Rolling Stones – Shattered

I remember this one very well. I bought the single and then the album a little while later. It’s a great rock song with some punk in it. It’s on the album Some Girls that was released in 1978.

This was the last song on Some Girls. While they were recording this album, Keith Richards had drug charges hanging over his head from a bust in Toronto. Facing a maximum sentence of life in prison, Keith let Mick take control of the album, which is shown on songs like this. Richards ended up getting off easy… he was sentenced to probation and ordered to play a concert for the blind.

Richards came up with the guitar riff on this and the line “Sha-doobie.” Jagger wrote the rest.

They performed this on Saturday Night Live and to this viewer they were not as tight as normal. Turns out they drank a lot of alcohol, did some seventies substances and rehearsed a lot before show time… after watching the rehearsals it seems like they made the mistake of peaking too early during the rehearsals. By showtime they didn’t sound as strong as usual…but it still was a good show.

The song peaked at #31 in the Billboard 100 and #32 in Canada in 1978.

From Songfacts

The lyrics are a bleak picture of life in New York City. The Stones always had a love/hate relationship with the US, and Mick Jagger’s lyrics were often influenced by his thoughts on the country (see “Satisfaction”). New York in particular is a place where you could be wildly successful, but is also a city filled crime, drugs, and poverty. It should be noted that The Stones have taken shots at their home country of England as well, notably on “Hang Fire.”

Just after this was released, The Stones performed it on Saturday Night Live. It was memorable for Mick Jagger licking Ron Wood on the lips for about 5 seconds. This stuff just didn’t happen on TV back them.

When Jagger sings, “Shmatta, shmatta, shmatta, I can’t give it away on 7th Avenue, this town’s been wearing tatters,” he’s making reference to the fashion district of New York City, which is on 7th Avenue. The word “Shmatta” is slang for old, worn clothing. 

Shattered

Uh huh shattered, uh huh shattered
Love and hope and sex and dreams
Are still surviving on the street
Look at me, I’m in tatters!
I’m a shattered
Shattered

Friends are so alarming
My lover’s never charming
Life’s just a cocktail party on the street
Big Apple
People dressed in plastic bags
Directing traffic
Some kind of fashion
Shattered

Laughter, joy, and loneliness and sex and sex and sex and sex
Look at me, I’m in tatters
I’m a shattered
Shattered

All this chitter-chatter, chitter-chatter, chitter-chatter ’bout
Shmatta, shmatta, shmatta, I can’t give it away on 7th Avenue
This town’s been wearing tatters (shattered, sha ooobie shattered)

Work and work for love and sex
Ain’t you hungry for success, success, success, success
Does it matter? (shattered)
Does it matter?

Ah look at me
I’m shattered
I’m shattered 0
Look at me, I’m a shattered, yeah (shattered)

Pride and joy and greed and sex
That’s what makes our town the best
Pride and joy and dirty dreams and still surviving on the street
And look at me, I’m in tatters, yeah
I’ve been battered, what does it matter
Does it matter, uh-huh
Does it matter, uh-huh, I’m a shattered

Mmm, I’m shattered, unh
Sha oobie, shattered, unh
Sha oobie, shattered
Sha oobie, shattered, shattered

Don’t you know the crime rate is going up, up, up, up, up
To live in this town you must be tough, tough, tough, tough, tough!
You got rats on the West Side
Bed bugs uptown
What a mess this town’s in tatters, I’ve been shattered
My brain’s been battered, splattered all over Manhattan

Sha oobie, shattered, shattered, what say
Sha oobie, shattered
Sha oobie, shattered
Sha oobie, shattered

Uh-huh, this town’s full of money grabbers
Go ahead, bite the Big Apple, don’t mind the maggots, huh
Sha oobie, my brain’s been battered
My friends they come around they
Flatter, flatter, flatter, flatter, flatter, flatter, flatter
Pile it up, pile it up, pile high on the platter

Del Fuegos – I Still Want You

This song has a very garage band sound. It was a minor hit in 1986. The Del Fuegos were an alternative band that was eventually signed to RCA later in their career. They were touring the same circuit as REM and The Replacements.

The Zanes brothers Dan and Warren formed the band in Boston in the early eighties. The brothers had a hard time getting a long and supposedly still do. Tom Petty became a fan of them and appeared on one of their songs. They also opened up for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on a tour.

Tom Petty's Biographer on the Story He Didn't Tell - Rolling Stone

Warren quit the band after the 3rd album. He went to college and received a Ph.D in Visual and Cultural Studies.  Zanes is the former vice president of education and public programs for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. He ended up writing Tom Petty’s biography shortly before Petty’s death.

This song was written by lead singer Dan Zanes and bass player Tom Lloyd, it was one of the first hits for the band. The Del Fuegos got some attention when Miller beer featured them in a national beer commercial as part of their “Made the American Way” campaign, which got them a lot of exposure and also some critical scorn, as commercials were seen as selling out at the time.

After that commercial their creditability suffered. In the current time having your song in a commercial helps you tremendously and no one things anything about it…but in the 20th century it didn’t go over well. The band would hear “sell out” on tour.

After the commercial though… they did get better tours and more money. This song peaked at #87 in the Billboard 100 in 1986.

I Still Want You

Seasons change and lessons get learned
It’s been awhile, but my heart burns
It said, I still want you

And that’s all I’ll do
Spend my time just thinking about you
Said, I still want you

The car we bought together just started to rust
The world we made came between the two of us
I still want you

When the day was through
We drive through town my arm around you
Said, I still want you

I tried so hard just to fill your cup
I tried so hard just to fill it up
But you only drift away, you drift away
Now you only drift away, you drift away

I hear the rain coming down
The leaves start to fall
I hear your voice I remember it all
Said, I still want you

And that’s all I’ll do
Spend my life just thinking about you
Said, I still want you

I tried so hard, tried to fill your cup
I tried so hard just to fill it up
But you only drift away, you drift away

And baby, I still want you
I still want you
I said, I still want you

Scruffs – Break The Ice —-Power Pop Friday

Memphis in the early 1970s was more than Big Star. Many power pop bands and artists were coming out of there at that time. Not many made it huge but many were recognized later. They formed in 1974 and released their first album Wanna Meet The Scruffs? in 1977. Like the others around this period. Many of the power pop musicians worked with each other. The Scruffs worked with Alex Chilton, Tommy Hoehn, and Jim Dickinson. Break the Ice was the first single off of the album. It reminds me of the Raspberries.

Wanna Meet the Scruffs? - Wikipedia

To show what some rock critics thought of the band…here is Robert Christgau (rock critic):

Only a sucker for rock and roll could love this record, and I am that sucker. A middle-period Beatles extrapolation in the manner of Big Star (another out-of-step Memphis power-pop group on a small, out-of-step Memphis label), it bursts with off harmonies, left hooks, and jolts of random energy. The trouble is, these serve a shamelessly and perhaps permanently post-adolescent vision of life’s pain, most of which would appear to involve gurls. To which objection the rockin’ formalist in me responds, “I wanna hear ‘Revenge’ again.”

Pretty good endorsement right? That is just one of many but again they just couldn’t break through. They did not have the influence like Big Star did but they were a great power pop band. I listened to all of this album and that jangle of the guitar is infectious. The song was a regional hit but was not played outside of Memphis too much. They did move to New York in 1978 had some high profile gigs at  CBGB and Max’s Kansas City.

The Band broke up in 1981 but Stephen Burns the singer, guitar player, and songwriter  would continue recording albums under the Scruffs name into the 2010’s…with Peter Buck from REM guesting on the 2011 Kill! Kill! album .

Sorry I could not find the lyrics.

Lynyrd Skynyrd – Workin’ For MCA

This is a great opening song and the band used it as an opener for many of their concerts. The song is autobiographical in many ways. It was an open letter to their new record company at the time…”But I’ll sign my contract baby, and I want you people to know
That every penny that I make, I’m gonna see where my money goes

I wrote this post a while back…A Sound Day just told me that today is the 47th anniversary of this album…Second Helping was released on April 15th 1974.

MCA was Lynyrd Skynyrd’s record company. This song is based on how they were signed. The “Yankee Slicker” that is mentioned in the song is no other than Al Kooper. They actually were signed for $9,000.

The “seven years of hard luck” in the opening line is the time from 1966 to 1973. 1966 was when the group changed their name to Lynyrd Skynyrd, and 1973 was when their first album was released.

This song was on their second album called Second Helping. While Skynyrd were in Los Angeles in The Record Plant in a studio, the Eagles were recording in another. One day they were shocked when John Lennon came to see Kooper to talk music and see what he was working on. Lennon’s presence overwhelmed the band so much that they began to fumble over notes they had played thousands of times, Rossington admitted. Lennon introduced himself and shared small talk with the musicians.

After recording “Sweet Home Alabama,” Lynyrd Skynyrd performed at the “Sounds of the South” press party. According to the booklet included with their box set, “When Skynyrd hit the stage with a roaring version of ‘Workin’ For MCA,’ written especially for the event, the party stopped while 500 hardened industry vets stood on chairs to get a glimpse of the unknown band.” A few months later, Lynyrd Skynyrd opened for The Who on their “Fallout Shelter” tour.

The song was written by Ed King and Ronnie Van Zant.

From Songfacts

In spite of the suspicious tone to this song, “Workin’ For MCA” had its perks. Al Kooper, in his memoir Backstage Passes and Backstabbing Bastards, goes to great lengths to describe the studio where Second Helping, Skynyrd’s second album, was recorded. The Record Plant in Los Angeles was a Hollywood crib of decadence and hedonism, with all the hallmarks of 1970s sleaze. Jacuzzis and bedrooms in the building, squealing groupies bounding naked down the halls, and a staff which had standing orders to cater to every whim of the guests. And as for the decor, if it wasn’t wood paneled, it was tie-died.

Workin’ For MCA

Seven years of hard luck, comin’ down on me
From the Florida border, yeah up to Nashville, Tennessee
I worked in every joint you can name, mister every honky tonk
Along come Mr. Yankee Slicker, sayin’ maybe you’re what I want

[Chorus:]
Want you to sign your contract
Want you to sign today
Gonna give you lots of money
Workin’ For MCA

Nine thousand dollars, that’s all we could win
But we smiled at the Yankee Slicker with a big ol’ Southern grin
They’re gonna take me out to California, gonna make me a superstar
Just pay me all of my money and mister maybe you won’t get a scar

[Chorus:]

Suckers took my money since I was seventeen
If it ain’t no pencil pusher, it got to be a honky tonk queen
But I’ll sign my contract baby, and I want you people to know
That every penny that I make, I’m gonna see where my money goes

[Chorus:]

Back To The Future Trilogy

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

I was telling someone the other day…if you wanted a movie to define a decade…except for John Hughes movies…Back to the Future would be the one for the 1980s.

This movie trilogy has been copied, parodied, praised, and analyzed. The original movie came out in 1985…the year I graduated, and it fit the times so well. 

Bob Gale, the writer,  is said to have taken inspiration from a look at his father’s yearbook and dreaming about meeting him when he was younger. The basic idea, later formed along with Zemeckis, was having the characters travel inside a refrigerator using the energy of a nuclear blast. After rewrites 

At the time we saw these future products that seemed unreal. Now many of them have become real…fingerprint activated payment devices, video-calling, augmented-reality glasses, wearable tech, intelligent home appliances, personal drones, hands-free gaming devices, and even hoverboards have made an appearance.

The movies left their imprint in a huge way. 

The first movie to me is the best. As far as liking them…my order from best to worse is the order they came in. The first one introduced us to the 2 main characters…Marty and Doc Brown. Marty’s parents and Biff were also important to the story.

The second movie really crosses itself out! After undoing a mistake by Marty…and I can’t blame him one bit for buying the sports book. The movie ends up where we left off…and then Doc ended up in the west and setup the 3rd movie. Plus, the movie predicted the Cubs winning the World Series and they were only off by one year. They predicted in 2015 and they won it in 2016.

The last movie was good but not as good as the other two. You have Marty and Doc in the old west plus a descendant of Biff to be the bad guy. You also get an appearance from one of the hottest rock bands of the 80s…ZZ Top. The series concludes when Marty is back in 1985 with Jennifer and they get a visit by Doc and family to finish things out.

It’s a movie (any of the three) that I can pick up on in the middle or near the end and watch. Watch these movies and you are back in the 80s…so go find a DeLorean and let’s go back and watch the premier.

I list the plots below…like we need any of them, but they are there just in case and yes there are spoilers.

Summaries by IMDB

Back To The Future 1985

It is the year 1985. Marty McFly, a mild-mannered high school student, stopped by Dr. Emmett L. Brown’s laboratory to play around with an amplifier. Then he receives a message from Doc that he needs help from him for Doc’s latest invention, the time machine made out of a DeLorean sports car that can travel through time instantaneously when it reaches a speed velocity of 88 MPH. Then, Doc was gunned down by Libyan Nationalists, Marty makes an effort to escape from the Libyans by using the time machine. Then Marty accidentally warps himself into 1955. Where he meets both of his parents when they were teenagers, then Marty unintentionally interrupts his parent’s first meeting together, he then finds a younger version of Doc and together they try to find a way to get Marty’s parents-to-be back together, and to get Marty back to 1985.

Back To The Future II 1989

This movie begins where Back to the Future ended; with Marty, Doc and Jennifer going into the future to help Marty and Jennifer’s children. After doing that they return to 1985. But when they arrive they discover that things are not as they remember it. There’s a casino which is owned by, of all people, Biff. Marty learns that his father was killed a few years ago and his mother is now married to Biff. Marty meets with Doc who thinks he knows what happened. Somehow Biff got his hands on a book from the future which has in it all sports results and he used it to bet on sports and amass his fortune. Marty said he considered doing that but Doc nixed it. Somehow the Biff from the future discovered about the time machine and Marty’s plan and used the time machine to give his younger self the book. So they have to find out when Biff got the book so they can take it away from him. So Marty goes to see him and confronts him about it and Biff also tells him that he was the one who killed George. Marty and Doc then go back to, of all places, 1955 on the day of the school dance. So Marty tries to get the book while trying to avoid being seen by Doc’s younger self and himself who’s getting ready to go back to 1985. Marty at times gets the book but when Biff calls him a coward, Marty gets incensed which leads to him losing the book so he has to try and get it again.

Back To The Future III 1990

With the Almanac destroyed by Marty McFly and the timeline back on its original course, things are not all well. Dr. Emmett L. Brown and the time machine were somehow struck by lightning, and Marty somehow received a letter from Doc that he is okay, and in the year 1885. Marty and the 1955 Doc fix up the time machine after digging it up from a mine, then Marty discovers a gravestone with Doc’s name on it, indicating that he will be killed by a man named Buford Tannen (Biff’s great-grandfather). Marty makes an effort to travel to 1885 to save Doc from his bleak future. But Marty damages the time machine causing Marty and Doc to have to figure out how to get back to 1985. Unfortunately, this will not be easy with Doc madly in love with schoolteacher Clara Clayton, and with Tannen causing constant trouble for Marty and Doc.

 

 

Who – A Legal Matter

The early Who singles were first heard in the UK much more than America. They were really exciting and raw and different from anyone else. I first heard this song on the great compilation album Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy. The album was made up of singles and many of them were not heard in America much at all when they were originally released.

It was released both as the B-side to “The Kids Are Alright” in the U.S., and as the A-side of a single that peaked at #32 in the UK in 1965. Both singles were released by Shel Talmy without the permission of the Who and were a result of a legal dispute between Talmy and the band at the time and an attempt to sabotage the release of the band’s chosen single “Substitute”.

This was the first song that Pete Townshend took the lead vocal on.

Pete Townshend on the song: “is about a guy on the run from a chick about to pin him down for breach of contract. What this song was screaming from behind lines like ‘It’s a legal matter, baby, marrying’s no fun/It’s a legal matter, baby, you got me on the run’ was, “I’m lonely, I’m hungry, the bed needs making.’ I wanted a maid, I suppose.”

A Legal Matter

I told you why I changed my mind
I got bored by playing with time
I know you thought you had me nailed
But I’ve freed my head from your garden rails

Now it’s a legal matter, baby
You got me on the run
It’s a legal matter, baby
A legal matter from now on

My mind’s lost in a household fog
Wedding gowns and catalogs
Kitchen furnishings and houses
Maternity clothes and baby’s trousers

Now it’s a legal matter, baby
Marryin’s no fun
It’s a legal matter, baby
A legal matter from now on

I told you why I changed my mind
I got bored by playing with time
I know you thought you had me nailed
Well, I’ve freed my head from your garden rails

Now it’s a legal matter, baby
You got me on the run
It’s a legal matter, baby
A legal matter from now on

You ain’t the first and you ain’t the last
I gain and lose my women fast
I never want to make them cry
I just get bored, don’t ask me why

Just wanna keep doing all the dirty little things I do
And not work all day in an office just to bring my money back to you
Sorry, baby

Replacements – I’ll Be You

This song was on their Don’t Tell A Soul album. The sound of this album turned a lot of the older fans off. In order to get more radio play the record company brought in Chris Lord-Alge to mix the album. The album had a lot of those eighties effects used to enhance the music. The result was pop sounding Replacements album.

This was the closest the Replacements came to having a “hit.” It peaked at #51 in the Billboard 100 and #1 on the Modern Rock Charts in 1989. The song did expand their audience with younger kids coming to see them without knowing their back catalog. This was an annoyance to some of the band members who some nights didn’t play I’ll Be You.

The line, “Left a rebel without a clue” was later borrowed by Tom Petty into his hit, “Into the Great Wide Open,” in 1991. The Replacements opened up for Petty in his 1989 tour with the Heartbreakers.

Below are two mixes. The one above the lyrics was the original one with the pop album mix. The top one came off a box set without the pop sheen of the original album.

I’ll Be You

If it’s a temporary lull
Why’m I bored right outta my skull?
Man, I’m dressin’ sharp an’ feelin’ dull

Lonely, I guess that’s where I’m from
If I was from Canada
Then I’d best be called lonesome
And if it’s just a game
Then I’ll break down just in case
Oh yeah, we’re runnin’ in our last race

Well, I laughed half the way to Tokyo
I dreamt I was Surfer Joe
An’ what that means, I don’t know

A dream too tired to come true
Left a rebel without a clue
And I’m searching for somethin’ to do

And if it’s just a game
Then we’ll hold hands just the same
So what, we’re bleeding but we ain’t cut

And I could purge my soul perhaps
For the imminent collapse
Oh yeah, I’ll tell you what we could do
You be me for a while
I’ll be you

A dream too tired to get to
Left a rebel without a clue
Won’t you tell me what I should do?

Oh if it’s just a lull
Why’m I bored right outta my skull?
Oh yeah, keep me from feeling so dull

And if it’s just a game
Then we’ll break down just in case
Then again, I’ll tell you what we could do
You be me for a while
You be me for a while
And I’ll be you

Golden Earring – Twilight Zone

To kick off reviewing the Twilight Zone episodes… I thought this was appropriate.

This song was a great example of MTV’s clout. It was in heavy rotation and it paid off for the band. It peaked at #10 in the Billboard 100 and #13 in Canada in 1983.

I have to wonder how the landscape of music would have changed without MTV in the 80s. Some bands hated videos because it could change the songs perception. Many wanted people to make up their own mind about songs and not think of “guitarists in leather pants.”

The Twilight Zone was written by Golden Earring’s lead guitarist George Kooymans. He was inspired not by the famous TV series of the same name, but by the Robert Ludlum novel The Bourne Identity, which would later be turned into a popular movie.

The song’s intro will stick in your head for days…kind of like the intro to the Twilight Zone TV series a repeating riff. I was happy to hear this song at the time. I knew them for Radar Love and any seventies rock group in the 80s was nice to hear.

Golden Earring was a Dutch band and they were formed in Hauge in 1961. They were a long lasting band. George Kooymans sadly announced this year that he is suffering from ALS and the band officially dissolved.

From Songfacts

Right out front, note that this song has nothing to do with Manhattan Transfer’s “Twilight Zone.” One is not a cover of the other.  

The song and especially the video tell the story of an espionage agent, on the run from enemy spies before being cornered. The cover of the album Cut (from which this was the only single) shows a scene repeated in the video, of a bullet slicing through the Jack of Diamonds playing card. The card is supposed to represent the rogue agent.

Interestingly, there was at least one episode of the original Twilight Zone TV series which was also a spy drama. Namely, episode #149 from season five, “The Jeopardy Room,” is about a Soviet KGB agent who wants to defect, but he ends up pinned in a hotel room under surveillance from a hit man and his accomplice, who sadistically make him play a game for his life. And it’s one of the few episodes where a gun is fired – “When the bullet hits the bone,” indeed!

Get ready for a nostalgia blast: This song was also used as the theme to the Twilight Zone pinball machine. This was part of Bally Midway’s series of “Superpin” arcade pinball games that were based on TV shows – other pinball games in the series were based on Star Trek and The Addams Family.

Fittingly, this song is also sometimes used as bumper music for the radio show Coast to Coast AM, the all-night paranormal talk show which also more frequently uses “A Hazy Shade of Winter.”

The video is yet another whose early airplay on MTV paid off. In MTV Ruled the World – The Early Years of Music Video, Rick Springfield talks about the MTV Effect: “The difference that I saw was, before MTV, you’d have to be on like your third successful album before people started recognizing you at the airport. But once MTV hit, you had that one hit single, and you were as recognizable as if you were around for three or four years. It was so instant. That was the power of television.

Twilight Zone

Somewhere in a lonely hotel room there’s a guy
Starting to realize that eternal fate has turned its back on him
It’s two A.M.

It’s two A.M. (It’s two A.M.)
Fear is gone (fear is gone)
I’m sitting here waiting
The Gun still warm (the gun still warm)
Maybe my connection is tired of taking chances

Yeah, there’s a storm on the loose
Sirens in my head
Wrapped up in silence, all circuits are dead
Cannot decode, my whole life spins into a frenzy

Help, I’m steppin’ into the twilight zone
Place is a madhouse, feels like being cold
My beacon’s been moved under moon and star
Where am I to go now that I’ve gone too far? (Oh oh oh)

Help, I’m steppin’ into the twilight zone
Place is a madhouse, feels like being alone
My beacon’s been moved under moon and star
Where am I to go now that I’ve gone too far?

So you will come to know
When the bullet hits the bone
So you will come to know
When the bullet hits the bone

I’m fallin’ down a spiral, destination unknown
Double crossed messenger, all alone
Can’t get no connection, can’t get through
Where are you?

Well the night weighs heavy on his guilty mind
This far from the borderline
When the hitman comes
He knows damn well he has been cheated

And he says
Help, I’m steppin’ into the twilight zone
Place is a madhouse, feels like being cold
My beacon’s been moved under moon and star
Where am I to go now that I’ve gone too far? (Oh oh oh)

Help, I’m steppin’ into the twilight zone
Place is a madhouse, feels like being alone
My beacon’s been moved under moon and star
Where am I to go now that I’ve gone too far?

So you will come to know
When the bullet hits the bone
So you will come to know
When the bullet hits the bone
When the bullet hits the bone

Help, I’m steppin’ into the twilight zone
Place is a madhouse, feels like being cold
My beacon’s been moved under moon and star
Where am I to go now that I’ve gone too far? (Oh oh oh)

Help, I’m steppin’ into the twilight zone
Place is a madhouse, feels like being alone
My beacon’s been moved under moon and star
Where am I to go now that I’ve gone too far?

So you will come to know
When the bullet hits the bone
So you will come to know
When the bullet hits the bone
So you will come to know
When the bullet hits the bone
So you will come to know
When the bullet hits the bone
When the bullet hits the bone
When the bullet hits the bone
When the bullet hits the bone
When the bullet hits the bone
When the bullet hits the bone
When the bullet hits the bone
When the bullet hits the bone
When the bullet hits the bone

Georgia Satellites – Almost Saturday Night / Rocking All over The World

The Georgia Satellites came out swinging with a number 2 hit in 1986 called Keep Your Hands To Yourself. At the time of Madonna and synth driven songs it was great to hear this band out of Georgia that played raw roots rock and roll.

I almost always post the original songs but I do like the Satellites versions of these two. Both of these songs could have fit in nice with CCR’s catalog.

These two songs they tacked together worked perfect with each other. They are both John Fogerty songs that he released in the mid seventies. The Satellites were on the same touring circuit as the Replacements, REM, and The Fresh Young Fellows. What separated them at the time with those bands was that hit. They also had a minor hit with a song called Battleship Chains.

The two songs were on John Fogerty’s self titled album released in 1975. The Satellites released their version on their greatest hits released in 1993. The lead singer Dan Baird had quit by this time. The band is still together but with only one original member…lead guitarist Rick Richards.

Almost Saturday Night/Rockin’ All Over the World

Oh-ho-ho

Outside my window
I can hear a radio
And I know that motor wagon’s gettin’ ready to fly
And it’s almost Saturday night

Bye-bye, tomorrow
Jody’s gone to a rodeo
And I know some good ol’ boys are gettin’ ready to ride
And it’s almost Saturday night

Gonna push the clouds away
Let the music have its way
Let it steal your heart away
And I know, I know it

Outside me ringin’
The night train is bringing me home
When you hear that locomotion gettin’ ready to ride
And it’s almost Saturday night

Gonna push the clouds away
Let the music have its way
Let it steal my heart away
And I know, I know it

Outside me ringin’
The night train is bringing me home
When you hear that locomotion gettin’ ready to ride
And it’s almost Saturday night

Outside my window
Outside, it’s almost Saturday night
Outside me ringin’
Outside, it’s almost Saturday night

Well, I like it, I like it, I like it, I like it
I li-li-like it, li-li-like it
Here we go, rockin’ all over the world
Well, I like it, I like it, I like it, I like it
I li-li-like it, li-li-like it
Here we go, rockin’ all over the world
Well, I like it, I like it, I like it, I like it
I li-li-like it, li-li-like it
Here we go, rockin’ all over the world
Well, I like it, I like it, I like it, I like it
I li-li-like it, li-li-like it
Here we go, rockin’ all over the world

Van Duren – Chemical Fire —-Power Pop Friday

Van Duren is a power pop musician in Memphis and was managed by Andrew Loog Oldham. He made his first album called Are You Serious in 1978. He is another power pop rocker from the early seventies in Memphis. He was in a band with Big Star’s Chris Bell and drummer Jody Stephens called The Baker Street Regulars. He auditioned as the 2nd guitar player for Big Star just before the band’s demise.

Chemical Fire is an excellent power pop song. It could have very well been played on late seventies radio. It still sounds fresh today.

His style has been compared to Paul McCartney and Todd Rundgren. Personally I hear Marshall Crenshaw also. Big Star wasn’t noticed until over a decade after they recorded their last album. Van Duren waited 30 years before he was properly found.

His second album Idiot Optimism was recorded in 1979 and because of record company problems its wasn’t released until twenty years later. Memphis power artists could not catch a break. There is a documentary about Van Duren that was released in 2019 and his two first albums were re-released also.

According to a documentary, the record label had Scientology connections, which meant they attempted to convert all the acts on their roster. Duren, already in debt, just wanted to finish his record, which he correctly thought was his one shot at stardom. It flopped, and by the mid-80s, after another near-miss with another band, Good Question, his musical career was as good as over.

He is still known in the Memphis area.

Sorry I could not find the lyrics

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Hey Tonight

Hey Tonight is the B-side of “Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” the first single Creedence Clearwater Revival released in 1971 and the last the band launched as a quartet. Both single cuts also appear on the Pendulum album. What terrific singles this great band produced like clockwork.

This is yet another song that has the character “Jody” in it. Songs like It Came Out Of The Sky, Hey Tonight, and a solo Fogerty song called Almost Saturday Night. He has never said one way or another if it was based on someone or just sounded good in the song…probably the latter.

John Fogerty wrote “Hey Tonight” and the band rehearsed it before the group hit the studio in 1970. Fogerty thought the song was one of the better ones on the album despite the fact it was written in while the band was in turmoil at that time.  Creedence Clearwater played “Hey Tonight” live for a first time at the private party the band held to music writers at Cosmo’s Factory on December 12th, 1970.

John not only wrote, sings and plays guitar on every track, he also overdubbed organ and saxophone (which he played himself) on some of the songs.

Have You Ever Seen The Rain?/Hey Tonight peaked at #9 in the Billboard 100 and #1 in Canada in 1971.

This video below is not a real video to the song but it shows some footage I haven’t seen before of the band as a trio after Tom quit. The song is right below this one. 

Hey Tonight

Hey, Tonight,
Gonna be tonight,
Don’t you know I’m flyin’
Tonight, tonight.
Hey, c’mon,
Gonna chase tomorrow
Tonight, tonight.

Gonna get it to the rafters,
Watch me now.
Jody’s gonna get religion
All night long.

Hey, c’mon,
Gonna hear the sun
Tonight, tonight.

Gonna get it to the rafters,
Watch me now.
Jody’s gonna get religion
All night long.

Aaaah!
Hey, Tonight,
Gonna be tonight,
Don’t you know I’m flyin’
Tonight, tonight.
Tonight, tonight.

Big Star – Life Is White

Love this driving song by Big Star. It was on Radio City, their second album. Some say it is a response to the Chris Bell song off the first album called My Life Is Right…or a message to his girlfriend Diane (Don’t like to see your face Don’t like to hear you talk at all) that he was splitting with at the time.

After the failure of their first album, singer/songwriter guitar player Chris Bell quit Big Star. Alex Chilton didn’t know if Big Star was going to make another album. He continued making demos because he could always do a solo album. The two other members, drummer Jody Stephens and bass player Andy Hummel wasn’t sure either what was going to happen. They had talked about ending the band.

Their record company Ardent was under the Stax umbrella. They sent out invitations to all of the major rock journalists of the day in 1973. They invited them to Memphis to see Ardent’s roster of bands but most of all Big Star. The rock writers loved Big Star. Many legendary writers were there including Lester Bangs.

Stax agreed to foot the bill, which amounted to $40,000 to fly in more than one hundred rock critics from across the U.S. and U.K., put them up at the Holiday Inn, wine and dine them, bus them to Memphis landmarks like Graceland, and, on the final night, knock them out with a showcase at Lafayette’s Music Room, featuring Skin Alley, Larry Raspberry and the High-Steppers, and Big Star.

As writers from California (Shaw, Gene Sculatti, and Cameron Crowe), the New York City area (Richard Meltzer, Andy Shernoff, Gary Kenton, Pete Tomlinson, Lenny Kaye, and Nick Tosches), upstate New York (Billy Altman), Austin (Chet Flippo), Detroit (most of Creem’s staff, including Lester Bangs and Jaan Uhelszki), and the U.K. (Simon Frith, Ben Edmonds, and Pete Frame) signed on, Big Star was persuaded to play the gig.

The writers sat through the other bands and by the time Big Star took the stage, around midnight, they were well lubricated. Big Star couldn’t have had a more receptive audience. Rock critics are not known to dance but they were all on the floor and some has since called the performance by Big Star magic. Some called it the greatest performance and sound they ever heard. That night is what convinced Big Star to stay together and finish their second album Radio City. They played most of the first album, some covers, and a few songs they had worked on including Life Is White.

What I question is…Stax would give money for things like this but could not distribute records?

Alex had the quote below while he was in Big Star. What he said foretold Big Star’s future. It would be years later before the album would sell anything and get noticed. They would make one more album…Big Star Third/Sister Lovers before ending it.

Alex Chilton: “The important thing is to make a good record,” “because if you make a good record, it doesn’t matter what happens. It’s going to sell from then on to some degree, even though it doesn’t sell anything when it comes out and is a big disappointment to everybody. If it’s really good, people are going to want it from then on, and that’s the important thing. It might take five or ten years for it to pay off—or it might take twenty years, and you might be dead when it pays off. If it’s good, it’s going to pay off for somebody, sometime.”

Life Is White

Don’t like to see your face
Don’t like to hear you talk at all
I could be with Ann
But I’d just get bored

Can’t even bring myself to call
And I don’t want to see you now
‘Cause I know what you lack
And I can’t go back to that

Whatever’s all the same
Now there’s nobody to know
And I can’t recall, recall your name
All I can say is so

And I don’t want to see you now
‘Cause I know what you lack
And I can’t go back to that

Your life is white
And I don’t think I like
You hanging around

Don’t like to see your face
Don’t like to hear you talk at all
I could be with Ann
But I’d just get bored

Can’t even bring myself to call
And I don’t want to see you now
‘Cause I know what you lack
And I can’t go back to that now

Moody Blues – Tuesday Afternoon

Tuesday Afternoon was on the classic concept album Days of Future Passed which was released in 1968. This song was released as a single and was the second single from Days of Future Passed (the first being “Nights in White Satin“). It was backed with a song called “Another Morning”.

Ever since I heard the intro on Strawberry Fields I’ve loved the mellotron. This song uses the instrument. I did read where it was hard to keep running because it used a series of tape loops and you played it by a keyboard.

Mike Pinder was the keyboard player for the Moody Blues and a founding member. He used to work for a company called Streetly Electronics, which made the instrument. He was one of the few musicians who could keep the  device operational, and The Moody Blues became the first high-profile band to use it in live performances. It wasn’t always smooth… one their first American tour, the Mellotron burst open, spewing its tape out the back. After a break Pinder repaired the machine and the show continued on.

The “London Festival Orchestra”, which was the name Decca Records gave to their collection of classical musicians, played on this track. The original idea for the album was to record a rock version of a classical piece called “New World Symphony” by Dvorak.

The song peaked at #12 in the Billboard 100 and #24 in Canada in 1968.

Justin Hayward: “I sat down in a field, smoked a funny African cigarette, and that song just came out. It was a Tuesday afternoon.”

Days of Future Passed [Expanded Version]

From Songfacts

Justin Hayward had a dog named Tuesday, but the song has nothing to do with the pooch. In his Songfacts interview, Hayward explained: “It just so happened we were sitting in the field together, that’s all. But it was a Tuesday afternoon and I did smoke a joint and it was down there where I come from in the West Country and this song just came out.”

On the album, this was listed as “Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?)” at the insistence of producer Tony Clarke.

Hayward was earning a living playing music by the time he was in his late teens, so unlike most working stiffs for whom Tuesday afternoon was a time to knuckle down and get some work done, that part of the week could be quite relaxing for him. “I did think about that and about being someone who’s been lucky enough never having to do a proper job,” he told us. “I wasn’t hampered by any of that kind of stuff.”

This song uses a Mellotron. The instrument is a keyboard which triggers taped loops of a chosen instrument recorded at different pitches. It is not synthesized sound, but actual instrument recordings. In this song the recorded loops were strings. The strange and unique quality of the sound comes from the warble in the tape loops as they play back.

Tuesday Afternoon

Tuesday afternoon
I’m just beginning to see
Now I’m on my way
It doesn’t matter to me
Chasing the clouds away

Something calls to me
The trees are drawing me near
I’ve got to find out why
Those gentle voices I hear
Explain it all with a sigh

I’m looking at myself reflections of my mind
It’s just the kind of day to leave myself behind
So gently swaying through the fairyland of love
If you’ll just come with me you’ll see the beauty of
Tuesday afternoon
Tuesday afternoon

Tuesday afternoon 
I’m just beginning to see
Now I’m on my way
It doesn’t matter to me
Chasing the clouds away

Something calls to me
The trees are drawing me near
I’ve got to find out why
Those gentle voices I hear
Explain it all with a sigh

Replacements – The Ledge

This song was one of the most pivotal songs in their career. MTV’s refusal to play it hurt the chances of the album Please To Meet Me… which The Replacements released in 1987. The album was critically praised as were most of their other albums. With no MTV or radio support, the single didn’t go anywhere.

This song had radio potential and their record company Sire was gearing up a campaign but the song is about suicide and MTV would not touch it. A month before the album was released, the Bergenfield Suicide Pact (4 New Jersey teens took part in a suicide pact) happened. It understandably got a lot of press. Paul Westerberg was not happy with the decision. “MTV feels the lyrics are detrimental to the youth of America,” said Westerberg  “But for them to play Mötley Crüe and not play our video … if it had a bunch of sexist bullshit, they would’ve played it. But if it’s something deeper, if it’s emotions, it’s taboo.”        

The song hinted at Paul Westerberg’s own teenage overdose attempt and the suicide of his high school friend John Zika. Sitting home in the fall of 1986, he wrote The Ledge in forty-five minutes, from the perspective of a jumper looking down at a gathering crowd below.

It was recorded in Memphis with Jim Dickinson producing. The band worked as a trio as Bob Stinson was let go by this time. After the album was finished they would get Bob “Slim” Dunlap on lead guitar.

Paul Westerberg:  It’s written not necessarily out of personal experience because I’m still here. It’s an observation. And if anyone wants to read anything into it other than that, then that’s their problem. And the lyrics, they just came. I didn’t have to sit, I didn’t have to think. It was just wham wham wham, I turned on the little tape recorder, I had it on an ironing board. And it was partially out of the way I had felt at certain times in my life. I figure if you’re gonna kill yourself, you kill yourself, but I had tried to commit suicide once I think when I was younger and I can still feel how I felt then. I mean not like now that I’m totally a-ok and the happiest guy in the world, I’m doing fine, but I can feel for people that feel totally lost and have no one to turn to. So it was written sort of half of my own experience and half of maybe me trying to feel how it is to be up there on the ledge. And it’s not written in any way to condone that kind of stuff. Obviously it’s bullshit, it’s wrong, but to someone who does it…

The Ledge

All eyes look up to me
High above the filthy streets
Heed no bullhorn when it calls
Watch me fly and die, watch me fall

I’m the boy they can’t ignore,
For the first time in my life, I’m sure
All the love sent up high to pledge
Won’t reach the ledge

Wind blows cold from the west
I smell coffee, I smell doughnuts for the press (on their breath?)
A girl that I knew once years ago
Is tryin’ to be reached on the phone

I’m the boy she can’t ignore,
For the first time in my life, I’m sure
All the love sent up high to pledge…

(Repeat)

Priest kneels silent, all is still
Policeman reaches from the sill
Watch him, watch him try his best
There’ll be no medal pinned to his chest

I’m the boy they couldn’t ignore,
For the first time in my life, I’m sure

(Repeat)

I’m the boy for the last time in my life

All the love that they pledge
For the last time will not reach the ledge…

Twilight Zone – The Howling Man… #2

I’m going to write about my top 10 favorite TZ episodes in the next few weeks…Most of the Twilight Zones are like songs to me…to be enjoyed over and over. The Twilight Zone is not really an ordinary TV show. It’s THE TWILIGHT ZONE. This is my personal choice for #2 on my list…Next week my number one.

I wish now I would have just reviewed every Twilight Zone episode…this is a fun gig!

If you haven’t seen this episode…it will have spoilers…just so you know.

This one is not one of the comedic episodes…it is deadly serious, haunting and chilling. The Howling Man doesn’t have a lot of action but you feel sorry for David Ellington…he realized too late that he has set the devil loose in the world. The special effects of the ragged looking man turning into the devil was spot on. It would look good now in todays time. One well known actor was in this one, John Carradine played Brother Jerome.

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: The prostrate form of Mr. David Ellington, scholar, seeker of truth and, regrettably, finder of truth. A man who will shortly arise from his exhaustion to confront a problem that has tormented mankind since the beginning of time. A man who knocked on a door seeking sanctuary and found, instead, the outer edges of The Twilight Zone.

David Ellington recounts a story, one that began just after the end of World War I. He was hiking in Europe when he sought refuge during a violent rain storm. The residence is isolated and its head, Brother Jerome, tells him he cannot stay. Ellington is ill however and during his short stay meets someone who is being kept prisoner and howls constantly through the night. Ellington believes the Howling Man is being kept there for no good reason but Brother Jerome tells him of the man’s true nature. The decision Ellington makes will haunt him for the rest of his life.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration: Ancient folk saying: “You can catch the Devil, but you can’t hold him long.” Ask Brother Jerome. Ask David Ellington. They know, and they’ll go on knowing to the end of their days and beyond — in the Twilight Zone.

CAST

  • H.M. Wynant as David Ellington
  • John Carradine as Brother Jerome
  • Robin Hughes as The Howling Man
  • Frederic Ledebur as Brother Christophorus
  • Ezelle Poule as Housekeeper