Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives

The 59th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony will be held on February 12, 2017. The CBS network will broadcast the show live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The most prestigious party associated with the event is the Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Gala. The festivities take place tonight, Saturday, February, 11 at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

This year’s guests will include Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Ringo Starr, Metallica, Pharrell Williams, John Legend, Michael Keaton, Jane Fonda, Nile Rogers, Mary J. Blige, Britney Spears, Neil Young, Brian Grazer, Larry King, Andrea Day and Wiz Khalifa.

Clive Davis’s influence has been felt for 50 years in the music industry. He will be honored with a documentary, Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives which opens the 16th Annual Tribeca Film Festival, at Radio City Music Hall on April 19, 2017. After the screening, an all-star music concert will take place featuring performances by Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Hudson and Earth, Wind & Fire. (to name a few)

The documentary is based on Clive Davis’s 2013 bestselling autobiography:

I admire Clive Davis who was President of Columbia-CBS Group in the heyday (1967-1973) at Big Black Rock on 52nd Street in New York City. This was a significant period that expanded my rock music appreciation.

An early pop signing of his was the British folk-rock musician Donovan, who enjoyed a string of successful hit singles and albums released in the U.S. on the Epic Records label.

Clive Davis went on to further success by founding Arista Records in 1975 by signing Patti Smith, Barry Manilow, and after Whitney Houston.

He’s 84 and still a pivotal force in the recording industry as Chief Creative Officer of Sony Music Entertainment.

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36th Annual John Lennon Tribute Honors Donovan

Theatre Within’s Annual John Lennon Tribute joyously celebrates John Lennon’s life, music and timeless message of peace, love and social activism. It is the only ongoing John Lennon Tribute concert in North America or Europe officially sanctioned by Yoko Ono.

This year’s Tribute will feature folk-rock legend Donovan, who will be honored as the recipient of the 2016 John Lennon Real Love Award. Having accompanied the Beatles on their historic journey to India, Donovan will perform a special extended set dedicated to John Lennon, which will include Beatles songs and his own classics.

“I am delighted to be honored at this year’s ‘John Lennon Real Love Award.’ And I am amazed to say that John has written a song through me which I will sing at the Tribute with special guests. Please support Theatre Within and remember, PEACE BEGINS WITHIN.”  — Donovan

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.

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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!

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Cousin Brucie, “We Love You!”

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The Fest for Beatles – Saturday February 8th, 2014

We just got home from the full Saturday event of The Fest for Beatles Fans 2014. There is so much to share with you about today’s event. I plan to write a comprehensive blog post tomorrow, once I can distill my notes and memories.

Until then please enjoy this photograph of Donovan The Troubadour performing “Hurdy Gurdy Man” in the main ballroom at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. Donovan was magical!

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Donovan on The Howard Stern Show

Yesterday Donovan appeared on The Howard Stern Show on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio. Donovan is in New York City for the The Fest for Beatles Fans 2014, a 50th Anniversary celebration event (February 7-9). I wrote about Donovan’s appearance at this conclave on January 12th. This post is a follow-up to this weekend’s events.

Donovan was an affable guest for Howard Stern and his listening audience. Each celebrity had a surprise in store for the other. Howard Stern surprised Donovan with the news that he was being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Donovan knew he had been nominated, but did not know he was actually in the hall. The full announcement is not due until next Monday.

Donovan remarked “A light is shining on all my work. What more can I ask for?”

DonovanHS

For his birthday, Donovan presented Howard with the very first guitar in Gibson’s line of J-45’s, the same guitar Donovan wrote all his hits on. Here is a picture of Donovan performing on the original Gibson guitar.

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Donovan Appearing At The Fest for Beatles Fans

donovanWe love Donovan. We have waited patiently to see him live in concert near us. Donovan will be one of the special artists appearing at The Fest for Beatles Fans , an event I have blogged about recently. We are ticketed to attend this event. 🙂

The last time we saw Donovan live was November 12, 1971 at Madison Square Garden. It was our first big concert arena experience. There in the middle of the Garden floor sat Donovan. The stage he was perched cross-legged on slowly turned in a 360 degree fashion like a lazy susan.

Donovan’s Fest for Beatles Fans concert performances will occur in the ballrooms at the Grand Hyatt which will allow us a closer sound and visual experience.

I have listened to Donovan’s canon anticipating next month’s event. My favorite Donovan recording is Barabajagal. What’s yours?

The Real Donovan
The Real Donovan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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Donovan and Atlantis, The Lost Continent

Atlantis, the Lost Continent
Atlantis, the Lost Continent (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have long held a fascination about the plausibility of the ancient culture known as Atlantis. Whether or not Atlantis ever existed has been the subject of two thousand years of debate.

Movie

My first awareness of Atlantic the lost civilization occurred when I was nine years old in 1961. I attended a Saturday matinee at The Palace Theater in South Norwalk, Ct. where I saw a entrancing film, Atlantis, the Lost ContinentThe famous producer/director George Pal created a spectacle adventure tale about the forces of evil that destroyed great Atlantis. The images of that movie, especially the end of Atlantis being claimed by the ocean stayed vividly in my mind for decades.

Song

My interest in the lost continent was reawakened when I heard Donovan‘s song in 1969, “Atlantis”  on his Barabajagl album.

Atlantis (song)
Atlantis (song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

National Geographic Special Finding Atlantis

The long lost city of Atlantis is now said to be found in southern Spain. National Geographic claims that the city was destroyed in a tsunami thousands of years ago and resides now in the flat mud grounds of Donana. The researchers studied a site just above Cadiz where a photo of satellite showed a suspected submerged city which was surveyed with radar technology, satellite map and digital imagery during the period of 2009 and 2010.

Bob Seger and The Last Heard – East Side Story

My son surprised me with a Bob Seger video on my Facebook wall that I have never seen or heard before today. The song is called, “East Side Story” and it was released in January 1966 on Hideout Records. Seger made his television début performing this song on the show Swingin’ Time, hosted by Robin Seymour.

Seger recalls: “They liked what I wrote, which was ‘East Side Story.’ But they didn’t like the way the Underdogs did it. So we recorded it ourselves, and then Doug and I went our own ways. I started my own band.”[2]

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The Last Heard (1966 – Late 1967?) was:

*Bob Seger (V, K, G)
*Carl Lagassa (G)
*Dan Honaker (B) – (Bob Seger System)
*Pep Perrine (D) – (Bob Seger System)

I’m convinced that Bob Seger (and bandmate) were influenced fashion wise (and more) by Donovan.

The Last Heard was one step before I discovered The Bob Seger System in 1969 on Capitol Records with my favorite hit by Bob Seger, “Ramblin Gamblin Man”.

File:Ramblin' Gamblin' Man.jpg

2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

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We watched the HBO Special last night, the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. The show was taped at the Cleveland Public Hall in Cleveland, Ohio on April 14th. It was a very entertaining and well-coordinated event. I like that it was held in a huge arena in Cleveland because it allowed many more fans to attend than the annual event at the Waldorf-Astoria ballroom permits.

I wanted to watch this event primarily out of respect for Adam Yauch of The Beastie Boys who had passed away on Friday. It was a sharp contrast to just see the two Beastie Boys approach the podium and accept their induction award. They read a message from Adam, MCA who was too ill to attend. It really reached my heart what he wrote for them both. So sad to lose MCA as we did.

Highlights of the event:

  • John Mellencamp inducting Donovan. I loved the enthusiasm John Mellencamp expressed for Donovan. Mellencamp brought with him to the podium his personal copy of Donovan’s vinyl album, Fairytale which I dug seeing him do. Donovan’s induction has been way over due.
  • Bette Midler inducting Laura Nyro. Her love and genuine emotion for Laura Nyro’s music affect epitomized how Laura Nyro won my heart as a music fan. So glad to see Laura Nyro finally recognized for her talent.
  • The Guns and Roses music segment hit it perfectly. “Sweet Child of Mine” with Slash playing those chords and notes on his Gibson Goldtop guitar really did it for me. Axl Rose’s decision not to attend and accept his award was truly his blunder.
  • I was moved to see the members of various groups like The Miracles, The Flames, Bill Haley and the Comets, Gene Vincent’s Blue Caps on the same stage, acknowledging their awards and admiration of their fans. You could so feel the love and mutual respect for these pioneers of music.
  • Flea’s acceptance speech was my favorite acknowledgement of the night.The Red Hot Chili Peppers live music segment was the performance highlight of the evening. They played my favorite song, “By The Way”. Their energy levels are amazing.

Record Store Day 2012 & Music That Changes The World from David Lynch Foundation Music

Yesterday I posted that Iggy Pop will be the Record Store Day 2012 Ambassador. Today I am writing about the first vinyl item I have discovered that will be sold as part of Record Store Day 2012. This year marks the 5th anniversary of Record Store Day and it will be held on Saturday April 21, 2012.

The Official Record Store Day Web site will serve as the announcement and event coordination location for all the details about this great annual event. I look forward to it every year. 2011 saw two Record Store days and that was a very cool surprise.

The only record I have seen announced (so far) for Record Store Day 2012 is the Limited Edition Music Changes The Word Vinyl Box Set from the David Lynch Foundation. It’s a fantastic cause that I intend to support and get more directly involved with. You can read more here.

Monday, February 6, 2012 – The David Lynch Foundation announced plans to release the physical version of DOWNLOAD FOR GOOD: MUSIC THAT CHANGES THE WORLD as a SPECIAL LIMITED EDITION BOX SET to celebrate Record Store Day, Saturday April 21, 2012.

Originally released in mid-July 2011 via iTunes as DOWNLOAD FOR GOOD, the MUSIC THAT CHANGES THE WORLD, SPECIAL LIMITED EDITION BOX SET is a wonderfully eclectic, star-studded vinyl music compilation benefitting the David Lynch Foundation—a non-profit educational organization founded by iconic filmmaker DAVID LYNCH. The compilation has been re-mastered for vinyl, and includes a previously unreleased bonus track from Sean Lennon’s “Ghost of the Saber Tooth Tiger,” as well as an exclusive new release from Julio Iglesias Jr. via digital download.

The MUSIC THAT CHANGES THE WORLD, SPECIAL LIMITED EDITION BOX SET boasts performances from 34 top musical artists spanning Pop, Latin, Electronic, Rock, World, Indie, Hip-hop, and Classical who have come together to express their support for the foundation and its visionary director. Artists include Donovan, Alanis Morissette, Tom Waits, Amanda Palmer, Ben Folds, Iggy Pop, Maroon 5, Neon Trees, Dave Stewart, and more.

“It is my great pleasure to announce the vinyl release of MUSIC THAT CHANGES THE WORLD on Record Store Day,” said Donovan. “As head of the Musical Wing of The David Lynch Foundation Music Label, I wish to thank all the amazing artists who have contributed. From the beginning, when The Beatles and I were writing songs to promote Maharishi’s meditation, it was always my dream to bring all the musical fraternity onto one great label to Promote True Peace. This day has arrived and now the world can know as we knew then, that Change Begins Within.”

The SPECIAL LIMITED EDITION BOX SET features a gorgeous 42-page color book with an introduction by David Lynch. The book is illustrated by Romio Shrestha, who has been called “a modern master of the Indo-Nepali-Tibetan Buddhist traditions of enlightenment art,” and New Jersey artist Davel Hamue. All songs were re-mastered for this project by Gavin Lurssen, a three-time Grammy award winner and one-time Latin Grammy award winner, whose mastering credits include the music of Elvis Costello, Eric Clapton, Alison Krauss and Robert Plant to name just a few. His Grammy’s include mastering for the soundtrack of the movie, Oh Brother Where Art Thou, and for his work on the box set accompaniment to the acclaimed PBS series, Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues. His most recent award, the Latin Grammy, was for the Best Engineered Album, Distinto by Diego Torres. Reuben Cohen is a Latin Grammy award winner whose mastering credits include the music of Bruno Mars, the Far East Movement, Snoop Dogg, Sean Kingston, Common, and Ingrid Michaelson. and Reuben Cohen from Lurssen Mastering. Cohen is a Latin Grammy award-winner who has mastered such artists as Snoop Dogg, Sean Kingston, Common, The Cranberries, Dev, Rob Zombie, and Ingrid Michaelson.

The MUSIC THAT CHANGES THE WORLD, SPECIAL LIMITED EDITION will also include a digital version of “Meditation, Creativity, Peace”, a compelling new documentary film featuring exclusive, candid footage from David Lynch’s 16-country tour around the world when he spoke to government leaders, film students, and the press during 2007 and 2008. (For additional information, and link to trailer, “Meditation Creativity Peace:”) click here.

MUSIC THAT CHANGES THE WORLD is being distributed to retail stores across in the U.S. and globally by Altavoz Distribution, a full-service distribution company committed to leveraging the sale of music and entertainment products to support good causes and make a difference. The Box Set will be available in stores as part of Record Store Day, on Saturday, April 21, 2012. Since it’s start in 2008, Record Store Day has been instrumental across the globe in bringing millions of fans to record stores on one day each year. Only 2,500 units of the Box Set will be released worldwide, makingMUSIC THAT CHANGES THE WORLD an instant collector’s item.

I’d better start saving my pennies now 😉