Tim Friedmann's 70's Rock Conversations
This episode remains one of our Ten most-downloaded episodes of all-time! Moody Blues keyboardist Alan Hewitt stops by for a visit. Coming up this winter/spring, Frank & I replay more of our classic episodes, including Fleetwood Mac, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Tom Petty, and Al Stewart. Season 8 kicks off in May with all-new shows!!
Doom Tomb Podcast- Stoner Rock, Doom Metal and Sludge Metal.
Grave Next Door Black Doomba Records Built on experience as veterans, rock lifers and road warriors, Grand Rapids, MI natives Grave Next Door fuse Black Sabbath with the Melvins by way of The Moody Blues for a unique approach to heavy rock. Planet Mammoth 2023 tickets https://www.simpletix.com/e/planet-mammoth-2023-tickets-121354 http://doomtombpodcast.com ***** ***** Edited by Ian from No Masters Audio: https://www.instagram.com/nomastersaudio/ House band : Stone Witch https://stonewitchband.bandcamp.com https://interstellarsmokerecords.bigcartel.com ***** Cranium Radio(Sundays,6-9 PM EST): https://www.facebook.com/craniumradio The Doom Tomb http://craniumradio.com Listen by way of : https://streema.com https://tunein.com https://live365.com https://liveonlineradio.net/cranium-radio http://radio.garden/listen/cranium-radio/5vlWBp-R ***** Social Media: https://www.instagram.com/doomtombpodcast/ https://www.facebook.com/doomtombpodcast https://www.tiktok.com/@doomtomb?lang=en We go live now and again. https://twitter.com/DoomTombPodcast https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYEaR0imIjYsgw-icbQPyhQ ***** Planet Mammoth: https://www.facebook.com/planetmammoth https://www.instagram.com/planetmammothentertainment/ ***** Doom Tomb Merch: https://doomtomb.bigcartel.com ***** firstname.lastname@example.org Submissions, interviews, or just to say hi. ***** STAY HEAVY !!!!
Tim Friedmann's 70's Rock Conversations
The smooth-sound of Marvin Gaye is this week's Featured Artist! From the early hits, through his retrospective days, and into the "sexy" songs of the 70's and 80's! Next week-- a very special classic episode! Frank & I bring back the interview with Alan Hewitt, keyboardist with the Moody Blues. It's one of our most-downloaded episodes! Keep in mind Season 8 begins in early May with Hall & Oates kicking things off as our Featured Artist, and some new topics as well!
Tim Friedmann's 70's Rock Conversations
Billy Joel is this week's Classic Conversations "Featured Artist!" Be sure to join Frank Aust and me for some great upcoming episodes, like Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, Marvin Gaye, and one of our most downloaded episodes featuring Alan Hewitt, keyboardist for the Moody Blues. Brand new episodes kick off Season 8 in early May!
The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi is a classic text on strategy and martial arts, but it also contains valuable lessons about motivation. Motivation is a crucial aspect of achieving our goals and fulfilling our dreams. It is what drives us to take action and make progress, even when faced with obstacles and challenges. The Moody Blues song "22,000 Days" is a reminder of the limited time we have to pursue our passions and achieve our goals. With approximately 22,000 days in the average human lifespan, each one is a precious opportunity to live a fulfilling life. When it comes to motivation, remembering the finite nature of our time on this earth can be a powerful tool. Knowing we have a limited amount of time can motivate us to take action and pursue our goals with greater urgency. The song encourages us to "find the joy in life" and to "live before we die." Motivation is not just about achieving specific goals, but also about finding meaning and enjoyment in the journey. Let us use the limited time we have to pursue our dreams, find joy in the journey, and make the most of every day. Tom Parker joins Tim and Steve as they discuss all that and more.
Denny Laine from The Moody Blues and Wings had so much fun a few weeks ago he decided to drop by the backyard again to chat about his rock n roll roots and his Songs & Stories Tour!•2/3 City Winery - Nashville, TN•2/5 Rams Head - Annapolis, MD•2/7 City Winery - NYC, NY•2/8 City Winery - Hudson Valley, NY•2/9 City Winery - Boston, MA•2/10 The Music Room - West Yarmouth, MA (Cape Cod)•2/11 City Winery - Philadelphia, PA•2/16 Club Cafe - Pittsburgh, PA•2/17 Music Box - Cleveland, OH•2/18 Studio 64 (ArcadaTheater)- St Charles, IL•2/19 City Winery - Chicago, IL•2/23 My Fathers Place - Roslyn, NYFollow Denny on Facebook for more updates: https://www.facebook.com/DBFLaine/ Denny Laine is an English musician, singer, and songwriter, known as a founder of two major rock bands: the Moody Blues, with whom he played from 1964 to 1966, and co founder of Wings with Paul McCartney, with whom he played from 1971 to 1981. Laine has worked with a variety of artists and groups over a six-decade career, and continues to record and perform as a solo artist. In 2018, Laine was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Moody Blues
Tim Friedmann's 70's Rock Conversations
This Classic Conversation episode features one of Tim's all-time favorite artists: Stevie Wonder! Upcoming Classic Conversation episodes will be: Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, Crosby, Stills & Nash (and Young), The Moody Blues (with keyboardist Alan Hewitt as our guest!), Billy Joel and many others! Season 8 begins in early May...Enjoy!!
Denny Laine was the one full-time Wings member whose last name isn't McCartney—as well as a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee with the Moody Blues. Wings went through multiple lineup changes during the 1970s, and for Band on the Run and much of London Town, the band was down to just Paul and Linda McCartney and Laine. Which Wings lineup does Laine consider the strongest? What was co-writing with McCartney like? How did they come to write and record “Mull of Kintyre,” and were they surprised when it became, at the time, the biggest-ever British hit single? Did they work better without an outside producer? Did McCartney's cannabis arrest in Japan mark the end of Wings? Laine co-wrote “No Words” but has plenty of good ones in this Caropop conversation.
WTOP Entertainment Reporter Jason Fraley chats with Rock & Roll Hall of Fame guitarist Denny Laine, who performs live at the Rams Head in Annapolis, Maryland on Sunday, Feb. 5. They spoke about Laine's British roots, forming The Moody Blues for hits like “Go Now” and Paul McCartney's Wings for hits like “Live and Let Die” and “Band on the Run.” (Theme Music: Scott Buckley's "Clarion") Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Denny Laine from The Moody Blues and Wings is ON the AIR for this incredible episode! We give it a go and talk about his Songs & Stories Tour, his Moody Blues days and how he formed Wings with Paul McCartney!Denny Laine is an English musician, singer, and songwriter, known as a founder of two major rock bands: the Moody Blues, with whom he played from 1964 to 1966, and co founder of Wings with Paul McCartney, with whom he played from 1971 to 1981. Laine has worked with a variety of artists and groups over a six-decade career, and continues to record and perform as a solo artist. In 2018, Laine was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Moody Blues
The Imbalanced History of Rock and Roll
Denny Laine has been at this Rock n' Roll thing for almost 60 years, and the Imbalanced Brothers were giddy at the chance to talk to the RRHOFer, founding member of The Moody Blues, and Sir Paul's partner in Wings! But there's more to the man and his story, and some laughs to share! Denny talks of his early influences: Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Elvis, and being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Denny is hitting the road for the first time since the pandemic. Here's the latest update of the dates!!! Denny Laine Songs and Stories Tour 2023: An intimate evening with Denny Laine, formerly of the Moody Blues and Wings with Paul McCartney, performing acoustic versions of songs, along with the behind the scenes stories from his fascinating career. Tickets for most shows available here!!! (Direct-to-venue and other sourced links highlighted on those dates) Dates •2/3 City Winery - Nashville, TN •2/5 Rams Head - Annapolis, MD •2/7 City Winery - NYC, NY •2/8 City Winery - Hudson Valley, NY •2/9 City Winery - Boston, MA •2/10 The Music Room - West Yarmouth, MA (Cape Cod) •2/11 City Winery - Philadelphia, PA •2/16 Club Cafe - Pittsburgh, PA •2/17 Music Box - Cleveland, OH •2/18 Studio 64 (ArcadaTheater)- St Charles, IL •2/19 City Winery - Chicago, IL •2/23 My Fathers Place - Roslyn, NY Follow Denny on Facebook for more updates: https://www.facebook.com/DBFLaine/ We love our sponsors!!! Please visit their web sites, and support them because they make this crazy show go: Boldfoot Socks https://boldfoot.com Crooked Eye Brewery https://crookedeyebrewery.com/ Don't forget that you can find all of our episodes, on-demand, for free right here on our web site: https://imbalancedhistory.com/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
It's national Blue Monday! And Buzz has good news and bad news for us.
Denny Laine, founding member of Wings and The Moody Blues, joins Bob Sirott to talk about The Moody Blues’ first hit and how they met The Beatles. He also discussed recording the Wings’ song, “Band on the Run,” experiences with Paul McCartney, and how colleges reacted to Wings concerts on campus.
"You see, she was gonna be an actress, I was gonna learn to flyShe took off to find the footlights, and I took off for the skyAnd here, she's acting happy inside her handsome homeAnd me, I'm flying in my taxi, taking tips, and getting stonedI go flying so high, when I'm stoned"Don't miss this week's "Red Eye" flight of Whole 'Nuther Thing. We depart from Gate 885 prpmptly at Midnight, check in is at 11:55PM with open boarding. Joining us tonight are Peter Himmelman, Mark - Almond Band, Buffalo Springfield, The Doobie Brothers, Al Kooper w Mike Bloomfield, Traffic, Rolling Stones, Beatles, Bee Gees, Yardbirds, Moody Blues, Simon & Garfunkel, John Lennon, James Gang, Chicago, Tears For Fears, Supertramp, Steve Erquiaga, Van Morrison and Harry Chapin.
Rare & Scratchy Rock 'N Roll Podcast
RARE & SCRATCHY ROCK ‘N ROLL_046A – “THE COMPLETE HIT SINGLES HISTORY OF THE FOUR TOPS” – “REMASTERED & EXPANDED” This episode spotlights the Four Tops – four high school friends from Detroit who performed together continuously for 43 years. They failed to achieve a hit song during their first decade together, but succeeded as a popular draw at leading night clubs. They turned down a contract with Motown Records because they thought the company was too small, but years later they would join that label and become one of its most successful groups. Their repertoire spanned doo-wop, jazz, rhythm and blues, pop, rock, soul, disco, and dance. In addition to many other Motown acts, their hit music collaborations also included another singer with a Detroit connection – Aretha Franklin – and surprisingly – a group from England – the Moody Blues. And in a twist of fate, their lives were saved when they slept late and missed an ill-fated commercial airplane flight that was blown up by terrorists. Our resident Rockologist, Ken Deutsch, joins Radio Dave to co-anchor this episode as together we present more of the greatest rock and roll stories on record. Hear it all here.
Postcards From a Rock & Roll Tour - From Rockstar to Uber Driver and Back
Gordy Marshall toured with The Moody Blues for 25 years. GO NOW! is a tribute to The Moody Blues, but takes the title 'tribute' to a different level. With some of the best singers and musicians you will ever hear and a meticulous attention to detail, the GO NOW! boys recreate the beauty and passion of a live Moody Blues concert. This podcast plots the journey.
Of the Moody Blues...See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
A History Of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs
Episode 160 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “Flowers in the Rain" by the Move, their transition into ELO, and the career of Roy Wood. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a twenty-minute bonus episode available, on "The Chipmunk Song" by Canned Heat. 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/ Note I say "And on its first broadcast, as George Martin's theme tune for the new station faded, Tony Blackburn reached for a record." -- I should point out that after Martin's theme fades, Blackburn talks over a brief snatch of a piece by Johnny Dankworth. Resources As so many of the episodes recently have had no Mixcloud due to the number of songs by one artist, I've decided to start splitting the mixes of the recordings excerpted in the podcasts into two parts. Here's part one . I had problems uploading part two, but will attempt to get that up shortly. There are not many books about Roy Wood, and I referred to both of the two that seem to exist -- this biography by John van der Kiste, and this album guide by James R Turner. I also referred to this biography of Jeff Lynne by van der Kiste, The Electric Light Orchestra Story by Bev Bevan, and Mr Big by Don Arden with Mick Wall. Most of the more comprehensive compilations of the Move's material are out of print, but this single-CD-plus-DVD anthology is the best compilation that's in print. This is the one collection of Wood's solo and Wizzard hits that seems currently in print, and for those who want to investigate further, this cheap box set has the last Move album, the first ELO album, the first Wizzard album, Wood's solo Boulders, and a later Wood solo album, for the price of a single CD. Transcript Before I start, a brief note. This episode deals with organised crime, and so contains some mild descriptions of violence, and also has some mention of mental illness and drug use, though not much of any of those things. And it's probably also important to warn people that towards the end there's some Christmas music, including excerpts of a song that is inescapable at this time of year in the UK, so those who work in retail environments and the like may want to listen to this later, at a point when they're not totally sick of hearing Christmas records. Most of the time, the identity of the party in government doesn't make that much of a difference to people's everyday lives. At least in Britain, there tends to be a consensus ideology within the limits of which governments of both main parties tend to work. They will make a difference at the margins, and be more or less competent, and more or less conservative or left-wing, more or less liberal or authoritarian, but life will, broadly speaking, continue along much as before for most people. Some will be a little better or worse off, but in general steering the ship of state is a matter of a lot of tiny incremental changes, not of sudden u-turns. But there have been a handful of governments that have made big, noticeable, changes to the structure of society, reforms that for better or worse affect the lives of every person in the country. Since the end of the Second World War there have been two UK governments that made economic changes of this nature. The Labour government under Clement Atlee which came into power in 1945, and which dramatically expanded the welfare state, introduced the National Health Service, and nationalised huge swathes of major industries, created the post-war social democratic consensus which would be kept to with only minor changes by successive governments of both major parties for decades. The next government to make changes to the economy of such a radical nature was the Conservative government which came to power under Margaret Thatcher in 1979, which started the process of unravelling that social democratic consensus and replacing it with a far more hypercapitalist economic paradigm, which would last for the next several decades. It's entirely possible that the current Conservative government, in leaving the EU, has made a similarly huge change, but we won't know that until we have enough distance from the event to know what long-term changes it's caused. Those are economic changes. Arguably at least as impactful was the Labour government led by Harold Wilson that came to power in 1964, which did not do much to alter the economic consensus, but revolutionised the social order at least as much. Largely because of the influence of Roy Jenkins, the Home Secretary for much of that time, between 1964 and the end of the sixties, Britain abolished the death penalty for murder, decriminalised some sex acts between men in private, abolished corporal punishment in prisons, legalised abortion in certain circumstances, and got rid of censorship in the theatre. They also vastly increased spending on education, and made many other changes. By the end of their term, Britain had gone from being a country with laws reflecting a largely conservative, authoritarian, worldview to one whose laws were some of the most liberal in Europe, and society had started changing to match. There were exceptions, though, and that government did make some changes that were illiberal. They brought in increased restrictions on immigration, starting a worrying trend that continues to this day of governments getting ever crueler to immigrants, and they added LSD to the list of illegal drugs. And they brought in the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act, banning the pirate stations. We've mentioned pirate radio stations very briefly, but never properly explained them. In Britain, at this point, there was a legal monopoly on broadcasting. Only the BBC could run a radio station in the UK, and thanks to agreements with the Musicians' Union, the BBC could only play a very small amount of recorded music, with everything else having to be live performances or spoken word. And because it had a legal obligation to provide something for everyone, that meant the tiny amount of recorded music that was played on the radio had to cover all genres, meaning that even while Britain was going through the most important changes in its musical history, pop records were limited to an hour or two a week on British radio. Obviously, that wasn't going to last while there was money to be made, and the record companies in particular wanted to have somewhere to showcase their latest releases. At the start of the sixties, Radio Luxembourg had become popular, broadcasting from continental Europe but largely playing shows that had been pre-recorded in London. But of course, that was far enough away that it made listening to the transmissions difficult. But a solution presented itself: [Excerpt: The Fortunes, "Caroline"] Radio Caroline still continues to this day, largely as an Internet-based radio station, but in the mid-sixties it was something rather different. It was one of a handful of radio stations -- the pirate stations -- that broadcast from ships in international waters. The ships would stay three miles off the coast of Britain, close enough for their broadcasts to be clearly heard in much of the country, but outside Britain's territorial waters. They soon became hugely popular, with Radio Caroline and Radio London the two most popular, and introduced DJs like Tony Blackburn, Dave Lee Travis, Kenny Everett, and John Peel to the airwaves of Britain. The stations ran on bribery and advertising, and if you wanted a record to get into the charts one of the things you had to do was bribe one of the big pirate stations to playlist it, and with this corruption came violence, which came to a head when as we heard in the episode on “Here Comes the Night”, in 1966 Major Oliver Smedley, a failed right-wing politician and one of the directors of Radio Caroline, got a gang of people to board an abandoned sea fort from which a rival station was broadcasting and retrieve some equipment he claimed belonged to him. The next day, Reginald Calvert, the owner of the rival station, went to Smedley's home to confront him, and Smedley shot him dead, claiming self-defence. The jury in Smedley's subsequent trial took only a minute to find him not guilty and award him two hundred and fifty guineas to cover his costs. This was the last straw for the government, which was already concerned that the pirates' transmitters were interfering with emergency services transmissions, and that proper royalties weren't being paid for the music broadcast (though since much of the music was only on there because of payola, this seems a little bit of a moot point). They introduced legislation which banned anyone in the UK from supplying the pirate ships with records or other supplies, or advertising on the stations. They couldn't do anything about the ships themselves, because they were outside British jurisdiction, but they could make sure that nobody could associate with them while remaining in the UK. The BBC was to regain its monopoly (though in later years some commercial radio stations were allowed to operate). But as well as the stick, they needed the carrot. The pirate stations *had* been filling a real need, and the biggest of them were getting millions of listeners every day. So the arrangements with the Musicians' Union and the record labels were changed, and certain BBC stations were now allowed to play a lot more recorded music per day. I haven't been able to find accurate figures anywhere -- a lot of these things were confidential agreements -- but it seems to have been that the so-called "needle time" rules were substantially relaxed, allowing the BBC to separate what had previously been the Light Programme -- a single radio station that played all kinds of popular music, much of it live performances -- into two radio stations that were each allowed to play as much as twelve hours of recorded music per day, which along with live performances and between-track commentary from DJs was enough to allow a full broadcast schedule. One of these stations, Radio 2, was aimed at older listeners, and to start with mostly had programmes of what we would now refer to as Muzak, mixed in with the pop music of an older generation -- crooners and performers like Englebert Humperdinck. But another, Radio 1, was aimed at a younger audience and explicitly modelled on the pirate stations, and featured many of the DJs who had made their names on those stations. And on its first broadcast, as George Martin's theme tune for the new station faded, Tony Blackburn reached for a record. At different times Blackburn has said either that he was just desperately reaching for whatever record came to hand or that he made a deliberate choice because the record he chose had such a striking opening that it would be the perfect way to start a new station: [Excerpt: Tony Blackburn first radio show into "Flowers in the Rain" by the Move] You may remember me talking in the episode on "Here Comes the Night" about how in 1964 Dick Rowe of Decca, the manager Larry Page, and the publicist and co-owner of Radio Caroline Phil Solomon were all trying to promote something called Brumbeat as the answer to Merseybeat – Brummies, for those who don't know, are people from Birmingham. Brumbeat never took off the way Merseybeat did, but several bands did get a chance to make records, among them Gerry Levene and the Avengers: [Excerpt: Gerry Levene and the Avengers, "Dr. Feelgood"] That was the only single the Avengers made, and the B-side wasn't even them playing, but a bunch of session musicians under the direction of Bert Berns, and the group split up soon afterwards, but several of the members would go on to have rather important careers. According to some sources, one of their early drummers was John Bohnam, who you can be pretty sure will be turning up later in the story, while the drummer on that track was Graeme Edge, who would later go on to co-found the Moody Blues. But today it's the guitarist we'll be looking at. Roy Wood had started playing music when he was very young -- he'd had drum lessons when he was five years old, the only formal musical tuition he ever had, and he'd played harmonica around working men's clubs as a kid. And as a small child he'd loved classical music, particularly Tchaikovsky and Elgar. But it wasn't until he was twelve that he decided that he wanted to be a guitarist. He went to see the Shadows play live, and was inspired by the sound of Hank Marvin's guitar, which he later described as sounding "like it had been dipped in Dettol or something": [Excerpt: The Shadows, "Apache"] He started begging his parents for a guitar, and got one for his thirteenth birthday -- and by the time he was fourteen he was already in a band, the Falcons, whose members were otherwise eighteen to twenty years old, but who needed a lead guitarist who could play like Marvin. Wood had picked up the guitar almost preternaturally quickly, as he would later pick up every instrument he turned his hand to, and he'd also got the equipment. His friend Jeff Lynne later said "I first saw Roy playing in a church hall in Birmingham and I think his group was called the Falcons. And I could tell he was dead posh because he had a Fender Stratocaster and a Vox AC30 amplifier. The business at the time. I mean, if you've got those, that's it, you're made." It was in the Falcons that Wood had first started trying to write songs, at first instrumentals in the style of the Shadows, but then after the Beatles hit the charts he realised it was possible for band members to write their own material, and started hesitantly trying to write a few actual songs. Wood had moved on from the Falcons to Gerry Levene's band, one of the biggest local bands in Birmingham, when he was sixteen, which is also when he left formal education, dropping out from art school -- he's later said that he wasn't expelled as such, but that he and the school came to a mutual agreement that he wouldn't go back there. And when Gerry Levene and the Avengers fell apart after their one chance at success hadn't worked out, he moved on again to an even bigger band. Mike Sheridan and the Night Riders had had two singles out already, both produced by Cliff Richard's producer Norrie Paramor, and while they hadn't charted they were clearly going places. They needed a new guitarist, and Wood was by far the best of the dozen or so people who auditioned, even though Sheridan was very hesitant at first -- the Night Riders were playing cabaret, and all dressed smartly at all times, and this sixteen-year-old guitarist had turned up wearing clothes made by his sister and ludicrous pointy shoes. He was the odd man out, but he was so good that none of the other players could hold a candle to him, and he was in the Night Riders by the time of their third single, "What a Sweet Thing That Was": [Excerpt: Mike Sheridan and the Night Riders, "What a Sweet Thing That Was"] Sheridan later said "Roy was and still is, in my opinion, an unbelievable talent. As stubborn as a mule and a complete extrovert. Roy changed the group by getting us into harmonies and made us realize there was better material around with more than three chords to play. This was our turning point and we became a group's group and a bigger name." -- though there are few other people who would describe Wood as extroverted, most people describing him as painfully shy off-stage. "What a Sweet Thing That Was" didn't have any success, and nor did its follow-up, "Here I Stand", which came out in January 1965. But by that point, Wood had got enough of a reputation that he was already starting to guest on records by other bands on the Birmingham scene, like "Pretty Things" by Danny King and the Mayfair Set: [Excerpt: Danny King and the Mayfair Set, "Pretty Things"] After their fourth single was a flop, Mike Sheridan and the Night Riders changed their name to Mike Sheridan's Lot, and the B-side of their first single under the new name was a Roy Wood song, the first time one of his songs was recorded. Unfortunately the song, modelled on "It's Not Unusual" by Tom Jones, didn't come off very well, and Sheridan blamed himself for what everyone was agreed was a lousy sounding record: [Excerpt: Mike Sheridan's Lot, "Make Them Understand"] Mike Sheridan's Lot put out one final single, but the writing was on the wall for the group. Wood left, and soon after so did Sheridan himself. The remaining members regrouped under the name The Idle Race, with Wood's friend Jeff Lynne as their new singer and guitarist. But Wood wouldn't remain without a band for long. He'd recently started hanging out with another band, Carl Wayne and the Vikings, who had also released a couple of singles, on Pye: [Excerpt: Carl Wayne and the Vikings, "What's the Matter Baby"] But like almost every band from Birmingham up to this point, the Vikings' records had done very little, and their drummer had quit, and been replaced by Bev Bevan, who had been in yet another band that had gone nowhere, Denny Laine and the Diplomats, who had released one single under the name of their lead singer Nicky James, featuring the Breakaways, the girl group who would later sing on "Hey Joe", on backing vocals: [Excerpt: Nicky James, "My Colour is Blue"] Bevan had joined Carl Wayne's group, and they'd recorded one track together, a cover version of "My Girl", which was only released in the US, and which sank without a trace: [Excerpt: Carl Wayne and the Vikings, "My Girl"] It was around this time that Wood started hanging around with the Vikings, and they would all complain about how if you were playing the Birmingham circuit you were stuck just playing cover versions, and couldn't do anything more interesting. They were also becoming more acutely aware of how successful they *could* have been, because one of the Brumbeat bands had become really big. The Moody Blues, a supergroup of players from the best bands in Birmingham who featured Bev Bevan's old bandmate Denny Laine and Wood's old colleague Graeme Edge, had just hit number one with their version of "Go Now": [Excerpt: The Moody Blues, "Go Now"] So they knew the potential for success was there, but they were all feeling trapped. But then Ace Kefford, the bass player for the Vikings, went to see Davy Jones and the Lower Third playing a gig: [Excerpt: Davy Jones and the Lower Third, "You've Got a Habit of Leaving"] Also at the gig was Trevor Burton, the guitarist for Danny King and the Mayfair Set. The two of them got chatting to Davy Jones after the gig, and eventually the future David Bowie told them that the two of them should form their own band if they were feeling constricted in their current groups. They decided to do just that, and they persuaded Carl Wayne from Kefford's band to join them, and got in Wood. Now they just needed a drummer. Their first choice was John Bonham, the former drummer for Gerry Levene and the Avengers who was now drumming in a band with Kefford's uncle and Nicky James from the Diplomats. But Bonham and Wayne didn't get on, and so Bonham decided to remain in the group he was in, and instead they turned to Bev Bevan, the Vikings' new drummer. (Of the other two members of the Vikings, one went on to join Mike Sheridan's Lot in place of Wood, before leaving at the same time as Sheridan and being replaced by Lynne, while the other went on to join Mike Sheridan's New Lot, the group Sheridan formed after leaving his old group. The Birmingham beat group scene seems to have only had about as many people as there were bands, with everyone ending up a member of twenty different groups). The new group called themselves the Move, because they were all moving on from other groups, and it was a big move for all of them. Many people advised them not to get together, saying they were better off where they were, or taking on offers they'd got from more successful groups -- Carl Wayne had had an offer from a group called the Spectres, who would later become famous as Status Quo, while Wood had been tempted by Tony Rivers and the Castaways, a group who at the time were signed to Immediate Records, and who did Beach Boys soundalikes and covers: [Excerpt: Tony Rivers and the Castaways, "Girl Don't Tell Me"] Wood was a huge fan of the Beach Boys and would have fit in with Rivers, but decided he'd rather try something truly new. After their first gig, most of the people who had warned against the group changed their minds. Bevan's best friend, Bobby Davis, told Bevan that while he'd disliked all the other groups Bevan had played in, he liked this one. (Davis would later become a famous comedian, and have a top five single himself in the seventies, produced by Jeff Lynne and with Bevan on the drums, under his stage name Jasper Carrott): [Excerpt: Jasper Carrott, "Funky Moped"] Most of their early sets were cover versions, usually of soul and Motown songs, but reworked in the group's unique style. All five of the band could sing, four of them well enough to be lead vocalists in their own right (Bevan would add occasional harmonies or sing novelty numbers) and so they became known for their harmonies -- Wood talked at the time about how he wanted the band to have Beach Boys harmonies but over instruments that sounded like the Who. And while they were mostly doing cover versions live, Wood was busily writing songs. Their first recording session was for local radio, and at that session they did cover versions of songs by Brenda Lee, the Isley Brothers, the Orlons, the Marvelettes, and Betty Everett, but they also performed four songs written by Wood, with each member of the front line taking a lead vocal, like this one with Kefford singing: [Excerpt: The Move, "You're the One I Need"] The group were soon signed by Tony Secunda, the manager of the Moody Blues, who set about trying to get the group as much publicity as possible. While Carl Wayne, as the only member who didn't play an instrument, ended up the lead singer on most of the group's early records, Secunda started promoting Kefford, who was younger and more conventionally attractive than Wayne, and who had originally put the group together, as the face of the group, while Wood was doing most of the heavy lifting with the music. Wood quickly came to dislike performing live, and to wish he could take the same option as Brian Wilson and stay home and write songs and make records while the other four went out and performed, so Kefford and Wayne taking the spotlight from him didn't bother him at the time, but it set the group up for constant conflicts about who was actually the leader of the group. Wood was also uncomfortable with the image that Secunda set up for the group. Secunda decided that the group needed to be promoted as "bad boys", and so he got them to dress up as 1930s gangsters, and got them to do things like smash busts of Hitler, or the Rhodesian dictator Ian Smith, on stage. He got them to smash TVs on stage too, and in one publicity stunt he got them to smash up a car, while strippers took their clothes off nearby -- claiming that this was to show that people were more interested in violence than in sex. Wood, who was a very quiet, unassuming, introvert, didn't like this sort of thing, but went along with it. Secunda got the group a regular slot at the Marquee club, which lasted several months until, in one of Secunda's ideas for publicity, Carl Wayne let off smoke bombs on stage which set fire to the stage. The manager came up to try to stop the fire, and Wayne tossed the manager's wig into the flames, and the group were banned from the club (though the ban was later lifted). In another publicity stunt, at the time of the 1966 General Election, the group were photographed with "Vote Tory" posters, and issued an invitation to Edward Heath, the leader of the Conservative Party and a keen amateur musician, to join them on stage on keyboards. Sir Edward didn't respond to the invitation. All this publicity led to record company interest. Joe Boyd tried to sign the group to Elektra Records, but much as with The Pink Floyd around the same time, Jac Holzman wasn't interested. Instead they signed with a new production company set up by Denny Cordell, the producer of the Moody Blues' hits. The contract they signed was written on the back of a nude model, as yet another of Secunda's publicity schemes. The group's first single, "Night of Fear" was written by Wood and an early sign of his interest in incorporating classical music into rock: [Excerpt: The Move, "Night of Fear"] Secunda claimed in the publicity that that song was inspired by taking bad acid and having a bad trip, but in truth Wood was more inspired by brown ale than by brown acid -- he and Bev Bevan would never do any drugs other than alcohol. Wayne did take acid once, but didn't like it, though Burton and Kefford would become regular users of most drugs that were going. In truth, the song was not about anything more than being woken up in the middle of the night by an unexpected sound and then being unable to get back to sleep because you're scared of what might be out there. The track reached number two on the charts in the UK, being kept off the top by "I'm a Believer" by the Monkees, and was soon followed up by another song which again led to assumptions of drug use. "I Can Hear the Grass Grow" wasn't about grass the substance, but was inspired by a letter to Health and Efficiency, a magazine which claimed to be about the nudist lifestyle as an excuse for printing photos of naked people at a time before pornography laws were liberalised. The letter was from a reader saying that he listened to pop music on the radio because "where I live it's so quiet I can hear the grass grow!" Wood took that line and turned it into the group's next single, which reached number five: [Excerpt: The Move, "I Can Hear the Grass Grow"] Shortly after that, the group played two big gigs at Alexandra Palace. The first was the Fourteen-Hour Technicolor Dream, which we talked about in the Pink Floyd episode. There Wood had one of the biggest thrills of his life when he walked past John Lennon, who saluted him and then turned to a friend and said "He's brilliant!" -- in the seventies Lennon would talk about how Wood was one of his two favourite British songwriters, and would call the Move "the Hollies with balls". The other gig they played at Alexandra Palace was a "Free the Pirates" benefit show, sponsored by Radio Caroline, to protest the imposition of the Marine Broadcasting (Offences) Act. Despite that, it was, of course, the group's next single that was the first one to be played on Radio One. And that single was also the one which kickstarted Roy Wood's musical ambitions. The catalyst for this was Tony Visconti. Visconti was a twenty-three-year-old American who had been in the music business since he was sixteen, working the typical kind of jobs that working musicians do, like being for a time a member of a latter-day incarnation of the Crew-Cuts, the white vocal group who had had hits in the fifties with covers of "Sh'Boom" and “Earth Angel”. He'd also recorded two singles as a duo with his wife Siegrid, which had gone nowhere: [Excerpt: Tony and Siegrid, "Up Here"] Visconti had been working for the Richmond Organisation as a staff songwriter when he'd met the Move's producer Denny Cordell. Cordell was in the US to promote a new single he had released with a group called Procol Harum, "A Whiter Shade of Pale", and Visconti became the first American to hear the record, which of course soon became a massive hit: [Excerpt: Procol Harum, "A Whiter Shade of Pale"] While he was in New York, Cordell also wanted to record a backing track for one of his other hit acts, Georgie Fame. He told Visconti that he'd booked several of the best session players around, like the jazz trumpet legend Clark Terry, and thought it would be a fun session. Visconti asked to look at the charts for the song, out of professional interest, and Cordell was confused -- what charts? The musicians would just make up an arrangement, wouldn't they? Visconti asked what he was talking about, and Cordell talked about how you made records -- you just got the musicians to come into the studio, hung around while they smoked a few joints and worked out what they were going to play, and then got on with it. It wouldn't take more than about twelve hours to get a single recorded that way. Visconti was horrified, and explained that that might be how they did things in London, but if Cordell tried to make a record that way in New York, with an eight-piece group of session musicians who charged union scale, and would charge double scale for arranging work on top, then he'd bankrupt himself. Cordell went pale and said that the session was in an hour, what was he going to do? Luckily, Cordell had a copy of the demo with him, and Visconti, who unlike Cordell was a trained musician, quickly sat down and wrote an arrangement for him, sketching out parts for guitar, bass, drums, piano, sax, and trumpets. The resulting arrangement wasn't perfect -- Visconti had to write the whole thing in less than an hour with no piano to hand -- but it was good enough that Cordell's production assistant on the track, Harvey Brooks of the group Electric Flag, who also played bass on the track, could tweak it in the studio, and the track was recorded quickly, saving Cordell a fortune: [Excerpt: Georgie Fame, "Because I Love You"] One of the other reasons Cordell had been in the US was that he was looking for a production assistant to work with him in the UK to help translate his ideas into language the musicians could understand. According to Visconti he said that he was going to try asking Phil Spector to be his assistant, and Artie Butler if Spector said no. Astonishingly, assuming he did ask them, neither Phil Spector nor Artie Butler (who was the arranger for records like "Leader of the Pack" and "I'm a Believer" among many, many, others, and who around this time was the one who suggested to Louis Armstrong that he should record "What a Wonderful World") wanted to fly over to the UK to work as Denny Cordell's assistant, and so Cordell turned back to Visconti and invited him to come over to the UK. The main reason Cordell needed an assistant was that he had too much work on his hands -- he was currently in the middle of recording albums for three major hit groups -- Procol Harum, The Move, and Manfred Mann -- and he physically couldn't be in multiple studios at once. Visconti's first work for him was on a Manfred Mann session, where they were recording the Randy Newman song "So Long Dad" for their next single. Cordell produced the rhythm track then left for a Procol Harum session, leaving Visconti to guide the group through the overdubs, including all the vocal parts and the lead instruments: [Excerpt: Manfred Mann, "So Long Dad"] The next Move single, "Flowers in the Rain", was the first one to benefit from Visconti's arrangement ideas. The band had recorded the track, and Cordell had been unhappy with both the song and performance, thinking it was very weak compared to their earlier singles -- not the first time that Cordell would have a difference of opinion with the band, who he thought of as a mediocre pop group, while they thought of themselves as a heavy rock band who were being neutered in the studio by their producer. In particular, Cordell didn't like that the band fell slightly out of time in the middle eight of the track. He decided to scrap it, and get the band to record something else. Visconti, though, thought the track could be saved. He told Cordell that what they needed to do was to beat the Beatles, by using a combination of instruments they hadn't thought of. He scored for a quartet of wind instruments -- oboe, flute, clarinet, and French horn, in imitation of Mendelssohn: [Excerpt: The Move, "Flowers in the Rain"] And then, to cover up the slight sloppiness on the middle eight, Visconti had the wind instruments on that section recorded at half speed, so when played back at normal speed they'd sound like pixies and distract from the rhythm section: [Excerpt: The Move, "Flowers in the Rain"] Visconti's instincts were right. The single went to number two, kept off the top spot by Englebert Humperdinck, who spent 1967 keeping pretty much every major British band off number one, and thanks in part to it being the first track played on Radio 1, but also because it was one of the biggest hits of 1967, it's been the single of the Move's that's had the most airplay over the years. Unfortunately, none of the band ever saw a penny in royalties from it. It was because of another of Tony Secunda's bright ideas. Harold Wilson, the Prime Minister at the time, was very close to his advisor Marcia Williams, who started out as his secretary, rose to be his main political advisor, and ended up being elevated to the peerage as Baroness Falkender. There were many, many rumours that Williams was corrupt -- rumours that were squashed by both Wilson and Williams frequently issuing libel writs against newspapers that mentioned them -- though it later turned out that at least some of these were the work of Britain's security services, who believed Wilson to be working for the KGB (and indeed Williams had first met Wilson at a dinner with Khrushchev, though Wilson was very much not a Communist) and were trying to destabilise his government as a result. Their personal closeness also led to persistent rumours that Wilson and Williams were having an affair. And Tony Secunda decided that the best way to promote "Flowers in the Rain" was to print a postcard with a cartoon of Wilson and Williams on it, and send it out. Including sticking a copy through the door of ten Downing St, the Prime Minister's official residence. This backfired *spectacularly*. Wilson sued the Move for libel, even though none of them had known of their manager's plans, and as a result of the settlement it became illegal for any publication to print the offending image (though it can easily be found on the Internet now of course), everyone involved with the record was placed under a permanent legal injunction to never discuss the details of the case, and every penny in performance or songwriting royalties the track earned would go to charities of Harold Wilson's choice. In the 1990s newspaper reports said that the group had up to that point lost out on two hundred thousand pounds in royalties as a result of Secunda's stunt, and given the track's status as a perennial favourite, it's likely they've missed out on a similar amount in the decades since. Incidentally, while every member of the band was banned from ever describing the postcard, I'm not, and since Wilson and Williams are now both dead it's unlikely they'll ever sue me. The postcard is a cartoon in the style of Aubrey Beardsley, and shows Wilson as a grotesque naked homunculus sat on a bed, with Williams naked save for a diaphonous nightgown through which can clearly be seen her breasts and genitals, wearing a Marie Antoinette style wig and eyemask and holding a fan coquettishly, while Wilson's wife peers at them through a gap in the curtains. The text reads "Disgusting Depraved Despicable, though Harold maybe is the only way to describe "Flowers in the Rain" The Move, released Aug 23" The stunt caused huge animosity between the group and Secunda, not only because of the money they lost but also because despite Secunda's attempts to associate them with the Conservative party the previous year, Ace Kefford was upset at an attack on the Labour leader -- his grandfather was a lifelong member of the Labour party and Kefford didn't like the idea of upsetting him. The record also had a knock-on effect on another band. Wood had given the song "Here We Go Round the Lemon Tree" to his friends in The Idle Race, the band that had previously been Mike Sheridan and the Night Riders, and they'd planned to use their version as their first single: [Excerpt: The Idle Race, "Here We Go Round the Lemon Tree"] But the Move had also used the song as the B-side for their own single, and "Flowers in the Rain" was so popular that the B-side also got a lot of airplay. The Idle Race didn't want to be thought of as a covers act, and so "Lemon Tree" was pulled at the last minute and replaced by "Impostors of Life's Magazine", by the group's guitarist Jeff Lynne: [Excerpt: The Idle Race, "Impostors of Life's Magazine"] Before the problems arose, the Move had been working on another single. The A-side, "Cherry Blossom Clinic", was a song about being in a psychiatric hospital, and again had an arrangement by Visconti, who this time conducted a twelve-piece string section: [Excerpt: The Move, "Cherry Blossom Clinic"] The B-side, meanwhile, was a rocker about politics: [Excerpt: The Move, "Vote For Me"] Given the amount of controversy they'd caused, the idea of a song about mental illness backed with one about politics seemed a bad idea, and so "Cherry Blossom Clinic" was kept back as an album track while "Vote For Me" was left unreleased until future compilations. The first Wood knew about "Cherry Blossom Clinic" not being released was when after a gig in London someone -- different sources have it as Carl Wayne or Tony Secunda -- told him that they had a recording session the next morning for their next single and asked what song he planned on recording. When he said he didn't have one, he was sent up to his hotel room with a bottle of Scotch and told not to come down until he had a new song. He had one by 8:30 the next morning, and was so drunk and tired that he had to be held upright by his bandmates in the studio while singing his lead vocal on the track. The song was inspired by "Somethin' Else", a track by Eddie Cochran, one of Wood's idols: [Excerpt: Eddie Cochran, "Somethin' Else"] Wood took the bass riff from that and used it as the basis for what was the Move's most straight-ahead rock track to date. As 1967 was turning into 1968, almost universally every band was going back to basics, recording stripped down rock and roll tracks, and the Move were no exception. Early takes of "Fire Brigade" featured Matthew Fisher of Procol Harum on piano, but the final version featured just guitar, bass, drums and vocals, plus a few sound effects: [Excerpt: The Move, "Fire Brigade"] While Carl Wayne had sung lead or co-lead on all the Move's previous singles, he was slowly being relegated into the background, and for this one Wood takes the lead vocal on everything except the brief bridge, which Wayne sings: [Excerpt: The Move, "Fire Brigade"] The track went to number three, and while it's not as well-remembered as a couple of other Move singles, it was one of the most influential. Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols has often said that the riff for "God Save the Queen" is inspired by "Fire Brigade": [Excerpt: The Sex Pistols, "God Save the Queen"] The reversion to a heavier style of rock on "Fire Brigade" was largely inspired by the group's new friend Jimi Hendrix. The group had gone on a package tour with The Pink Floyd (who were at the bottom of the bill), Amen Corner, The Nice, and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and had become good friends with Hendrix, often jamming with him backstage. Burton and Kefford had become so enamoured of Hendrix that they'd both permed their hair in imitation of his Afro, though Burton regretted it -- his hair started falling out in huge chunks as a result of the perm, and it took him a full two years to grow it out and back into a more natural style. Burton had started sharing a flat with Noel Redding of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and Burton and Wood had also sung backing vocals with Graham Nash of the Hollies on Hendrix's "You Got Me Floatin'", from his Axis: Bold as Love album: [Excerpt: The Jimi Hendrix Experience, "You Got Me Floatin'"] In early 1968, the group's first album came out. In retrospect it's arguably their best, but at the time it felt a little dated -- it was a compilation of tracks recorded between late 1966 and late 1967, and by early 1968 that might as well have been the nineteenth century. The album included their two most recent singles, a few more songs arranged by Visconti, and three cover versions -- versions of Eddie Cochran's "Weekend", Moby Grape's "Hey Grandma", and the old standard "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart", done copying the Coasters' arrangement with Bev Bevan taking a rare lead vocal. By this time there was a lot of dissatisfaction among the group. Most vocal -- or least vocal, because by this point he was no longer speaking to any of the other members, had been Ace Kefford. Kefford felt he was being sidelined in a band he'd formed and where he was the designated face of the group. He'd tried writing songs, but the only one he'd brought to the group, "William Chalker's Time Machine", had been rejected, and was eventually recorded by a group called The Lemon Tree, whose recording of it was co-produced by Burton and Andy Fairweather-Low of Amen Corner: [Excerpt: The Lemon Tree, "William Chalker's Time Machine"] He was also, though the rest of the group didn't realise it at the time, in the middle of a mental breakdown, which he later attributed to his overuse of acid. By the time the album, titled Move, came out, he'd quit the group. He formed a new group, The Ace Kefford Stand, with Cozy Powell on drums, and they released one single, a cover version of the Yardbirds' "For Your Love", which didn't chart: [Excerpt: The Ace Kefford Stand, "For Your Love"] Kefford recorded a solo album in 1968, but it wasn't released until an archival release in 2003, and he spent most of the next few decades dealing with mental health problems. The group continued on as a four-piece, with Burton moving over to bass. While they thought about what to do -- they were unhappy with Secunda's management, and with the sound that Cordell was getting from their recordings, which they considered far wimpier than their live sound -- they released a live EP of cover versions, recorded at the Marquee. The choice of songs for the EP showed their range of musical influences at the time, going from fifties rockabilly to the burgeoning progressive rock scene, with versions of Cochran's "Somethin' Else", Jerry Lee Lewis' "It'll Be Me", "So You Want to Be a Rock and Roll Star" by the Byrds, "Sunshine Help Me" by Spooky Tooth, and "Stephanie Knows Who" by Love: [Excerpt: The Move, "Stephanie Knows Who"] Incidentally, later that year they headlined a gig at the Royal Albert Hall with the Byrds as the support act, and Gram Parsons, who by that time was playing guitar for the Byrds, said that the Move did "So You Want to Be a Rock and Roll Star" better than the Byrds did. The EP, titled "Something Else From the Move", didn't do well commercially, but it did do something that the band thought important -- Trevor Burton in particular had been complaining that Denny Cordell's productions "took the toughness out" of the band's sound, and was worried that the group were being perceived as a pop band, not as a rock group like his friends in the Jimi Hendrix Experience or Cream. There was an increasing tension between Burton, who wanted to be a heavy rocker, and the older Wayne, who thought there was nothing at all wrong with being a pop band. The next single, "Wild Tiger Woman", was much more in the direction that Burton wanted their music to go. It was ostensibly produced by Cordell, but for the most part he left it to the band, and as a result it ended up as a much heavier track than normal. Roy Wood had only intended the song as an album track, and Bevan and Wayne were hesitant about it being a single, but Burton was insistent -- "Wild Tiger Woman" was going to be the group's first number one record: [Excerpt: The Move, "Wild Tiger Woman"] In fact, it turned out to be the group's first single not to chart at all, after four top ten singles in a row. The group were now in crisis. They'd lost Ace Kefford, Burton and Wayne were at odds, and they were no longer guaranteed hitmakers. They decided to stop working with Cordell and Secunda, and made a commitment that if the next single was a flop, they would split up. In any case, Roy Wood was already thinking about another project. Even though the group's recent records had gone in a guitar-rock direction, he thought maybe you could do something more interesting. Ever since seeing Tony Visconti conduct orchestral instruments playing his music, he'd been thinking about it. As he later put it "I thought 'Well, wouldn't it be great to get a band together, and rather than advertising for a guitarist how about advertising for a cellist or a French horn player or something? There must be lots of young musicians around who play the... instruments that would like to play in a rock kind of band.' That was the start of it, it really was, and I think after those tracks had been recorded with Tony doing the orchestral arrangement, that's when I started to get bored with the Move, with the band, because I thought 'there's something more to it'". He'd started sketching out plans for an expanded lineup of the group, drawing pictures of what it would look like on stage if Carl Wayne was playing timpani while there were cello and French horn players on stage with them. He'd even come up with a name for the new group -- a multi-layered pun. The group would be a light orchestra, like the BBC Light Orchestra, but they would be playing electrical instruments, and also they would have a light show when they performed live, and so he thought "the Electric Light Orchestra" would be a good name for such a group. The other band members thought this was a daft idea, but Wood kept on plotting. But in the meantime, the group needed some new management. The person they chose was Don Arden. We talked about Arden quite a bit in the last episode, but he's someone who is going to turn up a lot in future episodes, and so it's best if I give a little bit more background about him. Arden was a manager of the old school, and like several of the older people in the music business at the time, like Dick James or Larry Page, he had started out as a performer, doing an Al Jolson tribute act, and he was absolutely steeped in showbusiness -- his wife had been a circus contortionist before they got married, and when he moved from Manchester to London their first home had been owned by Winifred Atwell, a boogie piano player who became the first Black person to have a UK number one -- and who is *still* the only female solo instrumentalist to have a UK number one -- with her 1954 hit "Let's Have Another Party": [Excerpt: WInifred Atwell, "Let's Have Another Party"] That was only Atwell's biggest in a long line of hits, and she'd put all her royalties into buying properties in London, one of which became the Ardens' home. Arden had been considered quite a promising singer, and had made a few records in the early 1950s. His first recordings, of material in Yiddish aimed at the Jewish market, are sadly not findable online, but he also apparently recorded as a session singer for Embassy Records. I can't find a reliable source for what records he sang on for that label, which put out budget rerecordings of hits for sale exclusively through Woolworths, but according to Wikipedia one of them was Embassy's version of "Blue Suede Shoes", put out under the group name "The Canadians", and the lead vocal on that track certainly sounds like it could be him: [Excerpt: The Canadians, "Blue Suede Shoes"] As you can tell, rock and roll didn't really suit Arden's style, and he wisely decided to get out of performance and into behind-the-scenes work, though he would still try on occasion to make records of his own -- an acetate exists from 1967 of him singing "Sunrise, Sunset": [Excerpt: Don Arden, "Sunrise, Sunset"] But he'd moved first into promotion -- he'd been the promoter who had put together tours of the UK for Gene Vincent, Little Richard, Brenda Lee and others which we mentioned in the second year of the podcast -- and then into management. He'd first come into management with the Animals -- apparently acting at that point as the money man for Mike Jeffries, who was the manager the group themselves dealt with. According to Arden -- though his story differs from the version of the story told by others involved -- the group at some point ditched Arden for Allen Klein, and when they did, Arden's assistant Peter Grant, another person we'll be hearing a lot more of, went with them. Arden, by his own account, flew over to see Klein and threatened to throw him out of the window of his office, which was several stories up. This was a threat he regularly made to people he believed had crossed him -- he made a similar threat to one of the Nashville Teens, the first group he managed after the Animals, after the musician asked what was happening to the group's money. And as we heard last episode, he threatened Robert Stigwood that way when Stigwood tried to get the Small Faces off him. One of the reasons he'd signed the Small Faces was that Steve Marriott had gone to the Italia Conti school, where Arden had sent his own children, Sharon and David, and David had said that Marriott was talented. And David was also a big reason the Move came over to Arden. After the Small Faces had left him, Arden had bought Galaxy Entertaimnent, the booking agency that handled bookings for Amen Corner and the Move, among many other acts. Arden had taken over management of Amen Corner himself, and had put his son David in charge of liaising with Tony Secunda about the Move. But David Arden was sure that the Move could be an albums act, not just a singles act, and was convinced the group had more potential than they were showing, and when they left Secunda, Don Arden took them on as his clients, at least for the moment. Secunda, according to Arden (who is not the most reliable of witnesses, but is unfortunately the only one we have for a lot of this stuff) tried to hire someone to assassinate Arden, but Arden quickly let Secunda know that if anything happened to Arden, Secunda himself would be dead within the hour. As "Wild Tiger Woman" hadn't been a hit, the group decided to go back to their earlier "Flowers in the Rain" style, with "Blackberry Way": [Excerpt: The Move, "Blackberry Way"] That track was produced by Jimmy Miller, who was producing the Rolling Stones and Traffic around this time, and featured the group's friend Richard Tandy on harpsichord. It's also an example of the maxim "Good artists copy, great artists steal". There are very few more blatant examples of plagiarism in pop music than the middle eight of "Blackberry Way". Compare Harry Nilsson's "Good Old Desk": [Excerpt: Nilsson, "Good Old Desk"] to the middle eight of "Blackberry Way": [Excerpt: The Move, "Blackberry Way"] "Blackberry Way" went to number one, but that was the last straw for Trevor Burton -- it was precisely the kind of thing he *didn't* want to be doing,. He was so sick of playing what he thought of as cheesy pop music that at one show he attacked Bev Bevan on stage with his bass, while Bevan retaliated with his cymbals. He stormed off stage, saying he was "tired of playing this crap". After leaving the group, he almost joined Blind Faith, a new supergroup that members of Cream and Traffic were forming, but instead formed his own supergroup, Balls. Balls had a revolving lineup which at various times included Denny Laine, formerly of the Moody Blues, Jackie Lomax, a singer-songwriter who was an associate of the Beatles, Richard Tandy who had played on "Blackberry Way", and Alan White, who would go on to drum with the band Yes. Balls only released one single, "Fight for My Country", which was later reissued as a Trevor Burton solo single: [Excerpt: Balls, "Fight For My Country"] Balls went through many lineup changes, and eventually seemed to merge with a later lineup of the Idle Race to become the Steve Gibbons Band, who were moderately successful in the seventies and eighties. Richard Tandy covered on bass for a short while, until Rick Price came in as a permanent replacement. Before Price, though, the group tried to get Hank Marvin to join, as the Shadows had then split up, and Wood was willing to move over to bass and let Marvin play lead guitar. Marvin turned down the offer though. But even though "Blackberry Way" had been the group's biggest hit to date, it marked a sharp decline in the group's fortunes. Its success led Peter Walsh, the manager of Marmalade and the Tremeloes, to poach the group from Arden, and even though Arden took his usual heavy-handed approach -- he describes going and torturing Walsh's associate, Clifford Davis, the manager of Fleetwood Mac, in his autobiography -- he couldn't stop Walsh from taking over. Unfortunately, Walsh put the group on the chicken-in-a-basket cabaret circuit, and in the next year they only released one record, the single "Curly", which nobody was happy with. It was ostensibly produced by Mike Hurst, but Hurst didn't turn up to the final sessions and Wood did most of the production work himself, while in the next studio over Jimmy Miller, who'd produced "Blackberry Way", was producing "Honky Tonk Women" by the Rolling Stones. The group were getting pigeonholed as a singles group, at a time when album artists were the in thing. In a three-year career they'd only released one album, though they were working on their second. Wood was by this point convinced that the Move was unsalvageable as a band, and told the others that the group was now just going to be a launchpad for his Electric Light Orchestra project. The band would continue working the chicken-in-a-basket circuit and releasing hit singles, but that would be just to fund the new project -- which they could all be involved in if they wanted, of course. Carl Wayne, on the other hand, was very, very, happy playing cabaret, and didn't see the need to be doing anything else. He made a counter-suggestion to Wood -- keep The Move together indefinitely, but let Wood do the Brian Wilson thing and stay home and write songs. Wayne would even try to get Burton and Kefford back into the band. But Wood wasn't interested. Increasingly his songs weren't even going to the Move at all. He was writing songs for people like Cliff Bennett and the Casuals. He wrote "Dance Round the Maypole" for Acid Gallery: [Excerpt: Acid Gallery, "Dance Round the Maypole"] On that, Wood and Jeff Lynne sang backing vocals. Wood and Lynne had been getting closer since Lynne had bought a home tape recorder which could do multi-tracking -- Wood had wanted to buy one of his own after "Flowers in the Rain", but even though he'd written three hit singles at that point his publishing company wouldn't give him an advance to buy one, and so he'd started using Lynne's. The two have often talked about how they'd recorded the demo for "Blackberry Way" at Lynne's parents' house, recording Wood's vocal on the demo with pillows and cushions around his head so that his singing wouldn't wake Lynne's parents. Lynne had been another person that Wood had asked to join the group when Burton left, but Lynne was happy with The Idle Race, where he was the main singer and songwriter, though their records weren't having any success: [Excerpt: The Idle Race, "I Like My Toys"] While Wood was writing material for other people, the only one of those songs to become a hit was "Hello Suzie", written for Amen Corner, which became a top five single on Immediate Records: [Excerpt: Amen Corner, "Hello Suzie"] While the Move were playing venues like Batley Variety Club in Britain, when they went on their first US tour they were able to play for a very different audience. They were unknown in the US, and so were able to do shows for hippie audiences that had no preconceptions about them, and did things like stretch "Cherry Blossom Clinic" into an eight-minute-long extended progressive rock jam that incorporated bits of "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring", the Nutcracker Suite, and the Sorcerer's Apprentice: [Excerpt: The Move, "Cherry Blossom Clinic Revisited (live at the Fillmore West)"] All the group were agreed that those shows were the highlight of the group's career. Even Carl Wayne, the band member most comfortable with them playing the cabaret circuit, was so proud of the show at the Fillmore West which that performance is taken from that when the tapes proved unusable he kept hold of them, hoping all his life that technology would progress to the point where they could be released and show what a good live band they'd been, though as things turned out they didn't get released until after his death. But when they got back to the UK it was back to the chicken-in-a-basket circuit, and back to work on their much-delayed second album. That album, Shazam!, was the group's attempt at compromise between their different visions. With the exception of one song, it's all heavy rock music, but Wayne, Wood, and Price all co-produced, and Wayne had the most creative involvement he'd ever had. Side two of the album was all cover versions, chosen by Wayne, and Wayne also went out onto the street and did several vox pops, asking members of the public what they thought of pop music: [Excerpt: Vox Pops from "Don't Make My Baby Blue"] There were only six songs on the album, because they were mostly extended jams. Other than the three cover versions chosen by Wayne, there was a sludge-metal remake of "Hello Suzie", the new arrangement of "Cherry Blossom Clinic" they'd been performing live, retitled "Cherry Blossom Clinic Revisited", and only one new original, "Beautiful Daughter", which featured a string arrangement by Visconti, who also played bass: [Excerpt: The Move, "Beautiful Daughter"] And Carl Wayne sang lead on five of the six tracks, which given that one of the reasons Wayne was getting unhappy with the band was that Wood was increasingly becoming the lead singer, must have been some comfort. But it wasn't enough. By the time Shazam! came out, with a cover drawn by Mike Sheridan showing the four band members as superheroes, the band was down to three -- Carl Wayne had quit the group, for a solo career. He continued playing the cabaret circuit, and made records, but never had another hit, but he managed to have a very successful career as an all-round entertainer, acting on TV and in the theatre, including a six-year run as the narrator in the musical Blood Brothers, and replacing Alan Clarke as the lead singer of the Hollies. He died in 2004. As soon as Wayne left the group, the three remaining band members quit their management and went back to Arden. And to replace Wayne, Wood once again asked Jeff Lynne to join the group. But this time the proposition was different -- Lynne wouldn't just be joining the Move, but he would be joining the Electric Light Orchestra. They would continue putting out Move records and touring for the moment, and Lynne would be welcome to write songs for the Move so that Wood wouldn't have to be the only writer, but they'd be doing it while they were planning their new group. Lynne was in, and the first single from the new lineup was a return to the heavy riff rock style of "Wild Tiger Woman", "Brontosaurus": [Excerpt: The Move, "Brontosaurus"] But Wayne leaving the group had put Wood in a difficult position. He was now the frontman, and he hated that responsibility -- he said later "if you look at me in photos of the early days, I'm always the one hanging back with my head down, more the musician than the frontman." So he started wearing makeup, painting his face with triangles and stars, so he would be able to hide his shyness. And it worked -- and "Brontosaurus" returned the group to the top ten. But the next single, "When Alice Comes Back to the Farm", didn't chart at all. The first album for the new Move lineup, Looking On, was to finish their contract with their current record label. Many regard it as the group's "Heavy metal album", and it's often considered the worst of their four albums, with Bev Bevan calling it "plodding", but that's as much to do with Bevan's feeling about the sessions as anything else -- increasingly, after the basic rhythm tracks had been recorded, Wood and Lynne would get to work without the other two members of the band, doing immense amounts of overdubbing. And that continued after Looking On was finished. The group signed a new contract with EMI's new progressive rock label, Harvest, and the contract stated that they were signing as "the Move performing as The Electric Light Orchestra". They started work on two albums' worth of material, with the idea that anything with orchestral instruments would be put aside for the first Electric Light Orchestra album, while anything with just guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, and horns would be for the Move. The first Electric Light Orchestra track, indeed, was intended as a Move B-side. Lynne came in with a song based around a guitar riff, and with lyrics vaguely inspired by the TV show The Prisoner, about someone with a number instead of a name running, trying to escape, and then eventually dying. But then Wood decided that what the track really needed was cello. But not cello played in the standard orchestral manner, but something closer to what the Beatles had done on "I am the Walrus". He'd bought a cheap cello himself, and started playing Jimi Hendrix riffs on it, and Lynne loved the sound of it, so onto the Move's basic rhythm track they overdubbed fifteen cello tracks by Wood, and also two French horns, also by Wood: [Excerpt: The Electric Light Orchestra, "10538 Overture"] The track was named "10538 Overture", after they saw the serial number 1053 on the console they were using to mix the track, and added the number 8 at the end, making 10538 the number of the character in the song. Wood and Lynne were so enamoured with the sound of their new track that they eventually got told by the other two members of the group that they had to sit in the back when the Move were driving to gigs, so they couldn't reach the tape player, because they'd just keep playing the track over and over again. So they got a portable tape player and took that into the back seat with them to play it there. After finishing some pre-existing touring commitments, the Move and Electric Light Orchestra became a purely studio group, and Rick Price quit the bands -- he needed steady touring work to feed his family, and went off to form another band, Mongrel. Around this time, Wood also took part in another strange project. After Immediate Records collapsed, Andrew Oldham needed some fast money, so he and Don Arden put together a fake group they could sign to EMI for ten thousand pounds. The photo of the band Grunt Futtock was of some random students, and that was who Arden and Oldham told EMI was on the track, but the actual performers on the single included Roy Wood, Steve Marriott, Peter Frampton, and Andy Bown, the former keyboard player of the Herd: [Excerpt: Grunt Futtock, "Rock 'n' Roll Christian"] Nobody knows who wrote the song, although it's credited to Bernard Webb, which is a pseudonym Paul McCartney had previously used -- but everyone knew he'd used the pseudonym, so it could very easily be a nod to that. The last Move album, Message From The Country, didn't chart -- just like the previous two hadn't. But Wood's song "Tonight" made number eleven, the follow-up, "Chinatown", made number twenty-three, and then the final Move single, "California Man", a fifties rock and roll pastiche, made the top ten: [Excerpt: The Move, "California Man"] In the US, that single was flipped, and the B-side, Lynne's song "Do Ya", became the only Move song ever to make the Hot One Hundred, reaching number ninety-nine: [Excerpt: The Move, "Do Ya"] By the time "California Man" was released, the Electric Light Orchestra were well underway. They'd recorded their first album, whose biggest highlights were Lynne's "10538 Overture" and Wood's "Whisper in the Night": [Excerpt: The Electric Light Orchestra, "Whisper in the Night"] And they'd formed a touring lineup, including Richard Tandy on keyboards and several orchestral instrumentalists. Unfortunately, there were problems developing between Wood and Lynne. When the Electric Light Orchestra toured, interviewers only wanted to speak to Wood, thinking of him as the band leader, even though Wood insisted that he and Lynne were the joint leaders. And both men had started arguing a lot, to the extent that at some shows they would refuse to go on stage because of arguments as to which of them should go on first. Wood has since said that he thinks most of the problems between Lynne and himself were actually caused by Don Arden, who realised that if he split the two of them into separate acts he could have two hit groups, not one. If that was the plan, it worked, because by the time "10538 Overture" was released as the Electric Light Orchestra's first single, and made the top ten -- while "California Man" was also still in the charts -- it was announced that Roy Wood was now leaving the Electric Light Orchestra, as were keyboard playe
Follow Your Dream - Music And Much More!
The theme of this Music Day episode is Cover Songs.A cover song is when an artist performs a song that someone else has already performed. Most artists have done covers. The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, for example, both started out exclusively playing covers before they began to write their own songs.This episode presents two of my covers. I prefer to call them “reimagined versions” because I always try to make my covers as original as possible. The first is “You Really Got Me” by The Kinks. It features the wonderful Lucy Woodward on vocals. Dave Davies of The Kinks has praised our cover. The second is “The ‘In' Crowd”, Dobie Gray's hit that was also a jazz hit for Ramsey Lewis. It features the sublime Ziarra Washington on vocals.Stay tuned for more Music Day episodes from time to time.“You Really Got Me” (Spotify link here) from The Queens Carnival album. Spotify link here. “The ‘In' Crowd” (Spotify link here) from the album PGS 7. Spotify link here. —---------------------------------------- “Dream With Robert Miller”. Click here.If you enjoyed the show, please Subscribe, Rate, and Review. Just Click Here.“Bobby M and the Paisley Parade” is Robert's forthcoming album. Featuring 10 new songs and guest appearances by John Helliwell (Supertramp), Tony Carey (Rainbow) and Deobrat Mishra, international sitar sensation. The album has been called “Album Of The Year!” (Indie Shark), “One of the great rock sets of the year!” (Big Celebrity Buzz), and “An adventure that keeps us on the edge of our seats!” (Pop Icon). The album has been praised by famous musicians including Steve Hackett of Genesis, Gary Puckett of Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary, Jim McCarty of The Yardbirds, and David Libert of The Happenings. The album will be released via Special Episodes of this podcast after the new year.“Live At SteelStacks” is the new 5-song EP by Robert and his band, Project Grand Slam. The release captures the band at the top of their game and shows off the breadth, scope and sound of the band. The EP has been highly praised by musicians and reviewers alike. Elliott Randall, of Steely Dan fame, the guitarist who recorded the unforgettable solos in ‘Reelin' In The Years', calls Live At SteelStacks “Captivating!”. Tony Carey, the incredible multi-talented artist who has produced Joe Cocker, Eric Burden and John Mayall, says “PGS burns down the house!”. Alan Hewitt of the Moody Blues says “Full of life!” Melody Maker says simply “Virtuoso musicians!”, and Hollywood Digest says “Such a great band!”. “Live At SteelStacks” can be streamed on Spotify, Amazon, Apple and all the other streaming platforms, and can be downloaded at The PGS Store.“All Of The Time” is Robert's most recent single by his band Project Grand Slam. It's a playful, whimsical love song. It's light and airy and exudes the happiness and joy of being in love. The reviewers agree. Melody Maker gives it 5 Stars and calls it “Pure bliss…An intimate sound with abundant melodic riches!”. Pop Icon also gives it 5 Stars and calls it “Ecstasy…One of the best all-around bands working today!”. And Mob York City says simply “Excellence…A band in full command of their powers!” Watch the video here. You can stream “All Of The Time” on Spotify, Apple or any of the other streaming platforms. And you can download it here.“The Shakespeare Concert” is the latest album by Robert's band, Project Grand Slam. It's been praised by famous musicians including Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad, Jim Peterik of the Ides Of March, Joey Dee of Peppermint Twist fame, legendary guitarist Elliott Randall, and celebrated British composer Sarah Class. The music reviewers have called it “Perfection!”, “5 Stars!”, “Thrilling!”, and “A Masterpiece!”. The album can be streamed on Spotify, Apple and all the other streaming services. You can watch the Highlight Reel HERE. And you can purchase a digital download or autographed CD of the album HERE. “The Fall Of Winter” is Robert's single in collaboration with legendary rocker Jim Peterik of the Ides Of March and formerly with Survivor. Also featuring renowned guitarist Elliott Randall (Steely Dan/Doobie Brothers) and keyboard ace Tony Carey (Joe Cocker/Eric Burden). “A triumph!” (The Indie Source). “Flexes Real Rock Muscle!” (Celebrity Zone). Stream it on Spotify or Apple. Watch the lyric video here. Download it here.Robert's “Follow Your Dream Handbook” is an Amazon #1 Bestseller. It's a combination memoir of his unique musical journey and a step by step how-to follow and succeed at your dream. Available on Amazon and wherever books are sold. Audio production:Jimmy RavenscroftKymera Films Connect with the Follow Your Dream Podcast:WebsiteFacebookLinkedInEmail RobertYouTube Listen to the Follow Your Dream Podcast on these podcast platforms:CastBoxSpotifyApple Follow Robert's band, Project Grand Slam, and his music:WebsiteInstagramPGS StoreYouTubeFacebookSpotify MusicApple MusicEmail
In Part 2 of their two-parter on The Winchesters' "Legacy of a Mind," Chrisha and Catherine pull out the red string.They delve into the reasons why Mary and John's journey into Mary's mind may have felt a little familiar, why the monster of the week may have given us some clues as to what the heck is going on with the series, and discuss about the Akrida and what the episode's songs may be hinting at. The Winchesters audio clip credits: The CWSupernatural audio clip credits: The WB; The CWMusic clip credits: “Windmills of Your Mind" by Dusty Springfield; "I Put a Spell on You" cover by Nina Simone; "Legend of a Mind" by The Moody BluesFollow us on Twitter or Hive @TheFangirlBizJoin our new Kofi Discord community at $1/month, and check out the other perks we have at higher tiers:https://ko-fi.com/thefangirlbiz/tiersSupport our podcast by buying our new merch: https://www.redbubble.com/people/thefangirlbiz/shopThanks for listening!
Follow Your Dream - Music And Much More!
Alexandre Da Costa is that rare classical musician - an internationally renowned violinist and conductor who does both at the same time. He's performed over 2000 concerts in over 30 countries with a host of major orchestras. He is the Music Director of the Longueuil Symphony and the Artistic Director of the Stradivaria Festival. And he plays a 1727 Stradivarius violin. We talk about learning and practicing piano and violin as a youngster, what it's like to play and conduct at the same time, the true role of a conductor in a symphony orchestra, and much more.My featured song is “Ma Petite Fleur” from the Spring Dance album by my band, Project Grand Slam. Spotify link here.“Dream With Robert Miller”. Click here.---------------------------------------------If you enjoyed the show, please Subscribe, Rate, and Review. Just Click Here.Alexandre and I discuss the following:Starting on piano and violinPracticingBecoming a conductorThe role of a conductorIn the Songfest portion we play and discuss:PachobelAmazing GraceShow Must Go On “Bobby M and the Paisley Parade” is Robert's forthcoming album. Featuring 10 new songs and guest appearances by John Helliwell (Supertramp), Tony Carey (Rainbow) and Deobrat Mishra, international sitar sensation. The album has been called “Album Of The Year!” (Indie Shark), “One of the great rock sets of the year!” (Big Celebrity Buzz), and “An adventure that keeps us on the edge of our seats!” (Pop Icon). The album has been praised by famous musicians including Steve Hackett of Genesis, Gary Puckett of Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary, Jim McCarty of The Yardbirds, and David Libert of The Happenings. The album will be released via Special Episodes of this podcast after the new year.“Live At SteelStacks” is the new 5-song EP by Robert and his band, Project Grand Slam. The release captures the band at the top of their game and shows off the breadth, scope and sound of the band. The EP has been highly praised by musicians and reviewers alike. Elliott Randall, of Steely Dan fame, the guitarist who recorded the unforgettable solos in ‘Reelin' In The Years', calls Live At SteelStacks “Captivating!”. Tony Carey, the incredible multi-talented artist who has produced Joe Cocker, Eric Burden and John Mayall, says “PGS burns down the house!”. Alan Hewitt of the Moody Blues says “Full of life!” Melody Maker says simply “Virtuoso musicians!”, and Hollywood Digest says “Such a great band!”. “Live At SteelStacks” can be streamed on Spotify, Amazon, Apple and all the other streaming platforms, and can be downloaded at The PGS Store.“All Of The Time” is Robert's most recent single by his band Project Grand Slam. It's a playful, whimsical love song. It's light and airy and exudes the happiness and joy of being in love. The reviewers agree. Melody Maker gives it 5 Stars and calls it “Pure bliss…An intimate sound with abundant melodic riches!”. Pop Icon also gives it 5 Stars and calls it “Ecstasy…One of the best all-around bands working today!”. And Mob York City says simply “Excellence…A band in full command of their powers!” Watch the video here. You can stream “All Of The Time” on Spotify, Apple or any of the other streaming platforms. And you can download it here.“The Shakespeare Concert” is the latest album by Robert's band, Project Grand Slam. It's been praised by famous musicians including Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad, Jim Peterik of the Ides Of March, Joey Dee of Peppermint Twist fame, legendary guitarist Elliott Randall, and celebrated British composer Sarah Class. The music reviewers have called it “Perfection!”, “5 Stars!”, “Thrilling!”, and “A Masterpiece!”. The album can be streamed on Spotify, Apple and all the other streaming services. You can watch the Highlight Reel HERE. And you can purchase a digital download or autographed CD of the album HERE. “The Fall Of Winter” is Robert's single in collaboration with legendary rocker Jim Peterik of the Ides Of March and formerly with Survivor. Also featuring renowned guitarist Elliott Randall (Steely Dan/Doobie Brothers) and keyboard ace Tony Carey (Joe Cocker/Eric Burden). “A triumph!” (The Indie Source). “Flexes Real Rock Muscle!” (Celebrity Zone). Stream it on Spotify or Apple. Watch the lyric video here. Download it here.Robert's “Follow Your Dream Handbook” is an Amazon #1 Bestseller. It's a combination memoir of his unique musical journey and a step by step how-to follow and succeed at your dream. Available on Amazon and wherever books are sold. Audio production:Jimmy RavenscroftKymera Films Connect with Alexandre at:www.alexandredacosta.com Connect with the Follow Your Dream Podcast:WebsiteFacebookLinkedInEmail RobertYouTube Listen to the Follow Your Dream Podcast on these podcast platforms:CastBoxSpotifyApple Follow Robert's band, Project Grand Slam, and his music:WebsiteInstagramPGS StoreYouTubeFacebookSpotify MusicApple MusicEmail
Vintage Rock Pod - Classic Rock Interviews
50 years ago today, the number 1 album in America was Seventh Sojourn by the Moody Blues. It was just one of a number of their records which topped the charts around the world, earning them sales in excess of 50 million throughout their career and earning them a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. On today's episode you'll hear from Moody Blues legend John Lodge on what made the group such a great song writing team.
Follow Your Dream - Music And Much More!
Lisa Hurwitz is the director of a wonderful, sentimental, new documentary called “The Automat”, which features an all-star cast including Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Colin Powell and Elliott Gould. The movie is all about Horn And Hardardt, which for a time was the biggest restaurant chain in the United States. They operated automats - elegant, atmospheric restaurants where customers deposited nickels into little slots and a window would open containing delicious food and drink. “The Automat” captures this chain and this era perfectly.The featured song in this episode is “At The Automat”, written and performed by Mel Brooks. YouTube link here.“Dream With Robert Miller”. Click here.---------------------------------------------If you enjoyed the show, please Subscribe, Rate, and Review. Just Click Here.Lisa and I discuss the following:Why she chose Horn And Hardardt for her filmHow she got Mel Brooks to participateRuth Bader GinsburgColin PowellThe special characteristics of the automatsLoyalty of the customers and employeesThe nickel throwerHer Kickstarter campaign “Live At SteelStacks” is the new 5-song EP by Robert and his band, Project Grand Slam. The release captures the band at the top of their game and shows off the breadth, scope and sound of the band. The EP has been highly praised by musicians and reviewers alike. Elliott Randall, of Steely Dan fame, the guitarist who recorded the unforgettable solos in ‘Reelin' In The Years', calls Live At SteelStacks “Captivating!”. Tony Carey, the incredible multi-talented artist who has produced Joe Cocker, Eric Burden and John Mayall, says “PGS burns down the house!”. Alan Hewitt of the Moody Blues says “Full of life!” Melody Maker says simply “Virtuoso musicians!”, and Hollywood Digest says “Such a great band!”. “Live At SteelStacks” can be streamed on Spotify, Amazon, Apple and all the other streaming platforms, and can be downloaded at The PGS Store.“All Of The Time” is Robert's most recent single by his band Project Grand Slam. It's a playful, whimsical love song. It's light and airy and exudes the happiness and joy of being in love. The reviewers agree. Melody Maker gives it 5 Stars and calls it “Pure bliss…An intimate sound with abundant melodic riches!”. Pop Icon also gives it 5 Stars and calls it “Ecstasy…One of the best all-around bands working today!”. And Mob York City says simply “Excellence…A band in full command of their powers!” Watch the video here. You can stream “All Of The Time” on Spotify, Apple or any of the other streaming platforms. And you can download it here.“The Shakespeare Concert” is the latest album by Robert's band, Project Grand Slam. It's been praised by famous musicians including Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad, Jim Peterik of the Ides Of March, Joey Dee of Peppermint Twist fame, legendary guitarist Elliott Randall, and celebrated British composer Sarah Class. The music reviewers have called it “Perfection!”, “5 Stars!”, “Thrilling!”, and “A Masterpiece!”. The album can be streamed on Spotify, Apple and all the other streaming services. You can watch the Highlight Reel HERE. And you can purchase a digital download or autographed CD of the album HERE. “The Fall Of Winter” is Robert's single in collaboration with legendary rocker Jim Peterik of the Ides Of March and formerly with Survivor. Also featuring renowned guitarist Elliott Randall (Steely Dan/Doobie Brothers) and keyboard ace Tony Carey (Joe Cocker/Eric Burden). “A triumph!” (The Indie Source). “Flexes Real Rock Muscle!” (Celebrity Zone). Stream it on Spotify or Apple. Watch the lyric video here. Download it here.Robert's “Follow Your Dream Handbook” is an Amazon #1 Bestseller. It's a combination memoir of his unique musical journey and a step by step how-to follow and succeed at your dream. Available on Amazon and wherever books are sold. Audio production:Jimmy RavenscroftKymera Films Connect with Lisa at:https://www.automatmovie.comFacebook @THEAUTOMATthemovieInstagram @automatgrlTwitter @AUTOMATmovie Connect with the Follow Your Dream Podcast:WebsiteFacebookLinkedInEmail RobertYouTube Listen to the Follow Your Dream Podcast on these podcast platforms:CastBoxSpotifyApple Follow Robert's band, Project Grand Slam, and his music:WebsiteInstagramPGS StoreYouTubeFacebookSpotify MusicApple MusicEmail
A History Of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs
Episode 159 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “Itchycoo Park” by the Small Faces, and their transition from Mod to psychedelia. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a twenty-five-minute bonus episode available, on "The First Cut is the Deepest" by P.P. Arnold. Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt's irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ Resources As so many of the episodes recently have had no Mixcloud due to the number of songs by one artist, I've decided to start splitting the mixes of the recordings excerpted in the podcasts into two parts. Here's part one and part two. I've used quite a few books in this episode. The Small Faces & Other Stories by Uli Twelker and Roland Schmit is definitely a fan-work with all that that implies, but has some useful quotes. Two books claim to be the authorised biography of Steve Marriott, and I've referred to both -- All Too Beautiful by Paolo Hewitt and John Hellier, and All Or Nothing by Simon Spence. Spence also wrote an excellent book on Immediate Records, which I referred to. Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan both wrote very readable autobiographies. I've also used Andrew Loog Oldham's autobiography Stoned, co-written by Spence, though be warned that it casually uses slurs. P.P. Arnold's autobiography is a sometimes distressing read covering her whole life, including her time at Immediate. There are many, many, collections of the Small Faces' work, ranging from cheap budget CDs full of outtakes to hundred-pound-plus box sets, also full of outtakes. This three-CD budget collection contains all the essential tracks, and is endorsed by Kenney Jones, the band's one surviving member. And if you're intrigued by the section on Immediate Records, this two-CD set contains a good selection of their releases. ERRATUM-ISH: I say Jimmy Winston was “a couple” of years older than the rest of the band. This does not mean exactly two, but is used in the vague vernacular sense equivalent to “a few”. Different sources I've seen put Winston as either two or four years older than his bandmates, though two seems to be the most commonly cited figure. Transcript For once there is little to warn about in this episode, but it does contain some mild discussions of organised crime, arson, and mental illness, and a quoted joke about capital punishment in questionable taste which may upset some. One name that came up time and again when we looked at the very early years of British rock and roll was Lionel Bart. If you don't remember the name, he was a left-wing Bohemian songwriter who lived in a communal house-share which at various times was also inhabited by people like Shirley Eaton, the woman who is painted gold at the beginning of Goldfinger, Mike Pratt, the star of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), and Davey Graham, the most influential and innovative British guitarist of the fifties and early sixties. Bart and Pratt had co-written most of the hits of Britain's first real rock and roll star, Tommy Steele: [Excerpt: Tommy Steele, "Rock with the Caveman"] and then Bart had gone solo as a writer, and written hits like "Living Doll" for Britain's *biggest* rock and roll star, Cliff Richard: [Excerpt: Cliff Richard, "Living Doll"] But Bart's biggest contribution to rock music turned out not to be the songs he wrote for rock and roll stars, and not even his talent-spotting -- it was Bart who got Steele signed by Larry Parnes, and he also pointed Parnes in the direction of another of his biggest stars, Marty Wilde -- but the opportunity he gave to a lot of child stars in a very non-rock context. Bart's musical Oliver!, inspired by the novel Oliver Twist, was the biggest sensation on the West End stage in the early 1960s, breaking records for the longest-running musical, and also transferred to Broadway and later became an extremely successful film. As it happened, while Oliver! was extraordinarily lucrative, Bart didn't see much of the money from it -- he sold the rights to it, and his other musicals, to the comedian Max Bygraves in the mid-sixties for a tiny sum in order to finance a couple of other musicals, which then flopped horribly and bankrupted him. But by that time Oliver! had already been the first big break for three people who went on to major careers in music -- all of them playing the same role. Because many of the major roles in Oliver! were for young boys, the cast had to change frequently -- child labour laws meant that multiple kids had to play the same role in different performances, and people quickly grew out of the roles as teenagerhood hit. We've already heard about the career of one of the people who played the Artful Dodger in the original West End production -- Davy Jones, who transferred in the role to Broadway in 1963, and who we'll be seeing again in a few episodes' time -- and it's very likely that another of the people who played the Artful Dodger in that production, a young lad called Philip Collins, will be coming into the story in a few years' time. But the first of the artists to use the Artful Dodger as a springboard to a music career was the one who appeared in the role on the original cast album of 1960, though there's very little in that recording to suggest the sound of his later records: [Excerpt: Steve Marriott, "Consider Yourself"] Steve Marriott is the second little Stevie we've looked at in recent episodes to have been born prematurely. In his case, he was born a month premature, and jaundiced, and had to spend the first month of his life in hospital, the first few days of which were spent unsure if he was going to survive. Thankfully he did, but he was a bit of a sickly child as a result, and remained stick-thin and short into adulthood -- he never grew to be taller than five foot five. Young Steve loved music, and especially the music of Buddy Holly. He also loved skiffle, and managed to find out where Lonnie Donegan lived. He went round and knocked on Donegan's door, but was very disappointed to discover that his idol was just a normal man, with his hair uncombed and a shirt stained with egg yolk. He started playing the ukulele when he was ten, and graduated to guitar when he was twelve, forming a band which performed under a variety of different names. When on stage with them, he would go by the stage name Buddy Marriott, and would wear a pair of horn-rimmed glasses to look more like Buddy Holly. When he was twelve, his mother took him to an audition for Oliver! The show had been running for three months at the time, and was likely to run longer, and child labour laws meant that they had to have replacements for some of the cast -- every three months, any performing child had to have at least ten days off. At his audition, Steve played his guitar and sang "Who's Sorry Now?", the recent Connie Francis hit: [Excerpt: Connie Francis, "Who's Sorry Now?"] And then, ignoring the rule that performers could only do one song, immediately launched into Buddy Holly's "Oh Boy!" [Excerpt: Buddy Holly, "Oh Boy!"] His musical ability and attitude impressed the show's producers, and he was given a job which suited him perfectly -- rather than being cast in a single role, he would be swapped around, playing different small parts, in the chorus, and occasionally taking the larger role of the Artful Dodger. Steve Marriott was never able to do the same thing over and over, and got bored very quickly, but because he was moving between roles, he was able to keep interested in his performances for almost a year, and he was good enough that it was him chosen to sing the Dodger's role on the cast album when that was recorded: [Excerpt: Steve Marriott and Joyce Blair, "I'd Do Anything"] And he enjoyed performance enough that his parents pushed him to become an actor -- though there were other reasons for that, too. He was never the best-behaved child in the world, nor the most attentive student, and things came to a head when, shortly after leaving the Oliver! cast, he got so bored of his art classes he devised a plan to get out of them forever. Every art class, for several weeks, he'd sit in a different desk at the back of the classroom and stuff torn-up bits of paper under the floorboards. After a couple of months of this he then dropped a lit match in, which set fire to the paper and ended up burning down half the school. His schoolfriend Ken Hawes talked about it many decades later, saying "I suppose in a way I was impressed about how he had meticulously planned the whole thing months in advance, the sheer dogged determination to see it through. He could quite easily have been caught and would have had to face the consequences. There was no danger in anybody getting hurt because we were at the back of the room. We had to be at the back otherwise somebody would have noticed what he was doing. There was no malice against other pupils, he just wanted to burn the damn school down." Nobody could prove it was him who had done it, though his parents at least had a pretty good idea who it was, but it was clear that even when the school was rebuilt it wasn't a good idea to send him back there, so they sent him to the Italia Conti Drama School; the same school that Anthony Newley and Petula Clark, among many others, had attended. Marriott's parents couldn't afford the school's fees, but Marriott was so talented that the school waived the fees -- they said they'd get him work, and take a cut of his wages in lieu of the fees. And over the next few years they did get him a lot of work. Much of that work was for TV shows, which like almost all TV of the time no longer exist -- he was in an episode of the Sid James sitcom Citizen James, an episode of Mr. Pastry's Progress, an episode of the police drama Dixon of Dock Green, and an episode of a series based on the Just William books, none of which survive. He also did a voiceover for a carpet cleaner ad, appeared on the radio soap opera Mrs Dale's Diary playing a pop star, and had a regular spot reading listeners' letters out for the agony aunt Marje Proops on her radio show. Almost all of this early acting work wa s utterly ephemeral, but there are a handful of his performances that do survive, mostly in films. He has a small role in the comedy film Heavens Above!, a mistaken-identity comedy in which a radical left-wing priest played by Peter Sellers is given a parish intended for a more conservative priest of the same name, and upsets the well-off people of the parish by taking in a large family of travellers and appointing a Black man as his churchwarden. The film has some dated attitudes, in the way that things that were trying to be progressive and antiracist sixty years ago invariably do, but has a sparkling cast, with Sellers, Eric Sykes, William Hartnell, Brock Peters, Roy Kinnear, Irene Handl, and many more extremely recognisable faces from the period: [Excerpt: Heavens Above!] Marriott apparently enjoyed working on the film immensely, as he was a fan of the Goon Show, which Sellers had starred in and which Sykes had co-written several episodes of. There are reports of Marriott and Sellers jamming together on banjos during breaks in filming, though these are probably *slightly* inaccurate -- Sellers played the banjolele, a banjo-style instrument which is played like a ukulele. As Marriott had started on ukulele before switching to guitar, it was probably these they were playing, rather than banjoes. He also appeared in a more substantial role in a film called Live It Up!, a pop exploitation film starring David Hemmings in which he appears as a member of a pop group. Oddly, Marriott plays a drummer, even though he wasn't a drummer, while two people who *would* find fame as drummers, Mitch Mitchell and Dave Clark, appear in smaller, non-drumming, roles. He doesn't perform on the soundtrack, which is produced by Joe Meek and features Sounds Incorporated, The Outlaws, and Gene Vincent, but he does mime playing behind Heinz Burt, the former bass player of the Tornadoes who was then trying for solo stardom at Meek's instigation: [Excerpt: Heinz Burt, "Don't You Understand"] That film was successful enough that two years later, in 1965 Marriott came back for a sequel, Be My Guest, with The Niteshades, the Nashville Teens, and Jerry Lee Lewis, this time with music produced by Shel Talmy rather than Meek. But that was something of a one-off. After making Live It Up!, Marriott had largely retired from acting, because he was trying to become a pop star. The break finally came when he got an audition at the National Theatre, for a job touring with Laurence Olivier for a year. He came home and told his parents he hadn't got the job, but then a week later they were bemused by a phone call asking why Steve hadn't turned up for rehearsals. He *had* got the job, but he'd decided he couldn't face a year of doing the same thing over and over, and had pretended he hadn't. By this time he'd already released his first record. The work on Oliver! had got him a contract with Decca Records, and he'd recorded a Buddy Holly knock-off, "Give Her My Regards", written for him by Kenny Lynch, the actor, pop star, and all-round entertainer: [Excerpt: Steve Marriott, "Give Her My Regards"] That record wasn't a hit, but Marriott wasn't put off. He formed a band who were at first called the Moonlights, and then the Frantiks, and they got a management deal with Tony Calder, Andrew Oldham's junior partner in his management company. Calder got former Shadow Tony Meehan to produce a demo for the group, a version of Cliff Richard's hit "Move It", which was shopped round the record labels with no success (and which sadly appears no longer to survive). The group also did some recordings with Joe Meek, which also don't circulate, but which may exist in the famous "Teachest Tapes" which are slowly being prepared for archival releases. The group changed their name to the Moments, and added in the guitarist John Weider, who was one of those people who seem to have been in every band ever either just before or just after they became famous -- at various times he was in Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Family, Eric Burdon and the Animals, and the band that became Crabby Appleton, but never in their most successful lineups. They continued recording unsuccessful demos, of which a small number have turned up: [Excerpt: Steve Marriott and the Moments, "Good Morning Blues"] One of their demo sessions was produced by Andrew Oldham, and while that session didn't lead to a release, it did lead to Oldham booking Marriott as a session harmonica player for one of his "Andrew Oldham Orchestra" sessions, to play on a track titled "365 Rolling Stones (One For Every Day of the Year)": [Excerpt: The Andrew Oldham Orchestra, "365 Rolling Stones (One For Every Day of the Year)"] Oldham also produced a session for what was meant to be Marriott's second solo single on Decca, a cover version of the Rolling Stones' "Tell Me", which was actually scheduled for release but pulled at the last minute. Like many of Marriott's recordings from this period, if it exists, it doesn't seem to circulate publicly. But despite their lack of recording success, the Moments did manage to have a surprising level of success on the live circuit. Because they were signed to Calder and Oldham's management company, they got a contract with the Arthur Howes booking agency, which got them support slots on package tours with Billy J Kramer, Freddie and the Dreamers, the Kinks, and other major acts, and the band members were earning about thirty pounds a week each -- a very, very good living for the time. They even had a fanzine devoted to them, written by a fan named Stuart Tuck. But as they weren't making records, the band's lineup started changing, with members coming and going. They did manage to get one record released -- a soundalike version of the Kinks' "You Really Got Me", recorded for a budget label who rushed it out, hoping to get it picked up in the US and for it to be the hit version there: [Excerpt: The Moments, "You Really Got Me"] But the month after that was released, Marriott was sacked from the band, apparently in part because the band were starting to get billed as Steve Marriott and the Moments rather than just The Moments, and the rest of them didn't want to be anyone's backing band. He got a job at a music shop while looking around for other bands to perform with. At one point around this time he was going to form a duo with a friend of his, Davy Jones -- not the one who had also appeared in Oliver!, but another singer of the same name. This one sang with a blues band called the Mannish Boys, and both men were well known on the Mod scene in London. Marriott's idea was that they call themselves David and Goliath, with Jones being David, and Marriott being Goliath because he was only five foot five. That could have been a great band, but it never got past the idea stage. Marriott had become friendly with another part-time musician and shop worker called Ronnie Lane, who was in a band called the Outcasts who played the same circuit as the Moments: [Excerpt: The Outcasts, "Before You Accuse Me"] Lane worked in a sound equipment shop and Marriott in a musical instrument shop, and both were customers of the other as well as friends -- at least until Marriott came into the shop where Lane worked and tried to persuade him to let Marriott have a free PA system. Lane pretended to go along with it as a joke, and got sacked. Lane had then gone to the shop where Marriott worked in the hope that Marriott would give him a good deal on a guitar because he'd been sacked because of Marriott. Instead, Marriott persuaded him that he should switch to bass, on the grounds that everyone was playing guitar since the Beatles had come along, but a bass player would always be able to find work. Lane bought the bass. Shortly after that, Marriott came to an Outcasts gig in a pub, and was asked to sit in. He enjoyed playing with Lane and the group's drummer Kenney Jones, but got so drunk he smashed up the pub's piano while playing a Jerry Lee Lewis song. The resulting fallout led to the group being barred from the pub and splitting up, so Marriott, Lane, and Jones decided to form their own group. They got in another guitarist Marriott knew, a man named Jimmy Winston who was a couple of years older than them, and who had two advantages -- he was a known Face on the mod scene, with a higher status than any of the other three, and his brother owned a van and would drive the group and their equipment for ten percent of their earnings. There was a slight problem in that Winston was also as good on guitar as Marriott and looked like he might want to be the star, but Marriott neutralised that threat -- he moved Winston over to keyboards. The fact that Winston couldn't play keyboards didn't matter -- he could be taught a couple of riffs and licks, and he was sure to pick up the rest. And this way the group had the same lineup as one of Marriott's current favourites, Booker T and the MGs. While he was still a Buddy Holly fan, he was now, like the rest of the Mods, an R&B obsessive. Marriott wasn't entirely sure that this new group would be the one that would make him a star though, and was still looking for other alternatives in case it didn't play out. He auditioned for another band, the Lower Third, which counted Stuart Tuck, the writer of the Moments fanzine, among its members. But he was unsuccessful in the audition -- instead his friend Davy Jones, the one who he'd been thinking of forming a duo with, got the job: [Excerpt: Davy Jones and the Lower Third, "You've Got a Habit of Leaving"] A few months after that, Davy Jones and the Lower Third changed their name to David Bowie and the Lower Third, and we'll be picking up that story in a little over a year from now... Marriott, Lane, Jones, and Winston kept rehearsing and pulled together a five-song set, which was just about long enough to play a few shows, if they extended the songs with long jamming instrumental sections. The opening song for these early sets was one which, when they recorded it, would be credited to Marriott and Lane -- the two had struck up a writing partnership and agreed to a Lennon/McCartney style credit split, though in these early days Marriott was doing far more of the writing than Lane was. But "You Need Loving" was... heavily inspired... by "You Need Love", a song Willie Dixon had written for Muddy Waters: [Excerpt: Muddy Waters, "You Need Love"] It's not precisely the same song, but you can definitely hear the influence in the Marriott/Lane song: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "You Need Loving"] They did make some changes though, notably to the end of the song: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "You Need Loving"] You will be unsurprised to learn that Robert Plant was a fan of Steve Marriott. The new group were initially without a name, until after one of their first gigs, Winston's girlfriend, who hadn't met the other three before, said "You've all got such small faces!" The name stuck, because it had a double meaning -- as we've seen in the episode on "My Generation", "Face" was Mod slang for someone who was cool and respected on the Mod scene, but also, with the exception of Winston, who was average size, the other three members of the group were very short -- the tallest of the three was Ronnie Lane, who was five foot six. One thing I should note about the group's name, by the way -- on all the labels of their records in the UK while they were together, they were credited as "Small Faces", with no "The" in front, but all the band members referred to the group in interviews as "The Small Faces", and they've been credited that way on some reissues and foreign-market records. The group's official website is thesmallfaces.com but all the posts on the website refer to them as "Small Faces" with no "the". The use of the word "the" or not at the start of a group's name at this time was something of a shibboleth -- for example both The Buffalo Springfield and The Pink Floyd dropped theirs after their early records -- and its status in this case is a strange one. I'll be referring to the group throughout as "The Small Faces" rather than "Small Faces" because the former is easier to say, but both seem accurate. After a few pub gigs in London, they got some bookings in the North of England, where they got a mixed reception -- they went down well at Peter Stringfellow's Mojo Club in Sheffield, where Joe Cocker was a regular performer, less well at a working-man's club, and reports differ about their performance at the Twisted Wheel in Manchester, though one thing everyone is agreed on is that while they were performing, some Mancunians borrowed their van and used it to rob a clothing warehouse, and gave the band members some very nice leather coats as a reward for their loan of the van. It was only on the group's return to London that they really started to gel as a unit. In particular, Kenney Jones had up to that point been a very stiff, precise, drummer, but he suddenly loosened up and, in Steve Marriott's tasteless phrase, "Every number swung like Hanratty" (James Hanratty was one of the last people in Britain to be executed by hanging). Shortly after that, Don Arden's secretary -- whose name I haven't been able to find in any of the sources I've used for this episode, sadly, came into the club where they were rehearsing, the Starlight Rooms, to pass a message from Arden to an associate of his who owned the club. The secretary had seen Marriott perform before -- he would occasionally get up on stage at the Starlight Rooms to duet with Elkie Brooks, who was a regular performer there, and she'd seen him do that -- but was newly impressed by his group, and passed word on to her boss that this was a group he should investigate. Arden is someone who we'll be looking at a lot in future episodes, but the important thing to note right now is that he was a failed entertainer who had moved into management and promotion, first with American acts like Gene Vincent, and then with British acts like the Nashville Teens, who had had hits with tracks like "Tobacco Road": [Excerpt: The Nashville Teens, "Tobacco Road"] Arden was also something of a gangster -- as many people in the music industry were at the time, but he was worse than most of his contemporaries, and delighted in his nickname "the Al Capone of pop". The group had a few managers looking to sign them, but Arden convinced them with his offer. They would get a percentage of their earnings -- though they never actually received that percentage -- twenty pounds a week in wages, and, the most tempting part of it all, they would get expense accounts at all the Carnaby St boutiques and could go there whenever they wanted and get whatever they wanted. They signed with Arden, which all of them except Marriott would later regret, because Arden's financial exploitation meant that it would be decades before they saw any money from their hits, and indeed both Marriott and Lane would be dead before they started getting royalties from their old records. Marriott, on the other hand, had enough experience of the industry to credit Arden with the group getting anywhere at all, and said later "Look, you go into it with your eyes open and as far as I was concerned it was better than living on brown sauce rolls. At least we had twenty quid a week guaranteed." Arden got the group signed to Decca, with Dick Rowe signing them to the same kind of production deal that Andrew Oldham had pioneered with the Stones, so that Arden would own the rights to their recordings. At this point the group still only knew a handful of songs, but Rowe was signing almost everyone with a guitar at this point, putting out a record or two and letting them sink or swim. He had already been firmly labelled as "the man who turned down the Beatles", and was now of the opinion that it was better to give everyone a chance than to make that kind of expensive mistake again. By this point Marriott and Lane were starting to write songs together -- though at this point it was still mostly Marriott writing, and people would ask him why he was giving Lane half the credit, and he'd reply "Without Ronnie's help keeping me awake and being there I wouldn't do half of it. He keeps me going." -- but for their first single Arden was unsure that they were up to the task of writing a hit. The group had been performing a version of Solomon Burke's "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love", a song which Burke always claimed to have written alone, but which is credited to him, Jerry Wexler, and Bert Berns (and has Bern's fingerprints, at least, on it to my ears): [Excerpt: Solomon Burke, "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love"] Arden got some professional writers to write new lyrics and vocal melody to their arrangement of the song -- the people he hired were Brian Potter, who would later go on to co-write "Rhinestone Cowboy", and Ian Samwell, the former member of Cliff Richard's Drifters who had written many of Richard's early hits, including "Move It", and was now working for Arden. The group went into the studio and recorded the song, titled "Whatcha Gonna Do About It?": [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "Whatcha Gonna Do About It?"] That version, though was deemed too raucous, and they had to go back into the studio to cut a new version, which came out as their first single: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "Whatcha Gonna Do About It?"] At first the single didn't do much on the charts, but then Arden got to work with teams of people buying copies from chart return shops, bribing DJs on pirate radio stations to play it, and bribing the person who compiled the charts for the NME. Eventually it made number fourteen, at which point it became a genuinely popular hit. But with that popularity came problems. In particular, Steve Marriott was starting to get seriously annoyed by Jimmy Winston. As the group started to get TV appearances, Winston started to act like he should be the centre of attention. Every time Marriott took a solo in front of TV cameras, Winston would start making stupid gestures, pulling faces, anything to make sure the cameras focussed on him rather than on Marriott. Which wouldn't have been too bad had Winston been a great musician, but he was still not very good on the keyboards, and unlike the others didn't seem particularly interested in trying. He seemed to want to be a star, rather than a musician. The group's next planned single was a Marriott and Lane song, "I've Got Mine". To promote it, the group mimed to it in a film, Dateline Diamonds, a combination pop film and crime caper not a million miles away from the ones that Marriott had appeared in a few years earlier. They also contributed three other songs to the film's soundtrack. Unfortunately, the film's release was delayed, and the film had been the big promotional push that Arden had planned for the single, and without that it didn't chart at all. By the time the single came out, though, Winston was no longer in the group. There are many, many different stories as to why he was kicked out. Depending on who you ask, it was because he was trying to take the spotlight away from Marriott, because he wasn't a good enough keyboard player, because he was taller than the others and looked out of place, or because he asked Don Arden where the money was. It was probably a combination of all of these, but fundamentally what it came to was that Winston just didn't fit into the group. Winston would, in later years, say that him confronting Arden was the only reason for his dismissal, saying that Arden had manipulated the others to get him out of the way, but that seems unlikely on the face of it. When Arden sacked him, he kept Winston on as a client and built another band around him, Jimmy Winston and the Reflections, and got them signed to Decca too, releasing a Kenny Lynch song, "Sorry She's Mine", to no success: [Excerpt: Jimmy Winston and the Reflections, "Sorry She's Mine"] Another version of that song would later be included on the first Small Faces album. Winston would then form another band, Winston's Fumbs, who would also release one single, before he went into acting instead. His most notable credit was as a rebel in the 1972 Doctor Who story Day of the Daleks, and he later retired from showbusiness to run a business renting out sound equipment, and died in 2020. The group hired his replacement without ever having met him or heard him play. Ian McLagan had started out as the rhythm guitarist in a Shadows soundalike band called the Cherokees, but the group had become R&B fans and renamed themselves the Muleskinners, and then after hearing "Green Onions", McLagan had switched to playing Hammond organ. The Muleskinners had played the same R&B circuit as dozens of other bands we've looked at, and had similar experiences, including backing visiting blues stars like Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, and Howlin' Wolf. Their one single had been a cover version of "Back Door Man", a song Willie Dixon had written for Wolf: [Excerpt: The Muleskinners, "Back Door Man"] The Muleskinners had split up as most of the group had day jobs, and McLagan had gone on to join a group called Boz and the Boz People, who were becoming popular on the live circuit, and who also toured backing Kenny Lynch while McLagan was in the band. Boz and the Boz People would release several singles in 1966, like their version of the theme for the film "Carry on Screaming", released just as by "Boz": [Excerpt: Boz, "Carry on Screaming"] By that time, McLagan had left the group -- Boz Burrell later went on to join King Crimson and Bad Company. McLagan left the Boz People in something of a strop, and was complaining to a friend the night he left the group that he didn't have any work lined up. The friend joked that he should join the Small Faces, because he looked like them, and McLagan got annoyed that his friend wasn't taking him seriously -- he'd love to be in the Small Faces, but they *had* a keyboard player. The next day he got a phone call from Don Arden asking him to come to his office. He was being hired to join a hit pop group who needed a new keyboard player. McLagan at first wasn't allowed to tell anyone what band he was joining -- in part because Arden's secretary was dating Winston, and Winston hadn't yet been informed he was fired, and Arden didn't want word leaking out until it had been sorted. But he'd been chosen purely on the basis of an article in a music magazine which had praised his playing with the Boz People, and without the band knowing him or his playing. As soon as they met, though, he immediately fit in in a way Winston never had. He looked the part, right down to his height -- he said later "Ronnie Lane and I were the giants in the band at 5 ft 6 ins, and Kenney Jones and Steve Marriott were the really teeny tiny chaps at 5 ft 5 1/2 ins" -- and he was a great player, and shared a sense of humour with them. McLagan had told Arden he'd been earning twenty pounds a week with the Boz People -- he'd actually been on five -- and so Arden agreed to give him thirty pounds a week during his probationary month, which was more than the twenty the rest of the band were getting. As soon as his probationary period was over, McLagan insisted on getting a pay cut so he'd be on the same wages as the rest of the group. Soon Marriott, Lane, and McLagan were all living in a house rented for them by Arden -- Jones decided to stay living with his parents -- and were in the studio recording their next single. Arden was convinced that the mistake with "I've Got Mine" had been allowing the group to record an original, and again called in a team of professional songwriters. Arden brought in Mort Shuman, who had recently ended his writing partnership with Doc Pomus and struck out on his own, after co-writing songs like "Save the Last Dance for Me", "Sweets For My Sweet", and "Viva Las Vegas" together, and Kenny Lynch, and the two of them wrote "Sha-La-La-La-Lee", and Lynch added backing vocals to the record: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "Sha-La-La-La-Lee"] None of the group were happy with the record, but it became a big hit, reaching number three in the charts. Suddenly the group had a huge fanbase of screaming teenage girls, which embarrassed them terribly, as they thought of themselves as serious heavy R&B musicians, and the rest of their career would largely be spent vacillating between trying to appeal to their teenybopper fanbase and trying to escape from it to fit their own self-image. They followed "Sha-La-La-La-Lee" with "Hey Girl", a Marriott/Lane song, but one written to order -- they were under strict instructions from Arden that if they wanted to have the A-side of a single, they had to write something as commercial as "Sha-La-La-La-Lee" had been, and they managed to come up with a second top-ten hit. Two hit singles in a row was enough to make an album viable, and the group went into the studio and quickly cut an album, which had their first two hits on it -- "Hey Girl" wasn't included, and nor was the flop "I've Got Mine" -- plus a bunch of semi-originals like "You Need Loving", a couple of Kenny Lynch songs, and a cover version of Sam Cooke's "Shake". The album went to number three on the album charts, with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones in the number one and two spots, and it was at this point that Arden's rivals really started taking interest. But that interest was quelled for the moment when, after Robert Stigwood enquired about managing the band, Arden went round to Stigwood's office with four goons and held him upside down over a balcony, threatening to drop him off if he ever messed with any of Arden's acts again. But the group were still being influenced by other managers. In particular, Brian Epstein came round to the group's shared house, with Graeme Edge of the Moody Blues, and brought them some slices of orange -- which they discovered, after eating them, had been dosed with LSD. By all accounts, Marriott's first trip was a bad one, but the group soon became regular consumers of the drug, and it influenced the heavier direction they took on their next single, "All or Nothing". "All or Nothing" was inspired both by Marriott's breakup with his girlfriend of the time, and his delight at the fact that Jenny Rylance, a woman he was attracted to, had split up with her then-boyfriend Rod Stewart. Rylance and Stewart later reconciled, but would break up again and Rylance would become Marriott's first wife in 1968: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "All or Nothing"] "All or Nothing" became the group's first and only number one record -- and according to the version of the charts used on Top of the Pops, it was a joint number one with the Beatles' double A-side of "Yellow Submarine" and "Eleanor Rigby", both selling exactly as well as each other. But this success caused the group's parents to start to wonder why their kids -- none of whom were yet twenty-one, the legal age of majority at the time -- were not rich. While the group were on tour, their parents came as a group to visit Arden and ask him where the money was, and why their kids were only getting paid twenty pounds a week when their group was getting a thousand pounds a night. Arden tried to convince the parents that he had been paying the group properly, but that they had spent their money on heroin -- which was very far from the truth, the band were only using soft drugs at the time. This put a huge strain on the group's relationship with Arden, and it wasn't the only thing Arden did that upset them. They had been spending a lot of time in the studio working on new material, and Arden was convinced that they were spending too much time recording, and that they were just faffing around and not producing anything of substance. They dropped off a tape to show him that they had been working -- and the next thing they knew, Arden had put out one of the tracks from that tape, "My Mind's Eye", which had only been intended as a demo, as a single: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "My Mind's Eye"] That it went to number four on the charts didn't make up for the fact that the first the band heard of the record coming out at all was when they heard it on the radio. They needed rid of Arden. Luckily for them, Arden wasn't keen on continuing to work with them either. They were unreliable and flakey, and he also needed cash quick to fund his other ventures, and he agreed to sell on their management and recording contracts. Depending on which version of the story you believe, he may have sold them on to an agent called Harold Davison, who then sold them on to Andrew Oldham and Tony Calder, but according to Oldham what happened is that in December 1966 Arden demanded the highest advance in British history -- twenty-five thousand pounds -- directly from Oldham. In cash. In a brown paper bag. The reason Oldham and Calder were interested was that in July 1965 they'd started up their own record label, Immediate Records, which had been announced by Oldham in his column in Disc and Music Echo, in which he'd said "On many occasions I have run down the large record companies over issues such as pirate stations, their promotion, and their tastes. And many readers have written in and said that if I was so disturbed by the state of the existing record companies why didn't I do something about it. I have! On the twentieth of this month the first of three records released by my own company, Immediate Records, is to be launched." That first batch of three records contained one big hit, "Hang on Sloopy" by the McCoys, which Immediate licensed from Bert Berns' new record label BANG in the US: [Excerpt: The McCoys, "Hang on Sloopy"] The two other initial singles featured the talents of Immediate's new in-house producer, a session player who had previously been known as "Little Jimmy" to distinguish him from "Big" Jim Sullivan, the other most in-demand session guitarist, but who was now just known as Jimmy Page. The first was a version of Pete Seeger's "The Bells of Rhymney", which Page produced and played guitar on, for a group called The Fifth Avenue: [Excerpt: The Fifth Avenue, "The Bells of Rhymney"] And the second was a Gordon Lightfoot song performed by a girlfriend of Brian Jones', Nico. The details as to who was involved in the track have varied -- at different times the production has been credited to Jones, Page, and Oldham -- but it seems to be the case that both Jones and Page play on the track, as did session bass player John Paul Jones: [Excerpt: Nico, "I'm Not Sayin'"] While "Hang on Sloopy" was a big hit, the other two singles were flops, and The Fifth Avenue split up, while Nico used the publicity she'd got as an entree into Andy Warhol's Factory, and we'll be hearing more about how that went in a future episode. Oldham and Calder were trying to follow the model of the Brill Building, of Phil Spector, and of big US independents like Motown and Stax. They wanted to be a one-stop shop where they'd produce the records, manage the artists, and own the publishing -- and they also licensed the publishing for the Beach Boys' songs for a couple of years, and started publicising their records over here in a big way, to exploit the publishing royalties, and that was a major factor in turning the Beach Boys from minor novelties to major stars in the UK. Most of Immediate's records were produced by Jimmy Page, but other people got to have a go as well. Giorgio Gomelsky and Shel Talmy both produced tracks for the label, as did a teenage singer then known as Paul Raven, who would later become notorious under his later stage-name Gary Glitter. But while many of these records were excellent -- and Immediate deserves to be talked about in the same terms as Motown or Stax when it comes to the quality of the singles it released, though not in terms of commercial success -- the only ones to do well on the charts in the first few months of the label's existence were "Hang on Sloopy" and an EP by Chris Farlowe. It was Farlowe who provided Immediate Records with its first home-grown number one, a version of the Rolling Stones' "Out of Time" produced by Mick Jagger, though according to Arthur Greenslade, the arranger on that and many other Immediate tracks, Jagger had given up on getting a decent performance out of Farlowe and Oldham ended up producing the vocals. Greenslade later said "Andrew must have worked hard in there, Chris Farlowe couldn't sing his way out of a paper bag. I'm sure Andrew must have done it, where you get an artist singing and you can do a sentence at a time, stitching it all together. He must have done it in pieces." But however hard it was to make, "Out of Time" was a success: [Excerpt: Chris Farlowe, "Out of Time"] Or at least, it was a success in the UK. It did also make the top forty in the US for a week, but then it hit a snag -- it had charted without having been released in the US at all, or even being sent as a promo to DJs. Oldham's new business manager Allen Klein had been asked to work his magic on the US charts, but the people he'd bribed to hype the record into the charts had got the release date wrong and done it too early. When the record *did* come out over there, no radio station would play it in case it looked like they were complicit in the scam. But still, a UK number one wasn't too shabby, and so Immediate Records was back on track, and Oldham wanted to shore things up by bringing in some more proven hit-makers. Immediate signed the Small Faces, and even started paying them royalties -- though that wouldn't last long, as Immediate went bankrupt in 1970 and its successors in interest stopped paying out. The first work the group did for the label was actually for a Chris Farlowe single. Lane and Marriott gave him their song "My Way of Giving", and played on the session along with Farlowe's backing band the Thunderbirds. Mick Jagger is the credited producer, but by all accounts Marriott and Lane did most of the work: [Excerpt: Chris Farlowe, "My Way of Giving"] Sadly, that didn't make the top forty. After working on that, they started on their first single recorded at Immediate. But because of contractual entanglements, "I Can't Make It" was recorded at Immediate but released by Decca. Because the band weren't particularly keen on promoting something on their old label, and the record was briefly banned by the BBC for being too sexual, it only made number twenty-six on the charts. Around this time, Marriott had become friendly with another band, who had named themselves The Little People in homage to the Small Faces, and particularly with their drummer Jerry Shirley. Marriott got them signed to Immediate, and produced and played on their first single, a version of his song "(Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me?": [Excerpt: The Apostolic Intervention, "(Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me?"] When they signed to Immediate, The Little People had to change their name, and Marriott suggested they call themselves The Nice, a phrase he liked. Oldham thought that was a stupid name, and gave the group the much more sensible name The Apostolic Intervention. And then a few weeks later he signed another group and changed *their* name to The Nice. "The Nice" was also a phrase used in the Small Faces' first single for Immediate proper. "Here Come the Nice" was inspired by a routine by the hipster comedian Lord Buckley, "The Nazz", which also gave a name to Todd Rundgren's band and inspired a line in David Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust": [Excerpt: Lord Buckley, "The Nazz"] "Here Come the Nice" was very blatantly about a drug dealer, and somehow managed to reach number twelve despite that: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "Here Come the Nice"] It also had another obstacle that stopped it doing as well as it might. A week before it came out, Decca released a single, "Patterns", from material they had in the vault. And in June 1967, two Small Faces albums came out. One of them was a collection from Decca of outtakes and demos, plus their non-album hit singles, titled From The Beginning, while the other was their first album on Immediate, which was titled Small Faces -- just like their first Decca album had been. To make matters worse, From The Beginning contained the group's demos of "My Way of Giving" and "(Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me?", while the group's first Immediate album contained a new recording of "(Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me?", and a version of "My Way of Giving" with the same backing track but a different vocal take from the one on the Decca collection. From this point on, the group's catalogue would be a complete mess, with an endless stream of compilations coming out, both from Decca and, after the group split, from Immediate, mixing tracks intended for release with demos and jam sessions with no regard for either their artistic intent or for what fans might want. Both albums charted, with Small Faces reaching number twelve and From The Beginning reaching number sixteen, neither doing as well as their first album had, despite the Immediate album, especially, being a much better record. This was partly because the Marriott/Lane partnership was becoming far more equal. Kenney Jones later said "During the Decca period most of the self-penned stuff was 99% Steve. It wasn't until Immediate that Ronnie became more involved. The first Immediate album is made up of 50% Steve's songs and 50% of Ronnie's. They didn't collaborate as much as people thought. In fact, when they did, they often ended up arguing and fighting." It's hard to know who did what on each song credited to the pair, but if we assume that each song's principal writer also sang lead -- we know that's not always the case, but it's a reasonable working assumption -- then Jones' fifty-fifty estimate seems about right. Of the fourteen songs on the album, McLagan sings one, which is also his own composition, "Up the Wooden Hills to Bedfordshire". There's one instrumental, six with Marriott on solo lead vocals, four with Lane on solo lead vocals, and two duets, one with Lane as the main vocalist and one with Marriott. The fact that there was now a second songwriter taking an equal role in the band meant that they could now do an entire album of originals. It also meant that their next Marriott/Lane single was mostly a Lane song. "Itchycoo Park" started with a verse lyric from Lane -- "Over bridge of sighs/To rest my eyes in shades of green/Under dreaming spires/To Itchycoo Park, that's where I've been". The inspiration apparently came from Lane reading about the dreaming spires of Oxford, and contrasting it with the places he used to play as a child, full of stinging nettles. For a verse melody, they repeated a trick they'd used before -- the melody of "My Mind's Eye" had been borrowed in part from the Christmas carol "Gloria in Excelsis Deo", and here they took inspiration from the old hymn "God Be in My Head": [Excerpt: The Choir of King's College Cambridge, "God Be in My Head"] As Marriott told the story: "We were in Ireland and speeding our brains out writing this song. Ronnie had the first verse already written down but he had no melody line, so what we did was stick the verse to the melody line of 'God Be In My Head' with a few chord variations. We were going towards Dublin airport and I thought of the middle eight... We wrote the second verse collectively, and the chorus speaks for itself." [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "Itchycoo Park"] Marriott took the lead vocal, even though it was mostly Lane's song, but Marriott did contribute to the writing, coming up with the middle eight. Lane didn't seem hugely impressed with Marriott's contribution, and later said "It wasn't me that came up with 'I feel inclined to blow my mind, get hung up, feed the ducks with a bun/They all come out to groove about, be nice and have fun in the sun'. That wasn't me, but the more poetic stuff was." But that part became the most memorable part of the record, not so much because of the writing or performance but because of the production. It was one of the first singles released using a phasing effect, developed by George Chkiantz (and I apologise if I'm pronouncing that name wrong), who was the assistant engineer for Glyn Johns on the album. I say it was one of the first, because at the time there was not a clear distinction between the techniques now known as phasing, flanging, and artificial double tracking, all of which have now diverged, but all of which initially came from the idea of shifting two copies of a recording slightly out of synch with each other. The phasing on "Itchycoo Park" , though, was far more extreme and used to far different effect than that on, say, Revolver: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "Itchycoo Park"] It was effective enough that Jimi Hendrix, who was at the time working on Axis: Bold as Love, requested that Chkiantz come in and show his engineer how to get the same effect, which was then used on huge chunks of Hendrix's album. The BBC banned the record, because even the organisation which had missed that the Nice who "is always there when I need some speed" was a drug dealer was a little suspicious about whether "we'll get high" and "we'll touch the sky" might be drug references. The band claimed to be horrified at the thought, and explained that they were talking about swings. It's a song about a park, so if you play on the swings, you go high. What else could it mean? [Excerpt: The Small Faces, “Itchycoo Park”] No drug references there, I'm sure you'll agree. The song made number three, but the group ran into more difficulties with the BBC after an appearance on Top of the Pops. Marriott disliked the show's producer, and the way that he would go up to every act and pretend to think they had done a very good job, no matter what he actually thought, which Marriott thought of as hypocrisy rather than as politeness and professionalism. Marriott discovered that the producer was leaving the show, and so in the bar afterwards told him exactly what he thought of him, calling him a "two-faced", and then a four-letter word beginning with c which is generally considered the most offensive swear word there is. Unfortunately for Marriott, he'd been misinformed, the producer wasn't leaving the show, and the group were barred from it for a while. "Itchycoo Park" also made the top twenty in the US, thanks to a new distribution deal Immediate had, and plans were made for the group to tour America, but those plans had to be scrapped when Ian McLagan was arrested for possession of hashish, and instead the group toured France, with support from a group called the Herd: [Excerpt: The Herd, "From the Underworld"] Marriott became very friendly with the Herd's guitarist, Peter Frampton, and sympathised with Frampton's predicament when in the next year he was voted "face of '68" and developed a similar teenage following to the one the Small Faces had. The group's last single of 1967 was one of their best. "Tin Soldier" was inspired by the Hans Andersen story “The Steadfast Tin Soldier”, and was originally written for the singer P.P. Arnold, who Marriott was briefly dating around this time. But Arnold was *so* impressed with the song that Marriott decided to keep it for his own group, and Arnold was left just doing backing vocals on the track: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "Tin Soldier"] It's hard to show the appeal of "Tin Soldier" in a short clip like those I use on this show, because so much of it is based on the use of dynamics, and the way the track rises and falls, but it's an extremely powerful track, and made the top ten. But it was after that that the band started falling apart, and also after that that they made the work generally considered their greatest album. As "Itchycoo Park" had made number one in Australia, the group were sent over there on tour to promote it, as support act for the Who. But the group hadn't been playing live much recently, and found it difficult to replicate their records on stage, as they were now so reliant on studio effects like phasing. The Australian audiences were uniformly hostile, and the contrast with the Who, who were at their peak as a live act at this point, couldn't have been greater. Marriott decided he had a solution. The band needed to get better live, so why not get Peter Frampton in as a fifth member? He was great on guitar and had stage presence, obviously that would fix their problems. But the other band members absolutely refused to get Frampton in. Marriott's confidence as a stage performer took a knock from which it never really recovered, and increasingly the band became a studio-only one. But the tour also put strain on the most important partnership in the band. Marriott and Lane had been the closest of friends and collaborators, but on the tour, both found a very different member of the Who to pal around with. Marriott became close to Keith Moon, and the two would get drunk and trash hotel rooms together. Lane, meanwhile, became very friendly with Pete Townshend, who introduced him to the work of the guru Meher Baba, who Townshend followed. Lane, too, became a follower, and the two would talk about religion and spirituality while their bandmates were destroying things. An attempt was made to heal the growing rifts though. Marriott, Lane, and McLagan all moved in together again like old times, but this time in a cottage -- something that became so common for bands around this time that the phrase "getting our heads together in the country" became a cliche in the music press. They started working on material for their new album. One of the tracks that they were working on was written by Marriott, and was inspired by how, before moving in to the country cottage, his neighbours had constantly complained about the volume of his music -- he'd been particularly annoyed that the pop singer Cilla Black, who lived in the same building and who he'd assumed would understand the pop star lifestyle, had complained more than anyone. It had started as as fairly serious blues song, but then Marriott had been confronted by the members of the group The Hollies, who wanted to know why Marriott always sang in a pseudo-American accent. Wasn't his own accent good enough? Was there something wrong with being from the East End of London? Well, no, Marriott decided, there wasn't, and so he decided to sing it in a Cockney accent. And so the song started to change, going from being an R&B song to being the kind of thing Cockneys could sing round a piano in a pub: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "Lazy Sunday"] Marriott intended the song just as an album track for the album they were working on, but Andrew Oldham insisted on releasing it as a single, much to the band's disgust, and it went to number two on the charts, and along with "Itchycoo Park" meant that the group were now typecast as making playful, light-hearted music. The album they were working on, Ogden's Nut-Gone Flake, was eventually as known for its marketing as its music. In the Small Faces' long tradition of twisted religious references, like their songs based on hymns and their song "Here Come the Nice", which had taken inspiration from a routine about Jesus and made it about a drug dealer, the print ads for the album read: Small Faces Which were in the studios Hallowed be thy name Thy music come Thy songs be sung On this album as they came from your heads We give you this day our daily bread Give us thy album in a round cover as we give thee 37/9d Lead us into the record stores And deliver us Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake For nice is the music The sleeve and the story For ever and ever, Immediate The reason the ad mentioned a round cover is that the original pressings of the album were released in a circular cover, made to look like a tobacco tin, with the name of the brand of tobacco changed from Ogden's Nut-Brown Flake to Ogden's Nut-Gone Flake, a reference to how after smoking enough dope your nut, or head, would be gone. This made more sense to British listeners than to Americans, because not only was the slang on the label British, and not only was it a reference to a British tobacco brand, but American and British dope-smoking habits are very different. In America a joint is generally made by taking the dried leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant -- or "weed" -- and rolling them in a cigarette paper and smoking them. In the UK and much of Europe, though, the preferred form of cannabis is the resin, hashish, which is crumbled onto tobacco in a cigarette paper and smoked that way, so having rolling or pipe tobacco was a necessity for dope smokers in the UK in a way it wasn't in the US. Side one of Ogden's was made up of normal songs, but the second side mixed songs and narrative. Originally the group wanted to get Spike Milligan to do the narration, but when Milligan backed out they chose Professor Stanley Unwin, a comedian who was known for speaking in his own almost-English language, Unwinese: [Excerpt: Stanley Unwin, "The Populode of the Musicolly"] They gave Unwin a script, telling the story that linked side two of the album, in which Happiness Stan is shocked to discover that half the moon has disappeared and goes on a quest to find the missing half, aided by a giant fly who lets him sit on his back after Stan shares his shepherd's pie with the hungry fly. After a long quest they end up at the cave of Mad John the Hermit, who points out to them that nobody had stolen half the moon at all -- they'd been travelling so long that it was a full moon again, and everything was OK. Unwin took that script, and reworked it into Unwinese, and also added in a lot of the slang he heard the group use, like "cool it" and "what's been your hang-up?": [Excerpt: The Small Faces and Professor Stanley Unwin, "Mad John"] The album went to number one, and the group were justifiably proud, but it only exacerbated the problems with their live show. Other than an appearance on the TV show Colour Me Pop, where they were joined by Stanley Unwin to perform the whole of side two of the album with live vocals but miming to instrumental backing tracks, they only performed two songs from the album live, "Rollin' Over" and "Song of a Baker", otherwise sticking to the same live show Marriott was already embarrassed by. Marriott later said "We had spent an entire year in the studios, which was why our stage presentation had not been improved since the previous year. Meanwhile our recording experience had developed in leaps and bounds. We were all keenly interested in the technical possibilities, in the art of recording. We let down a lot of people who wanted to hear Ogden's played live. We were still sort of rough and ready, and in the end the audience became uninterested as far as our stage show was concerned. It was our own fault, because we would have sussed it all out if we had only used our brains. We could have taken Stanley Unwin on tour with us, maybe a string section as well, and it would have been okay. But we didn't do it, we stuck to the concept that had been successful for a long time, which is always the kiss of death." The group's next single would be the last released while they were together. Marriott regarded "The Universal" as possibly the best thing he'd written, and recorded it quickly when inspiration struck. The finished single is actually a home recording of Marriott in his garden, including the sounds of a dog barking and his wife coming home with the shopping, onto which the band later overdubbed percussion, horns, and electric guitars: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "The Universal"] Incidentally, it seems that the dog barking on that track may also be the dog barking on “Seamus” by Pink Floyd. "The Universal" confused listeners, and only made number sixteen on the charts, crushing Marriott, who thought it was the best thing he'd done. But the band were starting to splinter. McLagan isn't on "The Universal", having quit the band before it was recorded after a falling-out with Marriott. He rejoined, but discovered that in the meantime Marriott had brought in session player Nicky Hopkins to work on some tracks, which devastated him. Marriott became increasingly unconfident in his own writing, and the writing dried up. The group did start work on some new material, some of which, like "The Autumn Stone", is genuinely lovely: [Excerpt: The Small Faces, "The Autumn Stone"] But by the time that was released, the group had already split up. The last recording they did together was as a backing group for Johnny Hallyday, the French rock star. A year earlier Hallyday had recorded a version of "My Way of Giving", under the title "Je N'Ai Jamais Rien Demandé": [Excerpt: Johnny Hallyday, "Je N'Ai Jamais Rien Demandé"] Now he got in touch with Glyn Johns to see if the Small Faces had any other material for him, and if they'd maybe back him on a few tracks on a new album. Johns and the Small Faces flew to France... as did Peter Frampton, who Marriott was still pushing to get into the band. They recorded three tracks for the album, with Frampton on extra guitar: [Excerpt: Johnny Hallyday, "Reclamation"] These tracks left Marriott more certain than ever that Frampton should be in the band, and the other three members even more certain that he shouldn't. Frampton joined the band on stage at a few shows on their next few gigs, but he was putting together his own band with Jerry Shirley from Apostolic Intervention. On New Year's Eve 1968, Marriott finally had enough. He stormed off stage mid-set, and quit the group. He phoned up Peter Frampton, who was hanging out with Glyn Johns listening to an album Johns had just produced by some of the session players who'd worked for Immediate. Side one had just finished when Marriott phoned. Could he join Frampton's new band? Frampton said of course he could, then put the phone down and listened to side two of Led Zeppelin's first record. The band Marriott and Frampton formed was called Humble Pie, and they were soon releasing stuff on Immediate. According to Oldham, "Tony Calder said to me one day 'Pick a straw'. Then he explained we had a choice. We could either go with the three Faces -- Kenney, Ronnie, and Mac -- wherever they were going to go with their lives, or we could follow Stevie. I didn't regard it as a choice. Neither did Tony. Marriott was our man". Marriott certainly seemed to agree that he was the real talent in the group. He and Lane had fairly recently bought some property together -- two houses on the same piece of land -- and with the group splitting up, Lane moved away and wanted to sell his share in the property to Marriott. Marriott wrote to him saying "You'll get nothing. This was bought with money from hits that I wrote, not that we wrote," and enclosing a PRS statement showing how much each Marriott/Lane
Follow Your Dream - Music And Much More!
Bruce Belland was a member of The Four Preps - America's first boy band. Their 1958 million selling hit “26 Miles Across The Sea” made them into international pop stars. The song influenced Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys and inspired Jimmy Buffett. The Preps were featured on the Ed Sullivan Show and had a recurring role in “Ozzie And Harriet”. They even co-starred in the movie “Gidget” with Sandra Dee. In total they had 8 Gold Singles and 3 Gold Albums. Bruce talks about his fascinating life in the entertainment business including his friend Ricky Nelson, his date with Nancy Sinatra , on tour with George Burns and Bob Hope, and much more!My featured song is “Around The Horn” from the Made In New York album by my band, Project Grand Slam. Spotify link here.“Dream With Robert Miller”. Click here.---------------------------------------------If you enjoyed the show, please Subscribe, Rate, and Review. Just Click Here.Bruce and I discuss the following:His Bio - maybe the longest in history!Hollywood High School with so many SuperstarsMeeting Ricky and David NelsonHis date with Nancy SinatraForming The Four PrepsThe Ed Sullivan ShowTouring with George Burns and Bob Hope In the Songfest portion we play and discuss:“26 Miles”“Big Man”“Lazy Summer Night”“Down By The Station” “Live At SteelStacks” is the new 5-song EP by Robert and his band, Project Grand Slam. The release captures the band at the top of their game and shows off the breadth, scope and sound of the band. The EP has been highly praised by musicians and reviewers alike. Elliott Randall, of Steely Dan fame, the guitarist who recorded the unforgettable solos in ‘Reelin' In The Years', calls Live At SteelStacks “Captivating!”. Tony Carey, the incredible multi-talented artist who has produced Joe Cocker, Eric Burden and John Mayall, says “PGS burns down the house!”. Alan Hewitt of the Moody Blues says “Full of life!” Melody Maker says simply “Virtuoso musicians!”, and Hollywood Digest says “Such a great band!”. “Live At SteelStacks” can be streamed on Spotify, Amazon, Apple and all the other streaming platforms, and can be downloaded at The PGS Store.“All Of The Time” is Robert's most recent single by his band Project Grand Slam. It's a playful, whimsical love song. It's light and airy and exudes the happiness and joy of being in love. The reviewers agree. Melody Maker gives it 5 Stars and calls it “Pure bliss…An intimate sound with abundant melodic riches!”. Pop Icon also gives it 5 Stars and calls it “Ecstasy…One of the best all-around bands working today!”. And Mob York City says simply “Excellence…A band in full command of their powers!” Watch the video here. You can stream “All Of The Time” on Spotify, Apple or any of the other streaming platforms. And you can download it here.“The Shakespeare Concert” is the latest album by Robert's band, Project Grand Slam. It's been praised by famous musicians including Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad, Jim Peterik of the Ides Of March, Joey Dee of Peppermint Twist fame, legendary guitarist Elliott Randall, and celebrated British composer Sarah Class. The music reviewers have called it “Perfection!”, “5 Stars!”, “Thrilling!”, and “A Masterpiece!”. The album can be streamed on Spotify, Apple and all the other streaming services. You can watch the Highlight Reel HERE. And you can purchase a digital download or autographed CD of the album HERE. “The Fall Of Winter” is Robert's single in collaboration with legendary rocker Jim Peterik of the Ides Of March and formerly with Survivor. Also featuring renowned guitarist Elliott Randall (Steely Dan/Doobie Brothers) and keyboard ace Tony Carey (Joe Cocker/Eric Burden). “A triumph!” (The Indie Source). “Flexes Real Rock Muscle!” (Celebrity Zone). Stream it on Spotify or Apple. Watch the lyric video here. Download it here.Robert's “Follow Your Dream Handbook” is an Amazon #1 Bestseller. It's a combination memoir of his unique musical journey and a step by step how-to follow and succeed at your dream. Available on Amazon and wherever books are sold. Audio production:Jimmy RavenscroftKymera Films Connect with Bruce at:www.brucebelland.comLook for Bruce's book “ICONS” coming soon Connect with the Follow Your Dream Podcast:WebsiteFacebookLinkedInEmail RobertYouTube Listen to the Follow Your Dream Podcast on these podcast platforms:CastBoxSpotifyApple Follow Robert's band, Project Grand Slam, and his music:WebsiteInstagramPGS StoreYouTubeFacebookSpotify MusicApple MusicEmail