The “Odessey”: The Zombies in Words and Images

To mark the 50th anniversary of the recording of their classic Odessey and Oracle album, The Zombies have assembled an eclectic collection of rare and unseen photos, original artwork, and personal memories that offer readers an intimate snapshot of one of the more influential bands to emerge from the UK music scene of the 1960s.

91vhwqdqjol
The superbly illustrated book includes handwritten lyrics for 22 songs. From early hits “She’s Not There” and “Tell Her No,” through every song on Odessey and Oracle—including the hit single “Time of the Season” —and all the way up to today, each selection is accompanied by a running oral history by original band members Rod Argent, Colin Blunstone, Chris White and Hugh Grundy.

71thjf8cezl
Renowned artist Terry Quirk, who created the look of Odessey and Oracle, designed the book’s cover and contributed new artwork throughout, while Vivienne Boucherat created a unique piece of art to accompany each of the 22 songs. Additionally, The Odessey is rich with reflections from music journalists, friends and fans, including Tom Petty, who wrote the foreword, Brian Wilson, Carlos Santana, Susanna Hoffs, Paul Weller, Graham Nash, Clive Davis, Nate Ruess of FUN and members of Cage the Elephant and Beach House.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

The Zombies – Still Got That Hunger

Reunited, The Zombies are back with a U.S. tour underway and a new album, Still Got That Hunger that drops next Friday October 9th.  Still Got That Hunger features a new version of their 1965 single “I Want You Back Again” along with nine brand new songs!

spotify:album:0BQh9XR8ICoPVB3XXKPSwZ

A centerpiece of The Zombies tour is the performance of the superlative album, Odessey and Oracle in its entirety. I’ve seen The Zombies play pieces of this cult classic live in concert before but not with the four original members and a backing band.

Enthusiastic to see them live on Oct 13th, in Ridgefield, CT at The Ridgefield Playhouse. Hopefully I will be able to buy a couple of autographed recordings that night for my collection 😉

The Zombies Reunite for Odessey & Oracle Tour

I just love The Zombies musical group. I first saw The Zombies perform on the opening night of their U.S. Tour on February 6, 2004 at The Palace Theatre in Stamford, Connecticut. They knocked me out with their performance. I was amazed at Colin Blunstone’s vocal range. He sounded just like the studio recordings he made in 1964 and 1965.

Rod Argent was vivacious on stage, playing the keyboards with great command. When The Zombies switched gears and played the Argent hits, “Hold Your Head Up” and “God Gave Rock and Roll To You” I was totally psyched.

It would be eight years before I would see The Zombies play live again. This time it was a more intimate setting and free! We caught The Zombies at the Mohegan Sun Wolf’s Den on August 8th, 2012 in Uncasville, CT. My earlier blog post about that concert experience is available here.

I read with zeal that The Zombies are returning to the U.S. shores in the fall to perform Odessey & Oracle in its entirety with the four remaining Zombies who recorded that classic album.

Here is the Zombies’ teaser announcement:

ANNOUNCEMENT: USA, this has been a long time coming.

It has been 5 decades since the original Zombies’ line-up last toured the States. Our final album together was released in 1968, but we never got a chance to perform it live for our American fans.

Starting on September 30th in Dallas, that is all going to change!!!!

That’s right! The Zombies are returning to the USA, and bringing some special friends – the incredible Chris White and Hugh Grundy – to perform “Odessey & Oracle” in its entirety! The original line-up (minus the sorely-missed Paul Atkinson) will join the current line-up for a very special evening of Zombies music, past and present. Whether you missed us in the 1960’s, or just discovered us yesterday, we hope you can join us on this journey today!

Here’s a sneak peek at the tour schedule (and we hope to add a couple shows more if we can!). Stay tuned for ticket information – most shows will go on sale this week.

‪#‎TheZombies‬ ‪#‎BritishInvasion‬ ‪#‎OdesseyAndOracle

It just so happens there is a Connecticut concert date on the itinerary, Tuesday October 13th at The Ridgefield Playhouse, Ridgefield CT. I’d love to see them live in concert again. The Zombies have a special magic when they perform live.

In addition to the reunion tour, The Zombies hope to release their next studio album, the follow-up to 2011’s Breathe Out, Breathe In, in the fall. Terry Quirk, the artist/illustrator of Odessey & Oracle  is creating the album art for that upcoming sixth album, Still Got That Hunger. I’d love to pick that recording up after the show 🙂

This video recorded at SXSW’s 5th Avenue Studio in Austin, TX this year will give you a taste of The Zombies fall lineup and perhaps the next album 😉

British Invasion 50th Anniversary Tour

My favorite musical influence period was The British Invasion. I have never experienced an era of music that so continually thrilled me as 1964 and 1965 did. The AM radio airwaves, Top 40 as it was known in those days brought us constant sources of brilliant melodies and well written hits. The British Invasion arrived on our shores as a series of waves. Each successive wave introduced American audiences to more creative British bands and songs. It was such an illuminating time for the listener as we became enraptured with these musicians from across the pond.

We are attending the second British Invasion concert related event this year. In February we attended The Fest for Beatles Fans 2014 in New York City.

In September we will be attending the British Invasion 50th Anniversary Tour, outlined below.

Tuesday September 9, 2014, Ridgefield Playhouse, Ridgefield, Ct.

Gerry & The Pacemakers · Chad & Jeremy · Billy J. Kramer · Mike Pender’s Searchers · Denny Laine of The Moody Blues & Wings

This tour commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ momentous arrival in February 1964. They called it The British Invasion and in the wake of this massive mop top pop explosion, all the participants in this once-in-a-lifetime concert experience dominated the music world and scored more than forty worldwide Top 40 hits. Their sound and look changed popular culture forever and now they are back to celebrate and honor some of the greatest songs of the twentieth century.  The artists (all original singers of the classic hits) will be ably supported by a four-piece backing band faithfully recreating the classic sound of the vintage recordings and a full multi-media video package highlighted by rarely seen footage and incredible archival ephemera. The experience will be complemented by a full presentation of unique clips pre-show and during intermission of other fab combos of the era, making this a full evening of entertainment.

See more at: http://www.ridgefieldplayhouse.org/event/british-invasion-50th-anniversary-tour#sthash.w99nmbq6.dpuf

Beatles Fest – A Saturday Report

We live right off the Metro North train line in Connecticut. It was easy to hop the 9:38 a.m express and get into Grand Central Terminal at 11:15 a.m. The Grand Hyatt is right next door to GCT where we entered The Fest for Beatles Fans 2014.

We decided to attend the day in between the two major Beatles 50th Anniversary events, the Beatles Invasion February 7th and the Ed Sullivan broadcast on February 9th.

After we checked in we headed up to the main ballroom on the 4th floor. We watched the balance of the film, Good Ol Freda which was a special treat as Freda Kelly herself appeared after the film. She brought a tear to my eye as her role in The Beatles family is devout, private but very caring. You could see how much she loves the fans as she met with them at the autograph table.

IMG_0398

Our focus for this event was the music in the main ballroom. Granted there were floors of art exhibits, video, presentations by authors etc. But we got anchored to the concert floor. The event was oversold and many people had to stand which made for a fire law problem. This meant we had to pretty much stay in our seats all afternoon which grew uncomfortable over 6 hours.

The Ballroom Agenda

Mark RiveraKen Dashow

Ken Dashow interviewed Mark Rivera who has performed with three of the Beatles, John Lennon, Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. Mark is Ringo Starr’s Musical Director for the Ringo Starr All-Starr Show where we’ve seen Mark play three times this past decade. Mark Rivera is also a band member of Billy Joel‘s band. He has a new album coming out, Common Bond which drops on February 18th.

The album includes a rare appearance by Billy Joel playing a sizzling Hammond B3 organ on Mark’s unique cover of the Jimi Hendrix classic Spanish Castle Magic. Ringo Starr, Robert Randolph, Nils Lofgren and Steve Lukather all give their great talents to what will be a most cool album!

It really rocks in a good old way – like we did back in the day. Your voice sounds great and the band kicks ass!”– Billy Joel

Gretsch Presents, Peter Asher, A Memoir of the 60’s and Beyond – Part 1

PeterA

We were pleasantly surprised by Peter Asher. He had a well-polished agenda for us. This speaks to his role as a producer. He interspersed his verbal talk which was filled with nostalgia about The Beatles with vintage video. He had a class back up band that increased the dimension of the Peter and Gordon songs. The Eric Idle introduction was funny. We especially loved the segment where Peter sang with Gordon behind him as they played. It was so comforting to hear them sing together that way with Gordon Waller having left us in 2010.

I was intrigued to learn that Peter and his sister Jane Asher had founded a book store and art gallery Indica in London where John Lennon met Yoko Ono at her art show.

Surprise Guest – Pattie Boyd – Martin Lewis

We were surprised by Pattie Boyd’s appearance. It was a warm, intimate 40 min conversation with Pattie and Martin Lewis where Pattie spoke about George Harrison, The Beatles in the day, the trip to India and her love of photography. I thought she was a delight and very honest interview subject.

Donovan

It was a joy to see Donovan perform. It had been 44 years since our last Donovan concert. This show was very immediate. We loved the magic he created for us. Donovan has always been a special artist in the music of our heart.

He was in good voice. I especially loved how he sounded phrasing wise especially on “Jennifer, Juniper”. I really dug with unique vocal sound he makes on “Hurdy Gurdy Man”. His one hour set went so quickly but he played all his hits which made it loving and lasting for us.

Donovan’s Set

  1. Catch the Wind
  2. Colours
  3. Universal Soldier
    (Buffy Sainte-Marie cover)
  4. Jennifer Juniper
  5. Lalena
  6. Wear Your Love Like Heaven
  7. Hurdy Gurdy Man
  8. Sunshine Superman
  9. Season of the Witch
  10. Mellow Yellow

   Encore

  1. Atlantis

Cousin Brucie’s Saturday Rock and Roll  Party

We were really happy to hang out with Cousin Brucie who has been a major force in our music listening lives. He has such energy and passion for what he does as an on-air personality. It was exciting to be part of his live SiriusXM broadcast. We often listen to his show on Sixties on 6.

We didn’t stay for the three-hour show as we were weary from the ballroom chairs. We figured we’d listen to the rebroadcast on Sunday night from 5-8 p.m. Which we are listening to that show now as I finish up that post 😉

I finally got to see Ronnie Spector live which was cool! Ronnie had some great stories about the boys and Murray The K. She then performed “Be My Baby”.

Donovan rejoined us next and paid Brucie a wonderful complement as a disk jockey. He performed “Hurdy Gurdy Man” and it was great to hear it twice in the same day!

Scan 3

Cousin Brucie, “We Love You!”

Enhanced by Zemanta

50 Years Ago Today, The Beatles Invade America!

AP

It was 50 years ago today that The Beatles arrived on our shores at JFK International Airport in New York City. It was a very exciting day for us Beatles fans. I listened to the JFK arrival and infamous press conference on my transistor radio in my Junior High Science class, thankful that my Science teacher was hard of hearing 😉

The Fest for Beatles Fans 50th Anniversary Event starts today and runs through Sunday evening February 9th.

JFK Salute The Moment

Today two bus loads of Fest Beatles Fans will be driven to JFK Airport to honor the Beatles arrival. Here is a picture of one of the two bus participants. It looks like fun 🙂

We Love You Beatles, Yes We Do…Oh Beatles We Love You”

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Two British Invasion Duos

British-invasion-union-jack

The music of our heart is warming up to the nostalgic feelings that surround the memories and music of the 50th Anniversary of the British Invasion (1964-2014).

My attention is focused today on the two male duos from the 1964 NY radio and television airwaves, Chad & Jeremy and Peter and Gordon. I listened to both duos actively in the car this afternoon. It was a soothing, fun sing along experience. 🙂

Each duo had several major hits during 1964.  I have highlighted the hit record from each duo that has held the most staying power these past 50 years.

1) Chad & Jeremy

Chad Stuart recalled that his “A Summer Song” collaborators Clive Metcalfe and Keith Noble were themselves a musical duo with whom Chad & Jeremy became friendly, and that “A Summer Song” was written at Stuart’s flat in London: “We were sitting around jamming on four chords and we came up with ‘A Summer Song'”.[1]

2) Peter and Gordon

A World Without Love” is a song recorded by the English duo Peter and Gordon and released as their first single in February 1964, reaching number one in the UK Singles Chartin April. The song was written by Paul McCartney[1] and attributed to Lennon–McCartney. The B-side was “If I Were You” written by Peter and Gordon.

A World Without Love
A World Without Love (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As of Late January 2013, Paul McCartney’s Original Demo has been leaked on YouTube. Its only 30 seconds in length, but offers a rare glimpse into the song’s origins. The clip was played at Peter Asher”s most recent string of concerts. We heard it on Cousin Brucie’s 60s show on Sirius XM where Peter Asher was interviewed by Cousin Brucie to position and explain the demo.

Peter Asher indicates he has another unheard Beatles demo, ‘I’ll Follow the Sun’ which we are hoping he will play at the Fest for Beatles Fans.

Peter Asher and Chad & Jeremy are scheduled to appear at The Fest for Beatles Fans in New York next month at the Grand Hyatt.

Enhanced by Zemanta