Rain Parade – One Half Hour Ago

I’ve been listening to the Rain Parade’s album Emergency Third Rail Power Trip and I’ve heard influences from Buffalo Springfield to Rubber Soul. The Rain Parade were part of the Paisley Underground scene in Los Angeles in the early 80s. The Paisley Underground scene contained bands such as The Bangles, Green on Red, and The Long Ryders.

If you get a chance give this album a listen. 

They were another band formed in Minnesota by college roommates Matt Piucci (guitar, vocals) and David Roback (guitar, vocals) in 1981, while they were attending Carleton College. David’s brother Steven Roback (bass, vocals) joined.

Their roots were in punk music but in this band…instead of the Sex Pistols and the Clash they went for the Byrds jangly guitars. The critics were mixed on this band…some saying they copied the psychedelic era too much and others saying they were ahead of their time. The Roback brothers were the main writers. After this album Dave Roback left the band.

From Wiki: Critic Jim DeRogatis would later write in his book Turn on Your Mind: Four Decades of Great Psychedelic Rock (2003) that “Emergency Third Rail Power Trip is not only the best album from any of the Paisley Underground bands, it ranks with the best psychedelic rock efforts from any era”, with uplifting melodies offset by themes that were “dark and introspective.”

They were together from 1981 to 1986. They broke up in 1986 and reformed in 2012 and have been touring since. Dave Roback passed away in 2020.

Daveid Roback: “Rain Parade was very much a recasting of our punk interests in more musical terms, inspired by our fascination with music history.”

One Half Hour Ago

What’s the point of looking back?
All you see is an empty track
Of lives you’ve lived
And things you tried to love

What’s the use of anything
That brings you down?
You can’t believe it for an hour
You’re in here just a while

Half an hour from an hour ago
From a half an hour from an hour ago
Call me early on Saturday
It’s my favorite day
I’ll come out to play
That is only, I go to bed
So that I can rest
I can leave my head behind

Disappointing everyone
I’m so much fun
Until I’m lost
Things we do are the way we choose to live

Replacements – Bastards Of Young

This is my sixth song pick for Hanspostcard’s song draft. The Replacements Bastards Of Young.

I was really happy when I saw Mike’s choice of the Replacements song Can’t Hardly Wait in the draft. I had that one in the back of my mind but had this one ready to go later. I decided to go ahead and get this one in.

I could have picked a more instantly likable song like Skyway, Here Comes a Regular, or Alex Chilton but this song…was a great anthem that kicks you in the shins when it starts. It was recorded in the eighties but it has no giant production…it’s raw and honest about youthful uncertainty and alienation.

I recently visited Aphoristic’s site and he had his top ten songs of the 1980’s.  I thought about it and I included this song on my list in the comment section. In popularity would it be there? No… but this is a lost anthem of the eighties that should have been taken up by that generation. Just because a song isn’t heard and embraced by the masses doesn’t mean it isn’t great.

Westerberg’s songwriting in the 1980s rivaled any artist in that decade.

Everyone who knows me… knows I’m not a huge fan of the top 40 in the 1980s but alternative rock is a different story. In my opinion, the two best alternative rock bands to come out of the 80s were The Replacements and R.E.M.

R.E.M played the music business game much more than The Replacements. The Replacements didn’t play at all until the very end. That hurt them on not being heard on the radio or MTV. If it weren’t for their penchant for self-destruction they would have been known more by the masses.

This song was on their album “Tim” released in 1985. Why was the album called Tim? There was no reference to the name on the album. The band’s manager said that he asked Paul Westerberg what the name of the album would be. Paul told him “Tim” and the manager asked why? Paul said “because it’s such a nice name.”

“Tim” was placed 136th on Rolling Stone’s 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, and 137 in a 2012 revised list. The album peaked at #186 in the Billboard Album Chart in 1986.

Paul Westerberg:  “To me, a part of that song is about my sister who felt the need … to be something by going somewhere else. It is sort of the Replacements feeling the same way … not knowing where we fit. It’s our way of reaching a hand out and saying, ‘We are right along with you. We are just as confused.'”

They also played this song on SNL and got banned for life for being drunk and a certain swear word slipping out….supposedly by accident. This is the only video I can find of it. Westerberg eventually appeared on SNL in the 90s as a solo artist. The studio version is the second video.

Bastards of Young

God, what a mess, on the ladder of success
Where you take one step and miss the whole first rung
Dreams unfulfilled, graduate unskilled
It beats pickin’ cotton and waitin’ to be forgotten

We are the sons of no one, bastards of young
We are the sons of no one, bastards of young
The daughters and the sons

Clean your baby womb, trash that baby boom
Elvis in the ground, no waitin’ on beer tonight
Income tax deduction, what a hell of a function
It beats pickin’ cotton and waitin’ to be forgotten

We are the sons of no one, bastards of young
We are the sons of no one, bastards of young
Not the daughters and the sons

Unwillingness to claim us, ya got no war to name us

The ones who love us best are the ones we’ll lay to rest
And visit their graves on holidays at best
The ones who love us least are the ones we’ll die to please
If it’s any consolation, I don’t begin to understand them

We are the sons of no one, bastards of young
We are the sons of no one, bastards of young
Daughters and the sons

Young
Young
Young
Young
Young

Take it, it’s yours
Take it, it’s yours
Take it, it’s yours
Take it, it’s yours
Take it, it’s yours
Take it, it’s yours
Take it, it’s yours
Take it, it’s yours
Take it, it’s yours

Pogues – If I Should Fall from Grace With God….80’s Underground Mondays

This great song is listed under Celtic Punk. This song was on an album with the same name released in 1988. Its been called the Pogues best album and it peaked at #3 in the UK and #4 in New Zealand in 1988. This song was was originally recorded for the “Straight Too Hell” soundtrack

This is such pure music and I’m a sucker for a well placed accordion.

The Pogues formed in Ireland in 1982 by Shane MacGowan. The band reached international prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. MacGowan left because of drinking problems and was replaced for a time with  Joe Strummer and then with Spider Stacy on vocals before breaking up in 1996.

They reformed with MacGowan in 2001 and are still together and playing. The band was awarded the life-time achievement award at the annual Meteor Ireland Music Awards in February 2006.

If I Should Fall From Grace with God

If I should fall from grace with god
Where no doctor can relieve me
If I’m buried ‘neath the sod
But the angels won’t receive me

Let me go boys
Let me go boys
Let me go down in the mud
Where the rivers all run dry

This land was always ours
Was the proud land of our fathers
It belongs to us and them
Not to any of the others

Let them go boys
Let them go boys
Let them go down in the mud
Where the rivers all run dry

Bury me at sea
Where no murdered ghost can haunt me
If I rock upon the waves
No corpse can lie upon me

It’s coming up three boys
Keeps coming up three boys
Let them go down in the mud
Where the rivers all run dry

If I should fall from grace with god
Where no doctor can relieve me
If I’m buried ‘neath the sod
And still the angels won’t receive me

Let me go boys
Let me go boys
Let me go down in the mud
Where the rivers all run dry

Badfinger – Lost Inside Your Love

I haven’t posted a Badfinger song in a while…and this is the first one I’ll post that came after Pete Ham passed away. Pete Ham was the principle songwriter but Joey Molland and Tom Evans were no slouches. This edition included Tony Kaye, formally of Yes.

This song is slow but the melody is fantastic. This song was long after Pete Ham was gone from the band in 1975. This song was written by bass player Tom Evans. In 1977 the guitar player Joey Molland and Evans started the band back after the death of Ham.

They were signed by Electra Records and released an album called Airwaves.  I remember when I was around 11 I saw this in a cutout bin…I bought it because I’d read so much about them from Beatle books. It’s a good album considering there is no Pete Ham

The album flopped, only hitting #125 in America. “Lost Inside You Love”, however, was selected to be the album’s first single release. Backed with the Joey Molland-written track “Come Down Hard”, the song, like the album, was not successful, not charting in America or Britain. Another single followed named “Love Is Gonna Come at Last”, that same year which got some radio play.

In 1983, after a dispute with former bandmate Joey Molland over royalties for the song “Without You”, Tom Evans hanged himself in his garden only eight years after Pete Ham did the same.

Lost Inside Your Love

What can I say, what can I do?
All of my life I’ve been a victim of you
What can I say or do?
Lost inside your love

What can it be, who can I see?
All of your life you’ve been the winner in me
What can I say or do?
Lost inside your love

Is it any wonder there’s no reason why?
Is it all because I left it open wide for your pride
To leave me one more time
Are you leaving me one more time?

[guitar solo (Joey Molland)]

What can I say, what can I do?
All of my life I’ve been a winner with you
What can I say or do?
Lost inside your love
Lost inside your love
Lost inside your love.

LOST INSIDE YOUR LOVE [solo demo version] (Tom Evans)
What can I say, what can I do?
All of my life I’ve been a victim of you
What can I say or do?
I’m lost inside your love

What can it be, who can I see?
All of my life you’ve been the loser in me
What can I say or do?
I’m lost inside your love

Is it any wonder there’s no reason why?
Is it all because I left it open wide for your pride
To lose me once again
Am I losing you once again?

What can I say, what can I do?
All of my life I’ve been a loser with you
What can I say or do?
I’m lost inside your love
Lost inside your love
Lost inside your love.

Replacements – Answering Machine

This is raw, raw, and more raw. It didn’t fit in with the 80s mainstream and is one of the reasons I like it so much.

There are not as many answering machines anymore…although we still have one that is connected to our VOIP phone. We live in the middle of the country where cell phones are iffy sometimes.

Paul is the only Replacement on this song. He did the guitars, percussion, and vocals.

Westerberg liked a girl in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and would court her long-distance. Sometimes he’d call to talk her and get her answering machine instead. He said at the time that he wasn’t a modern person and that technology irritated him. If technology did in the 80s I can’t imagine what he feels today.

He poured that frustration into “Answering Machine.” He considers it one of the best songs he did with the Replacements. The song was on the album Let It Be released in 1984 and is considered one of their best albums. It was ranked number 241 on Rolling Stones list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

At the song’s conclusion, amid a wall of noise and effects, he would shout out Michigan’s 313 area code; he also threw out a couple others, including New York City’s 212, to cover his bases with a few other girls, just in case.

Paul Westerberg: “There was real passion, and there was a real person on the other end, and that made it all come to life.”

Answering Machine

Try and breathe some life into a letter
Losing hope, we’ll never be together
My courage is at its peak
You know what I mean
How do you say you’re okay
To an answering machine?
How do you say goodnight
To an answering machine?

Big time’s got its losers
Small town’s got its vices
A handful of friends
One needs a match, one needs some ice
Call-waiting phone in another time zone
How do you say I miss you
To an answering machine?
How do say good night
To an answering machine?

(If you’d like to make a call, please hang up and try again
If you need help, dial the number…)

I get enough of that

Try to free a slave of ignorance
Try and teach a whore about romance

How do you say I miss you
To an answering machine?
How do you say good night to
An answering machine?
How do you say I’m lonely to
An answering machine?
The message is very plain
Oh, I hate your answering machine
I hate your answering machine
I hate your answering machine…

(If you’d like to make a call, please hang up and try again…
If you need help…)

ZZ Top – Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers

The thing about ZZ Top is they never seem to take themselves too seriously. No concept albums or big love ballads… just good old fashion boogie blues rock.

I saw them in 1983 in Nashville. I remember the light show was incredible. I’ve never seen anything like it since. Near the end they made it look as if the stage was shaking and someone fell out of the lighting rig to the stage. Everyone at first thought it was a real person but it was a stuffed dummy.

They sounded great that night and it’s a concert I’ll never forget. The Little Ol’ Band from Texas didn’t disappoint. Who knew at that time they would be be together over 50 years with the same members they started out with.

The death of Dusty Hill had me to pull out Tres Hombres and give it another listen. Compared to other trios like Cream or the Jimi Hendrix Experience…ZZ Top played more in a groove. Dusty wasn’t all over the place on bass but he kept that bottom end grounded for Gibbons guitar to dance around in while Beard was locked with Dusty.

Tres Hombres was released in 1973. The album had four of their best known early songs such as La Grange, Waitin’ For The Bus, Jesus Just Left Chicago, and this one.

The album peaked at #8 in the Billboard 100 in 1973 and #13 in Canada…thanks to Vic (The Hinoeuma Cosmic Observation) for the Canada info.

Billy Gibbons: “On to a gig in Phoenix, we were driving through a West Texas windstorm. We, the band, were waiting to discover a place with some safe ground cover when the late-night lights of a roadside joint appeared. It was just across the line outside El Paso into New Mexico.

We ducked in quick and came face to face with our kind of folks… those soulful souls seeking solace, not only out of the dust and sand, but out of mind. What chance does one get better than that! We joined the gathering and started scribbling.”

From Songfacts

Group composition “Beer Drinkers And Hell Raisers” (with or without the ampersand) is a fun track with the band playing up to their Southern redneck image. Unusually, bass player Dusty Hill supplies the lead vocal, backed up by axeman Gibbons.

It has been suggested that the line, “Baby, don’t you wanna come with me?” means something a little more explicit than, “Would you like to accompany me to the honky-tonk, miss?” If that is indeed the case, then the censor missed it; although it was not released as a single it received considerable airplay, including in the UK, where in 1973 this sort of innuendo would not have been tolerated by the BBC.

The original version runs to 3 minutes 23 seconds, and the song has been covered by both Van Halen and Motörhead, the latter of whom produced a blistering track with some fine and innovative soloing by Fast Eddie Clarke, but as is often the case, the original has not been bettered. 

Here is a live version from 1980. I don’t like posting live versions unless they were done around the time of the release…this is as close as I could find as far as a video of them.

Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers

If you see me walkin’ down the line
with my fav’rite honky tonk in mind,
well, I’ll be here around suppertime
with my can of dinner and a bunch of fine.

Beer drinkers and hell raisers, yeah.
Uh-huh-huh, baby, don’t you wanna come with me?

The crowd gets loud when the band gets right,
steel guitar cryin’ through the night.
Yeah, try’n to cover up the corner fight
but ev’rything’s cool ’cause they’s just tight.

Beer drinkers and hell raisers, yeah.
Huh, baby, don’t you wanna come with me?
Ah, play it boy.

The joint was jumpin’ like a cat on hot tin.
Lord, I thought the floor was gonna give in.
Soundin’ a lot like a House Congressional
’cause we’re experimental and professional.

Beer drinkers, hell raisers, yeah.
Well, baby, don’t you wanna come with me?

Paladins – Keep On Lovin Me Baby

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep On Lovin Me Baby

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

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

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

X – 4th Of July

First of all…Happy 4th of July to those that celebrate it! I also want to thank CB for bringing this song up last year on July 4th. I have posted the X version as well as Dave Alvin’s (who wrote the song) solo version of this song…I also threw in a live version from the Blasters.

This song was released in 1987 on X’s See How We Are album. The album peaked at #107 in the Billboard Album Charts.

This was written by the guitarist Dave Alvin, who had recently replaced Billy Zoom in X. Alvin still had ties with his former band, the Blasters, when he wrote the song, and in early 1986 he recorded the song with the group, with Nick Lowe producing. The sessions when downhill when Lowe decided that Dave should sing the song, not the group’s lead singer, his older brother Phil Alvin. The Blasters album was never released, and it ended up being an X song, with their vocalist John Doe singing it.

Nick Lowe told Dave Alvin something in these sessions that was interesting and career changing. Dave Alvin wrote the song but didn’t think he could sing it but Nick wanted him to. Lowe told him “I can’t sing either, but I’ve somehow made a living doing it.”

Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Blaster’s music. Dave Alvin seems to cover everything from  blues, rock, rockabilly, country,  Americana and more. Here is a quote from him

I’ve always considered myself as basically a blues guy
but I don’t want to limit myself to what some people define as
blues. The “blues form” and the “blues scale” is a constant
in just about all American folk and roots music as well as jazz
and pop. Because of that, I can hear the blues in country music
as well as in the loud garage band down the block.
As a songwriter, if I feel like writing a polka one day,
I’ll write a polka. If I feel like writing a country song
or a rockabilly song, then I’ll do it. It’s hard enough
writing songs to have to bother yourself with somebody’s
categories.

Dave Alvin: “I wrote a long poem is how it really started,” Alvin said in the Zoo Bar’s upstairs dressing room before his latest show there last month. “It’s based on a true story in my life, back when I was a fry cook in Downey (California). Everything in the song is true,” “There was this little cul-de-sac and there were all these beat-up duplexes. We lived in the upstairs duplex. She didn’t want smoking in the place, so I’d sit on the top of the stairs and just stare at the cul-de-sac.”

“I was just trying to capture that moment. This is long before I even thought of being a songwriter. I was 21, 22 and I looked at the Mexican kids shooting fireworks and I looked at everything and I thought, ‘This is a song.’ Eight years later, I finally wrote it.”

From Songfacts

Alvin wrote a third verse, but decided the song had more impact without it, as it leaves the ending up to the listener. He told us: “When X wanted to record the song and we recorded a couple of demos for Elektra, one of the producers, who is a notable musician who shall remain nameless, said, ‘I’m not getting enough. It needs more.’ So, I thought, well, maybe I should pull that third verse back into it? But then I thought, no, it’s getting the point across. They’re either breaking up or they’re staying together.'”

This song is beloved by the band’s fans and has grown in popularity, but it was never a hit. A victim of timing, the late ’80s found X out-of-favor at radio stations, as anything perceived as “Punk” had a hard time getting airplay (Billy Idol excepted). A few years later, Nirvana knocked down that wall, but it was too late for “4th Of July.”

Live Blasters

Dave Alvin’s version

X 4th of July

4th of July

She’s waitin’ for me
When I get home from work
Oh, but things ain’t just the same
She turns out the light
And cries in the dark
Won’t answer when I call her name

On the stairs I smoke a
Cigarette alone
Mexican kids are shootin’
Fireworks below
Hey baby, it’s the Fourth of July
Hey baby, it’s the Fourth of July

She gives me her cheek
When I want her lips
But I don’t have the strength to go
On the lost side of town
In a dark apartment
We gave up trying so long ago

On the stairs I smoke a
Cigarette alone
Mexican kids are shootin’
Fireworks below
Hey baby, it’s the Fourth of July
Hey baby, it’s the Fourth of July

What ever happened I
Apologize
So dry your tears and baby
Walk outside, it’s the Fourth of July

On the stairs I smoke a
Cigarette alone
Mexican kids are shootin’
Fireworks below
Hey baby, it’s the Fourth of July
Hey baby, Baby take a walk outside

….

Kinks – Who’ll Be The Next In Line

I never get tired of the Kinks. In July 1965, The Kinks released Who’ll Be The Next In Line as a single. This one is a very rocky song with a Kinks riff. 

It was first released as the B-side to “Everybody’s Gonna Be Happy” in Britain. The single only made to #17 in the UK. Reprise in America thought Who’ll Be The Next In Line was the best song and released it as the A side with Evrybody’s Gonna Be Happy” as the B. 

The song peaked at #34 in the Billboard 100 and #25 in Canada in 1965.

Running to just under two minutes, the song title has no question mark, although its authorship does. Released on the Reprise label, the B-side of “Everybody’s Gonna Be Happy” is credited on the record itself to R. Davies (Ray Davies) and on another pressing as R. Davies/Kassner. This latter appears to be a misprint; Edward Kassner was the man who launched the band’s career, and his name should have appeared below the songwriter credit rather than as part of it.

Here is the B side Everybody’s Gonna Be Happy

Who’ll Be The Next In Line

Who’ll be the next in line?
Who’ll be the next in line for heartache?
Who’ll make the same mistakes I made over you?
Who’ll be the next in line?
Who’ll be the next in line?
For you?
Who’ll be the next in line?
Who’ll be the next to watch your love fade?
All your affections finally fade away.
There’ll be no use in sighing.
Who’ll be the next in line?
For you?
One day you’ll find out when I’m gone,
I was the best one you had,
I was the one who gave you love.
Who’ll be the next in line?
Who’ll be the next in line for heartaches?
Who’ll make the same mistakes I made over you?
There’ll be no use in sighing.
Who’ll be the next in line?
For you?
One day you’ll find out when I’m gone,
I was the best one you had,
I was the one who gave you love.
Who’ll be the next in line?
Who’ll be the next in line for heartaches?
Who’ll make the same mistakes I made over you?
Who’ll be the next in line?
Who’ll be the next in line?
For you?
For you?

Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me Documentary

Hanspostcard is hosting a movie draft from 12 different genres…this is my musical entry and final pick.

Such a great band but such a frustrating story. Robyn Hitchcock remarked, “Big Star is like a letter that was mailed in 1972 but didn’t arrive until 1985.” That is a great way to explain them. They made three of the best albums of the decade that were not heard until much later. When they were finally discovered they influenced many artists such as The Replacements, REM, Cheap Trick, Matthew Sweet, and more. The last time I checked it was on Netflix…watch this documentary.

When these musicians and critics talk about Big Star…they talk about them like people talk about The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Who, and The Kinks. In this documentary you have Cheap Trick, REM, Mitch Easter, Robyn Hitchcock, and others talking about the band.

The first album got great reviews…you couldn’t ask for better. When the label called radio stations trying to get them to play it…the stations would say it’s not selling. When someone actually heard the songs on the radio, they couldn’t find the record to buy it. This was basically the same story with all of the albums.

Distribution problems and just bad timing. Stax didn’t do a good job of distribution…they made a deal with Columbia before the second album to distribute the album…problem solved right? Nope, Clive Davis who made the deal was then fired at Columbia. The deal fell through and then Stax disintegrated.

Chris Bell who was key in creating the sound the band had quit after the first album. He came back but then quit again. Chris had depression problems and wanted badly to do something on his own. Alex Chilton continued and finished the second and third album with a new bass player on the third album.

After that, it follows Chris and Alex’s career to the end of both. It also covers Jim Dickinson’s role on the third experimental album. Family members, fans, and rock writers also share their love of Big Star and memories of the band members.

In May of 1973 Ardent Studios where Big Star recorded invited 100 rock writers down to Memphis to hear Big Star live. They all loved Big Star and it went over great…but that wasn’t the band’s problem…it was the business side. What would have happened if they would have signed with a label more suited to them?

Before watching this documentary, a couple of years back I didn’t realize Chris Bell was so instrumental in developing their sound. I knew it wasn’t the Alex Chilton band, but Chris was invaluable and started the ball rolling. All 4 members did contribute writing and singing but Chilton and Bell were the Lennon and McCartney of the group.

It’s a great documentary about a great band that had the talent, but fate wasn’t on their side.

There is the often-used Peter Buck quote that everyone who bought the first Velvet Underground album went out and started a band…the same is true with this band.

My recommendation? Watch it…NOW

Cast

Billy Altman … Self – Writer
Jon Auer … Self
Lester Bangs … Self (archive footage)
Chris Bell … Self (archive footage)
David Bell … Self – Chris Bell’s Brother
Norman Blake … Self
The Box Tops … Themselves (archive footage)
Panther Burns … Themselves (archive footage)
Cheap Trick … Themselves
Stephanie Chernikowski … Self – Photographer
Alex Chilton … Self (archive footage)
Rick Clark … Self – Writer and Musician
Stephen Ira Cohen … Self – U.S. Congressman (archive footage) (as Steve Cohen)
The Cramps … Themselves (archive footage)
John Dando … Self – Band Manager, Ardent Studios 1972-1975
Luther Dickinson … Self
Mary Lindsay Dickinson … Self
Steven Drozd … Self
Van Duren … Self – Musician
Mitch Easter … Self – Musician and Producer
Bruce Eaton … Self (voice) (archive footage)
William Eggleston … Self
Tav Falco … Self
John Fry … Self – Founder, Ardent Studios
John Hampton … Self – Engineer, Ardent Studios
Douglas Hart … Self – Bass, The Jesus and Mary Chain
Robyn Hitchcock … Self
Andy Hummel … Self (archive footage)
Ross Johnson … Self – Writer and Musician
Ira Kaplan … Self
Lenny Kaye … Self – Writer and Musician
John King … Self – Promotions, Ardent Studios 1972-1975
Curt Kirkwood … Self
John Lightman … Self
Carole Manning … Self – Ardent Studios 1972-1975
Mike Mills … Self
The Replacements The Replacements … Themselves (archive footage)
Steve Rhea … Self – Promotions, Ardent Studios 1972-1975
Will Rigby … Self – musician
Richard Rosebrough … Self – Engineer, Ardent Studios 1972-1975
Kliph Scurlock … Self
Tom Sheehan … Self – Photographer
Chris Stamey … Self – Musician and Producer
Big Star … Themselves
Jody Stephens … Self
Sara Stewart … Self – Chris Bell’s Sister
Michael Stipe … Self
Ken Stringfellow … Self
Matthew Sweet … Self
Alexis Taylor … Self
Marge Thrasher … Self – Hostess of Straight Talk (archive footage)
Jon Tiven … Self
Pete Tomlinson … Self – Writer
Jaan Uhelszki … Self – Writer (as Jaan Uhelzski)
Terry Edwards … Conductor, London (uncredited)

Keys – I Don’t Wanna Cry…. Power Pop Friday

This fantastic English band was active between 1979 through 1983. The Keys attracted a lot of attention. They had a producer who I would have never guessed. Joe Jackson…I just never thought of him producing a power pop record.

The band included main songwriter and bassist Drew Barfield, guitarists
Steve Tatler and Ben Grove, and former Paul McCartney and Wing’s drummer Geoff Britton.

They were signed to A&M records and released the U.K. their only LP “The Keys Album”. The album drew rave reviews, but unfortunately it didn’t sell very well. Besides the album, the label released six singles. Due to a lack of interest The Keys split in 1983.

I listen to the album and I see why they got great reviews…I just can’t figure why they didn’t sell. I Don’t Wanna Cry was the A side and the B side was a song called Listening In. I have the video below…both songs are good power pop.

David Silvia from Allmusic: One of powerpop cornerstones ever. A hidden classic and a real masterpiece. Pop at it’s best

The Keys – The Keys Album (1981, Vinyl) - Discogs

I Don’t Wanna Cry

Was it really just our last good night
when I saw the light and I know
that you’ve been telling lies
Oh, no, not me, I don’t wanna cry
You could talk about it all night long
but the feeling’s gone and
I don’t need you to tell me why
Oh no, not me, I don’t wanna cry

‘Cos you know, I’ve got you figured out
and you have got, nothing to shout about
if this is love, I don’t really wanna play
I wanna know why you want to stay

I know all about your little plan
find a fool and check up the thing you can
well, it seems is never gonna be that way
I wanna know what you want to stay
ESTRIBILLO

Oh no, not me, I don’t wanna cry
Oh no, not me, I don’t wanna cry
I don’t wanna cry
I don’t wanna cry
I don’t wanna cry
I want to know what you want to stay

Del Lords – How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?

The title was enough for me to take a listen to this band. They combined 60’s garage rock, country, blues, and folk influences to become one of the many 80’s roots rock bands. 

Thanks to Paul for bringing this band up.

The Del Lords were formed in the early ’80s by Scott Kempner of  New York punk group the Dictators. They emerged from the’70s new wave scene…which the band never quite fit. Kempner gathered together  Eric Ambel of Joan Jett And The Blackhearts, drummer Frank Funero (now with Cracker) and bassist Manny Caiati and set out as The Del-Lords.

How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live? is an American folk song originally recorded 1929 in New York City. It was written, composed, and performed by Blind Alfred Reed, accompanying himself on the violin.

The song tells of hard times during the Great Depression. It is considered an early example of a protest song. In 2020, the song was added to the Grammy Hall of Fame.

The song was on their Frontiers album released in 1984.

The Del-Lords lived together, played together, recorded and released records as a band through 1990.  At the urging of the Spanish Promoter Pepe Ugena they reformed the band in the last decade and recorded and released their most recent music in 2013 on the album Elvis Club.

How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?

How can a poor man stand such times and live
How can a poor man stand such times and live
How can a poor man stand
How can a poor man stand
How can a poor man stand such times and live

The doctor comes around with his face all bright
And he swears, in a little while, it’ll be alright
All he gives you is a humbug pill
A dose of dope and a great big bill
How can a poor man stand such times and live

There once was a time when everything was cheap
But the prices nowadays nearly put the man to sleep
When we get out grocery bill
Man I feel like makin’ out our will
How can a poor man stand such times and live

How can a poor man stand such times and live
How can a poor man stand such times and live
I give all I’ve got to give
I get my pay and say, is this it
How can a poor man stand such times and live

Tell you what
This poor boy’s got some big plans of his own
I’m gonna call up a coupla friends on the telephone
Tell ’em, Bring some records and bring some beer
Then we can just hang out over here
How can a poor man stand such times and live

How can a poor man stand such times and live
How can a poor man stand such times and live
How can a poor man stand
How can a poor man stand
How can a poor man stand such times
How can a poor man stand such times
How can a poor man stand such times and live
And live

….

Nazz – Open My Eyes ….Power Pop Friday

They were founded by singer,  guitarist, and songwriter Todd Rundgren and bassist Carson Van Osten. Drummer Thom Mooney and vocalist/keyboardist Robert “Stewkey” Antoni would join last. 

In celebration of Todd Rundgren getting in the Jann Wenner Rock and Roll Hall of Fame FINALLY…It makes no sense why the guy wasn’t in there 20 years ago. Not just as a performer but as a producer as well. Rundgren not getting in until now is one of the reasons it’s hard for me to take the Hall seriously…but I’m happy he is finally in. 

In 2016, Rundgren told an interviewer: “It doesn’t have the same cachet as a Nobel Peace Prize or some historical foundation. If I told you about how they actually determine who gets into the Hall of Fame, you’d think that I was bullshitting you, because I’ve been told what’s involved. … It’s just as corrupt as anything else, and that’s why I don’t care.”

He was asked how he felt about finally being inducted and he said: “I’m happy for the fans. They’ve waited a long time for this.” He was probably more happy about the 2016 Honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music, where he delivered the commencement address, and an honorary doctorate from DePauw University.

The Nazz self titled album was released in 1968. This was the A side of the single released…the B side was “Hello It’s Me”…yes the same song we know but an early version of it. 

They formed in 1967 and their first concert was something to remember…opening for the Doors.  Some say the band took its name from the Yardbirds’ 1966 song “The Nazz Are Blue”, other sources say the name came from a 1952 monologue, “The Nazz”, by the American Beatnik comedian Lord Buckley.

The band would release 3 albums after which Rundgren started a solo career. 

Open My Eyes peaked at #112 in the Billboard Album Charts and Hello It’s Me peaked at #66 in 1968…

Todd would go on and released Hello It’s Me solo and it was a massive hit. It peaked at # 2 in the Billboard 100 and #17 in Canada in 1973.

He would also form the band Utopia in 1973. 

Open My Eyes

Underneath your gaze I was found in
The haze I’m wandering around in
I am lost in the dark of my own room
And I can’t see a thing but the fire in your eyes

Clear my eyes, make me wise
Or is all I believe in lies
I don’t know when or where to go
And I can’t see a thing ’til you open my eyes

I’ve been told by some you’ll forget me
The thought doesn’t upset me
I am blind to whatever they’re saying
And all I can see is the fire in your eyes

Clear my eyes, make me wise
Or is all I believe in lies
I really don’t know when or where to go
And I can’t see a thing ’til you open my eyes
Can’t see a thing ’til you open my eyes
Can’t see a thing ’til you open my eyes
Can’t see a thing ’til you open my eyes

Can’t believe that it’s on your mind
To leave me behind

Clear my eyes, make me wise
Or is all I believe in lies
I really don’t know when or where to go
And I can’t see a thing ’til you open my eyes
Can’t see a thing ’til you open my eyes
Can’t see a thing ’til you open my eyes
Can’t see a thing ’til you open my eyes
Can’t see a thing ’til you open my eyes

Oh my eyes
Oh my eyes
Oh my eyes

Who – Sally Simpson

This song is one of my favorite songs off the 1969 Tommy album along with the song Christmas. I never thought Tommy was their best album by any means but it is the one that broke them to a mass audience.

While Townshend was backstage at a Door’s concert, a security guard roughly handled a girl who was attempting to touch Jim Morrison, just as Sally was attempting to touch Tommy. There is a video of the real “Sally Simpson” back stage and Jim Morrison is trying to help her. I have the video at the bottom. I never knew a video existed of this until recently. 

The song was never released as a single but is a great section of the story of Tommy. In Baba O’Riley there is a lyric that mentions Sally or a different Sally. “Sally, take my hand we’ll travel south ‘cross land”…could it be? I doubt it but you never know. 

The Who during this time were touring and including opera houses. They were as tight as a band can be…it was soon after that they released what I think is the greatest live album ever…Live At Leeds. 

Here is video of Jim Morrison tending to “Sally” backstage. Yep, real footage of the girl that inspired Pete to write Sally Simpson.

 

Sally Simpson

Outside the house Mr. Simpson announced
that Sally couldn’t go to the meeting.
He went on cleaning his blue Rolls Royce
and she ran inside weeping.
She got to her room and tears splashed the picture
of the new Messiah.
She picked up a book of her fathers life
and threw it on the fire!

She knew from the start
Deep down in her heart
That she and Tommy were worlds apart,
But her Mother said never mind your part…
Is to be what you’ll be.

The theme of the sermon was come unto me,
Love will find a way,
So Sally decided to ignore her dad,
and sneak out anyway!
She spent all afternoon getting ready,
and decided she’d try to touch him,
Maybe he’d see that she was free
and talk to her this Sunday.

She knew from the start
Deep down in her heart
That she and Tommy were worlds apart,
But her Mother said never mind your part…
Is to be what you’ll be.

She arrived at six and the place was swinging
to gospel music by nine.
Group after group appeared on the stage
and Sally just sat there crying.
She bit her nails looking pretty as a picture
right in the very front row
And then a DJ wearing a blazer with a badge
ran on and said ‘here we go!’

The crowd went crazy
As Tommy hit the stage!
Little Sally got lost as the police bossed
The crowd back in a rage!

But soon the atmosphere was cooler
as Tommy gave a lesson.
Sally just had to let him know she loved him
and leapt up on the rostrum!
She ran cross stage to the spotlit figure
and touched him on the face
Tommy whirled around as a uniformed man,
threw her of the stage.

She knew from the start
Deep down in her heart
That she and Tommy were worlds apart,
But her Mother said never mind your part…
Is to be what you’ll be.
Her cheek hit a chair and blood trickled down,
mingling with her tears,
Tommy carried on preaching
and his voice filled Sally’s ear
She caught his eye she had to try
but couldn’t see through the lights
Her face was gashed and the ambulance men
had to carry her out that night.

The crowd went crazy
As Tommy left the stage!
Little Sally was lost for the price of a touch
And a gash across her face! OOoooh.

Sixteen stitches put her right and her Dad said
‘don’t say I didn’t warn yer’.
Sally got married to a rock musician
she met in California
Tommy always talks about the day
the disciples all went wild!
Sally still carries a scar on her cheek
to remind her of his smile.

She knew from the start
Deep down in her heart
That she and Tommy were worlds apart,
But her Mother said never mind your part…
Is to be what you’ll be.

Bon: The Last Highway…by Jessie Fink

This book covers the last three years of Bon Scott, the lead singer of AC/DC.

Bon: The Last Highway is a fun read. It gives you more than just a look at Bon Scott. It gives you a peek in the world of Rock and Roll in the 1970s. It was a much more of a loose time then compared to now to say the least…both good and bad. The music business was a completely different ballgame than now.

Although this just covers the last three years of his life…you get to know Bon pretty well. I knew nothing about the guy until I read the book. He seemed to be well read, likeable, and a basically good guy to his friends and fans. O f course he did  have substance abuse  problems that haunted him.

There are a lot of stories about fans coming up to him and starting friendships. Fink interviewed other bands and most if not all had great things to say about Scott. He did find people who never have been interviewed and got stories that never have been published.

The working relationship between Bon and the Young brothers surprised me the most. Bon wrote the lyrics and they would censor what he wrote. Nothing political or controversial. They didn’t want the formula to be messed with. Offstage they didn’t tend to hang out as much with each other.

I never knew how popular Scott was in Australia even now. His grave site has become a cultural landmark; more than 28 years after Scott’s death, the National Trust of Australia declared his grave important enough to be included on the list of classified heritage places. It is reportedly the most visited grave in Australia.

The two things that author Jesse Fink concentrates on is how Bon died and if Bon did write some or most of the lyrics to the Back In Black album that was released after his death.

As far as the way the man died…Fink has some theories and they center around heroin. He interviewed some that has never been interviewed and got their story around Bon and the ones around him that night. The coroner’s report lists “acute alcohol poisoning” as the cause of death, classified under “death by misadventure.” Fink talked with people with him when he died on February 19, 1980.

The Young Brothers  have denied they ever used any of his lyrics on Back in Black…but AC/DC did cut a deal with the Scott family for a share of royalties on the album. In interviews they have denied it but did contradict themselves in others.

Below is an excerpt from the book  where more was said about the subject than any other time.

Then in 1998 Elissa Blake of Australian Rolling Stone caught him napping.

BLAKE: Have you ever thought about quitting?

ANGUS: The only time was when Bon died. We were in doubt about what to do but we had songs that he had written and wanted to finish the songs. We thought it would be our tribute to Bon and that album became Back In Black. We didn’t even know if people would even accept it. But it was probably one of our biggest albums and the success of that kept it going. We were on the road with that album for about two years so it was like therapy for the band after Bon’s death.

Bizarrely, before and since, Angus went with an altogether different story.

1981: “Some things we can’t do, you know, that was strictly Bon’s songs, and things.”

1996: “No, we were gonna start working on the lyrics with him the next week [after he died].”

1998: “The week he died, we had just worked out the music and he was going to come in and start writing lyrics.”

2000: “Bon was just about to come and start working with us writing lyrics just before he died.”

2005: “There was nothing [on Back In Black] from Bon’s notebook.”

It’s a line the band now doggedly sticks to despite mounting evidence that Bon’s lyrics were used. As Ian Jeffery admitted to me, cagily: “Not totally certain about Back In Black but I seem to remember a couple of words, lines [of Bon’s being on there]. Maybe not.”

Fink talked to Scott’s ex girlfriends and friends in his life and many claim that he did write many of the lyrics to You Shook Me All Night Long as well as other songs. Others say he had said some of the lines in letters. He basically gives you what he found and lets you make up your mind.

I would recommend this book to rock fans…and to AC/DC fans who mostly only know Brian Johnson as the lead singer.