by Chiron O'Keefe
To celebrate summer and the upcoming Fourth of July, this month's music hullabaloo focuses on the early '60's, when freedom of expression rocked the nation.
Thanks to the magic of YouTube, we now can catch glimpses of live concerts or travel back to view some of the first music videos created. Although commonplace now, lip-synching was an unique concept, utilized to maintain the quality of the original recording while filming. The notion inspired playful antics in some bands, while other groups employed this technique to layer in sophisticated effects, creating entertaining and distinctive videos.
Let's start with a peek at some playful antics. Here's "Friday on My Mind" by an Australian rock band known as The Easy Beats:
This next song rocks with an infectious beat! When I watch The Dave Clark 5 in these old videos, and see Mike Smith (who looks very much like a young Hugh Grant) singing, I can't help but wonder if this inspired the cool Hugh Grant/Drew Barrymore movie, Music and Lyrics.
"Can't You See That She's Mine" is one of my favorite songs!
It's true, I love my rock-n-roll, but I've always had a soft spot for torch songs and sweet love songs, like this next one, "Yes, I'm Ready" written and performed by soul singer, Barbara Mason.
Here is an early hit of the Moody Blues, featuring Denny Laine (who later would co-found Wings with Paul McCartney). Highlighted by exquisite harmonies, the group performs their haunting melody, "Go Now".
Still performing today, The Zombies were another cool English band, perhaps best known for their hit single, "Time of the Season". One of the most entertaining videos I've had the pleasure of watching is from their first hit, "She's Not There". The practice of posing dramatic-looking women dressed up as if for an elaborate ball is a hoot!
This next clip is really something else, man. *wink* From the 1966 movie, Blowup, featuring the Yardbirds with Jimmy Page (before Led Zeppelin) and Jeff Beck.
Interesting to note the director first wanted Eric Burdon and the Animals, then The Who for their infamous guitar smashing routine. The song "Stroll On" is actually "Train Kept A'Rollin" (made famous by Aerosmith years later), with lyrics changed to protect against copyright infringement.
Finally, we really can't time-travel to the sixties without a few glimpses of the band that set the world on fire, the Beatles!
First off, a video of an early concert. The live shows always knock me for a loop. Check out those amazing harmonies! "Things We Said Today."
Ah, Shea Stadium, the site of their last concert. Things were heating up for the boys and the crunch of the immense crowds and the 'impossible to sing over' noise level, convinced the lads it was time to step away from performing and focus on recording. The fellow who introduced The Beatles to the nation on his live show, now performs hosting duties for their last show.
Ed Sullivan proudly introduces the boys, who kick off the set with a rousing version of one of their first hits, "Twist and Shout".
Let's close our concert with another song, Live at Shea Stadium! The Beatles perform, "I Feel Fine."
Hope you enjoyed this flashback to the sixties with your video tour guide, Chiron O'Keefe!
So, tell me about your favorite sixties tunes. If there are some must-see videos, be sure and share!
On those occasional times when Chiron steps away from her computer, she is often found, guitar in hand, strumming away and crooning her favorite tunes. Her creative spirit leads her to compose fanciful stories, dance madly with her girlfriends, pen motivational essays for writers, and, of course, play songs on her guitar until the wee hours.