Led Zeppelin – Tangerine

This song and Hey Hey What Can I Do are my top two favorite Zeppelin songs.

Jimmy Page wrote this and first recorded it when he was still with The Yardbirds. I’ve read where Yardbirds singer Keith Relf wrote some of the lyrics originally and was given some of the credit but the record company turned it down for release. Later on, Jimmy would use it on the 3rd Zeppelin album with his lyrics.

This was the last Zeppelin song Page wrote without any input from Robert Plant. It’s also the only track on Led Zeppelin III for which Plant didn’t write the lyrics.

At the time the album got mixed reviews from critics and fans alike. Many fans wanted the same heavy albums as the first two. This album had a mix and they perfected it on their next album.

This was used at the end of the 2000 movie Almost Famous in a scene where a bus drives away…I thought the song was brilliant in that scene in the movie.

From Songfacts

Robert Plant would sometimes introduce this at concerts by saying: “This song is for our families and friends and people we’ve been close to. It’s a song of love at its most innocent stages.”

Jimmy Page played a pedal steel guitar on this track. He told Guitar Player magazine in 1977: “On the first LP there’s a pedal steel. I had never played steel before, but I just picked it up. There’s a lot of things I do first time around that I haven’t done before. In fact, I hadn’t touched a pedal steel from the first album to the third. It’s a bit of a pinch really from the things that Chuck Berry did. Nevertheless, it fits. I use pedal steel in ‘Your Time Is Gonna Come.’ It sounds like a slide or something. It’s more out of tune on the first album because I hadn’t got a kit to put it together.”

Why does this song fade to silence a few seconds in? Jimmy Page explained when previewing the song for Melody Maker in 1970: “That’s commonly known as a false start. It was a tempo guide, and it seemed like a good idea to leave it in – at the time. I was trying to keep the tempo down a bit. I’m not so sure now it was a good idea. Everybody asks what the hell is going on.”

Led Zeppelin played this during acoustic sets on their early tours.

This was the second Zeppelin song named after a fruit. “The Lemon Song” was the first.

According to Jimmy Page, this song was dedicated to Jackie DeShannon, who was his girlfriend when he wrote the song. DeShannon, a member of the Songwriting Hall of Fame, had hits as a singer with “What the World Needs Now Is Love” and “Put a Little Love in Your Heart.”

This was recorded on April 4, 1968 at one of the last studio sessions for The Yardbirds, under the title “Knowing That I’m Losing You.” This first version performed by The Yardbirds, featured music almost identical to “Tangerine” by Led Zeppelin, but with different lyrics (vocals by Keith Relf), and was never officially released. It was supposed to be included on the Cumular Limit compilation (which was released in 2000), together with other materials from the same sessions, but interestingly enough, Page vetoed the release of the song. Since then, the version from The Yardbirds has leaked onto the internet, and Page has been accused of ripping off a Yardbirds composition, simply changing the majority of the lyrics (probably initially written by Keith Relf) in order to avoid any problem with the other members of his previous group. This would explain his veto against the release of the original song. It is not easy to ascertain the above, as the remaining members of The Yardbirds haven’t spoken about the subject so far.

 

Tangerine

Measuring a summer’s day, I only finds it slips away to grey
The hours, they bring me pain

Tangerine, Tangerine, living reflection from a dream
I was her love, she was my queen, and now a thousand years between

Thinking how it used to be
Does she still remember times like these?
To think of us again?
And I do

Tangerine, Tangerine, living reflection from a dream
I was her love, she was my queen, and now a thousand years between

Cat Stevens – Moonshadow

I bought Teaser and the Firecat because I enjoyed Steven’s album Tea For The Tillerman so much. I wasn’t disappointed…this was the first song I connected with on the album.

The song peaked at #30 in the Billboard 100 in 1971. The album peaked at #2 the same year.

Cat Stevens on the song: ” “I was on a holiday in Spain. I was a kid from the West End (of London) – bright lights, et cetera. I never got to see the moon on its own in the dark, there were always streetlamps. So there I was on the edge of the water on a beautiful night with the moon glowing, and suddenly I looked down and saw my shadow. I thought that was so cool, I’d never seen it before.”

He wrote part of the story of an animated short film that featured this very song. It was shown at the Fantastic Animation Festival in 1977. It begins with a still of the two characters from the “Teaser and the Firecat” album cover who then come to life.

 

From Songfacts

Stevens wrote this about finding hope in any situation. Be present and joyful. See life as it is, right now, and don’t compare it to others’ lives, or other times in your life. Every moment in life is rich and unique; whether we are aware of it or not, we are always leaping and hopping on a moonshadow – the inescapable present moment. If we are wrapped up in our whirlpools of worry and concern about what could be, or what has been, we are missing the richness of life as it is.

In the bridge of the song, Stevens seems to be speaking of faith, indicating clearly that, although he is experiencing this ecstasy in the present, despite all the losses and suffering of existence, it is the light that has found him, and not the other way around. He is surrendering to a power greater than himself – the “faithful light.” 

Stevens, now known as Yusuf Islam, considers this his favorite of his old songs. It’s one of the songs that convinced him to release a Greatest Hits record of his work as Cat Stevens. He felt its uplifting message could help people.

Director John Landis wanted to use this song in his 1981 horror comedy An American Werewolf in London. The film featured a number of songs with “moon” in the title (“Moon Dance”, “Blue Moon”, etc.) but Stevens, who had recently converted to Islam, refused permission because he did not like the subject matter of the film. 

Stevens has in recent years called this song the “Optimist’s anthem.” 

This song was used for a “Teaser And The Firecat” animation. The cover of the album came to life as the boy and cat ride on the moon while this song plays. It can be found on the Cat Stevens – Majikat (Earth Tour 1976) DVD. 

Artists to record this song include LaBelle, Roger Whittaker and Mandy Moore.

Moonshadow

Oh, I’m bein’ followed by a moonshadow, moon shadow, moonshadow
Leapin and hoppin’ on a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow

And if I ever lose my hands, lose my plough, lose my land
Oh if I ever lose my hands, Oh if I won’t have to work no more

And if I ever lose my eyes, if my colours all run dry
Yes if I ever lose my eyes, Oh if I won’t have to cry no more

Oh, I’m bein’ followed by a moonshadow, moon shadow, moonshadow
Leapin and hoppin’ on a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow

And if I ever lose my legs, I won’t moan, and I won’t beg
Yes if I ever lose my legs, Oh if I won’t have to walk no more

And if I ever lose my mouth, all my teeth, north and south
Yes if I ever lose my mouth, Oh if I won’t have to talk

Did it take long to find me? I asked the faithful light
Did it take long to find me? And are you gonna stay the night

Moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow

Bruce Springsteen – Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)

Well, tell him this is his last chance to get his daughter in a fine romance, Because a record company, Rosie, just gave me a big advance… That is a liberating lyric and sold the song to me.

After appearing on the covers of Time and Newsweek in October 1975, Springsteen sometimes changed the words to “Tell your papa I ain’t no freak, ’cause I got my picture on the cover of Time and Newsweek” when he performed it live.

I’ve seen Bruce do this song live and it is special. It’s one of the best live songs I’ve ever heard along with The Who’s Won’t Get Fooled Again. The song is exciting as he pleads with Rosie and calls out the nicknames of their friends.

The song was his second album The Wild, The Innocent And The E Street Shuffle peaked at #59 in the Billboard Album charts in 1975.

From Songfacts

This is Springsteen’s musical autobiography. After touring relentlessly around the Jersey Shore, he finally signed a record deal and got some money. Springsteen called the song, “A kiss-off to everybody who counted you out, put you down, or decided you weren’t good enough.”

Springsteen considers this the best love song he ever wrote, which he would often declare before performing it. It’s proof that a love song does not have to be slow or sappy.

This is one of Springsteen’s most popular live songs, and a dependable capper. It was the last song before the encore at most of his shows from 1973-1984; in 1999 during his E Street Band reunion tour, Springsteen played 15 sold out shows at the Continental Airlines Arena (later known as the Izod centre) and he used this song to close out the final show of the stand. This became very popular in England when British TV aired a clip of Springsteen performing this at a concert in Phoenix in 1978.

The live film clip of this is the closest thing Springsteen had to a music video until he started making them in 1984, starting with “Dancing In The Dark.”

The first time Springsteen performed this song was at a concert at Joe’s Place in Boston on January 5, 1974.

This was one of the first songs to showcase Clarence Clemons on sax. With his bright suits and imposing size, he quickly became the most popular member of the E Street Band.

The audience always went crazy when Springsteen sang: “The record company, Rosie, just gave me a big advance.” He got a $25,000 advance from Columbia Records when he signed his first record deal, proving to his father and others who doubted him that he did have a real job.

Springsteen never liked his nickname “The Boss,” and sometimes sang: “You can call me Lieutenant, Rosie, but don’t ever call me Boss.”

Springsteen wrote this to be a live show-stopper. He was inspired by the soul revues in the ’60s where the artists would pour all their energy into their final song, and just when it seemed to be over, keep playing. He knew his audience would remember this when he played it.

According to Diane Lozito, who was Springsteen’s girlfriend around the time he was writing this song, he got the title from the name of her grandmother, Rose (“Rose Lozito” “Rosalita”).

Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)

Spread out now Rosie, doctor come cut loose her mama’s reins
You know playin’ blind man’s bluff is a little baby’s game
You pick up little dynamite, I’ll pick up little gun
And together we’re gonna go out tonight and make that highway run
You don’t have to call me lieutenant, Rosie, and I don’t want to be your son
The only lover I’m ever gonna need’s your soft, sweet, little girl’s tongue
And Rosie, you’re the one

Dynamite’s in the belfry, baby, playin’ with the bats
Little gun’s downtown in front of Woolworth’s tryin’ out his attitude on all the cats
Papa’s on the corner, waitin’ for the bus
Mama, she’s home in the window, waitin’ up for us
She’ll be there in that chair when they wrestle her upstairs, ’cause you know we ain’t gonna come
I ain’t here on business, baby, I’m only here for fun
And Rosie, you’re the one

Rosalita, jump a little higher
Senorita, come sit by my fire
I just want to be your lover, ain’t no liar
Rosalita, you’re my stone desire

Jack the Rabbit and Weak Knee Willie, don’t you know they’re gonna be there
Ah Sloppy Sue and Big Bone Billy, they’ll be coming up for air
We’re gonna play some pool, skip some school
Act real cool, stay out all night, it’s gonna feel alright
So Rosie, come out tonight, little baby, come out tonight
Windows are for cheaters, chimneys for the poor
Oh, closets are for hangers, winners use the door
So use it, Rosie, that’s what it’s there for

Rosalita, jump a little higher
Senorita, come sit by my fire
I just want to be your lover, ain’t no liar
Rosalita, you’re my stone desire, alright

Now, I know your mama, she don’t like me, ’cause I play in a rock and roll band
And I know your daddy, he don’t dig me, but he never did understand
Your papa lowered the boom, he locked you in your room, I’m comin’ to lend a hand
I’m comin’ to liberate you, confiscate you, I want to be your man
Someday we’ll look back on this and it will all seem funny
But now you’re sad, your mama’s mad
And your papa says he knows that I don’t have any money
Oh, your papa says he knows that I don’t have any money
Oh, so your daddy says he knows that I don’t have any money
Well, tell him this is his last chance to get his daughter in a fine romance
Because a record company, Rosie, just gave me a big advance

And my tires were slashed and I almost crashed, but the Lord had mercy
And my machine, she’s a dud, out stuck in the mud somewhere in the swamps of Jersey
Well, hold on tight, stay up all night, ’cause Rosie, I’m comin’ on strong
By the time we meet the morning light, I will hold you in my arms
I know a pretty little place in Southern California, down San Diego way
There’s a little cafe, where they play guitars all night and all day
You can hear them in the back room strummin’
So hold tight, baby, ’cause don’t you know daddy’s comin’
Everybody sing

Rosalita, jump a little higher
Senorita, come sit by my fire
I just want to be your lover, ain’t no liar
Rosalita, you’re my stone desire

Hey hey hey hey
Hey hey hey hey
Hey hey hey hey
Hey hey hey hey

Super Friends

This was a must on Saturday morning. I wouldn’t find out till later but…Ted Knight did some of the dialogue such as “Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice…” I think the first year (16 episodes) was the best. Altogether the show was on and off during its 13-year run and they ended up with 109 episodes.

Super Friends was produced by Hanna-Barbera in 1973. The show brought all the DC superheroes together and it told their stories. The first season was comprised of only 16 episodes, which were re-run through August 1974. The show was then canceled. Presumably from less than anticipated ratings.

The success of the Wonder Woman TV show in 1975, and probably the early development interest in the Superman movie led ABC to reconsider Super Friends. The original 16 episodes were re-run beginning in early 1976, while production began on a new series. To help promote the new series, DC also began publishing a Super Friends comic. While the stories there were independent of the show, they followed much the same style of the original series.

Beginning in mid-1977, E. Nelson Bridwell, writer of the Super Friends comic, learned of some of the cast changes (notably, the replacement of Wendy and Marvin with Zan and Jayna) after working on the book for several months and wrote the change into his stories, so by the time the new season of the show began in September 1977, the comic had already made the transition to the new characters.

The comic only survived until mid-1981, while the show continued into 1982. However, the show was only re-runs for the 1982-83 season and was canceled outright in the fall of ’83. The show was brought back again in 1984 and ran until September 1986.

The below link will give much more history to the show.

http://www.kleefeldoncomics.com/2016/12/on-history-super-friends.html

 

 

 

Paul McCartney & Wings – Medicine Jar

This was the first song recorded by Paul McCartney’s group Wings to feature another member on all lead vocals. It is an anti-drug song sung by lead guitarist Jimmy McCulloch (ex-Thunderclap Newman). Colin Allen, who was the drummer in the band Stone The Crows with McCulloch, wrote the lyrics, and McCulloch wrote the music.

Jimmy McCulloch was a guitar prodigy… He was playing in a band called The Jaygars when he was 11. He was in the band One In A Million supporting The Who when he was 14 and in the band Thunderclap Newman in 1969 when he was 16. He went on to play with John Mayall (Mayall knew how to pick guitar players) and Stone the Crows… He then went to play with Paul McCartney and Wings in 1974. He gave Paul’s songs an edge and I wish he would have stayed in Wings longer.

He left Wings to play with the reformed Small Faces in 1977.  In 1979 he sadly died of heart failure due to morphine and alcohol poisoning. You have to wonder how much more Jimmy could have achieved if he would have lived.

The version I’m most familiar with is the live version from Wings Over America. The song was originally on the Venus and Mars album. Venus and Mars peaked at #1 in 1975 in the Billboard Album Charts and Wings Over America peaked at #1 in 1977.

 

Medicine Jar

What’s wrong with you?
I wish, I knew
You say, time will tell
I hope that’s true

There’s more to life than blues and reds
I say, I know how you feel
Now your friends are dead

Dead on your feet, you won’t get far
If you keep on sticking your hand
In the medicine jar

Now don’t give up
Whatever you do
You say, time will tell
I hope that’s true

If you go down and lose your head
I say, I know how you feel
Now your friends are dead

Dead on your feet, you won’t get far
If you keep on sticking your hand
In the medicine jar

I said, “Dead on your feet, you won’t get far
If you keep on sticking your hand
In the medicine jar”

Check it

What can I do?
I can’t let go
You say, time will heal
But very slow

So don’t forget the things you said
I say, I know how you feel
Now your friends are dead

Dead on your feet, you won’t get far
If you keep on sticking your hand
In the medicine jar

Dead on your feet, you won’t get far
If you keep on sticking your hand
In the medicine jar

Medicine jar
Medicine jar
Medicine jar
Medicine jar
Medicine jar
Medicine jar
Medicine jar

Medicine jar
Medicine jar
Medicine jar
Medicine jar
Medicine jar
Medicine jar

Classic TV Episodes: Taxi – Reverend Jim: A Space Odyssey

One of the funniest scenes in any sitcom is when Reverend Jim is taking his driver’s test. Taxi is smartly written and they use the ensemble much like The Mary Tyler Moore Show did. Reverend Jim played by Christopher Lloyd is my favorite character and one of my favorite characters of all time.

“Have you ever experienced loss of consciousness, hallucinations, dizzy spells, convulsive disorders, fainting, or periods of loss of memory?”         “Hasn’t Everyone?”

“Psst. What does a yellow light mean?”     

“Slow Down”

“OK. Wwwwhhhaaaat dooeesss aaaa yyyeeeellllowwww lllliiiight mmmmeeeannn?” “SLOW DOWN”

TAXI – Reverend Jim: A Space Odyssey

This is my favorite Taxi episode of all time. Jim is a  child of the drug culture of the sixties and still feeling the effects. Taking something as simple as a drivers test and turning it into this, Characters: Alex Reiger, Elaine DeNardo, Latka Gravas, Louie De Palmer, Bobby Wheeler, Tony Banta, Reverend Jim Ignatowski, Tommy Jeffries, Jeff Bennett,

The cab drivers are hanging out at Mario’s when Christopher Lloyd as Reverend Jim Ignatowski wanders in. They recognize him but he doesn’t recognize them, even though they remind him he performed a wedding for Latka 8 months earlier. But when Latka started talking to him in his gibberish language, Jim remembered.

The cabbies want to get Jim to have a job, make something of himself, but what can he do with no skills and no education? Drive a cab. At first Louie will not hear of it, until Rev Jim slips a tranquilizer into Louie’s coffee. Louie becomes mellow, starts singing show tunes in the garage, and gladly accepts Jim.

The big hurdle, of course, was to have Jim pass the driver’s test. They go down to the DPS office with him, help him fill out forms, his name, his weight, height, and color of eyes. Finally Bobby says, “OK, Jim, now you are ready to take the test.” “What?”, says Jim, “I thought that was the test.”

He then takes the test and the below is what transpires…You can see Tony Danza and Marilu Henner trying unsuccessfully not to laugh.

The complete driving test scene

 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0718525/

 

Kinks – Victoria

I asked my son Friday night…What are you listening to? He told me Victoria by the Kinks… so Victoria it will be.

Victoria was written for Arthur (Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire), a soundtrack to a British TV play on which Ray Davies collaborated with dramatist and screenwriter Julian Mitchell. The program was canceled at the last minute when the producer was unable to secure financial backing and has never been produced. However, Davies’ music was still recorded by the Kinks and released as a concept album.

The album peaked at #105 in the Billboard 100 in 1969. The song Victoria peaked at #62 in the Billboard 100 and #33 in the UK in 1970. It was the band’s first release to reach the chart since their Top 20 hit “Sunny Afternoon” in 1966.

 

From Songfacts

“Victoria” is a typically satirical Ray Davies song, containing many of his themes from his late ’60s material such as English nostalgia and the little people. It finds him fusing the image of the historical 19th Century UK queen and the grim realities of her downtrodden subjects’ life during her reign with the British rule of its Empire, which had reached its peak in Queen Victoria’s reign.

Musically, “Victoria” finds Ray Davies balancing the nostalgic music hall and rock sides of his songwriting. While the track is centered on a thumping rock electric blues guitar riff, the triumphant “Land of hope and gloria” bridge enhances the remainder of the song.

Commercially, “Victoria” represented a relative return of form for The Kinks. In the US, the song was chosen as the lead single from Arthur. It peaked at #62 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Victoria” was released as the album’s third single in the UK, and was the only one to chart, reaching #33.

A cover version by The Fall was the Manchester band’s second UK Top 40 hit in 1988 peaking at #35.

Victoria

Long ago life was clean
Sex was bad, called obscene
And the rich were so mean
Stately homes for the Lords
Croquet lawns, village greens
Victoria was my queen
Victoria, Victoria, Victoria, ‘toria

I was born, lucky me
In a land that I love
Though I am poor, I am free
When I grow I shall fight
For this land I shall die
Let her sun never set
Victoria, Victoria, Victoria, ‘toria
Victoria, Victoria, Victoria, ‘toria

Land of hope and gloria
Land of my Victoria
Land of hope and gloria
Land of my Victoria
Victoria, ‘toria
Victoria, Victoria, Victoria, ‘toria

Canada to India
Australia to Cornwall
Singapore to Hong Kong
From the West to the East
From to the rich to the poor
Victoria loved them all

Victoria, Victoria, Victoria, ‘toria
Victoria, Victoria, Victoria