ROPOOL RARE RECORD CLUB

May 17, 2010

Sorry i’ve been away for a bit guy’s been busy busy busy. But recently I went to:  

‘WITH THE BEATLES’ RARITIES EVENING

Listening to rare Beatles tracks at The Bag O Nails the other evening was an intriguing and fulfilling experience. The Club apparently unchanged since Hendrix, The Fab Four and Fleetwood Mac hung out there, certainly did have a timeless quality.

Lets be honest, anyone claiming to be able to play Beatles tracks never heard before is either taking a huge gamble, or are pretty sure of themselves, when the audience are Beatles aficionados. But The Rokpool Rare Record Club managed to do just that, play 15 unique cuts to the delight of the audience.

Robin Smith who presented the evening and CEO of Rokpool.com, a music archive website explained how they get the tracks.

“Saving our music heritage is what we do and fortunately there are generous people  willing to share rare content with us so that it’s not lost or forgotten forever. In particular we have just loads of unheard Beatles music, the problem was which to choose.

It’s amazing what we are given, unique videos, photos, memorabilia and great unheard tracks, which we in turn want to share with the World via either our website or The Rare Record Club, the next event is Zepplin rarities  followed by The Stones ”

The Rokpool Rare Record Club promised ‘A Splendid Time Is Guaranteed For All’ and certainly fulfilled the promise. It really was a great way to hear rare music, enjoying the stories behind the tracks and mixing with other enthusiasts.

Robin confirmed that he would be happy to present this or indeed any Rare Record Club show at any suitable venue.

Robin can be contacted at Robin@rokpool.com www.rokpool.com

DRUGS, DRUGS AND ROCK N’ ROLL???

May 7, 2010

Ever wondered what some songs are really about? We’ve got a selection of tracks, all accused of hidden DRUG-themes. Are these Rockers guilty as charged? Or are we letting our imagination run away with us? You decide.

10. Peter Paul, and Mary – Puff The Magic Dragon

Come on now, surely there’s no defending this one – with about a million possible pot references thrown in, and of course the title. Peter, Paul and Mary however, claim the song was inspired by Ogden Nash’s ‘The Tale of The Custard Dragon’ and is in fact about the loss of childhood innocence. (To substance abuse maybe?…).

9. David Bowie – Space Oddity

Bursting with psychedelic space themes, it’s almost a natural assumption that ‘Space Oddity’ was drug-inspired. The song was apparently released to coincide with the Apollo 11 moon landing, though In ‘Ashes To Ashes’ Bowie later admits that “We know major Tom’s a junkie”. We say guilty as charged.

8. Blur – Beetlebum.

Rumour has it that ‘Beetlebum’ was based on Albarn’s drug experimentation with ex–girlfriend and Elastica front-woman, Justine Frischmann. Albarn tried to claim that ‘Beetlebum’ was meant to represent a range of complex emotions, before finally giving up and admitting: “it’s all about drugs, basically”.

7. The Byrds – Eight Miles High

The title is again, anything but subtle, so it’s not surprising that ‘Eight Miles High’ was originally subjected to a U.S radio ban. The band strongly denied allegations of drug references. However in later years, Clark and Crosby confessed that the song was at least partially drug-inspired. Spotting a bit of a theme yet?

6. Oasis – Morning Glory

There have been several interpretations of this classic hit. Aside from the obvious, (just read the title…) the song has been referenced to cocaine use, with lyrics such as: “All your dreams are made/When you’re chained to the mirror and the razor blade” making an appearance. Noel Gallagher dissolved all rumours when he explained that the song was originally inspired by listening to a walkman, whilst high on cocaine. Well that sure cleared up any confusion.

5. The Rolling Stones – Jumping Jack Flash.

A ‘Jumping Jack Flash’ is supposedly slang for injecting heroin into your tear ducts… Case closed.

4. The La’s – There She Goes

With lines like “There she goes again… racing through my brain… pulsing through my vein… no one else can heal my pain”, its no surprise that the song gained a reputation about heroin use. The band have denied the rumours, although guitarist Paul Hemmings simply says he doesn’t know. If he’s not sure, then there’s no hope for us.

3. The Beatles – Got To Get You Into My Life

Written by Sir Paul McCartney, the track received countless accusations about its true meaning. Many thought it was about McCartney’s burning desire to sample the forbidden fruit. However, it is equally likely that it’s simply a naïve love song. On this occasion, we say innocent till proven guilty!

2. Creedence Clearwater Revival – Lookin’ Out My Back Door

A cartwheeling giant, flying spoons, and an Elephant? If this doesn’t scream acid trip, I don’t know what does. John Fogerty tried to claim that this was based on Dr. Seuss’ Books, written for his unsuspecting son. You’re not fooling anyone John.

1. Jefferson Airplane – White Rabbit

Another psychedelic trip of a song, promising ‘hookah smoking caterpillars’ on mushrooms, pills that make you bigger/smaller and a whole lot more. Of course in their defence Jefferson stated that the song was simply based on Alice In Wonderland. But Grace Slick later admitted that she was in fact on LSD when the lyrics were first written.

www.rokpool.com

“BLOOD ON THE TRACKS” – THE TEN MOST MURDEROUS SONGS

April 28, 2010

We’re back with another Top 10 for you. This time with a lovely theme of MURDER. Here is some harrowing bloodshed for you to get your teeth into.

10. The Police – Murder By Numbers

The title of the song is pretty self explanatory. You are essentially given a step-by–step instruction guide on committing a murder, which perhaps is a tad ironic, coming from a band called The Police…

9. Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue – Where the Wild Roses Grow.

It’s no great surprise that the man responsible for ‘Murder Ballads’ – an entire album dedicated to gruesome killings, made the cut. Teaming up with Kylie Minogue, ‘Where The Wild Roses Grow’ is set post-murder in the format of a dialogue between murderer and victim. Nick supposedly spent many years trying to write the perfect song for Kylie, before deciding on this…Kylie, wherever you are – we’d be worried!!

8. Megadeth – Loved to Death.

With a band name like Megadeth, it’s almost a given that they’ll have explored themes of murder. The song tells the story of a killer who bumps into his ex-lover in hell and was not expecting to see her there. Clearly they were never a match made in heaven.

7. The Beatles – Maxwell’s Silver Hammer

Don’t let the bouncy and upbeat nature of the song fool you, for it is not as cheerful as it sounds. Maxwell’s Silver Hammer describes Maxwell Edison, a medical student, who uses his ‘silver hammer’ to murder his girlfriend, his teacher and if that’s not enough, he later comes back for more and takes down his judge. Lennon was not a fan of this track however, claiming it to be a perfect example of McCartney’s ‘granny-style’ writing which he despised. The song has also been rumoured to be responsible for the break up of the Fab Four!

6. The Killers – Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine

Although we never find out whether or not Brandon Flowers actually commits the crime, he is held under suspicion of murder, and let’s face it; the aptly titled band name is not doing him any favours.

5. Bruce Springsteen – Nebraska

‘The Boss’ takes the law into his own hands here and with 10 casualties by the end of the second line, you know he means business.

4. AC/DC – Dirty Deeds Done Cheap

Looking for a hitman? Look no further. AC/DC offer their services here at bargain prices. They even leave their number for you to call! You won’t be asking for your money back either, when you see what they’ve got in store; we’re talking ‘cyanide’, ‘TNT’ and erm ‘concrete shoes’??

3. Jimi Hendrix – Hey Joe

‘Hey Joe’, made most famous by Hendrix, tells the classic tale of a cheating spouse who got what was coming to her; a shot-gun to the head that is, whilst the killer was on his merry way to Mexico to hide from the law.

2. Tom Jones – Delilah

Another song about cheating wives and murderous husbands. This time the killing is in the form of a stabbing, after a man spies his wife making love to another. He loses his temper (just a little bit) and once her lover has left, he walks in and stabs her repeatedly, not long before breaking down and begging her for forgiveness, as the police come to drag him away.

1. Neil Young – Down By The River

In the song, Young takes his ‘baby’ on a nice evening stroll by the river, and comes back alone…He suspects that his ‘baby’ has been cheating on him. Though there’s no doubt that she’ll never do it again…The lyrics were written when Young was severely ill in bed, which may explain the morbid factor.

www.rokpool.com

UNLUCKIEST ROCKSTARS

April 23, 2010

Unlucky these guys certainly were, as they just weren’t around when success arrived, does that suggest that maybe the catalyst was the change, or that some don’t get the breaks? What do you think?.

10. Dave Mustaine, first guitarist for Metallica. He left to form his own metal band, Megadeth. Perhaps not as much money in his pocket but at least he was his own man. 

9. Tracii Guns, guitarist for Guns n’ Roses. After not showing up for a rehearsal Tracii was replaced by Slash.  Tracii formed another band, L.A. Guns, who have had some success but clearly nothing like G n R.

8. Chuck Mosley, and Faith No More, Chuck Mosley, who left the band because of ‘creative differences’ was replaced by  Mike Patton . Chuck went on to front Bad Brains, whilst Faith No More flourished.

7. The Backstreet Boys, Burk Parsons quit to become a minister, one wonders if he ever looked back and thought ‘ oh Lord why have you forsaken me’

6. Dave Evans, the original singer of AC/DC Bon Scott replaced Dave Evans just before the band became huge. Dave went on to front the band as The Hot Cockerels and we all know how well they have done.

5. Seventy three drummers failed to make it with Nirvana. Nirvana had 73 different drummers, before Dave Grohl joined in 1990. Dave joined just as the band took off, pretty good career move you could say.

4. Ian Stewart, founding member of The Rolling Stones. Ian and Brian Jones co-founded the band. But somehow Ian just wasn’t Rock n  Roll enough and he was eased out of the band, managing them for a while and playing a bit of keyboards.

3. Glen Matlock, original bassist of The Sex Pistols Was Glen kicked out because he liked The Beatles  too much, who really knows ? What we do know is that he is one of the great bassists and still gigs brilliantly today.

2. Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd However successful they were to later become  these words are always seemingly linked. Syd the creative genius of early Pink Floyd, quickly became addicted to drugs and after bad LSD trips could no longer function adequately and became a total recluse and left the Band. A bizarre twist, many years later when they were recording the tribute to Syd  you Shine On You Crazy Diamond, he apparently walked into the studio !

1. Pete Best, the original drummer of the Beatles Ditched by the Beatles just before real success, reputedly he was too good looking for the other members of the band but we have heard rumours about a liaison between Lennon and Bests mother which might have had something to do with it. Anyway definitely the unluckiest drummer in the World.

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ROCK AND ROLLS GREATEST LOVE TRIANGLE!!! (part 1)

March 31, 2010

Hey guys, you have got to read this story its great, these rockstars really do live in another dimension, anyway enjoy and let me know what you think.

PATTIE BOYD AND GEORGE HARRISON

she' not too bad, i would!!!

 

I was married to Eric’s close friend, George Harrison, but Eric had been making his desire for me clear for months. I felt uncomfortable that he was pushing me in a direction in which I wasn’t certain I wanted to go.

But with the realisation that I had inspired such passion and creativity, the song got the better of me. I could resist no longer.

That evening I was going to the theatre to see Oh! Calcutta! with a friend and then on to a party at the home of pop impresario Robert Stigwood. George didn’t want to go to the show or the party.

After the interval at Oh!Calcutta! I came back to find Eric in the next seat, having persuaded a stranger to swap places with him. Afterwards we went to Robert’s house separately but we were soon together. It was a great party and I felt elated by what had happened earlier in the day but also deeply guilty.

During the early hours, George appeared. He was morose and his mood was not improved by walking into a party that had been going on for several hours and where most of the guests were high on drugs.

He kept asking ‘Where’s Pattie?’ but no one seemed to know. He was about to leave when he spotted me in the garden with Eric. It was just getting light, and very misty. George came over and demanded: ‘What’s going on?’ To my horror, Eric said: ‘I have to tell you, man, that I’m in love with your wife.’

I wanted to die. George was furious. He turned to me and said: ‘Well, are you going with him or coming with me?’

I had met six years previously, in 1964, when he was filming A Hard Day’s Night. Britain and most of Europe was in the grip of Beatlemania.

John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were mobbed everywhere they went, and at their concerts thousands of hysterical teenagers cried and screamed so loudly that no one could hear the music.

Shortly before they started shooting A Hard Day’s Night, The Beatles took America by storm. In February 1964 they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, one of America’s most prestigious programmes, and attracted an audience of 73million.

I was a model, working with some of the most successful photographers in London, including David Bailey and Terence Donovan. I was appearing in newspapers and magazines such as Vanity Fair and Vogue, but in March my agent sent me along to a casting session for a film.

She called later to tell me I had been offered the part of a schoolgirl fan in a Beatles film. On first impressions, John seemed more cynical and brash than the others, Ringo the most endearing, Paul was cute and George, with velvet-brown eyes and dark chestnut hair, was the best-looking man I had ever seen. At a break for lunch I found myself sitting next to him. Being close to him was electrifying.

Almost the first thing he said to me was: ‘Will you marry me?’ He was joking but there was a hint of seriousness. We got together soon after that and married two years later on January 21, 1966. I was 21, he was 22. I was so happy and so much in love. I thought we would be together and happy for ever.

Three years later, in 1969, George wrote a song called Something. He told me in a matter-of-fact way that he had written it for me. I thought it was beautiful and it turned out to be the most successful song he ever wrote, with more than 150 cover versions.

Frank Sinatra said he thought it was the best love song ever written. George’s favourite version was the one by James Brown. Mine was the one by George Harrison, which he played to me in our kitchen.

But, in fact, by then our relationship was in trouble. Since a trip to the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in India in 1968, George had become obsessive about meditation. He was also sometimes withdrawn and depressed.

My moods started to mirror his and at times I felt almost suicidal. I don’t think I was ever in any real danger of killing myself but I got as far as working out how I would do it: put on a diaphanous Ossie Clark dress and throw myself off Beachy Head.

And there were other women, which really hurt me. George was fascinated by the god Krishna who was always surrounded by young maidens. He came back from India wanting to be some kind of Krishna figure, a spiritual being with lots of concubines. He actually said so.

No woman was out of bounds. I was friendly with a French girl who was going out with Eric Clapton. When she and Eric broke up, she came to stay with us at our house, Kinfauns, in Esher, Surrey.

She didn’t seem remotely upset about Eric and was uncomfortably close to George. Something was going on between them but when I questioned George he told me my imagination was running away with me, that I was paranoid.

I left to stay with friends and within days George phoned to say the girl had gone. I returned home but I was shocked that he could do such a thing to me. I felt unloved and miserable.

It was around this time that Eric began to come over to our house. He and George had become close friends, writing and recording music together.

Eric’s guitar playing was held in awe by his fellow musicians. Graffiti declaring ‘Clapton is God’ had been scrawled on the London Underground, and he was an incredibly exciting performer to watch. He looked wonderful on stage, very sexy.

But when I met him he didn’t behave like a rock star ? he was surprisingly shy and reticent. I was aware that Eric found me attractive and I enjoyed the attention he paid me.

It was hard not to be flattered when I caught him staring at me or when he chose to sit beside me. He complimented me on what I was wearing and the food I had cooked, and he said things he knew would make me laugh. Those were all things that George no longer did.

One night in December 1969 I took my 17-year-old sister Paula to see Eric play in Liverpool. Paula was very pretty and a bit of a wild child, and that night Eric fell for her. After the show we all went to a restaurant and everyone was quite drunk and raucous. When the rest of us went back to the hotel, we left Eric and Paula dancing.

The next night Eric was playing in Croydon and again Paula and I went to watch, and again there was a wild after-show party, this time at Eric’s Italianate manor house, Hurtwood Edge in Ewhurst, Surrey. Soon after, Paula moved in with Eric.

In March 1970, George and I moved into a new house. Friar Park was a magnificent Victorian Gothic pile near Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, with 25 bedrooms, a ballroom, a library, a formal garden of 12 acres and a further 20 acres of land.

One morning shortly after moving in, a letter arrived for me with the words ‘express’ and ‘urgent’ written on the envelope. Inside I found a small piece of paper. In small, immaculate writing, with no capital letters, I read: ‘dearest l,’as you have probably gathered, my own home affairs are a galloping farce, which is rapidly degenerating day by intolerable day . . . it seems like an eternity since i last saw or spoke to you!’

He needed to ascertain my feelings: id I still love my husband or did I have another lover? More crucially, did I still have feelings in my heart for him? He had to know, and urged me to write. ‘please do this, whatever it may say, my mind will be at rest . . .’all my love, e.’

I assumed it was from some weirdo.

I got fan mail occasionally ? when I wasn’t getting hate mail from George’s fans. I showed it to George and others who were at the house. They laughed and dismissed it, as I had.

That evening the phone rang. It was Eric. ‘Did you get my letter?’ he asked.

‘Letter?’ I said. ‘I don’t think so. What letter are you talking about?’

Then the penny dropped. ‘Was that from you? I had no idea you felt that way.’ It was the most passionate letter anyone had ever written to me and it put our relationship on a different footing. It made the flirtation all the more exciting and dangerous. But as far as I was concerned, it was just flirtation.

From time to time during the spring and summer of 1970, Eric and I saw each other. One day, walking down Oxford Street, he asked: ‘Do you like me, then, or are you seeing me because I’m famous?’

‘Oh, I thought you were seeing me because I’m famous,’ I said. We laughed.

He always found it difficult to talk about his feelings, instead pouring them into his music and writing.

Once we met under the clock in Guildford High Street. He had just come back from Miami and had a pair of bell-bottom trousers for me ? hence the track Bell Bottom Blues. He was tanned and looked gorgeous and irresistible ? but I managed to resist him.

On another occasion I drove to Ewhurst and we met in the woods nearby. Eric was wearing a wolf coat and looked very sexy. We didn’t go to his house because someone would have been there. A lot of people lived at Hurtwood Edge: his band, the Dominos, Paula and Alice Ormsby-Gore, another of Eric’s girlfriends.

The convent girl in me found the situation uncomfortable but strangely exciting, and so it was later that year after Eric had played me Layla in the South Kensington flat that I succumbed to his advances.

After George and Eric’s confrontation at Robert Stigwood’s party, I went home with my husband. Back at the house I went to bed and George disappeared into his recording studio.

eric-clapton-and-george-harrison

George don't trust him he's banging your wife. tut tut tut

 

The next time I saw Eric, he turned up unexpectedly at Friar Park. George was away ? I don’t know whether Eric knew that in advance ? and I was on my own. He said he wanted me to go away with him: he was desperately in love with me and couldn’t live without me. I had to leave George right now and be with him.

She had been seriously in love with Eric, but he destroyed her pride, her self-esteem and her confidence, which were already fragile.

On top of that, her big sister was the last person to whom she could turn for comfort. I tried to telephone Eric but Alice always answered, so I hung up.

I turned my attention to my husband and to renovating Friar Park. For a brief period the project united us but the house was so enormous, and there were always so many people living in it, that we never had any intimacy. Most of the time, even when George was in the house, I didn’t know where he was.

At meal times, too many other people were at the table for us to have any real conversation. And even though we shared a bed, he was often in his recording studio or meditating half the night in the octagonal room at the top of the house that had become his sanctuary.

I felt more and more alienated. I didn’t feel included in George’s thinking or his plans. I wasn’t his partner in anything any longer. He was surrounded by yes-men. When I challenged him about it he said: ‘Well I’d hate to be surrounded by no-men.’

I heard from Eric again in January 1971, two months after he had walked out vowing to take the heroin. He wrote to me from a cottage in Wales.

On the title page of a copy of Steinbeck’s Of Mice And Men, he had written: ‘dear layla, for nothing more than the pleasures past i would sacrifice my family, my god, and my own existence, and still you will not move. i am at the end of my mind, i cannot go back and there is nothing in tomorrow (save you) that can attract me beyond today. i have listened to the wind, i have watched the dark brooding clouds, i have felt the earth beneath me for a sign, a gesture, but there is only silence. why do you hesitate, am i a poor lover, am i ugly, am i too weak, too strong, do you know why? if you want me, take me, i am yours . . . ‘if you don’t want me, please break the spell that binds me. ‘to cage a wild animal is a sin, to tame him is divine. ‘my love is yours.’

THE RAVEN.

www.rokpool.com

Top 10 beatles covers

March 22, 2010

Hey Guys, here’s a Beatles top 10 that was put together by one of our in-house writers let us know what you think???

1. With a Little Help From My Friends – Joe

Cocker

Gravel-voiced Cocker with an unforgettable rendition

of the Sergeant Pepper album track. Revived

famously as the theme tune to nostalgia-com The

Wonder Years

2. We Can Work It Out

– Stevie Wonder

A deceptively intricate tune about trying to patch up

a relationship is infused with Motown sunshine and

harmonicas by Wonder. A soulful toe-tapper from a

true legend.

3. Dear Prudence

– Siouxsie & the Banshees

The original featured on the Beatles’ White Album in

1968. The sinister darkness of the Banshees’ cover

and Siouxsie’s haunting voice make it a classic.

4. Ticket To Ride

– The Carpenters

Jangly guitars are replaced with lush swirling strings

and the heartfelt longing in Karen Carpenter’s voice

expressing the sad sentiment of the song. A cosy

warm blanket of a tune.

5. Got To Get You Into My Life – Earth Wind &

Fire

The Elements come out with all horns blaring,

injecting a breezy swing to an already positive song.

So good was the cover that it earned EWF a

Grammy in 1978

6. Something

– Shirley Bassey

Bassey added her own dramatic Midas touch to this

George Harrison-penned love song. ‘Something’ is

the second most covered Beatles track after ‘Yesterday’.

7. Here Comes The Sun

– Nina Simone

Just when you think the song can’t get sunnier,

along comes Simone with her warm voice and

delicate ivory-tinkling. If the original is like the dawn,

Nina’s version is more a summer picnic on the

heath at sundown.

8. A Hard Day’s Night

– Peter Sellers

A hilariously hammy rendition in the style of Laurence

Oliver in Shakespeare’s Richard III. Sellers scored a

Top 20 when it was released as a single in 1965.

9. Strawberry Fields Forever

– Candy Flip

Reworked during the ‘Second Summer of Love’,

two blokes with bowl haircuts and baggy jeans

throw in Ecstasy and the then-ubiquitous Funky

Drummer beat to a pretty faithful version of the

original.

10. Come Together

– Michael Jackson

This track appeared in Jackson’s film Moonwalker.

McCartney’s bass has turned into electro-slap, the

drums are ‘Bad’ and the vocals have more ‘uh’

noises than a porn film. That said, boy, it works!

Top 10 Beatles covers By Angela Williams.

www.rokpool.com

Rokpool – The ultimate rock & pop music archive

March 19, 2010

The ultimate archive of rock & pop music history … Rokpool is live now, and already has a huge collection of rare items such as unseen photos of Bob Dylan, unheard tracks from Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton and even the Beatles and literally hundreds of rarely seen concerts from the biggest names in music.

Behind the website is a team from the music industry, marketing and business world, all die-hard rock and pop fans dedicated to making this the must visit site for music lovers. Rokpool will feature photographs, articles, videos, music and audio interviews from the last 50 years.

More information can be found at www.rokpool.com where you can register for the informal newsletter which will keep you updated on its progress.  Please sign up to the blog and soon you can be a part of music history!