Category: A Day in the Life
Didja ever see Them?… Well, Didja?, We did! On a very warm So Calif. evening. August 30 1965. Myself, my best buddy, Gary and 17,000 other devotees had hiked up the steep hill and in to the small canyon that houses ” The Hollywood Bowl” We take our seats and are now beyond eager to see Them. The biggest band in the world ! This was my first concert. ( I was 15 years old) and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Oh I had heard the stories of the shrieking/ screaming fans, fainting girls and general mayhem. But as the sun gently set behind the Hollywood Hills, there was a kind of nervous calm among this young crowd at The Hollywood Bowl. A woman sitting next to me (some attendee’s mom) said something to me about all the opening acts before They come on. Opening Acts ? Before Them ? Whaaaat ? Oh yes, 4 of them ! The King Curtis Band, Sounds Incorporated, Brenda Holloway and lastly ( thank you God) Cannibal and The Headhunters Yikes, 4 of ’em, all four had current hits on the radio and put on a great show. BUT IT DIDN’T MATTER ! All 17,000 of us were there to see Them and only Them. The biggest band in the world ! But now the last of Cannibal’s final song is fading off Into the night, the crowd is getting more animated as a certain hush comes over us all, the lights dim completely and we hear our favorite local D.J. Bob Eubanks finally ” say those words we long to hear” ” Ladies and Gentleman, here they are, The Fabulous Beatles” and a sonic blast of youthful humanity exploded out of The Hollywood hills. as 17,000 hysterical fans leapt to their feet, threw up their hands and didn’t stop screaming until long after THE BEATLES finished their short 12 song set and left the Bowl and the city. But, Gary and I were there. Our seats,( tickets cost $4.00 a piece) were 6 rows from the back fence that secured the venue. The 1965 ” State of the Art” Sound system sucked, and we were deaf from the din of screaming teens.( Vocals were inaudible, Guitars, Bass and Drums were awash in midrange and reverb) But, no matter! It was still the most incredible night of my young life. We saw Them and for all of us They were something we’d never seen before and would never see again. John, Paul, George and Ringo live in concert…..Didja ever see them ?The Ladshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=an-kMAPuIj0
Regardless, Click the link and go back in time to August 30th 1965… A very Hot August Night!
On this day, April 16th in 1964 The Beatles filmed the ‘chase scenes’ for A Hard Day’s Night with actors dressed as policemen in the Notting Hill Gate area of London. In the evening they recorded the title track for the film, ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ at Abbey Road. John and Paul had the title first, and had to write a song to order, completing the track in nine takes.
It also should be noted that the actual title to the film, ” A Hard Day’s Night” was coined by Ringo ! As the story goes….The Beatles were wrapping up a full day of shooting at Twickenham film studios, the band pushed open the large sound stage door, only to find, to their surprise that day had turned to night. As they exited, Ringo looked up at the dark skies and proclaimed “Well lads, it’s been a hard days… Night !”
…..Ringo was well know for his innocent / brilliant “malaprops” On another occasion, during an interview on British T.V. in early 1964, Ringo threw out the phrase “Tomorrow never Knows” addressing a question about the band’s future….. Lennon loved the remark and ultimately took it as the title for the final track on the Revolver album!
Yeah, Yeah, YEAH!
It was on this day, April 1st, 1961, The Beatles began a grueling three-month residency at The Top Ten Club, Hamburg, playing 92 straight nights. The group played for seven hours a night on weekdays and eight hours at weekends with a fifteen-minute break every hour. It was during this visit that Astrid Kirchherr cut Stuart Sutcliffe’s hair into the style destined to become known as the “Beatle haircut” which The Beatles later adopted themselves. In order to cope with the intense, unheard of schedule and along with the band’s penchant for party’s and pretty girls it was at The Top Ten Club where the band began their infamous association with drugs, of all kinds ! During this 3 month stint, the band began their daily regimen of taking “Uppers” at night to keep them going, and “Downers” by day to get the little sleep they needed !
Jornalist and best selling author Malcom Gladwell chronicles these times in his 2008 best seller, “The Outliers” sighting this experience in the band’s life as essential to their later massive success !
Pictured above, the band’s classic Hamburg photo featuting 5 Beatles, including Pete Best on drums and Stu Sutcliffe on bass ! Just prior to Stu’s girlfriend Astrid, breaking out her scissors !
Yesh, Yeah, YEAH…
Post Script : Didja ever play in a band ? Didja ever play THREE sets a night ?…
It was on this day, March 10, 1964 that “Folk Singers” Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel went into a New York studio and recorded their now classic debut single , “The Sound Of Silence”. Paul and Art considered themselves a “Folk Duo” and recorded the song with just Pauls guitar and their two voices!
However, when they delivered the finished track to Columbia records, the record label folks didn’t like what they heard! So, without permission from the duo, the label and it’s staff producers took the basic track back into the studio and added Electric Guitar, Bass and Drums ! Thankfully resulting in a number one record and an iconic piece of 60’s greatness!…
“The Sound Of Silence” became the semi title track to their second L.P. “Sounds Of Silence” catch the subtle variation?
However, you can actually hear the original recording of the song ( without all that pesky electricity ) on their first L.P. Wednesday Morning 3 a.m. It’s always great to compare the two versions!
So, as SMS is always aiming to please, here’s the less often heard “Acoustic” version of “The Sound Of Silence”
Kinda boring, ain’t it? ( scroll way down to leave a comment )
But!….What do you think?
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.
“Nam Yoho Renge Kyo”….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!
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?
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!
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…
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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In the late Sixties, into the early Seventies, the “Club Scene in So. Calif. was thriving. World Class venues like “The Whisky au, go, go “The Hullabaloo Club, “The Trip, Pandora’s Box” “Bito Lido’s” “London Fog” and “The Roxy” with its adjacent “Super hang” bar and grill, “The Rainbow Room! If you even thought of playing guitar, you had to drop into The Rainbow room, have a slice of their “World Famous Pizza and hang out with the real world of “Rock Royalty….
However, it’s the club that’s away from the traffic crunch of “The Sunset Strip” that enjoy’s the longevity, legends and infamous notoriety more than any other nightspot in L.A. Or the world…Doug Weston’s Troubadour! You surely know the story. The club opened in the late 50’s as a coffee-house that gradually grew into a folk music venue. But in the Sixties, The Troubadour moved to its current location on Santa Monica Blvd. and immediately became thee venue for the surge of music both locally and internationally that was taking the 60’s by storm.
From “The Laurel Canyon Mafia, James Taylor with Carol King to Elton John, Comedians like Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, and A Banjo playing Steve Martin. But! The Troubadour soon became famous for what was happening off the stage as well as on. The troubadour is where Lenny Bruce was thrown off the stage and arrested on “obscenity Charges” for using the word “Schmuck” on stage..There was the night comedian George Carlin was having a very bad night, the crowed was booing, when club owner Doug Weston walked on stage, turned around, bent over, pulled down his pant’s Screamed “Kiss my Ass” and closed the club!….No apologies, or of course refunds. The troubadour was where Elton John made is American debut. Far from a “Household” name, Elton sold out 3 nights and shut down Santa Monica Blvd, with his busses and throngs of die-hard fans. There was the night Steve Martin was unhappy with the sound, or temperature in the room. So Steve put an arrow through his head, invited the FULL house to go outside and join him on Santa Monica Blvd. where he did his entire show! HOWEVER, the most notorious event that ever happened at “The Troub” was the night John Lennon and Harry Nilsson dropped by the club and proceeded to get completely trashed. As the party ensued a very drunk John Lennon tied a woman’s tampon to his head. A very agitated waitress grabbed Lennon by the arm and asked him to leave the club, when Lennon barks “Do you know who I am”? The waitress snapped back with “YES, your some asshole with a Tampax on your head”! YEAH, YEAH, YEAH…Good times at The Troub!
But, perhaps the most interesting twist Doug Weston introduced at his club was “Hoot Nite Monday’s” today you’d call it “Open Mic Nite” Every other club in town was “Dark Monday’s” club speak for “We’re closed Mondays’.
But, Weston opened The Troubadour on Monday nights to anyone who wanted to perform on his stage. If you could sing, play, or tell a good joke. You could get on The Troubadour stage, usually to an audience of a couple dozen patrons at most. However, as it was the only bar in town that was open on Monday night. The large bar that lead to the showroom was teaming with thirsty “Wanna bee’s” and more. Many, killing time till it was their turn to take the stage, but mostly locals and drifters looking for a drink and place to hang and collaborate with either musically or whatever…As word and popularity of what was going on in The Troubadour bar on Monday nights grew, the clientele enjoyed a distinctive up tick. The bar was jammed with the artists “Movers and Shakers of the music industry. On any Monday night, a quick glance around the bar, you’d find Tom Waites sitting at his regular corner stool, nursing a glass of whisky with his “Ole 55 parked in the alley. Linda Ronstadt “The Queen of Hearts” would burst into the bar, on some kind of mission, alway’s nervous, curiously scanning the bar for someone or something.
Grabs a glass of something which she sips through a straw and then she’s gone. Henley was there as was Frey, but not together
The Eagles were still a few years away. First they had to join Ronstadt as HER back up band.The past, present and future of pop music were all drinking and plotting in ” The Sad Cafe”, The Troubadour Bar
It was Don Henley who nicknamed the club “The Sad Cafe” He and Glen Frey chronicled their times and experiences at the club in their song of the same name, which can be found on their late 70’s album “The Long Run”
But, one summer Monday night something spontaneous and incredible happened!… Our old friends Rob Grill, Joel Larson and Warren Entner from “The Grass Roots,” fresh off a string of huge top 40 hits….”Two Devided by love” “Sooner Or Later” “Heaven Knows” and their double platinum monster “Midnight confessions” took a break from constant touring and opted for some downtime in their homes in West L.A. All mere blocks from “The Sad Cafe”
The three Roots were Monday night regulars in the bar, commandeered a large table in the corner, drinking and singing! Yes…..Singing! But they were singing “Doo Wop” The Sad Cafe, The Grass Roots and Doo Wop provided me with the best Summer and musical night of my life.
One Monday, The Roots were settled in the corner Rob and Joel, finger poppin and Doo whopping their way through the Doo Wop classic “So Fine” I wasn’t invited but at the chorus, I leaned in and added a deep third part. At 22 years old, I was barely 5′ 6″ and was pushing 120 pounds from the low side. But I had been gifted with a “Basso Profundo deep voice that blended perfectly with the Alto Sopranos of The Grass Roots. The Roots heard this sound coming out of this kid and thought it was the funniest thing they’d ever seen and heard. Monday after Monday, there we were, holding court and performing the best a capella Doo Wop this side of a Brooklyn “Stoop” Soon the bars clientele would join in. Tom Waits shuffled over one night, sat down and tried to growl his way through “Gonna Find Her” but we were too happy for Tom so he moved on…J.D. Souther sat in one night. We were paralyzed! Randy Meisner leaned in a couple of times and it was like the gates of heaven opening…Glen Frey sat down one night….”Fuh getta bout it” One evening Senator Al Franken ( Yes that same Al Franken) sat in. In the early Seventies, Al was a stand up comedian and showed up every Monday to work on his act. He took a break grabbed a drink and joined the chorus.
Forget about his politics The Senator CAN NOT SING…
But it was our final Monday night that was the most fun and poignant. Midway through “Our second set” Rob, Joel and I decided we should go out for chilli dogs! We know you’ve been there. We all got in the car and headed down Santa Monica Blvd. to “Pinks” hot dogs, thee best chilli dog stand in L.A. And only 5 minutes from the Troub. On our way we see a vision! It’s a classic Mid 50’s Candy Apple Red Mercury Cruiser, complete with Fuzzy dice hanging off the rear view mirror and hydraulic jacks bouncing it up and down Santa Monica Blvd. with the radio blasting some Latin music station. But wait here’s the most incredible part, as we pulled along side we saw that the cars owner had air brushed something on the rear side windows ( that was a thing in certain communities in L.A. Back in the day) He had painted each rear window with the words “Midnight Confessions”……Rob and Joel saw the windows of this “SHORT”
emblazoned with the title of their last monster hit and they went insane, laughing hysterically, jumping out of the car and hoping on the back of the Mercury. This was a photo-op gift from God and The Roots weren’t going to miss it…
Meanwhile, inside the Merc are four kids, who are clearly out of their neighborhood, out of their league and are at once, terrified, confused and really pissed off!
Four young latino’s barely old enough to drive on a “Joy Ride” through Beverly Hills. When out of the blue a car full of “Long haired white dudes pulls up and in an instant they’re hanging and posing on this beautiful car screaming and singing”Midnight Confessions” snapping off pictures, while the Merc driver is going crazy swearing he is going to kill all of us. But! Before anything serious developed the Merc driver hit the gas and sped off, throwing everyone to the ground and taking Robs new “Ray Bans” along for the rest of the joy ride….As we dust ourselves off it’s agreed that we should head back to the troubadour, have a nightcap, assess any damages and sing a couple tunes!
Back at The troubadour, we settle in…Good news, our table is empty! Bad news, so is the Bar! But for one lone customer. “Linda is at the bar, looking nervous and sipping a drink through a straw. The Roots and I begin a soft, well tuned version of “Bye Bye Love” “Queen Linda looks up and over, and in a moment OMG! Our Queen is moving towards our table. Like a gossamer vision, she drifts up to our table, and as she surveys the faces, a look of disappointment comes over her Angelic face….”Pardon me”, sez The Queen “I thought I heard someone I know”…Whoa?….Who?
With that, Linda Ronstadt turns around and walks away. As the moment unfurls Rob Grill, at first, laments his lost Ray Bans, but then, leans over to me and say’s “Ya know Rick, the only good thing about watching Linda Ronstadt walk away from your table is WATCHING Linda Ronstadt walk away from your table…
A Sad Cafe Indeed…
However, somewhere there is a photograph of a blurry red quarter panel, with distorted images of Ray Bans and Grass Roots with multiple arms and legs in the air and if you look real close you can see the words “Midnight Confessions” stretched across a car window while deep in the background you can see the dim glow of neon guiding you to Doug Weston’s “Sad Cafe”
How about you?….Have you ever been there? Do YOU have a story?
Meanwhile, take a moment to enjoy The Eagles tribute…
“And meet me at midnight baby, inside the sad cafe”…
It was 50 years ago this week, Nov 3rd, 1967 that Rolling Stone Magazine, a weekly publication located in San Francisco Calif. published it’s debut issue Rolling Stone # 1…The founder and publisher Jann Wenner was a huge fan of Rock and Roll and the men and Women who created it. Jann lived in a loft in The Bay City with his girl friend and simply said one day “I’m starting a magazine about Rock Music. Jann had become friends with a columnist from The San francisco Chronicle Ralph J. Gleason who wrote feature stories about politics, they partnered up and had what they thought was the perfect blend for a magazine “Directed at The new “Hippie Culture” and they were on to something. Rolling Stone Magazine took off like a rocket and soon became the weekly Bible, yes, for the “Hippie community ( who ever that was ) but to the millions of fans of 60’s music and the culture all around it. The first issue featured John Lennon on the cover with a promotional photo of John from his recent debut purely as an actor in the Richard Lester film “How I won The War”
But, here’s the best part, to initially attract Jann’s perceived core audience. The first issue came with a free “Roach Clip” attached to the front page…..For those of you unfamiliar to the word “Roach Clip” ask your parents! And no, it has nothing to do with pesticides! In 1967 my buddies and I bought four copies, just for the free clips.
However, to our broader point, consider this between 1965 and 1967 culturally we were besieged with “Rolling Stones. In 1965 The Rolling Stones released their debut album called “England’s newest Hit Makers, The Rolling Stones” and in that same year Dylan released his first number one with “Like a Rolling Stone”
Radio stations curios as to the musical origin started playing an old Muddy Waters record called, what else? “Rolling Stone And in 1966 Dylan added a bit more Rolling Stone Flavor when he released his single “Rainy Day Women 12 and 35 whose chorus includes a “partying” sing a long of “Everybody must get stoned” preceded by verses chronicling all the ways the world can “Stone Ya”. ….. INDEED!….And in 1967 Laura Nero gave us “Stoney End”
Lastly When we believed the “stoning may be behind us we have to thank the Great Temptations for resurrecting “Rolling stone” in 1971 with their iconic classic “Papa was a Rolling Stone”
But now, let’s enjoy this rare classic live recording that started it all….
Yes, it was 50 years ago today Sept. 11, 1967 when The Beatles set off on their newest project / adventure / and first major failure, their first and last film completely written, produced, directed and starring John, Paul, George and Ringo…
The full cast and crew set off in their now famously decorated bus directly for The West Country of England, specifically the counties of Cornwall and Devon. They had no plan or true destination. They had no script. Each Beatle brought along pockets full of random thoughts scribbled down on bits of paper, notes like Lennon’s… “later John Serves a fat lady huge shovel’s of Spaghetti dressed as a Maitre ‘de.” Paul collected and collated the notes and named them The Scrupt!
And the shooting began, day and night until Sept 25th Yep, just 15 day’s yielding 10 hours of film, edited down to a mere 58 minutes!
we know, you know just about everything about this ill fated project, but we’re here to share a few “Didja knows” you may not have been aware of….You remember The Beatles oddball B-Side to “Let It Be”…”You Know My Name, Look Up My Number” Paul gives a shout out to Dennis O ‘del….Who?…. Dennis was an independent associate producer who worked on Magical Mystery Tour….Paul liked him and named him in his song!….They indeed shot the film in The West Country, but one day they ran off to Nice in the south of France and in an extremely clandestine maneuver “No permits/ permissions clearances etc. and shot “The Fool On The Hill”
The only other musical guests to briefly appear in the film were “The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band” performing their song “Death Cab For Cutie” Yep same name as the indie band that formed in 1997 in Washington…
Furthermore, Traffic were originally in the film performing their song “Here We Go ‘Round The Mulberry Bush” But, their performance became a victim of “The editors knife” and were cut out at the last-minute. Probably another bad decision for this doomed project!
Although all four Beatles are credited as writers, Directors, producers and Stars…Only Ringo is singled out with his solo credit as “Cinematographer”
the truth is all four Beatles were constantly shooting. In fact Paul is credited with the idea and concept for Macical Mystery Tour as an extension of his current hobby he was calling “Home movies”
But Ringo actually got a credit, something he may regret today…Curious, ain’t it?….or, another gift from John and Paul for their humble band mate ?
The film debuted in the U.K. on Television!….BBC One on “Boxing Day” (Dec. 26) in 1967….And get this! At this point in time BBC One could only transmit Black and White images! So all the Psychedelia, rich colors and beauty were lost in a wash of dull Grey/Black/White swirls!……Audience and critics hated and didn’t understand it……They demanded an apology from McCartney and he spoke up! He said that “It was their first film and they considered it a brilliant success……Remember the quote “I did not have sex with that woman” Sumthin’ like that. Two weeks later B.B.C. Two aired the film, B.B.C. Two, ( the lessor of the two networks ) however had the technology to air the film in COLOR! At that point in time it was reported there were 200,000 color sets in England and only a fraction of their owners watched the film, the damage was done!
In fact it took seven years for the film to even get released in the U.S. New Line Cinema released the film at a gala screening in NYC in 1974. The film was received more favorably in the U.S. Afterall, even with all the bad press IT WAS THE BEATLES,…How bad could it be”?
Your mother should know!
Did You ever see the movie? Do you have an opinion?….We’d love to know!…