Friday, 3 September 2010
♫ Happy Birthday To Us! Hi there music lovers and yes it really has been two whole years we’ve been out there on the internet, somewhere, whether on our old home, our current home or the new home we might be embracing in the future! No less than four snippets of news for you this week before we start our issue proper. For starters, Alan’s Album Archives has now embraced the world of tweeting and you can follow all our wonderful creative and monkeynuts thoughts by following alansarchives. In between our usual bouts of writing newsletters we’ll be letting you know about big music events, quoting song lyrics and generally letting you know what we’re up to so make sure you log on to stay in the loop (or is that loop on to stay on the log?! I never could get the hang of modern technical jargon!) Secondly, and rather weirdly, some of you may have noticed that Mojo music magazine chose last week to look back at Paul McCartney’s early solo years, concentrating on the very album we were looking at last issue. In fact the first couple of pages of the article are basically our newsletter in a slightly different order, which is remarkable seeing as both of us published the exact same day. Spooky eh? And to think people don’t believe our claims about Beatles synergy! (The odds of Brian Epstein living in that city with that band and getting an audition for them with that producer, the list goes on...)
Oh and thirdly, if you’re not signed up to it already look out for the new Track Records catalogue which is for me the best of the lot so far – all the really rare Kinks Arista CDs from ‘Soap Opera’ through to ‘Word Of Mouth’ at £7 each (!) and the fantastic Nils Lofgren Rockapalast concerts which I gthought had disappeared off the face of the earth forever! How typical we have yet another bank holiday in this country this week – now I won’t get my exciting post till Tuesday! But best of all, our site might be eligible to funding from www.inbiz.co.uk – we’re busy preparing our submission this week and will let you know how we got on in a fortnight’s time! Please keep emailing in with your ideas for the site – we’d love to move to a new home where all our work can be found together and with a proper advertising budget, but we’ll just have to see! Oh and our website is now up to 1680 hits, going up 70 in the last week alone! Yes we’ve said it before (and we’ll no doubt say it again sometime soon), but things are really looking up here at the AAA.
♫ Beatles News: Ringo’s family home of the early 1960s was scheduled for demolition along with the rest of the neighbourhood in 2006 and yet a dedicated band of followers have been campaigning against it ever since. The followers have just won another round of the interminable court battles and it now looks as if Ringo’s house will instead be moved to somewhere else – possibly America. Ringo’s take on all this? He doesn’t care a bit, claiming that he wanted to see it demolished when he was still living there!!
Byrds News: Bassist Chris Hillman has just released his latest collaboration with his old friend Herb Pedersen, a friendship that goes back to the pre-Byrds days when Hillman was still playing mandolin. The album, ‘At Edward’s Barn’, is a live recording from 2009 and well as including songs the pair have made together as a duo and in the Desert Rose Band there are a few surprises, like covers of the Byrds songs ‘Turn! Turn! Turn!’, ‘Eight Miles High’ and the overlooked ‘Have You Seen Her Face?
Janis Joplin News: There will never be another Janis Joplin, but that hasn’t stopped her old group Brig Brother And The Holding Company from trying to find one. ‘Hold Me – Live In Germany’ is the band’s latest release with Sophia Ramos fronting the band and featuring most of the songs on our AAA classic album ‘Cheap Thrills’. If you want to compare that to the original then you need look no further than the reissue of an old Joplin-era concert, ‘Ball And Chain’ – released a few years ago under the name ‘The Lost Tapes’ – a 2CD set which contains a gig from San Francisco in July 1966 and a reportedly staggering set from January 1967.
Neil Young/Pentangle News: Neil Young has often raved about Bert Jansch’s acoustic guitar work and at long last he’s done the decent thing and offered the Pentangle man a slot opening for his latest tour. Alas the bad news is that the two aren’t performing together – Neil claims in Mojo that ‘he’s too good – I’d get in the way!’ Let’s hope the pair’s debut concert at California’s Fox Theatre is followed by a UK tour!
In other news, there’s a new coffee-table book on Neil out, ‘Long May You Run – The Illustrated History’ by Daniel Durcholz and Gary Graff. The book follows volumes on, gulp, Led Zeppelin and Queen, but don’t let that put you off – there are apparently lots of rare photos that haven’t been seen before (including Neil aged two, by far the earliest photo of him around) and lots of pages.
♫ ANNIVERSARIES (August 30th-September 5th): Happy birthday to us, happy birthday to us, happy birthday dear readers, happy birthday to us! Oh and happy birthdays to Al Jardine (guitarist with The Beach Boys 1961-1989) who turns 68 on September 3rd and Gene Parsons (drummer with The Byrds 1968-72) who turns 65 on September 4th. Anniversaries of events include: John and Yoko’s ‘One To One’ benefit concert takes place for disabled children and is pretty much the last Lennon concert we get (barring a TV performance of ‘Imagine’ and a guest spot with Elton John) (August 30th 1972); Drummer Denny Seiwell becomes the second member to quit Wings as the band are all packed for Lagos and ‘Band On The Run’ (August 30th 1973); Paul Simon releases AAA classic no 78, ‘One Trick Pony’ (August 30th 1980); the completely ridiculous court ruling that George Harrison stole the hook from ‘My Sweet Lord’ from the Chiffons’ ‘He’s So Fine’ is passed (George clearly got it from the Hawkins’ Singers’ ‘Oh Happy Day’; August 31st 1976, a full five years after the single came out!); The Rolling Stones join their old pals The Beatles in suing manager Allan Klein for ‘falsely representing’ them with ‘intent to deceive’ (September 1st 1972); 10cc’s eponymous debut album hits the UK chart for the first time (September 1st 1973); Keith Richards’ house ‘Redlands’ suffers its second devastating fire in 10 years (September 2nd 1982); The Hollies finally score their American breakthrough surprisingly late, with Graham Gouldmann’s ‘Bus Stop’ (September 3rd 1966); The Beatles attend their first official recording session at Abbey Road, recording 17 takes of first single ‘Love Me Do’ (September 4th 1962); The Who, already deep in debt, have £5000 worth of equipment stolen from their touring van which is – wait for it – parked outside Battersea Dog’s Home whilst the band’s managers enquired about buying a guard dog. You can’t make these stories up can you?... (September 4th 1965); The Rolling Stones release ‘Street Fighting Man’, the second Stones single to be banned in a year (for ‘inciting riots’ – don’t the censors actually listen to these songs?! September 4th 1968); The Stones begin their second American tour on September 5th 1965 and record several of their best known songs in America around this time, starting with ‘Get Off My Cloud’ and finally, John and Yoko attend a screening of five of their short films at the London Art Spectrum, including such gems as the promo video for the harrowing ‘Cold Turkey’ and the pairs film of naked buttocks titled ‘Up Your Legs’ (September 5th 1971). arrison stole
♫ As you might have read above, I’ve gone and shocked myself by getting into the 21st century only 10 years late by signing up to twitter (thanks for your help there, face of bo!) So to celebrate, here is a rather shortened top five this week: the best songs to ‘tweet’ to! (And no the Birdie Song isn’t there, although we did umm and aah about adding ‘anything by The Byrds!)
5) The Beatles “Ain’t She Tweet?” (Recorded 1960, Released on various sources but most commonly heard on Anthology One, 1994): This cracking early Lennon cover was recorded as part of the ‘Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers’ sessions in Hamburg and was only widely circulated after the Beatles had been a big hit back under their original name. Of course, Lennon was really wrapping his tonsils around the line ‘ain’t she tweet?’, but knowing Lennon’s love of technology and gadgets, he’d no doubt be singing our new version had he been alive today.
4) John Lennon “Surprise, Surprise (Tweet Bird Of Paradox)” (Released on ‘Walls and Bridges’, 1974): Hence this second song from Lennon’s ‘lost weekend’ period, apparently celebrating the ex-Beatle’s relationship with May Pang (although have a read of review no 62 for why we think John may still have been writing about Yoko). Lennon loved his puns – the above title should of course be ‘sweet bird of paradise’ – so we’re sure he’d have loved our pun on the word ‘sweet’. Err. We think. Well, you try and come up with five different words that sound like ‘tweet’, it’s not as easy as it looks you know, goodness me no.
3) Paul McCartney “Tweet Her Gently, Tweet Her Kind/Lonely Old People” (Released on ‘Venus and Mars’, 1975): Lennon wasn’t the only ex-Beatle getting in on the act – hence this closing medley from the ‘Venus and Tweets’, err ‘Mars’ album. This is such an uncharacteristically appalling song (see our reasons in review no 64) that we can only think that Macca must have travelled in a time machine 30 years in the future to get his ideas. And while ‘lonely old people’ aren’t really a natural demographic for following twitter ‘tweet her gently’ makes a lot more sense in context than ‘treat her gently’. And the closing line ‘Here we sit, out of breath, as nobody asked us to play’ could easily have the line ‘...so we went to visit alansarchives’ twitter page’ added at the end.
2) The Beach Boys “Take Good Care Of Your Tweet, Pete” (Released on ‘Surf’s Up’, 1971): What used to be a very weird song about foot advice can now be considered a very weird song about twitter. This Al Jardine-Brian Wilson collaboration got missed out of two LPs before finally finally finding a home as the joker in the pack on the surprisingly serious ‘Surf’s Up’. After all, why pick on feet that need care, when presumably the rest of Pete does as well. Were the band training to be chiropodists or something? And having seen photos of the band in their dilapidated mid-70s period, they really haven’t got a leg to stand on as regards foot care. Take good care of your tweets, Pete, because nobody else will.
1) The Travelling Wilburys “Tweeter and the Monkeyman” (Released on “Volume One”, 1988): I honestly haven’t changed the title of this track one iota – that’s really what it’s called and seeing as it’s been around for 22 years now its probably fair to say its not about twitter either. Things become clear – sort of – when I tell you that it was written by Dylan, who wasn’t beyond making up new words when he felt like it. And no we don’t generally use Dylan songs on this list but he did have a lot of input from fellow Wilbury George Harrison, so we reckon we can just about get away with it. And does the song sound like it could be about twitter? Well, is this song really about anything at all? Evolution’s my favourite theory – and the idea that man is just an animal – but only Dylan could possibly know what this track’s really about. And I’d lay odds that he’s a bit confused by it too.
Well, that’s it for another week. Remember, if you can’t wait that long and you need to get your next fit of Alan’s Album Archives before that, view our YouTube videos, read our review on Amazon or keep up with us on twitter. Happy reading, happy rocking and see you next time!