TV Draft Round 10 – Pick 1 – Max Selects – Are You Being Served?

A fun British sitcom that aired from 1972-to 1985. This comedy is not subtle…it’s obvious and in the open. The three UK sitcoms I’ve watched the most are Fawlty Towers, The Good Life, and Are You Being Served. My favorite by a mile is Fawlty Towers but this one is a lot of fun.

The show is about a department store called Grace Bros. owned by the elderly Grace brothers. It is operated with the old British class system. The show highlighted the Menswear and Womenswear departments and also the Floor Walker the pretentious Captain Peacock. It also featured the incompetent floor manager…Mr. Rumbold. As far as the class system…it’s hard to believe that once upon a time this was in effect. 

The Women’s department was run by Miss Slocombe. A lady that is known for her hair color changing every day and the love of her pussy cat…they get a lot of mileage out of that. She tries to elevate herself over the working class but that is just what she is. Her assistant is the young very pretty Miss Brahms who talks with a cockney accent and is proud of being thought of as working class.

What happened to the original cast of Are You Being Served?

The head of the Men’s department is Mr. Granger who is older and near retirement and seems to be in a sour mood most of the time. Two more men work in the department… The junior in the department is Mr. Lucas who is always late and flirting with Miss Brahms, never has money, and always has to wait his turn before he can serve anyone and make money because the other two men have seniority, the other man is Mr. Humphries…probably the most popular character of the show. He hints at being gay every episode but never comes out and says it…this is really played up…remember it is the 70s. The writers go for the obvious jokes many times but it’s still funny.

The Grace brothers owned the store and “Young” Mr. Grace was in fact not young at all. He is quite stingy and he always had a very young attractive girl by his side. Overall though a nice older man. 

The maintenance men Mr. Mash and Mr. Harmon were great. They would make the devices to advertise the merchandise. Sometimes the machine they made would blow up or show some naughty things to the customers. They were union and they thumbed their nose at higher-up staff.

Mix these personalities and you got a funny show. The purpose of the sitcom basically was to expose the class system and parody it.

The customers that shopped at Grace Bros department store usually left disappointed. The phrases I remember the most are “Are you free?” and while having a customer try on pants that obviously don’t fit…You would hear an employee say don’t worry” They’ll ride up with wear.”

Some of the cast left and past away during the run of the show. They were replaced with different characters and the show went on. When the show ended in 1985 a spin-off was made called Grace and Favour.

The core cast was strong, and the show was very good until the start of the 80s like most shows, they were reaching more for stories and repeating themselves. In 1979 when Trevor Bannister who played Mr. Lucas left it started to go down.

I wouldn’t compare this to Fawlty Towers because Fawlty Towers was better written… but this is a fun sitcom nonetheless. I remember watching it when I was young being broadcast on PBS. It is worth a watch if you like British humor.

The sitcom had 69 episodes and a movie in 1977… well, you can say 70 episodes because in 2016 a new episode was made with different actors playing the same characters but it fell flat. 

The original show is still popular in syndication after all of these years. 

The Cast

Mollie Sugden - Wikipedia

Mollie Sugden – Miss Slocombe

Are You Being Served?: S5

Frank Thornton – Mr. Peacock

John Inman - Wikipedia

John Inman – Mr. Humphries

Miss Brahms - Wikipedia

Wendy Richard – Miss Brahms

Nicholas Smith (Actor) ~ Life Story & Biography with Photos | Videos

Nicholas Smith – Mr. Rumbold

Trevor Bannister - Wikipedia

Trevor Bannister – Mr. Lucas

Temporary Layoffs - The World of TV: Are You Being Served? Week: This is  Your Department- Part Two

Arthur Brough – Mr. Grainger

young mr grace (@digitalpeacock1) / Twitter

Harold Bennett – Young Mr. Grace

Larry Martyn

Larry Martyn – Mr. Mash

British Comedy: Are You Being Served? list

Arthur English – Mr. Harmon

The Percival Tebbs Memorial Roadside Attraction

James Hayter – Mr. Tebbs

Alfie Bass

Alfie Bass – Mr. Goldberg

Are You Being Served? (UK) 10x07 The Pop Star - ShareTV

Mike Berry – Mr. Spooner

Kenneth Waller

Kenneth Waller – Old Mr. Grace

Nazareth – Holiday

*** This week is the last round of the TV draft. I won’t be posting a music post after today until July 4th. Hope you all have a great week! Enjoy the TV Draft!***

I liked this song when it was released… MTV played the video in a heavy rotation for a while. I saw them in 1982 opening up for a popular Billy Squier at the time. Squier was good but I was looking forward to Nazareth a bit more because of a childhood full of Hair of the Dog. 

Dan McCafferty has such a recognizable voice. When I saw them the volume on his voice was at 11. On top of being very loud he would scream as he talked… it looked like it was just natural for him but when the songs started…he sounded great. There was no way the instruments were drowning him out.

Holiday was co-written by all five members of Nazareth for their Malice in Wonderland album in 1980. They toned down their heavy sound for this album and made it more radio-friendly. That paid off with this minor hit in the US. I always liked the cover of this album.

NAZARETH - MALICE IN WONDERLAND - 1980 1st press LP + INNER superb NM | eBay

They will forever be remembered for the album Hair of the Dog released in 1975 with the hit single Love Hurts. Holiday peaked at #87 on the Billboard 100 and #21 in Canada in 1980. The album Malice in Wonderland peaked at #41 on the Billboard Album Charts and #19 in Canada.

In 1968 this Scottish band was named The Shadettes…they changed their name to Nazareth. This was not inspired by the Biblical birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth. It was inspired by a line in a song called The Weight by The Band. The lyrics were “I pulled into Nazareth, was feelin’ about half past dead…”

In this case, Nazareth referred to Nazareth, Pennsylvania. Robbie Robertson chose to place the lyrics in Nazareth because it was the home of Martin Guitars. Robertson wrote the song on a 1951 Martin D-28 guitar.

The band is still touring. In 2013, lead singer Dan McCafferty retired from touring with Nazareth. In 2018 Nazareth released their 24th studio album, Tattooed on My Brain. The current lineup has Carl Sentence on lead vocals, Pete Agnew on bass guitar, Jimmy Murrison on lead guitar, and Lee Agnew on drums.

Some trivia about the video. The video game the teen is playing is Super Road Champions, made by Model Racing in 1978.

Holiday

Drinkin’ my wine, makes me feel fine,
Gonna have me a holiday
Poorman’s party, rich man’s daughter,
Gettin’ hotter and hotter.

She’s pushin’ way too hard
I don’t want any part of her way
Drinkin’ my wine, makes me feel fine,
Gonna have me a holiday.

It’s a holiday, it’s a holiday

Mama, mama, please no more jaguars
I don’t want to be a pop star
Mama, mama, please no more deckhands
I don’t want to be a sailor man
Mama, mama, please no more facelifts
I just don’t know which one you is
Mama, mama, please no more husbands

Drinkin’ my wine, wastin’ my time
Hidin’ out in my rented dream
Lookin’ for attention
A cover story mention in
Life magazine
Ask the chauffeur who he knows
Numbers he’s got, lots of those.

Drinkin’ my wine, spendin’ my time
Tryin’ to run from this halloween.

It’s a holiday, it’s a holiday

Mama, mama, please no more jaguars
I don’t want to be a pop star
Mama, mama, please no more deckhands
I don’t wanna be a sailor man
Mama, mama, please no more facelifts
I just don’t know which one you is
Mama, mama, please no more husbands
I don’t know who my daddy is.

It’s a holiday, it’s a holiday

TV Draft UPDATE

Tomorrow morning we will kick off our last TV draft round! We have 8 more TV Shows coming…we all want to thank you… the readers who have made this possible and a fun experience. I also want to thank the bloggers who have reviewed all of these shows and we have covered every decade from the 1950s until now. Below are the picks that began in January and will end on July 3. Thank you… Paula, Lisa, Dave, John, Keith, Mike, Liam, Vic, Hanspostcard (who started it), and Kirk for all of the reviews below.
Round 1 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1. Doctor Who Vic https://cosmic-observation.com/blog-posts/
2. The Sopranos Mike https://musiccitymike.net
3. Bozo’s Circus John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
4. Barney Miller Max https://powerpop.blog
5. The Wire Kirk https://slicethelife.com/
6. Police Squad Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
7. Only Murders in the Building (OMITB) Paula http://paulalight.com
Round 2
1. The Odd Couple Mike https://musiccitymike.net
2. Cartoon Town John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
3. Fawlty Towers Max https://powerpop.blog
4. Rockford Files Kirk https://slicethelife.com/
5. Mission Impossible Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
6. Firefly Vic https://cosmic-observation.com/blog-posts/
Round 3 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 Hogan’s Heroes John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
2 Seinfeld Mike https://musiccitymike.net
3 Starsky & Hutch Vic https://cosmic-observation.com/blog-posts/
4 Perry Mason Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
5 Upload Paula http://paulalight.com
6 Lovecraft Country Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
7 King Of The Hill Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/
8 Adam 12 Max https://powerpop.blog
Round 4 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 Breaking Bad Mike https://musiccitymike.net
2 The X-Files Vic https://cosmic-observation.com/blog-posts/
3 Columbo Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
4 Six Feet Under Paula http://paulalight.com
5 Shameless Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
6 Friends Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/
7 Monkees Max https://powerpop.blog
8 JAG John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
Round 5 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 Sisters Vic https://cosmic-observation.com/blog-posts/
2 30 Rock Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
3 One Day At A Time Paula http://paulalight.com
4 Ray Donovan Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
5 Emergency Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/
6 The Andy Griffith Show Max https://powerpop.blog
7 CSI: Miami John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
8 Mad Men Mike https://musiccitymike.net
Round 6 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 The Twilight Zone Max https://powerpop.blog
2 Tell Me Your Secrets Paula http://paulalight.com
3 My Name Is Earl Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
4 Ed Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/
5 Get Smart Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
6 The Unicorn John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
7 The West Wing Mike https://musiccitymike.net
8 The Gong Show Max https://powerpop.blog
Round 7 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 All In The Family Paula http://paulalight.com
2 Trailer Park Boys Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
3 Downton Abbey Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/
4 Life On Mars Max https://powerpop.blog
5 Burn Notice John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
6 Friday Night Lights Mike https://musiccitymike.net
7 The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show Liam https://othemts.wordpress.com/
8 The Honeymooners Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
Round 8 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 New Tricks Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
2 SCTV Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/
3 WKRP In Cincinnati Max https://powerpop.blog
4 The Two Ronnies John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
5 Star Trek: Voyager Mike https://musiccitymike.net
6 Siskel & Ebert Liam https://othemts.wordpress.com/
7 Sherlock Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
8 Curb Your Enthusiasm Paula http://paulalight.com
Round 9 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 Jeopardy Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/
2 Saturday Night Live Max https://powerpop.blog
3 Riverboat John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com
4 Suits Mike https://musiccitymike.net
5 The Kids In The Hall Liam https://othemts.wordpress.com/
6 Arrested Development Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
7 L.A. Law Paula http://paulalight.com
8 Resident Alien Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
Round 10 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 Max https://powerpop.blog
2 John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com
3 Mike https://musiccitymike.net
4 Liam https://othemts.wordpress.com/
5 Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
6 Paula http://paulalight.com
7 Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
8 Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/

Bob Dylan – Let’s Stick Together

This post is a 4-in-1 deal…Let’s Stick Together was on Bob Dylan’s album Down In The Groove…considered his worst album by some critics. I never thought that…I bought it when it came out and it’s not that bad. The worse Bob Dylan album is much better than a lot of others.

This song has been covered by a lot of artists. The confusing part is the song not only goes by Let’s Stick Together but also Let’s Work Together.

Our band covered this one and we did it with the arrangement that Dylan laid down. I like this song no matter who covers it. I like Bryan Ferry, Canned Heat, and Wilbert Harrison’s version.

Wilbert Harrison originally wrote and recorded this blues-style R&B number as “Let’s Stick Together,” a plea for fidelity in a fractured marriage. That version, released in 1962, didn’t make the charts (until Bryan Ferry covered it in 1976) but never left Harrison’s mind. Seven years later, he resurrected the song, keeping the melody but changing the lyrics. “I thought I’d put some words to it that meant a bit more.”

Changing the title to “Let’s Work Together,” Harrison’s new message of unity was aimed at a nation rife with conflict over the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War.

Canned Heat didn’t want to overshadow Harrison with their version. In fact, if they’d known the singer was going to have success with it, they never would have recorded it in the first place. They first heard the tune when it was still making the rounds at underground radio stations. Their new guitarist Harvey Mandel played it for the rest of the guys and suggested they cover it, but their co-vocalist, Bob “The Bear” Hite, wanted to wait a few months to see if Harrison would chart first. According to drummer Adolfo de la Parra, Hite didn’t like taking songs away from living black musicians unless they weren’t hits.

Bryan Ferry had success with the song…peaking at #4 in the UK in 1976 and #1 in Australia. In 1988 Ferry did an updated version of the song, re-mixed by Bruce Lampcov & Rhett Davies. This re-recording reached #12 in the UK chart. Ferry had the most success with the song.

Let’s Stick Together

Well, a marriage vow, you know, it’s very sacred
The man put us together, now, you wanna make it
Stick together
Come on, come on, stick together

You know, you made a vow, not to leave one another, never
Well, ya never miss your water ’til your well runs dry
Now, come on, baby, give our love a try, let’s stick together
Come on, come on, stick together

We made a vow, not to leave one another, never
Well, ya never miss your water ’til your well runs dry
Come one, baby, give our love a try, let’s stick together
Come on, come on and stick together
You know, we made a vow, not to leave one another, never

It might be tough for a while, but consider the child
Cannot be happy without his mom and his papi

Let’s stick together
Come on, come on, stick together
You know, we made a vow, not to leave one another, never

Marshall Crenshaw – Whenever You’re On My Mind ….Power Pop Friday

Marshall Crenshaw wrote this song during the making of his debut album but was saved for his second album release. I had his first two albums in the 80s and I thought the guy would be huge. He could come up with some sophisticated, unexpected chord changes in a song yet maintain the feel of the song.

This song has a wonderful guitar intro that sets up the song. As the old phrase goes…it’s got more hooks than a tackle box.

He got his first break playing John Lennon in the off-Broadway touring company of the musical Beatlemania between 1978-1980. Crenshaw said: “In the beginning, I was bothered by it, as an egotistical young person, maybe because I had just gotten out of Beatlemania, and I was sick of any kind of heavy association with some other figure.”

He later played Buddy Holly in La Bamba in 1987. “I’ve been a Buddy Holly fan all my life. The joy still comes across in his music. It’s really got its own je ne sais quoi. It really stands apart from a lot of ’50s rock, because it conveys a sense of intimacy. I think it’s because it was made in this little building on the side of a highway late at night with this isolated group of people.”

“I always say the guys from the ’50s who invented ’60s rock were Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly. When you watch documentaries about Holly, you see people like Keith Richards, and he still gets broken up talking about him. The English guys, they just loved Buddy Holly.”

He released his self-titled debut album in 1982 and it was nearly perfect. This song was on Field Day his second album that was released in 1983. The album peaked at #52 in the Billboard 100 in 1983. This song peaked at #103 in the Billboard 100 and #23 in the Main Rock tracks in 1983.

He also performed as a guest vocalist for the Smithereens since the 2017 death of their lead singer Pat DiNizio.

Ronnie Spector recorded a cover of this song in 2003.

When Ever You’re On My Mind

I think about you and forget what I’ve tried to be
Everything is foggy and hard to see
It seems to be, but can it be, a fantasy?
Whenever I think about you, strangers eyes in the crowd flash past
I go on and think of the fate you’ve cast
It seems to be a reverie, you’re here with me

’cause whenever you’re on my mind
Whenever you’re on my mind
I leave the world behind
Whenever you’re on my mind

I think about you and I’m weak though I’m in my prime
Set my watch and still lose the track of time
It seems to be, but can it be, a fantasy?
Whenever I think about you, strangers eyes in the crowd flash past
I go on and think of the fate you’ve cast
It seems to be a reverie, you’re here with me

Whenever you’re on my mind
Whenever you’re on my mind
I leave the world behind
Whenever you’re on my mind

I never thought I’d be in this situation
It seems wherever I go I’m with you
And though I never seem to find my place
At every turn I see your face
Whenever I think about you
It seems to be a reverie, you’re here with me
’cause whenever you’re on my mind
Whenever you’re on my mind
I leave the world behind
Whenever you’re on my mind

TV Draft Round 9 – Pick 5 – Liam Selects – The Kids In The Hall

Welcome to the Hanspostcard TV Draft. I hope you will enjoy it! Today’s post was written by Liam at https://othemts.wordpress.com/

The Kids in the Hall

CBC Television (1988-1995)

HBO (1988-1992)

CBS (1993-1995)

Amazon Prime Video (2022)

The Kids in the Hall are a sketch comedy troupe based out of Toronto, Canada.  You could say they are the Canadian Monty Python.  Or perhaps, the Canadian Saturday Night Live? Like Monty Python, they are an all-male group of 5 writer/performers (the Pythons had six) who create edgy sketch comedy often bordering on the absurdist, and frequently don wigs and dresses to portray female characters.  Like Saturday Night Live, their show was produced by Lorne Michaels and performed in front of a live audience (albeit, it was not broadcast live).  But at the heart of things, The Kids in the Hall are their own thing, creators of something outside the mainstream of comedy of the 1980s and 1990s and capturing the ethos of Generation X, paralleling the rise of alternative rock at the same time. A recently released documentary about the Kids calls them Comedy Punks.

Let’s meet the Kids!

Dave Foley (b. 1963) is the member of the troupe who feels most mainstream in his comedy approach, but that is on a relative scale.  His boyish good looks were often contrasted with antisocial behavior, such as a surgeon who kills all his patients or an axe murderer, both of whom get away with it because of their charm.  He was also considered the “hottest” of the Kids when dressed as woman. Not surprisingly, later in his career he starred in the American sitcom NewsRadio, and provided voices for the Pixar movies A Bug’s Life and Monsters University.

Bruce McCulloch (b. 1961) is probably the weirdest of the Kids in his comedy approach.  Inspired by art movies, his surreal monologues and filmed pieces evoked a mood of absurdity rather than just telling jokes.  Outside of the Kids in the Hall he has recorded music and directed several movies and tv shows.

Kevin McDonald (b. 1961) is probably a lovely person in real life, but has a talent for playing really annoying characters.  A lot of his self-deprecating humor contains a dark undercurrent of the volatility of his childhood growing up with an alcoholic father.  McDonald has provided his voice for the Disney movie Lilo & Stitch and its spinoffs and had a recurring role on That 70s Show.

Mark McKinney (b. 1959) specialized in creating characters and is probably the Kid most similar in comedy style to Saturday Night Live (and he did in fact join the cast of SNL from 1995 to 1997).  His most notable characters include Mr. Tyzik the Headcrusher and the Chicken Lady. Outside of his work with the Kids he’s appeared in numerous movies and tv shows, the strangest of which is Guy Maddin’s The Saddest Music in the World.

Scott Thompson (b. 1959) performs comedy informed by his gay identity with a definite emphasis on using comedy to advance LGBTQ equality, which was very bold in the 1980s and 1990s.  Most notably, he reclaimed the effeminate gay man stereotype through his character Buddy Cole who delivered hilarious monologues.  He also frequently portrayed Queen Elizabeth II, one of the rare celebrity impersonations on The Kids in the Hall.  His other work includes appearances in many movies and tv shows, including a regular role on The Larry Sanders Show.

Foley and McDonald met in the early 1980s in the Toronto comedy scene and became a writing and performing team.  Their partnership is the strongest among all the Kids and has remained so throughout the troupe’s history.  Meanwhile, McCulloch and McKinney met in Calgary where they performed with a group called The Audience.  Moving to Toronto to expand their opportunities, McCulloch and McKinney met Foley and McDonald and in 1984 they formed The Kids in the Hall.  The name came from an old Sid Caesar gag blaming bad jokes on the young writers who hung around the studio. Their shows in Toronto’s comedy clubs became a big attraction.  Thompson saw them perform and pretty much willed himself into a spot in the group. Early sketches like “Reg” showcased their humor style at its most sick and twisted.

Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels saw the Kids perform in 1985 and hired McKinney and McCulloch to come to New York to be writers.  Eventually, Michaels determined that it would be better to keep the Kids together as a group and worked to get them their own show.  The pilot for The Kids in the Hall broadcast on CBC Television in Canada and on HBO in the United States in 1988, followed by a full series of 20 episodes in 1989-1990.  Enhancing the Gen X zeitgeist, the Toronto alternative rock band Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet provided the theme song, “Having an Average Weekend,” as well as the music to interstitials between sketches and performing live for the studio audience.  The band’s music is described as instrumental surf rock, however since the Shadowy Men recorded a track called “We’re Not a F*****g Surf Band,” so we’ll have discover a new genre for them.

The Kids and the Hall had several recurring characters, but carefully avoided the SNL habit of overexposing them to please the fans.  Characters appeared when they had a very good and very funny reason to be there.  A number of sketches revolved around the company A.T. & Love with characters ranging from an incompetent boss (Foley), hard-pressed businessman Danny Husk (Thompson), and the secretaries Kathie (McCulloch) and Cathy (Thompson). These characters had the versatility to appear in sketches together, on their own, or with a completely different group of characters. Another series of sketches focused on rebellious Gen X teen Bobby Terrance (McCulloh), his more conservative parents (McKinney and Foley), and his best friend, the stoner Bauer (Thompson).

While Thompson was the only gay member of the troupe, sketches with LGBTQ characters were common, including scenes of men kissing men when that was taboo on American TV (one of the many things that got edited between CBC and CBS transmissions).  The recurring sketch “Steps” featured three gay men discussing the issues of the day where the audience was laughing with them not at them. Despite the Kids being all men, they never saw dressing up in wigs and dresses as funny in of itself, unlike say Milton Berle. Instead they did their best to portray women as fully-formed characters and offer an honest female perspective.  Dave Foley even has a good attitude toward menstruation.

After five seasons and 101 episodes, the Kids were ready to pack it in, physically exhausted and drained of ideas. The final episode broadcast on April 15, 1995 showed them being buried alive in a shared grave.  The next step naturally appeared to be making movies, and in April 1996 they released Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy. The making of the film was a miserable experience for everyone involved and tensions ran high, especially toward Foley who everyone resented for signing a contract to star in NewsRadio while they were working on the film. The movie bombed although some fans consider it a cult classic (I am not one of them).  The Kids went their own ways for a few years but with reruns of the show in constant rotation on Comedy Central, the troupe’s fan base grew bigger than ever.

By 2000, tensions had eased enough to bring the Kids back together, this time returning to the stage for a North American Tour.  Performing in front of live audiences again energized the Kids creatively, and they were able to resume their close personal relationships as well.  The Kids went on the road for more tours, introducing new sketches.  In 2010, they returned to TV, stepping beyond sketch comedy for the first time in the darkly comic 8-part miniseries Death Comes to Town which aired on CBC.  I hadn’t heard of this series until recently so I haven’t watched it yet but I hear it’s good.  Just this May, seemingly out of nowhere, the Kids in the Hall TV series returned for season 6, with 8-episodes streaming on Amazon Prime.  While the Kids have physically aged, they haven’t lost a step and the new episodes are as funny as ever.  The final episode ends with the Kids getting buried again, but I think we’ll see the Kids in the Hall again soon! Until then, here’s one of my favorite sketches, “The Night of the Cow”

TV Draft Round 9 – Pick 2 – Max Selects – Saturday Night Live

I wanted to do a more modern show other than Life On Mars…and this would qualify as it…kinda. It has been on the air since 1975… a whopping 47 years. It’s been on life support at times but has always pulled through. It’s an institution at this point. There is not enough room on a post to go over every cast. Everyone has their favorites some were extremely funny and some were extremely bad (1980 – 1981 cast) and they all make up the history of this show. 

I’m going to concentrate on the original cast and how the show became SNL. Most of you have favorite different casts…usually, the one you grew up with. 

Even if you don’t like this show or what it’s become…it was a cultural landmark and no one can deny that. It changed television forever. The show started because Johnny Carson wanted more time off. NBC had been airing reruns of Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show on the weekends to fill space in their lineup. This allowed them to double-dip on profits from Carson’s outrageously popular show without spending another dime on production costs. He told NBC he would only be making four shows a week, which meant that best-of Carson shows that had been airing on Saturday nights would now need to be moved to a weeknight.

 NBC executive Herbert Schlosser sought to create a new show with an old format…a variety show to fill the slot on Saturday Night. He picked Lorne Michaels, a Canadian writer who only had a handful of credits to be the producer. Michaels started a show that was far different than Schlosser imagined but to his credit… Schlosser was behind it and pushed for it to be on the air. The first two shows were experiments but by the third show, they found the format they would keep to this day. The funny thing is…Johnny Carson never liked the show. 

Lorne Michaels made the show to appeal to baby boomers with a touch of Avant-Garde and “guerrilla-style comedy.” It was a game-changer much like All In The Family was to sitcoms. Late-night was never again a wasteland. This show helped open the doors for David Letterman and other shows to follow it. 

It started out as “Saturday Night.” The Saturday Night Live title belonged to ABC for a show hosted by Howard Cosell who was out of his league. After Cosell’s show was cancelled, ABC let Saturday Night have the “Live” part.

Who was the best cast through the years? This is a question that is debated over and over again. People argue and usually pick the cast they grew up with. I grew up in the Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo era. Personally, I always thought the original cast was the best era of the show. Yes, I thought the Murphy and Piscopo casts were very funny along with later casts that had Dana Carvey, Michael Myers, Chris Farley, Chris Rock, and many others that followed. The first five seasons had something extra that others would not and could not have. It had an underground feel that vanished after it became a pure comedy show. They had a massive amount of talent in that first class. 

John Belushi, Dan Ackroyd, Chevy Chase (though I liked his replacement better…Bill Murray), Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin, Garrett Morris, and my favorite overlooked cast member Laraine Newman. They were the perfect cast for that time. 

Why do I like the original cast the most? They tried new things and went out on a limb. Some of the skits succeeded some fell flat but they were different from anything on TV at that time…and also at this time. That cast pushed the envelope and made the network executives worry. The host each week was usually under the radar actors, writers, comedians musicians, and sometimes athletes. The musical guests were mostly rarely seen performers that weren’t on tv…prime time or otherwise. Frank Zappa, Leon Redbone, The Kinks, Patti Smith, Ry Cooder, Kinky Friedman, and others. You would have more popular musicians like Paul Simon but the show gave you a great variety. 

No way would Michaels ever dream of that now…he usually gets whoever is the most popular to draw in ratings. He can no longer do what he did in the 70s because of that. He also used the complete ensemble. It was not Eddie Murphy, Joe Piscopo, and everyone else of the early eighties. It was about building an unknown cast and all of them having a shot…not a star-driven show that gave all the best bits to the big names. He made sure the entire cast had a lead in skits and parody commercials. Dick Ebersol who followed Lorne Micheals, was famous for getting stars in the cast and the show revolving around them.

A lot of the skits are now famous… Ackroyd’s Bassomatic, the Samurai, the uncomfortable but funny Word Association with Richard Pryor, The Killer Bees, The Mr. Bill Show, Weekend Update, Roseanne Rosannadanna, Land Shark, Bag of Glass, The Wild and Crazy Guys, the Coneheads, The Lounge Singer, Mr. Mike, The Blues Brothers and many more.

The writers for the show were not in the variety show comedy vein..they were not in the current SNL vein either. The style was more aggressive, especially with Michael O’Donoghue. He was a comedy trailblazer with National Lampoon and added black humor to SNL. Other writers were Franken and Davis, Rosie Shuster, Alan Zweibel, Marilyn Miller, Anne Beatts, Herb Sargent, Tom Schiller, and also Ackroyd and Chase.

The original group also did some serious skits along with comedy and trips into the bizarre (See the ultra-dark “Mr. Mike”). …It separated the original from any other cast.

I like the feel of the underground the first five years had but you can only be that for so long…popularity takes over. Those first 5 years (the first four were great…the fifth very good) set the foundation that holds to this day…just without the daring and danger.

Ann Beatts was one of the original writers who saw the popularity of the show rise beyond anything she ever imagined. She knew the risk-taking traits in the show would have to end because of it. “You can only be avant-garde for so long until you become garde.”

By the 5th season (1979-1980), it was a circus grown out of proportion. The cast by that time were usually bigger stars than the guest hosts.  Everyone left after that season along with Lorne Michaels. The show went on without him until 1985 when he rejoined. It was never the same again. Sometimes it was funny and sometimes not but it was never the same experimental show it was at the start. 

What other show would introduce “Acapulco Gold” and “Orange Sunshine” to a national television audience?

SNL2.jpg

The Bassomatic…something you cannot explain with words.

The best Star Trek parody…

Replacements – Waitress In The Sky

Songs like this are what made The Replacements the Replacements.

Waitress in the Sky” was written for one of Paul Westerberg’s sisters…Julie. She was a career flight attendant. In the song, Westerberg’s character came on like every stewardess’s nightmare passenger. “I was playing the character of the creep who demands to be treated like a king. I’d heard all the stories from my sister about how [passengers] would yell at the flight attendants and how then they’d ‘accidentally’ spill something on them.”

Later on, when they signed to Warner Bros and an executive told them to make a music video. That is something that they absolutely would not do. Westerberg was willing to compromise though.

He did joke with the executive with a quote worth remembering… ‘Tell you what… if you get The Replacements on Hee-Haw then I’ll lip-synch to ‘Waitress in the Sky.’

Warner Bros were not amused. The conversation did lead to a live TV gig though.  Westerberg didn’t think Warner Brothers would be able to swing a deal for a TV spot so he agreed. He would soon regret his decision. Yes, Warner Bros got them not only a TV gig but a live one. They were then scheduled on SNL and that led to being permanently banned from the show after Westerberg uttered a naughty word on national television.

They were stuck on the 18th floor waiting all day for SNL. To soothe the band’s nerves, soundman Monty Lee Wilkes smuggled some alcohol into the studio in a little road case. As they began to dip in, the show’s host, Harry Dean Stanton, said hello. Harry ended up joining in and becoming quite intoxicated. Word began to circulate that the host was getting drunk mere hours before the live show. Panic ensued until a production assistant dragged Stanton out of the band’s dressing room.

Sufficiently lubricated, their rehearsal set went off smoothly. Bob Stinson shocked everyone by donning a striped lady’s unitard. The only hitch occurred during “Bastards of Young” — Bob was late coming in on the solo. Westerberg would make sure he didn’t miss his cue during the live broadcast. Make sure he did… he cued Bob by saying to Bob, just off mic: “Come on, f****r.”

This was a low point for SNL…Michael Lorne had just returned and the show was rumored to be canceled…so he didn’t take this well. They were permanently banned from playing there again…although Westerberg played there later during his solo career.

The song was on the Tim album released in 1985. Tim was the fourth studio album by  The Replacements. It was released in October 1985 on Sire Records (a subsidiary of Warner Brothers). It was their first major-label release.

Looking back on their career…it gets maddening. They bucked at playing nice with industry figures, purposely tanked do-or-die shows, and antagonized producers until they quit. They wanted to make it on their own terms but ended up sabotaging themselves. They could have been up there with R.E.M. but they couldn’t get out of their own way.

Julie was indeed a lifelong flight attendant…or Waitress in the sky…she retired in 2019 from Delta Airlines

Paul Westerberg's sister Julie, 'Waitress in the Sky' inspiration, retires  after four decades as flight attendant

Their performance on SNL…sorry for the quality but this is the only one the SNL police will allow.

Waitress In The Sky

She don’t wear no pants and she don’t wear no tie
Always on the ball, she’s always on strike
Struttin’ up the aisle, big deal, you get to fly
You ain’t nothin’ but a waitress in the sky
You ain’t nothin’ but a waitress in the sky
Paid my fare, don’t want to complain
You get to me, you’re always outta champagne
Treat me like a bum, don’t wear no tie
‘Cause you ain’t nothin’ but a waitress in the sky
You ain’t nothin’ but a waitress in the sky, oh hoh
And the sign says, “Thank you very much for not smoking”
My own sign says, “I’m sorry, I’m smokin'”
Don’t treat me special or don’t kiss my ass
Treat me like the way they treat ’em up in first class

Sanitation expert and a maintenance engineer
Garbage man, a janitor and you my dear
A real union flight attendant, my oh my
You ain’t nothin’ but a waitress in the sky
You ain’t nothin’ but a waitress in the sky
You ain’t nothin’ but a waitress in the sky

Oh oh, ba ba, oh oh, ba ba, oh oh, ba, ba, oh oh

Triumph – Magic Power

I always liked trios and the Canadian band Triumph was a great one. I’ve come to appreciate Rik Emmett’s guitar playing more and more through the years. Whenever I post a Canadian band…I can’t help but think of my Canadian friends Dave and Deke. Deke has this review of the 40th anniversary of Allied Forces, the album this song was on. Deke also hosts a video show Scotch on the Rocks with some great authors, musicians, producers, and everyone else in between. Check it out if you can.

You know this song has some age to it when a person in the song is waiting for their favorite DJ to play their favorite song. Those days have been gone for a long time with streaming music, unfortunately…but the spirit remains. This song makes me feel 16 again listening to it.

This song was written by the band… drummer Gil Moore, bassist/keyboard Mike Levine, and guitar/singer Rik Emmett. Along with Rush and Saga, Triumph was one of the big Canadian rock bands with progressive leanings. Triumph was popular in America and Canada in the 70s and 80s. In some parts more popular than Rush.

This song was on their fifth studio album Allied Forces. The song peaked at #14 in Canada, #51 in the Billboard 100, and #8 in the Mainstream Rock Charts. The album peaked at #13 in Canada, #23 in the Billboard Album Charts, and #64 in the UK. This was the highest-charting song in the US and Canada.

Rik Emmett left the band in 1988 and it took 20 years for the trio to play again, which took place in shows in Sweden and Oklahoma in 2008. They did reunite for an invitation-only three-song reunion show in 2020, which will be featured in the documentary Triumph: Rock and Roll Machine… it was released on May 13th…I have a trailer below.

Rik Emmett: “I wrote it about myself as a 9-year-old with a transistor radio, and then I changed the pronouns to ‘she’ and ‘her.’ If there hadn’t been a John Sebastian ‘Do You Believe in Magic?’ and a Pete Townshend ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’/Who’s Next, ‘Magic Power’ might not have ever been born.

Magic Power

Something’s at the edge of your mind, you don’t know what it is
Somethin’ you were hopin’ to find but your not sure what it is
Then you hear the music and it all comes crystal clear
The music does the talkin’ says the things you want to hear

I’m young, I’m wild and I’m free
Got the magic power of the music in me
I’m young, I’m wild and I’m free
Got the magic power of the music in me

She climbs into bed, she pulls the covers overhead and she turns her little radio on
She’s had a rotten day so she hopes the DJ’s gonna play her favorite song
It makes her feel much better, brings her closer to her dreams
A little magic power makes it better that it seems

She’s young now, she’s wild now, she wants to be free
She gets the magic power of the music from me
She’s young now, she’s wild now, she wants to be free
She gets the magic power of the music from me

If you’re thinkin’ it over but you just can’t sort it out
Do you want someone to tell you what they think it’s all about
Are you the one and only who’s sad and lonely, reachin’ for the top
Well the music keeps you goin’ and it’s never gonna stop
Never gonna stop
Never gonna, never gonna, never gonna stop

The world is full of compromise, and infinite red tape
But the music’s got the magic, it’s your one chance for escape
So turn me on turn me up it’s your turn to dream
A little magic power makes it better than it seems

I’m young now, I’m wild now I want to be free
I got the magic power of the music in me
I’m young now, I’m wild and I’m free
Got the magic power of the music in me

Don Williams – I Believe In You

We are going in a different direction today…some older country from 1980. Don’s voice is just so good…he doesn’t have an exaggerated southern drawl…it’s just quality.

My friend Matt (observationblogger) posted two songs (Amanda and I Recall A Gypsy Woman) by Don Williams and it reminded me of my memories of meeting Don Williams as a pre-teen and teenager. His popularity was much more international than I ever knew at the time. This song for instance was very popular in New Zealand, Australia, and the UK. During that time I thought country music was only popular in the southern US.

I was around 10-12 and I played baseball at the city ballpark. I would go there after school and practice. There were days I would just hang around and talk to people. I saw this man mowing the grass that had this old cowboy hat on. After a little while, he stopped and talked to me and asked me how I was doing. I knew the guy’s face and it came to me… I was talking to Don Williams. The reason I knew him was because of my mom’s country albums. I wasn’t into country music but some songs I did like.

I would see him off and on throughout my teenage years and he always was as nice as can be. I went to school and played baseball with his son. Don would mow the city park and the high school field. I’m not sure if he was bored or just wanted to help the community…he was a super guy either way.

This song was released as the first single and title track from Don Williams’ I Believe in You album, this became his 11th #1 on the Country chart. It also peaked at #1 in Canada on the Country Charts. It ended up being Don Williams’ only Top 40 song on the Billboard 100, the song peaked at #24 in the Billboard 100, #4 in New Zealand, and #20 in Australia.

All together Williams had 21 #1 singles on the Country Charts and a total of 25 studio albums and 62 singles.

Eric Clapton and Pete Townshend were admirers of Don Williams and both covered his songs. Eric Clapton would cover Tulsa Time and take it to #30 in the Billboard 100.

I Believe In You

I don’t believe in superstars
Organic food and foreign cars
I don’t believe the price of gold
The certainty of growing old
That right is right and left is wrong
That north and south can’t get along
That east is east and west is west
And being first is always best

But I believe in love
I believe in babies
I believe in mom and dad
And I believe in you

Well I don’t believe that heaven waits
For only those who congregate
I like to think of God as love
He’s down below, he’s up above
He’s watching people everywhere
He knows who does and doesn’t care
And I’m an ordinary man
Sometimes I wonder who I am

But I believe in love
I believe in music
I believe in magic
And I believe in you

I know with all my certainty
What’s going on with you and me
Is a good thing
It’s true, I believe in you

I don’t believe virginity
Is as common as it used to be
In working days and sleeping nights
That black is black and white is white
That Superman and Robin Hood
Are still alive in Hollywood
That gasoline’s in short supply
The rising cost of getting by

But I believe in love
I believe in old folks
I believe in children
I believe in you

I believe in love
I believe in babies
I believe in mom and dad
And I believe in you

Alarm – Sixty Eight Guns

I saw The Alarm open up for someone and I think it was Dylan in the late eighties. At that time I didn’t know who they were but I liked them right away. I kept up with them after that concert. This song stood out from all the ones they did.

When they first started out…like most rock bands they were rebellious. “Sixty Eight Guns” was their battle cry, a call to arms against the establishment. This attitude was formed in their hometown of Rhyl, North Wales, where they grew up in bleak economic times and fought naysayers who saw no need for another rabble-rousing rock band.

The song was written by bass player Eddie Macdonald and lead singer Mike Peters. Many reviews at the time compared them to U2…also calling them U3 at times. The Alarm gained a huge audience by opening up for…guess who? They opened for U2 on a large 1983 tour. This song was released in 1983 and peaked a #39 on the Billboard Top Rock Tracks and #17 in the UK.

In 1991 The Alarm was doing a concert and lead singer Mike Peters suddenly said “We’ve shared some great moments in time over the last ten years and tonight I would like to thank all the people who have supported me from the beginning to the end. Tonight this is my last moment with the Alarm, I’m going out in a Blaze of Glory – my hands are held up high”…… It would have been nice if he would have shared this little bit of info with his bandmates before the concert!

They did regroup occasionally and they have switched up members but have continued to release albums in the 21st century under the name The Alarm MM++.

Mike Peters: “It was about young people at that difficult age where you’re too cool for school, but not wise enough or eligible enough for adult life, So, it’s about people like that – like I was, once. We hung around on street corners, we started bands, we bought clothes, we identified with each other, and we credit these very bonded groups of individuals. And that’s how the Alarm grew.”

“It was a gang that made The Alarm special, ‘Sixty Eight Guns’ is really the description of the feeling that you could make change for yourself and make your life a better place to be in.”

Sixty Eight Guns

And now they’re trying to take my life away 
Forever young I cannot stay
Hey
On every corner I can see them there
They don’t know my name they don’t know my kind
They’re after you with their promises
(Promises of love)
They’re after you to sign your life away
(Yeah, yeaoh)

Sixty-eight Guns will never die
Sixty-eight Guns our battle cry
Sixty-eight Guns
Sixty-eight Guns
Oh, the Sixty-eight

Living in the backstreets 
That’s our home from home
The painted walls were all we’ve ever known 
?he Guns Forever’ that’s our battle cry
It is the flag that we fly so high 
For every day they’ll try and drag us down
(Drag us down and down)
I cry with anger I have done no crime
No
(Yeah, yeaoh)

Sixty-eight Guns will never die
Sixty-eight Guns our battle cry
Sixty-eight Guns will never die
Sixty-eight Guns our battle cry
Sixty-eight Guns
Sixty-eight Guns
The Sixty-eight

Up on the terrace I can hear the crowd roar 
Sixty Eight Guns
And in the subway I can hear them whisper 
Sixty Eight Guns
Through all the raging glory of the years 
We never once thought of the fears 
For what we’d do when the battle cry was over . 
Nothing lasts forever is all they seem to tell you when you’re young 

(I, I do swear
To unbreak the promise
To unbreak the vow

Unbreak it)

When you’re young
Have no illusion, no disillusion

Unbreak the promise
Unbreak the vow
Uphold the promise

SIXTY EIGHT GUNS

Sixty-eight Guns will never die
Sixty-eight Guns our battle cry
Sixty-eight Guns will never die
Sixty-eight Guns our battle cry
Sixty-eight Guns
Sixty-eight Guns
The sixty eight guns
Sixty eight guns
The sixty eight guns

Fabulous Thunderbirds – Wrap It Up / Tuff Enuff

I couldn’t pick between these two songs from The Fabulous Thunderbirds so I thought we would have two songs today. I love the riff that kicks off Wrap It Up. It was a minor hit for The Fabulous Thunderbirds in 1986. The band featured Jimmy Vaughan on guitar who was the older brother of Stevie Ray Vaughan. This band helped a blues revival in the 1980’s that included Robert Cray and SRV.

I must admit when I heard these songs for the first time I liked them a lot. I thought the band would have more hits.

The Fabulous Thunderbirds didn’t just hit out of nowhere. They formed in 1974 with original members Jimmie Vaughan, Kim Wilson (singer), Keith Ferguson, and Mike Buck. Austin vocalist Lou Ann Barton also performed occasionally with the group during its early years.

These two songs were on their 5th album Tuff Enuff, produced by Dave Edmunds. The album peaked at #13 on the Billboard Album charts, and eventually went platinum. It was their breakout album and one they could not duplicate.

Tuff Enuff and Wrap It Up received heavy airplay on MTV. That was the secret of success in the 1980s…if you have MTV pushing… you would probably be alright.

Tuff Enuff peaked at #10 in the Billboard 100 in 1986 and Wrap It Up peaked at #55 in the Billboard 100.

They are still touring today with Kim Wilson (lead singer) the only original member left. Jimmie left the band in 1990 to work with his brother. Stevie and Jimmie made an album together that was released in 1990 called Family Style. It was released on September 25, 1990, and Stevie died a month before on August  27, 1990.

Art Honoring Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmie Vaughan Planned for Dallas –  Billboard

Stevie Ray Vaughan talks about his older brother Jimmie:

“Jimmie would leave his guitars around the house and tell me not to touch ’em. And that’s basically how I got started. I actually wanted to be a drummer, but I didn’t have any drums. So I just go into what was available to me at the time.”

“I was little brother, especially then” 

“What happened was he was moving ahead a little faster than me and I guess I was dragging it down a bit, so that didn’t work out too well. But I think with any brothers there’s a period of time when the little brother always gets in the way. That’s just brother-to-brother shit. It wasn’t anything between us that lasted. Hell, now we can’t see enough of each other.”

After being told that Jimmie brags on him in interviews Stevie said…”Well, I think he’s the better guitar player – so there.”

Eric Clapton just announced a tour with Jimmie Vaughan later this summer in the US.

Wrap It Up

I’ve been watchin’ you for days now baby
I just love your sexy ways now baby
You know our love will never stop now baby
Just put your lovin’ in my box now baby

Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it

Well no more will I shop around now baby
I know I got the best thing in town now baby
I’ve seen all I want to see now baby
Bring your lovin’ straight to me now baby

Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it

Well I’m gonna treat you like the queen you are
Bring you sweet things from my candy jar
You’ve got tricks you ain’t never used
Give it, give it to me, it won’t be abused

I’ve been watchin’ you for days now baby
I just love your sexy ways now baby
You know our love will never stop now baby
Just put your lovin’ in my box now baby

Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it

Wrap wrap
Wrap wrap
Wrap

Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it

Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it
Wrap it up I’ll take it

Moody Blues – I Know You’re Out There Somewhere

The Moody Blues hit big in the early 80s. I first got into them in the late 70s and I had all of their albums up to Seventh Sojourn. When Long Distance Voyager came out in 1981 a new generation of fans was made.

After I graduated in 85 I heard the single “Your Wildest Dreams” the following year and loved it. I remember the video on MTV and then a few years later in 1988 I heard this song. I could tell by the video alone it was essentially a sequel to Your Wildest Dreams. Guitarist/singer/songwriter Justin Hayward wrote both songs.

Sometimes we kick ourselves over missed opportunities and I do regret not seeing the Moodies live. I never looked at them as prog rock…they were just The Moody Blues…somewhat in a genre by themselves in some ways.

The song peaked at #30 in the Billboard 100, #52 in the UK, #15 in Canada in 1988. This was the band’s last top 40 single in the United States.

Justin Hayward: “I did the keyboard and the guitar and the LinnDrum for ‘Wildest Dreams,’ which was finished first, and for ‘I Know You’re Out There Somewhere’ I decided to use the same keyboard sound and bass sound that I’d got on a Yamaha DX7 and continue that theme. It’s identical tempo and everything.”

Justin Hayward: “I love performing it. Wherever we go, people like it. It wasn’t a massive hit, but people know it. It wasn’t a massive hit because it’s about 6 minutes long and no one did a successful edit on it. That’s probably the one that gives me the most pleasure.”

Since the two songs were connected…here they are.

I Know You’re Out There Somewhere

I know you’re out there somewhere
Somewhere, somewhere
I know I’ll find you somehow
Somehow, somehow
And somehow I’ll return again to you

The mist is lifting slowly
I can see the way ahead
And I’ve left behind the empty streets
That once inspired my life
And the strength of the emotion
Is like thunder in the air
‘Cos the promise that we made each other
Haunts me to the end

I know you’re out there somewhere
Somewhere, somewhere
I know you’re out there somewhere
Somewhere you can hear my voice
I know I’ll find you somehow
Somehow, somehow
I know I’ll find you somehow
And somehow I’ll return again to you

The secret of your beauty
And the mystery of your soul
I’ve been searching for in everyone I meet
And the times I’ve been mistaken
It’s impossible to say
And the grass is growing
Underneath our feet

I know you’re out there somewhere
Somewhere, somewhere
I know you’re out there somewhere
Somewhere you can hear my voice
I know I’ll find you somehow
Somehow, somehow
I know I’ll find you somehow
And somehow I’ll return again to you

[Interlude:]
You see I know you’re out there somewhere
O yes I know you’re out there somewhere
You see I know I’ll find you somehow
O yes I know I’ll find you somehow

the words that I remember
From my childhood still are true
That there’s none so blind
As those who will not see
And to those who lack the courage
And say it’s dangerous to try
Well they just don’t know
That love eternal will not be denied

I know you’re out there somewhere
Somewhere, somewhere
I know you’re out there somewhere
Somewhere you can hear my voice
I know I’ll find you somehow
Somehow, somehow
I know I’ll find you somehow
And somehow I’ll return again to you

Yes I know it’s going to happen
I can feel you getting near
And soon we’ll be returning
To the fountain of our youth
And if you wake up wondering
In the darkness I’ll be there
My arms will close around you
And protect you with the truth

I know you’re out there somewhere
Somewhere, somewhere
I know you’re out there somewhere
Somewhere you can hear my voice
I know I’ll find you somehow
Somehow, somehow
I know I’ll find you somehow
And somehow I’ll return again to you

Replacements – Achin’ To Be

A wonderful song from the band’s sixth album Don’t Tell A Soul. It was the first album with new guitarist Bob “Slim” Dunlap after Bob Stinson quit. They recorded their previous album Please To Meet Me as a trio with Paul Westerberg, Tommy Stinson, and Chris Mars.

Westerberg has claimed the song’s protagonist was a composite of several people, though one inspiration was his younger sister Mary. She was a Minneapolis budding rock radio deejay, Mary was experiencing the same uncertainties Paul had gone through prior to the Replacements. (In the video showed Mary as both Paul’s shadow and reflection.)

The sound of this album turned some of the older fans off. In order to get more radio play the record company brought in Chris Lord-Alge to mix the album. The album had a lot of those eighties effects used to enhance the music. The result was more of a polished  Replacements album.

They would release one more album after this one called All Shook Down in 1990. Chris Mars left the band in 1989 and was replaced in 1990 by Steve Foley. The band toured with Elvis Costello in 1991 and would play their farewell gig in Chicago on July 4, 1991.

In 2012 they would regroup with a different drummer and tour until 2015. They sold out some arenas that held around 14,000 people in 10 minutes in some areas. After they broke up their legend grew and they were heard more than they were when they were together originally. For my money…they were the best pure rock band in the 80s for these ears.

Achin’ To Be

Well she’s kind of like an artist
Sittin’ on the floor
Never finishes, she abandons
Never shows a soul

And she’s kind of like a movie
Everyone rushes to see
And no one understands it
Sittin’ in their seats

She opens her mouth to speak and
What comes out’s a mystery
Thought about, not understood
She’s achin’ to be

Well she dances alone in nightclubs
Every other day of the week
People look right through her
Baby doll, check your cheek

And she’s kind of like a poet
Who finds it hard to speak
Poems come so slowly
Like the colors down a sheet

She opens her mouth to speak and
What comes out’s a mystery
Thought about, not understood
She’s achin’ to be

I’ve been achin’ for a while now, friend
I’ve been achin’ hard for years

Well she’s kind of like an artist
Who uses paints no more
You never show me what you’re doing
Never show a soul

Well, I saw one of your pictures
There was nothin’ that I could see
If no one’s on your canvas
Well, I’m achin’ to be

She closes her mouth to speak and
Closes her eyes to see
Thought about an’ only loved
She’s achin’ to be
Just like me

Big Country – In A Big Country

When I first heard this song in the 80s…the first thing I thought of was BIG…not because of the name. The song came out of the radio like an elephant. The drums and the sound were so huge. This is a song that I liked…and sometimes that was dicey in the 80s. Dave from A Sound Day talks about the bass player and the band here.  I have to credit Dave for making me take a look at the 80s again and many times being surprised at what I did like during my teenage decade…or missed

Steve Lillywhite produced this track. This came at a time when he was emerging as one of the top producers in the business, known for his work with Peter Gabriel and U2. His impact on this song included delaying the chorus until after the second verse, adding the bagpipe guitar break, and having Adamson sing the bridge an octave higher. When he first heard the demo, he was reportedly moved to tears

This is a song that MTV helped quite a bit. I heard it on the local rock station at the time but MTV played it on rotation. The network ignored the group’s next US single, Fields of Fire, which tanked their efforts in America.

This song’s working title was “Stay Alive.” Big Country’s booking agent John Giddings suggested that the name be changed to In A Big Country. The song peaked at #3 in Canada, #17 in the Billboard 100, #17 in the UK, and #34 in New Zealand.

In 1999 they released their last album with lead singer Stuart Adamson called Driving to Damascus but without much success.

Adamson moved to Nashville in the mid-1990s, where he met country music singer/songwriter Marcus Hummon, and together they released an alternative country studio album as The Raphaels in 2001.

Big Country disbanded in 2000, Adamson became a country singer/songwriter, but got depressed after his second marriage collapsed. His wife declared him missing in November 2001 and the following month on December 16 he was found hanged in a hotel room in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Steve Lillywhite: “The music I felt wasn’t like the music I had grown up hearing, or rather, not like any one of them. It was all of them jumbled up and drawn into something I could understand as mine. I found I could play this music and connect the guitar directly to my heart. I found others who could make the same connection, who could see the music as well as play it.”

In A Big Country

I’ve never seen you look like this without a reason
Another promise fallen through
Another season passes by you
I never took the smile away from anybody’s face
And that’s a desperate way to look
For someone who is still a child

In a big country dreams stay with you
Like a lover’s voice fires the mountainside
Stay alive, here we go

I thought that pain and truth were things that really mattered
But you can’t stay here with every single hope you had shattered
I’m not expecting to grow flowers in a desert
But I can live and breathe
And see the sun in wintertime

In a big country dreams stay with you
Like a lover’s voice fires the mountainside
Stay alive

In a big country dreams stay with you
Like a lover’s voice fires the mountainside
Stay alive

So take that look out of here it doesn’t fit you
Because it’s happened doesn’t mean you’ve been discarded
Pull up your head off the floor, come up screaming
Cry out for everything you ever might have wanted
I thought that pain and truth were things that really mattered
But you can’t stay here with every single hope you had shattered, see ya
I’m not expecting to grow flowers in a desert
But I can live and breathe
And see the sun in wintertime

In a big country dreams stay with you
Like a lover’s voice fires the mountainside
Stay alive
Ha, ha

In a big country dreams stay with you
Like a lover’s voice fires the mountainside
Stay alive

In a big country dreams stay with you
Like a lover’s voice fires the mountainside
Stay alive