Everybody raves about how Playboy Dutronc is the greatest French sixties artist in terms of international Garage-rock with his killer guitar riffs and sarcastic but accurate lyrics and how Antoine is the greatest French 60's Punk long haired dude with his backing Problems and Protest songs (while he really was more considered a Novelty in homeland... And then, what about Édouard?! ), Ronnie Bird being the real King of Le Frenche Beat incidentally, BUT... in terms of melody, composition and on a purely Musical level, only Polnareff rivals with the best Anglo artists (and the rest of the world's! ), he is truly the King of French Pop! He started out in the greatest sixties year, 1966, with "La Poupée qui fait Non" ("No, No, No, No" in English, recorded in London and featuring cult, pre-fame session man Jimmy Page... and possibly the English Freakbeat/ mod band, Birds on session too? ), a great 12 string riffed song that was famously covered by Hendrix (and the Birds recorded an unreleased version then as well, so much they found the song catchy... ), quickly filed suit with a great Classic first LP full of Baroque Folk-Pop ditties and two good Garage-styled songs, one 60's Punk rebellion manifesto : "Ne Me Marchez Pas sur les Pieds" (Kinda like the Turtles' "Let Me Be") and one of two English sung tracks : "Time Will Tell"; a truly talented beatnik.
Maybe, he was the only French Pop musician to level with other World class Pop acts. I consider his best EP (... artists sold mostly EPs in France then! ) to be "Âme Caline", featuring killer songs like "Le Roi des Fourmis" and "Le Saule Pleureur" which, new on Youtube (... and the excuse for this post really! ), one can hear rare footage from cult French Pop Tv program : "Dim, Dam, Dom", here..
Polnareff quickly raised from street Beatnik to Pop king and became the darling of all the French media. This all ended abruptly however when he pushed the bouton a little too far in Pompidou's still prude and conservative France with the "Polnarévolution" advertising campain displaying his naked ass on promo posters everywhere on the walls of big cities (and the posters inserted free in his Live '72 album! ), for his show at the Paris Olympia starting on October 6th/ 1972 :
With jangling guitars, playful tambourines and lush harmomies in tow, folk rock sounds find favor year round, but the folk-rock vibe sounds especially splendid as the world wakes up from hibernation and all is in bloom again.
These four sides are unrelated other than in their overall vibe; after recent tragic events I just wanna focus on the GOOD things in life, and this music has an exceptional healing power.
If it was just for one song ("Needles & Pins") that is one of THE definitive folk rock statements, Jackie DeShannon would be a legend. The immense talents of this woman have ricocheted throughout a jaw dropping array of styles and she posseses the type of songwriting skills that are unparalleled. As The Byrds were first getting their act together and morphing from acoustic folkies into a self contained, electric band, they had an early champion in Jackie DeShannon, who enlisted the group to back her on this gorgeous track. No, it's not about the type of grass that folkies and folk rockers were so enamored of, but of the innocence of young love. David Crosby showcases his unique harmonies here, and already by 1965 the folk rock mold had gelled into a loping, swaying groove dotted with melodies and harmonies
seemingly coming from everywhere. Allegedly, Jimmy Page wrote "Tangerine' about his love affair with DeShannon, and the two songs certainly make an appealing pair of bookends (Robert Plant was heard introducing 'Tangerine' in concert as being about 'love at its most innocent stages").
The folk rock scene of the British Isles was dominated by brilliant music from Fairport Convention and The Pentangle, and dozens of other groups added the English pastoral experience and ancient melodies set to a rocking beat in their wake. Forever More were one of the groups who bridged the gap between folk rock and prog rock in the late 60's, and "beautiful Afternoon' from their 1970 debut is as fine of a late period folk rock track as one can find.
The San Francisco bay was a hotbed of folk rock, and (Autumn records recording artists) The Beau Brummels (in my opinion) stand side by side with The Byrds as the ultimate American folk rock groups, although limiting either group to such a label is unfair. With coffee house scenes dominating south in San Jose, north east in Berkeley, in the city of San Francisco itself and everywhere in between, the bay area folk scene begat practically every member of The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Country Joe & The Fish (and so many more) these countercultural types were tuning in, plugging in, and dropping out of the coffee houses, turning the volume up loud and rocking the walls of the old ballrooms. Formed on the peninsula just south of San Francisco, The Vejtables took a strong British Invasion influence and turned on to a folk rock sound before many of their local contemporaries in 1964. While they are perhaps best remembered for their (excellent) minor hit 'I Still Love You', I find this b-side to be perhaps their defining, jangly folk rock moment.
While Tim Buckley's debut Lp from '66 can be criticized as being the sound of a young artist grasping for his own sound (most of the ongs were written by Buckley and collaborator/ friend Larry Beckett while they were still high school students), there are several lovely moments, including "Song Of The Magician" which is one of his greatest tracks. 'Grief In My Soul' is unlike ANY other track in Buckley's astounding catalog, and it flat out cooks! The performance is a very appealing blues-folk-rock workout highlighted by Buckley's incredible vocals and some superb group musicianship. Van Dyke Parks never hit the piano harder, and Mothers Of Invention drummer Billy Mundi shows off his Zappa-driven percision behind the kit.
Happy Birthday to Dudley Moore. Brilliant comedian (along with partner Peter Cook) and the star and music composer of the great 60s film Bedazzled, from which we got our name (and logo). He passed away March 27, 2002. Would have been 78 today.
This is a real bummer. I can't say we were good friends, but I was a big fan and we did hang out a few times. I'll never forget the first time I saw/heard of Game Theory, it was at a place in Lincoln Nebraska called The Drum Stick, fried chicken joint by day, rock venue by night. I was a roadie for Beat Rodeo and they were the opening band that night and I pretty much ended up roadie-ing for them that night as well (I remember it having something to do with me having a crush on the bass player). I became a big fan of their music after that.
Musician and writer Scott Miller has died, according to his official site.
"Scott passed away on April 15, 2013. He was a wonderful, loyal friend as well as a brilliant musician, and I will miss him for the rest of my life," his webmaster, Sue Trowbridge, wrote. She did not provide a cause of death.
Miller, born in 1960, formed college-rock act Game Theory in the early '80s with Fred Juhos, Nancy Becker and Michael Erwin. The band's shifting lineups released four studio albums before label Enigma went under, leading to a fresh start for the musician with '90s project the Loud Family.
A prolific musician, he was also an exhaustive listener, offering a well-received critical overview of 53 years of rock history in 2010 book "Music: What Happened?" With that project accomplished, he had set his sights back on music.
"Scott had been planning to start recording a new Game Theory album, 'Supercalifragile,' this summer, and was looking forward to getting back into the studio and reuniting with some of his former collaborators," Trowbridge wrote.
The webmaster has made a number of Game Theory releases, currently out of print, available for free download.
" My main goal is to prevent people from trying to capitalize by selling these long out of print albums for lots of money. I want everybody who would like to hear these albums to be able to do so without paying outrageous prices," she wrote. Link.
lot of self-proclaimed Rock Historians writers and commercials like to
brag about and market how Monterey was the first International POP
Festival, how it was an ideal of Peace, Love and Flowers embodying the
themes of Sunshine California as a focal point for the counterculture
and generally regarded as one of the beginnings of the "Summer of Love" in 1967, blah, blah, blah... two years before Woodstock, a model for all Pop Festivals to come, etc.
Well, that ain't exactly true. There were others before... only less star-system and showbizzy : not only was there The KFRCFantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival was an event held in June 10 and 11th, 1967
( a whole week before; Monterey was staged from June 16 to June 18, 1967... ), BUT. Even before that, in France, Paris, was held "Le 1er Festival International de Pop Music" at the Palais Des Sports, June 1st/ 1967... How's about that?!
It's a Recorded FACT. As can be seen on this clip (... the guy who uploaded that full-length video of the Festival on YouTube is Wrong; it was staged in June '67, over two weeks before the Mother of all Rock fests, that Monterey! ) :
It featured the boot clad pre-Spooky Tooth VIP's, still playing their Mod R'n'B/ Soul thing... the King of Le French Beat, Ronnie Bird... The Pretty Things in a fantastic stage performance with their second wildman drummer Skip Alan... John "Maus" Walker out of the freshly split Walker Bros... Jimmy Cliff years before "Reggae Night", when he was still doing his Wilson Pickett from Jamaïca routine... the ever surly Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich in a strong performance as usual... the Troggs in one of their Best Live ever... Filmed for the French TV, it is not complete alas : the Cream appeared also but were left off camera because of contractual obligations (: there were to be NO images! ), and French Beat and Pop idols Herbert Leonard (late of Les Lionceaux, the first long-haired French band in the Beatles vein... going solo) and Alain Bashung (Pop chanteur beginner, who was to have HUGE success in the 1980's with "Gaby"... like a few other ex. sixties French Pop singers of his generation); they were probably edited out for budget reasons since they were considered minor artists. Oh! And the Who were scheduled to appear, but had to bail out because Moon was hospitalized at the time (officially for a case of hernia...); can you imagine the Who... appearing at both "Le 1er Festival International de Pop Music" AND "Monterey Pop"?!!!
If you watch closely in the beginning, you can clearly spot model, actress and chanteuse, Swiningin' Mademoiselle Zouzou sittin' in the aisles on some group gear, an amp' or something... and of course, a host of other stars and models of the day sittin' in the audience waitin' for the show, dollies runnin' around; the crowd itself, you can't help but notice, is pretty hip, all long haired and freak-beaty, not in the showbiz type but right off the streets and some from the suburbs. They dance to the Soul numbers, fruggin' like they would at the Locomotive... Shortly after the shootin of this major local event, excerpts of several of the artists would be edited on to some of the early Bouton Rouge series; a Cult French Pop TV program.
Here's what Dave Dee had to say about the French audience and organisation (lol! ) :
1er Festival International de Pop Music, Palais des Sports, Porte de Versailles, Paris 15ème, France
With Herbert Leonard, Baschung, The V.I.P.'s, The Pretty Things, Ronnie Bird, Jimmy Cliff, The Cream, John Walker, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich (Hold Tight / Hideaway / Frustration / Save Me / Watch Your Step) and The Troggs (The Who, top of the bill, had to cancel their performance because Keith Moon was in hospital for a hernia operation).
There are two shows at 3:00 pm and 8:30 pm. "Le Président Rosko", although on the programme, is not the deejay heard presenting the artists on stage. The Cream set was not recorded, as they were not contracted to the Philips label. The planned album of the event was not released.
Festival broadcast by Radio Luxembourg (French service), and taped for future transmission on French television (scheduled for December 1968, and finally screened on 11 January 1969).
The VIP’s are a quartet without Keith Emerson, who has just left to form The Nice. The Pretty Things consist of Phil May, Dick Taylor, John Povey, Wally Allen & Skip Alan (the group that recorded the “Emotions” LP with Steve Rowland). John Walker, without his “Brothers”, played ‘Do You Wanna Dance’ and ‘Land Of Thousand Dances’. Headliners The Troggs closed the show with an 8 song set, including ‘Hip Hip Hooray’, which they would not release on single before October 1968.
Watch Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich on YouTube:
Hold Tight and Watch Your Step
[...] It was making a happy beginning that Dave Dee, etc. were worried about when they sat in their Paris hotel waiting for a coach to take them to the Paris Pop Festival. “We just don't know what to do in France,” said Tich. “The first time we came over we didn't exactly set the place on fire. This is our fourth visit — and we still don't know what the people want.”
Dave Dee entered the lobby wearing a Hoss Cartwright hat and a glum expression. “I've been upstairs freaking out with the bedroom wallpaper,” he said. “It's positively psychedelic.”
“What about France?” I asked. “What's the French for ... ?” “Merde.” I said.
“As far as we're concerned it's the worst audience in Europe. The whole French scene seems to be a pretty closed shop. Even the Beatles and the Beach Boys didn't go a bomb when they first played here.” Dave said that in most other European countries the group got a good response “Our records always sell better than the cover versions in other European countries but it seems to be the other way around here.” [...]
“What else don't you like about France?” “The organisation,” said Tich. And road manager Jay Vickers said: “What organisation? There's supposed to be a bus coming to take us to the theatre — it's already half an hour late.” [...]
The bus was now forty minutes late. [...]
The bus wasn't coming at all. Somebody had phoned up to say there'd been a slight oversight and would everybody take a taxi?
At the Palais des Sports, along with the Troggs, the V.I.P.s, the Cream, the Pretty Things, John Maus of the Walker Brothers and Jimmy Cliff, Dave Dee & Co. were due to cross swords once more with what they regard as the most baffling audience in Europe.
Communication with French fans is difficult at the best of times, but it becomes a problem of major proportions when you can't get into the theatre.
Somebody forgot to give the group the necessary passes and they had literally to fight their way into the theatre. Oh, and somebody forgot to provide them with a dressing room. Oh, and somebody forgot to set up the proper equipment. Oh, and somebody forgot to provide transport back to the hotel. Oh and somebody forgot to pay the hotel bill.
Despite all the adversities, however, Dave Dee and Co went over pretty well with the audience. Dave Dee was certainly determined to make contact with the French fans, even if it meant taking a running leap off the stage into the front rows at the end of his act.
Which he did.
(Printed in Zabadak n°9, April 1992)"
That show was partly audio-mastered on CD even, that you can still order on line (mostly at the French Juke Box magazine site that first put it out!), here :
Everybody into the Sixties Garage subculture has heard of scenes from other parts of the world : "Transworld Beat", it's been tagged by collectors (including the Far-East... ). But, while most are familiar with Japanese G.S., Rare Groove Djs having sampled the "Shadow Music" sounds of Thaïland and beginning to crate-dig the still mostly uncharted sounds of "Off-Beat Cha, Cha", a Hong Kong speciality, and Dutch Beat experts already digested the "Indo-rock" instrumental sounds of migrating groups from far-off Indonesia, the Heavy-Psych guitar sounds of the late 60's/ early 70's underground Korean scene being now recognised by the hip cognescenti... I feel the Best of all this exotica Beat comes from Cambodia's "Circle Dance Music" that, on top of having the best heady mix of swirling Freak-out Fuzz guitars and Traditional Folk rhythm and melodies, one step above "Turkish Delights", tells a truly fascinating tale of Romantic doom.
Ever since Parallel World released that limited vinyl comp' in 1996 : "Cambodian Rocks" compiled by an American tourist named Paul Wheeler from some cassettes he bought in Phnom Penh from a local Taxi diver whose service he used while touring around, I grew increasingly fascinated with that sound and what seemed to be a lost scene wiped-out by the genocide brought by the Khmer Rouge takeover of the country in 1975. Indeed, most of the original musicians were murdered and executed in the "Killing Fields" of communist reeducation. What seemed more tragic then was that the song titles and artist credits were unknown, their legacy forever lost, or so one thought... Four years later, Parallel World reissued this compilation on CD with a
few extra tracks, but still without any identifying information.
But now, 7 years in the making a documentary full of never-before-seen archival footage and insightful present-day interviews is about to see the light of day : "Don't Think I've Forgotten - Cambodia's Lost Rock and Roll". The movie director, John Pirozzi, is aiming to lock image by end of may this year, hoping before DVD release to get theatrical first!
... This in itself is something of a miracle, calling for a celebration all over the world of Garage-rock lovers, and the Mainstream Rock at large even! As it is one story untold that dies to be seen and heard, if only in respect to all the dead musicians : Rejoice! Thanks to the survivors, now mostly part of the Khmer refugees in America and the West Coast, these doomed artists will finally R.I.P.
They deserve to be known and acknowledged worldwide.
Here's the documentary synopsis by co-producer John Pirozzi "During the 60's and early 70's, as the war in Vietnam threatened its
borders, a new music scene emerged in Cambodia that took Western rock
and roll and stood it on its head - creating a sound like no other.
Cambodian musicians crafted this sound from the various rock music
styles sweeping across America and England, adding the unique melodies
and hypnotic rhythms of their traditional music. The b...eautiful singing of the renowned female vocalists became the final touch that made this mix so enticing.
As the peasant Khmer Rouge army closed in on the capital city of Phnom
Penh, Cambodian rock and rollers played at rooftop parties while bombs
ignited the evening sky.
After taking over the country on April
17, 1975, the Khmer Rouge began one of the most brutal genocides in
history, killing 2 million people - 1/4 of the Cambodian population.
Intellectuals, artists and musicians were murdered simply for their
status. Only a few miraculously survived to tell their story.
This documentary film, DON’T THINK I’VE FORGOTTEN, provides a new
perspective on a country usually associated with war and genocide. By
celebrating this powerful music, and the people who created it,
Cambodia's musical heyday emerges from the shadows of tragedy into the
light of history."
Check the Official trailer here :
(And you know what? ... Since then, some friendly contributors have dug
up all the missing info on that historical "Cambodian Rocks" comp'; here's the tracklist at last :
01. Yol Aularong - Jeas Cyclo (4:30) 02. Ros Sereysothea - Chnam oun Dop-Pram Muy (3:50) 03. Ros Sereysothea - Tngai Neas Kyom Yam Sra (2:14) 04. Yol Aularong + Tuk - Sou Slarp Kroam Kombut Srey (2:12) 05. Sinn Sisamouth - Srolanh Srey Touch (2:56) 06. Pan Ron - Rom Jongvak Twist (2:34) 07. Pan Ron - Knyom Mun Sok Jet Te (3:13) 08. Liev Tuk - Rom Sue Sue! (3:23) 09. Ros Sereysothea + Seang Vanthy - Jam 10 Kai Thiet (3:23) 10. Ros Sereysothea + Seang Vanthy - Jah Bong Ju Aim (3:36) 11. Sinn Sisamouth + Ros Sereysothea - Maok Pi Naok (1:54) 12. Sinn Sisamouth - Phneit Oun Mean Evey? (3:59) 13. Yol Aularong - Yuvajon Kouge Jet 14. Meas Samon - Jol Dondeung Kone Key 15. Ros Sereysothea - Kerh Songsa Kyoum Thai! 16. Ros Sereysothea - Chnang Jas Bai Chgn-ainj 17. Ros Sereysothea + Seang Vanthy - Kone Oksok Nas Pa 18. Ros Sereysothea - Kom Kung Twer Evey 19. Ros Sereysothea - Penh Jet Thai Bong Mouy 20. Pan Ron & In Yeng - Sralanh Srey Chnas 21. Sinn Sisamouth + Meas Samon - Komlos Teng Bey 22. Ros Sereysothea - Retrey Yung Joup Knea