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Thursday, 14 July 2011

Yesterday's Papers - The Rock 'n' Roll years

I bought a job lot of old books and magazines from a second-hand book shop and upon rummaging through the box in fevered excitement, I discovered a pile of music magazines from the early to mid Sixties.

"The Rolling Stones first burst onto the scene as the long haired London group with a twitch that was a kind of dance as demonstrated recently on television's Ready, Steady, Go." The New Musical Express August 1963.

"The Rolling Stones, I suspect, will not have the staying power of The Beatles, only on their second album and the quality is showing signs of worsening." Beatbox, date unknown.

Well The Rolling Stones are still with us but, "The Twitch" has long since vanished. Anyone know what exactly The Twitch was?

Cilla Does it, screams another headline - the first female chart topper since 1961.

The story goes onto tell that Cilla's Black's current hit, Anyone who had a Heart is the first No1 single for a female artist since 1961 (the article is dated 1964).

"I don't like sequins. I like simple dresses. I'm a simple kind of girl." Cilla helpfully pointed out in the body of the article when asked about her success - man, the drugs must have been good in those swinging times.

When asked about the future Cilla predicated that it would be full of hit singles and good times. Strange that she didn't foresee the bad television shows.

The Melody Maker from April 1964 reports on a riot in Clacton when a group of mods clashed with an unshaven band of rockers. The youth music was blamed to which Paul McCartney hit out - "Blame booze not the beat." McCartney said and then went off, no doubt, to write the frog song.

"The Rolling Stones do not incite violence.' Brian Jones. 'I deny that our music is anything to do with this.'

By far the best defence came when The Hollies (it's not made clear which one) commented - 'Our fans are not fighters. They're girls mainly and it's drink that starts the trouble not the music.'

Elsewhere a review of The Beatles For Sale states - is worth every penny. It's rip roaring, infectious stuff with the accent on the beat throughout.

"My magic flows in my blood." Says hippy hobbit, Donovan in an issue of NME from 1967. "The maharishi is straightening everyone out. He's going to heighten their intensity."

In the same issue reviewers are left confused by The Rolling Stones, album Satanic Majesties Request calling it a cut price Sgt. Peppers.

There's a single issue of NME from 1969 and it contains an interview with the great Elvis Presley whose comeback special had rocked the world and was about to return to live performance after the movie years.

"I think that when you do ten songs in a movie they can't all be good. Anyway I got fed up of singing to turtles." Elvis Presley.

When asked about his secluded life Elvis said, "I'm not secluded. I'm just sneaky."

The NME in an article dated October 1967 asks, - Who Killed Flower Power?

"Last Christmas, illuminated by the gentle shining of Christmas trees all over London, came a UFO. It landed and opened up its doors and lo the air was good."

The article then goes onto explain that UFO was a club - more than that, it was a coming together of the youth, the underground coming up for air. However ten months later this hippy paradise had closed down. The NME blames the commercialisation of the hippy movement. In the same issue the paper is mourning the loss of Otis Redding in a plane crash.

Jumping back an issue of Melody Maker from 1966 informs us that Elvis had bought Pricilla a horse for Christmas and then proposed to her. They would of course be married in May 1967. However the same year it was reported that Elvis was in financial trouble and that tractors, TV's and fittings from Presley's ranch had been sold off at auction.

In September 1969 the NME were reporting - Beatles; wealth is a myth. The following article went onto inform us that John Lennon hadn't had a royalty cheque in three months and was feeling the pinch. The reason for this was that the Beatles' company, Apple was a monster that was out of control.

"The problem is that two years ago our accountants made us sign over 80 per cent of our royalties over to Apple." John Lennon told reporter, Richard Williams. When asked of the future for the Beatles Lennon said - "After Get Back (the album became Let it Be) is released we'll probably go back into the studio and record another one. It's a shame that we can't get more albums out faster."

There is much in Melody Maker dated August 13th 1966, about John Lennon and his remarks that the Beatles were bigger than Jesus Christ. The Beatles management NEMS said that neither they nor the band would be making any statement prior to the group setting off for another US tour.

The Small Faces Ogdens Nut Gone Flake is called by the NME - 'a magnificent attempt at a musical space-age fairy tale.'

And in 1969 the NME were calling Led Zeppelin - "a gas new band."

The future awaited


Unknown said...

A great tasting of a vanished world! (It also might help explain for a puzzled generation what prompted the seaside mayor's "Mods! Rockers!" exclamation in last Sunday's Bad Penny comic.)

Oscar Case said...

History update hot off the press.