Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hollywood Stars Relate UFO Experiences

Article from UFO ROUNDUP:

"Men In Black star Will Smith plays an alien hunter in the movies, but he claims to have had a close encounter in real life!" He's convinced he saw a pair of UFOs flying above a California desert 10 years ago. "They were not man-made," insists Smith, whose MIB sequel premieres July 3 (2002). "They dashed across the horizon at unbelievable speeds."

Smith, who played boxing legend Muhammad Ali in the film Ali, isn't the only celeb convinced that UFOs are real. In fact, the champ himself is a believer. "If you look into the sky in the early morning hours," says Ali, "you can see them playing tag between the stars."

Beam William Shatner up - Star Trek's Captain Kirk says aliens saved his life after his motorbike broke down, leaving him lost and stranded in the Mojave Desert (of southern California - J.T.). "A shimmering figure led me to a road so I could get help," Shatner says, "Then he disappeared and a shining, orb-style object zoomed off at high speed."

Movie Ghostbuster Dan Aykroyd swears he saw something strange in his neighborhood a few years back. "I was in Massachusetts and saw two objects tracking at about 10,000 feet (3,000 meters), doing amazing maneuvers," he reveals, "I am convinced they were UFOs."

The truth is out there for X-Files supernatural sleuth David Duchovny - he claims he saw a triangular UFO while jogging along a New Jersey beach in 1993. "I don't know what it was," he admits, "I don't think I ever will."

Grease star Olivia Newton-John once spotted a multicolored globe in her native Australia. She adds, "It could change direction like no plane I'd ever seen."

And (rock star) David Bowie saw many UFOs while growing up in Kent, England. "They came over so regularly," he recalls, "we could time them." (See the tabloid Globe for June 18, 2002, "Spaced-out stars believe in UFOs," page 59.)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Joe Henderson - Virtuoso Jazz Saxophone

By Neal Battaglia

Joe Henderson has been called a supreme melodist by one music writer, a musical astronaut by another jazz musician, and by a lucky few he has been called teacher. Two of my saxophone teachers took lessons from him in San Francisco and I hear some cool stories about him.

Joe Henderson truly personified musical greatness; he played the saxophone, drums, piano, flute, and bass as well as excelling at composition. It was by listening to jazz sax greats like Lester Young, Flip Phillips, Stan Getz, Lee Konitz, and Charlie Parker on his brother's record player that Henderson found his greatest inspiration.

In the mid-fifties, before he was even old enough to start college, Henderson was active in the Detroit jazz scene and played with many visiting stars from New York. By the time he did get to college, he had transcribed and memorized an impressive number of Lester Young solos. Such an impressive amount, in fact, that his professors believed him to have that elusive skill known as perfect pitch.

Joe entered the U.S. Army in 1960 and entered an Army talent show with a four piece combo. The group took first place, and the victory gave Henderson a chance to tour around the world entertaining troops. He stayed in the army for two years, getting out in 1962. That same year he would record the biggest hit of his career, with the help of trumpeter Kenny Dorham. The song was called Snap Your Fingers and would hit #8 on the pop charts and #5 on the easy listening charts.

A few years later, this time as a sideman in Horace Silver's band, Henderson would contribute his saxophone stylings to another hit record, Song for My Father. Joe plays his solo after the piano. After leaving Silver's band in 1966, Henderson was the co-leader of a big band with Dorham. His arrangements for this band would not get recorded until 1996 with the release of the album Joe Henderson Big Band.

Joe also performed as a freelancer during this time and played on several great albums, including Herbie Hancock's The Prisoner and Andrew Hills albums Black Fire and Point of Departure. In 1967, he played briefly with Miles Davis, however, none of those shows were recorded. Also in 1967, he signed with Milestone records and began experimenting more with avant-garde techniques, electronic effects, and studio overdubbing. During this new phase in his career his song and album titles showed an increasing social awareness.

Joe Henderson had a brief stint with Blood Sweat and Tears in 1971 before moving to San Francisco and focusing on teaching. He continued to perform into the 1980s, mostly as a leader, but occasionally as a sidemen for Chick Corea and the Griffith Park Band. In the eighties, he focused more of re-interpreting existing jazz standards and his older work than writing new music. In 1986, when jazz was facing a resurgence, Henderson released a two volume album, State of the Tenor. It featured Ron Carter on bass and Al Foster on drums.

Verve Records took notice of him in the early 1990s and produced his 1992 comeback album Lush Life: The Music of Billy Strayhorn. The album, along with an extensive marketing campaign on behalf of Verve, positioned Henderson firmly at the forefront of the jazz scene. The album was followed up by a tribute album to Miles Davis and Henderson's version of the George Gershwin opera Porgy and Bess.

Henderson played a Selmer Mark VI saxophone through a Selmer Soloist D-facing mouthpiece with La Voz reeds.

-Neal Battaglia

Are you Learning the Saxophone? Learn more about How to play saxophone at Sax Station!

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Hippie Diaries - Travels from the early 1970s

Hi everyone,

Here's a bit of interesting stuff from the early 1970s. It's a couple of video extracts from the travel diaries of an influential Swiss art dealer gone hippie and heading east to Afghanistan, Nepal and SE Asia for a few years.

The book is an homage to Toni, who is 77 by now and, though disabled, still wandering the world in his head with the inner eye wide open, so to say.

Toni Gerber "Hills and Holes"; 362 facsimiles and photos from the Swiss hippie gallerist's travel diaries 1972-1976; edited and published in 2009 by Michael Krethlow and Reto Sorg, Edition Atelier Bern. To order the book write to:

The edition is so small that there’s no way the editors can (or want to) make money from this, but we’d like people all over the world to see it:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Posted by Manuel Gerber.

Baby Boomer Music - Top Ten One Hit Wonders From the '60s

By Phil McMillan

We loved them all. Several "One Hit Wonders" had very successful songs throughout the '60s. Hey, how could you not shed a tear every time you hear, "Who Put the Bomp in the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp, Bomp, Bomp?" Maybe even two or three tears, huh?

Well, as the Baby Boomer Music King, I have my own very valuable Top Ten list of One Hit Wonders. Remember these?

10. "In the Year 2525" (1969) by Zager and Evans - These two University of Nebraska students hit #1 in the summer of 1969 and stayed there for six weeks. Over time this single has sold over 10 million copies. The two remain friends to this day. Denny Zager still lives in Lincoln where he builds custom guitars.

9. "Do You Love Me" (1962) by The Contours - Four young men from Detroit got their start in 1959 and did not chart with their first two releases. But they hit it big in 1962 when "Do You love Me" went all the way to #2. The group played for several more years but never hit star status as members came and went like a revolving door.

8. "Rhythm of the Rain" (1963) by the Cascades - All four band members served on the USS Ticonderoga while in the Navy. After leaving the Navy the four formed a group and began creating songs with an emphasis on voice harmony. Two releases did nothing, but then came "Rhythm of the Rain" which rose to #3 in early 1963 (make sure you watch the Cascades do an updated version of "Rhythm of the Rain" from a few years ago. It sounds better than the original).

7. "Who Put the Bomp" (1961) by Barry Mann - Barry's song peaked at #7 and stayed on the charts for twelve weeks.

6. "Everyone's Gone to the Moon" (1965) by Jonathan King - He was a singer songwriter and a Cambridge University undergraduate in 1965 when he released his one hit wonder. It was a world wide hit that sold over 4 million copies. King is still in the music business after writing several songs for other entertainers for years.

There were many others that did well during the 60's. One Hit Wonders carved out their share of music history and often climbed to #1 on the Billboard listings. "Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey" by Steam went #1 as did "Telstar" by the Tornadoes. There are several great songs that I wanted to add to this Top Ten but that would have made the list a Top Twenty. So, here are the Top Five One Hit Wonders from the 60's.

5. "Liar Liar" (1965) by The Castaways - This rock group originated in the Minneapolis-St Paul area and released "Liar Liar" in 1965. The song hit #12 and was eventually featured in the movie "Good Morning Vietnam." The group is still playing with one of the original members.

4. "In-a-Godda-Da-Vita" (1968) by Iron Butterfly - This song was actually recorded on the first take which is almost hard to believe. The original 17 minute version has a great extended drum solo. The song developed a cult following and sold several million copies.

3. "For What Its Worth" (1967) by Buffalo Springfield - Steven Stills and Neil Young became big stars with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (CSNY) but they were one hit wonders as part of Buffalo Springfield.

2. "Hey! Baby" (1962) by Bruce Channel - Although recorded in 1960, "Hey! Baby" didn't become a hit until 1962 when it shot all the way to #1. Bruce Channel is still in the music business to this day even though he only hit it big time with one song. "Hey! Baby" has had a rebirth of sorts as a favorite among college students throughout the country.

1. I have a tie for the top spot ... "Hippy Hippy Shake" by the Swinging Blue Jeans (featured in the movie "Cocktail"), and "San Francisco" by Scott McKenzie. Listen to both songs and tell me which one should sit by itself at the top.

You can find music videos on all of the songs on this list by simply searching Google. I suggest you watch each one and let these videos take you back to our time ... the 60's.

Phil McMillan is a writer who maintains a daily blog entitled "Baby Boomer Baloney": He provides daily humor videos for his readers as well as music videos from the 60's through the 80's along with his own personal comments.

Phil McMillan

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The Forever 27 Club - Musicians Dead at Age 27

By Autumn L Rose

The 27 Club, which is also referred to as the Forever 27 Club or Club 27, is a pop culture name for a group of inspirational musicians who died at the young age of 27. Sometimes these deaths occurred under mysterious circumstances. Since most of these musical acts live under the influential rock and blues category, many still speculate why they had to die so early, as such respected legends. In any case, this club was formed after society reacted to a number of celebrity deaths within two years, all of which were 27 years of age.

This list includes Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison. Ironically, Jones and Morrison died on the same day two years apart. Kurt Cobain was another who died at the age of 27. It was in 1994 and due to the popularity of his band Nirvana, and the fact that he was at the pinnacle of his career, he was included in the 27 Club as well. According to the book written by his sister, Heavier Than Heaven, Cobain actually claimed as a kid that he wanted to join the 27 Club. Due to its increasing popularity and the mysterious stigma around the facts, a non-fiction narrative tells the legacies of 34 musicians all dead at age 27. The book is titled The 27's: The Greatest Myth of Rock and Roll.

There are countless others who died at this young age who happened to be musicians as well. Charles R. Cross, who wrote the biographies of both Cobain and Hendrix says, "The number of musicians who died at 27 is truly remarkably by any standard. Although humans die regularly at all ages, there is a statistical spike for musicians who die at age 27." A common superstition among the stoner society is the white lighter. 4 of the Club's 5 members had a white lighter in their possession at the time of the death, Hendrix, Morrison, Joplin, and Cobain.

So how did they die? Well, they didn't all die the same way but each was a true tragedy just the same.
Brian Jones died on July 3, 1969 from drowning in a swimming pool. His legacy lives on as one of the greatest guitarists and multi-instrumentalist of the Rolling Stones. Jimi Hendrix died on September 18th, 1970 due to asphyxiation of vomit after overdosing on sleeping pills. He is a rock and roll legend known for pioneering the electric guitar. He was the singer/songwriter for The Jimi Hendrix Experience and the Band of Gypsys.

Janis Joplin died of a probable heroin overdose on October 4, 1970. She was the lead vocalist and songwriter of Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Kozmic Blues Band, and the Fill Tilt Boogie Band. Jim Morrison was an inspired poet. His legend lives on as the lead singer, songwriter, and video director for The Doors. He died on July 3, 1971 due to heart failure. No autopsy was ever performed. On April 5, 1994, the last member of the official Club 27, Kurt Cobain passed away. He was the lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist for the band Nirvana and he committed suicide with the use of a shotgun.

There are other musicians and famous people who have died at the age of 27. But these are the founding members of the club due to their fame, their emerging careers, and the fact that the first four members died within two years apart. Not to mention that they will all go down in rock and roll history as some of the best there ever were. To this day, we all raise our glasses and get off our bar stools to salute some of the most celebrated, most inspiring artists our world of music has ever seen. Rest in Peace.

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Popular Jazz Artists and Their Music

By Jim Oneil

Many people consider jazz as the one true original American music. However, just as the country is a hodge-podge of different cultures, its music a mixture of different beats and melodies. In fact, jazz is a combination of African beat and European melodic influences. The combination is so unique only to America, which is why it cannot be considered as something that came from somewhere else. Jazz was first heard in the suburban areas in the south during the late 1800's, in communities that were largely populated by Afro-Americans.

Because of its origins, the early popular jazz music artists were blacks. The genre was still at its inception stage with ragtime as its earliest form. The usual instruments used to create such music were banjo and piano. The popular artists then were Ernest Hogan and Tim Turpin, who published the Harlem Rag. By the end of the century, jazz developed further with the innovations created by Scott Joplin. Being a pianist trained in the classical music, he created a beautiful fusion of his specialty and ragtime. By the beginning of the 20th century, the blues came into being, with W.C. Handy as one of the most popular artists of such genre.

Big bands usually play jazz music during the early years. However, when swing music, another new jazz form, rose to prominence in the 1930's, soloists became more popular too. Swing music highlights the skills of the trumpeter. Because of this, the trumpet player usually ends up becoming more famous than the other musicians in the band. During this time, the genre's icons, such as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington grew so popular that any jazz lover should know them and their music.

From the danceable swing music, jazz evolved further in the 1940's to 1960's with bebop. Bebop is known as the musician's music because it gave emphasis on the talents of the instrument players. Every musician in the band was provided with moments to shine, from the piano, the base, to the wind instruments in the band. Among the top trumpeters were Clifford and Dizzy Gillespie. The most popular among the pianists were Thelonius Monk and Bud Powell. Even drummers gained recognition, with Max Roach as one of the more famous ones.

The 70's saw the development of jazz fusion, a bold attempt to combine the elements of rock and roll with the classic jazz sound. These were the times when the jazz artists, such as Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, and Tony Williams became very famous. Not only did they develop a new jazz sound. They also influenced even the rock and roll artists of the time, such Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and the Grateful Dead.
For those who wish to discover more about jazz music and musicians why not do some research here: jazz music online

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Was Sergeant Peppers the Peak For the Beatles?

By John D. Cherry

Many people consider "Sgt. Peppers" the peak for the Beatles. It did indeed change the way we looked at music, and strongly affected the culture of the day. It started with the cover, a collage of people's faces picked out by the Beatles to position around them as the group was decked out in bright colored uniforms. To add to the confusion, the group was also represented by four waxen figures of themselves in "early" Beatle dress. For the first time, the lyrics of the songs were printed out, on the back of the album. Not known at the time, but there were clues galore of Paul's supposed demise, showing up on the front, inside and back covers, and within the songs.

Because the Beatles had decided not to play live anymore, the album was literally turned into a concert, beginning with crowd noise before the opening title song. There were little or no traditional pauses between the songs, keeping the flow of music going until the reprise of the title song, followed by what might even be considered an encore that included a rousing finish.

The idea for the album and the sub-group came from Paul, with assistance from long-time Beatle assistant Mal Evans. Paul had almost taken over by now, and his eight songs on the album dwarfed the four from John. In The Beatles, author Allan Konzinn wrote that "for the Beatles themselves, Sgt. Pepper was the moment when McCartney eclipsed Lennon as the dominant force in the band. To a great extent, John was content to sit around Weybridge (his home) smoking marijuana, watching television and reading."

Even John's best contribution "A Day in the Life" was credited 40% to Paul. The range of Paul's songs was enormous, from the opening title song rocker to the second song "With A Little Help from My Friends" for Ringo, to the peppy "Getting Better" and the beautifully arranged "She's Leaving Home," about a young runaway girl. "Fixing a Hole" gathered a lyrical compliment from John, while Paul also dusted off a song from his early teens and saluted his father with "When I'm Sixty-Four." On "Lovely Rita," Paul's tremendous bass playing was the lead guitar on the song.

Before retiring four years ago, Cherry worked in athletics for 25 years at The University of North Carolina. His first book, published in August of 2008, was "War on U.S. - How Policies and People are Destroying America," and it covered a variety of subjects outside the political spectrum, including the best and worst of music. The first book is available on this website and on

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BOOK REVIEW: No-One Here Gets Out Alive by Jerry Hopkins and Danny Sugarman

By Pete Loughlin

This is the book that started it all. There are those that repeat the old saying: "If you can remember the 60s you weren't there". They say that this book is obsequious, that it's full of myth and exaggeration, that it perpetuates the stories about things that never happened, that it focuses too heavily on Jim Morrison's extreme side and his alcoholism. They make accusations of fabrication and even plagiarism. Well, they're right - but they miss the point entirely. The story of The Doors is the best rock and roll story there is. It has a magical beginning, a legendary middle - and The End - everyone knows what happened in the end. And it really happened and the sound track is unparalleled.

Penned by Jerry Hopkins the story is told in a highly readable way with considerable input from its co-author Danny Sugarman, - the original Wild Child. Published in 1980, it was the first of a series of books to tell the story of the life of Jim Morrison and the Doors. It had an amazing effect on the surviving Doors, propelling them into a second wave of fame.

Before this book, The Doors had a dedicated cult following but even at the peak of their powers, The Doors were not as big as the surviving Doors members would have you believe being overshadowed at the time by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who and numerous others. But the cult following was always there sharing the bootleg recordings that circulated all over the world.

The new generation that grew up in the '70s discovered them. Echo and the Bunnymen, who later covered People are Strange for the movie Lost Boys and Ian Astbury of The Cult, later to sing with Ray and Robbie in The Doors of the 21st Century - all of whom, curiously hailing from The Beatles birthplace, Liverpool - were amongst the teenagers inspired by The Doors in the '70s. But it was the publication of No-One Here Gets Out Alive that revitalised The Doors' fame. And they enjoyed a further revival in their fame in the 1990s with Oliver Stone's movie based largely on the book.

This is a great book. If you've never read it - you must. If you've already read it, you must read it again. Read the depiction of Jim Morrison living on a rooftop tripping, the story of how he improvised the Oedipal lyrics of The End at The Whiskey, the Miami incident and Jim Morrison's death. The best rock and roll story ever told.

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Kris Kristofferson - Closer to the Bone‏

by Brent Warnken

Folk legend and songwriter Kris Kristofferson offers fans another compilation of ballads featuring his signature craggy voice and his classic acoustic guitar strums. Listeners will recognize some of the same recurring themes on his latest work Closer to the Bone, especially themes like freedom, love and justice.

What's refreshing about Kristofferson's work is that he writes all of the material himself. Longtime collaborator Stephen Bruton co-wrote the songs "Let the Walls Come Down" and "From Here to Forever," and the finished album was dedicated to the songwriter, who died as it was in its last stages of production.

One of the highlights of the album is "Starlight and Stone," which is an enchanting ballad, likely to draw you in with its whispering sentimental lyrics and heartfelt themes. See the talented songwriter live by going online and getting your own pair of Kris Kristofferson tickets.

Kristofferson achieved success in the music industry during the 1970s with iconic tunes like "Me and Bobby McGee," "Help Me Make It Through the Night" and "For the Good Times." He helped contribute to a transformation in the country music genre and his popularity kept growing at the close of the '70s.

His debut album Kristofferson was released in April 1970, and he helped it along by embarking on an extensive tour as well as earning a slot at the huge Isle of Wight Festival in July of that same year. Although the album received poor reviews from critics and was widely panned by other artists within the industry, Kristofferson had planted a seed.

His rough voice and non-traditional style soon became a popular force within Nashville's up-and-coming stars. Both Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash were finding success on the country charts and their unusual "outlaw" style was quickly taking shape. In addition, several prominent musical figures were releasing covers of Kristofferson's work, including Bobby Bare and Janis Joplin.

Kristofferson's popularity as a recording artist took shape in 1971 with the release of The Silver Tongued Devil and I. Suddenly his name was all over the charts and Kristofferson was well on his way to becoming a household name. While he pursued his career in the country music industry, Kristofferson also had his sights set on movie roles. One of his more notable appearances in film was A Star is Born, opposite Barbra Streisand. Other movies that starred Kristofferson included Vigilante Force and The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea.

Kristofferson's long and storied career in the music industry continued with various hit songs and albums throughout the '70s and on into the '80s. He also joined in a musical partnership with Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings in 1985; the "supergroup" released Highwayman the same year as its formation.

In more recent years, Kristofferson has remained fairly quiet, but he did come forth with This Old Road in 2006 and now fans have another "bone" to grab with his latest album, Closer to the Bone. True fans of this country songwriter will want to check out the latest offering from Kris Kristofferson.

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B.B. King Joins New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival Bill‏

by Brent Warnken

The lineup for the 41st annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival was recently announced, and the reigning king of blues, B.B. King, will be on hand for the Big Easy event. The 2010 edition of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival will be held at the Fair Grounds Race Course over the weekends of April 23-25 and April 29-May 2.

Among the acts making their maiden appearance at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 2010 are My Morning Jacket, Gipsy Kings, the Dead Weather, Jonny Land, Drake and the Levon Helm Band, while Louisiana-bred acts like Dr. John, Buckwheat Zydeco and the Neville Brothers will also be performing.

Of the event's eclectic lineup, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival producer Quint Davis told Pollstar, "It's just a way cool thing that Jazz Fest is so broad that it can embrace all these different things, all these different artists. We have jazz in the name, but it's not just jazz music."

Davis is right, as the 2010 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival will also feature performances by Pearl Jam (the gig is the band's first confirmed North American 2010 show), the Black Crowes, Band Of Horses, Anita Baker, the Allman Brothers Band, Steel Pulse, Darius Rucker, the Blind Boys Of Alabama, Baaba Maal, King Sunny Ade and many more.

The news of B.B. King's inclusion on the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival bill comes on the heels of the opening of the legendary musician's club in Las Vegas. The Mirage hosted the star-studded grand opening party for B.B. King's Blues Club on Dec. 11, and B.B. King and Buddy Guy took the stage for an impromptu concert. The event saw guests like Willie Nelson feasting on some of B.B. King's favorite foods, such as Creole specialties like Fried Dill Pickles, Gumbo Ya Ya Straight from the Bayou and Fried Catfish.

Mississippi native B.B. King may have recently celebrated his 84th birthday, but that has not stopped this celebrated electric guitarist from touring! His latest album, One Kind Favor, was the highest-debuting solo album of his career, after all.

The album, which features King covering old blues tracks that inspired him in the early years of his career, debuted at the No. 38 spot on the Billboard 200 chart and will see him on the road through mid-2010. B.B. King recently wrapped up a mini-tour with Buddy Guy that ran from Nov. 10 through early December and will ring in the New Year with a performance in Tulsa, Okla. on Dec. 31 before embarking on a fresh set of tour dates in 2010.

Even after more than four decades of making blues music, the thrill is not gone for B.B. King fans, as B.B. King tickets to see the living legend live continue to be a hot commodity. Luckily, B.B. King tickets are available online. B.B. King has North American tour dates scheduled until May 2010 so there are plenty to choose from!

This article is sponsored by StubHub. is a leader in the business of selling, sports tickets, concert tickets, theater tickets and special events tickets.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Beatles Remastered - Past Masters Volumes One and Two

By John R Powell

The Beatles Past Masters series is a compilation album and comprises all of their singles that were not released on their studio albums. The Beatles only released singles that were also on studio albums a few times; they were not in the habit of doing so. That is why the Past Masters series is a double album with a lot of great material on it. Past Masters 1 comprises all of their material from 1963 (Please Please Me) until 1965 (Help). Past Masters 2 comprises all of their material from 1965 (Rubber Soul) until they disbanded in 1970 (Let It Be).

Past Masters 1 is really dated material, and it is basically the Beatles mop top period. It has everything from Love Me Do and From Me To You all the way to I Feel Fine and I'm Down. All of the songs sound so much better remastered. The song From Me To You sounds completely different now that it is remastered. For me it was She Loves you and I Wanna Hold your Hand that were two of the first songs I heard from the Beatles way back when. This was Beatlemania at its height. On the original, the guitar parts were not nearly as separated and easy to distinguish as they are on the remastered version. All the sounds were there on the original versions, but not as clear.

The only song that I can remember that was sung by another group and sounded better was I call your name. It was done by the Mama's and Papas with Mama Cass Elliot singing lead just a few years after the Beatles originally recorded it.

Past Masters 2 is much better of an album compared to volume 1. It has everything from their Rubber Soul period to Let It Be. It starts off with the double-A sided single Day Tripper/We Can Work It Out. These songs are the earliest songs that the Beatles have done that I consider some of my favorites. Day Tripper has a really great guitar structure and sound, and We Can Work It Out has one of my favorite chorus lines. The harmony that Lennon and McCartney have during the chorus is beautiful.

The next double-A sided single is Paperback Writer/Rain. Paperback Writer is a really great song and it sounds a lot like their music on their adjacent album, Revolver. Rain is a song that is completely revolutionary in my opinion. It doesn't sound like their other music up until that point. The end of the song has the chorus played backwards, and it sounds really psychedelic.

I've heard Ringo say that he thought this was his best work (Rain). Ringo really was a classy musician. McCartney and Lennon are of course the song writing monsters that have no equal from their era.

Volume 2 also has the anthem Hey Jude; one of the greatest songs of all time. This song was written for John Lennon's son Julian by Paul McCartney while John Lennon and Julian's mother were getting divorced.

McCartney was trying to cheer Julian up with this song, even though Lennon thought it was directed towards him at times. Hey Jude is one of my all time favorite songs and a song that is on the top of best songs lists all over the world. Across the Universe and The Ballad of John and Yoko are also great songs on this album. This album also sounds so much clearer remastered. All of the songs sound as if they've just been recorded this year, not forty years ago.

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Jeff Dexter to Write His Memoirs

By Frances Lynn

There is one book on the Sixties I can't wait to read when it finally comes out. Jeff Dexter is in the process of writing his memoirs and I predict this will be the seminal book on the Sixties and Seventies thriving music scene. Born Dexter Jeffery Bedwell on August 15th 1946 in Lambeth London, Dexter started out as a dancer and singer, progressing to be a well-known DJ, promoter, rock band manager, record producer, club host and events organiser.

Jeff Dexter has made almost every move in and around the entertainment industry. Starting with Mecca Dancing in 1961, he was a dancer and singer with Cyril Stapleton's Orchestra at London's Lyceum Ballroom, where he was banned for obscenity after doing The Twist on the dance floor. Dexter was also a band boy when on the road, which entailed looking after all the props, extra instruments and sheet music. During his days at the Lyceum, Dexter became a Disc Jockey and MC on the Record Hops, working with Ian "Sammy" Samwell, and also Jimmy Savile (then the Ballroom Manager at Leeds Locarno). Dexter also worked with many other dance bands, and in other London venues, began and presenting the new beat bands.

Dexter helped take Britain's first mobile record hop on the road in February 1962, beginning at Greenwich Town Hall followed by other regular promotions in Brighton and Croydon. He also became a partner in a record promotion company with Tony Calder. The first record they promoted together was Love Me Do. Dexter gave up his singing career after he had to follow Ike and Tina Turner at the Hammersmith Palais. Dexter and Samwell hosted many late night record shows at night clubs in London's West End, including The Flamingo in Wardour Street, The Roaring Twenties in Carnaby Street, and The Crazy Elephant in Jermyn Street.

In 1966-7, Dexter worked as the host and DJ at Tiles Club in Oxford Street presenting all the soul and pop acts including the late Otis Redding. He presented the lunch time record shows, immortalised in Tom Wolfe's book Noonday Underground. Dexter then started The Jeff Dexter Light and Sound Show with the emerging underground and psychedelic scene, with acts like Pink Floyd. Dexter also took up residency at Middle Earth Club in Covent Garden with John Peel but did not accept an offer to join BBC's Radio One.

From 1968-73 Dexter promoted and presented rock shows at the legendary Roundhouse in Chalk Farm, mainly under the Implosion banner. Dexter helped organize and host nearly all the major festivals, including many of the free concerts in Hyde Park. He also re-branded Eric Clapton and Friends as Derek and The Dominos. Dexter hosted and arranged most of the acts that appeared at the 1971 Glastonbury Fayre. He also Managed the band America, and also co-produced their first album that made number one in the States, as did their first single for Warner Brothers Records.

Between the years 1973-79, Dexter managed and produced numerous artists, negotiated deals with Atlantic Records (Isaac Guillory), Warner Brothers (Peter Sarstedt, BIM) and EMI (Alfalpha), and Sire Records (Hawkwind). Dexter also tour managed in the UK, USA and Europe, ran the merchandising concessions for many acts and his own music publishing company.

During 1979-81, Dexter moved between Milan and New York, worked with well-known Italian groups and made disco records, but also worked with some of his favourite musicians.

In 1981-83, he moved back to the UK in order to manage a hot new band called BIM (Cameron McVey was on vocals, and Andy Harley on keyboards), and signed them to Arista Records, then to Warner Brothers Records. Dexter then started promoting retro record shows in West End clubs, and during 1983-89 he promoted a regular club, called The 2I's in Tottenham Court Road at the Empire Rooms, worked with Time Out, organised music and entertainment at large corporate parties.

In1990, Dexter began managing rock bands again, took on new partnerships, made several records, and spent far too much time and money! He Joined a group of old friends to bid for a radio license, and joined a consortium with the aim of re-launching shows at the Roundhouse.

Jeff Dexter, who is currently is a successful Lifestyle Consultant is estranged from his wife Simona Perlasca (after 30 years), with two sons Wesley (Events Manager, and DJ Loki), and Lincoln (Art History student).
Frances Lynn is a professional writer and journalist. Her two novels, "Frantic" and "Crushed" are published by Eiworth Publishing at Her personal website is

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The Beatles Remasters on Vinyl LPs

By Johnny Moon

On September 9, 2009 The Beatles remastered CDs were released and they've been a huge hit both critically (glowing reviews for the great sound quality of these remasters) and commercially (with millions of copies of the remastered CDs having been sold thus far).

But that's not "all she wrote" as far as these remasters are concerned because it appears likely that sometime during 2010 (although it's unclear when, exactly) The Beatles stereo catalog will be released on vinyl LPs too. Most likely as part of a box set and for individual purchase.

No official statement from Apple Corps (the company that controls the Beatles recordings, not the computer company) has come out about the vinyl remasters but the CEO did mention in an interview that they are working on the project.

It's thought at this time that only the stereo remasters will be available on these new vinyl records but that's not known for a fact. It would actually make sense for them to release the mono mixes on vinyl too as it seems like the type of "purists" that are probably most interested in them are also the type of people who would want to hear them in both stereo and mono.

If you're confused as to why anyone would want to hear digitally remastered music on vinyl, it's important to understand that the Beatles vinyl now currently available (the vinyl that has been produced since the late '80s) is based on the old 1987 digital remasters, so there's little doubt that the new vinyl would be just as big of a step up in that world as the new CDs were in the CD world (and that's a mighty big step, in my opinion).
Johnny Moon will be buying Beatles Remastered Vinyl to go along with his Remastered Beatles CDs.

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Bob Marley Quote Posters Are Still in Great Demand

By Manish Kapoor

Music is an important part of everyone's life. It cheers us up when we are sad. It inspires us when we are feeling blue. It kicks out the dullness and boredom far out of our life. As author Berthold Auerbach has observed, "Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."

When it comes to music, there are some music artists who are able to create magic with their music. There are some musicians whose music touches deep inside of the heart. One such great artist is Bob Marley. His name doesn't need any introduction. He is world known for his contribution to Jamaican Music. It was because of his continuous efforts and hard work and, of course, his music that has made Reggae music world known.

Although he died at a very early age, he is still very popular and perhaps that's the reason people still love to buy his posters with his quotes printed on it. Bob Marley Quotes posters are in huge demand. One of the best things about bob Marley quotes posters is that they inspire us to be like him. They motivate us and encourage us to get into the music world and perform like him. His posters give us quick insight of his way of thinking.

At last, I would say those who love the music more than anything else; those for whom music is everything; those who want to get surrounded with music instruments and vibrant colors; and those who want to jazz up their room, must buy Bob Marley Quotes Posters.

Visit our website to read Bob Marley Quotes and Tatoo quotes.

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With the Beatles Remastered - Stereo Or Mono?

By Johnny Moon

I'm doing a whole series of articles on The Beatles 2009 remasters on whether the stereo or mono version is better and on most of those I feel my best answer is "both" (yes, they're both better!?) but with this one the answer is a bit more straightforward: The mono version of With The Beatles remastered is superior.

These songs just don't sound that great (but they still sound really, really good) in stereo probably because they were not originally meant to be played back in stereo.

In mono the songs pack more punch and surprisingly (as this is not usually the case) the individual elements of the songs actually seems to be more clear in the mono versions than in the stereo versions. I can hear the vocals, the drums, and the guitar all very clearly.

As someone who records music at home, I find the clarity and power of these mono mixes quite awe inspiring and it has convinced me to try recording and mixing in mono myself (at least initially.) I think if you can make each part of the song have it's own "space" in the mix with everything up the middle than you should be able to really have a great amount of clarity when you do some panning.

Now I'm not saying I dislike the stereo version of With The Beatles remastered (I'm listening to it right now as I write this article.) It definitely has it's charms but if I was to take one version or the other to a deserted island, I would have to go with the mono mix.

CLICK HERE for information on The Beatles in Mono Box Set.
CLICK HERE for information on The Beatles in Stereo Box Set.
Both of these box sets includes With The Beatles remastered (in mono and stereo, respectively).

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With the Beatles Remastered - Lennon and McCartney Originals

By Johnny Moon

Other than Yellow Submarine (which includes a lot of George Martin instrumentals and two George Harrison originals) no Beatles album has a lower percentage of Lennon/McCartney originals than With The Beatles.

Just 7 of the 14 songs on this album were written by John and/or Paul (that's 50% of course). 6 of the other 7 are covers (such as "Till There Was You" and "Money") and the other one is George's songwriting debut, "Don't Bother Me."

I recently wrote an article like this one about the Lennon/McCartney originals on The Beatles For Sale album and the main reason I think that Beatles For Sale is a superior album to this one is that I much prefer those 8 songs to these 7. Although, I should add that I do prefer the covers on this one.

What follows is a short synopsis of each of these songs (which do sound best when heard on the With The Beatles Remastered version included in The Beatles in Mono Box Set).

"It Won't Be Long" - Probably my least favorite album opener by the Fab Four but still one of the better songs on this album. It's a good song but the competition among album openers is rather fierce.

"All I've Gotta Do" - Lately this may be my favorite song on this album. I really love John's vocal performance on it and the way John and Paul's vocals blend together on the refrain is really fantastic.

"All My Loving" - This is easily the most popular song on With The Beatles (which, like many of their albums, included no singles). Paul wrote (and sung) this one.

"Little Child" - One of the very few songs in the Lennon/McCartney catalog I just have no use for. I don't like this one and it shows no signs of growing on me. The harmonica solo it's only saving grace (that sounds pretty rocking in the remastered mono version).

"Hold Me Tight" - This is a pretty cute song and it's got a lot of energy. One of my favorites on this album and definitely one of their more overlooked early pop classics.

"I Wanna Be Your Man" - John and Paul originally wrote this for The Rolling Stones and then decided to release their own version of it (with Ringo) on vocals too. It's a cool part of their mythology (writing The Stones first song for them) but it's not much of a song, is it? I don't care for it.

"Not A Second Time" - Sounds like filler to me. Not one of their best efforts.

CLICK HERE for The Beatles in Mono Box Set which includes the best version of With The Beatles in this author's opinion.

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With the Beatles Remastered

By Johnny Moon

It's Not Their Best Work

I would argue that With The Beatles is The Beatles least good (I don't like to use the word "worst" when talking about the Fab Four) UK studio album (with the possible exception of Yellow Submarine which only had four new songs on it). But while it's not their best work, I still enjoy listening to the new remastered versions of it (in both stereo and mono).

Covers vs. Originals

I'm not a huge fan of most of the covers that they did (with "Twist and Shout" being one obvious exception) and for the most part I don't enjoy listening to the six covers on this album very much (I do kind of like "Till There Was You" inspite, or maybe because, of it's immense cheese factor). On the other hand this album also includes eight originals, some of which are quite good (and they sound particularly great with the 2009 remasters).

"All My Loving"

The most obvious highlight is "All My Loving" which was written and sung by Paul McCartney. Although it was never released as a single in the UK or US (although it was released in Canada and actually made it to #45 on the US singles charts just from imports in 1964) it's still among the Beatles most well known and best loved songs recorded in 1963.

"It Won't Be Long" and "All I Gotta Do"

It starts off with these two tracks and other than "All My Loving," they're probably the best songs on the album and they sound particularly good on the version of With The Beatles included in The Beatles in Mono Box Set. I think that these two songs are standouts is a good indication of how this albums pales in comparison with their next (1964's A Hard Day's Night) because these songs would be pretty average (rather than standouts) if included on it.

George Harrison's Songwriting Debut

The album also includes George's first attempt at songwriting, "Don't Bother Me." It's not a great song by any stretch of the imagination but it does have a pretty cool sound and mood (and this sort of dark mood would be present in a lot of his later Beatles originals).

The Day JFK was Killed

A bit of trivia that I find quite fascinating; This LP was originally released in the UK on November 22, 1963 which is the day that JFK was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas. At the time The Beatles were largely unknown in the US. In a strange coincidence, the famous authors Aldous Huxley (Brave New World) and CS Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia) also died on this day.

CLICK HERE to learn more about The Beatles in Stereo Box Set.
CLICK HERE for more information on The Beatles in Mono Box Set.
Both of these box sets include With The Beatles Remastered (in stereo and mono, respectively).

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In Defense of Yoko Ono

By James Magary

Singer and multimedia avant-garde artist Yoko Ono has been reviled by Beatles fans for decades. She has been consistently viewed in the press and among fans as being the one who "broke up the Beatles", despite the fact that none of the Beatles themselves ever made that claim.

Although John Lennon consistently supported Yoko and her work, and even collaborated with her on much of his own music, she has never received proper recognition as an artist in her own right. Ono has contributed a lot to the world of music and art, and it is clear from the band's history that it was their own acrimony and creative differences that sent them their separate ways. So why is there so much disrespect towards Yoko Ono?

Ono has the distinction of being the only long-term songwriting collaborator to work with John Lennon, other than Paul McCartney. This fact is likely responsible for much of the resentment towards her. After all, the Beatles were the most respected and beloved band of the 1960's, and they broke up in the prime of their career (Abbey Road, their last album, is widely regarded as one of their best).

Following their breakup, many fans saw that John Lennon wanted to collaborate only with Ono, who by then had become his wife, but many viewed the collaboration as far inferior to the work that John had produced with Paul McCartney. It is also apparent from the film "Let It Be" that there was much tension in the band while Yoko was with them in the studio.

However, these facts do not make Ono responsible for the breakup. Many Beatles fans do not seem willing to accept that the Beatles were heading towards a breakup due to the increasingly diverging views of John and Paul as to how to proceed with the band's career. By 1969, the Beatles had not toured in 3 years, and Paul wanted to relaunch the band as a touring act, but John Lennon did not share this interest.

In addition, the songwriting partnership between the two had changed dramatically, to the point where they did not write songs together (nor did they need to, as evidenced by the continuing brilliant quality of their respective work). All indications were that John and Paul were growing apart as artists, and simply outgrew the Beatles, which began as an innocent rock and roll group when they were both teenagers.

Fans tend to feel as through they have been denied several additional Beatles albums, and a lot of the blame is directed at Yoko Ono for that. I think a better way to look at it is that the Beatles had a "perfect" career, and went out on top, crossing Abbey Road and heading into immortality while still at the peak of their creative powers. I think it is a good thing that the world was spared the sight of the Beatles in creative decline, which is something fans have had to endure from many other artists from the Beatles era.

The last point on Yoko is that she actually deserves credit for being a genuine influence on some great work that John did in the 1970's, and in 1980 before his tragic murder. And, she was a worthwhile composer and recording artist in her own right. In fact, many of the songs primarily composed by Yoko on the albums they did together was more innovative, and has proven to be more influential, than John's songs, and how unexpected is that? Bands like the B52s and Cibo Matto cite Yoko as a major influence on their work, and she continues to make new recordings to this day which push the boundaries of pop music.

I will sum it up with my favorite line from the Barenaked ladies song "Be My Yoko Ono." "I know that when I say this, I may be stepping on pins and needles. But I don't like all these people slagging her for breaking up the Beatles (don't blame it on Yokey)!"

Many fans are renewing their appreciation of the Beatles music (which does in fact include Yoko Ono's voice on two songs, "Revolution 9" and "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill", both from the White Album), on the recently released remastered albums and box sets. Fans can also get the entire Beatles catalog in high quality audiophile 24 bit FLAC format sound or high quality mp3's on the Beatles USB Apple product, scheduled for release on December 8th, 2009.

To learn more, or to read about the Beatles USB Apple click here:

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Five Lessons I Learned From Ralph Humphrey

By Chris Peacock

Of all the teachers I have studied with, the person who deserves the greatest acknowledgment is Ralph Humphrey.

There are many drummers out there who have a very high profile and get a lot of press, but for those in the know Ralph Humphrey is considered one of the best in the world. He has performed with the likes of Frank Zappa, Barbara Streisand, George Duke, Manhattan Transfer, Al Jarreau and Wayne Shorter. He has recorded the soundtracks for Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Dawsons Creek, The Simpsons and King of The Hill. If all that wasn't enough he is also the co-founder of the LA Music Academy and still finds time to work on the hit TV show Dancing With The Stars.

With all these accomplishments Ralph is still a man of a few words, is very humble and an incredible mentor. Like all geniuses, he simplifies things and teaches with passion. Here are five lessons that he impressed upon me:

Lesson #1: The Moeller Technique

Ralph was a big proponent of the Moeller Technique and spent a great deal of time developing efficient stokes that make use of the drums natural rebound. I had always played into the head which I still managed to get up to a decent speed but by using the moeller technique my sound opened up and I become much more relaxed in my playing. Another side effect of this approach is increased endurance. You can play much longer with less strain and potential for injury.

Lesson #2: The Value of Practice

Ralph was never shy to tell us that we needed to practice and practice a lot. He emphasized long hours working on technique, musicality, style, sight reading, and all of the other traits that a good drummer must develop in order to become great. Without practice there is no hope of making significant progress and Ralph made sure that we all understood this.

Lesson #3: Rhythmic Discovery

Ralph is one of the greatest odd meter players I have ever seen and his knowledge of rhythm, meter and time is quite mind-blowing. He helped us to understand more complex patterns and ideas and encouraged us to try them out. Don't be scared of mistakes, take some chances and see where it takes you. A lot of great drummers have learned much from Ralph because of this curiosity to find new rhythmic territory.

Lesson #4: Humility

Ralph is one of the most humble people that I have ever met. Even with all the achievements he has accumulated over the years he still acts like a very normal individual. Like the martial arts master that shows only a small portion of his true potential Ralph rarely gave anything away about what he was up to. He would be teaching us one minute, then the next minute he'd be off at some top-flight studio recording the net episode of Dancing With The Stars or some equally high-profile session. After that he'd return to the classroom and it would be like nothing had happened. A true professional at all times.

Lesson #5: Entrepreneurship

This was never a formal lesson but to watch Ralph work and go about his business you see a great entrepreneur at work. He is one of those rare people that has taken his passion, built a career from it and then built a business around it. I studied at the LA Music Academy for one year and was surrounded by a stable of incredible teachers and enthusiastic students. The curriculum was stellar and the school as a whole was managed extremely well. You can learn a lot from Ralph far beyond what to do when you sit behind a kit.

About The Author

Chris Peacock began playing drums at the age of 12. He received a scholarship to Berklee College Of Music and studied at LA Music Academy under the guidance of Ralph Humphrey and Joe Porcaro. He has performed in the UK, US and Japan. His book, The Psychology Of Drumming features interviews with 20 drumming legends including Jojo Mayer, Steve Smith and Kenny Aronoff. You can download a free copy of the ebook by clicking here.

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The Legendary Band - The Rolling Stones

By Shawna S. Ruppert

There might only be one other band in the history of Rock and Roll that has reached the heights of popularity that the Rolling Stones have enjoyed throughout their career. The major difference however, is highlighted when you look at the span of Rolling Stones trivia. While their careers started not far apart, the Beatles had broken up the by the early seventies. On the other hand, the Rolling Stones, despite several hiatuses, have continued to perform and record as the biggest rock band in the world right up to the present day.

The band has had several different members over their long career, but it is two forces which have been the primary creative forces behind the band since their first days together. Rolling Stones trivia will show that Keith Richards and Mick Jagger went to primary school together, and then became reacquainted during their college years. The combination of Jagger on Vocals and Keith Richards on guitar has become the basic archetypical makeup of charismatic lead singer and enigmatic guitar player that so many bands after have tried to emulate.

The other two founding members of the Rolling Stones were really Brian Jones and Ian Stewart, although others were also playing with the group on and off at the time, before they were called the Rolling Stones. It was the eventual addition of Charlie Watts on drums and Bill Wyman on bass that Rolling Stones trivia shows the band was reaching its legendary makeup.

Although the Stones had toured and recorded for several years already, it was the release of "Satisfaction" in the mid sixties which built the beginnings of superstardom. Hit after hit would follow in the years that came after, including "Get Off of My Cloud", "Paint it Black", "Ruby Tuesday" "Sympathy For the Devil" "You can't Always Get What You Want" and many many more.

A Rolling Stones quiz will show that there were changes to the band over the course of the years. Ronnie Wood joining the band would help create the guitar sound that has guided them for the last thirty years. Ian Stewart left the band not many years after the formation of the group, but continued to play with them. Other than Keith, there have been three primary other guitar players in the band. The first was Jones, who died in 1969. He would be replaced by Mick Taylor for only four years until Wood joined.

Masters of Trivia is a website dedicated to trivia games and quizzes that cover several different areas of interest. The various trivia questions available on the site can be easily accessed and played by going to

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Was Puff the Magic Dragon a Song About Drugs?

By Yamcha Potter

Sure the 1960's were crazy times. The era has become synonymous with drug use and many songs from that era have been tainted with the suggestion that they are about drugs. Was Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds really a code for LSD? (John Lennon always denied this accusation saying the title was inspired by a picture his son had drawn and named). Did the Byrds Eight Miles High refer to an airplane ride or another type of flight? The biggest shock of them all was the realization that Puff the Magic Dragon was really a song about smoking marijuana.

When one looks at the lyrics it is easy to see how this story spread. The name of the song was fairly blatant. Puff was another word for smoking and dragon could be broken up into two words for the term drag on. He took a puff off of the pipe and a drag on the joint. Furthermore, what did people who smoke marijuana used to make their joints? Papers. And what was the name of the little boy is the song? It was Little Jackie Paper. Some have even suggested that the magic land of Hanah Lee was really Hanalei; a Hawaiian village renown for its potent brand of grass.

Yet the writers of the song claim that Puff The Magic Dragon was song about the loss of innocence and a young boy who outgrew his childhood ways. The song began its life as poem written by a 19 year old Cornell University student, Leonard Lipton. He showed the poem to his friend Peter Yarrow who put the poem to a melody and added more lyrics. Yarrow went on to form the band Peter, Paul and Mary and their rendition of Puff went to Number Two on the charts.

It was not until after the song has its run on the charts that the theory about it being a drug song came to light. It is a theory that still exists today despite the authors' many public statements to the contrary. Lipton claimed is poem was based on the Ogden Nash poem "Really-O, Truly-O Dragon". He wrote that "[It is about] the loss of innocence and having to face the adult world. It's surely not about drugs. I can tell you that at Cornell in 1959 no one smoked grass... It would be insidious to propagandize about dugs in a song for little kids".

Peter Yarrow would later add the following comment: "When Puff was written I was too innocent to know bout drugs. What kind of a mean-spirited SOB would write a children's song with a covert drug message?"
Yamcha Potter is Expert in Article writer for making articles on Entertainment, PC Games, Movie Reviews, PC Software and PC Wares know more about it from his blog which is

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Beatles For Sale Remastered - Stereo Or Mono?

By Johnny Moon

The big debate in the world of The Beatles since the stereo and mono remastered box sets came out on September 9, 2009 is what's the better way to listen to The Beatles classic albums; stereo or mono?

In this article I take on this question for one particular album (1964's Beatles For Sale). I think it's good to take this question on an album by album basis because what's true for one may not be true for another.
In general I think the earlier albums work better in mono than the later albums (because their arrangements got more dense and there was less room for everything in just one channel).

With this specific album album I'm going to concentrate on the songs on the album that I most enjoy because you can pretty much take the things I'm saying about these songs and apply them to the rest anyway.

"No Reply" - With this song (and this is really the general rule for the stereo vs mono debate) the big difference is that the mono version has a certain "power" to it. It pushes forward more than the stereo mix. But on the other hand, the stereo version allows the listener to hear far more detail in the music. You can hear each element in the music more clearly. The big problem with a lot of the Beatles stereo mixes is awkward panning, this song doesn't really suffer from that problem (although the drums probably shouldn't be to the right as much as they are).

"I'm A Loser" - I quite like this stereo mix. The clarity is really astounding. It makes me feel like I'm in the middle of the room while they were recording the song. I can hear all of these great little guitar riffs. The vocals are right up the middle (this is important, as some of the big problems with some Beatles stereo mixes is the vocals being entirely on the left or right which can be very irritating to listen to on headphones).

"Baby's In Black" - I know some people believe that the only way to listen to The Beatles (at least the early Beatles anyway) is in mono. They believe because those mono mixes were the ones the band worked on so hard in the 1960s that they must be the ones we should listen to today. I disagree. I love clarity. I love being able to hear every detail. And the sometimes awkward panning doesn't bother me as much as it does for some people. I find it a bit charming actually. Anyway, this is another brilliant stereo mix. I'm not saying it doesn't sound great in mono too, but it's definitely worth a listen in stereo.

"I'll Follow The Sun" - The vocals in the stereo mix are like butter. I would definitely pick the stereo mix on this song if I had to choose just one.

"Every Little Thing" - This is one where the stereo panning may hurt it. The timpani has more power in the mono version and the panned reverb on the vocal (in the right channel) is a bit distracting. I still like the stereo version but I think the mono mix may be superior for this song.

"I Don't Want To Spoil The Party" - My favorite thing about the stereo mix is the clarity of the guitar part in the right channel. This is a part that sounds a bit buried in the mono version on comparison. Although I can also hear the argument that this guitar part may actually be somewhat distracting to the overall flow of the song by being a bit more obtrusive in the stereo mix.

What it really comes down to is the answer of both. Both the stereo and mono mixes sound great and they both have their own charms. Although I must say if I could choose only one, I'd probably go with the stereo mix because I'm lover of detail and I definitely feel that the details of the music are much more clear in the stereo versions.

The stereo version of Beatles For Sale Remastered is available both as a part of The Beatles in Stereo and for individual purchase. The mono version is only available in The Beatles in Mono. Both remastered box sets are lovely because both the stereo and mono mixes have their own charms.

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Beatles For Sale Remastered - Lennon and McCartney Originals

By Johnny Moon

The Beatles released A Hard Day's Night on July 10, 1964 and all 13 of it's songs were originals, just about 13 months later they released Help! on August 6, 1965 and 12 of it's 14 songs were originals. In between those two classic albums they released the often overlooked Beatles For Sale (on December 4, 1964) and it contained just eight originals (along with six rather lackluster covers).

I think it's that lower percentage of originals that really hurts the reputation of this album, and for good reason. The numerous not so great covers does make it a much tougher listen from start to finish. But when I actually look at the quality of the eight originals I think the album is just about there (if not quite there) with the two aforementioned classics.

With the release of the Beatles remastered box sets on September 9, 2009 I've been listening to the originals on this album quite a bit and I think they're wonderful. What follows are my notes on each of them.

The Eight Lennon/McCartney Originals

"No Reply" - What a wonderful opener. If I had to pick just one song from this album, it would probably be this one. I've always loved it, but it sounds truly amazing in it's new remastered versions (both stereo and mono). It has more emotional weight than most Beatles songs.

"I'm A Loser" - This really works well after "No Reply" because it sounds as if the singer (John Lennon) is singing about the love he just lost in the previous song.

"Baby's In Black" - This 3/4 song has a wonderfully downcast sound which obviously fits right in with the first two songs. I think this may be one of the most cohesive starts for any Beatles album, unfortunatly this mood is completely destroyed by the "Rock and Roll Music" cover that comes next.

"I'll Follow The Sun" - Imagine if this came on after "Baby's in Black." Wouldn't that be perfect? It would be like the new beginning. It's a lovely bittersweet tune. One of my favorite early McCartney ballads.

"Eight Days A Week" - After two rather irritating covers, this catchy tune comes in to pick up the pace. No, it doesn't really fit with the sort of introspective mood of the first four originals, but it's a good bit of fun anyway.

"Every Little Thing" - I love the timpani. I think this fits in very well with the first four originals. Sure it's a "in love" song, but it has a bit of weight to it too.

"I Don't Want To Spoil The Party" - Fits in perfectly with the "I'm A Loser" theme. It has a slightly country sounding flavor to it which could have ruined it, but it didn't. It's slight enough to be a nice additional flavor.

"What You're Doing" - The lyrical theme of this McCartney song fits perfectly with Lennon's. I think this is a very underrated song. It's catchy as hell with a very cool sound to it.

Listen closely to The Beatles For Sale Remastered in The Beatles Stereo Box Set and The Beatles Mono Box Set. Both of these remastered box sets are essential listening.

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Beatles For Sale Remastered

By Johnny Moon

With the release of the 2009 remasters, I've been taking a close "second listen" to The Beatles legendary 1960s discography and this 1964 album is one of those that has most stood out for me.

In my opinion Beatles For Sale is The Beatles most underrated album. I say that not because it's among their best albums (it's not) but because I think it's better than Please Please Me, With The Beatles, and Yellow Submarine yet it's often called the band's worst album.

I think the reason the album has the bad reputation it has is because it came out between A Hard Day's Night and Help! and by comparison to those two albums it does seem quite weak. On the other hand if you pull the album out and compare it to the band's first two albums (Please Please Me and With The Beatles) I think it comes out looking much better.

The Problem

The covers are the big problem with this album. If I focus on just the eight Lennon/McCartney originals then I actually really love it. The originals have an overarching downcast mood that really flow together well. It makes for a great eight song EP.

Excellent Originals

The album starts off with a great trio of John Lennon penned (and sung) songs; "No Reply," "I'm A Loser," and "Baby's In Black." I'm also a huge fan of Lennon's late album (track #12) contribution, "I Don't Want to Spoil The Party," which is a really catchy sort of country tinged song which continues with the "sad sack" theme of the album openers.

Paul McCartney's contributions are great as well. "I'll Follow The Sun" is probably the most loved Paul original on the album but I think "Every Little Thing" and "What You're Doing" are definitely worth a listen as well.

The album also includes the well known classic "Eight Days A Week" which is a cool tune although it obviously doesn't match the heights of songs like "A Hard Day's Night," "Can't Buy Me Love," and "Ticket to Ride" on the previous album or "Help!," "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away," and "Yesterday" on the next album.

Awful Covers

Unfortunately things start to go awry when we get to the very "by the numbers" sounding covers like "Rock and Roll Music," "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby" and "Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!" Things really start going off the rails with the dreadful "Mr. Moonlight" and "Honey Don't." The one cover of the six on the record that I have much patience for is their (too) cute version of Buddy Holly's "Words of Love."


Overall the album sounds far better than it used to thanks to the 2009 remasters. I love both the stereo version (which is available individually and as a part of the stereo box set) and the mono version (which is available only as a part of the mono box set).

If you've listened to this album before and it hasn't really knocked your socks off, it is recommend that you buy the new Beatles For Sale remastered version in either (or in both if you can afford it, as they are both brilliant) The Beatles in Stereo or The Beatles in Mono remastered box sets and then focus just on the eight originals.

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Baby Boomer Music - Good Stuff

By Phil McMillan

I am a Baby Boomer who loves Baby Boomer music. I am a product of the 50's and the 60's. Honestly, I do like several genres of music recordings from all periods of time, but I love just about everything to do with the music I listened to while growing up. I'm in my 60's now and I will still pound out the drum roll on a table when "Wipe Out!" is played on the radio.

I vividly remember the major changes that occurred in new trends as they happened. The late 50's had the "do wop" sound of black singing groups and white groups and the message was always very simple. Boy meets girl, "puppy love" takes over, boy and girl break up, and sadness sinks in ... until he meets a new girl.
In the early 60's, boys got involved with cars as well as girls ("She's real fine, my 409!"). Soon, the boys were picking up girls in their cars and heading for the beach. If you lived in California you went surfing. If you lived on the east coast, you hung around the neighborhood and sang in harmony with your buds.

And then came the British Invasion in the early 60's. For a while, American singing groups took a backseat to the groups from Great Britain. The culture most definitely changed. We left the innocence of life and moved into a new eclectic state. It became down right bizarre. The culture coarsened life here in the USA.

The creativity of the music, however, was amazing. Groups and singers from both countries (England and the USA) were banging out hit after hit as music became more daring. Classic rock n' roll, country rock, folk, R&B, and beautiful ballads all took center stage. Creedence Clearwater Revival and James Taylor had the same fans.

Unfortunately, the Vietnam war split the country and became a big part of the music scene. The songs mocked the war and the United States at the same time. It went overboard and really attacked the military. The music, I think, actually helped to cause the hurt feelings that existed between the two camps. Woodstock became an anti-war party. It became the fashionable thing to do for many.

For me, the party was over. They were raining on my parade and it would never be the same again. The 70's produced a lot of terrific songs that continue to be enjoyed today. Same for the 80's. I haven't cared much for what came after that.

For us Boomers, our creative sound was gone by the end of the 60's but it was great fun while it lasted. As my Dad always said "those were the days." Hey, someone turn up the radio ... they're playing our song.

Phil McMillan is a writer who maintains a daily blog entitled "Baby Boomer Baloney" ( ). He provides daily humor videos for his readers as well as music videos from the 60's through the 80's along with his own personal comments.

Phil McMillan

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The Beatles Mono Box Set is "Discontinued by the Manufacturer"

By Johnny Moon

A lot of people thought Apple Corps was just "bluffing" when they said that they would only be making a limited number of Beatles in Mono Box Sets but now that Amazon is out of stock and is saying that the box set has been "discontinued by the manufacturer" it looks as though they were not joking.

Personally, I already bought the mono box, I pre-ordered it long before it came out (on 9/9/9) because I was worried about this very scenario. But I know there are some Beatles fans who either didn't have the money for it just yet or just didn't understand the significance of the mono mixes and who are worried they've missed out.

Luckily, that's not quite the case just yet as there are some quantities of it still available at some online stores (such as Collectors Choice Music) but it's important to realize that's only as of this writing (12/14/09) and may not be true for long. In other words if you want this thing or you know someone who would love it as a gift, you better act now or you'll end up paying a fortune in the collector's market once all new copies are gone (I've already seen someone selling it for $1700).

In case you still don't understand the significance of the mono mixes, let me break it down real quick: When these albums were being recorded in the 1960s, mono was the way that most people listened to music. In fact, stereo was considered a "fad" at the time (hard to believe, isn't it?).

Because of this, The Beatles spent almost all of their time and energy on getting the mono mixes just right. In comparison the stereo mixes were just "thrown together" afterwards (usually with no input from John, Paul, George and Ringo themselves). This is why Fab Four purists insist that the mono mixes are the "real" mixes of these albums as they were originally intended to be heard.

And make no mistake, these mono versions of The Beatles first 10 albums do sound fantastic (and in some cases notably different). I do think they are definitely worth having (although I own the stereo set too, I think they're both great).

If you're wondering why only the first 10 albums are included, let me clear that up for you. The last three albums the band recorded (Yellow Submarine, Let It Be, and Abbey Road) were never mixed in mono in the first place (as the transition from mono to stereo in the music recording industry was complete by 1969).

The Mono Box Set is currently available at Collectors Choice Music.

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A Walk in History For Freedom, Justice, and Harmony

By Lorraine Arams

Peter, Paul and Mary - a simple name for a group - their real names. And, as people, they were real too.

PBS presented two hours of the lives and times of Peter, Paul and Mary. The songs are so recognizable even today - Puff the Magic Dragon, If I Had a Hammer, Wedding Song, Jet Plane and so many, many others. Many generations have "sung along"! What struck me the most last night was the courage these artists had demonstrated throughout their careers - a courage that few people are willing to apply to their own. They stood for justice, freedom and dignity. They stood for love and equality. They stood for what most people think of "ideals". They lived them.

They walked alongside protesters on US streets, appeared in Washington at the rally where Martin Luther King, Jr delivered his famous speech, "I Have a Dream", they composed and sang songs about places like El Salvador. All three had travelled purposely into El Salvador to talk to the people who experienced the effects of US Foreign Policy in that country at the time.

They were denounced as "un-American" for speaking out about what they saw and learned during their travel to El Salvador - they dared to exercise their right of freedom of speech! How many of us have that kind of courage? How many of us simply, "go along to get along" every day of our lives in our careers and our personal lives?

And that's the point - most of us follow the latter route - for survival we say. But we know the difference, don't we? Our apathy about what goes on in our own country and abroad allow the atrocities to continue even to this day. I can hardly believe my ears when I hear stories about racial discrimination in the US today and how poverty in my own country is still alive and well - why?

43 years they sang - the three of them loved to sing and loved to sing together. The three of them stood up for what they believed in. Millions of people around the world have admired them for 43 years as they openly and publicly "talked" about highly sensitive topics. They survived through momentous times - Elvis, the Beatles, Mick Jagger, civil rights movement, Vietnam War, the hippie movement - and, yet, to this day, their songs and messages are still important.

They protested! They sang! They stood up for ideals! To them "ideals" weren't "ideals" but a way of life, not empty words.

When we write our "song" about our lives, will we be proud that we lived our "ideals"? Or were they just words ... just thoughts ... that had no backbone, so unimportant we gave them no time at all?

I've worked in many types of industries including health, law, performing arts, import/export,real estate, seniors, mining, small business, self-development, associations, education and now online. This experience and knowledge helps people because I can understand some of the challenges they face.

Personal Coach - Operations Consultant - Speaker - Workshop Leader - Business Person.

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The Funk Brothers

By Eric Hilton

The movie, Standing In The Shadows Of Motown made a huge impression on me for a couple of reasons. First of all, it taught me a lot about the history of popular music, a subject I had thought I knew a fair amount about. Obviously I had been flattering myself because, before watching this inspiring movie, I had no idea that the Funk Brothers existed.

Actually, I was hardly alone in my ignorance because before the 2002 release of Standing In The Shadows Of Motown, very few people had heard of them. But, despite their anonymity, as the creators of the "Motown Sound," the Funk Brothers had an enormous impact on popular music. Secondly, the Funk Brothers can still get down, the movie features great performances with people like Chaka Khan, Joan Osborne, Bootsy Collins, Meshell Ndegeocello, Ben Harper, Gerald Levert and the eight Funk Brothers who were still alive at the time of filming.

The name, "the Funk Brothers" refers to thirteen of the studio musicians that Berry Gordy procured from the clubs and bars that were the venues for Detroit's vibrant music scene in the late '50s and early '60s. Scores of musicians played on Motown tracks during the decade or so of the company's Detroit era, when its distinctive sound came into being, but these thirteen musicians became the core who were there on a day to day basis laying down the tracks and cranking out the hits in assembly line fashion. They shared a love of jazz, inventive genius, and the need for a more stable source of income. Through countless hours of playing together, they became an incredibly tight band, and great friends who would do anything for each other.

It's already become a cliche that the Funk Brothers "played on more No. 1 records than the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones and Elvis Presley combined." The location where all these hit records were made was "Hitsville USA," a place similar to Graceland, Abbey Roads Studios and the old Fillmore East in that it is one of the great shrines of popular music - a place fans make pilgrimage to.

The holy of holies at the museum that now occupies the first floor of the small two-story house is the tiny basement recording studio called "Studio A," better known to the Funk Brothers as "the Snakepit." This was where they labored during Motown's fabled Detroit era. In their heyday, they cranked out three or four songs in a three hour session down there. They usually did two three-hour sessions a day, and occasionally three or four.

I was moved by what Jack Ashford, the Funk Brother's percussionist, had to say upon entering the Snakepit after a thirty-year hiatus, to record for the Standing In The Shadows Of Motown project:
This is the first time we've been in here to play since the '70s. A lot of people who come here for the first time, they have no idea what's in here; because, along with our creativity, there were Berry's prayers in here, that we would be successful in what we were doing to make those hits. And we used to hear it in his voice, we used to hear the way he would talk to us, we used to hear, the artists how they would talk to us, a lot of prayers were in this building. You have no idea of the gravity of what went on emotionally. I swear to God, when I went in there tonight, I could just feel it, I could almost touch it. It never left that room, it's in there.
The Funk Brothers were gifted musicians who not only played on, but helped create, many of the most memorable and influential tracks in the history of popular music. Many people who have seen the film remark (so many that this has also become somewhat of a cliche) that, "They played on the soundtrack of my life." But there still remained the problem: nobody knew who they were.

At the beginning of Standing In The Shadows Of Motown, Funk Brother Joe Hunter describes how this fact eventually made him feel:
It was bigger than we thought it was going to be. We didn't know it was going to be that big. At first we didn't notice what was going on. We were too busy creating the music and the magic. Finally you know that you have played on hit records, and the juke box's and the radio's playing, and someone says, 'Oh boy, that's Motown.' But they never know us, nobody never mentioned too much about us, you know. Really a long time it goes and finally it gets to you. Finally when the dust cleared, it was all over, and we realized we were being left out of the dream. It's the end! And as the years go by, we wonder if any one will ever know, who we are and what we did.
The world may in fact never have known about the Funk Brothers if it hadn't been for the heroic efforts of Allan Slutsky. Inspired by an obituary of James Jamerson - the Funk Brothers' genius bass player - that he happened to come across in Rolling Stone in 1986, he decided to tell his story. James Jamerson was a fascinating character. Nobody who talks about him fails to mention his creative genius; but they also rarely fail to mention his eccentricity or problems with alcohol. Even so, if you wanted to pinpoint the origins of the Motown Sound to one progenitor, that progenitor would have to be James Jamerson.

Being a bass player, Jamerson was by definition a cornerstone of the Motown Sound, but it's also a fact that he was a genius who revolutionized both the way his instrument was played, and modern music through his contribution to the Motown Sound. Even though he never became a household name, many budding bassists were influenced and inspired by his playing in the early '60s; two worth mentioning are Jack Bruce and Paul McCartney.

Alan Slutsky's original idea was just to write a book on Motown bass lines, but as things tend to do, the project snowballed on him and, after he did indeed write a book about James Jamerson's life and music, he found himself trying to put together a film about all the Funk Brothers. Sixteen years later, on November 7 2002, the movie Standing In The Shadows Of Motown had it's world premiere in front of a packed house at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.

For more free information about The Funk Brothers and this inspiring movie, click on the links.

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