Amoeblog

Please Please Me

Posted by Whitmore, March 22, 2008 07:29pm | Post a Comment

45 years ago today,  March 22, 1963, the Beatles released their first album Please Please Me. This mono version was rush-released to the public in the UK to capitalize on the success of the hit single of the same name which had reached #2 on the charts. The album contained six cover songs, but more importantly it contained eight songs written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. A stereo version of this album was later released in 1963 on April 26th.

In the U.S., most of the songs from Please Please Me were first released in 1964 on the Vee-Jay Records label on the renamed album Introducing The Beatles. And in 1965 a similar collection was issued once again on Capitol Records as The Early Beatles. The unexpurgated Please Please Me was not released in the U.S. until the Beatles catalog was released on CD in 1987.

Other than the singles and the flip sides of "Please Please Me" and "Love Me Do" (the Beatles' first single which had charted and reached #17 in the UK), all the other tracks were recorded in a marathon session on Monday, February 11th, 1963, at Abbey Road Studios. The Beatles, with George Martin producing, essentially recorded their live act in 9 hours and 45 minutes. The entire day's session cost around £400. And besides John, Paul, George Harrison and Ringo Starr playing their respective instruments, George Martin also played a little piano. The earlier tracks recorded the previous September and November had session player Andy White on drums, who has also recorded with the likes of Marlene Dietrich, Herman's Hermits, and Tom Jones.

Haunted by the Brutal Splendor of old 45's, #5

Posted by Whitmore, March 5, 2008 08:35am | Post a Comment

I am as derelict as any opium reveler’s after-dream and in this wizened condition I’m aware of only the shrill din of an entire city cracking. Maybe I sit too close to the sheer brink of ruin, and lunacy, and guzzling a couple of dozen shots of espresso - this morning’s tomfoolery- only raises the bedlam quotient. Nonetheless, early this afternoon I found my way to Amoeba, where now I’m standing, mostly decaffeinated, on my desk, peering out of my office window into the anxious mirrored eyes of the CNN building across the way, looming bluntly above the squat Hollywood landscape. Below me, a rush of emergency vehicles flies down Cahuenga, and through the Sunset Blvd intersection.

Something is going on
somewhere, and probably something big, but do I really need to know? During this whole dull, dark, and luckless day, when clouds hung oppressively low outside, they hung even lower in here. Working alone, pricing yet another dreary stretch of 1980’s 45’s, I found myself longing for something more; more grand, more scintillating, more psychedelic, funky or even French! Maybe Australian! Maybe tomorrow … I now know what it was, what first caught my eye and what originally troubled me about CNN’s massive edifice; a sense of insufferable gloom pervades its spirit, like Poe’s House of Usher, grappling with its own shadows and history and treacheries. And as I scan its glass façade, I see just a bit of me waving back in the reflection: is there more here, more than the eye can see? If questioning brings knowledge, and knowledge brings dread, what’s next?

And that’s why I thought you might like to see all these record company 45 sleeves from around the globe. And now, maybe, its time to return to the real world,  and hold off on that brutal splendor blather for a while... then again, I just started reading the Cask of Amontillado by Poe, " ... thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge ..."

Continue reading...

Amoeba Hollywood’s Auction this Saturday

Posted by Whitmore, February 29, 2008 08:57pm | Post a Comment


This Saturday is the first Saturday of the month and therefore, it is time once again for Amoeba Hollywood’s Auction, hosted by the inimitable Brently Heilbron.

Amoeba Auctions started as an on-going event to help raise money for the Gulf Coast Relief Efforts. Our auctions have included every conceivable kind of memorabilia from the entertainment world and beyond. Collectibles, promotional items, concert tickets, tour jackets, t-shirts, celebrity underwear, puzzles, toys and all kinds of swag that can make your heart go pitter-pat, have been won. And on top of that, Amoeba matches all individual donations and winning bids up to $1,000. Everybody is a winner!

There will of course be many interesting items to bid on this week, but we have one very special item to auction: An autographed copy of the classic comedy album, Weird Al Yankovic In 3-D.

Weird Al Yankovic was spotted in the Amoeba mezzanine perusing DVDs by yours truly. I mentioned it casually to Brently, who sprinted off as only a former track star and Texas State Champion can do, and I have to say Brently accosted Mr. Yankovic in the most courteous and polite manner I’ve ever seen. Weird Al gladly autographed the record even as we twisted one of his arms behind his back. Actually, he was incredibly gracious and happy to sign an album for the Amoeba Auction, personalizing it, “To the lucky highest bidder.” That can be you! Yes, you sitting at your computer! So come on down this Saturday March 1st @ 4PM. It's not everyday you get to bid on a rare chunk of vinyl, actually autographed by the artist as they shopped in Amoeba while at the same time helping the ongoing relief efforts for the Gulf Coast. Thanks, good luck and happy bidding.

Haunted by the Brutal Splendor of old 45's, #4

Posted by Whitmore, February 29, 2008 11:20am | Post a Comment
Maybe it’s the spring thaw, and not self-doubt. This muddle I seem to be writing about is in reality a torrent of mud and ice pushing me down hill. Why? Because it’s almost March, Easter is around the corner, (at least I hope so … I gave up television for Lent!). If winter is done, spring must be near. Perhaps, there isn't a fiasco-muddle-shamble going on here after all. Nor is there a voice telling me I’m in the middle of a crisis of faith. (Then again, there may be a voice telling me I’m not experiencing a crisis of faith). Alas! Maybe I should just put away the Edgar Allan Poe collection; his gloomy narcotic influence has been forcibly illustrated here repeatedly and is perhaps detrimental to your entertainment, dear reader. What am I suppose to do? Just write a straight forward description / history about the ephemeral nature of 45 sleeves! It might be said of this blog, blather written in babble -"blab la bla blab la bla"- It does not permit itself to be read! And why not? There are ideas which do not permit themselves to be thought out. Ideas die often in their infancy: wringing their sweaty little hands, furrowing their soft miniature brows, pushing away ghostly acknowledgments as quickly as possible, otherwise something bad might reveal itself, and then the idea ... expires. Now and then, the conscience of an idea takes up a burden so immense that it can only be thrown into some late night rant. And thus the essence of this blog is divulged. There you have it, thank you Mr. Poe!

Haunted by the Brutal Splendor of old 45's, #3

Posted by Whitmore, February 24, 2008 06:42pm | Post a Comment
The truth - it’s my raw nerves - very, very caffeinated raw nerves eating away at the lining of my stomach. Goddamn! I’ve been, still am, crawling up walls and across ceilings. A few triple espressos and shazzam! I am the Fly! Caffeine has ripped a hole through my brain, certainly through my gut and, holy java juice batman, my sharpened senses wield machetes; heightened Terror Alert Level – “blood dripping magenta!” CRACK! Jesus H, what is that noise! My tinnitus is screaming like hordes of car alarms pinging in a Brentwood parking lot after an earthquake. I can hear all things in heaven and on earth and in hell, simultaneously. For Christ’s sake, I think my neighbor is playing a Ricky Martin CD! Whatever fell upon me has made my blood run thin. How, then, am I not expected to go mad? I have made up my mind to rifle through the recycling bin for that buried bottle of codeine-fortified cough syrup -- hideously expired or not … something, anything. The telltale pot of coffee brews stronger and stronger! And I can’t resist pouring another cup!
Anyway, for the time being, just relax at your desk with your own Cup o’Joe and take a look at some more 45 company sleeves from around the world.
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