Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Beatles are set to rock world again

By Randy Lewis • Los Angeles Times

At Capitol Records' Studio C in Hollywood, studio engineer Guy Massey punched “play” on a CD containing portions of 14 Beatles songs as they sounded on the 1987 CDs that brought the Fab Four's catalog into the digital age. Then he played spruced-up CD remasters that will be released Sept. 9.

Across town in Santa Monica a few weeks later, three representatives were demoing MTV Networks' “The Beatles: Rock Band” video game. Two reps strapped on replicas of Paul McCartney's Hofner bass and John Lennon's Rickenbacker guitar, while the third sat behind an electronic drum kit emulating Ringo Starr's Ludwig set and delved into the new video game, which, not coincidentally, hits the market the same day as the new CDs.

Even though nearly 40 years have elapsed since the Beatles' acrimonious breakup, the harmony they created on record, in concert and on film maintains a remarkable hold on pop music lovers worldwide. The two projects promise to ramp up Beatlemania again for yet another generation.

The Beatles' recorded past is being faithfully refurbished in CDs, while the video game springboards the British group into the world of interactive game play.

Read the rest here:

Classic Rock Videos

Rolling Stones - Honky Tonk Woman (Live in Hyde Park 1969)

Rock/Pop Tidbits

Al Kooper, founder of Blood, Sweat and Tears was a co-writer of the Gary Lewis and The Playboys' hit "This Diamond Ring". Although the song was a US number one smash, Kooper has said he was very disappointed at how the Playboys version sounded, and sheepish that it became such a hit. None of the Playboys actually played their instruments on the recording and Lewis' vocals were heavily supported by Ron Hicklin's overdubs.

The Academy Award winning score for the movie Fame was written by Leslie Gore's brother, Michael.

51 year old Lindsay Crosby, son of Bing Crosby, took his own life on December 11th, 1989, reportedly right after watching his father sing "White Christmas" during the television-airing of the classic Christmas movie, Holiday Inn. Lindsay was said to have suffered years of physical and verbal abuse inflicted on him as a child by his father. In May, 1991, Lindsay's 57 year old brother Dennis would also commit suicide.

Elvis's middle name is spelled "Aaron" on his tombstone. According to his official web site, the name was spelled Aron at birth, but as an adult, Elvis planned to change the spelling to Aaron and the tombstone was designed to reflect that wish.

In 1967, under Britain's open-ended tax system, The Beatles were in the 96% tax bracket.

Before reaching the US Top Ten in 1980 with "Giving It Up For Your Love", Delbert McClinton played harmonica on Bruce Chanel's chart topping 1962 hit, "Hey Baby". While on tour, he also taught some harp licks to John Lennon, who was playing in a then unknown opening act called The Beatles.

"Sunday Will Never Be The Same" was first offered to the Left Banke, but they rejected it. The song was then given to The Mamas and The Papas but they also passed on it. Finally, Spanky and Our Gang recorded it and took it to # 9 in the US in 1967.

Cat Stevens' song "Morning Has Broken" was an adaptation of a hymn of the same name by Eleanor Farjeon, who wrote many stories for children.

From 1969 to 1970, Jimmy Buffett was a staff writer for Billboard magazine in Nashville.

The Temptations 1964 classic hit "My Girl" was written by Smokey Robinson and Ronald White of The Miracles. Robinson wrote the lyrics, which he later said were inspired by his wife, Claudette. They divorced in 1986.

The so-called ‘Prince of Darkness’ Ozzy Osbourne certainly developed a satanic reputation over the years. But Ozzy never took it too seriously, stating: “The devil worship thing was a marketing invention of the record company. We played along to put dough in our pockets.”

It is well known that Beatle George Harrison was spiritual and after reading about cosmic communication, Harrison climbed a mountain in hopes of receiving message from God. He waited and waited, but the only message he received was to climb back down the mountain.

Although the concept of the "hit parade" goes back to the mid 1930s, the invention and naming of the Top 40 format is widely credited to Todd Storz, who was the director of radio station KWOH-AM in Omaha, Nebraska, in the early 1950s. Storz noted the great response certain songs got from the record-buying public and compared it to selections on jukeboxes. He expanded his stable of radio stations and gradually converted them to an all-hits format, pioneering the practice of surveying record stores to determine which singles were popular each week.

Steppenwolf's lead singer, John Kay is seldom seen without sun glasses due to the fact that he has been legally blind since childhood.

Before Bobby "Boris" Pickett released "The Monster Mash" in 1962, he was working as an actor, making appearances on the TV shows Bonanza, The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction.

Blood, Sweat and Tears concert contract stated that their shows are not to be advertised as a reunion concert, even though the band has split and re-united at least five times.

Buddy Holly asked his future wife for a date, 30 seconds after meeting her and proposed later the same week. Six months earlier, he had recorded a song called "Take Your Time".

Ask Mr. Music - with Jerry Osborne

I am continuing our new feature: Ask "Mr. Music." Now in its 23rd year of syndication (1986-2008), Jerry Osborne's weekly Q&A feature will be a regular post every Wednesday from now on. Be sure to stop by Jerry's site ( for more Mr. Music archives, record price guides, anything Elvis, buy & sell collectibles, record appraisals and much more. I thank Jerry for allowing the reprints.


DEAR JERRY: According one internet site, a record label named Zyanya existed about 35 years ago. It appears to have ceased operations in the 1970s.

Do you have any idea how they came up with that name?

I ask because one of my favorite historical books of all time is “Aztec,” by Gary Jennings, and the key woman character is Zyanya, wife of Mixtli, whose life and family are the main story.

Proof of the impact “Aztec” had on me is how vividly I remember the characters and events some 30 years later.

I am dying to know if they named their record label after the Mexican gal in the novel. Or, did Gary Jennings name her after the record company? The only other alternative is the whole thing is one big coincidence.

Hopefully, there's a sufficient musical connection here to be of interest to you.
—Miguel Polanco, Harrisburg, Pa.

DEAR MIGUEL: Mere interest is understating this compelling topic — a blend of 16th century Mexico and 20th century record production, all with a Frank Zappa sidebar.

Gary Jennings himself wrote me 15 years ago (September 1994), asking:

“According to a recent Schwann catalog, there exists a record label named Zyanya. It may be a subsidiary of Rhino records.

“Do you know where they got the name Zyanya?

“As far as I know, Zyanya has only been used once before, as the name of a female character in “Aztec,” a novel I first published 14 years ago [1980].

“For the record, Zyanya means 'always' in the old Zapotec-Nahuatl language of Mexico, before the Spanish Conquest.
—Gary Jennings, McGaheysville, Va.”

Sadly, Gary Jennings died from heart failure in February 1999, on Friday the 13th, in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey. He was 70.

Figuring Rhino would know all about Zyanya (sounds like Zon-ya), I called their National Publicity Manager, David Dorn. He confirmed Rhino's release of a few Latino albums on Zyanya, in the mid-'80s.

Dorn also said Rhino discontinued the Zyanya label after those, and it has not been used since.

On my own, 15 years later, I learned it is Rubén Funkahuatl Guevara, formerly of the Apollo Brothers, of “My Beloved One” fame, who managed the short-lived Zyanya label.

Three consecutively-numbered Zyanya vinyl LPs came out, all in 1983: “History of Latino Rock - Eastside Sound, Vol. 1: 1956-1965” (Zyanya/Rhino 061); “Los Angelinos: The Eastside Renaissance” (Zyanya/Rhino 062); and “Best of Thee Midniters” (Zyanya/Rhino 063).

As for a connection between the Zyanya in the book and the record label, the only way to know for certain is to ask its creator, Rubén Funkahuatl Guevara.

That I did, and here is his reply:

“Thanks for writing, and for asking about the source of the label name.

“Yeah, I got the name from Gary Jennings' book, “Aztec,” which made a great impression on me as a historian, writer, and story lover. What a magnificently researched and written book. I still sigh at the memory of Zyanya. Such a beauty! A classic and one that I have been recommending to friends and students for over 25 years.

“For a detailed and eye-popping look at the Aztec empire before it fell, that book is the source.

“I'm flattered Jennings inquired about Zyanya. I hoped he would see the label someday. It was an homage to both Zyanya and Gary.

“But the real inspiration is the heroine, Zyanya — an unforgettable character!”

IZ ZAT SO? Having found Rubén Funkahuatl Guevara, who better to recap his affiliation with Frank Zappa:

“I met Frank in his dressing room during an intermission of his legendary L.A. concert at the Shrine Exposition Hall in 1969. He was promoting his new LP “Cruising with Ruben and the Jets” (Verve 5055).

“I thanked him for recording doo-wop during the height of the psychedelic era and told him I was an R&B and doo-wop singer in the late 1950s and early '60s — who's name is Ruben. He said, “That's a grand name” and asked if I was still singing. I told him I was studying composition and my singing was on hold for the time being. He asked if I could drop off my 1961 Apollo Brothers single, “My Beloved One”/“Riot” (Cleveland 108), at his office, but I never did. I wanted to become a film composer and was not interested in pursuing a singing career.

“The other Apollo Brother was Pablo Amarillas. We named ourselves after the Apollos car and social club in the San Fernando Valley, of which we were members.

“A subsequent meeting at Zappa's house in 1971 was a major turning point in my career. He played records by his favorite R&B and doo-wop artists until dawn. Then we talked about our favorite avant-garde composers, like Varese, Stravinsky and Cage, while playing their records. We covered a vast musical terrain, from the Penguins to Bela Bartok. Then he asked if I would be interested in forming a real Ruben and the Jets. I told him I wasn't interested in rock and roll, with its many detours. To this he replied: “Build your own roads.”

“So I decided to give it another shot and gathered some Chicano musicians from East L.A.: Tony Duran (guitar-vocals); Robert “Froggy” Camarena (guitar-vocals); Bill Wild (bass-vocals); Johnny Martinez (Hammond B-3-vocals); and Bobby Zamora (drums). Zappa suggested Jim “Motorhead” Sherwood on baritone sax from the Mothers of Invention, and friend Bob “Buffalo” Roberts on tenor sax. We were one of L.A.'s first multicultural rock and roll bands.

“In 1973, Frank Zappa produced our first album, “For Real” (Mercury 659).

“We even opened for his band on a West Coast tour then toured the East Coast with T-Rex, Three Dog Night, and West, Bruce & Laing.

We recorded a second album, “Con Safos” (Mercury 694) produced by Denny Randell, but, in the end it didn't work out. I later recorded vocals on Zappa's “Apostrophe”; “Zoot Allures”; and “Live at the Roxy.”

Copyright 2009 Osbourne Enterprises- Reprinted By Permission

Music News & Notes

Blues Singer Fortune Dies

Chicago blues singer Jesse Fortune passed away Sunday at the age of 79. He was performing at Gene's Playmate Lounge in Chicago when he passed out on stage. Cause of death was attributed to coronary atherosclerosis.

Fortune worked with Otis Rush and Buddy Guy before getting his break with Willie Dixon. In early 1963, he signed with USA Records where he recorded his best known record, Too Many Cooks (later covered by Robert Cray).

Unfortunately, Fortune's dealings with USA left him with a bad taste for the business and he didn't record again until 1993's Fortune Tellin' Man. While he still played occasional music, he also was trained as a barber and owned his own shop on the city's west side.


MJ Still Selling

Early figures are reporting that Michael Jackson's Number Ones will move around 60-61,000 copies this week, good for #1 again on the Catalog Album chart and #4 for all albums. That far outpaces last week's #1, Reba McEntire's Keep On Loving You, which falls to somewhere around #6 with 41 to 42,000 copies (down 56%).


Wolfmother Record Jimi Hendrix Covers As Future B-Sides - Exclusive

Wolfmother have recorded a number of Jimi Hendrix covers that will be used as b-sides on forthcoming singles, Gigwise can reveal.

The Australian band tracked the songs, which include 'If 6 Was 9', at the late guitarist's Electric Lady studios in New York last month.

Frontman Andrew Stockdale told Gigwise that the group originally intended to use their studio time to record their own songs.

But they changed their mind after arriving at the legendary recording venue, which was built by Hendrix in 1970.

“We went into Electric Lady and for some reason as soon as I got in there I was like, Forget about playing the b-sides, lets just do Hendrix songs,” Stockdale told Gigwise.

“And we just played like eight Hendrix songs and just jammed.

When asked to describe Wolfmother's cover of 'If 6 Was 9', Stockdale said the group had recorded it in a “more heavy, really simple kind of way”.

“Not like a kind of floral Hendrix, Fender way. I just stripped it back into power chords,” he said.

Wolfmother also recorded acoustic versions of ‘Back Round’ and ‘Sundial’ - two songs from their forthcoming second album 'Cosmic Egg' - while in the studio.

Stockdale admitted that he felt inspired working at Electric Lady, which has been used over the years by artists such as The Rolling Stones and John Lennon.

“That’s like the ultimate kind of fan moment playing in Hendrix’s studio because I’m still like a total fan of rock and roll fan,” he said.

“It’s kind of like if you’re a real fan you end up becoming your own thing along the way.”

'Cosmic Egg' – the band's first album to feature new members bassist Ian Peres, guitarist Aidan Nemeth and drummer Dave Atkins – is released on October 12.

Furnace MFG Completes Pressing of Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" Soundtrack on Vinyl Record Format

In anticipation of the national release of Quentin Tarantino's latest film, "Inglourious Basterds", Warner Bros. selected Furnace MFG to press, assemble and prepare the soundtrack to the film for retail distribution on vinyl record format.

Fairfax, VA (PRWEB) September 2, 2009 -- For his latest film, "Inglourious Basterds," Quentin Tarantino continues his tradition of hand-selecting each song personally. The film, which stars Brad Pitt, is about two plots to assassinate the Nazi leadership. Though the film takes place during World War II, Tarantino incorporates a wide variety of musical styles, including spaghetti western soundtrack excerpts, R&B, and the David Bowie song "Cat People (Putting Out Fire)".

Tarantino is known for creating a soundtrack both popular and obscure tracks that fits the mood of the film and sets the tone for what the viewer is about to experience. Individually, the tracks may seem in contradiction to what is being seen on the screen, but collectively, the music selected expresses Tarantino's vision for his creation.

With the film and its soundtrack's nationwide release last month, Warner Bros selected Furnace MFG to press and assemble the film's soundtrack LP on virgin vinyl for retail distribution. Furnace MFG was able to ship the final product to Warner Bros within three weeks of receiving test pressing approval, whereas typical turnaround times average 4-6 weeks.

"The soundtracks of 'Reservoir Dogs' and 'Pulp Fiction' are two of my favorite albums and I'm a huge fan of Tarantino's films as well." says Furnace MFG CEO, Eric Astor. "Being able to bring his soundtrack to vinyl was especially exciting for us, combining a great soundtrack with a great musical format."

Fans of the movie and the soundtrack can purchase the soundtrack LP directly from Warner Music at

About Furnace MFG:
In business since 1996, Furnace MFG ( is a recognized leader in CD and DVD duplication, replication, and vinyl record manufacturing and packaging.

Manish Naik
COO, Furnace MFG
703-205-0007 x112



I thought I share this, I am sure we will more about this in the days to come:

Organizers Will Announce More Big Names in Two Weeks

40th Anniversary of Woodstock
Free Concert Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, Sunday, October 25, 2009

Event: “West Fest” Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Woodstock.

Attraction: 42 bands, 3 stages and 26 poster artists. Solar domes, Alternative vehicles, Electric bikes, Native American Tipi Village, Sustainable Living Road Show, Conscious Art Gallery, Light Temple, Holistic Healing Section, Hooper Heaven, Rock'n Green Kids Zone and Eco Village vendors.

Admission: FREE

When: October 25, 2009, 9am to 6pm

Where: Speedway Meadows, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA USA

Producer: 2b1 Multimedia Inc. and the Council of Light in association with Artie Kornfeld, the original producer of “Woodstock 1969”

Non-Profit: 501-(c) 3

Contact: Boots Hughston, 415-861-1520 or

Acts confirmed with more to come:

Leslie West (Mountain); Lester Chambers (the Chambers Brothers); “Country” Joe McDonald (of Country Joe and the Fish); Denny Laine (of Paul McCartney, Wings, Moody Blues); The Original Lowrider Band (WAR, with Lee Oskar); Greg Errico, Jerry Martini, Cynthia Robinson (From Sly and the Family Stone); David and Linda La Flamme (It's a Beautiful Day); Michael McClure (Beat Poet) and Ray Manzarek (from the Doors); Lydia Pense and Cold Blood; Terry Haggerty (from the Sons of Champlin); Annie Sampson and her band; Nick Gravenites Band; Harvey Mandel and the Snake band; Barry “The Fish” Melton (of Country Joe and the Fish); Jerry Miller and Jim Post; Lost Creek Gang and the Merry Pranksters with Ken Babbs, George Walker, and Mountain Girl; El Chicano; Alameda All Stars (Gregg Allman's Band); Edwin Hawkins and The New Edwin Hawkins Singers “Oh Happy Day”; David Denny (from Steve Miller) with Prairie Prince (of The Tubes), Diana Mangano (formerly of The Jefferson Starship), Greg Douglas, Carlos Reyes; PF Sloan; Jimmy McCarty (from Detroit Wheels); Peter Kaukonen (from Jefferson Airplane); John York (from the Byrds); Leigh Stevens (from Blue Cheer); Narada Michael Walden; Kathi McDonald and Friends; Cathy Richardson band; Vilenti and Saunders; Mitchell Holman (It's a Beautiful Day), Miles Schon Band; Jose Neto and Friends; The Mutaytor; Rock Hendricks (Bobby Womack, The Jackson 5, The funkidelics); Scoop Nisker - KFOG; David Harris - speaker; Matthew Rosenthal - Prevent Hate; Bettina Aptheker - Free Speech Movement; Ben Fong -Torres (Rolling Stone); David Hilliard - Black Panther Party; Benjamin Hernandez - Harts and Hands elders; Blue Thunder - spiritual healer, Teton; Dennis Banks - AIM Wounded Knee; Dennis Peron and Richard Eastman (Marijuana Initiative); David Rovic; Rabbi Joseph Langer ; Ed Rosenthal; Terrance Hallinan (Former SF DA); Paul “Lobster” Wells (DJ), Aron “Pieman” Kay (from the Yippies); Alex Reymundo - comedian; Some acts can not be advertised until 30days out.

Poster series: Stanley Mouse, Arnold Skolnick (original Woodstock 69 poster artist), Chris Shaw, Mike Dolgushkin, Wendy Wright, David Singer, Mark Henson, Carlon Ferris, Dave Huckins, Lee Conklin, Bob Masse, Andrew Annenberg, Victor Moscosco, Michael Moss, Thomas Yeates, Chrissy Costello, Gilbert Johnson and Dusty Hughston, Michael Rios, Burry Olsen, Pat Ryan, Ron Donovin - Fire House Crew.

In honor of Jimi Hendrix, who headlined the festival in 1969, 3,000
guitar players will attempt to break the World's Record for the Largest
Guitar Ensemble playing "Purple Haze" -- all at the same time!
Players are encouraged to register at:

Lee Houskeeper
Managing Editor
San Francisco Stories
615 Burnett Avenue, Suite 2, San Francisco, CA 94131
(415) 777-4700