Brian Wilson’s solo performance of Surf’s Up (filmed on Saturday the 17th of December, 1966) has been seen in a few different Beach Boys documentaries over the years, and these variations have been on youtube for a good while.
Remarkably (or not, in this ‘on demand’ future), the entire Inside Pop documentary was also on youtube for a time. It’s from a low-grade video copy, and looks like a transmission from another era – which, of course, it is.
However, since writing this original post (in October 2011), the youtube videos have disappeared:
which rather buggered up the bulk of this post, being Inside Pop – The Rock Revolution in six embedded parts – and the documentary’s significance in the Smile saga as self-evident, solely by viewing it in its entiretity. This is what comes of leeching others’ content and trying to pass it off as one’s own ‘discovery’…
Update: it’s back.
As this is a serious program (a topical broadcast about social issues, rather than a music documentary per se), a lot of the shots are well-lit but static; there are only so many times you need to see a screengrab of Bernstein at the piano. And, as a great deal of the program is made up of quick edits and montages of various talking heads, It is what is said – and to whom – that is of the greatest interest. Bernstein occupies the first third of the broadcast, with David Oppenheim conducting and narrating the rest. Oppenheim is heard, but is not seen on camera – he leaves it to the interviewees to say their piece.
OK. So: if you care about such things, consider Surf’s Up in the context it was seen and heard by viewers at the time.
It’s Tuesday, April the 25th, 1967, 10PM.
You’re sat in your most comfortable chair in front of the TV. You think you know where your children are, and what they are doing – but you don’t really understand them, or their music. But you can trust CBS News, and you can trust Leonard Bernstein.
Leonard Bernstein: you see you’re supposed to say – to me – ‘you represent everything I hate’
Tandyn Almer (of The Association): – but that’s not true -
Bernstein: I’m supposed to say to you ‘you represent everything I don’t understand…but so far I understand everything you’ve said, and so far you say you trust me
Tandyn Almer: – you shouldn’t look down on a whole group of people because I’m some of them y’know…
Bernstein: well in addition to the age I represent – I represent, um, the bourgeouis family man, I represent an institution, like the New York Philharmonic which I am the head of -
Tandyn Almer: – I understand
Leonard lights Tandyn’s cigarette.
Bernstein: (continung) I represent the ‘establishment’ if you wish – in a way I hate that word, and I don’t like to think of myself that way – but that’s something you would naturally rebel against
Tandyn Almer: (nodding) yes
Leonard Bernstein: but I don’t find you rebelling against me – I would like to..I want you to HIT me, to tell me -
David Oppenheim: (on voiceover as they continue talking) this is David Oppenheim for CBS News. What this broadcast is about is the gap – the aching gap – between the two generations. We of the middle ages trying to understand, the young ones trying to explain
Oppenheim (voiceover): Tonight these young ones are pop musicians – on tour,
long distance information give me memphis tennessee
Oppenheim (voiceover): singing their own songs,
surfs up aboard a tidal wave come about hard
Oppenheim (voiceover): and just explaining
Tandyn Almer: we aren’t just going to accept what’s laid down for you by the older generation
A Sunset Strip Guy: we WANT to have the adults around, we just don’t want them to constantly tell us what to do
Graham Nash (of The Hollies): (emphatically) pop singers get through to MILLIONS of people, I really mean millions
Peter Noone (‘Herman’): (out of shot) what kind of people? You don’t get through to adults
Graham Nash: they get through to the kids that are gonna BECOME ADULTS
Frank Zappa: a lot of the kids that are walking around the streets with long hair, a lot of the kids that you see from time to time – and retch over – are gonna be running your government for you
David Oppenheim: (on voiceover as duet is played) music is the key to all of this, and so, the first part of this broadcast is a look at the songs themselves, both the notes and the words.
For this phase, here’s Leonard Bernstein.
Leonard Bernstein: (at the piano) For a long time now I’ve been fascinated by this strange and compelling scene called ‘pop music’ – I say strange, because it’s unlike any scene I can think of in the history of ALL music. It’s completely of, by and for the kids. And by kids I mean anyone from 8 years old to 25. They write the songs, they sing them, own them, record them – they also buy the records, create the market, they set the fashions in the music, in dress, in dance, in hairstyle, lingo, social attitudes.
And I say compelling, because it shows no sign of abatement – the fads change, the groups change, but the songs keep coming, increasingly odd, defiant and free.
This music raises lots of questions – but right now, for openers, here are the two that concern me most. One, why do adults resent it so? And two, why do I like it?
Announcer: (as The Byrds’ Turn Turn Turn plays) CBS NEWS presents, IN COLOR, Inside Pop – The Rock Revolution, brought to you by
(Turn Turn Turn fades out in background, as Leonard Bernstein listens)
Leonard Bernstein: I came to these songs naturally through my children, but I have a sneaky feeling I would have heard and responded to them anyway – after all they are part of music, which is my world, and a part that is so pervasive as to be almost inescapable.
Many parents do try to escape this music, and even forbid it, on the grounds that it is noisy, untelligible, or morally corruptive. I have neither escaped nor forbidden it, neither as a musician or as a father. I think this music has something terribly important to tell us adults, and we would be wise not to behave like ostriches about it.
Besides, as I said, I LIKE it! Of course what I like is maybe 5 per cent of the whole output, which pours over this country like the two oceans from both coasts. And it’s mostly trash. But that good 5 percent is SO exciting and vital – and may I say significant – that it claims the attention of every thinking person.
Ok, lets get down to some specific songs, to the music itself. Here is a cheery bit by The Beatles.
(plays a tape of the end of Good Day Sunshine, while nodding his head at the piano)
(stopping tape) Now that’s not just cheery, it’s also very unorthodox. For one thing, it suddenly, if you noticed, leaves out a beat, so that an ordinary 4 beat measure becomes a 3 beat measure. Listen.
(plays it again, counting “1-2-3-4, 1-2-THREE” and so on)
You see, just one sudden bar of 3 among all those fours. We never used to find that in pop music. It’s new.
And then just as suddenly there was that arbitrary change of key:
(plays and sings) good day sunshine GOOD day sunshine
It’s sort of tart, pungent. Then there was that odd little cannon at the end, a sort of round:
(plays the tape again, pointing as the round recurs)
What a way to fade out: in a new key, a shifting meter, a sudden new counterpoint…but that’s The Beatles, always unpredictable, a little more inventive than most. You know a remarkable song of theirs called She Said? Well in that song, which goes nicely along in four, again there’s a sneaky switch to three quarter time, only this time it’s not just for one bar, but for a whole passage
(plays and sings) when i was a boy everything was righ-hight
Did you get it? If not, listen again to The Beatles this time:
(plays She Said from the tape machine while counting beats)
And we’re back again safely in the old four beat.
Now the point I want to make is that such oddities as this are not just tricks or showoff devices. In terms of pop music’s ‘Basic English’ so to speak, they are real inventions. And it’s not only The Beatles that make these inventions. For instance there’s a group known as the Left Banke that has a tune called Pretty Ballerina. This tune is built not in the usual major or minor scale, but in a combination of the Lydian and Mixolydian modes – imagine that!
(plays Pretty Ballerina on the piano)
…comes out with a sort of Turkish or Greek sound:
(sings) i had a date with a pretty ballerina her hair so brilliant that it hurt my eyes (hear it here)
Rather unusual wouldn’t you say? And even so commonplace a number as The Monkees’ recent hit I’m A Believer has one noteworthy musical twist: it’s going along in the standard gospel-shouting tradition:
(plays and sings) then i saw her face now i’m a believer
and now suddenly here’s:
(sings) i’m a believer i couldn’t leave her if i tried
what a place to end on – a totally unexpected chord! Now I know you may say “well, what’s so great about that chord? It’s ordinary – we’ve had much more sophisticated and adventurous harmonies in pop music of the thirties, what about Gershwin? What about Duke Ellington, Sophisticated Lady? with those rich chromatic parallel seventh chords?”
(plays Sophisticated Lady)
Yes. But that’s the whole point: this pop generation has rejected that old chromatic sound as TOO sophisticated, the sound of an older, slicker generation…the old-fashioned sound of the cocktail lounge
(plays it again)
This new music is much more primitive than its harmonic language, it relies more on the simple triads:
(plays simple triads)
the basic harmony of folk music – never forget that this music employs a highly limited musical vocabulary – limited melodically, rhythmically and harmonically. But within that restricted language, all these new adventures are simply extrraordinary. Only think of the sheer originality of a Beatles tune, like this one, which again uses only the elementary resources of pop music:
i was alone i took i ride i didn’t know what i would find there
Well that could almost be by Schumann, it’s so expansive and romantic:
(plays Got To Get You Into My Life at the piano)
and notice how the range of the melody has been expanded – most pop tumes of the past have been restricted to the range of an octave or so:
(illustrates on the piano)
owing to the limitations of pop singers’ vocal ranges. But not so any more – our pop generation reaches and spreads itself, grasping at the unattainable, and this is one of the things I like most about it: the straining tenderness of those high untrained young voices.
(the tape machine plays Dylan’s Mr Tambourine Man): in a jingle jangle morning
that’s Bob Dylan, and here’s a group called The Association:
then along comes mary
and, as always, The Beatles:
she loves you and you know you should be glad oooooh
Now of course, whereas I might call that ‘a straining after falsetto dreams of glory’, you may call it nothing but a breakdown in gender, the same androgynous phenomenon of the pop scene that produces boys with long hair and ruffled shirts…and you may be right. But, back to the music.
What else do i like about it? I like the eclecticism of it, its freedom to absorb any and all musical styles and elements, like old blues:
(plays clip of Tommy James And The Shondells from tape machine): my baby does the hanky panky
or a high Bach trumpet:
(tape plays Penny Lane’s high Bach trumpet)
or a harpsichord:
(tape plays harpsichord intro to Janis Ian’s Society’s Child)
or even a string quartet:
ah look at all the lonely people
(stopping the tape) Curious.
Then I like the international and interracial way it ranges over the world, borrowing from ragas of Hindu music:
(he grooves to the intro to The Beatles’ Love You To)
or borrowing from the sensuality of Arab cafe music:
i see a red light and i want to paint it black
Then I like some of the new sounds, purely as sound, that are coming out of pop music: the arresting impact of a consort of amplified guitars:
1234 well she was just…
Then I like the astonishing force of those hyped-up basslines:
(tape plays the intro to The Associations’ Along Came Mary)
and the outrageous cool of that inhuman electric organ:
(tape plays the organ ending of Society’s Child)
Now. Don’t get me wrong. I said I liked SOME of those sounds; there’s a good deal I don’t like, and wouldn’t dream of defending. I don’t like volume for its own sake, or the way words are often drowned out by drums and amplifiers. I don’t like the amateur quality of some of the writing, the out-of-tune singing. This music can be coarse, faddish, or a victim of its own sameness.
And yet when it’s good, it’s irresistible – after all, there are pros and cons to everything, especially in a popular art. And the cons are well-enough publicised; we’re here to examine the pros.
And we’re in luck, because I’ve managed to find one song that incorporates so many of thse pros that we can enjoy them all at once, the marvellous song called Society’s Child – written, astonishingly enough, by a 15 year old girl, named Janis Ian. This tune is very well known among the followers of pop music, but you may not have heard it, since it’s been withheld by most of the radio stations, for reasons unknown to me, although probably having to do with its subject matter, which is, as you’ll see, somewhat controversial…but apart from the words, Society’s Child contains many of the musical joys we’ve talked about, and some we haven’t – like fascinating sounds, both natural and electronic, like a strange use of harpsichord, and that cool nasty electric organ. There are astonishing key changes, and even tempo changes; ambiguous cadences, unequal phrase lengths – the works!
And we’re even luckier to have Janis Ian herself here to sing it for us. Listen hard to Society’s Child (he closes his eyes in order to listen hard).
Janis Ian performs Society’s Child, with the recorded arrangement as backing (hear it here):
come to my door baby
face is clean and shining black as night
my mother went to answer you know
that you looked so fine
now i could understand your tears and your shame
she called you boy instead of your name
when she wouldn’t let you inside
when she turned and said
‘but honey he’s not our kind’
she says i can’t see you any more baby
can’t see you anymore
walk me down to school baby
everybody’s acting deaf and dumb
until they turn and say ‘why don’t you stick to your own kind?’
my teachers all laugh, the smirking stares
cutting deep down in our affairs
preachers of equality
think they believe it then why won’t they just let us be?
they say I can’t see you anymore baby
can’t see you anymore
one of these days I’m gonna stop my listening
gonna raise my head up high
one of these days I’m gonna raise up my glistening wings and fly
but that day will have to wait for a while
baby I’m only society’s child
when we’re older things may change
but for now this is the way they must remain
they say i can’t see you anymore baby
can’t see you anymore
no i don’t want to see you anymore baby
(the song ends with a sassy organ retort)
Leonard Bernstein: it kills me, that sassy retort of the organ at the end. That voice, those words, that key change
(Bernstein plays and sings) but for now this is the way they must remain…they say i can’t see you anymore baby
Leonard Bernstein: Oh Janis, how did you write such a thing at the age of 15? You’re a great creature. I think that’s quite a remarkable job for a girl your age, and I congratulate you on what I’m sure is going to be a brilliant career
Janis Ian: Thank you!
Leonard Bernstein: thank you so much for coming to see us (he kisses her hand)
Janis Ian: thank you for inviting me
Janis walks out of shot
Leonard Bernstein: So it would seem that the kids of our pop generation have a lot to say. Actually what Janis has written is a short social document – not a satire, not a protest, just a picture of a social trap. Of course underneath it IS the spirit of protest, which undelies so many of these pop songs – the implication is, and strongly, that this not at all the way things ought to be; just as The Beatles on Paperback Writer implies in its satirical way all the corruption of our lives…their anti-hero, the paperback writer, has written a book he’s trying to sell and sings:
(spoken) it’s a thousand words give or take a few, I’ll be writing more in a week or two. I can make it longer if you like the style, i can change it round (sings) but i wanna be a paperback writer
In other words: prostitution – I’ll do anything to sell that book. The implication is clear.
In fact the message in the lyrics of most of those songs IS delivered by implication. This is one of our teenagers’ strongest weapons. It amounts to almost a private language. but this use of implication introduces another effect as well, something bordering on poetry: many of the lyrics, in their oblique allusions and way-out metaphors, are beginning to sound like REAL poems. And, protected by this armour of poetry, our young lyricist can say just about anything they care to, and they do care – they care about civil rights, about sexual freeedom, about peace; they talk about alienation, mysticism, drugs – the lyrics of Bob Dylan alone would make a bombshell of a book of social criticism…you know those ominous lines of his, “something is happening, and you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr Jones?”
And you know who Mr Jones is don’t you? Us.
And the lyric of Along Comes Mary, I have been informed by its author, 22 year old Tandyn Almer, is not about a girl named Mary at all, but about ‘mary jane’ , which is a literal translation of mari-juana. And a staggering piece of verse it is (hear it here).
And Paul Simon of Garfunkel fame says, among other things, i touch no one and no one touches me, i am a rock, i am an island. Formidable stuff, isn’t it?
But mostly they talk about love, as all songwriters have since time began – only this time its either a cool kind of love, or a frankly sexual love, or – and this is most important – universal love, a mystic, oriental concept, that is presumably attainable through meditation, or withdrawal from ‘the establishment’, or most readily, through drugs.
Now what does all this mean?
I think it’s all part of a historic revolution, one that has been going on for 50 years – only now these young people have gotten control of a mass medium, the phonograph record. And the music on the records, with its noise and its cool messages, may make us uneasy. But we must take it seriously, as both a symptom and a generator of this revolution. We must listen to it, and to its makers, this new breed of young people with long hair and fanciful clothing.
And the rest of this program will be devoted to just that: getting to know them, seeing them in action, hearing their thoughts…and perhaps by learning about them, we can learn something about our own future.
Announcer: Inside Pop – The Rock Revolution will continue after this message
BREAK FOR COMMERCIALS
Announcer: Inside Pop – The Rock Revolution continues
A live clip of Tim Buckley performing No Man Can Find The War is shown (hear the Goodbye & Hello recording here)
…orders fly like bullet stream
drums and cannons laugh aloud
whistles come from ashen shroud
leaders damn the world and roar
but no man can find the war..
(see a montage of both Tim Buckley excerpts from Inside Pop, with narration, here)
David Oppenheim (over the clip of Tim): most of us have been raised in the tradition of Tin Pan Alley, where the songs, beautiful or not, were meant to amuse or beguile – but that’s all. They were embllishments on life. What these young people seem to say is that their music ISN’T just decorative – it comes right out of their world. And whatever is working ON today’s youth is working OUT in their music.
And the crucible is Los Angeles.
John Hartmann (manager): oh I think the West Coast of the United States is going to breathe an EXPLOSION of poetry and music – it is going to lead the way for the American youth
Oppenheim (over a montage of clips of Jim McGuinn and Frank Zappa): Lead the American youth where? Let’s ask the musicians on the LA scene:
Frank Cook (of Canned Heat): my band Canned Heat, what we’re trying to do is, tell OUR story. And in telling our story, having people understand where we’re at, and what we’re trying to do
Pam Polland (of The Gentle Soul): we are unusual in the scene that we come out and say God – like, we know a lot of groups that are working basically towards the same thing, but they use, ah, they use a different language.
Frank Cook: we want love – by the content of, y’know, almost all songs being about love
Pam Polland: that’s what all my songs are for now, for praising of love – love is so beautiful, and I would like everybody to believe in it as much as I do
David Oppenheim: (to Frank Cook) songs have always been about love
Frank Cook: ah but it hasn’t had the importance that it has now, because now hate cannot destroy just the people that are hating, but everybody, the whole world
Oppenheim (interviewing): are you saying the love that the old songs are talking about, or are you talking about some kind of different love?
Ann Sternberg (of The UFO): the love that used to be ‘woe woe i lost my baby’ (someone speaks over her)…and now it’s , um, let’s love each other
Diane Tribuno (of The UFO): Universal love – we love EVERYONE, including people who on a personal level you dislike, but love them anyway
Oppenheim: and do you think your music, the two of you, the two groups, that you, as musicians, are working towrds this goal of universal love, for everybody?
Ann Sternberg: that’s right, yes
Oppenheim: we’ve been talking now for about a half hour or so, and I still don’t understand the difference between the generations, I don’t know what you really want to accomplish – you talk about love, and it comes through your music, but I don’t know how it gets there in your music, I don’t know what it’s doing…and you talk about standing there and giving love from the stage, but everybody does that…
Frank Cook: but if we could tell you verbally, there would be no need for the music , would there?
Oppenheim: well I wanna see you struggling to tell me, even though you can’t get it into words!
Diane Tribuno: it’s to confront you with the issue, which displeases you, whatever it may be, and you wanna respond to it…and you can go round and you can yell and scream and make noise – or you can write a song and tell people how you feel, and maybe hope that they feel the same way you do, they’ll do something about it…and it’s your contribution
Oppenheim: well is anyone listening to your songs, and getting what you’re trying to tell them from them?
Lisa Kindred (of The UFO): maybe not the first time around, maybe it takes a while
Ann Sternberg: if they hear it twelve times on the radio they’ll start humming it and singing it, and at some point, they’re gonna listen to the words they’re singing
Oppenheim: but I still don’t get it from what you’re telling me. You’ve gotta tell me better.
Frank Cook: but what do you wanna GET?
Oppenheim: I want to get what the difference of these generations is…
Frank Cook: (aggressively) but I TOLD you the basic difference is that now the world can be destroyed, for the first time in history the world CAN be destroyed – and like THAT’S the thing
Oppenheim: can you do it just with music?
Lisa Kindred: we will try, very hard
Ann Sternberg: we won’t do it just with music, but you find other means to supplement music
Oppenheim:is anyone in this room trying to do something besides what they’re doing with their music? Or is the music enough?
Ann Sternberg: no I think they’re going beyond that – the whole Sunset Strip Freedom Movement
David Oppenheim (on voiceover): Next to universal love, freedom is their main concern
Frank Cook: it’s freedom. That’s what we want. That’s what we haven’t been able to get. And people all through the ages haven’t been able to get freedom
Oppenheim (voiceover): their definition of freedom is a special one. Paul Robbins, writer, and a close observer of the scene:
Paul Robbins: and they expect their society – the FREE one – the free society to back ‘em up, and say ‘groovy swing – as long as you hurt no one, swing’
Oppenheim (voiceover): do anything you want, just don’t hurt anyone. And they mean it.
Unnnamed girl: people should be able to wear their hair the way they want
Another girl: people should be able to do anything they want
First girl: – do with their bodies what they want and sell ‘em if they want to!
Paul Robbins: ‘WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!? I can’t go in there because I have different colored skin…I have long hair, I have funny clothes on…what has that got to do with – does that make you so uptight that you have to rap my head on it?!?’
Lorry Stanton (of The UFO): we don’t judge them by that. Because it doesn’t matter…it’s not what matters, what matters is the person inside, the FEELINGS of the person inside. Not what they look like. But what they DO. What they’re doing with themselves, what they’re do with their time
Jim McGuinn: I think we’re out to break down those barriers, that we see to be arbitraty, the big fences that have been dug – the walls WILL crumble if you hit ‘em hard enough. And we’re out there hittin’ ‘em. We’re cutting them subtly, we’re cutting them with laser beams, dynamite, we’re doing other things – we’re cutting them with emotions, which are stronger than fists. And we’re geting mass emotions involved…I’m very happy about it yeah, I like it, there’s some sort of guerilla warfare, psychological warfare going on y’know.
And i feel like a guerilla. I feel good.
David Oppenheim (on voiceover): but out here on LA’s Sunset Strip, it’s NOT guerilla warfare and it’s not psychological either
It’s the real thing
Some old Sunset Strip crazy guy: and here he is walking on the street communicating WITH HIS PEERS, and the cops say ‘you can’t do it GET OFF the street’
Oppenheim (voiceover): every weekend hundreds of kids, lots of them long-hairs, pour on to one plush mile of Sunset Boulevard called The Strip, they make the scene, to dance, and to hear the rock music.
Suddenly the authorities tried to clear them out.
The kids reacted by demonstrating and the fight was on. This crisis brought the fans together, emotion made it easy for them to talk, and we tried to find out if there was a leading connection between what the musicians were telling us, and what their audience here on the Strip would say.
a montage of clips of Sunset Strip youth follows:
why is it they can put down our music – they say it’s bad, I mean they say it’s a bunch of noise, turn down the noise…but is it really noise? Do they ever listen to the words?
you know like they say they don’t listen to the words – and what are the words? The words are talking about love, they’re talking about freedom, about peace…
the kids that like music y’know, they gotta have some place to go, they don’t have a lot of dough, so they come to places like ????, but what can you do, they close them all down, what can you do except stay out on the street?
you’re standing there, you’re loitering because you don’t have any money! Because you don’t have a job, you don’t have a direction, you’re not doing anything, you’re not a part of the Super Society, which is called America
just because we’re not going along with society, like everyone esle, everybody does the same thing and lives their own lives – all they want you to do is grow up and get an education, raise children and DIE.
well I think they got as much right here as anyone – they dress different and got long hair, people think they’re second-rate citizens, which is not true. And when you start telling them they can’t do something, that’s when they’re gonna try to prove they can. It’s like, if you tell some colored guy he’s not gonna move into your neighbourhood, he’s gonna prove he can move here, because it’s a free country
Paul Robbins: you see we’ve given these kids a dream, which somebody gave to us, and it’s called The American Dream. And we want nothing to do with it, except to talk about it. We don’t WANT IT.
Frank Zappa: I think that, er…there’s a revolution brewing…and it’s gonna be a sloppy one, unless something is done to get us organised in a hurry
David Oppenheim (on voiceover, over a clip of screaming girls): This ISN’T social protest. What you are looking at now is just plain showbusiness. And to understand this ‘rock revolution’, in the round, better to realise that mostly, kids aren’t swept up by anything more than the throb of a new beat they like, or the look of a new personality they love.
And Herman’s Hermits are a perfect example of what’s happening at this uncomplicated level. ‘Hermann’ is rich, charming, very English, and very old: nineteen.
A montage of US town tour clips is shown over a live clip of Herman’s Hermits covering Chuck Berry’s Memphis
Oppenheim (voiceover): On the surface, this may resemble an old showbusiness tour.
But something else is going on now.
For the first time, kids are the heroes of kids. More importantly, young people have so much money these days, that youth, by itself, has become a whole market.
Influence over this powerful new youth is what gives pop music musicians the sense that their ideas are important.
But they’re still kids.
Another top English group, The Hollies, travelling with The Hermits, and opening the show.
And if you ever thought the words of rock songs were hard to get, listen to these – it may be getting easier:
The Hollies perform a live version of Bus Stop (hear the 45 version here):
bus stop wet day she’s there i say
please share my umbrella
bus stop bus goes she stays love grows
under my umbrella
all that summer we enjoyed it
wind and rain and shine
that umbrella we employed it
by august she was mine
every morning i would see her waiting at the stop
sometimes she’d shopped and she would show me what she bought
other people stared as if we were both quite insane
someday my name and hers are going to be the same
that’s the way the whole thing started
silly but it’s true
thinkin’ of a sweet romance
beginning in a queue
came the sun the ice was melting
no more sheltering now
nice to think that that umbrella
led me to a vow
Oppenheim (over Graham Nash’s McGuinnesque solo): After the concert, the inevitable bull session – and even the showbiziest of today’s young musicians know something is going on besides just entertainment:
Graham Nash: I think that pop musicians of today’s generation are in a fantastic posit- they could rule the world, man!
David Oppenheim (interviewing): and how does music fit into this?
Graham Nash: music is the whole, the whole thing man!
Oppenheim: an expression?
Graham Nash: it’s an expression of the younger generation – Paul Simon, John Sebastian and John Phillips and people like this – and Donovan, ESPECIALLY Donovan – have got this great universal love, man. Today, because the kids are so tolerant, they really want to understand what people are trying to say, then they’ll go with Donovan 99% of the way. Because what he’s trying to put over is best for everybody. It’ll stop – what Donovan is trying to put over will stop wars DEAD.
Peter Noone (‘Herman’): (hesitantly) I believe that you’re right about Donovan saying that love is a great thing -
Graham Nash: (interrupting) now we have the power, we have the tolerance, we can go in front of the television camera, we can go on the air, and we can say, with definition, that Hitler was wrong – that Rockwell is wrong, that people who hate negroes are wrong, right? And we can get up there and shout it to the world, Pete!
Peter Noone: but I don’t want – (Nash repeats himself, talking over Pete)
Graham Nash: – we can shout it to the world, so why don’t we do more of it?!? That’s what I’m saying! We can stop world wars before they ever started
Peter Noone I disagree. I don’t believe -
Graham Nash: (talking over him) you know who starts the wars? People that are over 40.
Peter Noone: Yeah people -
Graham Nash: – no, people who are too old to realise that love rules the world.
Oppenheim (voiceover): This song won’t stop war, but it won’t start any either. And much of the new music is like this – as conventional as it is pleasing. ‘Herman’ sings his first big hit, Mrs Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter
A music hall-styled performance of Mrs Brown follows, intercut with closeups of audience members, predominantly girls in their early teens:
‘Herman’: let’s have everyone clap – above your heads so I can see them!
The audience clap along
‘Herman’ (addressing a part of the audience): ‘ey youse over there!
Audience members sing along with Mrs Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter (hear the 45 version here)
Girls scream in appreciation when the song ends
Oppenheim (voiceover): These sweet young girls are ringers for their own mothers with Sinatra. But their world is a very different one. And in a moment, we’ll go on to consider some of the differences, in music and in words.
Announcer: Inside Pop – The Rock Revolution will continue after this message
BREAK FOR COMMERCIALS
Announcer: Inside Pop – The Rock Revolution continues
More Hermans Hermits tour footage is shown
Peter Noone & others (singing along with the radio): where did the good times go
Oppenheim (voiceover): A recent hit by Herman and his Hermits, East West, about the dubious joys of tours like this one:
…over the ocean perpetual motion traveling around
no rest singing and playing night out and day in
doing the rounds
what a great life it must seem
swell joints everything classy nothing that’s passe only the best
lush girls ogling and eying crying and sighing
this is success
what a great life it must seem
but when I hear young voices singing out
the bells at home come ringing out
(The camera focuses on a young girl mouthing the words as it is performed)
mum dad all round the fire in festive attire
keeping the day
aunts kids all the relations congratulations
this is success
what a great life it must seem
but when I hear young voices singing out
the bells at home come ringing out
when I feel all alone
and I long for my home
Graham Gouldman (composer of East West & Bus Stop): I mean, my parents would probably think that the idea of going to the moon was absolutely preposterous – but to us it’s like, it’s gonna happen tomorrow – it’s commonplace. Therefore your own mind is broadened -
Graham Nash: – but why, Graham? Why is your mind much broader than your father’s? I’m not saying it’s because – (talks above Graham as he responds)
Gouldman: – because things that weren’t possible to my father are gonna happen today, and tomorrow.
Oppenheim (voiceover, as the conversation continues): They feel that their generation is really different from ours, and that difference can be attributed to certain objective facts of life on earth today. Facts like (a montage of interview clips follows):
Jim McGuinn: electronic revolution – everybody’s becoming more well-informed
Ann Sternberg: …more well-read. Better educated
Lisa Kindred: a lot of it is that the kids today aren’t gonna accept what’s laid down for them by the older generation.
A Sunset Strip Guy we’ve seen more at our age
Graham Nash: communication is THE thing
John Hartmann: the death of of Jack Kennedy, it lead American youth away from the establishment
Paul Robbins: 25 or under is 52%. That’s a lot of people
Ann Sternberg: a lot of people are aware that they have power
Frank Cook: things like overkill
John Hartmann: they grew up with a fear of the bomb
Oppenheim (voiceover): These facts and attitudes might produce in anothet time a political creature. But the thrust of their thinking is inward:
Rick Stanley (of The Gentle Soul): a person has only one right(?) and that’s to look within himself, for the truth, because that’s where it is
Oppenheim (voiceover): what ways do they have to look inside?
Rick Stanley: the first and best one is meditation
Oppenheim (voiceover): but they think there is another method
Jim McGuinn: the drug revolution is just coming about, and they are gonna be a lot of heads rolling from it
Girl: y’know there’s a lot of dope going on – it’s a bad word to use but it’s true
Jim McGuinn: I think these drugs WILL enhance their consciousness, and make them perhaps more loving or more understanding of the universe, more understanding of life
Oppenheim (voiceover): innerness, mysticism and love are THEIR alternatives to political action:
Paul Robbins: of course no political answer could work – Communism had a chance, and it’s turning into the same set of beans that capitalism is. It’s not political, it’s personal. It’s inward. It’s inner illumination. It’s inner peace. And inner harmony. That’s why the interest in the East.
Oppenheim (voiceover): so they feel change is in the air anyway:
Pam Polland: revolution can just mean evolvement. There doesn’t have to be any trauma or any fighting or any anger, or any aggression. It will just all happen, if everybody would sit back, and take it easy (she smiles)
Oppenheim (voiceover): The idea is to love us into submission:
Lorry Stanton: well I guess if I just have one thing to say, I’d say what’s most important, which is I guess, I love you
Oppenheim (interviewing): do you think this feeling is spreading in this country?
Pam Polland: ferociously!
Oppenheim (over a montage of clips of interviewees): As they see it, our society, while apparently healthy, and certainly bountiful, is in a deep crisis of values. They are hoping for a return to the human-centred community they feel modern life has moved away from. And they think that they, and other people like them, are forming a model upon which that society might be constructed:
hung velvet overtaken me
dim chandelier awaken me
to a song dissolved in the dawn
the music hall a costly bow
the music all is lost for now
to a muted trumpeter’s swan – columnated ruins domino
Oppenheim (over canvass the town and brush the backdrop are you sleeping brother john): here is a new song – too complex to get all of first time around. It could come only out of the ferment that characterises todays pop music scene. Brian Wilson, leader of the famous Beach Boys, and one of today’s most important pop musicians, sings his own Surf’s Up:
dove nested towers the hour was
strike the street quicksilver moon
carriage across the fog
two-step to lamp lights cellar tune
the laughs come hard in auld lang syne
the glass was raised the fired-roast
the fullness of the wine the dim last toasting
while at port adieu or die
a choke of grief heart hardened i
beyond belief a broken man too tough to cry
aboard a tidal wave
come about hard and join
the young and often spring you gave
i heard the word
a children’s song
Oppenheim (over Brian Wilson’s solo falsetto): poetic, beautiful even in its obscurity, Surf’s Up is one aspect of new things happening in pop music today. As such, it is a symbol of the change many of these young musicians see in our future.
Paul Robbins: it’s gotta be that way. They’ll win. They’ll win, and because we’re wrong. And we’re so wrong that we can’t even kid ourselves any more. And after going through some decades of not even being able to kid ourselves, at last, we cannot kid our kids. And there are the seeds of a new culture. Fomented by rock and roill and its passion – its simple passion – that’s all. No meaning – just feel.
Frank Zappa: after they stop taking drugs, and stop kidding themselves with their, er, fantasies, and they’d straighten up a little bit (pauses), grab themselves a little sense of responsibility, I think everything will turn out all right. That is if they aren’t killed off systematically beforehand
Cuts back to clip of Tim Buckley:
…is the war inside your mind?
humans weep at human death
all the talkers lose their breath
movies paint a chaos tale
singers see and poets wail
all the world knows the score
but no man can find the war…
Oppenheim (over the clip of Tim): and that’s the pop music scene today. Serious and silly, sweet and grandiose. All coming out of the kids themselves. They are trying hard. But whatever young people do, they tend to overdo – the jury is still out on their social ideas, but the verdict on their music is in: a great deal of it is good.
Announcer: Inside Pop – The Rock Revolution, was brought to you by General Telephone & Electronics – G T & E, and its family of companies
The credits roll over a clip of Graham Nash onstage with The Hollies, singing The Times They Are Changing; as they sing, girls in the audience scream:
…come mothers and fathers
throughout the land
and don’t criticize
what you can’t understand
your sons and your daughters
are beyond your command
your old road is
please get out of the new one
if you can’t lend your hand
for the times they are a-changing…
Announcer (as The Hollies are faded out): Inside Pop – The Rock Revolution was produced and edited under the supervision of CBS News.
A month after Inside Pop‘s transmission, The Beatles release their new, groundbreaking studio album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Smiley Smile, as a surrogate for the much-anticipated new Beach Boys album, is released nearly 5 months later, on 18th September 1967 – and without Surf’s Up.
next post has some comments on Inside Pop
or look at a summary of all of this so far