Mad and Cracked Magazine…a quick look

To those that it applies…Happy Independence Day! I’ll have a couple of songs coming up related to Independence Day.

I never got into comic books like Marvel or DC…I would save up my allowance for Cracked and Mad magazine…and records of course. Mad Magazine was by far the most popular out of all of the satire comic magazines. William Gaines was the publisher of Mad magazine and was brilliant.

William Gaines – sendingdeadletters

1952 – Present…now you an only get Mad from Comic Book Shops or order it. The new editions consist of mostly material from their archive.

Cracked was known as the poor man’s Mad but I still liked it and the magazines shared some writers and artists through the years. I bought my first Cracked Magazine when Mad was sold out but I never missed an issue after that.

1958-2007 Now the name is alive on a website but no longer a comic.

Alfred E Newman and Sylvester P. Smythe

Sylvester P. Smythe | The Belated NerdSylvester P. Smythe | Cracked Wiki | Fandom

Don Martin was my favorite artist. He was one of Mad’s most famous artists. He was there from 1956 to 1988. He was known as “Mads Maddest Artist” and then moved to Cracked and was jokingly known as “Cracked’s Crackedest Artist.”

Fellow Cracked artist Dan Clowes: “As far as I could tell, he was happy,  don’t think he ever seemed to notice that Mad was respected, whereas Cracked was loathed.”

Completely Mad Don Martin TPB (1974 Warner Books) A MAD Big Book ...

Cracked #235 May 1988 cover by Don Martin | Mad magazine, Vintage ...

 

AC/DC – Moneytalks—- Songs That Reference Money

This is the band’s highest-charting single to date in the United States. During their subsequent world tour, thousands of “Angus Bucks” were dropped on the audience during the song.

If you have one of those dollar bills…don’t’ quit your day job…they are worth around 3 bucks….of real money.

AC/DC Films Moneytalks Promo On This Day 6 November 1990 | AC/DC ...

This was somewhat of a comeback for AC/DC when they recorded The Razors Edge album, it outsold their previous three by a wide margin. On this album, Angus and Malcolm Young wrote not only the music but also the lyrics, a task that fell to lead singer Brian Johnson in the past. Johnson didn’t have a problem with it…he said he was out of ideas at the time.

Thunderstruck was popular but they never did release that as a single.

Moneytalks peaked at #23 in 1991 in the Billboard 100,

The Razor’s Edge peaked at #2 in the Billboard Album Charts, #4 in the UK, and #1 in Canada.

Razorsedge.jpg

 

From Songfacts

Money talks, bulls–t walks. But AC/DC has little regard for what Angus Young called “the rich and the faceless,” the guys in suits smoking cigars and enjoying their luxury lifestyles. The big chorus on its own sounds like a salute to money, but a listen to the verses reveals the opposite: it’s a takedown of those who flaunt their wealth, and commentary on how money divides us. AC/DC got very rich, but they stayed grounded.

“Thunderstruck” was the lead track on The Razors Edge and the most enduring song from the album, but it wasn’t sold as a single in America. “Moneytalks” was, reaching a very respectable #23 in the States.

Also, Malcolm Young got sober after a bout with alcoholism, and drummer Chris Slade joined the band, replacing Simon Wright. They also used a new producer, Bruce Fairbairn, a Canadian who helmed hit albums for Aerosmith, Bryan Adams and Bon Jovi.

AC/DC printed their own dollar bills to promote this song, putting Angus Young on the front in place of George Washington. On the Razors Edge tour, these “Angus Bucks” would blow onto the crowd; the music video opens with one set on fire.

AC/DC took some liberties with the title, turning the phrase “money talks” into one word. They also played fast and loose with the grammar on the album title, leaving out the apostrophe in The Razors Edge.

Around the same time, there was a song with a similar title on the charts: “Dirty Cash (Money Talks)” by The Adventures Of Stevie V. That one has a similar sentiment but is an R&B tune.

Moneytalks

Tailored suits, chauffeured cars
Fine hotels and big cigars
Up for grabs, up for a price
Where the red hot girls keep on dancing through the night
The claim is on you
The sights are on me
So what do you do
That’s guaranteed
Hey little girl, you want it all
The furs, the diamonds, the painting on the wall

Come on, come on, love me for the money
Come on, come on, listen to the moneytalk
Come on, come on, love me for the money
Come on, come on, listen to the moneytalk

A French maid, foreign chef
A big house with king size bed
You’ve had enough, you ship them out
The dollar’s up, down, you’d better buy the pound
The claim is on you
The sights are on me
So what do you do
That’s guaranteed
Hey little girl, you broke the laws
You hustle, you deal, you steal from us all

Come on, come on, love me for the money
Come on, come on, listen to the moneytalk
Come on, come on, love me for the money
Come on, come on, listen to the moneytalk

Moneytalks, yeah, yeah

Money talks, B.S. walks
Money talks, come on, come on

Come on, come on, love me for the money
Come on, come on, listen to the moneytalk
Come on, come on, love me for the money
Come on, come on, listen to the moneytalk

Come on, come on, love me for the money (moneytalks)
Come on, come on, listen to the moneytalk (moneytalks)
Come on, come on, love me for the money (I hear it talk)
Come on, come on, listen to the moneytalk (yeah, yeah)
Moneytalk

My 10 Favorite Powerpop Songs

As you may have guessed by now I’m an extreme fan of power pop. This list was hard to write…I kept changing most of it… but I knew the top choice and worked from there.

I just gave my self ten choices or I would have gone on and on. A lot of artists and their songs were left off…such as Todd Rundgren, The Cars, Sloan, The Lemon Twigs, The Flamin’ Groovies, The Shivvers, The Jayhawks,  and too many more to mention.

10. The Ride – Twisterella– 1992 – I found this a few months back and have been listening to it ever since.

9. The Records – Starry Eyes– 1979 – Great song. Starry Eyes would end up being The Record’s best-known song. Robert John “Mutt” Lange produced their debut album for The Records.

8. The La’s – There She Goes– 1990 – A very good power pop song that has no verses…It just repeats the chorus four different ways four different times…but that doesn’t matter.

7. Cheap Trick – Voices– 1980 – One of my top Cheap Trick songs. Robin Zanders voice sounds great in this Beatlesque song.

6. The Who –Pictures of Lily– 1967 –  When this song came out Pete Townshend coined the name “power pop” and this song is about the childhood…lusts…of a boy.

5. Raspberries – Overnight Sensation (Hit Record)– 1974 – An epic song by the Raspberries. Not their most popular…that would be “Go All The Way” but this encapsulates everything power pop is about. Bruce Springsteen on Overnight Sensation: It’s one of the best little pop symphonies you’ll ever hear.

4. Big Star – The Ballad of El Goodo – 1972 – The tone of the guitars, harmonies and the perfect constructed chorus keeps me coming back listen after listen.

3. Badfinger –No Matter What– 1971 – The only band to make this list twice. Why? because this song defines the crunchy power pop of bands like Cheap Trick to come.

 2. Tom Petty – American Girl– 1977 – The Rickenbacker, the hook, and a Byrds sounding track.

 

********************************************************************

  1. Badfinger – Baby Blue – 1972 – The number one song was the easiest decision of the list. The rest were changed a few times…this one for me is a no-brainer. This song is the perfect power pop song…strong vocals, Crunchy Brit  guitar, great hook,  and great melody

Gin Blossoms – Follow You Down —-Powerpop Friday

The Gin Blossoms made some good power pop in the 90s.

This song was released in 1996 and was part of a double A-side with Til I Hear It From You. The song peaked at #7 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada, and #30 in the UK in 1996. Billboard lists the song as Follow You Down/Til I Hear It From You. It did hit #1 in the Billboard Alternative Charts.

The song was on the album Congratulations… I’m Sorry and it peaked at #10 in the Billboard Album Charts in 1996.

The song was written by D. Scott Johnson, Jesse M. Valenzuela, Phillip Rhodes, Phillip N. Rhodes, Robin Wilson,  and William Leen.

The Gin Blossoms broke up in early 1997 but reunited in 2002. They still perform to this day but with some personnel changes.

Follow You Down

Did you see the sky?
I think it means that we’ve been lost
Maybe one last time is all we need
I can’t really help it
If my tongue’s all tied in knots
Jumping off a bridge is just the farthest
That I’ve ever been

Anywhere you go, I’ll follow you down
Anyplace but those I know by heart
Anywhere you go, I’ll follow you down
I’ll follow you down, but not that far

I know we’re headed somewhere
I can see how far we’ve come
But still I can’t remember anything
Let’s not do the wrong thing
And I’ll swear it might be fun
It’s a long way down
When all the knots we’ve tied have come undone

Anywhere you go, I’ll follow you down
Anyplace but those I know by heart
Anywhere you go, I’ll follow you down
I’ll follow you down, but not that far

How you gonna ever find your place
Running in an artificial pace
Are they gonna find us lying face down in the sand
So what the hell now we’ve already been forever damned

Anywhere you go, I’ll follow you down
Anyplace but those I know by heart
Anywhere you go, I’ll follow you down
I’ll follow you down, but not that far

Counting Crows – Round Here

I thought the Counting Crows were refreshing when I heard Mr. Jones. I liked Adam Duritz’s voice a lot. The music press went over the top on hype though for The Counting Crows. Round Here was on their debut album August And Everything After which peaked at #4 in 1994 in the Billboard Album Charts.

The song peaked at #7 in the Billboard US Alternative Songs Charts, #70 in the UK, and #6 in Canada in 1994

This song won Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal and one for Best New Artist

Adam Duritz: “This is a song about me,” “The song begins with a guy walking out the front door of his house and leaving behind this woman. But the more he begins to leave people behind in his life, the more he feels like he’s leaving himself behind as well, and the less substantial he feels about himself. That’s sort of what the song’s about: even as he disappears from the lives of people, he’s disappearing more and more from his own life.”

 

From Songfacts

This song dates back to Adam Duritz’ days in a band called the Himalayans, which he joined when he was a student at the University of California. That band – guitarist Dan Jewett, bass player Dave Janusko and drummer Chris Roldan – wrote the music for the song, to which Duritz added lyrics. The song became their most popular at concerts, and when Duritz formed Counting Crows, he brought the song with him. With his new bandmates Steve Bowman, David Bryson, Charlie Gillingham and Matt Malley, he worked up a new version of the song that was included on their first album, August And Everything After. Duritz made sure to credit everyone in both bands with writing the song, so “Round Here” has eight different writers listed on the composer credits.

The theme of childhood promises not panning out is one that shows up a lot in Duritz’ lyrics. In the chorus of this song, he lists some sayings that our parents often say: “Around here we always stand up straight,” “Around here we’re carving out our names.”

Said Duritz: “You’re told as a kid that if you do these things, it will add up to something: you’ll have a job, you life. And for me, and for the character in the song, they don’t add up to anything, it’s all a bunch of crap. Your life comes to you or doesn’t come to you, but those things didn’t really mean anything.

By the end of the song, he’s so dismayed that he’s screaming out that he gets to stay up as late as he wants and nobody makes him wait; the things that are important to a kid – you don’t have to go to bed, you don’t have to do anything. But they’re the sort of things that don’t make any difference at all when you’re an adult. They’re nothing.”

At the time, Counting Crows didn’t release singles in America, and it wasn’t until 1998 that Billboard allowed songs to chart on their Hot 100 that weren’t released as singles. As a result, the song is a chart anomaly: a very popular song that never showed up. It did make #31 on the Airplay chart, which was later integrated in the Hot 100. The group didn’t release singles so listeners would be compelled to buy the albums – a far more lucrative purchase, and arguably a more complete listening experience.

The band often plays extended versions of this song at concerts, which can be heard on the 10 minute performance on the song on their 2013 live album Echoes of the Outlaw Roadshow. “I think one of the nice things about playing music is a sense that whatever I want to do is okay,” Adam Duritz said in our 2013 interview. “As long as I’m really expressing something, then any way I want to express the song, it’s fine.”

Counting Crows made a video for this song, which was directed by Mark Neale, who would later direct The Verve Pipe’s video for “The Freshman” and the documentary Faster. It was the second video the band made (following “Mr. Jones”), and the last one they made for the album, since Adam Duritz wanted the band to scale back promotion when they became wildly popular. “I saw people around me putting out records that got a little too big, and that was the end of them,” Duritz told us. “I didn’t want that for us, so I stopped it.”

Round Here

Step out the front door like a ghost
Into the fog where no one notices
The contrast of white on white.

And in between the moon and you
The angels get a better view
Of the crumbling difference between wrong and right.

I walk in the air between the rain,
Through myself and back again.
Where? I don’t know
Maria says she’s dying.
Through the door, I hear her crying
Why? I don’t know

‘Round here we always stand up straight
‘Round here something radiates

Maria came from Nashville with a suitcase in her hand
She said she’d like to meet a boy who looks like Elvis
And she walks along the edge of where the ocean meets the land
Just like she’s walking on a wire in the circus
She parks her car outside of my house, takes her clothes off,
Says she’s close to understanding Jesus
She knows she’s more that just a little misunderstood
She has trouble acting normal when she’s nervous

‘Round here we’re carving out our names
‘Round here we all look the same
‘Round here we talk just like lions
But we sacrifice like lambs
‘Round here she’s slipping through my hands

Sleeping children got to run like the wind
Out of the lightning dream
Mama’s little baby better get herself in
Out of the lightning

She says, “It’s only in my head.”
She says, “Shh, I know it’s only in my head.”

But the girl on the car in the parking lot
Says: “Man, you should try to take a shot
Can’t you see my walls are crumbling.”

Then she looks up at the building
And says she’s thinking of jumping.
She says she’s tired of life;
She must be tired of something.

‘Round here she’s always on my mind
‘Round here (hey man) I got lots of time
‘Round here we’re never sent to bed early
And nobody makes us wait
‘Round here we stay up very very very very late

I can’t see nothing, nothing
Around here
You catch me if I’m falling
You catch me if I’m falling
Will you catch me because I’m falling down on here
I said ” I’m under the gun”
‘Round here.
Oh man I said “I’m under the gun”
‘Round here.
And I can’t see nothin’, nothin’.
‘Round here.

Bonnie Raitt – Something To Talk About

Bonnie Raitt hit really big 1989 and the early nineties. She is an excellent slide guitar player. I was happy to see her so popular. She had been working since the early seventies and had some minor success in 1977 with a remake of Runaway.

In 1989 she released Nick of Time and had success with “Thing Called Love.” In 1990 she released the album Luck of the Draw which “Something To Talk About” was on.

The song peaked at #5 in the Billboard 100, #3 in Canada, and #33 in New Zealand 1991.

This was written by the Canadian singer Shirley Eckhard, who had recorded in the Jazz and Country genres but has had her most success as a songwriter, with songs recorded by Chet Atkins, Cher, Anne Murray, and Rita Coolidge.

Raitt was looking for songs for her next album after the success of Nick of Time. She said that the tape by Eckhard could have been sitting on her shelf for two years. She loved Shirley’s songs. Raitt waited to call her until she recorded the song. When she did she called Shirley and played the recording on Eckhard’s answering service.

This won a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

From Songfacts

This song is about small-town gossip and the effect it has on the singer and the guy she’s secretly in love with. It turns out that they’re rumored to be having an affair, and since the rumor-spreaders already think that the two people are involved, the song asks, why not have an affair anyway, thus giving them “something to talk about.” 

According to Anne Murray’s 2009 book All of Me, Anne wanted to record this song in 1986, but her producers didn’t think it would be a hit. She called her 1986 album “Something to Talk About” even though it did not include this song. Anne said she was happy that Bonnie Raitt made it a big hit five years later. >>

For Raitt, this was by far her biggest chart hit in the United States.

This is a very popular Karaoke song, and is often performed by American Idol contestants. Season 3 winner Fantasia Barrino performed the song on the show, as did Idol notables Kellie Pickler and Sanjaya Malakar.

Something To Talk About

People are talkin’, talkin’ ’bout people
I hear them whisper, you won’t believe it
They think we’re lovers kept under covers
I just ignore it, but they keep saying
We laugh just a little too loud
We stand just a little too close
We stare just a little too long
Maybe they’re seeing something we don’t, darlin’

Let’s give them something to talk about
Let’s give them something to talk about
Let’s give them something to talk about
How about love?

I feel so foolish, I never noticed
You’d act so nervous
Could you be falling for me?
It took a rumor to make me wonder
Now I’m convinced I’m going under
Thinking ’bout you every day
Dreaming ’bout you every night
Hoping that you feel the same way
Now that we know it, let’s really show it, darlin’

Let’s give them something to talk about
A little mystery to figure out
Let’s give them something to talk about
How about love, love, love, love?

Let’s give them something to talk about, baby
A little mystery to figure out
Let’s give them something to talk about
How about love, love, love, love?

(Something to talk about)
(Something to talk about)
How about love, love, love, love?

How about love, love, love, love?

Columbo

I remember Columbo well when I was a kid but I never watched it much…until the lockdown that we all are going through. Now I know why this show was popular. A detective show that shows you “who done it” before you are into it for 10 minutes. You get enjoyment out of seeing how Columbo can find the killer. Back in the early seventies…Columbo was one of the most popular characters on television.

Peter Falk played Columbo for 35 years and in five different decades (1968-2003) counting the pilots. He looked like a walking unmade bed but was brilliant at solving cases. He would pester his suspect to death…very polite with “I’m sorry” and the main phrase as he was walking away…”There’s just one more thing.” that is followed by “There’s something that bothers me” and so on.

The killer would end up confessing or probably wanting to beg for jail simply to escape him.

The show lasted for 69 episodes. Each episode was over an hour long. It was part of The NBC Mystery Movie program that worked on a rotating basis – one per month from each of its shows. The shows were McMillian and Wife, McCloud, Hec Ramsey, and Columbo. Columbo was taken off the air in the late seventies but came back on the air in the eighties.

Falk had to wear a glass eye because his eye was taken out because of a tumor when he was 3 years old. That made Columbo’s trademark squint. He wore his raincoat and later on had a basset hound. Stories of his wife were always at hand all the while studying his suspect to see if they would slip.

Falk really made that role. If you get a chance to see it…try it. The stories are interesting and you will see some stars you might have forgotten about.

Falk died on June 23, 2011, aged 83.

 

Sloan – Coax Me —-Powerpop Friday

Sloan got its start in Halifax during the early ‘90s. The band played around the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design before moving to Toronto.

The band made their recording debut on the Halifax, Canada CD compilation “Hear & Now” with the song  “Underwhelmed” before releasing their debut EP “Peppermint” in 1991 on their own label Murderecords. In 1992 Sloan signed with Geffen Records and released their full-length debut “Smeared”. The album had somewhat of a grunge style.

Coax Me was on their second album Twice Removed. They changed their style with the second album with a more power pop feel. Geffen didn’t like the change and pulled a lot of support but it did peak at #25 in the Canadian Album Charts.  Coax Me peaked at #6 in the Canadian RPM Charts in 1994.

DeKe mentioned this band and their style is right up my alley. I’ve listened to a few of their songs and I really liked what I’ve heard so far.

Coax Me

It all seemed to happen so fast
Will you ever believe the way he passed away
I saw his widow speak on her fortune
She was feelin’ pretty apathetic

Coax me, cajole me
Coax me, cajole me

If I drink concentrated OJ
Can I think Consolidated’s okay?
It’s not the band I hate, it’s their fans
Three cans of water perverts me

Coax me, cajole me
Coax me, cajole me
Coax me, cajole me

And after he died
By rights she’d have cried
I gave mine away
I gave mine away

I saw a widow’s peak on her forehead
It was full of lines and sinkers

Coax me, cajole me
Coax me, cajole me
Coax me, cajole me

U2 – The Sweetest Thing

Bono wrote this as a birthday present to his wife, Ali. On her birthday, he was working on recording The Joshua Tree, so he was trying to make up for it.  It was originally released as a B-side on the “Where the Streets Have No Name” single in 1987. The song was later re-recorded and re-released as a single in October 1998 for the band’s compilation album The Best of 1980–1990.

The song peaked at #63 in the Billboard 100 in 1998.

All proceeds from the song were given to the charity “The Children of Chernobyl”, which was chosen by Ali as her chosen charity, an organization that brought children affected by the Chernobyl disaster to visit and stay with Irish families.

Bono about his wife:  “I’m a bit of a stray dog. I would not have been in the queue to get married had I not met someone as extraordinary as Ali. I always felt more myself with her than with anybody.” He describes the first time he saw her: “I thought she looked Spanish, a rose for sure, dark with blood-red lips.”

 

 

From Songfacts

U2 recorded this for The Joshua Tree, but left it off because they felt it did not fit in on the album. It was originally released as the B-side to a 7″ single that also included “Where The Streets Have No Name” and “Silver And Gold.”

This was rerecorded and released on U2 The Best Of 1980-1990 in 1998.

In 1998, this was released as a single with proceeds going to Children Of Chernobyl, the favorite charity of Bono’s wife, Ali.

The video shows Bono orchestrating an elaborate apology to Ali, who appears at the beginning of the clip getting into a horse-drawn carriage. The camera then cuts to Bono, who is facing her, and stays on him as they go for a ride down a street in Dublin. Along the way, Bono makes various outlandish offerings to win her favor, starting with the Irish group Boyzone, who climb on board. Next comes a marching band, a fire engine (with firemen), a string section, Irish step dancers from Riverdance, and an elephant. It’s not clear if the apology works, but he sure made an effort.

It looks like the Bono section is all one shot, but there are actually several edits made where the light flares come in. Kevin Godley, who directed it, did something similar on U2’s video for “Numb,” where the camera stays on The Edge for almost the entire time.

U2 didn’t play this live until March 17, 2000, when they played it a ceremony in Dublin where they were being honored. The following year, it made the setlist for their Elevation tour, then was mothballed until 2015 for their Innocence + Experience tour.

Boyzone star Ronan Keating revealed to co-host Harriet Scott on the Magic Radio Breakfast Show that Bono initially offered the song to him, but he insisted that U2 take it instead. Keating said: “It was U2’s, they had to sing it, I knew they had to sing it.

The Sweetest Thing

My love she throws me like a rubber ball
Oh oh oh, the sweetest thing
She won’t catch me or break my fall
Oh oh oh, the sweetest thing
Baby’s got blue skies up ahead
But in this I’m a rain cloud
You know she likes a dry kind of love
Oh oh oh, the sweetest thing

I’m losing you
I’m losing you
Ain’t love the sweetest thing

I wanted to run but she made me crawl
Oh oh oh, the sweetest thing
Eternal fire, she turned me to straw
Oh oh, the sweetest thing
You know I got black eyes
But they burn so brightly for her
This is a blind kind of love
Oh oh oh, the sweetest thing

I’m losing you
Oh oh oh, I’m losing you yeah
Ain’t love the sweetest thing
Ain’t love the sweetest thing
Oh oh, yeah, oh

Blue-eyed boy meets a brown-eyed girl
Oh oh oh, the sweetest thing
You can sew it up but you still see the tear
Oh oh oh, the sweetest thing
Baby’s got blue skies up ahead
And in this I’m a rain cloud
Oh this is a stormy kind of love
Oh oh oh, the sweetest thing

Oh oh, the sweetest thing
Oh oh oh, the sweetest thing

Green Day – When I Come Around

This was my first introduction to Green Day. The more albums they released the more I liked them. American Idiot is probably my favorite album but this song was a good introduction to the band for me.

Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and Tré Cool are listed as writers of this song.

This song was not released as a single, which was a strategic move by Green Day’s label Reprise to goose sales of the album. Airplay pushed the song to peak at  #6  in the Billboard 100, #3 in Canada, #33 in New Zealand, and #27 in the UK in 1995.

When performing this song at Woodstock ’94, a fan threw a clump of mud on stage and Billie Joe stuck it in his mouth. This caused the fans to keep throwing mud and started the infamous mud fight. Many fans look back at Woodstock ’94 fondly, calling it “Mudstock ’94” largely because of this incident.

 

From Songfacts

A track from Green Day’s first major-label album, this is a very personal song lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong wrote about being away from his girlfriend, Adrienne Nesser, and the frustrations they both felt when he was on the road. Billie Joe met Adrienne in 1990 when Green Day performed in Minnesota, where she lived. He was just 18, and found it difficult to maintain a long-distance relationship, especially with his touring schedule. In this song, he affirms his devotion for her, assuring her that when he does get to see her (when he “comes around”) he will make it up to her.

Billie Joe and Adrienne got married in July 1994, a few months after Dookie was released and right in the midst of the band’s rapid ascent to stardom (the band was touring at the time). The marriage endured, and couple had two children together.

MTV aired two different videos for this song. A concept video for the song was directed by Mark Kohr, and MTV also showed a live version from Green Day’s infamous Woodstock ’94 performance (lots of mud was in the air). They used this video to promote the MTV Woodstock ’94 retrospective videotape. 

Jason White, who sometimes played as a second guitarist for Green Day, is in this video. He’s the guy kissing the girl.

The Woodstock ’94 version is included on the festival’s live album, Woodstock 1994.

When I Come Around

I heard you crying loud, all the way across town
Cause you been searching for that someone
And it’s me out on the prowl
As you sit around feeling sorry for yourself

Well, don’t get lonely now, and dry your whining eyes
I’m just roaming for the moment
Sleazin’ my back yard so don’t get
So uptight you been thinking about ditching me

No time to search the world around
‘Cause you know where I’ll be found
When I come around

Well, I heard it all before, so don’t knock down my door
I’m a loser and a user so I don’t need no accuser
To try and slag me down because I know you’re right

So go do what you like, make sure you do it wise
You may find out that your self-doubt means nothing
Was ever there
You can’t go forcing something if it’s just not right

No time to search the world around
‘Cause you know where I’ll be found
When I come around

No time to search the world around
‘Cause you know where I’ll be found
When I come around

When I come around

REM – What’s the Frequency Kenneth?

REM really let loose on their album Monster. I love the tone on Peter Bucks guitar and the loud in your face production. Peter Buck played the late Kurt Cobain’s Fender Jag-Stang, which he plays upside-down because Cobain was left-handed.

This song is about an incident that took place on October 4, 1986, when the CBS news anchor Dan Rather was attacked on a New York City sidewalk by a crazed man yelling “Kenneth, what is the frequency.” The man turned out to be William Tager, who was caught after he killed a stagehand outside of the Today show studios on August 31, 1994. Tager, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison, said he was convinced the media was beaming signals into his head, and he was on a mission to determine their frequencies.

Lead singer Michael Stipe says this is an attack on the media, who overanalyze things they don’t understand.

The song slows down at the end because of bassist Mike Mills. They noticed he was in pain, but everyone followed him and finished the track. After they were done, Mills was taken to the hospital and it was discovered he had appendicitis. They never got back to redo the song.

This song peaked at #21 in the Billboard 100 in 1994.

 

From Songfacts

When Michael Stipe wrote the lyrics, Tager had not yet been identified as Rather’s assailant. He wrote the song after becoming intrigued by the case and the media reaction to it, calling it “The premier unsolved American surrealist act of the 20th century.”

Tager got out of jail in 2010.

After this song came out, “What’s the frequency, Kenneth” became a catchphrase and was a running joke on The David Letterman Show (for a short time, “Kenneth” also became a term used for a clueless person). Rather had a good sense of humor about it and later appeared on the show, singing this with R.E.M. backing him.

Peter Buck remembered the experience in the liner notes for In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988–2003: “I like Dan Rather. He’s a fine newsman, an interesting person to talk to, and quite a bit nuttier than most of those media types (I consider that a good thing). That said, nothing in my rich and varied life prepared me for the experience of performing behind him as he ‘danced’ and ‘sang’ ‘What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?'”

There is a song by Game Theory on their 1987 album Lolita Nation called “Kenneth, What’s the Frequency?” It was produced by Mitch Easter, who was R.E.M.’s producer for Chronic TownMurmur, and Reckoning. Coincidence? 

Despite his painful ordeal, Mills notes this as “one of my favorite rockers in our canon, touching on pop culture and yet with balls” in Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982–2011.

The line, “Richard said, ‘Withdrawal in disgust is not the same as apathy,'” refers to Richard Linklater, director of Slacker (1991) and Dazed and Confused (1993). More recently, he directed Waking Life (2001) and the acclaimed “Before” trilogy: Before Sunrise (1995), Before Sunset (2004) and Before Midnight (2013).

In the liner notes for the compilation album Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982–2011, Stipe says he quoted the director “to aid in a fictional narrative that details a generational belly flop the size of Lake Michigan.”

This was the first single released from the album, which indicated the harder edge that R.E.M. took on Monster, their ninth album.

This single was the first piece of music to be released by R.E.M. that included a lyric sheet. The first R.E.M. album to include printed lyrics was Up, from 1999.

The music video, directed by Peter Care, shows the band performing this song under multicolored flashing lights and is notable for debuting new looks for Michael Stipe, who shaved his head, and Mike Mills, who grew out his hair and decked himself out in a rhinestone suit borrowed from Gram Parsons.

This was featured on Friends in the episode “The One with Two Parts: Part 2” and on Beavis and Butt-Head in “Wet Behind the Rears,” both in 1995. It was also used in the 1999 Martin Scorsese film Bringing Out the Dead, starring Nicolas Cage and Patricia Arquette.

What’s The Frequency Kenneth?

“What’s the frequency, Kenneth?” is your Benzedrine, uh-huh
I was brain-dead, locked out, numb, not up to speed
I thought I’d pegged you an idiot’s dream
Tunnel vision from the outsider’s screen

I never understood the frequency, uh-huh
You wore our expectations like an armored suit, uh-huh

I’d studied your cartoons, radio, music, TV, movies, magazines
Richard said, “Withdrawal in disgust is not the same as apathy”
A smile like the cartoon, tooth for a tooth
You said that irony was the shackles of youth

You wore a shirt of violent green, uh-huh
I never understood the frequency, uh-huh

“What’s the frequency, Kenneth?” is your Benzedrine, uh-huh
Butterfly decal, rearview mirror, dogging the scene
You smile like the cartoon, tooth for a tooth
You said that irony was the shackles of youth

You wore a shirt of violent green, uh-huh
I never understood the frequency, uh-huh
You wore our expectations like an armored suit, uh-huh
I couldn’t understand

You said that irony was the shackles of youth, uh-huh
I couldn’t understand
You wore a shirt of violent green, uh-huh
I couldn’t understand
I never understood, don’t fuck with me, uh-huh

 

Tom Petty – Yer So Bad … Full Moon Fever Week

My sister got lucky, married a yuppie
Took him for all he was worth

As soon as I heard those two lines I knew I was going to like the song.

Tom Petty had gotten to know Lynne through George Harrison, who brought the Electric Light Orchestra leader to produce Harrison’s 1987 comeback LP Cloud Nine. That led to the three artists taking part in the Traveling Wilburys supergroup. One day, Petty played “Yer So Bad”; he had all the words down but was stuck on the music for the chorus.

“Jeff showed me this little part,” Petty recalled. “E minor to C, and said, ‘You could do this.’ And I said, ‘That’s great!’ And I was so elated, because I had been working on the song for days, and I couldn’t get from the verse to the chorus somehow. And he showed me this little bit, and I said, ‘Great! Will you produce this?'”

Petty wanted Howie Epstein (bass player for the Heartbreakers) to help on the harmonies but Howie said he didn’t like the song so Petty told him he didn’t need him then. That is when he knew it was going to be a solo album.

This was the last fifth single released from the album. Yer So Bad peaked at #5 in the Billboard Album Rock Tracks and #44 in Canada in 1990.

Yer So Bad

My sister got lucky, married a yuppie
Took him for all he was worth
Now she’s a swinger dating a singer
I can’t decide which is worse[Chorus:]
But not me baby, I’ve got you to save me
Oh yer so bad, best thing I ever had
In a world gone mad, yer so badMy sister’s ex-husband can’t get no lovin’
Walks around dog-faced and hurt
Now he’s got nothin’, head in the oven
I can’t decide which is worse

[Chorus]

Johnny Cash – Delia’s Gone

When I first heard this song in the 90s I did a double-take. Did he sing what I thought he sang? I had never heard the original version he did in the 60s. I do prefer the 1994 version but both are worth a listen.

Johnny Cash originally recorded this song written by Karl Silbersdorf and Dick Toops on his 1962 The Sound of Johnny Cash album.

He re-recorded it in 1994, on American Recordings produced by the Rick Rubin. He explained why he chose to redo the song: “‘Delia’s Gone’ is the Devil’s deed of daring,” said Cash. “We were talking about ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ – and ‘I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die’ – and I said, ‘I want another song like that.’ So Rick and I started listening and we found ‘Delia’s Gone.’ We realized I had recorded it in the ’60s, but not the way I’ve recorded it on American, and that I should work it up and do it over. So we started working on it and we did it and we came up with this version.”

It was inspired by a true-life story. In 1900, a certain account of murder became infamous as 14-year old Delia Green was killed on Christmas Day when Mose/Moses Houston, a teenage boy shot Delia dead. The newspaper reports that Delia and Mose had a sexual relationship and the latter was triggered off an argument.

Delia’s Gone

Delia, oh, Delia
Delia all my life
If I hadn’t shot poor Delia
I’d have had her for my wife
Delia’s gone, one more round
Delia’s gone

I went up to Memphis
And I met Delia there
Found her in her parlor
And I tied her to her chair
Delia’s gone, one more round
Delia’s gone

She was low down and trifling
And she was cold and mean
Kind of evil make me want to
Grab my submachine
Delia’s gone, one more round
Delia’s gone

First time I shot her
I shot her in the side
Hard to watch her suffer
But with the second shot she died
Delia’s gone, one more round
Delia’s gone

But jailer, oh, jailer
Jailer, I can’t sleep
‘Cause all around my bedside
I hear the patter of Delia’s feet
Delia’s gone, one more round
Delia’s gone

So if your woman’s devilish
You can let her run
Or you can bring her down and do her
Like Delia got done
Delia’s gone, one more round
Delia’s gone
Delia’s gone, one more round
Delia’s gone

 

The King Biscuit Flower Hour

I remember this show in the late seventies and early eighties. The performers included The Who, Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, AC/DC, Elton John, Tom Petty, and more. You could tune in on the radio and hear concerts and interviews.

It all started on Feb. 18, 1973, when the King Biscuit Flower Hour debuted on the D.I.R. Radio Network…on FM stations across the U.S. The innovative Sunday night series featured recorded concerts and interviews with rock’s biggest stars. King Biscuit would expand its reach to more than 300 stations before it ceased the weekly production of new shows in 1993. Reruns continued until 2005.

The first KBFH show was broadcast on February 18, 1973 and featured Blood, Sweat & Tears, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Bruce Springsteen. Columbia Records was one of the sponsors of the first shows, along with Pioneer High Fidelity and Scotch recording tape.

The concerts were usually recorded with a mobile multi-track recording truck, then mixed and edited for broadcast on the show within a few weeks. In the 1970s, the show was sent to participating radio stations on reel-to-reel tape. They soon switched from tape to album and then to CDs.

Although closely associated with classic rock in its later years, the King Biscuit Flower Hour dedicated much air time to new and emerging artists, including new wave and modern rock artists in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

In 1982, a three-alarm fire damaged the Manhattan office tower that housed D.I.R. Broadcasting. Reportedly, many of the King Biscuit Flower Hour recordings were lost in the fire.

By the end of the KBFH series and the sale of its assets to Wolfgang’s Vault, DIR had impressively amassed over 850 rock concerts, approximately 200 live interviews, and almost 400 country music concerts, which the company recorded on its separate Silver Eagle brand, along with 150 comedy shows.

In 2006, the King Biscuit tape archives were acquired by Wolfgang’s Vault which began streaming concerts online and has made some available for download.

There weren’t many options back then to see or hear rock performers…Don Kirshner Rock Concert, Midnight Special, and some on SNL..and maybe a few specials.

Sheryl Crow – A Change Would Do You Good

I’ve been a Sheryl Crow fan since I heard her first songs. The lyrics she writes with Jeff Trott are different than the usual pop song. Many of their songs are abstract which I like.

Crow wrote this with guitarist Jeff Trott and drummer Brian MacLeod during a six-month stay in New Orleans. The song shows an array of images to highlight what needs changing in someone’s life.

This song peaked at #1 in the Billboard US Adult Alternative Songs, #8 in the UK, and #2 in Canada in 1997.

If you want to check out something new Sheryl has done…check out this piece from Christian from christiansmusicmusings about Sheryl and Citizen Cope covering a Bill Withers song. A very good version of Lonely Town, Lonely Street.

In this song, she takes a gentle swipe at the Material Girl who inspired this verse…and a few others with:

Canine, feline, Jekyll and Hyde
Wear your fake fur on the inside
Queen of south beach, aging blues
Dinner’s at six, wear your cement shoes
I thought you were singing your heart out to me
Your lips were syncing and now I see

Jeff Trott: I don’t know how we were talking about Madonna, but the second verse of “A Change Would Do You Good” was directed at Madonna. “You wear your fake fur on the inside.” It’s been awhile. I can’t think of all the lyrics. But one of them was “Mercedes Ruehl and a rented Lear.”

“We were trying to come up with something like the Staple Singers. Mavis Staples is one of those legendary soul singer/songwriters, and Sheryl and I have this affinity for those old soul songs, Motown, stuff like that. We’re always trying to find those rare, rare songs for inspiration.”

Songfacts

The trio came up with so many lyric ideas that they decided to throw them all in a hat and draw them out, leading to a string of non-sequiturs that tie the song together. Trott said: “Sheryl just picked them out randomly and put them on a piece of paper, and we all read them. We all thought, ‘Whoa, this actually makes sense, even though it’s so oblique and completely abstract.’ So, we put this thing together and tried to keep the order pretty close, just swapping a couple of the lines to make more sense.”

So, a change would do who good? According to Trott, the first verse is about producer Bill Bottrell, who walked out on the making of the album. While the lyrics are biting, Trott says it was all in fun. “She had a little bit of resentment towards him, but not in a harsh way, but in a playful kind of way.”

He’s a platinum canary, drinkin’ Falstaff beer
Mercedes Ruehl, and a rented Lear
Bottom feeder insincere
Prophet lo-fi pioneer

The above lyrics are often misquoted, but Trott confirmed they indeed reference Mercedes Ruehl. The Academy Award-winning actress also starred in the 1999 thriller The Minus Man, in which Crow made her debut film appearance.

After some convincing, Crow agreed to make the last verse about herself:

I’ve been thinking ’bout catching a train
Leave my phone machine by the radar range
Hello it’s me, I’m not at home
If you’d like to reach me, leave me alone

Three music videos were made. The first, a black-and-white clip directed by Crow and Lance Acord, shows the singer both performing out on the street and tossing her belongings out of a window in the background.

The star-studded second video, directed by Michel Gondry, has Crow magically manipulating characters’ lives, loosely inspired by the classic sitcom Bewitched. Cameos include Mary Lynn Rajskub, Heather Matarazzo, Jeff Garlin, Ellen DeGeneres, Molly Shannon, Andy Dick and Toby Huss.

The third video consists of footage from a live VH1 performance.

This was covered by Dean Geyer and Lea Michele on the 2012 Glee episode “Makeover.”

A Change Would Do You Good

Ten years living in a paper bag,
Feedback baby, he’s a flipped out cat,
He’s a platinum canary, drinkin’ Falstaff beer,
Mercedes rule, and a rented leer.

Bottom feeder insincere,
High fed low fat pioneer,
Sell the house and go to school.
Pretty young girlfriend, daddy’s jewel.

A change,
(A change would do you good)
Would do you good,
(A change would do you good)
I think a change,
(A change would do you good)
Would do you good.
(A change would do you good)

God’s little gift is on the rag,
Poster girl posing in a fashion mag,
Canine, feline, Jekyll and Hyde?
Wear your fake fur on the inside.

Queen of south beach, aging blues,
Dinners at six, wear your cement shoes,
I thought you were singing your heart out to me,
Your lips were singing and now I see.

A change,
(A change would do you good)
Would do you good,
(A change would do you good)
I think a change,
(A change would do you good)
Would do you good.
(A change would do you good)

A change,
(A change would do you good)
Would do you good,
(A change would do you good)
I think a change,
(A change would do you good)
Would do you good.
(A change would do you good)

Chasing dragons with plastic swords,
Jack off jimmy everybody wants more,
Scully and angel on the kitchen floor,
And I’m calling buddy on the ouija board.

I’ve been thinking ’bout catching a train,
Leave my phone machine by the radar range,
“Hello it’s me, I’m not at home,
If you’d like to reach me, leave me alone”

A change,
(A change would do you good)
Would do you good,
(A change would do you good)

“Hello it’s me, I’m not at home,
If you’d like to reach me, leave me alone”

A change,
(A change would do you good)
Would do you good,
(A change would do you good)
I think a change,
(A change would do you good)
Would do you good.
(A change would do you good)