Jayhawks – Waiting For The Sun…. 80’s Underground Mondays

Ever since I heard this band on our alternative radio station in Nashville…Lightning 100 I’ve liked them. The Jayhawk’s writing and voices won me over with songs like Blue and I’m Gonna Make You Love Me.

This song opens up their Hollywood Town Hall album. The album peaked at #192 in the Billboard Album Charts and #11 in the Top Heatseekers Charts.

Benmont Tench, Charley Drayton, and Nicky Hopkins plays on the album with the Jayhawks.

The Jayhawks are an American alternative country and country rock band that emerged from the Minneapolis–Saint Paul music scene in the mid 80s. Minneapolis had a strong scene for bands in the 80s. The Replacements, Husker Du, Soul Asylum, and of course the big one…Prince.

The song, like most of The Jawhawks early cuts, is credited to the band’s guitarist Gary Louris and frontman Mark Olson.

Gary Louris: I didn’t know there was a song called “Waiting for the Sun,” I was not a Doors fan. I like them now, but I didn’t know there was a song called that. Maybe in my subconscious I did. 

From Songfacts

 According to Mark Derning of Allmusic.com, the song details, “a man who has lost his love under unpleasant circumstances and has hit the road, looking for something better from life and hoping a fair deal from the fates.”

Waiting For The Sun

I was waiting for the sun
Then I walked on home alone
What I didn’t know
Was he was waiting for you to fall

So I never made amends
For the sake of no one else
For the simple reason
That he was waiting for you to fall

It was not lost on me
It was not lost on me
Walkin’ on down the road
Looking for a friend to handout
Somethin’ might ease my soul

So I kept my spirits high
Entertaining passers-by
Wrapped in my confusion
While he was waiting for you to fall

It was not lost on me
It was not lost on me
Walkin’ on down the road
Looking for a friend to handout
Somethin’ might ease my soul

It was not lost on me
It was not lost on me
Walkin’ on down the road
Walkin’ on down the road
Walkin’ on down the road
Walkin’ on down the road

Paladins – Keep On Lovin Me Baby

Here is some 1980’s roots rockabilly. What caught my attention is that relentless guitar on this track plus the groove. The guitar player is Dave Gonzalez and the tone reminds me of Stevie Ray Vaughn. This song was written by blues guitarist and songwriter Otis Rush. 

The Paladins are from San Diego and were into rockabilly. They billed their music as Western Bop. They played a combination of rockabilly and vintage country together with a blues groove. They were founded in 1980 by guitarist Dave Gonzalez and bass player Thomas Yearsley.

Dave Gonzalez’s initial influences came from his mother, who listened to  Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, and the Rolling Stones. He mixed this with his father’s love of country singers Buck Owens and Merle Haggard who also made a strong impression on him. As he got older he got into blues artists like  B.B. King, Muddy Waters, and Johnny Winter.

Put that all together and you come up with a varied roots style.

They did some tours with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Los Lobos, The Blasters and the Fabulous Thunderbirds. This song was on the Lets Buzz! album released in 1990. They were nominated for the  1990 Entertainer Music Awards but lost out to the Beat Farmers…but they won two years later.

Dave Gonzalez and bass player Thomas Yearsley along with drummer Brian Fahey are still a top attraction at clubs at the present time. They have recorded five singles, nine full length studio records, and three live albums to date.

Keep On Lovin Me Baby

I want you to love me (repeat) woh yeah.
Oh baby i’m so glad youre mine…
I want you to kiss me…
Woh baby i’m so glad you’re mine…

Early every morning, sometimes late at night i can
Feel your tender lips they make me feel alright.

Keep on loving me baby…
Woh baby i’m so glad you’re mine…

Otis Gibbs

I came across Otis’s youtube channel and I think some of you would be interested. He is a singer songwriter but on his channel he has conversations musicians who have played or worked with Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Waylon Jennings, just to name a few, and  his own stories about different musicians. For you music fans it’s worth your time. The guy doesn’t interview people…he lets people talk and tell their stories.  He is also a good story teller. I’m hooked on his channel.

He has stories about Jerry Reed, The Replacements, Dan Baird, Merle Haggard, Ry Cooder, Towns Van Zant, Bill Monroe, George Jones, Johnny Paycheck, John Prine, Mike Campbell and more.

He lives in Indiana but interviews many Nashville connected musicians. Check this guy out…His music is VERY good as well. I’m just checking that out more as I go… his music is classified as alt-country.

I just picked a few random youtube videos from his page below.

This is his youtube page:

https://www.youtube.com/user/otisgibbs

Chuck Mead – 90s Alternative Country band BR5-49…talking about when he toured with Bob Dylan

Kenny Vaughn – Lucinda Williams  guitar player at the time talks about touring with Tom Petty

Chuck Mead again with Keith Richards

Dan Baird on the Replacements

Otis Gibbs Wiki

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

Mojo Nixon – Don Henley Must Die!

I had to post this song. Even Eagle fans will admit Henley can be a bit pretentious…that’s not a put down…it just is.

You and your kind
Are killing rock and roll
It’s not because you are O L D
It’s cause you ain’t got no soul!

Don Henley Must Die released in 1990 and it’s off of his album Otis.  The song peaked at #20 in the Modern Rock Charts.

According to Nixon, Henley joined Nixon onstage one night in a small club before the Eagles reunion and helped Nixon sing it. This is a quote from Nixon: “There I was, the king of bullshit, completely flabbergasted,” “I took my guitar off, put it back on, did that like three times, then got on the mic and said, ‘Don, do you want to debate? Do you want to fist fight?’ He was shit-faced and he goes, ‘I want to sing that song, especially the part about not getting together with Glenn Frey!'” 

When the chorus hit, Nixon let Henley take the lead: “Don Henley must die, don’t let him get back together with Glenn Frey!”

“He was beltin’ that shit out, screaming like he was Johnny fuckin’ Rotten,” 

..Don Henley Must Die…

Don Henley Must Die

This is the sound of my brain.

Then I said, this is the sound of my brain on Don Henley!

Then I said, 1 2 3 4…

He’s a tortured artist
Used to be in the Eagles
Now he whines
Like a wounded beagle
Poet of despair!
Pumped up with hot air!
He’s serious, pretentious
And I just don’t care
Don Henley must die!
Don’t let him get back together
With Glenn Frey!
Don Henley must die!

Turn on the TV
And what did I see?
This bloated hairy thing
Winning a Grammy
Best Rock Vocalist?
Compared to what?
But your pseudo-serious
Crafty Satanic blot
Don Henley must die!
Put a sharp stick in his eye!
Don Henley must die!
Yea yea yea

Quit playin’ that crap
You’re out of the band

I’m only kidding
Can’t you tell?
I love his sensitive music
Idiot poetry, swell
You and your kind
Are killing rock and roll
It’s not because you are O L D
It’s cause you ain’t got no soul!
Don’t be afraid of fun
Loosen up your ponytail!
Be wild, young, free and dumb
Get your head out of your tail
Don Henley must die!
Don’t let him get back together
With Glenn Frey!

Don Henley must die!
Put him in the electric chair
Watch him fry!
Don Henley must die
Don Henley must die
No Eagles reunion
The same goes for you, Sting!

Teenage Fanclub – What You Do To Me ….Power Pop Friday

Power pop was well and alive during the 1990s. I remember this song in the early 90s but I never caught who did it. I heard it on our local alternate channel Lightning 100.

This band was from Scotland and they formed in Bellshill near Glasgow in 1989. They were influenced by Big Star, Badfinger, and the Byrds. They signed to the indie label Creation Records in Britain.

This song was off of their 3rd album Bandwagonesque and it was released in 1991. This was their breakthrough album in the US where it was distributed by Geffen Records. The album was voted album of the year by Spin magazine beating out Nevermind by Nirvana. Some critics called this album Big Star’s 4th because of the influence.

The album had several Top 20 hits on Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks chart, including Star Sign, The Concept, and this song What You Do to Me. They played this song on Saturday Night Live on April 27, 1992.

Singer guitarist Norman Blake wrong this song.

The song peaked at #31 in the UK and #19 on the US Alternate Charts in 1991. The album peaked at #22 in the UK and #137 in the Billboard Album Charts. The album was #1 in the Billboard Heatseeker Album Charts.

BandwagonesqueCoverArt.png

From Wiki: The cover is designed by Sharon Fitzgerald. When Kiss member Gene Simmons, who had trademarked the logo of a moneybag with dollar symbol, was made aware of the record he sent a letter to Geffen Records, who in turn gave in and sent Simmons a cheque, according to Simmons’s book Sex Money Kiss.

The band is still together and has released a total of 11 studio albums.

What You Do To Me

What you do to me…
I know, I can’t believe
There’s something about you
Got me down on my knees.

What you do to me…
I know, I can’t believe
There’s something about you
Got me down on my knees.

What you do to me…
What you do to me…
What you do to me…
What you do to me…

What you do to me…
I know, I can’t believe
There’s something about you
Got me down on my knees.

What you do to me…
I know, I can’t believe
There’s something about you
Got me down on my knees.

What you do to me…
What you do to me…
What you do to me…
What you do to me…

What you do to me…
What you do to me…
What you do to me…
What you do to me…

Railroad Jerk – Natalie

I love the opening riff to this song! It sounds like a riff from the old 70’s ZZ Top with a little Stones thrown in…. but a little rawer. I have to thank my blogger friend CB who mentioned this band. 

In 1989 singer and guitarist Marcellus Hall  formed the band in 1989 on the Lower East Side of Manhattan with bassist Tony Lee and drummer Jez Aspinall. Within a few months, guitarist Chris Mueller also joined.

I hear a mixture of The Cramps and  The Stones. This was on their 4th album The Third Rail  released in 1996. The band recorded demos for a fifth Railroad Jerk LP which was to be entitled ‘Masterpiecemeal’. This final LP was never released. Dave Varenka and Marcellus Hall went on to form the band White Hassle.

It’s not a lot about this band, not even the song’s lyrics so I’m including an excerpt from AllMusic. 

Railroad Jerk skewer blues, country, rock, and noise into a messy, bohemian post-punk celebration of roots rock. Formed in 1989 by guitarist/vocalist Marcellus Hall and bassist/vocalist Tony Lee in Trenton, NJ, the duo added drummer Jez Aspinall and guitarist Chris Muller by early 1990; the group recorded their self-titled debut for Matador Records in 1990. After its release, Aspinall left the band and was replaced by Steve Cercio; Muller was kicked out of the band and replaced by Alec Stephen. The quartet released their acclaimed second album, Raise the Plow, in 1993; after its release, Cercio left the band and was replaced by Dave Varenka. Railroad Jerk released its third album — its most highly-praised yet — in spring of 1995. Third Rail, the group’s fourth album, also received positive reviews upon its fall 1996 release.

Dwight Yoakam – Fast As You

I was playing in some club in 1994 and the other guitar player wanted to try a new song that he and the drummer knew. He said it was easy so we followed him and this was the song. It went over really well and I had never heard it before. We didn’t do that often…to attempt a song that most of us never heard but we kept playing it for the next couple of years.

The song crosses the country line into rock so I was surprised it didn’t rise higher in the Billboard 100.

The song peaked at #2 in the Billboard Country Charts, #5 in the Canadian Charts in 1993…it also peaked at #70 in the Billboard 100.

It was on his great album This Time released in the spring of 1993…it was a big hit, spawning three number two country singles — “Ain’t That Lonely Yet,” “A Thousand Miles from Nowhere,” and “Fast As You.”

Fast As You

Maybe someday I’ll be strong
Maybe it won’t be long
I’ll be the one who’s tough, yeah
You’ll be the one who’s got it rough

It won’t be long
And maybe I’ll be real strong

Maybe I’ll do things right
Maybe I’ll start tonight
You’ll learn to cry like me, girl
Baby, let’s just wait and see

Maybe I’ll start tonight
And do things right

You’ll control me, oh, so boldly
Rule me ’til I’m free
The pain that shakes me finally makes me
Get up off of my knees
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Maybe I’ll be fast as you
Maybe I’ll break hearts too
But I think that you’ll slow down
When your turn to hurt comes around

Maybe I’ll break hearts
And be as fast as you, uh

You’ll control me, oh, so boldly
Rule me ’til I’m free
The pain that shakes me finally makes me
Get up off of my knees

Maybe I’ll be fast as you
Maybe I’ll break hearts too
I think that you’ll slow down
When your turn to hurt comes around

Maybe I’ll break hearts
And be as fast as you
Maybe I’ll break hearts
And be as fast as you

Oh, sookie

Maybe someday I’ll be strong
Maybe it won’t be long
I’ll be the one who’s strong
You’ll be the one who’s got it rough

You’ll be the one who’s got it rough

Sliders

Does anyone remember this Fox and then SyFy Channel show from the 1990’s? The show ran from 1995 to 2000.

I remember this show in the nineties but I never once saw an episode back then. I  like science fiction a lot but for some reason I never tuned in. Lately I have been able to watch this show and after a couple of seasons it started to grow on me. Then during the last part of the 3rd season it started to go downhill rapidly and by the 4 – 5th season the whole thing changed.

The plot was that a young genius Quinn Mallory creates a device that opens portals to alternative realities. After an accident leaves them lost, Mallory and his companions: his physics professor, Professor Maximillian Arturo, his work colleague and potential love, Wade Wells, and a once famous soul singer, Rembrandt Brown, “slide” from reality to reality in search of home. They go to parallel worlds where things did not develop like our world. One world Kennedy may not have been killed, the other one penicillin not invented, and etc… They don’t travel in time though…just a different earth in the same decade and time.

I’ve read up on it and as usual…the network was the culprit. Trying to appeal to the “MTV Generation” they changed the show dramatically. By the end of the 5th season only one original slider was left. They ended up doing away with all of the original characters and even the one that survived (Cleavant Derricks) til the 5th season probably would not have made it to the 6th if there had been a 6th.

The show had decent ratings but Fox couldn’t help themselves and messed around with the show and show runner at that time…Tracy Torme.  Starting in the 3rd season newer writers started to rip off movie ideas and put them in the show. Shakespearean actor John Rhys-Davies knew what kind of potential the show had and complained loudly about the awful scripts…he was the first to go…after Sabrina Lloyd left, the lead actor Jerry O’Connell soon quit

On top of everything else the network would air the action episodes first and therefore air them all out of order…so when they went into a new world they would be dressed differently than the episode that was shown before…because that could have been coming from a world in a future episode or one two or three back.

I’m very surprised that no one has rebooted this series. The possibilities are endless with that plot. Like the recent movie “Yesterday” it showed a world where  The Beatles never existed and how the world had changed.

It was cool to see what worlds they would land in…each history was like ours except for a few things…like one episode where the British had won the war.

Has anyone seen it and what do you  think of it?

….

Posies – Golden Blunders…. Powerpop Friday

Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer started to write songs together while in High School in Bellingham, Washington in 1986. They were influenced by The Hollies, Hüsker Dü, XTC, Elvis Costello, Squeeze, and Big Star.

They released an album Failure on cassette and vinyl near the end of 1988 on local indie label PopLlama. Several major labels noticed the band early on and in late 1989 they signed to new Geffen Records imprint DGC Records. The released an album Dear 23 in 1990 and this was their first single. The song peaked at #17 in the US Modern Rock Tracks in 1990.

Ringo Starr would cover Golden Blunders on his 1992 solo album Time Takes Time.

There is no surprise after listening to the Posies that guitarists  Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer  would join Big Star’s Alex Chilton and drummer Jody Stephens to record and tour as Big Star in the 90s and up until Alex’s death in 2010.

Ken and Jon’s harmonies, writing, and playing are top notch. The 80’s and 90’s popular  radio left a lot to be desired, at least to me, they could have really used these guys…I may have liked that era much better hearing more of this.

Jon Auer on Golden Blunders: “It’s about two kids in high school who mess up the rest of their lives,” “There’s the implication of a teenage pregnancy but there’s not any amazing message here.”

Golden Blunders

Golden blunders come in pairs, they’re very unaware
What they know is what they’ve seen
Education wasn’t fun, but now that school is done
Higher learning’s just begun
(Chorus)
You’re gonna watch what you say for a long time
You’re gonna suffer the guilt forever
You’re gonna get in the way at the wrong time
You’re gonna mess up things you thought you would never
Disappointment breeds contempt, it make you feel inept
Never thought you’d feel alone (at home)
His and hers forever more, throw your freedom out of the door
Before you find out what it’s for
(Chorus)
Four weeks seemed like a long time then – but nine months is longer now
But even if you never speak again – you’ve already made the wedding vow
(Chorus)
Honeymoons will never start, bonds will blow apart
Just as fast as they were made
Men and women please beware : don’t pretend you care
Nothing lasts when nothing’s there
(Repeat Chorus)

Robyn Hitchcock – So You Think You’re In Love —- Power Pop Friday

Jangly Byrd like guitars attracted me to this and the sixties vibe. Peter Buck helps Robyn out on this song.

Robyn started his career in a 1972 London Art School with a band called The Beetles. In 1976 he started The Soft Boys and they went on to release  A Can of Bees (1979) and Underwater Moonlight (1980). Robyn influence bands such as R.E.M. and The Replacements.

In 1981 released his first solo album Black Snake Diamond Röle. Robyn never had much chart success but continues to influence other artists.

So You Think You’re In Love was on the Perspex Island album that was released in 1991. Robyn describes his songs as ‘paintings you can listen to’. That is a great description.

Robyn released his 21st album in 2017.

So You Think You’re In Love

So you think you’re in love
Yes, you probably are
But you wanna be straight about it
Oh, you wanna be straight about it now

So you think you’re in love
Yes, you probably are
But you wanna be straight about it
Oh, you wanna be straight about it now

Can you imagine what the people say?Can you?
But the silent majority is the crime of the century
You know it

Are you sure that it’s wise?
No, you probably ain’t
You don’t wanna be faint about it
Oh, you shouldn’t be faint about it now

By the look in your eyes
No, you probably ain’t
But you shouldn’t be faint about it
Oh, you gotta be faint about it now

What is love made of?
Nobody knows
What are you afraid of?
Everyone knows
It’s love
It’s love

So you think you’re in love
Yes, you probably are
But you wanna be straight about it
Oh, you gotta be straight about it now

So you think you’re in love
Yes, you probably are
But you wanna be straight about it
Oh, you gotta be straight about it now

So you think you’re in love
Yeah

Replacements – Merry Go Around

This one is off of their last studio album All Shook Down. I was going to conclude with this one having one off of their studio albums but there is one more coming next week.

This is not my favorite off the album but it did have a commercial sound for that time and it’s something that I thought would have charted in the Billboard 100. Merry Go Round did peak at #1 on the alternative charts. The album peaked at #69 in the Billboard Album Chart in 1990.

“Merry Go Round” was written about the  lives of Westerberg and his sister Mary (“They ignored me with a smile, you as a child”).

The band went to Los Angeles to make a video for Merry Go Round. With Westerberg’s okay, Warner Bros. hired Bob Dylan’s twenty-three-year-old son Jesse Dylan, who was just starting to direct.

It was shot in black and white and later edited to include some colorful inserts. From the opening moments, with a stone-faced Westerberg staring blankly into the camera, the video lacked the fun that had marked some of  their other clips. Paul and Tommy managed a few smiles, and Slim played along gamely. The drummer Chris Mars, miming to Charley Drayton’s drum track, was understandably less than enthused.

Merry Go Round

Hush was the first word you were taught
And they watched you wear
The clothes they claimed that they bought
They brought you down
To watch the merry-go around

In fall, you knew how much it cost
A trouble doll
Around your neck when you lost
You wouldn’t make a sound
But I could hear your little heart pound
And I watched your feet slip off the ground

Merry go round in dreams
Writes ’em down, it seems
When she sleeps, she’s free
Merry go round in dreams

You wake to another day and find
The wind’s blowing out of key with your sky
Only you can see
And the rain dancing in the night
Everybody stands around in delight

Merry go round in dreams
Writes ’em down, it seems
When she sleeps, she’s free
Merry go round in dreams

And everybody thinks she’s sick
She’s got two worlds she can pick
And she’s sad

Hush is the only word you know
And I stopped listening long ago
They ignored me with a smile
You as a child
But the trouble doll hears your heart pound
And your feet they say goodbye to the ground

Merry go round in dreams
Writes ’em down, it seems
When she sleeps, she’s free
Merry go round in dreams

Merry go round in dreams
Merry go round in me
Merry go round
Round and round in me
Merry go round
Round and round in me

Ben Vaughn – Too Sensitive For This World

I’m a bona fide sucker for a guitar tremolo effect…throw in a voice that melts into the song and yea…I’m hooked. During the last part of the first verse backup singers come in and give it a short gospel quality.  That makes me warm inside. 

John Hiatt did the solo whistling and backing vocals. 

The song was written by singer-songwriter Ben Vaughn, off his 1990 album Dressed In Black. Vaughn grew up in the Philadelphia area. He has said that At age 6, his uncle gave him a Duane Eddy record and forever changed his life.

In 1983, he formed the Ben Vaughn Combo.  The band was together five years, releasing two albums and touring the U.S. several times.  They received rave reviews in Rolling Stone and People magazine and video airplay on MTV.  

Vaughn started a solo career in 1988 and has released over 17 albums. He is very versatile… he plays Rock, blues, jazz, folk, soul, R & B, country, Bossa Nova, movie soundtracks, easy listening and more, all with Vaughn’s musical slant.

Too Sensitive For This World

Ev’ry day starts with a broken heart
I must be too sensitive for this world
Well I know it ain’t right to cry ev’ry night
I must be too sensitive for this world

And the world is such a careless place
It’s a wonder, hummm it’s a wonder
It’s a wonder
Anyone survives

The clouds in the sky just make me cry
I must be too sensitive for this world
I don’t think I can last until these bad times pass
I must be too sensitive for this world

Solo

And the world is such a careless place
The world is such a selfish place
And life is such an awful fate
It’s a wonder, hummm it’s a wonder
It’s a wonder
Anyone survives
I must be

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

 

Chaplin (1992)

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

This fulfills my biographical genre. I started to get into silent movies in the late eighties. It started with a book on Clara Bow and it mushroomed from there. By 1992 I was ordering silent movies on VHS from New York and bootlegs where ever I could get them. The actors and actresses that got my attention were Clara Bow, Buster Keaton, Douglas Fairbanks Sr, Mary Pickford, and Charles Chaplin.

In 1992 I had just settled into my small Laverne and Shirley basement studio apartment when this movie was released. It was perfect timing because this was the peak of my silent movie interest. I would get USA Today everyday to check my Dodgers box scores and I read about this movie coming out. There was an advertisement where you could make a 99 cent phone call (per minute) to listen to some of the movie on the telephone. Yes I was that desperate (sucker) to do just that… to hear some of the movie…it was a different time.

I had read where Johnny Depp was up for the role and I thought he would have been the perfect person to play Chaplin. I was totally wrong…the perfect actor to play Chaplin was the one who got the role…Robert Downey Jr. He became Chaplin on the screen. He went as far as learning to play tennis left handed.

Robert Downey Jr. had a terrific cast surrounding him. Chaplin’s own daughter (Geraldine Chaplin) played Chaplin’s mom in the movie. Dan Aykroyd portrayed Mack Sennett, and Kevin Kline plays Douglas Fairbanks Sr. It was also directed by the great Richard Attenborough.

The movie starts with an 8 year old Chaplin taking the stage to sing after his mentally disturbed mom was booed off. Chaplin’s childhood was straight out of a Dickens novel. With help from his older brother Syd he got a job with a vaudeville unit ran by Fred Karno. He also met his first love Hetty Kelly who would shape his love interest for the rest of his life. His brother Syd worked as his manager when Chaplin got famous. In the beginning Syd was much more well known than Charlie…until the little tramp appeared.

The movie moves fast…sometimes a little too fast. All through the movie he is talking to an editor (Anthony Hopkins) about his then new (1964) autobiography and that is how they move the movie along. I wanted to see more about certain movies I’d enjoyed but they did have a lot to cover. They manage to touch on some of his political problems like with J. Edgar Hoover and when he made The Great Dictator.

The movie follows Chaplin through his movies, personal life,  and his politically rough waters. As with any movie about a historical figure…things will be missed, wrong, and forgotten but the movie hits the high spots of his life.

If you  really want to know about Chaplin read Chaplin: His Life and Art by David Robinson or watch one of the many documentaries on him. Chaplin was a complicated man…too complicated to be summed up in a two hour motion picture…but it was a great try. After reading so many books, what I wanted would have taken a 6 hour movie…so this is a good introduction to Chaplin.

The movie was very enjoyable and you do get the highs and lows of Charles Spencer Chaplin. You also get a hell of a good acting job from Robert Downey Jr. The movie also combines shots of the real Chaplin in his movies. Sitting in the theater it was magical…near the end of the movie they show real Chaplin clips as seen on an award show in 1972. The laughter in the theater was the loudest I’ve ever heard before or since… the Tramp still drew laughs in 1992 and he still does in 2021.

After watching this movie you will probably want to watch some Chaplin movies…that would be the best outcome…if you haven’t watched any…you are missing a true artist who not only starred but wrote, directed, and produced.

Cast

  • Robert Downey Jr. as Charlie Chaplin
    • Hugh Downer as Charlie age 5
    • Thomas Bradford as Charlie age 14
  • Marisa Tomei as Mabel Normand
  • Geraldine Chaplin as Hannah Chaplin
  • Paul Rhys as Sydney Chaplin
    • Nicholas Gatt as Sydney age 9
  • John Thaw as Fred Karno
  • Moira Kelly as Hetty Kelly, Charlie’s first love / Oona O’Neill
  • Anthony Hopkins as George Hayden
  • Dan Aykroyd as Mack Sennett
  • Penelope Ann Miller as Edna Purviance
  • Kevin Kline as Douglas Fairbanks
  • Matthew Cottle as Stan Laurel
  • Maria Pitillo as Mary Pickford
  • Milla Jovovich as Mildred Harris
  • Kevin Dunn as J. Edgar Hoover
  • Deborah Moore as Lita Grey
  • Diane Lane as Paulette Goddard
  • Nancy Travis as Joan Barry
  • James Woods as Joseph Scott
  • Francesca Buller as Minnie Chaplin
  • David Duchovny as Roland Totheroh

REM – Drive

Whenever I hear this song… I think of David Essex’s song Rock On. It makes sense…Michael Stipe wrote this as a tribute to Rock On.

They recorded a demo version of this song at John Keane Studios, a favorite place for the band to work in their hometown of Athens, Ga. Before the bulk of the Automatic for the People sessions were to take place in March and April, the group spent a little more than a week in New Orleans, playing and recording in Daniel Lanois’ Kingsway Studio.

The ended up recording a complete demo of the song in New Orleans they would use as the basis of the song.

Automatic For the People was released in 1992.  The album title comes from a sign at “Weaver D’s Delicious Fine Foods” diner in Athens, Georgia. It read, “Delicious Fine Foods – Automatic For The People.” The diner was near the university in Athens, and was a regular hangout for Stipe and his friends in the band’s early days.

The song peaked at #28 in the Billboard 100, #7 in Canada, #11, and #5 in New Zealand in 1992.

Michael Stipe: There were, before Punk, a few songs that resonated with me. One was David Essex’s ‘Rock On.’ ‘Drive’ is a homage to that. It was the first song I wrote on computer. Before, I had a typewriter. The reason is my handwriting changes dramatically day to day. I don’t trust it. I will write one of the best lyrics ever and discard it because the handwriting looks like s–t. Or the handwriting looks good but it’s a crap lyric, lo and behold, it’s in the song. Too late.”

Mike Mills about the video: “I’m not much of a symbolist. There’s something messianic about being passed over the heads of the people like that, and yet we’re anything but messiahs. That was always a strange thing to me. I mean, yes, they get to touch you, but at the same time they’re holding you up like a saint.”

Michael Stipe: “The other interesting thing about that video was what happened backstage,” he added. “We shot it in Los Angeles with a thousand people as extras. River Phoenix came, hang out in the trailer. We had a great time, until Oliver Stone showed up. I think they had both been drinking, and they got in a fist fight in my trail (gaffaws heartily). I think River won, to tell you the truth. I know he did, in fact.”

From Songfacts

The central lyric, “Hey kids, rock n’ roll,” was borrowed from “Rock On” by David Essex. The words may be the same, but the mood is completely different. This is a much more somber song.

Lead singer Michael Stipe explained in the November 12, 2009 issue of Rolling Stone: “

Guitarist Peter Buck used a nickel as a guitar pick for the mid-song guitar solo to get a sharper sound. He overdubbed the track six times.

There is a line in the song that goes, “Smack, crack, bushwhacked.” This can be seen as an indictment of then-U.S. President George Bush (the first one). Lead singer Michael Stipe had taken out ads in college newspapers in 1988 saying, “Don’t Get Bushwhacked. Get out and vote. Vote Dukakis.” They weren’t very effective.

This was released two months before the national election between George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Clinton won that one, but eight years later Bush’s son became president. When the younger Bush ran for re-election in 2004, R.E.M. performed concerts to benefit his opponent, John Kerry.

This song has no chorus. That doesn’t happen very often in hit songs.

This was the first single released off the album. It was issued a few days before the album came out.

At live shows, R.E.M. played a funk-rock version of this song because its ambient atmosphere was difficult to duplicate. This version appears on a 1993 benefit album for Greenpeace called Alternative NRG.

Director Peter Care shot the black-and-white music video at Sepulveda Dam in the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles. The clip mostly has Stipe crowdsurfing as he performs the song.

The implication was unclear; is the audience protecting him, or ready to tear him apart? Stipe told Mojo it was both. “It’s everything. I’m about to be devoured.”

Drive

Smack, crack, bushwhacked
Tie another one to the racks, baby
Hey kids, rock and roll
Nobody tells you where to go, baby

What if I ride, what if you walk?
What if you rock around the clock?
Tick-tock, tick-tock
What if you did, what if you walk?
What if you tried to get off, baby?

Hey, kids, where are you?
Nobody tells you what to do, baby
Hey kids, shake a leg
Maybe you’re crazy in the head, baby

Maybe you did, maybe you walked
Maybe you rocked around the clock
Tick-tock, tick-tock
Maybe I ride, maybe you walk
Maybe I drive to get off, baby

Hey kids, shake a leg
Maybe you’re crazy in the head, baby
Ollie, Ollie, Ollie, Ollie, Ollie
Ollie, Ollie in come free, baby
Hey, kids, where are you?
Nobody tells you what to do, baby

Smack, crack, shack-a-lack
Tie another one to your backs, baby
Hey kids, rock and roll
Nobody tells you where to go, baby

Maybe you did, maybe you walk
Maybe you rock around the clock
Tick-tock, tick-tock
Maybe I ride, maybe you walk
Maybe I drive to get off, baby

Hey kids, where are you?
Nobody tells you what to do, baby
Hey kids, rock and roll
Nobody tells you where to go, baby
Baby
Baby

Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – What A Wonderful World

Israel Kamakawiwoʻole, was also known as “Bruddah Iz” or “IZ.” I first heard him on the show Life On Mars with just his voice and ukulele.  His name is pronounced “Ka-MA-ka-VEE-vo-oh-lay” and it means “the fearless eye, the bold face” in the Hawaiian

Kamakawiwoʻole was born in Honolulu on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Before launching his solo career in 1990, he performed with his brother Skippy as part of the successful group The Makaha Sons of Niʻihau. .

After years of popularizing Hawaiian music, Kamakawiwo’ole recorded his solo album Ka ‘Ano’i in 1990.  on the album is”Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World,” a medley combining the songs “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World,” made famous by Louis Armstrong in 1967.

Although Kamakawiwo’ole’s 1990 solo album included “Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World,” it’s not the version that most people remember. The acoustic version, with Kamakawiwo’ole on vocals and ukelele, was recorded a few years prior and kept in a recording studio’s archives until the release of his 1993 follow-up, Facing Future.

In 1988, recording studio manager Milan Bertosa was wrapping a long day at 3 a.m. when the phone rang. A regular client had called on behalf of Kamakawiwo’ole, who had an idea he desperately wanted to see through. Bertosa was then put on the phone with Kamakawiwo’ole, whom Bertosa remembers as “this really sweet man, well-mannered, just kind.”

“Please, can I come in?” Kamakawiwo’ole kindly asked. Bertosa relented.

About 15 minutes later, there’s a knock on Bertosa’s door. “And in walks the largest human being I had seen in my life,” Bertosa told NPR. Throughout his life, Kamakawiwo’ole suffered obesity, weighing as much as 757 pounds.

“The first thing at hand is to find something for him to sit on,” Bertosa remembered. Someone from building security gave Israel a big steel chair. “Then I put up some microphones, do a quick soundcheck, roll tape, and the first thing he does is ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow.’ He played and sang, one take, and it was over.” The next day Bertosa gave a copy for Israel and kept the master for himself. Over time, he found himself playing Kamakawiwo’ole’s recording for family and friends. “It was that special,” he said. “Whatever was going on that night, he was inspired. It was like we just caught the moment.”

In 1993 Bertosa was working on Kamakawawiwo’ole’s next album, Facing Future. On the last few days of recording, he felt something was missing. So Bertosa dug up that 3 a.m. recording, played it for producer Jon de Mello (who was won over), and it was added to Facing Future.

The album peaked at #1 on the Billboard World Music charts. By 2002, the record had sold 500,000 copies—the first Hawaiian-produced album to go gold—and was certified platinum, selling over 1 million copies by 2005.

Israel Kamakawiwo’ole died on June 26, 1997, at the age of 38, before he gained his vast popularity. He had suffered from morbid obesity his entire life. He died of respiratory failure. He was laid in honor in Hawaii’s Capitol building, and his ashes were later scattered into the ocean. He left behind his wife and teenage daughter.

This was written by Bob Thiele and George Weiss. Thiele was a producer for ABC records, and Weiss was a songwriter who helped create the hit version of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”

What A Wonderful World

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They’re really saying I love you

I hear babies crying, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more than I’ll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world

https://www.inverse.com/culture/israel-kamakawiwoole-google-doodle