Sixties Music Secrets

Tag: The Beatles

Semolina Pilchard?…

It was on this day Sept. 29, 1967 when The Beatles put the finishing touches on the mix for John Lennon’s “I Am The Walrus”
John, irratated after reading in the newspaper that a teacher at his former elemantary school had her students write a paper analyzing Beatle lyrics, he deliberately wrote a verse of what he called “Gibberous”
… “Semolina Pilchard, climbing up the Eifel Tower,
elemantary penguin singing Hare Krishna, man you should have seen them kicking Edgar Alan Poe” etc. etc.
“That’ll teach ’em!
Scroll down below for comments…

September 29, 2017     4 Comments   , , , ,

A Day In The Life…”Magical Mystery Tour”

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!…

September 11, 2017     6 Comments   ,

“The Day The Earth Stood Still”

That’s how it felt 50 years ago today, June 1st. 1967….We ditched  school,  called in sick, threw parties and told our parents to leave us alone…..We listened non stop for hours, days weeks, months thru the years right up to today, and that’s what we’ll do for the rest of this afternoon and evening…..50 years on! And what is so remarkable we’ll probably hear something we hadn’t heard before… The way The Beatles wanted it to be!

Meanwhile, today around the world, the running topic of conversation will be Sgt. Pepper. Today there will be more written about this record than just about anything else which is profound because, to date, more has been written about Sgt. Pepper than any other record since 1877! ( The year Thomas Edison invented The Gramaphone) There is little we’d like to do more than wax professoriallay about Sgt Pepper and The Beatles, but thru the years we’ve done that all to often! Instead we thought you’d appreciate hearing from the band themselves! So, we’ve included a link to a compilation of Beatle comments about each track from their Iconic Masterpiece. From the opening guitar shreds of Sgt “P”  thru to the final “E” chord that was played on three piano’s and sustains for FORTY seconds closing out “A Day in the Life and side two

Click the link and enjoy a song by song breakdown from John, Paul, George and Ringo!


But here’s the best part…As you read what the band has to say…Take a listen to the rare take #9…



We know you have one… So, please don’t be shy….We want to hear it all!




June 1, 2017     0 Comments   , , , ,

A Day In The Life : The Ballad of John And Yoko

Didja know that on this day, April 14th 1969 The Beatles ( actually only John and Paul) entered the studio to record “The Ballad of John and Yoko. The first and only single to feature only John and Paul……John on guitars and Paul on Bass, Drums and Piano. However, The Ballad of John and Yoko was notorious for including the word “Christ” in the lyric…”Christ you know it ain’t easy” resulting in many radio stations banning the record, many others made their own edit of the record and edited in the word “Christ” BACKWARDS! however most stations opted to simply “Bleep” out the word Christ. Leading to audiences believing that the “Bleeped” version was how the Beatles intended it. However one station in L.A.  KRLA Played the new hit as it was recorded “Christ and all!….Leading to a fan with a great sense of humor, to take out a mock ad in  Billboard magazine accusing KRLA of wrongfully…”Christing out The Bleeps”….think about it!…..HA!

Christ…. let’s listen, and watch!,the-ballad-of-john-and-yoko,3lvxr.html


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April 14, 2017     7 Comments   , , ,

A Day In The Life: The Butcher Cover!

It was on this day, March 25, 1966 that The Beatles met at Bob Whitakers photo studio in London for a photo shoot of what was to be the cover for their next (ninth) album titled “Yesterday and Today”

The lads dressed up in white coats, and then were covered with cuts of raw meat and decapitaded plastic baby dolls. Smiling gleefully at the camera, the shoot took on the image of a strange nightmare!  Whitaker was one of the bands favorite photographers. He shared their love for the absurd, had a mean sarcastic sense of humor and an Avant Garde style that The Beatles, especially, as you may guess, John absolutely adored! It was Whitakers idea for the bizarre set up and shoot. At this point in time the band  would try anything to distance themselves from the image of deity’s, and somehow Whitaker convinced the band that his idea would be a statement on how they were just four normal men! Yeah, we never got that either? Meanwhile, they completed the shoot that afternoon and the images were delivered to Capitol records who wasted no time prepping and producing the new release. Capitol’s initial pressing was 750,000 units. However the immediate and universal reaction was so negative that Capitol had to recall all 750,000 records and replace the offensive cover by simply pasting a new cover ( a completely uninteresting shot of the band standing with an empty trunk (see below) The recall and replace process cost Capitol records $250,000! Wiping out any profit Capitol would had made on their first run of the record….However they did create one of Beatle mania’s most sought after collectors items. For years afterwords Beatle fans scoured the bins of record stores looking for a copy of “Yesterday and Today” with the “paste over cover” To this day if you find one and hold it up to the light just right you can see the original “Butcher” cover behind the “Trunk” cover! Meanwhile, if you’re so inclined, you can pick one up on E Bay for a cool $3,000

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!

Have you ever seen one? Or…..Do you have one?

March 25, 2017     11 Comments   , ,

Do you want to know a secret: “Love Me Don’t”

Didja know that Ringo is not playing drums on The Beatlesimage classic debut single “Love Me Do” Nope, and it isn’t Pete Best ( the bands original drummer ) either. It is actually a Scottish session player named Andrew White (the handsome dude pictured above “rockin’ his skins”)This is all George Martins doing. The Beatles actually recorded “Love Me Do” three times. Initially with Pete Best, Gearge Martin didn’t like what Pete was doing, so they tried one with Ringo….Nope, so then George Martin insisted they bring in session player Andy White, with Ringo being relegated to tambourine. A very bad day for Ringo Starr! Today, there are two different versions of “Love Me Do” available, one featuring Ringo on drums, one with Andy White on drums. You can identify who’s playing drums quite simply. If you hear a tambourine playing in the background then your listening to Andrew White on drums! (Ringo on tambourine…Yikes!)
Meanwhile, here’s Ringo, Doin’ the job…

December 16, 2016     4 Comments   , , ,

What’s the Point ?…..

We’ll get to the point dear reader, but first we want to talk about our favorite singer/songwriter from The 60’s Harry Nilsson!image

Unassuming, soft spoken, timid, tremendously talented and criminally unrecognized. In our book, Harry goes down as arguably Thee greatest singer/ songwriter of the 1960’s and beyond. In fact, in Rolling Stones list of The 100 greatest songwriters of all time, Harry Nilsson weighed in at #64…OF ALL TIME! Our only disagreement with Rolling Stone is perhaps Harry should be number one! Consider this, in his initial year seriously writing songs in the mid sixties Harry’s songs were covered and he had hits with such diverse artists as The Yardbirds ( “Ten little Indians” ) The Monkees ( “Cuddly Toy” ) and of course a recording everyone adores,  “One” by Three Dog Night. We should also mention that Harry also wrote and performed the theme to the hugely popular T.V. Program “The Courtship of Eddies Father” The Song was “Let me tell you ’bout my best friend” It’s all coming back now isn’t it ? Well, that’s one of The Points…

Meanwhile, The Beatles get wind of Harry. They go on to order boxes of Harry’s debut L.P. “Pandemonium Shadow Show and pass them on to all their friends. In separate interviews when John and Paul are individually asked “Who’s your favorite American artist? They both give the same answer…Harry Nilsson ! RCA ( Harry’s record label) proceeds to “Sticker” Harry second L.P. “Aerial Ballet” with a badge that say’s “John Lennon’s favorite Artist”…..unheard of at that time in the music biz! Harry and John became close friends with Harry aiding, abetting and partnering with John through his infamous “Lost Weekend” It was Harry who was with John during his legendary incident at The Troubador Club in L.A. Where a very drunk John and Harry were thrown out of the club after John got a little too aggressive with a waitress, providing the origin of one of rocks greatest quotes…

In addition to his drunkeness, John had tied a woman’s tampon to his head, and as the waitress ushered John and Harry to their feet, John says “Do you know who I am? And the waitress famously replies, “Yes, your some asshole with a Kotex on your head”……Never the less, the point is, The Point is Harry Nilssons most important and greatest record.
Here’s why: The Point was Harry’s 6th record, yet it delivered Harry’s one and only Top 10 single with “Me and my arrow” written by him. We know what your thinking, “What about “Everybody’s Talkin’ Nope, not written by Harry, it was written by folk singer Fred Neil, and what about the incredibly beautiful “Without You”? Nope it was written by the two principal members of the band Badfinger! The writers names were Pete Ham and Tom Evans ( see the “Do you want to know a secret” page for some gruesome details)
Harry’s life and music was rich with irony, with the most ironic element being his notoriety as a songwriter yet he didn’t write his classic iconic hits!
But there’s another point to “The Point” Harry was one of the first to harness the power of Television. The release of The Point L.P. Coincided with ABC airing Harry’s stunning feature length ANIMATED “Movie Of The Week” “The Point” conceived written and produced by Harry and featuring his friends Dustin Hoffman, Ringo Starr and Alan Thicke
Something wonderful happened the day after “The Point” enjoyed it’s debut airing on ABC. The world woke up to who Harry Nilsson was. The next day “The Point” and Harry were “The Water Cooler conversation”….I recall how my best friend said to me, “Hey Everybody’s Talkin ’bout Nilsson” To this day I’m not sure if he realized what he said, but it was the truth. The Brilliance of the animation was a stunning roller coaster of color and movement, juxtaposed to Harry’s unique blend of smooth, dream like melodies accompanied by his lyrics that tell the story and make The Point with his usual Wit, Wisdom, Irony and Innuendo. (Even the cover artwork was designed to replicate “Needle Point) which, is another point altogether! Perhaps, most importantly, The Point, In addition to the hit single “Me and my Arrow” includes our two favorite Nilsson songs “Are You Sleeping” and “Think About Your Troubles” We realize naming your favorite Nilsson songs is like naming your favorite child, but But those are our all time faves…
So, Here’s the point. You need to get The Point..
The Point is Innovative, ambitious, ahead of it’s time, beautiful to look at and musically The richest record you’ll find from a Songwriter in the 1960’s…
And, here’s our final point. If you haven’t seen The Point, you need to! ( yes, it’s available thru the usual channels)
If you don’t agree it’s Nilsson’s Magnum Opus, we want to hear why?
That’s the point!

November 2, 2016     11 Comments   , , ,