Segarini: “Say, Isn’t that…?”

Bob Hot WacksWhen I was growing up in Stockton California, music was the connecting tissue between friends, and one of the most important touchstones of our daily lives. Everybody listened to the radio. Everybody went to the dances and the house parties and brought their favourite 45s to share in basement rec rooms and around the pool. Everybody had transistor radios. Everybody went to the record stores and spent their babysitting or paperboy money on the latest records. We discussed our favourite artists and songs, we debated the worth of Elvis VS Boone, Beatles VS Stones, and everything in-between. We were ravenous…and constantly on the lookout for music that touched us, made us think, made us dance, made us alive…and kept us appeased until the next release from our current heroes.

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Not unlike today, radio knew that something familiar sounding would surely engage their listeners and keep their ratings high. So with that in mind, when a record came across their collective desks that reminded them of another well-known artist or song, well…that record got a leg up. The end result was a happy new artist and their record label, and an even happier audience of music fans who were glued to their radios just waiting to hear a current favourite, or something new to fall in love with.

When the sound of a current favourite collided with a new artist who somehow sounded so close to the real thing they could be mistaken for the original, well, hit records were born…and sometimes, long standing careers.

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Elvis and FrankEvery generation has had stars generated by the heat of other stars. Rudy Valle begat Bing Crosby, Sinatra enabled dozens of singers to follow in his footsteps, and sometimes, a similar sounding artist would gradually absorb other influences and become a unique sounding individual with their own sound, their own identity. Elvis started out mimicking local blues and country artists and gospel singers. The Beatles began their career by playing the classic American rock and roll of Little Richard,  Chuck Berry and Eddie Cochran along with British homegrown artists like Lonnie Donegan, and George Formby…and we all know what happened to them. They evolved.

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It was a time when musicians looked for influences outside their own experience. They were as rabid as the audience when it came to discovering meaningful (to them, anyway) music that had gone unheard. As an example, in England, while almost everyone else was chasing the Beatles ‘sound’, a few groups chose to look elsewhere for inspiration. The results weren’t always great, but when they were…you got things like this. (And yes…that’s the recently disgraced Jimmy Saville introducing the 2nd clip)

The Original by the Writer…

John D. Laudermilk: Tobacco Road

…and the resulting hit interpretation.

Nashville Teens: Tobacco Road

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Remembering some of the records I have loved over the years got me thinking…how many of them got my attention by sounding like someone else? Going back to some early favourites, I realized that this sort of thing still goes on with me.

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Elvis Presley….

Ral Donner: You Don’t Know What You Got

Ralph Stuart Emanuel Donner was born in Norwood Park (a neighborhood in Chicago) and sang in church as a child and local talent shows as a teen. The Rockin’ Five, his first band, played with Sammy Davis, Jr. on Chicago television in the late 1950s. In 1959, he appeared on Alan Freed’s Big Beat program, and released a single with his new band, the Gents.

Donner eventually recorded a cover of Elvis Presley’s “The Girl of My Best Friend“, along with a backing band called the Starfires. After being picked up by Gone Records, Donner re-recorded the song, which became a nationwide hit. His next single, You Don’t Know What You’ve Got (Until You Lose It)”, became his biggest, and only Top Ten, hit on the Billboard chart in the United States, peaking at #4.

In the mid-1960s, Donner recorded some singles for Reprise Records and Red Bird Records, but saw little success. The ‘70s offered up even less, but Donner got some rekindled interest in his music after Elvis Presley’s death in 1977. In 1981, he provided voice-over narration (as the voice of Elvis) in the film This Is Elvis.

Ral Donner died of lung cancer on April 6, 1984.

He had his own disciples as well; Donner was cited by Robert Plant as an influence at the 1995 induction of Led Zeppelin into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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Terry Stafford: Suspicion

KROY disc jockey Johnny Hyde and I were going about 120 mph in my brand new Jaguar XKE coupe, blasting out of the Grapevine into the L.A Basin the first time I heard this record. We both thought it was Elvis…but it wasn’t. It was some guy named Terry Stafford.

Born in Hollis, Oklahoma, Stafford grew up in Amarillo, Texas, and after high school, moved to Los Angeles, California, to pursue a career in music.

Stafford’s version of “Suspicion”, ( a song which had previously been recorded by Elvis Presley) was released on Crusader Records and, made it all the way to number 3 in the U.S. “Suspicion,” had the unusual distinction of being at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 on April 4, 1964 just below The Beatles when they made history by holding down the entire top five. The following week is when Suspicion topped out at No. 3 with the Beatles holding 3 of the other 4 spots of the top 5.

Produced by Bob Summers (brother-in-law of Les Paul),  Stafford sang the song while Summers played all the instruments on the track as well as handling the engineering and recording.

Stafford lived most of his life going back and forth between Los Angeles and Amarillo. He died in Amarillo of liver failure in 1996.

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Bob Dylan….

Donovan: Try and Catch the Wind

You would think that a person with a voice as unique as Bob Dylan’s, that there would be little or no chance someone would come along who sounded damn near identical. Surprisingly, there existed in England a doppleganger who would end up having a long and successful career, finding his own voice and producing some iconic music of his own, whose first hit might as well have been Dylan himself. Donovan and Dylan passed like ships in the night during Dylan’s first tour of the U’K with Joan Baez. Here’s that moment, captured on film in ‘Don’t Look Back’, a documentary by D.A.Pennebaker.

Donovan and Dylan Together – from Don’t Look Back

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Lou Christie, Frankie Valli, and The Four Seasons….

Little Joe and the Thrillers: Peanut

Joe Cook was born in South Phily, and started singing in church. His mother (believe it or not), was named Annie Hall. She was a locally well-known blues singer and his grandmother was a Baptist preacher. By the time he was 12, he and three cousins had formed a gospel vocal quartet, the Evening Stars, and had a one-hour weekly radio show in Philadelphia. In 1951 the group recorded a song called “Say A Prayer for the Boys In Korea” for Apex Records. I have yet to hear that one.

After that, Cook decided to make the transition to secular rhythm and blues music, later declining an offer to join The Soul Stirrers after Sam Cooke left to pursue a solo career. Cook formed a new doo-wop vocal group himself and called them The Thrillers. They won a contract with OKeh Records in 1956, and had a regional hit with “Do the Slop,” in Philadelphia and New York. They performed at the Apollo Theatre on the strength of the records success.

Peanuts“, was written by Cook and featured his falsetto as the lead. Released in 1957, it won the group an appearance on American Bandstand, and rose to no. 22 on the national pop chart. Oddly enough, it didn’t even make the R&B charts. Cook’s falsetto singing style was reportedly an influence on singers Frankie Valli, who later recorded Cook’s original song “Peanuts” with The Four Seasons, and Lou Christie. I find it weird that the song is called ‘Peanuts’, but is about a girl nick-named ‘Peanut’. So, singular topic…plural title. ..ftw?

Cook moved to Boston in the late 1960s, and continued to perform in clubs. He had a residency at the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge, Massachusetts, from 1980 until he retired in 2007. He was voted the region’s Best Local R&B Performer in 2002. Not bad for a “one hit wonder”….

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The Beatles….

Right off the bat, we are not going to count The Swingin’ Blue Jeans or The Searchers, or any of the other bands that popped onto the airwaves immediately after the Beatles took over the planet. There were so many trying cash in on the ‘sound’ that for a while, damn near every record emulated the Beatles jangly guitar signature and ‘yeah yeah yeah’ vibe. The first real head turner that made us think the Fab Four had a new record out was this  undeniable 45….

The Knickerbockers: Lies

The Knickerbockers were formed in 1962 in Bergenfield, New Jersey by brothers Beau Charles (guitar & vocals) and John Charles (bass & vocals) and two years later, in 1964, added Buddy Randell (vocals & sax) who had had a hit in 1958 when he was in the Royal Teens. Remember “Who Wears Short Shorts”?

The classic line-up consisted of Buddy Randell, the Charles brothers and drummer Jimmy Walker. They were spotted by producer/ singer/songwriter Jerry Fuller playing the University Twist Palace in Albany, New York, and he subsequently signed them to L.As Challenge Records.

The Knickerbockers’ could sound like anyone. The vocals on one of their more obscure recordings, “Jerk Town“, sound just like the Four Seasons….badly recorded…with a bad song…and a surf band drummer.

In early 1966 The Knickerbockers had a Top 20 hit with “Lies.” Somewhat ironically, the song is most famous today for being blatantly derivative of contemporary songs by The Beatles, due to Buddy Randell’s lead vocal sounding incredibly similar to John Lennon, and the vocal ‘whoops’ before the guitar solo and later in the song, which sounded like Paul McCartney. Allmusic remarks that the song is “justly regarded as the most accurate early-Beatles imitation” Even today, some people mistake it for being a “lost” Beatles track. Jimmy Walker (the singer/drummer) teamed up briefly with singer Bobby Hatfield, replacing Bill Medley until the original Righteous Brother reunited with Hatfield.

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The Bee Gees: 1941 New York Mining Disaster

Wikipedia has such a fascinating entry about this song, I thought I would reprint it here. It’s true that we ALL thought this was a new Beatle single. Of course, The Bee Gees went on to define their own sound and in 1975 re-defined it yet again.

At the bottom of this column you will find one of the records that the Brothers Gibb looked to for their reinvention as the Kings of Disco, and the record charts.

From Wikipedia: “The song was recorded on 7 March in six takes and they recorded their own instrumental parts and vocals, and the guitars were the only features on that version. The orchestra and some other parts were added on 13 March.

“New York Mining Disaster 1941” may have already been nominated as the first single on the strength of the Polydor demo. This version however was not released until 2006.

At the beginning of the song, the opening chord was A minor, as Maurice explained: “There’s a lot of weird sounds on this song like the Jew’s harp, the string quartet, and of course the special way that Barry plays that guitar chord, Because of his tuning when he plays the minor at the beginning of the song which is different from a conventional A minor, It’s a nice mixture when I play my conventional tuning together with Barry’s tuning because his open D and mine are different”. Barry said “It’s Hawaiian tuning , there they play the same way I do. I got a guitar for my ninth birthday and the guy who lived across the road from us just came back from Hawaii and he was the one who taught me that tuning, that’s how it started and I never changed”.

Robin on lead vocals and backing vocalist, he sings high harmony while Barry sings low harmony on the first and second verse:

“      In the event of something happening to me/There is something i would like you all to see/It’s just a photograph or someone that i knew/I keep straining my ears to hear a sound/Maybe someone is digging underground/Or have they given up and all gone home to bed?/Thinking those who once existed must be dead?   ”

Maurice Gibb recalled in a June 2001 interview with Mojo magazine: “The opening chord doesn’t sound like a conventional A minor. Barry was using the open D tuning he’d been taught when he was nine, and I was playing it in conventional tuning. It gives an unusual blend. People went crazy trying to figure out why they couldn’t copy it.”

Robin Gibb recalled to The Mail on Sunday on November 1, 2009: “We recorded this at London’s IBC studio because it was dark and emulated a mining shaft. The result was a very lonely sound.”

At the time, rumours circulated that the Bee Gees were The Beatles recording under a pseudonym (the Bee Gees’ name was supposedly code for “Beatles Group”), in part because the record referenced NEMS Enterprises (Brian Epstein’s management agency, which had just been joined by Bee Gees’ manager Robert Stigwood). The song is unusual in that the lyrics do not contain the song’s title, though the originally planned title, “Have You Seen My Wife, Mr. Jones”, does appear in the chorus. Atco distributed promos with a blank label and the suggestion that it was an English group whose name started with B. Many DJs thought it was a new Beatles song and played the song heavily. Atco also retitled the song “New York Mining Disaster 1941 (Have You Seen My Wife, Mr. Jones?)” to make sure people could find it in the shops.

Beatles lead guitarist George Harrison met Maurice Gibb at a party several years later, and told him that he had bought a copy of “New York Mining Disaster 1941” because he thought it sounded so much like The Beatles. Maurice’s response to Harrison was that the resemblance “was unintentional” and Harrison said “I knew that, I admire your work”. Barry Gibb explained about this song:

“If you sounded like the Beatles and also could write a hit single, then the hype of the machine would go into action, and your company would make sure people thought you sounded like the Beatles or thought you were the Beatles. And that sold you, attracted attention to you. It was good for us because everyone thought it was the Beatles under a different name.”

Robin Gibb explained about this track:

“And all the DJs on radio stations in the US picked it up immediately thinking it was the Beatles, and it was a hit on that basis. It established us in those early years. It helped our following record which was nothing like the Beatles.”

The success of this song owes a lot more to the perseverance of Robert Stigwood than he has previously been given credit for. “We had quite a hard time at getting the Bee Gees played, “We weren’t all totally convinced that Stigwood was picking the right song to plug, but at the end of the day, he was a forceful character. All of these guys were… Chas Chandler (manager of Jimi Hendrix) was the same, Kit Lambert (manager of The Who) was the same. They all argued their case with passion, you know, they lived it, they were like that.” conceded Polydor’s Alan Bates. When the Disc & Music Echo reported “widespread rumours” that this song had been written by Lennon and McCartney, Robin countered with “Rubbish! We’ve always written our own songs. I’ve been writing since I was ten before Lennon and McCartney were even on stage. People can say what they like. If they don’t believe us, they can ask The Beatles.”

Bassist Maurice Gibb, though, had previously said that “New York Mining Disaster 1941” was in fact influenced by the Beatles:

“New York Mining Disaster 1941″ was a total rip-off of The Beatles, We were so influenced by them. In fact it started a mystery [in the USA] about us, because they started playing and saying, they’re this new group from England that begins with a B and finished with an s so they all said, Ah it’s The Beatles, not naming it, they’re doing that trick again. The disc jockey would play it and play it and play it and, Guess who it is? and people would guess, and they wouldn’t get the answer. I heard [the idea] came actually from Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler. To us it was an honour, to actually think we were as good as The Beatles”.

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The Merry Go Round: Live/You’re a Very Lovely Woman/Listen Listen

Teen nightclubs and live music venues proliferated in Hollywood during the ‘60s, and none were bigger or more successful than Sunset Boulevard’s Hullabaloo.

The house band at the Hullabaloo was called The Palace Guard, and their drummer was multi-talented singer/songwriter/instrumentalist, Emit Rhodes.

Emit left the Palace Guard and formed The Merry Go Round, and they became HUGE in L.A, a poppier version of the more rootsy Buffalo Springfield.

A mutual friend, Manny, used to live with the drummer, Joe Larson, and, I think, Mark Volman and a couple of other friends in Laurel Canyon. Joe gave me a white label test pressing of the Merry Go Round’s first album, and when I would play it for my friends on visits to Stockton, I would tell them it was a Beatle album recorded between Beatle ’65 and Rubber Soul that was never released. No one ever questioned it. Emit went on to be regarded as an American Paul McCartney, but never reached the mainstream audience he deserved. There is a documentary about him called “One Man Beatles”. See if you can track it down.

Back in the day, television and hype wasn’t the kiss of death it is now. Even so, this was an odd move on the part of Merry Go Round’s record label. Also hilarious because these guys already had more women stacked up over their beds than LAX had planes circling overhead. …and the prize is a shock. I didn’t even know Canada was HERE in 1966’67.

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The Rutles: Hold My Hand

Eric Idle and George Harrison are best buds. Eric gets an idea. Neil Innes comes onboard. Rickey Fatar from the South African band The Flames, and John Halsey round out the band. Before the classic “All You Need is Cash” documentary, The Rutles had appeared on Id;es’ Rutland Weekend television show, and a couple of SNL skits. Rob Reiner also cites the documentary as the inspiration for “Spinal Tap:.

From Wikipedia: “George Harrison was involved in the project from the beginning. Producer Gary Weis said “We were sitting around in Eric’s kitchen one day, planning a sequence that really ripped into the mythology and George looked up and said, ‘We were the Beatles, you know!’ Then he shook his head and said ‘Aw, never mind.’ I think he was the only one of the Beatles who really could see the irony of it all.”

Harrison said “the Rutles sort of liberated me from the Beatles in a way. It was the only thing I saw of those Beatles television shows they made. It was actually the best, funniest and most scathing. But at the same time, it was done with the most love.” Harrison showed Innes and Idle the Beatles unreleased official documentary The Long and Winding Road, made by Neil Aspinall. (Aspinall’s documentary would be resurrected as The Beatles Anthology.)

Ringo Starr liked the happier scenes in the film, but felt the scenes that mimicked sadder times hit too close.

John Lennon loved the film and refused to return the videotape and soundtrack he was given for approval. He told Innes, however, that ‘Get Up and Go’ was too close to The Beatles’ “Get Back” and to be careful not to be sued by ATV Music, who at the time held the Beatles catalogue’s copyright. The song was consequently omitted from the 1978 vinyl LP soundtrack.

Paul McCartney, who had just released his own album, London Town, always answered, “No comment.” According to Innes: “He had a dinner at some awards thing at the same table as Eric one night and Eric said it was a little frosty.” Idle claimed McCartney changed his mind because his wife Linda thought it was funny.

All the group and Apple consented to use of the Beatles’ Shea Stadium concert footage, along with other “real” footage cut in with Rutle footage.

Idle claims on the All You Need Is Cash DVD commentary track that Harrison and Starr at one point discussed starting a band with Innes and Idle, based on the Beatles’ and Rutles’ shared and imaginary histories. This never came to pass. Harrison and Starr also surprised him and Innes one day by singing a version of “Ouch”; two of The Beatles singing a Rutles song to two of The Rutles.”

And just so you know who did what for the “All You Need is Cash” mockumentary; In adapting the characters for a full-length TV feature, several changes were made. Idle continued to play “Dirk”, but Dirk was now modelled after Paul McCartney, not George Harrison. Battley was replaced as Stig by Ricky Fataar, and Stig became the George Harrison-inspired character. Additionally, the characters now all had first and last names.

The Rutles members in All You Need Is Cash were:

Ron Nasty (styled after John Lennon) — played by Neil Innes

Dirk McQuickly (styled after Paul McCartney) — played by Eric Idle

Stig O’Hara (styled after George Harrison) — played by Ricky Fataar

Barry Wom, né Barrington Womble (styled after Ringo Starr) — played by John Halsey. The character’s truncated name was a play on how Ringo had changed his name from ‘Richard Starkey’ to ‘Ringo Starr’.

Also, in tracing the fictional history of the band, one other member was mentioned:

Leppo, The Fifth Rutle (styled after Stuart Sutcliffe) — seen only in a still photograph. The photo showed Ollie Halsall, who played and sang on the soundtrack.

The band that recorded the actual music was slightly different to the band that appeared on camera, as Idle did not take part in the recording process. On the soundtrack release of the music from All You Need Is Cash, The Rutles were officially:

Neil Innes: guitar, keyboards, vocals. Innes sang the John Lennon-inspired songs.

Ollie Halsall: guitar, keyboards, vocals. Halsall sang the Paul McCartney-inspired songs.

Ricky Fataar: guitar, bass, sitar, tabla, vocals. Fataar sang the George Harrison-inspired songs.

John Halsey: percussion, vocals. Halsey sang the Ringo Starr- inspired songs.

Andy Brown: bass

While the Rutles are often thought of as a four-piece band, the credits of the original LP release of their first album make it quite clear they were a five-piece band. Brown, however, did not appear in any role in All You Need Is Cash, and was not part of any Rutles reunion.”

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Utopia: I Just Want To Touch You

Todd Rundgren was such a big fan of the Beatles, that his band, Utopia, recorded a whole album full of Beatlesque songs called Deface the Music. If you have never heard this record, track it down. The Todd sounds like he’s having a ball. Several years later, Todd produced this:

Bourgeois Tagg: I Don’t Mind At All

A group from Sacramento, California whose other songs sounded nothing like this or even remotely like the Beatles, included this Rundgren produced classic on their album and got themselves a hit record. Still a standout today, this song, the performance, the arrangement, and even the ahead-of-its-time video are reminiscent of the artistically inclined and risk taking attitude of the Mop Tops. Nicely done.

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The Wackers: She Loves You

The Beatles were a major influence on The Wackers from the day we first met. Half our original repetoire were Beatle songs we didn’t even have to rehearse.

The Wackers: I Hardly Know Her Name

…and sometimes we would write an original tune that gave a wink and a nod to The Beatles influences.

The Wackers: Oh My Love

…and once, using the legendary producer Gary Usher and an engineer who had worked on a Beatle album or two, we recorded a John Lennon song in the style we thought the Beatles would have recorded it, and ended up on over 100 Lennon and Beatle bootlegs. Weird…

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Of all the bands that try to sound like The Beatles, this Nashville based collective succeeds far better than all the rest. The reason they do is because between their 7 members they have had 100 top 10 singles as either engineers, producers, writers, or musicians. Not only that, they write ‘original’ Beatle songs, some of which sound as good as the real thing. Where most bands borrow directly from the Fab Four’s output, the Vinyl Kings take it a step further and come up with something new. Here are two of my favourites. The first sounds so much like the real thing, until the lyrics sink in and you realize it is a song about first seeing the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show. A wonderful song in its own right….

Vinyl Kings: A Little Trip

…and this one is perhaps the best Paul McCartney song he never wrote.

Vinyl Kings: Here We Go Again

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Dudley Moore and Peter Cook: L S Bumblebee

I was driving down Sunset in Hollywood one afternoon in late summer of 1967 listening to top 40 powerhouse, AM radio station KHJ, when the disc jockey announced that he was about to play the brand new Beatle single that was not on Sgt. Pepper. This is the song he played. For weeks people talked about it, requested it, and awaited its release. I never heard it again, but I never forgot it, either. Years later I found out it was a hoax, perpetrated by Derek and Clive themselves, British comedians and actors, Dudley Moore and Peter Cook. And to think those of us who heard it actually thought it was The Beatles. Damn good drugs back then….

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Tears For Fears: Sowing the Seeds of Love

If you need a fix of post Sgt. Pepper Beatles, look no further than this song or Tears for Fears other great recordings. They got it right.

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The Rolling Stones….

As the World’s Luckiest Bar Band launches their 50th Anniversary Tour, there are those of us who rest easy knowing that the Stones music will always be there when we need it. Like the Beatles, their music lives on not only through their own recordings, but through countless other artists who started out trying to capture the same lightning in a bottle…

The Pretty Things: Don’t Bring Me Down

The Pretty Things coulda been a contender. Great presence, good songs, and fine timing. Alas, it was not meant to be. Although they did well in the U.K, Australia, and a few other markets, they never got a foot hold in North America. Odd, considering their history….

From Wikipedia: “The Pretty Things were preceded by Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys, which consisted of Dick Taylor, fellow Sidcup Art College student Keith Richards, and Mick Jagger. When Brian Jones was recruiting for his own band, all three joined Brian and Ian Stewart and were dubbed “Rollin’ Stones” by Jones. Taylor would briefly play bass guitar in the nascent Rolling Stones who employed a variety of drummers during 1962.

The Pretty Things first three singles — “Rosalyn” #41, “Don’t Bring Me Down” #10, and the self-penned “Honey I Need” at #13 — appeared in the UK Singles Chart in 1964 and 1965. They never had a hit in the United States, but had considerable success in their native United Kingdom and in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and the Netherlands in the middle of the decade. Their appearance was designed to provoke, with May claiming to have the longest hair in the UK.

Their album, SF Sorrow, was released in December 1968, and was considered to be the first rock opera, preceding the release of The Who’s Tommy in May 1969. It was recorded between December 1967 and September 1968 at the Abbey Road Studios, while Pink Floyd were working on A Saucerful Of Secrets (also produced by Norman Smith) and The Beatles worked on the White Album.”  Ed. Note: The Family Tree album, “Miss Butters” was released in January of 1968, making IT the first rock opera. So there….

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Them: Baby Please Don’t Go

It was a toss-up as to which track I would post here, this one, or Gloria. Baby Please Don’t Go won the toss. Hard to imagine Van Morrison came from this band, and harder still to imagine him with this much energy.

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The Chesterfield Kings: 99th Floor

Every now and then these guys still come through town and play a gig or two. Always worth seeing, they hail from Rochester New York and still have the energy they had when I saw them for the first time years ago.

The Chesterfield Kings are a rock band from Rochester, New York, who began as a retro-1960s garage band, and who have heavily mined 1960s music, including some borrowing from the 1960s recordings of The Rolling Stones. Core members are former Distorted Level singer, underground music journalist and avid record collector Greg Prevost, and Andy Babiuk (16 years old at the time of the band’s founding), others have come and gone. The band, named after a defunct brand of unfiltered cigarette, was instrumental in sparking the 1980s garage band revival that launched such groups as the Unclaimed, Marshmallow Overcoat, The Fuzztones, The Malarians, Mystic Eyes, The Cynics, The Optic Nerve, the Secret Service, and the Stomachmouths.

The early Kings were a late-1970s recreation of a mid-1960s garage band sound. Their self-released first single (Living Eye Records, LSD-1) was a cover of The Brogues’ 1965 “I Ain’t No Miracle Worker”. Bill Whittington, the bass player in The Brogues was the Family Tree’s first bass player, Gary Duncan, the Brogues lead singer, and Greg Elmore, the drummer, went on to form the Quicksilver Messenger Service.

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New York Dolls: Trash

Seriously, is that not the Stones? It is to me….

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and Finally…Back to the Bee Gees….

Earlier, I mentioned a record that surely impacted on the Bee Gees just prior to their rise to the top of the charts with a brand new sound. There are other records they must have been listening to as well, like the Stylistics and the Spinners, but this obscure classic sounds so much like the latter day Bee Gees (especially in the chorus) that I would be very surprised if it wan’t a major influence. As always, judge for yourselves.

See you next time….

Blue Magic: Sideshow

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Segarini’s regular column appears here every Friday

Contact us at dbawis@rogers.com

DBAWIS ButtonBob “The Iceman” Segarini was in the bands The Family Tree, Roxy, The Wackers, The Dudes, and The Segarini Band and nominated for a Juno for production in 1978. He also hosted “Late Great Movies” on CITY TV, was a producer of Much Music, and an on-air personality on CHUM FM, Q107, SIRIUS Sat/Rad’s Iceberg 95, (now 85), and now publishes, edits, and writes for DBAWIS, continues to write music, make music, and record.

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One Response to “Segarini: “Say, Isn’t that…?””

  1. Daryl Bothwell Says:

    In 1959 the hot group was the Blue Notes, who played in a hall out near Eight Mile Road between Stockton and Lodi. Between gang bang fisticuffs we rocked out to some good sounds! I’m sure many who were Stagg and Lodi High alumn recall those times.

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