The Vinyl Dialogues Blog

Stories behind memorable albums of the 1970s as told by the artists

Tag: Gail Farrell

From Bob to Bruce: The Best Concerts of 2016

There are many aspects that make a good concert experience. Primarily of course, is the music. How does the artist and the band sound? Is what I’m hearing on stage like what I hear on the vinyl?

Maybe we all have different criteria, though. I am particularly fond of hearing an artist sing the hits live. I want see and hear Hall & Oates sing “She’s Gone” and “Sara Smile”; I want to see and hear Brian Wilson sing “Surfer Girl”; I want to personally witness Elton John sing “Rocket Man”; I want to be in the stadium and experience “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen.

As a music writer, there are several other aspects of a concert that add to the experience for me. Oftentimes, I interview the artist and write a story for my media group advancing the show. Was the interview a pleasant experience and did I … Read more

‘One Toke Over the Line’ meets the Lawrence Welk Show again . . . 45 years later

In their stage show, Michael Brewer and Tom Shipley are fond of telling audiences that they’re the only guys on the planet – “and probably in the universe” – who have written a song that has been performed both on the Lawrence Welk Show and by the late Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead.

That song, “One Toke Over the Line,” first recorded by Brewer and Shipley in 1970 and featured on the duo’s third studio album “Tarkio,” became an interesting and unique bit of pop culture. It got the attention of the Nixon administration, which labeled the singer-songwriters subversives to American youth because the song contained a drug reference in its lyrics.

But because it was a hit single, the song also attracted the attention of Lawrence Welk, who liked to feature popular songs of the day sung by Welk Musical Family singers on his weekly television show. In … Read more

Connecting Cher to the Lawrence Welk Show via ‘One Toke Over the Line’

This is a story about Cher almost being knocked on her keister in 1983. But to get there, I’ve got to first go through the rock-folk duo of Brewer and Shipley and the squeaky cleanness of the Lawrence Welk Show.

In Volume I of The Vinyl Dialogues, I had interviewed Michael Brewer and Tom Shipley about the making of their 1970 album “Tarkio.” The album would include what would become Brewer and Shipley’s biggest hit single, “One Toke Over the Line.”

“One Toke Over the Line” is a song about drugs. According to Shipley, before a gig in Kansas City, someone had given him a block of hashish and recommended he do two hits. But Shipley decided to do three hits, and by the time he got to the stage, he was wasted. “Jesus Michael, I’m one toke over the line,” Shipley said to Brewer.

Brewer thought that was hysterical, … Read more

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén