Friday, June 5, 2009
Frampton fiddles while George Burns
When I was a wee lad music came from the radio, almost exclusively. My parents had some LPs, but even then I couldn't bring myself to listen to Petulia Clark, Olivia Newton-John (the pre-pop years) and Helen Reddy. There was only one radio station that we could get clear reception for where we lived, radio Taranaki. It played middle-of-the-road music ... the kind that's so middle-of-the-road it gets hit by all the lanes of traffic. Thanks to Radio Taranaki I can sing along to such hits as Wichita Lineman, Afternoon Delight, and Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town.
Sometimes the DJ would sneak something a little bit different into their rotation ... I remember being fascinated by Talking Heads' Once In A Lifetime. But mostly it was Calendar Girl, Jolene, and disco, disco, disco.
My mother added Abba and the Bee Gees to her collection, which did give me exposure to one of the weirdest albums in history, The soundtrack to the movie Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. This movie/album fused Peter Frampton together with the Bee Gees to become a pseudo-Beatles group who perform a mish-mash of Beatles' hits as part of a storyline that bears a striking similarity to the first Muppet Movie.
I have never seen the movie, but the LP got many a listen. It was so odd. Steve Martin sings Maxwell's Silver Hammer. Aerosmith do Come Together. Alice Cooper sings Because. George Burns drones through Fixing A Hole. Earth Wind and Fire provide horns on several songs. I really like the version of She's So Heavy on this album. Overall, however, the album was a spectacular failure.
The movie was said to be even worse than the music. The producers are said to have hoped the film would be "this generation's Gone With the Wind". It was more like Plan 9 From Outer Space meets The Wiz.
One day I hope I get to make something that spectacularly bad. ;-)