A Bit Like You And Me Radio

June 14, 2013

Kaleidoscope - (Love Song) For Annie (1969)

Kaleidoscope is no stranger to this website, as they’ve been recognized for their great music here more than once before. Be sure to read up on the previous posts if you’re unfamiliar with this band and their phenomenal body of work.

After the hype died down from the release of the band’s debut album, Tangerine Dream, in 1967, the band followed up with the 1968 release of their single “Jenny Artichoke”/“Just How Much You Are.” In the same year, they took to touring heavily around Europe in an effort to boost their record sales, which unfortunately hadn’t met expectations. While in the Netherlands, they opened for Country Joe and the Fish. In August of 1968, the band began recording the tracks for their second album, Faintly Blowing, which featured a much harder approach to their usually dreamy psychedelic style. Unfortunately, despite this new, harder image, the album failed to chart. Having frustrated Fontana Records, the band was next forced to record two songs written by Fontana’s staff writers, taking the writing privilege away from band member Peter Daltrey. Distraught with being forced in a direction they didn’t like, the band called it quits. Their last appearance under the Kaleidoscope name was August 21st, 1968. Luckily, the band continued on under the name Fairfield Parlour.

The song heard below the story, released on the Faintly Blowing album, was released in April 1969 and never charted. As with all of the band’s songs, the lyrics were written by lead vocalist Peter Daltrey, and the music was arranged by lead guitarist Eddy Pumer.

A Special Edition post with Peter Daltrey of Kaleidoscope & Fairfield Parlour!

When you think of Kaleidoscope, the first thing that comes to mind is the amazing imagery in the lyrics. Those lyrics were Peter Daltrey's. Peter was the lead vocalist and lyrics for both Kaleidoscope and its reincarnated Fairfield Parlour. If you'd like a colorful window into Peter's early years, check out the story he was kind enough to share with us. When you're done, check out "(Love Song) For Annie" below.
A Bit Like You And Me and readers,

I was asked just the other day what my earliest formative musical influences were.

Let’s go back to 1962; I think that’s early enough!

My mate Les and I used to go to see the rock shows that toured Britain, appearing at the cinema chains. You’d see five or six acts on the same bill. Each would do their hit and a couple of other songs and then scuttle off stage to make way for the next, latest sensation. Again, my memory fails me. I would love to recall the acts I saw, but they’ve vanished into some dingy corner of my soggy cerebellum. I know we did see people like Chuck Berry, Del Shannon, Dion, and I can never forget two acts in particular: Gene Vincent and Billy Fury.

An electric, palpable hum of expectation preceded Vincent’s appearance. He was announced to a blacked-out theatre; we all cheered and then we heard this scraping sound. Then the spots came on and there was Gene with his trademark, crooked-man pose, hanging onto the mike stand. “Beebop a lula, she’s ah my baby..." What a cool guy. Greasy quiff; chiselled, craggy, white face; baby blue, satin shirt; tight black pants -- and a shimmering metal brace holding his leg together. Vincent had been in the car the night Eddie Cochran got mashed. Old Gene, he busted his leg good ‘n’ proper. So now he had to drag it around like some death trophy, a constant reminder of the night the Grim Reaper took the great Cochran up the three steps to heaven.

A few years later, I was walking down a West End street when a black taxi pulled up beside me. The door opened and out stepped an oldish guy in a long, coffee-coloured raincoat. But it was the metal leg I saw first. I looked up and there was sweet Gene – older but no less handsome. Tired eyes just glimpsed behind prerequisite shades, that firm jaw, that liquorice slick hair. He hobbled into an office doorway, his coat tails flashing, and was gone – leaving me gaping and speechless in his rock-legend wake. I wanted to shake his hand, thank him for, well, everything I guess: the music, the excitement, the day dreams of emulating the broken rock ‘n’ roll iconography that he created. But the door swung closed and I never saw him again.

The night we saw Billy Fury is engraved in gold lame on my brain. Again, a rumbling hush of anticipation, the announcement, the plush red curtains pull back, the band kicks in -- and there is this glimmering, dazzling, blindingly handsome creature: Billy Fury. He’s wearing a bronze, silk Italian suit that ripples like holy water. He’s better looking than Jesus. He sneers like an angel. The girls are dying. The boys are open-mouthed not believing what they’re seeing. His perfectly unkempt golden quiff. The devil glint of his eyes. His genuine rock voice: cool, broken, aching. And his very tight trousers! My God! What’s that!? The management pulled the curtain on him. After what must have been a heated discussion in the wings, the show started again with Fury slightly less furious in the pants department. What a night.

Turns out, Billy was a quiet, shy, reticent guy who would rather spend his days petting his horses than being mauled by packs of panting schoolgirls. And then along came guitar bands and wrecked the careers of so many handsome crooners with dodgy, made-up names. And then Billy died.

Like a million teenage boys, I’d dreamt of being in a band- no, that’s not true. I’d dreamt of being center stage, blinded by the spotlight, writhing against the silver mast of a microphone stand with a thousand girls screaming, mine for the taking. Nancy boy dreamer.

In many ways, I have achieved that dream that engulfed me when I was eighteen: I’m a singer, albeit mostly unheard by the masses. That’s okay. I still have ambitions. I want to write just one song that is half as good as anything that Buddy Holly recorded. He is my musical hero. A brilliant artist cut down literally in his prime. You can listen to any Holly track today and it still sounds as fresh as on the day poor Buddy stood up in the studio and sang his heart out. (Listen to “Dreaming of Holly” on the album I recorded with sweet Damien Youth, Tattoo www.rocketgirl.co.uk )

And then just last month, I find myself one late afternoon standing in a deserted street in Lubbock, Texas, the falling sun at my back, dust on my boots, and the stars in my eyes. I’m banging on the door of The Buddy Holly Center. But Buddy ain’t home; no-one’s home. Closed.

I stand outside faintly amused by the giant, black spectacles- the fading mural of The Crickets on the grubby wall of a roadside cafe. But this is Buddy’s hometown. He would have ridden his motorbike down this street- taken a girl to that cinema. But was probably too young to have sunk a beer in that bar.

His oversized statue towers over me. I feel small and humbled in his shadow. But as I walk away, “Raining In My Heart” is echoing through my brain, electrifying as always. The music is timeless.

“You could have lived for a thousand years in your own clear light,” I sang on “Dreaming of Holly.” Now I truly believe it.

Peter Daltrey

A huge 'thank you' to Peter Daltrey for taking the time to share this story with us. It's always nice to hear about the people who inspired our favorite artists. Peter's vivid accounts of his youth painted quite the picture!

To see Peter's site, click here.
To see the site for Kaleidoscope/Fairfield Parlour, click here.
To like Kaleidoscope on Facebook and be kept up with the latest news, click here.

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

album art

Kaleidoscope - (Love Song) For Annie (1969)

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Come, all ye non-believers, feel the creases in her brow
Look once and then you'll know she was not very loud
Touch her eyes and feel the shadows growing on her face
Take seconds to catch your breath before you slow the pace

Come, all ye non-believers, but leave your books behind
Your knowledge is wasted here, for love there's always time
Reach out for emptiness as she crowds you from the room
Let falling tears paint your face but don't do it too soon

Take time for Annie
She would love to see your face
Be kind for Annie
Spread out a little place

Come, all ye non-believers, break the bread and drink the wine
Give her your baited breath, for love there's always time
Fall down around her feet, let her walk upon your hands
Let your tears be like a sea, do everything you can

Take time for Annie
She would love to see your face
Be kind for Annie
Spread out a little place
But forever is a time you'll never know

Come, all ye non-believers, break the bread and drink the wine
Give her your baited breath, for love there's always time
Fall down around her feet, let her walk upon your hands
Let your tears be like a sea, do everything you can

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