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My New Favorite Song – “Alta Mira” Edgar Winter Group

Classic Rock. I kind of hate it. No. I actually hate it.

Not the tunes, of course they’re great. But the format. Classic Rock. Enough already.
Over and over and over again with “Slow Ride”. Is that the only song Foghat ever recorded? Sheesh. At least squeeze in “Fool For The City” every once in a while.
Foghat

But there’s no room! CLASSIC ROCK radio has distilled playlists to what seems to be about 50 songs (if that many) on an endless loop.
I literally, and I mean that in the literal sense, cannot make my daily commute without hearing Zeppelin. It’s become comical. I now make each commute into a Zeppelin Challenge; can I make this 1 hour drive (each way) without getting the Led out? The answer is no, I cannot.

I lose every time.

Note – of course I love Zeppelin. I have every record. Bootlegs. I watched my buddy fall asleep during a midnight-movie viewing of “The Song Remains The Same”. I’ve proclaimed “Over The Hills And Far Away” to be the GREATEST SONG EVER™. I have fond, fond memories of couple-skating to “All My Love”. It’s nice to take the stroll down nostalgia lane. Let a song flood you with memory. And those opening synthesizer notes take me to the roller rink every time, “Couple skate!”
It’s a nice trip to take every couple of years. Not every day.

So the other day I heard “Frankenstein”. The Edgar Winter Group classic. Again, I dig the tune. That riff cannot be denied. And the dueling drums. And that Whaooohwaooh synth part! The Radness. And “Free Ride”, too.
But is that it? Did this Edgar Winter guy ever record anything else?

See, I love new music. I’m always on a quest to hear new music. I used to listen to a lot of new college and indie rock until Album 88 was snuffed. #SaveWRAS #hashtagsdontwork Now I listen to a lot of pop music. I love pop music. Plus, it’s a respite from endless loops of “Radar Love” and ZZ Top. It’s an endless loop of Taylor Swift and P!NK. But that’s okay, because it’s still new. When I was younger I’d listen to new music over and over. You pluck down your allowance for a new lp you got your money’s worth. One summer, this kid I hung out with at the swimming pool made a cassette tape with “The Stroke” recorded over and over and over (the entire side of the cassette!) and it never got old. Until now. 97.1 The River plays it every day:
Billy Squier
Did I note I’ve had my fill of Led Zeppelin?

But it doesn’t have to be new to be new to me. So what I like to do is go back and explore old “classic” artists. When I hear something like “Frankenstein” from a band I don’t really have any knowledge of, other than the big HIT, I check ‘em out. It’s easy. Spotify. YouTube. You can hear just about any band’s entire discography at any time.
I also like to do this with “one-hit” wonders. Give it a try, seriously, go listen to some Gary Numan, there’s more than just Cars.
I even gave Golden Earring a solid listen one day. Not much to say about that, though.

Anyway, a quick search and I learn both of those Edgar Winter Group classics are from THEY ONLY COME OUT AT NIGHT.

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SIDE NOTE – My dad had this record. I remember seeing it when I was a kid and I’d flip though his stack of lps. Led Zeppelin II. Pink Floyd’s “Meddle”. A bunch of country. Some odd Steppenwolf lp. And this Edgar Winter Group record. I recall it vividly because Edgar Winter is quite a striking figure and this LP sleeve is pretty badass. It actually kind of gave me the creeps when I was a kid.
I never listened to it. I did listen to his Pink Floyd “Meddle” record.

Anyway. I gave it a couple of listens. I’m not going to review this record. But it’s great. It has both “Frankenstein” and “Free Ride” on it, so of course it’s great. But I’ve got to point out and insist you listen to my NEW FAVORITE SONG™, Alta Mira – what a jam!

Such joy! And see? Just a little effort and I discovered a killer tune. And this is why I hate Classic Rock. Imagine if every once in a while Classic Rock played Alta Mira instead of Frankenstein?

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!

An interesting thing happened. I set out to listen to “They Only Come Out At Night”, and I did, but Spotify just keeps going and so I also listened to “Edgar Winter’s White Trash”, which I had never heard of, neither the record or the band. And, oh sheeit. “Give It Everything you Got” is like a more rocking’ version of SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE. So good: Edgar Winter’s White Trash.

Jesus! This record is killer. “Fly Away” is my new power anthem.
And that’s what happens when you look for something new. It takes just a little bit of effort.

Give it a try! Party with me punker!

Next up: This 80’s New Wave lookin’ Foghat record!

Foghtat Tight shoes

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THE GREATEST SONG EVER™ – “Over The Hills And Far Away”

I was a bit late to the LED ZEPPELIN party, not really becoming a big fan until well after I had already gotten into music. Not that I hadn’t heard them, of course, but for a variety of reasons the LIGHT BULB never clicked on until I heard my dearly departed high school friend Darryl play OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY on his guitar while we sat around in the BROCKWAY’S (also HS friends) front yard one hot blistering day.

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A little back story:

1 – I’m fairly sure my first encounter with ZEPPELIN was at PLAYLAND SKATING RINK. I fondly recall couple skating to “ALL MY LOVE” and I’m sure other ZEP was on the playlist but I don’t remember. I remember MY SHARONA, and everyone suddenly skating twice as fast, as someone over the PA threatened to stop the tune if we didn’t slow down. But, yes, ALL MY LOVE, I still say “Couple Skate” in my mind every time I hear those opening organ/synth notes.

My dad also had LED ZEPPELIN II in his record collection, but I never listened to it and I don’t remember him ever playing it. He was into country music by this time. Although he did boggle my young mind with Pink Floyd’s MEDDLE. But that is a tale for another day.

2 – Other than during couple skate though, ZEPPELIN kind of scared me. The kids wearing ZEP shirts were the FREAKS in the smoking area. The Chad Torbush’s of the world. I was afraid to enter into the sphere of those kids. They were like that RUSH t-shirt with the guy cowering from the upside down star. They were the Star – and I was the guy.

3 – Punk Rock. I went from listening to Beach Boys records and my dads box of old 45’s (Little Richard, “Green Door”, etc) and then into top 40; “Funky Town” and Rapper’s Delight” and “Nobody Does It Better.” Next was KISS and then QUEEN. Once I got into high school I was listening to 96 ROCK and the CRUE and STYX and AC/DC. Not sure how I avoided ZEPPELIN during this phase. Again, I know I heard them, I’m guessing it was because the “classic” rock I was listening to wasn’t classic yet. It was still new. STYX, RUSH, YES, QUEEN, these were records that were NEW at the time. Then MTV, BILLY IDOL, ART OF NOISE, and “Rock The Casbah”. I didn’t actively DISLIKE Zeppelin but they weren’t on my radar. I didn’t actively dislike them until…. PUNK ROCK. 11th grade? This was when I really got into PUNK™. And then shit like ASIA was treasonous. I threw my THRILLER cassette out the window of my friends car. Sure I liked BLACK FLAG and dyed my hair black and rejected PRINCE but I was a poseur. Playing the part of Punk™ Rocker. At the time, though, I had no idea.

And part of the poseur punk dogma I guess was to reject LED ZEPPELIN.

Eventually I saw the minutemen and they schooled me on what Punk Rock really is. And I bought PRINCE “Sign of the Times” and one fateful day, I was sitting on CLEARVIEW DRIVE in the BROCKWAY’S front yard:

Not certain who was there. I’d say, myself, Darryl, Doug and Tony. Brian may have been in Colorado. Not sure the timeline. But it was hot, we were sitting around doing this or that. Nothing, really. Darryl was playing his guitar. Or it could have been Tony’s guitar. And he played OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY. And a big light bulb clicked on over my head. I’m certain, if you’d been standing in the Lawrence’s yard or on the street, you literally would have seen a giant light bulb over my head. The light would have been blinding, too. It might not have even been a light bulb but a giant light-up sign like KISS has behind their stage, and it flashed: GREATEST SONG EVER™

I was never really close friends with Darryl, but we were both part of a close group of friends, a beautiful hive of assorted people. If you were/are part of this circle, I know you miss Darryl, and I do too. I’m happy to have this wonderful memory and every time I hear this song I think of him.

Listen to the entire (and ever evolving) GREATEST SONG EVER* playlist:

A quick note about these tunes. I’m making this list as the tunes come to me… I’m not sitting here, pen in hand, going … “uh, ‘This Ain’t No Picnic’ number 61… and ‘We Will Rock You’ number 57… ‘Big Takeover’ number 85… blah blah blah… when I hear or am reminded of THE GREATEST SONG EVER™, that’s when I know.

*because I say so.

GREATEST SONG EVER™ is a continuing series in which I proclaim and create a list of what I consider the GREATEST SONG EVER. Feel free to disagree and start your own list. This entry originally appeared on our PARTY WITH ME PUNKER FB page, Aug 17, 2011. – P

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Get the LED out

Seriously, enough already!

I like Pop Music: Taylor Swift. Neon Trees. Whichever song happens to be filling the “Rude”/”Best Day Of My Life”/”Shut Up And Dance With Me” slot.

There are many, many reasons why I not only enjoy pop music, but embrace it.
And one of those reasons is because classic rock radio, and I’m talking to you 97.1 THE RIVER and ROCK 100.5, sucks. Seriously. It blows.

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oof. I could keep going.

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#schoolsout

You know what day it is #partywithmepunker

alice cooper

Today is the last day of school so it goes without say the Alice Cooper classic “School’s Out” must and will be played.
But why not listen to the entire “School’s Out” record? Released in 1972, it’s actually kind of a funky lp. Broadway. Jazzy. Rockin’. Beatle-esque. The Alice Cooper Band was weird like that.

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