A Bit Like You And Me Radio

March 06, 2018

Humpy Bong - Don't You Be Too Long (1970)

Colin Petersen was born March 24, 1946 in Queensland, Australia. He attended Humpybong State School with the three future members of the Bee Gees, Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb. After a successful stint as a child actor, it was his friendship with Maurice Gibb that allowed him to showcase his musical talents by becoming the Bee Gee’s first drummer. In 1969, after having appeared on multiple tracks, Petersen was fired from the group for raising “conflict of interest” questions in regard to the Bee Gee’s manager, Robert Stigwood, who also happened to own the group’s recordings and publishing, making him in effect their employer.

After his release from the band, still 1969, Petersen walked into a London restaurant and witnessed a performance being done by Jonathan Kelly, born July 8, 1947 in Drogheda, Ireland. Immediately recognizing Kelly’s talent, Petersen offered to become his record producer, while Petersen’s wife, Joanne Petersen, later became Kelly’s personal manager. Under Petersen’s producing, Kelly released three singles in the coming months, the last of which (“Don’t You Believe It”) featured Eric Clapton on slide guitar.

Then, in the summer of 1970, Petersen and Kelly decided to form a band, which is the one featured here today. Needing a vocalist, the duo enlisted the talents of Tim Staffell (born February 24, 1948 in London, England) who had previously been the bassist and frontman for a band named Smile (that would eventually evolve into Freddie Mercury’s Queen). But, unfortunately, the trio had problems while looking for another guitarist and pianist. According to an interview with Petersen from the time, “People are assuming the new group will be a carbon copy of the Bee Gees.” “We can record with the three of us by double-tracking, but we can't appear on stage.”

Although they were able to record a couple songs, including the one heard below (written by Jonathan Kelly), the band ran into problems when they went to perform on Top of the Pops. Not having enough songs, the band decided to try and perform “Don’t You Believe It” from Kelly’s solo catalog. Unfortunately, Eric Clapton wasn’t able to make the pre-recording session and so Staffell had to try and fill his shoes. It didn’t go well. Ultimately, the band could never really solidify a solid lineup of members nor a signature sound. After only a few months together, and after only recording two songs in the studio, the band split up.

Colin and Joanne Petersen resumed their managerial roles in Kelly’s solo career until Kelly retired from the music industry in 1974. Shortly after, the Petersens moved back to Australia and Colin became a painter. Staffell was in and out of various bands until 1973, eventually becoming an animator and model builder.

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Humpy Bong - Don't You Be Too Long (1970)

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Lyrics:

Like the man who rode his camel down to Aqaba from Tobruk
My heart is a weary traveler and it’s looking for a friend
My thirsty eyes are aching just to find a pretty face to look upon
So come out all you ladies, who you hiding from?

But oh oh
Now don’t you be too long
Whoa, ho, ho
Woman, listen to my song
Oh
One day you’re gonna come along
But oh ho
Now don’t you be too long

Now here I sit in this old room, four walls that close me in
The bread man, he don’t call no more, and no one clears my bin
Oh, I need a soul to comfort me, somebody just for talking to
To help me pay my rent, you see, I’m four weeks overdue

But oh, oh
Now don’t you be too long
Whoa, ho, ho
Woman, listen to my song
Oh
One day you’re gonna come along
But oh ho
Now don’t you be too long

Don’t you be too long

But oh ho
Now don’t you be too long
Oh ho ho
Woman, listen to my song
Oh
One day you’re gonna come along
But oh ho
Now don’t you be too long

Don’t you be too long
Don’t you be too long
(Don’t, don’t)
Don’t you be too long
(Don’t, don’t)
Don’t you be too long
(Don’t, don’t)
Don’t you be too long
(Don’t, don’t)
Don’t you be too long
(Don’t, don’t)
Don’t you be too long
(Don’t, don’t)
Don’t you be too long
(Don’t, don’t)
Don’t you be too long
(Don’t, don’t)

May 26, 2017

Paul Mauriat - Love Is Blue (1967)

Paul Mauriat (1925-2006) was born in Marseille, France. He began playing music at the age of four and, by his twenties, began a dance band that toured throughout Europe during World War II. In the 1950s, Mauriat was the musical director for Charles Aznavour and Maruice Chevalier, whom he toured with, separately. He released his first album in 1957 and would release well over one hundred more in his lifetime. Interestingly, depending on the motif of his most-current album, he would choose a pseudonym to release the album under which he felt most matched the music. Examples of pseudonyms he used include Richard Audrey, Nico Papadopoulos, Eduardo Ruo, and Willy Twist. Using the pseudonym “Del Roma,” Mauriat co-composed the song “Chariot” which would later be adapted to English and taken to number one spot on the charts in 1963 as “I Will Follow Him” by Little Peggy March.

Seeing another artist take one of his songs to the top of the charts wasn’t the only time Mauriat would find himself in the number one spot. In 1967, Mauriat recorded and released a cover of André Popp’s “L'amour est bleu,” heard below. The song spent five weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968, the first instrumental to achieve the number one spot since The Tornados' “Telstar” in 1962. The only instrumental to hold the top spot of the Hot 100 longer was Percy Faith’s “Theme from a Summer Place.”

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Paul Mauriat - Love Is Blue (1967)

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Lyrics:

(instrumental)

May 22, 2017

The Beatles - Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) (1965)

In George Harrison’s autobiography, I Me Mine, Harrison mentions that although he played the sitar on “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown),” adding the sitar to the song was more of an after-thought and the song hadn’t really been written with the sitar in mind. Regardless, the inclusion of the sitar (and The Beatles’ immense, global popularity at the time) resulted in widely introducing Indian instruments to all of Western society. After “Norwegian Wood” had been released on The Beatles’ Rubber Soul in 1965, Indian and other Eastern instruments soon started appearing in music by other mainstream acts such as The Byrds, The Rolling Stones, and Donovan. By the following year, “raga rock” was common and the inclusion of Eastern instruments remained popular until it eventually faded out of popularity in the very late 1960s.

The song below was credited to Lennon-McCartney, but the majority of the song is believed to have been written by John Lennon. The lyrics tell an autobiographical story of Lennon having an extra-marital affair behind the back of his then-wife Cynthia Lennon née Powell. When Paul McCartney was asked for his interpretation of the lyrics, he said that the Norwegian wood mentioned in the song was the wood paneling found on the walls of homes, which was popular at the time, and that the last line, “So, I lit a fire // Isn’t it good Norwegian wood?” indicated that the singer set the house on fire as an act of revenge.

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The Beatles - Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) (1965)

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Lyrics:

I once had a girl
Or should I say she once had me?
She showed me her room
Isn't it good Norwegian wood?

She asked me to stay
And she told me to sit anywhere
So I looked around
And I noticed there wasn't a chair

I sat on a rug, biding my time
Drinking her wine
We talked until two and then she said
“It’s time for bed”

She told me she worked in the morning
And started to laugh
I told her I didn't
And crawled off to sleep in the bath

And when I awoke I was alone
This bird had flown
So I lit a fire
Isn't it good Norwegian wood?