________________________________________________________________________ ______________ ______________ ______________ ______________ ______________ S P E C T R O P O P ______________ ______________ ______________ ________________________________________________________________________ There are 14 messages in this issue of Spectropop. Topics in this Digest Number 271: 1. Chiffons/David Somerville/Gene Pitney gig review From: Stewart Mason 2. Re: bun-bustin' fun From: Billy G. Spradlin 3. Buns! From: "Randy M. Kosht" 4. Various From: "Paul Payton" 5. Re: Ellie Greenwich From: Frank 6. Re: '66 From: James Botticelli 7. psychedelic soft pop From: Alan Zweig 8. Re: London's A Lonely Town From: Andrew Hickey 9. Re: ANDERS N PONCIA CD From: "Jeff Lemlich" 10. Re: Vinnie Poncia From: Will George 11. Re: Mynd If I Have One? From: James Botticelli 12. Re: the sow must go on From: "GSPECTOR" 13. THAT SOW BUSINESS & OTHER TERMS OF ENDEARMENT From: Mick Patrick 14. A Common Language From: "Phil Chapman" ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Message: 1 Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 20:49:34 +0900 From: Stewart Mason Subject: Chiffons/David Somerville/Gene Pitney gig review This was the first time I've ever been to a rock and roll revival show, and walking up the steps of the Kiva Auditorium in downtown Albuquerque, I whispered to my friend Joyce, herself a good two decades older than my 32 years, "I think I'm the youngest person here by double digits." And with the exception of a couple of disgruntled-looking adolescents dragged there by parents or grandparents, I think I was right. I started thinking that perhaps there was a reason why I'd never gone to an oldies show, and until the intermission, I had the sinking feeling that I'd made a terrible mistake. Turned out I was rather gloriously wrong. Okay, so the Chiffons were first up. I know that a lot of the supposed girl groups on tour are brazen frauds, and when the trio came on, I thought, "The lead singer is old enough, but unless those other two were in the band when they were zygotes, uh-uh." It turned out that the older woman with the cropped blonde hair was the group's original lead singer, Judy Craig, and the pretty, zaftig younger women were her daughter and niece. Okay, fair enough, but when I am appointed the Grand Poobah of Rock and Roll History, my first act will be to declare that unless you have more than one original member of the group, you're not allowed to use the group's name. You don't need all of them, or even a majority, but you should at least have quorum. Actually, all three sounded pretty good to occasionally outstanding, and with the exception of a hammy version of "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" (they did several other girl group hits besides their own, including Crystals and Ronettes hits) with an annoying/embarrassing audience participation segment, they were okay. Except for their backing group. There was a drummer, a guitarist, and a keyboardist. This lineup sucked when the Doors had it and it sucks now. At least spring for a damn bassist, people! The streets are paved with bass players! You could find one who's willing to work for a Subway sandwich and a bunk in the luggage rack! Furthermore, a guy playing the "saxophone" setting on a Yamaha synth is not the same as a sax player. If there's not a guy up there blowing on a reed held in a piece of cured metal, leave the sax part out of the song. The lame trio stayed on to back the middle act, David Somerville of the Diamonds, the first Canadian rock and roll stars. You'd never guess he had once been a rock and roller, because his voice and stage manner seem stuck in the Las Vegas of about 1963. Not the guy who played the big room, either, but the kind of second-rate hack who put up with hostile drunks in the bar. Everything about this man creeped me out on several different levels, even before he told a racist Asian dialect joke in the introduction to the Diamonds' biggest hit, "Little Darlin'." What galled me the most is that he always talked about "Our big hit single thus and such" before he sang each song, never once mentioning that all of the Diamonds' biggest hit singles (barring "The Stroll," itself a bald rip-off of Chuck Willis' version of "See See Rider") were poached from black artists. It was a common practice in those segregated times for white vocal groups to record quick cover versions of R&B hits -- that's how Pat Boone got his start as well -- but you would at least think Somerville would have the common courtesy to note that the Rays had the first hit with "Silhouettes," or that Maurice Williams and the Gladiolas originated "Little Darlin'." You'd think wrong. I got more and more embarrassed as his set went on, and every time he name-dropped his hometown of Toronto, Ontario, I wanted to scream "How dare you associate yourself with my favorite city in the world! You can claim Mississauga if you must, but leave Toronto out of it!" When Somerville left the stage, the show's MC, Big Oldies 98.5 morning drive-time jock Bobby Box said, "You know, I don't know why David Somerville hasn't written a book with all those great old stories he tells." I turned to my friend Joyce and said, "He can't. He has to wait for a more talented black author to write it, and then he'll rip him off." But then, after a 20-minute intermission, Gene Pitney came on. I should preface this by saying that Gene Pitney has been an idol of mine ever since I discovered a 2-disc set of his greatest hits at a neighborhood garage sale for a quarter when I was eight. But the difference between Gene Pitney and David Somerville was like the difference between the Beatles and four toddlers banging on pots and pans on the kitchen floor. It was like the promoters had deliberately chosen a horrible opening act to make the jewel of the lineup shine all the more brightly. First off, the man clearly understands the value of a proper backing group: besides his own excellent piano/bass/drums/guitar quartet, he had enlisted the services of eight local musicians on strings and horns. It was amazing to think that the twelve musicians were working with the benefit of one rehearsal, because they were perfectly tight, with the orchestra slotted perfectly into the quartet's playing. After an appetite-whetting instrumental overture of Pitney's biggest hits, the man himself strode out in a black suit, his fashionably-cut grey hair making him look considerably younger than his 60 years, and went directly into a dead-on version of "24 Hours From Tulsa." Pitney's voice, one of the strongest and most unique of early '60s pop, has lost none of its power in the last four decades -- if anything, it might be a little better, deeper and fuller than it was on his sometimes quavery early hits. Despite some early troubles with the sound mix, Pitney was in flawless voice throughout, singing all of his hits and a few obscurities; I was surprised to hear the relatively unknown but utterly wonderful "Donna Means Heartbreak." Pitney had so many hits that, naturally, some of them were only touched on in two lengthy medleys; one of these was devoted to several of his classic Bacharach-David tunes, including a spirited "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" and a particularly heartbreaking rendition of "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" -- he can still do the whistling perfectly, too! About halfway through, he paused to sit on a stool with an acoustic guitar and play three Harry Belafonte hits from the '50s; no particular reason was given for the tribute, but Pitney's vocal style adapts surprisingly well to the calypso-lite of "Jamaica Farewell." Following this interlude, Pitney did another medley, this time of songs he'd written, mostly for other artists. Mindful of his enormous European audience, he mentioned not only Bobby Vee in introducing "Rubber Ball," but also Marty Wilde, who scored the British hit. This medley ended with an almost punky gender-switched version of "He's A Rebel," during which Pitney took off his black suit jacket to reveal a tight black t-shirt and an upper-body build that caused Joyce and at least two other women sitting around us to simultaneously mutter, "Damn!" Again, the man don't look 60. That energy level was kept up for a rocking version of 1962's "She's A Heartbreaker" on which the horn section in particular earned their keep. Listening to it reminded me that there was a reason that Pitney hung out with the Rolling Stones during their early days. After that, Pitney briefly left the stage as the band kept vamping on the "Heartbreaker" riff. Coming back on to a full-on, absolutely rapturous standing ovation, during which someone yelled in the heat of the moment, "YEAH! GENE F---IN' PITNEY!" (okay, it was me), Pitney sincerely thanked the slightly under two-thirds-full crowd, looking genuinely touched by the reception, and introduced his band before letting rip into the night's showstopper, a powerful rendition of his first hit, "Town Without Pity," that underscored the majesty of the melody without sounding overblown or mawkish. Like the seasoned performer he is, he didn't even attempt the daredevil final crescendo that climaxes the 1961 single, instead wisely choosing a lower, shorter phrase that he could hit without faltering. That was his only concession of the night. During the Chiffons and David Somerville's limp 20-minute sets, the Big Oldies 98.5 Rock and Roll Revival IV was an oldies show, with all of the sad and uncomfortable associations of that term. For the hour and 15 minutes that Gene Pitney was onstage, this was a rock and roll show, and without question one of the finest I've ever seen. --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 2 Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 18:56:06 -0000 From: Billy G. Spradlin Subject: Re: bun-bustin' fun > Jan and Dean-related question: Is there a recommended and > comprehensive compilation of the pre-surf Jan and > Dean/Jan and Arnie recordings? Varese Sarabande did the trick with "Teen Suite 1958 -1962" which does a great job of rounding up all the pre-Liberty singles, some amusing liner notes and the sound quality is great despite some songs taken from vinyl. It even has the homemade demo version of "Jennie Lee" without the studio overdubs - just Jan & Arnie, an old (out of tune) upright piano, someone smacking a metal chair and lots of slap-back tape echo. > What was the deal > with the drum mix on "Heart and Soul," anyway? I thought > percussion didn't get pushed that far up into the mix > until the disco era! I dont know, it sounds good to me, lots of dynamics. I like J&D's version better than the Cleftones rockin' doo-wop take on the same tune. Billy --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 3 Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 12:10:04 -0700 From: "Randy M. Kosht" Subject: Buns! I was going to weigh in on the "bust your bonce" question, but I see it's been pretty well answered. Really got a kick out of Mike Conway's explanation... Randy --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 4 Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 13:57:09 -0400 From: "Paul Payton" Subject: Various First, thank you to all for the Tradewinds info. I have "Girl from New York City," "Mind Excursion" and "Catch Me In The Meadow" on the original 45's, as well as the Videls' "Now That Summer Is Here" on the original JDS 45. It's amazing how how many labels, names and artists these guys worked with! Second, what is the scoop on these Brill-Tone CD's? Any help in finding them? Third: Welcome, Alan Gordon. Are you the person who wrote "Me About You" (and other songs) with Garry Bonner? His recording of that track (Columbia 45 - don't think there was an LP) is one of my all-time faves. Fourth: I assumed Mick meant "show," too, and got on with it. I did have the privilege of seeing Ronnie Spector at a showcase for female artists (as opposed to "wimmin" or "womyn") at the Bottom line a couple of years ago. She had a 5-piece group - no drums - and obviously didn't look like her youthful self (who among us does?) - but then THAT VOICE came out! Great night - thanks, Ronnie! New topic - Teddy Bears questions and more: I have in my collection an LP called "My Little Pet" by The Teddy Bears, ostensibly on Trey Records #20207 (no address, but "Made in Denmark"), date unknown, purporting to contain the Imperial album and single tracks as well as some from Dore: Side 1 1. Don't You Worry My Little Pet 2. To Know Him Is To Love Him 3. Till You'll Be Mine 4. Wonderful, Loveable You 5. Oh Why 6. Unchained Melody 7. My Foolish Heart 8. You Said Goodbye Side 2 1. Seven Lonely Days 2. I Don't Need You Anymore 3. Tammy 4. Long Ago and Far Away 5. Don't Go Away 6. If I Give My Heart To You 7. True Love 8. Little Things Mean A Lot [ http://www.spectropop.com/hspeclppet.html ] It's been a while since I've heard it - gotta fire up the turntable for a replay - but I remember thinking that the standards covered therein were pretty lame, and that the Imperial album contained those, and not the wonderful singles. (Wish I owned that original album - I blew a chance to buy it for $1.98 back in 1962 and have been kicking myself ever since!) I also remember that some of the songs from the singles were present on this issue in inferior outtake versions, most noticeably a hash job of "You Said Goodbye," one of Spector's most exquisite compositions. Does anyone have any info on this LP and the sources of the alternate versions? Is there a CD (that won't break the bank) available with studio-fidelity original versions of the Imperial and Dore singles? (Missing from this album is "If You Only Knew The Love I Had For You" - and my 45 is in about Poor+ condition.) Also, is [Annette Kleinbard] Carol Connors' "Angel My Angel" (Capitol 45) on a CD, and if so, where? And while into this sound, does anyone have any information on The Blackwells on Guyden ("Oh My Love" sounds like a Teddy Bears' clone) or Skip and The Echotones ("Born To Love" on Warwick, two girls and a guy and a great cha cha that goes well with the Teddy Bears)? Also, does anyone have any info on a group called the Emjays on Greenwich Records, probably 1956-57, who had "This Is My Love," "The Pitty-Pat Song" and "Cross My Heart"? (Their sound popped into my head as I was organizing my thoughts above.) Thanks, all --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 5 Date: Sun, 21 Oct 01 09:07:42 +0200 From: Frank Subject: Re: Ellie Greenwich Any idea where this CD can be bought on the net ? Frank >> Do you mean another BrillTone Records disc? > >Yeah another pleasant surprise courtesy of the modern >marvel of CD technology. Great pix in the liner notes as >well. This is the third installment (I think)--I own the >3-CD set by Barry Mann, the two-CD set by Carole King, >and now this wonderful 2-CD set by Ellie Gee and some >surprise stuff like the demo acetate by Carole King, >"Don't Count Your Chickens." --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 6 Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 12:27:09 EDT From: James Botticelli Subject: Re: '66 In a message dated 10/21/01, spectropop writes: > back in '66 soft pop was still seen as one of the > perfectly "valid" approaches to making psychedelic music. 1966 was in incredible year for pop and rock to really come together and show some unique promise...too bad the whole '67 San Francisco faux-psychedilic thing trashed it. We were onto something....JB/kinda kamelottish about '66 --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 7 Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 14:45:00 -0400 From: Alan Zweig Subject: psychedelic soft pop "Joseph Scott" wrote: > The overlap between soft pop and psychedelic music is > an interest of mine. As I understand it, psychedelic > music and soft pop became seen as fairly incompatible > some time _after_ '66, The overlap is an interest of mine too. But that's partly because in the process of looking for soft pop, psychedelia was unavoidable. I think they're almost inherently connected. I'm sure there were psychedelic music fans who stumbled upon soft pop elements on some record they were hoping would be "pure psychedelia" and were disappointed. And I suspect this still happens. And I don't really blame them. But I think it was inevitable the two "genres" would get mixed together. And maybe that's because I think that psychedelia is almost too "narrow" and unspecific a genre to totally stand on its own. It's more a flavor than a genre unto itself. I mean, what was it? An attempt to imitate a drug experience? Maybe. But it wasn't like there was a whole array of interpretations. The drug experience became associated with a fairly narrow palette of sounds and studio tricks. So you take a soft pop song, put some dreamy references in the lyrics, add some echo to the choruses, play the guitar solo backwards, make it twice as long as a normal pop song, fade out for a really long time and voila, you're psychedelic. There's also the fact that "soft pop" harmonies themselves were often used as a psychedelic "technique". I don't collect psychedelic records per se. I end up with a few though. And even I have a few that don't sound much like soft pop. But still, they're basically pop/rock records. I also think, by the way, that "soft pop" itself is a kind of hard to define genre. The Association are pretty different from The Free Design; they're much more a rock band. And some of their material - like on Birthday - borders on psychedelia. So any genre that includes those two bands is a little vague to begin with. Which is fine with me. The way I see it, there's the odd record that's "pure" soft pop, the odd record that's pure psychedelia, but for the most part they were each of them, just elements that pop/rock bands of the time were fooling around with. And they showed up in lots of odd places, in lots of odd combinations. AZ --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 8 Date: Sat, 20 Oct 2001 20:56:10 -0700 (PDT) From: Andrew Hickey Subject: Re: London's A Lonely Town > On another note, has anyone heard Dave Edmunds' > "London's A Lonely Town... > > It is truly a fitting Tradwind tribute...JB Yeah, that's a phenomenal track. For those who haven't heard it this is Edmunds with the California Music regulars (Boettcher, Johnston, Usher, Melcher, though no Brian Wilson unlike the usual credits read), redoing the Tradewinds track with appropriate lyric changes - 'From Malibu to Picadilly's such a long way/The cars all keep coming down the street the wrong way' and so forth. It was given a release on the Pebbles Vol IV - Surfin' Tunes set, which seems to be only quasi-legal, but I highly recommend it to surf/car song people. The CD is mostly Usher, Sloan or Christian knock-off tracks by bands like The Super Stocks, but also features stuff like LSD-25 by the Gamblers (Bruce Johnston, Kim Fowley, Sandy Nelson, Elliot Ingber and someone whose name escapes me) and The Big Surfer by Brian Lord And The Midnighters (an early Zappa track with Paul Buff). Much of the CD is drivel ('there's a little old lady just a little bit meaner/than the little old lady from Pasadena' is a typical example) but there's a lot of good stuff... --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 9 Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 13:28:27 -0400 From: "Jeff Lemlich" Subject: Re: ANDERS N PONCIA CD Who is performing "Small Town Bring Down" on this compilation? Is it the Tony Bruno Buddah single, or is it actually Anders & Poncia doing this tune? Thanks, Jeff Lemlich "Robert Conway" wrote: > > Here is the only Anders and Poncia (Tradewinds, etc.) > '60's best of CD that is currently available. Pricey > of course but worth it. > > Best [IMPORT] > Anders N Poncia > Audio CD (May 12, 1999) > Track Listings > 1. Mind Excursion > 2. Catch Me In The Meadow > 3. Bad Misunderstanding > 4. New York' S A Lonely Town > 5. I Believe In Her > 6. Only When I'm Dreamin > 7. Small Town Bring Down > --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 10 Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2001 00:18:10 EDT From: Will George Subject: Re: Vinnie Poncia He cowrote two of the better songs on Jackie DeShannon's 1974 LP "Your Baby Is A Lady." --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 11 Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 12:37:35 EDT From: James Botticelli Subject: Re: Mynd If I Have One? In a message dated 10/21/01 spectropop writes: > There's a 30 song Import Sequel Records compilation > called Mynd Excursions: A journey thru the vaults of > Kamasutra Records on cd. It's really great. 6 > Tradewinds cuts, plus, The Vacels, The innocence, The > Brooklyn Bridge, The Pendulum, The Myddle Class and > more. THIS is the one I want someone to burn for me!...I have a nice compilation I put together for Ursula1000's wedding present with a group of good soft things I would trade: Below is the liszt: (e-mail me privately, JB) Friends of Distinction Can't Get You Out Of My Mind The Millenium 5 AM The Innocence A Lifetime Loving You Botho Lucas Chorus Kuss Mich Blades Of Grass Just....Aaaah! Fifth Dimension Its A Great Life Fleetwoods Mr Sandman The Forum The River Is Wide Ronny & The Daytonas Nanci Orpheus Lesley's World The Match Don't Take Your Time Les Masques Bal Chez Le Baron Bola Sete Workin' On A Groovy Thing Susan Rafey The Big Hurt Mama's & Papa's People Like Us We Five Soon Its Gonna Rain The Lettermen Bright Elusive Butterfly Spanky & Our Gang Byrd Avenue Sugar Shoppe Privilege Singers Unlimited Chelsea Morning Keith Mind If I Hang Around? Gals & Pals Bossa Nova U.S.A. Friends of Distinction Its Sunday Jefferson Montage Novi Singers It Doesn't Matter Free Movement I've Found Someone Of My Own Fleetwoods Go Away Little Girl --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 12 Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 17:13:28 -0600 From: "GSPECTOR" Subject: Re: the sow must go on Hello All, I will admit I was thinking the same thing and David in the last newsletter. I found it hard to believe that he actually meant "Sow". There are 2 problems with the type that Mick may have made: 1- Gramatically, both words fit. 2- Mick has not posted a correction if one is needed. >From the Keyboard of: Gary Spector Not just another P.S. Fan, His son. --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 13 Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 21:00:04 +0100 (BST) From: Mick Patrick Subject: THAT SOW BUSINESS & OTHER TERMS OF ENDEARMENT Greetings, Such a fuss over a lost consonant! I never dreamed anyone would take my recent reference to Ronnie Spector as a "sow" as anything other than a typographical error. Which it WAS. The word I intended to use was, of course, "show". So filled with nostalgia was I when composing the offending missive that I neglected to proofread it before clicking on the dreaded click button. And heck, I ain't no skilled typist. Anyhow, visitors to Patrick Towers this weekend included my brother-in-law. In his youth he worked on a farm. He reckons that the female pig, the sow, is a clean, intelligent animal with admirable maternal instincts. In fact, he recalled an incident when he went too near to a sow's litter of new piglets and was bitten on the willy for his trouble. MICK PATRICK PS: I know all about the language barrier but, hey, I'm >from Leicester and I understood perfectly every word and joke in Rhoda. It is very frustrating when a joke has to be explained so PLEASE think twice before complaining about gratuitous reference to my brother-in-law's penis in the final sentence above. --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 14 Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 23:50:51 +0100 From: "Phil Chapman" Subject: A Common Language Stewart: >Whoops! Remember, Paul's British! Talking about fannies >in relation to this song will only confuse and embarrass >him! Yes, I had to re-word my reference to Ronnie's snatch of "Paradise", for the same reasons:-) Up until this thread I, too, always sang "..bust your bonce..", as in break your skull open, which was the more usual consequence of skateboarding on the pavement in 60s UK. --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- End
Spectropop text contents (c) copyright Spectropop unless stated otherwise. All rights in and to the contents of these documents, including each element embodied therein, is subject to copyright protection under international copyright law. Any use, reuse, reproduction and/or adaptation without written permission of the owners is a violation of copyright law and is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.