Mimi's Blog

Calling the Hamster in the Bowl, “Dad?”

The music of perennial bad boys Motley Crue is appearing in the soundtrack for a new series of television commercials. The ads are not for a decadent night out, the liquor of the month or a Vegas soiree but for Sprint. I have seen at least two versions of the ads which tout the Framily plan and the Crue’s “Home Sweet Home” is the song that pulls it all together. In one version, the song gets a singalong in French, in another it is the background of spirited discussion around the breakfast table. Am I the only person that doesn’t get the hamster in the bowl at the table? Albeit, it’s not “Dr, Feelgood” or “Kickstart My Heart” but apparently it’s effective to pair rowdy rock stars with cell service pitches. Here’s the link to one of the ads

Show Me the Way to the Next Whiskey Bar

With St Patrick’s Day celebrations lasting weeks rather than weekends, I couldn’t help but think about songs to go with the festivities. Green songs for rockers, “Green River” by C.C.R and “Green Grass and High Tides” by The Outlaws come to mind immediately. There is “Green Eyed Lady” by Sugarloaf. Of course, anything by Green Day. Does “Spirit in the Sky” by Norman GREENbaum count? And then there are the drinking songs, a common theme among rock music. It’s a little disturbing that I can rattle off so many songs that mention or have “whiskey” in the title: “Whiskey Man” by Molly Hatchet, “Whiskey In A Jar” by Metallica, “Snortin’ Whiskey and Drinkin’ Cocaine” by Pat Travers, “Whiskey Rock n Roller” by Skynyrd, “Alabama Song(WhiskeyBar)” by the Doors and a very cool song by the Felice Brothers, “Whiskey in My Whiskey.” Not to mention, “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” by George Thorogood and a real ballbreaker from AC/DC, “Whiskey On the Rocks.” That’s just my whiskey knowledge!

The Foo Fighters and Fogerty

I love the Foo Fighters and have all of their releases. All of their songs are great blasting on the radio in the car. I sometimes crave the energy I hear and feel when listening to them. I do have one Foreigner CD-their Greatest Hits-and I’m covered in case anyone asks if I have any Foreigner. I have lots of John Fogerty solo releases. Every time I bought one, I thought this will be the one that captures the CCR feel that I love. Although “Revival” has a couple of anti-war songs it doesn’t quite have the sound I was hoping for. “Wrote A Song for Everyone” is terrific but it’s a mostly a collection of reworked CCR songs. Fogerty pairs up with some of his musician friends, including the Foo Fighters to re-record his staples. The old songs manage to sound fresh without stepping out of the box.

The F Shelf

The “F” shelf in my collection is filled with very specific releases rather than complete catalogs of artists. I enjoy some of the Fabulous Thunderbirds and have “Powerful Stuff” with Jimmy Vaughan as the lead guitarist. But I am also a Duke Robillard fan and bought his one and only album with the T-Birds,”Walk the Walk, Talk the Talk.” Because it’s Duke I keep it but it’s not one of the finest releases from the Fabulous Thunderbirds. I do not own any Firefall records and I never will. But, I do have several Bela Fleck albums. I have to be in a strange place to really enjoy them since I am not a fan of pure bluegrass or banjo pickin’ but it’s the way he fuses folk and rock and jazz with his playing that keeps me interested. Live Bela Fleck shows are something to see, too.

I Like the Covers More than the Music

I do own some progressive rock in my collection. This genre is mostly on vinyl but one ”Best Of” Emerson, Lake and Palmer CD graces my shelves. I’m not a progressive rock geek. I much prefer melody or rhythm and blues. I like a beat. And a hook. But I do appreciate the incredible artwork that goes with progressive rock discs. The cover of Brain Salad Surgery. Tarkus. So, I hold on to my vinyl copies. And, in the “E” section a couple of Electric Light Orchestra discs. Lots of good tunes Jeff Lynne’s sound is so recognizable, you can hear it when he toys with non-ELO songs. George Harrison. Traveling Wilbury’s. Tom Petty. He almost saturates songs with his production. A little goes a long way.

In the “E”s and I don’t own any music from one of my favorite bands

The letter “E” in my collection is truly represented by The Eagles. Not until the recent documentary on the band did I think I was a big fan. The “History of the Eagles” was tremendous and gave me a good view of the band members. Glenn Frey is a hoot. And, Don Henley came off as likable. The film was just one hit song after another. All of the songs were on the radio. I enjoyed it so much, I immediately bought tickets to see them on their current tour and ended up catching a show in Bethel this past summer and experienced one the best shows I have ever seen.

Most of my Eagles collection is early stuff and it is all on vinyl which I never play. I have tickets from several Eagles concerts from the ‘70’s in my ticket stub stash including one from a show at Schaeffer Stadium in 1975. Imagine 5 friends in a Pinto heading down the Mass Pike. That is, five people jammed into a tin can with the radio blasting. It’s nearing the end of our senior year and we are ready for a day of music. We laughed, we sang and I think we even cried our goodbyes at that show. Bic lighters and all. The Eagles are a significant part of my musical life and so large in my own head that I don’t ever need to play their music anymore.

From the Greatest Voice to the Worst Voice?

The letter “D”. Bob Dylan. 35 studio albums, live albums and the amazing bootleg series. I have most of his stuff. I lack most of his 80’s releases but I do own “Infidels” and “Oh Mercy.” I felt reckless and wild when I listened to his stuff in the 70’s. His music hit me hard. I bought my copy of “Blood on the Tracks” at the Coop at Harvard Square the day it came out. A bunch of friends came over to my house that night and we listened to it over and over and over. We discussed the lyrics as if we were great philosophers. “Idiot Wind,” Tangled Up in Blue,” and “Shelter from the Storm.” Within hours, we had that record memorized. And then, I caught a couple of shows with the Rolling Thunder Revue. So alive and vivid, I can still bring the whole event to mind. I love Dylan and I acknowledge his lack of voice on stage now but I still go. I still feel it. And, I consider my collection of his records my most precious. Yeah, I said that.

The Greatest Rock Voice of All Time

Depeche Mode is not in my collection. I pulled out the 3 discs I had been keeping for no apparent reason and put them aside to mail to an old friend that loves the band. Hearing just one note of electronica makes me dizzy. Onward. Dio is one of my favorites. You will hear me proclaim at every opportunity that Ronnie James Dio had the greatest rock voice ever. A diminutive man with a huge presence and enormous lungs. “Holy Diver” is a perfect rock album. It is my go-to workout album. And I really like to sing with Ronnie. I must be quite a sight as I churn down the roads on my bike bellowing “Rainbow in the Dark.”  A bit of Central New York pride comes busting through to although it is well known that once he met success and moved to Cali, he rarely came back to his hometown.

Pointy Fingernails and Chuck Biscuits

The “D”s in my collection contain 2 bands that I am really passionate about but first I have to explain Danzig. Have met Glenn Danzig a couple of times. Nice guy, soft-spoken with really pointy fingernails. The punk metal thing is really not me…never got the Misfits either but “Mother” is such a mother of a rock song. And I love it. And I do enjoy a band with members named Eerie Van, Chuck Biscuits and John Christ. You just can’t make this stuff up. That song ends up slightly tainted though.  It was included in the soundtrack of one of the worst movie sequels ever- The Hangover III.  A very brief Depeche Mode dissection next!

Coldplay and Cream

Despite “C” being my least favorite classic rock letter, I have a small Coldplay collection and I love them. Collective Soul-yes. Creed-no, thanks to Scott Staph. But, my collection of Cream is as extensive as it can be for a band that was together for just two years. In fact, I was lucky enough to see one of their reunion shows at Madison Square Garden in 2005. And, I definitely appreciate any musicians that play as a group for any length of time after seeing a biopic on the cantankerous Ginger Baker. As I get to the end of the “C’s”, I am keeping the first two Cult CD’s…Dreamtime and Love. After those, they lost me but I tried.