Tag Archives: James Brown

A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS: A PRAYER FOR THE NEW YEAR OF THE TENDER HORSE

Hello All,

It’s been a minute or two and so I wanted to drop a line, a new mixtape, wish you all a Happy New Year, and remind you (as well as myself) that Yes Is The Answer.

All the best to you and yours

—enjoy yourself—

—————Bobby Calero—————

A Prayer For The New Year Of The Tender Horse

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A Mouthful of Pennies Presents:

A Prayer For The New Year of The Tender Horse 

1)   “Now Is The Time” – MLK

2)   Choir [snippet] – James Newton

3)   Mystical Man – Young-Holt Unlimited

4)   A Love Supreme/Illuminations [snippet] – Carlos Santana & Bill Laswell

5)   Mind Games – George Clinton

6)   Cleanup Time (Stripped version) – John Lennon

7)   Poornamadah – Ravi Shankar

8)   New Year’s Prayer – Jeff Buckley

9)   Vandanaa Trayee – Ravi Shankar

10)   Matangi [snippet]/Y.A.L.A. [snippet] – M.I.A.

11)   While I’m Still Here/Black Noise – Nine Inch Nails

12)  Water No Get Enemy – Fela Kuti

13)  Party Seacombe – George Harrison

14)  “I Have A Dream – MLK

15)   Wade in the Water – The Soulful Strings

16)   Are You Ready – Fairfield Four

17)   Wake Up And Live – Bob Marley & The Wailers

18)   A Degree Of Murder – Brian Jones

19)  Love Me Tender/Save The Whole World – The Doors

20)  Love Me Tender – James Brown

21) Where Could I Go But to the Lord – Elvis Presley

22) My Sweet Lord/Gat Kirwani – George Harrison

A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES & BEAN PRESENT: BEAN STEW: VOL. I & 2

 

Hello All!

I know, “back so soon?…,” but today’s post is for a good cause! The good ladies of BEAN (Bushwick Eco Action Network) asked me if I could put together an entertaining two hours of music to serve as the background sound for the Fall Mixer they’re throwing this evening: B.E.A.N. STEW!

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Calling All Bushwick Cultivars, Permies, Gardeners, Farmers, Environmental activist, Organizers, Community leaders and the Eco-curious!

Join us for the Bushwick Eco-Action Network’s Fall Mixer.
Sunday, September 29th from 5-7pm, join us in the lovely garden of Fritzl’s Lunch Box at 173 Irving Avenue.

Come meet amazing groups and individuals who are working hard to do a little good in New York City. Permaculture enthusiasts, community farm members, hydroponic specialists, food co-op organizers, recycling leaders, environmental justice advocates and you, coming together for a sweet happy hour. We are all working hard to realize a better world and a better New York City. Let’s get together in a relaxed and joyous environment to share, mingle and have a few laughs!

Fun raffles prizes include discounts at farm-to-table restaurants, bars with local brews, workshops and more! Happy hour with $2.50 beers! RSVP here.

See you there!

173 Irving Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11237

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(Other than being what a great deal of my wife’s energy goes towards) the Bushwick Eco Action Network (BEAN) provides a forum for ecological observation, exchange, organizing and action.  Inspired by the principles of Permaculture, they seek to create a more balanced urban ecosystem in relationship to Bushwick’s neighborhood growth. — You can learn more about BEAN and see what they’re up to over here….

…Or, you can come on out to Fritzl’s Lunch Box this evening, Sunday, September 29th, to chit-chat and chew-the-fat face-to-face, y’know, the old-fashioned way.

I hope you all can make it out for this fun meeting-of-the-minds, and I hope you all enjoy the tunes I’ve assembled for this 2 volume MixTape for a mixer. I didn’t have too much free time to finely stitch all these together, so there’s certainly some loose threads and a rough patch-job or two, but I’m sure you can dig it! …On a more personal note, I can already hear Autumn creeping in to my taste. Anyway, thanks, and as always–

–Enjoy yourself-

Bean Stew_Vol I

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A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES & BEAN PRESENT:

BEAN STEW: VOL. I

by A Mouthful Of Pennies (Bobby Calero)

Cover art by Keri Kroboth-Calero (w/ an amateur twerk or two by Bobby Calero)

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Bean Stew_Vol II

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A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES & BEAN PRESENT:

BEAN STEW: VOL. II

by A Mouthful Of Pennies (Bobby Calero)

Cover art by Keri Kroboth-Calero (w/ an amateur twerk or two by Bobby Calero)

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Bean Stew_Vol I tracklistBean Stew_Vol II tracklist

—————(BOBBY CALERO)—————

o c c u p y g r e e n s p a c e

#somebodydosomething

 

A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS: SUDDEN DOGS

Hello All,

And the A Mouthful Of Pennies Consortium’s Summer Blow-Out Wholesale Bootleg MixTape Distribution continues! Everything Must Go!

The last MixTape—THE MYTH OF A ROOM—might have been a little too high-falutin’ for some; so, today I present a good ol’ fashion slap-dash quick one for sitting under the afternoon sun with friends and perhaps breaking into a sing-along or two. Sloppy at points and reminding me of a MixTape I might’ve made 10-15 years back (like on an actual tapedeck), this one should be a breeze to roll along to and comes with its own custom-built comedown! …(and another bootleg, grandma with a computer cover art.)

Oh, and don’t forget to checkout some other dope MixTapes posted up in these pages: Longevity Has its Place ; El Ambiente Bien Babes Y Bean de Uruguay: Volume 1Broken Tail-Feathers; The Two Cent Spit; Babylon Bye Bye; and the Nas birthday tribute, Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones is Like…

#thisiswhatpopradioshouldsoundlike!

—Enjoy yourself!

Sudden Dogs

————————(CLICK TO LISTEN & DOWNLOAD)—

A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS:

SUDDEN DOGS

by A Mouthful Of Pennies (Bobby Calero)

(another bootleg, grandma with a computer) album cover by A Mouthful Of Pennies (Bobby Calero, w/ the participation of Moose (L.) & Patti (R.))

Loco MosquitoIggy Pop (’80)

You Keep Me Hanging On [snippet] – Vanilla Fudge (’67)

Hateful The Clash (’79)

Rock & Roll/SympathyJane’s Addiction (live at the Roxy Theatre 1/26/’87)

Once Was A Time I Thought The Mamas & the Papas (’66)

LaydownPrince (’10)

The World Has Turned and Left Me HereWeezer (’94)

Police & ThievesThe Clash (’77)

You’re Crazy (Lies version) – Guns N’ Roses (’89)

Mother Mary (Daytrotter Session version) – Far (’10)

Don’t Push (acoustic) – Bradley Nowell (’92)

Don’t Push/54-46 That’s My Number/Ball And ChainSublime (’92)

Still FameDavid Bowie, James Brown, Dr. Dre, & Snoop Dogg (Pastamasta mash)

It Ain’t Hard To Tell Tom’s DinerSuzanne Vega & Nas (Danger Mouse remix) (’03)

Gunz On My Side/2 Glocks2Pac, Busta Rhymes, Bounty Killa, & Wayne Marshall (DJ Vlad/Dirty Harry/DJ Green Lantern remix) (’03)

The Story of Fela (Open & Close)Fela Kuti (J.Period remix) (’09)

I’ve Been to the MountaintopDr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (4/3/’68)

Tears Of A Samurai/I Shall Be ReleasedThe RZA/Elvis Presley (’07/’71)

—————(BOBBY CALERO)—————

A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS: BROKEN TAIL-FEATHERS

Hello all. Lately I can’t seem to peel myself away from some other projects I’ve got going so I’ve got to hold off a little longer on posting up part 2 to my mix, EL AMBIENTE BIEN BABES Y BEAN DE URUGUAY. But, I’ll be posting some other MixTapes for you to bump through this fading summer, and I’ve got something else here for you today!

For those looking to strut their feathers while throwing a house party, a little backyard boogie, or, to quote Redman, interested in “straight up getting your swerve on whether with a bitch or nigga,” here is two hours, thirteen minutes and twelve seconds of music designed to make you groove and boogaloo ’till you pukethe two-volume bootleg MixTape: BROKEN TAIL-FEATHERS.

—Enjoy yourself!

Broken Tail-Feathers Vol. I

BROKEN TAIL-FEATHERS: (vol. I) Get On

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If you download it, the playlist is listed under the “Lyrics” tab in itunes.

 

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Broken Tail-Feathers Vol. 2

BROKEN TAIL-FEATHERS: (vol. II) Get Off

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If you download it, the playlist is listed under the “Lyrics” tab in itunes.

 

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Broken Tail-Feathers Vol. I

BROKEN TAIL-FEATHERS: (vol. I) Get On

by A Mouthful Of Pennies (Bobby Calero)

cover art by A Mouthful Of Pennies (Bobby Calero)

1)   “This is a journey into sound…”

2)   Body Baby – Pharoahe Monch

3)   Working Day & Night/P.Y.T./Wanna Be Startin Somethin – Michael Jackson (J.Period remix)

4)   B.I.G. Freestyle/Kane Freestyle – The Notorious B.I.G/Big Daddy Kane (J.Period remix)

5)   Amen, Brother [break] – G. C. Coleman

6)   Dracula’s Wedding – André 3000 (Feat. Kelis)

7)   Let’s Dance/Dancing Machine – Michael Jackson (J.Period remix)

8)   Ain’t No Fun – Snoop Dogg (feat. Nate Dogg, Warren G., Nanci Fletcher, and Kurupt)

9)   Gett Off – Prince

10)         Panic So Charming (What the Fuck Style) – J.U.F. (Gogol Bordello & Balkan Beat Box)

11)         Bulgarian Chicks – Balkan Beat Box

12)         Cocaine Blues – Escort

13)         Amen, Brother [break] – G. C. Coleman

14)         Lift Ya Skirt – Ol’ Dirty Bastard

15)         Vivrant Thing/Move/Breathe & Stop – Q-Tip (J.Period Remix)

16)         The loop of ’88 [break] – Simon Harris

17)         I Wanna Rock (Doo Doo Brown) – 2 Live Crew

18)         You Don’t Love Me (No No No) – Dawn Penn

19)         Get Ur Freak On [break] – Missy Elliott & Timbaland

20)         Shanty Town – Desmond Dekker (Diplo remix)

21)         Guns of Brooklyn – Santogold (Diplo remix)

22)         Iko Iko – The Dixie Cups (Diplo remix)

23)         Catembe [break] – Miles Davis

24)         Flava In Ya Ear (March 9 Remix) – The Notorious B.I.G (J.Period Remix)

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Broken Tail-Feathers Vol. 2

BROKEN TAIL-FEATHERS: (vol. II) Get Off

by A Mouthful Of Pennies (Bobby Calero)

Cover art by A Mouthful Of Pennies (Bobby Calero)

1)    “This is a journey into sound…”

2)    Make Some Noise – Beastie Boys

3)    Platinum Plus – Big L & Big Daddy Kane (J. Perdiod remix)

4)    Across The Sea Piano Noodles [snippet] – Weezer

5)    —Run-D.M.C Break—

6)    Big Belly Guns – Tony Matterhorn (Diplo remix)

7)    Get Busy – Sean Paul

8)    A Who Seh Ne Dun (Wake de Man)/Limb By Limb – Cutty Ranks

9)    Teach Me How To Bunny [Instrumental snippet] – Pop Levi & Bunny Holiday

10)  Murder She Wrote – Chaka Demus & Pliers

11)  If I Were A Rich Girl – Louchie Lou & Michie One

12) Fiesta-La – The Fugees (The Heatwave Refix)

13) Freaks – Lil’ Vicious & Doug E. Fresh

14) Action – Nadine Sutherland & Terror Fabulous

15) Tour Mix Part1 – Capleton (Grubson Mix)

16) As I Come Back – Busta Rhymes (Grubson Mix)

17)  Black Sweat – Prince

18)  Let’s Get High – Dr. Dre (feat. Hittman, Kurupt, & Ms. Roq)

19) Bump ‘n’ Grind (R. Kelly cover) – Beck

20) Ignition (Remix) – R. Kelly

21) Funky Drummer [break] – James Brown

22) Life ‘O’ the Party – Prince

23) In the Closet – Michael Jackson (J.Period remix)

24)  Ghetto Musick – Big Boi (feat. Andre 3000)

25)  Over Me – Tricky (feat. Ambersunshower & Hawkman)

26) Welcome To Jamrock – Damian Marley (Rob Dinero Remix Feat. The Notorious B.I.G.)

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———– —– ——– – – – – -roll call roster— — —— – – –

Pharoahe Monch

Michael Jackson

The Notorious B.I.G.

Big Daddy Kane

J. Period

G. C. Coleman (w/ The Winstons).

André 3000

Kelis

Snoop Dogg

Nate Dogg

Warren G.

Nanci Fletcher

Kurupt

Prince

Gogol Bordello

Balkan Beat Box

Escort

Ol’ Dirty Bastard

Q-Tip

Simon Harris

2 Live Crew

Dawn Penn

Missy Elliott & Timbaland

Diplo

 

Desmond Dekker

Santogold

The Dixie Cups

Miles Davis (Poster designed by Roslaw Szaybo, 1989).

Beastie Boys

Big L.

Weezer

Run-D.M.C

Tony Matterhorn

Sean Paul

Cutty Ranks

Pop Levi & Bunny Holiday

Chaka Demus & Pliers

Louchie Lou & Michie One

The Fugees

Lil’ Vicious

Doug E. Fresh

Terror Fabulous

Nadine Sutherland

Capleton

Grubson

Busta Rhymes

Dr. Dre

Hittman

Ms. Roq

Beck

R. Kelly

James Brown

Big Boi

Tricky

Ambersunshower

Hawkman

Damian Marley

DJ Rob Dinero

 

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All the best to you and yours,

—————(BOBBY CALERO)————— —- — — – – – –  – –   – —   –    –

REMEMBER: R.I.P. SHADOW MORTON

Shadow Morton

Hello all. Just popping in today to pay a small tribute to legendary producer and songwriter, Shadow Morton, who died February 14th at the age of 71.

Born George Francis Morton in Brooklyn on Sept. 3, 1941, “Shadow” would go on to pen and produce one of the finest girl group singles of all time, The Shangri-Las’ “Remember (Walking in the Sand).” Certainly rivaling anything committed to tape by Phil Spector, and at just over two minutes in length, “Remember” is a perfect slice of theatric pop imbued with just enough quirk (such as the squeal of sea gulls and the rhythmic chant of the title) to catch the ear without distracting from the haunting melody or The Shangri-Las’ lead singer Mary Weiss’ wail of teenage angst. Shadow Morton had claimed that this composition (his first) took him “about 22 minutes” to complete (Fox, 2013). In 1964, through bluff and braggadocio, Morton landed a big break by being asked to present a song to some songwriters employed in Manhattan’s Brill Building, the celebrated center of activity for the American popular music industry.

Through various friends and associates Morton quickly secured a basement recording studio and a four-piece band. Then through another friend he was put in contact with a local Queens vocal quartet comprised of 4 high school girls, two sets of sisters: Mary and Betty Weiss and twins Marguerite (Marge) and Mary Ann Ganser. They were known as The Shangri-Las.

The Shangri-Las Radio station WHK 1965 Geauga Lake Park, Cleveland Ohio. (Photo by George Shuba).

“With these elements in place, Mr. Morton, on his way to the recording session, realized he lacked one thing: a song. Pulling his car over on a stretch of Long Island road, he wrote ‘Remember’” (Fox, 2013).

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Like it? Buy it.

“Remember” became a number five hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and number nine on Cashbox Magazine’s R&B chart (Whitburn, 2004). With their talent, their “tough girl” persona, and Morton’s songwriting and production work, The Shangri-Las had a string of hits (the best known perhaps being the melodramatic teenage-death pop classic, “Leader of the Pack”) and would go on to perform alongside The Beatles, James Brown, Dusty Springfield, and The Zombies.

However, by 1966 Morton was searching for a change in sound and found it when he began working with a local New York band known as The Pigeons. Then managed by reputed Lucchese crime family member Phillip Basile, The Pigeons would soon change their name to Vanilla Fudge. Impressed by their immense talent (it should be noted that they did feature one of the greatest rhythm sections of all time with Tim Bogert on bass and Carmine Appice on drums) Morton helped steer their sound into the symphonic psychedelic rock of half-speed covers that made their debut of 1967 an instant classic. The highlight off this self-titled debut must surely be their interpolation of the Brian Holland/Lamont Dozier/Eddie Holland penned “You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” which had been a hit for The Supremes the year prior. In addition to the aforementioned rhythm section, the track best exemplifies the talents of lead singer Mark Stein’s funeral church organ style and the bombastic crunch and groove to Vince Martell’s guitar.

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Like it? Buy it.

As one last small tribute to Shadow Morton I present to you a real big song: the psychedelic epic, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” by Iron Butterfly. Released on their second LP in 1968, Morton has downplayed his involvement with this song, stating that due to his drinking he maintained minimal oversight to the recording process. However, it was in this atmosphere that the band were told to continue rolling and improvising through a “soundcheck rehearsal,” which resulted in the band completing this 17-minute opus in one take! Rolling through hypnotic drones, polyphonic heights, and extended solos, here’s Doug Ingle, Erik Brann, Lee Dorman, and Ron Bushy of Iron Butterfly at their most operatic:

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Like it? Buy it.

George Francis “Shadow” Morton (September 3, 1940 – February 14, 2013) R.I.P

———————————BOBBY CALERO—————————

Ref:

Fox, M. (2013, Feb. 15). Shadow Morton, Songwriter and Producer, Dies at 71. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/16/arts/music/shadow-morton-songwriter-and-producer-dies-at-71.html

Holland, B; Dozier, L.; & Holland, E. (1966) [Recorded by Vanilla Fudge] On Vanilla Fudge. ATCO Records (1967).

Ingle, D. (1968) In-a-gadda-da-vida [Recorded by Iron Butterfly] On In-a-gadda-da-vida.

ATCO Records (1968).

Morton, G. (1964) Remember (Walking In The Sand) [Recorded by The Shangri-Las] On Remember (Walking In The Sand) [7” Single].  Redbird, (1964).

Whitburn, J. (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research

SUMMER SONGS OF INNOCENCE & EXPERIENCE

by William Blake (1794)

With the sun rolling towards its apogee in the Northern Hemisphere, the Summer Solstice is fast approaching and with it the first official day of summer! (although the temperature itself had as of late seemed to be insisting upon this season’s arrival for some time now).

In the 2010 documentary Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child by Tamra Davis, the artist and filmmaker, Julian Schnabel says something regarding how summer in New York City is an incredibly lonely season, something about them being “a motherfucker.” Although the film itself is great and certainly recommended-viewing, I couldn’t disagree with Mr. Schnabel’s statement more.

BIG SUN by Jean-Michel Basquiat (1984).

Summer always seems to me to be received as the highlight of the year, when most appear to be attempting to cram in as many experiences as they can (even when these experiences sometimes entail lying prostrate in the heat, or strolling without purpose); all before we return to hunched shoulders, clenched fists in coat pockets, marching through the frost to arrive at Point B directly from Point A. Additionally, I’ve always found that the dichotomy created by both the overwhelming desire for one to take it easy and enjoy themselves, coupled by the urge to get-it-while-you-can, serves to heighten our sense of appreciation and elevate our summer days and nights into the territory of “fun times.”

Therefore, in celebratory anticipation, I present two tracks today that serve as small samples from either end of summer’s broad spectrum:

INNOCENCE

Prominent in my mind during this season is the easy joy to be found in all the summertime cookouts and backyard BBQs. Friends gathered—laughing and enjoying each other’s company—all awaiting for a bite of the undisputed main attraction on the grill at these events: The Hamburger.

…Yes they are, and so, from 1966, here’s Bobby Moore & The Rhythm Aces with “The Hamburger Song.”

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like it? Buy it.

Bobby Moore & The Rhythm Aces

This amusing little song (which appropriates the rhymes of children’s hand-clap games, another feature of the summer as you often see little girls in pairs pass the time running through the complicated sequence of gestures that accompany each line) appeared on Bobby Moore & The Rhythm Aces sole album, Searching For My Love. It was released on the Chess label’s imprint, Checker. New Orleans native Bobby Moore (tenor saxophone) had joined the US Army in his teens and formed the initial line-up of the Rhythm Aces with members of the Fort Benning marching band. However, moving to Montgomery, Alabama in the early ’60s he put together a new group under the same name, featuring his brother, Larry Moore (alto saxophone), Chico Jenkins (vocals, guitar), Marion Sledge (guitar), Joe Frank (bass), Clifford Laws (keyboards), and John Baldwin, Jr. (drums). In 1965, recording what would become the title track of their debut at the renowned Florence Alabama Music Enterprises (FAME) Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama—on the strength of that song alone the group was picked up by Leonard and Marshall Chess. The group would continue to release various singles for the label throughout the decade, and although there are some fine slices of southern soul and R&B, none of them have quite the same sense of delight as “The Hamburger Song.”

EXPERIENCE

On the other side of the gold coin of summer there’s the heat; the sultry nights of grooving, sweating, and exposed skin: in the words of Sandy D. and Danny Zuko, “Summer lovin’ had me a blast.” In the spirit of being a gentleman (and perhaps a bit of the attitude of “if you have to ask, you’ll never know”), I’ll jump straight into our second song: “Touch Me Again” by Bernard “Pretty” Purdie.

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like it? Buy it.

Considered one of the finest drummers of all time, Bernard Purdie made his career as a go-to session drummer, hired to add some physical presence and precision timing to tracks by such artists as James Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Steely Dan, Isaac Hayes, and Hall & Oates (and rumored overdubs for early albums by The Beatles). In addition, Purdie served as musical director for Aretha Franklin throughout the early-to-mid seventies, particularly during her Young, Gifted and Black era.

However, “Touch Me Again” comes not from any of his numerous (300+) session works, but from an album that he wrote, produced, and performed himself—the soundtrack to the first major black porn movie (often described as the “black Deep Throat”): Lialeh.

Released in 1973 (while the soundtrack itself would be released the following year), Purdie agreed to score this skin-flick, as it would be the first time he’d be credited as a “writer/composer.” And what an amazing soundtrack did he put together; assembling some top-notch session players such as wind instrumentalists Seldon Powell, Garnett Brown, Arthur Clarke, and Jimmy Owens, bassist Wilbur Bascomb, Ernest Hayes on organ, Horace Ott on Fender Rhodes as well as overseeing the arrangements, and Sandi Hewitt handling the sassy vocals for the lyrics provided by director, Baron Bercovichy.

“Pretty” Purdie today [photo by Fabrice Bourgelle Pyres]

Track for track this soundtrack lays down a complex but sensuous groove, whether it be on the funky floor burner “Hap’nin’,” or the bawdy ’60s swing of “All Pink On The Inside.” In 2003 the phenomenal reissue label Light In The Attic Records re-released this soundtrack and I highly recommend you pick up a copy. Oh, and “Pretty” Purdie and crew make a cameo as the film opens with them jamming the title-track at a music-club/sex-show. Highly skilled funk and topless gyrations, what more does a music video need?

Well, here’s to a marvelously full summer! Hope it feels good.

————Bobby Calero———————————-

Ref:

Bercovichy, B., & Purdie, B. (1973) (Creator) baaadmutha75 (Poster) (2011, Apr 25) Bernard Purdie – Opening scene from Lialeh (1973) [Video] retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdc0L8B0bC0

Purdie, B. (1973) Touch Me Again [recorded by Bernard Purdie] On Lialeh [Vinyl] Bryan Records (1974). [CD]             Light In The Attic (2003)

Moore, B. (1966) The Hamburger Song [recorded by Bobby Moore & The Rhythm Aces] On Searching For My Love [Vinyl] Checker (1966)

Sharonmnich (2009) (Creator). sharonmnich (Poster) (2009, Oct. 2) Eenie Meanie Sassaleeny Clapping Songs [Video] retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBVksBh0cLg&feature=player_embedded

I’VE BEEN COMING TO WHERE I AM FROM THE GET GO: Part II: The 3-Pack Bonanza, or: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in The Land of LA & Dust —SIDE A: THE INITIAL SPIN

ADAM YAUCH, MCA: AUGUST 5, 1964 – MAY 4, 2012; R.I.P.

[Before we begin I’d like to note that this past month state senator for the 25th district of the New York State Senate, Daniel Squadron, wrote up J4637-2011, which was a resolution that officially called for a pause of deliberations on the legislative floor to honor AdamMCAYauch. Text and video below:

WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body to honor and pay tribute to those individuals whose commitment and creative talents have contributed to the entertainment and cultural enrichment of their community and the entire State of New York; and

WHEREAS, Adam Yauch, also known as MCA, the rapper, musician, activist, film director and founder of the pioneering New York hip-hop group the Beastie Boys, died on Friday, May 4, 2012, in Manhattan at age 47;and

WHEREAS, Adam Nathaniel Yauch was born on August 5, 1964, and raised in Brooklyn Heights; he was the son of Frances Yauch, a social worker, and Noel Yauch, an architect and painter, and attended Edward R. Murrow High School in Midwood; and

WHEREAS, Adam Yauch taught himself the bass guitar while growing up and joined the Beastie Boys, originally a hardcore punk outfit, playing his first show with the group when he was just 17 years old in 1981; and

WHEREAS, The Beastie Boys became well-known in the innovative music scene in Manhattan’s East Village and Lower East Side with a sound and a style all their own; and

WHEREAS, The album “Licensed to Ill” was the first hip-hop album to top the Billboard chart; and

WHEREAS, The music and message of the Beastie Boys evolved over the years, but they can’t, they don’t, they won’t stop changing the face of hip-hop, of music, and of our culture; and

WHEREAS, The Beastie Boys exemplified New York through a period in which grassroots creativity and a community of iconoclastic artists helped redefine and rejuvenate a city on the ropes, with iconic imagery from Brooklyn to Ludlow Street; and

WHEREAS, Having consistently produced multi-million selling albums and receiving Grammy awards, in April 2012 the Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but Adam Yauch was unable to attend due to deteriorating health; and

WHEREAS, In addition to his contributions to music, Adam Yauch was an activist and founder of the Milarepa Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting awareness about abuses in Tibet and against Tibetans, and later in life became a successful filmmaker, founding Oscilloscope Laboratories, an independent film distribution company; and

WHEREAS, A man of colossal talent and charisma, Adam Yauch is survived by his wife, Dechen Wengdu, and their daughter, Losel; he will be missed by his family, his fans and all who knew him; his dedication to his music, his activism, and his heritage leaves an indelible legacy of inspiration for all other artists; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to mourn the death of famed rapper and activist Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch; and be it further

    RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be transmitted to the family of Adam Yauch.”

————————————————————————————————————————————————

SIDE A: THE INITIAL SPIN

[It must be noted that this post would have been impossible to write without the invaluable resources of Dan Leroy’s Paul’s Boutique for Bloomsbury Academic’s 33⅓ series, and Soopageek’s website, http://www.beastieboysannotated.com/]

July 25, 1989: George H. W. Bush has just recently become president, Tim Burton’s Batman has just been released, the airwaves are being dominated by New Kids on the Block’s “Hangin’ Tough” as well as by a slew of songs off of Madonna’s Like a Prayer LP, and it’s been nearly three years since those NYC assholes and party animals the Beastie Boys released an album—and you’ve just acquired their follow-up to the #1 selling Licensed To Ill:

                                    Paul’s Boutique

The panoramic cover photograph of Ludlow Street by Jeremy Shatan

Insert Photo by Ricky Powell

You press the horizontal triangle on the play button (or drop the needle into the groove) and wait for the opening track “To All the Girls” to begin. And you wait, and wait, and wait…finally you hear faint drums and electric piano fading in on a slow, open, buoyant groove—it’s the moody intro to jazz drummer Idris Muhammad’s “Loran’s Dance” off of his ’74 LP Power Of Soul (keyboards supplied by Bob James[1]*) but most likely you don’t know that. You were maybe expecting a guitar riff supplied by Kerry King[2]* of Slayer, or something of that sort.

Loran’s Dance

——————————————–(Click To Listen)

Like it? Buy it.

[1]* Bob James is perhaps best known for the 1978 instrumental “Angela,” which was used as the theme music for the sitcom Taxi. He’s also the man behind ’74 track “Nautilus,” which has been sampled numerous times, most prominently in “Daytona 500” from Ghostface Killah’s 1996 solo debut Ironman.

[2]* Kerry King supplied guitar for the sixth single off Licensed to Ill: “No Sleep till Brooklyn.”

As the music grows louder you can begin to make out what the mumbling voice has been saying; it’s MCA doing a Barry White-like spoken paean to the ladies. This makes sense as, with his George Michael combo of stubble and black leather jacket, he’d been known as the ladies’ man of the Beastie Boys. Although, the latest magazines have shown that his stubble had now grown out to “a beard like a billy-goat.”

Yea…

To all the Brooklyn girls

To all the French girls

To all the Oriental girls

Chinese…

Japanese…

To all the Swiss girls

To the Italian women

To the upper east side nubiles

To all the Jamaican girls

And to the top-less dancers

Australian…

And Brazilian

To the southern belles

To the Puerto Rican girls

To the stewardesses flying around the world…

“Shake Your Rump,” released as the B-side on the Love American Style EP[3]*

———————————–(Click To Listen)
Then BAM! With “Shake Your Rump” the mood is abruptly shattered by the rapid, successive outburst of a tom-tom fill. The music that follows sounds like the B-side on some vintage vinyl, its the only record ever released by the greatest band that never made it/the music that follows sounds like four full-tilt funk bands all scheduled to play the same disco-themed house party, and they simply cannot wait their turn: you don’t know what it sounds like, but somehow it’s all right on time. The music twists and turns just out of reach, determined to keep you on your toes and your ass on the dance floor.

And then there are the vocals. You hear those three familiar voices: the two adenoidal whines of Ad-Rock and Mike D (although each inhabiting either end of that spectrum, with Ad-Rock pushing a hard sneer, Mike D’s voice richer) contrasted against MCA’s hoarse baritone. Yet, they’re different—looser. They no longer seem so rude, but happy. Line after sinuous line darts out every which way over the music, and the three play hot-potato with the rhymes—beginning and ending each others sentences, sometimes all three ganging up on one word. They seem so exuberant while hollering out these hilarious lyrics that are just flat-out ridiculous. A procession of images fly by: something about having a lava lamp inside their brain hotel[4]* and schlepping around a disco bag; driving around bare foot Like Fred Flintstone. If you are paying attention it will leave you “staring at the radio, staying up all night.” All together, it’s the sound of frantic precision. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever heard before, and you only wanted a Beastie Boys record.

The dense, lush vinyl sounds of “Shake Your Rump” were meticulously assembled, as with the rest of Paul’s Boutique, one layer and loop at a time, and culled from the massive record collections of seven audiophiles. An arduous labor of love, “[…] the team behind Paul’s Boutique was testing the absolute limits of still-embryonic technologies like computer recording and automation” (Leroy, 2006).  Co-producer (and one half of Grammy Award winning[5]* producers the Dust Brothers) “E.Z. MikeSimpson later recalled:

“Basically, we would find a groove, and we would loop it, and then

we would print that to tape, and we would go for five minutes on

one track of the tape. And then we would find another loop, and we

would spend hours getting that second loop to sync up with the first

loop, and then once we had it in sync, we would print that for five

minutes on another track. And we would just load up the tape like that.

And once we had filled up the tape with loops, we would go in, and

Mario [C.] had this early, early, mixing board that had this very primitive

form of automation. It was pretty complex, but if you knew which tracks

you wanted playing at any given time, you typed the track numbers into

this little commodore computer hooked up to the mixing board. And each

time you wanted a new track to come in, you’d have to type it in manually.

It was just painful. It took so long. And there was so much trial and error…

there was no visual interface to show you what was going on”

(Leroy, 2006).

[3]* In June of ’89, just prior to the album’s official entrance into the marketplace “Shake Your Rump” was released as the b-side to Paul’s Boutique’s first single “Hey Ladies.” The two tracks along with the remixes “33% God,” and “Dis Yourself In ’89 (Just Do It)” were released as a 12” EP entitled Love, American Style. The title was a throwback to the Garry Marshall produced ABC show from which Happy Days was a spin-off, and the cover art (credited to one Nathanial Hörnblowér) is a photo of the kitchen in Ad-Rock’s Los Angeles apartment. If you look close you’ll find three hidden women.

[4]* This image closely echoes those of “Epistle to Dippy,” the 1967 single by Scotland’s psychedelic-troubadour Donovan, with its line: “Elevator in the brain hotel.” At the time of Paul’s Boutique’s recording, Donovan’s daughter, Ione Skye was in the midst of leaving Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis for Adam Horovitz, who she would go on to marry.

[5]* Oddly, despite the overwhelming merits of their other work they would win this award for their contribution to Santana’s 1999 album, Supernatural. Their contribution being a song featuring Eagle-Eye Cherry entitled “Wishing It Was.”

It all begins with that rapid roll on the tom-toms: snipped from the opening seconds of drummer Alphonze Mouzon’s “Funky Snakefoot” off his 1974 album of the same name for Blue Note. Mouzon had been the drummer for McCoy Tyner before joining the initial ’71 lineup (alongside Joe Zawinul, Wayne Shorter, Miroslav Vitous, and Airto Moreira) of jazz-fusion pioneers Weather Report.

Alphonze Mouzon’s “Funky Snakefoot”

———————(Click To Listen)

Drums – Alphonze Mouzon

Clavinet – Harry Whitaker

Piano – Leon Pendarvis[6]*

Saxophone – Andy Gadsden

Trombone – Barry Rogers

Trumpet – Randy Brecker

Like it? Buy it.

Then, as Ad-Rock informs you that he can “[…] rock a house party at the drop of a hat” the sample that will serve as the backbone beat for the majority of the song kicks in: 1979’s “Dancing Room Only” by soul vocalist, songwriter, and arranger Harvey Scales[7]*. Raised in Milwaukee, Scales spent the early ’70s recording singles for Stax and the Cadet Concept division of Chess Records before signing with Los Angeles based Casablanca Records. Taken from his second LP for that label, the disco-funky Hot Foot: A Funque Dizco Opera, the track’s drums supplied by Jeffrey Williamson serve to propel “Shake Your Rump” right on through to the other side of its dozen-plus samples, just as they urge the listener to comply with Scales’ command to “shake your you-know-what.”

[6]* Leon Pendarvis has been a member of the Saturday Night Live Band since 1980 and now works as Co-Musical Director as well.

[7]* Scales is noted as the first songwriter to have a single certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for the ’76 hit by Johnnie TaylorDisco Lady,” which featured Parliament-Funkadelic members bassist Bootsy Collins, keyboardist Bernie Worrell, and guitarist Glen Goins (RIAA, 2012).

Dancing Room Only by Harvey Scales

———————(Click To Listen)

Produced, Arranged, and Written By – Harvey Scales, Melvin Griffin

Vocals – Harvey Scales

Bass – Robin Gregory

Conductor [Strings & Horns] – Melvin Griffin

Drums – Jeffrey Williamson

Guitar – Cedrick Rupert

Keyboards, Saxophone [Alto] – Melvin Griffin

Percussion – Shondu Akiem

Piano – William Scott Harralson

Saxophone [Baritone] – Ben Petry

Saxophone [Tenor] – Kenny Walker

Synthesizer – John Eidsvoog

Trombone – Kevin Lockett

Backing Vocals – L. C. Coney, Thomas Causey

– Harvey Scales, Melvin Griffin

With MCA’s emphasis on the word pimp in the line he shares with Mike D—“so like a pimp I’m pimpin’/I got a boat to eat shrimp in”—enters the cleverly sped-up and looped layer of Roland Bautista’s[8]* funk-scratch rhythm guitar from saxophonist Ronnie Laws’ 1975 instrumental rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Tell Me Something Good[9]*” Released by Blue Note, the album from which this track originates—Pressure Sensitive—would be Laws solo debut.

“Tell Me Something Good” by Ronnie Laws

———————————(Click To Listen)

Producer – Wayne Henderson

Saxophone – Ronnie Laws

Guitar – Roland Bautista

Clavinet – Joe Sample, Mike Cavanaugh

Electric Piano – Mike Cavanaugh

Synthesizer – Jerry Peters

Bass Guitar – Clint Mosley

Synthesizer – Jerry Peters

Tambourine – Joe Clayton

Like it? Buy it.

[8]* Bautista was also a featured member on Last Days and Time, the 3rd studio album by American R&B group Earth, Wind & Fire, as well as playing on Tom WaitsBlue Valentine and Heartattack and Vine.

[9]* A year earlier, “Tell Me Something Good” had been a hit for the Chaka Khan incarnation of Rufus.

A clatter of cymbals and descending drum rolls spill into the frame as Ad-Rock and Mike D divvy up a single line, each taking only a few chunks out of the syllables before spitting it back and forth:

“Routines I bust and the rhymes that I write”

They then alley-oop the vocals over to MCA who steps up and rasps:

“And I’ll be busting routines and rhymes all night”

“Supermellow” by Paul Humphrey

“Super Mellow” by Paul Humphrey, Louis Bellson, Willie Bobo, and Shelly Manne

——————————————————–(Click To Listen)

The break-beat clatter that bestows the Beastie Boys’ rap with buoyancy has been clipped from the opening section to “Supermellow.” Composed and originally performed by Paul Humphrey as the title track for his ’73 solo debut released on Blue Thumb Records, the version utilized here however comes from 1975 when he rerecorded the song for The Drum Session LP, which featured a line-up partly comprised by three other all-star percussionists: drummer for Duke Ellington’s big-band, Louis Bellson; Spanish Harlem’s greatest conga player, Willie Bobo[10]*; and the man who has played with everyone from Dizzy Gillespie to Tom Waits, Shelly Manne. Humphrey himself was a renowned studio musician who played with preeminent jazz artists like Wes Montgomery and Charles Mingus, as well as on Frank Zappa’s Hot Rats LP of ’69 and on the seduction masterpiece that is Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On. The Drum Session also features Chuck Domanico on bass, Mike Wofford on keys, Jerome Richardson on sax and flute, and the incredible trumpet player Bobby Bryant whose cover of “Happiness is a Warm Gun” I discussed here.

“[…] rhymes all night”

MCA has hardly finished his sentence when Ad-Rock returns to the mic to rapidly deliver:

“Like eating burgers or chicken or you’ll be picking your nose

I’m on time, homey, that’s how it goes”

MCA and Mike D jump on the next line in unison:

“You heard my style I think you missed the point”

Then (extracted from Diana Ross & the Supremes’ ’69 single “No Matter What Sign You Are”) there’s the crude thap-thap-thap-thap-thap of a drum announcing The Bronx’s own Funky 4 + 1[11]*, their marathon nine-minute party jam here boiled down to the three essential words needed to conclude this verse: IT’S THE JOINT!

—————————–(Click To Listen)

[10]* WilliamBobo” Correa’s son, Eric, would end up joining the Beastie Boys’ touring line-up, as well as contributing percussion to their albums beginning with 1994’s Ill Communication.

[11]* Funky 4 + 1 are noted not only for having a female MC, (Sha Rock) way back in ’76, but also for being the first hip hop group to appear on a national television show: a Valentine’s day episode of Saturday Night Live in 1981, hosted by Deborah Harry.

“6 O’Clock DJ (Let’s Rock)” by Rose Royce

———————(Click To Listen)

Like it? Buy it.

Suddenly the whole song is swallowed up by one of the thickest (and certainly the most tweaked out) bass notes you’ve ever heard. It rolls its sinuous weight across the steady backbeat, writhing its attenuated tail end until it twitches directly into another roll of the drums, which transports the Beastie Boys right back to front-and-center. Fattened and warped, this bass note is the brief but ominous Moog intro to Rose Royce’s 1:14 long instrumental “6 O’Clock DJ (Let’s Rock)” on their debut double album, the soundtrack to the 1976 comedy Car Wash, which guest starred both Richard Pryor and George Carlin. Creatively helmed by legendary Motown producer Norman Whitfield[12]*, Rose Royce were in the process of recording their 1st album when Whitfield was hired to supply the score for director Michael Schultz’s follow-up feature to his “urban” high school comedy, Cooley High. Whitfield convinced the group to abandon their work-in-progress and allow him to compose new music for them that was closely tied to the film. They obliged and the world was rewarded with two discs of Rose Royce’s classy brand of funk.

[12]* Whitfield is the producer and co-writer behind what Bob Dylan once characterized on his radio show Theme Time Radio Hour as “a jumbo jet of a song”: The Temptations’ #1 epic soul/head-trip, “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone.” A former coworker of mine, Ms. Walker, once turned to me half-speaking, half-singing the chorus “Papa was a rolling stone/Wherever he laid his hat was his home/and when he died, all he left us was alone,” before stating, “that’s some sad, fucked-up shit right there.” Really, who couldn’t help but agree.

As Mike D declares that he’s “back from the dead,” Rose Royce return with LequeintDukeJobe’s roundabout bass lick from another track on the Car Wash soundtrack: “Yo Yo.”

“Yo Yo” by Rose Royce

———————(Click To Listen)

Like it? Buy it.

The guitar groove of “Tell Me Something Good” reemerges as a series of parabolic frames for the clipped, rising and descending cadence of MCA’s insolent declarations of psychedelic independence despite the edicts of perception imposed by both the dollars behind him and the audience in front. Full to capacity with internal rhymes, the lines are all defiance with a smile:

A puppet on a string I’m paid to sing or rhyme

Or do my thing, I’m in a lava lamp inside the brain hotel

I might be freakin’ or peakin’ but I rock well

As the three recite a brief list of dance-steps the break-beat clatter alerts you that that monstrous Moog spawned bass is about to arrive, but first, to close MCA’s announcement that he’s “got the peg leg at the end of my stump,” comes the sample from which the songs takes its title: Afrika Bambaataa’s command that you “Shake your rump!”

In 1984, Afrika Bambaataa and James Brown released their six-part drum-machine-funk duet “Unity” for which the above video was made by Tom Pomposello, Marcy Brafman, and Peter Caesar by utilizing footage of the duo recording the song in Studio A at Unique Recording Studios, NYC.  However, the video is for “Unity (Part 1: The Third Coming)” while the “Shake your rump” sample is actually snipped from “Unity (Part 2: Because It’s Coming).”

When the trio returns it’s to shout out the song’s original title of “Full Clout,” when it existed only as a Dust Brothers’ audio experiment, never imagining anyone would ever attempt to place vocals atop this insane, dense mosaic of disco funk. The sound of a bong-hit supplied by co-producer Matt Dike then introduces the third contribution by Rose Royce, again from the Car Wash soundtrack: “Born to Love You.”

“Born To Love You” by Rose Royce

——————–(Click To Listen)

Like it? Buy it.

As Mike D states that he’s “running from the law, the press, and the parents,” a security guard at the Record Plant is brought in to ask, “is your name Michael Diamond?” to which he snidely replies, “No mine’s Clarence.” After the three share a hometown shout out of “downtown, Manhattan, the village,” the track is overwhelmed by the hoots and hollers of an entourage crowded vocal booth. Suddenly, save for the backbone drumbeat and the washtub-rub sounds of Afrika Bambaataa and the Jazzy Five’s “Jazzy Sensation” from 1981, the song becomes relatively quiet.

“Jazzy Sensation” by Afrika Bambaataa and the Jazzy Five

—————————————————————(Click To Listen)

Like it? Buy it.

Then, descending into the wind tunnel of “One of These Days” (the opening instrumental rave-up from Pink Floyd’s ’71 album Meddle), “Shake Your Rump” is just gone—. Dumped onto the folky strip-show swamp of David Bromberg’s “Sharon,” which serves as the primary musical element for Mike D’s tale of a washed-up rockabilly star now turned Manhattan vagrant by the name of “Johnny Ryall,” you’re still reeling from what you’ve just heard. You’ve just been gleefully bumped this way and that along the seamless series of dovetail joints that construct “Shake Your Rump” and now for you the art of music has been changed forever. “Changed into what?” You are not quite certain of the answer but you’re sure that something momentous had just occurred. Yet, the entire thing only lasted three minutes and eighteen seconds.

[I must note that after the completion of the writing of the above section, I came across this video in which Long Island’s DJ Funktual performs a similar vivisection, albeit a much more entertaining one:

]

As the album goes on until its full run-time of just seven minutes shy of an hour, your brain is delighted through a mosaic array of cultural references, associations, and intimations; both real and fictitious:

The “3-pack Bonanza” with its mysterious contents of three older pornographic magazines shrink-wrapped together and usually found in cheap bodegas and liquor stores.

the 7-Eleven chain convenience stores

Town drunk Otis Campbell (portrayed by Hal Smith) on The Andy Griffith Show.

The great Muhammad Ali

Adidas classic “Shell Toe” design.

Stanley Kubrick’s ’71 film adaptation of Anthony Burgess’ 1962 novel of sociopathic-social-commentary: A Clockwork Orange.

Australian rock band, AC/DC

Brooklyn’s annual street festival, The Atlantic Antic.

World champion racecar driver, Mario Andretti.

Sam the butcher and Alice from The Brady Bunch.

Travis Bickle, played by Robert De Niro in Martin Scorsese’s superb 1976 film Taxi Driver.

Ballantine Ale brand of beer.

The Band’s 1969 single, “Up on Cripple Creek.”

BMW

David Bowie, his addiction of choice, and the mirrors used to facilitate that addiction.

The Godfather of Soul, James Brown.

The Bible,

Particularly the tale of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from Chapters 1–3 of the book of Daniel: The three young men who were tossed into a furnace by Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, because they refused worship the golden image. They would burn as they were protected by an angel of God.

Chicago Bears’ legendary linebacker (1965-1973) Dick Butkus .

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) [Napoleon Crossing The Alps by Jacques Louis David]

Actor Raymond Burr’s portrayal of a wheelchair bound detective on the 70s NBC television series Ironside. [1974 TV Guide Magazine cover by Robert Peak]

Cadbury Easter Eggs

The crucifixion of Jesus Christ [The Christ of Saint John of the Cross by Salvador Dali, 1951]

Vaughn Bodé’s underground comic strip character, and self-proclaimed “Cartoon Messiah,” Cheech Wizard, which, beginning in 1967, was often featured in National Lampoon magazine until Bodé’s death in ’75.

Creedence Clearwater Revival’s 1968 ode to a riverboat, “Proud Mary.”

Tom Cushman, Long-time friend and member of MCA’s ’87-’88 side-project Brooklyn, which also featured Daryl Jenifer of Bad Brains, and Murphy’s Law drummer, Doug E. Beans.

Fonzie’s cousin, the Scott Baio portrayed Chachi on the television series Happy Days, who the received his own ’82-’83 spin-off, Joanie Loves Chachi

Charles Turner a.k.a. Chuck Chillout, influential DJ at New York’s 98.7 KISS-FM, who later In 1992 became a VJ for “Uncle” Ralph McDaniels’ Video Music Box.

Colonel Sanders and his Kentucky Fried Chicken (comedian Jerry Lewis is also mentioned).

Coney Island

Johnny Cash [Hugh Morton’s famous image of Johnny Cash holding aloft a tattered American flag. –NC, 1974]

Fastnacht, 1888, by French Post-Impressionist, Paul Cézanne (1839–1906).

French, All-inclusive Club Méditerranée.

Cadillac’s Coupe De Ville model (1959 through 1993).

Rudy Ray Moore and his most famous performance as Dolemite, in the 1975 film of the same name.

John Hough’s 1974 Dodge Charger featuring chase-film Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry.

Clint Eastwood, and his “Dirty Harry” series of films, initially released in 1971.

Dragnet, the radio, television, and film crime drama about L.A. detective, Sergeant Joe Friday, starring, created, and produced by Jack Webb. The series will always be remembered for its famous opening narration: “Ladies and gentlemen: the story you are about to hear is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.”

El Diario, (literally “The Daily”) particularly El Diario la Prensa, with its offices at 1 MetroTech Center in Downtown Brooklyn, it is the largest and oldest Spanish-language daily newspaper in NYC, and the oldest Spanish-language daily in the United States.

“I’m just chillin’ like Bob Dylan.”

Bruce Willis and his reluctant-hero series of Die Hard films. The franchise, so far lasting over 20 years (with a new one to be released in 2013), all began in 1988 with Reginald VelJohnson’s (most famous for his portrayal as Carl Winslow on the sitcom Family Matters) shouts of “Shots fired at Nakatomi Plaza!”

Scottish psychedelic-troubadour and scenester Donovan

Victorian author and social critic Charles Dickens.

International doughnut and coffee retailer, Dunkin’ Donuts (with time-pressed mascot, Fred the Baker pictured).

George Drakoulias, A&R man at Def Jam who was involved in the signing of both L.L. Cool J and the Beastie Boys. He later went on to produce Shake your Money Maker, the debut album by The Black Crowes, and Dust, final album by Screaming Trees. Perhaps the most interesting trivia surrounding Drakoulias (other than the Beastie Boys claiming that they bought a hot-dog off him in “Stop That Train”) is that he was an inspiration for Billy Bob Thornton’s character “Big George Drakoulias” in the Johnny Depp starring, Jim Jarmusch directed “Psychedelic Western,” Dead Man.

[Stepping a little off-track here, this really is one of the finest films by all involved and is a must-see if you haven’t already.]

Theoretical physicist Albert Einstein.

Production team E.Z. Mike (Michael Simpson) and King Gizmo (John King), aka The Dust Brothers.

Cartoon series, The Flintstones (pictured here in a 1960s commercial for Winston Cigarettes).

Benjamin Franklin depicted harnessing the power of electricity in Benjamin West’s 1816 oil paniting, Benjamin Franklin Drawing Electricity from the Sky.

Footwear company Fila, which the Beasties claim they “never rock,” as they are in favor of Adidas.

Fundamentalist televangelist and co-founder of the Moral Majority, Jerry Falwell (pictured here with President Reagan). Upon Falwell’s death in 2007, friend (and courtroom opponent) Hustler Magazine founder Larry Flynt had this to say about the man: “My mother always told me that no matter how much you dislike a person, when you meet them face to face you will find characteristics about them that you like. Jerry Falwell was a perfect example of that. I hated everything he stood for, but after meeting him in person, years after the trial, Jerry Falwell and I became good friends. He would visit me in California and we would debate together on college campuses. I always appreciated his sincerity even though I knew what he was selling and he knew what I was selling.”

Fruit Striped Gum.

Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher Galileo Galilei (pictured here in Galileo facing the Roman Inquistion by Cristiano Banti, 1857).

The state of Arizona’s geological wonder, the Grand Canyon.

The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.

Bernhard Goetz, the controversial “Subway Vigilante” who on December 22, 1984, while riding the 2 Train, shot 4 teenage muggers. This incident occurred at a time when NYC had a reported crime rate over 70% higher than the rest of the U.S. In 1984, there were 2 homicides, 18 violent crimes, and 65 property thefts reported per 10,000 people.

The Beatles 1968 blister-inducing, proto-heavy-metal “Helter Skelter.”

Humpty Dumpty (ill. Here by John Tenniel), character from the famous nursery rhyme: Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall/Humpty Dumpty had a great fall/All the king’s horses and all the king’s men/Couldn’t put Humpty together again. However, more appropriately when discussing the general vibe of Paul’s Boutique, I present an excerpt from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There:
“I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory,’” Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course
you don’t—till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice
knock-down argument for you!’”
“But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’,”
Alice objected.
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a
scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither
more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words
mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master
—that’s all.”
Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a minute
Humpty Dumpty began again. “They’ve a temper, some of them
—particularly verbs, they’re the proudest—adjectives you can do
anything with, but not verbs—however, I can manage the whole lot! Impenetrability! That’s what I say!”

Escape-artist and magician (and Queens resident), Harry Houdini (1874-1926).

American motorcycle manufacturer, Harley-Davidson.

Guitar savant, Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970) [photo by Gered Mankowitz, 1967]

The CBS produced Hawaii Five-O, which ran from 1968 to 1980.

Dr. Hfuhruhurr, portrayed by Steve Martin in Carl Reiner’s 1983 comedy The Man with Two Brains. Although, the reference is actually to a supposed brand of ale that bears his name.

The apparently multipurpose gelatin dessert, Jell-O.

NBC coming-of-age drama during the 1977-1978 season, James at 15.

“America’s most familiar law firm,” Jacoby & Meyers

Jamaica, Queens; where the Central Library of the Queens Borough Public Library and numerous stores like Young World and V.I.M are located.

Popular NYC mayor, Ed Koch, who held this office from1978 to 1989.

Kool menthol cigarettes.

the chain of discount stores, K-Mart

Literary figure, pioneer of the Beat Generation, and iconoclast inspiration for nearly every artist to develop after him, Jack Kerouac.

Commander of the USS Enterprise and intergalactic lover, Captain James T. Kirk (as played by William Shatner in the original Star Trek franchise).

Miss Crabtree (as played by June Marlowe) and the Little Rascals from the Our Gang shorts, which ran from 1922-1944.

Chuck Woolery, who hosted Love Connection from 1983 to 1994.

Psychologist, philosopher, and psychedelic advocate, Dr. Timothy Leary (photo by Pat York).

Lee Press-On Nails.

Rock‘n’roll spitfire, Jerry Lee Lewis.

Lee blue jeans and their famous patch.

World famous reggae and dancehall artist, Barrington Levy.

Mardi Gras parade floats (Photo by Grant L. Robertson).

1973 blaxploitation film, The Mack, starring Max Julien as “Goldie” and Richard Pryor as “Slim.”

North American chain of budget hotels, The Motel 6.

Fast-food empire, McDonald’s.

1960s British beat band, Manfred Mann, perhaps most famous for their 1964 #1 hit song “Do Wah Diddy Diddy.”

Hanna-Barberra cartoon character, Magilla Gorilla.

the New Orleans native of Creole ancestry who helped invent jazz music throughout the 1920s and 1930s, Jelly Roll Morton (1885-1941).

The world’s most famous reggae artist, Bob Marley (1945-1981).

The west coast’s Nix Check Cashing.

‘] `Zzw33x3xxEnglish physicist, mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, and alchemist, Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) (Illustration by Jean-Leon Huens, for National Geographic).

Naguals, the spiritual/scientific leaders and protectors of Mesoamerican cultures like the Toltecs.

Anglican clergyman and author the abolition hymn “Amazing Grace,” John Newton (1725-1807).

Mad magazine poster-boy and pictorial depository for cultural criticism, Alfred E. Newman. He’s pictured above physically relating his motto of “What, me worry?” on the June 1975 cover of Mad Magazine #175.

A favorite in 40oz., O.E.

OTBs, now banned within NYC.

Sadaharu Oh, who holds the world career home run record of 868, as well as holding Japan’s single-season home run record of 55, set in 1964.

The coast-to-coast chain of fruit drink beverage stores, Orange Julius, which has been in operation since the late 1920s.

The ABC sitcom that ran a total of 104 episodes from 1963 until 1966, The Patty Duke Show. Child star Patty Duke (born in Elmhurst, Queens) went on to shock audiences with her portrayal of the drug-addicted singer “Neely O’Hara” in Mark Robson’s 1967 film Valley of the Dolls:

The Puma brand of footwear.

Elvis Presley and his 1956 single for RCA, “Blue Suede Shoes.”

MCA is seen here during the Licensed to Ill Tour, hanging from the marquee of legendary Manhattan nightclub, Palladium. Located on the south side of East 14th Street between Irving Place and Third Avenue, it is now a dormitory for NYU students. (photo by Sunny Bak).

Spanish explorer Ponce De Leon (1474–1521), often associated with the legend of the Fountain of Youth, reputed to be in Florida. [Illustration by F. R. Harper].

George Clinton’s Parliament and their 1975 LP Mothership Connection.

One of the greatest films of all time, Robert Downey, Sr.’s Putney Swope from 1969.

Extraordinary NYC photographer Ricky Powell (pictured here with Andy Warhol). Often referred as the “fourth Beastie Boy,” his reputation was further cemented with their lines: “Homeboy throw in the towel/Your girl got dicked by Ricky Powell.”

Forest Hills’ own punk rock legends, The Ramones, seen here performing at CBGB’s March 31, 1977 in a photo by Ebet Roberts.

The hip hop trendsetters from Hollis, Queens, Run DMC; seen here in Paris during the “Together Forever Tour.” (Photo by Ricky Powell, 1987).

Robotron: 2084, the popular arcade game released in 1982.

Drake’s Cakes’ Ring Dings.

The celebration of American muscle and bullets that is the Sylvester Stallone featuring “Rambo” film franchise. Above is the poster for 1988’s Rambo III, wherein Rambo aids Afghan rebels, the Mujahideen, to fight the Soviet invaders.

The Brothers Grimm fairy tale of Rapunzel.

The November 3, 1988 episode of Geraldo Rivera’s talk show that involved a full-out brawl between white supremacists, anti-racist skinheads, black activists, and Jewish activists.

New York Yankees Hall of Famer Phil Rizzuto, and his TV ads for The Money Store.

Rolo, the chocolate candy with a caramel center.

The chain of seafood restaurants, Red Lobster.

Outlaw hero of English folklore, Robin Hood, who would steal from the rich to give to the poor.

Children’s book author and illustrator, Dr. Seuss (1904-1991); depicted here alongside his most famous creation at The Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden in his birthplace of Springfield, MA—which I had the good fortune to visit once. These statues were created by sculptor Lark Grey Dimond-Cates, who also happens to be Dr. Seuss’s step-daughter.

Looney Tunes’s iconic half-pint hot-head with the itchy trigger-fingers, Yosemite Sam.

Shea Stadium, baseball park for the New York Mets from 1964 to 2008.

The Starkist tuna company

Dave Scilken (the one with the Mohawk) who was a childhood friend of Adam Horovitz and member of Ad-Rock’s original group The Young and The Useless. Dying of a drug-overdose in 1991, the Beastie Boys 1992 album Check Your Head is dedicated to him.

David Berkowitz, better known as the serial killer Son of Sam. Between July of 1976 and until his arrest in August 1977, Berkowitz prowled New York City, killing six people and wounding several others in the course of eight shootings with a .44 Caliber handgun. Upon his arrest he claimed that he was commanded to kill by a demon that had possessed his neighbor’s dog.

St. Anthony’s Feast

Kew Gardens songwriter, Paul “Rhymin’”Simon.

80’s straight edge hardcore band, S.S. Decontrol.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), writer of Gulliver’s Travels, and A Modest Proposal, a satirical essay that suggests that impoverished Irish might ease their economic troubles by selling their children as food for rich gentlemen and ladies.

American author, J.D. Salinger (1919-2010) best known for the novel, The Catcher in the Rye, and my favorite, Franny and Zooey.

Pentecostal evangelist (and cousin to Jerry Lee Lewis), Jimmy Swaggart.

1973 film, Shamus, starring Burt Reynolds as the hard-nosed private detective Shamus McCoy.

Russell Simmons, co-founder of pioneering hip-hop label Def Jam, founder of the Phat Farm clothing company, and also owner of Rush Artist Management—referenced in the song “Car Thief” with the lines: “…I had to deal with a money hungry mieser had a ‘caine filled Kool with my man Russ Rush.”

tie dye t-shirts

American business magnate, and somehow celebrity, Donald Trump (pictured here on the night of June 27, 1988 for the Tyson Vs. Spinks Fight).

Gonzo journalist and author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005).

Landlord Ralph Furley, as portrayed by Don Knotts on sitcom Three’s Company, which ran from 1977 to 1984.

English folklore character (and the first fairy tale printed in English) Tom Thumb. The name was appropriated by Charles Sherwood Stratton (1838-1883), who, as General Tom Thumb, achieved great fame under circus pioneer P.T. Barnum.

33rd President of the United States (1945–1953) Harry S. Truman (1884-1972). As it turns out, The “S” did not stand for anything, but was chosen as his middle initial to please both his grandfathers, Anderson Shipp Truman and Solomon Young.

1887 self portrait by Dutch post-Impressionist painter, Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), who was completely disregarded during his lifetime but is now hailed as a true visionary of the art.

Raymond White, aka Runny Ray of Run DMC’s crew

Whippets: the recreational drug used by inhaling a steel cylinder or cartridge filled with nitrous oxide (N2O)—a popular recreation for the crew behind Paul’s Boutique.

A 1986 ad for French fashion house founded in 1854 by its namesake, Louis Vuitton.

ABC sitcom Welcome Back Kotter, which ran from 1975 to 1979 and launched the career of John Travolta.

All-star Hawthorne Wingo, who played for the New York Knicks from 1973-1976.

The Bronx based Major League Baseball team the New York Yankees.

Farmer, Max Yasgur, best known as the owner of the dairy farm in Bethel, New York at which the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was held between August 15 and August 18, 1969.

Houston, Texas rock group, ZZ Top, comprised of the phenomenal musicians, Billy Gibbons (guitar and vocals), Dusty Hill (bass and vocals), and Frank Beard (percussion).

And these are only some of the references made through the lyrics; the music itself floods your mind with a concurrent ribbon of references and associations. For a culturally inquisitive kid growing up in NYC, the album presented a map for certain chambers and corridors of your mind–and it presented signposts suggesting where to look next. Although steeped in nostalgia, the album utilizes this nostalgia as a platform with which to leap forward; and it compels you to laugh as you leap. It is in fact this sort of informational mosaic that is alluded to in the faux-erudition of this blog’s tagline: the product of an upright hominid with a palimpsest encephalon.

Furthermore, for the same snotty kids behind Licensed to Ill, the album is noticeably devoid of insults. Exuberant, the Beastie Boys are “cool,” but with none of the exclusivity that typically is associated with that label. They are still fighting for their right to party, but it is a party that they truly want you to attend with them.

“Every now and then a clear harmonic cry gave new suggestions of a tune that would someday be the only tune in the world and would raise men’s souls to joy.”

——————— from On The Road by Jack Kerouac.

Art has many purposes, innumerable reasons for being, and The Beastie Boys here fulfilled a function like that of Louis Armstrong, or Charlie Chaplin—in the words of a master of this art, Mark Twain—they: “[…] excite the laughter of God’s creatures.”

Paul’s Boutique is a masterpiece of modern music, with a modern sense of acceptance and inclusion of both the high- and low-brow, both the stars and the intestines; and its poor reception would nearly end the Beastie Boys’ career.

TO BE CONTINUED

Stay tuned for Side B of I’VE BEEN COMING TO WHERE I AM FROM THE GET GO: Part II! Where we will further explore the creation of Paul’s Boutique and the architects behind the Sounds of Science!

REST IN PEACE

————————-BOBBY CALERO————-




[1]* Bob James is perhaps best known for the 1978 instrumental “Angela,” which was used as the theme music for the sitcom Taxi. He’s also the man behind ’74 track “Nautilus,” which has been sampled numerous times, most prominently in “Daytona 500” from Ghostface Killah’s 1996 solo debut Ironman.

[2]* Kerry King supplied guitar for the sixth single off Licensed to Ill: “No Sleep till Brooklyn.”

[3]* In June of ’89, just prior to the album’s official entrance into the marketplace “Shake Your Rump” was released as the b-side to Paul’s Boutique’s first single “Hey Ladies.” The two tracks along with the remixes “33% God,” and “Dis Yourself In ’89 (Just Do It)” were released as a 12” EP entitled Love, American Style. The title was a throwback to the Garry Marshall produced ABC show from which Happy Days was a spin-off, and the cover art (credited to one Nathanial Hörnblowér) is a photo of the kitchen in Ad-Rock’s Los Angeles apartment. If you look close you’ll find three hidden women.

[4]* This image closely echoes those of “Epistle to Dippy,” the 1967 single by Scotland’s psychedelic-troubadour Donovan, with its line: “Elevator in the brain hotel.” At the time of Paul’s Boutique’s recording, Donovan’s daughter, Ione Skye was in the midst of leaving Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis for Adam Horovitz, who she would go on to marry.

[5]* Oddly, despite the overwhelming merits of their other work they would win this award for their contribution to Santana’s 1999 album, Supernatural. Their contribution being a song featuring Eagle-Eye Cherry entitled “Wishing It Was.”

[6]* Leon Pendarvis has been a member of the Saturday Night Live Band since 1980 and now works as Co-Musical Director as well.

[7]* Scales is noted as the first songwriter to have a single certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for the ’76 hit by Johnnie TaylorDisco Lady,” which featured Parliament-Funkadelic members bassist Bootsy Collins, keyboardist Bernie Worrell, and guitarist Glen Goins (RIAA, 2012).

[8]* Bautista was also a featured member on Last Days and Time, the 3rd studio album by American R&B group Earth, Wind & Fire, as well as playing on Tom WaitsBlue Valentine and Heartattack and Vine.

[9]* A year earlier, “Tell Me Something Good” had been a hit for the Chaka Khan incarnation of Rufus.

[10]* WilliamBobo” Correa’s son, Eric, would end up joining the Beastie Boys’ touring line-up, as well as contributing percussion to their albums beginning with 1994’s Ill Communication.

[11]* Funky 4 + 1 are noted not only for having a female MC, (Sha Rock) way back in ’76, but also for being the first hip hop group to appear on a national television show: a Valentine’s day episode of Saturday Night Live in 1981, hosted by Deborah Harry.

[12]* Whitfield is the producer and co-writer behind what Bob Dylan once characterized on his radio show Theme Time Radio Hour as “a jumbo jet of a song”: The Temptations’ #1 epic soul/head-trip, “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone.” A former coworker of mine, Ms. Walker, once turned to me half-speaking, half-singing the chorus “Papa was a rolling stone/Wherever he laid his hat was his home/and when he died, all he left us was alone,” before stating, “that’s some sad, fucked-up shit right there.” Really, who couldn’t help but agree.

REF:

Bambaataa, A., Brown, J., Pomposello, T., & Brafman, M. (Creators). (1984). Fredseibert (Poster) (2007, Jan. 3). Unity by James Brown & Afrika Bambaataa [Video] Retrieved March 22, 2012 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6hE5OmpKyc.

Bambaataa, A. & the Jazzy Five (1981). Jazzy Sensation [recorded by Afrika Bambaataa & The Jazzy 5] On Jazzy Sensation (12″) [Vinyl] Tommy Boy Music (1981).

Beastie Boys (1989). Shake Your Rump [recorded by Beastie Boys] On Paul’s Boutique [CD] Capitol (1989). Capitol (2009).

Carroll, L. (1872). Through the Looking-Glass. Raleigh, NC: Hayes Barton Press

Flynt, L. (2007, May 20). The porn king and the preacher. Los Angeles Times.

Funky 4+1 (1980). That’s The Joint [recorded by Funky 4+1] On That’s The Joint (12”) [Vinyl] Sugar Hill Records (1980).

Humphrey, P. (1973) Supermellow [recorded by Paul Humphrey, Shelly Manne, Willie Bobo, Louis Bellson] On Drum Session [Vinyl] Philips (1975).

Kerouac, J. (1957). On the Road. London: Penguin Books (2000)

LeRoy, D. (2006). 33⅓ Paul’s Boutique. Continuum: New York.

Mouzon, A. (1974). Funky Snakefoot [recorded by Alphonze Mouzon] On Funky Snakefoot [CD] Blue Note (1974). EMI (2002)

Muhammad , I. (1974). Loran’s Dance [recoded by Idris Muhammad] On Power Of Soul [CD] Kudu (1974). Sony (2002).

NY Senate. (2012) (Creators). NYSenate (Poster). (2012, May 15). Senator Squadron Speaks on the Death of Famed Rapper Adam “MCA” Yauch [Video] Retrieved March 22, 2012 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEz_iVmZkOo&feature=player_embedded

Scales, H. (1979). Dancing Room Only [recorded by Harvey Scales] On Hot Foot: A Funque Dizco Opera [Vinyl] Casablanca Records (1979).

Twain, M. (1865). Letter to Orion Clemens, October 19 and 20, 1865. Retrieved from http://www.twainquotes.com/Humor.html

Whitfield, N. (1976). 6 O’Clock DJ (Let’s Rock) [recorded by Rose Royce] On Car Wash (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [CD] Mca Records (1976). (1996)

Whitfield, N. (1976). Born To Love You [recorded by Rose Royce] On Car Wash (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [CD] Mca Records (1976). (1996)

Whitfield, N., & Rose Royce. (1976). Yo Yo [recorded by Rose Royce] On Car Wash (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [CD] Mca Records (1976). (1996)

Wonder, S. (1975). Tell Me Something Good [recorded by Ronnie Laws] On Pressure Sensitive [CD] Blue Note (1975). (1995).