Soup Dragons - glimpse of New-Psych to come.

Soup Dragons – glimpses of New-Psych to come.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – Soup Dragons – In session for John Peel – Dec. 7, 1986 – BBC Radio 1

Early Soup Dragons tonight. From a session recorded on December 7, 1986. Started in 1985, they were a Scottish Alternative band with leanings towards the burgeoning Psych revival, they adopted the Baggy sound later on, and their popularity skyrocketed in the late 80s.

Tonight it’s one of their first sessions – and it’s all covers. They open with Our Lips Are Sealed, made a hit by The Go-Go’s. And then do a cover of The Kid’s Are Alright (The Who) and end with Purple Haze.

A band in their formative stages, with two singles to their credit; the second being their breakout Whole Wide World. They were on the rise, but hadn’t hit the top just yet.

Together for 10 years before calling it a day and going off to other bands, Soup Dragons did leave their mark on the Alternative scene with four albums and a slew of singles.

And to refresh your memory, hit play and crank it up.

And while you’re doing that, we’re into our last 5 days of The Past Daily Emergency Fundraiser. We’re just under 60% of our goal and we can make it, but only if you chip in now and give what you can. It’s Tax-Deductible and it will help keep Past Daily up and the Archive all these rare recordings come from safe from seizure and loss. But you’ve got to do it today before it’s too late. Click on the link below and make your pledge, in whatever amount you’re comfortable with – and if you can’t, but still want to help – tell your friends. We need all of you.

Enough to give you heartburn.

Enough to give you heartburn.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – CBS World News Roundup + Newsbreak + Hourly News – Feb. 27, 1981 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.

News for this February 27th in 1981 had much to do with the visit of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to Washington and the veritable love-fest that blossomed between The White House and Number 10 Downing Street.

Thatcher arrived in Washington for talks. And by the end of the first day it was apparent that both Prime Minister Thatcher and President Reagan greatly admired each other. Though the subject of both country’s economic woes didn’t come up, they spoke at length about their shared ideologies.

But while that was going on, the situation in El Salvador was becoming the focus of a Joint Chiefs Of Staff meeting, scheduled to take place on this day to discuss a list of options for increased military aid to that country. The options presented were small teams of Military Advisers to teach weapons maintenance and basic Infantry techniques. In addition, the Pentagon was expressing growing concern over American pilots flying helicopter patrols along El Salvador’s mountainous northern border, and apparently rebels had been firing on those helicopters.

Secretary of State Alexander Haig told reports at the previous nights’ gala White House dinner that El Salvador was not going to become another Vietnam, as many people had feared.

Elsewhere in the world, arrests and a widening of purges in Spain’s military followed an aborted coup d’Etat, with 4 generals reportedly held. All told, some 30 officers were in custody as well as some 240 civil guardsmen who held control of the Lower house of Parliament for 18 hours. The Defense Ministry added that other branches of the military were also under investigation. The attempted coup sent thousands of Spaniards to the streets to rally in support of Democracy and to condemn the abortive coup. The marches, with an expected estimate upwards of a million people were expected to be held all over Spain was actively supported by all of Spain’s political parties and the major trade unions. The government, in the meantime, launched an official inquiry over the aborted Military Coup. The King, vowing to uphold democracy in Spain, had condemned the plot, but warned the public to be calm and exercise restraint, fearing too much criticism of Spain’s armed forces could prove counter-productive.

And that’s a small slice of what went on in the world, this February 27, 1981 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.

And while you’re listening, we’re 6 days away from ending our Emergency Fundraiser, and if we haven’t heard from you yet, now’s the time to chip in what you can and help us get over this financial crisis. We’ve been getting a lot of support the past few days and we need to keep it up if we’re going to get over this major hump.
Chip in what you can -it’s Tax Deductible and every penny is going to making sure we don’t get evicted. Give what you can, and if you can’t, please tell your friends. We need all of you and we are beyond grateful to all of you who have contributed so far.

Please click on the link below and chip in what you can, before it’s too late. We need you and there’s not much time left.

Reality checks, like lightning bolts, every few minutes.

Reality checks, like lightning bolts, every few minutes.

6 days left. Six days and the tension is ratcheting up a few more notches. We’re now about $1500 away from our goal. In the last two days there’s been an outpouring of pledges, support and word-of-mouth – it’s been amazing and nerve-wracking all at the same time. Like everything in life, you have no idea how it’s going to end up. But I am starting to realize a lot of you like what Past Daily’s all about.

I’ve noticed a lot of you come for the Music and a lot come for the rare interviews. It’s evenly divided – and that’s wonderful.

I have always envisioned Past Daily as an eclectic gathering of thoughts, ideas and points of view; along with events and upheavals that have taken place in our lifetimes and before.

And like all eclectic gatherings, not everyone likes all the same things. There have been times (a lot more, the past few years) where hearing the news is a relentless barrage of heinous acts, illogical thoughts and outrageous claims. And sometimes I just want to turn it off and shut it out; go somewhere and hide.

For me, Music has always been the glue that has held my life together. Where all else fails, the notes will come to the rescue. And it’s not just one set of notes, but a huge variety of notes. One of the things I have always valued in my life is my curiosity over different kinds of Music. I don’t know where it comes from, but I suspect it may have had something to do with hanging around record stores as a kid and listening to what the sales people were listening to. When I did scrape up enough money to buy something, I would always get the person behind the counter who would ask – “if you like that, have you heard this?” – I’m sure in there was a hustle to buy more, but it was an introduction to an education and an invitation to be curious as to what else was out there. Invariably, my forays into Rock n’ Roll were supplemented by forays into Thelonious Monk and Gustav Mahler – and sometimes my listening sessions at home would have an aura of Schizophrenia about them – Jimmy Reed followed by Gil Evans followed by Schnabel playing Beethoven. I’ll admit, it made for some jarring listening – but they all had one thing in common; they were good. And they were inspired and they were inspiring – and it’s been that way for me ever since.

And so when time came to put Past Daily together, I gave the Music portion of the site a lot of thought. I wondered if you would respond favorably to the eclectic nature of what I was running; during most nights it’s a collection of music that goes from Buddy Holly demo tapes to Swedish radio sessions featuring upcoming bands. In the middle of the week it’s a Classical Music concert, featuring concerts from all over the world from as recent as two days ago to concerts from the 1950s. On the weekends it’s Jazz and rare Classical and a veritable stew of other things.

Everybody has their favorites, and the nice thing about the Internet is that option to listen to what you want and leave the rest – it’s not mandatory to have extreme tastes. My only criteria for offering any of this to you is that it’s good or it has historic value.

I guess that’s by way of letting you know I don’t toss things out on a whim. I like what I do, I want to share what I have and I have a lot of respect for my audience. You take the time to come here, I want to make it worth the trip.

It’s all a labor of love and, at the risk of hammering on a point, why I do what I do here. It’s my way of giving back the time and energy that was given to me when I was getting interested in all the music and information and history out there and needed some direction.

And I want to keep doing that – there’s a lot of ground to cover here and I have barely scratched the surface. To stop now would be a terrible thing; not just for me but for all of you. There are a lot of discoveries left to be made and we’ve just gotten started. And that’s why I need the Archive, the mass collection of all this eclectic material, to be safe from seizure and destruction.

I spoke with the landlords yesterday and they were adamant about the deadline and not willing to budge an inch on working out a payment plan – it was all the money owed at once or nothing.

Pretty callous disregard – but as I said in a previous post “It’s business – not personal”. Sadly, much of what is currently happening with our society is “business – not personal”. It creates an air of needless hostility and a reluctance to be loyal. But we’ve had that, I’m sure, with our cable companies and utilities, not to mention Car Insurance. The vicious circle appears endless.

So we live in strange times – “interesting times” to paraphrase the Chinese curse, and there are 6 days left before we know for sure how this thing is going to turn out.

And that’s why I am appealing to you – updating you every day and asking for your help. I’m not asking for a handout, I am asking for a tax-deductible contribution to keeping this site and the Archive going. What you give to help keep Past Daily alive is a write-off on your taxes, and the knowledge of knowing I’m going to continue giving my all and giving you the best.

And at the risk of sounding like one of those late-night ads “if you bought these historic pieces individually, they would cost you millions – but you get them here for free!” – I am offering pretty rare stuff for free, because I think you knowing about history and events and music and culture is more important than me sitting on this stuff and being smug about the rarities.

So the appeal continues, the crisis continues and the nervous anticipation of the outcome continues.

If you’ve been on the fence about contributing to our Emergency Fundraiser, please consider pledging today. Contribute what you can, what you’re willing to give. If you can’t and you still want to help, please tell your friends. I need all of you; not just for the Fundraiser but for as long as you’re interested in what I’m trying to do – If you like Past Daily and what it’s all about, tell people. Have them come by and hang out, scroll through some of the 3500 posts I’ve put up so far and give them a listen. I’ll be here as long as there is interest.

Please click on the link below and make your pledge today – we’re in the home stretch now and we need you more than ever. I can’t thank those of you who contributed so far, and for the last two days, nearly enough. You give me hope and restore my faith in people. We ain’t a bad bunch, and I try to be as good as possible. You’ve let me know that.

Until next time . . .

Gordon

Free - A lot more in them than one 60s anthem.

Free – A lot more in them than a Hard Rock anthem.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – Free – In session for Top Gear – March 17, 1969 – BBC Radio 1

Most people think of the band Free and immediately recall their early 70s anthem All Right Now. It has cast an indelible shade on the music which defined the close of the 60s and the dawn of Hard Rock for a lot of oldies radio stations.

Unfortunately, it has also put them in the regrettable position of that one song being their recorded legacy.

Nothing could be further from the truth and Free were an excellent, if not slightly underrated band from their inception in 1968 to their eventual demise in 1973. Despite the fact that Rolling Stone has proclaimed them one of the pioneers of the Hard Rock genre, much of their contribution and the excellent albums they produced have gone overlooked with time.

Free sported the inimitable voice of Paul Rodgers. A name which fans of Bad Company, The Firm and The Law will instantly recognize. Rodgers has also been recruited by Queen in recent years. As a solo artist, Rodgers has been (rightly) ranked as one of the greatest 100 voices in Rock of all time and continues to be a potent force in Rock, with no signs of slowing down.

But tonight it’s a look at Free during their formative period, and a glimpse of how good they were in a live context. Recorded in session for the Top Gear radio program at The BBC on March 17, 1969, this session features Free around the time of the release of their debut album Tons Of Sobs. A year before their breakthrough hit.

If you’re not familiar with the music of Free and the early work of Paul Rodgers, this is a must-listen-to. If you know Free, this one is like sitting down with an old friend you haven’t seen in a while.

Crank it up, either way.

And while you’re doing that, please consider your tax-deductible pledge to help keep Past Daily up and running and the Archive all these recordings are housed in, safe from eviction. We’ve run into a financial crisis over a raise in rent and we need to pull together $4,000 by the end of the month. We’ve gotten a lot of last minute pledges the past two days and are almost 60% of our goal. We have 6 days left of this Fundraiser and we need your help now. Please make your contribution before it’s too late – 6 days to keep us out of danger and we can do it! Click on the link below and make a contribution in whatever amount you’re comfortable with – and if you can’t chip in and still want to help, tell your friends. We need everybody!

Sam Yorty and freind (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi) - L.A. has had no shortage of colorful characters in office.

Sam Yorty and friend (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi) – L.A. has had no shortage of colorful characters in office. Yorty didn’t disappoint.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – NET: Citymakers – Sam Yorty – January 9, 1969 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

Los Angeles has had no shortage of colorful figures gracing the offices of City Hall. One of those colorful figures was Sam Yorty. As Mayor from 1961-1973, during a time of great social upheaval but also a time when the city had its fair share of growing pains, Yorty held sway over a city rapidly on the rise.

To say he was controversial was an understatement. But in keeping with the oddball nature that seemed to be part of L.A.’s heritage, Yorty seemed to fit right in. Opposing Civil Rights, desegregation busing and the rise of Feminism in the early 1970s, Yorty was also a big supporter of L.A. city growth. Ironically, Yorty had the first female Deputy Mayor and his office was fully integrated. But that didn’t stop him from vocally labeling figures of the Civil Rights Movement as Communist dupes, or being charged with ignoring issues surrounding the explosive Watts Riots in 1965. He had been implicated in a number of bribe scandals involving the L.A. Harbor; one of which resulted in the indictments and convictions of four City Commissioners. Further damaging his reputation was his repeated and vocal disclosure of evidence related to the Robert Kennedy Assassination in 1968 and his much publicized membership in a Segregated Country club.

After an unsuccessful run for Governor as well as Senator, Yorty became something of an Absentee Mayor – gaining the nickname “Travelin’ Sam” since he was out of town 40% of his last year in office.

This interview, done at Brandeis University for NET (the forerunner of PBS) on January 9, 1969, Yorty is asked about his positions regarding the allegations and the then-current atmosphere of Los Angeles.

Yorty had the well-known reputation of having a short-fuse when it came to interviews and press conferences. He gives evidence of that here.

A glimpse of Los Angeles history and who was running the place during those pivotal times.

And while you’re listening, please consider chipping in to help Past Daily during our Emergency Fundraiser. We’re in a financial crisis at the moment and we’re 7 days away from ending, with a little over 50% of our goal reached. We’ve had a big turnout in the last day and we have to keep it up if we’re going to turn this around. We need your help and we need whatever you are comfortable with making for a Tax Deductible contribution. Please do it now, there’s not much time left. We need to hear from as many of you as we can – and if you have already pledged and donated, I can’t thank you enough – you are saving our lives. If you still want to help, tell your friends. We need to hear from you and we have 7 days to do it. Please click on the link below and make your pledge today.

The first Primary win - but the 2% lead was worrisome.

The first Primary win – but the 2% lead was worrisome.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – CBS Radio News + Reports – February 26, 1980 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.

February 26, 1980 – 35 years ago this day, Campaign ’80 was in full swing. And by the results, it was a first win for former California Governor Ronald Reagan with George Bush a very close second. Jimmy Carter won a solid lead over his nearest Democratic rival, Ted Kennedy – with 51%-37%. The Reagan victory was estimated as a 51%-49% win and it was close enough to cause the Reagan camp concern. Analysis concluded Bush did well based primarily on pressing-the-flesh, while Reagan did well strictly on TV and newspaper ads. The Reagan camp decided it was time to get out and press-the-flesh from here on out.

Meanwhile, the runners-up were busy spinning and giving bright-side assessments. John Anderson was still in the race, but got no delegates. Gerry Brown was doing a glass-is-half full assessment. And by the time all the smoke had cleared it was on to the next Primary.

Back at Capitol Hill – Senate and House conferees took action on the Oil industry Windfalls Profit Tax Bill. The measure would tax the oil industry $227 billion over the next decade. The money would go tax cuts, energy assistance to the poor and energy and transportation development. The bill was expected to easily pass the House and Senate and get a quick signature from President Carter.

And Nuclear Power Plants got back in the news this February 26th. A Nuclear Power Reactor in Tampa Florida shut down automatically when its instruments and control systems lost power. Some radioactive water was spilled inside the plant but assurances were given that no radioactive water leaked outside the plant.

And that’s a small slice of what went on this February 26th in 1980 as reported by CBS Radio News and Special Reports.

And while you’re catching up on the days news from 1980, please consider chipping in what you can to keep Past Daily afloat and the Archive from getting seized. We’re 7 days away from ending and we’re a little over our 50% goal. So anything you can chip in, anybody you can tell about Past Daily would be more than gratefully appreciated.

Click on the link below and make your tax-deductible contribution to keep history alive and relevant. Do it before it’s too late.

The constantly fluctuating Vital Signs.

The constantly fluctuating Vital Signs.

7 days left. After my last update yesterday there was a flurry of contributions which got us just past the 50% mark. All I can say is – I am beyond grateful for the love and support I’ve gotten from so many of you. It’s renewed my faith in people – renewed my faith that I believe what I’ve been trying to do all this time has been worth it. I am beginning to believe we will make it out of the woods on this one – but I’m still crossing my fingers. The patient isn’t off the operating table yet.

As I’ve said before, working on a blog/website is a bit like working in an Anechoic chamber; the silence is often deafening and the lack of feedback can lead to all kinds of assumptions – none of them good.

The upside of working in that solitary environment is you’re forced to go on hunches. The downside is you sometimes say or write things you think no one will read, and suddenly you realize you’ve gone viral. Either way, there’s that sense of not knowing whether or not you’re working in a void.

It’s that way for me every day. I don’t know for certain if I’m reaching anyone – but I know at the end of the day I can look at what I’ve posted and feel I’ve accomplished at least something which may have a positive impact on someone at some point.

You just never know – but you keep doing it because you have to and you feel you need to. I didn’t assemble this archive to have it sit in a dark room and deteriorate. I’m not like a lot of institutions I could name who jealously guard dank and musty basements of history; sealed-off from the world and unavailable to those people who could benefit from the discoveries inside.

And I can’t tell you how many times I have gone on rescue missions – reports of dumpsters being filled with tapes and recordings deemed useless by whoever ordered their destruction. Carting away boxes and contents of those dark basements condemned to landfills by those people who could care less – who looked at the bottom line and saw no value. Who looked at history and thought it was junk. Who thought I was out of my mind for being interested.

It still goes on, even today. To some, history is unnecessary, a pointless exercise or the quaint luxury of the nostalgic. It’s none of those. Knowing what went on in the past, and how it compares to events in the present make it possible to influence how the future can turn out. But many people just don’t get it. And so I get the calls and e-mails and the Archive continues to grow and expand.

When all of this began, it was one reel of tape; The one I recorded as a kid, home from school recuperating on the morning of November 22, 1963. In the 52 years since then, it’s grown to well over 100,000 reels of tape and countless discs and cassettes and recordings in all sorts of formats. On those tapes and those recordings are voices, events and culture which trace our history from the end of the 19th century to an hour ago. Although far from complete, it’s a good chunk of the story which defines the evolution of a society and those events which shaped and influenced our lives today.

And being one of those people who believe in the concept of “leaving everything in just a bit better shape than when you found it”, I’ve taken it upon myself to share these discoveries with everyone – not a few people; not a closed-society of collectors, but everyone with a computer and the ability and desire to listen. And I try to make it interesting – I try to make it something which compels you to want to learn more, listen more and discover more. I am appealing to your curiosity, every day.

And it all takes time and energy and hours – and I happily give them freely and will continue to. But the only snag is the physical nuts-and-bolts of the day-to-day. The demands of those people and places who adhere to the bottom line and nothing else, who look at history as just an accumulation of junk and the contents of garages hoarded by packrats.

And they can’t be convinced otherwise. I’ve tried. They’ve nodded – drawn the well-worn sigh and mumbled “I understand”, and end their sentence with “but you still have to the end of the month”. Preaching to the tone-deaf choir.

So that’s where we’re at today – 7 days until our deadline. Liens placed, padlocks struck and demands made. And I’m going on the appeal – making the case and asking you to chip in and help out while we get through this crisis.

Right now we’re a little over 50% and we can make it, but only if you chip in and make your tax-deductible pledge and contribution today, before it’s too late. I know there are a lot of you out there who are on the fence about this – who feel you don’t need to jump in, because someone else will do it. But if everyone felt that way, then no one would contribute – and for several days, no one did. We need to catch up if we’re going to meet this demand and get back to normal. And we need your help.

Those of you who have contributed, I can only say I am grateful beyond words for your continued support – and I am indebted to everyone who have told their friends to pitch in and help. And that’s something you can do if you can’t contribute; tell your friends. I need people coming to Past Daily, even after our Fundraiser, and sticking around – hopefully, I will be here all day every day, continuing to give all the best I can.

But I’m asking you now; please click on the link below and make your Tax-Deductible pledge, in whatever amount you are comfortable with. I’ll be here as long as you are. The verdict isn’t in yet – I am hopeful we have a stay of execution. With your help, we will.

Till next time . . .

Gordon

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