August 2nd, 1980 - The Clash release their single “Bankrobber” (aka my favorite song of all time) despite protests from record company CBS, who believed the record “wasn’t commercial enough.” Nevertheless, the single peaked at number 12 on the UK singles chart. The Clash even recorded a low budget video for the single, complete with a mock band heist performed by two Clash roadies wearing bandanas. During filming, the roadies were stopped and interrogated by police officers, who believed they were the real thing.
August 1st, 1971 - The legendary Concert For Bangladesh is held at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Preceding Live Aid by fourteen years, this landmark benefit concert was the first of its kind, organized by George Harrison and Ravi Shankar to raise awareness and fund relief efforts for refugees in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) following the destruction of the 1970 Bhola cyclone and the ongoing devastation of the Bangladesh Liberation War.
The magnitude of the concert was completely unprecedented. Harrison and Shankar recruited superstars including Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Leon Russell, and Indian music legend Ali Akbar Khan, who joined together on stage in front 40,000 fans for an unforgettable double feature (playing two shows, one at noon, one at seven). The concert raised $250,000 to be administered by UNICEF, and the resulting three-record live album went on to win the 1973 Grammy for “Album of the Year.”
The lyrics heard at the end of the album capture the concert’s profound significance better than I could ever hope to:
“My friend came to me,
With sadness in his eyes,
He told me that he wanted help,
Before his country died,
Although I couldn’t feel the pain,
I knew I’d have to try,
Now I’m asking all of you,
To help us save some lives”
Check the videos below for a window into this unbelievable experience. And some people say music can’t change the world…..
“Here Comes the Sun” - Performed by George Harrison
“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” - Performed by George Harrison with Eric Clapton on lead guitar (even at the peak of his heroin addiction Clapton plays an unbelievably soulful solo, doing appropriate homage to the song’s title)
“Just Like A Woman” - Performed by Bob Dylan, George Harrison, and crew
“Jumping Jack Flash/Young Blood” - Performed by Leon Russell and the supergroup
“It Don’t Come Easy” - Performed by Ringo Starr and crew
And for the especially dedicated listeners and fellow music junkies, check out the full footage of this historic concert below.
Go out and make a difference,
The ability to songwrite is a skill possessed by few in this world- of those individuals who can, even fewer are able to craft lyrics like Van Morrison.
The words “transcendental”, “spirited” and “ethereal” can often be found sharing space in a sentence with Van’s name. Since the 1960s, the Irish born music legend has left an indelible mark on American social and musical culture- starting most notably with his 1968 hit “Brown Eyed Girl”.
But the song that I am choosing to spotlight for you all tonight is one that I consider to be an incredibly stirring ballad, and one that perfectly illustrates the psychedelic ethos of the 60s and 70s, as well as Van’s extraordinary ability to write songs that bring women to their knees…
Behold, “Into The Mystic”
I’ve been itching to do a blues post for too long - and today my mood seems just right to turn one of my favorite genres into a weekly series. Keith Richards once said, “If you don’t know the blues… there’s no point in picking up the guitar and playing rock and roll or any other form of popular music.” At its best, the blues can convey unbridled euphoria or deep sorrow in a way that is rawly visceral, intensely cathartic, and movingly emotional. In my opinion, no other genre of music conveys as much genuine emotional intensity.
Considered “the father of Chicago blues” Muddy Waters is one of the icons of the genre. Ben Harper put it best when writing for Rolling Stone magazines “100 Greatest Singers” issue: “If you really check Muddy Waters out in performances on tape, he’s almost not even there. He puts his whole body and his whole energy into his voice. When he’s singing, something else enters the room. For a certain sound, if you don’t put your body into it, you’re not going to get the note. It takes everything, every faculty you’ve got. He was absolutely confident and superbrave.” Oozing electrified soul, Muddy influenced countless artists and helped spur the 60s blues craze in England.
Muddy Water’s profound effect on popular music is best exemplified by the Rolling Stones. According to Keith Richard’s autobiography, the Stones chose their name by flipping over a Muddy Waters record and picking the first track - Muddy Water’s landmark “Rollin’ Stone.” Self professed blues fanatics, the Stones demonstrate their affinity for the genre on this cover of Willie Dixon’s “Little Red Rooster.” Released in 1964, the track became the Stones second #1 single in the UK - an impressive feat for any blues tune.
Check back every Monday for more.
Tough day at work. Had to throw on a chill track. Then had to throw it at you guys.
Turn on, Tune in, Drop out.
Read this post and take a walk with me. You’re slipping the surly bonds of the familiar physical world, and are venturing into a slice of time and space long passed. In a distant corner of the universe, vibrations of the past are still resonating- carrying the energy of something that once was, yet still is. You now find yourself in that very corner of the universe and, to fend off the biting cold, wrap those waves around yourself like a thick blanket in wintertime.
This of course takes place in the future, which means that we must travel back through the past to this very moment when I first introduce the Cville Sound Trippy Sixties Weekend to the world. You see, my weekends typically start on either Sunday or Monday and can last anywhere from three to five days- which is exactly the reason why you’re reading this entry right now. Over the course of the next several days, I will be presenting to you a variety of delicious cuts from 1960-1979 that transcend the era in which they were produced. Prepare to dip your ears into this bubbling cauldron of mystic imagery, psychedelic vibes and righteous rhythms as we embark on this journey together.
Tune back in at 11:34 for the first installment, and hold onto your hats…