Cheap Trick – Come On, Come On …. Power Pop Friday

It’s been a while since we covered Cheap Trick and the time has come now. This is a power pop gem from the In Color album released in 1977. Cheap Trick is one of those bands that can cross genres with rock, pop, and heavy metal fans liking them.

This album was released the year before their Cheap Trick at Budokan album that would break their career open. This album has the studio version of I Want You To Want Me that would be a hit off of that live album

This album is a great album as well. It has Southern Girl, Hello There, and The Clock Strikes Ten just to name a few.

In Color peaked at #73 in the Billboard Album Chart in 1977 (I found no Canadian chart for this)…and #30 in Japan…a country which would be important in their career. The song was written by  Rick Nielsen.

This song reminds me of a warm seventies evening around twilight cruising with your friends…with a Cheap Trick T-Shirt on of course.

Women's Vintage Cheap Trick Concert T Shirt 70's Iron-On Extra Small –  Black Shag Vintage

Come On, Come On

Ooo I’m feelin’ good
Oh so good
Don’t you ruin it tonight, tonight
It’s been so long since I don’t know when
Ooo treat me, treat me, treat me right
Don’t be like sheep and follow the flock
Show me you really want to be mine

Ooo I’m feelin’ good
Oh so good
Don’t you ruin it tonight, tonight
It’s been so long since I don’t know when
Ooo treat me, treat me, treat me right
Don’t be like sheep and follow the flock
Show me you really want to be mine

Come on, come on
I know you can do it
Come on, come on
There ain’t nothing to it
Come on, come on
I know you believe me
Come on, come on
You can see the real me
Every day, every day
I need you, I want you
Come a little closer to my face
Oh little girl
I need you now

ACDC – Let There Be Rock

The song was co-written by brothers Angus and Malcolm Young, and lyricist Bon Scott. The title track of and the third track on the band’s fourth album, it was released as a single in October 1977 backed by “Problem Child.”

George Young (Angus and Malcolm’s brother), acted as producer alongside partner and former bandmate Harry Vanda. In a familiar writing and recording process that was fast, furious and inspired, the entire album was completed in a matter of weeks.

The music video for “Let There Be Rock” was filmed in July 1977. It was recorded in the Kirk Gallery church in Surry Hills, New South Wales and featured Bon Scott, Angus Young, Malcolm Young, Phil Rudd, and Cliff Williams, who replaced Mark Evans as the band’s bassist shortly after the Let There Be Rock album was released.

Angus Young: “I remember the amp literally exploded during the recording session. My brother watched it with crazed eyes, and he told me ‘Come on! Keep on playing!’ while the stuff was steaming.”

From Songfacts

Running to a shade over 6 minutes, it was produced by Harry Vanda and George Young.

In spite of its appearing to be nothing more than a typically mindless rock anthem, this is actually quite a sophisticated track:

In the beginning
Back in 1955
The white man had the schmaltz
The black man had the blues

is an allusion to the birth of rock ‘n’ roll. The genre developed from boogie woogie; the first rock ‘n’ roll song is generally acknowledged to be “Rocket 88,” to which Ike Turner was a very unlikely contributor considering the way his music was to develop, but then the two men who gave rock ‘n’ roll to the world in the first instance were if anything even more unlikely. There was the white man – who had performed as Yodelling Bill Haley – and the black man, a qualified beautician named Chuck Berry. Both Haley’s “Rock Around The Clock” and Berry’s “Maybellene” were released in 1955, and as they say, the rest is history. 

An anthem for the band, AC/DC has played this song at every concert since 1978. They often play it very fast and the solo can be extended all the way to 20 minutes as Angus rises above the stage and does the “spasm.” 

Let There Be Rock

In the beginning
Back in nineteen fifty five
Man didn’t know about a rock ‘n’ roll show
And all that jive
The white man had the smoltz
The black man had the blues
No one knew what they was gonna do
But Tchaikovsky had the news
He said

Let there be sound, and there was sound
Let there be light, and there was light
Let there be drums, and there was drums
Let there be guitar, and there was guitar
Let there be rock

And it came to pass
That rock ‘n’ roll was born
All across the land every rockin’ band
Was blowing up a storm
An the guitar man got famous
The businessman got rich
And in every bar there was a super star
With a seven year itch
There were fifteen million fingers
Learning how to play
And you could hear the fingers picking
And this is what they had to say

Let there be light
Sound
Drums
Guitar
Let there be rock

One night in a club called the shaking hand
There was a ninety two decibel rocking band
The music was good and the music was loud
And the singer turned and he said to the crowd

Let there be rock

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let_There_Be_Rock_(song)

Twilight Zone – Nick Of Time

★★★★★ November 18, 1960 Season 2 Episode 7

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes. (I have cleaned the page up)

This is one of the two Twilight Zones that William Shatner appeared in. In this one we never know if any thing supernatural is happening or not. It plays on people’s superstitions and beliefs. William Shatner’s character Don Carter is superstitious and comes with a four leaf clover and rabbits foot. That quietly sets up the episode.  Although the answers are extremely general, he soon becomes convinced that the machine has correctly predicted two events: his promotion to office manager and a close call he and Pat have while crossing the street.

The couple has to make a decision, will they let the machine decide their destiny or will they try to make it on their own? Both Shatner and Patricia Breslin play this well…although especially Shatner. I never think of him as a great actor but he hits this one out of the park.  It’s not just Don that has trouble getting past this possible mystical machine…more believing customers are on their way.

It took me a few viewings to appreciate this episode as much as I do. It works on a Twilight Zone level and beyond that. This one could have easily been on Hitchcock. The suspense builds through out the episode because Shatner and Breslin’s chemistry.

In fact Richard Matheson, said that he wished that Pat Breslin (who played Pat Carter) had been available again to play the wife of Shatner’s character in the season five episode “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.” That would have been great as the couple would have continued their story.

The Magic 8 Ball comes to mind that were popular in the seventies and even now.

The Twilight Zone" Nick of Time (TV Episode 1960) - IMDb

This show was written by Richard Matheson and Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

The hand belongs to Mr. Don S. Carter, male member of a honeymoon team on route across the Ohio countryside to New York City. In one moment, they will be subjected to a gift most humans never receive in a lifetime. For one penny, they will be able to look into the future. The time is now, the place is a little diner in Ridgeview, Ohio, and what this young couple doesn’t realize is that this town happens to lie on the outskirts of the Twilight Zone.

Summary

Don and Pat Carter are on their honeymoon when their car breaks down in the small town of Ridgeview, Ohio. They have a few hours to spare while their car is being repaired and spend time in the diner. There they find a fortune-telling machine, a game where you can ask a question and for a penny will spit out an innocuous answer. When the machine apparently begins to predict events – Don’s promotion at work, a near accident on the street outside – a superstitious Don becomes infatuated with the device threatening his marriage and his future with Pat.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Counterbalance in the little town of Ridgeview, Ohio. Two people permanently enslaved by the tyranny of fear and superstition, facing the future with a kind of helpless dread. Two others facing the future with confidence — having escaped one of the darker places of the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
William Shatner … Don Carter
Patricia Breslin… Pat Carter
Guy Wilkerson … Counterman
Stafford Repp … Mechanic
Walter Reed … Man
Dee Carroll … Woman
Robert McCord … Diner Patron (uncredited)

Marshall Tucker Band – Heard It In A Love Song

A song that takes me back to being a kid riding in my sister’s Vega…she kept a case of oil in the hatchback because it used it daily…but the AM radio worked great.

A great song written by the super talented Toy Caldwell. This is the Marshall Tucker Band’s biggest hit on the Pop charts, and remains their best-remembered song.

The song peaked at #14 in the Billboard 100 and #5 in Canada in 1977. It was on their album Carolina Dreams. The album peaked at #23 in the Billboard Album Charts and #7 in Canada.

Toy Caldwell was the soul of that band. He was a Marine in the 60s and served in Vietnam. After getting injured he was able to go home and started to play music with his high school friends. Toy and his brother helped start Marshall Tucker.

Toy stayed with Marshall Tucker until he left in 1984. Contributing to him leaving was the fact that his brother… co-founder of the band and bass guitarist Tommy Caldwell, was killed at age 30 in an automobile accident on April 28, 1980. Toy’s other brother Tim Caldwell, who on March 28, 1980, one month prior to Tommy’s death, was killed at age 25 in a collision in South Carolina.

Toy Caldwell died February 25, 1993.

Toy Caldwell, The Marshall Tucker Band Guitarist Gear | Equipboard

From Songfacts

In spite of its up tempo, it’s rather sad. Written by Toy Caldwell, the song is about a man who has lived on the road from town to town and affair to affair. Here, he’s been with a woman who’s been good to him and who he actually loves, but he can’t stay with her because the call of the road is too strong.

Toy Caldwell, who died of heart failure in 1993, was the band’s guitarist and wrote most of their songs. His wife Abbie Caldwell told us: “He didn’t read music, and played by ear. He jotted down words on any piece of paper available.”

Mark Chesnutt recorded this as the title track of his 2006 album Heard It in a Love Song.

 

Heard It In A Love Song

I ain’t never been with a woman long enough for my boots to get old
But we’ve been together so long now, they both need re-soled
If I ever settle down, you’d be my kind
And it’s a good time for me to head on down the line

(Heard it in a love song, heard it in a love song)
(Heard it in a love song) can’t be wrong

I’m the kind of man who likes to get away
Who likes to start dreamin’ about tomorrow today
Never said that I loved you, even though it’s so
Where’s that duffle bag of mine, it’s time to go

(Heard it in a love song, heard it in a love song)
(Heard it in a love song) can’t be wrong

I’m gonna be leavin’ at the break of dawn
Wish you could come but I don’t need no woman taggin’ along
Gonna sneak out that door, couldn’t stand to see you cry
I’d stay another year if I saw a teardrop in your eye

(Heard it in a love song, heard it in a love song)
(Heard it in a love song) can’t be wrong

I never had a damn thing but what I had, I had to leave it behind
You’re the hardest thing I ever tried to get off my mind
Always something greener on the other side of that hill
I was born a wrangler and a rounder and I guess I always will

(Heard it in a love song, heard it in a love song)
(Heard it in a love song) can’t be wrong

Jayhawks – Waiting For The Sun…. 80’s Underground Mondays

Ever since I heard this band on our alternative radio station in Nashville…Lightning 100 I’ve liked them. The Jayhawk’s writing and voices won me over with songs like Blue and I’m Gonna Make You Love Me.

This song opens up their Hollywood Town Hall album. The album peaked at #192 in the Billboard Album Charts and #11 in the Top Heatseekers Charts.

Benmont Tench, Charley Drayton, and Nicky Hopkins plays on the album with the Jayhawks.

The Jayhawks are an American alternative country and country rock band that emerged from the Minneapolis–Saint Paul music scene in the mid 80s. Minneapolis had a strong scene for bands in the 80s. The Replacements, Husker Du, Soul Asylum, and of course the big one…Prince.

The song, like most of The Jawhawks early cuts, is credited to the band’s guitarist Gary Louris and frontman Mark Olson.

Gary Louris: I didn’t know there was a song called “Waiting for the Sun,” I was not a Doors fan. I like them now, but I didn’t know there was a song called that. Maybe in my subconscious I did. 

From Songfacts

 According to Mark Derning of Allmusic.com, the song details, “a man who has lost his love under unpleasant circumstances and has hit the road, looking for something better from life and hoping a fair deal from the fates.”

Waiting For The Sun

I was waiting for the sun
Then I walked on home alone
What I didn’t know
Was he was waiting for you to fall

So I never made amends
For the sake of no one else
For the simple reason
That he was waiting for you to fall

It was not lost on me
It was not lost on me
Walkin’ on down the road
Looking for a friend to handout
Somethin’ might ease my soul

So I kept my spirits high
Entertaining passers-by
Wrapped in my confusion
While he was waiting for you to fall

It was not lost on me
It was not lost on me
Walkin’ on down the road
Looking for a friend to handout
Somethin’ might ease my soul

It was not lost on me
It was not lost on me
Walkin’ on down the road
Walkin’ on down the road
Walkin’ on down the road
Walkin’ on down the road

Bessie Smith – Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out

This is my first song pick for Hanspostcard’s song draft. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out.

I got into Bessie Smith from listening to Janis Joplin and reading about her. Bessie’s voice sends chills up my spine…that is my litmus test. This particular song grabs me because of Smith’s voice and vibe of the recording. She sings it, means it, and she lived it. The sound of the record and her voice is just unbeatable. Yes we have digital now but digital could not give you this sound.

If you are not familiar with her…do yourself a favor and check her out.

I can imagine Dorothy Parker, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Clara Bow all listening to this in the 20s and 30s.

This song was written by Jimmy Cox in 1923 just as the roaring twenties were taking off. There are many versions but Bessie Smith recorded hers in 1929 with a small trumpet section. It was released right before the stock market crashed and the start of the Great Depression.

Many artists (Peter, Paul and Mary, The Chad Mitchell Trio, Dave Van Ronk, Otis Redding, Popa Chubby, The Allman Brothers Band, Rod Stewart, Janis Joplin, B.B. King, Nina Simone, Sam Cooke, Bobby Womack, Katie Melua, Dutch Tilders, Steve Winwood with The Spencer Davis Group, Emmy Rossum, Leslie Odom Jr.) have covered this song but Bessie’s is my go to version.

She was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on April 15, 1894. She lost her dad while she was an infant and her mom when she was 7-8 years old. She was raised by her tough older sister. To help support her orphaned siblings, Bessie began her career as a Chattanooga street musician, singing in a duo with her brother Andrew to earn money to support their poor family.

She is credited with recording more than 160 songs between 1923 and 1933. Smith performed on stage throughout the southern United States and recorded with such jazz greats as Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong, and Coleman Hawkins.

Before the Great Depression, Bessie was the highest paid black entertainer in the world, collecting as much as two thousand dollars a week to perform. She was accompanied by great musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Lonnie Johnson, and Benny Goodman.

This song was recorded New York City, May 15, 1929.

Mahalia Jackson, Janis Joplin and Norah Jones who have all given her credit as their inspiration.

On September 26, 1937, Smith was severely injured in a car accident while traveling from a concert in Memphis to Clarksdale, Mississippi, with her companion Richard Morgan. She was taken to a hospital, where she died.

By the time of her death, Bessie was known around the world appear with the best players of the day at theaters coast to coast. Bessie’s voice and showmanship drove her from poverty to international fame as a singer of blues tunes, many of which she wrote and co-wrote.

Bessie Smith has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, winning posthumous awards for her 1923 single “Downhearted Blues,” 1925 single “St. Louis Blues” with Louis Armstrong, and a 1928 single “Empty Bed Blues.” Smith has also been honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Blues Hall of Fame, and the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame.

Janis Joplin: “Back in Port Arthur, I’d heard some Lead Belly records, and, well, if the blues syndrome is true, I guess it’s true about me…So I began listening to blues and folk music. I bought Bessie Smith and Odetta records, and one night, I was at this party and I did an imitation of Odetta. I’d never sung before, and I came out with this huge voice.”

Nobody Knows You’re When You’re Down and Out

Once I lived the life of a millionaire
Spending my money, I didn’t care
I carried my friends out for a good time
Bying bootleg liquor, champagne and wine

Then I began to fall so low
I didn’t have a friend, and no place to go
So if I ever get my hand on a dollar again
I’m gonna hold on to it till them eagle’s green

Nobody knows you when you down and out
In my pocket not one penny
And my friends I haven’t any
But If I ever get on my feet again
Then I’ll meet my long lost friend
It’s mighty strange, without a doubt
Nobody knows you when you down and out
I mean when you down and out

Mmmmmmmm…. when you’re down and out
Mmmmmmmm… not one penny
And my friends I haven’t any
Mmmmmmmm… Well I felt so low
Nobody wants me round their door
Mmmmmmmm… Without a doubt,
No man can use you wen you down and out
I mean when you down and out

Twilight Zone – The Eye of the Beholder

★★★★★  November 11, 1960 Season 2 Episode 6

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

One of the true classic Twilight Zones. The episode is set in a dystopian society. Rod Serling was great at creating them. To be different…  means being ostracized with the rest of your kind. It could be set on earth, a far away planet, or in a different time…it doesn’t matter. Undesirables get exiled for the crime of being different.

The ending has an incredible twist. It still holds up through on repeat viewings. What is normal? What is beauty? Who decides that?

Two actresses play the same character in this episode. Maxine Stuart and Donna Douglas.  The first was Maxine Stuart, as Janet Tyler in bandages. The director cast her because of her voice, her voice did not suggest a beautiful girl it suggested a strong, harsh, realistic woman, and therefore the unveiling would be a surprise. She was going to dub her voice over the top of Donna Douglas’s part but Donna’s voice was so similar to  they just kept her voice.

A young Donna Douglas plays Janet Tyler. Although not well known at the time, she soon would be, as Jed Clampett’s daughter Ellie on The Beverly Hillbillies. She was not yet known to anybody, but she was absolutely stunning.

I’ve seen this epidsode listed by two names…now I know why. Originally a “The” preceded the title, until television producer Stuart Reynolds threatened to sue Rod Serling for the use of the name because at the time he was selling an educational film of the same name to public schools. Reruns following the initial broadcast featured the title screen “The Private World of Darkness.”

This show was written by Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Suspended in time and space for a moment, your introduction to Miss Janet Tyler, who lives in a very private world of darkness. A universe whose dimensions are the size, thickness, length of the swath of bandages that cover her face. In a moment we will go back into this room, and also in a moment we will look under those bandages. Keeping in mind of course that we are not to be surprised by what we see, because this isn’t just a hospital, and this patient 307 is not just a woman. This happens to be the Twilight Zone, and Miss Janet Tyler, with you, is about to enter it.

Summary

Janet Tyler is in hospital having undergone treatment to make her look normal. It’s her 11th trip to the hospital for treatment and she is desperate to look like everyone else. Some of her earliest childhood memories are of people looking away, horrified by her appearance. Her bandages will soon come off and she can only hope that this, her last treatment, will have done the trick. If not, her doctor has told she will be segregated with a colony of similar looking people. All that to say that truth is truly in the eye of the beholder.

VIDEO SPOILERS

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Now the questions that come to mind: “Where is this place and when is it?” “What kind of world where ugliness is the norm and beauty the deviation from that norm?” You want an answer? The answer is it doesn’t make any difference, because the old saying happens to be true. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, in this year or a hundred years hence. On this planet or wherever there is human life – perhaps out amongst the stars – beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Lesson to be learned in the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling – Narrator
Maxine Stuart – Janet Tyler (under bandages)
Donna Douglas – Janet Tyler (unmasked)
William D. Gordon – Doctor Bernardi
Jennifer Howard – Nurse
Edson Stroll – Walter Smith

Paladins – Keep On Lovin Me Baby

Here is some 1980’s roots rockabilly. What caught my attention is that relentless guitar on this track plus the groove. The guitar player is Dave Gonzalez and the tone reminds me of Stevie Ray Vaughn. This song was written by blues guitarist and songwriter Otis Rush. 

The Paladins are from San Diego and were into rockabilly. They billed their music as Western Bop. They played a combination of rockabilly and vintage country together with a blues groove. They were founded in 1980 by guitarist Dave Gonzalez and bass player Thomas Yearsley.

Dave Gonzalez’s initial influences came from his mother, who listened to  Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, and the Rolling Stones. He mixed this with his father’s love of country singers Buck Owens and Merle Haggard who also made a strong impression on him. As he got older he got into blues artists like  B.B. King, Muddy Waters, and Johnny Winter.

Put that all together and you come up with a varied roots style.

They did some tours with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Los Lobos, The Blasters and the Fabulous Thunderbirds. This song was on the Lets Buzz! album released in 1990. They were nominated for the  1990 Entertainer Music Awards but lost out to the Beat Farmers…but they won two years later.

Dave Gonzalez and bass player Thomas Yearsley along with drummer Brian Fahey are still a top attraction at clubs at the present time. They have recorded five singles, nine full length studio records, and three live albums to date.

Keep On Lovin Me Baby

I want you to love me (repeat) woh yeah.
Oh baby i’m so glad youre mine…
I want you to kiss me…
Woh baby i’m so glad you’re mine…

Early every morning, sometimes late at night i can
Feel your tender lips they make me feel alright.

Keep on loving me baby…
Woh baby i’m so glad you’re mine…

Otis Gibbs

I came across Otis’s youtube channel and I think some of you would be interested. He is a singer songwriter but on his channel he has conversations musicians who have played or worked with Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Waylon Jennings, just to name a few, and  his own stories about different musicians. For you music fans it’s worth your time. The guy doesn’t interview people…he lets people talk and tell their stories.  He is also a good story teller. I’m hooked on his channel.

He has stories about Jerry Reed, The Replacements, Dan Baird, Merle Haggard, Ry Cooder, Towns Van Zant, Bill Monroe, George Jones, Johnny Paycheck, John Prine, Mike Campbell and more.

He lives in Indiana but interviews many Nashville connected musicians. Check this guy out…His music is VERY good as well. I’m just checking that out more as I go… his music is classified as alt-country.

I just picked a few random youtube videos from his page below.

This is his youtube page:

https://www.youtube.com/user/otisgibbs

Chuck Mead – 90s Alternative Country band BR5-49…talking about when he toured with Bob Dylan

Kenny Vaughn – Lucinda Williams  guitar player at the time talks about touring with Tom Petty

Chuck Mead again with Keith Richards

Dan Baird on the Replacements

Otis Gibbs Wiki

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

Twilight Zone – The Howling Man

★★★★★  November 4, 1960 Season 2 Episode 5

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

This one was included in my top 10…but it’s been months now so I thought I would post this with some changes. This weekend will be the best for Twilight Zones so far…two classic episodes. Warning…it’s almost impossible writing this review without spoilers for this particular episode. 

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

This is very much a classic Twilight Zone episode. The set reminds me of those Universal Monster movie sets of the 40s and 50s. The episode tells us that evil can come in many forms and appeal to human weaknesses. As far as David Ellington… the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Charles Beaumont had originally envisioned the monks would keep the Howling Man imprisoned by putting a cross in front of his cell door. Fearful of a backlash in the religious community, the producers substituted the “staff of truth,” over Beaumont’s objections.

This show was written by Charles Beaumont and Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

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

Summary

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

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

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

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
H.M. Wynant … David Ellington
John Carradine … Brother Jerome
Robin Hughes … The Howling Man
Frederic Ledebur … Brother Christophorus
Ezelle Poule … Housekeeper

Monkees – Listen To The Band

Buddy Miles and the Monkees! Below in one of the clips of this song.

This was the last song they released that I liked…it was at the time Peter Tork quit. The band I was in…this was the lone Monkee song we would do and it always got a good response.

This song was released as a single in 1969. It was the first time Michael Nesmith would sing on a Monkee’s A side…and he was long overdue. He also wrote it and produced it. He started to write it while in Nashville at RCA studios. The song features a brass section that plays during the instrumental section as if the brass were the band.

The Monkees went into MGM studios in November of 1968 to tape their NBC television special 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee, they were just two years away from their commercial peak… selling records by the millions, a hit TV show and battling with the other bands for chart supremacy. But their show went off the air that March, and their psychedelic movie Head flopped in theaters just a couple weeks earlier. They were on the way down.

Their most recent LP, The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees, peaked at #3 on the Billboard Album charts and generated the single “Daydream Believer.” It was enough to get NBC to green light a TV special, though wheels were in motion before critics got a look at Head. The Monkees could have created a television in the same zany, carefree style of their old show in an attempt to win back some old fans, but they decided to double down on psychedelic.

The show was a psychedelic mess that did not restart their career. At this time Peter Tork had grown tired of it all and it was his last appearance with the band. The one clip that was worth it was the clip of this song. Buddy Miles comes in on drums in the middle and really rocks it out.

Listen To The Band

Hey, hey, mercy woman plays a song and no one listens,
I need help I’m falling again.

Play the drum a little louder,
Tell me I can live without her
If I only listen to the band.

Listen to the band!

Weren’t they good, they made me happy.
I think I can make it alone.

Oh, mercy woman plays a song and no one listens,
I need help I’m falling again.

Play the drum a little bit louder,
Tell them they can live without her
If they only listen to the band.

Listen to the band!

Now weren’t they good, they made me happy.
I think I can make it alone.

Oh, woman plays a song and no one listens,
I need help I’m falling again.

C’mon, play the drums just a little bit louder,
Tell us we can live without her
Now that we have listened to the band.

Listen to the band!

Fats Domino – Blueberry Hill

I found my thrill
On Blueberry Hill

Domino’s real name was Antoine Domino. He placed 37 songs in the US Top 40. Blueberry Hill” was his biggest hit and best seller, spending 11 weeks at #1 on the R&B chart.

When I hear this song I automatically think of Happy Days when Ritchie finds a date. Fats wasn’t as flashy as some of his peers but he was a terrific piano player, performer, and singer.

This now rock classic was written by Vincent Rose, Al Lewis and Larry Stock for the 1940 Western The Singing Hill before they decided it was good enough to be released commercially. The song was used in the movie, where it was heard for the first time performed by Gene Autry.

Larry Stock (wrote the lyrics): “One important publisher turned down ‘Blueberry Hill,’ because, he claimed, blueberries don’t grow on hills. I assured him I had picked them on hills as a boy, but nothing doing. So Chappell And Company bought the song and another hit was born.” 

Ray Manzarek of The Doors has said that the baseline to “Light My Fire” was based on this song.

The band couldn’t get a full take of this song they were happy with, so the engineer, Bunny Robyn pieced together the final version from many fragmentary takes.

From Songfacts

Things are going well at the beginning of this song, as the singer has found his true love, enjoying a special moment on Blueberry Hill. It takes a sad turn though, when she leaves him:

Though we’re apart
You’re part of me still
For you were my thrill
On Blueberry Hill

Many artists recorded this before Domino, mostly orchestras. In 1940, it was a #2 US hit for Glenn Miller. That same year, Russ Morgan, Gene Krupa and Kay Kyser all recorded it with their orchestras. Louis Armstrong did the song with Gordon Jenkins and his orchestra in 1949; this version was re-released in 1956, going to #29 in America. Other artists to cover the song include Elvis Presley (on his 1957 album Loving You), The Beach Boys, Andy Williams, Kiki, Cliff Richard, Bruce Cockburn.

Fats Domino, who knew the song through Louis Armstrong’s 1949 version, recorded this at Master Recorders in Los Angeles at a session in which he ran out of material to tape. Domino insisted on recording the song over the vehement objections of producer-arranger Dave Bartholomew, who felt the song been done too many times already. Domino came up with the definitive version though, featuring his famous piano triplets and sly Cajun accent.

Personnel on this track:

Dave Bartholomew – trumpet
Walter “Papoose” Nelson – guitar
Herb Hardesty – tenor sax
Lawrence Guyton – bass
Cornelius Coleman – drums

Domino Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin performed this song on December 10, 2010 at a charity event in front of an audience of international film and television celebrities. Videos of his performance quickly went viral worldwide. Putin’s spokesman said the former KGB chief learned the lyrics to the song as part of his English language studies.

Blueberry Hill

I found my thrill
On Blueberry Hill
On Blueberry Hill
When I found you

The moon stood still
On Blueberry Hill
And lingered until
My dream came true

The wind in the willow played
Love’s sweet melody
But all of those vows you made
Were never to be

Though we’re apart
You’re part of me still
For you were my thrill
On Blueberry Hill

The wind in the willow played
Love’s sweet melody
But all of those vows you made
Were never to be

Though we’re apart
You’re part of me still
For you were my thrill
On Blueberry Hill

Bruce Springsteen – Dancing In The Dark

This song kicked off Brucemania in 1984. Born in the USA along with Thriller and Purple Rain ruled in the 80s.

This one is not my favorite off the album but I did like it. Considering the times it was the best sounding song to lead off with.  All together Born In The USA had 7 top ten singles….I didn’t know what to think at first…I liked this and Cover me but it was when the title track was released…that is when I was sold when I heard Springsteen sing Born in the U.S.A..

This song peaked at #2 in the Billboard 100, #3 in Canada, #28 in the UK, and #2 in New Zealand.

This was the last song written and recorded for the Born In The U.S.A.. His manager Jon Landau didn’t hear a lead off single from the album at the time and asked him to write something that could be that song. Bruce was not in the mood for hearing this…he said “Look, I’ve written 70 songs (he had written 70 songs for the album). You want another one, you write it.” After giving it a while he sat in his hotel room and wrote about himself at that time…about the isolation that fame had given him since The River.

The next day Landau had the song he was looking for…so  for the first time Bruce set out to make a video. It was directed by Brian DePalma, the video was filmed during Springsteen’s concert at the St. Paul Civic Center in Minnesota on June 29, 1984. Courtney Cox, who was planted in the audience, got the role of the adoring fan in the front row who gets to dance on stage with Bruce. Many Springsteen fans were upset that he didn’t get a true fan from the audience.

Springsteen did “Dancing In The Dark” midway through the show, so by that time he was warmed up and the crowd was worked into a frenzy. To get the shots, Springsteen did the song twice, with DePalma repositioning his cameras after the first take.

This song won Springsteen his first Grammy. In 1985, it got the award for Best Male Vocal… also in Rolling Stone reader’s poll, this was voted Single of the Year in 1985.

From Songfacts

Springsteen wrote this about his difficulty writing a hit single and his frustration trying to write songs that will please people. His struggles pour out in the lyric, where he feels like a hired gun dying for some action. He even addresses an industry trope, which he surely heard many times before:

They say you gotta stay hungry
hey baby I’m just about starving tonight

Ironically, the song was a hit single – the biggest of his career in terms of US chart position. (Although Manfred Mann’s cover of Springsteen’s “Blinded by the Light” made #1.)

Springsteen was doing just fine, with six successful albums in his discography and an unparalleled concert reputation. He had over 70 songs written for Born In The U.S.A., but Landau wanted a guaranteed hit to ensure superstar status for Springsteen. “Dancing In The Dark” provided just that spark; released as the first single (the only one issued ahead of the album), it started the fire that was Born In The U.S.A. Springsteen’s songs were soon all over the radio, and he found a whole new audience. Unlike many rock artists who are accused of selling out when they hit it huge, Springsteen’s star turn was welcomed (for the most part) by his faithful, who had spent many years spreading his gospel.

The video was Springsteen’s first to get heavy airplay on MTV, and it introduced him to a new, mostly younger audience. As for Cox, a few years later she landed a role on the sitcom Family Ties, and went on to star in the wildly popular TV series Friends.

The lyric is rather bleak, as Springsteen sings lines like, “Man I ain’t getting nowhere, I’m just living in a dump like this.” It doesn’t have a happy ending, but by the end of the song, he seems intent on taking some action, looking for just a tiny bit of inspiration to set him on his path – after all, you can’t start a fire without a spark.

By the last verse, there’s a touch of existentialism, as he puts things in perspective: “You can’t start a fire worrying about your little world falling apart.”

The deep, philosophical message was lost on most listeners who were entranced by the catchy beat (the video didn’t exactly push a deeper meaning either). Springsteen got a similar reaction to his song “Born In The U.S.A.,” where the message was lost in the music. That one bothered him, as the song is about the plight of a Vietnam veteran returning home to hostilities and disregard.

This song sent the Born In the U.S.A. album on a Thriller-like run of chart success, with the next six singles all reaching the US Top 10. The tally, in order of release:

“Cover Me” (#7)
“Born In The U.S.A.” (#9)
“I’m On Fire” (#6)
“Glory Days” (#5)
“I’m Goin’ Down” (#9)
“My Hometown” (#6)

The original concept for the music video was to have Springsteen literally dancing in the dark – shot against against a black background. Jeff Stein was the director, and Daniel Pearl, famous for his cinematography on “Every Breath You Take,” was the director of photography. Pearl and Springsteen got in a kerfuffle over how he should be shot, with Springsteen wanting a filter and Pearl insisting on hard lighting. Bruce walked out after a few takes, and ended up shooting the video with Brian DePalma. A few years later, despite his efforts to avoid Springsteen, Pearl found himself working on the “Human Touch” video. Pearl says that Springsteen apologized for the “Dancing In The Dark” debacle and asked to work with him again, as he realized Pearl was right about the lighting.

The single was released on May 3, 1984 and reached its US chart peak of #2 on June 30, which was before the video hit MTV. That week, “The Reflex” by Duran Duran held it out of the top spot; with MTV support, “Dancing In The Dark” looked like a sure bet for #1, but then Prince and his crying doves showed up, ruling MTV and the airwaves, and keeping Springsteen’s song at #2 for the next three weeks.

In 1985, Tina Turner performed this on her Private Dancer tour. Her version appears on the album Tina Turner – Live in Tokyo.

A rather intriguing cover of this song was by the group Big Daddy, who hit #21 UK with their version. The concept behind Big Daddy is that a band crash landed on an island while out on tour in the late ’50s or early ’60s, and when they were rescued in the early ’80s, tried to revive their career. Music had changed drastically by then, so they started covering ’80s music in the only style they knew how to play. The result is a kind of modern Pat Boone sound.

According to Rolling Stone, this is is the only Springsteen song that Bob Dylan ever covered, and he only did it once: at the club Toad’s Place in New Haven, Connecticut, on the night of January 12th, 1990. Dylan flubbed most of the words and the performance was so rough that most people in the audience didn’t seem to realize what song it was until the band hit the chorus.

Dancing In The Dark

I get up in the evening
and I ain’t got nothing to say
I come home in the morning
I go to bed feeling the same way
I ain’t nothing but tired
Man I’m just tired and bored with myself
Hey there baby, I could use just a little help

You can’t start a fire
You can’t start a fire without a spark
This gun’s for hire
even if we’re just dancing in the dark

Message keeps getting clearer
radio’s on and I’m moving ’round the place
I check my look in the mirror
I want to change my clothes, my hair, my face
Man I ain’t getting nowhere
I’m just living in a dump like this
There’s something happening somewhere
baby I just know that there is

You can’t start a fire
you can’t start a fire without a spark
This gun’s for hire
even if we’re just dancing in the dark

You sit around getting older
there’s a joke here somewhere and it’s on me
I’ll shake this world off my shoulders
come on baby this laugh’s on me

Stay on the streets of this town
and they’ll be carving you up alright
They say you gotta stay hungry
hey baby I’m just about starving tonight
I’m dying for some action
I’m sick of sitting ’round here trying to write this book
I need a love reaction
come on now baby gimme just one look

You can’t start a fire sitting ’round crying over a broken heart
This gun’s for hire
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark
You can’t start a fire worrying about your little world falling apart
This gun’s for hire
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark
Hey baby

Mojo Nixon – Don Henley Must Die!

I had to post this song. Even Eagle fans will admit Henley can be a bit pretentious…that’s not a put down…it just is.

You and your kind
Are killing rock and roll
It’s not because you are O L D
It’s cause you ain’t got no soul!

Don Henley Must Die released in 1990 and it’s off of his album Otis.  The song peaked at #20 in the Modern Rock Charts.

According to Nixon, Henley joined Nixon onstage one night in a small club before the Eagles reunion and helped Nixon sing it. This is a quote from Nixon: “There I was, the king of bullshit, completely flabbergasted,” “I took my guitar off, put it back on, did that like three times, then got on the mic and said, ‘Don, do you want to debate? Do you want to fist fight?’ He was shit-faced and he goes, ‘I want to sing that song, especially the part about not getting together with Glenn Frey!'” 

When the chorus hit, Nixon let Henley take the lead: “Don Henley must die, don’t let him get back together with Glenn Frey!”

“He was beltin’ that shit out, screaming like he was Johnny fuckin’ Rotten,” 

..Don Henley Must Die…

Don Henley Must Die

This is the sound of my brain.

Then I said, this is the sound of my brain on Don Henley!

Then I said, 1 2 3 4…

He’s a tortured artist
Used to be in the Eagles
Now he whines
Like a wounded beagle
Poet of despair!
Pumped up with hot air!
He’s serious, pretentious
And I just don’t care
Don Henley must die!
Don’t let him get back together
With Glenn Frey!
Don Henley must die!

Turn on the TV
And what did I see?
This bloated hairy thing
Winning a Grammy
Best Rock Vocalist?
Compared to what?
But your pseudo-serious
Crafty Satanic blot
Don Henley must die!
Put a sharp stick in his eye!
Don Henley must die!
Yea yea yea

Quit playin’ that crap
You’re out of the band

I’m only kidding
Can’t you tell?
I love his sensitive music
Idiot poetry, swell
You and your kind
Are killing rock and roll
It’s not because you are O L D
It’s cause you ain’t got no soul!
Don’t be afraid of fun
Loosen up your ponytail!
Be wild, young, free and dumb
Get your head out of your tail
Don Henley must die!
Don’t let him get back together
With Glenn Frey!

Don Henley must die!
Put him in the electric chair
Watch him fry!
Don Henley must die
Don Henley must die
No Eagles reunion
The same goes for you, Sting!

Twilight Zone – A Thing About Machines

★★★ October 28, 1960 Season 2 Episode 4

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

There is one question about this episode. Are the machines really against him or is he having delusions? Richard Haydn plays Bartlett Finchley  a writer who is an insulting snob and one of the most unlikable characters you could meet.  There are not many redeemable qualities in Finchley…change “not many” to none. He has trouble with machines and it seems that machines have trouble with him…but is it in his mind?

Richard Haydn is great in this part of playing this character. You meet his secretary and TV repairman and it seems the abuse from Finchley has been going on for a while…so this is nothing new. Machines can be bothersome…your computer freezing, car stalling, or your phone dying when you really need it. On that note you can relate but it’s still hard to dig up sympathy for Mr. Finchley.

You have to wonder if this episode influenced future works like Christine and The Car.

This weekend we will have two excellent episodes…two of the best. 

This show was written by Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

This is Mr. Bartlett Finchley, age forty-eight, a practicing sophisticate who writes very special and very precious things for gourmet magazines and the like. He’s a bachelor and a recluse with few friends, only devotees and adherents to the cause of tart sophistry. He has no interests save whatever current annoyances he can put his mind to. He has no purpose to his life except the formulation of day-to-day opportunities to vent his wrath on mechanical contrivances of an age he abhors. In short, Mr. Bartlett Finchley is a malcontent, born either too late or too early in the century, and who, in just a moment, will enter a realm where muscles and the will to fight back are not limited to human beings. Next stop for Mr. Bartlett Finchley – The Twilight Zone.

Summary

Bartlett Finchley is an odd man, a writer who contributes to food magazines and the like. He lives alone and is always it seems in need of a repairman for one piece of household equipment or another. As time has gone by, he seems to be in a constant battle with machines – his typewriter, his television – which all have the same message for him: get out of the house. He has no intention of doing so however and the battle begins

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Yes, it could just be. It could just be that Mr. Bartlett Finchley succumbed from a heart attack and a set of delusions. It could just be that he was tormented by an imagination as sharp as his wit and as pointed as his dislikes. But as perceived by those attending, this is one explanation that has left the premises with the deceased. Look for it filed under ‘M’ for Machines – in The Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Richard Haydn … Bartlett Finchley
Barbara Stuart … Ms. Rogers
Barney Phillips … TV Repairman
Henry Beckman … Cop
Jay Overholts … Intern
Margarita Cordova … Girl on TV
Lew Brown … Telephone Repairman (uncredited)