Rock's Backpages Writers' Blogs » Bruce Pollock http://www.rocksbackpagesblogs.com Rock reviews, rock articles & rock interviews from the Ultimate Rock'n'Roll Library Mon, 20 May 2013 00:14:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 By the Time We Got to Woodstock, Part IV: If You’re Leaving San Francisco http://www.rocksbackpagesblogs.com/2009/06/by-the-time-we-got-to-woodstock-part-iv-if-youre-leaving-san-francisco/ http://www.rocksbackpagesblogs.com/2009/06/by-the-time-we-got-to-woodstock-part-iv-if-youre-leaving-san-francisco/#comments Wed, 24 Jun 2009 16:06:17 +0000 Bruce Pollock http://www.rocksbackpagesblogs.com/?p=2621 Continue reading ]]> In 1969, the vaunted music scene in San Francisco was descending to earth like so many purple orchids at a Moby Grape signing party. The Grateful Dead were in the process of getting ripped off by their manager, Country Joe & the Fish had lost their mojo, Janis Joplin had left Big Brother, Tracy Nelson of Mother Earth was having trouble “living with the animals,” and the Grape’s Skip Spence had taken a sabbatical in a mental hospital. Only the Jefferson Airplane still espoused the Timothy Leary ideal of acid and togetherness–and Leary was on his way to jail. Even John Fogerty of Creedence, whose year rivaled the Beatles, was complaining everyplace looked like “Lodi” to him. Ironically, as Steve Miller pronounced, for a music fan it was a great time to be “Living in the USA.”

Originally posted here:
By the Time We Got to Woodstock, Part IV: If You’re Leaving San Francisco

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BY THE TIME WE GOT TO WOODSTOCK http://www.rocksbackpagesblogs.com/2009/06/1114/ http://www.rocksbackpagesblogs.com/2009/06/1114/#comments Wed, 10 Jun 2009 20:06:34 +0000 Bruce Pollock http://www.rocksbackpagesblogs.com/?p=1114 Continue reading ]]> By the Time We Got to Woodstock: Goin’ up the Country

Welcome to my latest adventure in self-promotion, an Imix disguised as a press release disguised as a radio program from 1969.

I’ve developed about a dozen 20 track programs so far from my own extensive CD collection. But since the Apple Store only lets you use tracks from specific albums, I’ve decided to make the Imixes 10 tracks apiece. But the way I figure, 10 tracks is a nice 30-40 minute set of segues like you used to hear on FM during its heyday (circa ’67-70). And best of all (to me at least) each mix is taken from a chapter or a segment of the book. So you can hear the book as well as read it. By hear the book I mean, you can probably hear all these songs in your head. But if you’re feeling especially flush, you can also buy them from the Apple Store and I get probably a penny for every thousand downloads.

The playlist below is taken from an early chapter in the book that I like to call “The Vegetable Theory.”
As you might remember, 1969 gave us a wholesale shift among the rock cognoscenti toward Country music. The simple answer as to why this happened was to blame it all on Bob Dylan, who scheduled a return trip to Nashville in February of 1969 for the recording of his first pure country album, Nashville Skyline. Although Dylan had been recording in Nashville since Blonde on Blonde in 1966, to the faithful this radical move to the music of the enemy (the right) could be explained by one thing and one thing only: he had clearly lost his mind in his 1966 motorcycle accident.

Whether Dylan was actually a vegetable in the late ’60s as many of us believed, or not, thanks to him and friends like the Byrds, the Band, and the Flying Burrito Brothers, a previously close-minded generation was opened up to some great songs and songwriters, including legends like Johnny Cash, Joe South and Kris Kristofferson.

To me, hearing my favorite bluesy belter Tracy Nelson take on ”That’s All Right, Mama,” with Elvis sideman Scotty Moore backing her on guitar, is alone worth the price of admission.

(Note: Since at present the technical people here have not advised me how to link this to my Imix page at the Apple Store, anyone wanting to reference the songs on that mix (or buy them) will have to go to my other blog at http://thejoyofsegues.blogspot.com/ manually).

My complete playlist is as follows

Going up the Country Canned Heat
Lay Lady Lay Bob Dylan
Wanted Man Johnny Cash
Ballad of Easy Rider The Byrds
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down The Band
Hot Burrito No. 1 Flying Burrito Brothers
Suspicious Minds Elvis Presley
That’s All Right Mama Tracy Nelson
Me and Bobbie McGee Roger Miller
The Taker Waylon Jennings
For the Good Times Kris Kristofferson
Games People Play Joe South
These Are Not My People Freddy Weller
Galveston Glen Cambpell
Son of a Preacher Man Dusty Springfield
Stand by Your Man Tammy Wynette
Hickory Wind The Byrds
King Harvest The Band
Pickin’ up the Pieces Poco
Good Shepherd Jefferson Airplane

Love to hear from people with their memories of 1969.

Posted by Bruce Pollock at 2:17 PM 0 comments

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By the Time We Got to Woodstock: The L.A. Trip http://www.rocksbackpagesblogs.com/2009/06/by-the-time-we-got-to-woodstock-the-la-trip/ http://www.rocksbackpagesblogs.com/2009/06/by-the-time-we-got-to-woodstock-the-la-trip/#comments Tue, 09 Jun 2009 13:22:08 +0000 Bruce Pollock http://www.rocksbackpagesblogs.com/?p=2625 Continue reading ]]> Here’s the next installment in my continuing series of segues derived from my forthcoming book: By the Time We Got to Woodstock: The Great Rock Revolution of 1969 , coming in September from Backbeat Books. As described by ex-New Yorker Carole King in “No Easy Way Down,” the fall of Aquarius was experienced most directly in Los Angeles. While some singers personified the innocence of the era, like Neil Young in “Sugar Mountain” or Zappa protege Sandy Hurvitz, AKA Uncle Meat in “Arch Godliness of Purpleful Magic,” closer to the truth was “Sin City” by the Flying Burrito Brothers. Joni Mitchell may have had a grand time, segueing from David Crosby to Graham Nash, but most everyone else was coming under an evil spell. None was more ensnared than the Beach Boys’ Dennis Wilson, who entertained “the houseguest from hell,” mass-murderer to be Charles Manson, and rewrote his tune “Never Learn Not to Love” to partly offset the cost of his extended visit. Here’s a trip back to those glorious days of Scorpio descending .

Excerpt from:
By the Time We Got to Woodstock: The L.A. Trip

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By the Time We Got to Woodstock: Nixon’s Coming http://www.rocksbackpagesblogs.com/2009/06/by-the-time-we-got-to-woodstock-nixons-coming/ http://www.rocksbackpagesblogs.com/2009/06/by-the-time-we-got-to-woodstock-nixons-coming/#comments Thu, 04 Jun 2009 17:31:39 +0000 Bruce Pollock http://www.rocksbackpagesblogs.com/?p=2627 Continue reading ]]>         The following is the first Imix from my forthcoming book, By the Time We Got to Woodstock: The Great Rock Revolution of 1969 (Backbeat Books, September). The period starting in Washington, D.C. right after the election of Richard M. Nixon on November 4, 1968, and concluding with four deaths at Kent State in Ohio at the hands of the National Guard on May 4, 1970, was a time in the annals of rock ’n’ roll like no other, in which hope grappled with despair, wisdom debated foolishness, belief and incredulity shared meals at the same communal table, and the forces of darkness escalated their counterassault on the light-bearing counterculture as dusk fell on Aquarius. After the crushing defeats and confusions of 1968, 1969 would be a year of radical and profound personal risks, changes, and choices in the way music was perceived, written about, experienced, exploited, played, and disseminated, containing key releases by artists of unparalleled promise and uncommon achievement working in dozens of sometimes overlapping genres with ferocious pride born of rabid competition and massive stakes.

See original here:
By the Time We Got to Woodstock: Nixon’s Coming

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By the Time We Got to Woodstock: Goin’ up the Country http://www.rocksbackpagesblogs.com/2009/06/by-the-time-we-got-to-woodstock-goin-up-the-country/ http://www.rocksbackpagesblogs.com/2009/06/by-the-time-we-got-to-woodstock-goin-up-the-country/#comments Thu, 04 Jun 2009 16:22:30 +0000 Bruce Pollock http://www.rocksbackpagesblogs.com/?p=2623 Continue reading ]]>        Here’s a playlist taken from a chapter in By the Time We Got to Woodstock that I like to call “The Vegetable Theory.” 1969 gave us a wholesale shift among the rock cognoscenti toward Country music. The simple answer as to why this happened was to blame it all on Bob Dylan, who scheduled a return trip to Nashville in February of 1969 for the recording of his first pure country album, Nashville Skyline . Although Dylan had been recording in Nashville since Blonde on Blonde in 1966, to the faithful this radical move to the music of the enemy (the right) could be explained by one thing and one thing only: he had clearly lost his mind in his 1966 motorcycle accident.       Nevertheless, thanks to Dylan and friends like the Byrds, the Band, and the Flying Burrito Brothers, a previously close-minded generation was opened up to some great songs and songwriters, including legends like Johnny Cash, Joe South and Kris Kristofferson. Hearing bluesy belter Tracy Nelson take on “That’s All Right, Mama,” with Elvis sideman Scotty Moore backing her on guitar, is alone worth the price of admission.

More here:
By the Time We Got to Woodstock: Goin’ up the Country

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Naming the Book http://www.rocksbackpagesblogs.com/2009/03/naming-the-book/ http://www.rocksbackpagesblogs.com/2009/03/naming-the-book/#comments Fri, 06 Mar 2009 17:45:28 +0000 Bruce Pollock http://www.rocksbackpagesblogs.com/?p=105 Continue reading ]]> Among the many potholes on the road to releasing a book, by far the most jarring is that of coming up with a title. You’d think by the time the proposal sells to a publisher this would be resolved. But, believe me, on the eve of my 13th book, I’ve been down this road before.

My new book, due out in September, was initially called The Fall of Aquarius: 1969, The Year The Counter Culture Exploded. (I dismissed the previous The Aged of Aquarius as sounding too much like a collection of interviews with former heads of the ‘60s, who, as we all know, are renown for not remembering anything about that acid-washed decade). But when several editors mentioned that the proposal—and the title—was too negative, I brought it back to the shop to be revised. At this point I discovered a whole world of exciting, galvanizing music I’d previously buried under a bunch of sociological generalizations about draft dodging hippies.

After properly refocusing the book on music, I realized the new title should be from a song of the year I was writing about, 1969. The book’s title, if not the song itself, would have to be snappy and memorable; at least a cult classic, if not an out and out hit, and one that would encapsulate the message of the book. This message—that 1969, one of the great years for rock music, was also the end of an era, and the end of the “Revolution”—would be further reinforced by the (also hopefully snappy) subtitle.

For a long time No Easy Way Down: Rock, Rage and Revolution in 1969 filled the bill for me, for the editor, and most of all, for the marketing staff of the book company. That is, until the eleventh hour, when this title, inspired by a Goffin & King song cut by Dusty Springfield, among others, was deemed too obscure to convey the book’s meaning. If I Don’t Get No Shelter: The Explosive Rock Revolution of 1969 was then submitted as an alternative.

Putting aside the confusing meaning of the line (from the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter”) and the notion that the revolution of ‘64-‘65 was all but over in 1969, I still didn’t see how it was any clearer than what was already in place. Still, it was under this kind of deadline pressure (my favorite kind) that I came up with By the Time We Got to Woodstock (and as a compromise): The Rock Revolution of 1969. Capitalizing on the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, as well as the Joni Mitchell lyric, the title still left many things dramatically unsaid, which was fine with me. For instance, By the Time We Got to Woodstock….Altamont was inevitable. Or By the Time We Got to Woodstock….the Counter Culture was dead and buried.

My friends all love this new title (if not the subtitle). My editor is on the fence. As of this writing, the sales staff has not been polled.

Why do I get the feeling it may yet wind up being called Bummer of ’69: The Year My Head Exploded?

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