They Had Mohair Rings, But I Had Jo Jo Gunne

Apr 2, 2016 | 7921 Views | 5 Comments

"No, Spiardi. I bought myself a ring that's too big." This is how Miss S.T. sarcastically answered when I asked if her boyfriend bought her the yarn-wrapped ring she was sporting on her finger. It had never occurred to me that the fuzzy bands worn by the A-list girls began their lives as one-size-fits-all pieces of cheap metal, purchased by hormone-raging boys to give to their pubescent paramours. The crafty lasses wrapped their tokens of love with angora yarn to obtain the proper fit, thus creating one of the most sought after status symbols of junior... Read More »

Well, Here’s Another Clue for You All: The Walrus was Faul

Apr 1, 2016 | 5174 Views | 2 Comments

"We did it because we loved him." That was the caption under a photo of four smiling Beatles that graced the back cover of a special edition "Paul is Dead" magazine that I bought in 1970. Beatlemania had come and gone, but I wasn't ready to let go - especially of Paul, who was my current favorite. (There's nothing 10-year-old girls love more than doe-eyed creatures, be they boys or horses.) That 50-cent magazine became my trusted guide, leading me to the clues that proved Paul's demise. Yes, Paul was dead. And his bandmates covered up his... Read More »

A Cardboard Hitler on British Soil: His Command Performance for Sgt. Pepper

Mar 30, 2016 | 3652 Views | 3 Comments

Betcha didn't know that Adolf Hitler was almost on the cover of The Beatles' most revered album. That's right. When art director Robert Fraser and designers Jann Haworth and Sir Peter Blake began working with the band to conceptualize the cover art for "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" they told each Beatle to compile a list of people they admired. Their idea was to create life size cardboard models of these characters and place them in the background, as an "audience" behind the Pepper band. The affable Ringo forfeited his choices to the others, who came... Read More »

Bloody Sunday: When Johnny O’Lennain and Paul McCartney Got their Irish Up

Mar 16, 2016 | 5255 Views | 5 Comments

In February 1972, Paul McCartney released a single that finally put him in the same league of controversy that his former Beatles bandmate John Lennon had long inhabited. That was the month Paul released his single, "Give Ireland Back to the Irish." It was his response to Bloody Sunday, a horrific event in which British soldiers shot and killed 26 unarmed civil-rights protesters and bystanders who were taking part in a Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association march on January 30, 1972. Paul's record company EMI reluctantly agreed to let him and his band Wings record and release... Read More »

Goldie and the Gingerbreads: Rock’s First All-Female Guitar Band

Mar 8, 2016 | 5643 Views | 2 Comments

They didn't ride motorcycles through the halls of L.A.'s legendary Hyatt House, pay hotel doormen to smuggle hot groupies into their rooms, or smash pricey guitars to smithereens during performances. In fact, they didn't pull any of the typical stunts made famous by the male rock pioneers of the 1960s and '70s. Yet, they were trailblazers nonetheless. I'm talking about the mostly forgotten women of the early electric bands, who proved you didn't need testosterone to have talent. They wielded Strats, hammered Ludwigs, went on tour, signed record deals…and then just faded into footnotes. Now maybe,... Read More »