Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ask Mr. Music by Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: My favorite rock music instrument is the guitar, and, though I play a little, I am in awe by some of the masters.

One in that category is the late George Harrison, and it is he who inspires my question.

What did he do to create that unmistakable opening chord on “A Hard Day's Night”?

I have tried but cannot even come close.
—Rick Jensen, Lancaster, Pa.

DEAR RICK: Close is as close as you can get on your own. Duplicating that chord requires a supporting cast.

Easily among the most instantly recognizable opening chords ever, those two seconds involve much more than just George on his 12-string Rickenbacker.

Though not individually distinct, Paul on bass, Ringo on drums, George Martin on piano, and a touch of random reverberation are all crucial to the forceful kickoff on the finished product.

As for getting close, the best advice for going it solo comes from Randy Bachman, lead guitarist for Guess Who and singer-guitarist of Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

In a segment of Randy Bachman's Guitarology 101 (CBC and satellite radio), he explains:

“The opening chord of “A Hard Day's Night” is the most famous chord ever played on a 12-string guitar!

“George plays an F chord, with a G on top, and a G on the bottom with a C next to that G.”

Randy then strums it live, coming amazingly close to what the Beatles and their producer created at the Abbey Road Studios, in April 1964. You should be able to do so with a similar result.

DEAR JERRY: Check any telephone directory and you will see how very, very few people have a last name that begins with X. But since I am one of that rare breed (actually pronounced Zenos), I'd like to know if any popular recording artists are alpha-filed under X.

Also, how many popular songs from singles actually have “Xmas” in the title?
—Joseph Xenos, Houston

DEAR JOSEPH: By not limiting the search to specific genres or time periods, there are, perhaps, more than you might think, though X is the letter with the fewest names of people as well as songs.

By far, the most successful X act is the Atlanta all-girl foursome, Xscape.

They sold millions of singles and albums between 1993 and 2000, with their best-known tune being “Just Kickin' It,” their platinum-selling debut single.

Others in the X-file are X; Xavier; Xavion; X-Clan; X-Con; X-Ecutioners; Xmas Balls; X-Rays (1949); XTC; X-25 Band; Xymox; XYZ; Xzibit

All but X-Con and Xzibit (solo males) are groups, and only X-Rays is earlier than the 1980s.

Just because none of your X brethren hit the charts before the '80s doesn't mean they weren't trying. Here are some Xamples of earlier efforts, and the decade in which they recorded:

1910s: Xylophone Solo Orchestra
1950s: X-Citers Vocal Group; and X-Rays (not the '40s group)
1960s: X. Lincoln; Ndikho Xaba and the Natives; X-Cellents; X-Ceptions; X-Citers Unlimited; XL's; XL-5; X-Man; X-Men; and Xtreems
1970s: X-Cessors; X-Cetra; Xenogenesis; Dax Xenos; XIT; XS; Baggage; and XYZ (not the 1980s group)
Might Dax Xenos be a relative?

There are more than 100 “Xmas” songs, most being album cuts and non-hit singles, but I can only think of two bona fide hits: “Nuttin' for Xmas” (1955, Joe Ward) and “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” (1971, John Lennon & Yoko Ono).

IZ ZAT SO? Before the 1980 hit soundtrack single, “Xanadu,” by Olivia Newton-John and the Electric Light Orchestra, there was only one popular song title beginning with X.

In May 1948, “X-Temperanous Boogie,” an original instrumental by Camille Howard “Playing the Piano with Rhythm Accompaniment,” made Billboard's Top 10 “Most-Played Juke Box Race Records.”

Jerry Osborne answers as many questions as possible through this column. Write Jerry at: Box 255, Port Townsend, WA 98368 E-mail:   Visit his Web site:

All values quoted in this column are for near-mint condition.

Copyright 2011 Osborne Enterprises- Reprinted By Exclusive Permission

Vinyl Record News & Music Notes

Top 5 eBay Vinyl Record Sales - Week Ending 12/24/2011

A sweet find turned up this week, a test pressing of "Freewheelin'" that has the alternate tracks that were mistakenly released on the original pressing. A stock copy of "Freewheelin'" typically sells for around half the $5k price that this test pressing bid to. Psych stuff continues to make the list, with Canadian holy grail "Bent Wind" getting the #2 spot, and Delany and Bonnie's Apple record getting the #4 spot. Poking in at the bottom is a KBD 45 from Bad Brains.

1. LP - Bob Dylan "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" Test Press LP Alternate Tracks - $5,212.00

2. LP - Bent Wind "Sussex" Trend 1015 - $4,064.00

3. LP - Jaques Dumont Bach Sonata & Partitas Belvedre - $3,962.00

4. LP - Delany & Bonnie "The Original Delaney And Bonnie" Apple SAPCOR7 UK Pressing - $3,534.64

5. 45 - Bad Brains "Pay To Cum" / "Stay Close To Me" w/sleeve and insert - $2,938.00

As always, a thank you to Norm & Jane over at Vinyl Record Talk for this enlightening data!


wonderful story and interview over at

Label Profile: Captured Tracks

Mike Sniper speaks to ClashMusic

Posted by Robin Murray

One of the defining imprints behind the current indie pop boom, it would be churlish to pin Captured Tracks down amongst the cardigan-clad legions. Sticking to its guns, the Brooklyn label has supported music it dearly loves building up a back catalogue that moves from noise pop to dream pop, with a touch of electronics along the way.

Retaining a love for the physical format, the pop song and a fuzzed up guitar riff Captured Tracks has constructed an identity without allowing themselves to be pigeon-holed.

Read the rest at


very interesting read at

Some Girls: The Facts About the Stones' Most Notorious Record Cover

John Hood / Miami-based writer

A few weeks back, to much acclaim, The Rolling Stones re-released their seminal Some Girls album. As John Carucci reported here, the new edition comes as both a double disc and box set, and includes a slew of songs that were intended to be the original LP, but got cut due to time restraints. In fact, Stones guitarist Keith Richards said rushing to market was "the same as cutting off your baby's head."

But added tracks, as kickin' as they may be, aren't the only story behind the Some Girls re-release, which is wrapped in the very same sleeve that caused such a stir way back in '78 and remains a bone of contention between its co-creators, Peter Corriston and Hubert Kretzschmar. Now that the head's been put back on the baby, song-wise, perhaps it's time we put to bed the issue over who did what with the notorious sleeve.

Read the rest of the story at


great story out of the uk:

Music fans going back to black as vinyl records enjoy a revival

While sales of compact discs are plummeting, vinyl is making a comeback, says Andy Welch

For millions of music lovers, owning hard copies of albums became a thing your parents did after the advent of iTunes.

These days, 99 per cent of all new singles are bought digitally, with more than 85 per cent of those bought from the aforementioned online store, leaving CDs and minidiscs to dance their way to the musical graveyard.

Yet there’s one analogue anachronism in this high-tech world that refuses to go offline. During the first nine months of 2011, more vinyl records were sold than in the whole of 2010 – a 40 per cent sales bump. Not bad for a product that was reportedly consigned to the scrapheap decades ago.

Last month’s UK Record Store Day, which began two years ago, celebrated the vinyl format, with numerous bands either re-releasing or recording special, limited-edition vinyl stock and giving copies to independent sellers across the country.

Read the rest at


Doors Five-Disc Super Deluxe Edition of ‘L.A. Woman’ Cancelled

by: Karen 'Gilly' Laney

The Doors‘ ‘L.A. Woman’ five-disc Super Edition is no longer on the list for a January 2012 release. Bumped from its initial release date of Nov. 24, 2011 and despite the hundreds of pre-paid advance orders, Rhino Records has decided that it’s not a commercially viable project.

Doors’ Manager Jeff Jampol explains that “there are concerns at [Rhino's] end” and “they want to be sure that not only is the market there, but do we have a place to distribute them?” The two-disc ‘L.A. Woman’ 40th Anniversary special edition remains on schedule with a Jan. 24 date, but now it appears that a three-disc set (previously unreleased alternates/outtakes/chatter) will later accompany it.

This three-disc set is the replacement for the proposed five-disc set and will be packaged so that it’s more affordable. Priced moderately, as in “likely under $50″ says Jampol.



QUEENSRĊ¸CHE's 'The Warning' To Be Reissued On Limited-Edition Audiophile Vinyl

QUEENSRĊ¸CHE's classic first full-length album, 'The Warning,' will be reissued on limited-edition 180-gram audiophile vinyl with a gatefold cover on February 14, 2012.

You can now pre-order the item at AMAZON


album cover art of the day:

Astral Winter Reveals New Album "Forest Of Silence" Art

Black metal at Astral Winter have unleashed the cover artwork for their upcoming album 'Forest of Silence.'


I. Pathway To The Ancient Forest
II. When Moonlight Evokes The Frozen Night
III. The Palace Of The Prophets
IV. As I Embrace The Winter Winds [Instrumental]
V. Defenders Of The Astral Kingdom [Part II]
VI. The Summoning Of Arcane Magic
VII. Forest Of Silence [Outro]


Ron Mosely of Ruby & the Romantics and Sean Bonniwell of the Music Machine Pass Away

Two artists from the 60's passed away earlier in December but the information in only becoming public now.

Ron Mosely of Ruby & the Romantics passed away on December 3 after a long illness at the age of 72.

Mosely was originally in the group the Skarlettones who recorded on Ember starting in 1959. When Ruby Nash joined the group, they changed the name to Ruby & the Romantics and hit the top of the charts in 1963 with Our Day Will Come.

Read more at our friends at


and in music history for december 28th:

In 1963, the Beatles get their first major press in the US when Brian Epstein was interviewed in the New Yorker.

In 1963, a quartet from Minneapolis, Minnesota who called themselves The Trashmen saw their first release, "Surfin' Bird", enter the Billboard Hot 100 where it would reach #4 during the first week of February, next year. The song is a combination of two R&B hits by The Rivingtons: "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow" and "The Bird's the Word."

In 1965, surrounded by friends at Graceland, Elvis Presley took LSD for the first time, joined by girlfriend Priscilla Beaulieu. After staring at each others' distorted faces, the tropical fish in his aquarium and dew drops on the grass, both decided that they'd be risking their sanity to try the drug again.

In 1968, the Miami Pop Festival in Hallandale, Florida attracted an estimated 100,000 music fans. The three-day event featured performances by Marvin Gaye, the Turtles, the Box Tops, Steppenwolf, Canned Heat, Iron Butterfly, Joni Mitchell, the McCoys, the Grateful Dead, Procol Harum, Fleetwood Mac, Three Dog Night, Pacific Gas & Electric, and Chuck Berry.

Also in 1968, Vanilla Fudge performed at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, British Columbia. Their opening act was Led Zeppelin.

The Doors' "Touch Me" was released in 1968. Written by Robby Krieger, its riff was influenced by The Four Seasons' "C'mon Marianne." It is notable for its extensive usage of brass and string instruments (including a solo by featured saxophonist Curtis Amy) to accent Jim Morrison's vocals. It was one of The Doors' most popular singles.

The song reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 in the Cashbox Top 100 in early 1969 (the band's third American number-one single). The single also did well elsewhere, peaking at #1 in the RPM Canadian Singles Chart and at #10 in the Kent Music Report in Australia. However, despite the band's commercial success the previous year, "Touch Me" did not chart in the UK Singles Chart.

In 1970, John Lennon released the single "Mother."

"Mother" is actually a cry to both his parents, who abandoned him in his childhood. His father Alf left the family when John was an infant; his mother Julia, didn't live with her son although they had a good relationship, was hit and killed in a car accident on 15 July 1958 by a drunk, off-duty policeman named Eric Clague, when Lennon was 17. Lennon relives the loss of his parents with lyrics such as "Mother, you had me/but I never had you"; "Father, you left me/but I never left you."

"Mother" begins with the sound of a funeral church bell ringing ominously, signifying death.

Lennon was inspired to write the song after undergoing primal therapy with Dr. Arthur Janov, originally at their home at Tittenhurst Park and then at the Primal Institute, California, where they remained for four months. Lennon, who eventually derided Janov, initially described the therapy as "something more important to me than The Beatles."

Although Lennon said that "Mother" was the song that "seemed to catch in my head," he had doubts about its commercial appeal and he considered issuing "Love" as a single instead. "Love" was eventually released as a single in 1982.

In 1974, although Cher had earlier turned the song down, "Angie Baby" becomes a number one hit in the US for Helen Reddy. Cher had also rejected "The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia", which Vicki Lawrence took to the top in April, 1973.

In 1975, twenty-five year old David Gelfer pointed a .44 magnum at Ted Nugent and was then brought down to the ground by members of the audience and security guards. Gelfer was charged with "intimidating with a weapon."

In 1976, Freddie King, who reached the Hot 100 in 1961 with "Hide Away", died from a heart attack at the age of 42. In 2003, King was ranked 25th on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.

In 1981, WEA Records (Warner-Elektra-Atlantic) raised the price of its 45-rpm records from $1.68 to $1.98.

In 1983, depressed over mounting debts and personal problems, 38 year old Beach Boys' drummer, Dennis Wilson drowned after jumping over board from his yacht at Marina Del Ray Harbor in Los Angeles. He was the first of the group to release a solo album, "Pacific Ocean Blue", writing and singing every track. Special permission was granted by President Reagan to have a burial at sea, which is usually only allowed with deceased Navy personnel. His brother Brian, who was still unable to cope with day to day life, did not attend the funeral.

In 1988, Nirvana played the Hollywood Underground in Seattle.

In 1998, singer Ronnie Hammond of The Atlanta Rhythm Section was shot in the chest by a Macon police after allegedly lunging at an officer with a broken guitar handle and a hammer. Police were responding to reports that the singer was trying to commit suicide. This was the second suicide attempt within a month for Hammond, following the first on December 9th. He would later make a full recovery, but died of heart failure on March 14th, 2011.

In 2002, British Glam Rock star Gary Glitter (real name: Paul Gadd), who was convicted of child pornography offences in 1999 in England, was deported from Cambodia. The 58 year old Glitter had set up a home last year in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh. pig.....

In 2003, Michael Jackson gave an emotional interview to CBS-TV's "60 Minutes," his first since being arrested on child molestation charges, saying, "Before I would hurt a child, I would slit my wrists." Ed Bradley had taped the interview with Jackson three days earlier on Christmas night.

In 2003, guitarist Pete Townshend of the Who revealed to a London newspaper that he seriously considered suicide after a 2002 arrest on child pornography charges. He claimed to have been visiting child pornography Web sites as research for a book he was writing that dealt with his own sexual abuse as a child.

In 2004, a North Carolina man named Wade Jones sold three tablespoons of water taken from a cup used by Elvis Presley during a 1977 concert for $455.

In 2005, the body of Barry Cowsill, bass guitarist for The Cowsills, was recovered from the Chartres Street Wharf in New Orleans. He was killed on or about September 1st from injuries believed to be caused by Hurricane Katrina. He was 51.

Also in 2005, UK radio station Planet Rock asked 58,000 listeners to name the greatest Rock stars ever. First place went to Pink Floyd, followed by Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Who, AC/DC, U2, Guns N' Roses, Nirvana, Bon Jovi and Jimi Hendrix.

birthdays today include (among others): Johnny Otis (90), Charles Neville (Neville Brothers) (73), Dwight Bement (Gary Puckett & the Union Gap) (66), John Legend (33), Dick Diamonde (Easybeats) (64), Mike McGuire (Shenandoah) (53), Marty Roe (Diamond Rio) (51) and Edgar Winter (65)