Archive for Easy Rider

Radio Daze: Rock Hype on the Airwaves

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , , on July 21, 2012 by 30daysout

Back in the day, radio was the only way to get out the word about a new album. Of course, it helped that disc jockeys actually played songs from a new album – but record labels wanted to rack up sales right out of the box. And movies too – what better way to get the word out to the “kids” than through that boss, groovy local radio station?

So they worked up little spots to play on the hip-cool radio station in your town. Nowadays, with traditional terrestrial radio pretty much dead, these old radio spots are fodder for CD re-releases.  Let’s queue up a bunch and spin ’em!

MP3: The Monkees Present radio promo (The Monkees)

MP3: Live Dead radio promo (The Grateful Dead)

MP3: Help movie promo (The Beatles)

MP3: Cahoots radio promo (The Band)

MP3: Sweetheart of the Rodeo radio promo (The Byrds)

MP3: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere radio promo (Neil Young)

MP3: I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama! radio promo (Janis Joplin)

MP3: Head movie promos (The Monkees)

MP3: Electric Warrior radio promo (T. Rex)

MP3: Aqualung radio promo (Jethro Tull)

MP3: Ballad of Easy Rider radio promo (The Byrds)

MP3: Easy Rider movie promo

Dennis Hopper, R.I.P.

Posted in News with tags , , , on May 29, 2010 by 30daysout

Actor Dennis Hopper died today at the age of 74.  He was a movie star and a movie director, but he is important to rock and roll for his role in the creation of Easy Rider, from 1969.  He took the music that he liked and put it into his movie, and created the movie soundtrack album that we know and love today.  Pretty cool.

An appreciation of Dennis Hopper, from the Los Angeles Times

MP3: “Born To Be Wild” by Steppenwolf (from the Easy Rider soundtrack)

MP3: “Wasn’t Born To Follow” by the Byrds (from the Easy Rider soundtrack)

MP3: Easy Rider movie promo for radio

MP3: “In Dreams” by Roy Orbison (from Blue Velvet)

40 Years Out: “Easy Rider”

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on October 7, 2009 by 30daysout

Dennis Hopper, R.I.P.

“You know, this used to be a helluva good country. I don’t understand what went wrong with it.” – Jack Nicholson, in Easy Rider

While we’re celebrating events of 1969 this year, it would be a shame to forget the movie Easy Rider.   Perhaps the most famous road movie of all time, it was a touchstone of the era and a landmark in American moviemaking.  You should know the story: two rebels hit the road to discover America as it was in the late 1960s.  They encounter everything from happy hippies in a country commune to angry rednecks in a Louisiana diner.

The movie broke new ground in its primitive production techniques, after the French New Wave (Truffaut) and in its then-innovative use of already recorded rock songs on the soundtrack.  Even though many of the people who worked on the movie, including stars Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper (who also directed) and Jack Nicholson, are still alive and working, much about the movie’s production has passed into mythology so it’s tough to pick out the truth among the tall tales.

We know this much: the soundtrack forever tied Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild” with motorcycle riding, the movie made Jack Nicholson a star and Easy Rider created the independent film industry.   Stephen Stills was asked by Hopper to write a song for the movie – he wrote “Find The Cost Of Freedom,” but it wasn’t used.  It later became the flip side of “Ohio” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.  Bob Dylan was also asked to write a song, but he didn’t want to.  Instead, he dashed off a few lines and asked to have them delivered to Roger McGuinn, who then wrote and performed “Ballad of Easy Rider” heard over the closing credits.

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30 Years Out: The Byrds, Houston 1969-1977

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 22, 2008 by 30daysout

Gene Clark, left, and Roger McGuinn at the Texas Opry House, 1977

The first time I saw The Byrds was in 1969, as part of this package called the Rock Jubilee.  In the months after Woodstock, everybody wanted to be a part of the rock festival “experience.”  Promoters noticed something in the air, and it wasn’t the odor of pot and unwashed bodies. They smelled money.  So they put on this Rock Jubilee in the Sam Houston Coliseum, which was basically a rodeo arena.  Even though it was an indoor rock “festival, ” the lineup was excellent — Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, The Byrds, Poco.  It was my very first rock concert.

In the Byrds, Roger McGuinn was the only holdout from the original group.  The rest of the group was Roger’s late 60s lineup, featuring flatpickin’ genius Clarence White.  They did their country-fied stuff like “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” and relegated their hits to a terse medley.  “Eight Miles High” got an extended psychedelic jam treatment.  The rest of the night was OK, I do recall they turned on the lights in the middle of the Airplane’s set because they went past a 10 p.m curfew. Whatever.

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