* RARE LIVE CONCERT RECORDING *
The Turtles - Happy Together
© Scope-A-Tone Films, NYC 1967. All Rights Reserved.
"Happy Together" is about unrequited love.
Our boy wants the girl to "Imagine how the world could be so very fine," proposing what would happen "If I should call you up." The line in the fadeout, "How is the weather?" refers to the real level of their relationship being nothing more but passing acquaintances with small talk.
The Turtles were formed by Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan. They were saxophone players who did whatever was trendy in order to make a living as musicians. They played surf-rock, acoustic folk, whatever was big at the time, and in addition to their own bands, played backup for The Coasters, Sonny And Cher and The Righteous Brothers. After a while, they gave up sax and became singers, signing a deal with White Whale Records as The Crosswind Singers. When British groups like The Beatles took over America, they tried to pass themselves off as British singers and renamed themselves The Tyrtles. The record company made them change the name to The Turtles, and tried to make them sound like The Byrds, who were leaders of the folk-rock trend. Like The Byrds had done before, The Turtles recorded a Bob Dylan song for their first single - "It Ain't Be Babe." They had a few more minor hits, but turned down a chance to record "Eve Of Destruction," which became a #1 hit for Barry McGuire. They recorded some gloomy songs that completely flopped, so they decided to try some happier songs. After many other artists passed on "Happy Together," The Turtles decided to record it in an effort to change their image once again.
Alan Gordon: "I had nearly half a song already written, mostly lyric ideas, but couldn't find the right melodic concept. The Magicians were in the middle of a week-long engagement at the Unicorn Club in Boston, and one early morning I was visiting my divorced father in nearby Ayer, Massachusetts after being up all night. I had stopped to have breakfast at the Park Street Diner in the town and was miserable with no sleep, the endless dumb gigs we were playing and having a songwriter's block. About the only melody that was throbbing in my tired, fried brain at that hour was the time-immemorial repeated open string pattern that Allen (Jake) Jacobs, the Magician's lead guitarist, would use as he incessantly tuned and retuned after, before, and frequently during each piece we played. Suddenly, some words began to fit and literally minutes later music and lyrics started to take shape. I excitedly and in fairness asked Jake to complete the song with me as co-writer, but he refused, saying it was all 'too simple' for him to be involved, so my regular partner Gary then helped me with the finishing touches. When Gary Klein at the Koppleman/Rubin office heard the result, he immediately knew the song would be perfect for the new and upbeat image being created for The Turtles, and it was his continued enthusiasm that convinced the group to record it."
"Happy Together" has been used in lot of commercials for clients like Burger King, The NFL, Nintendo, Red Lobster, Sony Playstation, Florida Orange Juice, Heineken, Clinique and Nickelode.
In 1989, this was used in a movie of the same name starring Helen Slater, Patrick Dempsey and Brad Pitt.