June 5, 2012
Interviewed with my ‘ol buds, Phil and Mitch Margo (The Tokens), by Mike McCann Entertainment and Sports Journalist on Premier Radio Network. Mike’s a super pro who I’m happy to know. The interview ranged from back in the day to today… how I got King of Fuh to George Harrison, & the recent Apple Records compilation, Come and Get It, The Best of Apple, and the subject of language taboo … Phil’s book, The Null Quotient… 3 of my songs on a new compilation, It’s A Happening World, on Real Gone label, I wrote back when I was a Token, writing songs for their publishing company,…Phil’s musical…Mitch’s song which was inspired by his Mom… my musical based on King of Fuh…… The documentary, BRUTE FORCE, currently screening at different venues in the USA. I got in some plugs for upcoming performances. It felt so good to be there.
In the biography, George Harrison Living In The Material World, by Olivia Harrison, George writes about a day in his life in his diary from Jan. 10, 1969, and King of Fuh was included! The diary entry also appears in the documentary of the same title, directed by Martin Scorsese, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOWUle0grm8, with the words read by George’s son, Dhani.
An article by Paul Theroux in Newsweek Magazine of 10/03/11 describes that day in George’s life:
“Harrison’s departure from the Beatles was abrupt and without regret. Scorsese has footage of some singular bickering between George and Paul. In what seems just another detail in a busy day, George writes in his diary for Jan. 10, 1969, ‘Got up went to Twickenham rehearsed until lunchtime—left the Beatles—went home, and in the evening did King of Fuh at Trident studio, had chips later,’ as we learn in the film.”
Thanks to George for including the Fuh King in his diary.
11/4 Secret Project Robot, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Brute Force the King of Fuh and the Beatles
October 9th, 2010 10:47 pm ET
Brute Force; the man, the image, the trademark in a pose accenting his educated eyebrows
As a songwriter, when you write a phrase that may sound like a ‘dirty word’ do you realize you will be enmeshed in a censorship battle lasting more than 40 years?
The word, which is in the popular lexicon, can be used as a verb transitive and intransitive, active or passive. It can be used as an adverb and a noun or even an adjective. It may also be inserted into other words in a more flowery artistic way. It is arguably the most universally censored, yet utilized word there is. It starts with an ‘F’ and ends with a ‘K’.
When recording artist Brute Force, AKA Stephen Friedland, put two words together that sounded like that word, he provoked laughter, serious thought and the ire of the establishment. http://brutesforce.com
Provocation is only one aspect of Brute’s heavy/funny world. His many followers would agree.
Over the years he ‘dynamited open’ the creative envelope of performance with his thoughtful consciousness and a boundless wit.
Brute wrote and performed with The Tokens in the 1960s and wrote songs for artists Peggy March, Del Shannon, The Chiffons and The Cyrkle among others.
John Lennon and George Harrison became aware of the American recording artist and songwriter when he penned his song entitled ‘King of Fuh’. The song had been produced by The Tokens about a ‘Fuh King,’ in NYC the track was admired by Harrison and Lennon who were always willing to push the pop culture envelope.
Harrison took the track back across the pond and put it on Apple. He then added 11 strings of the London Philharmonic, arranged by John Barham.
Capitol/EMI raised its aforementioned ire and squashed the suggestive song, which became the rarest Apple release. Apple Records knew that partner EMI would never distribute it, so the company pressed and distributed copies themselves in 1969 (catalogue number Apple 8). http://applerecords.com
Finally, the artist issued the record on his own label, Brute Force Records. More recently, Revola issued both ‘King of Fuh’ and its original B side Nobody Knows as bonus tracks. Also, in the UK, RPM includes it on their comp, Lovers from the Sky.
Aside from the past corporate anger, now the cream will rise. Much delayed fame seems to be coming together for Brute who is on the verge of breaking free of his cult status and becoming a pop culture icon through a combination of events.
What goes around comes around and on October 26th Apple Records will, in worldwide release, promote the CD Come And Get It, The Best of Apple Records’ first commercial multi-artist compilation which includes Brutes’ recording of King of Fuh.
This may be the most public release of a previously long censored song and will certainly provide visibility for Brute.
In addition, Andrew Fuller’s production company Razor Films is in production of a feature length documentary film which tells the story of Brute Force, one of Apple’s rarest censored recording artists. Bradley Beesley, best known for his work with The Flaming Lips, is the executive producer. The 2 Virgins album by John and Yoko with its cover nudity, being another.
The film is being directed by Ben Steinbauer, acclaimed film documentarian, who’s most recent film, Winnebago Man, is currently playing in theaters nationwide. http://razorfilmsla.com
Brute wrote and recorded the LP I, Brute Force, Confections of Love for Columbia Records in 1967 which is being re-issued by Bar-None records in collaboration with Sony records. http://bar-none.com/
Watch for these events to herald the rebirth of a performer who has always been a trailblazer in the musical arts.