Paul Revere, founder and keyboard player for the rock band Paul Revere & the Raiders, died at the age of 76. Paul Revere & the Raiders trace their origins to a band called the Downbeats, which featured Revere (born Paul Revere Dick) and singer Mark Lindsey. The band changed its name to Paul Revere & the Raiders in 1960 on the eve of their first recod release for Gardenia Records.
The band had a regional hit in the Pacific Northwest in 1961 with the instrumental “Like Long Hair”; it got enough national attention to reach #38 on the Billboard Hot 100. At this point, Revere was drafted for military service. As a conscientious objector, he worked as a cook in a mental institution for a year and a half. In the meantime, the other Raiders, hoping to capitalize on the momentum of “Like Long Hair”, toured in the summer of 1961, with Leon Russell taking Revere’s place on piano.
By the summer of 1962, Revere and Lindsay were working together again, but they were the only remaining members from the previous incarnation of Paul Revere & the Raiders. They were signed to Columbia Records, and in 1965, the began recording a string of garage rock classics, emulating the sound of British Invasion bands while adding an American R&B feel. Their first major national hit, “Just Like Me” (U.S. #11) was the first in a string of hits. Their hits from this period included “Kicks”, “Hungry” and “Good Thing”. By mid-1967, they were Columbia’s top-selling rock group.
Changing tastes in the late 1960s soon rendered the group unfashionable, but they still continued to have modest hits through the rest of the decade. In 1970, they shortened their name to The Raiders, and even had a number one hit with “Indian Reservation” in 1971 (the title track from their then-current LP), a song which was buoyed by Revere’s promotional gambit of riding cross-country four times to plug the song. By 1972, Columbia was sinking money into newer acts, and none of their subsequent singles reached the Top 40. The band was relegated to oldie act status, playing state fairs and amusement parks. Mark Lindsey left the band in 1975, effectively ending the classic Raiders period. Revere would continue to tour with the Raiders for many years, although no new Raider material was recorded after 1976.
Logo for Touch and Go Records
This week on Six of One (show #235): A retrospective on Touch and Go Records, the Chicago-based hardcore label that has been a force in the alternative rock world since 1981; a tribute to #66; a Kinks song parody; old time radio with an episode of Rod Serling’s “The Zero Hour”; the Hollywood Report with Harvey Milk (though I really don’t know what he has to do with Hollywood, or whether he even set foot in Los Angeles).
The show can be heard at 9 PM Eastern/ 8 PM Central on Thursdays.
Stream address: http://gamebird.ehhh.us:8000/rfd2.m3u OR
http:// rfd.kuband.info:8412/rfd1.m3u (dialup) OR
http://sixappealmusic.com/rnj.m3u (Radio Free NJ)
This week on Six of One: featured artist is The Raspberries; tribute to #56; OTR with “Boston Blackie”; Hollywood Report with Yvette Vickers; a song parody about Ventrilo.
Six of One can be heard Thursday nights at 9 PM EDT on RFD and Radio Free New Jersey.
The original Shelter Records logo.
This week on Six of One: Tribute to Shelter Records; a tribute to #52; OTR with “NBC University Theater of the Air” (the August 1949 presentation of George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four”, part two), and the Hollywood Report with William Frawley. Oh, and there might be a song parody in there somewhere…
The Beserkley Records logo
Matthew “King” Kaufman got his start in the music industry as manager of the San Francisco-based rock band Earth Quake, whom he helped secure a two album contract with A&M Records. Frustrated at what he saw as A&M’s inability to promote a hard rock band, Kaufman founded Beserkley Records in 1973 with $3400 in working capital and signed Earth Quake to the label, as well as Jonathan Richman. For the first two years, Beserkley only issued singles; many of these early singles were collected on the “Beserkley Chartbusters, Volume One” album, released in 1975. By this time, Kaufman had added Greg Kihn, a singer-songwriter from Baltimore, and The Rubinoos, a power-pop band from the Berkeley, to the roster. Soon, the label enjoyed success: Earth Quake’s second album, “8.5” (1976), made the lower rungs of the Billboard album chart; Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers didn’t chart in the U.S., but both “Roadrunner” and “Egyptian Reggae” made the Top 20 in the U.K. The Rubinoos provided the label with its first charting single in 1977 with “I Think We’re Alone Now” (U.S. #45).
The label’s biggest success story, however, was Greg Kihn, who sang backup for Earth Quake and Jonathan Richman before starting his own band. “Next of Kihn” was the first Kihn album to chart and all subsequent Beserkley releases charted as well. “Rockihnroll” (1981), “Kihntinued” (1982), and “Kihnspiracy” (1983) all made the Top 40 of the U.S. album chart. “The Breakup Song (They Don’t Write ‘Em)” became Kihn’s first Top 40 single, and “Jeopardy” reached #2 in the U.S. and reached #1 in some countries. By 1980, Kihn was the only artist signed to the label.
When the next Greg Kihn Band album, “Kintagious” (1984), failed to get much traction (peaking at #121), Beserkley started to have money problems. Kaufman decided to dissolve the label, allowing Greg Kihn to sign with EMI (Kaufman would continue to act as Kihn’s producer). In 1986, the Beserkley catalog was licensed to Rhino Records.
Tonight on “Six of One” (9:00 PM EDT), I will devote the first portion of the show to a retrospective on Beserkley Records, featuring music from Earth Quake, Jonathan Richman, Greg Kihn, The Rubinoos, and Tyla Gang. Also featured in this week’s show will be a special Fourth of July OTR segment, and tributes to Peter Quaife and Bill Aucoin.
I still don’t have an official archive set up yet, but here’s links to the first three shows. The first show is available as a 48 kbps MP3; the other two are 64 kbps MP3s.
Six of One: 6-3-2010 (#101)
Six of One: 6-10-2010 (#102)
Six of One: 6-17-2010 (#103)
I'm on the internet radio
Those of you who have been trying to tune in to the live stream lately have probably been wondering what’s been going on, as I have not done a new live show in about a month. I have been in the process of upgrading my studio and hopefully the result will be higher-quality shows. I have also been contemplating making changes to the show’s format. For now, however, the show will remain a three-hour program, with the first hour being devoted to a spotlight artist segment, and the third hour opening with a live segment.
In addition, I have changed the show time for the live stream to 9:00 PM Eastern time on Thursdays. This is effective immediately, and the first show will be netcast on Thursday, May 6, with Rush as the featured artist. Here’s the schedule for the next two weeks:
May 13: Private Stock Records
May 20: Television
(Don't Fear) The Reaper 45 RPM single
Blue Öyster Cult originated as a band called Soft White Underbelly in 1967, playing gigs in the vicinity of Stony Brook University in Long Island, New York at the prompting of critic and manager Sandy Pearlman. The original lineup consisted of Les Braunstein (vocals), Allen Lanier (guitars/keyboards), Andrew Winters (bass), and Albert Bouchard (drums). This lineup recorded an album’s worth of material for Elektra Records in 1968. When Braunstein left the band in 1969, Elektra shelved the album. Eric Bloom, formerly the bands acoustic engineer, replaced Braunstein, and the band continued to perform as Soft White Underbelly. However, a bad review of a show at the Fillmore East caused Pearlman to change the band’s name, first to Oaxaca, then to Stalk-Forrest Group. The band recorded yet another album’s worth of material for Elektra, but only one single was released: “What Is Quicksand” b/w “Arthur Comics”, and only as a promo edition of 300 copies. Joe Bouchard replaced Andrew Winters on bass in 1970. After a few more name changes, the band settled on Blue Öyster Cult in 1971. Pearlman was able to get Blue Öyster Cult another audition with Columbia Records. Clive Davis liked what he heard and signed them to the label. Their debut album, “Blue Öyster Cult” (1972) was issued, reaching #172 on the Billboard album chart. The next album, “Tyranny and Mutation” (1973), was issued while the band was on tour in support of their first album. The third album, “Secret Treaties” (1974), reached #53 on the Billboard album chart and was eventually certified gold. As a result of constant touring, the band was now capable of headlining arenas. The band’s first live album “On Your Feet or on Your Knees” (1975), was a double album that also went gold. It was followed up by their first platinum album, “Agents of Fortune”. This album contained the hit single, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” b/w “Tattoo Vampire”, which reached #12 on the Billboard singles chart. This is today’s featured single.
“(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” was written by Donald Roeser and is anchored by a relatively simple minor-key melody (a total of 4 chords) played in the key of C. It is a throwback to the jangle/power pop of the 1960s, albeit with more menacing overtones that make this one of Blue Öyster Cult’s most powerful songs, even though it sounds much more restrained than most of their other songs. One can see why Hubbs in “The Stöned Age” referred to this song as a “p**sy song”, but few songs capture the sense of impending doom as well as this song. The lyrical content complements the music well: “All our times have come/Here, but now they’re gone/Seasons don’t fear the reaper/Like the wind and the sun and the rain”. There are two brief solo breaks in the first half of the song; then about 2 minutes and 30 seconds into the track, we get the main solo, which starts off with a single guitar before a thunderous crescendo bursts forth, before we get the final verse and the resonant fade-out. This is one of Blue Öyster Cult’s signature tunes, and certainly one of their most powerful ones.
The B-side of this single, “Tattoo Vampire”, is a more straightforward rocker. The first 11 seconds feature Lanier moving his hand along the neck of his electric guitar (generating a rather unusual sound) before the main melody starts. The lyrics are pure heavy metal imagery: “I went down last night with a tattoo madam/To a nude dagger fantasy domain/Wrapped in hell, I lost my breath/Chest to stimulating chinese breast”. Although the song is only 2 minutes and 41 seconds long, we do get a very cool guitar solo 1 minute and 39 seconds into the song (although it only lasts 23 seconds). This song lacks the subtlety of “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”, making the latter the more enduring song. “Tattoo Vampire”, on the other hand, is more like an assault on your (auditory) senses, but it is nonetheless a good song, and one that fans of the genre will enjoy.
This single (catalog #: 4483) was released on Columbia Records in June 1976. The single version is 3 minutes and 45 seconds long (as opposed to the 5 minutes and 8 seconds of the album version), omitting the spooky-sounding guitar solo. No picture sleeve was issued with this single, but a Columbia paper sleeve was issued with the single (with the Pacman-style Columbia logo). The label was the red and orange Columbia label typical of singles issued during this time period. The length of track is on the left side, the catalog number is on the right side, and the artist/song information is on the bottom. The band would continue to release albums throughout the rest of the 1970s and into the 1980s. The next album, “Spectres” (1977), was not as popular as its predecessor, but their next live album, “Some Enchanted Evening” (1978), went double platinum. “Mirrors” (1979) was a commercial disappointment, but “Cultösaurus Erectus” represented a comeback of sorts, reaching #14 in the U.K. and leading to a co-headlining tour with Black Sabbath. “Fire of Unknown Origin” (1981) generated the Top 40 single “Burnin’ for You” and went platinum. After this album was released, Albert Bouchard left, to be replaced by Rick Downey. “Extraterrestrial Live” (1982), the band’s third live album, went platinum, but the following album, “The Revölution By Night” (1983), was a commercial disappointment, in spite of having Bruce Fairbairn as the producer. Albert Bouchard returned for a 1985 tour, but left again after the tour, as did longtime keyboardist Allen Lanier. They brought in drummer Jimmy Wilcox and keyboardist Tommy Zvoncheck to complete the upcoming “Club Ninja” (1986) album, which was not the comeback they had hoped it would be. Bassist Joe Bouchard left after a tour of Germany and was replaced by Jon Rogers. BOC toured Greece in the summer of 1987, this time with Ron Riddle on drums, and the following year, they released “Imaginos” (1988). Promotion by the label was nonexistent and the album was a commercial failure. When Columbia was acquired by Sony Music, BOC was dropped from the label. They would re-emerge about a decade later, releasing two albums, “Heaven Forbid” (1998) and “Curse of the Hidden Mirror” (2001) both released on CMC Records (later purchased by Sanctuary Records). BOC later had a falling out with Sanctuary, and is currently without a record deal.
One of the rather interesting by-products of the flawed intellectual property regime in the United States (I refer mainly to patent law, but I suppose that is just the subset of IP law that is most problematic) is that there are companies in the U.S. that exist solely to pursue lawsuits. One such company was Caldera Systems/The SCO Group. Caldera was formed in 1994, and its first product was Caldera Network Desktop, a Linux distribution targeted at business users and containing a few proprietary add-ons. In 1996, the company acquired DR-DOS, a DOS-compatible operating system, from Novell. In 2000, it acquired several UNIX properties from the Santa Cruz Operation (SCO), including OpenServer and UnixWare, and Caldera changed its name to The SCO Group to emphasize the change in focus. Shortly after changing its name, SCO began to claim that Linux “contained SCO’s UNIX System V source code and that Linux was an unauthorized derivative of UNIX.” SCO sued IBM for 1 billion dollars and demanded that Linux users pay them an end user license fee. As revenues declined, the company began to focus more and more on suing ex-customers. Subsequently, the SCO Group sued two former customers (AutoZone and DaimlerChrysler). In SCO v. AutoZone, SCO claimed that AutoZone violated SCO copyrights by using Linux. In SCO v. DaimlerChrysler, SCO claimed that DaimlerChrysler breached its UNIX license contract by inappropriately using derivative works of UNIX and by refusing to respond to requests for certification of compliance by SCO. SCO’s suit against DaimlerChrysler was dismissed in 2004. Novell, from which The SCO Group claimed to have acquired its UNIX intellectual property rights, claimed that it had not sold the copyrights to SCO and that Novell retained them. In response, SCO sued Novell for slander of title. On August 10, 2007, Judge Dale Kimball, in the SCO vs. Novell case, ruled that “…the court concludes that Novell is the owner of the UNIX and UnixWare Copyrights.” Novell was awarded summary judgment on a number of claims, and a number of other claims by SCO were denied. In addition, SCO was ordered to pass on to Novell an appropriate portion of income relating to SCOSource licences to Sun Microsystems and Microsoft. About a month later, SCO filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Revenues from their products had been declining for some time and perhaps bankruptcy was inevitable, but I can’t help but think that maybe Caldera/SCO could have avoided this fate if they concentrated on writing good software rather than trying to sue ex-customers and Linux users.
On the other hand, maybe suing people for copyright/patent infringement is the way to go. Today I came across this message board posting about the last nail in Commodore Business Machine’s coffin. Anyone who lived through the 1980’s and wasn’t living in a broom closet probably remembers Commodore’s salad days. Since 1977, Commodore had been selling home computers like the PET, VIC-20 (1981), Commodore 64 (1982), and C-128 (1985). By ruthlessly cutting their prices, Commodore was able to drive their competitors out of the home computer business, and by 1984, it was a billion dollar company. The company soon began to flounder, however, as a result of bad management and a failure to successfully market their next-generation computer, the Amiga. A desultory attempt to sell IBM PC clones in the late 1980’s was also largely a failure. By the 1990’s, the company had fallen on hard times. Productivity users were choosing Intel-based machines and Macs over Amigas. The C-128 had been discontinued in 1989, and although the C-64 was the biggest-selling computer of all time, sales were declining (it was discontinued in 1992). The company staked its future on the CD32, which was the first 32-bit gaming console. The message board posting linked to above tells the rest of the story:
Apparently Commodore-Amiga owed $10M for patent infringement. Because of that, the US government wouldn’t allow any CD-32’s into the USA. And because of that, the Phillipines factory seized all of the CD-32’s that had been manufactured to cover unpaid expenses. And that was the end. Commodore-Amiga had basically gambled everything on the CD-32 being the platform that would save the company. And when they couldn’t bring any into the US, it was clearly Game Over.
But that’s far from the most interesting part of the story of Commodore’s demise. What is really interesting is that the patent which they had been found to be infringing was a software patent for exclusive OR-ing (XOR):
The XOR patent covers the use of the machine language XOR (exclusive-or) operator to make a cursor blink in a bitmapped display. This is at the top of many lists of the most ridiculous software patents. For one thing, it’s an obvious idea that might arise in the mind of a moderately intelligent software developer in the course of an afternoon or less. A given software program is composed of hundreds of thousands of such ideas; it would be absurd to grant patent privileges to each such idea. But that’s exactly what the US Patent Office did, and, so far as I know, keeps on doing. The only reason why this hasn’t brought software development to a halt is that usually such patents aren’t enforced anyway; companies just patent everything they can thing of to protect themselves from other companies doing the same thing. But in the case of the XOR patent, the originating software company, was basically going defunct, but some lawyers saw this one patent as their key to riches, so they bought the company for a few bucks just to capitalize on that patent. So they had nothing to lose, and everything to gain, from vigorous enforcement of an absurd patent.
I seem to recall reading something about a member of Commodore management who traveled to the headquarters of the company that had sued them for patent infringement. He claimed that they had laid off all the engineers and now the company consisted entirely of lawyers.
Anyway, these are some factoids that I find interesting on this Saturday afternoon…and it’s probably proof that I spend way to much time in IRC with other technologically oriented people.
Ronnie Lane (from Kuschty Rye CD cover)
Today is the anniversary of the death of Ronnie Lane, a founding member of the Small Faces, the Faces, and a moderately successful solo artist in the 1970’s. Ronnie Lane was born on April 1, 1946 in the East End of London. After quitting school at the age of 16, he met Kenney Jones at a local pub and they formed a group called The Outcasts. Initially playing lead guitar, it was soon decided that Lane would switch to bass. When visiting the J60 Music Bar in Manor Park, London with his father in early 1965, Lane met Steve Marriott, who was working there. Lane bought the bass and went back to Marriott’s house after work to listen to records, where Marriott introduced Lane to his Motown and Stax collection. Lane and Marriott set out to put together a band with Lane on bass and Marriott on lead guitar and lead vocals. Kenney Jones was recruited as drummer, and Jimmy Winston, a guitarist, was added to the lineup, switching to keyboards. The band soon became known as the Small Faces, and began finding work in London and beyond.
The band signed a contract with management impresario Don Arden, who had the band signed to Decca Records. Their debut single, “Whatcha Gonna Do About It”, was released in August 1965, and peaked at #14 in the U.K. Their second single, “I’ve Got Mine”, released in November 1965, did not chart. Shortly afterwards, Jimmy Winston was dismissed and was replaced by Ian McLagan. By August 1966, the Small Faces’ fifth single, “All or Nothing”, reached the top of the U.K. singles chart. In spite of this massive success, the band was making relatively little money. The Small Faces were not convinced that Arden had paid them everything he owed them, and soon a rift developed between Arden and the band. In 1967, Arden sold his contract to Andrew Loog Oldham for 25,000 pounds, and Oldham signed the band to his brand-new label, Immediate Records. There the band continued its successful run, releasing “Itchycoo Park” (#3 U.K., #16 U.S.) in mid-1967, and “Tin Soldier” (#9 U.K., #73 U.S.) later that year. Given the relatively poor performance of “Tin Soldier” in the United States, Immediate ended its efforts to establish the Small Faces in America. But their success in the U.K. continued: their next hit was “Lazy Sunday” (#2 U.K.) in April 1968, which was followed by the release of the LP “Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake” the following month, a psychedelic masterpiece which topped the U.K. album chart for six consecutive weeks. Their next single, the non-album track “The Universal”, reached #16 in the U.K.
In March 1969, the Small Faces released their last single, “Afterglow (of Your Love)”, and the band announced their break-up, with Steve Marriott leaving to form Humble Pie with Peter Frampton. The remaining three members (Lane, McLagan and Jones) joined forces with Rod Stewart and Ron Wood and became the Faces, dropping the “Small” from their name. The Faces would release four solid studio albums (and one live album) between 1970 and 1974.
Ronnie Lane left the Faces soon after the release of their fourth studio album, “Ooh La La”, in 1973. He recorded the hit singles “How Come” (#11 U.K.) and “The Poacher” (#36 U.K.) with a backing band he dubbed Slim Chance. The earliest incarnation of Slim Chance featured, among others, the Scottish singer-songwriters Graham Lyle and Benny Gallagher. These singles were more folk-oriented than the bluesy hard rock that had been the Faces’ stock in trade. In July 1974, he released his debut album, “Anymore for Anymore”, on GM Records. After these initial successes, Lane commenced a tour called “The Passing Show”, touring the U.K. as a carnival, complete with tents, barkers, and Viv Stanshall (formerly of the Bonzo Dog Doh Dah Band) as a short-lived ringmaster. The Passing Show was an interesting concept but was largely a financial failure.
Lane had the distinction of releasing four solo albums on four different record labels. He moved to A&M Records of his next album, “Ronnie Lane’s Slim Chance” (1974), another album of easy-going folk rock, which was also produced by Lane. “One For The Road” (1976) was released on Island Records and was recorded at Ronnie Lane’s Mobile Studio, a studio housed within an Airstream trailer that was rented out to several bands during the mid and late 1970’s, including Led Zeppelin and the Who. “Mahoney’s Last Stand”, a collaboration with Ron Wood, was released the same year, and was the soundtrack to a Canadian movie released in 1972. Lane’s fourth studio album, “See Me” (1979), was released on Gem Records, and featured several guest musicians, including Eric Clapton, Mel Collins, and Ian Stewart.
In between the release of Lane’s third and fourth studio albums, Lane joined a short-lived reformation of the Small Faces. They filmed two music videos, miming to “Itchycoo Park” and “Lazy Sunday”, which had both re-entered the U.K. singles chart. The band decided to record new material, but Lane left after two rehearsals and was replaced by Rick Wills. He had already signed a contract with Atlantic Records, however, and Atlantic informed him that Lane owed them an album. In order to fulfill his obligation, he collaborated with Pete Townsend on the album “Rough Mix” (1977), which was a modest hit (#45 U.S.) although it was not promoted much by Atlantic, and was lauded as a contender for album of the year by many critics.
During the recording of “Rough Mix”, Lane was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a disease which had already claimed the life of his mother. He seemed to derive some benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy, an expensive form of treatment that not everyone suffering from multiple sclerosis can afford. Lane began working with Action for Research into Multiple Sclerosis (ARMS), a London-based organization devoted to funding treatment for multiple sclerosis. In 1983, his girlfriend, Boo Oldfield, contacted record producer Glyn Johns in the hopes of getting a concert together to fund ARMS. Johns was already arranging Clapton’s Command Performance for Prince Charles, so they decided to book the Royal Albert Hall for two more nights to hold a benefit concert. The resulting ARMS concert featured Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck, among others. With the addition of Joe Cocker and Paul Rodgers, they toured the U.S. It was during this time that Rodgers and Page formed The Firm.
Lane moved to Texas in 1984, where the climate was more beneficial to his health. He formed an American incarnation of Slim Chance, which was, as always, a loose-knit conglomeration of available musicians. This version usually included Alejandro Escovedo. For the next decade or so, Lane enjoyed his rock royalty status in the Austin area, and even toured Japan in 1990. Still, his health continued to decline. His last public performance was at a Ron Wood gig in 1992. In 1994, Lane and his last wife, Susan, moved to the small town of Trinidad, Colorado. At this point the Small Faces were not receiving royalty payments, and Jimmy Page and Rod Stewart generously contributed money for his medical care. Through the efforts of Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan, the Small Faces were eventually able to secure ongoing royalty payments. By this time, however, Steve Marriott had died in a house fire, and on June 4, 1997, Lane had succumbed to pneumonia.
On tomorrow’s show, we will be paying tribute to Ronnie Lane. The show will be streamed live here starting at 11:00 PM Eastern time on Friday (3:00 AM Saturday UTC). You will also by able to download the show at http://sixappeal.podbean.com/.