70’s music

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 – 20 September

So maybe I’ve been getting all nostalgic. Sue me.

And yes, I’ve been posting a lot about Ms. Linda lately. Not surprising at all. As I’ve mentioned before, her posters adorned my walls while in high school.

This was one of the posters I had up.

This track is from 1970. Wow, that was some time ago. I knew I was old, but geez. I didn’t have to walk uphill through the snow both way to get to school. No, I’m older than that, we rode dinosaurs to school. Plus, I went to school in (very) south Floriduh, no hills to speak of and definitely no snow. But I digress (as usual).

In 1970, Linda Ronstadt released the song as a single and on the album Silk Purse. The single spent 12 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at No. 25, while reaching No. 15 on Canada‘s “RPM 100″, No. 8 on Canada’s CHUM 30 chart, and No. 20 on Billboard‘s Easy Listening chart.

In 1971, Linda Ronstadt was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Female Vocal Performance for her rendition of “Long, Long Time”.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long%2C_Long_Time

I’m still trying to figure out why this song is stuck in my head. Not that I ever have any idea why most things are there, my psyche is anything but stable. But that beautiful voice and that soaring chorus just keeps echoing over and over. But it’s there, and it’s not bothering me.

My mother always told me to share, so I’m sharing this compulsion video with you. Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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The Week That Was, Or Is, Or…

This last weekend was a bit tough, physically and mentally. Both Wifey and I had trouble sleeping which carried over into just being plain grouchy. Not to mention whatever the problem is with my back and/or legs was extremely bothersome all weekend. I have had 3 of the 4 tests ordered by the neurologist done, with the last one, an EMG, scheduled for tomorrow morning. I had an EMG before, and it’s not all that fun. It’s not painful, but not it’s not exactly comfortable either. Hopefully I’ll know more by the follow up appointment early next month.

Ont the plus side, the hole in the kitchen wall has been patched. So hopefully, no more froggies under the sink.

But I woke up feeling better this morning, so I thought I’d post a fun little video. I went looking for something by The Monkees first. The Monkees were my favorite band when I was a youngin’. I still listen to their CDs when I get tired of the radio. (Check out this post from some Monkees fun!) Instead of using a (silly) Monkees video, and I went slightly off-course. Which, of course, is par for the course for me. (Let’s see how many more time I use “course” in this post!)

I recently finished an older book by one of my favorite Florida authors, Dave Barry. For those that don’t know who Dave is (@RayAdverb on Twitter), he is a long time humor columnist. I grew up reading his column in The Miami Herald. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1988.

The book I just finished, Dave Barry’s Book of Bad Songs made me wonder about the musical tastes of his readers. The basic premise is that Dave wrote a column about a particular artist, which I won’t mention so you can buy the book and read it for yourself. This opened a floodgate of responses, that went on for several columns. The book is the result.

Not surprisingly, there are songs listed that I totally agree with (see the chapter on Barry Manilow), some that I’ve never heard of, and some that I disagree with. It’s one of the latter that I want to talk about.

Gee.. I wonder what song he’s talking about??

I will admit that the fact that the horse is not named at any time during the song (they do spend many days in the desert, and don’t let the horse go until after day 9), so there was plenty of time to name the horse. Even “Jim” would be a good name.. Obviously I’m talking about A Horse With No Name.

The band America has always been a favorite. A simple little acoustic group with good harmonies and simple lyrics. Well, may not simple lyrics. While Daisy Jane, Sister Golden Hair and Lonely People are straight forward, Ventura Highway is any thing but. And I won’t even get into Muskrat Love.

(Song writer Dewey) Bunnell has explained that “A Horse with No Name” was “a metaphor for a vehicle to get away from life’s confusion into a quiet, peaceful place”

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

I can dig that.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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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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Vindication!!

Way back in August of last year, I wrote a little post, Not The Song I want To Hear. Then just this week, a post on the Ultimate Classic Rock website tells me I’m not the only one.

I love the last line, he paid a radio station to never play it again.

The post (here) has lots of other tidbits. Go read it!

Nothing to do with the post, just a great vid!

Peace,
B

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A Convergance Of Events

Today would have been my mother’s 98th birthday! So happy birthday to her!

Geneva (Neva) Mae (Hicks) Campbell
1 May 1921 – 23 November 2001

Today is also the Celtic festival of Beltane. So, happy May Day as well!

Beltane was one of four Gaelic seasonal festivals: Samhain (~1 November), Imbolc (~1 February), Beltane (~1 May), and Lughnasadh (~1 August). Beltane marked the beginning of the pastoral summer season, when livestock were driven out to the summer pastures. Rituals were held at that time to protect them from harm, both natural and supernatural, and this mainly involved the “symbolic use of fire”. There were also rituals to protect crops, dairy products and people, and to encourage growth. The aos sí (often referred to as spirits or fairies) were thought to be especially active at Beltane (as at Samhain) and the goal of many Beltane rituals was to appease them. Most scholars see the aos sí as remnants of the pagan gods and nature spirits. Beltane was a “spring time festival of optimism” during which “fertility ritual again was important, perhaps connecting with the waxing power of the sun”


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

Then on the way to work this morning, I heard that the always beautiful Judy Collins has her 80th birthday today. I have always loved her music. She was, of course the inspiration for this song:

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 30 April

A.K.A. The Sleepless Night Edition

Short and quick today…

The ending of this song has been stuck for a while now;

There is no Eden or
Heavenly gates
That you’re gonna make it to one day
But all of the answers you seek
Can be found
In the dreams that you dream on the way

‘Nuff said.

Peace,
B

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