Thursday, March 26, 2009

Rock & Roll Cities (#2 in an occasional series)

Colorado City, AZ

By Michael Mooney & Jim Webb

Colorado City: population 4807 with 71.8% under the age of 25 and 65% living below the poverty line. Anorexic local former prophet Warren Jeffs hates us heathens, especially Little Richard and Tina Turner. This town needs some Rock And Roll. Suggested chronological mix to get the kids started:

Utah Mormon Blues- Phil Pavey
Rip It Up- Little Richard
Kissin’ Cousins- Elvis Presley
You Don’t Own Me- Lesley Gore
A Change Is Gonna Come- Sam Cooke
Don’t Look Back- The Remains
Break On Through- The Doors
Shape Of Things To Come- Max Frost and The Troopers
Tears Of Rage- The Band
You Could Be Born Again- The Free Design
Cease To Exist- Charles Manson
Big Sky- The Kinks
We’re Not Gonna Take It- The Who
What Goes On- Velvet Underground
Liar- Argent
Ave Lucifer- Os Mutantes
(Don't Worry) If There's A Hell Below We're All Going To Go- Curtis Mayfield
My God- Jethro Tull
Death May Be Your Santa Claus- Mott The Hoople
One Tin Soldier- Coven
Zion Higher- Burning Spear
Godbluff- Van der Graaf Generator
(I’m) Stranded- The Saints
Amazing Grace- Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers
Crazy Horses- Alex Harvey
Oh Bondage! Up Yours- X-Ray Spex
Pinhead- The Ramones
Family Album- David Allan Coe
Welfare Mothers- Neil Young & Crazy Horse
All We Ever Look For- Kate Bush
Fanatics- Minutemen
Rise Above- Black Flag
Religion- Motorhead
Kids Don’t Follow- The Replacements
Girls Just Want To Have Fun- Cyndi Lauper
The Warrior- Scandal
Better Be Good To Me- Tina Turner
Hello Cruel World- The Mekons
Dear God- XTC
Kidnap Yourself- He Said
Roam- The B-52’s
Throwing Back The Apple- Pale Saints
Double Dare Ya- Bikini Kill
Freedom- Tegan and Sara
Cast Me Out In My Hometown- Cathal Coughlan
I Get Out- Lauryn Hill
Beautiful- Christina Aguillera
Mr. Marx’s Table- Wire
Cult- Slayer
The W.A.N.D.- Flaming Lips
Prophet- Carbon/Silicon
-Michael Mooney

I would like to add a few tracks to your music compilation for the members of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints religious organization. These three songs are specifically dedicated to the imprisoned sociopath, fornicator and false prophet Warren Jeffs. My hope is that the Warden at the Purgatory Correctional Facility will read this and find a way to pump these tunes into Warren's cell 24 hours a day. Listening to the lyrics of these songs repeatedly might help Jeffs, the greatest spiritual con artist of the last hundred years, to realize the damage he’s caused to untold thousands of people, particularly women. If nothing else, constant exposure to Yoko Ono, Helen Reddy and The A's would be a pretty severe punishment. It could even be considered torture.

I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back and pretend
'Cause I've heard it all before
And I've been down there on the floor
No one's ever gonna keep me down again

You can bend but never break me
'Cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
'Cause you've deepened the conviction in my soul

I am woman watch me grow
See me standing toe to toe
As I spread my loving arms across the land
But I'm still an embryo
With a long, long way to go
Until I make my brother understand

Oh, yes, I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to
I can face anything
I am strong
I am invincible
I am woman

Oh, I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong

When a man lays his cards on the table
Trying to make a name
Looking for a miracle
Looking for something that he does not know
Walking the streets and there's nowhere to go
When a man's got to fight to keep on dreaming
And the whole world seems like it's plotted and see man laying odds
if he's gonna lose
He's gonna need the strength that comes from you

When a man's got to his bottom dollar
And his foolish pride fills with more than he can swallow
When it seems his shame is more than he can bare
And his hopes and dreams are fading into thin air
When a man finds he struggles in vain
And he's holding a losing hand playing a losing game
And he finds he's got his back to the wall
He needs you there to pick him up should he fall

You've got to love him
Squeeze him
Hold him in your arms, never leave him

A woman's got the strength
A woman's got the power

Woman is the nigger of the world
Yes she is...think about it
Woman is the nigger of the world
Think about something about it

We make her paint her face and dance
If she wont be a slave, we say that she don't love us
If she’s real, we say she’s trying to be a man
While putting her down, we pretend that she’s above us

We make her bear and raise our children
And then we leave her flat for being a fat old mother hen
We tell her home is the only place she should be
Then we complain that she’s too unworldly to be our friend

We insult her every day on tv
And wonder why she has no guts or confidence
When she’s young we kill her will to be free
While telling her not to be so smart we put her down for being so dumb

Woman is the nigger of the world
Yes she is...if you don't believe me, take a look at the one you’re with
Woman is the slave to the slaves
Yes she is...if you believe me, you better scream about it

-Jim Webb

A Noriega-style musical bombardment may help Warren’s rehabilitation, though I’d prefer some good old-fashioned blood atonement. Given the chance, one or more of the other residents of Purgatory will likely take that matter up eventually, and send him straight to Hell in a handcart.
-Michael Mooney

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Kid Rock

St. Paddy's Day

The Secret Museum

Jim Webb & Michael Mooney

Kid Rock - The High Priest of Trash Tries Recycling

A few weeks ago I saw Kid Rock’s video for his song All Summer Long. Bob “Kid Rock” Ritchie popularized the Las Vegas White Trash Style (still manifesting itself on The Strip in 2009), and has been blending rap, rock, pop and country since the early 90s. On this song he hijacks the riff from Warren Zevon’s Werewolves of London and parts of Lynyrd Skynryd’s Sweet Home Alabama, adding his own lyrics into the blender to come up with this recent hit. The idea of Kid Rock taking old songs and weaving parts of them into new stuff is one I like. The two classic rock tunes he uses are better than the new final result, but I think his attempt at creating something new from the ashes of the old is praiseworthy, even if it is greater in concept than actualization. It will be interesting to see if other rock/pop acts follow his lead in recycling old songs into new. Rock Music is slowly dying from the twin effects of the short attention span of the digital download generation, and the domination of urban/rap top 40 radio across all youth demographics. Kid’s approach could help the younger crowd discover some past classics they missed firsthand. One of Pop Music’s traits has always been its disposability (“low art” trash); something new will be quickly taking over the airwaves and making last week’s hit obsolete. Is All Summer Long good trash or bad trash? Will the Eco-friendly/Green conscious youth decide this kind of song recycling is good for the planet and their iPods? Can we expect The Archie’s Sugar Sugar or other pop trash to be brought into the 21st century with a new body and facelift? When it comes to these questions, there’s only one thing for certain: Kid Rock will be partying near the front of the pack.

-Jim Webb


Given that the history of Rock is rife with blatant wholesale theft, it doesn’t surprise me that two-bit hustler Bob Ritchie ripped off a couple of the 70s lesser musical moments (neither songs contain a bridge) to earn (?) himself another empty-headed hit (I’m reminded of the Clash singing about ‘gimmick-hungry yobs digging gold from Rock and Roll’- Ritchie’s entire career is summarized in that line.) There aren’t many plundered songs in the Rock canon that have been improved by the thieves themselves. The Beach Boys’ Surfin’ USA- pilfered from Sweet Little Sixteen- comes to mind (and even that one’s debatable), but few others. What Ritchie is doing here is typical of his type: stealing from a creative source and calling it homage.

These are the first 10 songs from my iPod this morning (random setting):

1. Steve Hillage: U.F.O. Over Paris (Green- 1978)
Spacy (what else) riff over tight but funky rhythm section, dissolving into celestial
glissando coda. Trippy.

2. Can: Deadlock- Instrumental Title Melody (Soundtracks- 1970)
And sounding like the theme to an Italian horror flick (which it may very well be.)

3. Damien Dempsey: It’s All Good (Seize The Day- 2004)
One of the finest songs of this young century. Co-sung by Sinead O’Connor.
Mournful and beautiful, as is all the best Irish music.
“Love yourself today. OK, OK”

4. The Kinks: Strangers (Lola VS Powerman And The Moneygoround, Part One- 1970)
Possibly brother Dave’s finest Kinks moment, and certainly his best 70s track.

5. Sir Douglas Quintet: Lawd, I’m Just A Country Boy In this Great Big Freaky City
(Mendocino- 1969)
Doug Sahm’s hippie/redneck ode to San Francisco.

6. Microdisney: Idea (Everybody Is Fantastic- 1984)
Leadoff cut from an essential pop LP.

7. Adele: Je Ne Veux Plus d’Accordeon (Femmes De Paris, Volume 2- 2002)
Not the pavement chaser, rather an obscure Chanteuse from les sixties;
French Freakbeat waltz ends in tragedy for the aerophonist.

8. The Zombies: Nothing’s Changed Backing Track (Zombies Heaven Box- 1997)
Hugh Grundy is one of Rock’s greatest drummers. Here’s proof.

9. Nelson Riddle: Batman Thaws Mr. Freeze or That’s The Way The Ice Cube Crumbles
(Batman Original Television Soundtrack- 1966)
Fun mashup incorporating Nelson’s classical vamps with Neal Hefti’s theme and the
great George Sanders (who sounds just like Otto Preminger.) Later sampled by
Juno Reactor.

10. NoMeansNo: Manic Depression (You Kill Me EP- 1985)
Heavy Hendrix cover version, far surpassing the original in both spirit and execution.

And a little something for all you Micks (courtesy Fovea Hex):

"O Cormac, grandson of Conn," said Carbery, "what were your habits when you were a lad?"
"Not hard to tell," said Cormac.

"I was a listener in woods,
I was a gazer at stars,
I was blind where secrets were concerned,
I was silent in a wilderness,
I was talkative among many,
I was mild in the mead-hall,
I was stern in battle,
I was gentle towards allies,
I was a physician of the sick,
I was weak towards the feeble,
I was strong towards the powerful,
I was not close lest I be burdensome,
I was not arrogant though I was wise,
I was not given to promising though I was strong,
I was not venturesome though I was swift,
I did not deride the old though I was young,
I was not boastful though I was a good fighter,
I would not speak about anyone in his absence,
I would not reproach, but I would praise,
I would not ask but I would give...

for it is through these habits that the young become old and kingly warriors."

Happy St. Pat’s!
-Michael Mooney

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Jim's First Ten

Secret Museum Files

The gods of fate have sent Jim and I on a mondo vision quest to deepest darkest Utah. If you see our wives, tell them we’ll be back next Sunday.

Kelly Clement’s Celtic and Beyond (one of two or three KTAO 101.9 programs worthy of your attention) played a block of Mellow Candle a few weeks back. How many other DJs can make that claim? Tune in Wednesdays 7 to 10 p.m. MST (streaming at, and request your favorite Christy Moore, Horslips or Frankie Kennedy songs from The Man himself at:
-Michael Mooney

Here’s Jim on his breakthrough year, 1975-

Diary of a Rock Fan

I started out just keeping the concert ticket stubs from shows I attended. At sixteen years there is no master plan about maintaining a record of anything, let alone the concerts you’ve witnessed. After about twenty-five stubs I began to document the shows in a small spiral notebook. Lately, I’ve wished that I kept a record of every book I read from the same date onward as that first concert- not out of vanity, but I have this vague notion now that, maybe if I could go back and review everything I’ve listened to and read, a pattern will emerge, some insight into what makes me tick, and help me to assemble and make sense out of my own personal puzzle. I know that’s asking an awful lot from a simple list of an evening’s entertainment through the years. The philosopher, wild game hunter, and occasional guitarist Ted Nugent said it best: “You’re born at point A, you’re going to die at point B, in between just kick ass.” Here’s where point A starts for me:

1.) Bad Company/ Maggie Bell

May 29, 1975 The Spectrum, Philadelphia

Bad Company on their first headlining tour played this enormous hockey/basketball arena. A near sell-out crowd, 17,000 in attendance, dance concert format. A huge pyramid stack of amps on either side of the stage. Bad Company kicked ass; Maggie Bell had good pipes, dull songs. I would’ve gotten down here sooner for my first gig, but didn’t have a driver’s license. I knew I would be back to this big airplane hanger and it’s exciting, dangerous vibe, and felt like I’d finally found my tribe after wandering in the desert for sixteen years.

2.) Lynyrd Skynyrd/ Elvin Bishop/ Wet Willie
June 19, 1975 The Spectrum

Elvin & Wet were decent enough, but no real magic during their sets. Skynyrd came out firing with their triple guitar attack and never let up. Free Bird was all it was meant to be.

3.) Yes/ Ace
July 23, 1975 Spectrum

I have no idea why a pub-rock band was opening for Prog superstars Yes. A great stage design by Roger Dean wrapped around the band members like a snake. The set mostly consisted of Relayer; Gates of Delirium featuring Patrick Moraz on keyboards was tremendous. I met the Hare Krishnas for the first time in the parking lot.

4.) Allman Brothers Band/ Muddy Waters
Sept. 18, 1975 Spectrum

Old Muddy sat on a stool in front of 18,000 and did his thing; the crowd dug him. The Allmans were touring on Win, Lose or Draw; Chuck Leavell’s signature tune Jessica among the highlights. Dickey Betts was in fine form.

5.) Aerosmith/ REO Speedwagon/ Ted Nugent
Oct. 5, 1975 Spectrum

Ted opened with his ten-minute-plus symphony Hibernation that took the paint off the walls. REO was just another faceless rock band. Aerosmith kicked tail with all the nuggets from Toys in the Attic.

6.) Blackmore’s Rainbow/ Argent
Nov. 15, 1975 Tower Theater, Philadelphia

Argent had a few FM radio staples that went down well. First solo tour for ex Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. Great drum solo by Cozy Powell. No Deep Purple songs. There was a huge rainbow above the musicians on stage that changed colors. Numerous problems with said rainbow (causing feedback from stage amps) stopped the show several times as the always-grumpy Blackmore stormed off with band in tow. The concertgoers booed lead singer Ronnie James Dio- five feet tall including platform boots; he was the only one left onstage.

7.) Allman Brothers Band/ Grinderswitch
Nov. 27, 1975 Madison Square Garden, N.Y.C.

Thanksgiving show at the Garden- rabid New York faithful out in force. Gregg opened with his standard greeting: “We’re gonna play everything we know”, which whipped the crowd into a frenzy before one note had been played. Great gig. One of the members of our road party had to be at work by 6 AM, and sadly we had to catch the last train back to Trenton. We left during Whipping Post. Very painful memory: the morgue-like silence of Penn Station as the Allmans wailed away upstairs haunts me to this day.

8.) The Who/ Toots & The Maytals
December 15, 1975 Spectrum

Toots literally got bottled off the stage, so intent were The Who fanatics to see their heroes. This was the final night of their North American tour and they uncorked a gem. An unbelievable laser show came alive during the Tommy medley half way through the set. Townshend had seven identical Les Paul guitars lined up on stands right behind him; he didn’t wait until the finale to start trashing them. Blazing sound, all the classics, and a righteous mauling of the drums by Keith Moon at the end. The amount of pure magic flowing from the stage was staggering. The band had 18,000 in the palms of their hands from the first note until the last chord faded away.

9.) Foghat/ Leslie West/ Artful Dodger
Dec. 18, 1975 Spectrum

Leslie rocked with Mississippi Queen, but this was Foghat’s night. Slow Ride, Fool for the City and a lot of smoking guitar.

10.) Bruce Springsteen & The E Street band
Dec. 29, 1975 Tower Theater

This was Springsteen at his best. Philly has always been one of his strongholds, and this was a very hard ticket to get. Born To Run had come out in September, and they played the whole damn thing, plus oldies like Quarter to Three. Loose and wild on stage just doing whatever he felt like. Superb.
-Jim Webb
Site Meter