Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What's That Spell?

On this date in music history, in 1967, Country Joe and the Fish debut on the album chart with 'Electric Music for the Mind and Body'. Of course, CJ&TF are better known for their appearance at Woodstock and the infamous “Fish Cheer.” With the 40th anniversary of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair (you don’t see much art in the concert film though, do you?) coming up this summer, let’s relive Country Joe MacDonald’s claim to fame one more time. Notice the big dangly ear ring in his right ear – when I noticed that detail in the concert film, I thought it would be cool to get my own ear pierced too; it took me until 1980 to screw up the courage to do it, though. I had to make a decision; which ear? In my small Iowa town, in those days, if you wore an ear ring in the right ear, you were a biker or a drug dealer, the left ear meant you were gay. I guess I chose the tough guy route… Thanks to for the info, and keep on rockin!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Don't Bring Me Down...

Today in rock history, in 1966 “Don’t Bring Me Down,” by the Animals, enters the Top Forty, where it will peak at #12. It will be the last charting single by the original quintet, although Eric Burdon will pilot a new lineup of Animals through the end of the decade. I remember being a big Animals fan when I was a kid – they had a scruffy, everyman kind of appeal, and this song was an anthem to me, a 15 year old rebel just beginning to find his own voice – but now that I’m a vintage Hammond organ owner, I scour their music listening for that distinctive Hammond sound. Rumor has that Alan Price used to run his old Hammond spinet through a Fender Bandmaster, and the organ sound on “House of the Rising Sun” is the signature sound of the group. Price left the Animals in ’65, not happy with the rigors of the road and their new-found fame, but in ’64 and ’65, the Animals with Price were golden. The trend continued with Dave Roweberry, his replacement. Let’s enjoy the song one more time. Thanks to for the info, and keep on rockin’