Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Great Suggestion . . .

Countdown Week Twenty-One! Sandy Borthwick nominated this song - another great one with a great story.

This week's pick was written as a Vietnam War protest song by 19 year-old P.F. Sloan in 1965. Originally viewed as a Dylan-type tune, the song was first offered to and rejected by The Byrds. The Turtles, another LA band, also recorded the song on an album released shortly before Barry McGuire's version. The song was again recorded by Jan and Dean (1965) on their Folk 'n Roll album. And The Grass Roots recorded another version on their debut album, Where Were You When I Needed You (1966).

Mid-July 1965 Barry McGuire, formerly of The New Christy Minstrels, was in the studio with a group of top-tier LA musicians that included P.F. Sloan, Hal Blaine, and Larry Knechtel. McGuire has claimed that "Eve of Destruction" was recorded on a Thursday morning in one take from words scrawled on a crumpled piece of paper. It was done as a rough mix and never was intended to be the final cut; however a copy of the recording was "leaked" out. A disc jockey began playing it on air. The following Monday, at 7 a.m., McGuire's record company called, telling him to turn on the radio - - his song was being played. It was an instant hit; the plan for completing a more polished vocal track never happened. By September, Barry McGuire's version of "Eve of Destruction" was number one on the charts.

The song is a grave warning of imminent apocalypse, and considered by some to be the epitome of a protest song. It was banned by some radio stations in the U.S. and was placed on a 'restricted list' by the BBC - - it could not be played on 'general entertainment programs.' It expressed the frustrations and fears of young people in the age of the Cold War, Vietnam, the nuclear arms race, and the Civil Rights Movement. Antigovernment, hypocrisy, racism, injustice; "Eve of Destruction" has it all.

Click here for linked connection to YouTube site.
Eve of Destruction (1965) by Barry McGuire
(Warning: Contains graphic photos)

Written by P.F. Sloan
The eastern world it is explodin',
Violence flarin', bullets loadin',
You're old enough to kill but not for votin',
You don't believe in war, but what's that gun you're totin',
And even the Jordan river has bodies floatin',
But you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction.

Don't you understand, what I'm trying to say?
Can't you feel the fears I'm feeling today?
If the button is pushed, there's no running away,
There'll be no one to save with the world in a grave,
Take a look around you, boy, it's bound to scare you, boy,
And you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction.

Yeah, my blood's so mad, feels like coagulatin',
I'm sittin' here, just contemplatin',
I can't twist the truth, it knows no regulation,
Handful of Senators don't pass legislation,
And marches alone can't bring integration,
When human respect is disintegratin',
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin',
And you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction.

Think of all the hate there is in Red China
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama!
Ah, you may leave here, for four days in space,
But when you return, it's the same old place,
The poundin' of the drums, the pride and disgrace,
You can bury your dead, but don't leave a trace,
Hate your next-door-neighbour, but don't forget to say grace,
And you tell me over and over and over and over again my friend,
You don't believe we're on the eve of destruction.
No no you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Musical Countdown - Twenty-two Weeks till BIFF

In looking at possibilities for inclusion in this Countdown list, it's strongly evident that 'end of the world scenarios' have been the focus of songs and songwriters for a long, long time - - and there is no sign that that will change in the future. Unless, we truly would get wiped ....

This week's entry on the BIFF musical countdown is vintage
Bob Dylan from almost six decades ago. A young Dylan delivered a light, humorous, whimsical song on the dark subject of devastation by a nuclear war.

The "
talking blues" is a style of spontaneous improvised songwriting. Twenty-two-year-old Dylan created some of this song beforehand and about half in the studio during the final recording session for the album: The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. He made five takes and the fifth version was selected. The format of the "talkin' blues" allowed Dylan to address the serious subject of nuclear annihilation with humor, and "without resorting to his finger-pointing or apocalyptical-prophetic persona".

If you would like to learn more about the talking blues, you can listen to an NPR program "
Listen To The Story" (6:13 minutes) from All Things Considered.

Talkin' World War III Blues

Lyrics to Talkin' World War III Blues (1963) by Bob Dylan:

One time a crazy dream came to me
I dreamt I was walkin’ into World War Three
I went to the doctor the very next day
To see what he had to say
He said it was a bad dream

I said, “Hold it, Doc, a World War passed through my brain”
He said, “Nurse, get your pad, the boy’s insane”
He grabbed my arm, I said, “Ouch!”
As I landed on the psychiatric couch
Tell me about it, dream-wise

Well, the whole thing started at 3 o’clock fast
It was all over by quarter past
I was down in the sewer with some little lover
When I peeked out from a manhole cover
Wondering who turned the lights on

Well, I got up and walked around
And up and down the lonesome town
Just a-wondering which way to go
I lit a cigarette on a parking meter and walked on down the road
It was a normal day

Well, I rung me a fallout shelter bell
And I leaned my head and I give a big yell
“Give me a TV dinner, I’m a hungry man”
A shotgun fired and away I ran
I don’t blame them much though, I didn't know any body there

Down the corner I seen another man
turning around by the hot dog stand
I said, “Howdy friend, I guess there’s just us two”
He screamed, down the road he flew
Scared, thought I was a Communist

I spied me a girl, before she could leave
“Let’s go and play Adam and Eve”
I took her by the hand and my heart was thumpin’
She said, “Hey man, you crazy or sumpin’
You seen what happened last time they started"

I remember seein’ some newspaper ad
So I turned on to Conelrad
But I didn’t pay my Con Ed bill
So the radio didn’t work so well
Turned on my record player —
It was Fabian singin’, “Tell our Ma, Tell Your Pa
Our Love’s A-gonna Grow Ooh-wah, Ooh-wah”

I seen me a Cadillac window uptown
There was nobody around
I got into the driver’s seat
And I drove down 42nd Street
In my Cadillac. Good car to drive after a war

By this time I was feeling blue
Needed somebody to talk to
So I called up the operator of time
Just to hear a voice of some kind
“When you hear the beep it will be three o’clock”
She said that for over an hour
And I hung up

Well, the doctor interrupted me just about then
Sayin’, “I’ve havin’ the same old dream
But mine's a little different, don't you see
I dreamt that the only person left after the war was me
I didn’t see you around”

Time passes and now it seems
Everybody’s having them dreams
Everybody sees its self
Walkin’ around with nobody else
All the people can be part right some of the time
And some of the people can be all right part of the time
All of the people can’t be all right all of the time

Abraham Lincoln said that
“I’ll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours”
I said that

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Musical Countdown to BIFF continues . . .

Okay so in order to get on-track calendar-wise, that is to match up with the Friday startup date of the Bicknell International Film Festival (July 20th, 2012): here is the second installment of the Musical Countdown to BIFF. After posting the first installment earlier this week, I thought it might be a good idea to count how many weeks are between today and the BIFF? Twenty-four! So now I'm wondering; are there twenty-four good tunes about mass destruction, Armageddon, annihilation, apocalypse, catastrophe, decimation, devastation, holocaust, and the end of the world? Make that 25 with the addition of the first entry? Stay tuned and see (8-); but no problem picking today's standout song track.

A brief reminder that this year, BIFF activities include an
Independent Film Contest. Anyone can enter and win. Learn more about it at

This Week's Countdown Addition - 23 Weeks til BIFF
Back in 1977 a debut album, "My Aim is True", introduced the world and the U.S. to an English punk band, Elvis Costello and The Attractions. They were at their peak and poised to break onto the American music scene with an appearance on Saturday Night Live and a concert tour. Elvis was 22 years old, skinny as a rail, and possessed his share of youthful angst. The band's album included a swaggering garage-punk story song, "Waiting for the End of the World". From there it was full throttle ahead. Written by Elvis Costello; let us know what you think of the choices, recommend your own picks:
Waiting for the End of the World (1977)
by Elvis Costello & The Attractions

The man from the television crawled into the train
I wonder who he's gonna stick it in this time
Everyone was looking for a little entertainment
So they'll probably pull his hands off when they find out his name
And then they shut down the power all along the line
And we got stuck in the tunnel where no lights shine
They got to touching all the girls who were too scared to call out
Nobody was saying anything at all

We were waiting for the end of the world
Waiting for the end of the world
Waiting for the end of the world
Dear Lord, I sincerely hope you're coming
'cause you really started something

Things got back to normal as the train began to roll again
We got to the station about twenty minutes later
The legendary hitchhiker says that he knows where it's at
Now he'd like to go to Spain or somewhere like that
With his two-tone Bible and his funny cigarettes,
His suntan lotion and his castanets

He was waiting for the end of the world
Waiting for the end of the world
Waiting for the end of the world
Dear Lord, I sincerely hope you're coming
'cause you really started something

And then the bride, the groom, the congregation and the priest
All got onto the train when we were three stations east
Hiding from a scandal in the national press
They had been trying to get married since they stole the wedding dress
You may see them drowning as you stroll along the beach
But don't throw out the lifeline till they're clean out of reach

Waiting for the end of the world
Waiting for the end of the world
Waiting for the end of the world
Waiting for the end of the world

I been waiting
I been waiting
I been waiting
I been waiting
Waiting for you
Waiting for you
So long
So long
So long
So long, soooOOO long
Dear Lord
That's it for this week, back next Friday for No. twenty three.

Monday, February 6, 2012

18th Annual BIFF "Duck & Cover" It's Doomsday 2012

The planning committee for BIFF is looking forward to next summer's events. Here at the BIFFblog, we can interact and inform about some of the things being planned. This is also an easy location for you to post your ideas related to the Bicknell International Film Festival.

The committee is in the process of selecting the feature films to match the theme:
"Duck & Cover" It's Doomsday 2012. That's a fun and time-consuming process, and there are lots of options - - we just have to zero in on the best ("The Best in Bad Cinema").

Find more information about
BIFF and the Wayne Theater
Also you can find us on Facebook at

Music Countdown

This week, we are going to kick off a musical countdown to BIFF by posting the first in our series of "End of the World" tunes. Here we will connect you to our choices for a playlist to get you prepped for the apocalypse - - make that prepped for the 18th Annual BIFF events.

American songwriter Julian Cassablancas was first known as the front man of a New York rock band,
The Strokes. This song was part of his debut solo album, Phrazes for the Young. The lyrics to this 2009 track: Four Chords of the Apocalypse can be found below. Twenty-four weeks until BIFF!

Julian Cassablancas at Coachella 2010

I hear it in your silence,
When you don't speak...
What was funny then,
Isn't funny anymore.

Hear it in your voice,
There's always a catch...
Well we're going nowhere,
And we're going there fast.

Anything to watch
While we are waiting
For this apocalypse?
What more is there to do?

Nice to be important
But so close to being despised
More important to be nice
I guess than being wise

So I take you shopping
I take you dancing too
I take you out
All the things you do
And I give you diamonds
But I give you space
So be with anyone you like
It's alright with me.

Oh time is over
Don't you know that
If a time won't
pause or burn
I'll stay right in my place
Now war is over!

- instrumental section -

When in your silence,
when you don't speak...
There is a quiet,
burning inside you, so dear.

I'd give you anything
But I'd give you problems
Be with anyone you like
It's alright with me.

I hear it in your voice
I can see it in your lips
There's always a catch
I guess it's alright with me

No one's around
The map says you're here
And I can get loneliness
Screaming in my ear.

Our time is over
Don't you know that
If a time warp was open,
I'd stay right in my place
The war isn't over yet
The war is not over yet

Being nice is only hard

when others aren't
Our time is over