You’ve all seen the Who’s legendary version of “My Generation” at the Monterey Pop Festival; it was in both the official MPF movie release and The Kids are Alright. Here’s a video of MPF outtakes with more songs from that set beginning at 1:12:52: “Substitute,” “Summertime Blues,” and “A Quick One.” AQO doesn’t quite have the knockout power of the Rock and Roll Circus version, but it’s still far better than most of what transpired at that festival. Scrolling through this and watching a little of each band reinforced what I already knew: San Francisco bands of that era could not play. Their amateurism is pretty staggering. The LA acts acquit themselves much better. But it took the Who, a Seattle guitarist backed by Brits, and Otis Redding backed by Memphis boys to really show how things are done.
The intro by vocal harmony popsters The Association is surpsringly bizarre.
If you’re truly bored, sample the LA bands, The Associaion, Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, and Mamas & Papas Then sample the SF ones, Country Joe, Jefferson Airplane, and especially Big Brother and the Holding Company (Quicksilver Messenger Service actually sound OK). The LA bands were products of an established and highly competetive musical culture that thrived around a hit-making city. The SF bands were products of a new scene that revolved around getting fucked up and jamming. The difference shows. And even if you like Janis Joplin as a singer (I don’t), you can’t deny that Big Brother was an execrable band. Their incompetence is just jaw-dropping. I think she ditched them pretty quickly as her star rose. Good move.
Fun fact of the day: Country Joe was one of several bands unfortunate enough to get blown off the stage by an unkown opening band called Led Zeppelin on LZ’s first US tour. By the end of that tour CJ and various other headliners such as Iron Butterfly and Vanilla Fudge weren’t even bothering to show up.
Do you need another? Of course you do. According to the comments, this is the final installment of a multi-episode BBC documentary made in the 90’s. Earlier episodes dealt with the Stooges, Velvets, et al. Anyone seen the others or know if they’re available somewhere? Makerbot?
Last ten minutes have good footage of Sex Pistols US tour.
The reggae segment seems a bit long considering the number of punk bands omitted. And some of the omissions are glaring. Talking Heads, but no Johnny Thunders? That’s just weird, as L.A.M.F. is one of the very best records to come out of the NYC scene, and more punk than TH. But this is still worth watching.
If you’re about to stock up the ol’ cabinet for the holidays, don’t forget that more expensive often doesn’t equal better. Some of the $25-$60 range is so good that you never need to spend more. If you aren’t interested in most of the video, the most entertaining part is about Blanton’s at 18:15.
If you ever buy used records, you’ve learned that however clean they looked in the store, they sometimes skip or have a little scratch as loud as a gunshot, usually on your favorite song. I’ve used this fix at least five times, and it worked every time, both on skips and loud scratches that run across grooves. (If the scratch runs with the groove, you’re pretty much fucked, as the gentleman in the video points out. ) Using a toothpick is a brililant solution. It can get into a groove just enough to smooth out the edges, but it’s not sharp enough to go deep into the groove and ruin the record. I guess you could ruin it if you pushed hard enough, but gentle pressure fixes the problem.
Goat’s Head Soup, recently given the full-reissue shebang, has its moments, but in ’73 it was a disappointment coming on the heels of the super-human Beggars Banquet through Exile on Main Street run. A recent review on Pitchfork sums up how I feel about it:
This would suggest Goats Head Soup’s true significance is that it marked the moment where a new Rolling Stones record ceased to be a game-changing cultural event, and more like a fresh pile of coal shoveled into the engine room to keep the show on the road.