Jun 2015 / Haymarket Square



The first single that is generally credited to the Beatles is “My Bonnie” b/w “The Saints”; the artist is Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers on the album and the EP, but the single on Polydor Records shows Tony Sheridan and the Beatles.  The Beatles met and befriended Tony Sheridan, a rock and roll singer on their first trip to Hamburg, Germany in 1960; when they returned to Hamburg in 1961, they backed Sheridan as lead singer in a series of recordings.  Since Tony Sheridan later re-recorded several of the songs, the songs that actually feature the Beatles are uncertain in many cases; but it is known that they played on both of these songs.  The single was released in 1961 and reached #26 in the US and #48 in the UK.  


I have an album collecting this music that still hasn’t shown up from the Katrina remains called The Early Years.  It doesn’t sound much like the Beatles after they hit the big time, but I still love that music. 


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My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean” is a traditional Scottish folk song that remains popular to this day.  Several other songs by the Beatles were recorded at that time; Anthology 1 includes My Bonnie (but not The Saints) plus “Ain’t She Sweet” and “Cry for a Shadow” that were made at the same recording session but without Tony Sheridan.  On Ain’t She SweetJohn Lennon sings lead; this song was a staple in their shows back in 1961.  Cry for a Shadow is a rare instrumental by the Beatles and the only recording ever credited to George Harrison and John Lennon as songwriters.


The flip side of this first Beatles single, When the Saints Go Marching In” could be described as the signature song of New Orleans.  The origin of this gospel song is unknown, but it started being played by jazz bands beginning with Louis Armstrong in 1938.  


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Among my most memorable concerts are seeing the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on different trips to New Orleans ages ago.  My first trip in 1972 for a friend’s wedding is a haze of Hurricanes and Pat O’Brien’s and wonderful food and just one jazz club after another down Bourbon Street.  (What I have seen these days are mostly places to get a drink handed to you).  When we first went to Preservation Hall, the “Bell Gal”, Sweet Emma Barrett was the de facto bandleader and the only vocalist.  She absolutely captivated us; I have managed to find three albums by her over the years – all since I moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast – and at least one I have cleaned up and back in my stacks. 


There was a sign on the wall in Preservation Hall about requests (still is, in fact); you could put in a request for $1 or $2 – but if you wanted to hear Saints, that would cost you $5.  


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Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters have been traveling to music meccas across the country, making short films of their stays there and writing and performing a song to mark the occasion.  They are now playing on HBO, and 60 Minutes also had a piece on their efforts a week or so back.  Their sojourn to New Orleans is particularly enjoyable; they tell the history of Preservation Hall and how it is now fulfilling its mission of preserving jazz in the city.  Highly recommended.  


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As successful as Jagger/Richards have been – and over a much longer period of time – the songwriting partnership of Lennon/McCartney, that is John Lennon and Paul McCartneymight be even more so.  From Wikipedia:  “It is one of the best known and most successful musical collaborations in history.  Between 1962 and 1969, the partnership published approximately 180 jointly credited songs, of which the vast majority were recorded by the Beatles, forming the bulk of their catalogue.” 


Unlike many if not most songwriting teams, from the beginning John Lennon and Paul McCartney were adept at writing music as well as lyrics.  Again, Wikipedia states:  “Sometimes, especially early on, they would collaborate extensively when writing songs, working ‘nose to nose and eyeball to eyeball’.  Later, it became more common for one of the two credited authors to write all or most of a song with limited input from the other.” 


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As I discussed last month, the Lennon/McCartney songwriters started much earlier than Jagger/Richards.  John Lennon and Paul McCartney met in 1957 as teenagers and began writing songs together; they agreed almost immediately to share joint writing credits even for songs written entirely by one of them.  


Two of their earliest songs are “One After 909” and “Hello Little Girl”, both written primarily by John LennonWikipedia says that they date from 1957.  One After 909 was included on the Beatles’ very last album, Let it Be and was also performed during the famous rooftop concert that is included in the film, Let it Be.  


One After 909 definitely sounds like a song from that era.  As quoted in WikipediaPaul McCartney has fond memories of this song:  “It’s not a great song but it’s a great favorite of mine because it has great memories for me of John and I trying to write a bluesy freight-train song.  There were a lot of those songs at the time, like Midnight Special, ‘Freight Train’, ‘Rock Island Line’, so this was the ‘One After 909’; she didn’t get the 909, she got the one after it.” 


One of the highlights of Anthology 1 for me are some 1963 recordings of One After 909, when the Beatles tried unsuccessfully to put the song together for an early release.  Three takes are presented, each of which breaks down after a short time.  The compilers realized though that an entire performance of the song could be pieced together from these takes, and it is also given on the CD. 


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Hello Little Girl was included on the Decca Records audition tape; there is also a home demo recording of the song that features Stuart Sutcliffe on bass guitar, which is currently available only on bootleg albums.  A version of Hello Little Girl by the Beatles is included on Anthology 1


Like I Wanna be Your Man, which was first recorded by the Rolling StonesHello Little Girl was one of the songs that they gave to others to record.  A little known Liverpool band (at least in this country) called the Fourmost first recorded Hello Little Girl” in 1963 and made it to #9 on the British charts; Gerry and the Pacemakers also recorded the song in this time period.  


I don’t know anything about the Fourmost except that I think they were the band that I saw in an early booklet or paper about the Beatles who were holding their guitars as though they were violins.  I haven’t been able to find that photo on the Internet though.  Hello Little Girl by the Fourmost opens Side 2 of an album called The Songs Lennon and McCartney Gave Away


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There are probably a lot of people who think of “Yesterday” as being the quintessential Beatles song.  It is certainly their most successful – from Wikipedia:  “It remains popular today with more than 2,200 cover versions and is one of the most covered songs in the history of recorded music.  ‘Yesterday’ was voted the best song of the 20th century in a 1999 BBC Radio 2 poll of music experts and listeners and was also voted the No. 1 pop song of all time by MTV and Rolling Stone magazine the following year.  In 1997, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.  Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI) asserts that it was performed over seven million times in the 20th century alone.” 


However, this is not at all the way that Yesterday was viewed at the time.  Although released as a Beatles song, Yesterday could be more properly viewed as a Paul McCartney solo work:  Not only was Paul the sole songwriter, but he is also the only bandmember who performed on the song – he is accompanied by a string quartet.  


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I discussed last month that the opening riff from (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction came to Keith Richards in a dream.  Yesterday has a similar origin; Paul McCartney had the entire melody in his head after a dream (probably sometime in 1964), and he rushed to the piano to play the tune before it faded from memory.  This worried him considerably, as he wondered whether his “dream” was actually someone else’s song; but after checking with several people, Paul was convinced that it was an original work.  There were no lyrics initially; the working title of the song was “Scrambled Eggs”, with these opening lines:  “Scrambled eggs / Oh, my baby how I love your legs”. 


Paul McCartney worked on the song incessantly for months; John Lennon is quoted in Wikipedia about Yesterday:  “The song was around for months and months before we finally completed it.   Every time we got together to write songs for a recording session, this one would come up.  We almost had it finished.  Paul wrote nearly all of it, but we just couldn’t find the right title.  We called it ‘Scrambled Eggs’ and it became a joke between us.  We made up our minds that only a one-word title would suit, we just couldn’t find the right one.  Then one morning Paul woke up, and the song and the title were both there, completed.  I was sorry in a way, we’d had so many laughs about it.” 


George Harrison had something to say about Yesterday as well:  “Blimey, he’s always talking about that song.  You’d think he was Beethoven or somebody!”.  Producer George Martin also talked about the song at a later date:  “‘[Yesterday]’ wasn’t really a Beatles record and I discussed this with Brian Epstein:  ‘You know this is Paul’s song . . . shall we call it Paul McCartney?’  He said ‘No, whatever we do we are not splitting up the Beatles.’” 


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Surprisingly, Yesterday was not initially released as a single in England; from Wikipedia:  “Since ‘Yesterday’ was unlike the Beatles’ previous work and did not fit in with their image, and was essentially a solo recording, the Beatles refused to permit the release of a single in the United Kingdom.” 

Capitol Records did release Yesterday b/w “Act Naturally” as a 45 in the U.S. on September 13, 1965, and it was a major hit.  Yesterday topped the Billboard Music Charts for 4 weeks – with one million sold within 5 weeks of its release – and was the fifth Number One single among six in a row for the Beatles – a record at that time.  Still, in the Capitol Records files, Act Naturally was always considered to be the “A” side of this single. 
Yesterday was included on a four-song EP by the Beatles that topped the British charts, but even the EP was not released until nearly six months later (on March 4, 1966).  Ten years later, on March 8, 1976Yesterday finally came out as a single in the U.K. and reached #8 on the charts.  
Yesterday is included on the British release of Help! but not on the American release; it is basically the title song of the U.S.-only Beatles album, Yesterday and Today
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The article in Wikipedia on the Beatles’ most famous album starts off like this:  “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is the eighth studio album by the English rock band the Beatles.  Released on 1 June 1967, it was an immediate commercial and critical success, spending 27 weeks at the top of the albums chart in the United Kingdom and 15 weeks at number one in the United States.  Time magazine declared it ‘a historic departure in the progress of music’, and the New Statesman praised its elevation of pop to the level of fine art.  It won four Grammy Awards in 1968, including Album of the Year, the first rock LP to receive this honor.” 
Despite the fact that Sgt. Pepper is far from being the unanimous choice by rock critics as the greatest Beatles album, no one can dispute that it made the biggest impact on the rock music scene – rather amazing, considering that they had already been the leading rock band in the world for over three years.  In a career that is loaded with superlatives, the Beatles still have 3 of the 20 biggest selling albums in history nearly a half-century after the music’s creation, with Sgt. Pepper at #13 (having an estimated 32 million in worldwide sales), 1 at #18 (a collection of the band’s Number One songs), and Abbey Road at #20.  
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The Beatles made the decision in August 1966 to quit touring and become strictly a studio band – few rock bands have done this as it is difficult to make a living as a musician on album sales alone.  This freed them to be experimental in their later albums by creating music that would be nearly impossible to recreate in an arena.  I am reminded of a comment that one band made who performed at the college when I was a freshman at North Carolina State University (I think it was Chicago).  Audience members were calling out requests; at one point, one of the bandmembers said:  “No, we haven’t learned that one yet.”  It didn’t occur to me for decades that turning out a song in a studio and learning to play it live at a concert could be two very different things. 
Paul McCartney came up with the idea of reimagining the Beatles as a military band from the Edwardian era (early 20th Century); they did not really stick to that time period, but they were definitely looking backwards.  
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One of the early fruits of this new stance is a Beatles single from that period, “Penny Lane” b/w “Strawberry Fields Forever”.  Penny Lane is a real street in Liverpool, near one of John Lennon’s boyhood homes; the actual place that Paul McCartney was writing about was a bus stop where he would have to change buses when going to John’s house (and vice versa).  Strawberry Field is a Salvation Army children’s home in Liverpool; in his song, John was writing about the garden there where he used to play as a child.  Originally planned for the Sgt. Pepper album, EMI Records pressured the band into releasing them only as a single; the songs were later included on the U.S. version of the Magical Mystery Tour album. 
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In Sgt. Pepper’s title song, the album opens with a framing device that, despite being “the band you’ve known for all these years”, serves to introduce the Beatles as “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, along with “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)” near the end of the album.  There were even rumors that the band was going to officially change its name, but of course that never happened.  Before launching into their second song, the singer is introduced as “Billy Shears”; then Ringo Starr begins singing “With a Little Help from My Friends”. 
Wikipedia reports:  “To date, [Ringo] Starr has closed every concert performed by each version of his All Starr Bandwith this song [‘With a Little Help from My Friends’].  After he is done singing, Starr tells the audience, ‘Peace and love . . . peace and love is the only way . . . and good night’, then walks off the stage. . . .
[Paul] McCartney and Ringo Starr . . . performed the song [‘With a Little Help from My Friends’] together on The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles, a commemorative show on 27 January 2014, that marked 50 years after the band’s first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.” 
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Barely one year later, in October 1968Joe Cocker released a cover of “With a Little Help from My Friends” – a Number One single in the UK – which gets my vote as the most satisfying Beatles cover of all time.  His version of the song is very different from how the Beatles performed it, and that is what covers should be as far as I am concerned.  Joe Cocker is backed by a stellar band that includes Jimmy Page on guitar (the first Led Zeppelin album came out in the following year), B. J. Wilson of Procol Harum on drums, Chris Stainton on bass, and distinctive organ by Tommy Eyre.  Cocker’s frantic performance of the song was a highlight of the Woodstock film of the original Woodstock Music & Art Fair gathering in 1969
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Regarding the Sgt. Pepper album highlight “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”, Wikipedia has this to say:  “[John] Lennon’s son Julian [Lennon] inspired the song with a nursery school drawing he called ‘Lucy — in the sky with diamonds’.  Shortly after the song’s release, speculation arose that the first letter of each of the title nouns intentionally spelled LSD.  Lennon consistently denied this, insisting the song was inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland books, a claim repeatedly confirmed by Paul McCartney.  Despite persistent rumors, the song was never officially banned by the BBC.” 
John Lennon though was up front about intending Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds to be a psychedelic song, and the lyrics are about as good as it gets psychedelically, both from the imagery and from the word usage: 
     Follow her down to a bridge by a fountain
     Where rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies
     Everyone smiles as you drift past the flowers
     That grow so incredibly high

     Newspaper taxis appear on the shore
     Waiting to take you away
     Climb in the back with your head in the clouds
     And you’re gone 
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Perhaps because of the possible LSD reference in Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, rumors of drug references in other lyrics by the Beatles also became manifest.  Wikipedia reports:  “Concerns that some of the lyrics in Sgt. Pepper refer to recreational drug use led to the BBC banning several songs from British radio, such as ‘A Day in the Life’ because of the phrase ‘I’d love to turn you on’, with the BBC claiming that it could ‘encourage a permissive attitude towards drug-taking’. . . .  They also banned ‘Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!’ because of the lyric which mentions ‘Henry the Horse’, a phrase that contains two common slang terms for heroin.  Fans speculated that Henry the Horse was a drug dealer, and ‘Fixing a Hole’ was a reference to heroin use.  Others noted lyrics such as ‘I get high’ from ‘With a Little Help from My Friends’, ‘take some tea’ – slang for cannabis use – from ‘Lovely Rita’, and ‘digging the weeds’ from ‘When I’m Sixty-Four’.”  I had heard about “Horse” but not “Henry”; maybe any word starting with “H” could refer to heroin. 
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The inspiration for some of the songs on Sgt. Pepper came from something they had heard or seen:  John Lennon adapted “Good Morning Good Morning” from a commercial for Kellogg’s Corn Flakes; and Paul McCartney wrote “She’s Leaving Home” after reading about teenage runaways in an article in The Daily Telegraph  
Most famously, John Lennon wrote the bulk of “A Day in the Life” based on several items that were in the January 17, 1967 edition of the Daily Mail.  Wikipedia quotes one of them:  “There are 4,000 holes in the road in Blackburn, Lancashire, or one twenty-sixth of a hole per person, according to a council survey.  If Blackburn is typical, there are two million holes in Britain’s roads and 300,000 in London.”  John evidently added the part about how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall.  
Paul McCartney’s contributions to A Day in the Life include the key lyric, “I’d love to turn you on”.  Also, as given in Wikipedia:  “McCartney provided the middle section of the song, a short piano piece he had been working on independently, with lyrics about a commuter whose uneventful morning routine leads him to drift off into a dream.  McCartney had written the piece as a wistful recollection of his younger years, which included riding the bus to school, smoking, and going to class.  This theme matched with the original concept of the album which was going to be about their youth.” 
The impetus for A Day in the Life though was the death of a childhood friend of both John Lennon and Paul McCartneyTara Browne; Browne, an heir to the Guinness fortune, had died in an auto accident in 1966 when he was 21 years old.  An article in the Daily Mail the same day as the “hole” article talked about a custody matter regarding his two children.  Wikipedia quoted Lennon about this part of the song:  “I didn’t copy the accident. Tara didn’t blow his mind out, but it was in my mind when I was writing that verse.  The details of the accident in the song — not noticing traffic lights and a crowd forming at the scene — were similarly part of the fiction.”  
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The most remarkable story behind the songwriting on the Sgt. Pepper album is “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!”  While the Beatles were making a promotional film for Strawberry Fields Forever, John Lennon found a poster for a circus performance dating from the 1840’s in an antique store.  He later said of the song:  “Everything from the song is on that poster, except the horse wasn’t called Henry.” 
The title, “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! is practically in the center of the poster.  Other lines on the poster figure into the lyrics, almost verbatim in some cases:  
     Mr. Henderson will undertake the arduous task of throwing twenty-one somersets, on the solid ground.  
     Mssrs. Kite and Henderson, in announcing the following entertainments, assure the public that this night’s production will be one of the most splendid ever produced in this town, having been some days in preparation. 
     Over men & horses, through hoops, over garters, and lastly through a hogshead of real fire!
     In this branch of the profession Mr. H challenges the world! 
Several of the people mentioned in the song were prominent in the circus world at that time.  The poster is headlined “Pablo Fanque’s Circus Royale”; Fanque owned a circus back in Victorian times.  John Henderson performed with his wife Agnes Henderson throughout Europe and Russia in the 1840’s and 1850’s.  Mr. Kite is believed to be William Kite; he worked for Pablo Fanque from 1843 to 1845.  “Somerset” is an early term for what we call a somersault, and that word made it into the song’s lyrics.  
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Lennon/McCartney appears by most of the Beatles’ songs, but starting at least with Revolver, I began to notice that George Harrison was writing many of my favorite Beatles songs.  His contribution to Sgt. Pepper was Within You Without You; that song and A Day in the Life quickly became my favorite songs on that mammoth album. 
On Revolver, which I bought after Sgt. Pepper actually, George Harrison wrote the lead-off song, “Taxman” plus Love You To and I Want to Tell You.  George wrote the first song on Side 2 of Abbey RoadHere Comes the Sun – whose title is reflected in a later song on the album, “Sun King” in the lyric, “Here comes the sun king” – as well as “Something”, perhaps George Harrison’s finest composition for the Beatles.  As a double-A–sided single with “Come Together”, Something is the only song Harrison wrote that the Beatles took to the top of the charts.  Also, Something has been recorded by about 150 other artists, making it the second most covered Beatles song (after Yesterday). 
For Yellow Submarine, just four new songs were included on that album, and IMHO, George Harrison wrote the two best by far:  “Only a Northern Song” and “It’s All Too Much”.  The two Lennon/McCartney songs are “Hey Bulldog” and “All Together Now”; “Yellow Submarine” and “All You Need is Love” had been released previously. 
But it was on The Beatles (“the White Album”) where George Harrison really shone both as a performer and as a songwriter.  By contrast, much of the Lennon/McCartney material were story songs about animals – Harrison also wrote one of these, “Piggies” – and throwaways like “Why Don’t We Do it in the Road”.  One of Harrison’s songs got included on each of the four sides of the double LP; and his Side 1 contribution in particular, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is a real tour de force.  Eric Clapton plays lead guitar on the song (uncredited).  The middle verse goes:
     I look at the world and I notice it’s turning
     While my guitar gently weeps
     With every mistake we must surely be learning
     Still my guitar gently weeps
     I don’t know how you were diverted
     You were perverted too
     I don’t know how you were inverted
     No one alerted you.
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Wikipedia lists some of the accolades that have come to While My Guitar Gently Weeps:  “‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ is ranked at number 136 on Rolling Stone’s ‘The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time’, number 7 on the magazine’s list of ‘The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time’, and number 10 on its list of ‘The Beatles100 Greatest Songs’.  In an online poll held by Guitar World magazine in February 2012, ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ was voted the best of Harrison’s Beatle-era songs.  In October 2008Guitar World ranked [Eric Clapton]’s playing at number 42 in its list of the ‘100 Greatest Guitar Solos’.” 
The other George Harrison songs on The Beatles are all standout cuts on the album and illustrate the variety that George has brought in his songwriting all along:  Piggies, “Long, Long, Long”, and “Savoy Truffle”.  
Many rock critics have noted that the sheer length of All Things Must Pass – the triple LP (including the bonus disk Apple Jam) that George Harrison released after the Beatles broke up – showed the volume of excellent Harrison compositions that never made it onto any Beatles albums.  Eric Clapton was one of the key musicians in those recording sessions; the two also co-wrote one of my favorite songs by CreamBadge
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The Beatles also includes “Don’t Pass Me By”; other than “Octopus’s Garden” (from Abbey Road), this is the only song written solely by Ringo Starr (listed under his real name, Richard Starkey as is normal in songwriting credits) that appears on an official Beatles album.  Starr also shares a songwriting credit with John Lennon and Paul McCartney on “What Goes On” (from Rubber Soul), and the instrumental “Flying” (on Magical Mystery Tour) shows all four bandmembers as the writers.  
Ringo Starr had written Don’t Pass Me By many years earlier and first played the song for the rest of the band not long after he joined the Beatles in August 1962.  Don’t Pass Me By is a simple but clever song and provides a glimpse of the post-Beatles output from the band’s drummer; as I have written before, Ringo has arguably the best body of work as a solo artist of any of the four Beatles.  Starr would typically have a lead vocal performance on each Beatles album – examples include Yellow SubmarineAct Naturally, “Boys”, and the terrific Carl Perkins cover, “Honey, Don’t” – but hardly any of his songwriting made it onto the Beatles’ disks.  
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The Under Appreciated Rock Band of the Month is HAYMARKET SQUARE, a quartet who provided music for an art exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.  The CD feels like a real album, however, that has several dreamy pop-psychedelic songs.  When trying to finish up this post before the month after its date ran out, I was thinking that I had this album at the office rather than at home; however, I spotted it immediately on my CD rack due to its bright pink color. 
Bandmembers in Haymarket Square are Gloria Lambert (vocals), Marc Swenson (guitar, vocal), Robert Homa (bass, vocal), and John Kowalski (percussion).  The name of their sole album, Magic Lantern came out in 1968 and had been known in underground circles for several decades.  After being bootlegged several times over the years, Gear Fab Records – a reissue label that combines two Beatles-era slang terms – finally put out an authorized release in 2001.  My copy, however, is one of the bootlegs; it is dated 1996 and marked “Made in England”.  The record label is given as LSD Records, and the catalogue number is LSD-007. 
Writing for Allmusic, Dean McFarlane says of the album:  “From the opening cut, it is fairly apparent why the original album is so sought after – Magic Lantern is as fine a display of American psychedelia as late-’60s albums by It’s a Beautiful Day and Jefferson Airplane.  This will appeal to fans of the fuzzed-out guitar antics of Cream and Blue Cheer.”  There is also a long article in the “Biography” section in Allmusic (this time by Stanton Swihart) about Haymarket Square.  The band name is taken from a place in Chicago where a famous labor riot took place in 1886
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While in high school, Chicago teenagers Robert Homa and John Kowalski had been in a garage rock band called the Real Things; the name was in honor of the British band the Pretty Things.  Stanton Swihart notes in Allmusic about this predecessor band:  “Not your typical amateurs, the Real Things actually played professional instruments and earned professional gigs until they disintegrated in 1967 due to the usual reasons of the season.” 
By then students at the University of Illinois – ChicagoRobert Homa and John Kowalski got another band together by advertising in the campus newspaper.  Guitarist Marc Swenson – a devotee of the lead guitarist of the Kinks, Dave Davies – was quickly added to the line-up.  A pretty blonde 20-year-old, Gloria Lambert also answered the ad, bringing her powerful, classically trained voice to the band.  She had previously been in a folk music band called Jordan, Damian and Samantha.  
Haymarket Square gained a solid reputation in the local music scene right away; one of their gigs was at the Playboy Mansion.  Allmusic says that they began “sharing stages with important international groups like the Yardbirds and Cream, as well as local favorites H. P. LovecraftSaturday’s Children, and the Shadows of Knight”.  Before long, the bandmembers began writing songs similar to those of their idols Jefferson Airplane, particularly Gloria Lambert (who was the sole author of 4 of the 6 songs).  
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In the summer of 1968Haymarket Square was approached by the Museum of Contemporary Art to provide the music for a work of art on display at that time called The Original Baron & Bailey Light Circus, which had been put together by two college professors.  The Facebook and Google+ pages for the museum recently showed some drawings for the exhibit.  For the most part though, the exhibit seems to be remembered mainly as the source of the Magic Lantern album. 
Stanton Swihart writes of Haymarket Square for Allmusic:  “As the music featured on it was initially utilized as live accompaniment and created expressly with that purpose in mind, the album plays much like the records of the [Jefferson] Airplane’s middle, most psychedelic period, as much visceral experiences to fill San Francisco ballrooms as they are objects for home listening, or like early Grateful Dead recordings, intended as soundtracks for Acid Tests and experimental light shows.  But as with the work of those bands, Magic Lantern transcends its intended purpose; in fact, it is one of the stronger – not to mention one of the earliest – slices of acid rock from the era, outstanding in every way, from [John] Kowalski’s expert drumming, to [Gloria] Lambert’s impressive, insistent singing, to the intensely mood-filled, darkly textured original songs.” 
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Magic Lantern first came out on a small label called Chaparral Records.  Shortly afterward, Robert Homa left the band and was replaced by Ken PitlikRobert Miller was brought in as a second guitarist.  This line-up stayed together for several years, but they evidently did not make any more records.  Gloria Lambert and Marc Swenson were married by the time Haymarket Square broke up in about 1974
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The only song on Magic Lantern not written by the bandmembers in Haymarket Square is one of my all-time favorite songs, “Train Kept A-Rollin’” – in a world filled with great train songs, this might the best of them all for my money.  The first time I encountered Train Kept A-Rollin’ was on the Pebbles, Volume 10 LP, one of the first Pebbles albums that I purchased.  This rapid fire rendition by the Bold (also known as Steve Walker and the Bold– which actually has some train sounds in the intro and at the end – is still the best I have heard; but like the Bo Diddley song “I’m a Man”, the Van Morrison song “Gloria”, and the timeless Louie Louie that was written by Richard Berry, I have never heard a version of Train Kept A-Rollin’ that wasn’t great.  
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Train Kept A-Rollin’ (often given as “The Train Kept A-Rollin’”) dates from the year of my birth (1951) and was originally recorded by R&B singer Tiny Bradshaw.  Bradshaw co-wrote the song with Syd Nathan (who used the pseudonym Lois Mann), a King Records executive who is credited with discovering many famous musicians, most notably James Brown
In 1956Johnny Burnette and the Rock and Roll Trio released Train Kept A-Rollin’; a cool video showing them playing the song is available on YouTube.  Wikipedia reports:  The Trio’s version features guitar lines in what many historians consider to be the first recorded example of intentionally distorted guitar in rock music.”  This record came out 2 years before Link Wray introduced power chords to rock music with his hit instrumental Rumble, where he also included considerable distorted guitar. 
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The Yardbirds recorded Train Kept A-Rollin’ while they were on their American tour in 1965.  In her biography of Jeff Beck, who was lead guitarist for the band at that time, Annette Carson notes (as quoted in Wikipedia) that their “propulsive, power-driven version, however, deviated radically from the original. . . .  [Their] recording plucked the old Rock & Roll Trio number from obscurity and turned it into a classic among classics”.  Cub Koda writing for Allmusic notes of the Yardbirds’ version that they made Train Kept A-Rollin’ a “classic guitar riff song for the ages”. 
The Yardbirds included Train Kept A-Rollin’ on their second American album, Having a Rave up with the Yardbirds that is absolutely chock full of classic songs; in addition to their major hits “I’m a Man and Heart Full of SoulHaving a Rave Up includes “Evil Hearted You” and “Still I’m Sad”, plus a full side of the Yardbirds in concert featuring Eric Clapton on lead (taken from their British debut album, Five Live Yardbirds) that includes I’m a Man again plus their devastating cover of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Smokestack Lightning that I first heard on their 1967 collection The Yardbirds’ Greatest Hits.  Anyone who thinks that the British Invasion began and ended with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones needs to hear this music post haste. 
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Many people don’t realize that Led Zeppelin is a successor band to the Yardbirds.  After Keith Relf and Jim McCarty left the Yardbirds in mid-1968, lead guitarist Jimmy Page was about the only bandmember left.  He set about finding new musicians for his next band that was sometimes called the New Yardbirds.  When the four bandmembers in Led Zeppelin started played together, the first song they did was “Train Kept A-Rollin’”.  Jimmy Page recalls of that session (as quoted in Wikipedia):  “We did ‘Train’ . . .  It was there immediately.  It was so powerful that I don’t remember what we played after that.  For me it was just like, ‘Crikey!’  I mean, I’d had moments of elation with groups before, but nothing as intense as that.  It was like a thunderbolt, a lightning flash – boosh!  Everyone sort of went ‘Wow’.” 
While Led Zeppelin opened their concerts with Train Kept A-Rollin’ throughout 1968 and 1969 (and later brought the song back to their shows in 1980), a studio version of the song was never recorded. 
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Probably the best known version of the song is by Aerosmith; “Train Kept A-Rollin’” is included on their second album, Get Your Wings (1974), but the band’s connection with the song dates back much further than that.  As quoted in WikipediaJoe Perry recalls of this song:  “‘Train Kept A-Rollin’’ was the only song we had in common when we first got together.  Steven [Tyler]’s band had played Train, and Tom [Hamilton] and I played it in our band. . . .  It’s a blues song, if you follow its roots all the way back. . . .  I always thought if I could just play one song, it would be that one because of what it does to me.” 
Steven Tyler was in a band that opened for the Yardbirds in 1966 and says of their performance (again from Wikipedia):  “I had seen the Yardbirds play somewhere the previous summer with both Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page in the band. . . .  In Westport [at their supporting gig on October 22, 1966] we found out that Jeff had left the band and Jimmy was playing lead guitar by himself.  I watched him from the edge of the stage, and all I can say is that he knocked my tits off.  They did ‘Train Kept A-Rollin’ and it was just so heavy.  They were just an un-f--kin’-believable band.” 
Train Kept A-Rollin’ was featured in early concerts by Aerosmith, and they often closed their shows with the song, including at their first gig in 1970.  A live version of the song is included on three different concert albums by the band, and they have also performed the song with several other musicians over the years.  In 2012, they played Train Kept A-Rollin’ live in Hollywood with Johnny Depp; this performance is included on a bonus disc in the Deluxe Edition of Aerosmith’s most recent studio album, Music from Another Dimension!
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Oops!  I forget to do Step One when writing one of these posts:  Check Wikipedia first.  I was already through writing this post when I realized that Haymarket Square has a pretty good entry in Wikipedia already.  Too late; they are already an official UARB
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Flashback:  The Under Appreciated Rock Band of the Month for June 2013 – FUR 
The article for this band is probably the longest I have ever written; I was talking about “what might have been” in rock and roll, focusing on the day the music died, when Buddy HollyThe Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens were killed in an airplane crash in 1959.  The UARB that month is a no-frills punk rock band from NY called Fur where two of the three bandmembers are women.  I have played this CD dozens of times and never get tired of it. 
YouTube has all or most of the songs by the band (all audio-only).  Their minor hit Sex Drive can be heard at:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kHdxZZ9TVY .  The opening track Beautiful Wreck (with slightly better audio quality) is available at:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=arhXh6ZE84E .  The slower James Brown is at:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6EGzqolXGs .  There are also some great songs by Fur lead singer Holly Ramos that you could check out. 
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Picture Gallery:  The Under Appreciated Rock Band of the Month for June 2012 – WILD BLUE
This is their first album, No More Jinx
This is a photo (a blend of two photos actually) on the back cover of the album that shows all five bandmembers:  
This is a photo of Frank Barbalace, who played guitar in another UARBTrillion
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STORY OF THE MONTH:  “Walk on the Wild Side(from March 2013) 
For those in the know, Lou Reed’s remarkable hit Walk on the Wild Side – which peaked at #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1976 – is a sleazy romp through the world of artist Andy Warhol As a member of the Velvet Underground – the house band of Warhol’s legendary studio The Factory – Lou Reed was certainly a familiar denizen of the Andy Warhol milieu.  However, this background was primarily in-jokes that most listeners knew nothing about, nor did they need to:  The song’s under-stated musical arrangement provides an ideal setting for Lou Reed’s deadpan delivery of lyrics about an entire litany of taboo subjects – transsexuality, drugs, male prostitution, and oral sex.  And that’s not to mention the chorus line – “And the colored girls go doo dah doo, dah doo, doo dah doo, doo dah doo . . . ” – and the use of gay slang like “backroom” and “soul food” (the latter in the line “. . . looking for soul food and a place to eat”). 


Speaking of under-appreciation, don’t listen to the film critics who slammed the third entry in the Men in Black Franchise, Men in Black 3.  This one has all of the cleverness that was largely missing from the second film (though I have come to enjoy that one as well after the fourth or fifth viewing) and features time travel back to 1969, where Andy Warhol is portrayed as an undercover “man in black”.   I thoroughly enjoyed MIB 3 myself. 


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The Honor Roll of the Under Appreciated Rock Bands and Artists follows, in date order, including a link to the original Facebook posts and the theme of the article.
Dec 2009BEAST; Lot to Learn
Jan 2010WENDY WALDMAN; Los Angeles Singer-Songwriters
Feb 2010 CYRUS ERIE; Cleveland
Mar 2010BANG; Record Collecting I
Apr 2010THE BREAKAWAYS; Power Pop
May 2010THE NOT QUITE; Katrina Clean-Up
Jun 2010WATERLILLIES; Electronica
Jul 2010THE EYES; Los Angeles Punk Rock
Aug 2010QUEEN ANNE’S LACE; Psychedelic Pop
Sep 2010THE STILLROVEN; Minnesota
Oct 2010THE PILTDOWN MEN; Record Collecting II
Nov 2010SLOVENLY; Slovenly Peter
Dec 2010THE POPPEES; New York Punk/New Wave
Jan 2011HACIENDA; Latinos in Rock
Feb 2011THE WANDERERS; Punk Rock (1970’s/1980’s)
Mar 2011INDEX; Psychedelic Rock (1960’s)
Apr 2011BOHEMIAN VENDETTA; Punk Rock (1960’s)
May 2011THE LONESOME DRIFTER; Rockabilly
Jun 2011THE UNKNOWNS; Disabled Musicians
Jul 2011THE RIP CHORDS; Surf Rock I
Aug 2011ANDY COLQUHOUN; Side Men
Sep 2011ULTRA; Texas
Oct 2011JIM SULLIVAN; Mystery
Nov 2011THE UGLY; Punk Rock (1970’s)
Dec 2011THE MAGICIANS; Garage Rock (1960’s)
Jan 2012RON FRANKLIN; Why Celebrate Under Appreciated?
Feb 2012JA JA JA; German New Wave
Mar 2012STRATAVARIOUS; Disco Music
Apr 2012LINDA PIERRE KING; Record Collecting III
May 2012TINA AND THE TOTAL BABES; One Hit Wonders
Jun 2012WILD BLUE; Band Names I
Jul 2012DEAD HIPPIE; Band Names II
Aug 2012PHIL AND THE FRANTICS; Wikipedia I
Sep 2012CODE BLUE; Hidden History
Oct 2012TRILLION; Wikipedia II
Nov 2012THOMAS ANDERSON; Martin Winfree’s Record Buying Guide
Dec 2012THE INVISIBLE EYES; Record Collecting IV
Jan 2013THE SKYWALKERS; Garage Rock Revival
Mar 2013THE GILES BROTHERS; Novelty Songs
Apr 2013LES SINNERS; Universal Language
May 2013HOLLIS BROWN; Greg Shaw / Bob Dylan
Jun 2013 (I) – FUR (Part One); What Might Have Been I
Jun 2013 (II) – FUR (Part Two); What Might Have Been II
Jul 2013THE KLUBS; Record Collecting V
Aug 2013SILVERBIRD; Native Americans in Rock
Sep 2013BLAIR 1523; Wikipedia III
Oct 2013MUSIC EMPORIUM; Women in Rock I
Nov 2013CHIMERA; Women in Rock II
Dec 2013LES HELL ON HEELS; Women in Rock III
Jan 2014BOYSKOUT; (Lesbian) Women in Rock IV
Feb 2014LIQUID FAERIES; Women in Rock V
Mar 2014 (I) – THE SONS OF FRED (Part 1); Tribute to Mick Farren
Mar 2014 (II) – THE SONS OF FRED (Part 2); Tribute to Mick Farren
Apr 2014HOMER; Creating New Bands out of Old Ones
May 2014THE SOUL AGENTS; The Cream Family Tree
Jun 2014THE RICHMOND SLUTS and BIG MIDNIGHT; Band Names (Changes) III
Jul 2014MIKKI; Rock and Religion I (Early CCM Music)
Aug 2014THE HOLY GHOST RECEPTION COMMITTEE #9; Rock and Religion II (Bob Dylan)
Sep 2014NICK FREUND; Rock and Religion III (The Beatles)
Oct 2014MOTOCHRIST; Rock and Religion IV
Dec 2014THE SILENCERS; Surf Rock II
Jan 2015 (I) – THE CRAWDADDYS (Part 1); Tribute to Kim Fowley
Jan 2015 (II) – THE CRAWDADDYS (Part 2); Tribute to Kim Fowley
Feb 2015BRIAN OLIVE; Songwriting I (Country Music)
Mar 2015PHIL GAMMAGE; Songwriting II (Woody Guthrie/Bob Dylan)
Apr 2015 (I) – BLACK RUSSIAN (Part 1); Songwriting III (Partnerships)
Apr 2015 (II) – BLACK RUSSIAN (Part 2); Songwriting III (Partnerships)
May 2015MAL RYDER and THE PRIMITIVES; Songwriting IV (Rolling Stones)
Jun 2015HAYMARKET SQUARE; Songwriting V (Beatles)
Jul 2015THE HUMAN ZOO; Songwriting VI (Psychedelic Rock)
Aug 2015CRYSTAL MANSIONMartin Winfree’s Record Cleaning Guide
Dec 2015AMANDA JONES; So Many Rock Bands
Mar 2016THE LOVEMASTERS; Fun Rock Music
Jun 2016THE GYNECOLOGISTS; Offensive Rock Music Lyrics
Sep 2016LIGHTNING STRIKE; Rap and Hip Hop
Dec 2016THE IGUANAS; Iggy and the Stooges; Proto-Punk Rock
Mar 2017THE LAZY COWGIRLS; Iggy and the Stooges; First Wave Punk Rock
Jun 2017THE LOONS; Punk Revival and Other New Bands
Sep 2017THE TELL-TALE HEARTS; Bootleg Albums
Dec 2017SS-20; The Iguana Chronicles
(Year 10 Review)
Last edited: April 8, 2021