One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded: “Little Woman Love” by Wings (Paul McCartney)!!!

For as long as I’ve been on the radio, and definitely for as long as I’ve been writing a blog, I will occasionally make a reference to a song being “One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded!” (GSER)

I would usually follow that by saying that I would eventually start a category for it, but then never get around to it.

Well, now I’m getting around to it!

It will pretty much follow the pattern of The Most Awesomest Song of the Day.

I’ll select a song to celebrate and then give my thoughts about it. Nothing really brand new here that hasn’t been done before. But since I have a website, I can collect them and lay out what my own greatest songs are.

My radio show, “Theme Attic,”  is on Wednesdays 2PM-4PM ET.

Even though I always emphasize new music and artists, it’s always fun to take a short drive through the legendary artists, since they influenced those other artists!

But a song doesn’t have to be old or done by a legendary Theme Attic Hall of Fame member to be thus honored.

I can think of several songs that are only a few years old or less that I could identify as One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded.

This will be fun, and hopefully you will join me on my journey!

QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ 

In the early years following The Beatles breakup, FM radio was establishing itself as the best medium for songs and information for decades to follow.

AM radio was pretty much unlistenable except for a couple of songs, because everything of substance was still available on FM.

Albums ruled the music world, but Paul McCartney chose to release a series of disconnected singles.

In May 1972, McCartney–performing as Wings, released an innocuous single: “Mary Had a Little Lamb” b/w “Little Woman Love.”

Hopefully, I’ll write about “Lamb” some other day.

I bought the single within the first week of its release. My initial response was that I liked it and…I mean, come on! It was Paul McCartney!

Since The Beatles had taught us several years ago to always listen to the B side, I have to admit that I was stunned listening to “Little Woman Love” for the first time!

What a brilliant little gem!

It opens with a barrelhouse piano riff that’s sticks better than Super Glue!

That forms the foundation of the song.

Everything else is triggered off the piano groove, which undergoes subtle changes throughout “Little Woman Love.”

In my mind, I have an image of Paul being some kind of madcap chef making one of his signature dishes, but he seems to have lost his recipe. So he ends up adding flourishes of “spices” where he thinks he needs it: A splash of slap back bass over here! A pinch of conga drum over there!

McCartney has plenty of jazz “sous chefs” in the kitchen helping him out: nimble Dave Spinozza and studio musician Hugh McCracken on guitars, and Milt Hinton on the previously mentioned bass–who gets a nice solo in the process!

Future “Winger” Denny Seiwell does a nice job staying in the pocket on drums and percussion!

This group really knows how to cook, and the “Little Woman Love” gumbo is actually very tasty!

The music is so good that it masks, possibly the worst middle eight that McCartney ever wrote, complete with a couple of minor augmented chords:

“Oh, yeah, oh, yeah.

Woah oh oh unh unh unh.” (Repeat)

However, the music is so good, you can’t help but sing along without giving it a thought!

It’s absolutely Beatle worthy to me!

One last thought:

I’ve read that the song was left off of Paul’s “Ram” album. When that album was released on CD years later, “Little Woman Love” was issued as a bonus track.

Ironically, when the most recent version of “Red Rose Speedway” was released, It also appeared on that one, too!

Another interesting aside is that because of the slap back solo, the song is often categorized as a “rockabilly” tune. Interesting because of the jazz musicians playing on it!

Regardless, it is two minutes plus of pure magic! Like most great songs, it’s over before you realize it!

It is a song that sounds like everyone was having a good time contributing and making music for music’s sake!

One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded is “Little Woman Love” by Wings!!!

QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ

If you like what you see, don’t forget to spread the word by hitting the “like” button on my Facebook page, Phil Maq!

#Wings #LittleWomanLove #PaulMcCartney #PhilMaq #OneoftheGreatestSongsEverRecorded #GSER

One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded: “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles!!!

For as long as I’ve been on the radio, and definitely for as long as I’ve been writing a blog, I will occasionally make a reference to a song being “One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded!” (GSER)

I would usually follow that by saying that I would eventually start a category for it, but then never get around to it.

Well, now I’m getting around to it!

It will pretty much follow the pattern of The Most Awesomest Song of the Day.

I’ll select a song to celebrate and then give my thoughts about it. Nothing really brand new here that hasn’t been done before. But since I have a website, I can collect them and lay out what my own greatest songs are.

My radio show, “Theme Attic,”  is on Wednesdays 2PM-4PM ET.

Even though I always emphasize new music and artists, it’s always fun to take a short drive through the legendary artists, since they influenced those other artists!

But a song doesn’t have to be old or done by a legendary Theme Attic Hall of Fame member to be thus honored.

I can think of several songs that are only a few years old or less that I could identify as One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded.

This will be fun, and hopefully you will join me on my journey!

QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ 

How can I possibly write anything about “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles that hasn’t been written before?

It’s probably one of the most written about pieces of music that’s ever been analyzed, right up there with Beehtoven’s Ninth Symphony, Handel’s Messiah, and several Bach and Mozart works.

I understand the historical significance of it.

It is the “big bang” of rock music from which almost any bit of classic rock derives, good or bad.

It was the opening salvo of the first wave of The British Invasion!

But some of the commentary about “I Want to Hold Your Hand” can make someone nauseated by its content.

I’m referring to the pablum where the viewpoint is that other artists wanted to violate or “have intercourse” with the U.S., while The Beatles just wanted to innocently hold the nation’s hand.

If that works for you as a fan, fine. I don’t want to ruin your memories.

Others often write about how vulnerable or damaged the collective American psyche was after the Kennedy assassination.

There may be some relevance in that thinking, but it sure seems like a strange reason to listen to, let alone like a different style of music. I’ll cite the popularity of songs like “Sentimental Journey” and “I’ll Be seeing You” as examples that hit the right nerve during World War II.

However, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” was a calculatedly deliberate attempt to break the American market by a British band for the first time!

I am fascinated by studio dialogue where Paul is coaching Ringo on what he wants on the song!

He wanted him to really punch the opening accents so the listener would be instantly attracted to it!

The idea was to make the whole song “pop!”

So, why wasn’t I initially attracted to this initial offer of musical friendship?

For at least the first ten years after its release, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” was not a Beatle favorite of mine.

Dear me!!!!!!

Don’t get me wrong.

I liked the song, but I didn’t like the song.

It certainly wasn’t the song that cemented my love affair with the band.

I wish I could say that, like so many of my Beatle loving friends do, however, it wouldn’t be true.

I’ve recently been giving this some thought.

For the past thirty years or so–like most everyone else, I usually listen to the Parlophone versions of The Beatle’s catalog.

That means that the version I usually listen to is the mono version, just like the one I grew up with on “Meet The Beatles.”

The first three Beatle albums I owned were also in mono.

Lately, I’ve been listening to a U.S. stereo version of the album, and it made me think about the song and why it didn’t first attract me like my other Beatle fans and friends.

I appreciate it and love it now!

Why not at the beginning, and when did the transformation take place?

I came to the conclusion that I didn’t make the change until I bought a replacement–in stereo, on the Apple label in the mid 70’s.

And I don’t mean one of those stereo versions where the voices are on one side and the instruments are on the other.

I mean the one where there is some separation of sound so I can hear what’s going on.

Where I can hear the simple yet complicated nature of “I Want to Hold Your Hand!”

It doesn’t matter to me that other audiophiles often consider these stereo versions as bastardizations of the band’s sound.

That’s what allowed me to appreciate a song that, to my ears, sounded all smooshed together in mono!

In stereo, I can hear the sizzle and splash of Ringo’s cymbals, the percussive hand claps, John’s grinding rhythm guitar, and George’s signature guitar line!

And I feel that when Paul adds the harmony line the second time through the middle eight:

“And when I touch you I feel happy inside!

It’s such a feeling that my love, I can’t hide!”,

it just may be one of the most beautiful harmony lines ever recorded!

One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded is “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles!!!

QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ

If you like what you see, don’t forget to spread the word by hitting the “like” button on my Facebook page, Phil Maq!

#IWanttoHoldYourHand #MeetTheBeatles #TheBeatles  #PhilMaq #OneoftheGreatestSongsEverRecorded #GSER

Memories of “Magical Mystery Tour”!!!

Beatle historian Bruce Spizer is collecting stories and remembrances about “Magical Mystery Tour”–both the album and the movie, so I thought I’d supply a couple of mine!

I felt that “Magical Mystery Tour” came fairly quickly after “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

“Pepper” was released on June 1, 1967, and the summer was barely over before The Beatles new song, “Magical Mystery Tour,” was being played repeatedly on AM stations like WKNR-Detroit with that annoyingly whispered “world premiere” underneath the mix. Relying on my memory, that was probably in late August or early September.

At the time, some of the fan magazines started to hint that a new Beatles movie would be arriving before the end of the year. I would have guffawed quite loudly if someone had suggested to me that I wouldn’t see the movie until almost ten years later! It was The Beatles! Why would I have to wait so long?

In November as the year started winding down, those same radio stations that played “Magical Mystery Tour” started to play advertisements and talk up the forthcoming album release.

I anticipated getting it for myself. After all, there were three singles–both A and B sides, so that would save me a dollar right there! (That was a talking point in case I needed one with my parents.) I think I paid $3.99.

And…the singles would be in stereo! It would be years later that I would learn that it wouldn’t be “true stereo,” but it would still be the best sonic version available!

After some reflection, I have come to the conclusion that “Magical Mystery Tour” was the eigth album that I owned right after The Beatles first three U.S. albums, “More of The Monkees,” “Sgt. Pepper” “Hang on Sloopy” by The McCoys, and “Are You Experienced?” by The Jimi Hendrix Experience!

It would also be the first album I would ever buy when released.

It would be pretty easy to buy it because it was released on Thanksgiving weekend and my mother or one of my brothers or sisters would be going out shopping for Christmas.

I’m fairly certain that I purchased “MMT” at a Detroit K Mart at the corner of Plymouth Ave. and the Southfield Expressway–about three miles from my house.

That store was always wall to wall, intense shoppers!

When I was free to go to the record area, my first memory of the physical album was this picture from the enclosed 24 page booklet:

There were also several other ones opened at the same picture. For at least the next ten years, I rarely remember going to a major chain store record department, and not seeing an “MMT” opened to the same exact picture. I sometimes wondered what the return rate to Capitol Records was for the album. The only other album that I remembered that was tampered with as much was The Rolling Stones’ “Sticky Fingers.”

Of course, since it was already opened, I decided to flip through it, too.

The Beatles were looking a lot different than the last time I saw their picture! I thought the psychedelic guitar and drums were cool! I wasn’t so sure about the clothes.

Yeah, everybody’s hair was getting longer including my own (no more brush cut!), but George Harrison’s hair was really long! My older sister was studying to be a beautician at the time, and John Lennon’s hair looked like a hair style she might have given one of her friends!!!???

In another group shot, Harrison looks like he’s flipping the bird!

These weren’t the same lovable guys as before!

Or were they?

They were doing things that my friends in class or down the street were doing. I guess, in retrospect, they were more “human.”

Then there was this strange picture where The Beatles were dressed in costumes:

Huh?

Well, I bought Magical Mystery Tour” and couldn’t wait to listen to it!

On remembering that first musical experience, things that stood out to me were the bass harmonica on “Fool on the Hill,” (My friends and I joked that maybe The Beatles had hired Johnny Puleo–a harmonica playing entertainer, to play that part!), the trippy ending to “Flying,” and the strange sounding vocal from George on “Blue Jay Way.”

That took care of the soundtrack songs. The fun started with the singles:

“I Am the Walrus” was different!

Can they do that?

And: why?

“Hello, Goodbye” was amazing because, in stereo, you could hear the fiddle sections!

“Strawberry Fields Forever”–defying logic, sounded even better!

I remember being disappointed that “Penny Lane” wasn’t the radio only promotional single with the piccolo trumpet ending: They switched out “Walrus,” why not “Penny Lane?”

“Magical Mystery Tour” ended with what would eventually be my favorite mix of “All You Need Is Love.” I know that might not satisfy some fans, but that’s where I stand.

Two more comments about the album involve my parents.

The first one involves my mom and “You’re Mother Should Know.”

If she heard me playing it, she would torment me by continuously asking: “What song is it? If I should know it, why don’t you play it and see if I do know it?” Sometimes she would even start suggesting songs.

The memory involving my father had to do with the phrase “pornographic priestess” in “I Am the Walrus.” I felt my dad was pretty smart, so I asked him about it.

He fumbled around a bit and suggested that I look it up in the dictionary–a standard go to line for my father. I already had because I knew he would say that. I didn’t quite catch the meaning of “prurient interest” as an explanation so that’s why I asked him.

I’m not sure if my dad knew the meaning or not, but I didn’t go to him for many explanations after that.

And now on to “Magical Mystery Tour: The Movie.”

It turned out it wasn’t exactly a movie but was more of a TV show. It had such bad reviews in England when it was shown that the American networks had slowed their interest in showing it in the U.S..

I didn’t see it until 1975 or 1976 at a jam packed midnight showing at The Cabaret Theater in Southfield, Michigan. It was a rowdy crowd, and I think that helped it.

I’m not sure exactly what else to say about it, except that I liked it better than “Let It Be.” Recently, I’ve been watching some 60’s movies on Turner Classic Movies that I hadn’t seen yet and I guess I would call “Magical Mystery Tour” a period piece. It certainly wasn’t up to the standards of “A Hard Days Night” or “Help.”

However, having said that, I will also admit that I know I own at least two copies of it.

As usual, through “Magical Mystery Tour,” The Beatles took us on a journey to an unknown destination, and most true fans were going to go along for the ride!

QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ

My weekly radio show “Theme Attic,” can be heard Wednesdays, 2P-4P ET!

It almost always includes a weekly countdown of my favorite albums or songs  and some shows feature two countdowns!

If you like what you see, don’t forget to spread the word by hitting the “like” button on my Facebook page, Phil Maq!

Remembrances of “Yellow Submarine!!!”

Noted Beatle Historian, Bruce Spizer–who has minutely detailed the band’s career for most of his life, continues to find topics and areas to write about that he still hasn’t covered.

Bruce currently has a project that he’s working on that will feature fan’s recollections of “Yellow Submarine,” both the album soundtrack and the animated movie.

It dawned on me that I have not written anything about “Yellow Submarine,” so here we go!

I did see it in a theater when it was released, but it was nothing like the mayhem for “A Hard Days Night” or “Help.”

No, by this time Beatlemania had moved on.

The Beatles weren’t the only band in town anymore.

However, I was still excited about going to see “Yellow Submarine!”

Waiting patiently until I could go see it, I realized that if I didn’t go somewhere else that wasn’t my neighborhood theater–and soon, that I would not get that opportunity.

I couldn’t believe that the Warren Show in Detroit would pass on having “Yellow Submarine” considering how well they had done with the previous two films.

The Camelot Theater in Dearborn would be the closest theater of choice.

Having a few somewhat cheesy Medieval decorating accents that were supposed to make it look classy, The Camelot was a neighborhood theater that would usually show first run movies that had already had a run at the downtown movie houses.

Tipping me off that if I wanted to see the movie before it disappeared I had better do so, my older brother convinced me that it wouldn’t be around for long and would disappear soon.

So I grabbed some of my paperboy money, asked my Dad to drop off my sister, her friend and myself at the show and pick us up.

We went on a sunny Sunday afternoon for a matinee viewing.

After purchasing the tickets, we went inside the cavernous Camelot.

I don’t know how many seats they had inside, but I’ve read that theaters back then typically had about 500 seats. It was the kind of place that, until recently, would have been carved into 2-4 other rooms to act like a multiplex for discount films.

Although I was concerned, because of my previous Beatle movie experiences, that we might not get in nor get a seat.

Hah!

We were three ticketholders surrounded by a sea of empty seats. There were maybe a total of ten of us in the theater.

Where was everybody????!!!!

This was still a Beatle production!

Some nice things going for the movie experience is that both the sound system and print were in excellent condition!

That was especially nice when the stunning section for “Only a Northern Song”–a song I had never heard before, came on!

To me, just that song was well worth the time and money!

But seeing “Yellow Submarine” was a far different experience than watching the Saturday morning cartoons.

The movie was dark and very…British.

Still being several years away from seeing Monty Python’s Flying Circus, that alone made the movie rather confusing.

I remember thinking: Why had The Beatles only made a cartoon for their English fans?

And it seemed that the serious parts seemed even more gloomy because of new animation techniques.

Of course, the opposite was true, too!

The colors and positive sections seemed brighter than we had ever witnessed before!

When “Yellow Submarine” was coming to an end, everyone else had made a hasty exit, so we were the only ones there when The Beatles themselves made an unexpected appearance at the end, to warn us about more blue meanies being sighted and we had to sing to scare them away!

My heroes showed up and remained my heroes!

Naturally, as serendipity would have it, “All You Need Is Love” would show up on the AM radio, which prompted us kids to start singing quite loudly and shouting about blue meanies!

My dad didn’t have a clue what caused this behavior!

Over the years, I saw the film again at a few Midnight movies.

That was always crazy and fun!

But I didn’t truly realize how good “Yellow Submarine” was until I showed it to my own children.

Hearing my son imitating Ringo and saying that he had, “a hole in me pocket” never failed to make us both explode in silly laughter!

And my daughter, who never really cared for The Beatles because, you know, I was so in awe of them, liked “Yellow Submarine” for the work of art that it is!

The soundtrack album for “Yellow Submarine” was one of the last Beatle albums that I bought.

There were only six songs, and I already owned two at the time. It didn’t seem to be a very good deal for a young kid without money.

It wasn’t until I frequently heard “It’s All Too Much” and “Hey Bulldog” on Detroit underground FM station WABX, that it motivated me to finally purchase it.

I seldom listen to side 2, even though I learned to really like the George Martin tracks on the previous soundtrack albums.

One last tidbit about my “Yellow Submarine” memories:

I have always been a rabid book reader and would often order the most on the monthly Scholastic Books order.

Well, I was the only one that ordered the above magazine out of all the classes, and it never appeared in another magazine!

I thought I really scored a major addition to my Beatles collection that everyone else had ignored!

Bonus!

And I still have it…somewhere!

QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ

If you like what you see, don’t forget to spread the word by hitting the “like” button on my Facebook page, Phil Maq!

philmaq.com #YellowSubmarine #TheBeatles#PhilMaq

One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded: “Don’t Bother Me” by The Beatles!!!

For as long as I’ve been on the radio, and definitely for as long as I’ve been writing a blog, I will occasionally make a reference to a song being “One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded!” (GSER)

I would usually follow that by saying that I would eventually start a category for it, but then never get around to it.

Well, now I’m getting around to it!

It will pretty much follow the pattern of The Most Awesomest Song of the Day.

I’ll select a song to celebrate and then give my thoughts about it. Nothing really brand new here that hasn’t been done before. But since I have a website, I can collect them and lay out what my own greatest songs are.

My radio show, “Prime Time Theme Attic,”  is on Monday nights 8PM-10PM ET but is on hiatus because of the pandemic.

Even though I always emphasize new music and artists, it’s always fun to take a short drive through the legendary artists, since they influenced those other artists!

But a song doesn’t have to be old or done by a legendary Theme Attic Hall of Fame member to be thus honored.

I can think of several songs that are only a few years old or less that I could identify as One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded.

This will be fun, and hopefully you will join me on my journey…at least sometimes!

QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ 

The first album I ever owned was “Meet The Beatles” in mono!

It was given to me as a present from my oldest brother.

At that moment in time, I couldn’t say that I was a fan of The Beatles, nor anyone else for that matter.

I did already own one 45 which I detailed last year when I wrote about “There’s a Place!” (I left a link in case you missed it.)

After I opened the present and saw what it was, I couldn’t say I was excited to now have a copy of “Meet The Beatles.” I mean, it wasn’t a new baseball or bat–what I was into at the time. If I had to get an album as a present, I would have rather it be one by Alvin and The Chipmunks!

But my brother either never noticed my veiled unexcitement, or chose to ignore my response as he demonstrated how I should slide the album out of the wrapper from the cover. I was told to hold the album on the sides suspended between the palms of my hands when I placed the LP on the record player. And even though every device we had in the house at the time had a spindle for an album to drop onto the platter, he advised me not to do that, but to lay the album flat on the turntable so it wouldn’t get scratches or lose sound quality.

That was quite possibly the best advice my brother ever gave me!

So, I took my new possession into my older sister’s bedroom because she had an RCA phonograph given to her by a different older brother of mine. She let me use it after I demonstrated I knew what I was doing.

Placing the needle gently on my new album, I sat on the floor to listen to the music. I recognized a few of the songs from hearing them on the radio. However, there were several I didn’t know.

I sat there looking at the album cover, front and back.

I started to read the liner notes. I really didn’t make much sense out of them, but eventually, I would.

Not really knowing John’s voice from Paul’s voice… yet (I certainly wasn’t alone there. I still run into people who can’t distinguish their voices.), one song in particular began to stand out: “Don’t Bother Me.”

The lead voice sounded different than the other ones.

I noticed that George Harrison had written the song.

It made sense to me that he probably sang it, too.

Speaking directly to me, the chorus lyrics were similar to something that I said often in my life back then:

So go away/ leave me alone/
Don’t bother me.”

How could he know how I felt?

Yeah. He didn’t. Harrison was singing about a broken relationship. I disregarded all of the girl references and focused on what mattered to me.

But that’s how music works!

“I’ve got no time for you right now/
Don’t bother me.”

I may not have been crazy about The Beatles before I owned “Meet The Beatles,” but I bonded with the band right then and there!

And George Harrison instantly became my first favorite Beatle!

Besides the lyrics, the dense, busy rhythm track caught my young novice music listening ears.

There’s claves cracking out Latin accents, a noticeable hi-hat sound as well as Ringo riding on the cymbal, and some engine room sounding “thuds” on every beat that the band also plays on.

The minor chords and that rhythm: so strange, so unusual!

It still is!

And a tight Harrison guitar solo as a bonus!

It turns out that “Don’t Bother Me” was George‘s first fully written song.

I would watch for others by him because he had a different slant than Lennon-McCartney.

And as much as I tried to keep “Meet The Beatles” free from defects, the truth is it was the only album that I ever owned that skipped. “Little Child” had one as well as “Don’t Bother Me.”

“Don’t” was the first track on the Side 2 and the needle went straight from “Since she’s been gone I want…me” leaving out “no one to talk to.”

I used to be bothered by that, but I did play the album a lot! I replaced it several times over the years on vinyl as well as CD.

“So go away/leave me alone/
Don’t bother me.”

Beautiful!

One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded is “Don’t Bother Me” by The Beatles!!!

QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ

If you like what you see, don’t forget to spread the word by hitting the “like” button on my Facebook page, Phil Maq!

#DontBotherMe #MeetTheBeatles #TheBeatles #GeorgeHarrison #PhilMaq #OneoftheGreatestSongsEverRecorded #GSER

One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded: “Rave On” by Buddy Holly!!!

QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ

For as long as I’ve been on the radio, and definitely for as long as I’ve been writing a blog, I will occasionally make a reference to a song being “One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded!” (GSER)

I would usually follow that by saying that I would eventually start a category for it, but then never get around to it.

Well, now I’m getting around to it!

It will pretty much follow the pattern of The Most Awesomest Song of the Day.

I’ll select a song to celebrate and then give my thoughts about it. Nothing really brand new here that hasn’t been done before. But since I have a website, I can collect them and lay out what my own greatest songs are.

My radio show, “Prime Time Theme Attic,”  is on Monday nights 8PM-10PM ET but is on hiatus because of the pandemic.

Even though I always emphasize new music and artists, it’s always fun to take a short drive through the legendary artists, since they influenced those other artists!

But a song doesn’t have to be old or done by a legendary Theme Attic Hall of Fame member to be thus honored.

I can think of several songs that are only a few years old or less that I could identify as One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded.

This will be fun, and hopefully you will join me on my journey…at least sometimes!

QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ 

I’ve only gone through a few phases in my musical education, but I went through a Buddy Holly one twice!

When I use the word “phase,” I mean listening primarily to one artist for an extended length of time.

As a child, it was pretty easy to like Buddy Holly: His music was simple, melodic, and catchy. He also had an easy name to remember.

However, Buddy‘s career was before I was aware of music, so I first learned about him and his untimely death through The Beatles and oldies stations.

And he certainly was an influence on The Beatles. For the most part at that time, it was very rare for an artist to write their own music. But John Lennon and Paul McCartney knew that Holly wrote his own and was successful, and that was what they wanted, too.

The first single they recorded as The Quarrymen was “That’ll Be the Day,” a Buddy tune.

McCartney liked him so much he even bought his catalog and made a documentary, “The Real Buddy Holly Story.”

As far as my own personal discovery, I learned my wife was a Holly fan when I first started going out with her. That alone made me focus more attention on him.

In the late 80s and early 90s, I realized that I really only knew the songs that were released as Greatest Hits packages. It dawned on me that I really didn’t know his back catalog.

I eventually bought a vinyl Complete Collection and easily got hooked on it for quite a while.

“Rave On,” one of Buddy’s signature songs, surprisingly, was not written by him but by Sonny West, Bill Tightman, and Buddy’s Texas producer, Norman Petty.

From it’s hiccupy vocal intro to its final fading notes at 1:53, the song moves at a fast pace that includes a yearning chorus with great backup vocals, plenty of starts, stops, and accents, and a super piano solo!

It’s my favorite song by Buddy Holly!

One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded is “Rave On” by Buddy Holly!!!

If you like what you see, don’t forget to spread the word by hitting the “like” button on my Facebook page, Phil Maq!

#RaveOn #BuddyHolly #TheQuarrymen #ThatllBetheDay #TheBeatles #JohnLennon #PaulMcCartney #PhilMaq #OneoftheGreatestSongsEverRecorded #GSER

John Lennon’s Death and the End of My Innocence

This is a journey that I don’t want to take, but I feel I must.

Forty years ago, on a Monday night that appeared to be heading into the unimpressive category, I had returned around 10 PM from studying after class to my off campus apartment.

Monday Night Football was on the TV.

The game seemed unimpressive.

But even if it was a good one, in an hour or so , it wouldn’t matter anymore.

Howard Cosell, one of the colorful commentators who was either hated or despised for his “tell it like it is” attitude, made one of the saddest announcements anyone will ever have to make in their lifetime: That John Lennon, perhaps the most famous member of The Beatles, had been shot twice in the back outside of his Dakota apartment, and arrived at Roosevelt dead on arrival.

Stunned shock. Numbness. Immeasurable grief. All of that in a matter of seconds.

How could this be?

Beatles don’t die!

And they certainly don’t get shot!

And they don’t get shot when they advocate peace and love!

And they don’t get shot when they advocate peace and love and were the strongest and smartest member of the band!

NO! THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING!

And there wasn’t even any hope that he could survive because he was already pronounced DEAD!

BAM! END OF STORY!

With someone else, there might be some hope that the report was wrong, but Howard didn’t lie.

John Lennon had even appeared with him on a Monday Night Football broadcast several years before, so the news seemed to be foolproof.

The rest of the night is kind of a blur.

I know I reached for “Strawberry Fields Forever,”–what i think of as John’s signature song, and played it several times in a row. It was my favorite song at the time, and still is.

I remember crying for several hours before I packed it in to fall asleep.

Hell, I couldn’t hear “Imagine” without breaking down for many years.

It still takes me back to that night.

And then the tribute songs would rip my heart out!

Paul McCartney’s “Here Today.”

“Johnny’s Garden” by Elton John.

But the one that knifed my heart was “Beautiful Boy,” John’s lullaby for his son Sean, with his spoken word message about seeing him in the morning.

I cried more for John than most family members!

He was my music ambassador.

He was my life ambassador.

Now, I wasn’t naive enough to think that life was like a happy movie. Enough terrible things had already happened to me and in the world by then.

But if The Beatles ushered in an age of “innocence,” then John Lennon being shot to death put an end to it.

I wanted to play music my whole life.

Music makes people happier.

Musicians don’t get killed.

The world could never be the same.

Thanks for taking us along on your journey, John.

So sorry that it ended so soon.

QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ

I host a weekly radio show, “Prime Time Theme Attic,” that is currently on hiatus because of the pandemic.

If you like what you see, don’t forget to spread the word by hitting the “like” button on my Facebook page, Phil Maq!

One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded: “Little Child” by The Beatles!!!

Type here

For as long as I’ve been on the radio, and definitely for as long as I’ve been writing a blog, I will occasionally make a reference to a song being “One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded!” (GSER)

I would usually follow that by saying that I would eventually start a category for it, but then never get around to it.

Well, now I’m getting around to it!

It will pretty much follow the pattern of The Most Awesomest Song of the Day.

I’ll select a song to celebrate and then give my thoughts about it. Nothing really brand new here that hasn’t been done before. But since I have a website, I can collect them and lay out what my own greatest songs are.

My radio show, “Prime Time Theme Attic,”  is on Monday nights 8PM-10PM ET but is on hiatus because of the pandemic.

Here’s the link for when the show returns: http://rdo.fm/r/4qntu )

Even though I always emphasize new music and artists, it’s always fun to take a short drive through the legendary artists, since they influenced those other artists!

But a song doesn’t have to be old or done by a legendary Theme Attic Hall of Fame member to be thus honored.

I can think of several songs that are only a few years old or less that I could identify as One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded.

This will be fun, and hopefully you will join me on my journey…at least sometimes!

QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ 

The only song on “With the Beatles,” or “Meet The Beatles” that features John Lennon on harp, harmonica, or mouth organ to use his words, “Little Child” is also one that Lennon and Paul McCartney themselves refer to as “filler.”

Being also the shortest venture clocking in at 1:46, it also arguably captures the band at their most raw and truest form!

And “Little Child” is a wall to wall harmonica romp!

Starting with Lennon’s sedate two chord harmonica intro, the song quickly kicks into gear as soon as McCartney’s piano joins in followed by Ringo Starr‘s cymbal crash and drums, along with Paul’s bass! George Harrison takes a back seat to the rest of the guys.

Lyrically, it’s not Lennon and McCartney at their best, however “Little Child” does contain a lot of one Beatlemania phrase: “come on” is used eight times!

My favorite part of the song is the instrumental harmonica solo where the band gets to jam, joyously unrestrained for twelve bars!

The section sounds totally improvised and is possibly the best example of what The Beatles may have sounded like all of the times they were playing live and not being recorded!

It’s that time in a band where everyone is tapping into a “collective brain” and experiencing the same feelings!

“Meet The Beatles!” is the first album that I ever owned!

I received it as a birthday present from my oldest brother and sister-in-law.

As a little kid, one thing my brother did teach me was how to handle records so that I wouldn’t damage or scratch them.

However, I played that first album so much that it did develop a couple of skips. Sadly, one of them was on “Little Child.”

Even though that album has been replaced many times over the years, that skip is ingrained in my brain, and I still expect to hear it!

One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded is “Little Child” by The Beatles!!!

QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ

If you like what you see, don’t forget to spread the word by hitting the “like” button on my Facebook page, Phil Maq!

#LittleChild #WithTheBeatles #MeetTheBeatles #PhilMaq #OneoftheGreatestSongsEverRecorded #GSER

One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded: “Jealous Guy” by John Lennon!!!

For as long as I’ve been on the radio, and definitely for as long as I’ve been writing a blog, I will occasionally make a reference to a song being “One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded!” (GSER)

I would usually follow that by saying that I would eventually start a category for it, but then never get around to it.

Well, now I’m getting around to it!

It will pretty much follow the pattern of The Most Awesomest Song of the Day.

I’ll select a song to celebrate and then give my thoughts about it. Nothing really brand new here that hasn’t been done before. But since I have a website, I can collect them and lay out what my own greatest songs are.

My radio show, “Prime Time Theme Attic,”  is on Monday nights 8PM-10PM ET but is on hiatus because of the pandemic.

Here’s the link for when the show returns: http://rdo.fm/r/4qntu )

Even though I always emphasize new music and artists, it’s always fun to take a short drive through the legendary artists, since they influenced those other artists!

But a song doesn’t have to be old or done by a legendary Theme Attic Hall of Fame member to be thus honored.

I can think of several songs that are only a few years old or less that I could identify as One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded.

This will be fun, and hopefully you will join me on my journey…at least sometimes!

QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ 

I’d like to go back in time a bit.

Back to a time just after The Beatles broke up.

The overwhelming opinion amongst Beatle fans, was that John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison would be able to handle the transition and continue to put out quality music.

It was presumed that Ringo Starr probably wouldn’t have much of a solo career because he wasn’t part of The Beatles writing process.

That theory went by the wayside when Ringo released a couple of solid singles.

McCartney had released two quality post Beatle albums and a few mediocre singles at this time.

Surprising everybody but his fans, Harrison promptly set the bar for his former bandmates with the multi-album set “All Things Must Pass!”

Lennon had a spotty post Beatles resume’ of quality singles, but his albums weren’t quite as accessible as his earlier work.

The masses were waiting for that special album that would match or exceed how brilliant he was with The Beatles.

That changed with “Imagine.”

The single knocked the breath out of me the first time I heard the single!

It often still does.

My first listen to my vinyl copy of “Imagine” was just as breathtaking!

“Imagine” moved on to “Crippled Inside,”–another amazing song!

But the music went to another level with Track #3.

The other worldly haunting piano intro played by Nicky Hopkins, along with the beautiful string arrangement provided by “The Flux Fiddlers,” let me know that it would be possible to make music on a par as The Beatles, post breakup!

In fact, the “Jealous Guy” intro sounds so light and airy, that it seems like the groove can’t possibly contain it and it will float away up to the ionosphere!

That’s what did it to me!

I knew from that point on, that amazing music by my heroes would continue to be made, and would affect not only my life, but millions of others!

An unassuming little song–not even a single!, would do all of that!

Interestingly enough, a quick look at the credits had a couple little surprises:

Joey Molland and Tom Evans from Badfinger played acoustic guitar.

Mike Pinder of The Moody Blues played tambourine (?)!

Happy Birthday, John! We will always miss you!

One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded is “Jealous Guy” by John Lennon!!!

QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ

If you like what you see, don’t forget to spread the word by hitting the “like” button on my Facebook page, Phil Maq!

#JealousGuy  #HappyBirthdayJohnLennon #ImagineAlbum #PhilMaq #OneoftheGreatestSongsEverRecorded #GSER

One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded: “OK Ray” by Ringo Starr!!

For as long as I’ve been on the radio, and definitely for as long as I’ve been writing a blog, I will occasionally make a reference to a song being “One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded!” (GSER)

I would usually follow that by saying that I would eventually start a category for it, but then never get around to it.

Well, now I’m getting around to it!

It will pretty much follow the pattern of The Most Awesomest Song of the Day.

I’ll select a song to celebrate and then give my thoughts about it. Nothing really brand new here that hasn’t been done before. But since I have a website, I can collect them and lay out what my own greatest songs are.

I have always done two “Semi-Annual Theme Attic Hall of Fame Shows” a year on my weekly “Theme Attic” show. (Wednesdays 2PM-4PM ET when it returns.)

Here’s the link to stream it: https://whfr.fm/streamer/

Even though I always emphasize new music and artists, it’s always fun to take a short drive through the legendary artists, since they influenced those other artists!

But a song doesn’t have to be old or done by a legendary Theme Attic Hall of Fame member to be thus honored.

I can think of several songs that are only a few years old or less that I could identify as One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded.

On days that I spotlight a greatest song, it will take the place of The Most Awesomest Song of the Day.

This will be fun, and hopefully you will join me on my journey…at least sometimes!

QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ  

I have never sat down and thought about my favorite Ringo Starr song, but “OK Ray” from “Ringo Rama” would definitely be near the top!

I know I was already interested in music before The Beatles, but watching Ringo play drums took me to the stratosphere!

That’s what I wanted to do, and he quickly became my first favorite Beatle-as soon as I found out who he was!

There he was, smiling and shaking his head with that hair flying about!

I had never seen a drummer play like that before!

I’ve had some fun musical moments myself playing drums over the years, but that desire started with seeing Ringo!

Back to the song!

“OK Ray” was buried deep on a Japanese limited edition of “Ringo Rama.”

I usually feel that it’s not worth chasing one of those rare tracks because of the cost.

This is the one exception!

“OK Ray” is such a happy, island flavored “Ob Bla Di Ob Bla Da” type of tune!

The lyrics are silly, but they’re fun!

Only Ringo could get away with saying “Hunky dory lorry” and “It’s gonna be breeze Louise!”

He sings about not letting the world or anything else get you down!

“OK Ray” is the little pep talk to tell yourself not to give up and keep going!

There’s horns!

Hand claps!

Cheesy organ!

Rockin’ guitar solo!

Paul McCartney George Harrison, and John Lennon get shout outs!

It’s a still happy to be alive song, and he feels they’re right there with him!

And you can be, too, if you sing and dance along!

Peace and Love, Ringo!

Happy Birthday!

One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded is “OK Ray” by Ringo Starr!!!

QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ

If you like what you see, don’t forget to spread the word by hitting the “like” button on my Facebook page, Phil Maq!

#Ringo #PeaceandLove #OKRAY #RingoRama #PhilMaq #OneoftheGreatestSongsEverRecorded #GSER