Saturday, September 24, 2022
Friday, September 23, 2022
Lots of anticipation for the new Gavin Report book coming from Record Research … and Paul Haney tells us that pre-orders have been brisk ...
Well, this is Great!
I remember being introduced to that light blue mimeographed record tip sheet for the first time in 1960 when while beginning my early radio career as a promising young Hot Shot DJ during my High School Years at "the" small radio station where I was doing Top 40 (well, with "limitations," as Motown would not send us promo copies and the station was to . . . ah . . . "frugal" to buy them from our local record store, if even available!) in Rapid City, South Dakota! It was also my first Music Director position and "The Gavin Report '' was an important part of my reviewing new record releases for added on-air play in that and all my future Music Director positions!
It was my first in-depth look into the Hot-Hits, and those to be, of the day! Gavin made it feel more personal than reading Billboard then. I knew what day his "tip sheet" would arrive each week and I'd seek it out immediately upon my arrival at the radio station!
Good Morning, Kent:
I enjoyed the Mid-Week Comments.
I would be getting the new Whitburn book on Gavin if Joel had decided to include a summary of the Smooth Jazz charts from Gavin. At WNUA, we relied on the rankings from Radio & Records and Gavin for so many years.
I can’t imagine that ANYBODY saved all those old sheets from back in the day …
But I SURE would like to read thru them now, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.
Paul Haney explains a little bit more about how hard it was to track all of this chart information down … and some of the restrictions that went along with publishing it …
Thanks for the plug on the upcoming Gavin Report book. Initial orders have been very strong … it looks like a winner!
As you know, I was pushing hard for this book for many years. I had almost given up hope when we came across a near-complete collection of Gavin Reports housed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library Archives. We had to pay someone to scan those charts for us and then we had to track down a few private collectors for the missing issues. Thankfully, it all came together and I spent the past several months working on the actual week-by-week research (which is fun, but very time consuming).
Meanwhile, one of Joel's final projects was going thru the charts and looking for those records that never charted in Billboard. After he compiled that list, I then had to track down bio information on all of the "new" artists so we could include them in the book.
In the introduction, I will be giving a detailed explanation of how the charts changed over the years. Yes, Gavin's comments were very fun to read. However, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame only granted us permission to compile the chart data, so any reproductions of the actual issues themselves would be prohibited at this time. Needless to say, not many of those early issues survived over the years, so we were very fortunate to find them all.
As for the Variety charts, I would love to research those someday. The biggest obstacle is tracking down all of the charts. It would require some digging and I'm simply way too busy for that at this time! If anybody out there knows where to locate a complete collection, I'd be interested.
I am happy to put it out there to see what kind of Variety Pop Chart collections may be out there … and also ask Team Forgotten Hits if they have (or have access to) any of the original Gavin Reports that were sent out weekly to all the top Top 40 radio stations across the country … because I REALLY want a chance to read all of Bill Gavin’s reviews!!! (kk)
You can pre-order your (and save fifteen bucks when you do!) here:
Great work as always!
“Bella Linda” was the follow up to “Midnight Confessions” and I remember being a little disappointed after hearing it back then as it didn’t rock out like its predecessor and had strings all over it ... but over the years, I’ve come to like it a lot. I think we sometimes forget the “follow ups” weren’t always thought out by the band that way or weren’t necessarily recorded as such but that the record company just picked the next tune that was in the can and put it out there. I’ve always wondered how much Grill, Entner and all had to do with the songs that were released by them or the albums that came out. I suspect they were more players in someone else’s game and went along with it. Some of those songs were fantastic either way.
I don’t think that I’ve seen anything about the loss of Kal David last month. So sad as he was still out there playing and recording. As you surely know, he was Chicago born and had quite few bands in the 60’s including the Exceptions (with Peter Cetera and Marty Grebb) and then the Rovin Kind with Paul Cotton on Dunwich Records! Some nice mid 60’s garage sounds. Then they went on to form Illinois Speed Press.
But my favorite period of David’s is when he went to the Woodstock, NY, area in the early 70’s and did three albums with the Fabulous Rhinestones. Long lost albums but the music holds up. There’s a special sound that David, Grebb and Harvey Brooks made that encompassed soul, rock, country and a jazz tinge. “What a Wonderful Thing We Have” is such a classy song with some great playing and great melody. It was a single but didn’t make it, but I did hear it on college radio. David’s voice was very soulful and his guitar playing was always impressive and spirited. This era of music is quite special and there’s something organic in the sounds they were making in that NY countryside.
David continued into the present day with some fine, blues-based albums and continued to perform in CA, CT and overseas where I believe he had a pretty big following. Another under-appreciated great talent has left us.
Not the way you want to end the week … but Steve Perry is suing his former Journey bandmates Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain for trying to register twenty of the band’s best-known songs with a Journey trademark. (Since Perry has cowriting credit on the majority of these, I can see why he might feel he deserves a stake in the action!)
Cain and Schon want to use the song titles and lyrics as merchandising enticements by printing them on jackets, hats, T-shirts, etc.
Perry contends that the agreement entered into when all were part of the band was that any decision like this had to be endorsed by ALL parties involved … but says that Schon and Cain went behind his back to contract for the trademark and merchandise endorsements. (I’m thinking it’ll take a little while to resolve THIS one!!!)
Steve Perry has gone out of his way to disassociate and separate himself from Journey for many years now … so this is a rather sad way to “return to the fold” as it were. (kk)
Meanwhile, the surviving members of ZZ Top have gone out of their way to emblazon their logo on a brand new Tres Hombres Bourbon!
Bob Merlis tells us …
That little ol’ band from Texas is back with another iconic release: Tres Hombres ZZ Top - A Blend of Straight Bourbon Whiskey finished in American Single Malt Casks
Rock & Roll Hall of Famers ZZ Top announced today the launch of their second in a line of limited release whiskeys, Tres Hombres Bourbon. This second expression follows its collaborative “Texas Whisky,” first released in November, 2021.
Tres Hombres Bourbon is made from three classic grains, three distinct mashbills, and three fierce years baked in the Southern heat - harkening back to classic Southern blues, amplified by the crunch of Texas rock n' roll, and saturated in the tone of American Single Malt. Here's to memories formed over a full glass with friends at your side, and the music turned up loud!
ZZ Top has been synonymous with all that is the Lone Star State for more than five decades. Named the “Official Heroes'' of the State of Texas and renowned for their signature blues-rock sound, ZZ Top’s studio albums have sold an estimated 50 million albums worldwide and continuing.
“The launch of our 2021 Texas Whisky was an overwhelming success,” said Carl Stubner, Manager of ZZ Top. “We look forward to sharing this new sweeter expression with our fans and friends to enjoy raising a glass to followers of good whisky across the country.
Tres Hombres Bourbon will be available beginning this week at select retailers in Austin, Dallas and Houston.
To learn more about ZZ Top, please visit www.ZZTop.com
You posted that Jim Post, the male half of the songsters Friend and Lover, passed away.
In 1959 on the Crest record label, he had a record IF HE WERE IN HIS TEENS b/w WALK AWAY, both songs of which he co-wrote with Doree Post. She was credited on the record label as well. Don't know roughly who Doree Post was, probably his wife at the time, but I’m not sure. They made some five or six other records on Crest but the one I listed is the only one I have and the only one to my knowledge which made our local top 40 radio weekly survey.
Also, in 1962 on the DJB record label, he and Doree Post again, had a record HOMING PIGEON as the "A" side of the record with again WALK AWAY being the "B" side. Don't know why that song was put again on one of their records. HOMING PIGEON. I checked and HOMING PIGEON peaked at #20 in July of 1962 here in OKC. Don't know offhand if he had other records on DJB.
As I recall, Jim Post enjoyed a rather lengthy career in the folk and coffee house universe.
Not being familiar with these earlier recordings, I checked to see if any of these managed to chart nationally, but apparently they did not.
I could only find a few YouTube videos of the duo … and none were for the songs you mentioned … so charting Top 20 in Oklahoma is really quite a feat! (kk)
I couldn’t believe this when I saw it …
Rick Nelson’s twins, Matthew and Gunnar Nelson, have now turned 55!!! (They were 18 years old when their father’s plane went down in 1985.) Wow!
Still performing … and still sounding great … and yeah, their hair’s a little bit shorter now, too! (lol) kk
Yesterday we ran a link to a Harvey Kubernik piece on Elton John ... as well as part of an interview that Harvey conducted with Kim Fowley ...
I got this too late to include it, but it kind of ties these two topics together!
KIM FOWLEY: Danny Hutton of Three Dog Night used to tout Elton in 1969. Danny discovered Elton when he brought two Elton / Bernie Taupin tunes, including 'Lady Samantha' to cover when Elton, then Reg, was still working for Dick James Music. Danny in the mid-sixties was my driver. I recorded him for Challenge and Invictor Records. His mother was my landlady. Danny was, and is, cool.
In the late summer of 1970, I was living in Sweden. I was at an outdoor music festival and onstage with P.J. Proby. We followed the Move. Elton was there and playing piano with Blue Mink at the time. They followed us. Elton said to me, “I remember you when you were on Tops of the Pops, singing ‘They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!’” I was on that 1966 TV show in England, with Los Bravos and the Small Faces. I told Elton, at that 1970 festival in Sweden, “Pay attention to Danny Hutton when you come to town. He will steer you through L.A., and you will survive because of him.” I wished him luck. That was a Saturday night, and on the following Monday, he left for Hollywood.
his Troubadour shows, Elton did come up to Danny’s house on Lookout
Mountain and played piano. Danny also took Elton for his first Hollywood
meal, at Billy James’s Black Rabbit Inn."
We've been looking back all year long as part of our long-running Fifty Year Flashback series, running a different chart from a different state (except Vermont, of course ... I still don't get what's up with that!!!) every week, effectively showing you the biggest hits from coast-to-coast.
Over the past 20+ years of doing Forgotten Hits, I have heard from many readers who have proclaimed 1972 as the last great year for Top 40 Radio. (I, myself, found 1973 and 1974 to be incredibly boring years in music ... things picked up a little bit in 1975, which was a bit encouraging ... and then disco hit ... need I say more???)
But in 1972, you had a little bit of everything ...
Power Pop like The Raspberries and Badfinger and a flat-out rocker by The Hollies with "Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress)," Harry Nilsson's #1 Hit "Without You" (itself a Badfinger song!), a resurgence of '50's rock and roll artists like Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Rick Nelson all scoring Top Five Hits, brand new artists, some of whom would go on to become superstars, earning their first hits (like The Eagles, America, The Doobie Brothers, Seals and Crofts and others), crossover soul hits from The Spinners, The O'Jays, The Chi-Lites, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes and more ... and even some of our local guys like Chicago, The New Colony Six and Jamestown Massacre.
Well, tomorrow night we'll be playing them all as Phil Nee and I recap our Top 40 Favorites from 1972 on Phil's "Those Were The Days" radio program. (We'll even throw in a couple of "guilty pleasures" along the way!)
We each picked our personal Top 40 Favorites independently of one another and, believe or not, out of 80 potential tunes, we only picked NINE in common ... so that means you'll get to hear a wide variety of music.
It all kicks off at 6 pm (Central Time) and will run thru Midnight Saturday Night ... and we hope you'll tune in and join in on the fun.
You can listen live here: WRCO AM FM Radio Richland Center Wisconsin
Thursday, September 22, 2022
Good Morning, Kent:
I enjoyed the commentary this morning on our “Comings and Goings” Weekend joint venture. We received several messages on it from listeners, all positive.
The best one was this from Tom Havlicek of the southwest side:
Good Day Rick,
Hope you had an enjoyable weekend.
Whoever came up with the Coming & Going Weekend, I take my hat off to that GREAT idea!!! I really enjoyed it because there were so many of those fantastic songs. Some I forgot about. Your playlist seemed like it was a lot bigger than usual. Saturday at 12:08 I heard a song by Marvin Gaye, "Come Get Into This," which I never heard before from 1970. Nobody played it on the radio. I could have been loving it for the past 50 years. "Anna" by the Beatles followed, which is one of my favorites. And now A One Hit Wonder feature this weekend ...YES!
I'm hoping the Coming & Going weekend is going to be a regular feature. You should be getting a lot of positive feedback if everyone else enjoyed it as much as I did.
Can you play that Marvin Gaye song more often even as a deep track?.
So, as Tom says, hats off to you, Kent, for coming up with the concept.
Also, more than one listener asked us to repeat the feature, which is always a positive sign.
We appreciate the chance to partner with you on this. It was fun.
When all was said and done, I think I came up with something like 205 potential titles ... and you added quite a few to that list. (If this is going to become a repeat feature, I'll have to incorporate all of the songs that you selected into my database, which should ultimately give us a few new selections for the next time you run this feature. I really liked the "Something's Coming Up" Barry Manilow suggestion, too, which came from one of our readers. And I would reiterate that "Going Going Gone" by Brook Benton is a GREAT track ... just not a familiar one.
As I said, I love putting together these "Specialty Weekends" because it allows you the chance to step outside the box every now and then and test the waters by playing something off the usual play list. As you heard, some of these turn into very interesting surprises "likes" by your listeners ... which may encourage you to mix in a few more surprises every now and then into your regular programming. (Although I've got to admit that Me-TV-FM has one of the largest playlists out there ... especially for an over-the-air radio station!) And, as I have always said, streaming has brought you a whole new, worldwide audience who can now appreciate what we here in Chicago have been enjoying for several years now.
Sounds like this was a Win / Win all the way around. Thanks for sharing! (kk)
>>>Have you seen this? Somebody took the WLS Music Montage that aired as part of Rewound Radio’s Labor Day Weekend Salute to WLS and WCFL and “illustrated” it on YouTube! It’ll take you about a half hour to watch the whole thing … but this medley was so well put together that it’s always a joy to listen to it again! (kk)
>>>What’s REALLY odd about this is that it was first posted in 2012!!! That’s TEN YEARS AGO!!! And yet it’s got the Scott Childers update that takes you through 1989 … so I’m not exactly sure just WHAT the deal is here … but it’s almost impossible not to give it a listen. So enjoy! (kk)
Yes, a local video producer and WLS fan asked me for a copy many years ago. I was amazed at how much work went into him putting that together. The audio clips were more than enough for me, haha!
Interestingly enough, as there is a story about the original Montage, my remix has a backstory as well!
I always found the montage fascinating. In fact, when I was young, I'd make my own montages (different from the WLS edits), using tape, editing block and a razor! I originally started working on my WLS version in the early 2000's. It was a way for me to get used to working with DAW, specifically Cool Edit Pro (now known as Adobe Audition.) I started with the montage because I figured there is a lot of editing and fading and it would be a great exercise. After doing one or two year blocks, I decided to keep going. Once I finished, I had my copy of the WLS montage. Over the years, I have re-listened to or have located better or different years of the original. As my digital editing skills improved or I noticed some songs were missing or the wrong versions were being used, I would do some work on those segments. All the WLS years are divided into blocks, so it made it easier to work on and/or change out jingles. My copy does have some subtle differences from the original. Obviously, it is stereo. I also fixed some song speed issues the original had. Late 80s versions had songs that didn't belong there, such as "Hold Me Now' in the 1986 version. Plus, I restored the original edits of songs that were trimmed over the years when they tried to keep it around 20 minutes.
I also mixed the alternate 64/65 block. For some time, WLS had different songs in that block, which were less reliant on The Beatles. At some point, they went back to the version they used the most. I believe that block appears in the WABC version.
In fact, my version continued after 1989. I have a version that (at this point) goes to 2018! I figured why not keep going, so I would add on every year, just like WLS did. For many years, I would run the montage (minus the WLS jingles) after our countdown on Star 96.7, beginning at the 1990 point. I haven't updated since 2019, but I may try to bring it up to date. I think it runs about 50 minutes.
I have started going over the blocks after our Rewound and have done a bit of remixing of some of the years. There have been little "errors" that I have left in over the years that probably only I notice. We should have a refreshed version for next year’s show!
And that's the montage story!
R. Scott Childers
I think it’s great that you have kept this going and been able to add to it every year. I get that for the WLS thing, stopping at 1989 makes perfect sense because that’s when they stopped being who they were. It’s interesting that 1955 – 1989 now defines The Top 40 Rock Era … after that, pretty much everything was up for grabs without any rhyme or reason to ranking the hits. I’d love to hear your long, unedited version some day! (Although I can’t promise you how many songs I’ll know once you get past 1985, which is where my stuff has typically cut off!)
1955 – 1985 seemed to be the best representation of Top 40 Radio … but artists who were continuing to have hits still got a nod from me … how can you not include songs like “You Got It” by Roy Orbison and “Got My Mind Set On You” by George Harrison and “Kokomo” by The Beach Boys?!?! If nothing else, these are “legacy artists” who enjoyed the bulk of their career during that 1955 – 1985 era. But then it gets really tough because part of me wants to include The Traveling Wilburys (which, of course, included Harrison and Orbison) and once you commit, you can’t really pick and choose your “exceptions to the rule!” Whitburn’s latest book, spotlighting the Top Pop Singles from 1955 – 1989 only helped to solidify this cut-off point. (I’m really curious to see what kind of market there’ll be for the upcoming 1990 – 2022 edition. As a completist, I feel the need to have a copy … but I can’t imagine what I’ll ever be looking up in that edition!) I find myself looking WAY more forward to the upcoming Gavin Report book. (kk)
[Once again, Forgotten Hits gives you the inside scoop and the back story from the guys who were there CREATING all this great stuff! Thank you, Scott, for filling us in.] - kk
Thanks so much for all your amazing working getting the Labor Day Weekend for WLS / WCFL going. I know you had an amazing group of folks helping, but from what I can tell, you lead the charge to begin with.
I’d sure love to have a repeat.
Bill live from MN.
(By the way, I've sent along a copy of a special Ron Riley / Clark Weber piece that was sent over to the GI's serving in Viet Nam as a means of helping to entertain the troops. I didn’t know if you already had this or not, but I figured I’d send it to you just in case you don’t have it. It’s a pretty lo-fi MP3, but it’s still nice to find these when I can.)
I actually jumped on the WLS / WCFL Rewound bandwagon pretty late in the came ... but as soon as I heard about it from Chuck Buell (who had already recorded a couple of bits to be used as promos), I knew that I wanted to be involved. Trust me ... there were a TON of people working on this thing behind the scenes before I ever got involved ... but I figured that perhaps I could help them fill some of the gaps but putting them in contact with some of the jocks we've been fortunate to interact with over the years. I think it worked out great.
Yes, I do have a copy of that Riley / Weber "public service announcement." Amazing to think that these guys were so popular they were recording "messages from home" for the poor guys stuck over in the jungles of Viet Nam.
The Riley / Weber feud was a BIG deal on the radio back in the '60's ... I'm hoping we can find some of THOSE clips to air during next year's broadcast. Again, if ANYBODY out there has quality air checks from WLS and WCFL from the '60's and '70's, we would love to hear from you. It'd be cool to come up with 35 - 50% of brand new material to air when Rewound Radio celebrates these two AM giants again next Labor Day Weekend! (kk)
And just one more quick reminder that this Saturday Night Phil Nee and I will be playing back some of our personal favorites from 1972.
You can catch it all from 6 pm - Midnight right here:
Best Classic Bands once again saluted The WLS Silver Dollar Survey last week (damn, I wonder where they came up with THAT idea!!!), this time spotlighting some of the biggest hits of September, 1964 … (I wish they’d show a picture of the actual chart when they do this … guys, if you need a copy, just let us know … we plug your efforts every time anyway!!! Lol)
WLS' Top 40 Chart was down to just the Top 30 positions for a short period of time as they were now also featuring a Top 10 R&B chart as part of their Silver Dollar Survey. (I was still a fairly new listener at this point ... but as I recall, other than Art Roberts, they didn't really play a lot of tracks from this list during their normal broadcast hours.) Interestingly enough, only one track ("Baby I Need Your Lovin'" by The Four Tops) crossed over to the pop chart as well. (kk)
Here’s the latest ABBA lyric video …
For their 1976 Top Ten Hit, “Fernando” …
Our FH Buddy Harvey Kubernik profiles Elton John …
Harvey also sent us this interesting piece he did with Kim Fowley back in 2012, talking about The Beatles …
“In 1963 I was driving with Danny Hutton on the way to the beach, and the Beatles’ ‘Please Please Me’ came on the radio, and we both said, ‘The Everly Brothers with a third harmony part and Carole King and Gerry Goffin melodies. This works!’
“I was with Danny when I saw them on The Ed Sullivan Show. It was in West L.A. Pacific Palisades or Brentwood area, with some girls and their family watching TV. It was four guys dressed alike with the same haircut doing uniformity rock. It was like a miniature army up there. They had catchy songs on television with yelling girls. It was fine.
I’d been on TV before and I had also seen crowd bedlam around black R&B shows I was at. But they were white and they had clothing and hair from somewhere else. Some other universe. I saw human male dolls for little girls to play with, and their hair, shoes, Beatle boots, clothes, were unique. The whole thing was new. Even though it wasn’t new to a lot of people.
“In Record World in 1964, the third music trade magazine in the U.S. behind Billboard and Cash Box, I had just produced the No. 1 hit ‘Popsicles and Icicles’ by the Murmaids. The next week ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ replaced me. So I figured everybody was knocked out. Only people like Terry Stafford with ‘Suspicion,’ ‘Dawn’ by the Four Seasons and Louie Armstrong with ‘What a Wonderful World’ had hits. So I went to England to learn what it was that caused everything to change. That’s all reflex.
“When the Beatles arrived and charted in America, everything became different. One day it changed, just like one day it changed when Elvis Presley arrived. One day it changed when Frank Sinatra arrived. One day it changed when Enrico Caruso arrived. And when Alexander’s Ragtime Band arrived. I mean, they are certain musical moments that arrived without notice, and if you were in the industry or the media or the public, you dealt with it. Whether you wanted to or not. And you had to co-exist with it and interact with it and rebuild around the change. Just like the horse to the horse-and- buggy and then the locomotive. Black-and- white television turning into color. Same sex marriage. All those things.
“America and Hollywood in late 1963 was dealing with the loss of John F. Kennedy. When the Beatles took over the charts and AM radio playlists, locally and nationally, I was a guy who had three hit records already. On the day JFK died, I sold 88,000 copies of the Murmaids’ ‘Popsicles and Icicles.’ People were really sad and needed a 45rpm
“All during 1963 a lot of regional labels passed on the Beatles. The Hollywood and L.A. record companies still had a shirt and tie vibe. This was before the Beatles scored big with ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand.’ I had been at Capitol Records.
“George Martin was the catalyst for the embryonic dreams of Lennon, McCartney, Starkey and Harrison. Martin was able to consolidate and expand their anticipation. He was a great editor.
“It was in 1964 when Murray Deutch, executive VP of the United Artists music division came in, who didn’t care about the Beatles’ movie 'A Hard Day’s Night,' they just wanted the soundtrack override. That’s what he said to me. Murray had worked with Buddy Holly and now had the James Bond franchise. Mike Stewart of United Artists Records in America got the rights domestically, even though the Beatles were on Capitol Records.
“'A Hard Day’s Night' was a big, important moment in the development and the evolution of the rock song in film and the movie soundtrack as a retail item and stand-alone product itself.
“Then, in 1964, I was at Dick James Music office in England hustling. They were the Beatles’ original music publishers via Northern Songs. Here come the four Beatles in suits with the neckties, and Brian Epstein, their manager, ran in and said, ‘Everybody stand up and applaud the boys.’ And they walked in the door.
“I did meet Brian Epstein one time. It was in an underground garage at a hotel after a party and cars were being brought around. I said, ‘What is the secret of the Beatles’ success?’ And he replied, ‘Surround your phenomena with specialists. It’s a line in my book, 'A Cellar Full of Noise.' Why don’t you buy it and read it?’
“I met Ringo on two different occasions ... once in 1964, with PJ Proby at the Ad Lib Club when I was introduced to him as the co-producer and co-publisher of ‘Alley Oop’ by the Hollywood Argyles.
"Ringo told me, ‘I sang lead on that!’ He did it with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. It was one of his show pieces as a singing drummer. He told me he sang lead and the Beatles recorded it along with multiple songs at Abbey Road. They did it but it was never mixed down or issued. But it’s in the vaults at the studio.
“I then saw him in the early ‘90s at a Todd Rundgren party. I said, ‘Did you really sing ‘Alley Oop’ with the Beatles and it’s in the can at Abbey Road?’
“‘Yes, and I’ll tell you why I remember. Because I didn’t sing that many songs with the Beatles in the studio because we had three great lead singers. I sang some songs but not as many as they sang lead on. So I always remember the songs I sang lead on.’
“In 1966 at the Ad Lib Paul McCartney was there, disguised and dressed as an Arab and walking around. I also met him at a party he politely crashed in St. John’s Wood down the street from him. Paul saw a bunch of cars parked and he dropped in to take a look, jumped back in his own car and split.
“Also in 1966, I spent some time with John and Paul in London. Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys was in town doing advance publicity for the Beach Boys’ 'Pet Sounds' and had an acetate pressing with him. I was asked to bring the Who’s Keith Moon over, who brought John and Paul to the hotel room. They were both very impressed by the recording, left the hotel and went into the recording studio later and did ‘Here, There and Everywhere’ for Revolver. The both of them were able to digest and gauge the whole essence of Pet Sounds in one listening."
And, with the David Bowie craze kicking in again (thanks to this new film release), a short bit on that as well … including some commentary from Peter Noone …
David Bowie Moonage Daydream Documentary ITo Debut September 16th
Harvey Kubernik © 2022
A documentary on David Bowie, Moonage Daydream, directed by Brett Morgen, premiered at Cannes, 2022 … and now has just debuted in theaters, exclusively in IMAX, beginning on September 16th.
The documentary spans Bowie’s 54-year career with never-before-seen footage of the icon and, its soundtrack is crafted in 12.0, 7.1, and 5.1 stems for an immersive sonic experience tailored to specific theaters.
Moonage Daydream breaks new ground in the documentary frame game, just like David Bowie did in his musical and sonic ventures. Morgen positioned Bowie as the principal narrator of his own journey, culled from archival footage authorized from his estate, is a rewarding, absorbing, and thrilling cinematic experience.
I met David Bowie a handful of times, and interviewed him for the now defunct Melody Maker in their October 25, 1976 issue.
In my brief 1975 Melody Maker dialogue with Bowie, he commented on his just completed feature-length movie The Man Who Fell To Earth. Some of the soundtrack was done at Cherokee. It was obvious that David had already departed visually, musically and emotionally from the self-imposed world of Ziggy Stardust character into his current cinematic journey.
“The difference between film acting and stage acting is enormous. On stage you are in total control, whereas in a film the actors are instruments of the director. I think a stage performance is more of a ceremony and one plays the high priest. But in a film, you are evoking a spirit within yourself. You feel a tremendous responsibility of having the power to bring something to life. For example, Major Tom in ‘Space Oddity.’” David was also particularly fond of his concert recording, David Bowie: Live Santa Monica ’72.
“I can tell that I’m totally into being Ziggy by this stage of our touring. It’s no longer an act; I am him. This would be around the tenth American show for us and you can hear that we are all pretty high on ourselves. We trainwreck a couple of things, I miss some words and sometimes you wouldn’t know that pianist Mike Garson was onstage with us, but overall, I really treasure this bootleg. Mick Ronson is at his blistering best.”
I conducted interviews over the last decade with engineers, record producers, musicians and film makers who collaborated with Bowie.
Peter Noone: (Herman’s Hermits): I’d seen Bowie with “Space Oddity.” What happens is our [record producer] Mickie Most used to sit in his office on Oxford Street. And on one side of the table was Mickie Most and the other side was Peter Grant who was the beginnings of Led Zeppelin and all that stuff. [Grant managed the band]
We used to go up there, laugh and tell stories and Peter would ask me stories about touring. We’d get down and have a laugh. There was no drinking. Just an office with people pretending to be doing business. And Mickie always had the pile of acetates. And he puts on this “Oh You Pretty Thing.” And Mickie calls me and says, “Come up to the office.” I have nothing going on in my world except for show business. Right? ‘Listen to this ... I’ve got your first solo single.’ And he plays “Oh You Pretty Things” and says, “Let’s go and record it and see how it works out.”
So, Bowie comes over to the studio to show us how to play the song. And nobody can play it, so he had to. Mickie said, “Just play it once all the way through.” And we’ll cut the tape and make it three times as long. So, Bowie sits down at the piano and plays it in F sharp. Nobody can play that song in F Sharp still. But he could. And Herbie Flowers was the bass player. And it all turned into magic like they do. I then went on to do [the television program] Tops of the Pops. And in those days if you wanted to mime to the track, you had to have the musicians who were on the record. So, we all showed up and David Bowie showed up in a dress. Which was not very “Herman’s Hermits” style.