No less an authority on such subjects as the late, very great George Harrison once proclaimed they picked straight up from where The Beatles left off. However, that’s but one reason I report today on something not always thought of as rock, or even roll.
That something in question, comprising of five uppity Oxford and Cambridge drop-outs who, alongside one itinerant American cartoonist, somehow joined forces in 1969 London to produce forty-five British (plus two German) half-hour television shows, five full-length motion pictures, three theatrical musicals, five (authorized) books, seventeen original (and one unreleased) audio albums and six video games (and counting), now tell The Whole Story – including, yes, even some of the “naughty bits” – in their (even the dead one’s) very own words throughout Monty Python: Almost The Truth (The Lawyer’s Cut), Eagle Rock Entertainment’s one and only three-DVD and/or two-BluRay disc video box set containing six hour-long episodes plus an additional one hundred and eighty minutes of bonus material.
Strictly numerically speaking, that is.
*WOODSTOCK MUSIC AND ART FAIR OFFERS 3 DAYS OF PEACE & MUSIC*
Serious and large scale preparations have been made by the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, a major pop festival to be held in upstate Wallkill, N.Y., Aug. 15, 16, & 17 to insure three days of harmonious living in anticipation of what is expected to result in the most heavily attended pop music festival of the season.
In a special meeting of the underground press and pop music leaders called by Woodstock Ventures, Inc., (Thursday June 26), ground rules were laid by VPs Artie Kornfield and Mike Lang, of the Woodstock Festival, concerned about the tones festivals are taking throughout the country. Heading the meeting with Kornfield and Lang was Jim Fouratt, freelance underground writer and originator of the first be-ins.
“We are here to curtail incidents between the kids and police,” said Kornfield. “If we want to stop violence and tension from becoming the norm on the fair grounds, (Newport, Calif., June 22: Denver Pop Festival, June 27) we’ve got to set new tones and for the festival and redefine its meaning.”
Woodstock has set its concept of the festival at “three days of peace and music.” “This is a scene away from all scenes or no scene at all,” said Lang. “At Wallkill we have 600 acres of free-space-to-roam on cleared country ground…perfect for a three day holiday.
Offered by the Woodstock festival are free camping grounds which will be the site of free round-the-clock workshops in poetry, craft, theatre, pottery and music, free cookouts and guitar playing around centrally controlled 24 hour fires and free rice kitchens for hungry music lovers with little or no money for food.
Camping supply stores will sell food for cooking out and organic food stands will offset a major delicatessen concessionaire contacted for the event.
Mathematically computed, are the number of comfort stations, first aid stations, water supply, food, and garbage detail to clean fair grounds daily.
Concerned with the esthetic as well, the four Woodstock principals, including VP Joel Rosenman and Woodstock Ventures president, John Roberts have planned “countless mind blowers” for the fair grounds. “Invisible art things, are one,” said Rosenman, “structures that you can’t tell if their natural or man-made.” Other things include chimes in the woods, things to play on, poems and paintings over rocks and “things to make for good vibrations.”
A carefully screened and briefed security staff headed by West Pomeroy, former Law Enforcement Coordinator for the Johnson Administration, will traffic the fair grounds and provide information and service at all fair-goers. Assisted by the Rev. Don Ganoung, Pomeroy said his men will be unarmed and plainclothed. “We are not there to police,” said Pomeroy. “Our function is to service.”
Woodstock does not figure on gate crashers. “Parking facilities will be provided for outside the fair ground area,” said John Roberts, “all patrons will be bussed to the gates, a twenty four hour service.”
Underground spokesman Jim Fouratt closed the meeting. “Part of the trouble stems from the fact that we really don’t know what to expect from the promoters, what their offering, what we are really paying for. The Woodstock people have laid it out so we don’t know what to expect.
Both Kornfield and Lang deny having backers. They say they and their partners Rosenman and Roberts have subsidized the entire event. All under thirty years of age, they say they got the idea of doing the festival because they needed one to go to that was groovy. “It all happened,” says Roberts, “because Mike and Artie wanted to see all their favorite performers on the same stage just once.”
####*This press release is a part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s 40th anniversary of Woodstock exhibit which tells the story of the festival. Woodstock turned out to be the most heavily attended festival in rock and roll history. The resulting music and peace-loving movement changed the world. The exhibit is open through November 2009. To view other original festival planning and marketing documents, please visit www.rockhall.com/visit/woodstock.
Check out Woodstock on DVD: http://woodstockondvd.warnerbros.com/
By Erik Taros
Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones predicted that rock and roll might travel a similar path to the blues. The purest form of the genre could well become the domain of artists in their 60’s performing the music of their youth to a new generation. America’s Lost Band, a new documentary playing at film festivals around the country, is a perfect example of his theory. It’s the story of The Remains, the legendary Boston band who vanished on the doorstep of stardom back in 1966 leaving a handful of classic records and scores of eternal fans in its wake.
Producer Fred Cantor was one of those believers driven to spread the word, initially via his 2004 biographical musical All Good Things. Teaming with director Michael Stich, the pair follow the reformed band (comprised of all four original members) as they return to the scene of one of their greatest achievements: opening the show for The Beatles at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The bulk of America’s Lost Band centers on two days The Remains spent in LA, playing their first gigs there after a forty year absence. Well crafted concert footage interspersed with a fly-on-the-wall vantage point of group interactions are the order of the day—the filmmaker’s style is to let the music and the artists tell the story with as little intervention as possible. In the process, the opportunity to answer the question of “why did they break up?” in greater detail is missed.
Rock on Film
Movie Review: The Wrecking Crew
Documentary Film Directed by Denny Tedesco
Now Playing: Limited Film Festivals and special engagements
Okay, I know this strays off the indie path a bit, but that’s what makes this indie film about some of the most popular pop music (isn’t that redundant?) ever so significant. Before synthesizers, drum machines and Pro Tools there was analog recording equipment and a group of Los Angeles session musicians, who later came to be known as The Wrecking Crew. On any given day they played for the Beach Boys or the Mamas and the Papas or were the bricks in Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound-they played anything and everything. Most were jazz players with serious chops, but played studio dates to pay the bills. If you don’t know the names Tommy Tedesco (guitar), Hal Blaine (drums), Carol Kaye (bass), Earl Palmer (drums) Don Randi (piano) or Joe Osborne (bass) to name a few, shame on you, but you’re not alone (homework assignment: Google all their names), but if you’re reading this, I know you’ve heard their music. The first three are quite possibly-no probably-the most recorded in history on their respective instruments, with Palmer a close second to Blaine. Some became names you do know: Glen Campbell, Leon Russell.
Rock and Roll history has definitely been dominated until recently by the battle for supremacy between the Gibson Les Paul and the Fender Stratocaster. Yes, their domination has diminished somewhat in recent years but there was a time when, as a fan or guitarist you were either a Les Paul dude or a Strat guy.
The film Solidbodies documents this battle and it looks really cool. Check out the trailer on the film’s website at http://www.solidbodiesthemovie.com/.
This is a pretty cool rock doc about the rivalry (whether for real or just in the head of Anton A. Newcombe is up to you to decide) between the Dandy Warhols and the Brian Jonestown Massacre called Dig! The brand new Snag Films has made this and a bunch of other documentaries available for free. Look for more rock docs as they are made available.
The film Waking Up Dead is a sobering look at the life of former Saigon Kick/Skid Row drummer Phil Varone. It’s not all guitars and glory on the road…
Well the upcoming Ramones DVD It’s Alive 1974 – 1996 will be well worth it with more than four hours of rare and unreleased performances. Set to be released on October 2, 2007 by Rhino Records this double-DVD features what looks like a shitload of cool stuff. Check it out:
CBGB — New York, NY (9/15/74)
1. “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue”
2. “I Don’t Wanna Go Down To The Basement”
3. “Judy Is A Punk”
Max’s Kansas City — New York, NY (4/18/76)
4. “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend”
5. “53rd & 3rd”
The Club — Cambridge, MA (5/12/76)
6. “Chain Saw”
Max’s Kansas City — New York, NY (10/8/76)
7. “Havana Affair”
8. “Listen To My Heart”
My Father’s Place — Roslyn, NY (4/13/77)
9. “I Remember You”
10. “Carbona Not Glue”
CBGB — New York, NY (6/11/77)
11. “Blitzkrieg Bop”
12. “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker”
13. “Beat On The Brat”
14. “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue”
15. “Rockaway Beach”
16. “Cretin Hop”
17. “Oh Oh I Love Her So”
18. “Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World”
The Second Chance — Ann Arbor, MI (6/26/77)
19. “Rockaway Beach”
20. “Carbona Not Glue”
The Ivanhoe Theater — Chicago, IL (7/6/77)
22. “Suzy Is A Headbanger”
The Armadillo — Austin, TX (7/14/77) Early Show
24. “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend”
The Armadillo — Austin, TX (7/14/77) Late Show
25. “Now I Wanna Be A Good Boy”
26. “53rd & 3rd”
27. “Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World”
Liberty Hall — Houston, TX (7/15/77)
29. “I Remember You”
30. “Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment”
Liberty Hall — Houston, TX (7/16/77)
31. “Oh Oh I Love Her So”
32. “Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World”
Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert — L.A., CA (8/9/77)
34. “Judy Is A Punk”
35. “Glad To See You Go”
36. “Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment”
The Camera Mart Stages — New York, NY (9/3/77)
37. “Swallow My Pride”
39. “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker”
It’s Alive, The Rainbow Theatre — London (12/31/77)
40. “Blitzkrieg Bop”
41. “I Wanna Be Well”
42. “Glad To See You Go”
43. “You’re Gonna Kill That Girl”
45. “Havana Affair”
46. “Cretin Hop”
47. “Listen To My Heart”
48. “I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You”
50. “Do You Wanna Dance?”
51. “Now I Wanna Be A Good Boy”
52. “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue”
53. “We’re A Happy Family”
Musikladen — Bremen, Germany (9/13/78)
1. “Rockaway Beach”
2. “Teenage Lobotomy”
3. “Blitzkrieg Bop”
4. “Don’t Come Close”
5. “I Don’t Care”
6. “She’s The One”
7. “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker”
8. “Cretin Hop”
9. “Listen To My Heart”
10. “I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You”
The Old Grey Whistle Test — London (9/19/78)
12. “Don’t Come Close”
13. “She’s The One”
14. “Go Mental”
Top of the Pops — London (9/28/78)
15. “Don’t Come Close”
Oakland, CA (12/28/78)
16. “I’m Against It”
17. “Needles And Pins”
San Francisco Civic Center, S.F., CA (6/9/79)
18. “I Want You Around”
19. “I’m Affected”
20. “California Sun”
The Old Grey Whistle Test — London (1/15/78)
21. “Rock ‘N’ Roll High School”
22. “Do You Remember Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio?”
Top of the Pops — London (1/31/80)
23. “Baby I Love You”
Sha Na Na — L.A., CA (5/19/80)
24. “Rock ‘N’ Roll High School”
Mandagsborsen — Stockholm, Sweden (10/26/81)
25. “We Want The Airwaves”
TVE Musical Express — Madrid, Spain (11/17/81)
26. “This Business Is Killing Me”
27. “All Quiet On The Eastern Front”
US Festival — San Bernardino, CA (9/3/82)
28. “Do You Remember Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio?”
29. “Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment”
30. “Rock ‘N’ Roll High School”
31. “I Wanna Be Sedated”
32. “Beat On The Brat”
33. “The KKK Took My Baby Away”
34. “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow”
35. “Chinese Rocks”
36. “Teenage Lobotomy”
The Old Grey Whistle Test — London (2/26/85)
37. “Wart Hog”
38. “Chasing The Night”
Obras Sanitarias, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2/3/87)
39. “Blitzkrieg Bop”
40. “Freak Of Nature”
41. “Crummy Stuff”
42. “Love Kills”
43. “I Don’t Care”
44. “Too Tough To Die”
45. “Mama’s Boy”
Provinssirock Festival, Seinajoki, Finland (6/4/88)
46. “I Don’t Want You Anymore”
47. “Weasel Face”
48. “Garden Of Serenity”
49. “I Just Want To Have Something To Do”
50. “Surfin’ Bird”
51. “Cretin Hop”
52. “Somebody Put Something In My Drink”
53. “We’re A Happy Family”
R.I.T., Rochester, NY (10/8/88)
54. “Do You Remember Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio”
55. “Wart Hog”
Rolling Stone Club — Milan, Italy (3/16/92)
56. “Psycho Therapy”
57. “I Believe In Miracles”
58. “I Wanna Live”
59. “My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes To Bitburg)”
60. “Pet Sematary”
61. “Animal Boy”
Top of the Pops — London (6/29/95)
63. “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up”
River Plate Stadium — Estadio Antonio V. Liverti — Buenos Aires, Argentina (3/16/96)
64. “I Wanna Be Sedated”
66. “Blitzkrieg Bop”
What happens to punks when they grow old? Do their ideals go in the attic with their Damned records and ripped jeans or is there something more to the culture? This is what the upcoming independent documentary All Grown Up looks to answer. All Grown Up is a documentary about older punks in the punk scene and how, contrary to popular belief, it’s not just a phase! I briefly chatted with executive producer Andrea Witting of the film to find out a little more about it.
Rock and Roll Report: How do you define punk since to a lot of people it is a stereotype that is not always favourable. What is a punk and how does punk culture differ from more mainstream culture?
Andrea Witting: This is a hard question because for me there is no definition of a feeling – and that’s just what it is. How would you define being in love? For everybody it’s different – it’s the same thing with punk. It’s not what you look like, where you shop, or what you do for work – it’s what’s in your heart. It’s something that you feel everyday that you can’t explain but it’s always there and it never goes away. To be a punk you don’t have to listen to punk music or have a Mohawk or be outrageous – you just have that feeling. Punk isn’t something that started in the 70s, it’s something that started in the beginning of mankind – it just wasn’t labeled punk until the 70s. The media portrays it as something negative because if they did news segments or articles on what it’s really about then people wouldn’t care because they just want to see controversy. I think the difference between being into punk as opposed to the mainstream is that we think more about things (not to say that there aren’t people who think the same way we do who aren’t into punk). We don’t believe everything we’re told and we don’t take life for granted. Most of the punks I know have fun living their lives for them and not for somebody else whether it’s a boss, government, or any type of authority.
RRR: Your film is about older punks and how they have not abandoned the ideals of punk. For some people punk is a phase but for others it obviously lasts a lifetime. What is the appeal in the punk culture? Is it the music, the cloths or something deeper?
AW: For me it’s definitely something deeper. I agree there are people that get into it and then drop out but I don’t think those people were ever punks in the first place. Sometimes people try new things and it doesn’t work for them (and that’s totally fine), but punk isn’t something that you can grow out of. It’s who you are – it’s what’s inside of you and nobody could ever possibly grow out of that. You may stop listening to the music for a while, dress differently, and change who you hang around with – but once a punk always a punk. I think the reason why it appeals to so many people is because it’s a place where finally people can be themselves and not be scared of what others will think of them. Here you don’t need approval from anyone else but yourself – it gives you confidence, self belief and independence. If that’s not appealing then I don’t know what is!
RRR: This film is indie in the true sense of the word. How have you approached making this film?
AW: I think this can be answered in a couple different ways. For funding I worked 80 hours a week for the past two years to save up enough money for equipment, travel, and other necessary expenses. Everyone involved with the movie has been extremely supportive and devoted their time because of their love for the cause. For the European interviews I found friends of friends of friends who were interested and I consequently traveled around Europe for 3 months bouncing to and from everyone’s houses. Since it’s such a tight-knit family it was easy for me to find people.
RRR: When is “All Grown Up” scheduled to be released? How do you plan on distributing it?
AW: The release will be in the beginning of December of this year. I’ll be distributing it with my company, Psyko Punk Productions and it will be available for purchase directly from me through the website. I’ll also be sending it out to tons of different punk shops all over the world so that we can reach the farthest corners of nowhere with it! I already have some connections with places in South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, and Russia to name a few outside of the US.
RRR: Anything else that you would like to add?
AW: Yes! Thank you so much for the opportunity to spread the word about this even further! I hope that you guys all enjoy the movie and if anybody ever has any questions or comments please feel free to send them my way at firstname.lastname@example.org! Thanks again
You can get more information on the film at http://www.allgrownupthemovie.com. They also have a MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/allgrownupthemovie
Here’s the trailer for a bit more of a sense of what the film is about.