Jason & the Scorchers – Golden Ball and Chain

Jason & The Scorchers had a cult following in Nashville and around parts of the world in the 80s and got some airplay on MTV at the time…they were led by frontman Jason Ringenberg and they released a couple of EPs before releasing their debut album Lost & Found in 1985. They were classified at one time as alt-country but I would add rock/punk/rockabilly in there also.

One of the things that made the band different is Jason wanted to sound country but guitar player Warner Hodges wanted to sound like AC/DC…that interplay made them unique. This song was off of their 1986 album Still Standing. The album peaked at #91 on the Billboard album chart in 1987.

Golden Ball and Chain (written by Ringenberg) peaked at #16 in the Billboard Rock Mainstream songs.

Here is some information on Jason and the Scorchers http://www.cnn.com/2002/SHOWBIZ/Music/01/30/jason.scorchers/

 

Golden Ball and Chain

“Oh hello there” you coughed and smiled
Your hair messed up enough, a little wild
You said, “I’m sorry but it’s all a waste
Not a whole meal just a little taste”

Now you’ve nothing left to fight and gain
Another line another carved link of your name
On the golden ball and chain

L.A. it calls and London grooms the star
Get on the phone to find out who you are
But happiness was a dying trend
You say you saw that train around the bend

That was carrying its weight in pain
The engine straining on the full weight of your name
And the golden ball and chain

You saw it then, you saw the sign
A drowning sailor in a jug of wine
First it was her, but now it’s you
No psychoanalyst is there to tell you what to do

So now you whimper like a helpless child
You broke when they quit saying you were wild
But your tears they are like grass in sand
They speak to no one, they give no command

No there’s nothing left to cleanse the stain
Another line another carved link of your name
On the golden ball and chain

Dixie Chicks – Wide Open Spaces

I’m not a big fan of newer country music…but this song sounded fresh when it was released. The song crossed over and peaked at #41 in the Billboard 100, #1 in the US Country Songs, and #1 Canda Country Tracks in 1998. The song was on the album Wide Open Spaces and it peaked at #4 on the Billboard Album Charts, #1 on the Country Album Charts, and #1 in the Canadian Country Album Charts in 1999.

Susan Gibson wrote the song years earlier. Gibson was the lead singer of the alt-country band The Groobees. They decided to include “Wide Open Spaces” on their album and their producer was Lloyd Maines… the father of Dixie Chicks lead singer, Natalie Maines. He thought the song would be perfect for the Dixie Chicks and they agreed. After testing it on a couple of audiences, they made it the title track for their major-label debut.

This album was the first album which Natalie Maines was the lead singer.

Their career was going great until all hell broke loose in 2003 after lead singer Natalie Maines criticized George Bush and the invasion of Iraq during a London concert. Country radio led the backlash against the Dixie Chicks. Stations banned their music and even told listeners to trash their CDs.

This defiant, nude cover on ‘Entertainment Weekly’ added fuel to the fire.

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If this would have been a rock act that did the same thing…would this have happened? I would say no…

On June 26, 2019, The Dixie Chicks has confirmed that they are returning to music with a new studio album after a 13-year hiatus. They are expecting to record their first new studio album since 2006’s Taking the Long Way.

 

From Songfacts

This song was written by Susan Gibson, who was lead singer of a Texas-based band called The Groobees. She wrote the tune back in 1993 in a spirit of rebellion during her first return home from the University of Montana for Christmas break. “My mom probably said something like, ‘What time did you get home last night, honey?’ Whatever it was rubbed me the wrong way,” Gibson told The Montanan. “I sat down at the kitchen table and wrote furiously for twelve minutes, and then I went and did something else. I forgot all about it.” 

The lyrics were so specific to Gibson’s own experience, including lines about her dad warning her to check the oil in her car, she was hesitant about giving away such a personal song. Then she heard the Dixie Chicks’ version: “It made me bawl my eyes out. It was so beautiful—it had this stunning musicianship and very professional production. I could still see my handwriting on the page, and here was this gorgeous recording of it.”

Lloyd Maines, father of Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines, worked with The Groobees, and brought the song to the Chicks. The Groobees recorded their version in 1999. 

Thom Oliphant helmed the music video, which intercuts touring footage with the girls singing in open fields of wildflowers as well as performing at Winter Park, Colorado’s annual West Fest. In a Songfacts interview, Oliphant recalled: “That song probably moved them from big clubs to arenas over the course of that year, so we were just out documenting.

A lot of that stuff was shot without a clock ticking. You’re on a bus and we would shoot some stuff, and then it all was woven together with a couple of big days of shooting out around Denver. It made it look like it was all about the same time, but it wasn’t.”

The video was named the Country Music Association’s Video of the Year in 1999.

The Groobees broke up a couple of years after this became a hit, partly because they couldn’t agree on how to handle the success. Susan Gibson, who collected the bulk of the royalties as the tune’s sole writer, explained in Lone Star Music Magazine: “We were once a unified band with nothing to lose and all struggling in the same direction. Some band members thought that the success of that song meant that we could afford to take those crappy-paying, but good-exposure gigs. Others thought it meant we didn’t have to. That discrepancy resulted in each of us taking our own piece of the pie and going forward in our different directions.”

Gibson has since carved a career for herself as a solo artist, but still delights in hearing fans talk about the song: “Because the Dixie Chicks made that song so huge, I have enjoyed the look on people’s faces when they hear that I wrote that song. About 80 percent of the time, somebody has a cool story attached to it about leaving home, getting married, getting divorced, and breaking down in Moab, Utah. 19 percent of the time it’s like, ‘Oh! My mom loooooves that song!’ And there’s 1 percent out there that are like, ‘I don’t really listen to music.’ That’s OK. It’s the stories that I hear back from people that put a face to the huge numbers associated with that song.”

This spent four weeks at #1 on the country chart.

Wide Open Spaces

Who doesn’t know what I’m talking about
Who’s never left home, who’s never struck out
To find a dream and a life of their own
A place in the clouds, a foundation of stone

Many precede and many will follow
A young girl’s dreams no longer hollow
It takes the shape of a place out west
But what it holds for her, she hasn’t yet guessed

She needs wide open spaces
Room to make her big mistakes
She needs new faces
She knows the high stakes

She traveled this road as a child
Wide eyed and grinning, she never tired
But now she won’t be coming back with the rest
If these are life’s lessons, she’ll take this test

She needs wide open spaces
Room to make her big mistakes
She needs new faces
She knows the high stakes

She knows the high stakes

As her folks drive away, her dad yells, “Check the oil!”
Mom stares out the window and says, “I’m leaving my girl”
She said, “It didn’t seem like that long ago”
When she stood there and let her own folks know

She needed wide open spaces
Room to make her big mistakes
She needs new faces
She knows the high stakes

She knows the high stakes
She knows the highest stakes
She knows the highest stakes
She knows the highest stakes

Marcia Trimble

Most Nashvillians know her name even if they were not alive when Marcia Trimble was murdered in 1975…Nashville was never the same again.

I saw it all happen on the news when I was 8 years old. That is when I learned that the world wasn’t a nice safe place. I’ve seen it written many times…1975 is when Nashville lost its innocence. It was never crime free…no city ever is but this changed people forever here. It became high profile and went national.

Marcia Trimble was a 9-year-old Girl Scout selling cookies on February 25, 1975, and disappeared where she lived in Green Hills…a very affluent part of Nashville then as well as now.

My Uncle Fulton was a Sergeant in the Vice Squad at that time. We were at my grandmother’s for Easter and I saw his car pulling up the drive and his three girls looked shocked. I saw him walking over to my mom so I walked over also. I remember he looked at my mom and then me and said…we found her and it’s beyond bad. He didn’t have to say who or what…we knew what he was talking about.

Marcia was found murdered and sexually assaulted under a tarp in a garage near her Green Hills home 33 days after she was declared missing.

The prime suspect was Jeffrey Womack…a then 15-year-old neighbor who had told the cops that Marcia had been by his house but he had no money and didn’t buy anything. The police later thought he kill Marcia…and he was suddenly the prime suspect… until 2008.

There has been plenty of crime here before and after this murder but none had the impact of this horrible event. I live north of Nashville but it affected everyone around middle Tennessee.  At the time parents were obviously more on guard and kids would stick together while out.

From the Nashville Scene…about the neighborhood it happened in.

Former homicide Lt. Tommy Jacobs, who investigated the murder, says that for whatever reason, many of the children in the neighborhood stagnated in the years after the killing. “We interviewed the kids when they were 9 and 10 years old and went back and interviewed them 20-some-odd years later,” he says. “You won’t believe how many of the kids wound up in a mental institution or working at a gas station. Several of the kids were still living at home.”

60-year-old Jerome Sydney Barrett was convicted after DNA was examined in 2008 and he was sentenced to 44 years in prison in 2009…Barrett had killed more people in Nashville in 1975 and was finally connected to Marcia.

Jeffrey Womack, the kid that was falsely accused, was finally free of suspicion after 33 years.

For more of the details…  https://www.insidehook.com/article/action/city-shadows-1974-murder-marcia-trimble-changed-nashville-forever

 

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The Paul McCartney Bruce Mcmouse Show…quick review

Last night my son and I went to see this film in Nashville at the Belcourt Theater at the screening. It opened up with Paul McCartney and Wings in very early seventies attire talking about how they met the Mcmouses. The one thing that surprised me…it was a smaller amount of animation that I anticipated. I thought it would be 60-40 animation but it was around 30-70 with Wings playing live on their 72 European tour and various film clips with the music. I’m not unhappy with the ratio because I wanted to hear Wings live more than seeing the animation.

They did use some soundstage shots mixed in with live shots also.

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My biggest complaint was the voices of the mice were a little too animated…no pun intended but you could not understand what they were saying without straining. Wings were great though. This is the earliest video I’ve seen of Paul playing outside of the Beatles. The sound was great. The songs I can remember were Big Red Barn, Wild Life, Long Tall Sally, Seaside Woman, My Love, Hi Hi Hi, Mary Had a Little Lamb, C Moon, Blue Moon Over Kentucky, Maybe I’m Amazed, and there are a few more I’m forgetting.

The film is only 55 minutes long but a good representation of Wings in 1972. The band looked like they were having a lot of fun. I will get the film when it is released.

It’s a nice film that was made right before Live and Let Die and Band on the Run. The Bruce Mcmouse Show is not the best thing Paul has done…but a fun film all the same. It’s also a nice time capsule of the early seventies… Also, it was cool that at least 80 percent of the audience were college students…that gives me hope…and it was packed.

Now Paul…release the 1976 tour to the Theaters, please.

 

 

 

Drive-In Movie Theaters

I remember Drive-In Theaters from way back. My sister is 8 years older than I am. When she was 16 I was 8 and mom made her take me with her on dates and that included the Drive-In. Most Drive-Ins charged by the person so guess where I was located? A mile up from the Drive-In I would know the routine…I would climb in the trunk. I remember smelling the old dirty tire and whatever else…I would hear us roll over the gravel and then the car would stop…my sister would let me out.

I would climb in the back seat and start watching. Although I make fun of her for this I actually enjoyed it. It was fun to do as a kid. I was a laid-back kid anyway. I remember the only movie showing one time was an R rated movie. It was called “Revenge of the Cheerleaders” from 1976…I got quite an education on the female anatomy. She would tell me don’t look now… then she and her date would go out and talk to friends parked around. I was of course looking and I never told mom…I knew I would not get to come back if I told her.

There are a few around here and once in a while, we will go see them. No Cheerleaders though.

In 1933, eager motorists park their automobiles on the grounds of Park-In Theaters, the first-ever drive-in movie theater, located on Crescent Boulevard in Camden, New Jersey. Richard Hollingshead opened it up. He thought of it because his mother was to large for theater seats. He charged just 25 cents per car.

The Drive-In didn’t really take off until the in-car speakers were invented by the late 40s. By 1958, the number of drive-ins peaked at 4,063.

Indoor theaters were more practical because they could show a movie 5-6 times a day and not have to worry about the weather or being light so the Drive-In’s started to get B movies (Revenge of the Cheerleaders!) and the fad started to slow down. Also, land value pushed the Drive-In’s out.

Now there are roughly 400 Drive-Ins left in America.

In Nashville, they are building an indoor Drive-In Theater. When it is finished I will check it out. You will not drive in with your car…you will walk in and sit in one of the classic cars they will have ready for you…I’m ready…but no trunks

A rendering of the August Moon Drive-In theater planned

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My Memories of 1977

In 1977 I turned 10 years old. It was the first year I wanted to know what was going on in the world. I started to watch Walter Cronkite reporting the world news. Keywords I remember were Sadat, Middle East, Son of Sam, Concorde, and Inflation. Local news would be Chris Clark on channel 5 an affiliate of CBS…keywords locally… Snow, Ray Blanton (the name would be more popular the next year…in a bad way), and Larry Schmittou…who would bring Nashville minor league baseball the following year with the “Sounds” a Reds farm team.

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I missed around 3 weeks of school because of it being either closed or the bus would not run down our rural road because of snow…sledding and exploring time! In Middle Tn… 1 inch of snow will shut down a city.

I remember Star Wars hit the theaters with lines around the corners. I didn’t see it the month it was released but soon afterward. It was everywhere and the talk of the school. We had never seen anything like it before.

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I remember Queen releasing News of the World. A friend of mine brought the album to school and we studied every inch of the cover (by Frank Kelly Freas), a giant robot picking up the bodies of the band. We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions played non-stop on the radio. This is when I started to explore other bands that weren’t named The Beatles.

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The TV mini-series Roots was huge and historic.

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I was watching Gilligans Island and it was interrupted by sad news. Elvis Presley was dead at 42 years old. My mom and other grown-ups around were really upset. I knew his songs and it was sad but I didn’t understand everyone’s reactions for someone they didn’t know. Three years later when I was 13 I understood perfectly clear when John Lennon was murdered. Three days after Elvis died Groucho Marx passed away…In October Bing Crosby passed away.

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I paid attention to the inauguration of Jimmy Carter as President in January. I would hear about peanuts, teeth and his brother Billy for the rest of the year…and about one of those keywords again…inflation.

I remember the Son of Sam killings. In August of that year, David Berkowitz was finally apprehended. He killed six people and wounded seven others. I also remember the blackouts in New York in July…

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The Concorde was all over the news that year. To a 10-year-old in 1977, it looked like something out of a sci-fi movie.

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In March of 1977, I started to follow baseball. I’m not from California but my Dad always rooted for the Dodgers and it was passed down to me. I read from a young age about Babe Ruth, Christy Matheson, and the older players… but this was the first year I followed modern baseball from start to finish. Cey, Lopes, Garvey, Russell, Yeager, Dusty Baker, Reggie Smith, Don Sutton, Tommy John…I loved that team. I still can imitate the batting stance of all of the starters. Ron Cey was my hero and I played 3rd base in Little League because of him.

Our insurance salesman would come to our house every now and then and he knew I was a Dodger fan. He said he went to games in LA and would bring back something for me… I believed him totally. My mom told me not to get my hopes up as he was busy and might forget… A few weeks later…there he was with a Dodger 1977 pennant in his hand to give me…I still have it. I couldn’t believe the pennant in my hand came from the mythical Dodger Stadium where my heroes played.

They had four players with 30 or more home runs that year…Cey, Garvey, Smith, and Baker. They made it to the World Series but broke my heart. They played the Yankees and Reggie Jackson (it still hurts to type his name) hit three home runs in the sixth and deciding game to beat my Dodgers. It took a while to get over that…well I’m still writing about it 41 years later…but it’s always next year.

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I’ll close it out on Matchbox and Hot Wheels…I had a huge collection that I carried to friends houses to trade and race.

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If only life was that simple again…

 

Jake Bugg – Two Fingers

This song caught my attention in 2012 when it was released. It has an older feel to it. It did not chart in America but it did peak at #28 in the UK charts.

In December my son and I saw him at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville with Kelsey Waters opening up. There was an even mixture of young and old to see the 23-year-old play. He has listed influences as diverse as  Jimi Hendrix, Donovan, to Nick Drake.

He is an artist I think should have a good career. His music is refreshing compared to most of the mainstream music of today.

 

Two Fingers

I drink to remember, I smoke to forget
Some things to be proud of
Some stuff to regret
Run down some dark alleys in my own head
Something is changing, changing, changing

I go back to Clifton to see my old friends
The best people I could ever have met
Skin up a fat one, hide from the Feds
Something is changing, changing, changing

So I kiss goodbye to every little ounce of pain
Light a cigarette and wish the world away
I got out, I got out, I’m alive but I’m here to stay
So I hold two fingers up to yesterday
Light a cigarette and smoke it all away
I got out, I got out, I’m alive but I’m here to stay
He’s down in the kitchen drinking White Lightning
He’s with my momma, they’re yelling and fighting
It’s not the first time praying for silence
Something is changing, changing, changing

So I kiss goodbye to every little ounce of pain
Light a cigarette and wish the world away
I got out, I got out, I’m alive but I’m here to stay
So I hold two fingers up to yesterday
Light a cigarette and smoke it all away
I got out, I got out, I’m alive but I’m here to stay

There’s a story for every corner of this place
Running so hard you got out but your knees got grazed
I’m an old dog but I learned some new tricks yeah

So I kiss goodbye to every little ounce of pain
Light a cigarette and wish the world away
I got out I got out I’m alive but I’m here to stay
So I hold two fingers up to yesterday
Light a cigarette and smoke it all away
I got out I got out I’m alive but I’m here to stay

Hey, hey it’s fine
Hey, hey it’s fine
Hey, hey it’s fine
I left it behind