Tag Archives: rock ‘n’ roll

“EIGHT DAYS A WEEK”; Impressions of Ron Howard’s Beatles Film

I just saw the new Beatles film, “Eight Days a Week” and these are some of my impressions. I didn’t think I would actually like it that much. The Beatlemania years, frankly, don’t interest me as much as their more interesting Liverpool and Hamburg beginnings or their more creative period in the studio. The usual story is that, most of the time, they were just going through the motions, unable to hear themselves play, with all the screaming fans’ madness (especially near the end of their “Touring Years”, as the movie’s subtitle is called).

I thought director Ron (“Happy Days”) Howard might only cover the nice parts of Beatlemania. He does in the first half of the film and captures the pure energy of their early performances. He has assembled some not usually-seen footage and photos of their early concerts and appearances in Liverpool and Europe. These sometimes black and white images give it an almost old newsreel and historical feel. The film does seem primarily aimed at the North American market though.  There were only a couple Liverpool interviewees included in the theatre version, except for some trusted Beatles-insiders like roadie and later Apple director, Neil Aspinall (although I understand the later-to-be-released Deluxe 2 DVD version will  include more of these and lots more).

Howard also puts the Beatles Invasion into context with the tumultuous events the U.S.A. was going through in the mid-60’s with the Vietman War, Civil Rights demonstrations, and the assassination of JFK, which had only happened a few months before. The American people, especially its teenagers, were certainly ready for something to lift them out of their depression.  Along come these 4 English lads with the funny Liverpool accents and humor and it’s just the right medicine.  The Fab Four did so with its own version of the, ironically, America’s export, rock and roll, and the simple but catchy words and rhythms of their early original songs.  But what struck me again, upon seeing the film, is just how young and mainly female so many of their fans were.  For by this time, The Beatles themselves were already grown men in their early 20’s, playing to some only half their age.  Some of the most interesting and humorous moments for the movie audience, I was with anyway, was seeing again the complete hysteria they created in their fans (remember early attendees to their performances in the Cavern and Hamburg, evidently, didn’t originally scream).

But by ’66 and for most of the rest of the film, the whole atmosphere begins to change around The Beatles and they themselves could do little to contain it. Of course, there was the infamous “we’re more popular than Jesus” Lennon remark and the reaction it caused.  But it wasn’t only in America that they began to feel a backlash; there were death threats in Japan and, in the Philippines, they barely escaped when its First Lady Imelda Marcos felt snubbed. Howard has said in interviews promoting the film, that he didn’t want to go intodark corners.  But I have to give him credit for also not shying away from this part of their story too. For it seemed the once innocent teen hysteria had indeed turned into a far more dangerous form of madness. Howard includes excerpts from John and George’s recorded comments and also present day interviews with Paul and Ringo on both, the good and bad, aspects of this period.

The pall of these later more disturbing times toward the end of their touring years, which somewhat descends on the last half of the movie, is fortunately broken by his choice to also include their famous last public appearance on their Apple company’s rooftop in 1969.  What this reveals once again, is that even to the end (which they would also demonstrate on their last recorded album, Abbey Road) these were first and foremost musicians and original songwriters. Once they decided to finally get off the road because of the mounting pressures they were feeling, it would also allow them more time to spend in the studio and become more and more creative artists and not just entertainers.

Also shown in the movie theater after, was a half-hour film of their ’65 Shea Stadium concert. With improved color footage and remixed sound for this project by George Martin’s son, Gilles (although some in the particular theater I was in, said the sound wasn’t that good-but it may be fine in the movie and DVD itself), it shows just how good of performers they could be, even in often chaotic conditions. Ringo says that they really did try to always give their best-all four of them.  You can tell by their on-stage jokes that they are still having fun-most of the time. In the Shae Stadium show, Paul does one of his best, but perhaps underrated  rockers, “I’m Down”, with which they often ended their concerts, but for some reason was never released on a regular Beatles album(it was the B-side of the “Help” single).  John seems to be his old self, mugging and delivering gobbledigook asides and Paul is always the consummate showman. George is the musician, making sure he doesn’t miss a single guitar note and Ringo is driving the beat and shaking his hair. They alone were in the eye of the hurricane, but the film does seem to capture what it must have been like.  Howard’s title for his film is appropriate, for it really was “8 Days a Week.” As I said, the DVD will be released later this fall with some interesting extras.  But I would recommend, if you can, going to see this film still in the movie theater, and getting that feeling of enjoying it with other fans, which is what the best of Beatlemania was all about.

"The Day THe Music Died.", Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, Big Bopper killed in plane crash

“THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED”, FEB. 3, 1959

“THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED”, FEB. 3, 1959

By Alan Chrisman (All Articles ARE written BY ALAN CHRISMAN), copyright 2012-2015 (A Praveen Patel has tried to hack them and claim them).

This day has been dubbed “the day the music died” because on this day, three top 50’s rock ‘n’ roll acts, Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and “The Big Bopper” died in a plane crash  after a show near Clear Lake, Iowa.

This sad event was later immortalized in the song, “American Pie” by Don Mclean in 197I.  Buddy Holly was one of the most influential artists in rock.  He defined the rock band line-up with guitars, bass, and drums with his back-up band, The Crickets.  Some say The Beatles even created their name, partly, in reverence to him.  He wrote his own songs and many believe he was just starting to expand his and music’s directions when he was killed at only 22.  Already, he was experimenting with strings and different sounds and new recording techniques.  And his music was, like Elvis, appealed to both black and white audiences. He had several big hits, both rockers and ballads. ”That’ll be the Day”, Peggy Sue”, Maybe Baby”, “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore”, and many more.  The Beatles covered his, “Words Of Love” and The Stones did his “ Not Fade Away.”

Richie Valens, was a Latin–American artist who helped open the doors for that ethnic group in mainstream  pop music, with his hits, La Bamba” and ‘Donna” and he was but 17. “The Big Bopper”, J.P. Richardson, was a former D.J. who had had a big hit with “Chantilly Lace.” So it was a sad day indeed, when rock ’n’ roll lost these three irreplaceable talents. Waylon Jennings , later well-known ‘outlaw’ country singer/ songwriter with Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash, was a bassist in Holly’s band at the time and famously gave up his seat on that fated plane ride.  I was fortunate to see the surviving Crickets and Waylon Jennings at a Chicago Blues Fest.  Don Mclean’s epic song, “American Pie” perfectly captured in words and music, just how powerful their loss would be, and in fact, the future of rock, better than anybody at the time. They are so good, I’ve reprinted them here:

“American Pie “, Don McLean’s classic song about “The Day The Music Died.”

“American Pie”  lyrics below by Don McLean:

A long long time ago

I can still remember how
That music used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance

That I could make those people dance
And maybe they’d be happy for a while

But February made me shiver
With every paper I’d deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn’t take one more step

I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
Something touched me deep inside
The day the music died
So

[Chorus]
Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

Did you write the book of love
And do you have faith in God above
If the Bible tells you so?
Do you believe in rock and roll?
Can music save your mortal soul?
And can you teach me how to dance real slow?

Well, I know that you’re in love with him
‘Cause I saw you dancin’ in the gym
You both kicked off your shoes
Man, I dig those rhythm and blues

I was a lonely teenage broncin’ buck
With a pink carnation and a pickup truck
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the music died
I started singin’

Now, for ten years we’ve been on our own
And moss grows fat on a rolling stone
But, that’s not how it used to be

When the jester sang for the king and queen
In a coat he borrowed from James Dean
And a voice that came from you and me

Oh and while the king was looking down
The jester stole his thorny crown
The courtroom was adjourned
No verdict was returned

And while Lenin read a book on Marx
The quartet practiced in the park
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died

Helter skelter in a summer swelter
The birds flew off with a fallout shelter
Eight miles high and falling fast

It landed foul on the grass
The players tried for a forward pass
With the jester on the sidelines in a cast

Now the half-time air was sweet perfume
While sergeants played a marching tune
We all got up to dance
Oh, but we never got the chance

‘Cause the players tried to take the field
The marching band refused to yield
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the music died?
We started singin’

Oh, and there we were all in one place
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again

So come on Jack be nimble, Jack be quick
Jack Flash sat on a candlestick
‘Cause fire is the devil’s only friend

Oh and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage
No angel born in Hell
Could break that Satan’s spell

And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite
I saw Satan laughing with delight
The day the music died
He was singin’

I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news
But she just smiled and turned away

I went down to the sacred store
Where I’d heard the music years before
But the man there said the music wouldn’t play

And in the streets the children screamed
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed
But not a word was spoken
The church bells all were broken

And the three men I admire most
The Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died
And they were singing

Songwriters: MCLEAN, DON, 1971

American Pie lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

 

Below: Video Story: “The Day the Music Died”:

 http://youtu.be/r9M6u7-9yNE

 

Don McLean’s video for “American Pie”:

 http://youtu.be/tr-BYVeCv6U

 

 

 

Phil Spector's landmark Christmas Album is considered a classic Xmas-rock masterpiece

DARLENE LOVE & PHIL SPECTOR’S LEGENDARY CHRISTMAS ALBUM

DARLENE LOVE & PHIL SPECTOR’S LEGENDARY CHRISTMAS ALBUM

By Alan Chrisman (All Articles ARE written BY ALAN CHRISMAN), copyright 2012-2015 (A Praveen Patel has tried to hack them and claim them).

Tonight, Dec.19, Darlene Love, appears on The David Letterman Show, for the last time, doing her classic Xmas song, “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” from Phil Spector’s landmark Christmas album.  She has done so since 1986, but this will be the last time on Letterman, as he is retiring this year.

Phil Spector’s Christmas album has remained a holiday rock classic.  Darlene Love, is the actual voice behind many of Spector’s groups and still has an amazing voice.  If you’ve never seen her sing , don’t miss tonight’s performance!

Spector’s album is a re-working of traditional holiday songs, but done in a rock ’n’ roll style by some of the classic early 60’s girl groups which Spector wrote for and produced, Ronnie Spector and The Ronettes, Darlene Love, The Crystals, and Bobby Sox and The Blue Jeans.

It was originally called, A Gift for You, and was released on Nov. 22, 1963 (not a good date as that was the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated). But since then it has become a holiday staple. It contains standards like “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin; “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”, “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”, “Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer”, “Here Comes Santa Claus”, and Spector even co-wrote a song especially for the album, “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home”).

Phil Spector is a rock ’n’ roll legend for creating the “Wall of Sound” production technique, which many have tried to imitate ever since.  He basically put together all the above groups to realize his songs and production ideas.  He also made hits for The Righteous Brothers’ ”Unchained Melody”; Ike and Tina Turner,” River Deep-Mountain High” (which George Harrison called the ‘perfect record’); Ben E. King, “ Spanish Harlem”, and many more.

Spector was to have a huge influence on everyone from The Beatles to Springsteen, to Brian Wilson (Wilson says Spector’s Xmas album is his favorite album of all time).  Phil Spector would later go on to produce The Beatles’ Let it Be, George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass and John Lennon’s POB and Imagine and Rock and Roll albums.  Spector’s Christmas album was re- released on The Beatles’ label, Apple in 1972 (with Spector on the front cover in a long white beard, wearing a “back to mono” button).  For some holiday standards, rock ‘n’ rolled a bit, check out Phil Spector’s classic, Christmas Album.

Phil Spector, with Ronnie Spector & The Ronettes, 1963

Phil Spector with The Ronettes, one of the 60’s girl-groups which he produced and who’s also on his Xmas Album, 1963.

Phil Spector's classic Xmas Album was re-released on The Beatles' Apple label in 19972

Phil Spector’s classic Xmas Album was re-released on The Beatles’ Apple label in 1972

There’s a recent documentary about the female singers, like Darlene Love, who were the real, but often-uncredited, voices behind many of rock’ greatest songs and bands, “Twenty Feet from Stardom”.

Darlene Love doing Phil Spector classic, “Christmas (Baby please Come Home)”, David Letterman, 1993:

http://youtu.be/vUCjOpcK_LE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUCjOpcK_LE

See Darlene Love doing Phil Spector’s classic, “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), live on David Letterman TV Show, 2012:

http://youtu.be/rkaWqneQ0Tg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkaWqneQ0Tg

Darlene Love doing Phil Spector’s classic, “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), live on David Letterman TV Show, 2013:

http://youtu.be/hJwPM8UWwGk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJwPM8UWwGk

Chuck Berry had a xmas hit with " Run Run Rudolph" in 1958

“RUN RUN RUDOLPH” XMAS ROCK ‘N’ ROLL CLASSIC

“RUN RUN RUDOLPH-XMAS ROCK ‘N’ ROLL CLASSIC

By Alan Chrisman (All Articles ARE written BY ALAN CHRISMAN), copyright 2012-2015 (A Praveen Patel has tried to hack them and claim them).

Run Rudolph Run has become a Christmas rock favorite. Originally recorded by Chuck Berry in 1958 as a Chess Records single, musically it sounds a lot like his defining song, “.Johnny B. Good”. Although often credited to him, it was actually written by Johnny Marks (who wrote the original “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer’).

But Berry, one of the true fathers of rock ‘n’ roll, rocked it up. But everybody from Keith Richards to Bryan Adams to Whitney Houston to Conan Obrien has recorded it at one time.

Still probably the best-known versions are by Chuck Berry and Keith Richards. Richards released it as a Xmas single in 1978 with Jimmy Cliff’s reggae song, “The Harder They Come” on the B side. A real rock ‘n’ roll Christmas rocker!

Keith Richards re-did Chuck Berry's Xmas hit,

Kieth Richards re-recorded Chuck Berry’s Xmas hit, “Run Run Rudolph” in 1978

CHUCK BERRY’S original 1958 version of “Run Run Rudolph”:

http://youtu.be/cCXx1Z8srYY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCXx1Z8srYY

Keith Richards 1978 version,“Run Run Rudolph”:

http://youtu.be/Ym62kKIydo8

RINGO STARR 'acting naturally' in THE DAY film, 1973

THAT’LL BE THE DAY FILMw/ RINGO STARR & DAVID ESSEX

THAT’LL BE THE DAY FILM w/RINGO STARR & DAVID ESSEX

By Alan Chrisman (All Articles ARE written BY ALAN CHRISMAN), copyright 2012-2015 (A Praveen Patel has tried to hack them and claim them).

That’ll be the Day is a 1973 British film starring Ringo Starr and actor/singer David Essex (“Rock On”).  It takes place in England in the late 50’s and early 60’s and captures what it must have been like growing up there, right before The Beatles were to take over.  Ringo almost steals the movie, although Essex does strong acting too.

In fact, it’s partly based on the times of the early Liverpool days of the pre-Beatles and their teenage band, The Quarrymen.  Essex’s Jim MacLaine, the main character, is a cross between Paul McCartney and John Lennon.  Like Lennon, he comes from a fatherless home, but he manages to land a job at a sea-side Holiday camp, where British working-class families would escape to for their summer holidays. There, Essex, meets Ringo’s character, Mike, an old hand at working the carnival circuit, and takes the handsome, but innocent at first, Jim, under his wing and shows him the ropes, the scams, and how to pick up “birds”, in dealing with the crowds.

The whole movie just looks and feels authentic (it was shot partly on the Isle of Wight.)  Ringo especially, just fits the role, playing someone he could have actually been.  Before The Beatles, Ringo was in a band called Rory Storm & the Hurricanes and until The Beatles, they were the most popular band in Liverpool.  In fact, one of the characters, Stormy Tempest is a play on the name Rory Storm and is played by British singer Billy Fury and The Who’s Keith Moon  is also in the film.  Ringo actually played similar holiday camps when he was with Rory Storm.

The film was written by Ray Connolly, from Liverpool and later a London journalist, who knew The Beatles well and their story.  He would later write the respected book, John Lennon 1940-80.  As I said, his screenplay and the movie evokes the era and characters perfectly.   And Ringo especially, dressed up in his stove-pipe “drainies” and slicked back hair-do, looks and acts the part.  Essex expresses the growing ambition to become a rocker by the end of the picture.  The soundtrack is made up of some of the best rock ‘n’ roll songs of the 50’s and early 60’s.

That’ll be The Day did so well in England, especially, that it led to a follow-up film in ’74 called Stardust.   Essex’s character, carries on to become the rock star he yearned to be in the first film, but he also gets caught up in its trappings.  Stardust, the sequel also has more British rock musicians playing roles in it, like Adam Faith and Dave Edmunds (but not Ringo).   David Essex, besides his big worldwide hit, “Rock On” in 1973 would go on to remain popular in the U.K., both as a singer and actor.

That’ll be the Day and Stardust are considered by some to be among the best films about the dream to become a rocker and especially that fertile time in pop music, when The Beatles were about to shake up the world.  

I recommend you seeing these films, if you haven’t.

See Ringo & David Essex in That’ll Be the Day film, 1973:

http://youtu.be/r9l-br92F-4

POster for film,

POSTER FOR “THAT’LL BE THE DAY” film with Ringo and David Essex, 1973

David Essex's worldwide hit,

David Essex ‘s worldwide hit, “Rock On”, 1973

Poster for STARDUST, 1974 sequel to

STARDUST, 1974,sequel to “That’ll be The Day” film, with David Essex, Keith Moon, Dave Edmunds

Photo from, STARDUST, w/David Essex, dave Edmunds, Keith Moon

Photo from STARDUST band, David Essex, Dave Edmunds, Keith Moon

JOHN LENNON & PAUL MCcARTNEY, A FINAL RECORDING SESSION?Y

JOHN LENNON/PAUL McCARTNEY’S LITTLE-KNOWN LAST RECORDING SESSION

JOHN LENNON/PAUL McCARTNEY’S LITTLE-KNOWN LAST RECORDING SESSION, 1974      

 &  THE LENNON/MICK JAGGER SESSION

By Alan Chrisman (All Articles ARE written BY ALAN CHRISMAN), copyright 2012-2015 (A Praveen Patel has tried to hack them and claim them).

John Lennon, Mick Jagger, May Pang, L.A., 1974

John Lennon, Mick Jagger, May Pang, 1974, L.A.

(& HOW I MET MAY PANG & CYNTHIA LENNON)

There had been rumors of John Lennon and Paul McCartney getting secretly together for a recording session in L.A. in 1974Well, last week, May Pang in an interview with the L.A. Examiner, confirmed they did take place.  Pang was John’s girlfriend during his separation from Yoko and his infamous “Lost Weekend” in 1974.  This may well be the last known sessions between John & Paul. This would have been somewhat shocking at the time because, as far as the public knew, since the Beatles split in 1970, Lennon and McCartney were still quite estranged from each other.

She describes the night when Paul and wife, Linda, showed up at the studio.  John played guitar and sang lead, Paul played drums and harmony, Linda, organ, and as well, there were Stevie Wonder on piano, Jesse Ed Davis on lead guitar, and both Harry Nilsson and Stevie Wonder sang harmonies too.  The group roughly jammed briefly on a couple of rock ‘n’ roll oldies including “Lucille” and “Stand by Me” ( a song which John would have recorded the fall before with legendary producer, Phil Spector, for John’s album of oldies, Rock ‘n’ Roll).  Lennon was there producing his friend, Harry Nilsson’s album, Pussycats and the McCartneys were there the first night of those sessions.

Pang also described another recording session between Lennon and Mick Jagger, around the same time, called the “Too Many Cooks” session, after a cover of a Willie Dixson song, which May says  that Lennon produced.  The back-up band consisted of Jesse Ed Davis on guitar again, keyboardist Al Kooper, who played with Dylan on his Highway 61 Revisited album and founded Blood, Sweat & Tears, Danny Kortchmar, guitar player for James Talyor and on Carol King’ Tapestry album, Jim Keltner on drums, and bassist, Jack Bruce from Cream ( who has just recently passed away-see my previous tribute blog on Bruce).  The story goes that supposedly the recording tape had lain for years under May Pang’s bed!  Jagger said he had forgotten about it for a long time, but it did finally end up on his Very Best of Mick Jagger album in 2007.

Both these artifacts are quite historical, with John and Paul’s last and also a rare Lennon/Jagger recording and worth hearing.

Pang was in Germany recently, promoting her new book for the German market only, John Lennon & May Pang, Another Love.  She had released an earlier book about her life with John, Loving John, in 1983 and a photo book, Instamatic Karma (2008).  She also mentions John’s recording with David Bowie ”Fame” (’75) which John co-wrote, based on his guitar riff, at the beginning, and it became Bowie’s 1st #1 hit in the U.S..

 I actually met May Pang in 1994.  It’s kind of an interesting story. I was attending my first Beatles’ Convention in Stamford, Conn.  I had gone there because I had created a “fantasy” project for a course I had just taken at a local college about putting on events. The fictional event my fellow classmate and friend, Al, both being Beatles fans, had proposed was a Beatles Convention.  A couple weeks after we had presented this fantasy event to our class, someone told me about a Beatles’ Convention in Conn.  We had never been to one before, but we especially wanted to meet one of the guests, Cynthia Lennon, John’s first wife.  I had read her first book about John which came out originally in ’78 , A Twist of Lennon.  That’s the reason I went, so Al and I took the bus from Ottawa, Canada, where we lived.  And there we did get to meet and talk to Cynthia a couple times and she was warm and lovely and autographed several items for us.

As I said, Cynthia was one of the main guests, as well as Paul McCartney’s step-mom, Beatles’ band, Badfinger, and several others.  But at that same convention in Conn. in ’94, to my and everyone else’s surprise May Pang showed up

Al & I meeting Cynthia Lennon & May Pang, Conn. Beatles' Convention'94, inspired us to put on our own

Al & I, meeting May Pang and Cynthia Lennon, Conn. Beatles’ Convention, 94

unannounced.  She wasn’t supposed to be a guest.  In fact, I didn’t know if Cynthia and May even liked each other, as I knew Cynthia and Yoko didn’t, and May had been Yoko’s assistant, before Yoko had “assigned” her to watch John.

But on the final day of the Convention, I was in the dealers’ room, with hardly anybody there, when I noticed this Oriental-looking woman talking to a well-known dealer who’d also written several books on The Beatles. I heard the dealer say,“Oh May, I’ve got my latest book and your personal copy for you”.  I knew right then it must be May Pang.  As I said, there was hardly anyone else in the room, but us.  I asked her if I could get a picture and told my friend, Al, to run up and get our camera ( this was before selfies).  Like Cynthia, she was warm and friendly.  She signed one of my favorite John Lennon albums, Walls and Bridges, recorded shortly after the McCartney and Jagger sessions mentioned above.  May said she even sang on one of the songs on it, one of my favorites, #9 Dream and that other songs were actually about her, such as  “Surprise , Surprise (Sweet Bird of Paradox), which I had always thought was about Yoko.  Along with May was, to my surprise too, Fred Seaman, John’s assistant at the Dakota, whom Yoko would later accuse of stealing John’s diaries.

In fact, the reason May Pang was there was that she was actually close friends with Cynthia and had come in to see her from New York at the Convention. May, I found out later, had encouraged John , when separated from Yoko, to re-establish his relationship with John’s and Cynthia’s son, Julian, and Cynthia had appreciated it and Cynthia and May had become good friends.

So it was quite a weekend, meeting the lovely Cynthia Lennon and other Beatles’ insiders, and on top of that, meeting unexpectedly John’s girlfriend and confidante, May Pang.  May gave me her business card as well, on it was also Tony Visconti’s (David Bowie’s longtime producer) address, whom she was married to at the time).  My friend, Al and I went home the next day, with dreams of perhaps even putting on our own Beatles’ Conventions back in Ottawa, inspired especially by meeting Cynthia Lennon and May Pang in one weekend!

For now we also had contacts for several Beatles’ guests. And we were to do exactly that-put on our own Beatles’ Conventions.  The story of which, along with meeting several others in the Beatles’ circle, is told in my book, “ It’s A Long Way Home”( & How Beatles’ Music Saved My Life”).

‘LAST’ LENNON/McCARTNEY RECORDING SESSION, L.A. ,1974:

http://youtu.be/Kj-AGEuhcp0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kj-AGEuhcp0&feature=youtu.be

LENNON/JAGGER SESSION, 1974, “ TOO MANY COOKS”:

http://youtu.be/etd9Vp15w7Q

 

Sonny Curtis of Buddy Holly's Crickets wrote original version of " I Fought The Law"

THE CRICKETS’ SONNY CURTIS & “I FOUGHT THE LAW”

THE CRICKET’S SONNY CURTIS & “I FOUGHT THE LAW”

By Alan Chrisman (All Articles ARE written BY ALAN CHRISMAN), copyright 2012-2015 (A Praveen Patel has tried to hack them and claim them).

Sonny Curtis replaced Buddy Holly in The Crickets on lead guitar and vocals after Holly’s plane crash on Feb. 3, 1959. The ill-fated incident, which also killed Richie Valens (“La Bamba”) and the Big Bopper (“Chantilly Lace”) is recounted as “the day the music died” in Don McLean’s 1987 song “American Pie”.  The legendary story is that Waylon Jennings had given up his seat on the flight that day.

Sonny Curtis, Buddy Holly’s friend, joined the other original Crickets, Jerry Allison, drums and Joe B. Maldin, stand-up bass, for their 1960 LP, In Style with The Crickets.  Buddy Holly and The Crickets were one of the most influential songwriters and bands in rock ’n’ roll history. The Beatles were partly named after them. And they influenced everyone from The Stones to Dylan. In fact, a teen-age Dylan had seen Holly perform in Duluth two days before the fatal crash.

But on that first Crickets’ album was a song, which wasn’t popular at the time, but would go on to become a symbol song for rebels of all times: “I Fought the Law”.  It was written by Sonny Curtis. It would later be recorded by The Clash, The Ramones, Springsteen, Tom Petty, Waylon Jennings, Nancy Griffith and many, many more.  As I say, it would become a classic.

But the most well-known version is by The Bobby Fuller Four, another Texas band, in 1966 and became a top ten hit. Unfortunately, it was to be the only hit for Bobby Fuller, who was found asphyxiated in his mother’s car, only 6 months later.

But the song has certainly stood the test of time. Sonny Curtis would go to tour in with various Crickets for years to come and he would also write “Love is All around”, the theme for the popular Mary Tyler Moore TV series and also wrote” The Good Life” for Glen Campbell and Bobby Goldsboro.

Another song, also about being chased by the law, was R. Dean Taylor’s 1970 hit, “Indiana Wants Me”, with its siren wailing in the background (some stations wouldn’t play it because listeners thought it was real). I remember it because I originally grew up in Indiana.  But he actually was a Canadian and would go on to become one of the few white songwriters at Motown in Detroit, and would co-write songs with their famous song-writing team, Holland-Dozier-Holland.  Taylor wrote, “I’ll Turn to Stone” for the Four Tops and wrote and was part of “The Clan” song writing and producing team, after Holland-Dozier-Holland left.  He wrote many songs for Diana Ross and The Supremes including the great, “ Love Child” in 1968 and “ I’m Livin’ in Shame” in 1969.

I was privileged to see Sonny Curtis and some of the original Crickets perform along with Waylon Jennings at the Chicago Bluesfest on a visit to my family near there in the 80’s.

See below Bobby Fuller’s hit version of Sonny Curtis’s “ I Fought The Law”, 1965:

http://youtu.be/OgtQj8O92eI

See also Sonny Curtis and The Crickets with Nancy Griffith,” I Fought The Law”, 1997:

http://youtu.be/6uVe47N83vk

Bobby Fuller Four's

Bobby Fuller Four and their classic rebel song, ” I Fought the Law”, written by The Cricket’s Sonny Curtis

R.Dean Taylor's album, 1970, with hit,

R. Dean Taylor’s hit. 1970, “Indiana Wants Me”

To hear an original Buddy Holly-like song by Al & The G-Men (c. Socan 2013), ” We Didn’t Know”:

http://www.rockthistownproductions.com/uploads/1/1/0/9/11098414/wedidntknowver1ghs.mp3