Thursday, March 19, 2009

Classic Rock Videos

Stevie Wonder - Yester me Yester you Yesterday

Bird & Animal Names In Rock & Roll History- part two

Throughout music history there have been many bands that have adopted an "animal" or "bird" monikers to represent their band and their sound. Some artists even have a last name that fits into this category and in this continuing article series we will explore some of the unique "animal" and "bird" names and the diverse music that has been created by these groups or individuals.

As I prepared for this project, I did not realize the amount of bands and artists who fall into the category. There are so many new bands like Fleet Foxes, Minus The Bear, Weird Owl and Andrew Bird, Animal Collective, just to name a few, to add to the growing list (which is no particular order). If you have a particular band or artist that fits into this article series, please email me and I can add them to the growing and seemingly endless list. Look for this feature every Tuesday and Thursday. This should be a fun series! Here is part two:

In the last article, we talked about “animal” band names including the Teddy Bears, the novelty act the Chipmunks and of course led off with the British group The Animals. Let’s explore more “animal” group names in music history.

The Turtles first hit the charts in 1965 with a cover of a Bob Dylan tune, “It Ain’t Me Babe” on a “fish” record label called White Whale. They followed that Top Ten hit with several more pop rock gems including, “She’d Rather Be With Me” and “Elenore,” among others. They also secured a number one hit in the spring of 1967 with a song called “Happy Together.” Interestingly, the Turtles had recorded the song “Eve Of Destruction” on their LP “It Ain't Me Babe” in 1965, but did not release it as a single. The P. F. Sloan protest song ultimately went to the number one position after it was released by Barry McGuire.

At the end of the sixties, group members Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman hooked up with Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention and also performed on their own as Flo and Eddie. Kaylan and Volman sang backing vocals on several recordings by T.Rex, including their epic #1 hit "Get it On (Bang A Gong)" and albums by Electric Warrior and The Slider. They also sang backup on Bruce Springsteen's "Hungry Heart", from his album The River. They continue to perform today, both as Flo and Eddie and as the Turtles.

In 1966, an advertisement in the Hollywood Trade paper “Daily Variety” implored “folk and rock musicians-singers for acting roles in a new television series.” It is reported that more than 430 people answered the ad including Harry Nilsson, Danny Hutton (later to be with 3 Dog Night), songwriter Paul Williams and Stephen Stills (of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young fame), among others. Stills was rejected because his teeth and hair weren’t perfect, but he had a friend that resembled him. His friend, Peter Tork went into the audition, walked into a wall and the job was his and became part of the “made for TV” group The Monkees.

With songs written by some of the most talented songwriters of the time (including Gerry Goffin-Carole King, Neil Diamond, Neil Sedaka, Tommy Boyce-Bobby Hart among others), the Monkees achieved major pop rock success with such hits as the catchy rocker “Last Train To Clarksville,” the Neil Diamond written number one hit, “I’m A Believer,” (which was number one for an incredible seven weeks), the pop gem by Davy Jones called “Daydream Believer” and “Pleasant Valley Sunday” (which was written by the legendary song writing duo of Gerry Goffin and Carole King), among others and members Michael Nesmith, Davey Jones, Peter Tork and Mickey Dolenz became international superstars.

The television show, appropriately called the Monkees, featured the quartet in inane and slapstick sketches and also showcased their music. Despite the fact that the group was not permitted to play instruments on the records, the public gobbled up “Monkeemania.” But, with pressure from that same public and band member Michael Nesmith’s urging (and to deflect the growing public criticism), they started to play instruments on their third album “Headquarters.”

In one of the rock’s most embarrassing moments, in 1967 the Monkees toured with a gentleman named Jimi Hendrix as their opening act. But Monkee fans disliked the legendary guitar player (who was largely unknown here in the states, but had a strong following in Europe) and booed him. Finally, in New York, Hendrix had enough, flipped-off the screaming Monkee fans and quit the tour.

It is said that camera happy band members Davey Jones and Mickey Dolenz didn’t care much about the music. In fact, Dolenz was known to slip the cameraman twenty-five dollars to make sure he received the most close-ups. Jones then slipped the cameraman thirty-five dollars and promptly stole the show.

When MTV began re-broadcasting the television series in 1987, a second wave of "Monkeemania" gripped the nation as the group enjoyed a major revival in popularity that even put six of their old albums back onto the charts. A new best of "Then And Now" achieved platinum status and the band (minus Mike Nesmith) scored a Top 40 hit with a new song entitled 'That Was Then, This Is Now"; one of three new cuts recorded by the trio of Jones, Tork and Dolenz. The trio toured in the summer of '87 and went on to record a new album called "Pool It!" the following year. But, Nesmith had no interest in rejoining the group, but did join the band when they were awarded a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame in 1989. Nesmith relented in 1996 and returned to the band for an album called "Justus" which coincided with Rhino Records' twenty-one volume video set of the popular television show. Another "Greatest Hits" compilation album went gold in 2000.

In the next article of the series, we will continue to explore more "bird" and "animal" group names and artist names in rock and roll history.

Turtle’s Tidbits:

The Turtles were (1965–1967)

Howard Kaylan – vocals, Mark Volman - guitar, saxophone, vocals, Al Nichol - guitar Jim Tucker – guitar, Chuck Portz – bass, Don Murray - drums

Various reincarnations of the band have played together with different personnel, but the constant was always having Kaylan and Volman leading the bands.

In 1984, Kaylan and Volman legally regained the use of the Turtles name, and began touring as The Turtles... Featuring Flo and Eddie. Instead of trying to reunite with their earlier band mates, they began featuring all-star sidemen who had played with different groups.

Selected Cuts: Buy Turtles Music

US Top 10 singles:
1965 It Ain't Me Babe #8
1967 Happy Together #1
1967 She'd Rather Be With Me #3
1968 Elenore #6

Monkees’ Tidbits

Monkees critics complained that they were just a made-for-TV knockoff of the Beatles, but the Fab Four took it in stride, and welcomed the Monkees when they visited England. John Lennon publicly compared the Monkees' humor to The Marx Brothers, a high compliment indeed. In fact, Nesmith attended the "A Day in the Life" sessions at Abbey Road Studios and he can be seen in the Beatles' home movies, including one scene where he is conversing with Lennon (who called him “Monkee Man”).

On their third album, Headquarters (1967) the four Monkees actually wrote and played much of their own material. The album quickly shot to #1, but was bumped off the top slot when the Beatles released “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Interestingly, the Monkees outsold the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined in 1967.

In the 1990s, the Monkees continued to record new material, their 11th album, Justus, was released in 1996. It was the first since 1968 on which all four original members performed and produced. Justus was produced by the Monkees, all songs were written by one of the four Monkees, and it was recorded using only the four Monkees for all instruments and vocals, which was the inspiration for the album title and spelling (Justus = Just Us).

The Monkees were the first band to use a Moog Synthesizer in a top-10 album (used on "Star Collector", "Daily Nightly" and "Love Is Only Sleeping" from Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd., released in November of 1967).

The band’s success actually compelled another David Jones to change his surname to Bowie, to avoid being confused with Davy Jones of the Monkees.

The Monkees are one of only eight artists achieving number-one hits in the United States and United Kingdom simultaneously

Selected Cuts: Buy Monkees Music

US Top 10 singles:
1966 Last Train to Clarksville #1
1966 I'm a Believer" / I'm Not Your Steppin' Stone #1
1967 A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You #2
1967 Pleasant Valley Sunday #3
1967 Daydream Believer #1
1968 Valleri #3

Vinyl Collective News

My friend in vinyl, Virgil Dickerson, over at has some new restocks in, stop by the site and pick up some great vinyl!

ARCADE FIRE “No Cars Go” 7"
ARCADE FIRE ìNeon Bibleî dbl LP
CLIPíD BEAKS “Visions b/w Dank Swamp” 7"
ELLIOTT SMITH “Speed Trials” 7"
HEALTH “Health/Disco” dbl LP
KILLDOZER “Twelve Point Buck” LP
PEGBOY “Strong Reaction” LP
PICTUREPLANE “Trancedoll” 7"
POLVO “Shapes” LP
THE MUMMIES “Play Their Own Records” LP (limited edition clear vinyl)
THE THERMALS “Now We Can See” 7"

Music News & Notes

Red House Painters Reissue

After nearly 13 years, Red House Painters‘ classic album "Songs For a Blue Guitar" will finally be issued on double 180-gram vinyl on April 21st, 2009. If you’d like, Insound is now pre-selling this piece of magic that will arrive on your doorstep on or around its release date. Preorder here:

Red House Painters


Gaslight Anthem Issuing Live Vinyl Release

It has been less than two years since New Jersey's The Gaslight Anthem began releasing discs.

In that short time, they've completed an EP and two full-lengths. The second of those albums, last year's The '59 Sound, has lifted the band's name from the lips of Jersey punk fans to the pages of international magazines, where critics frequently named The '59 Sound as one of the best albums of the year.

"I always had the idea that I would be in a band and I'd have job," muses guitarist Alex Rosamilia. "I'd take two weeks off a year and tour with that band. I never thought the band would become my job. It's absolutely unreal."

The '59 Sound took the band's songwriting to that fabled "next level." It also took them away from the realm of "punk," in its most rigid definition.

Many have likened the Anthem to Bruce Springsteen, due to Brian Fallon's voice, their similar vocal melodies and lyrical imagery and shared geography. The comparison is fair, but only if you imagine a more focused, less bombastic arrangement, like The Boss as backed by the Stiff Little Fingers, perhaps.

The band will play a sold-out show with Saint Alvia at Toronto's Opera House on March 20 on the heels of a European tour and a new video for the lead-off track, "Great Expectations."

They'll also release a limited edition 10-inch single for this year's Record Store Day on April 18. Live At Park Ave. will feature a recording of a performance at Park Avenue CDs in Orlando, Fla. during a tour with Rise Against, Alkaline Trio and Thrice. No other releases are planned at the moment — mostly because audiences around the world are still discovering The '59 Sound.


Paper + Plastick announce details of new Foundation (Rob Huddleston) release "Chimborazo"

Paper + Plastick have announced details for Chimborazo, the upcoming release from Foundation, the solo project of Rob Huddleston (Ann Beretta, Inquisition). Chimborazo will be available only on vinyl and digital download formats. The label's website is currently offering a presale for the record , with three alternate colors of the vinyl. It will be available in Black, Blue, Green and Splatter vinyl, with a die cut cover and artwork by Richard "Horsebites" Minino. The webstore will offer two presale packages; the first includes a copy of the record with a commemorative Foundation T-shirt. The second includes the record, shirt, and a limited edition Foundation print that comes with a certificate of authenticity signed by both Rob Huddleston and Horsebites.

The release hits stores March 24th, and a record release show with support from Dave Hause (The Loved Ones) and Brett Adams (The Riot Before) is planned for Friday, March 27th at the Canal Club in Richmond, VA. . Foundation's last full-length was 2002's Foundation.


Artists Wanted for Album Covers

(PR) Versailles Records has announced that it is seeking submissions from Stone Temple Pilots and Buckcherry fans for an original album cover design for the label's forthcoming summer releases, 'Wicked Garden: A Millennium Tribute to Stone Temple Pilots' and 'Lit Up: A Millennium Tribute to Buckcherry'.

Collectively, these tributes will feature current/former members of Black Sabbath, Racer X, Kiss, Europe, Megadeth, Badlands, Alice Cooper Band, Lizzy Borden, Fuel, Surgical Steel, Bonham, Mountain, Circle Jerks, Slash's Snakepit, Metal Church, Warrant, Dokken, Steelheart, Michael Shanker Group, L.A. Guns, White Lion, Machine Head, Ratt, WASP, Quiet Riot, and others.

Interested fans should email with a brief synopsis of the cover concept they have in mind prior to submitting any art, and include some kind of myspace or related portfolio web link. A final decision will be made on the official album cover selections this April. -

This Date In Music History-March 19


Clarence "Frogman" Henry is 72.

Robin Luke ("Susie Darlin'") turns 67.

Ruth Pointer- Pointer Sisters is 63.

Derek Longmuir - Bay City Rollers (1955)

Zach Lind - Jimmy Eat World (1976)

Guitarist Paul Atkinson - Zombies (1946)

Carrie Underwood (1983)

Terry Hall- Specials (1959)

They Are Missed:

Free guitarist Paul Kossoff died in 1976 from undetermined causes at the age of twenty-six on a London-to-New York flight. He had a history of heart disease.

Gary Thain, bass player with Uriah Heep died of a drug overdose in 1976 (age 28).

Born on this day in 1953, Ricky Wilson, guitarist, The B-52's. Wilson died on October 12th 1985 of AIDs.

Luther Ingram died of heart failure in 2007.

In 1982, Ozzy Osbourne's rhythm guitarist and former Quiet Riot member Randy Rhoads was killed when the plane he was riding in crashed. The tour bus driver, Andrew Aycock, talked the band's keyboardist, Don Airey, into taking a test flight in a '55 Beechcraft Bonanza, the joyride ended, and the plane landed safely. Then Aycock took Rhoads and Rachel Youngblood on another flight and attempts were made to "buzz" the tour bus. The left wing clipped the bus, which sent the plane spiraling into a nearby house and bursting into flames.


Jefferson Airplane became Jefferson Starship in 1974.

In 1957, Elvis Presley bought Graceland mansion for $102,500.

"Our Song" was released by Tom and Jerry in 1958. Later they used their real names, which were Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel.

Bob Dylan released his self-titled debut album in 1962.

The third album from KISS, "Dressed to Kill," was released in 1975.

In 1980, Elvis Presley's autopsy report was a part of the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners' case against Dr. George Nichopoulos. Presley's former personal physician was accused of overprescribing drugs to the King of Rock 'n' Roll. He later has his medical license revoked.

In 2005, 50 Cent became the first solo artist to have three singles in the US Top 5. “Candy Shop” was at #1 with “How We Do” by The Game, (a member of his G-Unit group) at #4 and “Disco Inferno” at #5.

The second Beatles Anthology series was released in 1996. The album featured “Real Love,” a track the remaining members of the Beatles recorded using an old demo track of John Lennon's. The song was first recorded by Lennon in 1977 with a handheld tape recorder on his piano at home, it originated as part of an unfinished stage play that Lennon was working on at the time entitled "The Ballad of John and Yoko."

The J Geils Band were at #1 on the US singles chart in 1981 with “Centerfold,” Roxy Music had the UK #1 single with “Jealous Guy.”

In 1965, the Tailor And Cutter Magazine ran an article asking The Rolling Stones to start wearing ties. The current fashion did not include wearing ties with shirts and many tie-makers were facing financial disaster. Mick Jagger said of the appeal, “The trouble with a tie is that it could dangle in the soup. It is also something extra to which a fan can hang when you are trying to get in and out of a theater.” Yeah, I have the same problem.