"to make a connection with the band in a more intangible manner"
There's music, there's beer. Don't pull a tendon trying to be clever.
Does anyone know anywhere you can take kids to celebrate New Year's Eve?
aint nothing worse than pumped up bunch of fuck tards celebrating Auld Lang Syne BRO!
No Pink Martini?? I've been pleating my L.L. Bean chinos for months in anticipation
Parson Red Heads know their J.J. Cale (RIP 2013 along with so many musical foundation stones). NATURALLY (1970) was the soundtrack, Acetone drum machine & all, along with its two succeeding Shelter albums cut further south in Muscle Shoals and Memphis on 1971's REALLY then back up to Cale's Tulsa porch and finishing up at Bradley's Barn for OKIE (1973). What makes this roots music so vital is Cale's Okie Zen way of connecting with the times, usually a bit ahead of the times like he chooses to play a little behind the Tulsa Time beat.
That's why Parsons Red Heads reply on the beverage of choice question for New Year's Eve rings so true. That quick quote of the Cale song "Reality" in reply comes from Cale's bleakest and blackest record, 1983's #8 with its intimations of Orwell's 1984 as Cale had moved to L.A. was overwhelmed with the sense datum of homelessness, unemployment and despair in the air and on the sidewalks. That ran counter to the Reagan-Bush campaign's MORNING IN AMERICA narrative jive that won in 1980, burying Jimmy Carter's malaise, even as the TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMICS by re-election campaign time found U.S. at its deepest historical debt trying to spend our Cold War rivals into bankruptcy, and full frontal attack on unions and the middle class way of life that mingled the way Napalm sticks to kids' skins with the mass media propaganda hanging in the corporate air.
#8 was a tough sell with its Cale intuitive masterpieces "Unemployment," "Hard Times," "Trouble In The City," "Money Talks" & "People Lie" co-writes with his wife and band-mate Christine Lakeland along with the existential challenge to the know-it-alls "(I'm Just) Livin' Here Too." The Parsons Red Heads quote source "Reality" and its red-eyed capper "Takin' Care of Bidnet" worked like Cale's better known (thanks to Clapton's ham-handed cover) "Cocaine" in the way it actually came as a pathos-soaked cautionary, rather than any rebel yell as it played out in clubs loaded with those self-medicating.
2013 into 2014 might've been a better year for Parsons Red Heads to be playing all of #8 instead of "NATURALLY", unless our Po'Land musical treasure like their mentor are seeing ahead into the oncoming future and sensing as the Tulsa Seer did back in 1970 the French film "MY BEST FRIEND'S GIRL" with its romantic metaphors and free-form FM radio DJ's & ski bums as used by auteur Bertrand Blier who let Cale's songs of this period play out in their entirety as an English narrative paralleling the French mise en scene. That snowy alps opening montage of downhill slalom set to Cale's smuggler's blues "Bringin' It Back from Mexico" or the backwoods sublimated violence of "River Run Deep" or the long gone blues lapping up on the fatal riverbank in "Somebody Call the Doctor (I Think I'm Sick\Ain't Had No Medicine In Over A Week..." Hold out for the balm of "Magnolia" and let's hope the spirit of Cale and slide guitarist Mac Gayden is in the air along with Auld Lang Syne...
Balance & Health & Recovery to us all in the New Year!
Great artical indeed, I have been very blessed to have embraced the words and music of Bob since 1975. Through the years I have seen him live 13 times and I'm adding two more shows this month in Reading and at Penn State. In 1996 I even had the op to meet him while he was in town playing at Merriweather Post during the It's a Mystery tour.
A few favorites that are some of Bob's best writings of feelings and truth are:
Famous Final Scene
Lock & Load
The Fire Inside
Wait for Me
Ship of Fools and
Long live Bob and the SBB
Speaking of Sam Elliot , i think there were 2 or 3 Seger songs in the Mask? (sorry its 3am and to tired to Google it)
As always you weave a story about Bob Seger like no one else can. I just shake my head yes yes, wishing I could put to words the way I feel about Seger and his music the way you
do..Well done!!........Hey Punch really is there anyone more qualified to write BS's autobiography?? Of course not, this is a no brainer!!
I saw Bob Seger 4 times in the 70-80's and then saw him last night in Tacoma Wa...he hasnt lost a note, his voice is still the same...he put on a great show last night!!! To me, it was the best show I have seen of his...the audience knew every word to the songs and sang along...what a wonderful night it was!!
Give the song "No Man's Land" a listen (from the Against the Wind album).....painfully wonderful soul searching words.
My sister and I saw Bob for the first time in Fargo a few weeks ago. I've heard his music my whole life but It wasn't until last year that I really paid attention to the lyrics. Now so many songs remind me of different times or people in my life. Roll Me Away is my favorite song of Bob's. It takes me right up on that mountain with him! (My profile pic is us at the concert!)
I've seen Bob 5 times now, the last one being the opening show of his new tour Rock & Roll Never Forgets in Toledo Ohio. Great show. Just saw Kid Rock in Toledo and he went on and on how great it was for him to play with Bob.. he even wrote a new song he preformed :) I got one more ticket to see him April 11 at the Palace with Joe Walsh... I can't Wait!!!
Actually, the laziest soundtrack choice in Forrest Gump was Fortunate Son.
Feel Like a Number, Night Moves, Against the Wind, Main Street...so many, many great and meaningful lyrics.
Thank you for a well written article. What a story teller this man is, his words can take you to anywhere and back again in one song. Thank you Bob for sharing your amazing gift with us.
RIGHT ON SAM............
mr. sparling you are so right, i first saw seger back in 66-67 on a local show, he sang east side story and i was hooked right there, i believe that bob seger is american greatest singer and writer of rock ever, as i have told friends if bob lived by or in new york he would be the greatest rocker ever, for fans of bob who never heard his early music please do yourself a favor and check out these songs, eastside story, death row, two great songs, and check out these two lp's which i believe are two lost gems and truely great lp's, mongrel, seven,and finally bob seger is not a father of rock and roll but i know he is a son of rock and roll and help define what is known as heartland rock which he is the father of........
I see Bob & the SBB at least once every tour, for some 25 years or so. Lately, I say, "Nah, I've seen him enough.......I'll sit this one out" but yet never can NOT see him, I end up going, and crying over how much I love his music...especially live! Never fails to bring me to tears. So many wonderful lyrics, fantastic songs, that I could never, ever pick even a couple of favorites. A true lyracist, a storyteller in 6 minutes or less. I Long Live BoB!
Good read and so right on! I've been waiting for someone to write a book about Seger. His life and who he is has been kept so private. His songs are the only windows into his soul. I don't mean to be a voyeur, but I am interested to know more.
Thank you, Mr. Sparling for this article. I am from Taylor, Michigan, a working class suburb of Detroit and Bob Seger played at one of my Junior High School ( what we called it before it became Middle School). He is by far my favorite singer and song writer. My sister and I saw him in KC a couple of years ago.....it was the best and we can call him one of our own. He never forgets from where he came.
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