Beatles – Penny Lane

I love the visuals in this song. I’ve never had the pleasure of being there but it feels like I’m standing in the middle of Penny Lane in 1967.

This song was part of what I think was the best single ever released. Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields. Both of the songs are connected with Liverpool. Both John and Paul wrote about places where they grew up.  Paul explained that Penny Lane was a suburban district where, until age four, he lived with his mother and father.

The Beatles did not include these two songs on Sgt Pepper. They recorded singles and albums separately for the most part. They ended up on the Magical Mystery Tour album in America.

Lennon and McCartney were competitive and for the most part it was a good competitiveness that resulted in timeless songs that will be still remembered 100 years from now.

They made promotional films for both songs. This must have been a shock to some people. They had not seen the Beatles since the year before…they had ditched the mop tops and gone weird…that must have been in some people’s minds. The music had a sophistication that earlier songs didn’t have.

The single only made #2 in the UK…it was locked out of the #1 position by no other than Elbert Humperdinck with Release Me. It did peak at #1 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada, and #1 in New Zealand in 1967.

In 1967, Capitol released Beatles music on a new but short-lived format called “Playtapes.” These tape cartridges did not have the capabilities to include entire albums, so a truncated four-song version of “Magical Mytery Tour” was released in early 1968 in this portable format, some rare copies having a picture from the “Help!” soundtrack album on the front of the tape. “Penny Lane” was one of the four songs on this release. These Playtapes are highly collectable today.

Paul McCartney: “When I came to write it, John came over and helped me with the third verse, as often was the case. We were writing childhood memories: recently faded memories from eight or ten years before, so it was a recent nostalgia, pleasant memories for both of us. All the places were still there, and because we remembered it so clearly we could have gone on.” John himself relates: “We really got into the groove of imagining Penny Lane, you know – the bank was there, and that was where the tram sheds were and people waiting and the inspector stood there, the fire engines were down there. It was just reliving childhood.” In John’s Playboy interview of 1980, he concurs about his input in writing the song: “I wrote some of the lyrics. I can’t remember which. It was all Paul’s melody.”

“There was a barber shop called Bioletti’s with head shots of the haircuts you can have in the window and I just took it all and arted it up a little bit to make it sound like he was having a picture exhibition in his window. It was all based on real things; there was a bank on the corner so I imagined the banker, it was not a real person, and his slightly dubious habits and the little children laughing at him, and the pouring rain. The fire station was a bit of poetic license; there’s a fire station about half a mile down the road, not actually in Penny Lane, but we needed a third verse so we took that and I was very pleased with the line ‘It’s a clean machine.’ I still like that as a phrase, you occasionally hit a lucky little phrase and it becomes more than a phrase. So the banker and the barber shop and the fire station were all real locations.”

Here are the two videos…Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane… See those glasses that John Lennon slips on in the Penny Lane Video? The square ones…I have some identical from that time period…they are really cool.

Penny Lane

In Penny Lane, there is a barber showing photographs
Of every head he’s had the pleasure to know
And all the people that come and go
Stop and say, “Hello”

On the corner is a banker with a motorcar
And little children laugh at him behind his back
And the banker never wears a mac
In the pouring rain, very strange

Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes
There beneath the blue suburban skies
I sit, and meanwhile back
In Penny Lane there is a fireman with an hourglass
And in his pocket is a portrait of the Queen
He likes to keep his fire engine clean
It’s a clean machine

Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes
A four of fish and finger pies
In summer, meanwhile back
Behind the shelter in the middle of the roundabout
The pretty nurse is selling poppies from a tray
And though she feels as if she’s in a play
She is anyway

In Penny Lane, the barber shaves another customer
We see the banker sitting waiting for a trim
And then the fireman rushes in
From the pouring rain, very strange

Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes
There beneath the blue suburban skies
I sit, and meanwhile back
Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes
There beneath the blue suburban skies
Penny Lane!

Lynyrd Skynyrd – I Need You

This album track came off of their second album Second Helping released in 1974. It was less than a year after their fantastic debut album called Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd. 

In my opinion they had some good albums after this one but not until their final one Street Survivors  did they match their first two.

Second Helping contained their big hit Sweet Home Alabama.  The album peaked at #12 in the Billboard Album Chart and #9 in Canada in 1974.

They played schools, parties, and bars for years before they hit it big. The band was first discovered in a rock club called Funnochio’s, on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1972. They were found by the famous Al Kooper, who had just landed an executive position at MCA Records and was searching to find some new talent for MCA’s “Sounds of the South” label. At that time Kooper was on tour supporting Badfinger at the time.

This album was produced by Al Kooper who was a founding member of Blood, Sweat, and Tears and he also played organ on Bob Dylan’s classic Like A Rolling Stone.

The three guitar attack was important with this band but it was Ronnie Van Zant’s songwriting that made them what they were. This song is a little slower but has that Skynryd build up of guitars. The band had some great album cuts and this is one of them.

Al Kooper: “Ronnie Van Zant was Lynyrd Skynyrd. I don’t mean to demean the roles the others played in the group’s success, but it never would have happened without him. His lyrics were a big part of it – like Woody Guthrie and Merle Haggard before him, Ronnie knew how to cut to the chase. And Ronnie ran that band with an iron hand. I have never seen such internal discipline in a band. One example: These guys composed all of their guitar solos. Most bands improvised solos each time they performed or recorded. Not them. Ronnie’s dream was that they would sound exactly the same every time they took the stage.” 

I Need You

Ain’t no need to worry
There ain’t no use to cry
‘Cause I’ll be comin’ home soon
To keep you satisfied

You know I get so lonely
That I feel I can’t go on
And it feels so good inside babe
Just to call you on the telephone
An’ I said…

Ooh baby I love you
What more can I say
Ooh baby I need you
I miss you more everyday

I woke up early this mornin’
And sun came shining down
And it found me wishin’ and a’hoping
Mama you could be around

Well you know I need you
More than the air I breathe
And I guess I’m just tryin’ to tell you woman
Oh what you mean to me yeah, yeah

Ooh baby I love you
What more can I say
Ooh baby I need you
I miss you more everyday
What I say…

I’m tryin’ to tell you I love you
In each and every way
I’m tryin’ to tell you I need you
Much more than just a piece of leg

Ooh baby I love you
What more can I say
Ooh baby I need you
I miss you more everyday

Ooh baby I love, love, love, love you
What more can I say yeah
‘Cause ooh baby I need your sweet lovin’
I miss you more an’ more everyday

Ooh baby I love you
Baby, baby I need ya

….

Mike Nesmith (1942-2021) and the Monkees influence

I had something else planned to post but I found out that Mike Nesmith passed away. Nesmith was a big inspiration to me. There is no question…Nesmith would have made it without the Monkees…he was a talented writer, actor, producer, novelist and a very good Texas guitar player.  He wrote some great country rock songs, Elephant Parts, and even a hit for Linda Ronstadt’s band The Stone Poneys…Different Drum.

While watching the reruns of the Monkees I bugged my mom to buy me a green wool hat with buttons but you can’t buy them off the shelf. She got me a green stocking cap…it wasn’t the same but I was happy.  When the Monkees are mentioned some people cringe but they still have a place in my 5-year-old heart…plus how many bands can say that Jimi Hendrix opened up for them? Although that might be the worst pairing ever.

I’m not saying they deserve to be remembered with the best bands ever. Not at all but they do need to be recognized for their influence on a couple of generations. They influenced a lot of kids to form bands…mostly because of their weekly prime-time television show and ensuing hit singles. In the 80s they had a big comeback with a tour and massive airplay on MTV… I got to see them then…without Nesmith though.

They were a lot of fun. I thought WOW… I must be in a band one day. Little did I know that being in a band was not living in a cool place at the beach and having adventures at every turn…not to mention everyone getting along…it just doesn’t happen that way…but it is a special feeling being in a band with an us against them attitude and a great growing experience.

After I went through the Monkees faze I discovered the Beatles, The Who, Stones, Kinks…anything British but I still have a soft spot for some of the old Monkees songs.

The Monkees basically took A Hard Days Night movie humor and made a television show around a life of a mid-sixties rock band. Kids wanted to form bands after seeing them romp around the screen with girls…who wouldn’t want that gig? Michael Stipe from REM has said  he was influenced by them.

They were not allowed to play on their first couple of albums…only sing…The Monkees were put together by Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider for Screen Gems with two real musicians in the band…Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork… Micky Dolenz (he did sing in cover bands before The Monkees) and Davy Jones could sing and act…. and Mickey quickly learned drums.

When news came out that they didn’t play on their albums they were roundly criticized in the 1960s. They fought Don Kershner who controlled what they sang…. and won… The funny thing is many sixties pop bands didn’t play on their records and the Monkees actually started to play their own instruments on their third album (Headquarters)  and writing some songs for every album afterward.

In the second season of their tv show they started to gain more control. Some of those last episodes are very pot influenced…especially the episode called “The Frodis Caper”… It is surreal and broke the fourth wall…the second season is worth a watch…all of them are fun but the 1st season is more formulaic.

I still like many songs by them…anything written by Michael Nesmith (famous also for Elephant Parts), Pleasant Valley Sunday, Randy Scouse Git, Steppin Stone and Saturday’s Child.

All in all, they ended up singing and playing on some of the best-known sixties pop-rock hits.

I’ll just add one more thing…he Monkees belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

….

Badfinger – Sweet Tuesday Morning

This song came off the album Straight Up that was released in 1971. Sweet Tuesday Morning was guitarist Joey Molland’s ballad about his then new wife Kathie.

All the band members wrote songs and sang. Pete Ham was the most successful out of the four but that doesn’t mean the rest were mediocre. Joey and Tom were both good songwriters and all collaborated with each other at times.

Joey Molland joined the band when bass player Ron Griffiths quit right after they recorded Come and Get It because of friction caused by his marriage. Molland who was previously with Gary Walker & The Rain, The Masterminds, and The Fruit-Eating Bears joined as a guitar player. Tom Evans switched to bass and this was the most successful lineup.

Sweet Tuesday Morning is mostly an acoustic song with simple backing that fit the early 1970s. In the UK this was the B side of Day After Day, Badfinger’s biggest hit.  Joey Molland had quite a strong showing on Straight Up…with the songs “Sweet Tuesday Morning,” “Suitcase,” “I’d Die Babe” and the albums most rocking song “Sometimes.”

Most consider Straight Up the best album they made. If you ever decide to buy a Badfinger album and want something other than just a greatest hits…this is the one to buy. 

Sweet Tuesday Morning

Sweet Tuesday morning
You came and you smiled
And all of my fears,
They have left me

Sweet Tuesday morning
You came and you smiled
And love is the answer you gave me

I’ve been to places all around, astound me
I’ve seen the breaking of the souvenirs
I’m in a brightness I can feel surround me
And it’s the first time I’ve felt it for years

Sweet Tuesday morning,
You came and you smiled
And love is the answer you gave me….mm-mhm

I’ve been to places all around, astound me
I’ve seen the breaking of the souvenirs
I’m in a brightness I can feel surround me
And it’s the first time I’ve felt it for years

Badfinger -Suitcase

This song was on their Straight Up album but it’s when they were live it came alive. They have a terrific groove going on and Pete wails on the solo. This was Badfinger live as they ventured out of power pop into a jam band. The live version of the band is much different than the studio version.

This song was going to be the B side to Name of the Game issued as a single but Apple never released it. The song has a power pop base but with hard electric on top and it changes the dynmaic of it.

Making the Straight Up album was no easy task. They started off with Geoff Emerick (he produced their last album and engineered several Beatle albums) producing them. The songs were rejected by the Apple’s head of US operations Allan Steckler. George Harrison thought a lot of Badfinger, especially Pete Ham and wanted Name of the Game to be released as a single before the album.  George then started to produce the band himself. He worked with them and they started to make progress. He played slide with Pete on the hit Day After Day and Leon Russell played piano.

They were making great progress but then the  Bangladesh concert came up and George was distracted. He handed off the producing to Todd Rundgren. The band and Rundgren didn’t mix well but he finished producing it in two weeks. The members were much happier with George who actually listened to their ideas.

It was a great album but one of the complaints from the band was it lost a lot of rawness and energy after Rundgren mixed it.

Going through three producers…it’s a wonder it’s as good as it is.

The Studio version is the second video but I would reccomend the live version…and I don’t do that a lot.

Suitcase

Suitcase, suitcase, follow me ’round
Bootlace, bootlace, tie me down
Money for fun, yeah, golden crown
It’s all inside a game we’ve been playing for so long

Driver, driver, go too fast
Miser, miser, make it last
Pusher, pusher, on the run
It’s all inside a game we’ve been playing for so long

And I’m sorry to be leavin’
Yeah, that’s all I get to say
‘Cause I’m sorry to be leavin’ today

[guitar solo (Pete Ham)]

Well I’m sorry to be leavin’
But that’s all I get to say
‘Cause I’m sorry to be leaving today

(Driver drive)

Driver, driver, go too fast
Miser, miser, make it last
Pusher, pusher, on the run
It’s all inside a game we’ve been playing so long

So long

Beatles Get Back Trailer

Just saw this a few minutes ago. Lately I’ve been living in a bubble because of work but this is the new Get Back trailer. This is not the sneak peak Peter Jackson released before. On November 25,26, and 27th… 6 hours of the Let It Be/Get Back music, comedy, and drama will all unfold on the Disney plus.

As a very young Beatle fan I read about these sessions and only saw still photographs. Later on I saw them do Get Back on MTV while on the rooftop and it was like photos coming to life…I read where they had 56 hours of video footage sitting in a vault from this album. Now we will see 6 hours out of that anyway…you what what? I would happily sit through 56 hours… Peter Jackson has done such a great job on the look of the film…it looks like it could have been filmed yesterday. Peter, need an assistant for free?

With the previews I’ve seen…it looks like it was a lot of fun and the bad drama was not prevalent through the filming. Ringo has said that people have focused on the negative but it was much more positive than that. What is great about Get Back is the good time they had and it wasn’t all doom and gloom. I can’t imagine the pressure they were under to deliver and be as good as their last album. In this case, when they filmed this, it was just a few months after they released The White Album…The Let It Be album didn’t get released until after their last studio album Abbey Road.

Enough of me talking…here is the preview.

Violent Femmes – American Music…. 80’s Underground Mondays

The Milwaukee, Wisconsin band Violent Femmes are best known for their song Blister in the Sun released in 1983. A girl that I knew drove me crazy playing that song but after a while I started to like it…more than the girl. The song started to be played on alternative and college radio.

James Honeyman Scott (Pretenders guitar player) was booked to play a gig and he was so impressed by the Violent Femmes that he let them open for him. They were were then offered a record deal by Slash Records and soon after that they released their 1982 debut album, “Violent Femmes.” The album slowly hit and later went platinum.

This song was on their Why Do Birds Sing? album in 1991 and it was their fifth studio album. The album peaked at #141 in the Billboard Album Chart but the song peaked at #2 on Billboards Modern Rock chart.

Through breakups and reunions the band minus the original drummer Victor DeLorenzo  are still together. Gordon Gano is the singer- songwriter and Brian Ritchie is the bass player with new drummer John Sparrow.

They released an album in 2019 called Hotel Last Resort and it peaked at #29 in the Billboard Indie Charts.

American Music

Can I, can I put in something like…
“This is “American Music”… take one.” 1-2-3-4!
Do you like American music?
I like American music.
Don’t you like American music, baby?

I want you to hold me, I want your arms around me.
I want you to hold me, baby…
Did you do too many drugs? I did too many drugs.
Did you do too many drugs, too, baby?

You were born too late, I was born too soon,
But every time I look at that ugly moon, it reminds me of you.
It reminds me of you… ooh-ooh-ooh.

I need a date to the prom, would you like to come along?
But nobody would go to the prom with me, baby…
They didn’t like American music, they never heard American music.
They didn’t know the music was in my soul, baby…

You were born too soon, I was born too late,
But every time I look at that ugly lake, it reminds me of me.
It reminds me of me…

Do you like American music? We like American music.
I like American music… Baby.
Do you like American music? We like all kinds of music.
But I like American music best… baby.

You were born too late, and I was born too late,
But every time I look at that ugly lake,
It reminds me of me…
It reminds me of me
It reminds me of me
Do you like american music
It reminds me of me
Do you like american music
It reminds me of me
Do you like american music
It reminds me of me
I like american music
It reminds me of me
She like american music
It reminds me of me
I like american music
It reminds me of me
She like american music
It reminds me of me
I like american music
It reminds me of me
She like american music
It reminds me of me
I like american music
It reminds me of me
She like american music
It reminds me of me
I like american music
It reminds me of me
She like american music
It reminds me of me

Monkees – Papa Gene’s Blues

80s Underground Mondays will be back next week…

Papa Gene’s Blues was written by Mike Nesmith with The Monkees in 1966 and was on their debut album. Nesmith also produced and sang the lead vocals on the track. The great James Burton and Glen Campbell are playing guitar on this track. The song reminds me of Ricky Nelson.

Nesmith was allowed two songs on the album. This one and Sweet Young Thing…which to me were two of the highlights of the album. Nesmith didn’t write pop songs…he wrote more country rock. Halfway into the guitar solo, Nesmith calls out “Aw, Pick It, Luther!”. Which is a shout out to Johnny Cash and his guitar player, Luther Perkin

I have to add this every time I do a Monkees post. They should be in the Hall of Fame, if only with their influence on three generations of listeners. The show debuted in the 60s, it was in reruns in the 70s (that was when I found them), and a complete revival in the 80s plus a tour. MTV promoted them heavily and they a hot item again. I saw them in 1986 and they were great.

Michael Nesmith:  “I liked the Monkees songs quite a bit, I wasn’t much of a pop writer. I tended, and still do, toward country blues, and lyrics with little moments in them – all pretty far off the pop songs of the ’60s. No resentment at all.”

Papa Gene’s Blues

No heartaches felt no longer lonely
Nights of waiting finally won me
Happiness that’s all rolled up in you

And now with you as inspiration
I look toward a destination
Sunny bright that once before was blue

I have no more than I did before
But now I’ve got all that I need
For I love you and I know you love me

So take my hand I’ll start my journey
Free from all the helpless worry
That besets a man when he’s alone

For strength is mine when we’re together
And with you I know I’ll never
Have to pass the high road for the low

I have no more than I did before
But now I’ve got all that I need
For I love you and I know you love me

[Spoken:]
Play, magic fingers!
Yee haw! Oh, pick it, Luther!

I have no more than I did before
But now I’ve got all that I need
For I love you and I know you love me

Yes, I love you and I know you love me

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…