Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Trump's theme song?

Yesterday, I was listening to music in the dining room and an old song by Don McLean came on. It was called "Everybody Loves Me, Baby", and came from his hit album from 1971, American Pie.  As I was listening to the lyrics, it occurred to me that this song could so easily be about our current POTUS, Donald Trump.

Seriously... the lyrics are so eerie.  Hard to believe they are from almost 50 years ago.

I recommend listening to the song itself, but here are the lyrics:

One, two, three, four!
Fortune has me well in hand, armies wait at my command
My gold lies in a foreign land buried deep beneath the sand
The angels guide my ev'ry tread, my enemies are sick or dead
But all the victories I've led haven't brought you to my bed
You see, everybody loves me, baby, what's the matter with you?
Won'tcha tell me what did I do to offend you?
Now the purest race I've bred for thee to live in my democracy
And the highest human pedigree awaits your first-born boy, baby
And my face on ev'ry coin engraved, the anarchists are all enslaved
My own flag is forever waved by the grateful people I have saved
You see, everybody loves me, baby, what's the matter with you?
Won'tcha tell me what did I do to offend you?
Now, no land is beyond my claim when the land is seized in the people's name
By evil men who rob and maim, if war is hell, I'm not to blame!
Why, you can't blame me, I'm Heaven's child, I'm the second son of Mary mild
And I'm twice removed from Oscar Wilde, but he didn't mind, why, he just smiled
Yes, and the ocean parts when I walk through, and the clouds dissolve and the sky turns blue
I'm held in very great value by everyone I meet but you
'cause I've used my talents as I could, I've done some bad, I've done some good
I did a whole lot better than they thought I would so, c'mon and treat me like you should!
Because everybody loves me, baby, what's the matter with you?
Won'tcha tell me what did I do to offend you?
Everybody loves me, baby, what's the matter with you?
Won'tcha tell me what did I do to offend you?
Yeah, everybody loves me, baby, what's the matter with you?
Won'tcha tell me what did I do to offend you?

I need to read up about this song.  I'd love to know what or who inspired it.  Don McLean isn't particularly regarded as a great partner himself. 

Last year, he lost a lifetime achievement award because he pleaded guilty to domestic violence in 2016.  He was arrested in Camden, Maine in 2016 and pleaded guilty to domestic violence to avoid jail time.  He also paid a $3000 fine.  His ex wife, Patrisha McLean, claims that he has a violent temper and had been physically and verbally abusing her for decades.  

McLean supposedly pled guilty, not because he's guilty, but because he wanted "closure" for his family...  Well... I suppose that could be true.  But it's still not a very good look for him.

I like his music, though, and I think this song is kind of brilliant.  I'm glad I stumbled across it yesterday. 

Friday, July 24, 2020

Pan's People...

I just now discovered "Pan's People", a dance troupe that used to perform on Britain's music show, Top of the Pops, back in the 1970s.  We lived in England in the 70s, so I remember seeing that show.  My sisters used to watch it all the time.  However, I was too young to really appreciate it, and I had never heard of Pan's People when I discovered their interesting brand of dance yesterday.  Apparently, they were fixtures of Top of the Pops from 1968 until 1976.  We were in England from 1975 until 1978.

This was not the first video I saw by them...

Nor was this...

As I watched them, I was reminded a little of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.  They are very beautiful 1970s era ladies, with natural looks... no tattoos, no piercings other than in their ears, and very clean looking.  I read that two of the ladies have already died.  Most of them were born in the 1940s, although I read that one was born in 1955, making her very young when these videos were made.

This is the first video I saw.  I was inspired to look at it because I was in a Facebook group talking about college memories.  I took a social and recreational dance class, and the professor actually taught us The Hustle!  It was in 1991 and even then, that was an old dance!  My friend Andrew says this video is blocked in the United States.  He was able to search and find it on another source.

I am a terrible dancer myself.  My sister was very good at it-- good enough to go to the Royal Ballet School in England.  Me?  I have two left feet.  But I do enjoy watching dancing, and these ladies were definitely stylish.  Check out their dance to "Green River" by CCR.

They really capture the grittiness of that song.

And here they are dancing to "Ain't No Sunshine" by Bill Withers.

I'm really glad I was born in the 70s.  I think that was a good time for music and TV.  Yes, TV was cheesy back then, but it was fun and there were people paid to act instead of reality show contestants.  I much prefer the music of that time, too, because it was less about who looked pretty and more about who had talent and luck.  I would imagine that getting exposure was harder in those days.  Pan's People were definitely exposed!

Cool interview about Pan's People.

I am really enjoying watching them.  It's funny that in the 70s, they were considered pretty racy.  


Saturday, July 4, 2020

Fred Knoblock or Knobloch...

Yesterday, I was introduced to a singer-songwriter named Fred Knobloch.  I see on the album cover that accompanied the YouTube video where I first heard him has his named spelled "Knoblock".  I laughed a little at that, since Knobloch is pretty close to the spelling of the German word for garlic, which is "Knoblauch".

Anyway, this is the song I heard for the first time yesterday.  It was from 1980, and I hear it was a hit in some parts of the United States.

It's kind a nice song.  Sounds appropriate for the time.  I probably would have liked it.

This song is about a guy who's upset because his ex girlfriend is getting married.  He wants to know why he wasn't the one she married.  I would submit that if you're at someone's wedding wondering why she didn't marry you instead, you're probably not that concerned about what makes her happy.  That, in and of itself, is probably why not you...  Or maybe she doesn't see what she's missing...  and I'm glad you didn't throw that rice.

I'm making fun of this song, but it's not bad at all...  It's relatable.  Fred has a nice voice.  And he's done better songs, too, like this one that Trisha Yearwood did back in 1997.

I really like this one... would love to try it myself.  It was also covered by Etta James.

I noticed Mr. Knobloch left a comment, so I visited his YouTube channel.

And here he is more recently, performing quite well.

I love it when I find stuff I never even knew existed.  I probably would have been a fan of J. Fred Knobloch if I'd known about him back in the day.  He's probably written a number of songs I've loved over the years.  I'm going to have to get to know him better.  

Edited to add... well what do you know?  It turns out Fred Knobloch recorded a long long song!  I've been wanting to know who wrote and sang this song for years!

Wow!!!  I've been wracking my brain over this song for some time.  But, just like the Canadian Mounties always get their man, I always figure out my songs...  I swear, prior to yesterday, I had never heard of Fred Knobloch, but I remembered this song, even if I haven't heard it since the early 80s.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

The Motels...

For some reason, the other night I thought of a band I hadn't thought of in years... The Motels.  When I was a kid, they had a few well received hits.  Probably their biggest and best known song was "Only the Lonely", which still sounds good over thirty-five years after it was a hit.  They were also known for "Shame", "Take the L", and "Suddenly Last Summer".  The last song reminds me a bit of "Only the Lonely", but with a quicker tempo.

This band was led by Martha Davis, who has kind of a deep, broody voice.  I remember The Motels fell apart at one point, but then were featured on VH1's show, Bands Reunited.  Looks like they are still performing, although perhaps not with the same people.  Judging by The Motels' Wikipedia page, there have been many folks in this band in its long history.  

I've always enjoyed Martha Davis's vocals.  They're unique and sexy.  As I've been learning the guitar lately, I've developed more of an appreciation for singers.  The voice is one instrument that can't really be replicated.  It's possible to imitate someone, or mimic their sound, but when it comes down to it, everyone has a unique voice.  I suppose to some extent, the same could be said for most instruments.  How they will sound depends on who's playing.  I can tell my mom's piano playing anywhere.  I can tell Elton John's style, too... and James Taylor's guitar playing is unique.  But you can buy an instrument that is identical to another.

Anyway, here are a few songs by The Motels.  Long may people continue to "check in" to their sound.

"Suddenly Last Summer"

"Take the L" out of lover and it's over...  Clever!

My personal favorite, "Only the Lonely", which was featured on Solid Gold.

And "Shame"... which isn't too bad, although it's probably my least favorite of their hits.

On a different note, Blogger has vastly changed its format.  It's more like WordPress now.  I kind of liked the way Blogger used to be, but WordPress has some privacy features that I need for my other blogs.  This one isn't that popular, so I just keep it on Blogger.  That way, I don't have to pay.  

Martha Davis is still kicking.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

I didn't know "Tattoo" was a singer...

Yet another bizarre musical number from the past came to my consciousness the other.  A friend shared this video of the late Herve Villechaize, who famously played Tattoo on Fantasy Island back in the day.  Apparently, acting wasn't the Frenchman's only talent...

"Why Do People Have To Fight?"  Good question, Herve.

Apparently, Mr. Villechaize was on Dinah Shore's talk show in the early 80s, and he sang his heart out on television.  I used to love watching Fantasy Island when I was growing up in the 1980s.  I remember very well, watching Herve yell "The plane!  The plane" with every new episode.  I miss the days when TV shows were completely campy and silly.

"Hello Boss..."  Back when Ricardo Montalban was still alive and not in a wheelchair.

But Herve suffered, even though he was a star.  I remember very clearly back in the 1990s, when I heard he'd committed suicide.  His girlfriend, Kathy Self, found him dead after he shot himself.  He'd left a note explaining that he was driven to suicide due to long term health problems.  His organs were too large for his small body, and he spent years in pain, kneeling to sleep so he could breathe.

I could use a little breather.

Herve Villechaize was born with dwarfism, the youngest of four children born to an English mother and a French surgeon.  It was believed that the dwarfism was caused by an endocrine disorder, which his father unsuccessfully tried to cure.  As he got older, he insisted on being called a "midget" instead of a "dwarf".  While "dwarf" is a medical term, it seems to have become a slur, as the term "midget" has.  Nowadays, people seem to prefer the term "little person".

Besides acting and singing, Herve Villechaize was also an artist and photographer, and that was how he made his living before he fell into the world of entertainment.  

When I saw his music video, I knew it was perfect for this blog.  Enjoy another performance by the legendary Herve Villechaize.

Ahh... a little mood music with Merv.

Rest in peace.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Danny Bonaduce wants to be your magician...

I discovered this truly cringe inducing song yesterday...

Here's Danny Bonaduce, who was probably at puberty when this was recorded...

As we all know, Danny Bonaduce played Danny Partridge on The Partridge Family, which was a huge hit back in the early 1970s.  Danny Bonaduce can't sing, but he is a gifted and natural comedian and he was playing a role on a TV show about a family band.  So, I guess the powers that be wanted to harness his moneymaking abilities for as long as possible, and they had Danny make some pretty crappy music.

This song is kind of catchy and it has some hilarious sound effects.  But the lyrics are disturbingly suggestive for a boy his age.  Consider these words:

I'll be your magician,
Touch you softly with my magic wand.
And like a puff of smoke,
your resistance will be gone

I'll be your magician,
Gonna conjure up a lover's groove.
And once you're under my spell, Honey,
I'll make love to you...

The rest of the lyrics as well as handy guitar tabs can be found here.  

I have heard that Danny Bonaduce was sexually active from a very young age, but it still seems kind of wrong that a kid his age was singing a song like this.  I wonder who decided this was appropriate?  I'm sure the decision was all about making money, and perhaps it was also influenced by drugs.  Still, it's just a dreadful song that is unfortunately very catchy.  I now have it ringing in my head.

I've seen other videos by Danny Bonaduce in the 70s... it was smack dab in the middle of his awkward teen years.  I give him props for surviving and later using that mortifying time to further his comedy career.  

He's a comedian, not a singer.

I hate this song enough when it's done by Simon and Garfunkel, let alone Danny Bonaduce.

I miss the 70s... probably because I didn't have any sense during that decade and this kind of stuff went right over my head.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

A song that reminds me of Donald Trump...

This morning, as I read about Ivana Trump driving to New Jersey despite the shelter in place requests, I was reminded of an old parody song I used to hear on morning radio shows.  Kip Addotta, who died August 13, 2019, used to be on Johnny Carson and came up with some very funny songs for Dr. Demento's show.

Cockroaches are known for being indestructible.

And now, when I see or hear Trump, I can be reminded of this song about a disgusting, destructive bug that doesn't go away...  

Kip Addotta had some other funny songs that were staples in the 80s.  Remember "Wet Dream"?

This song is as punny as they come.  You like seafood too?

I am not familiar with "Life in the Slaw Lane", but Bill recognized Kip Addotta's voice.

Whoa... the 80s sound is strong in this.

Not everyone is into puns.  A little bit goes a long way in my opinion.  However, "Big Cockroach" is one of my favorites.  And since Trump and his invasive family have taken up residence in the White House, it's taken on new meaning for me.  Let's hope in November 2020, we can fumigate.