FMF Episode #31 – Fools

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DJ:   Just kidding! Welcome to Feel Me Flow ‘s April Fool’s Day episode!  Today we’re going to hear about all the follies, all of the screw-ups, all of the broken-hearted fools who done someone wrong.  In modern culture, April Fool’s Day is typically celebrated with pranks and practical jokes.  Whoopee cushions, hand-buzzers, fake-breaking up with significant others… I wouldn’t suggest that last one; it never goes well.  Instead of focusing on pranks today, we’re going to hear a whole lot of self-reflection songs.  There’s quite a common theme in music where the bard feels the need to point out how stupid they’ve acted.  The proverbial doghouse; or worse? 

Behind us is Tupper Saussy.  Tupper led a life of music, conspiracy, tax evasion, play-writing, and even befriended James Earl Ray, who had confessed to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.  He played with The Neon Philharmonic in the late 60s before the foolishness began.  I sure do dig this track, though! 

Our first set starts off with The Main Ingredient who remind us that we are all vulnerable to playing the fool at some time or another.  The first album the group released after original lead singer Don McPherson died of leukemia, Bitter Sweet featured new member Cuba Gooding, Sr.  Bittersweet, indeed.  Cuba would help the group achieve fame throughout the 70s and by the mid-90s his son Cuba Jr. had won an Oscar.  We lost Cuba Sr. last year on April 20th to natural causes.  That third week in April, man.  It’s so hit or miss.  I wonder if it has to do with taxes…

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DJ:  A 12/8 time signature is rare for a rock band, let alone a Top 40 rock song!  We heard “Fool In The Rain” from Zeppelin’s true final effort, 1979’s  In Through The Out Door.  A compilation of unreleased material was put out in 1982 titled Coda, but this was the last album recorded before drummer John Bonham died.  I love that samba breakdown! 

Before Zep, we played a track by Bobby “Blue” Bland.  Back in 1965, David Bowie sang briefly for a group called The Manish Boys.  They recorded two tracks, one of which was a cover of “I Pity The Fool”.  The guitar solo on that cover was recorded by none other than future Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page.  Small world, indeed. 

Before the pity, we played a track from some famous people’s kids.  Dino, Desi & Billy were comprised of Dino Martin (Dean Martin’s son), Desi Arnaz, Jr. (Lucille Ball & Desi Arnaz’s son), and their friend Billy Hinsche.  After the short-lived pop star lifestyle with D, D & B subsided, Billy would go on to play and sing on a few Beach Boys albums in the 70s.  His sister Annie married Carl Wilson, more than likely helping connect Billy with the Boys. 

The Greenhornes connected The Main Ingredient with those rich kids.  Jack White recruited Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler when forming The Raconteurs with Brendan Benson.  The Raconteurs would put out two stellar rock records before moving on to other projects.  We might hear more from them in the future, but I wouldn’t hold your breath.  The Greenhornes played us “What A Fool” from their debut record. 

Coming up in our foolish blues set, we’ll hear some friggin’ Foghat.  On the other end, I just love how perfectly matched the horns of T Bird and The Breaks blend with Connie’s keyboard intro.  You’ll see.

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DJ:  Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero was born in New Jersey during the Great Depression.  Concetta, or Connie Francis as she’d later be known, failed endlessly at launching her music career before finally scoring a hit with “Who’s Sorry Now“.  After 11 singles that flopped, Francis booked one final recording session on October 2nd, 1957.  Connie recorded the track at the insistance of her father, and fought him hard on it.  With only a few minutes of tape left, she recorded one final take.  That take became a single that would eventually make its way to American Bandstand, and go on to sell over a million units.  Listen to your father! 

T Bird and The Breaks covered the 70s Elvin Bishop cut “Fooled Around And Fell In Love”.  That cover comes from their most recent effort Harmonizm.  Give that Austin, Texas band some love and buy their records! 

FMF regular Holly Golightly played us “Fool Fool Fool (Look In The Mirror)” from her most recent album Slowtown Now!

Before Holly, we were treated to a Muddy Waters classic “Still A Fool”.  Muddy based the figure of the drone-like solo electric blues style guitar off of his song “Rollin’ Stone”.  You know, the one that pretty much launched an entire homage train in the 60s that would shape rock music forever.  Rolling Stone magazine, The Rolling Stones, Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone”.  All owed to one man’s blues.  “Still A Fool” talks about falling for another man’s wife, and how foolish that can be. 

Foghat covered Muddy’s big single “I Just Want To Make Love To You” on their debut album and it helped launch their career as well.  Muddy, we all owe so much to you. 

From cold, muddy waters to bright Sunflower Beans, let’s jump into Set 3.  Up next is New York band Sunflower Bean with a brand new single from their sophomore LP Twentytwo In Blue.  Here’s “I Was A Fool”.

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DJ:  From strut to upstroke.  Nothing wrong with a little reggae/ska, right?  Joe Jackson’s debut album Look Sharp! skyrocketed in sales after the release of the debut single “Is She Really Going Out With Him?”.  Joe would put out a swing-revival album in 1981 that some credit with anticipating the retro-swing revival of the 90s. 

Speaking of 90s revival acts, Buck-O-Nine enjoyed some minor success during the 90s ska revival.  They covered Joe Jackson’s “I’m The Man” on their breakthrough album My Town and it was totally played at the end of the terrible 90s movie The Big Hit

When Buck-O-Nine booked their first live club show, they landed an opener slot for ska revival pioneers The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.  The Bosstones recorded “Who’s Fooling Who” for their 1997 smash album  Let’s Face It, but shelved it in favor of other tracks. 

From Boston Harbor to San Francisco Bay now.  Monophonics have been funk-ifying audiences for over ten years with their soul swagger.  Taken from 2012’s amazing album In Your Brain, the 7-minute “Foolish Love” is one for the books.  If you can’t see yourself in a slant-back Cadillac with a velvet suit on cruising the Sunset Strip to this, well, I don’t know, but still.  Great jam! 

Speaking of soul, the Queen of Soul herself graced our presence with one of her higher-selling singles, 1967’s “Chain Of Fools”.  The tune features those amazing Muscle Shoals Swampers that FMF loves to drool over. 

Coming up in Set 4 is a Ty Segall side project that blends surf rock and chainsaws.  Our Set 4 Score comes from down under this week, again.  We sure do love Aussie/Kiwi bands.  Alright, here’s Ty with The Traditional Fools doing “Party At My House” from 2008.  It’s almost like a Phil Spector beach tune that’s been thrown in a blender with some power tools and The Ramones.  What a sound!  Come on over boys, there’s a party here at my house.

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DJ:  I know what you might be thinking…and yes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are amazing!  The Peanut Butter Conspiracy had mild success in the psychedelic 60s era.  Hell, with a name like that I can’t imagine Carson asking you on his show, but what do I know!? 

Before PBC, we featured a Set 4 Score from 2013.  Rogues On The Sea are from Perth, Australia and put out a fantastic LP that hasn’t quite made it across the Pacific to us yet.  We played “Fools In Love” from them, which the band shot a video for.  Here’s to hoping they release more material!

The Strokes played us a single from their 2011 album Angles. “Taken For A Fool” was the second single released from the band’s post-hiatus release and was mostly written by guitarist Nick Valensi.  The album almost didn’t happen due to tensions between lead singer Julian Casablancas and the rest of the band.  Something about emailing your lyrical ideas and expecting the rest of the group to execute them correctly just doesn’t seem to have the same organic feel to it.  Glad to see they’ve resolved things since. 

Speaking of absent singers, ALL formed in Los Angeles in 1987 when Descendents lead singer Milo Aukerman left the band to pursue a graduate degree in biochemistry.  The rest of the Descendents decided to recruit Dag Nasty singer Dave Smalley and name their new band after the Descendents’ most recent LP; ALL.  I just love how Dave breaks down mid-track here and says “I suck”; haha!  You don’t suck, Dave. 

Next up is one of my son Rigby’s favorite groups, Blur.  OK, it’s probably related to how big a fan I am of Damon Albarn, but still.  Here’s Blur with “Fool” from their debut 1991 album Leisure.

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DJ:   “I’d Rather Be An Old Man’s Sweetheart (Than A Young Man’s Fool)” was released as Candi’s first real single in 1969, with it appearing on her debut album the following year.  It has that perfect soul sound from the era that we’ve all come to love, and go figure; Rick Hall produced the album at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals.  It’s just unfair how perfect that time/place was for the artists passing through it; whether it be southern rock or soul. 

Another little-known Southern act going by the name Elvis Presley led us into Candi’s track.  Elvis recorded “Elvis Country (I’m 10,000 Years Old) in the summer of June 1970.  It was unusual for Elvis to record an album in its entirety, or in this case two separate sessions, but he and producer Felton Jarvis realized they had a few country songs and set up another session to round out the themed album.  Apparently, Elvis’ usual practice was to record a bunch of songs in a session and then have the producer piece together albums afterward.  What a life!  Elvis, of course, died unexpectedly a few years later on August 16th, 1977. 

Exactly one month after that, on September 16th, T. Rex’s Marc Bolan would lose control of his car and strike a tree, killing himself instantly and breaking his girlfriend Gloria Jones’ arm and jaw.  We heard Marc’s ode to Gloria “I’m A Fool For You Girl” from T. Rex’s final studio album Dandy In The Underworld

Previous Set 4 Score highlights The Regrettes followed Blur with their crowd-favorite “Seashore”. 

Coming up, the jangle-pop family band The Cowsills gets a bit psychedelic with their 1968 album Captain Sad And His Ship Of Fools.  Sounds a bit different from their more known single “The Rain, The Park & Other Things“.  Let them proclaim our mantra…here’s “Make The Music Flow”.

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DJ:  I mean did you really think we wouldn’t play “Won’t Get Fooled Again”?  I know we like to leave the obvious tracks off sometimes, but this was a must-have.  From their amazing 1971 album Who’s Next.  Pete Townshend’s signature hard rock guitar sound came from a setup curated and gifted by Joe Walsh. 

Prior to that climactic dad-rock experience, we played The Deadly Snakes and their 2001 cut “Make A Fool Out Of Me”.  Did you notice how James Ray’s track title played into this? “If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody” into “Make A Fool Out Of Me”. Perfect! 

James Ray’s 1961 included the b-side “I’ve Got My Mind Set On You” which George Harrison would later cover for a late-career number one single in 1987. 

Jim Morrison and The Doors threw in “Ship Of Fools” from their fifth LP Morrison Hotel.  George Harrison had Leon Russell play piano on his Concert For Bangladesh live album; The Doors hired Marc Benno for rounding out their rhythm guitar sound during recording L.A. Woman.  Leon and Marc were the psychedelic rock duo Asylum Choir and you should buy the records if you find them.  Great blues-driven psychedelic rock!

Well, for those of you celebrating Easter today, make it a good one!  For the rest of us fools, thanks for tuning in to Feel Me Flow! 

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