Monthly Archives: May 2014

Two Music Geeks Returns with Special Memorial Day Show Dedicated to Pop’s Fallen Heroes

The Two Music Geeks Remember Our Fallen Pop Music Heroes Tonight at 9 pm ET

The Two Music Geeks Remember Our Fallen Pop Music Heroes Tonight at 9 pm ET

On this Memorial Day at 9 pm ET, Two Music Geeks makes a welcome return to the airwaves to honor pop music’s fallen heroes–the artists who left us too soon, whose music lives on in our hearts and minds.

Alan Haber and Scott W. McKinney have chosen a dozen songs to remember some of their favorite moments in time, when all was right with the world–when the sounds of pop music’s greatest recordings filled the air with hope and wonder. These are some of the great creators, whose vision and talent made the grade through careers both long and short. These are the artists and songs that we remember and cherish.

Buddy Holly

Buddy Holly

During this very special two-hour show, we rewind the clock and cherish the memories of artists including Buddy Holly, Larry Ramos of the Association, Chris Dedrick of the Free Design, Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers, Gerry Rafferty, Phil Seymour, Mike Smith of the Dave Clark 5, and Rob Grill of the Grass Roots. We play the songs we remember them by and talk about the impact they had on everyone’s lives.

Don’t miss tonight’s edition of Two Music Geeks, honoring our fallen pop music heroes, airing on Pure Pop Radio at 9 pm ET. Alan and Scott hope to see you on the radio.

Larry Ramos

Larry Ramos

 

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Long, Long, Long! Every Little Second of Long Versions of Fab Tunes Tonight on Every Little Thing (Note the Special Time)

Ken Michaels' Every Little Thing...For the Beatles Fan Who Craves All Things Fab! Airs at a Special Time Tonight: 8 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio!

Ken Michaels’ Every Little Thing…For the Beatles Fan Who Craves All Things Fab! Airs at a Special Time Tonight: 8 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio!

Ken Michaels is back tonight at 8 pm ET with show number 18 of his fab Beatles extravaganza, Every Little Thing. On the docket: longer and different versions of four gear tunes, including John Lennon’s “(Just Like) Starting Over” and Wings’ “Goodnight Tonight.” (Please note the special time for tonight’s show–8 pm ET.)

But that’s not all! As usual, Ken spins a variety of gear songs you know and love, including a pair of love tunes from John Lennon and George Harrison, everyone’s favorite birthday jam, and a song from the ever-mysterious Fireman. Add in a Beatles BBC number, a cut from James McCartney, and you’ve got another great show from the master of Beatles radio!

Tune in tonight at 8 pm ET (note the special time) for the latest edition of Every Little Thing, broadcasting to the universe on your original 24-hour melodic pop radio station on the Internet, Pure Pop Radio. Enjoy!

 

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Hey, Hey, They’re the…Beatles! Every Little Thing Spins Tonight at 9 PM ET

Ken Michaels' Every Little Thing...For the Beatles Fan Who Craves All Things Fab! Airs Every Monday at 9 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio!

Ken Michaels’ Every Little Thing…For the Beatles Fan Who Craves All Things Fab! Airs Every Monday at 9 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio!

People say they Beatle around, and they’re absolutely right! Ken Michaels spins the latest edition of Every Little Thing tonight, and yes, he’s a little down this week…down in the sense that in his weekly thematic segment, he’s spotlighting the “down” side of the Fab Four. In other words, Ken is conjuring up the sounds of Beatles and solo Beatles songs with the word “down” in the titles. Pretty snappy, eh?

And that’s not all! Ken interviews original Beatles drummer Pete Best alongside a pair of Decca recordings: “Searchin'” and “Like Dreamers Do.” The whole affair kicks off with a trio of solo Fabs tunes and a song from the power pop group Sloan. And don’t forget Ken’s weekly Beatles trivia question at the end of the show.

Pete Best

Pete Best

It all rolls out tonight at 9 pm ET on your weekly magical mystery tour through the land of fab and gear, Ken Michaels’ Every Little Thing, brought to you by the folks at Pure Pop Radio. We’re the original 24-hour Internet radio station playing the greatest melodic pop music in the universe, and we’re here to pop you!

 

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Two Music Geeks. Show Number Two: Bang Zoom! We’re a Hit, We Are!

The Two Music Geeks Say: It's Chic to be a Geek!

The Two Music Geeks Say: It’s Chic to be a Geek!

It’s official: Two Music Geeks is a bona fide kind of appointment type radio show! Show number two, which focused on songs about all types of girls, built on the promise of show number one and sends a clear message to radio land: These two music geeks, Alan Haber and Scott W. McKinney, fresh from their geeky man caves where band bumper stickers and posters are strewn all over the place, are here to stay. They’ve got a combined 200 years of music knowledge in those noggins of theirs and they’re ready to keep drawing on it for future programs.

There are two, in fact, just about ready to go. The first, a special get-together that pays tribute to our fallen pop stars, airs on Memorial Day evening, May 26, at 9 pm ET. It was hard for these two music geeks to choose who to honor in talk and song, but they arrived at a group of wonderful artists that you’re sure to enjoy, including Buddy Holly, Hurricane Smith, the Everly Brothers (for Phil Everly), the Free Design (for Chris Dedrick, Gerry Rafferty, Phil Seymour, the Dave Clark Five (for Mike Smith), and many more. It’s two hours of paying tribute to those that have gone–an equally somber and uplifting show that we think you’ll enjoy and remember always.

Scott W. McKinney: From live and local radio to the world over. Welcome, Scott, to Pure Pop Radio!

Scott W. McKinney: From live and local radio to the world over. Welcome, Scott, to Pure Pop Radio!

Also coming up is a show that puts the geeky spotlight on horn bands and records that feature horns prominently. We’re going to keep the list of artists being given the geeky treatment in this particular show quiet for now, but you can bet that it won’t be long before we spill. Watch this space for all of the details, coming soon!

Pure Pop Radio's Alan Haber: A hundred years of music knowledge put to good use!

Pure Pop Radio’s Alan Haber: A hundred years of music knowledge put to good use!

Thanks again for all of the love, folks. Alan and Scott appreciate all of the hugs and kisses and geeky poems and bottles of Yoo-hoo that have come and continue to come their way. Keep ’em coming, and be there, next to your Internet radios for the Memorial Day program. Until then!

 

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

The Two Music Geeks Take Over the Airwaves Tomorrow Night. It’s Time for Songs about Girls!

The Two Music Geeks Say: It's Chic to be a Geek!

The Two Music Geeks Say: It’s Chic to be a Geek!

It’s chic to be a geek again because the Two Music Geeks are back! The first Geeks show was a huge success, so Alan Haber and Scott W. McKinney have put their collective noggins together and come up with another lively and fun show, this time zeroing in on songs about girls!

Alan and Scott have collected an eclectic selection of tunes from across the landscape of pop music. You’ll hear the Beatifics singing about “This Year’s Jessica,” the Monkees rocking out about “Mary, Mary,” and the Rolling Stones succumbing to the charms of “Lady Jane.” But wait! There’s more: Randy Newman will tell the story of weak-willed wives in the typically-twisted “They Just Got Married,” Tiny Tim will warble the Addrisi Brothers’ classic “She’s Just Laughing at Me,” and Stackridge will tell the tale of a woman who leaves damaged men in her rearview mirror, as outlined in the wonderful tune “Sliding Down the Razor Blade of Love.”

And that’s only scratching the surface of what’s in store for you on tomorrow night’s second edition of Two Music Geeks. The fun begins at 9 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio, your 24-hour-a-day Internet radio home for the greatest melodic pop in the universe.

Pure Pop Radio's Alan Haber: A hundred years of music knowledge put to good use!

Pure Pop Radio’s Alan Haber: A hundred years of music knowledge put to good use!

Scott W. McKinney: From live and local radio to the world over. Welcome, Scott, to Pure Pop Radio!

Scott W. McKinney: From live and local radio to the world over. Welcome, Scott, to Pure Pop Radio!

 

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

 

Every Little Beatles Thing All Wrapped Up with a Bow Tonight!

Ken Michaels' Every Little Thing...For the Beatles Fan Who Craves All Things Fab! Airs Every Monday at 9 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio!

Ken Michaels’ Every Little Thing…For the Beatles Fan Who Craves All Things Fab! Airs Every Monday at 9 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio!

You’ve probably been saying “I love me that Every Little Thing show, but how can they knock it even further out of the park than they already have?”

Well, here’s the answer: Our good friend Ken Michaels has found a way and you’ll hear all about it tonight at 9 pm ET! For this exciting go-round of all things Beatles, Ken has assembled a fabalicious trio of segments that will satisfy every Beatles fan from Anchorage to Australia. First, you’ll hear a quartet of tunes from the Fabs, George Harrison and a cool cover from the Susan Cowsill Band. Next, the great Arthur Alexander will step up to the microphone and the Beatles will answer back with a cover of Alexander’s song “Anna.” And last but certainly not least, Ken will spin five songs with a different Beatle singing the lead vocal. Uh huh, uh huh, this is pretty cool, huh?

Don’t forget to stay tuned at the end of the show for Ken’s Beatles Trivia Question. Will you come up with the answer?

Set your Pure Pop Radio alarm clocks–yes, all of them–for 9 pm tonight. Don’t miss show number 16. It’s Every Little Thing, playing for you right here on Pure Pop Radio!

 

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

My First Record Player and Other Stories: Part One

(The following essay, first in a series, originally appeared on the the old Pure Pop website. Five entries were written and published. I had a lot of fun writing these. It was a good way to take stock of music-related events in my life.)

My First Record Player and Other Stories | Alan Haber

Part One: The Road to Washington County

Dig those wonderful sounds!

Dig those wonderful sounds!

My first record player was one of those portable models that kids always seemed to have in the sixties, easily transportable to parties; to friends’ houses for intensive, all-afternoon spinfests of the latest Gilbert O’Sullivan and Association records; to the backyard to provide the soundtrack for a hazy, lazy summer afternoon on the sunny side of the above-ground pool my father blew up all by his lonesome.

On that white and light blue portable, I plopped the best tone arm hardly any appreciable money could buy on my first couple of slabs of vinyl: Soupy Sales sez Do the Mouse* (*and Other Hits), and Napoleon XIV’s They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!, which I played incessantly and managed to memorize, word for word, note for note, in the space of what seemed to be mere hours (I really found that album funny). My first album, a Captain Kangaroo funfest my mother ordered for me, arrived on a day that I happened to be home sick from school–by the time I got the portable, the Captain was pretty scratched up, and simply unfit for playing (and besides, the Captain was kid stuff).

I was able to bond with an uncle whom I wasn’t especially fond of—he seemed to always be on me about something or other, like when my elbows were resting on the table during dinner—over our shared interest in music. I remember that he had a top-of-the-line Fisher stereo system (we’re talking the 1960’s) with huge speakers that he was always happy to show off–not coincidentally, I was always happy to oblige him.

Uncle Murray wouldn’t let his kids, or me, touch that stereo—it was his baby, that system. He was particularly stingy on volume, because he didn’t want to blow the speakers. I’m always reminded of him when I see the movie Risky Business, particularly the scene in which Joel’s father sternly points out that someone has monkeyed with the settings on his amplifier.

Anyway, I remember hearing some clarinet music being played on that stereo, and marveling at the clarity of the sound. As I remember, Uncle Murray played the clarinet and used to practice with Music Minus One records (a series of albums that came with sheet music that you used to play the one instrument that was missing from the recordings. I used one when I practiced playing the drums, but that’s another story–remind me to tell it to you sometime).

At Uncle Murray’s house, I was introduced by my cousin Linda to two albums that are still very important to me—The Beatles’ Help and Arlo Guthrie’s Washington County. Help was an easy sale, of course; it was no problem convincing my father to get me my own copy. Washington County was another kettle of fish altogether—it was hardly the kind of thing I normally listened to (I mean, folk-country-kind-of-rock? C’mon!). It wasn’t until years later when I went to college, if I remember correctly, that I was able to snag this masterpiece for my collection.

Albums were very important to me when I was growing up. So were 45s, but albums more so, because 45s only offered two songs, and albums offered 10 or more, so I often went for the album when I could (I bought singles when their b-sides weren’t on the albums). Now, I was hardly rich (if I had a dollar or two in my pocket, I was wealthy, and don’t you forget it!), but I managed to get an album now and then.

Radio was a pleasure to listen to in my youth (growing up on Long Island, I had at my disposal the greatest radio station of all time, the mighty WABC, and, you’d better believe it, the greatest DJ’s of all time, from Cousin Brucie to Dan Ingram and beyond—but that is also another story). I loved just about everything WABC played, and wanted it all in my possession. That was never going to happen—who had that kind of money?—but I managed to collect my favorite songs of the day by taping them off the radio onto a small Craig reel-to-reel tape recorder (which they used a bunch of times on TV’s Mission Impossible to play the message to fearless leader Mr. Phelps). I simply placed the microphone right in front of the radio speaker and hit the record button, which I thought was pretty cool.

I generally had to wait until birthdays and holidays to satisfy my album jones, when my parents would cherry pick from my always-rapidly-growing wish list and deliver to me a pile of vinyl worth its weight in gold. Got Santana’s first album that way; ditto, the aforementioned Gilbert O’Sullivan’s first American long-player; Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen (my favorite live album of all time); and others that escape my recollection (but give me time, I’ll come up with them).

In between gift-giving occasions, I used my allowance (when I wasn’t using it to go to the movies) to buy cut-outs (three for five dollars at the Duane Reed drugstore across from my father’s office in lower Manhattan during holidays and summer vacations, and at Woolworth and local record stores the rest of the time). By the time I went away to college, I had amassed a fairly sizable collection, housed in peach crates I spray-painted blue (yes, blue; my mother wanted them to fit in with the color scheme in my bedroom as long as I lived there).

My collection, as it is today, was like a crème-filled donut, with popular, hit records in the center surrounded by the offbeat, the retro, and the just plain weird, or so it seemed to people looking in from the outside. I remember playing Showdown at the 33-1/3 Corral with my first college roommate: my Archies and O’Sullivan records versus his Zeppelin and who-remembers-what-else (at one point, everyone on my floor had the Zep album with “Stairway to Heaven”; I hated that song, and everyone knew it, so they locked me out of my room and made me listen to that awful song as it played from every other stereo within earshot).

Needless to say, I lost that showdown.

August 29, 2004

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Reviews from the Pages of buhdge: Postcards from the Boys by Ringo Starr

(Ringo Starr’s wonderful book, Postcards from the Boys, published in 2004 by Chronicle Books, is no longer in print. It is available, however, from various marketplace sellers on Amazon.)

Ringo Starr's Postcards from the Boys

Ringo Starr’s Postcards from the Boys

Ringo Starr | Postcards from the Boys | Chronicle Books (2004)

It’s hard, these days, to get excited about a new Beatles book. I mean, really…what can possibly be said about the world’s greatest band that hasn’t already been said? Nevertheless, every so often, someone comes up with a new approach. Take, for example, Andy Babuik, whose fab 2002 tome, “Beatles Gear,” is wholly original, and Bruce Spizer, whose scholarly looks at the Fabs’ Vee-Jay, Capitol and Apple releases, and in-depth breakdown of the group’s arrival in America, are must-haves.

For another example, take Ringo Starr’s delightful slice of life, Postcards from the Boys, just published by Chronicle Books in a gorgeous, affordable hardcover edition (a limited-edition, much more expensive version was published earlier this year by the venerable Genesis Publications in England). Postcards depicts the fronts and backs of 51 postcards sent over the years to Richard Starkey, M.B.E. by John, Paul, and George. It is wholly unlike any other Beatles book ever published, in that it focuses not on the music, but on the music of life.

Each postcard is accompanied by a caption from Ringo that either directly comments on the inscription or the picture, or recounts an anecdote that was suggested by them. Take a card sent by John, the front of which shows a hairy flute player that resembles Lennon, and a woman, who looks like Yoko, nestled in a tree. “I’ll name that flute player in two notes,” writes Starr. Or take a card, sent by Paul and Linda McCartney and family, from the Caribbean, on the back of which Paul has drawn a boat sailing the seas. “Love from the Macs,” says the inscription. Ringo writes, “I like tropical islands. I love the Caribbean. I’m not excited when you have to put a big overcoat on.” Warm, funny and wonderful.

Then there is the lovely card sent to Ringo by Paul after the White Album, after Ringo had left the group because he couldn’t take the fighting. The story about Ringo coming back to find the studio dressed to the nines in flowers, flowers, flowers is legendary and cool, but the message scrawled by McCartney on the back of the card is even better: “You are the greatest drummer in the world. Really.” (The front of the card shows a guardsman at Windsor Castle, wearing a military drum around his neck.)

You won’t find any recording secrets here, and there’s no dirt to be had, no Jerry Springer moments at all. What you will find are 112 pages that provide a window into the heart of one of the world’s most famous drummers, who just happened to be in a band called the Beatles. A splendid time is guaranteed for all (and dig that holographic thingee on the cover!). This is really fab.

Alan Haber
September 19, 2004

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Reviews from the Pages of buhdge: Lewis Lapham’s book about Rishikesh, With the Beatles

(The following review of Lewis Lapham’s wonderful book on the Beatles’ journey to Rishikesh to study and meet with the Maharishi first appeared on the old buhdge website. It appears here on the Pure Pop Radio website with but a few tiny changes, and the notation that the book is no longer in print. It is, however, available as a download for the Kindle. With the Beatles is highly recommended.)

Lewis Lapham's wonderful book, With the Beatles, is available as a download for the Kindle.

Lewis Lapham’s wonderful book, With the Beatles, is available as a download for the Kindle.

Lewis Lapham | With the Beatles | Kindle version (2014)

You can hardly pass through the music section of your favorite bookstore without perusing the latest range of offerings concerning the Beatles. I know this, because I’ve seen you. You may think nobody’s watching, but we are.

And for good reason. The latest crop of Fab-centric missives is actually pretty good. Lewis Lapham’s With the Beatles is a shining example–a quick, highly entertaining read that delivers the goods as well as any book twice its physical size (approximately 5″ x 6 1/2″) and three or four times its length (147 pages, with the text starting on page 33 after a sweet selection of photos lensed during the Beatles’ stay in Rishikesh).

Ah, Rishikesh… the mecca for enlightenment within which the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi sought to raise consciousness and the light from within. The Beatles, in February 1968, whisked off to the Maharishi’s camp to practice Transcendental Meditation (TM) and commune with nature. While there, the Fabs studied with the Maharishi and wrote the songs that were to become The Beatles, or, more famously, the White Album. Past the flies, the oppressive heat, the less-than-comfy living quarters, and the less-than-appetizing food, at least the Mop Tops got an album out of their time in India.

Which is to say that the reality of the Beatles’ time in Rishikesh turned out to be less than advertised. Ringo thought he could assume the Lotus position just as well back home, a point Lapham makes in his fine book that details his coverage, for the Saturday Evening Post, of TM and the Beatles’ attraction to it.

Lapham, now editor-in-chief of Harper’s Magazine, covers his brush with the Maharishi and TM from his stateside investigation of the practice to his time in Rishikesh and his trip home. Throughout, he maintains a healthy air of skepticism about the whole enterprise, delineating, with a reporter’s keen eye (and a welcome sense of humor), observations that elevate his story above mere reportage, telling about the woman staying at the Maharishi’s camp who wanted hot water at lunch so she could pour it in some Sanka coffee, the Maharishi’s inner circle and, of course, the Beatles themselves.

About the flies, Lapham writes that Maureen Starkey “hated” them “to the point that if there was only one fly in the room she would know exactly where it was, how it got there, and why it must be destroyed.” When they talked to the Maharishi about the flies, he told them “that for people traveling in the realm of pure consciousness, flies no longer matter very much. ‘Yes,’ Ringo said, ‘but that doesn’t zap the flies, does it?'”

Ringo’s take on things was only fair, as he had gone to study with the Maharishi because it was George’s thing, and the Beatles were a group that supported each other… at least until the flies became the Starr thing.

Mike Love also made the trip to India, as did actress Mia Farrow and her sister Prudence, among other notables, but the other Beach Boys stayed home. Interviewing the group prior to heading off to Rishikesh, Lapham discovered that Brian Wilson’s mother “had scheduled her own initiation for the next week; his father was considering a trip to India. ‘If my dad goes to India,’ he said, ‘I’ll know that the Maharishi has done his job.'” Murry Wilson never made the pilgrimage.

In the end, at least one of the Beatles became disillusioned with the Maharishi; there were rumors that the guru had sampled the pleasures of the flesh with Mia Farrow’s sister, Prudence, prompting John Lennon to write “Sexy Sadie,” in which he hardly minced words about his feelings for the Maharishi, reducing the guru to a mere charlatan or a feeble con artist, take your pick.

Upon arriving in New Delhi, Lapham hired a taxi to take him to Rishikesh. The driver, in star struck fashion, immediately understood where the writer wanted to go. Lapham: “‘Yes, good,’ he said. ‘We go Beatles.'” With that information in hand, the writer could have chucked the trip to Rishikesh and gone home an enlightened man, leaving the flies to swarm around the inner light.

Alan Haber
April 23, 2006

 

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes