Sammy Johns – Chevy Van

Sammy Johns released Chevy Van back in 1975 and it peaked at #5 in the Billboard Top 100 and reached #7 in Canada. It is pure AM 70’s pop but it does take me back to that time.

The musicians that back Johns are the famous Wrecking Crew from Los Angeles. The song has been covered by many Country artists and most recently by Eric Church.

Vans were very popular in the 70s…Not family Mini Vans but rolling waterbed and shag carpet teenage machines. They were customized to have everything in them… Some movies were even centered around vans (Vansploitation)

 

Chevy Van

I gave a girl a ride in my wagon
She rolled in and took control
She was tired and her mind was a-draggin’
I said get some sleep and dream of rock and roll

‘Cause like a picture she was layin’ there
Moonlight dancin’ off her hair
She woke up and took me by the hand
She’s gonna love me in my Chevy van
And that’s all right with me

Her young face was like that of an angel
Her long legs were tanned and brown
Better keep your eyes on the road, son
Better slow this vehicle down

‘Cause like a picture she was layin’ there
Moonlight dancin’ off her hair
She woke up and took me by the hand
She’s gonna love me in my Chevy van
And that’s all right with me

I put her out in a town that was so small
You could throw a rock from end to end
A dirt road Main Street, she walked off in bare feet
It’s a shame I won’t be passin’ through again

‘Cause like a picture she was layin’ there
Moonlight dancin’ off her hair
She woke up and took me by the hand
We made love in my Chevy van
And that’s all right with me

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Bruce Springsteen – Johnny Bye Bye

This is Bruce’s song about Elvis Presley. Bruce was a big fan of Elvis but this looks at the dark side. After the glory had left and the lifestyle that caught up with Elvis with tragic results.

The song was released as a B side to “I’m On Fire” in 1985.

It is a haunting song to listen to. The key words are the last lines of the song…”You didn’t have to die, You didn’t have to die.” The song is credited to Chuck Berry and Bruce because Bruce rewrote the Berry song Bye Bye Johnny to fit his story.

It has always reminded me of another great Springsteen song… Cadillac Ranch.

Bruce Springsteen quote

 “The type of fame Elvis had . . . the pressure of it, the isolation that it seems to require, has gotta be really painful”

“Johnny Bye-Bye”

Well she drew out all her money from the Southern Trust
And put her little boy on the Greyhound Bus
Leaving Memphis with a guitar in his hand
With a one-way ticket to the promised land
Hey little girl with the red dress on
There’s a party tonight down in Memphis town
I’ll be going down there if you need a ride
The man on the radio says Elvis Presley’s died We drove to Memphis, the sky was hard and black
Up over the ridge came a white Cadillac
They’d drawn out all his money and they laid him in the back
A woman cried from the roadside “Ah he’s gone, he’s gone”
They found him slumped up against the drain
With a whole lot of trouble running through his veins
Bye-bye Johnny
Johnny bye-bye
You didn’t have to die
You didn’t have to die

Kim Mitchell – Go For a Soda

I have fond memories of this song in the 80s. Candian Kim Mitchell released this it in 1984 off his Akimbo Alogo album. The song peaked at #86 on the US Billboard 100 but #22 in Canada. I remember it getting plenty of airplay in my region. It did hit #12 on the Billboard Top Rock Tracks.

MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) used this song as a theme song. The reason the song caught on with me is the bass guitar sound. I was playing bass at the time and loved the huge sound of it when it kicks in.

Kim Mitchell had a very good career in Canada with 7 top twenty singles…Welcome to early eighties videos!

 

Go For A Soda

Might as well go for a soda…Nobody hurts and nobody cries
Might as well go for a soda…Nobody drowns and nobody dies

So we’re in one of our blue moods
You wanna have it your way and I want it mine
All this debating going ’round in our blue mood
Makes me thirst for love

Chorus:
Might as well go for a soda…Nobody hurts and nobody cries
Might as well go for a soda…Nobody drowns and nobody dies

Life seems to be a bomb inside your head
Well the bomb in my head is love
All this debating going ’round in our blue mood
Makes me thirsty for love

Chorus:
Might as well go for a soda…Nobody hurts and nobody cries
Might as well go for a soda…Nobody drowns and nobody dies
Might as well go for a soda…It’s better than slander
It’s better than lies
Might as well go for a soda…Nobody hurts and nobody cries

 

The Rolling Stones – The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man

Not the most well-known song by the Stones but a lot of American’s owned it. I bought the single Satisfaction in 1979 and flipped it over and found this oddly named likable song. This was the American B side to Satisfaction. Not exactly Day Tripper/We Can Work It Out but a likable single all the same. The song was released in 1965.

The Stones recorded this in Chess studios in Chicago.

The song is about George Sherlock who was the London Records promotions man who accompanied the Stones to California. This was their response to having basically a chaperone.

 

 

Well, I’m waiting at the bus stop in downtown L.A.
Well, I’m waiting at the bus stop in downtown L.A.
But I’d much rather be on a boardwalk on Broadway

Well, I’m sitting here thinkin’ just how sharp I am
Well, I’m sitting here thinkin’ just how sharp I am
I’m an under assistant west coast promo man

Well, I promo groups when they come into town
Well, I promo groups when they come into town
Well they laugh at my toupee, they’re sure to put me down

Well, I’m sitting here thinking just how sharp I am
Yeah, I’m sitting here thinking just how sharp I am
I’m a necessary talent behind every rock and roll band

Yeah, I’m sharp
I’m really, really sharp
I sure do earn my pay
Sitting on the beach every day, yeah
I’m real real sharp, yes I am
I got a Corvette and a seersucker suit
Yes, I have

Here comes the bus, uh oh
I thought I had a dime
Where’s my dime
I know I have a dime somewhere
I’m pretty sure

 

Never a Dull Moment 1971 by David Hepworth

This is a good book about music and pop culture in 1971. The author turned 21 in that year and claims it was the best year musically come to age… He is certain it was the year that produced more great music than any other. He makes a compelling case. Many classic rock albums came out that year…to name a few

Who’s Next – The Who
Led Zeppelin IV (ZoSo) – Led Zeppelin
Hunky Dory – David Bowie
What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye
Sticky Fingers – Rolling Stones
Blue – Joni Mitchell
Imagine – John Lennon
At Fillmore East – Allman Brothers
There’s A Riot Going On – Sly and the Family Stone
Tapestry – Carole King

Every month he goes through the politics, movies, televisions shows (or the lack of)
and mostly how rock music grew up. He writes with some detail on Marvin Gaye recording “What’s Going On,” Carole King and Tapestry, Rolling Stones “Sticky Fingers” and etc…

He highlights the events of that year with plenty of his opinion. It is a fun read and it is written from a UK point of view and covers plenty. One thing I will say…He does lack objectivity at times but you can feel his enthusiasm when he writes about being a teenager in that era.

I’m a sucker for books on music especially in that period…so maybe I lack objectivity but I enjoyed it. If you like classic rock music and the pop culture that goes with it…you should enjoy this.

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Aretha Franklin – Baby I Love You

The world lost a voice that cannot be replaced. She was the real deal and no one else had such a soulful voice.

This Aretha Franklin song was released in 1967 and it was on the “Aretha Arrives” album. It peaked at #4 on the US Billboard Charts.

This woman could sing the phonebook and I would listen. This is just one of many songs I like from her… She has sold over 75 million records in her career. This is the first song I remember hearing from her.

“Baby, I Love You”

If you want my lovin’
If you really do
don’t be afraid baby
Just ask me
You know I’m gonna give it to you
Oh and I do declare
I want to see you with it
Stretch out your arms little boy,
You’re gonna get it
Cause I love you
ain’t no doubt about it
Baby I love you,
I love you, I love you
I love you, baby I love youIf you feel you want to kiss me
Go right ahead I don’t mind
All you got to do is
Snap your fingers and I’ll come running
I ain’t lying, I ain’t lying
I heard you once little boy
You know you got it
I’d deny my own self
Before I see you without it
I love you
Ain’t no doubt about it
Baby I love you, I love you, I love you
I love you, baby I love youSomeday you might want to run away
And leave me sittin’ here cryin’
But if it’s all the same to you baby
I’m gonna stop you from sayin’ goodbye
Baby I love you
Baby I need ya
Said I want ya
Got to have you baby
Don’t let your neighbors
Tell you I don’t want you

J Geils Band – Must of Got Lost

“Must Have Got Lost” was released in 1974 and it went to #12 in the Billboard Charts and #27 in Canada.

The band came out of the Boston club scene in the late sixties. I always thought they should have been bigger than they were in the 1970s. The didn’t hit their commercial peak until the early 80s with Love Stinks, Come Back, and then the hugely popular Freeze-Frame album in 1983.

After the huge success of Freeze-Frame, Peter Wolf left. The band wanted to go in a techno/pop direction and Peter Wolf disagreed. They continued without their charismatic lead singer but wasn’t too commercially successful.

“Must Have Got Lost” was never a huge hit but it was always a favorite of mine.

Must Have Got Lost

Never thought about tomorrow
Seemed like a long time to come
How could I be so blind, baby
Not to see you were the one

I let ya slip on from me baby
I let you walk on by,
Shoulda loved, you had told me
I refused to love, I let it die

I musta got lost, musta got lost, I musta got lost
Somewhere down the line
Musta got lost, musta got lost
Give away the days you were mine

Don’t know why I let you leave me
Honey, I don’t know
Say its hard to see lovers comin’ babe
Honey I’ve a way to see them go

Musta got lost, musta got lost, musta got lost
Somewhere down the line
Musta got lost, I got lost
Give away the days you were mine

Love can be a sweet thing
Girl I just don’t understand
Made a game outta lovin’ you
Now I hold the losin’ hand

Oh, I musta got lost, musta got lost, musta got lost
Somewhere down the line
Musta got lost, I got lost, girl
Give away the days you were mine

I just don’t understand it
I just don’t understand it
I just don’t understand it

And I musta got lost, musta got lost, musta got lost
Somewhere down the line, hey
Musta got lost, baby, I got lost girl
Give away them days you were mine

Musta got lost, I got lost, musta got lost
Somewhere down the line
Musta got lost, oh I got lost girl
Give away them days you were mine

C’mon
Oh, I got lost, babe, double-crossed
Your lovin’, give it to me all night long

I said your love got me higher,
than I ever been lifted before

I said your love has got me higher,
than I ever been lifted before

Somewhere