Tales of Rock – Wild Stories Of Rock Stars Taking Their Fame Way Too Far – Part 2

11. Van Morrison Recorded 30 Songs In One Day
If the rumors are true, that would have meant that Van Morrison recorded a more than one song every hour. Given that your average track is only 3-4 minutes long, it’s certainly not unfeasible. Especially not for Van Morrison who has always been somewhat of a prolific and brilliant singer and songwriter.
In 1967, we’re pretty sure he broke the record for the most songs recorded (to any discernable quality) in one sitting. The reason why he did it is even better! Morrison was tied into a pretty miserable record contract that wanted 36 tracks out of him before he could escape. In a genius move he smashed out 30 in a day, although not all of them were all that great, it’s still ridiculously impressive. Hell yeah!
12. Michael Jackson Wrote Music For Sonic The Hedgehog 3
Did the greatest Popstar of all time write the music for one of the most successful video game franchises of all time? It turns out that he did! Michael Jackson was the magnificent mind behind the music for the iconic 1993 console game Sonic the Hedgehog 3. Now that you consider Michael Jacksons’ quirky nature, it doesn’t seem all that out there to consider the fact he created one of the most infectiously catchy theme tunes of all time!
The rumor started when one MJ superfan found a strange similarity in sound between the game’s music and MJ’s famous style. The rumor floated around the internet for years before being confirmed in January 2016 by the composers of the soundtrack of the Sega game.
13. David Bowie Can’t Remember Recording One Of His Albums
At the point in time when David Bowie recorded Station to Station, it’s easy to see he was in a pretty dark place. The recording happened during all-night sessions in the studio when Bowie was living a somewhat vampiric existence and eating a ridiculously small amount of food daily.
Somehow, he made it through the hazy experience in 1976 in a Los Angeles studio with a rather blank recollection of the entire process. Looking back, it is easy to see that Bowie was suffering from pretty severe cocaine psychosis, making Station to Station potentially one of the darkest albums ever recorded. Bowie may not be able to remember, but we’ll never forget the iconic masterpiece that stemmed from his delirium. (God, we already miss him.)
14. Keith Richards Doesn’t Sleep
Surely this one can’t be true, can it? No, not quite, he is human after all – just about. Keith Richard’s sleeping patterns do almost defy human physiology, though. In an interview, Keith Richards told an interviewer that he basically runs off the fumes of adrenaline.
The longest that Keith Richards has gone without sleep is nine days, which we suppose is almost as impressive as not sleeping at all, considering the amount of awesome music he created in the times he was at his most sleep-deprived. If his 1978 track, Before they Make Me Run, from the album Some Girls sounds a little otherworldly, now you know why. He was also prone to collapsing at a moment’s notice against speakers. That’s not quite as Rock n Roll is it?
15. Gram Parsons’ Body Was Stolen
First things, first. Yes, it’s absolutely true. After the sad death of Graham Parson, his corpse was exhumed. After receiving high acclaim as the man that brought the Byrds into a brand-new arena of sound, he tragically died aged 26 on September 19th, 1973. What happened to him after death was almost as exciting as the raucous adventures he got up to when he was alive.
Gram had previously expressed his wishes to be cremated instead of buried, however, his father decided on funeral arrangements that weren’t in keeping with his son’s. Therefore, fellow road manager Phil Kaufman and his assistant took it upon themselves to steal the body and set alight to it in the desert. More surprisingly, there were no criminal charges and only a $300 fine.
16. Prince Went Door To Door As a Jehovah’s Witness In Minnesota
This one won’t be much of a surprise to hardcore Prince fans who knew at a time that his religion meant everything to him. Imagine opening your door and seeing Prince standing there, ready and willing to teach his faith.
Before his untimely death, Prince once went under the guise of ‘Brother Nelson’ and not so coincidentally ended up getting spotted by a fan. His church elder James Lundstrom recalled that Prince, we mean, “Brother Nelson” was a very shy man, but a member in good standing. Considering most of the reasons why rock stars are on this list, we’d say Prince’s are the most respectable, even if they are somewhat conflicting with his overtly sexual on-stage persona. He also cared a lot for ‘God’s Kingdom’.
17. Axl Rose Recorded Himself Having Sex For Rocket Queen
Yes, that’s right, the sex moans on his track Rocket Queen weren’t fake. Axl Rose enlisted the help of keen groupie Adriana Smith, who agreed to enter the studio with Axl and the other legendary musicians to create the track. She was certainly very brave!
Alongside Axl Rose’s steamy moans you will also be able to hear Adriana having quite a bit of fun with the vocalist. She has recently come out and admitted her role in the track after keeping pretty quiet about her involvement in the production. It sounds like Slash didn’t want to get left out after Adriana told the Mirror that a threesome also happened that evening. Axl and Adriana romantically met whilst she was working as a stripper in the LA club, Seventh Veil.
18. Rick James Was High As Hell On American Bandstand
Considering the X-rated nature of Rick James’s memoirs, this should really come as no surprise, and we’re not actually sure it’s the most ludicrous rumor in circulation about the legendary artist. The artist, who died in 2004 of a heart attack, posthumously released the accounts of his life, and it’s not for the faint-hearted.
James made his national TV debut on American Bandstand where he performed his most acclaimed singles, You and I and Mary Jane, along with an hour-long interview with Dick Clark, who he later referred to as “one of the nicest cats he’d ever met”. We suppose everyone seems pretty nice when you’re high, though, don’t they? James’s cocaine high didn’t go unnoticed by Dick Clark or the millions of viewers watching.
19. Rapper Danny Brown Received Oral Sex While Performing
Following on from the Wyman scandal, this one almost seems tame – well at least it’s almost legal. We’re guessing rapper Danny Brown didn’t get prosecuted for indecent exposure after his X-rated performance, which pushed the idea of embracing sexuality on stage just a little bit further.
Elvis may have once shocked the nation in the 50s with his gyrating hips, yet Danny Brown showed how far sexuality in musical culture has evolved when he allowed a female fan to give him a blowjob on stage back in 2013 when he was performing live in Minnesota. We’re just amazed that he could carry on hitting the notes during his performance. If there was ever a sign of a true rock star, we think this is it.
20. Ozzy Osborne Snorts Ants
Ozzy Osborne has gained his third entry on the ridiculous rumors list, making him the most prolifically anarchistic rock star in our minds. Sadly, it’s yet another incident that meant the death of innocent life. We can’t imagine any of these acts won him any favors with animal rights groups.
Whilst it’s not uncommon for rock stars to put things up their noses, this is an extreme by anyone’s standards. The incident happened when Ozzy found himself in the company of Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue on tour. When Ozzy heard they were all out of cocaine, he snorted what he believed to be the next best thing, making Motley Crue look rather tame in comparison to his little escapades. We can only imagine how much it stung the next day.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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The Weirdest, Creepiest and Most Annoying Songs of the 70’s – Part 9

If you were like me in the 1970’s you listened to top 40 radio most of the time. You heard a lot of great songs and instant classics. But among them were many unforgettable songs that were just weird or strange. I’ve tried from memory to remember the ones that stand out in my mind.

For weird reasons they became hits. They either made no sense or having any musical merit. Just a bizarre era of story songs.

Of course, this stuff is all pretty subjective but I did have a few criteria for what should be here. I decided to include a song if it:

    • made me sick without even listening to it again
    • made me want to break my radio
    • made my stomach turn
    • brought out violent thoughts of hatred, revenge, etc.
    • reminded me how lame the radio and record companies are
    • could make me want to break my stereo
    • would make me leave a bar or club if they started playing it
    • would make me boo a band who started playing it
    • suspended my belief in a divine force that governs the universe

I’m not saying that there weren’t ANY good songs during the 70s but there was just a truck-load of waste back then. If anybody’s stupid enough to think that ALL disco sucks, remember that it’s just a bastard son of rhythm & blues just like rock’n’roll is- so they’re related, see? Also, the 1970s definitely didn’t have a monopoly on shitty music- there was tons of crap unleashed on us in the decade before and after and now also (there’s a future article there somewhere). Clothes-pin anyone?

The 70’s was an interesting time for music. There was a lot of experimentation and creativity from that decade, but there was also plenty of crap as well. Here is my list of the worst and most irritating songs of the 70’s.

 

Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald – Gordon Lightfoot – 1975

Compared to the rest of the songs on this list, this song should win a noble prize. I only just figured out that the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald wasn’t an ancient mariners tale, but was an actual breaking news story. The actual wreck in Lake Superior which killed 29 crew members happened in November of 1975. Gordon read a story in Newsweek about the tragedy and wrote and recorded this song the following month. It came out the next summer and got all the way to number 2 on the singles chart, which is pretty amazing for a 6-minute sea shanty with no chorus. Lightfoot changed a few details. The boat was actually loaded for Detroit not Cleveland and has actually revised the lyrics as more details of the wreck came out over the years.  The other songwriters on this list should take notice. This is how you tell a story in a song.

Run Joey Run – David Geddes – 1975

Ahh… this disaster.

David Geddes wrote a song, and this song was later revived in an episode of Glee. Struggling songwriter, Geddes was in law school when he got a call from a songwriter that thought his voice would be good for a song, called Run Joey Run. In this tragedy, both in terms of the story and this song, Joey sings about his dead girlfriend Julie who haunts him when he tries to sleep. She warns him not to come to her house because she’s been fighting with her father. We’re to believe that Julie is pregnant but she promises her dad that she and Joey will get married. (Just you wait and see) Of course, Joey comes to be by her side, her father tries to shoot him, but he hits her instead. Yes, even in the ME decade of the ’70s these are the lessons and the morals we grew up with.

I was 13 years old when this song came out. Even back then I knew it was an awful pile of garbage. But there’s something about it that has this weird, B-movie vibe to it. Now I actually kind of love it for its kitsch. I love songs and films that are made in earnest that are terrible. I guess that’s why Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax are some of my favorite shows. Stuff so bad, it’s good. This is a welcome tune to my list!

Shannon – Henry Gross – 1975

Henry Gross played Woodstock as part of the group Sha Na Na, and he was part of Jim Croce’s band. Sadly his own solo work was going nowhere. But he struck gold with a song about a dead dog. Not just any dead dog. While he was touring with the Beach Boys in 1975, Gross visited Carl Wilson’s house in LA. He mentioned that he owned an Irish Setter called Shannon, Wilson replied that he also had an Irish Setter named Shannon that had recently been killed by a car. That was enough to score a top ten hit and an afterlife when Casey Kasem went on a profanity-laced tirade in 1985 when his producers stuck a long-distance dedication of Shannon right after an up-tempo song by the Pointer Sisters.

If you listen to it you can feel the whole Beach Boys vocal sound in the chorus. The only thing that could make this song worse would be if Mike Love sang it. Not a terrible song, but just a weird subject for a tune. Back then I always thought it was about a girl that had died.

It’s also way too long…

Convoy – CW McCall – 1973

Advertising executive Bill Fries created an award-winning campaign for Old Home Bread, featuring a fictional truck driver named CW McCall. A few years later, at the peak of the CB radio craze, Fries got together with Chip Davis from Mannheim Steamroller and they put together a song that chronicled a CB conversation between Rubber Duck, Pig Pen, and Sod Buster, about a fictional trucker rebellion that drives from the West coast to the East coast of the country without stopping.  The song is mostly dialogue, thick with CB lingo and an annoying earworm chorus, Convoy became a number one hit in 1975, it inspired a major motion picture in 1978 directed by the great Sam Peckinpah and starring Kris Kristofferson Ali McGraw and Ernest Borgnine. I would watch this movie for the laugh.

Kids… that’s the kind of thing that was possible in the ’70s.

Convoy | 1978 | Final | UK One Sheet » The Poster Collector

Look at the body on Kristofferson in this rendering! Lookin’ ripped!

Wildfire – Michael Murphey and the Rio Grande Band – 1975

Murphey and Larry Cansler co-wrote “Wildfire” in 1968, shortly after Murphey emerged as a solo artist. Earlier in the decade, he had been part of a duo known as the Lewis & Clark Expedition (which had appeared and performed in an episode of I Dream of Jeannie) in 1968 with his fellow singer-songwriter Boomer Castleman. When Murphey rerecorded “Wildfire” for a new album in 1997, he was quoted by Billboard as saying that what many consider his signature song “broke my career wide open and, on some level, still keeps it fresh. Because that song appeals to kids and always has, it’s kept my career fresh.”

In a 2008 interview, Murphey talked about the origins of the song and the context in which it was written. He was a third-year student at UCLA, working on a concept album for Kenny Rogers (The Ballad of Calico). The work was demanding, sometimes taking more than twenty hours a day. One night he dreamed the song in its totality, writing it up in a few hours the next morning. He believes the song came to him from a story his grandfather told him when he was a little boy – a prominent Native American legend about a ghost horse. Murphey didn’t have a horse named Wildfire until a few years before the interview when he gave that name to a palomino mare.

The lyrics are those of a homesteader telling the story of a young Nebraska woman said to have died searching for her escaped pony, “Wildfire”, during a blizzard. The homesteader finds himself in a similar situation, doomed in an early winter storm. A hoot owl has perched outside of his window for six days, and the homesteader believes the owl is a sign that the ghost of the young woman is calling for him. He hopes to join her (presumably in heaven) and spend eternity riding Wildfire with her, leaving the difficulties of earthly life behind.

The song is rather famous for its piano intro and outro, which is often left off versions of the song edited for radio. The introduction is based on a piece (Prelude in D-flat, Op. 11 No. 15) by the Russian classical composer Alexander Scriabin.

This song is not annoying or weird. It’s just a really unique story song that was very popular in the mid-70s. It’s kind of sappy, but also sort of beautiful and sad. I like it so I added it to this list.

Muskrat Love – The Captain and Tennille -1976

I really have to hand it to my readers on this one. I was discussing compiling this list with a few of my followers and they sent me some of their favorite weird songs. The Captain and Tennille clearly deserve a spot on this list, but they didn’t go for the obvious choice with “Love Will Keep Us Together” or “Do That to Me One More Time.” No, they wisely went with “Muskrat Love,” by far their hit that’s aged the worst. The song (originally called “Muskrat Candlelight”) was written by obscure country-rock artist Willis Alan Ramsey in 1972.  The band America covered it in 1973, and the Captain and Tennille cut their own version of it in 1976. The song isn’t some sort of analogy. It’s about actual muskrats falling in love. They played it at the White House in 1976 when Queen Elizabeth II came for a visit. It’s unclear why the Ford Administration thought that was a good idea. If they came a year later, Jimmy Carter would have probably pulled in a better act.

If you google pictures of them, Daryl always looks like he’s uncomfortable and doesn’t want to be in any photos with her. I can’t blame him.

Tennille filed for divorce from Dragon in the State of Arizona on January 16, 2014, after 39 years of marriage. Dragon was unaware of the termination of his marriage until he was served with the divorce papers. The divorce documents referenced health insurance or health issues, and Tennille had written on her blog in 2010 that Dragon’s neurological condition, similar to Parkinson’s, known as essential tremor, was characterized by such extreme tremors he could no longer play keyboards. Dragon later stated that some of his health problems were the result of errors in dosing his medication.

In 2016, Toni Tennille, Tennille’s memoir (co-written with niece Caroline Tennille St. Clair) was published. In it, Tennille painted an unflattering picture of Dragon and their years together.

Dragon and Tennille remained close friends until his death from complications of kidney failure on January 2, 2019, in Prescott, Arizona. Tennille was at his side when he died.

I always thought of Toni Tennille as a poser who sang flat with little range. They’re like a bad act you’d see in a hotel lounge in the middle of nowhere. This song is trash and I can’t believe why anyone would focus their songwriting energy on such an odd subject.

On a final note, the weird solo that sounds like little farts is supposed to be Muskrat Love sounds.

It’s just Awful!

I hate her and this song too. She just comes off like the type of person that would be best friends with Kate Gosselin.

You’re Having My Baby – Paul Anka – 1974

Nobody disputes the fact that Paul Anka is brilliant – the man wrote “My Way” for God’s sake. That feat alone earns him a spot on the Songwriters Hall of Fame.  But in the summer of 1974 he released “(You’re) Having My Baby,” an uber-saccharine song about a man overjoyed about the news that his wife is pregnant. The song hit home for a lot of Americans, and it gave Anka his first Number One since 1959’s “Lonely Boy.” It’s aged about as well as a rancid bucket of sweet and sour pork. New life was breathed into the tune in 2009 when it was featured on Glee. Finn sang it to Quinn while having dinner with her parents. At the time, he didn’t know that Puck was the real father and that Quinn’s dad would throw her out of the house after hearing the news.

In 2018, heavy metal singer Glenn Danzig invited Anka onto the main stage at the Wacken Open Air Festival to sing “(You’re) Having My Baby.” Despite not having sung the song live in nearly 40 years, Anka agreed and appeared with Danzig wearing bell-bottom pants and a plaid shirt with a butterfly collar.

Less than thirty seconds into the song, the crowd of roughly 66,000 expressed their disgust with boos and empty beer bottles, forcing the two to stop singing. Unable to quell the crowd with offers of singing “Long Way Back from Hell” and “Do You Wear the Mark” together, Anka and Danzig fled the stage shortly before the frenzied crowd stormed the stage.

“These kids don’t know Anka as I know him,” Danzig later said through tears. “When I first heard ‘You’re Having My Baby,’ I knew that’s what I wanted to do in life.”

Despite the underwhelming catastrophe of the Wacken Open Air Festival, other heavy metal singers have followed suit with Danzig’s idea. Paul Anka is currently collaborating with thrash-metal band Slayer and an album is due in stores during the summer of 2021.

Watch the performance. Notice how Paul is up on stage singing it by himself? Odia Coates the woman who sings the duet with him isn’t with him on stage. She’s sitting on a bench at the piano. Was a white man and a black woman standing next to each other on stage singing about how he’s so happy he got her pregnant and she’s keeping their mixed-race baby, too controversial for 1974? I don’t know. Just sayin’…

My mother hated this song and so did I. My mother appreciated good music and couldn’t understand why someone would write a song like this. If you listen to the song you’ll hear how gross this song really is. “You could have swept it from your life, but you didn’t do it.” Nice Roe vs. Wade reference, Paul.

Ugh!

Watching Scotty Grow – Bobby Goldsboro – 1970

is a song written by country music singer-songwriter Mac Davis and recorded by Bobby Goldsboro in 1970 on his album, We Gotta Start Lovin. Davis recorded his version on his 1972 album, I Believe in Music.

This song deals with a father witnessing the activities of his son growing up, while the father does his usual laid-back adult activities. The phrase, “that’s my boy” is used in all 3 verses. One of the verses, “Mickey Mouse says thirteen o’clock,” refers to the Mickey Mouse watches which were popular at the time.

Who the hell told Bobby Goldsboro that this was a good haircut? It looks like a fur helmet. But I digress. I hate this song. It’s so sappy. The lyrics just make me want to puke. If my handlers asked me to record a song like this I would have quit the music business.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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The Weirdest, Creepiest and Most Annoying Songs of the 70’s – Part 8

If you were like me in the 1970’s you listened to top 40 radio most of the time. You heard a lot of great songs and instant classics. But among them were many unforgettable songs that were just weird or strange. I’ve tried from memory to remember the ones that stand out in my mind.

For weird reasons they became hits. They either made no sense or having any musical merit. Just a bizarre era of story songs.

Of course, this stuff is all pretty subjective but I did have a few criteria for what should be here. I decided to include a song if it:

    • made me sick without even listening to it again
    • made me want to break my radio
    • made my stomach turn
    • brought out violent thoughts of hatred, revenge, etc.
    • reminded me how lame the radio and record companies are
    • could make me want to break my stereo
    • would make me leave a bar or club if they started playing it
    • would make me boo a band who started playing it
    • suspended my belief in a divine force that governs the universe
I’m not saying that there weren’t ANY good songs during the 70s but there was just a truck-load of waste back then. If anybody’s stupid enough to think that ALL disco sucks, remember that it’s just a bastard son of rhythm & blues just like rock’n’roll is- so they’re related, see? Also, the 1970’s definitely didn’t have a monopoly on shitty music- there was tons of crap unleashed on us in the decade before and after and now also (there’s a future article there somewhere). Clothes-pin anyone?

The 70’s was an interesting time for music. There was a lot of experimentation and creativity from that decade, but there was also plenty of crap as well. Here is my list of the worst and most irritating songs of the 70’s.

 

Feelings – Morris Albert – 1975

Thankfully, Morris Albert has no incredibly sad story and famous offspring that will make you regret listening to his song. He’s just the singer of an incredibly, stunningly crappy song. “Feelings” has been mocked and reviled for a good 45 years, largely for the lack of specificity in the lyrics. What kind of feelings is Morris singing about? It’s clearly a love song, but it’s hard to think of a more vague term than “feelings” to describe, um, feelings. Albert maintains a following in his native Brazil, but he hasn’t had much success in America since he shared his “Feelings” with us back in 1975. If you wonder why punk had to happen, listen to this song.

It’s about a noun. It could have been written by a suicidal 14-year-old submitting to her high-school literary magazine in a last-ditch attempt to garner sympathy from the would-be lover who spurned her in front of everyone in the cafeteria. Feelings? Whoa whoa whoa, feelings.

I think we all felt the nausea of this song in 1975. I remember one of the neighbor’s girls said the following words to my sister. “Let’s sing…Feelings.” My sister quietly declined the offer because she had just eaten.

I remember when the song would come on a friend of mine would mock the lyrics. “Fuelings… Mid-Air… Refuelings.”

Aerial refueling - Wikipedia

Excuse me… I have to go throw up in a bucket.

Seasons In The Sun – Terry Jacks – 1974

I really have it out for mid-1970s soft rock. This one is another song about a tragedy. “Billy Don’t Be A Hero” is about a woman begging her boyfriend to be safe while fighting the Civil War, and Terry Jacks’ 1974 mega-hit is about a dying person saying goodbye to his loved ones. The song was written by poet Rod McKuen in the early 1960s and first made a hit by Belgian singer Jacques Brel in 1961. The version by Terry Jacks hit Number One around the world in 1974, but Jacks largely retired from music just a few years later.

 Terry Jacks “Seasons in the Sun” hit #1 for three weeks in 1974, making 1974 perhaps the worst year ever for popular music. In fact, out of all of the songs on this list, 12 of them peaked in airplay during 1974, 10 of which reached the #1 spot on the Billboard chart. 1974 was such a hideous year for music that popular radio station WLS in Chicago dropped their weekly ranking of their 40 top songs down to a weekly ranking of only 15 records per week. Still, even with only 15 records, most of them were virtually unlistenable, as in this example.

Ugh… this song makes me want to eat a bullet.

The Streak – Ray Stevens – 1974

Ray Stevens was actually a talented songwriter, producer, and music executive with a dark side. In spite of his obvious talent, he insisted on writing and recording distinctly offensive or idiotic low-brow novelty songs for most of his career, including “Ahab the Arab” (“humorously” pronounced “Aay-rabb”—get it?), “Guitarzan,” and “Harry The Hairy Ape.” In 1969, Stevens became a regular on The Andy Williams Show, and in the summer of 1970, he got his own summer replacement show, The Ray Stevens Show. “The Streak” played on the 1970s prank of running naked through a public place. Released in late March 1974, the song hit #1 on the Billboard charts for three weeks in May 1974, and its insidious presence was all but inescapable for most of the American public.

I’m ashamed of all popular radio in the 70s at this point.

Have You Never Been Mellow – Olivia Newton-John – 1975

I couldn’t decide between this song and her other horrible hits of the ’70s (“I Honestly Love You,” “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” and “With a Little More Love”), but in the end, the title question itself is what put it over the top.

Olivia Newton-John | Olivia newton john, Hottest female celebrities, Female singers

I’ve always loved ONJ as a woman and as a songbird. I probably only like the actress Susan George because she reminds me of ONJ. She always had such a lovely light feminine voice. Who can forget her enormous hit, Physical? I bought that album. I loved her then and I love her now. But this stuff from her early career is just so sugary, I need an insulin shot after listening to any of them.

Escape (Pina Colada Song) – Rupert Holmes – 1979

This is the one song on the list that some people might actually appreciate on some level. Holmes was inspired to write “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” when he saw a want ad in the paper. He wondered what would happen if he responded to it, only to discover it had been placed by his own wife. The lyrics originally went “If you like Humphrey Bogart,” at the last minute he changed it to “Pina Coladas,” a drink he didn’t even particularly enjoy. The couple in the song both agree to meet at O’Malleys Bar and don’t seem all that miffed to discover they were both trying to cheat on each other. Instead, they discover they both love Pina Coladas, being caught in the rain, and making love at midnight. It’s like a modern-day, O. Henry story. Maybe those should be called O’Malley stories now.  Holmes had another hit in 1980 with “Him,” but after that, his pop career pretty much went into the trash. He’s had far more success in recent years as a playwright.

I love his wardrobe choice for this video. Really dude? You had nothing else to wear? It looks like you just came from Sunday brunch. His stage presence is awful. I saw better choreography during the Lee Harvey Oswald prison transfer.

But I digress…

It’s also fun to watch him gingerly descend the stairs on set.

You Light Up My Life – Debby Boone- 1977

How many weddings in the late ’70s was this steaming pile of garbage played at? (All of them?)

You don’t hear it much these days, but “You Light Up My Life” was actually the single biggest song of the 1970s. It spent 10 weeks at Number One, a record not beaten until 1991 when Boyz II Men stayed on top for 13 weeks in 1991. The song was written as a love song, but Pat Boone’s daughter Debby always interpreted it as a song about her devotion to God. The song was written by Joe Brooks, who was arrested in 2009 on charges that he lured 11 women to his apartment with the promise of a movie audition, and then sexually assaulted them. He committed suicide before the case went to trial. Around the same time, this was all going down, his son Nicholas was arrested for murdering his girlfriend. The New York tabloids had a field day with the two cases. Knowing all that, it’s hard to listen to the song in quite the same way. It just goes to show that you can write the biggest hit of the 70s and still go out and do some vile stuff.

We already hate the song, and now because of what I wrote above, we can all hate it even more!

The Morning After – Maureen McGovern – 1972

This was featured as a song on the doomed ocean liner in the film The Poseidon Adventure, Maureen McGovern’s schlocktacular effort (penned by 20th Century Fox songwriting hacks Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn) was released a year after the film and climbed to #1 for two weeks in August 1974. The song won best original song Academy Award and led the trio to team up again for another Oscar-winning debacle, “We May Never Love Like This Again,” in 1974’s The Towering Inferno. Few efforts better encapsulate the way that musical expression and creativity were cynically packaged for commercial consumption throughout most of the 1970s.

Kill me now!

Me and You and a dog named Boo – Lobo – 1971

This is the 1971 debut single by Lobo. Written by Lobo under his real name Kent LaVoie, it appears on the Introducing Lobo album.

The single peaked at #5 on the Hot 100 and was the first of four of his songs to hit #1 on the Easy Listening chart, where it had a two-week stay at that top spot in May 1971. The song also reached #4 in the UK Singles Chart in July 1971 and spent four weeks at #1 in New Zealand. 

Internationally, “Me and You and a Dog Named Boo” was Lobo’s second most successful song among more than 15 single releases, surpassed only by “I’d Love You to Want Me” the following year. (More trash)

Like Bobby Goldsboro, Lobo has the same ridiculous haircut. It’s just awful. Hair helmet! It doesn’t even look real!

I’d knock over an elderly lady in a walker to get to the radio to turn this crap off. England Dan and John Ford Coley, I’m not.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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The Weirdest, Creepiest and Most Annoying Songs of the 70’s – Part – 5

If you were like me in the 1970’s you listened to top 40 radio most of the time. You heard a lot of great songs and instant classics. But among them were many unforgettable songs that were just weird or strange. I’ve tried from memory to remember the ones that stand out in my mind.

For weird reasons they became hits. They either made no sense or having any musical merit. Just a bizarre era of story songs.

Of course, this stuff is all pretty subjective but I did have a few criteria for what should be here. I decided to include a song if it:

    • made me sick without even listening to it again
    • made me want to break my radio
    • made my stomach turn
    • brought out violent thoughts of hatred, revenge, etc.
    • reminded me how lame the radio and record companies are
    • could make me want to break my stereo
    • would make me leave a bar or club if they started playing it
    • would make me boo a band who started playing it
    • suspended my belief in a divine force that governs the universe
I’m not saying that there weren’t ANY good songs during the 70s but there was just a truck-load of waste back then. If anybody’s stupid enough to think that ALL disco sucks, remember that it’s just a bastard son of rhythm & blues just like rock’n’roll is- so they’re related, see? Also, the 1970s definitely didn’t have a monopoly on shitty music- there was tons of crap unleashed on us in the decade before and after and now also (there’s a future article there somewhere). Clothes-pin anyone?

The 70’s was an interesting time for music. There was a lot of experimentation and creativity from that decade, but there was also plenty of crap as well. Here is my list of the worst and most irritating songs of the 70’s.

 

The Jaggerz – The Rapper – 1970

The Rapper” is a song by The Jaggerz, written by band member Dominic Ierace, better known as Donnie Iris. Released as a single, it reached No. 2 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart, behind Simon & Garfunkel‘s smash “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and it was certified Gold by the RIAA in 1970 (see 1970 in music) for selling over a million copies. (Iris later launched a solo career; his biggest hit was “Ah! Leah!“)

The song is addressed to a girl or girls in general; it describes the method of a man who seduces women with untruths (“rapping”.) The singer says, “You know what he’s after”; he concludes by saying there comes a point at which the man has his target where he wants her. The girl has to “face reality.” The record ends with a small group of applause heard in the studio. (Which is probably the only applause this tune ever got!)

The “rapper” of the title and “rappin'” in the lyrics have only some coincidental resemblance to the vocal style of rapping.

It resembles something to be flushed.

Ray Stevens – Everything is Beautiful – 1970

If there’s any song from the past that epitomizes shooting for the stars and failing miserably, it’s this one. Ray Stevens, a guy known for unfunny comedy songs, decided to get serious and made Everything Is Beautiful, which became his first number-one single. Let’s just call this song for what it is: it’s religious propaganda. It has the presentation of Sunday school and it’s barf-inducingly sappy and disingenuous at heart. This is the music that would get played at some Republican convention somewhere in the country. Now, there’s nothing wrong with the message. Be more tolerant to others who look different from you? Fine. But there’s an issue with the messenger. As I said, Ray Stevens made a career out of comedy songs. If he wants to be serious, fine, but be consistent, dude. Let me remind you that this guy made a song called Ahab The Arab. I won’t put up a link, you go listen to it yourself. And in the 21st century, he made some hack political songs, including one in 2010 called God Bless Arizona where he defended the state when they proposed a law that would allow more racial profiling against Latinos. What I’m trying to say here is that Ray Stevens is a flaming hypocrite. And this won’t be the last time we’ll hear from him on this series. Congratulations to Everything Is Beautiful for being one of the worst songs of 1970.

 

Demis Roussos – Forever and Ever – 1973

The song was written by Alec R. Costandinos and Stélios Vlavianós. The recording was produced by Demis Roussos.

There is also a Spanish-language version, titled “Eternamente”.

What Clint Eastwood Spaghetti Western did this guy crawl out of? Just a horrible warbling song I never want to hear again. Painful to endure.

Charlene – I’ve Never Been To Me – 1977

I’ve Never Been to Me” is a ballad, written and composed by Ron Miller and Kenneth Hirsch and made popular via a recording by American singer Charlene. Although its original release in 1977 barely registered on the Billboard Hot 100, its re-release in 1982 hit number three in the US and earned her a Gold certification in Australia, where it held the number one spot for six weeks. In addition, the song topped the charts in Canada (4 weeks), Ireland (3 weeks), and the United Kingdom. It was also a Top Ten triumph in Norway, Belgium, New Zealand, and the Netherlands, and became Motown‘s first Top Ten hit by a white female solo singer.

When I hear this song all I can think about doing is grabbing a serrated hunting knife and sawing through my corroded artery and ending it all in a bloodbath of horror. This song and video are an absolute disaster.

Listen to those dreadful lyrics!

Oh, and wait until she starts talking. I defy you not to find a brick wall and just smash your head into it over and over until you lose consciousness to escape this nightmare of a song. This song is so bad it actually makes me angry when I hear it.

DISASTER!

Bobby Gentry – Ode to Billy Joe – 1967

Ode to Billie Joe” is a song written and recorded by Bobbie Gentry, a singer-songwriter from Chickasaw County, Mississippi. The single, released on July 10, 1967, was a number-one hit in the US within three weeks of release and a big international seller. Billboard ranked the record as the No. 3 song of the year. The recording remained on the Billboard chart for 20 weeks and was the Number 1 song for four weeks.

It generated eight Grammy nominations, resulting in three wins for Gentry and one for arranger Jimmie Haskell. “Ode to Billie Joe” has since made Rolling Stone‘s lists of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” and the “100 Greatest Country Songs of All Time” and Pitchfork‘s “200 Best Songs of the 1960s”.

The song takes the form of a first-person narrative performed over sparse acoustic accompaniment, though with strings in the background. It tells of a rural Mississippi family’s reaction to the news of the suicide of Billie Joe McAllister, a local boy to whom the daughter (and narrator) is connected. Hearsay around the “Tallahatchie Bridge” forms the narrative and musical hook. The song concludes with the demise of the father and the lingering, singular effects of the two deaths on the family. According to Gentry, the song is about “basic indifference, the casualness of people in moments of tragedy”

Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode To Billie Joe”

Why does this weird song make me think about the song, Harper Valley PTA? It’s just one of those endless story songs that you have to sit through to try to find the meaning. Halfway through it, I was like… Who cares, Bobby? Nobody wants to hear you describe this dull story in a lame song.

CRAP!

The Five Stairsteps – O-o-h Child – 1970

O-o-h Child” is a 1970 single recorded by Chicago soul family group the Five Stairsteps and released on the Buddah label. The Five Stairsteps had previous peripheral success recording in Chicago with Curtis Mayfield; when Mayfield’s workload precluded his continuing to work with the group they were reassigned to Stan Vincent, an in-house producer for Buddah Records, who had recently scored a Top Ten hit with the Lou Christie single “I’m Gonna Make You Mine“. The Five Stairsteps’ debut collaboration with Vincent was originally formatted with the group’s rendition of “Dear Prudence” as the A-side with Vincent’s original composition “O-o-h Child” as B-side. However, “O-o-h Child” broke out in the key markets of Philadelphia and Detroit to rise as high as #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the summer of 1970. The track’s R&B chart impact was more muted with a #14 peak, although “O-o-h Child” is now regarded as a “soft soul” classic. Billboard ranked the record as the No. 21 song of 1970.

I lived with a woman once who was as crazy as a shithouse rat. I would come home from work and she would be having one of her many bi-polar fueled rage-fests at her kids. I would just start to sing this song to annoy her. Because her life was so easy living at my house rent and bill free. She ended up cheating on me and moving out. But whenever I hear this song it makes me think of that time. With its La la la’s…

It’s just an annoying song. Prove me wrong.

Hurricane Smith – Oh Babe, What Would You Say? – 1972

  • This recording was a demo of a song that Smith had written for a different artist to record. When he played it for Mickie Most, the record producer was impressed enough to tell him to release it as it was.
  • Smith said about this song: “The melody was happy and simple. It was the producer in me that designed the lyric to recapture the era I grew up in. It’s almost a true story of my life. I would go to a ballroom, but I was so shy I couldn’t even ask someone to dance. I’d walk home imagining a romance when I’d never even reached first base. ‘Oh, Babe’ was about those fantasies.” (Weird)
  • Born Norman Smith in northern England, he took up the “Hurricane Smith” moniker from a 1952 film. Smith worked as an engineer on all the Beatles’ sessions between 1962 and 1965 when EMI promoted him to producer. The last Beatles album he recorded was Rubber Soul. In the late ’60s, Smith produced Pink Floyd’s early albums and one of the first rock concept albums, The Pretty Things’ S.F. Sorrow. Smith later appeared on albums by Teardrop Explodes and Julian Cope. He died on March 3, 2008.

This clown worked with the Beatles. You’d think he would have learned something or simply stayed out of the game! How the hell did he get on Carson?

His voice sounds like Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show on booze and crack and living in an alley somewhere. Why was vaudevillian music like this still being recorded in the 70s?

And why the hell did he stick his finger in the sax player’s ear? WTF?

Awful!

Clive Dunn – Grandad – 1970

“Grandad” is a popular song by Herbie Flowers and Kenny Pickett, and recorded by Clive Dunn.

While starring in the long-running BBC situation comedy Dad’s Army, Dunn met bassist Herbie Flowers at a party, and on learning, he was a songwriter challenged him to write a song for him. Flowers wrote “Grandad” with Creation vocalist Kenny Pickett.

The single was released in November 1970, and, aided by promotion such as appearing on children’s shows such as Basil Brush and DJ Tony Blackburn claiming it as his favorite record, in January 1971 it reached No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart for three weeks, during which time Dunn celebrated his 51st birthday, and went on to spend a total of 27 weeks on the chart. Dunn never had another hit single but he did release an album which featured “Grandad” and B-Side “I play the Spoons” titled Permission to Sing Sir!

In 1979-1984, Dunn starred as Charlie “Grandad” Quick in a children’s television show named Grandad, although the series did not use the song as the theme tune. (Which is weird) I just added this song to my list because it’s just weird.

The chorus just makes my skin crawl. Just when I think it’s over, another verse begins and I wish my life would end.

Melanie – Brand New Key – 1972

The song is sung from the viewpoint of a girl with roller skates trying to attract the attention of a boy.

In an interview with Examiner.com, Melanie described what she claimed was the inspiration for the song: “I was fasting with a 27-day fast on water. I broke the fast and went back to my life living in New Jersey and we were going to a flea market around six in the morning. On the way back… and I had just broken the fast, from the flea market, we passed a McDonald’s and the aroma hit me, and I had been a vegetarian before the fast. So we pulled into the McDonald’s and I got the whole works… the burger, the shake, and the fries… and no sooner after I finished that last bite of my burger… that song was in my head. The aroma brought back memories of roller skating and learning to ride a bike and the vision of my dad holding the back fender of the tire. And me saying to my dad… ‘You’re holding, you’re holding, you’re holding, right?’ Then I’d look back and he wasn’t holding and I’d fall. So that whole thing came back to me and came out in this song.”

This is an odd song that deserves to be on this list, but that last part about her dad got to me. I promised myself I wouldn’t trash it.

 

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Tales of Rock: Here Are The 25 Best ’70s Songs To Get High To

As society nervously shifted towards a new decade the times they were a changing. The counterculture was at its zenith, drugs became more wildly accessible and sexuality was being explored in new and wilder ways. That’s not to mention the exquisite originality and implacable power of those ’70s songs that stand the test of time.

Thus we implore you to light up a joint and harken back to the 25 best ’70s songs to get high to.

70s songs

Delve into the 25 most mind-bending, beguiling, or downright beautiful ’70s songs to kick back and light up to. Purple haze, Jesus saves.

25. Bob Marley & The Wailers – No Woman, No Cry

Looking back on the poverty and disenfranchisement of his time in Trench Town, Jamaica, Bob Marley was at his lilting, lyrical best on No Woman, No Cry.

Marley implores people to dry their tears and have faith that things will get better, as he once did to his girlfriend.

24. Genesis – Firth Of Fifth

One of the crowning glories of their live sets. Banks’ classically inclined piano enters the fray drawing you into their complex time signatures and melancholy dueling between Gabriel’s flute and Hackett’s guitar ‘violining’.

Genesis is one of the most ingenious bands of all time and unquestionably one of the best to get high to.

23. Television  – Marquee Moon

A ten-minute single? It was positively unheard of in the Punk scene. However, the spellbinding guitar interplay between Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd made Marquee Moon the incredible single that it was. Television were visionaries there is no doubt about it.

The thoughtful composition and frail vocals have seen Marquee Moon referred to as one of the greatest guitar albums of all time and honestly, we have to agree.

22. Neil Young – Heart Of Gold

Initially criticized by Dylan for sounding too much like him, Heart Of Gold remains a glistening gem for the singer, song-writer genre.

This immaculate confluence of country rock and quivering vocals perfectly embodies the undying essence of Neil Young.

21. Curtis Mayfield – Get On Up

After recently departing from The Impressions, Curtis Mayfield dropped his debut, yearning to find a distinguished voice of his own.

Get On Up wound up spending 10 weeks in the Top 50 of the UK Charts and was the soundtrack for a generation. Not bad for a 9-minute single.

20. Jefferson Starship – St. Charles

After Jefferson Airplane, Grace Slick and Paul Kantner went on to form sci-fi funk supergroup, Jefferson Starship, and Spitfire was where they really hit their stride.

St. Charles is a compelling confluence of ’60s rock on the dawn of funk and will certainly leave you reeling from the blow.

19. Bob Dylan – Tangled Up In Blue

Bob Dylan was in a veritable slump during the early 1970s. Afraid of being another ’60s washout, exhausted from relentless touring and recovering from a serious dose of food poisoning, Dylan hit back hard in 1976 with Blood On The Tracks.

Every song on this album is just sublime but opener Tangled Up In Blue is where it’s at.

18. Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody

Queen’s operatic sensation, Bohemian Rhapsody is and always will be one of the most iconic tunes ever written. Freddie Mercury‘s crystal clear vision and magnificent vocals perfectly reflect his genius, shining proudly against the mountainous triumph of all ’70s songs.

17. James Brown – Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine

Rarely has a song written about sex, been as sexy itself. It’s positively throbbing with a vibe and pulsating with the unmistakable essence of James Brown.

Light up, get down, and feel the funk!

16. Deep Purple – Speed King

Charging down the sonic highway, Deep Purple were progenitors to heavy metal amidst the rock revolution of the 1970s. The immaculate guitar work of Ritchie Blackmore and vocals from David Coverdale make Speed King an undeniable staple of rock greatness.

15. Elton John – Tiny Dancer

Simply one of the best songs ever written, Bernie Taupin was at his most inspired with Elton John at his effortless best.

Opening up their 1971 triumph Madman Across The Water, there is something undeniably magical about Tiny Dancer that has never quite been replicated since.

14. Black Sabbath – War Pigs

When Black Sabbath unveiled themselves to the world in 1970 it’s safe to say they scared a lot of folks. The world wasn’t ready for Sabbath and War Pigs says it all. Pounding drums, political contention, and one hell of a solo from Tony Iommi.

13. Lou Reed – Walk On The Wild Side

Lou Reed’s only solo hit was a ballad for all the freaks and outsiders out there. Hence why it’s the perfect laid-back tune to light up with on a lazy Sunday morn.

Featuring Reed’s dead-pan wit and ten-ton boredom, no other song better encapsulates his effortless genius than Walk On The Wild Side.

12. David Bowie – Life On Mars

Life On Mars embodies everything we love about David Bowie. His sci-fi exploration, catchy hooks, and memorable song-craft.

Just before the world was introduced to Ziggymania, Bowie laid bare his interstellar questioning and eternal power as an artist.

11. Pink Floyd – Echoes

The monolithic Floyd construction, Echoes is undoubtedly one of the greatest songs to get high to, full stop. This 23-minute rabbit hole is essentially four different songs sewn together by expert surgeons.

The perfect transitional encapsulation of Pink Floyd moving from their avant-garde roots to their psychedelic conceptual maser works, Echoes is a must.

10. Talking Heads – Psycho Killer

Sweating with paranoia, Psycho Killer is vintage Talking Heads. It’s the levee breaking into a flood of new wave genius, with David Byrne at his lyrical and psychotic best.

While David Byrne decided to leave all imagery of the murder out of Psycho Killer it’s still pretty graphic and assuredly one of the best ’70s songs ever written.

9. Derek and the Dominos – Layla

After John Mayall and The Yardbirds. After Cream and Blind Faith. After Dirty Mac and the Plastic Ono Band, Eric Clapton formed Derek and the Dominos for one trail-blazing, hot album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs.

Inspired by Clapton’s undying love for George Harrison‘s wife Patti Boyd, the emotion is erupting from every note and every word.

Trivia note: In the studio version Duane Allman joins Eric Clapton for an iconic double solo between Gibson and fender.

8. Joni Mitchell – Big Yellow Taxi

As Joni Mitchell looked out over the Hawaiian scenery all she saw was concrete and despair. Yet for all the bleakness of the lyrics and theme, the chords are surprisingly warm and optimistic.

Lord knows how Joni must feel now.

7. John Lennon – Imagine

Powerful, poetic, and political. Everything that embodied John Lennon was so effortlessly captured in Imagine.

Arguably the greatest protest song ever written, Imagine hits the nail so squarely on the head as to pin Lennon to the history books for all eternity.

6. Fleetwood Mac – Dreams

Circular chords, poignant lyrics, and aimed like a knife straight at Lindsey Buckingham’s heart, Stevie Nicks wrote Dreams in the next room of the studio they were recording Rumours in, with Sly Stone.

An absolute masterpiece of songcraft and bound to turn on the waterworks when you’re feeling it, this Fleetwood Mac tune is a testament to their timelessness.

5. Grateful Dead – The Other One

If you’ve ever wondered why the Grateful Dead have a cult following The Other One will prove it. Recorded live in 1971 The Other One is an epic, improvised jam inspired by Beat icon Neal Cassidy.

Jerry Garcia‘s playing is a wonder to behold and if you’re high this 18-minute epic is guaranteed to blow your mind.

4. Led Zeppelin – Stairway To Heaven

Arguably the greatest rock anthem of all time, Led Zeppelin constructed a true masterpiece on their fourth album and they knew it.

Even people who hate rock know Stairway To Heaven, all the way through to its rapturous solo and thundering climax.

3. The Rolling Stones – Brown Sugar

One of the most controversial songs in rock history, it’s hard to pin down exactly what Brown Sugar is about. Sex, slavery, heroin… who knows?

One this is known though, the groove is hot and this tune is as quintessentially Rolling Stones as a tumbling rock that gathers no moss.

2. The Doors – Riders On The Storm

Just shy of jam rock, The Doors were masters of crafting longer tracks that appeared free form but were actually incredibly well built. From Jim Morrison‘s acid-poetry to Ray Manzarek‘s trickling piano rain it’s all here in spades.

“Send them out to Arizona for some good thunder,” said Jim Morrison during take #9. Thus, one of the greatest ’70s songs was born.

1. Pink Floyd – Time

A quintessential song of the ages, Pink Floyd‘s Time is eternal. Thematically and sonically, there is not a note out of place, and it’s just on the obscure side of commercial to put it in the best of both worlds.

One of the best songs from one of the best albums of all time, both are exceptional experiences in their own right.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1