Sixties Music Secrets

Author: Rick

But Bill,….why man?

 

 

You of course remember and are a bit curious about the mercurial, reclusive, quiet, gum – chewing  former Bass player for The Rolling Stones Bill Wyman?  When it came to the success and fame of the Stones Bill was, at best indifferent .  Bill avoided most of the trappings of a rock stars life, while he enjoyed a drink once in a while and hardly touched POT Wyman claimed he was addicted to girls! In fact in 2001 Maxim magazine put him in the top 10 for bedding women, at that time Wyman asserts he had slept with over 1000 women. But, dear reader get out your calculator and slide rule cuz here’s where it gets complicated. Bill got married to his first wife Diane in 1959, they had a son Stephen Paul Wyman in 1962 and the couple was divorced by 1969.

On 2 June 1989, aged 52, Wyman married 18 YEAR OLD Mandy Smith, whom he had been dating since she was 13 and he was 47 years old. According to Smith, their relationship was sexually consummated when she was 14 years old!  “YIKES” Their relationship was the subject of considerable media attention until it ended in 1993 when he met Susanne Accosta, married her and had three daughters!

Ahh, but here’s where it gets even stranger?  Stephen Paul, Bill Wymans first son would grow up to Marry Mandy Smith’s Mother, Patsy SmithYou got that? Yep!, Bill Wymans son, grew up and married his Step- Mothers MOTHER!……or he married his dad’s “Mother in Law” Stephen Paul Wyman was 36, patsy was 41

We’d love to hear your Bill Wyman story?…..Or perhaps you were married to him!

SMS    

 

 

February 24, 2018     0 Comments

The SMS Trivia Question Of The Week (How good are you?)

 

Yep!…It’s TRIVIA TUESDAY for February 20th…

And, as always, we’d like to begin by recognizing the brilliant readers that answered last week’s question correctly! The question was: What huge hit from the early Sixties name checks the legendary P.T. Barnum? Who sang it and what popular T.V. Series was it debuted on?

The correct answer is “Goodbye  Cruel World” recorded by James Darren and James performed the song as a guest star on, “The Donna Reed Show”

Congratulations to Steve Winogradsky and John Zambetti who correctly answered the entire question! Way to go guys, you now qualify for the prestigious  title of “Sixties Music Secrets International Super Genius”…..Well done!

However, we’d also like to congratulate Larry in Munich who also nailed the question….’Cept for the part about “The Donna Reed Show” Thank you Larry, close but no cigar!……..( we actually have it on good authority that Larry’s mom  wouldn’t let him stay up that late on a “School night” )….

Which brings us to this week’s question; Last week marked the 50th anniversary of The Beatles on Ed Sullivan! In addition to that history making appearance The Beatles had FIVE songs being promoted at RADIO, ON FOUR DIFFERENT LABELS, in the U.S.A.

Your question? Can you name the four U.S. labels all promoting Different Beatle hits?

And for extra credit and to qualify for the new lofty label of “Sixties Music Secrets International Super Genius” tell us which hit was on which label?

Got it?….Confusion is a given, so questions are encouraged…

 

 

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February 20, 2018     9 Comments   ,

Dear Prudence, meet Sexy Sadie!

It was 50 years ago today, Feb 15th, 1968 when The Beatles, their wives and friends set off for the Ashram of The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi located in Northern India in the city of Rishikish. The plan was to spend THREE MONTHS with The Maharishi, unplug, decompress and be enlightened by this universally acclaimed guru!

Along for this now legendary ill-fated trip were The four Beatles, John’s wife Cynthia Lennon, George’s wife Patti Boyd,  as well as Maureen, Ringo’s wife and Paul’s long time girlfriend Jane Asher, as well as roadies Mal Evans and Peter Brown, and friends, Mike Love from The Beach Boys, Donovan Leitch, actress Mia and sister Prudence Farrow. The original idea to make the trip came from George’s wife Patty Boyd, she was searching for some way to escape and detox from the high focus intense life they were leading, when she saw an advertisement placed in “The Daily Mail” touting The Maharishi and his Ashram! We don’t know about you, but we always were a little wary of Universal Guruh’s running adverts in our local paper?

Scepticism aside Patti happily convinced the gang and booked the  3 mos tour….( if your hearing the Gilligan’s Island theme in your head right now, You’re not alone! ) At first, everyone took a deep breath and felt good about the trip, but things began to deteriorate quickly. There were cleanliness and hygiene issues and problems with large bugs, spiders, and Scorpions   and the food… hitting Ringo the hardest…..In fact by March second Ringo had all he could stand, argued that the “Ashram was nothing more than a child’s sleepover camp and was immediately outta there! Leaving John, Paul and George behind to do what they do best, write songs!  And write they did. Between the remaining three Beatles they wrote 48 songs, most of which are featured on “The Beatles White Album” additionally it was here where Donovan introduced “Finger Picking” to the three guitar players. But as day’s passed The Beatles began noticing how the Maharishi was becoming less and less about Peace, Love and Enlightenment and more about Cash Commerce and the ladies in the group. Beginning with a conversation with Paul, when the Maharishi asked Paul..”.What is the best car for one to have”? Paul replied,  I have a Mercedes-Benz and it’s great” The Maharishi replied, “Fantastic, I shall buy one tomorrow”…..not exactly the kind of “enlightenment” McCartney was looking for. Rapidly, it was clear that “Yogi” was determined to orchestrate and record every moment of The Beatles Trip! With photographers and cameras rolling,  he began each day barking orders, and shouting directions like Cecil B. Demille….”Ringo! Get under the tent, JOHN, PAUL, “smile shake hands”….George, “Play your guitar” you get the drill. Peter Brown was the first to “Blow the Whistle on “Little Yogi” Brown soon discovered and revealed to all that The Maharishi had made a deal with American Broadcaster “ABC T.V.

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“Nam Yoho Renge Kwo”….or whatever the Little Yogi sez?…we think “YIKES” is perfectly appropriate!

The most infamous and timely tales of The Beatles in India surround The Maharishi and his sexual misconduct toward the female attendees. As the story is told, beyond the Maharishi’s obvious overtures, it was Beatle hanger on “Magic Alex” who claimed to have witnessed the Maharishi having his way with a woman who was more than resisting his advances, and SHE left the next day! Beyond the food, the bugs, the heat and “T.V. Special it was The hypocrisy and womanizing by the Maharishi that eventually drove the Beatles away, with Paul and girlfriend Jane Asher leaving two weeks after Ringo with George and John departing soon after!

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Lastly, as ghastly as the experience was Beatle fans were left with at least two of your favorite Beatle songs from their experience in India “Sexy Sadie” which was originally titled “Maharishi” but, upon George’s insistence John changed it! And “Dear Prudence” John’s plea to Mia Farrow’s sister Prudence to unlock her door and come out of her room. According to John, all Pridence wanted to do was sit in the dark in her room and meditate…..She stated very competitively “She was going to be “The first one to find GOD!…..Nobody knows?

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Our favorite moment from The Beatles trip to India was the final words between Lennon and The Maharishi as he and Cynthia were leaving; The Maharishi asks “Why are you leaving so early”? Lennon replies….”Well  if you’re so enlightened YOU FIGURE IT OUT”

” BYE, BYE “…..

You must  have a story?….We’d love to hear it…

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!

 

February 15, 2018     5 Comments   , , , , , ,

A Quick One: Do You Hear What I Hear?

Misunderstood and misinterpreted lyrics have been the subject of  laughter, conversation, many books, films  and T.V!

Take a look at a few hugely popular songs from the 60’s that YOU THINK YOU KNOW! However, after reading today’s post, you may question you’re own ears!

Here are three number one songs. Each one has enjoyed multiple recordings and each one suffered multiple interpretations…

 

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number 1) “Baby I Need Your Lovin

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At the bridge does the singer sing a)  ” Every night I call your name”……Or do you hear b)  “Empty nights echo your name”?

Only one is the correct copyrighted lyric! Which one did you hear?

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.number 2) “She’s Not There”

 

At the chorus does the singer sing a) “Well let me tell you ’bout the way she looks, the way she acts and the color of her hair”…..Or b) “Well let me tell you ’bout the way she looks, the way she accents the color of her hair”

Only one is the correct copyrighted lyric! Which one did you hear?

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Number 3) “House Of The Rising Sun”

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At the second verse does the singer sing a) “My mother was a “trade girl,” sold my new blue jeans”….. Or b) “My mother was a tailor, sewed my new blue jeans”

only one is the correct copyrighted lyric! Which one did you hear?

 

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There are plenty more, but were eager to know which of the above lyrics did you hear and do you have any more misunderstood lyrics from the greatest decade of  music for all time…The 1960’s!

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Lets hear from YOU!…

 

February 9, 2018     13 Comments   , , , , ,

IN PRAISE AND CURIOSITY : Robert Velline and Elston Gunnn!…

“I punched my buddy in the nose after lunch”…Wha?…Hunh? Yep, that’s what the man said, that man? Robert Velline! However you know him as Bobby Vee, and that is the opening line of lyric from his fourth hit single “Stayin’ In” you may not remember him as well as some of the other Bobby’s, Jimmy’s Billy’s, or Frankie’s but Bobby Vee enjoyed 38 chart hits, 10 of them hitting the Top 20….And between 1960 and 1967 that’s more than the other Bobby’s, Jimmy’s and Billy’s combined….But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves.   By the time you heard about Bobby “Cold Cocking” his best friend “In the cafeteria” Bobby already had 2-3 international smashes and it’s only 1962…Yeah in a little less than two years Bobby, was a certified international “Teen Idol!…Yes, the girls were swooning and fainting, but we all privately couldn’t resist the infectious quality and consistent appeal of the songs he would choose to record! Check this out, and admit it, you have at least one of these in your collection…Devil or Angel…”Rubber Ball”… “Take Good Care Of My Baby”…The nose punching “Stayin’In”…..The night has a Thousand Eye’s…”Run To Him” and in the later years “Come Back When You Grow Up Girl” “Please Don’t Ask About Barbara”and “Love you more than I can Say”  Yes, way before Leo Sayer!….Staggering and we owned all of them!…Bobby Vee alone paid the rent and kept the lights on at the Brill Building! His earliest hits were penned by Gene Pitney and John D. Loudermilk with the great Carole King and Jerry Goffin delivering his later smashes…

Ah, but the plot thickens, Bobby’s Idol and influence was the great Buddy Holly, In fact the B-Side to “Rubber Ball was Bobby’s cover of Holly’s Everyday”….With many radio programmers believing it was Buddy, they  began playing it confusing matters and distracting record buyers from “Rubber Ball” Bobby’s incredible A side! Furthermore Bobby’s hit “More Than I Can Say” was written by two of the members of Buddy’s band The Crickets, Sonny Curtis  and Jerry Alison!

But here is the saddest, ironic and most important connection between Bobby Vee and Buddy Holly. You are all familiar with “The Day The Music Died” when a plane carrying Buddy, The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens crashed after takeoff in a winter storm in Feb. of 59! Killing all four passengers on board. The plane was en route to  Moorhead Minneapolis for the first of a 24 day tour called “The Winter Dance Tour. At that point Bobby had released a regional record he wrote called “Susie Baby” a  record that was clearly inspired by Holly’s “Peggy Sue,”

as you can imagine the promoter of The Winter Dance Tour was panicking…24 dates to fill and NO BAND! But the promoter heard “Susie Baby” on the radio and called Bobby ( although he was still Robert Velline) and offered him the job, Bobby and his band “The Shadows”  we’re in Fargo North Dakota, so they  packed up their gear and headed to Moorhead where they headlined the second night of the ill-fated tour and several nights thereafter. These dates are considered the most important period in young , 15-year-old Bobby Vee’s career for two reasons. He was offered a record deal on the spot by Liberty records and he met a piano player named Elston Gunnn…yes, that’s Gunnn with 3  N’s…Gunnn had  heard about this incredible band called The Shadows with a front guy who did a mean Buddy Holly, Elston was out of work and he approached Bobby to be the piano player for The  Shadows. Total Strangers Bobby asked who Elston had worked with? Elston replied by saying he just got off a tour with Conway Twitty!. Bobby needed a piano player, but he was also familiar with who was on tour and where, and he was sure that this odd guy  Elston may not be telling “The Whole Truth” but…..Bobby hired him regardless, Elston Gunnn was now the piano player in Robert Velline and The Shadows. The two quickly became friends with Elston, fresh out of high school and nearly three years Bobby’s senior became a kind of mentor to Bobby and his musical direction. Things went well, but didn’t last for more than six months, ya see Elston could only play in the key of “C”

Yes dear reader, here’s the payoff Elston’s real name is Robert Allen Zimmerman…YES! Bob Dylan!

Through the years Dylan has sung the praises of Bobby Vee and on  several occasions performed Bobby’s “Susie Baby”….

Bobby spoke infrequently but respectfully about his relationship with Dylan and they remained friends until we lost Bobby Vee from complications due to Alzheimer’s in 2016……Here’s “Stayin In” https://g.co/kgs/qezXuL

 

Were you a Bobby Vee fan?…We know you love Dylan!….Strange bedfellows, INDEED!

February 5, 2018     9 Comments   , , , , ,

Turn On !….The Television. ( The Twilight Zone )

In the 1960’s, when we weren’t listening to the greatest music of all time, we watched T.V ! No Hi-def flat screens with international satellite up links, just three networks and the most innovative and entertaining programming in history. Nearly all of the worlds most popular programs included opening and closing musical themes. Many of them established their own identity and remain with us, holding a place in our life and culture as powerful and memorable as much as the music we “tuned” into on the radio in The 60’s…Who hasn’t invoked “The Twilight Zone” theme anytime something weird happens? or tried to plunk out “Peter Gunn” on the piano?

……Right here, each week, we’ll focus on one of your favorite T.V. Shows from The 60’s and the GREAT MUSIC  that accompanied them.

This week, SMS is going a bit “Out on a limb” sighting what we believe is thee quintessential T.V. THEME from the 1960’s ! It’s as much a part of our life experience and musical fabric as The Beatles,  Stones,  Beach Boys or Motown

Yes, Rod Serlings masterpiece of Science Fiction and The Bizzare, “The Twilight Zone” that ran on the CBS network from Oct. 1959 till Nov. 1964. There is no debate as to the originality and quality of this pioneering program, but it’s the program’s opening theme that has stayed with, and “haunted” us through the years and decades…

To this day, quietly whistle the simple eight note,  ( de dee de de, de dee, de  dee ) melody into any “Baby Boomers” ear and you’ll instantly invoke an uneasy feeling of anticipation, excitement and foreboding, as vision’s of floating eyeballs, breaking windows, and a spinning vortex with…..”E = MC 2″  drifting by…Remember?   Of course you do! The theme is generally credited to composer Bernard Herrmann but, the truth is that spooky opening guitar riff was actually written by a French composer named Marius Constant and he did it as a “Work for hire” for a music library service, commissioned by CBS!  Which quite simply means “Messrs. C and H” didn’t get rich from writing arguably, the coolest and most recognizable T.V. theme in history. In fact The Twilight  Zone basic theme is 2 – 3 of these Library clips edited together…cut, arranged, embellished  orchestrated and perfected by Mr. Herrmann!…Got it?  Either way, IT REALLY WORKED !

There are several unique elements to this show, not the least of which is, unlike any other show on T.V.the program’s creator and “Head Writer” Rod Serling is as well-known and celebrated as his dream child! To this day Impressionists and comedians still do their take on the clipped  speaking, intellectual, chain  smoking persona of Rod Serling… “You are  about to enter The Twilight  Zone”

Through the years their have been countless cover recordings of the theme..  Dozens of Jazz bands, and instrumental ensembles as well as every compilation album featuring music and themes from Television. In 1980,  the pop quartet Manhattan Transfer Authority had a Top 20 hit with a song they wrote called “Twilight  Zone / Twilight Tone” The song held little resemblance to the shows theme, but the record opened with a re – mix and “80’s  enhanced audio clip of the actual original opening from T.Z. Featuring Serlings clipped introduction…

BUT ! The version you probably remember best and likely loved was a confused and controversial hit that went to Number One in October of 1962 by “The Markettes!  A Rocking Surf Instrumental with French horns and a  brief-drum solo.  It was called “Out  Of Limits” But things got messy…

Here’s the deal, In 1962 “The Twilight Zone ” T.V. Show finally had a rival and competitor program getting traction, that show was called “The Outer Limits” And it too was an Anthology series  of Science Fiction and The Bizarre…

And, here’s the rub, The Markettes record sounded nothing like “The Outer Limits theme, however, it borrowed generously from “?The Twilight Zone ” theme basing its entire arrangement on the now famous “de de de dee, de de de dee”! The Markettes had a number one record but they were now facing legal action from not just Rod Serling, but, the producers of “Outer Limits” as well, claiming copyright infringement of their title “Outer Limits” Soooo, The Markettes quickly settled with Serling and then changed the title to their huge hit to “Out OF Limits”, playing havoc with radio programmers, juke boxes and most importantly the ASCAP royalty system, if you happen to own a rare copy of “Outer Limits” check E-Bay, it’s worth a few bucks!…As the man said…”You’ve now entered The Twilight Zone”….

So now let’s take a listen to the incredible full length arrangement of the Theme from “The Twilight Zone”

AND OF COURSE WE HAVE TO HEAR..” The Outer Limits” ( or, “Out of Limits”) from The Markettes…

How about you?…Does this ring “Home” for YOU?…We’d love to hear your thoughts and experience…

January 28, 2018     1 Comments   , , , , , ,

“The Naked Truth” …with John and Yoko…

It was on this day, Jan. 25, in 1969, when New Jersey state prosecutors issued a warning to US record dealers that they would be charged with distributing pornography if they were caught selling the John Lennon / Yoko Ono LP ‘Two Virgins’. The Jersey “State Troopers” confiscated 30,000 copies! The front cover of the album showed the pair in full frontal nudity, while the back cover showed them from behind. The album barely managed to even chart, peaking at No.124 in the US. but failed to chart at all in the UK, where only 5,000 copies were ever pressed.
EMI records in the U.S. Initially refused to release the record but made a deal with indie label Tetragrammaton records to release it in late Nov. 1968, where they cleverly, or not, stuffed the album into brown paper bags to eventually sell a meager 25,000 copies!
The album was abhorred by music critics, fans and the general public!

 

Keep in mind that at the release of “Two Virgins The Beatles were still a band. At least on paper, and in January of ’69 they were still ten  months away from releasing their penultimate studio record “Abbey Road” featuring George’s beautiful final Beatles single…”Something”

 

in fact, John wanted “Two Virgins” to come out much earlier but claims it took him six months to convince The Fab Three, Paul, George and Ringo that the “Two Virgins” naked cover art would be a great statement for The Beatles and mankind!  John!…Puh – Lease!

But !  How about you?  Do you have a story?   Did you own a copy of John’s least greatest work?  Better still, have you ever even heard a track from this…um,…er,…ah…release?…..If you haven’t, no sweat, YOU HAVE BETTER THINGS TO DO!

Meanwhile, “All apologies from Sixties Music Secrets for only being able to share the imagery ( see above ) of the l.p. “In the bag” covering John and Yoko’s offending parts ( and were not talking about their vocals! )….There are still some very arcane censorship laws in place, and “The New Jersey State prosecutors office still scares the S #+ T  out of us!…Yeah, Yeah, Yeah…All you need is Nudity!

Sorry, this is as much as we can show. But, trust us, it’s really all you want to see especially if your reading this post just before Breakfast…

January 25, 2018     2 Comments   , , , ,

Remember Your First Time?

I do ! The first time I went down to the record store and bought my first record! The record store was Pedrinis Music on Eagle Rock Blvd in Eagle Rock Calif.  The Masterpiece I wanted was “Venus” by Frankie Avalon. A beautiful, overproduced, ballad, sung by one of our first “Teen Idols” Today, you’d call it a “Chick Record” But I loved it, it touched me, it spoke to me. I know, you know the feeling. It happens to everyone who truly loves music, at least once. You hear a song or artist and BAM! It’s yours, You own it! And then you take emotional possession of it Yes, it’s yours…You Found it, You “Hear it”, You understand it and you appreciate it  as only YOU can ! And no one else does.For me, it was “Venus” by Frankie Avalon ! and  It was time Jan. 1960.Now I had to actually own it.  I’d saved my Xmas money, and I finally had the 98 cents I needed to buy my first record.  So me and my best friend Louie are off on the one hour walk to Mecca (Pedrinis) Louie didn’t have a clue. Why would he? “Venus” by Frankie Avalon was made for me…Just me….Only I understood it etc. blah, blah, blah! But, in no time, were there. Excitedly I’m in the store, browsing the record bins, and I see every record I’ve ever heard on the radio. Except! You guessed it “Venus” by Frankie Avalon. Of course, this record is way to rare and exclusive for Pedrinis in Eagle Rock But, just then, old Mr. Pedrini comes over, looking as un-cool as any old guy can look. He absolutely will have no clue as to what I’M looking for…..So he asks “What can I help you with?” And I unload,expecting the worst…”Well, you see sir, there’s this amazing record I heard called “Venus” by Frankie Avalon, It’s really cool, I heard it on KFWB  Channel 98 at 8:30 in the morning today and Friday and, blah, blah, blah, blah. Mr. Pedrini wisely raises  his hand to shut me up and says simply “So you’d like a copy of Frankie’s latest single “Venus”? YES I nod. And then Mr. Pedrini says, “step over here, I have a box behind the counter”  Hunh? what kind of universe did I just enter? Not only did old un-cool Mr. Pedrini know what I was talking about, he had a “box of ‘Em behind the counter. But wait, that suggests Mr. Pedrini expected someone else may know about Venus and want to buy it as well. Unfathomable! So, should I bag one up? he sez, Yes sir, I reply. “Would you like to hear it before you take it home ? Of course I would, but I hesitate. What if he cracks it or scratches it’? But I agree to take the risk and there we are, awash in ” Venus” by Frankie Avalon. When Louie interrupts and blurts out ” Hey I know this song, I just heard it on KFWB” AHHHH..Shut up Louie….Too late, The Dream is over, for now. Because, in little over an hour I’m home sitting in my room and for the first time dropping the needle on “Venus” by  Frankie Avalon and my bedroom is transformed into a radio station AND I’M THE DJ. But something is different, the record sounds different, but in a good way. Even on my official Bozo the Clown record player “Venus sounds different The Voices are more clear, I hear cymbals, bells etc. I later learn why. I had only heard “Venus on KFWB a.m. 980 and with its limited band width, I wasn’t hearing much of what was on this great record. But ole “Bozo” came thru in semi Hi-Fidelity. Now, time to send Louie home and figure out a way to talk to Frankie Avalon, Thank him for “Venus” and comfort him with the knowledge that I now own the record he made for me…..

HOW WAS YOUR FIRST TIME ?  (Meanwhile, Here’s Frankie with “Venus”…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4spEihrWpPM

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January 21, 2018     30 Comments   , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Laurel Canyon Mafia !

Yes, Virginia, there was a ” Laurel Canyon Mafia” Laurel Canyon, a cozy hamlet centered in the low-lying Hollywood hills, looming over the infamous Sunset Strip and acting as a geographical and cultural divide between L.A.s San Fernando Valley and West Hollywood. Laurel Canyon was a veritable magnet for all creative types, most  notably  in the 1960’s musicians and recording artists, but the names that make up the residents, friends and neighbors of ” The Canyon” read like a murderers row of “Hitmen and Women. They made the rules, broke the rules, but unquestionably they simply ruled the world of music in the 60’s. They worked together, created together and of course slept together while consistently making the greatest music of our generation or anyone’s. So, who were ” The Laurel Canyon Mafia? Let’s see if any of these names sound familiar. The Byrds, The Doors, The Turtles, The Buffalo Springfield, The Mama’s and The Papa’s “Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young” Joni Mitchell, Carole King and Linda Ronstadt. ” The Mafia” we’re a warm welcoming gang so the residents frequently included the transient Beatle, Stone or other rock royalty, just passin’ through and “Looking for a place to crash” The legend and tales of The Laurel Canyon Mafia are notorious and numerous, so let’s begin early on when a young Richie Furay and Stephen Stills were in Laurel Canyon working on material for their new as yet unnamed band, with Bruce Palmer and Neil Young. While discussing what to call the group they were interrupted by the roar of a steamroller working outside. Looking up, they saw the machine with its manufacturer’s name emblazoned on its side… There it was “Buffalo Springfield” BAM, history made from the blast of a diesel! Years later Mama Cass invited her neighbors Graham Nash and David Crosby over for lunch, Cass insisted she instinctively knew their voices would have a magical blend if they harmonized together. Graham and David gave it a try, next door neighbor Stephen stills dropped by, added a third vocal and awesome guitar fills and BAM,  right in Mama Cass’ kitchen, Crosby, Stills and Nash are born. The influence this unusual community had on the artists is undeniable. On the day Graham Nash moved in with Joni Mitchell, he wrote about it (first Verse)  ” I’ll light the fire, while you place the flowers in the vase that you bought today, ay, ay, ay,” ” Our house is a very, very, very fine house” Unfortunately, as word about the community spread, Laurel Canyon became a kind of tourist attraction especially among young women hoping to meet and “get to know” their idols. Perhaps the most blatant song about the growing saga of Laurel Canyon was the final hit single from The Mama’s and The Papa’s “Twelve Thirty” written by the groups patriarch John Phillips. History will indicate that John, perhaps revealed a little too much information, admitting lyrically in the song’s chorus, ” Young girls are coming to the canyon, and in the morning I can see them walking, I can no longer keep my blinds closed and I can’t keep myself from talking”Whaddya think ? The Doors classic ” Love Street” Yup, smack dab in Laurel Canyon !…..Any stories anyone?

Meanwhile, enjoy this rare, unique and beautiful performance by Joni of her Masterpiece!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 17, 2018     15 Comments   , , , ,

When Wendy Was Walter…

You, of course remember and loved “The First Movement of The Brandenburg concerto number three in G major” Dintja?
You should, it’s been a huge hit TWICE, although initially it was a regional hit breaking out of Germany. But, it caught fire and soon became an international favorite!
The original smash was written and performed by composer and “Keyboard player” Johann Sebastian Bach! But you’re probably more familiar with the popular cover version that hit The Billboard charts, some 200 years after Bach’s debut in the early 1700’s
In 1969, “Switched On Bach” by Walter Carlos stormed on the scene, shot into The Billboard Top 10 and began setting new records and standards. “Switched” was the first classical / instrumental album to be completely performed on a new device called “The Moog Synthesiser” The device was invented by a computer programmer named Robert Moog. His close friend at the time was Walter Carlos, a musician / songwriter working on his Masters degree in Music and Physics at Columbia University in Rhode Island. Although Moog’s basic device could produce basic “Monophonic sounds, it was Carlos who assisted Moog and introduced ideas and features which allowed The Moog Synthesiser to be more flexible and POLYPHONIC ( playing more than one note at a time ) Soon Walter, frustrated with no attention to his own music, came to the idea of an entire album of Bach compositions performed exclusively on The Moog Synthesiser!
After spending over One Thousand hours in the studio, Walter recorded and released his masterpiece in 1968 on The Columbia Masterworks Label. Music and Walters life would change forever…The public and the entertainment industry couldn’t get enough of “Switched On Bach. Dominating the Billboard Album Charts! But, get this in 1969 “Bach” shot to the number one position on the Billboard Classical Music Charts and held that lofty position for four years, till late 1973 selling well over One Million records!…
BUT NOW, “The rest of the story, while Walter was counting his money, juggling opportunities and interviews, Walter was struggling with gender confusion! Since Walter was a young boy he believed he was a girl living in a boy’s body! And now with a little money and power it was time to take action.
Walter began the process in earnest in 1967 by beginning hormone injections and therapy, by 1969 and the huge success of “Switched On Bach, the gender re-assignment process was taking its full effect, he lost facial hair, his voice and body changed!
Walter Carlos is rapidly becoming Wendy Carlos, but Walter wasn’t prepared to “come out” about his secret alter ego. To maintain a successful music career, an artist has to do a lot of personal appearances including T.V. So WENDY had to develop elaborate wigs, costumes facial attachments etc. to maintain her “Walter” persona……In 1970 Wendy made an appearance on The Dick Cavett show wearing a man’s wig, fake moustache and sideburns. This was Wendy’s standard outfit, along with sun glasses and a hat for T.V. And important meetings with Film and Music biz executives.
Walter finalized his transition in 1972 when he successfully
Completed “Sexual Reassignment Surgery” however he continued making music as Walter Carlos including writing the scores for many films like “A Clockwork Orange”, “Tron”, The Shining” and “Marooned”
It wasn’t until May 1978 that Walter Carlos announced he was “Wendy Carlos” The first Trans Gender in the music business!
…ABOVE, Wendy as Walter!….BELOW, Wendy as Wendy!

Did YOU own a copy of “Switched On Bach?

January 14, 2018     0 Comments   , , , , ,