By Bob Davis firstname.lastname@example.org
Old Curiosity Shop for September 2017
in the Record Racks for More All-Time Favorites, and looking to the
Back in 2016 I did
a list with notes about some of my favorite recordings from 1929 to
A few months ago, we did 1958 to
the early 70s.
About two years ago, I joined a
Facebook group devoted to recorded music of the 1970s, and they
usually allow anything from 1965 to 1985.
Sometimes I’ll invoke seniority and
post something from the early 60s or even the 50s, but what they
call the “core years” is a Mother Lode of songs that are fun and/or
We’ll start out by back tracking (so to
speak) to the early 1970s and a couple of songs I left out of Part
Superstar by the Carpenters.
About two years ago I was shopping
for shoes at the Big 5 store in East Pasadena.
A haunting song came over the PA
system that I remembered from the 70s, but had forgotten the title
and the artist.
An inquiry on the “I listen to 70s
music, and love it!” group on Facebook soon brought forth the
Just recently, I did a bit of
trivia hunting and found that this was a cover—the song was written
by Bonnie Bramlett and Leon Russell, and originally recorded by
Delaney & Bonnie and Friend for the Atco label.
This segues right into our next
Only You Know and I Know by
Delaney & Bonnie.
One of my favorite songs from the
early 70s; I was reminded of it when Jenn Gibbons, as “Funkyjenn and
the Fringe Benefits” covered it at a CD release event at The Mint in
Then, a few months later, at a gig
in the Olde Town Pub in Pasadena, she and the band not only played
it at my request, they dedicated it to my wife Pat and me.
Love Makin’ Love to You by
Is it hot in here or is it just
One of Evie’s chart records from
the mid 70s, she has sung this on occasion with Adam Marsland’s
could pair this up with another sultry number,
While I Look at You from her
Women in Prison
Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood
“Mac” started out in the 1960s as a
“blues revivival band; one of the members was Jeremy Spencer, who
could just about “channel” the slide guitar and vocals of Elmore
After a few years of upheaval, they
became a more pop/rock oriented band and added two women to the
cracked the Top Ten with this song in 1977, and their
album was a best-seller for years.
The song has been a popular cover
on Adam Marsland’s Chaos Band Seventies Sessions, and AMCB drummer
Kurt Medlin aces the drum part.
Two More Bottles of Wine/I’m Movin’ On
by Emmylou Harris.
Many years ago my wife and I went
to a theatrical presentation in an old building on Sepulveda Ave.
Two More Bottles of Wine
came to mind, “sweepin’ out a warehouse in West LA”.
There are live performance videos
of this on YouTube, and they remind us that Emmylou can captivate an
audience without dressing like a Hollywood Blvd. “pavement
I’m Movin’ On was originally
written and recorded by Hank Snow, but Emmylou and her Hot Band do a
The line about the “big eight
wheeler movin’ down the track” was written back when steam
locomotives were still common, but it’s still accurate, because
nearly all Amtrak diesels have eight wheels.
Trivia note: Emmylou shares a
birthday with Dr. Demento, the late Marvin Gaye and Bobby Boy.
We Belong to the Night by
This recording never made the
charts, but I post the video of it on the “70s Music” Facebook
It’s a powerful performance, with
Ms Foley just pouring her heart out to a backing that Phil Spector
would be proud of.
We Belong by Pat Benatar.
One evening back in 1984, I was on
my way to work for the 10 PM to 6 AM shift when this song came on
It blew me away, to the point that
I stopped at the long-vanished Licorice Pizza record store in
Hastings Ranch (East Pasadena) and bought a copy.
Belonging is very important to many
Fly Like a Bird by Boz Scaggs.
Here’s another song that’s
connected to the place where I first heard it.
Long after it was released in the
1980s, it was in the mix on the sound system at the Panda Express in
Monrovia, where I often stopped for lunch when out in the company
truck dealing with telecomm troubles in the early 2000s.
It has a very Louisiana vibe, with
a swingin’ accordion part, but I didn’t know the title and had to
consult with my son-in-law who fills some of the gaps in my musical
Love Rock and Roll by Joan
Jett and the Blackhearts.
One of few records from the early
80s that I bought when it first came out—it made me a card-carrying
Joan Jett fan up into the 1990s.
Back in 1992 I took my future wife
to a Joan Jett concert in downtown LA on Feb 14.
She wore a shirt with the various
forms of “love” in Latin (she IS a Harvard graduate) and I wore a JJ
Fan Club issued T-shirt.
Pat noticed all the dedicated fans
wearing black leather, and commented “I’ve never seen so many dead
One young fellow asked me where I
got my shirt, and I told him, “You have to be in the Joan Jett Fan
Club,” which left him quite impressed.
What’s New by Linda Ronstadt
with the Nelson Riddle Orch.
Some artists and groups tend to
stay with the musical style that put them into the Top 40 or better
yet the Top Ten. I’d have to check with a Beach Boys expert to be
sure, but I’ve heard that as the 1960 rolled along, Brian Wilson
wanted to broaden the band’s musical horizons, while other members
of the group wanted to stay with the “sun, surf and hot rod” songs
that had made them internationally famous.
In 1982, Linda Ronstadt left her
country-flavored rock behind and teamed up with esteemed
conductor-arranger Nelson Riddle to record songs that she had heard
on her parents’ radio as a child.
She made a total of three albums,
and did a series of live shows with a full orchestra.
I took my daughter Vicky to one of
these shows at the Los Angeles Greek Theatre.
It was a splendid performance, but
we were annoyed by some chatty people in the row behind us.
to just focus on the stage, but Vicky turned around and said, with
just the right amount of firmness and asperity, “WE came to hear the
They got the message and observed
silence until the intermission.
It should come as no surprise that
not many years later, Vicky graduated from Law School and now has a
day job as a staff attorney.
Good Music by Joan Jett.
This number won the “Bobby” award
for 1986, and in some ways, it’s Joan Jett’s magnum opus.
It came in two versions, the
shorter one probably designed for airplay and jukeboxes, and the
longer album version.
Not only does Joan sing her heart
out, she has backing from about 60% of the Beach Boys and the
soulful voice of Darlene Love.
Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
Although it went to #1 on the
Billboard charts in 1987, I didn’t really get into this one until
It’s a song that we can relate to
on a number of levels, and right near the end, there’s a guitar lick
that just nails it to the wall.
Give Me One Reason by Tracy
think I first heard this one on the radio at work.
That wicked guitar work sold me the
first time I heard it.
And just a few weeks ago, it was
playing on the PA system at our nearest CVS drugstore—and one of the
clerks was singing along!
Release Me by Wilson Phillips.
Talk about the apples not falling
too far from the tree: We have Brian and Marilyn Wilson’s daughters
and the daughter of John and Michelle Phillips of the Mama and the
Papas teaming up to make a #1 record in 1990.
Gorgeous harmonies, solid backing
making a wonderful song.
Just Wanta Have Fun by Sheryl
Some songs in this set I can tell
almost exactly where I was when I heard it first.
I was driving south on I-91 in Oct.
1994, going from the Connecticut Trolley Museum (which I had never
been to before) to what is now Shore Line Trolley Museum in East
It was rather strange to hear about
Santa Monica Blvd (which is part of Historic Route 66) about as far
away from Hollywood as on can get and still be in the US.
days later, I was in Boston, and bought a copy of Ms. Crow’s
Tuesday Night Music Club
at the Strawberries record shop in North Station.
Hand in Pocket by Alanis
About a year later, I heard this
one on the radio, noting that at one point some of
the words were “obscured” or
bought the Jagged Little Pill
CD and found the reason for the “bleeping”.
hit song from the CD,
You Oughta Know,
has even stronger language.
Maybe it’s a good thing that few if
any record shops have listening booths anymore.
band backing Hand in Pocket reminded me of Don Bowman’s
Hello DJ novelty record of the
San Onofre Meltdown by the
I’ve never surfed at San Onofre,
heck I don’t even swim.
But according to legend the
“Trestles” area between San Clemente and the power plant is a primo
But the now inactive nuclear
generating station is where I did some work for Southern Calif.
Edison, and it’s the inspiration for the title of this surf
instrumental, featuring John Moore, Jr. on the guitar and my
daughter Vicky on the electric bass.
If I were announcing it on the
radio, I’d say “Brought to you by San Onofre Surf Wax, the nuclear
grade wax that puts a glow on your board!”
Meltdown is on the Surf-Liners
Where’s the Surf
CD, and I also have one of their home-made cassette tapes which I
used to play when I had a car with a tape deck.
I was driving up US 101 west of
Ventura one morning and it was chilly and foggy.
I stuck a Surf-Liners tape in the
slot, their music started and in just a few miles, the fog lifted
and it was bright and sunny on the coast.
This music has powerful mojo!
Surf-Liners, with their matching Mosrite axes
Ain’t Done Yet by Evie Sands.
Anyone who has been following this
column for more than a few months knows that I’m a member of what
local music expert Jonny Whiteside dubbed “The international cult of
November 2000, Pat (my wife) was reading the San Gabriel Valley
section of the LA Times.
asked me, “Ever hear of a singer named Evie Sands?” I answered,
“Yes, she did the original
It’s on one of my Rhino Girl Group
Why do you ask?” “She’s going to be
at the Borders bookstore in Pasadena tonight.”
I didn’t have anything else
planned, and I had wanted to see what Borders was like.
you know the rest of the story—she started the show with this song
Cool Blues Story,
and I became a fan right there.
Sands, in her Guitar Goddess mode, accompanying Adam Marsland at
Brennan’s Pub in Marina Del Rey back in 2012.
Old Trails by Adam
When he wants to take a break from
the music business, Adam Marsland likes to explore the desert areas
of the southwest and look for traces of old roads, especially
predecessors of Route 66.
Parts of the Mother Road were
sections of the National Old Trails Highway, and the stretch from
Victorville to Needles is still called National Trails Highway (at
least the parts that haven’t been covered by I-40).
The power line that fed the various
settlements between Oro Grande and Barstow was the Old Trails 33 kV
When you’re a songwriter, just
about anything can inspire a composition, and Adam even mentions an
obscure abandoned bridge in Arizona that only the more intrepid
highway historians have crossed in the last 50 or more years.
Here’s Adam with his 12-string guitar,
singing The Big Bear.
That’s Evie Sands on the left,
Teresa Cowles on the far right, and Bobby Boy sitting in on the
keyboard (holding down two notes).
Out of the photo in the back is
Kurt Medlin on drums.
I’m Here for the Party by
I don’t normally watch the pre-game
shows before the Super Bowl game telecasts—they usually have a lot
of bloviating, and musical entertainment by people I don’t care
But a few years ago I did turn in
early, because the featured artist was Gretchen Wilson, a Country
and Western singer whose big hit “I’m Here For the Party” would be
a compilation CD that segues into Ms. Wilson’s hit song from Wanda
Let’s Have a Party,
which made the Top 40 in 1960.
paused in our 2007 cross country RV trip to make a brief visit to
her hometown in Illinois,
about 42 miles east of St. Louis MO.
Something in the Water by
Another artist recommended to me by
A great contemporary blues number,
with a smokin’ group backing the singer.
We’re not sure whether the water
referred to is in the Sacramento River, Putah Creek or the UC Davis
Shoulda Been My Lover by
FunkyJenn (Jennifer Gibbons).
Jenn’s EPCD Rock and Roll
Voodoo Queen—I first heard it
at the CD release party, and a few years later, she dedicated it to
me at a Terry Okey’s Second Sunday show at Adams Pack Station.
Jenn a few years ago at a Chaos Band show at the Cinema Bar in
Culver City, when she covered an Elton John song (probably
Let the Sun Go Down on Me).
Au Revoir My Darling by Anny
Anny is another one of the lovely
ladies of song whom I have met when she was “sitting in” with AMCB.
The video for this number was shot
in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, so it’s very colorful.
Don’t Look Back (Don’t Look Down)
by Evie Sands.
For years, the only way to hear
this song was to attend an Adam Marsland’s Chaos Band show.
night the band was playing at Molly Malone’s Pub on Fairfax Ave. (a
bit over a mile south of Canter’s Deli), and Adam spotted me out in
He said, “I’m glad you’re here
tonight; Evie’s going to do one of your favorites.”
So the show starts, and after a
number of songs, Adam asks, “Is there a Seventies Soul singer in the
house?” (spotlight shines on Evie) “Why it’s Ms Evie Sands!
me, Evie, do you have a song for
says, “I sure do!” and swings into
Don’t Look Back (Don’t Look Down).
2006, it was recorded as part of Adam Marsland’s Long Promised Road
CD, which was captured live at Brennan’s Pub in Marina del Rey.
Evie plans to do a studio version
of it some time in the near future.
Evie laying on
that last guitar lick that she uses to wind up
Don’t Look Back.
doesn’t use a slide,
but it sounds almost like the end of
Believe by Elmore James.
Like a Rock by Evie Sands.
years, fans of Evie (whom Jonny Whiteside dubbed “The international
cult of Sands worshipers”) have wondered when she would do another
album. This spring (April 2017), the question was answered in part
when Evie released Shine For Me
an EPCD with six songs on it.
received an advance copy, and I picked
Like a Rock as my favorite
(and it is no relation to the Bob Seger song that was used in Chevy
When I mentioned this to Evie, she
said, “I figured you’d like it—very bluesy.”
Will there be more?
has several songs that she’s done in shows that I would love to have
on record—an studio version of
Don’t Look Back (although the
Long Promised Road
version is wonderful),
Another Night on the Other Side of the Line,
and a few I can’t recall right now.
Something to look forward to (while
we’re waiting for Phase 2B of the Gold Line Foothill Extension
construction to get under way.)