The Grass Roots Quotes
In 1959, I released a single on the Aladdin label. One day I went to a music store in L.A. to buy a guitar, and Elvis Presley was also visiting the store at the same time, and he taught me a few chords! Then, when I was 16, I was in charge of A & R at an L. A. label! One of my most vivid memories from those days was in 1963, when a box of singles arrived from the U.K.. There was a very strong discrimination against British music at that time, and anything which came from there usually went straight into the bin! This particular box contained 4 demos by The Beatles, I think the singles were 'Love Me Do', 'Please Please Me', 'From Me To You', and 'Thank You Girl'. I realised their potential, and got them their first U.S. deal with the Vee-Jay label. Unfortunately none of these early records became hits! I later met them when they came to L.A., and saw their 1965 show at the Hollywood Bowl. But none of them were really interested in surf music! The Rolling Stones' manager, Andrew Loog Oldham, was totally into The Beach Boys and other surf groups. When he and Mick Jagger were in L.A., they heard some Baggys demos, and Mick loved them, saying they were "Fantastic!". And, unlikely as it sounds, that's how the Baggys really got their name!
Every group that started in Los Angeles, The Doors, The Byrds, The Turtles, and so on, were ridiculed beyond belief by a group of folk purists in L.A. itself, who literally condemned every new thing that happened. They allowed Dylan to escape, but they had no appreciation at all for everything that Dylan spawned. For example, the Walker Brothers were playing around town, along Sunset. The underground, that I was part of, felt that they were very talented, but they were being ridiculed, forced to suicide by both this negative intelligent force, and the record companies there, so they decided to split, and were next heard of being megastars in Great Britain. It worked out well for them, but it destroyed me. Actually I wasn't obliterated by the "singout" purists, but by the very groups that were being obliterated!! The Byrds, The Doors, they were just trying to protect themselves. It was the pot calling the kettle black.
Category: Music Quotes