Van Morrison – Caravan

Just a perfect song. I listen to it and can’t believe it wasn’t a hit. When I bought the Moondance album I zeroed in on this song. I then heard Van Morrison on the Last Waltz singing it and it was a clincher.

The performance of this song on the Last Waltz for me may have been the best performance on the film and that is saying a lot. I’ve seen Van live one time and his voice seemed stronger in person than on record…if that is possible.

Van Morrison on Caravan

I could hear the radio like it was in the same room. I don’t know how to explain it. There was some story about an underground passage under the house I was living in, rumors from kids and stuff and I was beginning to think it was true. How can you hear someone’s radio from a mile away, as if it was playing in your own house? So I had to put that into the song, It was a must

 

Caravan
And the caravan is on it’s way
I can hear the merry gypsies play
Mama mama look at Emma Rose
She’s a-playin with the radio
La, la, la, la…

And the caravan has all my friends
It will stay with me until the end
Gypsy Robin, Sweet Emma Rose
Tell me everything I need to know
La, la, la…

Turn up your radio and let me hear the song
Switch on your electric light
Then we can get down to what is really wrong
I long to hold you tight so I can feel you
Sweet lady of the night I shall reveal you

Turn it up, turn it up, little bit higher radio
Turn it up, turn it up, so you know, radio
La, la, la, la…

And the caravan is painted red and white
That means ev’rybody’s staying overnight
Barefoot gypsy player round the campfire sing and play
And a woman tells us of her ways
La, la, la, la…

Turn up your radio and let me hear the song
Switch on your electric light
Then we can get down to what is really wrong
I long to hold you tight so I can feel you
Sweet lady of the night I shall reveal you
Turn it up, turn it up, little bit higher, radio
Turn it up, that’s enough, so you know it’s got soul
Radio, radio turn it up, hum
La, la, la, la…

Lynyrd Skynyrd – Tuesdays Gone

I’m not a big fan of “southern rock” but this one I like. This song was on the (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd) debut album of Lynyrd Skynyrd. The album has many classic songs on it and this is one of them. The melody is haunting and Ronnie Van Zant does a great job singing it.

Metallica and Phish both have both covered this song. The best cover version I’ve heard is a live version from Gregg Allman.  There was a train track near the place where the band rehearsed. The sound of the trains inspired lead singer Ronnie Van Zant to write the first line, “Train roll on, on down the line.”

From Songfacts.

This was Lynyrd Skynyrd’s first album. The group was discovered by Al Kooper, a producer and session musician who had previously worked with Bob Dylan, Blood, Sweat & Tears, and The Zombies.

Kooper played some instruments and sang backup on the album, but his contributions were credited to “Roosevelt Gook.” On this, he played a synthesizer-like instrument called a Mellotron.

This song appears in a number of films, including Happy Gilmore (where it is used at the beginning and end of the movie), Boys Don’t Cry and Dazed And Confused.

This song is featured at the end of an episode of the TV show My Name is Earl. 

“Tuesday’s Gone” was a huge influence on Black Stone Cherry lead singer Chris Robertson. “Even when I was a kid that song just evoked a feeling in me that I could never describe,” he told Songfacts. “Still to this day that song makes me cry. Whenever we play with Skynyrd and they do that, that song puts tears in my eyes.”

Tuesdays Gone

Train roll on, on down the line,
Won’t you please take me far, far away
Now I feel the wind blow, outside my door,
I’m leavin’ my woman at home, oh yeah
Tuesday’s gone with the wind,
Oh my baby’s gone, gone with the wind
And I don’t know, oh, where I’m goin’
I just want to be left alone
When this train ends, I’ll try again
I’m leavin’ my woman at home

Tuesday’s gone with the wind
Tuesday’s gone with the wind
Tuesday’s gone with the wind
My baby’s gone, with the wind
Train roll on, Tuesday’s gone

Train roll on many miles from my home, see I’m
I’m ridin’ my blues, away yeah
But Tuesday you see, a she had to be free
Somehow I got to, to carry on

Tuesday’s gone with the wind
Tuesday’s gone with the wind
Tuesday’s gone with the wind
My baby’s gone, with the wind

Train roll on
My baby’s gone
I’m ridin’ my blues, baby
Tryin’ to ridin’ my blues
Ride on train
Ride on train
Ridin’ my blues, baby
Goodbye Tuesday, goodbye Tuesday 
Oh, oh, oh, train

Runnin’ Wild by David Stenn

I got this book in the 90s and just reread it yet again. I’ve gone over Clara Bow earlier but I wanted to add more about this book. It is a well researched interesting book on the great silent movie actress. I have huge respect for Clara Bow as an actress and as a person. She was outspoken in a business where very few women were at that time.

David Stenn separates fact from fiction about Clara. In the book, Hollywood Babylon Kenneth Anger makes many unflattering statements about Clara which Stenn proves were false. Was Clara wild at times? Yes but no wilder than many of the other actresses in the 20s and nothing compared to today…She was just honest about it.

Actress Lina Basquette said: “She wasn’t well liked amongst other women in the film colony. Her social presence was taboo, and it was rather silly because God knows Marion Davies and Mary Pickford had plenty to hide. It’s just that they hid it, and Clara didn’t.” Bow knew the truth. “I’m a curiosity in Hollywood,” she said. “I’m a big freak because I’m myself!”

Her mother suffered from mental illness, Clara once woke with her mother standing over her with a knife saying she was going to kill her. Her father abused her and used her all of his life and may have sexually abused her. She made it against all odds to the top. There was a point in the twenties that she was the biggest female star receiving 45,000 fan letters a month.

Paramount would use her to push lightweight films and hardly ever place her in a great film. Because of this practice, she is only known well for a few films. When silent movies evolved into “talkies” Greta Garbo was given two years to prepare for the change…Clara, who was a bigger star was given a matter of weeks. She would appear on the screen and your eyes would stay with her. She did a few sound pictures and was successful but did not enjoy it as much as the silent films.

She retired and married Rex Bell (a part time cowboy actor) and moved to Nevada in the 1930s to have and raise a couple of children. One of her children, Rex Bell Jr. had this to say about the book.

“A lot of crap biographies have been written about mom, but the one that is accurate is ‘Clara Bow, Runnin’ Wild’ by David Stenn,” Bell said, noting that he first learned his mother was abused as a child from that book that was supported by medical records.

Clara was in the first movie that won an Oscar… Wings … The other movie she is known for is It made in 1927. She was soon known as The IT Girl.

I recommend this book highly. Clara Bow had a hard life growing up in Brooklyn and against all odds turned into one of the biggest stars of the 20s. She was honest to a fault and herself to the end.

Where Clara, Rex, and their children lived…The Walking Box Ranch.

Beatles – It Won’t Be Long

My first favorite Beatle song. The first Beatle album I was exposed to was the American album “Meet the Beatles” and I loved it. This song jumped out at me. Loved Johns voice, melody and the guitar riff. I also like the call and answer of the “yeah”. John had the chorus written and sat down with Paul in 1963 to finish it off. With the intention of writing a follow up single to the yet unreleased “She Loves You,” they put together verses and bridges in an unusual configuration with the already written chorus.

The song is a rocker and catchy but never released as a single.

It Won’t Be Long

It won’t be long yeh, yeh, yeh
It won’t be long yeh, yeh, yeh
It won’t be long yeh, till I belong to youEvery night when everybody has fun
Here am I sitting all on my ownIt won’t be long yeh, yeh, yeh
It won’t be long yeh, yeh, yeh
It won’t be long yeh, till I belong to youSince you left me, I’m so alone
Now you’re coming, you’re coming on home
I’ll be good like I know I should
You’re coming home, you’re coming home

Every night the tears come down from my eyes
Every day I’ve done nothing but cry

It won’t be long yeh, yeh, yeh
It won’t be long yeh, yeh, yeh
It won’t be long yeh, till I belong to you

Since you left me, I’m so alone
Now you’re coming, you’re coming on home
I’ll be good like I know I should
You’re coming home, you’re coming home

So every day we’ll be happy I know
Now I know that you won’t leave me no more

It won’t be long yeh, yeh, yeh
It won’t be long yeh, yeh
It won’t be long yeh, till I belong to you, woo

Slade – Mama Weer All Crazee Now

Slade was one of the UK’s biggest glam bands in the early to mid-seventies. They were huge in the UK but never hit in America until the 80s. This song was released in 1972 and peaked at #1 in the UK and #76 in the Billboard 100 in 1973.

Quiet Riot took two of their songs, Cum On Feel The Noize and this one and hit with them in the 80s. I’ll take Slade’s versions myself. It’s a fun rock and roll song.

Some trivia about Noddy Holder the lead singer… AC/DC asked him to sing for them after the death of Bon Scott but he turned them down because of loyalty to Slade.

From Songfacts.

This was originally the work of bassist Jim Lea; it was the first tune he wrote completely on his own. However, his writing partner Noddy Holder was responsible for the lyrics, standing on the stage after a typically boisterous London show and surveying the smashed seating left in the auditorium. “I thought everyone must have been crazy tonight,” he later said.

The song was originally titled “My My We’re All Crazy Now.” The title was changed by their manager Chas Chandler, and the intentional misspelling became a Slade trademark years before Prince adopted a similar convention. Some of their other hits were “Look wot You Dun,” “Cum On Feel The Noize” and “Skweeze Me Pleeze Me.”

In the UK Slade enjoyed 16 Top 10 hits including six #1s. They didn’t enjoy the same success in the US, where their biggest hit was “Run Runaway,” which peaked at #20 in 1984. They had just one other American Top 40: “My Oh My” (#37) also in 1984.

The American metal band Quiet Riot broke big with a cover of Slade’s “Cum On Feel The Noize” in 1983. For their next album, they did “Mama Weer All Crazee Now,” issuing it as the first single. It reached #51, marking their last Hot 100 appearance. “We were already getting the stigma of, ‘You had a hit with somebody else’s song,'” their drummer, Frankie Banali, said in a Songfacts interview. “I could see the writing on the wall coming on that one.”

Slade

I don’t want to drink my whisky like you do
I don’t need to spend my money but still do
Chorus
Don’t stop now a c’mon
another drop now c’mon
I want to lot now so c’mon
That’s right, that’s right
I said Mama but we’re all crazy now
I said Mama but we’re all crazy now
I said Mama but we’re all crazy now
A you told me fool fire water won’t hurt me
A you tease me and all my ladies desert me
Chorus
don’t want to drink my whisky but still do
I had enough to fill up “H” Hill’s left shoe
Chorus
Mama mama mama mama oh yeah…

Paul McCartney – Coming Up

Merry Christmas to everyone…

I was 12 when this came out in 1979 and loved it…especially the video that went with it. The live version is the one that hit really big and the single had the live and studio version. The song (Live Version) peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, #2 in the UK and #1 in Canada in 1980.

McCartney played all the instruments and shared vocal harmonies with wife Linda McCartney on the studio version.

Paul McCartney on recording Coming Up

I originally cut it on my farm in Scotland. I went into the studio each day and just started with a drum track. Then I built it up bit by bit without any idea of how the song was going to turn out. After laying down the drum track, I added guitars and bass, building up the backing track. I did a little version with just me as the nutty professor, doing everything and getting into my own world like a laboratory. The absent-minded professor is what I go like when I’m doing those; you get so into yourself it’s weird, crazy. But I liked it.

Then I thought, ‘Well, OK, what am I going to do for the voice?’ I was working with a vari-speed machine with which you can speed up your voice, or take it down a little bit. That’s how the voice sound came about. It’s been speeded up slightly and put through an echo machine I was playing around with. I got into all sorts of tricks, and I can’t remember how I did half of them, because I was just throwing them all in and anything that sounded good, I kept. And anything I didn’t like I just wiped.

On John Lennon

I heard a story from a guy who recorded with John in New York, and he said that John would sometimes get lazy. But then he’d hear a song of mine where he thought, ‘Oh, shit, Paul’s putting it in, Paul’s working!’ Apparently ‘Coming Up’ was the one song that got John recording again. I think John just thought, ‘Uh oh, I had better get working, too.’ I thought that was a nice story.

Coming Up

You want a love to last forever 
One that will never fade away 
I want to help you with your problem 
Stick around, I say 

Coming up, coming up, yeah 
Coming up like a flower 
Coming up, I say 

You want a friend you- can rely on 
One who will never fade away 
And if you’re searching for an answer 
Stick around. I say 

It’s coming up, it’s coming up 
It’s coming up like a flower 
It’s coming up. yeah 

You want some peace and understanding 
So everybody can be free 
I know that we can get together 
We can make it, stick with me 

It’s coming up, it’s coming up 
It’s coming up like a flower 
It’s coming up for you and me 

Coming up, coming up 
It’s coming up, it’s coming up, I say 
It’s coming up like a flower 
It’s coming up 
I feel it in my bones 

You want a better kind of future 
One that everyone can share 
You’re not alone, we all could use it 
Stick around we’re nearly there 

It’s coming up, it’s coming up everywhere 
It’s coming up like a flower 
It’s coming up for all to share 
It’s coming up, yeah 
It’s coming up, anyway 
It’s coming up like a flower 
Coming up

Rock and Roll…Quotes

Being honest may not get you a lot of friends but it’ll always get you the right ones.
John Lennon

The world used us as an excuse to go mad.
George Harrison

I used to think anyone doing anything weird was weird. Now I know that it is the people that call others weird that are weird.
Paul McCartney

America: It’s like Britain, only with buttons.
Ringo Starr

I’m still the best Keith Moon-style drummer in the world.
Keith Moon

I’ve never had a problem with drugs. I’ve had problems with the police.
Keith Richards

A kid once said to me “Do you get hangovers?” I said, “To get hangovers you have to stop drinking.
Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister of Motorhead

Rock ‘n’ Roll might not solve your problems, but it does let you dance all over them
Pete Townshend

I was Marilyn Manson – times 10.
Alice Cooper

In the end you become part of everything you hate, basically.
Ray Davies

I’d rather be dead than singing “Satisfaction” when I’m forty-five.
Mick Jagger

The thing about my music is, there really is no point.
Neil Young

No one is free, even the birds are chained to the sky.
Bob Dylan

If there’s one thing I know about music theory, it’s that if you don’t believe the singer, you won’t believe the song.
Tom Petty

Sometimes I am two people. Johnny is the nice one. Cash causes all the trouble. They fight.
Johnny Cash

I am the innovator. I am the originator. I am the emancipator. I am the architect of rock ‘n’ roll!
Little Richard

I grew up thinking art was pictures until I got into music and found I was an artist and didn’t paint.
Chuck Berry

I’m one of those regular weird people.
Janis Joplin

I sing to the realists. People who accept it like it is
Aretha Franklin

I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.
David Bowie

Music was my way of keeping people from looking through and around me. I wanted the heavies to know I was around.
Bruce Springsteen

I’m the one that’s got to die when it’s time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to.
Jimi Hendrix

We lived the life with Keith Moon. It was all Spinal Tap magnified a thousand times.
Roger Daltrey