Wednesday, November 30, 2022

What's On Your Minds???

The Illinois Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame has run a special “Story Behind The Song” on their website, featuring Jim Peterik telling the tale about The Ides Of March’s #1 Hit “Vehicle.”

You can view the whole thing here …

I was sad to hear that guitar whiz James Burton fell and broke his hip on Thanksgiving morning.  (In the early years, Burton was Ricky Nelson’s guitarist … and even appeared on his television series, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.  Years later, when Elvis returned to the concert stage in Las Vegas, Burton was hand-picked by The King to be part of his TCB Band.)

A hip replacement surgery was done immediately at Vanderbilt in Nashville and the surgery was deemed successful ... however, James is far from out of the woods at this time.  Just seven weeks earlier, Burton was diagnosed with kidney cancer and had one of his kidneys removed.  According to reports published by his family, his remaining kidney is struggling to process all the heavy medication that he has been given through three surgeries and his condition is now considered close to critical.  They are asking for your prayers at this critical time.  (kk)

A film documentary of the 1969 Live Peace In Toronto Concert (featuring John Lennon and a hastily assembled version of the Plastic Ono Band) premiers in theaters in Canada on December 16th.  (At present, there are no plans for a US release … but I’m sure it’ll be turning up somewhere in the not-too-distant future.) 

Lennon flew to Toronto to participate along with a make-shift band consisting of Eric Clapton, Klaus Voorman and Drummer Andy White.   (In fact, they learned and rehearsed their set list on the plane ride over!)  Lennon and Ono were first asked to MC the event … but then decided to perform as well.

The film was shot by D.A. Pennebaker and also includes performances by many of Lennon’s heroes, including Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis.  Also on the bill:  Bo Diddley, Gene Vincent (backed by Alice Cooper’s Band, who also performed with Alice), a brand new band out of The Windy City called Chicago and the originally perceived headliners (until Lennon’s name was added to the bill), The Doors.

It was originally billed as a “rock and roll revival concert” … hence the rock royalty on board … and over 20,000 fans showed up.  Lennon kicked off his set with a rousing rendition of “Blue Suede Shoes” … and also included a couple of his early rock favorites, “Money” and “Dizzy Miss Lizzy,” both previously covered by The Beatles.  John then performed The Beatles’ “Yer Blues” (which he had also done on The Rolling Stones’ Rock And Roll Circus television special the year before) and his first two solo releases, the current hit “Cold Turkey” and “Give Peace A Chance,” which closed the show.  (Fans also had to endure an 18-minute version of Yoko shieking “Don’t Worry Kyoko” and “John, John (Let’s Hope For Peace),” which I’m sure had early rockers like Berry, Lewis, Vincent, Diddley and Little Richard scratching their heads thinking “We helped to inspire THIS?!?!?”

Meanwhile, Harvey Kubernik sent us this official press release …

New Documentary: 1969 John Lennon Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band Debut with The Doors 

Revival69: The Concert That Rocked the World | Hot Docs

The legendary music festival in Toronto that featured John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band, with Eric Clapton, headlining a lineup with other rock legends, including the Doors.

The Toronto Rock and Roll Revival was a one-day event held on September 13th, four weeks after Woodstock. Lennon’s appearance was not publicly revealed until the last moment. The documentary, from director Ron Chapman, features never-before seen footage of the concert shot by renowned filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker. Following several film festival screenings, the film opens in Canada on December 16th. It screens on the 17th-20th.

From the November, 2022 announcement: "REVIVAL69: The Concert That Rocked the World is a behind-the-scenes story of how a little known, but life-altering music festival came together — against all odds. Young, scrappy concert promoter John Brower worked to make his Toronto Rock and Roll Revival into a one-day event, later coined in rock mythology as “the second most important event in rock & roll history.” And it almost didn’t happen. “The week before the show, tickets weren’t selling,” he says in the film. “All of a sudden the show is gonna be canceled.” Lennon’s appearance saved the day.

"The festival featured such rock legends as Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley, the Alice Cooper Band backing Gene Vincent, and The Doors. But it was the 11th hour arrival of Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band that ignited a truly seminal moment for the 20,000 fans at Toronto’s Varsity Stadium." 

Chapman lensed exclusive conversations with musicians Alice Cooper, Robbie Kreiger, Alan White, Geddy Lee, Chicago’s Danny Seraphine, Klaus Voormann, and additional interview subjects concert promoter John Brower, film consultant Harvey Kubernik and festival attendee Rodney Bingenheimer, with over 60 minutes of archival footage and audio tapes. His documentary reveals the whirlwind chaos leading up to the festival — the biker gang, threat of cancellation, a mid-flight band rehearsal, and inexplicable luck that culminated in Lennon shedding the mantle of the Beatles and nervously taking the stage with Yoko Ono, Clapton, Voormann, and White.

The film offers rare, recently discovered behind-the-scenes Super 8 verité footage, and including never-before seen 16mm film of the concert shot by D.A. Pennebaker and his crew, told through the eyes of those who were there: the musicians, the mavericks behind the scenes, and other eyewitnesses.

Distribution outside of Canada has yet to be announced.

Revival69: The Concert That Rocked the World | Hot Docs

Buy Tickets Revival69: The Concert That Rocked the World Skip to tickets Directed By: Ron Chapman 2022 Canada, France 97 minutes


If any of our Canadian readers happen to attend one of these showings, we would love to hear from you!  (kk)


Motown Records Founder Berry Gordy celebrated his 93rd birthday this week … 


And Harvey Kubernik sent along this article to share …


Along with this preface …


Of the 2,000 interviews I've conducted over the last 49 years, my 1995 visit to Berry Gordy's mansion in Bel-Air, Ca. ranks right at the top. It was a delightful, empowering experience. To discuss the origins of his Motown/Gordy/Tamla record labels and for him to answer any and all questions I had about his awe-inspiring life and career was thrilling.

Our conversation was taped for the Motown Museum in Detroit, MI. 

Plus, I got to meet and talk to Ewart Abner, the legendary record man and Vee-Jay Records executive about Dee Clark, Nolan Strong and the Diablos! 

In 2023, Gordy and William "Smokey" Robinson are being honored by the Recording Academy as MusicCares 2023 Persons of the Year. 

Imagine a world without the music of Motown …

Happy birthday BG … from HK.


57 Years On …

And the cast of “Alice’s Restaurant” reunite for a Thanksgiving Dinner (that can’t be beat!!!)


From FH Reader David Lewis …


Kent –

Today, I read the recent note you received, from Steve Jarrell, about being part of the stage band at the Sonny Geraci Concert.

I, too, was part of that weekend event in Ohio.

Inside my solo CD, there's a photo, on the left side. It is from the benefit concert's finale.


On stage are musicians from Herman's Hermits, The uckinghams, Gallery, The Archies, The Rip Chords, The Diamonds, Badfinger, The Hollies, Roy Head, Santo & Johnny, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, Dickey Lee, Spiral Staircase, Frank Stallone, Steam, Billy Joe Royal, The Shadows of Knight, The Outsiders, The Raspberries, The 1910 Fruit Gum Company, The Toys and Steve Jerrell.

Sonny Geraci, Roy Head, Billy Joe Royal, Gary DeCarlo and Jimmy Sohns have all passed since this finale photo was taken ... maybe others, as well … but it was a great moment in time. (The hotel was crazy!!!)

-      Bobby Scammell

Man, what a show that would have been to see!

Totally dug your CD, too, by the way … we’ll have to talk more about that later!

What a great night for music … and what a good cause as well.  (kk)


Hey Kent:

I have a copy of that Brenda Lee 45, and have had it since 1965.  "Thanks A Lot" is a decent up-tempo song of its time and genre.

But ... if you turned it over and played the "B" side, you found a little tune called "The Crying Game."  And yes, it's the same tune covered years later by Boy George and used in a 1980's movie. 

I have always liked Brenda's take on that song - long before the film came out.  My guess is over the years I have played "The Crying Game" 15 or 20 times more often than "Thanks A Lot."


Would LOVE to hear this … can you please send it along so we can share it with our readers?  Thanks, Brad!  (kk)

Here you go …

I have always thought that Brenda sang the hell out of this one.

I also have three other versions of it ... the Boy George one from the 1980's, and two British versions that I imagine Boy George was familiar with from his youth.  They are by Ian and The Zodiacs and Dave Berry. 

I can honestly say "Thanks A Lot" isn't a forgotten hit to me, but the flip side I like a lot more - and searched around for other versions of the song a number of years ago.



I've NEVER needed the email reminders ... another (old, from like 1999 or 2000) reminder app from many computers ago, which still works on the Windows10 box I have now, opens the site at the same time every morning (right now it's at around 10:15 am local)

-- Bob Frable

Actually, I think the site itself offers a notification every time something new is posted … but it looks like only a handful of people have ever taken advantage of it.  (To tell you the truth, I’m not even sure exactly how you would sign up for this service … but I know that it exists because I get a “subscribers” report as part of my stats.  (kk)


Very nice Whitburn page today!  Interesting stuff about Joel!



Today, Joel Whitburn was given an official "Joel Whitburn Day" on the Forgotten Hits blog.  He passed away this past summer, but when he passed away, I had not much time to ever give tribute in any way.  Upon reading all the nice messages on Joel, I KNEW I had a video I don’t think anyone else had.  I had some time today to look for the tape.  It was one of the early BETA tapes I still had held onto. 

I mentioned it in my email tribute I eventually sent out after his passing, but thought it was from the 80's and on the Dinah Shore show.  WRONG! 

I searched my notes and located the tape.  I had not used my BETA machine in a few years, so that was a question mark, but plugged it in and it worked like a charm! As I look around within five feet in every direction, I have 13 Whitburn books currently and one has been open beside me for months.  I sold or traded probably 10 more, including the very first one I ever had, the 1970 first RR book.


This TV show Joel appeared on was October, 1990 ... so old that even Paul Haney had not started working at Record Research yet!  The show was the midday network syndicated "The Home Show," hosted by Gary Collins and Dana Fleming!  I think I knew Joel was to be on and got the tape rolling just a day or two after I had taped the "Story Behind John Lennon's Death" as told by the guy who took the last photo of John alive, Paul Goresh.  You'll see the end of the show on the video below.

On the Home Show, Joel was a young 51 with 100,000+ records already!  I THINK you will see RR's Paul Haney's FIRST book he bought from the company, the 1986 Top Pop Singles book sitting on the table in front of the hosts.  Later, you see Joel moving aside his 1970 book, I believe!!  Nice job placing it in the way.  STILL, he never gets to really plug his books properly.  Maybe he did at beginning and I missed taping that. 

He DOES get to tell his story nicely and also show off his ORIGINAL and UNPEELED mint "Butcher Cover" LP.  When the hosts ask about it, I could tell his mind was saying "Oh man, do I really have time to tell this story?" 

He talks about his record collection and his tools of the trade.  It is like a time machine when he talks of Osborne and Goldmine price guides and "Discwasher"!!!  I still have all of those within five feet! 

He speaks of his radio show with Bob Barry at WZTR-FM at the time.  Flashing back, Bob was a co-DJ with my hero, Ron Riley in Milwaukee days of the 50's!  I hope my pic of Bob and Ron gets in the documentary on Ron's life in the making right now.

Joel tells how to keep your records in good shape and, of course, I didn't do great at it then.  Anyway, Joel gets tested with a one minute limit to find 45s from the hosts and even MTV rap show hosts, Ed Lover and Dr. Dre (???) of the show "Yo!  MTV Raps."  Hmm, musta missed that one.  haha

Anyway, here's the blast from 32 years ago past and thanks to Joel for giving us so many great books of history!  Not bad for a VERY old BETA tape, right? It’s on my youtube channel now, but who knows how long??



Also …



Many congrats on that impossible test kk put you thru!  Could not believe the story of DA.

Winner Winner D.A. Dinner!

Clark Besch


And now that "phantom record" is on YouTube for all to hear. 

It's great that future generations will be able to hear the music that we remember (or in this case don't even remember.)

Ed Erxleben


Would you happen to know …

Did JOEL do these?  I never bought one, but this from Oct 1971 BB looks like it is likely FROM Joel's research, at least.


I don’t think so … Billboard always kept their own archives … they were just a complete mess (and Joel showing them how unorganized their own charts were helped sell them on the idea of letting him maintain the library.)

But way back when I remember that you could purchase copies of certain charts directly from Billboard.  (I always went for the Year End Charts first!)  I think these VERY expensive collections may have been a way for Billboard to cash in on all of Joel’s research by cutting out the middle man!  (lol)  kk


From The Wisconsin State Journal 3-27-1988. 

I enjoyed the last sentence ... 

He SHOULD be in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame … AND should be on that cover he mentions but for his books!



With Joel’s credentials … plus the fact that he was a voting member of The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame for YEARS … I agree that he belongs there.  (Joel confided in me that he ultimately quit The Rock Hall because of the way the voting was run … or perhaps more accurately, manipulated.  What a shame.  Great Idea … Best of Intentions … they just let the politics of it all get in the way of allowing The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame to serve its true purpose.  (kk)


Billboard Magazine remembers and salutes Irene Cara …

And her #1 Smash “Flashdance … What A Feeling!”  (kk)


Actress / singer Irene Cara poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, California, 1983. (Photo by Harry Langdon / Getty Images) Getty Images