Friday, March 24, 2017

Don't FIX Somethin' (If It Ain't Broke!)

Ahhhh, the good old days ...
It was my very first car -- just like you see it here. Except green. And dull. And with rust spots. And with someone's cigarette burn in the back seat.

But it ran great ... until the day my family told Ol' Fimblefingers (now known as me ...) to go out and put the oil and water in it!
Now, I knew more about brain surgery than I did about cars, but ...

Chuck, circa 196something: "W-well (gulp!), h-here goes: First, ummm, open the hood. Okay, now (tremendous crash, followed by searing pain) ... RAISE the hood and extract my fingers from the front."
A few hours later ...
"The doc said they're alright, just bruised. Now ... where were we? Ahhh, yes! Up with the hoodANDPUTUPTHATBARTOHOLDIT THERE!
Now ... ummm, that ... that fan in front can't afford to rust, soooo ... the oil goes ... I guess in ... that radiator hole! THERE! That'll keep it from jamming up!"
"And since the motor gets hot -- wellll, it'll have to cool down, and what better than water, right?? So the waterhose goes into that shiny-capped hole on the engine block!"

After a few minutes, Curly ... er, Shemp ... er, I went into the house and proudly announced that I'd done it! I'd filled it with water and oil!

(HEY!! Stop snickering, okay?? I'm older now and know better. Besides, you get a lot of fresh air by walking!)

Yeah, I took it for a spin. Of about fifty yards ...
and after the laughter subsided (a few hours later), my dad told me, Son, if it ain't broke, don't FIX it!"

And, Mousers, that's why I look so studious and pensive whenever I watch The Three Stooges now. I can identify!!

In a way, it reminds me of when some stations wanted Uncle LL to make his show more "sophisticated" (read: uppity). According to the MetTimes, they also meant cutting the lip-synching and "goofing off". Fortunately, Lloyd just kept on doing what he did best -- being himself -- and never changed what he did!

Y'see, just like my daddy said about the now-deceased BoltBucket, If It Ain't Broke, Don't FIX It!" Our Head Cheeser proved, time and again, that if you've got a winning combination in your career, life or both, stick with it! Don't let anybody tell you how to change it! Maybe they're good at their thing, but that doesn't mean they're experts at yours!
And Lloyd -- well, if anybody knew how to bring good vibrations to both the KCOP stage, the small screen and to hearts around the country, it was him!

Stay tuned ...

Monday, March 13, 2017

TODAY IN ROCK (It's March 13, btw)

Beginning with this post, we're gonna add some new segments to keep it fresh (now, if I could just do that with my store-bought bread, I'd be set ...)

Actually, I've cranked up the Way-Back Machine to (awww. if ya don't remember, I'll refresh your memory in a minute) to see what happened in R&R decades (or so) ago.

On this date in 1971, for example, a controversy surrounded one of the most tightly-harmonic top-charters of the decade.  Michael Brewer and Tom Shipley (collectively known, of course, as Brewer & Shipley) released a fantastic folk-rock tune called One Toke Over The Line.
Almost as soon as the song was released, a lot of ultra-conservatives (read: older folks) said that they were talking about drugs (ie, "toke" being slang for a hit from a marijuana joint).

But, people, I'd been bus/train human-cargo for some time, and can tell ya "'Tain't so!!"  You see, when you were thinkin' about going somewhere by either conveyance, you were coming close to "drawin' the line".  When I was actually sittin' in the railway station, got a ticket for my destination (whoops!  Heh-heh ... sorry.  Wrong song ...), I'd already gone (ready?) "over the line".  Meaning: I'd gone beyond deciding, and was on my way, having already bought the ticket!
Here .... listen for yourself, then I'll be back with more:

Now ya see? btw, if you hear a little steel guitar in the mix, thank the musician - a chap named Jerry Garcia!

DANCIN' WITH THE BB's: On this date in 1965, the Beach Boys released a cover of "Do You Wanna Dance?", the Bobby Freeman classic that hit #12 in the Billboard charts. The lead singer on this one was drummer Dennis Wilson. In his place on the skins was Wrecking Crew member Hal Blaine - with Leon Russell on organ and future Bread winner Larry Knechtel on bass.

OH, WHAT A NIGHT: And coming in at #1 on this date in 1976 was The Four Seasons with their hit December 1963 (Oh, What A Night) - a song originally written about the Prohibition era (ergo, "1963" was to be "1933". The producers thought it'd flop, though, so the crew got new lyrics and did a date-change on it). Unfortunately, it was the last hit of the FS.

THE WAYBACK MACHINE? Okay ... who remembers Rocky and Bullwinkle? Then you probably know about the eclectic, professorial and smart-as-all-get-out bowwow Mr. Peabody who, along with his hyoo-min sidekick Sherman, rode the time-space continuum (man, I love those Trekkie words!) to wherever they wanted. Preceded Marty McFly''s Delorean by a quarter-century!

Oh ... one more thing: In England, a chap by given name Peter Blair Denis Bernard Noone decided to take that hyoo-min's name and call himself Herman. Then he hooked up with a fledgling band known as The Heartbeats and, voila - Herman's Hermits came to pass!
So now ya know!

Okay ... more coming up in a day or two, so stay tuned ...

Friday, March 3, 2017

High "Noone" At the HH Corral

Awhile back, I had the distinct privilege of talking at length with Peter Noone (he of Herman's Hermits, who, you might remember, played The LT Show). An amazing young man (well, he is! I'll explain in a minute ...), he still retains the lively, witty personality that made him a star to begin with.


But wait ... there's more!


"Herman" (named after the cartoon dude "Sherman" of Mr. Peabody's "way-back-machine" fame) has grown into quite a rock historian as well as savvy philosopher. He still has the looks that charmed millions of girls and some rabbits back then.


The last I'd heard of the other four: Karl Green (bass and left-handed, bless him) is now doing sound and keyboard installations; Keith Hopwood (rhythm guitar) is still performing and producing; Derek ("Lek") Leckenby (lead guitarist), sadly, lost a battle with cancer back in 1994.
Now, I'll share some of my interviews with him soon, but, for now. I'll ...


wait! I forgot their drummer, Barry Whitwam ...


Barry's now fronting the band, Herman's Hermits!

Ummmm ... WHAT?!?!?

Actually, there are two HH bands making the circuits! One is Barry's band, which is pretty much limited to UK (Britain, not that Kentucky university) gigs, and the other is Peter's band, which is actually a group of very coordinated and talented backing musicians.
The dig is that Herman Himself can't use the name of his old band over in England and, if Barry wanted to bring his troupe to America, he can't use the Hermits moniker.

But there's only one real Herman ... and, when you look at his "spunk" (that's allowed here in the states. Dunno about the UK ...), his creativity, his fan-friendly personality, and the fact that he's kept his hair, you'll see a guy who was more like Uncle Lloyd than most other rockers (Freddie Garrity excepted. More about this amazing "court jester of rock" later. RIP, mate ...).

And he and LL had one other trait: Due to their lively, optimistic and creative personalities, their fame has lasted lonnnnnnng after the British Invasion. In other words, they proved Andy Warhol wrong when he said that everybody has their 15 minutes of fame.
They took that "15 minutes" ... and extended it to fit a lifetime!

I'm checking the old Relic-box to find the interview I had with Peter himself. As soon as I find them, I'll post the gabfest (actually, more a Q&A) right here ... so

Stay tuned ....