Segarini – 24 Songs I Have Written That Were Inspired, Informed, and Influenced by the Beatles

bob-and-the-beatles

If you just want to listen to the music, click on the Audio Player at the bottom of this paragraph and go about your business. If you want to read about the songs while you listen to them, just keep reading. If you just want to read about them, don’t click on the Audio Player at the end of this paragraph and keep reading. I am nothing if not fair….

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I get myself in hot water every time I mention that although I admire and respect their body of work, The Beatles are nowhere to be found in my ever-changing Lists of Records I Will Never Tire of Hearing. Occasionally, one will pop up long enough for me to YouTube it and fix the need, and Free as a Bird will forever and always be the one Beatle recording I will cherish until McCartney wakes up and remembers what a good writer he used to be, but until then, (if ever), Jeff Lynne’s beautiful production will be the one and only Beatle record that I will ‘never tire of hearing’.

These songs were indeed “inspired, Informed, and Influenced by The Beatles, but there are other influences as well. If you’re an old coot like me, you will be able to pick them out, but none of the outside influences are blatant or easily pointed out, with the exception of a few things that are out and out homage.

I am very proud to say that we (all the bands contained herein) never tried to sound like the Beatles, and never wanted to. We were more about the influence…more than 3 chords, story, and meaningful, lyrics, economy of playing, and wonderful, glorious, harmony.

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The Beatles (and I include George Martin in that designation) were a force of nature. The right thing at the right time, never to be repeated, never to fully be recognized as the group who kicked open the door for so many kids to want to BE them, to play music, to write songs, to get the girls and live the life, just like Rudy Valley, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Elvis, and the Everly Brothers kicked it open for them and the generations who preceded them.

There have been others, and there will be more, but right now, an aging generation who still define their lives by the music they grew up on, will keep The Beatles front and centre until the last Boomer breathes his or her last, and the Nirvana crowd takes over the world.

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5aa0d441840cbe887890f924fe26c49b409f0ac6I have left out several songs from the past 50 years, but this is a fairly good indication of how profoundly the writing of Lennon, McCartney and Harrison affected me. The standard set by them and George Martin mirrors other greats like Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Hoagy Carmichael, Cole Porter, Bacharach and David, and the legion of writers who embraced melody, harmony, interesting chord changes, and playful structure.

I am humbled by all of them….

Segarini – 24 Songs I Have Written That Were Inspired, Informed, and Influenced by the Beatles

Due to my lack of skill cleaning up old recordings and Audacity’s rather odd habit of highlighting the flaws inherent in tunes that are 20 to 50 years old, listening to the majority of the tracks in this column is like listening to them on an old transistor radio, or AM station from far away.

Kind of charming if you miss the way radio used to sound when the content was more important than the advertising and format….

The Family Tree 1966 – 1968

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These first five songs were recorded at Gold Star Recording Studios for Mira Records, who had released our first single, Prince of Dreams. in 1966. We were in the small studio while the Beach Boys were down one hall and Phil Spector down the other. Sonny Bono, who was working down the hall with Spector, would stop by every day on his way to Phil’s session, and give us tips and pointers. In a way, I guess you could say he co-produced these tracks with me. Our engineer was the legendary Doc Seigal. Oh…Doc also did this stuff. Mira considered these recordings demos, but they got leaked to RCA, who signed us away from Mira, shelved these songs, and recorded and released “Miss Butters” instead. None of the Mira Recordings have ever been released.

gold-star-studiosDo You See Another Man

Find A Little Something

(It’s Not a) Good Day

May I Ride With You

Up In the Air

Sideliner – This was supposed to be the first single from RCA before they decided to go with the Miss Butters concept LP. Instead, Sideliner was shelved because they were convinced the background “Bups” were actually us singing “Fuck”.

They were right….

Concerto for Three Handed Piano – Jim DeCoq and I played the old upright. Lots of giggles. This was used as the intro to…

Mrs. McPheeny Has Flu In Her Chest (And Has Needed a Rest For So Long) – My favourite tune from Miss Butters, along with Any Other Baby, which is REALLY Beatle-y…but I just plum forgot it.

The Wackers 1970 – 1974

the-wackers-in-eureka-california-1971

Ahhh, The Wackers, (named after a Liverpudlian expression for ‘friend’ (Hey Wack!) as described in a Teen Magazine by John Lennon back in the ’60s, when the magazine racks were full of 25 cent Beatle mags…kind of like bookstores now…but considerably pricier than the good old days.

Strangers – A relationship song about mental health.

I Hardly Know Her Name – Mike Stull and I wrote this waiting to take our next door neighbor to a show with us. She was 14. There was neither hanky, nor panky. Now she’s a grandmother. Hi Ardythe.

We Can Be – Dear Prudence by way of years of Owsley Strawberry Double Dome and a case of Brador.

Time Will Carry On – No, we were not trying to emulate the Beatle track(s) at the end of Abbey Road…we needed three more songs for Hot Wacks and when pressed  by Gary Usher to put up or shut up, Rand (Bishop) and I strung together the bits and pieces of songs we were writing and came up with this. The section that bears the name of this medley was originally recorded by the Family Tree as a demo. I have the recording in my possession thanks to Family Tree guitarist and singer, Mike Durr, who also provided the early Mira stuff contained in the audio.

I’ll Believe In You – Two acoustic guitars, bass and drums, kickin’ it old school.

Eventually Even You Even Me – JP Lauzon, the hired gun for the Shredder album and tour managed to sneak the guitar parts to Octopussy’s Garden into this song that basically just plays with the English language. Funny, that….

1543537-disneynemoCaptain Nemo – Still my favourite Bob and Rand duet. Of all the Wackers recordings, THIS one gets it all. The song, the humour, the playing, and the vibe. We were at our most comfortable in the studio on this track…we were home.

C’est Tout (That’s All) – The Wackers broke up, I felt my self-confidence fly out the window like a bullet, and booked time in a studio in Montreal to test myself. I recorded this and a couple of other things, but this is the track that helped me regain my confidence. I played and sang everything, wrote and produced it, and walked out of the studio ready for the next adventure, whatever the hell it would be.

Segarini  1977

Segarini EP CoverBefore I put the Segarini Band together, Marty Melhuish set up studio time for me in Toronto and we spent the better part of a year in the bar car of the CN Turbo drinking our way back and forth between Montreal and Toronto while I recorded an EP and worked on what would become Gotta Have Pop. No band yet, so with the help of friends, I recruited David Bendeth, BB Gabor, Mark Bronson and Kier Brownstone and cut these songs on an old 8 track machine in the basement of Thunder Sound, which was in a retired Church. David Stone (ex-Richie Blackmore’s Rainbow, Greg Godovitz and Doug Inglis also contributed, but not on these tunes from the EP.

I Want You To Stay – Two guitars, bass and drums, and harmony vocals doing a simple love song, a throw back to early Fabs. I had already done my Sgt. Pepper with Miss Butters…starting all over again for the first time seemed like a great idea.

I’m Not Your Fool – Under two minutes and a kind of rocker about a girlfriend who cheats…with another girl! Shocking at the time, totally understandable nowadays….

Starlight – I set out to write a John Lennon Beatle song. I succeeded, at least to my own satisfaction. Nobody likes this song except me, so…it fulfilled its destiny perfectly. Still one of my personal favourites. The runt of the litter.

All the Young Dudes 1975 – 1976

Dudes BeeGees TourGotta Have Pop (Demo) – Yeah, most of you know the song, but you have never heard this version (Most of you have probably never heard ANY of these songs). This is All the Young Dudes recording of the song that was turned down by CBS and turned into the lead off song of the Gotta Have Pop album 3 years later. The Segarini Band faithfully recorded this almost exactly the way the Dudes did, because I was quite happy the way it turned out the first time around. Fuck CBS…they gutted the Dudes and soured me on major labels in the process. Not only did they NOT get the band, they didn’t get the music either. I have no idea why they signed us in the first place…but the money and perks were stellar.

The Segarini Band 1977 – 1981

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It was a good run and some great times. These players love music, Drew Winters has evolved into a fine singer/songwriter, and Peter Kashur belongs in a chef’s kitchen  in the Royal Ontario Museum’s Art Gallery along with his paintings, photographs, and selected guitar parts. Phil Angers is one of the best and most creative bass players EVER, Michael St. Denis is an electrifying guitarist, and Mark Bronson is a formidable drummer, with energy and power to boot. That they didn’t kill me and bury the body in the rubble of Larry’s Hideaway when it was torn down, is beyond me.

I Like the Beatles (And My Baby Loves the Rolling Stones) – This argument still goes on. It even has its own meme, fer chrissakes.

Danger Guy – The Beatles by way of Henry Mancini and the Doors. Yep.

Segarini (Cats and Dogs) 1997 – 2003

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Cats and Dogs were friends and more friends. We were amazing live and released two albums to a smattering of applause, but the second, This Life, stands as one of the best this-life-b-and-walbums I have ever been a part of. This song was to be on the third, but I ended up doing it myself with Steve Sherman, Michael White, and a few wonderful musicians brought in by the two of them. Drew and Lighthouse lead singer, Dan Clancy aided and abetted me with the harmonies. 9 months and 10 grand…the damn thing took longer and cost more than the entire Gotta Have Pop album.

Goodbye – This is the best mix I have found (out of dozens) further enhanced by (The Ugly Duckling’s) Dave Bingham’s wonderful re-mastering  job. As Beatle-y as I will ever be.

The Segarini Band

Love Story – I saved this one for last because it is actually about The Beatles songs that inspired, informed, and influenced me. Also re-mastered by Dave Bingham, it still stands up today, like (hopefully) some of my better efforts do.

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Still more to record, and maybe write…we’ll see. Any investors out there who need a tax write-off?

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Segarini’s regular columns appear here whenever somebody sings I Saw Her Standing There drunk

Contact us at dbawis@rogers.com

dbawis-button7giphyBob “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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Responses to “Segarini – 24 Songs I Have Written That Were Inspired, Informed, and Influenced by the Beatles”

  1. […] Before I finally reveal what was on the tape being brought into the Crystal Ballroom by David Crosby (as if you didn’t know), another side trip I feel obligated to share because I want you to know why I feel qualified to speak of the Beatles in the first place. Regardless of what you think of my seemingly dismissive tone when I write about them, the fact is I am more than in debt to them and their music. My entire recorded history has been connected to them because of how much they affected how I write and what I believe great songs should be. I even published a column that makes it perfectly clear that I am grateful for their influence, and don’t mind admitting that I too, was a fanatic at one time…but we’ll get to that when we ‘get to the point’ further on down the page.  Here’s a link to that column I like to call; The Link to That Column […]

  2. Doug Thompson Says:

    Always loved your songs Bob. You really are one HELLUVA writer.

  3. […] On this, the 80th Anniversary of John Lennon’s birth, I share this column from 2016. It contains an audio player with just under an hour and 20 minutes of original recordings of songs I have written over the past 50 years that were influenced by John, George, and Paul. Ringo too, considering how important is drumming was to the feel of the Beatles material. Time constraints and ongoing problems contribute to me not being able to update or add to this post at this time. Life has become an obstacle course …. Click on the link to continue. https://bobsegarini.wordpress.com/…/segarini-24-songs…/ […]

  4. Damon Hines Says:

    Greht stoof awl faller, ta, vm indeedy

  5. Damon Hines Says:

    Stellar, really. Cheers. Lessons learned…you…. me, not so much.

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