Rod Stewart – Every Picture Tells a Story

This is my favorite song of Rod Stewart. It’s an acoustic driven rocker with Rod never relenting on the lyrics. The song has a stream of conscious feel to it. Every Picture Tells a Story was written by Stewart and Ron Wood. From Songfacts. This song recounts a series of misadventures endured by Stewart’s globetrotting protagonist, culminating with his torrid romance with a “slit-eyed lady.” (Political correctness has never exactly been Rod Stewart’s calling card). In the May 1995 issue of Mojo, Stewart said of the song: “I can remember the build up. You know what the song’s about – your early teenage life when you’re leaving home and you’re exploring the world for yourself. Ronnie (Wood) and I rehearsed round my house at Muswell Hill and recorded it the next day. That whole album was done in 10 days, two weeks, about as long as it takes to get a drum sound right nowadays.” The song’s title doesn’t appear in the lyrics until the end… where it is repeated 24 times! (“Every picture tells a story, don’t it?”) 
Every Picture Tells a Story Spent time feelin’ inferior standing’ in front of my mirror Combed my hair in a thousand ways, but I came out lookin’ just the same Daddy said, son, you better see the world I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to leave But remember one thing, don’t lose your head to a woman that’ll spend your bread So I got out Paris was a place you could hide away, if you felt you didn’t fit in French police wouldn’t give me no peace, they claimed I was a nasty person Down along the left bank, minding my own Was knocked down by a human stampede Got arrested for inciting a peaceful riot, when all I wanted was a cup of tea I was accused I moved on Down in rome I wasn’t getting enough Of the things that keep a young man alive My body stunk, but I kept my funk at a time when I was right out of luck Getting desperate, indeed I was looking like a tourist attraction Oh, my dear, I better get out of here for the vatican don’t give no sanction I wasn’t ready for that, no, no I moved right out east, yeah On the peking ferry I was feeling merry, sailing on my way back here I fell in love with a slant-eyed lady by the light of an eastern moon Shanghai lil never used the pill, she claimed that it just ain’t natural She took me up on deck and bit my neck Oh, people, I was glad I found her Oh, yeah, I was glad I found here I firmly believed that I didn’t need anyone but me I sincerely thought I was so complete Look how wrong you can be The women I’ve known I wouldn’t let tie my shoe They wouldn’t give you the time of day But the slant-eyed lady knocked me off my feet God, I was glad I found her And if they had the words I could tell to you To help you on your way down the road I couldn’t quote you no dickens, shelley or keats ‘Cause it’s all been said before Make the best out of the bad, just laugh it off You didn’t have to come here anyway, so remember Every picture tells a story don’t it? Every picture tells a story don’t it? Every picture tells a story don’t it? Every picture tells a story don’t it? Every picture tells a story don’t it? Every picture tells a story don’t it?  

Clackers

Clackers or… death on a string came out in the 1960s. They were also called Ker-Bangers, Klackers, Click-Clacks, Klik Klaks, Klappers, and Zonkers.

I remember a kid giving me his Clackers. The object I guess was swinging them up and down until they hit each other and made a “clack” sound. The sound I got the most was a thud sound with plastic hitting my skin. They were also known to shatter and the pieces fly in all different directions.

They were similar to Bolas…a weapon used by cowboys to throw at cattle or game to wrap around their legs…sometimes breaking them. Yep…lets redesign this and give it to kids.

I never minded somewhat dangerous toys but I didn’t get too much pleasure out of these.

The toy was recalled in 1985

https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/1985/dangerous-toys-seized-by-us-marshal-in-phoenix

 

The Delfonics – Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)

Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time) peaked at #10 in the Billboard 100 and #22 in the UK  in 1970. I’ve always liked the song and liked it even more when it was on the Jackie Brown soundtrack. Not only on the soundtrack but became part of the plot in the movie.

Great song from a  great period.

From Songfacts.

“Didn’t I (blow your mind this time)” is the second-highest-charting hit by R&B/Soul sensations The Delfonics, on their third studio album which happens to be their self-titled one. Like many of their hits on the Philly Groove label, it’s a slow, passionate love song. It was written by producer Thom Bell and founding frontman William Hart.

It’s also been covered extensively, by the likes of Aretha Franklin, Regina Belle, Jackie Jackson, Millie Jackson, The Trammps, Maxine Nightingale, Patti LaBelle, and… a pop version by New Kids on the Block, on their self-titled debut album. Bet you didn’t see that coming, did you?

Thom Bell, who produced for the Delfonics, also produced for The Stylistics, Chubby Checker, and Elton John. But his main focus was the “Philly sound,” which is soul music characterized by funk influences and lush instrumental arrangements. “Didn’t I (blow your mind this time)” is the perfect, textbook example of Philadelphia Soul.

Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)

I gave my heart and soul to you, girl
Didn’t I do it baby, didn’t I do it baby

Gave you the love you never knew, girl
Didn’t I do it baby, didn’t I do it baby

I’ve tried so many times and that’s no lie
It seems to make you laugh each time I cry

Didn’t I blow your mind this time, didn’t I
Didn’t I blow your mind this time, didn’t I
Listen

I thought that heart of yours was true, girl
Now didn’t I think it baby, didn’t I think it baby

But this time I’m really leavin’ you, girl
Hope you know it baby, hope you know it baby

Ten times or more, yes, I’ve walked out that door
Get this into your head, there’ll be no more

Didn’t I blow your mind this time, didn’t I
Didn’t I blow your mind this time, didn’t I

Didn’t I do it baby, didn’t I do it baby
Didn’t I do it baby, didn’t I do it baby

Ten times or more, yes, I’ve walked out that door
Get this into your head, there’ll be no more

Didn’t I blow your mind this time, didn’t I
Didn’t I blow your mind this time, didn’t I
I got to live you, baby

Didn’t I blow your mind this time, didn’t I
Didn’t I blow your mind this time, didn’t I

 

 

ELO – Telephone Line

I could pick about any ELO song and do fine. Jeff Lynne is one of the best pop/rock songwriters. In my opinion, he can write super catchy songs without being sugary. Telephone Line peaked at #8 in the Billboard 100, #7 in the UK and #1 in Canada in 1977.

Lynne once said that ELO will “Pick up where ‘I Am the Walrus’ left off.”

http://www.jefflynnesongs.com/telephoneline/

Telephone Line was originally recorded at Musicland Studios in Munich, Germany during July of 1976. This recording was for the backing track only. The orchestra was recorded later at De Lane Lea Studios, Wembley, England. Just before release, other minor edits (including the muted telephone intro) were done at Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles, California, USA. The early working title was Bad Salad Telephone (a play on the term “sad ballad”), so it appears that the telephone theme was an early concept for the song.

Telephone Effects: The telephone intro for the song has drawn a lot of attention over the years. There are two notable things about it. First, the ringback tone heard (as one would hear when waiting for the line to pick up) is a North American ringback tone which is quite distinctive from that heard in the U.K. at the time. The band was having much greater success in America at the time and this inspired them to use the North American sound rather than the British sound. To get the sound just right, the band called to an office in America in when they knew no one would answer. It was likely to have been the Jet Records office in California because the time zones from England or Germany to America would have likely meant the offices were closed when the call was made. The band did not simply record the tone and insert that into the record as has been stated in some interviews, but rather they studied the sounds and then recreated them on synthesizer. If one listens closely, they are clearly not a match.

The other interesting bit about the intro is the muted, mono telephone sound, as if the listener is listening through the telephone to the song’s intro. This was a very late addition to the song. The recording was completed and Jeff was bringing the tapes from England to California when he got the idea to add the effect to the song. So it was in Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles that engineers Duane Scott and Kevin Gray were instructed to manually add the effect to the completed stereo master. The song plays normally until the very first vocal line of the first verse when the mono, listening-on-the-telephone effect cuts in. This continues, along with the ringback tone, until the “lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely nights” line when the full stereo version of the song is slowly phased in and the ringback stops. In addition, the ringback tone is again heard mid-song, in the short bridge following the first chorus and before the third verse. In the alternate vocal version heard on the 2007 A New World Record remaster, which has a non-fading end, the ringback tone is heard yet again as the last notes of the song are waning.

Telephone Line

Hello. How are you?
Have you been alright through all those lonely lonely lonely lonely lonely nights?
That’s what I’d say.
I’d tell you everything, if you’d pick up that telephone.

Hey. How you feeling?
Are you still the same?
Don’t you realize the things we did we did were all for real? Not a dream.
I just can’t believe they’ve all faded out of view.

Blue days, black nights

I look into the sky
The love you need ain’t gonna see you through.
And I wonder why
The little things you planned ain’t coming true.

Telephone line, give me some time, I’m living in twilight
Telephone line, give me some time, I’m living in twilight

O.K. So, no one’s answering,
Well can’t you just let it ring a little longer longer longer
I’ll just sit tight, through the shadows of the night
Let it ring for evermore.

Blue days, black nights

I look into the sky
The love you need ain’t gonna see you through.
And I wonder why
The little things you planned ain’t coming true.

Telephone line, give me some time, I’m living in twilight
Telephone line, give me some time, I’m living in twilight

Telephone line, give me some time, I’m living in twilight
Telephone line, give me some time, I’m living in twilight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jonathan Edwards – Sunshine

Always loved this song. Edwards sings this song like he means every syllable. This song was written by Edwards and peaked at #4 in the Billboard 100. Sunshine was off of Jonathan’s self-titled debut album in 1971. This would be Edwards only top forty hit.

A song that fit the times and the counterculture perfectly with a Us vs Them mentality.

From Songfacts.

Jonathan explained

“I just went, ‘How much does it cost? I’ll buy it.’ I was talking about freedom and talking about authority, my constant questioning of authority. ‘How much does it cost? I’ll buy it? Time is all we’ve lost. I’ll try it. He can’t even run his own life, I’ll be damned if he’ll run mine.’ That just came out as I was playing the song for these people.”

When he performs live, Edwards usually ends the first of his two sets with this song. “I often say, and it’s true, that if I had never done another song in my life, I’ll be happy to have come and gone with that,” he told us. “It was an anthem to many people and it helped a lot of people through Vietnam. It helped a lot of people through the drug culture of the last part of the ’60s and the early ’70s. It helped a lot of people cope with a lot of things that were going on during those tumultuous years. And I feel very proud to have done that and very happy with my contribution to our culture.”

Edwards performed this song at the Mayday protests on May 2, 1971. With the slogan, “If the government will not stop the war, we will stop the government,” the demonstration was organized by a group called the Mayday Tribe, with the goal of shutting down the government by blocking off key areas in Washington, DC. When the protests started on May 1, the government had thousands of troops ready and made mass arrests, which carried into the next day when Edwards played at the Washington Monument. “The sun was coming up and the National Guard was arresting people for protesting, for being on the grounds of the Washington Monument,” he recalled. “It was my turn to play and I just started playing that song. We got to the end and my bass player and I looked at each other and we went, ‘Let’s just start it over again.’ So we just kept playing that song. Because there’s no better song for the soundtrack of that movie. It had just come out. Some people had heard it, some hadn’t, but everyone heard it that morning, including the National Guard.”

 

Sunshine

Sunshine go away today, I don’t feel much like dancing
Some man’s come he’s trying to run my life, don’t know what he’s asking
When he tells me I better get in line, can’t hear what he’s saying
When I grow up, I’m gonna make him mine, these ain’t dues I been paying

How much does it cost? 
I’ll buy it! 
The time is all we’ve lost
I’ll try it!
He can’t even run his own life, 
I’ll be damned if he’ll run mine–sunshine

Sunshine, go away today, I don’t feel much like dancing
Some man’s come he’s trying to run my life, don’t know what he’s asking
Working starts to make me wonder where fruits of what I do are going
When he says in love and war all is fair, he’s got cards he ain’t showing

How much does it cost? 
I’ll buy it! 
The time is all we’ve lost–I’ll try it!
He can’t even run his own life, 
I’ll be damned if he’ll run mine–sunshine

Sunshine, come on back another day, 
I promise you I’ll be singing
This old world, she’s gonna turn around, 
brand new bells will be ringing

When Waterbeds were cool

I had a waterbed in the early 80s as a young teen. I always liked it and thought it was comfortable. Two things I didn’t like about it was… if there was a leak you would not know until 2:30 am and on a school night…always. If the heater was either turned down or went out…you would wake up as a human popsicle at…you guessed it… 2:30 am. Nothing ever happened to it at noon on a Saturday.

in the early 1800s. Scottish physician Dr. Neil Arnott devised a water-filled bed to prevent bedsores in invalids.

In 1873, Sir James Paget, of St. Bartholomew Hospital in London, presented the waterbed designed by Dr. Arnott as a treatment and prevention of ulcers, a common condition at this time. Paget found that waterbeds allowed for even pressure distribution over the entire body. The only problem was that you could not regulate the water temperature.

In 1968 Charles Hall presented the waterbed as his Master’s Thesis project to his San Francisco State University design class. While showcasing their work, students rotated through workshops to see each other’s inventions. Once they reached Hall’s project – a vinyl mattress filled with heated water – the class never left. “Everybody just ended up frolicking on the waterbed,” Hall recalls.

Hall’s first waterbed mattress was called ‘the Pleasure Pit’ and it quickly gained popularity with the hippie culture of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Time Magazine in 1971 about waterbeds. “Playboy Tycoon Hugh Hefner has one–king-size, of course, and covered with Tasmanian opossum. The growing number of manufacturers and distributors, with such appropriate names as Aquarius Products, the Water Works, Innerspace Environments, Joyapeutic Aqua Beds and the Wet Dream, can hardly meet the demand. They have sold more than 15,000 since August.”

Sex always sells… one ad stated. “Two things are better on a waterbed. One of them is sleep.” and “She’ll admire you for your car, she’ll respect you for your position, but she’ll love you for your waterbed.”

waterbedad.jpg

By the 80s waterbeds were in the suburbs and gaining in popularity. In 1987, waterbeds had achieved their peak, representing 22 percent of all U.S. mattress sales.

At the end of the 1980s waterbed sales fell off. Some say it was because they were too connected to the 70s that had fallen out of favor (the horror!)… but most think it was because of the maintenance and pain in setting them up and moving them. Also, you had to make sure your floor was braced enough to have one depending on the size and weight of it.

Today you can still buy them but most are designed thinner to hold less water in rolls instead of sleeping on a lake beneath you.

I had mine until I was 20 with plenty of patches but it still held water and me… but I left it behind when I moved.

This egg-shaped one below I would gladly take home now

waterbedegg.jpg

COME NOW! TO THE WATERBED WAREHOUSE!

Keith Moon talks about a waterbed

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waterbed

Danny O’Keefe – Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues

I ran across this song yesterday. It was the first time I heard this song in many years. It peaked at #9 in the Billboard 100 and #19 in Canada in 1972.  It was recorded at American Studios in Memphis with Arif Marden producing. Danny O’Keefe was a one-hit wonder with Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues his only Billboard hit.

O’Keefe wrote this song and it was also recorded by Elvis using the same musicians as O’Keefe did on this recording. He also wrote the song “The Road” on Jackson Browne’s Running on Empty Album.

From Songfacts.

Danny O’Keefe’s biggest hit, this song struck a chord with restless young people who were stuck living dreary lives in dead-end small towns while their friends were moving away to better things. “Charlie” is a fictional character, but O’Keefe was managed by Charlie Greene, who also managed Buffalo Springfield and had the ear of Ahmet Ertegun at Atlantic Records. After hearing O’Keefe perform the song on a steel guitar, Ertegun signed him and produced his 1970 debut album, with included the first version of this song.

O’Keefe told Mojo about the song’s lyrical content: “Maybe it was about hipsters drawn to the high life. I lived in interesting times and there was a lot of experimentation with every kind of drug. There were a lot of damages and strange intersections of lives that provided much grist for a young songwriter’s mill.”

O’Keefe on the song’s legacy: “The success of one’s dreams is always exhilarating. Elvis cut the song with the same group of musicians I had, so there was a pride in continuity, but I didn’t think he brought anything new to it. Over the years I’ve come to appreciate it more as part of the song’s great legacy.”

Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues

Everybody’s goin’ away
Said they’re movin’ to LA
There’s not a soul I know around
Everybody’s leavin’ town
Some caught a freight, some caught a plane
Find the sunshine, leave the rain
They said this town’s a waste of time
I guess they’re right, it’s wastin’ mine
Some gotta win, some gotta lose
Good time Charlie’s got the blues
Good time Charlie’s got the blues
Ya know my heart keeps tellin’ me
“You’re not a kid at thirty-three”
“Ya play around, ya lose your wife”
“Ya play too long, you lose your life”
I got my pills to ease the pain
Can’t find a thing to ease the rain
I’d love to try and settle down
But everybody’s leavin’ town
Some gotta win, some gotta lose
Good time Charlie’s got the blues
Good time Charlie’s got the blues
Good time Charlie’s got the blues
(whistling to end)