Platoon

I remember seeing this movie in the 80s. My girlfriend was working so Paul… a friend of mine and I went to see it. We saw a lot of bad and good movies during this time because we had time to kill and he knew the owner or the manager of the movie theater and we would get in free. We bought popcorn and coke so I didn’t feel so bad.

This is the first movie I remember leaving afterward and us not saying a word to each other for a good 30 minutes. Not the usual laughter and carrying on. This was one of those movies that really affected me. The village scene was brutal and it took a while to process it all. I just saw it again a couple of nights ago and it still works.

I’ve seen Vietnam Vets interviewed who have said this film brought a lot of it back…good and mostly bad. This is not a feel-good film but its a superb movie.

You see Tom Berenger as Sergeant Bob Barnes as he snaps and Charlie Sheen’s character Chris Taylor tries to hold it together at the end.

Oliver Stone put these actors through hell. Two weeks of intense basic training in the jungle with a Marine trainer. They dug their own holes and lived off of rations over the shoot.

 

From Wiki the cast

  • Charlie Sheen as Chris Taylor
  • Tom Berenger as Staff Sergeant Bob Barnes
  • Willem Dafoe as Sergeant Elias
  • Keith David as King
  • Forest Whitaker as Big Harold
  • Francesco Quinn as Rhah
  • Kevin Dillon as Bunny
  • John C. McGinley as Sergeant O’Neill
  • Reggie Johnson as Junior
  • Mark Moses as Lieutenant Wolfe
  • Corey Glover as Francis
  • Johnny Depp as Lerner
  • Chris Pedersen as Crawford
  • Bob Orwig as Gardner
  • Corkey Ford as Manny
  • David Neidorf as Tex
  • Richard Edson as Sal
  • Tony Todd as Sergeant Warren
  • Dale Dye as Captain Harris

Paul McCartney – Take It Away

That simple bass guitar riff hooks me when it comes in during the drum intro.

A good pop song from Paul McCartney in the 1980s. This was on an album called Tug of War which peaked at #1 in the Billboard album charts. The highlight to me is another McCartney bass line. The song peaked at #10 in the Billboard 100 in 1982.

Paul played bass, Ringo played drums, and George Martin played electric piano. Eric Stewart from 10cc influenced the layered backup vocals.

Paul McCartney:

“Well, there were a couple of songs that we ended up recording which Ringo asked me to write at a certain period. I was writing some songs for Ringo and “Take It Away” was in amongst those songs. I thought it would suit me better the way it went into the chorus and stuff; I didn’t think it was very Ringo.”

“I mean, the chorus I think, was Ringo, the other bits… but that’s how that comes to be that kind of track I think, I was right in that sort of direction with Ringo in mind actually.”

 

Take It Away

Take it away
Want to hear you play
Till the lights go down
Take it away
Don’t you want to stay
Till there’s no one else around?

Take it away
Want to hear you play
Till the lights go down
Take it away
Don’t you want to stay
Till there’s no one else around?

Lonely driver
Out on the road
With a hundred miles to go
Sole survivor
Carrying the load
Switches on his radio

Take it away
Want to hear you play
Till the lights go down (down down)
Take it away
Don’t you want to stay
Till there’s no one else around?

Take it away
Want to hear you play
Till the lights go down (down down)
Take it away
Don’t you want to stay
Till there’s no one else around?

In the audience
Watching the show
With a paper in his hand
(In his hand, in his hand)
Some important impresario
Has a message for the band

Oh
Take it away
Want to hear you play
Till the lights go down (down down)
Take it away
Don’t you want to stay
Till there’s no one else around?

You never know who may be
Listening to you
Never know who may be
Listening to you
You never know who may be
Listening to you
Take it away, take it away

After hours
Late in the bar
By a darkened corner seat
Faded flowers wait in the jar
Till the evening is complete

Ah
Ah
Ah
Ah

 

 

 

Led Zeppelin – Ozone Baby

This was on the album Coda it was released two years after John Bonham’s death and features outtakes from sessions throughout their career. I heard this one more than the others on the album.

Recorded in 1978 at a studio in Sweden owned by Abba, this song was intended for the Led Zeppelin album In Through the Out Door, but it didn’t make the cut. Ozone Baby peaked at #14 in the Mainstream Rock Songs Charts in 1982. Coda was released in 1982 and peaked at #6 in the Billboard Album Charts in 1983.

Coda is by no means a great album but it does have some enjoyable tracks like Wearing and Tearing and Darlene. It’s not like they set out to record an album… it was released to honor contractual commitments to Atlantic Records.

From Songfacts

The entire band’s instrumentals come in right at the opening with Robert Plant’s vocals starting in soon after. This was Zeppelin’s typical style, a straightforward “get it done” 12-bar-blues attitude without very much pretension. It shows something of their character that they were consistent in doing this on one of the last songs done by the classic lineup.

Another telling sign of Zeppelin’s character: How many drummers do most bands go through? Next to the bass, the drummer is usually the most-rotated spot. Not Zeppelin! Lose the drummer, and that’s it, the band calls it quits – but to be fair, growing tensions within the band could have broken them up anyway.

A bit of rock history trivia: Led Zeppelin today is remembered as practically having walked on water. One easily forgets that back when these albums were coming out, while they had a huge fan base, rock critics panned them almost unanimously. Rolling Stone raspberried every single Zep album.

 

Ozone Baby

I hear ya knock on my door 
I ain’t been saving this scene for ya honey 
Don’t wantcha ringin’ my bell 
It’s too late for you to be my honey 

Oh, it’s my love 
Oh, it’s my own true love 

Oh, it’s my love 
Oh, it’s my own true love 

Don’t want you wasting my time 
Tired of ya doing the things that you do 
It’s no use standing in line 
Follow the line, you better follow queue 

I say, oh, it’s my love 
Oh, it’s my own true love 

Oh, it’s my love 
Oh, it’s my own true love, my my own

I could sail a river run dead, but I know it’s dead
I could I wish for a million, yeah but I know it’s dead
I could cry within the darkness, I sail away 
I save a lifetime forever?
But you know, you know, you know what I say 

And I say oh, it’s my love 
Oh, it’s my own true love 

Oh, it’s my love 
Oh, it’s my own true love, my my own 

Oh, it’s my love 
Oh, it’s my own true love

Oh, it’s my love 
Oh, it’s my own true love, my own true love
My own true love, my own true love
My own true love
I said Oh, it’s my love 
Oh, it’s my own true love
Oh, it’s my love 
Oh, it’s my own true love, my own

My 5 Favorite Baseball Announcers of All Time

This list will be different for every baseball fan. Many times it’s your team’s announcer and other times it’s a network announcer you grew up with. I tend to like announcers who are not complete homers although some I like… like Harry Caray. He made it fun even though he openly rooted for the Cubs…and Budweiser.

There are many more that could be on this list.

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5: Harry Caray – He injected fun into the game. It was like a fan announcing the game. He wasn’t technically the best baseball announcer but he was enjoyable.

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4: Mel Allen – I remember Mel when I was a kid on “This Week in Baseball.” That voice was a part of my childhood.

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3: Bob Uecker – “Just a bit outside” the more I listen to him the more I appreciate him.

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2: Jack BuckNOT Joe… You could hear his excitement for the game in his voice. For me, the best is between Jack and…

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1: Vin Scully – Being a Dodgers fan I was spoiled by Vin Scully… my number 1 favorite. If you tuned into a Dodger game you would not know who employed Mr. Scully. He would not root for the Dodgers and he knew when not to say anything and let the action speak for itself.

Vin

Jack

 

 

Clash – Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

The guitar on this is so simple yet so powerful. Some Clash songs take me a couple of listens to really like…this one was instant. The song peaked at #45 in the Billboard 100, #17 in the UK and #40 in Canada in 1982 and #1 in the UK in 1992.

The song was off of Combat Rock (Dave at “A Sound Day” has a writeup about the album) released in 1982. This was when I was watching MTV and every few minutes that year you knew The Who was supposedly on their last tour (They are in Nashville Thursday Night) and The Clash was opening up for them.

Mick Jones wrote this about his girlfriend Ellen Foley, who acted on the TV series Night Court and sang with Meat Loaf on “Paradise By the Dashboard Light.”

From Songfacts

One of the more popular songs by The Clash, this one uses a very unusual technique: Spanish lyrics echoing the English words.

Singing the Spanish parts with Joe Strummer was Joe Ely, a Texas singer whose 1978 album Honky Tonk Masquerade got the attention of The Clash when they heard it in England. When Ely and his band performed in London, The Clash went to a show and took them around town after the performance. They became good friends, and when The Clash came to Texas in 1979, they played some shows together. They stayed in touch, and when The Clash returned to America in 1982, they played more shows together and Ely joined them in the studio when they were recording Combat Rock at Electric Ladyland Studio in New York.

In our 2012 interview with Joe Ely, he explained: “I’m singing all the Spanish verses on that, and I even helped translate them. I translated them into Tex-Mex and Strummer kind of knew Castilian Spanish, because he grew up in Spain in his early life. And a Puerto Rican engineer (Eddie Garcia) kind of added a little flavor to it. So it’s taking the verse and then repeating it in Spanish.”

When we asked Ely whose idea the Spanish part was, he said, “I came in to the studio while they were working out the parts. They’d been working on the song for a few hours already, they had it sketched out pretty good. But I think it was Strummer’s idea, because he just immediately, when it came to that part, he immediately went, ‘You know Spanish, help me translate these things.’ (Laughs) My Spanish was pretty much Tex-Mex, so it was not an accurate translation. But I guess it was meant to be sort of whimsical, because we didn’t really translate verbatim.”

According to Strummer, Eddie Garcia, the sound engineer, called his mother in Brooklyn Heights and got her to translate some of the lyrics over the phone. Eddie’s mother is Ecuadorian, so Joe Strummer and Joe Ely ended up singing in Ecuadorian Spanish.

About two minutes in, you can hear Mick Jones say, “Split!” While it sounds like it could be some kind of statement related to the song, Joe Ely tells us that it had a much more quotidian meaning. Said Ely: “Me and Joe were yelling this translation back while Mick Jones sang the lead on it, and we were doing the echo part. And there was one time when the song kind of breaks down into just the drums right before a guitar part. And you hear Mick Jones saying, ‘Split!’ Just really loud, kind of angry. Me and Joe had snuck around in the studio, came up in the back of his booth where he was all partitioned off, and we snuck in and jumped and scared the hell out of him right in the middle of recording the song, and he just looked at us and says, ‘Split!’ So we ran back to our vocal booth and they never stopped the recording.”

The line, “If you want me off your back” was originally the sexually charged line “On your front or on your back.” In April 1982, the famed ’60s producer Glyn Johns was brought in to slash the album down and make it into a mainstream-friendly single-LP. In addition to cutting parts of songs out, he insisted that Mick Jones re-record this line, fearing that US radio stations would not touch a record with such a sexually suggestive line. 

These sessions as a whole were in bad blood, with Jones furious that his original mixes of his songs were being massacred against his will, and it was this combined with other factors (such as the return of controversial manager Bernie Rhodes) which resulted in the breakdown of the band and Jones’ sacking in 1983.

Mick Jones in 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh said, “Should I Stay Or Should I Go? wasn’t about anything specific and it wasn’t pre-empting my leaving The Clash. It was just a good rocking song, our attempt at writing a classic.”

It was speculated that the song was also a comment on Jones’ position in the band, pre-empting his sacking in 1983 by over a year and a half. Strummer pondered this in interviews, as did Jones. “Maybe it was pre-empting my leaving” he noted in 1991, although he did conclude that it was more likely about a “personal situation” – presumably his relationship with Foley.

Psychobilly is the punk version of rockabilly; it’s a fusion genre which also gets a nice sound out of elements of everything from doo-wop to blues, but with that punk edge to it. “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” resembles early punk, almost retro style, and so could be called rockabilly. More than anything, it compares very nicely with The Cramps.

“Should I Stay Or Should I Go?” is possibly one of the most covered Clash songs by dint of being one of the most popular. Just some of the groups to cover this song include Living Colour, Skin, MxPx, Weezer, ZZ Top, and The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. Anti-Flag covered the song at various festival dates in 2012, and more memorable versions exist by Die Toten Hosen and Australian pop star Kyle Minogue. It even shows up in “Weird Al” Yankovic’s “Polkas On 45” medley – a takeoff on the “Stars On 45 Medley.”

As a UK #1 single, what song did it replace as #1 on the UK charts? “Do the Bartman” by The Simpsons. Speaking of charts, while this song was their only #1 in the UK, The Clash got even less respect in the US; their highest chart on the Billboard was #8 for “Rock the Casbah”. That’s amazing when you consider how much airplay they get on the radio.

Introduced into The Clash’s live set in Paris in September 1984, “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” sat awkwardly in the set after Jones was fired – it was a hugely popular song so fans expected it to be played, but its author and singer was no longer in the band.

For a while in 1984 it was performed with new guitarist Nick Sheppard singing lead vocals, with the song developing into an aggressive Metal thrash with bellowed Punk-style vocals. In the end The Clash Mark II dropped the song altogether, although not before they also added some nasty lyrics about Jones (as was common in the post-Jones Clash, sadly). Two much more representative versions are the version of the song filmed at Shea Stadium in 1982 (supporting The Who) for the music video, and the version from Boston in 1982 that features on the From Here To Eternity live compilation.

Ice Cube and Mack 10 did a rap remake of this song for the 1998 Clash tribute album Burning London.

This was re-released as a single in February 1991 after it was used in a Levi’s jeans television ad. It went to #1 in the UK, but didn’t chart in the US.

Cheekily, Mick Jones used a vocal sample from this track on one of his post-Clash projects, Big Audio Dynamite. You can hear it on their song “The Globe.”

This is a key song in the ’80s-themed Netflix series Stranger Things. It was first used in the second episode (2016), where the character Jonathan Byers introduces it to his younger brother, Will to distract him when their parents fight, telling him it will change his life. When Will gets abducted into an alternate universe, the song becomes a way for him to communicate, and a source of comfort. The song is used several times throughout the series. 

To secure the rights, music supervisor Nora Felder had to explain to the band how it would be used. Through scene descriptions, she convinced them they would honor the song.

Should I Stay Or Should I Go

Darling you got to let me know
Should I stay or should I go?
If you say that you are mine
I’ll be here till the end of time
So you got to let me know
Should I stay or should I go?

It’s always tease tease tease
You’re happy when I’m on my knees
One day is fine, and next is black
So if you want me off your back
Well come on and let me know
Should I Stay or should I go?

Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go there will be trouble
And if I stay it will be double
So come on and let me know

This indecision’s bugging me
Esta indecision me molesta
If you don’t want me, set me free
Si no me quieres, librame
Exactly whom I’m supposed to be
Digame quien tengo ser

Don’t you know which clothes even fit me?
Sabes que ropas me queda?
Come on and let me know
Me tienes que decir
Should I cool it or should I blow?
Me debo ir o quedarme?

Split

Should I stay or should I go now?
Me entra frio por los ojos
Should I stay or should I go now?
Me entra frio por los ojos
If I go there will be trouble
Si me voy va a haber peligro
And if I stay it will be double
Si me quedo va a ser doble
So you gotta let me know
Me tienes que decir
Should I cool it or should I blow?

Should I stay or should I go now?
Me entra frio por los ojos
If I go there will be trouble
Si me voy va a haber peligro
And if I stay it will be double
Si me quedo va a ser doble
So you gotta let me know
Should I stay or should I go

REM – Fall On Me

The song peaked at #94 in the Billboard 100 in 1986. The song was on Lifes Rich Pageant which peaked at 21 in 1986. A musician friend of mine invited me over to listen to this album. We must have played it 5 times through by night time.

Bill Berry (drummer) said the song was specifically about Acid Rain, which occurs when the burning of fossil fuels releases sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere, causing rain to be acidic and threatening the environment.

Michael Stipe said about the song: “I was reading an article in Boston when I was on tour with the Golden Palominos, and Chris Stamey showed me this article about this guy that did an experiment from the Leaning Tower of Pisa, whereby he dropped a pound of feathers and a pound of iron to prove that there was… a difference in the… density? What did he prove? I don’t even know. They fall just as fast.”

From Songfacts

The video was filmed upside down in a rock quarry, and snippets of the environmentally concerned words flash on-screen throughout: “Buy” the sky, “Sell” the sky, etc. 

Before it ended up on the Lifes Rich Pageant album, R.E.M. performed a variation of this song on tour promoting their previous album, Fables of the Reconstruction. Peter Buck remembered in the liner notes for Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982-2011: “And pretty much every day Michael had different lyrics or a different melody; we changed the bridge a hundred times. On the Lifes Rich Pageant anniversary box set, there is a version that is kind of what we used to do on stage. Michael wrote new words and melodies during the making of the record, which all took a bit of getting used to since we were so used to the previous versions. But no question, the one on the record is so superior.”

We didn’t forget to add that possessive apostrophe to the album title. The band intentionally left it out, or so the story goes. “We all hate apostrophes,” Peter Buck proclaimed. “There’s never been a good rock album that had an apostrophe in the title.” Beatles fans may disagree – A Hard Day’s Night and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band both employ the punctuation mark. Maybe Buck’s oft-quoted comment is meant to be taken with a dose of irony, or maybe he’s just a Stones fan (that band shunned the apostrophe for Their Satanic Majesties Request).

Fall On Me

There’s a problem feathers iron
Bargain buildings, weights and pulleys
Feathers hit the ground before the weight can leave the air
Buy the sky and sell the sky and tell the sky and tell the sky

Don’t fall on me (what is it up in the air for?) (it’s gonna fall)
Fall on me (if it’s there for long) (it’s gonna fall)
Fall on me (it’s over, it’s over me) (it’s gonna fall)

There’s the progress we have found (when the rain)
A way to talk around the problem (when the children reign)
Building towered foresight (keep your conscience in the dark)
Isn’t anything at all (melt the statues in the park)
Buy the sky and sell the sky and bleed the sky and tell the sky

Don’t fall on me (what is it up in the air for?) (it’s gonna fall)
Fall on me (if it’s there for long) (it’s gonna fall)
Fall on me (it’s over, it’s over me) (it’s gonna fall)

Don’t fall on me

Well, I could keep it above
But then it wouldn’t be sky anymore
So if I send it to you, you’ve got to promise to keep it whole

Buy the sky and sell the sky and lift your arms up to the sky
And ask the sky and ask the sky

Don’t fall on me (what is it up in the air for?) (it’s gonna fall)
Fall on me (if it’s there for long) (it’s gonna fall)
Fall on me (it’s over, it’s over me) (it’s gonna fall)

Don’t fall on me (what is it up in the air for?) (it’s gonna fall)
Fall on me (if it’s there for long) (it’s gonna fall)
Fall on me (it’s over, it’s over me) (it’s gonna fall)

Fall on me, don’t fall on me (what is it up in the air for?) (it’s gonna fall)
Fall on me (if it’s there for long) (it’s gonna fall)
Fall on me (it’s over, it’s over me) (it’s gonna fall)

Fall on me, don’t fall on me

Bruce Springsteen – No Surrender

This song was on the album “Born In The USA.” released in 1984. I was a Jr in high school and this song hit like a blast. Bruce had been huge when Born To Run was released in 1975 but since then he had been popular but this album placed him in the stratosphere. He was reluctant to release the album because Bruce had a clue on how big this album was going to be and he didn’t know how comfortable he would be with that.

When you are 17 years old and waiting for your life to start… then hear the lyrics Well, we busted out of class, Had to get away from those fools, We learned more from a three-minute record, baby Than we ever learned in school… it gets your attention.

I think every song on the album could have been released as a single. This one did not chart but remains a strong song. Steven Van Zandt convinced Springsteen to include this song on the album because Bruce was going to leave it off.

From Songfacts

Springsteen wrote this about the inspirational power of rock music. It came to represent his friendship with members of his band.

This was the last song chosen for the album. E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt had to convince Springsteen to put it on. Van Zandt had left the band, but remained close to Springsteen and would eventually play with him again.

The original title was “Brothers Under The Bridges.”

Part of the chorus provided the title for Jean-Claude Van Damme’s first movie, No Retreat, No Surrender.

Springsteen often performed a slower version of this at concerts. The version on the box set Live 1975-1985 is a slower, solo performance.

No Surrender

Well, we busted out of class
Had to get away from those fools
We learned more from a three-minute record, baby
Than we ever learned in school
Tonight I hear the neighborhood drummer sound
I can feel my heart begin to pound
You say you’re tired and you just want to close your eyes
And follow your dreams down

Well, we made a promise we swore we’d always remember
No retreat, baby, no surrender
Like soldiers in the winter’s night
With a vow to defend
No retreat, baby, no surrender

Well, now young faces grow sad and old
And hearts of fire grow cold
We swore blood brothers against the wind
Now I’m ready to grow young again
And hear your sister’s voice calling us home
Across the open yards
Well maybe we’ll cut someplace of our own
With these drums and these guitars

‘Cause we made a promise we swore we’d always remember
No retreat, baby, no surrender
Blood brothers in the stormy night
With a vow to defend
No retreat, baby, no surrender

Now on the street tonight the lights grow dim
The walls of my room are closing in
There’s a war outside still raging
You say it ain’t ours anymore to win
I want to sleep beneath
Peaceful skies in my lover’s bed
With a wide open country in my eyes
And these romantic dreams in my head

Once we made a promise we swore we’d always remember
No retreat, baby, no surrender
Blood brothers in a stormy night
With a vow to defend
No retreat, baby, no surrender
No retreat, baby, no surrender

Ohh ohh ohh
Ohh ohh ohh
Ohh ohh ohh
Ohh ohh ohh