2/24/2011

item 1 >>> Now Playing…  Suzy Parker From the “Get Back Sessions,” an embryonic Beatles tune you may have never heard before. Generally called “Suzy Parker,” altho lately it’s being called “Suzy’s Parlor”…when you listen to it, I think they say it both ways. BTW, she was a fashion model in the 1950s.

item 2 >>> LQQK @ †h∆†!…  Salem cigs Before they put the Country into Salem, everything was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful…

item 3 >>> True Computer Language…Supposedly, computers go about their business juggling 0’s and 1’s, then translate the results when they talk to us. I’m not so sure…the other day, zipping along putting this blog together, I came upon this…sure looks like Latin to me…or something suspiciously like it. But where’d it come from, what’s its purpose?…I know I didn’t write it…

item 4 >>> Witch City’s Favorite Son, Pt 2…Dick Elliott was born in Salem, Mass. in 1886, and died in 1961. He was one of those character actors who you always saw, but never knew who he was. Except of course he’s now and forever the original Mayor of Mayberry on The Andy Griffith Show.

item 5 >>>  You Might Be a Baby Boomer If…This one’s for guys…if you remember your first pair of bell-bottoms. Well, they weren’t really bellbottoms yet, just what were called “flares,” but different enough from tapered slacks that the Vice Principal in charge of the Dress Code at your high school was pulling his hair out. Any male coming of age from the 1980s on has little concept of what an exciting time the 60s…and to a lesser extant the disco 70s…were for men’s fashions. Not only the hair styles, but everything was changing, sometimes on a weekly basis. Expressing one’s self thru clothing, always available for women, and of course in subtle ways for men too, was now at the forefront of the cultural revolution.Yes, there had been fads and fancies in the 1950s…for teenage boys, mostly centered around looking older, like you were in college. But it all went crazy in the 60s. And for a time, it was all about your pants. Sure, I remember my first flares…sort of a denim material with thin whitish chalk-stripes…they also had them brown with yellow stripes, but I decided to go “conservative.” Wide belt-loops, fairly tight fit overall. Here’s an ad from the Salem News, 1968…

item 6 >>>  The Black Album…Speaking of yesterday’s White Album and my high school magazine Black Cover, there was a bootleg record called the Black Album. It was a 3-record set, designed like the White Album, and it even came with a color collage poster and full liner notes on the back…an impressive package, while completely illegal of course. The only problem was, it wasn’t out-takes from the White Album sessions, many of which hadn’t surfaced yet…but instead numerous cuts from the Get Back/Let It Be sessions from early 1969. And it’s actually a pretty good introduction to that turbulent period in Beatles recording history. There’s probably a CD version out there somewhere. And of course, a lot of former “bootleg” material came out officially with the Anthology series…and stuff that didn’t is easily found on Youtube.

item 7 >>> Think Back…Also from yesterday, that Kum Back album, the first Beatles bootleg…but not the first bootleg, that honor “belongs” to Bob Dylan, the so-called “Basement Tapes”…but the Beatles were right on its tracks, in September of 1969. And come to think of it, one of these days I have to tell the fascinating story of  the aborted Get Back album, and its eventual release…Phil Spectorized…as Let It Be. For now, a picture of what it would have looked like. But getting back to Kum Back, I got to wondering what we called it back then. It didn’t seem to me the word “bootleg” had surfaced yet…my best guess was “underground record.” Fortunately, I’ve always been a list-maker, and a saver to boot…I found a list of Beatles albums from that time, ranked as to my favorites…and it was a “pirate record,” in the sense of being pirated material. BTW, this list confirmed something I’d always remembered…but you know how memories can be!…and that is, I really did like Magical Mystery Tour better than Sgt. Pepper. Sue me.

item 8 >>> Gone But Forgotten NotAn old high school mate is organizing an informal mini-reunion for this Summer…it could even be a 60th Birthday Party, since many of us Class of 69ers, born in 1951, are turning 60 this year, including me. But it got me thinking about how many of us have died…it was a class with well over 300 kids, and I only know of a handful. One that really hit home for me was a friend named Alan Gagnon. I’d think of him a lot when I first moved to Upper Upstate NY, since he said GAG-non, but folks up here say GONE-yah. He played bass with a legendary North Shore Group, the Royal Aircoach, and there’s an excellent website with info here: Royal Aircoach ..including their recordings, and I’m humbled to say, a “memorial” edit I contributed. He had a great sense of humor…we had a chemistry teacher named Mr. Banks, and Alan nicknamed him “Shawmut”…after the bank, get it? I recall in the Fall of 1967, he told me about the formation of the group. They were originally the Fifth Dimension, but soon changed to the What’s Left when they discovered there always was a 5D. Remember, they emerged with the hit “Up Up and Away” only that Summer. Here’s their card, and AG from a poster when they played Lennie’s-On-the-Turnpike in February, 1972.

item 9 >>> Beatlemania Hits the North Shore…This is from the Danvers Herald, daed 2/20/64, 4 days after their second appearance on Ed Sullivan. These boys sure were quick off the mark, altho it was still a time when it was cool to make fun of the Beatles. I think that ended, in the general media anyway, around the time the movie A Hard Day’s Night came out in August.

Wicked Ballsy

Here’s another of those I Won’t Ask If You Don’t photos…Eddie Peabody was the master of old-time banjo music…well, all stringed instruments really, even some that technically didn’t exist, as you can see here…

shameless plugnostications…

Podcasts at http://stolfpod.podbean.com and   http://thewholething.podbean.com

Other Daily blog at http://stolf.wordpress.com (the legendary Stolf’s Blog)

More bloggage at http://travelingcyst.blogspot.com and  http://www.examiner.com/retro-pop-culture-in-watertown/mark-john-astolfi

Resume at http://travelingcyst.blogspot.com

Audio samples coming soon…or just check the podcasts…twc-rr blows…


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