Slightly delayed after a short-cut via the Crab Nebula, we open the doors of the Aftertardis once more – and after fleeting visits to the birth of rock n roll and the dark heart of the eighties we’re at officially the Most Important Year Ever: 1966 and all that. There’s really very little I need to add here – and Jon Savage has a whole book on How Important It is. It’s the year Beat became Hippy, the year the Beatles stopped touring, Bob had an accident with a motorbike, and generally everything famous to do with rock happened. As ever we kick off with some stories from the NME Rock N Roll Years, and then it’s open house on a thread for anything and everything from 1966. I am one so no gig stories from me for this year. Any sightings of the Macca soundtrack to Wedlocked welcome.
Scott Engel of The Walker Brothers entered a monastery on the Isle of Wight for ten days retreat. However, he left after only seven days at the abbots’ request as fans had arrived to besiege the monastery gate.
Australia and US Censor UK Discs
Two current UK Top 10 singles are running into difficulties elsewhere in the world. Dozens of US radio stations have banned Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Titch’s Bend It because the lyrics are considered too suggestive, and the group have responded by recording a new version in London with a different set of words.
The tapes of this have been flown to the US for rush release, while the original single has been withdrawn.
Meanwhile, in Australia, the Commercial Broadcasting Corporation is debating whether to approve a total ban on the Troggs’ I Can’t Control Myself, which if effected, will mean not only no radio or TV plays, but dealers being prevented from selling it too.
This would be the first complete state censoring of a pop record in Australia. The Troggs lead singer Reg Presley commented, ‘Naturally we’re disappointed, but there’s no point getting angry about it’
The Who’s single Substitute, the first under the group’s new deal with the Reaction label via Polydor, was related in the UK on Friday March 4, and quickly set off a complex chain of events. Firstly, The Who’s previous label Brunswick, marketed by UK Decca, rushed out a Who single of its own, coupling ‘A Legal Matter’ from their debut LP with ‘instant Party’ – a track formerly scheduled as the groups next A-Side under the title Circles.
A day later, producer Shel Talmy, responsible for every Who recording prior to their Reaction debut, successfully applied for an injunction to prevent Polydor from marketing Substitute. His complain was that Instant Party was also on the B-side of the Brunswick single, and his copyright was thus infringed.
Polydor was served with the injunction on March 9, and stopped pressing the record. In the London High Court on the afternoon of the same day, counsel for Polydor told the judge that a sale plan might kill the chances of the record’ which in less than a week has entered the New Musical Express chart (compiled that morning) at No 19, and was expected to rise to No 1’.
On Monday March 14, Polydor circumvented the injunction by releasing a new pressing of ‘Substitute’ with a different B-side, an instrumental called ‘Waltzing The Pig’. Then on March 18, the injunction on the original pressing was removed by the High court, and Polydor was able to shift a warehouse stock of 40,000.
McCartney to score Hayley Mill film
Paul McCartney is writing the musical score for Wedlocked, a new Boulting Bros film starring Hayley Mills and Hwyel Bennett, which has just been completed at Shepperton Studios.
Written by Bill Naughton (of Alfie fame), it is based on the West End play All In Good Time, and concerns the trials of a newly-wed couple forced to spend their honeymoon with their parents.
Although neither Boulting Brothers nor the Beatles office will yet provide official confirmation of McCartney’s involvement, manager Brian Epstein had already hinted that Paul would soon be undertaking a solo project on the heels of John Lennon’s film work in How I Won The War.