Long Ryders, Looking for Lewis and Clark

Darren Viola posted this song on Facebook today. I’d totally forgotten about these guys, though I’m pretty sure I have the vinyl of this one in the boxes in the basement. I happen to have the poster for the movie The Long Riders in my office. No direct relation, but Ry Cooder did the music for that classic film, and these guys took their name from the movie.

Defend Your Boy?

I remember a while ago, someone put up a Jake Bugg video or two (not bad at all) and I think a couple of you really liked him. Well, apparently the record company got to him and ol’ young Jake is now doing the hip-hop choreographed dancing boogie like everyone else.

Sellout? He does have the right initials for a hip hop teeny bop artist.

Song of the Week – Hypnotized, Fleetwood Mac

IGNORED OBSCURED RESTORED

Fleetwood Mac has gone through numerous line-ups in its 50 year career though it’s been pretty stable since Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined in 1975. But for the first 8 years the band went through several incarnations. The first was the blues based band led by guitar hero Peter Greene. When Greene left, Danny Kirwan took over as the main songwriter. Version 3.0 came about when Bob Welch stepped forward with his songwriting and vocals.

Today’s SotW is Welch’s “Hypnotized” from the album Mystery to Me (1973).

In a 2012 article for Rolling Stone, David Fricke wrote “The best song Welch ever gave the Mac, “Hypnotized” was urgent noir propelled by a shuffling mix of guitars and (Christine) McVie’s electric-piano understatement, with Welch singing in a sleepwalking cadence like a Raymond Chandler detective musing to himself in a late-night rain.”

“Hypnotized” was released as a single, but it was buried as the B-side to Mac’s cover of The Yardbirds “For Your Love.” (If you’re a vinyl album geek like me, you’ll try to find a copy of the album that erroneously lists an unreleased song called “Good Things (Come to Those Who Wait)” that never made it onto the album because it was dropped at the last minute and replaced by “For Your Love.”) Fortunately for Welch and the Mac, “Hypnotized” became an FM rock radio staple in the 70s.

It starts with a very catchy Mick Fleetwood drum pattern – a snare crack and three beats on the bass drum under an insistent patter on the high hat. Once the beat is firmly established it’s followed by some slick guitar interplay. Christine Mac and Bob Weston provide soothing backing vocals.

The lyrics have an early 70s, Carlos Castaneda (The Teachings of Don Juan) inspired, mystical vibe.

They say there’s a place down in Mexico
Where a man can fly over mountains and hills
And he don’t need an airplane or some kind of engine
And he never will

According to Mojo (Jan 2013), “Welch apparently wrote this eerie electric blues after dreaming that a UFO piloted by a Navajo shaman had landed on the tennis court in Fleetwood Mac’s communal country pile.”

Sadly, Welch died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest in his suburban Nashville home in 2012. But he left us a strong legacy of music in his work with Fleetwood Mac and as a solo artist, especially the album French Kiss (1977).

Enjoy… until next week.

Worst Video Ever

A new Planet Fitness opened close to my house, so I quit the Y and joined. $10 a month can’t be beat. But the music they play is pure horrible.

I’ve seen this video several times now and I can ignore it no longer. Here’s the plot:

1) There’s this lonely Bro Country guy in the desert.

2) One night he sees something like a falling star very nearby.

3) He checks it out and meets an alien/feral/Native American woman. Nubile and beautiful, of course.

4) They tool around and drink Bud Light (perhaps most offensive).

5) It’s implied that they fuck later. (I’m hoping she has a big lobster claw where her vagina should be.)

The band sickens me too, looking exactly like every band should look these days. The music certainly doesn’t make up for anything.

I would happily offer everyone in this video to ISIS, as my gift.

Old Memories

This track kicks off Alice Cooper’s Muscle Of Love, a CD I just received the other day and haven’t heard for easily 30, maybe 35 years. It brought a big smile to my face, taking me back all those years.

Notes:

1) This was essentially my second rock ‘n’roll album. A friend of mine had introduced me to non-radio rock ‘n’ roll via Billion Dollar Babies prior to us starting catechism class together after not seeing each other for a couple years. I believe I was 12. After listening to Babies for months, I remember shoveling snow in order to buy Alice’s newest, Muscle Of Love. With no internet or older sibling guidance, my best guess was to buy the newest one (I often did this), figuring the newest was the best. It took me years to discover that isn’t true and it took me until years later to discover the best Alice Coopers – Love It To Death, Killer and School’s Out.

2) I had bought the Guess Who’s Share The Land and American Woman albums a couple years before, but then lost interest in music for a while (?!). Such is the life of a little kid.

3) Muscle is the last for the Alice Cooper band. Listening to the entire album one can hear the transition to the soon-to-come solo Alice Cooper. The crappy song ratio increases and the guitar sound is radically different as Glen Buxton was too drunk/drugged to play at this point. The Mick Mashbir/Dick Wagner duo is in full swing here. I imagine they let Michael Bruce still play a little rhythm guitar.

4) It’s also a pretty forgotten/ignored Alice Cooper album and that’s legit. Funny, the first two Alice albums are kind of ignored too, the weirdo Zappa-like Pretties For You and Easy Action. I’ve always counted Love It To Death as their debut.

5) No idea what (Hippo) is supposed to mean. Still don’t.

6) The “big” hit off this album was Teenage Lament ’74. If you remember anything from this album, it’s probably that one. Just found Big Country covering it for another hearty (?!).

Obit: Lonnie Mack (1941-2016)

lonniemackAgain the cosmic forces have struck the pop music world with the passing of guitar great Lonnie Mack.

To the casual listener, Mack might only be known for his iconic instrumental rendition of Chuck Berry’s Memphis in 1963.

But, the blues player who favored a Gibson Flying V axe fitted with a Bigsby whammy bar played sessions and influenced a generation of players including Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Jeff Beck, and Bootsy Collins, among others, who all noted Mack’s style and attack were pivotal learnings in their own relative development as guitar gods.

Mack also collaborated, recording with Janis Joplin in a duet of George Jones’ Things Have Gone to Pieces, that featured Jerry Garcia on lap steel and Jimi Hendrix on guitar. Mack, who was the Elektra records guitar guru during the 60’s and 70’s also played bass on the first two Doors albums, in addition to his own recordings and performing over the decades.

Lesser known perhaps than his admirers, Mack was considered a “guitarist’s guitarist” and a pioneer within the music industry for his single string phrases accented by the infamous Bigsby.

Ciao Lonnie. Let’s leave you with the killer.