Friday, 6 August 2010
♫ Hello again my faithful uploaders and welcome to a time capsule edition of everybody’s favourite Monkeynuts website. Yes as well as going back to 1977 for our review, we’ll be studying the Yoko-authorised John Lennon time capsule being planted for opening on the Beatle’s 100th birthday in 2040 and making a little time capsule of our own. More on that later. And in case that wasn’t enough, the AAA team have actually caught up with the present by making their own video for showing on Youtube take your pick between a straightforward clip-art vision and a group of teddy bears debating the sheer brilliance of the site. More on both of those later...And finally, as of today we are on 1690 views (or – near enough – 10 views for every review on the site so far). Cracking stuff, keep those visits coming!
♫ Beatles News: As mentioned, Yoko Ono has commissioned a ‘time capsule’ full of sketches and writing by her husband John Lennon and tributes by some of his many fans, to be dug up on Lennon’s 100th birthday on October 9th 2040 (when, if Yoko is still with us, his widow will be 107). We’ve always loved time capsules here at the AAA (even if my primary school one – planted during our first term and opened during our last six years later – was, literally, a damp squib after water somehow worked its way into our airtight box). So read on below for our own AAA version...
In other news, Lennon was the first famous figure profiled in the Radio 4 ‘Great Lives’ series which started this week (on Tuesday to be exact). The programme was built around a lengthy new interview with Yoko and includes a few titbits for Beatles collectors along the way. Oh and in slightly less important news for Beatlenuts, Paul McCartney has written to the producers of the ‘Glee’ series about a school choir and asked if they could cover one of his songs in the new series (youngest daughter Beatrice is a big fan we’re led to believe!) Now there’s a sign of the times when ex-Beatles are asking for work...
♫ Byrds/CSNY/Monkees News: A programme about the many musicians who hung out in California’s ‘Laurel Canyon’, presented by former resident and Monkee Micky Dolenz, rather caught us on the hop. There wasn’t much of an announcement about this two-part series, simply titled ‘Laurel Canyon’, despite the presence of many AAA legends including Byrd Chris Hillman, Micky Dolenz himself and, erm, the ‘groupie’ who became Graham Nash’s babysitter. The first part of the show, heard on Monday August 2nd, is probably available on I-player somewhere (we wouldn’t know) and the second is on next Monday, August 9th, at 10pm on Radio Two. The trail for the second part says there’ll be more about CSNY in the next episode so all fans look out for that!
♫ ANNIVERSARIES (August 2nd-8th): For only the third time ever in the history of this site there are no AAA birthdays this week (and before anyone points it out, yes the dates themselves don’t change but the time period we cover – Monday to Sunday, which fall on a different day each year – does). Anniversaries of events include: The Beatles headline their first gig at Liverpool’s Cavern Club (August 2nd 1961); The Who rescue the film premises Shepperton Studios from demolition, buying the venue for use in their ‘Kids Are Alright’ documentary and ‘Quadrophenia’ film (they still own it too; August 2nd 1977); Just two years, one day and 293 appearances after their first headlining gig, the Beatles play their last show at The Cavern Club (August 3rd 1963); Beatles record are banned in South Africa following John Lennon’s statements about the band being ‘bigger than Jesus’ (August 3rd 1966) – a day later six South American states follow suit; Wings are officially formed on August 3rd 1971, with Dennys Laine and Seiwell as well as Paul and Linda McCartney; The Small Faces release perhaps their most famous single ‘Itchycoo Park’ (August 4th 1967); Pink Floyd stage The Wall for the first time at London’s Earl’s Court (due to costs they only ever stage the show four times – August 4th 1980); Two 1960s milestones are released on August 5th: The Beatles’ ‘Revolver’ in 1966 and Pink Floyd’s debut ‘Piper At The Gates Of Dawn’ in 1967; The Small Faces release their debut single, the wonderfully ungrammatical ‘What’cha Gonna Do ‘Bout It?’ (August 6th 1965); Pink Floyd’s film version of ‘The Wall’ premieres in America (August 6th 1982); Time Magazine becomes the first magazine to review the Beatles’ ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ released the previous month and – you’ve guessed it, they absolutely hate it, with a headline ‘avoid at all costs’! (August 7th 1964) and finally, August 8th 1964 saw the release of perhaps the greatest AAA spin-off single of all time: ‘Ringo For President’ by the Young World Singers’. ‘It would be nice but I don’t have the time right now’ quipped Ringo when asked it!
♫ Assuming you’re not one of those readers who’ve skipped straight to the ‘good bit’ (as we’ll modestly call our series of frank and deeply unusual top five round-ups), you’ll have read above about the John Lennon time capsule due for opening on the musician’s birthday on October 9th 2040. This got us thinking. What will you and I be doing in 30 years’ time? We often make jokes about time travel on our pages (apart from our April Fool’s day editions, which are deadly serious, oh yes they are) but 30 years’ time seems uncomfortably close. By our reckoning, we’ll have just about finished covering every single AAA-related album by 2040 – assuming, of course, that no new groups are added to our list in the interim and that no more records are brought out (so, in other words, it’ll probably be more like 2050 by the time we get there). Who knows where this site will be in 30 years’ time – the most viewed music website of all, perhaps, which has helped nurture a return to classic music and an interest among fans who aren’t even born yet – or a completely forgotten unlisted site on a computer server that should be in a museum.Answers on a postcard... But one thing we do know is that we’ll keep this site going for as long as humanly possible – though just in case we can’t manage that here’s a note to our future selves/readers about what we in 2010 want to place in our own patent pending Alan’s Album Archives Time Capsule...
5) Our website. You know, ‘Alan’s Album Archives’, the thing you’re reading now, so if we’re still alive in 2040 we can compare how our opinions about music have changed (though I bet we’ll still hate the Spice Girls). We’re not quite sure how to do this – perhaps burying the server computer our site is loaded on (which, admittedly, might be a bit of a drag for the other users sharing it with their own sites), a complete computer print-out in an air-tight box or an animamaxatronic robot infused with the complete text of our website so far and able to spout any knowledge about any of the indexed albums at the press of a button. Hmm, that’ll probably do. We’ll call him Max the spouting robot for short. Now where can I find ‘mad scientists’ in the yellow pages?!
4) Our Youtube Video(s). Ooh yes we’ve got more on that to tell you. We’ve made two Youtube Videos advertising the site, one of which is ready to see at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHME7GEsjIQ (Only special guests can see it at the moment but, well, you’re all my special guests!) Regular readers will know exactly what to expect: A singing dog with a cane, a drunken canine with a bottle of Baileys, a bear whose head swivels, a guest appearance by a dalek and a Clandusprod alien from the Zigorous Three galaxy! Well, you try and sum up in 10 minutes how mad this site can be sometimes – suffice to say there’s also some great music (courtesy of the Stones this time around) and a dig at the Spice Girls, just so you’ll know it really was me making it. Please leave a comment and a rating if you view it or Max and Bingo will get very upset. We’ll tell you more about the second, rather more normal, video next week (if we can ever get it loaded – we got as far as 97% the other night after two hours of staring at the screen, only to lose our connection! Grr!)
3) A copy of Brian Wilson’s ‘Smile’. Well, I’ll probably have worn out my copy by then and with luck there should be a whole range of ‘anniversary sets’ out by 2040 celebrating both Brian’s final version and the Beach Boys’ scattered original. As we’ve said on this site many times, if you ever need to convince a wayward relation or nagging friend of the power of music to lighten your soul and shed a light on humanity’s problems, this is the album you need to play to them first. And if that doesn’t work, try any of the other 100 albums from our ‘core’ list! And just in case anything bad ever happens to our planet (you know, in 2012) we have to preserve humanity’s greatest works for future generations. Even though the retro-caveman who digs our capsule up after a nuclear holocaust will have no means to play it and will probably just use the CD to bash his friend over the head with.
2) Our two AAA MP3 players, containing a sample (well, 3988 tracks, it’s a big sample) of what our staff were listening to back in 2010. This will probably puzzle historians who don’t know about our site greatly in 30 years’ time given that the technology dates from 2007 and the most recent music on either player dates from around 1989. Or at least, it will puzzle them until they actually play the MP3s and realize what classic, beautiful, delectable and downright staggeringly wonderful music they both have on them. Until I find some joker’s wiped my favourite tracks and replaced them with the Spice Girls. Hmm, I’d better add 30 years’ worth of charge if I ever do get this time capsule together...
1) The Spice Girls, just to remind ourselves about what passed for music in what will be known as the ‘missing’ musical years of 1990-2010, who by our reckoning will be in their early 70s by 2040 (and we can guarantee that Emma Bunton will still be trading under the name ‘Baby Spice’). Buried alive preferably. Along with every copy of ‘Wannabe’ so that the universe will never have to hear it again during the next 30 years. Something that, we’re sure, will be heartily encouraged by every tramp given a kung-fu kick by Scary Spice.
Well, time seems to have run out on us again, be sure to tune in next time for issue 71 of ‘News, Views and Music’. Happy reading, happy listening and happy rocking!