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2.8.11

Buzzy Linhart



Buzzy Linhart - BUZZY - 1972 - Kama Sutra

There are two Buzzy Linhart albums entitled Buzzy, one released in 1969 on Philips, and this third solo release on Buddah records in 1972. There's a jazzy "Eye 1-2-C-U Shuffle," which could be the Electric Flag with Linhart on vocals. The band -- featuring Danny Trifan on bass, guest star Moogy Klingman on organ, future Steely Dan/Doobie Brothers session man supreme Jeff "Skunk" Baxter on acoustic and electric guitars, Ten Wheel Drive's Luther Rix, and mixing by Todd Rundgren -- creates what may be the most intimate of Linhart albums released on a major label. There's a great cover of Elton John and Bernie Taupin's "Take Me to the Pilot" with the equally great line "he's a virgin" with Buzzy quipping "aren't we all?." Interesting that Uni Records pushed much Elton John product out in this early-'70s period when Buddah had three Linhart discs in release (one on a subsidiary called Eleuthera Records, a band project called Music, with a majority of the songs written by Buzzy). On February 28, 2002, AMG spoke with the singer/songwriter's son, Xeno Linhart (note that the publishing company on some of the songs is Xeno Music, with Ascap as the Performing Rights Organization). Xeno claimed that "Apparently, shortly after recording The Time to Live Is Now, there was a drummer swap. Luther Rix and Kevin Ellman swapped bands so Luther and Bette Midler could be together, and bringing in an Indian drummer into the Trio to do the ragas seemed right. But Kevin left soon after to go with Moogy Klingman and become Utopia. All this in just a few months, and then there are the next sets of players. But the order of recording is not really the same as the order of release. There really are two albums called Buzzy. The 18-minute version of "Sing Joy" [is] on Buzzy Phillips 1969, later on Best of Buzzy Linhart (1972) and the more memorable 8:30 version [appears] on Buzzy Kama Sutra/Buddah 1972 The Black Album, as it is called for its mostly black cover (by photographer Ira Wexler). The first Buzzy is quite unique in its arrangements. Best of Buzzy (1972) on KamaSutra/Buddah is a repackaging of the Buzzy (Phillips) and other material. So, the two "Sing Joy" (tracks) show up in a few places. It is worth some study itself, as it was the first raga Buzzy wrote (1964), and then re-wrote a few times. It is also a major component of the 30-minute long live raga jam by Seventh Sons, "4 A.M. at Franks" (also released as "Raga," both on ESP Disks). We have restored and remastered the cut for inclusion on a collection of improvised one-take recordings to be called 'Avant Buzz.' So, there is a lot of Buzzy's material with the date 1972, but it was just a timing issue, and probably a mistake by record companies to flood the market with so much of his material all at once and not making it clear that some was recorded years earlier." On Barry Gordy's "You Got What It Takes" -- a hit for both Marv Johnson and the Dave Clark Five in the '60s, Linhart gives it a musician's treatment. Nothing on this album seems to be crafted with the charts in mind, though on "Rollin' On" Buzzy lifts melody and lines from Bacharach/David by fusing "What the World Needs Now" into his song. L. Luther Rix's "Boogaloother" is a delight with passages straight from the Ten Wheel Drive songbook. "Sing Joy" changes the mood, evolving from the percussive sounds into a rocking "Tutti Frutti" tracked live at Studio A of New York's Record Plant. The Black Album may be the least commercial of Buzzy's efforts, but it is solid musicianship and contains sounds that drew from, as well as inspired, past and future works of Ten Wheel Drive, Bette Midler, Utopia, Jimi Hendrix, and Steely Dan, and it is all quite staggering. © Joe Viglione © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/buzzy-the-black-album-r584418/review

When it came time for his third solo album, Buzzy, recorded for Kama Sutra in 1972, he enlisted the efforts of other friends, like Moogy Klingman on organ (co-writer of “Friends”), future Steely Dan/Doobie Brothers session man supreme Jeff “Skunk” Baxter on acoustic and electric guitars, and Ten Wheel Drive’s Luther Rix. In the engineer’s seat: Todd Rundgren. Buzzy relates that Todd’s involvement was constrained by his schedule. He was probably the most-wanted producer and engineer of the era, an industry superstar. The recording sessions at the Record Plant were plagued with equipment breakdowns. “A tweeter was broken in the right-hand speaker of studio B when we were mixing. All engineers thought they were losing their hearing. When we finally found out and fixed it, there was no more time to finish the record.” With the final tapes having to be delivered in a matter of days, Rundgren was called in on the weekend to finish the record. Only problem: He had to fly out to England on another job at 4 a.m. on Sunday. “He mixed so f**king fast. Fortunately he had a golden ear and a golden touch,” remembers Buzzy. “What a cheat!” The resulting album, which included some stone classics like “Tornado” (co-written with Artie Traum), “Sing Joy — Tutti Frutti,” and “Tell Me True,” also included worthy covers of “Take Me To The Pilot” and — in a disputed choice as a single — “You Got What it Takes.” Kama Sutra label head Neil Bogart chose “You Got What It Takes” as the album’s first single. Buzzy disagreed with that choice. Having first been heard as a massive hit for Marvin Johnson in 1958, the song was a perennial with well-known versions by the Dave Clark Five, Joe Tex, even Johnny Kidd & The Pirates. Although a charming, rather laid-back remake, the song didn’t have the dynamism of other tracks on the album. “Bogart didn’t believe we could get airplay with a song that ended, only one that faded,” Buzzy said. This was pretty arcane reasoning, but you couldn’t argue with a label head. “You Got What It Takes” was released to radio stations with a very nice promo-only picture sleeve, showing Buzzy lifting up his new wife, Jeannie, in front of the New York building they lived in at the time. All was happiness then, but it was soon to take a darker turn. Despite having glowing industry reviews on the sleeve’s back cover (raves from Record World, Cashbox, Billboard, etc.), the single disappeared. And with it, the whole album. The marriage didn’t go well, either. [Posted on 30 October 2008 by & © Stephen M. H. Braitman (Stephen M. H. Braitman is a writer and music appraiser in San Francisco. His Web site is http://www.musicappraisals.com) © F+W Media, Inc. 2011 All Rights Reserved http://www.goldminemag.com/tag/buzzy-linhart

[Vinyl rip @ 192 Kbps: File size = 45.4 Mb]. N.B: This album is not the same as the 1968 Buzzy Linhart's "buzzy" album, with title in lower case. Listen to Buzzy Linhart's 1971 "The Time to Live Is Now" album, and check out the "Music (Buzzy Linhart) Music" album @ BUZLIN/MUSIC

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1 Tornado - B. Linhart, A. Traum 2:30
2 Rollin' On - B. Linhart 3:20
3 You Got What It Takes - Berry Jr. Gordy, Gwendolyn Gordy Fuqua, Tyran Carlo 2:45
4 Boogaloother or "Captain Hornbone's Last Desperate Truck" - L. Luther Rix 1:10
5 Sing Joy - Tutti Frutti - Callos, Linhart 8:30
6 Take Me to the Pilot - John & Taupin 5:00
7 Eye 1-2-C-U Shuffle - B.Linhart 2:30
8 Tell Me True - B.Linhart 3:50
9 Don't You Pay Me No Mind - B.Linhart 3:55

MUSICIANS

Buzzy Linhart - Acoustic & Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Piano,Vibraphone, Marimba, Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Jeff Baxter - Acoustic & Electric Guitar, Pedal Steel, Conga, Background Vocals [ Steely Dan, Doobie Bros., Ultimate Spinach]
Danny Trifan - Bass, Organ, Clavinet, Harmonium, Percussion, Background Vocals
Mark "Moogy" Klingman - Keyboards, Organ, Piano
Peter Plansky - Tambourine
Peter Ponzol - Flute, Tenor & Soprano Sax, Wind, Woodwind
Luther Rix - Drums, Cencerro (Cowbell), Timbales, Conga, Background Vocals [from Ten Wheel Drive]
Todd Rundgren - Mixing

BIO

Buzzy Linhart was born March 3, 1943, in Pittsburgh PA. His mother, Agnes Linhart, was a music educator. His first musical inspiration was when he heard the crows singing in the 1941 Walt Disney animated feature Dumbo. His dad was in a Mason lodge as grand master, Linhart told AMG in a May 2002 interview: "He played some percussion and did novelty songs with an act called the Cornpoppers in their lodge so I saw this stuff when I was two and three years old. Rock & roll wasn't in yet, my parents liked to produce shows....They would do these big stage extravaganzas, a lot of music from the 1890s, they would write entire shows...including minstrel shows, so I really heard a lot of good live music when I was very young." He started taking classical drum lessons and performed in the grade-school orchestra at seven years of age. On Buzzy Linhart's first band: "When John Coltrane played it was just deeper. I've been trying to hire musicians that give you those goose bumps since I was starting my first band at age 11, the Five Diamonds. It was Dixieland, and we were reading out of the famous combo/orch books." He later formed the Bel-Aires, not the Scottish group of the same name, always having a band through junior-high and high school, sometimes under his own name. He studied classical xylophone and jazz xylophone with the mallet man for the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, Robert Matson, "I got college-level music training when I was 13 and 14, and when I went into the Navy Conservatory's college-level school of music." He drove to D.C. to join the Navy Symphony and they took him even though Linhart was 4-F. "Their plan was to use me just playing music." He caught emphysema during the Cuban Missile Crisis from fighting a fire, also "a guy was killed ten feet from me on watch," creating post-traumatic stress disorder. He was 19 when he was let out of the navy: "Took my vibes in a car with this wild guy named Goose from Jersey City who got out through the psych ward like I did and we drove straight down to Miami to my friend's house 'cause he had written me a letter about the folk scene down there." On a tour of the coffeehouses, a 1943 Jaguar pulled up and it was a 19-year-old David Crosby. Crosby drove them to a club where he played with his brother, Chip Crosby, joined on-stage by Mama Cass Elliot. Fred Neil came in the next night. Simultaneous with this, Linhart auditioned for Tennessee Williams, and Williams' office immediately called to invite Linhart to be on staff as an actor for the entire season. That same evening Linhart saw Fred Neil and Neil asked Linhart to play vibes with him. "I called Tennessee Williams' office the next day, I was young and didn't quite realize what was happening...I wanted to play with him [Fred Neil] so badly that I called Tennessee Williams' office back and said, 'Could you please tell him I'm very sorry but I can't work with him this season [laughing now at the absurdity of what he was doing] but I certainly would enjoy working with him some time in the future.'" So he joined the folk-rock scene "and started really starving." He began hanging out with Tim Hardin, Fred Neil, Dylan, "it was crazy the quality of music we were exposed to." The first record Linhart tracked in New York was Buffy Sainte-Marie's "Timeless Love" with Felix Pappalardi arranging and Linhart on vibes. Buzzy Linhart performed in a trio with Tim Hardin and Pappalardi at this time, also playing vibes for Richie Havens at the Night Owl. Record exec Lou Reizner cut demos with Linhart and courted him to sign with Mercury; but it wasn't until he was opening act for Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels in London that he re-connected and signed a deal with Reizner, resulting in the first album titled simply Buzzy in 1969. Two albums were released in 1971: Music, titled after his band of the same name, and The Time to Live Is Now. He appeared on Carly Simon's 1971 debut as did his song "The Love's Still Growing." In 1972, Kama Sutra released another album called Buzzy (The Black Album), which insiders dubbed "The Black Album" so as not to confuse it with his 1969 debut LP. 1974 saw the release of Pussycats Can Go Far on Atlantic. His legacy is rich and impressive, appearing on Cat Mother & the All Night Newsboys' 1973 disc, Last Chance Dance, as well as performing vibraphone on tapes by a producer of the Cat Mother group, his friend Jimi Hendrix. At an April 2002 event on behalf of Linhart in New York City, producer/engineer Eddie Kramer gave insight into what Jimi Hendrix wanted for his First Rays of the New Rising Sun project, and how he came to put Linhart's vibes on the original Cry Of Love album. Artists like Jake & the Family Jewels, LaBelle, Barry Manilow, John Sebastian, Mother's Finest, his friend Moogy Klingman, and many others have had "the Buzzman" songs or musicianship on their various recordings. Two excellent compilations released by Klingman give history and detail: Old Times, Good Times: A Musical History and The Buzzy/Moogy Sessions, 1983-1994. Perhaps Linhart's best-known composition is one that has graced numerous Bette Midler albums and has become something of a theme song for her, a tune he co-wrote with Mark Klingman, "Friends." His webpage lists Buzzy Linhart as head songwriter, a comedy writer, and Bill Cosby's sidekick, Buzzy, on the 1976 family-hour variety show, Cos. It also states he was the music director of The Groove Tube, and composed the score for the film Rush It, starring Tom Beringer. Linhart even wrote the music for the off-Broadway musical, The Trials of Oz. In August 1998, Linhart appeared on the debut of Fox and Friends morning news magazine on the Fox News Network. They used a clip of him singing as a music bumper for a couple years after that. He and Moogy Klingman appeared on their third-anniversary Fox and Friends show, performing "Friends" for 177 countries simultaneously. Linhart's later collaborators include rhythm guru Muruga, George Clinton, Buddy Miles, David Peel, Harvey Mandel, and the Cannabis Healers. His BuzzArt Publishing Company has 15 songs entitled BuzzArt Publishing Catalog, Vol. One. His webpage also notes that Buzzy Linhart lives in the Bay Area of Northern California. Although he is in a wheelchair due to degenerated knees, he continues to write, record, and perform to the extent he can with his current health issues © Joe Viglione © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/buzzy-linhart-p18945/biography

9 comments:

A.O.O.F.C said...

LINK

p/w aoofc

Eric said...

Ugh oh, I was relaying on another blog awhile back about how one of the times i saw Spirit live and the opening act was "NY/SF" featuring Harvey Brooks,Buzzy, Joe Cocker's then drummer (name escapes me) etc.

Well it wasn't announced beforehand who was in this group.
My buddy and I were hanging on the side of the stage before they went on.
Buzzy was tuning up and and I said to my friend "Oh wow I think Barry Melton is in this".
Buzzy overheard my comment threw me a dirty look and stormed off. lol
He was really drunk at this show...
They were doing a version of The Stones "Can't Always Get What You Want" that went on forever with Buzzy forgetting ,messing up the words.
Then when it came time for Spirit to play there was a problem as Joe Cocker's drummer used Ed Cassidy's drum kit for their set and broke Ed's snare drum.
He had to do "Mr. Skin" using his floor tom in place of the snare which actually sounded fine.
Ed who is a super nice/courteous person was really pissed.
Started yelling "where's the manager of this f@#$ing place! and "That's what you get for letting some jerk use your equipment".

People were cheering "You tell em Ed!"

Then Ed was able to either repair his snare or get a backup one and the show went on great.

ratso said...

What a fascinating post Mr F. Thank you so much.

A.O.O.F.C said...

That's F***ing hilarious, Eric! Sounds like some crazy, slapstick, cabaret act! lol What a guy. Buzzy must have had a good few "scoops" if he couldn't remember the words to that song..."We're gonna vent our frustration
If we don't we're gonna blow a 50-amp fuse". Sounds like that's what the band was aiming for! Is Ed Cassidy still around? Talking about Barry and Ed reminds me of Woodstock! Jesus...I'm getting old! lol Great story, Eric! I read that Buzz Linhart's first musical inspiration was when he heard the crows singing in the 1941 Walt Disney animated feature Dumbo! Man! Surreal stuff !! Thanks for the laugh, Eric! TTU soon...P.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Cheers,ratso! What about Eric's story? Manic stuff! Thanks. TTU soon...P

Eric said...

@Paul, That's wild huh. And it wasn't farfetched @ all it would be Barry Melton in that band representing "SF".
Plus they kind of looked alike back then.
Yes, Ed is still around, he holds the record for oldest working rock drummer I believe.
Plays with Merrell Fankhauser in various pairings of musicians.
Good guy.

It was surreal! The band kept the groove going for "You Can't" but looked kind of confused (as we were) wondering when he might move onto the next verse lol

He's been trying to make a resurgence in recent yrs.,maybe he's cleaned up.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Manic stuff, Eric. Makes Springtime For Hitler look tame! If old "Shel" Silverstein was still around he could have written a song based on that story! lol TTU soon...P.

Eric said...

@ Paul, Oh yeah Shel he was great :D
He could of incorporated it into "Freaker's Ball".

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Eric. I knew there was a song to describe that manic farce. Freaker's Ball...That's the one! Shel was a great songwriter. Did he get his or Dr. Hook's pic on the cover of the Rolling Stone?