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.

Basic Rock from the 80s and 90s

A few weeks ago, my friends are I challenged each other to a difficult task: select songs from our record collections from 1980 to 2000 that had – as a minimum and a maximum – only guitar, bass, vocals and drums.  No strings.  No brass.  No tuned percussion.  No harmonica.  No accordion.  You name it.  Just the basics.  This was a much harder endeavor than any of us had expected, especially as we challenged each other to represent all twenty-one years – not so easy during the 80s when even the biggest rock and rollers resorted to filling in the soundscape with a synthesizer, an organ or a violin (yeah, I’m talking to you, Mellencamp).  For me, 1982 was the most difficult year to represent.  I started off all cocky: “No problem, I’ll pick U2, REM or The Replacements.”  Well, Mr. So-Sure-Of-Himself, U2 and The Replacements skipped 1982, and R.E.M. didn’t put out their first album until the following year.  That I was never into heavy metal or big-hair bands (or grunge, for that matter) made the task set before me seem impossible at times.  With a week to go until the big unveiling of our lists, I managed to find an LP from 1982 with a tune that provided the very basics.  Thank you, Cheap Trick.

The evening was a bit haphazard, and we ran out of time to represent each year, but here’s what I documented.  For each year, my selection is listed first, then John’s, then Kevin’s.  Yes, the Replacements and the various iterations that resulted from the band are over-represented, but that ain’t bad; the song by Bash and Pop was one of the highlights of the evening for me.

1980

Billy Joel, Close to the Borderline

Cheap Trick, Baby Loves to Rock

Kenny Loggins, I’m Alright; John Wetton, Turn on the Radio

1981

Pat Benatar, Take it Anyway You Want it

The Church, a song whose title I forgot to document

4 selections from Kevin: Romantics, In the Nighttime; Stray Cats, Runaway Boys; Billy Squire, I Need You; Adam Ant, Beat My Guest

1982

Cheap Trick, Time is Runnin’

Marshall Crenshaw, Mary Ann

Kevin, opted for another 1981 release!

1983

The Pretenders, Time the Avenger

John passed

Black Sabbath, Trashed

1984

Big Country, Where the Rose is Sewn

Replacements, I Will Dare

Scorpions, Leaving You

1985

John Mellencamp, Rain on the Scarecrow

REM, Kohoutek

Anthrax, Medussa

1986

Joe Jackson, Hometown

Smithereens, Strangers When We Meet

Violent Femmes, Heartache

1987

The Bears, Fear is Never Boring

Replacements, (a bunch from Pleased to Meet Me)

Jesus and Mary Chain, April Skies

1988

The Pursuit of Happiness, Walking in the Woods

Pixies, Where is my Mind

Kevin passed

1989

Blake Babies, Dead and Gone

Lou Reed, Stawman

Gene Loves Jezebel, It’ll End in Tears

1990 We didn’t get to this year, but my pick was…

Replacements, Attitude

1991

Lloyd Cole, Weeping Wine

Meat Puppets, This Day

Concrete Blonde, Joey

1992

Keith Richards, Eileen

Paul Westerberg, Waiting for Somebody

Kevin passed

1993

Judy Bats, Simple

Buffalo Tom (entire CD of Big Red Letter Day); Bash and Pop, Friday Night (Is Killing Me)

L7, Scrap

1994

Green Day, Basket Case

Neil Young, Piece of Crap

Nirvana, The Man Who Sold the World

1995 We didn’t get to this year, but my pick was…

Emmy Lou Harris, Where Will I Be

1996

Barenaked Ladies, The Old Apartment

Rage Against the Machine, Bulls on Parade

Kevin passed

1997

Old 97s, Time Bomb

Sun Volt, Picking up the Signal

Kevin passed

1998

Fastball, Fire Escape

Lucinda Williams, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road

Beck, Bottle of Blues

1999  We didn’t get to this year, but my pick was…

Indigo Girls, Cold Beer and Remote Control

2000  We didn’t get to this year, but my pick was…

Steve Earle, Another Town

The Music of 1979-1980

In our efforts to make music matter again in our lives (see Making Music Matter, part 1 and part 2), a few friends and I met at Kevin’s “Wall of Sound” basement in Wisconsin to play and discuss music from the golden years of 1979-1980, and the results were even more brilliant than I had expected.  What a incredible two year period, when hard rock, punk, new wave, soul, arena rock, fusion, prog rock, folk rock and every other kind of rock you can slap a label on converged for a perfect period of music proliferation.  And get this – most of it was actually played on the radio back in the day!  Crazy times.  1979-1980 might be the strongest two years in my book.  What about yours?

Here’s the list in all its glory – probably close to six hours of music.  It should be noted that music selections were viewed through the lenses of white suburban men who were once white suburban boys.  Notably absent are artists like Kool and the Gang, Isaac Hayes, Donna Summers, Earth Wind and Fire, etc.  We are worse for it.

The Knack – Good Girls Don’t

The Knack – Let me Out

The Police – Bombs Away

The Romantics – Tom Boy

Off Broadway – Bad Indication

Nick Lowe – Switch Board Susan

Roxy Music – Over You

Billy Thorpe – Dream Maker (this is not a good song, but was used to stump Kevin.  It was not successful).

Billy Thorpe – Children of the Sun

Jeff Beck (with Jan Hammer) – Star Cycle

Donny Iris – She’s So Wild (also used to stump Kevin.  This one was successful!)

Donny Iris – Ah!  Leah!

OMD – Red Frame/White Light

Pete Townsend – Let My Love Open the Door

Pete Townsend – And I Moved

Led Zeppelin – I’m Gonna Crawl

Blondie – Union City Blue

Ian McLagan – La De Da (this stumped everyone)

Alan Parsons Project – Snake Eyes

Fleetwood Mac – Brown Eyes

Talking Heads – Air

Rolling Stones – Emotional Rescue

Paul McCartney – So Glad to See You

Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart

Jackson Browne – Boulevard

The Kinks – Moving Pictures

Queen – Don’t Try Suicide

The Police – Reggatta De Blanc

The Cars – Let’s Go

Cheap Trick – Dream Police

Yes – Does is Really Happen

John Cougar – Ain’t Even Done with the Night

Bruce Springsteen – Point Blank

Bruce Springsteen – Cadillac Ranch

The Pretenders – Precious

Supertramp – Child of Vision

Bob Welsh – Precious Love

Rush – Free Will

AC/DC – Shot Down in Flames

Generation X – Kiss Me Deadly

The Kings – Partyitis

The Kinds – This Beat Goes On/Switchin’ To Glide

Neil Young – Powder Finger

U2 – A Day Without Me

U2 – I Will Follow

Rickie Lee Jones – Danny’s All-Star Joint

Bob Dylan – Gotta Serve Somebody

Steely Dan – Gaucho

Dr. Hook – Sexy Eyes

REO Speedwagon – Don’t Let Him Go

Yipes – Out in California

The Eagles – In the City

Head East – It’s Got to be Real

The Clash – Lost in the Supermarket

The Damned – Jet Boy, Jet Girl

Joe Jackson – On the Radio

Van Halen – D.O.A.

Journey – Too Late

Kansas – Hold On

Genesis – Turn it on Again

Talking Heads – Once in a Lifetime

Tom Petty – Even the Losers

Elvis Costello – Senior Service

Joan Jett – Bad Reputation

Aretha Franklin – Think

Aerosmith – Three Mile Smile

Aerosmith – No Surprise

Al Stewart – Midnight Rocks

Muppets – Rainbow Connection

Peter Gabriel – No Self Control

Elton John – Little Jeanie

Not too shabby a list!  And we didn’t even touch Pink Floyd, Billy Joel, Prince, The B-52s, Michael Jackson, Graham Parker, Robert Palmer, Santana, Kiss, ELO, Chaka Kahn, Pat Benatar, Dire Straits, ZZ Top, Toto, Styx, etc.

Tell me a two year period that’s better.  There might be!

Copyright, 2017, Paul Heinz, All Right Reserved