In August of 1966 John Lennon mentioned to a reporter and old friend that the Beatles were bigger than Jesus, bigger than christianity. What John was trying to relate was that, here in modern times, the Beatles and their music reach more people and influence more people than Jesus could in the old days. Also, and here is the interesting part, in England there was a general feeling that Christianity was dead. The War could do that to a people. The countless dead, and the horror of war, that we here in America did not have to witness on our own soil. Of course the media got their hands on it, and Datebook, a teen magazine, ran a front page headline that said "Beatles Bigger Than Jesus". Of course the first ones to raise their rightous indignation was the bible belt down South, starting with Memphis cancelling shows and the Ku Klux Klan making thier insane point of view known. All in all, many radio stations refused to play their records for a while. Big Deal. The Beatles didn't care, they were bigger than Jesus. For real. The band paid the price, Lennon made his apology, sort of. I felt he did not need to explaine a thing to me. I got it the first time. This all happened 46 Summers ago. And the media is still driving confusion and fear, more than ever..Join the Revolution this Saturday 7-10am.
I guess Ken Kesey was the first guy to take a busload of 'freaks' across the country, sharing that special N.California vision of Peace, Dope, Flowers and Music. A few years after that, another bus pulled away from the Bay Area in search of fun and adventure. It was a project put together by legendary FM Radio personality Big Daddy Tom Donohue and was called the Medicine Ball Caravan. Several busses and vehicles were involved in this cross country tour and it was all paid for by Warner Brothers Records. The idea was to film it and make a million dollars showing it in theaters, like the Woodstock film that came out months earlier. It featured several Warner Brothers artists, like the Grateful Dead and Stoneground. Along the way Alice Cooper, B.B. King and other joined the parade. It wasn't very successful, but in the end, who really cared? There was a movie, not very good, but still, all in all, it was a noble effort to export a little of that Bay Area magic to an unsuspecting nation...a little too late perhaps... but it was part of the 'revolution' and it was 42 years ago this weekend. Jump on that Magic Bus yourself, join me Saturday morning for "Say You Want A Revolution"..we'll roll back in time together.
Some birthdays this weekend..Friday congrats out to a real local treasure, Carlos Santana. 65 years young and still has more licks than any 3 guitar players put together. Carlos has taken up residency at the House of Blues in Las Vegas, where he plays his hits and people just can't get enough. This weekend I'll play from Santana's amazing, Latin tinged debut. Also blowing out candles this week is John Lodge, the bassist who replaced Clint Warwick in the Moody Blues and never left. He has been a key member ever since. Finally Cat Stevens a.k.a. Yusuf Islam. He left the pop scene in the late 70s, when he converted to the Muslim faith. He took his millions and started schools and helped communities. He still sings. Now you sing..HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! We'll have music on the Revolution from all these b'day boys and more. See you this Saturday..
45 years ago this Saturday, July 14th, The Doors came to Sacramento. The band was riding high with "Light My Fire" on top of the charts, the summer of 67..While the Summer Of Love was shaping up in San Francisco, Sacramento was getting ready to head to the State Fair Grounds for a concert by the Doors. By all accounts it was a tremendous performance considering we were in the throws of one our famous sweltering Summer Nights. The show was sponsored byWhite Star Tuna, and a concert goer could gain admission by bringing Tuna can labels to the show. When the Doors moved on down to San Diego, that show was sponsored by Chicken of the Sea. Not sure what the Tuna/Doors connection was all about, I do know a lot of people ate Tuna sandwhiches that summer. Were you there Fishead?
Rock's English royalty were gathered at London's Royal Albert Hall, but not for a music performance, instead to honor Peter Blake, the pop artist who created one of the 60's most iconic images. The cover of the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover was his doing. All those celebrities on the cover, the trippy group photo that seemed to draw you into another world. Peter Blake turned 80 last month, and all these rock giants came to pay their respect and to check out some of his other work that is on display at the Hall. In honor of his birthday, he has re-created the famous Album Cover using contemporary British cultural personalities. Amy Winehouse, J.K. Rowling, and Monty Python are among those chosen for the re-creation. Of course, the original is the best, that trippy photo of iconic celebrities was the image of 1967 that says it all. The Beatles gave us a great picture to stare at while we listen to the amazing music in the grooves. Thanks Peter Blake and happy B'day.
The Vietnam war was always a backdrop for the revolution of the 60s. No war before or since has galvanized a youth culture like the Vietnam conflict did. Maybe it was because the draft was a very real possibility for thousands of young men. Nothing like the prospect of going to Vietnam and getting shot, to bring out your anti-war feelings. 40 years ago this Sunday, Jane Fonda, the actress, touched down in Hanoi on a Soviet plane on an invitation fronm the North Vietnamese government. She reported on the bombing of that country, met with the people, posed for pictures with the army and generally criticize the American war effort. Jane was not a kid when she did this, she was a 34 year old woman who sympathized with the North Vietnam and their people. Her intentions may have been honorable, but the photos that came out of her visit enraged americans, already torn apart by this war..She got the name "Hanoi Jane" and was branded by many as a traitor. Years late Jane apologized for the pictures of her posing with N. Vietnam troops at an anti aircraft site. Many of us here at home felt the Vietnam war was a tragic waste, but the sight of Jane with the "enemy" really unnerved a lot of people. 40 years ago,July 7th, 1972.