Monday, July 06, 2015

Sights and Sounds: Ringo Starr, Courtney Barnett, The Rolling Stones

Okay, it must be a Monday coming on the heels of a holiday weekend with all the news coming in...

Ringo Starr performing at the Santa Barbara Bowl in July 2014.
Join Ringo Starr for worldwide #PeaceAndLove celebration at noon on Tuesday, July 7

What better way to help Ringo Starr celebrate his 75th birthday, right? Starr and his wife Barbara will join family, friends and fans in front of the Capitol Records Tower in Hollywood and share a "Peace & Love" salute at noon. The now-traditional Peace & Love celebration is open to the public and Starr invites everyone everywhere to think or say "Peace & Love" or share #PeaceAndLove at noon their local time, on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

This idea was born in 2005 when Ringo was asked what he would like for his birthday, and his reply was "more Peace & Love." Ever since, he has invited the public to join him wherever he is on his birthday and extends the ask to "everyone everywhere to think, say or do #PeaceAndLove at Noon their local time." So the Peace & Love moment moves over the planet starting at Noon in New Zealand to Noon in Hawaii and everywhere in between.

Starr will be joined by Joe Walsh, David Lynch, Edgar Winter, Matt Sorum, Jim Keltner, Richard Page, Gary Wright and others, and special guests will reportedly perform some of Starr's songs at the event.

No matter where you are, share their "peace & love" celebration with Ringo by sending #PeaceAndLove messages, photos and videos:

This March 2015 Ringo released Postcards From Paradise (UMe) featuring his very first single written and recorded with his All Starr Band. In April 2015, he was inducted by Paul McCartney into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist for Musical Excellence, performing his songs with McCartney, Joe Walsh and Green Day. In September, Genesis Publications will publish Ringo’s book PHOTOGRAPH in wide release, which was previously published as a limited edition in 2014. October will see Ringo and his All Starr Band hit the road with tour dates in the US and Canada.

Please visit for the latest news and all things Ringo.

Courtney Barnett to open for Blur in New York, L.A.

Photo Credit: Charlotte Zoller part of Pitchfork's Contours Series
Courtney Barnett continues to set the music world alight with her debut album Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit which is out now on Mom+Pop Music, and there are no signs of her slowing down anytime soon. Announced today, Barnett and her band will open for UK icons Blur, playing Madison Square Garden and the Hollywood Bowl. Details, including her own headline San Francisco date, are listed below.

Barnett recently stopped by The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon where she absolutely slayed with her performance of "Pedestrian at Best," she also turned heads with her Conan performance earlier that month, this time playing another album favorite "Dead Fox."

Rolling Stone made "Pedestrian At Best" their number one song of 2015 (so far), proclaiming "Courtney Barnett makes it sound so insultingly easy." SPIN agreed,awarding the track the number 1 crown for their 63 Best Songs of 2015 and also including Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit in their 50 Best Albums of 2015 list. Overall, the album has dominated the Best of 2015 Lists (So Far) with PasteStereogum and Billboard all hailing it as one of the most important records of the year.

Courtney Barnett also stopped by the NPR studios during her recent tour and sat down with Bob Boilen for a special Guest DJ setBoilen included the LP as one of his favorite albums of 2015 going as far to say "Barring some bolt of musical lightning before year's end, this debut album from Courtney Barnett will be my number one record of the year."

For those who missed Barnett on her recent sold out US tour she will be returning to North America this month with a special SOLD OUT Terminal 5 show as well as stops at Pitchfork and the historic Newport Folk Festival. All dates are listed below. 

North American Tour Dates 

7.16 - 7.16.15 - Pemberton Music Festival - Pemberton, BC
7.19.15 - Pitchfork Music Festival - Chicago, IL
7.22.15 - Terminal 5 - New York, NY
7.24.15 - WayHome Music & Arts Festival - Oro-Medonte, ON
7.25.15 - Newport Folk Festival - Newport, RI
7.26.15 - XPoNential Music Festival - Camden, NJ
10.20.15 - Hollywood Bowl - Los Angeles, CA **
10.21.15 - The Fillmore - San Francisco, CA
10.23.15 - Madison Square Garden - New York, NY **

* w/ Speedy Ortiz & Torres
** w/ Blur

50 years ago: Stones get their first US #1 and it is,
of course, "Satisfaction"

We’ve been chronicling the rise of The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” fifty years ago and this week marks the actual anniversary of its hitting #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in the issue dated July 10, 1965.  It was the very first Rolling Stones single (or album) to go all the way in the USA and marked the transformation of the Stones from a second tier ‘British Invasion' band to the pantheon of UK-based rockers.  The single stayed in the top slot for four solid weeks with “Satisfaction” emerging as the de facto soundtrack of the summer of ’65.

Scroll down for information about ABKCO’s 50th anniversary limited edition 12”, 45 rpm release of “Satisfaction” that’s out this Friday, exactly 50 years after that Billboard chart confirmed that the Stones were, truly, here to stay.  In the interest of providing context we thought it was worth the effort to list the records that shared the top 5 with “Satisfaction” over those four weeks.

“I Can’t Help Myself” - The Four Tops
“I’m Henry The VII, I Am” - Herman’s Hermits 
“Mr. Tambourine Man” - The Byrds
“Cara Mia” - Jay and the Americans
“What’s New Pussycat” - Tom Jones
“Save Your Heart For Me” - Gary Lewis and the Playboys
“I Got You Babe” - Sonny and Cher

“(ICGN)S” was certified as a Gold award winner by the RIAA just nine days after the record went to #1.. as if validation were needed to confirm this was a hit for the ages.  We found an image of the gold record  that was awarded to Mick Jagger so we thought it appropriate to include here. 

Released during the first week of June in 1965, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones proved to be a monumental single, not just in terms of airplay and chart position (their first U.S. #1), but also in terms of shaping popular music. The song that, according to Newsweek, contains the “five notes that shook the world” has proven itself timeless. A half-century later, the Rolling Stones played the song as their finale on the opening night of their Zip Code Tour of North America 2015.  

The idea of writing a song around a riff (a repeating sequence of notes), rather than a vocal melody or chord progression, though not unprecedented at the time, had yet to take rock music by storm. “Satisfaction” was the storm. Over the course of the next several years, the shift in focus towards the riff took hold, and can be still heard in popular music today.  

On July 10, ABKCO Records will celebrate the golden anniversary of “Satisfaction” by releasing a limited edition, numbered 12-inch version of the single on 180-gram vinyl. While the smash hit comprises the entire A-side, the B-side consists of both original U.S. and UK “Satisfaction” flip sides: “The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man” and “The Spider and the Fly,” respectively. The record is housed in a sleeve featuring award-winning photographer David Bailey’s shot of the group, recreating the original 7-inch single artwork.  Mastered by Carl Rowatti at Trutone Mastering Labs and cut from the original mono master tapes, the 45-rpm 12-inch format makes this a true audiophile pressing, allowing for wider grooves that yield louder levels, broader range, deeper bass and better high frequency response.

London Records (the Stones’ U.S. label at the time) released “Satisfaction” in the first week of June, less than a month after the track was recorded at RCA Studios in Hollywood, CA on May 12, 1965. By June 12, the single had entered both the Billboard and Cashbox charts. Over the course of the next month, “Satisfaction” shot straight to the top, hitting #1 in Record World on July 3, where it held its position for three weeks; Billboard and Cashbox followed suit, declaring it #1 on July 10, where it stayed for four weeks. Sales-wise, “Satisfaction” was an unparalleled success – it became the group’s first RIAA-certified gold record on July 19, 1965.

The UK version of the “Satisfaction” single, released by Decca on August 20, 1965, would become the band’s fourth #1 single in their home territory. The track made its LP debut on July 30 of that year, when it was included on the U.S. version of Out of Our Heads. ABKCO Films’ much-lauded documentary The Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling – Ireland 1965 features the band’s first ever performance of “Satisfaction” to a paying audience, played Dublin’s Adelphi Theatre on September 3 of that year. (See link below)

The iconic guitar riff that opens the song was composed by Keith Richards who recorded the sequence of notes on a home tape recorder while in a dreamlike state in the middle of the night when the band was on tour in the U.S.  After listening to his own recording and devising the song title “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” he played the riff for Mick Jagger by the pool at the Gulf Motel in Clearwater, FL in early May, 1965. Jagger immediately composed the lyrics. 

Having scrapped a version of “Satisfaction” that was recorded at Chess Studios in Chicago on May 10, the group re-recorded the song at RCA Studios in Hollywood, CA on May 12. It was this version that would take over the airwaves and shoot up the charts the following month.

Textured by the aid of a Maestro Fuzz-Tone pedal, Richards’ riff was originally intended to be replaced by a horn section, but the recording sounded complete to producer/manager Andrew Loog Oldham and engineer David Hassinger. Jagger’s lyrics, simultaneously expressing sexual frustration and disdain for consumerist messages, would strike a nerve with the mostly young, rock ‘n’ roll buying public. Ironically, the only two people in the Stones’ camp who were initially against turning “Satisfaction” into a single were Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

“The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man,” credited to Nanker Phelge (a pseudonym used on compositions written by the entire band), is a lighthearted jab at George Sherlock, an employee of London Records at the time, who accompanied the group on their first U.S. tour. The Stones saw Sherlock as a vain, toupee-topped, seersucker suited music biz flunky who was ultimately harmless. In later years, Sherlock expressed pride in having been the subject of the song. Loosely based on Buster Brown’s hit “Fannie Mae,” it is the lyrical content that gives the tune historic importance; the prodding of authority figures through song was almost unprecedented at the time. In the UK, Decca decided to instead use the country-blues composition “The Spider and the Fly” (also by Jagger/Richards) as the B-side to “Satisfaction,” the company assuming that the abundance of American references on “The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man” may have gone over the heads of British listeners.

Pressed by Quality Record Pressings in Salina, KS, and limited to 10,000 numbered copies in North America, ABKCO’s “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” 12-inch single will be released a half-century to the day after the landmark song dominated U.S. charts and helped transform the course of pop music history.


Side A
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

Side B
The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man
The Spider and the Fly

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