Sunday, March 06, 2005

 

Recollect, v. To recall with additions something not previously known.

I happened upon a PBS pledge-a-thon that actually interested me last night, a 60s rock retrospective that combined some well-worn clips (the Doors on Sullivan, Creedence) with a recent live performance taped at some gambling joint in Delaware with assorted 60s survivors. The live stuff started off well, with Roger McGuinn doing "Turn, Turn, Turn" (no "Mr. Tambourine Man", I assume the rights would've cost too much), Chuck Negron doing a couple of Three Dog Night numbers, and Martha Reeves doing "Nowhere To Run". Some other interesting live bits, including a Procol Harum performance of "Whiter Shade Of Pale" which was obviously cut in from their recent Union Chapel DVD set, Rob Grill phoning in a performance of some Grass Roots songs, John Kay looking and sounding awfully grandfatherly while trying to snarl through "Magic Carpet Ride" and "Born To Be Wild", and an interesting live bit with The Association. There were a lot, and I mean a lot of musicians and singers on stage with the band, and I recognized several of them from previous TV appearances, so I'd say it's a fair bet that they got a good chunk of the band together, but although there was obviously live sound, either the band's vocals are still incredibly on the mark, or there was a touch of some studio wizardry (they only performed "Along Comes Mary") in the sound mix. Anyone who has the Monterey Pop boxed sets (CD and DVD) can attest that The Association does indeed sound very good live, but nailing the record that closely, especially with the passage of time. I'd like to see a full-length show of theirs to satisfy my curiosity.

I definitely could have lived without the ubiquitous clip of Joan Baez singing "We Shall Overcome". That woman rivals Hillary and Barbra on my annoying scale. No huge surprises in the other clips, other than a live clip of Janis doing "Piece Of My Heart" with what I assume is the Kozmic Blues Band (Sam Andrew is in the band with his painted SG, and there's a horn section, so by deduction it's the KBB). I noticed that they were playing "Piece Of My Heart" in 'D', a full step down from the original recording.

The schnorring, well it was a typical WNET beg-fest. The unbelievably bland Midge Woolsey (a woman who rivals Whitney Blake and Meredith Baxter Birney in the white bread department) desperately trying to appear hip while coaxing lame stories out of Cousin Brucie. (The pitiful reference to Midge singing "In A Gadda Da Vida" was cringeworthy; she probably sings Sondheim in the shower. And as far as Brucie goes, he was lame back when he was relevant - Murray and Scotso were the ones to listen to) Some other functionaries and factota appearing for fifteen minutes at a time telling how our money brought this program to PBS, and why we're such incredible cheapskates for not coughing up the incredibly reasonable three figure suggested donation for a premium (either a DVD of the show or a four CD set of songs that you can easily pick up for twenty bucks). Of course, this was interspersed with a long-running interstitial clip that told how wonderful the show we were watching was, before they finally got back to some useless interstitial material in the show until they finally got around to showing someone you were actually interested in.

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