The normally quiet corner of Sunset and Ivar was transformed into a wild impromptu teen-age street carnival for ten days and nights while the Rolling Stones were taping in the RCA-Victor building there.
Every hour from 4 p.m. to 4:30 a.m., and sometimes until the rosy-fingered dawn, the RS5 slaved over hot mikes recording nearly 30 tracks of hard-rock, quasi-folk, novelty, r&b-ish beatsongs and so-called soul, for future release via album, single disk and silver screen.
Outside the studio the ever-faithful devotees milled about day and night for contact and communication with the London quints. Sometimes cruise car police cooled the noisy kids with warnings but never once laid a curfew citation on anyone, even the 12-year-olds at 4 in the morning. Autografiends had a ball collecting signatures of invited guests Brian Wilson, Joey Paige, Mama’s and Papa’s, Monkees and many others, also Ann-Margret and Brook Benton who were recording in another room.
The story of this wild 10-day circus was related to us by two loyal long-haired Stone People, Rodney Bingenheimer, 19, and Jennifer Santiago, 16, a super-sharp part-Cherokee maiden, who together covered the scenes like an Indian blanket.
There was one mid-session when at 2 a.m., the Stones decided an audience might help their fatigue-wilted spirits. When they opened the door to 30 or 40 guys and gals still on the streets at that hour, their music began to swing and they came on like a large charge of TNT. A pet duck owned by one kid waddled around Stonefeet quack-quacking its fowl approval of the scene.
Most nights, however, a No Visittors [sic] sign hung on the door. Two eager-beavers accidentally smashed a window and were busted for “breaking and entering” when a guard called the coppers. The RS got them off the hook by offering to pay the damage.
Some old guy who came with the Monkees started putting the kids down, yelling at them for leaning on his parked car and acting uncool. The Monkees, say Rod and Jennifer, were out of sight but the old clunk ought to get lost.
Some Stone-lovin’ chicks from Phoenix, Arizona, waited around the clock, a full 24 hours, for a Stone sighting and then followed them to their hotel, the Belair. Brian turned soft and let them into the lobby for a bull session.
Two 16-year-olds carried huge four-volume scrapbooks containing a complete history of the Stones, every article and picture ever published on the group since the beginning of their high rise to fame. The girls said the Stones offered to buy the books for $500 cash and round trips to England but they wouldn’t part with their treasure. They loaned the guys the four volumes to be photostated and returned.
The freakiest excitements happened when the Stones were trying to race back to their wives and girl friends after work, pursued by dozens of cars crowded with yelling gals, wild at the wheels. Most fans didn’t seem to know or care that Mick Jagger’s Chrissie Shrimpton, Brian Jones’ Anita Pallenburg, Mrs. Diane Wyman and Mrs. Shirley Watts were with the boys here. Keith Richards’ Linda Keith was the only absent RS gf.
One night so many cars and cycles followed Mick in his rented Cad convertible that he blew his mind. Careening around Sunset corner and down Wilcox he slammed on his brakes in front of the Hollywood Police Station, hoping it would scare his tormentors away. But it didn’t; they parked their wheels at crazy angles in front of headquarters and came at Mick and his passenger, Charlie Watts.
“If you don’t go away I’ll call for help,” they growled. Seeing they meant business, the mob gradually dispersed.
Another night, Mick, running a red light to shake his tailers, was promptly curbed by a pair of traffic officers. He had no driver’s license or ID and the car contained no registration papers. Under these circumstances police had no alternative to bring him in for investigation. When they started to take him, Mick put up so much argument that he was handcuffed and put in the cop car. Several of his long-haired followers whopped into the verbal fracas.
“You can’t arrest him,” they cried. “He’s MICK JAGGER!!!
The name meant nothing to the badgemen. As they drove him away, Mick stuck his face out the window and yelled, “Go tell everybody at RCA that I’ve been busted. Ask them to get me out quick.”
It took two hours to find anyone with the bread to bail him out of the clink.
So many Stone fanciers were goofing out and besieging the sedate, elegant and hushed Belair Hotel that the management asked the famed five to turn in their keys and find lodging elsewhere. They split to different hotels.
When the recording session was finished, the Stones flew to Acapulco for a week of peace and quiet. And that’s a laugh. The typical Mexican fan can create as much havoc as any American fan can.
Sonny Bono, gradually changing his off-stage image, is beginning to look almost like a normal person. He has put the scissors to his long locks, no longer wears fur vests, puffy-sleeve peasant blouses and orange-striped pants on the street. He won’t ever go so far as to wear square threads, however.
Cher looks a little less gaudy, too. Her bells don’t flair so much and she has a more tailored appearance. The new look got them rooms in London without argument. Their second European trip was an astounding success compared with their first.
Friday’s Child wasn’t a monster hit for Nancy Sinatra as her previous two were. It climbed only to No. 37 on the charts. She’ll wax her next album in Nashville, Tennessee, with boss platter producer, Lee Hazelwood. Nancy’s sister, Christina (Tina for short) one of the most beautiful girls in the world, is destined for screen stardom, everyone tells us.
Johnny Rivers got a load off his mind when he cut his hair short for Army reserve duty. The day they turned him loose, Johnny jetted to Mexico City for a show and vacation.
Think Big is Drake Levin’s motto. Back in civvies and still in his Army hair-do, the ex-Raider now intends to write songs, produce records, sing, play and assemble his own band. It’s all a multi-colored dream so far, but we shall see.
As of this writing, Gary Lewis is still sweating out the Army’s decision whether to put him in uniform as a regular for two years or as a reservist for six months. Most musicmen enlist in the reserve or National Guard. After six months basic training they need only shoulder arms for two weeks a year. Congress is now debating about sending the reserves and guard to Vietnam for jungle duty. If this happens, we’ll have to say so-long to an army of our favorite singers and bandsmen.
Shortly after the Cindermen issued big bright slogan buttons, “BURN WITH THE CINDERMEN,” their instruments, clothes, personal possessions—and steady job—burned to cinders in a total fire at the Rendezvous Ballroom in Balboa, Calif., mecca of pop music-dance since it all began. Several Cindermen platters have bubbled under the Top Forty charts and their label, Moonglow, won’t stop until they hit the Top Ten.
Sam the Sham who once wanted to wreck the Pharoahs to try a new bag on his own, played smart when he changed his mind. Lil’ Red Riding Hood could be another Award winner this year.
The Western Union are delivering delicious shivers to the spines of local femmes. Two members of this rocking five-piece band, Matt and Mark Andes, are the stalwart sons of vet actor Keith Andes.
We have our earholds unplugged for the new exciting sounds of the Buffalo Springfield, six long-haired guys who came unglued from six different rock and folk groups to join the B.S. team. They hit the scene hard with their debut disk, Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing. They wear the weirdest duds I’ve seen outside of the freaked-out Mothers Of Invention.
One hundred per cent Beatlemaniacs believe every B4 album and single side is stupendously super. Anyone who doesn’t agree is either a dimbulb, stone-age scrub or worse. That’s okay, they are entitled to their opinions.
Discriminating music-lovers, however, say some of their records have been no better than so-so. But there’s one all agree is superb. Revolver is the finest album, with the grooviest gang of songs, the Beatles have turned out since their earliest masterpieces. Yellow Submarine is a fun song but Eleanor Rigby is a total classic that will live forever.
By the way, has anyone else noticed the striking resemblance between John Sebastian and John Lennon’s picture on the Revolver cover-jacket?
Ex-Shindigger Billy Preston who plays the Wildest Organ in Town for Capitol, had a nostalgic reunion with the Beatles in Hollywood. Billy shared the stage with the famous four in Hamburg, Germany, when they were all unknowns.
The Raiders can now laugh—ha! ha!—parking problems around town. Each Raider has his own personal Yamaha. In the early days they used to ride around in a hearse.
The Sir Douglas Quintet, are searching for the ardent girl who leaped the fountain, swam the pool, ran on Hollywood Bowl stage and kissed John York, SDQ guitarist, in front of 18,000 people. The security hauled her off him and tossed her back into the sea of fan faces. The SDQ are offering a reward for the finder and a whole mess of goodies for the girl herself.
“Fans made us successes,” says Paul Jones, lead singer of the Manfred Mann. “We wouldn’t exist without them. It’s great when they scream, bless ’em, but I don’t like them all personally.”
“I’m a loner but never lonely,” explains Gene Pitney. “Marriage isn’t for me. I don’t even have a steady girl friend. All girls are wonderful so why should I settle for one? I just can’t see myself married and settled down.”
Lesley Gore, now a junior at Sarah Lawrence, switched her major from lit to theater, hoping to learn how to act in the theater workshop. She’s done several singing cameos in films but wants to be pro enough to play any kind of a role. No more screen song bits for her.
British girls voted Scott Engel of Walker Brothers as their favorite vocalist in a London magazine poll, says a publicity release from Smash Records, but it doesn’t explain why he topped Ringo, Mick, Crispian, Herman or Napoleon XIV in their hearts.
The English pop scene ain’t what she was a year ago, says Jeremy Clyde on his return from London Town:
“The pop scene is in a real slump there. Nothing is happening. It takes only 10,000 record sales to get into the charts and that’s terrible. The whole screaming, coat-grabbing, thing is dying down.”
Nervous breakdowns, emotional crackups and fadeouts from fatigue continue to plague our singers and players. Nobody has a harder work schedule than Paul Revere and the Raiders. Fanning the conversational breeze with Mark Lindsay, we asked if any of the Raiders had ever cracked up.
“Not yet, but we keep trying,” answered Mark, chewing his fingernails to the elbow.