TICKETS TORN IN HALF: February 18,1972- Billy Joel with Beefheart

TICKETS TORN IN HALF: February 18,1972- Billy Joel with Beefheart

What a strange year 1971 was with the MANSON trial and conviction, Lt. CALLEY found guilty and THE TROUBLES in IRELAND even more intense that before with THE BRITISH adding internment without trial to captured IRA members. Television had a new hit with ALL IN THE FAMILY while the MARLBORO MAN and cigarette ads in general were banned. The Allman Brothers record the LIVE album and a few months later help close out FILLMORE EAST for good. The STONES relocate to France to avoid taxes, while George Harrison is bringing attention to BANGLADESH when it declared its independence from Pakistan.

Just when I thought that 71 was as crazy as it could get along come BLOODY SUNDAY in Northern Ireland, Israeli athletes murdered in the summer Olympics, NIXON is re-elected in a landslide over George McGovern, and someone comes up with the idea which later becomes known as WATERGATE, all while AMERICAN PIE is played endlessly on the radio.

With FILLMORE EAST closed most mid range (those avoiding or not as popular to play at MSG) entertained the Rock N Roll crowds at the ACADEMY of MUSIC on 14th Street or at THE CAPITOL in Port Chester, NY.

On February 18, 1972 ,a Saturday night when it snowed like crazy but I drove my trusty VW to NYC to see the J. Geils Band/Capt. Beefheart/Billy Joel @ Academy of Music, the Late show. I took a friend of mine who to this day states, “BEEFHEART stole the show”. The J.GEILS BAND was the rising stars at this moment. The opening act, Billy Joel, did an imitation of one, JOE COCKER, as well as bad mouthing his own current album “Cold Spring Harbor”, stating it was mixed at “Mickey Mouse speed” or something to the effect. In 1972 Billy Joel was virtually a newcomer to the NY stages.Granted we had seen him many times as the organist of the Long Island band THE HASSELS, as well as he being a member of the ill fated ATTILA, a two piece heavy metal-ish organ drum outfit, which was horrible.Tonight at The Academy was different. According to my journal which I usually wrote in after a show, BILLY JOEL played piano, did a song or two from “CSH”, another song about playing piano in a bar in Los Angeles, a song about getting high, and finished with THE STONES “Honky Tonk Woman”. My BEEFHEART notes were far more extensive so I guess one can determine which band I was there to see.

Anyway, back to the good ole days…I liked the HASSLES as a local live band (66-67@ Hullabaloo) and I especially enjoyed their HAMMOND B-3 (Rascals like)sound. So when opportunity knocked while in the record department of TSS I grabbed their first album on UNITED ARTISTS RECORDS, along with their 45 RPM cover of SAM and DAVE’s “You Got Me Hummin” which is labeled incorrectly as “You’ve Got Me Hummin” (jive ass white suburban kids). The album includes “Every Step I Take (Every Move I Make)” a tune written by Billy Joel ( with a great drum part which I practiced routinely)and the band’s cover of TRAFFIC’s “Coloured Rain”, a so-so rendition Also, this being the fifteen minutes of fame for another Long Island phenomena VANILLA FUDGE, The HASSLES did “A Taste of Honey” ala The FUDGE but worse, as a matter of fact it is laugh out loud funny bad.

Their second LP “Hour Of The Wolf” was released in January of 69 but I passed on it as did most of the record buying public.The band subsequently breaks up and Billy Joel has a short career as the duo ATTILA with Jon Small, drummer from The Hassles. They regularly played the “family” owned ACTION HOUSE which is another story unto itself. Billy then disappears to Los Angeles as a lounge singer, Bill Martin, before returning in 1971 with “Cold Spring Harbor” his first solo endeavor on Family Production Records.

While this collection of tunes was making little or no noise on the charts, BILLY JOEL starts to hit the clubs where his live act gains the notice of Columbia records which after intense negotiations buys out his previous contract. Billy Joel prepares to record “Piano Man”, his major breakout. November 9, 1973 it is released.

So my story is: from February 18, 1972 until November 18, 1973 I saw Billy Joel only once and that being the opening act for J.Geils Band/Captain Beefheart. To present, since the release of “Piano Man” he has a shitload of album releases, singles on the charts,multiple marriages and divorces, made millions of dollars,and has a “residency” at Madison Square Garden which sells out the minute a new date is announced, and he is a local guy to boot…yet I only saw him once.And most of my friends love to see him…regularly.

PS: I still have “Cold Spring Harbor” and the only other album is “Piano Man”.I sold the single at a nice profit.


February 24,1975 PHYSICAL GRAFFITI is released.

March 25,1975 Jim Miller writes in ROLLING STONE…”Despite such lapses, Physical Graffiti testifies to Page’s taste and Led Zeppelin’s versatility. Taken as a whole, it offers an astonishing variety of music, produced impeccably by Page. Not that this album will convince the doubters. Anyone with an antipathy to the posturing of Robert Plant or the wooden beat of John Bonham, be forewarned: A Led Zeppelin is a Led Zeppelin is a Led Zeppelin.”



The Spring semester began only a few weeks ago and it is obvious we are not the same group as we were in September. Many of my cronies disappeared from campus. Some failed out, two got busted, one arrested on campus and expelled, others transferred, one left without warning stealing about 40 of my albums(another story for a later date)… so the “clique”changed. The radio station gave me more responsibilities as “record librarian” and more hours on the air. It seemed to be that they liked what I was doing. The time at the radio station combined with being “business manager/co-editor” of the campus newspaper, officer in the student government, and a member of the concert committee left little time for academics. Fortunately, my course work was basically liberal arts basket weaving thrown in with my business classes. Needless to say, I was having too much fun while still maintaining a 3.5 GPA.

I called a girl I reacquainted with at The Dominoes (Suffolk Community) out on an official date to see THE FACES. To my sheer surprise she said YES. We took the train in and arriving in NYC, it started to snow pretty hard so I thought it best we eat in a place closer to the Fillmore. Inside the theater The Grease Band was a disaster without Joe Cocker, followed by Savoy Brown without Chris Youlden, Roger Earl, Lonesome Dave, or Tone Stevens, so we had only one hope left , THE FACES. And, THE FACES did not disappoint, as a matter of fact they were one of the best, most fun, bands I had ever seen.My date agreed. Ronnie Wood kicked it off on pedal steel with SWEET LADY MARY, the band cranked it up with I DON’T WANT TO DISCUSS IT, TOO MUCH WOMAN(an Ike Turner cover),The Stones STREET FIGHTING MAN, Rod Stewart out did Paul McCartney on Paul’s new tune, MAYBE I’M AMAZED, followed by Ian McLagen, Ronnie Lane, and Kenny Jones playing their roles in IT’S ALL OVER NOW,I’M LOSING YOU, LOVE IN VAIN,AROUND THE PLYNTH,AN OLD RAINCOAT NEVER LET’S YOU DOWN, GASOLINE ALLEY, THREE BUTTON HAND ME DOWN and an encore of Elton John’s COUNTRY COMFORT. All while we were seated in the second row center with me taping the show on my trusty cheap cassette recorder. It was a wonderful night, and we lucked out in catching the midnight train back home. Unfortunately it was still snowing and the drive to get her home took longer than I had hoped, and then I still had to travel one hour back to my room in a heavy snow. Got settled after 3 AM with the snow piling up all around me. Micro-Economics Class at 8AM, followed by Macro at 9AM. Something has to give soon.

THE FACES became a favorite of mine to see live as one never knew what to expect. The FILLMORE EAST night had the band chugging MATEUS wine, bottle after bottle which littered the amp tops, keyboards, and drum riser. It has been said the FACES refused anymore engagements at FILLMORE EAST for the fact that “you can NOT get drunk twice in one night”, meaning two sets per night is one too many. So who are these guys?

It’s early 1968 and on the clear evening with a wire antenna attached to my AM/FM Panasonic radio I can pick up CKLW 800-AM-“The Big 8” a station serving WINDSOR,Ontario and DETROIT,Michigan. THE BIG 8 is said to be “the blackest white station in America” playing a unique integrated mix serving Ontario, Detroit and some (clear) nights heard in Cleveland and as far as New York. Commercials needed the disclaimer “Not available in Ontario”.The only problem is the station, a Canadian broadcaster, legally had to play 30% of music from Canada, which in some cases was good as we were introduced to Joni Mitchell and The Guess Who.

So… “ here’s the #1 Canadian hit single ITCHYCOO PARK” by a band I had heard about but never “heard” their music. I wrote down the name of the band, searched for the record and finally found the 45 RPM. It was wonderful. “Itchycoo Park/I’m Only Dreaming” 45rpm on IMMEDIATE RECORDS. A few weeks later I had the album… “There Are But Four Small Faces” a US only release. “My Way of Giving”, “Tin Solder”, “Here Comes The Nice”, all great tunes. In the summer of 68, SMALL FACES-“Ogdens’Nut Gone Flake” which is a blast is released. It is a precursor for HUMBLE PIE to be sure and “Happiness Stan” is one of my heroes. A few years later I played side two in its entirety 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.

Then, STEVE MARRIOTT leaves to form HUMBLE PIE with PETER FRAMPTON, JERRY SHIRLEY and GREG RIDLEY. “PIE” was phenomenal after they dropped the acoustic stuff, so powerful they literally “Rocked The Fillmore”.

The SMALL FACES now left without a frontman picked up two of JEFF BECK GROUP (#1) alumni who are unemployed due to BECK’S car accident. RONNIE WOOD, a bass player for BECK and a guitarist by trade, along with vocalist extradonaire ROD STEWART join up after IAN McLAGEN assists in the making of THE ROD STEWART ALBUM. Fun ensues at the recording so “WOODIE and STEW” join the SMALL FACES as the band is (still) known in The States. At home they are “Faces”, no THE, no SMALL, just FACES.

“First Step” is released spring of 70 followed by an extensive American tour lasting through November.The band plays at both FILLMORE EAST and WEST, BOSTON TEA PARTY, many colleges, The Action House, Unganos, just about any size venue, anywhere… everywhere.

The summer of 70, “Gasoline Alley” the second solo endeavor for Rod Stewart is released and becomes a huge hit. Another FACES tour is planned to which Rod commits while also continuing to record solo works.

February of 71, a few night after I saw them at FILLMORE EAST, “Long Player” by The FACES is out making some noise in the charts and on the road they go for another extended tour.

All is smooth and fun loving until EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY (May 1971) hits the charts with the single “Maggie May” becoming a worldwide #1 hit. While “Faces” were playing on Rod’s solo albums, FACES as a band was a separate entity, a touring phenomena. Unfortunately to those new fans only invested in hearing “Maggie May” they had to endure “Faces”, an otherwise great live band. Constant calls for Rod’s hits lead to a bit of distraction to the band members not named Rod.

“A Nod’s As Good As A Wink To A Blind Horse” released in November 71 showed the skills of Ronnie Lane as a vocalist and songwriter. His song “Debris” is only one indication of their past and their future.

Unfortunately, I saw them November 26, 1971 at MADISON SQUARE GARDEN (FACES/CACTUS/BULL ANGUS) and wrote a scathing review of the show and the crowd. “Joshua TV” with its closed circuit video system was used for the first time giving those in attendance a close up of FACES.The other bands were not included in this aspect of the show. Bull Angus was hard to hear which was a blessing, CACTUS muffled, and FACES drunk. My review got negative feedback from the big wigs at WB Records. My “freebie” privilege was revoked.

Rod Stewart’s solo “Never A Dull Moment” hits the stores in summer of 72 and goes to #1with the single “You Wear It Well” topping the charts.
Many are now considering Faces to be Rod Stewart’s “backing band” to the dismay of founding member/bassist and once a primary vocalist, RONNIE LANE.

During the winter, back in England the band starts working on “OOH LA LA”. Rod Stewart’s new pop star persona makes him virtually disappear from the recording sessions forcing Ronnie Lane to take control of a band which was originally his. When the record is released March of 73 Rod Stewart bad mouths the record in the press infuriating Ronnie Lane who after the tour to promote the album quits. The FACES continued on for 2 1/2 years without producing another album, basically touring as ROD STEWART and THE FACES.

May 10,1973 at Nassau Memorial …Ronnie Lane, one of his last gigs with FACES. Jo Jo Gunne opens the show, consisting of a few guys from the remnants of SPIRIT. FACES were good that night, Ronnie Lane exceptionally good. In the late 1970’s Ronnie Lane was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) which had effected his mother and two siblings earlier in life.

Back to ROD STEWART, in October 74 he releases “Smiler” which basically sucks. But continues to tour as ROD STEWART and FACES until …1976 , Faces no more. Ron Wood joins the STONES, KENNY JONES drummed for THE WHO after KEITH MOON’S death in 78.

In a few weeks I’ll write my rant about “April Fool” a great collection by the none other best of the best, RONNIE LANE.…

Nassau Coliseum May 10,1973



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

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
Judges: Bryant

…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.”

Article Citation:
Jack Doyle, “Beatles in America, 1963-1964,”, 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

1Meet The Beatles-The Beatles

2 The Singing Nun

3 In The Wind-Peter,Paul and Mary

4 Little Deuce Coupe-The Beach Boys

5 West Side Story_Soundtrack


22 Introducing…The Beatles

April 5,1964 Top Singles-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 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 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

1: The first issue VEE-JAY single of “Please Please Me” with the mis-spelling of the band as “The Beattles”

2: First issue (Sept 63) SWAN Records “She Loves You”

The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1974 with THE LIPSTICK KILLERS

TICKETS TORN IN HALF: The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1974 with THE LIPSTICK KILLERS

Who are the mystery girls? Androgynous,what the hell is that? Are they boys?Girls?Neither? Both? See through silk blouses, high heels, strange hats, a bass player about nine feet tall wearing a New York Rangers jersey with tights and red knee high boots.Teased hair, pink drums, whew, this band will be a treat.

All this leads up to an event on February 15, 1974 known as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre held at the notorious Academy of Music. New York City at that time was a dirt hole, a freakin’ sewer. Subway cars smelled of urine,their walls, doors, and windows covered with graffiti, all this decoration/distraction making for a great ride at 3 o’clock in the morning. The streets surrounding 14the Street, the demarcation between the hip south siders and the snobby uptowners, were filled with bums, drunks, hookers, and drug addicts. Nobody was using cocaine as their drug of choice, it was too expensive and passe, here it was heroin. This descent into hell started ages before but culminated musically, socially, when five guys put together a band known asTHE NEW YORK DOLLS. David, Johnny, Billy, Arthur,and Sylvain, collectively these five guys could be found playing everywhere in Manhatten. Every Thursday morning searching the Village Voice one could immediately find an ad for that band and plan a night out, all for about five bucks.

At that time 1971/72 there were not many places that allowed an original band to perform “their” music. In the Village you could find the jazz clubs, a folk club, and some small venues that would employ “recording artists”. The Fillmore East closed so the bigger acts, those that refused to play Madison Square Garden needed to find another venue.That’s when THE ACADEMY booked bands on a regular basis.

Some bands had a history with small New York City theaters. In the mid/late sixties THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION played every Wednesday at the Garrick Theater on Bleecker St. The FUGS played seven nights a week at the Players Theater on MacDougal Street and by 71 THE VELVET UNDERGROUND played twice a night, five days a week at Max’s Kansas City.

Things changed around the time THE COCKETTES/ SYLVESTER and HIS HOT BAND were booked for a five week gig Halloween of 1971 at the old Anderson Theatre on Second Avenue. To the uninitiated this was a big event in the art/ theater environment known as New York City, a must see show for the A-listers.The COCKETTES were a San Francisco drag-queen troupe of aging LSD hippies. NYC was a buzz, tickets sold out in hours, and a few lucky college radio folks like me grabbed some complimentary tixs. One just needs to check out Sylvester and His Hot Band and/or The Cockettes on to see how the hippie world of the Woodstock generation was dying off. It was a “new dawn”

(Wiki)“News of the 47 Cockettes boarding the flight was covered by local television and the group took over the plane in full drag. Once in New York they were housed in a dingy hotel where heroin was easily scored but spent most of their time as celebrated guests at dozens of parties where they could eat and drink for free, running a tab at a local diner and getting free taxicab rides”.The Cockettes were still transitioning from being “a happening” to actually doing structured performances.The group had one week to prepare but they had few resources and little energy after all the parties. They were however the talk of town and their show was the hot ticket”. The Anderson Theater in New York City had no sound or lighting systems and needed a curtain. The stage was also twice the size of the Cockettess’ usual one so all the sets had to be rebuilt from scratch in six days.They opened with “Tinsel Tarts In a Hot Coma”, a send-up of films about Broadway in the 1930s.What had seemed so fabulous in San Francisco did not translate well in New York City. For most New Yorkers, it was “You’ve got to be kidding!,” and the celebrities the Cockettes had so wanted to impress were not impressed.Later, the Cockettes tried to explain their New York failure by commenting “the New York audiences did not understand us,” (although it appeared perhaps New York had understood them). After a week of disastrous “Tinsel Tarts…” playing to empty houses, they performed their original musical “Pearls Over Shanghai” for the remaining 2 weeks of their contract, and the Village Voice gave it a rave. But it was too little too late.Sylvester and his band was the lone exception but he disassociated himself after several nights on advice from his business friends.

So here we are at the precipice of change, the “new dawn”,moving from the long-haired, tie-dye T-shirt, patch jeans, and work boots of the LSD 60s, to the tight jeans , satin shirts, platform shoes teased hair of the heroin 70s.

THE NEW YORK DOLLS opened for Long John Baldry (June 72) at My Father’s Place in Roslyn, to less than favorable reviews from my friends who attended. “They suck”…but they also mentioned laughingly that I might like them, as I am the “musical snob who hates MOUNTAIN”. So this outing will be a test. It’s Tuesday night in August 1972, hotter than hell in NYC,smoking a Marlboro Red while standing in the crowd outside the Mercer Arts Center, just north of Bleecker Street at the end of Washington Square. All are anticipating what can only be best described as a true NY happening.The “I’ll see you next week” crowd is there, dressed as provocatively as one might expect of the band.The New York Dolls had a standing Tuesday night gig in the Oscar Wilde Room of the said Mercer Arts Center. This engagement started in early June and had been regularly reported in the local newspapers, television, and a few magazines. The only problem for a local tunnel boy like me would be that the show starts at 10 PM and one had endure two bands before “THE DOLLS” came on. I had work at 7AM Wednesday morning.
One could find THE DOLLS everywhere in NYC. They would be at The Palm Room of The Hotel Diplomat, then doing five nights at Max’s Kansas City, Tuesday’s back at Mercer Arts Center, mostly with The Magic Tramps in tow.

THE NEW YORK DOLLS were everything one could imagine, and to some, nothing. They were five guys who hit the stage, entertaining a crowd which adored them or hated them. They were offensive, brash, bold, and wonderful. You either walked out or you begged for more. Some night they were the best band in the world and other nights the worst (Voted BEST and WORST BAND by the readers of Creem Magazine 1973)

September 72, the band agrees to open for LOU REED, five nights in England. However, after their first sound check, for whatever reason, either being too good or too bad, Lou declines to allow them to play. Stuck in England,they soldiered on, even recorded a few tunes as demos. Then, the premier gig, they opened up for THE FACES at an outdoor festival.Some say they stole the show. A few days later Billy Murcia, the drummer, dies. New York City’s most popular unsigned rock’n roll band is without their drummer.

Returning back to New York the band calls on Jerry Nolan,a known entity, pink drums and all. The second incarnation of The New York Dolls plays on December 22 at the old Fillmore East in a series known as “Bands of the 1970’s” with The Magic Tramps and Teenage Lust. New Year’s Eve they are back to the Mercer Arts Center with The Magic Tramps (another unsung band of NY music), Queen Elizabeth(w/Wayne County), The Modern Lovers, Ruby and The Rednecks, in what is to be called “the endless party of 1973” a show starting at 11 PM and ending when the sun came up, maybe.

The Dolls played in various clubs; Kenny’s Castaway up on 84th St. Street and Third, opened up for Captain Beefheart at Town Hall (February 24) and then on St. Patrick’s Day of 1973, they perform on a bill with Larry Coryell, along with The Mahavishnu Orchestra at the State University of New York in New Paltz. My brother, Kevin Patrick, a student there, called me the next day, he being a huge fan of The Mahavishnu Orchestra, stated… “who the fuck were those guys, how could you possibly like them”. Two days later the New York Dolls sign a two album record contract with Mercury Records for $25,000. July 27th 1973 THE NEW YORK DOLLS (debut) is released.

THE DOLLS were now all over New York. They played the Gaslight Au Go Go, Coventry in Queens, Memorial Day weekend at The (formerly Electric) Circus with Barnaby Bye. August 3 while opening for MOTT THE HOOPLE at The FELT FORUM of Madison Square Garden, the Mercer Arts Center collapses to the ground.Its been reported that the unauthorized renovations of 1969 took out some weight bearing walls. Many in THE DOLLS camp looked at this as a bad omen,losing your home base. For the rest of August The Dolls head over to Max’s Kansas City for a residency. In late September they leave on the West Coast tour where they performed on TV show “The Midnight Special.” It would back with Mott The Hoople traveling through Canada for most of October and returning home for the notorious “Homecoming Halloween Bash” at the Waldorf Astoria’s ballroom. The press coverage alone for this event was unbelievable, decadence to be sure, and tickets for fans virtually impossible to obtain.

It’s a “Costume Party” at $7.50 a ticket featuring THE NEW YORK DOLLS. Over 2000 nut jobs arrive early. First problem is the venue as opulent as it is ,with all its prestige, only holds about 1000,legally. And some/most of that 1000 would be A-listers. The band is scheduled to perform after the “costume contest”, a contest of costumes one can only imagine.Doors were to open at 11PM but don’t until 1AM.The band is drunk/high/in poor spirits/hate each other/whatever.

“Oh my God, the Waldorf-Astoria regrets that gig! Hundreds of FREAKS strolling around the entire lobby area, blowing minds. The Dolls made us wait like an extra 90 minutes and then were hilariously drunk. They were totally awful, but, looked great. It made sense somehow.” stated Blinky Phillips, guitarist for THE PLANETS.

To promote the album they embark on an ill fated European Fall Tour. There the press straight out hated them, labeling the band as “mock rock” and a poor imitation of the ROLLING STONES.

With their tails between their legs they are back home to the safe environment know as NEW YORK CITY, February 15, 1974, on a show advertised as “The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre”, at the Academy of Music with Elliott Murphy, tickets sell out in minutes. The stage is readied for THE DOLLS, the lights dim, and a newsreel montage of Hitler invading France is played.WTF? Next a film “The Lipstick Killers” is shown, hey, that’s THE DOLLS…
Film ends…”Puss N Boots” kicks it off. THE DOLLS are on, not just on… but ON. “Bad Girl”,”Looking For A Kiss”, “Who Are The Mystery Girls?”, “Trash”, “Stranded In The Jungle” “Great Big Kiss”, “Chatterbox”, “Personality Crisis”, “Babylon” “It’s Too Late”, “Pills”, and “Human Being”…applause… “you want more?… “Jet Boy”, “I’m Your Hootchie Coochie Man”, “Back In The USA”.The universe is back in balance. The guys can do it, they can be stars.

Two months later, April 14,1974 the band performs at My Father’s Place in Roslyn, with The Miamis opening. “Babylon”, “Puss n Boots”,“Looking For A Kiss”,“Trash”, Stranded In The Jungle”, “Personality Crisis”, “Bad Girl”, “Pills”, “Hoochie Koochie Dolls”, “It’s Too Late”, “Chatterbox”, and the show closer “Human Being” all broadcast by WBAB-FM.

May 10,1974 “IN TOO MUCH TOO SOON” is released. It bombs and Mercury drops them almost immediately. THE NEW YORK DOLLS virtually disappear.

The band tours for a few months with Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan in a true heroin dependency while Arthur “Killer” Kane is an out and out drunk.

I didn’t see much in the press or hear much of The Dolls after their release, I do know they played the “Little Hippodrome” the small place between Second and Third Avenue, dressed in red leather. My friend said it was terrible. The band was falling apart, the spirit and the camaraderie that once existed between the performers and the audience was gone.Now, you didn’t know if Arthur was going to show up sober, didn’t know if Jerry was going to stand up,or if Johnny was going to throw up. David and Syl we are trying to keep the band together. However, in that short period of time THE NEW YORK DOLLS go from the sweethearts of New York City, to playing on a bill with THE FACES in Europe, on tour with MOTT THE HOOPLE, now relegated to playing shitty little holes with nobody, I mean nobody, nobody there.

TICKETS TORN IN HALF: Led Zeppelin-February 12,1975@ Madison Square Garden

TICKETS TORN IN HALF: Led Zeppelin- Feb. 12,1975@ Madison Square Garden

This is my seventh time seeing Led Zeppelin. I first saw them on their second tour /first heading tour of the US in May of 1969@ Fillmore East. Truly an eye opening experience for its time. So five years and a few months later I am now sitting in THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS ARENA experiencing what is considered by some as the BIGGEST BAND IN THE WORLD. Their sixth album “Physical Graffiti” a double record set will be released  in a few days and having not toured since July of 1973 anticipation for tickets to any live shows would be great. 

When announced in late December that tickets for LED ZEPPELIN’s three(3) nights at Madison Square Garden, along with two shows at Nassau Coliseum would go on sale Monday, January 6, lines started to form as early as the Saturday morning before. Three shows  at 20,000 seats were set for the Garden, with 45,000 tickets to be sold at the box office. The remaining 15,000 would be sold at TICKETTRON outlets throughout the area on Monday also. Throughout Saturday lines grew at the box offices, at both The Garden and Coliseum.At The Garden, the overwhelming crowds became restless especially when a few knuckleheads decided to “skip the line” protocol. The Garden staff became alarmed and started selling tickets at 1 AM Sunday night and quickly “SOLD OUT” which led to other problems. The same scenario occurred at Nassau Coliseum where those in line received a number ,Numbers 1 through 2000 were issued .Orderly at first until at number 900, all tickets were sold.The lucky 900 bought all the tickets in a matter of minutes leaving 1100 people in a angry state. Finally, those remaining tickets which would go on sale at TICKETTRON had huge lines, massive fights, and again sold out in minutes. Ironic how this ticket selling fiasco lead to the Garden box office later relying on mail orders and TICKETTRON outlets for future  first day of sales for high demand events. Also, a limit of four tickets per person was implemented. Mine ( two tickets@$7.50 in the 300 section) arrived a few days later via SASE.

February12,1975: LED ZEPPELIN opened with ROCK AND ROLL,  followed by (partial set list)No QUARTER, SONG REMAINS THE SAME,DAZED AND CONFUSED, STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN,MOBY DICK(20 minutes), WHOLE LOTTA LOVE, BLACK DOG,and the encore of HEARTBREAKER. There is a great bootleg of this show, one which in my opinion is much better than TSRTS.

One reviewer claimed that Bonham’s 20 minutes displayed some of the best drumming in the world, something that Billy Cobham should take notice of. What? To me, the solo which was about 18 minutes too long was the perfect time to stretch my legs, and I’m a drummer. 

(1/8/75 NYT) More than 1,000 persons crowded Macy’s department store in Roosevelt Field, L. I., and shoving matches, erupted when 25 Nassau County policemen attempted to reorganize the waiting line. Six persons were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct or harassment.


TICKETS TORN IN HALF: Delaney, Bonnie and Friends with Eric Clapton- February 7,1970

TICKETS TORN IN HALF: Delaney, Bonnie and Friends with Eric Clapton- February 7,1970

With a bottle of red wine and two tickets to see Delaney Bonnie Friends with Eric Clapton we head out into a bitter cold night Saturday night, February 7 of 1970. ERIC CLAPTON was now touring as a member of DB&F. This was a dream come true show with Clapton away from that Blind Faith shit and having Rita Coolidge also on the stage, this would make the night complete. We met some older (by one or two years) town folks on the train ride in who also happened to be heading to the show. Live music became the topic for our small group. And we spoke, and spoke. Too cool, I held my own in discussing our musical tastes. Years later I continued to see these same guys going to the same shows as I was. Always had a fun train ride with them.

Eric Clapton was the man that night and the Fillmore East acoustics made him sound amazing. This was so much better than The Garden sound system when he played with Blind Faith.Tonight at FILLMORE EAST Seals and Crofts opened as did Wilbert Harrison. Both acts paled in comparison to the guitarist revered as GOD.

Eric Clapton – Guitar / Vocals
Delaney Bramlett – Guitar / Vocals
Bonnie Bramlett – Vocals
Rita Coolidge – Vocals
Bobby Whitlock – Keyboards / Vocals
Carl Radle – Bass
Jim Gordon – Drums
Tex Johnson – Percussion
Jim Price – Trumpet
Bobby Keys – Saxophone

The DB & F LIVE album came out a month after the show, so our expectations for the FILLMORE EAST show were high, our anxiety even higher. What would they play? Having seen the band (DB&F) opening for BLIND FAITH and throughly enjoying them, we had some ideas but with the addition of CLAPTON…all bets were off.

Partial set list:Things Get Better/Poor Elijah/I Don’t Know Why/That’s What My Man is For/Where There’s a Will There’s a Way/Crossroads/Coming Home/Little Richard Medley/

ON THE TURNTABLE: PooP Lists-Pompous and Opinionated Reviews (2002-2009)

ON THE TURNTABLE: PooP Lists-Pompous and Opinionated Reviews(2002-2009)

It’s that time of the season when BEST OF lists are published. For many years (32nd) I have been associated with a group of record buyers,that is guys and girls who are as pompous and opinionated as I am. As a matter of fact, some (most) are more pompous and opinionated than I. Two guys (Mark 1 and Mark 2) have taken what was started many years ago as a hand written exercise (sometimes with personal art work) then Xeroxed (for you younguns, that’s like a scan) for the PooPster members. Then, they took to the next level by publishing a bound print copy of teach members contribution as well as a composite BEST OF, developed using their unique scoring method. Today, as much of the media is doing,they dropped the pen/pencil/print (PPP) way of writing and moved into the 21th Century. We submit our choices AND each are published on the “Web”. Finally, a total is taken and the “results are in” messages are received. Fun times begin. If you are interested in seeing the results/members/alumnus/ramblings/pontifications/etc/…check it out at will be entertained.

So, with that, the other day I decided to research some of the records I had chosen in the past as a “BEST OF”, as well as looking at why the (PooP) reason for doing so. Here are some…

A double CD set for the price of one is always intriguing. When it is offered by PAUL WESTERBERG, all the better. STEREO was a welcomed addition to the rack. I for one always longed for the return of the Mats but with Tommy in GnR, oh well, at least Paul has his integrity.

One of the cats who took me to see the aforementioned DYLAN show also gave me a copy of STEVE EARLE – JERUSALEM, and as he did he said to me what I consider the best review one could make of this recording, “This makes’The Rising’ sound like bubblegum music”… So be it.

DAVID JOHANSEN, again has reinvented himself. This time he is, David Johansen??or is he…Who knows? Who cares?? SHAKER is pretty good.

The Best Album Cover. ..

Too bad I could not find this sucka in vinyl, with a nice big cover. OR a poster. The CD jewel box printing doesn’t do it for me, but Liz Phair knows how to get my attention. I didn’t buy it, and would not know one note on it ,but the visual is pleasing to my one good eye. I guess the marketing didn’t work because it was not a Top Ten.
The BEST NAME of a band is FREDDY AND THE FOUR GONE CONCLUSIONS. Say it out loud and you will think, WOW, why didn’t I name my band that. Speaking of names…
New Pornographers Electric Version One name, Neko Case, says it all. Her voice does it for me and why not. I think the band’s name is pretty cool too,

Take a recording from the Fab Four, hand it over to a Los Angeles wacko, and watch him ruin it and hope he doesn’t shoot ya ass. Never. I thought it, the lp, was pretty bad back in the day. Not one of my favorite albums or movies or anything ,when I wore a younger man’s clothes, but this cleaning up of the Beatles Let It Be; Naked does it for me now. The drums can actually be heard. I never thought I would say this but way to go Paul ,you billionaire you. Like you needed more money.

FRANZ FERDINAND – Franz Ferdinand
What a great band. Probably will last another year or so, which is a life time on an ipod. Dance with me Michael. I bought this the same time as Modest Mouse, and they were deleted almost immediately.

Also affectionately known as COLD NOSES to a few of the uninitiated. Some say rather than doing 5 sides, one great one would do. Did anyone ever tell Jackson Pollock to stop throwing paint? No. I couldn’t really decide which was my fav song on it because each was so diverse. PS: get “29” asap.

If ya’ have seventeen hours put this baby on. A bit Loooooong winded at time, takes too long to start a tune, long jams, etc , etc, it is still Wilco and any Wilco is good Wilco by me. Another live recording picked by me. Maybe that is where the true musician lives. Any one can make mistakes in the studio, do another take, fade it out, re-dubb,, ya’ git’ only one shot at it. Look what one mistake did to that wonderful superstar ASHLEY SIMPSON.

What a great title. This youngster is being touted as the new Woody.
Every bone in my body said to not like this, but I can’t stop playing it, shows up on the random shuffle as I write this. Oh No.

I am quite familiar with Alison and her work with Union Station but who is this guy Bob Plant. Gone, Gone, Gone is cool and so is Allison. This guy Bobby Plant may do some more work with her but I heard a prior commitment may halt it for now.
WILCO – Sky Blue Sky
Hey, did ya hear Dickey Betts joined KID ROCK’s band??!!! Not that that item has anything to do with this collection. Just wondering why he did it. Maybe sometimes you can’t musically survive on your own. Or the whole is more important than the parts??? Wilco, Son Volt, yea, okay.

I listen and I laugh. Thank goodness for Randy. All musicians should seek his level of cynicism. Now, let’s go have a drink…

The title says it all.

Rosanne Cash THE LIST
Geez, I remember getting lists from my parents too, but my album would be filled with songs like MOW THE LAWN YOU LAZY SOB, or the famous MAKE SURE THERE IS GAS WHEN YOU BRING HER BACK. Thanks to The Man In Black’s for truly educating his daughter. Now, we have this wonderful collection of truly amazing interpretations of classics.

Okay kids, I leave you there, back in 2009…enjoy.