Category Archives: Music et al

Boomers Meet Beatles

Boomers Meet Beatles!

January 20, 1964

Boomers Meet Beatles

Boomers Meet Beatles

Though Meet the Beatles! is actually the second Beatles album released in the United States, for many American Boomers, it is the first Beatle album.

It may even have been the first album a Boomer ever bought.

Capital Records released the album on January 20, 1964 in the middle of The Singing Nun album’s two month run at the top of Billboard.

Meet the Beatles!  hit #1 on February 15 and stayed there until May 2 when The Beatles Second Album took over the top spot.

Vee Jay Records had released Introducing The Beatles on January 10, but Capital’s superior marketing made it seem like Meet the Beatles! was the only Beatle album out there.

Boomers Meet Beatles

Robert Freeman

Robert Freeman did the famous (and often parodied) cover, It had already been used in the United Kingdom for With the Beatles (the Beatles second UK-released album). A blue tint was added for the US release.

Freeman recalled that, “They had to fit in the square format of the cover, so rather than have them all in a line, I put Ringo in the bottom right corner, since he was the last to join the group. He was also the shortest.”

Paul McCartney said, “He arranged us in a hotel corridor: it was very un-studio-like. The corridor was very dark, and there was a window at the end, and by using this heavy source of natural light coming from the right, he got that very moody picture which most people think he must have worked at forever and ever. But it was only an hour. He sat down, took a couple of rolls, and that was it.” (both quotes from the McCartney dot com site)

Freeman would also do the covers for Beatles For Sale, Help, and Rubber Soul.

Boomers Meet Beatles

Setting down the needle

Setting the “needle” on side 1 cut brings a flood of memories. We know the next song before it starts.

Boomers Meet the Beatles

Meet the Beatles!

Side 1

  1. I Want to Hold Your Hand
  2. I Saw Her Standing There
  3. This Boy
  4. It Won’t Be Long
  5. All I’ve Got to Do
  6. All My Loving
Side 2

  1. Don’t Bother Me
  2. Little Child
  3. Till There Was You
  4. Hold Me Tight
  5. I Wanna Be Your Man
  6. Not a Second Time

The typical American fan did not realize it, but this “album” was not 12 songs the Beatles had recorded as an album. Meet the Beatles! took their second British record, With the Beatles, dropped five covers and added three tracks, including the singles “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “I Saw Her Standing There.”

And it only had 12 songs, unlike the usual 14 on UK releases. (It would not be until Sgt Pepper in 1967 that the world would get the same Beatle album everywhere.

Rolling Stone Magazine rates the Meet the Beatles! at #53 of the greatest rock albums of all time.

Where do you rank it?

Boomers Meet Beatles
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Guitarist Jeffrey Shurtleff

Guitarist Jeffrey Shurtleff

January 20
Happy birthday, Jeff

Joan Baez is a name fans of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair all recognize. Jeffrey Shurtleff less so.

Guitarist Jeffrey Shurtleff
Shurleff and Baez from the Woodstock movie

According to the Rate Your Music site, “Jeffrey Shurtleff was born…in Vallejo, California at Mare Island Naval Hospital.

He entered Stanford University from the Choate School in Connecticut in September 1962. In 1964, he took a year off in Mexico and worked with a Quaker project. Returning to Stanford, he lived in a commune with his brother Bill and friend David Harris named Peace and Liberation, which advocated resistance to the war in Vietnam.

Here is his and Joan Baez’s wonderful performance at Woodstock on One Day at a Time.

In the early 70s, he released an album, State Farm.

Guitarist Jeffrey Shurtleff
Jeffrey Shurtleff on cover of his State Farm ablum

[Also from Rate Your Music] In 1970-72, Jeffrey hitch-hiked throughout South America starting from California. He later started Printers Inc. bookstore in Palo Alto, California and later became the owner of a new Central Park Bookstore in San Mateo, California.

He was married to Maria De Jesus Flores and had two sons. He has been both the Director and Head Instructor at several Youth Schools in San Francisco. Jeff continues to live in California.

Guitarist Jeffrey Shurtleff

If his Facebook page is an indication of his current status, he remains an activist for many causes. Here are the titles of recent Facebook posts:

  • Demand San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon Charge SFPD Officers with Murder!
  • End Juvenile Solitary Confinement
  • We demand that the use of herbicides in any part of Lake Tahoe be prohibited.
  • Stop the Drills: Say No to Offshore Drilling in the Atlantic and Artic.

He is also active with Northern California Amnesty International.  Here he spoke about the conflict between China and Tibet and its importance.

Guitarist Jeffrey Shurtleff

Jeffrey Shurtleff, Jeffrey Shurtleff, Jeffrey Shurtleff, Jeffrey Shurtleff

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Remembering Janis Lyn Joplin

Remembering Janis Lyn Joplin

January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970

Remembering you…

(sound clip is from Janis on the Dick Cavett Show 18 July 1969)

Janis Joplin

Janis Lyn Joplin was born in Port Arthur, Texas. High school was an uncomfortable place for her as a teenager in the mid-1950s. Unlike her classmates, her tastes in music gravitated toward the blues and beatniks. 

She sang in a local choir and expanded her listening to singers such as Odetta, Billie Holiday and Big Mama Thornton. In fact, years later Janis provided a headstone for Bessie Smith’s grave, who is buried in Philadelphia’s Mount Lawn cemetery.

Janis Lyn Joplin
Mount Lawn Cemetery, Sharon Hill, PA

After a couple of unsuccessful college ventures, visits to California, living in Texas again, going to NYC, and a failed marriage engagement, Janis arrived in San Francisco on June 4, 1966 to audition with Big Brother and the Holding Co. She became part of the band and her first performance with them was six days later at the Avelon Ballroom.

Remembering Janis Lyn Joplin

Big Brother & the Holding Co.

Janis and the band became local favorites and a year later on June 17, 1967 they hit the big time at the Monterrey International Pop Festival. When the movie was released in December 1968, it was Janis on the poster.

Janis Lyn Joplin

Here she is at that festival performing Ball and Chain.

And 21 months later at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, she again starred.

Remembering Janis Lyn Joplin

And only a year later, on August 12, 1970, was Janis’s last public performance. It was at Harvard Stadium, Boston with the Full Tilt Boogie Band. (story and photos from WBUR site)

Like too many of her time, the drug availability and sycophant fans were too easy to avoid. Perhaps Life seemed better with them. Life, perhaps, had become addicted to them.

On October 4, 1970 Janis Joplin was found dead of a drug overdose at the Landmark Hotel in Los Angeles at the age of 27 by her road manager John Cooke. (NYT obituary)

References: Joplin dot com

Remembering Janis Lyn Joplin


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