Game Changers With Vicki Abelson
Snuffy Walden Live on Game Changers With Vicki Abelson There are no accidents. House stand-in as he so aptly named hisslef, Emmy-Winning Composer, Snuffy Walden, was just what the doctor ordered. Live from the dining room, with Rufus for the most part chillin' between us, Snuffy got down, got real, letting us in as he seamlessly weaved through music, alcoholism, geographics, hitting big, breaking bad, highs, lows, getting sober, switching gears, success beyond his imaginings, the pandemic abyss, to slowly stepping back out amidst life's challenges. From piano to trombone, finding guitar, playing with BJ Thomas at 14 and strip clubs at 17, DJing, to living in a park with a roadie, Aphrodite in Denver to fronting Stray Dog, rocking like hell, and opening for Emerson, Lake & Palmer around the world, a near-miss with me in '74, drinking and debauchery, recording Songs in The Key of Life with Stevie Wonder, earning a platinum record, being in the passenger seat when Stevie drove––oh yes, he did; playing with Dave Mason at the peak, Chaka Kahn when she was breaking I Feel For You, touring with Eric Burdon and having an epiphany, thanks to longtime friend and bandmate, Michael Ruff, which would change, and save, his life. With all his success before, a few years later, without experience or training, he scored Thirty Something, then The Wonder Years, both Emmy nominees their first year, then meeting Sorkin and doing Sports Night, and then The West Wing, where he won that Emmy with his iconic main title, and then a dozen other Emmy nominations and 51 BMI Awards, representing over a hundred other shows… then the pandemic slowdown to almost shut down, and a recent rebirth doing what he loves and loving what he's doing, committed to turning up the joy in the monitors, because of and in spite of recent news. Snuffy's humility, humanity, and heart soar in his words and music. His dedication to being of service, hIs talent, and his sweetness, are ongoing inspirations to me and countless others. I neglected to say Happy Passover. Historically I've been a second-nighter, and this year is no exception. Tomorrow, Snuffy will be attending his first Seder. Hide the Manischewitz. From both of us. Snuffy Walden Live on Game Changers With Vicki Abelson Wed, April 5th, 5 pm PT, 8 pm ET Streamed Live on The Facebook Replay here: https://bit.ly/3mbZT8I
Jerome presents Rock, Roots and Blues events that occurred in the month of April in years gone by. PLAYLIST: ARTIST - TRACK. Muddy Waters - I Am the Blues. Hound Dog Taylor - Wild About You, Baby. Billie Holiday - Strange Fruit. Homesick James - My Kind Of Woman. Shemekia Copeland - In The Blood Of The Blues. Emmylou Harris - All My Tears. Dusty Springfield - - Willie & Laura Mae Jones. Blind Willie Johnson - Trouble will soon be over. Bill Haley and His Comets - Rock Around The Clock. The Troggs - Wild Thing. Eric Burdon & The Animals - When I Was Young. The Rolling Stones - Wild Horses. The Clash - I'm So Bored With The U.S.A. Joe Liggins & His Honeydrippers - The Honeydripper Pt 1. Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five - Choo Choo Ch'boogie. The Dominoes - Sixty Minute Man. Little Richard - Long Tall Sally. The Fleetwoods - Come Softly To Me. The Marcels - Blue Moon. The Young Rascals - Good Lovin'. Charlie Patton - 34 Blues. J.B. Lenoir - Voodoo Music. James Yank Rachell & Sleepy John Estes - Diving Duck Blues. Sam & Dave - Soul Man. Levon Helm - Atlantic City. Merle Haggard - Working Man's Journey. The Ramones - I Wanna Be Sedated. Lonnie Mack - Hound Dog Man. Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit. John Prine - Sweet Revenge. Divinyls - I Touch Myself. Size: 188 MB (197,634,983 bytes) Duration: 1:22:18
A History Of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs
Episode 163 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay", Stax Records, and the short, tragic, life of Otis Redding. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a twenty-three minute bonus episode available, on "Soul Man" by Sam and Dave. Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt's irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ Resources No Mixcloud this week, as there are too many songs by Redding, even if I split into multiple parts. The main resource I used for the biographical details of Redding was Dreams to Remember: Otis Redding, Stax Records, and the Transformation of Southern Soul by Mark Ribowsky. Ribowsky is usually a very good, reliable, writer, but in this case there are a couple of lapses in editing which make it not a book I can wholeheartedly recommend, but the research on the biographical details of Redding seems to be the best. Information about Stax comes primarily from two books: Soulsville USA: The Story of Stax by Rob Bowman, and Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul Explosion by Robert Gordon. Country Soul by Charles L Hughes is a great overview of the soul music made in Muscle Shoals, Memphis, and Nashville in the sixties. There are two Original Album Series box sets which between them contain all the albums Redding released in his life plus his first few posthumous albums, for a low price. Volume 1, volume 2. Patreon This podcast is brought to you by the generosity of my backers on Patreon. Why not join them? Transcript A quick note before I begin -- this episode ends with a description of a plane crash, which some people may find upsetting. There's also a mention of gun violence. In 2019 the film Summer of Soul came out. If you're unfamiliar with this film, it's a documentary of an event, the Harlem Cultural Festival, which gets called the "Black Woodstock" because it took place in the summer of 1969, overlapping the weekend that Woodstock happened. That event was a series of weekend free concerts in New York, performed by many of the greatest acts in Black music at that time -- people like Stevie Wonder, David Ruffin, Mahalia Jackson, B.B. King, the Staple Singers, Sly and the Family Stone, Nina Simone, and the Fifth Dimension. One thing that that film did was to throw into sharp relief a lot of the performances we've seen over the years by legends of white rock music of the same time. If you watch the film of Woodstock, or the earlier Monterey Pop festival, it's apparent that a lot of the musicians are quite sloppy. This is easy to dismiss as being a product of the situation -- they're playing outdoor venues, with no opportunity to soundcheck, using primitive PA systems, and often without monitors. Anyone would sound a bit sloppy in that situation, right? That is until you listen to the performances on the Summer of Soul soundtrack. The performers on those shows are playing in the same kind of circumstances, and in the case of Woodstock literally at the same time, so it's a fair comparison, and there really is no comparison. Whatever you think of the quality of the *music* (and some of my very favourite artists played at Monterey and Woodstock), the *musicianship* is orders of magnitude better at the Harlem Cultural Festival [Excerpt: Gladys Knight and the Pips “I Heard it Through the Grapevine (live)”] And of course there's a reason for this. Most of the people who played at those big hippie festivals had not had the same experiences as the Black musicians. The Black players were mostly veterans of the chitlin' circuit, where you had to play multiple shows a day, in front of demanding crowds who wanted their money's worth, and who wanted you to be able to play and also put on a show at the same time. When you're playing for crowds of working people who have spent a significant proportion of their money to go to the show, and on a bill with a dozen other acts who are competing for that audience's attention, you are going to get good or stop working. The guitar bands at Woodstock and Monterey, though, hadn't had the same kind of pressure. Their audiences were much more forgiving, much more willing to go with the musicians, view themselves as part of a community with them. And they had to play far fewer shows than the chitlin' circuit veterans, so they simply didn't develop the same chops before becoming famous (the best of them did after fame, of course). And so it's no surprise that while a lot of bands became more famous as a result of the Monterey Pop Festival, only three really became breakout stars in America as a direct result of it. One of those was the Who, who were already the third or fourth biggest band in the UK by that point, either just behind or just ahead of the Kinks, and so the surprise is more that it took them that long to become big in America. But the other two were themselves veterans of the chitlin' circuit. If you buy the Criterion Collection Blu-Ray of Monterey Pop, you get two extra discs along with the disc with the film of the full festival on it -- the only two performances that were thought worth turning into their own short mini-films. One of them is Jimi Hendrix's performance, and we will talk about that in a future episode. The other is titled Shake! Otis at Monterey: [Excerpt: Otis Redding, "Shake! (live at Monterey Pop Festival)"] Otis Redding came from Macon, Georgia, the home town of Little Richard, who became one of his biggest early influences, and like Richard he was torn in his early years between religion and secular music -- though in most other ways he was very different from Richard, and in particular he came from a much more supportive family. While his father, Otis senior, was a deacon in the church, and didn't approve much of blues, R&B, or jazz music or listen to it himself, he didn't prevent his son from listening to it, so young Otis grew up listening to records by Richard -- of whom he later said "If it hadn't been for Little Richard I would not be here... Richard has soul too. My present music has a lot of him in it" -- and another favourite, Clyde McPhatter: [Excerpt: Billy Ward and the Dominoes, "Have Mercy Baby"] Indeed, it's unclear exactly how much Otis senior *did* disapprove of those supposedly-sinful kinds of music. The biography I used as a source for this, and which says that Otis senior wouldn't listen to blues or jazz music at all, also quotes his son as saying that when he was a child his mother and father used to play him "a calypso song out then called 'Run Joe'" That will of course be this one: [Excerpt: Louis Jordan, "Run Joe"] I find it hard to reconcile the idea of someone who refused to listen to the blues or jazz listening to Louis Jordan, but then people are complex. Whatever Otis senior's feelings about secular music, he recognised from a very early age that his son had a special talent, and encouraged him to become a gospel singer. And at the same time he was listening to Little Richard, young Otis was also listening to gospel singers. One particular influence was a blind street singer, Reverend Pearly Brown: [Excerpt: Reverend Pearly Brown, "Ninety Nine and a Half Won't Do"] Redding was someone who cared deeply about his father's opinion, and it might well have been that he would eventually have become a gospel performer, because he started his career with a foot in both camps. What seems to have made the difference is that when he was sixteen, his father came down with tuberculosis. Even a few years earlier this would have been a terminal diagnosis, but thankfully by this point antibiotics had been invented, and the deacon eventually recovered. But it did mean that Otis junior had to become the family breadwinner while his father was sick, and so he turned decisively towards the kind of music that could make more money. He'd already started performing secular music. He'd joined a band led by Gladys Williams, who was the first female bandleader in the area. Williams sadly doesn't seem to have recorded anything -- discogs has a listing of a funk single by a Gladys Williams on a tiny label which may or may not be the same person, but in general she avoided recording studios, only wanting to play live -- but she was a very influential figure in Georgia music. According to her former trumpeter Newton Collier, who later went on to play with Redding and others, she trained both Fats Gonder and Lewis Hamlin, who went on to join the lineup of James Brown's band that made Live at the Apollo, and Collier says that Hamlin's arrangements for that album, and the way the band would segue from one track to another, were all things he'd been taught by Miss Gladys. Redding sang with Gladys Williams for a while, and she took him under her wing, trained him, and became his de facto first manager. She got him to perform at local talent shows, where he won fifteen weeks in a row, before he got banned from performing to give everyone else a chance. At all of these shows, the song he performed was one that Miss Gladys had rehearsed with him, Little Richard's "Heeby Jeebies": [Excerpt: Little Richard, "Heeby Jeebies"] At this time, Redding's repertoire was largely made up of songs by the two greats of fifties Georgia R&B -- Little Richard and James Brown -- plus some by his other idol Sam Cooke, and those singers would remain his greatest influences throughout his career. After his stint with Williams, Redding went on to join another band, Pat T Cake and the Mighty Panthers, whose guitarist Johnny Jenkins would be a major presence in his life for several years. The Mighty Panthers were soon giving Redding top billing, and advertising gigs as featuring Otis "Rockin' Robin" Redding -- presumably that was another song in his live repertoire. By this time Redding was sounding enough like Little Richard that when Richard's old backing band, The Upsetters, were looking for a new singer after Richard quit rock and roll for the ministry, they took Redding on as their vocalist for a tour. Once that tour had ended, Redding returned home to find that Johnny Jenkins had quit the Mighty Panthers and formed a new band, the Pinetoppers. Redding joined that band, who were managed by a white teenager named Phil Walden, who soon became Redding's personal manager as well. Walden and Redding developed a very strong bond, to the extent that Walden, who was studying at university, spent all his tuition money promoting Redding and almost got kicked out. When Redding found this out, he actually went round to everyone he knew and got loans from everyone until he had enough to pay for Walden's tuition -- much of it paid in coins. They had a strong enough bond that Walden would remain his manager for the rest of Redding's life, and even when Walden had to do two years in the Army in Germany, he managed Redding long-distance, with his brother looking after things at home. But of course, there wasn't much of a music industry in Georgia, and so with Walden's blessing and support, he moved to LA in 1960 to try to become a star. Just before he left, his girlfriend Zelma told him she was pregnant. He assured her that he was only going to be away for a few months, and that he would be back in time for the birth, and that he intended to come back to Georgia rich and marry her. Her response was "Sure you is". In LA, Redding met up with a local record producer, James "Jimmy Mack" McEachin, who would later go on to become an actor, appearing in several films with Clint Eastwood. McEachin produced a session for Redding at Gold Star studios, with arrangements by Rene Hall and using several of the musicians who later became the Wrecking Crew. "She's All Right", the first single that came from that session, was intended to sound as much like Jackie Wilson as possible, and was released under the name of The Shooters, the vocal group who provided the backing vocals: [Excerpt: The Shooters, "She's All Right"] "She's All Right" was released on Trans World, a small label owned by Morris Bernstein, who also owned Finer Arts records (and "She's All Right" seems to have been released on both labels). Neither of Bernstein's labels had any great success -- the biggest record they put out was a single by the Hollywood Argyles that came out after they'd stopped having hits -- and they didn't have any connection to the R&B market. Redding and McEachin couldn't find any R&B labels that wanted to pick up their recordings, and so Redding did return to Georgia and marry Zelma a few days before the birth of their son Dexter. Back in Georgia, he hooked up again with the Pinetoppers, and he and Jenkins started trying local record labels, attempting to get records put out by either of them. Redding was the first, and Otis Redding and the Pinetoppers put out a single, "Shout Bamalama", a slight reworking of a song that he'd recorded as "Gamma Lamma" for McEachin, which was obviously heavily influenced by Little Richard: [Excerpt: Otis Redding and the Pinetoppers, "Shout Bamalama"] That single was produced by a local record company owner, Bobby Smith, who signed Redding to a contract which Redding didn't read, but which turned out to be a management contract as well as a record contract. This would later be a problem, as Redding didn't have an actual contract with Phil Walden -- one thing that comes up time and again in stories about music in the Deep South at this time is people operating on handshake deals and presuming good faith on the part of each other. There was a problem with the record which nobody had foreseen though -- Redding was the first Black artist signed to Smith's label, which was called Confederate Records, and its logo was the Southern Cross. Now Smith, by all accounts, was less personally racist than most white men in Georgia at the time, and hadn't intended that as any kind of statement of white supremacy -- he'd just used a popular local symbol, without thinking through the implications. But as the phrase goes, intent isn't magic, and while Smith didn't intend it as racist, rather unsurprisingly Black DJs and record shops didn't see things in the same light. Smith was told by several DJs that they wouldn't play the record while it was on that label, and he started up a new subsidiary label, Orbit, and put the record out on that label. Redding and Smith continued collaborating, and there were plans for Redding to put out a second single on Orbit. That single was going to be "These Arms of Mine", a song Redding had originally given to another Confederate artist, a rockabilly performer called Buddy Leach (who doesn't seem to be the same Buddy Leach as the Democratic politician from Louisiana, or the saxophone player with George Thorogood and the Destroyers). Leach had recorded it as a B-side, with the slightly altered title "These Arms Are Mine". Sadly I can't provide an excerpt of that, as the record is so rare that even websites I've found by rockabilly collectors who are trying to get everything on Confederate Records haven't managed to get hold of copies. Meanwhile, Johnny Jenkins had been recording on another label, Tifco, and had put out a single called "Pinetop": [Excerpt: Johnny Jenkins and the Pinetoppers, "Pinetop"] That record had attracted the attention of Joe Galkin. Galkin was a semi-independent record promoter, who had worked for Atlantic in New York before moving back to his home town of Macon. Galkin had proved himself as a promoter by being responsible for the massive amounts of airplay given to Solomon Burke's "Just Out of Reach (of My Two Open Arms)": [Excerpt: Solomon Burke, "Just Out of Reach (of My Two Open Arms)"] After that, Jerry Wexler had given Galkin fifty dollars a week and an expense account, and Galkin would drive to all the Black radio stations in the South and pitch Atlantic's records to them. But Galkin also had his own record label, Gerald Records, and when he went to those stations and heard them playing something from a smaller label, he would quickly negotiate with that smaller label, buy the master and the artist's contract, and put the record out on Gerald Records -- and then he would sell the track and the artist on to Atlantic, taking ten percent of the record's future earnings and a finder's fee. This is what happened with Johnny Jenkins' single, which was reissued on Gerald and then on Atlantic. Galkin signed Jenkins to a contract -- another of those contracts which also made him Jenkins' manager, and indeed the manager of the Pinetops. Jenkins' record ended up selling about twenty-five thousand records, but when Galkin saw the Pinetoppers performing live, he realised that Otis Redding was the real star. Since he had a contract with Jenkins, he came to an agreement with Walden, who was still Jenkins' manager as well as Redding's -- Walden would get fifty percent of Jenkins' publishing and they would be co-managers of Jenkins. But Galkin had plans for Redding, which he didn't tell anyone about, not even Redding himself. The one person he did tell was Jerry Wexler, who he phoned up and asked for two thousand dollars, explaining that he wanted to record Jenkins' follow-up single at Stax, and he also wanted to bring along a singer he'd discovered, who sang with Jenkins' band. Wexler agreed -- Atlantic had recently started distributing Stax's records on a handshake deal of much the same kind that Redding had with Walden. As far as everyone else was concerned, though, the session was just for Johnny Jenkins, the known quantity who'd already released a single for Atlantic. Otis Redding, meanwhile, was having to work a lot of odd jobs to feed his rapidly growing family, and one of those jobs was to work as Johnny Jenkins' driver, as Jenkins didn't have a driving license. So Galkin suggested that, given that Memphis was quite a long drive, Redding should drive Galkin and Jenkins to Stax, and carry the equipment for them. Bobby Smith, who still thought of himself as Redding's manager, was eager to help his friend's bandmate with his big break (and to help Galkin, in the hope that maybe Atlantic would start distributing Confederate too), and so he lent Redding the company station wagon to drive them to the session.The other Pinetoppers wouldn't be going -- Jenkins was going to be backed by Booker T and the MGs, the normal Stax backing band. Phil Walden, though, had told Redding that he should try to take the opportunity to get himself heard by Stax, and he pestered the musicians as they recorded Jenkins' "Spunky": [Excerpt: Johnny Jenkins, "Spunky"] Cropper later remembered “During the session, Al Jackson says to me, ‘The big tall guy that was driving Johnny, he's been bugging me to death, wanting me to hear him sing,' Al said, ‘Would you take some time and get this guy off of my back and listen to him?' And I said, ‘After the session I'll try to do it,' and then I just forgot about it.” What Redding didn't know, though Walden might have, is that Galkin had planned all along to get Redding to record while he was there. Galkin claimed to be Redding's manager, and told Jim Stewart, the co-owner of Stax who acted as main engineer and supervising producer on the sessions at this point, that Wexler had only funded the session on the basis that Redding would also get a shot at recording. Stewart was unimpressed -- Jenkins' session had not gone well, and it had taken them more than two hours to get two tracks down, but Galkin offered Stewart a trade -- Galkin, as Redding's manager, would take half of Stax's mechanical royalties for the records (which wouldn't be much) but in turn would give Stewart half the publishing on Redding's songs. That was enough to make Stewart interested, but by this point Booker T. Jones had already left the studio, so Steve Cropper moved to the piano for the forty minutes that was left of the session, with Jenkins remaining on guitar, and they tried to get two sides of a single cut. The first track they cut was "Hey Hey Baby", which didn't impress Stewart much -- he simply said that the world didn't need another Little Richard -- and so with time running out they cut another track, the ballad Redding had already given to Buddy Leach. He asked Cropper, who didn't play piano well, to play "church chords", by which he meant triplets, and Cropper said "he started singing ‘These Arms of Mine' and I know my hair lifted about three inches and I couldn't believe this guy's voice": [Excerpt: Otis Redding, "These Arms of Mine"] That was more impressive, though Stewart carefully feigned disinterest. Stewart and Galkin put together a contract which signed Redding to Stax -- though they put the single out on the less-important Volt subsidiary, as they did for much of Redding's subsequent output -- and gave Galkin and Stewart fifty percent each of the publishing rights to Redding's songs. Redding signed it, not even realising he was signing a proper contract rather than just one for a single record, because he was just used to signing whatever bit of paper was put in front of him at the time. This one was slightly different though, because Redding had had his twenty-first birthday since the last time he'd signed a contract, and so Galkin assumed that that meant all his other contracts were invalid -- not realising that Redding's contract with Bobby Smith had been countersigned by Redding's mother, and so was also legal. Walden also didn't realise that, but *did* realise that Galkin representing himself as Redding's manager to Stax might be a problem, so he quickly got Redding to sign a proper contract, formalising the handshake basis they'd been operating on up to that point. Walden was at this point in the middle of his Army service, but got the signature while he was home on leave. Walden then signed a deal with Galkin, giving Walden half of Galkin's fifty percent cut of Redding's publishing in return for Galkin getting a share of Walden's management proceeds. By this point everyone was on the same page -- Otis Redding was going to be a big star, and he became everyone's prime focus. Johnny Jenkins remained signed to Walden's agency -- which quickly grew to represent almost every big soul star that wasn't signed to Motown -- but he was regarded as a footnote. His record came out eventually on Volt, almost two years later, but he didn't release another record until 1968. Jenkins did, though, go on to have some influence. In 1970 he was given the opportunity to sing lead on an album backed by Duane Allman and the members of the Muscle Shoals studio band, many of whom went on to form the Allman Brothers Band. That record contained a cover of Dr. John's "I Walk on Guilded Splinters" which was later sampled by Beck for "Loser", the Wu-Tang Clan for "Gun Will Go" and Oasis for their hit "Go Let it Out": [Excerpt: Johnny Jenkins, "I Walk on Guilded Splinters"] Jenkins would play guitar on several future Otis Redding sessions, but would hold a grudge against Redding for the rest of his life for taking the stardom he thought was rightfully his, and would be one of the few people to have anything negative to say about Redding after his early death. When Bobby Smith heard about the release of "These Arms of Mine", he was furious, as his contract with Redding *was* in fact legally valid, and he'd been intending to get Redding to record the song himself. However, he realised that Stax could call on the resources of Atlantic Records, and Joe Galkin also hinted that if he played nice Atlantic might start distributing Confederate, too. Smith signed away all his rights to Redding -- again, thinking that he was only signing away the rights to a single record and song, and not reading the contract closely enough. In this case, Smith only had one working eye, and that wasn't good enough to see clearly -- he had to hold paper right up to his face to read anything on it -- and he simply couldn't read the small print on the contract, and so signed over Otis Redding's management, record contract, and publishing, for a flat seven hundred dollars. Now everything was legally -- if perhaps not ethically -- in the clear. Phil Walden was Otis Redding's manager, Stax was his record label, Joe Galkin got a cut off the top, and Walden, Galkin, and Jim Stewart all shared Redding's publishing. Although, to make it a hit, one more thing had to happen, and one more person had to get a cut of the song: [Excerpt: Otis Redding, "These Arms of Mine"] That sound was becoming out of fashion among Black listeners at the time. It was considered passe, and even though the Stax musicians loved the record, Jim Stewart didn't, and put it out not because he believed in Otis Redding, but because he believed in Joe Galkin. As Stewart later said “The Black radio stations were getting out of that Black country sound, we put it out to appease and please Joe.” For the most part DJs ignored the record, despite Galkin pushing it -- it was released in October 1962, that month which we have already pinpointed as the start of the sixties, and came out at the same time as a couple of other Stax releases, and the one they were really pushing was Carla Thomas' "I'll Bring it Home to You", an answer record to Sam Cooke's "Bring it On Home to Me": [Excerpt: Carla Thomas, "I'll Bring it Home to You"] "These Arms of Mine" wasn't even released as the A-side -- that was "Hey Hey Baby" -- until John R came along. John R was a Nashville DJ, and in fact he was the reason that Bobby Smith even knew that Redding had signed to Stax. R had heard Buddy Leach's version of the song, and called Smith, who was a friend of his, to tell him that his record had been covered, and that was the first Smith had heard of the matter. But R also called Jim Stewart at Stax, and told him that he was promoting the wrong side, and that if they started promoting "These Arms of Mine", R would play the record on his radio show, which could be heard in twenty-eight states. And, as a gesture of thanks for this suggestion -- and definitely not as payola, which would be very illegal -- Stewart gave R his share of the publishing rights to the song, which eventually made the top twenty on the R&B charts, and slipped into the lower end of the Hot One Hundred. "These Arms of Mine" was actually recorded at a turning point for Stax as an organisation. By the time it was released, Booker T Jones had left Memphis to go to university in Indiana to study music, with his tuition being paid for by his share of the royalties for "Green Onions", which hit the charts around the same time as Redding's first session: [Excerpt: Booker T. and the MGs, "Green Onions"] Most of Stax's most important sessions were recorded at weekends -- Jim Stewart still had a day job as a bank manager at this point, and he supervised the records that were likely to be hits -- so Jones could often commute back to the studio for session work, and could play sessions during his holidays. The rest of the time, other people would cover the piano parts, often Cropper, who played piano on Redding's next sessions, with Jenkins once again on guitar. As "These Arms of Mine" didn't start to become a hit until March, Redding didn't go into the studio again until June, when he cut the follow-up, "That's What My Heart Needs", with the MGs, Jenkins, and the horn section of the Mar-Keys. That made number twenty-seven on the Cashbox R&B chart -- this was in the period when Billboard had stopped having one. The follow-up, "Pain in My Heart", was cut in September and did even better, making number eleven on the Cashbox R&B chart: [Excerpt: Otis Redding, "Pain in My Heart"] It did well enough in fact that the Rolling Stones cut a cover version of the track: [Excerpt: The Rolling Stones, "Pain in My Heart"] Though Redding didn't get the songwriting royalties -- by that point Allen Toussaint had noticed how closely it resembled a song he'd written for Irma Thomas, "Ruler of My Heart": [Excerpt: Irma Thomas, "Ruler of My Heart"] And so the writing credit was changed to be Naomi Neville, one of the pseudonyms Toussaint used. By this point Redding was getting steady work, and becoming a popular live act. He'd put together his own band, and had asked Jenkins to join, but Jenkins didn't want to play second fiddle to him, and refused, and soon stopped being invited to the recording sessions as well. Indeed, Redding was *eager* to get as many of his old friends working with him as he could. For his second and third sessions, as well as bringing Jenkins, he'd brought along a whole gang of musicians from his touring show, and persuaded Stax to put out records by them, too. At those sessions, as well as Redding's singles, they also cut records by his valet (which was the term R&B performers in those years used for what we'd now call a gofer or roadie) Oscar Mack: [Excerpt: Oscar Mack, "Don't Be Afraid of Love"] For Eddie Kirkland, the guitarist in his touring band, who had previously played with John Lee Hooker and whose single was released under the name "Eddie Kirk": [Excerpt: Eddie Kirk, "The Hawg, Part 1"] And Bobby Marchan, a singer and female impersonator from New Orleans who had had some massive hits a few years earlier both on his own and as the singer with Huey "Piano" Smith and the Clowns, but had ended up in Macon without a record deal and been taken under Redding's wing: [Excerpt: Bobby Marchan, "What Can I Do?"] Redding would continue, throughout his life, to be someone who tried to build musical careers for his friends, though none of those singles was successful. The changes in Stax continued. In late autumn 1963, Atlantic got worried by the lack of new product coming from Stax. Carla Thomas had had a couple of R&B hits, and they were expecting a new single, but every time Jerry Wexler phoned Stax asking where the new single was, he was told it would be coming soon but the equipment was broken. After a couple of weeks of this, Wexler decided something fishy was going on, and sent Tom Dowd, his genius engineer, down to Stax to investigate. Dowd found when he got there that the equipment *was* broken, and had been for weeks, and was a simple fix. When Dowd spoke to Stewart, though, he discovered that they didn't know where to source replacement parts from. Dowd phoned his assistant in New York, and told him to go to the electronics shop and get the parts he needed. Then, as there were no next-day courier services at that time, Dowd's assistant went to the airport, found a flight attendant who was flying to Memphis, and gave her the parts and twenty-five dollars, with a promise of twenty-five more if she gave them to Dowd at the other end. The next morning, Dowd had the equipment fixed, and everyone involved became convinced that Dowd was a miracle worker, especially after he showed Steve Cropper some rudimentary tape-manipulation techniques that Cropper had never encountered before. Dowd had to wait around in Memphis for his flight, so he went to play golf with the musicians for a bit, and then they thought they might as well pop back to the studio and test the equipment out. When they did, Rufus Thomas -- Carla Thomas' father, who had also had a number of hits himself on Stax and Sun -- popped his head round the door to see if the equipment was working now. They told him it was, and he said he had a song if they were up for a spot of recording. They were, and so when Dowd flew back that night, he was able to tell Wexler not only that the next Carla Thomas single would soon be on its way, but that he had the tapes of a big hit single with him right there: [Excerpt: Rufus Thomas, "Walking the Dog"] "Walking the Dog" was a sensation. Jim Stewart later said “I remember our first order out of Chicago. I was in New York in Jerry Wexler's office at the time and Paul Glass, who was our distributor in Chicago, called in an order for sixty-five thousand records. I said to Jerry, ‘Do you mean sixty-five hundred?' And he said, ‘Hell no, he wants sixty-five thousand.' That was the first order! He believed in the record so much that we ended up selling about two hundred thousand in Chicago alone.” The record made the top ten on the pop charts, but that wasn't the biggest thing that Dowd had taken away from the session. He came back raving to Wexler about the way they made records in Memphis, and how different it was from the New York way. In New York, there was a strict separation between the people in the control room and the musicians in the studio, the musicians were playing from written charts, and everyone had a job and did just that job. In Memphis, the musicians were making up the arrangements as they went, and everyone was producing or engineering all at the same time. Dowd, as someone with more technical ability than anyone at Stax, and who was also a trained musician who could make musical suggestions, was soon regularly commuting down to Memphis to be part of the production team, and Jerry Wexler was soon going down to record with other Atlantic artists there, as we heard about in the episode on "Midnight Hour". Shortly after Dowd's first visit to Memphis, another key member of the Stax team entered the picture. Right at the end of 1963, Floyd Newman recorded a track called "Frog Stomp", on which he used his own band rather than the MGs and Mar-Keys: [Excerpt: Floyd Newman, "Frog Stomp"] The piano player and co-writer on that track was a young man named Isaac Hayes, who had been trying to get work at Stax for some time. He'd started out as a singer, and had made a record, "Laura, We're On Our Last Go-Round", at American Sound, the studio run by the former Stax engineer and musician Chips Moman: [Excerpt: Isaac Hayes, "Laura, We're On Our Last Go-Round"] But that hadn't been a success, and Hayes had continued working a day job at a slaughterhouse -- and would continue doing so for much of the next few years, even after he started working at Stax (it's truly amazing how many of the people involved in Stax were making music as what we would now call a side-hustle). Hayes had become a piano player as a way of getting a little extra money -- he'd been offered a job as a fill-in when someone else had pulled out at the last minute on a gig on New Year's Eve, and took it even though he couldn't actually play piano, and spent his first show desperately vamping with two fingers, and was just lucky the audience was too drunk to care. But he had a remarkable facility for the instrument, and while unlike Booker T Jones he would never gain a great deal of technical knowledge, and was embarrassed for the rest of his life by both his playing ability and his lack of theory knowledge, he was as great as they come at soul, at playing with feel, and at inventing new harmonies on the fly. They still didn't have a musician at Stax that could replace Booker T, who was still off at university, so Isaac Hayes was taken on as a second session keyboard player, to cover for Jones when Jones was in Indiana -- though Hayes himself also had to work his own sessions around his dayjob, so didn't end up playing on "In the Midnight Hour", for example, because he was at the slaughterhouse. The first recording session that Hayes played on as a session player was an Otis Redding single, either his fourth single for Stax, "Come to Me", or his fifth, "Security": [Excerpt: Otis Redding, "Security"] "Security" is usually pointed to by fans as the point at which Redding really comes into his own, and started directing the musicians more. There's a distinct difference, in particular, in the interplay between Cropper's guitar, the Mar-Keys' horns, and Redding's voice. Where previously the horns had tended to play mostly pads, just holding chords under Redding's voice, now they were starting to do answering phrases. Jim Stewart always said that the only reason Stax used a horn section at all was because he'd been unable to find a decent group of backing vocalists, and the function the horns played on most of the early Stax recordings was somewhat similar to the one that the Jordanaires had played for Elvis, or the Picks for Buddy Holly, basically doing "oooh" sounds to fatten out the sound, plus the odd sax solo or simple riff. The way Redding used the horns, though, was more like the way Ray Charles used the Raelettes, or the interplay of a doo-wop vocal group, with call and response, interjections, and asides. He also did something in "Security" that would become a hallmark of records made at Stax -- instead of a solo, the instrumental break is played by the horns as an ensemble: [Excerpt: Otis Redding, "Security"] According to Wayne Jackson, the Mar-Keys' trumpeter, Redding was the one who had the idea of doing these horn ensemble sections, and the musicians liked them enough that they continued doing them on all the future sessions, no matter who with. The last Stax single of 1964 took the "Security" sound and refined it, and became the template for every big Stax hit to follow. "Mr. Pitiful" was the first collaboration between Redding and Steve Cropper, and was primarily Cropper's idea. Cropper later remembered “There was a disc jockey here named Moohah. He started calling Otis ‘Mr. Pitiful' 'cause he sounded so pitiful singing his ballads. So I said, ‘Great idea for a song!' I got the idea for writing about it in the shower. I was on my way down to pick up Otis. I got down there and I was humming it in the car. I said, ‘Hey, what do you think about this?' We just wrote the song on the way to the studio, just slapping our hands on our legs. We wrote it in about ten minutes, went in, showed it to the guys, he hummed a horn line, boom—we had it. When Jim Stewart walked in we had it all worked up. Two or three cuts later, there it was.” [Excerpt: Otis Redding, "Mr. Pitiful"] Cropper would often note later that Redding would never write about himself, but that Cropper would put details of Redding's life and persona into the songs, from "Mr. Pitiful" right up to their final collaboration, in which Cropper came up with lines about leaving home in Georgia. "Mr Pitiful" went to number ten on the R&B chart and peaked at number forty-one on the hot one hundred, and its B-side, "That's How Strong My Love Is", also made the R&B top twenty. Cropper and Redding soon settled into a fruitful writing partnership, to the extent that Cropper even kept a guitar permanently tuned to an open chord so that Redding could use it. Redding couldn't play the guitar, but liked to use one as a songwriting tool. When a guitar is tuned in standard tuning, you have to be able to make chord shapes to play it, because the sound of the open strings is a discord: [demonstrates] But you can tune a guitar so all the strings are the notes of a single chord, so they sound good together even when you don't make a chord shape: [demonstrates open-E tuning] With one of these open tunings, you can play chords with just a single finger barring a fret, and so they're very popular with, for example, slide guitarists who use a metal slide to play, or someone like Dolly Parton who has such long fingernails it's difficult to form chord shapes. Someone like Parton is of course an accomplished player, but open tunings also mean that someone who can't play well can just put their finger down on a fret and have it be a chord, so you can write songs just by running one finger up and down the fretboard: [demonstrates] So Redding could write, and even play acoustic rhythm guitar on some songs, which he did quite a lot in later years, without ever learning how to make chords. Now, there's a downside to this -- which is why standard tuning is still standard. If you tune to an open major chord, you can play major chords easily but minor chords become far more difficult. Handily, that wasn't a problem at Stax, because according to Isaac Hayes, Jim Stewart banned minor chords from being played at Stax. Hayes said “We'd play a chord in a session, and Jim would say, ‘I don't want to hear that chord.' Jim's ears were just tuned into one, four, and five. I mean, just simple changes. He said they were the breadwinners. He didn't like minor chords. Marvell and I always would try to put that pretty stuff in there. Jim didn't like that. We'd bump heads about that stuff. Me and Marvell fought all the time that. Booker wanted change as well. As time progressed, I was able to sneak a few in.” Of course, minor chords weren't *completely* banned from Stax, and some did sneak through, but even ballads would often have only major chords -- like Redding's next single, "I've Been Loving You Too Long". That track had its origins with Jerry Butler, the singer who had been lead vocalist of the Impressions before starting a solo career and having success with tracks like "For Your Precious Love": [Excerpt: Jerry Butler, "For Your Precious Love"] Redding liked that song, and covered it himself on his second album, and he had become friendly with Butler. Butler had half-written a song, and played it for Redding, who told him he'd like to fiddle with it, see what he could do. Butler forgot about the conversation, until he got a phone call from Redding, telling him that he'd recorded the song. Butler was confused, and also a little upset -- he'd been planning to finish the song himself, and record it. But then Redding played him the track, and Butler decided that doing so would be pointless -- it was Redding's song now: [Excerpt: Otis Redding, "I've Been Loving You Too Long"] "I've Been Loving You Too Long" became Redding's first really big hit, making number two on the R&B chart and twenty-one on the Hot One Hundred. It was soon being covered by the Rolling Stones and Ike & Tina Turner, and while Redding was still not really known to the white pop market, he was quickly becoming one of the biggest stars on the R&B scene. His record sales were still not matching his live performances -- he would always make far more money from appearances than from records -- but he was by now the performer that every other soul singer wanted to copy. "I've Been Loving You Too Long" came out just after Redding's second album, The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads, which happened to be the first album released on Volt Records. Before that, while Stax and Volt had released the singles, they'd licensed all the album tracks to Atlantic's Atco subsidiary, which had released the small number of albums put out by Stax artists. But times were changing and the LP market was becoming bigger. And more importantly, the *stereo* LP market was becoming bigger. Singles were still only released in mono, and would be for the next few years, but the album market had a substantial number of audiophiles, and they wanted stereo. This was a problem for Stax, because they only had a mono tape recorder, and they were scared of changing anything about their setup in case it destroyed their sound. Tom Dowd, who had been recording in eight track for years, was appalled by the technical limitations at the McLemore Ave studio, but eventually managed to get Jim Stewart, who despite -- or possibly because of -- being a white country musician was the most concerned that they keep their Black soul sound, to agree to a compromise. They would keep everything hooked up exactly the same -- the same primitive mixers, the same mono tape recorder -- and Stax would continue doing their mixes for mono, and all their singles would come directly off that mono tape. But at the same time, they would *also* have a two-track tape recorder plugged in to the mixer, with half the channels going on one track and half on the other. So while they were making the mix, they'd *also* be getting a stereo dump of that mix. The limitations of the situation meant that they might end up with drums and vocals in one channel and everything else in the other -- although as the musicians cut everything together in the studio, which had a lot of natural echo, leakage meant there was a *bit* of everything on every track -- but it would still be stereo. Redding's next album, Otis Blue, was recorded on this new equipment, with Dowd travelling down from New York to operate it. Dowd was so keen on making the album stereo that during that session, they rerecorded Redding's two most recent singles, "I've Been Loving You Too Long" and "Respect" (which hadn't yet come out but was in the process of being released) in soundalike versions so there would be stereo versions of the songs on the album -- so the stereo and mono versions of Otis Blue actually have different performances of those songs on them. It shows how intense the work rate was at Stax -- and how good they were at their jobs -- that apart from the opening track "Ole Man Trouble", which had already been recorded as a B-side, all of Otis Blue, which is often considered the greatest soul album in history, was recorded in a twenty-eight hour period, and it would have been shorter but there was a four-hour break in the middle, from 10PM to 2AM, so that the musicians on the session could play their regular local club gigs. And then after the album was finished, Otis left the session to perform a gig that evening. Tom Dowd, in particular, was astonished by the way Redding took charge in the studio, and how even though he had no technical musical knowledge, he would direct the musicians. Dowd called Redding a genius and told Phil Walden that the only two other artists he'd worked with who had as much ability in the studio were Bobby Darin and Ray Charles. Other than those singles and "Ole Man Trouble", Otis Blue was made up entirely of cover versions. There were three versions of songs by Sam Cooke, who had died just a few months earlier, and whose death had hit Redding hard -- for all that he styled himself on Little Richard vocally, he was also in awe of Cooke as a singer and stage presence. There were also covers of songs by The Temptations, William Bell, and B.B. King. And there was also an odd choice -- Steve Cropper suggested that Redding cut a cover of a song by a white band that was in the charts at the time: [Excerpt: The Rolling Stones, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"] Redding had never heard the song before -- he was not paying attention to the white pop scene at the time, just to his competition on the R&B charts -- but he was interested in doing it. Cropper sat by the turntable, scribbling down what he thought the lyrics Jagger was singing were, and they cut the track. Redding starts out more or less singing the right words: [Excerpt: Otis Redding, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"] But quickly ends up just ad-libbing random exclamations in the same way that he would in many of his live performances: [Excerpt: Otis Redding, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"] Otis Blue made number one on the R&B album chart, and also made number six on the UK album chart -- Redding, like many soul artists, was far more popular in the UK than in the US. It only made number seventy-five on the pop album charts in the US, but it did a remarkable thing as far as Stax was concerned -- it *stayed* in the lower reaches of the charts, and on the R&B album charts, for a long time. Redding had become what is known as a "catalogue artist", something that was almost unknown in rock and soul music at this time, but which was just starting to appear. Up to 1965, the interlinked genres that we now think of as rock and roll, rock, pop, blues, R&B, and soul, had all operated on the basis that singles were where the money was, and that singles should be treated like periodicals -- they go on the shelves, stay there for a few weeks, get replaced by the new thing, and nobody's interested any more. This had contributed to the explosive rate of change in pop music between about 1954 and 1968. You'd package old singles up into albums, and stick some filler tracks on there as a way of making a tiny bit of money from tracks which weren't good enough to release as singles, but that was just squeezing the last few drops of juice out of the orange, it wasn't really where the money was. The only exceptions were those artists like Ray Charles who crossed over into the jazz and adult pop markets. But in general, your record sales in the first few weeks and months *were* your record sales. But by the mid-sixties, as album sales started to take off more, things started to change. And Otis Redding was one of the first artists to really benefit from that. He wasn't having huge hit singles, and his albums weren't making the pop top forty, but they *kept selling*. Redding wouldn't have an album make the top forty in his lifetime, but they sold consistently, and everything from Otis Blue onward sold two hundred thousand or so copies -- a massive number in the much smaller album market of the time. These sales gave Redding some leverage. His contract with Stax was coming to an end in a few months, and he was getting offers from other companies. As part of his contract renegotiation, he got Jim Stewart -- who like so many people in this story including Redding himself liked to operate on handshake deals and assumptions of good faith on the part of everyone else, and who prided himself on being totally fair and not driving hard bargains -- to rework his publishing deal. Now Redding's music was going to be published by Redwal Music -- named after Redding and Phil Walden -- which was owned as a four-way split between Redding, Walden, Stewart, and Joe Galkin. Redding also got the right as part of his contract negotiations to record other artists using Stax's facilities and musicians. He set up his own label, Jotis Records -- a portmanteau of Joe and Otis, for Joe Galkin and himself, and put out records by Arthur Conley: [Excerpt: Arthur Conley, "Who's Fooling Who?"] Loretta Williams [Excerpt: Loretta Williams, "I'm Missing You"] and Billy Young [Excerpt: Billy Young, "The Sloopy"] None of these was a success, but it was another example of how Redding was trying to use his success to boost others. There were other changes going on at Stax as well. The company was becoming more tightly integrated with Atlantic Records -- Tom Dowd had started engineering more sessions, Jerry Wexler was turning up all the time, and they were starting to make records for Atlantic, as we discussed in the episode on "In the Midnight Hour". Atlantic were also loaning Stax Sam and Dave, who were contracted to Atlantic but treated as Stax artists, and whose hits were written by the new Stax songwriting team of Isaac Hayes and David Porter: [Excerpt: Sam and Dave, "Soul Man"] Redding was not hugely impressed by Sam and Dave, once saying in an interview "When I first heard the Righteous Brothers, I thought they were colored. I think they sing better than Sam and Dave", but they were having more and bigger chart hits than him, though they didn't have the same level of album sales. Also, by now Booker T and the MGs had a new bass player. Donald "Duck" Dunn had always been the "other" bass player at Stax, ever since he'd started with the Mar-Keys, and he'd played on many of Redding's recordings, as had Lewie Steinberg, the original bass player with the MGs. But in early 1965, the Stax studio musicians had cut a record originally intending it to be a Mar-Keys record, but decided to put it out as by Booker T and the MGs, even though Booker T wasn't there at the time -- Isaac Hayes played keyboards on the track: [Excerpt: Booker T and the MGs, "Boot-Leg"] Booker T Jones would always have a place at Stax, and would soon be back full time as he finished his degree, but from that point on Duck Dunn, not Lewie Steinberg, was the bass player for the MGs. Another change in 1965 was that Stax got serious about promotion. Up to this point, they'd just relied on Atlantic to promote their records, but obviously Atlantic put more effort into promoting records on which it made all the money than ones it just distributed. But as part of the deal to make records with Sam and Dave and Wilson Pickett, Atlantic had finally put their arrangement with Stax on a contractual footing, rather than their previous handshake deal, and they'd agreed to pay half the salary of a publicity person for Stax. Stax brought in Al Bell, who made a huge impression. Bell had been a DJ in Memphis, who had gone off to work with Martin Luther King for a while, before leaving after a year because, as he put it "I was not about passive resistance. I was about economic development, economic empowerment.” He'd returned to DJing, first in Memphis, then in Washington DC, where he'd been one of the biggest boosters of Stax records in the area. While he was in Washington, he'd also started making records himself. He'd produced several singles for Grover Mitchell on Decca: [Excerpt: Grover Mitchell, "Midnight Tears"] Those records were supervised by Milt Gabler, the same Milt Gabler who produced Louis Jordan's records and "Rock Around the Clock", and Bell co-produced them with Eddie Floyd, who wrote that song, and Chester Simmons, formerly of the Moonglows, and the three of them started their own label, Safice, which had put out a few records by Floyd and others, on the same kind of deal with Atlantic that Stax had: [Excerpt: Eddie Floyd, "Make Up Your Mind"] Floyd would himself soon become a staff songwriter at Stax. As with almost every decision at Stax, the decision to hire Bell was a cause of disagreement between Jim Stewart and his sister Estelle Axton, the "Ax" in Stax, who wasn't as involved in the day-to-day studio operations as her brother, but who was often regarded by the musicians as at least as important to the spirit of the label, and who tended to disagree with her brother on pretty much everything. Stewart didn't want to hire Bell, but according to Cropper “Estelle and I said, ‘Hey, we need somebody that can liaison between the disc jockeys and he's the man to do it. Atlantic's going into a radio station with six Atlantic records and one Stax record. We're not getting our due.' We knew that. We needed more promotion and he had all the pull with all those disc jockeys. He knew E. Rodney Jones and all the big cats, the Montagues and so on. He knew every one of them.” Many people at Stax will say that the label didn't even really start until Bell joined -- and he became so important to the label that he would eventually take it over from Stewart and Axton. Bell came in every day and immediately started phoning DJs, all day every day, starting in the morning with the drivetime East Coast DJs, and working his way across the US, ending up at midnight phoning the evening DJs in California. Booker T Jones said of him “He had energy like Otis Redding, except he wasn't a singer. He had the same type of energy. He'd come in the room, pull up his shoulders and that energy would start. He would start talking about the music business or what was going on and he energized everywhere he was. He was our Otis for promotion. It was the same type of energy charisma.” Meanwhile, of course, Redding was constantly releasing singles. Two more singles were released from Otis Blue -- his versions of "My Girl" and "Satisfaction", and he also released "I Can't Turn You Loose", which was originally the B-side to "Just One More Day" but ended up charting higher than its original A-side. It's around this time that Redding did something which seems completely out of character, but which really must be mentioned given that with very few exceptions everyone in his life talks about him as some kind of saint. One of Redding's friends was beaten up, and Redding, the friend, and another friend drove to the assailant's house and started shooting through the windows, starting a gun battle in which Redding got grazed. His friend got convicted of attempted murder, and got two years' probation, while Redding himself didn't face any criminal charges but did get sued by the victims, and settled out of court for a few hundred dollars. By this point Redding was becoming hugely rich from his concert appearances and album sales, but he still hadn't had a top twenty pop hit. He needed to break the white market. And so in April 1966, Redding went to LA, to play the Sunset Strip: [Excerpt: Otis Redding, "Respect (live at the Whisky A-Go-Go)"] Redding's performance at the Whisky A-Go-Go, a venue which otherwise hosted bands like the Doors, the Byrds, the Mothers of Invention, and Love, was his first real interaction with the white rock scene, part of a process that had started with his recording of "Satisfaction". The three-day residency got rave reviews, though the plans to release a live album of the shows were scuppered when Jim Stewart listened back to the tapes and decided that Redding's horn players were often out of tune. But almost everyone on the LA scene came out to see the shows, and Redding blew them away. According to one biography of Redding I used, it was seeing how Redding tuned his guitar that inspired the guitarist from the support band, the Rising Sons, to start playing in the same tuning -- though I can't believe for a moment that Ry Cooder, one of the greatest slide guitarists of his generation, didn't already know about open tunings. But Redding definitely impressed that band -- Taj Mahal, their lead singer, later said it was "one of the most amazing performances I'd ever seen". Also at the gigs was Bob Dylan, who played Redding a song he'd just recorded but not yet released: [Excerpt: Bob Dylan, "Just Like a Woman"] Redding agreed that the song sounded perfect for him, and said he would record it. He apparently made some attempts at rehearsing it at least, but never ended up recording it. He thought the first verse and chorus were great, but had problems with the second verse: [Excerpt: Bob Dylan, "Just Like a Woman"] Those lyrics were just too abstract for him to find a way to connect with them emotionally, and as a result he found himself completely unable to sing them. But like his recording of "Satisfaction", this was another clue to him that he should start paying more attention to what was going on in the white music industry, and that there might be things he could incorporate into his own style. As a result of the LA gigs, Bill Graham booked Redding for the Fillmore in San Francisco. Redding was at first cautious, thinking this might be a step too far, and that he wouldn't go down well with the hippie crowd, but Graham persuaded him, saying that whenever he asked any of the people who the San Francisco crowds most loved -- Jerry Garcia or Paul Butterfield or Mike Bloomfield -- who *they* most wanted to see play there, they all said Otis Redding. Redding reluctantly agreed, but before he took a trip to San Francisco, there was somewhere even further out for him to go. Redding was about to head to England but before he did there was another album to make, and this one would see even more of a push for the white market, though still trying to keep everything soulful. As well as Redding originals, including "Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)", another song in the mould of "Mr. Pitiful", there was another cover of a contemporary hit by a guitar band -- this time a version of the Beatles' "Day Tripper" -- and two covers of old standards; the country song "Tennessee Waltz", which had recently been covered by Sam Cooke, and a song made famous by Bing Crosby, "Try a Little Tenderness". That song almost certainly came to mind because it had recently been used in the film Dr. Strangelove, but it had also been covered relatively recently by two soul greats, Aretha Franklin: [Excerpt: Aretha Franklin, "Try a Little Tenderness"] And Sam Cooke: [Excerpt: Sam Cooke, "Live Medley: I Love You For Sentimental Reasons/Try a Little Tenderness/You Send Me"] This version had horn parts arranged by Isaac Hayes, who by this point had been elevated to be considered one of the "Big Six" at Stax records -- Hayes, his songwriting partner David Porter, Steve Cropper, Duck Dunn, Booker T. Jones, and Al Jackson, were all given special status at the company, and treated as co-producers on every record -- all the records were now credited as produced by "staff", but it was the Big Six who split the royalties. Hayes came up with a horn part that was inspired by Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come", and which dominated the early part of the track: [Excerpt: Otis Redding, "Try a Little Tenderness"] Then the band came in, slowly at first: [Excerpt: Otis Redding, "Try a Little Tenderness"] But Al Jackson surprised them when they ran through the track by deciding that after the main song had been played, he'd kick the track into double-time, and give Redding a chance to stretch out and do his trademark grunts and "got-ta"s. The single version faded out shortly after that, but the version on the album kept going for an extra thirty seconds: [Excerpt: Otis Redding, "Try a Little Tenderness"] As Booker T. Jones said “Al came up with the idea of breaking up the rhythm, and Otis just took that and ran with it. He really got excited once he found out what Al was going to do on the drums. He realized how he could finish the song. That he could start it like a ballad and finish it full of emotion. That's how a lot of our arrangements would come together. Somebody would come up with something totally outrageous.” And it would have lasted longer but Jim Stewart pushed the faders down, realising the track was an uncommercial length even as it was. Live, the track could often stretch out to seven minutes or longer, as Redding drove the crowd into a frenzy, and it soon became one of the highlights of his live set, and a signature song for him: [Excerpt: Otis Redding, "Try a Little Tenderness (live in London)"] In September 1966, Redding went on his first tour outside the US. His records had all done much better in the UK than they had in America, and they were huge favourites of everyone on the Mod scene, and when he arrived in the UK he had a limo sent by Brian Epstein to meet him at the airport. The tour was an odd one, with multiple London shows, shows in a couple of big cities like Manchester and Bristol, and shows in smallish towns in Hampshire and Lincolnshire. Apparently the shows outside London weren't particularly well attended, but the London shows were all packed to overflowing. Redding also got his own episode of Ready! Steady! Go!, on which he performed solo as well as with guest stars Eric Burdon and Chris Farlowe: [Excerpt: Otis Redding, Chris Farlowe and Eric Burdon, "Shake/Land of a Thousand Dances"] After the UK tour, he went on a short tour of the Eastern US with Sam and Dave as his support act, and then headed west to the Fillmore for his three day residency there, introducing him to the San Francisco music scene. His first night at the venue was supported by the Grateful Dead, the second by Johnny Talbot and De Thangs and the third by Country Joe and the Fish, but there was no question that it was Otis Redding that everyone was coming to see. Janis Joplin turned up at the Fillmore every day at 3PM, to make sure she could be right at the front for Redding's shows that night, and Bill Graham said, decades later, "By far, Otis Redding was the single most extraordinary talent I had ever seen. There was no comparison. Then or now." However, after the Fillmore gigs, for the first time ever he started missing shows. The Sentinel, a Black newspaper in LA, reported a few days later "Otis Redding, the rock singer, failed to make many friends here the other day when he was slated to appear on the Christmas Eve show[...] Failed to draw well, and Redding reportedly would not go on." The Sentinel seem to think that Redding was just being a diva, but it's likely that this was the first sign of a problem that would change everything about his career -- he was developing vocal polyps that were making singing painful. It's notable though that the Sentinel refers to Redding as a "rock" singer, and shows again how different genres appeared in the mid-sixties to how they appear today. In that light, it's interesting to look at a quote from Redding from a few months later -- "Everybody thinks that all songs by colored people are rhythm and blues, but that's not true. Johnny Taylor, Muddy Waters, and B.B. King are blues singers. James Brown is not a blues singer. He has a rock and roll beat and he can sing slow pop songs. My own songs "Respect" and "Mr Pitiful" aren't blues songs. I'm speaking in terms of the beat and structure of the music. A blues is a song that goes twelve bars all the way through. Most of my songs are soul songs." So in Redding's eyes, neither he nor James Brown were R&B -- he was soul, which was a different thing from R&B, while Brown was rock and roll and pop, not soul, but journalists thought that Redding was rock. But while the lines between these things were far less distinct than they are today, and Redding was trying to cross over to the white audience, he knew what genre he was in, and celebrated that in a song he wrote with his friend Art
Game Changers With Vicki Abelson
Teresa James & Terry Wilson Live on Game Changers with Vicki Abelson They may sing the blues but they sure make me happy. Grammy nominees Teresa James and Terry Wilson treated us to our first live mini-concert in Game Changers history. And it was spectacular! With their brand new album of reimagined Beatle songs, With a Little Help From Her Friends, which debuted at #9 on the Billboard Blues chart at the fore, the last third of the show was devoted to cuts from said album, and one of my favorites of theirs, Don't Make A Habit of It. Joining them was longtime Rhythm Tramps guitarist Billy Watts (Eric Burdon, John Mayall), and drummer, Richard Millsap (currently touring with John Fogerty). Special thanks to Louie Kovic for making it happen. Celebrating Teresa's nomination for Contemporary Female Blues Artist of the Year, from The Blues Foundation, we talked their early years in Texas, separately and eventually together. Terry, who goes back with my beau, 50+ years, then London calling and forming Back Street Crawler with Paul Kosoff (Free) and John Bundrick (The Who), to playing with Eric Burdon, which Teresa eventually did as well. There were lots of bands, sessions, and tours for both, with parenting taking precedence for a number of years, limiting Teresa's roading for a spell. She recorded with Eric Burdon, Spencer Davis, Tommy Castro, Stephen Bruton, Randy Newman, Neil Diamond, and many others and performed with Levon Helm, Lloyd Jones, Delbert McClinton, and Eric Burdon & the Animals to mention just a few, and did many before-mentioned sessions. A gifted and proficient songwriter, composer, producer, and bassist, Terry never stops working and creating. Numerous albums for different artists are currently in the works and another upcoming kick-ass studio album with Teresa and the Rhythm Tramps will drop in September. Teresa James and The Rhythm Tramps play regularly in LA. For upcoming shows, music, and access to all things James/Wilson visit TeresaJames.com These folks are the real deal. The music, the songs, that voice. WOW! I could listen to them all day. And many days, I do! Teresa James & Terry Wilson Live on Game Changers with Vicki Abelson Wed, February 15th, 5 pm PT, 8 pm ET Streamed Live on The Facebook Replay here: https://bit.ly/3ItqyWS
Follow Your Dream - Music And Much More!
Welcome to Episode 3 of the World Premiere of Robert's new album, “Bobby M and the Paisley Parade”. This episode introduces the next two songs from the album: “It's So Important” and “I Just Want To Love You”. Robert's Special Guest in this episode is recording star Tony Carey of Rainbow, Planet P and Mandoki Soulmates, and the producer for Joe Cocker, Eric Burdon and others. Tony is the producer of Bobby M.“It's So Important” is a gentle love song which features Tony on keyboards, glockenspiel and background vocals. “I Just Want To Love You” is an all-out rocker with a hint of punk that has been called “A Gem!” by Indie Shark and “Boldly Colorful Melodicism” by Big Celebrity Buzz.Bobby M contains 10 new songs by Robert and features guest artists John Helliwell of Supertramp on sax, Tony Carey on keyboards, and international sensation Deobrat Mishra on sitar. ----------------------------------Bobby M has been named “ALBUM OF THE YEAR!” by Indie Shark and “One of the great rock sets of the year!” by Big Celebrity Buzz. It has been praised by world class musicians Steve Hackett (Genesis), Gary Puckett (Union Gap), Jim McCarty (Yardbirds), Peter Yarrow (Peter Paul and Mary) and David Libert (The Happenings).The album is being released in a novel way via this podcast in five weekly episodes, two songs at a time.Click here for all streaming links. Download here.For more information and episodes of the Follow Your Dream Podcast click here.“Dream With Robert”. Click here.If you enjoyed the show please Subscribe. To Rate and Review just click Here.OTHER RELEASES BY ROBERT AND PROJECT GRAND SLAM:“LIVE AT STEELSTACKS” is the 5-song EP by Robert and his band, Project Grand Slam. The release captures the band at the top of their game and shows off the breadth, scope and sound of the band. The EP has been highly praised by musicians and reviewers alike. “Captivating!” Elliott Randall (Steely Dan) “PGS burns down the house!” Tony Carey (Rainbow)“Full of life!” Alan Hewitt (The Moody Blues) “Virtuoso musicians!” (Melody Maker) “Such a great band!” (Hollywood Digest) The album can be streamed on Spotify, Amazon, Apple and all the other streaming platforms, and can be downloaded at The PGS Store.“ALL OF THE TIME” is Robert's single by his band Project Grand Slam. It's a playful, whimsical love song that's light and airy and exudes the happiness and joy of being in love. “Pure bliss…An intimate sound with abundant melodic riches!” Melody Maker/5 Stars) “Ecstasy…One of the best all-around bands working today!” (Pop Icon/5 Stars) “Excellence…A band in full command of their powers!” (Mob York City)Watch the video here. You can stream “All Of The Time” on Spotify, Apple or any of the other streaming platforms. And you can download it here.“THE SHAKESPEARE CONCERT” is the album by Robert's band, Project Grand Slam, recorded "live" in the studio. It's been praised by Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad), Jim Peterik (Ides Of March), Joey Dee (Peppermint Twist), Elliott Randall (Steely Dan) and Sarah Class (British composer). Reviews: “Perfection!”, “5 Stars!”, “Thrilling!”, and “A Masterpiece!”. The album can be streamed on Spotify, Apple and all the other streaming services. You can watch the Highlight Reel HERE. And you can purchase a digital download or autographed CD of the album HERE. “THE FALL OF WINTER” is Robert's single in collaboration with legendary rocker Jim Peterik of the Ides Of March and formerly with Survivor. Also featuring renowned guitarist Elliott Randall (Steely Dan/Doobie Brothers) and keyboard ace Tony Carey (Joe Cocker/Eric Burden). “A triumph!” (The Indie Source). “Flexes Real Rock Muscle!” (Celebrity Zone). Stream it on Spotify or Apple. Watch the lyric video here. Download it here.FOLLOW YOUR DREAM HANDBOOK is Robert's Amazon #1 Bestseller. It's a combination memoir of his unique musical journey and a step by step how-to follow and succeed at your dream. Available on Amazon and wherever books are sold. Audio production:Jimmy RavenscroftKymera Films Connect with the Follow Your Dream Podcast:Website - www.followyourdreampodcast.comFacebook - www.facebook.com/followyourdreampodcastEmail Robert - firstname.lastname@example.orgYouTubeLinkedIn Listen to the Follow Your Dream Podcast on these podcast platforms:CastBoxSpotifyApple Follow Robert's band, Project Grand Slam, and his music:Website - www.projectgrandslam.comInstagramPGS Store - www.thePGSstore.comYouTubeFacebook - www.facebook.com/projectgrandslamSpotify MusicApple MusicEmail - email@example.com
A History Of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs
Episode 162 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Daydream Believer", and the later career of the Monkees, and how four Pinocchios became real boys. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a twenty-minute bonus episode available, on "Born to be Wild" by Steppenwolf. Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt's irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ Resources No Mixcloud this time, as even after splitting it into multiple files, there are simply too many Monkees tracks excerpted. The best versions of the Monkees albums are the triple-CD super-deluxe versions that used to be available from monkees.com , and I've used Andrew Sandoval's liner notes for them extensively in this episode. Sadly, though, none of those are in print. However, at the time of writing there is a new four-CD super-deluxe box set of Headquarters (with a remixed version of the album rather than the original mixes I've excerpted here) available from that site, and I used the liner notes for that here. Monkees.com also currently has the intermittently-available BluRay box set of the entire Monkees TV series, which also has Head and 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee. For those just getting into the group, my advice is to start with this five-CD set, which contains their first five albums along with bonus tracks. The single biggest source of information I used in this episode is the first edition of Andrew Sandoval's The Monkees; The Day-By-Day Story. Sadly that is now out of print and goes for hundreds of pounds. Sandoval released a second edition of the book in 2021, which I was unfortunately unable to obtain, but that too is now out of print. If you can find a copy of either, do get one. Other sources used were Monkee Business by Eric Lefcowitz, and the autobiographies of three of the band members and one of the songwriters — Infinite Tuesday by Michael Nesmith, They Made a Monkee Out of Me by Davy Jones, I'm a Believer by Micky Dolenz, and Psychedelic Bubble-Gum by Bobby Hart. Patreon This podcast is brought to you by the generosity of my backers on Patreon. Why not join them? Transcript When we left the Monkees, they were in a state of flux. To recap what we covered in that episode, the Monkees were originally cast as actors in a TV show, and consisted of two actors with some singing ability -- the former child stars Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz -- and two musicians who were also competent comic actors, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork. The show was about a fictional band whose characters shared names with their actors, and there had quickly been two big hit singles, and two hit albums, taken from the music recorded for the TV show's soundtrack. But this had caused problems for the actors. The records were being promoted as being by the fictional group in the TV series, blurring the line between the TV show and reality, though in fact for the most part they were being made by session musicians with only Dolenz or Jones adding lead vocals to pre-recorded backing tracks. Dolenz and Jones were fine with this, but Nesmith, who had been allowed to write and produce a few album tracks himself, wanted more creative input, and more importantly felt that he was being asked to be complicit in fraud because the records credited the four Monkees as the musicians when (other than a tiny bit of inaudible rhythm guitar by Tork on a couple of Nesmith's tracks) none of them played on them. Tork, meanwhile, believed he had been promised that the group would be an actual group -- that they would all be playing on the records together -- and felt hurt and annoyed that this wasn't the case. They were by now playing live together to promote the series and the records, with Dolenz turning out to be a perfectly competent drummer, so surely they could do the same in the studio? So in January 1967, things came to a head. It's actually quite difficult to sort out exactly what happened, because of conflicting recollections and opinions. What follows is my best attempt to harmonise the different versions of the story into one coherent narrative, but be aware that I could be wrong in some of the details. Nesmith and Tork, who disliked each other in most respects, were both agreed that this couldn't continue and that if there were going to be Monkees records released at all, they were going to have the Monkees playing on them. Dolenz, who seems to have been the one member of the group that everyone could get along with, didn't really care but went along with them for the sake of group harmony. And Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider, the production team behind the series, also took Nesmith and Tork's side, through a general love of mischief. But on the other side was Don Kirshner, the music publisher who was in charge of supervising the music for the TV show. Kirshner was adamantly, angrily, opposed to the very idea of the group members having any input at all into how the records were made. He considered that they should be grateful for the huge pay cheques they were getting from records his staff writers and producers were making for them, and stop whinging. And Davy Jones was somewhere in the middle. He wanted to support his co-stars, who he genuinely liked, but also, he was a working actor, he'd had other roles before, he'd have other roles afterwards, and as a working actor you do what you're told if you don't want to lose the job you've got. Jones had grown up in very severe poverty, and had been his family's breadwinner from his early teens, and artistic integrity is all very nice, but not as nice as a cheque for a quarter of a million dollars. Although that might be slightly unfair -- it might be fairer to say that artistic integrity has a different meaning to someone like Jones, coming from musical theatre and a tradition of "the show must go on", than it does to people like Nesmith and Tork who had come up through the folk clubs. Jones' attitude may also have been affected by the fact that his character in the TV show didn't play an instrument other than the occasional tambourine or maracas. The other three were having to mime instrumental parts they hadn't played, and to reproduce them on stage, but Jones didn't have that particular disadvantage. Bert Schneider, one of the TV show's producers, encouraged the group to go into the recording studio themselves, with a producer of their choice, and cut a couple of tracks to prove what they could do. Michael Nesmith, who at this point was the one who was most adamant about taking control of the music, chose Chip Douglas to produce. Douglas was someone that Nesmith had known a little while, as they'd both played the folk circuit -- in Douglas' case as a member of the Modern Folk Quartet -- but Douglas had recently joined the Turtles as their new bass player. At this point, Douglas had never officially produced a record, but he was a gifted arranger, and had just arranged the Turtles' latest single, which had just been released and was starting to climb the charts: [Excerpt: The Turtles, "Happy Together"] Douglas quit the Turtles to work with the Monkees, and took the group into the studio to cut two demo backing tracks for a potential single as a proof of concept. These initial sessions didn't have any vocals, but featured Nesmith on guitar, Tork on piano, Dolenz on drums, Jones on tambourine, and an unknown bass player -- possibly Douglas himself, possibly Nesmith's friend John London, who he'd played with in Mike and John and Bill. They cut rough tracks of two songs, "All of Your Toys", by another friend of Nesmith's, Bill Martin, and Nesmith's "The Girl I Knew Somewhere": [Excerpt: The Monkees, "The Girl I Knew Somewhere (Gold Star Demo)"] Those tracks were very rough and ready -- they were garage-band tracks rather than the professional studio recordings that the Candy Store Prophets or Jeff Barry's New York session players had provided for the previous singles -- but they were competent in the studio, thanks largely to Chip Douglas' steadying influence. As Douglas later said "They could hardly play. Mike could play adequate rhythm guitar. Pete could play piano but he'd make mistakes, and Micky's time on drums was erratic. He'd speed up or slow down." But the takes they managed to get down showed that they *could* do it. Rafelson and Schneider agreed with them that the Monkees could make a single together, and start recording at least some of their own tracks. So the group went back into the studio, with Douglas producing -- and with Lester Sill from the music publishers there to supervise -- and cut finished versions of the two songs. This time the lineup was Nesmith on guitar, Tork on electric harpsichord -- Tork had always been a fan of Bach, and would in later years perform Bach pieces as his solo spot in Monkees shows -- Dolenz on drums, London on bass, and Jones on tambourine: [Excerpt: The Monkees, "The Girl I Knew Somewhere (first recorded version)"] But while this was happening, Kirshner had been trying to get new Monkees material recorded without them -- he'd not yet agreed to having the group play on their own records. Three days after the sessions for "All of Your Toys" and "The Girl I Knew Somewhere", sessions started in New York for an entire album's worth of new material, produced by Jeff Barry and Denny Randell, and largely made by the same Red Bird Records team who had made "I'm a Believer" -- the same musicians who in various combinations had played on everything from "Sherry" by the Four Seasons to "Like a Rolling Stone" by Dylan to "Leader of the Pack", and with songs by Neil Diamond, Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, Leiber and Stoller, and the rest of the team of songwriters around Red Bird. But at this point came the meeting we talked about towards the end of the "Last Train to Clarksville" episode, in which Nesmith punched a hole in a hotel wall in frustration at what he saw as Kirshner's obstinacy. Kirshner didn't want to listen to the recordings the group had made. He'd promised Jeff Barry and Neil Diamond that if "I'm a Believer" went to number one, Barry would get to produce, and Diamond write, the group's next single. Chip Douglas wasn't a recognised producer, and he'd made this commitment. But the group needed a new single out. A compromise was offered, of sorts, by Kirshner -- how about if Barry flew over from New York to LA to produce the group, they'd scrap the tracks both the group and Barry had recorded, and Barry would produce new tracks for the songs he'd recorded, with the group playing on them? But that wouldn't work either. The group members were all due to go on holiday -- three of them were going to make staggered trips to the UK, partly to promote the TV series, which was just starting over here, and partly just to have a break. They'd been working sixty-plus hour weeks for months between the TV series, live performances, and the recording studio, and they were basically falling-down tired, which was one of the reasons for Nesmith's outburst in the meeting. They weren't accomplished enough musicians to cut tracks quickly, and they *needed* the break. On top of that, Nesmith and Barry had had a major falling-out at the "I'm a Believer" session, and Nesmith considered it a matter of personal integrity that he couldn't work with a man who in his eyes had insulted his professionalism. So that was out, but there was also no way Kirshner was going to let the group release a single consisting of two songs he hadn't heard, produced by a producer with no track record. At first, the group were insistent that "All of Your Toys" should be the A-side for their next single: [Excerpt: The Monkees, "All Of Your Toys"] But there was an actual problem with that which they hadn't foreseen. Bill Martin, who wrote the song, was under contract to another music publisher, and the Monkees' contracts said they needed to only record songs published by Screen Gems. Eventually, it was Micky Dolenz who managed to cut the Gordian knot -- or so everyone thought. Dolenz was the one who had the least at stake of any of them -- he was already secure as the voice of the hits, he had no particular desire to be an instrumentalist, but he wanted to support his colleagues. Dolenz suggested that it would be a reasonable compromise to put out a single with one of the pre-recorded backing tracks on one side, with him or Jones singing, and with the version of "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" that the band had recorded together on the other. That way, Kirshner and the record label would get their new single without too much delay, the group would still be able to say they'd started recording their own tracks, everyone would get some of what they wanted. So it was agreed -- though there was a further stipulation. "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" had Nesmith singing lead vocals, and up to that point every Monkees single had featured Dolenz on lead on both sides. As far as Kirshner and the other people involved in making the release decisions were concerned, that was the way things were going to continue. Everyone was fine with this -- Nesmith, the one who was most likely to object in principle, in practice realised that having Dolenz sing his song would make it more likely to be played on the radio and used in the TV show, and so increase his royalties. A vocal session was arranged in New York for Dolenz and Jones to come and cut some vocal tracks right before Dolenz and Nesmith flew over to the UK. But in the meantime, it had become even more urgent for the group to be seen to be doing their own recording. An in-depth article on the group in the Saturday Evening Post had come out, quoting Nesmith as saying "It was what Kirshner wanted to do. Our records are not our forte. I don't care if we never sell another record. Maybe we were manufactured and put on the air strictly with a lot of hoopla. Tell the world we're synthetic because, damn it, we are. Tell them the Monkees are wholly man-made overnight, that millions of dollars have been poured into this thing. Tell the world we don't record our own music. But that's us they see on television. The show is really a part of us. They're not seeing something invalid." The press immediately jumped on the band, and started trying to portray them as con artists exploiting their teenage fans, though as Nesmith later said "The press decided they were going to unload on us as being somehow illegitimate, somehow false. That we were making an attempt to dupe the public, when in fact it was me that was making the attempt to maintain the integrity. So the press went into a full-scale war against us." Tork, on the other hand, while he and Nesmith were on the same side about the band making their own records, blamed Nesmith for much of the press reaction, later saying "Michael blew the whistle on us. If he had gone in there with pride and said 'We are what we are and we have no reason to hang our heads in shame' it never would have happened." So as far as the group were concerned, they *needed* to at least go with Dolenz's suggested compromise. Their personal reputations were on the line. When Dolenz arrived at the session in New York, he was expecting to be asked to cut one vocal track, for the A-side of the next single (and presumably a new lead vocal for "The Girl I Knew Somewhere"). When he got there, though, he found that Kirshner expected him to record several vocals so that Kirshner could choose the best. That wasn't what had been agreed, and so Dolenz flat-out refused to record anything at all. Luckily for Kirshner, Jones -- who was the most co-operative member of the band -- was willing to sing a handful of songs intended for Dolenz as well as the ones he was meant to sing. So the tape of "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You", the song intended for the next single, was slowed down so it would be in a suitable key for Jones instead, and he recorded the vocal for that: [Excerpt: The Monkees, "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You"] Incidentally, while Jones recorded vocals for several more tracks at the session -- and some would later be reused as album tracks a few years down the line -- not all of the recorded tracks were used for vocals, and this later gave rise to a rumour that has been repeated as fact by almost everyone involved, though it was a misunderstanding. Kirshner's next major success after the Monkees was another made-for-TV fictional band, the Archies, and their biggest hit was "Sugar Sugar", co-written and produced by Jeff Barry: [Excerpt: The Archies, "Sugar Sugar"] Both Kirshner and the Monkees have always claimed that the Monkees were offered "Sugar, Sugar" and turned it down. To Kirshner the moral of the story was that since "Sugar, Sugar" was a massive hit, it proved his instincts right and proved that the Monkees didn't know what would make a hit. To the Monkees, on the other hand, it showed that Kirshner wanted them to do bubblegum music that they considered ridiculous. This became such an established factoid that Dolenz regularly tells the story in his live performances, and includes a version of "Sugar, Sugar" in them, rearranged as almost a torch song: [Excerpt: Micky Dolenz, "Sugar, Sugar (live)"] But in fact, "Sugar, Sugar" wasn't written until long after Kirshner and the Monkees had parted ways. But one of the songs for which a backing track was recorded but no vocals were ever completed was "Sugar Man", a song by Denny Randell and Sandy Linzer, which they would later release themselves as an unsuccessful single: [Excerpt: Linzer and Randell, "Sugar Man"] Over the years, the Monkees not recording "Sugar Man" became the Monkees not recording "Sugar, Sugar". Meanwhile, Dolenz and Nesmith had flown over to the UK to do some promotional work and relax, and Jones soon also flew over, though didn't hang out with his bandmates, preferring to spend more time with his family. Both Dolenz and Nesmith spent a lot of time hanging out with British pop stars, and were pleased to find that despite the manufactured controversy about them being a manufactured group, none of the British musicians they admired seemed to care. Eric Burdon, for example, was quoted in the Melody Maker as saying "They make very good records, I can't understand how people get upset about them. You've got to make up your minds whether a group is a record production group or one that makes live appearances. For example, I like to hear a Phil Spector record and I don't worry if it's the Ronettes or Ike and Tina Turner... I like the Monkees record as a grand record, no matter how people scream. So somebody made a record and they don't play, so what? Just enjoy the record." Similarly, the Beatles were admirers of the Monkees, especially the TV show, despite being expected to have a negative opinion of them, as you can hear in this contemporary recording of Paul McCartney answering a fan's questions: Excerpt: Paul McCartney talks about the Monkees] Both Dolenz and Nesmith hung out with the Beatles quite a bit -- they both visited Sgt. Pepper recording sessions, and if you watch the film footage of the orchestral overdubs for "A Day in the Life", Nesmith is there with all the other stars of the period. Nesmith and his wife Phyllis even stayed with the Lennons for a couple of days, though Cynthia Lennon seems to have thought of the Nesmiths as annoying intruders who had been invited out of politeness and not realised they weren't wanted. That seems plausible, but at the same time, John Lennon doesn't seem the kind of person to not make his feelings known, and Michael Nesmith's reports of the few days they stayed there seem to describe a very memorable experience, where after some initial awkwardness he developed a bond with Lennon, particularly once he saw that Lennon was a fan of Captain Beefheart, who was a friend of Nesmith, and whose Safe as Milk album Lennon was examining when Nesmith turned up, and whose music at this point bore a lot of resemblance to the kind of thing Nesmith was doing: [Excerpt: Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, "Yellow Brick Road"] Or at least, that's how Nesmith always told the story later -- though Safe as Milk didn't come out until nearly six months later. It's possible he's conflating memories from a later trip to the UK in June that year -- where he also talked about how Lennon was the only person he'd really got on with on the previous trip, because "he's a compassionate person. I know he has a reputation for being caustic, but it is only a cover for the depth of his feeling." Nesmith and Lennon apparently made some experimental music together during the brief stay, with Nesmith being impressed by Lennon's Mellotron and later getting one himself. Dolenz, meanwhile, was spending more time with Paul McCartney, and with Spencer Davis of his current favourite band The Spencer Davis Group. But even more than that he was spending a lot of time with Samantha Juste, a model and TV presenter whose job it was to play the records on Top of the Pops, the most important British TV pop show, and who had released a record herself a couple of months earlier, though it hadn't been a success: [Excerpt: Samantha Juste, "No-one Needs My Love Today"] The two quickly fell deeply in love, and Juste would become Dolenz's first wife the next year. When Nesmith and Dolenz arrived back in the US after their time off, they thought the plan was still to release "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" with "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" on the B-side. So Nesmith was horrified to hear on the radio what the announcer said were the two sides of the new Monkees single -- "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You", and "She Hangs Out", another song from the Jeff Barry sessions with a Davy vocal. Don Kirshner had gone ahead and picked two songs from the Jeff Barry sessions and delivered them to RCA Records, who had put a single out in Canada. The single was very, *very* quickly withdrawn once the Monkees and the TV producers found out, and only promo copies seem to circulate -- rather than being credited to "the Monkees", both sides are credited to '"My Favourite Monkee" Davy Jones Sings'. The record had been withdrawn, but "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" was clearly going to have to be the single. Three days after the record was released and pulled, Nesmith, Dolenz and Tork were back in the studio with Chip Douglas, recording a new B-side -- a new version of "The Girl I Knew Somewhere", this time with Dolenz on vocals. As Jones was still in the UK, John London added the tambourine part as well as the bass: [Excerpt: The Monkees, "The Girl I Knew Somewhere (single version)"] As Nesmith told the story a couple of months later, "Bert said 'You've got to get this thing in Micky's key for Micky to sing it.' I said 'Has Donnie made a commitment? I don't want to go there and break my neck in order to get this thing if Donnie hasn't made a commitment. And Bert refused to say anything. He said 'I can't tell you anything except just go and record.'" What had happened was that the people at Columbia had had enough of Kirshner. As far as Rafelson and Schneider were concerned, the real problem in all this was that Kirshner had been making public statements taking all the credit for the Monkees' success and casting himself as the puppetmaster. They thought this was disrespectful to the performers -- and unstated but probably part of it, that it was disrespectful to Rafelson and Schneider for their work putting the TV show together -- and that Kirshner had allowed his ego to take over. Things like the liner notes for More of the Monkees which made Kirshner and his stable of writers more important than the performers had, in the view of the people at Raybert Productions, put the Monkees in an impossible position and forced them to push back. Schneider later said "Kirshner had an ego that transcended everything else. As a matter of fact, the press issue was probably magnified a hundred times over because of Kirshner. He wanted everybody thinking 'Hey, he's doing all this, not them.' In the end it was very self-destructive because it heightened the whole press issue and it made them feel lousy." Kirshner was out of a job, first as the supervisor for the Monkees and then as the head of Columbia/Screen Gems Music. In his place came Lester Sill, the man who had got Leiber and Stoller together as songwriters, who had been Lee Hazelwood's production partner on his early records with Duane Eddy, and who had been the "Les" in Philles Records until Phil Spector pushed him out. Sill, unlike Kirshner, was someone who was willing to take a back seat and just be a steadying hand where needed. The reissued version of "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" went to number two on the charts, behind "Somethin' Stupid" by Frank and Nancy Sinatra, produced by Sill's old colleague Hazelwood, and the B-side, "The Girl I Knew Somewhere", also charted separately, making number thirty-nine on the charts. The Monkees finally had a hit that they'd written and recorded by themselves. Pinocchio had become a real boy: [Excerpt: The Monkees, "The Girl I Knew Somewhere (single version)"] At the same session at which they'd recorded that track, the Monkees had recorded another Nesmith song, "Sunny Girlfriend", and that became the first song to be included on a new album, which would eventually be named Headquarters, and on which all the guitar, keyboard, drums, percussion, banjo, pedal steel, and backing vocal parts would for the first time be performed by the Monkees themselves. They brought in horn and string players on a couple of tracks, and the bass was variously played by John London, Chip Douglas, and Jerry Yester as Tork was more comfortable on keyboards and guitar than bass, but it was in essence a full band album. Jones got back the next day, and sessions began in earnest. The first song they recorded after his return was "Mr. Webster", a Boyce and Hart song that had been recorded with the Candy Store Prophets in 1966 but hadn't been released. This was one of three tracks on the album that were rerecordings of earlier outtakes, and it's fascinating to compare them, to see the strengths and weaknesses of both approaches. In the case of "Mr. Webster", the instrumental backing on the earlier version is definitely slicker: [Excerpt: The Monkees, "Mr. Webster (1st Recorded Version)"] But at the same time, there's a sense of dynamics in the group recording that's lacking from the original, like the backing dropping out totally on the word "Stop" -- a nice touch that isn't in the original. I am only speculating, but this may have been inspired by the similar emphasis on the word "stop" in "For What It's Worth" by Tork's old friend Stephen Stills: [Excerpt: The Monkees, "Mr. Webster (album version)"] Headquarters was a group album in another way though -- for the first time, Tork and Dolenz were bringing in songs they'd written -- Nesmith of course had supplied songs already for the two previous albums. Jones didn't write any songs himself yet, though he'd start on the next album, but he was credited with the rest of the group on two joke tracks, "Band 6", a jam on the Merrie Melodies theme “Merrily We Roll Along”, and "Zilch", a track made up of the four band members repeating nonsense phrases: [Excerpt: The Monkees, "Zilch"] Oddly, that track had a rather wider cultural resonance than a piece of novelty joke album filler normally would. It's sometimes covered live by They Might Be Giants: [Excerpt: They Might Be Giants, "Zilch"] While the rapper Del Tha Funkee Homosapien had a worldwide hit in 1991 with "Mistadobalina", built around a sample of Peter Tork from the track: [Excerpt: Del Tha Funkee Homosapien,"Mistadobalina"] Nesmith contributed three songs, all of them combining Beatles-style pop music and country influences, none more blatantly than the opening track, "You Told Me", which starts off parodying the opening of "Taxman", before going into some furious banjo-picking from Tork: [Excerpt: The Monkees, "You Told Me"] Tork, meanwhile, wrote "For Pete's Sake" with his flatmate of the time, and that became the end credits music for season two of the TV series: [Excerpt: The Monkees, "For Pete's Sake"] But while the other band members made important contributions, the track on the album that became most popular was the first song of Dolenz's to be recorded by the group. The lyrics recounted, in a semi-psychedelic manner, Dolenz's time in the UK, including meeting with the Beatles, who the song refers to as "the four kings of EMI", but the first verse is all about his new girlfriend Samantha Juste: [Excerpt: The Monkees, "Randy Scouse Git"] The song was released as a single in the UK, but there was a snag. Dolenz had given the song a title he'd heard on an episode of the BBC sitcom Til Death Us Do Part, which he'd found an amusing bit of British slang. Til Death Us Do Part was written by Johnny Speight, a writer with Associated London Scripts, and was a family sitcom based around the character of Alf Garnett, an ignorant, foul-mouthed reactionary bigot who hated young people, socialists, and every form of minority, especially Black people (who he would address by various slurs I'm definitely not going to repeat here), and was permanently angry at the world and abusive to his wife. As with another great sitcom from ALS, Steptoe and Son, which Norman Lear adapted for the US as Sanford and Son, Til Death Us Do Part was also adapted by Lear, and became All in the Family. But while Archie Bunker, the character based on Garnett in the US version, has some redeeming qualities because of the nature of US network sitcom, Alf Garnett has absolutely none, and is as purely unpleasant and unsympathetic a character as has ever been created -- which sadly didn't stop a section of the audience from taking him as a character to be emulated. A big part of the show's dynamic was the relationship between Garnett and his socialist son-in-law from Liverpool, played by Anthony Booth, himself a Liverpudlian socialist who would later have a similarly contentious relationship with his own decidedly non-socialist son-in-law, the future Prime Minister Tony Blair. Garnett was as close to foul-mouthed as was possible on British TV at the time, with Speight regularly negotiating with the BBC bosses to be allowed to use terms that were not otherwise heard on TV, and used various offensive terms about his family, including referring to his son-in-law as a "randy Scouse git". Dolenz had heard the phrase on TV, had no idea what it meant but loved the sound of it, and gave the song that title. But when the record came out in the UK, he was baffled to be told that the phrase -- which he'd picked up from a BBC TV show, after all -- couldn't be said normally on BBC broadcasts, so they would need to retitle the track. The translation into American English that Dolenz uses in his live shows to explain this to Americans is to say that "randy Scouse git" means "horny Liverpudlian putz", and that's more or less right. Dolenz took the need for an alternative title literally, and so the track that went to number two in the UK charts was titled "Alternate Title": [Excerpt: The Monkees, "Randy Scouse Git"] The album itself went to number one in both the US and the UK, though it was pushed off the top spot almost straight away by the release of Sgt Pepper. As sessions for Headquarters were finishing up, the group were already starting to think about their next album -- season two of the TV show was now in production, and they'd need to keep generating yet more musical material for it. One person they turned to was a friend of Chip Douglas'. Before the Turtles, Douglas had been in the Modern Folk Quartet, and they'd recorded "This Could Be the Night", which had been written for them by Harry Nilsson: [Excerpt: The MFQ, "This Could Be The Night"] Nilsson had just started recording his first solo album proper, at RCA Studios, the same studios that the Monkees were using. At this point, Nilsson still had a full-time job in a bank, working a night shift there while working on his album during the day, but Douglas knew that Nilsson was a major talent, and that assessment was soon shared by the group when Nilsson came in to demo nine of his songs for them: [Excerpt: Harry Nilsson, "1941 (demo)"] According to Nilsson, Nesmith said after that demo session "You just sat down there and blew our minds. We've been looking for songs, and you just sat down and played an *album* for us!" While the Monkees would attempt a few of Nilsson's songs over the next year or so, the first one they chose to complete was the first track recorded for their next album, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, and Jones, Ltd., a song which from the talkback at the beginning of the demo was always intended for Davy Jones to sing: [Excerpt: Harry Nilsson, "Cuddly Toy (demo)"] Oddly, given his romantic idol persona, a lot of the songs given to Jones to sing were anti-romantic, and often had a cynical and misogynistic edge. This had started with the first album's "I Want to Be Free", but by Pisces, it had gone to ridiculous extremes. Of the four songs Jones sings on the album, "Hard to Believe", the first song proper that he ever co-wrote, is a straightforward love song, but the other three have a nasty edge to them. A remade version of Jeff Barry's "She Hangs Out" is about an underaged girl, starts with the lines "How old d'you say your sister was? You know you'd better keep an eye on her" and contains lines like "she could teach you a thing or two" and "you'd better get down here on the double/before she gets her pretty little self in trouble/She's so fine". Goffin and King's "Star Collector" is worse, a song about a groupie with lines like "How can I love her, if I just don't respect her?" and "It won't take much time, before I get her off my mind" But as is so often the way, these rather nasty messages were wrapped up in some incredibly catchy music, and that was even more the case with "Cuddly Toy", a song which at least is more overtly unpleasant -- it's very obvious that Nilsson doesn't intend the protagonist of the song to be at all sympathetic, which is possibly not the case in "She Hangs Out" or "Star Collector". But the character Jones is singing is *viciously* cruel here, mocking and taunting a girl who he's coaxed to have sex with him, only to scorn her as soon as he's got what he wanted: [Excerpt: The Monkees, "Cuddly Toy"] It's a great song if you like the cruelest of humour combined with the cheeriest of music, and the royalties from the song allowed Nilsson to quit the job at the bank. "Cuddly Toy", and Chip Douglas and Bill Martin's song "The Door Into Summer", were recorded the same way as Headquarters, with the group playing *as a group*, but as recordings for the album progressed the group fell into a new way of working, which Peter Tork later dubbed "mixed-mode". They didn't go back to having tracks cut for them by session musicians, apart from Jones' song "Hard to Believe", for which the entire backing track was created by one of his co-writers overdubbing himself, but Dolenz, who Tork always said was "incapable of repeating a triumph", was not interested in continuing to play drums in the studio. Instead, a new hybrid Monkees would perform most of the album. Nesmith would still play the lead guitar, Tork would provide the keyboards, Chip Douglas would play all the bass and add some additional guitar, and "Fast" Eddie Hoh, the session drummer who had been a touring drummer with the Modern Folk Quartet and the Mamas and the Papas, among others, would play drums on the records, with Dolenz occasionally adding a bit of acoustic guitar. And this was the lineup that would perform on the hit single from Pisces. "Pleasant Valley Sunday" was written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, who had written several songs for the group's first two albums (and who would continue to provide them with more songs). As with their earlier songs for the group, King had recorded a demo: [Excerpt: Carole King, "Pleasant Valley Sunday (demo)"] Previously -- and subsequently -- when presented with a Carole King demo, the group and their producers would just try to duplicate it as closely as possible, right down to King's phrasing. Bob Rafelson has said that he would sometimes hear those demos and wonder why King didn't just make records herself -- and without wanting to be too much of a spoiler for a few years' time, he wasn't the only one wondering that. But this time, the group had other plans. In particular, they wanted to make a record with a strong guitar riff to it -- Nesmith has later referenced their own "Last Train to Clarksville" and the Beatles' "Day Tripper" as two obvious reference points for the track. Douglas came up with a riff and taught it to Nesmith, who played it on the track: [Excerpt: The Monkees, "Pleasant Valley Sunday"] The track also ended with the strongest psychedelic -- or "psycho jello" as the group would refer to it -- freak out that they'd done to this point, a wash of saturated noise: [Excerpt: The Monkees, "Pleasant Valley Sunday"] King was unhappy with the results, and apparently glared at Douglas the next time they met. This may be because of the rearrangement from her intentions, but it may also be for a reason that Douglas later suspected. When recording the track, he hadn't been able to remember all the details of her demo, and in particular he couldn't remember exactly how the middle eight went. This is the version on King's demo: [Excerpt: Carole King, "Pleasant Valley Sunday (demo)"] While here's how the Monkees rendered it, with slightly different lyrics: [Excerpt: The Monkees, "Pleasant Valley Sunday"] I also think there's a couple of chord changes in the second verse that differ between King and the Monkees, but I can't be sure that's not my ears deceiving me. Either way, though, the track was a huge success, and became one of the group's most well-known and well-loved tracks, making number three on the charts behind "All You Need is Love" and "Light My Fire". And while it isn't Dolenz drumming on the track, the fact that it's Nesmith playing guitar and Tork on the piano -- and the piano part is one of the catchiest things on the record -- meant that they finally had a proper major hit on which they'd played (and it seems likely that Dolenz contributed some of the acoustic rhythm guitar on the track, along with Bill Chadwick, and if that's true all three Monkee instrumentalists did play on the track). Pisces is by far and away the best album the group ever made, and stands up well against anything else that came out around that time. But cracks were beginning to show in the group. In particular, the constant battle to get some sort of creative input had soured Nesmith on the whole project. Chip Douglas later said "When we were doing Pisces Michael would come in with three songs; he knew he had three songs coming on the album. He knew that he was making a lot of money if he got his original songs on there. So he'd be real enthusiastic and cooperative and real friendly and get his three songs done. Then I'd say 'Mike, can you come in and help on this one we're going to do with Micky here?' He said 'No, Chip, I can't. I'm busy.' I'd say, 'Mike, you gotta come in the studio.' He'd say 'No Chip, I'm afraid I'm just gonna have to be ornery about it. I'm not comin' in.' That's when I started not liking Mike so much any more." Now, as is so often the case with the stories from this period, this appears to be inaccurate in the details -- Nesmith is present on every track on the album except Jones' solo "Hard to Believe" and Tork's spoken-word track "Peter Percival Patterson's Pet Pig Porky", and indeed this is by far the album with *most* Nesmith input, as he takes five lead vocals, most of them on songs he didn't write. But Douglas may well be summing up Nesmith's *attitude* to the band at this point -- listening to Nesmith's commentaries on episodes of the TV show, by this point he felt disengaged from everything that was going on, like his opinions weren't welcome. That said, Nesmith did still contribute what is possibly the single most innovative song the group ever did, though the innovations weren't primarily down to Nesmith: [Excerpt: The Monkees, "Daily Nightly"] Nesmith always described the lyrics to "Daily Nightly" as being about the riots on Sunset Strip, but while they're oblique, they seem rather to be about streetwalking sex workers -- though it's perhaps understandable that Nesmith would never admit as much. What made the track innovative was the use of the Moog synthesiser. We talked about Robert Moog in the episode on "Good Vibrations" -- he had started out as a Theremin manufacturer, and had built the ribbon synthesiser that Mike Love played live on "Good Vibrations", and now he was building the first commercially available easily usable synthesisers. Previously, electronic instruments had either been things like the clavioline -- a simple monophonic keyboard instrument that didn't have much tonal variation -- or the RCA Mark II, a programmable synth that could make a wide variety of sounds, but took up an entire room and was programmed with punch cards. Moog's machines were bulky but still transportable, and they could be played in real time with a keyboard, but were still able to be modified to make a wide variety of different sounds. While, as we've seen, there had been electronic keyboard instruments as far back as the 1930s, Moog's instruments were for all intents and purposes the first synthesisers as we now understand the term. The Moog was introduced in late spring 1967, and immediately started to be used for making experimental and novelty records, like Hal Blaine's track "Love In", which came out at the beginning of June: [Excerpt: Hal Blaine, "Love In"] And the Electric Flag's soundtrack album for The Trip, the drug exploitation film starring Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper and written by Jack Nicholson we talked about last time, when Arthur Lee moved into a house used in the film: [Excerpt: The Electric Flag, "Peter's Trip"] In 1967 there were a total of six albums released with a Moog on them (as well as one non-album experimental single). Four of the albums were experimental or novelty instrumental albums of this type. Only two of them were rock albums -- Strange Days by the Doors, and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones Ltd by the Monkees. The Doors album was released first, but I believe the Monkees tracks were recorded before the Doors overdubbed the Moog on the tracks on their album, though some session dates are hard to pin down exactly. If that's the case it would make the Monkees the very first band to use the Moog on an actual rock record (depending on exactly how you count the Trip soundtrack -- this gets back again to my old claim that there's no first anything). But that's not the only way in which "Daily Nightly" was innovative. All the first seven albums to feature the Moog featured one man playing the instrument -- Paul Beaver, the Moog company's West Coast representative, who played on all the novelty records by members of the Wrecking Crew, and on the albums by the Electric Flag and the Doors, and on The Notorious Byrd Brothers by the Byrds, which came out in early 1968. And Beaver did play the Moog on one track on Pisces, "Star Collector". But on "Daily Nightly" it's Micky Dolenz playing the Moog, making him definitely the second person ever to play a Moog on a record of any kind: [Excerpt: The Monkees, "Daily Nightly"] Dolenz indeed had bought his own Moog -- widely cited as being the second one ever in private ownership, a fact I can't check but which sounds plausible given that by 1970 less than thirty musicians owned one -- after seeing Beaver demonstrate the instrument at the Monterey Pop Festival. The Monkees hadn't played Monterey, but both Dolenz and Tork had attended the festival -- if you watch the famous film of it you see Dolenz and his girlfriend Samantha in the crowd a *lot*, while Tork introduced his friends in the Buffalo Springfield. As well as discovering the Moog there, Dolenz had been astonished by something else: [Excerpt: The Jimi Hendrix Experience, "Hey Joe (Live at Monterey)"] As Peter Tork later put it "I didn't get it. At Monterey Jimi followed the Who and the Who busted up their things and Jimi bashed up his guitar. I said 'I just saw explosions and destruction. Who needs it?' But Micky got it. He saw the genius and went for it." Dolenz was astonished by Hendrix, and insisted that he should be the support act on the group's summer tour. This pairing might sound odd on paper, but it made more sense at the time than it might sound. The Monkees were by all accounts a truly astonishing live act at this point -- Frank Zappa gave them a backhanded compliment by saying they were the best-sounding band in LA, before pointing out that this was because they could afford the best equipment. That *was* true, but it was also the case that their TV experience gave them a different attitude to live performance than anyone else performing at the time. A handful of groups had started playing stadiums, most notably of course the Beatles, but all of these acts had come up through playing clubs and theatres and essentially just kept doing their old act with no thought as to how the larger space worked, except to put their amps through a louder PA. The Monkees, though, had *started* in stadiums, and had started out as mass entertainers, and so their live show was designed from the ground up to play to those larger spaces. They had costume changes, elaborate stage sets -- like oversized fake Vox amps they burst out of at the start of the show -- a light show and a screen on which film footage was projected. In effect they invented stadium performances as we now know them. Nesmith later said "In terms of putting on a show there was never any question in my mind, as far as the rock 'n' roll era is concerned, that we put on probably the finest rock and roll stage show ever. It was beautifully lit, beautifully costumed, beautifully produced. I mean, for Christ sakes, it was practically a revue." The Monkees were confident enough in their stage performance that at a recent show at the Hollywood Bowl they'd had Ike and Tina Turner as their opening act -- not an act you'd want to go on after if you were going to be less than great, and an act from very similar chitlin' circuit roots to Jimi Hendrix. So from their perspective, it made sense. If you're going to be spectacular yourselves, you have no need to fear a spectacular opening act. Hendrix was less keen -- he was about the only musician in Britain who *had* made disparaging remarks about the Monkees -- but opening for the biggest touring band in the world isn't an opportunity you pass up, and again it isn't such a departure as one might imagine from the bills he was already playing. Remember that Monterey is really the moment when "pop" and "rock" started to split -- the split we've been talking about for a few months now -- and so the Jimi Hendrix Experience were still considered a pop band, and as such had played the normal British pop band package tours. In March and April that year, they'd toured on a bill with the Walker Brothers, Cat Stevens, and Englebert Humperdinck -- and Hendrix had even filled in for Humperdinck's sick guitarist on one occasion. Nesmith, Dolenz, and Tork all loved having Hendrix on tour with them, just because it gave them a chance to watch him live every night (Jones, whose musical tastes were more towards Anthony Newley, wasn't especially impressed), and they got on well on a personal level -- there are reports of Hendrix jamming with Dolenz and Steve Stills in hotel rooms. But there was one problem, as Dolenz often recreates in his live act: [Excerpt: Micky Dolenz, "Purple Haze"] The audience response to Hendrix from the Monkees' fans was so poor that by mutual agreement he left the tour after only a handful of shows. After the summer tour, the group went back to work on the TV show and their next album. Or, rather, four individuals went back to work. By this point, the group had drifted apart from each other, and from Douglas -- Tork, the one who was still keenest on the idea of the group as a group, thought that Pisces, good as it was, felt like a Chip Douglas album rather than a Monkees album. The four band members had all by now built up their own retinues of hangers-on and collaborators, and on set for the TV show they were now largely staying with their own friends rather than working as a group. And that was now reflected in their studio work. From now on, rather than have a single producer working with them as a band, the four men would work as individuals, producing their own tracks, occasionally with outside help, and bringing in session musicians to work on them. Some tracks from this point on would be genuine Monkees -- plural -- tracks, and all tracks would be credited as "produced by the Monkees", but basically the four men would from now on be making solo tracks which would be combined into albums, though Dolenz and Jones would occasionally guest on tracks by the others, especially when Nesmith came up with a song he thought would be more suited to their voices. Indeed the first new recording that happened after the tour was an entire Nesmith solo album -- a collection of instrumental versions of his songs, called The Wichita Train Whistle Sings, played by members of the Wrecking Crew and a few big band instrumentalists, arranged by Shorty Rogers. [Excerpt: Michael Nesmith, "You Told Me"] Hal Blaine in his autobiography claimed that the album was created as a tax write-off for Nesmith, though Nesmith always vehemently denied it, and claimed it was an artistic experiment, though not one that came off well. Released alongside Pisces, though, came one last group-recorded single. The B-side, "Goin' Down", is a song that was credited to the group and songwriter Diane Hildebrand, though in fact it developed from a jam on someone else's song. Nesmith, Tork, Douglas and Hoh attempted to record a backing track for a version of Mose Allison's jazz-blues standard "Parchman Farm": [Excerpt: Mose Allison, "Parchman Farm"] But after recording it, they'd realised that it didn't sound that much like the original, and that all it had in common with it was a chord sequence. Nesmith suggested that rather than put it out as a cover version, they put a new melody and lyrics to it, and they commissioned Hildebrand, who'd co-written songs for the group before, to write them, and got Shorty Rogers to write a horn arrangement to go over their backing track. The eventual songwriting credit was split five ways, between Hildebrand and the four Monkees -- including Davy Jones who had no involvement with the recording, but not including Douglas or Hoh. The lyrics Hildebrand came up with were a funny patter song about a failed suicide, taken at an extremely fast pace, which Dolenz pulls off magnificently: [Excerpt: The Monkees, "Goin' Down"] The A-side, another track with a rhythm track by Nesmith, Tork, Douglas, and Hoh, was a song that had been written by John Stewart of the Kingston Trio, who you may remember from the episode on "San Francisco" as being a former songwriting partner of John Phillips. Stewart had written the song as part of a "suburbia trilogy", and was not happy with the finished product. He said later "I remember going to bed thinking 'All I did today was write 'Daydream Believer'." Stewart used to include the song in his solo sets, to no great approval, and had shopped the song around to bands like We Five and Spanky And Our Gang, who had both turned it down. He was unhappy with it himself, because of the chorus: [Excerpt: John Stewart, "Daydream Believer"] Stewart was ADHD, and the words "to a", coming as they did slightly out of the expected scansion for the line, irritated him so greatly that he thought the song could never be recorded by anyone, but when Chip Douglas asked if he had any songs, he suggested that one. As it turned out, there was a line of lyric that almost got the track rejected, but it wasn't the "to a". Stewart's original second verse went like this: [Excerpt: John Stewart, "Daydream Believer"] RCA records objected to the line "now you know how funky I can be" because funky, among other meanings, meant smelly, and they didn't like the idea of Davy Jones singing about being smelly. Chip Douglas phoned Stewart to tell him that they were insisting on changing the line, and suggesting "happy" instead. Stewart objected vehemently -- that change would reverse the entire meaning of the line, and it made no sense, and what about artistic integrity? But then, as he later said "He said 'Let me put it to you this way, John. If he can't sing 'happy' they won't do it'. And I said 'Happy's working real good for me now.' That's exactly what I said to him." He never regretted the decision -- Stewart would essentially live off the royalties from "Daydream Believer" for the rest of his life -- though he seemed always to be slightly ambivalent and gently mocking about the song in his own performances, often changing the lyrics slightly: [Excerpt: John Stewart, "Daydream Believer"] The Monkees had gone into the studio and cut the track, again with Tork on piano, Nesmith on guitar, Douglas on bass, and Hoh on drums. Other than changing "funky" to "happy", there were two major changes made in the studio. One seems to have been Douglas' idea -- they took the bass riff from the pre-chorus to the Beach Boys' "Help Me Rhonda": [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Help Me Rhonda"] and Douglas played that on the bass as the pre-chorus for "Daydream Believer", with Shorty Rogers later doubling it in the horn arrangement: [Excerpt: The Monkees, "Daydream Believer"] And the other is the piano intro, which also becomes an instrumental bridge, which was apparently the invention of Tork, who played it: [Excerpt: The Monkees, "Daydream Believer"] The track went to number one, becoming the group's third and final number one hit, and their fifth of six million-sellers. It was included on the next album, The Birds, The Bees, and the Monkees, but that piano part would be Tork's only contribution to the album. As the group members were all now writing songs and cutting their own tracks, and were also still rerecording the odd old unused song from the initial 1966 sessions, The Birds, The Bees, and the Monkees was pulled together from a truly astonishing amount of material. The expanded triple-CD version of the album, now sadly out of print, has multiple versions of forty-four different songs, ranging from simple acoustic demos to completed tracks, of which twelve were included on the final album. Tork did record several tracks during the sessions, but he spent much of the time recording and rerecording a single song, "Lady's Baby", which eventually stretched to five different recorded versions over multiple sessions in a five-month period. He racked up huge studio bills on the track, bringing in Steve Stills and Dewey Martin of the Buffalo Springfield, and Buddy Miles, to try to help him capture the sound in his head, but the various takes are almost indistinguishable from one another, and so it's difficult to see what the problem was: [Excerpt: The Monkees, "Lady's Baby"] Either way, the track wasn't finished by the time the album came out, and the album that came out was a curiously disjointed and unsatisfying effort, a mixture of recycled old Boyce and Hart songs, some songs by Jones, who at this point was convinced that "Broadway-rock" was going to be the next big thing and writing songs that sounded like mediocre showtunes, and a handful of experimental songs written by Nesmith. You could pull together a truly great ten- or twelve-track album from the masses of material they'd recorded, but the one that came out was mediocre at best, and became the first Monkees album not to make number one -- though it still made number three and sold in huge numbers. It also had the group's last million-selling single on it, "Valleri", an old Boyce and Hart reject from 1966 that had been remade with Boyce and Hart producing and their old session players, though the production credit was still now given to the Monkees: [Excerpt: The Monkees, "Valleri"] Nesmith said at the time he considered it the worst song ever written. The second season of the TV show was well underway, and despite -- or possibly because of -- the group being clearly stoned for much of the filming, it contains a lot of the episodes that fans of the group think of most fondly, including several episodes that break out of the formula the show had previously established in interesting ways. Tork and Dolenz were both also given the opportunity to direct episodes, and Dolenz also co-wrote his episode, which ended up being the last of the series. In another sign of how the group were being given more creative control over the show, the last three episodes of the series had guest appearances by favourite musicians of the group members who they wanted to give a little exposure to, and those guest appearances sum up the character of the band members remarkably well. Tork, for whatever reason, didn't take up this option, but the other three did. Jones brought on his friend Charlie Smalls, who would later go on to write the music for the Broadway musical The Wiz, to demonstrate to Jones the difference between Smalls' Black soul and Jones' white soul: [Excerpt: Davy Jones and Charlie Smalls] Nesmith, on the other hand, brought on Frank Zappa. Zappa put on Nesmith's Monkee shirt and wool hat and pretended to be Nesmith, and interviewed Nesmith with a false nose and moustache pretending to be Zappa, as they both mercilessly mocked the previous week's segment with Jones and Smalls: [Excerpt: Michael Nesmith and Frank Zappa] Nesmith then "conducted" Zappa as Zappa used a sledgehammer to "play" a car, parodying his own appearance on the Steve Allen Show playing a bicycle, to the presumed bemusement of the Monkees' fanbase who would not be likely to remember a one-off performance on a late-night TV show from five years earlier. And the final thing ever to be shown on an episode of the Monkees didn't feature any of the Monkees at all. Micky Dolenz, who directed and co-wrote that episode, about an evil wizard who was using the power of a space plant (named after the group's slang for dope) to hypnotise people through the TV, chose not to interact with his guest as the others had, but simply had Tim Buckley perform a solo acoustic version of his then-unreleased song "Song to the Siren": [Excerpt: Tim Buckley, "Song to the Siren"] By the end of the second season, everyone knew they didn't want to make another season of the TV show. Instead, they were going to do what Rafelson and Schneider had always wanted, and move into film. The planning stages for the film, which was initially titled Changes but later titled Head -- so that Rafelson and Schneider could bill their next film as "From the guys who gave you Head" -- had started the previous summer, before the sessions that produced The Birds, The Bees, and the Monkees. To write the film, the group went off with Rafelson and Schneider for a short holiday, and took with them their mutual friend Jack Nicholson. Nicholson was at this time not the major film star he later became. Rather he was a bit-part actor who was mostly associated with American International Pictures, the ultra-low-budget film company that has come up on several occasions in this podcast. Nicholson had appeared mostly in small roles, in films like The Little Shop of Horrors: [Excerpt: The Little Shop of Horrors] He'd appeared in multiple films made by Roger Corman, often appearing with Boris Karloff, and by Monte Hellman, but despite having been a working actor for a decade, his acting career was going nowhere, and by this point he had basically given up on the idea of being an actor, and had decided to start working behind the camera. He'd written the scripts for a few of the low-budget films he'd appeared in, and he'd recently scripted The Trip, the film we mentioned earlier: [Excerpt: The Trip trailer] So the group, Rafelson, Schneider, and Nicholson all went away for a weekend, and they all got extremely stoned, took acid, and talked into a tape recorder for hours on end. Nicholson then transcribed those recordings, cleaned them up, and structured the worthwhile ideas into something quite remarkable: [Excerpt: The Monkees, "Ditty Diego"] If the Monkees TV show had been inspired by the Marx Brothers and Three Stooges, and by Richard Lester's directorial style, the only precursor I can find for Head is in the TV work of Lester's colleague Spike Milligan, but I don't think there's any reasonable way in which Nicholson or anyone else involved could have taken inspiration from Milligan's series Q. But what they ended up with is something that resembles, more than anything else, Monty Python's Flying Circus, a TV series that wouldn't start until a year after Head came out. It's a series of ostensibly unconnected sketches, linked by a kind of dream logic, with characters wandering from one loose narrative into a totally different one, actors coming out of character on a regular basis, and no attempt at a coherent narrative. It contains regular examples of channel-zapping, with excerpts from old films being spliced in, and bits of news footage juxtaposed with comedy sketches and musical performances in ways that are sometimes thought-provoking, sometimes distasteful, and occasionally both -- as when a famous piece of footage of a Vietnamese prisoner of war being shot in the head hard-cuts to screaming girls in the audience at a Monkees concert, a performance which ends with the girls tearing apart the group and revealing that they're really just cheap-looking plastic mannequins. The film starts, and ends, with the Monkees themselves attempting suicide, jumping off a bridge into the ocean -- but the end reveals that in fact the ocean they're in is just water in a glass box, and they're trapped in it. And knowing this means that when you watch the film a second time, you find that it does have a story. The Monkees are trapped in a box which in some ways represents life, the universe, and one's own mind, and in other ways represents the TV and their TV careers. Each of them is trying in his own way to escape, and each ends up trapped by his own limitations, condemned to start the cycle over and over again. The film features parodies of popular film genres like the boxing film (Davy is supposed to throw a fight with Sonny Liston at the instruction of gangsters), the Western, and the war film, but huge chunks of the film take place on a film studio backlot, and characters from one segment reappear in another, often commenting negatively on the film or the band, as when Frank Zappa as a critic calls Davy Jones' soft-shoe routine to a Harry Nilsson song "very white", or when a canteen worker in the studio calls the group "God's gift to the eight-year-olds". The film is constantly deconstructing and commenting on itself and the filmmaking process -- Tork hits that canteen worker, whose wig falls off revealing the actor playing her to be a man, and then it's revealed that the "behind the scenes" footage is itself scripted, as director Bob Rafelson and scriptwriter Jack Nicholson come into frame and reassure Tork, who's concerned that hitting a woman would be bad for his image. They tell him they can always cut it from the finished film if it doesn't work. While "Ditty Diego", the almost rap rewriting of the Monkees theme we heard earlier, sets out a lot of how the film asks to be interpreted and how it works narratively, the *spiritual* and thematic core of the film is in another song, Tork's "Long Title (Do I Have to Do This All Over Again?)", which in later solo performances Tork would give the subtitle "The Karma Blues": [Excerpt: The Monkees, "Long Title (Do I Have To Do This All Over Again?)"] Head is an extraordinary film, and one it's impossible to sum up in anything less than an hour-long episode of its own. It's certainly not a film that's to everyone's taste, and not every aspect of it works -- it is a film that is absolutely of its time, in ways that are both good and bad. But it's one of the most inventive things ever put out by a major film studio, and it's one that rightly secured the Monkees a certain amount of cult credibility over the decades. The soundtrack album is a return to form after the disappointing Birds, Bees, too. Nicholson put the album together, linking the eight songs in the film with collages of dialogue and incidental music, repurposing and recontextualising the dialogue to create a new experience, one that people have compared with Frank Zappa's contemporaneous We're Only In It For The Money, though while t
ALVIN TAYLOR Legendary Drummer, Musical Director, Producer Alvin has been a lover of drums since the age of five, and his professional career began at the age of fourteen, when he was discovered by, and toured with Little Richard. His most amazing experience came when he was invited to London by George Harrison (of the Beatles) to both live in his castle and to record the “33 1/3” album … and that album went platinum. Further evidence of Alvin's unique talent is his on-going list of credits and tours with other legendary artists such as: Elton John, Tina Turner, Bob Dylan, Bob Welch, Stevie Wonder, Natalie Cole, Gil Scott Heron, Diana Ross, Barry White, Sly Stone, Leo Sayer, Bill Withers, Andre' Crouch, Ronnie Woods, who is the guitarist with the Rolling Stones, and so many others. While working with Little Richard, Alvin played on the hit album “King of Rock & Roll.” He was then asked to join a band called PG&E (Pacific, Gas & Electric) with lead singer Charlie Allen and guitarist Steve Beckmeier. They went on to record a hit song called “Are You Ready” and also did a remake of the hit song“Stagger-Lee.” Billy Preston, also known as, the 5th Beatle and a Beatles' favorite, was initially responsible for Alvin's introduction to studio dates. Alvin went on to tour and record with Billy Preston on many occasions. He also recorded “I'm Just a Sucker For Your Love” with Tina Marie and Rick James. Shortly after that, Alvin's demand as a studio musician by the best producers in the music industry such as Robert Margouleff, Richard Perry, George Martin, the legendary Motown producer Frank Wilson and Norman Whitfield was relentless, and his calendar was never short of dates. He was a constant guest on hit musical television shows such as the Midnight Special, In Concert, Solid Gold, Don Kirshner's Rock Concert, The Real Don Steele and Soul Train. Alvin was then asked by Jerry Goldstein to play with the famous and long- standing group War. Goldstein produced, managed, and owned the group as well as the record label Avenue Records. Alvin turned down the offer, however, he then joined the Eric Burdon band. They recorded the albums, “Sun Secrets,” “Stop,” and a double album conceived for a movie sound track titled “Mirage.” He also did a world tour with the Eric Burdon Band. While Alvin was touring with Eric Burdon, an A&R man from Capitol Records named John Carter, one of Alvin's biggest fans, signed Bob Welch, the original guitarist with Fleetwood Mac, to a long-term contract with Capitol Records. He then asked Alvin to put a band together for Welch's album project. After Alvin listened to Welch's demos, he asked Carter, “Who are the musicians playing on the demo?” – Carter's response was “That is all Bob Welch, playing the bass, the keyboards and guitars.” Alvin then informed Carter that he had found a band that could do the recording for Bob Welch's solo album called “French Kiss.” That band consisted of Alvin Taylor and Bob Welch, featuring the hit single “Ebony Eyes,” and the album went gold and then platinum. This was the first tangible proof that Alvin has incredible musical direction and production skills in addition to his dynamic drumming talent. Today, he is still an active and passionate drummer, as well as a music director and producer. He continues to do miscellaneous dates and tours with various artists. He is currently working in pre-production as a musical director for a major television show. His life has been so enriched by his musical craft and astounding career as a successful artist, that he is now in the process of writing a book about his life story. He is always seeking to create and develop new artists, and he has a never-ending artistic mind and enduring love for music. MORE KELLY EXECUTIVE PRODUCER BROOKLYN CARDENAS
Howard Paar is an award winning music supervisor who is originally from London who continued his career in Los Angeles thanks Sir Freddie Laker's legendary Laker Airways. He has won The Guild Of Music Supervisors Awards in 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2020 respectively for Diary Of A Teenage Girl, 20th Century Women, Before I Fall and Native Son. Howard first worked in LA as a club creator/DJ/promoter. His work back then was known for developing emergent new music scenes particularly ska, mod and the paisley underground. His club, The O.N .Klub in collaboration with Sugarhill Records, was also the first locale to play a rap show in Los Angeles. Howard subsequently became an independent publicist representing clients including MTV, Ian Hunter & Mick Ronson, N.W.A., Jimmy Cliff, Eric Burdon, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Bunny Wailer and Michelle Shocked. Howard then went on to become Vice President, Media & Artist Relations at Polygram Records before transitioning to the role of Vice President, Soundtracks. In this role, he worked on many soundtracks including The Big Lebowski and Gregg Araki's Nowhere as well as creating opportunities for Polygram artists to write themes for TV shows including King Of The Hill and Ellen. In 2001, Howard was nominated for a Grammy for the soundtrack for the award-winning documentary Dogtown & Z Boys. Along with being a music supervisor, Howard is also a novelist. Top Rankin', his punk/ska noir novel, was released in May of 2021, which follows his first novel Once Upon a Time In LA, published in 2015.
Colabora Con Biblioteca Del Metal: En Twitter - https://twitter.com/Anarkometal72 Y Donanos Unas Propinas En BAT. Para Seguir Con El Proyecto De la Biblioteca Mas Grande Del Metal. Muchisimas Gracias. La Tienda De Biblioteca Del Metal: Encontraras, Ropa, Accesorios,Decoracion, Ect... Todo Relacionado Al Podcats Biblioteca Del Metal Y Al Mundo Del Heavy Metal. Descubrela!!!!!! Ideal Para Llevarte O Regalar Productos Del Podcats De Ivoox. (Por Tiempo Limitado) https://teespring.com/es/stores/biblioteca-del-metal-1 Riot (actualmente Riot V) es una banda de heavy metal estadounidense, fundada en 1975 en Nueva York, por el guitarrista y principal compositor Mark Reale, completando la primera alineación con Guy Speranza, Louie Kouvaris, Jimmy Iommi, y Peter Bitelli. Riot fue uno de los nombres más icónicos y subestimados del heavy metal a nivel mundial; a consecuencia del poco éxito comercial de los primeros álbumes, lanzados a fines de los 70, y principios de los 80, los integrantes de la banda daban por perdido su posicionamiento en la historia del metal, esto ocasionó la desintegración temporal de Riot en 1984, tras 5 LP de estudio. Mark Reale, líder del grupo, estableció su residencia en San Antonio, Texas, y decidió continuar bajo otro nombre: Narita, tomando el nombre del segundo disco de Riot. No obstante, y tras ciertas idas y venidas, Reale es persuadido de dar a Riot otra oportunidad, lo cual se cristaliza en 1988, a través del disco titulado Thundersteel, punto crucial en la historia del grupo, y el cual es considerado uno de los mejores discos de la banda, junto a Fire Down Under, y su último trabajo discográfico llamado Immortal Soul, de 2011. A partir e allí, la carrera de Riot se desarrolla de manera más o menos regular, eso sí: con cambios en una alineación donde Reale era el único miembro estable. Finalmente, Immortal Soul, lanzado en octubre de 2011, fue grabado -en parte- por Reale, a causa de sus malestares, seriamente aquejado por la enfermedad de Crohn, asumiendo el guitarrista Mike Flyntz las riendas hasta completar la grabación. Mark sufrió una hemorragia de la cual no se recuperó, falleciendo el 25 de enero de 2012, y poniendo fin de hecho a Riot como banda activa. Los neoyorquinos Riot, banda nacida hacia 1975, sentaron las bases de su sonido con un primitivo pero a la vez evocador long play, editado en 1977: Rock City, inicio de una trayectoria que musicalmente sería gloriosa, pero que nunca impactaría en el mercado a nivel comercial. Tras un tema directo que abría el disco, Desperation, llega a las primeras de cambio uno de los mayores clásicos de toda la carrera de la banda: Warrior. Ese estribillo que proclamaba “Shine, shine on through the darkness and the pain” ha sido siempre uno de los lemas del grupo. Con guitarras sobresalientes y con la buena combinación de la voz de Guy Speranza, el álbum sigue con temazos certeros como Rock City, Overdrive o Angel. Tokyo Rose es uno de los cortes más intensos mientras que Heart Of Fire pasó demasiado desapercibido a pesar de su gran calidad. El elepé se cierra con la pegadiza Gypsy Queen y con la sentida This Is What I Get. hard rock y rock and roll se combinaban a la perfección en esta primera etapa del combo neoyorquino. La inocencia, las ganas de triunfar y la calidad conforman un cuajo espeso que sobresale en este corto pero interesante debut. Es la obra que abría la trilogía con Guy Speranza al frente. Narita y, en especial, Fire Down Under serían la cima de estos primerizos Riot. Segunda entrega y clara consolidación de la banda, que asomaba entre las calles de Brooklyn con serias aspiraciones de traspasar los rascacielos de Manhattan. Narita brinda hard rock de peso, con buenos fundamentos para rivalizar con la emergente generación NWOBHM del Reino Unido. La pérdida del guitarrista L.A. Kouvaris había sido suplida con la entrada de Rick Ventura, una de las figuras claves de los primeros Riot. Waiting For The Taking era una entrada inusual pero capaz de transmitir el potencial de una banda que seguía fundando su magia en las guitarras de Reale, unidas a la voz de Guy Speranza. 49er era otro claro ejemplo. Kick Down The Wall es uno de esos himnos que ejemplifican el sonido hard roquero de aquellos primeros Riot, esencia pura de una banda que apuntaba maneras únicas. El Born To Be Wild de Steppenwolf, personalizado por la voz de Speranza, era otra declaración de intenciones mientras la instrumental Narita viraba claramente hacia el heavy rock, con el que tantos lazos les uniría a Europa. Las guitarras marcaban su territorio en Here We Come Again mientras que el hard & heavy emergía en Do It Up. Riot nunca fue una banda de baladas, sin embargo había temas como Hot For Love que sí buscaban un tono más melódico y pegadizo. White Rock fue el paso previo al gran clásico del disco: Road Racin’, que al igual que Warrior en el debut, se convertiría en una de las piezas esenciales de la banda en directo. No solo es la obra cumbre de la primera etapa de Riot, sino que incluso para buena parte de los fanes veteranos del grupo siempre ha sido su disco preferido. Todo lo que habían ofrecido en los dos elepés anteriores brilló aún con más intensidad en Fire Down Under, una obra que se iniciaba con uno de los grandes clásicos del grupo: Swords And Tequila. Más rápidos y más heavies, como demostraban en el tema título, Fire Down Under, en esta obra presentaban una renovada sección rítmica: Sandy Slavin (batería) y Kip Leming (bajo). El guitarrista Rick Ventura se había convertido en una pieza clave en el engranaje del grupo, como demostró aportando una enigmática y sobresaliente composición; Feel The Same. Entre las cimas de aquella pareja irrepetible, Reale y Speranza, siempre quedará Outlaw con aquellas míticas frases en español de Antonio Ramos. El hard rock volvía a refulgir con fuerza en Don’t Bring Me Down y en Don’t Hold Back para desembocar en otra de las mayores joyas: Altar Of The King. El aporte de clásicos de este disco lo convierte sin duda en una de las piezas esenciales en la discografía de Riot. No Lies fue una nueva composición de Ventura mientras que Run For Your Life era uno de los temas más heavies y rápidos del disco. Esta obra esencial se cierra con la instrumental Flashbacks, en la que incluyeron sonidos de ambiente de conciertos, como el de Monsters Of Rock en Donington o la presentación del DJ Neal Kay del Hammersmith Odeon, de Londres. Sin duda Fire Down Under es uno de los mejores discos de Riot, y una obra fundamental en la historia del hard & heavy. La marcha del vocalista Guy Speranza parecía haber cortado la incesante progresión del conjunto americano. Sin embargo, Mark Reale no quiso perder la buena estela que habían trazado, contratando en poco tiempo a Rhett Forrester. Con pinta de estrella del rock, el vocalista aportó mucha personalidad y actitud, sin intentar imitar al recordado Speranza. Los de Nueva York endurecieron su sonido para el nuevo disco, Restless Breed, como se puede escuchar en los dos trallazos de entrada: Hard Lovin’ Man y C.I.A. El contrapunto de intensidad y emotividad lo pone Forrester en el in crescendo que da título al disco, Restless Breed, un tema que explora nuevos recovecos del sonido de Riot. Recuperaron la costumbre de incluir una versión con el When I Was Young de Eric Burdon & The Animals. El heavy metal comenzaba a tener cada vez más presencia en el sonido de los de Brooklyn, como se puede comprobar en Loanshark, mientras que el rock and roll seguía presente en Loved By You. Rick Ventura volvía a tener mucho peso en la composición como demostró en Over To You. Sin lugar a dudas una de las piezas claves del disco es la joya melódica de Mark Reale Showdown. En esa línea seguía Dream Away, nuevamente otra buena entrega de Rick Ventura. Y para cerrar el álbum; más heavy metal con Violent Crimes. Era prácticamente imposible igualar Fire Down Under, pero Riot se habían levantado muy rápido tras la ruptura con Guy Speranza, gracias al carisma y a la voz de Rhett Forrester. Restless Breed era un más que digno sucesor. Con la misma formación que en Restless Breed, Riot grabaron el que sería segundo y último disco con el vocalista Rhett Forrester: Born in America. Aunque no se trata de uno de los mejores trabajos del grupo, contiene algunas canciones magistrales que han pasado, desgraciadamente, demasiado desapercibidas como You Burn In Me o Running From The Law. El filo más heavy de Forrester acuñó esta segunda época de la banda en la que las guitarras forjadas por Reale y Ventura sobresalían en cada tema. La pegadiza Born In America contrastaba con la más heavy Wings Of Fire. Nuevamente incorporaron una versión, en esta ocasión el Devil Woman que popularizó Cliff Richard. Vigilante Killer y Heavy Metal Machine eran claro ejemplo de la fuerza de los Riot encarnados con el vocalista Rhett Forrester, que en ocasiones su voz se asemejaba a la de Blackie Lawless, que entonces daba sus primeros pasos con W.A.S.P. Riot habían entrado de lleno en una etapa más heavy desde que Rhett había asumido el micrófono. La melodía de Where Soldiers Rule desembocaba el riff de Gunfighter, otro gran tema. El disco y esta etapa se cerraban con una composición de Rick Ventura, Promised Land. A partir de ahí este ciclo se rompería con un prematura final, pero Riot volverían a renacer de sus cenizas, aunque con una formación totalmente renovada. Quizás para los puristas y los seguidores más veteranos de Riot solo existieron aquellos discos con Guy Speranza al frente y con el Fire Down Under como bandera. Sin embargo, es fehaciente que Thundersteel es la obra más influyente de unos renacidos Riot que cogieron la semilla de la banda "Narita" en San Antonio (Texas), y la plantaron en las calles de Nueva York. En unos meses germinó el que es sin duda uno de los mejores discos de power speed metal jamás facturados del uno al otro confín del planeta. Mark Reale se llevó al bajista Don Van Stavern, con quien había compartido filas en Narita, y descubrió al soberbio vocalista Tony Moore y al no menos magistral batería Bobby Jarzombek. La velocidad y genialidad del tema título Thundersteel podría ruborizar a los más thrashers de la época. Habían dado un cambio de tuerca al sonido de la banda acelerando la velocidad hasta límites insospechados. Doble bombo, estribillos contundentes y guitarras atronadoras confluían en Fight Or Fall. Aunque Sign Of The Crimson Storm era supuestamente el tema melódico del disco, su potencia es abrumadora. Excepcional tanto el sonido de guitarras como las voces imposibles de Tony Moore. Sus agudos le granjearon una posición de cantante puntero del metal de finales de los ochenta. Aunque el tema Thundersteel fue el que mejor define esta obra, Flight Of The Warrior podría considerarse la otra gran joya de un disco impecable. Y pisándole los talones en cuanto a calidad se refiere llega On Wings Of Eagles. La segunda parte de esta obra maestra se abre con otro clásico, Johnny’s Back. La melodía de Bloodstreets engarza con la fuerza del heavy metal en Run For Your Life. El disco se cierra con el extenso up tempo Buried Alive (Tell Tale Heart). Thundersteel es uno de esos lanzamientos únicos, capaz de marcar la carrera de toda una banda y de muchas generaciones que lo han ido descubriendo con los años. Lo hubieran tenido muy fácil simplemente con calcar la fórmula del exitoso Thundersteel, pero los neoyorquinos nunca han sido predecibles, como demostraron en The Privilege Of Power. Tildado injustamente de experimento calamitoso, este disco con rasgos conceptuales y cuyas canciones están conectadas por sonidos de televisión, rompió todos los esquemas no solo en la carrera de Riot sino en el metal en general. Escuchar la inicial On Your Knees; un potente tema metálico a toda velocidad aderezado por secciones de viento, resulta simplemente espectacular. Un riff monumental da inicio a Metal Soldiers, otro gran cañonazo heavy con un Tony Moore demostrando nuevamente sus agudos imposibles. La melodía se apodera de Runaway con las acústicas que siempre han estado muy presentes en la herencia de Reale. La sección de viento vuelve con fuerza en Killer, un tema en el que colabora ni más ni menos que Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow, Deep Purple) haciendo un dueto con Tony Moore. Speed metal a destajo en la entrada de Dance Of Death demostrando que los temas rápidos de este disco lo son incluso más que en Thundersteel. Los cuernos de guerra anuncian otra batalla de power speed en Storming The Gates Of Hell. Las guitarras de Reale vuelven a ser, como en todos los discos, el gran sello identificador de Riot. La melodía regresa en Maryanne mientras que en Little Miss Death sobresalen los coros del estribillo. Una de las canciones más rápidas, heavies y potentes de la historia de la banda llega a continuación: Black Leather And Glittering Steel. El cierre es una adaptación del clásico de Al Di Meola, Racing With The Devil On A Spanish Highway, metalizada por un Reale sensacional. Digan lo que digan The Privilege Of Power es un disco impresionante que desgraciadamente no tuvo continuidad con esta formación hasta 21 años después. Nueva etapa de unos remozados Riot en la que solo resistieron el irreductible Mark Reale, Bobby Jarzombek y Mike flyntz, que había entrado en la banda apoyando en directo a la formación de Thundersteel. El primer y notorio cambio se puede adivinar en la inicial Soldier con la voz de Mike DiMeo, con un color similar al de grandes vocalistas como David Coverdale y diametralmente opuesto al del precedente Tony Moore. El sonido de la banda vira claramente al hard rock pasional sin dejar de lado la esencia heavy metal que tan bien habían trabajado en la década anterior. La vena más melódica emergía en Destiny, una composición de DiMeo y Flyntz en la que se observa claramente el cambio de la nueva andadura de Riot. Siguiendo con la costumbre de incluir versiones, en esta ocasión atinaron más si cabe rindiendo tributo a Deep Purple con el mítico Burn. Otra novedad fue la inclusión de un género como las baladas, un estilo que no había abundado en la banda de Nueva York. In Your Eyes fue la prueba de esa tendencia más suave con un sensacional DiMeo al frente. Pero no se habían olvidado de su vena más heavy como prueban en el tema homónimo del disco, Nightbreaker. Medicine Man es el prototipo de hard rock potente a veces bluesy y pasional en el que se habían embarcado Riot. Silent Scream es de esas canciones que solo ellos son capaces de escribir, esas piezas que tan dentro llevaba Mark Reale. Magic Maker era heavy rock puro en efervescencia mientras I’m On The Run se incluyó en la edición europea sustituyendo al A Whiter Shade Of Pale de Procol Harum. El hard rock de Babylon encamina hacia un curioso final: una recreación de sus mayores clásicos de la época Speranza: Outlaw. Como curiosidad, Nightbreaker salió con tres portadas diferentes, una en Japón, la otra en Europa y la de la reedición americana de 1999. Con la formación más asentada, el brillo de los nuevos Riot se apreciaba con más intensidad en The Brethren Of The Long House. Dedicado a la cultura de los indios americanos, el disco comienza con la intro The Last Of The Mohicans del compositor de bandas sonoras Trevor Jones y desemboca en la potentísima Glory Calling, que representa a la perfección la identidad de los Riot de los años noventa. Esa tensión heavy se mantiene en Rolling Thunder y culmina en la melodía de la balada Rain. Una de las mejores canciones del álbum es Wounded Heart, otro gran clásico de los Riot de esa década, puro heavy rock potente y con alma. El up tempo The Brethren Of The Long House se enlaza con una nueva versión. En esta ocasión el clásico de Gary Moore Out In The Fields que, como es su costumbre, vuelven a bordar. La impresionante acústica Santa Maria da paso al medio tiempo Blood Of The English. Otro de los grandes momentos de esta obra es Ghost Dance, un tema pleno de melodía y potencia. La pieza tradicional Shenandoah se engarza con otro temazo de hard rock, Holy Land. El álbum se cierra con la adaptación de The Last Of The Mohicans que ya avanzaban en la intro. The Brethren Of The Long House reafirmó las buenas sensaciones de Nightbreaker consolidando el nuevo hard & heavy de Riot en los noventa. La voz de Dimeo y la magia de Reale habían vuelto a renacer una banda que siempre supo reinventarse. Si Fire Down Under es la obra cumbre de los primeros Riot y Thundersteel el disco por el que siempre han sido venerados en todos los mentideros del metal, Inishmore podría cerrar el triunvirato perfecto, para conocer las distintas etapas de la banda de Mark Reale. Décima entrega de estudio y tercera con el vocalista Mike DiMeo al frente, tiene un nexo lírico en las leyendas celtas e irlandesas. La buenísima intro Black Water da paso a Angel Eyes, un himno impresionante que en directo funcionó a la perfección. La épica de Riot había alcanzado una nueva fase. Hard rock y heavy metal se daban la mano en un lanzamiento repleto de canciones inmortales como Liberty o Kings Are Falling. Ritmos demoledores, guitarras brillantes y una voz repleta de alma convergían en los grandísimos Riot de fin de siglo. Contaron en los coros con reputados cantantes como Tony Harnell (TNT) o Danny Vaughn (Tyketto). A ritmo de power metal estalla The Man mientras que en el hard rock descansa Watching The Signs. Sin un segundo de tregua Should I Run, otro clásico, demuestra la buena química compositiva que había nacido entre Reale y DiMeo. Cry For The Dying es otra prueba más de que Inishmore es una absoluta obra maestra y Turning The Hands Of Time la clara confirmación. El álbum culmina con otra joya, Gypsy, y con los aires celtas de la melódica Inishmore (Forsaken Heart) y la pieza instrumental Inishmore en la que Mark Reale ofrece una lección magistral. Un álbum imprescindible que no debería acabar nunca en el que no hay ni un segundo de relleno y en el que ni siquiera incluyeron una versión, como tanto acostumbraban. Inishmore demuestra una vez más que todas las etapas de Riot son al tiempo diferentes y esenciales. Con la misma formación y equipo de grabación que en la obra maestra Inishmore, Riot aprovecharon el momento para entrar de nuevo al estudio y volver con otro gran disco. On The Wings Of Life, tras la intro de sitar Snake Charmer, incidía en la misma fórmula exitosa que en el álbum precedente. El tema título, Sons Of Society, estaba diseñado para corear en directo mientras que Twist Of Fate no solo es la mejor canción del disco sino una de las grandes imprescindibles en la carrera de Riot. El potente hard rock de Bad Machine estalla en una intensa y emotiva; Cover Me, una clara demostración de que también podían hacer excelentes baladas, aunque no abundaran en su discografía. Y para contrastar; uno de los temas más rápidos del disco: Dragonfire. Hard & heavy con fuerza y gancho se aúnan en The Law y en la intensa Time To Bleed en la que destaca la sección rítmica de Pete Pérez y del extraordinario batería Bobby Jarzombek. Somewhere y Promises cerraban otro buen capítulo de una década triunfal para la banda de Nueva York. Lástima que a partir de Sons Of Society la dinámica del grupo comenzara a sufrir altibajos que iban a repercutir en la primera década del siglo. Sin embargo, la sociedad de Riot con DiMeo todavía daría más frutos. Riot inauguraban el nuevo milenio con Through The Storm, un disco mucho más asentado en el hard rock clásico, dejando un tanto al margen el heavy power metal que sí había estado presente en los cuatro discos anteriores. La entrada del batería Bobby Rondinelli (ex Rainbow) en sustitución de Bobby Jarzombek quizás influyó en esta orientación. La meritoria canción inicial Turn The Tables da pistas de los nuevos cauces por los que fluyen las aguas de los americanos. En el hard melódico también se puede encuadrar la accesible Lost Inside This World y la rítmica Chains (Revolving). Las guitarras de Reale y Flyntz arropaban muy bien a un DiMeo mucho más melódico, como demuestra en el tema homónimo, Through The Storm, o en la intensa balada Let It Show. Recuperan la potencia en dos de los mejores cortes del álbum, Burn The Sun y To My Head. Essential Enemies da paso a la versión del mítico Only You Can Rock Me de Ufo, recuperando la inclusión de covers, una tendencia que habían interrumpido en los dos elepés anteriores. Y para terminar el disco dos temas instrumentales, el primero de Mark Reale (Isle Of Shadows) y el segundo de George Harrison (Here Comes The Sun) rindiendo tributo a una de las debilidades de Mark; The Beatles. Con mucho retraso e incertidumbre sobre el devenir de la banda, Army Of One salió al mercado con Mike DiMeo a la voz, aunque por aquella época Mike Tirelli ya había asumido esa función en la banda. El tema título, Army Of One, devolvía el heavy metal al primer plano después del más suave Through The Storm. Sin embargo, el hard rock melódico retomaba el camino en Knocking At My Door y en Blinded, una de las últimas grandes perlas que dejó la añorada sociedad Reale/DiMeo. La aportación del batería Frank Gilchriest también fue evidente con grandes dosis de energía, como siempre ha hecho su colega Bobby Jarzombek. One More Alibi es el prototipo de canción potente y melódica que tan bien explotaron en la etapa DiMeo mientras It All Falls Down es otro temazo con mayúsculas. La vena más sensible resuena en Helpin’ Hand, todo lo contrario que en The Mystic, donde los ritmos power recuerdan a los discos de Riot de los noventa. El hard rock preciosista regresa con Still Alive, paso a previo a Alive In The City y Shine, donde rebajan el pistón de la intensidad. En el instrumental Stained Mirror Mark Reale adapta el tema de Romeo y Julieta del compositor italiano Nino Rota. Darker Side Of Light cierra Army Of One, sexto y último capítulo de estudio de Riot con Mike DiMeo a la voz, una etapa tan imprescindible como las de Guy Speranza, Rhett Forrester o Tony Moore, le pese a quien le pese. La esperada reunión de la formación que cimentó Thundersteel llegó a finales de la primera década del siglo XXI. Tras unos años de retraso por fin desembarcó en las tiendas a finales de 2011 el esperado disco de estudio: Immortal Soul. Las segundas partes nunca suelen ser buenas, aunque este tópico se hace añicos según suena Riot, un brutal trallazo en la línea Thundersteel que se convierte en la mejor carta de presentación del disco. Still Your Man es otra impresionante demostración de cómo la melodía encaja a la perfección en los ritmos power que tan bien empaca esta formación. El enigmático medio tiempo Crawling rebaja la tensión con un aire oriental y un solo que es puro Blackmore. Wings Are For Angels tiene nuevamente esa esencia Thundersteel con ritmos devastadores, riffs poderosos, un Tony Moore desgañitándose y una orgía de melodía y potencia. Giro radical para pasar a un sobresaliente medio tiempo, Fall Before Me, dedicado al padre de Tony Moore. Casando hard & heavy Sins Of The Father demuestra que este line up también va más allá del speed power metal. La intro instrumental Majestica da paso a Immortal Soul, una extraordinaria pieza de hard rock melódico. Lo mismo se podría aplicar para Insanity, redondeando un excelente álbum con muchos matices dispares. La recta final llega con Whiskey Man, un tema con ecos de los primerísimos Riot, de la época Speranza y con Believe, otro corte potente con un gran estribillo. Echoes es desgraciadamente la última canción del que trágicamente será el último disco de Riot. Apenas un par de meses después del lanzamiento de Immortal Soul, la llama de Mark Reale se apagaría para siempre, y con ella la leyenda que él cimentó. Mark ya estaba bastante enfermo en las grabaciones de este disco, por eso buena parte del peso de las guitarras, y la dirección general recayó en Mike Flyntz. Immortal Soul parecía ser un disco premonitorio, no solo por el título sino porque compendiaba en un solo trabajo buena parte de los estilos que habían seguido Riot a lo largo de 35 años: hard rock, heavy metal, power speed, hard melódico… En definitiva la esencia de una banda inmortal, absolutamente irrepetible. Después del trágico fallecimiento de su líder, Mark Reale, los integrantes restantes de la banda deciden continuar con su legado, con la aprobación del padre de Mark, Tony Reale, y conscientes de que les sería imposible seguir con su nombre clásico sin su líder y fundador, la banda decide cambiar su nombre a Riot V. Desde entonces la banda ha continuado tocando en vivo, honrando el nombre de Mark y su legado en la escena del heavy metal mundial, preparando también un disco llamado Unleash the Fire, previsto para ser lanzado el próximo 27 de agosto.
A History Of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs
Episode 159 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “Itchycoo Park” by the Small Faces, and their transition from Mod to psychedelia. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a twenty-five-minute bonus episode available, on "The First Cut is the Deepest" by P.P. Arnold. Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt's irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ Resources As so many of the episodes recently have had no Mixcloud due to the number of songs by one artist, I've decided to start splitting the mixes of the recordings excerpted in the podcasts into two parts. Here's part one and part two. I've used quite a few books in this episode. The Small Faces & Other Stories by Uli Twelker and Roland Schmit is definitely a fan-work with all that that implies, but has some useful quotes. Two books claim to be the authorised biography of Steve Marriott, and I've referred to both -- All Too Beautiful by Paolo Hewitt and John Hellier, and All Or Nothing by Simon Spence. Spence also wrote an excellent book on Immediate Records, which I referred to. Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan both wrote very readable autobiographies. I've also used Andrew Loog Oldham's autobiography Stoned, co-written by Spence, though be warned that it casually uses slurs. P.P. Arnold's autobiography is a sometimes distressing read covering her whole life, including her time at Immediate. There are many, many, collections of the Small Faces' work, ranging from cheap budget CDs full of outtakes to hundred-pound-plus box sets, also full of outtakes. This three-CD budget collection contains all the essential tracks, and is endorsed by Kenney Jones, the band's one surviving member. And if you're intrigued by the section on Immediate Records, this two-CD set contains a good selection of their releases. ERRATUM-ISH: I say Jimmy Winston was “a couple” of years older than the rest of the band. This does not mean exactly two, but is used in the vague vernacular sense equivalent to “a few”. Different sources I've seen put Winston as either two or four years older than his bandmates, though two seems to be the most commonly cited figure. Transcript For once there is little to warn about in this episode, but it does contain some mild discussions of organised crime, arson, and mental illness, and a quoted joke about capital punishment in questionable taste which may upset some. One name that came up time and again when we looked at the very early years of British rock and roll was Lionel Bart. If you don't remember the name, he was a left-wing Bohemian songwriter who lived in a communal house-share which at various times was also inhabited by people like Shirley Eaton, the woman who is painted gold at the beginning of Goldfinger, Mike Pratt, the star of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), and Davey Graham, the most influential and innovative British guitarist of the fifties and early sixties. Bart and Pratt had co-written most of the hits of Britain's first real rock and roll star, Tommy Steele: [Excerpt: Tommy Steele, "Rock with the Caveman"] and then Bart had gone solo as a writer, and written hits like "Living Doll" for Britain's *biggest* rock and roll star, Cliff Richard: [Excerpt: Cliff Richard, "Living Doll"] But Bart's biggest contribution to rock music turned out not to be the songs he wrote for rock and roll stars, and not even his talent-spotting -- it was Bart who got Steele signed by Larry Parnes, and he also pointed Parnes in the direction of another of his biggest stars, Marty Wilde -- but the opportunity he gave to a lot of child stars in a very non-rock context. Bart's musical Oliver!, inspired by the novel Oliver Twist, was the biggest sensation on the West End stage in the early 1960s, breaking records for the longest-running musical, and also transferred to Broadway and later became an extremely successful film. As it happened, while Oliver! was extraordinarily lucrative, Bart didn't see much of the money from it -- he sold the rights to it, and his other musicals, to the comedian Max Bygraves in the mid-sixties for a tiny sum in order to finance a couple of other musicals, which then flopped horribly and bankrupted him. But by that time Oliver! had already been the first big break for three people who went on to major careers in music -- all of them playing the same role. Because many of the major roles in Oliver! were for young boys, the cast had to change frequently -- child labour laws meant that multiple kids had to play the same role in different performances, and people quickly grew out of the roles as teenagerhood hit. We've already heard about the career of one of the people who played the Artful Dodger in the original West End production -- Davy Jones, who transferred in the role to Broadway in 1963, and who we'll be seeing again in a few episodes' time -- and it's very likely that another of the people who played the Artful Dodger in that production, a young lad called Philip Collins, will be coming into the story in a few years' time. But the first of the artists to use the Artful Dodger as a springboard to a music career was the one who appeared in the role on the original cast album of 1960, though there's very little in that recording to suggest the sound of his later records: [Excerpt: Steve Marriott, "Consider Yourself"] Steve Marriott is the second little Stevie we've looked at in recent episodes to have been born prematurely. In his case, he was born a month premature, and jaundiced, and had to spend the first month of his life in hospital, the first few days of which were spent unsure if he was going to survive. Thankfully he did, but he was a bit of a sickly child as a result, and remained stick-thin and short into adulthood -- he never grew to be taller than five foot five. Young Steve loved music, and especially the music of Buddy Holly. He also loved skiffle, and managed to find out where Lonnie Donegan lived. He went round and knocked on Donegan's door, but was very disappointed to discover that his idol was just a normal man, with his hair uncombed and a shirt stained with egg yolk. He started playing the ukulele when he was ten, and graduated to guitar when he was twelve, forming a band which performed under a variety of different names. When on stage with them, he would go by the stage name Buddy Marriott, and would wear a pair of horn-rimmed glasses to look more like Buddy Holly. When he was twelve, his mother took him to an audition for Oliver! The show had been running for three months at the time, and was likely to run longer, and child labour laws meant that they had to have replacements for some of the cast -- every three months, any performing child had to have at least ten days off. At his audition, Steve played his guitar and sang "Who's Sorry Now?", the recent Connie Francis hit: [Excerpt: Connie Francis, "Who's Sorry Now?"] And then, ignoring the rule that performers could only do one song, immediately launched into Buddy Holly's "Oh Boy!" [Excerpt: Buddy Holly, "Oh Boy!"] His musical ability and attitude impressed the show's producers, and he was given a job which suited him perfectly -- rather than being cast in a single role, he would be swapped around, playing different small parts, in the chorus, and occasionally taking the larger role of the Artful Dodger. Steve Marriott was never able to do the same thing over and over, and got bored very quickly, but because he was moving between roles, he was able to keep interested in his performances for almost a year, and he was good enough that it was him chosen to sing the Dodger's role on the cast album when that was recorded: [Excerpt: Steve Marriott and Joyce Blair, "I'd Do Anything"] And he enjoyed performance enough that his parents pushed him to become an actor -- though there were other reasons for that, too. He was never the best-behaved child in the world, nor the most attentive student, and things came to a head when, shortly after leaving the Oliver! cast, he got so bored of his art classes he devised a plan to get out of them forever. Every art class, for several weeks, he'd sit in a different desk at the back of the classroom and stuff torn-up bits of paper under the floorboards. After a couple of months of this he then dropped a lit match in, which set fire to the paper and ended up burning down half the school. His schoolfriend Ken Hawes talked about it many decades later, saying "I suppose in a way I was impressed about how he had meticulously planned the whole thing months in advance, the sheer dogged determination to see it through. He could quite easily have been caught and would have had to face the consequences. There was no danger in anybody getting hurt because we were at the back of the room. We had to be at the back otherwise somebody would have noticed what he was doing. There was no malice against other pupils, he just wanted to burn the damn school down." Nobody could prove it was him who had done it, though his parents at least had a pretty good idea who it was, but it was clear that even when the school was rebuilt it wasn't a good idea to send him back there, so they sent him to the Italia Conti Drama School; the same school that Anthony Newley and Petula Clark, among many others, had attended. Marriott's parents couldn't afford the school's fees, but Marriott was so talented that the school waived the fees -- they said they'd get him work, and take a cut of his wages in lieu of the fees. And over the next few years they did get him a lot of work. Much of that work was for TV shows, which like almost all TV of the time no longer exist -- he was in an episode of the Sid James sitcom Citizen James, an episode of Mr. Pastry's Progress, an episode of the police drama Dixon of Dock Green, and an episode of a series based on the Just William books, none of which survive. He also did a voiceover for a carpet cleaner ad, appeared on the radio soap opera Mrs Dale's Diary playing a pop star, and had a regular spot reading listeners' letters out for the agony aunt Marje Proops on her radio show. Almost all of this early acting work wa s utterly ephemeral, but there are a handful of his performances that do survive, mostly in films. He has a small role in the comedy film Heavens Above!, a mistaken-identity comedy in which a radical left-wing priest played by Peter Sellers is given a parish intended for a more conservative priest of the same name, and upsets the well-off people of the parish by taking in a large family of travellers and appointing a Black man as his churchwarden. The film has some dated attitudes, in the way that things that were trying to be progressive and antiracist sixty years ago invariably do, but has a sparkling cast, with Sellers, Eric Sykes, William Hartnell, Brock Peters, Roy Kinnear, Irene Handl, and many more extremely recognisable faces from the period: [Excerpt: Heavens Above!] Marriott apparently enjoyed working on the film immensely, as he was a fan of the Goon Show, which Sellers had starred in and which Sykes had co-written several episodes of. There are reports of Marriott and Sellers jamming together on banjos during breaks in filming, though these are probably *slightly* inaccurate -- Sellers played the banjolele, a banjo-style instrument which is played like a ukulele. As Marriott had started on ukulele before switching to guitar, it was probably these they were playing, rather than banjoes. He also appeared in a more substantial role in a film called Live It Up!, a pop exploitation film starring David Hemmings in which he appears as a member of a pop group. Oddly, Marriott plays a drummer, even though he wasn't a drummer, while two people who *would* find fame as drummers, Mitch Mitchell and Dave Clark, appear in smaller, non-drumming, roles. He doesn't perform on the soundtrack, which is produced by Joe Meek and features Sounds Incorporated, The Outlaws, and Gene Vincent, but he does mime playing behind Heinz Burt, the former bass player of the Tornadoes who was then trying for solo stardom at Meek's instigation: [Excerpt: Heinz Burt, "Don't You Understand"] That film was successful enough that two years later, in 1965 Marriott came back for a sequel, Be My Guest, with The Niteshades, the Nashville Teens, and Jerry Lee Lewis, this time with music produced by Shel Talmy rather than Meek. But that was something of a one-off. After making Live It Up!, Marriott had largely retired from acting, because he was trying to become a pop star. The break finally came when he got an audition at the National Theatre, for a job touring with Laurence Olivier for a year. He came home and told his parents he hadn't got the job, but then a week later they were bemused by a phone call asking why Steve hadn't turned up for rehearsals. He *had* got the job, but he'd decided he couldn't face a year of doing the same thing over and over, and had pretended he hadn't. By this time he'd already released his first record. The work on Oliver! had got him a contract with Decca Records, and he'd recorded a Buddy Holly knock-off, "Give Her My Regards", written for him by Kenny Lynch, the actor, pop star, and all-round entertainer: [Excerpt: Steve Marriott, "Give Her My Regards"] That record wasn't a hit, but Marriott wasn't put off. He formed a band who were at first called the Moonlights, and then the Frantiks, and they got a management deal with Tony Calder, Andrew Oldham's junior partner in his management company. Calder got former Shadow Tony Meehan to produce a demo for the group, a version of Cliff Richard's hit "Move It", which was shopped round the record labels with no success (and which sadly appears no longer to survive). The group also did some recordings with Joe Meek, which also don't circulate, but which may exist in the famous "Teachest Tapes" which are slowly being prepared for archival releases. The group changed their name to the Moments, and added in the guitarist John Weider, who was one of those people who seem to have been in every band ever either just before or just after they became famous -- at various times he was in Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Family, Eric Burdon and the Animals, and the band that became Crabby Appleton, but never in their most successful lineups. They continued recording unsuccessful demos, of which a small number have turned up: [Excerpt: Steve Marriott and the Moments, "Good Morning Blues"] One of their demo sessions was produced by Andrew Oldham, and while that session didn't lead to a release, it did lead to Oldham booking Marriott as a session harmonica player for one of his "Andrew Oldham Orchestra" sessions, to play on a track titled "365 Rolling Stones (One For Every Day of the Year)": [Excerpt: The Andrew Oldham Orchestra, "365 Rolling Stones (One For Every Day of the Year)"] Oldham also produced a session for what was meant to be Marriott's second solo single on Decca, a cover version of the Rolling Stones' "Tell Me", which was actually scheduled for release but pulled at the last minute. Like many of Marriott's recordings from this period, if it exists, it doesn't seem to circulate publicly. But despite their lack of recording success, the Moments did manage to have a surprising level of success on the live circuit. Because they were signed to Calder and Oldham's management company, they got a contract with the Arthur Howes booking agency, which got them support slots on package tours with Billy J Kramer, Freddie and the Dreamers, the Kinks, and other major acts, and the band members were earning about thirty pounds a week each -- a very, very good living for the time. They even had a fanzine devoted to them, written by a fan named Stuart Tuck. But as they weren't making records, the band's lineup started changing, with members coming and going. They did manage to get one record released -- a soundalike version of the Kinks' "You Really Got Me", recorded for a budget label who rushed it out, hoping to get it picked up in the US and for it to be the hit version there: [Excerpt: The Moments, "You Really Got Me"] But the month after that was released, Marriott was sacked from the band, apparently in part because the band were starting to get billed as Steve Marriott and the Moments rather than just The Moments, and the rest of them didn't want to be anyone's backing band. He got a job at a music shop while looking around for other bands to perform with. At one point around this time he was going to form a duo with a friend of his, Davy Jones -- not the one who had also appeared in Oliver!, but another singer of the same name. This one sang with a blues band called the Mannish Boys, and both men were well known on the Mod scene in London. Marriott's idea was that they call themselves David and Goliath, with Jones being David, and Marriott being Goliath because he was only five foot five. That could have been a great band, but it never got past the idea stage. Marriott had become friendly with another part-time musician and shop worker called Ronnie Lane, who was in a band called the Outcasts who played the same circuit as the Moments: [Excerpt: The Outcasts, "Before You Accuse Me"] Lane worked in a sound equipment shop and Marriott in a musical instrument shop, and both were customers of the other as well as friends -- at least until Marriott came into the shop where Lane worked and tried to persuade him to let Marriott have a free PA system. Lane pretended to go along with it as a joke, and got sacked. Lane had then gone to the shop where Marriott worked in the hope that Marriott would give him a good deal on a guitar because he'd been sacked because of Marriott. Instead, Marriott persuaded him that he should switch to bass, on the grounds that everyone was playing guitar since the Beatles had come along, but a bass player would always be able to find work. Lane bought the bass. Shortly after that, Marriott came to an Outcasts gig in a pub, and was asked to sit in. He enjoyed playing with Lane and the group's drummer Kenney Jones, but got so drunk he smashed up the pub's piano while playing a Jerry Lee Lewis song. The resulting fallout led to the group being barred from the pub and splitting up, so Marriott, Lane, and Jones decided to form their own group. They got in another guitarist Marriott knew, a man named Jimmy Winston who was a couple of years older than them, and who had two advantages -- he was a known Face on the mod scene, with a higher status than any of the other three, and his brother owned a van and would drive the group and their equipment for ten percent of their earnings. There was a slight problem in that Winston was also as good on guitar as Marriott and looked like he might want to be the star, but Marriott neutralised that threat -- he moved Winston over to keyboards. The fact that Winston couldn't play keyboards didn't matter -- he could be taught a couple of riffs and licks, and he was sure to pick up the rest. And this way the group had the same lineup as one of Marriott's current favourites, Booker T and the MGs. While he was still a Buddy Holly fan, he was now, like the rest of the Mods, an R&B obsessive. Marriott wasn't entirely sure that this new group would be the one that would make him a star though, and was still looking for other alternatives in case it didn't play out. He auditioned for another band, the Lower Third, which counted Stuart Tuck, the writer of the Moments fanzine, among its members. But he was unsuccessful in the audition -- instead his friend Davy Jones, the one who he'd been thinking of forming a duo with, got the job: [Excerpt: Davy Jones and the Lower Third, "You've Got a Habit of Leaving"] A few months after that, Davy Jones and the Lower Third changed their name to David Bowie and the Lower Third, and we'll be picking up that story in a little over a year from now... Marriott, Lane, Jones, and Winston kept rehearsing and pulled together a five-song set, which was just about long enough to play a few shows, if they extended the songs with long jamming instrumental sections. The opening song for these early sets was one which, when they recorded it, would be credited to Marriott and Lane -- the two had struck up a writing partnership and agreed to a Lennon/McCartney style credit split, though in these early days Marriott was doing far more of the writing than Lane was. But "You Need Loving" was... heavily inspired... by "You Need Love", a song Willie Dixon had written for Muddy Waters: [Excerpt: Muddy Waters, "You Need Love"] It's not precisely the same song, but you can definitely hear the influence in the Marriott/Lane song: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "You Need Loving"] They did make some changes though, notably to the end of the song: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "You Need Loving"] You will be unsurprised to learn that Robert Plant was a fan of Steve Marriott. The new group were initially without a name, until after one of their first gigs, Winston's girlfriend, who hadn't met the other three before, said "You've all got such small faces!" The name stuck, because it had a double meaning -- as we've seen in the episode on "My Generation", "Face" was Mod slang for someone who was cool and respected on the Mod scene, but also, with the exception of Winston, who was average size, the other three members of the group were very short -- the tallest of the three was Ronnie Lane, who was five foot six. One thing I should note about the group's name, by the way -- on all the labels of their records in the UK while they were together, they were credited as "Small Faces", with no "The" in front, but all the band members referred to the group in interviews as "The Small Faces", and they've been credited that way on some reissues and foreign-market records. The group's official website is thesmallfaces.com but all the posts on the website refer to them as "Small Faces" with no "the". The use of the word "the" or not at the start of a group's name at this time was something of a shibboleth -- for example both The Buffalo Springfield and The Pink Floyd dropped theirs after their early records -- and its status in this case is a strange one. I'll be referring to the group throughout as "The Small Faces" rather than "Small Faces" because the former is easier to say, but both seem accurate. After a few pub gigs in London, they got some bookings in the North of England, where they got a mixed reception -- they went down well at Peter Stringfellow's Mojo Club in Sheffield, where Joe Cocker was a regular performer, less well at a working-man's club, and reports differ about their performance at the Twisted Wheel in Manchester, though one thing everyone is agreed on is that while they were performing, some Mancunians borrowed their van and used it to rob a clothing warehouse, and gave the band members some very nice leather coats as a reward for their loan of the van. It was only on the group's return to London that they really started to gel as a unit. In particular, Kenney Jones had up to that point been a very stiff, precise, drummer, but he suddenly loosened up and, in Steve Marriott's tasteless phrase, "Every number swung like Hanratty" (James Hanratty was one of the last people in Britain to be executed by hanging). Shortly after that, Don Arden's secretary -- whose name I haven't been able to find in any of the sources I've used for this episode, sadly, came into the club where they were rehearsing, the Starlight Rooms, to pass a message from Arden to an associate of his who owned the club. The secretary had seen Marriott perform before -- he would occasionally get up on stage at the Starlight Rooms to duet with Elkie Brooks, who was a regular performer there, and she'd seen him do that -- but was newly impressed by his group, and passed word on to her boss that this was a group he should investigate. Arden is someone who we'll be looking at a lot in future episodes, but the important thing to note right now is that he was a failed entertainer who had moved into management and promotion, first with American acts like Gene Vincent, and then with British acts like the Nashville Teens, who had had hits with tracks like "Tobacco Road": [Excerpt: The Nashville Teens, "Tobacco Road"] Arden was also something of a gangster -- as many people in the music industry were at the time, but he was worse than most of his contemporaries, and delighted in his nickname "the Al Capone of pop". The group had a few managers looking to sign them, but Arden convinced them with his offer. They would get a percentage of their earnings -- though they never actually received that percentage -- twenty pounds a week in wages, and, the most tempting part of it all, they would get expense accounts at all the Carnaby St boutiques and could go there whenever they wanted and get whatever they wanted. They signed with Arden, which all of them except Marriott would later regret, because Arden's financial exploitation meant that it would be decades before they saw any money from their hits, and indeed both Marriott and Lane would be dead before they started getting royalties from their old records. Marriott, on the other hand, had enough experience of the industry to credit Arden with the group getting anywhere at all, and said later "Look, you go into it with your eyes open and as far as I was concerned it was better than living on brown sauce rolls. At least we had twenty quid a week guaranteed." Arden got the group signed to Decca, with Dick Rowe signing them to the same kind of production deal that Andrew Oldham had pioneered with the Stones, so that Arden would own the rights to their recordings. At this point the group still only knew a handful of songs, but Rowe was signing almost everyone with a guitar at this point, putting out a record or two and letting them sink or swim. He had already been firmly labelled as "the man who turned down the Beatles", and was now of the opinion that it was better to give everyone a chance than to make that kind of expensive mistake again. By this point Marriott and Lane were starting to write songs together -- though at this point it was still mostly Marriott writing, and people would ask him why he was giving Lane half the credit, and he'd reply "Without Ronnie's help keeping me awake and being there I wouldn't do half of it. He keeps me going." -- but for their first single Arden was unsure that they were up to the task of writing a hit. The group had been performing a version of Solomon Burke's "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love", a song which Burke always claimed to have written alone, but which is credited to him, Jerry Wexler, and Bert Berns (and has Bern's fingerprints, at least, on it to my ears): [Excerpt: Solomon Burke, "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love"] Arden got some professional writers to write new lyrics and vocal melody to their arrangement of the song -- the people he hired were Brian Potter, who would later go on to co-write "Rhinestone Cowboy", and Ian Samwell, the former member of Cliff Richard's Drifters who had written many of Richard's early hits, including "Move It", and was now working for Arden. The group went into the studio and recorded the song, titled "Whatcha Gonna Do About It?": [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "Whatcha Gonna Do About It?"] That version, though was deemed too raucous, and they had to go back into the studio to cut a new version, which came out as their first single: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "Whatcha Gonna Do About It?"] At first the single didn't do much on the charts, but then Arden got to work with teams of people buying copies from chart return shops, bribing DJs on pirate radio stations to play it, and bribing the person who compiled the charts for the NME. Eventually it made number fourteen, at which point it became a genuinely popular hit. But with that popularity came problems. In particular, Steve Marriott was starting to get seriously annoyed by Jimmy Winston. As the group started to get TV appearances, Winston started to act like he should be the centre of attention. Every time Marriott took a solo in front of TV cameras, Winston would start making stupid gestures, pulling faces, anything to make sure the cameras focussed on him rather than on Marriott. Which wouldn't have been too bad had Winston been a great musician, but he was still not very good on the keyboards, and unlike the others didn't seem particularly interested in trying. He seemed to want to be a star, rather than a musician. The group's next planned single was a Marriott and Lane song, "I've Got Mine". To promote it, the group mimed to it in a film, Dateline Diamonds, a combination pop film and crime caper not a million miles away from the ones that Marriott had appeared in a few years earlier. They also contributed three other songs to the film's soundtrack. Unfortunately, the film's release was delayed, and the film had been the big promotional push that Arden had planned for the single, and without that it didn't chart at all. By the time the single came out, though, Winston was no longer in the group. There are many, many different stories as to why he was kicked out. Depending on who you ask, it was because he was trying to take the spotlight away from Marriott, because he wasn't a good enough keyboard player, because he was taller than the others and looked out of place, or because he asked Don Arden where the money was. It was probably a combination of all of these, but fundamentally what it came to was that Winston just didn't fit into the group. Winston would, in later years, say that him confronting Arden was the only reason for his dismissal, saying that Arden had manipulated the others to get him out of the way, but that seems unlikely on the face of it. When Arden sacked him, he kept Winston on as a client and built another band around him, Jimmy Winston and the Reflections, and got them signed to Decca too, releasing a Kenny Lynch song, "Sorry She's Mine", to no success: [Excerpt: Jimmy Winston and the Reflections, "Sorry She's Mine"] Another version of that song would later be included on the first Small Faces album. Winston would then form another band, Winston's Fumbs, who would also release one single, before he went into acting instead. His most notable credit was as a rebel in the 1972 Doctor Who story Day of the Daleks, and he later retired from showbusiness to run a business renting out sound equipment, and died in 2020. The group hired his replacement without ever having met him or heard him play. Ian McLagan had started out as the rhythm guitarist in a Shadows soundalike band called the Cherokees, but the group had become R&B fans and renamed themselves the Muleskinners, and then after hearing "Green Onions", McLagan had switched to playing Hammond organ. The Muleskinners had played the same R&B circuit as dozens of other bands we've looked at, and had similar experiences, including backing visiting blues stars like Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, and Howlin' Wolf. Their one single had been a cover version of "Back Door Man", a song Willie Dixon had written for Wolf: [Excerpt: The Muleskinners, "Back Door Man"] The Muleskinners had split up as most of the group had day jobs, and McLagan had gone on to join a group called Boz and the Boz People, who were becoming popular on the live circuit, and who also toured backing Kenny Lynch while McLagan was in the band. Boz and the Boz People would release several singles in 1966, like their version of the theme for the film "Carry on Screaming", released just as by "Boz": [Excerpt: Boz, "Carry on Screaming"] By that time, McLagan had left the group -- Boz Burrell later went on to join King Crimson and Bad Company. McLagan left the Boz People in something of a strop, and was complaining to a friend the night he left the group that he didn't have any work lined up. The friend joked that he should join the Small Faces, because he looked like them, and McLagan got annoyed that his friend wasn't taking him seriously -- he'd love to be in the Small Faces, but they *had* a keyboard player. The next day he got a phone call from Don Arden asking him to come to his office. He was being hired to join a hit pop group who needed a new keyboard player. McLagan at first wasn't allowed to tell anyone what band he was joining -- in part because Arden's secretary was dating Winston, and Winston hadn't yet been informed he was fired, and Arden didn't want word leaking out until it had been sorted. But he'd been chosen purely on the basis of an article in a music magazine which had praised his playing with the Boz People, and without the band knowing him or his playing. As soon as they met, though, he immediately fit in in a way Winston never had. He looked the part, right down to his height -- he said later "Ronnie Lane and I were the giants in the band at 5 ft 6 ins, and Kenney Jones and Steve Marriott were the really teeny tiny chaps at 5 ft 5 1/2 ins" -- and he was a great player, and shared a sense of humour with them. McLagan had told Arden he'd been earning twenty pounds a week with the Boz People -- he'd actually been on five -- and so Arden agreed to give him thirty pounds a week during his probationary month, which was more than the twenty the rest of the band were getting. As soon as his probationary period was over, McLagan insisted on getting a pay cut so he'd be on the same wages as the rest of the group. Soon Marriott, Lane, and McLagan were all living in a house rented for them by Arden -- Jones decided to stay living with his parents -- and were in the studio recording their next single. Arden was convinced that the mistake with "I've Got Mine" had been allowing the group to record an original, and again called in a team of professional songwriters. Arden brought in Mort Shuman, who had recently ended his writing partnership with Doc Pomus and struck out on his own, after co-writing songs like "Save the Last Dance for Me", "Sweets For My Sweet", and "Viva Las Vegas" together, and Kenny Lynch, and the two of them wrote "Sha-La-La-La-Lee", and Lynch added backing vocals to the record: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "Sha-La-La-La-Lee"] None of the group were happy with the record, but it became a big hit, reaching number three in the charts. Suddenly the group had a huge fanbase of screaming teenage girls, which embarrassed them terribly, as they thought of themselves as serious heavy R&B musicians, and the rest of their career would largely be spent vacillating between trying to appeal to their teenybopper fanbase and trying to escape from it to fit their own self-image. They followed "Sha-La-La-La-Lee" with "Hey Girl", a Marriott/Lane song, but one written to order -- they were under strict instructions from Arden that if they wanted to have the A-side of a single, they had to write something as commercial as "Sha-La-La-La-Lee" had been, and they managed to come up with a second top-ten hit. Two hit singles in a row was enough to make an album viable, and the group went into the studio and quickly cut an album, which had their first two hits on it -- "Hey Girl" wasn't included, and nor was the flop "I've Got Mine" -- plus a bunch of semi-originals like "You Need Loving", a couple of Kenny Lynch songs, and a cover version of Sam Cooke's "Shake". The album went to number three on the album charts, with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones in the number one and two spots, and it was at this point that Arden's rivals really started taking interest. But that interest was quelled for the moment when, after Robert Stigwood enquired about managing the band, Arden went round to Stigwood's office with four goons and held him upside down over a balcony, threatening to drop him off if he ever messed with any of Arden's acts again. But the group were still being influenced by other managers. In particular, Brian Epstein came round to the group's shared house, with Graeme Edge of the Moody Blues, and brought them some slices of orange -- which they discovered, after eating them, had been dosed with LSD. By all accounts, Marriott's first trip was a bad one, but the group soon became regular consumers of the drug, and it influenced the heavier direction they took on their next single, "All or Nothing". "All or Nothing" was inspired both by Marriott's breakup with his girlfriend of the time, and his delight at the fact that Jenny Rylance, a woman he was attracted to, had split up with her then-boyfriend Rod Stewart. Rylance and Stewart later reconciled, but would break up again and Rylance would become Marriott's first wife in 1968: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "All or Nothing"] "All or Nothing" became the group's first and only number one record -- and according to the version of the charts used on Top of the Pops, it was a joint number one with the Beatles' double A-side of "Yellow Submarine" and "Eleanor Rigby", both selling exactly as well as each other. But this success caused the group's parents to start to wonder why their kids -- none of whom were yet twenty-one, the legal age of majority at the time -- were not rich. While the group were on tour, their parents came as a group to visit Arden and ask him where the money was, and why their kids were only getting paid twenty pounds a week when their group was getting a thousand pounds a night. Arden tried to convince the parents that he had been paying the group properly, but that they had spent their money on heroin -- which was very far from the truth, the band were only using soft drugs at the time. This put a huge strain on the group's relationship with Arden, and it wasn't the only thing Arden did that upset them. They had been spending a lot of time in the studio working on new material, and Arden was convinced that they were spending too much time recording, and that they were just faffing around and not producing anything of substance. They dropped off a tape to show him that they had been working -- and the next thing they knew, Arden had put out one of the tracks from that tape, "My Mind's Eye", which had only been intended as a demo, as a single: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "My Mind's Eye"] That it went to number four on the charts didn't make up for the fact that the first the band heard of the record coming out at all was when they heard it on the radio. They needed rid of Arden. Luckily for them, Arden wasn't keen on continuing to work with them either. They were unreliable and flakey, and he also needed cash quick to fund his other ventures, and he agreed to sell on their management and recording contracts. Depending on which version of the story you believe, he may have sold them on to an agent called Harold Davison, who then sold them on to Andrew Oldham and Tony Calder, but according to Oldham what happened is that in December 1966 Arden demanded the highest advance in British history -- twenty-five thousand pounds -- directly from Oldham. In cash. In a brown paper bag. The reason Oldham and Calder were interested was that in July 1965 they'd started up their own record label, Immediate Records, which had been announced by Oldham in his column in Disc and Music Echo, in which he'd said "On many occasions I have run down the large record companies over issues such as pirate stations, their promotion, and their tastes. And many readers have written in and said that if I was so disturbed by the state of the existing record companies why didn't I do something about it. I have! On the twentieth of this month the first of three records released by my own company, Immediate Records, is to be launched." That first batch of three records contained one big hit, "Hang on Sloopy" by the McCoys, which Immediate licensed from Bert Berns' new record label BANG in the US: [Excerpt: The McCoys, "Hang on Sloopy"] The two other initial singles featured the talents of Immediate's new in-house producer, a session player who had previously been known as "Little Jimmy" to distinguish him from "Big" Jim Sullivan, the other most in-demand session guitarist, but who was now just known as Jimmy Page. The first was a version of Pete Seeger's "The Bells of Rhymney", which Page produced and played guitar on, for a group called The Fifth Avenue: [Excerpt: The Fifth Avenue, "The Bells of Rhymney"] And the second was a Gordon Lightfoot song performed by a girlfriend of Brian Jones', Nico. The details as to who was involved in the track have varied -- at different times the production has been credited to Jones, Page, and Oldham -- but it seems to be the case that both Jones and Page play on the track, as did session bass player John Paul Jones: [Excerpt: Nico, "I'm Not Sayin'"] While "Hang on Sloopy" was a big hit, the other two singles were flops, and The Fifth Avenue split up, while Nico used the publicity she'd got as an entree into Andy Warhol's Factory, and we'll be hearing more about how that went in a future episode. Oldham and Calder were trying to follow the model of the Brill Building, of Phil Spector, and of big US independents like Motown and Stax. They wanted to be a one-stop shop where they'd produce the records, manage the artists, and own the publishing -- and they also licensed the publishing for the Beach Boys' songs for a couple of years, and started publicising their records over here in a big way, to exploit the publishing royalties, and that was a major factor in turning the Beach Boys from minor novelties to major stars in the UK. Most of Immediate's records were produced by Jimmy Page, but other people got to have a go as well. Giorgio Gomelsky and Shel Talmy both produced tracks for the label, as did a teenage singer then known as Paul Raven, who would later become notorious under his later stage-name Gary Glitter. But while many of these records were excellent -- and Immediate deserves to be talked about in the same terms as Motown or Stax when it comes to the quality of the singles it released, though not in terms of commercial success -- the only ones to do well on the charts in the first few months of the label's existence were "Hang on Sloopy" and an EP by Chris Farlowe. It was Farlowe who provided Immediate Records with its first home-grown number one, a version of the Rolling Stones' "Out of Time" produced by Mick Jagger, though according to Arthur Greenslade, the arranger on that and many other Immediate tracks, Jagger had given up on getting a decent performance out of Farlowe and Oldham ended up producing the vocals. Greenslade later said "Andrew must have worked hard in there, Chris Farlowe couldn't sing his way out of a paper bag. I'm sure Andrew must have done it, where you get an artist singing and you can do a sentence at a time, stitching it all together. He must have done it in pieces." But however hard it was to make, "Out of Time" was a success: [Excerpt: Chris Farlowe, "Out of Time"] Or at least, it was a success in the UK. It did also make the top forty in the US for a week, but then it hit a snag -- it had charted without having been released in the US at all, or even being sent as a promo to DJs. Oldham's new business manager Allen Klein had been asked to work his magic on the US charts, but the people he'd bribed to hype the record into the charts had got the release date wrong and done it too early. When the record *did* come out over there, no radio station would play it in case it looked like they were complicit in the scam. But still, a UK number one wasn't too shabby, and so Immediate Records was back on track, and Oldham wanted to shore things up by bringing in some more proven hit-makers. Immediate signed the Small Faces, and even started paying them royalties -- though that wouldn't last long, as Immediate went bankrupt in 1970 and its successors in interest stopped paying out. The first work the group did for the label was actually for a Chris Farlowe single. Lane and Marriott gave him their song "My Way of Giving", and played on the session along with Farlowe's backing band the Thunderbirds. Mick Jagger is the credited producer, but by all accounts Marriott and Lane did most of the work: [Excerpt: Chris Farlowe, "My Way of Giving"] Sadly, that didn't make the top forty. After working on that, they started on their first single recorded at Immediate. But because of contractual entanglements, "I Can't Make It" was recorded at Immediate but released by Decca. Because the band weren't particularly keen on promoting something on their old label, and the record was briefly banned by the BBC for being too sexual, it only made number twenty-six on the charts. Around this time, Marriott had become friendly with another band, who had named themselves The Little People in homage to the Small Faces, and particularly with their drummer Jerry Shirley. Marriott got them signed to Immediate, and produced and played on their first single, a version of his song "(Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me?": [Excerpt: The Apostolic Intervention, "(Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me?"] When they signed to Immediate, The Little People had to change their name, and Marriott suggested they call themselves The Nice, a phrase he liked. Oldham thought that was a stupid name, and gave the group the much more sensible name The Apostolic Intervention. And then a few weeks later he signed another group and changed *their* name to The Nice. "The Nice" was also a phrase used in the Small Faces' first single for Immediate proper. "Here Come the Nice" was inspired by a routine by the hipster comedian Lord Buckley, "The Nazz", which also gave a name to Todd Rundgren's band and inspired a line in David Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust": [Excerpt: Lord Buckley, "The Nazz"] "Here Come the Nice" was very blatantly about a drug dealer, and somehow managed to reach number twelve despite that: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "Here Come the Nice"] It also had another obstacle that stopped it doing as well as it might. A week before it came out, Decca released a single, "Patterns", from material they had in the vault. And in June 1967, two Small Faces albums came out. One of them was a collection from Decca of outtakes and demos, plus their non-album hit singles, titled From The Beginning, while the other was their first album on Immediate, which was titled Small Faces -- just like their first Decca album had been. To make matters worse, From The Beginning contained the group's demos of "My Way of Giving" and "(Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me?", while the group's first Immediate album contained a new recording of "(Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me?", and a version of "My Way of Giving" with the same backing track but a different vocal take from the one on the Decca collection. From this point on, the group's catalogue would be a complete mess, with an endless stream of compilations coming out, both from Decca and, after the group split, from Immediate, mixing tracks intended for release with demos and jam sessions with no regard for either their artistic intent or for what fans might want. Both albums charted, with Small Faces reaching number twelve and From The Beginning reaching number sixteen, neither doing as well as their first album had, despite the Immediate album, especially, being a much better record. This was partly because the Marriott/Lane partnership was becoming far more equal. Kenney Jones later said "During the Decca period most of the self-penned stuff was 99% Steve. It wasn't until Immediate that Ronnie became more involved. The first Immediate album is made up of 50% Steve's songs and 50% of Ronnie's. They didn't collaborate as much as people thought. In fact, when they did, they often ended up arguing and fighting." It's hard to know who did what on each song credited to the pair, but if we assume that each song's principal writer also sang lead -- we know that's not always the case, but it's a reasonable working assumption -- then Jones' fifty-fifty estimate seems about right. Of the fourteen songs on the album, McLagan sings one, which is also his own composition, "Up the Wooden Hills to Bedfordshire". There's one instrumental, six with Marriott on solo lead vocals, four with Lane on solo lead vocals, and two duets, one with Lane as the main vocalist and one with Marriott. The fact that there was now a second songwriter taking an equal role in the band meant that they could now do an entire album of originals. It also meant that their next Marriott/Lane single was mostly a Lane song. "Itchycoo Park" started with a verse lyric from Lane -- "Over bridge of sighs/To rest my eyes in shades of green/Under dreaming spires/To Itchycoo Park, that's where I've been". The inspiration apparently came from Lane reading about the dreaming spires of Oxford, and contrasting it with the places he used to play as a child, full of stinging nettles. For a verse melody, they repeated a trick they'd used before -- the melody of "My Mind's Eye" had been borrowed in part from the Christmas carol "Gloria in Excelsis Deo", and here they took inspiration from the old hymn "God Be in My Head": [Excerpt: The Choir of King's College Cambridge, "God Be in My Head"] As Marriott told the story: "We were in Ireland and speeding our brains out writing this song. Ronnie had the first verse already written down but he had no melody line, so what we did was stick the verse to the melody line of 'God Be In My Head' with a few chord variations. We were going towards Dublin airport and I thought of the middle eight... We wrote the second verse collectively, and the chorus speaks for itself." [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "Itchycoo Park"] Marriott took the lead vocal, even though it was mostly Lane's song, but Marriott did contribute to the writing, coming up with the middle eight. Lane didn't seem hugely impressed with Marriott's contribution, and later said "It wasn't me that came up with 'I feel inclined to blow my mind, get hung up, feed the ducks with a bun/They all come out to groove about, be nice and have fun in the sun'. That wasn't me, but the more poetic stuff was." But that part became the most memorable part of the record, not so much because of the writing or performance but because of the production. It was one of the first singles released using a phasing effect, developed by George Chkiantz (and I apologise if I'm pronouncing that name wrong), who was the assistant engineer for Glyn Johns on the album. I say it was one of the first, because at the time there was not a clear distinction between the techniques now known as phasing, flanging, and artificial double tracking, all of which have now diverged, but all of which initially came from the idea of shifting two copies of a recording slightly out of synch with each other. The phasing on "Itchycoo Park" , though, was far more extreme and used to far different effect than that on, say, Revolver: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "Itchycoo Park"] It was effective enough that Jimi Hendrix, who was at the time working on Axis: Bold as Love, requested that Chkiantz come in and show his engineer how to get the same effect, which was then used on huge chunks of Hendrix's album. The BBC banned the record, because even the organisation which had missed that the Nice who "is always there when I need some speed" was a drug dealer was a little suspicious about whether "we'll get high" and "we'll touch the sky" might be drug references. The band claimed to be horrified at the thought, and explained that they were talking about swings. It's a song about a park, so if you play on the swings, you go high. What else could it mean? [Excerpt: The Small Faces, “Itchycoo Park”] No drug references there, I'm sure you'll agree. The song made number three, but the group ran into more difficulties with the BBC after an appearance on Top of the Pops. Marriott disliked the show's producer, and the way that he would go up to every act and pretend to think they had done a very good job, no matter what he actually thought, which Marriott thought of as hypocrisy rather than as politeness and professionalism. Marriott discovered that the producer was leaving the show, and so in the bar afterwards told him exactly what he thought of him, calling him a "two-faced", and then a four-letter word beginning with c which is generally considered the most offensive swear word there is. Unfortunately for Marriott, he'd been misinformed, the producer wasn't leaving the show, and the group were barred from it for a while. "Itchycoo Park" also made the top twenty in the US, thanks to a new distribution deal Immediate had, and plans were made for the group to tour America, but those plans had to be scrapped when Ian McLagan was arrested for possession of hashish, and instead the group toured France, with support from a group called the Herd: [Excerpt: The Herd, "From the Underworld"] Marriott became very friendly with the Herd's guitarist, Peter Frampton, and sympathised with Frampton's predicament when in the next year he was voted "face of '68" and developed a similar teenage following to the one the Small Faces had. The group's last single of 1967 was one of their best. "Tin Soldier" was inspired by the Hans Andersen story “The Steadfast Tin Soldier”, and was originally written for the singer P.P. Arnold, who Marriott was briefly dating around this time. But Arnold was *so* impressed with the song that Marriott decided to keep it for his own group, and Arnold was left just doing backing vocals on the track: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "Tin Soldier"] It's hard to show the appeal of "Tin Soldier" in a short clip like those I use on this show, because so much of it is based on the use of dynamics, and the way the track rises and falls, but it's an extremely powerful track, and made the top ten. But it was after that that the band started falling apart, and also after that that they made the work generally considered their greatest album. As "Itchycoo Park" had made number one in Australia, the group were sent over there on tour to promote it, as support act for the Who. But the group hadn't been playing live much recently, and found it difficult to replicate their records on stage, as they were now so reliant on studio effects like phasing. The Australian audiences were uniformly hostile, and the contrast with the Who, who were at their peak as a live act at this point, couldn't have been greater. Marriott decided he had a solution. The band needed to get better live, so why not get Peter Frampton in as a fifth member? He was great on guitar and had stage presence, obviously that would fix their problems. But the other band members absolutely refused to get Frampton in. Marriott's confidence as a stage performer took a knock from which it never really recovered, and increasingly the band became a studio-only one. But the tour also put strain on the most important partnership in the band. Marriott and Lane had been the closest of friends and collaborators, but on the tour, both found a very different member of the Who to pal around with. Marriott became close to Keith Moon, and the two would get drunk and trash hotel rooms together. Lane, meanwhile, became very friendly with Pete Townshend, who introduced him to the work of the guru Meher Baba, who Townshend followed. Lane, too, became a follower, and the two would talk about religion and spirituality while their bandmates were destroying things. An attempt was made to heal the growing rifts though. Marriott, Lane, and McLagan all moved in together again like old times, but this time in a cottage -- something that became so common for bands around this time that the phrase "getting our heads together in the country" became a cliche in the music press. They started working on material for their new album. One of the tracks that they were working on was written by Marriott, and was inspired by how, before moving in to the country cottage, his neighbours had constantly complained about the volume of his music -- he'd been particularly annoyed that the pop singer Cilla Black, who lived in the same building and who he'd assumed would understand the pop star lifestyle, had complained more than anyone. It had started as as fairly serious blues song, but then Marriott had been confronted by the members of the group The Hollies, who wanted to know why Marriott always sang in a pseudo-American accent. Wasn't his own accent good enough? Was there something wrong with being from the East End of London? Well, no, Marriott decided, there wasn't, and so he decided to sing it in a Cockney accent. And so the song started to change, going from being an R&B song to being the kind of thing Cockneys could sing round a piano in a pub: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "Lazy Sunday"] Marriott intended the song just as an album track for the album they were working on, but Andrew Oldham insisted on releasing it as a single, much to the band's disgust, and it went to number two on the charts, and along with "Itchycoo Park" meant that the group were now typecast as making playful, light-hearted music. The album they were working on, Ogden's Nut-Gone Flake, was eventually as known for its marketing as its music. In the Small Faces' long tradition of twisted religious references, like their songs based on hymns and their song "Here Come the Nice", which had taken inspiration from a routine about Jesus and made it about a drug dealer, the print ads for the album read: Small Faces Which were in the studios Hallowed be thy name Thy music come Thy songs be sung On this album as they came from your heads We give you this day our daily bread Give us thy album in a round cover as we give thee 37/9d Lead us into the record stores And deliver us Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake For nice is the music The sleeve and the story For ever and ever, Immediate The reason the ad mentioned a round cover is that the original pressings of the album were released in a circular cover, made to look like a tobacco tin, with the name of the brand of tobacco changed from Ogden's Nut-Brown Flake to Ogden's Nut-Gone Flake, a reference to how after smoking enough dope your nut, or head, would be gone. This made more sense to British listeners than to Americans, because not only was the slang on the label British, and not only was it a reference to a British tobacco brand, but American and British dope-smoking habits are very different. In America a joint is generally made by taking the dried leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant -- or "weed" -- and rolling them in a cigarette paper and smoking them. In the UK and much of Europe, though, the preferred form of cannabis is the resin, hashish, which is crumbled onto tobacco in a cigarette paper and smoked that way, so having rolling or pipe tobacco was a necessity for dope smokers in the UK in a way it wasn't in the US. Side one of Ogden's was made up of normal songs, but the second side mixed songs and narrative. Originally the group wanted to get Spike Milligan to do the narration, but when Milligan backed out they chose Professor Stanley Unwin, a comedian who was known for speaking in his own almost-English language, Unwinese: [Excerpt: Stanley Unwin, "The Populode of the Musicolly"] They gave Unwin a script, telling the story that linked side two of the album, in which Happiness Stan is shocked to discover that half the moon has disappeared and goes on a quest to find the missing half, aided by a giant fly who lets him sit on his back after Stan shares his shepherd's pie with the hungry fly. After a long quest they end up at the cave of Mad John the Hermit, who points out to them that nobody had stolen half the moon at all -- they'd been travelling so long that it was a full moon again, and everything was OK. Unwin took that script, and reworked it into Unwinese, and also added in a lot of the slang he heard the group use, like "cool it" and "what's been your hang-up?": [Excerpt: The Small Faces and Professor Stanley Unwin, "Mad John"] The album went to number one, and the group were justifiably proud, but it only exacerbated the problems with their live show. Other than an appearance on the TV show Colour Me Pop, where they were joined by Stanley Unwin to perform the whole of side two of the album with live vocals but miming to instrumental backing tracks, they only performed two songs from the album live, "Rollin' Over" and "Song of a Baker", otherwise sticking to the same live show Marriott was already embarrassed by. Marriott later said "We had spent an entire year in the studios, which was why our stage presentation had not been improved since the previous year. Meanwhile our recording experience had developed in leaps and bounds. We were all keenly interested in the technical possibilities, in the art of recording. We let down a lot of people who wanted to hear Ogden's played live. We were still sort of rough and ready, and in the end the audience became uninterested as far as our stage show was concerned. It was our own fault, because we would have sussed it all out if we had only used our brains. We could have taken Stanley Unwin on tour with us, maybe a string section as well, and it would have been okay. But we didn't do it, we stuck to the concept that had been successful for a long time, which is always the kiss of death." The group's next single would be the last released while they were together. Marriott regarded "The Universal" as possibly the best thing he'd written, and recorded it quickly when inspiration struck. The finished single is actually a home recording of Marriott in his garden, including the sounds of a dog barking and his wife coming home with the shopping, onto which the band later overdubbed percussion, horns, and electric guitars: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "The Universal"] Incidentally, it seems that the dog barking on that track may also be the dog barking on “Seamus” by Pink Floyd. "The Universal" confused listeners, and only made number sixteen on the charts, crushing Marriott, who thought it was the best thing he'd done. But the band were starting to splinter. McLagan isn't on "The Universal", having quit the band before it was recorded after a falling-out with Marriott. He rejoined, but discovered that in the meantime Marriott had brought in session player Nicky Hopkins to work on some tracks, which devastated him. Marriott became increasingly unconfident in his own writing, and the writing dried up. The group did start work on some new material, some of which, like "The Autumn Stone", is genuinely lovely: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "The Autumn Stone"] But by the time that was released, the group had already split up. The last recording they did together was as a backing group for Johnny Hallyday, the French rock star. A year earlier Hallyday had recorded a version of "My Way of Giving", under the title "Je N'Ai Jamais Rien Demandé": [Excerpt: Johnny Hallyday, "Je N'Ai Jamais Rien Demandé"] Now he got in touch with Glyn Johns to see if the Small Faces had any other material for him, and if they'd maybe back him on a few tracks on a new album. Johns and the Small Faces flew to France... as did Peter Frampton, who Marriott was still pushing to get into the band. They recorded three tracks for the album, with Frampton on extra guitar: [Excerpt: Johnny Hallyday, "Reclamation"] These tracks left Marriott more certain than ever that Frampton should be in the band, and the other three members even more certain that he shouldn't. Frampton joined the band on stage at a few shows on their next few gigs, but he was putting together his own band with Jerry Shirley from Apostolic Intervention. On New Year's Eve 1968, Marriott finally had enough. He stormed off stage mid-set, and quit the group. He phoned up Peter Frampton, who was hanging out with Glyn Johns listening to an album Johns had just produced by some of the session players who'd worked for Immediate. Side one had just finished when Marriott phoned. Could he join Frampton's new band? Frampton said of course he could, then put the phone down and listened to side two of Led Zeppelin's first record. The band Marriott and Frampton formed was called Humble Pie, and they were soon releasing stuff on Immediate. According to Oldham, "Tony Calder said to me one day 'Pick a straw'. Then he explained we had a choice. We could either go with the three Faces -- Kenney, Ronnie, and Mac -- wherever they were going to go with their lives, or we could follow Stevie. I didn't regard it as a choice. Neither did Tony. Marriott was our man". Marriott certainly seemed to agree that he was the real talent in the group. He and Lane had fairly recently bought some property together -- two houses on the same piece of land -- and with the group splitting up, Lane moved away and wanted to sell his share in the property to Marriott. Marriott wrote to him saying "You'll get nothing. This was bought with money from hits that I wrote, not that we wrote," and enclosing a PRS statement showing how much each Marriott/Lane