April 26, 2016

Rick Nelson Validated



The artist formerly known as Ricky Nelson had been moving his career into what became known as country rock, as one of the forerunners of the style, for some years by 1972. On albums like Rick Sings Nelson and Rudy The FifthRick Nelson showed how far he had progressed since his days as a teen idol.

But Rick and his Stone Canyon Band found real validation that year, not just because the single ‘Garden Party’ climbed all the way to No. 6 on the Hot 100 (his biggest hit in nearly nine years), but because it was about how he walked off stage when some of his audience made it clear they were still expecting to hear his original hits. Then on this day 43 years ago, the album of the same name made the Billboard chart, on its way to a new year peak at No. 32 — again, his best showing since Rick Nelson Sings For You reached No. 14 in 1964.

Nelson had been undergoing his reinvention since the mid-1960s, and made the top 40 with his group on a cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘She Belongs To Me,’ a top 40 single in early 1970. On that single, his band included Randy Meisner, soon to be a founding member of the Eagles. 

‘Easy To Be Free’ made a mid-chart showing later that year. But the ‘Garden Party’ single was the real breakthrough, sending a clear message about his musical direction and determination.

The lyric was a real life reflection of how the now long-haired Nelson had played the Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival concert at Madison Square Garden in October 1971, on a bill with Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Bobby Rydell. He met with a hostile reception for his new sound, especially when he performed the Rolling Stones’ ‘Country Honk,’ the C&W-flavoured version of their ‘Honky Tonk Women’ hit, to fans who were expecting ‘Poor Little Fool’ and ‘Stood Up.’ He ended up leaving the stage.

“I went to a garden party to reminisce with my old friends,” wrote Rick. “A chance to share old memories and play our songs again/When I got to the garden party, they all knew my name/No one recognized me, I didn't look the same.” The lyric also contained entertaining references to some of those present, including “Yoko and her walrus,” Yoko Ono and John Lennon, and “Mr. Hughes,” aka George Harrison, who sometimes travelled as Howard Hughes.

The chorus of the song had Rick in defiant mood but also singing a catchy, harmonised country rock melody: “But it's all right now, I learned my lesson well/You see, you can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself.” Rick did just that, and found a whole new audience by sticking to his guns.

With many thanks to udiscovermusic 

Lyrics explained:

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Unseen Beatles Footage Released


Never-before-seen footage of The Beatles “mucking around” in a make-up studio ahead of a television performance, shot more than half a century ago, was released by Australia’s national film and sound archive Tuesday.
The 49-second black-and-white silent film clip — which the national archive described as “really rare” — was shot with an 8mm camera belonging to Australian dancer and make-up artist Dawn Swane, who was working at Granada TV in Manchester, Britain, at that time.

The previously unreleased footage, from November 1, 1965, shows the four members of the legendary band having fun in front of the camera as their make-up is applied.

“I was in the make-up room. And so we were having some champagne,” Swane, now 83, said in a statement released by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA).

“And anyway, I don’t know if it was John (Lennon) or if it was Ringo (Starr) but they took the camera off me and said, ‘This is no way to use a camera’, and they sort of jiggled it upside down and inside out a bit, and everybody was just mucking around.

“But that was great. I mean they were a nice group of people. They really were.” The clip, along with other home movies, including British actor Michael Caine in the make-up chair, was donated by Swane’s daughter Melinda Doring to the national archive.

“We don’t have anything as significantly rare in the collection in terms of a home movie,” NFSA assistant film curator Tara Marynowsky told AFP.

“(To have) something so high-profile is just quite incredible to have, especially when our client Dawn Swane held on to it for quite some time. Years and years later, we get to uncover this and make that available to audiences ... it’s really, really rare actually.” Doring said she first saw the footage as a teenager, but came across it again four years ago and realised it was starting to have “vinegar syndrome”, a chemical process which causes film to deteriorate.

“I knew there was stuff there that needed to be preserved, so I knew it was the right time to ring up the archive and get it stabilised and preserved before it would have been lost forever,” Doring told AFP.

Swane has also kept the original call sheet for the television programme the performers were preparing for, “The Music of Lennon & McCartney”, which has on it autographs from all four Beatles as well as legendary American composer Henry Mancini.


With many thanks to The Australian 

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April 23, 2016

ANZAC Day - 2016


"ANZAC was the name given to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps soldiers who landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey early on the morning of 25 April 1915 during the First World War (1914-1918).

As a result, one day in the year has involved the whole of Australia in solemn ceremonies of remembrance, gratitude and national pride for all our men and women who have fought and died in all wars. 

That day is ANZAC Day - 25 April.

Every nation must, sooner or later, come for the first time to a supreme test of quality; and the result of that test will hearten or dishearten those who come afterwards. For the fledgling nation of Australia that first supreme test was at Gallipoli."
More here. 

The battlefields covered the Middle East and up to the Western Front.


The Australian troops were under British command until Sir John Monash was assigned that duty.  He was knighted on the field for his efforts, and for turning the tide in favour of the Allies.


The centenary of the landing at Gallipoli was in 2015.

There are no more survivors of WW1, and the ranks of the survivors of WW2 are dwindling.
Now the survivors of the Viet Nam War are keeping the memory of the ANZACs alive. 

From The Australian:

Vietnam veterans have become the flag bearers of the Anzac ­legend, for the first time outnumbering Diggers who fought in World War II.
As the sun increasingly sets on the heroes of the nation’s largest war, Vietnam veteran and Long Tan hero Dave Sabben said his generation was ready to become the keepers of the flame.

“We are obliged to take over the reins now; if we don’t then who will?” he said.

“But we should all give heartfelt thanks to the legacy which those (World War II) soldiers have left us — they have set the standard for us to match.”

In only four years, the number of surviving World War II Diggers has fallen from 81,100 to barely 39,000 or less than 1-in-20 of the 930,00 who fought against the Nazis and the Japanese.

The rapid decline in their ranks has prompted Veterans ­Affairs Minister Dan Tehan to urge all Australians to turn out in force at Monday’s Anzac Day commemorations to remind this fading ­generation the nation is grateful for its service and sacrifice.
“Time marches on for all of us, and these figures really hit home that one day, all too soon, there will be no living World War II veterans to honour,” Mr Tehan said.

“That’s why it is important we make the effort on every Anzac Day to honour our veterans so that they know while they are still with us that we are forever grateful for their sacrifice.”
As of last June, the number of Vietnam veterans surpassed the number of World War II soldiers, with 44,200 surviving Vietnam vets compared with 39,400 World War II veterans, most of whom are well into their 90s.

“Whether we like it or not we are now the inheritors of the Anzac legend and we will take up the ­responsibility that goes along with this,” says Mr Sabben, who as a 21-year-old platoon commander helped lead his troops in Australia’s greatest victory of the Vietnam War at Long Tan.

On August 18, 1966, Mr Sabben was part of 108 Australian and New Zealand troops pinned down amid rubber trees in Long Tan by an estimated 2500 Vietnamese troops.

In a remarkable victory against the odds, the Australians repelled the attack, killing more than 300 of the enemy while ­losing only 18 soldiers.

Mr Sabben, like many other Vietnam vets, endured ­either ­ambivalence or hostility from Australians upon his return as a divided nation failed to distinguish between government policy and those who served their country.

“We came home to a hostile home environment while those who fought in the (Second) World War came back as heroes,” he said. “The protesters, the politicians, the press and the public were against us.”

It was a stain Mr Sabben ­believes Vietnam veterans wore until the mid-1990s.

“Since then there has been a groundswell of opinion where people have become more positive about Vietnam veterans as well as Anzac Day itself,” he says.

Mr Sabben said Vietnam vets were already taking over from the World War II generation in the running of RSLs and veterans ­affairs issues.

“We essentially run the Anzac Day parade now and when you look at the poppy sellers they are mostly all Vietnam-aged veterans,’’ he said.

As if to prove the demographic point, Anzac Day marches around the nation will this year be led by Vietnam veterans to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the 1st Australian taskforce base at Nui Dat in Phuoc Tuy province.

This base marked the start of a serious Australian commitment to Vietnam, a conflict in which 60,000 Australians served, at a cost of 521 lives.

On Monday in Melbourne, Mr Sabben will lead about 100 Vietnam veterans from the 6th Battalion RAR, which was based in Nui Dat. “It’s a lovely honour.”

Mr Sabben, who fellow troops once described as being ice-cool under fire, returned to Long Tan in 2006 to meet the commanders of the Vietcong D445 Battalion, which ambushed the Australian troops on that day in 1966.

At that meeting, under the same rubber trees they once fought among, the former vice-commander of the Vietnamese troops, Nguyen Minh Ninh, ­admitted for the first time that the Australians had won the battle of Long Tan despite Vietnamese propaganda to the contrary.

It was a moment that deeply moved Mr Sabben, who said as he stood on the battlefield that the admission of defeat from the Vietnamese was “worth 40 years of waiting”.

Fifty years on, Vietnam veterans like Mr Sabben have a new challenge — as the keepers of the Anzac legend.

Picture credit:many thanks to Emu Ridge
Some related posts and links:

Update: It should also be noted that the ADF were involved in the Korean War, the  Malaysian Emergency and other lesser deployments. These do not receive much mention in the media.
Many thanks to Keith for this additional information.

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