A Bit Like You And Me Radio

October 31, 2012

The Rascals - I Believe (1969)

Three out of four members of this band had originally been replacement members in Joey Dee and the Starliters, who were known for putting out “Peppermint Twist” in 1961. Originally going by the name “Rascals” when they started their own group, there was a complaint made by Johnny Puleo and Borrah Minnevitch to alter their name because it was too similar to their “Harmonica Rascals.” Switching to “The Young Rascals,” the name stuck for over two years. After the release of their single “It’s Wonderful,” the band released all future singles and albums under their final name seen above. Known for hit songs such as “Good Lovin’,” “Groovin’,” and “A Beautiful Morning,” the group began to dissolve in 1970 and completely disbanded in 1972. Widely recognized for refusing to play where crowds were segregated, they are credited with influencing many white acts, such as Leslie West (Mountain) and Vanilla Fudge, in the pursuit of performing rhythm and blues.

This song was released as the B-Side of a single in 1969, a few years after the group’s peak. Featuring “Hold On” as its A-Side, the single was released in mid-December and charted best in Canada, where it reached number twenty-two. Having been on Atlantic Records from their beginnings, this single and the two that followed would be their last releases for Atlantic before switching over to Columbia in mid-1971.

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The Rascals - I Believe (1969)

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Lyrics:

(I believe, I believe, I believe, I believe)
(I believe, I believe, I believe, I believe)

Love, your magic is everywhere
You know, sweet vibrations just fill the air
Yeah

Bright star that’s shinin’ in your diamond eyes
Lights up my each and every day
When one heart finds another on the road of life
Time stops and joy takes you away

Love, your magic is everywhere
Peace vibrations are always there

The warm sunshine reminds me of your gentle touch
I see your smile in every hill, every tree
The secret garden of my heart belongs to you alone
Like a flower was meant for the bee

(I believe, I believe, I believe, I believe)
Oh, child
(I believe, I believe, I believe, I believe)
Oh

In each beat of my heart I can hear your name
I feel love with every breath that I take
With your love I’ve become awake
In a wondrous and a beautiful place

It’s love, your magic is everywhere
Those sweet vibrations just fill the air

When I see a flower or a tree
I can see your smiling face in everything that I see
In the mountain, in the stream

It’s love, your magic is everywhere
Those sweet vibrations just fill the air

October 30, 2012

The Byrds - Goin' Back (1967)

Originally known as The Jet Set, this band was eventually inspired to use an unconventional spelling for their finalized name by The Beatles. From their cover songs, such as Pete Seeger’s “Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There is a Season)” and Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man,” to the tracks they penned themselves, they put together some of the most memorable songs to come out of the 1960s. Becoming one of the top selling acts for a brief period, they also saw their individual members go on to continue great things after the end of the band. David Crosby, for instance, went on to co-create Crosby, Stills & Nash, while nearly all of the other members had successful solo careers. An attempt to summarize the intricate history of this band, their music, and its members in this small space would more than likely not be possible. Their work has inspired countless other artists and their music continues to help define the 1960s.

This is the song that split The Byrds apart. Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King in 1966, it was a bit slower and a slightly bit more country than what the band had normally been putting out. David Crosby didn’t like it at all. He disliked it even more after finding out that it was considered over “Triad,” a song he had written, for their upcoming album. With tensions getting high, Crosby was fired from the group and this song was released as a single (in 1967). It also later appeared on the band’s 1968 album The Notorious Byrd Brothers. The song has been recorded and released by man artists, including Dusty Springfield, Nils Lofgren, The Move, Diana Ross, Bon Jovi, Phil Collins, The Pretenders, and many others.

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The Byrds - Goin' Back (1967)

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Lyrics:

I think I'm goin' back
To the things I learned so well in my youth
I think I'm returning to
Those days when I was young enough to know the truth
Now there are no games
To only pass the time
No more electric trains
No more trees to climb
But thinking young and growing older is no sin
And I can play the game of life to win

I can recall a time
When I wasn't ashamed to reach out to a friend
Now I think I've got
A lot more than just my toys to lend
Now there's more to do
Than watch my sailboat glide
But every day can be
A magic carpet ride
A little bit of courage is all we lack
So catch me if you can
I'm goin' back

Now there's more to do
Than watch my sailboat glide
But every day can be
A magic carpet ride
A little bit of courage is all we lack
So catch me if you can
I'm goin' back

October 29, 2012

The Mascots - Words Enough to Tell You (1965)

Originally known as the Western Trio, this band was from Sweden and made up of members who first came together at their music school, Adolf Fredrik Music School. Highly influenced by the output of music from England happening during the British Invasion, they primarily sang in English, but would occasionally put out a song in their native Swedish (listen to “Lyckan”). They reached the Swedish Top Ten five different time, most notably with their big hit heard below. If you enjoy what you hear, I recommend purchasing their compilation album, Mascots: 1964-68!.

First written for a competition in Bildjournalen magazine in 1965, this song beat out songs by the Shanes and Merrymen in a popular vote. It took a year before the song was released on vinyl and, by then, it had been a bit too late. But, considering the group was Sweden’s top band for a while, it made little difference. The band still played around Sweden, opening for artists such as The Who, The Moody Blues, The Hollies, and Chuck Berry, among others. If you like this song, try listening to “When I Return,” “Goodbye,” or “Walking with My Angel.”

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The Mascots - Words Enough to Tell You (1965)

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Lyrics:

There is nothing else I’d rather do
I would love to give my love to you
And as you’re looking on to me
I know what love could be
If there were only
Words enough to tell you

Once before I saw you in the crowd
Having fun with lots of guys around
Oh, how I wished you call my own
And let me get alone
I know you’d give me
Words enough to tell you

I know you’d be the only girl for me
And that’s the reason I will always be
In love with you

And as you’re looking on to me
I know what love could be
If there were only
Words enough to tell you

Words to tell you
Words to tell you
Words to tell you

October 26, 2012

The Palace Guard - Falling Sugar (1966)

In a previous post featuring The Merry-Go-Round, a not-yet-famous Emitt Rhodes was mentioned as being a part of The Merry-Go-Round. Well, Rhodes performed in this group as well, as their drummer, before he was in The Merry-Go-Round. Popular for a brief period strictly in southern California, this band released six singles from 1964 until 1966. The band, which was once named the Emeralds, also featured a trio of brothers: John, Dick, and Don Beaudine. For a short while, Don Grady, a.k.a. Don Agrati, later of My Three Sons, was in the group. When Emitt Rhodes eventually left this group to join The Merry-Go-Round, it resulted in the termination of this band.

This song, the band’s biggest hit by far, was accompanied by the B-Side “Oh Blue” and was released in 1966.

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The Palace Guard - Falling Sugar (1966)

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Lyrics:

The hurt is so deep
That I can’t sleep or eat
If you would come back
You’d make my thoughts of you seem sweet

And they tumble down (and they tumble down)
Like falling sugar
Like falling sugar
And they tumble down (and they tumble down)
Like falling sugar (sugar, sugar)

Well I had never loved before
And I’ll never love again
But the moment you walked out on me
My life seemed to end right then

The hurt is so deep
That I can’t sleep or eat
If you would come back
You’d make my thoughts of you seem sweet

And they tumble down (and they tumble down)
Like falling sugar
Like falling sugar
And they tumble down (and they tumble down)
Like falling sugar (sugar, sugar)

Well, when I gave you all my life
You said we’d never part
And the first time that my life was good
You gave someone else your heart

The hurt is so deep
That I can’t sleep or eat
If you would come back
You’d make my thoughts of you seem sweet

And they tumble down (and they tumble down)
Like falling sugar
Like falling sugar
And they tumble down (and they tumble down)
Like falling sugar

And they tumble down (and they tumble down)
Like falling sugar
And they tumble down…

October 25, 2012

The Equals - Police On My Back (1968)

Formed in 1965, this North London group was one of the first racially integrated groups of the time (which also influenced their name). Primarily remembered for their 1966 million-dollar selling song, “Baby, Come Back,” the band was composed of Eddy Grant, Pay Lloyd, John Hall, and twin brothers Derv and Lincoln Gordon. The group released a few moderately successful singles through the remaining years in the ‘60s and was even mildly successful until 1971, when Grant suffered a collapsed lung and heart infection. After returning to his birth country, Guyana, he took his musical career solo and released many successful songs throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s. Although the band carried on without him, they never had another hit and primarily resorted to playing live shows.

This song comes from the group’s first album, Baby, Come Back, which was created around the success from the single of the same name. Released in 1968, it was composed of material the group had been recording as far back as 1966. Written by Grant, this song was later successfully covered by the early punk group, The Clash, for their 1980 album Sandinista!.

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The Equals - Police On My Back (1968)

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Lyrics:

Well I’m running
Police on my back
I’ve been hiding
Police on my back
They were shooting
Police on my back
And the victim
Well, he won’t come back

I been running Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Running
Down the railway track
Could you help me?
Police on my back
They will catch me
If I dare drop back
Come and give me
All the speed I had

I been running Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

What have I done?

I'm still running
Down the railway track
Could you help me?
Police on my back
They will catch me
If I dare drop back
Come and give me
All the speed I had

I been running Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Running
Down the railway track
Yes, I’m running
Police on my back
Yes, I’m running
Police on my back
Yes, I’m running
Police on my back

Yes, I'm still running
Down the railway track
Could you help me?
Police on my back
They will catch me
If I dare drop back

I been running Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Running
Police on my back
Yes, I’m running
Police on my back
Yes, I’m running
Police on my back
Yes, I’m running
Police on my back

What have I done? Tell me. Please, somebody.

October 24, 2012

The Golden Dawn - My Time (1968)

Formed in 1966 in Austin, Texas, this psychedelic group only released one album in 1968 before splitting up. They were signed by International Artists in Houston, Texas, who had also signed the 13th Floor Elevators, one of the world’s first psychedelic bands. In 1967, The Golden Dawn began work on their first album, Power Plant, and had it finished that summer. Despite having the album ready for distribution, International Artists kept it from being shipped out because they wanted to released the 13th Floor Elevators’ second album, Easter Everywhere, first. They seemingly didn’t want their prize band, the Elevators, to be in direct competition with a fresh psychedelic band on their label. As it turned out, Easter Everywhere was released in November 1967 and Power Plant was held until 1968. Unfortunately for this group, holding Power Plant until 1968 led to critics panning the album as a knock-off to Easter Everywhere. Is it true? Was The Golden Dawn accurately painted as a knock-off to their neighboring Elevators? Or did they create their album, Power Plant, without borrowing from the Elevators? I suppose the answer depends on who you ask.

This song was featured as the sixth track on the band’s first (and last) album, Power Plant. Members of the band included George Kinney on vocals and guitar, Tom Ramsey on lead guitar, Jimmy Bird on rhythm guitar, Bill Hallmark on bass, and Bobby Rector on drums.

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The Golden Dawn - My Time (1968)

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Lyrics:

It has been running through my mind
That you're not my kind, but I don't mind
It's just that I'm feeling fine inside my mind
It's my time

My time
My time
My time

I have known you for quite some time
I haven't seen a sign
You even know the place I live
You can't receive the love I give
But it doesn't matter anyway
Anyhow, any day now
I'll be leaving here to stay
It's my time

My time
My time
My time

My time
My time
My time

I haven't seen the light
Shining from your eyes
That signifies that your disguise
Has not been lifted from your face
You're just the past to me
My place is not around you and
Your lace is only taking up my space
It's my time

My time
My time
My time

October 23, 2012

Kaleidoscope - The Sky Children (1967)

Previously featured on A Bit Like You And Me, this group has far too many great tracks for what little recognition they have received. If you’ve never heard their albums Tangerine Dream or Faintly Blowing and are a fan of the psychedelic genre, I highly recommend purchasing them each. With the end of the 1960s, so came the end of Kaleidoscope. But luckily for us, it was only their name that came to an end. The band continued in its entirety as Fairfield Parlour from 1970 until 1972. Although they were then being marketed as a “progressive rock” band, they were still as lyrically vivid and musically psychedelic as ever.

This song was written by the band’s lead vocalist Peter Daltrey (no relation to Roger), had music composed by the band’s lead guitarist Eddy Pumer, and came in at a whopping eight minutes long. Featured as the last track to Tangerine Dream, it has the same vivid imagery that can be found throughout the entire album.

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Kaleidoscope - The Sky Children (1967)

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Lyrics:

A million white flowers in a field in the sky
Seemed to spell out a greeting as the children flew by
A guard in a chariot of silver and gold
Gave the children all tickets, then the story he told
Of a time in the future that was sunshine and flowers
And the children grew sleepy in the sky's white towers
They dreamed of the story that the guard had displayed
They saw all the wonders, tiny minds were amazed
They saw candy forests and dragons that breathed fire
On all that was evil in the misty mire

They came to the village where the turtles in caves
Made pies for the people and the lemonade
The people lived out by the sea and each day
The seagulls would wake them as they passed on their way
The people were kindly, they would sing to the sky
And each bright new morning, the sun shone from their eyes
The children passed over and all the people could see
As they dived from the sky to the treacle sea
They bathed on the white sand, minutes turned into hours
And the children all giggled and gave each other flowers

The King from his castle came down to the sea
And he spoke to the children so patiently
He gave them small presents and bid them farewell
And the children unwrapped them, tiny silver bells
Their tinkling floated across the island with ease
And it came back toward them on the perfume breeze
They smiled at the tinkling, they gazed at the sun
And they smiled at each other, pretty little ones
A beautiful white horse came down to the sea
And the children all climbed up as he knelt on one knee

They rode through the valleys and high over hills
And they laughed oh so loudly, their fear to kill
They came to a lakeside of deep velvet and green
And they all stared in wonder at its beauty serene
They climbed from the white horse, they watch as it goes
As they stood by the green lake for to kiss their toes
A boat in the distance was suddenly there
Waiting to take the children to anywhere
The porcupine captain said that he didn't mind
In his coat of black needles, he looked very kind

His crew were six rabbits with fluffy white ears
And the children all stroked them and lost all their fears
They sailed through the sunshine, across the green lake
And they drank lemonade and they ate ice cream cake
They landed in a dark cave as the boat disappeared
And they all stood in darkness, through the shadows they peered
But out of the blackness shone diamonds so bright
Their tiny white hands shielded eyes from the light
In a pool of quicksilver stood Neptune so wise
And pearls were his white teeth, bright diamonds his eyes

He spoke to the children in a voice of velvet
And he beckoned them to him, in a circle they sat
He told of sky island and of his magic cave
And magic pink seashells to the children he gave
They listened intently as the music came far
From the magic pink seashells and nobody talked
But Neptune had vanished when they lifted their eyes
So they walked from the cave as two kingfishers cried
In the bright shiny sunlight, they got down on one knee
They listened to the sea shells of the musical sea

But the day grew much darker, so they climbed on the breeze
And they floated to the village, and the people were pleased
To see them so happy with their tinkling bells
And the people all listened to the musical shells
But the children were so sad, the time had come to leave
So the people waved goodbye and begged them to believe
Of the wonders they had seen in the island of the sky
And the children said they would and away they did fly
Through the white clouds of no time 'til forever it seems
And the children stayed children and they lived in their dreams

October 22, 2012

Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show - Queen of the Silver Dollar (1972)

The beginnings of this band can be traced from Southerners George Cummings, Ray Sawyer, and Billy Francis, who had all previously played together in The Chocolate Papers. Formed in 1967, their name comes from the eye patch worn by Ray Sawyer (who had a near-fatal car accident in 1967), mocking Peter Pan’s Captain Hook, and referencing “medicine shows,” which sarcastically referenced a warning against drug use. Trying to make it big in New Jersey, they added Jersey-native Dennis Locorriere, who would eventually become the band’s lead vocalist. In 1970, the band’s demo was heard by Ron Haffkine, who was working on a movie that's soundtrack was being written by the legendary poet, cartoonist, and author, Shel Silverstein. Choosing their music for the movie, the band formed a relationship with Silverstein that would lead to them frequently singing songs that written by him. They had numerous hits throughout the ‘70s and even into the ‘80s, including, “Sylvia’s Mother,” “The Cover of the Rolling Stone,” “Only Sixteen” (originally by Sam Cooke), “A Little Bit More,” and many, many more.

As the B-Side to "Cover of the Rolling Stone," this song was added to the group’s second album, Sloppy Seconds, released in 1972. Written by Shel Silverstein, it was overshadowed by other songs (that were also all written by Silverstein) from the album that became very successful, such as “The Cover of the Rolling Stone” and “Freakin’ at the Freakers Ball.”

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Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show - Queen of the Silver Dollar (1972)

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Lyrics:

She's the Queen of the Silver Dollar
And she rules this smoky kingdom
And her scepter is a wine glass
And a barstool is her throne
And the jesters, they flock around her
And they fight to win her favors
And see which one will take the Queen
Of the Silver Dollar home

Yeah!

She arrives in all her splendor
Every night at nine o'clock
And her chariot is a crosstown bus
That stops right down the block
The old piano minstrel
Plays her song as she walks in
And the Queen of the Silver Dollar
She’s home again

She's the Queen of the Silver Dollar
And she rules this smoky kingdom
And her scepter is a wine glass
And a barstool is her throne
And the jesters flock around her
And fight to win her favors
And see which one will take the Queen
Of the Silver Dollar home

Aw
Yeah, alright!

Her royal gown is a satin dress
That's stained and slightly torn
And her sparklin' jewels are rhinestones
And her shoes are scuffed and worn
From the many roads she's traveled
And the wondrous sites she's seen
And I watch her and I pray
God save the Queen

She's the Queen of the Silver Dollar
And she rules this smoky kingdom
And her scepter is a wine glass
And a barstool is her throne
And the jesters flock around her
And fight to win her favors
And see which one will take the Queen
Of the Silver Dollar home

The Queen of the Silver Dollar
Is not as haughty as she seems
She was once an ordinary girl
With ordinary dreams
But I found her and I won her
And I brought her to this world
Yes, I'm the man who made a Queen
Of a simple country girl

She's the Queen of the Silver Dollar
And she rules this smoky kingdom
And her scepter is a wine glass
And a barstool is her throne
And the jesters flock around her
And fight to win her favors
And see which one will take the Queen
Of the Silver Dollar home

She's the Queen of the Silver Dollar
And she rules this smoky kingdom
And her scepter is a wine glass
And a barstool is her throne...

October 19, 2012

The Bleach Boys - Wine, Wine, Wine (1965)

Originally formed as The Catalinas in 1963 by Dale Yost, Jay Stout, Dave Rettig, and Rick Yarnall, this South Dakota band changed their name, as a gimmick, to cash in on the popularity of The Beach Boys. Coming from Sioux Falls and bleaching their hair very light, they only had a drummer and three guitarists for a long period of time. Because of their lack of singer, they primarily played instrumentals. On occasion, they would gather large crowds (who would mistakenly think it was The Beach Boys they were going to see) and once opened for The Byrds. In 1965, the band played at a “battle of the bands” with a crowd estimated at ten thousand people. Finally, in 1966, after a two and a half month tour, the band broke up after failing an attempt at a second full length record.

Before the release of their full length LP, the band released one single. This song, the A-Side, was originally released by The Nitecaps (possibly a Texas-based band?). The B-Side, “Must Be Love,” was an original by the band, but didn’t sell well. This song reached number one, locally, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

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The Bleach Boys - Wine, Wine, Wine (1965)

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Lyrics:

You get a new girl
I’ll get a dime
We’ll go out
And buy some wine

Give me wine, wine, wine
Get wine, wine, wine
Wine, wine, fine wine
All the time

You get a new gal
I got mine
We’ll go out
And buy some wine

Give me wine, wine, wine
Get wine, wine, wine
Wine, wine, fine wine
All the time

I’m goin’ to the school
A quarter to nine
Sit in class
And drink my wine

Give me wine, wine, wine
Get wine, wine, wine
Wine, wine, fine wine
All the time

We drank last night
The night before
We’re goin’ out
And drink some more

Give me wine, wine, wine
Get wine, wine, wine
Wine, wine, fine wine
All the time

We drank last night
The night before
We’re goin’ out
And drink some more

Give me wine, wine, wine
Get wine, wine, wine
Wine, wine, fine wine
All the time

Chug it up, chug it up
All night long
Chug it up, chug it up
All night long

Drinkin’ wine, wine, wine
Get wine, wine, wine
Get wine, wine, fine wine
All the time

One more time

Wine, wine, fine wine
All the time
Wine, wine…

October 18, 2012

The Heartbeats - A Thousand Miles Away (1957)

Originally known as The Hearts, this doo wop group is most closely related to their hit song heard below. Formed in Jamaica, Queens, New York in the mid-‘50s, they had to change their name, The Hearts, to something else when they discovered in 1955 that an all-female group of the same name had had a minor hit on the Billboard music charts. Choosing the name seen above, they also soon recruited James “Shep” Sheppard to join. After one hit song and being signed to multiple labels, the group finally split up in 1959. Shep went on to form Shep and the Limelites in the early ‘60s, but died on January 24th, 1970 after being beaten and robbed in his car near the Long Island Expressway in New York.

Written by Shep and William H. Miller, this song reached number fifty-two on the US Hot 100 and number five on the R&B Singles charts. The song’s inspiration came about after Shep’s ex-girlfriend moved from New York to Texas. It was released on Roulette Records and featured the B-Side, “Oh Baby Don’t”. And, finally, as with many other doo wop songs, this song was mentioned in Frank Zappa and The Penguins' 1963 song, "Memories of El Monte," which A Bit Like You And Me previously featured.

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The Heartbeats - A Thousand Miles Away (1957)

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Lyrics:

You're a thousand miles away
But, I still have your love to remember you by
Oh my darling, dry your eyes
Daddy's coming home soon

On my knees every day
All I do is pray, baby, just for you
Hope you always want me, too
Daddy's coming home soon

It may be on a Sunday morning
It may be on a Tuesday afternoon
But no matter what the day is
I'm going to make it my business to get home soon

You're (a thousand miles away)
But, I still have your love to remember you by
Oh my darling, dry your eyes
Daddy's coming home soon

October 17, 2012

The Status Quo - Pictures of Matchstick Men (1967)

Starting out as The Spectres in 1962, this group has had more songs chart in the UK than any other rock group in history: sixty, to be exact. Out of those sixty, twenty-two have reached the UK’s Top Ten. Ironically, the group only had one hit in the United States, heard below. In early 1967, the band was getting into psychedelia, much like the rest of the musical world, and they changed their name to Traffic. To avoid confusion with Steve Winwood’s Traffic, they altered their name to Traffic Jam. By late 1967, they felt they needed another change and became Status Quo, soon altering that to The Status Quo. Collectively known as The Quo, or Quo, the group had been created around school friends Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster. In 1985, Lancaster left the group and, as of 1986, they have continued on without him.

Written by Francis Rossi while trapped in a bathroom to avoid his wife and mother-in-law, this song was originally planned as the B-Side to “Gentleman Joe’s Sidewalk CafĂ©.” After realizing its potential, the A and B sides were flipped and it went on to reach number seven in the UK and number twelve in the US. Two versions of the song exist, the mono original and the stereo. This version, the mono, features a wah wah guitar riff in the breaks of the lyrics. The stereo version did not have that feature. Inspired by the paintings of L.S. Lowry, the song was originally released in November 1967 as a single and later re-released on their September 1968 album, Picturesque Matchstickable Messages from the Status Quo, which primarily featured cover songs.

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The Status Quo - Pictures of Matchstick Men (1967)

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Lyrics:

When I look up to the sky
I see your eyes a funny kind of yellow
I rush home to bed, I soak my head
I see your face underneath my pillow
I wake next morning, tired, still yawning
See your face come peeping through my window

Pictures of matchstick men and you
Mirages of matchstick men and you
All I ever see is them and you

Windows echo your reflection
When I look in their direction now
When will this haunting stop?
Your face, it just won't leave me alone

Pictures of matchstick men and you
Mirages of matchstick men and you
All I ever see is them and you

You're in the sky and with the sky
You make men cry, you lie
You're in the sky and with the sky
You make men cry, you lie

Pictures of matchstick men and
Pictures of matchstick men and-
Pictures of matchstick men and
Pictures of matchstick men...

October 16, 2012

The Electric Prunes - Kyrie Eleison (1968)

Originally known as The Sanctions, then Jim and the Lords, this group has had more than twenty rotating members. Among the many members they had in their lengthy history were Kenny Loggins (of primarily solo fame) and Peter Lewis (a founding member of Moby Grape). Although their first single, "Ain't It Hard/Little Olive," flopped, their second single, "I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)," was a huge success in 1966. Despite constant personnel changes leading to the demise of the band in 1970, there was a revival in 1999 that led to the group creating three more albums and successfully touring the United States. In 2011, founding member Mark Tulin passed away and no tours have since taken place.

Written and produced by musical arranger David Axelrod, this song comes from the band’s third album, Mass in F Minor. Although the album wasn’t made with all of its original members, it was considered to be very innovative for the mixture of Latin-sung Church-style hymns with psychedelic melodies. Both the concept of the album and the album itself didn’t sell well, but this particular song would later be popularized when it was used in the counter-culture movie, Easy Rider, from 1969.

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The Electric Prunes - Kyrie Eleison (1968)

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Lyrics:

Latin Lyrics English Lyrics

Kyrie Eleison
Kyrie Eleison

Kyrie Eleison
Kyrie Eleison

Kyrie Eleison
Kyrie Eleison

Kyresta

Kyresta

Kyresta Eleison
Eleison
Eleison
Eleison
Kyresta

Kyresta

Lord, have mercy
Lord, have mercy

Lord, have mercy
Lord, have mercy

Lord, have mercy
Lord, have mercy

Lord

Lord

Lord, have mercy
Mercy
Mercy
Mercy
Lord

Lord

October 15, 2012

The Golliwogs - Walking on the Water (1966)

A concise, summarized history of this group can be found on the page “The Blue Velvets – Oh My Love (1961),” as The Blue Velvets was this group’s initial name as early as 1959.

While using the name featured in this post, the band released seven singles for Fantasy Records. One of the co-owners of Fantasy, Max Weiss, had originally renamed them from The Blue Velvets to The Visions, but just before their single was released for Fantasy in November 1964, he had changed it to The Golliwogs, referencing a rather politically incorrect (and popular) doll from the late 19th century. Although none of the singles did well in San Francisco (where they had been released), one of them did rather well in Miami, FL.

In December 1967, the group changed their name yet again, this final time to Creedence Clearwater Revival, which, coincidentally can be read about and heard at our previous post, “Creedence Clearwater Revival – Penthouse Pauper (1969)”.

This song, coming from their Golliwogs era, was recorded in August 1966 and released in September 1966 on the Scorpio label. It was later rerecorded and released on their first album under the CCR name and renamed to “Walk on the Water.” Personally, I prefer this earlier version. Comparatively, this version is roughly a minute and a half shorter.

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The Golliwogs - Walking on the Water (1966)

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Lyrics:

Late last night, I went for a walk
Down by the river near my home
Couldn't believe- with my own eyes
And I swear I'll never leave my home again

I saw a man walking on the water
Coming right at me from the other side
Calling out my name, "Do not be afraid"
Feet begin to run, pounding in my brain

I don't want to go, I don't want to go
No, no, no, no, no, I don't want to go

Late last night, I saw a man
Comin’ right at me
Comin’ right at me
I saw him walk, walk, walk
I saw him walk, walk, walk
I saw him walk, walk, walk, walk, walk

October 12, 2012

McGuinness Flint - When I'm Dead and Gone (1970)

Tom McGuinness, born in London in 1941, teamed up with Hughie Flint, born in Manchester the same year, came together in 1970 to form this band. McGuinness had previously played as the bassist and guitarist of Manfred Mann, formerly of group of the same name, whereas Flint had been the drummer for John Mayall, formerly of John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. Despite having an alternating line-up with numerous talented members, the group never really caught on in the United States and found the majority of their stardom in Britain. After a couple singles in the Top 5 and some albums that were difficult to reproduce live on stage, the band called it quits in 1975.

This song, written by Benny Gallagher and Graham Lyle, was the band’s first released single. It was loosely based on the life of Robert Johnson, an iconic blues singer whose contributions to the guitar in the 1930s would inspire many great guitarists, such as Eric Clapton. The song reached number two in the United Kingdom and number forty-seven in the United States.

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McGuinness Flint - When I'm Dead and Gone (1970)

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Lyrics:

Oh, I love you baby
I love you night and day
When I leave ya baby
Don't cry the night away
When I die, don't you write no words upon my tomb
I don't believe I want to leave no epitaph for two

Oh, oh, oh
When I'm dead and gone
I wanna leave some happy woman livin’ on
Oh, oh, oh
When I'm dead and gone
Don't want nobody to morn beside my grave

Oh, Mama Linda, she's out to get my hide
She's got a shotgun and a daughter by her side
Hey there, ladies, Johnson´s free
Who's got the love?
Who's got a love to keep a man like me?

Oh, oh, oh
When I'm dead and gone
I wanna leave some happy woman livin’ on
Oh, oh, oh
When I'm dead and gone
Don't want nobody to morn beside my grave

Oh, oh, oh
When I'm dead and gone
Don't want nobody to mourn beside my grave
Oh, oh, oh
When I'm dead (and gone)
When I’m dead and gone
(Don't want nobody to morn beside my grave)
No, no, no, no, no

October 11, 2012

Leo Sayer - The Show Must Go On (1973)

Born Gerald Hugh Sayer in Sussex, England, 1948, this artist wrote Roger Daltrey’s first solo hit song in 1973, appeared on The Muppet Show in 1978, and had a string of seven Top 10 hit songs in the beginning of his lengthy career. In 1967, while working at a hotel, he managed to save guests from a fire on the first floor, but then needed rescuing himself from the local fire department. Born to an Irish mother and English father, he moved to Australia in 2005 and became a legal resident in 2009.

Written by Sayer and David Courtney, this song was Sayer’s first hit single, reaching number two in the UK in 1974, the year after its release. His next six singles would also be hits in the top ten. This song also appears on his 1974 full-length album, Silverbird. At the height of the song’s popularity, Sayer dressed as a pierrot clown to reinforce the song’s circus and “difficult choices in life” imagery. The song was covered by Three Dog Night in 1974, and much to Sayer’s displeasure, they changed the last line of the song from “I won’t let the show go on,” to “I must let the show go on.”

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Leo Sayer - The Show Must Go On (1973)

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Lyrics:

Baby, although I chose this lonely life
It seems it's strangling me now
All the wild men big cigars gigantic cars
They're all laughing at me now
Oh I've been used- used
I've been a fool, oh, what a fool
I broke all the rules- rules, yeah
But I won’t let the show go on

Baby, there's an enormous crowd of people
And they're all after my blood
I wish maybe they'd tear down the walls of this theater
And let me out- let me out
Oh, I've been so blind, yeah
I've wasted time, wasted, wasted oh so much time
Walking on the wire, high wire, yeah
But I must let the show go on

I've been so blind, oh, yes, I've been so blind
Wasted my time, wasted so much time
Walking on the wire, high wire, yeah
But I won’t let the show go on

Been so blind, oh, yes
Been so blind
Wastin’ my time
Wastin’ so much time
Walkin’ on the water, high wire
But I won’t let the show go on

Baby, I wish you'd help me escape
And help me get away
Leave me outside my address
Far away from this masquerade
I've been so used
I’ve been so abused
I’ve been a fool
I broke all the rules
I’ve been so used, oh
But I won’t let the show go- ah!
No, I won’t let the show- ho!
I won’t let the show go on!

October 10, 2012

The Fallen Angels - Room At the Top (1968)

When he left The Young Rabbits in 1965, guitarist Wally Cook got together with Jack Bryant to create The Disciples, soon renamed to The Uncalled, and then finally to the name seen above. After some personnel shifts, the final lineup of the band was settled: Wally Cook, Jack Bryant, Howard Danchik, Richard Kumer, and Jack Lauritsen. In 1967, the group was signed by Laurie Records and released two failed singles. Soon, they switched to a New York label, Roulette Records, and the band released their first album, The Fallen Angels. Roulette, hoping to strike gold in the way they did with Tommy James and the Shondells, was disappointed with its sales. The album flopped. The group would go on to record one other album, It’s a Long Way Down (1969), before being dropped and calling it quits by the end of 1969.

This song is the first track to the group’s first full length album, eponymously titled The Fallen Angels. Although the entire album failed to do well, this is one of the few songs on the album that I would recommend listening to. The others would be “Introspective Looking Glass,” “I Don’t Want to Fall,” and “Your Mother’s Homesick Too.”

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The Fallen Angels - Room At the Top (1968)

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Lyrics:

Just thought you’d like to know
There’s room at the top for you
Just thought you’d like to know
That you could come up here, too

Oh, we could sit together
And watch the lights go on
Watch the lights go on
Watch the lights go on

With broken tambourine, I wait for love to begin
These piles of ashes stand for yesterday’s mortal sins
Oh, love that could be immortal
Let’s do what could be
If only we could see
The love that’s meant to be

Just thought you’d like to know
There’s room at the top for you
Just thought you’d like to know
That you could come up here, too

Oh, we could sit together
And watch the lights go on
Watch the lights go on
Watch the lights go on

October 09, 2012

The High Numbers - Zoot Suit (1964)

With roots as far back as 1961, this band was originally known as The Detours. In February 1964, when another group of the same name was discovered on television, they changed their name to “something simpler.” The group failed an audition with Fontana Records in April of the same year and consequently fired their drummer, Doug Sandom. The band soon replaced Doug with a talented drummer found in another local band known as The Beachcombers.

In the summer of 1964, after developing a reputation for being loud and destructive with their instruments, their manager, Helmut Gorden, hired an adviser, Pete Meaden, hoping to create a new image for the band. A few haircuts later and Pete recreated the group’s image to being the quintessential mod band, “mod” being a counter-culture group in the UK that appeared alongside the rockers in the ‘60s.

Also credited to Meaden was the band’s first opportunity to record a single at Fontana Records. In July 1964, the band released a single which featured lyrics written by Meaden and melodies “borrowed” from other songs. It didn’t sell well. Wanting to undo everything Meaden had done, the band fired both Gorden and Meaden and went back to their original R&B roots. They also changed their band’s name back to what it was between The Detours and Meaden’s High Numbers. From then on, the group would only be known as The Who.

Coming from the only single released by The Who while using The High Numbers name, this song was featured on the B-Side. As mentioned above, both this side and the A-Side, “I’m the Face,” had lyrics written by Pete Meaden. While “I’m the Face” featured a melody strongly inspired by Slim Harpo’s “Got Love If You Want It,” this song’s melody was almost an exact recreation of melody from The Dynamics’ “Misery.”

[Note: Also, if you haven't heard, Pete Townshend just released an autobiography titled 'Who I Am', which you can pick up at Amazon. (I'm not an affiliate to Amazon, but I did just buy a copy!) You can also see an interview Townshend did on the TODAY show over on their website.]

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The High Numbers - Zoot Suit (1964)

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Lyrics:

I'm the hippiest number in town and I'll tell you why
(I’ll tell you why)
I'm the snappiest dresser right down to my inch-wide tie
(To my inch-wide tie)
And to get you wise, I'll explain it to you
You are the things that a face is supposed to do

I wear zoot suit jacket with side vents five inches long
(Five inches long)
I have two-tone brogues, all a rest, yeah, you know this is wrong
(Know this is wrong)
But the main thing is, unless you're a fool
Ah, you know, you gotta know, yeah, you know, yeah, you gotta be cool

So all you tickets, I just want you to dig me
(You to dig me)
With my striped zoot jacket that the salts can plainly see
(Plainly see)
So the action lies with all of you guys
Is how you look in the other- the other, yeah, the other cat's eye

Well don't you see? (Oh, yeah)
Well don't you see? (Oh, yeah)
Well don't you see now? (Oh, yeah)
Well don't you see now? (Oh, yeah)
Come on, baby (Oh, yeah)
'cause don't you see now?
Oh yeah, babe
Well don't you see now?
You drive me wild
You're crazy looking now

October 08, 2012

The Great Society - White Rabbit [Live] (1966)

Formed in 1965, this band was named after a set of domestic programs initiated by President Lyndon B. Johnson in the fall of the same year. Inspired by The Beatles and newly emerging Jefferson Airplane, the group was initially composed of Grace Slick, her then-husband Darby Slick, and Darby’s brother, Jerry Slick. The group debuted at the Coffee Gallery on October 15th, 1966 in San Francisco, and released one single on Autumn Records. That single featured the A-Side “Someone to Love” and the B-Side “Free Advice.” “Free Advice” reportedly took over fifty attempts before getting a decent take and caused their producer, the then-unknown Sly Stone, to walk out on them. The A-Side, “Someone to Love,” written by Darby Slick, was taken by Grace when she parted with the group to join Jefferson Airplane. Renamed to “Somebody to Love,” the song propelled Grace and her new band to international stardom. Quite oppositely, Grace’s decision to join Jefferson Airplane directly resulted in this group’s demise.

Written in only one hour in either late 1965 or early 1966 by Grace, this song is widely remembered for its rendition performed by Jefferson Airplane. However, it too, was written when Grace was still a member of The Great Society. Later in 1966, when Jefferson Airplane’s first singer, Signe Toly Anderson, decided to leave the music business to raise a family, Jefferson Airplane approached Grace and asked her to join their band. Admiring how professional the group was in comparison to her current gig, Slick agreed and took this song with her. Although this early version of the song wasn’t released as a single or on a full-length album by The Great Society, it was recorded by the band at The Matrix club in 1966, along with eight other tracks. All of these tracks were later released on a 1968 live album, titled Conspicuous Only in Its Absence, which was Columbia Records’ attempt to cash in on Grace’s international stardom with Jefferson Airplane after their 1967 album, Surrealistic Pillow, which featured new versions of both “Someone to Love” and this song.

This early version of the song has a great, long instrumental in the beginning. If you're only familiar with the Jefferson Airplane version, it probably won't sound familiar until you reach the 4:22 mark. The song features Grace Slick playing an oboe.

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The Great Society - White Rabbit [Live] (1966)

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Lyrics:

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don't do anything at all
Go ask Alice
When she's ten feet tall

And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you're going to fall
Tell 'em a hookah smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call
To call Alice
When she was just small

When the men on the chessboard
Get up and tell you where to go
And you've just had some kind of mushroom
And your mind is moving slow
Go ask Alice
I think she'll know

When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead
And the White Knight’s talking backwards
And the Red Queen's “Off with her head!”
Remember what the doormouse said
“Feed your head!”
“Feed your head!”

Thank you, be back later.

October 05, 2012

The Aerovons - Song for Jane (1969)

Here we are. The final installment of the week long special, featuring stories from Tom Hartman of The Aerovons. In case you've missed it, Tom has been kind enough to share stories with us about when his band was fortunate enough to meet The Who, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and John Lennon! You can find all of the stories, as well as previous stories submitted by '60s musicians, on our Exclusive Stories page.

The song found below Tom's story comes from the B-Side of The Aerovons' single released in 1969. It's A-Side, "The Train," can be heard here. The song was also released on the group's album, Resurrection, recorded in 1969 and released in 2003.



A Special Edition post with Tom Hartman from The Aerovons!
Part 5 of 5

As mentioned yesterday, this story is the fourth story to occur when speaking chronologically. Yesterday's story involving John Lennon was the last story to take place, but this story was chosen to be shared last because, in my opinion, it's the best story. So for one final time, here's Tom:
The Boys

In 1968, at some point after we had our momentous meetings with Paul at Speakeasy Club and then George at EMI Studios, we all packed up and went back to the States. The commitment by EMI was to do a record, but they wanted us to go back home and spend the winter writing music. They would have us come back after the first of the year to begin recording what we came up with.

Well, after a few months (I believe it was in August), they asked my mother (who, again, handled the business) and myself to return to England to sign contracts and button up some details. Looking back, I have no idea why this couldn't have been handled by mail, but for whatever reason, I was off to London again.

This time, it wasn't quite as fun as having your group with you. Mom and I stayed in a hotel and, for the most part, I don't remember much about how I spent the approximate one week we were there. It was probably fairly mundane. It was also, as it turned out, the calm before the storm.

I went to the EMI offices in town with my mom as she conducted the business dealings and, finally during one of those meetings, one of the EMI officials asked, “Would you like to go over to the studios before you leave this week and watch a recording session?” Of course, I said yes and the man began to consult a log of what was coming up that week. He mentioned a few artists whom I had never heard of, a soloist named Frank something, and then said, “Oh, there is a Hollies session, as well.” As a huge fan of The Hollies, I immediately told him I would love to see that and he gave me the time (I believe it was late afternoon) to show up at the studios. How cool was this?

The day came and I took a cab to the studios, walked up the steps, and again found myself in front of the guard at the front desk. “Oh, yes, Tom. The session is right there through that door,” as he motioned toward a door to my left which was Studio 3, the smallest of the studios at EMI, but also the one used to record many hits, including Beatles tracks. I thanked him and slowly opened the heavy door and peeked in. A gentleman sat at a mixing console and looked up.

“Hi, I'm Tom Hartman. I was told by EMI-”

“Oh! Yes, sure, come on in. Expecting you!” said the man.

The man turned out to be The Hollies’ producer, Ron Richards, and he immediately put me at ease. “You can just sit on the couch, there,” he said, and, upon doing so, I could see through the glass into the studio where none other than The Hollies were at the microphone. The band was speaking to Ron and he answered them back, “Let's try it again.” Suddenly, music began to play back and I heard their unmistakable voices coming through the monitors. Quite an amazing feeling! There they were, in all their splendid harmonic glory, singing a song called “Man with No Expression,” which I had, of course, never heard. After a few bars, Ron stopped the tape and said, “Can you guys come in here and do that?”

The control room door soon opened and in they came. I recognized them immediately. Ron made a brief introduction and then addressed them again, “Just sing what you are singing out there,” he said.
After one of them counted off, they stood not three feet from me and all began singing, “He's a man // I know // with no expression, no // no, not at all.”

Well, you can imagine. Hearing them sing this closely in that wonderful harmony- it was mesmerizing. They decided to take a break and Graham Nash picked up an acoustic guitar and strummed a bit. “Do you play?” he asked me.

“Yes,” I said, at which point he handed me the acoustic. “Tell me what you think of this. It's new.”

I politely strummed a few chords, and then Graham took the guitar back. “No, no, you have to bang these things! Like this!” whereupon he started playing it very loudly and they all started laughing. Tony Hicks, their lead guitarist, kind of gave me a smile as if to say, “Hey, it's okay. We're not making fun of you.” He was really a great guy.

I watched them for a little while longer, and then left the control room momentarily to call back to the hotel and let my mom know how great it was all going. When I got off the phone, I walked back to the studio, opened the door, and no one was there! I stood there for a second deciding what to do when, all of a sudden, I heard Tony Hicks' voice.

“Are you going 'round to the pub then?” He was walking toward me from the hallway. “We're taking a break. You want to come to the pub?”

Of course I said “Yes,” and next thing I know I was following him out the front door, down the steps, and into his small two-seater sports car (maybe a mini Cooper?). So now I’m driving with one of The Hollies! Things just keep getting stranger.

We drove a few blocks away to a small pub, went in, and I sat at a table with the entire group. They ordered a Vodka and Lime and I said “The same for me,” not having any idea what that was (turned out to be what we call a Vodka Sour and was pretty darned good!). They asked me about my group, I told them, and they gave me some recording tips. They also suggested that we be sure to be well rehearsed so we could get a lot done. It was a really relaxed and easy-going time at the table with a group I had many records by; and, for once, I felt like all the hard work for years in St Louis, all the little dances we played way out in the sticks, all of it had been worth it.

Soon we were back in Tony's car and driving into the EMI Studio lot, whereupon about six or seven kids ran in when the gate opened and surrounded the car, holding out pens and paper for autographs. Tony dutifully signed and one kid even handed me one. “Oh no,” I said, “I'm not one of the Hollies, but thank you.” We walked back up the steps and, as we did, I said “Wow that must be neat all the time!” Tony said, “It's okay, but, you know, sometimes you do get a bit tired of it,” and laughed.

As we walked in, I told him I noticed the amps they used (I had seen them through the control room window) were unusual Vox models. Tony told me, “Yeah, they made those for us. Would you like to see them?” He had me follow him into the studio, allowed me to pick up his guitar, and turned his amp on. I strummed a few chords and then teased him by playing a little of the intro to their hit “Bus Stop.” He smiled and said, “No, like this,” and moved one of my fingers to the correct position. “Ah,” I said, “I knew I was playing that wrong!”

I then started strumming some more chords, followed by playing the opening riff to “On a Carousel,” another one of their hits. All of a sudden, I heard drums and bass kick in. The other members of the group had joined in!

I was now jamming with The Hollies!

Tony noticed I played a G chord in a unique way and said, “That's neat. I never saw that position,” and I showed him why I liked it.

What an amazing day! It simply could not get any better. Or could it?

After a few more minutes, the guys said they had to get back to work and I thanked them all profusely. I could have stayed longer, but went back in the control room and thanked Ron Richards again, told him the studio was really cool, and that everyone had been great. I didn't want to wear out my welcome.

“Thank you, Tom, for coming. Yeah, we like this studio. This is where “Window” was done you know!” (Meaning their early hit, “Look Through Any Window”). I said goodbye and went back out to the front desk. I was just beaming and was about to go use a phone on a nearby desk to call a taxi for the ride back to the hotel, but was feeling chatty and decided to speak with the guard.

“Great studio. And The Hollies were really nice. Anything else going on here this evening?”

The guard looked up, smiled, and softly said, “Well, you know, the boys are back there tonight.”

“The boys?”

“The Beatles,” he answered.

The Beatles had been recording there for so long that the older staff referred to them as “the boys.” Well, guess whose heart was now racing in overdrive. I decided to play it cool.

“Do you mind if I go down to the canteen before I leave?” I asked.

“No, sure. Go right on,” he said, apparently unable to put two and two together.

I walked down the long hallway and, as I got about halfway down, I saw the control room door to Studio 2 propped halfway open. I could hear music coming out, but had to wait until I walked nearer to hear what it was. When I got closer, I heard what was clearly John Lennon singing “Sexy Sadie // Oh, you'll get yours yet // Sexy Sadie,” and then the tape would stop. I heard it rewind, then the same part play again. In between plays, I could hear a bass guitar doodling about. I continued walking and got to some familiar steps. The same ones I had gone down during our studio tour when we met George. I took them down. After all, they were in the direction of the canteen. When I got to the bottom, though, instead of turning to the canteen, I went the other way...to the entrance to Studio 2, whose doors were open. I carefully peeked beyond the door.

There, about twenty-five feet into the studio stood Paul with his foot on a stool, holding his bass, while John stood next to him. I had apparently been hearing Paul overdubbing a bass part onto this “Sexy Sadie” thing I was hearing upstairs! I quickly backed off, so as not to be seen, and eventually did end up in the canteen. After a bit, I made my way back upstairs and went to the front to call the taxi, excited, to say the least about my day. Now, it certainly couldn't get much better! Could it?

I called for the taxi and meandered around the front desk and lobby area. As far as I can recall, the guard had seemingly left momentarily. So I decided to take one last trip down the hall while waiting for the cab. I began the walk and, as I did so, I heard some very loud music coming from somewhere down the hall. I kept walking forward and could plainly hear it as a simple blues jam by someone. It became louder and louder as I walked down the corridor and passed the still partially propped open door to Studio 2's control room. Just as I passed the door, the thunderous blues jam was all encompassing, and I looked suddenly to my right. Through a glass window, all four Beatles were crammed into a tiny room, playing the song I would later know as “Yer Blues.”

I was frozen.

This window looking into the room was no more than a couple of feet from me. The room was the size of small kids’ bedroom and The Beatles were just on the other side of the glass. I was probably within six feet of them. The Ed Sullivan Show, A Hard Day’s Night, Help!, seeing them at Busch Stadium live (the size of ants), and now six feet from me. Fortunately, they weren't looking. Ringo's eyes were closed as he played; Paul was on the left, looking at John on the right; and George was standing dead center looking down at his guitar. What do I do? Stand there until I'm noticed? I couldn't decide whether to be cool and just keep walking or remain where I was. In this case, he who hesitates won. I remained. They played for about another minute before ending the song. I heard a voice from the control room say something, and John said, “That's okay, as long as you got the voice,” at which point all of them started laughing.

I quickly started walking again, escaping totally unnoticed! A free Beatles concert for heaven's sake! I eventually made my way back to the lobby, where the taxi driver soon walked in and asked if someone had called a cab.

“That's me,” I said, and followed the driver out the door and into the magical, unforgettable, evening.

There would be a long winter of writing our album and a wonderful spring of recording it back at EMI again in 1969. Then, decades later, it would finally be released and I would make new friends from all over the world, sharing these amazing stories with them, as well as my early musical efforts. But surely these days in London, for me as young boy, will forever remain as remarkably unique; and, hopefully in sharing them, they’ll serve as an inspiration to others who hold dreams of their own.

Tom Hartman
A monumental 'thank you' is given to Tom for taking the large amount of time necessary to write all of these stories for us. Not only was Tom gracious for sharing his memories with us, but he was also incredibly thoughtful to share them with such intricate detail, really helping to make the stories come alive. Tom most definitely has our sincerest gratitude.
These days, Tom is a music producer for hiring, doing television spots and the like. Because of his work schedule, he hasn't been able to find the time to create an album, but he has been working on a few new tracks for the past couple of years, as time permits. There should be five songs available in the first quarter of 2013, highlighted by the track "Swinging London," dealing with his time as a youth in London in the '60s. "Swinging London" may just make an appearance on A Bit Like You And Me after its release, so stay tuned!

If you'd like to visit The Aerovons' website, you can find it here.

And now that you've enjoyed this exclusive story, why not check out what other exclusive stories we've received?



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The Aerovons - Song for Jane (1969)

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Lyrics:

Look at Jane in the window
Looking out at nothing new
Is it that she’s growing older?
And run out of things to do?

Living in a dream, her life is fading
She’s still living in the past
Wonder why she’s growing older
All the same, but she has changed

Song for Jane makes her happy
Song for Jane makes her sad
Her world seemed so much brighter
Every time we sing a song

Is it that she’s growing older?
It’s all the same, but she has changed
Living in a dream, her life is fading
She’s still living in the past
Wonder why she’s growing older
And her youth is gone, at last

Song for Jane makes her happy
Song for Jane makes her sad
Though her world seemed so much brighter
Every time we sing a song

Every time we sing a song

October 04, 2012

The Aerovons - With Her (1969)

This is day four of our week-long special! In case you've missed what's been going on, Tom Hartman of The Aerovons has been kind enough to share with us five exclusive stories surrounding his time as a musician in the late '60s.

As with most of The Aerovons' songs, this track was recorded in 1969 and released over thirty years later in 2003. It was the album's fourth track.



A Special Edition post with Tom Hartman from The Aerovons!
Part 4 of 5

It should be noted that today's story takes place last, chronologically. For the correct order, you'd only need to switch the place of today's story with tomorrow's. The reason for putting this one before tomorrow's is that I feel tomorrow's story is the most entertaining and should be saved for last. And, since each story is independent of the others, it really shouldn't make a difference as far as storytelling goes. So once again, here's Tom:
The Day I Met John Lennon
...so to speak.

Well, in the course of having a band throughout your teens there are many fond memories. It's hard to know where to start. But a somewhat humorous one, I think, might be “The Day I Met John Lennon,”...so to speak.

While recording our album, The Aerovons were fortunate enough to see The Beatles almost daily, as they were busy recording Abbey Road while we were doing our record. So, it was quite common to see them walking down the hallways of EMI Studios (as it was then called), though we never really got used to it. When reading things like this account, you have to remember that just a few short years prior, I was sitting in front of my television “that” Sunday night like everyone else, watching in awe at them on The Ed Sullivan Show.

We were blessed, as I mentioned, to meet them at the studios (and Paul at a local nightclub), but had never really spoken or met John. Lennon was always accompanied by Yoko, who even waited outside the men's room at the studio for him, so none of us ever felt comfortable just walking up and saying hello. This made what happened one day at the studio all the more intense and memorable for me.

While recording in Studio 2, my guitar cable suddenly started shorting out. I went up the long stairs to the control room, told everyone I'd be back in a minute, and went to retrieve another one (if I could find one) from our gear. Our gear was kept in the same place as where The Beatles’ stored their equipment, and old unused room just down the hall. My drummer Mike was already out in the hall for reasons I can't remember, possibly because he was taking a break and waiting for me to finish the guitar part which had been interrupted by the shorting cable. When I saw him, I said, “Need to get another cable,” and started walking toward the room. Suddenly Mike, ever the joker and instigator, said, “Hey, go ask Lennon for one. He's right down the hall,” and pointed.

I turned to look and, sure enough, there was John Lennon, about fifty feet down the corridor, standing with Yoko Ono. For some reason, instead of saying, “Yeah, right,” I decided to play along. “Okay, good idea!” I said, or some words to that effect, and began to walk down the hall toward John. Now there was no way I was going to really ask John Lennon for anything. I was simply going to fake my drummer out and walk right by him and keep going. Something, however, about approaching a live Beatle causes your sensory system to act in funny ways. The closer I got, the heavier my legs became. I continued to walk, but could almost feel myself slowing down, as in one of those dreams where you try to move, but your legs feel heavy.

I was now close enough to see that Yoko was leaning against the wall of the hallway while John leaned with one arm over her, speaking softly. A few more steps and I'd be by them and my prank complete. I tried to keep my eyes straight ahead, but just as I was within a few feet of them, I heard John say, “Just a minute, just a minute,” quickly and softly, almost under his breath, to Yoko. That made me look over toward him and the next thing you know he was looking straight into my eyes. Houston, we have a problem, here.

John Lennon is looking at me. I'm looking at him. My legs have stopped moving. There is nothing left to do but speak.

Try to imagine my half of the conversation being said at a nervous pace and in a shaky voice. I started, “Uh, hi John- excuse me- um- we're recording in Studio 2 and I just broke a guitar cord and we keep our equipment in the same room as you do and so I was wondering if there was any way we might be able to borrow a guitar cord from you?” It really was that much of a run on, spoken sentence! I felt like a total idiot.

“Ah, yeah, well, do you know Mal or Kevin?” (Mal being Mal Evans, of course. And Kevin Harrington, a production runabout seen in the background of the rooftop “Let It Be” sequence.) I did know Mal and he had been very nice to my band and me. Kevin I had met and he had not been very friendly.

“Oh, yeah, sure I know them.”

“Okay. Go tell 'em I said it was alright.”

Somewhat dumbfound, I replied, “Oh, thanks John! Thanks a lot; I really appreciate it!” He nodded and turned back toward Yoko.

I sped back down the hall toward Mike, who had a look on his face like, “What are you doing?!”, simply told him, “He said it was okay,” and we both started laughing.

So that was my only conversation with John Lennon, but I sure won't forget it. He could have said, “Can't you see I'm trying to have a private conversation?” etc. But instead, he was kind enough to (probably) tell I was a nervous young kid and instead chose to be kind.

In the movie Help!, there’s a scene where two older women watch The Beatles arrive at their houses. One says to the other, “So natural. Just the way they was before they was.” And that's really how they were: down to earth and even downright kind.

Tom Hartman
Tom has lead an extremely lucky life when it comes to meeting some of rock history's most legendary musicians. There's only one story left, but it's my favorite! Come back tomorrow to see the final installment from Tom Hartman of The Aerovons!

Update: Continue with Part 5 of 5.



album art

The Aerovons - With Her (1969)

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Lyrics:

I could leave my mark in time
I could touch her hand in mine
I’m not alone
This I could show
With her

There’d be time to spend with her
And a hand to lend in her
I’d have to show
Someone I’d know
Was mine

We wouldn’t need to speak with words
A smile would mean enough with her

I’d have to show
Someone I’d know was mine

We wouldn’t need to speak with words
A smile would mean enough with her

I could leave my mark in time
If a thought of love crosses her mind