The Shakin' Street Gazette November 7, 1974 No. 16 - FREE
. _.·_ The Monl~ees ::-~ The Oyrds Ouffalo Springfield The Raiders
The Sonics ·Standells .
' ' I;
Contellts Table of Contents: watcha read to find out whatch're reading
Staff Editor: Gary Sperrazza! Feature Editor: Joe Fernbacher Staff Writers: Bob Kozak Andy Cutler Bernard 'Roxy' Kugel Jim Bunnell (Utah) Contributors: Pete Tomlinson (N.J.)
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by A. Smartass ......... . . . ........ . . .•. ... . ...... . ........ .Page 3 THE SHAKIN' STREET PUNK SURVEY: Having to pick the 5 or 6 best punk groups of the 60's is like trying to yank Mike Saunders from Dodger Stadium, but we got him long enough to get the news By Mi.ke Saunders .............. . ...................... . ....Page 4 COUNTRY ROCK IN CALIFORNIA: Part 2 of why it all sounds the same,w~y it's not coming back and why it never left By Dave Meinzer ............... . . . ......... .. .. . .... ... ...Page 6 THE MONKEES: A rock retrospective concerning one of the 2,000 misunderstood groups of the 60's By Bernard Kugel ..... . .... . ............... . ...... . ...... .Page 10 LONG PLAYERS: Wizzard and ELO by Tom Bingham. Hawkwind by Gary Sperrazza !, The Bonzos by Dav,e Meinzer, Darryl Hall and John Oates by Gary• Sperrazza!, and the Frut (?) by Mike Saunders · By G.O. Gosh-my .. . .. . ... . .. . ............. .. .............Page 15 COLD CUTS: The worst of the best By The Shakin' Street Staff ...... . ... . ......... . ........... .Page 20 CONCERTS: All the rotten tomatoes, beer bottles and eggs you can throw ...Page 22 COMING IN FUTURE ISSUES: Ducks Deluxe, Sensational Alex Harvey Band, James Brown, Funkadelic, Gary Glitter, Trashri1en, Van der Graaf Generator, Raspberries and ari All-Canadian issue starring the Wackers, April Wine, Randy Bishop, Pagliaro and the everlovin ' Dudes!!!! Contest Results Well, the results are in! In what was the largest response we've ever received for one of our many contests, it seems we opened up a veritable dam of creative ingenuity and memory searching. We thank one ~nd all for th_& ..replies, better luck with our next contest. The winner of 10 LPs of his choice is Brad Auerbach of 142 North Drive in Amherst, N.Y. and it was a c-1-o-s-e battle. Honorable mention goes to Cindy Frandina from Lovering Ave. in Buffalo who sent us a list totalling 280 of groups that did not exist. Nice try, cutie, but with imagination like yours, you should be writing for us. Up next is a Name-that-ass contest, appearing next issue (just barely-Ed.).
Mike Saunders (L.A.) Lester Bangs (Detroit) Tom Bingham (Dunkirk) Jymn Parrett (L.A.)
Dave Meinzer Bonnie Morris Lois Anzelowitz Karl Kotas Barbara Krakoff Mitchell Hejna
The SHAKIN' STREET GAZETTE is published alternate Thursdays during the academic year and monthly during the summer vacation by the students of Buffalo State College, and is funded by the mandatory student activity fee. Total press run is 12,000. THE SHAKIN' ST. GAZETTE is distributed free of charge to the college communities, and over 30 locations dealing in aspects of the music business, and is widely read by J3uffalo fans, disc jockeys, critics and music business people across the country, many of whom contribute to the Gazette. THE SHAKIN' STREET GAZETTE is made available outside the city at a cost of $3 per semester or $5.50 per year. , The Shakin Street Gazette is published at the State University College at Buffalo, 1300 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, New York 14222. Located in· Student Unio_n Room 417. (716) .-862-6729. Editorial offices at 35 knox Avenue, Buf~alo, New York 14216. (716) 875-8475. The opinions expressed within the Gazette do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy . • • so dori't bug us, because we're not respo•nsible. No porttoa of this ma~azine may be reprinted•iµ, 11\Y manner without the express consent of the Editor.
NOVEMBER 7, 1974
Tb, lr,,., d ,'.;,ti.-,,., Chocolate Watch Band
recorded the abyssmal One Step Beyond, and the real CWB can be found these days dozing in rocking chairs in the Ozarks but don't hold it against 'em too much.' And forget about requesting their classic fuzzrocker "Are You Gonna Be There (At The Love-In)" at 1974 Band concerts-they're just too far gone. Their record's good but not great save for "You're Gonna Miss Me" and parts of Easter Everywhere, the 13th Floor Elevators are included here largely on the ravings of once-controversial ex-rock scribe M. (M~tal Mike) Saunders, who saw the group at local clubs many times during his final semester at the University of Texas. Rocky Erickson had been released from the state. hospital in November 1972 following three years of imprisonment on an insanity ruling, and the group reformed in January '73, playing a mixture of old and new material around the Austin/ Houston/ San Antonio area. We pressed Saunders for an explanation and obtained a fairly satisfactory one: "Look, it's like, uh, suppose ya saw The Stooges live in 1973 without ever having heard their records. You'd flip! And the Elevators, yeah, it's the same thirig cause · they're infinitely better than their old albums, and Rocky Erickson is one of the greatest singers of all time! He doesn't do anythil'lg on stage, just wears a floor length psychedelic cape and sings in the most nasal shriek you've ever heard. It sounds kinda like the last thirty seconds of "You're Gonna Miss Me." I thought he was going crazy! The new material was excellent too." According to _others who heard live tapes of the group from that spring, it was indeed all true-the 13th Floor Elevators turned out to be one of the Iongest-lived punk groups since the Troggs. The Standells for some time now have been one of the best known punk groups, 5
id~ntifiable even by Cat Stevens and John Denver fans (who know the enem·y when they see it). This owes to several factors, among them the fact that their albums have been bargain bin staples we~t-of the Mississippi for years, the great cover art on same albums, and "Dirty Water's" status as one of the brattiest songs of all time. Well, the Standells weren't all that good, their last three albums being rather poor. ~ut like the Sonics, we should remember them for their good· stuff-in this case the Dirty Water album, an excellent collection of fuzz rockers . ("Medicatio~" and many others) and even a soulful, heartfelt ballad ("Price and Devotion"). The Riot on Suoset Strio soundtrack is also recommended for th~ Standells' title cut, a song which to this day remains one of the most profound comments ever on the human condition. 'fhe Raiders occupy a curious position in the 1966 field of somewhat similar to the one The Byrds hold in the overall rock pantheon. Fans of each · group consider them of the very best, while a few misguided people don't dig them much at all. The reasons given are similar: both were studio groups to the extreme, _lacked real fire, used studio musicians, and both had lousy drummers. Both were on Columbia Records (home of Janis Joplin and Art Garfunkel). Both are-from L.A. And both groups made some very arthritic records .in their old age; Not so 13.?i~e_!:_s fans, who threatened us quite: expliciteiy if we .didn't place them near the top! Their i:iames were Mark Shipper, Ken Barnes, and Gene Sculatti! Mr. Shipper in the Free Press Bad-Trip Ward we're riot afraid of, but this dago Sculatti owns a machine gun disguised as a surfboard, and we· agreed to his terms:· The Raiders make Top Five in this poll, or we get a visit from the Midnight Creeper! Come on readers help us out,!
You Mine," "I'll Make You Sorry," "Gospel Zone," "Light Blub Blues." _The original group (Sohns carrying the name with him to Buddah) disbanded about a year before the Yardbirds, both groups plagued at the end by bad A&R advice and a lack of commercial success. Despite their lack of a flashy lead_guitarist, it's almost arguable that overall-Sohns vs. Relf, Schiffour vs. McCarty, Jerry McGeorge vs. Dreja-the Shadows of Knight were the better band. Moving down the line, the Chocolate Watchband have been ·the most obscure of the major groups. Extensive promotion directed at the "flower power" market, catchy psychedelic covers-nothing seemed to work for the Watchband in 1967 and 1968. They began their career with two singles on Uptown, this leading to a lucrative three-figure contract with Tower Records. A cameo appearance in Riot On Sunset Strip kicked off their national exposure, but scoffers to the contrary, the key Chocolate Watchband legacy is on No Way Out and The Inner Mystique. While the Watchband's music always seemed somewhat offhand, never as raunchy as the Sonics or as kinetic as the Shadows of Knight, both sides of No Way Out and the second side of Inner Mystique in particular contained some of the finest music of the day, as "Let's Talk · About Girls" on Nuggets well attests. Nothing worked, though, g_0d in mid-1968 our heroes moved to the Catskill Mountains. Deciding that they were too old to be associated with Chocolate, ·they also dropped the Watch from their name, made up a preposterous story about having backed up overrated pseudo-rocker Bob Dylan (no respectable punk group would stoop that low!), and changed their name to The Band. Where honest rock and roll had failed, Civil War Rock swept the nation. A bogus Chocolate Watchband aggregation NOVEMBER 7, 1974 \
The Shakin' Street Punk Survey by Mike Saunders This is your big chance! Yes, it's all coming back. Following the rock & roli revival, the surf music revival, and the reggae revival, the punk music revival is now in full swing. Punk rock, of course, is for the form of music which originated in the early 1970's when rock writers en masse began writing about all the albums they threw away in 1967 (only to scour the bargain bins for in 1971), and which reached its height in 1972 when the Nuggets collection stormed the nation's charts. All you have to do is send us a list of your five favorite "punk" groups of all time. .The six ·preliminary frontrunners are pictured above, with the other leading contenders too numerous to mention. Votes for Carole King, repeat, votes for Carol King as the leading punk group of all time will not be accepted. Likewise, the Troggs and Pretty Things are the only foreigners v:v.ho will qualify for honors under our strict, discerning entrance rules (also too numerous to mention). / and an enromous explosion erupted from the bottom of the Atlantic!! U.S. officials ·whitewashed -. the incident as an underground atomic test, and the matter has remained a suppressed government secret to this day. Like the Sonics, the ~hadows of Knight had talent to burn in the likes of vocalist Jim Sohns, guitari.st Joe Kelly, and drummer Tom Schiffour. Sohns in particular was tremendous, possessing a voice that ties with Reg Presley and Sky Saxon for the epitome of nasal whine. Schiffour was ·the wildest American drummer of , the time, firmly rooted in Keith Moon dynamics, and Joe Kelley, while no match for Larry Parypa, played some mean fuzz throughout on Back Door Men.
One last word. You will notice that the names of the above groups have been ,alphabetized-a highly specialized skill acquired only after years of intensive training, and but another reason why · Shakin' Street can proudly claim to be America's Only Magazine! Frontrunners due to their incredible reissue Explosives on Buck Shot Records (a shifty front for the Mark Shipper Rehabilitation Fund), the Sonics are a good bet to finish close to the top. Their front line was legendary: Gerry Roslie on _ vocals, Larry Parypa on lead guitar, and Bob Bennett on drums, all three All-Stars of the first magnitude. Rabid Sonics fans have sometimes made exaggerated claims for the group, such as saying that "He's Waiting" topped the early Kinks . Lies, lies, lies (even J .J . Cale. agrees with us). Nothing, but nothing, ever matched "All Day arid All Of The Night" and we'll stand on that here at the Shakin' Street offices. But dig th is: The Sonics and the Dave Clark Five once carried on a Battle Of The Bands across 2000 miles of ocean!!! The result was a draw!!! "Have Love Will Travel"/ "Glad All Over" gave way to ,"He's Waiting"/ "Anyway You Want It," 4
The debates have been raging for _se~~ral years now, concerning just who the kings of 1966 really were. Whether the Sonics were as tough as they sounded- whether the Chocolate Watch~and actually blew the Standells off the stage of the Avalon Ballroom as they claimed-whether Texas may have had the most der-,,ented groups of all in the 13th Floor Elevators and Mouse & The Traps-all these questions can be decided for once and for all: It's now up to you (in the first annual Shakin' Street Gazette Reader's Poll). Justifiably proud of the fact that Shakin' Street's readership is one of the most, sophisticated and highly educated in America today (Dear advertiser: did you .realize that the .average Shakin' Street Gazette reader uses 25 bars of soap a year? Buys close to a half-dozen bargain bin albums a month! Has attended at least eight grades of public school! Eats cottage cheese with spaghetti at least twice a week!). we have -decided to poll our readership for a definitive survey of what was what in this crazy mixed up world of music. SHAKIN' ST. GAZETTE
With this sort of talent, it's no surprise that the Shadows were more pr-eficient at English rock of the Yardbirds/Who stripe than any other American group. The amazing thing about the Shadows of Knight was their sophistication and use of dynamics ; within seconds they could go from relative silence to a raging frenzy, lifting the energy level a half-dozen notches just like that. Sure, they had some dull traoks on Gloria, and even on Back Door Men, but "I Just Want To Make Love To You" as early as the first LP proved that the Shadows didn't have to copy the Stones or any other group one iota, they had their own met~odology of feedback and garble down pat. L They lived up to that promise, too. The very best of the Shadows of Knight not only matched the Sonics, but was a match for any English group of 1965-66: "Bad Little Woman," "I'm Gonna Make
''Out With the Truckers and the Kickers and ' ' the Cowboy Angels'-' 1 A History of California Country .Rock Part 2 Pre-history: The·Early );3yrds and the Buffalo.Springfield
by Dave Meinzer So Jim McGuinn, Gene Clark, David Crosby, Chris Hillman, and Michael Clarke became the Byrds. · There was still one problem though. They didn't play together too well. So they went into ,the studio to do a single, and sat aroung while studio musicians layed down the rhythm tracks behind Jim's 12 string lead guitar, and then put in the vocal. • The song they chose was Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man;' which they cut down to one verse (out of four) and two - chorus;s to make it a tight little pop.tune. The choice of material however is important because it showed a di-fferent approach to rock music. rhe Beatles had. made it big drawing from '50's rock 'n' roll and Motown sounds, but the Byrds, all coming from 'folk music backgrounds, were' trying to play folk music with electric guitars. Thus Folk-Rock (cringe) _ was born (more or less). By the spring of 1965 they had developed to the point where they could record an aibum- on their own with .original material, and perform live. Their live performances were however pretty shaky. In fact they were so unsure of themselves and just plain scared that they tended to just stand there ·and play. Not only did this make for a rather unexciting stage show, but it got them a reputation as a group of cool., unemotional 7
performers. But the music was getting, better all the time and the response was good, especially after "Mr. Tambdurine Man" made it as a hit single and sent the Byrds flying in the big time. · Their first al burn was a success, getting good exposure because of the success of the title tune "Mr. Tambourine Man" and the 'follow-up single "l 1 'll Feel a Wh0le Lot Better," a Gene- Clark-composition which was musically one of the best pop · songs of 1965. ·(The first ~f two a~d a half years of the best music in the hi~tory of iop 40 radio.) The album showed the Byrds as a 11eat band with a distinctive sound both musically and vocally. The concentration was on tightly arranged songs with catchy I tunes and a general light pop feel with a definite California' atmosphere. (The same light sunny feeling was there as had been found in the Beach Bqys' music 'fqr several years,) - ,. However, it was the second album, Turn, Turn, Turn (also the title of their their single) that ·demonstrated ' their power. With 'the recording of ''Turn,, Turn, Turn" they had left .folk niusjc. behind. Even though the song is a folk song (written l:>y -Pete Seeger wJth the aid of a Bible) the music shows n6 trac~ 'pf folk. The two (at least) guitars combinirg· McGuinn's ringing, crashing lead . Jtth Crosby's rhythm roa·r . over pt>vi/e~ ·and Vl(ith the addition of the vocal (at 1 1east
Th,anksgiving day this year is sort of an anniversary. Ten years ago, somewhere on the west coast, a group of people were sitting around a table doing the logical thing for the season; enjoying a turk,ey dinner. Among them .were five kids; a folkie from Chicago who had played in the Ch.ad Mitchell Tr~o and with Bobby Darin, a former New Christy Minstrel who was a good singer and was becomnig · an excellent song writer, th'e son 6f a cinematographer who was bent on becoming a stw, a curly-haired mandolin player who had found rock 'n' roll bass playing more profitable, ·and a conga player who was cute and could probably play the drums. · The topic of discussion was a name for the band these five dudes had formed and which had, even in its rudimentary stages, shown enough· promise to get them a contract with Columbia Records, who h.a c:I b e__e n c a s t i n g a b o u t fo r months looking for something to compete with the Beatles. With a movie, three best . selling albums, and who knows how many hit singles, the Beatles were hot, and, Columbia figured, ,anything remotely like them ought to be worth something. But the name? Well, The Jet Set had been nixed . because there already was one. But they still liked the idea of airplanes, moving fast, flying ... birds? Well ... Burds? Give me a break! OK ... Byrds. 'NOVEMBER 7, 1974
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Turn, Turn, Turn, '-the first of three brilliant albums put out by the Byrds, was followed by Fifth Dimension and Younger Than Yesterday, in '66 and '67. Aside from the inclusion of their singles from these· two years, the two albums have little to offer and are a let down compared to Turn, Turn, Turn. Nevertheless some great music is in 1 1uded: "5D," "Mr. Spaceman" and "Eight Miles High" are on Fift~ Dimension along with the Byrds versions of "Hey Joe" and folk oldies "Wild Mountain Thyme" and "John Riley." Gene Clark had left by this time though (a guy who fears planes and won't fly just can't make it in a space band) so the country element and tight,, consistent song writing of the past was not present. Younger Than Yesterday· had three hits: ' "So You Want To Be ,A Rock 'N' Roll Star," "Have You Seen Her Face," arid another Dylan song, "My Back Pages." But still there was trouble. Chris Hillman was contributing (his "Thoughts and Words" is one of the best non-hits on the album) but David Crosby was getting wierd. One of his contributions "Mind Gardens," a song in no meter with no rhyme just didn't fit. He was given the boot, and they were three. Oddly enough at this their most unsettled point, the group (such as it was) came up with their second brilliant album, The Notorious Byrd Brothers. With the absence of a full band McGuinn, Hillman and Clarke recorded a · studio album with super production, , synthesizers, horns, violins, keyboards, phasing and songs that run into one another (all very reminiscent of Sargeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band which was released only a few months before the Byrds began this album). McGuinn however has always/ had a flair for gimmicks. He always knew just how to use them and just how much was enough. As a result The Notorious Byrd Brothers is a superb, tasteful album with a full sound unique among Byrds albums. It would take more space than I've got to describe all the beautiful things that happen on the album, so I'll just say again , that The Notarious Byrd Brothers is to the Byrds as Sargeant Pepper was to the Beatles. " l will mention however tqat on several of the songs they lean toward a kind of spacey country music including a steel guitar on a song call "Change is Now" which alternates between an etherial spaceship sound and a hot-licks country pickin'.
disintegrated) they stand as one of the most creative bands of the '60s. During their creative recording period the Buffalo Springfield consisted of Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Ritchie Furay, Dewey Martin, and Bruce Palmer. Palmer and Martin were the rhythm section (bass and drums) and Stills, Young, and Furay were the personality. Many people who saw ·them perform in their early days feel this was their best period, before the conflict of the three personalities of the band began to work against each other instead of working .together. They also feel that they were never properly recorded; they sounded 1etter live (which seems to be symptom of many great rock 'n' roll bands). Honesty and variety were important in their material. Lyrics were simple and straight forward. A ·1ove song, rock star · songs, even when they wrote songs cutting each other ("Child's Claim td Fame") they didn't hide meanings or speak in poetic riddles (except when Neil Young began writing. dense lyrics toward the end). Varietie•s of styles ranging from straight ahead rockin' to cou11try music, to quiet ballads, to Latin rhythms, and the ability to adopt an idea to the overall sound made them interesting to listen to and generally consistent.
Many of their songs are classics. "For What ,It's Worth," a protest song, has been recorded by man. ,:wo of their songs, "Mr. Soul" and "Rock 'n' Roll Woman" became staples in the repertoires of teenage high school rock bands of the late sixties. Their two best country songs "Kind Woman" and "Child's Claim to Fame" both written by Ritchie ·Foray seem like almost exercises in preparation for Poco; the band he formed with the producer and bass player on the last album, Jim Messina, shortly after the Buffalo Springfield finally split up. The Buffalos appeared at the·· Monterey Pop Festival in June' of '67 minus Neil Young (who had departed on a solo career) and with a new bass player and a guest star, David Crosby. Not long afterwards Stephen Stills a-nd Crosby teamed up with Graham Nash who had quite the English pop band the Hollies, to form Crosby, Stills and Nash. They were later of course joined by Neil Young. All of which brings us once again back . to 1968. While Crosby, Stills, and Nash were either at Steve's ranch or on David's boat writing songs, Jim McGuinn · (who had just changed his first name to Roger) ·and Georgia Peace Gram Parsons were preparing to record the first all country music record by a rock ban?.
At about this time a young southern boy riamecf Gram Parsons had come west w'ith his group the International Submarine Band. Essentially a rock band playing country music, Parsons and friends made one ·album and split up. Gram then hooked up with the Byrds and convinced McGuinn and Hillman (Mike Clarke had quit and Hillman's cousin, Casey Kelly had been hired to fill in on drums) that the Byrds should play country music. Thus the scene was set for . the third brilliant Byrds album, Sweetheart of the Rodeo, and the birth· of' Country Rock as a form in itself. More on that in part 111. Before moving on however We must note the contribution to the pre-history of Los Angeles/ California Country Rock, the Buffalo Springfield. The Buffalo Springfield (whose name 0 came from a steam roller) were formed, like the Byrds, il'l Los Angeles by a batch of folkies from various parts of the .North American continent. During '66 and '67 they recorded three albums of top flight California rock, and though they never really hit it big (ironically their only real smash hit single, "For What It's Worth" was on the charts in mid '67 by which time the group had all but completely NOVEMBER 7, 1974
' "McGuinri has always had a flair '- for gimmicks. He _always knew - just how to use them and just how.much was enough."
ihree voices singing in. unison and 'harmony.) the effect is unlike anything since Phil Spector's wall of sound. • At least six other songs (including Dylan's "Lay Down You Weary Tune" and ''The Times They are A-Changjn"') U$e this same crashing rock sound. Three other;s i.Jse a sound which can best be described as country rock. "Set You Free "(t,is Time," a Clark original, uses a
country beat and electrified country rhythm. "Satisfied Mind" is a genuine country tune using acoustic guita.-s and country harmonies. "Oh Susannah" is McGuinn playing around with Stephen Foster and a few other people; silly but fun. The only other unusual cut is ·"He Was a Friend o-f Mine'~ an old folk song with the lyrics slightly altered and just a finger pic;ked acoustic guitar. ·
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S1-ht\l(IN' ST. GAZETTE
sai to· have recorded almost 100 tracks during this time. Wh le I don't quite believe that much was laid down, there was pro ably many tracks unreleased during this time. The reasons for his stem from the facts :that during this period, they did not lay their own instruments and had some of the world's best ession people playing behind them, and they had the songbb oks of many of the top composers to choose from. With ~eople like Neil Diamond, Carole King, and Boyce and Hart c'?ntributing s_o much material, it was only natural that you'd have many outtakes along with some songs being almost automatic hits, The first of these instant hits 1JVas their frrst single, "Last Train To Clarksvilte," which went immediately to the top ,of the charts because of both its strong softly rocking quality and the fact that the public was exposed to the song so often via the TV show. An album soon fol lowed, titled The Monkees, and it was a well-balanced set of tunes including a couple of Mike Nesmith gems and a cross section of some of the best material of the composers mentioned above. The back cover contained all the vital information of the day including their names, birthplaces and height, etc. They also shortened Peter's last name from Thorkelson to Tork and pinned the nickname "Wool Hat" on Mike, a nickname he detested greatly. The two songs that stand out above the rest are Mike's . "Sweet Young Thing," and their theme song (and my vote for the anthem of the sixties) "(Theme from) The Monkees," which still soundJ,fresh and exciting tod1y. Also included w_as Davy and Micky's comedic vocal ping-pong game, "Gonna Buy Me A E>og." With th_e series going strong, the Monkees' second LP, More of The Monkees was released only three months after their first album. Though it lacked some of the humor that was evident on the first LP, it was quite a musically strong album with many high points. With such classics as "Mary, Mary," the hit "I'm A Believer," and "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone,,, the album could be nothing less __than a success. The only bum cut was the slushy -lovey dovey crap that Davy would become associated with in "The Day We Fall In Love." In June of _'67, the Monkees were on the air a full year when Peter, the one who was least able to take all the pressures of being a star, told the other three that he'd had enough and wanted out. the other three talked with him for . ho~rsuntil he finally agreed to stay on with the band a wh ile longer, since they said "things would get better." Th ings did get somewhat freer musically speaking, when the Monkees were finally allowed to make an album of their own, with David, Pete, Mike and Micky doing all J:he voices and almost all of the instrumentation. It was what you could expect if you let four slightly crazy buffoon§ loose in a studio for a couple of mad weeks. It includedse.Y_!!Jloriginal Monkee compositions including the fantastic !'Shades of Gray," with some real snazzy keyboard from Peter, and the fun studio joke-tracks, "Band 6" and "Zilch." Although there were no hit singles on this LP as there was on the previous albums, the record, titled Headquarters; became one of the summer's highest chart items. But it looked like the group's primary source of revenue, the singles market, was forever closed to them again, until November of '67 when they bounced right "back with "Pleasant Valley Sunday," a smashing single which stands up as an exciting piece of music till this day. / Before the series' collapsed, one of the last programs was devoted to a typical Monkee concert and all the hysteria that went along with such events. The concert presented was one in Phoenix, Arizona, but they cou ld have shown any concert by the group in any city in the world. at the time. The concert ? 11
The Mon,kees: A Rock Retrospective by Bernard Kugel
In 1964, when the Beatles .truly conquered the U.S. and the world, there were many sub-teens and the like who knew pretious li,ttle about rock. Most ·of these kids were too young to go to concerts aod really couldn't get into the groups of the first English ,wave since they were considered to belong to those already old enough to crqwd into Shea Shadium. Evidently, Don Kirshner knew that such "pre-teen rockers" existed and smelt some sweet financial success in providing this new, young audience their own group, and in the great American tradition he manufactured one - The Monkees. The ,idea was to have four "Beatie-types" star in, a half-hour :situation comedy with music, loosely based on the Beatles' ,,~'Help" and "Hard Day's Night" movies. As you can see, it's a high_ly qriginal idea. Well, those rock-n-rollers over at the NBC network liked the idea (and like Kirsh_ner smelt money) and ir;i '6f:l it was. getting set to be placed on the air. Only one small hitch, though: The Monkees were a group with no members. So, Kirshner spread the word around through various ads ,and soon ·every person from the Sunset Strip to Sacr·emento ,,were coming to the auditions for this new "supergroup." Among those who were said to audition were such notables as Strip stars Neil and Steve Stills, among others. If they passed, 'instead of the four lovable semi-wackos who did, there might not have been any Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills, Nash & SHAKIN'-ST. GAZETTE'
Young and all those who count themselves among Neil's 1 followers proba.bly wouldn't be caught dead listening to him if he was once a Monkee. But Steve and Neil were not selected, but four very different people , were. One was a outgoing, from the LA area by the name of Ge·orge Michael Dolenz. One was a smallish fellow who escaped from Manchester, England with the unlikely tag of David Jones. One was a country picker from Texas by the. name of Michael Nesmith. The last was a rather shy fellow, originally from the Washington, D.C. area and was born Peter Thorkelson. And so, with very little dues paid (which pissed off many a musician), these four young men were to become America's answer to t:he , Beatles. Davy, it seems, al ready had experience with the Screen Gems family as he appeared as a member of a rock group on the ~Donna Reed Show and had a LP released on Colgem's predecessor, Colpix, titled appropriately enough, David Jones, before he joined the Monkees. At best, the album was like a mi ld Wayne Fontana, and at worst he wa,s , like Englebert Humperkinck. The LP remains deservedly obscure. · As soon as the four had signed their contracts, they began taping the first of their shews. Almost everybody said they had great acting ability for four people with sucl;l limited acting careers. As soon as the taping of the initial shows l;!nded they were rushed into the recording studfos where they were.
shovyed all their individual tal,ents such as Peter's fine banjo picki:r ', Micky's really great drumming (well, al.lright, good drumming) . and singing, Michael's fine C-and-W guitar and Davy 1~ unique talent of standing on the stage and getting appla~se for doing absolutely nothing. All in all, it was a.very interes~ing program and it makes it clear why many have s~id that the Monkees' concerts were among the best staged of the sixties. Following hot on the heels of "Plesant Valley Sunday," was the Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd ." LP which seemed to again rely on bang musicians. It wasn't as good as previous LP's but did have many high points such as Peter's pecu liarly puzzling "Peter Percival Patterson ;s Pet Pig Porky/' possibly the greatest tongue-twister ever put on wax. The disc also contained a good version of Nillson's "Cuddly Toy," and Mike's "Don't Call On Me" which is very similar to the work he would do on his solp albums, after splitting from the group. . By April of '68, tt:ie Manke.es' last really successful LP (saleswise) was released, entitled The Birds, The 1:3ees & The Monkees. The early months of '68 also saw the release of the two last substantial Monkee ~its, namely the wonderfu l pop tune, "DaydreaJTl Believer," with its great opening remarks concerning Davy's shortness, and the dance tune of the year, "Valleri." The album marked the Monkees' return to control over their LP's, with the group members playing the great majority o.f the instruments themselves, 1 and personally supervising the playing of all instruments. More than that, the album was produced by the Monkees, and only the Monkees. It was a fine LP, with many outstanding cuts, particularly the two singles cuts, and the classic "Zor and Zam," in which two kings "give a war and nobody comes" to fight. Whoever said .the Monkees never took a stand? \ But nothing lasts forever, everybody h.as 'to give up their place in the spotlight sometime, and it was rapidly becoming the Monkees' time to do that. 16 and Tiger Beat magazines, which had become fantastically successful solely on the popularity of the Monkees, saw that most fans were growing up and advancing to the Beatles or something like that, and began to diminish their coverage of the group at this point. Up to this time, however, the popularity of the band was so great that Tiger Beat could start an offshoot publication devoted to the Monks and related individuals, called Fave, and a mag devoted exclusively to the group, e_ntitled Monkees Spectacular. Gloria ("16") Stavers was not in the poorhouse, either, · with her , Monkee photographs, Monkee drawings, Monkee grab-bags, etc. · The series also ran out about this time and Pete once again expressed his intentions to leave the group. At this time, with their kingdom crumbling, he is let out of his contract, but not until he and the others make the first (and last) IVionkee movie. The movie was called Head, and along with the Monks, it had silicone queen Carol Doda, Mother Frank Zappa, foot ball star Ray Nitschke, Victor Mature (as "The Big Victor") , and Annette Funicello, sadly without Mick the Mouse. The soundtrack album to the film is as amazing to the ear as the film was to the eye. It featured absolute Monkee classics like "Porpoise Song," which was written by Gerry Goffin & Carole King, and which the Monks (with Goffin's help) turned into · one of the earliest explorations of the space-rock field. The album also featured bits of conversations from the film along with women screaming, bombs exploding, hearts beating and some other, less definable noises. The movie itself was an excursion into all forms of visual NOV\ IVIBER 7, 1974 13
madness; from the scene where Micky finds a cap pistol in the midd le of a desert and the enitte Italian army comes to him to · surrender; to the scene where Davy is trapped in a bathroom and opens tfie medicine chest to find a giant eye staring at him; to the ~~ene where Micky is boxing Sonny Liston and Peter interrupts the fight by say ing '.'I must fight, since I am the fool, not you, Micky"; to the scene where they are t o ld, by a director, to "jump up and down like dandruff" ; t o t he scene where they,are harassed by a policeman fo r no parti cular reason. , The movie and soundtrack also contained Pete 's last composition in the group, "Do I Have To Do It All Ove r Again (Didn't I Do It Right The First ,Time?)," hi s st atement of disgust over the enormous amoung of times it took to get a · scene, or a song, perfectly righ_t . Well, things weren't t oo all right for our heroes at this point, since the movie d id pretty miserable, box office wise. The album, though, sold pretty well and was the last one to seil anywhere like the first five (with the exception of three greatest hits collections - The Monkees' Greatest. Hits, .A B'arsrel Full of Monkees, Refocus: The Monkees. · With" Peter gone, the other three went on to produce Instant Replay . (whic~ strangely enough had a sl ightly different cover on the cassette ar:id 8-track version t han it did on the , LP version) . It was a very segmented album, with one song produced by Davy ("You and I," a hard rocke r whi ch sounds like an Archies-Deep Purple supersession outta ke) , two produced by Micky, three produced by Mike and the rest being produced by Neil Sedaka and Boyce & Hart. The single from the LP, "Tear Drop City" was the ·first in the Monkees' series of '68 flops. Even performing t his and " Eve rybody Loves a Nut" (hever on a disc) on the Glen Campbell show couldn't get this fa irly average Boyce-Hart pop-rocke r t o the top of the charts. · Around th is time, they also had a i:v special broadcast which was a dynamite prograrn which had as one of th eir guests, Little Richard, who played dazzl ing on a mountain of pianos. But the ratings weren't too good on the show and t he networks virtually said, "Goodbye; hasbeens" t o t he Monkees. At 'th is Mike decided that' he wanted out and he t old t he manager who said no. He did finally finagle his way out of t he contract and in the process· lost a grea· deal of money. Sometime later, mai nly because of the moneyman'~ stubbornness, Mike declared .himself broke. I The last LP he appeared on was The Monkees Present, a motley collection of tunes for the few remaining Monkee fans. The album was ruined by the inclusion of such M'onkee non-classicsas Micky's "Pillow Time" and Davy's ghastly "If I Knew" arid an equally bad " Frend~ Song." But some fine compositions from Micky an'd Mike (incl uding his imrT)ortal "Usten to the Band" ) more than made up for the ol d t rac ks. ·With both Peter, and now . Mike gone, it looked like it was finally the end of the Monkees, There were no more news re Ieases about the group and they were pract ically non-existent media-wise. But in 1970 an album call ed Changes with the two remaining members of the group, Davy and Micky, was released and ·it was, simply stated, a smashing album. With Jeff Bar-ry at the production controls for all but two of the tracks of tile album, it was proof positive that the Monkties' fire had not gone out. Two of t he most exceptional tracks on the album were "99 Pounds," a t riumphant hard rocker with a sizzling lead vocal from Davy (who seemed out to destroy his pretty star image from singing wimp ballads),- and "Midnight Train," written and produced by Micky, a song
recordings on Best Of The Move show them relying most heavily on pop/rock 1 wi_th a bit of chambe~ music, by the time of Message From The Country (or, even more so, · Split Ends), virtually all the influences were present in quantity; Yet they were not paraded between your ears just so Wood, Lynne, ·and Bevan 'could impress you with their 'knowledge and cn,ttsmanship. They were brought together, enlarged, distorted (in a non-pejorative sense), and bal,anced with original ideas, until the music that emerged was a distinctive, personal, and powerful rock expression. · No Answer, the original Electric Light Orchestra's moment in the sun, was the culmination of everything The Move had accomplished and _then ' some. ·Not only were r:nost of the recognizable Move concepts present (a tendency toward thick over-dubbed textures - in this case altered through the use of "I Am The Walrus" - ,like grinding cellos and the Mideastern-flavored oboe; strong, yet controlled drum pounding by Bev Bevan; deep-toned! baritone/bass-range sounds), not only were the highly-touted 1967 Beatles sounds mixed with them, but on "Look At Me Now" c1nd "Battle Of Marston Moor" Roy Wood for the first time a,ccomplished what could truly be termed "innovation." Never before had a "rock" recording used such progressive orchestral voicings, such asymmetric structures. Jeff Lynne's compositions for that album, while commendable, were much more conventional, and concerned chiefly with skifitul handling of ' quite ordinary material. Having crossed _over the ·not- always- th in Iine between creative use of influence and true innovation, they suddenly - and irrevocably, it would appear - retreated. Besides Wood's stated reasons for leaving ELO, one could speculate that Roy Wood had briefly witnessed the musical beyond and was afraid of it. Whether out of fear that he lacked the requisite ability, constitution, and inspiration to keep from running dry or simply because of an abSence of desire to move in this particular direction, Roy Wood ,receded, on the brink of his greatest artistic triumphs. Unlike most retreaters, Wood retained many of the characteristics of his work so that he could transform his place of .refl!lge (pre-Beatie rock 'n' roll and !)_op-rock) into a lmqiuely personal habitat. Singles like "Ball Park incident" and "See My Baby Jive" were stunnets, nbt so much for their artistic creativity (though this wasn't too far from th1r
, J '
Way too much of a good thing , l , . INTRODUCING EDDY AND THE wherein the imitator's personality FALCONS becomes totally submerged in order to Roy Wood's Wizzard directly and artificially mimic someone (United Artists) else's creative experience (usually for the ELDORADO Electric Light Orchestra (United Artists) sole purpose of financial benefit of the imitator; imha.tion for instructional reasons and personal entertainment is generally innocuous).
Davy, after-leaving the Monkees, recorded a solo album on Bell which was just middle of the road pop slush. He's been seen on such programs as The Merv Griffin Show, in addition to being involved with the Mick on various production projects. I'm sure Davy will be around for many years to y come, still looking very youthful, of course. Finally, we come to good old Pete. After leaving the Monkees he announced two projects_ that never came to pass. The first one was the formation of a blues band that didn't work out, and never releas_ed any records. The second project was a film version of the Heinlein novel, Stranger in a Strange Land, which never materialized, just like it never materialized, more recently for one David Bowie, whose real name, by the way, is David Jones. The only things Pete's really done since leaving the group is freaking out in the Hollywood Hills and giggling occasionally at such place( as Pasadena's Ice House. Since Pete was always the least stable of the group, I don't quite know what to expect of him in the future, but I'm sure he'll be around in one way or another. Whether you like them or not, the Monkees from 1966 to 1970 held an important place in the rock 'n' roll world, contributing greatly to the advancement of such diverse fields as country-rock, pop, and, yes, even space-rock. If a recent item in Creen\ magazine about the Monkees possibly reforming later this year is true, the Monkees magic just may not be over yet. But, if they never do reform, they still deserve their rightful place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, standing "proudly next -to the Beatles and Elvis, and let's not deny them what's so deservedly theirs. God save the Monkees.
which was extremely similar to "Oh Yoko" by John Lennon,. .the latter of which was released many months later. Even ~hough it ranked among their best albums, their fans, f~ the most part, had left them and the LP w;is a terrible commercial failure. It was the last recorded work by the Monkees to be released and it seems.that it 'will probably be the last album of fresh material under the name "The Monkees." Mike, of course, went on to his First and Second National Bands, who produced four fine· country flavored albums. Last year he produced a solo LP called And the Hits Just Keep on Comiri' which was an excellent album ,which gathered praise from such diverse sources as Creem and Zig Zag magazines. His follow-up LP to. The Hits was called Just Your Natural Ranch Stash. He was also prod~cing albums for his · Elektra distributed country label, Countryside, but that seems to have gore under and now he seems to be getting into various independent production activities in addition to his own fine s.olo albums which should be coming out for many years to come. Micky has had a very unusual career post-Monkee wise. Shortly after the breakup Micky released a nice bubblerocker on MGM 'titled Easy On You. He also released a single of the current country hit "Rub It In" and, most recently, has ·released a version of Harry Nillson's "Daybreak," which went nowhere; just like the rest of his singles. He has also been seen on .Adam~12 and Own Marshall. I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot from Micky in the future and I wouldn't be surprised if he might some day be on Apple, because of his current friendship with •John Lennon. · $HAK[N' ST; GAZETTE 14 ) !
There is a significant difference between influence and imitation in music. When we say musician A is influenced by musician 8, _ we usually refer to the influence's utilization of certain concepts/ techniques etc. which were· pioneered by the influencer, but in a way that ..serves to express musician A's own creative ends. With 1 imitation, the conscious appropriation of another's musical ideas becomes an end in itself,
The Move were a classic case of the benefits o·f influence. The stylistic elements were usually obvious - 50's rock 'ri' roll; Beatles and other .British rock, baroque, chamber music, Eastern music (Near East, India, Far East), British ·cabaret, "heavy" r&b, early sou.I, simplified Stravinsky and Bartok (on No Answer), Elizabethan and renaissance, even an occasional hint of jazz (perhaps derived second-hand). it th~ir early
-=Rea y, Roy, where'd you get that suit? · NOVEMBER 7, 1974 \I
background, the lyrics, even the voice! Still, on all ttie direct imitation ,tracks; Wood , remembers to be himself only once, on "Everyday I wonqer." Most of it is Del Shannon soundaiike, with Shannon's introductory trademarks; melodic -control, chord progressions, even an upward "cry, cry, cry." But then, where Max Crqok's. keyboard was on "Runaway" and "Hat Off To Larry;' Wood fashions a lovely and ' surprisingly appropriate oboe- over- bassoon- chuffs chamber-music segement. · But for the most part, Wizzard functions as a British equivalent t~ Big Wheelie and the Hwbcaps. · ,,, ' Part .of what made great 50's rock 'mi roll "great 50's rock 'n' roll" was the stylistic originality. The music was fresh; new, and diverse, without stylized ways of approaching technique and arrangement mannerisms. Imitators - such, ·as Sanford Clark, Jimmy Bowen, Jivin' Gene, Ral Donner, Joe Barry, and many others - were qui'ckly discarded, not out of consciOllS disregard for their lack of creativity (all those named made at least one great record which ~ecame 1 a hit), bCJt by an instincti,ve consensus by true-ro0k fans that ' the~e performers offered nothing that was substantially special.; substantially different from · the era's heroes. What Roy Wood seems to feel. is that by imitating great rockers; he himselr:f can become a great rocker. The album · succeeds as a statement only when Roy Wood includes his _ own personality, to make it somethr'ng special. Otherwise, the only thing it says is "I can do it." And we . always knew he could. Introducing -Eddy And - The Falcons can at least be justified by passing it off as good clean fun, an~ should be listened to in that, spirit. Eldorado, on the other hand, ,is even more problematical: 1t betrays not merely a sacrifice of identity _ (for le~s apparent re,ason than Eddy, ther,e is an inordinate a-mou'nt of rip-off), but:a ~oss of direction (with On The Third Da.y, it appeared the original ELO conce11>t could begin to develop without Roy Wood; 'that development has been sidetracked here), a~d most damaging -of all - a frightening attitude (apparent right from the cover billing - Elc!orado/ A Symphony By , The Elect~ic Light Orchestra) which will be discussed below. Eldorado is no;t precisely a symphony in the -classical definition of movements, sonata form, and that whole bit. What it is. is a unfiied song.-cy,cle for group, large orchestra (conducted by Louis Clark), chorus (presumably, led by Clark also;),
result), as for their sheer physical force 1 and entertaining ingenuity. The first Wizzard album, Wizzard's Brew, possessed ~ev.eral incredible moments of rock 'n' roll excitement, but generally wallowed in , its ·own excess and obvious lack of artistic restraint. (As for the Roy Wood · solo album, Boulders, released after-three years in the can to tu111ultuous priase by reviel(Vers who ,confuse creativity with technique, it was competent but little more.) Nonetheless, Roy Wood seems to - have been comforted by the thought that he could, with little inte,llectual effort, be hailed as a genius merely for combinirTg influences (as with "Forever," for instance). ,,, Th is is perhaps as plausible', an explanation as any for the genesis of Introducing Eddy And T,he Falcons, which makes no daims to anything,other than rock 'n' roll revivalism/ tribute/ fun. I_
and spoken prologue. Lynne has written i,n recurrent themes to give it a structure which goes beyond the normal lyric-concept album. The two major orchestral themes are a descending orchestral rush wl1ich is the climax of the "Eldorado Overture," reappears in "Poor Boy (The Greenwood)," and is the basis for the "Eldorado Finale"; and the renaissance brass fanfare, afternating with harp plucks, that operis /'Boy Blue" and re-enters (recast for strings) between "Mister Kingdom" and "Nobody's Child." The orchestra and chorus are heard not only in connective passages but also as accompaniment for the eight Jeff Lynne songs. Indeed, the orchestra renders Mik Kaminski, Mike Edwards, and Hugh McDowall - the ELP-strisection - virtually superfluous, aside from any live performances of the material. The origin8-I ELP concept was to develop a "Strawberry Fields"/ "Walrus'' orche'stral-rock ,band which was self-contained, not dependent on an existing orchestra or session ensemble. Eldorado throws that concept out the window, though presumably for this one-shot album-only. To be fair, it should be noted that from a classical sense of beauty and power, much of the orchestral/choral writing is alternately beautiful ~nd powerful. Just not very , original.. , ' Indeed, the \, whole album lacks originality. Again, the borderline between influence and imitation is crossed too often ln the wrong direction. If EL.O II and On The Third Day proved anything at all, ' it's that Jeff Lynne, while far from a genius, can write songs in a personal manner and sing them in his own style, suited for the ELOcontext. On Eldorado, however, he writes songs which are obviousry intended to remind you of 1 someonl;! else and caps it by singing parts of these songs in the style of the persons imitated. If we're to believe -the publicists' claim that Eld~rado is daring and innovative, we have to assume that imitation and artistic creati~ity are synonomous - they've .never been the same before and I doubt they ever will be. The prologue .ection, spoken by Peter Ford-Robertson, is straight Graeme Edge/ Moody Blues recitation. There is n.o · denying that "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" is the compleat Bee Gees song - melody (though the first eight bars reminds me of Barry White's "Love's Theme"), rhythm, construction; arrangement, and the lyrics of the chorus. "Mister Kingdom" is a direct take-off NOVEM~ER 7, 1974 ;
attitude alluded to earlier) that destroys almost all symphonic/rock fusion attempts along with rock operas/ musicals/ etc. It is the feeling that 19th century . European "classical" - music is somehow inherently-superior to modern, Afro-American originated creative expression, and that by grafting rock (or_ jazz or folk or any other non-academic contemporary music) onto .a refined, creatively outdated (therefore, worthy of aristocratic approval), rather _bombastic European "art" context, ·ybu will somehow "elevate" rock that is most damaging. All forms of music are artistic media, tools, languages from which a creative artist can build his personal offering of inner expression. In recent years, however, inferior rock (nd the rock of Eldorado is decidedly inferior) possessing little creativ_e originality, combined with outdated classical music with Iittle creative originality, is automatically assumed ' to result in something stupendously superior, creative, and original. By forcing hybridization on a musical form which can do perfectly well on its own, one can be credited with innovative genius when neither innovation n'or ' genius have anything to do with it. (Of course, innovation often does take the path of a fusion between two musical genres, bl.it only when the spark of creative originality is at work, not by the artificial. synthesis of two inadequacies). To try to make Eldorado seem · more jmportant than it is by hyping it as a "symphony" and advertising it asYd1ring" is the kind of attitude which has kept today's truly innovative rock (European, British progressive, etc.) fron_ being recognized as the important advance it in actuality is, the kind of attitude which has kept outmoded symphony orchestras alive through government subsidies and grants while innovative improvising musicians eke out a day-to-day living with little, if any, audience for their work. To be fair,. I do enjoy listening to these two records. I'm sure many others will feel the same way. Still, both Eddy and Eldorado are almost depressingly disappointing as personal offerings. Their musicak worth is rather paltry; their entertainment value will depend on each I istener's musico- environmental development and receptivity. In all sincerity, I hope both Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne have gotten their respective bugaboos out of their systems and can get back to intelligent, creative music-making next time around. -Tom Bingham
, -Roy explains what's missing from rock 'n' roll: the French horn? If: mindless pleasure were all there was.to of "California Man" than to the real Jerry Roy Wood, then the album could be Lee Lewis, thanks to downward-thrusting accepted on its own terms. However, Freddy Cannon "Way Down Yonder" sax Wood has demonstrated in the past that lines) and "We're Gonna Rock 'n' Roll he could perform great rock 'n' roll ' and Tonight." After a primitive opening, the have it be recognized as his own great latter f,l,ashes into a Chuck Berry guitar mck 'n' roll. Too often, Eddy and the rhythm along with the deep-voiced saxes, Falcons deliberately degenerates into steady pwshing drums, and beautifully, blatant imitation. controlled overall frenzy. The . vocal (by The album opens like an aural Bob Brady) strains, but the multi-reed equivalent to the Cruisin' series album brea-k makes up for it. l;t is the least covers (Girl: '. 'Oh look, there's Eddy." concise track, with lots of solos, but Boy: "Look, he's got a shirt like mine." forunately Wood doesn't let it run away - That's neat - recognition of ~udience from him a la, "Meet Me At -, The approval and identification · with a star / Ja,ilhouse." who's "one of A dubbed,in / So far, ,no complaints. However, the audience screams as ,an emcee shouts bulk of the album is devoted to either "Eddy _And The Falcons!!!" The poppish strict imitation or (as on the "Forever" background music tµrns into an 1-1 Roy single) a cross between two strict Wood primal-stomp with "Eddy's',Rock." imitations. "You Got Me 1 Runnin' "is too which refers not just to Eddy and the close to Sha Na Na for comfort. The song Falcons but Duane Eddy al well. The and the sha-la-la-la ding-dong g~oup vocal latter's "Movin' and Groovin' "is quoted are straight-out early 60's New York d.irectly at times, and the tenor sax solo Italiano style (with Dion influencing the works the same way Jim Horn's did on lead), though the bridge and the James Duane's oldies. However, the metrical Burton-inspired guitar solo are much irregularity of the tune if unmistakeably closer to , commercial California Roy Wood. As with most of the .album's rockabiliy. "This l_s The Story Of my stoinpers, the thick low-tenor/ baritone Love (Baby);' is the now obligatory bow sax textures (originating in Fats Domino, ,to Spector, with a Veronica-styled lead L,ittle Richard, and Larry Williams, to be ,vocal, overpowering sound output, and sure; ,though the deep voicings of Sounds; sweetie saxes; ~ice, 1 but "See My Baby Incorporated is a mqre British and more Jive" renders it unnecessarY,. "Come Back direct influence on Wood's usage of Karen"· is Neil Sedaka's "Oh Carol" saxophones), th·e dense drum pounding, mixed with Paul Anka's "Qiana." Less ;the "Brontosaurus" primeval insistence of poppish, therefore closer to the folk the heavily stomping beat, are all pure roots, and consquently more valid - if still Roy Wood transformations of the rock outr_ight imitative - a,re the· .Elv'is' "I Dun 'n' roll era. They're satisfyi(lg as music Lotsa Cryin' Over You" ,(complete with and entertainment. The same can be said Jordaniares' bup-buh-ing) ,and "Crazy of the Jerry Lee-styled "Brand New 88" Jeans," which sounds so much lik_e Gene (wh)ch is closer to the pseudo-Jerry ' Lee Vincent,it's scarey - the driving hillbilly SHAKIN' ST. GAZETTE. 16 ,J
I -Yes, Bev, you're the onl 1 y,one who looks - at the camera so the rest of ELO can go fi~h. - . from "Across The Universe," melodically and in the Lennonesque vocal and piano • / f But like. Roy Wood, Jeff Lynne likes to combine influeices, though often to better musical advantage than his old partner. "Poor Boy (The Greenwood)" is awfully close to "My Back Pages" - in melody and Dylanesque vocal·- for the first seven bars of each verse. Still, the combination of folkish melody with medieval changes, sweeping orchestral and choral passages, and Robin Hood lyrics is skillfully done and stunning to hear at a sufficiently loud volume. The song "Eldorado" is sung as if the New Morning-era Dylan were doing a Bee Gees song. It's interesting to hear Dylan giving way to Barry Gib on the chorus. ' There - are a couple Jeft Lynne sort'of-rock 'n' roll songs. The Move would have done "Boy Blue" with much more savagery, though thematically it's ·- not far removed from "Do Ya." "lliusfo•ns In G Major_" moves -along fairly well, but is held back by the orchestra, without whom it no doubt would have rocked harder. Actually, there is only one total disaster on the album, "Nobody's Child," which sounds Ii ke the Hall Johnson Choir gone slumming - dig those sleazy strip-joint obbligatos! Less horrendous, but highly flawed, is "Laredo Tornado." The , potential is there, but the song strains t,o . be interesting, the Amerindian war - shoops are laughable, and the extended finish carries on too long. Actually, while listening •to it, the album does not seem as reprehensible or bland as it might appear on paper. What defeats it in the end is - the same self-deprecating posture - (the frightening 17Page 1 Page 2-3 Page 4-5 Page 6-7 Page 8-9 Page 10-11 Page 12-13 Page 14-15 Page 16-17 Page 18-19 Page 20-21 Page 22-23 Page 24
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