The way back machine #4

Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends!  Come inside, come inside.  Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.  He’s just wondering how the hell a cute little black kid with an angelic voice ended up as an old white woman and such a freakazoidal wreck. Which brings us to this week’s way back machine.  Oct, 30, 1970!  Yes, ladies and gents, forty years almost to the day.  What ever happened to the time???  For those readers who don’t remember the 70’s…be very careful what you try to bring back as fads. Ask any of us who were there or, even worse, grew up during them.

Tricky Dick Nixon and his crew were safely, if somewhat crookedly, running things, the war in Viet Nam was winding its way woefully along (damn near halted that week, by the way, by a typhoon that killed over 250 and left 200,000 homeless), four Ohio kids were recently buried for speaking their minds while exercising their First Amendment rights, and disco had yet to rear its ugly polyester clad head.  How’s THAT for a Halloween thought?  Just to make you feel a little better, five bucks could still get you just about a full tank, cars had real chrome, seat belts had just been made mandatory safety equipment in new cars, and party lines were common.  Remember listening in to the neighbor’s teenage daughter’s calls to her boyfriend? ( I NEVER did that, Mom.  Promise!!!)

The list this week included some shining stars as Glenn Campbell (my baby sister’s first groupie crush), Dawn, before they were Tony Orlando & Dawn (her second, I think.  She’s gotten better at them since!), and Neil Diamond.  Were those guys really  the creme’ de la creme’ during my lifetime?  Am I REALLY that old?  (Yep. I am and it may be gray, brother, but it’s still all there)  

Anyway, topping the Billboard charts that weekend long ago were the Jackson 5.  They had gone 4 for 4.  Four releases, four number one hits.  As much as I detested what the guy became, ya gotta give him credit.  He had one hell of a voice.  Coming in second was another oddity: Karen Carpenter.  Just one more great set of pipes trapped in a train wreck of a life.   If memory serves, Neil Diamond wrote a lot of The Carpenter’s songs…Davis, help a bro out here…

1970…  The year I got my first camera, a Kodak 44 Instamatic.  I still have it and a ton of the pictures I took with it.  My sibs are gonna hate me one of these weeks…. The days when recordings were done live and there wasn’t any of the digital “fixing” that the current rash of pop-tarts have the advantage, nay, the requirement, of using.  Go listen to Patsy Cline’s  Crazy if you don’t believe me.  Gal had a voice to die for….

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2 Responses to “The way back machine #4”


  1. 1 Helch November 10, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Paul, Paul, Paul……..one of your finest…..you took me back to Patsy Cline, (I have worn out my tapes of her) Neil Diamond (remember I had Jude skip school and stand in line at the Arena for 11 hours to get me concert tickets???). His latest venture SUCKS…..he had a brief stint on Sirius radio and I was embarassed for him….he needs to sty with song writing as the pipes are gone.

    This is one of your best…

  2. 2 Helch November 10, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Were you thinking that Neil Diamond wrote songs for the Monkeees? Among the many he’s written for groups….don’t recall Carpenter, but Davis will fill you in.


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