Dion – Abraham, Martin and John

Sometimes a pop song is more important than just a regular pop song…this is one of them.

Great song by Dion. This song is a tribute to those involved in the battle for civil rights. The title refers to Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., and John F. Kennedy. The last verse in the song refers to Bobby …JFK’s brother, Robert Kennedy. Everyone mentioned in the song has died and this is symbolized by their progression over a hill.

This was written by the rockabilly singer Richard Louis Holler…better known as  Dick Holler who also wrote the novelty hit Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron. Abraham, Martin and John has been covered by artists including Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Kenny Rogers, Emmylou Harris, Andy Williams, Marvin Gaye, Whitney Houston, and Moms Mabley, among others.

Dion was in bad shape when this song presented itself. He had just recovered from heroin addiction and was offered this as a possible comeback song. It peaked at #4 on Billboard 100, #1 in Canada, and #12 in New Zealand in 1968 and reestablished Dion in the music business.

Initially, Dion detested the song, but he has since come to understand its legacy. Later on, Dion claimed to have received over 4,000 letters thanking him for recording this song.

Dion: “I realized that what these four guys had in common was a dream… It was like they had the courage to believe that a state of love really can exist.”

Abraham, Martin and John

Has anybody here seen my old friend Abraham?
Can you tell me where he’s gone?
He freed a lot of people
But it seems the good die young
But I just looked around and he’s gone

Has anybody here seen my old friend John?
Can you tell me where he’s gone?
He freed a lot of people
But it seems the good die young
But I just looked around and he’s gone

Has anybody here seen my old friend Martin?
Can you tell me where he’s gone?
He freed a lot of people
But it seems the good die young
But I just looked around and he’s gone

Didn’t you love the things that they stood for?
Didn’t they try to find some good for you and me?
And we’ll be free
Someday soon, it’s gonna be
One day

Has anybody here seen my old friend Bobby?
Can you tell me where he’s gone?
I thought I saw him walkin’
Up over the hill
With Abraham, Martin and John

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich – The Legend Of Xanadu

The song I know most by them is Hold Tight but after finding that one I found this odd song by them. It was their only #1 song in the UK. It also did well in New Zealand peaking at #1, #10 in Canada, and #123 in the Billboard 100 in 1968. The song was written by Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley.

You know…before we continue. Sometimes a band’s name can help and maybe hurt them a little. In this case, the word HINDER comes into play… although I do get a laugh out of it…I had to serach my own site to find their correct name again.

David John Harman (Dave Dee), Trevor Leonard Ward-Davies (Dozy), John Dymond (Beaky), Michael Wilson (Mick) and Ian Frederick Stephen Amey (Tich), who were childhood friends from Wiltshire (same area as the Troggs) formed a group in 1961. They were originally called Dave Dee and the Bostons. A few years later they changed their names to Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich.

Songwriter Ken Howard who recorded them: “We changed their name to Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich, because they were their actual nicknames and because we wanted to stress their very distinct personalities in a climate which regarded bands as collectives”.

They never made it big in America but they were huge in the UK. They had thirteen UK Top forty hits, eight UK Top 10’s,  and one Number 1 with this song.  In New Zealand, the band had three number-one hits, and seven other songs reached the top ten.

I heard them a bit through the 80s and 90s but not much. Quentin Tarantino must have liked them because he featured Hold Tight in his movie Death Proof during the infamous crash scene.

The group re-formed in the 1990s with Dee as lead vocalist once again. Dave Dee performed his last gig in Eisenburg, Germany on September 20, 2008, and died at Kingston Hospital, southwest London, in January 2009 at the age of 65, following a three-year battle with cancer.

The Legend Of Xanadu

Esta es la leyenda de Xanadu

You’ll hear my voice, on the wind, ‘cross the sandIf you should returnTo that black barren land that bears the name of Xanadu

Cursed without hope, was the love that I soughtLost from the startWas the duel that was s’pposed to win her heart in Xanadu

And the foot prints leave no tracesOnly shadows move in places where we used to goAnd the buildings open to the skyAll echo when the vultures cry as if to showOur love was for a dayThen doomed to pass awayIn Xanadu, in Xanadu, in Xanadu

In Xanadu, in Xanadu, in Xanadu

What was it to you that a man laid down his life for your loveWere those clear eyes of yours everFilled with the pain and the tears and the griefDid you ever give your self to any one man in this whole wide worldOr did you love me and will you find your way back one day to Xanadu

You’ll hear my voice, on the wind, ‘cross the sandIf you should returnTo that black barren land that bears the name of Xanadu

In Xanadu, in Xanadu, in Xanadu, in Xanadu

Beatles – Rocky Raccoon

This coming weekend I’m going to attempt a Beatles album ranking post which I’ve never done… so I’ve been listening to the White Album. Rocky Raccoon is a  great way to start out the week

I bought the White Album in the winter of 1981 right after John Lennon was murdered. It has remained my favorite album ever by far. You have such a variety on this album and it gives you different glances at the Beatles without many studio tricks and sounds.

This song starts with a strumming guitar and then comes Paul talking/singing in his best western voice. Now somewhere in the Black Mountain Hills of Dakota
There lived a young boy named Rocky Raccoon. 

The main character was originally called Rocky Sassoon but McCartney changed it to Raccoon, as he thought the name was more cowboyish.

The original title of the album was going to be “A Doll’s House“… but the band  Family used the title Music from a Doll’s House for its debut album, so The Beatles scrapped the idea. The album’s real name ended up being “The Beatles” but the plain white cover nickname soon took over. From some accounts here is the original cover.

A Doll's House

In 1968, McCartney got the idea for it when he was playing guitar with John Lennon and Donovan Leitch at the Maharishi’s camp in India. Rocky in the song is a cowboy in the old west and challenges Dan when Dan ran off with Rocky’s girl. In the gunfight, Dan is too quick and shoots Rocky wounding him. When the song was recorded… Beatles producer George Martin played the piano in an old-west saloon style.

Rocky in this song is not a raccoon but a boy whose girl runs off with his rival, Dan. The song is set in the Old West, so Rocky does what any self-respecting cowboy would do: he challenges Dan to a gunfight. Unfortunately for Rocky, he Dan is quick on the draw and shoots him first, wounding Rocky and proving himself worthy of the girl.

The album peaked at #1 in the US, Canada, UK, and just about everywhere in 1968.

Paul McCartney: “Rocky was me writing (speaks-sings in a baccy-chewing old prospector voice), ‘It was way back in the hills of Dakota-or Arkansas-in the mining days. And it was tough, picking shovels, and we were underground 24 hours a day…’ I could have taken this serious route, researched it – ‘Take This Hammer’ (a prison work song recorded by British skiffle star Lonnie Donegan in 1959), stuff I’d been brought up on. But at that point I was a little tongue-in cheek. So I crossed it with a (British singer and banjo player popular in the 1940s) George Formby sensibility, where John and I would go (sings a bit of doggerel in a choppy rhythm) – Stanley Holloway, Albert in The Lion’s Den (the comic poem The Lion and Albert, written by Holloway’s creative partner Marriott Edgar in 1932). We were very versed in all that stuff (sings opening lines of Rocky Raccoon in the same choppy way). The scanning of the poetical stanza always interested me. Somehow this little story unfolded itself.

I was basically spoofing ‘the folk-singer.’ And it included Gideon’s Bible, which I’ve seen in every hotel I’ve ever been in. You open the drawer and there it is! Who’s this guy Gideon! I still don’t know to this day who the heck he is. I’m sure he’s a very well-meaning guy. Rocky Raccoon was a freewheeling thing, the fun of mixing a folky ramble with Albert In The Lion’s Den with its ”orse’s ‘ead ‘andle,’ ha ha.”

Many cover versions have been recorded. Some of the artists are Richie Havens, Ramsey Lewis, Jack Johnson, Andrew Gold, James Blunt, Phish, Jimmy Buffett, Maureen McGovern, Kingston Wall, Charlie Parr, and Andy Fairweather Low.

Rocky Raccoon

Now somewhere in the Black Mountain Hills of Dakota
There lived a young boy named Rocky Raccoon
And one day his woman ran off with another guy
Hit young Rocky in the eye
Rocky didn’t like that
He said, “I’m gonna get that boy”
So one day he walked into town
Booked himself a room in the local saloon

Rocky Raccoon checked into his room
Only to find Gideon’s Bible
Rocky had come, equipped with a gun
To shoot off the legs of his rival
His rival it seems, had broken his dreams
By stealing the girl of his fancy
Her name was Magill, and she called herself Lil
But everyone knew her as Nancy
Now she and her man, who called himself Dan
Were in the next room at the hoe down
Rocky burst in, and grinning a grin
He said, “Danny boy, this is a showdown”
But Daniel was hot, he drew first and shot
And Rocky collapsed in the corner

Now the doctor came in, stinking of gin
And proceeded to lie on the table
He said, “Rocky, you met your match”
And Rocky said, “Doc, it’s only a scratch
And I’ll be better, I’ll be better, Doc, as soon as I am able”

Now Rocky Raccoon, he fell back in his room
Only to find Gideon’s Bible
Gideon checked out, and he left it, no doubt
To help with good Rocky’s revival

Crazy Elephant – Gimme Gimme Good Lovin’

I first heard this song in the 80s on an oldie channel. The song has a drive to it that I love. After I heard it I went straight away and learned it on guitar. We played this at every gig because it’s so much fun…and yes easy. As I pasted the words…I thought…hell…we sang our own words and just sounded them out.

It was originally released in 1969 and it peaked at #12 on the Billboard 100, #9 in Canada, and #12 in the UK.  It was written by Joey Levine and Ritchie Cordell. The band wasn’t really a band that toured…just a studio band. It was one of the many formed by the Kasenetz-Katz production duo.

The duo took advantage of the bubblegum phase in the late sixties. They also formed  The Ohio Express, The Music Explosion, and the 1910 Fruitgum Company. This song though…if it’s played at the right volume and intensity loses that bubblegum feel quickly.

The band needed attention so they made a rather elaborate story which said that they were a group of coal miners who came all the way from Wales. Vocalist Robert “Bobby” Spencer did the lead vocals on this song. Future 10cc member Kevin Godley later sang lead vocals on one of Crazy Elephant’s songs, There Ain’t No Umbopo.

Gimme Gimme Good Lovin’

From Atlanta, Georgia, to the Gulf Stream water
up to California end I’m gonna spend my life both night and day
I say, gimme, gimme good lovin’ every night
(Hey you know it’s alright, child)
Gimme, gimme good lovin’ make it alright
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha

To the girls in Frisco, to the girls in New York
To the girls in Texican, you gotta understand
That baby I’m your man
I say, gimme, gimme good lovin’ every night
(Yeah you know it’s alright now)
Gimme, gimme good lovin’ make it alright
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha

Doors – Hello, I Love You

In my teens, I got into the Doors. It happened at just the right time because their popularity rose in the 1980s. When I heard this song after listening to their other music…I thought wow this is very radio-friendly for The Doors. Some fans called them a sell-out…saying it was too top 40 which I don’t think is right…not their best song but a good one. Every song cannot have lyrics like “Don’t chase the clouds pagodas” in them.

I liked it and still do and I heard The Kinks All Day and All of the Night in the song. I wasn’t the only one that heard it. Morrison admitted it and would pay Ray Davies royalties after it hit. Morrison wrote this after seeing a beautiful woman in 1965 walking down a California beach. I also read that he helped popularize the pickup line…” Hello, I love you. Won’t you tell me your name?”  that probably hasn’t worked for anyone…ok maybe Jim.

This song was on their demo to shop for a record deal…I have it at the bottom of the post. They didn’t put it on an album until 1968 when they needed material for their third album Waiting for the Sun. They needed more material for that album and pulled up this one from their original demo to re-record it. Although you can hear the Kinks in there… Krieger and Densmore borrowed the finished version’s rhythm from Cream’s Sunshine of Your Love. Robby Krieger also ran his guitar through a fuzz box to get a distorted effect like Cream’s “Sunshine Of Your Love.”

The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada, #12 in New Zealand, and #15 in the UK in 1968. Waiting For The Sun peaked at #1 on the Billboard Album Charts, #3 in Canada, and #16 in the UK.

I always liked Ray Davies’s response to the song’s similarities to his All Day and All of the Night.

Ray Davies: “The funniest thing was when my publisher came to me on tour and said The Doors had used the riff for ‘All Day And All Of The Night’ for ‘Hello, I Love You.’ I said rather than sue them, can’t we just get them to own up? My publisher said, ‘They have, that’s why we should sue them!’ (laughs) Jim Morrison admitted it, which to me was the most important thing. The most important thing, actually, is to take (the idea) somewhere else.”

This would be the Door’s last #1 song…Light My Fire is the first one. The R.E.M. song “Pop Song ’89” is a play on this. Instead of talking about sex, they talk to the girl about politics and the weather. This song was also used in the movies PlatoonCasualties of War, and Forrest Gump.

The demo of Hello, I Love You. 

Hello, I Love You

Hello, I love you, won’t you tell me your name?
Hello, I love you, let me jump in your game
Hello, I love you, won’t you tell me your name?
Hello, I love you, let me jump in your game
She’s walking down the street
Blind to every eye she meets
Do you think you’ll be the guy
To make the queen of the angels sigh?
Hello, I love you, won’t you tell me your name?
Hello, I love you, let me jump in your game
Hello, I love you, won’t you tell me your name?
Hello, I love you, let me jump in your game
She holds her head so high, like a statue in the sky
Her arms are wicked, and her legs are long
When she moves my brain screams out this song
Sidewalk crouches at her feet
Like a dog that begs for something sweet
Do you hope to make her see, you fool?
Do you hope to pluck this dusky jewel?
Hello, hello, hello, hello, hello, hello, hello
I want you, hello, I need my baby
Hello, hello, hello, hello

Johnny Cash – Folsom Prison Blues

But I shot a man in Reno, Just to watch him dieJohnny Cash

It doesn’t get much better than that.

The man in black was The Man. Not many performers can cross genres like Johnny Cash did and still does. He first recorded this song in 1955 at Sun Records as the B side to “S3o Doggone Lonesome” but it was the live 1969 version that hit.

The At Folsom Prison album helped revitalize Cash’s career. Up to this point, his last Country top 40 entry was in 1964. This was recorded live at Folsom Prison in California on January 13, 1968, and that album came to define his outlaw image. The record company told him it wouldn’t work but Johnny recorded at the prison anyway.

Folsom Prison Blues peaked at #1 on the Billboard Country Charts, #1 on the Canadian Country Charts, #32 on the Billboard 100,  and #17 on the Canadian Pop Charts.  The song and album generated a lot of interest in the rebellious Johnny Cash, who made prison reform his political cause of choice. He started regularly performing in jails, doing about 12 shows a year for free mostly in Folsom and San Quentin.

The album peaked at #1 in the Billboard Country Charts, #13 in the Billboard Album Charts, and #27 in Canada.

Johnny Cash Flipping Bird

This iconic picture came from Folsom Prison. According to photographer Jim Marshall…he asked Cash to express what he thought of the prison authorities when he played the show. Marshall told Cash “let’s do a shot for the warden” and the picture was born. 

Cash saw Crane Wilbur’s 90-minute film Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison while stationed in Germany. It left an impression on Cash, who emphasized the tale of the imprisoned men, and inspired him to write a song. Johnny Cash: “It was a violent movie, I just wanted to write a song that would tell what I thought it would be like in prison.”

Cash’s first prison performance occurred in 1957 when he performed for inmates at Huntsville State Prison. The favorable response inspired Cash to perform at more prisons through the years. His next hit, recorded in San Quentin Prison, was the humorous “A Boy Named Sue,” which proved that he could be clever and funny.

Cash came off as a champion for the oppressed.  He got his own national TV show in 1969 and became one of the most popular entertainers of his era. His guests included Derek and the Dominos,  Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Linda Ronstadt, Kris Kristofferson, Mickey Newbury, Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot, Merle Haggard, James Taylor, Tammy Wynette, and Roy Orbison.

Isn’t that list incredible? Cash was considered a Country-Folk artist but look at the range of performers. The late sixties and seventies were like this ….and it’s the reason I like them so much…all the generations intersected at that point in time. I mean you have Eric Clapton and then you have Tammy Wynette on the guest list.

The lyrics to this song were based on a 1953 recording called Crescent City Blues by a bandleader named Gordon Jenkins with Beverly Maher on vocals. After filing a lawsuit, Gordon Jenkins received an out-of-court settlement from Cash in 1969. I have to say it does sound really close.

Johnny Cash: “I don’t see anything good come out of prison. You put them in like animals and tear out the souls and guts of them, and let them out worse than they went in.”

Rosanne Cash: “He was a real man with great faults, and great genius and beauty in him, but he wasn’t this guy who could save you or anyone else.”

Folsom Prison Blues

(Hello, I’m Johnny Cash)

I hear the train a-comin’
It’s rollin’ ’round the bend
And I ain’t seen the sunshine
Since I don’t know when
I’m stuck in Folsom Prison
And time keeps draggin’ on
But that train keeps a-rollin’
On down to San Antone

When I was just a baby
My Mama told me, “son
Always be a good boy
Don’t ever play with guns”
But I shot a man in Reno
Just to watch him die
When I hear that whistle blowin’
I hang my head and cry (play it to the verse, yeah)
(Sue it)

I bet there’s rich folks eatin’
From a fancy dining car
They’re probably drinkin’ coffee
And smokin’ big cigars
Well, I know I had it comin’
I know I can’t be free
But those people keep a-movin’
And that’s what tortures me (hit it)

(Howdy-ho)

Well, if they freed me from this prison
If that railroad train was mine
I bet I’d move it on, a little
Farther down the line
Far from Folsom Prison
That’s where I want to stay
And I’d let that lonesome whistle
Blow my blues away

(yeah)

Charles Monroe Schulz 

The Banner

On November 26, 1922…Charles Schulz was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He would have been 100 years old today. He would read the Sunday cartoon feature with his dad every week. Schulz had asthma and his mom would give him a pencil and paper in bed to draw and that started it all.

He created the Peanuts strip (originally entitled Li’l Folks) in 1950, introducing a group of characters based on semiautobiographical experiences.  That first year, the comic strip came in last place in the New York World Telegram’s reader survey of cartoons… however, a book of Peanuts reprints helped the strip gain a larger audience. Shulz encapsulated the kid’s point of view as good or better than anyone. The grownups didn’t talk; it was all about the kid’s world. When I was growing up I would not miss a Sunday Cartoon feature or holiday special…not to mention the movies that came out.

Schulz channeled the loneliness that he had experienced in his army days and the frustrations of everyday life into Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown was familiar because he was us. . Linus was named after a friend and fellow cartoonist Linus Maurer. Peppermint Patty was inspired by his cousin Patricia and Snoopy is based on Schulz’s intelligent childhood pet dog. Woodstock is just a miniature of Snoopy…he is drawn the same way.

Philip Van Pelt’s wife, Louanne, inspired Lucy Van Pelt, Linus’ sister. Schulz introduced the feisty…some say mean brunette, known for pulling away footballs just as Charlie Brown is about to kick them, to the cartoon strip in 1952.

The comic strip would explode and be a pop culture icon in the 50s until now. So Happy Birthday Charles Schulz!

When I was a kid I would occasionally get a Peanuts item…watch or something with them on it. My favorite characters were Schroeder and Pigpen since I stayed dirty much to my mom’s horror. No matter how much she tried…and she tried and tried to get me somewhere clean…it hardly ever happened. She got me ready for Church one morning and she had a brainstorm. She got me ready 15 minutes before we left. It was a cool spring day so she put a scrubbed-clean Max into the back seat of our car. When she came out she was horrified…I had dug around in the ashtray and was filthy…therefore Pigpen suited me fine.

In the late 1990s while my wife and I were dating…we would go to flea markets and antique shops and buy Peanuts memorabilia. We both had rediscovered The Peanuts in our 20s. Over 2-4 years we bought thousands of dollars of older collectibles. If being late on rent meant getting a rare Peanuts item…so be it! No, we were not the most responsible around at the time. It was a cool bonding activity between us and we still have all the things that we bought. At Christmas, we get a lot of it out and decorate the house. We slowed down when our son Bailey came along and we realized…hmmm better start saving money!

So the Peanuts were with me as a child and an adult and if we ever see a Peaunts item out and about…we usually get it.

If you get in the mood to watch The Peanuts… try A Boy Named Charlie Brown and Snoopy Come Home…their first two movies.

My role model Pigpen

 

 

Arlo Guthrie – Alice’s Restaurant Massacree

Hello everyone and those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving I hope you have a great one with your friends and family! Those of you who don’t…have a great day and weekend coming up. I know Thanksgiving is an American holiday mostly but I have talked to a few who celebrate it from other countries…like Bruce my friend from New Zealand.

Every Thanksgiving I listen to Alice’s Restaurant and this is the fourth year in a row that I’ve posted it on the 4th Thursday of November. Sorry if you are tired of it but it’s not Thanksgiving until Alice’s Restaurant is played…and the Last Waltz is watched but that is a different story.

The movie that Arlo movie made called Alice’s Restaurant is a fun watch.

It’s not Thanksgiving without listening to this 1967 song. This song did not chart but he did have another version that did chart…it was called Alice’s Rock and Roll Restaurant that peaked at #97 in the Billboard 100.

Many radio stations play this on Thanksgiving. This is usually the only time they play it, since the song is over 18-minutes long.

There have been mixed reviews about the movie that was made…I’ve always found it enjoyable. It’s not going to be confused with Gone With The Wind but it’s a fun period movie.

In 1991, Arlo bought the church where this took place and set up “The Guthrie Center,” where he runs programs for kids who have been abused.

From Songfacts

Running 18 minutes and 34 seconds, this song is based on a true story that happened on Thanksgiving Day, 1965. Arlo was 18, and along with his friend Rick Robbins, drove to Stockbridge, Massachusetts to have Thanksgiving dinner with Alice and Ray Brock. Alice and Ray lived in a church – the former Trinity Church on Division Street in Stockbridge – and were used to inviting people into their home. Arlo and Rick had been traveling together, Arlo working his way up in folk singing and Rick tagging along. A number of people, Arlo and Rick included, were considered members of the family, so they were not guests in the usual sense. 

When Ray woke up the next morning, he said to them, “Let’s clean up the church and get all this crap out of here, for God’s sake. This place is a mess,” and Rick said, “Sure.” Arlo and Rick swept up and loaded all the crap into a VW microbus and went out to the dump, which was closed. They started driving around until Arlo remembered a side road in Stockbridge up on Prospect Hill by the Indian Hill Music Camp which he attended one summer, so they drove up there and dumped the garbage.A little later, the phone rang, and it was Stockbridge police chief William J. Obanhein. “I found an envelope with the name Brock on it,” Chief Obanhein said. The truth came out, and soon the boys found themselves in Obanhein’s police car. They went up to Prospect Hill, and Obie took some pictures. On the back, he marked them, “PROSPECT HILL RUBBISH DUMPING FILE UNDER GUTHRIE AND ROBBINS 11/26/65.” He took the kids to jail.The kids went in, pleaded, “Guilty, Your Honor,” was fined $25 each and ordered to retrieve the rubbish. Then they all went back to the church and started to write “Alice’s Restaurant” together. “We were sitting around after dinner and wrote half the song,” Alice recalls, “and the other half, the draft part, Arlo wrote.”

Guthrie, the son of legendary folk singer Woody Guthrie, greatly exaggerated the part about getting arrested for comic effect. In the song, he is taken away in handcuffs and put in a cell with hardened criminals. 

In the song, Guthrie avoids the draft and did not have to serve in Vietnam because of his littering arrest. In reality, he was eligible but wasn’t drafted because his number didn’t come up.

Guthrie performed this song for the first time on July 16, 1967, at the Newport Folk Festival.

This reflected the attitude of many young people in America at the time. It was considered an antiwar song, but unlike most protest songs, it used humor to speak out against authority.

After a while, Guthrie stopped playing this at concerts, claiming he forgot the words. As the song approached its 30th anniversary, he started playing it again.

Guthrie made a movie of the same name in 1969 which was based on the song.

Over the years, Guthrie added different words to the song. He recorded a new, longer version in 1995 at The Guthrie Center

Alice’s Restuarant

This song is called Alice’s Restaurant, and it’s about Alice, and the
Restaurant, but Alice’s Restaurant is not the name of the restaurant,
That’s just the name of the song, and that’s why I called the song Alice’s
Restaurant.

You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant
You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant
Walk right in it’s around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant

Now it all started two Thanksgivings ago, was on – two years ago on
Thanksgiving, when my friend and I went up to visit Alice at the
Restaurant, but Alice doesn’t live in the restaurant, she lives in the
Church nearby the restaurant, in the bell-tower, with her husband Ray and
Fasha the dog. And livin’ in the bell tower like that, they got a lot of
Room downstairs where the pews used to be in. Havin’ all that room,
Seein’ as how they took out all the pews, they decided that they didn’t
Have to take out their garbage for a long time.

We got up there, we found all the garbage in there, and we decided it’d be
A friendly gesture for us to take the garbage down to the city dump. So
We took the half a ton of garbage, put it in the back of a red vw
Microbus, took shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and headed
On toward the city dump.

Well we got there and there was a big sign and a chain across across the
Dump saying, “Closed on Thanksgiving.” And we had never heard of a dump
Closed on Thanksgiving before, and with tears in our eyes we drove off
Into the sunset looking for another place to put the garbage.

We didn’t find one. Until we came to a side road, and off the side of the
Side road there was another fifteen foot cliff and at the bottom of the
Cliff there was another pile of garbage. And we decided that one big pile
Is better than two little piles, and rather than bring that one up we
Decided to throw our’s down.

That’s what we did, and drove back to the church, had a thanksgiving
Dinner that couldn’t be beat, went to sleep and didn’t get up until the
Next morning, when we got a phone call from officer Obie. He said, “Kid,
We found your name on an envelope at the bottom of a half a ton of
Garbage, and just wanted to know if you had any information about it. ” And
I said, “Yes, sir, Officer Obie, I cannot tell a lie, I put that envelope
Under that garbage. ”

After speaking to Obie for about forty-five minutes on the telephone we
Finally arrived at the truth of the matter and said that we had to go down
And pick up the garbage, and also had to go down and speak to him at the
Police officer’s station. So we got in the red vw microbus with the
Shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and headed on toward the
Police officer’s station.

Now friends, there was only one or two things that Obie coulda done at
The police station, and the first was he could have given us a medal for
Being so brave and honest on the telephone, which wasn’t very likely, and
We didn’t expect it, and the other thing was he could have bawled us out
And told us never to be seen driving garbage around the vicinity again,
Which is what we expected, but when we got to the police officer’s station
There was a third possibility that we hadn’t even counted upon, and we was
Both immediately arrested. Handcuffed. And I said “Obie, I don’t think I
Can pick up the garbage with these handcuffs on. ” He said, “Shut up, kid.
Get in the back of the patrol car. ”

And that’s what we did, sat in the back of the patrol car and drove to the
Quote Scene of the Crime unquote. I want tell you about the town of
Stockbridge, Massachusets, where this happened here, they got three stop
Signs, two police officers, and one police car, but when we got to the
Scene of the Crime there was five police officers and three police cars,
Being the biggest crime of the last fifty years, and everybody wanted to
Get in the newspaper story about it. And they was using up all kinds of
Cop equipment that they had hanging around the police officer’s station.
They was taking plaster tire tracks, foot prints, dog smelling prints, and
They took twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy photographs with circles
And arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each
One was to be used as evidence against us. Took pictures of the approach,
The getaway, the northwest corner the southwest corner and that’s not to
Mention the aerial photography.

After the ordeal, we went back to the jail. Obie said he was going to put
Us in the cell. Said, “Kid, I’m going to put you in the cell, I want your
Wallet and your belt. ” And I said, “Obie, I can understand you wanting my
Wallet so I don’t have any money to spend in the cell, but what do you
Want my belt for? ” And he said, “Kid, we don’t want any hangings. ” I
Said, “Obie, did you think I was going to hang myself for littering?”
Obie said he was making sure, and friends Obie was, cause he took out the
Toilet seat so I couldn’t hit myself over the head and drown, and he took
Out the toilet paper so I couldn’t bend the bars roll out the – roll the
Toilet paper out the window, slide down the roll and have an escape. Obie
Was making sure, and it was about four or five hours later that Alice
(remember Alice? It’s a song about Alice), Alice came by and with a few
Nasty words to Obie on the side, bailed us out of jail, and we went back
To the church, had a another thanksgiving dinner that couldn’t be beat,
And didn’t get up until the next morning, when we all had to go to court.

We walked in, sat down, Obie came in with the twenty seven eight-by-ten
Colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back
Of each one, sat down. Man came in said, “All rise.” We all stood up,
And Obie stood up with the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy
Pictures, and the judge walked in sat down with a seeing eye dog, and he
Sat down, we sat down. Obie looked at the seeing eye dog, and then at the
Twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows
And a paragraph on the back of each one, and looked at the seeing eye dog.
And then at twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles
And arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one and began to cry,
’cause Obie came to the realization that it was a typical case of American
Blind justice, and there wasn’t nothing he could do about it, and the
Judge wasn’t going to look at the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy
Pictures with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each
One explaining what each one was to be used as evidence against us. And
We was fined $50 and had to pick up the garbage in the snow, but that’s not
What I came to tell you about.

Came to talk about the draft.

They got a building down New York City, it’s called Whitehall Street,
Where you walk in, you get injected, inspected, detected, infected,
Neglected and selected. I went down to get my physical examination one
Day, and I walked in, I sat down, got good and drunk the night before, so
I looked and felt my best when I went in that morning. ‘Cause I wanted to
Look like the all-American kid from New York City, man I wanted, I wanted
To feel like the all-, I wanted to be the all American kid from New York,
And I walked in, sat down, I was hung down, brung down, hung up, and all
Kinds o’ mean nasty ugly things. And I waked in and sat down and they gave
Me a piece of paper, said, “Kid, see the phsychiatrist, room 604.”

And I went up there, I said, “Shrink, I want to kill. I mean, I wanna, I
Wanna kill. Kill. I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and
Guts and veins in my teeth. Eat dead burnt bodies. I mean kill, Kill,
Kill, kill. ” And I started jumping up and down yelling, “kill, kill, ” and
He started jumping up and down with me and we was both jumping up and down
Yelling, “KILL, KILL.” And the Sargent came over, pinned a medal on me,
Sent me down the hall, said, “You’re our boy.”

Didn’t feel too good about it.

Proceeded on down the hall gettin more injections, inspections,
Detections, neglections and all kinds of stuff that they was doin’ to me
At the thing there, and I was there for two hours, three hours, four
Hours, I was there for a long time going through all kinds of mean nasty
Ugly things and I was just having a tough time there, and they was
Inspecting, injecting every single part of me, and they was leaving no
Part untouched. Proceeded through, and when I finally came to the see the
Last man, I walked in, walked in sat down after a whole big thing there,
And I walked up and said, “What do you want?” He said, “Kid, we only got
One question. Have you ever been arrested? ”

And I proceeded to tell him the story of the Alice’s Restaurant Massacre,
With full orchestration and five part harmony and stuff like that and all
The phenome… – and he stopped me right there and said, “Kid, did you ever
Go to court? ”

And I proceeded to tell him the story of the twenty seven eight-by-ten
Colour glossy pictures with the circles and arrows and the paragraph on
The back of each one, and he stopped me right there and said, “Kid, I want
You to go and sit down on that bench that says Group W…. Now kid!! ”

And I, I walked over to the, to the bench there, and there is, Group W’s
Where they put you if you may not be moral enough to join the army after
Committing your special crime, and there was all kinds of mean nasty ugly
Looking people on the bench there. Mother rapers. Father stabbers. Father
Rapers! Father rapers sitting right there on the bench next to me! And
They was mean and nasty and ugly and horrible crime-type guys sitting on the
Bench next to me. And the meanest, ugliest, nastiest one, the meanest
Father raper of them all, was coming over to me and he was mean ‘n’ ugly
‘n’ nasty ‘n’ horrible and all kind of things and he sat down next to me
And said, “Kid, whad’ya get?” I said, “I didn’t get nothing, I had to pay
$50 and pick up the garbage. ” He said, “What were you arrested for, kid? ”
And I said, “Littering.” And they all moved away from me on the bench
There, and the hairy eyeball and all kinds of mean nasty things, till I
Said, “And creating a nuisance.” And they all came back, shook my hand,
And we had a great time on the bench, talkin about crime, mother stabbing,
Father raping, all kinds of groovy things that we was talking about on the
Bench. And everything was fine, we was smoking cigarettes and all kinds of
Things, until the Sargeant came over, had some paper in his hand, held it
Up and said.

“Kids, this-piece-of-paper’s-got-47-words-37-sentences-58-words-we-wanna-
Know-details-of-the-crime-time-of-the-crime-and-any-other-kind-of-thing-
You-gotta-say-pertaining-to-and-about-the-crime-I-want-to-know-arresting-
Officer’s-name-and-any-other-kind-of-thing-you-gotta-say”, and talked for
Forty-five minutes and nobody understood a word that he said, but we had
Fun filling out the forms and playing with the pencils on the bench there,
And I filled out the massacre with the four part harmony and wrote it
Down there, just like it was, and everything was fine and I put down the
Pencil and I turned over the piece of paper, and there, there on the
Other side, in the middle of the other side, away from everything else on
The other side, in parentheses, capital letters, quotated, read the
Following words:

(“KID, HAVE YOU REHABILITATED YOURSELF?”)

I went over to the Sargent, said, “Sargeant, you got a lot a damn gall to
Ask me if I’ve rehabilitated myself, I mean, I mean, I mean that just, I’m
Sittin’ here on the bench, I mean I’m sitting here on the Group W bench
’cause you want to know if I’m moral enough join the army, burn women,
Kids, houses and villages after bein’ a litterbug. ” He looked at me and
Said, “Kid, we don’t like your kind, and we’re gonna send you fingerprints
Off to Washington. ”

And friends, somewhere in Washington enshrined in some little folder, is a
study in black and white of my fingerprints. And the only reason I’m
singing you this song now is cause you may know somebody in a similar
situation, or you may be in a similar situation, and if your in a
situation like that there’s only one thing you can do and that’s walk into
The shrink wherever you are, just walk in say “Shrink, You can get
Anything you want, at Alice’s restaurant. “. And walk out. You know, if
One person, just one person does it they may think he’s really sick and
They won’t take him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony,
They may think they’re both faggots and they won’t take either of them.
And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in
Singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out. They may think it’s an
Organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said
Fifty people a day walking in singing a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and
Walking out. And friends they may think it’s a movement.

And that’s what it is, the Alice’s Restaurant Anti-Massacre Movement, and
All you got to do to join is sing it the next time it comes around on the
Guitar.

With feeling. So we’ll wait for it to come around on the guitar, here and
Sing it when it does. Here it comes.

You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant
You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant
Walk right in it’s around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant

That was horrible. If you want to end war and stuff you got to sing loud.
I’ve been singing this song now for twenty-five minutes. I could sing it
For another twenty-five minutes. I’m not proud… Or tired.

So we’ll wait till it comes around again, and this time with four part
Harmony and feeling.

We’re just waitin’ for it to come around is what we’re doing.

All right now.

You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant
Excepting Alice
You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant
Walk right in it’s around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant

Da da da da da da da dum
At Alice’s Restaurant

The Music of 1968

Dave from A Sound Day (check out the other posts on Dave’s “Turntable Talk”) posted this on November 5, 2022. He wanted a group of us to write about what we thought was the best year in music…I ended up picking the turbulent year of 1968.

When I think of the best year of music …for me it’s between 7 years. I would pick 1965 through 1971. I cannot pick all so here it goes…I pick 1968. It had some of the greatest albums and singles ever.

It was a turbulent year, to say the least. We lost two proponents of peace—Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy. Other events include the Vietnam War’s Tet Offensive, riots in Washington, DC, the Civil Rights Act of 1968, and heightened social unrest over the Vietnam War, values, and race.

The music was also toughened up by moving away from psychedelic music. The social climate and The Band’s album Music from Big Pink had a lot of influence on this. You still had psychedelic music released but overall, music was more stripped down to the basics.

My favorite album of all time was released by The Beatles. My favorite album by The Rolling Stones was released that year as well. Let’s look at the albums released in 1968…it’s outstanding.

The Beatles – The Beatles (The White Album)

The Rolling Stones – Beggars Banquet

The Kinks – Are the Village Green Preservation Society

The Band – Music From Big Pink

Small Faces – Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake

The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Electric Ladyland

Cream – Wheel Of Fire

The Byrds – Sweetheart Of The Rodeo

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Creedence Clearwater Revival

Big Brother and Holding Company – Cheap Thrills

Johnny Cash – At Folsom Prison

The Zombies – Odyssey and Oracle

The Grateful Dead – Anthem of the Sun

Van Morrison – Astral Weeks

Aretha Franklin – Lady Soul

Simon and Garfunkel – Bookends

Traffic – Traffic

That list could be on my desert island list… those albums are still being played today. I’ve only scratched the surface of the albums that year.

The Holy Trinity of Rock all released music that year… which would be The Beatles, The Who, and The Stones. I can’t imagine living in the era when these bands were in their prime and roamed the earth. The Who didn’t release an album, but they did release some singles and were gearing up for the following year. Let’s look at some of the singles of that year.

The Beatles – Hey Jude/Revolution

The Beatles – Lady Madonna

The Who – Magic Bus

The Rolling Stones – Jumping Jack Flash

Steppenwolf – Born To Be Wild

The Doors – Hello, I Love You

The Rascals – People Got To Be Free

Cream – Sunshine Of Your Love

Otis Redding – The Dock of the Bay

The Supremes – Love Child

The Chamber Brothers – Time Has Come Today

Janis Joplin – Piece of My Heart

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Suzie Q

Joe Cocker – With A Little Help From My Friends

The year featured the debut album of Creedence Clearwater Revival. Brian Jones made his final album with the Rolling Stones and it was the start of their great 5 album stretch. The Who started to record the album that would break them worldwide with Tommy. Dock of the Bay would be released posthumously after Otis Redding died in a plane crash on December 10, 1967. The Grateful Dead would release their second album Anthem of the Sun and continue to build one of the largest fan bases ever. Jimi Hendrix was breaking barriers with his experimentation in the studio as well as live.

The Band would change the game by releasing Music From Big Pink. It influenced nearly everyone at the time to go back to a rootsy kind of music. Fleetwood Mac would release their debut album this year. Jeff Beck would release his legendary album Truth.

FM radio was getting huge at this time and showed that audiences didn’t have to have top 40 hits to buy albums. Take Van Morrison for instance. Astral Weeks didn’t have a “hit” on the album but continued to be played and sell. The Beatles  The White Album is as diverse as you can get… Pop, Rock, Country, Folk, Reggae, Avant-Gard, Blues, Hard Rock, and some 20’s British Music Hall thrown in for good measure. No singles were released from this album or Sgt Pepper the previous year. They treated singles and albums as two different things. Hey Jude and the hit version of Revolution was recorded during the White Album but yet they left those two off. The Stones would do the same and leave off Jumpin’ Jack Flash from  Beggars Banquet.

1968 set the stage for the coming decade’s rock music. Bands like The Who, Beatles, Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin didn’t need hit singles. You bought the album now and listened to the music in the context of that format. There were still pop/rock singles but the albums were gaining traction.

To wrap it up…I think any of the years between 1965-1971 could have a strong argument for my tastes. If you are into disco or synth music…not as much.

Carl Perkins – Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby

I learned about Carl Perkins through George Harrison and The Beatles. On their first tour, they all adopted “stage names” and George’s was George Perkins. A wonderful title for this song.

This gets kind of confusing. It was written by Carl Perkins, but it’s also very similar to another song by the same title by Alabama country singer Rex Griffon in 1936. Carl modernized it by the same sound he was getting out of Blue Suede Shoes.” Meanwhile, the melody was also borrowed from the Hank Williams song “Move It On Over” and “Mind Your Own Business.” Rock Around The Clock also borrowed from this.  Anyway…it is credited to Carl Perkins.

Carl Perkins was on the rise fast in 1956. He just had 3 top-10 hits in that year. On March 22, 1956, Perkins was severely injured when the car he was riding in crashed on Route 13 between Dover and Woodside, Delaware. Perkins and his band were headed to New York City for a Mar. 24, 1956, appearance on NBC-TV’s Perry Como Show after playing a show in Norfolk, Virginia, on Mar. 21, 1956. Perkins had sustained three fractured vertebrae in his neck, a severe concussion, a broken collar bone, and lacerations all over his body. Perkins remained unconscious for an entire day.

Worse than that…his brother Jay Perkins had a fractured neck and severe internal injuries. Later he developed a malignant brain tumor and died in 1958.  It had been planned on the Como show to present Carl with a gold record for Blue Suede shoes. When the wreck happened the song had peaked at #1 on the Country Charts and #2 on the Hot 100. Perkin’s career was never the same after that.

After 1956 he had 6 more top 40 hits in the country charts but never a top 10 hit again. One of those songs peaked at #31 in 1986 called “Birth of Rock and Roll.” Throughout the rockabilly revival of the 80s Perkins worked with Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and many more.

Carl Perkins continued to achieve many successes throughout his career, such as writing the 1968 number one country hit “Daddy Sang Bass” as recorded by Johnny Cash as well as Glen Campbell and The Statler Brothers. He played for about ten years with Johnny Cash, playing lead guitar on Cash’s number one country hit “A Boy Named Sue.” He even appeared on the Johnny Cash Show playing “Matchbox” with Derek And The Dominoes.

Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby was recorded in March of 1956 in Sun Studios with no other than Sam Phillips producing.

The Beatle’s version was recorded their version on October 18, 1964. They did it in one take not counting Ringo overdubbing a tambourine and George doubling his voice. It was released on the Album Beatles for Sale released in December of 1964. It was not their best album by any stretch. They were worn out and the album included a lot of covers. The album was not available in the United States and Canada until 1987. The song appeared on their US-only album Beatles 65.

George Harrison sang lead because he was a huge fan of Perkins. It was his showcase song on early tours.

Everybody Is Trying To Be My Baby

Well they took some honey from a tree
Dressed it up and they called it me

Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby, now

Woke up last night, half past four
Fifty women knocking on my door

Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby, now

Went out last night, I didn’t stay late
‘Fore I got home I had nineteen dates

Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby, now

Went out last night, I didn’t stay late
‘Fore I got home I had nineteen dates

Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby, now

Well they took some honey from a tree
Dressed it up and they called it me

Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby, now

Aretha Franklin – Respect

Otis Redding (the writer of the song): “This girl has taken that song from me. Ain’t no longer my song. From now on, it belongs to her.”

Aretha Franklin and Janis Joplin are my two top female singers of all time. When they are singing a song…there is no question about who it is.

Otis Redding wrote this and originally recorded it in 1965, with his version peaking at #35 on the Billboard 100 and #5 on the R&B Charts.

It was Aretha’s idea to cover this song. She came up with the arrangement, added the “sock it to me” lines, and played piano on the track. Her sister Carolyn, who sang backup on the album, also helped work up the song. It was different than Redding’s version. His version consisted of only verses. Aretha borrowed King Curtis’s sax solo from Sam and Dave’s When Something is Wrong With My Baby and used that for the bridge.

Franklin’s version is certainly the best-known version but the song was important in Otis’s career also. It helped establish Redding on mainstream radio. Otis also performed the song at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967…this was a defining performance for the singer, who died in a plane crash six months later.

Aretha recorded this in New York City with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. This was one of their first and most famous recordings. They went on to work with Wilson Pickett, Paul Simon, Bob Seger, and The Staple Singers. It was produced by the legendary producer Jerry Wexler and engineered by Tom Dowd.

Another fun fact…the “ree, ree, ree, ree…” refrain is a nod to Franklin’s nickname, Ree (as in A-Ree-tha). The song peaked at #1 on the Billboard 100, #3 in Canada, and #10 in the UK in 1967.

Respect earned Franklin two Grammy Awards in 1968 for Best Rhythm & Blues Recording and Best Rhythm & Blues Solo Vocal Performance, Female. Franklin’s “Respect” was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1987. In 2002, the Library of Congress added Franklin’s version of the song to the National Recording Registry.

Tom Dowd: “I walked out into the studio and said, ‘What’s the next song?’ Aretha starts singing it to me, I said, ‘I know that song, I made it with Otis Redding like three years ago.’ The first time I recorded ‘Respect,’ was on the Otis Blue album, and she picked up on it. She and Carolyn were the ones who conceived of it coming from the woman’s point of view instead of the man’s point of view, and when it came to the middle, Carolyn said, ‘Take care, TCB.’ Aretha jumped on it and that was how we did ‘Respect.'”

Otis Redding: “That’s one of my favorite songs because it has a better groove than any of my records. It says something, too: ‘What you want, baby, you got it; what you need, baby, you got it; all I’m asking for is a little respect when I come home.’ The song lines are great. The band track is beautiful. It took me a whole day to write it and about twenty minutes to arrange it. We cut it once and that was it. Everybody wants respect, you know.”

Aretha Franklin: “Everyone wants to be respected.”

Respect

What you want (ho) baby I got it
What you need (ho) you know I got it
(Ho) all I’m asking (ho) is for a little respect
When you come home (just a little bit)
Hey baby (just little bit)
When you get home (just a little Bit) mister (just a little bit)

I ain’t gonna do you wrong while you’re gone
I ain’t gonna do you wrong ’cause I don’t wanna
All I’m asking is for a little respect when you come home (just a little bit)
Baby (just a little bit)
When you get home (just a little bit) yeah (just a little bit)

I’m about to give you all my money
And all I’m asking in return honey
Is to give me my propers when you get home (just a, just a, just a, just a)
Yeah, baby when you get home (just a little bit)
Yeah (just a little bit)

Ho your kisses (ho) sweeter than honey (ho) and guess what (ho) so is my money (ho)
All I want you to do for me is give it to me when you get home (re, re, re, re, re, respect)
Yeah baby whip it to me (just a little bit)
When you get home now (just a little bit)

R-E-S-P-E-C-T find out what it means to me
R-E-S-P-E-C-T, take care, T-C-B oh (Sock it to me)

A little respect oh yeah (just a little bit)
A little respect (just a little bit)
I get tired (just a little bit)
Keep on tryin’ (just a little bit)
You’re runnin’ out of fools (just a little bit)
And I ain’t lyin’ (just a little bit)
(Re, re, re, re) ‘spect
When you come home (re, re, re ,re)
Or you might walk in (respect, just a little bit)
And find out I’m gone (just a little bit)
I got to have (just a little bit)

Favorite Rock Lyrics 2

Everyone seemed to like the first one so I thought I would bring it back. I did list many of the lyrics that you suggested in the comments on the other post…SO… this post was written by all of us…and uh…the ones that actually wrote the songs!

Bob Dylan

Sometimes my burden is more than I can bear, it’s not dark yet but it’s gettin’ there... Bob Dylan

Rolling Stones

The sunshine bores the daylights out of me…Rolling Stones

Who

I asked Bobby Dylan, I asked The Beatles, I asked Timothy Leary, but he couldn’t help me either, they called me the Seeker…The Who

Grateful Dead

Cows are giving kerosene, the kid can’t read at seventeen, the words he knows are all obscene, but it’s alright… The Grateful Dead

band

You take what you need and you leave the rest, but they should never have taken the very best… The Band

Trogg

Wild thing you make my heart sing you make everything groovy… The Troggs

Springsteen

There were ghosts in the eyes of all the boys you sent away… Bruce Springsteen

ACDC

Rich man, poor man, beggar man thief you ain’t got a hope in hell, that’s my belief… ACDC

Beatles - Rocky Raccoon

The farther one travels the less one knows the less one really knows …The Beatles

Leonard Cohen

My friends are gone and my hair is grey I ache in places I used to play …Leonard Cohen

John Lennon

Whatever gets you through the night … John Lennon

Replacements

God, what a mess, on the ladder of success Where you take one step and miss the whole first rung …The Replacements

Led Zeppelin 1976

Oh, let the sun beat down upon my face and stars fill my dream I’m a traveler of both time and space… Led Zeppelin

Kinks

Girls will be boys and boys will be girls, It’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world, except for Lola La-la-la-la LolaThe Kinks

Queen

She keeps her Moet et Chandon in her pretty cabinet “Let them eat cake”, she says just like Marie AntoinetteQueen

van morrison almost independence day

Shammy cleaning all the windows singing songs about Edith Piaf’s soul… Van

neil young after the goldrush

You can’t be twenty on Sugar Mountain though you’re thinking that you’re leaving there too soon… Neil Young

Simon and Garfunkel concert Ohio University 10-29-1968

Hello darkness, my old friend I’ve come to talk with you again…Simon and Garfunkel

Chambers Brothers – Time Has Come Today

I’ve always liked this song. I will admit I never heard the song until 1988 on a great tv series called “Almost Grown” that starred Tim Daly… that of course was canceled midway through the first season. It’s a psychedelic rock/soul song. There are four versions…one in 1966 and two trippier versions in 1968..different in length only…and the album version…I prefer the album version (11:06). Any song that uses the word…I guess it’s a word…”psychedelicized” has got my support.

This song has worked extremely well in films and on television as a soundtrack of the sixties. It’s powerful and punchy and doesn’t let up.

It was released in 1968 and peaked at #11 on the Billboard 100 and #9 in Canada. After listening to it I want to wear tie-dye and protest something…anything. The Chambers Brothers were from Mississippi and started out as a gospel act. They wrote this song after relocating to Los Angeles, where they rented a two-story house.

It was written by two of the four Chambers brothers, Joe and Willie. Joe wrote most of the lyrics after sitting in on a class at UCLA with Timothy Leary and taking LSD. Willie put the music together and contributed the line, “My soul has been psychedelicized.”

Below is the “brilliance” of record executives…in this case Clive Davis. Davis tried to forbid them to record the song. The following is Willie Chambers telling the story (its a bit long but important):

“After we signed with Columbia Records, there was a big party with all the food and booze and all this stuff. All the important people were there and we got to meet all of the head hogs and Clive was there. He was there for a couple of hours and he says, ‘Well, I must be going, I have other appointments.’ He immediately leans back in the door, ‘Oh, by the way, that song ‘Time Has Come Today’ that you guys do, we won’t be doing that. We won’t do that kind of s–t on this label.’ 

That was it, and he walks away. I looked at my brothers, and we were looking at each other like, ‘What the heck?’ And our producer [David Rubinson], he was in tears now – he was crying. He says, ‘I’ve waited my whole life to record this song, now he’s going to tell us we can’t record it. Why?’

A couple of days went by and our producer came by and said, ‘I don’t give a s–t what he says, we’re going to record that song. When we get our recording date, you guys show up an hour early, we’re going to go in the studio, we’re going to turn on the tape, we’re going to play it live, we’re going to do it like a live performance. We’re going to record it and whatever we get we’re going to have to live with it. We can’t play back, we can’t overdub, we can’t splice, we can’t fix something if there’s a mistake, we’re just going to have to live with it.’ He says, ‘I’m probably going to lose my job, but that’s how important it is to me to record this song.’ 

Later on, Joe and I went to Columbia Records to have a pow-wow with Mr. Davis to have him explain to us just why he thought we shouldn’t record this song. We didn’t have an appointment with him, we just showed up. We were six-feet-four tall, angry black guys. So, we walk in to the receptionist and we say, ‘We need to speak to Mr. Davis.’

So, we kind of forced our way into his office and we said to him, ‘Why can’t we record this song?’ He says, ‘It’s not the kind of music that black guys produce or play.’

Clive says, ‘You’re four black guys, you’re going to be sending up that stream into the world, ‘Time Has Come Today.’ It’s too profound of a statement for four black guys to be saying to the world.’

That was his reason. He says, ‘We’ll get a white artist to record the song, it’s not your kind of music.’ My brother Joe says, ‘What do you mean it’s not our kind of music? We wrote this.’

So, after having that conversation with him, we were ready to do whatever the producer said. We were going to record it anyway.

When we got our moment, we went in the studio and did it in one take. ‘Time Has Come Today’ was done in one take. There was no listening back – we couldn’t listen back. When we came to the end of it, we had no idea where it was going to go. Once we ended it, we shut down the machines and then we left the studio and came back at the time we were supposed to. 

Clive Davis didn’t find out about it until it had been mixed, prepped and released. When he found out, he fired everybody he could. He fired our producer, I think he fired the guy that opened the door for us. He fired everybody that got involved with recording that song.”

The Ramones did a great cover of this song.

Time Has Come Today

Time has come today
Young hearts can go their way
Can’t put it off another day
I don’t care what others say
They say we don’t listen anyway
Time has come today
(Hey)

Oh
The rules have changed today (Hey)
I have no place to stay (Hey)
I’m thinking about the subway (Hey)
My love has flown away (Hey)
My tears have come and gone (Hey)
Oh my Lord, I have to roam (Hey)
I have no home (Hey)
I have no home (Hey)

Now the time has come (Time)
There’s no place to run (Time)
I might get burned up by the sun (Time)
But I had my fun (Time)
I’ve been loved and put aside (Time)
I’ve been crushed by the tumbling tide (Time)
And my soul has been psychedelicized (Time)

(Time)
Now the time has come (Time)
There are things to realize (Time)
Time has come today (Time)
Time has come today (Time)

Time [x11]

Oh
Now the time has come (Time)
There’s no place to run (Time)
I might get burned up by the sun (Time)
But I had my fun (Time)
I’ve been loved and put aside (Time)
I’ve been crushed by tumbling tide (Time)
And my soul has been psychedelicized (Time)

(Time)
Now the time has come (Time)
There are things to realize (Time)
Time has come today (Time)
Time has come today (Time)

Time [x4]
Yeah

Cream – Anyone For Tennis

It was my senior year in high school and I was listening to Cream’s greatest hits on a spring day. I had the greatest hits cassette in my car…I heard this song with the windows down and at first, I thought…no this can’t be Cream. It grew on me and I love the song. I like when a band does something different. After blitzing audiences with Crossroads, Whiteroom, Sunshine of Your Love, and Strange Brew…out comes this song. It’s not my favorite Cream song…that would be Badge but this one always makes me smile.

The song was recorded during the Wheels On Fire album sessions but not released on that album. Eric Clapton and Martin Sharp wrote the song for the film  The Savage Seven released in 1968. It peaked at #64 on the Billboard 100, #37 in Canada, and #40 in the UK and was released on that soundtrack and a single.

Cream released four albums in four years and called it a day in 1969. They would split with Clapton having the most successful career. They would reunite in 1993 for their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They had a proper reunion in 2005 with four shows at Royal Albert Hall and three shows at Madison Square Gardens.

I remember the 40th Atlantic Anniversary concert held on May 11, 1988. It was rumored that Led Zeppelin and Cream were going to reunite. Led Zeppelin did, probably to their regret, but Cream didn’t attend. I watched it hoping that Cream would play.

Cream appeared on the Smothers Brothers and mimed this song. Who the hell knows what it means but when I heard “And the elephants are dancing on the graves of squealing mice. Anyone for tennis, wouldn’t that be nice?” I was hooked. It’s hard to get it out of your head once you listen to it.

Anyone For Tennis

Twice upon a time in the valley of the tears
The auctioneer is bidding for a box of fading years
And the elephants are dancing on the graves of squealing mice.
Anyone for tennis, wouldn’t that be nice?

And the ice creams are all melting on the streets of bloody beer
While the beggars stain the pavements with fluorescent Christmas cheer
And the Bentley driving guru is putting up his price.
Anyone for tennis, wouldn’t that be nice?

And the prophets in the boutiques give out messages of hope
With jingle bells and fairy tales and blind colliding scopes
And you can tell they’re all the same underneath the pretty lies.
Anyone for tennis, wouldn’t that be nice?

The yellow Buddhist monk is burning brightly at the zoo
You can bring a bowl of rice and then a glass of water too
And fate is setting up the chessboard while death rolls out the dice.
Anyone for tennis, wouldn’t that be nice?

Chuck Berry – Nadine

Any Chuck Berry song is a good song. This one is from the sixties and you can tell with the smoother production.

Berry was in jail between October 1961 and October 1963 for bringing a 14-year-old Apache waitress across a state line. During his time in jail he wrote some future hits. You Never Can Tell, Promised Land, No Particular Place To Go, and this song. Nadine was released in February of 1964, the month the Beatles hit America. The Rolling Stones would follow soon after. Both bands would cover Berry’s songs and boost his catalog.

In the UK, his popularity was helped by two compilation albums released in 1962 and 1963 that peaked in the top 10 there to keep his music alive when Berry couldn’t record or tour.

Marshall Chess, who was the son of Chess founder Leonard Chess was Chuck’s road manager when he got out of jail. Marshall said that Berry looked rough when he got out and Leonard gave Marshall $100 and told him to buy Chuck some clothes. When they got back from that, Berry recorded Nadine.

Chuck Berry 1964

The lyrics to this song and most of Chuck’s songs flow so easily. If you want to know what American teenage culture was like in the 50s and early sixties…listen to Chuck Berry.

I remember Bruce Springsteen commenting about Chuck Berry. He said Chuck influenced him because Bruce started to write songs like he was really talking to people and the words flowed naturally like Chuck’s did. He mentioned the lyric:

I saw her from the corner when she turned and doubled back
And started walkin’ toward a coffee-colored Cadillac

Springsteen had said he never had seen a coffee-colored Cadillac but he knows what one looks like now because of Chuck’s description. The song peaked at #23 on the Billboard 100, #23 in the R&B Charts, and #23 in Canada in 1964.

Nadine

I got on a city bus and found a vacant seat,
I thought I saw my future bride walking up the street,
I shouted to the driver hey conductor, you must slow down
I think I see her please let me off this bus

Nadine, honey is that you?
Oh, Nadine
Honey, is that you?
Seems like every time I see you
Darling you got something else to do

I saw her from the corner when she turned and doubled back
And started walkin’ toward a coffee colored Cadillac
I was pushin’ through the crowd to get to where she’s at
And I was campaign shouting like a southern diplomat

Downtown searching for her, looking all around
Saw her getting in a yellow cab heading up town
I caught a loaded taxi, paid up everybody’s tab
With a twenty dollar bill, told him ‘catch that yellow cab

She move around like a wave of summer breeze,
Go, driver, go, go, catch her balmy breeze
Moving through the traffic like a mounted cavalier
Leaning out the taxi window trying to make her hear