Tag Archives: Yoko Ono

Give Peace A Chance

Give Peace A Chance

June 1, 1969

Give Peace a Chance

           While the Beatles as a group typically remained apolitical, their fame visibility, and life style put them on the world stage whether they wanted to be there or not. By 1969 the Vietnam war was still raging despite new President Nixon's promises to end it. The Beatles were still recording as a group (they'd begin the Abbey Road  album  in exactly a month) and were still controversial (radio stations were banning the "Balled Of John and Yoko" because of the line "Christ you know it ain't easy.")
          It seemed the more others criticized Yoko Ono and her supposed negative impact on The Beatles, the more John fell in love with her and wanted to prove to the world he wasn't listening to those criticisms.
              John and Yoko married on March 20, 1969 and began to do a number of peaceful events to promote peace and end war. In an Amsterdam interview he said: What we’re really doing is sending out a message to the world, mainly to the youth, especially the youth or anybody really that’s interested in protesting for peace, or protesting against any forms of violence and we say everybody’s getting a bit heavy or bit intellectual about it. Everybody’s talking about peace, but nobody’s doing anything about it, except for a few people, and the things like the Grosvenor Square marches in London. The end product of it was just newspaper stories about riots and fighting. And we did the bed event in Amsterdam and the Bag Piece in Vienna just to give people an idea, that there’s many ways of protest and this is one of them. And anybody could grow their hair for peace or give up a week of their holiday for peace or sit in a bag for peace, protest against peace anyway, but peacefully. Because we think that peace is only got by peaceful methods and that to fight the establishment with their own weapons is no good, because they always win and they’d been winning for thousands of years. They know how to play the game ‘violence’ and it’s easier for them when they can recognize you and shoot you. They don’t know how to handle humor, and peaceful humor. And that’s our message really.

              One of these events, a Bed In, took place in Toronto and on June 1, 1969 they recorded "Give Peace a Chance" while in their room with several others helping such as including Timothy Leary, Petula Clark, Dick Gregory, Allen Ginsberg, DJ Murry the K, Derek Taylor, and Tommy Smothers. Smothers also played acoustic guitar with Lennon.
                 The recording became the first single released by Lennon while still a Beatle. It was even credited at first as a Lennon-McCartney tune.

                Lennon and Ono would perform the song live on September 13, 1969 at the Toronto Peace Festival. Their band was called the Plastic Ono Band and included Klaus Voorman, Alan White, and Eric Clapton.
From the Varsity Stadium on the campus of the University of Toronto and attended by some 20,000 persons. The event was produced by John Brower and Ken Walker.

Give Peace a Chance

Ev’rybody’s talking about
Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism
This-ism, that-ism, is-m, is-m, is-m


All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance


C’mon
Ev’rybody’s talking about Ministers
Sinisters, Banisters and canisters
Bishops and Fishops and Rabbis and Pop eyes
And bye bye, bye byes


All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance


Let me tell you now
Ev’rybody’s talking about
Revolution, evolution, masturbation
Flagellation, regulation, integrations
Meditations, United Nations
Congratulations


All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance


Ev’rybody’s talking about
John and Yoko, Timmy Leary, Rosemary
Tommy Smothers, Bobby Dylan, Tommy Cooper
Derek Taylor, Norman Mailer
Alan Ginsberg, Hare Krishna
Hare, Hare Krishna


All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

          The song has become one of the most powerful peace songs ever written and is still sung today.
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November 17 Music et al

November 17 Music et al

Kingston Trio

In 1958, The Kingston Trio hit #1 with Tom Dooley. So? Their success and their company Capital Record's $ucc$$ allowed the company to invest in other folk type musicians. ABC TV's Hootenany is less than 5 years away and Bob Dylan will be playing acoustic in New York.

BUT…

The Beatles will arrive in the US, Shindig will replace Hootenanny, Bob will go electric and not work on Maggie's farm no more, and the Fab Four and Bob will sit down and have an enhanced conversation about writing music. 1965 is the tipping point.

November 17 Music et al

November 17, 1958: the Kingston Trio's "Tom Dooley" hit #1 on the Billboard pop chart. Three guys with crew cuts and candy-striped shirts who honed their act not in Greenwich Village cafes, but in the fraternities and sororities of Stanford University in the mid-1950s. Without the enormous profits that the trio’s music generated for Capitol Records, it is unlikely that major-label companies would have given recording contracts to those who would challenge the status quo in the decade to come. Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, for instance, may have owed their musical and political development to forerunners like Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, but they probably owed their commercial viability to the Kingston Trio.(see October 20, 1960)

The Four Seasons, Big Girls Don’t Cry

On the same date in 1962, these Jersey boys had their typical early-1960s pop hit when "Big Girls Don't Cry" became Billboard's #1 pop single.

November 17 Music et al

John Lennon Double Fantasy

November 17 Music

It was November 17, 1980, the Beatles had been gone for 15 years, and John Lennon (with Yoko) released his Double Fantasy album. It was his seventh studio album release. 

At first the LP was not received very well, but 3 weeks later, when John was murdered it became a worldwide commercial success, and went on to win the 1981 Album of the Year at the 24th Annual Grammy Awards.

Rolling Stone magazine ranked John Lennon's Double Fantasy as the 29th best album of the 1980s. (see Dec 8)
 
Our life together is so precious together
We have grown, we have grown
Although our love is still special
Let’s take a chance and fly away somewhere aloneIt’s been too long since we took the time
No one’s to blame,

I know time flies so quickly
But when I see you darling
It’s like we both are falling in love again
It’ll be just like starting over, starting over

Everyday we used to make it love
Why can’t we be making love nice and easy
It’s time to spread our wings and fly
Don’t let another day go by my love
It’ll be just like starting over, starting over

Why don’t we take off alone?
Take a trip somewhere far, far away
We’ll be together all alone again
Like we used to in the early days
Well, well, well darlingIt’s been too long since we took the time
No-one’s to blame,

I know time flies so quickly
But when I see you darling
It’s like we both are falling in love again
It’ll be just like starting over, starting over

Our life together is so precious together
We have grown, we have grown
Although our love is still special
Let’s take a chance and fly away somewhereStarting over

November 17 Music et al, November 17 Music et al, November 17 Music et al, November 17 Music et al, 

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November 9 Music Beatles James Brown

November 9 Music Beatles James Brown

The Beatles

Cavern Club
Beatles in the Cavern Club
Beatles in the Cavern Club
On November 9, 1961 The Beatles performed at the Cavern Club at lunchtime. That night they appeared at Litherland Town Hall, Liverpool (their final performance at that venue). 

This was a major day for The Beatles, although they are unaware of it at the time--in the audience at the Cavern Club show was Brian Epstein, dressed in his pin-stripe suit and seeing The Beatles for the first time. 

Accompanying Epstein was his assistant Alistair Taylor. Epstein will recall his first impressions in a 1964 interview: "They were fresh and they were honest, and they had:star quality. Whatever that is, they had it, or I sensed that they had it." Over the next few weeks, Epstein becomes more and more interested in possibly managing The Beatles and he does a lot of research into just exactly what that would entail. When he speaks with the group's embittered ex-manager Allan Williams, he is told, "Brian, don't touch 'em with a fucking bargepole." Nonetheless, Epstein invited The Beatles to a meeting at his record store on December 3.
Five years later…
Yoko Ono poster for show at The Indica Gallery
Yoko Ono poster for show at The Indica Gallery

Yoko Ono @ The Indica Gallery

November 9, 1966: John Lennon visited the Indica Gallery in London where he met Yoko Ono who was displaying her art. The Indica Gallery was in the basement of the Indica Bookshop in Mason's Yard, just off Duke Street in Mayfair, London and co-owned by John Dunbar, Peter Asher, and Barry Miles, and was supported in its early years by Paul McCartney.
November 9 Music Beatles James Brown

James Brown

Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud
James Brown, say it loud I'm black and I'm proud
James Brown
November 9, 1968: singer James Brown gave support to the civil rights movement with his song, "Say It Loud — I'm Black and I'm Proud (Part 1)," which hit number one on the R & B charts for a record sixth straight week.

From schmoop.com: ...the song was also – more of a rarity for the Godfather of Soul – deeply political. "Say It Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud)" was almost a revolutionary statement in 1968, and one laced with more than a little bit of irony. Brown said he recorded the tune as a kind of children's song, hoping to instill pride in the younger generation. But many whites heard it only as militant and angry, costing Brown a good chunk of his interracial crossover audience. And those kids happily shouting out the chorus, "I'm black and I'm proud"? In another ironic twist, most of them were actually white or Asian schoolchildren.

November 9 Music Beatles James Brown, November 9 Music Beatles James Brown, November 9 Music Beatles James Brown, November 9 Music Beatles James Brown, November 9 Music Beatles James Brown, November 9 Music Beatles James Brown, November 9 Music Beatles James Brown, 

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