Beatles

This tag is associated with 14 posts

Interview: Graham Nash

Graham Nash is famously part of the on-again/off-again group Crosby, Stills, & Nash & sometimes Young, and he wrote some of their best-known songs including “Teach Your Children”, “Our House”, “Wasted on the Way”, and “Marrakesh Express”.

But that’s only part of the story. Nash was also in the British Invasion band The Hollies, co-writing “Carrie Anne”, “King Midas in Reverse”, “On a Carousel”, and “Dear Eloise”, and singing on many other Hollies hits including “Bus Stop”. Other notable Graham Nash songs include “Immigration Man”, “Chicago”, and “We Can Change the World”.

This interview with Graham Nash was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for his solo concert at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara on 10/9/18. It was done by phone on 9/27/18. (Amy Grantham photo)

Interview: Peter Asher

Peter Asher has such an impressive resume, it’s hard to believe that one person could’ve done it all.

He first came to fame as part of the British Invasion duo Peter & Gordon, whose 1964 single “A World Without Love” by Paul McCartney (attributed to Lennon/McCartney) went to Number One in the UK, US, Canada, New Zealand, and Ireland.

The Beatles connection continued when he become the head of A&R for Apple Records, and in this capacity Asher signed James Taylor to his first record deal and produced his first record. When Taylor decided to move back from the UK to the US, Asher came along as his manager, and produced and contributed to Taylor’s acclaimed albums in the 1970’s and beyond.

Asher also became Linda Ronstadt’s manager, and produced a number of her hit albums including Heart Like a Wheel, Hasten Down the Wind, What’s New (recorded with Nelson Riddle), and Canciones de mi Padre (Linda’s first mariachi album).

As if that wasn’t enough, he also produced albums by Cher, 10,000 Maniacs, Neil Diamond, Robin Williams, and many others. And he co-founded the notable 1960’s counterculture Indica Bookshop and Gallery in London, and the Roxy Theatre on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. Oh, and he was the inspiration for the look of Austin Powers.

This interview with Peter Asher was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for his 6/23/18 show with Albert Lee at SOhO in Santa Barbara. It was done by phone on 6/12/18. (Joe Carducci photo)

Interview: Ernie Isley

Ernie Isley’s first recording experience with The Isley Brothers was playing bass on the hit song “It’s Your Thing” – at the tender age of 16! He never looked back, becoming the band’s lead guitarist and contributing blistering fretwork to songs like “That Lady” and “Summer Breeze”. He also co-wrote such Isley Brothers classics as “Fight the Power”, “Harvest for the World”, and “Take Me to the Next Phase”. Ernie also co-founded Isley-Jasper-Isley, which had a hit song “Caravan of Love”.

With his brother Ronald, Ernie continues to carry the Isley Brothers torch, with their latest release being the 2017 collaboration with Santana called Power of Peace.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the Isley Brothers concert at the Chumash Casino on 2/16/18. It was done by phone on 2/6/18. (Tracy Isley photo)

Interview: Engelbert Humperdinck

The year 1967 is arguably most remembered nowadays for the Summer of Love. But, ironically, one of the top songs from that year was about love which had run its course: “Release Me” by Engelbert Humperdinck, which spent six weeks at Number One on the British charts. This was Humperdinck’s first and most enduring hit, and famously prevented “Penny Lane / Strawberry Fields Forever” from being The Beatles’ twelfth straight British Number One single. “Release Me” launched Humperdinck’s career, and other hit singles followed including “The Last Waltz” and “After The Lovin'”. He has sold over 150 million records.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Engelbert Humperdinck’s 2/9/18 concert at the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, California. It was done by email, with answers received on 1/31/18. (Jamie Overton photo)

Interview: Martin Barre

When you think of Jethro Tull, the first thing you probably think of is the guy with the flute. But pretty soon you also think of all those cool electric guitar parts and sounds, and when you think of that you’re thinking of Martin Barre.

Barre joined Jethro Tull in time for their 1969 album Stand Up, which steered the band away from its blues origins to an new sound which incorporated elements of English folk music. Other classic albums followed: the harder rockin’ Benefit, the multiplatinum Aqualung, the prog rock concept album masterpieces Thick as a Brick and A Passion Play, and many more. Barre’s tenure with Jethro Tull lasted until 2012, and since then he has focused on a solo career. His most recent album is 2015’s fantastic Back to Steel.

This interview was for Martin Barre’s concert at SOhO in Santa Barbara, California on 9/13/17. It was done by phone on 8/9/17. (Martin Webb photo)

Interview: Brian Wilson

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The story by now is well known: genius songwriter has a panic attack and stops touring with his acclaimed band, then retreats to the studio and writes and records one of the greatest albums of all time. That, in a nutshell, is the story of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys album Pet Sounds, an album that Wilson is currently revisiting on tour.

With a songbook that includes the likes of “Good Vibrations”, “California Girls”, “God Only Knows”, “I Get Around”, “Fun, Fun, Fun”, “Surfin’ Safari”, and “Help Me, Rhonda”, there can be no dispute that Brian Wilson is a musical genius, and many believe that Pet Sounds was his crowning achievement. For example, Rolling Stone Magazine ranks it as the second best album of all time, behind only The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which itself drew inspiration from Pet Sounds.

The rest of the story is also by now well known: genius songwriter tries to follow up Pet Sounds with an ambitious album called Smile, but can’t because of deteriorating mental health, an issue that plagues him for the rest of his life. Happily, Wilson did revisit Smile with a new recording in 2004 and the release of the original sessions in 2011. Even more happily, he is still performing his songs in concert.

This interview was done for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the Brian Wilson concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl on 5/28/17. It was done by phone on 5/12/17.

Interview: Gerry Beckley

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The band America had an amazing string of harmony-rich hits including “Horse With No Name”, “I Need You”, “Ventura Highway”, “Tin Man”, “Lonely People”, “Sister Golden Hair”, and “You Can Do Magic”.

America formed in England while the members’ fathers were there as Air Force personnel. The core of today’s America is original members Gerry Beckley (vocals, guitar, keyboard) and Dewey Bunnell (vocals, guitar); the other original bandmember Dan Peek left the line-up in 1977, and passed away in 2011. By now the band has released over 20 albums, starting with their debut in 1972.

This interview with Gerry Beckley was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the America concert on 4/21/17 at Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, California. It was done by phone on 4/11/17. (Travis Schneider photo)

Interview: Bruce Johnston

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Bruce Johnston has had an incredible career in music. In the early days of rock and roll, he played shows as part of the backing band for Ritchie Valens, and he did one performance in the backing band for Eddie Cochran. Then, after a stint as a young producer for Columbia Records, he was asked to fill in for a few concerts with The Beach Boys, which turned into membership in the band for thousands of concerts and the recordings of some of their best-known albums including Pet Sounds, Smile, Friends, Sunflower, and Surf’s Up. Along the way, he also did vocal arrangements and sang background vocals for Pink Floyd’s The Wall, and wrote “I Write the Songs”, which was a Grammy Award winning Number 1 hit for Barry Manilow.

This interview was for the 1/30/16 concert by The Beach Boys at the Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara, CA. It was done by phone on 1/8/16. (L. Paul Mann photo)

Interview: Mike Love

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Mike Love has been a Beach Boy since the band began way back in 1961, and wrote the lyrics to some of their best-known songs including “Fun, Fun, Fun”, “California Girls”, “I Get Around”, and “Good Vibrations”. And that’s him singing lead vocals on the recordings of the first three of these, plus “Surfin’ U.S.A”, “Little Deuce Coupe”, “When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)”, and more. Overall, The Beach Boys have had three dozen Top 40 hits, and they were elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility.

This interview was for a preview article for The Beach Boys concert at the Ventura County Fair on 7/31/14. It was done by phone on 7/28/14.

Concert Review: Ringo Starr

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Review of Ringo Starr at the Santa Barbara Bowl, 7/12/14.

Interview: Bill Frisell

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Bill Frisell is an acclaimed, eclectic jazz guitarist whose playing has graced a number of solo recordings including the Grammy Award winning album Unspeakable, plus many recordings for the jazz label ECM Records where he served as “house guitarist”, and with the band Naked City with John Zorn.

This interview was for a preview article for Frisell’s 5/16/14 concert at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara, a concert focused on the music of John Lennon, which inspired a Beatles-related focus to the interview.

Review: Alan Parsons talks about The Beatles

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Review of Alan Parsons talking about working with The Beatles, plus screening of first appearance of The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, 2/9/14, Carpinteria Plaza Playhouse Theater.

Interview: Alice Cooper

In one of the more memorable scenes from the 1992 movie Wayne’s World, Wayne and Garth get to hang out backstage with Alice Cooper, to which they respond by bowing down and telling him, “We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy!”

Cooper commands such respect, fictional or otherwise, both for his music and pioneering dark theatrics involving guillotines, snakes, twisted makeup, and much more. His efforts have earned him the honorary (or is it dishonorary?) title of the “Godfather of Shock Rock”, plus well-deserved election to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Alice Cooper saga began in the late 1960’s when the band, at that time itself called Alice Cooper, released the psychedelic-tinged album Pretties For You, which Frank Zappa reportedly agreed to produce to get the band to leave his house. Early notoriety came when Alice Cooper, the singer, threw a live chicken from the stage which was subsequently attacked and killed by the audience, an incident exaggerated by the press. The classic Alice Cooper sound was born when producer Bob Ezrin came on board, and the band’s profile grew with hits like “I’m Eighteen”, “School’s Out”, and “No More Mr. Nice Guy”.

Alice Cooper, the singer, launched a successful solo career with his 1975 album Welcome to My Nightmare, and since that time he has released multiple albums and played countless concerts which push the boundaries of what a rock and roll show can be.

This interview was done for a preview article for Alice Cooper’s concert on 11/21/13 at the Chumash Casino. It was done by phone on 11/5/13.

Interview: Brute Force

Brute Force is the recording/performance name of Stephen Friedland. Friedland was a member of The Tokens in the mid-1960’s, and composed songs recorded by The Tokens, The Creation, Cyrkle, and The Chiffons. In 1967, his bizarrely brilliant solo album I, Brute Force, Confections of Love was released, including songs such as “To Sit on a Sandwich” and “Tapeworm of Love”. He is best known for the 1969 single “King of Fuh”, which was admired by George Harrison and John Lennon and was released on Apple Records. Unfortunately, Captiol/EMI refused to distribute this single because some of the lyrics sounded like profanity. In October 2010, Confections of Love was re-released on CD, with “King of Fuh” as one of the bonus tracks; also that month, Apple Records released Come and Get It, The Best of Apple Records, a compilation containing “King of Fuh”.

This interview was conducted by email in January 2011.