Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ask Mr Music by Jerry Osborne

Let's continue our feature: Ask "Mr. Music." Now in its 24th year of syndication (1986-2010), 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: In the summer of 1964, when I heard “A Hard Day's Night” on the radio for the first time, I was struck by both its title and distinctive opening.

The dynamic power chord open speaks for itself, so my question is about the title.

Unless it's the answer to a question about itself, “A Hard Day's Night” isn't even a complete sentence. Very strange wording indeed.

What is its origin? Was “A Hard Day's Night” a hit record first and then a film title later, or was it the other way around?
—Beatle Bob in Buffalo

DEAR BBB: These are great questions for our anniversary column. This week we begin our 24th year in syndication.

Fortunately, I have a recorded interview with “A Hard Day's Night” producer Walter Shenson, and I will transcribe for you the segments in which he discusses the topics prompting your letter:

“At first our picture was called “Beatles Number One” because we didn't yet have a title, and it was their first movie. Meanwhile I was getting these phone calls from United Artists' publicity people in New York asking what we were going to call this film. They were putting together the advertising and needed a title. I said I didn't know, but assured them we'd come up with something.

“Then John Lennon and I were just chatting on the set and he asked if I'd ever heard Ringo misuse the English language. I asked him to give me an example. He said if they were working hard at a recording session all night, the next day Ringo would say something about us really having a hard day's night.

“When you think about it, it really is a very interesting statement. Right then I told John “A Hard Day's Night” would be a good title for our movie. Fortunately, he agreed.

“So we went over and asked the director [Richard Lester] how he felt about it, and then the other three Beatles, and they all said it was fine and would be a great title. I think they were just relieved to not to have to think any longer about a title.

“I telephoned New York, and the publicity people at United Artists, saying here's your title: “A Hard Day's Night.” They said 'What?'

“I told them not to give me an answer right then, but to ask the secretaries their opinion and call me the next day.

“The following day they called to report that everyone at the New York office loved it.

“Now we had a title, but then it dawned on me that we didn't have a title song — and we had already recorded everything [written especially for the film]. In filmmaking, the songs are pre-recorded and then you just photograph the singers singing to their own tracks.

“So I mentioned to John one night that we needed to have another song, one titled “A Hard Day's Night.”

“His reaction was to ask what I was talking about.

“I explained by asking what kind of a producer would I be to have a film called “A Hard Day's Night,” starring the Beatles, and then NOT have a Beatles song called “A Hard Day's Night.” I asked him to please write this new song.

“The next morning, he and Paul called me into their dressing room — we were still shooting — and they played and sang to me their new song, “A Hard Day's Night.”

“Now, think about this: I got a hit song on demand! That's almost impossible. And it was one of their biggest hits ever.”

IZ ZAT SO? The United Artists soundtrack album, “A Hard Day's Night,” is the only one of the Beatles albums on which every track is written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, either individually or collectively.

Jerry Osborne answers as many questions as possible through this column. Write Jerry at Box 255, Port Townsend, WA 98368, e-mail:, or visit his Web site: All values quoted in this column are for near-mint condition.

Copyright 2009 Osbourne Enterprises- Reprinted By Permission

News & Notes

Avenged Sevenfold Drummer Jimmy Sullivan Dies 

Avenged Sevenfold drummer Jimmy Sullivan has passed away at the age of 28. Sullivan, who was also known as "The Rev," died at his home in Huntington Beach, southern California on Monday (December 28).

Reuters news agency reports the drummer died of natural causes. Sullivan’s death was confirmed in a statement on Avenged Sevenfold’s official website.

“It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we tell you of the passing today of Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan,” the statement said.

“Jimmy was not only one of the world's best drummers, but more importantly he was our best friend and brother.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jimmy's family and we hope that you will respect their privacy during this difficult time.”

Orange County Coroner's Office has launched an investigation into Sullivan’s death.


This Week's New Music Releases

Christina Milian - Christina Milian
DJ Official - Entermission
Downhere - Ending is Beginning
Sam Cooke - The Unforgettable
Rhett Atkins - People Like Me
Clash - London Calling 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (CD & DVD) (remastered)
Dire Straits - Dire Straits (vinyl reissue)
Green Day - Bakuhatsu Live EP
Jawbox - For Your Own Special Sweetheart (vinyl)
John Butler Trio - One Way Road
Midlake - Acts of Man (vinyl)
Neil Young - Greatest Hits (3-LP vinyl reissue)
Public Enemy - There's a Poison Goin' On... (remastered with bonus CD)
Super Furry Animals - Phantom Force (reissue with bonus CD)
Tangerine Dream - Legend (remastered)
TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain (2-LP vinyl reissue)
Critical Madness - Bringing Out the Dead
Coldstream Guards Band - Heroes



Lars Ulrich of Metallica says that he is suffering from tinnitus, which he described to CNN as a "constant ringing in the ears. It never sort of goes away. It never just stops."

The drummer said he first noticed the problem back in 1988. "I would fall asleep often with the television on, and I would wake up in the middle of the night to go turn the TV off. Except it wasn’t actually on. When I realized that I was doing that frequently, actually getting up to turn the TV off that was not on to begin with, I realized that maybe I had some issues."

This Date In Music History-December 30


Paul Stookey - Peter, Paul and Mary (1937)

Kenny Penifallo - Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes (1940)

Michael Nesmith - Monkees (1942)

Davy Jones - Monkees (1945)

Roger Glover - Deep Purple and Rainbow (1945)

Singer Patti Smith (1946)

Jeff Lynne - Move and E.L.O. Traveling Wilburys (1947)

Tyrese (1978)

They Are Missed:

Born today in 1934 - Del Shannon (1961 US #1 single "Runaway") Died on February 8, 1990.

Clarence Satchell from The Ohio Players died in 1995 (age 55). Scored the 1974 US #1 single "Fire" and had hits with "Skin Tight" and "Love Roller Coaster."

Johnny Moore of the Drifters ("Under The Boardwalk") died of respiratory trouble in London in 1998.

Born today in 1942, Robert Quine, guitarist, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, (1977 album 'Blank Generation' features the track 'Love Comes In Spurts'). Worked with Lou Reed, Brian Eno, Lloyd Cole, They Might Be Giants. Found dead on May 31, 2004 of a heroin overdose.

Mary Frances Penick, better known as Skeeter Davis (December 30, 1931 – September 19, 2004)

Born on this day in 1928, Bo Diddley, (Elias McDaniel), guitarist, singer. When The Beatles first went to the US, John Lennon was asked what he would like to see; he replied 'Bo Diddley.' Diddley died from heart failure in Archer, Florida on June 2, 2008 (age 79)


In 1962, pop Singer Brenda Lee was slightly injured when she runs into her burning Nashville home to rescue her poodle, Cee Cee. However, it is too late as the pet, which toured the world with Lee, succums to smoke inhalation. The home is destroyed by the flames.

New Musical Express' Twelfth International Popularity Poll lists British acts at the top of most categories for the first time in 1963. The #1 male singer is Cliff Richard, the #1 group is the Beatles and the Record of the Year is "She Loves You."

The Beatles scored their 15th US #1 in 1967 with "Hello Goodbye," Gladys Knight and the Pips were at #2 with "I Heard It Through The Grape Vine" and The Monkees at #3 with "Daydream Believer."

Frank Sinatra recorded the epic cut "My Way" in 1968.

Bob Marley visited Island Records’ head Chris Blackwell at his London office in 1971. The resulting association will make a superstar of Marley and establish Island as THE reggae label.

Swedish pop group, Abba, the world's most successful singing group of the decade, garner a US gold record for their Greatest Hits album in 1976.

Emerson, Lake & Palmer, the art-rock supergroup beloved by millions of fans and hated by most rock critics, annouced their break-up in 1978.

The J. Geils Band enjoy the biggest LP of their career with "Freeze-Frame," which turns gold on this date in 1981. The album will go on to #1 early in 1982.

In 1999, George Harrison and his wife Olivia were attacked when an intruder broke into their home in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. Olivia beat off the attacker with a poker and heavy lamp. Harrison who was stabbed in the chest was admitted to hospital and treated for a collapsed lung and various minor stab wounds. His wife, Olivia, was treated for cuts and bruises she had suffered in the struggle with the intruder. Police later arrested Michael Abram from Liverpool who had nursed an irrational obsession with the Beatles.

Nickelback went to #1 on the US singles chart in 2001 with "How To Remind Me."

Diana Ross was arrested for drunk driving by the Arizona highway patrol in 2002 after a motorist called to report a swerving vehicle in the western state of Arizona. When asked to walk in a straight line she fell over, could not count to 30 or balance on one foot. Police said the singer was twice over the drink drive limit with a blood-alcohol of 0.20, the legal limit is 0.08.

Young Jeezy was at #1 on the US album chart in 2006 with "The Inspiration" the rappers fourth album.

In 2006, 8,500 people attend Soul legend James Brown’s funeral service in Augusta, GA. Speakers included Rev. Jesse Jackson and Michael Jackson. The Godfather of Soul passed away five days earlier in Atlanta.

In 2007, Ian Anderson was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) as part of Queen Elizabeth II's annual New Year's Honours list. The Jethro Tull frontman was recognized for his contributions to music in the United Kingdom. Anderson seems to take the honor in stride. "A lowly MBE . . . requires only a discrete bow or curtsey from friends and family," writes the singer in an online post. "The rest of you can tell me to bugger off." That's graditude for you....

Patti Smith: Dream Of Life, a documentary about "Godmother of Punk," aired on PBS in 2009. In the works since ’96, the film was broadcast on the singer's 63rd birthday. "My own personal hope is just that people get some sense that I have more dimensions than is sometimes reported," Smith told the New York Times.