Tommy Hoehn – Blow Yourself Up… Power Pop Friday

I’ve been reading about the early to mid-seventies Memphis scene and have found out that we missed out on some great power pop that was never heard by the general public. To my readers I have to pass all of this along. I do appreciate of you reading about these more unknown artists…but if one person listens to some of these posts and likes one…it makes it worth it…it also feels good living up to my WP power pop name.

Tommy Hoehn is another in a long line of musicians  who should have been heard but it just didn’t happen. I would have never thought of Memphis as a power pop location but a generation of local musicians were heavily influenced by the Beatles, Who, and the Kinks. They took mid-sixties pop… along with Badfinger and the Raspberries and put a different spin on it.

The most known band from that period from Memphis is Big Star…you won’t hear that sentence a lot. Tommy Hoehn played with Big Star’s Chris Bell and Alex Chilton as well as helping out on Big Star’s 3rd album. “Blow Yourself Up” is full of hooks and his voice is perfect for power pop.

All of these musicians at the time hung out a lot at Ardent Studios. The owner John Fry would let them record and gave many keys to come in when they could and no one took advantage of it for a long time. That is one reason many of these artists sounded really good…they had time to get a sound they wanted.

This song was released in 1977 on Power Play Records, a local Memphis label and it was a regional hit. That same year, Power Play Records released Hoehn’s first solo album Spacebreak, which contained two of the songs Hoehn had recorded with Prix as well as the Blow Yourself Up single.

Blow Yourself Up was featured on Rhino’s D.I.Y.: Come Out and Play: American Power Pop (1975-78) compilation that was released in 1993.

He continued to release albums in the 80s, 90s, and 2000’s. In late 2009, Hoehn began work on a solo album tentatively titled Pi. However, in December 2009, he was diagnosed with cancer, and became too ill to sing lead vocals on the album. He died on June 24, 2010, at the age of 55.

Blow Yourself Up

She lie / in a cool repose / She breathing
Tries to believe I don’t know it
I’m not dull, I show it
She shies away:
Shaken / and I push her just a little
Even enough to fool just her
Ooo I really mussed her
Cutchya’ I’ll blow yourself up

She-vades / Such a crude contempt
I invade
She gets away and I feel it
Then I just can’t hide it
She shies away
Thinkin’ / There’s a full moon, I’m not thinkin’
Stupid as nails she keeps askin’
“Who just opened my door?”
Come in and blow yourself up

Stop! We don’t care!
Step above, I could stare –
In your eyes, for a week
Maybe two
They’re so blue…

She lie! / In a room she made to wonder
Tries to believe in a reason
Frets inside her feelings
Comin’ so close – solo!
And the overcast is breathing
Even the leaves gonna shudder
I see stars and colors
Something to blow yourself up 

Rolling Stones – Shattered

I remember this one very well. I bought the single and then the album a little while later. It’s a great rock song with some punk in it. It’s on the album Some Girls that was released in 1978.

This was the last song on Some Girls. While they were recording this album, Keith Richards had drug charges hanging over his head from a bust in Toronto. Facing a maximum sentence of life in prison, Keith let Mick take control of the album, which is shown on songs like this. Richards ended up getting off easy… he was sentenced to probation and ordered to play a concert for the blind.

Richards came up with the guitar riff on this and the line “Sha-doobie.” Jagger wrote the rest.

They performed this on Saturday Night Live and to this viewer they were not as tight as normal. Turns out they drank a lot of alcohol, did some seventies substances and rehearsed a lot before show time… after watching the rehearsals it seems like they made the mistake of peaking too early during the rehearsals. By showtime they didn’t sound as strong as usual…but it still was a good show.

The song peaked at #31 in the Billboard 100 and #32 in Canada in 1978.

From Songfacts

The lyrics are a bleak picture of life in New York City. The Stones always had a love/hate relationship with the US, and Mick Jagger’s lyrics were often influenced by his thoughts on the country (see “Satisfaction”). New York in particular is a place where you could be wildly successful, but is also a city filled crime, drugs, and poverty. It should be noted that The Stones have taken shots at their home country of England as well, notably on “Hang Fire.”

Just after this was released, The Stones performed it on Saturday Night Live. It was memorable for Mick Jagger licking Ron Wood on the lips for about 5 seconds. This stuff just didn’t happen on TV back them.

When Jagger sings, “Shmatta, shmatta, shmatta, I can’t give it away on 7th Avenue, this town’s been wearing tatters,” he’s making reference to the fashion district of New York City, which is on 7th Avenue. The word “Shmatta” is slang for old, worn clothing. 

Shattered

Uh huh shattered, uh huh shattered
Love and hope and sex and dreams
Are still surviving on the street
Look at me, I’m in tatters!
I’m a shattered
Shattered

Friends are so alarming
My lover’s never charming
Life’s just a cocktail party on the street
Big Apple
People dressed in plastic bags
Directing traffic
Some kind of fashion
Shattered

Laughter, joy, and loneliness and sex and sex and sex and sex
Look at me, I’m in tatters
I’m a shattered
Shattered

All this chitter-chatter, chitter-chatter, chitter-chatter ’bout
Shmatta, shmatta, shmatta, I can’t give it away on 7th Avenue
This town’s been wearing tatters (shattered, sha ooobie shattered)

Work and work for love and sex
Ain’t you hungry for success, success, success, success
Does it matter? (shattered)
Does it matter?

Ah look at me
I’m shattered
I’m shattered 0
Look at me, I’m a shattered, yeah (shattered)

Pride and joy and greed and sex
That’s what makes our town the best
Pride and joy and dirty dreams and still surviving on the street
And look at me, I’m in tatters, yeah
I’ve been battered, what does it matter
Does it matter, uh-huh
Does it matter, uh-huh, I’m a shattered

Mmm, I’m shattered, unh
Sha oobie, shattered, unh
Sha oobie, shattered
Sha oobie, shattered, shattered

Don’t you know the crime rate is going up, up, up, up, up
To live in this town you must be tough, tough, tough, tough, tough!
You got rats on the West Side
Bed bugs uptown
What a mess this town’s in tatters, I’ve been shattered
My brain’s been battered, splattered all over Manhattan

Sha oobie, shattered, shattered, what say
Sha oobie, shattered
Sha oobie, shattered
Sha oobie, shattered

Uh-huh, this town’s full of money grabbers
Go ahead, bite the Big Apple, don’t mind the maggots, huh
Sha oobie, my brain’s been battered
My friends they come around they
Flatter, flatter, flatter, flatter, flatter, flatter, flatter
Pile it up, pile it up, pile high on the platter

Scruffs – Break The Ice —-Power Pop Friday

Memphis in the early 1970s was more than Big Star. Many power pop bands and artists were coming out of there at that time. Not many made it huge but many were recognized later. They formed in 1974 and released their first album Wanna Meet The Scruffs? in 1977. Like the others around this period. Many of the power pop musicians worked with each other. The Scruffs worked with Alex Chilton, Tommy Hoehn, and Jim Dickinson. Break the Ice was the first single off of the album. It reminds me of the Raspberries.

Wanna Meet the Scruffs? - Wikipedia

To show what some rock critics thought of the band…here is Robert Christgau (rock critic):

Only a sucker for rock and roll could love this record, and I am that sucker. A middle-period Beatles extrapolation in the manner of Big Star (another out-of-step Memphis power-pop group on a small, out-of-step Memphis label), it bursts with off harmonies, left hooks, and jolts of random energy. The trouble is, these serve a shamelessly and perhaps permanently post-adolescent vision of life’s pain, most of which would appear to involve gurls. To which objection the rockin’ formalist in me responds, “I wanna hear ‘Revenge’ again.”

Pretty good endorsement right? That is just one of many but again they just couldn’t break through. They did not have the influence like Big Star did but they were a great power pop band. I listened to all of this album and that jangle of the guitar is infectious. The song was a regional hit but was not played outside of Memphis too much. They did move to New York in 1978 had some high profile gigs at  CBGB and Max’s Kansas City.

The Band broke up in 1981 but Stephen Burns the singer, guitar player, and songwriter  would continue recording albums under the Scruffs name into the 2010’s…with Peter Buck from REM guesting on the 2011 Kill! Kill! album .

Sorry I could not find the lyrics.

Van Duren – Chemical Fire —-Power Pop Friday

Van Duren is a power pop musician in Memphis and was managed by Andrew Loog Oldham. He made his first album called Are You Serious in 1978. He is another power pop rocker from the early seventies in Memphis. He was in a band with Big Star’s Chris Bell and drummer Jody Stephens called The Baker Street Regulars. He auditioned as the 2nd guitar player for Big Star just before the band’s demise.

Chemical Fire is an excellent power pop song. It could have very well been played on late seventies radio. It still sounds fresh today.

His style has been compared to Paul McCartney and Todd Rundgren. Personally I hear Marshall Crenshaw also. Big Star wasn’t noticed until over a decade after they recorded their last album. Van Duren waited 30 years before he was properly found.

His second album Idiot Optimism was recorded in 1979 and because of record company problems its wasn’t released until twenty years later. Memphis power artists could not catch a break. There is a documentary about Van Duren that was released in 2019 and his two first albums were re-released also.

According to a documentary, the record label had Scientology connections, which meant they attempted to convert all the acts on their roster. Duren, already in debt, just wanted to finish his record, which he correctly thought was his one shot at stardom. It flopped, and by the mid-80s, after another near-miss with another band, Good Question, his musical career was as good as over.

He is still known in the Memphis area.

Sorry I could not find the lyrics

My love of GODZILLA

No this is not a review of the new movie…just memories from a Godzilla fan. I will say though that I did enjoy the movie…The fight scenes are the best I’ve scene through this monster universe reboot…I felt like I was 10 again.

When I was a kid I loved monster movies. Huge monsters stomping through cities. My monster was and still is Godzilla. I watched all of those Japanese movies of the sixties and seventies and loved them. I will still watch one every once in a while. When I was around 11 I bought a monster book while on vacation in Florida. I took it to school and some jerk stole it. I would love to have that book back…so if you are out there…come on…give me the book back!

Godzilla Has A Bunch Of Ridiculous Movies That Actually Make King Of The  Monsters Look Sane - CINEMABLEND

My best friend growing up was named Ronald…he was and still is a huge Elvis fan and I am a huge Beatles fan (we both liked older music) and we would have good natured arguments over who was better. I still think I’m right!

Ok back to Monsters he was a Kong fan and Godzilla was my guy…another argument we would gladly have. After he sees the new movie we will probably have it again.

Godzilla Vs Kong Review | Movie - Empire

In 1998 a new Godzilla was in the theaters. I was so excited… normally I’m not a big fan of CGI BUT… with monster movies…oh yes! I could not believe what they did to my Godzilla…they made him a large sidewalk lizard. They changed his looks and sound. I didn’t think they would ever come out with anything again. At the time I did get some of the recent Japanese Godzilla movies and they were good.

1998

why is zilla 1998 so bad? - Godzilla Forum

In 2014 the movie Godzilla came out and I felt like a kid again. This was the Godzilla (minus the man in the suit) that I loved as a child…

We all know Kong connects with people and that is a great thing but Godzilla is just so cool with his atomic breath and dorsal plates. Godzilla looks at people like ants but as long as we don’t attack him…he is cool with us…except if you own tall buildings on the coast! If you do you better get a lot of insurance.

┐(◕﹏◕)┌

Here is Godzilla through the years.

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Hey Tonight

Hey Tonight is the B-side of “Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” the first single Creedence Clearwater Revival released in 1971 and the last the band launched as a quartet. Both single cuts also appear on the Pendulum album. What terrific singles this great band produced like clockwork.

This is yet another song that has the character “Jody” in it. Songs like It Came Out Of The Sky, Hey Tonight, and a solo Fogerty song called Almost Saturday Night. He has never said one way or another if it was based on someone or just sounded good in the song…probably the latter.

John Fogerty wrote “Hey Tonight” and the band rehearsed it before the group hit the studio in 1970. Fogerty thought the song was one of the better ones on the album despite the fact it was written in while the band was in turmoil at that time.  Creedence Clearwater played “Hey Tonight” live for a first time at the private party the band held to music writers at Cosmo’s Factory on December 12th, 1970.

John not only wrote, sings and plays guitar on every track, he also overdubbed organ and saxophone (which he played himself) on some of the songs.

Have You Ever Seen The Rain?/Hey Tonight peaked at #9 in the Billboard 100 and #1 in Canada in 1971.

This video below is not a real video to the song but it shows some footage I haven’t seen before of the band as a trio after Tom quit. The song is right below this one. 

Hey Tonight

Hey, Tonight,
Gonna be tonight,
Don’t you know I’m flyin’
Tonight, tonight.
Hey, c’mon,
Gonna chase tomorrow
Tonight, tonight.

Gonna get it to the rafters,
Watch me now.
Jody’s gonna get religion
All night long.

Hey, c’mon,
Gonna hear the sun
Tonight, tonight.

Gonna get it to the rafters,
Watch me now.
Jody’s gonna get religion
All night long.

Aaaah!
Hey, Tonight,
Gonna be tonight,
Don’t you know I’m flyin’
Tonight, tonight.
Tonight, tonight.

Big Star – Life Is White

Love this driving song by Big Star. It was on Radio City, their second album. Some say it is a response to the Chris Bell song off the first album called My Life Is Right…or a message to his girlfriend Diane (Don’t like to see your face Don’t like to hear you talk at all) that he was splitting with at the time.

After the failure of their first album, singer/songwriter guitar player Chris Bell quit Big Star. Alex Chilton didn’t know if Big Star was going to make another album. He continued making demos because he could always do a solo album. The two other members, drummer Jody Stephens and bass player Andy Hummel wasn’t sure either what was going to happen. They had talked about ending the band.

Their record company Ardent was under the Stax umbrella. They sent out invitations to all of the major rock journalists of the day in 1973. They invited them to Memphis to see Ardent’s roster of bands but most of all Big Star. The rock writers loved Big Star. Many legendary writers were there including Lester Bangs.

Stax agreed to foot the bill, which amounted to $40,000 to fly in more than one hundred rock critics from across the U.S. and U.K., put them up at the Holiday Inn, wine and dine them, bus them to Memphis landmarks like Graceland, and, on the final night, knock them out with a showcase at Lafayette’s Music Room, featuring Skin Alley, Larry Raspberry and the High-Steppers, and Big Star.

As writers from California (Shaw, Gene Sculatti, and Cameron Crowe), the New York City area (Richard Meltzer, Andy Shernoff, Gary Kenton, Pete Tomlinson, Lenny Kaye, and Nick Tosches), upstate New York (Billy Altman), Austin (Chet Flippo), Detroit (most of Creem’s staff, including Lester Bangs and Jaan Uhelszki), and the U.K. (Simon Frith, Ben Edmonds, and Pete Frame) signed on, Big Star was persuaded to play the gig.

The writers sat through the other bands and by the time Big Star took the stage, around midnight, they were well lubricated. Big Star couldn’t have had a more receptive audience. Rock critics are not known to dance but they were all on the floor and some has since called the performance by Big Star magic. Some called it the greatest performance and sound they ever heard. That night is what convinced Big Star to stay together and finish their second album Radio City. They played most of the first album, some covers, and a few songs they had worked on including Life Is White.

What I question is…Stax would give money for things like this but could not distribute records?

Alex had the quote below while he was in Big Star. What he said foretold Big Star’s future. It would be years later before the album would sell anything and get noticed. They would make one more album…Big Star Third/Sister Lovers before ending it.

Alex Chilton: “The important thing is to make a good record,” “because if you make a good record, it doesn’t matter what happens. It’s going to sell from then on to some degree, even though it doesn’t sell anything when it comes out and is a big disappointment to everybody. If it’s really good, people are going to want it from then on, and that’s the important thing. It might take five or ten years for it to pay off—or it might take twenty years, and you might be dead when it pays off. If it’s good, it’s going to pay off for somebody, sometime.”

Life Is White

Don’t like to see your face
Don’t like to hear you talk at all
I could be with Ann
But I’d just get bored

Can’t even bring myself to call
And I don’t want to see you now
‘Cause I know what you lack
And I can’t go back to that

Whatever’s all the same
Now there’s nobody to know
And I can’t recall, recall your name
All I can say is so

And I don’t want to see you now
‘Cause I know what you lack
And I can’t go back to that

Your life is white
And I don’t think I like
You hanging around

Don’t like to see your face
Don’t like to hear you talk at all
I could be with Ann
But I’d just get bored

Can’t even bring myself to call
And I don’t want to see you now
‘Cause I know what you lack
And I can’t go back to that now

Chris Bell – You and Your Sister

When people think of Big Star…when people do think of Big Star…Alex Chilton comes up more often than anyone else. That is not an over sight really because he was on all of their albums. The sound Big Star had largely originated from founding member Chris Bell. Alex and Chris wrote most of the first album and they modeled themselves after Lennon and McCartney. Their first album  was praised by practically everyone but not distributed…people wanted the album but the album was not in the stores so it failed. Chris left the band not long after that failure.

Chris went into a depression but Alex carried on with Big Star making two more albums.

Chris visited and stayed in England off and on and recorded some solo material but a record deal never materialized while he was there. He brought some recordings over that he made in Memphis and Geoff Emerick mixed it for him. Geoff was the engineer for the Beatles. The song that he mixed was I am the Cosmos. Chris would continue to record some in Memphis through the mid to late seventies.

In fall of 1978 he got a call from Car records and they wanted to release a single with a song called  I am the Cosmos with You and Your Sister as the B side.  It was the only solo release Chris would see in his lifetime. Unfortunately, Chris didn’t get to enjoy it long. He died in a car wreck on December 27, 1978. He was only 27 years old.

When he recorded You and Your Sister he got Alex Chilton to sing harmony vocals with him.

By the way…if you haven’t heard I Am The Cosmos give it a listen. It’s a layered, lush,  almost perfect pop song. I hope you enjoy this song.

14 years after his death in 1992  Rykodisc released Chris Bell’s solo album from the songs he recorded including the two songs on this single.

You and Your Sister

They say my love for you ain’t real
But you don’t know how real it feels
All I want to do
Is to spend some time with you
So I can hold you, hold you
Your sister says that I’m no good
I’d reassure her if I could
All I want to do
Is to spend some time with you
So I can hold you, hold you
Plans fail every day
I want to hear you say
Your love won’t be leaving (Run run, run run)
Your eyes ain’t deceiving (Run run, run run)
Fears will soon fade away
Smile now, don’t be afraid
All I want to do
Is to spend some time with you
So I can hold you, hold you
And let me whisper in your ear
Don’t you worry, they can’t hear
All I want to do
Is to spend some time with you
So I can hold you

AC/DC – Whole Lotta Rosie

This is one of the first AC/DC songs I was familiar with when I was around 11 years old. My older cousin was a huge fan and would play the live If You Want Blood You’ve Got It album constantly. It was a few years later before I heard the studio version of the song.

As with most of their songs it started with an excellent guitar riff and doesn’t relent.

The song was originally on the Let There Be Rock album released in 1977. It was released as a single in 1978 as a live cut and didn’t do much but then the live cut was reissued again in 1979 and peaked at #36 in the UK in 1980.

This song is about a large woman that lead singer Bon Scott had relations with early in the band’s career. I’ll let Bon and Angus tell the tale.

Bon Scott: “We were all staying in the same hotel and this chick Rosie lived across the road. She was so big she sort of closed the door and put it on ya’, half your body, and she was too big to say no to. Then she used to look up and see what band was in town and say “hi over there boys” and we’d go over and have a party. She came to one of our shows, she was from Tasmania actually, and she was in the front row. She was like 6’2 and like 19 stone 12 pounds (around 266lbs). That girl was some mountain. So you can imagine the problems I had. So I just sorta had to succumb … I had to do it. Oh my God, I wish I hadn’t.”

Angus Young: We’d been in Tasmania and after the show [Bon Scott] said he was going to check out a few clubs. He said he’d got about 100 yards down the street when he heard this yell: ‘Hey! Bon!’ He looked around and saw this leg and thought: ‘Oh well!’ From what he said, there was this Rosie woman and a friend of hers. They were plying him with drinks and Rosie said to him: ‘This month I’ve slept with 28 famous people,’ and Bon went: ‘Oh yeah?!’ Anyway, in the morning he said he woke up pinned against the wall, he said he opened one eye and saw her lean over to her friend and whisper: ’29!’ There’s very few people who’ll go out and write a song about a big fat lady, but Bon said it was worthy.

From Songfacts

 In a 1976 interview with the band for Sounds magazine, their guitarist Malcolm Young prodded Scott to tell the story about “the fat one.” Scott explained that backstage at a show in Australia, a rotund woman they called “Big Bertha” came forward when he asked, “Who wants it?” Too frightened to refuse, he did the deed with Bertha, who then called to her friend, “that’s the 37th this month,” and produced a black book where she recorded her conquests. Scott turned the incident into a song, this time naming the woman “Rosie.”

In their early days, the band shared a house in Australia where lots of unsavory incidents occurred. This gave them material for songs like this one and “The Jack.” Bon Scott had great affection for the full-size girls, and occasionally put his conquests in his songs. Another song on the album, “Go Down,” mentions Ruby Lips, who is another real person. This is confirmed in the Let There Be Rock liner notes.

The music is based on the Chuck Berry song “No Money Down.” 

Originally released on the Let There Be Rock album, this song didn’t get much publicity until AC/DC re-released it a year later on If You Want Blood, You Got It when the band became internationally popular.

This song was covered and performed live by Guns N’ Roses. Nearly a decade later, Axl Rose cited an article in Melody Maker comparing the original AC/DC lineup to Guns N’ Roses as the inspiration for covering this song.

Originally, there were two versions of this song. The first was called “Dirty Eyes” and was eventually released in 1997 on the Bonfire boxed set.

Whole Lotta Rosie

Wanna tell you story
About woman I know
When it comes to lovin’
She steals the show
She ain’t exactly pretty
Ain’t exactly small
Fourt’two thirt’ninefiftysix
You could say she’s got it all

Never had a woman
Never had a woman like you
Doin’ all the things
Doin’ all the things you do
Ain’t no fairy story
Ain’t no skin and bones
But you give it all you got
Weighin’ in at nineteen stone
You’re a whole lotta woman
A whole lotta woman
Whole lotta Rosie
Whole lotta Rosie
Whole lotta Rosie
And you’re a whole lotta woman

Honey you can do it
Do it to me all night long
Only one who turn me
Only one who turn me on
All through the night time
Right around the clock
To my surprise
Rosie never stops
She was a whole lotta woman
Whole lotta woman
Whole lotta Rosie
Whole lotta Rosie
Whole lotta Rosie
A whole lotta woman

Whole lotta woman
Whole lotta woman
Whole lotta Rosie
Whole lotta Rosie
Whole lotta Rosie
Whole lotta woman-man-man yeah
Whole lotta Rosie
Whole lotta woman
Whole lotta woman

Dr Seuss – The Sneetches

It only lasts around 12 minutes and it was squeezed in between Green Eggs and Ham and The Zax. They were packaged in a program called Doctor Suess On The Loose.

The Sneetches teaches us all that we are all the same no matter who we are or what we look like… and the stupidity of discrimination. I would wait all year for these 3 great segments…

There were two different types of Sneetches that live near the beach. The Star-Belly Sneetches have stars on their bellies. They believe that the star makes them more important than the Plain-Belly Sneetches who do not have stars. The Star-Belly Sneetches brag that they are the best on the beach and will not play games or socialize with those without the star.

sneetches.jpg

One day Sylvester McMonkey McBean arrives and announces that he can solve the problem for the Plain-Belly Sneetches for a small price. They agree to his offer. The Plain-Belly Sneetches enter a large machine and pop out with a star on the bellies. The Star-Belly Sneetches are angry because they no longer feel superior. They decide to pay Sylvester McMonkey McBean to take off their stars. The Sneetches pay to put on, take off, and put on the stars for the rest of the day.

Eventually, the Sneetches run out of money and Sylvester McMonkey McBean leaves with all their money. He leaves saying that a Sneetch never learns. However, the Sneetches did learn a lesson that day. They decide that no kind of Sneetch is better than another. They forgot about the stars and became friends.

A toast! Raise your marshmallow stick!

A toast! Raise your good fellow stick!

A toast to the silly gimmick-ick

That we have here and thar

Sound off and let the welcome ring

So what to your star-spangled thing?

A toast! Raise your marshmallow stick!

A toast! Raise your good fellow stick!

And pooh pooh pooh to your bellied star!

https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Selected-Works-of-Dr-Seuss/the-sneetches-summary/

Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight

When you play in a bar band…you better know this song. I played it so many times that while I still like listening to the song…I dreaded playing it but it was hard to avoid. Just to add a little fun to it I would add a naughty description in the lyrics…no I won’t repeat here…trying to make the guys laugh. I’d get a wink from some of the slow dancers but no one seemed to mind…it added a little spice to this slower than slow song.

It’s another song inspired by Pattie Boyd. The list is long with Pattie. She inspired a lot of great songs. George Harrison wrote “Something” and “For You Blue” for her, while she inspired Clapton to write this, “Layla,” “Why Does Love Have To Be So Sad,” and “Forever Man.”

Pattie Boyd on Twitter: "Hmm ..... 'train sequences for A Hard Day's Night'  ... sounds familiar ...… "

Pattie was married to George Harrison when Clapton expressed his love for her in the song “Layla.” Clapton and Harrison remained good friends, and Harrison even played at their wedding in 1979. Eric and Pattie divorced in 1988.

The song peaked at #16 in the Billboard 100, #15 in Canada, #2 in New Zealand, and #81 in the UK in 1977. The song was on the album Slowhand.

Pattie Boyd: “Clapton was sitting round playing his guitar while I was trying on dresses upstairs. I was taking so long and I was panicking about my hair, my clothes, everything, and I came downstairs expecting him to really berate me but he said, ‘Listen to this!'”

From Songfacts

A fixture at proms and weddings, Eric Clapton wrote “Wonderful Tonight” in 1976 while waiting for his girlfriend (and future wife) Pattie to get ready for a night out. They were going to a Buddy Holly tribute that Paul McCartney put together, and Clapton was in the familiar position of waiting while she tried on clothes.

On March 28, 1979, the day after they were married, Clapton brought Pattie on stage and sang this to her at his show in Tucson, Arizona.

Clapton released a live version in 1991 recorded in London with the National Philharmonic Orchestra. This is the version that charted in the UK. It is included on his album 24 Nights.
In the time she had taken to get ready Clapton had written this song.

In the 2000 Friends episode “The One With the Proposal,” this plays in the background while Chandler and Monica are dancing. It also shows up in the 1984 Miami Vice episode “One Eyed Jack” and in the 2013 movie Captain Phillips. >>

This was used in the movie The Story Of Us with Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer. The song plays in the background as they eat dinner together at home, even though they had separated.

In 1997 the boy band Damage recorded a cover reaching #3 in the UK. A then unknown Craig David sent in a self-written song called “I’m Ready” for a competition Damage was running, which they used as the B-side.

Wonderful Tonight

It’s late in the evening; she’s wondering what clothes to wear.
She’ll put on her make-up and brushes her long blonde hair.
And then she asks me, “Do I look all right?”
And I say, “Yes, you look wonderful tonight.”

We go to a party and everyone turns to see
This beautiful lady that’s walking around with me.
And then she asks me, “Do you feel all right?”
And I say, “Yes, I feel wonderful tonight.”

I feel wonderful because I see
The love light in your eyes.

And the wonder of it all
Is that you just don’t realize how much I love you.
It’s time to go home now and I’ve got an aching head,
So I give her the car keys and she helps me to bed.

And then I tell her, as I turn out the light,
I say, “My darling, you were wonderful tonight.
Oh my darling, you were wonderful tonight.”

Jim Dickinson – Dixie Fried

He hollered, rave on, children, I’m with you
Rave on, cats, he cried
It’s almost dawn, the cops are gone
Let’s all get Dixie fried

He was born James Luther Dickinson but most people knew him as Jim Dickinson. It doesn’t get much more southern than this album and the title track.

He worked at Memphis Sun Records and Ardent Studios in the 1960s on, to sessions with the Rolling Stones (piano on Wild Horses at Muscle Shoals), Ry Cooder and Bob Dylan. He also played with his roots band Mud Boy & The Neutrons and the Dixie Flyers.

Dickinson produced recordings for performers as diverse as Willy DeVille, Green on Red, Mojo Nixon, Tav Falco’s Panther Burns, Toots and the Maytals and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins.

In the 70s he produced Big Star’s 3rd Sisters/Lovers album and in the 80s The Replacements Please To Meet Me album in Memphis.

In 1971 he started to focus on production work, producing and appearing on Ry Cooder’s acclaimed Into The Purple Valley and Boomer’s Story albums. Atlantic offered him a chance to record a solo album, and his debut Dixie Fried came out in 1972. It gave him the chance to present his own off-beat take on southern roots music, resulting in an album full of R&B and country.

The song was written by Carl Perkins and Howard “Curley” Griffin.

So if you want… sit back and sip some Tennessee Straight Sour Mash Whiskey and get Dixie Fried.

Dixie Fried

On the outskirts of town, there’s a little night spot
Dan dropped in about five o’clock
Took off his jacket, said, the night is short
He reached in his pocket and he flashed a quart

He hollered, rave on, children, I’m with you
Rave on, cats, he cried
It’s almost dawn, the cops are gone
Let’s all get Dixie fried

Well, Dan got happy and he started raving
He pulled out a razor, but he wasn’t shaving
And all the cats knew to jump and hop
‘Cause Dan was raised in a butcher shop

He hollered, rave on, children, I’m with you
Rave on, cats, he cried
It’s almost dawn, the cops are gone
Let’s all get Dixie fried

Well, the cops heard Dan when he started to shout
They all ran in to see what it was about
And I heard him holler as they led him away
He turned his head and this is what he had to say

He hollered, rave on, children, I’m with you

Rave on, cats, he cried
It’s almost dawn, the cops are gone
Let’s all get Dixie fried

Now, Dan was the bravest man that we ever saw
He let us all know, he wasn’t scared of the law
The black dog barked, but the boy didn’t flinch
He said, it ain’t my fault, hon, that I been pinched

He hollered, rave on, children, I’m with you
Rave on, cats, he cried
It’s almost dawn, the cops are gone
Let’s all get Dixie fried

Now, Dan was the bravest man we ever saw
He let us all know he wasn’t scared of the law
And I heard him holler as they led him away
He turned his head and this was what he had to say

He hollered, rave on, children, I’m with you
Rave on, cats, he cried
It’s almost dawn, the cops are gone
Let’s all get Dixie fried

Yeah, it’s almost dawn, the cops ain’t gone
And I’ve been Dixie fried

Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

One of the songs that reminds me of childhood. This was Elton in his most fertile period of the seventies. Elton and Bernie had the Midas touch with songs.

Elton and his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin went to Jamaica to record the album, but the studio wasn’t up to standard, so the project was abandoned there with only a rough version of “Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)” actually being recorded. “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” and the rest of the album were recorded in France at Strawberry Studios (The Chateau d’Hierouville).

The song peaked at #2 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada, #6 in the UK, and #2 in New Zealand in 1973-74. This made the third Elton single to make number 1 in Canada in 1973.

The song’s B side was originally titled “Screw You”, although the US release re-titled the song “Young Man’s Blues” so that it would not offend American record buyers.

Bernie Taupin: “It’s funny, but there are songs that I recall writing as if it was yesterday. And then there are those I have absolutely no recollection of, whatsoever. In fact, I’d have to say that for the most part, if someone was to say that the entire Yellow Brick Road album was actually written by someone else, I might be inclined to believe them. I remember being there, just not physically creating.

There was a period when I was going through that whole ‘got to get back to my roots’ thing, which spawned a lot of like-minded songs in the early days, this being one of them. I don’t believe I was ever turning my back on success or saying I didn’t want it. I just don’t believe I was ever that naïve. I think I was just hoping that maybe there was a happy medium way to exist successfully in a more tranquil setting. My only naiveté, I guess, was believing I could do it so early on. I had to travel a long road and visit the school of hard knocks before I could come even close to achieving that goal. So, thank God I can say quite categorically that I am home.”

From Songfacts

The Yellow Brick Road is an image taken from the movie The Wizard of Oz. In the movie, Dorothy and her friends follow the yellow brick road in search of the magical Wizard of Oz, only to find they had what they were looking for all along. It was rumored that the song was about Judy Garland, who starred in the film.

Bernie Taupin wrote the lyrics to this and most of Elton’s other songs. He often seems to write about Elton, but this one appears to be about himself. The lyrics are about giving up a life of opulence for one of simplicity in a rural setting. Elton has enjoyed a very extravagant lifestyle, while Taupin prefers to keep it low key.

Bernie’s canine imagery, including the part about sniffing around on the ground, is a sly poke at Linda’s two little dogs. Linda was a girlfriend of Elton John’s.

In 2008, Ben & Jerry’s created a flavor of ice cream in honor of Elton John called “Goodbye Yellow Brickle Road.” Made of chocolate ice cream, peanut butter cookie dough, butter brickle and white chocolate chunks, it was made to commemorate Elton’s first concert in Vermont (home of the ice cream makers) on July 21, 2008 at the Essex Junction fairgrounds. Elton had played every other state before his Vermont show. He had some of the ice cream before the show.

Ben Folds told Rolling Stone magazine for their 100 Greatest Singers Of All Time issue: “He was mixing his falsetto and his chest voice to really fantastic effect in the ’70s. There’s that point in ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,’ where he sings, ‘on the grooound’ – his voice is all over the shop. It’s like jumping off a diving board when he did that.” 

American rock group Queens Of The Stone Age covered the song for the 2018 Elton John tribute album Revamp. Their version was produced by Mark Ronson and features backing vocals with Jake Shears of The Scissor Sisters.

“It’s nice to pick something that may seem off kilter at first for us to do. But ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ really has the psychedelic carousel nature to it,” said QOTSA’s Josh Homme. “I think at first we thought we will tinker with the arrangement, but there’s so many beautiful chords- the chord progression is so wonderful- once you step on that carousel, it’s just this beautiful musical swirl and it’s really intoxicating to be on that carousel. And it seemed like there’s a psychedelic element that we could bring out, that it’s touching on, and that maybe the key for us to do it would be to accentuate the wispiness that is going on in the song.”

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

When are you gonna come down?
When are you going to land?
I should have stayed on the farm
I should have listened to my old man

You know you can’t hold me forever
I didn’t sign up with you
I’m not a present for your friends to open
This boy’s too young to be singing, the blues

So goodbye yellow brick road
Where the dogs of society howl
You can’t plant me in your penthouse
I’m going back to my plough

Back to the howling old owl in the woods
Hunting the horny back toad
Oh I’ve finally decided my future lies
Beyond the yellow brick road

What do you think you’ll do then?
I bet that’ll shoot down your plane
It’ll take you a couple of vodka and tonics
To set you on your feet again

Maybe you’ll get a replacement
There’s plenty like me to be found
Mongrels who ain’t got a penny
Sniffing for tidbits like you on the ground

So goodbye yellow brick road
Where the dogs of society howl
You can’t plant me in your penthouse
I’m going back to my plough

Back to the howling old owl in the woods
Hunting the horny back toad
Oh I’ve finally decided my future lies
Beyond the yellow brick road

The Bad News Bears (1976)

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

The Bad News Bears fulfills my Sports portion of the draft.

A small personal story to show how true this movie was of the time and why I can relate to it so much.

Our coach would be hitting grounders to each of the fielders from home plate and I was the catcher that day. The infielders would throw to first and then throw back to home…normal right? Not so fast… Our coach would have a beer in one hand and would hand it to me when hitting the ball. I would hand it back while the first baseman was throwing it back to me. This would happen in each practice on the city field. We didn’t think anything about it. The catcher was also the official beer passer and holder…none of us blinked an eye.

This movie was a surprise hit in 1976. It’s about an inept baseball team that is coached by an alcoholic named Morris Buttermaker. He is recruited by an attorney who filed a lawsuit against a competitive Southern California Little League, which excluded the least athletically skilled children (including his son) from playing. To settle the lawsuit, the league agrees to add an additional team…the Bears which is composed of the worst players.

The kids are foul-mouthed and the coach could care less… for a while anyway. When I watch this movie I’m in little league again. There was a remake in 2005 but I’ve always stuck to this one.

The script is smartly written and the comedy is good. Sometimes this movie gets overlooked but it is a great baseball movie. The cast includes Walter Matthau, Tatum O’Neal, Vic Morrow, Jackie Earle Haley, and a cast of unknown kids.

Walter Matthau plays the drunk Morris Buttermaker, perfectly… he does the minimum for a while.  He has the kids cleaning pools in one scene while drinking beer and driving them down the road in the next. While hunting around for a business to sponsor uniforms. Other teams have Pizza Hut and  Dennys but Buttermaker gets a …”Chico Bail Bonds” and that is fitting for this team.

The first game the Bears were beat 26-0 and Buttermaker recruited 12 year old girl name Amanda (Tatum O’Neal) who was the daughter of one of his old girlfriends. Amanda could pitch and pitch well. He taught her at a younger age. He talks her into pitching for the team.

The team starts coming together. Now comes the rebel. Jackie Earle Haley plays Kelly the cool neighborhood punk who rides his motorcycle at the ballpark interrupting games. He is the best athlete around but he refuses to play. He starts liking Amanda and after a bet begins playing with the team.

With the Kelly and Amanda, the team starts winning. They are moving up in the rankings and play for the championship. The last game is when the tone of the movie changes dramatically. Winning comes before everything and Buttermaker becomes serious… and the kids help produce a showdown.

What makes the movie special is despite the huge ensemble you get to know these  kids and the quirks they all show. It also sums up little league quite well.

One thing I remember when this movie was released was the absolute shock of parents everywhere because of these kids swearing. What the parents in 1976 didn’t understand was this is how many kids talked when adults weren’t around…mostly picked it up from their parents.

The movie is so 1970s and it pulls the veil back on youth sports then and now. They really nail down what the adults are like in little league… I coached little league a few years ago and I had a parent actually call me about his son at 10pm because he thought he should be hitting 3rd instead of 5th…this was a team of 4 and 5 year olds. I have seen a coach and parent have a fist fight in the back of the stands…

If you have never seen this film you are missing a baseball classic. But since we do live in 2021…if bad language stresses you out…don’t watch it.

There are two sequels. Bad News Bears Breaking Training and The Bad News Bears Go To Japan. Breaking Training is ok…Avoid the Japan movie at all costs.

Cast

Walter Matthau – Coach Morris Buttermaker
Tatum O’Neal – Amanda Whurlitzer
Vic Morrow – Roy Turner
Joyce Van Patten – Cleveland
Ben Piazza – Bob Whitewood
Jackie Earle Haley – Kelly Leak
Alfred Lutter III – Ogilvie (as Alfred W. Lutter)
Chris Barnes – Tanner Boyle
Erin Blunt – Ahmad Abdul Rahim
Gary Lee Cavagnaro – Engelberg
Jaime Escobedo – Jose Agilar
Scott Firestone – Regi Tower
George Gonzales – Miguel Agilar
Brett Marx – Jimmy Feldman
David Pollock – Rudi Stein
Quinn Smith – Timmy Lupus
David Stambaugh – Toby Whitewood
Brandon Cruz – Joey Turner
Timothy Blake – Mrs. Lupus
Bill Sorrells – Mr. Tower
Shari Summers – Mrs. Turner
Joe Brooks – Umpire
George Wyner – White Sox Manager
David Lazarus – Yankee
Charles Matthau – Athletic
Maurice Marks – Announcer

Sex Pistols – God Save The Queen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From Songfacts

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

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

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

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

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

God Save The Queen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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