crawdaddy!

George Harrison on Saturday Night Live, November 1976, photographed by Richard E. Aaron

“Outside [in Boston on 16 November 1976], people wait for GEORGE HARRISON. […] Girls scream, flash cubes flare; another hard day’s night. An octopus of desperate arms reaches for GEORGE. […]

[In the elevator] A blessed vacuum. Nobody speaks; anything would be awkward. So this is what it’s like. ‘That went quite well, didn’t it?’ Harrison sighs to himself. He is bearing up nicely. The elevator slips slowly past each floor as a frantic kid charges up the stairs; you can see him through the window. Skipping steps, pulling hard at the handrail, he chases the car. His eyes are wild, wired. At the third floor, as our doors open, the boy lurches to the landing. Dennis Morgan and a publicist hurry to shield George physically from this particular insanity. Are the guy’s eyes really rolling? Harrison is ushered towards his room.

‘Let me talk here a sec,’ George insists. The kid is rigid with energy - electric. 'I… uh… I… George… I play the guitah.’ The words spurt and stumble, exploding violently from him. His hair hangs in a modified Beatle cut; there is no collar on his jacket. 'I play guitah in a band!’

George is serene, diffusing in his calm. The kid has met a Beatle. 'Keep playin’, man,’ George says. 'Stay with it.’” - Mitchell Glazer, Crawdaddy, February 1977 [x]

So I wrote up my thoughts, possibly somewhat chaotically. Sorting the book out comes next, though there’ll probably be a bit of a break. 

Caption: Crawdaddy!, Jan 1967, created by the late Paul Williams in 1966. It lost its exclamation mark in 1969, briefly ceasing publication that year. It ceased publication again in 1979, after a few issues as Feature. Williams himself rebooted it in the 90s, and an online version currently exists. Williams died in 2013. 

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The Fanzine Fan - an awesome BBC audio slideshow presenting a selection of zines

Paul Williams ‘69 pioneered rock journalism, founding Crawdaddy! while a student at Swarthmore.  He died yesterday at age 64.

From Gollancz:

In the wider realm of popular culture, you should honour him as the founding father of rock journalism.  The magazine he founded as a 17-year-old college student in 1966, Crawdaddy!, was the first publication to focus on serious writing about the then-new music.  It launched the career of writers such as Jon Landau (who went on to become Bruce Springsteen’s manager), Sandy Pearlman, and Richard Meltzer.  It was the inspiration for subsequent magazines, notably Rolling Stone.  

In addition to writing about music, Williams was also the Literary Executor for Philip K. Dick, and founded and ran the Philip K. Dick Society.

The Crawdaddy! Book: Writings (And Images) from the Magazine of Rock was published in 2002.  In it, Williams explained his vision for the magazine:

Although my vision was of a magazine where young people could share with each other the powerful, life-changing experiences we were having listening to new music in the mid-60s, I was heavily influenced by the trade magazines I was reading at the college radio station, Billboard and Cash Box; and since I didn’t have a way to get my new magazine into the hands of thousands of young music lovers immediately, my short-term focus was to get the attention of the radio station and record company people to whom I planned to mail complimentary copies of the first issue (p10).

[photo by Zeloof Stuart Photography]

George Harrison, Amsterdam, 3 February 1977

Photo: Peter Mazel

“I’m living in it [the material world]. But people interpret it to mean money, cars, that sort of thing - although those are part of the material world. The material world is like the physical world, as opposed to the spiritual. For me, living in the material world just meant being in this physical body with all the things that go along with it.” - George Harrison, Crawdaddy, February 1977

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Crawdaddy!: Sounds of Silence review

SOUNDS OF SILENCE
Simon & Garfunkel
Columbia LP 2469

When I returned from home in the middle of November I brought with me a copy of the record. I showed it to a couple of people. “Simon and Garfunkel?” they said, “Are you kidding?” “It’s number one in Boston.” I said. “The record shops keep selling out faster than they can keep them in stock. It’s sort of a folk song.” Then I started playing it on the college radio station, and the shop in town sold out three weeks in a row!

By Christmas even New York was playing “The Sounds of Silence.” More than a year after the song had been released on an LP (Wednesday Morning 3 AM) it became the most popular recording in America. The world had now heard of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. Would it ever hear of them again?

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Beatles/Rolling Stones : les gentils face aux rebelles
À 22 h 15, sur France 5 propose un Duels qui vaut clairement le détour. À travers l'histoire des deux groupes, on évoque celle du rock'n roll, mais pas seulement.

Au début des années 60, la jeunesse rêve d'émancipation, et le rock va notamment l'accompagner dans cette quête. Un soir de novembre 1961, à Liverpool, Brian Epstein se rend au Cavern Club et découvre les Beatles. Il devient leur manager et va prendre en main leur image. Les blousons de cuir font place à des costumes-cravates afin d'asseoir leur réputation de «gentils garçons». De Love Me Do à Please, Please Me, ils enchaînent les succès. En coulisses, Andrew Loog Oldham, 17 ans, propose au manager de devenir l'attaché de presse des Beatles. Mais il ne va pas se contenter de ce rôle.

En 1963, au Crawdaddy Club, en banlieue londonienne, il tombe sur les Rolling Stones. Une fois devenu leur manager, il les incitera à cultiver leur côté rebelle. Ce documentaire de la collection Duels évoque leur rivalité sous un angle bien précis, comme nous l'explique Michaël Prazan, auteur et réalisateur (avec Christiane Ratiney). «Je suis parti du principe que, le sujet de ce film, c'est certes les Beatles et les Stones, mais qu'il fallait raconter l'histoire sans nécessairement faire un film musical.» Car la particularité de ce duel est qu'il accompagne parfaitement la décennie des Sixties. «Je voulais montrer la fabrication, à ce moment-là, du monde d'aujourd'hui: la mondialisation, l'emballement de la société de consommation, l'image médiatique, résume Michaël Prazan. Bref, un certain nombre de marqueurs qui sont ceux dans lesquels on baigne au quotidien et qui sont, avec une certaine naïveté, une certaine innocence, en train de se fabriquer à ce moment-là, via le duel entre ces deux groupes, en très grande partie façonné par les managers et les médias.»

Serait-ce donc un (…)

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