Archive for the ‘Rock Music’ Category

The Beatles had a specific clause in their contract, even in 1964, that stipulated they would never play for a segregated audience.


On Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” album, the music on most of the tracks was played by the band Toto.

I’m heading to see the two Johns again this Thursday for the umpteenth time but for the first time in awhile, so this is a timely blog. Well, at least for me. It may not be timely at all for you. Anywho, I have loved They Might Be Giants and their quirky tunes since 1985, and every show is a joy, a delight and an outright lovefest. Without further ado, my favorite songs of They Might Be Giants:

Everything Right is Wrong Again

As only the boys could do, they incorporated a 1950’s Lucille Ball movie into the lyrics. “The long, long trailer” is a reference to the 1954 movie The Long, Long Trailer. Taking a honeymoon road trip, a trailer creates plenty of hijinks and slapstick problems for Lucy and Ricki, including one scene where the motor trailer, Lucy inside, becomes unhinged from the car, their dishes falling from the shelves, and the car continues away, hence these lines:
Just like in the long, long trailer,
All the dishes got broken and the car kept driving
And nobody would stop to save her .”

Admit it, TMBG fans. You did not know that.

I Palindrome I

Ah, what an amazing tune. It’s about, well, palindromes, which are words or sentences that can be read the same forwards or backwards. LOVE this song and its great opening line . . .

“Someday mother will die and I’ll get the money . . .”

Note – My 5 favorite palindromes:

A man, a plan, a canal – Panama.

Sit on a potato pan, Otis.

Eva, can I stab bats in a cave?

Mr. Owl ate my metal worm.

Dammit, I’m mad.


Put Your Hand Inside the Puppet Head

An amazing song about so many subjects, including OCD. However, I love the homage to the line from ‘Guitar Man’ by Elvis that they snuck into the song – “Well, I quit my job down at the car wash, left my mama a goodbye note.


Don’t Let Start

Includes these immortal lyrics:

“No one in the world ever gets what they want and that is beautiful,

Everybody dies frustrated and sad and that is beautiful,

They want what they’re not and I wish they would stop, 

Saying Deputy Dawg dog a ding dang depadepa,

Deputy Dawg dog a ding dang depadepa

D, world destruction,

O-ver an overture

N, do I need

Apostrophe T, need this torture?”

Only TMBG, kids. Only TMBG.


Animal song about, well, the beauty of mammals. So TMBGish.

Standing in between extinction in the cold
And explosive radiating growth
So the warm blood flows
Through the large four-chambered heart
Maintaining the very high metabolism rate they have.

Mammal, mammal
Their names are called
They raise a paw
The bat, the cat
Dolphin and dog
Koala bear and hog . . .

Dinner Bell 

About Pavlov’s dog, among other things.

Birdhouse In Your Soul

The absolute classic, and the song that put the boys on the map. Enjoy, kids.

Istanbul (Not Constantinople) 

This is actually a cover of a song written in the 1950s, and it’s basically a little history lesson. Catchy as hell.

Particle Man 

A science teacher’s favorite, and there are many interpretations to this song, way too many to mention here. Lend it an ear and tell me what you think.


Such a rocker live. It’s about a couple that constantly breaks-up and makes- up. We all know the type.

They Might Be Giants

A quirky little song about who-the-hell-knows. You tell me. I think it’s about the band, how they got their name from the movie, and how Don Quixote thought that windmills were giants. Then again, perhaps I’m quite insane.

Meet James Ensor

Love this song about the obscure Belgium painter. Good stuff.

Kiss Me, Son of God

Although this song was written 30-years ago, it could have been written about Donald Trump. Eerie really. Listen . . .

Man, It’s So Loud in Here

A newer song about, according to John, “The dawning awareness of old age.” 

Bastard Wants to Hit Me

Great tune about a weird encounter with a crazy dude. So typically weird it hurts. TMBG through and through.


Your Racist Friend

“This is where the party ends, I just sit here wondering how you can stand by your racist friend.”


Dr. Worm

Just a simple song about a common subject –  a drum-playing worm who’s also a doctor. Enjoy.



A few years ago I wrote a lukewarm widely acclaimed blog called 9 People I Hate at Rock Concerts. It included idiots like people who sing too loud, text during the show, bitch about the opening act, stuff like that. Do yourself a favor and read it. Well, recently another habit has reared it’s ugly head at concerts, and it is not pretty. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Tablet Guy:


I’ve been an unabashed lover of the Electric Light Orchestra since the early 70s. Man, when I first heard the opening to Roll Over Beethoven it was on. Later, the band just kept getting better. Over time Jeff Lynne proved himself to be a musical genius, and in addition to his ELO stuff he produced some amazing music for George Harrison and was a member of the legendary super group The Traveling Wilburys with George, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Roy Orbison.

Elite company indeed.

And yes, this past summer the Electric Light Orchestra was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Sure, they were elected about 25-years too late, but still.

Which leads me to the point of this blog – my favorite ELO songs. Since Jeff Lynne was ELO, I’ll include his solo stuff along with his group releases. Let us commence:

Save Me Now – This is a great tune hidden at the end of Jeff’s great 1990 solo album Armchair Theatre. It’s a simple, acoustic little number about the environment, Just beautifully written and gorgeous in its simplicity.

If you liked that, here’s an electric version. You’re welcome.

Mama – From ELO II in 1973, it’s a long, haunting song about losing your mother. Again, just achingly beautiful.

It’s Over – From the great Out of the Blue double album in 1977, this song was played by yours truly after every gut-wrenching break-up of my young, relationship troubled life.

It’s all over now, and the way you look don’t even mean I’m down.

Oh yes it does, Jeff. Oh yes it does.

Can’t Get It Out Of My Head – From 1974’s ungodly album Eldorado. I’ll let Jeff Lynne himself describe this one – “It’s about a guy in a dream who sees this vision of loveliness and wakes up and finds that he’s actually a clerk working in a bank. And he hasn’t got any chance of getting her or doing all these wonderful things that he thought he was going to do.” Fun Fact #1: The song does NOT include the line, “Walking on a wave she came” but rather “Walking on a wave’s chicane” which is the peak of a wave. That line is widely misheard and often repeated even when you look up the lyrics. Fun Fact #2: The album cover to Eldorado, a screenshot of Dorothy’s shoes when the witch tried to take them in The Wizard of Oz, is one of my all-time favorites.

Poker – A little-known but blistering track from 1975’s Face the Music, this tune begins, continues and ends with straight-ahead rock fire.

Showdown – An ominous, sort of threatening song, also from 1975’s Face the Music, about a looming conflict.

She cried to the southern wind,

About a love that was sure to end, every dream in her heart was gone, heading for a showdown.

Roll Over Beethoven – As I mentioned before, this is the song that introduced me to ELO back in 1972. A cover, it begins with those strings, followed by Lynne’s searing guitar. An American classic. So. Damn. Good.

Steppin’ Out – Another song from Out of the Blue, this song has always struck a chord deep inside me. The lyrics speak of getting away, just packing up and rolling out. And not only that, you’re going to prove all your doubters wrong.

Did you hear what he said?

He said they sold me down the river,

They thought I thought I was a fool,

They said the rain would fall,

What did they know?

Hold On Tight – A rocker from 1981’s Time album about holding on tight to your dreams. Who can argue with that sentiment?

When you get so down that you can’t get up,

And you want so much but you’re all out of luck,

When you’re so downhearted and misunderstood,

Just over and over and over you could.”

Hold on tight, man.

Do Ya – An absolute rock and roll song that blows the roof off the joint live. And oh, those lyrics:

In this life I’ve seen everything I can see woman
I’ve seen lovers flying through the air
Hand in hand
I’ve seen babies dancing in the midnight sun
And I’ve seen dreams that came from the heavenly skies above
I’ve seen old men crying at their own grave sides
And I’ve seen pigs all sitting watching
Picture slides
But I never seen nothin’ like you.

Evil Woman – ELO’s first big-time hit, this is a song that rips a poor former girlfriend to shreds. The lyrics are brutal, man.

Evil woman how you done me wrong
But now you’re tryin’ to wail a different song
Ha-Ha funny how you broke me up
You made the wine now you drink a cup
I came runnin’ every time you cried
Thought I saw love smilin’ in your eyes
Ha-Ha very nice to know, that you ain’t got no place left to go.


Telephone Line – Just a simple, beautiful song about trying to contact somebody you love and not being able to get through. It sort of has an old, 50s doo-wop feel to it, and Lynne’s vocals and harmonies are stellar.

Note: Now that I think about it, he actually sings the words “doo-wop” in the lyrics. Cool.

Rockaria! – A rock opera of the highest order, complete with, well, an opera singer. It’s hard to explain, but the song begins with a woman singing opera, she’s soon joined by ELO, and then they all come together for the ending. Hell, just listen:

Shangri-La – This is the last song of the great 1976 album A New World Record, and I love these lyrics:

My Shangri-La has gone away
Faded like The Beatles on “Hey Jude”
She seemed to drift out on the rain
That came in somewhere softly from the blue.

I’m getting out of love . . .

Just a very, very pretty song.

Oh No Not Susan – From the band’s third album, On the Third Day. It’s about a young woman who lives amongst the wealthy in a society she despises.

Susan met the lords and dukes of everywhere
Smiling kissing wishing that they’d go to hell
And then she’d laugh – wonder why
Take a nap – sit and cry
Oh no not me – I wouldn’t
Oh no not me – I couldn’t
That’s all she says, her money and her place
They just don’t mean a fucking thing.

Rock and Roll is King – Another Lynne rocker from the underrated 1983 album Secret Messages. It’s just a simple song about a girl who loves her some rock and roll.

It rolls like a train that’s comin’ on down the track
She rolled over Beethoven and she gave Tchaikovsky back
Oh, she loves that drivin’ beat, she goes dancin’ on down the street
She said rock ‘n’ roll is king.

Bluebird is Dead – Another great, relatively unknown song from On the Third Day. It’s a song about a lost love, one who passed away, and man is it sad . . .

Why do they say, Bluebird is dead?
I can still see her, touch her, my Bluebird.
The love that she gave, I don’t believe, no, no, I don’t believe . . .

Moment in Paradise – From the amazing comeback album Zoom in 2000, this is a song about finding a new love that gives you a new perspective on life. Lovely melody.

She said that it’s your duty to save your soul,

To save it for someone . . .

Stranger – Another beautiful song from Secret Messages, it’s sort of a an enigmatic tune about seeing the world through the eyes of someone else. Love the guitars in this song.

The streetlights looked so pretty
As they spread into a town
I was lookin’ for another sundown
And my head was spinnin’ round and round
Round and round . . .

When I Was a Boy – This was the single from the band’s 2015 album Alone in the Universe, and it’s basically the story of Jeff Lynne’s life. Love it.

When I was a boy, I had a dream
Finding out what life could really mean
Don’t want a job cause it drives me crazy
Just wanna sing, “Do you love me, baby?”
When I was a boy, I had a dream.

PS- After seeing ELO live several times from 1973 to 1985, I’m going to see them again next summer in Detroit. Can. Not. Wait.



“And all over town, little kids will get down.”


A sentimentally festive song about Santa being mugged by hooligans. Enjoy!


“Baby Jesus, born to rock.”





You guys know how all these wild conspiracy theories interest me. JFK, the supposed death of Paul McCartney, hell, I even posted about cartoons and the movie Back to the Future predicting 9/11. And have I mentioned that Stevie Wonder may not be blind? Anywho, this stuff make compelling reading even if you’re 99% certain it isn’t true.

Still, there’s that 1%. That’s what makes it all fascinating.

Anyway, what you’re about to read and see may be the wildest, most outlandish theory of all – Elvis Presley was an extra in Home Alone.

Because of course he was.

There is a scene midway through the film, where Catherine O’Hara’s character is bartering with an airline employee over a ticket counter in a Scranton Airport. A bearded man in a sports coat and turtleneck hovers over her left shoulder, occasionally expressing his impatience with his body language. This man, many believe, is played by none other than The King himself. Let’s take a gander . . .

Huh. Well, Elvis grew a beard for the movie Charro back in the 60’s. Let us compare:

Damn, that is a close resemblance. But oh, there’s more.

Well, now I’m all shook up. Say no more. I’m convinced. I know suspicious minds won’t concur, but Elvis was in the movie Home Alone 13-years after his alleged “death.” Come on Elvis. Don’t be cruel. It’s now or never. It’s time for your big comeback.

Have a blue Christmas everybody!

PS- If you know that actor’s name please don’t tell me. Let me keep on believin’.



Oh hell yes.


Word for word.


As many of you know I’ve had an incredible streak of luck at rock shows and with rock stars over the course of my lifetime. I’ve run into Todd Rundgren in a mall, Mark Oliver Everett on the street, and David Crosby in a hotel elevator, among others. I also saw Eminem in the Detroit airport once, and were it not for two behemoth bodyguards I’d have had a nice, civil chat with him. I’ve also bumbled my way into being Beck’s bodyguard, and Jeff Lynne once asked me to get him some tarts (I swear I thought he meant pop tarts – true story) backstage at an ELO rock show. At many a concert I’ve simply walked by security to get to the front of the stage, usually by just acting like I belonged there. Hey, you can’t argue with my success rate.

Note: I wrote about all this in a blog titled Lines and How I’ve Avoided Them: A Retrospective. Read it, and keep a pen or pencil handy to take notes. I also wrote about my rock encounters in an award winning retrospective titled Random Rock Encounters, a must-read if one ever existed.

Which brings us to last night.

Although I knew the Foo Fighters were coming to Cincinnati, for whatever reason I didn’t pull the trigger on getting tickets. Then, at about 2:00pm on the day of the show I got online and scored a ticket, albeit behind the stage. Hey, I wasn’t worried, I thought just getting into the arena would be enough. I’d figure the rest out when I got there.

Upon arrival I went down to my seat, and sure enough I was smack dab behind the stage with a backdrop blocking everything in front of me. Seriously, the fact that they sell tickets for those seats is an absolute sham and a rip-off of the highest order.

For most, that is. Not me of course.

As I stood there planning my next course of action, an usher walked up to me and asked if I needed help. It was then I just shrugged my shoulders, pointed to the humongous backdrop in front of me and asked, “I can’t see a thing from here. Is there anything you can do for me?”

Turns out there was. She looked around nervously, reached inside her jacket, pulled out a wristband, and put it around my wrist. Incredulous but not really, I asked her where it would get me.

Her response? She pointed down to the floor in front of the stage.

Boom. Floor pass baby. Seriously, within 30-seconds of showing her my ticket I’d gone from the worst seat in the house to, arguably, the best.

All I could do was give her a hug, tell her “Bless your heart” and head on down to be with my people in front of the stage, where I most certainly belonged.

The next 4-hours were rock and roll bliss, from the opening act The Struts to the freakin’ Foo Fighters, who gave one of the top five concert performances these eyes have seen and these ears have heard. Dave Grohl? National Treasure, man.

And I got to see it all up close.

But how did I get there? I really have no damn idea.


Steve Forbert has been a favorite of mine since his first album back in 1978. He’s just one of those guys that writes music that speaks to me, ya know? He never really hit it big and had only had one real hit, Romeo’s Tune. Still, he’s been churning out albums and touring for nearly 40-years.

It’s really hard to describe his style, so I’m not even going to try. I will say that Steve Forbert is a true poet, and an absolute master storyteller and lyricist. And perhaps the most unique thing about Steve Forbert is his voice. Listen to it, man. If I’m lyin’ I’m dyin’. I’ve been lucky enough to see him live a few times and even met him once. Highly recommended.

Factoid: Steve Forbert had a cameo appearance in Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” video, playing her boyfriend.

After beginning with about 70-songs I have meticulously narrowed it down to my Top 10. Let us commence . . .

10. Hope, Faith & Love (1988)

Just an optimistic song about three things we all need.

I need hope to look for the good through the bad
I need faith to know I ain’t lost what I had
When they’ve lied and cheated me
And tear what I care for in two
Oh, I need love, to rise up above and renew.

9. Goin’ Down to Laurel (1978)

A beautifully simple song about going to see a girl.

Well I’m goin’ down to Laurel
It’s a dirty stinkin’ town yeah
But me I know exactly what I’m going to find
Little girl I’m goin’ to see
She is a fool for lovin’ me
But she’s in love and love’s a funny state of mind.

8. Prisoner of Stardom (1982)

A song about a young woman from Ohio who, although she’s hit the big time, finds it’s not all it was cracked up to be.

She’s a prisoner of smiling
It’s expected night and day
Its a burden on her everywhere she goes
Still she’s looking for some magic
Like those teenage magazines
That she read in ’65 in Ohio.

7. Lonely Girl (1980)

Just an absolutely gorgeous song about a sad and lonely girl.

All the guys who dance for you, they’re so unsatisfied

Their hungry hands come reachin’ out, to get your bows untied

And I come ’round to sing to you, starvin’ just like them

As I talk with you and long for you, and sing my midnight hymns

To a lonely girl.

6. He’s Gotta Live Up to His Shoes (1981)

A great song about a guy who’s a big talker, but now he has to back up his big mouth.

So let him walk
Let him walk real proud
And let him talk
Let him talk real loud
And let him do
Anything he choses to
He’s gotta live up to his shoes.

5. Laughter Lou (Who Needs You?) (1980)

Rolling in at #5 is a song that rips some dude to shreds. Everyone has a Laughter Lou in their life, believe me.

You criticize most everything, hey but what have you ever done?

You’re always putting something down or laughin’ at someone.

Can’t never tell what’s somethings like ’til you’ve been there yourself

You’ve spent your whole life sitting down, just watching some else.

You criticize most everyone, but what have you got to show?

At least the ones you’re putting down, got up to have a go.

Tell me Laughter Lou, who needs you?

4. Romeo’s Tune (1978)

Ah, Steve’s biggest hit. It’s been covered by Keith Urban, among others. Just a catchy, pretty, uptempo song with, as always, amazing lyrics. Fantastic piano as well.

Oh, Gods and years will rise and fall
And there’s always something more
It’s lost in talk, I waste my time
And it’s all been said before
While further down behind the masquerade the tears are there
I don’t ask for all that much I just want someone to care.

3. Say Goodbye to Little Jo (1979)

I love this song about a man defending a woman from a guy she wants nothing to do with anymore. In this song some man is completely eviscerated by Steve.

You’ve shown so much of your hate
She’s seen so much of your greed
She’s taken shit for so long, yes, yes
You ain’t got nothin she needs
You don’t deserve her no how
Go fading back into fate
Go sit ya down where ya were
Don’t grab and beg, it’s too late.

2. Search Your Heart (1988)

A beautiful ballad of encouragement that tells us to never, ever give up.

The world is too much with you all of the time
You got no space for grace inside of your mind
Some things can’t be conquered
So your thoughts all say
But if you search your heart
You’ll find a way.

1. Settle Down (1978)

Ever hear a song that just speaks to you? It’s almost as if you could have written it about yourself? This is once such song for me. One of my favorite songs of all-time.

Well, I hear you when you whisper
And I’ve seen your nervous eyes
I’ve known your fear and held your doubtful hand
You’re judging way too soon
You’re underestimating me
Sometimes I rock a bit but I can stand.

So won’t you settle down, settle down
Baby love, my baby love
Don’t quit your faith in me.

So yeah, Steve Forbert. Love his music. If you’ve liked what you’ve heard here’s an entire concert from ’79. Enjoy.



Great new song by Jack Johnson. Timely lyrics as well.


One of my Top 10 favorite artists. Never gets old, man.

Well I’m goin’ down to Laurel,
It’s a dirty stinkin’ town yeah,
But me I know exactly what I’m going to find.
Little girl I’m goin’ to see,
She is a fool for lovin’ me,
But she’s in love and love’s a funny state of mind . . .



Or maybe you did. What do I know? Anyway, cover songs are nearly as old as music, and while some are highly credited, some are decidedly not. It’s almost as if some artists don’t want people to know the song had been done previously.

I started with about 30-songs but narrowed it down, cutting songs like “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston that was originally a Dolly Parton song. I figured a lot of people already knew that one anyway. The 18 I chose are covers that I thought maybe people would find surprising.

But like I said, maybe not. Still, I’m willing to bet there are at least a couple of surprises on here, even for the biggest music aficionados.

Sidenote – There are a thousand white artists who took black artists songs and made them hits. Hell, Pat Boone made a career out of lifting Little Richard songs and creating bestsellers for white audiences. And man, did they suck. Listen to his version of “Tutti Frutti” by clicking here and you’ll get my drift. That’s brutal, man.

Without further ado, here are my 18 Songs You Didn’t Know Were Covers (or maybe you did):

House of the Rising Sun – The Animals

Nope. Not an original. In fact, the author of the song is unknown. It’s a traditional folk song believed to be brought from English immigrants in the 1800’s and appropriated to a more current form in New Orleans. Here’s a version from 1933 by Tom Clarence Ashley & Gwen Foster:

Bet that got your attention, huh? Let’s continue . . .

Twist and Shout – The Beatles

Eh, maybe some of you knew this was a cover. Still, I had to include it.  The Isley Brothers did a killer version as well. Here’s the original by the Top Notes in 1961:

Factoid: The song’s original title was “Shake It Up, Baby”.

Got My Mind Set On You – George Harrison

This was a big Jeff Lynne produced song for George back in 1987, but a cool cat by the name of James Ray did it first, way back in 1963:

Cum On Feel the Noize – Quiet Riot

Quiet Riot blatantly swiped this one in ’83, but my boys from Slade had rocked it 10-years prior, back in 1973. On a related note, Slade was a great band. Listen to “My Oh My” and “Run Runaway” to get the vibe. Good stuff.

Tainted Love – Soft Cell

This tune was originally performed by Gloria Jones way back in 1964. Marilyn Manson also recorded it in the ’90s, but Soft Cell had to biggest hit with it in the ’80s. But here’s the very first version:

Hound Dog – Elvis Presley

Elvis pilfered a lot of songs, just like Pat Boone. The difference was that Elvis performed them with a helluva lot more soul. “Hound Dog” was first done by the legendary Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton back in 1952. Just an awesome performance:

Damn that’s good.

Turn! Turn! Turn! – The Byrds

Before The Byrds had a monster hit with this featuring beautiful harmonies and jangly guitars, Pete Seeger sang it with just an acoustic guitar and a gravelly voice. Give a listen:

Respect – Aretha Franklin

Yep this was done by none other than Otis Redding prior to Aretha’s version. Of course, coming from a woman (especially in the 60s) the lyrics took on a whole new connotation. In addition, Aretha added the iconic R-E-S-P-E-C-T to the song, and the rest is history. However, here’s the original:

Love Hurts – Nazareth

Now here’s a good one. Did you know that the Everly Brothers recorded this song first? Sure did, w-a-y back in 1960. Here’s proof, ya skeptic:

I Want Candy – Bow Wow Wow

Before the all-girl group made this a smash back in the 1980s, a band of dudes called The Strangeloves recorded it in the Swingin’ ’60s. Here it be:

Those go-go dancers were fabulous, amirite?

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper

Now here’s a weird one. This song was originally performed and sung by a man, and his name was Robert Hazard. Weird but true. He released it in 1979, 4-years prior to Miss Lauper. Here ’tis:

Blinded by the Light – Manfred Mann’s Earth Band

Again, some of you may know this but it must be included. This one was originally written and recorded a young singer by the name of Bruce Springsteen, and it was on his “Live from Asbury Park” album in 1972, with Manfred Mann’s version coming out in 1976. This is actually a rare case where I prefer the cover. Sorry Bruce. Anyway, here’s the real deal:

Crazy – Patsy Cline

While this song is identified almost exclusively with Patsy Cline, she wasn’t the first to sing it. It was written and sung by none other than Willie Nelson. Oddly enough, Willie Nelson’s own version was released after Patsy’s. Willie was a popular singer-song writer who had written many hits for other artists, but had never released his own record. Here’s his beautiful original:

Time Is On My Side – Rolling Stones

Before The Stones had a hit with it, a singer named Irma Thomas had recorded it in 1963. And man, I have to say I like her version better. If you listen you can see The Stones pretty much copied it straightaway. By the way, if you want to get technical, the tune got its start as an instrumental for trombonist Kai Winding and his Orchestra earlier that year. Here you go:

Hey Joe – Jimi Hendrix

Here’s another tune that is almost solely associated with one artist but in reality is a cover. You see, it was performed earlier by a band named The Leaves. I know, I’d never heard of them either. Great song though. Classic garage band rock.

The First Cut is the Deepest – Rod Stewart

I’ve never been a fan of Rod’s covers, and this one is no exception. Here’s the original done by somebody named P.P. Arnold. Oh, and the song was written by Cat Stevens. Cool.

I Love Rock & Roll – Joan Jett

Yep, bet you never knew that this song was first sung by The Arrows back in 1975, did you? And they did it well, I might add. Honestly, it’s badass. Check it out:

Dazed and Confused – Led Zeppelin

Ah, let us conclude with this gem. Although Zep is widely identified with this song, it was in fact sung first by a gent named Jake Holmes in 1967. Hey, I kid you not. The song was also recorded by the Yardbirds. Led Zeppelin, who also have been accused of stealing the riff for “Stairway To Heaven” off the song “Taurus” by Spirit, somehow managed to pull off a separate copyright for their cover. What? Jimmy Page discovered the song when Holmes opened for the Yardbirds in 1967. Incredibly, Holmes later discovered his own track on Led Zeppelin’s album. He wrote Page asking for credit, but never got a response. Here’s the original:

So there ya go, 18 Songs You Didn’t Know Were Covers But Maybe You Did. Seriously though, I surprised you with a few, right?



Loved this ’90s alternative band. First, a slow version from a few years ago. . .

The original video . . .


With The Eels you never know what you’re going to get. Here are some examples:

Or you might get this . . .


From his “Gorilla” album in the mid-70s. I always thought it described the power of music perfectly.


I know, I know. Awkward title. Live with it.

Anyway, this was a tough one. The Fab Four have put out over 70-albums of material and recorded over 1,000 songs since parting ways in 1970. Narrowing these lists down to a mere 5 was difficult, and for that reason I’ve taken the liberty of adding honorable mentions. Hey, it’s my site. Let us begin with Mr. Lennon . . .


Imagine (1971)

You have to start with Imagine, right? Just a hauntingly beautiful song. Love its simplicity too. An iconic and era-defining song for certain, and it is generally ranked as one of the best songs in music history. In fact, Rolling Stone magazine ranked it at #3 on its Top 500 Songs of All-Time list.

#9 Dream (1974)

Surreal and dreamlike, John said this tune came to him in a dream. He also said that the song was just “churned out” with “no inspiration.” Yep, John didn’t like it. I, however, loved it. Factoid: The phrase repeated in the chorus, “Ah, böwakawa, poussé, poussé”, also came to Lennon in a dream and has no specific meaning. Originally he pronounced it “pussy, pussy” but the record company bitched, hence the safer pronunciation. Factoid #2: The record peaked at, coincidentally, #9.

Beautiful Boy (1980)

This was written for John’s final album, Double Fantasy, and it includes one of my favorite lines ever written for a song:

“Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.”

The song is all about the love John Lennon had for his son Sean, and he conveys that love beautifully. Just a gorgeous, heartfelt song. Factoid: That quote can be traced back to a 1957 Reader’s Digest article which attributes it to some dude named Allen Saunders. I’m still giving John credit though.

Mind Games (1973)

John had this song in his back pocket since 1969 and finally released it in ’73. It’s one of John’s most upbeat and positive songs, evidenced by lyrics like “Yes is the answer . . .” Factoid: The song’s original title was “Make Love Not War.”

Woman (1980)

Another beautiful song, this time written for John’s wife Yoko. It was also on his last album, and he said in interviews prior to the album’s release that the song was written for all women. Factoid: At the beginning of the song you can barely hear John whisper, “For the other half of the sky.” He was referencing a Chinese proverb that was about women and men.

Honorable Mention: Working Class Hero (1970), Nobody Told Me (1980).


Jet (1973)

This one was named after Paul’s dog. It was on Band on the Run, and I’ve always loved it. The soaring chorus just blows me away every time. I’ve seen McCartney live several times (OK, it’s 9) and “Jet” always blows the roof off the joint. It’s a Power Pop gem, and legendary music critic Dave Marsh referred to it as a “grand pop confection” that represented the only time McCartney approached the “drive and density” of his tenure with the Beatles. I agree. Factoid: I have never understood the lyrics to this song.

Junior’s Farm (1974)

This might be my favorite Paul McCartney tune of all-time, and the searing guitar solo by Jimmy McCullough is incredible. Not kidding, watch the video and tell me it isn’t. Love. This. Song. Factoid: McCullough wrote and performed a song called “Medicine Jar” for a Wings album a couple years after “Junior’s Farm” was released. It was an anti-drug song. A few years later McCullough died of an overdose.

Band on the Run (1973)

Love the change of pace I this song. It’s like three songs mashed together, a multi-part song. The first verse has a folky feel to it, complete with harmonies. The second verse is almost an early grunge sound, and finally, the last part of the song features that infectious, melodious hook that made it a hit. Part of the critically acclaimed “Band on the Run” album.

Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey (1971)

Stitched together from snippets Paul had from the Abbey Road sessions. It’s loaded with sound effects, vaudeville jokes and time and style shifts that make it one of the wildest-ever Top 40 hits. The song is a rare combination of playfulness, experimentation and a gorgeous melody that I love. The “Hands across the water” chorus still touches me today.

Here Today (1982)

Paul’s touching tribute to John Lennon, written shortly after he was murdered.

And if I say I really loved you
And was glad you came along
Then you were here today
For you were in my song.

‘Nuff said.

Honorable Mention: (I Want To) Come Home (2009), At the End of the End (2004), Maybe I’m Amazed (1970), Getting Closer (1979), Magneto and Titanium Man (1975).


Blow Away (1979)

This song is relatively unknown but I love it. Released during the disco and punk era, it stood on its own as a straight, simple rock recording, and I loved the catchy melody. Factoid: George said that the song arose from feelings of frustration and inadequacy resulting from a leaking roof at his home in England.

My Sweet Lord (1970)

The first #1 song by an ex-Beatle. George was later hauled into court, and lost, on charges of copyright infringement because of the song’s similarities to the Chiffons’ “He’s So Fine.” The courts said he subconsciously copied the melody. Still, “My Sweet Lord” remains a masterpiece of rock spiritualism as well as an amazing song.

This Is Love (1987)

I don’t know why but I’ve loved this tune from the first moment I heard it. I also love these lyrics:

Since our problems have been our own creation
They also can be overcome
When we use the power provided free to everyone
This is love.

It’s produced by Jeff Lynne, and you can certainly tell if you’re a Lynne fan like myself. Beautiful tune.

You (1975)

George wrote this gem for Ronnie Spector, formerly of The Ronettes. The song has a series of amazing sax solos by the appropriately named Jim Horn. Not kidding. Factoid: George has said this song is a tribute to 60’s R&B. Just a pure rock classic.

Crackerbox Palace (1976)

It’s just an odd little song about a man George had met, but I love the catchy melody and quirky lyrics, beginning with the opening line . . .

I was so young when I was born,

My eyes could not yet see . . .

From his great Thirty-Three & 1/3 album.

Honorable Mention: This Song (1976), It’s What You Value (1976), What Is Life (1971), Give Me Love (1971)


It Don’t Come Easy (1971)

Don’t think Ringo had a bunch of good songs? You are incorrect, sir. Or madam. Because Ringo had arguably the greatest post-Beatle hit ever with this song. It was co-written by George, but Ringo’s voice gives it its identity. A true rock classic that grabs you at the opening notes.

Photograph (1973)

Another #1 hit for Ringo, and once again George helped out on guitar and co-wrote. Great chorus that is catchy as hell. It’s basically about a photograph being the only thing left from a broken relationship.

Every time I see your face
It reminds me of the places we used to go
But all I’ve got is a photograph
And I realize you’re not coming back anymore.

Walk With You (2009)

Ringo got a guest appearance from none other than Sir Paul McCartney on this beautiful number, which is one of his prettiest songs ever. Just a gorgeous, heartfelt song.

Liverpool 8 (2007)

This is an autobiographical song about Ringo’s days with The Beatles as well as growing up in Liverpool. It’s a touching yet upbeat song that includes crowd involvement at the end. Great song.

No No Song (1975)

This song, written by Hoyt Axton, reached #3 on the US charts. Incredibly, the song described attempts to sell marijuana, cocaine, and moonshine to a recovering addict who refuses it all. Helluva theme, right? Factoid: Hoyt Axton also wrote Three Dog Night’s classic hit “Joy to the World.”

Honorable Mention: Oh My My (1974)

So there ya go. I’m sure you have your post-Beatles faves. What say you?


Listen, I rarely use exclamation points at the end of my titles but if any video deserves it it’s this one. I swear to God this may be the single greatest Christian band in the annals of Christian bands. I feel like going to church right now, not even kidding. And that lead singer is straight fire. This band has it all – the moves, the hot keyboardist, mind-blowing backup vocals, just pure electric on all levels. These cats have a straight line to Jesus, no doubt about it. Breathtaking really. Now excuse me while I go download Sonseed’s entire catalog.