Archive for Mike McGear

Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: McGough & McGear (With special guests)

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , on January 17, 2011 by 30daysout

You know that feeling when you’ve looked over something about 100 times, then you look at it again and something in your brain tells you “look closer” … and you do.  You know that feeling?  Well, I’ve riffled through my sister’s record collection hundreds of times and I always saw this one record.  Today, my brain told me “look closer.”  Looking for duet albums to fit our little mini-series going until Valentine’s Day, this is may be more timely as an April Fool’s submission.

So here you go – it’s McGough and McGear, a British psychedelic relic from 1968.  To fully enjoy this album, you first need a bit of a history lesson:  back in the day, there was a group called The Scaffold – a trio that performed comedy, poetry and music between 1966 and 1971.  The group consisted of Roger McGough, a poet who specialized in performing his poetry; John Gorman, a songwriter and singer; and Mike McGear, also a bit of a songwriter and singer.  The Scaffold issued a number of albums  and singles in their heyday; a couple of their comic songs also climbed to the upper reaches of the United Kingdom Top 40.

So McGough and McGear is a self-titled effort from the late 1960s, minus John Gorman.  Neither McGough or McGear were much of a musician, but McGear knew somebody he could call to help with the album: his brother, who happened to be a musician.  In fact, McGear’s brother Paul McCartney was an excellent musician.  The Beatle apparently produced McGough and McGear, and in turn called on some of his own buddies to play and sing – including Graham Nash, John Mayall, Spencer Davis, Yardbirds bassist Paul Samwell-Smith, Pretty Things drummer Viv Prince, and this guitar player named Hendrix.

The album mixes poetry, comedy and some solid pop-psychedelic rock.  McGough usually took the lead on the parts with spoken word poetry, which featured some pretty decent wordplay, while McGear was featured on the rock songs.  This type of thing was pretty popular back in swingin’ Sixties England; if you like the Bonzo Dog Band you’ll like the McGough and McGear stuff.

The album kicks off with “So Much In Love,” with some Hendrix guitar work that could have come from “Foxy Lady.”  In fact, the other members of Hendrix’s Experience, drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding also played on the album, and they likely turn up on this track as well.  McGough turns up next with “Little Bit Of Heaven,” which is so British I can’t understand it … but it certainly presages the strange, zany humor that would characterize British acts like Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

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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.

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Paul McCartney’s Top 10 Guest Shots

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2008 by 30daysout

During and after his stint in the Beatles, Paul McCartney was one of the most important rock musicians in the world.  Songs written by McCartney alone were hits for other artists (see our post from May 26, “With A Little Help For Their Friends”) and any time he showed up at someone else’s recording session it was an event.

But those Beatle boys were rascals and more often than not they would get into some tomfoolery; McCartney was no exception.  Some of his cameos could be called bizarre at best.  Nevertheless, today we’ll count down his top 10 guest appearances on record (and video).

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