Aug 272020

Here’s a topic I have been thinking about for years, but that may never have made it to the Main Stage. I guess I’ve been thinking about this since Rock Town Hall first fizzled away.

KISS‘ “Hard Luck Woman” is such an obvious pastiche of mid-’70s Rod Stewart that it’s a wonder that Rod never covered it. (Or has he?) Some of you may recall how much I personally despise KISS, but I have to give it to them: they were rock solid as Rod Stewart imitators.

What’s the first thing anyone of my generation thought when first hearing the Stealer’s Wheel song “Stuck in the Middle With You”?

New Dylan tune? Cool!

Bob’s a proud man, but he’s got a devilish sense of humor. How has he gone all these years without covering that song? (Or has he?)

And here’s the tune that has most had me thinking about this topic for the last few years: David Bowie‘s “Diamond Dogs.” Maybe it was 5 years ago when it came on and I thought to myself, That is the greatest song the Exile-era Stones never recorded!

Can you hear it as a swaggering Stones song, with Jagger sashaying and laying into the word “brooch” the way Bowie so expertly does*; Mick Taylor and Keef doing their thing; E Pluribus Gergely‘s favorite saxophonist, Bobby Keys, honking away? Ever since that day the thought occurred to me, that’s all I can hear. Well, that and the way Bowie sings brooch. And the cool This ain’t rock ‘n roll; this is genocide intro.

So here’s my assignment:

Starting with the 3 songs I’ve noted (and dispute those nominations if you must), what would make the greatest collection of covers of pastiche songs by the original artists being imitated? Imagine, a revitalized, coke-and-brandy fueled Rod the Mod singing “Hard Luck Woman.” Bob Dylan and his most crack modern-day band rambling through “Stuck in the Middle With You.” The Rolling Fucking Stones coming back for just one more album and world tour, featuring their version of “Diamond Dogs.” Hell, the Stones promise 2000 Man a seat on the tour bus!

*Brooch is probably my favorite word in the English language, or at least a close second to penultimate, on the basis of the way Bowie pronounces it in “Diamond Dogs.” Somehow, Bowie made it sound dirty!

Apr 092020

Our old friend mikeydread got in touch to pass along this piece on a disappointing album. I think this is a nicely balanced expression of disappointment, not the kind of thing we’d hear from smack-talking E. Pluribus Gergely.

You’ve all had enough time to reflect on Nashville Skyline, and I really don’t think Bob Dylan is a Townsperson, so you won’t need to worry about missing out on advance copies of his next Bootleg Series: On a scale of Bad to Meh to Great, how do you rate this album?

Apr 072020

Recent mentions of magical finds of Bob Dylan and Beatles outtakes via vinyl’s bootleg golden age and legitimate releases of previously unreleased outtakes that became a staple in the all-but-dead CD age got me wondering what your Top 3 cutting-room floor classics might be.

As a kid, I never had enough money to justify the low ROI from buying bootlegs, so I got out of that game early. My close personal friend Townsman Andyr sunk more money into Beatles bootlegs than I was willing to sink, and whenever I’d check them out, I was amazed at how little worthwhile material they left on the cutting-room floor. Those cats were efficient!


This Is Us

 Posted by
Apr 012020

Here are some things I would have commented on during the interregnum since October 2016:

I would have continued championing Dylan’s Sinatra period as he released Triplicate. Here’s Dylan doing “Once Upon A Time” at a Tony Bennett 90th birthday tribute. Dylan does it far better than Bennett, as does Sinatra.

I would have mentioned the Len Price 3, one of my favorite “new” bands of the last 15 years.

I would have raved about Scorsese’s Rolling Thunder Review “documentary.” Personally, I love the phony bits in this; it’s so Dylanesque I’m surprised he hasn’t thought of it before. Hmmm? And you have to love the film if only for the performance of “Isis,” which immediately joins 1966 and the first Letterman performance as the best Dylan live performances.

And speaking of Dylan, Robbie Fulks’ album 16, a cover of Dylan’s Street Legal, is as great a Dylan cover set as you are going to hear. Little is a replication of the original; it’s a wonderful reinterpretation in much the way that Dylan reinterpreted Sinatra.

And speaking of Robbie, his collaboration with Linda Gail Lewis, Wild! Wild! Wild!, is another great one, on record and especially live.

And it was plenty of fun seeing Mott the Hoople in NYC last spring. Ian Hunter giving Ariel Bender and Morgan Fisher another chance to be in the spotlight and dress up glam. Bender pulled it off and Fisher had moments where he seemed to know where he was. At 64, I was one of the younger members of the crowd, many of whom were glammed up as well, even those with walkers and, I kid you not, in one case a walker and an oxygen tank. Not exactly all the young dudes.

Oh, and as long as we are talking about fun concerts, the oldies show with Freddie Cannon, Lou Christie, Bobby Rydell, and Darlene Love was lots of fun. Even if I didn’t get to hear Darlene sing “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” live (apparently November 5 is too early for that); that was rectified this past December.

What would you have written about in the last 3½ years?

May 202013


This May 24, 2013 is Bob Dylan‘s 72nd birthday. To celebrate the occasion, the Worcester Art Museum is offering free admission to anyone who comes “dressed as Bob.” I’m curious to know how liberal the museum staff’s interpretation of coming “dressed as Bob” will be. Being a bit of a wiseass, I can’t help but think of my reaction, in my younger days, to restaurants that had a tie and jacket dress code.

Continue reading »

Nov 122012

Give it away.

I didn’t know until today that Judy Collins first covered Bob Dylan‘s then-unreleased song “I’ll Keep it With Mine” in 1965. I’ve never heard her version, but whoever got the song on the road to the version that I first learned through Fairport Convention‘s chilling take had both ears and vision.

Fairport Convention, I’ll Keep It With Mine

Next, sometime in sophomore year in college, I heard the Nico version, clearly guided by the sensibilities of her producer John Cale. I believe this preceded Fairport’s version, so Mad props! to Nico.

Finally, a few years later, I heard Dylan’s demo. Like a few other Dylan demos that were turned into great covers (eg, “Quinn the Eskimo,” by Manfred Mann; “One Too Many Mornings,” by the Beau Brummels), I was stunned anyone could hear anything of great worth in the song. It’s OK, but his performance indicates little focus or drama. Can you imagine hearing this acetate and wanting to run with it the way Fairport Convention and Nico did? Check it out… Continue reading »

Aug 272012

Despite a horrible album cover, as discussed previously here, “Duquesne Whistle,” the first track released from Bob Dylan‘s upcoming Tempest, is pretty good. Check it out here.

The song sounds nothing like the album cover! I only wish Bob’s beyond-repair voice was mixed a little lower so I could better enjoy the groove the band cooks up behind him.


Lost Password?

twitter facebook youtube