So Old It’s New set list for Monday, March 20, 2023 – on air 8-10 pm ET

My track-by-track tales follow this bare-bones list.

  1. Artimus Pyle Band, Makes More Rock
  2. Rush, Here Again
  3. David Bowie, The Width Of A Circle
  4. 54-40, She-La
  5. Max Webster, Oh War!
  6. Jimi Hendrix, Machine Gun (live, from Band of Gypsys)
  7. Chris Whitley, Narcotic Prayer
  8. Argent, Dance In The Smoke
  9. Teenage Head, Somethin’ Else
  10. Eagles, Teenage Jail
  11. Van Halen, Beautiful Girls
  12. The Rolling Stones, So Young
  13. Martha and The Muffins/M + M, Several Styles Of Blonde Girls Dancing
  14. Alvin Lee, Rock & Roll Girls
  15. J.J. Cale, City Girls
  16. The Who, Cry If You Want
  17. Wishbone Ash, Errors Of My Way
  18. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, F*!#in’ Up
  19. Deep Purple, This Time Around/Owed to ‘G’
  20. Faces, I’d Rather Go Blind (live)
  21. The Moody Blues, Veteran Cosmic Rocker
  22. Rory Gallagher, A Million Miles Away 

    My track-by-track tales:

    1. Artimus Pyle Band, Makes More Rock . . . A leftover, of sorts, from my recent tribute show to the late Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington. I pulled some Rossington Collins Band stuff for that tribute from a fine compilation album, Lynyrd Skynyrd Solo Flytes, I bought eons ago. It’s heavy on the Rossington Collins Band – which was the most prolific of the splinter groups that formed a few years after the 1977 plane crash that claimed several members of Skynyrd – but has some other stuff including this rocker by Skynyrd drummer Pyle’s subsequent band.
    2. Rush, Here Again . . . Bluesy rock cut from Rush’s self-titled debut album in 1974. Heavily influenced by such bands as Led Zeppelin and Cream, the first album became something of an outlier in Rush’s discography once Neil Peart replaced John Rutsey on drums and became the prime lyricist for the second album, Fly By Night, as the band adopted a more progressive hard rock persona.
    3. David Bowie, The Width Of A Circle . . . I’ve played this before, long ago now, but it came up in an article I was reading about Bowie deep cuts and I thought, I’ve been all over that, so here it is, again. From the 1970 album The Man Who Sold The World. A memorable extended piece merging blues rock/hard rock almost metal, and progressive rock.
    4. 54-40, She-La . . . From 1992’s Dear Dear album, probably the record that got me into 54-40, as much as I’m into them which really isn’t all that much although I saw them live in 2004 with a then-girlfriend who wanted to see them. Excellent show. 54-40’s She-La, not to be confused with the different but equally fine Aerosmith song Shela from the Done With Mirrors album, made No. 38 on the Canadian singles charts.
    5. Max Webster, Oh War! . . . From Max’s 1977 album High Class In Borrowed Shoes. It was not released as a single but is a well-known song, at least in Canada. Nice borrowed shoes on the band members, too, on the album’s cover photo. Definitely 1970s fashion and not knocking it; I grew up then.
    6. Jimi Hendrix, Machine Gun (live, from Band of Gypsys) . . . The rat-a-tat guitar attack protest song against the Vietnam War and conflict in general, recorded as 1969 passed into 1970 at the Hendrix shows at the Fillmore East, New York City.
    7. Chris Whitley, Narcotic Prayer . . . Whitley went somewhat grunge (the big thing at the time via bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden etc) on his second album, 1995’s Din Of Ecstasy, an appropriate title given it’s a noisy departure from the brilliance of his roots rock, bluesy debut Living With The Law. But, while one wonders why an artist of Whitley’s calibre would feel a need to follow trends, I like it. Whitley was an amazing artist – deep, sometimes dark, a bare his soul human being sadly lost to us to lung cancer in 2005 at age 45.
    8. Argent, Dance In The Smoke . . . The progressive rock band Argent, led by former Zombie Rod Argent, is best known for the hit Hold Your Head up and for God Gave Rock and Roll To You (covered by Kiss), but is so much more, evidenced by this cut and many others. Worth checking out, if you haven’t.
    9. Teenage Head, Somethin’ Else . . . The Canadian punk/new wave rockers with their treatment of the Eddie Cochran hit. It appeared on the great Frantic City album, 1980.
    10. Eagles, Teenage Jail . . . I’ve always liked this brooding track from The Long Run, an album that always seems to get short shrift from critics and even the band, which was fraying at that point, but to me it’s every bit as good as its predecessor, Hotel California.
    11. Van Halen, Beautiful Girls . . . I don’t deliberately play singles, as this is (supposed to be) a deep cuts show, although I’ve been known to dredge up the occasional single not heard in ages. So this maybe fits although poor research on my part, I simply forgot it was a single. It was the second single from Van Halen II, didn’t chart anywhere but the US where it made No. 84, so, deep cut it is, in my book. Even better was its B-side, D.O.A., one of my favorite Van Halen songs, but I’ve played that one likely too much.
    12. The Rolling Stones, So Young . . . A rocker recorded during the Some Girls album sessions, it first appeared – outside of bootlegs – as the B-side, in various countries including Canada as I have it on the CD single, of Love Is Strong from the Voodoo Lounge album in 1994. It has since resurfaced on the expanded re-release of Some Girls.
    13. Martha and The Muffins/M + M, Several Styles Of Blonde Girls Dancing . . . Second of a few songs with ‘Girls’ in the title, the result of me calling up Van Halen’s Beautiful Girls in the station’s computer system. These things happen, and often good things result, especially when you get what I think are fun, jarring changes in the show flow from rock to new wave, via this cut from The Muffins. For a few years in the mid-1980s the band changed its name to M + M after some lineup changes fostered by disputes and subsequent departures. M + M never really ‘took’ though, as lead singer Martha Johnson acknowledged. “Our legacy was Martha and The Muffins.” Best known for their 1980 hit Echo Beach, the Muffins are still around, having released a studio album as recently as 2010. There were apparently plans for a new album in 2022 but I’ve not seen nor heard of it, not that I care that much about the band anymore. But I was into them during the Echo Beach period and up to Danseparc, the 1983 album from which I pulled Several Styles Of Blonde Girls Dancing.
    14. Alvin Lee, Rock & Roll Girls . . . A rockabilly tune from the late Ten Years After leader’s 2004 solo album, In Tennessee. It’s not only a good album – I’m a big fan of TYA and Lee’s solo work – but it’s notable for the presence of Elvis Presley’s noted guitarist Scotty Moore in Lee’s band.
    15. J.J. Cale, City Girls . . . From the forever dependable late great Cale’s 1982 album Grasshopper. Dependable in the sense that, like AC/DC in my opinion, you know just what you’re getting with J.J. Cale but his genius was his ability to do seemingly the same thing every song and album, yet be different enough each time out as to always be compelling and worth a listen.
    16. The Who, Cry If You Want . . . A leftover from my recent good songs on bad albums show. I played Eminence Front from It’s Hard, and that’s clearly the best song on that 1982 record but Cry If You Want, to me, is second with little other competition. Nice drumming by Kenney Jones.
    17. Wishbone Ash, Errors Of My Way . . . An old friend of mine with whom I’ve reconnected via the show told me some back that I’ve turned him on to the hard progressive rock of Wishbone Ash. I love that about music. This one’s from their self-titled debut in 1970.
    18. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, F*!#in’ Up . . . Good rocker from the appropriately titled Ragged Glory album, released in 1990. Canadian stalwarts Junkhouse later covered it, live only, and put a version of it on a compilation album.
    19. Deep Purple, This Time Around/Owed to ‘G’ . . . Funky stuff from Come Taste The Band, the one and only album the band did with guitarist Tommy Bolin, who replaced the departed-to-form Rainbow Ritchie Blackmore. This is the type of song, co-written and sung by bass player Glenn Hughes before the instrumental coda by keyboardist Jon Lord, that critics – and even some band members – cite when they deride the record as not really being a Deep Purple album. I’m tired of that what I consider nonsense. I’m a huge Purple fan and have loved the album since it came out in 1975. It’s as nonsensical – and lazy – as saying the Stones’ Some Girls is a disco album because the biggest hit was Miss You, a total outlier on that album but a wisely chosen single to cash in on a genre that was hot at the time, 1978. Come Taste The Band has lots of rockers and bluesy rockers like the opening cut Comin’ Home, Lady Luck, Drifter, Gettin’ Tighter . . . Were I in the band I’d be proud to have it as a Deep Purple album because it reflects the group’s myriad abilities in terms of styles. So why am I playing this funky track? Well, for stated reasons plus I considered it as a song for my recent ‘good songs on bad albums’ show but I decided it’s only a ‘bad’ album to the aforementioned nonsensical and lazy critics. So I went with a truly shitty Purple album, the Joe Lynn Turner (yecchh)-sung Slaves and Masters, from 1990, with only King Of Dreams, the song I played, worth listening to.
    20. Faces, I’d Rather Go Blind (live) . . . I’ve been digging out albums in my collection I haven’t played in ages over the last week or so and it’s been a fun trip, and much of what I revisit will likely be making its way into future shows. This one’s the live version of the song made famous by Etta James, which Rod Stewart covered (to her thumb’s up) on his 1972 album Never A Dull Moment. It was released during the 1969-74 period of superb Stewart stuff when he was maintaining parallel careers of solo work while still in Faces, most members of whom backed him on his solo albums. This live version is from Rod Stewart/Faces Live: Coast To Coast Overture and Beginners, released in 1973. The live cut is a shade over two minutes longer, at 6:04, than the studio version which allows guitarist Ronnie Wood room for a terrific extended solo. And, as with all Stewart/Faces stuff at the time, the liner notes on the album are worth the price of admission. To wit, in naming the personnel:
      * Rod (he’s in hospital ‘cos he fell off his wallet) Stewart – throat
      * Ian (he’s got so many teeth, when he smiles it looks like his tongue’s playing the piano) McLagan – keyboards, what throat?
      * Ron (I’m not saying he’s dull, but his favorite color is light grey) Wood – guitar, some throat!
      * Kenney (I’m not saying he’s unlucky, but when he was young he had a wooden horse that died) Jones – drums.
      * Tetsu (I’m not saying he’s thin, but he wants his job back as a dipstick) Yamauchi – bass and trombone.
      “Let nothing be said against: Pimm’s No. 1, with lemonade and assorted fruit; Courvoisier, Teacher’s, Coors, and vino, as these implements are the mainstay of our melodic frolics.”

      Ah, Faces, sex, drugs, booze and shambolic down and dirty rock and roll.

    21. The Moody Blues, Veteran Cosmic Rocker . . . From Long Distance Voyager, a big hit comeback of sorts album from the Moodies in 1981. I was visiting my parents in the San Francisco Bay Area at the time, my dad had just taken a job there and I recall how the Moodies, Kim Carnes with Bette Davis Eyes and Blue Oyster Cult with Burnin’ For You were dominating radio airplay at the time. So I always think of San Francisco when I play or hear any of those songs.
    22. Rory Gallagher, A Million Miles Away . . . For a buddy of mine who has yet to get off his butt and buy, at minimum, a Rory compilation, at my recommendation which he asked for but has not acted upon. You try to help people . . .  

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