Sunday, September 20, 2009

Rock/Pop Tidbits

A bit under the weather as they say, here's an expanded version of Tidbits. Hope to back in the groove tomorrow :O)

For the recording of "A Whiter Shade Of Pale,” Procol Harum's producer Denny Cordell chose to replace the band's regular drummer, Bobby Harrison, with session man Bill Eyden. Even though the song went to the top of the charts world wide, Eyden was paid the Musicians' Union rate of 15 pounds and 15 shillings. Harrison received, like all the other members of the band, 10,000 pounds, despite admitting he had taken no part in the recording. He later left the band and was replaced by B.J. Wilson.

The Bellemy Brothers hit "Let Your Love Flow" was written by Larry Williams, a roadie for Neil Diamond. It was the only song that he wrote that was ever recorded, but it sold over four million copies.

The Standells' drummer, Larry Tamblyn is the brother of Russ Tamblyn (star of West Side Story) and uncle of Amber Tamblyn (star of Joan of Arcadia and Grudge 2).

Barry McGuire, who recorded the number one smash "Eve Of Destruction" in 1965, never had another US Top 40 hit. He did however become a born again Christian in the 1970s and sold hundreds of thousands of Gospel records.

The follow-up album to the Beach Boys classic LP “Pet Sounds” was initially called “Dumb Angel,” then “Smile.” To record the album, Brian Wilson and a collaborator brought in $2,000 worth of black hash, toked it up and set their microphones about a foot from the ground and then lay on the floor. This plan was quickly nixed when the stoned-rockers ultimately decided to stand back up to keep from falling asleep. Ya think?

Michael Jackson owns the rights to the South Carolina State anthem.

The world's first cassette player was made available to the public at an electronics show in August 1965.

In 1980, former Amboy Dukes guitarist Ted Nugent, known as "the Motor City Madman,” was made a deputy sheriff near his home in southern Michigan.

Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones was at a press conference early in their career. He picked his nose and flicked the rock and roll bugar across the room. When an appalled writer made a comment, band mate Mick Jagger replied, “You’re lucky it wasn’t a green one, he eats those.”

The Beatles' last concert tour appearance was a 33-minute performance at San Francisco's Candlestick Park on Monday August 29th, 1966. The Park's capacity was 42,500 but the Beatles only filled 25,000 seats, leaving entire sections unsold. The last song they played was not even one of their own tunes. It was Little Richard's "Long Tall Sally.”

Gus Cannon had written and recorded a song called "Walk Right In" in 1930. Erik Darling heard the record over 30 years later and along with some friends, recorded it as The Rooftop Singers. Cannon was 79 years old at the time and had been living in a tiny trackside house, heated by coal. His financial situation improved dramatically when newly recorded song caught on across America and went to number one in January, 1963.

While still in the Doobie Brothers, Michael McDonald sang backup vocals on Christopher Cross' 1980, number two hit, "Ride Like The Wind.”

The last time all four Beatles were ever together was in a recording studio during a mixing session for "Abbey Road" on August 20th, 1969.

Faced with the Beatles' breakup, Paul McCartney told the others he wanted the band to get back to its roots and tour little clubs. John Lennon said he was nuts.

In 1980, Texas rockers ZZ Top wrote to NASA and formally requested that they be booked as the lounge act on the space shuttle. NASA actually responded saying that the band’s request would, “receive all due consideration.” Unfortunately, the band did not get the gig.

A popular fad of the 50's, the jukebox used to be known as 'the nickel in the slot machine'. The first of these were created when a coin operated slot was added to an Edison phonograph in San Francisco in 1889. In its first six months of service, the Nickel-in-the-Slot earned over $1000.

In 1966, a record company actually hired Frank Zappa and his band, The Mother’s of Invention, to cut a record with Burt Ward, who portrayed Robin on the TV series Batman. The result was a single appropriately called, “Boy wonder, I Love You.”

One night in 1968, while Gary U.S. Bonds was playing at a club in New Jersey, he thought he'd give a local kid a break and invite him up onstage to do a number. That kid turned out to be rock superstar Bruce Springsteen.

Prior to becoming rock and rolls most notorious lip synchers, Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan of Milli Vanilli tried their hand at modeling. Alas, they were not tall enough, so they switched to ‘singing,’ well, sort of.

Elvis Presley's 1958, number one smash, "I Beg Of You" took 34 takes to get it right.

As a youth, Billy Joel once contemplated suicide. “I went into the closet and said, ‘I’m gonna fill myself.’ There was chlorine bleach and I said, ‘Nah, that’s gonna taste bad.’ So I took the furniture polish Pledge- all I ended up doing was farting furniture polish.”

While we are on the subject (farts that is), it’s reported that comedian Sandra Bernhard was once romantically involved with Madonna, although the affair probably had more to do with publicity than passion. The ‘couple’ had a very public breakup with Bernhard stating: “Every time Madonna farts, the press picks up on it. They want to see how it smells. I hate to break the news, but it smells like everybody else’s farts.”

At the Argentina/Brazil border in 1981, while Queen traveled through Latin America on their “Gluttons for Punishment” tour, a customs official suffered a heart attack when he saw Queen’s equipment- all 110 tons of it.

At the end of a 1992 tour, Metallica’s Kirk Hammett lowered his pants and mooned a TV camera shouting, “that’s what I think of the Guns N’ Roses tour!”

In 1970, Jeff Christie offered his composition "Yellow River" to the Tremeloes. They recorded it to release as a single, but when they changed their minds, they allowed Jeff's own band to use the backing track themselves. The result was a UK number one hit in May 1970 and subsequently #23 in the US.

When Angus Young of AC/DC first started performing he wasn’t quite sure what to wear onstage. He tried a gorilla suit, then a Zorro outfit, when his sister suggested that he don an Australian schoolboy’s outfit- and a rock start was born!