The Lovin' Spoonful

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by elihu, Sep 18, 2016.

  1. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    In my frame of reference, the Spoonful were one of the top bands of their time. They, and the Rascals were a wonderful complement to the Beatles and Stones, from a purely musical point of view. The bulk of the material that my first band played was from these two bands.

    I read Boone's autobio, which is quite good, and learned the most definitive version of the Zally problem. Boone and Zally had been arrested in San Francisco (I think). The cops leaned on Zally to finger others involved. He was threatened with deportation if he didn't do that. (Somehow, Boone was involved in helping the cops, too.) The fans of the Spoonful, particularly those more knowledgeable about the music business, I'm told, saw Zally as a traitor after that. This played a part in his ultimate dismissal, as well.

    Summer in the City was another one of those songs that seemed to come out of nowhere, like Good Vibrations, although nowadays the Wilson song has achieved a legendary status, while the Sebastian (heh-heh, I'll explain in a sec) song now sounds a little tiny bit like a novelty song. But at the time, it had a real slashing and burning vibe, not that far from Jumping Jack Flash. By the way, Summer in the City was written by John Sebastian's brother.

    I took everything in music extremely seriously, and saw importance in all kinds of things. When we see in a video Zally literally upstaging Sebastian as he sings Darling, Be Home Soon, his goofing and mugging seemed to provide an intentional contrast to the more serious performance by Sebastian. I thought that it was planned and intentionally worked out in order to push the boundaries of staging and presentation in a televised format. I'm kind of disappointed to hear John complaining that Zally was getting out of hand. Again, I thought it was a group thing. At age 14, I bought the entire rock and roll fantasy package.
     
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  2. elihu

    elihu Poster Extraordinaire

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    Larry, you and Wally were there the first time around. I wasn't, but from the vids/performances I've seen and heard John seemed more the introvert whereas Zally was quite the opposite. So it's natural that some tension would exist between opposite personalities. But I've also posted an interview where John acknowledges Zal as a huge part of the songwriting process. So it's another instance of a band being more than the sum of it's parts. Hey, I still believe in magic.
     
  3. Chooglin59

    Chooglin59 Tele-Meister

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    As a teenager in the 70’s, I didn’t connect John Sebastian with LS…he was the guy who sang the ‘Welcome Back Kotter’ song.
     
  4. elihu

    elihu Poster Extraordinaire

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    Dear Mr. Kotter,

    Please excuse Epistein from class.

    signed
    Epistein's Mother
     
  5. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summer_in_the_City

    Zal's bust....it is the link to the Loving Spoonful posted earlier.

    Re: the reference above in Larry's post about Zal 'getting out of hand'. IMHO, that is exactly what happened in the video that started this thread. Zeal was almost out of control there, blew the beginning of the song, goofed idly acknowled that by pointing to his own head, and continued that exuberance while Sebastian was trying to get the song started correctly. Sebastian calmly got the band on track, and yes...Zal would be hard to ignore as a musician and a personality from what I see there.
     
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  6. elihu

    elihu Poster Extraordinaire

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    Don't forget that exuberant lead Wally (quite a bit different from the studio cut) and those fills and backing vocals.

    The young ladies in the front row didn't seem to mind Zal's mistake.

    I guess folks can spend time doing things or spend time analyzing the things they did.

    I'm off to listen to Creeque Alley.
     
  7. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Elihu, here is the studio version. Zal's guitar playing is much better, imho.... In that live cut, he is 'over the top' in his physical exuberance....maybe he was paying attention to the screaming little girls, too??? His guitar playing a bit muddled....and it isn't just the sound...it is in the execution, to my ear. Sebastian was noticeably not impressed by Zal's antics and had to be more deliberate just to get the performance done. Maybe that is why his musical career continued and Zal went back to the restaurant business???

     
  8. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Another one that illustrates one of the main reasons they formed (electrified Kweskin).

    I'm sure a bigger reason was the Beatles and "hey - we can do that !"

     
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  9. elihu

    elihu Poster Extraordinaire

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    Here's what John Sebastian said about Zal and I quote: "Zally is the first to say that he was one-quarter of a band. But in all honesty Zal was more than one-quarter of that band. On stage Zal was our greatest asset, our unmeasurable quantity. He was our fire and our humor. We relied on his intuition, on his sense of spontaneity, on his fear of being predictable...



    It sounds to me like Zal's exuberance was valued, Wally. And we'll have to agree to disagree on that live Do You Believe In Magic cut. A few weeks ago I lumped the Lovin' Spoonful in with bands like The Turtles and The Beau Brummels...in other words, forgettable. That vid showed me a well crafted pop song played by a band who could bring it live. After that came the songwriting, then the playing and now I'm a fan.

    Mike, you read my mind. I was checking out the NE jug band scene from which The Lovin' Spoonful emerged. Kweskin came up immediately because I'm a fan of Geoff Muldaur who, as you know, was one of the founding members. I've seen Geoff live a couple of times and he also brings it. He did a recording of Mississippi Sheiks tunes with locals such as Stephen Bruton and Cindy Cashdollar a few years back. Good stuff!
     
  10. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Love all that stuff/all those people. Bruton - man. Talk about someone living up to their reputation by the time I heard him.

    Here's John (post-medical issues so his voice isn't what it was) w/ Grisman. Their record together is real good.

     
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  11. elihu

    elihu Poster Extraordinaire

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    More jug band stuff with three heavy hitters...Jimbo, Alvin and Luther!

    Luther's solo where he goes into that double-time feel at 2:35...that's it for me.

     
  12. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Elihu, no one can deny Zal's enthusiasm. The little girls screamed when he pointed to himself as the one who blew the take off...and the little girls loved his impromptu dance. But...when Sebastian wanted to get that song started corrctly, he made a point of ignoring Zal and looks at the drummer and counted the song off...because Zal had blown it. Whatever...it matters not.
    Sebastian wrote the song. Session drummer Gary Chester played on the track. Maybe that is why the drummer..?Joe Butler??? Among wth Zal blew the rhythm??? Sebastian got the performance on track and the audience enjoyed it. The guitar lead was muddled....IMHO. No matter. And...the group is an American group. Lol. There was a Canadian who played guitar. The guitar parts were simple...hey, I was able to play them when I was 15. They did fit the songs, will give him that. Who knows....there might have been a session guitarist who played those parts originally.....lots of that going on forever.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Do_You_Believe_in_Magic_(song)
     
  13. Rick330man

    Rick330man Tele-Afflicted

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    "A few weeks ago I lumped the Lovin' Spoonful in with bands like The Turtles and The Beau Brummels...in other words, forgettable. That vid showed me a well crafted pop song played by a band who could bring it live. After that came the songwriting, then the playing and now I'm a fan."

    I really like the Turtles, too. They put out some great pop songs. It Ain't Me, Babe; You Baby; She'd Rather Be With Me; Happy Together; You Showed Me; Elenore: their body of work had many true gems. The history of rock and roll is richer because of them and groups like them.

    The Lovin' Spoonful, the Turtles, Paul Revere & the Raiders: all were generous contributors to making the music of that era the best ever in the history of rock and roll.
     
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  14. elihu

    elihu Poster Extraordinaire

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    Wally, your perseveration knows no bounds. You've made 3 posts saying the same thing without adding anything new to the dialogue. This tells me more about you than it ever could about Zally.

    Rick330man, I'm sure you have a valid point. And you know what I'm thinking today? I'm thinking that the worst song in the Turtles catalogue has more value to society than any critique I could give it.
     
  15. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Right back at you, Elihu. You too have repeated the same thing about your point of view, which seems to be that screaming teenage girls are the most important measurement as opposed to a professional, controlled performance with all band members on the same beat. At least you have given up the thought that The Lovin' Spoonful were a Canadian band...or are you going to exercise your 'perseveration' and hold that up as a reality??

    Have a good one. I have been enjoying the work of this band and JohnnSebastian for over 50 years.....still grinnin' when I hear or play the songs.
     
  16. neatone

    neatone Tele-Holic

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    zally post spoonful






    cheers
     
  17. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Kristofferson is speaking about Leonard Cohen....magnificent songwriter.

    Did you catch Kristofferson's description of Zal's playing...."Loud and unpredictable". That is what I saw and heard in that video....unprofessional way to begin a song, and a sloppy lead compared to the studio version.
    Then, his description of why he had to fire Yanovsky about sums up what I saw on the stage in the first video in this thread....out of control and unprofessional.
    Matters not....as far as I am concerned, The Loving Spoonful was a great American pop rock group.
     
  18. TelecasterSam

    TelecasterSam Tele-Holic

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    Loved that band. Being a beginner guitar player in the sixties, I had a Lovin' Spoonful songbook(still have it) and learned a lot from it. Summer In The City was a challenge and the chords helped me with other songs through the years. I wish I had seen them in concert.
     
  19. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I still have that songbook.
     
  20. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    That songbook was the first thing I ever bought on credit. I was 14 and spent a lot of time at the local music store, whose owner was a neighbor. For some reason, even though I was regularly buying printed music from the store, my parents told me one day that I could charge something, if I wanted to. Great, so I did. Only a 14-year old would be surprised as I was when my parents said, "Haven't you paid that off yet?"
     
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