Re: Stuff from old magazines and whatnot
Posted: 06 Mar 2014, 21:58
I first read this back in the '70s - I've always wanted to see it again.
I first read this back in the '70s - I've always wanted to see it again.
Just behave yourselves!
Charlie O. wrote:Nice!
That jibes with my memories as a young record shopper - that album was everywhere, and was well-promoted. I gather that it didn't sell much here (at the time), but you couldn't blame Warners for that.
JD: What turned you guys on to ragas?
Together: [laughter] The Dick Clark tour.
Drake: We were on a Dick Clark tour together and...
Gene: [laughter] ...and we started exchanging ragas.
Drake: Yeah, all of us had listened to it before but on the tour, like, Bo Diddley and Jim McGuinn and me and Gene...
Gene: We'd have a raga session.
JD: Diddley plays, too?
Drake: Yeah. Well, his guitar is tuned to a modal chord but Bo was right in there.
Gene: What happened is we had a mobile home we were living in.
Drake: Hiding in.
Gene: Hiding in, right - and we had a tape deck, an amplifier, and a speaker and we played Ravi Shankar and John Coltrane over it every evening - you know, before the gigs - because we were touring in the South. We didn't know anybody, so we all got together and listened to the music and had a session. We all got to where we heard it so much that we began thinking like that and started playing those kind of things. That's where "Eight Miles High" came from. It was written during that time.
Drake: We had Mike Clarke on drums and Smitty [Raiders drummer Mike Smith] would be drumming a little bit, and whoever else felt like sitting in. We had about seven maraca players, Bo Diddley, McGuinn and Dave Crosby, and Gene was playing tambourine and bells.
Gene: A giant jam session. Really fine.
Drake: We ruined a lot of equipment that way. It went out before we had to do a show. We all used each other's amps.
Gene: The promoter loved us in Huntsville, Alabama. Especially when we started to sing "We'll never go back to Huntsville again."
Drake: When The Raiders first started out, we'd drive everywhere. We did Canada a lot. We were a small Northwest group. We did Oregon and Washington and Hawaii.
Gene: Driving to Hawaii.
Drake: We'd, like, drive thirty hours straight and be a half hour late. One time we drove from Edmonton, Canada to Salem, Oregon, all night and all day and part of the next day, and just went on and did the gig. At the time, it was really bad, but now it seems funny. Life on the road is an experience in itself, almost as much as the Army is. Yeah, now that's an experience!
JD: How about you, Gene?
Gene: I don't know.
Drake: Oh, what about the time the guy ran into The Byrds in the mobile home?
Gene: Oh, I wasn't there. The greatest experience I had was going to London with The Byrds and touring England with a Number One record. Going through the whole thing over there was beautiful. It was a three week tour and being a top group at the time was a lot of excitement. We wrote "Eight Miles High" after the tour. Jim, Dave and I got together and we talked over the English thing and we decided to put it in a record as best we could. Sidewalk scenes and black limousines.
JD: What's your opinion of Time Magazine calling that a drug song?
Gene: Well, I can see why they made that mistake. The content of the lyrics and the contemporary feeling of the music. Jazz has always had that problem. It's time it was dispelled. Being that The Byrds are in the same bag, they would immediately assume that, without thinking that things can often have many meanings.
JD: Has anybody called any of the Raiders' songs drug songs yet?
Drake: Just the opposite. We got an award from Synanon...
Gene: Yeah, an award from Synanon.
Drake: For putting out the Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil song "Kicks". Because that was the song that said you don't need kicks. They sent Barry and Cynthia a plaque, and also one to Paul.
Gene: That's beautiful. Helping to clean up America.
JD: "[The Great] Airplane Strike" was a drug song, wasn't it?
Drake: [laughter] I suppose some people might think so. There's something about a saxophone and catching a plane.
Gene: All those articles in Time that depict Sunset Strip as the sin center of the world - well, within the last two years the scene has grown quite a bit.It's like Greenwich Village used to be. There's a great misconception about the whole thing.
JD: Are there any Indians living out there?
Gene: What kind of Indians?
JD: India Indians.
Gene: Well, I saw a couple at somebody's house last week. But I don't think any record here.
Drake: I'm getting a sitar and there will probably be Indian things in my music.
Drake: But I'm not Indian.
Gene: Neither is Donovan.
JD: Beck is an excellent guitarist, but why isn't more of his solo work heard on records?
Jim: How far can you go? We've been told our latest album* is too far advanced. There's too much electronic stuff on it. But I think it's all basic. We cut a single with Jeff. It's a Bolero thing. It's very exciting and strange. It's either going to be a monster or a bomb. It's an instrumental based on the classical Bolero piece. Beck's guitar playing is exploited quite a bit there. But how much can you do that the public will accept? You either make a commercial record or a musicians' record. You've got to draw the line somewhere.
Charlie O. wrote:I just stumbled upon this, and god, it's stupendous. It was published in the Harvard Crimson in early 1969, written by the leader of forgotten Boston band Bead Game. It's sort of a post-mortem of the "Bosstown Sound" hype, from the inside - but it takes in a lot more than that, and has much to say about rock "scenes" - real and imagined - then and ever since. It's incisive, a bit bitchy, but genuinely insightful - one of the best pieces of small-scale "rock journalism" I think I've ever read.
the old rhythm section of the Bead Game, Lassic Sachs and Jimmie Hodder, articulate and inventive musicians each
"Do you like them?" I asked Goldstein. He shrugged in his I-Don't-Want-To-Hurt-Anyone's-Feelings-and-Anyway-I'm-Only-Doing-This-For-Vogue-For-Money way, very endearing, really. I felt sick. I watched a few executives in the audience yawn and felt like a thirteen year old who has gotten pregnant by sitting on a Tijuana toilet seat. If these guys were bored by the Street Choir, they'd be stupefied by the Bead Game.
The reason that rock music in general, and the Boston Sound in particular, is such a confused area is that there are no critical standards by which to judge the music. White rock musicians today have nothing, in Dylan's phrase, to live up to. And the audiences will pay in turn to be insulted (The Mothers), bored (The Ultimate Spinach), assaulted (The Fugs and MC 5), ignored (The Jefferson Airplane and Procol Harum), and urinated upon by a lukewarm assemblage of beligerent flower-cretins. Entertainment is left up to a very few white groups who know how to act onstage, such as the Who, the Stones, the Rascals, and most of the English blues people. Art is left pretty much up to the Beatles and Dylan. The common denominator of all the popular groups is that they have realized that they are not just "doing their thing" but that they are putting on a show, that they are different from their audience in some very material ways, and that they must maintain a sort of friendly inaccessibility. Richard Nixon and Eric Clapton share in common this ability to convey their superiority. That's why both are culture-heroes of different segments of our society.
Charlie O. wrote:The common denominator of all the popular groups is that they have realized that they are not just "doing their thing" but that they are putting on a show, that they are different from their audience in some very material ways, and that they must maintain a sort of friendly inaccessibility. Richard Nixon and Eric Clapton share in common this ability to convey their superiority. That's why both are culture-heroes of different segments of our society.
charlie o.'s bosstown article wrote:ALL THE SHOUTING about the Boston Sound was mostly about the courtship the BS was carrying on with those two whores with hearts of gold, Fame and Money. The big recording companies were pouring money into promotion of the scene before it had matured, feigning great interest in the musicians. The musicians, myself included, fell for it. Somehow in our hearts we all believed that there, way up high on top of the Big Rock Candy Mountain a recording contract was being written by genial producers and stamped with approval by God. Nobody really had any idea what was going on, although every rumor you had ever heard was filed neatly in the rucksack of your mind to act as a pillow for your weary body as you stretched out on a cold night on the Big Rock Candy Mountain. Rumors also served as food while you were starving.
Harvey K-Tel wrote:
Count Machuki wrote:charlie o.'s bosstown article wrote:ALL THE SHOUTING about the Boston Sound was mostly about the courtship the BS was carrying on with those two whores with hearts of gold, Fame and Money. The big recording companies were pouring money into promotion of the scene before it had matured, feigning great interest in the musicians. The musicians, myself included, fell for it. Somehow in our hearts we all believed that there, way up high on top of the Big Rock Candy Mountain a recording contract was being written by genial producers and stamped with approval by God. Nobody really had any idea what was going on, although every rumor you had ever heard was filed neatly in the rucksack of your mind to act as a pillow for your weary body as you stretched out on a cold night on the Big Rock Candy Mountain. Rumors also served as food while you were starving.
This could have been written by one of our resident musicians yesterday.
Great music is only half of successful rock personalities. The other half is knowing how to act like a celebrity. This is because the hip audience doesn't want somebody who's just a good performer, like Elvis or Little Richard: that conjures up images of a mindless buffoon in a sequined jacket falling on his knees or miming copulation onstage, and everyone knows that that's stupid. Of course, if you fall on your knees and copulate with your guitar, and let it be known that you are hip, well, that's okay. Third-rate musicians and thinkers try to fashion themselves after the Lennons and Dylans and Zappas, trying to exhibit in their not-so-subtle ways that they are not merely Entertainers, but Important Thinkers. People with Something To Say. The Norman Vincent Peales of the Pop World, the Eric Burdons and the Jackie de Shannons, ruin what talents they have by imitating the concerns of smarter folk. They lack the convincing power of a Dylan or a Jagger.
I Molest Collies wrote:I'd love to hear Streisand moans.