Jake Bugg – Two Fingers

This song caught my attention in 2012 when it was released. It has an older feel to it. It did not chart in America but it did peak at #28 in the UK charts. I like the echo in his voice and the chorus will stick with you.

In December of 2018 my son and I saw him at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville with Kelsey Waters opening up. There was an even mixture of young and old to see the 23-year-old play. He has listed influences as diverse as  Jimi Hendrix, Donovan, to Nick Drake.

Jake Edwin Kennedy is his real name…but he records under the name of Jake Bugg. He grew up in the Clifton area of Nottingham and started playing guitar at the age of 12. He was later signed by Mercury Records after he appeared at the 2011 Glastonbury Festival. The song we hear is the demo he made. He wanted to go back and re-record it in a proper studio but the label loved it and released it as it was.

Jake Bugg’s debut album debuted at #1 on the UK charts. He was only 19 years old, he became the youngest British male ever to have an album enter the charts at the top position.

The song was about his home life growing up. He said it wasn’t exactly like the video but not far off.

I knew the two fingers meant something insulting so I looked it up… The “two-fingered salute” in which the index and middle fingers are put up at or to another person with the palm outward, is an obscene gesture of scorn or defiance. Its use as an insulting sign is largely restricted to the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. 

And….

Britishinformal

to make an obscene gesture by holding up the index finger and the middle finger of one hand in the shape of a V while keeping the palm turned inward

Jake Bugg: “It’s a very personal song for me, I wanted to express how I felt, it’s a song about growing up and escaping and just life in general. I wanted to put it in the best words possible but also detailed and keeping everyone happy.”

Two Fingers

I drink to remember, I smoke to forget
Some things to be proud of
Some stuff to regret
Run down some dark alleys in my own head
Something is changing, changing, changing

I go back to Clifton to see my old friends
The best people I could ever have met
Skin up a fat one, hide from the Feds
Something is changing, changing, changing

So I kiss goodbye to every little ounce of pain
Light a cigarette and wish the world away
I got out, I got out, I’m alive but I’m here to stay
So I hold two fingers up to yesterday
Light a cigarette and smoke it all away
I got out, I got out, I’m alive but I’m here to stay
He’s down in the kitchen drinking White Lightning
He’s with my momma, they’re yelling and fighting
It’s not the first time praying for silence
Something is changing, changing, changing

So I kiss goodbye to every little ounce of pain
Light a cigarette and wish the world away
I got out, I got out, I’m alive but I’m here to stay
So I hold two fingers up to yesterday
Light a cigarette and smoke it all away
I got out, I got out, I’m alive but I’m here to stay

There’s a story for every corner of this place
Running so hard you got out but your knees got grazed
I’m an old dog but I learned some new tricks yeah

So I kiss goodbye to every little ounce of pain
Light a cigarette and wish the world away
I got out I got out I’m alive but I’m here to stay
So I hold two fingers up to yesterday
Light a cigarette and smoke it all away
I got out I got out I’m alive but I’m here to stay

Hey, hey it’s fine
Hey, hey it’s fine
Hey, hey it’s fine
I left it behind

Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros – Home

I posted this song when I first started when I had only a couple of readers (Hanspostcard and Run-Sew-Read) so I thought I would give it another go. When I heard this on Lightning 100 in Nashville (an alternative station) I thought it was an old song. I liked it off the bat. Alex Ebert had left his band Ima Robot and formed this odd hippie-type band with Jade Castrinos in Los Angeles, California in 2007.

Never did I think I would like a song that started off…

Alabama, Arkansas
I do love my ma and pa
Not that way that I do love you

Holy moley, me oh my
You’re the apple of my eye
Girl, I’ve never loved one like you

But I did…and I couldn’t get enough of it. Their music has an old sound and is vibrant. I’m not comparing this in any way but it brought to mind Johnny and June Cash. Johnny and June didn’t sound like this but the type of song fits.

They were a band that had members that would come and go and were like a commune-type group. The song didn’t make it into the Billboard 100 although it was everywhere. “Home” was released in 2010 and it charted at #25 on the Billboard Alternative Songs in 2010 and #50 in the UK Charts in 2013. It did get a lot of play on commercials and  TV shows.

The interplay between Ebert and his then-girlfriend and bandmate Jade Castrinos is infectious. The song is a true story. Alex Ebert and Jade Castrinos were enjoying a day through Elysian Park in Los Angeles when she lost her shoes and he carried her on his back. After that, she fell out of his 2nd story window and had to go to the hospital.

The band is named after a character from a novel Ebert was writing…Edward Sharpe is an otherworldly figure who comes to Earth to offer enlightenment to the masses but finds himself getting distracted by the beautiful women.

Unfortunately Jade is not in the band now after a falling out in 2014. Their last album PersonA was released in 2016.

Home

Alabama, Arkansas
I do love my ma and pa
Not that way that I do love you

Holy moley, me oh my
You’re the apple of my eye
Girl, I’ve never loved one like you

Man, oh man, you’re my best friend
I scream it to the nothingness
There ain’t nothing that I need

Well, hot and heavy, pumpkin pie
Chocolate candy, Jesus Christ
Ain’t nothing please me more than you

Ah, home, let me go home
Home is wherever I’m with you
Ah, home, let me go home
Home is wherever I’m with you

La, la, la, la, take me home
Mommy, I’m coming home

I’ll follow you into the park
Through the jungle, through the dark
Girl, I never loved one like you

Moats and boats and waterfalls
Alleyways and pay phone calls
I’ve been everywhere with you

That’s true, laugh until we think we’ll die
Barefoot on a summer night
Never could be sweeter than with you

And in the streets you run a-free
Like it’s only you and me
Geez, you’re something to see

Ah, home, let me go home
Home is wherever I’m with you
Ah, home, let me go home
Home is wherever I’m with you

La, la, la, la, take me home
Daddy, I’m coming home

Jade Alexander, do you remember that day you fell out of my window?
I sure do, you came jumping out after me
Well, you fell on the concrete, nearly broke your ass,
You were bleeding all over the place and I rushed you out to the hospital, you remember that?
Yes, I do, well, there’s something I never told you about that night
What didn’t you tell me?
While you were sitting in the backseat smoking a cigarette you thought was going to be your last,
I was falling deep, deeply in love with you, and I never told you until just now

Ah, home, let me go home
Home is wherever I’m with you
Ah, home, let me go home
Home is where I’m alone with you

Home, let me come home
Home is wherever I’m with you

Ah, home, yes I am home
Home is when I’m alone with you

Alabama, Arkansas
I do love my ma and pa
Moats and boats and waterfalls
Alleyways and pay phone calls

Ah, home, let me go home
Home is wherever I’m with you
Ah, home, let me go home
Home is where I’m alone with you

Green Day – Boulevard Of Broken Dreams

The guitar tremolo effect in the intro hooked me. This one was truly a great single, arguably their best. The first song I remember from them was “When I Come Around” and I liked it immediately. I never thought of them as purely punk but more of a power pop/punk with a little sheen.

Green Day wanted to get away from their punk sound with this one with a Beatle-type vibe. The band’s first idea was an outro like The Beatles Day In The Life using circus music and other things. Producer Rob Cavallo talked them into doing it with just guitars.

The song was on the American Idiot album released in 2004. It peaked at #2 in the Billboard 100, #1 in the Canada Rock Top 30 charts, #5 in New Zealand, and #5 in the UK in 2004. The album was massive… it peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, Canada, The UK, and #2 in New Zealand.

Noel Gallagher accused Green Day of stealing the chord progression from the song Wonderwall.  “They should have the decency to wait until I am dead [before stealing my songs]. I, at least, pay the people I steal from that courtesy”

This also won Video of the Year at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards and also took home the prizes for Best Group Video, Best Rock Video, Best Direction, Best Editing, and Best Cinematography.

Billy Joe Armstrong said he saw a photo of James Dean with Boulevard of Broken Dreams underneath and he lifted the title from that…Gottfried Helnwein created it.

AFTER HELNWEIN, James Dean 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams', 87.5cm x 120cm,  framed and glazed.

Billy Joe Armstrong: “There’s an old James Dean photo where he’s walking in New York and underneath it says ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams.’ It’s a great photo of him, so that’s where I sort of nicked the title from,” 

In Rolling Stone’s Decade End Readers’ Poll, this was voted the Best Single of the ’00s. This song also won the Grammy for Record Of The Year at the 2006 ceremony. The previous year, American Idiot won for Best Rock Album.

Samuel Bayer, whose first gig was directing the video for Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” directed this video.

Samuel Bayer director of the video: “If you think about our country and the specter of war and the problems we’re having, then ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ is the state of the union – and ‘Holiday’ is the wild trip that got us here. It was about living your life and partying as if there’s no tomorrow. But ‘Boulevard’ is the tomorrow. And it’s a really dark, gray, desolate landscape. It’s a graveyard.

“It wasn’t like it was a great linear story between the two videos, but ‘Holiday’ was brightly colored and you’re driving 100 miles an hour and you don’t care what happens, but then the car breaks down,” he explained. “And then with ‘Boulevard,’ you start walking, and that journey goes on forever.”

“A lot of people don’t understand that on ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams,’ every image was shot on a soundstage, they’re never outside. Even when they’re walking, they’re on treadmills on a soundstage, and everything’s projected behind them from exterior footage I shot separately. A lot of videos I see now work so hard to make everything look seamless, and I wasn’t going for that. I spent a week hand-scratching the negative with razor blades and cigarettes. I threw a couple rolls of it in my shower and left it for a few days.”

Boulevard Of Broken Dreams

I walk a lonely road
The only one that I have ever known
Don’t know where it goes
But it’s only me, and I walk alone

I walk this empty street
On the boulevard of broken dreams
Where the city sleeps
And I’m the only one, and I walk alone

I walk alone, I walk alone
I walk alone and I walk a

My shadow’s the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart’s the only thing that’s beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
Till then I walk alone

Ah ah ah ah ah
Ah ah ah ah ah

I’m walking down the line
That divides me somewhere in my mind
On the border line of the edge
And where I walk alone

Read between the lines
What’s fucked up and every thing’s all right
Check my vital signs to know I’m still alive
And I walk alone

I walk alone, I walk alone
I walk alone and I walk a

My shadow’s the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart’s the only thing that’s beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
Till then I walk alone

Ah ah ah ah ah
Ah ah ah ah ah

I walk alone, I walk a

I walk this empty street
On the boulevard of broken dreams
Where the city sleeps
And I’m the only one, and I walk alone

My shadow’s the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart’s the only thing that’s beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
Till then I walk alone

….

Heaven and Hell – by Don Felder and Wendy Holden…Book

Let me start this out by being completely truthful. I am not an Eagles fan whatsoever but I like biographies and I do respect the band as musicians and songwriters. This is a good book for Eagles fans and rock fans in general. It covers a lot of history of the Eagles and rock in the 60s and 70s.

Felder by far was the most versatile of the band. He was offereded a teaching job at Berklee College of Music in Boston before he even joined the Eagles.

What made me want to read this book was…the documentary on the Eagles released in 2013 (I also love rock documentaries). One of the reasons they made the documentary was because of this book! Don Henley and Glenn Frey were livid about Heaven and Hell and wanted to tell their side. The funny thing is… they ended up proving Don Felder right on most of what he wrote.

It’s a good book…I liked it because it helped document an important time in rock music…the sixties and seventies. The book is interesting for more reasons than the Eagles. Florida in the 1960s was a hotspot for future rock and roll stars. Don Felder, Tom Petty, Allman Brothers, Stephen Stills, and Lynyrd Skynyrd just to name a few were all playing clubs on both coasts of Florida.

Don Felder grew up in Gainesville Florida and worked at a music store. He gave young Tommy his first guitar lessons…that Tommy would be Tom Petty. He played in a band with Stephen Stills in high school. He then met future Eagle Bernie Leadon and they started to play in bands together. Felder was taught slide guitar by no other than Duane Allman! They played many of the clubs that the Allman Joys did.

It’s worth reading just for his pre-Eagle days.

When the Eagles first formed, their goal was to divide the writing and singing equally. That way, they reasoned, nobody would become a star or feel like a sideman. That had happened in their previous bands, and they didn’t create the Eagles to go through all that again. After a while that plan went out the window and the problems started.

You learn about the dynamics of the Eagles and how everything changed after Hotel California. Henley and Frey took over the band and called the shots. The problem was Felder was a full member (owner) in the band unlike Timothy B Schmit and Joe Walsh who were just paid employees then and now. When Felder would sugggest something or would want to know where the money was going…he was ignored or pushed off to Irving Azoff the manager by Henley and Frey.

He also covers the problems that Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner had with Frey and Henley….and the close friendship that he had with Joe Walsh.

This is not a gossip book. Felder doesn’t use the book just to slam Frey and Henley. Felder has faults and we see them in this book. He does seem to try to be even handed. As I’ve mentioned before…one look at the Eagles documentary and most of what he says will be verified. He covers their career…up until he was let go.

It’s an enjoyable book and I would recommend it. As I said, I’m not an Eagles fan but I enjoyed it.

Foo Fighters – Next Year

Well…it is “Next Year” today…I hope 2022 is a great year for all of us. 

You could call this a power ballad. It sounds a little like Britpop and Dave Grohl has criticized the song…no not critize…he HATES the song but it’s one of my favorites by them.

Dave Grohl: ‘Next Year’ is a piece of shit! That song is so stupid! It’s weird.”

I like weird Dave…

The song was released in December of 2000. It was on the album There Is Nothing Left to Lose. It peaked at #14 in the US Alternative Airplay Charts, #12 in Canada, and #42 in the UK in 2000-2001. 

The video is great… it remakes the Apollo 11 mission with clips around that time. It ends with the Foo Fighters in astronaut gear similiar to this Led Zeppelin photo. 

Led Zeppelin's 25 Greatest Deep Cuts : Napster

Next Year - Wikiwand

From Wiki: The opening of “Next Year” was used as the theme song for the NBC television series Ed (2000–2004). The show’s creators, Rob Burnett and Jon Beckerman (formerly of the Late Show with David Letterman) used the song despite knowledge of production company Viacom’s insistence that they own the rights to the show’s theme song. “Next Year” was thus ultimately replaced by Clem Snide’s “Moment in the Sun” during the second season. As a result of outcries from Burnett and Beckerman, however, Viacom relented and “Next Year” returned as the theme song in the third and fourth seasons.

Next Year

I’m in the sky tonight
There I can keep by your side
Watching the wide world riot
And hiding out
I’ll be coming home next year

Into the sun we climb
Climbing our wings will burn white
Everyone strapped in tight
We’ll ride it out
I’ll be coming home next year

Come on, get on, get on
Take it till life runs out
No one can find us now
Living with our heads underground

Into the night we shine
Lighting the way we glide by
Catch me if I get too high
When I come down
I’ll be coming home next year

I’m in the sky tonight
There I can keep by your side
Watching the whole world wind
Around and round
I’ll be coming home next year

Come on, get on, get on
Take it till I fall down
No one can find us now
Living with our heads underground

I’ll be coming home next year
I’ll be coming home next year
Everything’s all right up here
And if I come down
I’ll be coming home next year

Say goodbye
Say goodbye
Say goodbye
Say goodbye

I’ll be coming home next year
I’ll be coming home next year
Everything’s all right up here
And if I come down
I’ll be coming home next year
I’ll be coming home next year
I’ll be coming home next year

Badfinger – Lay Me Down

Lay Me Down was written by Pete Ham and is a wonderful pop/rock song. Another song that slipped through the cracks…I’ve heard Teenage Fanclub cover this one and I’ve liked it as well as their known hits.  I want to thank everyone who stuck with me through four Badfinger songs since Thursday.

The song was on the album Head First. Joey Molland had just quit and was replaced by Bob Jackson.

Badfinger’s management replaced Chris Thomas as producer because he didn’t think they should make an album so soon (6 months) after their last album Wish You Were Here. The band felt the same but they had no control… Kenny Kerner and Richie Wise was picked to produce them, Wise had just become successful by producing KISS.

They recorded Head First in December 1974 – January 1975 after Wish You Were Here with new member Bob Jackson. While recording the album Warner Brothers wanted to know where thousands of dollars went to that disappeared from an escrow account (in the managers pocket).

WB’s sought to attach the royalties due from their previous album Wish You Were Here. Consequently, WB suspended sales of Wish You Were Here.

Although the master tapes of Head First were delivered to and accepted by WB’s recording division in Los Angeles, WB’s publishing arm there refused to accept them because of the lawsuit. With a lack of publishing protection, the record division shelved the tapes and the album was not released.

The album was stuck in limbo for 26 years. It wasn’t released until 2000. I went out and bought this the day it was released at Tower Records. On a couple of songs, Hey Mr Manager and Rock and Roll Contract,  they are taking aim at their management and frustration. The songs that stand out to me are Lay Me Down, Hey Mr. Manager, Rock N’ Roll Contract, and Keep Believing. A good album and I wish it would have had a chance at the time it was recorded.

This song would have had a chance to chart.

This would be the last album released by Badfinger with Pete Ham. He would die 3 months after they finished the album. Tom Evans and Joey Molland would revive Badfinger in the late seventies and release two albums. They did have two minor hits.

Lay Me Down

Need your loving
Need your loving
Need your loving
It’s everything to me

Need your loving
Need your loving
Need your loving
It’s everything to me

Take me high take me low
Show me anything that you know
But tonight little lover lay me down
Make me laugh make me sigh tell me how and tell me why
But tonight lover little lay me down

Lay me down move me round
Let me hear your loving sound
In our mess we are blessed with our love
Take and give take and live all the love that we have found
And just send all our problems away

Play me fun play me sad
Tell me things that could make you glad
But tonight lover little Lay me down
Lay me down
Need you loving

Play to share play to care
You can play with me anywhere
But tonight lover little lay me down
But tonight lover little lover lay me down
Lay me down
Need your loving

Jayhawks – Big Star

I love this band…it seems I have a fondness for bands that released good to great music but never could get over that hump to mass audiences. Maybe if they would have cleared that obstacle their music would have changed…but who knows… maybe it’s a part of their appeal.

This song comes out in 1997 and was on their Sound of Lies album. At first I thought it was about the Memphis band Big Star and it is kinda…and also about The Jayhawks and loving what you have now. The album peaked at #112 in the Billboard Album Chart and #61 in the UK.

They have a Kinks tie… They recently backed Ray Davies on his albums Americana and Our Country – Americana Act II. Their 2016 album Paging Mr. Proust was produced by Peter Buck of REM.

They formed in the mid-80s in the Twin Cities .

Gary Louris when asked if the song is about the band Big Star: “Not exactly. Maybe in the back of my mind.” “You could say it about the Velvet Underground or Big Star or The Jayhawks,” “world’s unluckiest bands. They should have been bigger. But everybody in the audience started a band. Everybody that saw them started a band. The old cliché. But it’s true.”

 “I have a lot of famous friends.” “about achieving a place that you thought you wanted to be and maybe it would make you happy. It’s a typical human response. If I get there, then I’m finally going to be happy. And in reality, you probably won’t be. You should just be happy with what you have.”

Big Star

I’m flat-busted
Wild-eyed and free
I couldn’t get arrested if I tried
A has-been at a mere thirty-five

Straight, honest, forthright and true
Great expectations for someone
Doesn’t anybody know how to have fun
But I’m

Gonna be a Big Star
I’m gonna be a Big Star someday
I’m gonna be a Big Star someday

Grape’s bitter
I’m no quitter
Revolutions come one by one
Seems it’s high noon and I ain’t got no gun

But it’s so hard
So hard
So hard getting by

Gonna be a Big Star
I’m gonna be a Big Star someday
I’m gonna be a Big Star someday

Fine bourbon, Cuban cigars
Rude remarks observed at the C.C. Bar
I’m perfecting the finest art of wasting hours
But I’m

Gonna be a Big Star
I’m gonna be a Big Star someday
I’m gonna be a Big Star someday

I’m gonna be a Big Star
I’m gonna be a Big Star someday

Droogs – Ahead Of My Time

The lyrics won’t make you mistake these guys for Bob Dylan but the guitar action is pretty cool in this one.

Several years before it became fashionable…the Droogs were playing what would later be called “garage revival”. They started playing together as pre-teens in 1966 and began issuing singles in the early to mid seventies.

Ahead of My Time was released in 1974. They missed out on the garage band sixties and they were ahead of the curve of the 60s garage band revival in the late 70’s.

They started to release albums in the mid-eighties and were part of the Paisley Underground Scene. They released 8 albums between 1984 to 2017.

The Droogs just released an album in 2017  called Young Gun and are still together doing their thing.

Ahead Of My Time

Hey babe, this must be your lucky day babe
I wanna kiss you if I may babe
Don’t care what people have to say babe

I’ve got to love you, the only way that I can
So please don’t misunderstand
They’ll tell you that I’m not your kind
But I’m just ahead of my time.

In your neighborhood, got a reputation that’s none too good.
For knowing things no young man should
I know baby, you would if you could

I’ve got to love you, the only way that I can
So please don’t me be your man
They’ll tell you true love’s hard to find
But I’m just ahead of my time.
I’m just ahead of my time.
I’m just ahead of my time.

We’re just ahead of our time.
We’re just ahead of our time.
We’re just ahead of our time.

Hey babe, this must be your lucky day babe
I wanna kiss you if I may babe
Don’t care what people have to say babe

I’ve got to love you, all the way babe

Fountains of Wayne – Stacy’s Mom …. Power Pop Friday

It’s hard not to like this song. it’s fun and the video should not to be missed. When I was growing up…I don’t remember any friend’s moms looking like Rachel Hunter though.

The song was credited to  Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesinger…but Schlesinger wrote it. Stacy’s Mom was released in 2003 on the Welcome Interstate Managers album.

The intro resembles the Cars Just What I Needed and they even asked Ric Ocasek to be in the video for the song. He never responded but they had some tributes to him in the video.  A license plate reads “I ♥ RIC” and a young kid dressed similar to Ocasek with dark hair and sunglasses. They also re-created the scene from the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High, which featured the Cars’ “Moving in Stereo.”

Adam Schlesinger said that he had Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson” in the back of his mind when he wrote Stacy’s Mom… “It was a contrast of that story against a track that sounded like ’80s new wave, like The Cars or something.”

Adam also said that one of his friends when he was 11 or 12 was attracted…not to his mom but to his grandmother. He told Schlesinger that she was “really hot.” That incident helped him write the song.

It peaked at #21 in the Billboard 100, #11 in the UK, and #13 in Canada in 2003

The band Bowling For Soup has been misidentified as the band that did Stacy’s Mom. Youtube and even some of their fans even thought they were the band that did the song…so…they covered it! They do sound somewhat like Fountains Of Wayne.

Jaret Reddick (Bowling for Soup leader) said that by finally releasing their own version of the song, “I’ve basically just taken care of a large part of the population that’s been wrong for years, and I’ve made them right.” The cover art for their version of the  song release reads: “Finally you can say this is your favorite song by BFS and not look like an idiot!”

Unfortunately Adam Schlesinger passed away on April 1, 2020 from complications of Covid-19…he was only 52 years old.

Songfacts

The Cars’ influence is obvious – just compare the intro of their track, “Just What I Needed,” to the intro of “Stacy’s Mom” to hear for yourself.

This song was a commercial success and reached #1 on iTunes’ Most Downloaded Songs chart. In 2004, it was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Vocal Pop Performance. Adam Schlesinger told us “Stacy’s Mom” “is definitely the biggest of my own band stuff.” Schlesinger added to Bullz-Eye.com that he does not think Fountains of Wayne will achieve the same level of success they did with “Stacy’s Mom” ever again: “I think ‘Stacy’s Mom’ was a fluke thing where it was the right song and the right video, and you kind of had the novelty factor, and all that stuff. And you can’t really make that happen again.”

Actress and model, Rachel Hunter, portrayed Stacy’s mom in the song’s official video – directed by Chris Applebaum. Parts of the video bear a striking resemblance to the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High. At one point in the movie, a character named Brad is in a bathroom fantasizing about his sister’s friend and the friend walks in on him. His sister’s name, coincidentally, is Stacy. .

The song featured in a commercial for the Cadillac SRX, which shows a woman picking up her daughter from school. As she does so, men gaze longingly at her “beautifully practical and practically beautiful” …car.

Stacy’s Mom

Stacy’s mom has got it goin’ on
Stacy’s mom has got it goin’ on
Stacy’s mom has got it goin’ on
Stacy’s mom has got it goin’ on

Stacy, can I come over after school? (after school)
We can hang around by the pool (hang by the pool)
Did your mom get back from her business trip? (business trip)
Is she there, or is she trying to give me the slip? (give me the slip)

You know, I’m not the little boy that I used to be
I’m all grown up now, baby can’t you see

Stacy’s mom has got it goin’ on
She’s all I want and I’ve waited for so long
Stacy, can’t you see you’re just not the girl for me
I know it might be wrong but I’m in love with Stacy’s mom

Stacy’s mom has got it goin’ on
Stacy’s mom has got it goin’ on

Stacy, do you remember when I mowed your lawn? (mowed your lawn)
Your mom came out with just a towel on (towel on)
I could tell she liked me from the way she stared (way she stared)
And the way she said, “you missed a spot over there” (a spot over there)

And I know that you think it’s just a fantasy
But since your dad walked out, your mom could use a guy like me

Stacy’s mom has got it goin’ on
She’s all I want, and I’ve waited so long
Stacy, can’t you see you’re just not the girl for me
I know it might be wrong
But I’m in love with Stacy’s mom

Stacy’s mom has got it goin’ on
She’s all I want and I’ve waited for so long
Stacy can’t you see you’re just not the girl for me
I know it might be wrong
I’m in love with (Stacy’s mom oh oh)
I’m in love with (Stacy’s mom oh oh)
Stacy can’t you see you’re just not the girl for me
I know it might be wrong, but
I’m in love with (Stacy’s mom oh oh)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stacy%27s_Mom

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

Paul Simon – Old

I heard this in 2000 and it sounded like the Paul Simon of old…no pun intended.  It’s about when people telling you…you are getting old whether you are there or not.

It was on the album You’re The One released in 2000. You’re The One was nominated for a Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 2001. As a result Simon became the first artist to be nominated in that category in five consecutive decades (1960s-2000s). Paul McCartney also joined that club in 2006 with his album Chaos and Creation in the Backyard.

You’re the One‘s generally upbeat tone arose out of his happy home life with singer Edie Brickell and their children… “the first time that I ever had domestic bliss.”

You’re The One peaked at #19 in the Billboard Album Chart, #8 in Canada, and #20 in the UK. This release was 3 years after his album Songs from the Capeman which contained songs from a Broadway Play he wrote.

Old

The first time I heard ‘Peggy Sue’, I was twelve years old
Russians up in a rocket ships and the war was cold
Now many wars have come and gone, genocide still goes on
Buddy Holly still goes on, but his catalog was sold

First time I smoked, guess what, paranoid
First time I heard ‘Satisfaction’, I was young and unemployed
Down the decades every year, summer leaves and my birthday’s here
And all my friends stand up and cheer

Say man you’re old
Getting old
You’re old
You’re getting old

We celebrate the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day
And Buddha found Nirvana along the Lotus Way
About fifteen hundred years ago the messenger Mohammed spoke
And his wisdom like a river flowed through hills of gold

Wisdom is old
The Koran is old
The Bible is old
Greatest story ever told

Disagreements?
Work ’em out

The human races walked the Earth for two point seven million
And we estimate the universe about thirteen to fourteen billion
When all these numbers tumble into your imagination
Consider that the Lord was there before creation

God is old
We’re not old
God is old
He made the mold

Take your clothes off
Adam and Eve

Caesars – Jerk It Out

It sounds like it could have been recorded in 1966 by a garage band in Ohio. This song is a bit unknown but like most songs today you may have heard it on commercials. This song just hits you right away with it’s distorted organ.

What a cool mid-sixties garage sound The Caesars had on this song…I like good riffs…and this one has a great organ hook. I first heard it in the mid-2000s and I’ve loved it ever since. It peaked at #70 in the Billboard 100 in 2005 and #8 in the UK in 2003. I first noticed it on an Ipod commercial and have recommended it to friends.

This was the first hit for The Caesars, who are known as The Caesar’s Palace in their native country of Sweden, and Twelve Caesars throughout the rest of Scandinavia…However due to copyrights from Caesars Palace Casino, they are known as The Caesars throughout the rest of the world.

The band went on hiatus in 2012 but since has reunited. I posted this song when I first started but only had one maybe two readers…I heard it again yesterday and had to repost it.

From Songfacts.

No hidden meaning in this song – it’s just about dancing and getting loose. It received a lot of attention in the United States after it was featured in an iPod ad. The popular iPod ads also helped boost the popularity for songs like “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” by Aussie rock band JET, and “Flathead” by the Scottish band The Fratellis.

According to the band, the title “Jerk It Out” means “to just let out some steam, freak out, let yourself go, get crazy, etc.” The title has a double meaning, as it can easily be taken as being about masturbation. Keeping with the sexual double meanings, the remix of this song was called “Jerk It Harder.”

Jerk It Out

Wind me up
Put me down
Start me off and watch me go
I’ll be runnin’ circles around you sooner than you know
A little off center
And I’m out of tune
Just kickin’ this can along the avenue
But I’m alright

‘Cause it’s easy once you know how it’s done
You can’t stop now
It’s already begun
You feel it runnin’ through your bones
And you jerk it out
And you jerk it out

Shut up
Hush your mouth
Can’t you hear you talk too loud
No can’t hear nothin’ ’cause I got my head up in the clouds
I bite off anything that I can chew
I’m chasing cars up and down the avenue
But that’s okay

‘Cause it’s easy once you know how it’s done
You can’t stop now
It’s already begun
You feel it runnin’ through your bones
And you jerk it out

‘Cause it’s easy once you know how it’s done
You can’t stop now
It’s already begun
You feel it runnin’ through your bones
And you jerk it out
And you jerk it out

And you jerk it out
And you jerk it out
Oh baby don’t you know 
You really gotta jerk it out
When you jerk it out
Oh baby don’t you know 
You really gotta jerk it out
When you jerk it out
Oh baby don’t you know you
You really gotta jerk it out

Replacements – Message to the Boys

Thanks to Aphoristical for pointing me to this song and album. At the end of 2005, years after the band had broken up…Warner Music Group ended up with rights to the Replacements’ Twin/Tone albums, and their entire catalog was finally placed under one roof. They offered Westerberg and Stinson a deal for the band to reunite and record. They wanted to package a “Best Of” album with a few new songs.

They had been feuding with each other off and on since the break up. Westerberg and Stinson ended their feud and agreed to do it. They did not invite Slim Dunlap to participate for some reason. They did however invite drummer Chris Mars to join them. They patched things up with Mars but he was an artist and doing it for a living and didn’t want to play. He did come to the sessions anyway. Drummer  Josh Freese had flown out to play drums. To show you how they operated…here is Westerberg’s thought on that.

“And Chris, he was still a Replacement…The first thing out of his mouth to Josh was something like, ‘Man, you almost played that really good.’ That’s what we missed. You don’t have to play the drums. You can just bring the attitude.”

The band recorded two songs Message to the Boys and Pool and Dive. They appeared on the album Don’t You Know Who I Think I Was? They didn’t end up touring at that time but offers came in year after year and the money offers got bigger.

Westerberg: “The fact that we came up short is the thing that’s kept us interesting. That is part of the attraction. We’ve retained this mystique.”

Paul and Tommy would later reunite again in 2012. Former guitar player Slim Dunlap had a major stroke and they contributed to a benefit album of Slim’s songs along with many artists. In 2013 they started to play live again and eventually toured until 2015 when it ended abruptly.

Paul Westerberg about the reunion in 2006 and missing former member Bob Stinson: “The answer to the million-dollar question is yes, when Bob died, something died in me and Tommy, and we’ve never been the same since,” said Westerberg. “And it’s always been awkward, and it’s always been unsaid and unsayable and strange and weird between us.”

This concludes taking a song off of each album from the Replacements… thanks for following here every Monday. I’ll still post some Replacements here and there.

Message To The Boys

Well I met her in a bar
Like I always say
She was digging Tommy’s cute
Way down in FLA

Wearing that vest with nothing underneath
Looking her best in the Florida heat
Sent a message to the boys
She was wearing that vest with nothing underneath
She be looking her best in the Florida heat, yeah
Sent a message to the boys

Well, she couldn’t cut loose
With her mommy around
So she packed her pretty bags
Went to the run-away town

Used to call me late at night
Said she missed her little maid
I never asked twice how the bills got paid
She sent a message to the boys
Used to call me every night
Said she missed her little maid
Never ever asked twice how the bills got paid
Sent the message to the boys

She sent a message to the boys
She’s gonna be there, if you need her
I can’t forget her and her voice
And her voice

Was a lady to the end
Now to this I can attest
She knew how to move
Yeah, when she rock’n’rolled this

She sent a message to the boys
She’s gonna be there, if you need her
I can’t forget her and her voice

She sent a message to the boys
She sent a message to the boys
God, I miss her and her voice
She sent a message to the boys
She sent a message to the boys
Oh god, I miss her and her voice

Interview with a Radio Disc Jockey…Keith Allen

We are going to mix it up today. First I want to thank Keith Allen (nostalgicitalian) for being kind enough to answer 15 questions. Keith said he would be happy to answer any questions you have if we didn’t cover it. I have a link to a post of his at the bottom of the page that he elaborates on the last question. 

To make this more well rounded I reached out to a few bloggers for some  questions. Hanspostcard, Vic, LisaRun-Sew-Read, and Dave,…so thank you all. I wanted to reach out more but I didn’t want Keith to have to type a novel worth of answers. 

Remember to go over to Keith’s blog and ask anything that was not covered. First a little about Keith.

Keith Allen’s Bio: 

Keith Allen was born and raised in Michigan.  While he was a senior in high school (1988), he became an intern at WKSG, Kiss-FM in Detroit, which would lead to his first on air job.  He would next work at WMXD-FM also in Detroit.  For someone with no radio experience whatsoever, starting his career in the 6th biggest market in the country (at the time) was pretty special.   

In 1991, he moved to the west side of the state to work at WKZC-FM.  The job was short lived, a mere 6 months.  Upon moving back to Detroit, he was lucky enough to land a job at the first oldies station in the country, the historic Honey Radio (WHND-AM).  It was here that he really honed his on air personality.  When Honey went off the air in 1994, he started at his next country station, WWWW-FM (W4 Country) in Detroit.  Yes, the same station Howard Stern is at in Private Parts. 

In 1998, Keith got a call from Flint, Michigan to come work at a fairly new country station, WFBE-FM (B-95).  In 2002, the station changed management and he travelled across town to WKCQ-FM.  He continued his career in country music at WCEN-FM (The Moose), which was a powerhouse station that covered 27 counties in the state.  He returned to WFBE-FM to do mornings after a 5 year stay at the Moose.  After another management change, and another firing, Keith decided to go back to school to learn another trade.   

He began working as a part-time personality on WCRZ-FM (Cars 108) in Flint.  An opportunity to actually program a station came in 2009.  He became program director of 103.9 The Fox (WRSR-FM) until the station was sold.  He returned to WCRZ-FM part time, as well as doing part time work again for The Moose.  He remained at both places until the Covid-19 pandemic.  While technically still employed at both stations, he has been off the air since March. 

He currently works full time as a Polysomnographic Technologist at a Sleep Evaluations Center.  He helps to diagnose Sleep Apnea in adults and children.

  1. Why did you want to be a DJ?

    When I was in high school, I was a band nerd.  I loved playing in band and actually aspired to be a band director.  During my senior year, I worked part time at a boat marina in the Parts Department.  In the fall and winter, once the boats were winterized, business was slow.  So I would sit in there with the radio on and do inventory.  I would listen to Jim McKenzie on Kiss-FM every day.  He was a great example of what a DJ should be – the listener’s friend.  Every day I listened, and I felt like he was talking to just me.  He kept me company while I worked.  The more I listened to him and other DJ’s, the more I began to think, “Hey, I could do that!  I’d enjoy doing that!”  I called the station and asked to speak to someone about getting into the business.  The guy I spoke with told me that I could 1) go to broadcast school or 2) intern at the station for a while and see if I could break in that way.  I chose Option #2. 

    I started interning for the news guy.  I took news stories off the wire and rewrote stories and helped compile a newscast.  I then began hanging out with the morning show (Paul Christy and the Christy Critters).  I enjoyed this so much more.  This was where the real action was.  I got to see them plan bits, edit phone calls, and more.  Eventually, I started running Paul’s Saturday show, which was all on tape.  He would throw it to me from the tape and ask about the sport scores, lottery numbers, and weather.  I did this for about 6 months and they let the overnight guy go.  I was asked to fill in on the show temporarily.  The temporary job ended up being full time.  Paul believed I had some talent (although not much of it showed during my time there) and gave me my first break in radio.

  2. Who was your personal favorite DJ and what did you like about that DJ.?

    It’s hard to pick just one, because there really are so many.  If I had to narrow it down, I’d say on a national scale – Wolfman Jack.  He was just so fun to listen to and he always said some of the coolest stuff.  I used to close my show with one of his quotes:  “Keep smiling.  A smile is just a light in the window letting people know your heart’s at home.”  I thought that was just awesome!

    Local DJ, would have to be Richard D from Honey Radio. I really found him to be a great mentor and teacher.  He and I loved the same bad jokes and used to make fun of each other all the time on the radio.  His show had daily benchmarks, which were so reminiscent of the “good old days” of radio when DJ’s were truly personalities.  He branded everything.  When somebody won a contest, he would “Richard D-clare” them the winner.  He always played an obscure record every day called the “Tricky Dicky Off The Wall Record” (he had a whole intro to this).  He’d read celebrity birthdays and history bits from his “Poor Richard D’s Almanac,” and so much more.  He ALWAYS sounded like he was having fun and I really tried to do the same thing.  He really was one of the best!

  3. How did the business change from the time you began until the time you ended your career?

    When I first got into radio, I feel like I was spoiled.  We had a lot of freedom.  We were creative and got to do a lot of bits on the air.  Again, radio was still a place that people went to hear music, but also enjoyed listening to what the DJ’s had to say.  Johnny Molson, who I followed on the air at WKSG, did some fantastic “theater of the mind” bits and had fun with them!

    Somewhere in the early 90’s, research started to say that DJ’s talked too much.  “More Music” became a thing, and DJ’s were told to shut up and read the cards.  To ensure that DJ’s kept it short, there were liner cards placed in the studios for us to read.  Talk breaks were eliminated and when we did talk it was to 1) outro the song, 2) read the liner card, 3) promote what was coming up next, and 4) play the commercials. 

    In truth, as another great mentor told me, it wasn’t that DJ’s talked too much – it was that they didn’t have anything to say.  Jay Trachman helped me to take a bit, write it out to where it all fit together and you didn’t waste the listener’s time.  Bits had a “catch” or a “hook” to peak your interest, then the “meat” of the bit, followed by the “out” or the “punchline”.  Short – to the point – and still entertaining. 

  4. How much control did you have on the playlist?

    Today – none.  You can bet that 99% of all stations have their music scheduled in advance.

    When I first started, our station was “all request.”  We had a computer in the studio and as long as the song met criteria, we could pretty much play whatever listeners asked for.  It was a pretty cool thing.  We had to check and make sure that the song hadn’t been played before we got on the air or that it wasn’t scheduled later in the show.  Even request shows today only have a few spots for request.  Music is scheduled ahead of time.

    When I was playing current music, in country, I had the chance to voice an opinion about which new song I thought we should add to the play list.  It was something that the Music Director, Program Director, and consultant made decisions on.

  5. Is there one song you had to play that sticks out as one you really disliked?

    I could probably name one song from every station I worked at!  While at country radio it was almost every song Rascal Flatts put out after their first album…LOL.  They all began to sound the same to me.  It always bothered me that stations would add new songs from “super stars” even though they knew the song was a piece of garbage.

    Anyway, I digress.  The one song that sticks out to me is The Boll Weevil Song by Brook Benton.  It seemed like this always played on Honey.  I’m not sure why it aggravated me so much, but I actually said how much I disliked it on the air.  Johnny Molson once talked about The Elusive Butterfly by Bob Lind saying, “It sounds like someone ate a Hallmark card and threw up” regarding the lyrics.

    I think all DJ’s have their favorite songs and ones they hate.  That’s why there is volume control in the on air studio … I turned the speakers down a lot!

  6. Of the musicians you met or interviewed- which one impressed you the most?

    In almost 30 years, I have met so many.  Let me say that country artists are usually the most generous and gracious.  I found that to be true with 95% of them.  George Strait, Wynonna Judd, Emily West, Jeff Bates, Reba McEntire, and SO many were just like talking to friends.  They were just amazing. 

    Martina McBride impressed me the most.  I was escorting a backstage winner to her show.  She had bid like $700 on a silent auction package to see Martina, get a limo ride to the show, backstage passes, and dinner.  The auction was for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  I introduced the winner to Martina and told her about our winner.  When she heard that she had bid that much money to be there, she called someone over to her and whispered something to them.  Martina was so nice to this winner.  She autographed everything that the winner had with her, including the T-shirts she bought at the merchandise booth.  Her guy came back with a bunch of items and gave them to our winner.  There was a huge autographed window poster (like you would see in record stores), key chains, more T-shirts, bumper stickers, and all things Martina – almost all autographed.  THEN she gave the listener her money back for the shirts she had bought before the show.  She thanked the listener for being such a supporter of St. Jude and our station.  Most meet and greets are very quick, but Martina gave this winner almost 15 minutes.  It was truly amazing and speaks volumes for who Martina is.

  7. Who was the best/worst interview?

    Again, I have done so many great in person and telephone interviews, it is hard to pick the “best.”  In the running would be Rainn Wilson (Dwight from the Office), as he was very funny and was familiar with our area.  Also up near the top – Elmo from Sesame Street.  That was such a hoot.  I’m not even sure why we had him on the show, but Kevin Clash, who is the voice of Elmo, called and he had a very deep voice.  We chatted for a sec before the interview and BAM – there was Elmo!  My oldest son was about 2 when I did this interview and Kevin recorded a special message for him as Elmo and sent a stuffed Elmo to him at our home!  Pretty cool.  I also played poker with Chely Wright on the air as part of our interview because she took my money at a charity event and I told her I wanted a chance to win it back… LOL

    Toss up for the top spot – Aaron Tippin and Jewel.  Aaron was just amazing.  He was in for a show and was a blast to talk to.  He bleeds red, white, and blue!  He shared some great stories from on the road and he shared his mutual love for the music of Sinatra and Dean Martin. 

    Jewel, was a sweetheart.  She was live with me in the studio promoting her country album and show.  Her life is just so fascinating that it was easy to talk with her.  I asked if there was anything off limits, because I didn’t know if she really wanted to talk about the fact that she was living out of her van for a while.  She told me to ask whatever I wanted.  We talked about her poetry, her life in Alaska, her family, her hobbies, her pop albums, and a small role she had in a Wizard of Oz show.  I felt like I knew her all my life.  She was such a joy to hang out with. After she left, about an hour later, her record rep who was with her called me and told me that she said our interview was one of the best she had ever done.  She had told him I made her feel so at home. 

    I still have a voice mail on my cell phone from her telling me she would see me at her show that night. The show she was doing that night was about an hour and a half away from me and I had tickets.  However, there was a snow storm and I was unable to get out of the driveway to make it up to the show. 

  8. How would you respond if an interviewee accidentally swore during a live broadcast?

    Most stations are equipped with an “oops” button just for this reason.  The live feed of a station is usually broadcast on a five second delay.  So if someone swears, you hit the button and it jumps ahead to the live feed and eventually goes back to 5 seconds.  Yes, I have had to use this on occasion.  Most folks don’t hear when it happens, but a radio guy can tell when the button was pressed.

    That’s why most interviews are recorded.  When an interview is recorded, you can edit out stuff you don’t necessarily want in the interview.  You can also save it in pieces and play each piece over an hour or so and it sounds like the artist is hanging with you for an hour, when in reality, they were on the phone with you for 10-15 minutes.  We recorded the majority of our interviews whether they were in studio or on the phone.  Some, however, were broadcast live.

  9. Was there any difference between being a DJ at a Country Station and a Rock Station besides the music?

    First of all, your audience is different.  Your target demo for a Country station is usually women aged 25-54.  Your target for a Classic Rock station is men around that same age group or older.  So when you prep for a show, you cater how you prep to those demos. 

    Country stations really focus on artist stuff.  We had a few prep services that had all kinds of stories and sound bites from country singers about writing songs, awards, their favorite recipe, etc…  Country artists, especially current artists, always have something going on – a tour, a book, a new album, etc…  With Classic Rock (just like oldies) the music doesn’t change.  You are a “gold” based format.  You are playing only hits that have been around for decades.  Many artists have passed away.  So you talk about the songs themselves, the stories behind the songs (much like Max does in his blog), maybe a new biography, or a movie where a song is featured. 

    Depending on WHO you are talking to, you prepare a show for that.  You could talk about deer hunting on a rock station, where as you would probably talk about a deer widow’s weekend on a country station.  You have to know who your audience is and you go from there.

    Another thing that was different for me was my vocal delivery.  I found myself to be very conversational, but energetic on the country station.  On the rock station, it was different.  We didn’t talk up a lot of intros, so I was often talking with no music going behind me.  This allowed me to slow my delivery down a bit (not quite Johnny Fever or Venus Flytrap) and it was a bit more “me,” if that makes any sense….LOL

  10. Keith, what is your most memorable moment on radio?

    I have three that I will never forget.  The first was our St. Jude Radiothons.  I had been to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.  Touring the hospital, hearing the stories, seeing all that they do, and then coming back presenting it all to our listeners was quite an emotional experience.  I was lucky to meet two children whose family benefited from St. Jude and interview them on the air – Kyle and Allyson made an impact on me and our listeners.

    The other was the last day that Honey Radio was on the air.  That day in November of 1994, we did our morning show, and then turned it over to Boogie Brian, who was the last live jock from our studio.  I recently went back and listened to the last break I did.  It is hard to listen to.  I felt like I could ad lib it, I wish I had written something down.  I was holding back tears through the whole break.  Then, when Boogie played his prerecorded 15 minute sign off, we all sat in a production room listening.  We all cried.  One of the most emotional days of my life, second only to ….

    9/11.  The planes hit the Twin Towers before I went on the air at 10am.  That day, I was the eyes and ears of what developments were happening for my listeners.  I remember the disbelief.  I remember the fear.  I remember the vivid visuals we saw on the news.  Life changed that day for all of us and radio changed too.  We began playing the National Anthem every day at noon.  We had numerous appearances where we raised money for victim’s families.  We sponsored blood drives and so much more.  The events of that day and literally throwing the format out the window to broadcast the latest information will stick with me forever.

  11. What is your most embarrassing moment on the radio?

    I always say that I broadcast the worst five minutes of radio in Detroit Radio History:  Short set up:  My morning show partner, Rob, did a ton of voices.  These characters were all part of the show and I was usually the guy who tried to keep the show (and them) in check.  So, the week Honey went off the air, Rob insisted I do a voice live on the air.  I had done it a couple times, but had recorded it.  The character was “Mitch Wallace”, who was loosely based on a real listener who called us all the time.  I had called Rob at home and used that voice and he said it was so good, he thought the guy had his number!  This particular day we had a stupid bit planned.  I was to enter the studio as “Mitch”.  I was to be upset about the station going off the air.  (Keep in mind this is long before school shootings and active shooters) I was to have a gun and Chuckie the bouncer (based on Charles Bronson) was going to beat me (Mitch) up and throw me out the window and we would then go into commercials.  For the theater of the mind, this bit required some sound effects.  Now, if only it had gone as smoothly as I described.…….

    We had 6 cart (tape) machines. Each machine played a different thing.   In #1 was the song we were talking out of.  In #2 was the gunshot sound.  #3 had the “fight scene” sounds (which were from an old western and had corny music playing underneath the fight).  #4 had the glass breaking.  #5 had the door slam for Chuckie’s exit and #6 had the first commercial.    I had NEVER done the character live before.  So when I did, I saw Rob start to chuckle, and that is all it took for me to start to lose it.  From there on, it spirals out of control.  We both began to laugh hard.  I was laughing so much, I had tears in my eyes and couldn’t see the board in front of me to push the buttons to start the commercial (because by this time, it was obvious we couldn’t do the bit).  We laughed all the way through the commercial set.  Rob insists that we can do it so out of the commercial break, we decide to try again.  As soon as I start to do the Mitch character, I started laughing again.  I said to Rob (and the entire listening audience) “Aw, hell, forget it!”  We were going to do the weather out of the bit this time, featuring our Scottish weatherman Lucky McCloud (another Rob voice). The first thing I did after laughing was cue up the bagpipe music we played when he did the weather….miraculously, Rob was able to jump into the Lucky character and eventually the bit happened on the air…..it was a long way to go for something that was probably only funny to us, but it remains one of my favorite moments on air with him.  It was also probably the most embarrassing.

     

  12. WKRP, what about it is realistic and what is not?

    LOL – DJ’s and other radio people get asked this a lot! I guess it depends on who you ask. Here are my thoughts –

    Are there sales people like Herb?  Yes.  Are they as annoying?  Yes!

    Are all news people like Les?  No, but there are plenty other folks in the biz like him. 

    Do all stations have a sexy secretary/receptionist?  Some of the stations I worked at did. 

    Are all General Managers like Mr. Carlson?  No, some are actually quite bright and know their stuff.

    Do DJ’s usually give their program directors (like Andy) a headache?  Yes.  Very much so!

    Do Programmers and General Managers often not see eye to eye on what’s going on with the station?  Many times this is true. 

    Can you get fired for saying “booger” on the air?  I don’t think so.  We spent an entire morning talking about how those green raisins look like boogers and we weren’t fired.

    Do many DJ’s have big egos like Venus and weird idiosyncrasies like Johnny?  Yes, and you know it almost immediately when you meet them.

    In many ways, WKRP is very realistic and while radio people probably find the show funnier than the average viewer, we also find one thing particularly annoying – the DJ’s don’t wear headphones in the studio.  When a DJ turns on the microphone, the speakers in the studio shut off so there is no feedback.  The DJ can hear the music and his/her voice in the headphones, so they know when to stop talking.  These guys never seem to have headphones on and it has always bothered me. 

    They also seem to have the uncanny ability to throw a record on the turntable and have the song cued up immediately.  I never had to spin vinyl until I moved to the west side of the state.  I can tell you, you have to put the needle on the start of the groove, play it through a small cue speaker and wait for the song to start.  You then stop it and turn the record back a ¼ turn, so that when you hit start, it plays at the right speed and doesn’t wind up to it.  Carts are a whole lot easier, but almost all the music on WKRP is on vinyl.

  13. When did radio start to change in your eyes?

    I think radio has always been changing.  What I look back on as the “good old days” of radio are not for those who were in it long before I was.  If I had to pick the moment it changed for the worse in my career, it would be the late 1990’s.  Bill Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which lifted the “cap” on radio station ownership.  This led to many of the locally owned stations to be bought up by the big radio corporations like Cumulus, Clear Channel, and Citadel. 

    With less owners and more corporate control, music programming was dictated by those corporate programmers.  So music playlists became smaller – which meant you were hearing the same songs more often.  It also meant that some markets were not hearing local bands.  Can you imagine Detroit NOT playing any Motown artists, Bob Seger, or Kid Rock!? 

    With automation technology, the ability to record ahead of time became a thing.  I remember a few times where I was “on air” and listening to myself as I drove to a wedding I was DJing.  With big corporations trying to save money, they began eliminating DJ’s.  They were replaced by syndication or DJ’s from other markets who were recording shows from their home market.  Today, it is rare to find a station with more than one live LOCAL DJ.  When you do, it is usually a locally owned station. 

    When I was in radio, the fear was that Sirius XM radio was going to be the death of terrestrial radio.  In truth, terrestrial radio killed itself from the inside with automation and consolidation.  I guess the more I think about it, going back to question #13 … If I could bring back something from the past, it would be the way radio used to be, because terrestrial radio today is just sad to listen to.

  14. If you could reach back in time and revive things that DJs used to do, say or play on the air, what would you bring back?

    DJ’s used to have a big say in music.  Many of them were playing singles on 45 on the air.  So many hits from the 50’s and 60’s became hits because a DJ decided to spin “the other side” of the record because they liked it.  Elvis and the Beatles had “two-sided hits” because DJ’s played both sides.  I wish that DJ’s today had a little bigger part in selecting music for airplay.  They really don’t – I will explain that in the answer to your next question.

  15. Why do stations play only a few select songs from a band to death while ignoring their other songs?

There are a lot of factors involved in this, but the simple answer is because of music testing and consultants. 

Back in the 80’s and 90’s that had a format called “Album Oriented Rock” or AOR.  These stations tended to play deeper cuts or songs that weren’t necessarily “singles”.  This format really doesn’t exist anymore, at least the way it was back then. 

So what is a single?  It is the song from an album that record companies (and sometimes artists) believe would be a hit.  It is a song that will get lots of airplay and sell the album.  It is a song that they feel is “the hit.”  Most albums have 3-4 singles and then there is a new album.  The songs that were not released as singles don’t get any airplay. 

Music testing happens in all formats.  It happens with old and new songs.  They usually do it in an auditorium.  They get an audience of various ages and genders and play them 500-1000 “hooks” of songs.  These hooks are the 15 seconds of a song that are most recognizable.  They audience then rates the song.  Is it played too much?  Is it played too little?  Do you love it?  Do you hate it?  Is it offensive? Etc…The data collected from these music tests can help a consultant decide what songs his stations need to be playing and which ones need to go away.

With new music, it works the same way.  If listeners like the song and the test scores are high, that song will get more plays.  If the songs tests bad, it will get less plays on the play list or just go away all together. 

If you have any questions for Keith you can go to the link below and ask away! He also elaborates on this last question on the link below. 

Here is a link to Keith’s post about this topic.

 

Famous Rock Guitars Part 3

Now we continue our quest of famous guitars and the artists cherish them… Here was Part 1  and Part 2.

Bruce Springsteen and  Neil Young’s guitars

Bruce Springsteen’s Guitar

Bruce has stuck with this guitar from the first album until now. You see this guitar on his Born to Run album. When I saw him in 2000 he was playing it. Bruce bought this in 1972 in Phil Petillo’s Neptune New Jersey guitar shop for $185. Now the guitar  is said to be worth between $1 million and $5 million…pretty good investment Bruce!

The guitar is a composite assembled from parts from at least two other Fender guitars. The bolt-on neck dates from a 1950s Fender Esquire guitar. The Esquire decal on the headstock indicates that the neck came from the single-pickup variant of Fender’s more-popular two-pickup Telecaster. The body is a 1950’s Telecaster

The guitar had been originally owned by a record company and was part of the payola scams of the 1960s. It was rigged with four pickups wired into extra jacks that would each plug into a separate channel on the recording console.

Petillo removed the extra pickups and returned the guitar to original Telecaster shape before he sold it Springsteen, but a huge side effect of the routing was that the Tele was now really light, giving it a sound a feel unlike any other.

Bruce had Peillo modify it over the years. He added his  triangular Precision Frets, a six saddle titanium bridge, and custom hot-wound waterproofed pickups and electronics so they could better survive a sweat-soaked 4 hour show.

Bruce has now retired the Esquire from road duty, so these days Springsteen plays clones on stage, but still records with the original.

Neil Young’s “Old Black”

Neil Young is known mostly as a singer songwriter but he is a hell of a guitar player. He is one of my favorite rock guitarists. He doesn’t play lightning quick and that is a good thing…it’s playing with feel that many guitar players forget about.

Neil Young acquired Old Black in 1968 through a trade with Buffalo Springfield member Jim Messina, who traded Old Black for one of Young’s orange Gretsch guitars (Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins).

The guitar made a humming sound so he dropped it off at a guitar shop in LA. When he came back, the shop had closed for good and lost one of the pickups. To replace the lost pickup, Neil added a Gretsh pickup that didn’t quite sound the way he wanted, but it stayed that way until Larry Cragg found an old Firebird pickup and installed it. Then Old Black was restored to its former glory and that Firebird pickup is still installed on the guitar today. It was roughly resprayed to jet black, and received a new Tune-o-matic bridge (not available when the guitar was produced) and a B-7 model Bigsby vibrato tailpiece.

The neck pickup has always been the original P-90 pickup, but it is covered by a metal P-90 cover. Neil is still playing Old Black to this day and he said he will until he dies.