Category Archives: Music of the 60s

Neil Young

Neil Young

Here’s to you
Neil Young
…and here’s to you, too, the Neil Young

Happy Birthday

November 12,  1945
I didn't know I'd encountered Neil Young when I first heard "Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing." It was late July 1966 and New York's WOR-FM had changed formats to playing rock music. Due to a DJ union issue, the station at first simply had songs and commercials. No DJ chatter. Good and bad. I preferred music to chatter: good. I also wanted to know the names of songs I'd never heard before: bad. And who was this guy Clancy I kept hearing about?
Hey who's that stomping all over my face?

Where's that silhouette I'm trying to trace?

 Who's putting sponge in the bells I once rung? 

And taking my gypsy before she's begun?
What I'd later discovered was the Buffalo Springfield and by extension, Neil Percival Young.

Neil Young

I didn't know who this Buffalo Springfield was, but I like them and all their three of their albums. I was also disappointed when they broke up. By then I knew the names of its members and was delighted to find out that Neil Young had released a solo album

Neil Young

To this day, Neil himself  is not happy with the album's production. The explanation I'd heard was that he did not like his singing voice and deliberately had it buried in the mix. Later, when he became successful, the tracks were remixed with his voice more prominent.

It made no difference to me. I loved the album despite it lyrical density. Unlike Dylan, I could understand the lyrics, but like Dylan they I could not translate them.

But the music went inside me and reached great places. He has continued to do so for another 48 years and counting. His solo work, now stands at 50 releases and growing, compares to anyone.

Long May You Run

Neil Young
Neil’s 2017 album, The Visitor
Anyone would have a pretty good argument if they said that the Neil Young was the most important musician to come out of the 1960's counter-culture. Of course there is Nobel Laureate  Bob Dylan's immeasurable contributions and his continued influence. but overall, Neil Young has stayed closer to the roots of those 60s, while Dylan's musical journey has taken him many more places. It's not a competition.

Truly, Neil, Long May You Run!

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Sunset Strip 1966

Sunset Strip 1966

Sunset Strip 1966
Sunset Strip 1966

 

November 12, 1966: deejay Jimmy O’Neill was host of the popular teen music show Shindig!, He opened a nightclub called Pandora’s Box on the Sunset Strip. This led to massive throngs of teens and traffic on the strip, and Los Angeles city enacted a series of loitering and curfew laws targeting teenagers. Young people gathered at Pandora’s Box to defy the 10 pm curfew. The riots kept growing, and the panicked L.A. City Council quickly moved to condemn and demolish Pandora’s Box, which they ultimately did in 1967. (click >>> NYT article re sunset strip)

A site with additional information: from LA Curbed site

This is where it all happens, the new sound…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9ialZHUFVc

 

The incident inspired a number of songs:

Buffalo Springfield
Buffalo Springfield

Buffalo Springfield

For What It’s Worth

1967

There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware
I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind

 

Plastic People
Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention

Frank Zappa and

the Mothers of Invention

Plastic People

1967

“i hear the sound of marching feet…
Down sunset boulevard to crescent heights
…and there…at pandora’s box…
We are confronted with…a vast
Quantity of…plastic people…”
Take a day and walk around
Watch the nazi’s run your town
Then go home and check yourself
You think we’re singing
’bout someone else”

 

Daily Nightly
The Monkees

The Monkees

Daily Nightly

1967

Darkened, rolling figures move through prisms of no color
Hand-in-hand, they walk the night
But never know each other
Passioned pastel neon lights light up the jeweled traveler
Who, lost in scenes of smoke-filled dreams
Find questions, but no answers

 

The Standells
The Standells

The Standells

Riot on Sunset Strip

1967

I’m going down to the strip tonight
I’m not on a stay home trip tonight
Long hair seems to be the main attraction

But the heat is causin’ all the action

Bright lights everywhere
Pretty girls with long blond hair
But somehow the people they don’t care.
It just doesn’t seem fair

                                                                                                                                                                               Also on this date:                       

November 12 – 18, 1966: Poor Side of Town” by Johnny Rivers #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

November 12, 1966 – February 10, 1967: The Monkees’ The Monkees the Billboard #1 album. Here we come!

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John’s Older Brother Tom Fogerty

John’s Older Brother Tom Fogerty

John's Older Brother Tom Fogerty

November 9, 1941 – September 6, 1990

 

Creedence Clearwater Revival's John Fogerty could certainly write hits: 
  • Green River
  • Fortunate Son
  • Born on the Bayou
  • Proud Mary
  • Who’ll Stop the Rain
  • Bad Moon Rising
  • Lookin’ Out My Back door
  • Down on the Corner
  • Have You Ever Seen the Rain
  • Up Around the Bend

...and many many more. At a time when so-called underground FM radio station bands were making concept albums, CCR stuck with the older format churning out albums full songs that typically stayed within AM radio's strictures of under 4 minutes and more often under three minutes.

John's success overshadowed the artistic hopes of the other band members like his older brother.

Background

Tom Fogerty was born in Berkeley, California.  He formed a band, Spider Webb and the Insects, that Del-Fi Records signed in 1959.  Spider Webb only recorded one song for the label, “Lyda Jane,” but it was never released and the group broke up shortly thereafter.

Tom joined John's band, the Blue Velvets, in 1960. The Blue Velvets had limited local success in the San Francisco Bay area.

The four signed with Fantasy Records in 1964. There they were briefly the Visions, the Golliwogs,  and finally, in late 1967, Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Stardom

That elusive success suddenly exploded upon them: between July 1968 and December 1970, Creedence released six albums and top 10 hit after hit. The band was more a back up for John than a collaboration. Tom, the original front singer and whose own compositions were hardly included in the band's albums, led to his leaving the band in 1971. 

He signed a solo deal with Fantasy in 1972 and released the first of his six solo albums, Tom Fogerty, in 1972.  His other albums were:
  • Excalibur (1972)
  • Zephyr National (1974)
  • Myopia (1974)
  • Deal It Out (1981)
  • Sidekicks (with Randy Oda) (released posthumously in 1992)
  • The Very Best of Tom Fogerty (1999)
None had any of the commercial success that CCR had. CCR itself broken up by 1972. Most say due to John's continued insistence that all band-related issues be his to decide. 

Tom moved to Scottsdale, Arizona in the ‘80s. He underwent back surgery, but an unscreened blood transfusion infected him with the AIDS virus. It led to his death, officially of tuberculosis, on Sept. 6, 1990.

John’s Older Brother Tom Fogerty

In a July 18, 2014 interview in Uncut, band bassist Stu Cook said, “Tom had put up with a lot of shit from John. I think Tom was expecting John to say, ‘OK, now we’ve achieved our goals, why don’t you start singing a few of the songs?’ Tom had a great voice, kinda like Ritchie Valens. Tom would have done a damn good job on ‘La Bamba’. But John didn’t want him to sing it, in case we had a hit with it. He didn’t want Tom to succeed.”

The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. One of the most infamous inductions of any band in the Hall's history. According to The History of Tom Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival from the Ultimate Classic Rock site:  When Creedence Clearwater Revival was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame...Tom Fogerty’s widow brought his ashes in an urn. John, however, refused to share the stage with his former bandmates.

The feud between the remaining three band mates (though obviously "mates" is not the word to use) continues.

John’s Older Brother Tom Fogerty, John’s Older Brother Tom Fogerty, John’s Older Brother Tom Fogerty, John’s Older Brother Tom Fogerty, John’s Older Brother Tom Fogerty, John’s Older Brother Tom Fogerty, John’s Older Brother Tom Fogerty, John’s Older Brother Tom Fogerty, 

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