Author Topic: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s  (Read 105326 times)

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #1770 on: June 17, 2020, 11:36:42 PM »
He's in my username. I believe he's the greatest musical artist of the last century. This song is fine but his legacy is his recordings from 1925-1932 (a bit longer than Hot Fives and Hot Sevens because he did some great stuff with his orchestra in 1930-32, which I love, such as 'Stardust'.

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #1771 on: June 18, 2020, 10:40:31 PM »
I didn't realise that Armstrong was the first person to record it.  I had always assumed that it was an established standard and his version became definitive.


  • some weirdo taking the piss
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #1772 on: June 19, 2020, 02:00:00 PM »
Does Your Mother Know Je Suis Un Rock Star?, it's . . .

250.  The Union Gap Featuring Gary Puckett - Young Girl

From : 19 May – 15 June 1968
Weeks : 4
Flip side : I'm Losing You
Bonus : Promo Film

The Story So Far : 
Gary Puckett was born on 17 October 1942, in Hibbing, Minnesota, and grew up in Yakima, Washington and Twin Falls, Idaho. He began playing guitar in his teens, graduated from Twin Falls High School in 1960, and attended college in San Diego, California.

There, he dropped out of college and played in several local bands before joining The Outcasts, a local hard rock group, which produced two unsuccessful singles : "Run Away" (b/w "Would You Care") in 1965, and "I Can't Get Through To You" (b/w "I Found Out About You") in 1966


Following the breakup of The Outcasts, Puckett formed a new group he called Gary and the Remarkables, comprising bassist Kerry Chater, keyboardist Gary Withem, tenor saxophonist Dwight Bement, and drummer Paul Wheatbread, while Chater originally hailed from Vancouver in Canada, the other three members were born in San Diego. In 1966, the band toured the Pacific Northwest. 

Gary Puckett : "We were playing all the stuff of the day basically. We were playing The Beatles, The Stones. We liked a lot of the Stax groups...the Eddie Floyds, the Otis Reddings, the Wilson Picketts, Carla Thomas. Those people. We played all that music. The stuff that was popular at the time, the Rock 'n' Roll stuff. Plus, we kind of dug back to my Rock roots, which were Jerry Lee Lewis's and Elvis's. But, we were a club band, so we were trying to appeal to the people in the moment. So, we played whatever was popular on the air."

In early 1967 under manager Dick Badger, the group was renamed The Union Gap - after a city in Yakima County, Washington, where Puckett grew up. Its members outfitted themselves in Union Army-style Civil War uniforms as a visual gimmick.

Gary Puckett : "One day the band is up in Seattle and I come across this shop with all sorts of union army type of clothing. I thought we looked like every other band out there, and maybe if we adopted a certain look it would help us stand out. I decided it would be a great idea if we wore uniforms that were just like the Union Army. I just kind of liked Blue and I grew up in the North. I didn't feel like being a Rebel as such. I just wanted to have a good looking band. I wasn't choosing sides in that moment. I just kind of liked blue better."

They then recorded a demo, which was heard by CBS record producer and songwriter Jerry Fuller. Impressed by Puckett's tenor voice and the band's soft rock leanings, Fuller signed them to a recording contract with Columbia Records.

The band recorded their first single "Woman, Woman", (b/w "Don't Make Promises"), a song about a man's fears that his female partner might be considering infidelity, that had been written and composed by Jim Glaser and Jimmy Payne, in August 1967. It became their first hit in the US, reaching No. 3 in Cashbox and No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.


Quick to cash in, their first album - 'Woman, Woman' was released in January 1968, and featured the hit single, plus versions of Jimmy Webb's "By the Time I Get to Phoenix"  /  The Bee Gees "To Love Somebody"  /  "Kentucky Woman" by Neil Diamond  /  and Puckett's original composition "Believe Me".


Their second single, "Young Girl" released as by 'The Union Gap featuring Gary Puckett', reached #2 in the US, and #1 in the UK in April 1968.


Their second album - "Young Girl" - once again swiftly assembled to take advantage of their latest hit single, was released in April 1968.


As well as contemporary covers of "Lady Madonna" and "The Mighty Quinn", it featured three original songs  co-written by Fuller and Puckett: "The Pleasure of You"  /  "I'm Losing You"  /  and "Say You Don't Need Me".


For their next single, "Lady Willpower", (b/w "Daylight Stranger"), their name was changed to 'Gary Puckett And The Union Gap'. The single reached No. 1 in Cashbox, No. 2 in Billboard, and was a Top 5 hit in the UK in August 1968.


Gary Puckett : "I had called it The Union Gap featuring Gary Puckett. To them, it didn't sound like a band. It sounded like an orchestra with a singer, which it was basically. With the success of "Woman, Woman" and "Young Girl" following it, they decided it should be called Gary Puckett And The Union Gap. They understood that I was the band leader. They understood the outfits were my idea. I had put it together."

In the wake of their recent chart success, their first single, "Woman, Woman", having originally flopped in December 1967, finally entered the UK charts - peaking at #48 in September 1968.

Gary Puckett : "Playing in the south was a bit rough. I remember one time we did a gig in Alabama. To be safe we carried a big Confederate Flag with us. We draped it across the piano and when the show opened up we held it up. We got a big rebel yell and went right into the music without missing a beat."

In contrast to their first two albums, which used cover versions of hit songs for about half their content, their third album, 'Incredible', released in October 1968, consisted entirely of new songs written by the band members themselves and their producer, Jerry Fuller. Songs included "The Common Cold"  /  "If the Day Would Come"  /  "Reverend Posey"  /  and "I've Done All I Can".


Their next single, "Over You" (b/w "If The Day Would Come"), reached No. 5 on Cashbox, and No. 7 on the Billboard chart, but flopped in the UK in November 1968.


Gary Puckett : "Looking back it was pretty amazing. In 1968 alone we did 268 concerts and sold over 16 million records. I've heard we were the top selling artists in 1968, selling more than The Beatles. I'm not sure if that's factual, but I know we were huge and everybody wanted us."


The band headlined at a White House reception for Prince Charles and at Disneyland in 1968, and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1969, losing out to José Feliciano.

Their final US hit, peaking at #15, was "Don't Give In To Him" (b/w "Could I") in April 1969.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Up to this point, all their songs were produced by Jerry Fuller, who also wrote and composed "Young Girl", "Lady Willpower" and "Over You". The band, however, wanted to write and produce its own material, and Puckett resented singing the power ballads written by Fuller. In 1969 Fuller prepared a 40-piece studio orchestra to record a new song he had written, but Puckett and the group refused to record it, the session was canceled, and Fuller never again worked with the group - brilliant move lads!

Produced by Dick Glasser, "This Girl Is A Woman Now" (b/w "His Other Woman") released in September 1969 flopped, as did "Let's Give Adam And Eve Another Chance" (b/w "The Beggar") in April 1970.

Their fourth album, The New Gary Puckett and the Union Gap Album, also produced by Dick Glasser, was released in December 1969. Songs included Puckett's "Lullaby"  /  "Simple Man"  /  and "Don't Give in to Him" written by occasional Beach Boys lyricist, Gary Usher.


Discouraged, Chater and Withem left the band; Bement took over on bass guitar and keyboardist, Barry McCoy, and horn player, Richard Gabriel, were added.

In 1970 Puckett began recording as a solo act, but with limited success. His first solo single, "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself" (b/w "All That Matters"), was released in September 1970, but failed to trouble the charts.

His later singles included : "Keep The Customer Satisfied" (b/w "No One Really Knows") in January 1971  /  "Life Has It's Little Ups And Downs" (b/w "Shimmering Eyes") in April 1971  /  "Gentle Woman" (b/w "Hello Morning") August 1971  /  and "I Can't Hold On" in November 1971.

Puckett had modest success as a solo artist with the enigmatically titled 1971 album The Gary Puckett Album on Columbia, and The Union Gap remained his live backing band until they were dismissed following an appearance at the 1971 Orange County Fair. Following one final flop - "Leavin' In The Morning" (b/w "Bless This Child") in August 1972 - Puckett's recording contract was terminated.


Dwight Bement later joined the oldies act Flash Cadillac & the Continental Kids. Kerry Chater moved to Nashville, Tennessee where he worked as a songwriter, and had a minor solo hit in 1977 with the song "Part Time Love". Paul Wheatbread, turned to concert promotion, and Gary Withem returned to San Diego to teach high-school band.

By 1973, Puckett had essentially disappeared from music, opting instead to study acting and dance and performing in theatrical productions in and around Los Angeles. A comeback tour engineered by music writer Thomas K. Arnold brought him to Las Vegas, Nevada in 1981, and from that point on he became a regular on the national oldies circuit.

Gary Puckett : "I found myself in Vegas singing our hits and often adding in other popular songs of the day. I became a regular on the national oldies circuit. I did my first tour in 1984 with The Association and The Turtles. We went out again the next year with Herman's Hermits."

Puckett was on the bill for the first major Monkees reunion tour in 1986.

Gary Puckett : "The Monkees experienced new found fame through the MTV generation, and all of a sudden mothers who adored The Monkees back in the 60's were there with their daughters. It introduced many of the artists to a whole new generation. It was a fun tour. We were selling out everywhere and playing stadiums."

He released some new material, including a 2001 holiday album entitled Gary Puckett at Christmas, and continued to tour.

Gary Puckett : "I have truly been blessed over my life. I am in good health, have a great family, great friends, and I've enjoyed a great career. God has truly blessed me. I spend my days running or walking on the beach. I work out in the gym. I'm in pretty good shape. You have to consider I carried a guitar around for the past 50 years."

The Single :
"Young Girl" was written, composed, and produced by Jerry Fuller and performed by The Union Gap featuring Gary Puckett with instrumental backing by members of The Wrecking Crew.

The song hit No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks, but a No. 1 on the Cashbox chart. It also hit No. 1 in the UK, and No. 2 in South Africa.


The song is sung from the point of view of a man who has become delighted "distressed" upon finding out that the girl he is with, contrary to the first impression she had made upon him, is actually younger than the legal age of consent. Though she knew that it was wrong to be alone with him, my client maintains that the saucy minx did have the "Come on look" in her eye, so that's alright then . . .  no further questions, your witness.

In the UK, "Young Girl" was re-released as a double A-sided single with "Woman, Woman", and peaked at #6 in June 1974.

Other Versions include :   Gary Lewis and The Playboys (1968)  /  Jerry Vale (1968)  /  The Lettermen (1968)  /  "Láskou a květem se braň" by Jaromír Mayer (1968)  /  "Nyt tiedän kaiken" by Tapani Kansa (1968)  /  "Prends garde petite fille!" by Claude François (1968)  /  "Jag är mej själv nu" by Frida (1975)  /  Tommy Overstreet (1976)  /  "Kuulin mä kadulla sen" by Kirka (1983)  /  "Tunteet" by Ari Klem (1990)  /  Joe Longthorne (1993)  /  Barbados (1999)  /  Brødrene Olsen (2002)  /  Michael Amante (2003)  /  The Lounge-O-Leers (2007)  /  Glee Cast (2009)  /  Aidan John Moffat (2011)  /  Danny McEvoy (2011)  /  John Caton (2019)

On This Day  :
20 May : The Who's Pete Townshend, aged 23, marries Karen Astley
22 May : Graham Linehan, ex-comedy writer & Transphobic stinker, born in Dublin, Ireland
23 May : The Beatles open second Apple Boutique at 161 New Kings Road, London
24 May : Mick Jagger & Marianne Faithfull arrested for drug possession
24 May : French President Charles de Gaulle proposes referendum & students set fire to the Paris Stock Exchange
28 May : Kylie Minogue, pop singer, born Kylie Ann Minogue in Melbourne, Australia
29 May : European Cup Final - Manchester United beats Benfica 4-1, becoming the first English club to win the sport ball trophy
30 May : President De Gaulle disbands French parliament
30 May : University church in Leipzig, East Germany is blown up - God, currently tied up with Cliff's Panto demands, responds by squeezing out some light drizzle in Bognor.
30 May : Tim Burgess, singer (The Charlatans), born Timothy Allan Burgess in Salford, Lancashire
1 June : Helen Keller, deaf-blind author, political activist, and lecturer died aged 87
1 June : Jason Donovan, singer & actor, born Jason Sean Donovan in Malvern, Victoria, Australia
2 June : Jon Culshaw, impressionist, born Jonathan Peter Culshaw in Ormskirk, Lancashire
3 June : American radical feminist Valerie Solanas attempts to assassinate Andy Warhol by shooting him three times.
5 June : Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan shoots prospective presidential candidate Robert Kennedy three times at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California.
6 June : Senator Robert F. Kennedy dies from his wounds
8 June : James Earl Ray, assassin of Martin Luther King Jr., captured
11 June : Sophie Okonedo, actress, born in London
13 June : Denice Pearson, singer (Five Star), born Denise Lisa Maria Pearson in Islington, London
13 June : David Gray, musician, born in Sale, Cheshire
15 June : John Lennon and Yoko Ono plant an acorn at Coventry Cathedral
15 June : "New Faces of 1965" closes at Booth Theater NYC after 52 performances
15 June : "I Do! I Do!" closes at 46th St Theater NYC after 561 performances
15 June : "How Now, Dow Jones" closes at Lunt Fontanne NYC after 220 performances

Extra! Extra!

Read all about it! :

« Last Edit: June 19, 2020, 02:19:34 PM by daf »

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #1774 on: June 19, 2020, 03:44:19 PM »
Paedo Rock classic!

Gary Puckett : "Playing in the south was a bit rough. I remember one time we did a gig in Alabama. To be safe we carried a big Confederate Flag with us. We draped it across the piano and when the show opened up we held it up. We got a big rebel yell and went right into the music without missing a beat."

Wow - these guys just can't stop being #Cancelled!!


  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #1775 on: June 19, 2020, 04:22:31 PM »
When it started I thought "Oh, this song! I like this!" and by the end I was really bored.

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #1776 on: June 20, 2020, 03:47:36 PM »
Wow that cover. They can't really pretend that she's 16 having packaged it in that.

Fuller supposedly said:

I was on the road a lot as an artist, fronting various groups for many years. I guess every entertainer goes through a time when 14-year-olds look like 20-year-olds. That's somewhat of an inspiration not from my own experience, just knowing that it happens.

Which is paedo-justifying bollocks.

xxxx xxx x xxx

  • Can we have a quick burn, sir?
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #1777 on: June 23, 2020, 11:38:30 AM »
Wow that cover. They can't really pretend that she's 16 having packaged it in that.

scrolls back to look at the cover

Oh Christ.

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #1778 on: June 23, 2020, 11:50:31 AM »
I'd be curious to know if at the time anyone flagged it up as being "a bit dodgy", but I would presume most didn't give it much thought. It was still popping up on 60s compilation albums my dad was buying in the late 90s.

Captain Z

  • Oh yeah my cholesterol's going down
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #1779 on: June 23, 2020, 12:16:01 PM »
"People still thought nothing of hits like 'Playground Bang-around'..."

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #1780 on: June 25, 2020, 10:40:34 PM »
I'd be curious to know if at the time anyone flagged it up as being "a bit dodgy", but I would presume most didn't give it much thought. It was still popping up on 60s compilation albums my dad was buying in the late 90s.

Many people seem to filter what they hear, or just don't pay attention to lyrics at all, but the 60s was an era when white male pop stars got arrested for smoking dope but not when they raped "consenting" 14 year olds.


  • Father of Serge
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #1781 on: June 26, 2020, 09:12:59 AM »
I remember at the time it was a hit, that whilst most women we knew liked the song, most blokes didn't. No heavy analysis or anything, it was generally considered a shite tune, by all of our gang. Hey ho, no accounting for taste.


  • some weirdo taking the piss
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #1782 on: June 26, 2020, 02:00:00 PM »
But it's all right now, in fact, it's a bust . . .

251.  The Rolling Stones - Jumpin' Jack Flash

From : 16 – 29 June 1968
Weeks : 2
Flip side : Child of the Moon
Bonus 1 : Early Take
Bonus 2 : Rock & Roll Circus
Bonus 3 : Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out

The Story So Far : 
In April 1967, Keith Richard and Anita Pallenberg spent time in Rome, Italy, where she is filming Barbarella.

Brian Jones holidays with Keith Richards' ex-girlfriend, Linda Keith in England. They later all meet up in Cannes, France for the premiere of A Degree of Murder. Brian and Anita have a talk, and Brian leaves the film festival early.

On 9 May 1967, Richard flies back to London and spends time with Jagger at Keith Richard's house, Redlands, discussing their court appearance the following day.

On 10 May, Mick Jagger and Keith Richard are formerly charged -  Jagger for drug possession, and Richard for allowing premises to be used for cannabis use. Simultaneously, Brian Jones is busted for possession of cocaine and hashish at his London apartment, along with his friend 'Prince Stash'.

On 11 May, Jagger joins The Beatles on their recording of Baby You're a Rich Man at Olympic Sound Studios in London. Later that month, The Stones resume recording sessions for their next album at Olympic, and Charlie Watts purchases a mansion in Halland, near Lewes in East Sussex - the Flash get!


On 8 June 1967, Brian Jones joins The Beatles on their recording of "You Know My Name, Look Up The Number" at EMI Studios in London, honking away on the saxophone.

Paul McCartney : "To our surprise he brought along a sax. I remember him turning up in this big Afghan coat at Abbey Road and he opened up a sax case and we said, We've got a little track here, and so he played sax on it. It's a funny sax solo - it isn't amazingly well played but it happened to be exactly what we wanted, a ropey sax, kind of shaky. Brian was very good like that."

Taking a break from working on their album, Jagger and Marianne Faithfull holiday in Tangier, Morocco; 
 Brian Jones flies to California and attends the Monterey International Pop Festival; and Bill Wyman joins the Royal Horticultural Society - the Boring bastard!

On 25 June, Jagger, Richards and Brian Jones attend, and sing backup vocals at, the Beatles' live global satellite appearance on Our World, from their EMI Studios in London, recording overdubs on "All You Need Is Love".

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

On 27 June, at Chichester court in London, Robert Fraser pleads guilty to Heroin possession and Jagger is tried and found guilty by the jury for illegal possession of Benzedrine. Jagger appeals, but he and Robert Fraser are jailed overnight at Lewes prison.

The following day, Jagger and Fraser are brought back to Chichester court and put into a cell below the courtroom, where Keith Richard's trial starts for allowing his premises to be used for the smoking of 

On 29 June, Keith Richard's trial finishes, the jury retires and Richards is found guilty. He appeals the decision and is sentenced to 12 months in prison and a fine.

In court, Keith Richard was asked if he was embarrassed and found it normal that there was a "young woman wearing only a rug" during the police search : "Not at all... We are not old men. We're not worried about petty morals."

Mick Jagger and Robert Fraser are brought into court for their sentencing. Fraser is ordered 6 months in prison and a fine, and Jagger received a three-month prison sentence for the possession of four amphetamine tablets. Jagger was sent to Brixton prison, while Richard and Fraser to Wormwood Scrubs.

Mick Jagger : "I was deathly scared. I was much more frightened than Keith. I broke into tears when they said we had to go to jail. I'm like that..."

In support The Who announced the release a single of Rolling Stones covers - "The Last Time" and  "Under My Thumb" - the songs were recorded without the bass stylings of The Ox, who was off on his honeymoon.

Bill Wyman : “spontaneous demonstrations broke out all over London. The Who’s Keith Moon, his girlfriend Kim and the band’s road manager John Wolfe drove in Keith’s Bentley to the West End and join the protesters.” Moon and his girlfriend were pictured outside a Wimpy Bar, Kim holding a “Free Keith” banner, and The Who drummer one saying “Stop Pop Persecution!”

On 30 June, Jagger and Richards were granted bail and released from jail under conditions, pending their appeals - instantly scuppering the chart chances of The Who's topical single - Bastards!


On 2 July 1967, The Times ran the famous editorial entitled "Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?" in which editor William Rees-Mogg surprised his readers by his unusually critical discourse on the sentencing, pointing out that Jagger had been treated far more harshly for a minor first offence than "any purely anonymous young man".

Mick : "The Times was thrown through the slot in my cell door, and thudded and hit the concrete floor of my cell and I thought, What the fuck is that? I thought, Well, that’s nice, they’re delivering me The Times. I hadn’t had a lot of experience of being in jail. When I read it I realised why they had in fact delivered it to me. The same day I was out."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

On 15 July, The Rolling Stones' US compilation album Flowers was released. It was a mixture of recent hits, unreleased songs and album tracks, including : "My Girl", "Ride On, Baby" and "Sittin' on a Fence" - all recorded in 1965, plus the singles, "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?" from 1966, and "Let's Spend the Night Together" and "Ruby Tuesday" from 1967.


It's title and cover seemingly saw them in step with the Hippie zeitgeist of 1967's Summer of Love, causing some of their fans to express concern that the group were drifting away from their blues roots.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

During July, Brian Jones spent a couple of weeks at the Priory Nursing Home in Richmond, Surrey, before leaving for Malaga, Spain, with his new girlfriend Suki Poitier.

On 31 July, Mick Jagger and Keith Richard attended their appeal hearings in court. The court overturned Richard's conviction, while Mick Jagger's was upheld but his sentence quashed - as reported in this charming Pathé Newsreel.

Mick : "The trial wore me out. It wore my bank balance out. Cost a fortune. The whole thing is sort of a game between different lawyers. Nothing happened. I mean, they put us through a lot of hassle and took a lot of bread off of us..."

Keith : "The trial kind of said, OK, from now on it's heavy. Up till then it had been show biz, entertainment, play it how you want to, teenyboppers. At that point you knew they considered you to be outside - the're the ones who put you outside the law. Like Dylan says, To live outside the law, you must be honest. They're the ones that decide who lives outside the law. I mean, YOU don't decide, right? You're just living. I mean your laws don't apply to me, nobody says that, because you can't. But they say it. And then you have to decide what you're going to do from then on."


In early August 1967, Keith Richard joins Anita Pallenberg in Rome; Brian Jones vacations in Marbella, Spain; Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull holiday in Ireland; and Bill Wyman and Astrid Lundstrom spend time with Charlie Watts & his missus at their estate.


On 18 August, The Rolling Stones' single "We Love You" was released in the UK. The band recorded the song as a thank you for their fans' loyalty, while awaiting the appeal hearings. Having recently sang on The Beatles All You Need is Love, Lennon and McCartney returned the favour, by contributing backing vocals to the single.   


The song began with the sound of prison doors closing, and the promotional film for "We Love You", shot, along with one for the filp side "Dandelion" on 30 July 1967. The film included allusions to the trial of Oscar Wilde and featured Marianne Faithfull as Bosie. The courtroom scenes led the BBC to ban the promo from Top of the Pops - the massive idiots!

On 25 August, Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull join the Beatles on a transcendental meditation seminar by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Bangor, Wales.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

On 20 September 1967, The Rolling Stones announce they are splitting from their manager Andrew Loog Oldham.

Ian Stewart : "At some stage they realized that Andrew's ideas on producing were only ideas he'd got from them in the first place. There must have been some sort of bust-up with Andrew 'cause all of a sudden they really wanted to get rid of him. Before they started Satanic Majesties a lot of time was booked at Olympic. Andrew was supposed to be there as producer. And he was there only in a literal sense. We went in and played a lot of blues just as badly as we could. Andrew just walked out. At the time I didn't understand what was going on. They were probably a bit fed up with Oldham wanting to be the record producer and not really producing."

Mick : "The reason Andrew left was because he thought that we weren't concentrating and that we were being childish. It was not a great moment really—and I would have thought it wasn't a great moment for Andrew either. There were a lot of distractions and you always need someone to focus you at that point, that was Andrew's job."

Ian Stewart : "He's a brilliant guy, actually, Andrew. And if it were not for him, I don't think the Stones would've gotten to where they are now. They WOULD have made it no matter what. I mean, there would have been a group exactly like the Rolling Stones and they would have been as good as the Rolling Stones, whether Brian and I existed on the face of this earth or not. But they would've probably, if not for the careful handling of the group by Andrew, burned themselves out in two or three years by playing too much. Andrew was very careful about the exposure and image of the group. He only slipped up when he tried to be a record producer."

In October 1967, the group continue work on the next album at Olympic Sound Studios, finishing 'Citadel' and 'The Lantern' among others, and filming promos for 'She's a Rainbow' and '2000 Light Years from Home' in London.

Bill : "Although I was strongly against drugs for myself, I was put in a vulnerable position by the pushers who were constantly around the band - in the studios, on the tour in dressing-rooms, hotels, planes, cars... I had to keep aware because if the cops did bust us I would have been thrown in jail together with the rest of them, as would Charlie. And who would believe that we weren't involved?... I accepted that if I was in the band, it was something that had to be tolerated. But they wouldn't lift a finger to help me in my family situation... So the "separatism" built up... I hardly socialized with the others for ten years from about 1967."


On 23 October, The Rolling Stones complete work on the Their Satanic Majesties Request" album.

Mick : "I was happy. I breathed a sigh of relief because we had finally finished it. It's just there to take it or leave it... I'm very conscious of the fact that it doesn't reflect (our arrests) in any of the songs. That they aren't all about policemen as they could well have been..."


On 30 October, Brian Jones appeared in court in London for his trial. He was found guilty of cannabis possession and allowing his premises to be used for the smoking of cannabis, and jailed for 12 months and fined. He spent the night at Wormwood Scrubs prison, while Jagger and Richard fly to New York to mix and master the new album.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

On 8 December 1967, The Rolling Stones released 'Their Satanic Majesties Request' - their 8th US studio album, and 6th UK album.  It reached No. 3 in the UK, and No. 2 in the US.


Mick : "Satanic Majesties had interesting things on it, but I don't think any of the songs are very good. It's a bit like Between The Buttons. It's a sound experience, really, rather than a song experience. There's 2 good songs on it: She's A Rainbow, and 2000 Light Years from Home. The rest of them are nonsense... I think we were just taking too much acid. We were just getting carried away, just thinking anything you did was fun and everyone should listen to it. The whole thing we were on acid..."

'Satanic Majesties Request' became the first album the Rolling Stones produced on their own. Its psychedelic sound was complemented by the cover art, which featured a 3D photo by Michael Cooper, who had also photographed the cover of Sgt. Pepper.

[son] Adam Cooper : "Well, Sgt. Pepper was such a tremendous success, of course the Stones wanted to jump on that bandwagon and take advantage of it. So they went to Michael as a friend and said, “Look, you’ve done Sgt. Pepper. We want to do a similar type of thing with Satanic Majesties.” Typical of Michael, he wanted to take it one step further, so he said, “Okay, let’s do a 3-D cover.” One of the only 3-D cameras that existed in the world in those days was in New York, so they went off to Mount Vernon Studios. The tragedy of the cover was that it was supposed to be three-dimensional, so when you angled it in front of your face, the heads of the Stones would change direction. But of course, when Allen Klein and ABKCO received the budget for a worldwide, mass-market edition, it was immediately rejected because the cost was just too much. They ended up doing a 500-copy limited edition, which ended up with lots of friends and family and whatever."


Returning the favour for the Stones inclusion on the Sgt Pepper sleeve, images of the Beatles were hidden among the flowers on the album cover - though Ringo and Paul were accidentally cropped off the non-lenticular version of the cover.

Adam Cooper : "The British press were constantly dreaming up rumors that relations between the Beatles and the Stones were always bad, and they presented this bad-boy image of the Stones and the clean image of the Beatles and all of that. It was a complete invention by the press. People believed it, so the Stones, by 1967, said, “We’ve had enough of this shit. Let’s try to communicate through the cover to tell the public this is not the truth. So what you see on the Satanic Majesties cover, amongst the flowers, is the four faces of the Beatles. And in Sgt. Pepper’s, which was released earlier that same year, you see the doll in the right-hand corner of the cover, which says “Welcome the Rolling Stones.” It was their way of somewhat silently communicating between themselves, but also to the public, to say, “This is all a load of crap. We have great relations with the Beatles. We have great respect for them.”


Keith : "It's so unbelievable. It was so weird to make an album and not be on the road that it was totally UNLIKE recording. I liked a few songs, like 2000 Light Years, Citadel and She's a Rainbow, but basically I thought the album was a load of crap. That album was made under the pressure of the court cases and the whole scene that was going on in London at that time."

It drew unfavourable reviews and was widely regarded as a poor imitation of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Keith : "I don't know that we were trying to copy the Beatles. I never listened any more to the Beatles than to anyone else in those days when we were working. It's probably more down to the fact that we were going through the same things. Maybe we were doing it a little bit after them. Anyway, we were following them through so many scenes. We're only just mirrors ourselves of that whole thing. It took us much longer to get a record out for us, our stuff was always coming out later anyway."

Mick : "Satanic Majesties was the mood of the time. You can't play or write outside the mood of the times, unless you live on a mountain... In those times it was flowers, beads and stars on your face, that's what it was. In fact, I'm rather fond of that album, and I wouldn't mind doing something like that again... We were just obviously out to lunch. I'm saying this because I just heard it recently and realized how much I liked it. What surprised me was the comedic feeling and all the jokes and things we'd never dream of doing now."


Keith : "There was a time in '67, when everybody just stopped, everything just stopped dead. Everybody was trying to work it out, what was going to go on. So many weird things happened to so many  weird people at one time. America really turned itself round, the kids.... coming together... The only thing I can say, from the Stones' point of view, is that it was the first album we ever made off the road. Because we stopped touring; we just burned up by 1966. We finished Between The Buttons, you know, Let's Spend the Night Together, and boom, we stopped working for like a year and a half. And in that year and a half, we had to make another album. And that was insane - on acid, busted, right? It was like such a fractured business, a total alien way of working to us at the time. So it kind of reflects."

Bill Wyman wrote and sang a track on the album: "In Another Land", also released as a single in the US, the first on which Jagger did not sing lead.


Bill Wyman : "I went to the studio one night and when I arrived at the studio Glyn Johns said, The session's canceled, so I said, Oh, what a drag, 'cause it was quite a drive for me, about a 45 minute drive. And he said, Well... got any songs you want to mess around, try and demo and things? Nicky Hopkins was there on keyboards. I'm not sure whether Charlie was there or not. I can't remember. And I said, Yeah, 'cause I'd been messing with this song. It was a bit... what I thought was kind of spacy, you know... a bit kind of Satanic Majesties-like. And psychedelic in a way. And he said, We'll have a go at it and I just used those players and next door, in the other studio, were the Small Faces who were recording. And Steve Marriott came in and Ronnie Lane and they sang with me 'cause I just didn't want to sing. So I used that tremolo effect on the voice 'cause I was really uptight about my singing - which I still am. And we just used effects and we tried all kinds of things and it came out quite nice and I went home sort of reasonably satisfied, with an experiment, if you like.

"The next day I got to the studio and we were just chatting about what we were going to do tonight and Glyn said, Hey, hang on, he said to Mick and Keith and Brian. He said, Hang on, have a listen to this, and put the tape on, played them a rough mix. They said, That's really good, what is it? He said, Bill. He did it yesterday. And so they all liked it and they thought it fitted in so we put it on the album."


On 12 December 1967, Brian Jones appeared in court in London for his appeal; Mick Jagger attended for moral support. The defence provided medical testimony that he had become suicidal. His prison sentence is quashed, and he is fined £1,000, and given 3 years probation with an order to seek professional help.

Keith : "It started coming down heavy for Brian when he got busted for drugs. After that in the next year Brian was out of it. By then it looked like the police were just out to get Brian."

The following day, Jones was driven to hospital by his chauffeur, after being found unconscious in his flat following drug and alcohol over-use. He returns to the Priory clinic.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In January 1968, Mick Jagger purchases a flat in Chester Square in London; Brian Jones participates in the Jimi Hendrix Experience's recording of 'All Along the
 Watchtower' at Olympic Sound Studios; and Keith Richard recovers in Paris after catching hepatitis in Morocco.

Keith : "Around 1966 or so, after 3 or 4 years of constantly being on the road, rocking the Rolling Stones, I took a little time off and started to listen to some blues again. On the road, none of us had had the time to listen to much beyond the Top 10: our stuff, the Beatles, and Phil Spector's latest. All great records. But when we finally came off the road, I started listening to Blind Blake. A whole lot of blues had become available that we just couldn't get in England back in ‘61 or ‘62..."

The band spent the first few months of 1968 working on material for their next album - rehearsing at Keith Richard's house Redlands in West Wittering, Sussex.

Keith : "Then I started looking into some '20s and '30s blues records. Slowly I began to realize that a lot of them were in very strange tunings. These  guys would pick up a guitar, and a lot of times it would be tuned a certain way, and that's how they'd learn to play it. It might be some amazing sort of a mode, some strange thing. And that's why for years you could have been trying to figure out how some guy does this lick, and then you realize that he has this one string that is supposed to be up high, and he has it turned down an octave lower. And later Ry Cooder popped in, who had the tunings down. He had the open G. By then I was working on open E and open D tunings. I was trying to figure out Fred McDowell shit, Blind Willie McTell stuff. I used open D on Beggars Banquet. Street Fighting Man is all that, and Jumpin' Jack Flash."

In February and March 1968, The Rolling Stones hold more rehearsals at R. G. Jones Studios in Morden, Surrey, with newly hired producer Jimmy Miller.

Bill Wyman : "I think that everybody knew that we had to get back to our roots, you know, and start over. That's why we got Jimmy Miller as a producer and came out with Beggars Banquet and those kinds of albums after, which was reverting back and getting more guts - which is what the Stones are all about."

Glyn Johns : "Jagger came to me after Satanic Majesties and said, We're going to get a new producer, so I said, OK, fine. He said, We're going to get an American. I thought, Oh my God, that's all I need. I don't think my ego can stand having some bloody Yankee coming in here and start telling me what sort of sound to get with the Rolling Stones. So I said, I know somebody! I know there's one in England already and he's fantastic, and he'd just done the Traffic album: Jimmy Miller. And it was a remarkably good record he made, the first record he made with Traffic. I said, He's a really nice guy. I'd met him, he'd been in the next studio room and I said, I'm sure he'd be fantastic. Anything but some strange lunatic, drug addict from Los Angeles. So... Jagger actually took the bait and off he went, met Jimmy Miller and gave him the job."


In March, Jagger purchased the country house Stargroves, near Newbury in Berkshire, which he starts renovating.  On 17 March 1968 he participates in the first major British demonstration against the Vietnam War, at London's Grosvenor Square outside the American Embassy.

The same day, The Rolling Stones start recording sessions for their next album at Olympic Studios in London. By the time of Beggars Banquet's release, Brian Jones was only sporadically contributing to the band.
Keith : "Brian, in many ways, was a right cunt. He was a bastard. Mean, generous, anything. You want to say one thing, give it the opposite too. But more so than most people, you know. Up to a point, you could put up with it. When you were put under the pressures of the road, either you took it seriously or you took it as a joke. Which meant that eventually - it was a very slow process, and it shifted and changed, and it is so impossible to describe - but in the last year or so, when Brian was almost totally incapacitated all of the time, he became a joke to the band. It was the only way we could deal with it without getting mad at him. So then it became that very cruel, piss-taking thing behind his back all the time... there was no immediate necessity to go through the drama of replacing Brian because no gigs were lined up. We first had to recognize the fact that we needed to make a really good album. After Satanic Majesties we wanted to make a STONES album."

On 20 March, Keith Richards' ex-girlfriend, Linda Keith, is found unconscious at Brian Jones' apartment following a drug overdose.
On 12 May 1968, The Rolling Stones perform their first public performance in over a year, at the NME Poll-Winners' Concert, at the Empire Pool in Wembley, London.


During May, sessions continue for the album, with the group working on "Dear Doctor" / "Family"  /  "Factory Girl"  and  "Stray Cat Blues
On 21 May, days before the release of their new single, Brian Jones was arrested for a second time at his apartment, for possession of cannabis. He is sent to Marlborough Street Magistrates Court where he is charged. He moves temporarily into Redlands with Keith Richard.


On 24 May, The Rolling Stones' single "Jumpin' Jack Flash" was released in the UK. Within a month, it would top the UK charts - becoming their 8th UK Number 1.


The Single :
"Jumpin' Jack Flash" was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richard, and performed by The Rolling Stones.

Called "supernatural Delta blues by way of Swinging London" by Rolling Stone magazine, the song was perceived by some as the band's return to their blues roots after the baroque pop and psychedelia heard on their preceding albums, and features a distinctive guitar sound -

Keith : "I used a Gibson Hummingbird acoustic tuned to open D, six string. Open D or open E, which is the same thing – same intervals – but it would be slackened down some for D. Then there was a capo on it, to get that really tight sound. And there was another guitar over the top of that, but tuned to Nashville tuning. I learned that from somebody in George Jones' band in San Antonio in 1964. The high-strung guitar was an acoustic, too. Both acoustics were put through a Philips cassette recorder. Just jam the mic right in the guitar and play it back through an extension speaker."

Richard has stated that he and Jagger wrote the lyrics while staying at Richard's country house, when they were awoken one morning by the clumping footsteps of his gardener Jack Dyer walking past the window. Surprised, Jagger asked what it was and Richards responded: "Oh, that's Jack – that's jumpin' Jack.".

The line "I was born in a crossfire hurricane", was written by Richard, and refers to his being born amid the bombing and air raid sirens of Dartford, England, in 1943 during World War II.

Mick : "The song arose out of all the acid of Satanic Majesties. It's about having a hard time and getting out. Just a metaphor for getting out of all the acid things."


Brian Jones described it as "getting back to the funky, essential essence" following the psychedelia of their previous album.

Bill Wyman claimed to have come up with the song's distinctive main guitar riff on a piano without being credited for it.


Released on 24 May 1968, "Jumpin' Jack Flash" reached the top of the UK Singles Chart and peaked at number three in the United States.


Some early London Records US pressings of the single had a technical flaw in them: about halfway through the song's instrumental bridge, the speed of the master tape slows down for a moment, before coming back to speed. The first Rolling Stones album on which the song appeared was their 1969 compilation album, 'Through the Past, Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2)', one year after the single was released.

Other Versions include :   Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart (1968)  /  The Ventures (1968)  /  Los Salvajes (1968)  /  Wynder K. Frog (1968)  /  Thelma Houston (1969)  /  Moog Machine (1969)  /  Alex Harvey (1969)  /  Hal Singer (1969)  /  Jamul (1970)  /  Ananda Shankar (1970)  /  Johnny Winter (1971)  /  Peter Frampton (1972)  /  "Synnyin Saatanan merkit käsissäin" by Maarit (1973)  /  Godz (1973)  /  The Flamin' Groovies (1974)  /  Marcia Hines (1975)  /  "Det är jag som är Mick" by Dan Tillberg (1979)  /  Leon Russell & New Grass Revival (1981)  /  Neonbabies (1981)  /  The Vibrators (1982)  /  Flower Leperds (1984)  /  The Replacements (1985)  /  Aretha Franklin (1986)  /  Guns n' Roses (1986)  /  The La's (1986)  /  Terence Trent D'Arby (1987)  /  Shed Seven (1996)  /  Alex Chilton (1996)  /  Motörhead (2001)  /  The Twang (2007)  /  Punk Jones (2009)   /  Giant Sand (2011)  /  Danny McEvoy (2011)  /  Sugar Black (2015)  /  Chiptune Planet 8-bit (2015)  /  Krokus (2017)  /  Wolfgang Vrecun (2018)

On This Day  :
17 June : Tom Stoppard's play, The Real Inspector Hound, starring Richard Briers and Ronnie Barker, opened at the Criterion Theatre in London's West End.
18 June : Sally O'Neil, silent film actress of the 1920s, dies aged 59
20 June : Robert Rodriguez, film director, born Robert Anthony Rodriguez in San Antonio, Texas
21 June : Sonique, musician and DJ, born Sonia Marina Clarke in Crouch End, North London
24 June : Joe Frazier knocks out Manuel Ramos in 2 rounds to win heavyweight boxing title
24 June : In the wake of the recent assassinations of Martin Luther King and Senator Robert Kennedy, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson asked Congress for a bill requiring the registration of every gun in the United States.
25 June : Tony Hancock, comic actor, commits suicide, aged 44, in his flat at Bellevue Hill, New South Wales from an overdose of amylobarbitone tablets washed down with vodka.
28 June : Adam Woodyatt, actor (EastEnders), born Adam Brinley Woodyatt in Walford, East London
29 June : The first large free concert ever held in the UK, "Midsummer High Weekend", held in Hyde Park, London. Pink Floyd, T-Rex, Jethro Tull and Roy Harper were among those appearing, attracting a crowd of 650,000 people.
29 June : Kitty Kelly, actress, dies at 66

Extra! Extra!

Read all about it! :
« Last Edit: June 26, 2020, 04:30:49 PM by daf »

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #1783 on: June 26, 2020, 02:07:03 PM »
I've heard before the story of Bill Wyman coming up with the riff for this - has anyone ever backed him up on it? One to file alongside Andy Rourke getting screwed out of any royalties for "Barbarism Begins at Home", perhaps. Bassists, eh? Who'd be one.

That aside, this might be my favourite Stones song.


  • some weirdo taking the piss
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #1784 on: June 26, 2020, 03:00:00 PM »
The Story So Far & Further : 
In early June 1968, The Rolling Stones held a photo shoot for the inside cover of 'Beggars Banquet', at a house in Hampstead, London.


Also that month, the group are filmed by French film director Jean-Luc Godard for 'One Plus One' - which featured them recording songs for the new album at Olympic Sound Studios, including "Sympathy for the Devil".

Mick : "I wrote Sympathy for the Devil as sort of like a Bob Dylan song. I mean, Keith suggested that we do it in another rhythm, so that's how bands help you... I knew it was something good, 'cause I would just keep banging away at it until the fucking band recorded it... But I knew it was a good song. You just have this feeling. It had its poetic beginning, and then it had historic references and then philosophical jottings and so on. It's all very well to write that in verse, but to make it into a pop song is something different. Especially in England - you're skewered on the altar of pop culture if you become pretentious."


Mick : "It has a very hypnotic groove, a samba, which has a tremendous hypnotic power, rather like good dance music. It doesn't speed up or down. It keeps this constant groove. Plus, the actual samba rhythm is a great one to sing on, but it's also got some other suggestions in it, an undercurrent of being primitive - because it is a primitive African, South American, Afro-whatever-you-call-that rhythm. So to white people, it has a very sinister thing about it. But forgetting the cultural colours, it is a very good vehicle for producing a powerful piece. It becomes less pretentious because it's a very unpretentious groove. If it had been done as a ballad, it wouldn't have been as good."

Having summoned up The Goat of Mendes, and inhaled deeply upon his foul stench, the studio promptly went up in a ball of flames - nice one, Dev!


On 11 June 1968, Brian Jones is back in court at Inner London Sessions and elects trial by jury. He then flies off to Malaga, Spain, with Suki Poitier. On 4 July, Jones and Poitier arrive in Tangier, Morocco  - on the hunt for some top quality "blow" and a 'Tommy Cooper' Fez.

On 7 July 1968, The Byrds, perform a charity concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Two weeks later Keith Richard, along with Anita Pallenberg and Gram Parsons, arrive in Los Angeles to join the final Beggars Banquet mixing sessions.

Keith : "Mick and I went to L.A. in '68 to mix down Beggars Banquet with Jimmy Miller and stayed for two months. Hung out with Taj and the Flying Burritos. Went to the Palomino a lot... In the 60s, I knew these (old blues) guys were using other tunings. Obviously. Up until about '68, we were just on the road so much, I had not time to experiment: Oh, when I get some time off, I'm gonna figure this out. Up until then, the Stones were out like 315 nights a year. It doesn't give you a lot of room to maneuver and check out new things. Around 1967, I was just starting to hang out with Taj Mahal and Gram Parsons, who are all students too. I mean, Taj, as beautiful as he is, is a student who basically approaches the blues from a white man's angle. He's got it all together, and always did have. But at the same time, he came from that angle. He's very academic about it. He showed me a couple of things. So in that year I started to get into that, and the Nashville tuning the country boys use - the high stringing - and all the other things you can do. When I was locked into regular, I thought, The guitar is capable of more than this - or is it? Let's find out... "

On 23 July, Brian Jones records the Master Musicians of Joujouka in Marrakesh, Morocco.

Mick : "I remember Brian playing his Moroccan tapes. We had this engineer we were working with, George Chkiantz, and George was one of the first people to be heavily into phasing, which was like the scratching of the middle '60s. So Brian took all of the Joujouka tapes and put them through phasing, which was really quite before its time. I always felt the Stones were quite adventurous that way."

In August 1968, Gram Parsons spent time with Keith Richard at Redlands. Richard, rising like a Draclea from his stygian pimp's tomb at midnight, ruthlessly extracted Parsons' country music knowledge - in exchange for some delicious cold turkey sandwiches!!

Keith : "The Byrds' next gig was to be in South Africa, and we told Gram English bands never even went there. So he threw in his lot with the Stones and hung around London. The reason Gram and I were together more than other musicians is because I really wanted to learn what Gram had to offer. Gram was really intrigued by me and the band. Although we came from England, Gram and I shared this instinctive affinity for the real South. Gram showed me the mechanics for country music... Gram knew songs that I'd forgotten or had never known. He introduced me to a lot of players, and he showed me the difference between the way country would be played in Nashville and in Bakersfield - the two schools - with a completely different sound and attitude. But apart from that he was just a very special guy. He was my mate, and I wish he'd remained my mate for a lot longer. It's not often you can lie around on a bed with a guy having cold turkey, in tandem, and still get along."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

On 31 August, The Rolling Stones' released the US single "Street Fighting Man", (b/w "No Expectations"). This was barely a week after violent confrontations between the police and anti-Vietnam War protesters at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Worried about the possibility of the song inciting further violence, Chicago radio stations refused to play the song.

Mick : "I'm rather pleased to hear they have banned it. The last time they banned one of our records in America, it sold a million."


Keith : "The basic track of Street Fighting Man was done on a mono cassette with very distorted overrecording, on a Phillips cassette player with no limiter. Just distortion. Just two acoustics, played right into the mike, and hit very hard. There's a sitar in the back, too. That would give the effect of the high notes on the guitar. And Charlie was playing his little 1930s drummer's practice kit. It was all sort of built into a little attaché case, so some drummer who was going to his gig on the train could open it up - with two little things about the size of small tambourines without the bells on them, and the skin was stretched over that. And he set up this little cymbal, and this little hi-hat would unfold. Charlie sat right in front of the microphone with it. I mean, this drum sound is massive. When you're recording, the size of things has got nothing to do with it. It's how you record them. Everything there was totally acoustic. The only electric instrument on there is the bass guitar, which I overdubbed afterwards."

Charlie Watts : "Street Fighting Man" was recorded on Keith's cassette with a 1930s toy drum kit called a London Jazz Kit Set, which I bought in an antiques shop, and which I've still got at home. It came in a little suitcase, and there were wire brackets you put the drums in; they were like small tambourines with no jangles ... The snare drum was fantastic because it had a really thin skin with a snare right underneath, but only two strands of gut ... Keith loved playing with the early cassette machines because they would overload, and when they overload they sounded fantastic, although you weren't meant to do that. We usually played in one of the bedrooms on tour. Keith would be sitting on a cushion playing a guitar and the tiny kit was a way of getting close to him. The drums were really loud compared to the acoustic guitar and the pitch of them would go right through the sound. You'd always have a great backbeat."


The US single version was released in mono with an additional vocal overdub on the choruses, and thus is different from the stereo version on the album.

Mick : "It was a very strange time in France. But not only in France but also in America, because of the Vietnam War and these endless disruptions.... I wrote a lot of the melody and all the words for Street Fighting Man, and Keith and I sat around and made this wonderful track, with Dave Mason playing the shehani on it live. It's a kind of Indian reed instrument a bit like a primitive clarinet. It comes in at the end of the tune. It has a very wailing, strange sound... There was all this violence going on. I mean, they almost toppled the government in France; De Gaulle went into this complete funk, as he had in the past, and he went and sort of locked himself in his house in the country. And so the government was almost inactive. And the French riot police were amazing. Yeah, it was a direct inspiration, because by contrast, London was very quiet..."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In September 1968, Keith Richard moves into Robert Fraser's apartment in London with Anita Pallenberg, and starts experimenting with heroin.

Keith : "Taking heroin was a really, really gradual thing. I would stop for 6 months, take it for a month, stop for 4 months, then take it for 2. I started taking it because it was... around. I liked it as a mixture."

On 26 September, Brian Jones attends his trial in London, with Jagger, Richard and Brian's current girlfriend Suki Poitier present. He is found guilty of possession of a fez cannabis and fined.

Keith : "It didn't hit me for months because I hadn't seen him a lot. The only time we'd seen him was down at the courthouse, at one of his trials. They really roughed him up, man. He wasn't a cat that could stand that kind of thing and they really went for him like when hunting dogs smell blood. There's one we'll break, so keep on. And they busted him and busted him. That cat got so paranoid at the end like unto Lenny Bruce, the same tactics. Break him down. Maybe with Mick and me, they felt they're just old lads."

During September and October 1968, Mick Jagger shoots his acting part in the film 'Performance' in London, alongside Anita Pallenberg.
 The film stars James Fox as a violent and ambitious London gangster who, after killing an old friend, goes into hiding at the home of a reclusive rock star played by Jagger.


Due to the reluctance of Warner Bros. to distribute the film owing to its sexual content and graphic violence - (during a test screening, one Warner executive's wife vomited in shock!) - it was not released until 1970.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In early October, Marianne Faithfull's pregnancy to Mick Jagger's child becomes public. Sadly, she would suffer a miscarriage at the end of the month.


In mid October, Jagger appears on British TV's Frost on Saturday, and discusses marriage and living out of wedlock with house-proud town-mouse, Mary Whitehouse, founder of the National Fusspots and Busybodies Association.

On 30 October, Bill Wyman and Astrid Lundstrom moved into 14th Century crumbling pile Gedding Hall, in Bury St Edmunds, no doubt hoping to lure some local sexy schoolgirls into his newly constructed photographic studio, and fully equipped sex-dungeon dark room, to watch him finger his "double bass" - the dirty bugger!

In November, Mick Jagger records the soundtrack for Kenneth Anger's film 'Invocation of My Demon Brother' - providing "wonderful savant Moogisms" at his Cheyne Walk apartment.

The same month, Brian Jones purchases Cotchford Farm in Hartfield, Sussex - the former home of author A. A. Milne, and group began work on their next album , 'Let it Bleed' with sessions at Olympic Sound Studios in London - starting work on "You Can't Always Get What You Want" and "Memo from Turner" - which was featured in Performance, and later released as a solo Jagger single in 1970.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

On 6 December 1968, The Rolling Stones released 'Beggars Banquet' - their 9th US and 7th UK studio album. An eclectic mix of country and blues-inspired tunes, it marked the band's return to their roots. It was also the beginning of their collaboration with producer Jimmy Miller. It was well received at the time of release and reached No. 3 in the UK and No. 5 in the US.

Keith : "There is a change between material on Satanic Majesties and Beggars Banquet. I'd grown sick to death of the whole Maharishi guru shit and the beads and bells. Who knows where these things come from, but I guess it was a reaction to what we'd done in our time off and also that severe dose of reality. A spell in prison ... will certainly give you room for thought ... I was fucking pissed with being busted. So it was, 'Right we'll go and strip this thing down.' There's a lot of anger in the music from that period."

Controversy over the design of the album cover, which featured a public toilet with graffiti covering the walls of a stall, delayed the album's release for nearly six months.


The substituted cover took the form of a white invitation card.


Mick : "God, what was I doing during that time? Who was I living with? It was all recorded in London, and I was living in this rented house in Chester Square. I was living with Marianne Faithfull. Was I still? Yeah. And I was just writing a lot, reading a lot. I was educating myself. I was reading a lot of poetry, I was reading a lot of philosophy. I was out and about. I was very social, always hanging out with (art gallery owner) Robert Fraser's group of people. And I wasn't taking so many drugs that it was messing up my creative processes. It was a very good period, 1968 - there was good feeling in the air. It was very a creative period for everyone. There was lot going on in the theater. Marianne was kind of involved with it, so I would go to the theater upstairs, hang out with the young directors of the time and the young filmmakers."


When he did show up at the sessions, Brian Jones behaved erratically due to his drug use and emotional problems. 

Jimmy Miller : "When he would show up at a session—let's say he had just bought a sitar that day, he'd feel like playing it, so he'd look in his calendar to see if the Stones were in. Now he may have missed the previous four sessions. We'd be doing let's say, a blues thing. He'd walk in with a sitar, which was totally irrelevant to what we were doing, and want to play it. I used to try to accommodate him. I would isolate him, put him in a booth and not record him onto any track that we really needed. And the others, particularly Mick and Keith, would often say to me, 'Just tell him to piss off and get the hell out of here'."

Brian Jones played sitar and tanpura on "Street Fighting Man"  /  slide guitar on "No Expectations"  /  acoustic guitar and harmonica on "Parachute Woman"  /   harmonica "Dear Doctor" and "Prodigal Son"  /  and Mellotron on "Jigsaw Puzzle" and "Stray Cat Blues".

Mick : "That's Brian playing on No Expectations. We were sitting around in a circle on the floor, singing and playing, recording with open mikes. That was the last time I remember Brian really being totally involved in something that was really worth doing. He was there with everyone else. It's funny how you remember - but that was the last moment I remember him doing that, because he had just lost interest in everything."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In early December 1968, The Rolling Stones rehearsed and filmed The Rolling Stones' Rock and Roll Circus at Intertel Studios in London. Originally began as an idea about "the new shape of the rock-and-roll concert tour", it featured John Lennon, Yoko Ono, the Dirty Mac, The Who, Jethro Toe, Marianne Faithfull, and Taj Mahal.

The performances began at around 2 pm on 11 December, but setting up between acts and reloading cameras took longer than planned, which meant that the final performances took place at almost 5 o'clock in the morning on the 12th. By that time the audience and most of the Rolling Stones were exhausted. It was only due to Jagger's sheer enthusiasm and stamina that they kept going until the end.

Pete Townshend : "When they really get moving, there is a kind of white magic that starts to replace the black magic, and everything starts to really fly. That didn't happen on this occasion; there's no question about that. They weren't just usurped by The Who, they were also usurped by Taj Mahal – who was just, as always, extraordinary. They were usurped to some extent by the event itself: the crowd by the time the Stones went on were radically festive."


This was the last public performance of Brian Jones with the Rolling Stones, and for much of the Stones performance he is inaudible, although his slide guitar on "No Expectations", maracas on "Sympathy for the Devil", and rhythm guitar on "Jumpin' Jack Flash" remain clear.

Ian Anderson : "Brian Jones was well past his sell-by date by then… We spoke to Brian and he didn't really know what was going on. He was rather cut off from the others – there was a lot of embarrassed silence. But a delightful chap, and we felt rather sorry for him… I was approached for an interview by a chap from Record Mirror… I inadvertently remarked that the Stones were a bit under-rehearsed and that Brian couldn't even tune his guitar, which was literally the truth but a bit tactless and inappropriate for me to say. This was duly reported, whereupon Mick Jagger was mightily upset. I had to send a grovelling apology to his office."


Jagger was reportedly so disappointed with his and the band's performance that he cancelled the airing of the film, and kept it from public view. During April 1969, The Rolling Stones held rehearsals at their London warehouse studio, and planned a re-shoot of their Rock & Roll Circus segment at the Coliseum in Rome in late June.

Mick Jagger : "I have just made arrangements for the new Stones to appear at the Colosseum in Rome... We chose Rome for the concert becaue it is a very good visual thing. And the other reason is that I wasn't satisfied with the Rolling Stones part of the Rock & Roll Circus film we made and we want to do it again in the Colosseum, the first ever circus."

This was never filmed, and the original 1968 footage, shelved for twenty-eight years, was eventually officially released in 1996.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In December 1968, Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull, Keith Richard and Anita Pallenberg fly off for a 3-week holiday in Peru and Brazil.

Keith : "On a trip to South America, Mick and I went to a ranch and wrote Honky Tonk Women because it was into a cowboy thing. All these spades are fantastic cowboys. Beautiful ponies and quarter horses. Miles from anywhere. Just like being in Arizona or something.... We used to see the same couple in the bar, who kept saying to us, Who ARE you? What's it all about? Come on, give us a clue. Just give us a glimmer.  That's when Mick and I started to call ourselves the Glimmer Twins."
In late December 1968, Brian Jones and Suki Poitier start a prolonged stay in Sri Lanka, and 
Anita Pallenberg found herself up the junction with a Keith-shaped bun in the oven.


[Keith's mum] Doris Richards : "I didn't know Anita was expecting. Keith simply asked me if I could do some knitting for them. I remember when they came back from South America, Anita pointed to her tummy and said, Marlon's been to Brazil. Keith looked like Jesus Christ then, wearing this big white robe. It seemed like he was floating on air. Anita looked like a schoolgirl when I first met her. They were very lovey-dovey in the beginning. Keith told me they were gypsies. He told me they ate like gypsies and packed like gypsies. In his flat there would be one whole room with clothes on the floor."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
In February 1969: The Rolling Stones resumed recording sessions at Olympic Sound Studios, for their next album, mostly without Brian Jones - starting work on 'You Got the Silver' and 'Gimmie Shelter'. 
In March, the group worked on 'Love in Vain' and 'Sister Morphine', among other songs.

Keith : "Ry Cooder came over with Jack Nitzsche, and we said, Do you want to come along and play? The first thing Mick wanted was to re-cut Sister Morphine with the Stones, which is what we got together. He's also playing mandolin on Love In Vain or ... he's on another track too. He played beautifully, man."

Mick : "Marianne Faithfull wrote a couple of lines [for Sister Morphine]; she always she wrote everything, though. She's always complaining she doesn't get enough money from it. Now she says she should have got it all... (Cousin cocaine...), that's the bit she wrote. ... It's about a man after an accident, really. It's not about being addicted to morphine so much as that. Ry Cooder plays wonderfully on that."

Keith : "For a time we thought the songs that were on that first album by Robert Johnson were the only recordings he had made, and then suddenly around '67 or '68 up comes this second (bootleg) collection that included Love in Vain. Love in Vain was such a beautiful song. Mick and I both loved it, and at the time I was working and playing around with Gram Parsons, and I started searching around for a different way to present it, because if we were going to record it there was no point in trying to copy the Robert Johnson style or ways and styles. We took it a little bit more country, a little bit more formalized, and Mick felt comfortable with that."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In April 1969, Brian Jones, following another stay at The Priory clinic, starts seeing Anna Wohlin; while Mick Jagger and Keith Richard holiday in Positano, Italy.

Keith : "We wrote some of the songs for Let It Bleed in Positano, south of Naples in Italy. We'd been there before. We knew the place vaguely and someone offered us their house there. It was empty, barren, very cold. Huge fires and we just sat and wrote. Did Midnight Rambler there, Monkey Man and some others."

Mick : "Midnight Rambler is a song Keith and I really wrote together. We were on a holiday in Italy. In this very beautiful hill town, Positano, for a few nights. Why we should write such a dark song in this beautiful, sunny place, I really don't know. We wrote everything there - the tempo changes, everything. And I'm playing the harmonica in these little cafés, and there's Keith with the guitar."

In May 1969, Keith Richard purchases an apartment on Cheyne Walk in London, near Mick Jagger's; while Brian Jones managed to crash his motorcycle into a shop window near his home - the dozy twat!

On 21 May, The Rolling Stones hold their last photo shoot with Brian Jones, near Tower Bridge in London, resulting in the cover used for the compilation album Through The Past, Darkly.


Originally issued in September 1969 in a novel octagonal gate-fold sleeve, it featured an epitaph for the recently departed Jones : "With this you see, remember me and bear me in your mind. Let all the world say what they may, speak of me as you find."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

On 28 May, Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull are arrested at their Cheyne Walk apartment for possession of cannabis. They are brought to court, charged and released on bail.

On 31 May, Mick Taylor, recent member of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, starts recording with the Rolling Stones, playing on 'Live with Me'.

Ian Stewart : "The band weren't really worried about replacing Brian because in ‘68-69, they WERE top of the heap. They could have had anybody they wanted, including GOD himself. Clapton came to a recording session. Mick Taylor was very quiet and shy, but they got him playing. He was right. He could play."

Mick Taylor : "Mick was in a side room doing an interview with the International Times, and Jimmy Miller was just sitting there. Keith turned up 3 hours later. It was like a bolt out of the blue, taking me completely by surprise. As soon as it was offered, of course, I wanted the job. It was very loose, nothing was discussed. I just went to the studio and played."

Keith : "Mick Taylor turns up and plays like an angel, and I wasn't going to say no. I thought I'd let the guy develop, because by then I thought I was an old hand - I was all of 25 years old! That's what four years on the road would do to you. You came out at the other end and you were already 50; you'd seen a lot of things."


On 7 June 1969, Keith Richard and Anita Pallenberg suffer a car crash near Redlands, while Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull attend the Blind Faith Hyde Park free concert in London.

On 8 June, Mick, Keith and Charlie Watts visit Brian Jones at his home in Cotchford Farm and tell him he has to leave the group. They issue a press statement that 'Brian Jones is leaving the Rolling Stones'.

Mick : "We felt like we had a wooden leg. We wanted to go out and play but Brian couldn't. I don't think that he really wanted to and it was this that really pissed me off. He didn't have any desire to go onstage and play... It was difficult (firing him). Not as difficult as I thought. It's terrible to think about, but when you get there although it's pretty awful, it's not that bad. I wasn't used to kicking people out of the band. But we had to have more than two people. I think Charlie believed in what we did. We had to. It was either stand up or fall over. I elected to stand up."

Jones admitted that he was unable to go on the road again, and left the band saying, "I've left, and if I want to I can come back."

Ian Stewart : "I don't think Brian was all that upset about leaving. He was past being bothered. They were very fair to Brian. He had all the time in the world to get himself together. When the break was made a lot of people rallied round him."

On 13 June, The Rolling Stones held a press conference at Hyde Park, London, announcing the arrival of Mick Taylor and their 5 July Hyde Park Free Concert.

Mick Taylor : "I was pretty sure at first but I felt I wanted a little time to think things over. I examined my own reasons for wanting to do it. And they were for the experience and the musical reasons more than for the recognition and the money. It was so unexpected. It's all a bit strange for me, but I don't really feel a part of the group yet and I won't do until I have been with them for quite a while and played with them on gigs. What they do is a mixture of soul, folk and blues and I like all those things."
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
On 2 July 1969, Brian Jones was found dead in his swimming pool at Cotchford Farm late in the evening. The Rolling Stones are informed while working at Olympic Sound Studios.

Mick Jagger : "I am just so unhappy. I am so shocked and worldless and so sad. Something has gone. I have really lost something. We were like a pack, one family in a way. I just say my prayers for him. I hope he becomes blessed, I hope he is finding peace... and I really want him to."

On 5 July, The Rolling Stones performed their first full concert in over two years, headlining a free concert in Hyde Park in London to over 250 000 people, now dedicated to Brian Jones' memory.

Mick Jagger : "Brian will be at the concert. I mean, he'll be there! But it all depends on what you believe in. If you're agnostic, he's just dead, and that's it. When we get there this afternoon, he's gonna be there. I don't believe in Western bereavement. You know, I can't suddenly drape a long black veil and walk the hills. But it is still very upsetting. I want to make it so that Brian's send-off from the world is filled with as much happiness as possible."

Mick Taylor : "Yes, I feel I am a Rolling Stone now. I didn't at first. It wasn't like being part of the group until we did that concert in the park. I've done quite a bit of recording with them now, and I'm playing what I want to play. I don't want to play solos all the time - I like to play songs... we want to do a tour next, probably a world tour in the autumn."

Keith : "I can't stop dreaming about it. It had to be the biggest crowd I've ever seen. They were the stars of the show; like some massive religious gathering on the shores of the Ganges. I was a bit shaky at first but then I started enjoying myself and it was just like it was two years ago."

Mick Taylor : "They certainly never made any comparisons between me and Brian. As far as they were concerned it was a new phase in their career. I was aware of being tested as a personality, but I never felt intimidated as a player. I was a bit overawed by it. I was very tense, very nervous and probably very introverted. They did what they could to make me feel relaxed. On a social level I was very much the new boy of the group. But I always felt we shared a musical rapport. I had to find my own level to become a part of their situation. It took me a long time to find myself within the group. It was a gradual process of fitting in with the band, playing in a way which contributed not only to the sound but to everything."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Previously :
173.   It's All Over Now
182.   Little Red Rooster
190.   The Last Time
202.   (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
205.   Get Off Of My Cloud
210b. 19th Nervous Breakdown
215.   Paint It, Black
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
« Last Edit: June 26, 2020, 04:45:18 PM by daf »


  • some weirdo taking the piss
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #1785 on: June 26, 2020, 05:38:16 PM »
To keep the Glitch King happy, let's have a dip into my emergency 'odds & sods' bag . . .


  • the Zone of Zero Funkativity
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #1786 on: June 26, 2020, 06:04:08 PM »
Make no mistake, Jumping Jack Flash is an incredible song. What a sound.


  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #1787 on: June 26, 2020, 08:40:27 PM »
Still can't stand the Stones.


  • some weirdo taking the piss
Up Yours Enoch!, it's . . .

252.  The Equals - Baby Come Back

From : 30 June – 20 July 1968
Weeks : 3
Flip side : Hold Me Closer
Bonus 1 : Beat Club
Bonus 2 : Live in Paris

The Story So Far : 
The Equals were noted as being the first major interracial rock group in the UK and one of the few racially mixed bands of the era. Lead singer Dervan "Derv" Gordon and his brother, Lincoln Gordon were born in Jamaica, and came to the UK as children in the mid-fifties.

Derv Gordon : "When I was about seven years old I came to the U.K. from Jamaica. It was an incredible shock being from the Caribbean. I came in December and I’d never experienced cold before. When the plane landed in London I wanted to go back on the plane and they said, ‘Well, no—you can’t.’ It was so cold. I’d never seen snow before in my life, apart from in movies. What I thought fascinating were all the houses with three or four floors. Never seen that before. In Jamaica you’ve got bungalows, right? But also what was fascinating was there was smoke coming out of the tops of the buildings. I thought, ‘Holy crow—they’re on fire! Why are all these buildings on fire?!’"

The group's members met on a Hornsey Rise council estate, where Eddy Grant (Lead Guitar) - originally from Plaisance, British Guiana, and white Londoners Pat Lloyd (Rhythm Guitar) and John Hall (drums) were school friends at Acland Burghley. In 1965, Hall suggested that they form a band.

Derv Gordon : "Eddy Grant and Pat Lloyd and John Hall went to the same school, but myself and my brother went to a different school. We crossed paths because John Hall, the drummer, it was his idea to form a band—not necessarily an interracial band but to form a band. So word got around in the neighborhood. A friend of mine asked me was I interested in joining his band? So I bought a guitar and my brother bought a guitar, and when we turned up for the first meeting, Eddy Grant was there. We’d never met before. So we decided that, ‘Yup, it’s a good idea we’d form a band.’ Eddy Grant was going to be the rhythm guitarist. My brother was going to be the other rhythm guitarist because we wanted two rhythm guitars instead of rhythm guitar and bass. And I wasn’t really interested in learning the guitar so I got rid of it, and they decided, ‘OK, if you’re not going to be the guitarist then you become the lead vocalist.’ I said ‘That’s fine with me!’ because I didn’t want to learn the guitar."

Derv Gordon : "I went to a youth club one night that was out of our neighborhood and of course we weren’t welcome and a skirmish broke out. I saw this guy standing there, so I started to talk to him. I said, ‘You know I’m a musician’—you know, as you do after two or three months. He said, ‘That’s odd because my father just bought me a guitar.’ ‘Well, we’re a guitarist short—would you like to join our band? We could learn as we go along.’ That was Pat Lloyd. It wasn’t a conscious thing for us to be Black and white, it’s just we were Black and white. Later on we were told, ‘It’s never happened before, it’s not going to work. Blacks play with Blacks and whites play with whites.’ We thought … we’re friends, we know each other, we like each other. We enjoy doing this together."

At first The Equals performed in London, and gained a following with their apparently limitless energy and a distinct style fusing pop, blues, and R&B plus elements of ska and bluebeat.

Derv Gordon : "We played Chuck Berry and John Lee Hooker and that stuff because we were big fans of bands like the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, the Pretty Things—those sort of bands, you know? They were doing cover versions of a lot of rhythm and blues and soul. But we found that whenever we played their songs it just didn’t sound right—it didn’t feel right. We decided that we’re not going to be great blues musicians, we’re not going to be great soul artists … so the best thing to do is to start writing our own material and therefore people can’t say ‘You’re playing it badly!’ because it’s yours—so whichever way you play it, it’s got to be good, right? You can see influences from other artists in our music and from other parts of the world. My father used to play a lot of ska stuff and then blue beat, so there’s that little bit of influence in there. Eddy Grant’s father was a musician as well—he’s from Guyana, so there’s this South American thing as well. Influence came from all sorts of directions, really. Then later on we found that writing your own stuff is more profitable because everything belongs to you—all the royalties or whatever. So there you are."

They often opened the bill at shows by visiting American R&B and soul artists such as Bo Diddley, Solomon Burke and Wilson Pickett.

Derv Gordon : "We did what I call our apprenticeship. We had an amateur manager—Lee Shepherd. He was an actor, he knew a lot of people in show business, and he would teach us … you know, stagecraft. Some of it worked, some of it didn’t. One of his great ideas was that I should wear dark glasses. After we were going for about two-and-a-half years we had a gig in a very famous venue at the time, the Bromley Court Hotel. We were supporting—believe it or not—Bo Diddley. The place was absolutely packed. Sweat was pouring from the ceiling, it was so hot. I came onstage with my with my dark glasses and the glasses steamed up and I couldn’t see and I fell off the stage! I thought, ‘No, this is not going to be my image.’ For a start, it’s somewhat painful … But he taught us a lot of stagecraft—not to turn your back to the audience and lots of little things people just take for granted. He’d get us gigs as well, and he knew people in TV and so on and he was a great influence on us."

A neighbour of Grant's, singer Gene Latter, put them in touch with President Records, whose boss Edward Kassner heard them and agreed to sign them.

Derv Gordon : "After about three years … we were rehearsing one night at Eddy Grant’s house and a guy lived next door. His name was Gene Latter and he was a singer. His claim to fame is that he recorded a Rolling Stones song ‘Mother’s Little Helper’ and it got to number 30 or something in Belgium. He knocked on the door and said, ‘That song that you’re playing—whose is it?’ ‘Well, it’s ours.’ ‘OK—I like that song. I’m a singer and I would like to record the song. I know a man and he owns a record company… his name is Eddie Kassner. I can get an appointment with him but you would have to come along and perform the song for me, and from that I think I could get a recording contract.’ We said, ‘Oh wow!’ because we’d tried a couple of record companies and sent them tapes but nothing came of it. A couple of days later he said, ‘I’ve got the meeting at President Records in Denmark Street’. We went along and they took us to the basement of the building where President Records was and we set up. We performed ‘Baby Come Back,’ ‘Hold Me Closer’ and I think ‘I Won’t Be There’ as well. The guy who owned President—Kassner—he said ‘I like your style, I like the way you’re playing, and I want your band to record the songs. I need 10 to 12 songs. I’m going to America and it’s gonna take about three or four weeks. When I come back, do you think you will have 12 songs?’ We looked at each other and in unison, we lied and said ‘Yes.’ We had about seven songs. We thought, ‘Oh sh—holy crow, we’d better write another five songs!’"

Signed to President Records, The Equals released their first single “I Won’t Be There” (b/w "Fire") in November 1966.


Their first LP "Unequalled Equals" was released in early 1967.


This was followed by “Hold Me Closer” in June 1967. It did not do well in the United Kingdom, but after DJs in Europe began playing the flip-side, "Baby Come Back", it went to the number one position in Germany and the Netherlands.

Derv Gordon : "Unequalled Equals got to number eight in the U.K. album charts and it was a big hit on the continent in Germany, Holland, Belgium, and so on. We went off to Germany to do shows like Beat Club, which was a huge TV show shown all over Europe—you had to have a record in the charts in Germany in order to get onto Beat Club. There was a disc jockey in Bremen where Beat Club was recorded, and he had a famous club where the artists that performed on Beat Club would go after recording the show—the usual free drinks and free everything else that you want. On ‘Baby Come Back’ the A side was ‘Hold Me Closer.’ ‘Baby Come Back’ was the B-side. But he thought ‘Baby Come Back’ was the stronger track and he started playing it. And whatever he played disc jockeys from around Germany would pick up on."


"Give Love A Try" (b/w "Another Sad And Lonely Night") was released in October 1967.

Also that month, President released another single by The Equals - "Ethiopia" (b/w "Rough Rider") - due to it's 'bluebeat' sound, it was issued as by The Four Gees . . .

Derv Gordon : "They wouldn’t put it out as the Equals because it wasn’t considered to be Equals-type material. And that song is actually based on a true story of something that happened to my brother! We were on tour in Germany and after the show you’d be invited to various places, and he got dragged off by this, uh, rather enthusiastic female.  The following morning we were having breakfast and I saw this figure come into the hotel looking somewhat … disheveled. I said ‘Whoa, what happened man?’ And he said ‘That was a rough ride…’ So we wrote ‘Rough Rider.’ After recording it, we’d get copies and I took it home. We were still living with my parents then. I was playing it and I didn’t realize my mother was in the house because it was quite a large house. She came in the room and she called me by my full name: ‘Dervin, the words to that song are disgusting!’ I was really embarrassed because I’d never used bad language in front of my mother and I had so much respect for her. She said, ‘It is absolutely disgusting and I don’t think you should ever play that song again!’"

In January 1968, the band released their second album - 'Equals Explosion'.


"I Get So Excited" (b/w "The Skies Above") became their first UK chart entry - reaching #44 in February 1968.


The subsequent re-issue of “Baby, Come Back” in early 1968 reached the top position in the UK, giving President Records its only number one hit.

Derv Gordon : "‘Baby Come Back’ got into the German top 10 and was there for quite some time, and then gradually worked its way over to the U.K. So after it was a hit in Germany it took about six months before it became a hit in the U.K. Everything worked in sort of reverse, really."

The group received a gold disc for a combined one million sales of the Baby, Come Back, which had also been released as part of a four track EP, in April 1968, along with : "Is It Right"  /  "Giddy-Up-A Ding Dong"  / and  "Butterfly Red White And Blue"


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As well as being top musicians, the band cut a dash in the clothes department, becoming equally known for sporting some right old exotic plumage -

Derv Gordon : "I had purple suits, yellow suits, pink suits … it was unheard of for a man to be wearing a pink suit in the city. I don’t know about the U.S. but in the U.K. if a man wore pink he was considered to be gay, for some odd reason. But being from the Caribbean as well, I just love bright colors. In the Caribbean you have all these beautiful flowers—the women would dress in colorful clothes and the men as well. But when we came to England everything was gray. I asked my dad for a blue suit and he thought I was crazy. He bought me a black suit. I’ve hated black suits ever since! When I met my wife, I was wearing a mauve suit. I met her outside of a huge train station and she took one look at me and turned around to run away. A guy wearing a mauve suit and what we called Cuban shoes. She just didn’t want to walk down the road with me wearing an outfit like that. But that’s how we were. I was driving a white sports car as well, which was unusual. From the sports car I bought my first Aston Martin, white with tinted windows which was unusual. Everything about us was unusual."


Eddy Grant would also occasionally perform wearing a woman’s blonde wig - the crazy cat!
Derv Gordon : "Eddy would have his outfits, my brother Lincoln would have his outfits … John was a really snappy dresser as well. Even though he was English and brought up in England he was into colors. We never really discussed it. A lot of things we would think alike, you know. In our music, in our clothes, where to go, the types of cars—we were a five-man unit, really. A lot of bands play together but they’re not mentally or physically or anything together. But we just seemed to be the right people to be amongst each other. London at the time was ‘anything goes.’  In the 50s people would be ‘yes sir, no sir,’ masters and servants and all that. But in the 60s all that went out—you can be anything you wanted to be, you know? There’d never been a time like it before and there’s never been a time like it since."


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Cracking straight on, they released their third album - 'Sensational Equals' in the Summer of 1968.


In August 1968, "Laurel And Hardy" (b/w "The Guy Who Made Her A Star"), reached #35 in the UK chart.


In September 1968, they released their fourth album - 'Equals Supreme'


They closed out the year with "Softly, Softly" (b/w "Lonely Rita") which reached #48 in December 1968.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In January 1969, they released another EP, which included : "I Won't Be There"  /  "Don't Throw Your Love Away"  /  "I Can't Let You Go"  /  and "Lonely"


Their next single, "Michael And The Slipper Tree" (b/w "Honey Gum"), reached #24 in April 1969


The single also featured as the opening song on their fifth album - 'Equals Strike Again'.


Their next single, "Viva Bobby Joe", which reached #6 in August 1969, was soon adopted by West Ham football fans to sing "Viva Bobby Moore", and the World Cup Winning Captain was made an honorary member of the group!

Bobby Moore : "I certainly like the Equals - I can't understand why 'Michael and the Slipper tree' wasn't a big hit. But then I'm a fan of pure pop, starting with the Beatles, but I'm not so keen on the clever-clever scientific underground stuff. All I really want is something that takes my ear - something I can sing or whistle along to, in tune, or out of tune."

In September 1969, all five group members were injured in a motorway car accident in Germany. Grant was the most severely injured and as a result left the touring version of the Equals while initially continuing to write songs for them. The band ended the year with "Rub A Dub Dub" (b/w "After The Lights Go Down Low") - which reached #34 in December 1969.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

1970 started badly with a couple of flops : "Soul Brother Clifford" (b/w "Happy Birthday Girl") in April, followed by "I Can See But You Don't Know" (b/w "Gigolo Sam") in June, but they bounced back with "Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys" (b/w "Ain't Got Nothing To Give You") which reached #9 in December 1970.


According to Derv Gordon, Kassner did not allow the band to tour the U.S. because of problems that might have arisen because of their multiracial line-up, though the band did tour other parts of the world, including Africa.


In 1970, to promote their tour, four "export" singles were released in Zambia without the band's knowledge. These included the topical "Let's Go To The Moon" (b/w "Watching The Girls")  /  "Can't Find A Girl To Love Me" (b/w "I'm A Poor Man")  /  "My Life Ain't Easy" (b/w "Mandy Dandy")  /  and "I'm Gonna Dance All Night" (b/w "Ooh That Kiss")

Derv Gordon : "We toured Zambia a couple of times, and we wanted to tour what was then Rhodesia and now Zimbabwe, but because we were a mixed band they wouldn’t issue us a permit. In South Africa our records were not allowed to have photographs of the band on the sleeves. Actually, the South African sleeve for Unequalled Equals is a black-and-white domino.  Somebody had a great sense of humor. The shows were incredible. One we performed for the then-president of Zambia in a huge hall. But most of the gigs were open air and there were people up in trees and on walls and all sorts of places. It was great experience. But to me it was a bit embarrassing, really. As far as I’m concerned, the birthplace of a lot of modern music is Africa. So it was to me quite like taking coal to Newcastle. But people loved it so … If they love it, what can you say? I was surprised at how successful we were there. I thought, ‘These people really know about music, these people really know how to dance.’ But it was something different and they enjoyed it. And it was a great privilege to do."

In January 1971, Eddy Grant suffered a collapsed lung and heart infection, following which he returned to Guyana. Although The Equals never charted again after Grant's departure, The Equals continued to record, increasingly influenced by funk and reggae music.

Derv Gordon : "In England you had the teddy boys but they weren’t really saying much really. Then the Mod scene started.  I never considered myself to be a Mod, but we had quite a large Mod following, actually. They liked that type of music that we were playing, and that tinge of Caribbean in it as well. The thing with life is that if something is different it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy to sell, and we were not an easy band to sell. Everything was a struggle. But we also built up a reputation as being a very good live performing band. A lot of movement on stage. If you watched a lot of groups from the 60s, they just stood there and didn’t move. Their mouths just about moved, their arms just about moved, but we were all over the place. People loved it. And I loved doing it. I cannot stand still and perform. I could never sit and sing a song. I’ve got to move!"

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"Help Me Simone" (b/w "Love Potion") was released in September 1971, followed by "Stand Up And Be Counted" (b/w "What Would You Do To Survive") in March 1972, and "Have I The Right" ("Lover Let Me Go") in May 1972.


Two further chart-dodging flops emerged in 1973 - "Honey Bee" (b/w "Put Some Rock And Roll In Your Soul") in August, and "Diversion" (b/w "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow") in November 1973.


"Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes" (b/w "She Lives For Today") was released in May 1974, and their final single for President Records was "Georgetown Girl (Yes I)" (b/w "We've Got It All Worked Out"), which was released in May 1975.

The group signed with Mercury and released two singles in 1976 : "Kaywana Sunshine Girl" (b/w "Soul Mother") in May, and "Funky Like A Train" (b/w "If You Didn't Miss Me") in July 1976.


In June 1977, they released "Irma La Douce" (b/w "Ire Harry") - the same month as their old record company stuck out "Beautiful Clown" (b/w "Daily Love") - which had originally been recorded with the long departed Eddy Grant in 1971.

In February 1978, now on Ice records, the group released "Red Dog" (b/w "Something Beautiful"), and the album Mystic Syster, before splitting up.

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In 1982, Pat Lloyd reformed The Equals and became trademark and copyright owner with Eddy Grant. The band in 1982 consisted of Pat Lloyd, Derv and Lincoln Gordon, plus new bugs - Ronnie Telemacque and Rob Hendry. Lincoln Gordon left the band shortly after its reformation, and in the same year David (Dzal) Martin – who had been a member between 1973 and 1975 – rejoined permanently as lead guitarist.

The group, now on the Moggie label, knocked out one final original single - "No Place To Go" (b/w "Back Streets") - in July 1983. Their final release was an updated remix of Bobby Moore's favourite waxing - "Michael And His Slipper Tree '93" in 1993.


In 2017, Derv Gordon left the band, but the group continues with two new members - Decosta Boyce, previously of the funk band Heatwave, on lead vocals, and Mark Haley on keyboards, previously with a touring version of The Kinks and The Bootleg Rubettes.

The Single :
"Baby, Come Back" was written by Eddy Grant, and originally performed and recorded by The Equals.

The song was first released as the B-side to "Hold Me Closer" in 1966, but did not chart. However, after German DJ's flipped the single, it garnered impressive European sales, and the song was re-issued in the UK on 1 May 1968.


It reached #1 in the UK Singles Chart on 3 July 1968, spending three weeks at the Top. It also charted at number 32 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Other Versions include :   Baobás (1968)  /  "Non c'è pace per me" by Mario Guarnera (1968)  /  The Rokes (1968)  /  "Volte Meu Bem" by The Brazilian Bitles (1969)  /  Conquerors (1978)  /  Bonnie Raitt (1982)  /  Eddy Grant (1984)  /  Elektric Music (1992)  /  Pato Banton featuring Robin and Ali Campbell (1994)  /  Sam Gooris (1995)  /  Party Animals (2000)  /  Desmond Decker (2001)  /  "Bente kom hjem" by Bamses Venner (2003)  /  Bachman Cummings (2007)  /  Angélique Kidjo (2010)  /  Danny McEvoy (2011)  /  23Reasons (2019)

On This Day  :
30 June : Phil Anselmo, (Pantera), born Philip Hansen Anselmo in New Orleans, Louisiana
1 July : John Lennon's 1st full art exhibition (You are Here)
1 July : US, Britain, USSR & 58 nations sign Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty
4 July : Arthur Kopit's "Indians" premieres in London
4 July : Radio astronomy satellite Explorer 38 launched
5 July : John Lennon sells his psychedelic painted Rolls-Royce
6 July : Tennis Champion Billie Jean King beats Judy Tegart 9-7, 7-5 to win the first ever prize money offered at Wimbledon (£750)
7 July : The Yardbirds split up
14 July : Three Soviet space program engineers were killed during the prelaunch testing of a Proton-K rocket,
17 July : The Beatles' animated film "Yellow Submarine" premieres in London
17 July : Bloodless coup in Iraq led by General Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr
18 July : Intel founded by Robert Noyce and Gordon E. Moore
20 July : The first Special Olympics held at Soldier Field in Chicago.
20 July : Joseph Keilberth, German Opera conductor, dies at 60
20 July : Julian Rhind-Tutt, actor, born Julian Alistair Rhind-Tutt in West Drayton, Middlesex
20 July : Kool G Rap, rapper, born Nathaniel Thomas Wilson in Queens, New York
20 July : Jane Asher breaks her engagement with Paul McCartney on live TV

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! :

This track is discussed by The Beatles during the Get Back sessions.