Categories
Birthdays

A BEATLES Birthday For Dana Bonn

August 6th is celebrated throughout the known universe as the birthday of Dana Bonn. Artist! Photographer! Adventurer! Diner aficionado! And, of course, the intrepid co-host of The Best Three Hours Of Radio On The Whole Friggin’ Planet, This Is Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio with Dana & Carl. Since Dana’s one of the biggest Beatles fans I know, we’ll observe his annual flipping of the calendar (and flipping off of the calendar) by turning today’s way fab Boppin’ (Like The Hip Folks Do) over to John, Paul, George, and Richard. Happy Birthday to The Curmudgeonly One!

The Beatles are my favorite band, too. My interest is mainly in the pre-Sgt. Pepper stuff, but I also love the group’s late ’60s recordings. Still, the records The Beatles did from, say, late ’63 through ’66 remain my favorite musical body of work by anyone at any time. I don’t have much to add to what I’ve already written about The Beatles on this blog (particularly here and here, plus that time Dana and I drove up to Rama, Ontario for Ringo’s press conference in 2003). So we’ll just spend the rest of today’s blog with my random thoughts and memories of the act you’ve known for all these years.

FIRST BEATLES RECORD I EVER HEARD:

“I Want To Hold Your Hand.” The “Duh!” is strongly implied.

MY FIRST BEATLES CD:
Past Masters, Volume 2
MY FIRST BEATLES LP (AND SECOND, AND THIRD….):
Oooh–tough one. Growing up, the family album collection included Beatles ’65Beatles VIRevolver, and the United Artists soundtrack for A Hard Day’s Night; possession of all of those LPs reverted to whichever sibling owned ’em to begin with. In high school, I borrowed my brother Rob’s copy of Rubber Soul and my cousin Maryann’s copies of Meet The BeatlesThe Beatles’ Second Album, Something NewThe Beatles’ Story, and the UK import Beatles For Sale; I also borrowed Rob’s Jefferson AirplaneBig Brother & the Holding CompanyMamas & PapasLovin’ Spoonful, and Bob Dylan albums, and Maryann’s Dave Clark FiveSearchers, and Beach Boys records.

The first Beatles LP I could call my own was almost certainly a flea market purchase, and it was probably Rubber Soul. Other flea market and second-hand Beatles scores were my own copies of Meet The BeatlesThe Beatles’ Second AlbumSomething NewBeatles ’65, and Revolver. I won a copy of Help! from WOLF-AM for being the first caller to correctly identify George Harrison’s eye color as brown (a fact I knew by quickly going to my room, looking at my Beatles posters, and then racing to the telephone).

I received Introducing The BeatlesLet It BeThe Beatles Featuring Tony SheridanSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and 1967-1970 as Christmas or birthday gifts. I think I bought Yesterday” And Today and Abbey Road new (probably at Gerber Music), and I know I bought The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl at Gerber. I received a copy of The White Album as a high school graduation gift from my friends Faith BerkheimerLinda McLaren, and Joan Davies. A little later on, I purchased a Japanese import copy of Beatles VI from Tommy Allen of The Flashcubes, also at Gerber, and my last-ever Beatles LP purchase to date was a used copy of Rarities at Main Street Records in Brockport. My lovely girlfriend Brenda owned a copy of 1962-1966, so I added that in the matrimonial merger.

I have never owned vinyl copies of A Hard Day’s NightThe Beatles’ StoryMagical Mystery TourYellow Submarine, or The Beatles Again (aka Hey Jude), nor have I ever owned any of the other Beatles LP compilations (Rock And Roll Music or Love Songs).

OTHER FORMATS?
Most of my Beatles 45s were hand-me-downs; only one I specifically remember buying was a British reissue of “Help!”/”I’m Down” in 1977, because I thought “I’m Down” was The Greatest Record Ever Made.  I also purchased a British reissue of The Beatles’ Hits EP. Never had a Beatles 8-track; the only 8-tracks I ever owned were by Paul Revere & the Raiders and The Bay City Rollers (the latter a gift from Birthday Boy Bonn). My Beatles cassette collection consisted of Beatles For Sale and Help! My first Beatles VHS was the Ready, Steady, Go tape, and first Beatles DVD was A Hard Day’s Night. I do not yet own any Beatles Blu-ray discs.

MY FIRST BEATLES BOOTLEG:
The Deccagone Sessions. My second was called Youngblood, and I later got a copy of Sessions, and The Beatles’ Christmas Album.

MY FIRST SOLO BEATLES ALBUM:
Either McCartney or Plastic Ono Band, purchased used at Record Revolution in Cleveland Heights. I may have bought them both at the same time.

WHERE I SAW THE BEATLES’ FILMS:

The only one I saw in its original release was A Hard Day’s Night at The North Drive-In in Cicero; I saw it again on TV in 1968, on election night (on a double bill with Jerry Lewis in Cinderfella). I didn’t see the others until the ’70s: Help! on Syracuse Channel 3’s afternoon movie matinee, Yellow Submarine on CBS, and Magical Mystery Tour and Let It Be on a double bill at The Hollywood Theater in Mattydale. I also saw The Beatles’ 1966 Tokyo concert in the Spring of ’77 during a program called Rock Of The ’60s at Syracuse University. Rock Of The ’60s was an evening of ’60s rock ‘n’ roll clips–the only way I was gonna see these things in the pre-YouTube days–and it opened with a Dave Clark Five newsreel; from there, it careened its way through a selection of TV clips by The KinksThe WhoThe Rolling StonesThe TurtlesThe Lovin’ SpoonfulThe YardbirdsThe ByrdsBuffalo Springfield, and The Hollies, culminating in The Beatles’ “Revolution” clip and the Tokyo show. My friend Lissa DeAngelo accompanied me to Rock Of The ’60s, and she made it very clear that it was not a date.

MY FAVORITE BEATLES SONG:  

There ain’t no such. Candidates could include “Rain,””Please Please Me,””Help!,””A Hard Day’s Night,””Thank You, Girl,””No Reply,” and several others.

MY FAVORITE POST-1966 BEATLES SONG: 

“The Ballad Of John And Yoko”

BEATLES SONG I’M MOST SICK OF HEARING:  

“All You Need Is Love”

A SONG THE BEATLES COVERED THAT’S BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL:
The Beatles’ versions of Chuck Berry‘s”Rock And Roll Music,” Buddy Holly‘s “Words Of Love,” and The Marvellettes‘ “Please Mr. Postman” are transcendent and definitive; “Twist And Shout” is a draw between The Beatles and The Isley Brothers, but the lads’ able covers of Little Richard tunes can’t quite match the fervor of the Reverend Richard Penniman.

A COVER OF A BEATLES SONG THAT SURPASSES THE ORIGINAL:
I often (if not quite always) prefer Wilson Pickett‘s “Hey Jude” to the familiar Beatles version. That’s probably about it. Otis Redding did a terrific cover of “Day Tripper,” but I still like The Beatles’ record better.  Would The Rolling Stones‘ “I Wanna Be Your Man” count? It’s a Lennon-McCartney song, but the Stones recorded it before The Beatles did, and the Stones’ version just kicks.

FAVORITE SONG THE BEATLES GAVE AWAY:
“I’ll Be On My Way.” I used to sing it to my daughter when she was a baby.

AWWWWWW…!
Get a hold of yourself, man.

MY FAVORITE SOLO BEATLES TRACKS:  

“Instant Karma!,””Maybe I’m Amazed,””What Is Life,””It Don’t Come Easy.” Oh, and “I’ll Try Anyway” by The Pete Best Combo.

20 FAVORITE BEATLES TRACKS NOT ISSUED AS A U.S. SINGLE:

“The Night Before”
“She Said She Said”
“Another Girl”
“No Reply”
“Every Little Thing”
“Words Of Love”
“Hey Bulldog”
“What You’re Doing”
“Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”
“Getting Better”
“If I Needed Someone”
“Tomorrow Never Knows”
“You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away”
“You’re Gonna Lose That Girl”
“For No One”
“Norwegian Wood”
“It Won’t Be Long”
“Cry Baby Cry”
“I’ve Just Seen A Face”
“Tell Me What You See”

MY 21st FAVORITE BEATLES TRACK NOT ISSUED AS A U.S. SINGLE:
“And Your Bird Can Sing”

OOPS….
Aw, man! I forgot “Things We Said Today” and “In My Life,” dammit!

FAVORITE BEATLES DOUBLE-A:
“We Can Work It Out”/”Day Tripper”  But it’s a close one.

PROOF THAT A PARTIAL COLLECTION OF THE BEATLES’ B-SIDES WOULD MAKE AN ALBUM BETTER THAN MOST ARTISTS’ GREATEST-HITS SETS:
We’ll stick with pre-Sgt. Pepper Capitol sides, just for continuity:

“I Saw Her Standing There”
“You Can’t Do That”
“I Should Have Known Better”
“I’m Happy Just To Dance With You”
“If I Fell”
“Slow Down”
“She’s A Woman”
“I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party”
“Yes It Is”
“I’m Down”
“Act Naturally”
“Day Tripper”
“Rain”

MY OPINION OF “YESTERDAY”:  

An underrated track, its popularity and ubiquity notwithstanding. The arrangement resists any temptation to go overboard, and remains elegant and understated. The lyrics are heartbreaking, devastating (and a sad partner to “For No One”). If you’ve ever sat, beer in hand, and listened to this song while thinking about the shadow hanging over you as love leaves you behind, then you appreciate how “Yesterday” can mirror the depth of your own sorrow and regret.  Or, um…so I’ve heard.  

FAVORITE DRUMMER IN THE BEATLES:  

Ringo. I don’t mean that as a slap against Pete Best, just a repudiation of the oft-cited [fake] quote from John Lennon, with Lennon supposedly saying that not only wasn’t Ringo the best drummer in the world, he wasn’t even the best drummer in The Beatles. Worth repeating here for extry-emphasis: JOHN LENNON NEVER SAID THAT! Ringo remains one of the most underrated performers in rock ‘n’ roll history.

FAVORITE BEATLES IMITATION: 
“Lies” by The Knickerbockers; honorable mentions to The Rutles and the transcendent pop of The Spongetones.

FAVORITE EXAMPLE OF THE BEATLES IMITATING:

I insist that “Tell Me Why” was a conscious effort by Lennon and McCartney to write a song in the Tottenham Sound of then-rivals The Dave Clark Five. “Tell Me Why” sounds more like a DC5 song than it sounds like anything else The Beatles ever did.

FAVORITE WRITING ABOUT THE BEATLES:  
Paperback WriterMark Shipper‘s wiseass fictional history of The Beatles, is hilarious, and it’s my favorite rock ‘n’ roll novel.  The introduction to The Beatles: The Biography by Bob Spitz is one of the greatest, most exciting pieces of non-fiction rock writing I’ve ever seen.

Did I watch and enjoy Ron Howard’s Beatles’ documentary Eight Days A Week?

Yeah.

Was I blown away by Peter Jackson’s relevatory and awe-inspiring three-part masterpiece Get Back?

Yeah.

Do I still regard The Beatles as the Toppermost Of The Poppermost?

Yeah!

THE EVERLASTING FIRST: The Beach Boys

Continuing a look back at my first exposure to a number of rock ‘n’ roll acts and superheroes (or other denizens of print or periodical publication), some of which were passing fancies, and some of which I went on to kinda like. They say you never forget your first time; that may be true, but it’s the subsequent visits–the second time, the fourth time, the twentieth time, the hundredth time–that define our relationships with the things we cherish. Ultimately, the first meeting is less important than what comes after that. But every love story still needs to begin with that first kiss.

This was originally posted as part of a longer piece covering both pop music and comic book characters. It’s separated here for convenience.

As I’ve said before, it took me a little while to become a Beach Boys fan.  But there was a Beach Boys LP in the family library when I was a kid: Surfer Girl. As hard as it may be to believe, the title track from that album is the only Beach Boys song I remember contemporaneously. I know, I know–I was there (in my role as me), and I have difficulty buying the idea that I wasn’t aware of “In My Room” or “Surfin’ USA” or “Help Me, Rhonda” or “I Get Around” or “Our Car Club.” Well, okay, maybe that last mental omission is understandable. But how could I have missed the entirety of The Beach Boys’ ’60s output in the ’60s? Beats me. All I can tell you is that I didn’t start listening to The Beach Boys at all until the mid-’70s, and I didn’t become a big fan until much later.

But I got there. As a teen, I borrowed my cousin Maryann’s Beach Boys records (along with her Dave Clark Five, SearchersBeatlesAnimals, and Rolling Stones collection). I got a copy of the cultural prerequisite 2-LP set Endless Summer via the RCA Record Club, and I figured I was permanently set with all the Beach Boys I’d ever need. Probably more than I’d ever need–the only track missing (in my view at the time) was “Good Vibrations,” and I could live without that if I had to.

(I think I may have been surprised to learn that “In My Room,” a track included on Endless Summer, had originally been done by The Beach Boys. I knew it as an early ’70s single by local singer Nanci Hammond, whose cover of the song received significant AM radio airplay in Syracuse. It was the follow-up to her earlier local hit, “You Were Made Just For Me,” and I confess that I preferred “You Were Made Just For Me” to “In My Room.” At the time, man, at the time!)

In high school, I knew a guy named Larry Siedentop. Larry was a big fan of The Beach Boys, probably the only one of my peers who was really, really into them (though I do recall that another friend, Mary Saur, also liked The Beach Boys, but not as fervently as ol’ Larry did). Larry spoke of The Beatles and The Beach Boys with equal reverence, and to me, that was just crazy, freakin’ nuts. Those square, decidedly outta-fashion California beach bums on a par with the brilliance of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band? That was like telling me that Up With People! was a peer to Bob Dylan. Sure, even my self-conscious efforts to make myself into a cooler-than-thou proto-hipster couldn’t deny the pop savvy of The Beach Boys’ best hit singles, but c’mon!

But now, even a slow-to-the-epiphany guy like me can look back and recognize how right Larry Siedentop was. Forty years later, I prefer Pet Sounds to Sgt. Pepper; that’s a turnaround in opinion that would have been inconceivable to me in 1976. I finally appreciate the greatness of The Beach Boys. Hell, I’m even okay with “Kokomo,” which makes me uncool, but I don’t care. And I got to see Brian Wilson play Pet Sounds in 2016! So much for first impressions, I guess, or even some subsequent impressions, too. Sometimes it takes me a while to catch on, and it certainly took me a while to catch a wave.

And I like “Surfer Girl” now. I love “Surfer Girl” now. I mean–look at her!

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Our new compilation CD This Is Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio, Volume 4 is now available from Kool Kat Musik! 29 tracks of irresistible rockin’ pop, starring Pop Co-OpRay PaulCirce Link & Christian NesmithVegas With Randolph Featuring Lannie FlowersThe SlapbacksP. HuxIrene PeñaMichael Oliver & the Sacred Band Featuring Dave MerrittThe RubinoosStepford KnivesThe Grip WeedsPopdudesRonnie DarkThe Flashcubes,Chris von SneidernThe Bottle Kids1.4.5.The SmithereensPaul Collins’ BeatThe Hit SquadThe RulersThe Legal MattersMaura & the Bright LightsLisa Mychols, and Mr. Encrypto & the Cyphers. You gotta have it, so order it here. 

Categories
Got Any Singles?

Got Any Singles? Mike Skill, Pop 4 and Kevin Robertson

Mike Skill 

So Soul Alone

mikeskill.com/records

Over the years, The Romantics have superbly combined elements of jangle, power pop and garage rock into their own thing. A lot of their sound has to do with the stellar guitar work (and bass work after Rich Cole left the band) of Mike Skill, an indie guitar hero, if ever there was one.

Skill’s new single, available on Spotify, is a gruff piece of slinky pop that sounds remarkably like 1966-67. Not quite as polished as The Beatles, but certainly tighter and punchier than groups like Them or The Troggs, So Soul Alone brings to mind cool girls in mod fashion, dancing in all-night basement clubs. More, please.

***

Pop 4

(Love Is) Thicker Than Water

https://currycuts.bandcamp.com/album/higher-than-a-mountain-the-songs-of-andy-gibb

Really, there are a lot of great reasons to buy Curry Cuts’ tribute to Andy Gibb, but Pop 4’s take on (Love Is) Thicker Than Water is an absolutely stellar reason. While this whole band has got the vocal goods, Andrea Perry, one of our favorites, steals the show. Can anything sound as good as her voice double-tracked? I doubt it.

After you check out this tune, I highly recommend taking a trip through the back catalog of both Pop 4 and Andrea Perry. You will not be disappointed.

***

Kevin Robertson

Into The Black

https://kevinrobertson.bandcamp.com/album/sundowns-end

Nobody does jangle pop better than The Vapor Trails’ Kevin Robertson. Here, on his debut solo Lp, he manages to channel the charm of The Hollies and The Searchers, with the clever pop crispness of XTC. If you can listen to Into The Black without becoming a massive fan, then something is wrong with you.

Cheers also to Robertson’s co-conspirator, drummer and producer Nick Bertling, who always seems to know the perfect amount of living room to leave on the record.

***

By Dan Pavelich

Categories
Pop Sunday

The Oxfords

The Oxfords

A Classic 60s Philly Band (Gear Fab Records 2020)


Although The Oxfords never netted national recognition, they experienced a great deal of success in and around the Philadelphia area during the sixties. A constantly booked schedule, including holding the prestigious title of house band at a local Hullabalo Club and appearances on regional television programs were among the group’s shining achievements. 


The Oxfords also released four singles between 1964 and 1967, along with several tracks that remained in the vaults until now. A Classic Philly 60s Band marks the first time all the band’s efforts have been brought together on one collection.


Fixated on the British pop sounds of the day, The Oxfords executed their influences with raw talent and enthusiasm. The band’s phrasing and inflection, combined with a sharp sense of harmony and exuberant energy echoed the likes of The Searchers, The Hollies and The Swinging Blue Jeans. An earthy garage rock production provided the group’s material with an additional stroke of charm. 


Extra points go to The Oxfords for writing a good chunk their own songs, which revealed a fine grasp of melody and motion. Accented by shuffling riffs and  rhythms, It Serves You Right sails in as a tasty bite of Mersey-flavored ear candy, and the foot-tapping Help Me (Understand) further celebrates the band’s flair for coupling synchronized vocals with catchy instrumentation.


Stay in school, get a high school diploma and the world will be yours for the taking is the message conveyed on the plucky Don’t Be A Dropout, while Even True Love Can Die jangles with rockabilly flourishes. Illuminated by soft and shimmery textures, Without You registers as a sophisticated slice of sunshine pop splashed with a touch of soul.


Filed in the cover category, an adaptation of Ben E. King’s Don’t Play That Song drips with drama and heartache, where John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s You Won’t See Me is padded with brass arrangements, supplying the cut with a bit of a slick Motown styled finish.

Composed of fourteen hooky ditties, A Classic Philly 60s Band will not only yield happy memories for those who were there when The Oxfords were storming the scene,  but fans of “Nuggets” and “Pebbles” type combos will appreciate the group’s  nifty teen beat tunes as well.

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE HIT (B-Side Appreciation): Babysitter

THE RAMONES: “Babysitter”
Sire, 1978; A-SIDE: “Do You Wanna Dance”

It may be a tiny bit disingenuous to refer to a B-side by The Ramones as being “the other side of the hit.” The Ramoneswere a pop band, but they were a pop band without any hit records. They never broke into the Top 40, nor did they receive much airplay to speak of. The Ramones somehow pummeled their way into the lower half of Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart with three consecutive singles in 1977 and ’78. “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker” made it to # 81. “Rockaway Beach” was the relative breakout, peaking at # 66. “Do You Wanna Dance” was The Ramones’ third and final shot at the top of the pops, and its shot stalled at # 86. The Ramones would never again darken the singles chart with their uncouth presence. Somewhere, Casey Kasem breathed a sigh of relief. And up one from last week, swapping spots with Swedish supergroup ABBA, we have those Forest Hills punk rockers The Ramones with “Teenage Lobotomy.”

Nonetheless: They were all hits to me.

My road to The Ramones wasn’t exactly circuitous, but nor was it necessarily as direct as one might expect. I read about The Ramones in magazines, primarily in the tabloid Phonograph Record Magazine. I had never heard them–as noted, they weren’t quite tearin’ up the airwaves on AM or FM in Syracuse in 1977–but I was intrigued by what I read. Frankly, they scared me, but they didn’t scare me enough to kill my growing sense of curiosity about this elusive, unheard…noise. Noise, perhaps, but potentially transcendent noise. I ached to hear its secret sound.

If you’re a younger music fan in this fantastic world of the 21st century, the very idea of any kind of music, or any conceivable sort of pop commodity, being elusive or unheard is as alien and archaic as stone tablets or immobile, wired entertainment. In the fall of ’77, I heard my first Ramones record–“Blitzkrieg Bop”–by requesting RAMONES!!!! at my college campus radio station. I bought the “Sheena” 45 before I’d even heard the damned thing, and my transformation into a fully-invested Ramones fan was complete. It might not have been as convenient as YouTube or Spotify, but I got there.

By the spring of ’78, I’d added the “Rockaway Beach” single and the Ramones LP to my vinyl library, and I saw a live Ramones show over Easter break. In Bomp! magazine, writers Greg Shaw and Gary Sperrazza! had waxed rhapsodic about The Ramones as a power pop band, listing “Sheena” and “Rockaway Beach” among the all-time great power pop tracks. Shaw was further knocked out by a ballad–a ballad!–called “Here Today Gone Tomorrow” on the Rocket To Russia album, and The Ramones’ then-unreleased cover of The Searchers‘ “Needles And Pins.” I heard “Here Today Gone Tomorrow” played live, pined to hear da brudders warble about needles and pins-za, and reveled in the giddy euphoria of falling in love with a pop band.

None of which really prepared me for “Babysitter.”

As a cash-strapped college lad, I preferred to buy Rocket To Russia on the installment plan, one 45 at a time. Looking back, I’m not 100 % certain whether I purchased the “Do You Wanna Dance” single before or after my introduction to live Ramones. The A-side was just ace, probably my favorite cover track ever, streamlining and energizing the familiar pop classic while remaining essentially faithful to previous templates by Bobby Freeman and The Beach BoysThis is the one, I thought. This is the one that’s gonna get The Ramones on the radio. THIS is the hit!
The B-sides of the “Sheena” and “Rockaway Beach” singles had been Rocket To Russia album tracks (“I Don’t Care” and “Locket Love” respectively). This third single from the album had a non-LP track, “Babysitter.” It was a ballad, The Ramones’ second ballad as far as I was aware. It freakin’ blew me away.

I guess Greg Shaw’s mention of The Ramones covering “Needles And Pins” should have prepped me for “Babysitter.” It did not. When I heard the song for the first time, I wrote My GAWD, The Searchers live on! “Babysitter”certainly shares beaucoup DNA with “Needles And Pins,” its folk-rock riff drawn from the same gene pool that gave us The Byrds and The Beau Brummels, albeit messier, grungier, more exuberant. The scowling countenances of Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee, and Tommy notwithstanding, “Babysitter”‘s tale of late-night kissin’ and canoodlin’ with a babysittin’ chickfriend is inherently more upbeat than The Searchers’ lover’s lament. It’s a more leisurely-paced companion to The Ramones’ earlier “Oh Oh I Love Her So,” a joyous and straight-faced celebration of over-the-top, hormonal teen romance. It signifies The Ramones fully embracing a presumed identity as an unabashed, unashamed pop act, America’s rockin’ response to The Bay City Rollers.

If ever a post-1960s record deserved to be a double A-side chart and radio smash, “Do You Wanna Dance”/”Babysitter” would qualify to join the hallowed ranks of “I Get Around”/”Don’t Worry Baby,” “I’m A Believer”/”(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone,” and a short stack o’ Beatles 45s. I could not believe it when that pop dream failed to materialize. Stupid real world.

Joey Ramone, Bowzer, and Marky Ramone mugging on TV’s Sha Na Na. Sometimes the stupid real world gets a few little things right here and there.

Throughout the rest of the ’70s and all through the ’80s, I never gave up hope that The Ramones would break big, that they’d start selling records in the gaudily massive quantity I felt was their just due. It was important to me. I wanted the world at large to appreciate The Ramones like I appreciated The Ramones; I wanted them to appear on Solid Gold and Entertainment Tonight, to make a delightful blockbuster sequel to their sole film Rock ‘n’ Roll High School, to be household names, to be respected and idolized. I wanted to hear The Ramones on the goddamned radio. They had to die before that would happen. Stupid, stupid real world.

It should have been different. If nothing else, The Ramones should have scored big with an incredible cover of “Do You Wanna Dance,” a distillation of pure bliss that deserved to rule radio and the planet by divine right. Its B-side was an irresistible confection called “Babysitter:” the other side of the hit that never was.

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You can support this blog by becoming a patron on Patreon: Fund me, baby! 

Our new compilation CD This Is Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio, Volume 4 is now available from Kool Kat Musik! 29 tracks of irresistible rockin’ pop, starring Pop Co-OpRay PaulCirce Link & Christian NesmithVegas With Randolph Featuring Lannie FlowersThe SlapbacksP. HuxIrene PeñaMichael Oliver & the Sacred Band Featuring Dave MerrittThe RubinoosStepford KnivesThe Grip WeedsPopdudesRonnie DarkThe Flashcubes,Chris von SneidernThe Bottle Kids1.4.5.The SmithereensPaul Collins’ BeatThe Hit SquadThe RulersThe Legal MattersMaura & the Bright LightsLisa Mychols, and Mr. Encrypto & the Cyphers. You gotta have it, so order it here.

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY! The Dave Clark Five, Glad All Over Again!

The One That Got Away! looks back on records, comic books, and other cool things that I really, really wanted, but never got around to getting.

THE DAVE CLARK FIVE: Glad All Over AgainEpic Records, 1975
In the often narrow-minded rock ‘n’ roll atmosphere of the mid 1970s, digging the decade-old Tottenham Sound of The Dave Clark Five wasn’t the coolest thing one could do. It wasn’t quite as unhip as, say,  declaring allegiance to Paul Revere & the Raiders or The Monkees, but it was still an invitation to scorn and dismissal. I just happened to like all three of these acts anyway. That played a large part in how I learned not to give a damn about what other people thought I should or shouldn’t like.


I was 15 years old in 1975. I kinda remembered the DC5 a little from their hitmakin’ heyday in the ’60s; one of my older siblings (presumably my sister Denise) had the “Bits And Pieces” 45, and that lonely little 7″ slab o’ vinyl was still in the family record library at the Me Decade’s midpoint. It was around ’75 or so that my ongoing interest in The Beatles fueled a full-on obsession with the ’60s, especially with the music of the British Invasion. I borrowed a bunch of my cousin Maryann’s records–45s by The Rolling Stones and Yanks The Lovin’ Spoonful, LPs by The Beatles, The AnimalsThe Searchers, and The Beach Boys–and immersed myself in the sound of the ’60s.

Maryann’s stash included two Dave Clark Five albums, Glad All Over and The Dave Clark Five Return! The title of “Glad All Over” seemed familiar, and a spin of the record confirmed that it was indeed a song I remembered from somewhere. That was enough. I was now a DC5 fan.

Over the next couple of years, I slowly expanded my knowledge and appreciation of the DC5. I heard “Any Way You Want It” and “Catch Us If You Can” on oldies radio shows, and eventually scored a couple of Dave Clark Five albums at the flea market (a really beat-up Glad All Over and a pretty nice copy of Having A Wild Weekend). More would follow.

 don’t know when I became aware of Glad All Over Again, a double-album DC5 retrospective issued by Epic Records in 1975. I have no recollection of ever seeing it in a record store; I’m not 100% positive I’ve ever seen it at all, though I think I did, possibly in the library of the campus radio station WBSU when I got to college in the fall semester of ’77, or in the DJ booth at the on-campus Rathskeller during the weekly Oldies Night on Thursdays. I know that I did read a review of it in an old issue of CREEM magazine that came into my possession at that time. If I saw the record, or even if I only heard of it, I knew one thing for sure: I wanted it. I really wanted it.


But it was not to be. Lacking an opportunity to buy Glad All Over Again, I continued to build my DC5 collection as best I could. A 45 of “Red And Blue”/”Concentration Baby” (and I much preferred the B-side), and a slow process of acquiring albums one by one: Coast To CoastAmerican TourGreatest HitsYou Got What It Takes5 By 5I Like It Like ThatWeekend In LondonThe Dave Clark Five Return!More Greatest HitsTry Too Hard, and Satisfied With You, in that approximate order. Years later I scored a bootleg CD two-fer of The Dave Clark Five Play Good Old Rock & Roll and Dave Clark And Friends. I still have every one of these, plus a couple more bootleg CDs and the official CD best-of The History Of The Dave Clark Five, rent-money collection purges be damned. My Dave Clark Five collection isn’t complete, but it’s close.

It doesn’t include Glad All Over Again. That’s the one that got away.

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British Invasion Top Ten

1) “I Want To Hold Your Hand” The Beatles – Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know “I Want To Hold Your Hand” is an obvious number one choice for this list. But aside from being a fantastic song, it was responsible for kicking off the British Invasion that dominated airwaves and record players everywhere from 1964 to 1965. Hooray for The Beatles for sparking the movement and opening the door for flurries of other fine bands from Jolly Old England.

2) “Needles And Pins” The Searchers – Glistening to a stunning synthesis of twinkling twelve-string guitars and choir boy harmonies, “Needles And Pins” proved to be as influential as “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.” Folk rock before the term even existed, the song seized the ears of future Beau Brummels and Byrds members, who popularized the style and gave it its name.

3)  “Heart Full Of Soul” The Yardbirds – Also inspiring and inventive, “Heart Full Of Soul” is underlined by Jeff Beck’s distorted fuzztone guitar work, giving the song an eerie edge that predates psychedelia. A left-field offering from a left-field band, but accessible enough to become a hit single.

4) “Glad All Over” The Dave Clark Five – Bursting forth with stomping rhythms and a monster-sized call and response chorus, “Glad All Over” represents the Dave Clark Five’s style through and through, which was dubbed “The Tottenham Sound.” The timelessly catchy song further captures the youthful exuberance of the British Invasion in all its giddy glory.

5) “House Of The Rising Sun” The Animals – Navigated by lead singer Eric Burdon’s bluesy growl and Alan Price’s menacing keyboard passages, “House Of The Rising Sun” exposed a “darker angle” of the British Invasion that additionally included the rebel cries of bands like The Rolling Stones and The Pretty Things, who not only sneered and snarled, but looked mighty sinister with their exceedingly long locks and scruffy threads.

6) “You Really Got Me” The Kinks – Quaking and shaking with a wild and frantic guitar solo, “You Really Got Me” sounds as revolutionary today as it did in 1964. Often considered the first genuine heavy metal song, “You Really Got Me” is further intensified by jolting hooks and a screaming chorus.

7) “She’s Not There” The Zombies – Possessing a breathtaking repertoire of ethereal vocals, gripping keyboard exercises and melting melodies, the jazzy “She’s Not There” teems with class and sophistication. The British Invasion produced a variety of musical hues, and here’s a song – not to mention a band – that certainly sported its own individual identity. 

8) “Look Through Any Window” The Hollies –  Praised for their poised and polished harmony prowess, The Hollies deliver the goods to maximum effects on “Look Through Any Window,” which subsequently entails enterprising arrangements and a sturdy backbeat. A high energy and high quality slice of pop rock magic, “Look Through Any Window” soars with color and light.

9) “A World Without Love” Peter and Gordon – Composed by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, “A World Without Love” steps in as a mid-paced ballad, pronounced by the yearning Everly Brothers-fashioned lilt of Peter Asher and Gordon Waller. Lushly textured and containing a spinning keyboard break, “A World Without Love” ripples with beauty and finesse.


10) “Concrete And Clay” Unit 4 Plus 2 – Fueled by a finger-snapping bossa nova cadence, the perpetually perky “Concrete And Clay” was quite a unique entry in the British Invasion sweepstakes. Crisp and crackling acoustic guitar licks, supported by folk-framed choruses and needling hooks furnish the tasty tune with a rather exotic touch.