Stuck In My Head

What’s Stuck In (Wifey’s) Head – 26 October

Yes! This is a wifey post! Well, she’s not really doing the post, but she did give me the song. And that counts. So there!

From the Wiki page:

The song is about two boys (“Me and Julio”) who have broken a law, although the exact law that has been broken is not stated in the song. When “the mama pajama” finds out what they have done, she goes to the police station to report the crime. The individuals are later arrested, but released when a “radical priest” intervenes.

The meaning and references in the song have long provoked debate. In a July 20, 1972 interview for Rolling Stone, Jon Landau asked Simon: “What is it that the mama saw? The whole world wants to know.” Simon replied “I have no idea what it is… Something sexual is what I imagine, but when I say ‘something’, I never bothered to figure out what it was. Didn’t make any difference to me.”

More recently, in October 2010, Simon described the song as “a bit of inscrutable doggerel“, while the “radical priest” has been interpreted as a reference to Daniel Berrigan, who was featured on the cover of Time on January 25, 1971, near when the song was written.

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

The song is from Paul Simon’s 1972 self-titled studio album. Which had another of my favorite Paul Simon tracks, Mother And Child Reunion. Wifey says the lines; And it’s against the law, it was against the law
What mama saw, it was against the law
“, are what’s stuck in her mind.

I’ve always thought it was a political act that got those two in trouble, hence the line about being released by a radical priest. Wifey says “It’s drugs. Pure and simple.” But as the quote above from Paul says, even he doesn’t know. It doesn’t take a complete story to make a good song. Just a great concept and you’re off to the bank! The song topped out at #7.

Personally, I just love the rhythms throughout the song. Enjoy!

Peace,
B (and Wifey)

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 20 October

I was saddened to hear of the death of George “Pops” Chambers earlier this week. George was of course, part of the late 60’s and 70’s “soul” band, The Chambers Brothers. The news immediately brought this song to mind, and it’s been in and out of consciousness ever since.

Originally from Carthage, Mississippi,[1] the Chambers Brothers first honed their skills as members of the choir in their Baptist church. This set up ended in 1952 when the eldest brother George was drafted into the Army. George relocated to Los Angeles after his discharge, and his brothers soon settled there as well. As a foursome, they began performing gospel and folk throughout the Southern California region in 1954, but they more or less remained unknown until appearing in New York City in 1965.[2]

Consisting of George (September 26, 1931 – October 12, 2019) on washtub bass (later on Danelectro bass guitar), Lester (b. April 13, 1940) on harmonica, and Willie (b. March 3, 1938) and Joe (b. August 22, 1942) on guitar, the group started to venture outside the gospel circuit, playing at coffeehouses that booked folk acts. They played at places like The Ash Grove, a very popular Los Angeles folk club. It became one of their favorite haunts and brought them into contact with Hoyt Axton, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Reverend Gary Davis, and Barbara Dane. Dane became a great supporter, performing and recording with the brothers. With the addition of Brian Keenan (January 28, 1943 – October 5, 1985) on drums, Dane took them on tour with her and introduced them to Pete Seeger, who helped put the Chambers Brothers on the bill of the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. One of the songs they performed, “I Got It”, appeared on the Newport Folk Festival 1965 compilation LP, which was issued on the Vanguard label.

They were becoming more accepted in the folk community, but, like many on the folk circuit, were looking to electrify their music and develop a more rock and roll sound. Joe Chambers recalled in a May 1994 Goldmine article that people at the Newport Folk Festival were breaking down fences and rushing to the stage. “Newport had never seen or heard anything like that.” After the group finished and the crowd finally settled down, the MC came up and said “Whether you know it or not, that was rock ‘n’ roll.” That night they played at a post-concert party for festival performers and went to a recording session of the newly electrified Bob Dylan. Shortly after appearing at Newport, the group released its debut album, People Get Ready.

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

The (radio) edit version of this track reached #11 in the fall of 1968 (I was all of 10 years old then!), spending a total of five weeks at that spot. There were actually two edited versions of the song produced, one runs 3:05 and the other 4:45. The original clocks in at over 11 minutes.

The song has been described as psychedelic rock, psychedelic soul and acid rock, and features a fuzz guitar twinned with a clean one. Various other effects were employed in its recording and production, including the alternate striking of two cow bells producing a “tick-tock” sound, warped throughout most of the song by reverb, echo and changes in tempo. It quotes several bars from “The Little Drummer Boy” at 5:40 in the long version.

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

So here’s an almost 15 minute live version for you. Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 18 October

I heard this song yesterday on the way into work and it’s been stuck ever since. This may be a new one for some folks as it only reached #111 in 1971, it’s from one of my favorite named albums, Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus. Their biggest hit was I Got A Line On You, which peaked at #25 in 1968.

An interesting note about this group, Spirit, is during several shows in 1968 and 1969 their opening act was none other than Led Zeppelin. I bring this up only because I posted about this connection in November of last year. As I understand it, the copyright infringement lawsuit is once again in the courts. I won’t post the quote again here, it’s available at the link above or at the Wiki page for the band.

I’m not going to get into any discussion about climate change, but this song was released in 1971. And it’s still valid today, some 48 years later. Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 12 October

First: I absolutely love this song. Second: These guys had so many other cool songs it sad this is the only one that really received any air play. It did make it #10 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #8 on Cashbox.

I’m talking about Brewer & Shipley. You were expecting another Beatles song, right? Sorry, not today. Although Here Come The Sun is currently playing. But that’ll be another post, another day. George deserves his own day to shine.

Other than this track Brewer & Shipley had two other singles chart;

Brewer & Shipley are an Americanfolk rock duo who enjoyed their peak success in the late 1960s through the 1970s, consisting of singer-songwritersMike Brewer (born in 1944) and Tom Shipley (born in 1941). They were known for their intricate guitar work, vocal harmonies, and socially conscious lyrics which reflected the concerns of their generation — especially the Vietnam War, and the struggles for personal and political freedom. Their greatest commercial success was the song “One Toke Over the Line” from their 1970 album Tarkio. They had two other singles on the Billboard charts: “Tarkio Road” (1970) and “Shake Off The Demon” (1971). They continue to perform, both separately and together, usually in the Midwest of the USA.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brewer_%26_Shipley

Tarkio Road is another great track, but again, that’s not what I’m here to tell you about (you were waiting for that line, right?)

Funny story about this song, although I have to admit that I can’t remember where I heard or read this story. But some unknown guy used to drive his grandmother around town, and she loved this song. She would sing right along with the song every time it came on. She just loved that it mentioned Jesus, so she thought it was a religious song. It broke his heart to tell her what the song was really about.

Mike Brewer gives this account of the origin of the song, “One day we were pretty much stoned and all and Tom says, “Man, I’m one toke over the line tonight.” I liked the way that sounded and so I wrote a song around it.”[1]

The song gained popular acclaim while the band was touring as an opening act for Melanie, after they received an encore but had run out of other songs to play. Spiro Agnew said the song with its reference to marijuana use was “blatant drug-culture propaganda” that “threatens to sap our national strength,” pressuring the FCC to include the song on its list of music banned from the airwaves because of drug references.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 23 September

I really don’t want to post this song, but it’s been stuck in my head now for 2 days. The title is misleading, as is the chorus, which is why I am reluctant to post.

But the verses are very positive. Of course, nobody knows the verses, just the chorus. It the way of pop music since, well, since there was pop music. It’s called “the hook”. It draws the listener in and keeps them there (hopefully).

But take the chorus on it’s own and it sounds like a lament;

I’ve had enough bad love
I need something I can be proud of
I’ve had enough bad love
No more bad love

Bad Love ~ Eric Clapton

Geez – how depressing! Good thing the verses tell the true story.

The recording is very star studded. From the Wiki page;

Bad Love” is a rock song recorded by the British rock musician Eric Clapton, who co-wrote it with Foreigner‘s lead guitarist Mick Jones. The track was released as the third single from Eric Clapton’s 1989 studio album Journeyman on March 10, 1990 for Reprise Records a sublabel of the Warner Music Group company.
The rock composition also features rock music drummer Phil Collins, who plays drums and sings harmony background vocals on the recording, which was produced by, then, Clapton’s long-time partner Russ Titelman. At the 33rd Annual Grammy Awards, Clapton won an award for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male. The single release reached various international single music charts and sold a total of 250,000 copies worldwide. A music video was released in 1989 to accompany the single release.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_Love_(Eric_Clapton_song)

So I guess it’s not a bad song to have stuck after all. As long as I can get the hook out of my head and replace it with the much more joyful verses. Enjoy!

Love the cigarette in the head stock. Dave Mason did it, and even I did it once. Somewhere is a picture of me playing my brother’s Fender 12-string acoustic with a cigarette I stole from my dad stuck in the head stock.

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 10 September

I have no idea why this song has been stuck in my head for two days now. My best guess is that I’ve enjoyed having my brother helping me paint most of my house the last couple of weekends, and that brought up many talks about music and our parents. This was one of our father’s favorite songs.

I’m not going to get into anything about the song other than it’s a blues standard. I will mention that Maria sang backup for many other artists including Linda Ronstadt. And you know how I feel about Linda.

May I present to you; “Don’t You Feel My Leg (Don’t You Get Me High). Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 6 September

(AKA Yet Another Traffic Rant Edition)

It’s been a bit since my last Stuck In My Head post, and even longer since a traffic rant. So I combined both. Consider this a 2-for-1 deal. Don’t say I never gave you anything either.

I guess the area is returning to normal after our near brush with Hurricane Dorian. Today’s traffic was much heavier than it should have been. When my work schedule was moved to a half hour earlier the traffic on the way into work became much lighter. On the way home, however, is every bit as bad. The 30 minute shift allows me to miss the school buses now. That’s a beautiful thing. There is a city bus that sometimes gets in my way. I can time that bus and avoid it most days. But as we all know, city buses are not the best at time keeping. Their routes can vary by up to 10 minutes or more. Even so, this particular bus only has 3 stops before it turns off onto a side road and is out of my way.

Usually, the first of two main problems I have on the way to work are yard crews. They tend to hog the left lane and travel way under the speed limit pulling their big trailers. And since I tend to regard the speed limit as a mere suggestion, they do tend to get my dander up. The second issue are the garbage trucks. I go right past their work yard to and from work. If my timing is off and I have to stop at the traffic light at the entrance to the yard, there will be 4 or 5 trucks in front of me. But that’s not as bad as it sounds. These guys (I say guys since I’ve only seen men driving the trucks) are much better drivers than the average moron on the road with me. They tend to do the speed limit, or just over, use their turn signals, and leave space between each truck for cars to maneuver. Their biggest problem is they aren’t the quickest thing to get up to speed. Plus, it’s hard to see around them.

Now, this morning, I didn’t have any garbage trucks, no city bus, no school bus, and only one yard crew. What I did have was some work truck doing 25 MPH in the left lane (the speed limit is 45 MPH – I’m usually zipping along at 50+ MPH) with about 10 cars behind like baby ducks following mama duck, and the usual folks in the right lane turning into various parking lots, and side streets, and doing about 15 MPH.

AARRRGGGHH!!! On my next vehicle, I’m getting the Photon Torpedo option. Just blow these jerks and their vehicles into subatomic pieces.

I can hardly wait to see what traffic adventures await me on my way home today. At least it’s Friday, well, at least it’s Friday on the calendar…

What does this have to do with a song? As one of my favorite DJ’s on SiriusXM, Earle Bailey like to say; “I hope this is the only traffic you get into today”.. And this song has a permanent home in my head. Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 13 August

(A.K.A. The Woodstock Edition)

This week will be the 50th Anniversary of the legendary “Woodstock” music festival.  Admittingly, I was too young to attend, not to mention it was many miles away from my south Florida home. 

Just in case you’re unsure about the whole thing let me quote from the wiki page;

Woodstock was an American music festival held August 15–18, 1969, which attracted an audience of more than 400,000.  Billed as “an Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music”, it was held at Max Yasgur‘s 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, New York, 43 miles (70 km) southwest of Woodstock. It was alternatively referred to as the Bethel Rock Festival or the Aquarian Music Festival. Thirty-two acts performed outdoors despite sporadic rain.[6] It has become widely regarded as a pivotal moment in popular music history, as well as the definitive nexus for the larger counterculture generation.

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

I was healthy 9 years old at the time, so my musical tastes were more inline with The Monkees and The Beatles than Jimi Hendrix.  But that all changed when my sister brought home the 2-album set. I listened to those records constantly.

All this week SiriusXM is featuring music from the festival. The Deep Tracks channel is playing the complete tapes.  Every band and every song all week long. While I haven’t heard Country Joe McDonald’s “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ To Die Rag” and it’s now legendary audience involvement, I did hear something that I don’t remember being on the albums.  Before I get to that let’s mention a few of the other performances. 

Richie Havens opened the show, 3 ½ hours late. He was scheduled fifth on the bill on the opening day. Problem was, all the acts for that day were stuck several miles away at the area motels reserved from them.  The roads were blocked by cars that had just parked in the street since there was no other place to go, so the bands couldn’t get their gear nor themselves to the concert area.  Richie had the least equipment, one guitar for him, one guitar for his lead guitarist, and a set of conga drums for the percussionist, was all that was needed, so they were the first to be helicoptered in.  Richie was a bit afraid to be the first one on.  Since the show started so late, he was worried that the crowd would be angry and hostile. Needless to say, that was anything but the case.  

Joan Baez closed out the fist day (the “folk” day), she was 6 months pregnant! Her set was from roughly 1 – 2 AM.

Santana did a 45-minute set on day 2, and Carlos Santana was totally tripping the entire time.  The video of that entire set is electrifying!

John Sebastian (best known as part of the Lovin’ Spoonful) was not on the bill but was there enjoying the show (he had a house in the area). He played a short set while, again, other performers were delayed in arriving.

And who can forget Joe Cocker’s physical rendition of “With A Little Help From My Friends”? This single performance catapulted him into the US conciseness. Also giving John Belushi a new act.

Crosby, Still, Nash & Young doing an hour at 3AM. I still get chills listening to their set. To produce such vocal harmonies, live, and at that time of night, blows me away.

Let’s get to what is stuck in my head.  I heard just the end of this yesterday.  (I have SiriusXM streaming while at work) I wasn’t exactly sure just what I was listening to, and there was no mention, that I heard, of the performer.  I recognized the song, but not the artist.

Another thing that was interesting, was that I had just finished reading an article about the song which was written by John Lennon.  This song stunned all The Beatles when John first played it.  The entire band, George Martin (producer) and everyone in the studio all thought it was “stunning”. And then I hear it again on the way to work this morning.

Here is Richie Havens’ “Strawberry Fields Forver”.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 17 July

This is day 3, of 5, in my Certified Ethical Hacker class. It’s been 2 days of review for me, so I’m bored. But that has nothing to do with what’s stuck in my head.

When Cracked Rear View came out in 1994, I was immediately taken in by the group’s sound. It was a great blend of acoustic and electric pop rock and the emerging new country sound. But was so different that the “grunge” style that was just gathering steam. To me, it was an updated Loggins and Messina.

Contrasting with the sound of their grunge contemporaries, the band’s music was described as “a mainstream pop variation of blues-rock” with “equal parts of jam band grooves and MOR pop.” The band’s sound was also described as heartland rock, roots rock and jangle pop.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hootie_%26_the_Blowfish

I also found the band name silly; Hootie and the Blowfish. I remember seeing front man Darius Rucker on an interview and he said that the name came from the nicknames they had given two guys while in college. It wasn’t exactly a nice nickname either. May not be a “nice” nickname, but it makes for a great band name! And it proves that something good can come out of USC. (That’s the University of South Carolina, not the University of Southern California).*

So here ya go!

Peace,
B

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(*) I have have no dog in any fight over any college, sports team, or whatever. I only says this because my SC family seems to think that Clemson is the only university in the state, maybe the country. I have no idea why. Not a single one of them have attended any college, in any state or country. But I do have one nephew that graduated from Clemson, so I guess that’s it.

What’s Stuck In My Head – 27 June

This one got stuck yesterday morning. They played a demo version on SiriusXM’s Deep Tracks channel. I had never heard this version, and it was beautiful. I cannot find any media to play here of that demo.

This track is usually viewed as George’s statement of the breakup of The Beatles;

All Things Must Pass” is a song by English musician George Harrison, issued in November 1970 as the title track to his triple album of the same name. Billy Preston released the song originally – as “All Things (Must) Pass” – on his Apple Records album Encouraging Words (1970), after the Beatles had rejected it for inclusion on their Let It Be album in January 1969. The composition reflects the influence of the Band‘s sound and communal music-making on Harrison, after he had spent time with the group in Woodstock, New York, in late 1968, while Timothy Leary‘s poem “All Things Pass”, a psychedelic adaptation of the Tao Te Ching, provided inspiration for his song lyrics.

The subject matter deals with the transient nature of human existence, and in Harrison’s All Things Must Pass reading, words and music combine to reflect impressions of optimism against fatalism. On release, together with Barry Feinstein‘s album cover image, commentators viewed the song as a statement on the Beatles’ break-up. Widely regarded as one of Harrison’s finest compositions, its rejection by his former band has provoked comment from biographers and reviewers. Music critic Ian MacDonald described “All Things Must Pass” as “the wisest song never recorded by The Beatles”, while author Simon Leng considers it “perhaps the greatest solo Beatle composition”. The recording was co-produced by Phil Spector in London; it features an orchestral arrangement by John Barham and contributions from musicians such as Ringo Starr, Pete Drake, Bobby Whitlock, Eric Clapton and Klaus Voormann.

Although the Beatles failed to formally record the song, a 1969 solo demo by Harrison appears on their compilation Anthology 3 (1996). An early version from the All Things Must Pass sessions was released on Harrison’s posthumous compilation Early Takes: Volume 1 in 2012. Paul McCartney performed “All Things Must Pass” at the Concert for George tribute in November 2002, a year after Harrison’s death. Jim James, the Waterboys, Klaus Voormann and Yusuf Islam, and Sloan Wainwright are among the other artists who have covered the song.

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

The main reason I truly love this song is the lyrics. The words combined with the beautiful musical arrangement show a view of optimism over fatalism. It’s not an overly religious song, although George was the most spiritual of the Beatles. But when taken along with all the songs on this three-album set you can see where George “finds hope and meaning only in God, who does not pass away”.

Normally I don’t like videos with lyrics, but I’m using one this time so that you can read the poem at the heart of this song. But George’s vocal is clear enough that you don’t really need to read, just listen. And enjoy!

Peace,
B

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