Friday, May 20, 2016

Photograph by Ringo Starr

Photograph by Ringo Starr
Antonio G. Pereira © 2016 Antonio G. Pereira
______________________________________


        Photograph by Ringo Starr.

www.amazon.com/Photograph-Ringo-Starr/dp/1905662335

        What immediately grabs your attention about 'Photograph', is it's exquisitely beautiful design. Ringo has put this book together as a photographic diary of his life. His prose throughout the pages, is very informative, poignant and funny.

        Three things that are very obvious from the childhood pictures of Richard Starkey ('Richie', as his relations affectionately called him), that make up the beginning of the book; (1) he was really loved by his family, (2) there was something special about him, and (3) when you see Richie with his friends, you can feel the warmth.

        The photographs of Rory Storm and The Hurricanes (the very popular Liverpool group Ringo was in before The Beatles) are quite extraordinary. They were an exciting band to see in concert! And we see every stage of The Beatles' career up until Rishikesh and the beginning of the white album (during the recording of which) Ringo felt he was unwanted in the band anymore (which of course was not true) and he came back to a warm welcome from John, Paul and George. This was also when he began to branch off into films, on his own; starting with 'Candy'. He talks about all of these things, and it makes fascinating reading.

        Ringo Starr is quite a remarkable and exceptional photographer. (I first noticed Ringo's talent as a photographer, when I saw his photographic portraitures of John, George and himself with their wives and children, and Paul with Jane Asher, in Hunter Davies' 1968 biography, 'The Beatles'. There is also Ringo's post-Beatles furniture design business, 'Ringo Or Robin Limited', which also showcased another facet of his talent, crafting and building beautifully original housewares and furnishings; which was mentioned (along with pictures of some examples of the furniture) in the book, 'The Beatles Forever' by Nicholas Schaffner.) Most of the photo prints in 'Photograph' are really beautiful, as we see his eye for catching moments that make you smile. Besides The Beatles and their families, there are also pictures of Brian Epstein, George Martin, Murray The K, Alfred G. Aronowitz, Phil Spector, Richard Lester, Wilfred Brambell, Norman Rossington, John Junkin, Mal Evans, Neil Aspinall, Peter Sellers (and just people that Ringo came in contact with, whom he wanted to remember); as well as Marc Bolan, Keith Moon, Harry Nilsson, Billy Preston, Carl Perkins, Eric Clapton and many more.

        This is a wonderful book, that you'll really enjoy reading, and treasure for a long, long time. Good Work Ringo! Most Highly Recommended.

        Now, if I heard Ringo correctly in his enjoyable two part interview on Tavis Smiley, he's talking to the other Beatles' families about putting a book together containing photographs that were taken by each member of the group during their heyday (John, Paul, George and Ringo were all camera buffs, as you can see from some of the photographs in the book!); and I'm looking forward to THAT ONE!

     

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Criterion Collection: The Complete Monterey Pop Festival

The Criterion Collection: The Complete Monterey Pop Festival
Antonio G. Pereira © 2016 Antonio G. Pereira
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        Well Folks, Folkies, Folkish and Folklike, the 3 DVD set, The Complete Monterey Pop Festival, is the closest we'll ever get to the definitive version of what happened at Monterey almost 50 years ago. http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Monterey-Festival-Criterion-Collection/dp/B00006JU7P
        The Filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker (already well known for his previous two documentaries on Bob Dylan's 1965 and 1966 concert tours of the UK, known respectively as 'Don't Look Back' and 'Eat The Document' {O.K. D.A., where's the Box Set with Extra Features for 'Eat The Document'?}), has done a good job with this 1967 collection. Disc 1 is the original film 'Monterey Pop', beautifully reproduced, with Extra Features including new interviews with Festival co-producer Lou Adler by D.A. Pennebaker. Historically recorded archival interviews with Festival co-producer John Phillips, Festival Publicist Derek Taylor (occasionally lapsing into his tired and uninformed colonialistic views- i.e. Chuck Berry), Mama Cass Elliot (Cass has her dates mixed up! The Experience played the Hollywood Bowl for the first time as The Mamas and The Papas opening act AFTER Monterey, on August 18th, 1967. See Mitch Mitchell's book, 'Inside The Experience' Published by Harmony Books, New York. For a further fascinating anecdote about the party after the Hollywood Bowl show, at John and Michelle Phillips' house in the Hollywood Hills, where Hendrix meets, makes friends and Jams with Fred Neil (extraordinary musician and composer of the massive hit song 'Everybody's Talkin' - theme song from the film 'Midnight Cowboy'), check the 'Mojo '60s' Issue No. 4 article, 'Fred Neil: The Man Who Wasn't There' pages 110-119. Also mentioned in this article is Fred Neil's final Public Performance in Tokyo, Japan in 1977 with the Rolling Coconut Revue, a relation to The Dolphin Project. {I remember seeing a news story about this Benefit on the NHK Network in 1977, that featured footage of Richie Havens, John Sebastian and Jackson Browne; during my final years of college.}), and David Crosby (then a member of The Byrds). A photographic portfolio collection of the Festival by Photographer Elaine Mays, Theatrical and Radio Promos, Engineer Eddie Kramer detailing how the restoration process of the entire Collection was done, A detailed explanation of The Monterey International Pop Festival Foundation, and a Monterey Pop Scrapbook containing a complete page by page reproduction of the original Festival Program Book; all reproduced on the DVD with crystal clarity. Disc 2 contains the two films, 'Jimi Plays Monterey' with an interview with Pete Townshend of The Who in Special Features, and 'Shake! Otis At Monterey:' with an interview with Phil Walden (Otis Redding's Manager) in Special Features. Both of these films make it abundantly clear why Jimi Hendrix' and Otis Redding's performances at the Festival became legendary, and they in turn were forever loved. Disc 3 contains The Outtake Performances, along with some additional footage shot by D.A. Pennebaker in the Backstage Artists Bar (known as The Hunt Club) of Tiny Tim performing Pop Songs from the 1920s and 1930s. Tiny Tim, very witty, singing and performing on his ukulele. This is priceless stuff and funny as hell. And makes it blatantly obvious why he was such a curiosity back then.
        The Outtake Performances on Disc 3 are very good. Most of these are standouts, including Laura Nyro (who contrary to some other opinions, was very good and professional). Missing unfortunately, from the Outtake Performances is The Electric Flag performing a superb version of 'Gettin' Hard' from their soundtrack to 'The Trip', that was in the cut of Monterey Pop I saw in the movies a couple of decades ago; though their version of 'Drinkin' Wine' (included in this collection) is very good. 'Flute Thing' by The Blues Project is a beautifully inventive performance. Then we have Big Brother doing an explosive version of 'Combination Of The Two', Buffalo Springfield (with David Crosby sitting in on guitar as Neil Young had left the band, and what looks like Bruce Palmer on bass), doing a great version of their top ten hit 'For What It's Worth', The Paul Butterfield Blues Band doing a smokin' version of 'Driftin' Blues', Jefferson Airplane with an excellent version of 'Somebody To Love', Country Joe and The Fish doing what they do best, a wonderful piece of satire with 'Not-So-Sweet Martha Lorraine', Quicksilver Messenger Service with a punchy Rock-Blues 'All I Ever Wanted To Do (Was Love You)', Simon and Garfunkel with a beautiful 'Homeward Bound' and a powerful and deeply moving (this is the original acoustic version) 'Sounds of Silence', and The Who kickin' butt with 'Substitute', 'Summertime Blues' and their mini Rock Opera (Pre-Tommy) 'A Quick One, While He's Away'. This version, almost as explosive as the one they performed the following year on The Rolling Stones Rock 'n Roll Circus. Additionally, David Crosby's very well timed speech between songs, when The Byrds perform beautiful versions of 'Chimes of Freedom' and 'He Was A Friend Of Mine', is incredibly powerful and moving. That was one hell of a Festival!
        During the final segment of Outtakes, Mama Cass (almost with child at the time, by the way) always a marvelous raconteur, echoes the fundamental message of Love delivered in previous days of the Festival by Janis Joplin, Otis Redding and Jimi Hendrix. Her re-telling of her meeting and conversation with John Lennon about The Mamas and The Papas recording of his composition 'I Call Your Name' is hysterical. (We also can't forget the wonderful MC jobs done by people like Tommy Smothers, Brian Jones and Eric Burdon.) The Mamas and The Papas then do a comical version of 'I Call Your Name', as well as a wonderful version of 'Monday Monday'; before Scott McKenzie comes out and sings 'San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)'- {McKenzie by the way, when questioned in Melody Maker a few months later about 'Flower Power', and the obvious 'at the time' explosive racial situation and resultant riots in Detroit, gave a highly open to question answer (see The History of Rock/1967-Uncut Magazine Issue No. 3, Page 94); that left one wondering whether his personal philosophy perhaps was more selective than he was singing about. (For an even clearer, in depth clarification, see The John Lennon Letters review http://observer1984.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-john-lennon-letters.html  )}, and The Mamas and The Papas end the Festival with a joyful version of 'Dancing In The Street'.
        When we get to the accompanying Booklet to the DVDs however, we have a mixed bag. Of the four essays therein, Michael Lydon's, which takes up half the Booklet, is a real waste of time. Jann Wenner's (which is about the aftermath of the Festival, when the Producers wanted to do it again the following year, which ultimately was blocked from ever happening again by the Conservative element in the Monterey area), is quite informative and makes engrossing good reading. British johnny-come-lately 'Mojo' Magazine Journalist Barney Hoskyns, is another waste of time and space. And finally, Armond White (who used to write for local New York newspaper The City Sun) makes some very good and thoughtful observations about the Festival and the film. With the mixed bag exception of the Booklet, this 3 DVD Collection is well worth checking out.It will bring back many treasured memories, and since you can access individual songs and performances anywhere in this Collection, you can make wonderful combinations. Highly Recommended.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Arthur Lee, An Appreciation

Arthur Lee, An Appreciation
Antonio G. Pereira © 2016 Antonio G. Pereira
_________________________________________

        Today is Arthur Lee's birthday, and I'm posting a direct link to John Densmore's wonderful Special to The LA Times, from 2006. Enjoy. http://articles.latimes.com/2006/aug/07/entertainment/et-lee7 

        And I'm also adding this eye opening two-part interview with lead guitarist and co-founder of Love, Johnny Echols; that was conducted last year by Doors Examiner. http://www.examiner.com/article/johnny-echols-talks-about-love-and-the-doors http://www.examiner.com/article/johnny-echols-talks-about-love-and-the-doors-pt-2

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

One Righteous Man: Samuel Battle and The Shattering of The Color Line in New York

One Righteous Man: Samuel Battle and The Shattering of The Color Line in New York
Antonio G. Pereira © 2016 Antonio G. Pereira
____________________________________________________

        In these times in which we live (the year is 2015, and on this morning's news the Confederate Flag is finally coming down in Columbia, South Carolina, as racists claim it as their 'heritage'), it is very fitting that the biography, 'One Righteous Man: Samuel Battle and The Shattering of The Color Line in New York' by Pulitzer Prize winning author Arthur Browne, is being published. http://www.amazon.com/One-Righteous-Man-Samuel-Shattering/dp/0807012602
       Samuel Battle, who hailed from New Bern, North Carolina, came to New York in the late 1890s and made New York his home. This book, of which much of the information is taken from Battle's unpublished autobiography that was done in collaboration with the legendary Harlem Renaissance writer, Langston Hughes, covers his early youth in the brutally racist Jim Crow South; through his move to New York, and subsequently becoming the very first Black Policeman in New York City. We get a very clear and detailed picture of what America was like during that era. Not only in the South, but in the North as well. We get a crystal clear picture of how the foundation was laid for the garbage element that still populates Law Enforcement in this City of New York. The Garbage Element, being those characters who were able to slip  through the screening process (for some strange reason), get on the Police Force, and end up with a badge and the authority to carry a gun; who put citizen's lives at risk by their behavior and actions. These are the characters whose extent of authority normally, based on their mentality, would go no further than mopping floors someplace. This is the garbage element on the Police Force that not only puts the lives of the populace at risk, but through creating an atmosphere of animosity, makes the job of the Police Officers who have always been dedicated to serving the Public and doing their best to build bridges and help people, that much harder. The good thing about this book is you see a clear detailed history of how the garbage element was able to take hold in Law Enforcement in turn of the century New York, and why this situation continues in perpetuity; even after Frank Serpico and the Knapp Commission Trials during the 1970s.
       Historically, this book is a goldmine. It carries us through World War I, The Harlem Renaissance, The Depression, World War II, and the effects on people's lives during those eras. We see how different people like heroic Black World War I Veterans, ended up in despicable circumstances, as well as Casper Holstein, the Black man who invented the numbers game (the precursor to what we now know as the lottery), and used his wealth to help as many Blacks as he could, but ended up penniless, and Samuel Battle, himself a trailblazer, all ended up forgotten; until this book was published. The lesson being, if you don't keep your own history continually alive, who will?
       Historically, this book makes mention of British Shipping Heiress Nancy Cunard's wonderful anthology, 'Negro'. http://www.amazon.com/Negro-An-Anthology-Hugh-Ford/dp/0826408621 A 'must have' book. {Ms. Cunard was quite a fearless bolt of lightning, and way, way ahead of her time. Her life story would make one powerful movie.} And memories were brought back to me by the mention of Rev. Herbert C. Bank's church, St Cyprian's; which had once stood in the spot where the entrance to Lincoln Center now stands. And Rev. John H. Johnson's church, St. Martin's, that sponsored the one unit St. Martin's Tower in Upper Manhattan, which opened in 1971. Rev. Johnson also authored and self-published a book, 'A Place Of Adventure'. {The second chapter in his book, 'Dutch Bells over Harlem', which is about the origin of St. Martin's 42 Bell Carillion, is deeply moving and breathtakingly beautiful.}
       'One Righteous Man' is an incredible monumental work, and the author Arthur Browne has done an admirable job. I only have one minor criticism. Near the end of the book the author forgot to complete the sentence, 'In 1957, nine African American students walked into all-white Little Rock Central High School under the protection of the 101st Airborne, dispatched by President Dwight Eisenhower', with the complete truth, which was, 'after a very angry and blatantly outraged Louis Armstrong, preparing to go on a State Department Goodwill Concert Tour overseas, EMBARRASSED EISENHOWER INTO DOING IT.'

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Poems and Inspirations

Poems and Inspirations
Antonio G. Pereira © 2015 Antonio G. Pereira
______________________________________

Wed. Feb. 24th, 1979 - Denver Colorado

Awakening
_________

This morning
I woke up
with "Evergreen"
playing in my head
I'm gonna be all right now.

Sunday June 3rd, 2012 - New York City

Awakening 2
___________

This morning woke up
As theme song from The Sandpiper, 'The Shadow of Your Smile'
was playing in my head
Deep Purple and Blue shadings
Someone's waiting
Paintbrush colours
Orange and Blue
Someone's waiting
Wonder who
_______________

Some men see things
As they are
And ask why,
I dream things that never were
And ask why not

                           Bobby Kennedy - 1968

I have a dream today....

                           Martin Luther King Jr. - 1963

My Soul spoke unto me and counselled me
to love all that others hate,
and to befriend those whom others defame

My Soul counselled me and revealed unto me
that love dignifies not alone
the one who loves, but also the beloved
Unto that day love was for me a thread of cobweb
between two flowers
close to one another
But now it has become a halo with neither
beginning nor end
Encircling all that has been, and waxing
eternally to embrace all that shall be

My Soul counselled me and taught me
to see beauty veiled by form and colour
My Soul charged me to gaze steadfastly
upon all that is deemed ugly until it appears lovely
Before my Soul had thus charged and counselled me,
I had seemed to see beauty like unto wavering torches
between pillars of smoke,
But now the smoke has dispensed and vanished
and I see naught but the burning

My Soul counselled me and besought me
to watch while others sleep
and to seek my pillow while they are wakeful,
For in all my years I had not perceived their dreams,
nor they mine.
But now I am winged by day in my daydreaming,
and when they sleep I behold them free upon the night,
and I rejoice in their Freedom

My Soul counselled me and charged me
Lest I be exalted because of overpraise
and lest I be distressed for fear of blame.
Until that day I doubted the worth of my own handiwork,
But now I have learned this:
That the trees blossom in the Spring,
and bear fruit in Summer,
and drop their leaves in Autumn
to become utterly naked in Winter
without exaltation and without fear or shame

My Soul counselled me and assured me
that I am neither higher than the Pygmy
nor lower than the Giant.
Before that day I beheld mankind as two men,
the one a weakling whom I derided or pitied,
and the other a mighty man whom I would either follow,
or oppose in Rebellion.
But now I know that I was formed even
from the same dust of which all men are created,
that my elements are their elements,
and my inner self is their inner self.
My struggle is their struggle,
and their pilgrimage is mine own.
If they transgress, I am also the transgressor,
and if they do well, then I have a share in their well-doing.
If they arise, I too arise with them,
If they stay behind, I also, to company them.

My Soul counselled me and instructed me
to see that the light which I carry
is not my light,
that my song was not created within me,
For though I travel with the light,
I am not the light,
and though I am a lute fastened with strings,
I am not the lute player

My Soul counselled me, my brother
and enlightened me.
And oftentimes has your Soul counselled
and enlightened you.
For you are like me,
and there is no difference between us
Save that I speak of what is within me
in words that I have heard in my silence,
and you guard what is within you,
and your guardianship is as goodly as my much speaking.

                                 Kahlil Gibran - My Soul Counselled Me


Friday, October 9, 2015

The Beatles: The BBC Archives 1962-1970 & The Beatles Live At The BBC: The Collection

The Beatles: The BBC Archives 1962-1970 & The Beatles Live At The BBC: The Collection
Antonio G. Pereira © 2015 Antonio G. Pereira
_____________________________________

The Beatles: The BBC Archives 1962-1970 by Kevin Howlett
Published by Harper Design - An Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers
http://www.amazon.com/The-Beatles-BBC-Archives-1962-1970/dp/0062288539

       Author Kevin Howlett was a producer at the BBC and knew The Beatles quite well, and his book, 'The Beatles: The BBC Archives 1962-1970' is expertly put together (and an excellent companion to his other project, 'The Beatles Live At The BBC: The Collection' - the 4 CD set, Vols. 1 & 2, of the group's performances live in the BBC studios, that make up the second half of this double review), tastefully done and a pleasure to read. Wonderfully packaged in a colourful box containing the 336 page hard cover book, full of important (as well as amusing) information and packed with rare photographs. A folder containing very rare BBC documents and a beautiful historical photographic print of The Beatles, from the BBC Files.
       What's interesting about this book is that it's very evident from the beginning, that there was a segment of the BBC listening audience, who were still steeped in England's traditional class system mindset, who had a particular dislike for The Beatles and everything they symbolized and represented; which unfortunately for those listeners meant that a drastic change to their world was coming. Nothing as they knew it, would ever be the same again. And suddenly the era of Swinging '60s London gripped Britain, and The Beatles were placed squarely in the forefront and etched into history forever; as they were joined with an entirely new culture that became part of England. This book, 'The Beatles: The BBC Archives 1962-1970', gives you a clear window into musical and sociological history in the making, that produced change in how Pop Culture itself would be perceived from then on.
       What's equally interesting here is the interview material, where we see through the years, as The Beatles' interest in recording techniques developed and changed, how they in turn began viewing their craft in a much more expansive manner; as new ideas flowed freely within the group. This is a marvelous look back.
       What's most fascinating in 'The Beatles: The BBC Archives 1962-1970', is the gradual maturation process that (inevitably) took place within the group, after the death of their manager Brian Epstein (who was irreplaceable - {to understand why, read Brian Epstein's final and remarkable 3 part interview, given to Melody Maker, in The History of Rock/1967 - Uncut Magazine Issue No. 3, Pages 100-105}). The sections on 1968 show the busy optimism through the formation and birth of Apple Records after the Retreat with the Maharishi in Rishikesh, 1969 which was when individual interests within the group began to diverge and go in different directions, and finally 1970 when the process was complete, John, Paul, George and Ringo, the individual men, moved on with their own lives. And John put it so well in his 1971 interview with Radio Host David Wigg (which also ends The Beatles Anthology DVD set, accompanied by Linda Eastman's silent footage of the final group shot of The Beatles at John's Tittenhurst home),and which ends the 1970 section and this book, 'It's just natural. It's not a great disaster. People keep talking about it as if it's the end of the Earth. It's only a Rock group that split up. It's nothing important. You have all the old records there if you want to reminisce. It's like a Rugby Team. Sometimes you have to get married and leave the boys on a Saturday night...And that's how it is'.

The Beatles Live At The BBC: The Collection
Apple Corps LTD in association with Capitol Records, LLC
http://www.amazon.com/Live-At-The-BBC-Collection/dp/B00FMF3R0I

       The Beatles Live At The BBC is a wonderful companion piece on CD (and also produced and with liner notes by Kevin Howlett) to The Beatles: The BBC Archives book.
       As someone who grew up during the '60s, when there was a choice of purchasing your LPs in Stereo or Mono, I think it's wonderful that although these 4 CDs Vols. 1 & 2, have been Digitally Remastered, that the Mono Sound has remained intact; so these recordings really sound good and historic (which they are) at the same time. A perfect example of a difference you could hear between Mono and Stereo sound, is the LP soundtrack which Herbie Hancock composed for the explosive '60s film 'Blow Up'; which also contained a recording of the Jeff Beck/Jimmy Page era Yardbirds. The sound difference is like night and day, with the Mono version of the LP soundtrack sounding the best and clearest. Hence these BBC recordings of The Beatles playing live in the BBC studios, sound superb in Mono. Again Keven Howlett has done a wonderful job and his expert liner notes in the accompanying booklets to the CDs enhance everything to perfection. The booklets also contain rare photographs of The Beatles in both colour and black and white. A treasure trove of memories.
       The first thing that's noticeable about Live At The BBC is that The Beatles were not only very good performers, but very good musicians as well. Without having to compete with all the constant hysterical screaming (which is not in evidence in most of these recordings) these guys really cut loose in the BBC studios. Going through a repertoire that represented all of their influences.
       Beginning with a Ray Charles number, 'I Got A Woman', John cuts loose on vocal. A bit of Buddy Holly here, a bit of Little Richard there, and some Elvis Presley to drive the point home. And George working it on guitar. Then we get Chuck Berry's 'Too Much Monkey Business', and Lennon cuts loose with perfect enunciations of Berry's lyrics verbatim; as George really cuts up on lead guitar and Ringo kicks that bass drum with a vengence. By the way, the radio interviews, interspersed between the song tracks, are delightful in their spontaneity.
       One of the Lennon/McCartney compositions that was never on one of the Beatles albums, but which they performed in the BBC studio, 'I'll Be On My Way', is absolutely beautiful (The Beatles, by the way, did wonderful versions of their own songs that they wrote for other artists. Their version of 'I'll Be On My Way' on this set, and also 'That Means A Lot', which was on Vol. 2 of The Beatles Anthology.); and reminds you of 'I'll Follow The Sun'. The live in concert cuts like "Some Other Guy' and 'Thank You Girl', were done before the screaming got out of hand. Followed by a beautiful Bacharach/David 'Baby It's You' played live by the group in the BBC studio. And the boys put in a smokin' version of The Miracles' 'You Really Got A Hold On Me'. And a very good version of Phil Spector's, 'To Know Her Is To Love Her'. And a beautiful version of 'A Taste Of Honey'. An explosive live in concert 'I Saw Her Standing There', and a lovely 'The Honeymoon Song' written by composer Mikis Theodorakis (Z) for the 1959 film 'Honeymoon'.
       On the second CD in Vol. 1 of Live At The BBC, Lennon really kicks butt on Chuck Berry's 'Sweet Little Sixteen', and George does one hell of a guitar solo. And John slithers his way sleekly and silkily through Johnny Burnett's 'Lonesome Tears In My Eyes'. And Paul tears up on Chan Romero's 'The Hippy Hippy Shake'. 'I Feel Fine' drives like a locomotive with Ringo's drumming as the engine. Then we have the Country Folk Rockish 'I'm A Loser' with John on vocals, guitar and rack harmonica. And then John does it again and tears his way through another Chuck Berry classic 'Rock and Roll Music'. And The Beatles sound like they are really having a good time. And 'Ticket To Ride' is another butt kicker with Ringo's kick drum beat, and Paul's fat sounding dramatic bass. And Ringo kicks some more butt on vocals and drums on Carl Perkins' 'Matchbox', with John soloing on guitar. 'I Got To Find My Baby', another Chuck Berry song, has John singing, blowing some mean blues harp, and George squeezing some biting guitar. 'Don't Ever Change', a song previously done by Buddy Holly's backing group The Crickets, is done with heartbreakingly beautiful grace by The Beatles. And John, Paul, George and Ringo drive some more locomotive Rock and Roll on Larry William's 'Slow Down'. On Carl Perkins' 'Honey Don't', John does the vocal (subsequently done by Ringo on record) and does an admirable job. This is quite a set, full of wonderful performances done live in the BBC studios, with The Beatles putting in fresh performances at their best. And it's obvious how much they loved these songs.
       On Air - Live At The BBC Volume 2, is the second set of recordings The Beatles played live in the BBC studios. And we have John, Paul, George and Ringo performing a bright and happy version of Buddy Holly's 'Words Of Love'. And then a beautiful 'Do You Want To Know A Secret'. And Ringo sounds great on drums during Little Richard's 'Lucille' with Paul singing a great lead vocal. (This was the Beatles' very first recording in the BBC studios.) And then we get John singing Arthur Alexander's haunting ballad 'Anna', and doing a beautifully moving version. A real standout here is Chuck Berry's 'I'm Talking About You'. The arrangement, performance by the band, and the vocal by John, are just incredible. As this was done in front of a live audience in the studio, they whip the audience into a frenzy. And we get a lovely version of the Beatles performance of 'Till There Was You' from the Broadway play 'The Music Man'. Another kick butt version of 'The Hippy Hippy Shake', like the one on Live At The BBC (Vol.1). Next with George on vocal, they rip it up in the studio through Chuck Berry's 'Roll Over Beethoven'. Then a gorgeous 'There's A Place' with John and Paul harmonizing on vocals. They close out the first CD with a rockin' version of The Isley Brother's 'Twist and Shout'. The CD ends with two Bonus Tracks, which are very enlightening 1965 BBC Pop Profile Interviews with John and then George; which you can read along with as you listen to the CD recording, in the book 'The Beatles: The BBC Archives 1962-1970'.
       And finally we have the second CD in the 'On Air - Live At The BBC Vol. 2' set. We begin with a rocking 'I Saw Her Standing There', with George cutting loose with a great solo on guitar. Then a rocking version of Carl Perkins' 'Glad All Over' with George on vocals and working in another great guitar solo. Following, we get another Beatle gem. The strikingly beautiful 'I'll Get You' with lovely harmonies from John and Paul. And next comes a great 'She Loves You' with everyone in perfect voice and playing beautifully. Following is a funky version of Chuck Berry's 'Memphis Tennessee', with John on vocals and John and George playing cross riffs across each other. What a band! As we go along after a comical 'Happy Birthday Saturday Club' and a live in concert 'From Me To You', The Beatles breathe fire into Berry Gordy and Janie Bradford's 'Money'. Then we get a nice 'I Want To Hold Your Hand'. And next an absolutely gorgeous 'This Boy' with John, Paul and George on three part harmony. Next we get The Beatles doing a Country Rock version of Ray Charles' 'I Got A Woman' with John shouting with blues joy on vocals. Then we get a wild 'Long Tall Sally' by Little Richard, with Paul on vocals. And then comes a lovely 'If I Fell', followed by a gorgeous 'And I Love Her'. After a good 'You Can't Do That', we get Ringo on vocals on Carl Perkins' 'Honey Don't. Following this is a beautiful 'I'll Follow The Sun'. Then The Beatles hit us with Little Richard's 'Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!' Finally we get the unedited version of The Beatles getting the feedback intro to 'I Feel Fine' just right, before they performed it. And perform it they did. Obviously enjoying themselves. The set ends with two very revealing 1966 Pop Profile BBC Interviews with Paul and then Ringo. As with the first CD in Vol. 2, you can read along with the interviews in the book 'The Beatles: The BBC Archives 1962-1970'.
       What 'The Beatles Live At The BBC: The Collection' has done, is opened up a whole new world about The Beatles that previously, we in the U.S., had only a glimpse of. This concerns what the young Liverpool fan with the short blonde hair in The Beatles Anthology DVD set, was so upset about as she saw John, Paul, George and Ringo leaving Liverpool and The Cavern for what was becoming worldwide success. She recognized then, what we recognize now; after having listened to the Live At The BBC recordings. These guys were living historians of all of the influences on the music. And they loved it as much as the fans did. We never actually got to hear The Beatles playing all of these songs for a live audience, as they did in The Cavern and other venues around Liverpool. This (along with their engaging personalities) was what made them so loved in Liverpool, and why this young female fan was so upset, as she watched them leaving their home base for fame and success beyond. The reason these BBC recordings are so important is because it documents where they came from. It is a real pleasure to listen to, and the tracks with their banter in the studio with different hosts of the programs are delightful; some are absolutely hysterical. I'm sure that to some stuffed shirt-straight laced suits, they probably sounded like a bunch of smart ass wise guys. GOOD! Let me tell you, enjoy this one. Enjoy it to the hilt. Highly, Highly Recommended.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

You Can't Always Get What You Want

You Can't Always Get What You Want
Antonio G. Pereira © 2015 Antonio G. Pereira
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        You Can't Always Get What You Want by Sam Cutler Published by ECW Press, Canada http://www.amazon.com/You-Cant-Always-What-Want/dp/155022932X
        This is an interesting and at times informative, as well as entertaining, and yet ultimately disturbing book. Disturbing for the existing blatant corruption in this story. (There is of course Stanley Booth's book, 'The True Adventures of The Rolling Stones', where once you identify Mr. Booth's cracker mannerisms, he's not a bad writer; Stanley being a native of the same Waycross, Georgia that well known actor and deadly serious Civil Rights Activist Pernell Roberts came from.) Sam Cutler was Road Manager for The Rolling Stones on their 1969 North American Tour. His inside, fly-on-the-wall, riveting re-telling of that ill-fated concert tour makes this book worth checking out, as well as the enlightening story of his early life before and leading up to his association with the Stones; while Brian Jones was still in the band http://samcutler-blog.tumblr.com/post/187471030/who-killed-brian-jones   https://amouthfulofpennies.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/the-july-3rd-water-logged-massacre/  . The subsequent fallout of the Altamont Free Concert http://www.amazon.com/The-Rolling-Stones-Criterion-Collection/dp/B00004YZFR  , his dealing with the Hells Angels (thugs with money - For some interesting related further reading on this subject, check out Chapter 3 'Doing It On-Camera', in the late NBC Newsman Bob Teague's book, 'Live and Off Color: News Biz' Published by A&W Publishers Inc. New York), and work afterwards with the Grateful Dead. The mysterious John Jaymes, and his direct connections to and with the Mafia; who in turn became involved in the Stones' tour. Cutler's contact with Jimi Hendrix who was visiting the Stones backstage at Madison Square Garden (along with Janis Joplin) during the '69 tour http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuRSe08Qt-U  , {just before Hendrix left New York for his trial in Toronto - For more on this, go to The Internet Archive http://www.archive.org  Type http://www.eye.net/torontorockhistory/jimihendrix/header.htm   into the Wayback Machine, press Enter, then choose 2005}, and again with Hendrix, during a joint concert with the Dead and the Steve Miller Band at Temple University in Philadelphia in 1970, and Sam's contact with Janis Joplin, Delaney and Bonnie,The Buddy Guy Band, "Pigpen" McKernan, Rick Danko etc... on the Festival Express Tour in 1970 http://www.amazon.com/Festival-Express-Grateful-Dead/dp/B000305ZDO  , and Cutler's final unpleasant parting of the ways with the Dead, finishes the story completely. This book may be a little difficult to obtain, but makes informative reading of what amounts to a cautionary tale.