The Marx Brothers

 

Describing the Marx Brothers in their Paramount movies is like describing a hurricane and a car wreck combined. The brothers were in vaudeville from the early 1900s to 1924 where they finally made it to Broadway in a play called “She Say’s It Is”. Broadway audiences had never seen anything like them. They literally tore up the stage with being so energetic. The brothers’ names were Julius (Groucho), Adolph (Harpo), Leonard (Chick-o) and Herbert (Zeppo). They had another brother that was not in the act Milton (Gummo).

Groucho was always in a power position in the plays and movies. Harpo and Chico would be there to take him down a few notches. Zeppo would be the straight man. Harpo, of course, would play the harp in a musical part, Chico would play the piano and Groucho would sometimes play the guitar…but the comedy is what everyone came to see.

They started movies around 1928 and again no one had ever seen anything like them on screen. The five movies they made for Paramount were Coconuts, Animal Crackers, Monkey Business, Horse Feathers and Duck Soup. These movies were anarchist chaos. After 1933 they signed a deal with MGM and their movies were tamed down to have more of a storyline and some were good but never matched the wildness of the Paramount movies where they had no respect for authority and lived and talked by their own rules. Groucho would say things that we would love to say in real life but we could never get by with it…he would say them in real life…and get by with it.

They are hard to compare to anyone else. The Three Stooges were not the same comedy whatsoever. In the 1970s college students were drawn to the Marx Brothers and their popularity went up with college students standing in lines around the block to see Animal Crackers in a theater. Their movies are still relevant today and can be enjoyed by every generation…

Harpo is my favorite…who never said a word in any film. He was a master of prop comedy and he could have been a big star in silent comedy. He was also a really good harp player also. He wrote one of the best autobiographies (Harpo Speaks!) I’ve ever read. For fans it’s great and for the average person, it’s an interesting read. The book is what first got me into the Marx Brothers.

 

harpo-marx-2.jpg

8-Track Tapes

I  had a stereo that had a record-able 8-track system built in. I would record straight off the radio to the 8-track and from records. I will add that it could be a miserable format to listen to music. If you had a favorite song that you wanted to hear a couple times in a row…get ready to wait till it came back around and then for the infamous “click” and you would switch tracks…and either wait some more or miss the beginning.

But there is more… you may be listening to a song and suddenly the song fades out for a while because it’s too long for the track and then finally the “click” and it finishes out on the next track.

William Powell Lear, the man behind LearJet, was also the inventor of the 8-track cartridge tape system. In 1964 William Lear convinced Ford to install the 8-track in their cars.

In September 1965, Ford Motor Company offered 8-track players as an option in their 1966 model cars.  A Ford spokesperson reported that 65,000 players were installed in the first year.  As a result of the popularity, the 8-track player soon became standard in all Ford cars.

In 1966 home units and portable units were offered. Now people could share their tapes with each other. The peak years of the eight-track were 1967 through 1975. Then, improvements in the tape quality of smaller cassettes and decreasing quality in eight-tracks led consumers away from the eight-track tape.

The last official release on 8-track was Fleetwood Mac’s Greatest Hits in 1988. By then though Compact Disc had taken over the market.

I did have quite a collection of official 8-tracks and self-made 8-tracks. I also have an old 8-track system in my closet…hey you never know.

This video is a must. It shows an Eight Track Museum. It is interesting.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8-track_tape

 

 

Rufus – Tell Me Something Good

Great song great music great voice. This song was performed by Rufus with Chaka Khan and written by Stevie Wonder. The song peaked at #3 in the Billboard 100 and #21 in Canada in 1974. The Talk-Box which Frampton later used sounds great in this song.

Rufus evolved from a group called The American Breed, who had a hit with “Bend Me, Shape Me.” They took their name from a column in Popular Mechanics magazine called “Ask Rufus,” later shortened to Rufus when Chaka Khan joined the band in 1972.

From Songfacts.

Stevie Wonder wrote this song and recorded it himself on December 13, 1973 – he copyrighted it on January 3, 1974. His version was never released, as he gave it to Rufus, since Stevie was a fan of their lead singer, Chaka Khan. Around this time, Wonder was turning many of his best songs over to female singers with otherworldly voices: Aretha Franklin recorded his “Until You Come Back To Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)” and Minnie Riperton did “Lovin’ You.”

The story Chaka Khan tells is that Wonder was going to bring them a song in the studio, and when he dropped by and played her the song, she stunned her bandmates by telling the mighty Stevie Wonder she didn’t like it; Chaka says she was 19 and pregnant, so she was a little prickly at the time. Wonder asked her astrological sign, and when she told him Aries, he delivered “Tell Me Something Good.” According to Chaka, she loved it and they worked out the song together in the studio, although Stevie is the only credited writer on the song.

Tell Me Something Good

You ain’t got no kind of feeling inside
I got something that will sure ‘nough set your stuff on fire
You refuse to put anything before your pride
What I got something will knock all your pride aside
Tell me something good 
Tell me that you love me, yeah
Tell me something good 
Tell me that you like it, yeah
Got no time is what you’re known to say
I’ll make you wish there was forty eight hours to each day
The problem is you ain’t been loved like you should
What I got to give will sure ‘nough do you good
Tell me something good 
Tell me that you love me, yeah
Tell me something good 
Tell me that you like it, yeah
You ain’t got no kind of feeling inside
I got something that will sure ‘nough set your stuff on fire
You refuse to put anything before your pride
What I got something will knock all your pride aside
Tell me something good (oh, yeah, yeah)
Tell me that you love me, yeah
Tell me something good 
Tell me that you like it, yeah
Tell me something good (tell me baby baby, tell me)
Tell me that you love me, yeah, yeah, yeah yeah
Tell me something good (oh, tell me, tell me, tell me)
Tell me that you like it, yeah, yeah, don’t you like it, baby?

Dr. Suess on the Loose

I’ve always liked the peculiar World of Dr. Suess. It could be strange but it was wonderful. The strange creatures that spoke in rhyme kept me hooked.

In 1973 the cartoon “Dr. Suess on the Loose” (Green Eggs and Ham and Other Stories) aired and featured three stories. The Sneetches, The Zax, and the great Green Eggs and Ham. I still enjoy this cartoon.

I will admit that every time I watch a Dr. Suess cartoon that when I have a conversation afterward I want to talk in rhyme.

The Zax – One day in the Prairie of Pax a North-Going Zax and a South-Going Zax run into each other. Both are trying to get to their desired locations, but neither will move out of the way to let the other one pass. Both are too proud to compromise, they fail to see that the world continues on moving and time passes by.

zax.jpg

The Sneetches – The Sneetches is about two types of creatures, separated by having or not having stars on their bellies. The Star-Belly Sneetches think they are the best, and look down upon Sneetches without stars. The Plain-Belly Sneetches remain depressed and cannot associate with the Star-Belly Sneetches…Until a fellow named  Sylvester McMonkey McBean comes with a Star off and Star on machine and after every Sneetch goes the machine over and over again…and McBean takes all of their money…No one knows who had stars or not… It’s a great message in this…to treat everyone the same no matter their background. (http://www.umich.edu/~childlit/Sneetches/display1.htm)

 

sneetches.jpg

I am a sucker for Green Eggs and Ham. Still, love it and can read it or watch the cartoon in a box…with a…nevermind. The book was released in 1960 and as of 2016, it has sold over 8 million copies. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Eggs_and_Ham)

Green Eggs and Ham – is about Sam-I-Am, trying to convince an unnamed character to try green eggs and ham. He will stop at nothing but the more he tries to convince him to try green eggs and ham the more this character refuses. I love the wordplay in this as Sam-I-Am is a persistent little…uh…whatever he is…but he wins at that end.

“GREEN EGGS AND HAM” (by Doctor Seuss)

I AM SAM. I AM SAM. SAM I AM.

THAT SAM-I-AM! THAT SAM-I-AM! I DO NOT LIKE THAT SAM-I-AM!

DO WOULD YOU LIKE GREEN EGGS AND HAM?

I DO NOT LIKE THEM,SAM-I-AM.
I DO NOT LIKE GREEN EGGS AND HAM.

WOULD YOU LIKE THEM HERE OR THERE?

I WOULD NOT LIKE THEM HERE OR THERE.
I WOULD NOT LIKE THEM ANYWHERE.
I DO NOT LIKE GREEN EGGS AND HAM.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM, SAM-I-AM.

WOULD YOU LIKE THEM IN A HOUSE?
WOULD YOU LIKE THEN WITH A MOUSE?

I DO NOT LIKE THEM IN A HOUSE.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM WITH A MOUSE.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM HERE OR THERE.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM ANYWHERE.
I DO NOT LIKE GREEN EGGS AND HAM.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM, SAM-I-AM.

WOULD YOU EAT THEM IN A BOX?
WOULD YOU EAT THEM WITH A FOX?

NOT IN A BOX. NOT WITH A FOX.
NOT IN A HOUSE. NOT WITH A MOUSE.
I WOULD NOT EAT THEM HERE OR THERE.
I WOULD NOT EAT THEM ANYWHERE.
I WOULD NOT EAT GREEN EGGS AND HAM.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM, SAM-I-AM.

WOULD YOU? COULD YOU? IN A CAR?
EAT THEM! EAT THEM! HERE THEY ARE.

I WOULD NOT, COULD NOT, IN A CAR.

YOU MAY LIKE THEM. YOU WILL SEE.
YOU MAY LIKE THEM IN A TREE!

I WOULD NOT, COULD NOT IN A TREE.
NOT IN A CAR! YOU LET ME BE.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM IN A BOX.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM WITH A FOX.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM IN A HOUSE.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM WITH A MOUSE.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM HERE OR THERE.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM ANYWHERE.
I DO NOT LIKE GREEN EGGS AND HAM.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM, SAM-I-AM.

A TRAIN! A TRAIN! A TRAIN! A TRAIN!
COULD YOU, WOULD YOU ON A TRAIN?

NOT ON TRAIN! NOT IN A TREE!
NOT IN A CAR! SAM! LET ME BE!
I WOULD NOT, COULD NOT, IN A BOX.
I WOULD NOT, COULD NOT, WITH A FOX.
I WILL NOT EAT THEM IN A HOUSE.
I WILL NOT EAT THEM HERE OR THERE.
I WILL NOT EAT THEM ANYWHERE.
I DO NOT EAT GREEM EGGS AND HAM.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM, SAM-I-AM.

SAY! IN THE DARK? HERE IN THE DARK!
WOULD YOU, COULD YOU, IN THE DARK?

I WOULD NOT, COULD NOT, IN THE DARK.

WOULD YOU COULD YOU IN THE RAIN?

I WOULD NOT, COULD NOT IN THE RAIN.
NOT IN THE DARK. NOT ON A TRAIN.
NOT IN A CAR. NOT IN A TREE.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM, SAM, YOU SEE.
NOT IN A HOUSE. NOT IN A BOX.
NOT WITH A MOUSE. NOT WITH A FOX.
I WILL NOT EAT THEM HERE OR THERE.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM ANYWHERE!

YOU DO NOT LIKE GREEN EGGS AND HAM?

I DO NOT LIKE THEM, SAM-I-AM.

COULD YOU, WOULD YOU, WITH A GOAT?

I WOULD NOT, COULD NOT WITH A GOAT!

WOULD YOU, COULD YOU, ON A BOAT?

I COULD NOT, WOULD NOT, ON A BOAT.
I WILL NOT, WILL NOT, WITH A GOAT.
I WILL NOT EAT THEM IN THE RAIN.
NOT IN THE DARK! NOT IN A TREE!
NOT IN A CAR! YOU LET ME BE!
I DO NOT LIKE THEM IN A BOX.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM WITH A FOX.
I WILL NOT EAT THEM IN A HOUSE.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM WITH A MOUSE.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM HERE OR THERE.
I DO NOT LIKE THEM ANYWHERE!
I DO NOT LIKE GREEN EGGS AND HAM!
I DO NOT LIKE THEM, SAM-I-AM.

YOU DO NOT LIKE THEM. SO YOU SAY.
TRY THEM! TRY THEM! AND YOU MAY.
TRY THEM AND YOU MAY, I SAY.

sAM! IF YOU LET ME BE,
I WILL TRY THEM. YOU WILL SEE.

(… and he tries them …)

SAY! I LIKE GREEN EGGS AND HAM!
I DO! I LIKE THEM, SAM-I-AM!
AND I WOULD EAT THEM IN A BOAT.
AND I WOULD EAT THEM WITH A GOAT…
AND I WILL EAT THEM, IN THE RAIN.
AND IN THE DARK. AND ON A TRAIN.
AND IN A CAR. AND IN A TREE.
THEY ARE SO GOOD, SO GOOD, YOU SEE!
SO I WILL EAT THEM IN A BOX.
AND I WILL EAT THEM WITH A FOX.
AND I WILL EAT THEM IN A HOUSE.
AND I WILL EAT THEM WITH A MOUSE.
AND I WILL EAT THEM HERE AND THERE.
SAY! I WILL EAT THEM ANYWHERE!
I DO SO LIKE GREEN EGGS AND HAM!
THANK YOU! THANK YOU, SAM I AM.

 

 

Be Bop A Lula

I watched a UK documentary on Gene Vincent recently and have been reading about his interaction with the Beatles. This is some info on Be Bop A Lula

Free Fallin'

Recorded by Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps in 1956 its influence would be huge on Rock N Roll. The song was released in June 1956 on Capitol Records’ single F3450, and immediately sold well. The song was successful on three American singles charts: it peaked at No. 7 on the US Billboard pop music chart, No. 8 on the R&B chart, and also made the top ten on the C&W Best Seller chart peaking at No. 5. In the UK, it peaked at No. 16 in August 1956. In April 1957, the record company announced that over 2 million copies had been sold to date.

The story of how the decidedly un-complex lyrics of “Be-Bop-A-Lula” got written is shrouded in a certain amount of controversy. Officially, Gene Vincent’s business manager, Bill “Sheriff Tex” Davis, is credited as the co-writer, but Sheriff Tex, a savvy 40-year-old from Connecticut, seems an…

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Fats Domino

Antoine “Fats” Domino Jr. was not flashy and wild like some of his 1950s peers such as Elvis, Little Richard, and Jerry Lee Lewis. The first I heard of Fats Domino was on “Happy Days” and the song Blueberry Hill. I was at a relative’s yard sale when I was a kid and was given his greatest hits.

Domino was the youngest of eight children in a musical family, he spoke Creole French before learning English. At age 7 his brother in law taught him how to play the piano. By the time he was 10, he was already performing as a singer and pianist.

Fat’s first hit in the Billboard 100 was the great “Aint That A Shame” in 1955 written by  Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew that peaked at #16 and his last charting song was a cover of the Beatles “Lady Madonna”(great version) that peaked at #100 in 1968. He had 45 songs in the top 100 and 4 top 10 hits…many more top 10 hits in the R&B Charts.

My favorite song by him is “I’m Walking” because it’s so simple but yet effective. The odd beat sounds modern and it hooks you. He was inspired to write the song when his car broke down and someone said “Hey Fats Domino is Walking” and he thought to himself…Yea I’m walking.

Ricky Nelson covered the song and it went to number 4 on the charts.

What is sad to me is Pat Boone covered Aint That a Shame and it went to number 1 while Fat’s version only made it to 16 in the same year. That was the era where some parents would buy their kids the Pat Boone version of the song and the kids would hide their self-bought Fats Domino version… Same went with Little Richard also.

Domino received The Lifetime Achievement Grammy, a National Medal of the Arts from President Bill Clinton and the induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Fats semi-retired in the 80s and said he would not travel outside of New Orleans.

During Hurricane Katrina, he lost most of his possessions and him and his family were rescued by the coast guard. He unselfishly made many personal appearances to raise money for the hurricane relief. His house was hit hard and he lost his National Medal and gold records but George Bush gave him another medal to replace the lost one and the RIAA gave him replacement gold records.

To raise money for repairs for his own home, friends and fellow musicians recorded a tribute album, Goin’ Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino, featuring the likes of Robert Plant, Elton John, and Sir Paul McCartney. He as living in New Orleans at the time of his death on October 24, 2017.

He was a huge influence on The Beatles, Elton John, Robert Plant, Randy Newman, and Elvis even called Fats “The King.”

Here is an article stating that Fats Domino helped start “ska” music. 

I’m Walking
I’m walkin’, yes indeed, and I’m talkin’ ’bout you and me
I’m hopin’ that you’ll come back to me (yes)
I’m lonely as I can be, I’m waitin’ for your company
I’m hopin’ that you’ll come back to me
What ‘ya gonna do when the well runs dry?
You’re gonna run away and hide
I’m gonna run right by your side, for you pretty baby I’ll even die
I’m walkin’, yes indeed, I’m talkin’ ’bout you and me
I’m hopin’ that you’ll come back to me
I’m walkin’, yes indeed, and I’m talkin’ ’bout you and me
I’m hopin’ that you’ll come back to me (yes)
I’m lonely as I can be, I’m waitin’ for your company
I’m hopin’ that you’ll come back to me
What ‘ya gonna do when the well runs dry?
You’re gonna sit right down and cry
What ‘ya gonna do when I say bye-bye?
All you’re gonna do is dry your eye
I’m walkin’, yes indeed, I’m talkin’ ’bout you and me
I’m hopin’ that you’ll come back to me

Tootsie Roll Pop Commercial

The commercial came out in 1968 – 1970 and I still see it every once in a while. The spot leaves us with a puzzling question…How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?

The original commercial was 60 seconds long and that one is not seen as much…it was edited down to 15 seconds and all we see is the boy and  Mr. Owl…but the original had more….here is the script…

Boy: Mr. Cow…
Mr. Cow: Yeeeeesss?
Boy: How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?
Mr. Cow: I don’t know, I always end up biting. Ask Mr. Fox, for he’s much clever than I.
Boy: Mr. Fox, how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?
Mr. Fox: Why don’t you ask Mr. Turtle, for he’s been around a lot longer than I? Me, hee hee hee, I bite.
Boy: Mr. Turtle, how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?
Mr. Turtle: I’ve never even made it without biting. Ask Mr. Owl, for he is the wisest of us all.
Boy: Mr. Owl, how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?
Mr. Owl: A good question. Let’s find out. A One… A.two-HOO…A three…
(crunch sound effect)
Mr. Owl: A Three!
Boy: If there’s anything I can’t stand, it’s a smart owl.
Narrator: How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?
(crunch sound effect)
Narrator: The world may never know.

After the commercial, Mr. Owl became the mascot for Tootsie Roll Pops, appearing in marketing campaigns and on the packaging.

Researchers at New York University and Florida State University conducted a study in 2015 to find out how many times one would need to lick a Tootsie Pop to reach the center. Their findings revealed that 997 licks are needed to get there… Mr. Owl was off by 994!
However…many other colleges tested it with different results…I guess we will never know the answer.

The original 60 second commercial with Mr. Cow, Mr, Fox, Mr. Turtle, and Mr. Owl.

My favorite Tootsie Roll commercial was this one from 1977

The world looks mighty good to me

Cause Tootsie Rolls are all I see

Whatever it is I think I see

Becomes a Tootsie Roll to me

Tootsie Roll, how I love your chocolatey chew

Tootsie Roll, I think I’m in love with you

Whatever it is I think I see  Becomes a Tootsie Roll to me

Blues Image – Ride Captain Ride

This would be a one-hit wonder band but an impressive one hit. Ride Captain Ride made it to #4 in the Billboard 100 and the Canadian Charts. It charted in 1970 off an named called “Open” which made it to #147.

I always thought this song was about some event…but no it was just made up.

This is from Songfacts. 

Blues Image lead singer Mike Pinera wrote this with their keyboard player Skip Konte. Mike’s wife Valerie told us:
“Ride Captain is a story from his imagination. I know when he was in the studio recording that album, they needed another song and he wrote it on the spot. He came up with 73 from the keyboard having 73 keys. A lot of people say it relates to a few different stories.”

The keyboard they used was a Rhodes electric piano, and this was an early use of the instrument on a popular song. Other songs featuring the Rhodes include “Just The Way You Are,” “Peg” and “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life.” 

 

Ride Captain Ride

Seventy-three men sailed up from the San Francisco Bay,
Rolled off of their ship and here’s what they had to say.
“We’re calling everyone to ride along to another shore,
Where we can laugh our lives away and be free once more.”

Ride, captain ride on your mystery ship,
Be amazed at the friends you’ve got there on your trip.
Ride, captain ride on your mystery ship,
Be aware of the things others just might have missed

No one heard them calling, no one came at all,
‘Cause they were too busy watching those old raindrops fall.
As a storm was blowing out on the peaceful sea,
Seventy-three men were sailing off into history.

Ride, captain ride on your mystery ship,
Be amazed at the friends you’ve got there on your trip.
Ride captain ride on your mystery ship,
Be aware of the world others just might have missed

Ride, captain ride on your mystery ship,
Be amazed at the friends you’ve got there on your trip.
Ride captain ride on your mystery ship,
Be aware of the world othersjust might have missed

Ride, captain ride on your mystery ship,
Be amazed at the friends you have here on your trip.
Ride, captain ride on your mystery ship,
Be aware of a world others just might have missed.

Hey Kid, Catch

If I had to name my favorite commercials it would be a really short list. This Mean Joe Greene and Kid commercial would top the short list though.

This ad debuted on October 1, 1979. It showed an injured Mean Joe headed for the locker room to encounter a star-struck kid (Tommy Okon) that offered Mean Joe a coke. Greene eventually took the coke and while limping away pitched his jersey to the kid.

The commercial spot aired repeatedly through Superbowl XIV where the Steelers beat the Rams 31-19. It took 3 days to film the commercial and Joe ended up drinking around 18 cokes to finish it.

When Greene found out Tommy Okon didn’t get to keep the jersey from the commercial he mailed him an autographed jersey for Christmas.

Coke looked at Roger Staubach, Tony Dorsett, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, and teammate Jack Lambert but Joe Greene won out. The right man got the job.

The commercial helped to soften Joe Greene’s reputation. Before it aired Greene said people were intimidated by him. This is a quote from Greene. 

“I was suddenly approachable,” Greene recalled during a presentation at Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta. “Little kids were no longer afraid of me, and older people – both women and men – would come up and offer me a Coke.”

 

 

The Four Seasons – December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)

The song was released in 1975 and peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, UK and the Canadian charts. It was off the album Who Loves You and the title single peaked at #3.

It was written by keyboard player Bob Gaudio and Judy Parker.

From Songfacts

According to the co-writer and longtime group member Bob Gaudio, the song was originally set in 1933 with the title “December 5th, 1933,” and celebrated the repeal of Prohibition. Neither lead singer Frankie Valli nor co-writer (and later, Gaudio’s wife) Judy Parker were thrilled about the lyrics (and Valli objected to parts of the melody) so Gaudio redid the words and Parker redid the melody until all were content with the finished product. It ended up being a nostalgic love song.

“December 1963 (Oh, What A Night)”

Oh, what a night
Late December, back in ’63
What a very special time for me
As I remember, what a night

Oh, what a night
You know, I didn’t even know her name
But I was never gonna be the same
What a lady, what a night

Oh, I 
I got a funny feeling when she walked in the room
Hey, my
As I recall, it ended much too soon

Oh, what a night
Hypnotizing, mesmerizing me
She was everything I dreamed she’d be
Sweet surrender, what a night

And I felt a rush like a rolling bolt of thunder
Spinning my head around and taking my body under
Oh, what a night

Oh, I 
Got a funny feeling when she walked in the room
Hey, my
As I recall, it ended much too soon

Oh, what a night
Why’d it take so long to see the light?
Seemed so wrong, but now it seems so right
What a lady, what a night

Oh, I felt a rush like a rolling bolt of thunder
Spinning my head around and taking my body under
Oh, what a night (Do do do do do, do do do do)
Oh, what a night (Do do do do do, do do do do)
Oh, what a night (Do do do do do, do do do do)
Oh, what a night (Do do do do do, do do do do)
Oh, what a night (Do do do do do, do do do do)
Oh, what a night (Do do do do do, do do do do)
Oh, what a night (Do do do do do, do do do do)

Crabby Appleton – Go Back

I’m reaching into the obscurity bin for this one but it’s a good song.

This band was not exactly a household name but this single is really good. “Go Back” was released in 1970 and it peaked at #36 in the Billboard 100. Lead singer Michael Fennelly went on to an unsuccessful solo career but he did work with Steely Dan on occasion.

It was produced by Don Gallucci…formely of the Kingsmen…the drummer Phil Jones played percussion and drums for Tom Petty on every song but one on Full Moon Fever. He has also played with Joe Walsh, Johnny Rivers, and Waddy Wachtel.

The band did release two albums before breaking up in 1971. Bands like this fascinate me. I listened to their debut album and it’s really good…I have to wonder if Electra didn’t push them enough.

I do remember hearing this song in the 70s.

 

Go Back

You don’t hold me so well
And it’s not hard to tell
When you know in your heart
That it’s wrong

‘Cause your thoughts are not here
And you’re making it clear
That the one you love is gone

Well, I can’t tell you your life, no
I can’t tell you what to do
But you know, yes, you know
That’s it’s true

I think you better go back
Go back to your lover, go back
He’s the one you really love
Go back, go back to your bed
I said, go back
He’s the one you’re thinking of

Go back, go back to your bed
I said go back, girl
As fast as you can, go back

Now you look good to me
Still, I can’t help but see
You’ve been thinking of him
All the time

And you know it’s not right
When you kiss me tonight
You pretend his lips are mine

Yeah, I can’t tell you your life, no
I can’t tell you what to do
But you know, yes, you know
That it’s true

I think you better go back
Go back to your lover, go back
He’s the one you really love
Go back, go back to your bed
I said, go back
He’s the one you’re thinking of

Go back, go back to your bed
I said, go back, girl
As fast as you can
Go back, whooooooa
Go back, go back to your lover
Go back
Go back, go back to your bed
I said, go back

 

 

 

Jeff Healey – Angel Eyes

In 1989 Jeff Healey came out with this song that peaked at #5 in the Billboard 100, #86 in the UK, and #16 in Canada. The song was written by John Hiatt and Fred Koller.

Jeff Healey was a Canadian that started to play guitar when he was 3. He was blind and played the guitar on his lap. He could bend the notes to a limit where normal guitar players could not. His solos were just as interesting as the song themselves.

From Songfacts

“Angel Eyes” was written by the songwriters John Hiatt and Fred Koller, and produced by Greg Ladanyi. It stands as Jeff Healey’s only Billboard Top-40 hit; however, considering what a unique character he was, it seems most unfair to dismiss him as a one-hit wonder. Amongst many other things, he was much bigger on the Canada Singles chart; he picked up Juno Awards, got an Independent Music Award for Best Blues Album, and played alongside such talent as Dire Straits, Stevie Ray Vaughan, BB King, ZZ Top, and Eric Clapton.

Angel Eyes

Girl, you’re looking fine tonight
And every guy has got you in his sight
What you’re doing with a clown like me
Is surely one of life’s little mysteries

So tonight I’ll ask the stars above
“How did I ever win your love?”
What did I do?
What did I say
To turn your angel eyes my way?

Well, I’m the guy who never learned to dance
Never even got one second glance
Across a crowded room was close enough
I could look but I could never touch

So tonight I’ll ask, the stars above
“How did I ever win your love?”
What did I do?
What did I say
To turn your angel eyes my way?

Don’t anyone wake me
If it’s just a dream
‘Cause she’s the best thing
Ever happened to me

All you fellows
You can look all you like
But this girl you see
She’s leavin’ here with me tonight

There’s just one more thing that I need to know
If this is love why does it scare me so?
It must be somethin’ only you can see
‘Cause girl I feel it when you look at me

So tonight I’ll ask the stars above
“How did I ever win your love?”
What did I do?
What did I say,
To turn your angel eyes my way? 
Hey, hey, hey, yeah, awww

 

Stealers Wheel – Stuck In The Middle With You

When I first heard this 1973 song I would have sworn it was Bob Dylan. The song peaked at #6 in the Billboard 100, #8 in the UK and #2 in Canada. Gerry Rafferty is singing the lead vocal with bandmate Joe Egan harmonizing with him. The two wrote the song.

Quentin Tarantino used this song in a horrific torture scene in Reservoir Dogs to great effect.

From Songfacts.

Also known simply as “Stuck In The Middle,” this Stealers Wheel classic was co-written by the group’s guitarist Gerry Rafferty and keyboard player Joe Egan.

In his obituary of Rafferty for the January 5, 2011 issue of the Daily Telegraph, Martin Chilton said of this song that it was “Written as a parody of Bob Dylan’s paranoia, it ridiculed a music industry cocktail party, with the lyrics:

Clowns to the left of me
jokers to the right
here I am, stuck in the middle with you.

To Rafferty’s utter disbelief his parody, composed as little more than a joke but with a catchy Pop arrangement, struck gold, selling more than a million copies. The song reached a new generation of listeners when Quentin Tarantino used it in the notorious ear-slicing scene in his 1992 movie Reservoir Dogs.”

Commenting to the BBC shortly after Rafferty’s death, music industry pundit Paul Gambaccini echoed Chilton’s sentiments about the song.

 

Stuck in the Middle with You

Well I don’t know why I came here tonight,
I got the feeling that something ain’t right,
I’m so scared in case I fall off my chair,
And I’m wondering how I’ll get down the stairs,
Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you
Yes I’m stuck in the middle with you,
And I’m wondering what it is I should do,
It’s so hard to keep this smile from my face,
Losing control, yeah, I’m all over the place,
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right,
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you
Well you started out with nothing,
And you’re proud that you’re a self made man,
And your friends, they all come crawlin,
Slap you on the back and say,
Please, please
Trying to make some sense of it all,
But I can see that it makes no sense at all,
Is it cool to go to sleep on the floor,
‘Cause I don’t think that I can take anymore
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right,
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you
Well you started out with nothing,
And you’re proud that you’re a self made man,
And your friends, they all come crawlin,
Slap you on the back and say,
Please, please
Well I don’t know why I came here tonight,
I got the feeling that something ain’t right,
I’m so scared in case I fall off my chair,
And I’m wondering how I’ll get down the stairs,
Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you,
Yes I’m stuck in the middle with you,
Stuck in the middle with you, here I am stuck in the middle with you

Stuart Sutcliffe – The Beatle’s Forgotten Artist

Stuart Sutcliffe was a brilliant young artist with a bright career ahead of him when he sold one of his paintings and his friend John Lennon talked him into buying a bass. He didn’t know how to play bass but was taught by John, Paul, and George because like George said…it was better to have a bass player that couldn’t play than no bass player at all.

Stuart did learn to play bass and had a lot of stage time in Hamburg. He was never a great bass player but good enough to hold the position down. Stuart and John came up with the band name Beatles. Stuart wanted it to be Beatals but John stuck with Beatles.

Many art experts say Stuart would have been a major artist had he lived… with or without the Beatle connection. He was the James Dean of the Beatles…He was the Artist…He was the Stylish one that attracted new friends in Germany that forever changed the Beatles.

He was John Lennon’s best friend and Paul’s rival for John’s attention.

While playing in Hamburg Germany he met Astrid Kirchherr who would become the love of his life. Astrid would take some of the most famous early photographs of the Beatles.

astrid beatles.JPG

Astrid’s soon to be ex-boyfriend Klaus Voormann would befriend the Beatles and later design the Revolver cover and play bass for John, George, and Ringo at different times in their career.

Jürgen Vollmer, a photographer in the circle of Astrid’s friends would end up cutting John and Paul’s hair into the famous haircut…after Astrid had already cut Stuart’s hair in that fashion first.

Stuart’s influence went beyond playing bass. Without Stuart, things may have turned out different for The Beatles.

Stuart finally quit The Beatles to concentrate on Art and to marry Astrid. He got a scholarship while living with Astrid in Germany, in the Hamburg College of Art in 1961. He produced a lot of paintings in the last year of his life. He started to lose weight, get terrible headaches and had trouble walking. He kept going to college and kept painting in Astrid’s attic. They wanted to marry in May but on April 10, 1962, he had a ruptured aneurysm and passed away on the way to the hospital in Astrid’s arms.

If Stuart would have lived he would have almost certainly stayed in the Beatles circle although not playing…he may have been remembered more as an artist than a one time bassist of the Beatles.

More about Stuart and his Art.

http://www.anothermag.com/art-photography/8556/a-five-point-guide-to-the-art-and-style-of-stuart-sutcliffe

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The Alarm – Sixty Eight Guns

This song was released in 1983 and reached #39 on the Billboard Top Rock Tracks and #17 in the UK.  I saw The Alarm open up for Dylan. At that time I didn’t know who they were but I liked them right away.

In 1991 The Alarm was doing a concert and lead singer Mike Peters suddenly said “We’ve shared some great moments in time over the last ten years and tonight I would like to thank all the people who have supported me from the beginning to the end. Tonight this is my last moment with the Alarm, I’m going out in a Blaze of Glory – my hands are held up high”…… It would have been nice if he would have shared this little bit of info with his bandmates before the concert.

 

Sixty Eight Guns

And now they’re trying to take my life away 
Forever young I cannot stay
Hey
On every corner I can see them there
They don’t know my name they don’t know my kind
They’re after you with their promises
(Promises of love)
They’re after you to sign your life away
(Yeah, yeaoh)

Sixty-eight Guns will never die
Sixty-eight Guns our battle cry
Sixty-eight Guns
Sixty-eight Guns
Oh, the Sixty-eight

Living in the backstreets 
That’s our home from home
The painted walls were all we’ve ever known 
?he Guns Forever’ that’s our battle cry
It is the flag that we fly so high 
For every day they’ll try and drag us down
(Drag us down and down)
I cry with anger I have done no crime
No
(Yeah, yeaoh)

Sixty-eight Guns will never die
Sixty-eight Guns our battle cry
Sixty-eight Guns will never die
Sixty-eight Guns our battle cry
Sixty-eight Guns
Sixty-eight Guns
The Sixty-eight

Up on the terrace I can hear the crowd roar 
Sixty Eight Guns
And in the subway I can hear them whisper 
Sixty Eight Guns
Through all the raging glory of the years 
We never once thought of the fears 
For what we’d do when the battle cry was over . 
Nothing lasts forever is all they seem to tell you when you’re young 

(I, I do swear
To unbreak the promise
To unbreak the vow

Unbreak it)

When you’re young
Have no illusion, no disillusion

Unbreak the promise
Unbreak the vow
Uphold the promise

SIXTY EIGHT GUNS

Sixty-eight Guns will never die
Sixty-eight Guns our battle cry
Sixty-eight Guns will never die
Sixty-eight Guns our battle cry
Sixty-eight Guns
Sixty-eight Guns
The sixty eight guns
Sixty eight guns
The sixty eight guns