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Classic Podcasts: SFX Issue 9

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SFX CASSETTE MAGAZINE ISSUE 9 SIDE 2

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DEL SHANNON

 Discography:

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DEL SHANNON FENDER
DEL SHANNON RECORDING
DEL SHANNON TOM PETTY
DEL SHANNON SMOKING
Biography: 

One of the best and most original rockers of the early '60s, Del Shannon was also one of the least typical. Although classified at times as a teen idol, he favored brooding themes of abandonment, loss, and rejection. In some respects he looked forward to the British Invasion with his frequent use of minor chords and his ability to write most of his own material. In fact, Shannon was able to keep going strong for a year or two into the British Invasion, and never stopped trying to play original music, though his commercial prospects pretty much died after the mid-'60s. 


Born Charles WestoverShannon happened upon a gripping series of minor chords while playing with his band in Battle Creek, MI. The chords would form the basis for his 1961 debut single, "Runaway," one of the greatest hits of the early '60s, with its unforgettable riffs, Shannon's amazing vocal range (which often glided off into a powerful falsetto), and the creepy, futuristic organ solo in the middle. It made number one, and the similar follow-up, "Hats Off to Larry," also made the Top Ten. 

Shannon had intermittent minor hits over the next couple of years ("Little Town Flirt" was the biggest), but was even more successful in England, where he was huge. On one of his European tours in 1963, he played some shows with the Beatles, who had just scored their first big British hits. Shannon, impressed by what he heard, would become the first American artist to cover a Beatles song when he recorded "From Me to You" for a 1963 single (although it would give him only a very small hit). Shannon's melodic style had some similarities with the burgeoning pop/rock wing of the British Invasion, and in 1965 Peter & Gordon would cover a Shannon composition, "I Go to Pieces," for a Top Ten hit. 


Del got into the Top Ten with a late-1964 single, "Keep Searchin'," that was one of his best and hardest-rocking outings. But after the similar "Stranger in Town" (#30, 1965), he wouldn't enter the Top 40 again for nearly a couple of decades. A switch to a bigger label (Liberty) didn't bring the expected commercial results, although he was continuing to release quality singles. Part of the problem was that some of these were a bit too eager to recycle some of his stock minor-keyed riffs, as good as his prototype was. A brief association with producer Andrew Loog Oldham (also manager/producer of the Rolling Stones) found him continuing to evolve, developing a more baroque, orchestrated pop/rock sound, and employing British session musicians such as Nicky Hopkins. Much to Shannon's frustration, Liberty decided not to release the album that resulted from the collaboration (some of the material appeared on singles, and much of the rest of the sessions would eventually be issued for the collector market). 


 

By the late '60s, Shannon was devoting much of his energy to producing other artists, most notably Smith and Brian Hyland. Shannon was a perennially popular artist on the oldies circuit (particularly in Europe, where he had an especially devoted audience), and was always up for a comeback attempt on record. Sessions with Jeff Lynne and Dave Edmunds in the '70s didn't amount to much, but an early '80s album produced by Tom Petty (and featuring members of the Heartbreakers as backing musicians) got him into the Top 40 again with a cover of "Sea of Love." He was working on another comeback album with Jeff Lynne, and sometimes rumored as a replacement for Roy Orbison in the Traveling Wilburys, when he unexpectedly killed himself on February 8, 1990, while on anti-depressant drugs.

Source: Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide

This information is provided as a brief overview and not as a definitive guide, there are other sources on the net for that. If however you have a story or information that is not generally known we would love to hear from you. Content@rokpool.com

Why Not Check Out:

The Beatles

Tom Petty

Roy Orbison

Paul McCartney

George Harrison

Ringo Starr

John Lennon

Bob Dylan

Bobby Vee

George Harrison

Discography:

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George Harrison '64 Head Shot
George Harrison '68 Head Shot
George Harrison Let It Be
George Harrison Dark Horse
Biography: 

As lead guitarist for The Beatles, George Harrison provided the band with a lyrical style of playing in which every note mattered. Harrison was one of millions of young Britons inspired to take up the guitar by British skiffle king Lonnie Donegan's recording of "Rock Island Line". But he had more dedication than most, and with the encouragement of a slightly older school friend, Paul McCartney, he advanced quickly in his technique and command of the instrument. Harrison developed his style and technique slowly and painstakingly over the several years, learning everything he could from the records of Carl Perkins, Duane Eddy, Chet Atkins, Buddy Holly, and Eddie Cochran. By age 15, he was allowed to sit in with the Quarry Men, the Liverpool group founded by John Lennon, of which McCartney was a member; by 16, he was a full-fledged member of the group.

The Beatles finally coalesced around Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and drummer Ringo Starr in 1962, with Harrison established on lead guitar. The Beatlemania years, from 1963 through 1966, were a mixed blessing for Harrison. The Beatles' studio sound was generally characterized by very prominent rhythm guitar parts, and on many of The Beatles' early songs, Harrison's lead guitar was buried beneath the chiming chords of Lennon's instrument. Additionally, he was thwarted as a songwriter by the presence of Lennon and McCartney; the quality and proliferation of their output left very little room on the group's albums for songs by anyone else. Despite these problems, Harrison grew markedly as a musician between 1963 and 1966, writing a handful of good songs and one classic ("If I Needed Someone"), and also making his first acquaintance of the sitar, an Indian instrument whose sound fascinated him.

In 1966, Harrison finally seemed to find his voice with two of his songs on the Revolver album, "Taxman" and "Love You Too". In the wake of the group's decision to stop touring, Harrison's playing and songwriting grew exponentially. The period from 1968 onward was Harrison's richest with The Beatles. He displayed a smooth, elegant slide guitar technique that showed up on their last three albums; and he contributed two classic songs, "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and "Here Comes the Sun", along with "Something", which became the first Harrison song on the A-side of a Beatles single.

Although never known as a strong singer, Harrison's vocals were always distinctive, especially when placed in the right setting; for his first solo record following the group's 1970 breakup, All Things Must Pass, Harrison collaborated with producer Phil Spector, whose so-called "Wall of Sound" technique adapted well to Harrison's voice. All Things Must Pass and the accompanying single "My Sweet Lord" had the distinction of being the first solo recordings by any of The Beatles to top the charts following their breakup. Unfortunately, Harrison was later successfully sued by the publisher of the 1962 Chiffons hit "He's So Fine", which bore a striking resemblance to "My Sweet Lord".

CLICK HERE FOR A GREAT VERSION OF DARK HORSE AND INTERVIEW WITH ALAN ( FLUFF ) FREEMAN

Harrison followed All Things Must Pass with rock's first major charity event, The Concert for Bangladesh, which was staged as two shows at New York's Madison Square Garden in 1971 to help raise money for aid to that famine-ravaged nation. The second of the two all-star shows was released as a movie and a live triple album. Harrison's next studio album, Living in the Material World, initially sold well, but its leaner, less opulent production lacked the majestic force of All Things Must Pass, and it lacked the earlier album's mass appeal. Subsequent Harrison albums from the 1970s into the '80s always had an audience, but, except for Somewhere in England (1981), released in the wake of the murder of John Lennon with the memorial song "All Those Years Ago", none seemed terribly well crafted or executed. During this same period, Harrison embarked on a successful career as a movie producer with the founding of Handmade Films.

In 1987, Harrison made a return to the top of the charts with his album Cloud Nine, which featured his most inspired work in years, most notably a cover of an old Rudy Clark gospel number called "Got My Mind Set on You", which reached number one on the charts. In 1988, Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, and Roy Orbison formed The Traveling Wilburys, who released two very successful albums. It was also around this time that Harrison appeared with his former bandmate Ringo Starr, Dave Edmunds, Rosanne Cash, and The Stray Cats' Lee Rocker (who was born the year The Beatles made their first recordings) in a superb live-in-front-of-the-cameras rockabilly performance accompanying Harrison's one-time idol Carl Perkins; which was subsequently released on video cassette and laser disc. All of this success heralded a short-lived re-emergence for the musician out of private life, resulting in a 1991 tour of Japan that yielded a live album (Live in Japan). Harrison had hated concertizing since the harrowing days of The Beatles' international career, and had done one poorly received concert tour in the mid-'70s; he seemed more comfortable in 1991, and the album performed moderately well, driven by the presence of his then-recent hits.

He withdrew into private life after that, devoting himself to his life with his second wife and their son, and only re-emerged before the public when necessary, such as defending The Beatles' copyrights in court cases.

In 1999, Harrison was assaulted in his home and seriously injured by a deranged fan, but he recovered and in 2000 he began work on remastering and expanding his classic All Things Must Pass album. The reissue of that album at the outset of 2001 heralded an unusually public publicity campaign by Harrison, who accompanied its re-release with an interview record that anticipated the eventual reissue of the rest of his catalog. Harrison had been treated for throat cancer in the late '90s, but in 2001 it was revealed that he was suffering from an inoperable form of brain cancer. At the time of his death on November 29, 2001, The Concert for Bangladesh album had been announced for upgraded reissue in January of 2002, and a DVD of the film was in release internationally. If you've never seen Concert For George do check it out we consider it the best concert DVD ever !

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This information is provided as a brief overview and not as a definitive guide, there are other sources on the net for that. If however you have a story or information that is not generally known we would love to hear from you. Content@rokpool.com

Why Not Check Out:

The Beatles

John Lennon

Paul McCartney

Ringo Starr

Rock 'N' Roll Love Triangle

The Beatles Secret Hideaway

Rokpool's Rare Record Club

The Traveling Wilburys

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THE FLAMIN' GROOVIES

the Flamin' Groovies in line
the Flamin' Groovies black and white
the Flamin' Groovies promo
the Flamin' Groovies stairs
Biography: 

The Flamin' Groovies were an American rock music band of the 1960s and ’70s. They began in San Francisco in 1965, founded by Cyril Jordan and Roy A. Loney. The Flamin Groovies’ early recordings reveal a debt to The Lovin’ Spoonful. Their first album, 1969’s ‘Supersnazz’, was something of a mixed bag, containing as it did both re-creations of 1950s rock and roll and more melodic, and songs that anticipated the power pop movement of the 1970s, a genre to which The Flamin' Groovies would eventually contribute significant work.

Their second album, 1970’s ‘Flamingo’, was a considerably stronger effort and revealed a band with a sly sense of humor and a musical approach that continued to draw upon ’50s rock and roll as well as upon the work of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

CLICK HERE FOR EVEN MORE UNIQUE THE FLAMIN' GROOVIES VIDEOS

In 1971 Roy Loney left The Flamin Groovies, and was replaced by singer and guitarist Chris Wilson, who, along with Jordan, began to move the group in a more overtly power-pop direction.

Between 1971 and 1976, very little was heard of the group except maybe their 1972 anti-drug song ‘Slow Death’. In 1976, they teamed up with British producer Dave Edmunds, and recorded an album entitled ‘Shake Some Action’. This LP and the following effort, ‘Now’, are good examples of their somewhat self-conscious attempt to revive the sound of the classic mid-’60s pop groups.

The Flamin Groovies continued in the same style until somewhere early in the 1980s.

Members include George Alexander (born on May 18, 1946, San Mateo, CA), bass; Ron Greco, drums; Cyril Jordan (born in 1948 in San Francisco, CA), guitar; Roy Loney (born on April 13, 1946, San Francisco, CA), guitar, vocals; Tim Lynch (born on July 18, 1946, San Francisco, CA), guitar; Danny Mihm, drums. Later incarnations include James Farrell, guitar; Terry Rae, drums; Mike Wilhelm, guitar; Chris Wilson, vocals, guitar; David Wright, drums. 

Group formed in San Francisco, CA, 1965; released eleven-inch EP Sneakers on Snazz label, 1969; signed to Epic, released first LP, Supersnazz, 1970; signed contract with Kama Sutra, relocated to New York; second LP Flamingo, 1970, followed by Teenage Head, 1971; released singles and a live EP; relocated to England, collaborated with musician/producer Dave Edmunds; Shake Some Action, recorded in 1972, released 1976; Still Shakin', a compilation of earlier recordings, released by Buddah, 1976; second Edmunds-produced LP, Now, released on Sire label, 1978; released Jumpin' in the Night, 1979; band effectively disbanded after 1979; released Bucket Full of Brains, which was recorded live in 1971, 1983.

In 1978 the Flamin' Groovies released the Edmundsproduced Now, comprising original material by Jordan and Wilson along with such covers as the Stones' "Blue Turns to Grey" and "Paint it Black" and the Beatles' "There's a Place." The following year the band released Jumpin' in the Night, produced by Jordan and Roger Becherian, which, in addition to Groovies originals, included covers by Warren Zevon, Roger McGuinn, Lennon/McCartney, David Crosby, and Bob Dylan.

Albums:

Sneakers (EP), Snazz, 1968. 

Supersnazz, Epic, 1969. 

Flamingo, Kama Sutra, 1970.

Teenage Head, Kama Sutra, 1971; reissued, Buddha, 1999.

Still Shakin', Buddah, 1976.

Shake Some Action, Sire, 1976.

Now, Sire, 1978.

Jumpin' in the Night, Sire, 1979.

Bucketful of Brains, Voxx, 1983.

Flamin' Groovies '68 (live), Eva, 1983.

Flamin' Groovies '70 (live), Eva, 1983.

Slow Death-Live!, Lolita, 1983.

Super Grease, Skydog, 1984.

Live at the Whiskey A Go-Go '79, Lolita, 1985.

Roadhouse, Edsel, 1986.

One Night Stand, Aim, 1987.

Groove In, Revenge, 1988.

Groovies Greatest Grooves, Sire, 1989.

The Rockfield Sessions, AIM, 1990.

Sixteen Tunes, Skydog, 1991.

Step Up, Aim, 1991.

Oh How Groovy, Discurios, 1992.

A Collection of Rare Demos and Live Recordings, Marilyn, 1993.

Rock Juice, National, 1993.

Rockin' at the Roundhouse: Live, Mystery, 1993.

Flamin' Groovies, Polydor, 1994.

California Born and Bred, Norton, 1995.

Live 68/70, New Rose, 1995.

Live at the Festival of the Sun, Aim, 1995.

Groove In, New Rose, 1996.

Supersneakers, Sundazed, 1996.

In Person! (live), Norton, 1997.

Oldies but Groovies, Aim, 1997.

Grease: The Complete Skydog Singles Collection, Norton, 1998.

Yesterday's Numbers, Camden, 1998.

Absolutely the Best, Varese, 1999.

Backtracks, Renaissance, 1999.

Slow Death, Norton, 2002.

Sources: Carly Page; Kevin O'Sullivan

This information is provided as a brief overview and not as a definitive guide, there are other sources on the net for that. If however you have a story or information that is not generally known we would love to hear from you. Content@rokpool.com.

Why Not Check Out:

The Lovin Spoonful

The Beatles

The Rolling Stones

The Beatles Secret Hideaway

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Motorhead

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Motorhead
Motorhead logo
Biography: 

Motorhead's overwhelmingly loud and fast style of heavy metal was one of the most groundbreaking styles the genre had to offer in the late '70s. Though the group's leader, Lemmy Kilminister, had his roots in the hard-rocking space rock band Hawkwind, Motorhead didn't bother with his old group's progressive tendencies, choosing to amplify the heavy biker rock elements of Hawkwind with the speed of punk rock. Motorhead wasn't punk rock -- they formed before the Sex Pistols and they loved the hell-for-leather imagery of bikers too much to conform with the safety-pinned, ripped T-shirts of punk -- but they were the first metal band to harness that energy and, in the process, they created speed metal and thrash metal. Unlike many of their contemporaries, Motorhead continued performing into the next century. Although the band changed its lineup many, many times -- Lemmy was its only consistent member -- they never changed their raging sound. 

The son of a vicar, Lemmy Kilmister (born Ian Fraiser Kilmister; December 24, 1945) first began playing rock & roll in 1964, when he joined two local Blackpool, England, R&B bands, The Rainmakers and The Motown Sect. Over the course of the '60s, he played with a number of bands -- including The Rockin' Vickers, Gopal's Dream, and Opal Butterfly -- as well as briefly working as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix. In 1971, he joined the heavy prog rock band Hawkwind as a bassist. Lemmy was originally slated to stay with the band only six months, yet he stayed with the group for four years. During that time, he wrote and sung several songs with the band, including their signature song, the number three U.K. hit "Silver Machine" (1972). 

Lemmy was kicked out of Hawkwind in the spring of 1975, after he spent five days in a Canadian prison for drug possession. Once he returned to England, Kilminster set about forming a new band. Originally, it was to have been called "Bastard," but he soon decided to call the band Motorhead, named after the last song he wrote for Hawkwind. Lemmy drafted in Pink Faires guitarist Larry Wallis and drummer Lucas Fox to round out the lineup. Motorhead made its debut supporting Greenslade in July. Two months later, the group headed into the studio to make its debut album for United Artists with producer Dave Edmunds. Motorhead and Edmunds clashed over the direction of recording, resulting in the group firing the producer and replacing him with Fritz Fryer. At the end of the year, Fox left the band and Lemmy replaced him with his friend, Philthy Animal (born Philip Taylor), an amateur musician. 

Motorhead delivered its debut album to UA early in 1976, but the label rejected the album. Shortly afterward, former Blue Goose and Continuous Performance guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke joined the band. Following one rehearsal as a four-piece, Wallis left the band, leaving Motorhead as a trio; this is the lineup that would later be recalled as the group's classic period. However, the band spent most of 1976 struggling, performing without a contract or manager and generating little money. At the end of the year, they cut a single, "White Line Fever"/"Leavin' Here," for Stiff Records which wasn't released until two years later. By the summer of 1977, the group had signed a one-record contract with Chiswick Records, releasing their eponymous debut in June; it peaked at number 43 on the U.K. charts. A year later, the band signed with Bronze Records. 

Overkill, Motorhead's first album for Bronze, was released in the spring of 1979. The album peaked at number 24, while its title track became the band's first Top 40 hit. Motorhead continued to gain momentum, as their concerts were selling well and Bomber, the follow-up to Overkill, reached number 12 upon its fall release. The band was doing so well that UA released the rejected album at the end of the year as On Parole. Ace of Spades, released in the fall of 1980, became a number four hit, while the single of the same name reached number 15.

Ace of Spades became Motorhead's first American album, yet the group was making little headway in the U.S., where they only registered as a cult act. Back in England, the situation could hardly have been more different. Motorhead was at the peak of its popularity in 1981, releasing a hit collaboration with the all-female group  Girlschool entitled Headgirl and entering the charts at number one with their live album, No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith. Though the group was rising commercially, there was tension within the band, particularly between Clarke and Lemmy. Clarke left the band during the supporting tour for 1982's Iron Fist, reportedly angered by Kilmister's planned collaboration with Wendy O. Williams. Former Thin Lizzy guitarist Brian Robertson replaced Clarke

The new lineup released Another Perfect Day in the summer of 1983. Another Perfect Day was a disappointment, only reaching number 20 in the U.K. Robertson left two months later, being replaced by two guitarists: former Persian Risk member Philip Campell and Wurzel (born Michael Burston). Shortly afterward, Taylor left to join Robertson's band Operator, and was replaced by former Saxon drummer Pete Gill. This lineup released a single, "Killed by Death," in September of 1984, but shortly afterward the group left Bronze and the label filed an injunction against the band. As a result, Motorhead was prevented from releasing any recordings -- including a bizarre collaboration between Lemmy and page-three girl Samantha Fox -- for two years. 

CLICK HERE FOR EVEN MORE UNIQUE MOTORHEAD VIDEOS

Motorhead finally returned to action in 1986, first with a track on the charity compilation Hear 'n Aid and later with the Bill Laswell-produced Orgasmatron, which was released on their new label, GWR. Orgasmatron was successful with the band's still-dedicated cult audience in England and America, and received some of the group's best reviews to date. The following year, they released Rock 'N' Roll, which was equally successful. In 1988, the live No Sleep at All appeared, and Lemmy made his acting debut in the comedy Eat the Rich. Two years later, the band signed to WTG and released The Birthday Party. Taylor briefly rejoined the band in 1991, appearing on that year's 1916, before Mikkey Dee, formerly of King Diamond, took over on drums. Dee's first album with the band was 1992's March or Die, which didn't chart in the U.S. yet played to their U.K. cult following. WTG dropped the band after the album's release and the band started their own label, appropriately called Motörhead, which was distributed through ZYX. Their first album for the label was 1994's Bastards

For the remainder of the '90s, Motorhead concentrated on touring more than recording. Outside of the band, Lemmy appeared in insurance commercials in Britain. He also acted in Hellraiser 3 and had a cameo in the porno movie John Wayne Bobbit Uncut. In 1997, the group moved to the metal-oriented indie label Receiver and released Stone Dead Forever; the live Everything Louder Than Everyone Else followed in 1999, and a year later they returned with We Are Motorhead. Hammered appeared in 2002 and was followed by 2004's Inferno. In 2005 the Sanctuary label reissued some of the band's classic albums (Overkill, Ace of Spades, and Iron Fist) in two-CD deluxe editions. A collection of all-new material, Kiss of Death, arrived in 2006, followed by Motorizer (the band's seventeenth studio album) in 2008.

artistdirect.com

This information is provided as a brief overview and not as a definitive guide, there are other sources on the net for that. If however you have a story or information that is not generally known we would love to hear from you. Content@rokpool.com

Why Not Check Out:

Hawkwind

Black Sabbath

Judas Priest

The Damned

Venom

Blood On The Tracks

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