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Posts Tagged ‘Lou Adler’

Died On This Date (August 18, 2012) Scott McKenzie / Had Hit With “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)”

Posted by themusicsover on August 18, 2012

Scott McKenzie (Born Phillip Blondheim)
January 10, 1939 – August 18, 2012

Scott McKenzie is perhaps best remembered for his 1967 hit, “San Francisco (Be Sure To Where Flowers In Your Hair).”  Written by John Phillips of the Mamas & the Papas, it took the song less than a month to reach the Top 5 of the US singles chart and went on to sell some 7 million copies worldwide.  It also topped the charts in the UK as well as other countries around the world.  More than just a pop hit, the song was a calling card for the hippie lifestyle that was flourishing in San Francisco at the time and was credited for bringing 1000s of young people to the city during the late ’60s.  Any respectable collection of songs from the era is incomplete without it.  Born in Florida, McKenzie became friends with Phillips while the two were still children growing up in Virgina.  The two played together from time to time through high school, and in 1961, Phillips invited McKenzie to join a band he was forming, the Mamas & the Papas.  McKenzie declined since he was more interested in pursuing a solo career.  Two years later, he signed to Lou Adler’s Ode Records. McKenzie’s debut album included “San Francisco” which was co-produced by Phillips who also played guitar on it.  That release was followed by another minor hit or two before McKenzie retired from making records in the early ’70s.  During the mid ’80s, he toured with a re-formed version of the Mamas & the Papas, and continued to do so until his retirement in 1998.  McKenzie co-wrote “Kokomo,” a #1 hit for the Beach Boys in 1988.  Scott McKenzie was 73 when he passed away in his home on August 18, 2012.  Cause of death was not immediately released but he had reportedly been ill prior to his death.

Thanks to Paul Bearer for the assist.

What You Should Own

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Scott McKenzie

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Died On This Date (February 20, 2011) Terry Clements / Guitarist For Gordon Lightfoot

Posted by themusicsover on February 20, 2011

Terry Clements
July 22, 1947 – February 20, 2011

Terry Clements is perhaps best remembered as the longtime guitarist for folk legend, Gordon Lightfoot.  He joined up with Lightfoot in 1970 and continued to play with him for some 40 years.   Clements was just five years old when he picked up the guitar, and over the years his playing would be influenced by the likes of Doc Watson, Ricky Skaggs, and Dick Dale.  After high school, he served in the US Navy for a couple of years and then returned to his music career, first playing with Golden Sunflower while working as a session player for Lou Adler, and later joining forces with Lightfoot with whom he stayed until the final years of his life.  Terry Clements was 63 when he died on February 20, 2011.  The cause was attributed to a stroke he had recently suffered.

Thanks to Su, Erica, and Lisa for the assist.

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Died On This Date (December 3, 2008) Elmer Valentine / Co-founded The Whiskey a Go Go, The Roxy, The Rainbow Bar & Grill

Posted by themusicsover on December 3, 2009

Elmer Valentine
June 16, 1923 – December 3, 2008

Photo by Art Streiber

Photo by Art Streiber

Elmer Valentine played a critical role in the growth of popular music in the Los Angeles area by co-founding the legendary Sunset Strip clubs, the Whiskey a Go Go and the Roxy.  Born and raised in Chicago where he worked on the police force, Valentine transplanted to the L.A. area in 1960.  In 1964, Valentine and three partners opened the Whiskey which would help define the west coast rock scene of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s.  Acts like the Doors, the Byrds and Buffalo Springfield played some of their earliest gigs there during the ’60s, while the likes of Great White, Motley Crue and Guns ‘n Roses did the same during the ’80s.  And of course, there were countless others between and since.  In 1966, he and investers that included Lou Adler, opened the Roxy (and later, the infamous Rainbow Bar & Grill next door).  Like the Whiskey, the Roxy hosted its own share of legendary early shows.  That list includes Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, Warren Zevon, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Frank Zappa.  The Roxy’s small upstairs bar, On The Rox was also the site of some of rock music’s most notorious incidents.  In the mid ’70s, it played host to John Lennon’s infamous “lost weekend” gatherings with Keith Moon, Harry Nilsson, and Alice Cooper.  And in March of 1982, it was reportedly the last place John Belushi over-indulged before calling it a night and dying of an overdose in his hotel room.  Elmer Valentine sold his share of the Whiskey during the ’90s, but held on to his share of the Roxy and Rainbow until he passed away at the age of 80.

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