October 3, 2010


When this song came out I was head over heels with my high school sweetie. We broke up during my sophomore year in college. "Elenore," came out during the infatuation period. And it was my song as it captured the way I felt about this girl before I discovered how such a vision of beauty could turn into a needy, whining...

Anyway, it's a carefree, fun song by the Turtles.

"Elenore" was released in a 1968 album, "The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands." The band's first hit was "It Ain't Me, Babe" in 1965. By 1970 the Turtles were toast.

The death of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper in a 1959 plane crash had rock and roll musicians of that era obsessed with the notion of dying while flying to an engagement. Even worse, they feared the possibility that they would survive the crash only to starve to death in the mountains or desert while awaiting rescue.

So rockers developed a survival scheme; hire an additional singer who wasn't really necessary for the act; if the band survived the crash, there was a designated food source - a side of singer so to speak - that would keep the roadies going for at least two weeks. They identified this potential life saver by assigning a musical instrument for him/her to play. But it had to be an instrument for which no talent at all is required and therefore very easy to replace the artist/sandwich.

Of course that instrument is the tambourine. If you can smack yourself repeatedly in the face, you are guaranteed success with the tambourine. Fortunately the Turtles were never in a plane crash and it was years before the walking, talking, tambourine-shaking Meal Ready to Eat (MRE) singer even knew what was planned for him. He also realized why the band kept plying him with Twinkies and Moon Pies.

Look at the MRE shaking and dancing behind the lead singer in the Elenore video and tell me that a good hollandaise sauce , some parsley and maybe a baked potato wouldn't do wonders for this person.

Rock on.

Interestingly enough, Buddy Holly and the others only grabbed a charter flight because the heating system failed on the bus they were riding. It was so cold on the bus ( it was early February) that supposedly one of the drummers got frostbite. Don McLean wrote in "American Pie" that this was "the day the music died."


Anonymous said...

I was never a fan of the rock and roll because I had a tough time understanding the lyrics. I was a target of schoolyard ridicule for believing that the song Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds contained the line "The girl with colitis goes by".

When listening to Jailhouse Rock I never understood why "the whole rhythm section wore a purple gland."

My very favorite Beatles song was Camp Balmy Love.

To this day, I believe that Robert Palmer sang "Bite his little face off he's addicted to love."

I still believe that God's name is Howard because of the first few lines of The Lord's Prayer.

And, when Don McLean recorded American Pie, my girlfriend patiently explained that it said:

"Throw Machetes to the wetties
but a wetty was dry..."

Woodsterman (Odie) said...

Hey Sig94, go easy on these guys. I went to school with them. We Graduated together from Westchester High in Los Angeles. The guy you're referring to is Mark Volman. Small world huh ...

Hoping the Blind Will See said...

heheh, Nickie Goomba, very funny!

Hoping the Blind Will See said...

Always did love this song growing up!

WomanHonorThyself said...

ah yes the good ole oldies..woop!

sig94 said...

Woodster - that's so cool. I still listen to their music almost everyday as I have their greatest hits on my PC at work and on my cell phone. Elenore is still one of my favorite songs. Their exuberance is infective.

If you ever have contact with any of them, tell them "thanks" from sig.

sig94 said...

Not that they'd give a s**t.

sig94 said...

Hoping - Funny how certain songs affect us years after, huh?

Woodsterman (Odie) said...

Sig ... maybe the next reunion.

sig94 said...

Woman - I listen to the lyrics more now than I did as a young man. Because of that I now refuse to play some songs that I formerly liked.

sig94 said...

Nickie - after my girlfriend broke my heart I wasn't angry at all. I take life as it comes. "Live and let live" is my motto.

Bitterness has no place in my life.

But to help me get by, I changed the lyrics to the chorus in Elenore.

Elenore, you made my privates swell,
When I pee it burns like hell.
I take shots and pills, et cetera!

Elenore, you really shouldn't scoff
The Doc may have to cut it off
Or else I won't get better!

Like Professor Higgins sez:
I'm a very gentle man, even tempered and good natured who you never hear complain.
Who has the milk of human kindness by the quart in every vein.
A patient man am I, down to my fingertips, the sort who never could, ever would, let an insulting remark escape his lips.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure I'm not the first to say "Siggie, you are a true gentle man."

The_Kid said...

Sig, you could have written for Frank Zappa. In his last commercial offering, Joe's Garage, which is an autobiography, he tells of his days when he started running with a fast crowd and met Lucy who worked at the Jack in The Box and gave him a disease that was unpronounceable.

Anonymous said...

Who knew that Larry Fine's little brother played tamborine?

Opus #6 said...

Sig, it is wise of you to ply us with tales of cannibalism, lest we suspect that you are serenading a lady blogger with select You Tube videos.