Tuesday, June 28, 2022

ELVIS Movie Review(s)

Here's a great shot of Austin Butler in the title role ... 

But I swear he looks more like Ricky Nelson than Elvis Presley in this picture!!!  lol

kk

 

In the past, you and I have disagreed on our movie reviews. 


For instance, I liked Once Upon A Time In Hollywood a whole lot more than you did. 

 

There is a connection between that 2019 film and the new Elvis picture. 


Austin Butler played Tex Watson of the Manson family in Once Upon and he is a real highlight as he portrays Elvis in the just released biopic by Baz Luhrmann.

While there were several things that I did not like about the Elvis film, the good outweighed the bad. 


First of all, here are a few things that I did not care for. 


Once again songs and events are not in chronological order.  Young E. sings Blue Suede Shoes in the film during his very first concerts, which would have been about two years before it was a hit first for Carl Perkins. Several other songs are presented the same way.  


It almost seems that they show Elvis getting drafted into the Army before he has even signed with Colonel Parker. They mention other television shows, but there is not even a word about the Ed Sullivan appearances.  There are times early in the film when other singers get more time than the well-known Elvis songs.  They try very hard to show that Elvis is still relevant as they used a few hip hop songs and newer artists along the way (Doja Cat, and Kanye West???)


I found more things not accurate after doing a few searches today.  We may just have to settle for the fact that it brings his music to a new younger audience.  Like Bohemian Rhapsody or Rocketman, it is more like a musical based on the life of.  Tom Hanks is good as the Colonel.  I expected that.

 

What I like about the movie the most is Austin Butler. 

 

He sings the early songs and his voice is blended with the real Elvis on the later recordings.  The Vegas concerts are incredible.  The other theater goers were clapping along last night as if they were at the actual Elvis concert.  The portrayal of the '68 Comeback Special also is a treat. 

 

Olivia DeJonge plays Priscilla and does a very good job of looking and acting the part. 

 

Even though the film has flaws,  I really think that this might be the most accurate depiction of the King Of Rock and Roll that has been made. 

 

The last concert scene from June 26th of 1977 at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis is chilling.  They were able to tie in Austin Butler with the real footage very well. 

 

Despite my dislikes, I will recommend that my listeners see the film.  I will most

likely go see it again.  Those songs on a great theater sound system are awesome. 

 

Overall, I give it a thumbs up.  I will be curious to see what Kent 'Siskel' Kotal thinks.

Phil Nee

WRCO

 

When it’s good, it’s great … so bright, so colorful, so vibrant … (and you definitely want to see it with the XQ Sound … because the soundtrack is amazing.)

 

Despite all the hype (and the glowing endorsements by both Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley), the late Sunday matinee that we attended was less than half full … but the film still managed to do big box office anyway.  ($30.5 million, putting it neck-and-neck with “Top Gun Maverick,” the Tom Cruise blockbuster.  Not quite “Bohemian Rhapsody” opening weekend numbers … that film did $51 million … but ahead of “Rocketman” … which grossed $25.7 million.)

 

While Tom Hanks is the big name star in this film (boy, he sure looks different than Kip Wilson on “Bosom Buddies!”  lol  … actually, the prosthetics make-up throughout the film is really quite remarkable), it is Austin Butler who shines in every scene he appears as Elvis, sometimes looking JUST like The King, particularly in the later scenes from the 1968 Comeback Special on.  (The footage for the Comeback Special is so riveting that you’ll want to watch the real thing as soon as you get home.  Even though I know this special note-for-note and scene-for-scene by heart, I’m still anxious to pop it in the DVD player and view it again just one more time.)

 

And the real-life footage of Elvis’ last show in Indianapolis, 1977, just before he died, is heartbreaking … he is in such bad shape and health physically, yet nothing can diminish that incredibly distinctive voice of his.  It’s as strong as ever … maybe even stronger as he emotionally undertakes the singing of “Unchained Melody.”  (I remember being quite surprised at the time when CBS ran this as a prime time television special as it truly portrays Elvis in a most unflattering light … but it was real … and people were hurting after the loss of their long-time idol … so it was still a relevant piece of footage to see.  That being said, I don’t think it has aired since.)

 

What’s wrong with the film?

 

Well, for one thing, at 2 1/2 hours, it’s too long.  Far too much time is spent covering the early years leading up to Elvis signing with RCA … and then when Elvis finally does make it, far more emphasis is spent on the negative press and conflicts surrounding his gyrations on stage than the string of hits and the rock and roll phenomena he was creating.  (Butler definitely knows how to sell the sex, however … the girls screaming absolutely imply that live, on-screen orgasms are happening, right before our eyes!)

 

Once they lay the foundation for Elvis' upbringing and love of the blues and the Black Artists he grew up listening to growing up as a child in Memphis, the decades fly by …

 

The ’50’s skip over all the early hits … and there were a TON of them (see our list below) … and while Milton Berle and Steve Allen are mentioned, there is nary a HINT of Presley’s appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, which is what really pushed him over the top.  (Were the filmmakers denied access to recreating this footage?  It’s readily available everywhere … at least some discussion about Elvis being on Ed’s program would seem to be in order, as this was the match that lit the fuse … and was itself surrounded by a bit of controversy, especially when it came to the “only shoot him from the waist up” episode, a pivotal moment in his early career!)

 

"Don't Be Cruel," the biggest hit of Elvis' career, isn't even featured.  Nor are "Love Me Tender," "(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear" or "Jailhouse Rock."  In fact, the films these last three #1 hits came from are not mentioned or reenacted at all.  While it is acknowledged that Colonel Tom Parker was determined to make Elvis a big box office movie star, a dream he and Elvis shared and a feat he succeeded at several times over, early on, Elvis’ prime movies are glossed over at best … "Love Me Tender" was Elvis' first role on the silver screen ... “King Creole” was the film that was supposed to prove that Elvis could act … “Jailhouse Rock” is a personal favorite … and how on earth do you leave out “Viva Las Vegas??!?!? Or "Blue Hawaii" and "G.I. Blues" for that matter ... all MAJOR successes at the box office.

 

And here’s another point of contention …

 

Elvis goes into the Army and meets Priscilla … and then the next eight years of the ‘60’s are glossed over in less than a minute with a photo of The Beatles deplaning and a montage of movie posters before he’s seen preparing for his 1968 NBC Singer Television Special.

 

And here is where the film explodes in all its grandeur.  

 

Proposed as a Christmas Special (and pitched to the network that way by Parker … probably the only way he could sell them on the idea, based on Presley’s popularity level at the time), Elvis used the opportunity to completely reinvent himself with the help of Steve Binder, who stripped away all the movie fluff, put Elvis in a leather suit and let him do what he did best … rock and roll and win over an audience.  (These are unquestionably the most exciting scenes in the movie as Butler recreates the on stage sequences step for step, move for move.  He literally BECOMES Elvis on screen.)

 

That's not to say that Parker’s back-story reasons for not allowing Elvis to tour internationally aren't a key part of The King’s history … but major events like the “Aloha From Hawaii” satellite television special and Elvis’ infamous trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with President Nixon are once again glossed over in a flash or not mentioned at all.

 

It’s probably just as well his death was handled as subtly as it was … we really didn’t need any more Dr. Nick back-story.  The film also makes some rather startling assumptions along the way:  Colonel Parker was the one to advise Dr. Nick to keep Elvis pumped up with whatever drugs necessary to “get him out on that stage tonight.”   It is also implied that Parker finagled some deal to get Elvis into the Army so as to change his image and bring him back as a “clean cut, All-American boy” … personally, I think the reality is simply that Elvis was drafted (which has been the story since the beginning of time) and quite honestly, him being gone for two years and out of the public eye was an INCREDIBLE risk to his career and popularity back at home.  (Fortunately, Parker was smart enough to have Elvis record several new sides to be released as singles while he was gone, so he was never really off the radio or the charts ... but this fact wasn't mentioned either.)  And the whole thing about Elvis firing The Colonel on stage??? I think if things had really gone down like this, we would have all know about it as part of the universally circulated Elvis folklore. (He may have WANTED to do that … but I just don’t think that’s the way it all went down.)  This event set-up one of my favorite scenes in the movie, however ... when early '70's "Vegas Elvis" wanted to fire Parker as his manager, The Colonel said, "OK" ... and then began to make a list of all the monies Presley owed him over the years ... tabs along the way that The Colonel had covered on his behalf ... incidentals dating back to 1955 ... $15 here, $100 there ... right on up to the current day ... eventually presenting Presley with a bill for services rendered in excess of eight million dollars!  (At this point, Elvis couldn't have bought his way out of the contract if he wanted to ... due to his extravagant lifestyle and out of control spending, he was essentially broke ... and had no choice but to keep The Colonel on as his manager yet again.)

 

The history of Parker making deals to benefit himself … including collecting half of Presley’s earnings above the table (and God knows what else BELOW the table) for their entire partnership … having his massive gambling debt cleared by committing his boy to five more years of Vegas shows at The International Hotel … and countless other side deals he made with RCA Records and concert venues to “deliver his boy” for any new ventures have been pretty well documented over the years.  The Colonel knew he had found his cash cow … and he milked it for everything he could.  But the simple fact of the matter is that Elvis may never have BEEN Elvis without him … and this point is made pretty clear in the film, too.

 

The music scenes are phenomenal … electric, in fact.  Austin Butler comes across as very believable in the title role.  (There are some scenes, especially in profile, where you can't tell the two apart.)  And he has nailed Elvis’ Las Vegas stage moves to a "T."

 

(Another favorite scene is of Elvis performing "That's All Right, Mama" on stage in Las Vegas in the early '70's.  In flashback fashion, we see Elvis looking back on his life and how this song and the Black Music he listened to growing up shaped him into who he was ... and who he always would be, deep in the very core of his heart and soul.  That's the beast that Steve Binder managed to release for the '68 television special ... and Elvis was an all-too-willing participant ... because that's who Elvis REALLY was.  He didn't want to make those corny movies any more ... and he SURE as hell didn't want to dress up in some ugly Christmas sweater and sing Christmas songs in front of the fireplace the way Perry Como used to do!  The '68 Singer TV Special unleashed the fire that had been burning in his soul for years ... and for a few more years, Elvis was relevant again.)


Overall, it was an enjoyable, worthwhile movie experience. (On a scale of 1-10, Frannie and I both gave it an “8”)

 

Best Elvis film/documentary ever?  No, not even close.  (And I'm not really sure that was this film's purpose ... Baz Luhrmann's "Elvis" was designed more as a spectacle ... as he himself has described it, "Elvis, The Super Hero" ... but if it's more of a factual experience you're looking for, there are better options out there to choose from.)

 

For me, that will always be “This Is Elvis.”  It tells the whole story with real-life Elvis footage along the way.  The narration is done by Ral Donner, a great Elvis sound-alike who had a huge hit in 1961 with “You Don’t Know What You’ve Got (Until You Lose It)”, and it really feels like Elvis is telling you his own story.  It is very fact-based driven and, in its original theatrical edit, takes you right thru Elvis’ final concert performance and funeral procession.  (An edited TV update eliminates the final concert scene as producers felt it was not the proper light to portray The King … they didn’t want to leave viewers with this as their final image of Elvis.)

 

My recommendation?  See the Baz Luhrmann film and enjoy it for all the splendor that it is … watch the 1968 Comeback Special (and maybe even the “Aloha From Hawaii” special again, too … Elvis never looked better) and then watch "This Is Elvis" for the complete story ... allow the whole Elvis experience to engulf you.

 

And hopefully, if the film's a success, radio will again begin to recognize all of the great music that Elvis created over the years … 167 charted hits during his lifetime (and nine more after his passing) … and this doesn’t even include any of the hits that charted exclusively on Billboard’s Country Singles Chart.  (Elvis also had 16 EP’s make the chart … and selections from these discs were regularly programmed into radio play lists across the country at the time.)  Sadly, for the past fifteen years, Elvis has been portrayed as a One Hit Wonder on oldies radio, as if "Suspicious Minds" was he only record of importance he ever recorded ... when, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth.  (kk)

 

***

 

Here’s an Elvis myth (actually, more of an Elvis LEGEND) that has been circulating for the past 65 years … finally dispelled by Variety last week (after they themselves had been duped way back when, along with a handful of others!)  https://variety.com/2022/music/news/elvis-presley-fake-story-police-crackdown-colonel-parker-1235302646/

 

IF I CAN DREAM:

My hope is that the success of this movie (and the good buzz surrounding it) will help to make some of Elvis’ music more in demand and accessible.  (I'm thinking downloading sales will skyrocket as fans, old and new, try to update their digital collections.)  

 

Of course, the film’s INITIAL audience will be us fans who grew up loving Presley’s music … and remember the impact he had on rock and roll music in general when he first hit the scene.  One can argue for all eternity that The Beatles’ inspired every band to come since … and there is a certain amount of truth to that statement ... but without Elvis, there would have been no Beatles!   

With a little luck, radio will pick up on the vibe once the word continues to spread and new fans will be brought in to experience the whole Elvis Presley phenomenon.  Heck, with a little luck, maybe they’ll even start playing more than just “Suspicious Minds” from his catalog again!

 

The REAL shame is that the memory of Elvis’ impact on the music world is slowly being erased … and there is no bigger culprit for this fact than Billboard Magazine.

 

That’s why it was nice to see them recognize the Billion Dollar Enterprise that is associated with his name …

 

https://www.billboard.com/pro/elvis-business-what-its-worth-graceland-publishing-film/#recipient_hashed=fa7e92da6f6e66bffcf0bcbf863670c6eb37d7159eb4d0ea1e44fecd5ec87eeb

 

When Elvis first burst on the national scene in 1956, he turned the entire music world upside down.  We had never ever seen anything quite like him.  In 1956 alone, he charted 18 times on The National Pop Singles Charts.


These included Top 20 Hits like “Heartbreak Hotel” (#1), “I Was The One” (#15), “Blue Suede Shoes” (#2), “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You” (#1), “My Baby Left Me” (#14), “Don’t Be Cruel” (#1), “Hound Dog” (#1), “Love Me Tender” (#1), “Any Way You Want Me” (#20), “Love Me” (#2) and “When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again” (#19) … that’s FIVE #1 Hits, TWO #2 Hits and 11 other songs that made The Top 20.


In 1957, he added to that tally … “Too Much” (#1), “All Shook Up” (#1), “(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear” (#1), “Loving You” (#20), “Jailhouse Rock” (#1) and “Treat Me Nice” (#18) … that’s FOUR more #1 Hits (for those of you out there keeping score.)


1958 kicked off with “Don’t” (another #1 Hit), “I Beg Of You” (#7), “Wear My Ring Around Your Neck” (#2), “Doncha Think It’s Time” (#15) and “Hard Headed Woman” (#1) …


Yet you won’t see ANY of those songs listed on Billboard’s tabulation of the All-Time Biggest Pop Hits …


Because they’ve revamped their history to begin the pop charts with their very first Hot 100 Chart issued in August of 1958 …


So Elvis’ first 34 chart hits are no longer eligible to make the list … no matter HOW big they were … or how much impact they had.


Hopefully, the film will draw attention to Elvis’ WHOLE career.  (I came late to the party … by the time I started listening to the radio, The British Invasion was in full swing … I missed the first wave of Elvis music … then he went in the Army … and then he started cranking out those ridiculous movies that all had essentially the same plot, just portraying Elvis in a different vocation (all of which always allowed him the opportunity to break into song at a moment's notice!)  I remember seeing “G.I. Blues” at the drive-in when I was about seven years old!  I fell in love with this soundtrack because my Mom also played it constantly around the house.


For me, MY big Elvis breakthrough moment was his 1968 NBC Singer Television Special.  It blew me away.  (I’ve told this story before … I didn't really know anything about Elvis at the time ... nor did I care ... the only reason I watched the thing in the first place was because I had read in some teen fanzine that Ringo Starr was going to be on it, playing drums for The King.  Of course, that never happened … but it didn’t matter … I was mesmerized by what I saw … and the very next day, I rode my bike about three miles to Kral’s Record Store in Cicero and loaded up on Elvis Gold Standard Singles featuring the original versions of most of what I’d heard that night … “One Night,” “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Love Me Tender,” “Hound Dog,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “All Shook Up,” “Guitar Man” and a few others, including a couple of EP’s that I still have in my collection today.  (Naturally I bought the TV Soundtrack album, too!  And I even bought it at the Singer store at the Hillside Mall!!!)  Thanks to the film footage depicted in the new Elvis biopic, I fully expect there to be a huge resurgence of interest in Elvis’ Comeback Special as well!  (And just try to sit thru “If I Can Dream” with a dry eye … it absolutely tears your heart out to see Elvis sing that way.)


I was fortunate enough to see Elvis perform live three times … first in 1972 at the old Chicago Stadium.  (RCA released the “Elvis Live At Madison Square Garden” album shortly afterwards and it was essentially the exact same show I saw.  Naturally, I snatched that up, too!!!)  Then twice again in 1976.  Every time it was like a jolt of electricity shot through my body when he took the stage.  I’ve never felt anything ever again quite like it.


I hope the film does well enough to keep the Elvis flame burning for a little while longer. (Hunka Hunka Burning Love!)  I also hope that others who may not otherwise have had any interest in going to see it but now, based on good word of mouth are curious enough to check it out ... all of whom just may turn out to be newly converted Elvis fans ... will do as I did and give a listen to some of the original recordings … dig a little deeper and seek out some of the vintage performances and see what this man did to help ignite rock and roll.  (kk)

Monday, June 27, 2022

1972 Surveys - June 27th - ARIZONA

 


Just like last week's chart from Des Moines, Iowa, KTKT in Tucson, Arizona is showing Wayne Newton at #1 with his big hit "Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast" ... only here, it makes a GIANT leap into this position from #13 the week before.  (This seems to be a bit more reflective of the record's success than what was documented in Billboard, who showed it peaking at #4.  It topped both the Record World AND Cash Box charts nationally.)

Love Unlimited sits at #2 with "Walkin' In The Rain," a nice surprise.  (This one, too, topped out considerably lower in Billboard, reaching only #14 despite Top Ten showings in both Cash Box and Record World.)

Most of the other tracks seem to match up well with the charts we've been seeing for June of 1972, some just performing a little bit better than others during different weeks of the month.  (In fact, this week's Tucson chart could have almost served as the follow-up chart to last week's Top 30 from Des Moines!)

And don'tcha just love the heading Top "Albums & Tapes"!!!  Yep, that's the way we bought our music back then!

Sunday, June 26, 2022

THE SUNDAY COMMENTS ( 06 - 26 - 22 )

Great piece by YOU on Joel Whitburn! 

You've probably already seen NYT obit on . . .

NYT Obituaries (@NYTObits) tweeted at 6:12 PM on Thu, Jun 23, 2022:

Joel Whitburn's books “had a profound impact on the music industry as a whole,” an executive of Billboard magazine said. “Joel’s chronicling of the Hot 100 gave it a significant stamp of approval nationally.” https://t.co/nrTEQ7TKEP
(https://twitter.com/NYTObits/status/1540140665484591106?t=iM-oMX5c_7hS2Qpqbwh-oQ&s=03

>>>I Don't Know If It's Possible To Do A Countdown Of Joel Whitburn Books … Most Sales #1 and Least Sales, Last Place. I Think He'd Like That.   (FB)

Don't know if that works, but how about how many of us bought that first 1955 - 1969 book originally?  That would be cool to know, as I know both you and I bought it, Kent.  I THINK it was $15 then. 

Clark Besch

Actually, the first one I ever bought was the little 6 x 9, perfect bound edition with the orange cover that listed the data thru 1972.  (I wanna say it was $40 … but worth every single penny.  I must have used it over 2000 times!)

And it was about as basic a list as you can imagine … it almost looked typewriter-generated with absolutely NO details on the artists or chart data above and beyond the original chart date, title, record label, peak position and number of weeks charted. (I can’t even begin to tell you how many people I used to see walking around the record convention carrying their copy of this book, using it as their “buyer’s guide check-list” trying to get their hands on every record they ever missed growing up!  And I'm talking even several years later ... it was the go-to guide, along with those Rockin' Records Price Guides that were invaluable in finding non-charted, obscure titles ... and knowing how much to expect to pay for them.)

I’ve still got a copy of every book I ever purchased thru Joel’s company.  They’re all packed away in boxes (many, MANY boxes) in the garage as I replaced each one with the newest, latest edition the minute it came out … but I could never really bear to part with any of them.  (I used to swear that I would NEVER write in them or mark them up in any way … and then time and time again I would give in and try to use Joel’s list as my own master, slugging in additional chart facts I wanted documented as well … usually whether or not I had a copy and, if so, where to find it … also adding in our local chart information as a comparison factor.)  There was simply no end to the joy these books would bring chartaholics like us.  Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine having this much information so readily available … and all in one spot!!!  (kk)

 

Ross On Radio singled out this pick as one of the month’s best so far …

 

It’s our FH / Record Research Buddy Paul Haney’s appearance on Ron Gerber’s “Crap From The Past” program that we told you about last week!  (In fact, that first link allows you to listen to the entire two hour broadcast!)  kk

Best Reader Pick: “Ron Gerber’s ‘Crap from the Past’ and his guest Paul Haney from Record Research, Inc., on KFAI Minneapolis. Together, they did a wonderful tribute to [chart historian, and Haney’s boss] Joel Whitburn.” – Jay Philpott, Love 105 Minneapolis. Gerber is a longtime friend of ROR. Another friend of the column, S-Curve’s Steve Greenberg, wrote this Whitburn appreciation.  

The show gets off to a bit of a rough start ... first he plays the wrong Rick Nelson record ("Fools Rush In" instead of "Poor Little Fool," which I'm sure was meant to be a tie-in to the Hot 100's first #1 Record ... then incorrectly stating the name of Joel's Record Research company a few times ... but Paul goes on to paint a pretty thorough picture of what it was like working for Joel's company for 30+ years and some of the many conversations he and Joel shared over those years.)

I got a notice from Blogger that our Joel Whitburn tribute was our most-read post of the past two years … his work truly did touch every music fan out there … and on so many different levels … whether you were a casual fan or lived for the charts.  (Look at any Greatest Hits CD compilation you’ve bought in the past fifty years and odds are Joel’s data is incorporated somewhere in the liner notes.)  He documented the facts, the stats and the figures that explain popular music history of our lifetime. 

Chuck Buell suggested that we consider designating November 29th (the date of his birth) as “Forgotten Hits National ‘Joel Whitburn Day,’ “in honor of his impactful, never-ending dedication to compiling valuable Facts and Figures about today’s Popular Music in all genres that have been, and still are, referenced to by Music Aficionados everywhere.”

 

Actually, that sounds like a pretty good idea to me ... and a great way to keep the tribute going.  (Who knows ... I may even be able to incorporate my Top 40 Hall Of Fame idea into all of this!!!)

 

What do you guys think?  And what would be a good way to recognize Joel's efforts each year?  (I even thought about doing either a Whitburn Award ... or maybe sending a Record Research book to one lucky winner on each anniversary.  I'm thinking Paul Haney would lend his support to such an event on an annual basis ... let's see what he says.)

 

Hey, I'm open to your suggestions ... let me know what you think!  (kk)

From Tom Cuddy …

Janitor Goes Viral During School Assembly for Singing “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey
https://americansongwriter.com/janitor-goes-viral-during-school-assembly-for-singing-dont-stop-believin-by-journey/

(This one’s worth watching … but I don’t know if it’ll outsell the “Glee” version from 2009 … that one got all the way up to #4 … which is five spots higher than the Journey original made it!!!)  kk

And our buddy Spud sent us these links to Beach Boys and Beach Boys / Chicago info …

Aloha!
Here are some fun links for the weekend:
The Beach Boys on 10 of their favourite Beach Boys songs:
https://www.uncut.co.uk/features/lists/the-beach-boys-on-10-of-their-favourite-beach-boys-songs-139063

(My copy of this just came in the mail yesterday! – kk)

Nice review of the Irvine, CA show including a cool video of Darian singin’ “Darlin’” with the Chicago horn section:
https://livemusicnewsandreview.com/2022/06/brian-wilson-plays-california

Great video of Chicago playing “Wishing You Were Here” with Al, Matt and Brian’s band in Phoenix, AZ:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPRC9GwQQxc

And finally, here’s a new song from my band Drifting Sand that features Al on chorus vocals and his son Adam too (in the outro)!  The song was recorded in Carmel and Pacific Grove, CA and produced by Stevie Heger (co-producer/engineer & drummer on A Postcard from California).  Additional credits listed in link below:
https://driftingsand.bandcamp.com/track/best-summer-ever

Enjoy and have a beachin’ weekend! 

Spud
DRIFTING SAND
www.driftingsand.com

Paul McCartney just crushed another career milestone …

Billboard Magazine announced last week that Macca has passed the ONE BILLION DOLLARS Box Office mark.  (The incredible dollar amount reflects gross ticket sales over the past thirty years)

Some would consider this to be an incredible career milestone …

Others might say, “See … he’s charging too much for a ticket!!!”

While still others might say, “WHY is he charging so much per ticket then?” (I mean they won’t be holding any kind of a Paul McCartney fund-raising telethon any time soon!)

Still, we’ve gotta say Congrats … that’s a pretty incredible statistic.  (kk)

McCartney also played a small club gig on Friday Night (June 24th), the evening before he was due to perform at the Glastonbury Festival.

A standing room only crowd of 800 fans were treated a full 25-song set.  The show sold out in minutes (first come, first served) and it was a requirement that all cell phones be turned in prior to admission so that nothing from this special event could be taped and circulated.  (By the way, tickets to this gig were only $31 US Dollars ... so he didn't do much to increase that billion dollar tally Friday Night ... my guess is he did ok on Saturday 'tho!!!  He was joined on stage for THIS gig by surprise guests Dave Grohl and Bruce Springsteen!)

Here's the complete set list from the "Cheese And Grain" show ... to paraphrase one of MY favorite McCartney songs, "The Night Before" the big gig at Glastonbury ...

I Wanna Be Your Man
Junior’s Farm
Letting Go
Got To Get You Into My Life
Come On To Me
Let Me Roll It
Getting Better
My Valentine
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
Maybe I’m Amazed
I’ve Just Seen a Face
From Me To You
Blackbird
Fuh You
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
You Never Give Me Your Money
She Came In Through the Bathroom Window
Get Back
Lady Madonna
Band On the Run
Let It Be
Hey Jude

Encore
Birthday
Helter Skelter
Golden Slumbers
Carry That Weight
The End

As well as the more traditional, slightly varied set he performed at Glastonbury (with Dave Grohl's and Bruce Springsteen's appearances noted):

Paul McCartney Got Back setlist, Glastonbury, 25 June 2022

Can’t Buy Me Love (from The Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night, 1964)
Junior’s Farm (single 1974)
Letting Go (from Venus and Mars, 1975)
Got to Get You Into My Life (from The Beatles, Revolver, 1966)
Come On to Me (from Egypt Station, 2018)
Let Me Roll It (from Band On The Run, 1973)
Getting Better (from The Beatles, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967)
Let Em In (from Wings At The Speed of Sound, 1976)
My Valentine (from Kisses On The Bottom, 2012)
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five (from Band On The Run, 1973)
Maybe I’m Amazed (from McCartney, 1970)
I’ve Just Seen A Face (from Help, 1965)
In Spite of All the Danger (The 1959 Quarrymen song released on The Beatles Anthology, 1995)
Love Me Do (from The Beatles, Please Please Me, 1963)
Dance Tonight (from Memory Almost Full, 2007)
Blackbird (from The Beatles, The Beatles, 1968)
Here Today (from Tug Of War, 1982)
New (from New, 2013)
Lady Madonna (The Beatles single 1968)
Fuh You (from Egypt Station, 2018)
Jet (from Band On The Run, 1973)
Being For The Benefit of Mr Kite (from The Beatles, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967)
Something (from The Beatles, Abbey Road, 1969)
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (from The Beatles, The Beatles, 1968)
You Never Give Me Your Money (from The Beatles, Abbey Road, 1969)
She Came In Through The Bathroom Window (from The Beatles, Abbey Road, 1969)
Get Back (from The Beatles, single in 1969 and then from Let It Be, 1970)
I Saw Her Standing There (from The Beatles, Please Please Me, 1963) (with Dave Grohl)
Band On The Run (with Dave Grohl) (from Band On The Run, 1973)
Glory Days (with Bruce Springsteen)
I Wanna Be Your Man (from The Beatles, With The Beatles, 1963) (With Bruce Springsteen)
Let It Be (from Let It Be, 1970)
Live and Let Die (from single 1973, and from the Live and Let Die soundtrack)
Hey Jude (from The Beatles, single 1968)

ENCORE:
I’ve Got A Feeling (from Let It Be, 1970) (duet with John Lennon on screen)
Birthday (from The Beatles, The Beatles, 1968)
Helter Skelter (from The Beatles, The Beatles, 1968)
Golden Slumbers (from The Beatles, Abbey Road, 1969)
Carry That Weight (from The Beatles, Abbey Road, 1969)
The End (with Dave Grohl and Bruce Springsteen) (from The Beatles, Abbey Road, 1969)

Jann Wenner Memoir Like a Rolling Stone coming from Little, Brown and Company in September


By Harvey Kubernik Copyright 2022

Jann Wenner, Rolling Stone magazine’s founder, co-editor, and publisher, has written his memoir. Like a Rolling Stone: A Memoir due on Sept. 13, 2022, from Little, Brown and Company.  

Wenner was born in New York City, raised in Southern California’s Palos Verdes region, and relocated to San Francisco in 1963. He founded Rolling Stone in 1967. Over the ensuing decades, Rolling Stone was instrumental in launching the careers of many groundbreaking journalists and photographers. Wenner also founded and published OutsideUS WeeklyFamily Life, and Men’s Journal. Wenner is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which he co-founded, and the youngest inductee in the American Society of Magazine Editor’s Hall of Fame. He turned 75 on January 7th, 2022.

A media announcement from the Little, Brown and Company hailed the book. “Jann Wenner has been called by his peers ‘the greatest editor of his generation.’ His deeply personal memoir vividly describes and brings you inside the music, the politics, and the lifestyle of a generation, an epoch of cultural change that swept America and beyond. The age of rock and roll in an era of consequence, what will be considered one of the great watersheds in modern history. Wenner writes with the clarity of a journalist and an essayist. He takes us into the life and work of Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Mick Jagger, Bono, and Bruce Springsteen, to name a few. He was instrumental in the careers of Hunter S. Thompson, Tom Wolfe, and Annie Leibovitz. His journey took him to the Oval Office with his legendary interviews with Bill Clinton and Barak Obama, leaders to whom Rolling Stone gave its historic, full-throated backing. From Jerry Garcia to the Dalai Lama, Aretha Franklin to Greta Thunberg, the people Wenner chose to be seen and heard in the pages of Rolling Stone tried to change American culture, values, and morality.” 

During 2012, I interviewed Jann Wenner for A Perfect Haze: The Illustrated History of the Monterey International Pop Festival, published by Santa Monica Press.     https://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Haze-Illustrated-Monterey.../dp/1595800603

In 1967, Jann Wenner was at the epicenter of a new world in San Francisco. California. Back in 1963, he attended the University of California, Berkeley. By 1966 he wrote for the student-run newspaper, The Daily California, and had a column, Something’s Happening. Ralph J. Gleason, the jazz critic at The San Francisco Chronicle, mentored Wenner, and secured him a job at The Sunday Ramparts, where Gleason served as a contributing editor   

Wenner had a front row seat to a thriving musical community pop culture scene that was already supporting regional sounds he would eventually tout, nurture and help spread nationally and internationally.  

Marty Balin: I grew up and got to see all the jazz cats in the clubs. Plus, I saw all the beatniks, and great writers and poets. This is a world before 1967 and the Summer of Love. It started with the beatniks and poets. I think San Francisco was full of all these people who were talented and who were expressing themselves or their rights or playing music. And I think San Francisco has a lot to do with that. I don’t know if it’s the geomagnetic forces of the earth and the ocean but something went on there. It’s a lot different than the rest of the world. In 1965 I helped open the Matrix Club and did some booking in 1966 and ’67. People were comin’ in lookin’ for places to play, the infamous Warlocks and Janis [Joplin]. I had an immediate influx of people. And besides that, I had jazz guys playing there. Blues guys, and cats from The Committee. Grace Slick was real popular at the time with her own band, the Great Society. She had her brother and her husband in that band. When we need to get a new girl, because Signe [Anderson] was pregnant and she didn’t want to tour outside San Francisco, so we needed the new girl. “There were only three girls around singing: Janis in Big Brother, Grace with the Great Society and Lydia Pense, later of Cold Blood.

Paul Kantner: Jefferson Airplane had the fortune or misfortune of discovering Fender Twin Reverb amps and LSD in the same week while in college. That’s a great step forward.  One of the reasons I started a band was to meet girls. And to this day it beats given guitar lessons at a guitar store. I did that too.   In San Francisco we had no restrictions. We never thought about being in an independent record label for cred. It came to us. All we had to do was roll with it. I liken it to white water rafting. There was so much going on you didn’t worry about what was around the next curve. Or what are you going to do on the third curve. ‘Cause you are right in the river.

Grace Slick: Most singers had a band, but to be able to front that volume of music, you can’t just kinda stand there (laughs).   For rock ‘n’ roll - these people are not opera singers, O.K.?  It’s not the business of how fine and pristine your voice is.  It’s about the entertainer enjoying himself not the audience.  Hopefully the audience will.  If the entertainer is enjoying himself and feels at home on a stage, that’s 50 percent of it. The audience and the bands were not that separate.  In other words, a large amount of the audience was the other bands at the time.  There were lots of bands that were working in San Francisco and we played with each other on the stage sometimes. As a rock ‘n’ roll force I mostly liked Bill Graham and his energy, both physical and mental.  He was able to keep an awful lot of balls in the air.  He could organize, and do business, whereas most of us were on the artistic side, which is a positive thing, but we would not have been able to deal effectively, I don’t think, with the business end of it, which he did.  And without that, we would not have had what we did, a venue to express ourselves.  

Bill Graham:  In the long run it’s the public that has to get the good energy from them. I really sincerely feel this, is that the reason the relationship lasted over the years, is that those of us who live in the Bay area and lasted over the years have always had the same goal. We want to turn people on and we want them to have a good time. There is something that the Grateful Dead always had in common from the beginning, something hardly spoken about in the media after all these years. The San Francisco bands, starting with the Dead, always went to the gigs with the intention of putting it out there. It was the lack of professionalism at the beginning that made that possible. It wasn’t that the contract said 45 minutes and ‘that’s what we’ve got to play.’ They were the first one who asked to play longer. They wanted to extend the relationship between the audience and themselves.

Jerry Garcia: One of the things you could say about all the bands that came from San Francisco at that period of time was that none of them were very much alike. I think that the world has changed. I think the United States has changed very visibly in the last ten years. A lot of it had to do with what happened in San Francisco. I can’t say how or why, but I also think it’s affected everything. Just all the interest in things like ecology. All the interest in the sense of personal freedom as expressed by all kinds of movements. All these things were designed to free the human. Social overtones. All that stuff. The communal spirit. I really think the scene out here created the possibility for Woodstock to happen. The Monterey International Pop Festival. The thing, the activity, music and people. The set-up was out here. When the Acid Tests were happening, [in Los Angeles during August 1965], I personally felt, ‘in three months from now the whole world will be involved in this.’ So, as far as I’m concerned, it’s been slow and disappointing. Why isn’t this paradise already? My personal feeling has been one of waiting around.

Ram Dass: Back in the 60’s and early 70’s, I spent a lot of time at The Fillmore, The Avalon and Family Dog in the San Francisco area. I went to The Monterey International Pop Festival and it was a time when the San Francisco sound was rock by Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Grateful Dead. What I loved was that these experiences were community and a ritual of a very high order. Where people felt safe to be open and very uninhibited and there was a sweetness about it all. We’re on a journey together, and I’ll be as honest as I can about my trip and you can do whatever you want to do, but I’m going to create the space where it’s safe to be very vulnerable. That’s about drugs, sexuality, about politics, everything.

Playboy Magazine’s reporting on the contemporary music scene of 1967 spread the June Monterey Pop happening and the counterculture revolution to a much wider audience. The Jazz & Pop Poll ballot of October 1967 reflected the current audio climate.  In the Male Vocalist category, Marty Balin, Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding, John Mayall, Scott McKenzie, and Johnny Rivers were now listed with Frank Sinatra, Gene Pitney, Sammy Davis Jr., Al Martino, and Mose Allison. The Female Vocalist listing now found Janis Joplin, Cass Elliot, and Grace Slick right alongside Dionne Warwick, Julie London, Anita O’Day, Jackie DeShannon, and Eartha Kitt. 

In 1967, Jann Wenner, a recent drop out from UC–Berkeley had already positioned himself in the vanguard
of young journalists intent on chronicling this restive youth movement, wandered like a cub reporter backstage
at the Monterey International Pop Festival, soaking up all the ambiance with a questing eye. Rolling Stone magazine
was born that weekend, its first issue out in the fall.

Dr. James Cushing (Poet/Deejay):  Rolling Stone publisher and editor Jann Wenner learned under Ralph J. Gleason, Rolling Stone’s “spiritual adviser,” who seemed to understand the connection between jazz and the new rock, both in the sense of using improvisation and in the sense of the existential-humanistic philosophy of life the boppers enacted rather than theorized about. And the same is true for the people of ’67. They enacted the philosophies rather than representing them. The underground newspapers, The Los Angeles Free Press, The Oracle, The Berkeley Barb, The Kaleidoscope in Milwaukee and The Seed in Chicago were very important, as were the glossy Ramparts and a little eccentric outsider, Paul Krassner’s The Realist. The mainstream press thought these new media outlets were dangerous or silly, but they really presented balance and exposure. 

Jann Wenner: We saw rock ‘n’ roll as the purest non- commercial form that could be supported by the people and dance concerts. So, it was magic and special and everyone was keeping it magic and keeping it special and being very alert to not being co-opted by the forces of commerciality. We all saw Monterey as a big event and something special. Maybe Ralph J. Gleason saw it as a potential game changer. I don’t think we thought of Monterey as a market. We thought of it as the furthering of this great rock movement. Another milestone along the way where we would grow, our voices would be heard more loudly and more nationally and internationally. I mean, everybody knew that was going to happen.

I saw the entire Monterey Pop Festival. The memories that stick out? One was all the camaraderie backstage, you know. I had seen musicians interacting backstage at performances, on the beaches on sunny afternoons, at friends’ houses, socially. All that kind of stuff. This was the first time I saw a lot of people of many groups of all kinds wandering around, smoking, shooting the shit, drinking, obviously a copious amount of drugs around, and just relaxed. Everybody kind of meeting each other for the first time and being in this kind of wonderful setting I kind of remember backstage to be. There was a spirit of camaraderie and fellowship. That was the first time that really surfaced at that scale. You had that feeling that the community and the people were joined as one. ‘Game changer’ is kind of a recent word but a major step forward. A major evolutionary point. A new plateau, a new kind of thing. All those things, yes. It hadn’t been done before.

Top 40 radio was a little different, you know. KFRC and Tom Rounds. Radio station KYA had always been a little different. It was a tight scene with Tom Donahue. When FM radio began, a lot of those guys came from AM radio. So, they were AM radio jocks who were, like, very attuned to what was going on in the so-called underground scene. It kind of crossed over a lot. There wasn’t that huge divide that existed in Los Angeles or New York in the bigger markets.

Janis was even more riveting on that stage. One of the few of the San Francisco people that really were than her normal stages.  Having seen the San Francisco groups a lot, the Dead, Airplane, they weren’t bright and new and they weren’t terribly good. I don’t really remember at the time thinking they were very good and then having seen the film recently a few years ago it’s shocking. But it was nice to see them as part of a whole event. Which had a legitimizing effect on them. More than they had. There was a mutual legitimation going on. We were making those guys from L.A. as it were, hip, you know, and they were making these guys part of the broader part of the music. The international aspect at the time did not register on me.

Everything we cared about in music, in creating community, and camaraderie and fellowship, all flowed out of the Monterey International Pop Festival. It was the spirit, the mood, the vibe, the hippies. By the time we started several months later, Monterey was still a central event of our lives, as big an event to ever happen in San Francisco.   Seeing the Pennebaker film Monterey Pop a few years ago really brought me back to that time and place, and I loved it. I still have my ticket stubs from Monterey. 

Celebrate WILLIAM SHATNER’s Historic Space Trip With A Commemorative 7” Vinyl!


Not many real life events can elicit chills from sci-fi fans but when William Shatner, who portrayed space captain James T. Kirk on the long-running sci-fi series Star Trek, was actually flown into space aboard the Jeff Bezos-owned Blue Origin rocket, well, even the most cynical among us couldn’t help but feel a certain amount of astonished delight!

Now, fans of Mr. Shatner can celebrate that historic, out-of-this-world trip with a fun commemorative single! Shatner’s brilliant rendition of Elton John’s classic “Rocket Man” was originally released as a part of his 2011 solo album Seeking Major Tom. The track featured guitar work from influential Gong axeman Steve Hillage and recently has been newly mixed by producer Jürgen Engler. This new version is being released on both digital platforms as well as a limited edition 7” vinyl backed with Shatner’s version of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity featuring Deep Purple’s Ritchie Blackmore & Candice Night! Get your copy now before the Klingons destroy them all!

Stream the single: https://orcd.co/william_shatner_rocket_man

Order the 7”: https://cleorecs.com/store/shop/william-shatner-rocket-man-limited-edition-silver-7-vinyl/

Track List:
SIDE A
Rocket Man feat. Steve Hillage

SIDE B
Space Oddity feat. Ritchie Blackmore & Candice Night

“Hey Little Cobra don't you know I’m gonna shut you down!”

 

For Forgotten Hits Auto Racing Fans everywhere, the “Pikes Peak International Hill Climb,” also known as “The Race to the Clouds,” and the second oldest auto race in America, runs up the mountain's highway today, Sunday, June 26th, to the very top of Pikes Peak – “America’s Mountain”  –  in Colorado --  so named because it was from the pinnacle of that mountain with its expansive view of the beauty of the landscape that inspired Katharine Lee Bates to write her poem "America," which later became the song "America the Beautiful."  

 

The mountain was named after 19th-century Zebulon Montgomery Pike who, on the other hand, never did make it to the top!

 

The Green Flag Drops at 7:30 AM.

 

This is their 100th year!

 

For those of you who are now saying, “Gee, Chuck! Couldn’t you have told us sooner?! How are we supposed to enjoy it now?!”

 

Well, I have just the thing!

 

From Kent's Favorite Year, 1967, there’s this!

 



Now, you can enjoy the Thrills and Race Day Excitement ANY Day of the year!

 

And at $19.99, this is far less than the $80 Ticket Price to see it live in person! ( If you can even find one these days! Or even find a SEARS Store! )

 

The real race event will be streamed live on the Mobil 1 Facebook page and YouTube channel.

 

Varoooom!



 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep on Chuckin'!

 

For this occasion, attached is my Special “Chuck Buell Pikes Peak Hill Climb Minute Medley” along with a Minute of "America the Beautiful!"

CB ( which stands for “Catalytic Boy!” )

 


Now this is one we never saw coming!

A Mike and the Mechanics Reunion Tour!!!

Booking dates throughout Europe for 2023, the revamped lineup includes founding member Mike Rutherford (of Genesis fame) on guitar and vocalists Andrew Roachford and Tim Howar.  (The ad says “the pair share vocal duties adding a soulful dimension to the band’s already established sound.”)

I guess Mike enjoyed getting back out on the road last year with Genesis (not a feeling Phil Collins would echo … Collins said he will never tour again) so he has put The Mechanics back together for a little road trip of 34 dates.

I lost interest after their first album … but an exceptional album it was.

The original band (which featured Paul Carrack on lead vocals) placed four Top 40 Hits on the Billboard Charts between 1986 and 1989, including the #1 Hit “The Living Years” in 1989 and “Silent Running” and “All I Need Is A Miracle,” which both made The Top Ten in 1986.  (I remember Micky Dolenz saying at the time that “All I Need Is A Miracle” would have made for the perfect Monkees song. They were enjoying their own chart resurgence at the time with the Top 20 Hit “That Was Then, This Is Now.”)

A full list of dates (and more details) can be found here:

https://bestclassicbands.com/mike-mechanics-2023-tour-6-23-22/

(kk)

 

Question Mark is one of those people about which people would ask me, "He's still alive???" 😂 

And getting back to Thursday, even if you couldn't stand the movie Stuck on You with Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear (I'll bet Frannie didn't care for it), at least admit that Kinnear's imitation of Billy Stewart singing "Summertime" is fabulous!

--Bob Frable

I had to look that up …

I only saw the movie once (and honestly I didn’t care for it either!) …

But here it is for any other fans or those remotely curious …

OK, I have never seen this clip before!!!  Makes me think I never made it all the way to the end of the movie!  Thanks for sharing!  (kk)