Jul 282021


I’m not clever enough to properly embed the link you see above, so it just plays auto-magically. So click on the link, and spend a few moments remembering “the Dust.”

Also: it seems only fitting on this sad day that — yes, seriously — footage has finally emerged of the Top playing on their Worldwide Texas Tour. Enjoy.

Memory eternal.



Mystery Date!

 Posted by
Jul 242021

Let’s review the ground rules here. The Mystery Date song is not necessarily something I believe to be good. So feel free to rip it or praise it. Rather the song is something of interest due to the artist, influences, time period… Your job is to decipher as much as you can about the artist without research. Who do you think it is? Or, Who do you think it sounds like? When do you think it was recorded? Etc…

If you know who it is, don’t spoil it for the rest. Anyone who knows it can play the “mockcarr option.” (And I’ve got a hunch at least one of you know this one.) This option is for those of you who just can’t hold your tongue and must let everyone know just how in-the-know you are by calling it. So if you know who it is and want everyone else to know that you know, email Mr. Moderator at mrmoderator [at] rocktownhall [dot] com. If correct we will post how brilliant you are in the Comments section.

The real test of strength though is to guess as close as possible without knowing. Ready, steady, go!

Here are 3 tracks by the same Mystery Band.



 Posted by
Jul 202021

I do like a good rock “woo.” You know what I mean by a “woo,” I hope. I mean those moments when somebody in the band just has to let out a cathartic, falsetto “woo” at a critical, “woo”-worthy juncture in a song.

Do you have any favorite rock “woo”s? I’ve posted an audio collage of a few of mine above. For extra credit, identify them. I look forward to your responses.


Jul 162021

As the surge of hormones ran through my teenage loins, Pat Benetar appeared on the scene in a a French sailor-style striped shirt and leather pants. I knew that god put her on the scene to turn me on, but I found her to be a complete turnoff. Her music sure didn’t help.

One of her hits from her unavoidable debut album was a song called “You Better Run.” The main guitar hook was easy enough that even I could play it, as I fumbled with my newly acquired electric guitar. It was as if god put that song on the FM airwaves to turn me on, but I found her singing and the twists and turns the song would take as it hit the chorus to be a complete turnoff. Her objectively cute, petite body in that outfit didn’t help.

No biggie. There was plenty of FM rock music I couldn’t stand in the late ’70s. I learned to ignore the music of Pat Benetar and not stress out over the fact that I didn’t find her appealing, even though I knew she was constructed to appeal to my burgeoning tastes in women.

Two years later, when I finally started to figure out how to be remotely cool, I bought a used copy of the classic Rascals’ greatest hits album and realized that “You Better Run” was actually one of their songs. I had no idea. The Rascals were cool, man. Their version must have been the definitive one that Benetar and her guitar-wielding mate Neil Giraldo butchered.

Jul 122021

Rock & roll is littered with lots of bands featuring brothers.

How many are there? Let’s find out with a Last Man Standing. Let’s not be exclusionary though. Sisters, brother & sister, parent and child are all allowed. That’s as far as we stretch though. No cousins twice removed or anything.

Oh, and they don’t have to have a love-hate relationship.

Bonus points for twins. I can only think of one of those [Ed – Oh, I think you’ll be sorry for your obvious oversight!] so I’ll put that out there to start the show and since they are twins I’ll show two videos (because I couldn’t decide on a favorite).

Thanks to Craig & Charlie Reid, I am the last man standing!

As always, don’t Bogart this thread. Please limit yourself to ONE ENTRY PER POST.

Jul 062021

I read the news the other day, oh boy, and found out it was 50 years ago that Jim Morrison checked out, either of a heart attack in a nice warm bath at home or overdosed on the throne at some local bar, depending on who you ask. Did anyone ever make a quicker descent from rock God to fat Elvis to dead Elvis? Man, he went for it.

In our household, my parents regularly discussed the news, but the death of a drugged-up hippy primarily known for getting arrested after waving his privates around on stage would have been low on their list of things to discuss with their 8-year-old son. That’s if they knew who he was, which seems as unlikely as me taking note of news about a rapper or singer in a boy band.

Without access to their music, other than “Light My Fire” on the Stardust soundtrack album, I read about them in books and magazines and was keen to find out more. About 4 years later, I was more than ready to pull out and demand to hear their albums when visiting friends whose parents were more liberal than my own. Which was almost everyone.

Before the world got poorly, I went to Paris with Mrs H, where I insisted on visiting Pere Lachaise cemetery. We arrived about an hour before closing time. She was tired and decided to help the sunset along with her knitting while I bounced around in search of what’s left of famous dead people, clutching the little map they handed me on the way in.

I said goodnight to Georges Melies and Edith Piaf, then found Simone Signoret and Yves Montand, who had the good sense to make things easier for death tourists by getting buried together. A brisk dash up the hill and I was soon channeling my inner Morrissey while having out with Oscar Wilde. The custodians grew so weary of cleaning his monument they stuck a huge glass box over it about twenty years ago. Nowadays, visitors chuck roses and whatnot over the walls before heading east to where the hardcore dudes hang out. For there rests Jim Morrison, under a mountain of tributes that photos suggest looks like a week’s worth of trash dumped on the unassuming marker beneath.

If you’ve seen The Prisoner, you might remember the buggies going out to retrieve Patrick McGoohan during his periodic escape attempts. About 20 minutes before closing time, the cemetery fills with similar vehicles, driving around exhorting anyone not 6 feet underground to make their way to the exit, barking at laggards through cracked loud hailers like some deranged Gallic Mark E Smith tribute act.

After losing a lot of weight, I discovered I can now run, better than I could as a teenager, or ever wanted to. I considered dodging the dune buggies and dashing over to see brother Jim, but quickly decided I couldn’t be bothered.

And that was when I realised The Doors, whose music meant so much to me as an angry/miserable, and usually both, teenager meant no longer held that magic for me. In addition, I wonder whether they ever did, or if I was merely dazzled by the legend.

There are about half a dozen songs I like well enough if I hear them on the radio. Two or three are so good that straight after hearing them I want to listen to them again. Mostly, they feel like something I used to do a long time ago and now can’t remember why. I’ve heard rereading Catcher in the Rye as an adult has the same effect on many.

If I heard “The End” coming from one of our children’s rooms, I’d probably walk on down the hall and ask them nicely to shut the door. Father, I want to… That’s very nice son, would you mind doing it more quietly?

So, am I maligning the Lizard King, or was he really wandering around most of the time stark naked, as opposed to simply waving his bits around at those who may or may not have wanted to see them?

And who in your musical life either appeared, or was heralded, as the second coming but turned out just to be a naughty boy?


T. R E X

 Posted by
Jul 022021

What nonsense, this slagging of Marc Bolan!

Couldn’t you take the sentence “Honestly, the T. Rex catalog can be arguably defined as ‘Get it On (Bang a Gong)’ and 60 or so other tracks that are more or less ‘Son of Get It On (Bang a Gong)'” and substitute “Chuck Berry” for “T. Rex” and “Johnny B. Goode” for “Get It On (Bang A Gong)”? The only flaw in that is that Marc Bolan had more variety in his songs than Chuck Berry did.

I won’t argue that Bolan did mostly one thing. One overall thing to keep in mind is that he died at age 30. It’s an incomplete career that was actually over 4 years before his death when the cocaine and champagne stagnated him; he was only rounding back into shape months before the car crash.

Another overall thing to keep in mind is that the statement isn’t really true. He started out as Dylan folkie, then switched to the Incredible String Band-ish Tyrannosaurus Rex, then to T. Rex. With T. Rex, he had hit on the sound that made him a superstar (at least outside the US), and that’s what he wanted to be and he rode it.

Rode it like Eddie Arcaro! But, wait, that Eddie Arcaro, he was a one-trick pony (yes, I confess, I used Arcaro just so I could use that line), he really wasn’t that good, all he ever did was ride horses, never won the home run crown, never was NBA MVP.

Silly, huh? Arcaro was the greatest ever at what he did; you don’t criticize him for what he didn’t do. Likewise with Bolan. While he wasn’t the greatest at what he did, he was great. He wasn’t Chuck Berry (although he nicked a whole lot from Berry), and we don’t criticize Berry for writing the same song over and over.

Bolan realized before the punks, at a time when rock & roll was splintering into prog and metal and Laurel Canyon and all the rest, that rock & roll at its birth was about boys & girls & love & sex married to a great riff and that’s what he did. Yep, over and over, but it sure is a good formula, isn’t it?

He has never gotten the credit he deserves. Not for returning to the roots before The Ramones or the New York Dolls or punk ever did, not for paving the way for Bowie with glam (and later, Marc shifted into soul-influenced music due to his relationship with Gloria Jones of “Tainted Love” fame before Bowie as well), not for embracing “stardom” before Elton John. [Side note apropos of nothing: Marc, David, and Elton were all born in 1947.]

Here is a playlist, if not exactly a UK 14 track best of. No “Get It On,” no “Telegram Sam,” no “Jeepster.” You all know those anyway and that’s probably all you know. Be honest EPG, you couldn’t name 10 T. Rex songs, never mind 60.


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