Thursday, July 21, 2016

Helen Reddy - Play Me Out (1981)

(Australian 1970–2002, 2011–present)
Helen Reddy was born in Melbourne, Australia, the daughter of show business parents. In 1966, she won a television talent contest and was on her way to America, in search of fame and fortune. Within a few months, she had met and married an assistant mailroom boy, Jeff Wald, who became her manager. Twenty-seven record labels rejected her material before she was finally signed by Capitol Records in 1970. Her first charted song, "I Don't Know How To Love Him", was one that Helen never liked, and only agreed to record it as a "B" side for one of her singles. However, husband Jeff thought different, and with only a credit card and a phone, worked eighteen hours a day, phoning radio stations, pleading for air play. His efforts paid off, when "I Don't Know How To Love Him" became a top 20 hit in the spring of 1971.
In 1972, Helen recorded the song that would not only change her life, but become an anthem for the woman's movement around the world. "I Am Woman" hit the top of the charts and earned her a Grammy award. Her next release, "Peaceful", also was a hit and led to her most successful record, "Delta Dawn", again following her image as a spokesperson for the woman's movement.

The song nearly slipped through Helen's fingers, as Bette Midler had planned on releasing it and a very young Tanya Tucker actually did. When the song started to get some notice, Tom Catalano who was producing Barbra Streisand, decided that Barbra could have a hit in the pop market with it and had an instrumental backing track recorded. When Barbra refused to sing the song, United Artists song plugger Wally Schuster called Jeff Wald to ask if Helen would be interested. They made the deal and Helen put her voice on the track.
In the summer of 1973, the song was released just two days ahead of the Bette Midler version and ended up at the number one spot on the hit parade. D.J.s preferred Helen's version and flipped Midler's record over to make a hit out of "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy".Helen Reddy went on to solidify her position as one of the most successful female hitmakers of all time with "Ruby Red Dress" in 1973, "Keep On Singin'", "You and Me Against the World" and "Angie Baby" in 1974. She followed in 1975 with "Emotion" and "Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady" before less successful songs in 1976 and 1977 like "Music Is My Life" and "You're My World". [extract from]
Bandstand Years
It is now part of the Channel 9 archives and Australian showbiz history that contestant No. 8, Helen Reddy, a confident tomboy-type young woman from Stanmore in Sydney's inner west, won the Bandstand Starflight International talent quest and consequently a plane trip to America plus the recording contract and went on to knock out the Yanks and become one of Australia's biggest showbiz exports.
Just after her 23rd birthday Helen Reddy convincingly won the 1965 'Bandstand Starflight International Talent Quest' and, full of hope and talent and laden with promises, flew across to New York. But when she got there and went for an interview at the company which was, as part of her quest prize, supposed to be launching her recording career she was in for a shock.
The interview was short and one-sided. 'Great grief,' said the recording firm interviewer. 'We hoped they'd send a boy. We've had a glut of broads. Anyway—call us before you catch the plane to go back.'
So, Miss Reddy from Stanmore made use of a popular and appropriate Aussie phrase - Piss Off !- and strode out the door into 53rd Street with the residue of the $400 prize money and nowhere to go.
She did the rounds of the agents and picked up a few dollars around and about. Til never forget that spot I did in the Bronx for shell-shock victims of World War 1,' she told me in 1970 during a working visit to Sydney with her husband, Jeff Wald the New York wunderkind personal manager.

And so in New York she subsisted for a time on those handout spots and gradually worked her way down to Greenwich Village. 'Not because I wanted to be way out or with it—strictly from hunger.'
Helen took up residence in the Village for six months or so. Then she met an ambitious young man with hair longer than hers called Wald who turned out to be just what the Muses ordered. A bright New Yorker with a flair for management and production. Wald was then the phenomenal Tiny Tim's manager.
Mr Wald fancied Miss Reddy as a business prospect at first and then romance blossomed and they wed. Not long after the honeymoon, Jeff landed Helen a part in a Chicago revue. 'And then it all started happening,' she said.
Helen Reddy cut a few tapes and the recording company which told her to ring them before getting the plane back home rang her. She wasn't too keen about working for them but she made one recording.
'They insisted I was their property—so we cut one disc,' said Helen. It was called (ironically enough) 'One Way Ticket' and didn't exactly set the charts afire but it did kindle in the arctic souls of American agents and entrepreneurs a sizeable respect. She and the unpredictable recording firm parted company.
The rest of the Helen Reddy emergence story is well documented. She went on to put down record chart-stoppers like 'I Am Woman' and 'Ruby Red Dress' and get her own national TV show and become an American citizen and reveal that she'd been reincarnated a few times. And she said some pretty disparaging things about the Bandstand talent quest and Australia's attitude towards talented aspiring entertainers.

It was largely those last two actions that provoked a wide-open, long-lasting Reddy-Oz feud. Australians didn't much appreciate being given the unpatriotic flick by one of their own. And when Reddy disclosed that her current earthly state was not her first; that she'd been a soldier, a slave, a priest and a gypsy in other lives, they weren't quite as open and receptive to the peculiarities of reincarnation as their Yank cousins.
Warwick Freeman, who directed Ms Reddy on Bandstand, summed up the unfortunate, never truly reconciled running feud thus: 'I couldn't care less whether she was Lucretia Borgia in another life. No two ways about it—Helen was a tremendous talent and deserved every bit of the great success she achieved. She won the Bandstand thing hands down. But she owed Bandstand for getting her to where her talent could be fully promoted and exploited. She said things and made claims that were bitchy and wrong. That was gross ingratitude and improper to the point of stupidity.'
But then the often acerbic, at times misread Bandstand designer-navigator never was one to mealy-mouth about with any individual or on any issue.  [taken from Bandstand.... and all that!  by John Byrell, Kangaroo Press, 1995. p15-16]
This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my Promotional Vinyl which still sparkles as bright as the day it came off the presser.  Full album artwork and label scans are included.
This is not Helen's best album by a long shot, but it is a hard one to find because it didn't sell well when released. Grab it while you can
01    Optimism Blues    3:10
02    Do It Like You Done It When You Meant It    2:28
03    I Can't Say Goodbye To You    3:46
04    Save Me    3:10
05    You Don't Have To Say You Love Me    2:43
06    The Stars Fell On California    3:54
07    I Don't Know Why (I Love That Guy)    2:35
08    When I Dream    3:54
09    Let's Just Stay Home Tonight    3:09
10    Play Me Out    3:07
Helen Reddy FLACs Link (210Mb)
Helen Reddy MP3 Link (82Mb)

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Lee Michaels - Barrel (1970)

(United States 1967 - 1975)
Lee Michaels is one of the great lost artists of the rock ‘n’ roll ‘70s. A soulful singer with an incredible range, and capable of expressing great emotion, Michaels was also a talented songwriter and keyboard player, his performances based around his trusty Hammond organ years before folks like Deep Purple and Uriah Heep pushed keyboards to the front of their songs. Michaels often eschewed using a full band in favour of accompaniment by a lone drummer – “Frosty” (real name Bartholomew Eugene Smith-Frost) for two of his first four albums, and former Grassroots timekeeper Joel Larson on his best-selling title, Fifth.

Nobody sounded like Michaels during his critical and commercial peak, circa 1968-72, and nobody else has come close since. Sadly, much of Michaels’ back catalog has remained difficult, if not impossible to track down on CD except for Fifth, which had yielded a pair of hits, including the timeless “Do You Know What I Mean” (#6 on the Billboard singles chart) and Michaels’ cover of the Marvin Gaye hit “Can I Get A Witness” (peaking at #39). In the absence of readily-available CDs, fans and collectors like the Reverend have been digging through used LP bins to find vintage Michaels’ albums on vinyl.  Well, look no further folks.

Here is “Barrel” and it is an LP with a conscience, with Lee in righteous protest mode over the Vietnam war (“What Now America?”, “Thumbs”, When Johnny Comes Marching Home”), injustice and police brutality, (“Murder In My Heart (For The Judge”), “Mad Dog”), and a couple of bittersweet love songs,  (“Didn’t Know What I Had”, “Day Of Change”) and the main love song, “Ummm My Lady” to balance-out the album.  Excellent!

For this album, Michaels brought back Drake Levin; the guitarist’s playing is all over the album, meshing tightly with Michaels’ and Frosty’s playing. Levin’s deft use of Leslie (spinning speaker cabinet) amplification on his guitar somehow makes the stringed instrument fit even better within the confines of a keyboard-driven album. “What Now America” picks up thematically where the previous album’s “The War” left off. A rare Michaels love song, “Ummmmm My Lady” was selected as the (you guessed it: non-charting) single. Either a throwaway or an important statement, “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again” (yes, that one) gives nearly half of its run time to Frosty’s marching snare. A cover of Moby Grape‘s “Murder in My Heart (For the Judge)” is even more soulful – and less histrionic – than the original. “Day of Change” has worn exceptionally well; it sounds more like the kind of album track one might hear in, say, 1973. “Didn’t
Know What We Had” features Michaels on electric piano, an instrument of which he made surprisingly little use elsewhere. The brief “As Long As I Can” closes the album on a downtempo note. Barrel reached #51 on the album charts; it was Michaels’ best chart performance to date, and a taste of things to come.

The current whereabouts of Lee Michaels is clouded in mystery since he withdrew from the music scene over 25 years ago. There have been rumour of hearing loss and retreating to Hawaii and the current “best truth” is that he is/was the owner of a small franchise of “Killer Shrimp” restaurants in Southern California.

Album Reviews
This is a classic "60's hippy record (even though it released in early 1970). I have vivid memories of my older bro bringing this one home & spinning it nonstop until each line of every song was permanently etched in me. I searched & searched for a reasonably priced copy unsuccessfully long after the grooves wore out on the copy I bought back in the mid-70's.... I finally broke down and downloaded it. I still have my old worn out LP cover & vinyl disk, so it's almost the same.
For those that are familiar with Lee's hits and are curious for more, this is in my opinion the pinnacle of his career & should not be missed out on. When you listen to songs like "What Now America" and the stories it tells... I can almost feel my (long gone) freak flag flying 1 more time.

Thanks Lee, for your soulful rants that hark back to a time when our voices unified us together with purpose. You were one of the unsung heroes of the American youth movement during our renaissance that changed the world forever. [Review by T. Gibson - Amazon]

The rock trio of Lee Michaels on vocals and organ, Drake Levin on guitar and Barry 'Frosty' Smith on drums are back. This is by far the very best album the trio ever put out with great songs like the radio friendly "Mad Dog". Other songs that rate in the great category are another of Lee Michaels anti war songs, "What Now America", a love song any woman would love to have sung to her, "Umm My Lady" and another radio song, "Thumbs".
Other songs include "Games", "As Long As I Can", and "Didn't Know What I Had". This is by far the very best Lee Michaels' album ever recorded. It is a must for your music collection. [Review by Benjamin Spasaro - Amazon]

Not many people have heard of Lee Michaels. However, he is a very talented musician. In a way, he is like Todd Rundgren. His piano playing is great. In this album, he puts in a few funky rhythms, which really get things moving. "Mad Dog" is a classic. It's solid. If you like piano, or the Hammond organ, or just classic rock, you'll like Lee Michaels. I definitely recommend this album as well as his heavier 'Space and First Takes' album. Download both. You can't go wrong.

The post consists of both FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from vinyl along with full album artwork and label scans. I stumbled across this gem at my local flee market some months ago, but this time I had to pay more than my usual $1 for the pleasure. After some haggling and friendly banter, I managed to convince the store holder to part with the 'mint copy' for $2 !  Yep, another very happy camper who sometimes almost feels guilty when he scores a collectable album for next to nicks.  Hope you enjoy my spoils from this latest score.
01.  Mad Dog - 3:45
02.  What Now America - 3:25
03.  Uummmm My Lady - 3:00
04.  Thumbs - 4:05
05.  When Johnny Comes Marching Home - 2:02
06.  Murder In My Heart (For The Judge) - 3:36
07.  Day Of Change - 3:33
08.  Think I'll Cry - 2:43
09.  Games  - 3:10
10.  Didn't Know What I Had - 3:14
11.  As Long As I Can - 1:28

Lee Michaels - Bass, Keyboards, Vocals
Frosty - Drums
Drake Levin - Guitar
Lee Michaels FLAC Link (198Mb)
Lee Michaels MP3 Link (87Mb)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

REPOST: Michael Franks with Crossfire - Live (1980)

(U.S 1973-Present, Australian 1974 - 1982, Present)
When Crossfire charted a self-titled album in 1975 their deft jazz-rock fusion set at odds with the glitter'n'glam and stadium rock of the day. By 1980 their reputation as one of Australia's most inventive musical outfits was further enhanced by another charting album, 'East Of Where'. Jim Kelly, Tony Buchanan, Michael J. Kenny, Ian Bloxsom, Phil Scorgie and Steve Hopes perfected a gestalt of fire and ice and were the logical choice to accompany jazz-singer-songwriter Michael Franks (with five US and two Australian hit albums, and a cult hit with Popsicle Toes), on an Australasian tour. The resulting album 'Michael Franks With Crossfire Live' was captured at the St James Tavern and the Capitol Theatre in Sydney, and at the Auckland Town Hall in September 1980. A rare vinyl item for more than thrirty years, this unique and often exhilarating album has gained almost legendary acclaim amongst record collectors and lovers of Jazz music.
For a comprehensive bio on Crossfire, see my previous posting for their East Of Where album.

.An enormously popular performer in the late '70s and early '80s, Franks performed folk/rock songs while in high school, then became a literature student at UCLA and a part-time performer. He taught undergraduate music courses in the early '70s at both UCLA and Berkeley, then provided scores for the films Count Your Bullets and Zandy's Bride. He made his first album in 1973, then enjoyed success with a string of late '70s albums on Warner Brothers. He has worked with the likes of Flora Purim, Kenny Rankin, Ron Carter, the Crusaders, David Sanborn, Toots Thielemans, Eric Gale, and others, and has had songs recorded by The Manhattan Transfer, Patti Labelle, Carmen McRae, and the Carpenters. [Ron Wynn, All Music Guide]

Over the languorous course of 33 years and 16 albums, Michael Franks has mesmerized an international legion of fans with his
one-of-a-kind artistry. Seamlessly weaving lyrics of stunning sensuality, wit, reflection and literary eloquence over music that tastefully utilizes top shelf shadings of jazz, soul, pop, chamber and music from around the globe, Michael Franks the songwriter has set a bar in the music world that places him as nothing less than a statesman of song craft. His best known works include “Popsicle Toes,” “Monkey See-Monkey Do,” “The Lady Wants To Know,” “When the Cookie Jar is Empty,” “Tiger in the Rain,” “Rainy Night in Tokyo” and “Tell Me All About It” (covered by artists ranging from Diana Krall and Natalie Cole to Manhattan Transfer and the Carpenters). As if that weren't enough, Michael Franks the singer is gifted with a gentle, deliciously expressive voice - identifiable from note one [Michael Frank's Website]
The rip provided (MP3) was taken from my 'mint' vinyl copy at 320kps and includes full scans of album artwork and inserts. Because the live tracks run into each other, I was forced to apply some fade in / fade out affects to allow for song separations, but only affects portions of the audience's applause.

REPOST: In response to a blog follower's request, I have re-posted this album in FLAC format. This album deserves the best treatment, as do my followers.
Track Listing
01.  Don't Be Blue (3:38)
02.  When The Cookie Jar Is Empty (6:29)
03.  The Lady Wants To Know (6:02)
04.  B'wana He No Home (4:57)
05.  Chain Reaction (4:25)
06.  Antonio's Song (4:42)
07.  Monkey See-monkey Do (6:14)
08.  Popsicle Toes (4:55)

Band Members:
Michael Franks (Vocals)
Jim Kelly (Guitars)
Michael Kenny (Keyboards)
Tony Buchanan (Tenor / Soprano Sax, Flute)
Phil Scorgie (Bass)
Ian Bloxsom (Percussion, Mallets)
Steve Hopes (Drums) 
Michael Franks with Crossfire MP3 (96Mb)

Michael Franks with Crossfire FLACs (251Mb) New Link 13/07/2016

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Greg Quill - The Outlaw's Reply (1975) plus Bonus Tracks

(Australian 1970 - 1978, 1999 - 2012)
Gregory Raymond "Greg" Quill (18 April 1947 – 5 May 2013) was an Australian-born musician, singer-songwriter and journalist.

Quill stands as one of the foremost figures in the local folk-country scene, and his invigorating love of involvement with his music is one reason why he commands the respect of Australia's top musicians and music writers. He ran The Shack (a popular Sydney folk haven) for four years, and at the age of 19 took on the Warrngah Shire Council to the Supreme court when they attempted to close down the club. He was president of  the folk club at the University of Sydney where he graduated from with a BA in English Literature and Languages (shades of Kris Kristofferson). As a guitar teacher he has taught the music and written it (once a top-rate journalist for Go-Set and Daily Planet) (Extract from Go-Set Magazine, May 25, 1974 p6 - thanks to Woodynet)

He lived in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and was an entertainment columnist at the Toronto Star newspaper from the mid-1980s until his death in May 2013. In Australia he came to popular fame as a singer-songwriter for the country rock band, Country Radio (1970–73). Their biggest hit, "Gyspy Queen", was released in August 1972 and was co-written by Quill with band mate, Kerryn Tolhurst, which peaked at No. 12 on the Go-Set National Top 40. After getting an arts grant, Quill travelled to Toronto in 1974 and by mid-1980s had become a journalist at the Toronto Star. By 1983 he was married to Ellen Davidson, a public relations executive.

In 1974, Quill recorded a solo studio album, The Outlaw's Reply, with the financial backing of Sydney-based executive producer and Trafalgar Studios owner Charles Fisher. It was produced by John L Sayers and featured Country Radio alumni: Blanchflower, Bolton, Du Bois, Hinton and Tolhurst, plus former collaborator Jones on keyboards. Also appearing on the album were Barry Leef on backing vocals, Chris Neal on synthesisers and Peter Walker on guitar. Two singles from the album were issued during 1975: "She Do It to Me" (April) and "Blackmail" / "The Outlaw's Reply" (September).

The album included the Quill song "Almost Freedom", which had previously been covered by former Company Caine singer Gulliver Smith on his 1973 solo LP The Band's Alright But The Singer Is .... During 1974 Festival also released a compilation album, 'Gypsy Queen', credited to Greg Quill & Country Radio, contained selection of album tracks, and A- and B-sides of singles. It included Quill's cover of the country classic "Singin' the Blues", which featured Renee Geyer on backing vocals and Stacpool on guitar. In May 1975 Quill promoted the release of The Outlaw's Reply by a performance at the Sydney Opera House, backed by the musicians who had contributed to the album. The Dingoes and Richard Clapton were also part of the first all-Australian country-rock show to take place on the Opera House's main stage. It was Quill's final performance in Australia for almost four years. [extract from wikipedia]

Greg Quill died on 5 May 2013 at his home in Hamilton. His family announced that he had "passed away suddenly but peacefully from complications due to pneumonia and a recently diagnosed case of sleep apnea". Aged 66, he was still an entertainment journalist for the Toronto Star at the time of his death.

This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from vinyl (thanks to Micko at Midoztouch) and full album artwork.  If you were a fan of Country Radio and the Dingoes, then you will really enjoy this unique gem.  My interest in this album extends even further with the appearance of Ex-Bakery guitarist Peter Walker who adds some great backing guitar work.
Track Listing

01 - She Do It To Me
02 - Terry's Tune
03 - Almost Freedom
04 - So Now, Lady
05 - Where Elephant's Go To Die
06 - Seven Years Of Silence
07 - Crazy People
08 - The Outlaw's Reply
09 - Blackmail
10 - I Wonder Why (Bonus Track)
11 - Been So Long (Bonus Track)
Producer: John Sayers.
Executive producer: Charles Fisher
Recorded at Trafalgar Studios Sydney, Australia, November 1974 - February 1975
The Band:
Greg Quill, vox, acoustic guitars; 
Kerryn Tolhurst, lap steel, mandolin, dobro, acoustic and electric guitars; 
Tony Bolton, drums; 
John Bois, bass; 
Chris Blanchflower, harmonica; Peter Jones, keyboards; 
Peter Walker, electric guitar, clavier; 
Russell Hinton, acoustic and electric guitar; 
Terry Walker, pedal steel, 
Barry Leef, harmonies and harmony arrangements. 
String arrangements: Peter Jones.
Greg Quill Link (80Mb)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Peter & Gordon - Best Of (1975)

(U.K 1964 - 1968, 2005 - 2009)
Peter and Gordon were a British pop duo, comprising Peter Asher and Gordon Waller, who achieved international fame in 1964 with their first single, the million-selling transatlantic No.1 smash "A World Without Love."  Dubbed "the Everly Brothers of the British Invasion," the harmonizing, acoustic guitar-playing Peter & Gordon had a transatlantic No. 1 hit with their 1964 debut single, “A World Without Love.”
The song was written by Paul McCartney, who was dating Asher's sister, Jane, at the time.

Two more McCartney-penned hits, credited to Lennon-McCartney, followed: "Nobody I Know" and "I Don't Want to See You Again." Another hit song, "Woman," was written by McCartney under the pseudonym Bernard Webb to see how one of his songs would fare without the Lennon-McCartney credit. (It peaked at No. 14 on the Billboard chart in 1966.) As part of the British Invasion, Peter & Gordon appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show," "Shindig" and "Hullabaloo." Among their other hits were "I Go to Pieces," "True Love Ways," "Lady Godiva" and "Knight in Rusty Armour."
After nine Top 20 records (three of them gold), the duo broke up in 1968.

"Peter & Gordon were the essential U.K. duo of the British invasion," said Howard Kramer, curatorial director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. "They were cool, their records were great, and the songs were memorable." Gordon Waller, he added, "was a lovely man; a very sweet, gentle guy."

After Peter & Gordon broke up, Asher became head of artists and repertoire for the Beatles' record company, Apple Records; he later founded Peter Asher Management. Waller, who continued to pursue a solo career, played the Pharaoh in the musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" at the Edinburgh Festival in 1971. He also appeared in the play in London. He later launched his own music publishing company.

Waller was born June 4, 1945, in Braemar, Scotland. He met London-born Asher at Westminster School in London. "Our voices are quite different, Gordon's and mine, but we tried singing together experimentally and we found that we could achieve this very nice harmony," Asher told the Sacramento Bee in 2006. When they began playing in pubs and small clubs, they initially were known as Gordon and Peter.

They were playing an engagement at the Pickwick Club in London when Norman Newell of EMI records heard them. They were quickly signed to the label. In 2005, Peter & Gordon reunited to perform at a benefit for a hospitalized Mike Smith of the Dave Clark Five, and they continued to perform occasionally together. They had a number of engagements lined up over the next several months at the time of Waller's death.

Peter & Gordon 2005
"Gordon remains one of my very favorite singers of all time, and I am still so proud of the work that we did together," Asher said in his statement. "I am just a harmony guy, and Gordon was the heart and soul of our duo." On his website, Waller described his time with Peter & Gordon, which included touring with the Beatles, his website as "some of the happiest moments of my life."
Sadly, Gordon Waller died from a heart attack on July 17, 2009 at the age of 64 [Notes by Dennis Mclellan at Los Angeles Times]
Interview with Peter Asher (Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame)

Peter Asher’s legendary music career began in 1964 with the formation of Peter & Gordon. In 1968, Asher became head of A&R for the Beatles newly formed record company, Apple Records. Three years later, Asher decided to literally head in a different direction and moved to the U.S., where he founded Peter Asher Management. Peter Asher Management became one of the most successful artist management companies in America, handling artists such as Joni Mitchell, Randy Newman, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt and Carole King. Asher has produced 12 Grammy Award-winning recordings, and in 1977 and 1989 was honored individually with the Grammy Award for “Producer of the Year.”

Paul McCartney & Peter Asher
Playing select dates now, Asher stopped by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, to talk about his recent projects, keeping current, and being among the first people to ever hear the Beatles "I Want to Hold Your Hand" when Paul McCartney was staying at his house.

RRHOF: Like an interesting demo you came across?

Peter Asher: I recently found the demo Paul McCartney had made for me of "A World Without Love." Once you find something and put it in the show, it's everywhere the next day, there’re no secrets. We play that now, and I found that about six months ago. I thought the reel–to-reel tape had gone, but I found a DAT transfer, which I had done at the time when DATs were going to be the future, that still hasn't quite happened (laughs). I have added in a couple of poster and photos that I found very recently. In fact, I was just mentioning that we found this poster of us and the Rolling Stones when we toured together, we were co-headlining. They were closing, but we were billed equally. I threw that in somewhere, found a way to fit that into the narrative.

RRHOF: I heard a story that you were coming downstairs in your house and a couple Beatles were sitting at your piano, having written a rather famous song. Is that true?

Peter on McCartney's Fender Bass
Peter Asher: No, I came downstairs at their request. In our house, Paul [McCartney] was living in our family home for a couple of years when they weren't on the road. He and I shared the top floor where the guest room and my bedroom were. In the basement, there was a little music room where my mother gave oboe lessons. She taught at the Royal Academy of Music up the road, where she was an oboe professor and she also gave private lessons at home. To digress for a second, one of the interesting facts is that long before I had anything to do with the Beatles or had anything to do with anything, one of my mother’s pupils, whom she taught the oboe, was George Martin. Just weird, couldn't make that stuff up.

Jane Asher with Peter & Gordon
Anyway, Paul would sometime use the music room when my mother wasn't teaching there. It had a small upright piano, a music stand and a sofa. One afternoon early on, shortly after he moved in, John Lennon came over and they were down there together for a couple of hours. No guitars, sitting at the piano, side by side, and Paul stuck his head out the door and called upstairs and asked me if I wanted to come down. He had the song they finished. So I came down and sat on the sofa, opposite the upright piano, and they played “I Want to Hold Your Hand” for the first time, and they asked me what I thought. “What did you think?” I said it was very good!

It does sound a bit pretentious because it's only rock and roll, but there actually is something extraordinary about being present at the moment of the creation of great art. Your first reaction is you want to hear it again because it is just so incredibly good. You do wonder if you are losing your mind or if it's about the best song you ever heard or both, but it was. At that point I was only 20.  [Interview sourced from Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame]
This post consists of FLACs and MP3 (320kps) ripped from my newly acquired vinyl (with that 'minty' flavour) without one crackle or pop to be heard. Not bad for the exchange of a gold coin at a garage sale.  Full album artwork and label scans are included.
Determining the date of release for this album has been rather difficult. A 'Regal' release that I found on the web states 1975 (see musicstack) but this Columbia release looks older, so I can't be sure.
Anyhow, if you are wanting to get your teeth into some great 60's music, this album is a good starting point and features three Lennon/McCartney tunes (given to the duo while McCartney was dating Peter's sister Jane).
Track Listing
01 A World Without Love 2:38
02 Nobody I Know   2:26
03 I Don't Want To See You Again 2:00
04 I Go To Pieces 2:20
05 True Love Ways 2:39
06 To Know You Is To Love You 2:33
07 Woman 2:21
08 Baby I'm Yours  2:40
09 Lady Godiva     2:21
10 Let It Be Me    3:35
11 The Knight In Rusty Armour      2:32
12 Sunday For Tea  2:16
Peter & Gordon FLACs Link (200Mb)
Peter & Gordon MP3 Link (73Mb)

Sunday, July 3, 2016

REPOST: Various Artists - Live At The Station (1976)

(Australian 1976)
The Station Hotel (located in Greville Street, Prahran), which was first established in 1904, was an important part of the local live music scene during the 1970s, where it played host to some of the biggest Australian bands of that decade, including AC/DC, The Dingoes, and Spectrum.
The venue was also the setting for the fabled, and extremely rare, 1976 vinyl LP, "Live At The Station Hotel" which featured performances from The Dingoes, The Wild Beaver Band, Myriad, and Saltbush.
Longtime Dingoes member John Bois recalls the iconic venue’s 70s heyday in his new book, The Dingoes’ Lament, which contains several extracts featuring The Station Hotel; one section reads:
Derelicts and dole dependents normally peopled the Station, as well as besotted bon vivants who claimed it was a haven of mateship, a place where men could be men out of earshot of nagging women. But to the untrained eye it looked more like a place of banishment.  Nevertheless, on Saturday it was transformed into a subcultural temple. The gods of that subculture were … The Dingoes.” [extract from]
A highlight of the album is of course the Dingoes, but there's so much more on this album ..the superb songwritng skills of Carl Myriad & his band who include musos who went onto major success like guitarist Andrew Pendlebury (who went onto Sports & a solo career) & Mark Ferrie (Models)
And you must check out the amazing twin lead guitar attack of the great Mick Elliott & John Brunell playing some superb southern boogie in the Wild Beaver Band. Mick & drummer Noel Herridge had both been in the great Sid Rump before forming Wild Beaver Band.
Finally you have Saltbush, a terrific country band featuring vocalist/guitarist Bernie O'Brien (Bobby & Laurie's Rondells, Merv Benton's Tamlas) & drummer Harold Frith (the legendary Thunderbirds). See my recent post on this terrific 'Country Blues Band'   [comments by Micko at Midoztouch ]
Although the Dingoes released an album entitled 'Live at The Station', it is this second 1976 release “Live At The Station Hotel” that best captures the spirit and the music played there. While it features some of Melbourne’s then best bands, it is not to acknowledge that almost every artist and band worth anything, played at the legendary Station Hotel at some time.
This album features four of all the great artists to have played there. In order as they appear on the album:
Myriad - Carrl Myriad – vocals & guitar: Andrew Pendlebury – lead guitar: Chris Wilson – vocals & organ: Mark Ferrie – Bass: Phillip Smith – vocals & drums.
Dingoes – Brod Smith – vocals: Chris Stockley – vocals & guitar: Kerryn Tolhurst – guitar: John DuBois – vocals & bass: Ray Arnott – Drums (What a line- up!)
Saltbush – Bernie O’Brien – vocals & lead guitar: Ross Nicholson – vocals & guitar: Polly Pyle – vocals & bass: Harold Frith – vocals & drums. For more information about Saltbush see my earlier post.
The Wild Beavers – Snowy ‘Cutmore’ Townshend – vocals: Mick Elliott – guitar: John Brunell – vocals & guitar: Mick Crawford – bass: Noel herridge – drums.

The Dingoes
This is arguably an amazing collection of styles among these four groups and now, some 37 years later we can recognise that many of these artists have gone on to become true legends of the Oz music scene! There is not a ‘dead’ track on this fantastic album.
If you have not been fortunate enough to hear this album as yet, then you will need to take my word for the fact that the atmosphere and crowds at the Station Hotel have driven these groups to play at their very best. Yet, there is more. Behind the scenes there are some now ‘legendary’ names of the Melbourne music scene at work.
Produced by Keith Glass (of Missing Link fame and himself a musician and singer of note) – having been a significant member of the 18th Century Quartet and Cam-pact, later to have sung a lead role in Hair, and part owner and founder of the also now legendary Archie & Jugheads Record Shop. The other part owner of that shop, David N. Pepperell (aka Doctor Pepper), also a man well know throughout the music scene both as originally the lead singer of the short lived Melbourne Group of the 60’s – The Union (notable for their recording of the Thump, a track acknowledging the Thumping Tum disco), and also well known for his music Journalism. Keith is credited as Producing this Album, and David as the “Drunken Producer” (or vice versa).
The third key man associated with both the production of the album, and credited with being the first promoter of the Station Hotel, and member of Cam- pact, notorious in his own right – Mark Barnes. The cover and notes reflect the quirks and skills of these three guys and along with John McDiarmid & Michael Shipley, who engineered the recording, we have been left with an absolute Classic Australian Recording!. [Review by Rob Greaves]
The Wild Beavers
The Wild Beavers
'There's a riot in cell block No. 9 — And The Wild Beavers are playing'.
There are a couple of new bands playing around the traps in Melbourne which are expected to do a lot of barnstorming over the next few months. They've got style and energy and good things can be expected. One of these bands is The Wild Beaver Band. Lord knows what that name means, like, one hesitates to ask, it could be something a bit risque. The Wild Beavers" members seem to have a kind of grounding in the urban blues, but the music the band now makes is more akin to the Southern American sound of Charlie Daniels and Elvin Bishop and Jerry Jeff Walker and Little Feat, h's the fast and sweaty beer hall rock V roll type music which sounds real good, when it s played right.
The Beavers began just a few months ago, with old school chum Mark Barnes, from Prahran's Station Hotel, as their manager. They played a bit at The Station, then got a chance to back J.J. Cale in Melbourne on his recent tour, and after that, they started to get a lot of work, as crowds began to notice this bunch of new fellas.
But probably the most interesting gig they've had of late is playing to the minor offenders and well-behaved at Pentridge Prison in Coburg. It was a couple of weeks ago that The Beavers went out there for an open air rock show, playing to Divisions A. B and D. The several hundred men in that lot. who don t normally get a lot of entertainment, thought the Beavers were all right, and gave them a big reception.
According to Beaver vocalist Snowy "Cutmore" Townsend, the show went down particularly well with the rock-starved 56 ers (they ve been wearing their stovepipes in stir since they got locked up 20 years ago) who were thirsting for Chuck Berry.
Apparently most of the entertainment served up out that way consists of Salvation Army Bands, which arc all well and good, and it's nice of the Salvos lo make the effort, but somehow it's not always ... er. fun ... to listen to. Snowy says there's a young guy out there on several armed robbery counts (busy defending himself in court, with the defence that he was in plaster from the waist down during one of at le.ast of the jobs) who is trying like crazy to get some decent entertainment for the inmates. The Beavers were the first excursion, and it looks like paved the way for more cell block rock n roll.
The audience really got stirred up and were required to sit down and behave, but these restrictions didn't stop them from yelling for more, and tapping their feet. One of the inmates took a great interest in the drum equipment, commenting that the cymbals were split. He offered to fix them for drummer Noel Herridge with his oxy-acetelene torch in the prison workshop. It turned out the guy was also a drummer who played with the Pentridge inmates band.
Another thing which amazed the band about this prison was the number of prisoners wandering around with long hair and earrings and stuff. But they couldn t check out about the hair situation in the maximum security section — like "H Division.
Well by now it's a reasonable time to acquaint you with all the band members who are as follows: Snowy Townsend, vocals; Mick Elliott, guitar; John Brunell, guitar; Mick Crawford, bass guitar-, Noel Herridge, drums. Mick Elliott has played with Sid Rumpo, Jim Keays and Moppa Blues way back in the dim dark last decade; Noel also played with Sid Rumpo. Together with their manager Mark, they form a formidable drinking team because according to Mark, they "went to school together, drink together, grew bad together and live together". Things look good for |he band at the moment as. according to Barnes, five record companies have expressed keen interest in the band to record, and they re sitting back and considering the possibilities. The first recording they'll be on is a 'Live at The Station Hotel' LP with The Dingoes and Saltbush etc. where they do these songs: "What Am I Doing Here", "Shanghais in Alleys" and "Messing Around The Town". [article by Jim Morris, RAM Magazine, #31, May 7, 1976]

Carrl Myriad has been a staple on the Australian folk, country & bush music scene now for close on 40 years & continues to perform around the country & record.
He's perhaps best known for his folk/rock debut album "Of All The Wounded People" which was recorded by Carrl & Janie Myriad (Janie Conway of Stiletto), which is an album I'll upload in the next few days. He's also known for his self named country/rock band Myriad who had a long standing residency at Prahran, Melbourne's legendary venue The Station Hotel in the mid -late 70's. Myriad (the band) also appeared on the Live At The Station album with the Dingoes, Saltbush and the Wild Beavers
Following tours with Roy Orbison, Frank Zappa, and Melanie, Carrl travelled around Australia, which kindled an interest & research into the bush rangers Ned Kelly, Ben Hall, Mosquito etc. This developed into the concept show "In Search Of The Great South Land" which he toured around Australia to much acclaim. It was while he was in Tamworth in 1979 during that tour that he recorded this brilliant album that celebrates our wide brown land & it's inhabitants for the small Selection Records. [comments by Micko at Midoztouch]
For more info on Carrl Myriad, see
This post consists of FLACs and MP3 rip (320kps) taken from Vinyl (released on the Lamington label) and includes full album artwork and label scans. Also included is a high resolution scan of the RAM Magazine article used for the rare background information provided on 'The Wild Beavers'. It is my opinion that their 3 tracks on this album are the highlight of this brilliant 'snapshot' of Melbourne Pub Rock from the 70's., in particular the hard riff driven song "What am I doing here?"
Repost made because I came across this album recently at my weekly trash & treasure, enabling me to make a fresh rip of the album in FLAC format. Another great $1 find !
Track Listing
01 - Myriad - The Ballad Of The Glenrowan Hotel (Lookin' For Love)
02 - Myriad - Rock 'n' Roll Highway
03 - Myriad - Glenrowan
04 - The Dingoes - Marijuana Hell
05 - Mark Barnes - Mark's Rave
06 - The Dingoes - When A Man Loves A Woman
07 - Saltbush - Up Against The Wall Redneck Mother
08 - Saltbush - Stay All Night
09 - Wild Beaver Band - What Am I Doing Here
10 - Wild Beaver Band - How Come All You Dudes Look Like Cowboys
11 - Wild Beaver Band - Messin' Around The Town

Live At The Station MP3 Link (79 Mb)

Live At The Station FLACs Link (301 Mb) Link added 3/07/2016


Thursday, June 30, 2016

W.O.C.K On Vinyl - Beatle Barkers (1983)

Before things get too serious here at Rock On Vinyl, I thought it might be fun to post a song / album at the end of each month, that could be categorized as being either Weird, Obscure, Crazy or just plain Korny.
There lies, below the fourteth parallel, an island in the shape of an old English crest. This rugged, tempest-lashed outcrop, although officially a stat of Australia, is a world apart. Famed for its wilderness regions, its apples, Errol Flynn and Young Einstein, Tasmania has air so rare that creativity abounds

Ten years ago, a jaded musician by the name of Glenn Salvestrin took over a modest sheep farm in Tasmania's ruggest southwest - isolated from the rest of the human race, with only the ghosts of convicts and bushrangers to keep him company. Glenn acquired canine companions - three affectionate and frankly lazy mutts known as Chipper, Blue and tangles.

Every evening,except during busy shearing season, Glenn would sit on his back veranda and sing old Beatle songs, accompanying himself on harmonica. In time, Chipper, Blue and Tangles became so familiar with the classic Lennon & McCartney melodies that they barked and howled along. Their master was so astonished by their grasp of melody, pitch and timing that he set up a portable recording studio in his washhouse and captured their unique vocal efforts. During the recording process he discovered that other members of his tiny farmyard community, such as the chickens had also been infected by the Beatle obsession. They too found themselves in the wash house clucking away for prosperity.

Armed with his priceless tapes, Glenn headed for the mainland, determined to share his unprecedented Fab Four tribute with the world. Sadly, overtures met with derision and scorn...until he walked through the doors of Galaxy Records. Within weeks, Beatle Barkers was on the Australian market and a new phenomena was born, one which is now set to spread across Australia. So join the The Mutz, whose bark is definitely more interesting than their bite, as they recreate the most potent sounds of the sixties. It is an experience you will never forget. [cover linear notes]

Now, if you just bought this story above, then you are barking up the wrong tree! 

The true story of how this album came about is revealed in an interview with Bob Baker Fish.  Aussie heart throb 'Gene Pierson' from the late 60's and a close friend and sound engineer Roy Nicolson, got together in the early 80's  and using a Fairlight Synthesiser, produced this bizarre tribute album to the Beatles.

Whilst Nicolson handled the vocals, Pierson procured the backing music. To this day Nicolson doesn’t  know where they came from. “Don’t ask,” he laughs.

“There was a company in Germany that was providing backing tracks,” reveals Pierson, “you just paid a couple of hundred dollars or whatever it was in those days. I think the whole album in those days cost me $2,500 or $3,000 which in today’s equivalent is probably about $10,000 or something. It was no big deal. I think the cover art and the TV commercial cost more.”

The barking however proved a little more difficult with Nicolson not just having to locate and at times even record the samples for each animal, but he was struggling with some unforseen pitch issues.

“Any kind of held note didn’t work and I wanted to get a good dog howling but dogs don’t tend to hold the note when they howl. They’re up and down and it doesn’t work musically. So we got in a session dog. Actually there was some little movie about a singing dog, I went along to try and get a recording of that dog, but it didn’t work out. But then we found this guy who did a really amazing impersonation of a dog. So we got him in to do a session, just for the long held notes. It’s a little bit Milli Vanilli. Those long howling notes are not actually a real dog – but all the others are.”

“I can’t remember his name,” Nicolson continues, “but we set him up in front of the mic and the first time he barked I jumped because I thought there was a dog in the studio. He sounded more like a dog than a dog.”

Nicolson laboured on an 8-track tape machine for about two weeks, with two tracks for the backing track, leaving him 6 tracks for dogs, chickens or sheep.

“It was pretty funny, because I was performing it on the keyboard and you know you have to channel a dog a bit to do it. I think I got somewhere in between what an actual dog might do and then putting it closer to the music. But I didn’t put it too close or it would have sounded mechanical. It is a bit out of time or out of pitch and a bit all over the place and sometimes they get a bit carried away and sing a few notes too many like a real dog might, because they don’t have good concentration.”

Yet for Nicolson and Pierson dogs weren’t enough, what about Beatle Squawkers, Beatle Meowers, or Beatle Bakers?

“We both felt the dogs became a bit monotonous after a while,” offers Nicolson, “and because I only had a limited number of samples it started to become a bit samey. So we decided to throw in the whole farmyard, for variety really. If you’ve just got Paul singing the whole album it’s just not the same is it?”

At the time Pierson had been putting together compilations for cut rate record companies like Telmak, K-Tel and Demtel, auspicious recordings like the 20 Greatest Moments in Australian Sport, 20 Greatest Rock and Roll songs or 20 Tear Jerker’. “We were doing these kinds of crazy things and the guy from Demtel, David Hammer he was a little crazy and said “why don’t you come up with something really really crazy?’ And I was like “what?’ And he said “anything, I just want to break the monotony.’ It was just the same crap you know.”

Beatle Barkers broke the monotony. If Wikipedia is to be believed, they broke it over 800,000 times.

“Gene sold it to a record company and it was marketed by Demtel- they sold steak knives,” Nicolson laughs.”They were actually going bust, and I think they did inevitably go bust, but this record saved them for another couple of years I think.”

Yet both Nicolson and Pierson refused to put their names to it, for fear of it tarnishing their other projects or even themselves. As a result the album was credited to the mysterious Woofers and Tweeters Ensemble.

“It’s disgraceful, it’s blasphemy,” Pierson laughs, “you’ve got the Beatles the best songwriters in the world and you’ve got dogs, cows and sheep singing songs. So we remained very anonymous. We got this crazy cover with half Beatle heads and dogs or whatever and had this crazy advertisement done. Then a couple of weeks later I’m driving along in Sydney and on JJ (it was in those days) comes this crazy song. And people were raving about it everywhere I’d go. Well some weren’t raving, some were actually giving it heaps.”

Yet that’s not the end of it. With sales of 860,000 units in Australia alone on the back of TV advertising and scant radio play, both Nicolson and Pierson kept their true identity as the woofers and tweeters ensemble hidden until recently when pirates forced their hand and copies of their album started appearing overseas renamed as 'Beatles Live From the Pound'.

“We kept out of it for a long long time,” begins Pierson, “up until about five years ago, when suddenly we realised that we missed out on all these royalties. We hadn’t officially released it anywhere else in the world; it was only released really on Demtel. All of a sudden a Google search revealed that Passport records have it out, every man and his dog can sample it from anywhere.”

“We proceeded to get some lawyers in LA who were pretty good at tracking down these Internet pirates. I believe its been pirated a million times in all forms, which is sad in a way because it means that the writers of the songs, whoever owns the Beatles stuff, Michael Jackson or whoever should be getting income for these songs. And we should be getting something for being so crazy or being so fucking stupid.”

“It was all done in cheek as a bit of a fun thing,” reflects Pierson. “It was never meant to be serious. We smoked a bit of pot in those days and it sounded really funny. When you heard that in the 80’s and you heard that you laughed yourself stupid. It’s still funny, I occasionally play round the house and the dog comes close to the house and starts howling, the cat runs away the kids go ‘eew’ and the wife walks out on me. All that happens. It’s quite disgraceful.”

“It was all done in great fun and it became bigger than we imagined it,” he continues. “We tried to keep away from it, but it keeps drawing us in here and there. The years have rolled by, it has matured, it’s standing on its own, people can laugh or they can cry.” [extract from]
So, there you have it, this month's WOCK on Vinyl is a tribute to the Beatles by the Woofers and Tweeters Ensemble, a truly Korny and Crazy example of commercial exploitation and drug induced music. Ripped from my recently acquired vinyl (garage sale) in MP3 (320kps) format, this post will sound best played through your sub-Woofer.  LOL.
Track Listing
01 I Wanna Hold Your Hand 2:27
02 Love Me Do 2:36
03 Ob-La Di, Ob-La Da 3:02
04 We Can Work It Out 2:08
05 I Saw Her Standing There 2:50
06 I Feel Fine 2:14
07 Can't Buy Me Love 2:12
08 All My Loving 2:02
09 Day Tripper 2:44
10 She Loves You 2:20
11 Hard Days Night 2:30
12 Paperback Writer 2:13