Friday, March 29, 2019

Classic Rock Update #2

Hi Kent,
I understand your desire to put together an “ultimate” classic rock list, but in the end, it seems like it will be just another list.  I mean, it’s nearly impossible to objectively quantify such a beast.

From your blog last Friday:
>>>To have Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Town" finish in The Top 30 but not have "Purple Haze" even make The Top 100 has been enough to make me motivated to come up with our OWN list of Classic Rock Favorites (kk)

First of all, the song is titled “Crazy Train” and I hear it A LOT on the classic rock stations that I listen to often.  I’d put in easily in the Top 500, if not higher.  Not sure what you have against Ozzy / Black Sabbath, but any such list without Sabbath’s “Iron Man” and “Paranoid” in the Top 500 would be unthinkable to me.  

You also mentioned Rush.  That’s another group that gets played A LOT on radio.  Any list without “Tom Sawyer” or “Limelight” high on it would be suspect (while their biggest Hot 100 hit “New World Man” hardly ever gets played). 

I’m sure there’s lots of regional influence on these stations as well.  I never even heard the song “Lake Shore Drive” until I moved to Milwaukee in 1992 and I now consider it a minor classic.  “Never Been Any Reason” by Head East is a song that I literally grew up with in Minnesota, but I doubt it’s very familiar to anybody outside the Midwest markets. 

You also mention studio versions vs. live versions. 

When I hear “Free Bird,” it’s almost always the studio version.  When I hear “Maybe I’m Amazed” these days, it’s almost always the live version, just the opposite of what it was 10 years ago!

It’s also nearly impossible to put hard boundaries on what constitutes “classic rock.”  You mention that there should be some classic Motown, but I NEVER hear such songs on today’s classic rock radio.  I also NEVER hear Chuck Berry or Bo Diddley, let alone Bill Haley or ANY songs prior to 1964.  Songs that you and I “think” should be played simply aren’t and vice-versa. I’m always surprised to hear “Low Rider” by War on a classic rock station.  The stations that play it would never dream of playing anything else by them. 

It seems to me a better way to put together such a list would be to look at the actual airplay stats as compiled by Nielsen or Mediabase (they track many classic rock stations).  I’d also do a google search on the various classic rock radio station countdowns that have run over the years.  Surely you’d see “Crazy Train” high up on just about every list. 

Also, where do you draw the line, via time?  I can see both sides of the argument that Nirvana and Pearl Jam should be considered. 

You can’t even go by chart position as the album cut “Rock & Roll Band” by Boston gets way more airplay than their Top 5 smash “Don’t Look Back” does these days.  Same goes for “Lights” by Journey, which gets tons of airplay while several of their actual Top 40 hits hardly get played at all!  Ditto “Turn The Page” by Bob Seger, “Pink Cadillac” by Bruce Springsteen and on and on.

These are just a few of the issues I can think of off the top of my head.
All of that said, I do wish you luck.  Your final list will be interesting to see, but surely not without debate of its own!
Paul Haney
Record Research

The reason “our list” won’t be "just another list” is because OUR list will be built by the votes of thousands and thousands and thousands of Classic Rock radio listeners and fans from all over the country … not something put together by three guys holed up in a room over the weekend trying to put together a play list for a special week-long countdown.

Will there be controversy?  Of course there will … as it should be … but my hope is that by the time we do the big reveal of The Top 3333 Classic Rock Tracks, you’d be hard-pressed to find something missing that you legitimately felt should be there.  (And I also believe you’ll find the ranking to be much closer to reality than say “Crazy Train” coming in at #29 ahead of “Touch Me” by The Doors, “Take It Easy” by The Eagles, “Maybe I’m Amazed” by McCartney, “Money For Nothing” by Dire Straits, “Dream On” by Aerosmith, “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac, “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin, “Honky Tonk Women” by The Rolling Stones, “Rock And Roll” by Led Zeppelin, “Let It Be” by Paul McCartney, “La Grange” by ZZ Top and “We Will Rock You / We Are The Champions” by Queen … and that’s just in The Top 50 that Sirius / XM came up with.

And oh yeah, guess what … on the way to #50, we had to pass TWO MORE Ozzy songs:  “Over The Mountain” at #38 and “War Pigs” at #48.  (So Ozzy deserves THREE of The Top 50 Classic Rock Tracks of All-Time??? I don't think so!  To put that in perspective, Pink Floyd, The Eagles, Queen, Tom Petty and Aerosmith each only had TWO tracks make The Top 50 ... and Bruce Springsteen and Fleetwood Mac only had one.  Not exactly the same league, wouldn't you agree???) 

Is my point a bit clearer now?  Does “Crazy Train” belong?  Sure it does … but NOT in the #29 position … and certainly not at the expense of so many other great tracks that truly DO deserve that honor.

It’s not a personal beef I have against Ozzy and Black Sabbath … I would agree that “Iron Man” and “Black Sabbath” and “Crazy Train” and even a few others absolutely belong on a list of Top 3333 Favorites … and I feel confident that several titles by these guys will make the final cut ... but probably nowhere near the 16 tracks that made Sirius / XM's Top 1000.  

And that's exactly the point I’m objecting to.  The list that Sirius / XM put together gives Ozzy SIXTEEN of the Top 1000 spots … that’s more than The Eagles, Elton John, AC/DC, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Paul McCartney, The Cars, The Police, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Eric Clapton, Journey, Genesis, Aerosmith, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young, U2, Jimi Hendrix, Pat Benatar, Boston, Steve Miller, Foreigner, Queen, ZZ Top, Billy Joel, Steely Dan, Doobie Brothers, Heart, ELO, Santana, Styx, The Moody Blues, The Kinks, Eddie Money, Supertramp, Chicago, Yes and REO Speedwagon … to name but a few.

You cannot tell me that even for a millisecond … in ANY universe … you could possibly believe that this should be the case.

THAT’S why we need to come up with this list.

And sure, I could go to any variety of Classic Rock Station Countdowns online … but that also defeats the purpose of our Reality Poll of actual Classic Rock Music Fans.  All THOSE lists will prove is what we have maintained all along throughout the entire existence of Forgotten Hits … radio plays the SAME 500 songs EVERYWHERE you go because these are the songs that the consultants have determined to be the ONLY songs listeners want to hear … and we aim to prove them wrong once again.

By appealing to the only people who matter, we’re polling THE LISTENERS.  I believe we will all see these lists from a totally new perspective once the people who really matter weigh in on the subject.  (And let's face it ... where else can they really do so?)

Now I promise you … every single one of those 500 cookie-cutter songs will make our list … and rank very HIGH on it as well … as they should … both because they’re great songs and because we’ve all been programmed to believe these are the tracks we’re supposed to associate with Classic Rock.

We want more.

We want each and every one of you to dig deep and tell us the tracks YOU believe belong on a list such as this … with no restrictions. 

Yeah, there’ll be some oddballs here … you won’t believe some of the suggestions we’ve received so far … but MY opinion will have absolutely NO influence here … because this is YOUR list … which is why it will NEVER be “just another list.”

And, for the record, to date … as I type this … Ozzy and Black Sabbath have exactly five votes TOTAL between them.  Meanwhile we’ve already got eleven songs with over 500 votes each … so if things keep up at this rate, there’s a good chance that Ozzy WON’T make the final Top 500.  Not MY choosing ... but as determined by Classic Rock America and the votes that THEY have cast.

But it’s early … this is gonna take months … if things somehow turn around between now and the end of our poll, I’ll be the first one to admit that I’ve misjudged the significance of Ozzy's role in Classic Rock history, throw a party, invite the whole list and serve bat-head hors d'oeuvres!  (kk)

Other updates:

As I type this, “Hotel California” has a significant lead on our list.  (It came in at #8 on theirs.)  The Sirius / XM chart-topper, “Stairway To Heaven,” is also doing well, as are many of the most expected candidates:  “Honky Tonk Women,” “Layla,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “More Than A Feeling” and “Dream On,” all of which are currently fixed in The Top Ten.

In nearly every case, this reflects a FAR better showing than the Sirius / XM list where “Sweet Home Alabama” came in at #13, “Bohemian Rhapsody” at #16, “Dream On” at #36 and “Honky Tonk Women” at #50.  (This also means that our readers aren’t quite as enamored with the tracks “You Really Got Me” by Van Halen, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by The Who, “Sympathy For The Devil” by The Rolling Stones and “Knocking On Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan as Sirius / XM would have you believe … all of these finished in their Top Ten … yet currently rank at numbers #125, #24, #101 and #200 respectively on our list.)

We’re also finding The Eagles FAR AND AWAY the #1 Vote-Getter thus far.  They placed 15 titles on the Sirius list, but already have 26 titles nominated in our tally.

However, we’re going to use a different methodology to determine the most popular artists when we compute our final list.  They can’t be ranked solely by the numbers of titles selected … as this leaves “limited run” acts like Blind Faith and Derek and the Dominos at a distinct disadvantage, despite the fact that “Layla” currently sits at #3 on our list and “Can’t Find My Way Home” is already closing in on 300 votes.  We’re currently investigating other ways to more accurately portray an artist’s significance on our chart recap.


Regarding the live vs. studio tracks, I firmly believe the McCartney solo version of “Maybe I’m Amazed” is the DEFINITIVE version ... and should be acknowledged as such.  I agree with you that we hear the live version more often these days … and think that this is because the live version was released as a single seven years after the McCartney album came out … but that doesn’t make it right … and this list wants to get it right.

I hear the live version of “Free Bird” FAR more often than the studio version … and it’s a FAR more exciting version.  (Honestly, I’d prefer to leave ALL live versions out of the mix but it just isn’t practical.  How many people out there REALLY had ever heard the studio versions of “Show Me The Way,” “Baby, I Love Your Way” or “Do You Feel Like I Do” on the radio before the Frampton Comes Alive album came out?  Same with Cheap Trick’s “I Want You To Want Me.”  I’m just trying to avoid having duplicates on the list.   

How close are we to having 3333 titles to choose from?  About halfway there!  (Not bad for only our second week of polling!!!)  But again, it is going to take awhile in order to ensure the accuracy of such a poll by taking in the maximum number of votes possible in a reasonable amount of time.

And I may consult whatever sources are available online regarding actual airplay and play lists of Classic Rock Programming … but only as a barometer and check list to make sure we’ve accounted for everything that needs to be on there.  I may also monitor airplay by what we actually hear being played thru a variety of sources.  (Did I mention that Toto’s “Africa” did not make The Sirius / XM Top 1000 List?!?!  Nor did, I just realized the other day, Led Zeppelin’s absolute classic “Heartbreaker / Livin’ Lovin’ Maid,” a built-in two-fer that has NEVER been off the radio since it was first released in 1970 … yet FAR lesser heard Zeppelin fare like “Gallows Pole,” “Ten Years Gone,” “Four Sticks” and “Thank You” made the cut.  Also missing … Gerry Rafferty!  Sure, “Stuck In The Middle With You” is on there (#266) … but what about “Baker Street” and “Right Down The Line,” two Classic Rock / FM staples!!! We don’t want to make ANY mistakes of that magnitude when we compile ours.

I agree with your assessment that the “starting point” for Classic Rock candidates seems to be 1964, the dawn of The British Invasion.  We don’t see many early rockers on the list so far … not even Elvis (although radio today has a way of implying that The King really only had two hits … “Suspicious Minds” and “Burning Love” … unless, of course, you count the 2002 remix of "A Little Less Conversation!  (Right!)  Unfortunately, radio today would ALSO have you believe that the most important song The Rolling Stones ever did was “Miss You”!!! Seriously?!?!  When this thing first came out, the rock and roll world shuddered … are you kidding me?!?!  The Stones are doing DISCO?!?!

We have also received (to date) eight votes for Bo Diddley … an unlikely candidate perhaps (but still more votes than all of Ozzy Osbourne’s combined … so dig THAT perspective!!!)

To me it makes sense … again, Bo’s shuffle beat inspired SO many artists over the years … which is why you’ll see some very early Stones tracks here (as well as George Thorogood’s “Who Do You Love,” an FM-Rock staple.) It has always seemed odd to me that Classic Rock Radio will play Buddy Holly covers like “Not Fade Away” by The Stones, “Words Of Love” by The Beatles and any variety of Linda Ronstadt tracks … but wouldn’t dream of featuring any of Buddy’s originals.  (To this point, you will hear an early track like “That’ll Be The Day” and/or “Peggy Sue” from time to time … as well as the odd Everly Brothers tracks.)  Maybe this list will help to change that.

Fifteen years ago we regularly ran comments on radio’s “Overplayed List” … Bob Seger, Billy Joel, Steve Miller and John Mellencamp were always near the top of those lists … but we’re hearing a bit more variety from these artists now after radio caused us all to OD on heavily saturated tracks like “Only The Good Die Young,” “Jack And Diane,” “Old Time Rock And Roll” and “Take The Money And Run.”  That’s why, as you mentioned, you’ll hear a whole lot more “Turn The Page” these days … perhaps radio has finally recognized the error of their ways, causing listener burn-out.  I believe this is also the reason you don’t hear “Stairway To Heaven” nearly as much as you used to, too. (Let us enjoy and appreciate a good song rather than beating us over the head with it!!!  LONG a Forgotten Hits credo!)

And, quite honestly, the criteria has shifted … without a doubt.  In 1982, when John Cougar Mellencamp released his “American Fool” album, tracks like “Hurt So Good” and “Jack And Diane” rocked as hard as anything else on the radio at the time.  You wouldn’t DREAM of programming these tracks on the soft rock / adult contemporary stations where they’re heard every day today!  (Incredibly, both of these tracks were “after thoughts” … when the record company told Mellencamp they “didn’t hear a single,” John went back to the song-writing well and came up with these two off the cuff … the last tracks recorded for the album … and both went on to become monster, timeless hits!)

As for another comment, we have received a few votes for Pearl Jam tracks … only one for Nirvana so far.  Way too early to tell if they'll make the final countdown.  Do they belong?  That’s up to you … this is YOUR list, people … and because of this, it will NEVER be “just another list.”

We just want to get it right ... which is why we are enlisting the help of ALL of the Classic Rock Fans out there to do so ... so please help us to spread the word.  Tell your friends to cast their votes.  Contact your local classic rock radio stations and ask them to get onboard by polling their listeners.

This is a nationwide poll, people ... let's maximize the voting pool to get the best results possible.   


email your votes now to:

Thursday, March 28, 2019

One More Plug for 61 At 61

Michel Bush's photo exhibition is a must see rock n roll treat for all F.H. followers.  
Chet Coppock

I toured Michael G. Bush’s outstanding “61 at 61” exhibit this morning ... and I highly recommend it. 
Large color canvases of 61 rock icons are super-detailed; my favorite is the shot of Chuck Berry with Keith Richards, dripping sweat all over his beautiful R ‘n' R suit. Proof positive that in the early 80's the Chuckster didn't always "phone it in"! 
Very nice photo of the Dick Biondi Way Dedication. 
While gazing at these rock greats, I heard the Ides of March’s underappreciated gem "One Hit Wonder (Hot Smoke & Sasafrass)" I thought this tune only existed on my iPod! Very few "one hit wonders" in this exhibit.
Clive Topol

We, too, gave the exhibit an outstanding review.  I’ve known Michael for close to 40 years and have encouraged him every step of the way to make his photos public so that the whole world could enjoy them … so glad to see that he is finally doing exactly that … and that’s it’s generating the positive response we always knew it would.

And, it's great to see that he’s been getting some local newspaper, television and radio coverage here, too!  Last night he was interviewed for Chicago Tonight on PBS … and later today (if you live in Chicago) you can catch him on Windy City Live.  (ABC, 1 pm)

Bush is a self-taught photographer … he received nothing in the way of any formal training … and as such, in his own words, he “took a lot of really bad pictures” in the beginning while he learned his craft.

Fortunately for all of us, his “focus” never wavered … he knew what his loves and passions were and zeroed in on those right from the very start.  Otherwise, we could have ended up with shots like these ...

Thankfully, he honed those skills into taking photos of The Beatles, The Stones, The Monkees, The Turtles and The Byrds that really mattered to the majority of us instead.  (I “shutter” to think about the results if he hadn’t … but it’s a pretty safe bet that those photos wouldn’t be on display garnering all this attention right now if he had!)  Let's just say that the rock world is a better place because of it.

Bush expressed concerns for his loss of anonymity with all this sudden attention … but he needn’t worry … the guy’s about nine feet tall with an enormous mane of white hair … it’s safe to say that he has ALWAYS stood out in the crowd … and with a loyal legion of fans egging him on (and over a million photos in his collection) we’re just happy to see him finally sharing these with the rest of the world.
The exhibit runs thru April 5th ... 

(My cell phone photos can't even begin to do these justice ... get on over there for yourself and check these out in person in all their full-size glory!!!)  kk  


Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Tuesday This And That

Their name wasn’t really Walker … and they weren’t really brothers … and they weren’t really from England … and they didn’t open a chain of pancake restaurants … but the story of The Walker Brothers is perhaps one of the most unique success stories in the history of rock and roll.

The trio of (Noel) Scott Engel, John Maus and Gary Leeds formed in Los Angeles, California, where they developed their sound not much unlike that of The Righteous Brothers (ALSO not really brothers, Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield), who put their own brand on blue-eyed soul.

Finding it difficult to chart with anything they were recording here in The States (largely due to the complete chart dominance of The British Invasion) the trio, now dubbed The Walker Brothers (as in Scott Walker, John Walker and Gary Walker) moved to England with the idea that perhaps a little “reverse psychology” might do the trick … and did it ever!

They quickly had ten Top 40 Hits in The UK and we here in America, none the wiser, just assumed that they were another British band, part of the invasion, and suddenly had a couple of monster hits here in The States, too!

Their version of the Hal David – Burt Bacharach song “Make It Easy On Yourself” went to #16 (and topped the charts in Great Britain) and a song written by the successful songwriting team behind The Four Seasons’ hits, Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio (and first recorded as a solo number by Frankie Valli), “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore” went all the way to #13 and also topped the charts in the UK.

That one captured not only the feel of The Righteous Brothers but also the complete Wall Of Sound production values of Phil Spector … it was a GREAT record (and is still one of my favorites, not only of the ‘60’s but of the entire rock era.)  Check out the absolutely awesome clip below.

“My Ship Is Coming In” went to #3 in 1965 there … and a comeback hit released in 1976, “No Regrets,” also made The Top Ten, peaking at #7.

In addition, all three “brothers” enjoyed solo pop hits in the ‘60’s with tracks like “You Don’t Love Me” (#26, 1966) and “Twinkie Lee” (#26, 1966) by Gary Walker, “Annabella” (#24, 1967) by John Walker and “Jackie” (#22, 1968), “Joanna” (#7, 1968) and “Lights Of Cincinatti” (their spelling, not mine!), #13, 1969, by Scott Walker.

So when news came this week about the death of Noel Scott Engel, we were flooded with emails from FH Readers.

A much bigger success in Great Britain (where it is said he was a huge influence on the careers of David Bowie and Radiohead, among others), Engel recorded ten solo albums and developed a much more avant garde musical style in his solo career.

Hi Kent,
I heard last night on NPR-BBC that Scott Walker of the Walker Brothers passed away yesterday.  He was 76.  "The sun ain't gonna shine anymore."
Tim Kiley 

From Harvey Kubernik … 

Although not very acknowledged or reported, let it be proudly known that Scott Walker went to Los Angeles High School, could have graduated from Hollywood High School, logged time doing menial tasks and learning recording techniques in East Hollywood at the legendary Gold Star studio, recorded there, worked with the Routers of "Let's Go" fame, a big hit single. He was also the product of seeing many foreign films on Hollywood Blvd. which informed his cinematic recordings with The Walker Brothers. Fixtures on the Hollywood club scene 1963-1965.
Listen to the Walker Brothers "Love Her," arranged by Jack Nitzsche, produced by Nik Venet and engineered by Dave Hassinger at RCA studios on Sunset Blvd. and no doubt influenced his renaissance and contemporary work after they disbanded.
I did this interview with Howard Kaylan of the Turtles earlier this decade ... some astute observations.
Done in 2013 for Record  Collector News Magazine
© 2013, 2019 Harvey Kubernik

Harvey Kubernik:  You’ve always cited the Walker Brothers out of your vast record collection. Scott Walker went to Los Angeles High School and you went to Westchester High. He briefly worked at Gold Star and was involved with the Routers’ of “Let’s Go” fame. You both emerged out of instrumental bands. You were in the Cross Fires. Then as a Turtle you recorded in Gold Star. He saw foreign movies on Hollywood Boulevard in the mid-sixties and you wrote a song about the street, “Somewhere Friday Night.”  

Howard Kaylan: I love the Walker Brothers records but for different reasons I love Scott records. The Walker Brothers were in my Spector and Righteous Brothers wheelhouse.
And I understood them for the pop that they were. And kids for the Americans they were. Strangers in a strange land and just kind of accepting their position. We always thought of the Walker Brothers as ex-pats that had just kind of turned into that country’s Righteous Brothers. But after that era disappeared nobody in this country bought the Scott albums. Nobody knew he was this incredible balladeer with an eye for the continental music. Nobody knew who he was at all. They didn’t fuckin’ care. 
And I was one of those people who wrote off the Walker Brothers too. “Night Flight” and the Scott stuff is the only Walker Brothers record I can listen too. I can’t listen to ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore” because I realize that’s a kid on his way to finding his truth.
How come nobody has heard Scott fuckin’ Walker? Am I the only guy in America who knows there is this genius living in England? And he is probably my favorite living artist. Having discovered Scott Walker so late in my life after “Station to Station” by maybe 25 years. It’s a slap in the face to me. 
It’s the realization that my thin white duke also had his influences and beyond them.  I think if you listen to “Tilt” and “Drift” and “Who Will Go to the Ball” I think that is the genius right there. My jaw hit the ground when I heard “Tilt.” I had never heard anything close to that in my life. And by the time he got “Drift” I understood what he was doing.
I totally understand what he is doing. He is doing the most conventional pop music I ever heard. He is just doing it as if he was observing it from outer space and then trying to tell you what he saw as an alien. I believe what he is doing is very much verve chorus ending. It’s just when your chorus is a bleeding sheep being hit then you don’t really look at it as a repeatable rock ‘n’ roll thing you can sing along too. But in structure it is. It is very conventional.  You just have to kind of break it down more than listening to it as an observer and saying, ‘This guy’s nuts. He shouldn’t have that sound. My ears hurt and now he is blasting me with a live dying goat. What the hell am I supposed to make of this? Sing along, pal.'
I get him and I don’t totally understand why America doesn’t get him. They don’t get him because they don’t get Frank [Zappa]. They don’t take the time.  

Now here’s something we’ve been waiting for for years!!!  … 

Hi Kent,
Now that Record Research has published the complete history of the Radio & Records Top 40 chart(s), we’d love to do the same for The Gavin Report (which ran from 1958-2002).  We have every issue, starting with March 27, 1981.  However, finding ANY issues before that time has been nearly impossible!
Obviously, we can’t do a book without access to those charts.  I’ve been reaching out to all of my radio friends and even some of the old Gavin staffers in the hopes that somebody may have saved those back issues.
If anybody has any leads, please send them on to me at
Thank you!
Paul Haney
Record Research

This is going to be a tough one … but SO worth it if you can pull it off!
Many will argue that The Gavin Report was the REAL Music Bible during that critical key period of the ‘60’s when this weekly mailed report is likely to have influence more radio programming decisions than Billboard, Cash Box and Record World … perhaps combined!!!
The odds of anybody saving every single issue is pretty remote … jeez, how many of those radio stations from this era even still exist anymore, much less some very yellowed and tattered papers?
But hey, I want to see this published as much as anybody … maybe even more … so I am VERY happy to help put the word out there … and will hope that the 200+ deejays on our list will help us to spread the word.  (You can email Paul at the address above or me at … let’s see what kind of collection we can build!)
And Paul, PLEASE keep us posted.  (I don’t think the report had anywhere near the influence it did once you got past about 1975 … so those 1958 – 1975 editions are going to be the key drawing card.)  I know Joel also talked about possibly compiling a book of the Variety Charts from back in the day … any update on that project?
Good Luck … and please stay in touch!  (kk)

I read the story Ed Osborne mentioned about Tommy James appearing at a high school and laughed, as I was home yesterday working on tapes and going thru boxes of memorabilia and came across the 1966 Chicago "World Teen" Show program at McCormick Place that ran the week of July 22 - 31.
This show was quite a history making event, as I believe Dick Clark saw the Robbs in an appearance at this show and signed them as regulars to his "Where the Action Is" teen TV show in Hollywood.
It featured a teen "Battle of the Bands" that I believe had several acts that became known locally because of their appearances here.
Headliners were Chad & Jeremy (who, I believe, stayed at WLS' Ron Riley's home when there), Martha & the Vandellas, the Outsiders, and terrific locals the Shadows of Knight and New Colony 6.  It also featured Tommy James and the Shondells!!
Of course, Clark Weber has told the story of getting "Hanky Panky" years earlier from a young Niles, Michigan, lad, Tommy James, and declining to play the song.  Well, the week of the show, that record was #2 on the WLS Silver Dollar Survey as their first ever hit, coming down from #1 two weeks prior.   After having read Tommy's great book, I can only guess that his new boss, Morris Levy, wrote the info for the band's appearance at the Chicago event above.
Check out the full page ad:

The band was likely to have not yet "recorded" anything for Roulette (they bought or stole the hit record Snap master, not a tape, even), they did not have MANY current hits and were NOT from California (at least Tommy wasn't).  The "Shondels" was actually the spelling the Ides of March were using then, NOT Tommy James' band, which of course, these guys pictured were NOT the actual Shondells on the record.  Nonetheless, TJ would go on to "World Teen" acceptance, for sure!!!
Also, your comments on the Stevie Nicks / ARS speed changes on "Imaginary Lover" came perfectly with a tape shared with FH'er Michael Thom about the origins of "Mirage" by Tommy James.  I think this story may have been in his book, but if not, here's the story Michael told me:
Producer Richie Cordell accidently threaded a tape of "I Think We're Alone Now" backwards and from listening to it that way, came up with the basics of "Mirage"!!!!  
Here's the backwards part where you can hear the makings of the "Mirage" melody!  After what you hear, Cordell wrote different music, but the part you hear is basically the music to the hit follow-up!
Clark Besch

I love it ... Tommy James and the ShondeLs ... right out of Niles, Michigan, California!!!
I showed this shot to Tommy's manager ... man, were ANY of us ever really this young?!?!  Thanks, Clark!  (kk) 

Alan Parsons has an album of all new material coming out (his first in fifteen years) on April 26th.  (A video for the first single, “I Can’t Get There From Here” has already been posted on YouTube.  It comes from the new movie 5-25-77, the date the first Star Wars film opened in theaters.)

As is usually the case, the album features a variety of guest vocalists (Lou Gramm, Jason Mraz and P.J. Olsson … plus Alan sings a handful of songs himself, too.)

Parsons says he’ll tour behind the album … which is GREAT news for us, who LOVE to see him in concert.  (Alan has made our Best Concerts List every year he has performed here for as long as we’ve been tabulating these lists!)

We’re also starting to see promos on television for that new “Yesterday” movie we told you about a month ago or so … this one looks just quirky enough to be a hit.  (What if nobody remembered The Beatles???    
Here’s the trailer again!):

Lots of buzz, too, about the new Temptations musical that started on Broadway last week.  Again based on the memories of the only living original member, Otis Williams, this time around he says you’re going to hear “the truth” about this incredible band.  (We’ve watched his four hour made-for-tv movie at least thirty times now … TOTALLY enjoy it.  If they can capture that same story, jam-packed with music, in just two hours, this would be a great show to see.)  

I could've swore that you told me Tommy Roe was retiring.
Am I wrong?
Frank B. 
Actually, Tommy has retired a few times now!  (lol)  And, after some health set-backs, we kinda figured that this was going to really be it … it might be too strenuous to record or (especially) go back out on the road … but the guy just keeps bouncing back … and it’s a shame to lock up all that talent when he’s still writing and recording … it’s really the only life he’s ever known … so I applaud him for it!

And this new series of redoing his biggest hits should be interesting to follow … so I’m also looking forward to that.  And if he decides that he does want to undertake the rigors of a small tour again, we sure would love to see him come back to the Chicago area.  (Former musical director told me that if Tommy wanted to go back on the road, he was sure that he could work something out that would feature a double-bill featuring Tommy with The Box Tops, providing the proper back-up band for such a venture.  Now wouldn’t THAT be a cool show to see???)  kk

Speaking of short-term retirement, just  few months after concluding his farewell tour, Paul Simon will be the headliner at Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco this August.  Never say never! 

And Phil Collins is back out on the road again, too.  (It has got to be SO hard to just walk away from the fan adoration!)  kk

Meanwhile, another door closes … 

Goodbye Donny & Marie.

FH Reader Clive Topol sent us this: 
From The New York Times:
Reunion Tour! The Band Is Back! Wait, Who Are These Guys?
Once a band name turns into a brand name, there’s a strong incentive to continue on, even with a lineup that fans might not recognize. 

John Fogerty was Billy Joel’s surprise guest at his monthly Madison Square Garden show last week.
Rolling Stone Magazine reports that this is “the first time that Fogerty has guested with Joel at this Madison Square Garden residency, where he’s played with everyone from Miley Cyrus and Paul Simon to John Mayer, Steve Miller, Tony Bennett and AC/DC’s Brian Johnson” … and then teases that “Joel turns 70 on May 9th and he’s celebrating with a show at MSG where it feels practically inevitable that he’ll be joined by at least one or two surprise guests.”
That should be a good one!  (kk)

John seems to be struggling to hit some of the notes in this fan-shot video … it might be time to lower the key a step and make things a bit easier on both the singer and the audience!