by Robert Wilkinson
Today is the birthday of 4 extraordinary musicians! A big Happy goes out to Colin Blunstone of the Zombies, guitar master Jeff Beck, Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac, and an old friend of mine, the remarkable Arthur Brown.
Given the prodigious output of these 4, it would be impossible for me to give you any true sense of how important each of these have been to rock music over the past 50 years. That said, I've found a few videos of each that will give you a sense of how great each of these remarkable talents have been.
We'll begin with Colin Blunstone (24 June 1945). Lead singer for the Zombies, his voice graced all the major hits, and just kept going through a long and distinguished solo career. He and Rod are still going strong, giving us new interpretations of some of the true musical classics of the 20th century!
From a bygone era, but played almost every day somewhere on earth, Colin on lead vocals with the great Rod Argent on organ, and the rest of the Zombies live on television a long time ago performing their #2 hit from 1964, “She’s Not There” (complete with some very real screams! Yes, they had that effect when they played!)
Live on Hullabaloo in the same era, their second hit (also written by Rod) to reach the top 10, “Tell Her No”
From 2005, Colin and Rod Argent doing "Time of the Season"
A great live performance on tv featuring a frantic Rod Argent organ solo! For your enjoyment, from the mid-60s, the Zombies performing bassist Chris White’s rave up, “What More Can I Do”
Here’s the studio version of bassist Chris White’s song set to a clip from a Peter Sellers’ movie, “I Love You”
Here’s one of the greatest albums ever recorded! From 1967, it’s a classic of psychedelia and the atmosphere of the Summer of Love. From beautiful ballads through some very trippy stuff into some rockers and timeless classics, all written by Rod Argent or Chris White, here’s the entire 44 minutes of the legendary Zombies album, “Odessey and Oracle”
From here we move into Jeff Beck (24 June 1944)) and his remarkable guitar work with these great pieces:
From January 1966 on Shivaree, the Yardbirds live doing a rave up of “I’m A Man”
Here's a b/w tv performance of "Heart Full of Soul"
On French TV, an interesting “live” lip synched “Shapes of Things To Come”
A great 1966 performance of "The Train Kept A Rollin'"
From the movie “Blow Up,” the Yardbirds featuring both Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page in a classic performance where Jeff is featured smashing his guitar in a (staged) random fit of destruction! “The Train Kept A Rollin’”
Very live (with a backing track) and very rocking, “Over Under Sideways Down”
Here’s a fantastic live performance clip from 1967 featuring Jeff Beck on lead and Jimmy Page on bass cranking out one of the most psychedelic raveup tunes of 1967, “Happenings Ten Years’ Time Ago”
In this clip, the Yardbirds with Jeff and Jimmy Page on twin lead guitars lip-synch to the original studio version of “Happenings Ten Years’ Time Ago”
From later in his career, Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart reunited in LA to do one of Jeff's biggest hits, "I Ain't Superstitious"
From the same show, Rod and Jeff doing the great Curtis Mayfield ode to Spirit, "People Get Ready"
From 2009 in Madison Square Gardens, here's Jeff and Sting doing "People Get Ready"
Here's Jeff and the Reverend Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top doing a tribute to the greatest, "Foxy Lady" at the 25th anniversary of the Rock and Roll hall of fame concert.
From the same 25th anniversary concert, here's Jeff Beck and Stevie Wonder doing Stevie's mega-hit, "Superstitious"
And yet another from this 2009 25th anniversary, Jeff and his old bandmate from the Yardbirds, Jimmy Page, doing one of Jeff's signature tunes and a couple of other major pieces, "Beck's Bolero," "Immigrant Song," and "Peter Gunn Theme"
We’ll close this brief tribute with a remarkable clip! Jeff Beck and Stevie Ray Vaughan in Honolulu performing another of Jeff's most famous compositions "Jeff's Boogie"
From here we move to Mick Fleetwood (24 June 1947). If you want to hear some amazing early Fleetwood Mac performances, please check out the 2013 Video Birthday Tribute to Blues Master Peter Green.
From Santa Barbara in 1976, Lindsey and Mick cranking it out on "I'm So Afraid" (This is around the time I saw them in Austin - magnificent, even if the band was fracturing internally.)
From 1976, live on “The Midnight Special,” a great performance of "Rhiannon"
From a 1977 concert, Mick setting the pace for a major performance of "Go Your Own Way"
Here are the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band with Rick Vito doing some early Fleetwood Mac greats! First, "Oh Well"
For more great Fleetwood Mac performances from the 70s, please check out the 2013 Lindsey Buckingham birthday tribute. Lots of great performance clips!!
From here I'll wish my old friend Arthur Brown (24 June 1942) the best of birthday greetings! Though most remember him for having a flaming wig on fire as he took the stage, he's actually a very gentle, wise, thoughtful spiritual man, and creative in more ways than most would suspect. For your enjoyment, we begin with a 1968 Top of the Pops version of "The Crazy World of Arthur Brown" and his biggest hit, the incredible "Fire"
From 1968 at the Beat Club, a masked Arthur very live doing “Fire”
Courtesy of Peter Sykes' 1968 head-trip film "The Committee," we get Arthur and organist Vincent Crane in a very surrealistic performance of "Nightmare"
Here's a rare treasure from 1968, a performance (in color, no less) by Arthur of "I put a Spell on You" and "Nightmare" from a 1968 TV Programme about Gerald Scarfe the artist.
Here’s the entire studio album from 1968! “The Crazy World of Arthur Brown”
The studio version of "Rest Cure" (B-side to "Fire")
From Glastonbury, 1971, Arthur doing a live performance of "Kingdom Come"
From 1975, Arthur doing the great Animals' hit, "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place"
From 1999, Arthur doing a great acoustic performance of "I Put A Spell On You"
From late 2009, Arthur in a jazzy electric performance of "I Put A Spell On You"
From 2010, a great video of "Kites"
Also from 2011 with the Hamburg Blues Band in Nuremburg, Arthur giving us his version of the hypnotically harrowing tune written by the legendary Peter Green as he was sinking into chaos, “The Green Manalishi” (Please go to the link at Mick Fleetwood’s tribute to hear the original in its haunting, pounding, menacing glory!)
Carl Palmer and Arthur Brown talk about the 60s (Carl was Arthur's original drummer before ELP)
An on this note, we finish a truly great musical birthday marathon and celebration of 4 remarkable musicians all born on June 24! Happy listening, and a very Happy and Merry Birthday to all. May you all live to play on and on and on and.....
Copyright © 2014 Robert Wilkinson