Mr. Leonard Bernstein Explains It All For You
April 29, 2011 6:30 AM   Subscribe

Inside Pop - The Rock Revolution is a CBS News special, broadcast in April 1967. The show was hosted by Leonard Bernstein and is probably one of the first examples of pop music being examined as a 'serious' art form. The film features many scenes shot in Los Angeles in late 1966, including interviews with Frank Zappa and Graham Nash, as well as the now legendary Brian Wilson solo performance of "Surf's Up." (MLYT) posted by overeducated_alligator (15 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
"Singing their own songs.." he says, referring to Herman's Hermits doing a cover of Chuck Berry's Memphis.

That radical generation - especially the musicians - were not so disconnected from the previous generation as those squares thought.
posted by three blind mice at 6:39 AM on April 29, 2011

Part 3 also features John Hartmann -- record producer, manager and brother of the late Phil Hartman.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 6:41 AM on April 29, 2011

OMG this is great.
posted by freakazoid at 7:19 AM on April 29, 2011

But please, Leonard Bernstein, please stop singing.

Thank you.
posted by freakazoid at 7:30 AM on April 29, 2011

This. Is. Fantastic. Like a primer on the longhairs for the squares. It's clear that Bernstein has actual love for the material, which is great. The hippie idealism makes me cringe a bit, though, mostly because I wish it had really turned out that way.

Although now I kinda want to get high.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:47 AM on April 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

nice. serves to remind me how much i love zappa (though i still can't listen to much of his stuff post 1970, save the 'serious' shit)...
posted by peterkins at 8:20 AM on April 29, 2011

Is there, like, a TOC? If I want to see "Surf's Up" and the Zappa interview, which parts do I go to?
posted by kenko at 8:22 AM on April 29, 2011

It's only an hour... Just watch the whole thing.
posted by hippybear at 8:51 AM on April 29, 2011

If I want to see "Surf's Up" and the Zappa interview, which parts do I go to?

They're both in part 6.
posted by dfan at 9:12 AM on April 29, 2011

Zappa nails it, of course:

If they'd stop taking drugs, and stop kidding themselves with their fantasies, and they'd straighten up a little bit, grant themselves a little sense of responsibility, I think everything will turn out all right. That is if they aren't killed off systematically beforehand.
posted by swift at 9:18 AM on April 29, 2011 [3 favorites]

Bernstein definitely does have love for the material, as evidenced by his Mass, which camed out in 1971 (even has some lyrics by Paul Simon in it!).
posted by jnrussell at 10:15 AM on April 29, 2011

I have huge love for Bernstein's Mass. I'd love to actually mount a production of it sometime. Even in the recording, the moment where the Celebrant drops the Eucharist is shocking.
posted by hippybear at 10:19 AM on April 29, 2011

This is pretty cool, and I always felt that I learned a lot from Leonard Bernstein's lectures about music.

But Bernstein seems disingenuous when he makes such a big deal (in Part 1) about the Beatles' changes in meter and key, or the mixing of minor scales in a love song.

He says this sort of thing has never happened before in pop music. Unique, he says.

It's like he forgot jazz ever existed.

In 1967, the year this program aired, John Coltrane had already died - his remarkable experimental oeuvre complete, which is not to say "completed". And don't get me started on his more out contemporaries.

Playing with time signature? Brubeck's time out was from 1959.

Harmonic invention - what about bebop? And music by youth for youth? Dizzy Gillespie wrote "Night in Tunisia" when he was 23, in 1942.

Bernstein pretends that the music is unique and revolutionary, I guess, to make young people more interested in music generally. He comes across like he would say "anything" just to reach his audience.
posted by grooveologist at 3:36 PM on April 29, 2011

Oh, wait... just found Part 2, where Bernstein acknowledges jazz. This generation, however, has rejected that as old fashioned and pledged allegiance to folk music and its simple triads.

Yeah, OK. Never mind. He covered that one. Does he realize that George Martin is helping the Beatles with their arrangements?
posted by grooveologist at 3:45 PM on April 29, 2011

Excellent find.
posted by Liquidwolf at 4:18 PM on April 29, 2011

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