Showing posts with label 1978. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1978. Show all posts

Thursday, April 02, 2020

The records that made me (some of 'em):
Darkness on the Edge of Town

If I somehow had never heard of John Prine, this would be No. 1 in my (actually) no-particular-order list of record albums that had the most influence on me: "Darkness on the Edge of Town" by Bruce Springsteen -- channeler of the young man's angst in 1978.

I was turned on to The Boss by Loose Radio (God rest its amazing FM soul) and an old friend back at Baton Rouge High School. I was a megafan on contact, and "Badlands" became my personal anthem for a long, long time.

John Prine was the consummate chronicler of the universal human condition, but Scooter and the Big Man had the key to my restless teenage American heart and gut (which I had a hell of a lot less of back in the day). In short order after buying "Darkness," I acquired "Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J." and "The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle" and "Born to Run."

And I pounced on "The River" as soon as it hit Kadair's (or was it Leisure Landing?) in 1980, my sophomore year at Louisiana State. Then I was in the crowd when The Boss played the LSU Assembly Center on Nov. 11, 1980. Still have the ticket stub somewhere.

I SAW The Who earlier that year (they blew up the stage, and I still have the tinnitus to prove it -- I had great seats), but Bruce and the band was better. That's saying something.

Another thing I have to say: Another high-school friend somehow got onto the stage -- and to Bruce. Or, as (God rest its newspaper soul) the State-Times' Laurie Smith reported in the next day's review "one girl got through to Springsteen before she was pulled away."

My friend obviously had somewhat better seats than my girlfriend and I did.

It was the best concert I'd ever seen . . . until I saw John Prine a couple of years later at the LSU Union Theater. It was a damned close concert competition -- maybe it was the Union Theater's relative intimacy that gave Prine the edge.

Who cares? It was all GREAT.

I cannot remember if I cried when Springsteen sang "Independence Day" at the show. Probably not -- I was with a date, don't you know?

I sure as shit cried when I first heard that song on "The River," in the privacy of my bedroom. Bruce had the same relationship with his old man that I had with mine -- complicated. Real complicated.

I SUPPOSE it says something about LSU and the Gret Stet that the Springsteen lyric I set in headline type and posted on my bulletin-board space at The Daily Reveille kept getting taken down:

I wanna find one place, I wanna spit in the face of these
Badlands you gotta live it every day
Let the broken hearts stand
As the price you've gotta pay
Well keep pushin' till it's understood
And these badlands start treating us good
Well, if Bruce taught us all anything, it's that shit happens. Often.

The records that made me (some of 'em): Bruised Orange

A Facebook friend (also a non-online one of decades) tagged me on one of these Facebooky things the other day -- this one to post a picture each day of 10 record albums that have influenced your life. Well, I can do that.

The reason for my social-media tagging seemed to be the crap ton of vinyl and CDs engulfing the house) to post a cover a day of 10 albums that shaped my musical consciousness. Oy. Just 10? Just post the picture and not gas on about the choice? Not a chance.

Will I forget to keep doing it after No. 3?

Stay tuned. Here's No. 1.

Gris-Gris, Feb. 9, 1977
I BOUGHT this LP in the fall of 1978 from the record bin at the LSU Union Bookstore during a break from the state high-school journalism conference -- I was a senior at Baton Rouge High. I'd heard much about this John Prine guy (and seen all the ads in the local alt-weekly, Gris Gris, for his NORML benefit concerts), and I was officially intrigued.

After I got home and ensconced myself in my room (and my pride-and-joy stereo setup that I still have and use . . . the Marantz 2226 receiver, at least), I dropped the needle on this record and had my horizons radically expanded by one of the greatest songwriters this country ever produced.

Frankly, I think he edges out Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, the man who gave words to my townie angst and desire to get the F out of "these Badlands."

When I had finished listening to "Bruised Orange," I understood the meaning of "transcendent" a little bit better. I had just lived it, and I was filled with a desire to get all the Prine that I could manage.

I had been eclecticized, and I hope one day to tell Mr. Prine in person what he's meant to so many of us. He damn well better get well from this damnable COVID-19 thing.

Please, God? OK?

Monday, September 10, 2012

This ain't no limberger

A full year before I first had the chance to ask "What the f*** is this???" upon hearing "Dance This Mess Around" for the first time, here are the B-52's live in January 1978 at WSAI-FM in Cincinnati. Brilliant!

It's not exactly like finding the Holy Grail, but it's good enough for government work.

So, why won't you dance with me? I'm not no limberger.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Simply '70s: Sucks to be them

1978: Orlando, Fla. -- home of Mickey Mouse and Disney World.

And also the home of the most unfortunately monikered radio station in the history of the world, BJ-105.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Simply '70s: Raydio rules the radio

Let's just say that Raydio -- eventually to be known as Ray Parker Jr. and Raydio --kicked serious butt in 1978. Here's "Jack and Jill" . . . on Simply '70s.

Boogie on. We insist.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Simply '70s: The fascist regime strikes back

This must have been from 1978, this Today show report by Jack Perkins on NBC. The Sex Pistols were embarking on their first American tour, amid copious Establishment wailing and cultural gnashing of teeth.

My God, what if they cursed on stage? Spat on the audience? Trashed a hotel room?

Next thing you know, they'd be shooting the telly. What? Elvis did that years before?


STILL, THE ADULT self, some 33 years removed from his teenage hormones, suspects that Establishment Jack was pretty much on target. The Pistols were boorish, dissipated louts of limited technical ability who probably did coarsen the culture, for what that's worth anymore.

I know this; you know this. Jack Perkins certainly knew this, and wasn't shy about telling his horrified TV audience -- the one sitting at the breakfast table putting a little nip of something in the morning coffee, smoking cigarettes and plotting out how to screw that little s*** at the office.

And then that young little thing after work, being that the missus was visiting the mother-in-law.

In your heart, you know I'm right. Somewhere in my cynical, cynical heart, I know Perkins was right.

THAT SAID, how about we throw the old fascist out of a moving limo on the way to the show?