Nov. 12, 2014

Robin Williams was suffering from MORE than just Parkinsons Disease his autopsy has shown. He also suffered the beginning of dementia with Lewy Body Dementia.

Lewy Body Dementia is a condition commonly associated with Parkinson's. It causes severe side effects from Parkinson's medications. Hallucinations are common. Patients often see phantom objects, people or animals. The patients often try to converse with the illusions.

Williams would have inevitably been able to make his condition sound funny, but the condition is far from funny.

There were a lot of chicken-shit celebrities who condemned Williams as "taking the cowardly way out." Are you kidding me? Can you imagine the suffering the man was already enduring. He was one of the funniest men on th eplanet and he was losing his mind.

I wanted to wait to hear these results before reaching any conclusions.

I say Robin Williams took the "BRAVEST WAY OUT." His future did not look too bright after all. 

Is it possible Robin Williams wanted his fans and the public to remember the Oscar Award-winning actor in the best possible light and not as a deteriorating medical patient who cannot be funny or remember who his own wife is half of the time?

Robin Williams was one of the most-talented actor-comedians in the history of the planet. I now cast him in as one of the noblest and bravest humans ever. This man gave so much to charity during his lifetime. There were so many things he didn't allow the public to even know.

Mr. Williams had a "Rider" in his contracts that companies "Must Hire" unemployed and homeless people to work on the sets of his films or he wouldn't make the picture. That fact came out AFTER his death.

Robin Williams. You are missed and loved by all your fans.


Oct. 11, 2014

"When I aim at left/And I aim to the right/I ain't even sure/I got a dog in the FIGHT"
(Tom Petty 'Shadow People')

by Marc Platt
October 10, 2014

Tom Petty will turn 64 years old on October 20, 2014.

He played and sang like a man half his age to an adoring crowd at the Fabulous Forum 34 years after first appearing there. I was there that night in 1980 when he opened the show with his anthemic "American Girl" behind a black see-through screen reminiscent of 'Beatlemania,' the stageshow that was popular at the time. I was mesmerized by Petty that night by the fact that he would OPEN a show with his most popular song.

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers have had a long, long very successful run with many ups and a very few downs. Petty has 16 studio releases in 38 years as a recording artist. He has so many hits that he didn't get to tonight, I was even more impressed. He DIDN'T play "The Waiting," "Listen To Her Heart," "Don't Do Me Like That" or "Breakdown." How impressive is that?

Petty and his fine band played a more acoustic version of 1985 'Southern Accents' "Rebels." A fine acoustic-tinged version of 1991 "Under The Great Wide Open," a song that has special meaning to Petty, since that was the year and album The Heartbreakers reformed after a hiatus. The song had extra punch and meaning as these are the last two dates of the tour and it felt like a homecoming.

Petty referenced the fact that they have lived in Los Angeles for nearly 40 years "Which makes us kind of an L.A. band." Truer words were not spoken on the Forum stage tonight. I personally saw Tom Petty jump up on stage with the Plimsouls in 1979 at the Whiskey to sing an encore with that fine band. You would see Benmont Tench all around town playing keyboards with various bands.

This was not an L.A. club band, but they were certainly part of the scene in the 1980s and 1990s.

Petty played most of the hits, but also played Paul Revere and the Raiders "I'm Not Your Stepping Stone" with a fine tribute to the recently-deceased Paul Revere. They Opened the show with The Byrds "So You Want To Be a Rock and Roll Star" and completely killed that song like always.

I was most impressed with the unabashedly rocking versions of the four new songs from their first Billboard #1 album 'Hypnotic Eye.'

"American Dream Plan B" started the proceedings. This song really starts to open Petty up to his newfound political awareness in his music: "I'm gonna make my way through this world someday/I don't care what nobody say/American dream, political scheme/I'm gonna find out for myself someday." Petty made hand gestures throughout the telling of these songs.

"Forgotten Man" is my personal favorite of the new songs. When he sings "Well, I feel like I'm a 4 letter word/I know I feel confused/Angry words can piss someone off/Our soul can sense someone" I truly get it. He is a 60+ man continuing to defy the odds and having to ignore the critics who may or may not think he is relevant anymore. I am here to tell you, Tom Petty is more relevant today than ANY (including U2) of his contemporaries. Petty had a legitimate number One album without the aid of Apple/iTunes. This album is in my Tom Petty Top Three.

"Shadow People" was especially moving in our current political climate: "And this one carries a gun for the USA/He's a 20th century man/And he's scarry as hell Cause he isn't afraid/He will destroy anything/You don't understand."

Tom Petty is laying it all out there. This man has worked with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Del Shannon. He is a survivor and right now the LEADING pop poet and he is about to turn 64 years old.

It was only fitting that Tom Petty and his amazing band would END the night with "American Girl," still relevant after all these years!

Aug. 2, 2014

"I love you more than the sins of my youth."
(from 'Sins of My Youth')


Let me cut to the chase. Tom Petty has just released one of his top five recordings in his very long Hall of Fame career with "Hypnotic Eye." To say Petty has "Returned" to his former great form is not fair, but would be accurate. This album deserves repeated listenings and I know will serve as the soundtrack of "My Summer" in 2014.

I have to admit that I am a real hardass about rock n roll. I RARELY revisit my heroes of my youth. Tom Petty has more than earned my attention with this release. There is not a filler track on the entire 11-song CD.

I'm not going to go into too much hype and song analysis. I do that on most reviews. This record is a complete and mature work of art.

Petty opens with "American Plan B," which is a declarative statement of "Fighting until I get it right." Petty got it right this time and the man is in his 60's. It is not fair to compare this man's 2014 work with the brilliant work he did as a younger man.

Take a few listens to "Forgotten Man." That is quite a statement in itself. Think about ANY rock fan over the last 35 years listing their influences. Tom Petty is often listed in the top 3-4 with The Beatles, Stones, Springsteen & Tom Petty.

The last and most important thing I'd like to bring up is the fact that his fine Heartbreakers truly shine on this effort. They were given a fantastic canvas to paint with and shine. Campbell and Tench especially make a grand showing.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are ALL in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a unit and this CD reconfirms that they are still great.

Please download "Hypnotic Eye" and play that sucker in your car for a week. It will make you happy.


Jul. 7, 2014

by Marc Platt
c/o marcplatt.net

Richard Starkey (aka Ringo Starr) was born July 7, 1940 in Liverpool. He is the oldest Beatle in age and also the first drummer in my consciousness, therefore my all-time favorite stickman.

I will not try to convince you that he is the "BEST" rock n roll drummer of all time, but I will give you the reasons he is my favorite.

Ringo was not the first Beatles drummer, but he solidified a unit that needed a rock solid timekeeper. Along with Paul McCartney on bass, the world opened up for The Beatles once he joined the Fab Four.

From "Please Please Me"' in 1963 through "Get Back" in 1970 the studio tracks excelled with Starr's drumming. It is a major part of the sound they created. The landscape of rock n' roll would not be the same without Starr and the Beatles.

It has been said that The Beatles had a history of not always playing in perfect timing and Ringo was criticized for not being flashy like Keith Moon of the Who was. Others have said that Starr was a beneficiary of luck.

I strongly disagree about the luck factor. The Beatles were lucky that Starr was available when they needed to make the change from a shakey Pete Best. Producer George Martin was adamant that Best would not be used on their recordings. Manager Brian Epstein saw the writing on the wall with the chemistry of Lennon, McCartney & Harrison with the moody Pete Best and oft-times Best was not "with the program."

Ringo had played with the band when Best was not available and fit in personality-wise with the other three. 

Ringo started off with a bang with great signature drumming for songs like "She Loves You," a song in which his great drum roll intro blasts the song into our psyches forever.

How about the great oft-time drumming on "Ticket To Ride." I had never heard such interesting drumming approaches before. Maybe Gene Krupa comes to mind in the Big Band genre.

How about "Rain?"

Have you ever heard as ambitious drumming in rock BEFORE that track? I certainly don't remember recordings BEFORE that 1966 recording with as interesting time signature drumming. The other side of that single "Paperback Writer" is just as intersting and adept.

The stick work on the entire Sgt. Pepper project is stellar and signature to Starr.

I know Paul McCartney played drums on several tracks like "Back In The USSR," but how about Ringo's drumming on "Why Don't We Do It In The Road" and "Helter Skelter" on the White Album. How rock solid is Ringo on "Yer Blues" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps?"

Abbey Road is the final Beatles record and I am more than fond of Ringo's work on tracks like "Come Together," "I Want You," "Something" and the entire "Medley."

Ringo never considered himself an individual player, but his fine solo to begin that final "The End" part of the medley is simply awesome and over the years Starr has been very proud of that solo. He always disdained drum solos, but his mates insisted and it is simply excellent.

Ringo always has been my favorite rock drummer and always will be.

I was 5-years-old when I received Rubber Soul in December 1965. It would change my life forever and Ringo is one quarter of the reason, but I along with most of the world really fell in love with his personna in the "A Hard days Night" film.

Whether you love Ringo or just appreciate The Beatles, it is always a good idea to celebrate his artistry as The Beatles fine drummer whenever possible.

May. 7, 2014

“‘Let It Be’ was a miserable experience and I never thought we would get back together again. So I was very surprised when Paul rang me up and said ‘We want to make another record. Will you produce it for us, really produce it.’ I said ‘Yes, if I’m really allowed to produce it. If I have to go in and accept a lot of instructions I don’t like, I won’t do it.”

(George Martin, from Mark Lewisohn’s ‘Beatles Recording Sessions’ book)

McCision of the 16-song mendleyreation and vartney was heavily involved in the c

McCartney was heavily involved in the medley in the studio


Me, being the complete Beatles fanatic I was from age five, REALLY love their final recorded album “Abbey Road.” I continue to get emotional to this day when I hear the medley, just as I did in 1969 when it was first released and I would listen to it night and day.

Of course, no one outside the inner Beatles circle knew for sure that this would be their last hurrah. I suppose ‘Beatles Nation’ thought it would go on forever. The band itself KNEW this was “The End.” It was inevitable with the legal squabbles, Yoko Ono, Linda McCartney, Allen Klein and the failing Apple Enterprises tugging them four different ways.

For these men, the fishbowl they had been living in for 8 years never hurt their creativity and songwriting mastery. They kept competing for space on the records right to the end. 

"Abbey Road" was the 1st rock record to feature Moog synthesizer.

“Abbey Road” was the 1st rock record to feature Moog synthesizer.

George Martin had to walk on eggshells the last three years as this band had really come into its own in production and vision since the “Pepper” project in 1967. They had all written, played or produced material for other people’s projects. They were not the lovable mop tops anymore.

When the record started just weeks after the “Let It Be” project had mercifully ended, the band had one last collection of songs and some odds and ends they wrote in India during the Maharishi experience.

I want to briefly discuss Side One. There are some amazing songs on this first side. John Lennon’s “Come Together,” starts the record off and it is sexy and rockin’. Lennon would later be sued by Chuck Berry for plagiarism (Berry’s ‘You Can’t Catch Me’ is very similar. Berry would later win the lawsuit). I like Lennon’s song more. Berry was added on the copyright as a writer.

George Harrison’s “Something” is simply my favorite later Beatles song. Harrision had been developing in Lennon/McCartney’s shadow and would simply blow his bandmates out of the water the next year with “All Thing Must Pass.”

McCartney’s “Maxwell Silver Hammer” is shlocky and typical of his most corny works like “Obla Di Obla Da,” etc. 

Paul followed that song with one of his finest later Beatles tracks: “Oh Darling.” McCartney wrote this song during the “Let It Be” sessions and can be seen in that film rehearsing it. What I truly love about this song is the fact that he came into the studio EVERY day early and sang himself hoarse just to get the effect on his voice. It worked. It is brilliant and amazing craft and execution.

Ringo’s “Octopus’s Garden” is another song that can be glimpsed during the “Let It Be” film with George. The two of them collaborated on the song, but Harrison is not credited. Ringo wrote most of the song on Peter Seller’s yacht in 1968.

Harrison was a major contributor to Ringo's "Octopus's

Harrison was a major contributor to Ringo’s “Octopus’s Garden.”

Lennon’s “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” was recorded on the same day that the album cover was shot of the four men walking across the street in front of the Abbey Road studio. The track is highlighted by many guitars and some shrieking harmonies by John, Paul and George.

Beatles get ready for "Abbey Road" cover shoot, which took all of 10 minutes.

Beatles get ready for “Abbey Road” cover shoot, which took all of 10 minutes.

Side Two:

“Here Comes The Sun” is stunningly beautiful and sets the tone for what was going to be a masterfully-recorded side of a record that goes down in rock history as meaningful and put together. Harrison wrote the song in Eric Clapton’s garden.

Lennon’s Beethoven-inspired “Because” is, in my  opinion, his best later Beatles track. It has tripled-tracked Lennon-McCartney-Harrison harmonies. This song comes right before the medley and is beautifully poetic. This song predates “Imagine,” but it can be argued that “Because” set Lennon on a course to write that fine (“Imagine”) song just three years later.

Okay. On to the 16-minute masterpiece known as ‘The Medley.’

“You Never Give Me Your Money” is McCartney at his best as a balladeer and sometimes satirist. While these songs don’t particularly tie in to each other lyrically, they make it work. This track has a bite to it much like Lennon’s Maharishi-hating “Sexie Sadie” (from the White Album). McCartney HATED Allen Klein, their manager at the time. He thought the band was getting screwed and he wrote that song as a direct message to Klein. The second part of the song is a boogie-esque lament about what it is like to struggle in England:

“Out of college, money spent/See no future, pay no rent
All the money’s gone, nowhere to go/Any jobber got the sack
Monday morning, turning back/Yellow lorry slow, nowhere to go
But oh, that magic feeling, nowhere to go”

It is one of McCartney’s finest social statements, along the lines of “Eleanore Rigby” and “She’s Leaving Home.” McCartney has never really been given his due as a socially-conscious writer, but I would argue that these songs rank highly with Lennon’s “Nowhere Man” and “Revolution” in this category. 

John contributed “Sun King,” which has nonsensical Spanglishly language thrown in. It sounds great and belongs musically. The “Medley” would be lacking (in my opinion) without “Sun King. 

“Mean Mr. Mustard” and”Polythene Pam” were both Lennon throwaways he wrote in India. They fit beautifully as they pick up the pace. I do not take Lennon’s contributions lightly in this constructed 16-minute medley. These are just fun songs that round out the sonic background.

“She Came In Through The Bathroom Window” is autobiographically true as a fan did enter through McCartney’s bathroom window and Paul wrote the story she told him as lyrics. This was a common practice Lennon and McCartney used in those days. TV commercials, newspaper articles, real life were all fodder for songs.

“Golden Slumbers” is beautifully crafted from borrowed lyrics from 17th century poet Thomas Dekkor. It is a nursery rhyme set to new McCartney music. It goes into “Carry That Weight,” which is a warning to his mates and inner circle that they will ALL have to carry that weight…’A long time.’

George and Paul remained friends until Harrison's 2001 death.

George and Paul remained friends until Harrison’s 2001 death.

“The End” is the track that always gets me misty when I hear it.

The track is beautifully constructed by the Beatles and George Martin. They are all working together and even Ringo plays a drum solo, which is the MOST famous drum solo in recorded rock history. Lennon, McCartney and George Harrison each contributed guitar solos. This is one hell of a way to end the Beatles. It is both exhilarating and sad in a bittersweet way. I love the medley and the entire “Abbey Road” record as a testament to pop and rock history.

It is a piece of history that is capped off by Paul’s 23-second “Her Majesty.” Of course Paul gets the last word, but it is a good little piece of music about his love for the Queen.

Side Note: “Let It Be,” which was originally called “Get Back” would be released after “Abbey Road.” “Abbey Road” really was the end and it let them go out as artists on a high note.

For more info on Marc’s Politics of Pop CD Click Here