Monday, June 28, 2010



So the girl of (gorilla?) your dreams comes along and suddenly there’s that feeling that your heart is glowing like the sun

and love is oozing out of your every pore like hot lava
and every damn song makes you think of HER.

The following favorite love songs are in alphabetical order.
No one to talk with, all by myself
No one to walk with, but I'm happy on the shelf,
Ain't misbehavin', I'm savin' my love for you.

Now I know for certain, you're the one I love,
I'm through with flirtin', just you I'm dreamin' of,
Ain't misbehavin', I'm savin' my love for you.

Ain’t Misbehavin’
Hank Williams Junior

It was written by Fats Waller and it’s been sung by everyone with a tongue, but no one ever had more fun with it than Hank Junior. The Countess and I – this was “our” song.

Song Sample: Ain’t Misbehavin’

At times I just don't know
How you could be anything but beautiful
I think that I was made for you
And you were made for me
And I know that I won't ever change
We've been friends through rain or shine
For such a long, long time

Gordon Lightfoot

A beautiful song titled what it is. I once told my Ma that this song made me think of her, and then I played it. Naturally, she cried.

Song Sample: Beautiful

What a dream I had
Pressed in organdy
Clothed in crinoline
Of smoky burgundy
Softer than the rain

I wandered empty streets down
Past the shop displays
I heard cathedral bells
Tripping down the alleyways
As I walked on

For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her
Simon & Garfunkel

To me, it’s not just a love song, it’s a symbol of 'The Unknown Girl'. [For mo’ info, see the link at the end of this Blog Bit.]

Song Sample: For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her

Somewhere there's got to be
Someplace where you and me
Can get away from this noise and worry
Just you and me alone
There'd be no telephone
We'd never be in a hurry
Just a hill with some tall trees
Where a creek comes movin’ right by
Minglin’ with the green of the grass
And the blue of the sky

Heaven Can Be Anywhere (Twin Pines Theme)
The Charlie Daniels Band

My old friend Louie George turned me on to the “Midnight Wind” album in 1977. The Charlie Daniels Band ain’t ordinarily my type of music, but this song is atypical of them and really, really lovely. I had to wait an awful lot of years before this was released on compact disc.

Song Sample: Heaven Can Be Anywhere (Twin Pines Theme)

As we eye
The blue horizon's bend
Earth and sky
Appear to meet and end
But it's merely an illusion
Like your heart and mine
There is no sweet conclusion

I can see
No matter how near you'll be
You'll never belong to me
But I can dream
Can't I?

I Can Dream, Can’t I?
The Carpenters

No, a person cannot be trained to sing like this; they either have “it” or they don’t. Karen Carpenter had “it” and then some. That unfathomable melancholy quality in her voice was being tapped at the soul level - good luck teaching that. Few people realize that Karen had an impressive vocal range from D below middle C to G above high C. But for her, it wasn’t about showing off her voice – it was about expressing the song’s feeling.

Song Sample: I Can Dream, Can’t I?

If Ever I Would Leave You
Richie Cole

The original version is from the movie “Camelot” and it includes lyrics. But this instrumental version by Richie Cole blows the original version away. Who needs words when the music says it ALL? [See my “film noir” review of Richie’s playing in the link section at Blog Bit’s end.]

Song Sample: If Ever I Would Leave You (Play Track #7)

Hey, have you ever tried,
Really reaching out for the other side?
I may be climbing on rainbows
But, baby here goes.
Dreams there for those who sleep,
Life is for us to keep,
And if you're wondering
What this song is leading to
I want to make it with you
I really think that we can make it girl.

Make It With You

I heard it when it was being played regularly on AM radio in 1970. Loved it then, love it now. The “Emily” I wanted to try to “make it with” never showed up, but a couple of songs still make me think of her – wherever she is.

Song Sample: Make It With You

I should go out and honk the horn, it's Independence Day
But instead I just pour myself a drink
It's got to be love, I've never felt this way
Oh baby, this one's from the heart

The shadows on the wall look like a railroad track
I wonder if he's ever comin' back
The moon's a yellow stain across the sky
Oh baby, this one's from the heart

This One’s From The Heart
Tom Waits / Crystal Gayle

Written by the brilliant Tom Waits, it’s a duet with Crystal Gayle and features the romantic trumpet playing of Jack Sheldon, who put on one of the five most memorable concerts I ever attended. Saw Jack Sheldon in Las Vegas, appropriately enough.

Song Sample: This One’s From The Heart

Just you know why
Why you and I
Will by and by
Know true love ways

Sometimes we’ll sigh
Sometimes we’ll cry
And we’ll know why
Just you and I
Know true love ways

True Love Ways
Buddy Holly

I’ve never been a Buddy Holly fan, but I gotta say, this song is as pretty as it is simple.

Song Sample: True Love Ways

Claire had all but given up
When she and Edwin fell in love
She touched his face and shook her head
In disbelief she sighed and said
“In many dreams I've held you near
Now at last you're really here

“Where have you been?
I've looked for you for ever and a day
Where have you been?
I'm just not myself when you're away”

Where’ve You Been?
Kathy Mattea

Wow. If the end of this song doesn’t make you misty eyed, there is something seriously wrong with you. Seek treatment.

Video: Where’ve You Been?

I’m adding a couple of ‘Honorable Mentions’ because these songs only missed making my list by the mere width of a wiener dog’s whisker:

Hello, it's me
I've thought about us for a long, long time
Maybe I think too much but something's wrong
There's something here that doesn't last too long
Maybe I shouldn't think of you as mine

Seeing you
Or seeing anything as much as I do you
I take for granted that you're always there
I take for granted that you just don't care
Sometimes I can't help seeing all the way through

Hello, It’s Me
Todd Rundgren

I heard this song when I was still a boy in 1973. I always loved it but never knew who the artist was until I met “Toddfan Discman”, that is L.C. of DiscConnected. It’s a wonder L.C. even maintains a friendship with me seeing as how ignint I was until just the last 8 years or so.

Song Sample: Hello, It’s Me

You are the sunshine of my life
That's why I'll always be around,
You are the apple of my eye,
Forever you'll stay in my heart

I feel like this is the beginning,
Though I've loved you for a million years,
And if I thought our love was ending,
I'd find myself drowning in my own tears

You Are The Sunshine Of My Life
Stevie Wonder

Well, what do I need to say about this one? Everyone knows it, everyone loves it.

Song Sample: You Are The Sunshine Of My Life


So then the inevitable breakup comes and you’re left feeling as though your icy heart has a huge hole cut out of the center of it
and you wonder if maybe you ought to just end it all in one big leap.
No list of favorite breakup songs from me is complete without the inclusion of “Pagan Streams” by Van Morrison. Well, it’s not exactly a song because Van doesn’t sing, he simply speaks while music plays behind him. Nevertheless, no song reminds me of the most significant breakup of my life more so than does “Pagan Streams”. Unfortunately, I was unable to locate either a song sample or a video clip for it. Despite this terrible omission, the following alphabetized songs are otherwise my favorites in the “Breakup” category:

Broken bicycles, old busted chains
With rusted handle bars, out in the rain
Somebody must have an orphanage for
All these things that nobody wants any more
September's reminding July
It's time to be saying goodbye
Summer is gone, but our love will remain
Like old broken bicycles out in the rain

Broken Bicycles
Tom Waits

Lyrical brilliance from the brilliant songwriter, Tom Waits. The distant train whistle at the end just tears me apart!

Song Sample: Broken Bicycles

Where did your long hair go?
Where is the girl I used to know?
How could you lose that happy glow?
Oh, Caroline no

Who took that look away?
I remember how you used to say
You'd never change, but that's not true
Oh, Caroline you . . .

Caroline No
The Beach Boys

How great is this song? Well, when I was a young teenager, I would play it while lying on my bed in the dark and I'd cry about the loss of my girlfriend. And I'd never even HAD a girlfriend! That’s how great it is.

Song Sample: Caroline No

This time we almost made the pieces fit, didn't we?
This time we almost made some sense of it, didn't we?
This time I had the answer right here in my hand,
Then I touched it, and it all turned to sand.

Didn’t We?
Johnny Mathis

This one reminds me of the second and last time The Countess and I broke up. But we almost made it that time.

Video: Didn’t We?

If you could read my mind, love,
What a tale my thoughts could tell.
Just like an old time movie
About a ghost from a wishing well.
In a castle dark or a fortress strong
With chains upon my feet.
You know that ghost is me
And I will never be set free
As long as I'm a ghost that you can see.
I never thought I could act this way
And I've got to say that I just don't get it.
I don't know where we went wrong
But the feeling’s gone and I just can't get it back.

If You Could Read My Mind
Gordon Lightfoot

I hear it, and Inga from Wisconsin is immediately in my mind.

Song Sample: If You Could Read My Mind

Wrapped around each other
Trying so hard to stay warm
That first cold winter together
Lying in each others arms
Watching those old movies
Falling in love so desperately
Honey, I was your hero
And you were my leading lady

We had it all
Just like Bogie and Bacall
Starring in our own late, late show
Sailing away to Key Largo

Key Largo
Bertie Higgins

In my book, one of the all-time great One-Hit Wonders.

Song Sample: Key Largo

Photographs and memorie
Christmas cards you sent to me
All that I have are these
To remember you

Memories that come at night
Take me to another time
Back to a happier day
When I called you mine

But we sure had a good time
When we started way back when
Morning walks and bedroom talks
Oh how I loved you then

Photographs And Memories
Jim Croce

It reminds me of a certain someone and it still crushes me.

Song Sample: Photographs And Memories

Put another log on the fire.
Cook me up some bacon and some beans
And go out to the car and change the tire
Wash my socks and sew my old blue jeans
Come on, baby, you can fill my pipe
And then go fetch my slippers
And boil me up another pot of tea.
Then put another log on the fire, babe,

And come and tell me why you're leaving me.

Put Another Log On The Fire
Tompall Glaser

This must be the funniest breakup song of all time. One person commenting on the YouTube video (see link below) had this to say: “Oh baby, wait till I play this for my old lady. I got my suitcase in the truck already!!!!!!”

Video: Put Another Log On The Fire

Softly, I will leave you softly
For my heart would break
If you should wake
And see me go
So I leave you softly...
Long before you miss me
Long before your arms
Can beg me stay
For one more hour
Or one more day...

After all the years
I can't bear the tears to fall
So softly as I leave you there
As I leave you there
As I leave you there...

Softly, As I Leave You
Bobby Darin

So sad because it really did happen this way.

Song Sample: Softly, As I Leave You

No tears, no fears,
Remember there's always tomorrow
So what if we have to part?
We'll be together again

Your kiss, your smile,
Are memories I'll treasure forever
So try thinking with your heart,
We'll be together again

We’ll Be Together Again
Frank Sinatra

This is the song that was used in the last scene of the TV series “Moonlighting”. It made my Ma cry. I played it for her in 2005 at the hospice facility where she passed away after a few days. It was the right way to say “Goodbye”.

Song Sample: We’ll Be Together Again

Our conversation was short and sweet
It nearly swept me off-a my feet
And I'm back in the rain, oh-oh
And you're on dry land
You made it there somehow
You're a big girl now.

Bird on the horizon sitting on a fence
He's singing his song for me at his own expense
And I'm just like that bird, oh-oh
Singin’ just for you
I hope that you can hear
Hear me singing through these tears.

You’re A Big Girl Now
Bob Dylan

This is my favorite song from the “Blood On The Tracks” album – a collection of breakup songs that are absolutely great for drinking to. (Lock away all sharp objects first!) This song – as well as the entire album – is all about Terrill and me. But then you already knew that.

Song Sample: You’re A Big Girl Now
(Sadly, just 29 seconds and not the “Blood On The Tracks” album version)

I’m adding a couple of ‘Honorable Mentions’ because these songs only missed making my list by the mere width of a politician’s honesty:

I'm just a scarecrow without you
Baby, please don't disappear
I beg your pardon, dear
I got a bottle for a trumpet
And a hatbox for a drum
And I beg your pardon, dear

I got upset,
I lost my head
I didn't mean the things I said
You are the landscape of my dreams
Darling, I beg your pardon

I'd give you Boardwalk
And Park Place
And all of my hotels
I beg your pardon, dear

I Beg Your Pardon
Tom Waits

Name a better songwriter!

“I’m just a scarecrow without you” – is there a better opening line in recorded music?

Song Sample: I Beg Your Pardon

I followed her to the station, with her suitcase in my hand,
And I followed her to the station, with her suitcase in my hand.
Well, it's hard to tell, it's hard to tell, when all your love's in vain,
All my love's in vain.

When the train rolled up to the station, I looked her in the eye,
When the train rolled up to the station, and I looked her in the eye.
Well, I was lonesome, I felt so lonesome, and I could not help but cry.
All my love's in vain.

Love In Vain
Robert Johnson

Classic stuffs. One of the bluest of The Blues.

Song Sample: Love In Vain


And what do I do with this? . . .

Hasn't it been a long hard climb?
Everything taking its own sweet time
And hasn't there been some long, lonely nights
When you didn't think that anything would turn out right?

Woah, baby, come and lay by me
In the cool, cool shade of that old oak tree

Long Hard Climb
Maria Muldaur

Is it a love song or a breakup song? The words say love but the haunting melody says it’s over. If not now, soon. I love it but I'm not sure how to classify it.

Song Sample: Long Hard Climb

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

“For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her” (Or, “I Got Them ‘Bad Luck With Womens’ Blues”)

“If Ever I Would Leave You” – A Film Noir Review

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.

Monday, June 21, 2010

MOVIE DIRTY DOZEN [Cinematic Stuffs I Recommends]

Stephen T. McCarthy to Alex J. Cavanaugh:
I most definitely wish to participate in this Blogfest, but I want to appeal to you first for special "dispensation".

… What I think I would much rather do, and what would make it more fun for me is if, rather than list my 12 all-time top favorite movies, I compiled a list of movies that I really enjoy - although not all of them would make it on a Top 12 list - and movies that are a bit more obscure, not nearly so well known to the general public. In other words, I would like to "introduce" some people to some largely overlooked or forgotten films that I think many people would really enjoy if they simply knew about them.

… In a nutshell: My list of 12 movies ... while not quite rated that highly, are still movies that I really enjoy and which I believe would be more widely appreciated if only they were better known. Is it OK with you if I arrange my list of 12 in this way?

Alex J. Cavanaugh to Stephen T. McCarthy:
Stephen, it's your list. Go for it!
Category: “Best Actor”
East Of Eden (1955)
Featuring: James Dean, Julie Harris

When James Dean first appeared on the screen, the little girls started screaming and a legend was born. That same year he was dead. But make no mistake about it, Dean was much more than a teen scream screen star. In fact, Dean had the most God-given acting talent ever. His inventiveness was simply off-the-charts. I’m still amazed by Dean’s performance. Despite the greater fame of his second movie “Rebel Without A Cause” (released posthumously), this one was his best.

Dean plays the part of Cal, a misunderstood youth desperately seeking his father’s love and acceptance. Watch for his rebellious reading of Psalm 32 (“Selah. EIGHT!”) And watch for the moment where he sneaks a drag off of someone else’s cigarette and drinks wine with his finger while anxiously awaiting the arrival of his Dad at the surprise birthday party. Trust me, folks, stuffs like that is NOT written into the screenplay – it originated within the fertile imagination of a great, great actor. Cal’s reaction to his father’s rejection of his birthday gift is the silver screen’s most intense scene (only the Russian roulette scene in “The Deer Hunter” comes close).

I can understand why the young girls were captivated by this young rebel. Heck, I’m an old boy and I myself am captivated by him. If you’re a female, you will want to love and mother him; if you’re a male, you will want to BE him. “East Of Eden” is one of my Top 25 all-time favorite movies.
Category: “Black, Proud ‘N’ Hilarious”

Hollywood Shuffle (1987)
Featuring: Robert Townsend

Townsend spent all of his money and then charged up his credit cards to pay for the making of this hilarious commentary on Blacks in the Hollywood movie-making machine. Some of the skits leave me rolling on the floor with tears in my eyes. Like that bit about ‘The Black Acting School’ where hopelessly unhip suburban Whites try to teach Black actors how to act more “Black”. My favorite, however, is probably ‘Sneakin’ In The Movies’, where two young hoods from the ‘hood sneak into movie theatres and then review the movies Siskel and Ebert-like for the young African-American community. One of my most frequently used expressions has been stolen from this laugh-out-loud segment: “That sh#t could really happen!”

Robert Townsend is the real life epitome of the “just have courage and follow your dream” story. Hollywood Shuffle was his dream, and HE MADE IT! It inspires me AND makes me laugh – how can ya beat that? Hollywood Shuffle: see it or be White.

Category: “Candied Cinematography”
The Black Stallion (1979)
Featuring: Mickey Rooney, Kelly Reno

The Black Stallion has some of the greatest, most beautiful and imaginative cinematography I’ve ever had the pleasure to view, AND it has the single most naturalistic performance ever filmed.

Mickey Rooney is astounding! Oh, his performance is so subtle and so natural that it won’t seem like he’s acting at all. And guess what. Hellooooo! THAT is the whole goal of acting! That’s what every actor is trying to achieve, although few do!
Watch for the scene where Rooney is playing solitaire, feels an itch on his head and reaches over to scratch it with the opposite hand because he’s holding his playing cards in the closer hand. THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is fabulous, in-the-moment acting. THAT is what I spent years and lots of money trying to learn how to do. It seems like such an unnoticeable and normal action that most viewers won’t even catch it. But any serious thespian wannabe will see it and say, “Hokey-smoke and Hoo-Wee, that little man can really ACT!” It’s nearly invisible business like that which great performances are founded upon. Rooney’s entire performance was that natural and he deserved an Academy Award for it!

The photography is like a painting by one of the old masters! Gorgeous, creative. Watch for the clever way that they show the audience how the little boy has finally mounted the black stallion. It’s seen from just below the surface of the water and it’s exhilarating.

The Black Stallion, possibly the most beautiful movie I’ve ever viewed, was not even NOMINATED for an Academy Award in the cinematography category! An outrage! Rotten! Disgusting! Inexcusable! Worst snub in Oscar history! This, more than anything before or since, exposes the members of the Hollywood community for the losers that they really are. It’s 31 years later and I’M STILL PISSED! "The Black Stallion" is one of my Top 25 all-time favorite movies.
One From The Heart (1982)
Featuring: Frederic Forrest, Teri Garr, Raul Julia, Harry Dean Stanton, Lainie Kazan

This is the movie that bankrupted Francis Ford Coppola’s new studio. Las Vegas was constructed inside sound stages. Every single shot was done indoors. Yes, even the airport was fake. Amazing! As I said to my buddy DiscConnected: “I've been to Vegas at times when the real place didn't even seem THAT real. The attention to detail just blew my mind.”

The story is too weak for all that expense, but the photography is beyond creative and is frequently breathtakingly beautiful. Someone once described One From The Heart as being “like eight courses of dessert”. The look of the movie is alone worth the price of admission, add to that the fantastic Tom Waits soundtrack (which really should have been included on my “Fifteen Fantasy Island Favorites” music album list) and you have a movie worth watching despite a fairly anemic storyline.

There are also several subtly funny moments provided by Forrest, Stanton, Kazan, and Julia. (Notice how Julia goes to the motel ice machine in his bathrobe and then heads back to his room in a desperate attempt to regain some dignity after his half-naked girl has just been stolen from him and literally carried away following a loud, unseemly public demonstration).

The story is nearly nonexistent, but the music is great and the performances are slyly funny. However, the style is the thing. Watch it for its look.
Category: “Charming Fantasy”
On Borrowed Time (1939)
Featuring: Bobs Watson, Lionel Barrymore, Cedric Hardwicke, Henry Travers, Beulah Bondi

Hurrah! Finally released on DVD after all these years!

The movie’s Foreward states:
“We tell you a tale of everyday people in a little town of present-day America. It is an absurd, charming and stupendous story – but it is not a new one. Gossip of a similar amazing occurrence was whispered in the days when old Chaucer was writing his ‘Canterbury Tales’.

“Mr. Chaucer liked the story and believed it – and so do we. If, perchance, you don’t believe it, we respectfully insist that we [and Mr. Chaucer] must be right. Because faith still performs miracles and a good deed does find its just reward.”

Take notice all ye “It’s A Wonderful Life” fans: the cast of this old movie includes the actors who played Henry Potter; Clarence the “angel, second class”; and Jimmy Stewart’s mother. Cedric Hardwicke plays the proper and debonair grim reaper “Mr. Brink” who is magically trapped in an apple tree and prevented from making his rounds. Barrymore is loveable as cantankerous “Gramps” and Bobs Watson is totally believable as his excitable little grandson “Pud”. In my opinion, this is the all-time best performance by a child actor; I’ll be damned if I can catch Bobs "acting". He’s like a taller Mickey Rooney!

A great tearjerker fantasy movie that I have recommended to countless people, and no one yet has been left disappointed. If you like fantasy films and the old black & white movies, I personally guarantee this one to please.
Category: “Chick Flick For Guys”
Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957)
Featuring: Robert Mitchum, Deborah Kerr

One of the most unusual (and frustrating) love stories put on celluloid. Robert Mitchum plays an American Marine marooned on a Pacific island with a nun during World War II. I’m not a fan of war movies, but THIS is something totally different. It’s more a character study than an action movie, although it does have its action, too.

This was one of my Ma’s all-time favorite movies, and I can certainly understand why. Robert Mitchum was as cool and manly as cool and manly gets. He had great screen presence and I have always enjoyed watching him, and in my opinion, this is his best of many fine performances. If you’re a woman, you will fall in love with the big lug, and if you’re a macho kind of guy, you will fall in love with the big lug.

This is an ill-fated, heartbreaking romance story that develops amidst the BOOM of warfare. There is enough action and suspense and machismo to satisfy the guys and enough doomed love to make the ladies reach for a tissue. All is fair in love and war? Hmmm… Well, we’ll see.

Category: “Colorful Comedy”
What A Way To Go (1964)
Featuring: Shirley MacLaine, Paul Newman, Robert Mitchum, Dean Martin, Gene Kelly, Dick Van Dyke

“All Lousia May Foster wants is a man to love – who will live! But try as she might to hang onto her husbands, she keeps meeting and marrying men with a desire to strike it rich – and a habit of dying soon thereafter.”

That’s the story in a nutshell. Now look at that all-star cast! How d’ya beat THAT? Paul Newman as a crazy, expatriate painter; Dean Martin as a callous, self-centered playboy; Dick Van Dyke as a nice guy loser (“even the losers get lucky sometimes”); Robert Mitchum as a wealthy, jet-setting, mega-businessman; and my favorite, Gene Kelly as a nearly talentless, small-time song and dance man! (“Ah, the little people! I love ‘em.”)

If you dig those zany, silly, goofball comedies, I can GUARANTEE that you will enjoy this movie – it’s a “can’t miss.” It’s filled with funny twists and turns and so much color that it looks like Walt Disney threw up on it.
Category: “Heaven Can Wait”
Heaven Can Wait (1943)
Featuring: Gene Tirney, Don Ameche, Charles Coburn

Funny. Fantasy. Full of color. Here we have a woman-chasing playboy who has died and taken the trip downstairs to meet his fate with the well groomed, high-styled devil. The devil asks him to explain why he believes his life warranted an enternity in hell and so the story is told in flashback. This is delightfully humorous. The cast includes Charles Coburn, my all-time favorite old-time character actor (any movie with Charles Coburn in it is definitely worth watching!) and Gene Tierney, the most gorgeous woman whom God ever invented! And not only is this the world’s most beautiful woman, but this is her at her most beautiful! Gene Tierney in that baby blue dress is just too scrumptious for words! Yum-Yum! Yow! [Alright, guess I’m going to hell.]

And then as if all that weren’t enough, this movie also features one of filmdom’s funniest scenes – my brother Nappy and I mention it and laugh about it probably every other month or so: You have Mr. and Mrs. Strable arguing with each other at the breakfast table and the sharp-minded Black butler, Jasper, trapped in the middle and trying his damndest to play the peacemaker and bring some calm to the house. (“Boss! Boss! Got good news!...”) Oh, sheesh, is that ever some funny, funny stuffs! (“I don’t see how he could have gotten out of that barrel!”...) I loves this movie! Top-notch comedy and top-notch eye candy: Gene Tierney… Mmmm… “Please, sir, may I have some more?”
Heaven Can Wait (1978)
Featuring: Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, James Mason, Charles Grodin, Dyan Cannon

Alright, guys, you know how every weekend it’s the same thing? You have that hassle with your wife or girlfriend about what to watch? You wanna see something with some muscle to it, but she wants to watch some weepy love story. Well, guess what! With the 1978 Heaven Can Wait (same name, different story entirely) you can both get your own way.

Based on the 1941 movie titled “Here Comes Mr. Jordan”, this is the story of Joe Pendleton, a professional quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams who is involved in a bicycle/automobile accident. Unfortunately, his soul is removed from his body prematurely and so now the Powers That Be must find a new body for his soul so that he can resume his earthly life. After some searching, his soul is finally deposited into the body of a supposedly murdered ruthless, insensitive business tycoon. Joe, now in the form of this tyrant, meets a pretty female activist who is at odds with him.

Well, as Joe is falling in love with his adversary and attempting to clean up his corporate greed, he’s also trying to find a way to get back to the Los Angeles Rams and lead his team to the Super Bowl. The story is deftly handled and contains enough humor, football action and lovey-dovey stuffs to keep everyone happy. This rates high on my list of all-time favorite sports movies. This is one movie I can recommend to EVERYONE!

Category: “Mid ‘60s”
American Graffiti (1973)
Featuring: Charles Martin Smith, Paul Le Mat, Harrison Ford, Wolfman Jack, Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard

This is a well known early George Lucas film, but if you haven’t seen it or haven’t seen it lately, I suggest you do so. American Graffiti is the movie that single-handedly gave birth to a national nostalgia craze and was spun off into an extremely popular (but really bad) long-running TV sitcom, “Happy Days”.

Forget the TV show, but the movie is great. It’s a story of innocence lost in a more innocent time in America. I loved the movie the first time I saw it, but for me, its poignancy increases with each passing year of my life and each new viewing of it. This is possibly my brother Nappy’s very favorite film and I fully understand why.

In one twelve hour period, we see the “age of innocence” coming to an end for some of the characters. During the night, these young people have fun, socializing, cruising the streets in hot rods, and trying to score a little romance, but when the dawn arrives, there is a gloomy foreboding that is palpable. Things will never be the same again. And the older I get the more that melancholia seeps into my own heart and mind.

This movie is filled with memorable characters, charming and funny moments, and one heck of a great late ‘50s / early ‘60s Rock ‘N’ Roll soundtrack. Not to be missed! “American Graffiti” is one of my Top 25 all-time favorite movies.

Now you say you're leavin' home
'Cause you want to be alone.
Ain't it funny how you feel
When you're findin' out it's real?
Oh, to live on Sugar Mountain
With the barkers and the colored balloons,
You can't be twenty on Sugar Mountain
Though you're thinking that
You're leaving there too soon.
You're leaving there too soon.
~ “Sugar Mountain” by Neil Young

Category: “Mid ‘70s”
The Spirit Of ’76 (1991)
Featuring: David Cassidy, Leif Garrett, Carl Reiner, Tommy Chong, Devo

OK, this one I recommend with great trepidation. The Spirit Of ’76 is a very goofy (and at times downright stupid) send-up of the 1970s. If you lived through that decade, you may find yourself laughing at how spot on they got it and at some of the attention to details. Remember how all the fire hydrants were painted red, white, and blue during the bicentennial year? I myself noticed how dogs stopped peeing on them because they were afraid they’d be desecrating the American flag.

And if you weren’t alive or old enough to remember the Disco Era, you’ll watch this movie and thank your lucky stars for that. The Spirit Of ’76 is one of those “guilty pleasures” for me, but I am self-confident and bold enough to publicly admit that I really like this movie. It takes me back to a time when my hair wasn’t grey and my pants were bell bottomed. Here’s a synopsis:

American time travelers from 2176 attempt to return to 1776, hoping to regain knowledge of their lost ancient heritage in order to save a dying planet. Unfortunately, a computer glitch lands them instead in . . . you guessed it . . . 1976. July fourth, nineteen seventy-six to be precise. DOH!
2176 Time Traveler: "We've come here to retrieve the heritage of our nation. The Constitution."
1976 Teenager: "Are you for real? You came all this way just for THAT? Duuude!"
The movie shows or mentions just about every “artifact” from that era, including mood rings, gas lines, Grand Funk Railroad, and self-realization seminars. Pay special attention to the line that David Cassidy delivers when his character, Adam-11, sees the Partridge Family lunchbox. Ha!

This movie is certainly not for everyone, but if you find you can laugh at stupid stuffs, and if you lived through this very loud era, you might find the “trip” back down memory lane to be more fun than you would have expected.

Here are a couple of things I have written about The Spirit Of ’76 in years past:

A superstupid movie, but boy does it take me back to 1976 and my senior year at Santa Monica High School. I can't watch it without my face breaking out. I always bring soda, popcorn & Clearasil.

[*A Haiku Review]
Loud clothes! Fords explode!
Seventies: silly, zitful.
STILL want Susan Dey!

Ya know, the Fourth Of July is just around the corner. Renting this movie might be a good way to celebrate . . . or not.

Category: “Virgin Love Affair”
A Little Romance (1979)
Featuring: Laurence Olivier, Diane Lane, Thelonious Bernard, Broderick Crawford

Two precocious kids meet in an unlikely way and fall in love. The American girl (Diane Lane in her first movie) is from the right side of the tracks – the child of a spoiled, wannabe socialite. And the French boy – obsessed with American movies - is from the wrong side of the tracks. It sounds a little like Romeo and Juliet only it’s better.

Our innocent little heroes accidentally “smack into” a finely cultured and talkative old gentleman named Julius who talks them into sealing their love forever by undertaking an improbable trip to Venice so they can kiss under the Bridge Of Sighs at sunset and live happily ever after, in accordance with an old legend.

Unfortunately, however, the legend isn’t really what it seems and neither is Julius.

I love this gentle movie and I probably watch it at least once every couple of years. It’s on my short list of “Greatest Romance Movies Ever”. Laurence Olivier is fabulous, Broderick Crawford makes a very funny cameo appearance playing himself, and the freeze-frame ending always leaves me on the brink of tears.

A Little Romance reminds me of a time when I too was young and innocent and sure that a meeting with my soulmate was just around the next corner. This is funny, sad, and beautifully, adorably romantic. Just writing about it, I think I’m gonna cry.
If only life could really be like the movies!

Category: “Western Masterpiece”

What, not even one Western movie on this list? Huh? Alright, who am I really and what have they done with Stephen T. McCarthy?

~ Stephen T. McImposter

Bonus Track
My #1 favorite movie of all time is “Koyaanisqatsi”.
Here is a link to a full-length review of it:

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


The first order of business is to publicly acknowledge and thank my friend Mr. Paulboy the Sixth for suggesting that we put together these lists of Top Ten Favorite Drinking & Driving Songs. I had a lot of fun thinking up these titles and putting my lists together.

Of course, it’s never a good idea to listen to drinking songs while you’re driving - that can be very dangerous. And besides that, the last thing you want to do is make DADS “madd”. DADS, as everyone knows, is the acronym for the very influential activist group Dads Against Drinking Songs.

So, I figured the best thing to do in my effort to CYA (an acronym for “Cover Your Donkey”) is to post my driving songs first and my drinking songs second. After all, once we get where we’re going, we can drink as much as we want and don’t have to worry about Dads Against Drinking Songs (or Mothers Against Drunk Driving).

And, by the way, in case you’re wondering where we’re going . . . our destination for this trip is Devil’s Tower National Monument in Wyoming. Once we get there, we’ll set up our tent, Pooh will lose our car keys, and we’ll just get falling-down liquored up until it starts raining and the mysterious musicians pack up their instruments and skedaddle. (Based on a true story.)

I would argue that what makes a particular musical piece a “driving song” is its steadily rockin’ beat or a kind of undulating rhythm that suggests motion. Slow and steady makes me think of being on the open road in a big white Cadillac with the cruise control activated. Fast and furious is reminiscent of racing along in a black Corvette – speed limit be damned. “Adios, Smokey! My regards to your wife and kids.”

Although it doesn’t really possess either the rockin’ beat or the undulating rhythm that makes a song “driving”, in putting together my list, I found it tempting to include the song “Mess Around” by Ray Charles solely because of that great scene in the movie ‘Planes, Trains And Automobiles’ in which John Candy plays the dashboard keyboards (as opposed to the air guitar) while the song plays through his radio and he drives through the night making those hysterically funny facial expressions. But in the end, I resisted the temptation.

No Driving Songs list from me is really complete without including the instrumental “Sarah’s Crime” by Toshi Hinata, which I often listened to while driving the Los Angeles freeways at night many long years ago. It’s really the ideal nighttime driving tune, but since few people have ever heard of Hinata and because I was unable to locate a song sample of “Sarah’s Crime”, I left this very deserving song off my list.

OK, enough of what I left off – let’s get to what I put on. I’ve alphabetized these songs and broken them into two different categories: the undulating rhythm of “Cruise Control”, and the rockin’ beat of “Pedal To The Metal”. The sooner we get to Devil’s Tower Monument in Wyoming the sooner we can start drinking. So, iz you ready to hit the road, Jack? Drive on! . . .

“Are You Going With Me?”
The Pat Metheny Group

In another place on this blog I have written: “When I'm preparing for a road trip, the very first thing I pack in my suitcase is the Pat Metheny Group” and “The Rule Of The Road: Ninety-eight out of one hundered times, if Stephen T. McCarthy is driving, Pat Metheny is playing”. Even some of Pat Metheny’s song titles allude to movement over the landscape: “(Cross The) Heartland”; “Airstream”; “Last Train Home”, etc. And it would have been so easy to make 9 of the 10 songs on this list Metheny tunes – almost anything from the albums ‘First Circle’, ‘Still Life Talking’ or ‘Letter From Home’. But I decided to choose just one song to represent the Pat Metheny Group, and finally settled on the first PMG tune I ever heard: “Are You Going With Me?”

In looking for a song sample, I happened across this fabulous YouTube video put together by some cat calling himself Zelicaon. For decades I have been telling my friends that the ultimate road trip background music has been produced by the Pat Metheny Group. Somehow, strangely, whatever you see through your windshield seems like the ideal thing to be seeing at every point in the music. No one has ever understood me. But major, A-List kudos to Zelicaon because he ABSOLUTELY NAILED IT with this video he made! If you can watch this and still not “get it”, then you are never ever going to “get it”. Zelicaon drove from Los Angeles to Mount Whitney (twice!) in order to acquire this footage for “Are You Going With Me?” and with it, he created a wonderful video!

It’s a song based upon a vamp that slowly builds and evolves over a span of nine minutes until Pat Metheny’s guitar synthesizer just sings and sings at the end. Zelicaon utilized the studio take of this instrumental, and although I prefer the live version, his video is nearly perfect. Give yourself a wonderful gift today: Despite your busy schedule, take a short break, relax, and enjoy a nine-minute trip to Mount Whitney with Zelicaon and the Pat Metheny Group. This is the highlight of today’s Blog Bit, but if you want to wait until reading the entire list before viewing it, I guess that will be alright.
Video: Are You Going With Me?

“Green Onions”
Booker T And The MGs

If you don’t think this is “driving” music, tell that to George Lucas who used it in 'American Graffiti' as the background music for when John Milner decides to have it out once and for all with the cowboy in the hot rod (Harrison Ford). This is the music being played at dawn as everyone drives out to the drag strip for the big showdown.
Video: Green Onions

Low rider don't use no gas now
Low rider don't drive too fast
Take a little trip
Take a little trip
Take a little trip and see

“Low Rider"

I was born and raised in Los Angeles and this is the city’s official theme song. This is what L.A. mama’s softly sing while rocking their babies to sleep.
Song Sample: Low Rider


I like smoke and lightning
Heavy metal thunder
Racing with the wind
And the feeling that I'm under

“Born To Be Wild”

“Born To Be Wild” on a Top Ten Driving Songs list? Who’d-a thunk it? By the way, it’s rumored that this is where the term “heavy metal” first acquired a musical context.
Song Sample: Born To Be Wild

When the sun comes up on a sleepy little town
Down around San Antone
And the folks are risin' for another day
'Round about their homes.
The people of the town are strange
And they're proud of where they came.

“China Grove”
The Doobie Brothers

A few Doobie songs had a shot at this list, but this one, in my opinion, is the drivingest of their driving songs.
Song Sample: China Grove

Blood in the streets in the town of New Haven
Blood stains the roofs and the palm trees of Venice
Blood in my love in the terrible summer
Bloody red sun of fantastic L.A.

“Peace Frog”
The Doors

I was supposed to be the next James Dean. It didn’t happen that way. But for awhile, I was very serious about an acting career and did manage to score a few extremely small professional roles. Ironically, however, the last part I ever played was performed free as a favor to a friend in film school. Her name was Lin and she later went on to become an editor for Harold Ramis.

It was probably 1984 and Lin needed to produce a 15-20 minute movie for her film school final. She asked me to write a screenplay for her, which I did. Basically it was ‘A Day In The Life Of Jim Morrison’. Then later she tried to convince me to play the part of Morrison. I resisted . . . until one night we were driving around town in her VW Bug with a keg of beer in the back seat and the dispensing hose running up to us in the front seats. Whenever we wanted a beer, we’d just pour it into our cups straight from the keg. Ha! Talk about the mother of all “open container” charges!

So there we were, parked in front of the Sunset Grill on Sunset Boulevard (remember that song by Don Henley?), drinking beer from the keg, and having a fairly decent glow, my will power was weak and I finally gave in and agreed to play the part of Jim Morrison (beating Val Kilmer to the punch by 6 or 7 years). After completing that project, to my great surprise, I realized suddenly that I no longer really enjoyed acting and I quit, tossing that dream out the window [Bang! Crash!].

I thought the best idea I came up with for the Morrison screenplay was the scene we shot up near the famous 'Hollywood' sign. There are oodles and oodles of skinny streets that wind all over the Hollywood Hills like a mound of spaghetti on a plate. I suggested we attach the camera to a car and film those streets in fast-motion as we drove down from the Hills. Then we’d use The Doors’ song “Peace Frog” for the background music.

Sadly, I never did get to see the finished product because one of Lin’s co-producers - who had provided most of the funding - moved to Lake Tahoe immediately after the class came to a close, taking the movie with him. I was none too happy about that. After writing the screenplay and reluctantly playing the lead role, I thought I was owed a chance to see the end result. What I was especially eager to see was that “Peace Frog” sequence. Oh well. We can all listen to the song sample and just use our imaginations to get an idea of how cool it must have looked.
Song Sample: Peace Frog

I've been drivin' all night, my hand's wet on the wheel
There's a voice in my head that drives my heel
It's my baby callin', says, “I need you here”
And it's a-half past four and I'm shiftin' gears
When she is lonely and the longing gets too much
She sends a cable comin' in from above
Don't need no phone at all
We've got a thing that's called . . .

“Radar Love”
Golden Earring

When my friend Mr. Paulboy 6 proposed the idea of making a list of 10 favorite Driving Songs, he also suggested considering Golden Earring’s “Radar Love” for inclusion. I wrote back that this was “the no-brainer of no-brainers”. When someone says to me, “Make a list of top ten driving songs”, my first thought is: OK. “Radar Love” and which nine Pat Metheny Group tunes?

In the comment section of one YouTube video for “Radar Love”, some bloke wrote: “Thumbs up if you think this song will get you a very expensive speeding ticket someday”. Ha! On the nose! You simply have to like a song that mentions Brenda Lee and her tune “Comin’ On Strong”. Golden Earring – yes, no doubt about it, those girls really rocked.
Video: Radar Love

I rolled on as the sky grew dark
I put the pedal down to make some time
There's something good waitin' down this road
I'm pickin' up whatever is mine

“Runnin’ Down A Dream”
Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers

Get in, shut up, and hang on!
Video: Runnin’ Down A Dream

I'd rather drink your muddy water, sleep down in a hollow log
I'd rather drink your muddy water, sleep down in a hollow log
Than to be in Atlanta, Georgia, treated like a dirty dog
Oh, give me a T for Texas, give me a T for Tennessee
Give me a T for Thelma, woman made a fool out of me

“T For Texas”
Lynyrd Skynyrd

It’s 1986 and Pooh and I are on an A-List Road Trip, on our way from Los Angeles to the Devil’s Tower National Monument in Wyoming. Along the way we’re playing Skynyrd’s live album ‘One More From The Road’ and IT WORKS! Probably the best driving song in the set is “T For Texas”. It works and it works well! It blends with the road the way gin blends with vermouth.

All these years later, I can still distinctly recall Pooh and I flying along that old section of the original Route 66 that still exists in Arizona between Kingman and Seligman. We were young and we were free. It was ROUTE 66, we had a 6-pack of C66RS B66R, and everything was right with the world!

Video: T For Texas

Well, on a train, I met a dame,
She rather handsome, we kinda looked the same
She was pretty, from New York City
I'm walkin' down that old fair lane,
I'm in heat, I'm in love,
But I just couldn't tell her so
I said, train kept a-rollin' all night long
Train kept a-rollin' all night long

“Train Kept A-Rollin’”

It's got a good beat and you can drive to it.
Video: Train Kept A-Rollin’

I’m adding a couple of ‘Honorable Mentions’ because these songs only missed making my list by the mere width of a supermodel’s wrist :

I'm worth a million in prizes
With my torture film
Drive a G.T.O.
Wear a uniform
All on government loan

I'm worth a million in prizes
Yeah, I'm through with sleeping on the sidewalk
No more beating my brains
No more beating my brains
With the liquor and drugs
With the liquor and drugs

“Lust For Life”
Iggy Pop

Song Sample: Lust For Life

Rosanna's daddy had a car she loved to drive
Stole the keys one night and took me for a ride
Turned up the music just as loud as it could go
Blew out the speakers in her daddy's radio
She was shakin' (oh oh oh oh oh)
Snappin' her fingers (oh oh oh oh oh)
She was movin' round and round
That girl was shakin'

Eddie Money

Song Sample: Shakin’


It was very difficult for me to come up with good drinking songs because, hell, I was never a drinking sort of man [Big Ol’ Grin!], but I did the best I could.

As I did with my driving songs, I broke my drinking songs into two categories. The first I call “THERE'S A TEAR IN MY BEER”; these are songs you might listen to when you’re alone and wallowing in self-pity, or maybe you’re kickin’ back with one or two good friends and it’s One O’Clock in the afternoon and you’re already on your way to the total Liquidated Condition, and you’re watching the girls walking home from school and wishing you were 16 again and sober enough to say, “Shay, baby, wha’s shakin’?” These are more mellow stuffs, good for meditatin’, ruminatin’, and Walter Payton …at the beach. Got that?


OK, I’m gonna level with ya now: At one time or another in my life (and in some cases, for years and years of my life) I imbibed to every one of the songs on this list. They have all been battle-tested and bottle-tested by me just for you. So you can drink to these songs with great confidence and with my every assurance that they will mix real good with that 80 proof stuffs in yer glass. Oh, yes, you can drink quite comfortably to all of these tunes.

I was so very tempted to include a track or two from Bob Dylan’s album ‘Blood On The Tracks’ because that’s a record I’ve never put on until first making up my mind what to drink with it. But I’ve decided to save ‘Blood On The Tracks’ for my list of Top Ten Breakup Songs, scheduled for posting on June 28th.

Also, two songs that could very easily have been included are “Rocky Raccoon” by The Beatles and “Roadhouse Blues” by The Doors. But I’ve always thought of these more as “Hangover Tunes” – songs that you listen to while having some hair of the dog that bit ya. I have probably drunk and danced to “Rocky Raccoon” more than to any other song ever recorded, but always on the “morning after” the night before.

Anyway, we made it all the way to Devil’s Tower National Monument in Wyoming, and so it’s time we joined Pooh in some serious drinking:


If I ventured in the slipstream
Between the viaducts of your dream
Where immobile steel rims crack
And the ditch in the back roads stop
Could you find me?
Would you kiss-a my eyes?
To lay me down
In silence easy
To be born again
To be born again

“Astral Weeks”
Van Morrison

How many times in the very early 1980s did I hang that “Do Not Disturb” sign (which I had stolen from a hotel) on my bedroom door and drink alone while contemplating Van Morrison’s ‘Astral Weeks’ album? Anyone? Take a guess. No, more than that!
Song Sample: Astral Weeks

Rain came down, pitter-pat
Say, “What'd you think? It's raining outside.”
You said, "So what?"

You turned the record player on
Had a smoke, stood up
Walked across to the john
In a cloud of mist, couldn't resist

A kitty stepped into the hall
An' she rapped the door
Found the key in the letter box
She turned the door
Walked into the room
And said, "What's goin' on?"

"I just got back from down the road
I gotta couple of bottles a-wine
Somethin' to turn you on
Whaddaya think of that?"
In the back room
In the back room

“The Back Room”
Van Morrison

It’s one of the all-time greatest drinking songs and hardly anyone even knows about it! Pooh and I murdered a lot of brain cells while listening to this one.
Song Sample: The Back Room

So, I stop in the local bar, you know, people
I go to the bar, I ring my coat,
I call the bartender
Said, "Look man, come down here.”
He got down there, said, "What you want?"
"I want one bourbon, one scotch, and one beer."

“One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer”
George Thorogood

Well, duh! Did you really think there was ANY chance this song wasn’t going to make my list?
Video: One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer


We fired our cannon 'til the barrel melted down.
So we grabbed an alligator and we fought another round.
We filled his head with cannon balls, and powdered his behind
And when we touched the powder off, the ‘gator lost his mind!

“The Battle Of New Orleans"
Johnny Horton

A few of you already know this story (and it is destined to be retold on the day I post a Blog Bit about my all-time favorite drinking establishments), but for now I’ll just simply restate that it is my belief that no song will wake up a sleepy American bar faster than Johnny Horton’s “The Battle Of New Orleans”. Try it sometime and see for yourself.
Video: The Battle Of New Orleans

I got an axe handle pistol on a graveyard frame
That shoot tombstone bullets wearin' balls and chain
I'm drinkin' TNT, I'm smokin' dynamite
I hope some screwball start a fight
'Cause I'm ready, ready as anybody can be
I'm ready for you, I hope you're ready for me

“I’m Ready”
Muddy Waters

Oh, sheesh, do I ever love this song! Muddy wuz THE MAN!
Song Sample: I'm Ready

Just came in here to have whiskey an’ beer
And say howdy to y’all
You all know me, it's Hank Junior, you see
Hat and shades and beard an’ all
Now I have heard, uh-huh, I got the word
About all these stupid-ass imposters running around
Let me tell you somethin’, now they ain't real
They got no scars, they got no feel
They can’t cut no guitar whiskey-bent and hell-bound!

“My Name Is Bocephus” [Live version]
Hank Williams Junior

Here we have Hank Junior doing a kind of Muddy Waters “Mannish Boy” / “Hoochie Coochie Man” thing. On his list of Desert Island Music Albums, my friend Mr. Paulboy wrote of The Who’s music: “When I hear The Who I want to kick somebody’s ass. Too bad I’m alone on this island. Heck... pause the music, I’m gonna walk around and see who I can find!”

Ha! Well, that’s kind of the way I feel when I hear “My Name Is Bocephus”, only I don’t have to go to the other side of an island to find some dude to fight – I just gotta walk around to the other side of the bar. “YOU! I’m talkin’ to YOU! …No, not you; you’re too big. I’m talkin’ to that little guy standing next to you.”
Video: My Name Is Bocephus

We'll give you the business
Get on the business end of our going-out-of-business sale
Receive our free brochure, free brochure
Read the easy-to-follow assembly instructions, batteries not included
Send before midnight tomorrow, terms available
Step right up, step right up, step right up
You got it, buddy: the large print giveth, and the small print taketh away
Step right up, you can step right up, you can step right up
C'mon step right up
(Get away from me, kid, you bother me...)

“Step Right Up”
Tom Waits

Look, let’s be honest with each other, Tom Waits is to drinking songs what “Radar Love” is to driving songs. He could very easily monopolize this category to the point that this list might have been comprised of ten Tom Waits songs taken from any one of his first eight albums. But for variety’s sake, I’ve decided to select just one Tom Waits song to represent them all. It was my dear ol’ friend Pooh who turned me on to Waits. We used to sit around at his place for hours listening to the ‘Small Change’ album while doing what that album most often advertises: drinking.

Up until the 11th hour I was planning to use “The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me)” from ‘Small Change’. But at the last moment I decided instead to drink to “Step Right Up” from the same album, primarily because this song was played at the last party ever thrown at the REAL “Animal House” – 824 Bay Street in Santa Monica. And also because the lyrics in this song truly illustrate the genius that was Tom Waits.
Song Sample: Step Right Up

Tell Kudu-Crawlin' Red, tell Abyssinian Ned
Tell ol' Pistol Pete, everybody gonna meet
Tonight we need no rest, we really gonna throw a mess
We gonna break out all the windows,
We gonna kick down all the doors
We gonna pitch a wang dang doodle all night long
All night long
All night long
All night long

"Wang Dang Doodle”
Howlin’ Wolf

If ever there was a song that described the goings on at 824 Bay Street for those few years at the start of the 1980s, this song is IT! I loves me some Wolf!
Song Sample: Wang Dang Doodle

I saw a werewolf drinkin’ a pina colada at Trader Vic's
And his hair was perfect
Werewolves of London
Draw blood

“Werewolves Of London”
Warren Zevon

Ah, come on now! Who doesn’t love to sing “Ahhh-Wooo!” while waving a mug of beer in his hand?
Song Sample: Werewolves Of London

We're rascals and scoundrels, we're villains and knaves.
Drink up, me 'earties, yo-ho!
We're devils and black sheep, we're really bad eggs.
Drink up, me 'earties, yo-ho!

We're beggars and blighters and ne'er do-well cads,
Drink up, me 'earties, yo-ho!
Aye, but we're loved by our mommies and dads,
Drink up, me 'earties, yo ho!
Yo-ho, yo-ho, a pirate's life for me.

“Yo-Ho! (A Pirate’s Life For Me)”The Pirates Of The Caribbean

Believe it or not, the boys and I really did drink to this song. Well, we didn’t play it, we sang it. Not one of us was ambitious enough to go out and actually learn the lyrics, so we’d all just “La-La-La” our way through it until we got to the chorus. Really, has there ever been a better drinking song? (Mmm... Well, maybe "The Battle Of New Orleans".)
Video: Yo-Ho! (A Pirate’s Life For Me)

I’m adding a couple of ‘Honorable Mentions’ because these songs only missed making my list by the mere width of a midget’s toenail clipping :

You know the story how the wheel goes 'round
Don't let them take you to the man downtown
Can't sleep at all in a jailhouse, baby
Ain't living long like this
Can't live at all like this, can I, baby?

“I Ain’t Living Long Like This”
Waylon Jennings

Country music don’t rock like THIS no more, and it never did!
Video: I Ain’t Living Long Like This

Now, there ain't but the one thing
Makes Mister Johnson drink
I’s worried ‘bout how you treat me, baby
I begin to think
Oh babe, my life don't feel the same
You breaks my heart
When you call me Mr-So-and-So's name

“Kind Hearted Woman Blues”
Robert Johnson

Twinkie Johnson and I used to drink to this one in the wee small hours of the morning in an otherwise passed-out house.
Song Sample: Kind Hearted Woman Blues

Well, I hope you didn’t drink so much that you wound up hungover . . . like me.

OK, it’s now time that you took that 9-minute trip to Mount Whitney with the Pat Metheny Group. (You thought I was going to forget about it and inadvertently let you off the hook, didn’t you? Silly people. Silly, silly, silly!) From Wikipedia: “Mount Whitney is the highest summit in the contiguous United States with an elevation of 14,505 feet. It is located at the boundary between California's Inyo and Tulare counties, just 76 miles west of the lowest point in North America at Badwater in Death Valley National Park (282 feet below sea level).” Enjoy your trip!

Watch This...
Video: Are You Going With Me?

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.