It's a day early, but I have something special planned for tomorrow, so The Weekend Mix starts now.
We all remember things differently. Some choose to forget their past. I choose to embrace it. I spent a lot of important years in Sheepshead Bay, and though I lived in both Soho and Brooklyn, I did not divide my time equally between lower Manhattan and The Bay. Still, Sheepshead Bay will always feel more like home.
There were five years where it all came together. We all remember things differently, so some of the supporting cast may argue that those same five years were when it all came apart. But this is my post, and this is how I remember it.
1975-1980 was all about hanging out, sitting on cars and stoops, listening to mixed tapes, going to concerts and playing in bands. If we were a core group of 20, at least 16 of us had our own boombox with our own cassettes. If there were 12 musicians out of the 20, there were no less than 6 different bands, each with their own set list of covers, with singers, guitar players and drummers rotating in and out as needed. We all played nicely together, until we didn't. One band, Night Flight, took it to an extreme that was unheard of at the time. A three hour epic show in a school auditorium, modeled after Led Zeppelin's concert film debacle, "The Song Remains The Same," complete with a bow solo and a drum solo, and even Robert Plant's gobbledegook between song banter, though it was not all Zeppelin tunes. The ticket stub is above. You really had to be there to know just how insane and exciting this whole event really was.
Every song on this mix triggers a memory of either a specific house or stoop, or basement or car ride. Every song, for me, has a face that goes with it. Obviously, this will just be a collection of songs to you, but with the exception of two I believe, all fall into the 1975-1980 time frame. I also see it as a collection of bands that don't always get spoken about on these pages as frequently as other artists, so maybe it's a good opportunity to listen, at least once, to some of the music that really and truly shaped me, for better or worse. I can hear the groans coming through the computer screen over the inclusion of many of these artists, but this is no guilty pleasure. The songs are here for a reason and I love them all, even without the places and people attached.
Some quick notes:
"Riff Raff" is my favorite AC/DC song. It never lets up and 40 years later, I still need to play air guitar to this one. Truly one of the most exciting performances ever captured in the studio.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, Aerosmith "Rocks" is the greatest ROCK album of all time.
"Never Say Die" was the last Black Sabbath record with Ozzy Osbourne and the entire band, as well as many fans, have just about disowned it. I never understood that. I think it's fantastic, especially "Junior's Eyes."
It was no easy task getting a dozen metal fans to listen to Billy Joel, but for some reason, "Glass Houses" resonated. I guess there are more guitars on that record.
The last five tracks are all epics with great performances by all. Brad Delp's power house vocals on "A Man I'll Never Be," my favorite Boston tune. The extended jam that closes out "Steeler" by Judas Priest. What a pocket! And "Stargazer." It's an entire movie, for Pete's sake.
And thanks for reading.
Riff Raff- AC/DC
Nobody's Fault- Aerosmith
No More Mr. Nice Guy- Alice Cooper
Life After Death- Ian Hunter
Adventures In A Yorkshire Landscape- Be Bop Deluxe
Waited A Long Time- Angel
The Toughest Street In Town- Thin Lizzy
Junior's Eyes- Black Sabbath
All For Leyna- Billy Joel
You're Not The One- Blue Oyster Cult
Voices- Cheap Trick
Fool In The Rain- Led Zeppelin
A Man I'll Never Be- Boston
It's Late- Queen
Steeler- Judas Priest