Twilight Zone – Nightmare at 20,000 Feet… #7

I’m going to write about my top 10 favorite TZ episodes in the next few weeks…Most of the Twilight Zones are like songs to me…to be enjoyed over and over. The Twilight Zone is not really an ordinary TV show. It’s THE TWILIGHT ZONE. This is my personal choice for #7 on my list.

I have to watch these again before I write about them…Now I wish I would have made this my top 50.

Rod Serling Opening Narration: Portrait of a frightened man: Mr. Robert Wilson, thirty-seven, husband, father, and salesman on sick leave. Mr. Wilson has just been discharged from a sanitarium where he spent the last six months recovering from a nervous breakdown, the onset of which took place on an evening not dissimilar to this one, on an airliner very much like the one in which Mr. Wilson is about to be flown home—the difference being that, on that evening half a year ago, Mr. Wilson’s flight was terminated by the onslaught of his mental breakdown. Tonight, he’s traveling all the way to his appointed destination, which, contrary to Mr. Wilson’s plan, happens to be in the darkest corner of the Twilight Zone.

In this episode he plays a husband (Bob Wilson) who just suffered a nervous breakdown on a plane 6 months before. Him and his wife Julia were taking a flight and you could tell Bob was a nervous as soon as he boarded the plane. He had just spent 6 months in an institution getting over his breakdown and now his Doctor said he was ready to fly again. He sits by the window and the fun begins… after take off he thinks sees a creature of some sort out on the wing of the aircraft.

Because of the breakdown he is not sure he saw the creature or not. Bob starts freaking out and eventually gets a gun from an officer on the plane. Hmmm gun, nervous man, and a plane. Nothing good will come from that. Everyone thinks he is crazy…is he? This one is a thriller with a creepy creature.

Richard Matheson wrote this episode. He wrote 16 Twilight Zones in all.

This is an iconic episode of the Twilight Zone. It was redone in the 1983 movie Twilight Zone with John Lithgow in the title role. I’ll take the classic version though.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration: The flight of Mr. Robert Wilson has ended now, a flight not only from point A to point B, but also from the fear of recurring mental breakdown. Mr. Wilson has that fear no longer… though, for the moment, he is, as he has said, alone in this assurance. Happily, his conviction will not remain isolated too much longer, for happily, tangible manifestation is very often left as evidence of trespass, even from so intangible a quarter as the Twilight Zone.

Cast

  • William Shatner as Robert “Bob” Wilson
  • Christine White as Julia Wilson
  • Ed Kemmer as Flight Engineer
  • Asa Maynor as Stewardess
  • Nick Cravat as Gremlin

Replacements – Kids Don’t Follow

***Today I will be guest hosting a blog post featuring my top 10 favorite songs that the Beatles covered…with comments from Keith Allen (nostaligicitalian). Please come and visit if you can…Keith is the DJ I interviewed. Next week it will be my favorite Beatle songs that other people covered***

This Replacements song was inspired by U2’s  I Will Follow. Paul Westerberg had seen U2 perform on April 1981 at bar named Sam’s, where they actually played the song twice in their set.

He liked the sound of “I Will Follow,” but he balked at what he considered its unrealistic message. The kids he knew weren’t going blindly forth, their faith steadfast, their belief unwavering in the face of adversity.

They were still in their punk phase but on the next album they would start expanding their sound. I’ve been listening to their albums in order and the first three I wasn’t as familiar with but I’ll be posting at least one song off of each album as I go. 

The song was on their second release…an ep called Stink. It was released in 1982 on Twin/Tone Records.

The Replacements - Stink

The intro to the song was not made in the studio, it was a real party where the police was called because of the noise.

The Replacements were playing at a rent-party for visual artist Don Holzschuh, opening for the the band Warheads. It was a massive multi-keg affair attended by a lot of underage kids. The Replacements’ noise levels drew a visit and warning from the local police. Not long after they’d finished their set, the Minneapolis police decided to end the fun entirely.

As a uniformed officer took the microphone to disperse the crowd, Replacements’ soundman Terry Katzman pressed record on his tape player. “This is the Minneapolis Police . . . the party is o-ver,” he announced, to a collection of boos.

Future Soul Asylum singer Dave Pirner was at the party and he was one of the kids harassing the police. He has taken credit for being the one to yell “Hey, f**k you, maaaan!” starting at around 7 seconds below on the song.

Don Holzschuh talks about the party where the intro came from…

Kids Don’t Follow

Go home…..this is the Minneapolis police….the
party’s over…if you all just grab your stuff &
leave there won’t be any hassle..the party’s been
closed….etc.

One, two, three, four

Kids won’t listen
To what you’re sayin’
Kids ain’t wondering
Kids ain’t praying
Mo says he’s worried
He says talk away
He says yeah I’ve been cured

I need some attention
No house of detention
I’d love some attention
Don’t start again

Kids don’t need that
Kids don’t want that
Kids don’t need nothing of the kind
Kids don’t follow

What you’re doin’
In my face out my ear
Kids won’t follow
What you’re sayin
We can’t hear

Can’t stop looting
Can’t stop smoking
Kids ain’t wondering
Can’t stop choking
Kids won’t stand still
Kids won’t shut up
Kids won’t do it
You talk to ’em now

Kids don’t follow
What you’re doin’
In my face and out my ear
Kids won’t follow
What you’re saying
We can’t hear

Kids won’t follow
What you’re saying
In my face out my ear
Kids don’t follow
What you’re sayin’
We can’t hear
What you say
Not tomorrow
Not today

Beatles – She Came In Through The Bathroom Window

Besides having one of the most unique names in the history of rock songs…this one is a really cool song off of Abbey Road. It’s always one of my favorite songs of the medley.

It’s in the medley on side 2 for those of you who have the vinyl album. I always wondered who that was coming through the bathroom window. Paul wrote the song about a fan, thought to be Diane Ashley. She said that there was a ladder in Paul’s garden and bunch of girls put it against the wall and Diane climbed up and went through the bathroom window when Paul was at the studio. I seriously doubt if she was the only one…more probable…They All Came Through Paul’s Bathroom Window. The girls that hung out waiting for the Beatles were called “Apple Scruffs” by the Beatles.

Now married with four children, Diane keeps a framed photo of herself with Paul on her kitchen shelf and looks back on her days as an Apple Scruff with affection: “I don’t regret any of it. I had a great time, a really great time.” It shows you how different of a time that was compared to now.

Margo Bird was on of the girls who Paul negotiated with to get some of his property back…he didn’t care if they got small souvenirs but when pictures went missing, Margo helped him track them down.

This was credited to Lennon/McCartney but seems to be all McCartney. The Beatles ran through it a few times earlier in the year in the Let It Be sessions. They were going to feature it in their rooftop concert but didn’t feel confident in it.

The song fit nicely between Polythene Pam and Golden Slumbers in the medley. Joe Cocker covered this song also.

Apple Scruff Margo Bird: “They rummaged around and took some clothes. People didn’t usually take anything of real value but I think this time a lot of photographs and negatives were taken. There were really two groups of ‘Apple Scruffs’ – those who would break in and those who would just wait outside with cameras and autograph books. I used to take Paul’s dog for a walk and got to know him quite well. I was eventually offered a job at Apple. I started by making the tea and ended up in the promotions department working with Tony King.”

From Songfacts

Paul McCartney wrote this about a fan who broke into his house. Diane Ashley claims it was her. “We found a ladder in his garden and stuck it up the bathroom window which he’d left slightly open,” she said. “I was the one who climbed up and got in.”

Landis Kearnon (known at the time as Susie Landis) gave us the following account:

Here, all this time I thought this song was written about me and my friend Judy. What a surprise to learn there was someone named Diane Ashley who put a ladder up to Paul’s house and climbed in through the bathroom window. This and the bit about “quit the police department” being inspired by an ex-cop taxi driver in NYC tells me something I already know about songwriting, which is that many songs are composites. This one obviously was because Diane wasn’t the only person having a profound effect on Paul McCartney by crawling in a bathroom window in 1967 (maybe ’68 in her case). Judy and I were paid $1500 by Greene & Stone, a couple of sleazy artist managers driving around the Sunset Strip in a Chinchilla-lined caddy limo, to “borrow” the quarter-inch master of “A Day In The Life” off of David Crosby’s reel-to-reel, drive it to Sunset Sound studios in Hollywood where Greene & Stone duped it, then put it back where we found it at Crosby’s Beverly Glen Canyon pad. Crosby was playing with the Byrds that day in Venice so we knew his house was empty. This was the day after a major rainstorm so the back of his house was one big mudslide. We climbed up it, leaving 8-inch deep footprints and, you guessed it, gained access via the bathroom window, leaving behind footprints and a veritable goldmine of forensic matter. We were really nervous and did not make clear mental notes of how the master reel was on the player, but did have the sense to leave Crosby’s front door unlocked while we drove across town and back. After the tape was back on the machine (badly) we changed out of our muddy shoes, drove to the Cheetah in Venice, and hung out with the Byrds into the evening, thinking we were awfully clever and cute. We did not know why Greene & Stone would pay so much money for a copy of a Beatles song, other than the fact that is was a groundbreaking and mind-blowing piece, but found out the next day when we heard “A Day In The Life” on KHJ, I think it was. Greene & Stone had used it as payola to get one of their groups, The Cake, singing “Yes We Have No Bananas,” on the air. Which they did, and it sucked, but oh well. By the following day “A Day In The Life” was no longer on the air. And just a day or two after that there was a front page blurb in the LA Times about “A Day In The Life” getting aired one month prior to the release date of the single and the Sgt. Pepper LP, which apparently cost the Beatles plenty and they were suing Capitol or Columbia, whichever the label was, for $2 million… and McCartney was flying in from London to deal with the mess. Oops. Judy and I nearly sank through the floor. Though we were active “dancers” in the various nightclubs on the Sunset Strip, we lay low for a while, not knowing what to expect. In fact, other than a song being written and a GREAT cover by Joe Cocker, nothing happened. We got our money, spent it on groovy clothes, of course (what else was there?) and never heard a word about it.

“I knew what I could not say” and “protected by a silver spoon” seemed to explain why there were no repercussions. My dad was a TV director who had already threatened to bust and ruin David Crosby for smoking pot with and deflowering his daughter; he had clout and David was afraid of him. Judy was from money and influence too. I feel that David knew exactly who had broken in and borrowed the tape but couldn’t press charges. He probably wasn’t supposed to be playing the master for all his friends and hangers-on, so there must have been hell to pay for him. I always felt bad for the cred it must have cost him with his friend Paul McCartney.

Oh, the bit about “Sunday’s on the phone to Monday, Tuesday’s on the phone to me” – that was somebody named Sunday, maybe a detective, I can’t remember now, calling the producer Billy Monday about the break-in and song leak. Billy Monday, knowing she was a friend of McCartney’s, called Tuesday Weld, and it was she who called Paul in London and told him the news. Well, I guess I didn’t make this very short after all. But you can’t tell me that this incident didn’t feed into the overall inspiration for the song. I’m just glad it turned out so cool and hope it made a heap for them in compensation for the publicity costs at the outset.

It was interesting and exciting then, that’s for sure. Even though I came of age into that scene and had nothing to compare it to, I still had a sense at the time of being at the epicenter of something big. Some of that was attributable to the hubris of youth, but some of it turned out to be real, as it happened. Now, present time, it makes my day to come across someone who still finds it interesting or even knows what or whom I’m talking about. By the way, I never did get to meet the Beatles, though I was invited to party where they were staying once, when I was 17. My mother wouldn’t let me go! I never forgave her.

I lived in LA until 1987 where I was a model, actress, (groupie, but that wasn’t professional), marching band manager, religious (Buddhist) leader, newspaper columnist, secretary, copywriter, copy editor, account executive, screenwriter, songwriter, band leader, session singer, textile designer, artist. Since then, in the Santa Fe area and now, since 1992, in Tucson, I continued my artistic and musical endeavors, ran a fabric-painting factory, was a jazz singer for several years (which has mutated to something more individual and artistic of late), have worked numerous odd jobs from pizza delivery to bookstore management, and am now close to completing my first novel, which is set in a Buddhist cult in the early ’70s.

In the ’70s I traveled halfway around the world on a square-rigged cargo ship, lived and sang in Europe for three years, and, as of 1991, am a mother of one though I never married.

Subsequent to the bathroom window event, my friend and partner in crime, as it were, Judy, went off with a Dick Clark Productions road show (can’t remember the name of it but it was something timely) as “Irma the Dancing Girl.” Her job, nightly, in each new town, was to put on a bikini, dance, and paint wild, acid abstract canvases with her extremely long blond hair. I, on the other hand, joined a Buddhist cult, which was like living on another planet entirely, and completely disappeared from view, as far as the “scene” was concerned. Judy and I didn’t hang out much after we realized the impact of our little romp. We didn’t talk about it, but we may have decided at some level that we pushed our combined wildness a bit too far on that one and moved on to “safer” friends. I saw her once in the early ’70s. She had been married and divorced, was the mother of one, and that was the last contact we had.

The Beatles recorded this as one song with “Polythene Pam.”

The Beatles gave this to Joe Cocker, who released it in 1969. The Beatles released their version first. Cocker’s version was used on the soundtrack to the movie All This and World War II, released in 1976. A strange mix of World War II documentary footage set to the music of the Beatles, the movie bombed and has barely been heard of since. Others who covered The Beatles on the soundtrack include Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Tina Turner, Leo Sayer, Frankie Laine and the Bee Gees.

This is part of a suite of songs at the end of Abbey Road. They used bits from many songs they never finished to put the suite together.

McCartney played lead guitar and Harrison played bass. It was usually the other way around.

McCartney said in a documentary shown February 6, 2002 in England that part of the lyric was inspired by sitting in the back of a New York cab. The drivers name was on display (Quitts) saying “Ex Police Department,” which inspired the line: “And so I quit the Police Department and got myself a steady job…”

She Came In Through The Bathroom Window

She came in through the bathroom window
Protected by a silver spoon
But now she sucks her thumb and wanders
By the banks of her own lagoon

Didn’t anybody tell her?
Didn’t anybody see?
Sunday’s on the phone to Monday
Tuesday’s on the phone to me

She said she’d always been a dancer
She worked at fifteen clubs a day
And though she thought I knew the answer
Well, I knew what I could not say

And so I quit the police department
And got myself a steady job
And though she tried her best to help me
She could steal but she could not rob

Didn’t anybody tell her?
Didn’t anybody see?
Sunday’s on the phone to Monday,
Tuesday’s on the phone to me
Oh yeah

ZZ Top – Francine

This song peaked at #69 on the Billboard 100, and it was on ZZ Top’s second album “Rio Grande Mud.” This was their first hit and the only single off of the album.

The song was written by Steve Perron and Kenny Cordray. They were not given credit for many years, and they received little or no royalties for decades.

ZZ Top are still together and one of the reasons they lasted so long was their long time manager Bill Ham. he produced or co-produced all of their albums up through 1996’s Rhythmeen as well as being their manager. They parted ways in 2006. He passed away in 2016 at 79.

Frank Beard: “I truly think the band would have broken within three years if Bill hadn’t been involved. He was the guy that smoothed things out whenever we got our feathers ruffled with each other and who always encouraged us no matter what. He was our father figure, simple as that.”

Billy Gibbons on the album: It was the first record that brought us into step with the writing experience. We started documenting events as they happened to us on the road; all of these elements went into the songwriting notebook. As we went along, we were keeping track of skeleton ideas as they popped up. The craft was certainly developing.

Francine

Got a girl, her name’s Francine,
finest thing you ever seen.
And I love her, she’s all that I want.
And I need her, she’s all that I need.

Well, Francine, oh Francis, why
do you love me and make me cry?
How I love her, she’s all that I want.
How I need her, she’s all that I need.

If I ever caught her with Stevie P
I’d throw her back in the Penitentiary, now.
And if I caught her with my mother’s son
I’ll call her daddy and get my gun.

My Fancine just turned thirteen,
she’s my angelic teenage queen.
And I love her, she’s all that I want.
And I need her, she’s all that I need.
And I love her, she’s all that I want.
And I need her, she’s all that I need.
And I love her, she’s all that I want.
And I need her, she’s all that I need.

Rolling Stones – Dandelion

This song was recorded in 1966 but not released until the summer of 1967. The psychedelic sound fit in perfectly with the summer of love. The song was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

Later on Keith named his first daughter Dandelion but she decided later to use her middle name “Angela” instead…Her mom was the late Anita Pallenberg.

Keith Richards: fallece su exyerno arrollado por un tren - Foto 1

The Stones had some nice psychedelic pop songs in the mid-sixties that you don’t hear as much now. Personally I wished this period would have gone on a little longer. This song made #49 in Rolling Stone magazine rating the top 100 Rolling Stones songs.

Because of their drug bust at Keith’s home Redlands the Stones were not as involved in the summer of love as other bands. The song peaked at #9 in Canada and #14 in the Billboard 100 in 1967.

Keith Richards: “We didn’t have a chance to go through too much flower power because of the bust. We’re outlaws.” 

Dandelion

Prince or pauper, beggar man or thing
Play the game with ev’ry flower you bring
Dandelion don’t tell no lies
Dandelion will make you wise
Tell me if she laughs or cries
Blow away dandelion

One o’clock, two o’clock, three o’clock, four o’clock chimes
Dandelions don’t care about the time
Dandelion don’t tell no lies
Dandelion will make you wise
Tell me if she laughs or cries
Blow away dandelion, blow away dandelion

Tho’ you’re older now its just the same
You can play this dandelion game
When you’re finished with your childlike prayers
Well, you know you should wear it

Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailors lives
Rich man, poor man, beautiful, daughters wives
Dandelion don’t tell no lies
Dandelion will make you wise
Tell me if she laughs or cries
Blow away dandelion, blow away dandelion

Little girls, and boys come out to play
Bring your dandelions to blow away
Dandelion don’t tell no lies
Dandelion will make you wise
Tell me if she laughs or cries
Blow away dandelion, blow away dandelion

Sex Pistols – God Save The Queen

I didn’t get into the Sex Pistols at the time they came out. They were not as big over here as they were in the UK. I did find them later on. I can’t say I’m a huge fan but I do recognize that the Ramones and Sex Pistols help start the Punk rock movement… and they stirred up the rock music industry when it needed stirring up.

This was originally called “No Future.” The band played it live and recorded a demo version with that title, but changed it when lead singer Johnny Rotten got the idea to mock the British monarchy.

The U.K. Parliament threatened to ban all sales of the single. Despite the controversy, as major retailers like Woolworth refused to sell “God Save The Queen,” the record was selling up to 150,000 copies a day.

“God Save the Queen” peaked at #1 on the NME charts, but only peaked at #2 on the UK Singles Charts right behind Rod Stewart’s  I Don’t Want To Talk About It. Many people have claimed since that 

It was released right before Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee though drummer Paul Cook has said it wasn’t written specifically for the Queen’s Jubilee. He claimed they weren’t aware of it at the time… it wasn’t a contrived effort to go out and shock everyone.

Johnny Rotten: “There are not many songs written over baked beans at the breakfast table that went on to divide a nation and force a change in popular culture.”

“You don’t write ‘God Save The Queen’ because you hate the English race. You write a song like that because you love them, and you’re fed up with them being mistreated.”

From Songfacts

This song is about rebelling against British politics. A lot of young people felt alienated by the stifling rule of the old-fashioned royal monarchy, and the Queen (Queen Elizabeth), was their symbol.

“It was expressing my point of view on the Monarchy in general and on anybody that begs your obligation with no thought,” lead singer John Lydon (Johnny Rotten) told Rolling Stone. “That’s unacceptable to me. You have to earn the right to call on my friendship and my loyalty.”

The British national anthem is called “God Save The Queen.” This mocks it in a big way, which did not go over well with English royalty.

Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren released this to coincide with The Queen’s Silver Jubilee, a celebration commemorating her 25th year on the throne. The Sex Pistols and their fans detested the monarchy and this celebration.

The Queen’s Silver Jubilee took place on June 7, 1977. On that day, The Sex Pistols attempted to play this song from the Thames river, outside of Westminster Palace. It was a typical Malcolm McLaren promotional stunt, as they played up how the band was circumventing a “ban” by playing on the river instead of setting foot on ground. The performance never took place, as they were thwarted by authorities.

God Save The Queen

God save the Queen
The fascist regime,
They made you a moron
A potential H-bomb

God save the Queen
She ain’t no human being
There is no future
And England’s dreaming

Don’t be told what you want
Don’t be told what you need
There’s no future
No future
No future for you

God save the Queen
We mean it man
We love our Queen
God saves

God save the Queen
‘Cause tourists are money
And our figurehead
Is not what she seems

Oh God save history
God save your mad parade
Oh Lord God have mercy
All crimes are paid

When there’s no future
How can there be sin
We’re the flowers
In the dustbin
We’re the poison
In your human machine
We’re the future
You’re future

God save the Queen
We mean it man
We love our Queen
God saves

God save the Queen
We mean it man
There is no future
And England’s dreaming

No future no future no future for you
No future no future no future for me
No future no future no future for you
No future no future for me

Mountain – Mississippi Queen

There was a time that I wouldn’t listen to the song  because I was tired of it. Now after hearing it in a few movies…the love has come back. The guitar in this doesn’t mess around. There are not many bands…be it heavy metal, hard rock, or just rock bands that have such a vicious sound on guitar. Leslie West was a great guitar player who went for the throat.

Corky Laing (drummer) started working on this song with David Rea, who was a friend of the band and frequent songwriting partner…he and Mountain bass player Felix Pappalardi were in Ian & Sylvia’s band.

The reason Vicksburg is mentioned in the song is because Laing asked him if he knew any cities in the state…which Rea mentioned Vicksburg. Vicksburg is a small city on the Mississippi River known as the site of a famous Civil War battle in 1863.

The song peaked at #21 in the Billboard 100 in 1970…their highest charting single and only top 40 hit. The songwriters were Leslie West, Corky Laing, Felix Pappalardi, and David Rea.

Leslie West: When Corky (Laing, drummer) brought me the idea, it was a one-chord dance song. We got real high, took out a napkin, and I came up with the main riff and the chords. Then we fit the words over the sound.” Laing says of the song: “I was madly in love with The Band, and I decided to put a ‘Cripple Creek’ feel behind it. Later on, I told Levon Helm that I felt bad about ripping him off, but he said that he didn’t hear any similarity between the two songs, and that we didn’t owe them any money!

From Songfacts

The song is about a seductive woman who teaches the singer a thing or two about the ways of love, but with the success of “Proud Mary” a year earlier, it almost sounds like this could be another song about a riverboat. In 1976, the “Mississippi Queen” riverboat was put into service by the Delta Queen company, taking its last cruise in 2008.

This is one of the most famous cowbell songs of all time, but the band didn’t envision the instrument in the song. In a Songfacts interview with Leslie West, he explained: “The cowbell in the beginning was just in there because Felix wanted Corky to count the song off. So we used the cowbell to count it off – it wasn’t put in there on purpose. And it became the quintessential cowbell song.”

Mississippi is a special place for Leslie West not only because of this song, but because it’s where he had part of his leg amputated. On June 18, 2011, the day after playing a show at the Hard Rock Cafe in Biloxi, West’s right leg began to swell and he was taken to the emergency room in a Biloxi hospital, where it was amputated below the knee to save his life (West is diabetic). West told Songfacts: “When I play ‘Mississippi Queen’ now, I think about Jesus Christ. Of all places to lose my leg, it was Mississippi.”

TV, movie and video game uses of this song include:

The title of a episode of the anime series Cowboy Bebop
The Simpsons in the 1996 “Homerpalooza” episode
The Dukes of Hazzard movie in 2005
Guitar Hero III in 2007
Rock Band in 2007
The Expendables movie in 2010
Regular Show in “Weekend at Benson’s,” 2012

This was used in a popular commercial for Miller Genuine Draft beer where some guys traveling in a jungle open a bottle of the beer to magically freeze the body of water separating them from some lovely ladies who beckon.

This song got a music video for the first time on Aug 27, 2020, when Mountain posted a collage-style animated clip on YouTube.

Mississippi Queen

Mississippi Queen
You know what I mean
Mississippi Queen
She taught me everything

Went down around Vicksburg
Around Louisiana way
Where lived the Cajun Lady
Aboard the Mississippi Queen

You know she was a dancer
She moved better on wine

While the rest of them dudes were gettin’ their kicks
Boy, I beg your pardon, I was gettin’ mine

Mississippi Queen
If you know what I mean
Mississippi Queen
She taught me everything

This lady she asked me
If I would be her man
You know that I told her
I’d do what I can

To keep her lookin’ pretty
Buy her dresses that shine

While the rest of them dudes were makin’ their friends
Boy, I beg your pardon, I was loosin’ mine

You know she was a dancer
She moved better on wine

While the rest of them dudes were gettin’ their kicks
Boy, I beg your pardon, I was gettin’ mine

Yeah, Mississippi Queen

The Sweeney

It’s funny how we find music, movies, and TV Shows. As I’ve said before I first watched a TV show in 2007-2008 called Life On Mars and not only was the show great but I also found some music I never heard before. The show was about Sam Tyler…a 2006 cop that got hit by a car and woke up in 1973. It remains one of my favorite shows of all time.

Life On Mars was based on a UK seventies cop show… this show… called The Sweeney. It took me a few years but I decided to check The Sweeney out. I love it. It’s gritty, dirty, and realistic. No cop shows at the time in America could be compared to this one. Shows like Kojak were more sanitized than The Sweeney. Filmed right on the streets of London, with plenty of graphic violence, the series nearly defines the expression “gritty drama.”

Many episodes had a bittersweet ending, with perhaps one villain caught, but justice rarely served for everyone, and plenty of loose ends as the credits rolled. And you could count on the heroes getting a pretty good thrashing in most episodes, though they gave as good as they got in fights.

The two main characters were Jack Regan (John Thaw) and George Carter (Dennis Waterman). Jack was Detective Inspector Regan who had little regard for protocol and would not think twice about getting criminals legally or otherwise. Detective Sargant George  Carter worked under Regan and tended to go more by the rules and was sometimes Regan’s conscious…when he listened.

As the series went along you could see the characters grow and even Regan started to go more with the guidelines. It’s a great show and the writing from episode to episode is consistent.

The show ran from 1974 through 1978 with 54 episodes plus two full length movies released in 1977 and 1978.  Although it was extremely popular, a combination of high production costs and creator burnout meant that it only lasted for four years.

For those of you who have seen Life On Mars…Gene Hunt was Regan…Hunt was more bombastic but the thread is there between the two. I could even draw comparisons to Sam Tyler and Carter trying to convince their boss to do the right thing. Life On Mars even used a Ford Capri as The Sweeney did.

This show would probably be an HBO series now if it were produced today…give it a try.

Bo Diddley – Who Do You Love?

I remember this song as a teenager by George Thorogood. Bo Diddley was a little funkier than his rock and roll peers. He developed that wonderful riff that will live on forever where ever rock and roll is played. I could play this over and over on the guitar and never get tired of it. You can be a beginner at guitar but once you learn this…it sounds better than any other riff you can play…you can play it soft or loud…it doesn’t matter. The riff or  beat has been called “The Bo Diddley Beat.”

The rhythm to this version is just infectious. Bo Diddley (Ellas McDaniel) wrote this song. It was released in 1956 but did not reach the charts…that boggles the mind.

In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Bo Diddley’s original song at number 133 on their list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”

You can be cool… but not Bo Diddley playing his square guitar cool… great guitarist and showman.

I always loved his square guitar. He built a guitar that looked like no other. He designed and constructed a custom built square shaped guitar for himself, he then commissioned Gretsch Guitars and Kinman Guitar Electrix to build further custom built square shaped models for him.

Solid Body :: G6138 Bo Diddley, "G" Cutout Tailpiece, Ebony Fingerboard,  Firebird Red

From Songfacts

The title is a play on the word “Hoodoo,” which is a folk religion similar to Voodoo and also popular in the American South. Many blues musicians mentioned Hoodoo in their songs and like Diddley, conjured up images of the skulls, snakes and graveyards.

George Thorogood And The Destroyers recorded a popular cover on their 1978 album Move It On Over. In 1982, Diddley appeared in Thorogood’s video for “Bad To The Bone.” It was good timing, since MTV was new didn’t have many videos.

British blues rockers Juicy Lucy had a #14 hit in the UK in 1970 with their version of this song.

Who Do You Love?

I walk forty-seven miles of barbed wire
I use a cobra snake for a necktie
I got a brand new house on the roadside
Made from rattlesnake hide
I got a brand new chimney made on top
Made out of a human skull
Now come on take a walk with me, Arlene
And tell me, who do you love?

Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?

Tombstone hand and a graveyard mind
Just twenty-two and I don’t mind dying

Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?

I rode a lion to town, used a rattlesnake whip
Take it easy Arlene, don’t give me no lip

Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?

Night was dark, but the sky was blue
Down the alley, the ice-wagon flew
Heard a bump, and somebody screamed
You should have heard just what I seen

Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?

Arlene took me by my hand
And she said ooo-wee, Bo, you know I understand

Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?

Twilight Zone – Come Wander with Me…#8

 I’m going to write about my top 10 favorite TZ episodes in the next few weeks…Most of the Twilight Zones are like songs to me…to be enjoyed over and over. The Twilight Zone is not really an ordinary TV show. It’s THE TWILIGHT ZONE. This is my personal choice for #8 on my list.

Probably one of the creepiest Twilight Zones. The way it ends keeps you thinking after the show is done. This was the final episode of The Twilight Zone to be filmed, although two episodes filmed earlier were aired afterwards.

Rod Serling Intro: Mr. Floyd Burney, a gentleman songster in search of song, is about to answer the age-old question of whether a man can be in two places at the same time. As far as his folk song is concerned, we can assure Mr. Burney he’ll find everything he’s looking for, although the lyrics may not be all to his liking. But that’s sometimes the case – when the words and music are recorded in the Twilight Zone.

Richard Donner wrote this episode. This one wasn’t rated as high as some of the others but it stuck with me for a long time. The desperation in Mr. Floyd Burney is something to remember. 

Come Wander With Me:  Singer Floyd Burney, a rockabilly singer, goes deep into the back woods hoping to find a folk song to buy and release. As soon as he arrives he hears a beautiful singing voice which draws him deeper into the woods. He eventually meets Mary Rachel who tells him the song he heard belonged to someone and that she’s forbidden to tell anyone about it. When she finally reveals it to him, Floyd learns that his future might be preordained. And the outcome might make him wish he never roamed into this strange place. 

Bonnie Beecher : Come Wander With Me (The Twilight Zone) : Aquarium Drunkard

Gary Crosby (Bing Crosby’s son) plays Floyd Burney and is very realistic as a fast talking rockabilly singer. Bonnie Beecher is the mystery of this show. She didn’t do much acting after this…her voice was used for the main song and it was beautiful. She ended up marrying Hugh Nanton Romney Jr. (Wavy Gravy) who was an entertainer and peace activist and was seen on the film Woodstock. 

Cast

  • Bonnie Beecher – Mary Rachel
  • John Bolt – Billy Rayford
  • Hank Patterson – Storekeeper
  • Gary Crosby – Floyd Burney

Ramones – Cretin Hop

In 1977 you had disco nearing it’s peak and slick pop going on everywhere…and you also had the Ramones. They bucked the trend of radio at the time. When they were recording the album they first heard the Sex Pistols album.

Rocket to Russia was the album this song was on. They had a bigger budget on this album. Johnny Ramone had just heard the Sex Pistols album and wasn’t happy. He said: “These guys ripped us off and I want to sound better than this.” They recorded most of the album in one take so the rest of the money went toward production.

The album peaked at #49 in the Billboard 100, #36 in Canada, and #60 in the UK in 1977.

Joey Ramone: “‘Cretin Hop’ came from when we were in St. Paul, Minnesota. We went some place to eat and there were just all these cretins all over the place. And there was a Cretin Avenue, where we drove into the city.” 

From Songfacts

The Ramones bucked the trends of the ’70s with simplistic rock songs, often about freaks and deviants. It didn’t make them rich, but it appealed to core group of fans that fell in with this culture. This being the disco era, songs like “Cretin Hop” were completely at odds with what was getting airplay. The Ramones were later rewarded for their skewed view and stewardship of their genre when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

Cretin Hop

There’s no stoppin’ the cretins from hoppin’
You gotta keep it beatin’ for all the hoppin’ cretins

Cretin, cretin
I’m gonna go for a whirl with my cretin girl
My feet won’t stop doin’ the Cretin Hop
Cretin, cretin

One-two-three-four, cretins want to hop some more
Four-five-six-seven, all good cretins go to heaven

There’s no stoppin’ the cretins from hoppin’
You gotta keep it beatin’ for all the hoppin’ cretins

Cretin, cretin
I’m gonna go for a whirl with my cretin girl
My feet won’t stop doin’ the Cretin Hop
Cretin, cretin

One-two-three-four, cretins want to hop some more
Four-five-six-seven, all good cretins go to heaven

Replacements – Johnny’s Gonna Die

Johnny always needs more than he takes
Forgets a couple of chords, forgets a couple of breaks
And everybody tells me that Johnny is hot
Johnny needs something, what he ain’t got

Almost anything off of a Replacements album is going to be an album cut. This one is off of their debut album Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash. The album was released on the small  Minneapolis, Minnesota label Twin Tone in 1981.

I listened to them in the mid 80s but lost touch until recently. I’m going through all of their albums so I will be post some from every album coming up. I never knew their first album too much but I like it a lot. It’s punkish, rock, raw,  with some great lyrics by Paul Westerberg. On this one Bob Stinson’s guitar playing feels like it may break down at anytime but stays on course and I love what he plays.

This song is about punk guitarist Johnny Thunders (John Anthony Genzale) who was a founding member of the New York Dolls. He also played with the punk band The Heartbreakers. He was in Minneapolis in 1980 with his  band Gang War playing in a bar. The Replacements desperately wanted to open, but were beat out for the gig by Hüsker Dü.

He was physically struggling through the show, while battling an audience hurling objects, Thunders had been rendered a prisoner of his own addictions and cult infamy.  Westerberg was in the audience and wrote this song about him.

You don’t see this happen everyday…I mean writing about “Johnny’s Gonna Die” when the guy is alive. Thunders did live a little longer…he died in 1991.

Paul Westerberg on watching Johnny Thunders: “He was frightening and beautiful and mean at the same time,” he said. “Like a child.”

“When Johnny was playing, it looked like he was walking dead, It was pitiful, like watching a guy in a cage.”

Johnny’s Gonna Die

Johnny always takes more than he needs
Knows a couple chords, knows a couple leads
Johnny always needs more than he takes
Forgets a couple of chords, forgets a couple of breaks
And everybody tells me Johnny is hot
Johnny needs something that he ain’t got

And Johnny’s gonna die
Johnny’s gonna die
Johnny’s gonna die

Everybody stares and everybody hoots
Johnny always needs more than he shoots
Standing by a beach and there ain’t no lake
He’s got friends without no guts, friends that never ache
In New York City, I guess it’s cool when it’s dark
There’s one sure way Johnny you can leave your mark

And Johnny’s gonna die
Johnny’s gonna die
Johnny’s gonna die

Neil Young – Southern Man

A few days ago this song has come up in conversation with a friend of mine. We talked about it and then my friend Dave from A Sound Day posted about it a few days later.

I love the power of the song and I’ve learned it on guitar but as a southern person… I think Neil generalized too much. Even Neil thinks that now. His quote on the song now is “I don’t like my words when I listen to it. They are accusatory and condescending, not fully thought out, and too easy to misconstrue.” Are there people like that in the world? Certainly but they are not all located in the south.

Lynyrd Skynyrd replied to this song with their biggest hit Sweet Home Alabama. Neil was quite happy with “Sweet Home Alabama.” He said, “They play like they mean it, I’m proud to have my name in a song like theirs.”

Young is mentioned in the line “I hope Neil Young will remember, a Southern man don’t need him around anyhow.” Lynyrd Skynyrd were big fans of Young. “Sweet Home Alabama” was meant as a good-natured answer to this, explaining the good things about Alabama. Skynyrd lead singer Ronnie Van Zandt often wore Neil Young T-shirts while performing and he was thinking of covering a Young song called Powderfinger before his death in the crash.

The song was on “After the Gold Rush” released in 1970.

Neil Young: “Oh, they didn’t really put me down! But then again, maybe they did! (laughs) But not in a way that matters. S–t, I think ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ is a great song. I’ve actually performed it live a couple of times myself.”

From Songfacts

In the liner notes for his greatest hits album Decade, Young wrote: “This song could have been written on a civil rights march after stopping off to watch Gone With The Wind at a local theater.”

Young was backed by his band Crazy Horse on this track:

Danny Whitten – guitar
Jack Nitzsche – piano
Nils Lofgren – guitar
Billy Talbot – bass
Ralph Molina – drums

Nils Lofgren, a guitarist by trade, played piano on this song, an instrument he never played before After The Gold Rush. Young tasked Lofgren with playing piano as a “special trial,” according to Jimmy McDonough’s Shakey.

In trying to get the piano down, Lofgren tapped into his background with accordion. “I used to be an accordion player, and accordion’s all ‘oompah oompah,'” he said. “So I started doin’ the accordion thing on piano.”

To Lofgren’s surprise, Young loved it.

“That’s the sound I was looking for,” Young said. “I didn’t want to hear a bunch of f–kin’ licks. I don’t like musicians playing licks.”

Director Jonathan Demme first cut the opening sequence of his movie Philadelphia to this song in an effort to get Young to write a song like it for the film. Young gave him “Philadelphia,” which he used over the end. Bruce Springsteen’s contribution, “Streets Of Philadelphia,” was used over the open.

Young was married to his first wife, Susan Acevedo, when he wrote this song in his Topanga Canyon studio. They were not getting along, and Young’s foul mood translated into this track, which he described as “an angry song.”

Randy Newman felt that “Southern Man” was one of Young’s least interesting songs. “‘Southern Man,’ ‘Alabama’ are a little misguided,” he said. “It’s too easy a target. I don’t think he knows enough about it.”

During a filmed performance of this song at London’s Hammersmith Odeon, Crazy Horse’s Billy Talbot and Frank “Poncho” Sampredro dropped acid. “I can vividly remember ‘Southern Man,'” Sampredro’s said in Shakey. “It was wildly out of control – fast, slow, up, down, everywhere. At the end we were singing, I had my eyes closed and I hear this little tiny voice and I turn around and it was just me. Everybody else had quit even playing.”

Southern Man

Southern man, better keep your head.
Don’t forget what your good book said.
Southern change gonna come at last.
Now your crosses are burning fast.

Southern man.

I saw cotton and I saw black.
Tall white mansions and little shacks.
Southern man, when will you pay them back?

I heard screamin’ and bullwhips cracking.
How long? How long?

Southern man, better keep your head.
Don’t forget what your good book said.
Southern change gonna come at last.
Now your crosses are burning fast.

Southern man.

Lily Belle, your hair is golden brown.
I’ve seen your black man comin’ round.
Swear by God, I’m gonna cut him down!

I heard screamin’ and bullwhips cracking.
How long? How long?

Beatles – Dear Prudence

I’m asked quite a bit…Max what is your favorite Beatle song? It’s hard to tell you because it changes from day to day. I would have to say A Day In The Life if I had to give one answer… but on certain days…this one would be it. Lennon to me was one of the best all time rock singers. He could do rock and pop/rock with ease. He never liked his voice and always wanted the producer George Martin to cover it up with echo or some effect.

The story behind this one is known to Beatle fans. They were in India with the Maharishi and were asked to meditate all day. Mia Farrow and her sister Prudence was there. Prudence was taking this very seriously and would not come out of her quarters and John wrote this song to cheer her up.

Image result for prudence farrow in india

American flautist Paul Horn, who was also with them in Rishikesh said that Prudence was a highly sensitive person, and by jumping straight into deep meditation, against the Maharishi’s advice, she had allowed herself to fall into a catatonic state.

Horn stated, “She was ashen-white and didn’t recognize anybody. She didn’t even recognize her own brother who was on the course with her. The only person she showed any slight recognition towards was Maharishi. We were all concerned about her and Maharishi assigned her a full-time nurse.”

The song was on their massive double album album “The Beatles” or better known as the White Album released in 1968. On this album you get a little bit of everything. 20’s style music, pop, folk, Avant Garde, rock, to hard rock.

Donovan was also there and taught John and Paul and guitar picking style called “clawhammer.” The clawhammer style, is played with the strumming hand formed into a claw, using the backs of the fingernails to strum down on the strings.

The song was not released as a single but remains a favorite album track.

Donovan:  “He was so fascinated by fingerstyle guitar that he immediately started to write in a different color and was very inspired” “That’s what happens when you learn a new style.”

Prudence Farrow: “They were trying to be cheerful, but I wished they’d go away. I don’t think they realized what the training was all about.”

From Songfacts

While Mia Farrow inspired such men as Andre Previn, Frank Sinatra and Woody Allen, her sister Prudence left her mark on John Lennon. According to Nancy de Herrera’s book, All You Need Is Love, Prudence met The Beatles on a spiritual retreat with their guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in India, which she attended with Mia. When Prudence, suffering depression, confined herself to her room, Lennon wrote this song hoping to cheer her up. It did.

Prudence Farrow wanted to “Teach God quicker than anyone else,” according to John Lennon. She would lock herself in her room trying to meditate for hours and hours. From A Hard Day’s Write, by Steve Turner: “At the end of the demo version of Dear Prudence John continues playing guitar and says: ‘No one was to know that sooner or later she was to go completely berserk, under the care of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. All the people around were very worried about the girl because she was going insane. So, we sang to her.'”

Ringo had left the group as the White Album sessions got very tense, so Paul McCartney played drums. When Ringo came back a short time later, there were flowers on his drum kit welcoming him back.

According to the singer-songwriter Donovan, who was on the retreat in India with The Beatles, he taught John Lennon a “clawhammer” guitar technique that he used on this track. 

John Lennon’s handwritten lyrics were auctioned off for $19,500 in 1987.

Lennon considered this one of his favorites.

Siouxsie And The Banshees covered this in 1983. Their version went to #3 in the UK and became their biggest hit.

“Dear Prudence” was the second Beatles song that the Banshees had covered from their White Album. Previously, they’d recorded a version of “Helter Skelter” for their 1978 LP The Scream.

“Helter Skelter was very much part of our live show before we recorded it,” mused Siouxsie Sioux to TeamRock. “The great thing was that the two Beatles songs we chose – ‘Helter Skelter’ and ‘Dear Prudence’ – were not originally singles by The Beatles, so it wasn’t necessarily a surefire: ‘Oh, they’re doing a Beatles song.’ And it was also a bit irreverent as well, I suppose. A good test of doing a cover version is when people think that you’ve written it. Quite a lot of people thought Dear Prudence was an original.”

This song was in the movie Across the Universe, which was based on The Beatles music. In the movie, Prudence (played by T.V. Carpio) locked herself in a closet after discovering that Sadie and JoJo were together when she thought she loved Sadie. Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood), Jude (Jim Sturges), Sadie (Dana Fuges) and Max (Joe Anderson) sing this to make her feel better. It gets her out of the closet and they end the song at a anti-Vietnam War rally. 

Siouxsie and the Banshees’ take on the song added to The Beatles’ simple original arrangement. “It was kind of an undeveloped song on the White Album,” Siouxsie said. “and so there was a lot of scope to put in your own stuff, really. What did I want to bring? Oh, some psychedelic transformation there [laughing].”

“No, I think that actual track’s fairly restrained, simple and understated on the White Album,” she added. “I was listening to singles like Itchycoo Park by the Small Faces, so I think it was wanting to capture the 60s, and all that kind of phasing. Also, it was where we were at the time.”

Dear Prudence

Dear Prudence, won’t you come out to play?
Dear Prudence, greet the brand new day
The sun is up, the sky is blue
It’s beautiful and so are you
Dear Prudence, won’t you come out to play?

Dear Prudence, open up your eyes
Dear Prudence, see the sunny skies
The wind is low, the birds will sing
That you are part of everything
Dear Prudence, won’t you open up your eyes?

Look around, round (round, round, round)
(Round, round, round, round, round)
Look around, round, round (round, round)
(Round, round, round, round, round)
Look around

Dear Prudence, let me see you smile
Dear Prudence, like a little child
The clouds will be a daisy chain
So let me see you smile again
Dear Prudence, won’t you let me see you smile?

Dear Prudence, won’t you come out to play
Dear Prudence, greet the brand new day
The sun is up, the sky is blue
It’s beautiful and so are you
Dear Prudence, won’t you come out to play?

Webb Wilder – Poolside

I found out about Webb Wilder in the late eighties early nineties. There is a thread through his music that attaches with The Blasters, Red on Green, those rockabilly, punk, rock bands. His web site mentions his music as “”Swampadelic”, “Service-station attendant music”, “Uneasy listening”, and”Psychobilly.”

It also has elements of the 80s cowpunk music and just good rock and roll. I saw him twice through the nineties and he was excellent each time I saw him. This song was released in 1986 and it was on the album It Came From Nashville. 

This song I first heard on our local then rock radio station WKDF in Nashville. Poolside is what first drew me in. After I saw him in Nashville at a street fair I was a fan for life. I like unique…and Webb is unique…God bless him…

Webb Wilder: “I came to Nashville as kind of a hunch, an educated guess that it would be a good place for me. Rock ‘n’ roll and country have more in common than not. We don’t have the typical Nashville country sound, but we thought we could use that to our advantage. It’s sorta like we’re a roots band for rock ‘n’ roll fans and a rock band for roots fans”

Poolside

I got a nice apartment, got a window with a view
I get up every morning and I go down to the pool
Everybody’s pretty, everybody’s nice
Everybody’s got a little something on ice
I never go swimming, cause that ain’t cool
But every day you’re gonna find me hanging round the pool

Poolside baby, laying in the sun
With my dark sunglasses, and the radio on
Sittin’ in a chaise lounge, greased down, turning brown
Let it hit a hundred and three
I’ll be poolside, if you’re lookin’ for me

Every woman in the place, has got a novel in her face
You know they didn’t come here to read
Now they’re looking for a man, with a dark suntan
And every now and then I catch them looking at me

I got a little white styrofoam cooler
I got an ice cold beer in my hand
You know I really got it made
Nobody puts me in the shade
I got a full-time job, working on my tan

Poolside baby, laying in the sun
With my dark sunglasses, and the radio on
Sittin’ in a chaise lounge, greased down, turning brown
Let it hit a hundred and three
I’ll be poolside, if you’re lookin’ for me

Ah yeah, look at me, I’m luxurating now, aw it’s too good

Now it’s a wonderful world we live in
Just a few basic common sense rules:
No running, no pushing, no profanity
And no dogs, no dogs, no dogs, no dogs. At

Poolside, laying in the sun
With my dark sunglasses, and the radio on
Sittin’ in a chaise lounge, greased down, turning brown
Let it hit a hundred and three
I’ll be poolside, strictly on the cool side
Baby, I’ll be poolside, if you’re lookin’ for me
I’ll be poolside, strictly on the cool side
Baby, I’ll be poolside, if you’re lookin’ for me
I’ll be poolside, if you’re lookin’ for me