Traffic – Dear Mr. Fantasy

This is my seventh song pick for Hanspostcard’s song draft. Traffic Dear Mr. Fantasy.

I first heard this song after a band practice. We were in the guitarists garage when I was around 19-20. The guys in that band smoked pot…I didn’t…not because I was an angel…I just cannot smoke anything. That was my second contact high I ever got (my first was at a concert) and this one was much stronger. Someone played this song and the world was a lovely place. I saw right then why they did what they did.

This one would rank in my top twenty favorite songs. I could listen to this song on a tape loop forever and ever. It came out in 1967 on the Traffic album “Mr. Fantasy.” It was written by Jim Capaldi, Steve Winwood and Chris Wood.

The song is made for long solos. Normally I like a solo and then move on but certain songs lend themselves to longer solos and this would be one.

The song also transports me to a time that I wasn’t a part of and I wish I would have been. This one and Can’t Find My Way Back Home does the same thing to me. It’s nothing like jazz but it affects me like jazz…I just sit back and let the song take me away to the incents and patchouli oil.

I’ll let Jim Capaldi tell you about the creation of the song:

“It was the summer of 1967, and we were all living in this
cottage in Berkshire. We were one of the first English bands to live
together like that. We thought we’d try it and see if anything came of
it. I remember the day very clearly: A bunch of friends came over early
in the day and we had quite a party. It was sunny and the corn was
coming up nicely around the cottage, and we were quite enjoying
ourselves if you know what I mean. As things finally wound down in the
evening, I was sitting around just doodling, as I would often do,
drawing this character. It was this little fellow with a spiked sun
hat. He was holding some puppeteer’s strings, and the puppet hands on
the end of the strings were playing a guitar. Under that, I just
scribbled some words: ‘Dear Mr. Fantasy,’ play us a tune,
something to make us all happy’ and on a bit. It was nice, but I didn’t
think much of it; certainly, it wasn’t intended to be a song.

“I crashed out eventually, but I remember hearing Steve and
Chris playing around after. The next day, I woke up and found that
they’d written a song around the words and drawing I’d done. I was
completely knocked out by it. Chris wrote that great bass line. We
added some more words later and worked out a bigger arrangement, too.
Those were very happy days for Traffic.”

Beach Boys – Don’t Worry Baby

This is my fourth song pick for Hanspostcard’s song draft. The Beach Boys Don’t Worry Baby.

Those who follow my blog and know me…know I like older music than my generation. I was once told by a co-worker that it’s “unnatural” to like music before you were born…which I think is hilarious and totally idiotic. I go through phases with music. When Hans and I talk about The Beatles I tend to listen to them and nothing else for a while…and the same with other bloggers.

I have done this my entire life…I get into something and I’m obsessed. I never really discard anything after my obsession dies down…it keeps coming back and in the case of the Beatles and others… never goes away.

In my senior year of high school I went through a surf music phase. I wore Hawaiian shirts and coco butter everywhere. I was  looking forward to the Florida trip my friends and I were planning in spring. I would roll in the high school parking lot with Jan and Dean, Dick Dale, or The Beach Boys blaring out of my Mustang. I had a hell of a stereo system in my car. When Jan and Dean’s “Surf City” can drown out The Scorpions coming from another car…the system is loud.

During this time surf music hit the musical spot in me. The musicians on those surf records were incredible. This song dug deeper…much deeper. I still listen to the song. Don’t Worry Baby is about a girl and a car…when you are an 18 year old boy…a girl and a car are the two most important topics…at least they were to me. It has always stuck with me and I’ll never forget that year. My first serious girlfriend, a 66 Mustang, and Don’t Worry Baby… 1985 was a good year.

We did go on that spring trip to Cocoa Beach Florida. A fifteen-hour drive one way in a Celica Sports Coupe with 4 guys packed in there. We picked the name (Cocoa Beach) because it sounded great…Yep pretty stupid because we could have driven 7 hours to Pensacola instead.

It was written by Brian Wilson and DJ Roger Christian. This was conceived as a follow-up to the Ronettes #2 hit “Be My Baby.” When Brian Wilson heard the Be My Baby on the radio, he wondered aloud if he could match it. Wilson’s wife Marilyn reassured him, saying, “Don’t Worry, Baby.”

This is pop perfection by the Beach Boys.

Don’t Worry Baby

Well it’s been building up inside of me
For oh I don’t know how long
I don’t know why
But I keep thinking
Something’s bound to go wrong

But she looks in my eyes
And makes me realize
And she says “don’t worry, baby”
Don’t worry, baby
Don’t worry, baby
Everything will turn out alright

Don’t worry, baby
Don’t worry, baby
Don’t worry, baby

I guess I should’ve kept my mouth shut
When I started to brag about my car
But I can’t back down now because
I pushed the other guys too far

She makes me come alive
And makes me wanna drive
When she says “don’t worry, baby”
Don’t worry, baby
Don’t worry, baby
Everything will turn out alright

Don’t worry, baby
Don’t worry, baby
Don’t worry, baby

She told me “Baby, when you race today
Just take along my love with you
And if you knew how much I loved you
Baby, nothing could go wrong with you”

Oh what she does to me
When she makes love to me
And she says “don’t worry, baby”
Don’t worry, baby
Don’t worry, baby
Everything will turn out alright

Don’t worry, baby
Don’t worry, baby
Don’t worry, baby

James Gang – Midnight Man

This is my third song pick for Hanspostcard’s song draft. The James Gang Midnight Man.

My next door neighbor while growing up was named Clint. He was a teenager my sister’s age. He would sometimes let me tag along with him and his friends. They  would play albums in his room and this James Gang album was one of the most popular. He only let me tag along because he liked my sister…being nice to me didn’t help him in that department but he was a good sport about it.

I knew better than to cause trouble with the guys….I just stayed quiet and listened to the music or I would be kicked out of the room. I was mesmerized by this song as a kid and still am. I was only 7 or 8 but hanging out with older kids was cool and listening to this new…to me…music stirred something in me.

This was about the time in my young life I realized…the Osmonds weren’t cool and I had to tell that to my Osmond obsessed sister…she didn’t give a flip what I thought and continued on with Puppy Love and with her Donny posters.

When I think of the James Gang I think of this simple slower song. Yes Funk #49, The Bomber, and Walk Away are more popular but this song stayed with me. I think Joe Walsh’s guitar tone and voice are absolutely perfect in this song.

In the third verse Joe steps aside and lets Mary Sterpka take it and it works well. When she sings “be mine” and then goes up high…it gives me chills. Joe plays some simple but creative guitar throughout the closing minute but doesn’t over play. I also like the Hawaiian guitar licks which makes the song  different than their other songs.

It peaked at #80 in 1971. Thirds was the last James Gang album made with Joe Walsh. It was never a big song but that doesn’t matter…it filled a musical need when I needed it. Walsh wrote the song.

Thank you Clint for letting a little kid tag along and hear this wonderful music…sorry my sister wasn’t interested.

I just realized I have picked two Cleveland picks in a row… The Raspberries and the James Gang both hail from Cleveland…hey Cleveland Rocks!

Midnight Man

I’m the midnight man
I do what I can
To make sure that I am
The midnight man
Midnight man’s on time
Everything is fine
All the words in rhyme
With everything

[solo]

Midnight man, you’re pretty
Midnight man, you’re fine
Midnight man, be careful
Midnight man
Midnight man, be mine