Blinded By The Light

HI Bloggers,

Blinded by the Light, as recorded by English band Manfred Mann, is a rock work of art. I grew up with it on the radio. This song was originally recorded by Bruce Springsteen in 1973, but then re-recorded by Manfred Mann in 1977, and their version made it all the way to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Pretty amazing that its a song that I have no familiarity with from Springsteen, as I was not aware that it was his song until I did a web search on it.

So the video has got 21 million views, which is testament to its popularity, and rightly so. What’s special about this song? The guitar work is amazing, the drumming is just excellent, and the vocal lines have a kind of a pull, they just resonate, then of course there are the organ riffs. Its just ear candy.  

For me on a personal level, the song is special because I saw a live version done in Nashville, Tennessee. I was on a family vacation and I noticed that the city was putting on free concerts a few times a week in the summer. What I expected to find was a few hundred people in a amphitheatre or something. What we found when I got there was about 3000 people in a large inner city square. There was a big stage with video screens each side of the stage.

It was a warm summer night. Our kids were young so we really had to keep an eye on them with the crowds etc. We met a nice couple that were local – tip, just about all people from Nashville are exceedingly nice. They ran some sort of animal rescue or something, and they were passionate about music too.

At some point, the band that was on the stage played this song, and boy, they nailed it. I thought it was just awesome!

She got down, but she never got tight, she’s gonna make it through the night, she’s gonna make it through the night…

For the young kids out there reading, do me/yourself a favour. Ditch your Miley Cyrus tracks for a minute and INHALE the guitar solo in this song (its about 3:40 on this video).

Ah, yes, like a good coffee, or freshly baked muffins, there ain’t nothing like it!!!

 

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We’re Jamming

Hi Bloggers.

I had a friend come over tonight and jam for a while. No really fixed agenda. He used to play bass in our band and We’ve had a break for a bit. I reached out and soon enough he’s in our basement jamming away. Just me, him and a drum track.

My drummer friend is out of town but I’m looking forward to getting together with these guys because they are excellent musicians, and all around nice-guys.

It feels just a bit like in the Blues Brothers, where they are getting the band back together, because they’re on a mission, from god!

Image result for jamming

If anybody needs me, I will be in my basement room, riffing away on the guitar… simple bliss.

Ah, the simple pleasures in life. Relative calm, my own room in the basement.

Riffing away with Bad Company’s Feels Like Making Love, or AC/DC’s Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, or how about a bit of John Cougar’s Hurts So Good? 

That’s what I’m talking about. Just leave me be, with my guitar! Fuck yeah!!!! I’m a happy clam.

SAM_3974

Rocking the Suburbs – dusting off the tele…

Hi Bloggers,

As you know, I am musically inclined. I’ve been playing guitar for a very long time in several different iterations of bands – some quite good and some that never made it out of the practice room.

I’ve had a break from it for a little while. Too many other factors in my life and some changing circumstances that ensured that my dear Fender Tele stayed tucked away in its hard case.

I got a text from a friend I used to jam with in another band a few years ago. They have a spot for a lead guitarist and they asked me to learn some songs to see how it goes. I’m excited, it feels a bit like the musical shot in the arm I needed to get off my arse as far as guitar playing goes…

So, there you have it, I guess I will be rocking the suburbs all over again!!

SAM_3892
Fender American Standard 2012. Really all the guitar you will ever need. 

 

Boy and Bear – Southern Son. Approaching perfection…

Hi Bloggers,

Anyone that has read any of my blog posts know that I am a music lover – a listener, a performer etc.

So one day I was listening to CBC local radio (hey Saskatoon!) and these guys happened to be travelling through town. They were being interviewed and they were playing a show in our city that night.

It perked my interest, because, like me, these guys are from Australia. Nice to hear some familiar accents on Canadian radio.

My only regret – I didn’t go out to see them. At the time I had too much shit on my mind like working and getting sleep and a bunch of other stuff.

But please, put your ear buds in and watch the video. It’s really beautifully done. I hope these guys get all the credit they deserve. I listen to CBC radio 2 a fair bit – national broadcast radio playing alternative and non commercial and really good music, and these guys get on pretty regularly!

It’s almost perfect!

Rod Stewart – I Was Only Joking…. just awesome…

Hey Bloggers,

Disclaimer, I ‘m going through a lot in my life. This post isn’t directed at any one  or any situation, its just a celebration of music. Now let’s enjoy! 

So when I was growing up, as a child born in ’75, my mum played a LOT of Rod Stewart. She thought he was great, and I guess I kind of absorbed it. Inhaled it, was infused with it.

Rod Stewart is simply awesome. I do need to clarify though, the later (let’s say second half) part of his career was dominated by commercially packaged musical garbage, in my humble opinion.

However, his work in The Faces and later as a solo artist was much to my liking. It’s worth noting that being a rock star, in the early 70’s or whenever in the UK, he mixed with a lot of other rock stars, and I read the book by Keith Richards, and our Rod turns up in that book. As it happens, Rod ends up recruiting Ronnie Woods of the Rolling Stones and you can see him in the video for Stay With Me. I  attached the video link to that raucous celebration of rock and roll below.

But back to the topic – I was only joking. I love this track because its Rod ‘pouring his heart out in a song’ in a way that is both honest and kind of irreverent. You can just tell that he’s a genuine hopeless romantic, bumbling his way through life and living and loving and making mistakes, and having various relationships along the way. It’s sweet and a bit nasty at the same time how does he get away with that?????

Ok, I also want to draw attention to the guitar parts. Its almost perfection. The acoustic intro and solo are sweet like classical music, but when the electric guitar comes in after the acoustic guitar solo, I have a kind of audio aural canal orgasm, and that’s what we listing to music for, right? Perfect!!!!!!!

The verse after the guitar solo is especially bitter sweet. Just beautiful…

Now you ask me if I’m sincere
That’s the question that I always fear
Verse seven is never clear
But I’ll tell you what you want to hear
I try to give you all you want
But giving love is not my strongest point
If that’s the case, it’s pointless going on
I’d rather be alone
‘Cause what I’m doing must be wrong
Pouring my heart out in a song
Owning up for prosperity
For the whole damn world to see

 

 

 

 

Dancing in the Dark…

Hi Bloggers, I went to the dragon boat races today in Saskatoon. I was in a team from my work and we competed against a bunch of other teams in three different heats. It was fun and a nice warm day and a good way to mix with work colleagues and others.

As I was leaving, an iconic song came over the loudspeakers. It was Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark. It’s got such an infectious groove. I was a kid of about 10 when it came out in 1984. I remember it well. I remember hearing it on the TV or the radio. That, along with Born in the USA, and some other stuff that was getting around at that time.

Hearing it reminded me of what are really well crafted pop/rock song that it is. I watched the video too (link below). The first thing you notice is how fresh faced our Bruce looks. He was 34 years old when he recorded this. On the video you could be forgiven for thinking he was maybe 25.

He’s got that swagger, that cheeky arrogance. A handsome face and suggestive smile and a pair of snug jeans. Women no doubt were just taken by the whole thing, and why not? But that’s not all, he was kind of approachable. He had the whole blue collar down-and-out working dog kind of image that people across the US and the world could relate to, because, well, maybe he’s just like most of us….

Reading up on the net, I learned that the film clip was recorded over two nights at St Paul, Minnesota. The girl that he pulls up on stage, that’s Courtney Cox, as in Courtney Cox who later went on to star in the 90’s sitcom Friends. I had no idea!

I like how the song has a kind of double entandra with the one side of the coin being about a guy who’s kinda lonely, and just wants to have some company, while the other side of the coin hints at a lusty young man with a gun for hire…. And the dancing in the dark, is that like, actually dancing, or is this some loaded suggestion about what happens when the lights go off after bedtime????

The synth riff, and the dreamy sax solo at the end really top it off!

Anyway, enough of my bullshit, let’s allow Bruce to lay it down

Video sourced from YouTube.

The most important rock album, of all time…. Appetite for Destruction

GunsnRosesAppetiteforDestructionalbumcover.jpg
Photo from Wikipedia

Hi Bloggers,

So back in the day – 1987 to be precise, a bunch of hard rocking, hard drinking, hard living mother fuckers released this album on the world. If you don’t know this band, or this album, it would make me think that you either come from an undeveloped part of the world, maybe without electricity, or you are under 25, or both, and in any case, there’s no excuses, you should just know this shit!

When it came out, I was in grade 10 high school. It was a big influence on me, and just about every other young soul on the planet. Thirty years later (hard to believe I know) this album still stacks up as a very high quality excursion into rock and rollI can put my earbuds in, and listen to these tracks today, and still really appreciate how well these songs were put together. Like a punch in the face. But a good one!

Tracks to watch out for:

Rocket Queen (oh, yeah !!! rocks and bops along. fuck yeah!)

My Michelle

Paradise City (obviously)

You’re Crazy

Fuck it, the album is all good, like really, its all just good. 

What’s interesting, as a comparison, is the apparent kind of misogyny in the themes of the song. It was flat out disrespectful to women, and, well pretty much everything else in society, but, it was also beautiful, in parts.

What else is interesting, is that these were different times. It made me reflect on the whole thing. It makes me wonder if today this was released, would it get a bunch of shit from the feminist brigade? These were the days before cell phones, before Instagram, before facebook, before everyone was so fucking caught up in being righteous and inclusive and politically correct. Before there was a platform such as social media for everyone with a half baked opinion to express it and rally a bunch of support and have a parade about it.

Please, don’t get me wrong, I’m not about disrespecting others, this is not a hate blog on anyone, just saying, the world has changed, and these guys rocked with attitude, unapologetically. As for the chicks, don’t worry, they were busy rocking out in their flannel shirts and stonewashed jeans, most likely without some bullshit agenda.

The indicator for any good rock album, is whether subsequent generations can appreciate this music as we did in our youth. In the city I live in, there is a tribute band called The Night Train, and, they rock! Really, I’ve seen their show, its awesome and they have the outfits and the attitude and everything. Poetry in motion, when a generation of early 20’s kids with guitars and stuff decide that this stuff was important enough, to celebrate all over again!

Take that one to heart, wowzer! (My Michelle)