Rock N Roll Archaeology
Examining–and reconsidering–The Rocky Horror Picture Show. At the time, it was transgressive, outrageous; but now it seems a little bit tame. And…a bit problematic, when taken in a modern context. But it's still the ultimate midnight movie, and it's still…just a jump to the left!
- RHPS Cast: “There’s a Light,” from the soundtrack album
- RHPS Cast: “The Time Warp,” from the soundtrack album
- Tim Curry: “I Do The Rock,” from Fearless
- RHPS Cast: “Sweet Transvestite,” from the soundtrack album
- Frank Zappa and the Mothers: “Cheepnis,” from Roxy & Elsewhere
- RHPS Cast: “Science Fiction Double Feature,” from the soundtrack album
- RHPS Cast: “Hot Patootie - Bless My Soul,” from the soundtrack album
- RHPS Cast: “Rose Tint My World,” from the soundtrack album
- RHPS Cast: “Super Heroes,” from the soundtrack
First, we want to give a warm and appreciative shoutout to the blogger Alex Mell-Taylor; we leaned heavily on their post for this chapter:
- Gently Ripping Apart ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ | by Alex Mell -Taylor
- Here’s a link to more by Alex Mell - Taylor at Medium.com.
- The Rocky Horror Wiki
- How I learned to stop worrying and love the Rocky Horror Picture Show
- Rock's Back Pages: It's only a movie
- The 50 Best Sci Fi Movies of the 1970s
- Golden Age of Science Fiction Books: 11 of the Era's Most Influential Titles
- Tim Curry
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show: A Cult Classic that Challenged Sexual Mores | The Artifice
- Rocky Horror Picture Show – a How-To Guide for Audience Participation
- We Live in the World ‘Rocky Horror’ Created
Written by Richard Evans and Christian Swain
Produced and hosted by Christian Swain
Sound Design by Jerry Danielsen
Partners: Rock's Backpages
Voice Actors: Drew H as Alex Mell-Taylor
Bands in the van, and a band at the crossroads. In this episode of RNRA Shorts, we’ll get into the early days of Pink Floyd, and the latest from a Pink Floyd member: Nick Mason’s 2022 Saucerful of Secrets tour.
Written by Richard Evans and Christian Swain, Sound Design by Jerry Danielsen.
Sponsors and Partners
- Pink Floyd, “Echoes,” from Meddle
- Pink Floyd, “See Emily Play,” from Piper at the Gates of Dawn
- Pink Floyd, “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” from A Saucerful of Secrets
- Pink Floyd, “Interstellar Overdrive,” from Piper at the Gates of Dawn
- Pink Floyd, “Bike,” from Piper at the Gates of Dawn
- Pink Floyd, “Fearless,” from Meddle
- Pink Floyd, “One of These Days,” from Meddle
- Pink Floyd, “Jugband Blues,” from A Saucerful of Secrets
- Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets: “Arnold Layne,” from Live at the Roundhouse
- Mason, Nick. Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd Chronicle Books LLC. Kindle Edition.
- Cutler, Sam. You Can't Always Get What You Want: My Life with the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead and Other Wonderful Reprobates . ECW Press. Kindle Edition.
Films, Documentaries, and TV Shows
- “What Drives Us,” Directed by Dave Grohl, 2021
- "Omnibus" Syd Barrett: Crazy Diamond (TV Episode 2001) - IMDb
- Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon (Short 1973) - IMDb
- Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets: Live at the Roundhouse (2020) - IMDb
Content warning: Here at RNRA, we don’t hide our views. At all. But when it comes to politics, we try not to be in-your-face about it either. Our little slogan is “Just tell the story, and the point will get made.”This time though, we’re a little more overt, we’re letting it rip just a little bit. This particular burr has been under our saddle for a while now.Now: on with the show.
Summer Time is Shorts Time! RNRA Shorts, that is!
So…here’s a thing. Sometimes we visit Right Wing World online, that’s usually how it starts.On these expeditions we’ll sometimes run into some whinging about “Woke Progressives” cancelling right wing culture and entertainment, or just griping in general about perceived left/liberal bias in popular culture.They’re not totally wrong about that. They’re right, just for the wrong reasons, and we’ll explain why.It’s not just complaining they do. We also see a lot of co-opting and outright stealing. And when they take Rock music and culture and dishonestly try to repurpose it, try to make it serve the conservative agenda, well…unintentional hilarity ensues.So we’ll do some roasting, but we’ll also do some thinking out loud, talk a little about the how and why, and even delve into the deeper history of…the Art of the Steal.
Sponsors and Partners
Parliament Funkadelic: “One Nation Under A Groove”
Thomas Dolby: “Pulp Culture”
Ted Nugent: “Stranglehold”
Ted Nugent: “Hey Baby”
They Might Be Giants: “Your Racist Friend”
Neil Young: “Rockin’ in the Free World”
Woody Guthrie: “This Land is Your Land”
Trey Parker and Matt Stone: “America, Fuck Yeah”
Toby Keith: “Courtesy of the Red White and Blue”
Living Colour: “Cult of Personality”
Stevie Wonder: “He’s Misstra Know It All”
Green Day: “American Idiot”
Apocalypse Now: “Mangoes and Tigers” Scene (Retrieved from YouTube)
Roy Edroso Breaks it Down Substack (Paywalled. Roy writes a lot about this issue, and we think he’s really astute–and hilarious.)
The Five Most Repellent Things Ted Nugent Has Ever Done | Rocks Off
Music News: Why can't musicians get politicians to stop playing their songs?
The President’s Shock at the Rows of Empty Seats in Tulsa - The New York Times
American Cringe: Why can’t the contemporary right make art?
Episode 5: The Ballad of Bob and J.R. — Pantheon Podcasts
A Defence of Poetry
Darryl Alber as blogger Cameron Summers
We start with a tragedy, then a cautionary tale of the world not ready for a band. We then find more positive inspiration from an artist who delivers a huge seller. We end with a legend.
Janis Joplin dies just before releasing her magnum opus, “Pearl.” A band called Fanny is ready to rock, but a culture poisoned by the patriarchy isn’t yet ready to accept them. Carole King makes Tapestry, a sincere, modest, and deeply personal album that hits huge and becomes a milestone for women. We complete the story with a profile of one of the giants of 20th Century Music, Joni Mitchell. We discuss her artistic and commercial peak in the early 70s with “Blue,” “For the Roses,” and “Court and Spark.” We admire all of these women for kicking down the door, and we celebrate the progress we’ve made since them, but there is still a long way to go.
Now for some general remarks about the research and writing.
To the best of our ability, we tried to center women in this chapter. We’ll leave it to the listener to decide how we did with that.
There’s a diversity of opinion about this, but we think it’s fair to say the second wave of feminism hits the crest during the period we are covering, and it is not at all a coincidence that women really start to make big and important contributions to Rock Music right around this time too.
Roe vs Wade was decided right around here, about fifty years ago. We are painfully aware of the US Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe, stripping many millions of American women of their fundamental human rights to bodily autonomy and medical privacy.
As we move forward with our chapters, we will document that half century of regressive backlash and how it got us here; it’s part of the story. Like we often say, Rock N Roll reflects back on, interacts with, and affects the larger society. And vice versa. In the late Sixties and early Seventies, it seemed like the progress would be permanent, and that more progress was on the way. Some of us were naive enough to believe that. We would do well now to remember the words of the anti slavery activist Frederick Douglass, way back in 1857:
This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.
- Janis Joplin: “Move Over,” from Pearl, 1971
- Janis Joplin: “Mercedes Benz,” from Pearl, 1971
- Janis Joplin: “A Woman Left Lonely,” from Pearl, 1971
- Janis Joplin: “Buried Alive in the Blues,” from Pearl, 1971
- Janis Joplin: “Pearl,” from Pearl, 1971
- Janis Joplin: “Get it While You Can,” from Pearl, 1971
- Janis Joplin: “Me & Bobby McGee,” from Pearl, 1971
- Fanny: “Blind Alley,” from Fanny Hill, 1972
- Fanny: “Hey Bulldog,” from Fanny Hill, 1972
- Fanny: “Ain’t That Peculiar,” from Fanny Hill, 1972
- Fanny: “Cat Fever,” from Charity Ball, 1971
- Fanny, “Butter Boy,” from Rock and Roll Survivors, 1974
Collage of Carole King Songs:
- One Fine Day - Chiffons
- Will You Love Me Tomorrow - The Shirelles
- The Locomotion - Little Eva
- I’m Into Something Good - Herman’s Hermits
- Pleasant Valley Sunday - The Monkees
- Up on the Roof - Drifters
- Don’t Bring Me Down - The Animals
- Take Care Good Care of My Baby - Bobby Vee
- Chains - Beatles
- Just Once in My Life - Righteous Brothers.
- Go Away Little Girl - Steve Lawrence
- Oh No Not My Baby - Dusty Springfield
- One Fine Day - Carole King
- Carole King: “You’ve Got a Friend,” from Tapestry, 1971
- Carole King: “I Feel the Earth Move, from Tapestry, 1971
- Carole King: “It’s Too Late,” from Tapestry, 1971
- Carole King: “Beautiful,” from Tapestry, 1971
- Carole King: “So Far Away,” from Tapestry, 1971
- Carole King, “Tapestry,” from Tapestry, 1971
- Joni Mitchell, “California,” from Blue, 1971
- Joni Mitchell, “The Circle Game,” from Clouds, 1970
- Joni Mitchell, “All I Want,” from Blue, 1971
- Joni Mitchell, “You Turn Me on I’m a Radio, from For The Roses, 1972
- Joni Mitchell, “Free Man in Paris,” from Court and Spark, 1973
- Joni Mitchell, “Raised on Robbery,” from Miles of Aisles, 1974
- Joni Mitchell (with The Band), “Coyote,” from The Last Waltz, 1978
- Herbie Hancock (with Wayne Shorter, and Corrinne Bailey Rae), “River” from River: The Joni Letters, 2007
- Joni Mitchell: “Help Me,” from Court and Spark, 1973
- Richard Evans as L.A. County Coroner
- Stephanie Pena as Alice Echols
- Stephanie Meyers as the voice of Creem Magazine
- Amanda Morck as Meredith Ochs
- Christy Alexander Hallberg as the voice of the IMA mission statement
- Carole King as Herself
- Erin Alden as Tanya Pearson
- Lynley Ehrlich as Carol Hanisch
- Thessaly Lerner as Judy Kutulas
- Holly Cantos as the voice of the New York Times
Coroner's Report, archived at janisjoplin.net
ABC Nightly News Report, from October 4th, 1970
Deeper Digs in Rock: 'Rock N Roll Woman: The Fifty Fiercest Female Rockers' with Meredith Ochs
The Institute for the Musical Arts
1416 N. La Brea Ave, Hollywood
50 years ago, the Sylmar earthquake shook L.A., and nothing’s been the same since
Women of Rock Oral History Project
"That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be": Baby Boomers, 1970s Singer-Songwriters, and Romantic Relationships
Carol Hanisch The Personal is Political
New York Times “Albums as Mileposts in a Musical Century”
Deeper Digs in Rock: Reckless Daughter - A Portrait of Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell, Woman of Heart and Mind
- Joan Didion, “Slouching Towards Bethlehem”
- Alice Echols: “Scars of Sweet Paradise”
- Carole King: “Natural Woman”
- Meredith Ochs: “Rock And Roll Woman: The Fifty Fiercest Women Rockers”
- Sheila Weller: “Girls Like Us”
- Jerry Wexler: “Rhythm and the Blues”
- David Yaffe: “Reckless Daughter”
Documentaries and Films
Welcome back to RNRA Shorts! This time, it’s Filth Through The Ages, and let’s meet some unlikely Free Speech Warriors. Yes, we said it, and we will die on this hill: The Juggalos Are Alright.
Psst, hey! Got a topic suggestion? Let us know!
Frank Zappa: “Stinkfoot,” from Apostrophe’, 1974
Insane Clown Posse: “My Axe,” from Bizzar, 2000
Insane Clown Posse: “Hokus Pokus,” from The Great Milenko, 1997
Insane Clown Posse: “To Catch A Predator,” from Bang! Pow! Boom! Nuclear, 2010
Insane Clown Posse: “Boogie Woogie Wu,” from The Great Milenko, 1997
Insane Clown Posse: “What Is A Juggalo,” from The Great Milenko, 1997
AC/DC: “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” from Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, 1976
Insane Clown Posse with Perpetual Hype Engine: “Let’s Go All The Way,” from Bizzar, 2000
Nathan Rabin: You Don’t Know Me But You Don’t Like Me, 2013
Documentaries and Videos
American Juggalo (Recommended!)
Trailer for “The United States of Insanity” (Just released on 12/10/2021, also recommended!)
ICP Press Conference Video from 9/16/2017 (Behind Time Magazine’s paywall, but the first three views are free.)
Insane Clown Posse’s Official Website
The First Amendment Right to be a Juggalo
The FBI Memorandum on Juggalos in pdf format (This one is a real piece of work!)
A quick look at an intriguing relationship: Joni Mitchell and Prince.
Enjoy! Oh, hey! Got a topic idea for RNRA Shorts?
Shoot us an email: email@example.com
The fuse was lit in 1966. Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and Keith Moon came together to record a proto-metal classic. After the session an offhand quip from Keith Moon sticks with Jimmy Page.
Then we meet The G; the imposing Peter Grant. Led Zeppelin’s fearsome tough-guy manager was a key reason why Zep dominated the rock landscape in the early 70s.
Well away from Swinging London, in the grimy industrial town of Birmingham, Black Sabbath comes together. We’ll also take a look at one of the greatest Jam Bands ever, Deep Purple.
Then on to probably the single saddest story in all of Rock History, the final days of Jimi Hendrix.
Jimi towers over all of it, the late, lamented godfather of Heavy Rock--Rock that centers around the guitar and celebrates blazing virtuosity on that instrument.
Gone but not forgotten: the Guitarmageddon explosion has reverberated way beyond the Seventies--all the way up to the present day.
Far more than any other movement or genre within Rock music...Metal, Heavy Rock, Jam Rock, pick your label...it’s got legs. It changes and grows, continues to reinvent itself, and it sticks around.
Still with us, still going strong, still powered by fans.
- Jemma Sconce as Sophia DeBoick
- Bryan Reesman as Gauntlet.com
- Tony MIchaelides as Martin Power
- Jerry Danielsen as Oxford Dictionary
- Courtney Anderson as Gregg Tate
- Peter Ferioli as Stephen Hyden
- Mistress Carrie as Consequence of Sound
- Charles Cross as Charles Cross
- Rich Price as David Fricke
- Dave Sloan as Jon Landau
Full show notes at http://pantheonpodcasts.com/rock-n-roll-archaeology
Rock N Roll as the First Draft Of History
We begin in the midwest college town of Kent, Ohio, in the late spring of 1970. We’ll meet three future rockers--students at Kent State University, barely out of their teens--who will be changed forever by what they witness. We’ll check in on Motown, where the fluffy pop “Sound of Young America” is still alive, but there's a big change coming, a movement towards a tougher, more topical sound. We’ll foreshadow that just a little--lots more to come in a later chapter. Rock N Roll is now Rock, and it is mainstreamed now, big and getting bigger. It set out to subvert the dominant paradigm, now it is the dominant paradigm. It can be downright paradoxical at times; defined by its own contradictions. We come back to the campus for the shattering events of May 4th. They inspire a unique musical response, something we really haven’t seen since then.
Written by Richard Evans and Christian Swain
Hosted and Produced by Christian Swain
Sound Design by Jerry Danielsen
- Holly Cantos as the voice of the Kent State Official History
- Dr. Stephen Arnoff as the voice of Prof. Charles Reich
- James O’Laughlin as the voice of Jimmy McDonaugh
- Eric Nash as the voice of Kevin C. Smith
- David Browne as the voice of David Browne
- Randy Newman: “Burn On” from Sail Away, 1972
- James Gang: “Funk 48” from Yer’ Album, 1969
- The Stooges: “1970” from Fun House, 1970
- Rare Earth: “Hey Big Brother” single released in 1970
- Graham Nash: “Chicago” from Songs for Beginners, 1971
- Edwin Starr: “War” from War & Peace, 1970
- Eric Burdon and War: “Spill The Wine” from Eric Burdon Declares War, 1970
- Frank Zappa and The Mothers: “Nanook Rubs It” from Apostrophe, 1974
- John Lennon and the Plastic Ono: “Working Class Hero” from Plastic Ono Band, 1970
- Jackson 5: “I Want You Back” Single released in 1969
- Marvin Gaye: “Inner City Blues” from What’s Goin’ On, 1971
- War: “Slippin’ Into Darkness” from All Day Music, 1971
- CSN&Y: “Carry On” from Deja Vu, 1970
- Neil Young & Crazy Horse: “Come On Baby Let’s Go Downtown” from Tonight’s the Night, 1974
- Neil Young: ”The Needle And The Damage Done” from Harvest, 1972
- Elton John: “Burn Down The Mission” from Tumbleweed Connection, 1970
- Ten Years After: “I’d Love To Change The World” from A Space In Time, 1970
- CSN&Y: “Find The Cost Of Freedom” single released in 1970
- CSN&Y: “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” from Four Way Street, 1971
- CSN&Y: “Ohio” single released in 1970
- Led Zeppelin: “What Is And What Should Never Be” from Led Zeppelin II, 1969
- David Browne: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
- Bob Burroughs: Days of Rage
- Robert Giles: When Truth Mattered
- Todd Gitlin: The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage
- Chrissie Hynde: Reckless: My Life as a Pretender
- Jimmy McDonough: Shakey: Neil Young’s Biography
- Rick Perlstein: Nixonland
- Charles Reich: The Greening of America
- Neil Sheehan: A Bright Shining Lie
- Kevin C. Smith: Recombo DNA
- Hunter S. Thompson: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
- The Cuyahoga River
- James Gang on Tour
- Port Huron Statement
- Jerry Casale at Kent State
- Kent State University Official History
- More Resources on the The Kent State Massacre
- Assassination of Fred Hampton
- Assassination of Fred Hampton--Gov’t Docs
- WTF With Marc Maron: Episode 942, interview with Joe Walsh
- Deeper Digs in Rock With Christian Swain: Interview with David Browne
Films and Documentaries
- The Murder of Fred Hampton, Directed by Howard Alk, 1971
This show is part of Pantheon Podcasts.
Listen in HD only at www.rocknrollarchaeology.com
This episode is dedicated with love to the memory of our dear friend Dennis Gordon. Dennis was the big booming voice on our show “bumpers” that would begin and end each chapter of Rock N Roll Archaeology. Thank you Dennis, we miss you. May the Four Winds blow you safely home.
Welcome back to the second half of our big chapter telling the big story of a big year in Rock. If you haven’t done so already, we highly recommend you listen to Episode 18 before you delve into this one!
We tell the story of 1969 by telling the story of four concerts: The Beatles on the Roof, The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park was the first part. Part Two will take us to the peak, to the apotheosis of Woodstock...and to the abyss at Altamont. And we’ll go to some other places in between too.
1969 is the year Rock N Roll goes global, and we’ll get into that a little, and set up later discussions of great topics like Rock behind the Iron Curtain and the growing influence of Reggae and World Beat.
Then we’ll take you to Woodstock, and call off the roster, with lots of great music and commentary.
The first mythical Rock tour--the Rolling Stones ‘69 tour of America, is up next. That will take us to the final show of the tour, on a dark December night in California, where everything that can go wrong, will go wrong, and the consequences will be tragic.
We close out with some thoughts on the year and on the decade we’ve just completed, and on what comes next.
This show is part of Pantheon Podcasts.
Listen in HD only at www.rocknrollarchaeology.com
We’re putting down a marker with this episode, and the follow-up: the highest highs and the lowest lows of the entire Rock Era occurred in 1969. It’s a year so big, we had to cut it in two, in order to serve it up properly.
We start in January, with The Beatles on The Roof, a 42-minute outdoor concert that definitely warmed up the neighborhood of Mayfair, London, England. Then we catch up with their friends and rivals, The Rolling Stones.
The Stones broke out HUGE in 68 and 69, the beginning of an incredible five-year run: from Beggars Banquet on through to Exile On Main Street. Peak Stones, the sweet spot for the World’s Greatest Rock N Roll Band.
Brian Jones is out, Mick Taylor is in. We talk about how that happened, and how it impacted the Stones’ sound and attitude. Another influence starts seeping in: American Country Music, thanks to Keith’s new best buddy, Gram Parsons.
Brian’s tragic--and still unexplained--demise changes the Hyde Park Concert from a coming-out party into a memorial service. Emotion and conviction carry the day, and Hyde Park sets a very high and hopeful bar; it’s an early example of How To Successfully Pull Off A Really Big Concert.
During that “Moon-Crazy Summer” of 1969, NASA pulls off something really big. It’s the single greatest feat--so far--of human exploration: The Apollo 11 mission to the moon and back. We look at the moon landing through the Rock N Roll lens; we’ll talk about space travel, science fiction, and fantasy...in books, film, television, and most of all, in Rock Music.
Then David Bowie, with his lifelong knack for being ahead of his time, said take your protein pills and put your helmet on.
And we did.
And in just a short time we got used to it, became a little jaded about it.
That comes later. Here and now in the summer of 1969; stardust, golden, billion year old carbon...got to get ourselves back to the garden.
We’ll open Part Two at Yasgur’s Farm in upstate New York, and we’ll light a candle in the rain.
Head over to Pantheon Podcasts for full show notes.
Chapter 17 of Rock N Roll Archaeology is bookended by a couple of Simon & Garfunkel albums: “Bookends” from the spring of 1968; and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” from January of 1970.
Our story takes place mostly in New York City: a city big enough to spawn two very different, very talented--and very influential--artists: Paul Simon and Lou Reed.
We skip work on a cold January afternoon to catch a movie: Mike Nichols’ “The Graduate.” It’s a generation milestone of a film, and Simon & Garfunkel’s music is a big part of that; what’s more, we argue, it’s a different kind of soundtrack, something new in film and popular culture.
We meet Tom Wilson, the first African-American staff producer at Columbia Records. Tom oversaw the first two Simon & Garfunkel albums. We follow him for a little while and he leads us to...Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground.
We get to know Lou and the Velvets, and the scene from which they sprang: Andy Warhol’s Factory. We meet a Factory hang-around, an angry young woman with good reasons to be angry, but she takes it way too far, with tragic consequences.
And we’ll meet the first Punk Rock band: The MC5, and the revolutionary political milieu they occupied. Wayne Kramer of the MC5 has some things to say about that, and about a fateful MC5 gig at the Fillmore East.
Finally, we’ll meet one of our favorite artists ever, who came from the same scene as the MC5: Iggy Pop. We say “Amen” to Iggy Pop.
We wrap it back around to Simon & Garfunkel, and their take on the anger and disappointment, on the turmoil of the late 1960s. An offer of comfort and healing is the first big Pop hit of the 1970s.
Listen to episodes 1-16 of Rock N Roll Archaeology and all our other podcasts at www.pantheonpodcasts.com