Amoeblog

The Beatles Pt 1

Posted by Amoebite, August 12, 2009 12:46pm | Post a Comment
We are kicking off the celebration today in honor of the digitally remastered Beatles reissues set to hit Amoeba September 9! Each Wednesday from now until September 2, we will present a segment of The Beatles' biography. Then, the week of September 2-9 will be marked here on the blog with a number of Beatles related posts with a huge variety of topics! We begin now with Part One of the fabled band's history:

the beatles 1962

“This isn’t show business,” John Lennon said at the height of The Beatles’ success. “This is something else.”

Strictly in show business terms, the quartet from Liverpool, England rewrote the book on rock ‘n’ roll, which prior to the group’s 1962 recording debut was considered nothinbeatles for saleg more than disposable music for idle teens. While The Beatles were initially embraced by throngs of young fans (most of them female) -- in a phenomenon dubbed “Beatlemania” by the press -- with the same fervor previously accorded Frank Sinatra in the ‘40s and Elvis Presley in the ‘50s, the depth of their work quickly transcended their teen-idol genesis.

The songs penned by singer-guitarist Lennon and his collaborator, vocalist-bassist Paul McCartney – and, to a lesser extent, those authored by guitarist-vocalist George Harrison – expanded rock’s expressive capabilities, and broadened the audience for the music beyond its youthful base. Their producer George Martin transmuted The Beatles’ bold imaginative leaps in the studio, bringing theretofore unimaginable musical and technical textures to their recorded music. After sensationally announcing themselves with a string of irresistible hit singles that were greeted with unprecedented sales (which persisted until the end of the group’s existence), The Beatles established the long-playing album as the principal commercial format, and as a forum for artistic expression. And their massive popularity on a global scale inaugurated the era of the stadium concert. In sheer magnitude, their achievement remains unrivaled to this day.

Continue reading...

The Second Weekend in August, 1969 ... Part One

Posted by Whitmore, August 10, 2009 11:38am | Post a Comment
I wonder if anything significant about this past weekend will be remembered in 40 years time, other then Sonia Sotomayor being sworn in as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice and maybe Tiger Woods’ unbelievable play at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. This weekend back in 1969 is definitely remembered for a variety of odd and groovy and trivial and horrifying reasons.
 
In the summer of 1969 I was living carefree at 4200 Franklin Avenue in Los Angeles near Griffith Park, with my parents, grandmother, two sisters, and of course our Siamese cat Pandora and a Great Dane named Dijo who would eventually, later in the year, attack me without provocation. She was a nutty and twisted beast. And typical of August in LA, it was annoyingly hot and smoggy. If you didn’t live here back then you just don’t know smog-- lung scorching air under a sky colored golden toasty brown to the apex. Now that’s pollution! This was also the first summer I really started noticing music. I culled some change from my mom’s purse to buy my first single, which also happened to be #1 on the Billboard charts this weekend in 1969, and would be for six consecutive weeks -- "In the Year 2525 (Exordium and Terminus)" by Zager and Evans. In the UK the #1 song was "Honky Tonk Women" by the Rolling Stones, which has noticeably survived the tastes of time better then “2525.” The #1 album in the US was the self-titled second album by Blood, Sweat & Tears. Earlier in the year in March it was briefly at the top of the charts, but with three successive Top 5 singles, it returned once again to the number one position. In 1970 it would win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.  
 
Also this weekend 40 years ago, the Beatles posed for one of their most iconic images-- the Abbey Road album cover shot of the George, Paul, Ringo and John at the zebra crossing on Abbey Road. They were mostly done working on their newest album and, having applied the last overdubs that morning to the longest track, "I Want You (She's So Heavy)," photographer Iain Macmillan was given ten minutes to get the cover photo done. At 11:35 am on Friday, August 8, 1969, the image was shot. Of course, when the album was released in September, the cover art only fueled the rumors and speculation that Paul McCartney had indeed died in a car crash in 1966 and all the symbolic references only confirmed the sad fact.

The cover image was said to represent Paul’s funeral procession, with a bare-foot Paul as the corpse and out of step, while the white Volkswagen parked near the walkway with the license plate reading 28 IF meant Paul’s age if he had lived. Of course, McCartney was 27 and the VW Beetle belonged to a neighbor who lived across the street from the studio. After the album came out, the license plate would be swiped several times. Later, in 1986, the VW was sold at an auction for $23,000 and is currently on display at the Volkswagen Museum in Wolfsburg, Germany. By the way, to completely geek out on useless information, the man standing in the background on the right side is Paul Cole (1911- 2008), an American tourist completely unaware of being photographed until he saw the album several months later.
 
Meanwhile, out here on the west coast, the heir apparent to the Beatles as the greatest band in the land, Led Zeppelin, was touring all over Southern California. On the 8th they played in San Bernardino at the Swing Auditorium. Jethro Tull was the tour's main support act, but a local band, The Caretakers, had the opportunity to open the show. Zeppelin’s set list included: "Train Kept a Rollin'," "I Can't Quit You Baby," "Gotta Keep Moving," "Dazed and Confused," "White Summer / Black Mountainside," "You Shook Me," "How Many More Times" and a medley which included "Lemon Song," "Schooldays," "Hideaway," and "Hail Hail Rock 'N' Roll." The next night Led Zeppelin played at the Anaheim Convention Center and on Sunday they played down in San Diego at the Sports Arena.
 
In Las Vegas at the International Hotel, Elvis Presley was playing two shows a night all weekend long, the dinner show at 8:15 and the late show at midnight.
 
On the east coast, performers at the annual Schaefer Music Festival in New York’s Central Park at the Wollman Skating Rink included Gordon Lightfoot with Tom Paxton on Friday night and Herbie Mann on Saturday with Roy Ayers and the brilliant and inimitable guitar genius Sonny Sharrock, who always claimed he was "a horn player with a really fucked up axe."
 
Also in Manhattan, Zorba closed at the Imperial Theater after 305 performances.
 
On television that weekend in 1969, guests on the David Frost Show included actor James Mason, poet Allen Ginsberg, artist Peter Max and The Beach Boys. On Saturday night, The Johnny Cash Show from The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, and one of the most popular shows on the air, had comedian Soupy Sales along with singers Diana Trask, Pat Boone and Tom T. Hall.
 
On the cover of the August 8th issue of Life Magazine was the classic photograph of the American flag planted on moon; the moon landing had just occurred two weeks earlier. Articles included “Down to the Moon...And the Giant Step” and “A GI's Long Last Month in Vietnam.” 
 
The August 9th edition of Rolling Stone magazine, #39, featured a cover story of the Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones, who died the previous month from what a coroner's report confirmed as "death by misadventure," noting his liver and heart were heavily enlarged by drug and alcohol abuse.
 
In the Sunday Times Magazine for August 10th, the cover and centerfold displayed the famous "mirror" photo of astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s space helmet; the accompanying article was entitled "From Blast-off to Splashdown."
 
More to come, the weekend is only getting started ...

gentlemen take polaroids?

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, July 24, 2009 01:45pm | Post a Comment










Heinz Edelmann 1934 - 2009

Posted by Whitmore, July 21, 2009 01:11pm | Post a Comment

Graphic designer Heinz Edelmann, best known for his work as the art director of the classic animated Beatles film Yellow Submarine, has died; he was 75. Edelmann died in a Stuttgart, Germany hospital not far from Stuttgart Academy of Fine Arts where he taught design for many years. No cause of death was announced.
 
Heinz Edelmann was born in 1934 in Aussig, Czechoslovakia. He studied at the Duesseldorf Art Academy and upon graduation became a freelance graphic designer. In 1961 Heinz Edelmann began teaching design, illustration and animation design at various art schools in Holland and Germany. As a graphic designer, Edelmann is mostly known for his advertising and poster work, especially for the broadcasting station Westdeutscher Rundfunk and his innovative book cover designs for the publishing house Klett-Cotta, which includes the first German edition of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings in 1971. Edelmann in 1989 won the competition to design the mascot of Seville's Expo '92 World Fair, beating out two dozen other entries with his illustration of a pudgy bird with a rainbow plume and conical beak named Curro.
 
But his greatest fame stems from his art direction for the 1968 film Yellow Submarine; he also received co-credit for the script. Edelmann was originally hired for only eight weeks to create the design for the film, but wound up working for almost an entire year. Because of the lack of direction, an incomplete screenplay, and the enormous deadline pressure -- the producers reserved the July 17, 1968 date for the debut at The London Pavillion before the production was even finished -- Edelmann took on the long ordeal personally. Sleeping only four hours most every night, he led some 200-plus artists to create a visionary work that would be worthy of the most famous band in the world. Edelmann’s health took a major nosedive; he said it took almost two years to recover from the project. Needless to say, Yellow Submarine left a somewhat sour taste in his mouth. On top of that, Yellow Submarine has sometimes been inaccurately attributed to one of the most famous artist of the era, Peter Max. However Edelmann, along with another of his contemporaries, Milton Glaser, is thought to have pioneered the 1960’s psychedelic style for which Max would later become famous. According to Edelmann and film producer Al Brodax, Max had nothing to do with the production. But other notable illustrators did work on the film including Paul Driessen, Tony Cuthbert, Ron Campbell, and the film’s overall director George Dunning (he also worked on the Beatles cartoon series), who created the "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" sequence.

Recently Found Art Part 2

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, June 27, 2009 10:10am | Post a Comment


I'm always amused by scribbled out faces on album covers. Was it a small child or a high strung, maladjusted adult? I mean, hating on a Mary Jane Girl for their hotness is one thing, but what did the drummer of the Shondells ever do to you?

I
 
Here are a couple of love messages, evidently one coming from the Artist himself. Below is a quality control stamp; every DJ should have one.





A couple of reviews down below. I'm pretty sure that the Elvis write up is courtesy of man with the last name Nixon. I kick myself for not cataloging all of his rambles, but most of his records were found early on in the store's history and I wasn't shooting photos yet. I beg to differ with both of these reviews-- Elvis was certainly not "treible" and the "He Ain't Heavy" ain't at the top of my Hollies list.













Some TV show library records. The E.T. one ain't such a big deal, but I love the PM Magazine / Eno connection.  It's fairly telling that no one ever bothered to check it out. I'm sure the Al Jarreau and Starship LPs got loaned out heavily though.



A couple of obscure autographs and a couple of warnings at the bottom. I think that the Mothers sticker is what the PMRC should have used as a template. It cuts right to the f**king point. The Tony Alamo stamp is a great find, as it gives a clear cut indicator of just how long the guy has been scamming people!



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