Saturday, July 31, 2021

Norman Petty's Vault and Clovis, New Mexico - Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show - Code Word "Onion"

This episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM is named after one of the most versatile yet controversial vegetables ever...the onion. I could go into the important agricultural contributions onions have made over the years but instead I'll just jump straight into main topic I covered on this episode (totally not because I'm lazy). 

I can get down with Shrek

I played a couple tracks from the 2007 compilation Now Hear This! Garage & Beat From The Norman Petty Vaults and when I went to look up the album online I noticed that a bunch of tracks are now missing from the original release. The version of the album that you'll find online is from 2009 and ironically, it's missing the title track Now Here This! by Buddy Holly's former band The Crickets or as they were known at that time, Jerry Allison & The Crickets. Allison was the drummer for the band, as well as, a primary songwriter and during this time Jerry Naylor sang lead vocals. The other missing tracks include: 

It's a shame the tracks are missing because, honestly, they are some of the better tracks on the compilation. 

To those of you that are wondering who Norman Petty was, he was a musician, producer, and engineer that was most famous for his work with Buddy Holly and The Crickets. Petty had a somewhat tumultuous relationship with the band over the years and there is some argument about how much he contributed to their success, however, it is undeniable that Petty helped launch the careers of many local musicians through the Norman Petty Recording Studios in Clovis, NM. In fact, Roy Orbison's first studio recording, The Teen Kings' - Ooby Dooby, was made at Petty's studio, as well as, Buddy Knox with The Rhythm Orchids' hit song Party Doll

If you're ever on a trip to Clovis or are just passing through you can visit the studio, although you do have to make an appointment. Unlike the famous Sun Studio in Memphis, TN it doesn't appear as though the studio still functions as a recording studio but instead it's a museum featuring a collection of equipment that was used by Norman along with various other artifacts. If you haven't had your fill of Clovis' rock and roll history you can head about a mile and a half east to visit the Norman & Vi Petty Rock & Roll Museum. For more information about Norman Petty and the "Clovis Sound" check out this article by Stewart Green and if you can't quite make it to Clovis to visit the museums you can live vicariously through some informative videos made YouTuber Daze with Jordan the Lion.

You can listen to this episode's playlist below:


 

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Grace Slick, Van Morrison, and Rotating Band Lineups - Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show - Code Word "Watercress"

On this episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM we got twisted up in some crazy band drama as I tried to understand the confusing history of the bands Starship and Them. 

Whenever you see reissues and compilations featuring Them, Van Morrison's name is plastered everywhere, which makes sense as Morrison is not only a founding member but also the most famous since he later had a series of top hits including Brown Eyed Girl. However, when you dive deeper into the band's history, you'll discover how they had a million line-up changes, not including all of the studio musicians featured on their early work, all of which makes it appear as if the band was never really a cohesive group. There is a fantastic timeline on Garage Hangover which goes through all of the band's intricacies better than I ever could. The whole thing makes my head spin. 

As for Starship, the band came from the ashes of Jefferson Starship, which itself was comprised of members of Jefferson Airplane. Checking out the lists of former musicians from Starship and Jefferson Starship's makes you wonder how anyone in the band could keep track of who was supposed to show up and preform on any given night. For Starship, the only real consistent member was Mickey Thomas and Jefferson Starship's longest lasting member was Paul Kantner before he died in 2016. As of today, the current lineup of Jefferson Starship only includes one original member, David Freiberg, and Freiberg had left the band for a big chunk of time between 1984 and 2005. 

 

Grace Slick's power move in the music video for Starship's We Built This City
 

Although the three bands had a wide variety of sounds and personnel, one thing that ultimately tied them all together is how singer Grace Slick is featured in their most popular works. Slick was featured on Jefferson Airplane's Surrealistic Pillow which is often listed as one of the best psychedelic albums of all time, Jefferson Starship's first four albums which all had singles that reached the Billboard top 10, and most unfortunately, Starship's top hits We Built This City and Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now (which was featured in the bizarre romantic comedy Mannequin). 

While this is my personal opinion, I do believe it's one that many people share; Starship is hokey as hell and it's a tad bit sad knowing the band is tied to Jefferson Airplane. In fact, Grace Slick herself said the following in an interview with CBS is 2009: "I don't like Nothing's Going to Stop Us Now 'cause I can Stop you with a big truck. We're going to be together forever? Come on, please."

You can check out this episode's playlist below:


 

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Cadillac Ranch, The Second Amendment Cowboy and Betty Ford! Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show - Code Word "Yams"

On this episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM we started the show with a song by Soulbenders titled I Can't Believe in Love and I mentioned that the group was from the second largest city in Michigan, Grand Rapids

USA Today has said that Grand Rapids is one of the best beer towns in the U.S. but before you hit the bars during your next trip into the city you should stop by the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum where you can see such artifacts as: Ford's football collection, Betty Ford's dress collection, and the Colt 1911 that Manson follower Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme used when she attempted to assassinate Ford

Another item among the museums collection is a political cartoon by Paul Conrad which depicts the Ford family with President Ford covering the first lady's mouth. Mrs. Ford was known for her outspoken socially moderate/liberal views which were seen as detrimental to Ford's presidency and re-election bid. Our modern political climate makes it difficult to imagine that there was a time when Republicans could publicly call themselves feminists or express pro-abortion views but Betty Ford often placed herself in the forefront of many women's issues. In contrast, former first lady Laura Bush waited until her husband left office until she expressed her views on abortion and other social issues on Larry King Live

As a historical local aside, after Ford's presidency ended the Fords relocated to the Thunderbird Country Club in Rancho Mirage where they resided until their deaths. Both the president and first lady were then buried on the grounds of the Ford Presidential Library.

The 2nd Amendment Cowboy (Image by Gorup de Besanez) and Squeaky's Colt 1911 Pistol
 

Later in the episode you heard a song from the fairly obscure band from Amarillo, TX, The Notations which led to a discussion about the city's many public art attractions such as the Second Amendment Cowboy (which ironically appears to be weaponless), the Helium Time Columns Monument, Ozymandias of Amarillo, and most famously the Cadillac Ranch

 

Cadillac Ranch photo by scott1346

Cadillac Ranch was the brainchild of members of the Ant Farm art group: Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez and Doug Michels. I first heard about Ant Farm when I stumbled upon a video on Archive.org featuring their performance art piece, Media Burn, which features members of the collective driving a customized Cadillac through a pyramid of flaming television sets. I could go on and on about Ant Farm but I'll leave that for another day. The Museum of Contemporary Art produced a short documentary about Media Burn which explores the concept and execution of the event.


You can check out the songs played during this episode below:


 


Monday, July 5, 2021

Hot Rod and Motorcycle Rock Playlist

You heard some gas guzzling hot rods, drippy guitars, far out 2-strokes, and swinging back-beats on this special automotive inspired episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM! Most of the songs I played on the show would normally fall into the surf rock category but with some slight lyrical tweaks and engine sound effects...BOOM! You've got yourself a new subgenre.

In the spirit of the Moto Special, we're going to look at two fun examples of 60s car culture that are semi-related to the garage rock scene (at least that's what I'm telling myself). Firstly, if you like custom cars and cool guitars you should check out the Voxmobile made by George Barris in 1967. Barris was best known for his work on television vehicles including the original Batmobile from the 60s Batman and The Munster's Koach but he also worked on promotional vehicles for various companies including the musical equipment brand Vox. 

Jimmy Bryant and the Voxmobile as seen on the cover of The Fastest Guitar in the Country
 

The first thing you'll notice when looking Barris' Voxmobile is that both sides feature oversized Vox Phantom IV basses, however, what's not immediately obvious is that the car actually features Vox Beatle amplifier heads and speakers in the rear which can be used as a sound source for a live band. The car was featured on the cover of Jimmy Bryant's album The Fastest Guitar in the Country and there are various promotional material featuring the vehicle and artists that used Vox gear such as Eric Burdon and The Animals. If you are interested in reading more about the Voxmobile there's a cool article by Dave Hunter on the Vintage Guitar website.

The Surfite on the MST3K Village of The Giants episode and museum photo by Bill Abbott.
 

The next car is a yellow eye catcher by Ratfink creator Ed "Big Daddy" Roth named The Surfite.  Created 1964 the car is one of Roth's more obscure creations that managed to find its way into several musical comedies including Beach Blanket Bingo and Village of The Giants, the latter of which can be seen on an episode of the hilarious TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000. Unfortunately for all you Roth lovers out there, all of The Surfite's movie appearances are fairly brief and blurry. 

Enhance!

The car is an asymmetrical single-seater that features a cutout section which fits a medium sized surfboard that's painted to match the vehicle. Although we all can't cruise around in our very own Surfites we can settle for the Revell model kit which is still available today.

You can listen to this episode's wild burnt rubber playlist below:


 

The Many Boots That Are Made For Walkin' - Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show - Code Word "Soursop"

On this episode of Hippie Love Turbo , on KUCR 88.3 FM we started the show off with a Spanish cover of These Boots Are Made for Walkin'...