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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Dedicated to a hero; happy birthday, John.


Today marks the 70th anniversary of John Lennon's birth. In addition to all John's achievements in entertainment, art, and simply making people enjoy life he's also responsible for this blog. Let me explain why.

In addition to being obsessed with the Beatles (and music in general) since I could walk (thanks in no small part to mom giving me all her old 45's that I used to play constantly. We're talking a treasure trove; Beatles, Kinks, The Strangeloves, Music Machine, etc were all at my disposal at an early age). I even used to carry a Beatle 45 around with me as a toddler; there's even a pic to prove it! During the late '80's there was a weekly radio show called "The Lost Lennon Tapes" which featured rare Lennon recordings from all eras, as well as nifty things such as John guest DJ'ing on the radio which is where I first heard today's entry.

Oldies radio in southern California during my childhood was a treasure trove. KRTH and XTRA on AM provided my education outside of school during these formative years and as I would tape songs off the radio I was also building up quite a collection of records that I was finding for next to nothing at garage sales, library sales, wherever. I got bit hard by the Motown bug in addition to all things British invasion.

Then I heard THIS song. Lennon spun it on the air and explained that the guitar riff was a big inspiration for "I Feel Fine". I couldn't understand how a song THIS GREAT wasn't heard on my beloved oldies radio stations. By this time, I was living in Indiana and there was a great record shop that I would frequent and buy as many 45's with my allowance as I could. I asked the fella that owned the store about this record and he had no idea what it was. I would look for it in Goldmine magazine and it never seemed to turn up. A few years later, deep into Alex Chilton and his excellent covers of artists such as Willie Tee, I realized that there was this whole world of r&b that existed that was unjustly obscure and I needed to hear it and absorb it. Thus began the quest!

Fast forward to the late 90's and after searching for over a decade, I finally got my copy through this new (to me at least) website called ebay. I'll never forget the excitement of hearing this actual record and it's an excitement that never ceases for me which is why I post to this site everyday. It should come as no surprise that this was one of the first records I featured, over 1000 posts ago.

Thanks, John, for sharing those 45's with us.

from 1961...

BOBBY PARKER - WATCH YOUR STEP

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Stevie Winwood did a boss version of this in 66 with Spencer Davis Group. Happy Birthday John!

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Michelle said...

Thanks for this great anecdote and the amazing song! It's Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend, and I'm now reminded that I, too, should be thanking my mom for inadvertently getting me and all of my sisters into this music for life. We used to roller skate in our basement on winter Saturday afternoons, listening to the "party mix" tapes of oldies that my mom had made in her teens. "Summertime Blues" is forever followed in all of our minds by "The Closer You Are."

Jem said...

Amazing record. Thank you! I have never heard this one before. Thanks also for the back story on this song.

risser said...

Thank you for being awesome.

Greenockian said...

Not being one to argue with such a great choice but my first encounter with this song was by earl Preston and the TT's home town compatriots of the said Mr Lennon:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBL9-RO-kH0&feature=related
Fontana TF 406 for those who want the real thing.

thinman said...

Great story. Thanks.

Dominic said...

Is this record also not the source of the "Day Tripper" riff?