Wednesday, July 30, 2014

THE GREAT DISAPPEARING ACT

Been away for a while ... again ...



Yeah, I know this has happened more than once recently, but they're all for a good cause.

Y'see, I like to survive - and the only way to do it in this old world is to work for something called "money".  Thus, I provide penned product for various creatures upon this planet (what we in the business world call "clients") and they, in compliance with the demands conditions of our SS&D contracts ("Signed, Sealed and Delivered"), send forth dollar bills of various denominations unto me for my spending pleasure.



Or to pay bills with.



THUS AND SO, I have been wrought and wracked with pen-plagued pain and my snoot is scarred by keeping it upon the grindstone for yea, so long .

..

HAVING DONE THOSE THINGS of which I was required, I then set pen to paper fingers to keyboard in OpenOffice setting and thus penned my latest tome, entitled I'VE HAD ENOUGH!

This book (whose very title has brought queries: "Is it the confession of a former sex addict?" "Is it, yea, truly readable?") actually and seriously offers many tips and keys to help readers overcome the blues (not the music. That's cool - the "other" type is not!).

I'm working on a lunch date (er, launch date.  Haven't had the other in years ...) and will share more just prior to its public release.

So we've got a lottttttttttttt of catching up to do, campers ... and that means extra innings for both blogs, beginning Thursday.  So ....

Now ... I've gotta find a broom and dustpan to sweep up the mess I made whilst working all that other "stuff".  After all, a clean office makes for a tidy and organized slave  - er, worker, right? hehe ...



Friday, July 18, 2014

ORIGIN OF THE BEATLES (by John Lennon)

NOTE: With so much attention being rightly paid to The Beatles on this, the fiftieth anniversary of their arrival in America (and their mega-hit movie "A HARD DAY'S NIGHT"), I thought you'd want to learn how the Fab Four actually became the most celebrated band in the universe.  And who better to tell it than John Lennon himself?:

(In other words, here's the story of the rise of The Beatles, as actually written by John Lennon many years ago):

"And so it was that the John (he of Lennon ancestry) wrote upon the magic tablets of FatBoy the storied story of Beatledom (as was told by him):"

"Once upon a time there were three little boys called John, George and Paul, by name christened. They decided to get together because they were the getting together type. When they were together they wondered what for after all, what for? So all of a sudden they grew guitars and fashioned a noise.
Funnily enough, no one was interested, least of all the three little men.
So-o-o-o on discovering a fourth little even littler man called Stuart Sutcliffe running about them they said, quite 'Sonny get a bass guitar and you will be alright' and he did - but he wasn't alright because he couldn't play it. So they sat on him with comfort 'til he could play. Still there was no beat, and a kindly old man said, quote 'Thou hast not drums!' We had no drums! they coffed. So a series of drums came and went and came.

Suddenly, in Scotland, touring with Johnny Gentle, the group (called the Beatles called) discovered they had not a very nice sound - because they had no amplifiers. They got some.

Many people ask what are Beatles? Why Beatles? Ugh, Beatles, how did the name arrive? So we will tell you. It came in a vision - a man appeared on a flaming pie and said unto them 'From this day on you are Beatles with an 'A'. Thank you, mister man, they said, thanking him.

And then a man with a beard cut off said - will you go to Germany (Hamburg) and play mighty rock for the peasants for money? And we said we would play mighty anything for money.


But before we could go we had to grow a drummer, so we grew one in West Derby in a club called Some Casbah and his trouble was Pete Best. we called 'Hello Pete, come off to Germany!' 'Yes!' Zooooom. After a few months, Peter and Paul (who is called McArtrey, son of Jim McArtrey, his father) lit a Kino (cinema) and the German police said 'Bad Beatles, you must go home and light your English cinemas'.
Zooooom, half a group. But before even this, the Gestapo had taken my friend little George Harrison (of speke) away because he was only twelve and too young to vote in Germany; but after two months in England he grew eighteen and the Gestapoes said 'you can come'.
So suddenly all back in Liverpool Village were many groups playing in grey suits and Jim said 'Why have you no grey suits?' 'We don't like them, Jim' we said, speaking to Jim.

After playing in the clubs a bit, everyone said 'Go to Germany!' So we are. Zooooom Stuart gone. Zoom zoom John (of Woolton) George (of Speke) Peter and Paul zoom zoom. All of them gone. Thank you club members, from John anf George (what are friends)."


Gee ... does anybody have an idea of what happened next??

Actually, what we're lookin' at, yardbirds, is exactly what real rock 'n roll (y'know, just for once, I'd like to hear Elmer Fudd say those words!) is all about: ENTHUSIASM! Ya can't imagine John sittin' back in some fancy, cushioned chair, pipe in hand and a cuppa Earl Grey beside him, pondering "What shall I include to properly convey the evolution of blahblahblah?"

Nope. John Lennon (he who gave up WInstons for another brand. Should I speak of what is was? OOOONo!) just had fun with it ... energized it ... made it interesting. Those traits, combined with the musical ones I've given over the past few posts and John's bit of "history" above, came together, right then, over him, to form the greatest band the world has ever known:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

All Hail The Mighty DJ

For decades, they were responsible for scratching our musical itch from AM drive-time to the midnight hour. Sadly, they're now relegated mostly to cut-ins allowed by the big network conglomerates.

They're the legendary disc jockeys of years and AM stations gone by.

Back-in-the-day, we'd tune our dials to pick up the zaniness of characters like Lloyd Thaxton (Leave It To Lloyd), Jack Gale (Failure Theater), "The Real" Don Steele, Wolfman Jack, Robert Murphy, Cousin Brucie, Casey Kasem and others.

Their shows not only gave us the fab music we wanted, but many were peppered generously with some of the funniest jokes, one-liners and skits -- and they were all designed to bring some welcome relief from the day's troubles. Kasem had a special style that he carried into his net feed: His voice actually smiled as he talked -- and, as one reader put it, "made me feel like it was just me and him sitting in the living room, with a record player between us."

And, while he became host of the best teen show on the planet, Uncle LL could still make you feel as if he were performing just for you! Using live talent, five fingers and an active imagination, he brought the zaniness of the radio DJ into the world of television ... and it became the most-watched 5 PM show in America!

In Charlotte, we awoke to Gale's "Failure Theater" (a comical 'soap-opera') or to Robert Murphy's "Murphy In The Morning" (often including David Sprinkley and the news - a parody of NBC newsman David Brinkley, done to perfection by WCNC reporter David Sprinkle). We also had the infamous Chuckie "Boo" Baron and his fantastic "beach music bombshells!" (PS  Check the vid at the bottom of this post, ye Tarheels, for some cool memories ...)

Over in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, there was the "Right Reverend William A. Tucker from the First Church of Himm, Ah-HI-uh (Phil Gardner), with his wonderful Sister Sapphire Grassmire" doing the song "Every Disc Jockey In The World Needs A Little Lovin'" (to the instrumental track of The Main Ingredient's Everybody Plays The Fool").

Then there was Wolfman Jack. Do I really need to say more about him??


When the monster networks started feeding their shows to ratings-hungry but often money-starved FMs, it seems that our favorite DJs began to fade away like morning fog. The AM stations tried to counter by changing format to all-news/talk/sports, but to no avail. The net megaliths were just too strong ... and had all the money ...

But these were the guys (and gals) who worked their butts off day after day to bring us the best that music had to offer. They're the ones who. in 1963, brought a glimmer of hope back to the eyes of Americans who had lost a President to an assassin's bullet. They're also the ones who were in the thick of the "rights" movements and "anti-war" protests, assuring us that there was still plenty to feel good about! No matter how bad things might've been in their own personal or even physical life, they put all that aside to bring us all music ... allllll the tiiiiime!

Today, there's a move to bring rock (and its jocks) back to AM stations! Some are already revving back up for the fans who miss the "local" touch (in some cases, with as many of the original crew as possible!). With Arbitron® ratings showing a steady rise in listeners who prefer the sounds of actual rock-n-roll, and those listeners preferring local stations over the impersonal network feeds -- maybe it'll finally happen.

Because (snif!) nothing's sadder than to see a poor, starving little DJ standing out in the rain of society (I'm [sob!] ... I'm havin' a hard time gettin' through this ...), scratching at our back door for a morsel of madness, 45s stuck under one arm, a tin cup in the other (no, no ... that's just a tear in my eye), hoping you have a few spare minutes he can have to brighten your day with some good times and great oldies (I ... I'm gonna break down here!).  Y'see ...
"Every disc jockey in the world needs a little lovin' ..."

Stay ... stay tuned (now, where's my Kleenex???)


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Did Tiger Beat Lloyd Thaxton?

Look ... we all know that Tiger Beat™ magazine was Uncle Lloyd's baby, right? 

Well, one of our British Mouses sent me a column by writer Malcolm Tatum awhile back -- and it didn't make this cheeser happy at all! In fact, I was so steamed I almost threw it out -- until (heh-heh!) I remembered it was on my PC monitor, and ... well, why destroy a perfectly good computer just for a little dirt?

Here's part of what Tatum wrote:

"(In September, 1965) The first issue of Tiger Beat prominently featured a well known disc jockey, Lloyd Thaxton, as a way of helping the fledgling magazine find an audience."
Ahhh -- so Uncle Lloyd was just a marketing ploy, huh?? Hang on, Followers of the Cheese -- there's more!:

By 1966, editor Charles Laufer hired a "a young and engaging blonde" editor (uh-huh. Editor. Editor only. Right ...), Ann Moses. And, "(a)fter several months, the connection with Lloyd Thaxton was played down and finally dropped, but it had served its purpose. By the summer of 1966, Tiger Beat was clearly the cool magazine for any teenage fan to read."

Huh?!?!? OUR Head Cheeser, used for promo purposes?? You mean ... he didn't have stock in the mag?? Hmph ... next you'll tell me that "Sherwin" took on "Williams" to make the paint thinner!

Besides (not counting all the Mousers who knew Uncle LL personally), we've got some decent ammunition! For example: according to superstar David Gross' site, Talkin' About My Generation (and listen -- it's a really fab site, so goest thou unto its portals [no, after you finish here])! "Do you remember the Lloyd Thaxton Show? It was the highest rated musical show in the country for eight years. Lloyd was one of the founders of Tiger Beat magazine!"

Besides, ya gotta ask yerself a question, punk (actually, I dunno if he's a punk or not. I rented a Clint Eastwood movie last night, and)
Anyway ...
How many bands do you know that credit its popularity to being seen in TB magazine? Awright ... how many give an appearance on LL's show the props??
How many people looked up, wrote or read something about Tiger Beat (other than yours truly)? Now ... how many (excluding yours truly again) have looked up, read or wrote something about Lloyd Thaxton lately?
(PS You're reading right now, aren'tcha?? Huh??)

How many people has Tiger Beat™ helped in consumer goods, motivation, inspiration or just a great appreciation of teens and their music? Okay ... how many did Uncle Lloyd help? (man, is that an easy choice or what??) (What??)

So ask Howie (of The Turtles), Sal (of The Beau Brummels), brother Gary (fellow cheeser from Oldies Videos), Ken Levine (respected producer) or the millions of meeces around this world: LLOYD THAXTON DID MORE THAN HELPED CREATE A MAGAZINE OR SHOW ... HE CREATED AN ATTITUDE!!

One that'll be with us lonnnnnnnng after the magazine has folded (no pun inten ... well, maybe a littl ... okay, a lot ...)!!

Stay tuned ....

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Fourth!!

We interrupt this blog for a very important announcement:


The blog normally seen at this time will be shown, in its entirety, tomorrow afternoon.  Stay tuned ...

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The '60's Attitude ...

EDITOR'S NOTE:  Why, after three long years, am I repeating this column?  Why am I talkin' about the peace-and-love Sixties here in the 14th year of the new millennium?
All you've gotta do is tune in the Sox or Chicken Noodle Networks (FOX or CNN), read the front page of any big-city newspapers or check the interweb, and you'll get the picture ...   So let's rock on with:  THE '60's ATTITUDE:


Ahhh, yes: ATTITUDE -- the breakfast of champions (and rockers worldwide)!

It made our world back in the mid-to-late Sixties (and, brother, did we need it: a President dying "under the Western sun" [from a tribute by the late Kate Smith], his brother shot in L.A. just moments after flashing the "peace" sign to supporters, Dr. Martin Luther King gunned down in Memphis, Vietnam and race riots).

We spoke and believed in "peace and love"; from traveling light around the country to shows in Woodstock fields and more, we learned about the vast openness of America. We didn't have to be "cooped up" in one setting -- we were, in fact, freeborn men (and women); from the huge rock festivals, we learned that we weren't alone in this world! No matter what we believed, there were others, in fact, who would relate to us and our feelings on this planet!

When Uncle Lloyd first started his show, it was at the time when we really needed his zaniness; not just "wanted" but "needed"! You see, not many adults seemed to realize (or even care) that we kids were being impacted by all that was happening around us, just like they were. Man, were we ever - only ours seemed a bit worse, because we were beginning to wonder if there really was a future for us (it seemed like we traded the "when we grow up" wish for "if we grew up" uncertainty!).


Well, LL came onstage with his crazy antics and one of the friendliest, most positive attitudes ever seen on the tube! That's Reason #157 (collect 'em all!) that kids loved him so much. They felt he really understood us (and, guess what? He really did!). While providing an hour of great music and fun, he also exuded confidence that things were gonna be alright.

Of course, there was the fab music of the era! From Animals to Zombies, Beatles to Billy Fury to Wilson Pickett, the acts not only gave us the best music to jump, jive and wail to, but it actually lifted our spirits! And, when we saw these acts on TV or (better yet) in concert, we saw them playing live, with instruments, and were more animated than any Bugs Bunny cartoon!

Today ... well, it's just not the same, musically.
Somehow, the synthesizers, taped drum loops, computerized music sampling and Auto-Tunes just don't provide the same effect as the live acts of yesteryear (just think: all it takes is one scalawag to unplug the power strip and WHOOSH!! .... there goes an act's set)
.
And, after hearing all that electricizationalizing noize today, but knowing that we're in much the same shape as we were then in many ways, why don't we take a look back and recapture what we had then? (Afghanistan? Vietnam? Hating Arabs? Hating Blacks?  Seems that it's the same tune as the turbulent Sixties, just different lyrics) We can do it with our music ... we can do it with our media heroes ... and we certainly can do it with a change in attitude!    

Hey - what've we got to lose by trying?


Nuff said? Then stay tuned ...