Sunday, June 10, 2012

Chambers Brothers -- "Time Has Come Today" (1968)

I've been loved and put aside
I've been crushed by tumblin' tides
And my soul has been psychedelicized
My first bike ride on the Cape Cod Rail Trail this Memorial Day weekend started at mile 8 in Brewster:

I was on a brand-new 22.5" Trek 7300 hybrid -- which was a pretty nice bike for a rental, although not a bike I would buy for myself.  For one thing, the bike's big padded saddle made you feel like you were riding while wearing a fully-loaded diaper -- a little too squishy.  

And I don't really like this description of the 7300 on the Trek website: "Looking for comfortable, smooth-rolling recreation?  Prefer an upright ride, and would rather enjoy the scenery rather than rush past it?"  Not exactly a macho-sounding ride, n'est-ce pas?

Here the 7300 is at milepost 12, which is in Orleans.

The turnaround point was at mile 14.3 in Eastham:

Here are three little-known facts about these three Cape Cod towns.

1.  The NBC sitcom "Punky Brewster" (which aired from 1984 to 1986) was originally going to be called "Punky McGillicuddy" in honor of Lucille Ball's character on I Love Lucy (whose maiden name was Lucy McGillicuddy).  But the producer of the series, who had attended the famous Cape Cod Sea Camp in Brewster one summer, decided the name needed to be changed.

2.  Orleans was founded by French colonists who settled in the part of Canada once called Acadia (now Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island), but who were expelled by the British in 1710.  Most of the Acadians who didn't return to France ended up in Louisiana, where they became known as "Cajuns."  But a small group landed on an uninhabited part of Cape Cod, which they named Orleans after Louis Philippe II, the Duke of Orleans.

3.  The family of one of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Princeton classmates owned a summer house in Eastham.  Great Neck -- a town on the North Shore of Long Island -- was the inspiration for The Great Gatsby's West Egg, where Jay Gatsby lived, but Fitzgerald got the idea for the name from Eastham.  (West Egg and "East Ham" -- get it?)

Actually, only one of these statements is true.  Can you guess which one?  (The answer is below.)

After my ride was over, I treated myself to a big-ass burrito as Guapo's -- the restaurant that brings a little taste of Baja California to Ye Olde Cape Codde.

There's big news at Guapo's this year:

I didn't take advantage of this new Guapo's attraction -- it was a chilly day, and 1:30 seemed a little early in the day for margaritas.  Maybe I'll give it a shot in August.

"Time Has Come Today" is another song I heard on my $7.95-a-day rental car's Sirius/XM radio.  (Channel 26 is the "Classic Vinyl" channel.)

The Chambers Brothers were four brothers from Mississippi who started out singing gospel and folk music.  After bringing down the house at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 -- both the Chambers Brothers and Bob Dylan switched from acoustic to electric music at that event -- the group signed with Columbia Records.

But Columbia's president, Clive Davis, wanted no part of "Time Has Come Today" when the Chambers originally recorded it in 1966.  The brothers recorded it again in 1967, and the song became a hit in 1968.

The album version of "Time" is over 11 minutes long, but the group recorded it in just one take.

Two shorter versions were released as singles.  The first is 3:05 long -- Columbia took the album track and simply faded it out after about three minutes.  The other version is 4:45 long.  It's basically the 3:05 version plus the last minute and a half of the album cut.

"Time Has Come Today" is a very powerful song that simply insists that you pay attention to it.  It's been used in over a dozen movies -- most notably in the award-winning antiwar movie, Coming Home, which starred Jane Fonda as a Marine officer's wife who falls in love with Jon Voight, a paraplegic Vietnam veteran.  (Fonda won the "Best Actress" Oscar that year, and Voight was named "Best Actor.")

Here's the 4:45 version of "Time Has Come Today":

Here's an extraordinary live performance of "Time Has Come Today" that runs almost 15 minutes long:

Click here to buy the 4:45 version of the song from Amazon:

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