Glen and Bob From the Weeklings On the Beatles 1964 Arrival
This morning on all mixed up. I am thrilled to have Glen Burtnick and Bob Burger from the Weeklings with me. They’ve got a brand new album Raspberry Park out. We’ve got that to talk about it and more.
JM – So this is the of course the 60th anniversary of the Beatles assault on these American shores of ours. And we’ve been talking for the past couple of weeks here on DHA about different memories that we have and I was thinking for myself – I don’t remember much before February 9th. I must have heard about them because I know I was excited to see them that night on The Ed Sullivan Show, but you know the aftermath of it was just incredible, it was all we talked about in school. Glen, what do you remember just before? February 9th,?
GB – You know, it’s as if it they didn’t exist, like you. But I’m blown away with the fact that they supposedly said we refuse to come to America until we have a number one song which meant “I Want To Hold Your Hand” was Number One when the Beatles landed at JFK. I had two older teenage brothers. I was really into pop music or so I thought and I have no recollection of “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” All I know was that night Ed Sullivan Show the word was there was a buzz that there’s this new band that’s gonna play The Ed Sullivan Show and I distinctly remember my entire family in our living room in Franklin Township, New Jersey watching The Ed Sullivan Show and and I carefully watched everybody’s reaction in my family, too.
BB – I do recall actually I remember being in my mother’s 1964 Corvair and the Beatles came on I want to hold your hand came on the radio and I was pretty much hypnotized by it. And my mother looked at me and she says do you like that and I went yeah.
GB – I think you had to recognize that it was a media event also. That was the era of media events. This was just months after John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Followed by Lee Harvey Oswald’s assassination, you know that the television had firmly become a part of
the American family home and here was this this new phenomenon and you know these four guys with these haircuts, I mean that was a big thing.
JM – I was telling you guys before we came on the air I just had Mickey Dolenz on and he told this wonderful story of how he had seen The Ed Sullivan Show. He was at a hamburger joint and one of his friends happened to have a TV you could plug into the cigarette lighter and that’s how they watched the show. But I asked him I said, you know for for all of us it was life-changing in one way or another.
For him it was doubly life-changing because not only would he go on to audition for and land the job with the Monkees which was clearly based on the Beatles but on the show that night is like an 18 or 19 year old Davy Jones and Jones is standing on the side looking at this going I want to get a piece of this!
And you know I’m thinking in the back like we all were impacted. Dolenz doesn’t even realize that that other kid, their lives are going to be so intertwined and they’re going to be right in the eye of the hurricane just as the Beatles were.
BB – I Just remember seeing Paul McCartney singing “All My Loving” and clearly that started out and I just fell in love with the whole concept of it and said that I want to do that.
JM – Lenny Kaye told me a few months ago that as he watched it – “I want to know what’s going on under the hood.” And I just love that phrase the way he put it because that was that spoke to so many of us who were rushing out the next day to buy a guitar or a drum set.
BB – I don’t think I was that smart at that point. I just wanted to do it.
GB – I took up drums like, you know, I started drum lessons months later. I wanted to be Ringo and and it’s you know initially and I often
think now I’ve been a musician all my life. That’s pretty much all I’ve ever done and and I pretty much think that had the Beatles not happened. I would be doing something else. It’s just that simple
Raspberry Park – the new album
JM – Among the surprises on here. Um, I think my favorite right now is “Mr. Soul Satisfaction” because there were so many twists and turns in that and the guest vocalist on there, boy, does he have some stories of his own to tell.
BB – He does. And he’s great Peter Noone to the the vocals on that for us and uh, what a great guy what a great singer and we’ve become friends with him in this process.
GB – Years ago when I first met Peter he told he told me a story and I don’t know how true this is but he said that there was a show that he remembers he was 16 years old and he was up there singing and on the side of the stage were the Rolling Stones and the Beatles watching and he and he was the Number One that week
JM – the Weeklings appearing tonight at TWA Hotel, JFK Airport as part of the fest for Beatles Fans. You can find out all things Weeklings online at weeklings.com and you can learn more about the fest itself at thefest.com.