John Mellencamp – Hurts So Good

The first song I remember from “John Cougar” was Ain’t Even Done With The Night and then John kicked the door down with this song.

This was on American Fool and after that album he was known as John Cougar Mellencamp. The main thing is he was known all over after this album.  He had four singles off of that album but two singles were huge. Hurt So Good and Jack and Diane. This song peaked at #2 on the Billboard 100, #3 in Canada, and #39 in New Zealand in 1982. MTV probably helped out a little but they were really good pop/rock songs. John kept his productions more timeless than some other artists. When you listen to many of them now…you don’t say…hey that’s so 80s. It could have been recorded in any era.

Mellencamp would start changing a little with his next album Uh Huh. He would become more of a “Heartland Rocker” and I started to think of him more like Springsteen and Petty. His peak to me came with the album Scarecrow. That is not saying he didn’t have more great albums because he did…but it’s hard to beat Scarecrow. His next six albums after that all went platinum.

Mellencamp’s friend was George Green, who received a composer credit on this song and went on to co-write many of Mellencamp’s hits, including Human Wheels, Crumblin’ Down, and Rain On The Scarecrow.

One thing I never knew…John Mellencamp at one time owned a tattoo parlor. This led to many family members getting tattoos that normally would not have them….like the “Hurts So Good” tattoo on his aunt.

Mellencamp won his first Grammy with this song: Best Male Rock Vocal Performance of 1982. In his acceptance speech he said, “I don’t know what to say, I’m just an idiot.”

John Mellencamp:  “My friend George said, why didn’t I write a song with the title ‘Hurt So Good’? We thought of it as like a Shel Silverstein thing. I wrote it in three minutes, scrawled the first line in soap on the glass door in the shower. It was really just a joke. I think all good things probably started as jokes. Wasn’t God having a laugh when he made this whole place?”

John Mellencamp: “When I first started playing in rock bands, I didn’t realize how crude and mean other fellas could be. How crude they were with women and how crude women were. That led me to write a song called ‘Hurts So Good’ because I was playing in these bars and I just could not believe the lows people would go to with each other. The thing that surprised me is that it fit my personality perfectly. I fit right in with all that.”

Hurts So Good

When I was a young boy
Said put away those young boy ways
Now that I’m gettin’ older, so much older
I long for those young boy days
With a girl like you
With a girl like you
Lord knows there are things we can do, baby
Just me and you
Come on and make it a

Hurt so good
Come on baby, make it hurt so good
Sometimes love don’t feel like it should
You make it hurt so good

Don’t have to be so exciting
Just trying to give myself a little bit of fun, yeah
You always look so inviting
You ain’t as green as you are young
Hey baby, it’s you
Come on girl, now it’s you
Sink your teeth right through my bones, baby
Let’s see what we can do
Come on and make it a

Hurt so good
Come on baby, make it hurt so good
Sometimes love don’t feel like it should
You make it hurt so good

I ain’t talking no big deals
I ain’t made no plans myself
I ain’t talking no high heels
Maybe we could walk around, all day long
Walk around, all day long

Hurt so good
Come on baby, make it hurt so good
Sometimes love don’t feel like it should
You make it hurt so good
Hurt so good
Come on baby, now
Come on baby, make it hurt so good
Sometimes love don’t feel like it should
You make it hurt so good

Hey, hey

Cynics – I Need More …. Power Pop Friday

I’ve posted a song by the Cynics before and now they remain in my playlist. They had a great recording engineer…they always capture the guitar wonderfully.

There was quite a big garage band scene in the 80s from all over the world. These bands stuck close to their ancestors but with a little more punch in the modern recording. They avoided the dated sound unlike some of their more popular peers.

The Cynics were from Pittsburgh and along with the Chesterfield Kings, the Milkshakes, and the Fuzztones were early founders of the 1980s garage rock revival movement. They pick up where the garage bands from the 60s left off.

This band is not limited to garage rock. I’ve heard everything from power pop to folk from them in songs.

Gregg Kostelich started the Cynics in 1983. The other members were drummer Bill Von Hagen, vocalist Michael Kastelic who joined in 1985, bass player Steve Magee, and keyboardist Becky Smith who debuted with their first album, Blue Train Station in 1986.

This song is not from the 80s but from 2011. It’s off of their album Spinning Wheel Motel. The guitar walk-down in this song is great…you can hear it right after each chorus. It could have been made in 1968. My favorite part of the song? The intense feedback at the end!

I Need More

I hope this letter finds you wellThere’s not too much for me to tell

I mailed it from another highwayAnd I don’t know what I’m looking forI don’t know who I am so I’m taking it door to doorI try to understand, but I just can’t take it no more

It doesn’t matter what you sayPeople only pay to hear you play

I mailed it from another highwayAnd I don’t know what I’m looking forI don’t know who I am so I’m taking it door to doorI try to understand, but I just can’t take it no more

I’ve had as much as I can takeWhy does everybody have to break?

I mailed it from another highwayAnd I don’t know what I’m looking forI don’t know who I am so I’m taking it door to doorI try to understand, but I just can’t take it no more

Can’t take it no moreHey, what’s the scoreYou’re such a boreAnd I need more

Little Richard – Jenny Jenny

When I think of Little Richard I think of that voice. When Little Richard passed in 2020 he was one of the last fifties pioneers left. His influence passed through generations from Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, to Lemmy from Motorhead.

He released this song in 1957 and it peaked at #10 on the Billboard 100, #2 on the Billboard R&B, and #11 in the UK. The song was written by Little Richard and Enotris Johnson.

Jenny, Jenny featured the great New Orleans sidemen Lee Allen and Alvin “Red” Tyler on horns, plus Earl Palmer, later described by Richard as “probably the greatest session drummer of all time.” Production was by Otis “Bumps” Blackwell.

The guy knew how to put on a show. Richard’s producer Bumps Blackwell said that he saw him break piano strings on multiple occasions by hitting the keys so hard.

In the US, he had four chart singles and six chart songs, because two of them had flipsides that qualified in their own right. As rock’n’roll spread on the other side of the Atlantic, Richard was successful there too.

He worked with some of the best musicians and also met the Beatles in Hamburg and they opened up for him in Liverpool. One of the last times they opened for anyone. Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, and Billy Preston were all backing musicians for Little Richard early in their careers.

In 1957, at the height of his career… he left the music business to pursue a life as a minister. As a child, he wanted to be part of the church, so as an adult he enrolled in Oakwood Theological College in Huntsville, Alabama. During his studies there, the British Invasion took over the musical landscape and Little Richard returned to rock ‘n roll. In 1970, he earned a BA in Theological Studies at Oakwood and became an ordained minister in the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

An ordained minister, Richard officiated weddings for Stevie Van Zandt (1982), Demi Moore and Bruce Willis (1987), Cyndi Lauper (1991), and Tom Petty (2001). He also showed up on the soap operas One Life To Live and The Young and The Restless to preside over weddings.

Mick Jagger:  “I had heard so much about the audience reaction that I thought there must be some exaggeration. But it was all true. He drove the whole house into a complete frenzy. There’s no single phrase to describe his hold on the audience. I couldn’t believe the power of Little Richard on stage. He was amazing. Chuck Berry is my favorite, along with Bo (Diddley), but nobody could beat Little Richard’s stage act. Little Richard is the originator and my first idol.”

Bob Dylan: He was my shining star and guiding light back when I was only a little boy. His was the original spirit that moved me to do everything I would do.

Jenny, Jenny

Jenny Jenny Jenny, won’t you come along with me,
Jenny Jenny, ooh, Jenny Jenny,
Jenny Jenny Jenny, won’t you come along with me,
Jenny Jenny, ooh, Jenny Jenny,
You know that I love, we could live so happily,
Jenny Jenny, ooh, Jenny Jenny.

Spinnin’ spinnin’ spinnin’, spinnin’ like a spinnin’ top,
Spinnin’ spinnin’, ooh, spinnin’ spinnin’,
Spinnin’ spinnin’ spinnin’, spinnin’ like a spinnin’ top,
Spinnin’ spinnin’, ooh, spinnin’ spinnin’,
Crazy little partner, you ought to see us reel and rock,
Jenny Jenny, ooh, Jenny Jenny.

Jenny Jenny Jenny, you know that you’re my girl,
Jenny Jenny, ooh, Jenny Jenny,
Jenny Jenny Jenny, you know that you’re my girl,
Jenny Jenny, ooh, Jenny Jenny,
You know that I’ll need, I’ll buy you diamond rings and pearl,
Jenny Jenny, ooh, Jenny Jenny.

AC/DC – Night Prowler

This song has always reminded me of Midnight Rambler by the Stones. What caught my attention and I listened to it twice to make sure I heard it right. At the end Bon Scott says something and I could have sworn it was what Mork from Mork and Mindy used…Shazbot Nanu Nanu…and it was! Scott was a big fan of the show.

California serial killer Richard Ramirez (The Night Stalker, The Valley Intruder or The Walk-In Killer)talked about how he loved the band and Highway To Hell was his favorite album. One of Ramirez’s AC/DC hats was discovered at a crime scene and put on the news as evidence. That started an uncomfortable link with the band. His killing spree started in 1984, and in 1989 Ramirez was convicted of 13 murders. Around the Los Angeles area, Ramirez would typically sneak into houses at night and rape or murder the occupants…hence the nicknames.

Of course, the band wanted nothing to do with this psychopath.  It was rumored that the song “Night Prowler” compelled him to kill. The song describes a man sneaking into a woman’s house. It started the rumors again that the band’s name stood for “Anti-Christ Devil’s Children,” but it was actually something seen on the back of a sewing machine that they thought would make an interesting name. . Years earlier The Beatles were linked to a crazy Charles Manson because of a song also.

It was one of the last songs Scott recorded with the band. It was recorded in the spring of 1979 right before the album was released. After the tour, Scott would die on February 19, 1980, of acute alcohol poisoning.

Highway To Hell peaked at #17 on the Billboard Album Charts, #40 in Canada, #46 in New Zealand, #13 in Australia, and #8 in the UK in 1979.

Angus Young has said the song has nothing to do with stalkers or evil people. The song was credited to the Young brothers and Bon Scott.

Angus Young: “The idea came from when I was young, growing up in suburban Australia; we didn’t have air conditioning, and it was very hot. So if it was a very hot night, I’d open up the window. There was an alleyway next to our house and I used to get all of these animal night visitors. Sometimes they’d jump on the window ledge or attempt to come in. I’d see their shadows on the wall. These animals were always having a party late at night. For me, they were the ‘Night Prowlers’.”

Night Prowler

Somewhere a clock strikes midnight
And there’s a full moon in the sky
You hear a dog bark in the distance
You hear someone’s baby cry
A rat runs down the alley
And a chill runs down your spine
And someone walks across your grave
And you wish the sun would shine
‘Cause no one’s gonna warn you
And no one’s gonna yell attack
And you don’t feel the steel
‘Til it’s hangin’ out your back
I’m your night prowler, asleep in the day
Night prowler, get outta my way
Yeah I’m the prowler, watch out tonight
Yes I’m the night prowler, when you turn out the light

Too scared to turn your light out
‘Cause there’s somethin’ on your mind
Was that a noise outside the window
What’s that shadow on the blind
As you lie there naked
Like a body in a tomb
Suspended animation as I slip into your room
I’m your night prowler, asleep in the day
Yeah I’m the night prowler, get outta my way
Look out for the night prowler, watch out tonight
Yes I’m the night prowler, when you turn out the light

I’m your night prowler, asleep in the day
Yes I’m the night prowler, get outta my way
Look out for the night prowler, watch out tonight
Yes I’m the night prowler, when you turn out the light
I’m your night prowler, break down your door
I’m your night prowler, crawling across your floor
I’m the night prowler, make a mess of you, yes I will
Night prowler
And I’m telling this to you
There ain’t nothing
There ain’t nothing
Nothing you can do

Shazbot
Nanu nanu

Chuck Berry – You Can’t Catch Me

I bought a brand-new air-mobile
It custom-made, ’twas a Flight De Ville
With a pow’ful motor and some hideaway wings
Push in on the button and you can hear her sing

…Chuck Berry

It’s hard to beat that first verse about a car. I can see the influence that Springsteen got from Chuck Berry with this 1955 song.

I found out about this song when Chuck’s publishing company (Morris Levy’s Big Seven) sued Lennon for Come Together saying that John Lennon ripped this song off. It centered around the Come Together line “Here come old flat top, He come grooving up slowly” to this song’s line “Here come a flat-top, he was movin’ up with me…and a guitar riff in there (although I can’t hear that). As part of the settlement, Lennon agreed to include a cover of You Can’t Catch Me on his 1975 solo album Rock ‘n’ Roll.

The case was settled out of court in 1973, with Levy’s lawyers agreeing that Lennon would compensate by recording three Big Seven songs for his next album. A brief version of “Ya Ya” with Lennon and his son Julian was released on the album Walls and Bridges in 1974. “You Can’t Catch Me” and another version of “Ya Ya” were released on Lennon’s 1975 album Rock ‘n’ Roll, but the third, “Angel Baby”, remained unreleased until after Lennon’s death.

Bruce Springsteen is famous for writing about cars in our teen years and the freedom they represent. Chuck was doing this in many songs such as this one and Maybelline.

Chuck Berry performed this song in the 1956 film Rock, Rock, Rock, where he can be seen doing his famous duckwalk. He refers to Maybellene, his earlier car hit. This song didn’t crack the charts at all which is a shame. This song seemed to be influenced by a Muddy Waters track called “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl,” which has a nearly identical guitar lick in the intro.

Chuck Berry: “This was a yearning which I had since I was aged seven to drive about in a car, it was my fascination for the roads, for driving, motoring, which prompted me to write those songs.”

You Can’t Catch Me

I bought a brand-new air-mobile
It custom-made, ’twas a Flight De Ville
With a pow’ful motor and some hideaway wings
Push in on the button and you can hear her sing

Now you can’t catch me, baby you can’t catch me
‘Cause if you get too close, you know I’m gone like a cool breeze

New Jersey Turnpike in the wee wee hours
I was rollin’ slowly ’cause of drizzlin’ showers
Here come a flat-top, he was movin’ up with me
Then come wavin’ by me in a little’ old souped-up jitney
I put my foot on my tank and I began to roll
Moanin’ siren, ’twas the state patrol
So I let out my wings and then I blew my horn
Bye bye New Jersey, I’ve become airborne

Now you can’t catch me, baby you can’t catch me
‘Cause if you get too close, you know I’m gone like a cool breeze

Flyin’ with my baby last Saturday night
Not a gray cloud floatin’ in sight
Big full moon shinin’ up above
Cuddle up honey, be my love
Sweetest little thing I’ve ever seen
I’m gonna name you Maybellene
Flyin’ on the beam, set on flight control
Radio tuned to rock ‘n’ roll
Two, three hours passed us by
Five to two dropped to 5:05
Fuel consumption way too fast
Let’s get on home before we run out of gas

Now you can’t catch me, no baby you can’t catch me
‘Cause if you get too close, you know I’m gone like a cool breeze

Bruce Springsteen – The River

My friend Dave from A Sound Day wanted some bloggers to pick a song that has lyrics that we liked or can relate to. He stated, “I just want you to pick one song that you think has fantastic lyrics, or one you like because of the lyrics, and say a bit about why you love it.”

I went through many songs to get to this one. Dylan songs mostly before I realized this one hit home. This was the title track to Bruce’s 1980 double album. I picked this song because it is so easy to relate to. I’ve known friends who have lived this song. This is not a party starter song by any stretch of the imagination. The lyrics are downright sad because they are so damn real. It contains one of my favorite Springsteen lines “And for my nineteenth birthday I got a union card and a wedding coat.

I grew up in a small town with a population of around a thousand or so at the time. The jobs there were dead-end jobs and the pay was even worse. I saw a cycle even at an early age by seeing parents and their kids doing the same thing generation after generation. Nothing wrong with that but they hated doing what they were doing. It was enough inspiration for me to explore and find new things…and to get out. Some of my friends never made it out. They are doing now what they swore they wouldn’t do before.

I saw my sister get into the same position as the Mary character in the song. It ended many years later in a divorce but at least she is happy now so there are good endings. Her son was the best thing that happened to her. The funny thing is I ended up moving back near that town but I’m doing what I want to be doing not in a job or rut that I hate. Some of my friends are not in that position.

I came to realize…it wasn’t the location at all. It was and still is a nice small town…no that wasn’t it. It was the expectations at the time set upon every one that made it seem pre-ordained for bad choices to happen.

The wedding in the song relates to Springsteen’s sister, who got married when she was still a teenager. She knew it was about her and her husband the first time she heard it. It was also based on conversations Springsteen had with his brother-in-law. After losing his construction job, he worked hard to support his wife and young child but never complained.

The song’s lyrics are outstanding. Even the opening lines are so close to how I grew up. I did grow up in a valley. “I come from down in the valley,
Where mister when you’re young, They bring you up to do like your daddy done.” So it’s easy to relate to.

Bruce saves the best for last though. He is talking about the dreams we have when we are younger about what we are going to do in life until life wakes us up with a bang…at least that is what I interrupt.

Now those memories come back to haunt me
They haunt me like a curse
Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true
Or is it something worse

The song didn’t chart in America or Canada but did make it to #35 in the UK. The album was #1 in the Billboard album charts, #1 in Canada, and #2 in the UK.

The River

I come from down in the valley
Where mister when you’re young
They bring you up to do like your daddy done
Me and Mary we met in high school
When she was just seventeen
We’d ride out of that valley down to where the fields were green

We’d go down to the river
And into the river we’d dive
Oh down to the river we’d ride

Then I got Mary pregnant
And man that was all she wrote
And for my nineteenth birthday I got a union card and a wedding coat
We went down to the courthouse
And the judge put it all to rest
No wedding day smiles no walk down the aisle
No flowers no wedding dress

That night we went down to the river
And into the river we’d dive
Oh down to the river we did ride

I got a job working construction for the Johnstown Company
But lately there ain’t been much work on account of the economy
Now all them things that seemed so important
Well mister they vanished right into the air
Now I just act like I don’t remember
Mary acts like she don’t care

But I remember us riding in my brother’s car
Her body tan and wet down at the reservoir
At night on them banks I’d lie awake
And pull her close just to feel each breath she’d take
Now those memories come back to haunt me
They haunt me like a curse
Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true
Or is it something worse
That sends me down to the river
Though I know the river is dry
That sends me down to the river tonight
Down to the river
My baby and I
Oh down to the river we ride

Them – Mystic Eyes

Van is the man….he made some absolutely classic songs when he started out with Them. Gloria is probably the most famous song they did but they had many more. I discovered them when I was 18 and I had to import an album from the UK to get an album. It’s not like it is now…you had to work for it. It’s pure music with a relentless backbeat.

This powerful song builds up and lead singer Van Morrison takes over. Van’s voice and the bass are hypnotic. It was the first song on the first album by Them…named Angry Young Them released in 1965. It was written by Van Morrison who would in the future use the word Mystic in a few more songs.

The song peaked at #33 on the Billboard 100 and #24 in Canada but didn’t chart in the  UK. I  mentioned earlier that Gloria is their most popular song but the hit version was by Shadows Of Night in 1965. It was a B side with Them to the great song Baby Please Don’t Go.

Van has said the band was improvising in the studio and the song was born.

Van Morrison said the song was inspired by his own experience walking around England’s Nottingham Park when he saw some kids playing by a graveyard. Morrison was struck by the powerful intersection between the “bright lights in the children’s eyes” and “the cloudy lights in the eyes of the dead.”

Mystic Eyes

One Sunday mornin’
A-we went walkin’
Down by, the old graveyard
The mornin’ fog
I looked into
A-yeah, those mystic eyes

Her mystic eyes
Mystic eyes
Mystic eyes
Mystic, eyes
Mystic eyes
Mystic eyes
Oh, the mystic eyes
Mystic Eyes

Traffic – Feelin’ Alright?

This song was written by guitarist Dave Mason and it was on their self-titled second album released in 1968. It was released as a single but barely hit the charts, peaking at #123 on the Billboard 100. It did peak at #51 in the UK. The album peaked at #9 in the Billboard Album Charts and #15 in Canada.

It was released the following year by Joe Cocker and it took off. I do like that version but I’ve been in a Traffic mood so this feels good now…it’s a little more sparse and not as loud as Cocker’s version…but that’s not always a bad thing. I like the saxophone in this version and the groove that the band had.

Mason wrote this song while visiting the Greek island of Hydra. He had left the band before the first album was released. He met the band again in New York as they were starting this album. They all agreed to record together and he contributed this song and “You Can All Join In,” as well as “Vagabond Virgin,” which he wrote with the band’s drummer Jim Capaldi.

The original name of the song was “Not Feelin’ Too Good Myself,” which is accurate in terms of the song’s meaning. It has more of a melancholy feeling to this song. Cocker took the question mark off of the song and jacked it up to a more positive-feeling song. Sometimes this version is the perfect one to listen to.

Cocker’s version peaked at #69 in the Billboard 100 and #49 in Canada…personally I thought it did better than that.

This song has been covered over 45 different times. Some of the artists are Grand Funk Railroad, Three Dog Night, Lou Rawls, the 5th Dimension, Rare Earth, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Paul Weller, the Jackson 5, Maceo Parker, and Isaac Hayes.

Dave Mason: “It’s just a song about a girl. It’s just another relationship gone bad.”

Here is the Joe Cocker Version

Feelin’ Alright

Seems I’ve got to have a change of scene
Cause every night I have the strangest dreams
Imprisoned by the way it could have been
Left here on my own or so it seems
I’ve got to leave before I start to scream
But someone’s locked the door and took the key.

You feelin’ alright?
I’m not feelin’ too good myself
Well, you feelin’ alright?
I’m not feelin’ too good myself.

Well, say, you took me for one big ride
And even now I sit and wonder why
That when I think of you I start to cry
I just can’t waste my time, I must keep dry
Gotta stop believin’ in all you lies
Cause there’s to much to do before I die.

You feelin’ alright?
I’m not feelin’ too good myself
Well, you feelin’ alright?
I’m not feelin’ too good myself.

Don’t get too lost in all I say
Though at the time I really felt that way
But that was then, now it’s today;
I can’t get off so I’m here to stay
Till someone comes along and takes my place
With a different name and, yes a different face.

You feelin’ alright?
I’m not feelin’ too good myself
Well, you feelin’ alright?
I’m not feelin’ too good myself.

Booker T. & The MG’s – Time Is Tight

If I ever get to drive across America, Booker T and the MG’s would be on my playlist. This is road music at its finest. I listen to them and get lost in the groove. That Hammond B-3 organ played by Booker T. Jones is just incredible. I have a reputation for not liking synths very much but a Hammond B-3? Give me more and more of it.

You may recognize the intro. Band members Steve Cropper and Donald Dunn joined The Blues Brothers, who used this in the introduction to their live show. The Clash also covered the song. It appears on their 1980 singles compilation album Black Market Clash.

The song was recorded for the 1968 movie Uptight. The members included Mr. Booker T. Jones on organ, Steve Cropper on guitar, Donald “Duck” Dunn on bass guitar, and the great Al Jackson Jr. on drums. This ensemble formed the musical backbone of the Memphis, TN-based Stax Records.

The band was responsible for bringing the Memphis Sound to millions worldwide. Booker T. and the MG’s were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.

The song peaked at #6 on the Billboard 100, #8 in Canada, and #4 in the UK in 1968. Just sit right back and enjoy the groove of this song for the rest of the day.

Time Is Tight

Nothing here to see!

Steve Earle – I Ain’t Ever Satisfied

I first found out about Steve Earle through this song. It has remained one of my favorite songs. Steve has released a lot of great songs since but it’s the honesty of this song that I like so much.

I was working at a factory and going to college and I had a radio on while driving a tow motor.  After I heard it I immediately bought the album “Exit 0” and enjoyed the complete album. The lyrics ring true of the human spirit…we are never satisfied. Steve Earle was one of the highlights of the 80s for me. Down to earth music and very rootsy.

The night after I got Exit O I learned this song and our band played it. I went to my first Bob Dylan concert on August 20, 1989, and Steve Earle opened up for him. That was one of the best pairings I’ve seen. He played this song and the night was complete…Copperhead Road was pretty good also! I’ve seen Dylan 8 times but this was probably the worse. He played for maybe 40 minutes and left the stage. I remember someone behind me screaming…”I know you are an old son of a b****” but come on… Bob was 48 that year.

Steve is such an underrated American songwriter. The year before this song he released his breakout album Guitar Town. He was straddling the line between country and rock at this period. It’s hard to classify Earle and no need to…he writes great songs that many can relate to.

The song peaked at #26 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Charts in 1987. The album Exit 0 peaked at #15 on the Billboard Album Country Charts and #36 in Canada.

Just a cool note… Waylon Jennings makes a cameo appearance at the end of the video.

I Ain’t Ever Satisfied

I was born by the railroad tracksWell the train whistle wailed and I wailed right backWell papa left mama when I was quite youngHe said now “One of these days you’re gonna follow me son”

Woh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-ohI ain’t ever satisfiedWoh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-ohI ain’t ever satisfied

Now I had me a woman she was my worldBut I ran off with my back street girlNow my back street woman could not be trueShe left me standin’ on the boulevard thinkin’ ’bout you

I’ve got an empty feeling deep insideI’m going over to the other sideLast night I dreamed I made it to the promise landI was standin’ at the gate and I had the key in my handSaint Peter said “Come on in boy, you’re finally home”I said “No thanks Pete, I’ll just be moving along”

Woh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-ohI ain’t ever satisfiedWoh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-ohI ain’t ever satisfied

Led Zeppelin – Dazed And Confused

The writing credit on this song is Jimmy Page but is based on an acoustic song with the same title that Jimmy Page heard folk singer Jake Holmes perform. When Page was a member of The Yardbirds, they played on the same bill with Holmes at the Village Theatre in New York City. Holmes’ version is about an acid trip, but contains many of the same elements that made their way into the Led Zeppelin version: walking bass line, paranoid lyrics and an overall spooky sound.

Led Zeppelin’s version was not credited to Jake Holmes, as Page felt that he changed enough of the melody and added enough new lyrics to escape a plagiarism lawsuit. Well that didn’t work, many years later Jake Holmes sued Zeppelin in 2010 for the song. The suit was “dismissed with prejudice” on January 17, 2012, after an undisclosed settlement between Page and Holmes was reached out of court in the fall of 2011. After that the song was credited “By Page – Inspired by Jake Holmes.”

Jake Holmes was never successful commercially as a singer/songwriter…but you know his work. He wrote many famous jingles, including “Be a All That You Can Be” for the US Army and “Be A Pepper” for Dr. Pepper. He also wrote songs for Frank Sinatra and The Four Seasons.

The Yardbirds played the song in concert, but never recorded a studio version, although they did play it for a BBC taping in March 1968. This was one of the first songs Led Zeppelin recorded. It was released as a single in the US in January 1969, two weeks before the album was issued.

At live shows, Page played this using a violin bow on his guitar. He claimed that he got the idea from a session violinist he worked with who suggested it. Eddie Phillips of the UK band The Creation guitarist pioneered the use of the violin bow on guitar strings, predating Page doing it in The Yardbirds by two years.

The song didn’t chart but the self titled album peaked at #10 on the Billboard Album Charts, #11 in Canada and #6 in the UK in 1969.

Jake Holmes – “We were on the bill with The Yardbirds. We performed it there and blew the place apart with that song, and that’s when Jimmy Page saw it. From what I gather from The Yardbirds, Page sent somebody out to get my album. He did a great job, but he certainly ripped me off.”

Dazed And Confused

Been dazed and confused for so long, it’s not true
Wanted a woman, never bargained for you
Lots of people talk and few of them know
Soul of a woman was created below, yeah

You hurt and abuse, tellin’ all of your lies
Run ’round, sweet baby, Lord, how they hypnotize
Sweet little baby, I don’t know where you’ve been
Gonna love you, baby, here I come again

Every day I work so hard, bringin’ home my hard-earned pay
Try to love you, baby, but you push me away
Don’t know where you’re goin’, only know just where you’ve been
Sweet little baby, I want you again

Ah, ah, ah, ah
Ah, ah, ah, ah
Ahh, ah
Ahh, ah, ah, ah, ah
Ahh, ah

Oh yeah, alright, alright
Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah
Ah, ah, ah, ah
Ah, ah, ah, ah

I don’t like when you’re mystifyin’ me
Oh, don’t leave me so confused, now
Whoa, baby

Been dazed and confused for so long, it’s not true
Wanted a woman, never bargained for you
Take it easy, baby, let them say what they will
Tongue wag so much when I sent you the bill
Oh yeah, alright

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, ah, ah, ah, ah

Lovin’ Spoonful – Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?

I grew up with a Lovin’ Spoonful Greatest Hits album. Like The Rascals (or Young Rascals) they were primarily a singles band more known for their hits than their albums.

This song was written by John Sebastian. He said he was influenced by a pair of sisters he met at a summer camp where he was a counselor. Neither sister was interested in Sebastian, even though he taught himself the autoharp in an attempt to impress them.

The song did very well peaking at #2 on the Billboard 100, #6 in Canada, and #5  in New Zealand in 1966. A good song by the Lovin’ Spoonful who had a string of hits in the sixties. They had a short window…1966-1969 but they had 14 songs in the Billboard 100. 1 number one and 7 top ten hits.

Their songs are grounded in folk, jug music,  and blues. I don’t know if it is possible to be in a bad mood while listening to them. They are now staples on oldies radio stations.

Zal Yanovsky left in 1967 after being dissatisfied with John’s more personal songwriting and a pot conviction. John Sebastion left the group on 1968 and with him gone the hits dried up.

A fun band to listen to. You won’t hear rock operas or rocking solos but you will hear a band that sounds like they are having a good time.

They reunited once in 1979 and for their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2000.

As the ’60s drew to a close, The Lovin’ Spoonful disbanded and Sebastian started working on a variety of projects. He wrote music for the Care Bear series, published children’s books, made harmonica instruction videos, and, wrote the theme song to the TV show Welcome Back, Kotter, which was a #1 hit.

Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?

Did you ever have to make up your mind?
And pick up on one and leave the other behind?
It’s not often easy and not often kind
Did you ever have to make up your mind?

Did you ever have to finally decide?
And say yes, to one and let the other one ride?
There’s so many changes and tears you must hide
Did you ever have to finally decide?

Sometimes there’s one with big blue eyes, cute as a bunny
With hair down to here, and plenty of money
And just when you think she’s that one in the world
Your heart gets stolen by some mousy little girl

And then you know you’d better make up your mind
And pick up on one and leave the other behind
It’s not often easy and not often kind
Did you ever have to make up your mind?

Sometimes you really dig a girl the moment you kiss her
And then you get distracted by her older sister
When in walks her father and takes you in line
And says, “Better go on home, son, and make up your mind”

Then you bet you’d better finally decide
And say yes to one and let the other one ride
There’s so many changes and tears you must hide
Did you ever have to finally decide?

Beatles – All My Loving

This is the first song America heard on February 9, 1964, on the Ed Sullivan Show.

I love this song for one big reason. John Lennon plays a hell of a rhythm in the background. He makes it sound so deceptively easy but it’s not. I need to start focusing on some of their earlier music instead of just their late sixties tracks. I have some readers that just like their early stuff and others who like just the mid or later. I love both because it’s the same band… early, middle, or late… both have great melodies but just different tones of instruments.

What is great about the early part is their harmonies. When I played in a band we didn’t do many Beatles songs although they were being requested. If we did we did a later song like Get Back without those harmonies. It takes a band with 2 or better yet 3 singers who can do those harmonies. Not easy to do when you are teen playing instruments at the same time. We stuck with Rolling Stones and CCR songs without the complicated harmonies. Now we couldn’t do I Am The Walrus either because of the craziness of the instruments.

Meet The Beatles

This song was on the first Beatles album I listened to…the American version of With The Beatles named Meet The Beatles with their faces in shadow. We had a clubhouse and my older cousin bought the album and I was hooked…for life. It’s hard not to get hooked by the songs.

On February 9th, 1964, an estimated 73 million viewers watched this much-hyped young Liverpool band perform five songs ‘live’ from CBS-TV Studio 50 in New York City. Capital Records kept rejecting Beatles songs until I Want To Hold Your Hand. A few radio stations started to play the song and soon Capitol realized that they could not reject them anymore. They didn’t like British records and only would release novelty British songs in America. When they started to get behind Meet The Beatles the dam burst.

They chose All My Loving to start the set and made an immediate good first impression and kept that huge television audience tuned in for the whole show. What separated the Beatles from other bands? The thousands of hours they already had under their belt from rocking in Hamburg, The Cavern, and all around Europe. At one point they very well could have had more hours on stage than any other rock band. Another thing was the quantity and more important the quality of the songwriting of the band that would continue to their end.

It’s a Lennon-McCartney song but mostly McCartney. The song peaked at #1 in Canada and New Zealand. It surprisingly only peaked at #45 on the Billboard 100 in 1964.

Paul McCartney:  “I don’t know that I was thinking specifically of Jane Asher when I wrote this, though we were courting. It’s probably more of a reflection on what our lives were like then – leaving behind family and friends to go on tour and experience all these new adventures.”

All My Loving

Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you
Tomorrow I’ll miss you
Remember I’ll always be true
And then while I’m away
I’ll write home every day
And I’ll send all my lovin’ to you

I’ll pretend that I’m kissing
The lips I am missing
And hope that my dreams will come true
And then while I’m away
I’ll write home every day
And I’ll send all my lovin’ to you

All my lovin’, I will send to you
All my lovin’, darlin’, I’ll be true

Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you
Tomorrow I’ll miss you
Remember I’ll always be true
And then while I’m away
I’ll write home every day
And I’ll send all my loving to you

All my lovin’, I will send to you
All my lovin’, darlin’, I’ll be true
All my lovin’, all my lovin’
Ooh ooh, all my lovin’, I will send to you

Leonard Nimoy – The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins

We all need a laugh sometimes. This is one of the most bizarre songs + videos I’ve ever seen.

Do I have any readers that are Star Trek fans of the original series? The reason I ask is that within a couple of weeks, I’ll be going over every episode like I did with the Twilight Zone. I hope you will enjoy it. There are not many shows you can do that with on a blog but I think Star Trek will work as well as the Twilight Zone.

I just couldn’t resist posting this. One youtube commenter said: I attended a Trek convention with a friend in the 80s. He had a copy of Nimoy’s LP and wanted it autographed. He presented it to Nimoy during the signing event. Nimoy shook his head and said, “God, I thought we burned all of these”, then grudgingly signed it. He lightened up on that stance as the years went by and would sing parts of it at conventions.

It is amusing to see him smile in the video as that rarely happened in Star Trek. I have a question for my readers if you made it this far. At first in the video, it looks like he is wearing the Spock ears but in the middle… it doesn’t look like he is…is he? It’s not the clearest video but worth watching.

The song was written by Charles Randolph Grean. He was best known as the arranger for the Nat King Cole recording of The Christmas Song. In 1950, he wrote “The Thing,” a popular novelty song that reached number one on the charts in a version sung by Phil Harris.

Nimoy has quite the discography. He released 5 albums between 1967 and 1970 plus a compilation in 1993 named Highly Illogical. This song was on the 1968 album Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy.

The song got noticed more after the movie series than it had been during its initial release. It was also on a 1996 15-minute documentary titled Funk Me Up Scotty. The film had been made for BBC’s Star Trek Night.  The song gets circulated now pretty regularly.

When asked where the master tapes were in 2003…Leonard Nimoy: “I’m not looking for a wave of Leonard Nimoy Hobbit songs all over the world. I don’t think it’s gonna happen” 

Here is Funk Me Up Scotty

(Everyone sing along)

The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins

In the middle of the earth in the land of the Shire
Lives a brave little hobbit whom we all admire.
With his long wooden pipe,
Fuzzy, woolly toes,
He lives in a hobbit-hole and everybody knows him

Bilbo! Bilbo! Bilbo Baggins
He’s only three feet tall
Bilbo! Bilbo! Bilbo Baggins
The bravest little hobbit of them all

Now hobbits are a peace-lovin’ folks you know
They don’t like to hurry and they take things slow
They don’t like to travel away from home
They just want to eat and be left alone
But one day Bilbo was asked to go
On a big adventure to the caves below,
To help some dwarves get back their gold
That was stolen by a dragon in the days of old.

Bilbo! Bilbo! Bilbo Baggins
He’s only three feet tall
Bilbo! Bilbo! Bilbo Baggins
The bravest little hobbit of them all

Well he fought with the goblins!
He battled a troll!!
He riddled with Gollum!!!
A magic ring he stole!!!!
He was chased by wolves!!
Lost in the forest!!!
Escaped in a barrel from the elf-king’s halls!!!

Bilbo! Bilbo! Bilbo Baggins
The bravest little hobbit of them all

Now he’s back in his hole in the land of the Shire,
That brave little hobbit whom we all admire,
Just a-sittin’ on a treasure of silver and gold
A-puffin’ on his pipe in his hobbit-hole.

Bilbo! Bilbo! Bilbo Baggins
He’s only three feet tall
Bilbo! Bilbo! Bilbo Baggins
The bravest little hobbit of them all

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Suzie Q

This song has one of the most recognizable guitar licks in rock history.

A bar band needing another song to get through the night? This is the one that the guitar player would noodle around and get it and the band could kick in without rehearsing. I saw the clock turn to 3am playing this song many times… if you could see the clock through the smoke. The guitar riff on the original version was created by the then-15-year-old James Burton.

The song took Dale Hawkins and his band three months to perfect the song on the stages throughout the south. He was the original singer of the song and it came out in 1957.  The song was credited to Dale Hawkins, Robert Chaisson, Stan Lewis, and Eleanor Broadwater. The song peaked at #24 on the Billboard 100 and #7 on the R&B Charts.

This song is the only top 40 song for CCR not written by John Fogerty. This song started it all for Creedence. After this, they were one of the most successful bands in the world. The song peaked at #11 on the Billboard 100 and #10 in Canada. Fogerty wanted to make their identity with this song.

CCR’s version became popular on the West Coast before it was available on vinyl. The band brought a cassette tape of the song to a San Francisco DJ, who played it in appreciation for the group’s earlier support of a DJ strike. Fantasy records then had to get the single out. The song was on their debut album called Creedence Clearwater Revival released in 1968. It peaked at #52 on the Billboard Album Charts.

The Rolling Stones also covered it on their 1964 12 x 5 album.

John Fogerty:  “I knew I needed to work on arranging the song so that the band would sound like Creedence Clearwater Revival, would sound professional, mysterious and also have their own definition. The song I chose was ‘Susie Q.’ I decided not to write the song myself. I decided to pick something that existed because it’d just be easier. I’d be less self-conscious about doing things.”

John Fogerty on hearing it for the first time:  “I went crazy and immediately began banging on the dashboard.”

When asked what the rhymes are in the latter part of the song, bass player Stu Cook said, “They were just simple rhymes. John hated it when songwriters used simple rhymes just to make things rhyme, so this was a statement against that. It was sort of anti-Dylan.”

Suzie Q

Oh Susie Q, oh Susie Q
Oh Susie Q baby I love you, Susie Q
I like the way you walk
I like the way you talk
I like the way you walk
I like the way you talk
Susie Q

Well, say that you’ll be true
Well, say that you’ll be true
Well, say that you’ll be true and never leave me blue, Susie Q

Well, say that you’ll be mine
Well, say that you’ll be mine
Well, say that you’ll be mine, baby all the time, Susie Q

Uh uh
Uh uh
Uh uh
Uh uh

Oh Susie Q, oh Susie Q
Oh Susie Q, baby I love you, Susie Q

I like the way you walk
I like the way you talk
I like the way you walk I like the way you talk, Susie Q

Oh Susie Q, oh Susie Q
Oh Susie Q, baby I love you, Susie Q