Why I Am Doing This

October 25th, 2009 by David Gross | Comments Off on Why I Am Doing This

david gross

We are a generation that has shared a time in history like no other! Most of us were born into a post World War II utopia. As we made our way through life, we questioned authority, tried to make the world a better place, spoke out against injustices, and all of the music we listened to were anthems for our generation.

There is nothing like music that can take you back to a place in time where you can experience exactly how you felt the first moment you heard that song!

Baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1965. Most of us defined ourselves with the music we listened to.

I grew up 22 blocks north of the Brill Building in NYC. The “Brill Building Sound” may be the only subgenre of pop music named after a building, for it was in that very building, a former monolith of New York City’s Garment District located at 1619 Broadway (between 49th and 50th St., where producer Don Kirshner placed the best and brightest songwriters of the Camelot years. They were early-Sixties mainstays, almost all duos, whose very names became emblematic of great pop songwriting: Lieber and Stoller, Goffin and King, Mann and Weil, Bacharach and David, Pomus and Shuman, Sedaka and Greenfield.

I had this love for music as far back as I can recall. My parents bought the 45-RPM of Elvis Presley’s “Don’t Be Cruel” and I played it to death.

I guess that was where it all began. We had a piano that I would bang on for hours on end. I would sometimes grab a badminton racket and make believe I was playing a guitar standing in front of the black and white TV watching the Mickey Mouse Club. Of course, this was before the Beatles! Who would have known?

In the early 1960’s, every kid had a transistor radio. Summers In NY were filled with the sounds of the hits of the day. Every beach blanket from Coney Island to the New Jersey shore had a transistor radio blaring sounds from WABC, WMCA, or WMGM. Who could forget Cousin Brucie, Murray the K, and “Good Guy” Harry Harrison! My sister, who was 3 years older than I, and already embedded in the scene, was President of the local Rolling Stones fan club and was beginning to write songs. I remember one night we were listening to B. Mitchell Reed on WMCA and they had a call in contest for some WMCA sweatshirts. Well Denyse was bound and determined to win it, and of course, she did. A few weeks later a couple of sweatshirts arrived.

WMCA 10/10/63 The Joe O’Brien Show


When I was 7, I attended PS 26, The Rufus King Public School, I signed up for band (yes, schools did have band programs back then!) and got myself a clarinet. I would come home after school and practice every day.

By the time I hit 10, the radio was my best friend. Even though my parents hated rock and roll, we would occasionally drive somewhere and one of “my” songs would come on the radio and they would leave it on. I felt it was a major victory for me.

To me, AM radio was an open palette. There weren’t all the distinctions that radio is today. No AOR, MOR, Pop, Soul. It was music, the charts reflected all of it and I loved it all!

1960 Billboard

1961 Billboard

1962 Billboard

1963 Billboard



WABC DJ Compilation 1964

Sunday Feb 9, 1964 8 PM 73 million people watched as the Beatles sang All My Loving, Till There Was You, She Loves You, I Saw Her Standing There, and I Want To Hold Your Hand.

Then, Feb 16, 1964 8 PM from their hotel in Miami, the Beatles sang She Loves You, This Boy, All My Loving, I Saw Her Standing There, From Me To You and I Want To Hold Your Hand


Lastly, February 23rd 8 PM the Beatles sang Twist and Shout, Please Please Me, and I Want To Hold Your Hand. Oddly enough, these 3 songs were pre-recorded during the day on February 9th so in essence, they were the real first appearance of the Beatles.

From then on, I and all of my friends wanted to be the Beatles. I think those 3 shows did more to bolster musical instrument manufacturers and retail music establishments than anything since! Everybody had a band!

Then the music just exploded!

The Rolling Stones, the Kinks, Manfred Mann, the Who, the Hollies, the Yardbirds, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, the Animals, Herman’s Hermits, the Dave Clark Five, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Freddie and the Dreamers, the list goes on and on!

My sister took me to see A Hard Day’s Night at the Bay Terrace Theater in Bayside NY and I must have been struck by lightening! I knew what I was going to do for the rest of my life!


For about 6 months, I took lessons on the drums. Living in an apartment put a quick stop to that. For the next few months I had no instrument to play. My sister played guitar, piano, and flute. She had perfect pitch! I would sneak in her room when she was not home, grab her acoustic guitar and make believe I was a rock star! My parents ordered her an electric guitar mail order and it arrived to much fanfare. About a month later, an electric bass came from the same store! Neither of my parents ordered it! I was told that if in a month no one asked for it back it would be mine. 30 days later I was a bass player. I have always said the bass came GOD versus COD! Moreover, I have had the opportunity to travel around the world because of this bass!

And that my friends is what brings us to….

Talkin’ About My Generation!

My sister Denyse was already a part of the NY music scene.

My Sister

She was writing songs for pop groups like the Brooklyn Bridge and the Peppermint Rainbow ( And I’ll Be There ) and singer Karen Wyman. She was friends with many of the British musicians of the era. Tony Hicks of the Hollies, Eddie Hardin from the Spencer Davis Group, and Jim McCarty of the Yardbirds. She always had a large selection of music magazines from England that I would pore over. I would cut out articles and pictures of my favorite bands and put them into a scrapbook.

Recently, after finding the scrapbook, I decided to create this blog and take a trip down memory lane.

Most of the pictures and articles are from Melody Maker, Record Mirror, New Music Express. I was a real Anglophile. Anything British! Fashion, music, culture. I remember one of my sister’s friends coming home from England with the same jacket that Noel Redding wore on the US LP Are You Experienced. It was in bright red and I coerced her to sell it to me!

jimi hendrix

Being a bass player and wearing that jacket when I played my next high school dance was a highlight for me!

Come follow me as we take a trip back into the 60’s

People try to put us d-down (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)

Just because we get around (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)

Things they do look awful c-c-cold (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)

I hope I die before I get old (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)

This is my generation

This is my generation, baby

Why don’t you all f-fade away (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)

And don’t try to dig what we all s-s-say (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)

I’m not trying to cause a big s-s-sensation (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)

I’m just talkin’ ’bout my g-g-g-generation (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)

This is my generation


This is my generation, baby

Pete Townsend 1965

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Colony Records

October 28th, 2009 by David Gross | Comments Off on Colony Records

colony records

Growing up in NYC in the 1960’s had many advantages for someone hooked on music and the Colony Record Shop was one of them! Located at 1619 Broadway at the corner of 49th St., this store had everything! 45’s, LP’s, sheet music, posters, you name it!

When you walked in the store, it had a sort of scary vibe to it. Perhaps it was its proximity to Times Square. Perhaps it was my young age.

In 1965 I got my first taste of what would eventually be one of my favorite bands, the Who. With the release of “I Can’t Explain,” I was immediately hooked. I took the M 104 bus down Broadway and picked up a copy.


What I did not know at the time was that the original US pressing misprinted the label with “Can’t Explain, not “I Can’t Explain!”

On January 6, 1966 I got to see the Who on Shindig, a national music show on the ABC Network.  Not only did they do “I Can’t Explain” they also did ”My Generation

In March of 1966 I was watching The Clay Cole Show and he showed a clip of the Who performing “Substitute” I was so excited that I went to the Colony Record Shop the very next morning and picked up the 45! What struck me was that it was not on Decca but on Atco Records. Apparently it was issued through an arrangement with UK Polydor Records, due to the dispute The Who was raging with their producer Shel Talmy and their contract with US Decca and UK Brunswick.


This was the only single Atco issued by the Who.


August 5, 1966 was another important date for Colony Records and me. Revolver by the Beatles was released and it seems that the Colony was the only store that had it in that day. Now my obsessive/compulsive behavior to music and record collecting got the better of me and would not allow me to wait even one day! I knew it was more expensive there but I wanted that record!

As I said before, the Colony had everything. In 1977 walking by I saw 2 of my bass instruction books in the front window.

rock bassfretless bass

To me, I had finally arrived!

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Murray The K

November 9th, 2009 by David Gross | Comments Off on Murray The K

The Concert Program

The Concert Program




Wed. March 28, 1967 I was on Easter vacation and my drummer Lenny (we all had high school bands) and I went to the RKO Keith theater on 58th and 3rd Ave to see the Who the first time they ever played the USA. It was the Murray the K, a famous NY DJ (sometimes known as the 5th Beatle) Music in the Fifth Dimension Show.
Murray the K
Swingin’ Soiree

It started at 10:15 in the morning, Acts on the bill included the Blues Project, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Wilson Pickett (Buddy Miles was on drums) Wilson Pickett, the Young Rascals The Young Rascals, The Mandala, the Chicago Loop, Simon & Garfunkel, Jim & Jean, Phil Ochs, The Blues Magoos and the Hardly Worthit Players. Booked but not to perform were Smokey Robinson & the Miracles.

They would perform 2 or 3 songs, then they would show a movie about two Australian truckers driving across the outback or some other grand Z movie.

It was great to finally see my heroes! The Who performed I Can’t Explain, and My Generation with a smash up, and the next show they played Substitute and My Generation with a smash up. Cream played I’m So Glad

and I Feel Free and sometimes broke it up with a very short version of Spoonful.

The show lasted 12 minutes and they played 5 shows a day staring March 25th and ending April 2nd 1967. Roger Daltrey broke a total of 18 microphones during the entire run.

It was an odd grouping of talent and a number of the bands did not do the early shows. That was fine with me because I really only wanted to see the Who and Cream.


This newspaper article is from the New Music Express in April 1967. I do not know the exact date, but they make reference to releasing in England Pictures of Lily on April 21, 1967

image012The RKO Keith The theatre originally opened as the KeithAlbee Vaudeville Theatre on December 20th, 1928, on the same site as Proctor’s Pleasure Palace Palm Gardens, which dated back to 1895 and was demolished to make way for what F.F. Proctor termed his “Greatest Triumph”. Thomas Lamb was the architect, using the Mexican Baroque style. Against a blue evening sky, the effect of twinkling electric stars and projected drifting clouds evoked a romantic feeling of sitting in a Spanish garden. The entire building was once designated a city landmark. Jack Benny, Bob Hope and other entertainers of the day played the Keith’s. As an ironic twist, in 1966, before the Murray the K show, RKO closed the 58th Street and put a sign on the marquee that said “Go to the RKO 86th Street for the Best in Entertainment”. The 58th Street was sold and demolished for a 39-story luxury building. Underneath the building is a McDonald’s Townhouse!


To make up for its loss, RKO built a new twin cinema on 59th Street, which is now also ancient history.

Speaking of the Cream, my sister Denyse who had completely different taste in music than I had come home from a visit to England with a bunch of records. One of them was the 1st John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers album and another was Fresh Cream.


She handed them to me and told me to take a listen but I probably wouldn’t like them. Boy was she wrong.

Another interesting tidbit about my sister Denyse, she was at the recording session of SWABLR. I don’t know why she was there but…  Cream-SWABLR

In another post, I will tell you about another LP given to me that changed my life.

One last thing, I want this to be an interactive site. I would love to hear your stories, remembrances, etc. Please post comments

See you next week!

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1960’s Television Part 1

November 16th, 2009 by David Gross | Comments Off on 1960’s Television Part 1

admiral-tv-phono-late50s-250x217Since this website/blog is a work in progress, I thought that a segment or two on television in the 60’s, and in particular, television that included musical acts should be included.

Does this look familiar to you?


Or how about this?

The Seal of Good Practice

If you woke up very early, I mean before The Modern Farmer, or if you stayed up really late, this is what you would see on the television!

In the New York area, TV was a lot different back in the 60’s. We had 3 national channels WABC(Channel 7), WCBS(Channel 2), and WNBC(Channel 4) , WNET (Channel 13) a local PBS outlet and a few local stations WNEW(channel 5), WOR(Channel 9) and WPIX(Channel 11). Cable, FIOS, and Satellite had not been invented and the thought of 500 channels was sheer fantasy!

With the creation of Rock n’ Roll, TV stations, realizing the economic impact started booking bands on primetime variety shows and a slew of “teenage dance” shows began.

The Arthur Murray Dance Party was a television variety show which ran from 1950 until 1960. The show was hosted by famous dances Arthur and Kathryn Murray, and was basically a long advertisement for their chain of dance studios hat are still in business today! The show was set up like a large party with Kathryn hosting a variety of guests from actors, sports stars, to musicians. Back in 1957 they hosted a show with the great Buddy Holly

One interesting side note, the Arthur Murray Dance Party was the only series on TV that ran on all four networks at least twice.

Like most of us, I spent a lot of time in front of a television. As far back as I could remember, I was always enthralled when singers, bands, and instrumentalists were on. One the shows that I loved to watch was Ozzie & Harriet

Ozzie & Harriet

It starred former big band leader Ozzie Nelson and his wife singer Harriet Nelson and the two sons David and Ricky. The show was a sitcom focusing on the families average day to day problems. Ricky was the first teen idol to use television to promote hit records. In one episode, Ricky sang the Fats Domino classic “I’m Walkin” and it went to number 4 on the charts! Every episode after that ended with Ricky singing with a band that included the guitar legend James Burton. Elvis Presley’s backup singers accompanied Ricky on his albums. Ricky Nelson

Here is an interesting fact, between 1957 and 1973; Ricky Nelson had 53 songs on the billboard top 100 and 19 top ten hits.

lawrence-welkAnother show pre Beatles that was a musical mainstay for my parents was the Lawrence Welk Show. It was hard to sit through the show but at least some of the songs were familiar. I found this clip of the Chantays playing “Pipeline” in 1963 Chantays

c (36)

beatles_ed_sullivanEd Sullivan changed the whole ballgame in February 1964. Beatlemania had taken hold and I was completed under its spell! There wasn’t anything coming out of England that I wasn’t trying to soak up.

March 8, 1964, the fifth Sunday after the Beatles Ed Sullivan debut was in my opinion, the start of the British Invasion.  It was the night the Dave Clark Five appeared. Glad All Over

From that moment on, there wasn’t a Sunday night that I wasn’t tuned in to see the next English group.

The Searchers

Gerry and the Pacemakers

Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas

The Animals

The Rolling Stones

Peter and Gordon

Freddie and the Dreamers

Herman’s Hermits

After the Beatles everything changed!  Everyone spoke with a British accent! Everyone had a band!


We did gigs even if we couldn’t play!

It seemed that there was music on TV from morning to night!

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1960’s Television Part 2

November 23rd, 2009 by David Gross | Comments Off on 1960’s Television Part 2

I grew up on West 68th St in what at the time was a brand new building called the Dorchester Towers.


Since it was centrally located, a number of entertainment folk lived there. Jackie Wilson, Terry Knight (manager of Grand Funk Railroad) Sidney Poitier, newscaster Gabe Pressman and drummer Don Lamond.


Don was a well known drummer who had played with Woody Herman, Stan Getz, and Charlie Parker. He lived a few floors above me and he took a fatherly interest in me. At this point in his life he was house drummer for the Les Crane show. I used to cut class and go with Don to the ABC studios which were 3 blocks away and sit by his side while he filmed the show. It was a great experience getting to see the filming of a live TV show. It was so obvious what I was going to do with my life!                                                                                                                              One time when I was there Bob Dylan was on the show.

The Dick Cavett Show was also filmed in my neighborhood. There was a TV studio right across the street from my school and it was used for taping the Cavett Show. There was never a problem getting in so I would leave school and watch the show. His shows were very favorable to rock music. In an interview with Jimi Hendrix, Dick spoke to him about his performance of the “Star Spangled Banner” at Woodstock, and, when speaking comically to any of Hendrix’s enemies, called the song “unorthodox”. Jimi commented that the song was “not unorthodox” and that what he played was beautiful. The audience clapped, and Dick blushed. This was recorded September 9, 1969. Jimi Hendrix

In the mornings before school, I would sometimes sit in our lobby and wait for my sister to go to school. She went to PCS (Professional Children’s School) and one of her friend’s in the building went there as well. I must confess, when she was about 14, I had a crush on Carol Kane.

Carol Kane

She lived on the 3rd floor and we lived on the 10th.

Another early variety show, filmed in Philadelphia, that included musical acts was the Mike Douglas Show who was a former big band singer. The show featured acts included Herman’s Hermits, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Every Mother’s Son (a band that included my future dentist Bruce Milner!), Come On Down To My Boat The Rolling Stones and many others. The show started in 1961 and was broadcast live until 1965 when Zsa Zsa Gabor called Morey Amsterdam a “son of a bitch!” My have times changed! I couldn’t find that clip so here is a clip from one of my favorite West Coast bands Moby Grape

In April of 1964 the darkened studios of the old Channel 13, located in the upper floors of the Mosque Theater in Newark New Jersey, came alive as the brand new WNJU-TV Channel-47. One of my favorite shows was Zacherley’s Disco Teen, which aired daily at 5 PM on this Newark, N.J., UHF station. I couldn’t wait to see the show. I knew that when the show ended, dinner would be servedThe show was a “sort of Transylvanian Bandstand.” The show featured dancers like American Bandstandand local bands and performers. The big difference between Zach and Dick Clark was that the Cool Ghoul emceed the show in costume. He looked like Dracula and  performed his crazy routines and experiments, sometimes using the kids from the audience as straight men. He has said that  they were three of the happiest years of his life!.  The show was popular but frustrating because in the early days of UHF TV, reception could be poor. It didn’t matter to me. There was 60 minutes of music and gags and he would have bands on some of the shows including the Doors, the Critters, and in this clip, Alex Chilton and the Box Tops. Sadly, the show ended in 1967.Disc-O-Teen

Do you remember the Lloyd Thaxton Show? It was the highest rated musical show in the country for eight years. Lloyd was one of the founders of Tiger Beat magazine! Mag-TigerBeat

The Lloyd Thaxton Show I was turned on to Arthur Lee and Love’s “Little Red Book” through this show.Little Red Book It is still one of my favorite songs of all time written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David for the movie What’s New Pussycat? It was originally recorded by Manfred Mann.

Dick Clark’s legendary musical series, “American Bandstand” was originally aired on Monday-Friday. Then, in 1965 after two years on the air, it moved to just one show weekly on Saturday afternoons. Dick decided to develop a “spin-off series” titled “Where the Action Is” in order to fill the weekday after school pop music void left by American Bandstand’s time change. I used to come home from school and watch this or the  Soupy Sales Show. It made Paul Revere and the Raiders superstars!  I found that watching TV and practicing my bass went hand in hand!  In 1966 a very strange occurence hapened on the show, a very subdued  Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band appeared. At approximately 6:50 on this clip is a bit of that show. Where the Action Is was cancelled, the story didn’t end there! Paul Revere and the Raiders had become a superstar group and had several hit records through the early 1970s! Together, Paul Revere and lead vocalist Paul Lindsay hosted a Saturday afternoon series nearly identical to Where the Action Is titled, “Happening ’68” and another weekday series from 1968-1969 titled, “It’s Happening”, from 1968 to 1969. Again, both of those shows were also produced by Dick Clark and aired on ABC.


“New York was home to The Ed Sullivan Show and The Clay Cole Show and when we first came to America, we were told we must do Clay Cole and Ed Sullivan,” said Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits. “Trouble is, we didn’t know which was which.”

The Clay Cole Show was one of the best music shows on WPIX channel 11 in NYC! It was very successful, thanks to first-time guest appearances of the Rolling Stones on a program with one other group, the Beatles, Neil Diamond, Dionne Warwick, Simon & Garfunkel, Richie Havens, Tony Orlando, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Lovin’ Spoonful, Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, the Young Rascals and many others. In the mid-Sixties, the Clay Cole Show became the first stop for the British Bands; the Moody Blues, Gerry & the Pacemakers, the Dave Clark 5, Yardbirds, Animals, Who, Doors, and Herman’s Hermits were among the many groups who stopped by. Clay Cole presents The Beatles vs The Rolling Stones’” pulled the highest rating in our history ( “the ratings went through the roof,” reported Variety ) — prompting Ch 11 to repeat the hour on three different nights, with equally high numbers. In 1968 he left the show and in a cost cutting measure, WPIX erased all of the shows tapes! What a shame. The only tape that exists, without audio is from a 1958 WJAR-TV broadcast from Providence.

Shindig filmed in LA aired on ABC TV from 1964-1966. A DJ named Jimmy O’Neil created and hosted the show. It started as a 1/2 hour show and in 1965 was expanded to a full hour. The first show featured The Beatles and the list of stars is voluminous!. The “house band” was chock full of incredible musicians: Glen Campbell, Delaney Bramlett, Billy Preston, James Burton and Leon Russell and the assistant choreographer was Antonia Basilotta aka Toni Basil! Shindig made an appearance on a 1965 episode of The Flintstones as “Shinrock!” with host “Jimmy O’Neillstone”. The episode featured musical guests The Beau Brummels, appearing as “The Beau Brummelstones,” who performed their hit song Laugh Laugh. In January of 1966 the show was cancelled to make room for Batman!

As I said last week, music was everywhere on TV. When I wasn’t listening to music on my stereo, practicing my bass, or listening to my parents fighting I would spend my time in front of the TV looking for anything with a band.

I want to personally thank everyone who has visited, commented and given a thumbs up to this blog! This is the 4th week and I am enjoying sharing all of this with all of you.

I also want to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving and speaking of Thanksgiving, on the night before  at 10 PM EST, the History Channel is doing an hour long special on the Beatles and on Thanksgiving night on ABC will be the broadcast of Paul McCartney at Citi Field. So get your DVR’s ready!

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1960’s Television Pt 3

November 30th, 2009 by David Gross | Comments Off on 1960’s Television Pt 3

Here is my last installment about music and television in the 1960’s

Where we left off was Shindig and I wanted to let you know that I have devoted next weeks blog to Hullaballoo! I have some interesting stories so stay tuned!

We still didn’t get through all of the variety shows that were featuring music so here goes!

On the Dean Martin Hollywood Palace episode, Dean ridiculed the Rolling Stones, their very first US TV appearance, and of course, a big brouhaha ensued. Pretty timid by today’s standards! Oh, one of the other acts that night was Bertha the Elephant who was not maligned!

The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, became one of the most influential and controversial American TV programs of the Vietnam era, due to being very politically left. Despite popular success, the brothers’ penchant for material that was critical of the political mainstream (and sympathetic to the emerging counterculture) led to their program’s cancellation by the CBS network in 1969. The Who appeared 9/17/67 and after they did their smash up of “My Generation,” Pete Townsend smashes Dickie Smothers acoustic guitar. This was my favorite episode being the big Who freak I was except for The Electric Prunes who performed on 4/16/67

Shivaree was a local LA TV show that was very similar to Shindig.  It was hosted by Gene Weed. In its brief run, the show featured numerous well-known acts, including the Rolling Stones, Marvin Gaye, the Supremes, the Byrds, Allan Sherman, the Ronettes, We Five, and James Brown at its KABC-TV studio. Enjoy the clip!

Night Train was an all-black rhythm & blues, vocal group harmony and soul music TV show produced at WLAC, Channel 5, Nashville, TN and hosted by Noble Blackwell. All of the  artists performed live and include the Avons, the Spidells, Hal Hardy, Jimmy Church, Ironing Board Sam, Pamela Releford, Jeffery Allen, Sandra King, Joe Perkins and many others! The photography and lighting are done very well. It’s a very cool-looking and sounding TV show! Great rhythm & blues and doo wop sounds!  Their claim to fame, in my opinion, is this clip of Buddy and Stacey which has the earliest footage of Jimi Hendrix in the back up band. Dig those dance steps!

Even the kids show had to get into the act! Here is a Chicago kids program. Mulqueens Kiddie A Go Go:New Colony Six

Rex Harrison’s son, Noel, was a bit of a pop star in the 60’s. Here is a clip from his special “Where the Girls Are” that includes Barbara McNair and the Byrds doing Good Days Sunshine Don’t forget your Go Go boots!

Here is an interesting tidbit, on May 14, 1968 Johnny Carson was on holiday and would you believe, Joe Garagiola, with Tallulah Bankhead on interviewed Lennon & McCartney on the Tonight Show.

Launched by ABC TV in 1967 to compete with The Tonight Show, The Joey Bishop Show lasted two years. BTW, his sidekick on the show was Regis Philbin! Here is a clip featuring the late Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart Joey Bishop  Boyce and Hart

I couldn’t get enough of these bands! Anything that even hinted at music I would watch! The powers that be in the industry knew there were hundreds of thousands of kids who felt the same way so not only were variety shows pushing rock acts but a number of TV shows, particularly sitcoms were doing the same.

Here is a sampling of the shows that had music.

The Patty Duke Show :One of my old friends is Paul O’Keefe who played Ross, Patty’s younger brother on the show. I remember him telling me that this show with Chad and Jeremy inspired him to take up music. As far back as I can remember, I always found it odd when 2 guitars are playing that all of a sudden a full orchestra is backing them up! I would always wonder when Danny Thomas sat at the piano and sang to his son Rusty, where they fit the orchestra in their apartment!

Gidget started as a film series with Sandra Dee in 1959. Sally Field starred in the sitcom that basically revolved around her and her father, played by Don Porter , who some of you might remember from the Ann Southern Show.The basic premise focused on Gidget getting a bit of moral instruction from her dad. This clip has Gidget going rock and roll:  Gidget’s Career

Everybody remembers the Andy Griffith Show because it is always in reruns. The basic  premise portrays Andy as a widowed sheriff in a southern town with an inept deputy, Barney Fife (Don Knotts) a spinster Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier) and his son Opie.. This clip features  :Opies Band “The Sound Commitee”

Even the Munsters got into the act. Listen to this, The Standells whose big hit was “Dirty Water”  doing a cover of “I Want to Hold Your Hand!”

A bizarre episode of My Three Sons: Rock Star Come Home with Monkee  Mickey Dolenz

What about  Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie featuring Boyce and Hart?

Maybe the strangest pairing on television was The Mothers in Law featuring Eve Arden, Kaye Ballard and Sky Saxon with  The Seeds There was only one stranger billing that I can remember at the Orpheum Theater in Boston when I was going to the Berklee College of Music: The NY Dolls, Larry Coryell’s Eleventh House, and headlining Capt Beefheart! Oh, I just remembered one other at the Filmore: The jazzrock group If, the Faces, and headlining Black Sabbath!

They don’t do billings like that anymore.

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Books, CD’s Etc. That I Recommend

December 7th, 2009 by David Gross | Comments Off on Books, CD’s Etc. That I Recommend

Hi everyone!

I would like to recommend the following for anyone who is enjoying this blog.






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December 7th, 2009 by David Gross | Comments Off on Hullaballoo
Hullabaloo was originally a one-hour music variety show, airing from 8:30-9:30 on Tuesday nights. In June 1965, it shifted to the 10 PM slot, but three months later, the network cut the show to thirty minutes and moved it to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, where it remained to the end of its run, whereupon it was replaced by the sitcom, The Monkees.
On December 6, 1965, the day before my mother’s birthday, I went to my very first TV show. My sister was “dating” Tony Hicks of the Hollies and they were performing on the show. I can remember my mother telling Denyse, that she could not go unless I came along.  This was a great moment for me! Perhaps I would be on TV! We grabbed a cab and arrived at NBC’s Studio 8-H in the Radio City complex in Rockefeller Center. This is the same studio that now houses Saturday Night Live. The show was basically a variety show not unlike the Ed Sullivan Show or it’s West Coast competition Shindig.
Here are a few of the videos  and a set list of the artists who performed that night back in December 1965:
1) Frankie Avalon (guest host) – “Do I Hear A Waltz?” Frankie Avalon
Frankie Avalon introduces the individual members of the Hollies.
2) The Hollies – “Look Through Any Window” The Hollies
Frankie Avalon sings a few lines from “Nancy With The Laughing Face” to introduce the next guest.
3) Nancy Sinatra – “So Long Babe” Nancy Sinatra
4) The Ronettes – “You Baby” The Ronettes
5) Lola Falana – “Wouldn’t It Be Lovely” (“Loverly”) Lola Falana
6) Medley of TV Theme songs (excerpts from songs):
6a) Frankie Avalon – “Hullabaloo Theme”
6b) A few lines from the Bonanza Theme are performed.
6c) Frankie Avalon – “Bewitched” theme
6d) Nancy Sinatra, Lola Falana, and Frankie Avalon – “The Andy Griffith Show” theme
6e) Frankie Avalon – “Moon River”
6f) Lola Falana & Nancy Sinatra – “Beverly Hillbillies” theme
6g) Frankie Avalon – “Everybody Loves Somebody”
6h) Lola Falana & Nancy Sinatra – Theme from “Flipper”
6i) Frankie Avalon – “Branded” (a line or two from song)
6j) Theme from “The Flintstones” theme
6k) “Action” theme (end of medley)
7) The Yardbirds – “I’m A Man” (Hullabaloo A Go-Go segment) The Yardbirds
What I find most interesting about this show was all of the synchronicity that occurred. The bad news… Yardbirds drummer Jim McCarty came to our apartment to visit my sister. My father, who didn’t like any of this “Long hair” stuff was quite rude and obnoxious. The good news…. 1966 B side of “Shapes of Things” was a song titled New York City Blues. Any similarities to the real thing are purely true however, the shotgun was just a metaphor.
New York City Blues-Lyrics Keith Relf/Chris Dreja
If you’ve ever been to New York City, You know what I’m talking about, Yes you do.
Well, if you’ve ever been to New York City, You know what I’m talking about,
They got such pretty little girls in that big town, Make a man want to jump around and shout.
I met a little girl there, She was about five foot eight.
I said “I want you to love me.” She said “Why man, that’d be great.”
So,I got long hair but, She took me back, Back to see her pad,
But the first thing I saw when I arrived there, Was a big black shiny shotgun, In the hands of her dad. Alright now, this is how it was, Oh no! Well all right!
I finally learned my lesson, Such a long time ago, Next little woman that I date, I’ve got to know,
I’ve got to know her family too. Yes indeed, I gotta know her family too.
But if you don’t want to be filled full of shotgun holes, Mister, this song is just for you.
The 2nd interesting occurrence has to do with Frankie Avalon. I am visiting my in laws on Cape Cod back in the summer of 1996 and I get a phone call from an old friend who was road manager for “Dick Fox’s Golden Boys: Frankie Avalon, Fabian, and Bobby Rydell.” The Golden Boys Their bass player had gotten ill and he was wondering if I could fill in for him for a few days. I told him I was on Cape Cod and would not be back in NY for a couple of weeks. Would you believe he said, that’s perfect! We are playing the Cape Cod Melody Tent tomorrow! I was really excited to speak with Frankie and talk about the show. He was wonderful to talk to. A great guy!
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Memories from Musicians

December 7th, 2009 by David Gross | Comments Off on Memories from Musicians

There were a three critical days in my life that truly defined what I was going to do with the rest of my life.

1-Elvis on Ed Sullivan 1956

2-The Beatles on Ed Sullivan 1964

3-A Hard Day’s Night 1964

These three momentous occasions changed not only my life, but the lives of many professional musicians who will be relating stories on this page.

I do hope you like it!

Mike3Since my father was a musician it wasn’t a matter of if I wanted to be involved in music but WHEN. In 1968 I went to my first rock concert- at the Filmore East. I was 14 years old. The place was filled with pot smoke, the lights and projections were totally psychedelic and overwhelming; I had never seen ANYTHING like this before in my life. As you know, the Fillmore was famous for having 3 acts a night of almost any genre on the same bill. This particular night the “Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation” with a very young Aynsley Dunbar on drums was the opener. They were followed by “Spirit” with Randy California. The headliners “Creedence Clearwater Revival.” It was a life-changing moment for a 14 year old kid. I knew then and there that I would be a musician. I never looked back on that decision. I visited the Fillmore many times before it closed, sometimes skipping school to do so, just to hang out in the East Village. I saw Emerson, Lake and Palmer there, Small Faces with Rod Stewart, Black Sabbath with Ozzy, Edgar Winter’s White Trash and many others. I would never have known about some of the bands that played there had it not been for Bill Graham’s genius- Curved Air (with Stewart Copland), The Flock (with Jerry Goodman on violin)…etc. There was never a more creative entrepreneur than bill Graham. Fortunately I got to meet him a couple of times after I myself became a professional bass player and did gigs for his agency. Many have tried to copy his methods, no one has succeeded. It was a time and place that will never exist again.   Mike Visceglia is the bassist for Suzanne Vega. Check out his website at www.mikevisceglia.com

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Jimi Hendrix

December 14th, 2009 by David Gross | Comments Off on Jimi Hendrix

jimi170My mom was a buyer for Macy’s Department stores and  sometimes I would meet her for lunch, they actually had a pretty good restaurant, and she would give me her Macy’s charge and I would go into the record department and pick out a few LP’s. Well, one of those days when I got the the record dept.  I saw the first Jimi Hendrix LP and the first Pink Floyd LP. I had only read about them so when I got home and put them on the record player I was completely blown away!  This must have been in early June of 1968 because they had become popular following their appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival. This was also the concert where during the finale “Wild Thing” Hendrix set his guitar on fire! Apparently Pete Townsend and Hendrix were refusing to follow each others band so the lighter fluid was the only answer!

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This is a full page add from Cashbox circa 1967.

By now I was eating, breathing, and sleeping Are You Experienced! I was so into this band that I purchased an LP by Curtis Knight who had his own band the Squires. “Get That Feeling” was actually not that bad!


Get That Feeling

The release in the UK of Axis Bold As Love

axis_bold_as_loveonly 7 months after the release of Are You Experienced, 8 months later in the US solidified in my mind how great Jimi Hendrix was. I would spend hours learning the songs so I could teach them to my band mates.
An interesting side note, the master tapes to side 1 were left in a taxi by Hendrix, never to be found again, and had to be remixed.

Also released in 1968 was a short lived magazine in the US called Eye. Here is a great picture from that magazine.

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Since my sister was entrenched in the New York scene and working hard as a songwriter, she would get all of the British music newspapers and magazines. Here are a few interesting articles from those papers.

TBMG #4_0012August 19, 1967 was the release date for Burning of the Midnight Lamp one of my favorite songs. In this promo video, Hendrix is playing a Flying V and there is no Wah Wah pedal!

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In the summer of 1967 the Jimi Hendrix Experience opened for the Monkees on their US Tour (they were fans) so I guess to compliment this unlikely pairing in the UK, Hendrix toured with The Turtles! ANd there was no truth to the rumor that Hendrix was kicked off the tour because the “Daughters of the American Revolution” thought him to be “too erotic!”

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Even the Brits neede a little “16 Magazine” expose on Jimi and his mates.

On March 2, 1968 I went to a fantastic concert at Hunter College.

Picture 001Here he is backstage in probably the Deans Office. The opening act was the real revelation for me! I had never heard of The Soft Machine but I went out and purchased their first LP 51KhPCk4J8L._SL500_AA240_

I can remember doing my homework and listening to side 1 over and over. I really loved this band!

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Take a good look at this picture. All on one show! I wished that this kind of a tour would happen in the US. Hendrix, the Move(who were banned from America because they destroyed a Volkswagen on stage), Pink Floyd, Amen Corner, the Eire Apparent (produced by Noel Redding) the Outer Limit, and Keith Emerson and the Nice.

Released in October of 1968, Hendrix’s third album was a bit of a conundrum for me. I liked most of it, but some it, just ambled on. I felt a lot of the “double LP’s coming out had this same dilemma. Another interesting aspect to this LP was its’ cover art. The US version 1283243310_e5242a3014

was demonstrably different from it’s UK counterpart Electric_Ladyland

Banned in the USA, it is relatively tame by todays standards!

Later in the year, Noel Redding who had been frustrated that he was not playing guitar, his original instrument, left to form Fat Mattress which would sometimes open for the Experience. fat1

The last Experience concert took place on June 29, 1969 at Barry Fey’s Denver Pop Festival, a three-day event held at Denver’s Mile High Stadium that was marked by police firing tear gas into the audience as they played “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”. The band escaped from the venue in the back of a rental truck which was partly crushed by fans trying to escape the tear gas. The next day, Noel Redding announced that he had quit the Experience. On April 21st, Redding was replaced by Billy Cox.  Mitch Mitchell was unavailable to help fulfill Hendrix’s commitments at this time, which include his first appearance on US TV – on the Dick Cavett show – where he was backed by the studio orchestra, and an appearance on The Tonight Show where he appeared with his new bass player Billy Cox, and session drummer Ed Shaughnessy sitting in for Mitchell.                                                                                            Mitchell returned in time for the Woodstock music festival on August 18, 1969, for which—in an effort to expand his sound beyond the power trio format—Hendrix then added rhythm guitarist Larry Lee (another old friend from his R&B days), and percussionists Juma Sultan and Jerry Velez. After Woodstock, this expanded band played only two more shows, a street fare in Harlem and a gig at Salvation in Greenwich Village. I used to sneak in to Salvation II on Central Park South when you could “sneak in” without getting carded!

After he won his drug possession charges in Toronto, Hendrix rehearsed with Buddy Miles and Billy Cox for 4 shows at the Filmore East Band of Gypsys would release an LP in 1970, the only official complete live LP released in his lifetime. The second and final Band of Gypsys appearance occurred on January 28, 1970, at a twelve-act show in Madison Square Garden which was a benefit for the massively popular anti-Vietnam War Moratorium Committee, titled the “Winter Festival for Peace”.

On January 26/27, Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding flew into New York and signed contracts for the upcoming Jimi Hendrix Experience tour. Redding never even got to rehearse, as Hendrix just continued to work with Billy Cox.

In August 1970, Electric Lady Studios was opened in New York.

Designed by architect and acoustician John Storyk, the studio was made specifically for Hendrix, with round windows and a machine capable of generating ambient lighting in a myriad of colors. It was designed to have a relaxing feel to encourage Hendrix’s creativity, but at the same time provide a professional recording atmosphere. Engineer Eddie Kramer upheld this by refusing to allow any drug use during session work.

Hendrix spent only two and a half months recording in Electric Lady, most of which took place while the final phases of construction were still ongoing. Following a recording/dubbing session on August 26, an opening party was held later that day. He then boarded an Air India flight for London with Billy Cox, joining Mitch Mitchell to perform at the Isle of Wight Festival.

One of the most important days of my life was getting called for my first ever Jingle session in 1974. It was a radio spot for “Uncle Ben’s Rice” and I recorded it at Electric Lady. Just walking dow the stairs gave me chills. It was originally the Generation Club and Hendrix and his manager Michael Jeffrey bought it in 1968. I can remember walking up Greenwich Ave after the session thinking to myself that I had now Really made it. Oh, to be young again!

Early on September 18, 1970, Jimi Hendrix died in London under circumstances which have never been fully explained. He had spent the later part of the previous evening at a party and was picked up by girlfriend Monik Dannemann and driven to her flat at the Samarkand Hotel, 22 Lansdowne Crescent, Notting Hill. According to the estimated time of death, from autopsy data and statements by friends about the evening of September 17, he would have died within a few hours after midnight, though no precise estimate was made at the original inquest.

When I was writing for Bassics Magazine in May of 1996 my wife and I met and interviewed Noel Redding about the release of his autobiography

We met at an Irish pub on the corner of West 73rd St and Amsterdam Ave and he was one of the nicest people I have ever met! So gracious, open, and quite endearing!
N Redding Signature





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