just keep throwing
listen to my heart

music friday: euphoria

Following up on last week’s post, here’s another mix-disc I made long ago. No idea what the date is … there are no recent songs to help in that regard. Clearly I was going for the late-60s FM underground radio vibe.  One thing I notice in retrospect: all of the 17 artists are white, 16 are men, and the one woman was known at the time primarily as Paul McCartney’s protégé.

  1. Moby Grape, “Omaha”. No, it’s not called “Listen My Friends”.
  2. The Grateful Dead, “The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)”. That I loved this song was evidence I wasn’t a hardcore Deadhead.
  3. The Youngbloods, “Euphoria”. Cover of a Holy Modal Rounders song.
  4. The Sir Douglas Quintet, “Mendocino”. Fine career, first as an ersatz British Invasion band, then as part of the SF Bay Area hippie movement, and later as the Tex-Mex legends they always were. Augie Meyers forever!
  5. Jim Kweskin & the Jug Band, “Chevrolet”. I never know how much history to stick into these little blurbs. If you want more about this band, ask in comments, or check out Wikipedia.
  6. Dave Van Ronk, “Romping Through the Swamp”. Got it from Peter Stampfel, who borrowed the melody from a 1928 recording by Cléoma Breaux and Joe Falcon. This comes from an odd album by the consummate folkie, where Dave got a band together (the Hudson Dusters) and played something as close to rock and roll as to folk.
  7. Phil Ochs, “Outside of a Small Circle of Friends”. He called himself a “singing journalist”. Later, he released an album of new songs called Greatest Hits, with a picture of Ochs in a gold lamé suit on the cover.
  8. Donovan, “Epistle to Dippy”. For many people, “Dippy” describes Donovan. They need to listen again.
  9. Tim Buckley, “I Never Asked to Be Your Mountain”. An album we played over and over. And over.
  10. Them, “Mystic Eyes”. Van Morrison before he was Van Morrison.
  11. John Mayall, “Room to Move”. Perhaps appropriate that this harmonica workout comes after “Mystic Eyes”.
  12. Mary Hopkin, “Those Were the Days”. No, Paul McCartney didn’t write it. It was a Russian song from the 1920s, melody by Boris Fomin. Gene Raskin added English lyrics later.
  13. Thunderclap Newman, “Something in the Air”. Written for the movie The Magic Christian, which featured Ringo. Their guitar player was Jimmy McCulloch, who later worked as part of Paul McCartney’s Wings. Sorry, no John or George trivia, but the band was championed by Pete Townshend.
  14. John Lennon, “Cold Turkey”. Here’s John! (Sorry, no George.) The artist is a misnomer, since this was released under the name “Plastic Ono Band”. The video is nicely synced, but the band on the video is not the band on the record, which was John, Eric Clapton, Ringo, and Klaus Voormann. I actually sang this on stage once … a band of my friends that I would later join wanted to play it, and I was the only one who knew the lyrics. So I got to spend the last couple of minutes moaning like I knew what heroin withdrawal felt like.
  15. Blind Faith, “Can’t Find My Way Back Home”. Eric Clapton returns! OK, it’s more Stevie Winwood’s song.
  16. Fleetwood Mac, “Albatross”. Not your Buckingham-Nicks Mac. The video is misleading in some miniscule ways. I don’t think Peter Green is using the same guitar he used on the recording, which wouldn’t matter except they are syncing to the record. Also, Jeremy Spencer is playing slide in the video, but I don’t think he was on the record. None of this matters to the large majority of people who only know two of the five people in the video as part of Fleetwood Mac.
  17. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, “East-West”. You could write a book about this one song. Dave Marsh practically did in his liner notes for a hardcore fans’ CD, East-West Live, an album that runs for close to an hour and features only three tracks, all of them live versions of “East-West”, the last one running 28 minutes. There’s also a Mike Bloomfield website that includes a very lengthy examination of the song.