Friday, 11 September 2009

News, Views and Music Issue 44 (Intro)

September 11:

It’s hello and hallelujah to another issue of everybody’s favourite monkeynuts musical newsletter. This might be our last issue for a couple of weeks -0 don’t worry, we’ll be back at the end of the month - but what a week this has been; one of our beloved AAA groups disbands and another is re-invented for the 21st century. Expect lots of Beatles in our next issue – but in the mean time it’s R.I.P. Oasis.


Beatles News: It was a tale of two halves for the recent BBC Beatles coverage. Whilst the radio programmes were a complete jumble of poorly thought out cash-ins and curious archive raidings (what were they thinking with the Beats at the BBC choices? A monkey choosing clips at random could have come up with a better job than this!) the television programmes last Saturday weren’t too bad at all. The Timewatch documentary gets a long belated repeat, we get a new documentary including rare in-studio footage that did more in one hour than Anthology managed to do in twelve and a fascinating hour extract from the ‘Beatles in the US’ DVD which I hadn’t got round to picking up yet. Fascinating stuff told by all four Beatles with George Martin the only additional interviewee. The BBC4 doc ‘How The Beatles Rocked The Kremlin’ was a bit more suspect, repeating most of the stuff included on the Paul McCartney DVD ‘Live At Red Square’, but compared to the disappointment of the radio progs ¾ successes ain’t bad at all. There’s yet more docs on this week – The Making Of The 1st US Visit (Thursday BBC4 10.40pm) and ‘Sings The Beatles’ (cover versions of fab four classics featuring Oasis, presumably doing ‘I Am The Walrus’, Friday BBC4 9.30pm) plus repeats of many of the above programmes and a re-screening of 2007’s McCartney At The Electric Proms Concert (Friday BBC4 9.30pm). Strawberry Fields Flavoured Popcorn all round!

Beatles/Neil Young News: You may remember us raving about Neil Young’s cover of ‘A Day In The Life’ at Glastonbury a few issues back. Well, what could improve on that you ask? Only Paul McCartney joining in with the song during one of Neil’s recent American gigs, singing his own middle eight for the first time ever since recording it in 1967 (It is mainly a Lennon song after all). The pair of musicians have been good friends since Paul appeared at one of Neil and Pegi Young’s Bridge School Benefit concerts for handicapped children but this is the first time Macca and Young have worked together outside those shows.

Buffalo Springfield News: Two rare acetates by the band – believed to be among the earliest recordings made by Stephen Stills and Richie Furay have been discovered among the late Ahmet Ertegun’s archives. Ertegun, the president of Atlantic records, was often quoted as saying the band were his greatest discoveries. See fabulous CSNY webpage ‘4 Way Site’ for more.


Anniversaries (September 11-18th): Happy Honolulu birthdays to the following AAA musicians: Bernie Calvert (bassist  with The Hollies 1966-80) turns 65 on September 16th; Kenny Jones (drummer with The Small Faces 1965-68 and with The Who 1979-82) turns 61 on September 16th; Lol Creme (guitarist, pianist and just about everything with 10cc 1972-76) turns 62 on September 17th and finally Joanne Catherall (singer with The Human League 1981-date) turns 47 on September 18th.  Anniversaries of events include: the first location filming for The Beatles’ extravaganza ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ (rather late for a production to be screened on Boxing Day you have to say) on September 11th 1967; Simon and Garfunkel’s LP ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ makes the UK charts on the same day in 1971, where it will become a mainstay – on and off - for the next decade; The Monkees’ first TV season makes its channel debut on America’s NBC network on September 12th 1966; John Lennon’s Plastic Ono band make their live debut at the Toronto Peace Festival 40 years ago this week,  just days after the release of final Beatles album ‘Abbey Road’ – the gig is issued on LP later in the year (September 13th 1969); David Knopfler is forced to leave Dire Straits, the band he helped form, after one too many rows with elder brother Mark (September 13th 1980); Pete Townshend mentions plan for an unnamed rock opera about a deaf, dumb and blind boy for the first time – it will become the legendary ‘Tommy’ a year later (September 14th 1968); The Grateful Dead become the first Western group ever to play at the site of the pyramids in Cairo (September 16th 1978); The album or long-playing record turns 78 on September 17th – the date when the first player able to play records at 33 and 1/3rd speed goes on sale and finally Pink Floyd become the first rock band to play at Montreux’s Classical Music Festival (September 18th 1971).

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