Episode #18: ‘The Beatles – Politically (In)Correct’

The cripple impersonations, the Nazi salutes, the MBEs (received and returned), the groupies, the ‘Butcher cover’, the ‘bigger than Jesus’ controversy, the drugs, the love anthem, the naked album cover, the politically-charged lyrics, the peace campaign, the erotic artwork… However we slice and dice The Beatles’ story, it’s never boring,. What they said, sang and did still incites heated debates and disagreements five decades later. And what was deemed acceptable or unimportant back in the 1960s is often judged far more harshly today—as well as the other way around. So, diving into this often amusing, sometimes disturbing topic, we appraise things according to not only current mores, but also the era in which they took place—guaranteeing an action-packed episode… and a splendid time for all.

The Music

  • I Saw Her Standing There
  • Day Tripper
  • The Word
  • Girl
  • Run for Your Life
  • Got to Get You into My Life
  • Tomorrow Never Knows
  • Doctor Robert
  • Penny Lane
  • Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
  • A Day in the Life
  • All You Need is Love
  • Revolution 1
  • Blackbird
  • Piggies
  • No Pakistanis
  • Maggie Mae
  • I’ve Got a Feeling
  • Don’t Let Me Down
  • Give Peace a Chance
  • Come Together
  • You Can’t Do That
  • Across the Universe
  • Piggies
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
  • Revolution
  • Commonwealth

Episode #17: ‘The Monkees – Fake or Real?’

They’ve been labeled the Prefab Four, America’s answer to The Beatles; a manufactured group performing songs on TV and in concert that were written by accomplished composers and recorded by crack session musicians. All of which is true—up to a point. Davy Jones, Mike Nesmith, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork boasted assorted pedigrees as actors and/or musicians, and they eventuially exerted greater control over their own career. But, as fast as they became superstars on both sides of the Atlantic, they flamed out, and to this day the debate continues regarding their musical validity and credibility. Which is where Richard, Erik, Allan and Craig enter the picture…

The music featured on this show comprises a wide array of singles, session tapes, outtakes and tracks from the albums ‘The Monkees’ (1966), ‘More of The Monkees’, ‘Headquarters’, ‘Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.’ (all 1967), ‘The Birds, The Bees and The Monkees’ and ‘Head’ (both 1968).

Featured Tracks:

  • (Theme from) The Monkees
  • Mary, Mary
  • Goin’ Down
  • (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone
  • Cuddly Toy
  • Daydream Believer
  • Your Auntie Grizelda
  • Ladies Aid Society
  • Saturday’s Child
  • Papa Gene’s Blues
  • Take a Giant Step
  • Last Train to Clarksville
  • I Wanna Be Free
  • She
  • When Love Comes Knockin’ (at Your Door)
  • Sometime in the Morning
  • The Day We Fall in Love
  • Porpoise Song (Theme from Head)
  • Laugh
  • I’m a Believer
  • Gonna Buy Me a Dog
  • For Pete’s Sake
  • Randy Scouse Git
  • Shades of Gray
  • A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You
  • Salesman
  • The Door into Summer
  • Words
  • What Am I Doing Hangin’ ’Round?
  • Star Collector
  • Love is Only Sleeping
  • Peter Percival Patterson’s Pet Pig Porky
  • Valleri
  • Ditty Diego – War Chant
  • Pleasant Valley Sunday

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.