Archive for Jan & Dean

Back To School!

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , on August 27, 2012 by 30daysout

Repost: Don’t know about where you live, but in these parts it’s time to get back to school. Not me, of course (hahahaha) but my kids are getting ready to wake up early, do homework, etc. Well, wake up early anyway.

When you’re packing lunches you may want to throw in a tune or two.

MP3: “High School Confidential” by Jerry Lee Lewis

MP3: “School” by Nirvana

MP3: “Smokin’ In The Boys’ Room” by Mötley Crüe

MP3: “High School Nights” by Dave Edmunds

MP3: “Be True To Your School” by the Beach Boys

MP3: “What A Wonderful World” by Sam Cooke

MP3: “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” by Junior Wells

MP3: “The New Girl In School” by Jan & Dean

MP3: “Bitch School” by Spinal Tap

MP3: “School” by Supertramp

MP3: “Teacher” by Jethro Tull

MP3: “Hot For Teacher” by Van Halen

MP3: “Pom Pom Play Girl” by the Beach Boys

MP3: “School Day (Ring Ring Goes The Bell)” by Chuck Berry

MP3: “I Wish” by Stevie Wonder

MP3: “(Remember The Days Of The) Old Schoolyard” by Cat Stevens

MP3: “The Happiest Days Of Our Lives/Another Brick In the Wall (Part 2)” by Pink Floyd

Happy Birthday, Brian!

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , on June 20, 2012 by 30daysout

Brian Wilson turns 70 today.

Today (June 20) is the birthday of genius songwriter, singer and producer Brian Wilson.  It’s completely appropriate that today is also officially the first day of summer.  Because more than anyone, Brian Wilson created the image of this hot season through his songs.

He celebrates the lifestyle of Southern California: the beaches, the girls, the cars and of course surfing, and with the Beach Boys he gave summer a soundtrack. No matter where you are or what time it may be, whenever you play Wilson’s music the sun is suddenly out and surf’s up. It’s the sound of fun and freedom. So today we celebrate the sounds of summer – as written, sung and/or produced by the great Brian Wilson.

MP3: “Little Surfer Girl” (Demo) by Brian Wilson

MP3: “Surfin'” by The Beach Boys

MP3: “Pray For Surf” by The Honeys

MP3: “Surfer’s Holiday” by Annette Funicello (from the movie Muscle Beach Party)

MP3: “Ride The Wild Surf” by Jan & Dean

MP3: “Good Vibrations” (1966 sessions) by The Beach Boys

MP3: “‘Til I Die” (Alternate mix) by The Beach Boys

MP3: “Help Me, Rhonda” (live) by The Beach Boys

MP3: “Marcella” by The Beach Boys

MP3: “Johnny Carson” by The Beach Boys

MP3: “California Feelin’ ” by Brian Wilson

MP3: “Forever She’ll Be My Surfer Girl” by Brian Wilson

MP3: “Just Like Me And You” by Brian Wilson

MP3: “God Only Knows” by The Flaming Lips

MP3: “I Get Around” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers

MP3: “Surfin’ Safari/Fun, Fun, Fun/Shut Down/Little Deuce Coupe/Surfin’ U.S.A.” (live, 1966) by The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys 50th anniversary concert tour – Live songs courtesy of NPR music

Holy Batusi! It’s Adam West!!!

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , on September 21, 2010 by 30daysout

Well, we missed Adam West’s birthday … on Saturday he turned 82 years old!  I remember West came to Beaumont, Texas, one time in the mid 1970s; I was a sportswriter and he played in some celebrity tennis match on the Lamar University campus.

This woman we knew, Cathy Beene, was a great tennis player and the coach of a college women’s tennis team at the time.  Her doubles partner in the celebrity match was Adam West, so it was a real thrill when she said she’d introduce me.

Man, I used to watch the damn “Batman” TV series when I was in sixth grade – they used to show two episodes a week, part one would leave with some absurd cliffhanger then it would get resolved the next night, “same Bat-time, same Bat-channel!”

Anyway, I met and hung out with Adam West, he was pretty boring actually.  I think he was hitting on our friend Cathy.  And when I reached out to shake his hand goodbye he grabbed my right hand with both of his, looked me straight in the eye and said, just like Batman would have said, “Farewell, my friend, and remember … always keep both hands on the Batrope.”

For that, I will always love Adam West.  He will always be Batman.

MP3: Radio contest Promo by Adam West & Burt Ward

MP3: Texas Bat Crap commercial/”Look Out For The Batman” from the Children’s Treasury of Batman Musical Stories

MP3: “Miranda” (1966 single) by Adam West

MP3: Radio PSA by Adam West, Burt Ward & Yvonne Craig

MP3: “Boy Wonder, I Love You” (1966 single) by Burt Ward

MP3: “The Riddler” by Frank Gorshin

MP3: “Batman” by Jan & Dean

MP3: “Batman A Go-Go” by The Combo Kings

MP3: “Batman” TV show theme

MP3: “Batman Theme” by Sun Ra & the Blues Project

Video: Adam West … I mean Batman …  is BROKE!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

YouTube: Batman and Robin try to save ABC’s fall lineup

Adam West’s personal website

Hurricane Warning: Shelter from the Storm

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on July 8, 2010 by 30daysout

More tropical trouble for the Texas-Mexico coastline: last week Hurricane Alex rolled in to Mexico, more than 400 miles south of us, but we still received a deluge here in Houston.  So as another nasty bit of weather rolls up to the beach, it occurs to me that we haven’t posted any hurricane/storms/rain songs yet this season.  Here you go – stay dry and rock on!

MP3: “Change In The Weather” by John Fogerty

MP3: “Surfing In A Hurricane” by Jimmy Buffett

MP3: “High Water (For Charley Patton)” (live) by Bob Dylan

MP3: “I Think It’s Going To Rain Today” by Peter Gabriel

MP3: “In From The Storm” by Jimi Hendrix

MP3: “Texas Tornado” by the Sir Douglas Quintet

MP3: “Like A Hurricane” by Nils Lofgren

MP3: “Galveston” by Jimmy Webb featuring Lucinda Williams

MP3: “Here Comes The Rain” by Jan & Dean

MP3: “Riders On The Storm” by the Doors

MP3: “Texas Flood” by Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble

MP3: “The Rains Came” by Big Sambo

MP3: “Wild Is The Wind” by David Bowie

MP3: “Down In The Flood” (live) by the Derek Trucks Band

Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Psychedelic Two-Fer!

Posted in Rock Classics! with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2010 by 30daysout

This week we’re going to double up our reviews of old records and run a few more of these features than usual, all to help promote Record Store Day, which is Saturday.  Independent record stores are dying on the vine, on this day (at least) go on out and show ’em that you love them by purchasing some vinyl.  A few of us are lucky enough to live in a place where there are a handful of record stores – the one I’m going to on Saturday (Houston’s Cactus Records) is the place where I bought many LPs back in the 1970s.

I didn’t buy either of these albums at the record store, but I dug ’em up out of my big sister’s bedroom.  She always was a dedicated follower of fashion, and once a pop group had a hit single or album she usually jumped on the bandwagon.  So in many cases she has the album that came out after the big hit … which is pretty fascinating in itself, I guess.

Like today’s entry: II X II by the Cowsills, released in 1970.  Many people consider this album to be one of the group’s finest, even though it was a so-called “experimental” album (which in those days, meant “psychedelic.”)  You know the Cowsills: they were a singing family from Rhode Island complete with Svengali/manager dad, singing mom etc., and they’re best known for a handful of pop hits including “The Rain, The Park and Other Things” (1967), “Indian Lake” (1968), “Hair” (1969) and so on.  They were the real-life inspiration for the TV series “The Partridge Family,” and they were actually going to play themselves on TV until the clan learned producers wanted to replace the singing Cowsill mom with actress Shirley Jones.

As with all pop groups, the gig got a bit old when the hits stopped comin’, and around 1969 everyone was listening to albums anyway.  Now unlike the TV Partridges, the Cowsills could actually play their own instruments.  Brothers Bill and Bob Cowsill wrote the bulk of the band’s material, which kind of fit a lightly rockin’ folk-rock groove.  When it came time to record II X II, everyone in the band felt it was time to break away from the pop image with material that was a bit more mature and introspective.  So here you go: the title song which kicks off the album, is a kind of sci-fi Utopian fantasy that puts the Noah’s Ark concept on a groovy starship going to another planet to start a new peaceful civilization, or something.

Continue reading

The Hell With Christmas

Posted in Christmas with tags , , , , , , on December 4, 2009 by 30daysout

This year we have a bad attitude going into the holidays.  It’s been a rough economic year, we got this war overseas, Tiger Woods – it’s tough all over.  Maybe it’s time for some Christmas music.  I hope this crummy attitude doesn’t spill over into the song selection (you know it will).  Ho, ho.  Ho.

MP3: “Christmas For Everyone” by Rob Halford

MP3: Rob Halford Holiday Greeting

Tiger Woods family Christmas card, 2009

MP3: “Santa Claus Is A Black Man” by Akim

MP3: “O Holy Night/Cha Cha Cha” by Brave Combo

MP3: Elvis’ Christmas Message

MP3: “Frosty The Snowman” by Jan & Dean

MP3: “Christmas Blues” by Bob Dylan

MP3: “Christmas In Southgate” by Ry Cooder

MP3: “Christmas Time (Is Here Again) by the Beatles

MP3: “I Wish It Was Christmas Today” by Julian Casablancas

MP3: “Celebrate Christmas” by Billy Bob Thornton (from Bad Santa)

MP3: “Mistress For Christmas” by AC/DC

MP3: “Boogaloo Santa Claus” by J.D. McDonald

MP3: “Snowflakes” by the Ventures

MP3: “Jingle Bell Hustle” by Wayne Newton

MP3: “I’m A Christmas Tree” by Wild Man Fischer

MP3: “Christmas Day” by Green Day

Sampler Daze: The WB/Reprise Loss Leaders, Part 8

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2009 by 30daysout

theforce allmeat

There was no denying that, by 1975, popular music was undergoing another change.  The advances of the late 1960s had sunk in, and rock had already gotten over the Beatles by introducing bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Foghat.  The second wave of hard rockers were honing their chops in 1975, and names like Aerosmith, Boston and Van Halen were waiting in the wings.

But the pop charts were showing a different shade: black.  Black artists had always been a part of pop music, of course: names like Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and Diana Ross regularly appeared on the Top 40, as did Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and the Staple Singers.  By 1975, soul music and R&B had been influenced by psychedelic guitar music, and the new music born from that was called funk.

Curtis Mayfield

One of the big artists of the early Seventies was Curtis Mayfield, who soldiered through the 1960s as the mastermind behind the Impressions and their groundbreaking hits like “People Get Ready,” “Keep On Pushing” and “We’re A Winner.”  Mayfield left the group in 1970 and as a solo artist he helped put black music on the top 40 with his classic soundtrack to the blaxploitation movie Superfly.   In 1975 Mayfield took his own label, Curtom, to Warner Bros., and he anchored the first sampler from that year, All Meat.  In 1990 Mayfield would be seriously injured by falling stage lighting, and he was paralyzed from the neck down.  After nearly a decade in this condition, Mayfield died in 1999.

Continue reading

(The Real) Dead Man’s Curve

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on September 9, 2009 by 30daysout

Gentlemen ... start your engines!

Editor’s Note: This was written by our L.A. correspondent Randy Fuller, who just happens to be the afternoon traffic guy on Los Angeles powerhouse AM station KABC.  Thanks, Randy!

The town I grew up in, Port Arthur, Texas, had a “Dead Man’s Curve.” It was a microscopic piece of blacktop that bent 90 degrees around a house situated very close to the road.   It was extremely hard to see the oncoming traffic, and there wasn’t much room to swerve out of harm’s way.   On the other hand, it was almost impossible to take the turn at more than 10 mph, so it’s highly doubtful that anyone actually died there, unless it was from boredom.

It made for a catchy name, though.  That’s due in large part to the 1964 Jan and Dean hit of the same name, written by Jan Berry and Roger Christian.  The lyrics describe a fictional drag race right down one of the biggest streets in the city that has been my home for nearly 20 years, Los Angeles, California.


Look who has a star on Vine - just north of Sunset!

The song is believed by some to have foretold the 1966 car accident that nearly killed Berry.  Digging around a bit shows that the smart money believes the Dead Man’s Curve of the song is not the place where Berry crashed his Stingray, although it was rather close by.  It does appear, however, to be the same place where actor and voiceover genius Mel Blanc was nearly killed in an accident.  It is that incident that is believed to be the true inspiration for the song.  Apparently Christian wanted the race in the song to end in a tie, but Berry insisted on a melodramatic, fiery, tire screechin’, glass bustin’ death crash.

The actual Dead Man’s Curve in Los Angeles is a stretch of Sunset Boulevard near Bel Air, just north of the UCLA campus, with a series of hairpin turns.  In my experience with it, I can see how it got the name.  That part of Sunset looks almost rural due to the tree-shrouded property there.  Drivers encounter few cross streets and fewer traffic signals, so the speeds are generally close to 60 mph.  It’s too fast for the situation, but the alternative is usually a BMW pushing you along so the driver can get to his/her drug deal/pilates class/studio screening on time.

Continue reading