Van Morrison – Bulbs

I must admit…the first line threw me off when I first heard it at age 19. “Kicking off from centerfield” left me confused. Baseball has a centerfield but you don’t kick off. Of course, it’s soccer but back then I had no clue about the game.

Bulbs was the only single to be taken from his 1974 album Veedon Fleece, with a B-side of “Cul de Sac” for the US release and “Who Was That Masked Man” for the UK release.

I bought Veedon Fleece sometime in the mid-eighties right after I bought his first six albums. I was heavily into Van the Man at that time…and still am. I thought this album was an improvement to the previous one called Hard Nose The Highway. The song kicked off the second side of the album. I would always buy the album and record it on cassette immediately so I could listen to it in my car.

Van Morrison is an interesting person. His musical landscape spanned so many genres in his career. You had the garage rock of Gloria and Here Comes The Night, the blues with Thank God For The Blues, jazz with Moondance, and everything in between including conventional rock and roll with Wild Night.

Van would be in the top 2-3 of my favorite vocalist of all time. I saw the man live on March 7, 2006, at the Ryman Auditorium. I had admired his voice for years but was knocked out by how great he was in concert. I’ve seen film clips of him live but you don’t get the full effect unless you see him in person.

Veedom Fleece peaked at #53 on the Billboard album charts, #80 in Canada, and #41 in the UK in 1974. He had a stretch of albums from 1968 to this one that is hard to beat. Astral Weeks, Moondance, His Band and the Street Choir, Tupelo Honey, Saint Dominic’s Preview, Hard Nose The Highway, and this one. I do like his other albums also but I like his late sixties to early seventies sound…The first time I noticed Van was on Saturday Night Live when he appeared and played songs from the album Wavelength. I was too young to know who he was though. It was when I heard Brown Eyed Girl in 1985 that I started to buy his albums and haven’t stopped liking him since.


I’m kicking off from center fieldA question of being down for the gameThe one shot deal don’t matterAnd the other one’s the same

Oh! My friend I see youWant you to come through (alright)And she’s standing in the shadowsWhere the street lights all turn blue

She leaving for an American (uhuh)Suitcase in her handI said her brothers and her sistersAre all on Atlantic sand

She’s screaming through the alley wayI hear the lonely cry, why can’t you?And her batteries are corrodedAnd her hundred watt bulb just blew

Lallallal, alright, huhuhhuh

She used to hang out at Miss Lucy’sEvery weekend they would get looseAnd it was a straight clear case ofHaving taken in too much juice

It was outside, and it was outsideJust the nature of the personNow all you got to rememberAfter all, it’s just show biz

Lallalal, huhuh, lallal

We’re just screaming through the alley wayI hear her lonely cry, ah why can’t you?And she’s standing in the shadowsCanal street lights all turn blueAnd she’s standing in the shadowsWhere the street lights all turn blueAnd she’s standing in the shadowsDown where the street lights all turn blueHey, hey, yeah


Oscar Mayer Little Fisherman Commercial

Andy Lambros filmed the Oscar Mayer bologna commercial, “The Little Fisherman,” that made him a commercial icon. Andy said: “It only took me an hour to learn the song because my two (older) sisters helped me.”

This Oscar Mayer commercial first aired in 1974 and aired continually for at least a decade after that.

Originally the plan was to recruit dozens of kids who would each sing a little bit of the song. The idea was that it would show how everyone loved Oscar Mayer bologna, and they filmed that for the commercial. The film crew had a few minutes of daylight left and asked if there was anyone there who could sing the song from start to finish. Andy Lambros said he could and did…and that’s why he asks, “How’s that?” at the end. When they were reviewing the footage, they knew that was the commercial they needed to use.

After this happened they started to add ad-libs in more commercials.


My Bologna has a first name,
It’s O-S-C-A-R.
My bologna has a second name,
It’s M-A-Y-E-R.
Oh I love to eat it everyday,
And if you ask me why I’ll say,
Cause’ Oscar Mayer has a way with B-O-L-O-G-N-A!!!!

Juinor’s Farm/Sally G. by Paul McCartney and Wings

Juinor’s Farm/Sally G. single by Paul McCartney and Wings.

I had this single as a kid. Juinor’s Farm and Sally G were both partially recorded in Nashville during Paul’s six-week stay there in 1974. Juinor’s Farm is one of my favorite songs by Paul McCartney. The song rocks and the solo was performed by a 21-year-old Jimmy McCulloch. The song reached #3 in America. The band stayed at a farm in Lebanon TN around 30 miles from Nashville. I remember at the time it being big news that Paul McCartney was going to record in Nashville. I was seven years old and remember seeing Paul on the local news.

Jimmy McCulloch was a guitar prodigy… He was playing in a band when he was 11. He was in a band supporting The Who when he was 14 and in the band Thunderclap Newman in 1969 when he was 16. He went on to play with John Mayall (That guy knew how to pick guitar players) and Stone the Crows… He then went to play with Paul McCartney and Wings in 1974. He gave Paul’s songs an edge and I wish he would have stayed in Wings longer.

He left Paul to play with the reformed Small Faces in 1977.  In 1979 died of heart failure due to morphine and alcohol poisoning. You have to wonder how much better this guy could have been…

The B side was Sally G. and it hit #17 on the Billboard charts and even #51 on the country charts. This song has stayed with me through the years. When I listen to it…I think, now this is more of a what a country song should sound like. I really hate modern country music. No pickup trucks or tractors in this song. Modern country music could learn a lot by listening to country songs in this period and earlier. Paul composed the song after visiting a club in Printer’s Alley in Nashville.

This was McCartney’s last release on Apple Records


This is from the Tennessean about Paul’s 1974 visit to Nashville. It was written by Dave Paulson

Paul McCartney touched down at Metropolitan airport with his family on the evening of June 6, 1974, emerging from the plane wearing a green battle jacket and flashing a peace sign. The Tennessean reported that Paul answered questions “briefly but willingly” and even humored a group of kids who were amused by his British accent (he said the word “elevator” at their request).
The music superstar told a crowd of about 50 fans and members of the press that he’d come to Nashville for his three Rs — rehearsing, relating and riding. Music producer and executive Buddy Killen, who would act as the McCartneys’ Music City guide during their six-week stay here that summer, greeted the family upon their arrival.
The McCartneys rented a 133-acre farm just outside of Lebanon from songwriter Curly Putman (“Green, Green Grass of Home”) for $2,000 a week. They had requested a farm within 50 miles of Nashville that had horses and swimming facilities.
“I’ve got a farm in Scotland,” McCartney told reporters during an informal press conference on the farm. “You’re not the only people who have farms, you know. Back in Scotland, we’re country people in our own way.”
During their stay, the family visited the homes of Johnny Cash and Chet Atkins and even took in a few movies at their local drive-in.
McCartney and his family caused quite a stir when they joined the audience at Opryland for the third annual Grand Masters Fiddling Contest on June 16, 1974. During the intermission, Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton performed their final show together before Parton embarked on her solo career. Linda McCartney got out of her seat several times to take photos of the duo. The McCartneys went backstage to meet with Wagoner and Parton, and then escaped into a waiting automobile.
McCartney told Nashville reporters that he was raised on country music, and he tried his hand at a bit of country songwriting while he was in town: He wrote the song “Sally G.” after a trip to Printer’s Alley.
McCartney drove around on a newly purchased motorcycle during the family’s Nashville visit. When a group of reporters waited at the Putman farm gate for a “highly informal” press conference, Paul and Linda rode past, smiling and waving.
Linda told The Tennessean she was “not much into materialism anymore,” though she had made a recent trip to Rivergate to purchase gifts for her family. Another big machine Paul loved — the Mellotron synthesizer — was not readily available in Tennessee at the time, to his chagrin.
As his time in Tennessee came to a close, McCartney told a group of local reporters that he hoped to mount a U.S. tour the following year, and that if it happened, Music City would definitely be on the itinerary.
“We just couldn’t skip Nashville,” he said. “We have too many friends here.”
McCartney continued to skip Nashville for the next 36 years.

When Paul did come I was there in 2010… he also came back in 2013 and I was there again. Three hours of one favorite after another…