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Lewd guitarist: Watch a young Prince on ‘American Bandstand’ and live in New York City, 1980/81
04.21.2016
06:47 pm
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On January 26, 1980 Prince appeared on American Bandstand lip-synching “I Wanna Be Your Lover” and “Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?” After Prince’s performance, Dick Clark made a game attempt at interviewing his Purple Majesty but Prince, even then, was tight-lipped.

“They wouldn’t let me produce myself,” Prince explains why he waited so long to release his first record.

“Do you think they didn’t know what you were doing?” Clark asks.

“Don’t know.”

Clark asks Prince how many instruments he played. Prince responds “thousands.”

When asked how many years he’d been playing, Prince raised four fingers.

From the very beginning, Prince knew how to create an aura of mystery around himself. Even in a semi-autobiographical film like Purple Rain, he managed to blur the line between reality and mythos. It is part of what made him one of the most compelling artists in the history of music.

Here’s Prince on American Bandstand. The clip unfortunately does not include the interview.

I advise you to watch it now. Even from beyond the grave, Prince is likely controlling what the ‘net gives and what the ‘net taketh away.

Update: Okay the ‘net tooketh away. Can we please have a week long grace period in which Prince’s videos can be enjoyed in an International visual love fest? Huh? How about that?

Anyway, here’s a consolation prize: Prince’s first TV appearance on Midnight Special in January 1980. Let’s see how long this one lasts. Enjoy.
 


 
I first saw Prince at New York City’s Ritz in 1980. He wasn’t a superstar yet and hadn’t been embraced by New York’s post-punk or new wave scene (he would appear on the cover of New York Rocker year later) so it was a relatively small audience. I had shown up to attend an Interview magazine party earlier and stayed for Prince. I wasn’t that familiar with his music but it was free. Staying was a smart move.The show was astoundingly good and ultrasexy. His carnal relationship with his guitar, as documented in this clip, is nothing short of jaw-dropping.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell
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04.21.2016
06:47 pm
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Watch Pink Floyd make an early appearance on American television, 1967
04.07.2016
03:46 pm
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By 1967 Pink Floyd was a significant presence on the UK rock scene. In the autumn of that year the group made its first trip to the United States, where they participated in a rather ill-fated tour that had to be rescheduled due to the late arrival of permits, leading to a great many cancellations. But the tour began in earnest on November 4, 1967, with a show at the Winterland Auditorium in San Francisco. Another factor making the tour difficult was that Syd Barrett was starting to fray in a way that couldn’t be ignored.

That first week in the United States, Pink Floyd taped a TV appearance for a show called Groovy on KHJ Channel 9 at the Cheetah Club in Santa Monica, then appeared on The Pat Boone Show, and a day later, American Bandstand and then another KHJ show called Boss City. These appearances would appear in people’s living rooms in a different order days or weeks later, but it appears that the American Bandstand gig was the third to be taped and the third to appear on TV. The Pat Boone Show appearance was apparently not saved for posterity, but at least a section of the American Bandstand appearance has survived, as you can see.

After playing the band’s fourth single “Apples and Oranges” (which failed to chart), Dick Clark engages in a bit of goofy Q&A banter, inanely asking Roger Waters about American cuisine. Waters says he’s only had “two cheeseburgers,” which “sat quite well.”

At a show at The Fillmore in San Francisco a few days after the American Bandstand appearance, Barrett slowly detuned his guitar during a performance of “Interstellar Overdrive.” By the following spring, Barrett would no longer be in the group.
 

 
via Open Culture

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘An Hour With Pink Floyd’: Live TV Performance, 1970
Pink Floyd’s earliest post-Syd Barrett TV appearance, 1968

Posted by Martin Schneider
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04.07.2016
03:46 pm
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Link Wray and his bizarre guitar on American Bandstand, 1959
01.14.2015
02:50 pm
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Link Wray Slinky
 
This Link Wray appearance on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand from 1959 is great for a few reasons. For one thing, it’s kind of fun observing a bunch of palm-to-mouth teenyboppers as they try to decide what to do with themselves while watching a guy with some of the gnarliest guitar tone of all time rip it up in front of them. Wray is famous for supposedly “inventing” the power chord and for punching holes in his speakers to get the raunchiest recording sound possible. Yes, Wray had scored a hit in April of 1958 with his now ultra-famous and influential tremolo soaked instrumental swamp ballad, “Rumble” released just under a year before this American Bandstand appearance, but it was banned from the airwaves in some markets for being just too damned raw and for using the slang term (obvious now) for a gang fight. I’ve got to imagine, judging by the “I’m supposed to be liking this, right?” looks on the faces of the young audience, that they were a at least a little befuddled by the performance. At the time of this appearance in early 1959, Wray had just released the single for “Rawhide” (not the version you might be thinking of) that he and the band play on the show. Wray’s “Rawhide” is also just a cool instrumental in its own right.
 
Link Wray Guitarlin
Link Wray looking like a bad man with his 1958 Danelectro Longhorn “Guitarlin”
 
More importantly however (for me anyways) is that the clip also provides a chance to take a look at the source of Wray’s tone (half anyways, I’m not sure what kind of amp he was using), the ultra-bizzaro 1958 Danelectro Longhorn “Guitarlin” that Wray plays in the clip and with which he performed and recorded during the last few years of the fifties. Boasting a very long neck with an unprecedented 31 frets and a deep double cutaway that produces the “long horns” jutting out from the guitar’s oddly shaped body, the Guitarlin is something to behold in any decade, but this was pretty far out for 1959. It was so weird, in fact, that only about 200 were ever made between 1958 and 1968 according to one source. It was called a “Guitarlin” because the long neck allowed for narrow fret spacing close to the guitar body that could supposedly get the player into the mandolin tonal range.
 
Guitarlin
Guitar Oddity: The weird looking Danelectro Longhorn “Guitarlin”
 
Guitarlin Close-up
Lipstick pickups and small fret spacing of the long necked “Guitarlin”
 
The two lipstick pickups that you see in picture above are just as responsible for Link Wray’s storied late fifties tone than the shape of the guitar, though. Why lipstick pickups? Because the electronics for them were literally housed inside metal canisters originally designed to hold lipstick. The pickups became standard issue on a variety of Danelectro guitars and on Silvertones, which Danelectro also manufactured and distributed for a time for Sears Department stores as cheap axes marketed towards beginners. The pickups produce a jangly, trebly tone that has become famous among collectors and retro sound enthusiasts and so many people use Silvertones today for recording and performing that it’s not even worth making a list. 

According to some guys who know a whole lot more than I do about this kind of thing, finding one of these original “Guitarlins” would set you back a couple of grand, mainly because Link Wray used one.

For those of you who care about such things, Link Wray was nominated for but not inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. 

You can read more about Link Wray, the Guitarlin and all kinds of other guitar trivia in Deke Dickerson’s Strat in the Attic: Thrilling Stories of Guitar Archaeology.
 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Be Wild, Not Evil: ‘Mr. Guitar’ Link Wray tears it up at Winterland in 1974

Posted by Jason Schafer
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01.14.2015
02:50 pm
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Anarchy on ‘American Bandstand’: When Public Image Ltd. met Dick Clark, 1980
10.20.2014
09:03 am
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John Lydon confronts America
All photos by John Brian King

American Bandstand with Dick Clark was a staple of American TV. Beginning in 1956, the clean-cut Clark hosted the program, staying at the helm for over thirty years. The show featured teenagers and young adults dancing to pop music, as well as musical acts. As previously acknowledged by Dangerous Minds, Clark had a fair amount of interesting up-and-comers appear on his show, including the Syd Barrett-fronted Pink Floyd, Captain Beefheart, and a young man by the name of Prince.
 
Dick Clark during PiL's performance
 
After the Sex Pistols imploded in early 1978, singer John Lydon would soon shed his “Johnny Rotten” skin, reinventing himself with a new band, Public Image Ltd. In April 1980, PiL were touring America for the first time, supporting album #2, which was a double LP. For Second Edition (originally released as Metal Box), the group abandoned the rock found on their debut, producing a sprawling post-punk opus that was both weird and danceable (think Can meets Chic). It’s an innovative and unique work—in other words, not exactly the kind of stuff that normally makes it onto American television.
 
Second Edition
 
Public Image Ltd’s appearance on American Bandstand aired on May 17th, 1980. Moments after “Poptones” begins, the camera catches Lydon sitting off to the side of the Bandstand podium, seemingly unsure what to do. Soon he’s up and dancing about, trying to involve the studio audience.
 
John Lydon and the audience
 
But the crowd ain’t cooperating, so Lydon takes the next step, heading into the throng (ala Iggy) to force the issue.
 
John Lydon in the audience
 
The timid audience, largely consisting of teenagers, seem both excited and scared by the singer, and they take even more encouraging to break TV protocol, with Lydon physically pushing, shoving, and finally pulling spectators onto the platform. All the while, the former Rotten isn’t even bothering to keep up with the lip-syncing—a very punk thing to do, right? Well, there was a reason for it and all the anarchy, which Lydon later explained in his autobiography:

It all got off on the wrong foot when we arrived and they suddenly informed us that it would be a mimed thing. Our equipment hadn’t arrived in time, apparently, but we soon got even more upset when they said, ‘Oh no, you couldn’t play it live anyway, just mime to the record.’

They’d made up some edited versions of “Poptones” and “Careering,” and gave us a cassette to check it out beforehand. ‘Oh my God, they’ve cut it down to that? I don’t know where the vocals are going to drop. What are we supposed to do?’ None of us knew. Just thinking about trying to sing it like the record was…aarghh! You can fake it with an instrument but you can’t as the singer. ‘Okay, so you’ve cut out the point and purpose, it’s like removing the chorus from the National Anthem, just because it makes for an allotted time slot on a TV show. That’s arse-backways!’

 
PiL backstage
The calm before the storm: PiL backstage

More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Bart Bealmear
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10.20.2014
09:03 am
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Rarely seen video of Little Richard and Jimi Hendrix on American Bandstand in 1965
04.29.2011
12:29 am
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image
 
Here’s a rare video of Little Richard performing “It Ain’t What You Do” on American Bandstand on March 6, 1965 with his back-up band The Crown Jewels. Jimi Hendrix was a member of The Crown Jewels in ‘65 and there’s some debate as to whether or not Hendrix appears in this American Bandstand performance.

Is that Hendrix in a Royal Guardsman uniform at the 1:29 point in this clip? No one seems to know. I think it is. You may not. But the one thing I think we can all agree upon is that Little Richard is wearin’ a bitchin’ wig in this video.

Sound is out of synch but this thing is still amazing.