So Old It’s New set list for Saturday, April 15, 2023 – on air 7-9 am ET

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

  1. Maria Muldaur, Get Up, Get Ready
  2. Elton John, Tell Me When The Whistle Blows
  3. The Rolling Stones, Sway
  4. The Beatles, Fixing A Hole
  5. Stillwater, Mind Bender
  6. Dixie Dregs, Refried Funky Chicken
  7. The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, E.E. Lawson
  8. Peter Tosh, Brand New Second Hand
  9. Bob Marley and The Wailers, Concrete Jungle
  10. Sheila Hylton, The Bed’s Too Big Without You
  11. The Police, It’s Alright For You
  12. David Lindley, Bye Bye Love
  13. Sea Level, Storm Warning
  14. Rush, The Way The Wind Blows
  15. Junkhouse, Flood
  16. Bruce Springsteen, Lost In The Flood
  17. The Law, Laying Down The Law
  18. The Clash, The Guns Of Brixton
  19. Chris Whitley, Living With The Law
  20. Elvis Costello, My Dark Life
  21. Billy Joel, Captain Jack
  22. T. Rex, Jeepster
  23. Streetheart, Here Comes The Night
  24. Van Morrison, Lonely Avenue
  25. Chicago, What Else Can I Say
  26. Graham Parker & The Rumour, Saturday Nite Is Dead

    My track-by-track tales:

    1. Maria Muldaur, Get Up, Get Ready . . . OK, it’s 7 am. I’m up. I’m ready. On with the show. She’s arguably best known for her 1973 soft rock/pop hit Midnight At The Oasis but Muldaur is one of many artists who are so much more than one big hit single. Now 80, she’s been active since 1963 in the folk, blues, country, gospel and R & B idioms and besides her own work has contributed, mostly vocals, to albums by, among others, solo work by Jerry Garcia of Grateful Dead fame, Paul Butterfield, Linda Ronstadt and The Doobie Brothers. This is from her Southland Of The Heart album, out in 1998 but she remains current, her most recent release in 2021.
    2. Elton John, Tell Me When The Whistle Blows . . . One of my favorite EJ songs, it’s from the 1975 album Captain Fantastic and The Brown Dirty Cowboy. As with most Elton John albums during that halcyon period of the early to mid-1970s, most songs on his records, like this one, could have been hit singles given the quality of what he was releasing at the time. In fact, so prolific and excellent was Elton then, I’ve read that in early 1974, with 1973’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album – his second in 1973 after Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player – still riding high, it was decided to stop releasing singles from Yellow Brick Road in order to not risk adversely affecting potential sales of his next album, Caribou, which came out in June 1974.
    3. The Rolling Stones, Sway . . . onnnne, twooooo, threeee, fouuurrrrr . . . da na na na na na (guitar) bang bang (drums)…that’s my written ‘take’ on Mick Jagger’s wonderfully fatigued-sounding count in into Mick Taylor’s virtuoso lead guitar and soloing, along with Charlie Watts’ drumming . . . So down and dirty, even with Keith Richards, who didn’t play on the song but did help out on backing vocals. Classic raunch and roll Stones, how I like them most.


    4. The Beatles, Fixing A Hole . . . One of the great book series to come out in recent years is “All The Songs’. The books aren’t on the level or depth of Bald Boy’s Track-By-Track Tales of course, nothing could be. But, there are myriad interesting stories behind all the songs, at least at the time of book publication, by various major artists, mostly, so far, in the classic rock area. The books are big, fat, thick, full of info way beyond other such books I’ve accumulated over the years and so far I’ve got four of them: Beatles, Stones, Pink Floyd and Bob Dylan but they’ve been popping up like mushrooms after a good rain. We’ll see how my bank account holds up but I’ve so far seen (and web searched) others on Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, David Bowie, Queen and Prince. Zeppelin I may get, or I may pass on, since it’ll just get me riled again about their plagiarism. Or give me fuel for more diatribes. Springsteen I like a lot but maybe not enough. Elton John, I perused it in a bookstore – where I read that tidbit mentioned earlier about holding back singles as a new album approached release date. But the reality is it’s not worth it to me because I really don’t give a shit for Elton John’s music after the 1970s, aside from the occasional decent single but even then, that ended for me in the 1980s. Bowie, yes, eventually. Queen, sure. As with Bowie, I’m more a 70s Queen fan but their later stuff, especially the Innuendo album which I’ve drawn from for the show and harkens back to early Queen, is worthy enough. Prince? No. I respect his work, I realize his impact and greatness but beyond a few songs, sorry, I’ve tried, not for me although a must watch on YouTube is his mind-blowing guitar soloing on a live version of Beatle George Harrison’s While My Guitar Gently Weeps while teamed up with Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and others. Other than that performance, all I can name, off the top of my head and I do like these, are When Doves Cry, Purple Rain and Raspberry Beret which Hindu Love Gods (Warren Zevon and members of R.E.M.) did to great effect.

      So, the point of my out of control ramble? Well, not sure how well known this story is, I’m fairly up on Beatles lore and I’d never heard it. Or maybe I’d forgotten it. Anyway, so Paul McCartney writes Fixing A Hole, which people thought was about heroin (the title, get it?) but Macca said was merely about pot but the lyrics are also about McCartney’s growing annoyance with the intrusiveness of Beatles fans. So he’s got the song pretty much ready to go and is just about off to the studio to join the other Fabs to record it, when who knocks on his door but Jesus. Yes, Christ. Or, at least, someone claiming to be the Son of God. So Paul humors him, invites him in for tea and says he, Jesus, can attend the recording session if he keeps quiet. Which is interesting in that Paul and the other Beatles didn’t much like Yoko Ono sitting around, attached to John Lennon, during reording sessions. Anyway, off Paul and Jesus go and, as the book says, one more miracle for the Sgt. Pepper album. But of course the Jesus story is all BS, or Jesus couldn’t perform miracles, because as we all know, Paul was killed in a car crash around 1966 – the real reason The Beatles stopped touring then – and was replaced by a look-alike, which accounts for later middling albums like, say, Wings Wild Life. It’s true. I have a book on that subject. It’s called The Walrus Was Paul: The Great Beatle Death Clues. A fun read.

    5. Stillwater, Mind Bender . . . Talking box guitar extravaganza by a Georgia band whose brief shining moment was this track from their self-titled 1977 album. I pulled it from a southern rock compilation album I bought ages ago. The set features well-known bands like the Allmans and Lynyrd Skynyrd but also relatively obsure material like Stillwater.
    6. Dixie Dregs, Refried Funky Chicken . . . Definitely funky, this almost prog-jazz excursion from another Georgia band, well-known for guitarist Steve Morse who went on to latter-day incarations of Deep Purple.
    7. The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, E.E. Lawson . . . Great swamp rock song from the band best known for the hit singles Jackie Blue and If You Wanna Get To Heaven. This one’s from the band’s second album, It’ll Shine When It Shines, which included Jackie Blue and was released in 1974. The Daredevils are still around, not only playing but marketing their Ozark Dry Gin through their EE Lawson Distillery.
    8. Peter Tosh, Brand New Second Hand . . . I’ve been meaning to get back to some reggae on the show, so here comes a mini-set starting with this one from Tosh’s Legalize It album, his first solo effort after leaving The Wailers.
    9. Bob Marley and The Wailers, Concrete Jungle . . . Speaking of which . . . From the Catch A Fire album. Session guitarist to the stars Wayne Perkins, who played the fine solo on Hand Of Fate from The Rolling Stones’ Black and Blue album, handles lead guitar on this Marley song.
    10. Sheila Hylton, The Bed’s Too Big Without You . . . The Police dabbled in reggae, so reggae artists dabbled back. Hylton had a No. 35 UK hit in 1981 with her version of the song that was the fourth single from the second Police album, Reggatta de Blanc, released in 1979.
    11. The Police, It’s Alright For You . . . From Reggatta de Blanc, one of those songs by a great band that could easily have been a single. It’s arguably as well known as many Police hits.
    12. David Lindley, Bye Bye Love . . . A reggae version of the song made famous by The Everly Brothers. It appeared on the late guitarist/string instrumentalist Lindley’s El Rayo-X album, released in 1981 and produced by Jackson Browne, with whom Lindley had a long association dating to the 1970s. In addition to his solo work, Lindley was a contributor to a vast catalogue of recordings by artists like Linda Ronstadt and Warren Zevon, among many others. It’s an impressive resume.
    13. Sea Level, Storm Warning . . . Funky jazz rock instrumental from the Allman Brothers Band offshoot led by keyboardist Chuck Leavell. The band, so named as a pun – C. Leavell – on Leavell’s name, released five studio albums between 1977 and 1981. Leavell, who joined the Allmans for their Brothers and Sisters album in 1973, has toured and recorded with Eric Clapton, George Harrison, David Gilmour and another Allmans offshoot, Gov’t Mule, among others. He’s been a regular sideman with The Rolling Stones on both tours and albums since 1982.
    14. Rush, The Way The Wind Blows . . . Propulsive song, rising and falling in intensity throughout its six-plus minutes, from 2007’s Snakes And Arrows album. It was late drummer Neil Peart’s favorite from the album and features his usual fine work, complemented by nice guitar licks from Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee’s understated vocals – a respite for some who aren’t fond of some of his more histrionic excursions.
    15. Junkhouse, Flood . . . Mid-tempo burner from what turned out to be the Canadian band’s final studio album, 1997’s Fuzz. Leader Tom Wilson has gone on to myriad projects including solo work, Blackie and The Rodeo Kings with Colin Linden and Stephen Fearing and Lee Harvey Osmond with members of Cowboy Junkies and Skydiggers. I ran into him at the cash in a coffee shop in Kitchener some years ago, the morning after Junkhouse reunited to play the blues festival. Just a quick “I admire your work’ chat with a modest, humble, great artist.
    16. Bruce Springsteen, Lost In The Flood . . . Majestic, epic in its five minutes, apocalyptic story song, in part about a war veteran, from Springsteen’s early days, his 1973 debut Greetings From Asbury Park N.J. It’s the kind of song one might discover one day or night, you maybe don’t know an album well but you might be alone at home, you decide to put it on, preferably with headphones, no distractions, and just let it all – lyrics and sparse music – wash over you and seep into your consciousness. That happened with me, years ago, with Bob Dylan’s Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands from Blonde on Blonde. Same thing with this tune on a Springsteen album that, perhaps like many people, I came to later – along with his second 1973 release The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle – after he broke big with Born To Run in 1975. That’s often the case. An artist has a breakthrough commercial success, prompting some of us into deeper investigation of the back catalog, if there is one, then you move forward with each subsequent new release.
    17. The Law, Laying Down The Law . . . A Paul Rodgers-penned tune, naturally enough perhaps Bad Company-like, from the one and only self-titled album he did in collaboration, under the moniker The Law, with former Faces and Who drummer Kenney Jones. The record came out in early 1991, Laying Down The Law was a hit single, at least in the US, but the album otherwise bombed, and plans for a second release were shelved. Among those appearing on the album, although not on this track, were guitarists David Gilmour and Chris Rea. Also in the backup band was latter day Who and prolific session bassist Pino Paladino.
    18. The Clash, The Guns Of Brixton . . . One of my favorite Clash songs, from London Calling, a pulsating reggae groove about real life events. Written and sung, in a rare lead vocal performance, by bass player Paul Simenon, who grew up in the Brixton area of London. “When they kick at your front door, how you gonna come, with your hands on your head or on the trigger of your gun . . . ” At the time, The Clash may truly have been, as their publicity suggested, the only band that mattered.
    19. Chris Whitley, Living With The Law . . . Title cut from the late great but perhaps underappreciated/relatively unknown American singer songwriter/guitarist’s 1991 debut album. Whitley died of lung cancer in 2005 at age 45 but left us a lengthy discography although it’s his debut that remains my favorite. The album has a Canadian connection, produced by musician/producer/recording engineer Malcom Burn, who played keyboards and tambourine on the record, at Daniel Lanois’ Kingsway Studio in New Orleans.
    20. Elvis Costello, My Dark Life . . . A collaboration with Brian Eno, the spooky soundscape appeared on the X-Files TV show-themed record Songs In The Key Of X released in 1996. It later appeared on the Costello compilation Extreme Honey and on a bonus disc on a 2001 re-release of his 1996 studio album All This Useless Beauty.
    21. Billy Joel, Captain Jack . . . The title cut from Joel’s 1973 album Piano Man gets most of the acclaim, and deservedly so, but Captain Jack is probably my favorite on the album and might be my favorite Joel song, period. It’s one of those songs that wasn’t a single, at more than seven minutes long that would be unusual although not unheard of, but became well known back in the heyday of commercial FM radio, when album tracks and indeed full albums were played. The song’s popularity originally stemmed from a Philadelphia radio station having Joel on for a studio concert in 1972, after which the sation continued to play the live version it had recorded. It caught the attention of major record labels, and the rest is history. It’s akin to how a Cleveland station helped break Rush beyond Canada, in 1974, by playing the song Working Man from the debut album.
    22. T. Rex, Jeepster . . . Second single from the Electric Warrior album, whose big hit everywhere – and often the only T. Rex song you ever seem to hear, at least in North America – was Get It On, retitled Bang A Gong (Get It On) in the US to avoid conflict with the song Get It On by the 1970s jazz rock group Chase. Chase’s Get It On is a good song, too. So is Jeepster by T. Rex, which has far more to offer than just Get It On, however one titles it.
    23. Streetheart, Here Comes The Night . . . Streetheart cover of the song made famous by Van Morrison’s Them. It was written by Bert Berns, an American songwriter/producer whose many credits included Twist and Shout, Piece of My Heart, Hang On Sloopy, Cry To Me and Everybody Needs Somebody To Love. What else might have been – Berns, who had heart issues resulting from contracting rheumatic fever during childhood, died of heart failure in 1967 at age 38.
    24. Van Morrison, Lonely Avenue . . . Cover of the Doc Pomus tune, an R & B hit for Ray Charles in 1956. Van The Man did it justice, including some great saxophone and harmoica playing, on his solid 1993 album Too Long In Exile.
    25. Chicago, What Else Can I Say . . . Yes, I know that, when I play Chicago, I usually draw from their first three albums. What can I say, they’re easily my favorites, amazing stuff. This one’s from Chicago III.
    26. Graham Parker & The Rumour, Saturday Nite Is Dead . . . From Parker’s great 1979 album Squeezing Out Sparks, where it was listed as ‘nite’. Some compilations have it as ‘night’. In any event, a raving rocker, for sure, about Parker’s formative years in suburbia, written and sung when Parker was still an angry young man along with his contemporaries Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson. It’s interesting looking back now at what Parker said then about his song. “It’s a pretty angry song delivered in a very angry way. Attitude is what’s behind it. If you sing in a sort of wimpy attitude, that shows you’ve been distorted by getting old, that shows you’ve mellowed, more than the specifics of the songs.” He did eventually mellow, as perhaps most of us do as we inevitably age although there are many artists, Neil Young comes to mind, who can and do still kick butt with edgy stuff as they age. In Parker’s case, at least, the more he mellowed in his music, which became bland to me by the mid-1980s, the more he lost me. But we still have the old and angry stuff, so his legacy is secure.

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