Billion Dollar Babies is kicking my ass today, this song in particular.
Finally got a ride, this old broad down from Santa Fe
She was a real go-getter
She drawled so sweetly “Think child, that things’ll get better”
We pulled off the highway
Night black as a widow
“Yeah, I read the Bible”
She said, “I wanna know of you”
Hey, I think I got a live one
Hey, I think I found a live one
Hey, I think I got a live one
Yeah, Yeah, think I got a live one
Felt like I was hit by a diesel or a Greyhound bus
She was no babysitter
“Get up now sugar, never thought you’d be a quitter”
I opened the back door, she was greedy
I ran through the desert, she was chasing
No time to get dressed so I was naked
Stranded in Chihuahua
Alone, raped and freezing
Alone, cold and sneezing
Alone, down in Mexico
I was reminded of this today and felt it needed a reposting. As the story goes, I first saw this issue of MAD at my friend Geoff’s house when we were in the third grade. I was a sensitive, sheltered kid, and remember feeling nauseated after reading MAD’s “Punk Rock Group” of the Year. Punching fans! Vomiting and urinating onstage! Self-mutilation!
But a few years later, when I actually got into punk in middle school, I spent an inordinate amount of time looking for it at Memphis Comics and Records. (I never had any success, mostly because I only had a rough timeframe for when that issue would have been published, and no Internet to assist me.)
I did, however, finally find it when my in-laws gave me every issue of MAD on CD one Christmas. These days, I’m positively obnoxious about reposting it.
BONUS: Here’s an interview with artist Harry North.
I’m sure you all have a lot of music you have to hear a few times a year. On my list is Bach’s Goldberg Variations. I’m kind of addicted to theme and variations pieces, and this is one of the best, inventive and resourceful as hell. Bach can get too dour and Lutheran for me, but not here. Consists of an aria, 30 variations, then the aria again at the end. The common theme is not the aria but the bass line, which is repeated in every variaton, although not always overtly. The melodies of the variations are not necessarily related to one another. A huge range of material from a single bass line. Reminds me of how many rock songs use the same bass/chord structures a million different ways. But these are all from one work by one guy.
If I’m in the mood to hear a crazy young person play it, I go to Glenn Gould’s 1955 recording. This record made him an overnight sensation, and I would guess that it’s the #1 selling classical album of all time. If I’m in the mood to hear a crazy middle-aged person play it, I like GG’s 1981 re-make. When I want to hear it played by someone from this planet, I like the one posted above.
Musicologists wet their trousers when Bach is played on a piano instead of a harpsicord. They shit themselves too if the pianist is as individual and “inauthentic” as GG. All the more reason to love these records.
A musicologist is a man who can read music but can’t hear it. -Sir Thomas Beecham
Without music, life would be a mistake.-Friedrich Nietzsche
Should you? Whether you do or not, this is fascinating stuff.
Japanese pressings are regarded by many as the best sounding vinyl in the world, but what does it do for The Beatles? Over the decades Japan has issued countless issues of The Beatles albums and there are so many to choose from to collect, but are they worth it?
In this video we take a look at how The Beatles’ original albums were released in the 1960’s and find out which of the subsequent reissued are worth buying and which are not.
Join us on this fascinating trip and do let us know your thoughts about these amazing records.
I’m addicted to Andrew Hickey’s A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs. I started at #1 after finishing Cocaine & Rhinestones, and have grown progressively more impressed with it. It’s impeccably researched,and so full of good stories and facts you never had any idea of. The episode on “Brand New Cadillac” is masterclass. Highly recommended. I will avoid spoilers.
My house went on the market yesterday. My office (that I never use and I threw a bunch of old hifi stuff and a midi controller I had laying around into to stage) has now flicked off almost 2,000 people on Zillow.
According to both Al Green and Willie Mitchell, they earned by far the most royalties for this song not from their own version, nor from those of Syl Johnson or even the Talking Heads, but from Billy Big Mouth Bass. Even Queen Elizabeth had one.
If the Russian army has seemed inept to you, that’s because it is.
If you’re interested, here is the best site for war information. It’s geared towards military, and its contributors are mostly data-driven soldiers or wonks. As a result, there wasn’t the usual media and government surprise about the Russians’ difficulties. As far back as November, they were pointing out the Russians’ logistical shortcomings, and this week they reported a Marine Corps University war game that, prior to the invasion, predicted very closely how it would go.
As an old Cold War brat of the 7th Army in Germany, I remember that there was no respect for the Red Army back then. They had scary bombs and large troop numbers, but our army considered them 3rd rate in all other regards. In 2022, the only thing that’s changed is that they’re much smaller. Putin’s “build-up” has been in weapons, not in building a viable army, which hasn’t attempted anything like this since their 70’s-80’s Afghanistan disaster. I don’t think this cold war will be long, because Russia won’t have the money or manpower to sustain one, or even occupy Ukraine (assuming they win). That’s not to say this won’t get very dangerous.
Here’s a radio show of some 60’s-70’s rarities. I love the ones by the Breakers and Flash and the Memphis Casuals. I bet they kicked ass live (I’m not old enough to have seen them, although I did see about half of the others on this list). Unlisted after the Tommy Hoehn song is a pretty terrible cover of “I Walk the Line” by a band called Hot Dogs, who had some good songs; why on earth was that chosen? I find Chris Bell’s acoustic version of “I Am The Cosmos” too slow, sludgy, and depressing–which I guess makes sense, as he was chronically depressed. It’s the sound of Quaalude abuse. The official single version moves along better, although there’s still about as much sludge as I can endure.