2 January 2016

This Christmas' Rock 'n' Roll

Over four decades ago I got my first records for Christmas - Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" (a record I still very much enjoy listening too, the old hippy motherfuckers best effort for me) and Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow which I still enjoy when I take a trip in my trusty old Heavy Metal Time Machine. My mom got me those. Love you mom!

The records still remind of the Christmas I was given them. My long hair. My Hockey family still living under the same roof with the big liquor cabinet. My rock 'n' roll high school days just getting fired up.

This year the gift of music came from both my sister Kitty and Sonja. Kitty drew my name in my family's annual name draw. We started drawing names when the pile of crap under the tree generated by everybody getting somebody something had become absurdly large. Christmas is not about presents and telling everybody how fucking great your boss is because he kicked back some of the money you earned for him in the past year.

Christmas is about making sure your local liquor store has a good year.

Kitty got me the Drive By Truckers' new five album live set recorded at San Francisco's Fillmore Ballroom, which just might be the best record released by anybody on the planet trying to be saved by Canada yet again; a double album recorded live by Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company in 1968, a monument to the drop dead beautiful racket people could make before computers filled God's or Reason's shoes in our everyday lives; and a ten inch record from the Dictator's, one of my favourite rock 'n' roll bands ever. It is a re-mastering of a few songs and a few out takes from their hilariously heavy as anybody first record.

Sonja got me a few records I would have never got myself. A new copy of Lou Reed's much loved "Transformer," I have only ever had the used and already well played copy I bought over four decades ago from an electronics fix it shop that sold a few records on the side; the Clash's "London Calling" which sounds a little bit better than my heavily played original copy which is now an improbable 37 years old; and Johnny Cash's first record he made with Rick Rubin near the end of his hard lived, much appreciated life.

You know what all that music has done for me this Christmas? It has all made me feel good. Music is good for your life whether you play it or listen to it. Music is one of the few things that separate us humans from other life forms, like all the assholes lined up to see the latest Star Wars shit.

Turn it up, motherfuckers.


RossK said...

London Calling is turning thirty-seven?

Holy Moly.

That's about four hundred seventy-eight in Big Star years.

And, speaking of years, and weird life forms, and the Dictators and all that....Isn't it about time you went east instead of south on your next vacation so that you can drink beer at Handsome Dick Manitoba's place in Alphabet City?


theo said...

Happy New Year, Beer. I do a radio program in the wee hours of Thursday mornings here in Calgary. When it comes to music and its history I know fuck all because I have a brain that makes boiled cabbage appear diamond hard by comparison. I can’t remember much. When I saw your recollections about Lemmy, I liked your comment about passing out listening to Hall of the Mountain Grill so when I was scripting my next show I had to use it. My show is 3.5 hours so it’s mostly music and because I like everything I play everything. Metal to Mozart is one slogan. Anyway, besides the music I am establishing a science fiction/fantasy universe through my theo the DJ character and his 17 solar avatar co-hosts. My co-hosts are two dimensional cartoon characters and they talk to me through word balloons which I then pass on to the listeners. Here’s my opening lines:

“Good morning World. It is ______ in the morning, MST and this is The Quizzical Suns Musical Revue broadcasting on CJSW, 90.9 fm in the city of Calgree. Hey, it is a new year. 2016. Wow. Made it to another one. This is our 32nd episode and...

...oh, excuse me...

I am theo, your host and interlocutor for my 17 co-hosts on this show. Amazingly enough, my co-hosts, the quizzical suns are here. Is this because you guys made a New Year’s resolution?

You don’t concern yourself with other dimensional traditions you say? Well, you are visiting this dimension. It doesn’t hurt to show a little respect. If nothing else, it’s an excuse to party.

Oh right. There are no Beer Guzzlers in this dimension. Well, not in the form you can mind meld with anyway. Fine. Be standoffish. Regardless, you are here so thank you for that. I think. Your music bot gave me another fine list of suggestions for music to play. Shall we play...

...no, we are not going to be doing a Lemmy Kilmister tribute show. We are leaving that to the metal shows here on the station. We are multi-genre, remember?

Oh very well. I hate it when you all cry. We shall go into the proverbial wayback machine and pluck a few tunes from the album a friend of mine said he fell asleep bombed out of his mind to a hundred times - Hall of the Mountain Grill. My friend’s name is “Beer” by the way. I’m sure you lot approve... ”

Hawkwind - Hall of the Mountain Grill

2 - Winds of Change (5:12)

5 - You’d Better Believe It (7:14)
7 - Lost Johnny (3:30)

My co-hosts are rabid metal freaks - preferably death metal - and my character - not so much so there is always a bone of contention in the show. So thank you for providing some history I could use in an entertaining way. After the set they come on to complain that the music was not metal and we still have to play a metal set in the show. Which is done:

“Salutations dear listener. Our last set was from Bleeders Digest, the sequel album to the 2006 vampire inspired album Impeccable Blahs by Say Hi, aka Eric Elbogen. Vampire romance synth rock. Sweet. From the album we heard Pirates of the Suburbs, Volcanoes Erupt and lastly, It’s a Hunger. Speaking of hunger I wonder if my co-hosts are starting to jones for their metal fix. They have not returned to the on-air booth yet. HEY SOLAR METALHEADS, YOU’RE GOING TO MISS...

...Hello. There you are. All eager, bright and...

...quizzical. How marvelous it is to see you. Yes, we are going to play our metal set now. Given the unfortunate passing of Lemmy I thought we should go back to 1981 and Motorhead’s live album No Sleep ’Til Hammersmith and play some tracks from the band that re-energized heavy metal in Britain... ”

Motörhead - No Sleep ’Til Hammersmith
- Ace of Spades (3:01)
- Iron Horse (3:58)

- Overkill (5:13) 8
- The Roadcrew (3:32)

- Bomber (3:24)

- Over The Top (3:03)

I hope I haven’t bored you to tears with this rather long message, Beer. Instead, I hope it amused you.

(geezer in training for 66 years now)*

* I stole that line from another buddy. I am just such a plagiarizing asshole…
… well actually, his says 72 years - so, creative plagiarizing asshole.

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

Gazz - I'd be right at home in Manitoba's but as far as going east goes the east end of Wells, B.C. suits me fine.

Fleury - We share a love of late night radio. She was previous mistress of mine. If it is volunteer radio send me the call letters. May I request that you play the entirety of Hawkwind's "Space Ritual?" Dedicated to Ian Tyson.

RossK said...

Make Mr. Manitoba an offer...You might be able to get him to meet you halfway in, say, Bismarck North Dakota...After all, rumour has it that the Dictators are touring again.


Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

Fleury - Your whole did not reveal itself to me before I published it. I will try and look up your show. Nothing wrong with a little death metal. The provincial anthem of Alberta should be death metal.

Gazz - Saw the Dics in '93 at the Pump. One of the best and funniest shows ever. They go over pretty well with the festival crowds I hear. They are the Rude Norton of New York City.

theo said...

Beer - Interesting request. I wonder if we have the original vinyl in our Library. Shall have to check. Regardless, I had not thought about playing a whole album. It’s a good thought and my time slot is the only place one could do it. I will get back to you.

motorcycleguy said...

My Transformer album is still ok...jeez, how old is that if London Calling is 37? How does a piece of plastic survive all those years of dragging the hardest substance known to man across it? Kind of like Christy Clark and her entourage. Full disclosure, never did get right into death metal...not for lack of exposure. Nephews are getting me into new wave death metal, Goons of Doom, Broken Ohms, etc. I did get a great condition Hawkwind a few Record Store Day's ago. It might be their first, before Lemmy. Self-titled album, I thought it was a real find but looks like it is a re-release. Mrs. Motorcycleguy's daughter is going to school in Alphabet City, I will get her to go to Manitoba's for me. I know Mr. Beer has talked about that place before. If you take a bit more southerly route to AC (or a direct route to DeLand Florida), Joplin Mo. on Route 66 would be halfway....about as far as that old shovelhead would take me now I fear. There are a few Ian Tyson on the shelf so I need to listen to a few tracks off that album you dedicated. Happy New Year Mr. Beer and all others here.