs about being a young adult in 1965/66. Yeah, maybe Petula is too MOR, but Downtown seems to fit what I think is Classic Rock. A couple of teen angst songs with Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood and Don't Worry Baby. How come Cher never covered Down By The River? After all it deals with someone getting shot. Had Mick recorded Don't Tear Me Up around 1973/4, it would have been a much bigger song. And am I the only one who thinks Don't Be Cruel sounds like Memories are Made Of This? On to Ballot #10
Believe it or not, “Green Tambourine” wasn’t nominated … and honestly, I don’t think it fits the format. I even frowned when I saw “Downtown” on the list … not because I don’t think it’s a great song, but because it doesn’t fit the typical genre of Classic Rock. Sure, it’d be right up near the top on many other lists … British Invasion Hits, Biggest Hits of the “60’s, Classic Pop Hits, etc. … but Classic Rock??? I don’t think so.
But apparently I’m in the minority here because if you check the stats for Ballot #9 below, you’ll find it right up there near the top! (kk)
Ballot #10 probably contained the hardest choices to date. I could have just gone with the first 10 "dream" songs and I probably wouldn't get much argument.
Almost 54 years later, you wouldn't have to change much to the Barry McGuire song. Only the names change and, in some cases, not even that. If I had to do a list of teen angst songs, Eighteen would be in the top two. Drift Away has aged well over the years ... maybe that's what classic rock is all about. A lot of "classics" haven't. Seeing Every Day And Every Night by the Trolls on the list was a pleasant surprise ... too bad lead singer Max Jordan has no interest in resuming his career. Cheap Trick isn't a surprise. Dream Police won't be their highest ranked song, but it deserves to be there, as do the rest. On to ballot #11.
A few more surprises for me here … I've never considered “Eve Of Destruction” a Classic Rock song … but the votes flooded in for that one once people saw it on the list. Ditto for “Drift Away,” which quite a few of the classic rock stations have been playing for several years now. I’ve never considered THAT one classic rock either … but the people have spoken … and they feel it belongs.
That’s what I love about compiling these votes … this list isn’t at ALL about what I think … this list will represent the general consensus of EVERYBODY who took the time to vote … so if you haven’t voted yet, PLEASE do. This is going to be one heck of a list when all is said and done. (kk)
And remember … you CAN list more than ten favorites … a number of people are submitting two ballots each day … one with a list of titles earning one vote each followed by another ranking their top ten favorites. Yes, it’s a bit more time-consuming … for BOTH of us … but don’t ignore something that you absolutely believe belongs on the list just to limit yourself to only ten choices! (kk)
The selections on Ballot 11 were difficult in that there were not ten standout favorites for me. One Feelin' Alright is about the same as the other four. Marshall Tucker is the forgotten band in the southern rock genre. Too bad, as their stuff stands up a lot better than Lynyrd Skynyrd's catalog. Why Warren Zevon isn't a rock and roll icon escapes me. Of course, without Buddy holly, none of these icons would be icons. Lunchtime.
Back in the nomination process, I didn't nominate any songs that either I never heard on a classic rock station before or fell in the category soul (including Motown), folk rock, or easy listening. This caused me to exclude from my nominations some of my all-time favorites. However, many of these songs are appearing on the ballots you have issued and if they do, I'm voting for them. So, if you want to expand classic rock's programming, I wasn't helping initially, but I am now.
Voting every day has become a highlight of this summer. All the best to you.
There was an argument early on that Motown doesn’t fit on Classic Rock but I beg to differ … and I think we’re seeing this now. Not ALL of Motown … I don’t really see The Supremes crossing over … and yet something like “Dancing In The Street” by Martha and the Vandellas was a very big vote-getter the other day. Certainly “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” and “My Girl” by The Temptations belong … and if classic rock is going to play the far inferior Rolling Stones version of “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg,” then they’ve just GOT to play the original by The Temps!
Likewise for “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” … is there really anybody out there who prefers hearing Creedence Clearwater Revival’s version of this song over Marvin Gaye’s?
Same with several of the Smokey Robinson songs that were nominated right alongside the cover / remake versions done by Johnny Rivers and Linda Ronstadt.
As for some of these soft-rock crossovers, we’ve heard more and more of it lately … groups like Ambrosia and The Little River Band and artists like Christopher Cross have bridged the gap between soft rock and classic rock. (Besides, if the adult contemporary stations can play “Hurts So Good” and “Jack And Diane” by John Mellencamp, then I figure turnabout is fair play.
Why wouldn’t Benny Mardones’ killer track “Into The Night” belong when Daryl Hall and John Oates’ version of “She’s Gone” is a classic rock staple? In fact, ANYTHING sounding like Hall and Oates seems to be making the list (“I Can Dream About You” by Dan Hartman, “Baby Come Back” by Player and “Smoke From A Distant Fire” are all scoring well and receiving classic rock airplay.
The gap has been closing more and more over the past decade. (It blew me away when I heard “Brick House” as part of The Drive’s Memorial Day 500 … I don’t think I’ve EVER heard that station play that song before … not even on Bob Stroud’s program!
You guys came up with over 4700 nominations … I’m just putting YOUR list out there to poll the masses and come up with the best final list possible … so PLEASE keep those votes coming, people!
(Somebody asked me the other day, “What about YOUR opinion? What are YOUR ten favorite Classic Rock songs?” I don’t think I could come up with a list of ten … but every morning, I’m voting just the same way all of you are … I go down each daily ballot and check off the songs that I believe absolutely belong on the classic rock stations … and award a point to each. And then I come back to those selections and rank my Top Ten Favorites on a daily basis … so believe me, I know how hard this can be … there are days when I can’t get it under twenty … but I do … so MY votes don’t count any more than yours or anybody else’s. It’s the only way we’re going to come up with a true gauge. (kk)
Top Ten Vote-Getters for Ballot #9:
(Please keep in mind that these scores are being added to each song’s accumulated point total earned during the 100 day nomination period … so all standings reported in these updates ONLY reflect their ranking for that particular daily ballot)
The surprises continue today as several of these songs would have never made my list of Classic Rock criteria …
But again, this is YOUR list … so let’s take a look at Ballot #9’s big winners:
# 1 – Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood – The Animals
# 2 – Don’t Worry Baby – The Beach Boys
# 3 – Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me – Elton John
# 4 – Downtown – Petula Clark
# 5 – Don’t You Care – The Buckinghams
# 6 – Don’t Fear The Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult
# 7 - Down On The Corner – Creedence Clearwater Revival
# 8 – Don’t Dream, It’s Over – Crowded House
# 9 – Don’t Bring Me Down – Electric Light Orchestra
#10 – Dock Of The Bay – Otis Redding
Just Missed (by less than five votes):
Don’t Think Twice, It’s All-Right – Bob Dylan
Don’t Be Cruel – Elvis Presley
Double Shot – Swinging Medallions
Down On Me – Janis Joplin / Big Brother and the Holding Company
Draggin’ The Line – Tommy James
Don’t Throw Your Love Away – The Searchers
Don’t Try To Lay No Boogie Woogie On The King Of Rock And Roll – Long John Baldry
Don’t You Write Her Off – McGuinn, Clark and Hillman
Down By The River – Neil Young
Don’t Forget Me – Glass Tiger
Don’t It Make You Want To Go Home – Joe South
Don’t Let Him Know - Prism
Keep those votes coming! A new ballot goes up every morning at 5 am (Chicago time) and is eligible for voting for three days. Be sure to scroll back to see any ballots you may have missed. (If a link doesn't appear for the ballot you're looking for, just scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on "Older Posts" ... they're all still there ... for some reason Blogger just isn't listing everything on a daily basis.
A Wink and a Nod (?):
Last week we told you about waking up to Me-TV-FM playing Jethro Tull's "Living In The Past." Well, today (at 4:56 am when my alarm goes off) it was Tull's "Bungle In The Jungle" ... and THIS time I can't help but feel like it was personal. (lol)
So if it was, Rick, thank you very much ... it didn't go unnoticed ... and it is much appreciated. (And if it wasn't, oh well ... then you probably need to mix up the schedule a little bit so that folks NOT waking up at 5 am get to hear Jethro Tull on your station, too! lol)
And now that you know my wake-up time, PLEASE don't start programming obscure Joni Mitchell or Gordon Lightfoot album tracks at that time of day ... I need something "bright and bouncy" to make me want to get out of bed in the morning ... and something by either of these two would probably force me back to sleep, during which time I would almost assuredly have horrible nightmares! (kk)