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.:Why I love Beat Club, and you should too.:.
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IanWagner
The Rustic Bumfiddler

Posts: 47999
Registered: Aug 2007
 Posted April 29th, 2012 11:45 PM   IP              
You forgot Mungo Jerry.
   
halleluwah
Total Rock Cumshot

Posts: 7312
Registered: Aug 2007
 Posted April 30th, 2012 03:58 AM   IP              
Quote:
IanWagner wrote:
You forgot Mungo Jerry.

No I didn't.

I'MCOMINGI'MCOMINGI'MCOMINGI'MCOMING
   
IanWagner
The Rustic Bumfiddler

Posts: 47999
Registered: Aug 2007
 Posted May 25th, 2012 12:38 PM   IP              
Jason Loftin:

GET BACK TO WHERE YOU ONCE BELONGED.

   
halleluwah
Total Rock Cumshot

Posts: 7312
Registered: Aug 2007
 Posted May 25th, 2012 12:55 PM   IP              
I'm actually back to working on it today! I got like three quarters into the episode like three weeks ago, then hit a wall and hadn't gone back to it yet. I'm gonna try to have it up tonight.

These late '69 episodes can be pretty brutal to write about, I'll tell ya that.

I'MCOMINGI'MCOMINGI'MCOMINGI'MCOMING
   
IanWagner
The Rustic Bumfiddler

Posts: 47999
Registered: Aug 2007
 Posted May 25th, 2012 01:01 PM   IP              
Quote:
halleluwah wrote: I'm gonna try to have it up tonight.



Heh heh.

   
halleluwah
Total Rock Cumshot

Posts: 7312
Registered: Aug 2007
 Posted May 25th, 2012 01:04 PM   IP              
Quote:
IanWagner wrote:
Quote:
Quote:
halleluwah wrote: I'm gonna try to have it up tonight.



Heh heh.


...If I can only finish this damn Beat Club episode first!

I'MCOMINGI'MCOMINGI'MCOMINGI'MCOMING
   
halleluwah
Total Rock Cumshot

Posts: 7312
Registered: Aug 2007
 Posted May 26th, 2012 01:54 AM   IP              



Beat-Club Episode 50
12/31/1969
All performances live, except where noted

1. Opening Credits
2. Steamhammer - Louisiana Blues
3. Film: Magic Amsterdam
4. Hardin & York - Tomorrow Today
5. Hardin & York - The Pike
6. Film: Feature on Bravo Magazine
7. Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich - Tonight Today (mimed)
8. Chicago - I'm A Man*
9. Janis Joplin – Try (Just a Little Bit Harder) (fragment, live on film)*
10. Terry Reid - Superlungs My Super Girl*
11. Terry Reid - Rich Kid Blues*
12. Terry Reid - Highway 61 Revisited (with closing credits)


FULL SHOW: http://video.mail.ru/mail/vakula196.../1971/2444.html


Beat Club reached the milestone of its fiftieth episode on the final afternoon of the 1960s. Over the past four and a quarter years, the show had done as effective a job as any on television anywhere in the world at chronicling the rapid development of rock music’s most celebrated (probably even over-celebrated) decade. Now, with the dawn of the ‘70s just hours away, the program was poised to draw a dividing line in the sand: this would be the final episode of Beat Club to be broadcast in black and white. In many ways, the show already had its head in the ‘70s, though. Aside from the one mimed act on hand that sticks out like Mitt Romney at a Wu-Tang Clan concert, this episode contains some of the jammiest, most long-winded rock performances that had yet aired on Beat Club. It’s also more than a little uneven, recalling the dull beginning/strong finish of the October show.

The episode cold opens with a traditional German oompah band performing in a small village, just in case you had any doubts about where the show was filmed. The title sequence has been amended to now include the labels ‘Progressive, Pop, Blues, and Information,’ although the noxious opening greeting from the hosts goes out of its way to deliver a nasty backhand to the Pop part of the equation. Via painfully ‘edgy’ rapid-cut edits, Uschi (bored hipster) and Dave (smirking stoner) trade off bilingual one-liners evidently designed to drive a final stake into the heart of Beat Club’s not-so-distant past. Uschi’s lucky she’s speaking German, so I have no idea what bullshit they’re making her spout, but as for Dave…“This afternoon, we start looking into the safe Seventies! Or should I say (snort), save the Seventies from us! Would you believe The Monkees? The Tremeloes?? (snicker) The Hollies??? (retardedly crosses eyes) Herman’s Hermits???? (guffaw) And FRANK SINATRA????” (wets self laughing at the very concept) Sit back for a moment and mull over the fact that fucking DAVE DEE, a man responsible for some of the lamest, most commercial novelty performances in Beat Club history, is delivering these lines. Apparently, the show is hoping we won’t notice this, along with the fact that two of those acts Dave just mentioned had been featured on this very same stage within the past nine months. Jesus. Look, Beat Club is just about my favorite TV show ever, and I realize it was trying to move into a new stage and put the past behind it, but when it beats you over the head with shit like this…I kind of hate these guys right now. They’ve got their hosts acting like the smug Pitchfork-brainwashed indie kids of their day here. Frank Sinatra should have had Dee and Leckenbusch’s legs broken for this. Even more than the robot-host episode that kicked Dave Lee Travis to the curb, this is the most irritating forced hipster moment Beat Club ever threw at us. Fortunately, the show would never repeat this mistake again.

Anyway, after that “very, very heavy announcement,” we head into the first musical performance with Dave instructing us to relax with Steamhammer, ohhhh yeeeaaahhhh. (For fuck’s sake, lay off the damn stoner speak, Dee!) Because if there’s one band we can all agree deserves more respect than Frank Sinatra, it's obviously these guys. (Okay. I’ll let it drop now.) As you may have noticed, Steamhammer’s debut back in September didn’t exactly endear them to me, but I’ve got to admit, their take on “Louisiana Blues” here isn’t bad. At over eight minutes, it’s definitely too damn long, and I still don’t dig their singer’s congested blues mannerisms, but there are parts of this I’d be tempted to even call impressive. The band transforms the traditional blues song into a tangle of spooky minor-key guitar interplay laid over a lumbering, heavy rhythmic bed. Essentially, it sounds like a merging of This Was-era Jethro Tull with the darker side of Cream, and with these guys, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to find out that was exactly the idea. In time-honored jam band tradition, the sung verses are dispatched with fairly quickly, leaving most of the song dominated by a lengthy guitar solo. The lead player is decent here; he’s not overly showboaty, and he goes well beyond your standard blues-box stock licks, which already puts him far ahead of Alvin Lee. But he never plays anything particularly transcendent either. It’s just a good, solid modal blues-rock solo; if you saw somebody doing this in a bar, you’d probably nod your head in appreciation, but not seek the guy out to buy him a drink afterwards. It’s more a full-band jam, really, with everybody pitching in to prolong the mood with an impressive display of dynamics. The middle, where the group quiets down to an eerie calm for a few minutes, is the type of thing a surprisingly small number of rock musicians can pull off. Best of all, that asshole with the saxophone isn’t with them this time, so the music isn’t choked off with tone-deaf woodwind buffoonery. Visually, it’s pretty chaotic, but never boring, overlaying a trio of dancing hippie girls on top of the ass-ugly band members throughout. There are some interesting in-camera effects as well, with some sort of teardrop-shaped camera attachment distorting the picture. For the most part, this clip works pretty well…just not quite well enough to be an unqualified success. If “Louisiana Blues” was about two or three minutes shorter and featured a less annoying singer, I would have given it a full recommendation, but as it stands, it’s still by far the best thing in the first half of this episode.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGJIvN4toic


Oh brother. Remember the hash-addled location segments from Amsterdam that aired back in June? Apparently, Beat Club thought we needed a sequel, so for the next nine minutes, we’ll be taken on a journey through the European hippie hotspot of Magic Amsterdam. I’ll try to make this as brief as possible. First, we have a photographer who wears a set of TV rabbit ear antennae on his head and roams around outside, seemingly talking to trees. Next, there’s a few minutes of stage footage of a performance artist named Johnny the Selfkicker, who dresses like Liberace and rants from behind a piano, occasionally getting up to kick over some chairs. Improbably, it turns out this guy is a legitimately notable literary figure in The Netherlands; he even has an annual prize for spoken-word literature named for him. He seems to be held in a regard there somewhere between a provocative Beat stylist like Allen Ginsberg and a batshit-insane outsider cult figure like Wild Man Fischer. Johnny’s demented tirade at the end lends the title to the Magic Amsterdam film. After this, we have a trio of men known as Insektensekte singing along with an old record from the 30s. One of them has a big mustache and is apparently reading his lyrics from the back of a giant paper butterfly. These “Insect Sect” guys were already responsible for the Air Peace protests back on the June show. I’m sure all of this seems like a really good idea when you’re as high as they are. The music continues with footage of an elderly Dutch couple playing “Jingle Bells” accompanied by a younger man on tuned bells. Amusingly, while the old man has an accordion, the woman simply bangs coconuts together a la Monty Python. Lastly, there’s footage of a guy named Prince Mario driving a Volkswagen bus wrapped in paper around the Amsterdam Square. He gets out and begins wrapping random passers-by in paper as well, to the improbable accompaniment of The Band’s “Unfaithful Servant.” (WHY???) At the end, the police come around, presumably to arrest Prince Mario for, er, illegal paper-wrapping or something, and our journey to Magic Amsterdam is finally over.


At this point, we’re a full third of the way into this episode, and all we’ve seen is one asinine opening segment, one long musical performance, and one even longer film. You might think this would be a clear signal that it’s time to pick up the show’s pace a bit, and I would agree with you. Unfortunately, instead we’re given over twelve straight minutes of jamming by (and it pains me to have to report this) Hardin and York. Pete York was the longtime drummer for The Spencer Davis Group, and organist/vocalist Eddie Hardin was the replacement for Steve Winwood after he left the same band in 1967. Of course, it had soon become apparent that Winwood had taken all the group’s hitmaking potential with him when he left, and so Hardin and York did the only rational thing under the circumstances: they stepped out on their own as an organ/drum “power duo.” While this unusual band formation was a novel idea (the only two other examples I can think of from the period are Billy Joel’s terrible early group Attila and Lee Michaels), I can’t say these guys are very good in practice. The duo is allowed two songs to fill out the episode’s midsection, the first of which is “Tomorrow Today.” The tune is essentially a basic descending four-chord soul/rock groove, over which Hardin bellows endlessly in a manner somewhere between a bad Steve Winwood impression and the phlegmy tone of that guy from Steamhammer. In an indication that Hardin was clearly still following his predecessor’s career after leaving Spencer Davis, the melody here even mirrors Traffic’s “Feelin’ Alright.” Now, both of these guys have impressive chops on their instruments, but the lack of any subtlety or variation causes “Tomorrow Today” to grow tiresome long before it’s over.

Which means that it’s clearly a perfect time for a seven-minute instrumental, right? As unappetizing as that prospect sounds, “The Pike” actually turns out to be a slight improvement, chiefly because Hardin keeps his damn mouth shut this time. That said, it still kind of sucks. The opening heavy jazz theme is tensely wound enough, and it’s able to maintain a smattering of interest throughout its first couple of minutes, but in the end, it just sounds like a sloppy, formless jam between two guys trying really hard to channel Jon Lord and Mitch Mitchell. Only not even as cool as you’re probably imagining that would sound. York gets a brief drum solo aided by strobe lights, but since it sounds like he’s soloing throughout the whole damn song anyway, that basically just means that the organ stops playing for a moment. As often happens during Beat Club’s more tedious musical performances, at least the effects hold some interest here, with some intense trails of light bounding off of both instrumentalists. Hardin and York would rise to popularity in Germany, despite never attracting much attention in England. In fact, on New Year’s Eve 1969, the night this episode aired, the duo was given the honor of being the final act ever to play at Hamburg’s famous Star Club before it closed down for good. “Tomorrow Today” and “The Pike” aren’t great by any stretch, but the badness on display here pales compared to what would transpire during Hardin and York’s return to Beat Club in 1971. Cower in dread now while you still can.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olvdvuziCOU
(Both Hardin and York songs together in one high-excitement video!)


There are only two films shown in this episode, but they’re both pretty long. For the second, we’re taken to the publishing offices of Bravo, Germany’s leading pop culture magazine. Beat Club seems to be returning a favor to the publication by covering them here, as the show was a constant feature in Bravo by 1969. (For instance: http://www.davedeedozybeakymickandt...4_beat-club.jpg) The majority of this piece consists of interviews with (I’m assuming) the magazine’s editors, a middle-aged woman who does most of the talking and a stern-faced man who glowers from inside a black turtleneck. If I spoke German, this would be a lot more interesting, I’m sure. There are a few little moments of note: we go on location for a photo shoot with Barry Ryan, driving a dune buggy across a beach (the last glimpse we’ll catch of him on Beat Club). There’s some footage of people working on page layouts in the back room, as well as another photo shoot of some models playing with balloons.


It’s somewhat fitting that Beat Club’s last episode of the ‘60s finds the show saying its final farewell to the most frequent musical guests of its pop era. Dave Dee may have left the group, but Dozy, Beaky, Mick, and Tich had refused to take the hint, soldiering on without their former frontman. This was not a good idea, as their first release as a quartet, “Tonight, Today” (what’s with all the “____ Today” songs on this show?), didn’t even come within a mile of the charts in Germany, their last remaining haven of pop stardom. And deservedly so, because this is a terrible fucking song. It’s a characteristically fluffy piece of novelty pop for them, except this time with awkward political lyrics about Nixon and violent demonstrations. The idea to give the song three simultaneously sung vocal hooks is interesting, but it’s not enough to save this from jaw-dropping ineptitude. Everybody gives Mike Love shit for the heavy-handed cluelessness of his lyrics on The Beach Boys’ “Student Demonstration Time,” but that might as well be “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” compared to this tripe. Beat Club, who would never quite get the hang of subtle political commentary, does the band no favors by superimposing photos of, I shit you not, dead Vietnamese babies across the screen. Wow. Watching this is a little uncomfortable, and not just because the song sucks. As embarrassing as Dave Dee’s attempts at hipness were early in the episode, what his former band is trying to pull off here comes off just as badly. They clearly have no connection with the core of what Beat Club is about anymore; hell, they’re even the only act still miming in this episode. Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick, and Tich are the only band where it’s possible to accurately chart their rise and fall entirely on the basis of their Beat Club appearances. They first played on the show all the way back on episode 8 in May of 1966 as a scrappy garage band, spent a couple of years showcasing a decadent string of one international hit after another, plastered happy faces over their subsequent steady decline, and made their final exit here as an empty shell, pathetically grasping to stay relevant. In total, DBM&T appeared on thirteen episodes of Beat Club, over a quarter of all the black-and-white-era shows, far more than any other act in the show’s history. (Discounting Beatles promo films, the next closest band is The Who, who appeared on nine episodes.) Despite the fact that only about four or five of the songs they played on Beat Club were any good musically, these clowns were a big part of the fabric of what the show was about during the ‘60s. And now they suddenly looked like they accidentally showed up for the wrong TV taping. That’s why it was so ridiculous for Beat Club to spend so much time trying to kill off its own teenybopper past over the last several months of 1969; all they really had to do was show this one DBM&T clip, and people would have gotten the point. After the show entered the ‘70s, artists would return with much less frequency than they had in the past, and no band would ever be allowed the level of dominance enjoyed by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick, & Tich again. DBM&T themselves would continue to limp onward without the aid of their former television showcase, finally giving up the ghost in 1972. If you’re looking for a single moment that symbolizes the definitive end of Beat Club’s mimed pop era, “Tonight, Today” is it.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnvNpbjCqm0


Following that kick in the crotch to any remaining teenybopper Beat Club fans, it’s only appropriate that we’re treated to the first indisputably great extended live performance in the show’s history. Up until this point, even the most successful six-plus minute jams on the program had some major debits, but Chicago’s “I’m a Man” finally shows just how impressive the format could be in the right hands. The band (billed onscreen by its previous name, The Chicago Transit Authority, which had already been officially shortened by this time) may be best known today for a series of later soft rock smash hits, but early on, they positively exploded with rock power. In just under seven minutes, the group transforms the Spencer Davis Group’s garage-soul hit into a Jimi Hendrix-meets-Santana sweat lodge. Arranged in a circle facing each other onstage, most of the seven band members are concerned with maintaining the song’s propulsive polyrhythms. The group’s trademark three-man horn section is limited to banging on various bits of percussion, although they still stick out as the loudest element in an uncharacteristically raw and erratic sound mix. Each of Chicago’s frontline vocalists (Terry Kath, Peter Cetera, and Robert Lamm, respectively) takes a verse of the song, all of them seemingly attempting to outdo each other for mush-mouthed unintelligibility, and drummer Danny Seraphine embarks on a drum solo in the middle. Unlike Pete York’s messy solo spot earlier in the show, Seraphine excels here, working in tandem with the percussion line to turn the segment into something entertaining and musical. (Off the top of your head, how many rock drum solos can you think of that actually deserve those adjectives? Not many.) The real focal point here is undoubtedly greasy-haired guitarist Terry Kath, though. Although “I’m a Man” doesn’t feature a designated guitar solo as such, Kath constantly tosses off brilliant speed-demon fills throughout the entire performance, culminating with a jaw-dropping shred meltdown over the final climactic chords. This guy was one of the greatest guitarists of the era, and is deserving of far more recognition than he gets these days. As far as Beat Club minutia is concerned, Kath also holds the distinction of being the first guitarist shown playing through the show’s soon-to-be-ubiquitous Orange amplifier stack. Up until this point, the show had kept a few amps on hand, mostly used as props for miming, made by Selmer, a French company best known for its saxophones. The new Orange stacks would influence the show’s look nearly as much as the colorful back-projection effects over the next three years. “I’m a Man” is the best thing on this episode by a considerable margin, but it would mark the only time Chicago would ever perform on Beat Club. The band’s initial raw energy would gradually subside as Peter Cetera’s pop leanings came to define their commercial identity by the mid-70s, and after Kath’s early demise in 1978, they’d surrender to blandness for good.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3UJFCE_ksg


At this point, the show throws in a bit of nice filler material, a couple of minutes cut out of the end of a Janis Joplin live performance of “Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)” from the same Frankfurt concert that had been covered on Beat Club back in April. We join the proceedings after most of the song’s body has concluded, so this is basically just footage of the Kozmic Blues Band vamping while Janis spiritedly testifies over the top. She sounds great, of course, bounding across the stage with an electric enthusiasm that belies how pissed off she appeared in the backstage footage shown in the April episode. Footage from the Frankfurt show would be mined by Beat Club a third time the following year, under decidedly less happy circumstances.


Beat Club finishes off 1969 with a three-song set from teenaged blues-rock wailer Terry Reid. A protégée of famed producer Mickie Most, Reid had earned a reputation among his peers early in his career that far outstripped his modest record sales. He had been Jimmy Page’s second choice to front Led Zeppelin after Steve Marriott, and while refusing the offer, managed to make his most indelible contribution to the history of rock and roll by recommending the then unknown Robert Plant instead. Reid wasn’t quite in the league of either Marriott or Plant, but he wasn’t bad, either, and his segment here is a nice enough way to end the show. He opens with a cover of “Superlungs (My Supergirl)” by fellow Most client Donovan. Reid and his backing band play the song as a tense rocker, leavened by a lengthy organ solo that recalls Rod Argent’s jazzy leanings in The Zombies. As loose and groovy as the music is, Reid’s vocals can be a bit of an acquired taste. His tone is a bit shriller and more nasal than either of his aforementioned contemporaries, and while undeniably powerful, he’s not as immediately appealing. His style will either grow on you or start to really piss you off throughout the course of his Beat Club set. I can’t imagine there’s much middle ground with this guy.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkLRniLNtRE


Reid follows this up with one of his own compositions, “Rich Kid Blues.” Probably the highlight of his set, the song starts with a mournful solo verse before picking up for a triumphant organ-led theme. The two sides of the song alternate a couple of times apiece, and the contrast works well enough to make up for the fact that it’s impossible to understand a single fucking word Reid sings during the more rocking bits. As difficult to decipher as the singers in Chicago were, they may as well have been Nat King Cole compared to Terry. “Superlungs” had been captured in a single roaming, letterboxed camera shot, but the effects guys go to town here. Depending on the camera angle, Reid and the band are either framed by the same teardrop-shaped filter that was used for Steamhammer, surrounded by a cosmic field of amorphous psychedelic blobs, or covered by Indian-derived geometric patterns.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrgjEUfRcdU


Uschi and Dave Dee arrive to give their final send-off to the decade, noting that with the following episode, Beat Club would finally be broadcast ‘in farbe.’ The show proceeds to bid farewell to its black-and-white 1960’s format with Terry Reid’s take on Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited.” Honestly, this kind of sucks. This song is a popular cover for blues-rockers, chiefly because it’s simple enough that it can make anybody sound like they know how to play slide guitar, but the only version besides Dylan’s I’ve ever dug much was Johnny Winter’s. Reid only succeeds in turning Dylan’s deeply wry take on blues mythology into an anonymous slice of Budweiser blues, sung with such poor diction that I have serious doubts Terry even knew what the actual words to the song were. The screen is consumed with an even stronger array of visual trickery, and after about two and a half minutes, the credits roll and the screen cuts to black, fading out in the middle of a pedestrian organ-slide guitar duel. Oh well. Two out of three ain’t bad, I guess. Terry Reid would not return to Beat Club in the ‘70s.


1969 was in a lot of ways the most fascinating and frustrating year in Beat Club’s history. The year opened with a run of seven episodes that had found the program doing some of its best-ever work, elevating pop music television to new levels of artistry, then spent its last five messily tearing apart everything it had previously stood for. Although home to some brilliant material, on the whole the year ended with the most confused, rudderless stretch of episodes since the very earliest days of the show, when nobody involved knew what they were doing yet. Frankly, these haven’t been the most enjoyable shows for me to wade through. But they were important transitionally; given the almost totally differing natures of the show’s primary ‘60s and ‘70s formats, the changeover was bound to be a difficult one. The fact that the show would manage to iron out most of the kinks by the time the first color show aired the next month is to its credit; it would have been horribly anticlimactic if they had opened the new era with, say, this episode instead. Color broadcasting would inject Beat Club with a new confidence, and with the beginning of the ‘70s, the show would settle back into its rightful place as the most brilliant rock and roll program on television.



(Edited by halleluwah)

I'MCOMINGI'MCOMINGI'MCOMINGI'MCOMING
   
varitone
Charles Nelson Reilly's SHORTS!

Posts: 81
Registered: Jan 2012
 Posted May 30th, 2012 11:17 AM   IP              
A magnificent review - I get much more out of watching Beat Club thanks to how you place the episodes in the context of the show's history and the culture of the times.

Speaking of which, I also gagged on Dave Dee's opening lines but it says a lot about what was happening at the turn of the decade as popular music splintered into irreconcilable strands. Very different from the time in the mid-sixties when the same artists generally triumphed in the singles charts, the album charts and critics' opinions.

A phrase that seems to have caught on in the last few years is "guilty pleasures" to describe music you like but somehow you're not supposed to like it and you're definitely not supposed to admit to liking it - the 70s was a big time for this kind of tribalism.

Anyway it's nauseating to witness Beat Club trying to deny its heritage with this verbal backlash delivered by, of all people, Dave Dee. (Fast forward seven years and many of those appearing on Beat Club in the early 70s would be labelled boring old farts. One can imagine Dave, newly spiked and pierced, delivering the news as he introduces Slaughter And The Dogs.)

Still it's good that Dave continues the grand tradition of appalling ways to introduce Steamhammer, who really are a whole lot more enjoyable this time, especially when compared with Hardin & York. I don't like to be too derogatory about mediocre artists but H&Y are plain awful. There's nothing going on here. Like listening to two music shop assistants passing the time on a boring afternoon.

Your assessment of DBM&T is profound and spot on. Tonight Today is a hopeless record in every sense and a sad postscript to their Beat Club story. Strangely, following a hits drought, DBM&T did manage a minor hit in Britain with a similarly themed but somewhat better record called Mr President. If you don't know it, it's here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5hX...feature=related

Some version of DBM&T - sometimes plus Dave Dee - continued to perform occasionally as a revival act in the 1970s and beyond, pretty much up until Dave Dee died I think.

Chicago - I always got the impression that they were some kind of "important" band because the record shops always had Chicago LPs all with similar sleeves bearing roman numerals. Yet I didn't know anyone who bought one and I never heard one. So back in the 70s the only Chicago songs I knew were 25 Or 6 To 4 and Does Anybody Know What Time It Is. Until, of course, they suddenly broke through with If You Leave Me Now and became destined for soft rock compilations and guilty pleasures.

So it's a bit of a revelation to see Chicago steal the show here - enjoyed this a lot, easily the best thing in this episode.

And finally, Terry Reid whose music I also don't know except for his version of Superlungs. It's a disappointment that this performance loses all the groovy charm of the record, but maybe that was down to producer Mickie Most and probably some cool sessioneers:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnlUxp31QL8
   
halleluwah
Total Rock Cumshot

Posts: 7312
Registered: Aug 2007
 Posted May 30th, 2012 12:32 PM   IP              
Thank you kindly, Varitone.

If you dug "I'm a Man," I'd seriously recommend doing some exploration through Chicago's early work, starting with their debut, The Chicago Transit Authority. I have a real affection for that era of the group, since I heard them constantly growing up. They're one of my Dad's very favorite bands; before I was born, he spent a good ten years playing saxophone in a series of groups based on Chicago's horn-rock sound. It's interesting that Beat Club chose "I'm a Man" to include in the show, since it's one of Chicago's very few early songs where the horns are absent. They're usually a big part of their sound. Dumb lyrics and occasional oversinging aside, that was a really, really good band for its first few years.

Watch out for Hardin and York's return to Beat Club later; it's a serious contender for the single worst thing ever shown on the program. I'm getting a headache right now just thinking about it.

I'MCOMINGI'MCOMINGI'MCOMINGI'MCOMING
   
Matinee Idyll (129)
Camp Counsellor

Posts: 8244
Registered: Aug 2007
 Posted May 31st, 2012 09:03 AM   IP              
Great stuff Jase, Terry Reid was ok. Hardkin and York not qiute as bad as I was expecting from yur writeup. ;)

"Nick is the Mode guy. Jon is the Duran guy."

   
OMAR
Proud To Be Contarded

Posts: 508
Registered: Feb 2010
 Posted May 31st, 2012 09:50 AM   IP              
Jason- this continues to be an incredibly educational, enlightening thread.
I truly believe you need to consolidate this, when finished, and make this into an actual BOOK.

I bet you 33 1/3 books ( http://www.33third.blogspot.com/p/c...-series_27.html ) would be piqued by a proposal from you.
   
halleluwah
Total Rock Cumshot

Posts: 7312
Registered: Aug 2007
 Posted June 13th, 2012 09:52 PM   IP              



Beat-Club Episode 51
1/31/1970
All performances live

1. Film: Sex Ist Mies pt. 1/Opening titles
2. Humble Pie - The Sad Bag Of Shakey Jake*
3. Film: Guy with umbrella and girl with bicycle
4. Free – Mr. Big*
5. Film: Sex Ist Mies pt. 2
6. Juicy Lucy - Chicago North Western
7. Film: Smoking guy bothers bar patrons
8. Film: Sex Ist Mies pt. 3
9. Film: Floh de Cologne
10. Renaissance – Island* 

11. Spirit – 1984*
12. Colosseum - The Machine Demands A Sacrifice
13. Film: Smoking guy bothers a barber

14. John Mayall - I'm Gonna Fight For You J.B. 

15. Film: Sex Ist Mies pt. 4
16. Canned Heat - Let's Work Together* 

17. Canned Heat - Move On Down The Road 

18. Closing Credits (Move On Down the Road continues)



FULL SHOW: http://video.mail.ru/mail/vakula196.../1971/2450.html

(For some reason, the link above, along with all the other videos of this episode I can find online, has nearly fifteen minutes cut out. The missing material includes the opening titles, the first and third parts of the Sex Ist Mies film, and both of the lengthy films featuring an obnoxious guy with a microphone accosting innocent passers by. Fortunately, none of this material is particularly essential, and the episode is stronger for their absence. I’ll go ahead and write about them anyway since they’re on the DVD, but aside from a few amusing Sex Ist Mies moments, you’re not missing much; trust me.)



The switch to color broadcasting in January of 1970 is usually cited as the key turning point in Beat Club’s history, as if everything that came before was mimed pop, and everything from here on out was live progressive rock. In reality, there isn’t a great deal of structural difference between the first few color shows and the last few of 1969. The new musical format had already been set, and occasional mimed performances would continue to crop up into the spring. Hell, this isn’t even the first color Beat Club installment, as the show had already taken part in the one-off experimental broadcast in September of 1967, although few saw it that way at the time, and the color master is now considered lost. That said, there are a few immediately noticeable changes in episode 51. For starters, for the first time since the remote broadcast from London’s Tiles Club back in August of ’66, every single musical performance on hand is live. The overall look of the show is different too, and not just because of the color. In order for the cameras to properly capture a color picture, extra lighting was necessary in the studio, giving the show a much brighter, less sinister look. The days of Beat Club clips that seemed eerily reminiscent of the starkness of old horror films were now over. It would take the show a while to fully get the knack of this new technology; in places, the early 1970 shows have a somewhat unnatural, oversaturated look, even during performances free of video effects. What is most notable, however, is how much more assured this episode is than those that had immediately preceded it. Despite the presence of some overlong film segments (those aren’t going away anytime soon, though, so get used to them), the overall level of the music is far higher. Even the weakest performances here aren’t bad enough to give off the impression of being completely devoid of purpose, the way Hardin and York did on the previous show.

Personally speaking, I should also note that with this episode, we’re entering into territory I’m much more familiar with. Years before acquiring the official Beat Club DVD set, I had a bootleg set comprising the majority of the musical performances from the show’s color era, starting here. The quality left a bit to be desired: they were edited together haphazardly, much of the sound was out of sync with the visuals, and there was no indexing of tracks on the DVDs, which is irritating as hell when you’re trying to get through some endless jam by Klaus Doldinger’s Passport in order to see T. Rex. But I wore them out anyway. Until I started writing this series, in my mind, the show as presented here was the beginning of what Beat Club was. Outside of a handful of the most widely circulated black and white clips that everybody’s seen, I was pretty ignorant about the earlier days of the show. I’d never seen a single clip of The Equals or The Small Faces from Beat Club, but I was totally familiar with Lucifer’s Friend and Birth Control, and frankly, there’s something weird about that.

The show cold-opens with the first installment of a four-part film entitled Sex Ist Mies (“Sex is Bad/Rotten/Foul/Poor,” depending on which online translator you trust) that will recur throughout the episode. The film examines the recent sexual liberation of the 1960s and the disapproval with which it is viewed by the older, more conservative German establishment. Frankly, as presented here, the film is more amusing than thought-provoking. Running commentary is provided by a stuffy old professor type in horn-rimmed glasses; clearly an expert on the finer points of knocking boots. Within the first ninety seconds of the episode, we’ve already seen five pairs of naked female breasts onscreen (inserting gratuitous boob shots at every possible moment would become a favorite pastime for Mike Leckenbusch throughout 1970). There’s a funny animation in which a cartoon man looks at a picture of a naked woman, causing a diagram of his brain to immediately flash with light. A close-up of a man’s hands cupping a pair of breasts fills the screen; when he removes them to reveal her chest, a helpful gunshot sound effect is added. And just because this film was made in Germany, these images are interspersed with a solemn still shot of tombstones in a graveyard. Ah, Germans.

It would take Beat Club a couple of months to get around to updating the opening title sequence to color, so the black-and-white version from recent months is shown. Uschi first appears in monochrome as a kind of fake-out, before a colorful psychedelic pattern gradually fades in behind her. Thankfully, both her and Dave Dee are back to acting like non-assholes on this show. In fact, despite a few inevitably schmucky moments, this episode represents Dave’s most natural, nearly even professional, hosting work on Beat Club. He seems to be almost getting the hang of it here; at the very least, he’s no longer any worse than Dave Lee Travis was. Pity this would turn out to be his last full show.

Steve Marriott had been a major presence on the experimental 1967 color show as frontman for the Small Faces, so it’s only appropriate that he takes the honor of giving the first proper color performance here as a member of Humble Pie. Despite stiffing on the charts, the band’s new single “The Sad Bag of Shakey Jake” is probably the strongest of their four Beat Club performances, a tongue-in-cheek Western outlaw tale set to a crunching blues-rock groove. The lead vocals are passed around in the usual Humble Pie fashion, but fortunately, Marriott gets the lion’s share, and Greg Ridley, the group’s weakest singer by far, only takes a single line in the bridge. Both Marriott’s blues harp and Peter Frampton’s lead guitar are given ample solo space, and it’s a reasonably satisfying slice of rock and roll overall. The oversaturated look I mentioned earlier is in full effect here, particularly in the pinkish flesh tones, Frampton’s bright green fringe jacket, and the rows of Orange amplifiers that are, well, bright orange. (I wasn’t kidding about those amps becoming ubiquitous on Beat Club, by the way; literally every single act on today’s show uses them.) Humble Pie would return to the show once more later in the year.


http://youtu.be/cbJCCrcp5G8


A rather odd, some might say completely pointless, film follows, in which a guy walks through a field carrying an umbrella to the tune of Jethro Tull’s “Bouree.” He meets a girl on a bicycle, and they proceed down a dirt road together. The action (and I use that word loosely here) stops for a moment for a German-language announcement, and then we resume, this time with the guy on the bicycle and the girl with the umbrella. The end. Your guess is as good as mine; maybe it’s some kind of German Sesame Street film on the benefits of sharing. Or you could just view it as a random music video for “Bouree.”


Humble Pie did alright for themselves earlier, but in 1970, the kings of crunchy, sloth-tempoed blues rock were undoubtedly Free. One of the youngest bands on the burgeoning hard rock scene (none of them was yet 21 when this was filmed, and bassist Andy Fraser was still only 17), they were either incapable or unwilling to play anything fast. Instead, they were all about exploring the grittier, slower side of heavy blues, a field at which they excelled. “Mr. Big,” the band’s Beat Club debut, would find release on their third album, Fire and Water, later in the summer, but at the time, this was a new and unheard song to most of the public. It’s a tightly-wound coil of sinew, built around a granite-hard drum groove and Paul Kossoff’s tense guitar stabs. A very young Paul Rodgers presides over it all with a smooth but menacing vocal delivery, showing far more bluesy charisma than he would later in Bad Company. Lyrically, his threats to “put you in the ground” are ridiculous—he always sucked at lyrics—but as a pure vocalist and performer, he’s surprisingly effective here. However, the real meat of the performance lies in its two-and-a-half minute instrumental middle section. Kossoff takes off first with an excellent raw, wailing guitar excursion, then settles into a support role behind Fraser’s slippery, melodic bass solo. Both of these guys are highly underrated musicians with far more mature styles than most people their ages usually possess, and they have no problem commanding the viewer’s attention throughout the lengthy jam. On the previous episode, the cool light-trail visual effect had been wasted on the second Hardin and York song, and the show wisely brings it back here for a more worthy performance. It looks much cooler in color anyway. Within months, Free would finally score their first massive hit, catapulting them out of opening act purgatory, and they’d return to Beat Club later in the year for a victory lap.


http://youtu.be/EK89EVPRaX4


The second part of Sex Ist Mies follows, this time focusing on the erotic nature of dancing. Footage of traditional German dancing plays out, amusingly synched to Blind Faith’s “Well All Right,” and the old professor guy practically hisses out the words “beat music” during his brief monologue. At the end, the tables are turned, and footage of young people dancing in a discotheque is shown to the accompaniment of traditional German accordion music.


The blues-rock band Juicy Lucy rose from the ashes of the cult garage group The Misunderstood. In that band, steel guitarist Glenn Ross Campbell had taken much of the spotlight, harnessing his instrument in a cosmic fashion miles removed from its traditional country and western usage, but Juicy Lucy found him bringing it back down to earth a bit. “Chicago Northwestern” is little more than a basic upbeat roots-rock tune, leavened only by Campbell’s spirited playing, and even that mostly just sounds like ‘tasty’ slide guitar of the type you’d expect from Joe Walsh. Nobody else in the band does much of interest, and although listenable, this is probably the least notable musical performance to be found in this episode. This would be Juicy Lucy’s only Beat Club appearance.


http://youtu.be/1AI44V2H8Wg


Juicy Lucy sends us headfirst into a rather squishy sequence of three straight films. The first of these is just fucking stupid. Over five and a half minutes that feels much, much longer, we follow a greasy-haired chain-smoking guy in a bar. He doodles a tennis ball on a piece of paper, and seems obsessed with the concept of superimposing its seam designs onto a human head. To this end, he makes the rounds to various bar patrons with a microphone, grabbing their heads and attempting to figure out ways to outline tennis ball designs on them with his finger. Surprisingly, it seems like most of these people tend to find this annoying. Just watching, I can relate. Smoking Doodler Guy seems unfazed by their reactions, playing the tortured artist card as he continually rubs his eyes and runs his hands through his hair in frustration. This is supposed to be funny, I’m sure. As interminable and repetitive as this film is, it will turn out to only be the first half of Smoking Doodler Guy’s saga, and he’ll return later in the episode. You people watching the internet version of this episode with this part excised don’t know how fortunate you are.

The third part of Sex Ist Mies takes the form of a brief series of images on sexy fashions, including lots of close-ups of fishnet stockings, garter belts, and short skirts, all of which seem to meet with disapproval from the stern-faced Professor Buzzkill.

The next film marks Beat Club’s tentative first step into the world of Krautrock. Founded in 1968, the anarchist collective Floh de Cologne was one of the earliest exponents of the experimental German rock scene that would reach its apex during the ‘70s. As this three-minute profile shows, they were a bit more in touch with their whimsical side than most of the darker Krautrock bands that followed. Of the three song snippets shown, one is built on a jaunty, Ink Spots-esque guitar progression, one is a sort of group chant supported by clapping, and one is a recitation over an airy organ progression that recalls early Pink Floyd. There are a few brief interviews, as well as footage from a piece of performance art that finds a guy in a wig being wrestled to the ground. Although not particularly representative of Krautrock as a whole, or even very good for that matter, this piece on Floh de Cologne signals the beginning of a fitful relationship with the genre that Beat Club would ride out for the remainder of its run. Within a year, Krautrock bands would begin appearing on the show with increasing regularity.


If the first three musical performances on this episode fit snugly into the blues-rock bag, the next three are a bit more eclectic. Formed by ex-Yardbirds Keith Relf and Jim McCarty, Renaissance was one of those late-60s art bands who aimed to be something more than “just” a rock group. Abandoning the guitar-heavy psycho blues of their previous band, Relf and McCarty instead set up a sort of progressive classical/folk hybrid that rarely worked as well as it should have. On occasion, the group could stumble upon something compelling, though, and they unerringly chose to perform “Island,” undoubtedly the finest track on their first album, for their Beat Club debut. The core of the song is a Fairport Convention-esque folk rock ballad, with Relf’s sister Jane stepping into the Sandy Denny role. Jane turns in a strikingly beautiful vocal performance, investing the song with a haunting power, while her brother harmonizes and strums an out-of-tune electric guitar. The song portion of this is lovely on its own, but Renaissance always had a problem leaving well enough alone, and so after three verses, it’s halted so that the more ‘musicianly’ other two-fifths of the band can flash their chops in a pseudo-classical setting. Pianist John Hawken, formerly of the Nashville Teens, and bassist Louis Cennamo, who keeps an obnoxiously smug look plastered on his face the entire time, double the song’s length with an interpretation of Beethoven’s Sonata Pathétique. Now, as classical piano interpretations by rock bands go, this isn’t that bad, and the section where Jane Relf returns to add some wordless vocal support is gorgeous. It’s certainly far preferable to any of Keith Emerson’s forays into similar territory that I’ve heard. But there’s also no doubt that the song portion was more effective on its own, and that the classical wankery does little more than muddle things up in this setting. Still, “Island” is as good as early Renaissance ever got, and the best parts of this performance provide some of the most emotionally powerful moments of the episode. A word too for the hazy camera filters, which add an additional dreamy, ethereal touch to the proceedings. Beat Club would mine Renaissance’s taping session for one more appearance later in the year.


http://youtu.be/U_6jgrZsSyo


Spirit was one of the great forgotten American bands of the late ‘60s, offering a far less self-consciously pretentious take on the concept of art rock. Formed around teenage guitar whiz Randy California and his middle-aged stepfather Ed Cassidy on drums, the band concocted a distinctive blend of rock, jazz, psych, and folk that won them the admiration of many of their peers, although they only managed one major commercial hit, “I Got a Line on You.” The group’s upcoming single, “1984,” would fail to reach that level of success, but it’s among their heaviest creations, and they give it an intense workout here. Following Dave Dee’s corny, poor attempt at an American accent for an introduction, Spirit violently crashes into the song. California was never the world’s most accomplished singer, but he uses his limited range effectively here, spitting out the dystopian lyrics from behind a pair of dark shades. With his obligatory Hendrix perm and black leather jacket, he’s the coolest-looking guy on the episode by a mile. Vocalist Jay Ferguson doesn’t have much to do other than bang on a tambourine and sing harmony, but he manages to chew scenery anyway with his showboaty microphone stand twirling. The show makes effective use of Ed Cassidy’s severe bald head, repeatedly flashing high-contrast images of it across the screen for emphasis. It’s really California’s show, though, as he ratchets up the intensity with a reckless guitar solo before concluding the song with a daredevil leap into the air. This is potent stuff, and the highpoint of the whole episode. Unfortunately, Spirit would never return to Beat Club. After recording one more classic album, The Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus, the band would break up at the end of the year, and although they’d reconvene several times over the years, they’d never recapture the brilliance of their early work.


http://youtu.be/cIocUXN3eCk


I think I sort of like Colosseum, but I’m not sure. The band’s raucous, freewheeling approach to jazz-rock is pleasingly energetic, but they always seem to have a knack for fucking it up just enough to eliminate the possibility of me giving any of their color Beat Club performances a full recommendation. Take “The Machine Demands a Sacrifice,” the second of the group’s appearances on the program. As a song, it’s pretty cool, built on a frantic jazz-funk groove, and the band sounds explosive at times. But much of the effect is undone by the group’s new singer/guitarist, Dave “Clem” Clemson, who frankly cannot sing at all. Usually I have a decent tolerance for bands with comparatively weak vocalists, so long as they can still bring it on the musical side, but man…this guy sounds like I did in my first band when I had the bright idea to try to sing Led Zeppelin covers. He hoarsely shouts in an attempt to hit notes he just doesn’t have in him, and most of the time he’s not even in the ballpark of the correct pitch. The decision to halt the song halfway through to make way for an extended drum solo doesn’t exactly help matters. Jon Hiseman is a really good drummer, but a little bit of unaccompanied polyrhythmic jazz racket goes a long way. I’m assuming the song probably came to a proper ending as originally performed, but an abrupt edit brings it to a stop a couple of minutes into the drum solo. It’s probably just as well, since it spares us from hearing more of Clemson’s caterwauling. So chalk this one up as the first in a string of missed opportunities by Colosseum on Beat Club to follow through on an initially promising piece of material. (On the bright side, the Beat Club blowing-into-two-saxes-at-once tally now stands at three.) Visually, however, this is the episode’s most notable moment. The show had been using back projections since 1967, but the addition of color now opened up a new world of possibilities of how the effect could be used. Much of “The Machine Demands a Sacrifice” plays in front of a psychedelic liquid light display that would have been right at home at a Jefferson Airplane ballroom show. This type of thing would have looked like crap in black and white, but comes off brilliantly here. The gradually changing contrast levels during the drum solo bring some pretty fine eye candy as well. Within a year, naturalistically shot performances would become a rarity on Beat Club, and nearly every act would be subjected to colorful psychedelic backdrops like this. In the meantime, Colosseum would recruit yet another singer before their return visit late in the year, but it would do little to improve the band’s dire vocal situation.


http://youtu.be/GvfePmuyxM8


On second thought, I think I’d rather the show have just aired the full Colosseum drum solo, because in its place, we’re treated to four more minutes of film with Smoking Doodler Guy. This time, he’s found his way into a salon, where he interrupts a barber in the middle of giving somebody a shave. The hapless barber, his hands still full of shaving cream, humors the interviewer’s pestering for a bit, but starts to become visibly annoyed after having his head dunked into a sink and his hair combed straight back, revealing his Mike Love-esque receding hairline. The fact that Beat Club devoted nearly ten minutes of a landmark episode to this microphone-weilding jackass is enough to make you want to smoke crack. At the film’s merciful conclusion, Dave Dee comes on to crack that we just saw footage from the German production of Hair.


While the first few performances of the episode featured rock bands with heavy blues influences, the final two acts on hand today are all about playing the honest-to-God BLUES. Your mileage may vary on how seriously you’re prepared to take white English guys playing straight-faced blues, but it must be said that John Mayall made enough important contributions to the musical world to deserve some measure of respect. The guy was directly responsible for providing a training ground for some of the important guitarists in English rock, including Peter Green, Eric Clapton, and Mick Taylor, and indirectly responsible for the formation of bands like Fleetwood Mac, Cream, and, er, Colosseum. There’s no doubt that Mayall was sincere about what he was doing as a true believer in the power of spreading blues music to the masses. Unfortunately, when he doesn’t have a Clapton, Green, or Taylor backing him up, his music just happens to be insufferably dull most of the time. “I’m Gonna Fight For You, J.B.,” Mayall’s tribute to recently deceased bluesman J.B. Lenoir, is as low-watt a 12-bar performance as you’re ever likely to hear. He doesn’t even have a drummer playing behind him, just a nylon-string acoustic guitar, bass, and sax, and none of them does anything of any interest whatsoever. Mayall himself handles the electric guitar, proving with his solo that he’s nowhere near a match for the firepower of his former protégés. Overall, despite being conceived with the best of intentions, the song is a draggy bore, a particularly fatal mistake for a performance this late in the episode. I feel a little bad talking this much shit on Mayall, but he’s one of the clearest examples in all of music of a performer who needs somebody kicking his ass into high gear in order to be any good. Still, his reputation for authenticity remained, and he would return to Beat Club a year later.


http://youtu.be/WOPa585zeIY


The final portion of the Sex Ist Mies film is also the funniest. After showing a picture of Sigmund Freud on screen, we’re taken through a series of phallic images taken from everyday life. A stick of dynamite is loaded into a hole in a brick wall; it explodes, and the cylindrical tower on top collapses. We see gas nozzles inserted into cars, needles being threaded, tall spires of cathedrals, and grossest of all, a young boy eating a banana. Gee, thanks for putting that association into your viewers’ minds, Beat Club. Professor Manwhore comes back on to offer one more warning about your mortal soul, and pictures of collapsed houses in disaster areas fill the screen. Subtle stuff.


Following the pattern of most of the recent episodes, the final act on the show gets two songs to close things out. Today we have Canned Heat, returning to give their first live performance on the show. (For fans of the trivial, there’s a bit of familial connective tissue between Heat and a couple of other acts on the episode: Spirit bassist Mark Andes had played with them in their early days, and current bassist Larry Taylor would quit to join John Mayall’s group within the year.) The band’s cover of Wilbert Harrison’s “Let’s Work Together” would give them their biggest European hit, despite placing lower than “On the Road Again” or “Going Up the Country” in their native America. Canned Heat’s first single to be sung by Bob Hite rather than Alan Wilson, the song is very much in the band’s trademark boogie blues style, made worthwhile by Wilson’s authentically down-home slide guitar. There are a few psychedelic acid blots overlaid across the screen, but nothing to write home about.


http://youtu.be/oXo6G5mfmro


For the final time, Uschi and Dave Dee stand together to bid the audience farewell. There’s a bit of cute banter between the two of them, with Dave reminding viewers, “don’t forget: sex is disgusting!” Not really…just sex with you, Dave. Uschi calls over to the band to start their next song, and with Hite’s proclamation of “this is a little ‘gotta go’ music!” they launch into “Move On Down the Road.” It’s a basic blues shuffle, this time chiefly featuring Harvey Mandel’s more rock-based guitar soloing. Like most Canned Heat, it’s good enough, if not particularly outstanding. The screen is taken over by another trippy pattern as the credits roll and the song fades out. Canned Heat would remain one of the more frequent return guests during Beat Club’s color era, and their next appearance would be only four months later.


http://youtu.be/i7DcNDq39AI


The opening and closing performances on this episode were filmed in front of a small studio audience, with both hosts present on the scene. After toying with the concept of removing the audience from the equation for some time, Beat Club would finally pull the plug on it after this show. Barring a few special occasions, all of Beat Club’s musical performances would be isolated and audience-free for the remainder of its run. The final removal of any remaining audience spots would change the hosting dynamic, making one of them suddenly expendable (guess which one?), but that’s a story best left for the next installment. Overall, despite a few dull spots and a couple of maddening films, Beat Club’s emergence into the colorful ‘70s has to be reckoned a success, featuring at least a couple of the best clips the show had aired in some time. The next two months would build on this promising start, with each episode arguably surpassing the one before.





EPISODE 51 OUTTAKES:

It’s no secret that Radio Bremen is sitting on a mountain of Beat Club outtakes. While only a few black-and-white outtakes from the show have seen later release, a large number of previously unaired clips from the color era have surfaced. In addition to some single-song clips sourced from Radio Bremen’s 2000s program Vinyl, a few unedited full sets have also surfaced on bootlegs. A number of these have found their way online. So far, I’ve found outtakes from nearly half of the color episodes on YouTube, so starting with this installment, I will be posting these along with each corresponding show. For Episode 51, we only have one, but it’s worth a view. Free’s “Free Me” is probably a couple of minutes too long, but Paul Kossoff plays the shit out of his guitar, and the band plays with a restrained, slow-burning intensity that is haunting.

Free – Free Me
http://youtu.be/-Q5ea_ggGtc



(Edited by halleluwah)

I'MCOMINGI'MCOMINGI'MCOMINGI'MCOMING
   
IanWagner
The Rustic Bumfiddler

Posts: 47999
Registered: Aug 2007
 Posted June 15th, 2012 01:21 AM   IP              
That was a beautiful write-up, as always. Hilarious notes on the films and Colosseum. I found parts of this episode, even edited, hard to get through, but Spirit and Free made it all worthwhile. Nice to get into the color era.
   
kenny
Charles Nelson Reilly's SHORTS!

Posts: 972
Registered: Feb 2008
 Posted June 15th, 2012 03:35 AM   IP              
Slighty related

DLT Still changing the world.

Suu Kyi reveals DJ Dave Lee Travis 'lifeline'

Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has said Dave Lee Travis' BBC World Service music request show gave her a lifeline under house arrest.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner, who has spent 15 years under house arrest since 1989, said A Jolly Good Show had made her "world much more complete".

Travis, who presented the show from 1981-2001, said he was "touched" but "not surprised" she remembered it.

Ms Suu Kyi also said she felt "very sorry" about cuts to the World Service.

Ms Suu Kyi, who is due to give two of the BBC's Reith Lectures - which have been secretly recorded - told the Radio Times: "I used to listen to all sorts of different programmes, not just classical music. I can't remember... the name of that programme... Dave Travis? Was it?"

After interviewer Eddie Mair, who presents BBC Radio 4's PM programme, asked if she meant Dave Lee Travis, Ms Suu Kyi said: "Yes! Didn't he have a programme with all different sorts of music?

"I would listen to that quite happily because the listeners would write in and I had a chance to hear other people's words."


more at

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13844131
   
varitone
Charles Nelson Reilly's SHORTS!

Posts: 81
Registered: Jan 2012
 Posted June 17th, 2012 07:46 AM   IP              
Aah the Orange amps, the deep saturated colours, back projections - bliss.

Really enjoyed this episode (well, the abridged version anyway). 1984 is not my fave Spirit song but it's a thrill to see them as they were. I never much appreciated Free (beyond the hits) but here is some proof of what's always said about them - that they were damn good when so young.

Interesting that you mention Sandy Denny - Jane Relf's voice reminds me of original Fairport singer Judy Dyble, one of my favourite voices. In my youth, Renaissance Mk II were pretty successful but the Mk I lineup were just a footnote in the history of that band and of The Yardbirds. They seem to have been rediscovered somewhat in the last few years, making this quite a precious clip (even with the superfluous Beethoven sonata).

I always love your reviews, even moreso when I see phrases such as "I think I sort of like Colosseum, but I’m not sure." Exactly.

Mr Clemson is no singer, but Bob Hite surely was. There's something kind of definitive about Bob singing Let's Work Together. I know very little of Canned Heat but, strangely, it's the voices of Bob and Al that grab me. Wonderful ending to the show,

And thank you for searching out the outtakes - amazing how much stuff stayed in the vaults.
   
halleluwah
Total Rock Cumshot

Posts: 7312
Registered: Aug 2007
 Posted June 18th, 2012 02:22 PM   IP              
Thanks for watching and commenting, guys! I appreciate it.

That DLT article is pretty funny, Kenny. Truly, that man is the beacon of freedom that lights the world.

I'MCOMINGI'MCOMINGI'MCOMINGI'MCOMING
   
kenny
Charles Nelson Reilly's SHORTS!

Posts: 972
Registered: Feb 2008
 Posted June 18th, 2012 02:58 PM   IP              
Yes. I feel a complete turn around in my attitude toward him in light of his inspirational contribution to errm, World Peace.

Rather than wanting to kill him slowly and tortuously I'd just like to see him swiftly eaten to death by rabid rats now.

Funny how things change.
   
Matinee Idyll (129)
Camp Counsellor

Posts: 8244
Registered: Aug 2007
 Posted June 18th, 2012 07:47 PM   IP              
I've never heard early Renaissance, so I'm really pleasantly surprised! Nice one Jase, love ya.
"Nick is the Mode guy. Jon is the Duran guy."

   
kenny
Charles Nelson Reilly's SHORTS!

Posts: 972
Registered: Feb 2008
 Posted June 18th, 2012 07:59 PM   IP              



Why is it drugs look fun?
   
Matinee Idyll (129)
Camp Counsellor

Posts: 8244
Registered: Aug 2007
 Posted June 18th, 2012 08:01 PM   IP              
Apparently that photo was taken for a National Enquirer article on facial hair.
"Nick is the Mode guy. Jon is the Duran guy."

   
kenny
Charles Nelson Reilly's SHORTS!

Posts: 972
Registered: Feb 2008
 Posted June 18th, 2012 08:16 PM   IP              
Quote:
Matinee Idyll (129) wrote:
Apparently that photo was taken for a National Enquirer article on facial hair.


Advert, not article. An advert for facial hair and drugs.
   
halleluwah
Total Rock Cumshot

Posts: 7312
Registered: Aug 2007
 Posted June 28th, 2012 12:57 AM   IP              



Beat-Club Episode 52
2/28/1970
All performances live, except where noted

1. Opening titles
2. Badfinger - Rock Of All Ages*
3. Film: Heinrich and Annie Strauf interview
4. Taste – It’s Happened Before, It’ll Happen Again (fragment)
5. Taste - If The Day Was Any Longer*
6. Bobbie Gentry - Louisiana Man* (mimed)
7. Film: Hans Lowensen interview
8. Clouds - Big Noise From Winnetka
9. Film: Caroline TV*
10. Jackie Lomax – How the Web Was Woven* (partial) (live vocal to backing track)
11. Film: Old guy with comical mustache
12. Jackie Lomax – How the Web Was Woven* (continued) (live vocal to backing track)
13. Badfinger - Come And Get It* 

14. Arlo Guthrie - Alice's Restaurant Massacree
15. Taste - It's Happened Before, It'll Happen Again 
(fragment)
16. Joe Cocker - Dear Landlord* (mimed)
17. Jethro Tull - Witch's Promise* 
(mimed)
18. Closing credits


FULL EPISODE: http://video.mail.ru/mail/vakula196.../1971/2451.html


(Like the previous episode, this one has been subjected to some cuts in its internet version, losing about ten minutes of non-musical films. The missing material includes the entire Hans Lowensen interview and the first four minutes of the Caroline TV film (including a couple of the street interviews and the segment on the portrait artist). Again, all of the music is left intact, but the cuts are still annoying, particularly in the case of the long but sociologically fascinating Lowensen segment. As with the previous show, I’ll go ahead and write about the removed material below. Fortunately, having looked ahead, it appears that all of the upcoming episodes have been left intact, save for the removal of one last Beatles film in March.)


The second Beat Club episode of 1970 found the show moving both forward and backward from its color debut. On one hand, the overall feel of the show is a bit closer to its ultimate form. With the audience now permanently banished, the episode’s structure was now completely episodic, with no multi-song sets from any of the artists. Each performance is presented in total isolation; even the hosting segments were clearly filmed apart from everything else, as they always would be from here on out. The look of the show was advancing too, with the back-projection effects starting to take a more prominent role than they had the previous month. On the other hand, the practice of miming had temporarily returned in a big way, with nearly half of the performances at least partially set to backing tapes. Fortunately, each of these mimed clips would prove to be memorable, and the overall ratio of good stuff on hand here surpasses the January episode. The only major drawback is the fact that the two longest performances here also happen to be the weakest, draining the energy from over a quarter of the show’s running time in the process.

Unusually for the period, the opening title sequence, shown in black-and-white for the final time, starts things off straightaway with no cold open. The host introductions seem standard enough; Uschi says hello, and then the camera pans over to Dave Dee, who gives a brief run-down of the acts on today’s show. The weird thing is, for reasons unclear, Dave’s seven seconds of screen time here represent his only appearance on the entire episode. What’s more, this would also turn out to be the last time Dave Dee would ever be seen on Beat Club anywhere. With the show now fully transitioned away from courting the teenybopper market, and studio audience interaction no longer a concern, it was clear his presence no longer served a viable purpose, so it’s not shocking to see him leave the picture. Still, after taking part in more musical appearances than any other singer in the show’s history, then returning for five more full episodes as co-host, it’s hard to imagine a less ceremonious send-off for the guy. Hell, Gerd Augustin and Dave Lee Travis at least got to finish their last episodes. One can only assume that Dave probably filmed more introductions for some of the show’s performances, which were subsequently cut for time (or incompetence) before the show aired. Whatever the reason, despite his consistent shittiness as a host (and even as a singer most of the time, if we’re being honest), Dave Dee probably deserved a better exit than this. But still…you’ve got to admit this is sort of hilarious. In any event, this is the last time we’ll see Uschi onscreen with a co-host on Beat Club; for the rest of the show’s run, she would handle the show’s hosting duties on her own. And frankly, that’s probably how it should have been from the beginning.


The episode is heavy with the presence of artists from two small boutique labels: The Beatles’ Apple imprint and Island’s Chrysalis subsidiary. We begin with the first of two songs from Badfinger, Apple’s most successful band aside from The Beatles. Having initially signed to the label as The Iveys (trivia note: in their pre-Apple days they served a brief stint as former Beat Club mainstay David Garrick’s backing group, but please don’t hold that against them), they had recently changed their name at the suggestion of John Lennon, and their debut album under the new moniker, Magic Christian Music, had been released the previous month. Although generally thought of as purveyors of Beatles-derived power pop, Badfinger’s “Rock of All Ages” is a raucous blues-rock number with shouted vocals from bassist Tom Evans and crackling lead guitar from Pete Ham and Joey Molland. The clip features an unbroken shot of the full group playing in front of a rotating array of heavily psychedelicized background images, which will prove to be a recurring visual motif throughout the episode. Although “Rock of All Ages” is clearly a live performance rather than the studio take, Evans’ vocals are double-tracked, and the band’s movements noticeably differ from what is heard on the audio, particularly during the guitar solos. It’s likely that the background images show the band actually playing the song, while the foreground shot features them miming along with it while Evans doubles his vocal take. This is the first instance of this live/overdub approach that would crop up from time to time on Beat Club over the next couple of years. In the meantime, Badfinger would return for another song later in the episode.


http://youtu.be/psfmccV-aEg


The generation gap between the young and old segments of the German population provides a running theme for a few films on today’s show, after being touched upon in Sex Ist Mies last time. The first film features an elderly couple named Heinrich and Anni Strauf, the proprietors of a youth hostel in Köln. They seem like a sweet couple, seated on a bed and harmonizing a song together. They’re asked what they think of hippie culture, but due to my linguistic shortcomings, I have no idea what the hell their answers are.


If there’s one artist who appeared often enough during Beat Club’s color era to approach mainstay status on the order of some of the repeat guests of the ‘60s, it’s the blazing Irish blues-rock guitarist Rory Gallagher. An explosive multi-instrumentalist, Gallagher makes his debut on the show as frontman for his early power trio Taste. The band is introduced via a 50-second clip drawn from a long heavy jazz-rock jam tune called “It’s Happened Before, It’ll Happen Again.” The intense snippet leaves the viewer eager to hear the rest of the performance (fortunately, scroll down to the outtakes section at the bottom and you can), but the show throws us a curveball by instead switching to a gentle folk-pop song called “If the Day Was Any Longer.” It’s a reasonably good tune, sung with a sensitive grace by Gallagher, but this band is rightfully better remembered for its rocking firepower than its lovelorn ballads, and it’s a slightly wasted opportunity. Still, on its own, this works pretty well, and although I’d rather hear Gallagher whip it out on his Strat, he proves to be no slouch on harmonica, either. Taste would break up by the end of the year, but Gallagher would embark on a successful solo career that would find him returning to Beat Club for five more performances.


http://youtu.be/YX7ow7gN7cI


Bobbie Gentry is a singular, underrated talent of American popular music. Best known for her enigmatic Southern Gothic story-song “Ode to Billie Joe,” she wrote, arranged, and produced the majority of her material, creating a unique hybrid of American music that drew on country, folk, soul, blues, pop, and even psychedelia. For her sole Beat Club appearance, Gentry performs a cover of Doug Kershaw’s “Louisiana Man,” a minor hit from her 1968 album The Delta Sweete. Kershaw’s tale of a childhood spent on the rural bayou is given an imaginative arrangement by Gentry, who throws in subtle sound effects and a soaring string arrangement that leavens the song’s bridge sections. Unsurprisingly, the arrangement was too involved to recreate in the Radio Bremen studio, so Bobbie is left to lip-sync the song, engaging in childlike skipping dance moves that belie her smoky voice and southern belle good looks. Towards the end of the song, an unexplained shot of some German kids standing around a miniature horse is inserted before the track resumes. The electric green backdrop seems like an incongruous choice for a down-home song like this, but it works well, and the army of Bobbies arriving to help out on the harmonized choruses is the episode’s most striking visual image. Bobbie Gentry would never return to Beat Club; her final original album would be released in 1971, and she would retire into seclusion by the end of the decade.


The episode’s running theme of the generational chasm continues with a discussion of Rainer Langhans and Uschi Obermaier, German culture’s closest analog to John and Yoko at the time. Obermaier was a model and the number one groupie of the early Krautrock scene (she was even briefly a member of Amon Duul, but eventually moved on up to relationships with Jimi Hendrix and members of the Rolling Stones), and Langhans was her frizzy-haired provocateur boyfriend. Together, the couple became figureheads of the German counterculture with their sexually liberated media stunts. The film begins with a letter to the editor written by Hans Lowensen, a Lieutenant Colonel in the German army, in which he refers to the couple as blasphemers of God and recommends they be thrown in jail. Lowensen himself then gives a lengthy interview for Beat Club, and even without any German language comprehension, it’s easy to tell that this is a tense exchange. The elderly colonel looks upon nude pictures of Langhans and Obermaier with disgust, his voice gradually rising. The camera slowly pans over to his bookshelf behind him, where a copy of Dir Traum vom Reich by Austrian Nazi leader Mirko Jelusich is prominently displayed. The interviewer proceeds to show Lowensen a picture of himself in his old army uniform, and the purpose of this film becomes crystal clear. For all his righteous indignation about young people’s sexual exhibitionism, Lowensen has no moral high ground to speak from himself, because was a fucking Nazi, and judging by his reaction, he clearly never got around to renouncing it. It was one thing for American kids of the ‘60s to rebel against their parents for being conservative and uptight, but a film like this reminds you that German youths had an entirely different and more potent reason to pull away from the old guard. Seeing Beat Club address the issue head-on like this is a little startling. It’s a bit of a shame that this film has been edited out of the internet version of the episode; it may appear at first to be little more than five-and-a-half minutes of an old guy talking, but when the sociological implications are considered, this is a striking, confrontational moment.


There was a brief dalliance with the concept of guitar-free organ/bass/drum rock bands in England in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, and most of the best-known ones (The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, ELP, The Nice, Atomic Rooster, Ashton, Gardner, and Dyke, etc.) would find their ways onto Beat Club. Before any of these groups rose to prominence, there was the Scottish trio 1-2-3, who had pioneered the concept during their influential 1967 Marquee Club residency. Upon signing to Terry Ellis’ new Island subsidiary Chrysalis, they changed their name to Clouds, and they make their only Beat Club appearance here with a cover of Bob Crosby’s big band-era jazz standard “Big Noise From Winnetka.” Clouds’ debut album had included a handful of respectable piano pop songs, but this type of rock-band-playing-jazz thing was their real bread and butter, and it gets tiresome almost immediately. After quickly dispensing with the song’s swinging verses, they stop to fulfill the now-requisite drum solo quota for the episode. Drummer Harry Hughes then migrates across the stage and starts paradiddling his sticks across the strings of Ian Ellis’ electric bass, adding a stuttering percussive quality to the basslines. Because if there’s one thing the world has been clamoring for, it’s some way to combine bass and drum solos into one high-excitement package. You can’t give Hughes and Ellis TOO much shit for this display—it was part of the original song back in 1938, after all—but it still comes across here as a ridiculous parlor trick of dubious musical value, and it goes on way too long. The whole track is done in only four and a half minutes, but it feels about twice that. Choosing to focus on their flashy musical chops in this manner rather than developing their nascent songwriting potential would prove commercially fatal for Clouds, and the band would break up by the end of 1971.


http://youtu.be/K4qoZEBbAIE


The episode’s central ten-minute film is an interesting one. Radio Caroline had been the most prominent offshore pirate radio station in England since the mid-60s, but a constant stream of legislation from the British Parliament had left it without advertising funding and on the run to different countries’ coastlines since 1967. To circumvent government legislation, Radio Caroline announced a daring proposal in early 1970: since there were as of yet no regulations in place preventing an unlicensed station from broadcasting from the air, they would launch a new television network that would originate from a pair of airplanes circling around British airspace. Beat Club had always been a keen supporter of pirate radio, even going so far as to give one of Caroline’s DJs a hosting job for two and a half years, and the show seems happy to provide the network with what is essentially a trailer for its new TV service. The film takes the now familiar form of a series of vignettes on British life, intercut with beautiful pop art graphics advertising Caroline TV. A series of brief person-on-the-street interviews frames the piece, with random passers by being asked what they think of John Lennon’s new short-cropped haircut, to occasionally amusing effect. The first main feature of the film deals with a turtleneck-wearing artist who paints portraits of British aristocracy. Although from his sketches, it appears he’d rather be doing drawings of nude women (hell, who wouldn’t?), much of his interview finds him discussing the role of British classes, while a series of portraits of Dukes, Duchesses, and Barons is shown. This part has been edited out of the internet version of the film, but you’ll hardly miss it, because you’ll be too busy laughing your ass off at the two minutes of hysterical Atomic Rooster footage that follows. Yet another organ/bass/drum trio, the ridiculously named group would go on to give three proper musical performances on Beat Club, each with a different, progressively dumber band lineup, and this teaser gives you a taste of the hilarity you can expect later. Jamming in a recording studio, the band plays its song “S.L.Y.,” which basically amounts to an organ-led hard rock groove, over which the bass player repeatedly shouts, “I want YOU! I WANT YOU, BABY!!” in the most over-the-top cock-rock manner possible. The bowler-hatted drummer is none other than a pre-ELP Carl Palmer, which somehow makes this even funnier. Some misled soul who apparently takes this kind of thing seriously has been kind enough to upload this segment onto YouTube. Dig in.

http://youtu.be/yBcvkj7mbW4

After another brief Lennon hair interview with a meter maid, we get to the meat of the film, in which Caroline TV is actually discussed. A representative from Radio Caroline recounts the rise and fall of the station, stating that the current plan to branch out into TV represents an attempt to take on the BBC’s television monopoly in the same manner they had radio. Intriguingly, he claims the idea to broadcast from airplanes was inspired by government planes sending messages to troops in Vietnam. After one last Lennon-hair quote from a stuffy chap in a bowler hat (“oh yes, skinhead…that means that it’s very short!”), the film concludes with an excerpt from the traditional spiritual “I’ll Fly Away.” In the end, nothing ever came of Caroline TV; in fact, the entire plan was later revealed to be a fabricated publicity stunt. All this essentially means that Beat Club just wasted ten minutes of airtime as willing pawns, but the result was one of the more entertaining films the show had aired in some time, so let’s call it a draw.


Jackie Lomax is the second Apple artist featured on the episode. An old acquaintance of The Beatles from their early days, his records had become something of a pet project for George Harrison after signing to their label. Despite never scoring any hits on the magnitude of Badfinger, Lomax made some solid records, and had been featured in a Beat Club News segment in 1969. For his proper debut on the show, Lomax performs his new single, a Harrison-produced version of Clive Westlake and David Most’s soulful ballad “How the Web Was Woven.” Singing live over the lightly ska-influenced studio track, he gives a nicely restrained vocal performance, flanked by a variety of trippy back projections. After a single verse, we get a taste of Beat Club’s new favorite gimmick, which will become extremely fucking irritating over the next few episodes: interrupting a song halfway through to show a completely unrelated film, then coming back to finish the song a few minutes later. In this instance, we spend a couple of minutes with a droll older man sporting a comically huge mustache. He shows how he grooms the beast, using a leather band to press it down against his face. Just to tie the episode’s filmic themes together, he’s shown a picture of Rainer Longhans and asked for his opinion. With that important break out of the way, we cut back to Jackie Lomax, just as his song emerges into a harmonized slide guitar solo, obviously conceived by Harrison. It’s a nice record, but like Lomax’s previous singles, it would fail to give him much of a commercial boost, and he’d be gone from the Apple stable of artists by the end of the year. In the meantime, Elvis Presley would record his own version of “How the Web Was Woven” in June for his That’s the Way It Is album, giving the song a haunting reading that leaves the already fine original in the dust.


http://youtu.be/ABhUH_2vyVs
(Even if you’re watching the full episode, this YouTube link is worth a view, as it edits the two halves of the song into a whole performance, without the mustache grooming tips in the middle.)


Like Jackie Lomax, Badfinger had a Beatle championing their early career at Apple; unlike him, the collaboration would result in a smash hit. “Come and Get It” was the type of hook-filled throwaway Paul McCartney could knock out during the course of a five minute shit back in the ‘60s, and he generously gifted the song to the band under the condition they not change a note of his demo arrangement. As usual, Paul’s commercial instincts were right on the money, and Badfinger’s debut single made the top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic. As the biggest pop hit that had been featured on Beat Club in some months (the last international top 10 smash featured on the show before this had been Zager and Evans’ “In the Year 2525,” way back in the Dave Lee Travis era), great care is taken to recreate the feel of the studio version in this live performance. Tom Evans’ lead vocals are again double-tracked in the same manner of “Rock of All Ages,” although it’s pretty clear that what we’re seeing onscreen is the live band performance this time. After initially being seen as the public face of Badfinger, fronting both of the songs featured on this episode, Evans would soon take a backseat to Pete Ham, who would write and sing all of the band’s subsequent hits. The two performances on this show would represent Badfinger’s only visit to Beat Club, and with Apple Records quickly falling into a shambles as the ‘70s progressed, no other artists from the label would ever appear on the show again.


http://youtu.be/9tOnbeNAxdU


As son of the seminal folk singer Woody Guthrie, Arlo Guthrie had an inherited authenticity that made him a favorite of the ‘60s counterculture. His 18-and-a-half minute song/monologue “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree,” recorded live in 1967, had become an iconic piece of Vietnam draft-dodger satire, and had recently been adapted into a feature film directed by Arthur Penn and starring Arlo himself. To promote the film, Guthrie performs the piece here, taking up over twelve minutes of the episode in the process. For those of you unfamiliar with the song, here’s a rundown: it opens and closes with a brief sung verse about Alice and her restaurant, and the time in between is filled with a comedic monologue delivered over a repeated ragtime guitar figure. In the autobiographical story, Guthrie and some friends are arrested on Thanksgiving for littering; some time later, when called before the draft board, it is determined that he is ineligible for military service due to his minor criminal record. The details of the story are delivered in an affected talking-blues drawl, exaggerated somewhat to highlight the absurdity of the situation. Now, despite having something of an aversion to moralist folk-hippie rallying cries, I’ve always had a soft spot for this piece. A radio station where I live used to make it a tradition to play the whole song every Thanksgiving, and as a kid, I found it hilarious and would make it a point to tune in every year. That said, apart from a few genuinely funny bits (“’What were you arrested for, kid?’ I said, ‘littering.’ And they all moved away from me on the Group W bench…”), “Alice’s Restaurant” doesn’t hold up especially well to repeated listenings, and the fact that it takes up nearly a quarter of the episode’s running time kills a lot of the momentum here. Much of the first half of the performance, detailing the circumstances around Guthrie’s littering arrest, has been cut out for time, but even so, this is the first single song ever shown on Beat Club to top the ten minute mark. A further problem is that this version just isn’t as good as the original. Whether it was due to the fact that Guthrie is playing it alone in the middle of the Beat Club set with no audience, or because he’d been performing it for three years and was already sick of it, the delivery of the monologue is a little dull and workmanlike, with little of the wry energy of the live recording. Even the parts that generate genuine laughs on the original fall flat here. The most impressive thing ends up being not the comedic timing of the monologue, but the fact that he can keep that complicated fingerpicked guitar figure up for that long without fucking it up. Arlo’s performance isn’t shown onscreen for a good chunk of the clip; instead, shots from the Penn film illustrate much of the story. For the early sections of the song that have been edited out, Guthrie is faded out altogether while Uschi fills in the missing plot points in front of a green screen. As a representation of where hippie opposition to the draft was at in this time period, this document has some value, but as a performance on Beat Club, “Alice’s Restaurant” is at best only partially successful. At worst, it’s a dull, energy-sapping drain on the episode. Still, its sheer length marks it as a milestone moment in Beat Club’s continual bucking of commercial music-based television norms. This would be Arlo Guthrie’s only appearance on the show, and it’s not available on YouTube.


For those lulled to sleep by “Alice’s Restaurant,” the show offers a nasty wake-up call in the form of the feedback burst of Taste’s “It’s Happened Before, It’ll Happen Again” jam. This is the same minute-long clip that had aired earlier in the show. The episode then closes with two mimed clips. The first, Joe Cocker’s cover of Bob Dylan’s “Dear Landlord,” was filmed at the same taping session that yielded “Delta Lady” back in October of 1969. As such, it’s in black-and-white, with only the colorful printing of Cocker’s name across the screen at the beginning bringing it in line with the show’s new look. It’s funny how ancient this five-month-old clip looks in comparison to its surroundings; even discounting the lack of color, the entire feel of the way it’s shot, from the camera angles to the splashing water video effects, seems to hail from an entirely different program. When Beat Club overhauled the show, they had overhauled everything. As for the song itself, it’s a characteristically rollicking interpretation, with Dylan’s slow blues transformed into a sweaty burst of soul-rock. Cocker does a spirited job with his miming, and the long fadeout finds the show indulging in the stark chaos of its ’69-era effects one last time. This would be Joe Cocker’s final studio appearance on Beat Club, but he’d be featured once more on the show via a live clip the following year.


http://youtu.be/kFWfm7E4IGk


If the Cocker clip looked backward to Beat Club’s previous incarnation, Jethro Tull’s “Witch’s Promise” is bathed in the show’s current deliciously tasteless day-glo eye candy. After beginning as Island Records’ cornerstone blues-rock band, Tull had rapidly developed over the past year into a showcase for leader Ian Anderson’s heady brew of proto-metal, folk, jazz, and prog rock. For both better and worse, there wasn’t another band that sounded like them at this time. Surprisingly, their unconventional stylistic turn brought them a wider audience, and the group had enjoyed a string of British hits in its wake; manager Terry Ellis had recently even set up his own label, Chrysalis, as a showpiece for his star act. “Witch’s Promise” would be Tull’s final UK hit single before the band all but disowned the format in favor of long-form album statements. The most folk-based of their singles, its mystical quality is advanced by its gliding waltz melody and atmospheric mellotron strings. Known for his shoddy homeless man appearance and one-legged flute playing, Anderson was one of the most distinctive showmen in rock and roll, and he spends most of the clip taking the piss out of the concept of miming. He misses out on several flute parts, and seems to greatly amuse himself by half-assing it on the vocals as well. Meanwhile, the effects guys pull out all the stops, rendering the group in silhouette part of the time and turning their back-projected images all manner of sickly oversaturated colors. Jethro Tull would return later in the year for a more expansive live appearance. In the meantime, "Witch's Promise" would become the final completely mimed studio performance ever aired on Beat Club.


http://youtu.be/xh6hrYuaB-g


On most previous Beat Club episodes, the hosts would come on to say goodbye to the audience before or after the show’s last performance, but as that was no longer necessary, the Arlo Guthrie commentary nearly twenty minutes ago marked Uschi’s final appearance of the day. Instead, “Witch’s Promise” smash-cuts directly to a copy of the opening titles, shown without credits until the network logo appears at the very end. With individual performance introductions now rendered mostly unnecessary, the show would move into a more playful, free form approach to her hosting functions. This would be further developed in the March show, an excellent outing which would prove to be one of the definitive episodes in the show’s history.




EPISODE 52 OUTTAKE PERFORMANCES:

The full nine-minute take of Taste’s heavy jazz explosion “It’s Happened Before, It’ll Happen Again,” only seen in two brief excerpts on the show, is available on YouTube. It’s a bit overlong, with Rory Gallagher switching from guitar to saxophone partway through, but it offers a far more representative display of his guitar prowess than “If the Day Was Any Longer.” Better still is the brutal “Morning Sun,” which sounds like Canned Heat getting gang-raped by Black Sabbath (sorry for the unpleasant image). It’s intense as hell, and Rory solos like a fucking lunatic. That really should have been the performance chosen to air on the show; if it was, it would have been a strong contender for the best thing on the whole episode.

Taste – It’s Happened Before, It’ll Happen Again
http://youtu.be/N0_NvpLGmUw

Taste – Morning Sun
http://youtu.be/YYRmmWJh9Vk


A performance of Jethro Tull’s “Teacher” from this episode’s session has also been released. Displaying a heavier side to the band than “Witch’s Promise,” the clip is notable for a couple of reasons: first, it offers a rare glimpse of Ian Anderson playing electric guitar, something that to my knowledge he has almost never done onstage with the group. Also, it’s presented in the rarely heard original UK single mix, only ever released on an ‘80s boxed set, which lacks any flute and is a minute longer than the standard one. It’s hard to tell for sure, but either Martin Barre is incredibly good at miming, or he played his guitar part live for some reason. His playing during the middle feedback orgy and outro jam looks pretty spot-on to me. But the rhythm section, organ (they don’t even have a keyboardist on stage), and vocals are clearly all mimed. Weird.

Jethro Tull – Teacher
http://youtu.be/TY06aeOmVYE



(Edited by halleluwah)

I'MCOMINGI'MCOMINGI'MCOMINGI'MCOMING
   
Matinee Idyll (129)
Camp Counsellor

Posts: 8244
Registered: Aug 2007
 Posted June 28th, 2012 08:40 AM   IP              
Fucking Hell.

Rory.

Fucking Hell.

That man was amazing.

"Nick is the Mode guy. Jon is the Duran guy."

   
Matinee Idyll (129)
Camp Counsellor

Posts: 8244
Registered: Aug 2007
 Posted June 28th, 2012 08:46 AM   IP              
When he rips into that first solo on 'Morning Sun' (1:06 mark), saw your own leg off and hit me with it.
"Nick is the Mode guy. Jon is the Duran guy."

   
IanWagner
The Rustic Bumfiddler

Posts: 47999
Registered: Aug 2007
 Posted June 28th, 2012 11:15 AM   IP              
Quote:
halleluwah wrote:




Yum.

More later.

   
Matinee Idyll (129)
Camp Counsellor

Posts: 8244
Registered: Aug 2007
 Posted June 28th, 2012 08:59 PM   IP              
Quote:
IanWagner wrote:
Yum.

More later.


I agree.

"Nick is the Mode guy. Jon is the Duran guy."

   
varitone
Charles Nelson Reilly's SHORTS!

Posts: 81
Registered: Jan 2012
 Posted July 7th, 2012 09:29 AM   IP              
At last I managed to watch Episode 52 (edited online version). Moustaches sure are high maintenance.

Nice to see Beat Club capturing
- Arlo's period piece (and the only thing I know him for),
- Badfinger from what I guess was they're happiest period,
- Bobby before she disappeared.

I don't know much of Rory but I recall many copies of Deuce were bought by aspiring guitarists. Easy to see why.

Never ever heard of Clouds before - the drummer sure can paradiddle but otherwise they're really not as good as they would like to be.

Those interruptions to songs are very annoying, though I didn't mind too much in the case of Jackie Lomax. The backing sounds so much like an All Things Must Pass session I wondered if somewhere there's a much better demo sung by George himself.

Interesting to see Ian Anderson in the days of his wino vagrant act straight after Joe Cocker shows how it should be done. Witch's Promise is a great record though.

And ... you're right, the Atomic Rooster clip is terrible. Strangely, they were briefly quite a well-known name in Britain around this time thanks to a hit single called Devil's Answer, which sounded very much like a tune Vincent Crane might have written for his previous bandleader Arthur Brown. Carl Palmer can only have been with them briefly - I'm surprised to see this evidence.

Thanks as always for the reviews and insight into Beat Club's ever shifting production approach (farewell Dave - guess who they've replaced you with - nobody).
   
halleluwah
Total Rock Cumshot

Posts: 7312
Registered: Aug 2007
 Posted July 7th, 2012 01:19 PM   IP              
Thanks as always for reading! You'll be seeing quite a bit more of Rory coming up; I think he was on Beat Club something like four times in 71 and 72, which for this era of the show is really often. That guy was great; I got into him just on the strength of his performances on the show, and he doesn't disappoint. He's sort of like an Irish version of Johnny Winter, only with a less annoying singing voice.

I really want to like Clouds, since I'm a pink-label Island nut, but man were they a waste of talent like 80% of the time. They're one of those bands where there were just enough glimmers of something promising to give you false hope that they'd eventually pull it all together, but they never did. (They were still better than fucking Quintessence, though.) I think "I'll Go Girl," Clouds' contribution to the Island You Can All Join In sampler, is actually a pretty decent piano pop song. Most of the rest of their time was wasted on pseudo-jazz wankery, though.

http://youtu.be/JAcmR6uhDjI

I'MCOMINGI'MCOMINGI'MCOMINGI'MCOMING
   
IanWagner
The Rustic Bumfiddler

Posts: 47999
Registered: Aug 2007
 Posted July 7th, 2012 01:43 PM   IP              
Jack White's whole juicy-blooze thing is Rory Gallagher, whether he knows it or not.
   
IanWagner
The Rustic Bumfiddler

Posts: 47999
Registered: Aug 2007
 Posted July 7th, 2012 01:43 PM   IP              
Quote:
halleluwah wrote: I'm a pink-label Island nut


Don't make me send you to the Hoffman board.

   



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