King Crimson

Pete Townsend of the Who called it an uncanny masterpiece.

in_the_courtLG4He was speaking of the King Crimson album “in the court of the crimson king”.  The name King Crimson came from the band’s lyricist Peter Sinfield as a synonym for Beelzebub, prince of demons. The band known as King Crimson was started in late 1968, shortly after, they purchased a Mellotron, a unique keyboard instrument that could play back any recorded sounds such as stringed instruments, voices, or sound effects. King Crimson used it to create an original orchestral rock sound never heard before. In the spring of 1969, they played at the Rolling Stones free concert in Hyde Park, London, before a crowd of 650,000 people. The first King Crimson album titled ‘In the Court of the Crimson King’ was released in October of that same year.  The album drew on a wide range of influences including improvisation, classical, folk, jazz, military, with a little British pop and a touch of Jimi Hendrix mixed in. Their sound presented a unique approach to music and was a break from the usual blues-based rock of the day. King Crimson has been credited by many with starting the progressive rock movement.

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It was twenty years ago today….

Actually, it was fifty years ago.  On Sunday, Feb. 9, 1964, over 73 million Americans gathered around television sets to see what all the excitement was about. Radio’s had been playing the music and saying “The Beatles Are Coming!” The evening news on CBS and ABC even showed films of The Beatles’ wild arrival in America at New York’s Kennedy Airport.  Two days later, The Beatles made their first live appearance on American television, taking place on the country’s most popular variety program, “The Ed Sullivan Show”.

The official version of how Ed Sullivan learned about The Beatles begins on Oct. 31, 1963. On that day, Sullivan and his wife were at London’s Airport. It was an unusually busy day at the airport with the prime minister due to fly out and contestants for the Miss World contest arriving in London. Despite a heavy rainstorm that day more than 1,500 kids lined the airport rooftop. Sullivan asked what all the commotion was about.  He was told that it was for The Beatles, who were returning from a tour of Sweden. He replied, “Who the hell are The Beatles?” Although Sullivan would later say that he immediately inquired into booking The Beatles on his show, the true story is a bit more involved.

By September 1963, The Beatles were gaining popularity in the British press. Their big break in England was a well-publicized television appearance on “Val Parnell’s Sunday Night at the London Palladium”, the British equivalent of “The Ed Sullivan Show”. The bedlam caused by the group both inside and outside the theater caught the attention of British news editors. The Daily Mirror described the hysteria as “Beatlemania!”  The Beatle’s Palladium appearance was followed by the airport reception witnessed by Sullivan.

The next day Beatles manager Brian Epstein was headed to New York with on of his other acts, Billy J. Kramer. The primary purpose of the visit was to promote Kramer but he also wanted to find out why The Beatles hadn’t “happened” in America yet.  As he was about to leave, Brian Epstein was contacted by Ed Sullivan’s European talent coordinator Peter Prichard.  Prichard wanted to get The Beatles on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and offered to negotiate a deal.  Brian, however, said that he would rather handle the negotiations himself, Prichard told Brian, he would set up a meeting with Sullivan.

As the plane headed for New York, Prichard called Sullivan to give him a report on the Royal Variety Show and the tremendous response The Beatles had received.  He recommended that Sullivan book The Beatles for his show. Sullivan, remembering the large crowd at London Airport, was interested, but needed an angle to promote the group. Prichard told Sullivan that The Beatles were the first “long haired boys” to be invited to appear before the Queen of England. That convinced Sullivan to consider the group for his show.

Brian Epstein’s appointment book indicates he met with Ed Sullivan at his suite at the Delmonico Hotel on Monday, Nov. 11. There, the two tentatively agreed that The Beatles would appear on the Feb. 9 show live from New York.  They also agreed to an appearance the following week on a special remote show broadcast live from the Deauville Hotel in Miami Beach.

Although Sullivan usually paid up to $10,000 for a single performance, he offered Brian $3,500 for each show. He also agreed to pay the group’s transportation and lodging. Realizing the importance of having his boys on the show, Brian agreed to the deal provided The Beatles received top billing. By the time the first show aired three months later, Sullivan eagerly promoted The Beatles as the headline act.  However, Mitzi Gaynor received top billing for the second Miami Beach Show.

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Allman Brothers – Eat a Peach


Cover of "Eat a Peach"

Cover of Eat a Peachne

In the fall of 1971, Duanne Allman died in a tragic motorcycle accident. After the passing of Duane Allman, the other members of the Allman Brothers band went their separate ways.  However, they all felt a void that needed to be filled. They found themselves calling each other, wanting to get together and jam.  Finally, the five remaining members came back together with Dickey Betts filling in the oversized shoes of Duanne. Using the three tracks completed with Duanne, some unreleased Fillmore recordings, and a side of new songs, the revised Allman Brothers band finished their fourth album, Eat a peach.  Simultaneously, it was a sad ending and a bright new beginning.You can hear more stories like this and the great music behind it at deep end


Easy Rider

Easy Rider Album Cover

Peter Fonda wanted Bob Dylan to write the theme song to the film East Rider. Dylan declined but quickly wrote the following words on a napkin: ” THE RIVER FLOWS, IT FLOWS TO THE SEA, WHEREVER THAT RIVER GOES, THAT’S WHERE I WANT TO BE, FLOW RIVER FLOW” He handed Fonda the napkin and said: Give this to McGuinn, he’ll know what to do with it.” When Dylan found out he was credited as a co-writer he telephoned McGuinn and demanded that his name be removed from the song. You can hear stories like this, and hear the music to which they refer, at On your mobile device via The TuneIn app, search for Deep End. On I-Tunes in the classic rock category of I-Tunes radio look for Deep End Radio. Or on your computer at


Allman Brothers at Fillmore East

In 1971, the Allman brothers quietly released a live album recorded at the fillmore east.

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Allman Brothers Band Live

The Allman Brothers live at fillmore east turned out to be a huge selling album.  Blues, Jazz, Rock…the album had it all…including the legendary guitars of duanne allman and dickey betts.  Greg Allman’s gritty vocals, Berry Oakley’s wild bass runs and incredible free form allman brothers jamming…Statesboro blues, in memory of Elizabeth reed, One way out, Whipping Post,  The Allman Brothers captured at their very best…on stage at the fillmore.  The Allman Brothers were the last act to play the Fillmore East before it closed in 1971.  Greg Allman later recalled that the musicians were so into jamming that they didn’t realize that it was morning until the doors were open and the morning light came pouring in.

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