Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House

Hanspostcard is hosting a movie draft from 12 different genres…this is my romance entry.

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House fulfills my romance portion of the draft.

In the 80s a loose remake of this movie was made…it was called The Money Pit…but it doesn’t stack up to this one in my opinion. I first saw this movie in the late eighties and have watched it many times since.

This movie was based on a true story, which was turned into a bestselling book. It was written by Eric Hodgins from his own experience. Hodgins and his wife had a house built and the initial estimate for building it came in at $11,000.  It ultimately cost $56,000 to finish and nearly drove him into bankruptcy. He said the book “wrote itself.”

A New York advertising executive Jim Blandings (Cary Grant) lives in a cramped apartment with his wife Muriel, two daughters, and housekeeper Gussie. Anyone who has an apartment or starter home with a growing family will be able to relate to this movie.

They look on upgrading the apartment but after the 7,000 dollar estimate is shot down…Jim and Muriel start looking at houses to in Connecticut to live. They find an old house and Jim buys it without checking with his lawyer Bill Cole (played wonderfully by Melvyn Douglas) who informs Jim he got rooked. Jim still wants it…he says somethings you have to buy from the heart. They looked at the house more thoroughly and it is basically falling in.

After getting it checked out it is determined that it would be cheaper tearing the house down and building a new one. This is when the movie really starts. All the estimates seem to shoot up (as in real life) and the price they started with escalates. Partly because of the Blanding’s “small” requests. Anyone who has worked with a contractor can relate.

Wrong estimates, supplies shipped to the wrong address, Jim and Muriel’s naivety, and unforeseen problems in building the house has Jim wanting his head examined for attempting to build a house. All the while the house was being built Jim has to come up with a slogan for “Wham Ham” or his job could be in jeopardy.

The movie was released in 1948 so yes the prices are different now but many of the problems are just the same. It’s a very funny movie with the problems of the house along with Jim’s growing jealousy of Bill’s closeness to Muriel.

Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, and Melvyn Douglas are perfectly cast for this film. Grant and Loy were a great couple but the one that makes this movie tick is Melvyn Douglas as Bill Cole… Jim’s best friend and lawyer. He really stands out in this movie with comedic relief. 

As with other movies in this era…the character actors flow in and out of the story and make a lot of scenes great. This is one of the reasons I like these older Hollywood movies so much. Pay attention to the well digger Mr. Tesander played perfectly by Harry Shannon. They add humor and the human element.

RKO (who made the movie) made a deal with 20th Century Fox who had 2,000 acres of landscape in the Malibu hills that served as their location ranch. After the deal was struck the house was built and is the one you see in the movie as it’s being built. It still stands and is now part of the Malibu Creek State Park, and it’s used for the administrative offices

Seventy three “replica” Dream Houses were built in 1948 to tie in with the promotion and release of the movie. Some were raffled off at the day of film release, after ticket sales held during public viewing prior to premiere, and others were put up for public sale by the contractors who built them.

A scene in the movie where Muriel is explaining the color scheme

“First, the living room. I want it to be a soft green. Not as blue-green as a robin’s egg, but not as yellow-green as daffodils. Now, the dining room. Not just yellow–something bright and sunshiny. If you send one of your workers to the grocer for a pound of butter and match that, they can’t go wrong.”

The painter turns to the guy next to him. “Got that, Charlie?”

“Uh-huh. Red, green, yellow, blue, and white.”

Cast

  • Jim BlandingsCary Grant
  • Muriel Blandings – Myrna Loy
  • Bill Cole – Melvyn Douglas
  • Joan Blandings – Sharyn Moffett
  • Betsy Blandings – Connie Marshall
  • Gussie – Louise Beavers
  • Mr Tesander – Harry Shannon
  • Henry Simms – Reginald Denny
  • John Retch – Jason Robards Sr
  • Smith – Ian Wolfe
  • Carpenter foreman – Lex Barker
  • Director – H C Potter

Who – Another Tricky Day

This was the first album the Who made without Keith Moon called Face Dances. Kenney Jones was playing drums and the album had a substantial hit with You Better You Bet. It was also the first new Who album I ever bought. The other ones had been collections of their older hits. I can’t say that I don’t the Moon version of the Who but the album did have some good songs on it.

This song is one of the best songs off of Face Dances. To my surprise it was not released as a single.

The album peaked at #4 in the Billboard Album Charts, #2 in the UK, and #1 in Canada in 1981.

Roger Daltrey: “Pete’s a very complicated bunch of people… And you never know which one of him you’re going to get. There’s one that’s so wonderful, so caring, so spiritual. But there are others that are horrendous-and I mean horrendous…. That’s the madness of genius, so I accept it. I don’t judge him. I love him. I love all of hims.”

Another Tricky Day

You can’t always get it
When you really want it
You can’t always get it at all
Just because there’s space
In your life it’s a waste
To spend your time why don’t you wait for the call

(Just gotta get used to it)
We all get it in the end
(Just gotta get used to it)
We go down and we come up again
(Just gotta get used to it)
You irritate me my friend
(This is no social crisis)
This is you having fun
(No crisis)
Getting burned by the sun
(This is true)
This is no social crisis
Just another tricky day for you

You can always get higher
Just because you aspire
You could expire even knowing.
Don’t push the hands
Just hang on to the band
You can dance while your knowledge is growing

(It could happen anytime)
You can’t expect to never cry
(Patience is priceless)
Not when you try to fly so high
(Just stay on that line)
Rock and roll will never die
(This is no social crisis)
[etc.]

Another tricky day
Another gently nagging pain
What the papers say
Just seems to bring down heavier rain
The world seems in a spiral
Life seems such a worthless title
But break out and start a fire y’all
It’s all here on the vinyl
(No crisis)
[etc.]

[Repeat verse 1.]

(Just gotta get used to it)
Gotta get used to waiting
(Just gotta get used to it)
You know how the ice is
(Just gotta get used to it)
It’s thin where you’re skating
(This is no social crisis)
[etc.]

Just another tricky day for you fellah

T. Rex – Metal Guru

America missed the boat on T-Rex. The only substantial hit they had here was Bang a Gong.The song peaked at #1 in the UK and #45 in Canada in 1972. In the UK they were huge and for a short time rivaling The Beatles early popularity. ‘Metal Guru’, T Rex’s fourth and final UK No.1. It topped the chart for four weeks from May–June 1972.

This was a busy time for the band. They were working on the album between March and April 1972 and Ringo Star took  photographs for the front and back cover for the album The Slider.

T Rex The Slider.jpg

At the time Ringo was taking the pictures he was also starting a documentary about T Rex called Born To Boogie. I do give the doc a thumbs up…I have it and watched it a few times. It shows just how popular T.Rex was during the early seventies.

Marc Bolan: “It’s a festival of life song. I relate ‘Metal Guru’ to all gods around – someone special, a godhead. I thought how God would be, he’d be all alone without a telephone.”

Metal Guru

Metal Guru, is it you?
Metal Guru, is it you?
Sittin’ there in your armor-plated chair, oh yeah

Metal Guru, is it true?
Metal Guru, is it true?
All alone without a telephone, oh yeah

Metal Guru, could it be
You’re gonna bring my baby to me?
She’ll be wild
You know, a rock ‘n’ roll child, oh yeah

Metal Guru, has it been
Just like a silver-studded sabre-tooth dream?
I’ll be clean, you know
Pollution machine, oh yeah

Metal Guru, is it you?
Metal Guru, is it you? Oh yeah

Metal Guru, could it be
You’re gonna bring my baby to me?
She’ll be wild
You know, a rock ‘n’ roll child, oh yeah

Metal Guru, is it true?
Metal Guru, is it true?
All alone without a telephone, oh

Metal Guru, could it be
You’re gonna bring my baby to me?
She’ll be wild
You know, a rock ‘n’ roll child, oh yeah

Metal Guru, is it you?
Metal Guru, is it you? Yeah, yeah, yeah
Metal Guru, is it you? Yeah, yeah, yeah
Metal Guru, is it you? Yeah, yeah, yeah

Metal Guru, is it you? Yeah, yeah, yeah
Metal Guru, is it you? Yeah, yeah, yeah
Metal Guru, is it you? Yeah, yeah, yeah
Metal Guru, is it you? Yeah, yeah, yeah

Metal Guru, is it you? Yeah, yeah, yeah

Van Morrison – Astral Weeks

If I ventured in the slipstream
Between the viaducts of your dream
Where immobile steel rims crack
And the ditch in the back roads stop
Could you find me?
Would you kiss-a my eyes?

It’s really a crime to focus on one song off of this album. I really shouldn’t separate it from the album but this is the opening track to the great album Astral Weeks. Some have this album as the number 1 album of all time.

In 1966, Morrison visited the Belfast, Ireland, home of his friend, painter Cecil McCartney… He’d been working on some paintings themed around astral projection, and they caught Van’s attention and he tried to translate the visuals into a song.

John Payne the flautist who had been working with Morrison, said it was the first time he had ever heard it, and that although the song may sound rehearsed it was actually captured from the only take

This song acted as the hook for me for the rest of the album.

Van Morrison described the title: “like transforming energy, or going from one source to another with it being born again like a rebirth. I remember reading about you having to die to be born. It’s one of those songs where you can see the light at the end of the tunnel and that’s basically what the song says.”

Astral Weeks

If I ventured in the slipstream
Between the viaducts of your dream
Where immobile steel rims crack
And the ditch in the back roads stop
Could you find me?
Would you kiss-a my eyes?
To lay me down
In silence easy
To be born again
To be born again
From the far side of the ocean
If I put the wheels in motion
And I stand with my arms behind me
And I’m pushin’ on the door
Could you find me?
Would you kiss-a my eyes?
To lay me down
In silence easy
To be born again
To be born again
There you go
Standin’ with the look of avarice
Talkin’ to Huddie Ledbetter
Showin’ pictures on the wall
Whisperin’ in the hall
And pointin’ a finger at me
There you go, there you go
Standin’ in the sun darlin’
With your arms behind you
And your eyes before
There you go
Takin’ good care of your boy
Seein’ that he’s got clean clothes
Puttin’ on his little red shoes
I see you know he’s got clean clothes
A-puttin’ on his little red shoes
A-pointin’ a finger at me
And here I am
Standing in your sad arrest
Trying to do my very best
Lookin’ straight at you
Comin’ through, darlin’
Yeah, yeah, yeah
If I ventured in the slipstream
Between the viaducts of your dreams
Where immobile steel rims crack
And the ditch in the back roads stop
Could you find me
Would you kiss-a my eyes
Lay me down
In silence easy
To be born again
To be born again
To be born again
In another world
In another world
In another time
Got a home on high
Ain’t nothing but a stranger in this world
I’m nothing but a stranger in this world
I got a home on high
In another land
So far away
So far away
Way up in the heaven
Way up in the heaven
Way up in the heaven
Way up in the heaven
In another time
In another place
In another time
In another place
Way up in the heaven
Way up in the heaven
We are goin’ up to heaven
We are goin’ to heaven
In another time
In another place
In another time
In another place
In another face

Bon: The Last Highway…by Jessie Fink

This book covers the last three years of Bon Scott, the lead singer of AC/DC.

Bon: The Last Highway is a fun read. It gives you more than just a look at Bon Scott. It gives you a peek in the world of Rock and Roll in the 1970s. It was a much more of a loose time then compared to now to say the least…both good and bad. The music business was a completely different ballgame than now.

Although this just covers the last three years of his life…you get to know Bon pretty well. I knew nothing about the guy until I read the book. He seemed to be well read, likeable, and a basically good guy to his friends and fans. O f course he did  have substance abuse  problems that haunted him.

There are a lot of stories about fans coming up to him and starting friendships. Fink interviewed other bands and most if not all had great things to say about Scott. He did find people who never have been interviewed and got stories that never have been published.

The working relationship between Bon and the Young brothers surprised me the most. Bon wrote the lyrics and they would censor what he wrote. Nothing political or controversial. They didn’t want the formula to be messed with. Offstage they didn’t tend to hang out as much with each other.

I never knew how popular Scott was in Australia even now. His grave site has become a cultural landmark; more than 28 years after Scott’s death, the National Trust of Australia declared his grave important enough to be included on the list of classified heritage places. It is reportedly the most visited grave in Australia.

The two things that author Jesse Fink concentrates on is how Bon died and if Bon did write some or most of the lyrics to the Back In Black album that was released after his death.

As far as the way the man died…Fink has some theories and they center around heroin. He interviewed some that has never been interviewed and got their story around Bon and the ones around him that night. The coroner’s report lists “acute alcohol poisoning” as the cause of death, classified under “death by misadventure.” Fink talked with people with him when he died on February 19, 1980.

The Young Brothers  have denied they ever used any of his lyrics on Back in Black…but AC/DC did cut a deal with the Scott family for a share of royalties on the album. In interviews they have denied it but did contradict themselves in others.

Below is an excerpt from the book  where more was said about the subject than any other time.

Then in 1998 Elissa Blake of Australian Rolling Stone caught him napping.

BLAKE: Have you ever thought about quitting?

ANGUS: The only time was when Bon died. We were in doubt about what to do but we had songs that he had written and wanted to finish the songs. We thought it would be our tribute to Bon and that album became Back In Black. We didn’t even know if people would even accept it. But it was probably one of our biggest albums and the success of that kept it going. We were on the road with that album for about two years so it was like therapy for the band after Bon’s death.

Bizarrely, before and since, Angus went with an altogether different story.

1981: “Some things we can’t do, you know, that was strictly Bon’s songs, and things.”

1996: “No, we were gonna start working on the lyrics with him the next week [after he died].”

1998: “The week he died, we had just worked out the music and he was going to come in and start writing lyrics.”

2000: “Bon was just about to come and start working with us writing lyrics just before he died.”

2005: “There was nothing [on Back In Black] from Bon’s notebook.”

It’s a line the band now doggedly sticks to despite mounting evidence that Bon’s lyrics were used. As Ian Jeffery admitted to me, cagily: “Not totally certain about Back In Black but I seem to remember a couple of words, lines [of Bon’s being on there]. Maybe not.”

Fink talked to Scott’s ex girlfriends and friends in his life and many claim that he did write many of the lyrics to You Shook Me All Night Long as well as other songs. Others say he had said some of the lines in letters. He basically gives you what he found and lets you make up your mind.

I would recommend this book to rock fans…and to AC/DC fans who mostly only know Brian Johnson as the lead singer.

Famous Rock Guitars Part 6

This is the 6th edition of this series. In Part 1, Part2, Part 3,  Part 4,  and Part 5. We covered Brian May’s Red Special, Willie Nelson’s Trigger, George Harrison’s Rocky, Eddie Van Halen’s Frankenstrat, Bruce Springsteen’s guitar, Neil Young’s Old Black guitar, John Lennon’s Casino + a Bonus, Keith Richards Telecaster, Paul McCartney’s Bass, and Eric Clapton’s Blackie.

Today it’s Jimmy Page’s Gipson EDS -1275 Guitar and Jerry Garcia’s Alligator

Jimmy Page’s Gibson EDS-1275 Double Neck Guitar

Jimmy Page on the 'Swagger' of Led Zeppelin's 'Physical Graffiti' - Rolling  Stone

This guitar was born out of necessity for Page. They had just recorded Stairway to Heaven and Jimmy played a  12-string in the song after the intro. To play the song live without a 12-string would not work. He was the only guitar player in the band so to replicate that part they either needed another guitar player or a way for Jimmy to switch to the 12 string while playing the song.

The solution came in the shape of a Gibson double-neck. A 6-string and a 12-string on the same guitar. Jimmy had seen pictures of American guitarists with a double neck guitar… Grady Martin with a Bigsby double-neck, Joe Maphis with a Mosrite. He also saw a strange band named Family with a guitar player  named Charlie Whitney with a double neck guitar.

Gibson first introduced the doubleneck guitar in 1958 with the EDS-1275’s forerunner the “Double 12”. The body and hardware specifications for the EDS-1275 include a solid mahogany SG-style body, a dark cherry finish with walnut filler, chrome hardware, a chrome ABR Bridge with chrome tumblewheels, Schaller strap locks, a five-play pickguard, two volume and tone control knobs, a three-way pickup-selector switch and a three-way neck selector switch.

Jimmy played Les Pauls and wanted to get another Gipson. By the time Page wanted an EDS-1275, they were no longer in production so he ordered a custom-made cherry guitar.

Page’s EDS-1275 has a slightly different body shape from that of the then current model. Page’s also has one-piece mahogany necks rather than the current three-piece maple, and has tailpieces positioned near the bottom of the body, reportedly increasing sustain, and Patent No. or T-Top humbucking pickups.

Jimmy’s EDS-1275 made its live debut in March 1971, allowing him to play 12-string and six-string parts without swapping guitars and it certainly did become iconic.

Page recently donated a later model EDS-1275 for charity, but it was not the famous one he used with Led Zeppelin. That guitar remains firmly in his possession.

Jimmy Page: “I asked to get one from Gibson, because I knew it was the only way,” “I knew I couldn’t do Stairway…, but it was essential to do it. So it became iconic, didn’t it? If a little tough on the left shoulder…Yeah, though I’ve got heavier guitars! But nevertheless, it was pretty weighty.”

Jerry Garcia’s Alligator

Jerry Garcia's “Alligator” '50s Strat Will Be Up For Auction – Rock Pasta

Graham Nash gave this 1957 Strat to Jerry Garcia as a gift in 1970. Nash  purchased the guitar in 1970 from a pawnshop in Phoenix. Graham wanted to show his appreciation for Jerry’s guitar work on his solo album “Songs for Beginners.”

Roadie Steve Parish recalled a night in Buffalo on Garcia’s first tour outside the band, where “it was so cold that when Jerry stepped out on stage and strummed his ‘Alligator’ the face plate on the guitar broke and the guts popped out. That’s how the show began.” Alligator got patched up with gaffer’s tape, and a new brass plate affixed at the tour’s end.

The Dead helped start an instrument and gear-building auxiliary company called Alembic. Alembic was found by the Dead’s sound man and chemist Owsley Stanley.  Garcia’s Strat found itself on the Alembic workbench numerous times.

In 1972, Garcia would add a number of stickers to the body, including a grinning cartoon alligator on the pickguard that gave the guitar its name. But by then nearly every other bit of the instrument had been overhauled in a series of refinements by Alembic technician Frank Fuller.

Jerry Garcia Alligator Guitar #deadhead | Guitar, Famous guitars,  Stratocaster guitar

The guitar got new Schaller tuning pegs and gears, a series of bridges (Gibson ABR-1 Tune-o-Matic and an Alembic custom), a new control plate (hammered brass), taller frets, and an in-board post-volume “blaster”. “Each pickup cover had its own individually grounded wire.”

Technicians Frank Fuller and Rick Turner of Alembic Guitars modified the guitar regularly, so much so that they referred to it as a “Frankenstein” guitar. Jerry played this guitar on the Dead’s famous first full European tour in 1972 and their two great albums Working Man’s Dead and American Beauty. Alligator played its last show on Garcia’s 30th birthday…August 1st, 1973 in Jersey City, NJ.

The show was recorded by Deadheads, Alligator was sent off properly with a long version of “Dark Star.”

Jerry would play  more custom built guitars through his career.  Wolf (73-93), Tiger (79-95), Lighting Bolt (93-95), Rosebud (90-95), and Top Hat (95). My favorite remains Alligator.

Graham originally bought the guitar for $250 dollars…the guitar was sold at an auction in 2019 for $420,000 dollars.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibson_EDS-1275#:~:text=The%20EDS%2D1275%20was%20mostly,verse%2C%20then%20switched%20to%20the

https://jerrygarcia.com/guitars/

Buddy Holly – Everyday

It’s always an honor to post a Buddy Holly song.  This one was written  written by Buddy Holly and Norman Petty. Buddy was a singer, songwriter, producer, and performer. During his short career, Holly was able to merge the sounds of rockabilly, country music, and R&B to help make rock and roll popular.

The song was recorded in 1957 at the Norman Petty Studios in Clovis, New Mexico.

This song was released on September 20, 1957, as the B-side of “Peggy Sue”. On the original single the Crickets are not mentioned (legal issues), but it is known that Buddy plays acoustic guitar; drummer Jerry Allison slaps his knees for percussion and typewriter; Joe B. Mauldin plays a standup acoustic bass; and producer Norman Petty’s wife Vi Petty plays the celesta.  That gives it a unique sound.

Holly’s version of this song never charted, but two others did. In 1972, John Denver took it to #81 US. Then in 1985, James Taylor made #61 with his cover.

From Songfacts

This upbeat song finds Holly in a hopeful mien, sure that he will soon land the girl of his dreams. He recorded the song in May 1957 with The Crickets at Norman Petty Studios in Clovis, New Mexico.

This is listed as being written by Charles Hardin and Norman Petty. Charles Hardin is actually Buddy Holly: his real name was Charles Hardin Holley. 

This was used in the movies Big Fish and Stand By Me as well as a Season 4 episode of the TV show Lost.

Everyday

Everyday, it’s a-gettin’ closer
Goin’ faster than a roller coaster
Love like yours will surely come my way
A-hey, a-hey hey

Everyday, it’s a-gettin’ faster
Everyone said, “Go ahead and ask her”
Love like yours will surely come my way
A-hey, a-hey hey

Everyday seems a little longer
Every way, love’s a little stronger
Come what may, do you ever long for
True love from me?

Everyday, it’s a-gettin’ closer
Goin’ faster than a roller coaster
Love like yours will surely come my way
A-hey, a-hey hey

Everyday seems a little longer
Every way, love’s a little stronger
Come what may, do you ever long for
True love from me?

Everyday, it’s a-gettin’ closer
Goin’ faster than a roller coaster
Love like yours will surely come my way
A-hey, a-hey hey
Love like yours will surely come my way

Monkees – I’m A Believer

This song was #1 on the Billboard 100, Canada, The UK, and New Zealand on January 15th 1967… That day since we are talking about it…the first Superbowl was played when the Packers beat the Chiefs.

I grew up with this song so it is ingrained in the back of my mind. That organ intro will stick with you. Say what you want to about the Monkees…they produced some of the great pop songs of the sixties…no matter how much  Jann Wenner (Rolling Stone Magazine) snubs them for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Every Monkees post I usually say something like that…what Wenner doesn’t get, among many things, is that the Monkees influenced a couple of generations of musicians (REM, XTC included). Like other bands of that time in California…studio musicians played on their first two albums and Wenner cannot forget that. They became a band after being cast together. They started to play on the 3rd album and continued with hits.

This was The Monkees second single, after “Last Train To Clarksville.” It was released during the first season of their TV show.

Neil Diamond wrote this song. He had his first big hit earlier in 1966 with “Cherry, Cherry,” which got the attention of Don Kirshner, who was looking for material for The Monkees. Kirshner was sold on “I’m A Believer,” and as part of the deal, allowed Diamond to record the song as well. Diamond’s version was released on his 1967 album Just For You. The Monkees version benefited from exposure on their television series.

Guitarist Michael Nesmith didn’t believe this would be a hit, complaining to the producer, Jeff Barry, “I’m a songwriter, and that’s no hit.” Jeff Barry banned him from the studio while Micky Dolenz recorded his lead vocal…Mr. Nesmith was wrong about this one.

Neil Diamond: “I was thrilled, because at heart I was still a songwriter and I wanted my songs on the charts. It was one of the songs that was going to be on my first album, but Donny Kirshner, who was their music maven, hears ‘Cherry, Cherry’ on the radio and said, ‘Wow, I want one like that for The Monkees!’ He called my producers, Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich – ‘Hey, does this kid have any more?’ And they played him the things I had cut for the next album and he picked ‘I’m A Believer,’ ‘A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You’ and ‘Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow),’ and they had some huge hits. But the head of my record company freaked. He went through the roof because he felt that I had given #1 records away to another group. I couldn’t have cared less because I had to pay the rent and The Monkees were selling records and I wasn’t being paid for my records.”

From Songfacts

The Monkees sang on this, but did not play any instruments. The producers used session musicians because they were not convinced The Monkees could play like a real band. This became a huge point of contention, as the group fought to play their own songs.

Monkees drummer Micky Dolenz sang lead on this. Dolenz also handled lead vocals on “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” “Mary Mary” and “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone.”

Neil Diamond had intended the song to be recorded by the Country artist Eddy Arnold, and was surprised when record executive Don Kirshner passed it instead to The Monkees.

A cover version by Smash Mouth was featured in the 2001 movie Shrek and went to #25 in the US. Diamond wrote the song “You Are My Number One” for Smash Mouth’s next album. 

The single had an advance order of 1,051,280 copies and went gold within two days of release.

British singer-songwriter and Soft Machine founding member Robert Wyatt had a #29 in the UK in 1974 with an intense cover version. His rendition featured Andy Summers (later of The Police) on guitar, and drums by Nick Mason of Pink Floyd, who also produced the recording.

Wyatt told Q Magazine that he wanted to make a point with his cover. “I was very uncomfortable with having fans who said ‘Your music is so much better than all that banal pop music,'” he said. “It sounds like a socialist thing to say but pop music is the music of the people. It’s the folk music of the industrial age. If you don’t respect popular culture. You don’t respect people, in which case your political opinion is of no great value.”

Dolenz has painful memories of performing this on tour. Literally painful. He told Entertainment Weekly in 2016. “I do remember lots of snatches of touring back then. Unbelievable. No monitors. Screaming. Screaming, screaming. [When we played ‘I’m a Believer’] I couldn’t hear myself. I just had to pound away. Even to this day, I sing with my eyes closed, because I had to close my eyes and hit myself in the leg to keep time on the drums. I had a big bruise. [Laughs]”

I’m A Believer

I thought love was only true in fairy tales
Meant for someone else but not for me
Love was out to get me
That’s the way it seemed
Disappointment haunted all of my dreams

Then I saw her face, now I’m a believer
Not a trace of doubt in my mind
I’m in love
I’m a believer, I couldn’t leave her if I tried

I thought love was more or less a giving thing
Seems the more I gave the less I got
What’s the use in tryin’
All you get is pain?
When I needed sunshine, I got rain

Then I saw her face, now I’m a believer
Not a trace of doubt in my mind
I’m in love
I’m a believer, I couldn’t leave her if I tried

Oh

Oh, love was out to get me
Now, that’s the way it seemed
Disappointment haunted all of my dreams

Then I saw her face, now I’m a believer
Not a trace of doubt in my mind
I’m in love
I’m a believer, I couldn’t leave her if I tried

Yes, I saw her face, now I’m a believer
Not a trace of doubt in my mind
Said, I’m a believer, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah (I’m a believer)
Said, I’m a believer, yeah (I’m a believer)
I said, I’m a believer, yeah (I’m a believer)

Beatles – I Want To Hold Your Hand

This helped start the modern rock era. No British rock act had dominated in America before the Beatles. Cliff Richard had tried and failed but with this song and an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show…The Beatles kicked down the door and started the British Invasion and the Stones, Kinks, and Who would soon follow.

Rock and Roll can be divided up into two eras… pre Beatles and post Beatles. Everything would change after this. I bought an amp from a long time country studio  musician and he told me that the day after he heard this on Ed Sullivan the world changed. Not just music but everything…music, thoughts, aspirations, and hair of course. Within weeks of this song hitting number 1 there were bands forming in every neighborhood in America.  Guitars were bought, hair lengths were being tested, and a huge urge to learn everything British.

I always hold this song up to why vinyl is the way to listen to some records at times. All the CD versions I’ve heard of this song sound rather flat…when I hear the 45 vinyl single the song jumps out at you. It changes the whole dynamic of the song. After hearing the single the way it was meant to be heard… you can see why this song changed a lot of things. It was maybe the most important single they ever released…it may have had the biggest impact at least in America.

It is said that John and Paul wrote this with an America’s sound in mind. They must have guessed right. This song preceded the Beatles trip here at number 1. Lennon liked the melody so much that he talked about doing something with it again til his death.

This was played on the Washington, DC radio station WWDC before it was released in America by a DJ named Carroll Baker, who got the record from a stewardess. It was a huge hit with his listeners and prompted Capitol Records to release the song ahead of schedule – they planned to issue it on January 13, 1964.

The Beatles were in Paris and celebrated madly when they found out they were #1 in America. They came to America for the first time on February 7, 1964, greeted at the airport by screaming fans. “I Want To Hold Your Hand” was the #1 song in the country at that time, and it stayed on top for seven weeks, until their next single, the re-released “She Loves You,” replaced it.

Bob Dylan thought the line “I can’t hide” was “I get high,” and a reference to marijuana. He was surprised to learn they had never tried pot, and became part of Beatles lore when he introduced them to it.

At times John Lennon realized the crowds The Beatles played to were so loud they really couldn’t hear them sing, so sometimes instead of singing the line, “I want to hold your hand,” he would say, “I want to hold your gland” as a reference to women’s breasts…and people wonder why Lennon is my favorite Beatle!

The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, Canada, UK, New Zealand, and probably on Mars also in 1964.

 

From Songfacts

This was the first Beatles song to catch on in America. In 1963, the Beatles became stars in England, but couldn’t break through in the US. They couldn’t get a major label to distribute their singles in America, so their first three singles there, “Please Please Me,” “From Me to You” and “She Loves You,” were issued on small labels and flopped, even though they were hits in England.

Late in 1963, American news outlets started reporting on this British sensation, and interest in the group started to rise. Capitol Records took notice and released “I Want To Hold Your Hand” Stateside on December 26. The song rose up the chart, and on February 1, 1964, hit #1. It sold better in the first 10 days of release in the US than any other British single, and remains the best-selling Beatles single in the United States, moving over 12 million copies.

Conquering the US was, and still is, a big deal for British bands. Many groups that are huge in the UK (Oasis, Blur) never really catch on in America.
• John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote this in Jane Asher’s basement. Asher was an actress who became Paul’s first high-profile girlfriend. After appearing in several movies, TV shows and stage productions, Asher became an authority on baking, and has her own business selling party cakes and supplying baking and decorating equipment. She and Paul broke up in 1968.

Jane had a brother named Pete Asher who teamed up with Gordon Waller to form the duo Peter & Gordon; McCartney wrote their hit single “A World Without Love.” Pete recalled in a 2010 interview with Gibson.com the two Beatles penning this song at his home: “My mother had a practice room that she used to give private oboe lessons when she wasn’t teaching at The Royal Academy, where she was a professor. There was just a piano, and an upright chair and a sofa. Paul used that room to write in, from time to time. One afternoon John came over, while I was upstairs in my room. The two of them were in the basement for an hour or so, and Paul called me down to listen to a song they had just finished. I went downstairs and sat on the sofa, and they sat side by side, on the piano bench. That’s where they played ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ for the first anywhere. They asked me what I thought. I said, ‘I think it’s very good.'” [laughs]

The Beatles performed this on their first two Ed Sullivan Show appearances, which took place February 9 and 16, 1964. There was already a media frenzy around The Beatles, which was amplified when millions saw them on Sullivan’s show. The Beatles were booked for the show before they had a hit in the US, so they actually got paid less than many other guests for their appearance.

• This was one of John Lennon’s favorite Beatles songs. It starts with a falling melody, which is typical of Lennon’s songwriting, and ends with a cadence with a quarter-interval: “I’ll think you’ll understand.” That quarter-interval cadence you can even hear in Lennon’s first bit of “From Me to You” and in “Tomorrow Never Knows.” McCartney most often uses second-intervals. Also typically Lennon is the sudden octave-run, “Haaaaand…” The same octave-run you can hear in the end of the middle part in Lennon’s “Please Please Me”: “To reason with youuuuuu…” Also note that the beginning of the melody in the middle part is almost the same melody as the beginning of the middle part in “Don’t Let Me Down.” 

Two parody groups made answer songs to this in 1964: “I’ll Let You Hold My Hand” by The Bootles and “Yes, You Can Hold My Hand” by The Beatlettes.

This was the first Beatles song recorded on 4-track equipment. Some of their first songs were in mono.

The Beatles also cut a German version called “Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand.” They picked up some German while playing The Star Club in Hamburg in 1962.

In the 1960s it wasn’t uncommon for British stars to record new versions of their hits in other languages. The idea was to increase airplay on continental stations and to get a hit before an indigenous artist recorded a version in the local tongue. On January 29, 1964, The Beatles went into the Pathé & Marconi Studios in Paris and recorded “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and “She Loves You” (“Sie Liebt Dich”) in German. The lyrics had been hurriedly translated by a Luxembourger named Camillo Felgen, who was then a program director at Radio Luxembourg. As well, apart from their recording of “My Bonnie” in the early ’60s, this was the only time The Beatles recorded in another language. In addition it was the sole occasion on which they recorded outside London.

When this hit #1 in the US, it was the first time a British group topped the chart there since 1962, when “Telstar” by The Tornados did it. Until The Beatles came along, most British groups that had hits in America came and went pretty quickly. The Beatles kicked off the British Invasion, leading to a lengthy occupation on the charts for acts like The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and The Who as well as The Beatles.

It was the youth who discovered The Beatles, and while young people can be easily manipulated through hype and image, in the case of The Beatles it was the music that drew them in. An American girl Sanda Stewart, 15 years old in spring 1964 (according to Hunter Davies in his book Beatles) said: “I was one day in a shop with my mother when I suddenly heard ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ on the car radio. Such a special sound! I could never stop thinking about it. No song has effected me on that way. Several other girls in school had reacted in the same way. We saw the Beatles on photos and thought they were ugly. But their music was fantastic.”

This song was used in the movie Across the Universe at a much slower tempo. 

A fairly straightforward and simple Beatles song, this one still has some musical complexity that foreshadowed what was to come. “The middle eight of that does something,” Tony Banks of Genesis explained. “The way the key changes at that point is something I hadn’t heard before.”

I Want To Hold Your Hand

Oh yeah, I’ll tell you somethin’
I think you’ll understand
When I say that somethin’
I want to hold your hand
I want to hold your hand
I want to hold your hand

Oh please, say to me
You’ll let me be your man
And please, say to me
You’ll let me hold your hand
Now, let me hold your hand
I want to hold your hand

And when I touch you
I feel happy inside
It’s such a feelin’ that my love
I can’t hide
I can’t hide
I can’t hide

Yeah, you got that somethin’
I think you’ll understand
When I say that somethin’
I want to hold your hand
I want to hold your hand
I want to hold your hand

And when I touch you
I feel happy inside
It’s such a feelin’ that my love
I can’t hide
I can’t hide
I can’t hide

Yeah, you got that somethin’
I think you’ll understand
When I feel that somethin’
I want to hold your hand
I want to hold your hand
I want to hold your hand
I want to hold your hand

 

 

Talking Heads – Once In A Life Time

Same as it ever was

David Byrne at his visual performance best with this video. According to David Byrne’s own words, this song is about how we, as people, tend to operate half-awake or on autopilot. Or perhaps a better way of explaining that statement is that we do not actually know why we engage in certain actions which come define our lives.

The members of Talking Heads…David Byrne, Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz and Jerry Harrison – all contributed to the writing of this song along with the track’s producer, Brian Eno. And “Once in a Lifetime” itself originated from jam sessions. With this album the band wanted a more democratic process instead of Byrne writing all of the songs.

The song was on the Remain in Light album released in 1980. The song peaked at #103 in the US Billboard Bubbling Under the Hot 100 chat, #28 in Canada, and #14 in the UK in 1981.

In 1985 the song peaked at #91 in the Billboard 100 with a live version of the song off of the album Stop Making Sense.

The video was huge back in the early 80s and that is where I found the song. It was choreographed  by Toni Basil.

For this album they would improvise in the studio and take bits and pieces out. Their own version of  “sampling” and “looping.” The 1973 Afrobeat record by Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, became the inspiration for the album

Brian Eno: “It had all been done,” Eno says, “and the only thing left worth doing was some sort of urban pessimism of some kind, and that record is terribly optimistic in a way. It’s very up and, like, looking out to the world and saying, ‘What a fantastic place we live in. Let’s celebrate it.’ And I think we knew that was a fresh thought at the time.”

David Byrne:Most of the words in ‘Once in a Lifetime’ come from evangelists I recorded off the radio while taking notes and picking up phrases I thought were interesting directions. Maybe I’m fascinated with the middle class because it seems so different from my life, so distant from what I do. I can’t imagine living like that.”

From Songfacts

This song deals with the futility of not being happy with the things you have. Like trying to remove the water at the bottom of the ocean, there’s no way to stop life from moving on. The forces of nature (like the ocean) keep you moving almost without your conscious effort – like a ventriloquist moving a puppet.

Some of these evangelist recordings also made their way to a 1981 album called My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, by David Byrne and Brian Eno.

This stalled at #103 in February 1981, but when MTV launched that August, they played the video a lot, giving the song much more exposure.

David Byrne’s choreography in the video was done by the Toni Basil, who had a hit as a singer with “Mickey.” It was a very odd video, and for many viewers it was the first look they got at the Talking Heads (or at least Byrne – the full band didn’t appear in a video until “Burning Down the House” two years later).

As you watch David Byrne spasm like a malfunctioning robot interspersed with gesturing in Martian sign language, ponder this excerpt from the book MTV Ruled the World – The Early Years of Music Video, in which Toni Basil fills in some details about the choreography for this video: “He [Byrne] wanted to research movement, but he wanted to research movement more as an actor, as does David Bowie, as does Mick Jagger. They come to movement in another way, not as a trained dancer. Or not really interested in dance steps. He wanted to research people in trances – different trances in church and different trances with snakes. So we went over to UCLA and USC, and we viewed a lot of footage of documentaries on that subject. And then he took the ideas, and he ‘physicalized’ the ideas from these documentary-style films.”

Basil adds: “When I was making videos – whether it was with Devo, David Byrne, or whoever – there wasn’t record companies breathing down anybody’s neck, telling them what to do, what the video should look like. There was no paranoid A&R guy, no crazy dresser that would come in and decide what people should be wearing, and put them in shoes that they can’t walk in, everybody with their own agenda. We were all on our own.”

Basil also directed and choreographed the video for the Remain In Light track “Crosseyed And Painless,” which features dancers from a crew called The Electric Boogaloos. None of the band members appear in it.

Some critics have suggested that “Once In A Lifetime” is a kind of prescient jab at the excesses of the 1980s. David Byrne says they’re wrong; that the lyric is pretty much about what it says it’s about. In an interview with NPR, Byrne said: “We’re largely unconscious. You know, we operate half awake or on autopilot and end up, whatever, with a house and family and job and everything else, and we haven’t really stopped to ask ourselves, ‘How did I get here?'” 

Brian Eno produced this song and wrote the chorus, which he also sang on. David Byrne wrote the verses, which he talk/sings in an intriguing narrative style. Remain In Light was the fourth Talking Heads album, and the third produced by Eno, whose artistic bent and flair for the unusual were a great fit for the group.

Unlike their previous album, the songs on Remain In Light were mostly written in the studio (Compass Point, the Bahamas) and all credited to the four band members plus Eno.

A surprising number of musicians cite “Once In A Lifetime” as one of the best songs ever recorded. Here are three:

Charlotte Church, who named it the first song she fell in love with. “The first time I heard it, my mind was blown,” she told NME. “There’s so magic in that song. I think David Byrne is an absolute G.”

Nick Feldman of Wang Chung, who loves the “almost randomly cacophonous keyboard burblings, the wonderful bass line and rhythm section groove and David Byrne’s slightly preacher-like vocals.” He told Songfacts: “When my personal life started to unravel many years later, the lyrics to this song still resonated for me. Byrne’s mesmeric and intense physical performance in the video to this track still compels today, and compliments and reflects the music it is interpreting.”

Glen Ballard, who produced and co-wrote hits for Alanis Morissette, Dave Matthews and Aerosmith. “That song can’t be touched,” he said in a Songfacts interview. “I listen to it like once a month because everything about it is so perfect.”

The video broke new ground when it was exhibited at the New York Museum of Modern Art as part of a 1982 exhibition called “Performance Video.” The exhibit helped explain to parents what their kids were watching on MTV. It explained how the “Once In A Lifetime” video “expands upon the song’s complex interweaving of moods and images as well as Byrne’s interest in African music and percussion.”

When Talking Heads toured to support their next album, Speaking in Tongues, in 1983, Byrne did the movements from the video when he performed the song. Not only that, he added movements to other songs they performed on that tour as well, making for some very unorthodox visual expression. Audiences were used to seeing pyro and flashing lights, but had never seen anything like the full band running in place (“Burning Down the House”) or Byrne turning himself into a human corkscrew (“Life During Wartime”). The experience was so striking it got the attention of director Jonathan Demme, who filmed a few of the shows and turned it into the acclaimed concert film Stop Making Sense.

This was used in the pilot episodes of That ’80s Show (2002) and Numb3rs (2005). It was used twice on The Simpsons (“Days of Future Future” – 2014, “Trust But Clarify” – 2016) and in these series:

The Deuce (“Morta di Fame” – 2019)
Being Erica (“Being Adam” – 2010)
Chuck (“Chuck Versus the Suburbs” – 2009)
WKRP in Cincinnati (“Real Families” – 1980)

It also shows up in these movies:

Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)
Secret Window (2004)
Rock Star (2001)
Alice and Martin (1998)

The live version from Stop Making Sense was used in the opening sequence of the 1986 movie Down And Out In Beverly Hills, which shows a homeless Nick Nolte pushing his grocery cart of possessions around Los Angeles and doing some dumpster diving. His character is in a classic, “How did I get here?” situation, but soon his fortunes take a turn. This version of the song was re-released as a single that year and charted at #91 in America.

The Exies released a haunting version of this song in 2006, releasing a video to go with it. It has also been covered by Smashing Pumpkins and sampled by Jay-Z on his song “It’s Alright.”

Phish covered the entire Remain In Light album on Halloween, 1996 at the Omni Coliseum in Atlanta. It took up the entire second set of their show and featured guest brass players. The performance is considered one of the best Phish “album-cover” attempts. 

Benin superstar Angélique Kidjo covered this song along with the rest of Remain in Light in 2018. She explained to Mojo: “I wanted to bring the resilience of the Africans, and the joy, despite everything they throw at us.”

On May 5, 2018, Kidjo sang “Once In A Lifetime” with David Byrne at Carnegie Hall. She told Mojo: “It was not rehearsed or planned. I think if I thought about it I wouldn’t have been able to sing one note.”

In his 2019 Broadway production American Utopia, David Byrne evokes this song a few times, doing the movements associated with it and at one point asking, “How did I get here?” He does the song in the play as well, and on February 29, 2020, Byrne performed it on Saturday Night Live with his cast members. Later that year, American Utopia was released on HBO as a movie.

Once In A Lifetime

And you may find yourself
Living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself
In another part of the world
And you may find yourself
Behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house
With a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself, well
How did I get here?

Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by, water flowing underground
Into the blue again after the money’s gone
Once in a lifetime, water flowing underground

And you may ask yourself
How do I work this?
And you may ask yourself
Where is that large automobile?
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful house!
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful wife!

Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by, water flowing underground
Into the blue again after the money’s gone
Once in a lifetime, water flowing underground

Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was

Water dissolving and water removing
There is water at the bottom of the ocean
Under the water, carry the water
Remove the water at the bottom of the ocean!
Water dissolving and water removing

Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by, water flowing underground
Into the blue again into silent water
Under the rocks and stones, there is water underground

Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by, water flowing underground
Into the blue again after the money’s gone
Once in a lifetime, water flowing underground

You may ask yourself
What is that beautiful house?
You may ask yourself
Where does that highway go to?
And you may ask yourself
Am I right? Am I wrong?
And you may say yourself
“My God! What have I done?”

Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by, water flowing underground
Into the blue again into the silent water
Under the rocks and stones, there is water underground

Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by, water flowing underground
Into the blue again after the money’s gone
Once in a lifetime, water flowing underground

Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was
Look where my hand was
Time isn’t holding up
Time isn’t after us
Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was
Letting the days go by
Same as it ever was
And here the twister comes
Here comes the twister

Letting the days go by (same as it ever was)
Same as it ever was (same as it ever was)
Letting the days go by (same as it ever was)
Same as it ever was
Once in a lifetime
Let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by

12 Angry Men (1957)

Hanspostcard is hosting a movie draft from 12 different genres…this is my drama entry. 

12 Angry Men fulfills my drama portion of the draft. 

This movie shows what a great story and characters can do. 12 Angry Men is minimalism in action. It takes place on one set except for the first few minutes at the beginning and end. Henry Fonda starred and he was surrounded by outstanding character actors that Hollywood had at that time.

I read a review about this movie back in the 1990s. I had to hunt it down and watch it. I was not let down. The movie is so engrossing that I lose myself in it. I ask myself if I would be the one juror brave enough to stand alone without evidence to oppose the 11 other jurors who want to find the defendant guilty and leave?

A stifling hot jury room in the middle of New York. Twelve jurors are deciding the fate of a troubled teenage boy accused of stabbing his father. Within 15 minutes you know the characters at least superficially. You have met these people before. As the clock ticks hour by hour you get to know them through and through. 

We are not privy to the trial, we have to rely on the jurors to reconstruct it. We witness impatience, anger, frustration, bigotry, shunning, and sadness. You can feel the heat and sweat in this hot building and the frustration building. This story has been copied so many times since but no copy matches the intensity of this movie. None of the jurors have names…they don’t need names. You know them well already. 

One long juror (Henry Fonda) has a reasonable doubt and the other 11 are sure the teen is guilty. He is not positive the teen is not guilty…he is just sure that he is not sure… creating reasonable doubt. He is openly mocked but stands his ground. We are in for a marathon not a sprint. Slowly he brings up what ifs and the tension starts. 

Some of the other jurors genuinely care but others just want out of the hot jury room. There are pressing things in their lives like ballgames, work, and other places to go. The thought of finding the defendant guilty and sending him to the electric chair is not important in their narrow lives. Some know he is guilty by looking at him…they have no interest digging deep into the facts. 

The movie was released in 1957. It was written by  Reginald Rose.  Henry Fonda loved the story. Fonda and  Rose produced the film. The movie did not make it’s costs back but was nominated for three  Oscars. Fonda blamed the failure on United Artist for booking the film into too large of venues for this small movie. The movie was filmed over 19 days…most of that was rehearsal. 

This movie has mystery, suspense, and is so human it hurts. You have met most of these jurors before…both good and bad. Something that most of them share is passion. Passion for the wrong thing, passion for the right thing, and then the passion collides.

To sum up why I like the movie. Real life plays out. Henry Fonda is not a hero, hell he admits the kid may be guilty. The other jurors are forced to work together whether they like it or not…and that is real life. 

If I’m ever on trial I pray the Henry Fonda character is on the jury. If you have never seen this movie…it’s well worth the time. 

The Cast

  • Martin Balsam (Juror #1)
  • John Fiedler (Juror #2)
  • Lee J. Cobb (Juror #3)
  • E.G. Marshall (Juror #4)
  • Jack Klugman (Juror #5)
  • Edward Binns (Juror #6)
  • Jack Warden (Juror #7)
  • Henry Fonda (Juror #8)
  • Joseph Sweeney (Juror #9)
  • Ed Begley (Juror #10)
  • George Voskovec (Juror #11)
  • Robert Webber (Juror #12)

Chuck Berry – School Day

Chuck was more than a  than a rock and roll guitar player in the 50s. He was a  rock and roll poet. A side note…I’ve seen this listed as School Day and School Days.

This song described teenage life in the 50s wonderfully. Teenagers were the target audience for most rock music in that era, and Berry, 30 years old when he wrote the song, knew that he could sell a lot of records by appealing to this crowd.

School days hadn’t changed much since he was there, so his story about getting through the hectic day while thinking about dancing and being with your girl was still relevant to him.

He describes school as restrictive but when it came to rock music…it was all about freedom and Drop the coin right into the slot.

It peaked at #5 in the Billboard Hot 100, #1 in the R&B Charts, and #25 in the UK in 1956.

From Songfacts

Many people mistakenly think the title is the first line in the last verse, “Hail, hail, rock ‘n’ roll.” The line was used as the title for a 1988 rock documentary featuring Berry.

The stops and starts in this song evoke the nature of high school, where you go from one class or activity to another. Berry remembered a big change going from elementary school, where he stayed in the same room all day, to the peripatetic high school routine.

This was Berry’s first hit in the UK.

Berry released a follow-up to this in 1971 called “Lonely School Days (Version 2).”

School Days

Up in the mornin’ and out to school
The teacher is teachin’ the Golden Rule
American history and practical math
You studyin’ hard and hopin’ to pass
Workin’ your fingers right down to the bone
And the guy behind you won’t leave you alone

Ring, ring goes the bell
The cook in the lunch room’s ready to sell
You’re lucky if you can find a seat
You’re fortunate if you have time to eat
Back in the classroom, open your books
Keep up the teacher don’t know how mean she looks

Soon as three o’clock rolls around
You finally lay your burden down
Close up your books, get outta your seat
Down the halls and into the street
Up to the corner and ’round the bend
Right to the juke joint, you go in

Drop the coin right into the slot
You’re gotta hear somethin’ that’s really hot
With the one you love, you’re makin’ romance
All day long you been wantin’ to dance,
Feeling the music from head to toe
Round and round and round we go

Drop the coin right into the slot
You’re gotta hear somethin’ that’s really hot
With the one you love, you’re makin’ romance
All day long you been wantin’ to dance,
Feeling the music from head to toe
Round and round and round we go

Hail, hail rock and roll
Deliver me from the days of old
Long live rock and roll
The beat of the drums, loud and bold
Rock, rock, rock and roll
The feelin’ is there, body and soul

Blind Faith – Presence of the Lord

This is a song that I put some headphones on…get in my recliner and turn it up to 11…hearing loss be damned…and I get lost in the swirling organ and drift away to the sixties. The song is thick and powerful…who needs drugs when you listen to this loud.

Eric Clapton wrote this song, which is a testimony of faith. It’s the first song for which he wrote all the lyrics.

Clapton called this a “song of gratitude.” It was one of his first songs to explore spirituality, which he did on some of his solo tracks in the ’70s. He said the message of this song was to “say ‘thank you’ to God, or whatever you choose to call Him, for whatever happens.”

Their one and only album, the self titled Blind Faith album, peaked at #1 in the Billboard Album Charts, Canada, and the UK in 1969. They toured one time for the album and then soon broke up.

From Songfacts

Steve Winwood sang lead, as he did with all of the Blind Faith songs. Even though it’s a very personal song, Clapton made sure he wouldn’t be the lead vocalist by writing it in a higher key than he could sing. He thought Winwood was a much better singer (most would agree), and wanted him on this track.

The song is about how Clapton was becoming more comfortable with his life. He had just left Cream at the peak of its popularity, and was looking forward to playing with Blind Faith. He wasn’t too comfortable though: Clapton was fighting drug addiction and falling in love with George Harrison’s wife, whom he would later marry.

Blind Faith released just one album, and didn’t issue any singles. The album was very successful, going to #1 in both the US and UK, but the band broke up after one difficult tour.

The album cover was a photo of a young girl with no clothes on holding a model spaceship. According to photographer Bob Seidemann, who shot the cover, he had the idea but did not have someone to pose. While riding the London subway, he saw a young girl who would be perfect and asked her to pose for the cover. He went to the girl’s house to ask her parents’ permission to pose topless for the cover. They agreed, but the girl backed out. However, the girl’s younger sister begged the parents to let her pose instead. They agreed and the younger sister ended up posing for the cover. Seidemann called the image “Blind Faith” and Eric Clapton made that the name of the group.

Presence Of The Lord

I have finally found a way to live just like I never could before
I know that I don’t have much to give, but I can open any door
Everybody knows the secret, everybody knows the score
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
I have finally found a way to live in the colour of the Lord

I have finally found a place to live just like I never could before
And I know I don’t have much to give, but soon I’ll open any door
Everybody knows the secret, everybody knows the score

I have finally found a place to live, oh, in the presence of the Lord
In the presence of the Lord

I have finally found a way to live, just like I never could before
And I know I don’t have much to give, but I can open any door
Everybody knows the secret, I said everybody knows the score
I have finally found a way to live in the colour of the Lord
In the colour of the Lord

Replacements – Here Comes A Regular

Well a person can work up a mean mean thirst
after a hard day of nothin’ much at all

I can’t tell you how much I like this ballad by The Replacements. This song sounds so authentic that it hurts. I don’t normally try to interrupt songs. They mean different things to different people but this one hit home for me…I knew people like this and I spent my fair share of  time in bars playing to drinking customers.

The song is sad but an honest portrait. It’s a lonely life but a comfort to have people to be lonely with… but it also is a signal  that you could be spiraling slowly down. I have never been drinker but I did haunt some clubs (mostly playing music) in my earlier days nursing a drink into the night. I remember one night being at a club at 2am in the morning…thinking why the hell am I still here? That is when my days of being a regular stopped.

Tim is the fourth studio album by  The Replacements. It was released in October 1985 on Sire Records. It was their first major label release. Paul Westerberg wrote this song and played acoustic.

The Replacements - Tim cover.jpg

You’re like a picture on the fridge that’s never stocked with food
I used to live at home, now I stay at their house

Here Comes A Regular

Well a person can work up a mean mean thirst
after a hard day of nothin’ much at all
Summer’s passed, it’s too late to cut the grass
There ain’t much to rake anyway in the fall

And sometimes I just ain’t in the mood
to take my place in back with the loudmouths
You’re like a picture on the fridge that’s never stocked with food
I used to live at home, now I stay at the house

And everybody wants to be special here
They call your name out loud and clear
Here comes a regular
Call out your name
Here comes a regular
Am I the only one here today?

Well a drinkin’ buddy that’s bound to another town
Once the police made you go away
And even if you’re in the arms of someone’s baby now
I’ll take a great big whiskey to ya anyway

Everybody wants to be someone’s here
Someone’s gonna show up, never fear
’cause here comes a regular
Call out your name
Here comes a regular
Am I the only one who feels ashamed?

Kneeling alongside old Sad Eyes
He says opportunity knocks once then the door slams shut
All I know is I’m sick of everything that my money can buy
The fool who wastes his life, God rest his guts

First the lights, then the collar goes up, and the wind begins to blow
Turn your back on a pay-you-back, last call
First the glass, then the leaves that pass, then comes the snow
Ain’t much to rake anyway in the fall

The Loner

What made me want to watch a western television show that only aired one season from 1965-1966? Rod Serling…that is the reason and a good enough reason for me.

Do You Remember... "The Loner"

This is the show that he started a year after the Twilight Zone. The show didn’t make it past one season. That is not because of the content. It was an adult western…Serling hated some of the westerns at the time and wanted to make this one more realistic. While he didn’t bring in the Twilight Zone scifi take he did bring his own way of conveying mortality tales.

That didn’t fly with some viewers who only wanted the shoot’em up cowboy tales.

Lloyd Bridges starred in this show about a man named Bill Colton who roamed the west a month after the Civil War ended. Along the way we would meet new characters every week. I watch this show and think…why didn’t it catch on? Was it too smart for some viewers? You did have action but the shows were character and story based.  Another reason it didn’t last is the Western theme at that time had been mined  and mined bare but Serling’s western wasn’t like many of the others.

This series I have to recommend to anyone. There are only 26 episodes all 25  minute each so it’s not a huge investment of time. Serling wrote 75 percent of the scripts so you know the dialog and stories are good. Lloyd Bridges is excellent in the staring role.

If you are looking for an intelligent western with good stories, dialog, and action when needed…get The Loner.

You can watch many if not all on youtube. They were released in 2016 on DVD.