The dawning of the Age Of Aquarius was an interesting time for sure…
When Hair hit, I had an excellent “American” musical vocabulary, largely due to my grandparents’ interest and record collection. Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, My Fair Lady, Gigi to name some. My grandmother took me to see the movie of West Side Story at the University Theatre in Toronto. That music has remained with me all these years.
But Hair was different. It had tremendous social impact in 1968, especially on my (teen) age group; aside from it’s anti-war message and nude thing, the fact that the music was made with a rock rhythm section was really different. I never actually saw the stage production, but I have seen the movie several times.
Our band director got hold of a decent medley arrangement for concert band of Hair, Age Of Aquarius and Let The Sunshine In. You can imagine how excited I was when he asked me to adapt the percussion part to drum kit.
There were 60 of us in that concert band; for me that was HUGE! The power, dynamics and overall potential for my playing was SO exciting and I savoured everything about it from putting the music together to the many performances we did. We even traveled by bus to Washington DC on an exchange trip to perform it.
More fuel for my budding arranging, composing and large ensemble sensibilities!
…a career in music? Don’t be silly, you won’t make a living. That’s no life for a son (daughter) of mine. That’s that! I don’t want to discuss it again!
Hey! Turn the radio up! I love that song!
Hair yielded Easy To Be Hard which became a monster top 40 hit done by Three Dog Night. They meant a lot to me and I loved their vocal treatments/arrangements to all their hits; really, the ultimate cover band of that era! Talk about tight, and, as an aside, their drummer Floyd Sneed, one of my fave rock drummers of that period, is from Calgary AB; a dear musical friend of mine went to Crescent Hts. HS with him; and Galt MacDermot a Canadian from Montreal, composed the music for Hair.
I always preferred the Three Dog Night version to the musical’s.
*The Series …While Listening To Myself In The Mirror, chronicles the milestones, influences and progression of the musical career and times of Arnold Faber, Canadian Career Musician/Composer. The intent is strictly to inform, entertain and chronicle a 38+ year career in Canadian music history.