It is an extraordinary Rolling Stones bookend: December 6, 1968 and December 6, 1969. The Stones released Beggars Banquet on the former date. The album was a return to a more rock sound than the previous Satanic Majesty's Request of 1967.
Rolling Stones Altamont Banquet
The more popular the band, the more they seemed to attract media criticism and those bands rewarded the critique with more to criticize. The first cover, the cover that the record companies immediately dismissed, was a dirty bathroom wall full of graffiti. It was always a Rolling Stones banquet of needling their detractors.
Altamont Free Concert
1969. The year of so many festivals crowned with the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. And exactly one year after the Stone's BeggarsBanquet release, it was time for Woodstock's odd uncle: the Altamont Free Concert, at the Altamont Speedway in northern California. The Rolling Stones organized it with themselves headlining along with Santana, The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Jefferson Airplane, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The Grateful Dead refused to play shortly before their scheduled appearance due to the increasing violence at the venue.
That violence, captured in the film Gimmie Shelter by by Albert and David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin , shows how attempts to control the crowd failed.
From Wikipedia: At one point Jefferson Airplane...Marty Balin is knocked out by a Hells Angel; Paul Kantner in response: "Hey, man, I'd like to mention that the Hells Angels just smashed Marty Balin in the face, and knocked him out for a bit. I'd like to thank you for that." To which a Hells Angel sitting on stage grabs a microphone, and replies: "You're talking to my people. Let me tell you what's happening. You, man, you're not happening!" (click for full article>>> Wikipedia article on Gimme Shelter)
What was #1 on Billboard sometimes offers an interesting cultural contrast and December 5 in the 60s does just that. From Bonanza's TV star Lorne Greene singing his cowboy song Ringo, to the fresh-faced California Beach Boys in concert, to a group of "hippies" singing about confusion and distrust of the status quo.
December 5 Music Contrasts
December 5 – 11, 1964: “Ringo” by Lorne Greene #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. A "one-hit-wonder" the song only stayed at #1 for a week. Lorne Greene stuck around as a successful actor much longer.Though there was an actual outlaw Johnny Ringo, the song's story is not an accurate one. The country song became a hit on both the pop and easy listening charts before the country charts. That was unusual. Don Robertson and Hal Blair wrote the song. The fact that a certain very popular band had a very popular drummer by the same name encouraged RCA to release the song.
December 5, 1964 – January 1, 1965: The Beach Boys Beach Boys Concert was the Billboard #1 album. It would stay there nearly a month. Brian had not yet decided to go psychedelic.The concert album was not quite as "live" as one would have thought. Vocals are overdubbed. Most of the album was part of a 1964 Sacramento concert (as advertised), but a couple of the songs were from December 1963. There were other studio enhancements as well. Keep in mind that Beatlemania and the British Invasion were at their height by December 1964, but the Beach Boys' popularity kept this album #1 for four weeks!
December 5, 1966 – On this date, the Buffalo Springfield recorded “For What It’s Worth." It will be released on January 9, 1967. They wrote it as a protest to the way the LA Police were treating teen-agers, not an anti-war song, but it became one nonetheless and an anthem to many of the Baby Boomer generation.For a larger explanation about the song's origins, see Sunset Strip Riots
Quite a day for rock history. On December 3, 1965 saw the release of both the Who's My Genration and The Beatles's Rubber Soul .The albums' arrived before FM rock stations and I for one did not realize the importance of what was happening. If someone had said that Nicky Hopkins had sat in on The Who's album, I'd have returned a blank look. There was no Rosko on New York's WNEW-FM to guide me. Not yet. In the meantime...
My Generation Rubber Soul
1965 was the beginning of the 60s music that will lead to the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Bob Dylan has gone electric and he wasn't working on Maggie's farm no more. Bob shared his herbs and spices with the Fab Four (Bob Dylan Introduces the Beatles). Pop musicians were realizing that they can write what they feel, not just what they think you feel. And many musicians followed Dylan's lead and wrote their own songs.
When the Who released their first album on December 3, 1965 (in the UK; the US won't hear it until April). Keith Moon was 19; Pete Townshend 20 ; Roger Daltry and John Entwistle both 21. According to their site: The Who’s debut album was ...recorded in short bursts in April, October and November 1965, and for many tracks The Who were joined by Nicky Hopkins on piano. (for more, click through >>> My Generation)
I could give you a video of from the 65 album, but let's jump ahead almost four years to that little field party called the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. It's followed by "Naked Eye."
The Beatles were off the road and staying in the studio where they could find solace from fans. All of Rubber Soul's songs were written after their last tour. The Beatles management knew about Christmas shopping and often released a new album in time for parents to get "that new album."
Nowadays, this might be my favorite of the album. I guess it's the most appropriate for my generation's rubber soul.
My Generation Rubber Soul. My Generation Rubber Soul. My Generation Rubber Soul
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