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Apr 152020

I knew that Yo La Tengo‘s “You Can Have It All” was a cover, but until recently, I had never heard the original. I was delighted to find out it was by George McCrea of “Rock Your Baby fame,” but was shocked to learn that it was written by Harry Wayne Casey, or KC from KC and the Sunshine Band to you. Turns out he also wrote “Rock Your Baby.” Should I have been shocked by this? Probably not, but here we are. Does anyone have any delightful musical surprises that they’d like to share?


The Saddest Song

 Posted by
Feb 122016

I’ve been learning a bunch of Tom Waits songs and in the course of doing so, some of my cohorts and I began to wonder: what is the saddest Tom Waits song? There are several excellent candidates.
Georgia Lea, for instance, tells the story of a street kid who is found dead in a ditch and asks the question ‘Why wasn’t God watching?”
Alice is sung from the perspective of Lewis Carrol and addresses his inappropriate obsession with the real life inspiration for Alice in Wonderland.
But my vote is for A Little Rain. It’s sung from the perspective of a grave digger who is surrounded by surreal characters. He seems to be trying to keep a stiff upper lip about his general situation, and is thankful that the rain makes his job easier by softening the ground. Then the last verse:
“She was 15 years old
And never seen the ocean
She climbed into a van
With a vagabond
And the last thing she said
Was ‘I love you mom’
And a little rain
Never hurt no one”
But this made me wonder. Is there a sadder song than A Little Rain? It doesn’t have to be restricted to Tom Waits but I’m not talking about some maudlin thing like Seasons in the Sun, or some country weeper where the guy runs over his own hound dog with his pickup on his way back his pappy’s funeral or something. (I suppose “maudlin” is probably in the eye of the beholder and you might consider A Little Rain to be maudlin, but I’m interested in hearing what you consider to be a truly sad song. If your answer is Seasons in the Sun, make your case).
Delivery and nuance seem like critical issues here.
The only one that hits me like A Little Rain is Galveston by Glenn Campbell.
So, what is the saddest song?

Nov 042015



Please assign each band member the most appropriate activity based on what you assume their skill set to be:
1. Be your guest at a dinner party
2. Babysit/pet sit/house sit for a week
3. Help remodel the kitchen/assist with home repairs
4. Pick out a wardrobe that you will then wear exclusively for the next year

John, Paul, George, Ringo
Mick, Keith, Charlie, Brian/Bill
Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young
Mercury, May, Deacon, Taylor

Sep 142015


I’m looking for the names of people mentioned in the Bible. The rules:

  1. The song must refer to an official saint or an actual person in the Bible (not just someone with the same name i.e. Abraham, Martin and John is not about the biblical Abraham).
  2. The name can only be used once.
  3. A song can only be used once.
  4. Be sure to heed the 11th commandment “Thou shall not Bogart the thread” and limit your answers to one per response.

I will start off with Abraham from “Highway 61” (“God said to Abraham ‘Kill me a son’; Abe said ‘Man, you must be putting me on…'”)

Mar 242015

Walk in the Woods by Peter Case popped up on a YouTube feed today and I was once again struck by how great the lyrics are (see below). They tell the story of a young couple who disappears from a small town after going for a walk in the woods. None of the townsfolk can find them or imagine what horrible fate befell them. In the end, even the narrator is unable to tell us what happened to them because [SPOILER ALERT!] he takes a walk in the woods and he never comes back.

The challenge is to name a song where the lyrics contain a surprise twist at the end. Please include a brief description of what the twist was.
And, as always, please limit your answers to one per post.

Out past the cemetery, Down by the willow bend,
Half a mile from the railroad track
Last seen together, these two lovers hand in hand
They took a walk in the woods and they never come back

News from the radio it rang out through the fields,
just when they thought they found the track
through a patch of four leaf clovers, They vanished in thin air
They took a walk in the woods and they never come back

Never before in history has this town been so up in arms
You never head such misery as those blood hounds cross the farms
Between God & the police, they were protected from all harm
They took a walk in the woods and they never come back

Sounds where emergency, no evidence was removed
You never heard such theories, but none of them could be proved
For the missing children, no conscience could be soothed
They took a walk in the woods and they never come back

Well that was fifteen years ago, I guess I come a long long way
I never heard the end of it, you know I couldn’t stay . . .
When I’m not stuck for time or money, I still wonder about that day
I took a walk in the woods and I never come back

Mar 202015

I’m finally getting around to reading Don Felder’s autobiography “Heaven and Hell” and am really enjoying it. I’m just getting to the part where he meets the Eagles and am very much looking forward to being outraged by Don Henley’s douchy-ness and Glenn Frey’s annoying alpha-frat-bro behavior.

I never thought about it much, but “Donald” is not a very rock and roll sounding name. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being Johnny or Mick, and a 1 being something like Ernie (no offense to Ernie K Doe and Ernie Isley intended), Donald has to come in at about 2 or 3. It feels like a name better suited for an accountant or a municipal clerk, rather than someone playing to sold out crowds and reveling in the accompanying sex and drugs.

The fact that the Eagle had two Donalds in their band might have created a certain disruption to their psychic feng shui that they could never overcome no matter how many units they sold.

On the other hand, Donald Roeser of Blue Oyster Cult had the good sense to change his name to Buck Dharma, and while “Buck” is not the greatest rock name, it certainly ranks higher than Donald, and may have, in some small, intangible way, helped nudge the band closer to the path of creative righteousness.

Anyway, here are some rock and roll Donalds, listed in order of their ability to triumph over what, in retrospect, was a poorly chosen name and a sizable original sin to overcome.

Donald “Duck” Dunn
Don Covey
Donald Fagan
Don Dixon
Don Was
Don Felder
Don McClean
Donnie Iris
Don Henley


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