By in show blog on Sep 10, 2017 |

(Photo by HowieZowie)


~The Celebrated Mr. K. Presents~

"Picture Yourself on a Boat on a River with John Rowlands"

9 September 2017

With special in-studio guest John Rowlands!

Music and photography came together on September 26th 1960 in Ottawa Canada when 50s rock and roll star Brenda Lee came to sing.

John Rowlands, a 13 year old teen fan of the recording artist, with an advance on his weekly allowance and money made from his morning paper route bought a ticket. Sensing it was a long shot that she might ever be his girlfriend he took along his father's camera, a single roll of film and 12 flash bulbs. At least he would take her home in a camera.

The show over he followed his peers towards the exit until he saw a sign in a hallway that would change his life. It read "Brenda Lee and the Casuals" and it was their dressing room. Without a moment's thought he walked down the hall and knocked on the door not knowing what to expect.

Brenda's mother opened it and hearing that he wanted to tell her he enjoyed the show and ask for her autograph she allowed him in and introduced Brenda. The recording star and the fan sat beside each other and talked for half and hour, he got the autograph, her address and for carrying her suitcase to the car he got a kiss goodnight.

Once the film was processed he had tangible evidence of a treasure of memories of that girl, that rock and roll star, that sweetheart. He had locked her up in time on photographic paper and it kept the memories alive.

He sent the pictures to her address in Nashville.

Weeks later a letter requesting the negatives and accompanied by a check for $35 arrived. This was a small fortune for a 13 year old in 1960 when gold was $32 an ounce. He mailed off the negatives with no idea that the music business would soon take over his life.

Two months later John got a call at home from an adult and his mother reluctantly handed over the phone. The man asked him if he could take pictures of the guest on the local Coca Cola Campus Club radio show. "Just show up and take a roll of film, give it to his manager and he'll pay you $50."

The radio show ended with thanks and handshakes. Rowlands surrendered the film and collected his cash. The manager asked that Rowlands wait and he could meet the entertainer.

"John" said the manager, "this is Sam, ...Sam Cook."

It was like buying TEEN magazine on day and meeting everyone in it the next. You had to be insane not to like this.

Phone calls continued and next through his lens was Bobby Vee, The Ventures, Duane Eddy and then a rising population of local bands. This "kid" photographed with Dad's camera was right there to take them. Getting paid was a bonus. There was a lot to talk about at school now and it was all backed up with the goods, the photographs ...the proof.

Rowlands hasn't looked back as the Rock & Rowlands Flashback photography book will attest. At 18 he toured with the Dave Clark Five, The Rolling Stones and Beatles. He has worked with Elvis, Dylan and Springsteen and many of the icons of the music industry over the past 5 decades.

J.R. continues to photograph his musical favorites all over the world from his home in Ottawa, Canada.

Intro (3:50)

Paul Confesses...

SCGCCC (9:39)

While My Guitar Gently Weeps – Emm Gryner (Slant EP/2017)

A Day in the Life – Newport Electric (Studio Outtake/2016)

Her Majesty – Chain Mail (The Psychedelic Suite/2016)

We started off SCGCCC with Emm Gryner covering “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. Emm Gryner was born in Sarnia. She is an independent singer/songwriter, bassist and pianist with 10 albums to her credit. She has been nominated 3 times for a Juno Award. She graduated from the music industry’s art program at our very own Fanshawe College in 1995. I saw her for my first time opening for Spirit of the West at Sheridan college in Augsut of 1995 when she was just 20 yrs old. I knew little of her and was just blown away by her talent. She started her music career in Toronto, working office jobs during the day while honing her live show in small, local clubs by night. Gryner entered an original song "Wisdom Bus" in a nationwide songwriting contest sponsored by Standard Broadcasting, and won. With the money from this prize, she recorded an album called The Original Leap Year and released it on her own Dead Daisy Records. The album attracted the attention of Violent Femmes producer, Warren Bruleigh who passed the album onto an exec at Mercury Records who signed Gryner. The result was a Britpop-inspired album called Public that yielded a hit in Canada called "Summerlong." Several tours followed, with Ron Sexsmith, Bernard Butler, Rufus Wainwright and others. After Universal Music took over Mercury Records, Gryner was dropped from the label and returned to her own Dead Daisy Records. At this time, in 1999 when Emm was 24 yrs old, she was hired by David Bowie to work in his band. She was singing and playing keyboards on tour and in the studio, on and off over the space of a year-and-a-half, joining Bowie for a promotional tour of Europe and his appearances on late night talks shows in the United States. Emm was part of the band that played on Bowie's live album from that period, Live at the Beeb. Emm said that she and Bowie kept in touch over the years. Emm also said that not a lot of people know this, but she dated Bowie’s son Duncan for a little while. Emm has released several albums, two of which went on to be nominated for Best Pop Album of the Year at the Juno Awards. She continues to play today with the band Trent Severn. You can catch her hosting the Afternoon Drive on CBC radio from time to time and she current has an album that will be released in 48 days called Only of Earth. The album was crowd funded via Pledge Music and has exceeded its goal. In Emm’s own words: "Only of Earth" is a 80's synth-pop and 70's classic rock-infused new album. “Only of Earth” is a soundtrack to a story, inspired by true events and fiction. Inspired by the mystery of childbirth, the work of motherhood and the intrigue of love, life and loss, “Only of Earth” is a multi-media experience that will incorporate music as much as sketches, videos, a book and eventually, a live show. Can’t wait for this release.

We followed that up with a 2016 studio outtake of “A Day In The Life” from the band Newport Electric. Newport Electric is based out of our very own London, Ontario. They originally formed in 2014 as a 4 piece folk-stained rock band comprised of John Couture (vocals/guitar), Roger Osmond (drums/vocals) Steve Sinclair (guitar/vocal) and Dusty MacMillan (bass/vocal) who is celebrating a birthday today. Happy Birthday Dusty! From the on-set, the band has had a string of successes in a short period of time. The band won a local radio contest The Made in London contest hosted by a (puke! Gag!) corporate radio station here in London earning the band free studio recording time. They followed that up by winning a University-sponsored Battle of The Bands competition hosted by the Western Guitar Club here at Call The Office, they’ve appeared in magazines, newspapers and online interviews, they’ve had airplay on local radio, CBC radio and have been playing live extensively throughout the Southwestern Ontario area. Their first full-length album released in 2015 titled “So It Goes” features 11 tracks and received airplay across the country, peaking at #2 right here on London's CHRW chart. The album was recorded at Studio B Music Services and EMAC. The reviews of the album have been outstanding and I can attest to that because I can never get enough of that record.

They’ve heard comparisons to Springsteen, Stones, Neil Young, Tom Petty and most often, Blue Rodeo (but more “Keeler” than “Cuddy” a recent reviewer noted).

Since recording their first album, the band has continued to develop new material. And they just recently added not THE Robert Plant – but, A. Robert Plante on Keyboards and boy oh boy is he a great player. So they are now a 5 piece band.

And we just saw them last night playing the Beatles Festival and it was another magically evening with these guys. Once again, the keyboards added another beautiful layer to their already brilliant sound. I always love their energy on stage and I am so excited about their new album. I love these guys. Please do check them out if you get a chance. Support our local artists. Oh and they took their name from a monumental moment in rock and roll history....July 25, it! London’s very own, Newport Electric!

And we ended SCGCCC with a cover of “Her Majesty” from Chain Mail’s 2016 album titled The Psychedelic Suite. And for the listeners out there who are unaware, chain Mail is HowieZowie’s band which features around 30 artists including family and friends from all over the world who collaborated together on the record but most often from afar. Some have never even met in-person. In Howie’s own words, “This is an album that would have been near impossible to make in any other era – certainly not with a budget of zero (except for manufacturing proper). In that regard, it was a way to return to the “gathering of the vibes” approach that created much of the late 60's/early 70's music we love so much. A group of people from all over the world, different ages and skill sets, from various genres, any instrument goes, from the simply passionate to the über-experienced – the difference being that the performances were gathered together on my laptop, rather than a happening in a living room in Haight-Ashbury.” And there you have it, I love that explanation HowieZowie! And of course there is much more depth as to how the band and record evolved. The album is a complex, often instrumental excursion into sounds, melodies, secret harmonies and guitar riffs shaped and reshaped by HowieZowie. I believe that “Her Majesty” is the only cover song on the album and it features a bunch of us at the end playing the D chord, including myself sCreamGrrrl. That was a lot of fun. Who else is plays on that one HowieZowie. And for those interested in getting a copy of the record, what can they do?

John's Picks (8:34)
Help! - The Beatles (Help! Soundtrack/1965)

"Help!" served as the title song for both the 1965 film and its soundtrack album. It was also released as a single, and was number one for three weeks in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

The documentary series The Beatles Anthology revealed that Lennon wrote the lyrics of the song to express his stress after the Beatles' quick rise to success. "I was fat and depressed and I was crying out for 'Help'," Lennon told Playboy. Writer Ian MacDonald describes the song as the first crack in the protective shell Lennon had built around his emotions during the Beatles' rise to fame, and an important milestone in his songwriting style.

In the 1970 Rolling Stone "Lennon Remembers" interviews, Lennon said that the song was one of his favourites among the Beatles songs he wrote, but he wished they had recorded it at a slower tempo. In these interviews, Lennon said he felt that "Help!" and "Strawberry Fields Forever" were his most honest, genuine Beatles songs and not just songs "written to order". According to Lennon's cousin and boyhood friend Stanley Parkes, however, "Help!" was written after Lennon "came in from the studio one night. 'God,' he said, 'they've changed the title of the film: it's going to be called 'Help!' now. So I've had to write a new song with the title called 'Help!'."

According to Paul McCartney, he was called in "to complete it", providing the "counter-melody" arrangement, on 4 April 1965 at Lennon's house in Weybridge.

Here Comes the Sun - The Beatles (Abbey Road/1969)

Along with "Something" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", this is one of Harrison's best-known compositions from the Beatles era. The song was written at the country house of his friend Eric Clapton, where Harrison had chosen to play truant for the day, to avoid attending a meeting at the Beatles' Apple Corp organization. The lyrics reflect the composer's relief at both the arrival of spring and the temporary respite he was experiencing from the band's business affairs.

The Beatles recorded "Here Comes the Sun" at Abbey Road Studios in the summer of 1969. Led by Harrison's acoustic guitar, the recording also features Moog synthesizer, which he had introduced to the Beatles' sound after acquiring an early model of the instrument in California. Reflecting the continued influence of Indian classical music on Harrison's writing, the composition includes a series of unusual time changes.

"Here Comes the Sun" has received acclaim from music critics. Combined with his other contribution to Abbey Road, "Something", it gained for Harrison the level of recognition as a songwriter that had previously been reserved for his bandmates John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Harrison played the song during many of his relatively rare live performances as a solo artist, including at the Concert for Bangladesh in 1971 and, with Paul Simon, during his appearance on Saturday Night Live in 1976.

In 1977, astronomer and science popularizer Carl Sagan attempted to have "Here Comes the Sun" included on a disc of music accompanying the Voyager space mission. Titled the Voyager Golden Record, copies of the disc were put on board both spacecraft in the Voyager program in order to provide any entity that recovered them with a representative sample of human civilization. Writing in his book Murmurs of Earth, Sagan recalls that the Beatles favoured the idea, but "[they] did not own the copyright, and the legal status of the piece seemed too murky to risk." When the probes were launched in 1977, the song was not included.

Something - The Beatles (Abbey Road/1969)

Issued as a double A-side single coupled with "Come Together", "Something" was the first Harrison composition to appear as a Beatles A-side, and the only song written by him to top the US charts before the band's break-up in April 1970. The single was also one of the rare instances that a Beatles single contained tracks already available on an LP album.

The song drew high praise from the band's primary songwriters, John Lennon and Paul McCartney; Lennon stated that "Something" was the best song on Abbey Road, while McCartney considered it the best song Harrison had written. As well as critical acclaim, the single achieved commercial success, topping the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States and making the top five in the United Kingdom. The song has been covered by over 150 artists, making it the second-most covered Beatles song after "Yesterday". Artists who have covered the song include Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, James Brown, Shirley Bassey, Tony Bennett, Andy Williams, Smokey Robinson, Ike & Tina Turner, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, Isaac Hayes, Julio Iglesias and Neil Diamond. Harrison said his favourite version of the song was James Brown's, which he kept in his personal jukebox.

George Harrison began writing "Something" in September 1968, during a session for the Beatles' self-titled double album, commonly known as "the White Album". In his autobiography, I, Me Mine, he recalls working on the melody on a piano, while Paul McCartney carried out overdubs in a neighbouring studio. Harrison put the composition "on ice" at first, believing that with the tune having come to him so easily, it might have been the melody from another song. In I, Me, Mine, he adds that the middle eight for "Something" "took some time to sort out".

The song's opening lyric was taken from the title of "Something in the Way She Moves", a track by Harrison's fellow Apple Records artist James Taylor. While musically Harrison imagined the composition in the style of Ray Charles, his inspiration for "Something" was his wife, Pattie Boyd. In her 2007 autobiography, Wonderful Today, Boyd recalls: "He told me, in a matter-of-fact way, that he had written it for me. I thought it was beautiful..." Boyd discusses the song's subsequent popularity among other recording artists and concludes: "My favourite [version] was the one by George Harrison, which he played to me in the kitchen at Kinfauns."

Having begun to write love songs that were directed at both God and a woman, with his White Album track "Long, Long, Long", Harrison later cited alternative sources for his inspiration for "Something". In early 1969, according to author Joshua Greene, Harrison told his friends from the Hare Krishna Movement that the song was about the Hindu deity Krishna; in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine in 1976, he said of his approach to writing love songs: "all love is part of a universal love. When you love a woman, it's the God in her that you see." By 1996, Harrison had denied writing "Something" for Boyd, adding that "everybody presumed I wrote it about Pattie" because of the promotional film accompanying the release of the Beatles' recording, which showed each member of the band with his respective wife.

Broad Street Block (10:06)


Good Day Sunshine – Paul McCartney (Give My Regards to Broad Street/1984)

Yesterday – Paul McCartney (Give My Regards to Broad Street/1984)

Here, There & Everywhere – Paul McCartney (Give My Regards to Broad St./1984)

Wanderlust – Paul McCartney (Give My Regards to Broad Street/1984)

This is a medley I constructed from the Give My Regards to Broad Street Soundtrack. I combined his remake of “Good Day Sunshine” with the existing medley of the latter three songs (which make up a quite nice performance segment in the film). Also included on the soundtrack are remakes of“Eleanor Rigby” and “The Long and Winding Road” which I did not include due to time constraints.

Give My Regards to Broad Street is a 1984 musical/drama film directed by Peter Webb, which starred Paul McCartney, Bryan Brown and Ringo Starr. The film covers a fictional day in the life of Paul McCartney, who wrote the film for the screen, and McCartney, Starr and Linda McCartney all appeared as themselves. Despite Give My Regards to Broad Street being unsuccessful in the box office financially and critically, its soundtrack album sold well. The title is a take on George M. Cohan's classic show tune "Give My Regards to Broadway" which made reference to London's Broad Street railway station, which would close in 1986.

Filming and recording of Broad Street began in November 1982, after the completion of Pipes of Peace. Production on the album and film continued until July the following year. In the interim, Pipes of Peace and its singles were released, and the film project was thus scheduled for an autumn 1984 release once an appropriate amount of time had passed.

Bonus Blog Cuts

Groupie Bang Bang – Frank Zappa (The MOFO Project\Object/2006)

This is an unreleased track intended for The Mother's of Invention's debut album Freak Out! which was left on the cutting room floor presumably to avoid litigation with NEMS Enterprises over content.

The MOFO Project\Object was announced by the Zappa Family Trust in mid-2006. It commemorates the 40th anniversary of Zappa's first album, Freak Out!. It documents the making of Freak Out! featuring previously unreleased material. It was released as a uniquely packaged 4-CD set. It is Project\Object #1 in a series of 40th Anniversary FZ Audio Documentaries.

A more affordable 2-CD set was also released. CD2 tracks 2, 5, 11, 12, 13, 15 & 16 are unique to this release. All the other tracks are available on The MOFO Project\Object 4-CD set.

Long, Long, Long – The Beatles (The Beatles/1968)

This song was the subject of our trivia question to win a personalized John Rowlands Beatles print...

Question:“What was the brand of wine whose bottle is heard prominently rattling in a track on The White Album?

Answer: "Blue Nun"

The winner was our first caller - Parker Rueger!

George Harrison wrote "Long, Long, Long" during a period that marked his emergence as a prolific songwriter, coinciding with his return to the guitar after two years of studying the sitar. His musical inspiration for the song was "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands" by Bob Dylan, while the understated arrangement reflects the influence of the Band's 1968 album Music from Big Pink. The Beatles recorded the song towards the end of the troubled sessions for the White Album. Sequenced to follow the heavy "Helter Skelter", the otherwise gentle and meditative track ends with a partly improvised segment, which was inspired by the eerie sound of a Blue Nun bottle vibrating on a Leslie speaker in the recording studio. They were so enamored by the sound, that they meticulously recreated the accident on subsequent takes.

The session for "Long, Long, Long" was a relaxed occasion, with the burning of incense helping to create the requisite atmosphere in the studio. The Beatles recorded 67 takes of the rhythm track, with Harrison on vocals and acoustic guitar, McCartney playing Hammond organ, and Ringo Starr on drums. The drum part includes a series of loud fills that serve as a commentary beside the vocal line, so recalling Starr's contribution to "A Day in the Life" in 1967.

Nine hours after this all-night session, the band returned to Abbey Road to carry out overdubs. Harrison added a second vocal and another acoustic guitar part, the latter consisting of riffs that recall the sound of a sitar, due to the strings buzzing against the frets. During the same session, McCartney overdubbed bass guitar onto the track. The recording was finished on 9 October, with the addition of a brief harmony vocal from McCartney and piano, over the middle eight, played by Chris Thomas.

Mixing on "Long, Long, Long" was completed on 14 October, with Starr's drum fills given prominence in the mix. Relative to the stereo version, the contrast between the song's quiet and louder moments is less pronounced in the mono mix, where Harrison's second vocal part also arrives earlier on the opening line.

There are no clips of  "Long, Long, Long" proper on YouTube, but this is interesting - there are tonnes of these slowed down track out there, and they are generally un-listenable. Somehow it works here as a trippy, ambient piece: