Several years ago, my friend George Taylor Morris and I were talking about favorite old segues from back in the day when we worked with vinyl. I told George about one that a guy named Bruce Owen used to do on WJDX-FM going from Johnny Rivers into the Beatles. In his song “Summer Rain,” Rivers sings the line about how all summer long they were dancing in the sand and everybody just kept on playing “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” That lyric is followed by the same drum lick Ringo uses for the reprise to “Sergeant Pepper,” and that lets you to go seamlessly into the Beatles, if you do it right. Well, it turned out George had a segue just like that, involving a different song by the Beatles. So I took George’s idea as the basis for this week’s batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl.
It all starts with a song from Chicago Transit Authority. It was written by Robert Lamm, apparently after he’d spent some time here in Los Angeles. Based on the lyrics, it sounds like he might have been here during the June Gloom and he couldn’t handle all the grey skies. In fact it was so depressing that writing a mere blues was inadequate, so he wrote the “South California Purples.” Now, about five minutes into the song, for reasons we may never know, the band lapses into a couple of bars from “I Am The Walrus.” And that’s when we segue over to The Beatles. From there we go to the Spooky Tooth version of that track before returning to the second part of the Chicago right where we left off with the I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together. After that, it’s a Beatles mash-up of “Strawberry Fields” by Todd Rundgren, broken into three parts and mixed with a one minute excerpt of Peter Gabriel’s version of “Strawberry Fields,” along with a twenty-three second sample from “Magical Mystery Tour,” and the Beatles instrumental, “Flying.” So, from the Way Back Studios, here’s the southern California purple walrus flying over the strawberry fields for about twenty-three minutes. It’s a regular magical mystery set.
|Chicago Transit Authority||South California Purples (part 1)|
|Beatles||I am the Walrus|
|Spooky Tooth||I am the Walrus|
|Chicago Transit Authority||South California Purples (part 2)|
|Todd Rundgren||Strawberry Fields Forever (part 1)|
|Peter Gabriel||Strawberry Fields Forever (excerpt)|
|Todd Rundgren||Strawberry Fields Forever (part 2)|
|Beatles||Magical Mystery Tour (excerpt)|
|Todd Rundgren||Strawberry Fields Forever (part 3)|
It’s getting hard to be someone but it all works out. We ended that Beatle-centric set with one of the few songs credited to all four of the moptops, from Magical Mystery Tour, that’s called “Flying.” Before that, we took Todd Rundgren’s version of “Strawberry Fields” from his album Faithful and we chopped it into three parts. In between the second two parts we inserted the last twenty-three seconds of “Magical Mystery Tour.” In between the first two parts, we segued over to a minute of Peter Gabriel’s version of “Strawberry Fields” that you’ll find on the soundtrack to the film All This And World War II. A film that was described by at least one reviewer as a triumph of audacity and bad taste where they match actual film clips from World War Two to cover versions of Beatles songs, like, for example, the German army retreating to Rod Stewart’s version of “Get Back.” O-kay.
At the top, “I Am The Walrus” and “South California Purples” – two songs complaining about the weather: The Beatles sitting in an English garden waiting for the sun which doesn’t come so they end up with a tan from standing in the English rain. And Chicago grumbling about how it’s cloudy every morning, sun don’t ever shine. But the weather reference is just a coincidence. The real reason we put those two songs together is the segue where Chicago does a couple of bars of “I Am The Walrus” and we slip over to the original version. That’s a mix created by our friend George Taylor Morris some years ago and used here with permission. And as long as we were singing about that massive sea mammal, we decided to let Spooky Tooth chew on their version of the song before we got back to the Chicago track, right where we left off with I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all in the Way Back Studios. I’m Bill Fitzhugh. Thanks for listening. I’ll be back sooner or later with another batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl. Right here, in the Deep Tracks.