Friday, September 1, 2017

1967 BONUS #41

You asked:  
Was there a Summer of Love in The UK or was that just an American thing??? 
My memory Kent just a US thing we just loved the music. Take care,
Rockin’ Lord Geoff (England)

Hola Kent,
Wow where has the Summah Gone? 
FH67 rolling along and maintaining its quality ... it never gets boring ... well done.
However the "Ode To Billie Joe" clip led me to "Harper Valley PTA" from '68, but two songs that compliment one another (at least in my head).
The Fugitive with David Janssen evoked memories of his attempt at recording.  "The Hidden Island" was a surreal soft spoken ballad of unrequited love that, at the time, was only heard on late night music shows. Kind of a tribute to Fantasy Island with a kick in the pants at the end. Pretty decent lyrics and wordplay. 
It came out in '65 so off topic, but on youtube still.
Have a great Labor Day!
Boy, you're not kidding ... this whole YEAR is flying by for me. 
When I was building the 1967 Series I thought it would be so nice to just relax a little bit and watch it unfold ... I still check it every morning myself because I can't remember every little detail I snuck in there.  Even having created it I am still amazed by what I find!  (Yeah, I'm pretty proud of this one.)
I wasn't aware of the David Janssen clip ... will have to check that out.  "The Fugitive" was ... and still remains ... one of my all-time favorite shows.  It has aged very well ... good writing, good acting, good directing ... just a top notch series for the ages.
"Harper Valley PTA"???  Not so much.  (kk)

Your extensive coverage of the two-part finale of The Fugitive shows your passion for the show - not only as a fan but one with deep appreciation for all that went into making Dr. Richard Kimble's four year run a successful one.  It's a shame that none of the principle characters are still with us today as I think they would have appreciated your tribute.
Yeah, I loved it ... and I still do.  I remember when the show first went into syndication I was still in school and used to come home for lunch ... it ran from noon to 1:00 Chicago time and I would sit there in front of the tv, always having to leave ten minutes before it ended to head back to school.  Frustrating as all hell (but I still watched it every day anyway!)  When a tv station would run the finale, even in syndication, it would always create a huge buzz of publicity.  Just a consistently good show that still holds up today.  (kk)

"The Fugitive" is one of my favorite old shows.  I can still recite the William Conrad ("Cannon") intro word for word.  Don't ask me why!
I always thought -- no matter how bad the economy was, Richard Kimble had no trouble finding a new job every week.
Frank B. 

I really enjoyed your coverage of the 50th anniversary of the final episode of The Fugitive. That stands as one of my personal Top 5 significant TV moments of all time. I can still hear announcer Hank Simms' voice saying "August 29th, 1967 - The Day The Running Stopped." 
David Lewis
That wasn't William Conrad?
Check out this clip ... and listen to that famous line ... where the heck did THIS come from?!?!?  (kk)

>>>I always thought -- no matter how bad the economy was, Richard Kimble had no trouble finding a new job every week.  (Frank B) 
Not only did Richard Kimble have a cool job in every town, he had a number of hot girl friends. 
Yes, he did ... and they all seemed to fall in love with him in under 20 minutes!!!  (It didn't seem like he was missing his wife all that much, did it???)  kk

Diggin' the more-or-less interactive back and forth!  
I'd like to respond to Jimmy Pilster's (really great) piece: 
It is really good to know that Jimmy was happy. He was a really important motivator for on-stage energy! And he's a solid business motivator as well.
I think that perhaps my thoughts on Moby Grape were misinterpreted: I felt that they, in their own way, were as poorly managed by CBS as we were. They were over-hyped, to where the public was turned-off. We were under-promoted, to where only our (greater midwest) fans 'got it'.
A few thoughts on 'First Train', et al. ...
I'm just being the same person that I was in the 60's: looking for a better take, a new sound. It's my way of being true to the spirit of this. I've had volumes of feedback from those who see and sense this, which I'd be glad to share (if they don't mind) ... but for me, if you REALLY want to pay tribute, you've got to dig down and find that part of you that drove you back then ... and bring it. 
It's the best that I have to offer.
All the best,

Hey Kent (and Jim):
Jim Pilster's recollections are spot on. He and I lived for a live performance. It is really hard to relate what the band was at that particular time. We sang great. We played great. And we had an absolutely explosive live show. At that time, groups that played their own instruments just came out on stage stood behind a microphone and sang the songs. We didn't. We took up the whole stage and projected manic energy for 90 minutes. The reason we did this is that we were so excited to play our songs ... we wanted people to feel not only the song but the energy that we had. Being 72, we are just not going to be able to replicate that, although we can make the song sound as good as possible.
My personal favorite set for the four songs we do would be "It Could Be We're In Love," "I Wanna Meet You," "Up On The Roof," and "Sugar And Spice."  But there are three of us in the group and some of us want to do songs one way and others want to do things another way. The secret to us playing currently is compromise.
I do have an idea. Maybe we could have the fans give us an idea of the four songs they would like us to perform. They can either send them into you at Forgotten Hits, they could send them to the Cryan' Shames website on Facebook or they can send them to my page, or Jim Pilster's page, or James Fairs' page.
I want all of you to know that I consider it a great joy to be able to play this music still. Even though we will never be able to capture the magic of our youth, hearing the songs again can give all of us great memories of a magical time passed.
I'm up for taking votes but my guess is they'll come in exactly the way you've listed them here.  If taken in the true spirit of "Majority Rules," then the set list should be golden.  And, I would encourage you guys to do some shows outside the realm of Cornerstones so you can have it both ways as a means of satisfying EVERYONE in the band ... think how many more cool songs could be added.  (James had suggested "Hey Joe" and has even written a new track ... honestly within the context of a stand-alone Cryan' Shames show, the prospects are limitless!  And I'll betcha fans would LOVE to see it!)
But, for the sake of Cornerstones, put your very best foot forward ... and give the fans what they came to hear.  (kk)

In reference to a comment that Jim Pilster made on your website, yes, we all get screwed back in the day.
First off, these are my feelings, so I’m not speaking for Nick Fortuna, Dennis Tufano, John Poulos or Marty Grebb. 
I think it was because of several reasons. We were young, new and trusting. In 1965, we didn’t care about anything except making music, and meeting girls. We didn’t pay much attention to the business side of it.
Yeah, there were deals cut behind closed doors that we didn’t know about, and we really didn’t care, and because of that, we were taken advantage of … wish I knew then what I know now. Carl Bonafede may have gotten money from USA Records we didn’t know about, but we paid him 10% of what we made, and the guy worked his ass off for us. Unfortunately our parents didn’t get involved and trusted everyone at the time. 
Carl Bonafede brought us Kind Of A Drag. The Buckinghams went as far as we could in and around Chicago and the tri-state area. We had a lot of momentum and a great following. The band looked great, and sounded great, but we desperately needed a national hit, an original song and Bonafede found that for us with Kind Of A Drag. That changed everything! The song went to #1 nationally and our contract with USA ran out. Like I said, we didn’t know much about the business end of the music business, but collectively we knew down deep inside we were headed to being one hit wonders like many other Chicago bands at the time. Some really good bands became no hit wonders because they stayed with certain Chicago music people. Carl Bonafede was the first to admit he couldn’t take us any further. Because of Bonafede and USA we missed out on capitalizing on the #1 success of Kind Of A Drag ... no national TV, no teen magazine articles, not much promotion.   Thats when James William Guercio, and Garrick Ebbins came along. Guercio was originally from Chicago but now was writing songs and playing with Chad & Jeremy. Ebbins was an LA guy whose father, I think, managed Anthony Quinn. Even with a #1 record we still weren’t making any serious money. 
I remember being threatened by certain people associated with USA Records that we’d never get another record played on Chicago radio. We were all scared, afraid they were right. We made the move anyway.
Guercio signed us with Columbia, we recorded another Jim Holvay song, Don’t You Care, and soon found out Chicago had to play it because it took off everywhere in the country. In other words, the treat had no teeth. We probably got screwed by USA as I never saw any serious money from them. 
Guercio was not only our manager, but was also our record producer. God only knows what kind of deal he had with Columbia. We had four top ten records he produced while managing us. We should have known something was wrong. Even with all those hits, we were drawing a salary of about $100 a week and Guercio was driving around LA in a Jaguar XKE and wearing Brioni suits. Also, his accountant handled all the money we made, definitely a conflict of interest. In 1967 we were on the road playing maybe 250 or more dates at about $4,000 per date ... that could have been $1,000,000 or more gross that year? And we were getting $100 per week ... ha! In 1967, a million was like 10 million today.
At the time I think the highest paid group was the Beach Boys, making about $10,000 per night.
When I think about it, Guercio only managed us for a little over a year. Things came to a head when we finally realized there was money to be made in music publishing. Even though none of us were writers at the time except Marty Grebb, but even Marty never wrote a hit. I believe Jim Guercio took publishing and some of the writing from Holvay, too. Guercio was way ahead of us ... he realized early on there was a lot of money to be made from publishing.
When Guercio promised us publishing on our song writing from the Portraits album and then reneged, we fired him. Until today I think am the only one who thinks it was a mistake ... we shouldn’t have left him. I believe we would have had at least another three hits if we stayed with Jim, maybe more. After that we made a lot more mistakes until we disbanded by 1970.
Carl Bonafede is still a dear friend. I am probably the only Buckingham that still communicates with Guercio. He gave me an interview for an autobiography that I still haven’t finished. It shed some light on things and we talk occasionally. Don’t get me wrong, I have reminded him of the fact that I felt he wasn’t looking out for us and took advantage of the situation. But like I said, he managed us for barely over a year, and it was 50 years ago. I can’t be bitter because since the resurgence in our music in 1980, and because of our great fans, Nick Fortuna and I have been able to resurrect The Buckinghams with great success. It has allowed us to make a living from what we love to do ... make music.
Carl GiammareseThe Buckinghams
I do believe EVERYBODY got screwed in some fashion back in the day ... and I'm sure it's still going on to some degree today.  You had a bunch of teenage and barely 20 kids living their ultimate dream ... playing music ... having the adoration of the fans ... touring the country and getting on tv ... most were happily living in the moment with little thought as to what might be going on behind the scenes.  In hindsight, they all got cheated ... but at the time they were all just having too much fun to really think about it.  (And think of the schedules and pressures back then!)  Not much anybody can do about it now (although most have taken all these matters into their own hands at this point to at least know where every dollar is being spent!)  Still, I'd venture to say that most, if not all, wouldn't have considered trading it away even for a moment.  The priceless memories ... NOTHING can take that away.  SO proud that we could share so many with our readers through Forgotten Hits over the years.  Back in the day we couldn't have dreamed of getting anywhere near these artists ... but now, some fifty years on, I am happy to claim so many of them as friends and supporters of what we do here.  We truly have come full cycle.  And I believe that most (if not all) of these artists are more appreciative NOW of the success and loyalty they've earned than at any time when they were living in the bubble of success.  (kk)

One reason I got into the business end of music was that even a dozen years after picking up a guitar, I wanted to know how the recording industry worked, so I wouldn't get screwed out of the mega millions I stood to earn from my hit singles and albums. Also I wanted to make sure I got that extra dollar for eight tracks.
I would have been that teenager Carl talks about in his response to the Cryan' Shames article you posted.
You were a musician, Kent ... you know it could have been you, too. All it takes is the right set of ears and eyes at the right time, and it's, "C'mon, kid, we're gonna make you a star."
Truth be told, managers who will go to the mat for their clients are very few. The government has nothing on the suits in the record business when it comes to creative accounting.
We had a saying at a one of the record distributors I worked for. The record went out gold, and came back platinum. It is difficult to fathom how 50,000 singles ordered end up to be 75,000 singles returned. Then, by the time the final accounting is done, and by the time the figures are shown to the client, the count is now 100,000. So much for your advance, buckaroo.
Of course we're assuming Carl and the others ever saw a realistic accounting. Columbia wasn't as bad as some others. Dunhill and Motown come to mind, not to mention the countless number of small labels that pop up and disappear after ripping off their artist.
There's promotional expenses, recording costs, and someone's got to put up the payola money. It's certainly not gonna be Clive Davis, Berry Gordy, Morris Levy, or any other executive. Any number of musicians who participate in FH can attest to it.
It's a coincidence that Carl's post runs on the anniversary of Brian Epstein's death. By all accounts, it seems that Brian was a fair manager, but he too was naive. He shouldn't have allowed the Beatles to sell their publishing. Elvis Presley is probably the biggest name in entertainment ever ... talk about getting the short end of the stick!
Colonel Parker rightly assumed that as long as his boy had more money than he knew what to do with, he would (could) pocket the rest. Can you imagine the money Elvis must have brought in thru record sales, movies, merchandise sales, etc? I would have asked Priscilla where did the money go?
Now that us aging baby boomers have either had their rock and roll dreams come true, or shattered, it's time to pass the advice on to the next generation, or the one after that. 
Rule #1:  Don't sign anything, especially if you're not 21.
Rule #2:  Get two lawyers to look at the contract. Make sure they don't know one another, and don't tell either about the other.
Rule #3:  Get an accountant ... and don't trust him / her either. If it sounds funky to you, it probably is.
No matter what figure they throw at you, it's too low.
I know now of the shenanigans the labels play, but at age 67 I don't think my rock and roll dreams are going to come true ... unless I can get Jim Steinman to produce my music.
I've still got my master recordings. If he's not available, I'd settle for Jim Peterik or Jimy Sohns.
At this point in time, if it means a million seller, I'll give you a slice of the publishing.
Have your people call mine.
Kent has the number.
Jack Levin

Certainly enjoying the return of WLS’s 1967 Super Summer promotion including the Treasure Truck.
I was the WLS PD at that time and I had to fight ABC New York tooth and nail to get the funds for that promotion. While WLS was making money hand over fist, it was being funneled into new station FM budgets which were at that time a money pit trying to get a foothold in the market. Now it’s the other way around!
This week in '67 WLS charted “Zip Code” by the Five Americans at #15 and WCFL listed it as #17. Both Jim Stagg, the PD at WCFL and I were guessing on the success of that song and we both struck out!
Clark Weber
Well, it was big in Chicago ... #12 on WLS ... and I liked it!  (In fact, I still do!)  kk

Perhaps the trippiest single during the Summer Of Love came from the UK group Traffic. "Hole In My Shoe," their second single, was released at the end of August, 1967. It was mostly a Dave Mason production and, to the rest of the group's dismay, the British public loved it. The now psych-pop classic became the group's biggest hit, peaking at UK #2, but failed to chart in the US.
The lyrics suggested LSD hallucinogenic imagery although Mason insisted the ideas for the song came to him in a dream. Nonetheless the record created discord within the group as the others didn't want Traffic to be a pop singles band. Steve Winwood envisioned them being more of an eclectic blend of English folk rock, jazz, blues, and psychedelia. Contentiousness over differences of musical opinion led Mason to briefly leave the group by year's end.  
Traffic would become a staple of American album oriented FM rock stations in the Seventies. The young girl in the song with the whispered interlude about an albatross was Island Records boss Chris Blackwell's stepdaughter.          
"I climbed on the back of a giant albatross,
Which flew through a crack in the cloud, 
To a place where happiness reigned all year round,
And music played ever so loudly"
Peter Green was inspired by it to name his Fleetwood Mac 1969 UK #1 instrumental "Albatross".
Mike G