Posts Tagged ‘Steve Van Zandt’

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #68–The Rascals: “A Beautiful Morning” b/w “I’ve Been Lonely Too Long” – Atlantic Oldies Series OS 13039 (Q7/R7)

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Song of the Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #68–The Rascals: “A Beautiful Morning” b/w “I’ve Been Lonely Too Long” – Atlantic Oldies Series OS 13039 (Q7/R7)

Before Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi, The Rascals were the group that put New Jersey on the musical map. The group consisted of Eddie Brigati on vocals, Felix Cavaliere on keyboards and vocals, Gene Cornish on guitar and Dino Danelli on drums. Cavaliere, Cornish and Danelli were all members of Joey Dee and the Starlighters along with Eddie Brigati’s brother David. The group formed in the basement of Brigati’s house in Garfield, New Jersey calling themselves The Rascals. They changed their name to The Young Rascals after their manager Sid Bernstein found another group called The Harmonica Rascals who objected to them using their original name.

Their sound was pure blue-eyed soul and the group began by performing covers, scoring hits with songs like “I Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore,” “Good Lovin’” and “Mustang Sally” before trying their own hand at writing songs for themselves. What followed was a string of stunning, indelible original hits including “You Better Run,” “Groovin’,” “A Girl Like You,” “How Can I Be Sure,” “It’s Wonderful,” “People Got To Be Free,” and the two songs that inhabit today’s jukebox single “A Beautiful Morning” and “I’ve Been Lonely Too Long.”

“A Beautiful Morning” was the group’s first “grown up” single, meaning that The Young Rascals drop the “Young” in their name to be forever known as just The Rascals. However, the song was just as innocent and vibrant as many of their many other hit singles, adding a welcome relief to some of the heavier sounds that graced the charts in 1968. It was also the perfect follow-up single to “Groovin’.”

The song, which was written by Cavaliere and Brigati, climbed to the #3 position of the pop charts in 1968 and sold well over a million copies. It was originally released as a stand-alone single with “Rainy Day” on the flip side, and made its first appearance on an album on Time Peace: The Rascals’ Greatest Hits in 1968. The album would go on to be the most popular album in the group’s entire canon topping the charts in September 1968. In its wake, the song has been featured in movies and used countless times to sell products in TV commercials.

The flip of today’s jukebox classic is another stellar single “I’ve Been Lonely Too Long,” which was originally released on the group’s second album Collections. The song was written by Felix Cavaliere, although early copies of the 45 credited it to Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati. The song climbed to #16 on the charts when released as a single in January of 1967.

Cavaliere: “That song was our savior. Before that, there was disgruntled talk in and out of the ranks, and thank God, it was a hit. In retrospect, “Good Lovin”‘ launched The Rascals, but it was “Lonely Too Long” that proved the band was more than a one-hit wonder.” (www.therascalsarchives.com/)

Rock critic Dave Marsh included the song in his book The Heart Of Rock & Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made and said the following: “Holland-Dozier-Holland deserve royalties for the intro, but after Felix’s organ comes in, The Rascals are on their own with one of the most distinctive performances in blue-eyed soul. The highlight, though, is Dino Danelli’s drumming, which merges Benny Benjamin funk with Keith Moon power.”

By the end of the 1960s, The Rascals’ popularity began to wane, leading to the departure of Eddie Brigati in 1970 and Dino Danelli in 1971. The group carried on for a few more years, releasing several really good jazz-rock albums for Columbia Records in a similar vein to Blood Sweat & Tears and Chicago, before calling it quits.

The Rascals went dormant for the next 40 years except for a brief tour that featured three of the members in 1988, a performance at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony in 1997, and another tour where they were booked as The New Rascals featuring only Cornish and Danelli. Meanwhile, Cavaliere formed his own version of The Rascals (calling it Cavaliere’s Rascals) to perform the group’s repertoire, and Brigati also got in on the acrimonious touring game by putting together a group he called The Boys From The Music House, that also featured his brother to perform the Rascals’ repertoire.

After many years of not speaking to each other, the original quartet reunited in 2009 for a benefit show for Kristen Ann Carr (a member of Bruce Springsteen’s camp) at the behest of Springsteen guitarist Steve Van Zandt who joined the group with Springsteen for their encore of “Good Lovin’.”

The Carr benefit led to the creation of a jukebox musical by Steve Van Zandt and his wife Maureen with lighting director Marc Brickman called The Rascals: Once Upon A Dream. The show starred the original lineup of the band performing in front of projection screens and debuted for six performances at The Capitol Theater in Port Chester, New York in December of 2012. After the brief residency, the show moved to Broadway where the group gave 14 more performances the following spring, and then it hit the road and toured throughout North America to rave reviews.

As a longtime fan of the group, I never thought the day would come that I would actually ever get the opportunity to see the group in action…in any form. However, I was fortunate enough to catch them a few years ago in Chicago. The group was every bit as good as they ever were, and the material has surely stood the test of time. If the show comes around again, I urge any fan of the group to go see it at once.

“The Jukebox Series” focuses on the 80 records that inhabit my 1963 Seeburg LPC1 jukebox. I’ve had my jukebox (or as I like to call it “the prehistoric iPod”) for a little over 14 years and in that time I’d like to think that I’ve perfected the mix of 45s within.

Edited: August 24th, 2015

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #40 – ? And The Mysterians: “96 Tears” b/w “I Can’t Get Enough Of You Baby” – Abkco 45 RPM Single 4020 (U4/V4)

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Song of the Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #40 – ? And The Mysterians: “96 Tears” b/w “I Can’t Get Enough Of You Baby” – Abkco 45 RPM Single 4020 (U4/V4)

Who are ? and the Mysterians…that is the question.

? And The Mysterians formed in 1962 and was the first Latino Band to score a major hit record in the U.S. with today’s jukebox classic. They were purveyors of rough and raunchy garage rock from Bay City, Michigan, and their signature chart-topping “96 Tears” was released in 1966 selling over one million copies. The song was recorded in the living room of a house in Saginaw Michigan.

The original band consisted of Robert Balderama on guitar, his cousin Larry Borjas on bass, Robert Martinez on drums and his brother Rudy Martinez on vocals. Rudy Martinez went under the name “?,” so as to remain anonymous and the rest of the group took their name from a Japanese sci-fi film called The Mysterians. Further adding to the intrigue, the band always wore dark shades.

As they were getting ready to record their first record, Robert Martinez was drafted and Borjas enlisted along with him. As a result, the band added Eddie Serrato on drums and Frank Lugo on bass. Crucially, they also recruited a fourteen year old piano player named Frank Rodriguez. It was this lineup that recorded their signature hit “96 Tears,” which was written by Rudy Martinez who supplied the sturdy Vox Continental organ riff that drives the song.

The song had its genesis from a poem Martinez wrote fourteen years earlier called “Too Many Teardrops.” It was originally intended to be the flip side of their debut single, however Rodriguez insisted that the track be the A-side. The single became a regional hit on the Pa-Go-Go record label and was later picked up for national distribution by Cameo-Parkway Records.

The song has been covered numerous times including a version by Garland Jeffries from his 1980 album Escape Artist that received significant FM radio airplay. It was also covered by David Byrne, The Cramps, Eddie and the Hot Rods, Aretha Franklin, Big Maybell, Thelma Houston, The Modern Lovers, Iggy Pop, the Music Explosion, the Residents, The Stranglers, Suicide, Tom Tom Club and Todd Rundgren’s Utopia.

Can’t Get Enough Of You Baby,” the flip of today’s jukebox single shares the exact same organ introduction as “96 Tears.” The song was released as a single in 1967 where it peaked at #56 on the Billboard Singles Chart. It has been covered by Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons, The Colourfield and Smash Mouth who brought the song to the #14 position of the singles charts in 1998.

The group splintered in the 1970s and the original lineup reformed with Robert Martinez replacing Serrato on drums, due to his condition suffering from multiple sclerosis. A concert was recorded in Dallas, Texas in 1984 and was released by the ROIR records as The Dallas Re-Union Tapes.

The group’s original Cameo-Parkway albums came under the ownership of uber-manager Allen Klein (The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Animals) who let them go out of print and kept them off the market for many years, thinking they would become a more valuable commodity. As a result, a different lineup of the group re-recorded the 96 Tears album for the Collectables record label in 1997. The original album received a reissue by Collector’s Choice label several years ago and remains in print today.

After playing shows as part of Cave Stomp, a festival of reformed garage rock bands produced by New York promoter Jon Weiss, they released another live album. The band recorded their final album of new material called More Action in 1999 before acrimoniously parting ways with Weiss over dissatisfaction with the record.

The band still performs from time to time and has been featured on Steve Van Zandt’s influential radio show Underground Garage.

“The Jukebox Series” focuses on the 80 records that inhabit my 1963 Seeburg LPC1 jukebox. I’ve had my jukebox (or as I like to call it “the prehistoric iPod”) for a little over 14 years and in that time I’d like to think that I’ve perfected the mix of 45s within.

Edited: June 9th, 2015

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #68–The Rascals: “A Beautiful Morning” b/w “I’ve Been Lonely Too Long” – Atlantic Oldies Series OS 13039 (Q7/R7)

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Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #68–The Rascals: “A Beautiful Morning” b/w “I’ve Been Lonely Too Long” – Atlantic Oldies Series OS 13039 (Q7/R7)

“The Jukebox Series” focuses on the 80 records that inhabit my 1963 Seeburg LPC1 jukebox. I’ve had my jukebox (or as I like to call it “the prehistoric iPod”) for a little over twelve years and in that time I’d like to think that I’ve perfected the mix of 45s within.

Before Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi, The Rascals were the group that put New Jersey on the musical map. The group consists of Eddie Brigati on vocals, Felix Cavaliere on keyboards and vocals, Gene Cornish on guitar and Dino Danelli on drums. Cavaliere, Cornish and Danelli were all members of Joey Dee and the Starlighters along with Eddie Brigati’s brother David. The group formed in the basement of Brigati’s house in Garfield, New Jersey calling themselves The Rascals. They changed their name to The Young Rascals after their manager Sid Bernstein found another group called The Harmonica Rascals who objected to them using their original name.

Their sound was pure blue-eyed soul and the group began by performing covers, scoring hits with songs like “I Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore,” “Good Lovin’” and “Mustang Sally” before trying their own hand at writing songs for themselves. What followed was a string of stunning, indelible original hits including “You Better Run,” “Groovin’,” “A Girl Like You,” “How Can I Be Sure,” “It’s Wonderful,” “People Got To Be Free,” and the two songs that inhabit today’s jukebox single “A Beautiful Morning” and “I’ve Been Lonely Too Long.”

“A Beautiful Morning” was the group’s first “grown up” single, meaning that The Young Rascals drop the “Young” in their name to be forever known as just The Rascals. However, the song was just as innocent and vibrant as many of their many other hit singles, adding a welcome relief to some of the heavier sounds that graced the charts in 1968. It was also the perfect follow-up single to “Groovin’.”

The song, which was written by Cavaliere and Brigati, climbed to the #3 position of the pop charts in 1968 and sold well over a million copies. It was originally released as a stand-alone single with “Rainy Day” on the flip side, and made its first appearance on an album on Time Peace: The Rascals’ Greatest Hits in 1968. The album would go on to be the most popular album in the group’s entire canon topping the charts in September 1968.  In its wake, the song has been used countless times to sell products in TV commercials.

The flip of today’s jukebox classic is another stellar single “I’ve Been Lonely Too Long,” which was originally released on the group’s second album Collections. The song was written by Felix Cavaliere, although early copies of the 45 credited it to Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati. The song climbed to #16 on the charts when released as a single in January of 1967.

Cavaliere: “That song was our savior. Before that, there was disgruntled talk in and out of the ranks, and thank God, it was a hit. In retrospect, “Good Lovin”‘ launched The Rascals, but it was “Lonely Too Long” that proved the band was more than a one-hit wonder.” (www.therascalsarchives.com/)

Rock critic Dave Marsh included the song in his book The Heart Of Rock & Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made and said the following: “Holland-Dozier-Holland deserve royalties for the intro, but after Felix’s organ comes in, The Rascals are on their own with one of the most distinctive performances in blue-eyed soul. The highlight, though, is Dino Danelli’s drumming, which merges Benny Benjamin funk with Keith Moon power.”

By the end of the 1960s, The Rascals’ popularity began to wane, leading to the departure of Eddie Brigati in 1970 and Dino Danelli in 1971. The group carried on for a few more years, releasing several really good jazz-rock albums for Columbia Records in a similar vein to Blood Sweat & Tears and Chicago, before calling it quits.

The Rascals went dormant for the next 40 years except for a brief tour that featured three of the members in 1988, a performance at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony in 1997, and another tour where they were booked as The New Rascals featuring only Cornish and Danelli. Meanwhile, Cavaliere formed his own version of The Rascals (calling it Cavaliere’s Rascals) to perform the group’s repertoire, and Brigati also got in on the acrimonious touring game by putting together a group he called The Boys From The Music House, that also featured his brother to perform the Rascals’ repertoire.

After many years of not speaking to each other, the original quartet reunited in 2009 for a benefit show for Kristen Ann Carr (a member of Bruce Springsteen’s camp) at the behest of Springsteen guitarist Steve Van Zandt who joined the group with Springsteen for their encore of “Good Lovin’.”

The Carr benefit led to the creation of a jukebox musical by Steve Van Zandt and his wife Maureen with lighting director Marc Brickman called The Rascals: Once Upon A Dream. The show starred the original lineup of the band performing in front of projection screens and debuted for six performances at The Capitol Theater in Port Chester, New York in December of 2012. After the brief residency, the show moved to Broadway where the group gave 14 more performances the following spring, and then it hit the road and toured throughout North America to rave reviews.

As a longtime fan of the group, I never thought the day would come that I would actually ever get the opportunity to see the group in action…in any form. However, I was fortunate enough to catch them this past November in Chicago. The group was every bit as good as they ever were, and the material has surely stood the test of time.  If the show comes around again, I urge any fan of the group to go see it at once.

Edited: January 29th, 2014

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #40 – ? And The Mysterians: “96 Tears” b/w “I Can’t Get Enough Of You Baby” – Abkco 45 RPM Single 4020 (U4/V4)

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Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #40 – ? And The Mysterians: “96 Tears” b/w “I Can’t Get Enough Of You Baby” – Abkco 45 RPM Single 4020 (U4/V4)

“The Jukebox Series” focuses on the 80 records that inhabit my 1963 Seeburg LPC1 jukebox. I’ve had my jukebox (or as I like to call it “the prehistoric iPod”) for a little over twelve years and in that time I’d like to think that I’ve perfected the mix of 45s within.

Who are ? and the Mysterians…that is the question.

? And The Mysterians formed in 1962 and was the first Latino Band to score a major hit record in the U.S. with today’s jukebox classic. They were purveyors of rough and raunchy garage rock from Bay City, Michigan, and their signature chart-topping “96 Tears” was released in 1966 selling over one million copies. The song was recorded in the living room of a house in Saginaw Michigan.

The original band consisted of Robert Balderama on guitar, his cousin Larry Borjas on bass, Robert Martinez on drums and his brother Rudy Martinez on vocals. Rudy Martinez went under the name “?,” so as to remain anonymous and the rest of the group took their name from a Japanese sci-fi film called The Mysterians. Further adding to the intrigue, the band always wore dark shades.

As they were getting ready to record their first record, Robert Martinez was drafted and Borjas enlisted along with him. As a result, the band added Eddie Serrato on drums and Frank Lugo on bass. Crucially, they also recruited a fourteen year old piano player named Frank Rodriguez. It was this lineup that recorded their signature hit “96 Tears,” which was written by Rudy Martinez who supplied the sturdy Vox Continental organ riff that drives the song.

The song had its genesis from a poem Martinez wrote fourteen years earlier called “Too Many Teardrops.” It was originally intended to be the flip side of their debut single, however Rodriguez insisted that the track be the A-side. The single became a regional hit on the Pa-Go-Go record label and was later picked up for national distribution by Cameo-Parkway Records.

The song has been covered numerous times including a version by Garland Jeffries from his 1980 album Escape Artist that received significant FM radio airplay. It was also covered by David Byrne, The Cramps, Eddie and the Hot Rods, Aretha Franklin, Big Maybell, Thelma Houston, The Modern Lovers, Iggy Pop, the Music Explosion, the Residents, The Stranglers, Suicide, Tom Tom Club and Todd Rundgren’s Utopia.

Can’t Get Enough Of You Baby,” the flip of today’s jukebox single shares the exact same organ introduction as “96 Tears.” The song was released as a single in 1967 where it peaked at #56 on the Billboard Singles Chart. It has been covered by Frankie Valli And The Four Season, The Colourfield and Smash Mouth who brought the song to the #14 position of the singles charts in 1998.

The group splintered in the 1970s and the original lineup reformed with Robert Martinez replacing Serrato on drums, due to his condition suffering from multiple sclerosis. A concert was recorded in Dallas, Texas in 1984 and was released by the ROIR records as The Dallas Re-Union Tapes.

The group’s original Cameo-Parkway albums came under the ownership of uber-manager Allen Klein (The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Animals) who let them go out of print and kept them off the market for many years, thinking they would become a more valuable commodity. As a result, a different lineup of the group re-recorded the 96 Tears album for the Collectables record label in 1997.

After playing shows as part of Cave Stomp, a festival of reformed garage rock bands produced by New York promoter Jon Weiss, they released another live album.  The band recorded their final album of new material called More Action in 1999 before acrimoniously parting ways with Weiss over dissatisfaction with the record.

The band still performs from time to time and has been featured on Steve Van Zandt’s influential radio show Underground Garage.

Edited: December 5th, 2013