King Floyd – Groove Me

This is my eighth song pick for Hanspostcard’s song draft. King Floyd’s Groove Me.

The bass in this song punches you like a heavy weight fighter and will roll you like wholesale carpet…the timing is absolutely perfect. I hear some Otis and Wilson Pickett in this song and it will make you move. I wanted to touch on the seventies R&B/funk side in the draft…I can’t do any better than this one.

Floyd takes almost a full minute to build up to the chorus and it’s well worth the wait when he kicks it in. Also wanted to mention that a musician named Vernie Robbins plays the bass in this song…the bass along with Floyd carries the song…and the horns don’t hurt either. 

This was the B side to a song called What Our Love Needs and DJ’s played a role in making this a hit after spinning this side more. They started to play this song in the New Orleans region and it took off nationally… something that would not happen today.

This was recorded at the same session as Jean Knight’s “Mr. Big Stuff.” In the 80s I heard this song and was hooked on the first listen. Back then it took me a while to track it down…but track it down I did at Tower Records. I get all misty eyed when thinking of pulling into the parking lot of Tower or Port O’ Call Records.  .

This is a song that has not been worn out…in fact we need it more. I love the dynamics going on in the chorus when it kicks in. The song was released in 1970 and peaked at #6 in the Billboard Hot 100.

On how Floyd wrote this song… He was working at a box factory and noticed a woman there: She’d just watch me and smile at me all day. When I went to the water fountain, she would make it her purpose to come up to the water fountain. But, I was so shy. So, I decided one day that I was gonna write this poem and give it to her and I wrote ‘Groove Me.’ Believe it or not, after I finished it she never came back to work. It blew me away. So, I never gave her the poem. Man, I’d sure like to meet her one day just to thank her!”

Groove Me

Hey there sugar darlin’
Let me tell you something
Girl, I’ve been trying to say, now
You look so sweet
And you’re so doggone fine
I just can’t get you out of my mind
You’ve become a sweet taste in my mouth, now
And I want you to be my spouse
So that we can live happily, nah-nah
In a great big ol’ roomy house
And I know you’re gonna groove me, baby
Ahh, yeah, now
You make me feel good inside
Come on, and groove me, baby
I need you to groove me
Ahhh, yeah, now, now, darling
Uhh! Come on, come on!
Hey! Uhh!

Hey there, sugar darlin’
Come on, give me something
Girl, I’ve been needing for days
Yes, I’m good, good loving
With plenty, plenty hugging
Ooh, you cute little thang, you
Girl, between you and me, nah-nah
We don’t need no company
No other man, no other girl
Can enter into our world
Not as long as you groove me, baby
Ahh, come on
Make me feel good inside
Come on and groove me, baby
Move me, baby
Ahh, sock it to me, mama
Uhh! Ahh, I like it like that, baby
Uhh! Groove me, baby! Hey! Uhh!
Groove me, darling!
Come on, come on
I need you to sock it to me, mama
Come on and groove me, baby
Hey! Uhh! Good, God!
It makes me feel so good inside, mama
Now, come on, come on, and uhh
Groove me, baby, groove me, baby
Ahh, sock it to me
Sock it to me
Rock it to me
Come on, come on!
Come on!
And uhh
Groove me, mama, I want you to
Groove me!

Three O’Clock – With a Cantaloupe Girlfriend

Great up tempo power pop song. Three O’Clock came from the Paisley Underground movement in the 80s. They were a mixture of 60s psychedelia and early 80s pop sensibilities.

The Three O’Clock was a rock group associated with Los Angeles’ Paisley Underground scene in the early 1980s. Lead singer and bassist Michael Quercio is credited with coining the term “Paisley Underground” to describe bands such as Dream Syndicate, Rain Parade, Green On Red and the Bangles from the area. The Three O’Clock was originally formed under the name The Salvation Army in 1981 but then changed it’s name to Three O’Clock when legal problems with the actual Salvation Army forced the band to change their name.

This song was on the EP called Baroque Hoedown released in 1982. They later had a college hit with a song called Jet Fighter.

After signing with I.R.S. Records they got MTV play with a song called Her Head’s Revolving. After that Prince signed them to his own Paisley Park Records and they made one album and vanished. They did record a song Prince wrote for them called Neon Phone.

They had a reunion of the classic line-up, Michael Quercio (vocals/bass), Louis Gutierrez (guitars) & Danny Benair (drums) — were joined by new member Adam Merrin (keyboards). The group played both weekends of the Coachella festival, and also played on Conan on April 10, 2013.

They later embarked on a mini-tour, and released several archival recordings that same year. The final show at the time was at a record store in Long Beach California in June of 2013.

As of 2018 they reunited band remained active touring around California.

With a Cantaloupe Girlfriend

Sorry I could not find the lyrics

Big Star – Kanga Roo

This album was quite different than the other two Big Star albums. This song has a wonderful melody but it sounds like the world is collapsing around him when he sings it.

This song was on their 3rd album “Third/Sisters Lovers.” By this time the bands founder Chris Bell had been gone since the debut album was released and bassist Andy Hummel quit after their second album Radio City. There were only two original members on the album…Alex Chilton and drummer Jody Stephens. This album sometimes has been looked at as an Alex Chilton solo album…Jody did contribute a song and brought in a string section that was used in other songs.

They used different Memphis musicians on the album. Alex was dating Lesa Aldridge (who would go on to form a punk band calle The Klitz) and she helped with the album also.

Jim Dickinson produced this album and he got close to Chilton and encouraged him to try new things. Alex sometimes cut tracks late at night, then presented them to Jim the following day. After the two had been discussing the producer’s role, Alex showed up with “Like St. Joan,” possibly referencing the martyred Joan of Arc, which morphed into “Kanga Roo.”

Jim jumped into action, adding electric guitar feedback, strings via a Mellotron, and his own amateurish drums—since Jody wasn’t there that day—including a very loud cowbell. Inspired, Alex grabbed a drumstick to use as a bow on his Strat, creating an eerie sound. Effects were added to Alex’s drowsy vocals, which presumably related the story of his and Lesa’s love affair:

Jim Dickinson: “Alex came in one morning and he had this little evil grin on his face,” “He said, ‘Lesa and I cut something last night I want you to hear.’ Okay, so he plays me ‘Like a Kangaroo’ [its second title], which is acoustic twelve-string and vocal on one track [making it difficult to separate the sounds]. I said, ‘Yeah, Alex, what do you hear on that?’ And with the evil grin, he says, ‘Well, why don’t you produce it, Mr. Producer?’” “I first saw you, you had on blue jeans / Your eyes couldn’t hide anything . . . Thought you were a queen, oh so flirty.” Alex later said of the lyrics that he was spewing things out loud, just song after song. . . . The whole process was kind of automatic, free association.” “I think of Alex as a collaborator. He allowed me to collaborate with him.

Kanga Roo

I first saw you
You had on blue jeans
Your eyes couldn’t hide anything
I saw you breathing, oh
I saw you staring out in space

I next saw you
You was at the party
Thought you was a queen
Oh so flirty
I came against

Didn’t say excuse
Knew what I was doing
We looked very fine
‘Cause we were leaving

Like Saint Joan
Doing a cool jerk
Oh, I want you
Like a kanga roo

Beatles – Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?

This song is absurd and hilarious. Paul wrote this song and got right to the point. Do what in the road Paul? We might never know. Well actually at the bottom of the post he does explain it…but a warning…you cannot un-see what you read. 

I’ve always liked it because it is fun. Some people try to take it seriously but it’s not meant to be…a song with two lines to the complete song…that is being a minimalist or little lazy. The first rumor I read about this song was that Paul was desperate for the Beatles to tour again and this was his message to the band…Why don’t we do it in the road? It turned out to be not true…it was inspired by two monkeys…not Monkees…see the Paul quote on down. 

It’s a fun song that sounds more like a John song than a Paul. It will never win a best Beatle song award but it’s fun and fits like a glove on the eclectic White Album. That is what I love about the White Album. Listening to the album you never know what is coming next. It still has a sound that threads all the songs together though. 

Paul and Ringo were the only two playing on this song. John Lennon liked the track but later he said he felt hurt when Paul would leave him out on a track and just do something himself. Paul’s voice is outstanding on this one…very aggressive. This is not the “Yesterday” Paul.

This is interesting…The Beatles were not touring when this was released and  Paul McCartney didn’t play it live until October 8, 2016 when he performed it at the Desert Trip festival with Neil Young.

Paul McCartney: “The idea behind ‘Why Don’t We Do It In The Road’ came from something I’d seen in Rishikesh, I was up on the flat roof meditating and I’d seen a troupe of monkeys walking along in the jungle and a male just hopped on to the back of this female and gave her one, as they say in the vernacular. Within two or three seconds he hopped off again, and looked around as if to say, ‘It wasn’t me,’ and she looked around as if there had been some mild disturbance but thought, ‘Huh, I must have imagined it,’ and she wandered off.”

“And I thought, ‘Bloody hell, that puts it all into a cocked hat.’ That’s how simple the act of procreation is, this bloody monkey just hopping on and hopping off. There is an urge, they do it, and it’s done with. And it’s that simple. We have horrendous problems with it, and yet animals don’t. So that was basically it. ‘Why Don’t We Do It In The Road’ could have applied to either f*cking or sh*tting, to put it roughly. Why don’t we do either of them in the road? Well, the answer is we’re civilized and we don’t. But the song was just to pose that question. ‘Why Don’t We Do It In The Road’ was a primitive statement to do with sex or to do with freedom really. I like it, it’s just so outrageous that I like it.

Paul McCartney and Neil Young…doing it in the road. A very rare live performance. 

Why Don’t We Do It In The Road

Why don’t we do it in the road?
Why don’t we do it in the road?
Why don’t we do it in the road?
Why don’t we do it in the road?

No one will be watching us
Why don’t we do it in the road?

Why don’t we do it in the road?
Why don’t we do it in the road?
Why don’t we do it in the road?
Why don’t we do it in the road?

No one will be watching us
Why don’t we do it in the road?

Why don’t we do it in the road?
Why don’t we do it in the road?
Why don’t we do it, do it in the road?
Why don’t we do it in the road?

No one will be watching us
Why don’t we do it in the road?

 

Blind Melon – No Rain

This 1993 song has a sixties feel to it. The lead singer Shannon Hoon did a great job on this track.

Blind Melon bass player Brad Smith wrote this song before he formed the band. He had moved from Mississippi to Los Angeles, where he fell into a down period. He said that the song is about not being able to get out of bed and find excuses to face the day when you have nothing. At the time he was dating a girl who was going through depression  and for a while he told himself that he was writing the song from her perspective. He later realized that he was also writing about it himself.

The video was very popular. It has a very intriguing video featuring a girl dressed in a bee costume. The bee girl, Heather DeLoach, was 10 years old when she starred in it, creating one of the most enduring images on MTV.

The concept for the video was inspired by the Blind Melon album cover, which features a 1975 photo of Georgia Graham, the younger sister of Blind Melon drummer Glenn Graham. DeLoach was the first to audition for the role, and because she resembled Graham’s sister so much, director Samuel Bayer (who also directed Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”) chose her.

This song peaked at #1 in Canada, #20 in the Billboard 100, #17 in the UK, and #15 in New Zealand in 1993.

Blind Melon’s songs, were credited to the entire band even when one member wrote most of the song, as Brad Smith did with this one. Brad says that even though he wrote it, lead singer Shannon Hoon took it to a new level with his vocal.

The video made #22 on MTV’s Greatest Videos Ever Made countdown at the end of 1999.

From Songfacts

The bee girl parlayed the role into a credible acting career, appearing in the movie Balls of Fury, a remake of the Shirley Temple film A Little Princess and the TV shows ER and Reno911. She got married in 2017. DeLoach recalled to MTV News her audition for the bee girl: “They told me Sam didn’t look at any other tapes. I went in with my hair in braids and wearing those chunky glasses, because they said to look nerdy. My mom said we had to find some glasses before we went in, so we ran to a local mall right before the audition and bought them, and Sam liked them so much they’re the same ones I used in the video.”

This was a hit on a variety of formats. It reached #1 on the AOR (classic rock), modern rock and metal charts.

The first performances of this song were on Venice Beach, where Brad Smith would do his busking. “That’s where the lyric and the song was inspired from, is just having to write songs,” he said. “Then being in the state of mind I was in and having to come up with material to go play down on the beach for change. I played that song on the beach for change for over a year before Shannon Hoon actually joined the band and really made that song a hit.”

The band didn’t always appreciate this song. When they opened some shows for The Rolling Stones in 1994, they left it off their setlist. Their tour manager, Paul Cummings explained: “They had become one of those bands that hate their hit – at least at that point. I couldn’t understand it, but it’s not my call. That probably would have been the only song that crowd would have recognized.”

A hallmark of Brad Smith’s lyrics a feeling of melancholy, which doesn’t always match the music he puts to the song. He describes the music to this song as a “jaunty little happy halfway island beat,” which sounds like “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” He explained: “A lot of my songs come from a darker place. And if you just met me walking down the street, you’d say, ‘Oh, you’re such a happy guy, Brad. Why the dark songs?’ I’m like, ‘I don’t know.’ For me, it just has more meaning if you can get inside someone’s soul and identify with them on a heavier level and try to connect with them on that level. Because when you’re sad and you’re down, you’re the most vulnerable, and you feel the most alone.”

In 1993, Heather DeLoach reprised her role as Bee Girl in the Weird Al Yankovic video for “Bedrock Anthem” (a parody of “Give It Away” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers).

The inertia described in this song sounds typical of the stoner ennui like that described in “Because I Got High,” but you can blame this one on the herb. “I wasn’t even on drugs or drinking,” Brad Smith told us. “It was just a tough point in my life. And the cool thing about that song, I think a lot of people do interpret those lyrics properly and can connect with it on that level, where ‘I don’t understand why I sleep all day and I start to complain that there’s no rain.’ It’s just a line about, I’d rather it be raining so I can justify myself by laying in the bed and not doing anything. But it’s a sunny day, so go out and face it.”

In 2003, this was used in a commercial where a girl in a hot dog costume meets a guy in a Pepsi costume. Love blooms.

Pearl Jam has a song called “Bee Girl” that they first performed in 1994. With lyrics like, “Bee girl, you’re gonna die. You don’t wanna be famous, you wanna be shy,” the track was seen as a very accurate warning to Shannon Hoon that he was on a path of destruction. The song can be found on their Lost Dogs rarities album.

In 2016, the pop singer Mandy Jiroux released a song called “Insane” using many elements of “No Rain,” including the signature riff. Her song has similar but different lyrics, for instance:

All I can say is that my life’s not really plain
I like dancing in puddles that gather rain

In places where Shannon Hoon sang “no rain,” Jiroux substituted “insane.”

This prompted Blind Melon to file a lawsuit using the same lawyer who won big bucks for Marvin Gaye’s estate in the “Blurred Lines” case. Had Jiroux simply covered the song, it wouldn’t be an issue, but Blind Melon claimed that she created a “derivative work” that requires licensing.

The suit is unusual in that the plaintiff is trying to prove that the defendant didn’t make the song similar enough.

This song was featured in the 2004 comedy movie Without A Paddle.

No Rain

All I can say is that my life is pretty plain
I like watchin’ the puddles gather rain
And all I can do is just pour some tea for two
And speak my point of view but it’s not sane
It’s not sane

I just want someone to say to me, oh
I’ll always be there when you wake, yeah
You know I’d like to keep my cheeks dry today
So stay with me and I’ll have it made

And I don’t understand why I sleep all day
And I start to complain that there’s no rain
And all I can do is read a book to stay awake
And it rips my life away but it’s a great escape
Escape, escape, escape

All I can say is that my life is pretty plain
You don’t like my point of view, you think that I’m insane
It’s not sane, it’s not sane

I just want someone to say to me, oh
I’ll always be there when you wake, yeah
You know I’d like to keep my cheeks dry today
So stay with me and I’ll have it made, I’ll have it made, I’ll have it made
Oh, no, no, you know, I really wanna, really gonna have it made
You know, I’ll have it made

Watermelon Men – Seven Years

For everyone that follows me on the weekend…I’m working on a home project and I will only post one Twilight Zone each day with no music posts this weekend. Have a great weekend. 

This song was released in 1985 on the Watermelon’s album Past, Present and Future.

The Watermelon Men were a Swedish five piece band that were around from the mid Eighties up till 1994. They had quite a following in Sweden, Germany, England, among other places.

The band is still popular over ten years after they ceased. They are praised in power pop circles in Europe. They were mostly known for garage rock and brought good melodies with jangly guitars in a lot of their music.

When they were together they released three albums, an Ep, and three singles. One album remains unreleased…it’s up in the air on if it will come out.

The guitar player Imre von Polgar died in the tsunami disaster in Khao Lak in 2004. Shortly after, the band reformed for a one time show in his memory.

Seven Years

If the man can’t choose which way to go
If the girl don’t know where she belongs
Then you’re apt to say all the love can’t kill the pain
Till they meet, he’ll be a traveling man
When his hope was buried in the ground
In tears she left her man behind
The you’re apt to think seven years has passed today
Till they meet, she’ll dream her life away

You won’t feel, you’ll meet her someday
And in his arms, she’ll always stay
But it’s the story
No one ever fades

In surprise they think
When they both run from themselves
Till they meet, the story has no end

You won’t see, you’ll meet her someday
And in his arms, she’ll always stay
But it’s the story
No one ever fades

Kinks – Dandy

If you heard this song on the radio in the sixties it probably wasn’t the Kinks version unless you lived in Germany where it peaked at #1, The Netherlands where it peaked at #3 and #2 in Belgium.

The mighty Herman Hermits covered the song and it peaked at #5 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada, #3 in New Zealand…sometimes life just isn’t fair.

It is said to have been written about Dave Davies, mostly about his rock star lifestyle… Dave confirmed in the documentary about Dave Davies.

The song was on the Face to Face album.. one of the first rock and roll concept albums.  In the album’s original inception, Davies attempted to bridge the songs together with sound effects, but was forced to revert to the more standard album because of the record company.

Ray Davies: “I think it was about someone, probably me, who needed to make up his mind about relationships. Also about my brother, who was flitting from one girl to another. It’s a more serious song than it seems. It’s about a man who’s trapped by his own indecision with relationships and lack of commitment. That’s the way I’d write it now, but when I was twenty-two or twenty-three I wrote it about a jovial person who’s a womanizer.”

From Songfacts

Running to just 2 minutes 22 seconds, “Dandy” was written by Ray Davies, and is the third track on the band’s 1966 Face To Face album. 

The song ends with the line “…Dandy, you’re all right”.

Sadly, this sentiment was not reciprocated; in the aforementioned documentary, Dave Davies said that he loved his brother, even though he was an arsehole! 

“Dandy” was released as a single in Europe on the Pye label backed by “Party Line.” The single was produced by Shel Talmy, who worked on most of the early Kinks material. 

I’m so sorry but I feel I’m obliged to post the Colossal Hermit’s version also. 

Dandy

Dandy, Dandy
Where you gonna go now?
Who you gonna run to?
All you life
You’re chasing all the girls,
They can’t resist your smile.
Oh, they long for Dandy, Dandy.

Checkin’ out the ladies,
Tickling their fancy,
Pouring out your charm
To meet all your own demands,
And turn it off at will.
Oh, they long for Dandy, Dandy.

Knockin’ on the back door,
Climbing through the window,
Hubby’s gone away,
And while the cat’s away,
The mice are gonna play.
Oh, you low down Dandy, Dandy.
Dandy

Dandy you know you’re moving much too fast,
And Dandy, you know you can’t escape the past.
Look around you and see the people settle down,
And when you’re old and grey you will remember what they said,
That two girls are too many, three’s a crowd and four you’re dead.

Oh Dandy, Dandy,
When you gonna give up?
Are you feeling old now?
You always will be free,
You need no sympathy,
A bachelor you will stay,
And Dandy, you’re all right.
You’re all right.
You’re all right.
You’re all right.
You’re all right.
You’re all right.

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

Rolling Stones – Worried About You

When Tattoo You came out I bought the single Start Me Up and couldn’t get enough of it…yea I have had about enough of it now. I bought the album played it non stop. 10 years later a friend and  I took a trip to Pensacola after playing a gig and this album was on all of the way. This song stood out at the time because I skipped the hits. Mick sings it in a falsetto voice that works well.

The Stones dug down deep in their vaults for this album because they wanted to tour in 1980. They had released Some Girls in 78, Emotional Rescue in 80, and Tattoo You in 1981 and needed some songs. This song’s origins go back to 1976’s Black and Blue.

This song features a guitar solo by Wayne Perkins, who had once auditioned as a potential replacement for Mick Taylor, and Billy Preston on keyboards.

Tattoo You peaked at #1 in the Billboard Album Charts, #1 in Canada, and #2 in the UK in 1981.

Worried About You

Sometime I wonder why you do these things to me
Sometime I worry girl that you ain’t in love with me

Sometime I stay out late, yeah I’m having fun
Yes, I guess you know by now that you ain’t the only one

Yeah-hey, oh baby
Ooh, sweet things that you promised me babe, yeah
Seemed to go up in smoke
Yeah, vanish like a dream
Baby I wonder why you do these things to me

Cause I’m worried
I just can’t seem to find my way, baby

Ooh, the nights I spent just waiting on the sun, yeah
Just like your burned out cigarette
You threw away my love
Why did you do that baby

I wonder why, why you do these things to me well, oh

I’m worried
Lord, I’ll find out anyway
Sure gonna find myself a girl someday
‘Til then I’m worried
Yeah, I just can’t seem to find my way
Ooh

Yeah, I’m a hard working man
When did I ever do you wrong?
Yeah, I get all my money baby, yeah
I bring it, I bring it all home
Yeah, I’m telling the truth, yeah

Well, sweet things, sweet things that you promised me

Well I’m worried and I just can’t seem to find my way, baby

I’m worried about you, yeah
I’m worried about you, yeah
Tell you something now
I’m worried ’bout you (oh, yeah)
I’m worried ’bout you, child (oh, yeah)
I’m worried ’bout you, woman (oh, yeah)
That’s come on, tell you something now
I’m worried ’bout you (oh, yeah)
I’m worried about you (aw yeah), yeah

Yeah, I’m worried
Lord, I’ll find out anyway
Sure as Hell I’m gonna find that girl someday
Lord, I’m worried
Lord, I just can’t seem to find my way

….

Replacements – Sixteen Blue

Sixteen Blue was inspired by bassist Tommy Stinson. Tommy played his first gig with the Replacements in June of 1980 when he was just 13. The other members were 5-6 years older than Tommy.

Westerberg had witnessed how Stinson had been forced to grow up way faster than most kids, yet still faced the typical teenage issues and doubts. Westerberg also said it was about his lonely teenage years.

The song is on their Let It Be album released in 1984. Let It Be was the first of a three album stretch (Let It Be, Tim, Please To Meet Me) that they are probably best remembered for today.

Peter Jesperson (manager): “Hearing it the first time they did it, at a sound check in Boston, I thought, Jesus, he’s written a song about Tommy.”“Tommy was kind of the mascot of the band, and Paul had written about him in songs before. But this wasn’t just some goofy thing. This was serious and tender.”

Paul Westerberg on why they named the album Let It Be

“We were riding around . . . kicking around silly [album] names and we thought, ‘The next song that comes on the radio, we’ll name it after that.”

“We peed our pants [laughing], and Peter (manager and Beatles fan) is at the wheel, silent as hell, thinking, ‘They’re not going to do this, ““We did it pretty much to piss him off and pretty much to show the world, in a Ramones kind of way, how dumb-smart we were. . . . Just to figure how many feathers we can ruffle.”

Sixteen Blue

Drive yourself right up the wall
No one hears and no one calls
It’s a boring state
It’s a useless wait, I know

Brag about things you don’t understand
A girl and a woman, a boy and a man
Everything is sexually vague
Now you’re wondering to yourself
If you might be gay

Your age is the hardest age
Everything drags and drags
One day, baby, maybe help you through
Sixteen blue
Sixteen blue

Drive your ma to the bank
Tell your pa you got a date
You’re lying, now you’re lying on your back

Try to figure out, they wonder what next you’ll pull
You don’t understand anything sexual
I don’t understand
Tell my friends I’m doing fine

Your age is the hardest age
Everything drags and drags
You’re looking funny
You ain’t laughing, are you?
Sixteen blue
Sixteen blue

Flamin’ Groovies – Slow Death

The Flamin’ Groovies are a treasure find of a band. They have songs that are power pop, grungy blues rock, and some great rock and roll. On this song we are concentrating on the rock/blues phase of the Groovies.

I first heard this band with Shake Some Action. Their music style at first was hard to pin down. They admitted they were all over the map. They are most known for the power pop song Shake Some Action but I read where a commenter said…Slow Death was the best Stones song the Stones never did.

Released the same year as the Rolling Stones’ album Sticky Fingers, Mick Jagger reportedly noticed the similarities between the Groovies Teenage Head album … and thought the Flamin’ Groovies did the better take on the theme of classic blues and rock ‘n roll revisited in a modern context.

The band started in 1965 by  Roy Loney and Cyril Jordan. By the end of the sixties they clashed over where to go. Loney was more Stones and Jordon leaned toward the Beatles. Loney left in 1971 and they got an 18 year old lead singer named Chris Wilson.

The moved to London and started to work with Dave Edmunds. With Chris they did more power pop and that is when Shake Some Action came about with Wilson and Jordon writing it.

They would go on to be a great power pop band and also be know as an early proto punk band…they pretty much covered the gamut. This anti-drug song was written by Jordon and Loney before he left…Chris Wilson is singing it.

Wilson left in the early eighties but the band continued until around 1994. They regrouped in 2012 including Chris Wilson. The Flamin Groovies have released 9 studio albums and one as late as 2017.

Bass Player George Alexander:

We were the fastest band on the planet, like Ramones-fast. Once Chris got in, we decided to move on to what we considered the next level. We needed a lead singer that could carry that off, a young, good-looking guy who could Jagger-out.

With Chris we were moving into ‘Shake Some Action.’ Our last record from the punk phrase was ‘Teenage Head’ and [the first single with Wilson] ‘Slow Death,’ which was more Stones-y. We kept ‘Slow Death’ in the set but it was now time for ‘Shake Some Action’ and the power pop.

On this video…looks like they are at the Marquee Club where the Who started.

Slow Death

I called the doctor
In the morning
I had a fever
It was a warning
She said “There’s nothing I can prescribe
To keep your raunchy bag of bones alive”
I got some money left for one more shot
She said “God bless you” I said “Thanks a lot”

It’s a slow, slow death

I called the preacher
Holy, holy
I begged forgiveness
That’s when he told me
He said “There’s nothing I can prescribe
To keep your raunchy bag of bones alive”
I got some money left for one more shot
He said “God bless you” I said “Thanks a lot”

Slow Death

I’m set to mainline
A hit of morphine
It’s set to mainline
It’s like a bad dream
Slow death–eat my mind away
Slow death–turn my guts to clay
It’s a slow, slow, slow death

Tom Petty – Don’t Come Around Here No More

When I first heard this song in the 1980s…the instrument that stood out was the sitar. I’ve been in love with that instrument since I heard Norwegian Wood. I want one and if I find a cheap one I will get it. One strum and you are back in the sixties and it fit this song well…or this song fits the sitar.

Sitar - Wikipedia

After Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers toured in 1983, they took some time off, and Petty started working with Dave Stewart from the Eurythmics. This was the first song they wrote together, and the psychedelic sound was a big departure from Petty’s work with The Heartbreakers.

Petty released Southern Accents and it was going to be a double album produced by Stewart…but ended up being a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers single album, with Jimmy Iovine producing some songs and Stewart producing others. Personally I never thought this song fit with most of the other songs but I liked the album all the same.

Even in the 80s I wasn’t in love with videos after a few years but…this one I loved. It remains one of my favorite music videos.

The song peaked at #13 in the Billboard 100, #20 in Canada, #50 in the UK, and #42 in New Zealand in 1985.

From Songfacts

Stewart tells the full glorious story in The Dave Stewart Songbook, but here are the highlights: Eurythmics had a huge hit with “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)” and became a phenomenon in the United States. They played the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, and Stewart met Stevie Nicks backstage after the show. She had broken up with Joe Walsh the day before, so she took Stewart home with her and they had a romantic encounter. The next morning, Stevie kicked him out, and Stewart flew to San Francisco for his next gig. After the show, he used a Portastudio to create a track using a drum machine, a synthesizer and a sitar. Reflecting on the last 24 hours, Stewart says: “I really liked Stevie and she seemed vulnerable and fragile when I was leaving that morning. I was thinking about that and the situation she was in and I started singing, ‘Don’t come around her no more.'”

A few days later Stewart was staying with producer Jimmy Iovine, who was working on Stevie’s Bella Donna album. Stewart played him his demo, and they started writing the song for Stevie. Stewart didn’t know that Nicks and Iovine were once a couple, and when she came over to record the song, tensions boiled over and she left in a huff. Iovine decided to give Tom Petty the song, and had him come by, where they finished it up. Petty and Nicks had worked with Iovine on the duet “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” which went on Stevie’s album, so it was only fair that Petty got this one.

The video used an Alice In Wonderland theme, which was Stewart’s idea – it reflected how he felt coming to Los Angeles. It was directed by Jeff Stein, who used a black-and-white tiled background and oversized, elaborate costumes starring Tom Petty as the Mad Hatter. Stewart appears in the beginning of the video playing the sitar on a giant mushroom. At the end, the girl becomes a cake and is eaten by the band, something that caused enough of a stir that they created a version where she doesn’t get eaten. The video was a huge hit on MTV, helping introduce Petty to a younger audience and building anticipation for his next videos. (Read our interview with Dave Stewart.)

MTV ordered a shot of a grinning Petty while Alice gets served edited out of the video before they would air it. “They said it was just too lascivious,” he told Billboard. “They were like, ‘Well, you can do it, but you can’t enjoy it that much.'”

Louise “Wish” Foley plays Alice in the video. At the casting call, she was dressed demure, like Alice would, while the other girls auditioning (mostly models) were to the nines. Foley went on to land roles in the TV series Santa Barbara and Family.

Don’t Come Around Here No More

Don’t come around here no more
Don’t come around here no more
Whatever you’re looking for
Hey! don’t come around here no more

I’ve given up, I’ve given up
I’ve given up on waiting any longer
I’ve given up, on this love getting stronger

I don’t feel you any more
you darken my door
Whatever you’re looking for
Hey! don’t come around here no more

I’ve given up, I’ve given up
I’ve given up, you tangle my emotions
I’ve given up, honey please admit it is over

[Chorus]

Stop walking down my street
Who do you expect to meet?
Whatever you’re looking for
Hey! don’t come around here no more

Squirrel Bait – Sun God…. 80’s Underground Mondays

I absolutely love this band’s sound…and you have to admit they were thinking outside of the box with the band name. 

They were originally known as Squirrelbait Youth, with David Grubbs on guitar and vocals, Clark Johnson, Ben Daughtrey and Brian McMahan joined on second guitar.

They were known as a pop punk band that came out in 1983 from Louisville, Kentucky. Squirrel Bait (I love typing that) opened for such bands as Hüsker Dü and Chicago-based bands Naked Raygun and Big Black, who recommended Squirrel Bait to their label, Homestead Records.

Through Homestead, Squirrel Bait released an eponymous EP in 1985, a single in 1986 and an LP in 1987, all of which were later compiled onto a single CD. The Squirrel Bait  record released in 1985 didn’t make any waves at first.. What helped them was Bob Mould from Husker Du and Evan Dando of the Lemonheads talking it up among others in the music press, people began to notice this band. 

The band broke up in 1987 and most of the members joined other bands and David Grubbs did the same and started to release solo albums as late as 2017. 

Sun God

I feel the power of the sun on my back
So good
That heat’s good
That light has a mind to take it away

Take it away…

Let something go
If it comes back it’s a good thing
A good life
A good feeling
But it has a mind to take it away

Take it away…
Take it away and it’s gone

I feel the power of the sun on my back
So good…that heat’s good
That light has a mind to take it away

Take it away…
Take it away and it’s gone

Billy Rancher and The Unreal Gods – Uptown

This band had one of the most inspiring rises and the most devastating fall a band could have. They had the help of the biggest rock star in the 80s but that couldn’t stop what was coming. A truly sad story and a what might have been.

When Billy Rancher was a kid…he didn’t dream of rock stardom…it was baseball that he dreamed of. Billy’s father Joe was in the Dodgers minor league system. Billy was born in 1957 and he was an all-city shortstop at Madison High School and played ball for Mount Hood Community College on an athletic scholarship. His mom wanted Billy to finish his education, but his dad died in 1978, and Billy dropped out and concentrated on music.

He taught himself how to play guitar and started a band in Portland, the Malchicks, with his younger brother Lenny. That band soon broke up and Billy formed the Unreal Gods with Jon DuFresne, Bill Flaxel, Alf Rider, and Dave Stricker. The band was a hit in the Portland club scene…they even opened up for Peter Tosh at one point. At this time around 1981, Billy found out that he had cancer. He went to the hospital and he was cleared of cancer afterward.

The band raised some money and went to New York to record for Joe Delia, a session musician and independent producer.

They rehearsed at an auto-body shop, a favorite rehearsal spot for local bands. They noticed someone walking through…and that someone was Bruce Springsteen. Bruce helped to get the Unreal Gods into the Power Station…a famous studio…which was the place to record in the Big Apple. The Rolling Stones were putting down tracks there at the time.

Clive Davis, head of the Arista label, heard about this Portland band that had impressed Bruce Springsteen and hopped a flight to see them. Davis, caught an Unreal Gods show at the club Starry Night. He signed them the next day.

The label hired Men at Work producer Peter McIan to produce them. Right away the band were at odds with Mclan…he wanted to take their rawness away. Billy argued with him and the band agreed they would have found common ground but it was not meant to be. At this time Billy found out his cancer had come back. The label was sending the band to England to tour but that was put on hold…permanently

Billy fought the cancer and he was thought to be cleared but it then spread through his body. Billy Rancher died on December 2, 1986.  He played live up until before he died.

In 2019 an album named Upstroke Down was released and featured some of the songs they were working on for Arista and others that sat in the vaults…including Uptown.

Jon DuFresne: Stuff started showing up on YouTube, I’d think, Wow, that was me. There we all are. There’s Billy. Did that really happen?

https://www.oregonlive.com/history/2019/08/billy-rancher-and-the-unreal-gods-kings-of-downtown-portland-streaked-toward-1980s-rock-stardom-until-tragedy-struck.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Rancher

Miracle Workers – You’ll Know Why

These garage bands were a breath of fresh air in the 80s. They sound like their 60’s predecessors but with an updated sound.

The Miracle Workers were formed in January 1982 in Chicago by Gerry Mohr, and Joel Barnett. The original guitarist and drummer left the band early on. Matt Rogers, a friend of Joel’s, became the guitarist. The band finally stabilized in 1984, with the addition of Dan Demiankow, and Gene Trautman.

They ended up recording 5 albums and 8 singles and EPs between 1984 and 1995. They play garage rock and fit with the  revival acts, such as The Chesterfield Kings and Lyres that I have covered.

They broke up in 1992 because of musical differences. The band came together back in Portland to record their last album “Anatomy of a Creep” and released it in 1995.

You Know Why

You thought you’d be back here but it’s not that
that it works for you, but you don’t know where it’s at
You’ll know why when you learn to cry
You can’t see through another’s eyes

Someday you’ll be hurt like others have been by you
Can you feel the pain inside when there’s nothing you can do
You’ll know why when you learn to cry
You can’t see through another’s eyes

You could be who you want to be if you change your state of mind
Look inside and you will find something you just can’t hide
You’ll know why when you learn to cry
You can’t see through another’s eyes