Friday, April 6, 2012


I went in search of chords for a song that soared into the top 10 of the music charts 46 years ago and stumbled across some music history that is so typical of groups from that period.  Everyone thinks that many of those great bands that dominated the AM airwaves endured for years together.  The sad awful truth is that many of those bands fell apart in the space of a handful of years.  Bands like The Byrds and The Buffalo Springfield didn't stay together very long, at least in their original lineups, when you think about it.

One of those bands flame outs was a band that came out of New York City called The Left Banke.  I was looking to learn out to play the bands biggest hit, "Walk Away Renee."  They had another hit with "Pretty Ballerina" but listen to their first album and you hear a lot of amazingly good music.  It was dubbed baroque rock because the band used strings and a harpsichord.

It didn't last.  The band's songwriter Mike Brown was a power freak but he couldn't sing a lick.  The Left Banke would break up, reform and then break up again. 

As I went looking for the chords I made a quick trip to You Tube and was surprised to see that the group, minus Brown, had performed together for the first time in 40 years last fall.  They sounded great as witnessed by this live performance of "Walk Away Renee" at a New York City pub.  I also came across a wonderful sit down interview where members of the band discussed their trouble history and their plans for the future.     

Take a listen and do some exploring on your own.  It's hard to beat the great popular music of the 60's.  Whether it's The Beatles or The Rolling Stones or a little known group like The Left Banke, the music is still amazing. 

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