Sunday, March 31, 2019

Meet The Millennials!

Every month, False Memory Foam© will be handing over the keys to the blog to a random millennial! We're offering total editorial freedom to address the issues that impact their lives. No constraints. No censorship. Meet The Millennials will be a (finger-waggle) "safe space" for this exciting and provocative generation to start a conversation. Make a difference. Be woke!

To start the feature off with a bang, we asked Ethan Millennial (above, second left) to just let it all hang out! Let's do this, people!

Some organic pomade, yesterday
"'Kay well to start with I really don't see why I've been chosen as a white male I would not claim to be in any way representative of the diversity of the millennial demographic which as you can see inclusives all genders and non-genders and ethnicities/non-ethnicities equally right so I'd like to apologise to everyone for being a white male and having said that I'd like to platform the pomade community on the internet which is like in danger of factioning because the water-based pomade movement although in many ways behaving appropriately should not be IMHO hating on the otherly-based pomades which may be more appropriate for differently-haired peoples especially indigenous ... er ... is this over twitter length yet?"

Thanks, Ethan!

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Yokolinda - The Duets Album

Part of Beatles mythology is the supposed antagonism between two of the most flamboyant “rock chicks” in the World of Pop - Yummy Yoko [Ono - Ed.] and Luscious Linda [McCartney - Ed.]! Nothing could be further from the truth! FMF can now “set the record😀 straight” with an exclusive interview granted by the talented twosome back in 1970, but unpublished anywhere until now! The interview took place at Bakersfield’s secluded Ernie’s Five Bucks A Nite Motel And Carwash, where the dishy duo were preparing their “top secret” duets album. They share the double bed and a pitcher of root beer as they talk, unashamedly displaying their affection and professional respect for each other during the interview.

FMF: Thanks for inviting me, girls. Nice room you got. View over the dumpsters.
YO: [giggles] We got a vibrating bed!
FMF: And your own casette recorder! Is that for your songs?
LM: We have like a bunch already? Gonna surprise a lot of people.
FMF: Could you describe your working methodology? How you write together?
YO: Hmm. I guess I’m, like, the tune thing happening? I have a melodic gift. So I like, you know, make my vocals in the shower and we record that and then Lin, who’s way more ... she’s ...
LM: [nods] I make the words. I guess you could say that words ... is my business.
FMF: What about instrumentation? I see a Bontempi Chord Organ over there.
LM: I am classically trained. Yoko does her sound art.
YO: I move around the room, hitting things? Places have voices - I set them free. And the bed motor is cool, like this primal heart beat.
LM: Chugga-chugga.
YO: That’s one of our songs, Chugga-Chugga. [feeds quarter into bed]

[---interview edit here---]

FMF: [zipping up] What will you do with the demo tape?
LM: [from shower] Demo tape? What?
YO: This is the Yokolinda album. Recorded live. No plastic overdubs.
LM: Pure music, raw talent. Like lentils. And straw.
YO: It will bring world peace. To the world!
FMF: Could you give me the titles of some other songs?
YO: There’s, uh, The Turnip Screams As She Is Torn From The Bloody Womb Of Mother Soil. That’s the single. It's like thirty minutes long!
LM: More like half an hour.
YO: And Pinky Poo Poo. Paul [McCartney - Ed.] wrote that one for us. It’s cute!
FMF: So your guys are cool with their old ladies doing their own thing?
LM: They give us our space. John [Lennon - Ed.]'s even paying all the recording costs. Bag of quarters for the bed. Everything.
YO: [counting off on fingers] And there's Chugga-Chugga ...
[one minute of tape silence here]
FMF: Okay. In the future, when there’s an internet, can I make the Yokolinda songs available free of charge? In case, you know, it’s never released as an album by a record label?
YO: [snorts] Ri-ight. Like that’s gonna happen.

Monday, March 18, 2019

The Muddle That Was Meddle: The Roger Waters Interview

It’s not well-known that Roger Waters devotes most of his time these days to his clown act (as “Ribtickler Rog”), performing at kids’ parties. FMF caught him post-gig in the kitchen of a friend’s house, where he took off his comedy nose and wig and relaxed with a glass of Vimto.
RW: You know that Vimto is an anagram of vomit?
FMF: Can we talk about the Meddle album?
RW: They could have called it Peku. Why do you want to talk about Meddle?
FMF: Because you promised to tell False Memory Foam the true story. It’s why I’ve come out to Pinner to interview you.
RW: Oh yeah. You think people will be interested after all these years? Haven’t we all moved on? I’ve moved on. I like making people laugh, me. [laughs, honks comedy horn]
FMF: I understand that Meddle was something of a joke.
RW: [nods] It was. It wasn’t meant to be. But when you get four wacky, crazy guys together in the studio, anything can happen!
FMF: Can we go back to the beginning?
RW: The album was originally going to be called Echoes. It was going to part of a double album concept based on the elements. We only ever finished the water and air songs. One album, a fifty-minute suite, tracks flowing into each other. We were really pleased with it. Storm came up with a beautiful cover, a surfer. The whole thing hung together really well.
FMF: So what happened?
RW: [laughs] Well! You could say, what didn’t happen? First off, Dave [Gilmour, Pink Floyd guitarist - Ed.] decided to play one of his legendary pranks on muggins here. I had this track, Embryo, that I’d always intended as an introduction to a longer piece. It was never meant to be a standalone production, but Harvest pulled it for some sampler nobody bought [Picnic - Ed.] so I reclaimed it for Echoes. It’s the perfect introduction to the title song, musically and thematically. Being born into the ocean. And Dave,
[Gilmour, Pink Floyd guitarist - Ed.] bless his heart - we were going to have this big meeting at EMI, and preview the album for the suits - he cut it out and replaced it with a blues number sung by his dog! We were absolutely pissing ourselves! Rick, [Wright, Pink Floyd keyboard player - Ed.] bless him, rolling on the floor literally holding his sides! So one had to get back at him, didn’t one? The next day, I snuck into Abbey Road and edited his guitar solo from Fearless. It was something he was really proud of, quite deep in the mix, not blues-based, a bit avant-garde. Made the song. So - snip snip! Out it came! To be replaced by the worst, most absurd thing I could think of. John Peel had given us this tape of Liverpool fans singing, so I stripped that in. Tears were rolling down my cheeks, I kid you not! [interview interrupted at this point by small child asking Roger to make a balloon annimal, which he does with enthusiasm and skill, telling me he made the pig for the Animals cover] Anyway, when I solemnly played it to the band, hilarity ensued. We decided to take the joke a bit further, cutting a long lead-in to One Of These Days so it could be the single. Which was the biggest joke of all. And Storm came up with this hilariously awful album cover - an ear under water. I mean - I ask you! So the big day came, and maybe the joke was on us, because the suits lapped it up! They barked during Seamus, and swayed along to the Liverpool fans. So although we made some kind of attempt to tell them we were having a joke at their expense, they didn’t understand and signed off on it. Nick, [Mason, Pink Floyd drummer - Ed.] I think it was, said, don’t meddle with it, guys, we sold the album! And that’s how the album got a new title. It’s always been a joke to us. We never thought it would be taken seriously, but it sold, and people liked it. They’d buy anything with Pink Floyd on it. Dogs barking, football crowds ...
FMF: Would it surprise you to know that I have your old reel-to-reel mix of Echoes, as originally conceived and recorded?
RW: You’re kidding, right?
FMF: I bought it from you at that garage sale you had. It was in a box of old stuff you let me have for a quid. I was wondering if you’d agree to letting me distribute it free on the internet as an mp3 file?
RW: I’d be delighted! What’s an mp3 file?

Friday, March 15, 2019

Tear The Top Right Off Your Million Dollar Head

The Monkees HEAD movie has been a passion of mine for decades. One of my most-watched movies, right up there with Kubrick, the Marx Brothers, and It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World. And the album soundtrack remains endlessly playable. There have been numerous [finger-waggle] "alternative" versions over the years, both digital and physical, but they've always been basically playlists of alternative versions of the songs, and/or songs not on the original album but recorded contemporaneously. There's been no attempt at new sound collages using the wealth of material now available. So I assembled all the sources (the various Rhino special editions, the movie soundtrack itself, and other Monkees recordings) and started on something that at the very least showed me why no-one had attempted this before. It's hard.

The original soundtrack album uses sound collages made in the studio by (among others) Jack Nicholson, and they add the mind-fuck element I wanted more of. Working out the song sequence, I made the mildly controversial decision to axe Davy Jones's minor contribution (singing a crap Nilsson vaudeville number) because a) it doesn't fit the vibe, man, and b) it's a crap Nilsson vaudeville number, which everyone needs less of. For all his many qualities, Jones could never be described as a "head", and it's telling that the song he co-wrote for the movie (Changes - a working title for the movie) was so far off the mark it was never used. And there's a "where's Davy?" sub-theme in the movie which works nicely here. The songs I finally chose are mostly unfamiliar versions of the familiar tracks (including a rare non-Rhino stereo version of the original album sound collage that'll make your head swim with the mermaids), or entirely new songs chosen for their appropriateness, recorded during the right time frame. It's worth remembering that there were never any recording sessions devoted to making the Head album. Nesmith's lyric for Hollywood seems to distill the essence of the movie, even playing on the end-is-the-beginning trope that informs the entire movie. There - I said trope and informs in the same sentence, to keep the Millennials happy. To compensate for less Jones, there's more Tork, more Dolenz, more Nesmith. More songs. Exactly which and where I leave you to discover. And more trippy mind-fuck sound collage, winding in and out of it all. See if you can spot the Added Frankness, and the almost subliminal Firesign Theatre snippet. I used Audacity (the great free audio program) to edit everything together at granular level in one seamless file - this is absolutely not a playlist, dude, it's immersive.

You'll need headphones, and half an hour to yourself. If you have neither, you may want to pass on this. Otherwise, relax and float down a different stream for a while.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Hello Goodbye; the Paul McCartney Interview

This interview, exclusive to False Memory Foam©, took place in Sir Paul’s “Fortress of Solitude” - a partially converted warehouse in the meat-packing district of Poughkeepsie, NY. Paul was a gracious host, apologising for the mess (body parts don’t worry me), and leading me up to the roof, where he shook out some pork scratchings on paper plates and decanted vintage Cisco© wine into Flintstones© sipping beakers.

FMF: Cheers! Nice place you got here.
McC: [shrugs] I need to get away, sometimes. Be me, you know?
FMF: Okay. Can I start the interview with a question?
McC: That’s a question already.
FMF: Not that one. Another one?
McC: Is that the other one?
FMF: I remember you saying the Beatles [popular singing group - Ed.] should have broken up after Sgt. Pepper. I thought I was the only person to think that, so I was surprised to hear you say it.
McC: We went a bit shit after Pepper, to be honest. Yeah.
FMF: Sixty-eight was a bust.
McC: We didn’t know what the fuck we wanted to do. No direction. There was that home movie we did ... [clicks fingers]
FMF: Magical something.
McC: Yeah. That was embarrassing, you know? Everybody hated it. We hated it.
FMF: Some people like it.
McC: [laughs] Some people on drugs like it. Not good drugs, either. Prescription drugs.
FMF: So why did you stay together?
McC: Yoko, really. She was like the glue in the ... sandwich. Her and Linda. They were like sisters, very close. Lot of hugging and kissing in the studio, going to the loo together ... anyway. They could see we were falling apart, you know? Bickering and stuff. Poking each other in the chest, snide comments. They really calmed us down. Especially Yoko. I really fancied her, at the time. Anyway, she’d come into the studio and it was like this, this wave of peacefulness, and love, washed over us. We did some great work after Pepper, but it never came out in the form it should, there was an album there ...
FMF: This was the Hello Goodbye album?
That track list in full
McC: [nods] Great album. Great album. It was going to be assembled from stuff we didn’t record for an album, as such, you know? There was never any, like, sessions for the album, but there were all these great Beatle songs sitting there, and we were going to do that album to tie up loose ends. Go out with a bang.
FMF: So you were still thinking of splitting up?”
McC: Oh yeah. But on a high, as friends. Yoko showed us the way. Oriental wisdom. And I don’t think we could have topped the Hello Goodbye album. Well, we didn't.
FMF: So what happened?
McC: [grimaces] I had a bit of a fling with Yoko. You could sense the chemistry in the studio. It got to the point where it was obvious, like this ... thick soup you were wading through. You look at the footage from Let It Be.
FMF: Another shit Beatles movie.
McC: Yeah. All that atmosphere, that soup, that was Yoko and me, desiring each other, yet staying apart for the good of the band. Remembering our stolen moments of passion - you can’t forget that. In the broom cupboard. On the bus.
FMF: So why didn’t the Hello Goodbye album appear?
McC: It just sort of faded away. Linda wanted us to work on a [finger-waggle] “proper” album, this concept she had about a vegetarian landing on the moon. We agreed to a new album, on the condition it wasn’t about vegetarians on the moon. Other than that, we had no fucking idea where we were going with that one. [blows rasberry]
FMF: Apart from down the toilet. But you had a track listing for the Hello Goodbye album?
McC: Oh yeah. Acetate pressed up. And a cover, Richard Avedon took the photos, it was ready to roll. Roll and rock! Wooh! [throws empty pork scratching bag off roof].
FMF: Anything we haven’t heard on it?
McC: No. Yeah. We edited Hey Jude down, faded it out before it starts to drive you nuts with that ner ner ner ner-ner-ner nerrr thing. The album version’s much better. Shorter.
FMF: How about letting me post the album on the blog?
McC: Groovy. What’s a blog?