Tuesday, December 29, 2009

dufusdownbeat Has Moved!

dufusdownbeat is taking a hike.  The new domain is http://dufusdownbeat.wordpress.com/.  Please click over to pick up where this, the original site left off.  And please add this new address to your bookmarks, blogrolls and feed readers.

I'll see you at our new home.  Keep on rockin'!



Sunday, December 27, 2009

Unusual Rock and Roll Christmas Songs (7)


For our last "unusual" Christmas rock tune we go back to 1974 when Greg Lake took a break from buddies Emerson and Palmer to record a song he'd written protesting the commercialism of Christmas.

I Believe In Father Christmas was apparently misinterpreted as being anti-religious and Lake was surprised by it's success. The song shot to #2 in 1975 and is Lake's only hit solo release.

ELP later recorded the song for their 1977 album Works Volume II.



They said there'll be snow at Christmas
They said there'll be peace on Earth
But instead it just kept on raining
A veil of tears for the Virgin's birth
I remember one Christmas morning
A winter's light and a distant choir
And the peal of a bell and that christmas tree smell
And their eyes full of tinsel and fire
They sold me a dream of Christmas
They sold me a Silent Night
And they told me a fairy story
'Till I believed in the Israelite
And I believed in Father Christmas
And I looked at the sky with excited eyes
'Till I woke with a yawn in the first light of dawn
And I saw him and through his disguise

I wish you a hopeful Christmas
I wish you a brave New Year
All anguish pain and sadness
Leave your heart and let your road be clear
They said there'll be snow at Christmas
They said there'll be peace on Earth
Hallelujah Noel be it Heaven or Hell
The Christmas you get you deserve.

La la la la la la la la la la....

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Unusual Rock and Roll Christmas Songs (6)

Well, I hope everyone had a great Christmas and got all the CDs you were asking for! We conclude our week of unusual rock Christmas tunes today with what has become a modern day classic.


In 1971, John Lennon and Yoko Ono recorded Happy Xmas (War Is Over). The song was intended as a protest against the Vietnam war but has become a Christmas standard. Countless musicians have covered the song. But I like the original.




So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
Ans so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear
And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The world is so wrong
And so happy Christmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let's stop all the fight
A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear
And so this is Christmas
And what have we done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
Ans so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young
A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear
War is over over
If you want it
War is over
Now...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Unusual Rock and Roll Christmas Songs (5)


Merry Christmas! I just had to include this song from U2 this week and today seemed like the most appropriate day to do it. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) was co-written by Phil Spector and originally sung by Darlene Love in 1963. It had been intended for Ronnie Spector of the Ronettes.


U2's version was released in 1987 after having been recorded at a sound check in Glasgow, Scotland during their Joshua Tree tour. It was later included on the compilation album A Very Special Christmas, with Darlene Love providing backing vocals.





It's Christmas ... baby, please come home
Yeah

The snow's comin' down / Christmas
I'm watchin' it fall / Christmas
Lots of people around / Christmas
Baby, please come home

The church bells in town / Christmas
They're ringin' a song / Christmas
What a happy sound / Christmas
Baby, please come home

They're singin' 'Deck the Halls'
But it's not like Christmas at all
I remember when you were here
And all the fun we had last year

Pretty lights on the tree / Christmas
I'm watchin' 'em shine / Christmas
You should be here with me / Christmas
Baby, please come home
Baby, please come home
Baby, please come home

They're singin' 'Deck the Halls'
But it's not like Christmas at all
I remember when you were here
And all the fun we had last year

If there was a way / Christmas
I'd hold back these tears / Christmas
But it's Christmas day / Christmas
Baby, please come home / Christmas
Home / Christmas

Baby, please come home / Christmas
Baby, please come home / Christmas
Baby, please come home / Christmas
Home / Christmas

Baby, please come home / Christmas

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Unusual Rock and Roll Christmas Songs (4)

Well it's Christmas Eve and what better unusual Christmas rock song to profile than 2000 Miles by Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders. The song was released in November of 1983, followed by inclusion on the group's third album Learning to Crawl.


The album was aptly titled. The group had seen considerable shake up following the drug deaths of two members. Here's a live performnce of the song from the mid 90s.




He's gone,
2000 miles,
Is very far.
The snows falling down.
It's colder day by day.
I miss you.
The children were singing,
He'll be back at Christmas time.
And these frozen and silent nights,
Sometimes in a dream,
You appear.
Outside under the purple sky,
Diamonds in the snow,
Sparkle.
Our hearts were singing,
It felt like Christmas time.
2000 miles.
Is very far through the snow
I'll think of you
Wherever you go.
He's gone,
2000 miles,
Is very far.
The snows falling down,
It's colder day by day.
I miss you.
I can hear people singing,
It must be Christmas time.
I hear people singing,
It must be Christmas time.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Unusual Rock and Roll Christmas Songs (3)

Our third unusual Christmas rock song is one of the first I recall hearing that wasn't by Bing Crosby, Dean Martin or Elvis or some such artist. Little Saint Nick by the Beach Boys was released in 1963 at the height of their popularity, when I was 11 years old. I thought it was pretty cool. Written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, the song borrows heavily from their hit Little Deuce Coupe.


The song was re-recorded in 1964 for release on The Beach Boys Christmas Album.


Oooooooo
Merry Christmas Saint Nick
Christmas comes this time each year
Oooooooo oooooooo
Well, way up north where the air gets cold
There's a tale about Christmas that you've all been told
And a real famous cat all dressed up in red
And he spends the whole year workin' out on his sled
It's the little Saint Nick
Ooooo, little Saint Nick
It's the little Saint Nick
Ooooo, little Saint Nick
Just a little bobsled we call it old Saint Nick
But she'll walk a toboggan with a four speed stick
She's candy-apple red with a ski for a wheel
And when Santa hits the gas, man, just watch her peel
It's the little Saint Nick
Ooooo, little Saint Nick
It's the little Saint Nick
Ooooo, little Saint Nick
Run run reindeer
Run run reindeer
Whoaa
Run run reindeer
Run run reindeer
He don't miss no one
And haulin' through the snow at a frightenin' speed
With a half a dozen deer with Rudy to lead
He's gotta wear his goggles 'cause the snow really flies
And he's cruisin' every pad with a little surprise
It's the little Saint Nick
Ooooo, little Saint Nick
It's the little Saint Nick
Ooooo, little Saint Nick
Ahhhhhh
Oooooooo
Merry Christmas Saint Nick
Christmas comes this time each year
Ahhhhhh
Oooooooo
Merry Christmas Saint Nick
Christmas comes this time each year
Ahhhhhh
Oooooooo
Merry Christmas Saint Nick
Christmas comes this time each year

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Unusual Rock and Roll Christmas Songs (2)

Welcome to Day 2 of our week long look at unusual Christmas rock songs. Today's tune comes from a favourite artist of mine - Chris Rea. Driving Home For Christmas was one of two new tracks on the compilation album New Light Through Old Windows, released in 1988.


When first released, the song reached #53 on the UK charts. Re-released in 2007, the song hit #33, the first time it had cracked the UK Top 40.




Driving home for Christmas
Oh, I can't wait to see those faces
I'm driving home for Christmas, yea
Well I'm moving down that line
And it's been so long
But I will be there I sing this song
To pass the time away
Driving in my car
Driving home for Christmas
It's gonna take some time
But I'll get there
Top to toe in tail-lights
Oh, I got red lights on the run
But soon there'll be a freeway
Get my feet on holy ground
So I sing for you
Though you can't hear me
When I get through
And feel you near me
I am driving home for Christmas
Driving home for Christmas
With a thousand memories
I take look at the driver next to me
He's just the same
Just the same
Top to toe in tail-lights
Oh, I got red lights on the run
I'm driving home for Christmas, yea
Get my feet on holy ground
So I sing for you
Though you can't hear me
When I get trough
And feel you near me
Driving in my car
Driving home for Christmas
Driving home for Christmas
With a thousand memories

Monday, December 21, 2009

Unusual Rock and Roll Christmas Songs (1)

Welcome to Christmas week at dufusdownbeat. This week, in the days leading up to Christmas, I thought I'd post every day and share with you some of my favourite not-so traditional Christmas songs from the world of rock and roll.


First up is Fairytale of New York from the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl. Released in early December 1987 it hit #1 in Ireland and #2 in Britain. The song comes from the album If I Should Fall From Grace With God. I love this song. It was voted Best Christmas Song Ever 3 years in a row from 2004 through 2006 in polls sponsored by VH1 UK.



It was christmas eve babe
In the drunk tank
An old man said to me: won't see another one
And then they sang a song
The rare old mountain dew
I turned my face away and dreamed about you
Got on a lucky one
Came in eighteen to one
I´ve got a feeling
This year´s for me and you
So happy christmas
I love you baby
I can see a better time
Where all our dreams come true.

They got cars big as bars
They got rivers of gold
But the wind goes right through you
It´s no place for the old
When you first took my hand on a cold christmas eve
You promised me broadway was waiting for me
You were handsome you were pretty
Queen of new york city when the band finished playing they yelled out for more
Sinatra was swinging all the drunks they were singing
We kissed on a corner
Then danced through the night.

And the boys from the NYPD choir were singing Galway Bay
And the bells were ringing out for christmas day.

You´re a bum you´re a punk
You´re an old slut on junk
Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed
You scumbag you maggot
You cheap lousy faggot
Happy christmas your arse I pray god it´s our last.

And the boys of the NYPD choir's still singing Galway Bay
And the bells were ringing out
For christmas day.

I could have been someone
Well so could anyone
You took my dreams from me
When I first found you
I kept them with me babe
I put them with my own
Can´t make it out alone
I´ve built my dreams around you

And the boys of the NYPD choir's still singing Galway Bay
And the bells are ringing out
For christmas day.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Off Beat - Tell Laura I Love Her


Earlier this week, while showcasing Leader of the Pack, we talked about the musical genre of "death discs". There's no better example than Tell Laura I Love Her. Singer Ray Peterson had an American hit with the tune in 1960, while Ricky Valence took it to #1 in the UK later the same year.

Ray Peterson's claim to fame prior to 1960 was a little song called The Wonder of You, later made popular by Elvis. Following "Laura" Peterson had something of a hit with Corrina, Corrina but his popularity never really matched that associated with his death disc.

Here' Sha-Na-Na takes "Laura" for a spin...



Laura and Tommy were lovers
He wanted to give her everything
Flowers, presents, but most of all, a wedding ring

He saw a sign for a stock car race
A thousand dollar prize it read
He couldn't get Laura on the phone
So to her mother, Tommy said

Tell Laura I love her
Tell Laura I need her
Tell Laura I may be late
I've something to do, that cannot wait

He drove his car to the racing grounds
He was the youngest driver there
The crowed roared as they started the race
Around the track they drove at a deadly pace

No one knows what happened that day
Or how his car overturned in flames
But as they pulled him from the twisted wreck
With his dying breath, they heard him say

Tell Laura I love her
Tell Laura I need her
Tell Laura not to cry
My love for her will never die

Now in the chapel where Laura prays
For her poor Tommy, who passed away
It was just for Laura he lived and died
Alone in the chapel she can hear him cry

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Please Mr. Postman



Some might think it was originally performed by the Beatles in 1963 or by the Carpenters in 1975, but it was the girl group the Marvelettes who first had a hit with Please Mr. Postman in 1961. While there's some discrepancy over the writing credits for the tune, the one constant in the various versions include Brian Holland of Motown's hit-making team Holland-Dozier-Holland.


Legend has it that the instrumentation in the studio was provided by Motown session players known as the Funk Brothers, which included Marvin Gaye on drums.

The song put the Marvelettes on the charts and gave Motown it's first #1 hit, paving the way for their more popular successor, the Supremes.



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Leader Of The Pack


One genre dufusdownbeat has sadly slighted is Girl Groups. Well, this week we rectify that.

The Shangri-Las formed in Queen's New York in 1963 and was made of of two sets of sisters: 14 year-old lead singer Mary Weiss and her 17 year-old sister Betty, and back up singers and identical twins Marge and Mary Ann Ganser, 16 years of age. While they recorded as a quartet, they often toured as a trio because Betty didn't like to tour.

In late 1964, the Shangri-Las were looking for a follow-up to their recent hit Remember (Walking In The Sand). They found it with something called Leader of the Pack. The song is among the pantheon of a genre referred to as the "dead disc" and includes such songs as Dead Man's Curve by Jan and Dean, Tell Laura I Lover Her by Ray Peterson, and the Cavaliers Last Kiss.



The group issued one original album, lasted a couple of years and at the height of their success toured with the Beatles, James Brown, Dusty Springfield and the Zombies.

The following clip is from Steve Allen's The Tonight Show with a cameo from Robert Goulet.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Off Beat - You Don't Bring Me Flowers

Here's an amazing performance of a song with an amazing history.

You Don't Bring Me Flowers was originally intended as a theme song for a Norman Lear television show. It never came to be, but Neil Diamond came across the tune, added a couple of verses and put it out in 1977. Around the same time Barbara Streisand released a version of the same song. A radio Program Director in Louisville Kentucky combined the two versions and began airing the "virtual" duet. The song was so popular Diamond and Streisand recorded the real thing and it shot to #1.



While the Diamond/Streisand version is the definitive one - although it's a little too syrupy for my tastes - my favourite performance of the song has got to be by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. If you enjoy this bit, look up the UOGB on You Tube. You won't be disappointed. They're a hoot. Their performances of Shaft and Teen Spirit, for example, are a riot.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sub-Rosa Subway


In the mid 70s, as FM radio was coming into it's own in Canada, there was a song getting a lot of airplay that many listeners thought was the new disc by the Beatles. Sub-Rosa Subway had a Beatlesque sound to it and the vocals were dead ringers for John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

The song was about Alfred Ely Beach, the man responsible for building the New York city subway system. But the group wasn't England's Beatles. In reality it was Canada's Klaatu, a progressive rock trio formed in Toronto in 1973. The group was named after the extraterrestrial in the film The Day the Earth Stood Still.



Their most famous song was Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft, a version if which was covered by the Carpenters in 1977. "Occupants", to some degree, from their first album 3:47 EST and particularly the song Sub-Rosa Subway gave rise to rumours the Beatles had reformed and recorded new music. Alas, it was not to be. Klaatu disbanded around 1982.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Eve Of Destruction



For a 13 year old living in Canada the Viet Nam war was not something top of mind for me. But I was into music and in 1965 a guy named Barry McGuire began to climb the charts with a tune called Eve of Destruction.

The song was everywhere. It was on the radio. My buds and I used to sing it. And McGuire performed it on every television music show beamed into my rec room.

McGuire was a member of the New Christy Minstrels, an American folk-singing outfit, and had co-written their hit Green, Green. He left the group in 1965, laid down the vocal track to the P.F. Sloan written Eve of Destruction and before the record producers had a chance to clean the track up it was leaked and started to get airplay.



McGuire was fortunate. The song was first offered to the Byrds, who turned it down.

Funnily enough, in the 70s McGuire became a born-again Christian and for the longest time refused to sing the song again. In the 60s, however, it was the anthem of a generation.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Off Beat - I'm Fed Up


I don't know what this is, who Alizee is, how she ever got to be as popular as she is, and why she doesn't seem to own any regular clothes. But the whole package made me laugh. The lip-syncing, the lyrics, the little nymph/Lolita act...well you get the picture. And, hey, It's a catchy tune!



Alizee is from France and apparently she's had quite the international hit with I'm Fed Up. Here she sings the French version (with subtitles), J'en ai marre. Boy, I love the French people.


Bubbles and water
Legs up for hours
My goldfish is under me
To bathe for hours
Makes my mouth water
I’m “foamely” ecstatic

It’s not a problem
I lazy ‘round
Bubbly and stubborn
I lazy ‘round
Melon and water
Is just a dream
It makes me wonder
Is it a “sin” ?

Bubbles and water
Legs up for hours
“Bombs”, you keep away from me!
Today lying low
Twisting up my toes
I swim in such harmony
So what bothers me:

Chorus :
I’m fed up with loneliness
With my uncle overstressed
Fumbling, crawling for something
That never shows, just a dream.
I’m fed up with creeps crying
Over the past, such a sin
Not to be cool, but a fool
If I could mess up their rules.
I’m fed up with your complaints
Baby, well I’m not a saint!
Fed up with the rain, the plane…
That makes me throw up again.
I’m fed up with all cynics
Bathing caps and all critics
I’m fed up with being
fed up! Poor me !

Bubbles and water
Legs up for hours
My goldfish still under me!
Delight of pleasures
Aquatic treasures
A place out of misery, my fantasy

Thursday, December 3, 2009

White Bird



It's A Beautiful Day formed in 1967 in San Francisco. They achieved moderate success but nowhere near the popularity of some of their "summer of love" contemporaries.

Their leader, David LaFlamme, had been a violin soloist with the Utah Symphony Orchestra



Their best known song, White Bird, comes from their self-titled initial album, released in 1969. And it demonstrates the group's unique approach to music, a catchy fusion of rock, jazz, folk and classical genres. The group split up in 1974.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hang On Sloopy




In the mid 60s, a group called the Strangeloves were riding high with a song called I Want Candy. They'd been touring with the Dave Clark Five and had been playing a tune called Hang On Sloopy. The Dave Clark Five liked it so much they were about to record it. But the Strangeloves had other ideas. They gave it to an outfit called Rick and the Raiders, led by 17 year-old Rick Zehringer - later known as Rick Derringer - and they put it out under the name of The McCoys. In October 1965, it hit #1.



Of course Derringer went on to play with the Johnny and Edgar Winter bands, had a decent solo career marked by the hit Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo and has been an in-demand session guitarist, perhaps most notably with Steely Dan.



The song has since been adopted as the football fighting song of Ohio State University. And it's played at home games of the Cincinnati Bengals, the Cleveland Browns, Cavaliers and Indians, not to mention the Columbus Blue Jackets.

In 1985, the Ohio General Assembly designated Hang On Sloopy as the official rock song of Ohio.



Saturday, November 28, 2009

Off Beat - You've Never Even Called Me By My Name



I've long been a fan of Steve Goodman and was saddened by the songwriter's death in 1984 at the age of 36 of leukemia. He had a way with words and a sharp wit, evidenced by his self-given nickname late in his life of "Cool Hand Leuk".

In the early 70s Goodman was performing at a Chicago bar, opening for Kris Kristofferson. Kristofferson was so impressed he introduced him to Paul Anka who brought him to New York and produced some demos which resulted in his signing with Buddha Records.

Goodman has written many songs for other people. For example, Arlo Guthrie had a hit with City of New Orleans. And David Allan Cole had a hit with one of my favourite Goodman tunes You've Never Even Called Me By My Name, a witty poke at country music and...love.



The song was co-written by another of my favourite songwriters - John Prine, although Prine refused to be listed as the song's co-writer. As the story goes, Goodman bought Prine a jukebox with his royalties.

So here's the non co-writer, singing the song he wrote with Steve Goodman...




And if you were wondering about the Steve Goodman version, here's a bonus...



You Never Even Call Me By My Name
(AKA The Perfect Country & Western Song)
©Steve Goodman and [although he won't admit it] John Prine)

(as sung by Steve Goodman in London, Aug 8, 1976)

[spoken] This is a song I wrote with John Prine 4 years ago (1972) and we tried to put into one song, everything that had ever been in any of the country and western songs we had ever heard. Tried to put it all into one song. Serves us right. This is what came out:

Well it was all I could do to keep from cryin'
Some times it seems so useless to remain
You're the one who always tried to change me
And that is why I will always stay the same

Chorus:
But I'll hang around as long as you will let me
I never minded standing in the rain
You don't have to call me darlin', darlin'
But you never even call me by my name

No, you don't have to call me Freddy Fender
You don't have to call me Charlie Pride
You don't have to call me Merle Haggard anymore
Even though you know you're on my fighting side

Chorus- this verse only:
And I'm gonna hang around as long as you will let me
I never minded standing in the rain (when nights are cold and lonely)
You don't have to call me darlin', darlin'
But you never even call me by name.

[musical by mouth improv done in a Merle Haggard-like tone -no words]

[spoken] I've seen my name, a few times in the phone book
[spoken] And on the neon sign above the bar I used to own
[spoken] And there's only one thing I'm really sure of was that sucker
You're gonna hear it when my savior calls me home

[spoken] That's a lot to get into one song. We left out all the good stuff. Dallas, dope, divorce, dead dogs, trains prison Christmas, mothers, farms, and trucks. Mothers, prison, trucks, trains, farms, Christmas, and dead dogs are essential, you can't have a good country song without them things. And with all due respect this song needs mothers, prison, trucks, trains, farms, Christmas and dead dogs and is that it? Whatever it is - it's also 4 minutes long already (they're going 'when's he gonna end, when's he gonna end in the booth back there') So I'll just tack this verse on the end here-

Ever since the dog died and mama went to prison
Ain't nothin' round this old farm that's been the same
[Spoken] You know when mom broke out last Christmas
She drove the getaway laundry truck into a train

Chorus:
But I'll hang around as long as you will let me
I never minded standing in the rain
You don't have to call me darlin', darlin'
But you never even call me by my name


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Absolutely Right



As a music-loving teenager in Ottawa, Canada's capital, I can recall high-school dances and local concerts with Canadian groups making their tours. April Wine, Lighthouse, Chilliwack, The Guess Who and 3s A Crowd were just some of the acts that stormed through our city.

There were local groups too. One popular band was the Staccatos formed in the mid 60s. They always seemed a cut above the rest of the local groups so it came as no surprise when news came they'd struck out for Los Angeles in an effort to make a dent in the American music scene. Three attempts and a name change to The Five Man Electrical Band later and they hit it big with Signs.

In the early 70s they based themselves in L.A. and toured for several years with such acts as The Allman Brothers, Sly and the Family Stone, The Jefferson Airplane, fellow Canadians Bachman, Turner, Overdrive and many others.



In 1972 they released the album Coming Of Age which spawned the hit Absolutely Right. Our local boys had made good! But fame was fleeting. By 1975 they'd broken up and returned to Ottawa. But for a moment there...


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Love Potion #9


The Searchers apparently took their name from the 1956 John Wayne film of the same name, directed by John Ford. The group formed in the late 50s and went through various line-ups before they achieved hit records in the 60s.

At one point they gave the Beatles a run for their money on the English pop charts and were the second Liverpool group after the fab four to chart a hit in the States with Needles and Pins in 1964.

Love Potion No. 9 was written by Leiber and Stoller and originally recorded by the Clovers in 1959. In 1965 The Searchers' version reached #3 in the States.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Off Beat - Living With A Hernia



Who can forget James Brown singing Living In America in 1985's Rocky IV? Well, I confess that when I think of Living In America, this is the song I think of: Living With A Hernia by Weird Al Yankovic. It's an hilarious parody.



Turns out Yankovic's performance was filmed on the same stage as Brown's. The parody was one of the tracks on Weird Al's 1986 album Polka Party. Yankovic didn't win any awards for his parody. But James Brown won a Grammy for Best R&B Performance in 1986.



Weird Al Yankovic - Living With A Hernia (Official Music Video) - Watch a funny movie here


Help me out! Dig!
All I do is grunt and groan
Hurts me to walk anywhere
Went to see my physician, Dr. Jones
He took my trousers off, told me to cough
Doctor says there ain't nothin' to discuss
He tells me any day I might have to wear a truss

Living with a hernia
All the time, such aggravation
Living with a hernia
Gonna be my ruination
Living with a hernia
Got to have an operation
Feel so old

Too much back pain
Good gawd, drives me insane
Can't run, barely crawl
Got a bulge in my intestinal wall
Walk real funny, bless my soul
Can't play tennis and it's hard to bowl
You can't even do the splits now... Say it!
Better call it quits now
Now I'm sick of all this dancin' anyhow

Living with a hernia
Hurts me bad in a tender location
Living with a hernia
Had enough humiliation
Living with a hernia
Got to have an operation

I live with a hernia
Can't get up, can't bend over
Now I live with a hernia
Wait a minute...
You may not be familiar with the common types
Of hernias that you could get
So just settle down, let me clue you in
There's incomplete
Epigastric
Bladder
Strangulated
Lumbar hernia
Richter's hernia
Obstructed
Inguinal and Direct

Living with a hernia...Rupture!
I said it's causin' me such irritation
Living with a hernia
Have to have my medication
Living with a hernia
I feel bad!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I Want Candy


The Monkees, perhaps, are the best example - or worst, depending upon your point of view - of a manufactured pop group who scored significant chart success. But The Strangeloves aren't that far behind. The Strangeloves were 3 guys from New York who said they were former sheep farmers from Australia. Their story went that they got rich over a new form of sheep crossbreeding and used their millions to start a rock group. Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer, at the time succesfull record producers, adopted the monikers Giles, Miles and Niles Strange and a musical conceit was hatched.



The fictitious brothers ran into a bit of a problem in 1965 with the success of I Want Candy. It ranked so high on the charts the demand to tour as live artists forced them to send out the session musicians who performed in the studio. But they could lip-sync, as this clip demonstrates... Hey, in 1965 what did I know. I was 13 and I thought they were kinda cool.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Massachusetts


The Gibb Brothers were born in England and moved to Australia where they grew up. Their early success, such as it was, was achieved down under before returning to England in the mid-60s. This is the period of the Bee Gees career that I like. They may have been more popular at the forefront of the disco scene, earned more money and sold more records but Barry, Maurice and Robin could sure write and perform pop hits in the decade beginning in the mid-60s.


In 1967, the Bee Gees burst upon the scene with such hits as New York Mining Disaster 1941 and To Love Somebody both from the erroneously titled 3rd album Bee Gees 1st. But one of my favourite early Bee Gees songs appeared on their next album - Horizontal - Massachusetts. Massachusetts was the Bee Gees first #1 hit and it was the second song to be played on BBC1 when it went on the air in September 1967 in response to such pirate radio stations as Radio Caroline being formally outlawed by Britain's Parliament.



While written by the Gibb Brothers, the song was originally intended for The Seekers. However, they turned it down.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Off Beat - Hot Rod Lincoln



In the early 1960s, I recall the older brother of a buddy of mine asking me if I'd ever heard the song "Hot Rod Lincoln". I hadn't, so he brought an LP over to my place and we gave it a spin. What a hoot. It must have been the version by Johnny Bond released in 1960. The original was written and recorded by Charlie Ryan in 1955 in response to a 1951 hit called "Hot Rod Race".



There's a great version of the song by Asleep At The Wheel, but the 1972 version by Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen would seem to be the best known. It's from their first LP - Lost In The Ozone. Cody and his Airmen formed in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1967 before migrating to San Francisco and later Texas, where they disbanded in 1976. Cody went on to sustain a solo career. Hot Rod Lincoln remains his biggest hit.


My pappy said "Son, you're gonna drive me to drinkin',

if you don't stop drivin' that Hot Rod Lincoln."

Have you heard the story of the hot rod race,
where the Fords 'n' Lincolns were settin' the pace?
That story is true, I'm here to say,
that I was drivin' that Model-A.

It's got a Lincoln motor and it's really souped up,
that Model-A body makes it look like a pup.
It's got eight cylinders and uses 'em all,
got overdrive that just won't stall.

With a four-barrel carb and a dual exhaust,
with 4-11 gears you can really get lost.
Got safety tubes but I ain't scared,
the brakes are good, tires fair.

Pulled outta San Pedro late one night,
the moon 'n' the stars was shinin' bright.
We was drivin' up Grapevine hill,
passin' cars like they was standin' still.

All of a sudden in the wink of an eye,
Cadillac sedan passed us by.
I said "Boys that's the mark for me,"
by then the tailight was all you could see.

Now the fellas ribbed me for bein' behind,
so I thought I'd make the Lincoln unwind.
Took my foot off the gas'n'man alive,
I shoved it on down into overdrive.

Wound it up to a hunderd an' ten,
my speedometer said that I hit top end.
My foot was glued like lead to the floor,
that's all there is an' there ain't no more.

Now the boys all thought I'd lost my sense,
them telephone poles looked like a picket fence.
They said "slow down, I see spots,"
the lines on the road just looked like dots.

Took a corner'n'side-swiped a truck,
crossed my fingers just for luck.
My fenders was clickin' the guardrail posts,
the guy beside me was white as a ghost.

Smoke was comin' from outta the back,
when started t' gain on that Cacillac.
Knew I could catch him, I thought I could pass,
don'tcha by then we'd be low on gas.

We had flames comin' from outta the side,
you could feel the tension, man whatta ride.
I said "look out boys, I got a license to fly,"
and that Caddy pulled over and let us by.

Now all of a sudden she started knockin'
down in the dip she started to rock.
And I looked in the mirror, a red light was blinkin',
the cops was after my hot rod Lincoln.

They arrested me 'n' they put me in jail,
'n they called my pappy to throw my bail,
'n he said "son you're gonna drive me ta drinkin'
if you don't stop drivin' that hot rod Lincoln.