The Classic/Retro Pop Culture Thread

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by The Old Mixer, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    I could have sworn it came up in this thread before. I would have supplied a link.

    It did sound nice.

    I wonder if that was their thought. :rommie:

    A decent cover. But I'm amazed that the original didn't make the list.

    I actually didn't realize it was a cover, but, yeah, still weirdly appealing. :rommie:

    "Precious and few are the moments we toucans share." :rommie:

    Which I have on DVD, so there you go.
     
  2. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    _______

    50th Anniversary Viewing

    _______

    Hawaii Five-O
    "Is This Any Way to Run a Paradise?"
    Originally aired December 21, 1971
    The suspect first strikes by causing a fire at an incinerator plant that involves having plugged the top of the stack with a custom-fitted metal plate. Kono's actually pleased at the choice of target. Up top, Danno finds a figurine of Kaili, the Hawaiian god of battle, containing a typewritten message attributed to the deity. McGarrett goes to the museum to consult Curator Sumi (Edward Fernandez). A witness describes how one man climbed up the stack bearing the large circular metal plate, indicating a perp of considerable strength. In the next incident, a garbage truck dumps its load on the steps of the capital. McGarrett talks to Environmental Defense League official Clyde Finley (Fred Ball), who indicates that a lot of his membership support this Kaili and delivers the titular question.

    Kaili's next target is a crop-dusting plane, which he shoots down with a shotgun, pulling the badly injured pilot out afterward and leaving his calling card. Steve considers this attempted murder and takes the investigation that much more seriously. Finley now volunteers his cooperation, so Five-O knocks on the doors of a list of EDL members, eliminating physically unlikely suspects. Five-O HQ gets an older hippie visitor (Don Lev) who confesses to being Kaili, but Steve considers him to be an unlikely suspect. The team narrows things down to a construction man; an athletic high school shop teacher; a gas station owner who openly owns a shotgun; and a man who's been threatening to demolish an apartment building that blocks his view of Diamond Head.

    During a talk show broadcast concerning industrial pollution, we see Kaili type a death list that includes the panelists: Senator Bob Patterson (Fred Titcomb) and industrialists Edgar Hackbart (Mitch Mitchell), T. Emory Grace (Ted Scott), and Lai Han (Richard Morrison). The list is distributed and McGarrett gathers the potential targets to warn them and assign protection. Based on Kono's insight of Kaili's nature, Steve picks Lai Han--the strongest man--as the most likely target. At night, a man swims against a strong current up to Han's shoreline estate, sneaks up to the owner's bedroom clad only in trunks, and snaps his neck. Based on this additional feat of strength, Steve and Kono agree that it has to be the shop teacher whom the latter spoke to, Aku (Nephi Hanneman), who slips away during a search of the school after knocking out a posted police officer. In the school's basement, Danno finds a typewriter that matches the one used to write the notes.

    Steve goes to the next likely target, Grace, wanting to use him as bait, but he won't cooperate. Senator Patterson proves more willing, so he goes on TV to address Kaili in a critical manner. The senator proceeds to attend a luncheon with Five-O among the crowd. The team then leads and tails him as he proceeds to the dedication of a sugar plant...outside of which Aku waits in the cane fields. Aku cuts off the senator's car with a dump truck and, when fired on by McGarrett, returns fire while fleeing into the fields. Squad car units are called in and surround the field. McGarrett calls for Aku's surrender via bullhorn, then has Kono address him in Hawaiian. Aku sets the field on fire, which Kono intuits is his way of committing suicide, shedding a tear and tossing a Kaili figurine found in the truck into the blaze.

    _______

    The Brady Bunch
    "The Not-So-Rose-Colored Glasses"
    Originally aired December 24, 1971
    The episode opens with the times-signy sight of Jan riding home on a banana seat bike, and sets up the anniversary present business as Alice feigns a toothache to keep Carol occupied while Mike takes the kids to the photographer. Mike gets a call from a playground that Jan stole another girl's bike. Jan is oblivious that the similar-looking bike isn't hers until the parents point out minor differences. (It seems like she could have made this mistake without needing glasses.) Mike proceeds to smuggle the kids, dressed up for the occasion, to the studio of comically disorganized photographer Gregory Gaylord (Robert Nadder). The parents later get a letter from one of Jan's teachers about her having difficulty and her grades slipping, and when talking to her about it notice that Jan can't read the letter. Learning that Jan sits in the back of the class further indicates an eyesight issue. Jan's brought home in her new specs and the younger kids have to be coached not to make fun, but they slip and make her feel worse. Marcia catches Jan taking her glasses off before going out to meet a boy at the library. On her way back, without the glasses, Jan rides right into the portrait, which is wrapped in paper in the garage, being hidden from Carol.

    The boys are unsuccessful at attempting to repair the picture and frame, so the kids try to put together enough money to have another picture taken without letting any of the adults in on it. When they're unsuccessful, Jan offers to come up with the bread. The kids sneak out in groups and rendezvous at the studio wearing the same good clothes...which Alice and Carol notice, though the kids offer them impromptu excuses. They go out of their way to recreate the original picture, but nobody notices that Jan's now wearing her glasses. The anniversary arrives and the folks are surprised with gifts. The portrait is the first opened, and Carol notes that Jan wore her glasses. Mike takes Jan aside and she confesses. Mike, expressing concern that she could have hurt herself in a worse accident, grounds Jan from riding her bike, and she explains that she sold it to pay for the new portrait. Carol hangs the portrait in the parents' bedroom, and Alice reveals that during her diversion of Carol, the dentist found three cavities.

    _______

    The Odd Couple
    "Felix the Calypso Singer"
    Originally aired December 24, 1971
    Felix is giving Oscar and Nancy a little bon voyage party at the apartment when Nancy gets called in for an emergency. Oscar is upset and feels like he has to take the vacation, so he gets the idea to ask Felix to come. In luggage still packed from a previous trip, Oscar finds a wrapped Christmas present that he forgot to give Felix the previous year: a box of assorted cheeses.

    Felix has difficulty on the small plane ride that's their last leg of the trip to the island of Jacaloma. The pilot, Pepe (Vito Scotti), is also their cabbie, hotel bellhop, and hotel musician. As the guys are settling in, Oscar gets a call from Nancy that she found somebody to take her place. Felix is reluctantly willing to return to the States, but the flight off the island is delayed by Pepe getting stinking drunk, so Felix spends the night in the lobby.

    Oscar offers to spend the next day with Felix seeing the local sights, but Felix confronts him with what he's learned of what a pathetic backwater Oscar managed to find--which includes the island's "museum" being a shelf with a few local artifacts displayed right there in the hotel bar. Nancy arrives and Felix hangs around to guilt Oscar about having to explore what little the island has to offer alone. Nancy takes pity on Felix and tries to get him involved in what she and Oscar are doing, but Oscar arranges for Felix to sing in Pepe's calypso band. While Felix hastily prepares for his performance...

    Drunk patron (Jack Perkins): I'm Jesse Skolnik, who are you?
    Oscar: Ringo Starr.​

    Felix ends up singing a song that ribs Oscar by name. When he brings Jesse into the song, Oscar ends up having to deck Jesse to stop him from going after Felix. Before leaving, Felix admits that if their roles had been reversed and Gloria had been in Nancy's place, he would've dumped Oscar in a minute; and Pepe invites Felix to join the band for an encore performance.

    As I recall, MeTV was using Felix's song in one of its spots for the show years back.

    _______

    A search for "omnibus" only turns up a mention of a series of those for Kirby's Fourth World.

    BTW, you're missing half the fun if you go reprint. The Fourth World titles largely ran through the phase in which DC was embracing a 52-page format to deal with the need to increase prices, so each issue of the titles includes a Golden Age Simon/Kirby reprint...the Newsboy Legion in Jimmy Olsen, Sandman in Forever People, Manhunter in New Gods, and the Boy Commandos in Mister Miracle.

    I also meant to mention that while this was T. Rex's only big hit in the States, they were already into a decent run of big hits in the UK at this point. They often come up in Beatles lore as a band that was being seen as the next big thing after the Fabs on that side of the pond.

    Apparently it has a long list of recorded versions going back to 1939 under different titles, "Mbube" and "Wimoweh". The definitive r&r-era version, and apparently the first to use the title "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," was the chart-topper by the Tokens in 1961.

    Knowing who I was dealing with, I should have caught that...
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2021
  3. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I mean, what the hell? The state's elite criminal investigators are rolling on a fire call? With what Five-O gets into it sometimes seems like they could lay off most of the HPD detective division and save the city taxpayers some money.
     
  4. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    Apparently they'd figured it was an unusual case of arson before calling in Five-O. There's a cute moment there where the fire chief sees Danny climbing the stack and asks how that "yo-yo" got up there. "That's one of my yo-yos, Chief."
     
  5. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Funny they never followed this lead-- where'd that plate come from?

    Dude, you're making it worse.

    Another possible lead.

    I should say so, but the fire at the plant could have been deadly too.

    Plus the thing with the custom plate.

    Aku seems to have gone through a rapid mental decline throughout the episode, but it seems like they didn't focus much on the character.

    Probably get a bit of a scolding for that. :rommie:

    Poor Jan. These middle kids really get the bulk of the abuse. :rommie:

    "He never showed up!"

    The photographer probably would have done it for nothing if he lost the negative.

    Or somebody's, anyway.

    My Mother does this all year long. :rommie:

    Another ubiquitous character actor and I remember him in this episode. He's hilarious.

    "Everybody fascinate your safety belts!" :rommie:

    Weird. I'm not sure where else I would have heard of it.

    I wonder what back issue prices are like these days. Archives and digital editions may have decreased demand.

    That's interesting. I had no idea it was that old.

    :rommie:
     
  6. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    50th Anniversary Cinematic Special

    The French Connection
    Directed by William Friedkin
    Starring Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, Roy Scheider, Tony Lo Bianco, and Marcel Bozzuffi
    Premiered October 7, 1971
    1972 Academy Awards for Best Picture (Philip D'Antoni); Best Actor in a Leading Role (Gene Hackman); Best Director (William Friedkin); Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (Ernest Tidyman); Best Film Editing (Gerald B. Greenberg)
    Nominee for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Roy Scheider); Best Cinematography (Owen Roizman); Best Sound (Theodore Soderberg and Christopher Newman)


    This one would fall under the category of movies whose reputation precedes them that I'd never actually watched before, though footage of the famous car / elevated train chase sequence was omnipresent in my youth.

    The detective is shot in the face...it's quickly cut, but pretty graphic by the standards of the time.

    The Wiki summary doesn't mention Popeye's intro dressed as Santa, in which he and Cloudy, while staking out a bar, chase down and rough up a suspect named Willie (Alan Weeks, identified in the credits as "Pusher") looking for the name of his connection.

    Wow...a little cell phone footage of that would be sparking demonstrations these days.

    But ah, cinema--actual location shooting instead of an L.A. backlot passing itself off as NYC. Early scenes were also shot in France...there's a striking meeting of Charnier and Nicoli with Devereaux at the ruins of a fortress on an island--the Château d'If, IMDb informs me.

    Note that the version aired on Movies! edited out language left and right.

    Popeye's signature narrow-brimmed hat appears as he and Cloudy are leaving the station. I guess Popeye doesn't know how to go off-duty. The Three Degrees (themselves) perform a song called "Everybody Gets to Go to the Moon" at the club.

    Popeye and Cloudy bust the black bar that they chased Willie from, which is doing a literal under-the-counter drug trade, as an excuse for Popeye to spend some alone time in a restroom with an informant (Al Fann, I presume from the credits) to ask him about Boca, which is how Doyle learns of the shipment.


    Mulderig is no fan of Doyle, blaming him for the death of a cop on a previous case. We see Doyle waking up after having spent the night at a bar. He proceeds to pick up a young woman on a bicycle and Cloudy comes over to find Popeye ankle-cuffed to the bed. That's pretty much all of Popeye's personal life that we see in the film.

    Clip here.
    Meanwhile, thinking the deal's gone cold, Simonson has taken Doyle off the assignment.

    And here's our iconic moment in cinema history, boys and girls:

    That's not even his car. :lol:

    And that's what made the movie poster.

    Prompted by having to arrest a gang of car thieves who were converging on the vehicle.
    Meanwhile, Devereaux is looking for the missing car by going to the police.
    At this point Devereaux, who doesn't know what it's all about, wants out.

    I was wondering what the junk car auction early in the film was about.
    Popeye makes a point of returning Charnier's taunting wave from the subway escape scene.
    So...Mulderig's antagonism toward Doyle was well deserved.
    Well that was certainly a morally ambiguous ending. Doyle kills one of the good guys, then apparently kills the main bad guy and covers it up. I may have jumped the gun in thinking that our most recent Adam-12 episode was a commentary on Dirty Harry specifically.

    As acclaimed films go, this one was pretty narrowly focused as a super-gritty crime thriller. There's almost no attempt to flesh the main protagonists out beyond their professional lives, and we're left with not much reason for liking them by the end beyond the charisma of the actors playing them.

    Note that among its various honors, the film didn't get any awards or nominations for music...the soundtrack was very unmemorable. There's no "Theme from 'Shaft'" here.

    Now the next film that I plan to cover has memorable soundtrack up the yin-yang...but it was adapted from a Broadway musical.

    _______

    Hand-crafted and assembled from smaller pieces; not something easily traceable that he bought off the shelf. Keep in mind that I am just summarizing.

    The figurines? A common curio. The gun--they were keeping that in mind with the gas station attendant.

    His identity was a mystery to us up until a point; we didn't get to look inside his head. Clearly he was driven, and while his stunts seemed relatively harmless at first, they proved otherwise as he continued.

    Or she hooked up with the wrong guy... :shifty:

    Good point...that there might be a negative never came up. He was using a camera that you had to put a plate in, though...do those involve having separate negatives?

    Maybe somebody else brought it up; I was searching for something you'd said.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2021
  7. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    I'm familiar with it, but I've never seen it, at least not straight through. Not really my cup of tea. It reminds me of all those vigilante paperbacks that were popular at the time, like the Butcher and the Executioner and all those guys (which was the inspiration for the Punisher). The law just gets in the way of fighting crime!

    How many crimes did Popeye commit during this movie? I lost count at 37,000. :rommie:

    We've seen that song around here before.

    They sure could take a lot of abuse in those days. :rommie:

    He also shot the other guy in the back, at the end of the car-theft and driving-to-endanger sequence. How is this guy not spending the rest of his life in jail? :rommie:

    Yeah, but one of the suspects was a shop teacher-- you'd think they would have looked for some forensic evidence there.

    I don't know, but the capsule description mentioned the negative being lost. Maybe the scene was cut.

    That must be it.
     
  8. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    50th Anniversary Cinematic Special

    Fiddler on the Roof
    Directed by Norman Jewison
    Starring Topol, Norma Crane, Leonard Frey, Molly Picon, and Paul Mann
    Released November 3, 1971
    1972 Academy Awards for Best Cinematography (Oswald Morris), Best Sound (Gordon K. McCallum and David Hildyard), and Best Music, Scoring Adaptation and Original Song Score (John Williams)
    Nominee for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Topol), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Leonard Frey), Best Director (Norman Jewison), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Robert F. Boyle, Michael Stringer, and Peter Lamont)
    Now this one I've had on home video for years. The ex and I took a liking to it after catching a local college production of the play, followed by listening to the original Broadway cast album.

    In contrast to The French Connection, here we have a main protagonist who's extremely likable and sympathetic...an imperfect man who struggles to strike a balance between the traditions he believes so strongly in and what's best for his family. In the end, he and his family find themselves the victims of societal changes beyond their control.

    The musical is frontloaded with some of its most memorable, classic numbers...starting with the story's introduction:

    The introductory sequence continues (but doesn't quite conclude) here, where we meet Yente the matchmaker (Molly Picon), Nachum the beggar (Howard Goorney), and the rabbi (Zvee Scooler).

    Yente visits Tevye's wife, Golde (Norma Crane), to arrange the match between Tzeitel and Lazar Wolf. Golde's quite pleased at the prospect of her daughter marrying such a wealthy man in spite of the age difference, but Tevye would prefer his daughter to marry a Torah scholar and is said not to like Lazar. Tevye's oldest daughters, who also include Hodel (Michele Marsh) and Chava (Neva Small), explore their issues with arranged marriage in one of the musical's best-known numbers:

    The younger two daughters are Shprintze (Elaine Edwards) and Bielke (Candy Bonstein).

    Immediately after, as Tevye tends to the barn while daydreaming about a life that doesn't involve having to pull his own cart because his horse has gone lame, we get Fiddler's signature piece:


    Tevye's family and their guests, Motel and Perchik, start the Sabbath with a prayer.

    Golde has Tevye go to see Lazar Wolf after the Sabbath, without telling him what it's about. There's a bit of comical misunderstanding as Tevye assumes Lazar wants to buy his milk cow. When he learns what it's about, Tevye finds himself torn, as he's impressed with Lazar's well-furnished home. Ultimately Tevye agrees, and the two men drink to the match:

    Afterward, the local constable (Louis Zorich), who exhibits a friendly demeanor, warns the drunken Tevye of an impending anti-Semitic demonstration, which he sees as a necessary part of his duty to the tzar.

    As Perchik teaches the younger daughters politically spun scripture lessons.
    A hung-over Tevye announces the arrangement with Lazar Wolf to Tzeitel, but only the parents are happy. The meek Motel finally works up the nerve to propose himself as a match for Tzeitel and informs Tevye that he and Tzeitel have already exchanged a pledge. Tevye is initially beside himself at this breach of tradition, which makes him break into a musical monologue...but upon consideration, he relents. In celebration, Motel and Tzeitel run off into their own number, "Miracle of Miracles".

    Cupid pays a visit to the third daughter, Chava, when she's accosted on the road by a group of gentile farmers and defended by one of their number, Fyedka (Raymond Lovelock), who woos her by offering her a book for them to talk about.

    Tevye's description of his dream turns into a fantasy musical sequence ("Tevye's Dream") of Tevye and Golde's bed surrounded by a graveyard as they both interact with the deceased...Tevye elaborating details on the fly.

    there's a lovely song, for one thing:

    And then a dance sequence. And that's as far as the Fandango clips go, though we're just over halfway into the film. Also,
    Note that there was a brief scene before the wedding in which the constable attempted to intervene with his superior.

    And, intermission...or Entr'acte, as it's labeled here. Following this, we're approaching the last third of the three-hour film.

    Life resumes in Anatevka with a brief choral and instrumental reprise of "Tradition," and Tevye filling God and the audience in on what's happened since the last scene.
    He pops the question by framing it as a theoretical, political inquiry.
    Which involves another musical monologue, as Tevye clearly feels that he's sliding down a slippery slope of abandoning tradition for unheard-of new ways.
    Which they do via a charmingly cute duet, "Do You Love Me?".

    "Maybe it's indigestion!"
    "No, Golde, I'm asking you a question!"​

    while leading a rally
    After receiving an already-opened letter from Yente.
    Following her own melancholy number, "Far from the Home I Love," which she sings to Tevye as they wait for her train.
    There's a comical tease here as the townsfolk gather to rejoice in the couple's "new arrival," which turns out to be the newfangled sewing machine...following which we learn that Tzeitel and Motel have already had a baby.

    Tevye clearly seems to be more distrustful of gentiles following the incident at the wedding.
    But this doesn't stop him from indulging in an internally sung number, "Chava Ballet Sequence (Little Bird, Little Chavaleh)," which is accompanied by mind's-eye scenes of the daughters dancing and an appearance by the fiddler.
    This would be the final of Tevye's trio of musical monologues weighing his daughters' marital choices. In this case, he feels that he'd be bending so far that he'd break.

    Yente gets busy trying to arrange future marriages for Shprintze and Bielke. Also,
    The constable delivers the news, and Tevye angrily stands up to him, telling the constable to get off his land.

    Motel: Rabbi, we've been waiting for the Messiah all our lives. Wouldn't this be a good time for him to come?
    Rabbi: We'll have to wait for him someplace else.​

    The ensemble laments the loss of their home with the melancholy climactic number "Anatevka". Following this, there's a poignant callback to Tevye's introduction...

    Townsman whose name I didn't catch: Our forefathers have been forced out of many, many places at a moment's notice.
    Tevye: Maybe that's why...we always wear our hats.​

    By this point, Tevye is putting a positive spin on Perchik's activism. Tevye also has a moment in the barn saying goodbye to his animals.
    After initially making a show of ignoring her and Fyedka's presence...and after Tzeitel takes the initiative of going against her father's edict and directly calls out a goodbye to Chava and Fyedka.
    I didn't catch where Motel and Tzeitel were going, but they also part ways with Tevye and Golde.

    This is accompanied by a choral but non-lyrical rendition of "Anatevka".
    Actually a relatively small number left on the road after a larger number have already departed on a barge.

    Oscars well earned...this is an impressive piece of cinema, fully realizing an already compelling story. And I might go so far as to say that Topol deserved Best Actor more than Hackman.

    _______

    I wouldn't associate the "hardboiled cop who breaks the rules left and right" trope with that sort of extreme, militaristic vigilante type. Now I was under the impression that you liked Dirty Harry...was I mistaken?

    Have we? I can only think it may have been somebody's Sullivan performance. A few attempts with our wonky-ass search engine aren't turning up results.

    True.

    The Academy intervened on his behalf...that bundle of Oscars was good PR for the NYPD.

    Ah. Those descriptions aren't always accurate, though there may have been a mention that I missed. It was on Paramount Plus, so there shouldn't have been any syndication editing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2021
  9. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    I actually saw this in the theater when it first came out. My Mother brought myself and my Grandmother because she was so excited about it for some reason. We also saw the play years later at the local theater.

    It would have been quite a different film if Tevye was like Popeye. :rommie:

    That's a good one. The daughters were cute.

    I still sing the refrain to that one sometimes. :rommie:

    Until this thread, I had no idea Starsky was in the movie.

    It's like a Love, American Style King-Size Special.

    "Then when they came for me, there was nobody left to speak up."

    It was a very good movie, which I even enjoyed as a ten year old. I think part of the reason that my Mother wanted me to see it was to get me interested in something besides all that weird Sci Fi crap, so she was probably disappointed when I pointed out the similarities to Isaac Asimov's background. :rommie:

    And for Zarkov, too. Just sayin.'

    It's on the same spectrum, I think, aimed at the same or similar demographic.

    I'm not really a big fan of Dirty Harry, no. I find Clint Eastwood a more interesting character.

    I couldn't find it, either, using the internal search engine or Google. But then, the reference on this page didn't come up either.

    :rommie:

    Must have been a mistake then.
     
  10. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    50th Anniversary Album Spotlight

    Who's Next
    The Who
    Released August 14, 1971
    Chart debut: August 14, 1971
    Chart peak: #4 (September 11, 1971)
    #28 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (2003)

    The album's opener is as strong as they come--mega-classic rocker "Baba O'Riley" (#340 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time [2004]):

    The song was also reportedly informed by Townshend's perception of the crowds at Woodstock.

    I didn't recognize "Bargain" by title, but it's quite familiar from classic rock radio exposure back in the day. A good, straight-up rocker at its core.


    "Love Ain't for Keeping" is good, but has a bit of trouble living up to its lead-ins.
    There are a lot of mentions in the Wiki pages for the album and individual songs about how Townshend was trying to program his synthesizer to emulate the traits of Meher Baba...which is one of those "What the hell was he on?" things.

    John Entwistle's "My Wife," said to have been originally intended for a solo album, is definitely an odd duck among the album's contents thus far.

    The first side closes with "The Song Is Over," on which Townshend takes the verses and Daltrey the choruses:

    This one sounds vaguely familiar. Its Wiki article quotes a lot of critics describing it as one of the most beautiful songs ever, though I'm not quite getting that much out of it.

    Side two opens with "Getting in Tune," which has a somewhat Tommy-ish vibe.

    Daltrey takes a break for "Going Mobile".

    The remainder of the album consists of out-and-out classics...the penultimate track being "Behind Blue Eyes" (charted Nov. 6, 1971; #34 US):


    The album closes with its longest track, iconic rocker "Won't Get Fooled Again" in its full, unedited glory (#133 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time [2004]; single edit charted July 17, 1971; #15 US; #9 UK):

    Following said scream, the song and album leave us with a pair of rock's most oft-quoted lines, "Meet the new boss / Same as the old boss".

    While Who's Next is a tighter album containing some unquestionably stronger individual tracks, Tommy still impresses me more as an overall work. On Who's Next, the work as a whole doesn't elevate the less memorable tracks...if anything, the extremely powerful bookends make a show of completely dwarfing the weaker songs. "Baba O'Riley" and "Won't Get Fooled Again" demand stronger filler.

    Some notes from Wiki about the cover:
    _______

    Familiar with the cast album, maybe? And the strong theme of adherence to faith perhaps transcends which faith it is.

    He'd commandeer somebody else's cart horse...and make it go lame!

    Their expressions at "it's just that I'm terrified" are priceless.

    I assume you wouldn't spend your days discussing the holy book...

    Think it had previously escaped my notice as well.

    :D

    I have a feeling that this post's review subject will also be to your liking...
    MeepMeeNeepNeep! :lol:

    Ugh, I forgot he was in that. My go-to geeky Topol reference from the same period would be his co-starring role as shady Bond ally Milos Columbo in For Your Eyes Only.

    My one issue with the film has always been that I wasn't crazy about the casting of Golde. I was under the impression from the stage versions I'd been exposed to that she was supposed to be more of a colorful character type, and Norma Crane came off as more of a dramatic lead type. There may have been some wisdom in this for the film's purposes, though, as Crane serves as more of a straight woman to Topol's colorful portrayal of Tevye. The silver screen doesn't have to play to the back of the audience.

    I'd actually associate Dirty Harry a little more with the Punisher type, if only for the similarity of physical type and emphasis on his hardware.

    Last I watched the films, which has been a while, I found Dirty Harry enjoyable for what he was...Archie Bunker with a big honkin' gun. We'll see how he holds up for me today.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2021
  11. DarrenTR1970

    DarrenTR1970 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
    Location:
    Bothell, WA
    My high school put on a production of 'Fiddler on the Roof' the year after I graduated from high school.

    My brother, who was a year behind me, was second trumpet in the orchestra, and my next door neighbor was one of the daughters; and, as an alumni, I was able to get in for free.

    The cast did a very good job pulling off the song and dance portions of the play.

    'Dirty Harry' - This was Andrew Robinson's (Garek) first big screen acting role.

    The child he holds hostage at the end, in the quarry, was his stepson.

    When my parents announced they were separating/divorcing in the summer of '92, my father sent me to stay with my Uncle Jan and Aunt Eunice in Berkley, CA for a week while he and Mom worked out arrangements about selling the house and dividing up the assets.

    Anyway, the week I was there, Uncle Jan took me around the San Francisco Bay Area to all of the 'Dirty Harry' filming locations.

    The quarry where the climax of the movie takes place was now a mixed-use development with business and condos.

    The pond had been landscaped with walking trails and the only thing that was recognizable was the railway overpass that Clint Eastwood jumps down onto the bus.

    I'll post my thoughts on 'Lifehouse'/'Who's Next' later.
     
  12. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Location:
    RJDiogenes of Boston
    An amazing, and definitely operatic, composition. I wonder if that 30-minute version exists. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, baby!

    Another song I quote frequently, and usually sarcastically. :rommie:

    "The good news is that my synthesizer has become one with the universe. The bad news is that I need a new synthesizer."

    Another amazing, operatic composition that makes "Baba O'Riley" look like a warmup.

    Oft quoted indeed. A brilliant couplet of succinct insight, and ultimately prophetic-- human nature never changes, of course.

    But could we stand it? :rommie:

    The latter sounds like a good bet. She was working at a Catholic hospital, so she probably heard about it from the nurses.

    :rommie:

    Oh, yes.

    That about sums it up. :rommie:

    He was the best part of the movie. Actually, my opinion of Flash Gordon has mellowed over the years.

    Now that's a cool uncle. :mallory:
     
  13. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Location:
    The Old Mixer, Somewhere in Connecticut
    50th Anniversary Album Spotlight

    Imagine
    John Lennon
    Released September 9, 1971
    Chart debut: September 18, 1971
    Chart peak: #1 (October 30, 1971)
    #76 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (2003)
    I've always considered Imagine to be a companion piece to John's previous solo album, the raw, powerful John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. Imagine covers much of the same territory, but in a generally kinder, gentler fashion, more palatable to commercial tastes. The two albums combined make for a powerful one-two punch kicking off John's post-Beatles solo career, which the remainder of his work has difficulty living up to.

    The album opens with its title track and John's signature song (charted Oct. 23, 1971; #3 US; #7 AC; released as a single in the UK in 1975, reaching #6; reissued in 1980, reaching #1 UK; #3 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time [2004]):

    It's a gorgeous piece of music with a beautiful message that really struck me as a teenager...and, as I've had occasion to mention, it's pretty much been ruined for me by overexposure in the decades since John's death.

    Distinguished by the sound of Nicky Hopkins's tack piano, the upbeat but acerbic "Crippled Inside" is one of the songs on the album that I've always thought was aimed in Paul's direction...note especially how the recurring line "well you know that your cat has nine lives" echoes Paul's "3 Legs," one of the songs on Ram that was arguably aimed at John.

    A reworking of "Child of Nature"--a song that dated back to India and the White Album sessions--"Jealous Guy" is one of John's most beautiful compositions, and the most gorgeous track on this album that hasn't suffered from massive overexposure (though it reportedly has been covered a large number of times):

    "Jealous Guy" was released as a single in the UK in 1985, reaching #65; and in the US in 1988, reaching #80 US, #22 AC, #12 rock.

    Used as the B-side of the "Imagine" single, blues-flavored rocker "It's So Hard" features King Curtis on saxophone, in what's said to be one of his last performances before his murder in 1971, a month before Imagine's release.

    The first side closes with the social commentary of the album's longest track, the six-minute "I Don't Want to Be a Soldier Mama," which is notable for the use of Spector's signature Wall of Sound technique. Among the sounds in the wall are King Curtis's sax and George Harrison's slide guitar.

    Side two opens with a sort of companion piece, hard protest rocker "Gimme Some Truth," which also features George's slide:

    I've always thought that at least one of the lines--the part about "paranoid prima donnas"--was aimed at Paul, but didn't realize that the song went back to the Let It Be sessions...so I got a particular kick out of seeing Paul helping John brainstorm its lyrics in the Get Back documentary!

    "Oh My Love" is a gentle, beautiful ballad that suffers a bit from being on an album that has too much competition in that department:

    The composition of this one also reportedly dates back to 1968.

    While I don't personally agree with all of its sentiments (and find at least a bit of projection among them), "How Do You Sleep?" is the decisive volley in the back-and-forth, very public sniping-via-record between Paul and John, amply demonstrating how one really didn't want to get on the wrong side of John's scathing tongue/pen:

    George plays slide guitar again here. As for Ringo...
    John's retaliation against Paul wasn't limited to the content of the songs on Imagine:
    ImaginePig.jpg

    The next exchanges in this feud will be ones of contrition on Wings' debut album, Wild Life.

    Even being the Paul fan that I am, I can't help enjoying this song on at least one level, as it's so chock full of Beatles references, starting with the nod to Sgt. Pepper's warm-up. It's sort of the Mr. Hyde to the Dr. Jekyll of the later Fab-retrospective Ringo song "I'm the Greatest," also written by John.

    "How?"--see "Oh My Love". This one expresses John's vulnerability...the kinder, gentler side of primal therapy. The repeated use of the phrase "oh no," which I've always heard as a double entendre, serves as a sort of warm-up for the album's final track.

    "Oh Yoko!" is an enjoyably playful and upbeat number that won't be John's last song to directly address his wife and love. It's notable for being the last one released by John on which he plays harmonica, which was a signature instrument on early Beatles records.

    This film is the source of the "Imagine" music video, among others.

    _______


    :lol:

    And no doubt some of the time by people who don't know where it came from.

    As the in-between tracks go, "Bargain" and "Behind Blue Eyes" were the strongest and most memorable...more of that caliber would have been fine.

    Who'da guessed?

    I thought I'd have to explain that one...it was an in-joke with a couple of old geeky friends. :D
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2021
  14. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Location:
    The Old Mixer, Somewhere in Connecticut
    55 Years Ago This Week

    January 1
    • Canada begins a year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of Confederation, featuring the Expo 67 World's Fair.
    • Medicaid went into effect in the United States, providing free medical care for disabled low-income persons and marking what one observer would later refer to as one of the "key dates after which Americans began outspending the rest of the world on health care," the other one being the July 1, 1966, implementation of the Medicare program for retired persons.
    • In the two league championship games leading up to the first AFL–NFL Super Bowl, the home team lost both times. The Green Bay Packers won the NFL Championship Game by holding off a rally by the Dallas Cowboys, 34–27, while the Kansas City Chiefs won the AFL Championship, 31–7, over the Buffalo Bills.
    • Police raided a Los Angeles gay bar, the Black Cat Tavern, and arrested several patrons for kissing as they celebrated New Year. The violence that followed would escalate into a more widespread riot.

    January 2
    • Operation Bolo was a success as the United States Air Force shot down five (and perhaps as many as seven) North Vietnamese MiG-21 jets in the largest air battle fought in the Vietnam War up to that time. Lt. Colonel Robin Olds devised the plan to lure the Vietnam People's Air Force into sending most of its MiG-21 fighters against what seemed to be a fleet of the F-105 fighters that the VPAF had been successful in combating. "The MiGs rose to the bait," an author would write later, "and found the Phantom IIs waiting for them above the dense overcast." As each of four VPAF planes took off from the Noi Bai base, each one was shot down, and the leader of the second formation met the same fate. None of the American fighter jets, all of them F-4C Phantoms, were lost. The USAF pilots counted seven MiG kills, while North Vietnamese and Soviet data counted five, but in either event, the VPAF "Fishbed" force lost a large portion of its 16 MiGs and was grounded for four months.
    • U.S. Navy Commander James Stockdale, the senior prisoner of war at North Vietnam's Hoa Lo prison, nicknamed the "Hanoi Hilton" by its inmates, wrote out his first covert message using the "invisible carbon" that had been sent to him by U.S. Naval Intelligence in a letter from his wife. Concealed on the second page of a letter home was Stockdale's list of the names of forty fellow American POWs in the prison camp, written perpendicular to his visible handwriting. The signal that there was a secret message in any given letter was to begin the letter with the word "Darling" and to close with "Your adoring husband."
    • At 12:01 a.m., future U.S. President Ronald Reagan was sworn in as the 33rd Governor of California in an oath administered by state Supreme Court justice Marshall F. McComb. It is believed this specific time was chosen due to Nancy Reagan's astrological advisors. They claimed the stars were in favor of her husband at that time. Reagan took his oath on the Bible that Father Junípero Serra had brought from Spain to California in the 18th century.

    January 3 – Died: Jack Ruby, 55, the Dallas nightclub proprietor who killed accused presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald on live television on November 24, 1963, died in Dallas of a pulmonary embolism after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. As with John F. Kennedy and Oswald, Ruby was pronounced dead at Parkland Memorial Hospital.

    January 4 – The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory confirmed the existence of a 10th moon orbiting the planet Saturn, which French astronomer Audouin Dollfus had found while studying a photograph taken on December 15. The satellite, which would be named Janus, marked the first new Saturnian moon discovered since Phoebe was found in 1899.

    January 5
    • Spain and Romania sign an agreement in Paris establishing full consular and commercial relations (not diplomatic ones).
    • Charlie Chaplin launches his last film, A Countess from Hong Kong, in the UK.

    January 6
    • At Phu Loc in South Vietnam, Vaughn Nickell, a sniper with the 2nd Battalion of the 5th Marines, registered the longest range confirmed kill in American military history when he killed a Viet Cong sniper at a distance of 1,202 yards (1,099 m), a distance of slightly more than one mile away from the target.
    • USMC and ARVN troops launched Operation Deckhouse Five in the Mekong Delta of South Vietnam.
    • First UK release of Paul McCartney's The Family Way soundtrack LP.

    January 7 – The Surveyor 1 lunar probe, which transmitted data from the surface of the Moon to U.S. scientists after landing on June 2, 1966, in the Oceanus Procellarum (the "Sea of Storms"), 35 miles north of the crater Flamsteed, ceased transmissions as its battery ran out.


    Selections from Billboard's Hot 100 for the week:

    Leaving the chart:
    • "(Come 'Round Here) I'm the One You Need," The Miracles (9 weeks)
    • "A Hazy Shade of Winter," Simon & Garfunkel (9 weeks)
    • "I Got the Feelin' (Oh No No)," Neil Diamond (8 weeks)
    • "I'm Ready for Love," Martha & The Vandellas (10 weeks)
    • "It Tears Me Up," Percy Sledge (11 weeks)
    • "Knock on Wood," Eddie Floyd (17 weeks)
    • "Stop, Stop, Stop," The Hollies (10 weeks)

    New on the chart:

    "Bring It Up," James Brown

    (#29 US; #7 R&B)

    "Wild Thing," Senator Bobby feat. Bill Minkin

    (#20 US)

    "Pretty Ballerina," The Left Banke

    (#15 US)

    "It Takes Two," Marvin Gaye & Kim Weston

    (#14 US; #4 R&B; #16 UK)

    "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," Cannonball Adderley

    (#11 US; #2 R&B)


    And new on the boob tube:
    • The Ed Sullivan Show, Season 19, episode 17
    • Gilligan's Island, "Take a Dare"
    • The Rat Patrol, "The Last Harbor Raid: Part 3"
    • Batman, "The Contaminated Cowl"
    • Batman, "The Mad Hatter Runs Afoul"
    • Star Trek, "The Galileo Seven"
    • That Girl, "Among My Souvenirs"
    • The Green Hornet, "Seek, Stalk and Destroy"
    • The Wild Wild West, "The Night of the Tottering Tontine"
    • Tarzan, "Track of the Dinosaur"
    • The Time Tunnel, "Kill Two by Two"
    • Hogan's Heroes, "The General Swap"
    • The Man from U.N.C.L.E., "The Suburbia Affair"
    • 12 O'Clock High, "A Long Time Dead"
    • Get Smart, "It Takes One to Know One"
    • Mission: Impossible, "The Legacy"

    _______

    Timeline entries are quoted from the Wiki pages for the month or year and Mark Lewisohn's The Beatles Day by Day, with minor editing as needed.

    _______

    Happy New Retro Years, everyone!

    :mallory: 1967 :mallory:

    :beer: 1972 :beer:

    So far, overall, the 2020s can kiss my ass.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2021
  15. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Location:
    RJDiogenes of Boston
    Here's another album I had on 8-Track.

    This is definitely the peak of his creative abilities.

    It's in an exclusive club of inspirational songs that includes "Blowin' in the Wind" and "This Land is Your Land."

    These peace-and-love guys can be just like regular people sometimes. :rommie:

    Now that's really bitter. :rommie:

    Lost in the quoting at this point is the part about the 30-minute version of "Baba O'Riley"-- definitely must look into that.

    Like Shakespeare and Casablanca.

    Heh.

    Oh, I got it. :rommie:

    Little did he know that he would one day be a longshot vice-presidential candidate.

    Most stars did not support Reagan. :rommie:

    James Brown is bringing the James Brownian motion.

    I love this. :rommie:

    I forgot about this one. It's nice.

    This is a goodie.

    Either this has lyrics or he just shouted out the name of the song at the end, I'm not sure which.

    The same to you. They were both good years. :)

    I'm certainly happy to dispose of the worst year of my life.
     
  16. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Location:
    The Old Mixer, Somewhere in Connecticut
    50th Anniversary Cinematic Special

    Diamonds Are Forever
    Directed by Guy Hamilton
    Starring Sean Connery, Jill St. John, Charles Gray, Lana Wood, Jimmy Dean, and Bruce Cabot
    Released December 17, 1971
    1972 Academy Award nominee for Best Sound (not exactly The French Connection)

    Is it just me, or does the guy in the mud bath look like Christopher Lee?

    The title song has a character to it that I enjoy. It's been a while since I read the books, but as I recall, it captures the essence of Tiffany Case as she's depicted therein...more of a jaded, damaged-goods type.

    In 1971, Diamonds Are Forever is easily the weakest Bond film to date. Following the poor reception of George Lazenby and On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the series now veers sharply back in the direction of You Only Live Twice--adapting the original Fleming material with increasing looseness, repurposing some characters and concepts into an otherwise completely new story; and abandoning any illusion of naturalism to emphasize humor and larger-than-life action. Though it's the last Connery film in the official series, to me Diamonds has always felt like the kick-off of the Moore era.

    That summary is extrapolating something that isn't actually explicit in the sequence. I read that there was an earlier plan to deal more directly with the aftermath of Tracy's death, which was scrapped when Lazenby bowed out. This film makes no mention of the events of OHMSS...that Bond is out for vengeance for Tracy's murder is only vaguely hinted at by his attitude in the teaser, and even that is forgotten when Blofeld turns up alive later in the film. It's also noteworthy that Blofeld's organization, SPECTRE, is never mentioned by name.

    The briefing scene with diamond expert Sir Donald Munger (Laurence Naismith) is more than a little reminiscent of the similar scene with the man from the Bank of England in Goldfinger. Creepy killers Wint and Kidd are one of the elements adapted from the original novel, including their strongly implied sexual orientation, which is played for humor here.
    Clip here. Note that Bond's cover comes with Q-issued false fingerprints.
    The close-quarters elevator fight is reminiscent of the train compartment fight in From Russia with Love. The aftermath gives us one of the most asinine bits of business in the Bond film series...Richard Maibaum and/or Tom Mankiewicz seemed to be under the impression that Bond was supposed to be some sort of celebrity in-story, such that relatively petty diamond smugglers would be expected to know him by reputation. This notion would come up again in one of their scripts...I think it was The Man with the Golden Gun. And I think that their misunderstanding may have rubbed off on Moore and influenced his portrayal of Bond, as he was under the impression that the character was too well-known in-setting to take seriously as a spy.

    IMO, the worst-cast Leiter in the series.
    Wint and Kidd are in this clip.

    There's a bit of a plot hole here, as Tree seemed to be in the know about Wint and Kidd killing the links in the diamond smuggling chain--he knew to find "Peter Franks" in the coffin--but is then himself killed as one of the links.

    The reclusive Willard Whyte, who reputedly hasn't left the penthouse of his hotel/casino in years, is based on Howard Hughes.

    Two of the hoods, who'd appeared in a previous scene escorting "Peter Franks" to the funeral home in a hearse, are played by Marc Lawrence and Sid Haig. Lawrence gets one of the best lines in the film (delivered in full gangster mode): "I didn't know there was a pool down there."
    And there's an interior Vegas location in this clip. The owner of the casino was a Bond fan.

    A leading contender for silliest chase sequence in the series:

    It came to my attention recently that some seem to think that the film was perpetrating the myth that the moon landings were faked...I never took the moon-simulating stage to be about that; I always assumed it was a training/testing facility of some sort. Note that there are no cameras in the scene, just monitoring scientists.

    The Wiki summary completely skips over the film's big chase/stunt sequence on the Las Vegas strip, in which Bond drives Tiffany's 1971 Mustang Mach 1 as part of a promotional arrangement, and famously squeezes through a narrow alley by tilting the car onto two wheels. There's no Fandango clip of the scene either. From a different part of the Wiki article:

    Back to the summary:
    Using a piton-firing pistol...wonder where they got that idea?

    Well, Standards & Practices never let Jim West do that!
    Aided by Q (still good ol' Desmond Llewelyn) making an appearance in the field. Q and Bond are more friendly than usual in this film, for what little time the characters spend interacting. Maybe that's why they gave M PMS.
    Rescues him from my favorite element of the film...Bambi and Thumper (Lola Larson and Trina Parks, who are credited as stunt performers rather than actors):

    Note that Parks is recognized as the first black Bond girl.

    Jimmy Dean first appears on camera at this point. The most frustrating thing for me about this film's Felix Leiter is that he shares scenes with Dean, who would have been perfect casting for the character of Leiter as described in the books, though it would have been a less meaty role for the actor. Dean's Whyte is a scene-stealer, getting some pretty good moments.

    The space effects here are still not 2001 quality.

    "Baja!?! I haven't got anything in Baja!"

    Another action sequence that would have made a good clip. The "007 Theme" (not to be confused with the "James Bond Theme") makes its penultimate appearance here, its final one being in 1979's Moonraker. Blofeld's fate is left rather ambiguous, but at this point they'd hoped to use him in future films. The implied Blofeld in the teaser of For Your Eyes Only is in a wheelchair and neck brace...long-term injuries that we might assume were sustained in this sequence.
    Bond is first tipped off by Wint's strong aftershave, which he'd been exposed to earlier in the film. This sequence is another element reminiscent of Goldfinger--a final attempt being made on Bond after the main villain's plot has been defeated. Goldfinger himself was the assailant in that film, but in other iterations it's usually a surviving henchman. This element will pop up again in the next couple of films.


    THE END
    OF
    DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
    JAMES BOND WILL RETURN IN
    LIVE AND LET DIE

    TheSaint.jpg

    _______

    You've got me out-retroed.

    And how quickly he'll swing to his nadir...

    But do you ever just get sick of hearing it? Last night before the ball dropped, it was some current artist doing a cover.

    Heck, Paul was catching John in his "about to go militant" period.

    Kinda set myself up for that one... :p

    [insert rimshot meme of choice here]

    Kinda underwhelming.

    I get a special kick out of the cover spoofing on my favorite album cover.

    Pretty and ethereal. They call this "baroque pop".

    Marvin getting into his punchy hit duets phase.

    That was the single edit of a longer track that included a spoken intro. There is a version of the song with lyrics, which will be a hit for the Buckinghams in the coming year.

    I understand. In general, though, I have no high hopes for the coming year.

    ETA: I just checked last week's Brady Bunch...there is a brief mention of the photographer not being able to find the negative.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2022
  17. DarrenTR1970

    DarrenTR1970 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
    Location:
    Bothell, WA
    I went to the library yesterday hoping to check out the book “Won’t Get Fooled Again: From ‘Lifehouse to Quadrophenia’” by Richie Unterberger, but it was checked out.

    It is made up of archival and contemporary interviews with almost every person involved in the making of ‘Lifehouse’/’Who’s Next’/’Rock Is Dead – Long Live Rock’/’Quadrophenia,’ and, which I consider the definitive story on the making of the albums. So, I’m doing this from memory. Any mistakes/omissions are mine.

    1970 saw The Who at a crossroads/quandary – How to follow-up one of the most successful albums and tours of their career, ‘Tommy’.

    They had been recording songs sporadically throughout the early part of 1970 and had amassed a total of approximately 10 songs, which at various times was announced as part of a new album, or an EP.

    However, none of the songs would be considered top-caliber by The Who standards, and most would trickle out as B-Sides and on compilation albums over the coming years.

    It wasn’t until October 1970 when Pete Townshend wrote and recorded the song ‘The Note’ (aka ‘Pure And Easy’) that the idea for ‘Lifehouse’ began to take shape in his mind.

    So, what is ‘Lifehouse’?

    ‘Lifehouse’ was to be a multi-media experience, encompassing a double-album, concert and film.

    The actual story of ‘Lifehouse’ is thus . . .

    The story is set approximately 30 years in the future, at the dawn of the 21st century.

    Earth has become a blighted, polluted wasteland, where people crowd into cities and live in ‘experience suits’ which provides for their every need. It feeds, entertains and pacifies the populace.

    The ‘experience suits’ are connected to The Grid which controlled by the character ‘Jumbo’ (‘Behind Blue Eyes’). Jumbo has complete control/authority over The Grid and edits/manipulates memories/experiences of the populace as he sees fit. Rock music is outlawed.

    Bobby, a rebel not attached to The Grid, finds an abandoned radio station which he dubs ‘The Lifehouse’ and begins broadcasting music to the outside world in the hopes of drawing people to the station where they can experience ‘the one note’ (‘Pure and Easy’); which will synchronize everyone and bring transcendence to the world.

    Up in Northern Scotland, ‘Out in the fields’ (‘Baba O’Riley’), one of the last unpolluted placed on Earth, Ray, his wife Sally and their daughter Mary, live in a caravan commune growing turnips.

    One day, Mary (‘Mary’ the ‘Greyhound Girl’) intercepts one of Bobby’s broadcasts and runs off to London to find the source of the signal and is captured by Jumbo; later to be rescued by Bobby.

    Ray and Sally follow (‘Goin’ Mobile’).

    The four storylines converge at the end with Jumbo’s troops storming the Lifehouse where a rock festival is being held (‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’).

    The One Note is achieved and everyone at the concert and those connected to The Grid who witnessed the event simply vanish, transcended to a higher level; leaving Jumbo alone on Earth (‘The Song Is Over’).

    To us, the reader, looking back on this through the lens of the 21st century, Pete Townshend is describing the internet and virtual reality. However, when Pete tried to describe this to his fellow bandmates and members of the press, he was met with confusion/skepticism.

    Now, for a slight digression.

    This is where the Star trek/The Who connection comes in. (Which I think I might have mentioned in the 'Trek Guest Actors In Maybe Surprising Roles' thread.)

    Herb Solow, who was president in charge of production at Desilu studios and who had overseen the development of ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Mission: Impossible,’ had left Desilu shortly after being acquired by Paramount Pictures and moved over to MGM studios where he was in charge of motion picture development.

    In mid–1970, Herb Solow was approached by two young filmmakers with a script for a movie called ‘Guitar Farm’. (This is where I would liked to have had the book with me, because is contains a synopsis of the movie; something I can’t adequately do justice. The best way I can describe it is, think of the tv show ‘Lost’ combined with The Righteous Brothers song ‘Rock and Roll Heaven.’ An island where the spirits of dead musicians go to create music in the afterlife.)

    Herb Solow liked the idea and asked who would contribute music for the movie. It so happened that these two men were neighbors of Pete Townshend, so a meeting was held in California between Herb, Pete, and the two screenwriters. This was shortly after Pete had begun writing the songs for ‘Lifehouse.’

    This is where memories get fuzzy, no one can say for certain if Pete was only going to contribute one song or an entire soundtrack. Anyway, Pete went off to write a song which would be the centerpiece of the movie, and when a second meeting was held a few weeks later, Pete brought a song with him (and this [the song] that Pete brought with him, everyone can agree on) was the following

    Teenage Wasteland - Pete Townshend Demo - YouTube

    Which begs the question – Was ‘Teenage Wasteland’ a song originally written for the movie ‘Guitar Farm,’ or a ‘Lifehouse’ song repurposed for the movie.

    Anyway, plans for the movie fell apart and the song eventually found its way onto ‘Lifehouse.’

    Now, back to the story.

    The initial plans were for a series of concerts to be held at ‘The Old Vic’ auditorium, where The Who would perform selections from the songs ‘Lifehouse’ and gauge the audience reaction.

    Every audience member would have a ‘reading’ taken of them before the concert in order to find the right ‘note,’ and the band would incorporate those ‘notes’ into the performance. Once everyone was on the same ‘frequency’ harmony was to be achieved.

    The concerts were recorded and, at one point, were going to be incorporated into the ‘Lifehouse’ album as part of the concert that the characters listen to before achieving transcendence.

    Things didn’t go as planned and a month-long residency ended after only four performances, with unruly crowds demanding the band to play their hits.

    Disillusioned, the band moved onto the next portion of the ‘Lifehouse’ project, recording the album.

    The band convened at New York’s Record Plant studios to begin work on the album.

    However, the recordings sessions didn’t go as well as planned and ended after only three/four days with seven songs in various stages of completion.

    The reasons for this are twofold.

    One, their producer Kitt Lambert, had a serious drug problem (the reason for Kitt wanting to record in New York was the easy supply of cocaine) and was barely able to function, often passing out on the mixing console.

    Two, Pete overheard Kitt saying that the songs and the Lifehouse concept were no good and that he didn’t understand it.

    Pete, disillusioned, took to drinking heavily and contemplating suicide.

    The remaining sessions were cancelled and the band flew back to England where they rested and regrouped.

    Pete approached producer Glyn Johns about producing ‘Lifehouse.’ Glyn listened to Pete, his demos and the songs recorded at the Record Plant and agreed to do the album on two conditions – One, no songs from the Record Plant be used, they would start from scratch; and two, that ‘Lifehouse’ be scrapped and the double-album be whittled down to a single with only the songs Glyn though good enough be on it.

    Pete, tired of having to explain the Lifehouse concept, agreed, and the band went to work at Olympic Studios London.

    The rest they say, is history.

    Pete, however, would never fully give up on the ‘Lifehouse’ concept and would attempt to resurrect it over the years, with songs new songs appearing on the albums ‘Who By Numbers’ and ‘Who Are You’ and Pete’s solo album ‘Psychoderelict’ and the ‘Lifehouse Chronicles’ box set.

    As for the songs themselves, Pete had eighteen songs written for ‘Lifehouse’ – they are as follows (with the albums they appear on in parenthesis).

    1) Baba O'Riley [Who's Next]
    2) Bargain [Who's Next]
    3) Love Ain't For Keeping [Who's Next]
    4) Song Is Over [Who's Next]; The
    5) Getting In Tune [Who's Next]
    6) Goin’ Mobile [Who’s Next]
    7) Behind Blue Eyes [Who’s Next]
    8) Won’t Get Fooled Again [Who’s Next]

    9) Greyhound Girl (Demo) [Lifehouse Chronicles]
    10) I Don’t Even Know Myself [Who’s Next 2003 2CD Deluxe Version Bonus Track]
    11) Let’s See Action [Who Next 1995 CD Bonus Track]
    12) Mary (Demo) [Lifehouse Chronicles] – This one is interesting; everyone recalls a full band version of this song having been recorded at Olympic Studios, but no studio documentation or tapes have been found.
    13) Naked Eye [Odds And Sods]
    14) Pure And Easy [Odds And Sods]
    15) Teenage Wasteland [Lifehouse Chronicles]
    16) Time Is Passing [Odds And Sods]
    17) Too Much Of Anything [Odds And Sods]
    18) Two Of Us (Demo) [Unreleased]

    As for the song that started it all ‘Pure And Easy’ – why did it not end up on ‘Who’s Next’, even though
    it was recorded for the album?

    Two explanations have been given – One, Glyn thought it too similar to another song ‘The Song Over’ or ‘Getting In Tune’ (I can’t remember which). The other is that the song was sacrificed to make room for John Entwistle’s ‘My Wife’. Which is ironic because John wasn’t happy with the version recorded for ‘Who’s Next’ and would re–record (an inferior version) of the song for his solo album ‘Rigor Mortis Set In’.

    Also, there’s never been a tracklist for ‘Lifehouse’ – Pete has said that the album/tracks could be listened to in any sequence. It was more about the journey than the destination. What is known is that ‘Teenage Wasteland’/’Baba O’Riley’ would open the album and ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ would segue into ‘The Song Is Over’ to close it.

    I have twenty–five tracklisting from various bootlegs I’ve found online over the years and no two are alike.

    Personally, I think the best reconstruction of ‘Lifehouse’ can be found on the website/blog ‘Albums That Never’ by soniclovenoize. He recreated the double album and uses crossfades and edits to make the songs flow as one continuous piece of music; as well as including liner notes and album artwork.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2022
  18. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Location:
    The Old Mixer, Somewhere in Connecticut
    I won't know the difference.

    Transcendental powers and experiences definitely seemed to be part of the zeitgeist of the emerging decade. No doubt this was informed largely by psychedelic drug experiences in the previous one, but even relative old fogeys like Kirby were getting into the act with concepts like the Source and the Anti-Life Equation.

    This is quite interesting. I have to wonder if there were precedents in sci-fi lit of the time.

    It seems to me like it was perhaps a developing song idea he already had that he was looking for a place to use at this point.

    I remember reading about this in the Wiki article for Who's Next.

    This guy's coming up a lot lately, what with his being all over the Get Back doc. I got a kick out of John routinely addressing him as "Glynis"--something I'd previously read about.

    Seems he may also have been conceiving of shuffling before it was a practical option.
     
  19. DarrenTR1970

    DarrenTR1970 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
    Location:
    Bothell, WA
    Pete is a known electronic gadgeter. He had some of the earliest synthesizers installed in his home studio and he is an endless tinkerer.

    Again, this is where I wish I had the book handy. In it, Pete talks about reading an article about two computers 'talking' to each other via the phone lines.

    This all would have been early 1971, just before starting work on 'Lifehouse'. So, something definately 'sparked' in him.
     
  20. DarrenTR1970

    DarrenTR1970 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
    Location:
    Bothell, WA
    And this can be consider an 'answer' song by The American Breed. (Bend Me, Shape Me)

    Mindrocker - YouTube