Friday, 23 July 2010

An odd compilation choice: "Talking Pay TV"

In what must be the strangest track selection of a Phil Ochs song, "Talking Pay TV" inexplicably appears on the Smithsonian Folkways compilation Classic Protest Songs. Among the hundred or so Ochs protest songs the compilers could have chosen, "Talking Pay TV" appears here as the sole Ochs composition, completely out of place. Not only is it not a protest song, it was never released by Ochs during his lifetime, hence negating in any sense its status as a "classic" of the 1960s. As Ochs noted in the Broadside Tapes, the song was written on assignment as an advertisement for a local pay-per-view television channel. What it is doing among tracks like "Masters of War" and "We Shall Overcome" is anybody's guess.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Q&A: Phil Ochs NYC Venues

Q: What are some of the venues in New York City where Phil Ochs performed in the 1960s and 1970s?

Here's a list I compiled a few years ago:

The Bitter End - 147 Bleecker Street (between Thompson and LaGuardia), New
York City, NY

Kettle of Fish - 114 MacDougal Street, Greenwich Village, New York City, NY

Gaslight Cafe - 116 MacDougal Street, Greenwich Village, New York City, NY

Village Gate - corner of Thompson Street and Bleecker Street, Greenwich
Village, New York City, NY

Cafe Wha? - 115 MacDougal Street, Greenwich Village, New York City, NY

The Folklore Center - 110 MacDougal Street, Greenwich Village, New York
City, NY

Carnegie Hall - 881 Seventh Avenue, Midtown Manhattan, New York City, NY

Gerde's Folk City - 11 West 4th Street (corner of Mercer Street) - no longer

Washington Square Park (40°43'51"N, 73°59'51"W) - located at the foot of
Fifth Avenue (site of War Is Over demonstration)

Che (Phil's short-lived bar) - corner of Broome Street and Mercer Street,
New York City, NY

Tavern-on-the-Green - Central Park at West 67th Street, New York City, NY

Central Park (40°46'55"N, 73°57'58"W) - Manhattan, New York City, NY

Interlude Cofeehouse (now the Bliss Gourmet cafe) - 8260 Austin Street,
Jamaica, NY

United Nations Headquarters - First Avenue between 42nd Street and 48th
Street, New York City, NY

Cooper Union - East Village, around Cooper Square and Astor Place (Third
Avenue & 6th-9th Streets), Lower Manhattan, New York City, NY

Columbia University (McMillin Auditorium, now Miller Theatre) - 2960
Broadway (at 116th Street), New York City, NY

New York University (Loeb Student Center) - Washington Square Campus, End of
Fifth Avenue, New York City, NY

Hunter College Auditorium - 69th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues,
New York City, NY

Strand Theatre - 714 Beach 20th Street (Central Avenue), Far Rockaway, NY

Madison Square Garden (Felt Forum) - 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, New York City, NY

Queens College - Kissena Boulevard, Flushing, NY

Max's Kansas City - 213 Park Avenue South between 17th and 18th, New York
City, NY

Bottom Line (now NYU) - 15 West Fourth Street, Greenwich Village, New York
City, NY

Philharmonic Hall (renamed Avery Fisher Hall in 1973) - corner of Columbus
Avenue and 65th Street, New York City, NY

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Phil Ochs Live at the Troubadour 1970

"The sixties...started out as a dream, ended up as a nightmare" says Phil Ochs near the beginning of this live concert audience recording, made at the Troubadour in Los Angeles on February 1, 1970. It captures most of the two sets performed that day, which came at the end of a week-long stint at the famed club. In a precursor to the more familiar Gunfight at Carnegie Hall concert (that happened the following month), Phil is in a Presley gold lamé suit, attempting to mix Elvis with Che Guevara, something that appears to work better with this crowd that it did at Carnegie.

The set list is familiar to those who have heard the Carnegie Hall shows; however, "I've Had Her" from Pleasures of the Harbor makes a rare appearance with Lincoln Mayorga reprising his piano part (the song was all but abandoned in Ochs' latter-day concerts, and here he forgets some of the lyrics), as well "Pretty Smart on My Part" (brought out by request at the end of the first show's encore - he closes by saying "Down with Nixon, down with Nixon") and Buddy Holly's "Maybe Baby." Somewhat interestingly, the first verse of "I Ain't Marching Anymore" gets extended applause (the Vietnam War entering its 15th year by this point).

Here's the full track list:
Phil Ochs
Live at the Troubadour Nightclub
West Hollywood, California
February 1, 1970

First Generation recording from the master R2R tapes.

Disc One
Early Show
1. I’m Going to Say It Now *
2. Mona Lisa
3. Pleasures Of The Harbor
4. I Ain’t Marching Anymore
5. Oakie From Muskogee
6. Basket In The Pool
7. Jim Dean Of Indiana
8. Chords Of Fame *
9. Not Fade Away >
10. I’m Gonna Love You Too
11. Think It Over >
12. Oh Boy >
13. Everyday >
14. It’s So Easy >
15. Not Fade Away
16. Maybe Baby
17. Changes
18. There But For Fortune
19. Pretty Smart On My Part
Late Show
20. The Bells *
21. Danny Boy
22. Gas Station Women
Running Time: 70 minutes

Disc Two
1. Intro >
2. Crucifixion *
3. Outside of a Small Circle Of Friends
4. I’ve Had Her
5. My Kingdom For A Car
6. My Baby Left Me >
7. Ready Teddy >
8. Heartbreak Hotel >
9. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You >
10. All Shook Up >
11. Are You Lonesome Tonight >
12. My Baby Left Me
13. A Fool Such As I
14. No More Songs
15. Rhythms Of Revolution
Running Time: 75 minutes 54 seconds
* Incomplete