So Old It’s New set list for Monday, Dec. 12, 2022 – on air 8-10 pm ET

Set list with commentary follows the bare-bones list.

  1. The Beatles, Taxman
  2. Richie Havens, Here Comes The Sun
  3. Love, You Set The Scene
  4. Chet Atkins & Mark Knopfler, There’ll Be Some Changes Made
  5. Doug and The Slugs, No No No (Nobody But Me)
  6. The Guess Who, When The Band Was Singin’ Shakin’ All Over
  7. Little Feat, Lafayette Railroad
  8. Grand Funk Railroad, Sin’s A Good Man’s Brother
  9. Hindu Love Gods, Raspberry Beret
  10. Simon and Garfunkel, A Hazy Shade Of Winter
  11. The Motels, Suddenly Last Summer
  12. Procol Harum, Pandora’s Box
  13. The Clash, Spanish Bombs
  14. Flash and The Pan, War Games
  15. Deep Purple, Sun Goes Down
  16. The Rolling Stones, Take It Or Leave It
  17. Joe Jackson, The Old Songs
  18. Chuck Berry, Johnny B. Goode/Carol/Promised Land (Live, Toronto Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival 1969)
  19. Canned Heat, Can’t Hold On Much Longer
  20. The Steve Miller Band, Mercury Blues (Live at Monterey Pop Festival, 1967)
  21. The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Homemade Wine
  22. Gerry Rafferty, Get It Right Next Time
  23. Pink Floyd, Echoes

    Set list with my track-by-track tales: 

    1. The Beatles, Taxman . . . I read somewhere once where, during the early 1960s, Bob Dylan was talking to John Lennon and Dylan said that while he liked The Beatles, he told Lennon that ‘your songs don’t say anything’ because they were to that point what songs often typically are about, love and relationships. And that’s of course fine, and Dylan did and does write such songs too. But the slight criticism no doubt sparked Lennon, and The Beatles, to writing more topical, often politically-charged songs. Like this one, actually written by George Harrison, with some help on lyrics from Lennon and great and innovative musically with that ridiculously great guitar solo between 1:12 and 1:24, played by Paul McCartney. It’s the most effective sort of solo, too, in my view: short, compelling, leaves you wanting more which is often such a key to great art even though you want it to go on but in the end realize it’s better short, like CCR’s song Fortunate Son, for instance. Taxman (later covered by Stevie Ray Vaughan) was the lead cut on Revolver, which has recently been re-released in a big box set treatment, the latest in a series of such remastered/remixed Beatles re-releases.
    1. Richie Havens, Here Comes The Sun . . . Speaking of George Harrison, here’s Havens’ treatment of Harrison’s Abbey Road cut. Havens, who opened the Woodstock Festival (apparently wasn’t supposed to but other performers were stuck in traffic en route) to great acclaim, had that distinctive heavy acoustic guitar strumming that, to me at least, is instantly identifiable. A commenter on YouTube on this song perhaps put it best: “this is acoustic but it’s the most electric song I know.”
    1. Love, You Set The Scene . . . Another of my periodic digs into Love’s great Forever Changes album. It’s one of those records that is critically-renowned, didn’t sell much, one wonders what all the fuss is about, then one buys it and it’s like, OK, yeah, I get it, why wasn’t this massive commercially? Of course, then there are other critically-acclaimed albums one does that with and comes away with the thought, huh? The mysteries of life.
    1. Chet Atkins & Mark Knopfler, There’ll Be Some Changes Made . . . What a fun shuffle from the Neck and Neck 1990 album collaboration between the two great axemen. The song itself goes back a century, well worth reading up on, and has been covered by countless artists including Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, Tony Bennett and in various styles and genres, often with adapted lyrics as on the Atkins-Knopfler version. Their extended take includes name-dropping Prince and Michael Jackson as well as fun references to their own songs and guitar playing. Just a great tune from a terrific album.


    2. Doug and The Slugs, No No No (Nobody But Me) . . . Written by members of The Isley Brothers, the track is one of the few cover tunes in the Slugs’ discography of which the vast majority were written by lead singer Doug Bennett. The Slugs’ version was the third single from Music For The Hard Of Thinking, released in 1982 but didn’t chart in Canada, although to me it’s arguably better than the Bennett-penned charting singles Who Knows How To Make Love Stay and Making It Work. I liked Doug Bennett’s work, and the album was nominated for a 1983 Juno Award although I’ll always prefer the debut release, Cognac and Bologna. And as I recall from a recent documentary I watched on the group, Doug and The Slugs and Me, by the Time Music For The Hard Of Thinking was released, the band members felt their creativity was being compromised by record company demands (a typical music industry story) and the decline set in although the original group continued on for several years, recording several more albums and backing the late Bennett on his solo album Animato, released in 1986. Bennett, a lifelong heavy drinker, died in 2004 of liver cirrhosis at age 52. By that point, the original band had long since broken up but Bennett was still fronting a rotating group of musicians, still billed as Doug and The Slugs. The original group reunited in 2009 and now does live shows with new lead singer Ted Okos. I highly recommend the documentary, which seems to be getting regular rotation on The Documentary Channel in Canada and apparently will get wider release on CBC TV sometime in 2023 and, hopefully, online.


    3. The Guess Who, When The Band Was Singin’ Shakin’ All Over . . . From 1975’s Power In The Music, the last album on which Burton Cummings sang lead vocals and featuring Domenic Triano on guitar in his second outing with The Guess Who, the first being the previous year’s Flavours album. The song references a time when, indeed, The Guess Who, then known as Chad Allan and The Expressions, had covered the Johnny Kidd and The Pirates’ tune, taking it to No. 1 in Canada in 1965.
    1. Little Feat, Lafayette Railroad . . . I feel like I’ve played this too recently. Ah, well, one can never get enough Little Feat, I say.
    1. Grand Funk Railroad, Sin’s A Good Man’s Brother . . . Last time I played a Grand Funk tune an old journalism pal good-naturedly ripped me but that’s the kind of thing the band itself dealt with from music snobs throughout their career. I like ’em – especially the earlier stuff – and ain’t apologizing.
    1. Hindu Love Gods, Raspberry Beret . . . In which Zevon and R.E.M.’s Bill Berry, Peter Buck and Mike Mills, who backed Zevon on his Sentimental Hygiene album in 1987 and were already a largely unrecorded R.E.M. side project, get drunk one night during the Hygiene sessions, record a bunch of blues standards and this Prince tune. It all came out three years later on the self-titled Hindu Love Gods album. I prefer the Love Gods’ reiterpretation but then while I respect him and have tried, I’ve really tried, I’ve just never ‘gotten’ Prince.


    2. Simon and Garfunkel, A Hazy Shade Of Winter . . . Interesting how you can be going through a band or artist’s work and immediately it’s like, oh yeah, this one. I know it was a top-20 hit, almost top 10 (No. 11 in Canada) but dunno, I had somewhat forgotten about it. Silly me. Here it is.
    1. The Motels, Suddenly Last Summer . . . I had The Motels on vinyl when I was out west in Alberta early 1980s but over time had gotten rid of the couple albums I owned. Then, a couple weeks ago, I was in my favorite friendly neighborhood record store and somebody had just dumped a pile of used CDs on them, including a Motels’ compilation. So, now I have the Motels again in my collection and yes I could just listen online and I do, but I still like owning physical copies. Anyway, I like this track which was a successful single but, perhaps contrary to some opinions, it has nothing to do with the Tennessee Williams play, nor the 1959 movie adapted from it, starring Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift. Good flick. Pure coincidence, according to the Motels’ Martha Davis, who had not read the play nor seen the movie until long after the song was released.
    1. Procol Harum, Pandora’s Box . . . From Procol’s Ninth, signifying the band’s ninth album (eight studio works) to that point, 1975.
    1. The Clash, Spanish Bombs . . . My younger son has of late taken great interest in the histories of various wars and international relations that bred them, which led us to talking a bit about the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39. It’s a conflict touched on, among other things, in this song from London Calling. So that’s probably why, unconsciously, I decided to play it, besides the fact anything from that album is, as the English soccer/football commentators say, quality.
    1. Flash and The Pan, War Games . . . From Headlines, 1982. Great lyrics.
    1. Deep Purple, Sun Goes Down . . . Kind of a heavy ballad, if that’s such a thing, from the 2003 album Bananas. It was the first to feature Don Airey on keyboards, with the blessing of Jon Lord, who had retired.


    2. The Rolling Stones, Take It Or Leave It . . . Back I go to my likely tiresome US/UK Aftermath/Between The Buttons/Flowers compilation discussion, as I’ve been mining those albums for Stones songs of late. It stems from back when track listings often differed depending on what country one was in. This song appeared on the UK version of Aftermath in 1966 but not on the version released in the colonies across the pond. I first heard it on the Flowers compilation put together by London Records, Decca’s North American distributor, that my older sister owned.
    1. Joe Jackson, The Old Songs . . . Another song that could be my theme song, along with Free’s Songs of Yesterday which I played recently. This is from JJ’s 1991 Laughter and Lust album, which came up in a discussion with friends last week. The lyrics are likely appropriate to many relationships including my long-over marriage. It sticks out because I saw the tour at Toronto’s Massey Hall with my then-wife but what started as a fun night went off the rails. Why? Well, we spent most of the day in Toronto, ate an early dinner then split up (before we actually split up 10 years later) to go shop our respective interests on Yonge St. Naturally, I went to Sam The Record Man where they happened to have a big sale on CDs, including those by The Rolling Stones, my favorite band. Bear in mind that back then, CDs were still new and expensive, but the store had the Stones’ stuff on for $10 each as I recall, so I bought 6 as I was in the process of replacing my vinyl. Ooh, that did not go over well. Here we were, combined making damn good money, but $60 plus tax was an undisciplined expense, apparently. And sure, I was let’s say a bit cavalier with money then but we never wanted for anything nor did our kids, you only live once and what, spend $60 for 6 or wait and spend, at the time, $20-$25 each, over time? I’ll take the bargain when it presents itself. Whatever. So, I got the silent treatment as we watched JJ from row 2 at Toronto’s Massey Hall. I still had fun. Turned out a solo ticket holder came down and sat beside me, he was a big JJ fan so we spent the evening chatting and enjoying. It pissed her off and we were talking again by the end. Ah, marriage/relationships.
    1. Chuck Berry, Johnny B. Goode/Carol/Promised Land (Live, Toronto Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival 1969) . . . Ever since Jerry Lee Lewis died a while ago and I played some tracks in tribute to him, plus a full live album on my Saturday show, I’ve really been back into the 1950s rock and roll greats. Like Chuck Berry, whose performance at the 1969 Toronto festival is now available on CD, which I picked up recently. Great medley, here, You can watch it, too, on YouTube where film of the performance – and Jerry Lee’s and Little Richard’s energetic sets at the same event – has long been available. This of course was the show, also with Chicago, Alice Cooper and The Doors among others, which featured John Lennon and his Plastic Ono Band, immortalized in film and on the Live Peace In Toronto album.
    1. Canned Heat, Can’t Hold On Much Longer . . . From Vintage, with the cool (or hot) cover of flames coming out of a can. I picked it up on CD recently. I’ve got two truly comprehensive Canned Heat compilations, one a 2-CD and the other a 3-CD version with not a lot of duplication, and Hooker N Heat, their collaboration with John Lee Hooker. So I’ve really seen no need to get the other individual albums but I saw this in a used rack and had to have it, largely for sentimental reasons in memory of my late older brother. He was such a musical influence on me, as I often mention in these missives, and who I remember having the record on vinyl. RIP, Rob.
    1. The Steve Miller Band, Mercury Blues (Live at Monterey Pop Festival, 1967) . . . Way different than the slower, recorded version on his later album Fly Like An Eagle and different again from perhaps the most well-known version by David Lindley. All three versions are well worth a listen.
    1. The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Homemade Wine . . . Best known for Jackie Blue (great song which actually is arguably uncharacteristic of the band’s output) and If You Wanna Get To Heaven, the Daredevils are so much more than those two songs and worth checking out for their countryish southern rock. A great toe-tapper, this one. And, speaking of homemade wine, 3 things. 1. Forget it, buy from the liquor store. 2. My late uncle made his own, got better over the years but still, buy it from the liquor store. 3. Had a neighbor once, made wine and beer. Offered it to my then-wife and I. Great guy. But again: buy it from the liquor store. Sorry, I’m sure there are great home wine makers, distillers and brewers but I’ve yet to experience any such product.
    1. Gerry Rafferty, Get It Right Next Time . . . Speaking of drink, another victim, sadly. Anyway, great tune from his 1979 Night Owl album, was a successful single and I’m going to stop saying I rarely play singles because while this is a deep cuts show, I do play singles – just ones that may not have been massive hits or that you, me or we haven’t heard in ages. Like this one. Great stuff from a period when the former Stealers Wheel member was enjoying great solo success with 1978’s City To City album and its 1979 follow-up Night Owl, the two albums featuring such great singles as Baker Street, Right Down The Line (both from City To City), Days Gone Down (Still Got The Light In Your Eyes) and Get It Right Next Time (from Night Owl).
    1. Pink Floyd, Echoes . . . Always good to have a 23-minute cut in hand when you’re behind on the day, rushing to put the show together and need to fill time. But it’s not just for that reason I’m playing Echoes (again). I love the track, most people do, how could you not, and I was discussing the Meddle album with an old friend and work colleague the other day. So, here we go.

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