In 1955 Charlie Parker died in the suite of a Rothschild, Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter, at a hotel in New York City. He was watching TV. The Dorsey Brothers’ Stage Show was reportedly on.
Although the brothers, Jimmy and Tommy, had their biggest period in the first half of the 1930s, TV needed content in its nascent period, so musical variety was big then. Parker was a fan of Jimmy’s saxophone skills.
Parker was 34 when he died.
Elvis appeared on the Stage Show.
In 1955 James Dean, driving a Porsche 955 Spyder, had a collision with another car east of Paso Robles, California. It was fatal for Dean. The driver of the other car, a Ford Tudor, had minor injuries.
Dean was 24.
Rebel Without a Cause was released after Dean’s death. Another film with cultural resonance like Rebel, Blackboard Jungle, was released in 1955. It was based on a novel of the same name released in 1954 written by Evan Hunter, who was born Salvatore Lombino, but changed his name to Evan Hunter in 1952. The first work that the author sold was in 1951, a short story titled “Welcome, Martians!”
Blackboard Jungle featured “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley & His Comets. Chuck Berry released “Maybellene” in 1955 and “Johnny B. Goode” in 1958. The latter was recorded on 12-inch gold-plated copper disks that were launched into space by NASA on the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 space craft in 1977.
In medieval times, prior to someone becoming a knight, he had to take a bath the night before. Then they had to kneel at an altar upon which their weapons were arrayed all night long. The actual tapping with a sword—not on the shoulders back then as much as it was to the neck, presumably indicating that the person performing the ceremony could stick it to the person becoming the knight—is called an accolade.
On March 11, 1997, 25 years ago, Paul McCartney received an accolade, as he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth.
On May 24, 2003, McCartney played in Red Square. According to the BBC’s reporting of that day in Sir Paul’s history:
“Hours before the event, McCartney and his wife Heather took tea in the Kremlin with President Putin.
“Mr. Putin, who was a KGB agent when the Fab Four topped the charts around the world, admitted to his guest that The Beatles had been ‘a breath of fresh air’ during Soviet times.
“He said Beatles music ‘was considered propaganda of an alien ideology.’
“Mr. Putin said that while Beatles’ music was not banned by the Communist regime, ‘the fact that you were not allowed to play in Red Square in the 1980s says a lot.’
“McCartney said he gave President Putin a private performance of The Beatles’ song ‘Let It Be.’”
Ram is by far and away my favorite solo McCartney album. The notoriously perfectionist ex-Beatle’s second album is loose, goofy and--dare I say it?--fun! The screaming, utter nonsense of “Monkberry Moon Delight” and the adolescent knuckleheadedness of “Smile Away” gave Macca an outlet for one of the reasons we all loved him in the first place: he’s entertaining!
But just because it’s fun doesn’t mean it’s throw-away. The Beatles made an astonishing career out of bringing artistry to pop music. And so it’s cool to hear a bit of that fun in Paul’s new double A-side single, Come On To Me/I Don’t Know.
Who doesn’t love the jaunt of “Come On To Me” with some choppy guitars, a bouncy beat and lyrics about meeting girls!? Unlike Mick Jagger’s struggle to make lechery from a 70+ year old man (or any man, for that matter) acceptable in the 2010s, Paul has always been “The Cute One,” and this is a cute song with more than a few nods to his hi-hi-highs in Wings.
The Dandy Warhols - "Thick Girls Knock Me Out (Richard Starkey)" Official Music Video
Gotta love the Dandies. It’s been twenty years since they released The Dandy Warhols Come Down on Capitol Records, and ten years since Capitol dumped them, and they’re still at it. Still pounding away at chuggy, psychedelic garage rock.
This one’s pretty fun, shouting out Paul McCartney’s Kisses On the Bottom and “It Don’t Come Easy” by “that other Beatle.” LOL.
Hook, hooky hook, mama. Look at you slammin’. Indeed. Look at you!
Hey we’ve got a new single called “Thick Girls Knock Me Out (Richard Starkey)” – if you ask my opinion you should plunk down the $1.29 to buy it on iTunes, maybe we can get a pot of coffee outta the deal.
“Thick Girls” is also available on all the premium streaming services (Spotify, Google Play, Amazon, Apple Music, etc), just in case you need it even cheaper than $1.29. Nevertheless play it a lot, put it on repeat, those .004 cents checks really add up
George Harrison was the first Beatle to put out a solo project when he released his Wonderwall Music soundtrack on November 1, 1968. At that point, the Beatles were still together and had just wrapped up the recording of the White Album. They would spend the month of January 1969 filming and recording what eventually became Let It Be. By the end of August 1969 Abbey Road was in the can, and the next month John Lennon told the other Beatles, “The group’s over, I’m leaving.” They all kept quiet about it while they renegotiated their record contracts. But Paul McCartney told Life magazine in November 1969, “The Beatles thing is over. It has been exploded, partly by what we have done, and partly by other people. We are individuals, all different.” Nobody seems to have picked up on this at the time though.
It wasn’t until April 1970, when Paul released McCartney, that the world figured out that the Beatles had in fact broken up. By that time, though, there had already been six prior solo albums released and three singles.
When you look at the timeline from the release of Wonderwall Music through the end of 1970, it’s crazy how much stuff they put out.
November 1, 1968: Wonderwall Music (George)
November 11, 1968: Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins (John)
November 22, 1968: The Beatles (White Album) (Beatles)
January 13, 1969: Yellow Submarine (Beatles)
April 11, 1969: “Get Back” (Beatles)
May 30, 1969: “The Ballad of John and Yoko” (Beatles)
May 9, 1969: Unfinished Music No. 2: Life with the Lions (John)
May 9, 1969: Electronic Sound (George)
July 4, 1969: “Give Peace a Chance” (John)
September 26, 1969: Abbey Road (Beatles)
October 6, 1969: “Something”/”Come Together” (Beatles)
October 20, 1969: Wedding Album (John)
October 20, 1969: “Cold Turkey” (John)
December 12, 1969: Live Peace in Toronto 1969 (John)
February 6, 1970: “Instant Karma!” (John)
February 26, 1970: Hey Jude album (Beatles)
March 6, 1970: “Let It Be” single (Beatles)
March 27, 1970: Sentimental Journey (Ringo)
April 17, 1970: McCartney (Paul)
May 8, 1970: Let It Be album (Beatles)
May 11, 1970: “The Long and Winding Road” (Beatles)
September 25, 1970: Beaucoups of Blues album (Ringo)
October 5, 1970: “Beaucoups of Blues” single (Ringo)
November 23, 1970: “My Sweet Lord” (George)
November 27, 1970: All Things Must Pass (George)
December 11, 1970: John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (John)
December 28, 1970: “Mother” (John)
* When UK and US release dates differ, the earlier of the two is displayed.
Image is a detail of the cover of Electronic Sound, painted by George Harrison.
You’re forgiven if you don’t. They gave up on that idea by 1996 when they first booked Metallica as a headliner.
Remember when fests had their own identities? Bonnaroo was a rootsy jam band festival, etc. These days bands just rotate through the major summer music festivals, year by year. Cocahella last year, Bonnaroo this year, Lollapalooza next year. Repeat ad infinitum.
Just in Chicago if you attended Lolla, Pitchfork, and Riot Fest, you’d have the opportunity to see pretty much every band who’s currently touring. Sad you missed missed Run the Jewels and Courtney Barnett at Lolla last year? They both played P4k this year. Chances are they’ll both have a nice big font on the Riot Fest 2016 poster.
It’s quite a time to be a music fan. Then again you might ask yourself whether an outdoor music fest is the best way to experience live music. There are certainly a lot of hassles at these kinds of fests (comfort, sound, food, toilets, and on and on). But if you’re the type of person who likes to make a notch in your belt for every band you see, festivals can help you out with that.
I’ve always enjoyed Lollapalooza. It’s fun to enter into the mayhem for one weekend per year. For me, the fun has always outweighed the hassles. Then again I also don’t mind going to IKEA once in a while. Your mileage may vary.
Highlights this year were Paul McCartney, First Aid Kit, Charli XCX, and Gogol Bordello.
Surprises were Alabama Shakes (way more fun than I expected), Metallica (ditto), and Twin Peaks (I had avoided them because of their dumb name but they’re exactly the kind of band I love).
Disappointments were Father John Misty (grumpy), Lame Impala (I think I stole that joke from Twitter), Albert Hammond, Jr (sang like the guy from Midnight Oil), and the disappearance of the falafel vendor who kept me alive for the past seven or eight Lollas.
Scheduling conflicts made me miss Tove Lo, War on Drugs, Bully, and Shakey Graves.
Concord Music Group’s reissue campaign of the Paul McCartney catalog continues on May 28 with 1976’s triple live album, Wings Over America. This will be the fifth release in this series following Band On The Run (2010), McCartney and McCartney II (both 2011), and Ram (2012). All of those have featured excellent remastering and presentation. Bonus tracks have been a little skimpy, but the focus of these reissues seems to be presenting the official recordings with the best sound quality.
Wings Over America is a great 70s live album, but I’m most excited about the DVD/Bluray release of the concert film, “Rockshow.” When we were in high school, GLONO co-founder Derek Phillips and I rented this movie from Crazy Larry’s and watched it in his parents’ basement shortly before watching 80s sex comedy “Hard Bodies” (“HEY DORK EAT ME”). I haven’t seen either movie since then.
Full press release below…
Wings - 'Wings Over The World' Extract
Take Flight Again in 2013… With Wings over America
· Re-release of Paul McCartney & Wings’ groundbreaking 1976 live album Wings over America containing bonus material out May 28th on Hear Music/Concord Music Group
· DVD release of the live concert film ‘Rockshow’ documenting the band’s epic Wings over the World tour across America (June 11th)
· Theatrical release of ‘Rockshow’ and an exclusive VIP premiere screening – featuring an introduction by Paul – at BAFTA (May 15th)
This Spring will see another chapter unfold in the life of Wings, the band formed by Paul McCartney after the break-up of The Beatles – and one of the most successful bands the UK has ever produced.
Wings over America
First, the historic live album, which documented the band’s triumphant 1976 tour across North America, will be reissued in a range of formats. Fans and hardcore devotees alike will be especially thrilled with the stunning four-book, four-disc (3CD, 1DVD) Deluxe Edition Box Set. The box set’s superior audio and video include the two-disc Wings over America album remastered at Abbey Road, a bonus audio disc recorded live at San Francisco’s Cow Palace, a bonus DVD containing the rarely seen 75-minute television special Wings over the World and the photo gallery montage entitled ‘Photographer’s Pass’. Moreover, the Deluxe Edition Box Set contains four exquisitely rendered art books packaged with an incredible array of exclusive memorabilia, souvenirs, mementos, keepsakes and never-before-seen photos and art work from this historic tour. The spectacular 110-page commemorative tour book beautifully recounts the behind-the-scenes drama through dozens of live performances and backstage photos along with new interviews and liner notes from eminent music journalist David Fricke. The Wings over America leatherette-bound ‘Tour Itinerary’ contains extravagant memorabilia including printed 8X10 glossy band photos, a backstage guest pass, facsimiles of the invitation to the infamous end-of-tour party at the Harold Lloyd Estate in Beverly Hills along with Wings over America concert tickets, original album art work, tour posters, set lists, lyrics, press materials and much more. ‘Look’, the box set’s warm and intimate book of Linda McCartney photography features Paul and the band in their everyday life as they made their way across the country in the spring of ’76. Lastly, the set contains ‘The Ocean View’ an extraordinary hardbound compendium of drawings and sketches by artist Humphrey Ocean that captures the band on tour in relaxed and revealing ways. A striking artistic achievement in and of itself, the audacious Wings over America Deluxe Edition Box Set is a must have for any McCartney enthusiast.
Rockshow DVD Release
And for the first time a DVD will be released by Eagle Rock of the live concert film Rockshow which was shot in 1975 and 1976 when Paul McCartney & Wings undertook the epic Wings over the World tour--the largest-scale tour they would ever undertake as a band. Packed with all the classic Wings hits – plus some of Paul’s solo and Beatles classics – the film is released on both DVD and Blu-ray formats. Although filmed on this tour at the enormous Kingdome in Seattle, Rockshow, originally an edited version of the concert, was not premiered until November 1980 in New York and April 1981 in London. It was originally released on Betamax (later on laserdisc) but it’s only now that the complete full-length concert is being made available fully restored from the original 35mm film and with restored & remastered sound, including a 5.1 mix for the first time.
Rockshow Theatrical Release
And then third, but by no means least, Eagle Rock has partnered with distributors Specticast who are releasing the film theatrically worldwide for a ‘one night only’ event’ on May 15th (see here for more details: http://rockshowonscreen.com/) – meaning the film will be shown in more than 500 theaters across the world! The theatrical release features an exclusive introduction with Paul McCartney, but there will also be an exclusive VIP premiere screening of Rockshow, with Paul in attendance and introducing the film, at BAFTA on 15 May 2013.
For Wings Across America Paul brought with him one the most sophisticated and dazzling rock shows of the mid-Seventies (a time when nobody worried about extravagance or expense) and the band would eventually perform to more than 600,000 people at 31 shows in the US and Canada, ending with three mind-bending nights at The Forum in Los Angeles. It’s no exaggeration to say that the demand that greeted Paul McCartney & Wings (Linda McCartney, Joe English, Denny Laine and Jimmy McCulloch) in the spring of 1976 as they embarked on what would become their one and only North American tour was overwhelming. Having released four consecutive chart busting albums including Red Rose Speedway, Band on the Run, Venus and Mars and Wings at the Speed of Sound – not to mention 1973’s Academy Award-winning James Bond theme “Live and Let Die” – Paul’s solo career was in full flight… and having not performed in the States for 10 years either solo or with The Beatles, excitement had reached fever pitch.
Now Paul gives fans the chance to be able to immerse themselves in a concert that is destined to live forever.
In the end, I guess we’re all just vapor. We dissipate and vanish over time. Some of us linger for a while, like a scent in old clothes, but ultimately we go away. Even the people and things we love the most. Even The Beatles.
It was within a couple of hours of his win for Best New Artist that Justin Vernon found himself the subject of an Internet meme. Or rather, his nom de plume, Bon Iver. It probably wasn’t what he had in mind when he clumsily accepted his award but a good portion of the Twitterverse was asking, “who the fuck is Bon Ivor?” Enough that it’s inspired a Tumblr blog based on many tweeters’ mishearing the name.
While a gang of dopey Twitter geeks wondering who Bonny Bear is and why he beat out J Cole (but really, who is that?)is one thing, there’s something far more disturbing out there. Something that chills my blood and unsettles my soul. There are maybe as many of these dopes asking: Who the Fuck is Paul McCartney?
Now I know that our attentions wane and shift over the years and generational differences can leave gaps and voids between us. But aren’t some things just…known? Aren’t there some facts, events and people who endure and transcend these differences? Surely, Paul Fucking McCartney is one.
It was a few years ago that Sab astonished us all with a report that he was working with an intern who had no idea who Kurt Cobain was. While that was (and is) shocking to me—not only because of Nirvana’s place in the greater cultural hierarchy, but because he hadn’t been dead that long—the idea that ANYONE doesn’t recognize the name of one of only two living Beatles is simply mind blowing.
And yet here we are, watching the constant flow of the Twitter stream wash away the few remaining features of our collective memory. What we’re left with is a fluid and a completely forgettable shape-shift of conversation. And these memories lose their meaning…oh wait, that was the other one.
This is exciting news for audiophiles. While the general earbudder might not give a shit about audio quality or dynamic range, people who really enjoy listening—and listening hard!—to music are going to be surprised by the following note from Abbey Road’s Allan Rouse regarding Paul McCartney’s remastered reissue of Band on the Run.
As is common with releases using Topspin’s tools, customers have a number of options, including CD only, deluxe CD package, vinyl, MP3 download, etc. This time, you can also purchase a High Resolution (24bit 96kHz) download for $19.99. The really cool thing about this is you get both limited and unlimited versions of the audio. For non-audiophiles, “limited” audio is a little louder, while the “unlimited” version will “sound quieter, but retain the dynamic range of the original master recording.” The fact that they’re giving people both may signal a real turning point in the Loudness Wars. Let’s hope so anyway…