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American–British rock and pop band

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ESO Network – The ESO Network
Modern Musicology #47 – Guilty Pleasures

ESO Network – The ESO Network

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2022 65:11


Court is in session and the Modern Musicology gang has been found GUILTY of liking some of the most un-hip and embarrassing stuff EVER! This is us confessing our Guilty Pleasures! We unrepentantly bask in our love of Shaun Cassidy, Donnie and Marie, The Spice Girls, The Bee Gees, The Monkees, Liberace, and even opera, plus a whole lot more.  … Modern Musicology #47 – Guilty Pleasures Read More » The post Modern Musicology #47 – Guilty Pleasures appeared first on The ESO Network.

Mixology: The Mono/Stereo Mix Differences Podcast
Headquarters (1989 & 2022 Remix Edition) by The Monkees

Mixology: The Mono/Stereo Mix Differences Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2022 42:34


Hello Friends! We're back at it again today with, not only another new remix, but also a look at an album already covered on the show, The Monkees' classic 1967 LP Headquarters. In our original instalment we covered the original mono and stereo mixes, but today we're covering both the 1989 Bill Inglot remix on Arista, and the brand new 2022 remix by Andrew Sandoval from the Super Deluxe Edition of the album. While the 1989 was a remix from the final 4-track master, the new 2022 remix provides a resync of the multistage tapes to provide a far more evenly balanced mix, while retaining the sound of 1967 through and through. If you're on the fence about picking up the set, this episode should push you off of it - and with only a few copies left, there's No Time to waste! So, let's see if this is like comparing Shades of Grey, or if [this] May Just Be The One.   Happy Listening, Frederick   P.S. The HQ fun doesn't end here - this Sunday on Mixology on 45 we'll be looking at the brand new mixes of non-LP single A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You & The Girl I Knew Somewhere, and then in December we will be looking at the 9 other new mixes of the bonus tracks in a Patreon exclusive Mixology! Sign up to support the show now to get access as soon as they go live, from just £1 a month, at https://www.patreon.com/backtomono   Purchase the box set exclusively from Rhino here: https://monkeesstore.warnermusic.com/en/the-monkees/home/the-monkees---headquarters-super-deluxe-edition/081227883836.html   Email the show at: backtomonoradio@gmail.com   Listen to companion podcast Back to Mono: https://www.mixcloud.com/backtomonoradio/playlists/back-to-mono-complete/   Find me on Instagram @hypnoticfred   Artwork for this episode by @vinylbenjy

GENTE EN AMBIENTE
"GENTE EN AMBIENTE" sábado, 26, para disfrutar los mejores éxitos y recuerdos de la ULTIMA SEMANA de NOVIEMBRE

GENTE EN AMBIENTE

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 25, 2022 167:49


ALGUNAS DE LAS MEJORES BANDAS: POLICE, BEATLES, MEAT LOAF, YES, BEACH BOYS, MONKEES, SPENCER DAVIS, MITCH RYDER,... ALGUNOS DE LOS MEJORES INTERPRETES: BEYONCE, ROD STEWARD, STEVIE WONDER, ELVIS PRESLEY, DIANA ROSS& SUPREMES, DIONNE WARWICK, PETER CETERA, ELTON JOHN, BARRY WHITE, BILLY JOEL, McCARTNEY, MICHAEL JACKSON, TAYLOR SWIFT, BOBBY VINTON, AZNAVOUR, TRINI LOPEZ,... ALGUNOS DE NUESTRO MEJORES INTERPRETES: MARIA TERESA CHACIN, ROBERTO CARLOS, HUGO BLANCO, TITO RODRIGUEZ, ENRIQUE IGLESIAS, DAIQUIRI, GRAN COMBO, LUIS MIGUEL, ENRIQUE GUZMAN, INDIOS TABAJARAS, RITA PAVONE, GLORIA ESTEFAN,... ALGUNOS DE NUESTRO MEJORES RECUERDOS: "ANGELES DE CHARLIE", "RAICES", "INFIERNO EN LA TORRE", "OO7", ... --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/genteenambiente/support

Drum Channel Podcast
S2 E33 - Sandy Gennaro

Drum Channel Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 25, 2022 48:17


Hi everyone, Billy A here; welcome to the Drum Channel Podcast. As drummers, time is a powerful word; In playing and especially in life. Our guest today, the drummer/author Sandy Gennaro understands the importance of timing in life and has written an inspiring book combining his music career with life lessons titled ”Beating The Odds: In Business & Life.” Sandy and I chat about the book, our long-time-friendship, his music career with The Monkees, Cyndi Lauper, Joan Jett, Benny Mardones, the legendary Bo Didley and his advice breaking down the importance of B.E.A.T.S. Enjoy!  Black Friday special! Subscribe to Drum Channel with the code BILLY30 for 30% off! www.DrumChannel.com

A History Of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs
Episode 158: “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane

A History Of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2022


Episode one hundred and fifty-eight of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “White Rabbit”, Jefferson Airplane, and the rise of the San Francisco sound. 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 "Omaha" by Moby Grape. 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/ Erratum I refer to Back to Methuselah by Robert Heinlein. This is of course a play by George Bernard Shaw. What I meant to say was Methuselah's Children. Resources I hope to upload a Mixcloud tomorrow, and will edit it in, but have had some problems with the site today. Jefferson Airplane's first four studio albums, plus a 1968 live album, can be found in this box set. I've referred to three main books here. Got a Revolution!: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane by Jeff Tamarkin is written with the co-operation of the band members, but still finds room to criticise them. Jefferson Airplane On Track by Richard Molesworth is a song-by-song guide to the band's music. And Been So Long: My Life and Music by Jorma Kaukonen is Kaukonen's autobiography. Some information on Skip Spence and Matthew Katz also comes from What's Big and Purple and Lives in the Ocean?: The Moby Grape Story, by Cam Cobb, which I also used for this week's bonus. Patreon This podcast is brought to you by the generosity of my backers on Patreon. Why not join them? Transcript Before I start, I need to confess an important and hugely embarrassing error in this episode. I've only ever seen Marty Balin's name written down, never heard it spoken, and only after recording the episode, during the editing process, did I discover I mispronounce it throughout. It's usually an advantage for the podcast that I get my information from books rather than TV documentaries and the like, because they contain far more information, but occasionally it causes problems like that. My apologies. Also a brief note that this episode contains some mentions of racism, antisemitism, drug and alcohol abuse, and gun violence. One of the themes we've looked at in recent episodes is the way the centre of the musical world -- at least the musical world as it was regarded by the people who thought of themselves as hip in the mid-sixties -- was changing in 1967. Up to this point, for a few years there had been two clear centres of the rock and pop music worlds. In the UK, there was London, and any British band who meant anything had to base themselves there. And in the US, at some point around 1963, the centre of the music industry had moved West. Up to then it had largely been based in New York, and there was still a thriving industry there as of the mid sixties. But increasingly the records that mattered, that everyone in the country had been listening to, had come out of LA Soul music was, of course, still coming primarily from Detroit and from the Country-Soul triangle in Tennessee and Alabama, but when it came to the new brand of electric-guitar rock that was taking over the airwaves, LA was, up until the first few months of 1967, the only city that was competing with London, and was the place to be. But as we heard in the episode on "San Francisco", with the Monterey Pop Festival all that started to change. While the business part of the music business remained centred in LA, and would largely remain so, LA was no longer the hip place to be. Almost overnight, jangly guitars, harmonies, and Brian Jones hairstyles were out, and feedback, extended solos, and droopy moustaches were in. The place to be was no longer LA, but a few hundred miles North, in San Francisco -- something that the LA bands were not all entirely happy about: [Excerpt: The Mothers of Invention, "Who Needs the Peace Corps?"] In truth, the San Francisco music scene, unlike many of the scenes we've looked at so far in this series, had rather a limited impact on the wider world of music. Bands like Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, and Big Brother and the Holding Company were all both massively commercially successful and highly regarded by critics, but unlike many of the other bands we've looked at before and will look at in future, they didn't have much of an influence on the bands that would come after them, musically at least. Possibly this is because the music from the San Francisco scene was always primarily that -- music created by and for a specific group of people, and inextricable from its context. The San Francisco musicians were defining themselves by their geographical location, their peers, and the situation they were in, and their music was so specifically of the place and time that to attempt to copy it outside of that context would appear ridiculous, so while many of those bands remain much loved to this day, and many made some great music, it's very hard to point to ways in which that music influenced later bands. But what they did influence was the whole of rock music culture. For at least the next thirty years, and arguably to this day, the parameters in which rock musicians worked if they wanted to be taken seriously – their aesthetic and political ideals, their methods of collaboration, the cultural norms around drug use and sexual promiscuity, ideas of artistic freedom and authenticity, the choice of acceptable instruments – in short, what it meant to be a rock musician rather than a pop, jazz, country, or soul artist – all those things were defined by the cultural and behavioural norms of the San Francisco scene between about 1966 and 68. Without the San Francisco scene there's no Woodstock, no Rolling Stone magazine, no Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, no hippies, no groupies, no rock stars. So over the next few months we're going to take several trips to the Bay Area, and look at the bands which, for a brief time, defined the counterculture in America. The story of Jefferson Airplane -- and unlike other bands we've looked at recently, like The Pink Floyd and The Buffalo Springfield, they never had a definite article at the start of their name to wither away like a vestigial organ in subsequent years -- starts with Marty Balin. Balin was born in Ohio, but was a relatively sickly child -- he later talked about being autistic, and seems to have had the chronic illnesses that so often go with neurodivergence -- so in the hope that the dry air would be good for his chest his family moved to Arizona. Then when his father couldn't find work there, they moved further west to San Francisco, in the Haight-Ashbury area, long before that area became the byword for the hippie movement. But it was in LA that he started his music career, and got his surname. Balin had been named Marty Buchwald as a kid, but when he was nineteen he had accompanied a friend to LA to visit a music publisher, and had ended up singing backing vocals on her demos. While he was there, he had encountered the arranger Jimmy Haskell. Haskell was on his way to becoming one of the most prominent arrangers in the music industry, and in his long career he would go on to do arrangements for Bobby Gentry, Blondie, Steely Dan, Simon and Garfunkel, and many others. But at the time he was best known for his work on Ricky Nelson's hits: [Excerpt: Ricky Nelson, "Hello Mary Lou"] Haskell thought that Marty had the makings of a Ricky Nelson style star, as he was a good-looking young man with a decent voice, and he became a mentor for the young man. Making the kind of records that Haskell arranged was expensive, and so Haskell suggested a deal to him -- if Marty's father would pay for studio time and musicians, Haskell would make a record with him and find him a label to put it out. Marty's father did indeed pay for the studio time and the musicians -- some of the finest working in LA at the time. The record, released under the name Marty Balin, featured Jack Nitzsche on keyboards, Earl Palmer on drums, Milt Jackson on vibraphone, Red Callender on bass, and Glen Campbell and Barney Kessell on guitars, and came out on Challenge Records, a label owned by Gene Autry: [Excerpt: Marty Balin, "Nobody But You"] Neither that, nor Balin's follow-up single, sold a noticeable amount of copies, and his career as a teen idol was over before it had begun. Instead, as many musicians of his age did, he decided to get into folk music, joining a vocal harmony group called the Town Criers, who patterned themselves after the Weavers, and performed the same kind of material that every other clean-cut folk vocal group was performing at the time -- the kind of songs that John Phillips and Steve Stills and Cass Elliot and Van Dyke Parks and the rest were all performing in their own groups at the same time. The Town Criers never made any records while they were together, but some archival recordings of them have been released over the decades: [Excerpt: The Town Criers, "900 Miles"] The Town Criers split up, and Balin started performing as a solo folkie again. But like all those other then-folk musicians, Balin realised that he had to adapt to the K/T-event level folk music extinction that happened when the Beatles hit America like a meteorite. He had to form a folk-rock group if he wanted to survive -- and given that there were no venues for such a group to play in San Francisco, he also had to start a nightclub for them to play in. He started hanging around the hootenannies in the area, looking for musicians who might form an electric band. The first person he decided on was a performer called Paul Kantner, mainly because he liked his attitude. Kantner had got on stage in front of a particularly drunk, loud, crowd, and performed precisely half a song before deciding he wasn't going to perform in front of people like that and walking off stage. Kantner was the only member of the new group to be a San Franciscan -- he'd been born and brought up in the city. He'd got into folk music at university, where he'd also met a guitar player named Jorma Kaukonen, who had turned him on to cannabis, and the two had started giving music lessons at a music shop in San Jose. There Kantner had also been responsible for booking acts at a local folk club, where he'd first encountered acts like Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions, a jug band which included Jerry Garcia, Pigpen McKernan, and Bob Weir, who would later go on to be the core members of the Grateful Dead: [Excerpt: Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions, "In the Jailhouse Now"] Kantner had moved around a bit between Northern and Southern California, and had been friendly with two other musicians on the Californian folk scene, David Crosby and Roger McGuinn. When their new group, the Byrds, suddenly became huge, Kantner became aware of the possibility of doing something similar himself, and so when Marty Balin approached him to form a band, he agreed. On bass, they got in a musician called Bob Harvey, who actually played double bass rather than electric, and who stuck to that for the first few gigs the group played -- he had previously been in a band called the Slippery Rock String Band. On drums, they brought in Jerry Peloquin, who had formerly worked for the police, but now had a day job as an optician. And on vocals, they brought in Signe Toley -- who would soon marry and change her name to Signe Anderson, so that's how I'll talk about her to avoid confusion. The group also needed a lead guitarist though -- both Balin and Kantner were decent rhythm players and singers, but they needed someone who was a better instrumentalist. They decided to ask Kantner's old friend Jorma Kaukonen. Kaukonen was someone who was seriously into what would now be called Americana or roots music. He'd started playing the guitar as a teenager, not like most people of his generation inspired by Elvis or Buddy Holly, but rather after a friend of his had shown him how to play an old Carter Family song, "Jimmy Brown the Newsboy": [Excerpt: The Carter Family, "Jimmy Brown the Newsboy"] Kaukonen had had a far more interesting life than most of the rest of the group. His father had worked for the State Department -- and there's some suggestion he'd worked for the CIA -- and the family had travelled all over the world, staying in Pakistan, the Philippines, and Finland. For most of his childhood, he'd gone by the name Jerry, because other kids beat him up for having a foreign name and called him a Nazi, but by the time he turned twenty he was happy enough using his birth name. Kaukonen wasn't completely immune to the appeal of rock and roll -- he'd formed a rock band, The Triumphs, with his friend Jack Casady when he was a teenager, and he loved Ricky Nelson's records -- but his fate as a folkie had been pretty much sealed when he went to Antioch College. There he met up with a blues guitarist called Ian Buchanan. Buchanan never had much of a career as a professional, but he had supposedly spent nine years studying with the blues and ragtime guitar legend Rev. Gary Davis, and he was certainly a fine guitarist, as can be heard on his contribution to The Blues Project, the album Elektra put out of white Greenwich Village musicians like John Sebastian and Dave Van Ronk playing old blues songs: [Excerpt: Ian Buchanan, "The Winding Boy"] Kaukonen became something of a disciple of Buchanan -- he said later that Buchanan probably taught him how to play because he was such a terrible player and Buchanan couldn't stand to listen to it -- as did John Hammond Jr, another student at Antioch at the same time. After studying at Antioch, Kaukonen started to travel around, including spells in Greenwich Village and in the Philippines, before settling in Santa Clara, where he studied for a sociology degree and became part of a social circle that included Dino Valenti, Jerry Garcia, and Billy Roberts, the credited writer of "Hey Joe". He also started performing as a duo with a singer called Janis Joplin. Various of their recordings from this period circulate, mostly recorded at Kaukonen's home with the sound of his wife typing in the background while the duo rehearse, as on this performance of an old Bessie Smith song: [Excerpt: Jorma Kaukonen and Janis Joplin, "Nobody Loves You When You're Down and Out"] By 1965 Kaukonen saw himself firmly as a folk-blues purist, who would not even think of playing rock and roll music, which he viewed with more than a little contempt. But he allowed himself to be brought along to audition for the new group, and Ken Kesey happened to be there. Kesey was a novelist who had written two best-selling books, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest and Sometimes A Great Notion, and used the financial independence that gave him to organise a group of friends who called themselves the Merry Pranksters, who drove from coast to coast and back again in a psychedelic-painted bus, before starting a series of events that became known as Acid Tests, parties at which everyone was on LSD, immortalised in Tom Wolfe's book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Nobody has ever said why Kesey was there, but he had brought along an Echoplex, a reverb unit one could put a guitar through -- and nobody has explained why Kesey, who wasn't a musician, had an Echoplex to hand. But Kaukonen loved the sound that he could get by putting his guitar through the device, and so for that reason more than any other he decided to become an electric player and join the band, going out and buying a Rickenbacker twelve-string and Vox Treble Booster because that was what Roger McGuinn used. He would later also get a Guild Thunderbird six-string guitar and a Standel Super Imperial amp, following the same principle of buying the equipment used by other guitarists he liked, as they were what Zal Yanovsky of the Lovin' Spoonful used. He would use them for all his six-string playing for the next couple of years, only later to discover that the Lovin' Spoonful despised them and only used them because they had an endorsement deal with the manufacturers. Kaukonen was also the one who came up with the new group's name. He and his friends had a running joke where they had "Bluesman names", things like "Blind Outrage" and "Little Sun Goldfarb". Kaukonen's bluesman name, given to him by his friend Steve Talbot, had been Blind Thomas Jefferson Airplane, a reference to the 1920s blues guitarist Blind Lemon Jefferson: [Excerpt: Blind Lemon Jefferson, "Match Box Blues"] At the band meeting where they were trying to decide on a name, Kaukonen got frustrated at the ridiculous suggestions that were being made, and said "You want a stupid name? Howzabout this... Jefferson Airplane?" He said in his autobiography "It was one of those rare moments when everyone in the band agreed, and that was that. I think it was the only band meeting that ever allowed me to come away smiling." The newly-named Jefferson Airplane started to rehearse at the Matrix Club, the club that Balin had decided to open. This was run with three sound engineer friends, who put in the seed capital for the club. Balin had stock options in the club, which he got by trading a share of the band's future earnings to his partners, though as the group became bigger he eventually sold his stock in the club back to his business partners. Before their first public performance, they started working with a manager, Matthew Katz, mostly because Katz had access to a recording of a then-unreleased Bob Dylan song, "Lay Down Your Weary Tune": [Excerpt: Bob Dylan, "Lay Down Your Weary Tune"] The group knew that the best way for a folk-rock band to make a name for themselves was to perform a Dylan song nobody else had yet heard, and so they agreed to be managed by Katz. Katz started a pre-publicity blitz, giving out posters, badges, and bumper stickers saying "Jefferson Airplane Loves You" all over San Francisco -- and insisting that none of the band members were allowed to say "Hello" when they answered the phone any more, they had to say "Jefferson Airplane Loves You!" For their early rehearsals and gigs, they were performing almost entirely cover versions of blues and folk songs, things like Fred Neil's "The Other Side of This Life" and Dino Valenti's "Get Together" which were the common currency of the early folk-rock movement, and songs by their friends, like one called "Flower Bomb" by David Crosby, which Crosby now denies ever having written. They did start writing the odd song, but at this point they were more focused on performance than on writing. They also hired a press agent, their friend Bill Thompson. Thompson was friends with the two main music writers at the San Francisco Chronicle, Ralph Gleason, the famous jazz critic, who had recently started also reviewing rock music, and John Wasserman. Thompson got both men to come to the opening night of the Matrix, and both gave the group glowing reviews in the Chronicle. Record labels started sniffing around the group immediately as a result of this coverage, and according to Katz he managed to get a bidding war started by making sure that when A&R men came to the club there were always two of them from different labels, so they would see the other person and realise they weren't the only ones interested. But before signing a record deal they needed to make some personnel changes. The first member to go was Jerry Peloquin, for both musical and personal reasons. Peloquin was used to keeping strict time and the other musicians had a more free-flowing idea of what tempo they should be playing at, but also he had worked for the police while the other members were all taking tons of illegal drugs. The final break with Peloquin came when he did the rest of the group a favour -- Paul Kantner's glasses broke during a rehearsal, and as Peloquin was an optician he offered to take them back to his shop and fix them. When he got back, he found them auditioning replacements for him. He beat Kantner up, and that was the end of Jerry Peloquin in Jefferson Airplane. His replacement was Skip Spence, who the group had met when he had accompanied three friends to the Matrix, which they were using as a rehearsal room. Spence's friends went on to be the core members of Quicksilver Messenger Service along with Dino Valenti: [Excerpt: Quicksilver Messenger Service, "Dino's Song"] But Balin decided that Spence looked like a rock star, and told him that he was now Jefferson Airplane's drummer, despite Spence being a guitarist and singer, not a drummer. But Spence was game, and learned to play the drums. Next they needed to get rid of Bob Harvey. According to Harvey, the decision to sack him came after David Crosby saw the band rehearsing and said "Nice song, but get rid of the bass player" (along with an expletive before the word bass which I can't say without incurring the wrath of Apple). Crosby denies ever having said this. Harvey had started out in the group on double bass, but to show willing he'd switched in his last few gigs to playing an electric bass. When he was sacked by the group, he returned to double bass, and to the Slippery Rock String Band, who released one single in 1967: [Excerpt: The Slippery Rock String Band, "Tule Fog"] Harvey's replacement was Kaukonen's old friend Jack Casady, who Kaukonen knew was now playing bass, though he'd only ever heard him playing guitar when they'd played together. Casady was rather cautious about joining a rock band, but then Kaukonen told him that the band were getting fifty dollars a week salary each from Katz, and Casady flew over from Washington DC to San Francisco to join the band. For the first few gigs, he used Bob Harvey's bass, which Harvey was good enough to lend him despite having been sacked from the band. Unfortunately, right from the start Casady and Kantner didn't get on. When Casady flew in from Washington, he had a much more clean-cut appearance than the rest of the band -- one they've described as being nerdy, with short, slicked-back, side-parted hair and a handlebar moustache. Kantner insisted that Casady shave the moustache off, and he responded by shaving only one side, so in profile on one side he looked clean-shaven, while from the other side he looked like he had a full moustache. Kantner also didn't like Casady's general attitude, or his playing style, at all -- though most critics since this point have pointed to Casady's bass playing as being the most interesting and distinctive thing about Jefferson Airplane's style. This lineup seems to have been the one that travelled to LA to audition for various record companies -- a move that immediately brought the group a certain amount of criticism for selling out, both for auditioning for record companies and for going to LA at all, two things that were already anathema on the San Francisco scene. The only audition anyone remembers them having specifically is one for Phil Spector, who according to Kaukonen was waving a gun around during the audition, so he and Casady walked out. Around this time as well, the group performed at an event billed as "A Tribute to Dr. Strange", organised by the radical hippie collective Family Dog. Marvel Comics, rather than being the multi-billion-dollar Disney-owned corporate juggernaut it is now, was regarded as a hip, almost underground, company -- and around this time they briefly started billing their comics not as comics but as "Marvel Pop Art Productions". The magical adventures of Dr. Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts, and in particular the art by far-right libertarian artist Steve Ditko, were regarded as clear parallels to both the occult dabblings and hallucinogen use popular among the hippies, though Ditko had no time for either, following as he did an extreme version of Ayn Rand's Objectivism. It was at the Tribute to Dr. Strange that Jefferson Airplane performed for the first time with a band named The Great Society, whose lead singer, Grace Slick, would later become very important in Jefferson Airplane's story: [Excerpt: The Great Society, "Someone to Love"] That gig was also the first one where the band and their friends noticed that large chunks of the audience were now dressing up in costumes that were reminiscent of the Old West. Up to this point, while Katz had been managing the group and paying them fifty dollars a week even on weeks when they didn't perform, he'd been doing so without a formal contract, in part because the group didn't trust him much. But now they were starting to get interest from record labels, and in particular RCA Records desperately wanted them. While RCA had been the label who had signed Elvis Presley, they had otherwise largely ignored rock and roll, considering that since they had the biggest rock star in the world they didn't need other ones, and concentrating largely on middle-of-the-road acts. But by the mid-sixties Elvis' star had faded somewhat, and they were desperate to get some of the action for the new music -- and unlike the other major American labels, they didn't have a reciprocal arrangement with a British label that allowed them to release anything by any of the new British stars. The group were introduced to RCA by Rod McKuen, a songwriter and poet who later became America's best-selling poet and wrote songs that sold over a hundred million copies. At this point McKuen was in his Jacques Brel phase, recording loose translations of the Belgian songwriter's songs with McKuen translating the lyrics: [Excerpt: Rod McKuen, "Seasons in the Sun"] McKuen thought that Jefferson Airplane might be a useful market for his own songs, and brought the group to RCA. RCA offered Jefferson Airplane twenty-five thousand dollars to sign with them, and Katz convinced the group that RCA wouldn't give them this money without them having signed a management contract with him. Kaukonen, Kantner, Spence, and Balin all signed without much hesitation, but Jack Casady didn't yet sign, as he was the new boy and nobody knew if he was going to be in the band for the long haul. The other person who refused to sign was Signe Anderson. In her case, she had a much better reason for refusing to sign, as unlike the rest of the band she had actually read the contract, and she found it to be extremely worrying. She did eventually back down on the day of the group's first recording session, but she later had the contract renegotiated. Jack Casady also signed the contract right at the start of the first session -- or at least, he thought he'd signed the contract then. He certainly signed *something*, without having read it. But much later, during a court case involving the band's longstanding legal disputes with Katz, it was revealed that the signature on the contract wasn't Casady's, and was badly forged. What he actually *did* sign that day has never been revealed, to him or to anyone else. Katz also signed all the group as songwriters to his own publishing company, telling them that they legally needed to sign with him if they wanted to make records, and also claimed to RCA that he had power of attorney for the band, which they say they never gave him -- though to be fair to Katz, given the band members' habit of signing things without reading or understanding them, it doesn't seem beyond the realms of possibility that they did. The producer chosen for the group's first album was Tommy Oliver, a friend of Katz's who had previously been an arranger on some of Doris Day's records, and whose next major act after finishing the Jefferson Airplane album was Trombones Unlimited, who released records like "Holiday for Trombones": [Excerpt: Trombones Unlimited, "Holiday For Trombones"] The group weren't particularly thrilled with this choice, but were happier with their engineer, Dave Hassinger, who had worked on records like "Satisfaction" by the Rolling Stones, and had a far better understanding of the kind of music the group were making. They spent about three months recording their first album, even while continually being attacked as sellouts. The album is not considered their best work, though it does contain "Blues From an Airplane", a collaboration between Spence and Balin: [Excerpt: Jefferson Airplane, "Blues From an Airplane"] Even before the album came out, though, things were starting to change for the group. Firstly, they started playing bigger venues -- their home base went from being the Matrix club to the Fillmore, a large auditorium run by the promoter Bill Graham. They also started to get an international reputation. The British singer-songwriter Donovan released a track called "The Fat Angel" which namechecked the group: [Excerpt: Donovan, "The Fat Angel"] The group also needed a new drummer. Skip Spence decided to go on holiday to Mexico without telling the rest of the band. There had already been some friction with Spence, as he was very eager to become a guitarist and songwriter, and the band already had three songwriting guitarists and didn't really see why they needed a fourth. They sacked Spence, who went on to form Moby Grape, who were also managed by Katz: [Excerpt: Moby Grape, "Omaha"] For his replacement they brought in Spencer Dryden, who was a Hollywood brat like their friend David Crosby -- in Dryden's case he was Charlie Chaplin's nephew, and his father worked as Chaplin's assistant. The story normally goes that the great session drummer Earl Palmer recommended Dryden to the group, but it's also the case that Dryden had been in a band, the Heartbeats, with Tommy Oliver and the great blues guitarist Roy Buchanan, so it may well be that Oliver had recommended him. Dryden had been primarily a jazz musician, playing with people like the West Coast jazz legend Charles Lloyd, though like most jazzers he would slum it on occasion by playing rock and roll music to pay the bills. But then he'd seen an early performance by the Mothers of Invention, and realised that rock music could have a serious artistic purpose too. He'd joined a band called The Ashes, who had released one single, the Jackie DeShannon song "Is There Anything I Can Do?" in December 1965: [Excerpt: The Ashes, "Is There Anything I Can Do?"] The Ashes split up once Dryden left the group to join Jefferson Airplane, but they soon reformed without him as The Peanut Butter Conspiracy, who hooked up with Gary Usher and released several albums of psychedelic sunshine pop. Dryden played his first gig with the group at a Republican Party event on June the sixth, 1966. But by the time Dryden had joined, other problems had become apparent. The group were already feeling like it had been a big mistake to accede to Katz's demands to sign a formal contract with him, and Balin in particular was getting annoyed that he wouldn't let the band see their finances. All the money was getting paid to Katz, who then doled out money to the band when they asked for it, and they had no idea if he was actually paying them what they were owed or not. The group's first album, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, finally came out in September, and it was a comparative flop. It sold well in San Francisco itself, selling around ten thousand copies in the area, but sold basically nothing anywhere else in the country -- the group's local reputation hadn't extended outside their own immediate scene. It didn't help that the album was pulled and reissued, as RCA censored the initial version of the album because of objections to the lyrics. The song "Runnin' Round This World" was pulled off the album altogether for containing the word "trips", while in "Let Me In" they had to rerecord two lines -- “I gotta get in, you know where" was altered to "You shut the door now it ain't fair" and "Don't tell me you want money" became "Don't tell me it's so funny". Similarly in "Run Around" the phrase "as you lay under me" became "as you stay here by me". Things were also becoming difficult for Anderson. She had had a baby in May and was not only unhappy with having to tour while she had a small child, she was also the band member who was most vocally opposed to Katz. Added to that, her husband did not get on well at all with the group, and she felt trapped between her marriage and her bandmates. Reports differ as to whether she quit the band or was fired, but after a disastrous appearance at the Monterey Jazz Festival, one way or another she was out of the band. Her replacement was already waiting in the wings. Grace Slick, the lead singer of the Great Society, had been inspired by going to one of the early Jefferson Airplane gigs. She later said "I went to see Jefferson Airplane at the Matrix, and they were making more money in a day than I made in a week. They only worked for two or three hours a night, and they got to hang out. I thought 'This looks a lot better than what I'm doing.' I knew I could more or less carry a tune, and I figured if they could do it I could." She was married at the time to a film student named Jerry Slick, and indeed she had done the music for his final project at film school, a film called "Everybody Hits Their Brother Once", which sadly I can't find online. She was also having an affair with Jerry's brother Darby, though as the Slicks were in an open marriage this wasn't particularly untoward. The three of them, with a couple of other musicians, had formed The Great Society, named as a joke about President Johnson's programme of the same name. The Great Society was the name Johnson had given to his whole programme of domestic reforms, including civil rights for Black people, the creation of Medicare and Medicaid, the creation of the National Endowment for the Arts, and more. While those projects were broadly popular among the younger generation, Johnson's escalation of the war in Vietnam had made him so personally unpopular that even his progressive domestic programme was regarded with suspicion and contempt. The Great Society had set themselves up as local rivals to Jefferson Airplane -- where Jefferson Airplane had buttons saying "Jefferson Airplane Loves You!" the Great Society put out buttons saying "The Great Society Really Doesn't Like You Much At All". They signed to Autumn Records, and recorded a song that Darby Slick had written, titled "Someone to Love" -- though the song would later be retitled "Somebody to Love": [Excerpt: The Great Society, "Someone to Love"] That track was produced by Sly Stone, who at the time was working as a producer for Autumn Records. The Great Society, though, didn't like working with Stone, because he insisted on them doing forty-five takes to try to sound professional, as none of them were particularly competent musicians. Grace Slick later said "Sly could play any instrument known to man. He could have just made the record himself, except for the singers. It was kind of degrading in a way" -- and on another occasion she said that he *did* end up playing all the instruments on the finished record. "Someone to Love" was put out as a promo record, but never released to the general public, and nor were any of the Great Society's other recordings for Autumn Records released. Their contract expired and they were let go, at which point they were about to sign to Mercury Records, but then Darby Slick and another member decided to go off to India for a while. Grace's marriage to Jerry was falling apart, though they would stay legally married for several years, and the Great Society looked like it was at an end, so when Grace got the offer to join Jefferson Airplane to replace Signe Anderson, she jumped at the chance. At first, she was purely a harmony singer -- she didn't take over any of the lead vocal parts that Anderson had previously sung, as she had a very different vocal style, and instead she just sang the harmony parts that Anderson had sung on songs with other lead vocalists. But two months after the album they were back in the studio again, recording their second album, and Slick sang lead on several songs there. As well as the new lineup, there was another important change in the studio. They were still working with Dave Hassinger, but they had a new producer, Rick Jarrard. Jarrard was at one point a member of the folk group The Wellingtons, who did the theme tune for "Gilligan's Island", though I can't find anything to say whether or not he was in the group when they recorded that track: [Excerpt: The Wellingtons, "The Ballad of Gilligan's Island"] Jarrard had also been in the similar folk group The Greenwood County Singers, where as we heard in the episode on "Heroes and Villains" he replaced Van Dyke Parks. He'd also released a few singles under his own name, including a version of Parks' "High Coin": [Excerpt: Rick Jarrard, "High Coin"] While Jarrard had similar musical roots to those of Jefferson Airplane's members, and would go on to produce records by people like Harry Nilsson and The Family Tree, he wasn't any more liked by the band than their previous producer had been. So much so, that a few of the band members have claimed that while Jarrard is the credited producer, much of the work that one would normally expect to be done by a producer was actually done by their friend Jerry Garcia, who according to the band members gave them a lot of arranging and structural advice, and was present in the studio and played guitar on several tracks. Jarrard, on the other hand, said categorically "I never met Jerry Garcia. I produced that album from start to finish, never heard from Jerry Garcia, never talked to Jerry Garcia. He was not involved creatively on that album at all." According to the band, though, it was Garcia who had the idea of almost doubling the speed of the retitled "Somebody to Love", turning it into an uptempo rocker: [Excerpt: Jefferson Airplane, "Somebody to Love"] And one thing everyone is agreed on is that it was Garcia who came up with the album title, when after listening to some of the recordings he said "That's as surrealistic as a pillow!" It was while they were working on the album that was eventually titled Surrealistic Pillow that they finally broke with Katz as their manager, bringing Bill Thompson in as a temporary replacement. Or at least, it was then that they tried to break with Katz. Katz sued the group over their contract, and won. Then they appealed, and they won. Then Katz appealed the appeal, and the Superior Court insisted that if he wanted to appeal the ruling, he had to put up a bond for the fifty thousand dollars the group said he owed them. He didn't, so in 1970, four years after they sacked him as their manager, the appeal was dismissed. Katz appealed the dismissal, and won that appeal, and the case dragged on for another three years, at which point Katz dragged RCA Records into the lawsuit. As a result of being dragged into the mess, RCA decided to stop paying the group their songwriting royalties from record sales directly, and instead put the money into an escrow account. The claims and counterclaims and appeals *finally* ended in 1987, twenty years after the lawsuits had started and fourteen years after the band had stopped receiving their songwriting royalties. In the end, the group won on almost every point, and finally received one point three million dollars in back royalties and seven hundred thousand dollars in interest that had accrued, while Katz got a small token payment. Early in 1967, when the sessions for Surrealistic Pillow had finished, but before the album was released, Newsweek did a big story on the San Francisco scene, which drew national attention to the bands there, and the first big event of what would come to be called the hippie scene, the Human Be-In, happened in Golden Gate Park in January. As the group's audience was expanding rapidly, they asked Bill Graham to be their manager, as he was the most business-minded of the people around the group. The first single from the album, "My Best Friend", a song written by Skip Spence before he quit the band, came out in January 1967 and had no more success than their earlier recordings had, and didn't make the Hot 100. The album came out in February, and was still no higher than number 137 on the charts in March, when the second single, "Somebody to Love", was released: [Excerpt: Jefferson Airplane, "Somebody to Love"] That entered the charts at the start of April, and by June it had made number five. The single's success also pushed its parent album up to number three by August, just behind the Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and the Monkees' Headquarters. The success of the single also led to the group being asked to do commercials for Levis jeans: [Excerpt: Jefferson Airplane, "Levis commercial"] That once again got them accused of selling out. Abbie Hoffman, the leader of the Yippies, wrote to the Village Voice about the commercials, saying "It summarized for me all the doubts I have about the hippie philosophy. I realise they are just doing their 'thing', but while the Jefferson Airplane grooves with its thing, over 100 workers in the Levi Strauss plant on the Tennessee-Georgia border are doing their thing, which consists of being on strike to protest deplorable working conditions." The third single from the album, "White Rabbit", came out on the twenty-fourth of June, the day before the Beatles recorded "All You Need is Love", nine days after the release of "See Emily Play", and a week after the group played the Monterey Pop Festival, to give you some idea of how compressed a time period we've been in recently. We talked in the last episode about how there's a big difference between American and British psychedelia at this point in time, because the political nature of the American counterculture was determined by the fact that so many people were being sent off to die in Vietnam. Of all the San Francisco bands, though, Jefferson Airplane were by far the least political -- they were into the culture part of the counterculture, but would often and repeatedly disavow any deeper political meaning in their songs. In early 1968, for example, in a press conference, they said “Don't ask us anything about politics. We don't know anything about it. And what we did know, we just forgot.” So it's perhaps not surprising that of all the American groups, they were the one that was most similar to the British psychedelic groups in their influences, and in particular their frequent references to children's fantasy literature. "White Rabbit" was a perfect example of this. It had started out as "White Rabbit Blues", a song that Slick had written influenced by Alice in Wonderland, and originally performed by the Great Society: [Excerpt: The Great Society, "White Rabbit"] Slick explained the lyrics, and their association between childhood fantasy stories and drugs, later by saying "It's an interesting song but it didn't do what I wanted it to. What I was trying to say was that between the ages of zero and five the information and the input you get is almost indelible. In other words, once a Catholic, always a Catholic. And the parents read us these books, like Alice in Wonderland where she gets high, tall, and she takes mushrooms, a hookah, pills, alcohol. And then there's The Wizard of Oz, where they fall into a field of poppies and when they wake up they see Oz. And then there's Peter Pan, where if you sprinkle white dust on you, you could fly. And then you wonder why we do it? Well, what did you read to me?" While the lyrical inspiration for the track was from Alice in Wonderland, the musical inspiration is less obvious. Slick has on multiple occasions said that the idea for the music came from listening to Miles Davis' album "Sketches of Spain", and in particular to Davis' version of -- and I apologise for almost certainly mangling the Spanish pronunciation badly here -- "Concierto de Aranjuez", though I see little musical resemblance to it myself. [Excerpt: Miles Davis, "Concierto de Aranjuez"] She has also, though, talked about how the song was influenced by Ravel's "Bolero", and in particular the way the piece keeps building in intensity, starting softly and slowly building up, rather than having the dynamic peaks and troughs of most music. And that is definitely a connection I can hear in the music: [Excerpt: Ravel, "Bolero"] Jefferson Airplane's version of "White Rabbit", like their version of "Somebody to Love", was far more professional, far -- and apologies for the pun -- slicker than The Great Society's version. It's also much shorter. The version by The Great Society has a four and a half minute instrumental intro before Slick's vocal enters. By contrast, the version on Surrealistic Pillow comes in at under two and a half minutes in total, and is a tight pop song: [Excerpt: Jefferson Airplane, "White Rabbit"] Jack Casady has more recently said that the group originally recorded the song more or less as a lark, because they assumed that all the drug references would mean that RCA would make them remove the song from the album -- after all, they'd cut a song from the earlier album because it had a reference to a trip, so how could they possibly allow a song like "White Rabbit" with its lyrics about pills and mushrooms? But it was left on the album, and ended up making the top ten on the pop charts, peaking at number eight: [Excerpt: Jefferson Airplane, "White Rabbit"] In an interview last year, Slick said she still largely lives off the royalties from writing that one song. It would be the last hit single Jefferson Airplane would ever have. Marty Balin later said "Fame changes your life. It's a bit like prison. It ruined the band. Everybody became rich and selfish and self-centred and couldn't care about the band. That was pretty much the end of it all. After that it was just working and living the high life and watching the band destroy itself, living on its laurels." They started work on their third album, After Bathing at Baxter's, in May 1967, while "Somebody to Love" was still climbing the charts. This time, the album was produced by Al Schmitt. Unlike the two previous producers, Schmitt was a fan of the band, and decided the best thing to do was to just let them do their own thing without interfering. The album took months to record, rather than the weeks that Surrealistic Pillow had taken, and cost almost ten times as much money to record. In part the time it took was because of the promotional work the band had to do. Bill Graham was sending them all over the country to perform, which they didn't appreciate. The group complained to Graham in business meetings, saying they wanted to only play in big cities where there were lots of hippies. Graham pointed out in turn that if they wanted to keep having any kind of success, they needed to play places other than San Francisco, LA, New York, and Chicago, because in fact most of the population of the US didn't live in those four cities. They grudgingly took his point. But there were other arguments all the time as well. They argued about whether Graham should be taking his cut from the net or the gross. They argued about Graham trying to push for the next single to be another Grace Slick lead vocal -- they felt like he was trying to make them into just Grace Slick's backing band, while he thought it made sense to follow up two big hits with more singles with the same vocalist. There was also a lawsuit from Balin's former partners in the Matrix, who remembered that bit in the contract about having a share in the group's income and sued for six hundred thousand dollars -- that was settled out of court three years later. And there were interpersonal squabbles too. Some of these were about the music -- Dryden didn't like the fact that Kaukonen's guitar solos were getting longer and longer, and Balin only contributed one song to the new album because all the other band members made fun of him for writing short, poppy, love songs rather than extended psychedelic jams -- but also the group had become basically two rival factions. On one side were Kaukonen and Casady, the old friends and virtuoso instrumentalists, who wanted to extend the instrumental sections of the songs more to show off their playing. On the other side were Grace Slick and Spencer Dryden, the two oldest members of the group by age, but the most recent people to join. They were also unusual in the San Francisco scene for having alcohol as their drug of choice -- drinking was thought of by most of the hippies as being a bit classless, but they were both alcoholics. They were also sleeping together, and generally on the side of shorter, less exploratory, songs. Kantner, who was attracted to Slick, usually ended up siding with her and Dryden, and this left Balin the odd man out in the middle. He later said "I got disgusted with all the ego trips, and the band was so stoned that I couldn't even talk to them. Everybody was in their little shell". While they were still working on the album, they released the first single from it, Kantner's "The Ballad of You and Me and Pooneil". The "Pooneil" in the song was a figure that combined two of Kantner's influences: the Greenwich Village singer-songwriter Fred Neil, the writer of "Everybody's Talkin'" and "Dolphins"; and Winnie the Pooh. The song contained several lines taken from A.A. Milne's children's stories: [Excerpt: Jefferson Airplane, "The Ballad of You and Me and Pooneil"] That only made number forty-two on the charts. It was the last Jefferson Airplane single to make the top fifty. At a gig in Bakersfield they got arrested for inciting a riot, because they encouraged the crowd to dance, even though local by-laws said that nobody under sixteen was allowed to dance, and then they nearly got arrested again after Kantner's behaviour on the private plane they'd chartered to get them back to San Francisco that night. Kantner had been chain-smoking, and this annoyed the pilot, who asked Kantner to put his cigarette out, so Kantner opened the door of the plane mid-flight and threw the lit cigarette out. They'd chartered that plane because they wanted to make sure they got to see a new group, Cream, who were playing the Fillmore: [Excerpt: Cream, "Strange Brew"] After seeing that, the divisions in the band were even wider -- Kaukonen and Casady now *knew* that what the band needed was to do long, extended, instrumental jams. Cream were the future, two-minute pop songs were the past. Though they weren't completely averse to two-minute pop songs. The group were recording at RCA studios at the same time as the Monkees, and members of the two groups would often jam together. The idea of selling out might have been anathema to their *audience*, but the band members themselves didn't care about things like that. Indeed, at one point the group returned from a gig to the mansion they were renting and found squatters had moved in and were using their private pool -- so they shot at the water. The squatters quickly moved on. As Dryden put it "We all -- Paul, Jorma, Grace, and myself -- had guns. We weren't hippies. Hippies were the people that lived on the streets down in Haight-Ashbury. We were basically musicians and art school kids. We were into guns and machinery" After Bathing at Baxter's only went to number seventeen on the charts, not a bad position but a flop compared to their previous album, and Bill Graham in particular took this as more proof that he had been right when for the last few months he'd been attacking the group as self-indulgent. Eventually, Slick and Dryden decided that either Bill Graham was going as their manager, or they were going. Slick even went so far as to try to negotiate a solo deal with Elektra Records -- as the voice on the hits, everyone was telling her she was the only one who mattered anyway. David Anderle, who was working for the label, agreed a deal with her, but Jac Holzman refused to authorise the deal, saying "Judy Collins doesn't get that much money, why should Grace Slick?" The group did fire Graham, and went one further and tried to become his competitors. They teamed up with the Grateful Dead to open a new venue, the Carousel Ballroom, to compete with the Fillmore, but after a few months they realised they were no good at running a venue and sold it to Graham. Graham, who was apparently unhappy with the fact that the people living around the Fillmore were largely Black given that the bands he booked appealed to mostly white audiences, closed the original Fillmore, renamed the Carousel the Fillmore West, and opened up a second venue in New York, the Fillmore East. The divisions in the band were getting worse -- Kaukonen and Casady were taking more and more speed, which was making them play longer and faster instrumental solos whether or not the rest of the band wanted them to, and Dryden, whose hands often bled from trying to play along with them, definitely did not want them to. But the group soldiered on and recorded their fourth album, Crown of Creation. This album contained several songs that were influenced by science fiction novels. The most famous of these was inspired by the right-libertarian author Robert Heinlein, who was hugely influential on the counterculture. Jefferson Airplane's friends the Monkees had already recorded a song based on Heinlein's The Door Into Summer, an unintentionally disturbing novel about a thirty-year-old man who falls in love with a twelve-year-old girl, and who uses a combination of time travel and cryogenic freezing to make their ages closer together so he can marry her: [Excerpt: The Monkees, "The Door Into Summer"] Now Jefferson Airplane were recording a song based on Heinlein's most famous novel, Stranger in a Strange Land. Stranger in a Strange Land has dated badly, thanks to its casual homophobia and rape-apologia, but at the time it was hugely popular in hippie circles for its advocacy of free love and group marriages -- so popular that a religion, the Church of All Worlds, based itself on the book. David Crosby had taken inspiration from it and written "Triad", a song asking two women if they'll enter into a polygamous relationship with him, and recorded it with the Byrds: [Excerpt: The Byrds, "Triad"] But the other members of the Byrds disliked the song, and it was left unreleased for decades. As Crosby was friendly with Jefferson Airplane, and as members of the band were themselves advocates of open relationships, they recorded their own version with Slick singing lead: [Excerpt: Jefferson Airplane, "Triad"] The other song on the album influenced by science fiction was the title track, Paul Kantner's "Crown of Creation". This song was inspired by The Chrysalids, a novel by the British writer John Wyndham. The Chrysalids is one of Wyndham's most influential novels, a post-apocalyptic story about young children who are born with mutant superpowers and have to hide them from their parents as they will be killed if they're discovered. The novel is often thought to have inspired Marvel Comics' X-Men, and while there's an unpleasant eugenic taste to its ending, with the idea that two species can't survive in the same ecological niche and the younger, "superior", species must outcompete the old, that idea also had a lot of influence in the counterculture, as well as being a popular one in science fiction. Kantner's song took whole lines from The Chrysalids, much as he had earlier done with A.A. Milne: [Excerpt: Jefferson Airplane, "Crown of Creation"] The Crown of Creation album was in some ways a return to the more focused songwriting of Surrealistic Pillow, although the sessions weren't without their experiments. Slick and Dryden collaborated with Frank Zappa and members of the Mothers of Invention on an avant-garde track called "Would You Like a Snack?" (not the same song as the later Zappa song of the same name) which was intended for the album, though went unreleased until a CD box set decades later: [Excerpt: Grace Slick and Frank Zappa, "Would You Like a Snack?"] But the finished album was generally considered less self-indulgent than After Bathing at Baxter's, and did better on the charts as a result. It reached number six, becoming their second and last top ten album, helped by the group's appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in September 1968, a month after it came out. That appearance was actually organised by Colonel Tom Parker, who suggested them to Sullivan as a favour to RCA Records. But another TV appearance at the time was less successful. They appeared on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, one of the most popular TV shows among the young, hip, audience that the group needed to appeal to, but Slick appeared in blackface. She's later said that there was no political intent behind this, and that she was just trying the different makeup she found in the dressing room as a purely aesthetic thing, but that doesn't really explain the Black power salute she gives at one point. Slick was increasingly obnoxious on stage, as her drinking was getting worse and her relationship with Dryden was starting to break down. Just before the Smothers Brothers appearance she was accused at a benefit for the Whitney Museum of having called the audience "filthy Jews", though she has always said that what she actually said was "filthy jewels", and she was talking about the ostentatious jewellery some of the audience were wearing. The group struggled through a performance at Altamont -- an event we will talk about in a future episode, so I won't go into it here, except to say that it was a horrifying experience for everyone involved -- and performed at Woodstock, before releasing their fifth studio album, Volunteers, in 1969: [Excerpt: Jefferson Airplane, "Volunteers"] That album made the top twenty, but was the last album by the classic lineup of the band. By this point Spencer Dryden and Grace Slick had broken up, with Slick starting to date Kantner, and Dryden was also disappointed at the group's musical direction, and left. Balin also left, feeling sidelined in the group. They released several more albums with varying lineups, including at various points their old friend David Frieberg of Quicksilver Messenger Service, the violinist Papa John Creach, and the former drummer of the Turtles, Johnny Barbata. But as of 1970 the group's members had already started working on two side projects -- an acoustic band called Hot Tuna, led by Kaukonen and Casady, which sometimes also featured Balin, and a project called Paul Kantner's Jefferson Starship, which also featured Slick and had recorded an album, Blows Against the Empire, the second side of which was based on the Robert Heinlein novel Back to Methuselah, and which became one of the first albums ever nominated for science fiction's Hugo Awards: [Excerpt: Jefferson Starship, "Have You Seen The Stars Tonite"] That album featured contributions from David Crosby and members of the Grateful Dead, as well as Casady on two tracks, but  in 1974 when Kaukonen and Casady quit Jefferson Airplane to make Hot Tuna their full-time band, Kantner, Slick, and Frieberg turned Jefferson Starship into a full band. Over the next decade, Jefferson Starship had a lot of moderate-sized hits, with a varying lineup that at one time or another saw several members, including Slick, go and return, and saw Marty Balin back with them for a while. In 1984, Kantner left the group, and sued them to stop them using the Jefferson Starship name. A settlement was reached in which none of Kantner, Slick, Kaukonen, or Casady could use the words "Jefferson" or "Airplane" in their band-names without the permission of all the others, and the remaining members of Jefferson Starship renamed their band just Starship -- and had three number one singles in the late eighties with Slick on lead, becoming far more commercially successful than their precursor bands had ever been: [Excerpt: Starship, "We Built This City on Rock & Roll"] Slick left Starship in 1989, and there was a brief Jefferson Airplane reunion tour, with all the classic members but Dryden, but then Slick decided that she was getting too old to perform rock and roll music, and decided to retire from music and become a painter, something she's stuck to for more than thirty years. Kantner and Balin formed a new Jefferson Starship, called Jefferson Starship: The Next Generation, but Kantner died in January 2016, coincidentally on the same day as Signe Anderson, who had occasionally guested with her old bandmates in the new version of the band. Balin, who had quit the reunited Jefferson Starship due to health reasons, died two years later. Dryden had died in 2005. Currently, there are three bands touring that descend directly from Jefferson Airplane. Hot Tuna still continue to perform, there's a version of Starship that tours featuring one original member, Mickey Thomas, and the reunited Jefferson Starship still tour, led by David Frieberg. Grace Slick has given the latter group her blessing, and even co-wrote one song on their most recent album, released in 2020, though she still doesn't perform any more. Jefferson Airplane's period in the commercial spotlight was brief -- they had charting singles for only a matter of months, and while they had top twenty albums for a few years after their peak, they really only mattered to the wider world during that brief period of the Summer of Love. But precisely because their period of success was so short, their music is indelibly associated with that time. To this day there's nothing as evocative of summer 1967 as "White Rabbit", even for those of us who weren't born then. And while Grace Slick had her problems, as I've made very clear in this episode, she inspired a whole generation of women who went on to be singers themselves, as one of the first prominent women to sing lead with an electric rock band. And when she got tired of doing that, she stopped, and got on with her other artistic pursuits, without feeling the need to go back and revisit the past for ever diminishing returns. One might only wish that some of her male peers had followed her example.

america tv love music american new york history black church children chicago disney hollywood master apple uk rock washington mexico british san francisco west holiday washington dc arizona ohio spanish arts alabama spain tennessee detroit revolution strange north fame record island heroes jews nazis empire rev stone matrix vietnam ocean tribute southern california catholic mothers beatles cd crown cia philippines rolling stones west coast thompson oz wizard elvis rock and roll finland xmen bay area pakistan volunteers parks villains snacks garcia dolphins reports ashes turtles nest lives bob dylan purple big brother bands medicare san jose airplanes northern americana invention woodstock omaha lsd cream satisfaction ballad pink floyd elvis presley belgians newsweek republican party dino added californians marvel comics peter pan medicaid other side state department katz antioch grateful dead chronicle baxter alice in wonderland miles davis peace corps rock and roll hall of fame spence lovin family tree triumphs carousel mixcloud buchanan charlie chaplin tilt san francisco chronicle sly would you like frank zappa santa clara kt starship national endowment janis joplin headquarters ayn rand schmitt chaplin hippies monkees slick steely dan triad bakersfield concierto old west garfunkel rock music elektra rca runnin sketches buddy holly greenwich village milne white rabbit phil spector village voice get together zappa haskell byrds ravel spoonful jerry garcia levis heartbeats doris day stranger in a strange land jefferson airplane fillmore brian jones steve ditko george bernard shaw glen campbell bolero david crosby my best friend wyndham levi strauss all you need lonely hearts club band whitney museum harry nilsson superior court methuselah jacques brel sgt pepper judy collins heinlein ed sullivan show dryden tom wolfe buffalo springfield bessie smith weavers rca records great society objectivism robert heinlein altamont jefferson starship ken kesey run around bob weir this life john phillips acid tests holding company golden gate park sly stone aranjuez ricky nelson bill graham haight ashbury elektra records san franciscan grace slick ditko carter family bluesman john sebastian family dog colonel tom parker tennessee georgia abbie hoffman mercury records bill thompson town criers roger mcguinn balin jorma charles lloyd fillmore east rickenbacker smothers brothers tommy oliver merry pranksters van dyke parks mystic arts gary davis hot tuna one flew over the cuckoo john wyndham monterey pop festival milt jackson jorma kaukonen antioch college jackie deshannon we built this city mothers of invention dave van ronk cass elliot echoplex monterey jazz festival yippies fillmore west mickey thomas ian buchanan slicks moby grape roy buchanan jimmy brown jack nitzsche wellingtons quicksilver messenger service paul kantner kesey al schmitt marty balin kantner casady all worlds surrealistic pillow blues project jack casady fred neil bob harvey bobby gentry skip spence billy roberts john hammond jr jac holzman papa john creach tilt araiza
GENTE EN AMBIENTE
Programa "GENTE EN AMBIENTE" del DOMINGO 20. Disfruta y revive de la CUARTA SEMANA de NOVIEMBRE en DISTINTOS AÑOS Y DECADAS. "LO MEJOR DE NUESTRA VIDA”

GENTE EN AMBIENTE

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 20, 2022 167:27


Del "SPACE ODDITY", "ASEREJE", "BAD", a "PAPA WAS A ROLLING STONE", "STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER", "SE QUE BEBO SE QUE FUMO" De BOYZ II MEN, WHITNEY HOUSTON, ERIC CLAPTON, MADONNA,... a ELTON JOHN, JOSE LUIS RODRIGUEZ, GLORIA ESTEFAN, MARIA TERESA CHACIN,... De RICARDO MONTANER, MOODY BLUES, PANDORA, JUAN LUIS GUERRA, a NESTOR ZAVARCE, MONKEES, ELVIS, JOE COCKER, JUAN GABRIEL, De los "RUGRATS", MARIO PUZO, "PAC-MAN",... a BARBARA PALACIOS, "MI POBRE ANGELITO(SOLO EN CASA") II,... Y MUCHO MAS! DE COLECCION! --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/genteenambiente/support

The Ledge (mp3)
The Ledge #543: Power Pop, Pt. 1 (The Past)

The Ledge (mp3)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2022 144:10


On a fairly regular basis I’m asked what type of music I most enjoy. It’s a pretty tough question to answer, to be honest. The standard answer I hear in return is “I love all kinds of music”, which to me is code for “I only like what’s popular”. Sorry, but having a playlist on Spotify that includes both Drake, Meghan Trainor, and Luke Bryan isn’t the proof of versatility most of these poeple believe it is. So what is the genre or sub-genre that is closest to my heart? “Punk” is a little too confining, and honestly there is a lot of shitty music under that moniker. “Alternative” doesn’t mean the same today as it did 30 years ago since maintstream rock radio has co-opted it. “Garage rock” is indeed getting closer but still doesn’t feel right. I think deep in my heart the term power pop, or at least my version of the term, best describes my music taste. I was, after all, born the day The Beatles recorded their first single, and the first two rock and roll albums I owned just out of my toddler phase was the first Monkees record and the A Hard Day’s Night soundtrack.  My […]

Real Punk Radio Podcast Network
The Ledge #543: Power Pop, Pt. 1 (The Past)

Real Punk Radio Podcast Network

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2022


On a fairly regular basis I'm asked what type of music I most enjoy. It's a pretty tough question to answer, to be honest. The standard answer I hear in return is “I love all kinds of music”, which to me is code for “I only like what's popular”. Sorry, but having a playlist on Spotify that includes both Drake, Meghan Trainor, and Luke Bryan isn't the proof of versatility most of these poeple believe it is. So what is the genre or sub-genre that is closest to my heart? “Punk” is a little too confining, and honestly there is a lot of shitty music under that moniker. “Alternative” doesn't mean the same today as it did 30 years ago since maintstream rock radio has co-opted it. “Garage rock” is indeed getting closer but still doesn't feel right. I think deep in my heart the term power pop, or at least my version of the term, best describes my music taste. I was, after all, born the day The Beatles recorded their first single, and the first two rock and roll albums I owned just out of my toddler phase was the first Monkees record and the A Hard Day's Night soundtrack.  My […]

ESO Network – The ESO Network
Headquarters Super Deluxe Edition – Monkeeing Around Episode Eighteen

ESO Network – The ESO Network

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2022 63:15


This week we’re MONKEEING AROUND with Monkees mixography experts Derek Miner and Craig Smith for an early listen to the Headquarters Super Deluxe Edition and a discussion of their upcoming book, Mixing Links: The Monkees on Disc! You can find more from Derek and Craig at www.mixinglinksbook.com and http://monkeesmixography.wikidot.com/ Monkeeing Around is a part of … Headquarters Super Deluxe Edition – Monkeeing Around Episode Eighteen Read More » The post Headquarters Super Deluxe Edition – Monkeeing Around Episode Eighteen appeared first on The ESO Network.

Naked Lunch
Micky Dolenz

Naked Lunch

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 17, 2022 50:43


Hey, hey, we're thrilled to say that this week Phil & David are joined by a legendary entertainer and the last of The Monkees standing, the great Micky Dolenz. Over lunch from L.A.'s iconic Barney's Beanery, Phil offers a surprising and hilarious childhood confession that involves Micky. David discusses working with Micky and Neil Diamond on their first ever duet performance of "I'm A Believer." And Micky tells some fabulous stories about his exciting career in music, including time hanging out with The Beatles, as well as his years working as a TV director and showrunner in England. All this plus Micky discusses the origin story of The Monkees and shares some favorite memories of Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork and Davy Jones. To learn more about building community through food and "Somebody Feed the People," visit the Philanthropy page at philrosenthalworld.com.

Echo Valley: The Original Bubblegum Music Podcast
Echo Valley 165 (S7E15) Every Song is You

Echo Valley: The Original Bubblegum Music Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2022 58:52


Another hour of sweet, sweet fun! Kid Bubblegum is taking some college classes in how to write bubblegum music! Has bubblegum come to the Ponderosa? What Barry Manilow hit was a cover of a David Cassidy song? A double bubble from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids! Plenty of bubblegum pop from Josie and the Pussycats, Ohio Express, The Partridge Family, Brass Button, Common Ground, Hello, The 1910 Fruitgum Company, David Cassidy, Ricky Wilde, Bobby Sherman, Lorne Greene, The Monkees, The Vogues and Ed “Kookie” Byrnes!

GENTE EN AMBIENTE
Programa "GENTE EN AMBIENTE" del sabado 19 Disfruta y revive -HOY MISMO- de la SEGUNDA PARTE de la TERCERA SEMANA de NOVIEMBRE en DISTINTOS AÑOS Y DECADAS. "LO MEJOR DE NUESTRA VIDA"

GENTE EN AMBIENTE

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2022 56:52


De JUANES, CHRIS BROWN, PRESLEY, BILLY IDOL, MANZANERO a ELTON JOHN, T-PAIN, JERRY LEE LEWIS, MIRIAM MAKEBA ("PATA PATA"),SARA MONTIEL, WENDY,... De AQUA("BARBIE GIRL"), MONKEES, a LOS TEEN TOPS, BILLO'S ("EL DIS. CO RAYAO"). SONORA MATANCERA, CHUCHO SANOJA ("LA MODA SACO"), RICHIE RAY ("RICHIE'S JALA JALA"),... Recordando el "FRISBEE", "ATRACCION FATAL", "UN HOMBRE Y UNA MUJER", "DIRTY DANCING", "EL SEÑOR PRESIDENTE", CARDENALES DE SAN LUIS, MUHAMMAD ALI, "LA FIESTA INOLVIDABLE", CANTINFLAS,... Y MUCHO MAS! DE COLECCION! --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/genteenambiente/support

HODGEPOD with Rob Fredette
HEY, HEY, HEY WE'RE THE MONKEES!! EXTREMELY SUCCESSFUL BAND THAT SOLD MILLIONS OF ALBUMS IN THE 1960'S

HODGEPOD with Rob Fredette

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 14, 2022 26:23


EPISODE 16 Rob is joined by Linda Groudwater as they talk about the enormously successful band The Monkees . A television show which aired from 1966-1968 saw this band sell millions of albums. Linda provided tremendous insight and facts on their meteorite rise. Rob and Linda discuss the albums, songs, and band members Mickey Dolenz, Peter Tork, Michael Nesmith and Davy Jones. If you are a Monkees fan this episode is for you.   UPCOMING EPISODES JOHNNY CASH- A LOOK BACK AT HIS CAREER PAMELA SMART MURDER TRIAL-EARLY 1990'S A LOOK BACK AT DIE HARD 1988 THANK YOU BELOW https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Monkees https://littlethings.com/lifestyle/facts-about-the-monkees https://www.metv.com/lists/10-things-you-might-not-know-about-the-monkees https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/peter-tork-said-1-the-monkees-songs-recorded-like-the-beatles-free-as-a-bird.html/   PLEASE GIVE A FOLLOW AND LISTEN. Email : hodgepodallin@yahoo.com with feedback and suggestions. RJF MEDIA 2022                    

Have You Seen This?
150 - Head - TEASER

Have You Seen This?

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 12, 2022 4:01


Subscribe at the $5 tier on Patreon to hear the full episode and get two bonus episodes every month! For their one hundred and fiftieth episode (!), Jen and Tim welcome animation expert Jerry Beck to talk about the worst cartoons ever made and the Monkees' super freak out, Head!Visit Jerry's website for all the animation news and discussion you can eat.  Have You Seen This? BONUS episodes Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Totally 80s
Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: 80's Bands Getting Their Due with Gina Schock (The Go-Go's) & Lol Tolhurst (The Cure)

Totally 80s

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 10, 2022 63:03


They are in! This week's 2022 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees are the most 80's class ever. What other 80's artists deserve a nod? Who should get on the list in 2023? It's a discussion for the podcast "Hall Of Fame" as host Lyndsey Parker (Yahoo Entertainment Music Editor) welcomes an expert panel of special guests, Rock Hall inductees themselves, Gina Schock of The Go-Go's and Lol Tolhurst of The Cure, to debate 80's artists finally getting their due. Like the t-shirt says, "it's about f***ing time."See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

WASTOIDS
The Spindle: The Monkees "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone"

WASTOIDS

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 10, 2022 35:29


You're walking 'round like you're front page news, pressing play on a new episode of The Spindle. On this episode, the guys focus on The Monkees' 1967 hit "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone," with a couple detours into other versions of the song, including Paul Revere and the Raiders, The Sex Pistols, and Minor Threat. As post-modern as it gets, The Monkees were (and are) a pop phenomenon, and this single illustrates why. About The Spindle: The 7-inch record isn't just a format—it's an art form. On each episode of The Spindle podcast, music writer Marc Masters (Pitchfork, The Wire, Bandcamp) and music historian (and music maker) John Howard dive into a great 7-inch, dissecting its background, impact, and the reasons why it stands out as a small plastic piece of music history. What's your favorite 7″? Call us at 1-877-WASTOIDS and weigh in!

Game Changers With Vicki Abelson
Wendy Liebman And Jeff Sherman Live On Game Changers With Vicki Abelson

Game Changers With Vicki Abelson

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 10, 2022 119:57


Wendy Liebman and Jeff Sherman Live on Game Changers With Vicki Abelson I could have talked to Wendy Liebman and Jeff Sherman all night and still have asked for more. What fun! With the advantage of knowing each other for some years, the conversation was animated, spontaneous, and effortless. We talked about the curse of Ventura Blvd and two life-altering accidents pre-pandemic, readying these happy-to-be-home-together lovebirds for what lay ahead. We discussed PTSD, emotional trauma, panic attacks, acceptance, and healing. Armed with great ‘tude and an attentive husband, Wendy weathered what could have been a disastrous 14 months with grace and resolve. And, managed to be productive, as did her caretaker, who did basically everything, and I do mean everything for much of the time. Jeff also managed to stay productive. What the hell was I doing? Binging Netflix, eating crap, and well, this thing right here. We talked grandkids, dogs, masks, travel, theatre, vaccines, and how one Jeff took as a kid impacted musical theatre in perpetuity. We got a behind-the-scenes track of his doc The Boys, about his father and uncle, the Sherman Brothers, masterful prolific hitmakers, and their actual relationship away from the music and the biz. Wendy, a psychologist in the making, gave us the skinny on the seemingly random turn that turned her life around and led her exactly where she was intended to be. Her random, hysterical, off-the-cuff comments bring home the point. The woman was made to make us laugh. And boy did she. Jeff's no slouch neither. I won't tip my favorite line of the night, but I did just quote it with credit! They jointly filled us in on how they met. Cute, as they say in the movies. Their romance would make a great one. Jeff brought it home with a great Monkees story, how he and Micky became best of friends, and how he almost orchestrated TV history. I offered my history with them. Two uber Monkee fans, fanning out. You can catch Jeff's Doc, The Boys, on Disney + and Wendy's Too Tall For TV, on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Liebman-Taller-TV/dp/B00IXWFON0 Time flew and we barely scratched the Liebman/Sherman surface. I foresee a Part 2 in our future. Loved every single second. Wendy Liebman & Jeffrey Sherman Live on Game Changers With Vicki Abelson Wednesday, 11/9/22, 5 pm PT, 8 pm ET Streamed Live on my Facebook Replay here: https://bit.ly/3DVjFdB All BROADcasts, as podcasts, also available on iTunes apple.co/2dj8ld3 Stitcher bit.ly/2h3R1fla tunein bit.ly/2gGeItj Also on iHeartRadio, SoundCloud, Voox, OwlTail, Backtracks, PlayerFM, Himalaya, Podchaser, and Listen Notes Thanks to Rick Smolke of Quik Impressions the best printers, printing, the best people people-ing. quikimpressions.com Nicole Venables, now of Hiroshi Beverly Hills Hair Design for the best tressed. And, Blue Microphones

ESO Network – The ESO Network
Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Siler – Monkeeing Around Episode Seventeen

ESO Network – The ESO Network

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 8, 2022 55:56


This week we’re MONKEEING AROUND with Alan Siler, host of Modern Musicology, to discuss The Monkees’ fourth studio album, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. We also dive into the recently announced Headquarters: Super Deluxe Edition and Micky Dolenz’ upcoming tour! Monkeeing Around is a part of the ESO Podcast Network, Executive Producer Mike Faber. The post Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Siler – Monkeeing Around Episode Seventeen appeared first on The ESO Network.

My Rock Moment
Legendary Photographer Henry Diltz on the Eagles, Mama Cass Elliot, Monterey Pop and Woodstock '99

My Rock Moment

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 3, 2022 54:11


Iconic photographer Henry Diltz has shot more than 250 album covers and thousands of publicity shots in the ‘60s and ‘70s, for bands and artists such as The Doors, the Eagles, Neil Young, Crosby Stills & Nash, Jackson Browne, America, Steppenwolf, James Taylor, Jimi Hendrix, The Monkees and David Cassidy. He was the official photographer at the Woodstock festival in August 1969. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, LIFE, People, Rolling Stone, High Times and Billboard.My Rock Moment has been lucky enough to have Henry on twice, and in this episode we delve into the 70s, covering everything from the first two Eagles album covers, to meeting Jackson Browne for the first time to shooting James Taylor's Sweet Baby James album cover. Henry also recalls shooting Mama Cass in Palm Springs, Monterey Pop and Woodstock '99, which is getting quite a bit of attention recently due to the Netflix documentary that painted a dark picture of the 3 day festival.If you would like to check out some of Henry's iconic work, sold exclusively through The Morrison Hotel Gallery, click here: https://morrisonhotelgallery.com/collections/henry-diltzAnd don't forget to follow My Rock Moment on social:Instagram: @la_woman_rocksFacebook: https://morrisonhotelgallery.com/collections/henry-diltz

Zilch!:A Monkees Podcast!
Zilch #182 "Headquarters Super Deluxe Edition" Micky 2023 Tour-Andrew Sandoval

Zilch!:A Monkees Podcast!

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 2, 2022


Andrew Sandoval talks The Monkees"Headquarters Super Deluxe Edition" available exclusively at monkees.comMicky Dolenz announces upcoming 2023 solo tour “The Monkees Celebratedby Micky Dolenz”with performance of the Headquarters album each night plus all of the band's biggest hits!Tickets on sale this friday Pre order code "Zilch"This Limited edition 4-cd/7” vinyl set revisits the entire headquarters project with 69 previously unreleased recordings, including the entire album newly remixed, the debut of backing tracks made for an abandoned version of the album, the band's earliestdemo recordings, and more monkees studio outtakesEACH NIGHT PLUS ALL OF THE BAND'S BIGGEST HITSTICKETS ON SALE THIS FRIDAY Presale code "Zilch"Limited Edition 4-CD/7” Vinyl Set Revisits The Entire Headquarters Project With 69 Previously Unreleased Recordings, Including The Entire Album Newly Remixed, The Debut Of Backing Tracks Made For An Abandoned Version Of The Album,The Band's EarliestDemo Recordings, And More Monkees Studio Outtakes. Go to www.monkees.comCheck out Music from thr Monkeesverse on Monkee Mania Radio, 24/7 with Ken Mills, Christine Wolfe and a bunch of DJs that are bringing you music you will love..Listen here https://live365.com/station/Monkee-Mania-Radio-a57014We were born to love one another.Support Zilch, get a cool shirt!www.redbubble.com/people/designsbyken/works/12348740-zilch-podcast?c=314383-monkees-inspired-artJoin our Facebook pageIf you cannot see the audio controls, listen/download the audio file hereDownload (right click, save as)

Drew and Mike Show
Drew And Mike – October 27, 2022

Drew and Mike Show

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 28, 2022 206:57 Very Popular


It's Maz-Day bitches, Matthew Perry is slurring everywhere, the best residual deals in Hollywood, a brand-new Bonerline, Clarktober continues and we get ready for a UM/MSU/World Series/Lions sporgy weekend.Sporgy: Michigan vs Michigan State. The World Series begins. The Detroit Lions face the Miami Dolphins.Matthew Perry Coverage: His colon blew up. He makes almost $20M/year in residuals. He spills about hooking up with Valerie Bertinelli. He wanted to nail Jennifer Aniston. He takes a shot at Keanu Reeves for no reason at all. GMA dropped a 45 minute preview of the interview.It's Friday, bitches! HAHAHAHAhaha.Lil Jon has an HGTV show.Drew is still trying to sell us on Licorice Pizza.Some actors have incredible residual deals.Jerkmate brings you another Bonerline. Call of text 209-66-Boner.John List is another murdering Michigan alum.Politricks: Justice Samuel Alito claims to be a target for assassination. The Herschel Walker pile on continues. Big Gretch vs Tutin' Tudor.Drew caught the Michaella McCollum doc, High: Confessions of an Ibiza Drug Mule, on Netflix. Follow her and her nipples on Instagram today!Speaking of Instagram, check out Matthew Rondeau's veins and where they go.Jonah Falcon is complaining about his massive dong again. He totally lied to us about his "project".OMG! Megan Fox has been spotted without her engagement ring from Machine Gun Kelly.Roger Daltrey and Yungblud met and Rolling Stone wrote a bunch of words about it.Check out this tune Noel Gallagher wrote for The Monkees.Tom Mazawey stiffs us. We even had a brand new song for him today. SAD!RIP stinky-ass Uncle Haji. There is some Kentucky basketball fan who is even filthier.Mark Zuckerberg is poor.Kanye Madness: Donda Academy has closed. Donda Academy has re-opened. Ye apparently loves Adolph Hitler. Donovan Edwards 'accidentally' retweeted anti-Semitic stuff. Where did all of Ye's Instagram followers go? Bill Burr's take on Ye has aged quite well. Andre Gee believes Ye is never going to recover from this. TMZ allegedly edited Kanye saying he loved Hitler.Tom decides to call in on his own time to discuss his first frame, predict a Wolverine victory over Sparty, predict a Phillies World Series, predict a Detroit Lions victory on Sunday and more.Leslie Jordan is the most important dead guy you've never heard of.Grab your EXCLUSIVE NordVPN Deal by going to nordvpn.com/dams to get up a Huge Discount off your NordVPN Plan + 4 months for free! It's completely risk free with Nord's 30-day money-back guarantee.Jon Stewart calls corruption on Hunter Biden.The rattletrap has been spotted... broken down.Only a few days of Clarktober remain. Enjoy.Social media is dumb, but we're on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (Drew and Mike Show, Marc Fellhauer, Trudi Daniels and BranDon).

The Record Player
Bonus Track: Andrew Sandoval (The Kinks, The Monkees)

The Record Player

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2022 60:08


Grammy-nominated producer Andrew Sandoval is our guest for the latest Bonus Track. He joins Matt to discuss the new Kinks box set devoted to their Muswell Hillbillies/Everybody's in Show-Biz  albums. The new reissue is available in a variety of formats and features bonus materials which include fresh remixes of 11 tracks by Ray Davies.Andrew digs deep into the history behind both albums, while also detailing some exciting new projects that he has in the works. We discuss his research process behind last year's updated edition of The Monkees: The Day-By-Day Story book, a mammoth collection that clocks in at over 700 pages.You can find Andrew on the radio each Monday hosting Come to the Sunshine on WFUV-FM from 6pm-9pm EST.  Listen live or access archived broadcasts and playlists for his show on the station's website.If you enjoy these episodes, please consider supporting our Patreon. Join our Record Club and receive access to a wealth of additional interviews and audio related to the podcast. Thanks for listening!

Time Travelin' Top 40
Time Travelin' Top 40 E102

Time Travelin' Top 40

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2022 21:12


Time Travelin' Top 40 E102 BV looks at the Hot 100 Billboard chart from October 22, 1966 with hits from The Monkees, the Four Tops and Dusty SpringfieldSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

ESO Network – The ESO Network
Fred Velez – Monkeeing Around Episode Sixteen

ESO Network – The ESO Network

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 25, 2022 57:43


This week we’re joined by Monkees fan and author, Fred Velez! We chatted about some of his experiences with the Monkees as a Monkees fan since the beginning. He has some amazing stories to tell, which you can read all about in his books: A Little Bit Me A Little Bit You, and A Little … Fred Velez – Monkeeing Around Episode Sixteen Read More » The post Fred Velez – Monkeeing Around Episode Sixteen appeared first on The ESO Network.

Chuck Shute Podcast
David Ellefson (ex Megadeth, The Lucid, Ellefson-Soto)

Chuck Shute Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 24, 2022 50:28 Transcription Available


David Ellefson is a musician, songwriter and author. He was the bassist of Megadeth from 1983 to their breakup in 2002, and then again from 2010-2021.  He has had a number of other musical and non-musical projects including the band The Lucid, the movie Dwellers, the book Rock Star Hitman and his own coffee company. His latest project is a collaboration with singer Jeff Scott Soto titled Ellefson-Soto. We discuss the new album, Megadeth soundtrack songs, his thoughts on the Pantera reunion and how he deals with his critics. 00:00 - Intro 00:53 - Studios & Arizona Musicians 04:12 - Ellefson-Soto Record & Andy Martongelli 10:35 - Jeff Scott Soto's Voice 13:38 - Songwriting & Bass Lines 17:35 - The Monkees & MTV22:55 - Megadeth in Apple Commercial 23:50 - Soundtrack Songs 27:35 - Opening for Aerosmith 30:15 - Metallica & 99 Ways to Die32:05 - Paranoid & Black Sabbath 33:15 - Pantera, Van Halen & Molly Hatchet 37:46 - Branching Out 44:14 - Dealing with Trolls & Critics 46:25 - Best Interviewer? 48:25 - MusiCares 49:30 - Outro David Ellefson website:https://www.davidellefson.com/MusiCares website:https://www.musicares.org/Chuck Shute website:http://chuckshute.com/Support the showThanks for Listening & Shute for the Moon!

The Enlightened Podcast
The Monkees

The Enlightened Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 23, 2022 38:24


In the latest episode of The Songs you should know we discuss the Monkees! --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

Rock N Roll Pantheon
AllMusicMovies: "The Wrecking Crew" with Denny Tedesco”

Rock N Roll Pantheon

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 19, 2022 38:26


You may not know the musician's names, but The Wrecking Crew was a group of studio musicians in Los Angeles in the 1960s who played on hits for the Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, Sonny and Cher, The Monkees, Mamas and Papas, Herb Alpert and who were Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound." Director Denny Tedesco, son of guitarist Tommy Tedesco, talks to us about these unsung stars who played on so many records that everyone knows by heart. Tune in to hear more about these amazing, funny, and charming men and women who defined rock'n'roll in Los Angeles in the '60s and '70s.

Deep Dive: An AllMusicBooks Podcast
AllMusicMovies: "The Wrecking Crew" with Denny Tedesco

Deep Dive: An AllMusicBooks Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 13, 2022 38:26


You may not know the musician's names, but The Wrecking Crew was a group of studio musicians in Los Angeles in the 1960s who played on hits for the Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, Sonny and Cher, The Monkees, Mamas and Papas, Herb Alpert and who were Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound." Director Denny Tedesco, son of guitarist Tommy Tedesco, talks to us about these unsung stars who played on so many records that everyone knows by heart. Tune in to hear more about these amazing, funny, and charming men and women who defined rock'n'roll in Los Angeles in the '60s and '70s.

Blotto Beatles
Ep 51 - Let It Beer

Blotto Beatles

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 13, 2022 111:29


We begin the road to episode 100 with a review of the new episode of our favorite other podcast, THE SACRED HARP; reminiscing on champers getting to our head; an update on our recent lack of international or American snacks; the introduction of our amazing guest, Kara; whether it's harder to borrow sugar from or hide a gun for your neighbor; going Monkees to Beatles; true stories of David Bowie on a treadmill; disappointing celebrity trainers; songs that can be both personal and universal; and the religiously-tinged classic, "Let It Be."As always, you can find Team Blotto Beatles on Instagram (@blottobeatles) and Twitter (@blottobeatles), by emailing us (blottobeatles@gmail.com), or on the web (blottobeatles.com).  We want to hear from you!Please also take the time to rate and review us on Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.We have a shop!  Grab some merch.  You can also drunk dial us (tel:+18572339793)  or leave us a tip in our new tip jar (don't forget to include a message telling us what drinks we should drink with the money).See the canonical, argument-ending list of Beatles songs we are assembling here: https://www.blottobeatles.com/list; listen to it on Spotify here.Please remember to enjoy Blotto Beatles responsibly.Peace and Love.Hosts: Becker and TommyGuest: KaraExecutive Producer: Scotty C.Additional Musical Supervision: RB (@ryanobrooks)Associate Musical Supervision: Tim Clark (@nodisassemble)#PeteBestGetThatCheck

Lectionary Lab Live
Lectionary Lab Live PODCAST for the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C

Lectionary Lab Live

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2022 39:15


The Monkees famously sang, “…another Pleasant Valley Sunday….” Well, while the Bubbas are recovering and recuperating, here's another pleasant bonus episode of the podcast from 2019. This is a public episode. If you'd like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit twobb.substack.com/subscribe

ESO Network – The ESO Network
How to Reboot the Monkees (or not) – Monkeeing Around Episode Fifteen

ESO Network – The ESO Network

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 11, 2022 47:16


This week we’re Monkeeing Around with the idea of rebooting the Monkees! Will the Monkees be rebooted some day? Is it inevitable? How should they do it? We also discuss some upcoming releases from 7a Records and talk a bit about a member of the other band from the sixties! Monkeeing Around is a part … How to Reboot the Monkees (or not) – Monkeeing Around Episode Fifteen Read More » The post How to Reboot the Monkees (or not) – Monkeeing Around Episode Fifteen appeared first on The ESO Network.

A History Of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs
Episode 155: “Waterloo Sunset” by the Kinks

A History Of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 11, 2022


Episode one hundred and fifty-five of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “Waterloo Sunset” by the Kinks, and the self-inflicted damage the group did to their career between 1965 and 1967. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a nineteen-minute bonus episode available, on "Excerpt From a Teenage Opera" by Keith West. 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 Kinks songs. I've used several resources for this and future episodes on the Kinks, most notably Ray Davies: A Complicated Life by Johnny Rogan and You Really Got Me by Nick Hasted. X-Ray by Ray Davies is a remarkable autobiography with a framing story set in a dystopian science-fiction future, while Kink by Dave Davies is more revealing but less well-written. The Anthology 1964-1971 is a great box set that covers the Kinks' Pye years, which overlap almost exactly with their period of greatest creativity. For those who don't want a full box set, this two-CD set covers all the big hits. And this is the interview with Rasa I discuss in the episode. Patreon This podcast is brought to you by the generosity of my backers on Patreon. Why not join them? Transcript Before I start, this episode has some mentions of racism and homophobia, several discussions of physical violence, one mention of domestic violence, and some discussion of mental illness. I've tried to discuss these things with a reasonable amount of sensitivity, but there's a tabloid element to some of my sources which inevitably percolates through, so be warned if you find those things upsetting. One of the promises I made right at the start of this project was that I would not be doing the thing that almost all podcasts do of making huge chunks of the episodes be about myself -- if I've had to update people about something in my life that affects the podcast, I've done it in separate admin episodes, so the episodes themselves will not be taken up with stuff about me. The podcast is not about me. I am making a very slight exception in this episode, for reasons that will become clear -- there's no way for me to tell this particular story the way I need to without bringing myself into it at least a little. So I wanted to state upfront that this is a one-off thing. The podcast is not suddenly going to change. But one question that I get asked a lot -- far more than I'd expect -- is "do the people you talk about in the podcast ever get in touch with you about what you've said?" Now that has actually happened twice, both times involving people leaving comments on relatively early episodes. The first time is probably the single thing I'm proudest of achieving with this series, and it was a comment left on the episode on "Goodnight My Love" a couple of years back: [Excerpt: Jesse Belvin, "Goodnight My Love"] That comment was from Debra Frazier and read “Jesse Belvin is my Beloved Uncle, my mother's brother. I've been waiting all my life for him to be recognized in this manner. I must say the content in this podcast is 100% correct!Joann and Jesse practically raised me. Can't express how grateful I am. Just so glad someone got it right. I still miss them dearly to this day. My world was forever changed Feb. 6th 1960. I can remember him writing most of those songs right there in my grandmother's living room. I think I'm his last living closest relative, that knows everything in this podcast is true." That comment by itself would have justified me doing this whole podcast. The other such comment actually came a couple of weeks ago, and was on the episode on "Only You": [Excerpt: The Platters, "Only You"] That was a longer comment, from Gayle Schrieber, an associate of Buck Ram, and started "Well, you got some of it right. Your smart-assed sarcasm and know-it-all attitude is irritating since I Do know it all from the business side but what the heck. You did better than most people – with the exception of Marv Goldberg." Given that Marv Goldberg is the single biggest expert on 1950s vocal groups in the world, I'll take that as at least a backhanded compliment. So those are the only two people who I've talked about in the podcast who've commented, but before the podcast I had a blog, and at various times people whose work I wrote about would comment -- John Cowsill of the Cowsills still remembers a blog post where I said nice things about him fourteen years ago, for example. And there was one comment on a blog post I made four or five years ago which confirmed something I'd suspected for a while… When we left the Kinks, at the end of 1964, they had just recorded their first album. That album was not very good, but did go to number three in the UK album charts, which is a much better result than it sounds. Freddie "Boom Boom" Cannon got to number one in 1960, but otherwise the only rock acts to make number one on the album charts from the start of the sixties through the end of 1967 were Elvis, Cliff Richard, the Shadows, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and the Monkees. In the first few years of the sixties they were interspersed with the 101 Strings, trad jazz, the soundtrack to West Side Story, and a blackface minstrel group, The George Mitchell Singers. From mid-1963 through to the end of 1967, though, literally the only things to get to number one on the album charts were the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, the Monkees, and the soundtrack to The Sound of Music. That tiny cabal was eventually broken at the end of 1967 by Val Doonican Rocks… But Gently, and from 1968 on the top of the album charts becomes something like what we would expect today, with a whole variety of different acts, I make this point to point out two things The first is that number three on the album charts is an extremely good position for the Kinks to be in -- when they reached that point the Rolling Stones' second album had just entered at number one, and Beatles For Sale had dropped to number two after eight weeks at the top -- and the second is that for most rock artists and record labels, the album market was simply not big enough or competitive enough until 1968 for it to really matter. What did matter was the singles chart. And "You Really Got Me" had been a genuinely revolutionary hit record. According to Ray Davies it had caused particular consternation to both the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds, both of whom had thought they would be the first to get to number one with a dirty, distorted, R&B-influenced guitar-riff song. And so three weeks after the release of the album came the group's second single. Originally, the plan had been to release a track Ray had been working on called "Tired of Waiting", but that was a slower track, and it was decided that the best thing to do would be to try to replicate the sound of their first hit. So instead, they released "All Day And All Of The Night": [Excerpt: The Kinks, "All Day And All Of The Night"] That track was recorded by the same team as had recorded "You Really Got Me", except with Perry Ford replacing Arthur Greenslade on piano. Once again, Bobby Graham was on drums rather than Mick Avory, and when Ray Davies suggested that he might want to play a different drum pattern, Graham just asked him witheringly "Who do you think you are?" "All Day and All of the Night" went to number two -- a very impressive result for a soundalike follow-up -- and was kept off the number one spot first by "Baby Love" by the Supremes and then by "Little Red Rooster" by the Rolling Stones. The group quickly followed it up with an EP, Kinksize Session, consisting of three mediocre originals plus the group's version of "Louie Louie". By February 1965 that had hit number one on the EP charts, knocking the Rolling Stones off. Things were going as well as possible for the group. Ray and his girlfriend Rasa got married towards the end of 1964 -- they had to, as Rasa was pregnant and from a very religious Catholic family. By contrast, Dave was leading the kind of life that can only really be led by a seventeen-year-old pop star -- he moved out of the family home and in with Mick Avory after his mother caught him in bed with five women, and once out of her watchful gaze he also started having affairs with men, which was still illegal in 1964. (And which indeed would still be illegal for seventeen-year-olds until 2001). In January, they released their third hit single, "Tired of Waiting for You". The track was a ballad rather than a rocker, but still essentially another variant on the theme of "You Really Got Me" -- a song based around a few repeated phrases of lyric, and with a chorus with two major chords a tone apart. "You Really Got Me"'s chorus has the change going up: [Plays "You Really Got Me" chorus chords] While "Tired Of Waiting For You"'s chorus has the change going down: [Plays "Tired of Waiting For You" chorus chords] But it's trivially easy to switch between the two if you play them in the same key: [Demonstrates] Ray has talked about how "Tired of Waiting for You" was partly inspired by how he felt tired of waiting for the fame that the Kinks deserved, and the music was written even before "You Really Got Me". But when they went into the studio to record it, the only lyrics he had were the chorus. Once they'd recorded the backing track, he worked on the lyrics at home, before coming back into the studio to record his vocals, with Rasa adding backing vocals on the softer middle eight: [Excerpt: The Kinks, "Tired of Waiting For You"] After that track was recorded, the group went on a tour of Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong. The flight out to Australia was thirty-four hours, and also required a number of stops. One stop to refuel in Moscow saw the group forced back onto the plane at gunpoint after Pete Quaife unwisely made a joke about the recently-deposed Russian Premier Nikita Khruschev. They also had a stop of a couple of days in Mumbai, where Ray was woken up by the sounds of fishermen chanting at the riverside, and enchanted by both the sound and the image. In Adelaide, Ray and Dave met up for the first time in years with their sister Rose and her husband Arthur. Ray was impressed by their comparative wealth, but disliked the slick modernity of their new suburban home. Dave became so emotional about seeing his big sister again that he talked about not leaving her house, not going to the show that night, and just staying in Australia so they could all be a family again. Rose sadly told him that he knew he couldn't do that, and he eventually agreed. But the tour wasn't all touching family reunions. They also got into a friendly rivalry with Manfred Mann, who were also on the tour and were competing with the Kinks to be the third-biggest group in the UK behind the Beatles and the Stones, and at one point both bands ended up on the same floor of the same hotel as the Stones, who were on their own Australian tour. The hotel manager came up in the night after a complaint about the noise, saw the damage that the combined partying of the three groups had caused, and barricaded them into that floor, locking the doors and the lift shafts, so that the damage could be contained to one floor. "Tired of Waiting" hit number one in the UK while the group were on tour, and it also became their biggest hit in the US, reaching number six, so on the way home they stopped off in the US for a quick promotional appearance on Hullabaloo. According to Ray's accounts, they were asked to do a dance like Freddie and the Dreamers, he and Mick decided to waltz together instead, and the cameras cut away horrified at the implied homosexuality. In fact, examining the footage shows the cameras staying on the group as Mick approaches Ray, arms extended, apparently offering to waltz, while Ray backs off nervous and confused, unsure what's going on. Meanwhile Dave and Pete on the other side of the stage are being gloriously camp with their arms around each other's shoulders. When they finally got back to the UK, they were shocked to hear this on the radio: [Excerpt: The Who, "I Can't Explain"] Ray was horrified that someone had apparently stolen the group's sound, especially when he found out it was the Who, who as the High Numbers had had a bit of a rivalry with the group. He said later "Dave thought it was us! It was produced by Shel Talmy, like we were. They used the same session singers as us, and Perry Ford played piano, like he did on ‘All Day And All Of The Night'. I felt a bit appalled by that. I think that was worse than stealing a song – they were actually stealing our whole style!” Pete Townshend later admitted as much, saying that he had deliberately demoed "I Can't Explain" to sound as much like the Kinks as possible so that Talmy would see its potential. But the Kinks were still, for the moment, doing far better than the Who. In March, shortly after returning from their foreign tour, they released their second album, Kinda Kinks. Like their first album, it was a very patchy effort, but it made number two on the charts, behind the Rolling Stones. But Ray Davies was starting to get unhappy. He was dissatisfied with everything about his life. He would talk later about looking at his wife lying in bed sleeping and thinking "What's she doing here?", and he was increasingly wondering if the celebrity pop star life was right for him, simultaneously resenting and craving the limelight, and doing things like phoning the music papers to deny rumours that he was leaving the Kinks -- rumours which didn't exist until he made those phone calls. As he thought the Who had stolen the Kinks' style, Ray decided to go in a different direction for the next Kinks single, and recorded "Everybody's Gonna Be Happy", which was apparently intended to sound like Motown, though to my ears it bears no resemblance: [Excerpt: The Kinks, "Everybody's Gonna Be Happy"] That only went to number nineteen -- still a hit, but a worry for a band who had had three massive hits in a row. Several of the band started to worry seriously that they were going to end up with no career at all. It didn't help that on the tour after recording that, Ray came down with pneumonia. Then Dave came down with bronchitis. Then Pete Quaife hit his head and had to be hospitalised with severe bleeding and concussion. According to Quaife, he fainted in a public toilet and hit his head on the bowl on the way down, but other band members have suggested that Quaife -- who had a reputation for telling tall stories, even in a band whose members are all known for rewriting history -- was ashamed after getting into a fight. In April they played the NME Poll-Winners' Party, on the same bill as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Animals, the Moody Blues, the Searchers, Freddie And The Dreamers, Herman's Hermits, Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders, the Rockin' Berries, the Seekers, the Ivy League, Them, the Bachelors, Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames, Cilla Black, Dusty Springfield, Twinkle, Tom Jones, Donovan, and Sounds Incorporated. Because they got there late they ended up headlining, going on after the Beatles, even though they hadn't won an award, only come second in best new group, coming far behind the Stones but just ahead of Manfred Mann and the Animals. The next single, "Set Me Free", was a conscious attempt to correct course after "Everybody's Gonna Be Happy" had been less successful: [Excerpt: The Kinks, "Set Me Free"] The song is once again repetitive, and once again based on a riff, structured similarly to "Tired of Waiting" but faster and more upbeat, and with a Beatles-style falsetto in the chorus. It worked -- it returned the group to the top ten -- but Ray wasn't happy at writing to order. He said in August of that year “I'm ashamed of that song. I can stand to hear and even sing most of the songs I've written, but not that one. It's built around pure idiot harmonies that have been used in a thousand songs.” More recently he's talked about how the lyric was an expression of him wanting to be set free from the constraint of having to write a hit song in the style he felt he was outgrowing. By the time the single was released, though, it looked like the group might not even be together any longer. There had always been tensions in the band. Ray and Dave had a relationship that made the Everly Brothers look like the model of family amity, and while Pete Quaife stayed out of the arguments for the most part, Mick Avory couldn't. The core of the group had always been the Davies brothers, and Quaife had known them for years, but Avory was a relative newcomer and hadn't grown up with them, and they also regarded him as a bit less intelligent than the rest of the group. He became the butt of jokes on a fairly constant basis. That would have been OK, except that Avory was also an essentially passive person, who didn't want to take sides in conflicts, while Dave Davies thought that as he and Avory were flatmates they should be on the same side, and resented when Avory didn't take his side in arguments with Ray. As Dave remembered it, the trigger came when he wanted to change the setlist and Mick didn't support him against Ray. In others' recollection, it came when the rest of the band tried to get Dave away from a party and he got violent with them. Both may be true. Either way, Dave got drunk and threw a suitcase at the back of a departing Mick, who was normally a fairly placid person but had had enough, and so he turned round, furious, grabbed Dave, got him in a headlock and just started punching, blackening both his eyes. According to some reports, Avory was so infuriated with Dave that he knocked him out, and Dave was so drunk and angry that when he came to he went for Avory again, and got knocked out again. The next day, the group were driven to their show in separate cars -- the Davies brothers in one, the rhythm section in the other -- they had separate dressing rooms, and made their entrance from separate directions. They got through the first song OK, and then Dave Davies insulted Avory's drumming, spat at him, and kicked his drums so they scattered all over the stage. At this point, a lot of the audience were still thinking this was part of the act, but Avory saw red again and picked up his hi-hat cymbal and smashed it down edge-first onto Dave's head. Everyone involved says that if his aim had been very slightly different he would have actually killed Dave. As it is, Dave collapsed, unconscious, bleeding everywhere. Ray screamed "My brother! He's killed my little brother!" and Mick, convinced he was a murderer, ran out of the theatre, still wearing his stage outfit of a hunting jacket and frilly shirt. He was running away for his life -- and that was literal, as Britain still technically had the death penalty at this point; while the last executions in Britain took place in 1964, capital punishment for murder wasn't abolished until late 1965 -- but at the same time a gang of screaming girls outside who didn't know what was going on were chasing him because he was a pop star. He managed to get back to London, where he found that the police had been looking for him but that Dave was alive and didn't want to press charges. However, he obviously couldn't go back to their shared home, and they had to cancel gigs because Dave had been hospitalised. It looked like the group were finished for good. Four days after that, Ray and Rasa's daughter Louisa was born, and shortly after that Ray was in the studio again, recording demos: [Excerpt: Ray Davies, "I Go to Sleep (demo)"] That song was part of a project that Larry Page, the group's co-manager, and Eddie Kassner, their publisher, had of making Ray's songwriting a bigger income source, and getting his songs recorded by other artists. Ray had been asked to write it for Peggy Lee, who soon recorded her own version: [Excerpt: Peggy Lee, "I Go to Sleep"] Several of the other tracks on that demo session featured Mitch Mitchell on drums. At the time, Mitchell was playing with another band that Page managed, and there seems to have been some thought of him possibly replacing Avory in the group. But instead, Larry Page cut the Gordian knot. He invited each band member to a meeting, just the two of them -- and didn't tell them that he'd scheduled all these meetings at the same time. When they got there, they found that they'd been tricked into having a full band meeting, at which point Page just talked to them about arrangements for their forthcoming American tour, and didn't let them get a word in until he'd finished. At the end he asked if they had any questions, and Mick Avory said he'd need some new cymbals because he'd broken his old ones on Dave's head. Before going on tour, the group recorded a song that Ray had written inspired by that droning chanting he'd heard in Mumbai. The song was variously titled "See My Friend" and "See My Friends" -- it has been released under both titles, and Ray seems to sing both words at different times -- and Ray told Maureen Cleave "The song is about homosexuality… It's like a football team and the way they're always kissing each other.” (We will be talking about Ray Davies' attitudes towards sexuality and gender in a future episode, but suffice to say that like much of Davies' worldview, he has a weird mixture of very progressive and very reactionary views, and he is also prone to observe behaviours in other people's private lives and make them part of his own public persona). The guitar part was recorded on a bad twelve-string guitar that fed back in the studio, creating a drone sound, which Shel Talmy picked up on and heavily compressed, creating a sound that bore more than a little resemblance to a sitar: [Excerpt: The Kinks, "See My Friend"] If that had been released at the time, it would have made the Kinks into trend-setters. Instead it was left in the can for nearly three months, and in the meantime the Yardbirds released the similar-sounding "Heart Full of Soul", making the Kinks look like bandwagon-jumpers when their own record came out, and reinforcing a paranoid belief that Ray had started to develop that his competitors were stealing his ideas. The track taking so long to come out was down to repercussions from the group's American tour, which changed the course of their whole career in ways they could not possibly have predicted. This was still the era when the musicians' unions of the US and UK had a restrictive one-in, one-out policy for musicians, and you couldn't get a visa to play in the US without the musicians' union's agreement -- and the AFM were not very keen on the British invasion, which they saw as taking jobs away from their members. There are countless stories from this period of bands like the Moody Blues getting to the US only to find that the arrangements have fallen through and they can't perform. Around this time, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders were told they weren't notable enough to get permission to play more than one gig, even though they were at number one on the charts in the US at the time. So it took a great deal of effort to get the Kinks' first US tour arranged, and they had to make a good impression. Unfortunately, while the Beatles and Stones knew how to play the game and give irreverent, cheeky answers that still left the interviewers amused and satisfied, the Kinks were just flat-out confusing and rude: [Excerpt: The Kinks Interview with Clay Cole] The whole tour went badly. They were booked into unsuitable venues, and there were a series of events like the group being booked on the same bill as the Dave Clark Five, and both groups having in their contract that they would be the headliner. Promoters started to complain about them to their management and the unions, and Ray was behaving worse and worse. By the time the tour hit LA, Ray was being truly obnoxious. According to Larry Page he refused to play one TV show because there was a Black drummer on the same show. Page said that it was not about personal prejudice -- though it's hard to see how it could not be, at least in part -- but just picking something arbitrary to complain about to show he had the power to mess things up. While shooting a spot for the show Where The Action Is, Ray got into a physical fight with one of the other cast members over nothing. What Ray didn't realise was that the person in question was a representative for AFTRA, the screen performers' union, and was already unhappy because Dave had earlier refused to join the union. Their behaviour got reported up the chain. The day after the fight was supposed to be the highlight of the tour, but Ray was missing his wife. In the mid-sixties, the Beach Boys would put on a big Summer Spectacular at the Hollywood Bowl every year, and the Kinks were due to play it, on a bill which as well as the Beach Boys also featured the Byrds, the Righteous Brothers, Dino, Desi & Billy, and Sonny and Cher. But Ray said he wasn't going on unless Rasa was there. And he didn't tell Larry Page, who was there, that. Instead, he told a journalist at the Daily Mirror in London, and the first Page heard about it was when the journalist phoned him to confirm that Ray wouldn't be playing. Now, they had already been working to try to get Rasa there for the show, because Ray had been complaining for a while. But Rasa didn't have a passport. Not only that, but she was an immigrant and her family were from Lithuania, and the US State Department weren't exactly keen on people from the Eastern Bloc flying to the US. And it was a long flight. I don't know exactly how long a flight from London to LA took then, but it takes eleven and a half hours now, and it will have been around that length. Somehow, working a miracle, Larry Page co-ordinated with his co-managers Robert Wace and Grenville Collins back in London -- difficult in itself as Wace and Collins and Page and his business partner Eddie Kassner were by now in two different factions, because Ray had been manipulating them and playing them off against each other for months. But the three of them worked together and somehow got Rasa to LA in time for Ray to go on stage. Page waited around long enough to see that Ray had got on stage at the Hollywood Bowl, then flew back to London. He had had enough of Ray's nonsense, and didn't really see any need to be there anyway, because they had a road manager, their publisher, their agent, and plenty of support staff. He felt that he was only there to be someone for Ray Davies to annoy and take his frustrations out on. And indeed, once Page flew back to the UK, Ray calmed down, though how much of that was the presence of Rasa it's hard to say. Their road manager at the time though said "If Larry wasn't there, Ray couldn't make problems because there was nobody there to make them to. He couldn't make problems for me because I just ignored them. For example, in Hawaii, the shirts got stolen. Ray said, ‘No way am I going onstage without my shirt.' So I turned around and said to him, ‘Great, don't go on!' Of course, they went on.” They did miss the gig the next night in San Francisco, with more or less the same lineup as the Hollywood Bowl show -- they'd had problems with the promoter of that show at an earlier gig in Reno, and so Ray said they weren't going to play unless they got paid in cash upfront. When the promoter refused, the group just walked on stage, waved, and walked off. But other than that, the rest of the tour went OK. What they didn't realise until later was that they had made so many enemies on that tour that it would be impossible for them to return to the US for another four years. They weren't blacklisted, as such, they just didn't get the special treatment that was necessary to make it possible for them to visit there. From that point on they would still have a few hits in the US, but nothing like the sustained massive success they had in the UK in the same period. Ray felt abandoned by Page, and started to side more and more with Wace and Collins. Page though was still trying to promote Ray's songwriting. Some of this, like the album "Kinky Music" by the Larry Page Orchestra, released during the tour, was possibly not the kind of promotion that anyone wanted, though some of it has a certain kitsch charm: [Excerpt: The Larry Page Orchestra, "All Day And All Of The Night"] Incidentally, the guitarist on that album was Jimmy Page, who had previously played rhythm guitar on a few Kinks album tracks. But other stuff that Larry Page was doing would be genuinely helpful. For example, on the tour he had become friendly with Stone and Greene, the managers who we heard about in the Buffalo Springfield episode. At this point they were managing Sonny and Cher, and when they came over to the UK, Page took the opportunity to get Cher into the studio to cut a version of Ray's "I Go to Sleep": [Excerpt: Cher, "I Go to Sleep"] Most songwriters, when told that the biggest new star of the year was cutting a cover version of one of their tracks for her next album, would be delighted. Ray Davies, on the other hand, went to the session and confronted Page, screaming about how Page was stealing his ideas. And it was Page being marginalised that caused "See My Friend" to be delayed, because while they were in the US, Page had produced the group in Gold Star Studios, recording a version of Ray's song "Ring the Bells", and Page wanted that as the next single, but the group had a contract with Shel Talmy which said he would be their producer. They couldn't release anything Talmy hadn't produced, but Page, who had control over the group's publishing with his business partner Kassner, wouldn't let them release "See My Friend". Eventually, Talmy won out, and "See My Friend" became the group's next single. It made the top ten on the Record Retailer chart, the one that's now the official UK chart cited in most sources, but only number fifteen on the NME chart which more people paid attention to at the time, and only spent a few weeks on the charts. Ray spent the summer complaining in the music papers about how the track -- "the only one I've really liked", as he said at the time -- wasn't selling as much as it deserved, and also insulting Larry Page and boasting about his own abilities, saying he was a better singer than Andy Williams and Tony Bennett. The group sacked Larry Page as their co-manager, and legal battles between Page and Kassner on one side and Collins and Wace on the other would continue for years, tying up much of the group's money. Page went on to produce a new band he was managing, making records that sounded very like the Kinks' early hits: [Excerpt: The Troggs, "Wild Thing"] The Kinks, meanwhile, decided to go in a different direction for their new EP, Kwyet Kinks, an EP of mostly softer, folk- and country-inspired songs. The most interesting thing on Kwyet Kinks was "Well-Respected Man", which saw Ray's songwriting go in a completely different direction as he started to write gentle social satires with more complex lyrics, rather than the repetitive riff-based songs he'd been doing before. That track was released as a single in the US, which didn't have much of an EP market, and made the top twenty there, despite its use of a word that in England at the time had a double meaning -- either a cigarette or a younger boy at a public school who has to be the servant of an older boy -- but in America was only used as a slur for gay people: [Excerpt: The Kinks, "Well Respected Man"] The group's next album, The Kink Kontroversy, was mostly written in a single week, and is another quickie knockoff album. It had the hit single "Til the End of the Day", another attempt at getting back to their old style of riffy rockers, and one which made the top ten. It also had a rerecorded version of "Ring the Bells", the song Larry Page had wanted to release as a single: [Excerpt: The Kinks, "Ring the Bells"] I'm sure that when Ray Davies heard "Ruby Tuesday" a little over a year later he didn't feel any better about the possibility that people were stealing his ideas. The Kink Kontroversy was a transitional album for the group in many ways. It was the first album to prominently feature Nicky Hopkins, who would be an integral part of the band's sound for the next three years, and the last one to feature a session drummer (Clem Cattini, rather than Avory, played on most of the tracks). From this point on there would essentially be a six-person group of studio Kinks who would make the records -- the four Kinks themselves, Rasa Davies on backing vocals, and Nicky Hopkins on piano. At the end of 1965 the group were flailing, mired in lawsuits, and had gone from being the third biggest group in the country at the start of the year to maybe the tenth or twentieth by the end of it. Something had to change. And it did with the group's next single, which in both its sound and its satirical subject matter was very much a return to the style of "Well Respected Man". "Dedicated Follower of Fashion" was inspired by anger. Ray was never a particularly sociable person, and he was not the kind to do the rounds of all the fashionable clubs like the other pop stars, including his brother, would. But he did feel a need to make some kind of effort and would occasionally host parties at his home for members of the fashionable set. But Davies didn't keep up with fashion the way they did, and some of them would mock him for the way he dressed. At one such party he got into a fistfight with someone who was making fun of his slightly flared trousers, kicked all the guests out, and then went to a typewriter and banged out a lyric mocking the guest and everyone like him: [Excerpt: The Kinks, "Dedicated Follower of Fashion"] The song wasn't popular with Ray's bandmates -- Dave thought it was too soft and wimpy, while Quaife got annoyed at the time Ray spent in the studio trying to make the opening guitar part sound a bit like a ukulele. But they couldn't argue with the results -- it went to number five on the charts, their biggest success since "Tired of Waiting for You" more than a year earlier, and more importantly in some ways it became part of the culture in a way their more recent singles hadn't. "Til The End of the Day" had made the top ten, but it wasn't a record that stuck in people's minds. But "Dedicated Follower of Fashion" was so popular that Ray soon got sick of people coming up to him in the street and singing "Oh yes he is!" at him. But then, Ray was getting sick of everything. In early 1966 he had a full-scale breakdown, brought on by the flu but really just down to pure exhaustion. Friends from this time say that Ray was an introverted control freak, always neurotic and trying to get control and success, but sabotaging it as soon as he attained it so that he didn't have to deal with the public. Just before a tour of Belgium, Rasa gave him an ultimatum -- either he sought medical help or she would leave him. He picked up their phone and slammed it into her face, blacking her eye -- the only time he was ever physically violent to her, she would later emphasise -- at which point it became imperative to get medical help for his mental condition. Ray stayed at home while the rest of the band went to Belgium -- they got in a substitute rhythm player, and Dave took the lead vocals -- though the tour didn't make them any new friends. Their co-manager Grenville Collins went along and with the tact and diplomacy for which the British upper classes are renowned the world over, would say things like “I understand every bloody word you're saying but I won't speak your filthy language. De Gaulle won't speak English, why should I speak French?” At home, Ray was doing worse and worse. When some pre-recorded footage of the Kinks singing "Dedicated Follower of Fashion" came on the TV, he unplugged it and stuck it in the oven. He said later "I was completely out of my mind. I went to sleep and I woke up a week later with a beard. I don't know what happened to me. I'd run into the West End with my money stuffed in my socks, I'd tried to punch my press agent, I was chased down Denmark Street by the police, hustled into a taxi by a psychiatrist and driven off somewhere. And I didn't know. I woke up and I said, ‘What's happening? When do we leave for Belgium?' And they said, ‘Ray it's all right. You had a collapse. Don't worry. You'll get better.'” He did get better, though for a long time he found himself unable to listen to any contemporary rock music other than Bob Dylan -- electric guitars made him think of the pop world that had made him ill -- and so he spent his time listening to classical and jazz records. He didn't want to be a pop star any more, and convinced himself he could quit the band if he went out on top by writing a number one single. And so he did: [Excerpt: The Kinks, "Sunny Afternoon"] Or at least, I say it's a single he wrote, but it's here that I finally get to a point I've been dancing round since the beginning of the episode. The chorus line, "In the summertime", was Rasa's suggestion, and in one of the only two interviews I've ever come across with her, for Johnny Rogan's biography of Ray, she calls the song "the only one where I wrote some words". But there's evidence, including another interview with her I'll talk about in a bit, that suggests that's not quite the case. For years, I thought it was an interesting coincidence that Ray Davies' songwriting ability follows a curve that almost precisely matches that of his relationship with Rasa. At the start, he's clearly talented -- "You Really Got Me" is a great track -- but he's an unformed writer and most of his work is pretty poor stuff. Then he marries Rasa, and his writing starts to become more interesting. Rasa starts to regularly contribute in the studio, and he becomes one of the great songwriters of his generation. For a five-year period in the mid-to-late-sixties, the period when their marriage is at its strongest, Ray writes a string of classic songs that are the equal of any catalogue in popular music. Then around 1970 Rasa stops coming to the studio, and their marriage is under strain. The records become patchier -- still plenty of classic tracks, but a lot more misses. And then in 1973, she left him, and his songwriting fell off a cliff. If you look at a typical Ray Davies concert setlist from 2017, the last time he toured, he did twenty songs, of which two were from his new album, one was the Kinks' one-off hit "Come Dancing" from 1983, and every other song was from the period when he and Rasa were married. Now, for a long time I just thought that was interesting, but likely a coincidence. After all, most rock songwriters do their most important work in their twenties, divorces have a way of messing people's mental health up, musical fashions change… there are a myriad reasons why these things could be like that. But… the circumstantial evidence just kept piling up. Ray's paranoia about people stealing his ideas meant that he became a lot more paranoid and secretive in his songwriting process, and would often not tell his bandmates the titles of the songs, the lyrics, or the vocal melody, until after they'd recorded the backing tracks -- they would record the tracks knowing the chord changes and tempo, but not what the actual song was. Increasingly he would be dictating parts to Quaife and Nicky Hopkins in the studio from the piano, telling them exactly what to play. But while Pete Quaife thought that Ray was being dictatorial in the studio and resented it, he resented something else more. As late as 1999 he was complaining about, in his words, "the silly little bint from Bradford virtually running the damn studio", telling him what to do, and feeling unable to argue back even though he regarded her as "a jumped-up groupie". Dave, on the other hand, valued Rasa's musical intuition and felt that Ray was the same. And she was apparently actually more up-to-date with the music in the charts than any of the band -- while they were out on the road, she would stay at home and listen to the radio and make note of what was charting and why. All this started to seem like a lot of circumstantial evidence that Rasa was possibly far more involved in the creation of the music than she gets credit for -- and given that she was never credited for her vocal parts on any Kinks records, was it too unbelievable that she might have contributed to the songwriting without credit? But then I found the other interview with Rasa I'm aware of, a short sidebar piece I'll link in the liner notes, and I'm going to quote that here: "Rasa, however, would sometimes take a very active role during the writing of the songs, many of which were written in the family home, even on occasion adding to the lyrics. She suggested the words “In the summertime” to ‘Sunny Afternoon', it is claimed. She now says, “I would make suggestions for a backing melody, sing along while Ray was playing the song(s) on the piano; at times I would add a lyric line or word(s). It was rewarding for me and was a major part of our life.” That was enough for me to become convinced that Rasa was a proper collaborator with Ray. I laid all this out in a blog post, being very careful how I phrased what I thought -- that while Ray Davies was probably the principal author of the songs credited to him (and to be clear, that is definitely what I think -- there's a stylistic continuity throughout his work that makes it very clear that the same man did the bulk of the work on all of it), the songs were the work of a writing partnership. As I said in that post "But even if Rasa only contributed ten percent, that seems likely to me to have been the ten percent that pulled those songs up to greatness. Even if all she did was pull Ray back from his more excessive instincts, perhaps cause him to show a little more compassion in his more satirical works (and the thing that's most notable about his post-Rasa songwriting is how much less compassionate it is), suggest a melodic line should go up instead of down at the end of a verse, that kind of thing… the cumulative effect of those sorts of suggestions can be enormous." I was just laying out my opinion, not stating anything as a certainty, though I was morally sure that Rasa deserved at least that much credit. And then Rasa commented on the post, saying "Dear Andrew. Your article was so informative and certainly not mischaracterised. Thank you for the 'history' of my input working with Ray. As I said previously, that time was magical and joyous." I think that's as close a statement as we're likely to get that the Kinks' biggest hits were actually the result of the songwriting team of Davies and Davies, and not of Ray alone, since nobody seems interested at all in a woman who sang on -- and likely co-wrote -- some of the biggest hit records of the sixties. Rasa gets mentioned in two sentences in the band's Wikipedia page, and as far as I can tell has only been interviewed twice -- an extensive interview by Johnny Rogan for his biography of Ray, in which he sadly doesn't seem to have pressed her on her songwriting contributions, and the sidebar above. I will probably continue to refer to Ray writing songs in this and the next episode on the Kinks, because I don't know for sure who wrote what, and he is the one who is legally credited as the sole writer. But… just bear that in mind. And bear it in mind whenever I or anyone else talk about the wives and girlfriends of other rock stars, because I'm sure she's not the only one. "Sunny Afternoon" knocked "Paperback Writer" off the number one spot, but by the time it did, Pete Quaife was out of the band. He'd fallen out with the Davies brothers so badly that he'd insisted on travelling separately from them, and he'd been in a car crash that had hospitalised him for six weeks. They'd quickly hired a temporary replacement, John Dalton, who had previously played with The Mark Four, the group that had evolved into The Creation. They needed him to mime for a TV appearance pretty much straight away, so they asked him "can you play a descending D minor scale?" and when he said yes he was hired -- because the opening of "Sunny Afternoon" used a trick Ray was very fond of, of holding a chord in the guitars while the bass descends in a scale, only changing chord when the notes would clash too badly, and then changing to the closest possible chord: [Excerpt: The Kinks, "Sunny Afternoon"] Around this time, the group also successfully renegotiated their contract with Pye Records, with the help of a new lawyer they had been advised to get in touch with -- Allen Klein. As well as helping renegotiate their contracts, Klein also passed on a demo of one of Ray's new songs to Herman's Hermits. “Dandy” was going to be on the Kinks' next album, but the Hermits released it as a single in the US and took it into the top ten: [Excerpt: Herman's Hermits, “Dandy”] In September, Pete Quaife formally quit the band -- he hadn't played with them in months after his accident -- and the next month the album Face To Face, recorded while Quaife was still in the group, was released. Face to Face was the group's first really solid album, and much of the album was in the same vein as "Sunny Afternoon" -- satirical songs that turned on the songwriter as much as on the people they were ostensibly about. It didn't do as well as the previous albums, but did still make the top twenty on the album chart. The group continued work, recording a new single, "Dead End Street", a song which is musically very similar to "Sunny Afternoon", but is lyrically astonishingly bleak, dealing with poverty and depression rather than more normal topics for a pop song. The group produced a promotional film for it, but the film was banned by the BBC as being in bad taste, as it showed the group as undertakers. But the single happened to be released two days after the broadcast of "Cathy Come Home", the seminal drama about homelessness, which suddenly brought homelessness onto the political agenda. While "Dead End Street" wasn't technically about homelessness, it was close enough that when the TV programme Panorama did a piece on the subject, they used "Dead End Street" to soundtrack it. The song made the top five, an astonishing achievement for something so dark: [Excerpt: The Kinks, "Dead End Street"] But the track also showed the next possible breach in the Kinks' hitmaking team -- when it was originally recorded, Shel Talmy had produced it, and had a French horn playing, but after he left the session, the band brought in a trombone player to replace the French horn, and rerecorded it without him. They would continue working with him for a little while, recording some of the tracks for their next album, but by the time the next single came out, Talmy would be out of the picture for good. But Pete Quaife, on the other hand, was nowhere near as out of the group as he had seemed. While he'd quit the band in September, Ray persuaded him to rejoin the band four days before "Dead End Street" came out, and John Dalton was back to working in his day job as a builder, though we'll be hearing more from him. The group put out a single in Europe, "Mr. Pleasant", a return to the style of "Well Respected Man" and "Dedicated Follower of Fashion": [Excerpt: The Kinks, “Mr. Pleasant”] That was a big hit in the Netherlands, but it wasn't released in the UK. They were working on something rather different. Ray had had the idea of writing a song called "Liverpool Sunset", about Liverpool, and about the decline of the Merseybeat bands who had been at the top of the profession when the Kinks had been starting out. But then the Beatles had released "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane", and Ray hadn't wanted to release anything about Liverpool's geography and look like he had stolen from them, given his attitudes to plagiarism. He said later "I sensed that the Beatles weren't going to be around long. When they moved to London, and ended up in Knightsbridge or wherever, I was still in Muswell Hill. I was loyal to my origins. Maybe I felt when they left it was all over for Merseybeat.” So instead, he -- or he and Rasa -- came up with a song about London, and about loneliness, and about a couple, Terry and Julie -- Terry was named after his nephew Terry who lived in Australia, while Julie's name came from Julie Christie, as she was then starring in a film with a Terry, Terrence Stamp: [Excerpt: The Kinks, "Waterloo Sunset"] It's interesting to look at the musical inspirations for the song. Many people at the time pointed out the song's similarity to "Winchester Cathedral" by the New Vaudeville Band, which had come out six months earlier with a similar melody and was also named after a place: [Excerpt: The New Vaudeville Band, "Winchester Cathedral"] And indeed Spike Milligan had parodied that song and replaced the lyrics with something more London-centric: [Excerpt: Spike Milligan, "Tower Bridge"] But it seems likely that Ray had taken inspiration from an older piece of music. We've talked before about Ferd Grofe in several episodes -- he was the one who orchestrated the original version of "Rhapsody in Blue", who wrote the piece of music that inspired Don Everly to write "Cathy's Clown", and who wrote the first music for the Novachord, the prototype synthesiser from the 1930s. As we saw earlier, Ray was listening to a lot of classical and jazz music rather than rock at this point, and one has to wonder if, at some point during his illness the previous year, he had come across Metropolis: A Blue Fantasy, which Grofe had written for Paul Whiteman's band in 1928, very much in the style of "Rhapsody in Blue", and this section, eight and a half minutes in, in particular: [Excerpt: Paul Whiteman, "Metropolis: A Blue Fantasy" ] "Waterloo Sunset" took three weeks to record. They started out, as usual, with a backing track recorded without the rest of the group knowing anything about the song they were recording -- though the group members did contribute some ideas to the arrangement, which was unusual by this point. Pete Quaife contributed to the bass part, while Dave Davies suggested the slapback echo on the guitar: [Excerpt: The Kinks, "Waterloo Sunset, Instrumental Take 2"] Only weeks later did they add the vocals. Ray had an ear infection, so rather than use headphones he sang to a playback through a speaker, which meant he had to sing more gently, giving the vocal a different tone from his normal singing style: [Excerpt: The Kinks, "Waterloo Sunset"] And in one of the few contributions Rasa made that has been generally acknowledged, she came up with the "Sha la la" vocals in the middle eight: [Excerpt: The Kinks, "Waterloo Sunset"] And the idea of having the track fade out on cascading, round-like vocals: [Excerpt: The Kinks, "Waterloo Sunset"] Once again the Kinks were at a turning point. A few weeks after "Waterloo Sunset" came out, the Monterey Pop Festival finally broke the Who in America -- a festival the Kinks were invited to play, but had to turn down because of their visa problems. It felt like the group were being passed by -- Ray has talked about how "Waterloo Sunset" would have been another good point for him to quit the group as he kept threatening to, or at least to stay home and just make the records, like Brian Wilson, while letting the band tour with Dave on lead vocals. He decided against it, though, as he would for decades to come. That attitude, of simultaneously wanting to be part of something and be a distanced, dispassionate observer of it, is what made "Waterloo Sunset" so special. As Ray has said, in words that seem almost to invoke the story of Moses: "it's a culmination of all my desires and hopes – it's a song about people going to a better world, but somehow I stayed where I was and became the observer in the song rather than the person who is proactive . . . I did not cross the river. They did and had a good life apparently." Ray stayed with the group, and we'll be picking up on what he and they did next in about a year's time. "Waterloo Sunset" went to number two on the charts, and has since become the most beloved song in the Kinks' whole catalogue. It's been called "the most beautiful song in the English language", and "the most beautiful song of the rock 'n' roll era", though Ray Davies, ever self-critical when he's not being self-aggrandising, thinks it could be improved upon. But most of the rest of us disagree. As the song itself says, "Waterloo Sunset's fine".