Thursday, September 24, 2009

Rock/Pop Tidbits

Keith Moon, the drummer for the Who, developed his own unique language. In fact, here are some of his words that he used to describe male genitalia, they included: bacon assegai, beef torpedo, cobblers, cricket set, mutton javelin, plonker, wanger and last but not least, the pork sword.

The Ramones were well-known for their loud concerts. One time they performed so loud while in the recording studio that they actually destroyed several expensive pieces of audio equipment.

The Spice Girls once met Queen Elizabeth. But Ginger Spice refused to follow the proper protocol to curtsy when she was shaking hands with the Queen. Ginger Spice was terrified that her ‘old tired tits’ would come flopping out of her dress.

Tupac Shakur scored a big hit with his album 2Pacalypse. So he went out car shopping and bought his dream car. The next day, he totaled it.

On Aerosmith’s first tour of Britain, the American rockers rented a forty-five set private plane at a cost of 18,000 British pounds per day. Trouble was, the band was only bringing in about 2 to 3,000 pounds per show.

“I won’t be happy until I am as famous as god,” Madonna once quipped.

Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees once worked on a solo album called “We Are The Bunbury’s.” The LP was about a family of cricket-playing rabbits. Uh, don’t think I ever saw that one.

Guitarist David Marks was once a member of the Beach Boys, playing on the first five albums. “I thought my new group, Dave and the Markmen would take right off,” sighed the guitarist three decades later. Ooops!

Near the end of Metallica’s “Kill ‘Em All” tour, the band spotted one of their fans wearing a homemade shirt that read : “Alcoholica, Drank ‘Em All.” They liked it so much that they ripped off the idea and had their own “Alcoholic” t-shirts made.

Back in 1965, James Brown’s manager circulated a rumor that the King of Soul was going to get a sex-change operation in order to marry his band mate, Bobby Byrd.

As a lad, Johnny Ramone was known as a bit of a thug, but not necessarily a smart one. He once was caught breaking into a Laundromat. Apparently, he thought that he was breaking into a drug store. Ooops.

In 1995, at the MTV European Awards ceremony in Paris, U2 front man Bono commented to the French: “What a city. What a night…what a wanker you have for president!”

Elton John was always known for his extravagant costumes. His least successful creation? A pair of wooden pants. “Not very good for moving about, I’m afraid,” said John.

At the end of a live television appearance in Paris, the Who ran out of the studio and into the streets, lined up against a wall and urinated. Trouble was, the group peeing session was broadcast to viewers in France and England.

Frank Zappa made an experimental film in 1965. He tied a camera to a string and just started swinging it around his head. The name of the film? “Motion.” “Pretty stupid, eh?” lamented Zappa.

Vince Neil of Motley Crue saw a woman mud-wrestling one night and quickly fell in love. He offered the dirty grappler $3,000 a week if she would stop mud-wrestling with anyone but him, and she agreed. The two were married- but divorced a short time later.

Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Nominees Announced

KISS, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Genesis, the Hollies, LL Cool J and Jimmy Cliff are first-time nominees among a dozen finalists for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, according to a list released yesterday by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. They join returning candidates ABBA, the Chantels, Darlene Love, Laura Nyro, the Stooges and Donna Summer.

Five of the 12 nominees will be chosen for induction from ballots cast by more than 500 music industry voters. An announcement of the inductees is expected in January, and the Hall's 25th Annual Induction Ceremony will take place March 15 at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City. Broadcast plans have not yet been announced.

Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith told that "it's a real honor to be nominated in our first year of eligibility. Obviously the Hall of Fame has excellent musical taste." But the year's big story could turn out to be KISS, which has been eligible since 1999 but, like shock rock predecessor Alice Cooper, has famously been snubbed by the Hall's nominating committee and has made some harsh comments about the organization in the past. But the group's Paul Stanley recently noted that a Rock Hall induction would cause he and his longtime KISS partner Gene Simmons to consider which of the group's members they'd like to have enter with them.

"There's been a lot of people who've been a part of this, some longer than others..and some who deserve recognition more than others," Stanley explained. "Even the non-makeup years produced some platinum and double-platinum albums, and we had some very healthy sales in terms of albums and concerts through the '80s and '90s. So if we should ever be asked to accept induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it would be something to think about."

The Foundation determines which members of a band are inducted into the Hall, and the ballot lists the four founding members of KISS, including Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.

Hollies co-founder Graham Nash is already in the Hall of Fame with Crosby, Stills & Nash (1997) but said he was "very thrilled" to hear about the Hollies nomination.

"There's a long way form here to actually being inducted," noted Nash, who was with the group from 1962-68. "I truly believe the Hollies deserve to be inducted. They were a large part of the early history of what we know as rock 'n' roll. I would be particularly thrilled For Allan Clarke. That's where my heart goes. I'm already in there, but it would be a thrill for me to see it happen for" the Hollies.

Artists are eligible for induction 25 years after their first single or album release.

While the ballots are being mailed to voters, the Hall of Fame is also preparing for its 25th anniversary concerts on Oct. 29-30 at New York's Madison Square Garden, along with the release of a nine-DVD boxed set, "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Live," and the publication of a book, "The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: The First 25 Years."

ABBA (Second nomination, First eligible in 1998, Previously nominated in 2003) - The most successful group of the 70's and one of the most successful groups worldwide in music history, ABBA was only mildly popular in the United States where many of the voters reside. The combination of their pop sound and the fact that similar groups rarely made the grade (Ace of Base being an exception) could mean that voters don't take the nomination seriously.

Chantels (Second nomination, First eligible in 1983, Previously nominated in 2002) - While the Chantels don't have the name recognition of the Chiffons, the Shangri-Las or other popular girl groups, they had a definite influence on music by being one of the first all female vocal groups to break into a male dominated style. They are best known for the 1958 hit Maybe and 1961's Look in My Eyes. They should be in as some of the groups they influenced have made it, but they will most likely be passed over for bigger names.

Jimmy Cliff (First nomination, First eligible in 1992) - Cliff is one of the great artists to come out of Jamaica, bringing reggae to a worldwide audience, first in 1970 with the hit Wonderful World Beautiful People and, in 1975, with the soundtrack to The Harder They Come. His superb songwriting (The Harder They Come, Many Rivers to Cross, Sitting in Limbo, You Can Get It If You Really Want It) not only influenced a whole genre but were also covered by hundreds of artists. It just may be time for the Hall to recognize a second influential Jamaican artist.

Genesis (First nomination, First eligible in 1993) - Genesis is a bit of an enigma. Who are you voting for? The art rock group of the Peter Gabriel era? The hit makers of the 80's? It has obviously been a problem for the nominating committee who took 16 years to give the group their first chance and it may work against them during the vote. Those casting ballots need to remember that a core group of musicians stayed with the group throughout, producing great thinking mans music at the start and changing with the times to become one of the biggest artists of the 80's. Still, does Genesis belong in before other art-rock innovators like the Moody Blues?

Hollies (First nomination, First eligible in 1989) - It really is a shame that this is the Hollies' first nomination. Here's a group that was unique in the British Invasion with their ultra-tight harmonies and their wide range of styles. Over the course of twenty years, the group touched on bubblegum pop (Bus Stop, On a Carousel), rock (Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress), sophisticated adult contemporary (He Ain't Heavy (He's My Brother), The Air That I Breathe) and still had time to make one of the very best Springsteen covers (Sandy). Numerous personnel changes over the years may make it hard for voters to focus on the group as a single entity but, of the many British artists who hit America in the 60's, the Hollies have to be considered among the very best musically.

KISS (First nomination, First eligible in 1999) - There will be many happy people in the world tonight. KISS fans have been complaining for a decade that their boys were not nominated for the hall. While their music may not have been overly innovative, they put together a huge and loyal fan base through their showmanship (with quite a bit of masterful marketing thrown in). As the Rock Hall site says, "Few bands short of The Beatles inspired more kids to pick up the guitar than KISS. With their signature make-up, explosive stage show and anthems like Rock and Roll All Night and Detroit Rock City, they are the very personification of rock stars." Still, there is a long held bias against the group that they were all show with little to give musically, so it's doubtful they get in on their first chance.

LL Cool J (Nominated in first year of eligibility) - Let the arguing begin! "Rap does not belong in the Rock Hall of Fame!" There are views for and against that statement, but there is little argument that LL Cool J was a major influence on a generation of rappers, splitting time between classic fast delivery rap and a cool romantic style. He also went on to show the world that rap artists are not all thugs on the street with his forays into acting on TV and in film. Rap music has been one of the dominant styles of the last quarter century and has been an influence in some rock circles. LL Cool J should be recognized for his major contribution.

Darlene Love (Second nomination, First eligible in 1988, Previously nominated in 1999) - Love was arguably THE voice of Philles Records and Phil Spector's Wall of Sound, singing lead for the Crystals, Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans and under her own name. The gospel infused huge voice was able to stand out over the chaotic background of Spector's productions and, when the sound started to die out, Love was able to change with the times, still recording today and performing her yearly Christmas shows. Even so, is a big voice enough to gain membership among Rock's elite?

Laura Nyro (First nomination, First eligible in 1992) - During the late-60's, it was next to impossible to look at a music chart and not see one or (most times) more songs written by Laura Nyro. And When I Die, Stoned Soul Picnic, Wedding Bell Blues, Eli's Coming and many more are the soundtrack of people's lives who grew up during that time, yet most wouldn't recognize Nyro's name. It's a shame, too, as Nyro was so much more than just a songwriter. Her albums, which mainly had a cult following, were filled with soulful music that should have found her a place on the radio. The question is whether the voters will see Nyro as an all-around talent or pigeonhole her as just a composer of hits.

Red Hot Chili Peppers (Nominated in first year of eligibility) -This one may be a no brainer. The Chili Peppers have not only been hugely successful over the last 25 years, but their sound has been a major influence on the up and coming artists of the time. It was their innovative combination of funk and punk that propelled them into the commercial stratosphere starting with 1991's Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Add in their wild live shows and you have a combination that would not only keep their fans coming back for more, but would also win over the critics and the establishment (three Grammy Awards).

The Stooges (Eighth nomination, First eligible in 1994, Previously nominated in 1997, 1998, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 & 2009) -What is it about the Stooges that keeps getting them nominated but never elected? They were one of the main artists that brought punk into the forefront and should be recognized for that alone; however, there is also an underlying current that, in a business that thrives on the outrageous, the Stooges may have pushed the envelope too far. Still, if the Rock Hall is really about those that were innovative and influential, then there has to be a place for the Stooges.

Donna Summer (Second nomination, First eligible in 1999, Previously nominated in 2008) - Poor Donna Summer. Being labeled the Queen of Disco is probably the reason nobody takes her career seriously. They overlook the fact that she was THE star of a major genre of music. They forget that her Love to Love You Baby, with production by Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte, was a major sea change in the budding disco sound. They ignore that, while almost every other disco star is playing the oldies circuit, Summer is still able to put songs on the top of the Dance Club charts, 30 years after her sound was supposedly dead. There isn't much chance that she'll be elected (much like the equally deserving Chic who keeps getting passed over), but there is little doubt that she was an innovator.

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: One entertainer I collect and admire is Ann-Margret. She is one star who excelled in all phases of the business.

As for recordings, Ann-Margret's peak period is the '60s. And, other than one mystery song, I believe I have them all.

The one eluding me for over 40 years is why I'm writing you.

I only heard it once, on Radio Luxembourg of all places. After it played there was no mention of the singer or the title. All I recall is repeated references to clouds rolling by, or something similar. It is not “I've looked at clouds from both sides now.” I'd estimate the time to be mid-'60s. It might even be from a movie, as she was making lots of them back then.

If not by Ann-Margret, it sure sounded like her style.

Can you provide some good news?
—Marlene Thornton, Cudahy, Wisc.

DEAR MARLENE: There is just no end to the good news I have for you.

First, the song your heard four decades ago is “As the Clouds Drift By” (London HL-10147), a summer 1967 European release. If played by powerful Radio Luxembourg, it could have been heard throughout Europe.

Continuing the good news, if you have all of Ann-Margret's records except this one, then you have all of Ann-Margret's records. “As the Clouds Drift By” is by Jayne Mansfield.

Jayne's breathy vocal is somewhat similar to a style sometimes used by Ann-Margret, one example being “Hey Little Star” (1963).

Though Ann is the better singer, both ladies enjoyed worldwide sex symbol status and each appeared in numerous movies. This song, however, is not from a film.

For reasons never revealed, this single came out only in Europe. There is no U.S. counterpart, even though “As the Clouds Drift By,” and flip side “Suey,” were recorded in New York in 1965, only to remain in the can for two years. The official date of release turned out to be July 21, 1967.

Why then?

A reasonable assumption is that following the shocking death of Jayne Mansfield, on June 29, 1967, the record company wanted a “new” song by her as quickly as possible. In three weeks they had one.

The ultimate piece of good news is you don't need to shop for this disc, which, with its picture sleeve, often sells in the $250 to $300 range.

Part of the value is because of the rare Jayne Mansfield photo sleeve, but most is based on the “Suey” side, and a very young and uncredited Jimi Hendrix playing lead guitar — from a session done at Manhattan's Studio 76.

Jayne Mansfield and Jimi Hendrix? Who'd a thunk it?

DEAR JERRY: Are the Platters who made “Maggie Doesn't Work Here Anymore” and “Beer Barrel Boogie” the same as the very famous Platters who sang those great '50s and '60s ballads?
—Michael Wozniak, Clearwater, Fla.

DEAR MICHAEL: In the two years before Mercury Records, and the rest of the world, discovered Tony Williams and the Platters, they recorded 16 tracks for Cincinnati's Federal label. Among those are the two songs you mention.

Occasional personnel changes did occur, but the heart and soul of the Platters, Tony Williams, remained the group's lead vocalist throughout the 1950s. Tony is also featured on all of their hit records in 1960 and '61, tunes from his earlier sessions.

Because most of the Federal sides do not spotlight Williams, “Maggie Doesn't Work Here Anymore” and “Beer Barrel Boogie” among them, it is easy to think they are a completely different group.

Williams is the lead soloist on just six Federal tracks: “Tell the World”; “I Need You All the Time”; “I'll Cry When You're Gone”; “Take Me Back, Take Me Back”; “Give Thanks”; and the original 1954 recording of “Only You (And You Alone).”

IZ ZAT SO? Here are seven collectible late '50s albums that would otherwise be of little interest to collectors were it not for Jayne Mansfield seductively pictured on their covers. All contain mood music instrumentals, not a moment of which is performed by Mansfield: Larry Green & Orchestra (Vox 25830) “Sur les Écrans du

Monde” ($300); Kurt Jensen & Orchestra (Hollywood 137) “An Evening with Jayne” ($50); Enoch Light & Orchestra (Waldorf 1214) “Moments to Remember” ($75); Vincent Lopez (Waldorf 1214) “Moments to Remember” ($75) (Exact same LP issued twice, each with a different orchestra credited); Regent Concert Orchestra (Regent 6091) “Amor” ($300); Henri Rene & Orchestra (RCA Victor 1046) “Music for Bachelors” ($75); and Frank Washburn & Orchestra (Promenade 2052) “I'm in the Mood for Love” ($60).

Value estimates are directly proportional to the A&E factor (allure and enticement).

Copyright 2009 Osbourne Enterprises- Reprinted By Permission