Tag Archives: 1960s

Cute In A Stupid Ass Way

If you have the good fortune to be taught by an inspirational teacher you find, as you grow older, that they have left an indelible mark on you. You may not think of them for years on end and then something happens and suddenly you remember them with such clarity it’s as if they’ve always been with you.

I was out with my good friend Mr B and Mr F last night and after a few drinks we were reminiscing about our teachers from 30+ years ago. After working through the key players who helped us build up relevant, and irrelevant, knowledge that is forever stuck in our brains (“the Sierra Nevada a block of igneous rock sloping gently to the west” – why did I ever need to know that?) we came across a collective space in our memories. There was one teacher who had been so ineffectual that he’d left an indelible blank. Like trying to capture a dream on waking the more we thought about him the more his name slipped from our grasp until, fuelled by further drinkage, the name Mr Atwell revealed itself.

Trying to remember his name had caused us so much aggravation that I agreed to record it here for posterity and as insurance against future moments of brain fade. So here it is once more – Mr Atwell.

We then moved onto the TV series ‘The Tomorrow People’ – not the awful US version that is briefly blighting our screens but the original UK series from the 70s. Cue opening credits –

Then Mr F reminded us that they used travel by ‘jaunting’. That’s right, whilst shows like Star Trek would have phasers, space ships, use tractor beams and have instructions to “Beam me up, Scotty” – we had the very English Tomorrow People based in a disused London Underground station with their computer (TIM) using bracelets to jaunt from place to place.

I don’t know if I’ve ever really used the word jaunt, after all I don’t live in the 1950s (having said that I am going to the Isle of Wight tomorrow……….). The closest I would have come to using it is in referring to someone wearing a hat at a jaunty angle, probably someone like Handsome Jack.

Handsome Jack is one of the names used by Scott Walker during ‘Jackie’ the opening track on his 1968 album ‘Scott 2’. Did you see what I did there? You thought all this tripe was just thrown together? Well it is but sometimes the tenuous links will appear as if by magic…

Scott 2 is an undeniable masterpiece as Walker continued moving away from chart hits (with The Walker Brothers) as he followed the path of musical freedom. An album of covers and some original Walker compositions, the matching of voice and orchestration means that this is more a collection of aural vignettes than the traditional pop songs he had been known for.

All human life is here as the darker side of experience is mixed with the occasional promise of hope and the album is all the better for it, as it gives a chance to discover – Jackie who moves through life from gigolo to ‘procurer of young girls’ and beyond, Billy who floats away like a balloon, the soldier losing his virginity in a mobile brothel, the Amorous Humphrey Plugg, a paean to the girls from the streets and the hope that Scott’s beloved will still be waiting for him in Spring.

Everyone should listen to this album at least once………

Scott Walker – Scott 2 (1968) – Vinyl

  • Jackie
  • Best of Both Worlds
  • Black Sheep Boy
  • The Amorous Humphrey Plugg
  • Next
  • The Girls from the Streets
  • Plastic Palace People
  • Wait Until Dark
  • The Girls and the Dogs
  • Windows of the World
  • The Bridge
  • Come Next Spring

Rate – 5/5

Listening Since Day One

CDs – 21, Vinyl Singles – 16, LPs – 14, Downloads – 5

Total Tracks: 492, Time: 36h 20m 20s

It’s A Free Concert From Now On……

Off work for the coming week so thought I’d start by making my life easier for when I go back. A mega-ironing session taking on all my work and casual shirts needed some serious long playing music to accompany it so I went for a classic treble LP.

This is one of those records that has been with me for decades and survived house moves in amazingly good condition (having said that the last time we moved the company refused to take my record collection because they were worried about insurance and I had to move it myself). It would have been late 70s/early 80s I bought this off of the back of seeing the Woodstock movie on BBC2. From what I remember it was either a Saturday or Sunday afternoon when they used to stick on some arty or trendy film (presumably as there was such a small back catalogue for them to choose from then), interestingly the film wasn’t censored despite the time of day – The Fish Cheer was there full volume.

Listening to this in one sitting means that it really works, the music, announcements (don’t forget to watch out for the brown acid), crowd chants, thunderstorms all link together to form a whole that is so much more than a sum of its parts – it even makes Sha-Na-Na palatable (I also like to think that their Woodstock appearance was ironic, I know it wasn’t but it helps me).

The group that blew me away the first time I saw the film, and still do, was Ten Years After……………..

Various Artists – Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More – Triple Vinyl (1970)

      • John B Sebastian – I Had a Dream
      • Canned Heat – Going Up The Country
      • Richie Havens – Freedom
      • Country Joe & The Fish – Rock and Soul Music
      • Arlo Guthrie – Coming Into Los Angeles
      • Sha-Na-Na – At The Hop
      • Country Joe McDonald – The Fish Cheer/I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag
      • Joan Baez & Jeffrey Shurtleff – Drug Store Truck Drivin’ Man
      • Joan Baez – Joe Hill
      • Crosby, Stills & Nash – Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
      • Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Sea Of Madness
      • Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Wooden Ships
      • The Who – We’re Not Going To Take It (See Me, Feel Me part only)
      • Joe Cocker – With A Little Help From My Friends
      • The Crowd – Crowd Rain Chant
      • Santana – Soul Sacrifice
      • Ten Years After – I’m Going Home
      • Jefferson Airplane – Volunteers
      • Sly & The Family Stone – Medley: Dance To The Music/Music Lover/I Want To Take You Higher
      • John B Sebastian – Rainbows All Over Your Blues
      • Butterfield Blues Band – Love March
      • Jimi Hendrix – Star Spangled Banner
      • Jimi Hendrix – Purple Haze & Instrumental Solo

Rate – 5/5

Listening Since Day One

CDs – 14, Vinyl Singles – 14, LPs – 9, Downloads – 5, Total Tracks: 307, Time: 22h 35m 36s

Thought I Knew The Score

So what’s on the television? Another short cut to making it famous, pulling on the heart strings wherever possible, cheap to produce show headed up by some modern day “celebrities” (and I use the word advisedly even though it is in quotes)? It must be Saturday night then…………..

This time round it’s The Voice courtesy of BBC1 and, whilst Mrs P loves it, it does nothing for me other than give me the time to put music on in the back room (yes, the one with the lava lamp), sit down and consider how much better things were on tv in the past.

And of course they weren’t, they were remarkably similar to what we have now it’s just that memory has the marvellous knack of forgetting the crap that passes for prime time entertainment that we all have to live through at times – I remember watching Mule Train on Opportunity Knocks and thinking it was the funniest thing I’d ever seen (having said that I was probably about 7 at the time??)

And then I finally caught up with my reading of Shindig! and realised I was just too far up myself with my views on talent shows and what constitutes popular entertainment. I’d heard of Ready, Steady, Go! but a spin-off called Ready, Steady, Win! was totally new to me. It was won by the Bo Street Runners in ’64 – they had formed in ’63 and broke up in ’65………….the more things change the more they stay the same.

But what’s any of this got to do with my record collection? Well for that we need to consider the one judge on The Voice who probably has the right to be considered a true, died in the wool celebrity – Mr Tom Jones.

http://youtu.be/ckabx0MtCY0

Tom Jones – I’ll Never Fall In Love Again / Things I Wanna Do (1967) – Vinyl

Surprisingly the A side is written by Lonnie Donegan of skiffle fame but there’s no sign of that heritage here. Lush orchestration coupled with ‘that voice’ and a chorus that many a broken hearted soul thinks they can sing after one too many wines had this marked as a hit as soon as it came off of the printing press.

Rate – 4/5 Condition – 4/5

Listening Since Day One

CDs – 14, Vinyl Singles – 14, LPs – 8, Downloads – 5, Total Tracks: 284, Time: 21h 5m 12s