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February 11: Happy Together

lawrencebush
February 11, 2014

20130508_turtles_band_91The Turtles, the archetypal bubble-gum rock band formed by Howard Kaylan (Kaplan) and Mark Volman — described by Kaylan as "two fat Jewish kids from the airport in Los Angeles" (although Volman, half-Jewish, is today an active Presbyterian in Tennessee) — released their biggest hit, "Happy Together," on this date in 1967. The song, according to a Wikipedia entry (with which we heartily agree) "seemed almost a parody of itself, and had already been rejected by countless performers," yet it soon replaced the Beatles' "Penny Lane" at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, where it stayed for three weeks. The band dissolved in 1970, and Kaylan and Volman joined Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention and also became a comedy team, Flo & Eddie. To see the Turtles playing their hit, look below.

"I mean, for God's sakes, it's just music. This is something Frank (Zappa) said that I'll never forget: If you're a musician, and you're one of those people that believes you're only as good as your last record — as the industry has led everybody to believe — you're not. It has nothing to do with your last record. You are the product of your years. Your work is who you are, not your last record. Your last record might be a piece of garbage. But regardless of whether it's 'Abbey Road' or garbage, it melts in the sun. It's just a hard piece of plastic that isn't gonna get you very far karmically." —Howard Kaylan