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Brad

Summer in the City

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Thanks for posting; great read.  The format of the piece seems a blatant ripoff of Marc Myers’s “Anatomy Of A Song” articles (a book I just finished reading).

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When I was much younger I really liked their biggest hits and particularly this track so I look forward to reading the piece. Thanks Brad.

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"but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now"

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"Summer In The City", "Dancing In The Streets", Northern urbanity, quite the contrast to West Coast (endless) summers.

And then, the Beach Music of the Southeast..

Americans love them some summer, but I'm betting for that transitioning to full frontal terror as the 21st Century unfolds.

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14 minutes ago, king ubu said:

"but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now"

Good and bad, I define these terms
Quite clear, no doubt, somehow

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Back then it was one of my favourites. I still have the 45, it is in a box on the shelf two feet from my head while I write this.

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I knew Zal after he had left The Spoonful and was driving a cab in Toronto. For a while he was a radio dj but got fired for playing The Beach Boys and Buck Owens.  (This was probably around 1969.) 

Wim Wenders' first feature film is called Summer in the City.  All I remember about it is that it's in black and white, there's snow on the ground in almost every scene, and that  at one point the entire song is played while  someone trudges through an urban winter landscape.

  

 

 

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19 minutes ago, medjuck said:

I knew Zal after he had left The Spoonful and was driving a cab in Toronto. For a while he was a radio dj but got fired for playing The Beach Boys and Buck Owens.  (This was probably around 1969.)  

 

 

Interesting.  Beach Boys were consdidered AM/FM credible in 1969 with the 20/20 album and "Do It Again", "I Can Hear Music", and "Bluebirds Over The Mountain" from that album.

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Thanks.  I thought it was an enlightening article.  I liked the part about Sebastian's brother contributing the opening lines. 

24 minutes ago, medjuck said:

I knew Zal after he had left The Spoonful and was driving a cab in Toronto. For a while he was a radio dj but got fired for playing The Beach Boys and Buck Owens.  (This was probably around 1969.)

Why would that lead to his being fired?

2 hours ago, mjzee said:

Thanks for posting; great read.  The format of the piece seems a blatant ripoff of Marc Myers’s “Anatomy Of A Song” articles (a book I just finished reading).

The format or the content.  I take it you liked the book. 

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8 minutes ago, felser said:

Interesting.  Beach Boys were consdidered AM/FM credible in 1969 with the 20/20 album and "Do It Again", "I Can Hear Music", and "Bluebirds Over The Mountain" from that album.

Maybe he was playing "Cabinessence" and "I Went To Sleep" instead?

I mean, yeah, that's the shit, but back in the day...not so much.

"Do It Again", I remember that being an AM hit, I was in my earliest teens then, didn't think too much about it until years later  I decided to check out those unpopular last 4 BB albums (remember the WB 2-Fers of them?)...check out the timbre of the piano/keyboards on that one, it ain't the basic sound you think it is.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

15 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Maybe he was playing "Cabinessence" and "I Went To Sleep" instead?

I mean, yeah, that's the shit, but back in the day...not so much.

"Do It Again", I remember that being an AM hit, I was in my earliest teens then, didn't think too much about it until years later  I decided to check out those unpopular last 4 BB albums (remember the WB 2-Fers of them?)...check out the timbre of the piano/keyboards on that one, it ain't the basic sound you think it is.

 

 

 

Yep.  For that matter, you can go back even way earlier (pre-"Pet Sounds") in the Beach Boys recordings and find plenty that ain't the basic sound you think it is.  And a lot of interesting stuff on "Wild Honey", "Friends", "20/20","Sunflower", and "Surf's Up" (especially the gorgeous title track from the last one, which was the centerpiece of "Smile".  Also, understood on "Cabinessence" and "I Went To Sleep", which would never make sense as radio fodder.  Although neither did a lot of things back then.  I mean, I heard this on WEBN in Cincinnati ca. 1968:

 

Edited by felser

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The one bad acid trip I had, I tried all kinds of music to get me out of it and the only thing that worked, finally, was "All I Want To Do" from Sunflower. Go figure that.

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The article mentions a 1965 tour that the Lovin' Spoonful did with the Supremes. I saw a local PBS show a few years ago where John Sebastian spoke about that tour and how he and Zal were outside the bus one day and talked about doing something that was rhythmically like some of the Supremes' material. That's how Sebastian ended up writing "Daydream". I imagine that "Daydream" came out of "Where Did Our Love Go?".

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Reallly? In what way?

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9 hours ago, Brad said:

The format or the content.  I take it you liked the book. 

The format.  It follows Myers's formula to the letter: talk to people involved with the song (could be writers, performers, producers, engineers, arrangers, cover artists); print their words verbatim but cleaned up as regards grammar, full sentences, and the like; placing those words in historical context (what was happening at the time); and discussing the effect the song had on history (personal history, pop history, etc.).  

Let's use one example: Myers's chapter on The Young Rascals' "Groovin'."  It begins with Felix Cavaliere talking about his first serious girlfriend.  Since, like most musicians, he worked Friday and Saturday nights, they only had Sundays together, and Groovin' was about their Sunday afternoons.  He wrote the lyrics with Eddie Brigati.  Cavaliere decided to use a baion rhythm, to give the song a Latin groove; he was exposed to Latin music when he led the house band at the Raleigh Hotel in the Catskills while he was a teen.  They decided to leave out the drums; Dino Danelli played the conga with a stick under his arm, and at the bridge, he used the stick to strike a wood block, creating a ticking beat.  Arif Mardin orchestrated a "Carmen Caballero-Style lounge-piano solo" for Cavaliere.  They then wanted a Latin bass line overdubbed.  Gene Cornish couldn't quite get it, so they called Chuck Rainey.  By the time they got to the studio the next day, Rainey had already nailed it.  Cavaliere added the sound of birds, inspired by the Beatles' "Yellow Submarine."  Mardin suggested adding a harmonica.  No one in the band played one, so the guy who swept the floors in the studio, Michael Weinstein, played it.  Finally, Jerry Wexler hated the latin rhythm and wanted to add a drummer.  Murray the K persuaded Wexler it was going to be a hit as is!  As indeed it was.

The book is full of little tidbits like that.  Did you know David Fathead Newman and Clark Terry played on the Lovin' Spoonful's "Darling Be Home Soon"?  The Four Tops' "Reach Out I'll Be There" was influenced by Bob Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone"?  The Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" was 3:45 in length, and Phil Spector knew that was too long for AM radio, so he simply changed the time on the label to 3:05?

Great, great book.

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45 minutes ago, mjzee said:

The format.  It follows Myers's formula to the letter: talk to people involved with the song (could be writers, performers, producers, engineers, arrangers, cover artists); print their words verbatim but cleaned up as regards grammar, full sentences, and the like; placing those words in historical context (what was happening at the time); and discussing the effect the song had on history (personal history, pop history, etc.).  

Let's use one example: Myers's chapter on The Young Rascals' "Groovin'."  It begins with Felix Cavaliere talking about his first serious girlfriend.  Since, like most musicians, he worked Friday and Saturday nights, they only had Sundays together, and Groovin' was about their Sunday afternoons.  He wrote the lyrics with Eddie Brigati.  Cavaliere decided to use a baion rhythm, to give the song a Latin groove; he was exposed to Latin music when he led the house band at the Raleigh Hotel in the Catskills while he was a teen.  They decided to leave out the drums; Dino Danelli played the conga with a stick under his arm, and at the bridge, he used the stick to strike a wood block, creating a ticking beat.  Arif Mardin orchestrated a "Carmen Caballero-Style lounge-piano solo" for Cavaliere.  They then wanted a Latin bass line overdubbed.  Gene Cornish couldn't quite get it, so they called Chuck Rainey.  By the time they got to the studio the next day, Rainey had already nailed it.  Cavaliere added the sound of birds, inspired by the Beatles' "Yellow Submarine."  Mardin suggested adding a harmonica.  No one in the band played one, so the guy who swept the floors in the studio, Michael Weinstein, played it.  Finally, Jerry Wexler hated the latin rhythm and wanted to add a drummer.  Murray the K persuaded Wexler it was going to be a hit as is!  As indeed it was.

The book is full of little tidbits like that.  Did you know David Fathead Newman and Clark Terry played on the Lovin' Spoonful's "Darling Be Home Soon"?  The Four Tops' "Reach Out I'll Be There" was influenced by Bob Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone"?  The Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" was 3:45 in length, and Phil Spector knew that was too long for AM radio, so he simply changed the time on the label to 3:05?

Great, great book.

Thanks for that.  I will have to pick it up. Didn’t know about the Four Tops. They were one of my favorite groups when I was a kid. 

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56 minutes ago, mjzee said:

The format.  It follows Myers's formula to the letter: talk to people involved with the song (could be writers, performers, producers, engineers, arrangers, cover artists); print their words verbatim but cleaned up as regards grammar, full sentences, and the like; placing those words in historical context (what was happening at the time); and discussing the effect the song had on history (personal history, pop history, etc.).  

Let's use one example: Myers's chapter on The Young Rascals' "Groovin'."  It begins with Felix Cavaliere talking about his first serious girlfriend.  Since, like most musicians, he worked Friday and Saturday nights, they only had Sundays together, and Groovin' was about their Sunday afternoons.  He wrote the lyrics with Eddie Brigati.  Cavaliere decided to use a baion rhythm, to give the song a Latin groove; he was exposed to Latin music when he led the house band at the Raleigh Hotel in the Catskills while he was a teen.  They decided to leave out the drums; Dino Danelli played the conga with a stick under his arm, and at the bridge, he used the stick to strike a wood block, creating a ticking beat.  Arif Mardin orchestrated a "Carmen Caballero-Style lounge-piano solo" for Cavaliere.  They then wanted a Latin bass line overdubbed.  Gene Cornish couldn't quite get it, so they called Chuck Rainey.  By the time they got to the studio the next day, Rainey had already nailed it.  Cavaliere added the sound of birds, inspired by the Beatles' "Yellow Submarine."  Mardin suggested adding a harmonica.  No one in the band played one, so the guy who swept the floors in the studio, Michael Weinstein, played it.  Finally, Jerry Wexler hated the latin rhythm and wanted to add a drummer.  Murray the K persuaded Wexler it was going to be a hit as is!  As indeed it was.

The book is full of little tidbits like that.  Did you know David Fathead Newman and Clark Terry played on the Lovin' Spoonful's "Darling Be Home Soon"?  The Four Tops' "Reach Out I'll Be There" was influenced by Bob Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone"?  The Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" was 3:45 in length, and Phil Spector knew that was too long for AM radio, so he simply changed the time on the label to 3:05?

Great, great book.

I recall seeing Phil Spector on TV (maybe late 1966?) commenting on "Reach Out I'll Be There", saying, "That's a black man singing Dylan."

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Will pick up that Myers book, thanks for the heads-up!

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12 hours ago, felser said:

Interesting.  Beach Boys were consdidered AM/FM credible in 1969 with the 20/20 album and "Do It Again", "I Can Hear Music", and "Bluebirds Over The Mountain" from that album.

Well I may have the year wrong. I'm not very good on the chronology of my life 1967-1970.

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6 hours ago, medjuck said:

Well I may have the year wrong. I'm not very good on the chronology of my life 1967-1970.

I think same comment would fit for any of those years, just substitute the album from that year and the key songs from the album.  I was still hearing them on both AM and FM radio into the early/mid-70's.   But as Jim pointed out, it would very possibly depend which songs he was playing by them.

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John, your BB memories differ from mine...I only heard them on AM radio during those years and then mostly as oldies. The Surf's Up lp made a little penetraion, but it wasn't until "Sail On Sailor" that they got any real traction on FM raido, and then, not for all that long.

Warners tries with them, they really tired, but reissuing Carl and The Passions/So Tough with Pet Spunds as an attempt to both sell the former and light a fire up under the latter...people just weren't ready yet.

What I really give them credit for is getting the last four Capitols back into circulation...I don't think they sold for shit, but they kep them alive nevrhteless.

 

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File under Public Service.

I've yet to hear this on the radio, ever. Before it's over, I can find a reason for any DJ in any idiom to be fired for playing it.

Still, it persists.

Really, I bought Love You on the day of release and figured it would be a BIG hit, it was sooo "new wave" in sound, actually ahead of the curve just a little bit. Shows you how removed from reality I was...still perhaps my favorite BB record though. I mean, holy shit!

PLAY IT LOUD. PLAY IT VERY LOUD.

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On 9/8/2018 at 8:37 PM, JSngry said:

 

I went nuts over 'Amy's Theme' when I heard it in the movie "You're a Big Boy Now" played by a harmonica. Its D-E-F C-B-A G-A G melody was the first ii V I lick I ever learned on my instrument, and I couldn't stop playing it. Since it was from the soundtrack, I wonder if Sebastian or a film composer wrote it.. It's similar to another ii V I lick song I loved at the time by Johnny 'Hammond' Smith, played by the great Houston Person, except that one had a 16th note pickup of C#, followed by a 16th note triplet D-F-A- then C(held for 2 and 1/2 beats) followed by B-C B-C-D B-G. Anyone know it?

It's kind of ironic that anything having to do with John Sebastian would have a jazz connotation; I recall reading a diatribe by Sebastian (maybe in Boone's book on the band?)about avoiding at all cost falling into what he described as the "Jazz Trap" when making a record. He meant including anything that had anything to do with jazz on a rock, folk or whatever, record would doom said record's commercial appeal. The fact that Clark Terry and Fathead played on "Darling Come Home Soon" (did anyone notice Sebastian's screwing up his entrance on the return to the chorus after the strings' played the A section?) is equally ironic, and DFN and CT should have given JS a sucker punch, after receiving a check for the date. Now that I know JS lives in the West Village, I feel tempted to do the same if i see him on the street.. After all, even I could take an 80 year-old man.:alien:

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Whoops, he's only 74. I'll have to stalk him for the next six years; then I'll give him the sucker punch he deserves...:ph34r:

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