Archive for August 2008
I remember hearing Billy Joel’s The Stranger probably a year or 2 after it came out, maybe even a little later. The title track is such a great tune. Some pretty deep lyrics and some of which hit home to me every couple of years when I get off my normal path.
Well we all have a face
That we hide away forever
And we take them out and show ourselves
When everyone has gone
Some are satin, some are steel
Some are silk and some are leather
They’re the faces of the stranger
But we love to try them on
I’m not a huge Billy Joel fan but this album has stuck with me for a lot of years. Lots of familiars on there Movin’ Out, Just The Way You Are, Only The Good Die Young and She’s Always A Woman. But it’s songs like The Stranger and Scenes From An Italian Restaurant that really set Billy above a lot of the other singer/songwriters of that era. Plus he had such a badass band. C’mon, his drummer’s name is Liberty Devito, how can you go wrong?
Here’s a vid from the recently released 30th Anniversary box set. I went to Encore Music to buy some metal and saw this set and flipped out.
She’s pretty but alas, she won’t get my vote no matter the hottie factor.
Bob Barr 08!
So I guess it was around 2000 when my best friend Daniel and I went to see DIO, Deep Purple and the Scorpions at the Va Beach Amphitheater. I think I had scored some free tix from someone and they were grass passes. It was a great show all in all. Doug Aldrich was a badass for DIO, Deep Purple was better than expected and I was all excited when they played Perfect Strangers.
But…the highlight of the night was when the Scorpions played “We’ll Burn the Sky.” When Klaus Meine announced that they were going to go back and play and old song, I expected some like “Loving You Sunday Morning” or something else from Lovedrive. Much to our surprise, he announced We’ll Burn the Sky. Daniel and I stood up and cheered along with about 5 other people it seemed. Obviously most of the Scoprions fans there wanted to just hear stuff from Love At First Sting.
This is one of my all time faves from them. They always wrote such great love songs/ballads and this one simply rules.
The song seems to be about his girl who died.
I’m in love with the sunshine
I’m in love with the falling rain
Everything seems to call your name
Yesterday, you were leavin’
Leavin’ life and all the pain
Everything wants you back again
I’ve found myself through you
And there was love in my life
I felt always naturally high
And my love had a home
But now my mind has started to roam
You’re my life-giving fire
And you carry all my love
Through you I was so inspired
You’re engraved deep in my heart
My dreams recall us being one
I’ve searched for you to be free
My force of life you have always been
I feel blue since you’ve gone
Your breath of love surrounded me
When can I rejoin you to be free
Wait, can this be a dream
There is a voice in my head
It belongs to you, it says
Don’t cry no need to be sad
There’s a way to stay with you again
It’s more than you ever had
And no death brings us apart
Our timeless love always grows
Because you are my other heart
I know we’ve never been apart
Your love sets fire to my heart
We’ll Burn The Sky
When it’s timeFor me to die!
We’ll Burn The Sky
Oh YeahWe’ll Burn The Sky
Oh YeahWhen it’s time to die
We’ll Burn The Sky
We’ll Burn The Sky
When I see them, I am always reminded of a song by Fates Warning called the Apparition and these lyrics specifically:
Reflecting what you are and what you are to be
In the first is a young boy white dove in
His hand, in the second is a warrior in armor
In the third is the old man gold watch
In his hand fourth and last
No reflection at all
One morning I’d like to just stop and say hi to them. I get the feeling that if I do, they’ll just pump their fists in the air and yell, “Stop driving like a maniac you young whippersnapper!” or “Get out of my yard!”
I’ll never forget the first time in 87(?) that a former friend from high school and I went to a “new” record store in Norfolk called Skinnies Records. We didn’t know what to expect and I think we even got lost on the way. I was driving and my pal was navigating (bad news!). So we find it on 21st St in Ghent and go in.
So we walk in and I believe the first time we went in, Jeff was working. Now, Jeff was a big guy too. So that’s 3 big guys in this store. What I haven’t mentioned yet was that the store was only about 14′ x 14′ and jam packed with records and tapes. That’s right kiddies, CDs had not hit the market yet. Jeff was an asshole. He knew he was so I’m not talking behind his back. He was an asshole but after we started coming in there a few times, he lightened up.
Maybe the second time I went in there, this tall sort of jangly looking guy who reminded me of Ian Gillan was working. He was cool. He was into metal. Jeff never seemed to really care about metal that much, but Steve was always ready to talk about it. I continued to go there for years and was excited when they were able to expand their current space which seemed to just get filled up again! That’s when CDs were starting to catch on too.
I pulled some real gems out of that place. Much of my (now gone) Iron Maiden vinyls came from there as well as a few of my more rare Triumph records which I still have. Pat Travers’ Putting It Straight Jap pressing on CD was one of my ultimate finds. I still drool about it every time I listen to that CD. I got several old Metal blade, Combat and NOISE Records albums as well…of course they weren’t old at the time.
I generally would schedule my trips in there over the years when Steve was working. Jeff was getting caught up in some bad shit and it eventually killed him. I was a bit sad when that happened. Actually, I was very sad.
Anyway…I had some great times in that place. I’ll never forget Mother’s Day 1989. Steve called me and asked if I wanted to come into the store that afternoon and jam with him and some other guy. Since it was mom’s day, I made sure she was cool with it and of course she was. So Steve, some tall red headed singer dude and I jammed for a few hours. Mostly to songs I had never heard. Older punk stuff I think. The only one I recognized and remember playing to this day is Under My thumb.
Sometime around that same year, Steve and Jeff were going to Hammerjacks in Baltimore to see Dave Chastain and offered to let me go. Hell yeah! I ended up having to bail the day of the show for something, I don’t remember what. I do remember calling Steve the next day to see how it went and he let me know that they never made it. Flipped the van or something like that.
Years later, Ghent was going through some redevelopment and the building Skinnies was in was slated for demolishing as a Walgreen’s was coming in. That was sad news but Steve persevered and found another location nearby.
Skinnies was always a cool place to hangout though. It still is. Steve and I became really good friends over the years. Helped him move twice and my back still suffers the ills of his fish tank and 1000 boxes of records! hahaha! I also got to see him get through some major medical issues and am happy as hell that things got back to “normal” so to speak. Not half as happy as him though, ya know?
I moved into the same neighborhood as the record store and even got to work there on Sundays for a little while. You don’t know how much I loved that and will always be grateful to him for the experience. When I decided to move to Texas, saying my goodbyes there 2 years ago was pretty difficult. I felt like I was leaving a major part of my life behind. In many ways I think I did, but not necessarily in a bad way.
So…all in all, just wanted to say thanks Steve. You and that store helped me get through the crazy 80s with some fine music and good people. You’re a good friend.
I’m really proud of you for getting thru the great record store crash that took out some of the other legendary stores in that area like Unicorn, Electric Smiles and The Music Man.