Rolling Stone Issue 24
Dated December 21, 1968. The Beatles on the cover.
The Beatles White Album has just hit the stores & the fastest selling Beatles album ever, original shipment was 3.5 million units. Stores sold out of the album immediately. Demand was so high that no retailer got even ½ of their original order. Tower Records in San Francisco sold 2000 in a day, reordered & sold 1,500 more a day later.
Hey Jude has already sold 3 million in 3 months & is doing 200,000 per week. It is the 16th Platinum single for the band.
Jann Wenner says this is the best album by the Bealtes ever, & they are the only ones capable of bettering it. And then he goes on for 4 solid pages about the album & the songs therein. The review is accompanied by many nice photos courtesy Linda Eastman.
The Stones are planning 27 American concert dates beginning in Spring 1969. The infamous Hells Angels & Altamont event would be in Dec. 1969.
The great MOTOWN song writing team of Holland Dozier Holland have begun a law suit against the label claiming conspiracy, fraud, deceit, overreaching & breach of fiduciary relationships. They are asking for a whopping $22 million.
Due to artistic differences Graham Nash is leaving The Hollies. The group wanted to, & began, recording a complete album of Dylan covers. Graham wanted nothing to do with it. He has already recorded some stuff with Stephen Stills & they are waiting for either ATCO (Still‘s label), or Columbia (Nash’s label) to relinquish distribution rights & then the new songs will become an album.
Eric Burdon is also leaving The Animals saying he feels old & frustrated & “I can’t get much satisfaction out of me music any more.”
Led Zepplin has just been signet to Atlantic Records for a long term contract & a reported $200,000 advance, unheard of at the time. Their first album is scheduled for Jan. 1969.
How’s this for co-incidence. Both John & Yoko, & Mick Jagger & Marianne Faithful have lost babies within 24 hrs. of each other in London due to miscarriages.
Grace Slick appeared on the Smothers Brothers show to sing Crown of Creation & she raised more than a few eyebrows when she did so in Black Face. She said “women wear make up all the time, I don’t see why it can’t be black.”
Wheels of Fire by Cream has been certified as Platinum.
Dion DiMucchi of Dion & The Belmonts is attempting a big comeback after being away for 6 years due to drug issues. His new single, Abraham Martin & John, is on the charts. The song (Abraham Martin & John) is his first Charted song in 5 years, it would go all the way to #4, but once it fell, that would be the last we would see him on the charts. He would be elected to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.
There is an interesting “History” of the record producer/mogul, Lou Adler. In one of the interesting stories he tells of producng a Live track for a heretofore unknown Johnny Rivers & attempting to get Don Kirshner interested in releasing it. Kirshner declined, Adler took offense & basically said DK was “something less than astute.” After turning down JR, Kirshner went on to find & produce The Monkees & The Archies. The “Live” Johnny Rivers was never released & the first “Live” recording from a nightclub gig would eventually come from Trini Lopez.
His next big find was Barry McGuire of Eve of Destruction fame & while producing Barry’s second album, Lou stumbled onto his biggest act yet, The Mamas & Papas (Oct. 1966). He signed them for a $1500 advance. It is stated that as the M&P got big & began to tour that they were making $30k per night & losing money on every tour.
His next act was Scott McKenzie & the song (If you go to) San Francisco, a song which would go on to sell 5 million copies.
Next up, producing the first album by Spirit, because he wanted to get into the “underground” movement.
He was one of the truly most successful producers out there, but even those types have their downfalls. Consider an album he produced by Peggy Lipton of Mod Squad fame, it went largely unheard.
Cruising with Ruben & The Jets Frank Zappa & The Mothers
I think the reviewer tried to write a review like Zappa writes an album. It’s all over the place, but in the end I think he liked it.
1st, Horizontal, Idea, & Rare Precious & Beautiful The Bee Gees
“To comprehend the Bee Gees is to comprehend all that is banal, without grace, & trite.” “This is necessarily to say that The Bee Gees have deep roots in one of the most neglected areas of rock music, the popular romantic ballad.”
Massachusetts is called great Bee Gees “fluff.”
The reviewer says “Never before has a rock group so intensely & consciously set sail on a sea of syrup. “
Then ends with this, “ They do have the ability to occasionaly make the right choices in the chosen area of rock. It is this sort of capacity that should not be ignored.”
So he spends one paragraph after another ragging the band & then leaves one with hope of good things to come.
Under the category of interesting ads;
There is an ad for a band called Mother Earth, the album Living With Animals.
An album by a group named Graffiti, it is advertised as an album “that’ll put you on the edge of your head.”
The new album by Calliope is out. It’s called Steamed. One of the members was a guy named Danny O’Keefe who would go on to have the Hit Single Good Time Charley’s Got the Blues.
Life is but a Dream by the band Wichita Falls is available on Liberty Records.