Ramones – Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue

This song was released in 1976 on the Ramones debut album. I first heard this album in the early 80’s…and was struck by the economical way they produced their songs. Rapid fire songs one after the other…

I would NOT recommend what the Ramones are stating here. Bass player Dee Dee Ramone wrote this song, which is about sniffing glue, a cheap and easy way to… well to kill some brain cells. This is a pastime of bored teenagers with very bad judgment.

Running just 1:34, no one will accuse the Ramones of ripping off Bob Dylan. The song consists of these lyrics repeated, rinsed and washed.

Now I wanna sniff some glue
Now I wanna have somethin’ to do
All the kids wanna sniff some glue
All the kids want somethin’ to do

The Ramones didn’t really want folks to sniff glue. Tommy Ramone said: “I have a feeling Dee Dee was talking about his childhood, how he actually thought it was some kind of release when he was a kid. I thought of it as a parody. He might have been a little more serious.”

Johnny Ramone: “We couldn’t write about love or cars, so we sang about this stuff, like glue sniffing. We thought it was funny. We thought we could get away with anything.” 

This is one of the tracks on the Ramones debut album. On their follow-up, they included a song called “Carbona Not Glue,” which is about graduating to cleaning solvent for a cheap high.

Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue

Now I want to sniff some glue
Now I want to have somethin’ to do
All the kids want to sniff some glue
All the kids want somethin’ to do

1-2-3-4 Now I want to sniff some glue
Now I want to sniff some glue
Now I want to have somethin’ to do
All the kids want to sniff some glue
All the kids want somethin’ to do
One-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight

Now I want to sniff some glue
Now I want to have somethin’ to do
All the kids want to sniff some glue
All the kids want somethin’ to do
Now I want to sniff some glue
Now I want to have somethin’ to do
All the kids want to sniff some glue
All the kids want somethin’ to do

The Peanuts

The Peanuts lived in a world where adults didn’t matter as much. The world was for kids only and anytime an adult came around and talked… all you heard was a wah, wah, wah wah… no words. All the kids owned their day to day activities. The Peanuts didn’t talk down to us…no they talked to us. They were also clever enough for adults to like.

Nobody ever wins every time in this life. Everyone loses sometimes…therefore everyone is Charlie Brown to an extent. Every person has failed at a big moments or at small moments. We felt for Charlie Brown because we felt for ourselves.

When my son was born…I thought oh great…Now I’m a grown up and I’m a wah, wah, wah, wah adult…My son will live his life and sometimes I will be just noise in the background.

Growing up, there was no other cartoon I looked forward to more than the Peanuts. Every holiday and any time one of the networks decided to show one… I was there. I would also read the occasional Sunday paper to see the Peanuts strip.

Everything from Linus telling us the true meaning of Christmas, Sally and Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin, Lucy pulling that football from Charlie Brown, Snoopy being cool and taking care of Woodstock, Lucy being a Psychiatrist and Charlie Brown getting that sad looking Christmas tree…we got to peek into that world and listen to the wisdom that was going on while propped up on that brick wall.

Charlie Brown and Linus wall

Charlie Brown, one day when you grow up… I hope you end up with the little red head girl that you like so much and win just for once…for all of us.

Little Red-Haired Girl | Charlie brown characters, Charlie brown and  snoopy, Charlie brown cartoon

The Troggs Tapes

These tapes helped inspired the movie Spinal Tap and The Troggs were forever known for these tapes just as much as their big hits like Wild Thing, A Girl Like You, and Love Is All Around. If you are a rock fan and a comedy fan…I think you will like it.

They were working on a song in a session in 1970 but things weren’t going well, and the session degenerated into a F bomb fest…but a hilarious F bomb fest. A copy of the recording somehow made it onto the bootleg market and became legendary. Saturday Night Live even parodied the Troggs Tapes in a sketch with Bill Murray and John Belushi except using “flogging” in place of the real word.

A friend of mine had a tape of this in the 80s. It was many generations old but it was really funny. We would listen to it over and over and cry laughing. You can see where Spinal Tap got a lot of their ideas. The F word is used liberally to say the least. I’m positive the Troggs were not the only band to have these kind of talks but their engineer (Clive Franks) who evidently had a great sense of humor let the tapes roll….and later it was passed around as a bootleg.

Later on when Clive Franks was asked by his boss (Dick James) about the tape…he thought he was fired…but James wanted a copy…then the Troggs wanted to hear it including their lead singer Reg Presley…at first he was unhappy with the release, but later gave a positive opinion of it.

Later on Clive Franks was introduced to George Harrison as “the guy who made the Troggs Tapes” and George shook his hand and told him how much he enjoyed it.

This tape made it around to every major performer in the 1970s. Everyone from Bob Dylan, Aerosmith, Jeff Lynne, to George Harrison.

The release gave the Troggs an infamous reputation, though it also raised their public profile. Though the band’s career collapsed shortly after the session, it was revitalized by the bootleg’s notoriety and led to the band reforming and becoming popular with punk rock audiences towards the end of the 1970s.

If you have sensitive or virgin ears…don’t listen!

“Put a Little Bit of F***ing Fairy Dust Over the Bastard!”

This is a partial transcript…you don’t really need it to follow the “conversation.”

Ronnie Bond: “That is a fuckin’ No 1! If that baaa-stard don’t go, then Oi’ll fuckin’ retoire. Oi fuckin’ do!”

Dennis Berger (producer): “I agree – I think it is a good song.”

Ronnie: “But it fuckin’ well won’t be unless we spend a little bit of fuckin’ thought and imagination to fuckin’ make it a fuckin’ No 1. You’ve got to put a little bit of fuckin’ fairy dust over the baaa-stard!”

Dennis: “Well, we’ll put some fairy dust over it – I’ll piss over the tape.”

Ronnie: “Oi don’t know what it needs, Den …”

Dennis: “Aaah! I know that it needs strings – that I do know.”
Reg Presley: “You’ve got to have a fuckin’ bloke who says: ‘Oi’ve got a fuckin’ sound in here that’s fuckin’ great.'”

Tony Murray: “We need a producer who says: ‘You’re not doing that; you’re fuckin’ doing this.'”

Dennis: “Did you do exactly what Larry Page said?”

Chorus: “Yep!”

Tony: “That’s how they had hit records.”

Reg: “Because there was just one fuckin’ mind on it – not fuckin’ seven or eight.”

Ronnie: “We didn’t even fuckin’ get a say in it – it was fuckin’, wham, it was in the can regardless. You reckon that was bad? Fuck me! One take, that’s it, finish. You never ‘ad a fuckin’ say – it was out. As weak and fuckin’ insipid we used to think.”

Reg: “We thought With A Girl Like You was fuckin’ terrible and let’s go and do it again. And that was the only fuckin’ time he let us fuckin’ have our way. And could we get anything fuckin’ better?”

Ronnie: “No.”

Reg: “Fuckin’ … the first thing he fuckin’ did was it.”

Ronnie: “All fuckin’ day. We went in there at nine o’ clock and we didn’t come out till, fuck, about three o’clock the next fuckin’ morning, and they had Mick Jagger, you name it, they were fuckin’ in there to try and make it better.”

Reg: “What about a fuckin’ 12-string on it?”

Dennis: “Play the beginning again, Barry.”

(The identity of “Barry” is now lost in the mists of time. Vigorously-strummed guitar chords are affirmed as just the ticket by a slightly demented shriek of “Yeah! … No!!” from Reg.)

Reg: “You ‘ad it there at the beginning. Ron. It was soundin’ good. Ron?

Ronnie? Just listen for a sec …”

Ronnie: “You can say that all fuckin’ night, but Oi just cannot feel it any other than what Oi’ve been fuckin’ doing it.”

Reg: “You have played it tonight.”

Ronnie: “Don’t expect fuckin’ miracles just like that.

Reg: “It’s fuckin’ there – better than there. Oi can’t fuckin’ hear it any other way but that.”

Reg: “But you have done it. You did it.”

Tony: “Play duh-duh duh-duh duh duh.”

Reg: “No, no more beats.”

Tony: “Play duh-duh duh-duh duh-chuh on whatever drum you were playing it on originally.”

Reg: “You did it. You went duh-duh duh-duh duh chuh.”

Ronnie: “You can say that all fuckin’ night, but you won’t listen.”

Tony: “We can keep on trying …”

Ronnie: “You can say that all fuckin’ night, but you won’t listen.”
Tony: “We can keep on trying …”

Ronnie: “Yeah – well just shut your fuckin’ mouth for five minutes and give me a fuckin’ chance to do it. Don’t keep fuckin’, right into that fuckin’ microphone. Duh duh derh duh duh derh. Fuck me, Reg. Just fuck off, in there, and just keep going, fuckin’ do it, don’t just …”

Reg: “Well, just fuckin’ think, then.”

Ronnie: “Don’t just keep saying they’re not loud enough. Oi know they’re fuckin’ right. Oi can hear it ain’t right. Weeell, fuck me.”

Reg: “You can hear it’s fuckin’ not right, too.”

Ronnie: “Oi fuckin’ can, and Oi’m the one that’s playing it so Oi don’t want to hear … fuck … fuck … in me fuckin’ head, that’s what Oi gotta fuckin’ do, then Oi’ll do it. Yer big pranny.”

(Tum-tum-tum-ti-tum, goes the bass guitar. Tum-tum-tum-ti-tum, tum-tum-tum-ti-tum…)

Reg(quietly): “Fuckin’ drummer. Oi shit ’em. Duh duh derh duh duh derh, duh duh derh duh duh derh.”

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(Enter the guitar)

Reg: “One, two, a one, two, three, four … Yer doing it fuckin’ wrong!”

Ronnie: “Oi know Oi am.”

Reg: “Dubba dubba dubba chah, dubba dubba dubba chah, dubba dubba dubba chah, dubba dubba … You din i’ in the beginning. Bloody hell, Oi can’t play to tha’.”

Ronnie: “Nor can fuckin’ Oi.”

Reg: “Well, you’re fuckin’ doin’ it!”

Ronnie: “Well, Oi can’t fuckin’ play to it either.”

Reg: “Hahahaha. Why don’t you just do what you fuckin’ started out doing – dubba dubba dubba chah. On your top one, dubba dubba dubba chah. Dubba dubba dubba chah.”

(On tom tom, Ronnie attempts to follow his singer’s sage advice. It sound hopeless.)

Reg: “Nooooo!”

Ronnie: (very heatedly) “Why don’t you fuckin’ … You’re talking out of the back of your fuckin’ aaaarse because all you want then is the same fuckin’ thing that Oi was playing fuckin’ originally in that baaa-stard.”

Reg: “But on different fuckin’ drums!”

Ronnie: [agitated] “Then all you want, then, is fuckin’ tha’ one, and the fuckin’ bass drum playing the same thing.”

Reg: “You’re the fuckin’ drummer!”

Ronnie: “Yes, you fuckin’ do, ‘cos that’s all you’re fuckin’ doing. You ain’t playing any fuckin’ thing else – orl roi’, Oi’ll play tha’. Oi’m goin’ nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-bomp, nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-bomp …” (He thumps in dull accompaniment, sarcastically).

Reg: “You don’t fuckin’ listen, that’s your trouble. Oi’m only asking you to do half of it on one drum, half of it on the other and the bang wherever you want to bang … Ronnie, can you ‘ear me? Wha’ abou’ trying’ i’ not just on that top skin floor and then your floor tom-tom, but split your hands so’s that one beat is doin’ it on the top drum, one’s doin’ it on the floor tom tom, then your bass.”
(A tinny tattoo beats out gamely.)

Reg (philosophically): “Fuckin’ drummer. Oi shit ’em.”

The Records – Teenarama…. Power Pop Friday

When I started Power pop Friday I started with The Records song Starry Eyes back in July of last year.

I really like this song…you have a crunchy brit sound guitar open it up with another great rhythm guitar intertwining with it.

Mutt Lange produced 4 songs on this album (Shades in Bed) including this one when he had to leave the album for prior commitments. the rest of the album was produced by Tim Friese-Greene. The last song recorded, “The Phone,” was a late addition to the album and was produced by Huw Gower.

Music City Mike reviewed this album here.

The Records were an English powerpop band formed in 1978. Teenarama was off their debut album Shades in Bed. The band included John Wicks – rhythm guitar, vocals, Huw Gower – lead guitar, vocals, Phil Brown – bass guitar, vocals, and Will Birch – drums, vocals.

AllMusic called the album “a pure pop masterpiece”

Teenarama

I wanted a holiday
You sure had a lot
To say every night
I thought that a younger girl
Could show me the world
That was right
Co-co-co-cola
Is all you ever drink
The way you smile
The way you wink

Teenarama
Is what you’re givin’ me
(What you’re givin’ me)
Teenarama
Injections in the knee
(Injections in the knee)
Teenarama
All that mellow drama
Gimme gimme gimme gimme
Gimme gimme
Teenarama

I wanted a change of style
To be with a juvenile
For a week
So I rented an apartment
Then you went and lost the key

Sugar candy
Is all you ever eat
You’re so skinny
You’re so sweet

Repeat Chorus

Monday
School day
You wait
Weeks late
Dirty star
Coffee bar
First bra
Too far
Ahhhh
Co-co-co-cola
Is all you ever drink
The way you smile
The way you wink

Repeat Chorus

Gimme 15x

Teenarama 

Elton John – Levon

Great song by Elton that I heard early on in my life.

This was the first US single from Madman Across The Water, Levon runs 5:22 minutes and Elton would not let his record company cut it down for radio play. As a result many radio stations ignored it. The song didn’t chart high but proved to be an enduring song, earning airplay on classic rock and adult contemporary radio for decades to come.

The song peaked at #24 in the Billboard 100 and #6 in Canada in 1971.

The next single from the album was Tiny Dancer, which is even longer, at 6:12. Like Levon, that one fared poorly on the chart (#41) but… also became a classic. Neither song was issued as a single in the UK.

I always wondered if the song had anything to do with Levon Helm, but Bernie Taupin says that he simply made the name up because he likes it, and the song has nothing to do with Helm.

From Songfacts

In Susan Black’s book Elton John in His Own Words, Elton says of “Levon”: “It”s about a guy who just gets bored doing the same thing. It’s just somebody who gets bored with blowing up balloons and he just wants to get away from it but he can’t because it’s the family ritual.”

When Rolling Stone asked Taupin about the song in 2013, he insisted that he has no idea what he intended as the meaning. “It was a free-form writing,” he said. “It was just lines that came out that were interesting.

This is a great example of Taupin’s intricate, nuanced writing style that leads to many different interpretations. For instance, the “cartoon balloons” that Levon blows up all day could be balloons with cartoon characters printed on them, or perhaps something more figurative, like thought bubbles that appear in comic strips, indicating the thoughts that are constantly rising out of his consciousness.

Taupin and John made a great team because Elton could interpret his lyrics very well, giving life to the characters in the songs with a curious ambiguity that encouraged further listens. In many cases, Elton didn’t know what Taupin had in mind when he wrote the lyrics – when asked he would often reply, “you’ll have to ask Bernie.”

The actual New York Times page 1 headline that included the phrase “God Is Dead” is dated March 24, 1968; the full headline read, “‘God Is Dead’ Doctrine Losing Ground to ‘Theology of Hope’.”

The phrase also appeared in a major (page 3) article on January 7, 1970. Smaller pieces dated January and April 1966 that feature the phrase in their headings can also be found. None were on Christmas Day, but the January ones are close! 

Jon Bon Jovi covered this for the tribute album Two Rooms. Elton played piano on some of Bon Jovi’s recordings. 

Sir Elton and his partner David Furnish became parents to a son born on Christmas Day 2010 to a surrogate mother in California. They named him Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, which is how the baby boy ended up in this Songfact. It is assumed the name “Levon” was chosen because of the song’s line, “He was born a pauper to a pawn on a Christmas day.”

Levon

Levon wears his war wound like a crown
He calls his child Jesus ’cause he likes the name
And he sends him to the finest school in town

Levon, Levon likes his money
He makes a lot they say
Spends his days counting
In a garage by the motorway

He was born a pauper
To a pawn on a Christmas day
When the New York Times
Said God is dead and the war’s begun
Alvin Tostig has a son today

And he shall be Levon
And he shall be a good man
And he shall be Levon
In tradition with the family plan
And he shall be Levon
And he shall be a good man
He shall be Levon

Levon’s sells cartoon balloons in town
His family business thrives
Jesus blows up balloons all day
Sits on the porch swing watching them fly
And Jesus, he wants to go to Venus
Leave Levon far behind
Take a balloon and go sailing,
While Levon, Levon slowly dies

He was born a pauper
To a pawn on a Christmas day
When the New York Times
Said God is dead and the war’s begun
Alvin Tostig has a son today

And he shall be Levon
And he shall be a good man
And he shall be Levon
In tradition with the family plan, woo
And he shall be Levon
And he shall be a good man
He shall be Levon

And he shall be Levon
And he shall be a good man
And he shall be Levon
In tradition with the family plan, woo
And he shall be Levon
And he shall be a good man
He shall be Levon

Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young – Teach Your Children

This song was climbing in the charts in the top twenty when it was pulled. It was pulled because of the Kent State shootings and Neil Young wrote Ohio and CSN&Y wanted it released as soon as possible. Teach Your Children probably would have peaked in the top ten if not pulled.

The song peaked at #16 in the Billboard 100, #8 in Canada, and #19 in New Zealand in 1970.

Graham wrote this song while he was still playing with the Hollies but he never recorded it with them. He played it to Stephen Stills and Stills suggested a country arrangement which turned it into a hit.

Jerry Garcia performs the pedal steel guitar part of this track. He had been playing steel guitar for only a short period of time. Crosby told Nash he should ask Jerry to play steel guitar on the song. Garcia played on this song and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young worked with the Grateful Dead on harmonies for their acoustic albums Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty.

I would say it worked out well for both bands. Jerry told Graham Nash who wrote the song that he made a mistake but Graham wanted that take.

It was on the album  Déjà Vu which peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, Canada and #5 in the UK.

Graham Nash: I’d heard Jerry had just started playing pedal-steel guitar and asked if he would add a pedal track to my song. After the first take, I said, “Thanks, Jerry, you’re done.” “No, no,” he protested, “I fucked up that part when we go right into the chorus. Can I do another?”“Absolutely, do it,” I told him, “but I’m never going to use it. The first one was exactly what I wanted.”

And, of course, his pedal steel was one of the defining elements in that recording.

From Songfacts

Graham Nash wrote this song. The lyrics deal with the often difficult relationship he had with his father, who spent time in prison.

 Graham Nash (from the liner notes of their 1991 boxed set): “The idea is that you write something so personal that every single person on the planet can relate to it. Once it’s there on vinyl it unfolds, outwards, so that it applies to almost any situation. ‘Teach’ started out as a slightly funky English folk song but Stephen (Stills) put a country beat to it and turned it into a hit record.”

Deja Vu was the first album the band recorded with Neil Young, but Young did not play on this.

According to the 2019 book Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Nash wrote the song while under the influence of hash. He taught it to the rest of the band in one day in the studio.

In Laurel Canyon: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll’s Legendary Neighborhood, Graham Nash is quoted as saying, “When I wrote ‘Teach Your Children’ and ‘Our House,’ we didn’t know what we were doing. ‘This sounds pretty fun, we can sing this, let’s do it!’ And then all of a sudden people are singing it back to me forty years later.”

An updated version with a new arrangement was used in a 1985 TV commercial for the Apple II computer. Bill Siddons, then manager for CSNY, told BAM magazine: “The whole idea of the spot was to show how to prepare your kids for the modern world, which is part of what ‘Teach Your Children’ is about.”

Shortly after writing this, Nash visited an art gallery and saw two photographs that crystallized the meaning of the song: Diane Arbus’ “Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park” and Arnold Newman’s portrait of German industrialist Alfried Krupp. The singer told the news website Truthdig: “I put the ‘Hand Grenade’ photograph next to a picture of Krupp, who was the German arms magnate whose company was probably responsible for millions of deaths. It was an eerie photograph, a portrait, and the lighting is weird and his eyes are dark – a great image. And looking at them together I began to realize that what I’d just written [‘Teach Your Children’] was actually true, that if we don’t start teaching our children a better way of dealing with each other we’re f–ked and humanity itself is in great danger.”

At the end of The Office episode “Take Your Daughter To Work Day” (2006), Michael and Dwight perform this for the staff and their kids.

Teach Your Children

You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a good-bye.
Teach your children well,
Their father’s hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you’ll know by.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry,
So just look at them and sigh
And know they love you.

And you, of tender years,
Can’t know the fears that your elders grew by,
And so please help them with your youth,
They seek the truth before they can die.

Teach your parents well,
Their children’s hell will slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you’ll know by.

Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

Bob Marley – Jammin’

I got into Bob Marley and the Wailers a little later but better late than never. Jammin’ is on their ninth studio album Exodus. The album peaked at #20 in the Billboard Album Charts, #8 in the UK, and  #46 in Canada.

In Jamaica, the word “jamming” refers to getting together for a celebration. Although it can also mean an impromptu musical session.

Marley wrote the song in exile in Nassau after the 1976 attempt on his life.

On December 3, 1976 several men raided Marley’s house and shot three included Marley but all survived. It was politically motivated…Marley and his band was rehearsing for a show that some viewed as Marley supporting the Prime Minister and his democratic socialist People’s National Party. Marley claimed he was neutral not supporting anyone. In the song Marley wrote the lyric No bullet can stop us now, we neither beg nor we won’t bow.

The gunmen were all captured and executed. The song peaked at #9 in the UK in 1977.

A detailed account of the assassination attempt is here.

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2006/jul/16/urban.worldmusic

Jammin’

Ooh, yeah! all right!
We’re jammin’:
I want to jam it wid you.
We’re jammin’, jammin’,
And I hope you like jammin’, too.

Ain’t no rules, ain’t no vow, we can do it anyhow:
I’n’I will see you through,
‘Cause everyday we pay the price with a little sacrifice,
Jammin’ till the jam is through.

We’re jammin’ –
To think that jammin’ was a thing of the past;
We’re jammin’,
And I hope this jam is gonna last.

No bullet can stop us now, we neither beg nor we won’t bow;
Neither can be bought nor sold.
We all defend the right; jah – jah children must unite:
Your life is worth much more than gold.

We’re jammin’ (jammin’, jammin’, jammin’)
And we’re jammin’ in the name of the lord;
We’re jammin’ (jammin’, jammin’, jammin’),
We’re jammin’ right straight from yah.

Yeh! holy mount zion;
Holy mount zion:
Jah sitteth in mount zion
And rules all creation.

Yeah, we’re – we’re jammin’ (wotcha-wa),
Wotcha-wa-wa-wa, we’re jammin’ (wotcha-wa),
See, I want to jam it wid you
We’re jammin’ (jammin’, jammin’, jammin’)
I’m jammed: I hope you’re jammin’, too.

Jam’s about my pride and truth I cannot hide
To keep you satisfied.
True love that now exist is the love I can’t resist,
So jam by my side.

We’re jammin’ (jammin’, jammin’, jammin’), yeah-eah-eah!
I want to jam it wid you.
We’re jammin’, we’re jammin’, we’re jammin’, we’re jammin’,
We’re jammin’, we’re jammin’, we’re jammin’, we’re jammin’;

Hope you like jammin’, too.
We’re jammin’, we’re jammin’ (jammin’),
We’re jammin’, we’re jammin’ (jammin’).
I want to (i want to jam it wid you) – I want to –

I want to jam wid you now.
Jammin’, jammin’ (hope you like jammin’ too).
Eh-eh! I hope you like jammin’, I hope you like jammin’,
‘Cause (i want to jam it wid you). I want to … wid you.

I like – I hope you – I hope you like jammin’, too.
I want to jam it;
I want to jam it.

Van Morrison – Saint Dominic’s Preview…Desert Island Albums

This is my tenth-round choice from Hanspostcard’s album draft…100 albums in 100 days. This wraps up the Desert Island Album portion of our show…now on to other albums and music movies. 

2020 ALBUM DRAFT- ROUND 10- PICK 3- BADFINGER20 SELECTS- VAN MORRISON- SAINT DOMINIC’S PREVIEW

When I was 18 in 1985 I heard Brown Eyed Girl for the first time. Somehow I missed that song growing up…which seems impossible but the song took me down a great path. I started to order imports of Van’s early Them records and then started on his 70’s solo albums.

I bought them out of order but I ended up with his late sixties and seventies albums like Astral Weeks, Moondance,  His Band and Street Choir, Veedon Fleece, Wavelength, Tupelo Honey, Hard Nose The Highway and this one (I then worked on the 80’s albums). I traveled a lot in my car in those days…seeing a girlfriend or just cruising about. Saint Dominic’s Preview was  an album I kept going back for Van’s voice, phrasing and songwriting.

The album peaked at #15 in the Billboard Album Charts and #14 in Canada in 1972.

When I got the album I had a summer job in the middle of nowhere in this back water town. I had to drive over an hour to get there and Van kept me company singing about Safeway’s Supermarket and Redwood Trees. One listen to this album and I’m young, carefree, and having a really good time living life. Music brings back memories and this one makes me feel exactly like I felt then.

The title track Saint Dominic’s Preview is a great piece of work. This song and Tupelo Honey are probably my favorite Van Morrison songs. This one takes you on a lyrical journey…And for every cross cuttin’ country corner, country corner
For every Hank Williams railroad train that cried, And all the chains, badges, flags and emblems, And every strain on brain and every eye

Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile) is all about happiness. Whenever I feel down…I play this and it’s impossible to feel down. The song is an obvious tribute to the great Jackie Wilson. I’m in heaven, when you smile

Almost Independence Day is an epic song. It has a nice flow to it and it was largely improvised. Van Morrison and guitar player Ron Elliot are trading guitar licks and then Lee Charlton joins with some great jazz-influenced drums. The over all sound of this is fantastic.

Redwood Tree evokes nostalgia and memories of growing up, in a similar way as his song And It Stoned Me. Oh redwood tree, Please let us under
When we were young we used to go, Under the redwood tree

So we are set on our respective islands with our top ten albums now. The only regret I have is that we didn’t have more favorite album picks…but it has to be some limit. The Beatles, The Who, Big Star, The Zombies, The Rolling Stones, The Allman Brothers, The Kinks, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and Van Morrison. Not a bad 10.

Saint Dominic's Preview, In Cleveland Of All Places | by Patrick Hosken |  Medium

Now let’s move on to the last three.

1. Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile)
2. Gypsy
3. I Will Be There
4. Listen to the Lion
5. Saint Dominic’s Preview
6. Redwood Tree
7. Almost Independence

Saint Dominic's Preview (Remastered) | HIGHRESAUDIO

 

Big Star – O My Soul ….Power Pop Friday

This song is from their second album Radio City. Their other guitarist Chris Bell had left the band leaving Alex Chilton as the only guitarist. In this song Chilton’s guitar is pushed to the front and after about a 46 second intro the song is on it’s way.

It’s a bluesy, funky,  rocky, and soulful riff all built into one. Alex just takes off on the guitar with this one all through the song. The guitar has a tone that you don’t hear everyday. Whenever I’m playing guitar I go back to their albums to try to emulate a tone that Chilton found.

Alex Chilton was not the only one writing songs on the album. Bassist Andy Hummel wrote or co-wrote five of the albums’s 12 tracks. Jody Stephens pitched in and co-wrote one song with Chilton and Hummel.

Chilton remained the constant variable that made the band’s music soar. His September Gurls is among the band’s finest songs and one of the prototypical power pop songs.

Radio City is not as polished as their debut album but it’s just as good and many say better.

O My Soul

O my soul mama
I lose control
Go ahead and shake if you wanna
And I’ll never know
Wull come on
You know it’s alright
We’ve got all night
You’re driving me mad
And you shouldn’t do that
We’re going to get on up
And drink till we drop.
You’re really a nice girl
And I think you’re the most
And when we’re together
I feel like a boss

Trying to see you
I’d know off your doors
dying to see you
I’m down on the floor.

I can’t get a license
To drive my car
But I don’t really need it
If I’m a big star.
Never you mind
Go on and have a good time.

Johnny Nash (1940-2020)

Another loss to add to the other losses in this past week… Johnny Nash passes away at 80 years old.

https://variety.com/2020/music/news/johnny-nash-dead-singer-i-can-see-clearly-now-1234795224/

One of the best feel-good songs of all time. The reggae-influenced I Can See Clearly Now by Johnny Nash. The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada and #5 in the UK in 1972. The song was written by Johnny Nash and a hit again for Jimmy Cliff in 1993.

It’s one of the first songs I remember.

I Can See Clearly Now

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun-Shiny day.

I think I can make it now, the pain is gone
All of the bad feelings have disappeared
Here is the rainbow I’ve been prayin’ for
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun-Shiny day.

Look all around, there’s nothin’ but blue skies
Look straight ahead, nothin’ but blue skies

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun-Shiny day.

Creedence Clearwater Revival – It Came Out Of The Sky

Walter and Eric said they’d put him on a network TV show
The White House said, “Put the thing in the blue room”
The Vatican said, “No, it belongs to Rome”
And Jody said, it’s mine but you can have it for seventeen million

This is one Creedence song that you don’t hear everyday…that doesn’t make it any less of a song than their others.

It’s about a farmer called Jody who finds a UFO and become famous. The event first triggers fear and later greed. Between the lines, there’re also sarcastic remarks on American show business, media and politics.

The character of “Jody” comes up in other songs of John Fogerty. Jody is in Almost Saturday Night, Hey Tonight and this one of course.

The song name checks different people and places. Ronald Reagan, Spiro Agnew, The White House, Hollywood, and  the Vatican. Also in the mix are news reporters Walter Cronkite and Eric Sevareid.

It Came Out Of The Sky was never released as a single in America. In the UK it was backed with Side of the Road. It didn’t get much airplay there and didn’t chart.

The song was on the album Willy and the Poor Boys…a great album that peaked at #3 in the Billboard Album Charts, #2 in Canada, and #10 in the UK in 1970. Creedence had 18 songs in the top 100 and 9 top 10 hits yet no number 1’s in the Billboard 100…which I still find hard believe.

The song appeared in an episode of Better Call Saul and WKRP…the classic episode of Turkey’s Away.

It Came Out Of The Sky

Oh, it came out of the sky, landed just a little south of Moline
Jody fell out of his tractor, couldn’t believe what he seen
Laid on the ground and shook, fearin’ for his life
Then he ran all the way to town screamin’ it came out of the sky

Well, a crowd gathered ’round and a scientist said it was marsh gas
Spiro came and made a speech about raising the Mars tax
The Vatican said, “Woe, the lord has come”
Hollywood rushed out an epic film
And Ronnie the popular said it was a communist plot

Oh, the newspapers came and made Jody a national hero

Walter and Eric said they’d put him on a network TV show
The White House said, “Put the thing in the blue room”
The Vatican said, “No, it belongs to Rome”
And Jody said, it’s mine but you can have it for seventeen million

Oh, it came out of the sky, landed just a little south of Moline
Jody fell out of his tractor, couldn’t believe what he seen
Laid on the ground a shakin’, fearin’ for his life
Then he ran all the way to town screamin’ it came out of the sky
Oh

Remembering Freddie Prinze

Growing up I watched Chico and the Man and I still do occasionally. I remember that Freddie Prinze was a huge star. He was a hit with kids and adults a like. 

Freddie became a star practically overnight and burned brightly…but unfortunately, it was only for a brief amount of time. I was just 10 when he died and it seemed unreal a talented twenty-two year old tv star/comedian would kill himself. 

He was a comedian whose real name was Frederick Karl Pruetzel. He was born in 1954 in New York. His mother was of Puerto Rican descent and his father was of Hungarian roots…two things he used in his comedy.

He worked in clubs in the early seventies and then he got his break. He appeared on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson on December 6, 1973, and Johnny called him over to his couch to talk to him. That was a dream to performers then. Being called to the couch meant Johnny liked you and could make your career. Remember no internet or other exposure to this big of an audience. He became a star overnight. Freddie was 19 years old.

Within a few months, he was starring with Jack Albertson on the hit show Chico and the Man.

The show had a supporting cast of Scatman Crothers and Della Reese. It had a cool factor with teenagers at the time because of Freddie. Chico and the Man was not the greatest sitcom ever but a good one that captured a talented young comedian on his way up.

Freddie came out with a 70’s catchphrase “Looking Good” with a comedy album of the same name. He appeared in one TV movie called The Million Dollar Rip-Off and an HBO On Location: Freddie Prinze and Friends.

He suffered from depression and he had a dependency on drugs that kept growing like his fame.

Through all of this, he got married and had a son…the actor Freddie Prinze Jr… His wife started to move toward a divorce and a despondent Prinze shot himself in a hotel room and died the next day on January 29, 1977, only 3 years after his introduction to the world by Johnny Carson.

People don’t remember how big Freddie was then. He was so young and vibrant when he made it…he was just 22 years old when he died.

Rolling Stones – 100 Years Ago

Don’t you think it’s sometimes wise not to grow up?

100 Years Ago has a good melody and it changes it’s focus in the last three-quarters of the way through…a good song with an interesting outro. It’s an album cut and you never hear much on the radio. It’s worth a listen. If you see them in concert and want to hear this song…don’t hold your breath.

It was only played on the first two performances of European Tour of 1973, and has not been performed live since. Come on guys! Play it again…it’s not like the world can’t do without another version of Satisfaction.

I took an instant liking to this song. It starts with a little country influence and then ends with a funky free for all. I have the new version of Goats Head Soup and this one cleaned up really well.

The album peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, The UK, and Canada in 1973.

The Stones recorded this at Kingston’s Dynamic Sound Studios in November and December, 1972.  Jagger performs lead vocals and is accompanied by Mick Taylor on backing. Taylor performs the song’s guitars while Keith Richards and Charlie Watts perform bass and drums, respectively. Nicky Hopkins provides piano while Billy Preston performs clavinet.

“100 Years Ago”

Went out walkin’ through the wood the other day
And the world was a carpet laid before me
The buds were bursting and the air smelled sweet and strange
And it seemed about a hundred years ago
Mary and I, we would sit upon a gate
Just gazin’ at some dragon in the sky
What tender days, we had no secrets hid away
Well, it seemed about a hundred years ago
Now all my friends are wearing worried smiles
Living out a dream of what they was
Don’t you think it’s sometimes wise not to grow up?
Wend out walkin’ through the wood the other day
Can’t you see the furrows in my forehead?
What tender days, we had no secrets hid away
Now it seems about a hundred years ago
Now if you see me drinkin’ bad red wine
Don’t worry ’bout this man that you love
Don’t you think it’s sometimes wise not to grow up?
You’re gonna kiss and say good-bye, yeah, I warn you
You’re gonna kiss and say good-bye, yeah, I warn you
You’re gonna kiss and say good-bye, oh Lord, I warn you
And please excuse me while I hide away
Call me lazy bones
Ain’t got no time to waste away
Lazy bones ain’t got no time to waste away
Don’t you think it’s just about time to hide away? Yeah, yeah!

The Scruffs – She Say Yea —-Power Pop Friday

Introducing the Scruffs. I love that name for a band. They have been around since the  70s and have released an album in 2011.

Big Star wasn’t the only power pop band in Memphis in the 70s. This band formed in Memphis in 1974. It was started by writer/guitarist/vocalist Stephen Burns along with guitarist David Branyan, bassist Rick Branyan, and drummer Zeph Paulson.

“She Say Yea” was influenced by the Beatles and Byrds but also early 70s American power pop greats like the Raspberries and Big Star.

They used Big Star’s same studio (Ardent) and their producer Jim Dickinson who along with Big Star worked with the Rolling Stones,  Carmen McRae, Delaney & Bonnie, Jerry Jeff Walker, Dee Dee Warwick, Ronnie Hawkins, Sam & Dave, Dion, Brook Benton, Lulu, Sam the Sham and others.

I have heard some great power pop in the last 10 years but for me the golden era of Power Pop was in the 70s and 80s…I do believe in the last ten years it has made a comeback with newer bands…but I love these seventies bands that with a little more luck could have had major success.

The Scruffs  released their debut album in 1977 named Wanna Meet the Scruffs? The single from the album was Break the Ice  with  She Say Yea as the B side. Another single off the album was Shakin’ / Teenage Girls…we will go over that one in a few weeks.

All 13 tracks were written by guitarist Stephen Burns though lead guitarist Dave Branyan gets partial credit for three numbers.

(Sorry… could not find the lyrics)

Bruce Springsteen – Greetings From Ashbury Park…Desert Island Albums

This is my ninth-round choice from Hanspostcard’s album draft…100 albums in 100 days.

2020 ALBUM DRAFT- ROUND 9 PICK 3- BADFINGER20 SELECTS- BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN- GREETINGS FROM ASBURY PARK, NJ

The imagery flows like water with Greetings From Ashbury Park, Bruce’s debut album in 1973… It’s not very polished but that adds to it.  The songs have a stream of consciousness feel to them. It was critically praised but did not have huge sales. The album only peaked at #60 in the Billboard Album Charts.

I was around 19 (1986) or so when I found this album, or when the album found me, and I was going through an angry young man phase. I had just bought a 1976 Fender Musicmaster guitar (I still have it) and a black leather jacket. This album fit my mood at the time perfect. I wasn’t really angry but just realized I was considered a man now in the world but wasn’t sure what that meant and where I fit in. I listened to the album and it just seemed right.

Bruce Springsteen, 1973. : OldSchoolCool

I had this album picked and almost presented it with the 3rd or 4th pick but something told me to go with Big Star and the Zombies and wait. I originally bought this album in fall so it seems right that this pick will be my first pick in fall…if only I still had that leather jacket.

Now on to the album…Bruce’s manager Mike Appel (who is another story) and John Hammond (who signed Bruce, Dylan and many others) wanted a more singer songwriter album, while Springsteen and Jimmy Cretecos (co-producer)  preferred a band dominated album. A compromise was reached but when Clive Davis listened to the album he said there wasn’t a commercial single…Bruce wrote a couple of songs to include on the album. Blinded By The Light and Spirit in the Night. They were no doubt band oriented songs…so the album swung that way…but it still is very sparse with instruments. No big screaming guitars or anything like that. The melodies and lyrics are the focus.

Bruce Springsteen and band played for their Christmas money in 1973

Springsteen picked out the musicians who would help him out on this album. David Sancious, Gary Tallent, Vini Lopez and Steve Van Zandt were a few. However, Van Zandt barely participated because of a prior commitment to tour as a member of The Dovells backing group. Other musicians who would help out were Clarence Clemons, Richard Davis, and others.

1973 » Bruce Springsteen

I hear Dylan and a very strong Van Morrison influence on this album. It is rough and raw and unpredictable. When we first started this draft I knew this album would be in it either by me or someone else. I feel luck y that it fell this far down.

The most famous song on the album is “Blinded By The Light” which was covered later by Manfred Mann Earth’s Band that peaked at #1 in 1977. I just want to say…Bruce’s lyrics were “cut loose like a deuce, another runner in the night” a “deuce” is a hot rod car…that is all I’ll say… Well I jumped up, turned around, spit in the air, fell on the ground, Asked him which was the way back home, He said take a right at the light, keep goin’ straight until night, and then boy, you’re on your own

“It’s Hard to be a Saint in the City” is another great track and one of the most powerful songs he ever wrote. The devil appeared like Jesus through the steam in the street, Showin’ me a hand I knew even the cops couldn’t beat
I felt his hot breath on my neck as I dove into the heat

“Does This Bus Stop At 82nd Street?” is a journey through an enjoyable play of words. This song is about as wordy and catchy as you can get. It was written about a bus journey to a girlfriend’s house. I listened to it so many times that I know every word to this day. I was surprised to see that he still plays this in concert every now and then…but you can’t beat the studio version. Wizard imps and sweat sock pimps, interstellar mongrel nymphs Oh, Rex said that lady left him limp, love’s like that (It sure is)

My personal favorite is “Spirit of the Night.” This song hints at some of the characters and places that start populating Bruce’s musical world. Well, Billy slammed on his coaster brakes, And said, “Anybody wanna go on up to Greasy Lake? It’s about a mile down on the dark side of Route 88
I got a bottle of rosé so let’s try it

This is a crazy good debut album. His first two albums were building up to everything that was crystallized in his third…Born to Run. That doesn’t make the first two any less. Greetings doesn’t “sound” as well as Born To Run but Bruce delivers.

After his second album The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle, Bruce made his career making album Born To Run. He never has returned to the free form lyrics of his first two albums. I do wish he would try a song or two like these again…but maybe you have to be a certain age to write these types of songs and free of life distractions…After Blonde on Blonde, Dylan also left this style of song behind and he was 25 years old. Bruce was 24 in 1973 when he released Greetings from Ashbury Park and The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle.

I really love the albums on the island and with this one I’ll enjoy the characters of Crazy Janey, Mary Lou, Broadway Mary, Wild Billy, Hazy Davy, and Killer Joe. All these characters grew up through his albums and we knew our own versions of these people… they matured in front of our eyes and ears…much like Bruce did and we all grew together…and this album was the beginning of the story that we are still following.

Blinded By The Light
Growin’ Up
Mary Queen Of Arkansas
Does This Bus Stop At 82nd Street?
Lost In The Flood
The Angel
For You
Spirit In The Night
It’s Hard To Be A Saint In The City