Sunday, June 25, 2006

From A Distance

Since Fasthosts is still down, I've been having a bit of a P.F. Sloan festival on YouTube.

Most people have heard P.F. Sloan's music but don't know it. For example, the first ten seconds of "California Dreamin'" (listen but don't watch that video) is him playing guitar.

A few people may be familiar with "Let Me Be" as recorded by the Turtles. (That video is a hoot - remember what sweet little boys they were before they became Flo & Eddie?)

And just about everyone has heard Barry McGuire's rendition of "Eve of Destruction". The record company told Sloan that if he played that song for anyone, they'd suspend his royalties, and when they heard McGuire singing it, they did.

(The original versions of both of those are gentler.)

When the Patrick McGoohan show (that preceded The Prisoner), Danger Man, was shown in the US, it was given a new title and theme song - the latter being "Secret Agent Man", another from P.F. Sloan, sung by Johnny Rivers.

But you can hear the man himself singing his "From A Distance", a song I've always been fond of.

I couldn't find any of the surf music, which is surprising since he did so much stuff for Jan & Dean. (But I did find something I would have posted if it had been available when Jan Berry died in 2004, a live performance from later in their career of "New Girl In School", which is not a P.F. Sloan song.)

Cracked me up when I read an interview with Sloan in Songwriter magazine by someone who had never heard of him until Jimmy Webb wrote a song called, "P.F. Sloan" - he'd assumed the title name was of a fictional character meant to represent the trials of songwriters, and had been shocked to learn that it was actually a real person.

Some of the other stuff he did is a little embarrassing and I think I'll skip mentioning it, although I'm afraid you've heard that, too.

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