Hit Factory

I always forget they’re Californian, as it seems like they could have spewed forth from Appalachia, or anywhere.

Fogerty’s ’68-’70 run was nuts:

  • I Put A Spell On You
  • Proud Mary
  • Bad Moon Rising
  • Green River
  • Down On The Corner
  • Fortunate Son
  • Travelin’ Band
  • Who’ll Stop the Rain
  • Lookin’ Out My Back Door
  • Long As I Can See The Light

Been reading more about them, their implosion, all the record label nonsense.

I was alone when I made that [CCR] music. I was alone when I made the arrangements, I was alone when I added background vocals, guitars and some other stuff. I was alone when I produced and mixed the albums. The other guys showed up only for rehearsals and the days we made the actual recordings. For me Creedence was like sitting on a time bomb. We’d had decent successes with our cover of “Susie Q” and with the first album when we went into the studio to cut “Proud Mary.” It was the first time we were in a real Hollywood studio, RCA’s Los Angeles studio, and the problems started immediately. The other guys in the band insisted on writing songs for the new album, they had opinions on the arrangements, they wanted to sing. They went as far as adding background vocals to “Proud Mary,” and it sounded awful.

They’re from WHERE?

While off down internet wormholes prompted by this blog, I ran across the horrible clickbait article “Best Band from Every State,” which is designed mostly to start fights. It caught my attention because the Boys of Beach, above, and as pictured in the article, might qualify for the California designation… but not without Brian Wilson, SMH.

Anyway, I learned a little band geography and will be curious to see everyone’s reaction. As the sometimes Pacific Northwest rep, I’ll say that they’re right about Idaho, glaringly wrong about Oregon, and a little off with Washington.

Essential Summertime Listening

Whilst we round the bases on the 40th anniversary of the release of Beauty and the Beat (July 8, 1981), please enjoy a song I’ve always associated with summer. As you guys may or may not know, “Our Lips Are Sealed” was cowritten with Terry Hall from Fun Boy Three, and they have a version as well. Regarding the video itself, Wikipedia says …

The official music video for the song features sequences of the band members in carefree tableaux (riding around LA in a 1960 Buick convertible, stopping at a lingerie shop, and splashing around in a fountain) interspersed with footage of the band playing a club booking.

Jane Wiedlin says the band was initially unenthusiastic when Miles Copeland, president of their label, I.R.S. Records, told them they would be doing the video. “We were totally bratty”, she recalls. The video was financed with unused funds from a The Police’s video budget.

The concept was simple. The band would drive around the streets in a convertible car and be followed by a camera. Belinda Carlisle would sing, and the other members would do cute things, The ride would be intercalated with some scenes of the band performing the song at a club.

They wanted an older-style convertible, and found a red 1960 Buick LeSabre at Rent-a-Wreck.

After riding around some streets in Beverly Hills, at some point, they stop at the famous Trashy Lingerie store located at La Cienega Blvd. The girls get into the shop, excepting Wiedlin, who remains in the car doing the solo part of the song (Belinda can be seen in the driver’s seat trying to hide).

The day of shooting was very hot -says Wiedlin- so it was the band’s idea to end the video by jumping into the Electric Fountain on the corner of Wilshire Blvd. and Santa Monica Blvd. “I thought, at any minute the cops are gonna come. This is gonna be so cool.”

Wiedlin looks back on the video experience fondly. “I have horrible ’80s poodle hair in [it]”, she recalled in a 2011 history of MTV. “But there’s a simplicity and innocence to the video that appeals to me.” In one sequence, Belinda Carlisle can be seen trying to hide; she later admitted this was deliberate, as she thought the whole idea of a music video was ridiculous and unlikely to catch on.

Here’s the Fun Boy Three version, which I don’t associate with anything.

Laurel Canyon

I’ve only seen the first of these, as recommended to us by Fat Elvis once upon a time. It’s great. A friend recently hipped me to Echo in the Canyon, and I noticed that there’s ANOTHER one out too.

I’m nostalgic for California, now that it’s burning up and falling into the ocean. I loved my time there. I may watch all of these. Maybe someone will tell us that Laurel Canyon gave birth to punk.