April 5,1964 BILLBOARD Magazine
#1: Can’t Buy Me Love (jumped 27 spots):THE BEATLES
#2: Twist And Shout:THE BEATLES
#3:She Loves You:THE BEATLES
#4:I Want To Hold Your Hand:THE BEATLES
#5:Please Please Me:THE BEATLES
April 5,1964 BILLBOARD Magazine
#1: Can’t Buy Me Love (jumped 27 spots):THE BEATLES
#2: Twist And Shout:THE BEATLES
#3:She Loves You:THE BEATLES
#4:I Want To Hold Your Hand:THE BEATLES
#5:Please Please Me:THE BEATLES
ON THE TURNTABLE:The Zombies-“Odessey and Oracle” 1968
North Vietnam and the Viet Cong troops launched the TET OFFENSIVE on The Lunar New Year, late January striking villages and towns throughout South Vietnam. The My Lai Massacre occurred March 16 but was not news until later that autumn, somehow it never made the news when it occurred but when it hit the news…
One morning, April 4, 1968 I was awaken to the news that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr , the Nobel Prize winner, was killed. Then, Robert Kennedy was assassinated. LBJ signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968, USSR invades Czechoslovakia, and LBJ ends the “Rollin Thunder” bombing of North Vietnam. He also announces he will “not seek” another term for President. The BLACK POWER salute is seen during the Summer Olympics in Mexico, viewed throughout America and the world in “living color”.Students overtake Columbia University, Apollo 8 orbits the moon, and The Beatles release THE BEATLES aka as the White Album.
Strange how sometimes it takes months, maybe years before someone appreciates a good/great piece of music. That is the case with THE ZOMBIES “Odessey and Oracle”, complete with the misspelling of the word “odyssey” in the title and printed as such on the cover.
THE ZOMBIES, one of the original band of the BRITISH INVASION was a short lived group in The States, 1964-68 and basically a non-entity in their homeland. Their first American release(October 64) was “She’s Not There” b/w “You Make Me Feel So Good”, a 45 on PARROT RECORDS. It took a run (November 7-#22, November 14-#9, November 21-#5, November28-#4,December 5-#4, December 12-#2) to the top of the charts (#2) in BILLBOARD being bested by BOBBY VINTON’S “Mr. Lonely”. Also during the tune’s nine week run in the TOP TWENTY were the #1 hits “Do Wah Diddy”,”Baby Love”, Leader of The Pack”,Lorne Greene’s “Ringo”, “Come See About Me”,and “I Feel Fine”.
The ZOMBIES,like many other British hit makers, were sent to the States to promote their hit single. They appeared at the 1964 MURRAY THE K CHRISTMAS Shows at the Brooklyn Fox Theatre along with CHUCK JACKSON,BEN E.KING,THE DRIFTER,THE SHIRELLES, DICK AND DEE DEE, THE VIBRATIONS,DIONNE WARWICK,THE NASHVILLE TEENS AND THE HULLABALOOS. To THE ZOMBIES this was an amazing experience later chronicled on their 2015 “STILL GOT THE HUNGER” album in a song entitled “New York” which describes their welcome by others, particularly PATTI LABELE and all those wondrous nights of performing seven shows a day.
JANUARY 12, 1965, The Zombies appeared on the very first episode of NBC’s “Hullabaloo” where they performed “She’s Not There” and introduced the follow-up, “Tell Her No” (b/w “Leave Me Be” Parrot Records). Funny how I remember the aftermath of that show, trying to recreate the drum part for our next band rehearsal.
Two US hits and The Zombies basically disappear.Sure they had numerous releases but never hit the charts again whether it was at home in England or in the States. As a matter of fact “Tell He No” did not chart in the UK. FUN FACT:The word “No” is mentioned a total of 63 times in the lyrics of the song,count ‘em.
February of 1968 I hear a song on “CKLW- The Big 8” by a band called PEOPLE, the name of the song is “I Love You”. Released by Capitol Records I find it and buy it. It is not until months later that I discovered that that very single was written (Chris White) and recorded previously by The Zombies. To the utter dismay of the Zombies, this recording by PEOPLE climbs the American/Canadian charts. To make matters worse it was originally the b-side of PEOPLE’s single “Somebody Tell Me My Name. Some dj liked the b-side so he played it and…
Late 1967 the unsuccessful ZOMBIES,dropped by DECCA RECORDS, seek and receive a new contract with CBSRecords and are working on a self produced “second” album. They settle in EMI ABBEY ROAD STUDIOS, using the same 4 track machine THE BEATLES employed a few months before on “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Some internal friction and disharmony causes huge rifts in the band and after finishing the album (December 1967) they disband. A few tunes released as singles bomb and CBS is reluctant to release the finished “Odessey and Oracle” until AL KOOPER, working for the label, convinced the bosses for a release in April 1968 under the DATE RECORDS subsidiary label. And just like the singles,it bombed.
Summer of 1968 at a record store on Wall Street, NYC, I see the poster for “O and O” with the phrase “THE ZOMBIES” printed boldly on it. I bought it then and there. When it first came out, to me, it was a delight, to others it was a bizarre strange record.”Care of Cell 44”, “A Rose for Emily”,”Beechwood Park”, “This Will Be Our Year” are all gems but that final track “Time Of The Season” was phenomenal.
March of 69, fifteen months after THE ZOMBIES break-up, one full year after their album bombs at home and abroad, the single release of “Time of the Season” soars up the American/Canadian charts, #1 in CASHBOX, #2 BILLBOARD “forcing” COLUMBIA RECORDS to re-release the album (under the Columbia Records label this time) however using a faulty cropped cover.(record collectors love this shit, we do).
Congratulations go to THE ZOMBIES for their induction into the Rock N Roll HALL OF FAME 2019.God knows they of all deserve some recognition. They are still performing, and as I wrote a few reviews of their performances “they are no oldies act”. Enjoy.
ON THE TURNTABLE: 1968
1968 polarized me. The news, not only in print but on TV and radio had vivid footage, reports from the field of the Vietnam Conflict. Gun shots could be heard in the background as the reports were being taped. The newspapers and magazines did not concentrate solely on the war abroad but also on the conflict developing on the home front, particularly the protests against the war occurring in every major city. The Anti-War Movement was big news. Campus sit-ins, teach-ins, black arm bands, fist salutes,“the long hairs versus the hard hats” with the hard hats being saluted as “Pro America” while the “long hairs” were depicted as “Anti-American”.
A blurb written in Howard Smith’s SCENES in the Village Voice (February 17) addressed a Janis Joplin performance at The Anderson Theatre. I remember being amazed at how Smith described the show. This particular Big Brother and The Holding Company gig, with B.B. King on the bill,was meant to be a “coming out” party, NY style for the recently (8 months ago) herald band’s performance at Monterey. Smith compared Joplin to Bessie Smith (whom I never heard at that point in time), Aretha Franklin, and James Brown. But Janis, is a white girl. Hmmmm, this had to be good.
Besides the VOICE with it’s legendary Howard Smith (SCENES) and Richard Goldstein’s POP EYE column, I read CRAWDADDY , RAMPARTS, ROLLING STONE (newspaper format)and EYE magazine along with the weekly hit paraders that the local stations produced, GO(WMCA), etc. I vividly remember THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION ads run that summer in THE VOICE for their Garrick Theater performances. Also, the first Rolling Stone magazine with John Lennon gracing the cover and pictures from Monterey Pop. However, the risk of bringing home or to work a copy of THE EAST VILLAGE OTHER (EVO) was always a challenge. Oh yeah, that summer I had an intern’s job at CHASE MANHATTAN BANK on Wall Street NYC. 75 bucks a week, wearing a tie, short corporate hair.This 16 year old was now “citified” as I traveled on a daily early morning commute from “out in the country” to the Big Apple.
At CHASE, each Wednesday was pay day and that would be the day I would head to the WALL STREET RECORDS store where I would buy an album or two. I would also slip an EVO from the news stand, cooly placing it on top of the pile of my vinyl selections. After purchase I would carefully place EVO in the bag containing the records. I would only consider reading the EVO in the sanctity of my own room as some folks in my home, or anywhere in fact would deem even the comics a bit obscene. Mom would have freaked. I loved it. Overall, it was a wonderful summer job. My cousin John worked around the corner and we would get together for lunches. At only 16, looking like I was a 12 years old in a suit, I still was served beer at lunch, no questions asked. I did have a phony draft card which I paid 15 bucks for, it had my name printed out, matching my school ID photo and it looked legit but I was never asked for it, anywhere.
That summer from my desk on the tenth floor of the Chase building I watched the TWIN TOWERS being erected two streets over. From my perch I saw TRINITY CHURCH where Alexander Hamilton is buried, the Hudson River a few streets over, and basically the world at large. At work I progressed from a “runner/go-fer” handling mail the first few days, to sitting in the Signature Verification Department, to later helping to find a $1,000,000.00 error all by the end of my second week. I got a raise to $95.00 and was given a desk with my own adding machine and phone. Cool. Every day I still volunteered to take all the outgoing materials to the data processing center on the ninth floor at about 4:30 PM. Everyone considered this a lowly task, except me. The pretty girl at the window greeted me with a huge smile, knew my name by week 2 and gave me the receipt promptly which allowed me the time to zip down the stairs, out the door to the subway all in hopes of catching the 5:08 which I did most evening.
1968: My record collection was growing in leaps and bounds and with a decent paying job and having a record store only a street away well…it was now mostly albums (vinyl) and some cassettes, with an occasional single thrown in.
THE BEATLES “The Beatles” aka The White Album. I already posted about my experience in the manufacturing of the cassettes of this collection but I needed the vinyl. Wore that sucker out.
THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE- “Electric Ladyland,” this double set was a late year release,one which my girlfriend bought and I borrowed until she demanded it back so I had to get my own copy.I also picked up a 45 of “All Along The Watchtower” which I recently sold for 15 bucks.
JEFF BECK GROUP-“Truth” Arguments occur when I state that I like this lp better than “Electric Ladyland”. Most of my guitarist friends adored Hendrix and tolerated Beck, until they see him live. Different story they tell. This album was a killer , also bought on Wall Street that summer.
THE ZOMBIES-“Odessey and Oracle” yes the title is a misspelling and never corrected. This was one I bought on a lunch hour after seeing the poster of the band in a record store on Wall Street. Truly a gem “This Will Be Our Year”, the sheer fun of “Care of Cell 44” and of course the overlooked (for one year) “Time Of The Season”.
THE BAND-“Music From Big Pink” bought this early summer of 68, along with an accompanied 45 from THE BAND. Years later I won 5 or 10 bucks from a DYLAN fanatic who claimed the album was recorded AT “Big Pink” the house the band used for rehearsals. My disagreement lead to a minor argument, a few insults, and ultimately he handing over the money when he found out it was recorded in NYC and LA, not in the “basement”. I love being right.
THE DOORS-“Waiting For The Sun” I bought this the same day as “Big Pink’. Yuck, this album sucks, the gateway sleeve sucks, the photos suck,the songs suck, THE DOORS suck, yet I bought it so I suck,too.
ARETHA FRANKLIN- “Lady Soul”(my brother’s record but I took it constantly).Roger Hawkins on the kit,ERIC CLAPTON guitar, JOE SOUTH guitarist extradanaire on the unedited version of “Chain of Fools”,SPOONER OLDHAM keys and KING CURTIS on sax…what a line up and with the Queen of Soul at the mic…there is not one bad song here, geez, there is not one bad note.
“In December 1967, while he was still a member of Cream, 22-year-old British guitar phenom Eric Clapton was brought into a recording studio in the U.S. and asked to add a guitar part to Franklin’s powerful “Good to Me As I Am to You.”
BLOOMFIELD/KOOPER/STILLS-“Super Session” a great listen,especially the Mike Bloomfield side. Before this I thought of STILLS as just part of Buffalo Springfield. After this I thought of him as an amazing guitarist, which he is. Education is a strange thing, this educated me.
THE BYRDS-“Sweetheart Of The Rodeo” Not one of my friends had this, in fact not one of my friends like this. I was warned not to put it on at any house parties. My Pop liked it and that says alot. This album was a big change for the BYRDS, a big change for music, intro a new category “country rock”. God Bless Gram Parsons.Those in country music hated it, rock fans hated it, I loved it.
BIG BROTHER and THE HOLDING COMPANY-“(Sex,Dope and)Cheap Thrills”- this, contrary to popular myth, is not a live recording, only one track Ball and Chain is live, and what a great live track it is.
Dave Getz,drummer….“Cheap Thrills seems to have stood the test of time,It might be because it is arguably the greatest work by a great artist, Janis Joplin. It is certainly the greatest and closest representation of what Big Brother & the Holding Company was as a band and I would add to that argument that Big Brother/Janis as a band, and as a SOUND, was the embodiment of the San Francisco, psychedelic, counter-culture of the 1960s.”
CREAM-“Wheels Of Fire” their third album, a double lp set with one live the other studio recording. “Crossroads”,“Spoonful”, “White Room”, “Sitting On Top Of The World” and “Born Under A Bad Sign”, need I said more.
SMALL FACES-“Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake” is a blast. It is a precursor for HUMBLE PIE to be sure and “Happiness Stan” is one of my heroes.I played side two regularly on my college late night radio program and never got one complaint. Either people didn’t care or weren’t listening. Makes no never mind to me, I loved that album.
THE ROLLING STONES-“Beggar’s Banquet”- to this day this collection is one of my favorite albums, not just by the STONES but by every other artist.
I got that record the moment it was released and it very rarely left my turntable for one full year. Side 1, Side 2, back to Side 1, and on and on. There are very few albums I can said that about, very few albums I listen to in its entirety without getting bored by a clunker or two. I was enamored by this collection of Stones tunes. The slick printed cover (American version which was completely different from the British cover), the photo spread inside, and the music. These songs were individually and collectively a great relief, a wonderful change in direction from the ROLLING STONES ’67 set of THEIR SATANIC MAJESTIES REQUEST, which I owned but never played all the way through. The only tunes I liked on TSMR were 2000 LIGHT YEARS FROM HOME and SHE’S A RAINBOW. The rest,rubbish.
Before SATANIC MAJESTIES I was stuck on BETWEEN THE BUTTONS(1967) (US version), especially side 1 which we played endlessly at my buddy George’s house.TSMR is/was nothing like BUTTONS. But then, BEGGAR’S BANQUET is released and with that a new STONES approach to the blues.The BB album was the real deal, and foreshadowed what would become of the STONES over the next few years and releases. To my ears Beggar’s Banquet was a Keith album as Brian Jones due to “personal reasons” is limited here to slide guitar on NO EXPECTATIONS, a harmonica on PARACHUTE WOMAN, DEAR DOCTOR and PRODIGAL SON. It was the last ROLLING STONES album to be released during Brian Jones’ life.
Side One Track 1, SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL, just listen to the title before you put the needle down, WHAT? Sympathy for whom? Are you kidding me? Conga, screams, maracas, Nicky Hopkins on piano, and THE WORDS…PLEASE TO MEET YOU, seriously this is not Satanic Majesties at all. WOW.Then the voices, Get down,hit it, guitar riffs…six minutes plus of sheer ecstasy . I danced around my room so many times shaking imaginary maracas.
Track 2:NO EXPECTATIONS, Keith on acoustic, Brian in a semi-sober moment plays slide. Bill with a few bass thuds,I still play this tune on my guitar, “never in my sweet short life have I felt like this before”.
Track 3: DEAR DOCTOR, humorous to say the least..”Help me please Doctor I’m damaged”…“preserve it right there in that jar”. Many a nights I sang this tune with like minded folks, very poor off keyed singers we were after a few cocktails.
Track 4:PARACHUTE WOMAN: acoustic guitar, electric guitar, some echo added to vocals, and Charlie beating it down, “join me for a ride”.
Track 5: JIGSAW PUZZLE: The drum beat is awesome, I played it thousands of time, Charlie was the man. “Me, I waiting so patiently, lying on the floor”.
SIDE TWO Track 1 STREET FIGHTING MAN: The guitar intro and then the drums…this was the tune revolutionaries were using as their theme song, well, pseudo- revolutionaries. Hey, it was a sign of the times.
Track 2: PRODIGAL SON: Not a Stones tune but a remake that they called their own.Charlie’s high hat work is exceptional, Mick’s vocals is a take on a blues man.
Track 3: STRAY CAT BLUES: This was sex, straight out.”I bet your mama don’t know you can scream like that”…
Track 4: FACTORY GIRL: I first thought this was the same riff from “2000 Light Years”, but no. As I was working in a factory at the time this tune made so much sense.”Waiting for a factory girl…”
Track 5: SALT OF THE EARTH: This is the one that did it for me. Aren’t we all salt of the earth? and when the drums kick in….”Let’s drink to the uncounted heads”…these words made so much sense to me…and then the mention…. “A choice of cancer or polio”.
Salt Of The Earth
The Rolling Stones
Let’s drink to the hard working people
Let’s drink to the lowly of birth
Raise your glass to the good and the evil
Let’s drink to the salt of the earth
Say a prayer for the common foot soldier
Spare a thought for his back breaking work
Say a prayer for his wife and his children
Who burn the fires and who still till the earth
And when I search a faceless crowd
A swirling mass of gray and
Black and white
They don’t look real to me
In fact, they look so strange
Raise your glass to the hard working people
Let’s drink to the uncounted heads
Let’s think of the wavering millions
Who need leaders but get gamblers instead
Spare a thought for the stay-at-home voter
His empty eyes gaze at strange beauty shows
And a parade of the gray suited grafters
A choice of cancer or polio
And when I look in the faceless crowd
A swirling mass of grays and
Black and white
They don’t look real to me
Or don’t they look so strange
Let’s drink to the hard working people
Let’s think of the lowly of birth
Spare a thought for the rag taggy people
Let’s drink to the salt of the earth
Let’s drink to the hard working people
Let’s drink to the salt of the earth
Let’s drink to the two thousand million
Let’s think of the humble of birth
ON THE TURNTABLE: February 15,1964 -“Meet The Beatles” is the #1 album in the US- Billboard
According to Billboard Magazine, February 15, 1964, The Beatles have the #1 album and #1 single on the US charts. This particular period in BEATLES HISTORY is virtually a goldmine for record collectors. Singles and albums were available on different labels. With the advent of The Beatles performance on Sullivan and all the hoopla surrounding that event, in a short period of time I’d accumulated many BEATLES’ 45s, some were issued by Swan Records, Tollie Records, EMI Records, Capitol Records, MGM Records, ATCO Records and Vee-Jay Records.This got me thinking as to why so many BEATLE records were released at the same moment in time and why on different labels (a magical moment in record collecting).
During most of 1963 while THE BEATLES were having hit after hit in the UK, CAPITOL (US) RECORDS (a subsidiary of EMI/PARLOPHONE the British record company which signed THE BEATLES) continually rejected to release stateside the Beatles singles to which they were offered. Another company, VEE-JAY RECORDS, inadvertently picked up the “right of first refusal” to The Beatles catelogue. And that’s how it begun…
During 1963, The BEATLES had 3 releases in “the colonies”
PLEASE PLEASE ME- February 1963(VEEJAY RECORDS)-a #1 hit in the UK.
FROM ME TO YOU-May 1963(VEEJAY RECORDS)-#1 in the UK, and a cover version by Del Shannon (June 63)
SHE LOVES YOU-September 1963(SWAN RECORDS)which had limited if any US airplay was a #1 hit in the UK.
Almost one full year after the first US 45 release “Please Please Me” bombed, BILLBOARD proclaims “Meet The Beatles” the Number 1 Album in the US. “Meet The Beatles” with its iconic cover was released on January 20,1964, just 20 days prior to their ED SULLIVAN performance (Feb 9th). However, this their first album for CAPITOL RECORDS was actually THE BEATLES second US release.And to confuse matters that iconic photo is the cover of the British album “With The Beatles”, their 2nd UK album.
All this is a bit confusing when researched, as The Beatles’ CAPITOL RECORDS releases were quite different from the actual EMI/Parlophone British releases. US records limit sides to 12 songs AND prefer the hit to be included. So, we find different songs, sequences of songs, cover art, album names, etc, which makes this all the merrier for a record collector. Fortunately,The Beatles took control (another law suit) of this mixing and matching prior to the release of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”.
To set the record (pun intended) straight the first BEATLES album to be released in the US was “Introducing…THE BEATLES” on VeeJay Records beating(LOL) ”Meet The Beatles” by ten days . “Introducing… The Beatles” on VeeJay Records was scheduled for a July (1963) release but the company ran into money problems which later was a factor in their demise as well as losing their “Right of first refusal” option. To find more about what happened to VEE-JAY which had a goldmine at their feet (the right of first refusal of Beatles records) I checked out a copy of (February 15,1964) BILLBOARD, “U.S. ROCKS & REELS FROM BEATLES’ INVASION. There I found a short piece by Nick Biro detailing a legal action taking place (Feb 5,1964) in Chicago Appellate Court whereby Capitol Records was seeking a further injunction from VEE-JAY records rights to sell “Beatle products”. VeeJay Records, an independent record company based in Chicago, needed to post a $30,000 bond which they did.
The background info I dug up concluded (on my part) that Capitol Records(US) continually rejecting BEATLES singles pissed off the head of the mother company EMI so much so that their CEO in a personal visit to Los Angeles ordered (Nov 63) their US subsidiary CAPITOL to “commence promoting and releasing Beatles records” (an album and singles) immediately.EMI had 35 songs, mostly hits, and with a new UK album “With The Beatles” ready to go. VEE-JAY Records owned the rights to 14 other songs(8 Lennon-McCartney originals) which actually was the first EMI British album “Please, Please Me”. If and when THE (Capitol)BEATLES ads hit Vee-Jay was sitting on a possible huge pile of money.
Meanwhile, a separate US indie company SWAN RECORDS picked up the option on another song and(September 63) released “She Loves You” which sold poorly and did not chart.(Note: Dick Clark was a part owner of SWAN and tried the record out on “American Bandstand-Rate a Record segment”. It received a 71%-poor, and the kids “laughed” at the band photo. Clark was not impressed with the tune.“I figured these guys were going nowhere.” But as Clark would later acknowledge, “We all found out the truth soon enough.”
December of 63, Brian Epstein called SWAN RECORDS wanting to know how “She Loves You” which a huge hit in Britain, was doing in America. They replied that the record was “a stiff.” Epstein informed the company that the Beatles were going to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show. Bernie Binnick, the CEO of SWAN was unimpressed with this info telling Epstein he “blew it,” saying he should have had the Beatles appear on American Bandstand rather than The Ed Sullivan Show, suggesting that Clark’s show was more popular. (Payola strikes again-LOL).
January 3, 1964-America finally sees THE BEATLES performing “She Loves You” via a live clip shown on the JACK PAAR SHOW, a Friday night variety show. Paar marveled at how “Beatlemania” was capturing the youthful British audience. The following Monday, “She Loves You” sales exploded.So much so that a re-issued version was pressed to meet the demand. By March 21,1964 “She Loves You” is the #1 record in the land, selling over 1 million copies. Great news for SWAN which now had a “temporary” windfall of cash. Unfortunetly, SWAN lost its option on future BEATLES records as their contract stipulated SWAN had to sell 50,000 copies of that single in their first 1963 offering, which it did not.
VEE-JAY Records on the other hand,was the most successful black-run label before Motown, and one of the most important record companies of the period. When VeeJay pursued (1962) EMI artist Frank Ifield for his hit “I Remember You,” they “had to agreed” to take the unknown Beatles along as part of the deal. So Vee-Jay gets 14 Beatles recordings, eight which are original tunes. These 14 tunes are aka the British “Please,Please Me” album which included “I Saw Her Standing There”,”Misery”,”Anna”,”Chains”,”Boys”, “Ask Me Why”,”Please Please Me”, “Love Me Do”, “P.S. I Love You”, “Baby, It’s You”, “Do You Want To Know A Secret”, “A Taste of Honey”, “There’s A Place”, and “Twist and Shout”.
As stated before most US album generally were released having 12 songs so to conform to this unwritten standard the VEE-JAY album dropped “Ask Me Why” and “Please Please Me” for their album release, later selling those as singles. “Love Me Do” was also issued as a single by the VEEJAY subsidiary TOLLIE RECORDS. This event did not go unnoticed by Capitol. The movement of songs is where VEE-JAY later ran afoul with the courts.When confronted,VEE-JAY quickly revised a second pressing (re-issue January 27,1964) to include “Ask Me Why” and “Please Please Me”. Seems “PS I Love You” and “Love Me Do” on the original VeeJay release were published by Beechwood Music, a subsidiary of Capitol Records and should have been deleted or a royalty paid,neither which happened.
(Also, of note to collectors the VeeJay Records “I Saw Her Standing There” starts at “four”, missing the “One, two, three” that Paul counted in. The company thought the count in was to be deleted.)
Transglobal,an EMI subsidiary, cancels as “null and void” the VEE-JAY contract as of August 8,1963 due to lack of payment of royalties,thereby relinquishing all rights back to CAPITOL Records. However, VEE-JAY had the original pressing stored for the past few months. Also,VEE-JAY’s contract for “She Loves You” would expire October 64 when all rights would be retained by Capitol. Shipments sent and await court to decide.
Capitol Records, Inc. v. Vee Jay Records, Inc., 197 N.E.2d 503 (Ill. App. Ct. 1964)
Appellate Court of Illinois
Filed: March 19th, 1964
Precedential Status: Precedential
Citations: 197 N.E.2d 503, 47 Ill. App. 2d 468
Docket Number: Gen. No. 49,470
…Although to date there has never been any kind of hearing as to the merits it is important to note that both Capitol Records and Vee Jay Records claim that each has a superior right to manufacture and sell “Beatles” records in the United States. Although 472 prior to this suit there was only one duplication in recordings between the parties, each party alleges that it has expended considerable funds to promote the “Beatles” in the United States and that the other party is unfairly reaping the benefits of these expenditures. The rights of Vee Jay Records stem from a contract entered into in January, 1963, allowing it an exclusive license to manufacture and sell “Beatles” recordings in the United States under certain conditions for five years. This contract was entered into with Transglobal which in turn secured its rights from EMI. There are allegations that the Vee Jay contract was terminated because of failure to make statements of sales and failure to pay royalties. There are certain rights to four recordings which Vee Jay may possess following termination, but there are allegations that these rights, if they exist, do not extend to thirteen other songs which presently appear on an LP being marketed by Vee Jay.[*] Capitol, on the other hand, secured its rights directly from EMI following the alleged termination of Vee Jay’s contract rights.
[**] The four recordings to which Vee Jay Records may have a right to continue producing after termination until February, 1964, at least without having had a construction of the contract, are: “Please, Please Me,” “Ask Me Why,” “From Me to You,” and “Thank You, Girl.” The main controversy centers around Vee Jay’s LP, “Introducing the Beatles” which Capitol alleges was not produced at all until just prior to the present action and which appears to be selling in competition with or as substitution for Capitol’s LP “Meet the Beatles.”
Jack Doyle, “Beatles in America, 1963-1964,”
PopHistoryDig.com, September 20, 2009.
January 1963 George Martin of EMI in London sends a copy of “Please Please Me” to U.S. subsidiary Capitol Records, urging executives there to distribute Beatles’ songs in the U.S. They decline, saying: “We don’t think the Beatles will do anything in this market.” Lesser known labels then begin picking up Beatles’1963 songs for U.S. release.
Vee-Jay single of Beatles’ “Please Please Me,” in Feb 1963, distinguished by ‘Beattles’ mis-spelling, later corrected.
25 Jan 1963 Vee-Jay record label of Chicago obtains a contract to release limited number of Beatles records in the U.S. for a limited time period.
25 Feb 1963 “Please Please Me”/ “Ask Me Why” released as single on Vee-Jay label. The song is played on Chicago’s WLS radio station where it reaches No. 35 on WLS music survey in March, but does not chart nationally; not on Billboard.
27 May 1963 “From Me To You” / “Thank You Girl” released as a single by Vee-Jay, but is barely visible; No. 116 on August Billboard chart, drops off thereafter.
16 Sept 1963 “She Loves You” / “I’ll Get You” released in U.S. by Swan Records, a Philadelphia label, but does not chart on Billboard.
31 Oct 1963 American TV variety show host, Ed Sullivan, traveling to London, has his arrival delayed at London Heathrow Airport by a screaming crowd of teens welcoming the Beatles home from a tour of Sweden. Sullivan has his first thoughts of booking these rising British music stars with strange haircuts — perhaps as novelty act.
11-12 Nov 1963 Beatles manager Brian Epstein travels to New York and persuades Ed Sullivan to book the Beatles for an unprecedented three consecutive appearances on Sullivan’s much-watched Sunday evening variety show — February 9th, 16th and 23rd, 1964. CBS-TV gets one year’s exclusive rights to the Beatles’ U.S. television appearances.
15 Nov 1963
Time magazine take notice of the “Beatlemania” craze sweeping England and the Beatles’ command performance for British royalty in London.
16 Nov1963 CBS News bureau London — at the suggestion of Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein — sends a news crew to the British seaside resort of Bournemouth where they film a Beatles concert, thousands of screaming fans, and a few Beatles’ comments on camera. This film clip is later sent to New York.
Mid-late Nov 1963 Brian Epstein phones Capitol Records president Alan Livingston over label’s refusal to distribute Beatles songs in America. Epstein urges Livingston to listen to the U.K. single, “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” while mentioning the Beatles’ upcoming 1964 Ed Sullivan Show appearances as a big opportunity for Capitol. Livingston later agrees to spend $40,000 for Beatles promotion, equal to about $250,000 in today’s money.
18 Nov 1963 NBC’s evening news program, The Huntley-Brinkley Report, airs a four-minute segment on the Beatles.
22 Nov 1963 U.K. album, With The Beatles, is released in the U.K., rising to No. 1 on the British album charts and remaining there for 21 weeks. With The Beatles becomes the Beatles’ first million-selling album in Britain, and the second album of any kind in Britain to sell one million copies, the first being the South Pacific soundtrack.
22 Nov 1963
The “CBS Morning News With Mike Wallace” runs a story on the Beatles for the network’s morning news show. CBS planned to repeat the segment that evening on Walter Cronkite’s newscast. However, that day, in mid afternoon, Walter Cronkite was breaking the tragic news to a shocked nation that their President, John F. Kennedy, had been shot and killed while visiting Dallas, Texas.
29 Nov 1963 The Beatles’ single “I Want To Hold Your Hand” is released in the U.K. and immediately hits No. 1 on the British pop charts.
29 Nov 1963
Radio station KIOA in Des Moines, Iowa begins playing “I Saw Her Standing There” from a Drake University student’s copy of Beatle’s U.K. album, Please Please Me, and a few days later, “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” from a U.K. Beatles’ single (see sidebar story below).
1 Dec 1963
The New York Times Sunday Magazine, runs a story on “Beatlemania” in the U.K.
4 Dec 1963 Capitol Records issues a press release announcing that it will begin selling the Beatles’ first U.S. 45 rpm single, “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” on Monday, January 13th, 1964.
10 Dec 1963 A four-minute CBS film segment on The Beatles that had been pre-empted by the JFK tragedy is aired on Walter Cronkite’s CBS Evening News.
17 Dec 1963
Radio disc jockey Carroll James at Washington. D.C. station WWDC, plays rare U.K. copy of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” on the radio after 15-year-old girl from Silver Spring, MD wrote to him requesting Beatles music after seeing the CBS-news segment. James arranged to have an airline stewardess buy a U.K. copy of the Beatles’ latest single in London. Listeners phone in repeatedly to request the song.
18-19 Dec 1963 Capitol Records threatens to sue WWDC to stop playing song, but then reverses itself and decides to rush-release “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” previously scheduled for January 13, 1964. Christmas leave is canceled at Capitol Records, as pressing plants and staff gear up for rush release.
23 Dec 1963 Capitol Records issues a memo to its sales people and regional managers across the country, outlining an extensive “Beatles Campaign” using various promotional items — from major music magazine trade ads and a fake tabloid Beatles newspaper (reprinted in the thousands), to Beatle buttons, Beatle stickers, Beatle wigs, and a battery-powered, “Beatles-in-motion,” bobble-head-like, window display for music stores.
26 Dec 1963
Capitol Records begins distributing “I Want To Hold Your Hand” to radio stations in major U.S. cities where it is played regularly. With teens home for Christmas-New Years break, radios get full-time use, and the record begins selling like crazy. In New York City, 10,000 copies are sold every hour. In the first three days, 250,000 copies are sold. Capitol was so overloaded it contracted Columbia Records and RCA to help with the pressings.
28 Dec 1963 The New Yorker magazine publishes a Brian Epstein interview; regarded as first serious article in U.S. about the Beatles and their manager.
29 Dec 1963 New York city radio station WMCA joins others broadcasting “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” Back in London, meanwhile, Sunday Times critic Richard Buckle praises the Beatles as the greatest composers since Beethoven.
30 Dec 1963
A two-page ad from Capitol Records pitching the Beatles’ recordings runs in Billboard and Cash Box music industry magazines. Bulk reprints of these ads have already been distributed to Capitol’s sales agents for use with radio stations and in enlarged, easel-scale size for use in music store displays across the country.
3 Jan 1964 Jack Paar, host of the late night U.S. TV talk show, “The Jack Paar Show,” airs a filmed Beatles’ performance of “She Loves You” from England. It is the first complete Beatles song shown on American TV, and for many in America, the first time they see The Beatles.
10 Jan 1964 Vee-Jay Records releases the first Beatles album in the U.S., Introducing…The Beatles. Legal and business issues plague the album, but by late fall, it would sell more than 1.3 million copies.
10 Jan 1964 Two weeks after the Capitol Records release of “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” sales hit 1 million copies — a staggering number at that time for an unknown music group from overseas.
mid-Jan 1964 Vee-Jay Records’ issues special record sleeves for promoting “Please Please Me” to radio DJs, noting Beatles’ clip on Jack Paar’s show, upcoming Ed Sullivan Show dates, and national news coverage in Time, Life & Newsweek magazines.
17 Jan 1964 “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles is the No. 1 single in America.
20 Jan 1964 Capitol Records issues Meet the Beatles, the Beatles’ first Capitol album in the U.S.
20 Jan 1964 To promote the Meet The Beatles album and their upcoming first American visit, Capitol Records distributes pre-recorded interview with the Beatles to American radio stations.
29 Jan 1964 Capitol Records announced in a press releases, that Meet the Beatles had already sold 400,000 copies by January 27th.
30 Jan 1964 Vee-Jay Records releases, for the second time, the single “Please Please Me” / “From Me to You,” entering the Billboard chart at No. 69. It would later reach No. 3, and Vee-Jay would sell at least 1.1 million copies.
7 Feb 1964 At about 1:20 p.m. the Beatles arrive at Kennedy International Airport in New York where they are greeted by 3,000 screaming teenagers, 200 reporters and photographers, and more than 100 New York police officers. At a televised press conference the Beatles come off as witty, charming and playful.
9 Feb 1964 Elvis Presley sends The Beatles a telegram wishing them well in their upcoming Ed Sullivan Show appearance later that evening.
9 Feb 1964 Beatles perform live on The Ed Sullivan Show, reaching a record-breaking audience of 73 million, or according to A.C. Nielsen, 23.2 million households. One estimate at 40% of population. They perform five songs: “All My Loving,” “Till There Was You,” “She Loves You,” “I Saw Her Standing There” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand.”
31 Mar 1964 The Beatles hold the top five slots on Billboard: (1) Can’t Buy Me Love, (2) Twist and Shout, (3) She Loves You, (4) I Want To Hold Your Hand (5) Please Please Me — a musical first.
10 Apr 1964 The Beatles’ Second Album is released by Capitol Records, which replaces
the Beatles first Capitol album, Meet The Beatles, at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart from May 5th to June 2nd.
11 Apr 1964 The Beatles hold 14 slots on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.
14 Apr 1964 The Beatles’ Second Album reaches $1 million in sales by this date.
Top Five Albums:Feb 15,1964
April 5,1964 Top Singles-BILLBOARD Magazine
April 11,1964 BILLBOARD Magazine
1. Can’t Buy Me Love
2. Twist & Shout
4. She Loves You
7. I Want To Hold Your Hand
9. Please Please Me
14. …Want to Know a Secret
38. …Saw Her Standing There
48. You Can’t Do That
50. All My Loving
52. From Me To You
61. Thank You Girl
74. There’s A Place
78. Roll Over Beethoven
81. Love Me Do
THE COLLECTOR’S GEMS
-The first Vee-Jay release “Introducing The Beatles” with “Love Me Do” on side one
-The second Vee-Jay with the changed sequences
-MGM 45 “My Bonnie/When The Saints Go Marching In
-TOLLIE 45 “Love Me Do” (american version features Alan White on drums. There are 3 versions of this song with three different drummers, Pete Best, Ringo Starr, and the one most heard with Alan White)
-ATCO 45 “Ain’t She Sweet”
-all early 45 picture sleeves
The Dream items for most collectors
ON THE TURNTABLE: And the year was…1970
Every few weeks I post a review of the albums I listened to in a particular year. So today is one of those postings…AND THE YEAR WAS:1970
Strange freaking year for me.January of 1970 I just turned eighteen years old, awaiting graduation from high school, applying to colleges and possible facing the military draft. No matter what transpired the night before or what each morning brought upon us, we partied on.My job at the cassette factory recently closed so I had to find gainful employment to keep my obsession of attending live shows and buying recorded music. I found not one job but two; One working in a boat yard part time after school and full time on the weekends, as well as working evenings as a substitute cleaner/custodian in the local schools when called upon, which was regularly.That custodian gig paid off big time years later, but that’s another story altogether.I graduated high school in June, worked the summer, and headed off to college in September. There I immediately landed on the college radio station doing Friday night 11PM to Saturday 7 AM as well as an occasional afternoon show.
1970 Music: in no particular order or favor:
To me NEIL YOUNG’s third album “After The Gold Rush” (August 70)was better than CSNY’s (March 70)“Deja Vu” but not nearly as exciting as Neil’s “Everybody Knows…”. It’s 1970, so “…Gold Rush” is the perfect collection for the 8-track tape players we all installed in our cars. One copy of “Gold Rush” moved from one friend’s cars to other friends cars. Perfect “pot smoking music” was how it was once described.
After I and II the new LED ZEPPELIN album had to entitled “ III”.They are original…or maybe not, anyway “Immigrant Song” kicks it off, on from there it was electric, acoustic,electric back to acoustic. Cool stuff. The tune“Since I’ve Been Loving You” was copped directly from the obscure “Grape Jam”. Robert Plant was good friends with BOB MOSLEY of MOBY GRAPE so Zep stole from every one, being unscrupulous,unmerciful, but good.
VAN MORRISON’s “Moon Dance” was another staple on the ole turntable, as well as the new turntable/stereo which I had updated at this time. I now had an actual stereo system with true speaker separation… And loud,too.
THE WHO- “Live at Leeds” I bought this (vinyl), threw it on, cranked up the stereo and almost blew out the windows to my room.Simply said, it’s “DA ‘HO”…played it a 1000 times.
THE BEATLES “Let It Be” well… everyone bought this. No biggie here for me, I did buy it but hardly ever played it. I did buy the “Naked” version years later and must say I like the Naked better.
TRAFFIC: “John Barleycorn Must Die”-Summer of ’70, six songs, thirty five minutes, bravo. I was so glad BLIND FAITH was over and TRAFFIC together for another go round. This was a quite different TRAFFIC sound and another great tape to bring out with the boys on the corner.
Two from ELTON JOHN, “Elton John” and “Tumbleweed Connection”- After seeing ELTON JOHN (the trio) open for LEON RUSSELL @ Fillmore East, I was sold, this guy would be huge, but how huge I did not know.
BAND OF GYPSYS “Band of Gypsy’s”-I appreciated his uniqueness, his innovative approach but still was not a huge fan as were most of my friends. Don’t get me wrong, his first album was a gem, and “Electric Ladyland”, wow. Then I wanted to go to this FILLMORE EAST show, New Years Day 1970, even had tickets but that’s another story. After I got this album, I really regretted not going and had a higher appreciation of the artistry known as HENDRIX.
THE DOORS- “Morrison’s Hotel”, this is their fifth album. Their fourth sucked, horns and all. This was a “return to the blues” so said one reviewer. Which blues, I’ll never know. Better than “Soft Parade”, I’ll give you that.
CSNY “Deja Vu” Funny how I liked most of the tunes, except the Graham Nash ones. To this day, I still laugh at the words to “Our House”.With “Two cats in the yard”…”flowers in the vase”…yuck, this is rock and roll, Graham.
T.REX- “T.Rex”(1970 release) After reading about T. Rex and DAVID BOWIE in MELODY MAKER I contacted the record company and received a copy of the album for the radio station in January 1971. I took it home on the winter break and never brought it back.
DEREK and THE DOMINOS-“Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs” I saw the band at FILLMORE EAST in October before the album was released. November ,we get it at the radio station, and I throw it on in the lounge. “Little Wing” grabbed my attention, then that “Layla” tune was kinda special. We saw the band again in December at Suffolk Community College (another story), they never played “Layla” but we did on the station, constantly. During one of my overnighters I played the entire album along with the original version of some of the blues numbers.
THE GRATEFUL DEAD- “Workingman’s Dead” and “American Beauty” both were heavy rotation on my show and in my room.
MILES DAVIS: “Bitches Brew”- “Miles Runs The Voodoo Down” followed by DR JOHN’S “ Gris Gris Gumbo Ya Ya” can get one in a bit of controversy with the radio staff, especially when you are the new guy (me) and the offended party is the outgoing “thinks he is a big shot Assistant Program Director”, a guy who regularly plays a “Melanie Half Hour”. I still swear he removed “Bitches Brew” from the record library. Smart me, I’ll bring my own and play it again, just for fun.
Speaking of fun…THE STOOGES “Fun House” was not welcomed at my parent’s home nor at the radio station…no fun zone, I guess. Nor was the VELVET UNDERGROUND’s “Loaded” welcomed but I played “Sweet Jane”, “Who Loves The Sun” and “Rock & Roll” to no end. Throw in the MC5 “Back In The USA” and one can see why I was hosting a very late night radio show. rather than “the Breakfast Hour”.
And then there was THE KINKS “Lola Versus Powerman and The Money Go Round”, JETHRO TULL’S“Benefit”, VAN MORRISON’s “His Band and Street Choir” wonderful follow up to “Moon Dance”,
WOODSTOCK “TheSound Track, JOE COCKER’s“Mad Dogs and Englishmen”, ROD STEWART’s “Gasoline Alley,THE BEACH BOYS “Sunflower” and of course SPIRIT “Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus”.
Funny, by Spring of 71 I was in charge of the record library at the station, a true benefit for any record collector, AND was doing Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, with a weekend show… 16 hours total air time…AND NO HOLDS BARRED.
The Beatles’ rooftop concert was the final public performance of the English rock band the Beatles. On 30 January 1969, the band, with keyboardist Billy Preston, surprised a central London office and fashion district with an impromptu concert from the roof of the headquarters of the band’s multimedia corporation Apple Corps at 3 Savile Row. In a 42-minute set, the Beatles played nine takes of five songs before the Metropolitan Policeasked them to reduce the volume. Footage from the performance was used in the 1970 documentary film Let It Be.
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ON THE TURNTABLE: January 20,1964- The Beatles “Meet The Beatles” is released in the US.
Some say it was the Assassination of our beloved President JOHN FITZGERALD KENNEDY which surrounded the Nation in a national funk that somehow brought THE BEATLES to stardom in the U.S. Some say we needed an escape, a diversion, and these four lads from Liverpool were the escape. Yet, I’m not buying it. My reasoning is simple. First,we, the American record buying public came a many months late to the BEATLES party, having not accepted their first few records when released stateside, these same records which were huge hits across the pond. Secondly, the time was ripe for a new (television) hero for the “youngsters” as Ed Sullivan would call us. The biggest show on TV at that time was the BEVERLY HILLBILLIES, a preposterous show which made a ratings killing week after week, and that show having their biggest week just prior to The Beatles first appearance. Americans were enamored with television. And Ed Sullivan was considered a religious experience every Sunday night. Like Sunday morning mass in a Catholic household, one couldn’t miss Sullivan on Sunday nights, it would be sinful.
So here goes my thesis:
Point ONE: Prior to Sullivan (one year before) The BEATLES had 3 releases in States, all which were misses, that is NO HITS, no charting…zero. Those records were
PLEASE PLEASE ME- February 1963(VEEJAY RECORDS)
FROM ME TO YOU-May 1963(VEEJAY RECORDS)
SHE LOVES YOU-September 1963(SWAN RECORDS)which has limited if any airplay.
In early November 1963 after Sullivan witnessed the impact of the lads in their home turf England,and how their audiences responded, BRIAN EPSTEIN,The BEATLES manager, persuades Mr. Sunday Night Television ED SULLIVAN to have THE BEATLES do three consecutive weekly performance on Sullivan’s top rated American CBS television show. Never before had any act accomplished three consecutive appearance on Sullivan, let alone an “unknown” act. CAPITOL RECORDS (US) smelling something good is happening picks up the BEATLES EMI option just as The CBS Morning News (Sullivan’s network) aired a segment on BEATLEMANIA, the morning of November 22, 1963,which they have ready to repeat it on their nationally syndicated CBS NIGHTLY NEWS. However, regular programming was cancelled as JFK was assassinated that day and THE BEATLES piece did NOT air that evening, happenstance. THE BEATLES and their manager become very anxious as they await their coming to America in a few months for three consecutive weeks no less without a hit record. This could mean a disaster for the band. Some in The Beatles camp and a few others considered cancelling.
The BEATLEMANIA segment was finally re-broadcast on CBS NIGHTLY NEWS the evening of December 10, 1963. Immediately airplay for THE BEATLES was requested on radio stations across the nation and CAPITOL RECORDS rushed out I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND, the boys newest single on December 26, 1963 which sold one million copies in the first ten days with one and one half million copies by three weeks time, just in time for the SULLIVAN appearance. THE BEATLES have the Number 1 hit in the land AND are appearing on one of the top rated television shows, for three consecutive weeks. BEATLEMANIA has arrived.
April 5,1964 BILLBOARD Magazine
#1: Can’t Buy Me Love (jumped 27 spots):THE BEATLES
#2: Twist And Shout:THE BEATLES
#3:She Loves You:THE BEATLES
#4:I Want To Hold Your Hand:THE BEATLES
#5:Please Please Me:THE BEATLES
ON THE TURNTABLE -1969:
Putting out my BEST OF for this past year made me nostalgic in a way. So I dug out some listings from yesteryear and over the next few weeks I’ll post a few.My brother and I actual compiled lists of our favorite records but this listing is from most of the records I bought that year, in no particular order or preference.
It’s 1969 and my record collection was growing in leaps and bounds. Seems like the more money I had the more records I bought. However, my stereo was not what one would expect of a serious record collector. I was using an old split speaker (in a case) record player propped up on my desk. But hey, the sucker did the job. That and my portable single speaker cassette player tucked along side my portable PANASONIC AM/FM stereo radio made up my “sound system”. I also had an AM/FM radio bedside. A friend had a huge stereo unit, one with humongous speakers,a turntable with a “stylus” no less, but alas he had virtually no records, always borrowing mine.
Records In My Rotation throughout that year included:
The debut album from LED ZEPPELIN “Led Zeppelin”, I bought this early on in the year after a recommendation from my work buddy, Pete, who saw this “unknown” band open for IRON BUTTERFLY. This album was amazing and it took me a few days to realize that this JIMMY PAGE was the same JIMMY PAGE from THE YARDBIRDS. Later, in the year after its release and after seeing the band live twice I copped LED ZEPPELIN II. Geez, these recordings were unique, and the band was …WOW.
THE BEATLES “Abbey Road” was and still is a hard listen for me, yet when it first was released I played it continuously, usually picking out a song or two before moving on to some other record .It was probably the Harrison tunes that I liked the most.
THE WHO “Tommy” is another difficult record to listen to all the way through, but that year I did see the band perform “Tommy” in its entirety twice, and I must say, live WHO was better than any record.
KING CRIMSON’S “In The Court Of The Crimson King”was/is a great record, one that for its time was truly original. This band blew me away when I saw them in the fall of 69, opening for FLEETWOOD MAC and JOE COCKER. After their 34 minute set, I bought the album the next payday. Speaking of FLEETWOOD MAC “Then Play On”( their 3rd album) drew me to see them live and I became a PETER GREEN fan that night. This collection showed the originals of the name sake take their blues influenced and mostly refurbished recordings a step further. I must have recited the opening of “Oh, Well-Part 1” a million times to friends, to the point where I was annoying. I still am, say some. And JOE COCKER’s “With A Little Help From My Friends” which I grabbed in the early summer after hearing some of his tunes on the radio and before seeing him and THE GREASE BAND open for The AIRPLANE at FILLMORE EAST was a goodie, but again, live he was a trip.
Also, there was NEIL YOUNG’s masterpiece “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere”, along with FRANK ZAPPA’s “Hot Rats” which help change my musical perspective and soon led me to CAPTAIN BEEFHEART “Trout Mask Replica”.
Two debuts, one from CROSBY, STILLS AND NASH, a summer hit and Blind Faith’s one and only official release, which I thought was a mess, as was their show at MADISON SQUARE GARDEN. “Nashville Skyline” by BOB DYLAN was a pleasant surprise, even my POP liked it, well, it had JOHNNY CASH on it.THE FLYING BURRITO BROS “Gilded Palace of Sin” was a good pick up and ISAAC HAYES’ “Hot Buttered Soul” arrived unannounced when I did not respond in time to a record company selection deadline but boy was I glad I got that gem. CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY’s debut double set before they shortened their name to CHICAGO, and coincidentally was the only record I ever bought by them. JETHRO TULL’s “Stand Up” was a mainstay on the turntable along with the profane MC5’s “Kick Out The Jams” which was played on minimal volume as not to upset the parents. And then there was the profanity nestled in JEFFERSON AIRPLANE’s “Volunteers” another record which kept a low profile when played.
I practiced my drums listening to THE GRATEFUL DEAD’s “Live Dead” but was not enthused with The DOORS “Soft Parade”, and
PINK FLOYD’s Ummagumma was, well, just listen to “Careful With That Axe ,Eugene” and wonder why my Mom would yell, “What is that? Please, no more.” She didn’t particularly enjoy THE STOOGES “The Stooges”, either, no matter how many times I played it. Speaking of Mom’s taste, THE VELVET UNDERGROUND “The Velvet Underground” was more to her liking as was THE KINKS “Arthur”.
JOHN MAYALL’s “Turning Point” was bought the same day as PHAROAH SANDER’s “Karma”, late 1969. Both late night incense burning albums.
and of course, THE ROLLING STONES Beggar’s Banquet which never left my turntable and the follow-up release Let It Bleed (see blog Oct. 20, 2018)
PROCUL HARUM’s “A Salty Dog” which was actually my kid brother’s record found it’s way into my room many a night, along with his SLY and The FAMILY STONE’s “Stand” and JANIS JOPLIN’s “I Got Dem Ole Kosmic Blues Again Mama” but not any of his CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL or his “Odessa” by THE BEE GEES. Just the red felt cover on that one turned my stomach. Continue reading
1969: Records in heavy rotation in my bedroom included the debut album from Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II, THE BEATLES Abbey Road (which is a hard listen for me-sorry Beatles fans), THE WHO Tommy (another difficult record to listen to all the way through), KING CRIMSON’S In The Court Of The Crimson King a great record,one that for its time was truly unique, THE ROLLING STONES Beggar’s Banquet which never left my turntable and the follow-up release Let It Bleed, NEIL YOUNG’s masterpiece Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, ZAPPA’s Hot Rats which help change my musical perspective, FLEETWOOD MAC’s Then Play On, CSN debut, Blind Faith’s one and only official release which is also a very strange record, Nashville Skyline by BOB DYLAN, The MC5’s Kick Out The Jams, Isaac Hayes’ Hot Buttered Soul which arrived unexpectedly when I did not respond in time to a record company selection deadline and glad I got this gem,Chicago Transit Authority double set before they shortened their name to CHICAGO, Jethro Tull’s Stand Up, Live Dead, The DOORS Soft Parade, PINK FLOYD’s Ummagumma, Jefferson Airplane’s Volunteers, and PROCOL HARUM’s A Salty Dog which was actually my brothers record.
Please excuse the absence of my ramblings. Since late October, I only posted sporadically as I was working through a funk, a period of time for self reflection, a sorta house cleaning if you will. In the end I hoped to return a better person; one more insightful, one with a higher sense of morality and empathy. Seems in the recent past I let other interfere with and cloud what I thought was right and just. With this new year comes a new approach, but don’t think for one second that this is a hokey new year’s resolution, for it is not. I chose today as an anniversary date to be remember similar to my choosing Ground Hog Day as the date I quit smoking 3 years ago this February. So, “on with the show”
THE BEATLES: I really don’t know what took me this long to purchase the newly re-released vinyl “WHITE ALBUM”. Guess it was the cost. At a few cent shy of 100 smackers for the vinyl, I hesitated, despite being hounded by the band’s weekly e-mail reminder that it was “on sale now”. The turning point was getting a gift card for a local record store from my son for Christmas. That gift pushed me closer to the sale, that and the 10% off coupon found in the local newspaper. So here I am today, the start of the new year, with the prized package safely secured in my record collection. As I entered the house the first question asked by my lovely bride of 45 years was, “Don’t you already have that on vinyl and CD?”. Yes, is my answer, “yes…But I needed it”.
Here’s my story:
September of 68 I was working after school and weekends at Dubbings Electronics, a factory making cassette and 8 track tapes. Cassettes were new to the music business at this time and Dubbings had the market pretty well covered. Their major clients included Vanguard, Elektra, Capitol Records and their minor labels to name only a few. Needless to say my music collection grew substantially each and every afternoon by at least one or two cassettes. Blues, folk, rock, jazz, whatever I could fit in my boot I took home; Country Joe, Dave Van Ronk, Quicksilver, Butterfield, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin,Doc Watson, Buffy St. Marie, Ian &Sylvia, Skip James, Steve Miller and a host of others all found their way into my room.
One afternoon, Ruthie who worked in the “Mastering Lab” called me over to hear something she thought was unique, that is, something strange to her 50 year old ears. The“lab” was a climate controlled, sound proofed room, with thick glass windowed partitions. Basically it was an air tight room, with a red light occasionally blazing DO NOT ENTER over the door. One had to wear white gloves, a hat, and coveralls to enter the room. In its outer office was a bank of cassette players. Ruthie slipped a cassette into one of the machines and placed her very expensive headphones over my ears. Upon hearing the sounds, I was at first perplexed but knew instantly what it must be. “They say it’s your birthday.” It sounded like The Beatles. Then, a second test cassette was placed in the machine,“Number nine, number nine” repeated over and over, all with a cacophony of sounds, screams, horns, etc. Smiling I answered with more of a question, THE BEATLES?, I proposed. She then with her white gloves on, removed the cassette from the apparatus and put in another cassette…. HELTER SKELTER….THE BEATLES ,YES IT MUST BE THE BEATLES. She informed me it was a company hush hush job, no one was to know what we were putting together, not even her. Yet she proclaimed she had her suspicions and needed “verification” which was ME. No labels were found in the labeling department and no inserts declaring THE BEATLES were located in the inventory department, just a number 4XWL stamped on each cassettes. Over the next few days we manufactured one million cassettes (half a million packages as we found out this was a two record set) all produced and neatly secured until the November 15 shipping date. The entire factory, two shifts, was working on one project. Needless to say Ruthie slipped me a few early finished cassettes during week one, no labels just 4XWL which I suspected meant the newest product by The Beatles, later to be nicknamed “The WHITE ALBUM”. I shared my good fortune, a perk of the job if you will with some friends, friends who were skeptical at first but after a little while. agreed…yea man,it must be The Beatles.The labels and inserts arrived a few days before shipping which started the factory buzzing again as we were steaming on labels, insert cards with pictures of THE BEATLES were installed, a separate station was established for the black box enclosure as this project was a two cassette package never done by our company before, shrink wrapping with supervisors watching over the process and hand counting each item before securing it in shipments of 250 per box. Special boxes had to be ordered as Capitol products usually shipped in 500 per box but with the new configuration of the black box enclosure, well, that threw everything off. Shipping boxes were sealed by a supervisor who hand numbered each. The hand trucks were loaded by us flunkies and boxes placed in the shipping department awaiting mailing labels.Walls and walls of cardboard boxes each hand numbered sequentially safely secured. Finally, D-day arrived, huge semis took away our project and all was quiet again, except for my cassette player in the backroom where I counted 10 BUFFY ST. MARIE cassettes, 20 of another Vanguard artist, etc, until I hit the ordered number, labeled it for shipping to some obscure site in middle America.There in the confines of my inner sanctum played, THE BEATLES, over and over again.