Rootin’, tootin’ for The Hooters
Hi all! Were you ready for the holidays?
I love this time of year, don’t you? Ours started with Thanksgiving on Thursday. I love that American holiday. My family and I stayed on an Amish farm guest house and had dinner at an incredible smorgasbord.
We’ve done that many times before and it’s our favorite way to spend Thanksgiving together. Not that we don’t love spending it with my pain-in-the-ass sister-in-law and her creepy family … OK! Let’s go to press!
Last Saturday night. I went to see my old and dear friend Eric Bazlian of The Hooters, and a brilliant songwriter who’s perhaps best known for writing ‘One of Us,’ as well as writing or co-writing all of The Hooters’ hits including ‘And We Danced’ and ‘All You Zombie.’
The Hooters still sell out in the US, and in Europe, including Sweden and Germany. Eric performed in a music café called Chaplin’s in a far suburb of Philadelphia, easily 10,000 light years from our house. All we know was that the show was scheduled for 8pm. We left our house at 6pm and we arrived there on the previous Friday at 4. But all in all, well worth the trip. Eric’s performance was brilliant and intimate and entertaining as ever.
I asked Eric to tell me the story behind the song because it’s such an unusual narrative. He told me that sometime in 1994 or ‘95, he was playing the riff, over and over, at home. His daughter Sarah asked him if he’d record something for her so she could see how it was done. So, he recorded all the parts of this new song for her and the lyrics. Then the lyrics came to him, so he added them on the recording and the song was complete. Eventually, Joan Osbourne recorded it and had a hit, and the rest is, as they say, musical history.
Another friend of mine who I haven’t seen in a decade but fortunately now communicates with on FaceBook (don’t you just love FaceBook?!) is Mike Maxfield, original lead guitarist of Billy J. Kramer with The Dakotas. Mike and Billy keep up, too, but mostly by telephone. I told Mike that, when I was Billy’s musical director, we convinced him to let us unearth and perform ‘I’m In Love,’ an incredible song written for them by John Lennon, but sadly never released (if you haven’t heard it, do check it out on YouTube.)
In the beginning of the recording you can hear John Lennon and Billy talking. John says something unintelligible and Billy cracks up laughing. I asked Mike what was said, because Billy has absolutely no memory of that, although he clearly remembers the event.
Here’s what Mike had to say: “John and Paul used to turn up at all our Abbey Road recordings, John would get a chair and sit in front of me making funny comments and pulling funny faces trying to make me mess up. I can’t remember what John said to faze Billy, but I will check with one of the other Dakotas to see if he can remember.
“We didn’t finish it, so it wasn’t released. I will phone you again one day. It would be good to have a chat and catch up. Bye for now, Mike.”
Yes it would be. Stay well, my friend, and thanks.
Heard from my buddy Rick Levy, manager and musical director of Tommy Roe, Freddy Cannon, – and manager of The Box Tops – that Tommy Roe has been nominated for three awards from the Independent Music Network (.com) based in NYC and Nashville:
2. Favorite Single – “Devil’s Soul Pile” – Mainstream.
3. Favorite Single – “Devil’s Soul Pile” – Country.
Rick points out that this is commercial, terrestrial radio, not internet radio.
To book Tommy, contact Rick… manager/bandleader … (904) 8060817
Good Luck and Congratulations, Tommy and Rick!
Awraht! Gotta go, but before I do I got an email from Martin Campbell of Staines who writes:
“Dr. Robert – I love to read your monthly column. I especially enjoyed your conversation with Al Jardine. … I saw a movie about New York City gangsters and one of them, Frank Costello, says “FAW-geddabowdit” (not FAH, like you write.) What’s going on, Doc? Are you slipping? Keep up the good work, and Faggeddabowdit!”
Thanks for your kind words, Martin. Yes, I understand that the President’s American can get a little confusing. Queen’s is one of the five Boroughs of New York. They are: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx. Costello is saying it Queen’s style, and I write it Brooklyn style. In Queen’s, they say it as FRO (FAW)-geddabowddit and in Brooklyn said real, well – Brooklyn – as
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