Friday, January 30, 2009

Classic Rock Videos

The Beatles - All My Loving

Rock & Roll Tidbits

Rocky Burnette's "Tired Of Toein' The Line" was written in half an hour and was originally released as the "B" side of a single called "Clowns From Outerspace.” After EMI Records re-released it as an "A" side, the song became a #8 hit in the US.

The inspiration for Tommy Tutone's 1982 hit "867-5309 / Jenny" actually came from a girl named Jenny whose parent's phone number really was 867-5309.

In the late 60’s, Maurice Gibb (of the Bee Gees) loved to drive his cars, especially his Rolls-Royce. However, he had a problem; he was so short that he had to sit on a phone book to see over the hood.

Danny and The Juniors got their big break when they were called to fill in for a group that failed to show up for Dick Clark’s American Bandstand show in Philadelphia. They lip-synced "At The Hop,” which then took off like a rocket to #1 in the US. A few years later, Chubby Checker was invited to make his first TV appearance on Bandstand when Danny and The Juniors didn't show.

When Bob Dylan became a born-again Christian in 1978, he tried to convince his record producer Jerry Wexler to join the flock. No matter how hard he tried, Dylan’s efforts were futile as Wexler explained: “Bob, you’re dealing with a sixty-two year old confirmed Jewish atheist. I’m hopeless. Let’s just make an album.”

Elvis Presley was always known as a spiritual person. In fact, he always wore a Christian cross, a Star of David and the Hebrew letter Chi. As Presley stated: “I don’t want to miss out on Heaven due to a technicality.”

For a religious man, Elvis had some odd quirks, including shooting at television sets whenever annoying performers were on. One of his favorite ‘shoot the TV’ episodes was whenever singer Robert Goulet was on a show.

In the spring of 1966, jam rockers the Grateful Dead moved to Rancho Olompali off of California Highway 101. They posted a sign out front stating: “No Trespassing- Violators will Be Experimented Upon.”

Vocalist David Dee of the British rock group Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, was a former policeman who was at the scene of the automobile accident that took the life of American rocker Eddie Cochran and injured Gene Vincent in April 1960. Dee rescued Cochran's guitar from the wreck and held it until it could be returned, undamaged, to Cochran's family.

It’s reported that while Fleetwood Mac was recording their legendary album “Rumors” in 1977, the group snorted so much cocaine that they insisted that their dealer be credited on the LP. The dilemma was solved when the dealer was killed before the album was released.

During this same recording session, Fleetwood Mac spent four days trying to tune a piano; then wound up bringing in nine different pianos- only to decide to not even use a piano after all.

While he was living with his fiancĂ©e Linda Ann Woodrow and his song writing partner Bernie Taupin, Elton John became depressed. But Taupin and Woodrow found him before he could harm himself. However, it was only a half-hearted attempt as Taupin explains: “He had his head in the gas range oven, but he only turned the gas on to low and left the kitchen window open. He even thought to take a cushion to rest his head on.”

After recording the iconic album “Pet Sounds,” Brian Wilson decided he needed to do some redecorating. So he turned his den (where his piano was located) into a giant sandbox so he could “feel the sand under his feet” as he wrote music.

Early manufacturers of Jukeboxes never referred to them as "jukeboxes,” they called them Automatic Coin-Operated Phonographs. The term "juke" is Southern US slang for dancing.

Keith Moon of the Who was one strange fellow. After his wife Kim left the rocking drummer in 1973 she sighed, “He’ll wake up in the morning and decide to be Adolph Hitler for the day. And he is Adolph Hitler.”

The late Freddie Mercury of Queen and his friends often enjoyed feasting on marijuana-filled brownies. On one particular rowdy night, the police arrived and asked the stoned rockers to quiet down. Mercury offered the officers some brownies, which they happily ate. Recalled Mercury, “I would love to have been a fly on the windscreen of their police car after about half an hour.”

In December, 1962, The Four Season's version of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" reached number 23 on the Billboard singles chart. The song was originally a hit for George Hall in 1934.

Album Cover Art

Continuing our new feature, let's explore some great album cover art:

CANNIBAL CORPSE: "Evisceration Plague"

Want to see some awesome album cover art? Check out "Evisceration Plague," the new album from death metal veterans CANNIBAL CORPSE. "Evisceration Plague" is scheduled for release on February 3, 2009 via Metal Blade Records.

Commented bassist Alex Webster: "In CANNIBAL CORPSE, our goal has always been to try and make each new album we record our heaviest. That goal was a bit more challenging this time since we were extremely satisfied with our last album 'Kill', but we knew that by working with producer Erik Rutan at Mana Recording Studios again, we would be able to start at that same level of heaviness and take it even further. Now that we can hear the finished product, I would say we've been able to achieve this goal, and I think our fans will agree. 'Evisceration Plague' has the best guitar sound we've ever recorded, and the entire band has never played with more precision and power. We can't wait until you all get a chance to hear the album in early 2009, because we think you'll be as happy with it as we are."

"Evisceration Plague" will be available as a limited-edition digipack including a bonus track and bonus DVD, jewelcase CD and on limited splatter vinyl.

Music News & Notes

McCartney's Amoeba's Secret Released

(PR) On June 27, 2007, Paul McCartney and his great band shocked the music world by performing a surprise, first ever in-store concert at famed Los Angeles record shop, Amoeba Records. Four songs from this now legendary show were recorded and made available on limited edition vinyl entitled Amoeba's Secret. On January 27, 2009 this historic performance will be available exclusively in the U.S., for the first time ever on CD and digitally.

The CD is packaged in a unique edition mini-LP jacket and features four songs: "Only Mama Knows" and "That Was Me" from McCartney's Hear Music release Memory Almost Full, the obscure Wings gem "C Moon" and the Beatles classic "I Saw Her Standing There."

In December, McCartney received two 2009 Grammy Award nominations from Amoeba's Secret including Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "That Was Me" and Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance for "I Saw Her Standing There."

The lucky people who camped out for two days to attend this rare performance know how special that night was. Now the rest of us have a chance to experience one of popular music's true icons in such an unusual and intimate setting.


Diamond To Give

Neil Diamond has turned over the profits from his latest tour's t-shirt and souvenir sales to the victims of last summer's hurricane Ike.

He told CNN, "Hurricane Ike hit southern Texas so fiercely and has been forgotten about by the rest of the country - but these people are still in desperate straits, and are in dire need of our help. I saw what was going on. The mayor of Houston took me around, and he told me about it and introduced me to some people.

"The next day, I drove down to some of the hardest-hit areas, and I just felt that I had to do something, and I felt that maybe my audience would help me out with it."


Whiskey-A-Go-Go Ave

Mickey Dolenz (Monkees), John Densmore (Doors), Lou Adler, Jack Nicholson and Michelle Phillips (Mamas & the Papas) were among the people attending the unveiling of a street sign renaming the street outside of Whiskey-A-Go-Go after its late owner, Elmer Valentine. John Mayall and Johnny Rivers were among those who played a tribute show at the club.

[Vinyl fights on in a digital world]

Despite ease, popularity of music downloads vintage LPs maintain niche fan base

By: Elizabeth Ghiorso

A death match between vinyl and MP3 is like a standoff between Mr. Miyagi and Katy Perry. In other words, it's a fight between something awesome and something popular.

MP3s, like Katy Perry, are trendy, easy and cheap. However, for those who call themselves authentic audiophiles, nothing beats vinyl for depth and richness of sound.

The LP offers a complete experience and a culture all its own - a culture that has transcended all other music mediums and carried vinyl into the digital age.

Why are vinyl records still thriving after all this time? The answer is simple; vinyl records, like Mr. Miyagi, kick ass.

While iTunes may be shiny and hip, digital downloads don't come close to the record store experience. No degree of convenience beats the atmosphere, the crowd or the prices at the local vinyl shop. Even big record stores like Amoeba and huge, corporate mega-stores like Virgin bring music-lovers together and provide a common ground for punkers and pianists alike.

The record store is a social mecca - a place for exchange and free-expression. It's the only place where people can run their fingers along the tops of hundreds of record jackets until they find one that speaks to their situation, one that they just can't live without. iTunes is just a place to buy some music.

"When you listen to a record, you are listening to the music the way it was meant to be heard," said Johnny, the lead singer and guitarist of Chico's rockabilly/punk band The Shankers.

Johnny, who goes by the one-name moniker ala Prince, works at Melody Records, and when I walked in, he was about to sell a few LPs to Neem-I, a local DJ on KZFR who hosts the show Roots & Culture.

Neem-I was buying records for the first time because he had recently received some equipment that allowed him to spin vinyl, he said. He had been thinking about checking out some records for a long time and now he was "feelin' it."

Johnny related the difference between records and MP3s to that of driving an automatic or a stick shift.

"If you really want the experience of driving a car, you drive a stick," he said. "But if you want to pick your nose and just cruise, you drive an automatic.

Johnny also shed some light on the contrast from a musician's perspective.

"For a band, vinyl is a huge deal," he said. "Any Joe Blow can put something on CD, but it's a commitment to put something on vinyl."

The further into the vinyl community one gets, the more one realizes that vinyl records are personal to people. Each record is an individual entity and most have stories to go along with them.

"The first record I ever got - I blackmailed my sister to take me to a record store," said Brad Finney, the singer and guitarist behind Chico's acoustic punk-rock band, Nothing Left.

Vinyl ownership carries a sense of nostalgia for Finney.

"I have been collecting records since I was 14 years old," he said. "They all have stories."

Vinyl records are important to Finney because they represent his history, he said.

"I grew up in Southern California," Finney said. "I would mow lawns and make some cash and then blow it all on a bunch of 7-inches or a few LPs."

Vinyl aficionados crave not only the killer sound of the record but the full-bodied experience that comes with it. Vinyl isn't just the best way to listen to music; it's a lifestyle. Each record in a collection represents both the true intentions of the artist and the circumstances of the collector.

Searching for scratches, scouring the planet for original presses and hearing that little pop as the turntable switches sides adds to the romance of the vinyl experience.

As for the MP3 experience - there isn't one. Buying and listening to music online is commercial and soulless. Online music sources have no stoned record-store clerks, no stale incense smell, no faded album art, and no cliche political bumper stickers. MP3s are songs stripped of artistic identity and individuality; they are lost in ambiguity.

If all you want is the latest Taylor Swift single, then you may be better off with iTunes. But if you want to really hear some music, feel the depth of sound, experience the true intentions of the artist and kick ass like Mr. Miyagi, then vinyl is the way to go.

Reprinted By Permission

John Martyn (1948-2009)

U.K. singer/songwriter John Martyn passed away Thursday at the age of 60. The cause of death is unknown at this time.

The announcement came with a posting on his website:

With heavy heart and an unbearable sense of loss we must announce that John died this morning.

Martyn began his career at the age of 17, playing a mix of American blues, traditional British music and the folk music of Davey Graham. Once established, he moved to London where he became a regular at the club Cousins.

In early-1968, Martyn was the first solo white artist to be signed to the reggae-based Island Records with his first album, London Conversation, being released in February of that year. While his initial effort was very much folk, each subsequent release found him experimenting with new sounds from jazz, blues and rock.

Along with being a singer and songwriter, Martyn also was an innovator, adding new effects to his sound. His most famous, the Echoplex, allowed him to loop layers of his own guitar on top of itself, using it in both live gigs and studio settings.

In the mid-70's, Martyn would battle alcoholism and a crumbling marriage to his occasional singing partner, Beverley Kutner. The problems would take their toll as his recording career began to go downhill and his live performances were marred by inappropriate song choices for the types of crowds.

During the 80's, friend Phil Collins tried to help the singer revive his career with the critically acclaimed albums Glorious Fool and Well Kept Secret, but the public did not take much notices. By 1988, Island had dropped Martyn from their roster.

Since 1990, Martyn had continued to record, mixing in even more eclectic styles such as trip-hop and funk. While he never rebuilt his original sales success, he remained an influential artist to many British musicians.

He was also confined to a wheelchair during his final years after having a leg amputated in 2003 when a cyst burst.

Phil Collins made a statement about Martyn's passing. "John's passing is terribly, terribly sad. I had worked with and known him since the late 1970s and he was a great friend. He was uncompromising, which made him infuriating to some people, but he was unique and we'll never see the likes of him again.
"I loved him dearly and will miss him very much."

Martyn received an Order of the British Empire at this month's New Year's Honors by Queen Elizabeth and had received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the BBC2 Radio's Folk Awards last February. Island Records celebrated his 60th birthday last September with the release of the box set, Ain't No Saint.


Belle and Sebastian Pick Cover-Art Contest Winner

Belle and Sebastian have picked their favorite stand-in cover for their latest album.

The act picked French artist Colocho's alternate cover for its limited-edition Record Store Day reissue of its The BBC Sessions.

In addition to getting a reworked cover out of Colocho without having to invest a cent, the Scottish indie band will also be able to save all kinds of mad cash printing the cover in black and white instead of having to spring for a four-color separation! That's great news in these tough economic times.

This Date In Music History-January 30


Jody Watley (1961)

Phil Collins (1951)

Martyn Balin- Jefferson Airplane (1942)

Joe Terranova- Danny and the Juniors (1941)

Chicago soul singer Jackie Ross was born in 1946.

They Are Missed:

Steve Marriott, guitarist and singer/songwriter was born in 1947. Marriott was a member of Small Faces. He died in a house fire on April 20th 1991.

Blues guitarist, singer Sam Lightnin Hopkins died in 1982 (age 70)

Producer Bob Thiele (produced Teresa Brewer-- who he also married; Buddy Holly, the McGuire Sisters, Jackie Wilson, Quincy Jones and many more) died in 1996 (age 73).

The great New Orleans pianist Professor Longhair died of a heart attack in 1980 (age 61).


Although more than half a million jukeboxes were scattered around North America in 1955, US manufacturer AMI finally introduces the pay-for-play devices in the UK. Company president John Haddock says he intends to target the ever growing coffee house market first.

KISS played their first show at the Coventry Club in Queens, NY in 1973.

Elvis Presley recorded his version of "Blue Suede Shoes" in 1956.

After spending 11 weeks on the chart Britney Spears started a two week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1999 with “...Baby One More Time.” Britney's debut album also went to #1 on the US chart on the same day.

INXS had their first US #1 hit single in 1988 with “Need You Tonight.”

In 1969, the Beatles performed their final concert on the roof of the Apple offices in London's Saville Road. During the gig the band performed "Get Back." The set was halted after 42 minutes because an accountant at the nearby Royal Bank of Scotland complained about the noise. It had been 2½ years since the Beatles had played Candlestick Park, San Francisco, on August 29th, 1966.

In 1991, 22 years to the day that The Beatles played live on the roof of their London offices, Manchester band James played a live set on the roof of Manchester's Piccadilly radio station attracting several thousand on-lookers.

The Shirelles started a two week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1961 with “Will You Love Me Tomorrow;” it reached #4 in the UK.

The Bee Gees began recording "Jive Talkin" in 1975, which will become their second US chart topper and their fourteenth Billboard Top 20 hit. Barry Gibb's inspiration for the song came when his wife commented on the sound their car made while crossing a bridge over Biscayne Bay into Miami. She noted, "It's our drive talkin'."

In 1982, Hall & Oates' "I Can't Go for That" hit #1 on the Billboard Pop chart and the R&B chart simultaneously, one week after hitting #1 on the Disco chart. It becomes only the fourth single by a white act to reach the top of the R&B chart since 1965. The record was also a #8 hit in the UK.

The Name Game" by Shirley Ellis, reached #3 in the US in 1965.

Bobby Goldsboro recorded "Honey" in 1968.