Monday, June 29, 2015


Identifying this song has been an irritation in the back of my mind for a decade or more. I knew that I could do the labor-intensive work of finding a website that listed week-by-week Top Forty in the late 60's and just work my way through a month or so at a time, but I also knew that I might need Top 100 lists, as the song never got very big.  I also knew I could just call Mike King or Bill Whitman and see if they could pull it out of 1966-69 memory.

But I wanted to see if I could pull that sucker out of the rubbish myself.  Trivia mavens will understand.  The first problem is that the title is "Live," pronounced with a short "i," so you can't google that. I recalled it was a two-hit band, both minor, but couldn't remember the other hit. (It was "You're A Very Lovely Woman" for those of you scrambling for a hint to guess this before the reveal.) You know the type of memory-jogging one tries...

The band was two words, maybe three

There were "m's" in it.  Mojo Men...Pictures of Matchstick Men...Manfred Mann...Muh, mah, mighty, magic...dammit.

Every Mother's Son...The Music Explosion (these turned out to be the exact time frame)

Why do I keep thinking about "Sunshine Girl" by The Parade?

Live... was there more to it?  Live For Today? (The Grassroots actually turned out to have a connection.) Live is, live like...

Hyphens...I'm thinking at work...mick, mack, mortimer, mostly...

I remember talking about it with Doug Manter, so it must be late '66 at the earliest, early '69 at the latest, I'm thinking more likely '67 than '68, I only liked it because of one guitar riff that had a country flavor for one measure and I remembered that when Nashville Cats and Creedence Clearwater came in and everyone said they were the first, but I remembered that riff but no one cared about that (I always deeply remember being right and not having it be noticed) and I don't remember the B-side which is strange because I always remember the B-side..

Yes, those of you that search your memories know this drill.

So I broke down and looked for Top 40 lists from the 1960's and scoured the back ends of them. May 1967, there it was at #95.

Gee, I'd forgotten about the Easybeats...and Jon & Robin...The Electric Prunes...and there they are, The Parade, which is sorta like Merry-Go-Round, and in the same month.

Anyway, the song isn't that great, but the Bangles did it later, and Fairport Convention did the B-side for years, and finally, finally, I have this song identified.


Sam L. said...

I remember the name, Electric Prunes, and I think I remember the Easybeats, but not these guys. Fairport Convention only because somebody named them and I found them on You Tube. '67 was kinda busy for me.

Unknown said...

Nice to know I am not alone. I was trying to remember Rock Hudson's name not too long. I could picture him but no name would emerge. I had to work my way through "Pillow Talk" and Doris day, and then the name popped through. Is there a name for this phenomenon, or one that explains why when I give up on a crossword, the next time I pick it up, the answer is just there.

Texan99 said...

Edith, that's how I work crosswords, too--I have to disengage my mental clutch, and the word pops up. My husband and I figure out names of movies and stars by a conversation that usually sounds like "You know that movie . . . with that guy," and it's frightening how often each of us knows what the other means.

I love me some Bangles and Fairport Convention, or Richard Thompson in any form. His "1,000 Years of Popular Music" is not to be missed.

There's an app that recognizes songs on the air, and even one that (sort of) recognizes songs you hum, but so far nothing to use on the earworm tune you can't get out of your head, sensed via skull electrodes.

RichardJohnson said...

I don't remember them. Electric Prunes, yes. Electric Prunes on YouTube yielded 13th Floor Elevators, which made me recall a radio interview some 3 decades later w Roky Erickson, where it was painful to listen to him, so far had his mind gone off the deep end[sometimes cliches are worth it]. Or at least he was too incoherent for a successful radio interview. Some years later, Roky Erickson appears to have made a a recovery.

Michael said...

Sorry, AVI, I would have been of no help here. Even hearing the song didn't jog anything, but appreciate being mentioned as a possible source. Eighth grade was a strange time!

Michael said...

Sorry, AVI, I would have been of no help here. Even hearing the song didn't jog anything, but appreciate being mentioned as a possible source. Eighth grade was a strange time!

Sam L. said...

I went to YouTube, and "I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night" was first up--that one I remember. No mental connection to the Prunes, though.

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