Sunday, February 19, 2012

#530: Messin' 4

Continuing 2 crank-out the sometimes-off-the-wall homemade hits 2 help get me thru work nites. The past few nites' playlists have included:

Kansas -- Song for America, Carry On Wayward Son, The Wall, What's On My Mind, Miracles Out of Nowhere, Questions of My Childhood, Cheyenne Anthem.
The Nice -- America.
Nektar -- Do You Believe in Magic?, The Dream Nebula Parts 1 & 2, It's All in Your Mind, King of Twilight, Wings, Astral Man, Fidgety Queen, Good Day (live), It's All Over.
Fanny -- Charity Ball, Ain't That Peculiar?
Marvin Gaye -- Ain't That Peculiar?, What's Goin' On?
Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell -- You're All I Need to Get By.
Dave Clark Five -- Any Way You Want It.
Todd Rundgren -- Just One Victory.
Mark Knopfler & Gerry Rafferty -- That's the Way it Always Starts.
Sally Oldfield -- Fire and Honey.
Bruce Cockburn -- Badlands Flashback.
Pete Townshend -- Give Blood, A Little is Enough.
Waterboys -- A Life of Sundays.
Uriah Heep -- Easy Livin'.
Guess Who -- Road Food, Star Baby, Clap for the Wolfman.
Blue Ridge Rangers (John Fogerty) -- Hearts of Stone.
Mason Williams -- Classical Gas.
Fendermen -- Mule Skinner Blues.
Trashmen -- Surfin' Bird.
Dramatics -- Whatcha See is Whatcha Get.
Freddy Cannon -- Palisades Park.
Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart -- I Wonder What She's Doin' Tonight.
Beau Brummels -- Laugh Laugh.
Ricky Nelson -- Hello Mary Lou, Stood Up, Be-Bop Baby, Waitin' in School.
Steam -- (Na Na Hey Hey) Kiss Him Goodbye.
Dion -- Daddy Rollin' (In Your Arms).
Del Shannon -- Runaway.
Cowsills -- Hair.
American Breed -- Bend Me Shape Me.
Beatles -- Eight Days a Week, I Saw Her Standing There, Baby You're a Rich Man, Old Brown Shoe, Paperback Writer, I Don't Want to Spoil the Party, Misery, Roll Over Beethoven, You Know My Name (Look Up the Number).
Richie Valens -- Come On Let's Go.
Diamonds -- Little Darlin'.
Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers -- Why Do Fools Fall in Love?
Silhouettes -- Get a Job.
Chuck Berry -- No Particular Place to Go, You Never Can Tell.
Joe Walsh -- Meadows.
Sweet -- Ballroom Blitz, Fox on the Run.
Bachman-Turner Overdrive -- Tramp.
Ten Years After -- I'd Love to Change the World.
Status Quo -- Pictures of Matchstick Men.
Jimi Hendrix -- The Wind Cries Mary, Purple Haze.
Blue Oyster Cult -- Godzilla.
Chantays -- Pipeline.
Leo Sayer -- Long Tall Glasses.
Bobby Freeman -- Do You Wanna Dance?
Barry McGuire -- Eve of Destruction.
Peter, Paul and Mary -- Don't Think Twice It's All Right, For Lovin' Me.
Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Ponies -- Different Drum.
Seekers -- I'll Never Find Another You.
Michael Murphey -- Carolina in the Pines.
Raiders -- Do Unto Others.
Loudon Wainwright III -- Dead Skunk.
John Fogerty -- Rockin' All Over the World, Almost Saturday Night.
Glen Campbell -- Gentle on My Mind.
Petula Clark -- I Know a Place.
Blue Haze -- Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.
Troggs -- Wild Thing.
Kingsmen -- Louie Louie.
Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs -- Wooly Bully.
Young Rascals -- Good Lovin'.
Music Explosion -- A Little Bit of Soul.
Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels -- Devil With a Blue Dress/Good Golly Miss Molly.
Santana -- Everybody's Everything.
Gary Lewis and the Playboys -- Count Me In, This Diamond Ring.
Strawberry Alarm Clock -- Incense and Peppermints.
Association -- Windy.
Beach Boys -- Kiss Me Baby, Susie Cincinnati.
Johnny Rivers -- It Wouldn't Happen With Me, Memphis.
Elvis -- Promised Land.
Stones -- 19th Nervous Breakdown, Paint it Black.
First Class -- Beach Baby.
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band -- House at Pooh Corner.
Isley Brothers -- Shout (Parts 1 & 2).
Teegarden and VanWinkle -- God, Love and Rock and Roll.
Robin MacNamara -- Lay a Little Lovin' on Me.
Brotherhood of Man -- United We Stand.
Focus -- Hocus Pocus 2.
Jethro Tull -- Love Song.
Fleetwood Mac -- Dissatisfied.
Turtles -- Grim Reaper of Love, Outside Chance, We'll Meet Again.

...Some of this went over pretty well. 1 guy was thrilled 2 hear the Beatles, & I hadta laff cos "You Know My Name" was playing at the time. 1 guy my age sang along with the choruses of "Everybody's Everything." 1 guy asked if I'd bn watching ANIMAL HOUSE while "Shout" was playing. 1 guy said he hadn't heard "Hair" in quite awhile. A couple in their early 20s bopped around pretty good 2 "Lay a Little Lovin' on Me," which I was suprised by cos it's so bubble-gummy.
In fact, a lotta this list is pretty bubblegummy, which may B cos of what I've bn reading lately....
But "Susie Cincinnati" has that 1 great line: "Her looks aren't exactly a plus...."
& "Eve of Destruction" still sounds great. & it's still pretty accurate....

If you're looking 4 a fast, lite, breezy rock&roll read, you might check out Tommy James & Martin Fitzpatrick's ME, THE MOB AND THE MUSIC (2010), which follows James' & his band The Shondells' 6-year string of hits on the Roulette label from 1966 thru '71.
& I mean it when I say fast -- by 1/2way thru this 225-pg book, James has already covered his early life & his 1st batch of hits -- "Hanky Panky," "I Think We're Alone Now," "Mirage," etc. The book takes a big jump in intrest around pg 50 when "Hanky Panky" -- a record James cut 2 years earlier -- finally gets some radio airplay in Pittsburgh in '66 & then starts climbing the national charts. There's another jump on pg 60 when James meets the notorious Morris Levy, the head of Roulette & the man who will run James' life 4 the next 6 years....
James is not a Deep Thinker. He gets his highschool sweetheart pregnant, they marry, they have a son -- & then the wife & son R both pretty-much dropped from the story. James moves in with a Roulette secretary after arriving in NYC & causes her 2 lose her job -- tho they stay 2gether. James briefly reflects while touring the country after his 1st couple hits that none of the people who were in his life a year earlier R in it now. & tho he returns 2 his hometown, he never mentions seeing his wife & son....
James is very good on some of the tactics used 2 get his songs on the radio back then. He's solid on summa the ugly behind-the-scenes details about how those songs came 2 B created. & he's real clear on how the only person getting paid at Roulette was Morris Levy.
There is of course a big final Xplosion Btween James & Levy, but it all works out OK. James has 1 more hit after he leaves Roulette, & gets married 4 a 3rd time ... & almost feels guilty when he doesn't attend Levy's funeral.
This is all handled breezily enough. But it's THIN. The book could easily have been 100 pgs longer. Members of the Shondells come & go, some of them R never more than names mentioned 1nce. There's a lot more that coulda bn told here. It woulda bn a better book.
Maybe the biggest punchline is on the back cover: "SOON TO BE A BROADWAY MUSICAL." Hmmm.

Also looking good is Kim Cooper & David Smay's BUBBLEGUM MUSIC IS THE NAKED TRUTH (2001), a collection of short pieces about the "artists" that made bubblegum music happen -- Archies, Banana Splits, Monkees, Partridge Family, Turtles, Raiders, Cowsills, Greenaway & Cook, Katzanetz/Katz, etc.
Have only peeked at this volume, but I like the editors' approach -- the articles look hilarious, but the writers R also absolute fanatics about this stuff. Looks like it could B lotsa fun.
More soon!

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