Sales for Soupy Life

Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life, though lyrically inappropriate for minors, is famous for its drum riff, but I’m always hooked by the ripping punchy bassline (surprise surprise.)

Turns out that bassist, Tony Sales, is the son of comedian Soupy Sales.

I love trivia like that.

You may, if you so desire, go listen to the ridiculous but wonderful cover by the Smithereens:

CCR = John Fogerty

[l1]E[/l1]very place John is mentioned online, someone brings up the immense unfairness of the bass player and drummer of CCR never getting their due from him.

As a bass player and drummer myself, that all sounds like kneejerk emotional reaction, not objective assessments of Doug Clifford’s and Stu Cook’s value to the band. I’m not good enough to play drums for John, but I can play the bass line on any CCR song without even practicing.

There is nothing distinctive, irreplaceable about CCR’s rhythm section. Any competent bass player and drummer could have backed up Fogerty and CCR would have been the same band. With the right choices, they might even have been better.

CCR was John Fogerty was CCR. His songwriting, his guitar playing, crimenently his voice. Anything special and unique about that group was that man.

Dylan’s Nobel

[l1]S[/l1]hort version: lyrics are poetry, and I’m with Rolling Stone on this one.

[az]B00138H876[/az]The official Nobel press release says The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2016 is awarded to Bob Dylan for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.

Do they not have the right to award it to whomever they please? Is there supposed to be some internal logic we don’t expect from Grammys or Oscars?

This is an organization that gives the world’s most famous peace prize and it’s named after the guy who invented dynamite. I, for one, think Mr. Zimmerman would find that amusing, though to this point, he has yet to comment on the award.

Who’s driving this life, anyway?

[l1]L[/l1]yrics should amplify the emotional impact of the music. Or is it the other way round?

As I’m gearing up for a major life change (leaving a home I love in northern Wisconsin to move to Phoenix, Arizona for the sake of my family) some music on a long trip reminded me that I’m not always doing my best. I skated through school. Straight As, but still, I skated. I could have done so much more with my time and resources, but being just a little above whoever was in 2nd place was good enough — because all I cared about was being 1st, not about being best.

Most people think I’m wildly productive, writing book after book, managing 3 family businesses, and still having time for friends and family.

What I see most days is a person who won’t do the work to lose weight and eat healthier, turns in about 1/4 of the art he could be producing, and is a little too quick to call it a day and watch TV.

[az]B00004Y6Q0[/az]In Mark Knopfler’s Speedway At Nazareth from Sailing to Philadelphia he sounds like a man who blames everyone but himself, losing race after race for an entire season because, for instance, “She went around without a warning” and as anyone knows “the Brickyard’s there to crucify anyone”. He points out that “we were robbed at Belle Isle” and lost another because “my motor let go”.

Near the end, one last excuse about how “we burned up at the lake” and then, the last line puts it all in perspective:

But at the Speedway At Nazareth I made no mistake

Not a whiner making excuses, but a guy who knows whose job it is to win the race, and who sometimes can’t look that truth in the face.

Until one single win gives him the courage to admit who’s driving this life.

[az]B0009IW9D4[/az]On the same stretch of road I revisted John Cougar Mellencamp’s Scarecrow. I’d forgotten what a great album it is.

Minutes To Memories is the rambling commentary on life of an old man on the bus, as recorded by the young man singing. The last lines of the chorus sound at first like a curmudgeon’s denigration of a younger generation:

You are the future
So suck it up and tough it out
And be the best you can

It may sound like Don Henley singing “get over it!” but, really, is there another way to live? What we do today, what we do every day, is our future, ours and that of everyone our life touches.

Is there another option when things go sideways but to suck it up and tough it out?

Is there ever a time, a place, a circumstance to not “be the best you can”?

To Know Someone is Listening: Guest Post by Ross Durand

[l1]O[/l1]ne of the many singer/songwriters I’ve met during February Album Writing Month, Ross is part of a smaller group I’ve collaborated with. I’ll rummage up Man in the Mirror to show you what a great singer does with my lyrics. For now, Ross shares something every songwriter loves. Continue reading “To Know Someone is Listening: Guest Post by Ross Durand”

Rachel Flowers: Emerson, No Lake, Little Palmer

[l1]G[/l1]uitarist Jim Earp sent a link to this video of Rachel Flowers performing Emerson, Lake, & Palmer’s Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression on a Hammond C3 organ.

Ten minutes in my head exploded. (It’s 14 minutes long.) Continue reading “Rachel Flowers: Emerson, No Lake, Little Palmer”

Mama Don’t Take My Kodachrome and Leave Your Boy So Far From Home

[l1]S[/l1]ome songs are obviously made for headphones. Anything by Pink Floyd. Some classical and jazz.

Paul Simon’s Kodachrome isn’t so obvious, but I just heard a different song from the one I’ve been listening to for lo these many years. Continue reading “Mama Don’t Take My Kodachrome and Leave Your Boy So Far From Home”