When you read something like this—of course you suspect and even expect the CIA and governmental intelligence agencies to lie, it’s A GREAT AMERICAN TRADITION—it really hits home that the fucked up state of the world didn’t arrive overnight. Is the mess we’re in now all George Bush’s fault? The blame can go back a lot further than Bush, truly, but you have to ask yourself what this country would be like today without the bank-breaking—and pointless—military build-up of the Reagan administration. Would the national debt be where it is today if not for the fact that the CIA systematically LIED about the Soviet threat? Would we, f’rinstance, already have national health care like every other major democracy????
They deliberately and consistently lied to the nation, as if it was for our own good? What infuriating nonsense!
A recently declassified study on Soviet intentions during the Cold War identifies significant failures in U.S. intelligence analysis on Soviet military intentions and demonstrates the constant exaggeration of the Soviet threat.
The study, which was released last week by George Washington University?
The Process was the apocalyptic shadow side of the flower-powered 60s and perhaps the most notorious cult of modern times. Timothy Wyllie was the first member and the art director of the cult’s magazine. The group’s apocalyptic theology brought on accusations of sinister conspiracies as scores of black-cloaked devotees swept the streets of London, NY, New Orleans and other cities selling magazines with titles likes Love, Fear, Sex and Death. Timothy Wyllie is the author of Love, Sex, Fear, Death published by Feral House.
Call me disputatious—or not, it’s entirely up to you—my favorite Stones album is Their Satanic Majesties Request. It’s the only one I play all the way through anymore. It sounds great as one great big, trippy chunk. It’s a great headphones album, too. Most Stones fans hate it and see it as a weak attempt to out weird the Beatles after they’d unleashed Sgt Pepper on the world, but to me, it’s just a thing of beauty, with the normal Blues-based Stones sound thrown out the door, and replaced with a colorful sonic palette the likes of which they would never return to. I’m not saying that it IS the best Stones album, I’m just saying it’s MY favorite. (My favorite Stones song, is Monkey Man, followed by Stray Cat Blues, then (Doo Doo Doo Doo) Heartbreaker, dark horses, all, I grant you. I’m also partial to Don’t Know Why I Love You, but the Glimmer Twins didn’t write that one, so it doesn’t count).
If you ask me, the Stones “demonic” phase, inaugurated, if you will, by their association with the Magus of Cinema, Kenneth Anger, was when the Stones were truly on fire. Mick was still quite into his Satan/Lucifer thing well into the Let It Bleed/Gimme Shelter era, but after Altamont, Jagger was often seen wearing a crucifix around his neck, perhaps seeking to put down all the hoodoo Age of Horus energy he’d raised? Have sympathy for the poor devil. Jagger had a current running through his body during the Sixties that killed quite a few of his contemporaries. Today, like a rock and roll Dorian Gray, he hardly looks any worse for the wear.
Here is a seldom seen pop video for 2000 Light Years From Home. It seems so heavily influenced by Kenneth Anger that I always assumed that he’d directed it, but it seems more likely to be the work of photographer Michael Cooper, who not only shot the cover for the Satanic Majesties album jacket (which was originally issued with a fantastic 3-D lenticular cover (I have one!), but Kenneth Anger’s Lucifer Rising film as well. I had a copy of this on a Japanese laser disc, comically followed by a clip of Pete Townsend in full Mod drag sternly criticizing the Stones for their then recent marijuana busts. (It’s always the bluenoses who have the really outrageous vices, isn’ it?). Other than that, I’d never seen it anywhere, but here in the YouTube era (we’re living in the YouTube era, didn’t anyone tell you this?) some kind soul has liberated it for our viewing pleasure. Take a look, it’s great:
Delia Derbyshire is most famous for the Doctor Who theme. Although she did not actually compose the music, it was her arrangement of the piece that has made it one of the most instantly recognizable TV theme tunes of all time:
In 1963, soon after joining the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Delia Derbyshire was asked to to realize one of the first electronic signature tunes ever used on television. It was Ron Grainer’s score for a new science fiction series, Doctor Who.
Grainer had worked his tune to fit in with the graphics. He used expressions for the noises he wanted - such as wind, bubbles, and clouds. It was a world without synthesizers, samplers and multi-track tape recorders; Delia, assisted by her engineer Dick Mills, had to create each sound from scratch.
She used concrete sources and sine- and square-wave oscillators, tuning the results, filtering and treating, cutting so that the joins were seamless, combining sound on individual tape recorders, re-recording the results, and repeating the process, over and over again. When Grainer heard the result, his response was “Did I really write that?”
“Most of it,” Delia replied.
She was also in an avant garde pop group (using electronic sounds long before Kraftwerk) called Unit Delta Plus:
Perhaps the most famous event that Unit Delta Plus participated in was the 1967 Million Volt Light and Sound Rave at London’s Chalk Farm roundhouse, organised by designers Binder, Edwards and Vaughan (who had previously been hired by Paul McCartney to decorate a piano). The event took place over two nights (January 28th and February 4th 1967) and included a performance of tape music by Unit Delta Plus, as well as a playback of the legendary Carnival of Light, a fourteen minute sound collage assembled by McCartney around the the time of the Beatles’ Penny Lane sessions.
She was in later group called White Noise and they recorded an extremely strange, harsh and very futuristic album in 1969 called An Electric Storm—it’s pretty evil sounding—that’s been embraced by today’s electronic music fans. She also contributed music to the classic British 70s sci-fi series, The Tomorrow People, but by the 70s she was starting to show signs of depression and left the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. She worked in a few other soundtrack factories, then a bookstore, then an art gallery but generally drifted away from her musical career, becoming a severe alcoholic. She died in 2001 as her earlier recordings were were beginning to come out on CD and as her influence on modern electronic music was at last being acknowledged.
As loyal Dangerous Minds readers have probably already figured out, I am both a “rock snob” and a bit of an audiophile. So it should come as no surprise when I tell you that the 09/09/09 street date of the remastered Beatles albums—in both stereo and mono—has me counting the hours until I can get my hands on them.
What you might not know if you are of a certain age (or have forgotten if you are of another!) is that the Beatles albums sounded WAY better in mono than in stereo. Both the group and George Martin preferred mono and the stereo mixes back then were often afterthoughts with severely panned stereo mixes that had most of the instruments on one side and the vocals on the other! The stereo mixes always seemed very peculiar to me.
The 1987 CDs were the pits. Just awful, flat aural experiences. And nothing’s been done to rectify that situation until now. It always been ridiculous that the Beatles and the Stones had the worst sounding CDs. A lot of people don’t rate the Stones ABKCO reissues highly, but I thought they were (mostly) done pretty well and it was nice to be able to hear that material with fresh ears. Most of us who grew up with the Beatles, Stones and Led Zeppelin probably probably don’t listen to them all that much now, because it’s so easy to conjure their music up in our “mind’s ear,” but the Love mash-up album from the Circe du Soleil show helped me get back into the Beatles again and I’m really looking forward to hearing the remasters. If I can manage to score some promo copies of these sets, I’ll offer up reviews of stereo vs. mono daily on the site.
Meanwhile, here’s a song that sadly didn’t make it to any Beatles CD ever, their uniquely comic turn—it’s very Goon Show, isn’t it?—on Rossini’s Barber of Seville Overture taken from the credits of Help!:
Lotus Esprit Turbo says, “The Lancia Stratos HF prototype was a styling exercise by Bertone, first show at the Turin Motor show in October 1970. It was a futuristic design with a wedge shaped profile and stood just 33 inches (84 cm) from the ground. It was so low, that conventional doors where not used. Instead, drivers had to flip up the windscreen and walk into the car, to gained entry. Visibility was restricted as the front windscreen was narrow, when inside. The car had a 1.6 litre V4 engine, taken from the Fulvia HF. To access the mid-mounted engine, a triangular shaped panel hinged upwards.”
It’s Doctor Who week here at Dangerous Minds! Feast your ears on one of the most iconic sci-fi theme tunes—not to mention opening credit sequences—in TV history. Composed by Ron Grainer, but actually “constructed” by BBC Radiophonic Workshop employee Delia Derbyshire (more on her later in the week), the Doctor Who theme music is considered a landmark in the development of electronic music. Its distinctly shimmering sonics, elevator cable bassline and crystalline melody were recorded many years before commercially available synthesizers were available. In this clip you can hear several permutations of the theme from throughout the years. Although I like all of them, I like the 80s themes the least. It just got over-embellished. When Russell T. Davies revived the Doctor from his long hibernation in 2005, he and composer Murray Gold wisely moved back towards the original 60s theme, but adding a nice modern orchestral twist. It’s like outer-space Wagner!