Episode #16: ‘The Beatles’ Superstarr Drummer’

Rock-solid and understated, subtle yet ballsy, inventive and full of feel—these are just some of the descriptions that have been applied to the artistry and iconic, highly influential drumming of Sir Richard Starkey, M.B.E. Now, hot on the heels of Ringo’s 78th birthday, Richard, Erik, Allan, and Craig analyse and appraise his Beatles-related contributions behind the kit—both onstage and in the studio—while discussing his musical evolution, comparing him to his contemporaries, and assessing if he was indeed the man best suited to drum for the world’s greatest rock group.

Featured tracks:

  • Rain
  • Long Tall Sally
  • I Call Your Name
  • I Want to Hold Your Hand
  • She Loves You
  • Ticket to Ride
  • Please Please Me
  • Thank You Girl
  • I Feel Fine
  • You Can’t Do That
  • You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me
  • A Day in the Life
  • Long Long Long
  • The End
  • Good Morning Good Morning
  • Here Comes the Sun
  • I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You)

Episode #15: ‘An Acidic SMiLE’

Arguably the most famous of all unfinished albums, at the center of an infamous showdown between Brian Wilson and his fellow Beach Boys, SMiLE was envisaged as a means of elevating the standard pop opus to unprecedented artistic heights. Commercial considerations, a copious intake of drugs and Brian’s rapidly deteriorating mental health put paid to that—especially after he heard The Beatles’ landmark Sgt. Pepper. For years it was alleged that he had destroyed the session tapes, yet these eventually emerged intact and a rejuvenated Brian has since performed the entire set live. So, how would SMiLE have fared if released as intended at the start of 1967? And what kind of impact might it have had on the contemporary music scene? Erik, Richard, Allan and Craig dive into this intriguing, part-tragic, ultimately inspirational topic along with special guest John Anderson, the Emmy-winning, Grammy-nominated director of numerous films featuring Brian, The Beach Boys and assorted other rock luminaries.

Check out John’s credits here: http://www.thisisandersonproductions.com/AboutUs.html

Featured tracks:

  • Our Prayer/Gee
  • Heroes and Villains
  • Do You Like Worms? (Roll Plymouth Rock)
  • I’m In Great Shape/Barnyard
  • You Are My Sunshine/Old Master Painter
  • Cabin Essence
  • Wonderful
  • Look (Song for Children)
  • Child is Father of the Man
  • Surf’s Up
  • I Wanna Be Around/Workshop
  • Vega-tables
  • Holidays
  • Wind Chimes
  • Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow
  • Love to Say Dada (In Blue Hawaii)
  • Good Vibrations

Episode #14: ‘Jesus and the Mob – The Beatles in the Windy City’

The Beatles played five shows in Chicago between 1964 and 1966—more than any other American city—and there was no little drama: from the total hysteria of their first gig at the International Amphitheater and staying at a Mob-run hotel during their second visit to kicking off their third and final tour with press conferences defending John’s “more popular than Jesus” remarks.

Re-live the excitement of those years via live Windy City performances by the Fab Four and on-the-spot interviews with fans, deejays, reporters, a concert promoter and a security guard, as well as the analysis of special guest Chuck Gunderson, author of the definitive two-volume ‘Some Fun Tonight! The Backstage Story of How The Beatles Rocked America: The Historic Tours of 1964 – 1966’.

Episode #13: ‘Swinging Decade Guilty Pleasures’

The things we loved back in the 1960s that we’re now embarrassed about, as well as the things we still love from the 1960s that we should be embarrassed about: the music, movies, TV shows, products, fashions, you name it.

The musical content on this show includes:

  • Ian Bernard – ‘Inquistive Tango’ (theme from Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In)
  • Bikini Beach cast – ‘Bikini Beach’
  • Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs – ‘Wooly Bully’
  • Elvis Presley – ‘Kissin’ Cousins’
  • The Flintstones – ‘The Way-Outs’
  • The Jetsons – ‘Jet Screamer’
  • Gary Miller – ‘Aqua Marina’
  • The Flower Pot Men – ‘Let’s Go to San Francisco’
  • Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Titch – ‘The Legend of Xanadu’
  • Paper Dolls – ‘Something Here in My Heart’
  • The Glitterhouse – ‘Barbarella’
  • Elvis Presley – ‘Wolf Call’
  • Ricky Nelson – ‘Hello Mary Lou’
  • Napoleon XIV – ‘They’re Coming to Take Me Away’
  • Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs – ‘Little Red Riding Hood’
  • The Royal Guardsmen – ‘Snoopy vs. the Red Baron’
  • The Swingin’ Medallions – ‘Double Shot (Of My Baby’s Love)’
  • Sopwith Camel – ‘Hello Hello’
  • The T-Bones – ‘No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach’s In)’
  • Tony Hatch/Wings –Crossroads theme
  • Ann-Margret – ‘Bye Bye Birdie’
  • Doris Day – ‘Move Over Darling’

Episode #12: ‘Beatles U.S. vs. Beatles U.K.’

Episode #11: ‘Murder, Mayhem, Music and Movies – The 1st Week of April ’68’

Even by the standards of the 1960s, it was quite a week: the murder of peaceful-protest civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., resulting riots across the U.S.A., multilateral talk of a ceasefire in the Vietnam war, the fall of Czechoslovakia’s communist government as part of the pro-democracy movement’s ‘Prague Spring,’ the appointment of Pierre Trudeau as Canadian Prime Minister, the release of movies such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Planet of the Apes, and a wide array of now-classic chart hits on both sides of the Atlantic.

Among this episode’s musical attractions:

  • Louis Armstrong’s ‘What a Wonderful World’
  • The Beatles’ ‘Lady Madonna’
  • Elvis Presley’s ‘Guitar Man’
  • The Move’s ‘Fire Brigade’
  • Aretha Franklin’s ‘Sweet Sweet Baby (Since You’ve Been Gone)’
  • Donovan’s ‘Jennifer Juniper’
  • Otis Redding’s ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay’
  • The Lemon Pipers’ ‘Green Tambourine’
  • James Brown’s ‘I Got the Feelin’’
  • Bobby Goldsboro’s ‘Honey’
  • The Monkees’ ‘Valleri’
  • Cliff Richard’s ‘Congratulations’
  • The Delfonics’ ‘La-La (Means I Love You)’
  • Sly and the Family Stone’s ‘Dance to the Music’
  • Mahalia Jackson’s ‘Take My Hand, Precious Lord’
  • Cilla Black’s ‘Step Inside Love’

Episode #10: ‘The Psychedelic Sound’

What elements make up a psychedelic song-be it rock, pop or folk, British or American, East or West Coast? 1960s artists didn’t categorize the music. They were just pushing the envelope-lyrically, musically, technologically-while ingesting the necessary chemicals. So, differentiating between the authentic, borderline and phony is a largely subjective topic, as revealed in this episode’s acid-drenched discussion between Richard, Erik, Allan and Craig. And there’s also a brief cameo by Donovan.

The featured tracks include:

  • ‘2000 Light Years from Home’ – The Rolling Stones
  • ‘Eight Miles High’ – The Byrds
  • ‘All Along the Watchtower’ – The Jimi Hendrix Experience
  • ‘It’s All Too Much’ – The Beatles
  • ‘Psychotic Reaction’ – Count Five
  • ‘Mind Flowers’ – Ultimate Spinach
  • ‘Hole in My Shoe’ – Traffic
  • ‘Pictures of Matchstick Men’ – Status Quo
  • ‘Magic Potion’ – The Open Mind
  • ‘Time Has Come Today’ – The Chambers Brothers
  • ‘Incense and Peppermints’ – Strawberry Alarm Clock
  • ‘Itchycoo Park’ – The Small Faces
  • ‘Astronomy Domine’ – Pink Floyd
  • ‘White Rabbit’ – Jefferson Airplane
  • ‘I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)’ – The Electric Prunes
  • ‘1983… (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)’ – The Jimi Hendrix Experience
  • ‘My White Bicycle’ – Tomorrow
  • ‘A Very Cellular Song’ – The Incredible String Band
  • ‘Witches Hat’ – The Incredible String Band
  • ‘Porpoise Song’ – The Monkees
  • ‘Hurdy Gurdy Man’ – Donovan
  • ‘Good Vibrations’ – The Beach Boys
  • ‘Third Stone from the Sun’ – The Jimi Hendrix Experience
  • ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ – Jimi Hendrix

Episode #9: ‘The Trip: from Rubber Soul to Revolver – How LSD Impacted The Beatles’.

“I don’t see too much difference between Rubber Soul and Revolver,” George said in the ‘Beatles Anthology’ documentary. “To me, they could be Volume One and Volume Two.”

Many might think he should have paired Revolver with Sgt. Pepper. But, bearing in mind that George wasn’t nearly as involved with Pepper, let’s view things from his perspective…

In August 1965, John and George took acid intentionally for the first time, together with Ringo. In October and November, The Beatles recorded Rubber Soul. The following month, 10 days after the album’s release, a day after the end of the group’s final UK tour, Paul took LSD for the first time (with Guinness heir Tara Browne). Less than four months later, the Revolver sessions began.

Very different albums, but within just five months of one another: ‘Volume One’ shortly after three Beatles had dropped acid; ‘Volume Two’ after Paul had done so.

Featuring ear-catching, ultra-rare audio clips, this episode will dive deep into how hallucinogens influenced not only The Beatles’ songwriting and studio techniques during this period of unsurpassed group unity, but also the attitudes and instrumentation evident on record.

Episode #8: ‘Actors Go Pop (Part 1)’

This show’s just the first installment of a multi-parter because, if you do a little research, you’ll discover that it might be easier to compile a list of famous actors who, back in the 1960s, didn’t record a pop song… or album… or several of them. They were all at it, on both sides of the Atlantic, and some of the results weren’t nearly as bad as you might think. Some were actually quite good while others were at least amusing. Such is the varied selection we have here:

  • Peter Sellers & Sophia Loren, ‘Goodness Gracious Me’ & ‘Bangers and Mash’
  • Richard Chamberlain, ‘Three Stars Will Shine Tonight’
  • Audrey Hepburn, ‘Moon River’
  • William Shatner, ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’
  • Leonard Nimoy, ‘Highly Illogical’
  • Bette Davis & Debbie Burton, ‘What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?’
  • Barbara Eden, ‘Bend It’
  • Patrick Macnee & Honor Blackman, ‘Kinky Boots’
  • Lorne Greene, ‘Ringo’
  • Pattie Duke, ‘Say Something Funny’
  • Yaphet Kotto, ‘Have You Dug This Scene’
  • Brigitte Bardot, ‘Harley Davidson’
  • Brigitte Bardot, Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg, ‘Je t’aime… moi non plus’

Episode #7: ‘Worst Hit Records of the 1960s – Part 1’

Just because a record’s a hit doesn’t mean it’s good. And there are many good records that never achieve chart success. This show focuses on the former: 1960s singles that cracked the top 100 in the U.S. and/or U.K.—in certain cases even topping it—yet which are universally condemned or divide opinions: some people love them, others hate them.

Incorporating several of their own choices with those of listeners, Richard and Erik bravely take a trip through an assortment of Sixties stinkers—ranging from novelty records to artistic blunders—and also recruit the Celebrated Mr. K (Allan Kozinn)  to try figure out what in hell the artists and composers were thinking.

Following are the featured tracks. But this is just the beginning—no way can all of the contenders fit into a single episode…

  • Ray Stevens — Jeremiah Peabody’s Polyunsaturated Quick-Dissolving Fast-Acting Pleasant Tasting Green and Purple Pills
  • Brian Hyland — Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini
  • The Trashmen — Surfin’ Bird
  • Jimmy Cross — I Want My Baby Back
  • Freddie and the Dreamers — Do the Freddie
  • Elvis Presley — Do the Clam
  • Mrs. Miller — Downtown/A Lover’s Concerto
  • Sgt. Barry Sadler — The Ballad of the Green Berets
  • Esther and Abi Ofarim — Cinderella Rockefella
  • Senator Bobby — Wild Thing
  • 1910 Fruitgum Company — Simon Says
  • Richard Harris — MacArthur Park
  • Tiny Tim — Tip Toe Thru’ the Tulips With Me