Paul Heinz

Original Fiction, Music and Essays

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Record Night Returns: the Recently Departed

Music fans everywhere have been ruminating for a while about how difficult these next twenty years are going to be, as our rock and roll heroes leave Planet Earth just in time to avoid the developing catastrophe that will be the latter half of the 21st Century.  But upon further reflection, we really don’t have to wait to feel the pain because the last decade has already been rough.  I hadn’t realized the extent to which we’ve lost our musical brothers and sisters until last week, when Record Night festivities resumed at the Wall of Sound in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.  A dubious crew gathered to honor those artists who died within the last decade.  Songs were celebrated, drinks were consumed, and mistakes were made, as noted below.  But even avoiding the obvious casualties – Michael Jackson, David Bowie, George Michael and Tom Petty (until the very last song) – there were a staggering number to choose from.  True, we reached pretty deep with some of these, but that’s what makes these types of outings fulfilling. 

Without further ado, celebrate with us as we pay homage to the recently departed.  My apologies for any errors.

Southern Nights – a twofer tribute of singer Glen Campbell and songwriter Allen Toussaint.  We also played a bit of God Only Knows, which was unfortunate
Massachusetts – Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees
Glory Days – Clarence Clemons of the E. Street Band (though, sadly, no saxophone on this song!)
Fool for the City – Craig MacGregor of Foghat
Drown in my Own Tears – Pat Dinizio of The Smithereens
It’s the Singer Not the Song – Jimmy Jamison of Survivor
I Was a Teenage Werewolf – a twofer of Lux Interior of the Cramps and producer Alex Chilton
Beyond Belief – producer Geoff Emerick for this Elvis Costello and the Attractions song
Starrider – Ed Gagliardi of Foreigner
Dreams/Zombie – Dolores O’Riordin of The Cranberries

It should be noted that in the midst of these record selections, one could hear Kevin uttering while checking Google, “That sucks!  I thought he was dead!”  Such is the competitiveness of song selections on record night.

Peaceful Easy Feeling – Glenn Frey of The Eagles
Home and Dry – Gerry Rafferty

This has been my favorite song for the past two weeks.  I’ve played it perhaps twenty times and figured out the unusual chord pattern on the piano.

Creep – Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots
Thank You For Being a Friend – Andrew Gold
Say It Isn’t So – John Spinks of The Outfield
The Cover of Rolling Stone – Ray Sawyer of Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show
Touch and Go – a twofer of Keith Emerson and Greg Lake of – in this case – Emerson, Lake and Powell
Knocking at Your Back Door – Jon Lord of Deep Purple
Burning Bright – Roger Ranken of General Public
20th Century – Shawn Smith of Brad
Saturday Night – Alan Longmuir of Bay City Rollers
Looking Around – a twofer of Peter Banks and Chris Squire of Yes
Love at First Feel – Malcom Young of AC/DC
God Only Knows (again!) – this time with Daryl Dragon of Captain & Tennille
Snortin’ Whiskey/Boom, Boom – Pat Travers
Call Me a Dog – Chris Cornell
Flying Cowboys – producer Walter Becker for Rickie Lee Jones
Livin’ Thing – Mike Edwards of ELO
Queen of the Night – Whitney Houston
Be Like That – Matt Roberts of Three Doors Down
People are Strange – Ray Manzarek of The Doors
Think – Aretha Franklin
Might Mighty – Morris White of Earth, Wind & Fire
Ride My Seesaw – Ray Thomas of The Moody Blues
I Go Crazy – Nick Marsh of Flesh for Lulu
In the Dead of Night (Presto, Vivace and Reprise) – a twofer of Allan Holdsworth and John Wetton of UK
I Can Feel Your Heartbeat – David Cassidy

Note: Paul thought it was 10cc!

To Be With You – Pat Torpey of Mr. Big
Getting Closer – producer Phil Ramone for Billy Joel, who was playing not 30 minutes away at Miller Park
Space Station #5 – Ronnie Montrose of Montrose
Jammin’ Me – Tom Petty

That was all we had time for, but there were others we could have chosen, most notably the aforementioned superstars, but I was ready to go with George Martin productions, songs co-written by Jerry Lieber, Chuck Berry, etc. were it not for a two hour drive home awaiting me.

There will be more heroes to fall, as there must be.  Hang on tight, music fans.  It’s going to be a rough ride.

Cheap Kiss Records

Note: I recently wrote this article as part of a neighborhood magazine and thought I'd include it as a blog entry on my website.  These guys are class acts working for a great record store.

If you spot a Toyota Venza with the license plate “I BY VYNL” whizzing around the west suburbs of Chicago, consider introducing yourself to Chris (Grey) Ellensohn, who – along with business partner Pete Kuehl – owns Cheap Kiss Records, a store that’s dedicated to buying and selling vinyl and cultivating a love for music for the next generation.  Ellensohn and Kuehl want the world to know: records are still a thing. 

Yes, records, as in those black twelve-inch platters whose grooves contain the stuff of magic.  You may not be one yourself, but chances are you know someone who’s into albums or who laments the collection he traded away for a couple of cases of beer back in the late 80s.  Vinyl is making a serious comeback these days, and now accounts for about twenty percent of revenue for physical recorded music formats, and Cheap Kiss is part of the reason.

Chris, who by day works at Northwestern Mutual, started the business with Kuehl ten years ago after winning an eBay auction to purchase Platterpus Records out of Louisville, KY.  They changed names to Cheap Kiss Records in 2012 and now have two stores: one at Cornerstone Books in Villa Park and another in Glenview at the Rock House, along with a regular inventory at a Schaumburg warehouse where they conduct on-line business and frequent warehouse sales.

What does a normal day look like in the glamorous world of buying and selling vinyl?  Today, Chris is going to meet with an elderly man who purports to own somewhere around 5000 LPs, all in mint condition.  Will it pan out?  You never know.  Chris’s favorite moment is knocking on a would-be seller’s door, because at that point all things are possible.  Sorting through a few boxes of musty LPs might just lead to something amazing, like the time Chris found a copy of an album by the local metal band Amethyst, the most expensive record either Chris or Pete has ever sold.

When approaching a would-be seller, Ellensohn is quick to empathize.  “We understand that albums can be emotional.”  Sometimes a seller can’t pull the trigger, and that’s okay.  “They know that when the time comes, I’ll be here.”

Chris claims he can spot a vinyl collector in just a few seconds.  What are the qualifications?  “Typically a male, age forty to sixty, sporting a concert t-shirt and no females within fifteen feet.”  All joking aside, there’s a certain air that vinyl collectors share, and it’s one that Ellensohn knows well he says because he’s “one of them.”   

“You meet all sort of cool people, actually,” and he meets them in all sort of places.  Chris isn’t a shy guy, and he’s happily approached people at gas stations or concerts to inquire about their interest in vinyl.  At a pop-up sale at the Arcada Theatre last month, Pete and Chris met a woman in her sixties who regaled them with stories about her concert-going days, when she witnessed The Beatles at Comiskey Park and a double bill featuring The Who and The Kinks. 

Chris and Pete don’t have a goal of amassing copious amounts of records – their aim is more virtuous than that.  They view buying and selling vinyl as a way of repurposing LPs and keeping them out of landfills and on people’s turntables.  “We want records to be listened to,” says Chris.  “Vinyl is meant to be played.  It does no good sitting in an attic somewhere.” 

And what about vinyl as a medium in a world in which streaming services can provide almost any song at the touch of a button?  Chris is reminded of something a young woman once told him: “You should have to work for something this good.”  Just as sharing a playlist isn’t nearly as meaningful as creating the mixtapes you once compiled for old flames, vinyl helps the listener connect to the music in ways that streaming can’t.

On April 21st Cheap Kiss Records will host Record Store Day at their Cornerstone Books location.

Record Night Celebrates 1975

After a five month absence, record night returned with a vengeance last Saturday night to Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, as five high school classmates converged to celebrate 1975.  For me, ’75 is a bit of an oddball year.  None of the punk and post-punk bands I admire (Graham Parker, The Clash, Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello, The Police, The Cars, The Knack, The Kings, Off Broadway, Nick Lowe) arrive until another year or two, and some of my prog-rock favorites (Yes, Genesis) are on hiatus that year.  Peter Gabriel, Rickie Lee Jones and Heart haven’t put out an album yet, the Rolling Stones are off, and so are Billy Joel and Stevie Wonder.

Nonetheless, there’s a lot of great stuff from the middle of the decade that I most admire, and much of it was unknown to me, which just goes to show you that even five like-minded white middle-class guys can surprise each other once in a while.  My favorite surprises of the evening: Ambrosia and Roxy Music.

Here’s the list (note: a few of these songs were released on LP in ’74 but charted in ’75):

Boogie On Reggae Woman, Stevie Wonder

Magneto and Titanium Man, Wings

Jesus Christ, Big Star

Superstarz, Black Sabbath

Black Diamond, Kiss

Gratitude, Earth, Wind and Fire

She Sells, Roxy Music

Travelin’ Man, Bob Seger

People, People, Tommy Bolin

Lorelei, Styx

Down the Road, Kansas

Running Out of Time, Climax Blues Band

Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen

I Don’t Know Why, Rolling Stones

Sexy Thing, Hot Chocolate

Dan Dare, Elton John

Easy Does It, Supertramp

Sister Moonshine, Supertramp

Nice, Nice, Very Nice, Ambrosia

Fame, David Bowie

Across The Universe, David Bowie

Buckets of Rain, Bob Dylan

Mystery Mountain, Journey

Love Roller Coaster, Ohio Players

Nights on Broadway, Bee Gees

Slipkid, The Who

Kojak Columbo, Harry Nilsson

Slow Ride, Foghat

Heard it on the X, ZZ Top

Lady Marmalade, Patti Labelle

Meeting Across the River, Bruce Springsteen

Custard Pie, Led Zeppelin

Beggars Day, Nazareth

Please Don’t Judas Me, Nazareth

Ballroom Blitz, Sweet

Wouldn’t You Like It, Bay City Rollers

Now Look, Ron Wood

I’m So Afraid, Fleetwood Mac

The Hard Way, The Kinks

Kung Fu Fighting, Carl Douglas

Do the Hustle, Van McCoy

I Believe in Father Christmas, Greg Lake

Deuce, Kiss

Fountain of Lamneth (part 1), Rush

Never Been Any Reason, Head East

Chevy Van, Sammy Johns

Round and Round, Aerosmith

South’s Gonna Do It Again, Charlie Daniels Band

Have a Good Time, Paul Simon

Ride the Tiger, Jefferson Starship

Something’s Coming’ Up, Barry Manilow

Sister Golden Hair Surprise, America

Don’t Interrupt the Sorrow, Joni Mitchell

Misery, Soul Asylum (a night’s end post-1975 selection)

Girls with Guns, Tommy Shaw (a night’s end post-1975 selection)

Record Night Returns

Record Night returned with a vengeance last Friday at a new venue and with an addtional medium, as five of us met in Wauwatosa, where – in addition to music – a half an hour of Zeppelin’s 2007 reunion DVD made it into the mix, along with a turntable that jumped the groove if one stepped in the wrong location of hardwood flooring.   It was a minor hurdle to overcome in the name of Record Night.

The themes: Kevin’s was “Concerts I would have liked to have seen or that I would like to see again.”  Paul’s was “Stuff I’ve purchased in the past three or four months.”  JB, Pete and Frank had no theme and generally grabbed a selection from one of two boxes of LPs, though the miracle of wifi allowed us to tap into a few Youtube videos and mp3s.  In this sense, it was our first 21st Century Record Night.

And away we go… 

Paul       Hall and Oates, Bad Habits & Infections

Pete       Rickie Lee Jones, Weasel and the White Boys Cool

Kevin     Sly and the Family Stone, A Simple Song

Paul       The Shins, A Simple Song

Pete       Cheap Trick, Ooh La La La

(JB was busy getting the record player moved, a more technical task than one would think).

Kevin     Andy Gibb, Shadow Dancing

(Kevin’s first concert, 1978, Wisconsin State Fair)

Paul       Badfinger, Without You

Frank     Bad Company, Bad Company

(Interlude – white JB works on turntable, we watch Zeppelin’s DVD from their ’07 reunion concert.  Fantastic!  WAY better than I expected).

JB           Honeydrippers, Good Rockin’ At Midnight

Pete       Spinal Tap, Big Bottoms

Frank     The Firm, Satisfaction Guaranteed

Paul       XTC, Great Fire

Kevin     KC and the Sunshine Band, Who do you Love

(his second concert, 1979, Wisconsin State Fair)

(JB remarks, “I have no theme!”  It’s okay, man.)

JB           OMD, Forever Live and Die

Frank     The Kinks, Conservative

Pete       Joe Walsh, The Confessor/Rosewood Bitters

Paul       Big Country, Wonderland

JB          Paul Westerberg, Silver Naked Ladies

(Frank departed at this juncture.  Something about a job, kids, a life…blah, blah, blah).

Kevin     X Cleavers, 18 (Unprotected)

(a band from Milwaukee!

JB           Tin Lizzy, Romeo and the Lonely Girl

JB           Ian McLagan, Mystifies Me

(in honor of the maestro who recently passed away)

Paul       Harry Nilsson, One

Kevin     ELO, Sweet is the Night

Pete       Shooting Star, Last Chance

JB           Neil Young/Stills, Long May You Run

Paul       David Bowie, Diamond Dogs

Kevin     Genesis, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

Paul       Beck, Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometime

Pete       Macklemore, Thrift Shop Feat

JB           Grateful Dead, Terrapin Station/Estimated Prophet

(The Dead - a first for record night!  Kevin is still not sold on this band.  Nor am I)

Paul       Geddy Lee, My Favorite Headache

(Pete was forced to stay for one last song before exiting)

Kevin     The Kinks, I took my Baby Home/Stop Your Sobbin’

(I still don’t get this band.  Always sounds like an out-of-tune garage band to me).

 JB           Beck, Paper Tiger

Paul       The Call, Let the Day Begin

(Another dead guy!)

At this point things are getting ugly, as Paul attempts to discredit The Who due to their meager output.  Several beers have made their way into our systems, and it seems like it’s a race to the finish – i.e. sleep – at this point.

Kevin     James Gang, The Bomber/Bolero

JB          The Who, The Seeker

(JB attempts to discredit Paul's discrediting of The Who.  Fairly successfully too, I might add.)

Paul       REM, Gardening at Night/Finest Work Song

Kevin     Bee Gees, Ordinary Lives

JB          Faces, Cindy Incidentally

Paul       Elton John, Honky Tonk Woman

Kevin     Duran Duran, New Religion

JB           Eddie Vedder, Hard Sun

Paul       The Alarm, Deeside

Kevin     Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Welcome to the Pleasuredome

John       The Jayhawks, Straight Face Can’t Hide 

And there you have it.  It’s true, JB managed to finish the evening without having played a Replacements’ song, but only succeeded on a technicality, as Paul Westerberg made the list. 

Next up?  We shall see, but I’m leaning toward a secret theme that attendees have to guess throughout the evening.

Record Night - The End of New Wave

Record night traveled south last Friday to the Heinz household, allowing for ping-pong, barbecue and s’mores, but music was still front and center.  Kevin attempted to answer the question: what happened to new wave, when did it end, and what did it morph into?  He came prepared, even going month by month from October of ’85 into 1986 to illustrate what was happening musically at that time (our senior year).  Turns out there was more going on than the classic rock I was listening to.  Go figure. 

John brought a 45 grab bag.  We primarily stuck to the following rule: grab a 45 without looking and play the B-side.  By this method, we heard some of the worst Tom Petty songs ever recorded.  Also, the “no Pink Floyd” rule was also broken for the first time.

Paul’s theme was pick any song he felt like playing, resulting in the first Carpenters song ever played on record night, and neighbor Kevin came to offer a few selections as well. 

Without further ado, here’s the list.  Note that we warmed up with a few tunes prior to beginning the various themes. Forgive any typos or erros.

Kevin                    Stevie Nicks                       Voilet and Blue

Kevin                    Peter Gabriel                     Walk through the Fire

Paul                      Tom Petty                          Rebel

John                      Buddy Holly                        Not Fade Away

John                      Falco                                   Auf Der Flucht

Kevin                    ABC                                      How to be a Millionaire (beginning the theme, 10/85)

Kevin                    Kate Bush                           Running up that Hill

Kevin                    Dream Academy               The Party

Paul                      Graham Parker                  Discovering Japan

John                      Queen                                 Radio Gaga (A-side)

Kevin                    Arcadia                               Goodbye is Forever

Paul                      Everly Brothers                 Love Hurts

Paul                      Everly Brothers                 Cry, Sigh, Almost Die

John                      Bruce Springsteen            Shut out the Light (B-side of Born in the USA)

Kevin 2                 BoDeans                             First side of Outside Looking In

Kevin                    Dokken                               In my Dreams

Kevin                    Motley Crue                       Too Young to Fall In Love

Paul                      Producers                           She Sheila

Paul                      Rolling Stones                   Miss You (12 inch disco remix)

John                      Rolling Stones                   Emotional Rescue

John                      Elvis Costello                     Veronica

Kevin 2                 Alison Moyet                     Resurrection

Kevin                    Level 42                              Something About You

Kevin                    Falco                                   Vienna Calling

Kevin                    Art of Noise                       Peter Gunn

John                      Rod Stewart                       I’m Losing You

John                      Supertramp                        Rudy (B-Side of Take the Long Way Home)

Paul                      Fleetwood Mac                 Beautiful Child

Paul                      Fleetwood Mac                 Gypsy

Kevin                    Chameleons UK                Mad Jack

Kevin                    REM                                     Superman

John                      Rolling Stones                   All the Way Down (B-side of Undercover of the Night)

Paul                      Led Zeppelin                      Celebration Day (live version)

Kevin                    Ministry                              We Believe

Paul                      Simple Minds                     Up on the Catwalk

Kevin                    Peter Gabriel                     Ga Ga and Walk into the Fire (B-sides of 12 inch Red Rain)

John                      Pink Floyd                           One of my Turns (B-side of Another Brick in the Wall)

Paul                      James Taylor                     That Lonesome Road

Kevin                    Billy Idol                              Don’t need a Gun

John                      Tom Petty                          Heartbreaker’s Beach Party (B-side of Change of Heart)

John                      Tom Petty                          Change of Heart

Paul                      The Carpenters                 Goodbye to Love

Kevin                    Peter Murphy                    Bauhaus

Kevin                    Sigue Sigue Sputnik          Love Missile F1-11

Paul                      Stevie Wonder                  You Haven’t Done Nothin’

John                      Tom Petty                          It’s Raining Again (B-side of Refugee)

Paul                      Supertramp                        It’s Raining Again

Paul                      Supertramp                        Crazy

Kevin                    The Cure                             Just Like Home

John                      Supertramp                        Just Another Nervous Wreck (B-side of Logical Song)

Paul                      Elton John                          Sweet Painted Lady

Kevin                    Elton John                          Funeral For a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding

Copyright, 2017, Paul Heinz, All Right Reserved