What album would you consider to be a 10/10?
Oh boy, that’s a good one. I will submit two. Guns’ Appetite for Destruction.. and Smashing Pumpkins ‘Siamese Dream’. No ‘filler’. Or, more likely its filler is still top notch music. On the Pumpkins’ disc, one might say ‘Sweet Sweet’, or ‘Luna’ are filler. Wrong. Those are both really great songs.
What is a misheard lyric that you prefer over the actual lyric?
Ah, mondegreens, one of my favorite topics. Once again, I’ll give you two. First one is Bob Dylan’s ‘Tangled up in Blue’. The proper lyrics:
We split up on a dark, sad night
Both agreeing it was best
She turned around to look at me
As I was walking away
I heard her say over my shoulder
“We’ll meet again someday on the avenue… Tangled up in Blue
But what I heard the first 30 or so years was ‘we split up on the docks that night’. I prefer it. It’s romantic, and super dark and creepy. He’s leaving by water? And just taking off in the dark? Honey, that boy ain’t coming back for you.
Second choice – U2’s “in the name of love”, their famous homage to the assassination of Tupac George Floyd. Here is a clip of the song. Before I put lyrics up, tell me what you hear on the line ‘one man come, he __________ “. It’s at 56 seconds into the song. So maybe start at 45 seconds.
What I always heard (but did not understand) was the lyrics ‘one man come, he a juicy fire… one man to overflow. Ok, go back. Listen that song again starting from about 45 second mark. Tell me you don’t now hear ‘one man come, he a juicy fire’. Don’t believe me? Try any version. No, I don’t know what a juicy fire is. I was thinking Bobo was just saying Dr King was super passionate… like fiery passionate about civil rights.
But I didn’t come here to tell you that. I came here to tell you about another’s interpretation of that exact same line. He and I were chatting back and forth, as we do daily via text now, and I admitted that was one of my mondegreens. Not unlike ‘every pool hall aches’. Any, this friend… let’s just call him ‘Jamie G, the teacher in Phx’ said he thought the lyric was ‘one man come, he set Jews on fire….’. Egregious and offensive? Sure. But plausible once you listen to it back in with that sentence in mind… positively. Its important to note, Jamie doesn’t advocate setting Jews on fire. But, he seemed to think Bono did.
The real lyric, btw, is ‘one man come, he a justifier, one man to overflow’. What? Fuck that. That line makes about as much sense as ours, I wonder if MLK knew is ‘Damadadian’ rights? I sure hope ‘Jamie’ does, because he is going to hell for one that. A fiery hell! Worse? A juicy fire!
Which musician’s passing affected you the most?
Perhaps you think I am going to say Jerry (Garcia). That was clearly a big and complex one for me. But worse was Chris Cornell. Jerry was a line long hardcore drug addict who never took care of himself. Him dying of a heart attack at 54 isn’t the surprise. The wonder is how did he possibly last that long? Odd side note that I just thought to google, they were both about same age when they died, 53 (Jerry) and 52 (Cornell). I could sit on the couch and talk Jerry with you for days. In fact, I probably have. Cornell’s just smacked the shit out of me, though. So much so that I couldn’t listen to any of his music for years, and I still don’t. Why the difference? Well, Jerry was cooked and done. ‘Rode hard and put away wet’. It was clear to all Jerry didn’t have unlimited time. Cornell, though, it felt like he was just waking up and having a renaissance. Or, the rest of the world was finally catching on to him. He had a cool and successful solo acoustic tour just done, then, a Temple of the Dog reunion (which did not come to Denver. ☹ ), and was reunited with Soundgarden. On top of all that, at the time of his death, they had just reissued the ‘Singles’ soundtrack. I mean, the day I found out he died is THEE day I got my Singles box set into the mail. We were somehow at ‘peak Cornell’.
My theory as to why it took the world 30 years to catch on to what a talent he was? Seasons. I’d seen Soundgarden live a couple times long ago (pre-reunion… pre-breakup up… early 90s). That young rock god did not sing a note. All Chris Cornell did was scream. Really really well, but every song was him screaming. Even when he sang low and slow (think Outshined here, my favorite Soundgarden song), he still sounded like he was screaming. Then, we learned (basically after SG broke up) he can really really sing. Jesus, man, why were you screaming the all through the 80s and 90s when your vice could do this?
Anyhow, the reason his death hit me is I don’t believe he meant to do it. That sounds weird, I know. Its not like I am saying ‘he slipped and accidentally hung himself’. I mean had that not succeeded, he would still be here. He wouldn’t have tried again. Kurt Cobain already tried to kill himself on tour several months before he shot himself. Had that last part not worked, he would have tried again two days later. I guess it meant the end of my rock and roll youth in some way. Jerry Garcia was gone, Kurt was gone, Layne was gone, Plenty of others in the 27 club. Now, all we had was Eddie. Got bless Eddie! I think that was my like third thought when I heard about it. First was shock and denial, then some serious sadness, and then ‘how is Eddie doing’? Eddie was so busted up he didn’t even make the funeral.
That one song that comes on the radio and remember exactly what life was like when you first heard it.
‘Somebody’s Baby’ from Jackson Browne. Its when I got laid in the dug out of a baseball field at a nearby park. Or, was that Jennifer Jason Lee? To me, I guess it’s the opposite. I think of specific moments from songs. Anytime I hear I hear ‘Moving in Stereo’, I will think of Phoebe Cates getting out of the pool removing her top. Feel the same about that Jackson Browne song. For very obvious reasons, I will not link to either of these scenes. But they are fantastic.
What’s a song that calms you?
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. City of Blinding Lights. Here is a story about that last one. It will be quick, I promise. For about 15 years, ANY time I was in a plane taking off, that was the song I would put on. I still do it on occasion, but it was my go to song for takeoffs. I should note this wasn’t for anxiety, but the opposite. If the plane is taking off, we are doing something interesting. And look at that now tiny city out the window. Its no people, no conflict… just lights. I’ll assume you know the first song, Elton John. I’ll then assume you don’t know the second song. So, here it is on a platter. Ok, then it gets weird. I have this on DVD. I love a LOT of U2, they are amazing, and underrated. How do I say that one of the biggest bands in the world is ‘underrated’? Because they don’t get their due in popular culture or history. Ask ANYONE you know (over 35ish) about U2. They will say “Uh…. Bono, what a pretentious dick. Trying to save the world? Just work on your songs.” Anyone who answers that way it an asshole. Yeah, in between being the one of the greatest front men in the history of rock, he uses that power and influence to do good.
Also, everything by Leonard Cohen is calming. In fact, how about dees nuts? I got U2… AND Leonard Cohen on the same song. it’s so fucking good, let’s just drop it right here.