Thursday, August 11, 2011

An Early Clue to the New Direction -- Special Celebrity Guest Edition!!!!

A brief postscript to my paean to The Lovin' Spoonful's late psych/pop masterpiece "Only Pretty What a Pity" from from a few weeks ago:

I just got off the phone with the song's co-writer and lyricist, Spoonful drummer Joe Butler -- and I gotta tell you, to me that was as cool as if I'd been talking to a Beatle; I mean, I was and am a HUGE Spoonful fan -- and it seems I got the lyrics to the song slightly wrong.

The last verse actually goes...

Everyone, except the baby
Answers for the face they wear
It's the map of your contentment
Or the mask of your despair

...and I stand corrected.

I should add that Joe confirmed my suspicion that the song was inspired by a real person, but (to my disappointment) the details of her life as limned in the lyric are otherwise completely fictionalized. Joe also confirmed my recollection that the Spoonful performed the song on The Ed Sullivan Show back in the day, although with the song's co-composer Jerry Yester; for some reason, I'd remembered that the then departed Zal Yanovsky was on board, but apparently I was on drugs at the time.

In any case, from 1966 and the great Hums of the Lovin' Spoonful album, please enjoy the previously unreleased backing track to what, ironically enough, is perhaps Joe's finest moment as a vocalist for the Spoonful -- the majestic and melodic "Full Measure."

And as always, a coveted PowerPop No-Prize will be awarded to the first reader who gleans the clip's relevance to the theme of tomorrow's Weekend Listomania.

[h/t Watertiger]


Anonymous said...

nothing on my window to listen to.

Shriner said...

"Songs sung by drummers I have talked to on the phone"

steve simels said...

Yes, you got it, Shriner!!!!!

Okay, I lied.

steves said...

How cool is that? I think I used to see him all the time around the Village back in the day.

My guess..."Great Unsung Songs from the 60s"

Anonymous said...

Songs not that likely to become popular karaoke selections despite how great their backing track is?

Autoharp players who have great pop piano chops?

I think the intro to You Didn't Have To Be So Nice is an unsung (or vastly undersung) great moment in 60s pop.


steve simels said...

Okay, a hint.

It's got nothing to do with the lyrics.

You're welcome.

Billy B said...

I was around ten years old when the Lovin' Spoonful were popular. Zal was my favorite, I imagine because he was the goofiest. I was pissed when he quit the band. I didn't realize until recently he quit partly because of getting busted for reefer.

Peter from Long Beach said...

I saw the original band at Villanova U. Sopwith Camel opened. There was a dress code back then; we all wore suit coats and ties!

"Daydream" blew me away. Never heard those chords in a pop tune before. They've never received the credit they're due.

Faze said...

I saw the original band at Villanova U. Sopwith Camel opened.

Treasure that memory! Both bands had the same producer. He went on to produce Chris Isaak, who I've worked hard to appreciate, but just can't get enthusiastic about

(The list-o-mania theme SHOULD be drummer-sung songs. That would be a good one.)