Jan 202012

Among our regulars, I’m calling on Happiness Stan to help explain England’s late-1960s skinhead movement. If there are other Townspeople out there who have something to add that I haven’t already learned from that beacon of accurate and original reporting, Wikipedia, please chime in.

How did a rock subculture rooted in an appreciation of Jamaican and African-American music become associated with right-wing politics? Did anyone who lived through this era note a shift in how skinheads were perceived within the rock community? I’ve read that the skinheads were an outgrowth of the mods. How did that shift take place? Continue reading »

Jan 122012

Congratulations are in order to Mr. Moderator; the Rock Town Hall crew; and all the wackos, looneys, and yahoos who populate and litter the Hall. Even though I’ve only been year less than a year (since last March), it’s been a really fun time for me, and RTH is a frequent must-check. Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I get pissed off, sometimes I learn stuff, and sometimes I scratch my head in utter bewilderment at aberrations like Mr. Mod’s mancrush for Mike Love. However, I am always entertained and that’s the whole point, isn’t it? In the spirit of fifth-anniversary things, I’d like to submit a Last Man Standing challenge with one simple rule…find a song that mentions “five years” either in the title or lyrics (album titles can count too). I’ll start things off with this:

David Bowie – “Five Years” Live on Old Grey Whistle Test 1972

Feb 162011

I’ve got a theory about why so many Beatles fans despise “She’s Leaving Home”: more than anything I think it’s in defense of George Martin, whose feelings were hurt when he was shut out of arranging the strings. That’s sweet of you, but really, the song’s not that bad! The way I hear my fellow Beatles fans talking about it I have to stop and check that they’re not actually talking about “Fool on the Hill” or one of Paul’s “Auntie” songs.

I think I’m onto something: your hatred of “She’s Leaving Home” is rooted in your desire to defend the honor of Sir George Martin.

As for substitute arranger Mike Leander, what is so bad about his work on that song? What might tasteful George Martin have done differently? I was surprised to learn that Leander had his hand in all sorts of records, most notably serving as Gary Glitter‘s partner in (musical) crime (eg, co-writing his hits, including “Rock ‘n Roll, pt 2”). I think he also did the saccharine string arrangements for The Rolling Stones‘ “As Tears Go By.” So there!


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