ABC’s OF ROCK: The E’s (part 1)

On to the E’s! Near the end of 2001, my band Rookie Card was regrouping so, for fun, I answered an ad for a coverband doing Zep, Stones & Kinks in 2001 and a young woman answered the phone and said “Hold on, DAAAAD!” I almost put down the phone but instead spent a few months rehearsing in a house that looked like a Hard Rock Cafe with a bunch of nice guys around 50 years young who made me feel like a kid in a good way. I definitely got better as a singer not having to try to play guitar and try to sing like Robert Plant which I eventually got better at (notsomuch on this recording). We played one show but I felt weird after they decided to replace the niceguy drummer/founder with someone better. Years later, Dana told me they all thought I was gay, so I must’ve been doing something right. I broke it to him that he’d been sporting a mullet which he apparently already knew.  As long as I’m posting about it, I FINALLY put some old rehearsal tapes up…

E is for Earthling.80, a one song present from famed Insomnia Radio podcaster Michael Catanzaro to his wife. He wrote a sweet little song called “I Love You More Than You Love The 80′s” and hired me & Mike Kamoo from Earthling Studios to turn it into a John Hughes soundtrack outtake. I tweaked a few lyrics to flow better and put on my best Modern Gahan English voice. Mike switched on the ARP Omni keyboard that made Joy Division & New Order sound so great and all of a sudden the song sounded incredible.

We put a bit of it on the beginning of this when Youtube wouldn’t let me use “Behind The Wheel”.

E is for the origins of imodest, stoic, timeless northern UK grand rock that led to Stone Roses & Oasis (seeing them now would make you think Oasis stole their whole act from them). I couldn’t pick a fave. The stuff still sounds amazing like when some of us went to LA to see them do Ocean Rain with a small orchestra a couple of years ago. 

E is for cute puppies. I posted this on my profile a few weeks ago when it felt like having my first dog felt like my life was shit & piss. 

E is for destiny. They always sounded a lil Kinksy without ever blatantly ripping them off. Writing songs on par, in my opinion. So to get the call a la Baby Lemonade, Wondermints, Posies to back HIM is….just. Have been meaning to see what I missed last week, damnit….

E is for emulation. They did such an amazing job performing all of Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited” at an LA charity show that I went home and put together one for the Casbah. When Rookie Card decided to show up as the elderly to do Weezer’s debut album, Geezer was born. Now you know who to blame.

E is exceptional. Nevermind the covers. They write great songs and this video is classic.

E is for especial. Great minds, to be sure. I worshipped at his altar long before we became friends and he taught me a lot about keeping things short, so to speak. He gets more obscure than I’m willing to go, so there’s been a few times where I caught references that no one else has. Simply the greatest show on earth and coming to Casbah August 26th! One of many faves…if only for the perfect Smiths intro.

E is for heaven. I finally got to be in the middle of a sea of Brits losing their minds. Back to back with Blues Explosion at a tent in Reading ’99. Dream come true.

E is for the queens of Britpop. Short & sweet stuff. John from Rookie Card told me my songs had too many parts and were too long and gave me an assignment of writing something quick & good. I remembered Justine saying something about how songs get boring after a couple of minutes so I put this song on and wrote down “opening verse chorus break….” and then wrote “Put Your Honey Where My Mouth Is” using the structure. One of my faves. Thanks, J! 

 

E is for Elephant 6.  Rookie Card got to play with a bunch of E6 bands because no one else was asking (Apples In Stereo, Beulah, Essex Green).  These guys too & they were as nice as every other southern band we ever played with.

E is for alterEgo. Mike Andrews was at every show I went to at one point. I knew he was a musician and wasn’t surprised when his nickname band started playing awesome cooljazzpop. Joe Jackson comparisons abound probably because they covered “Different For Girls”. Sadly shortlived. Miss seeing you, man.

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