A Change in the Wind

‘Turn to Stone’ is a song that was performed by Joe Walsh and his band Barnstorm, and it was written by Terry Trabandt, and Walsh.  The song was originally released on the band’s debut album Barnstorm in 1972.  Barnstorm was a trio like the James Gang and it consisted of Joe Walsh, Kenny Passarelli and Joe Vitale.  Joe Walsh was a student at Kent State when the 1970 shooting took place involving the Ohio National Guard who opened fire on a student protest, killing four.  This violent experience traumatized Joe, leading him to quit school and abandon his English degree in pursuit of making music.  ‘Turn to Stone’ was written about the Nixon administration and the Vietnam War and the protesting that was going on, so it’s a song about frustration.  Joe said that it felt like the government’s priority was not the population, as they had an agenda that was about something other than doing what was necessarily good for the country.  I read that the phrase “turn to stone” means that someone died, as now all that is left is a gravestone.

Terry Trabandt was the bass player in the Rationals who were from Ann Arbor, Michigan and fronted by Scott Morgan.  Their two most successful records were covers of Otis Redding’s ‘Respect’ (which pre-dated Aretha Franklin’s more famous version) and Chuck Jackson’s ‘I Need You’ (written by Goffin and King).  The Rationals jammed with Joe Walsh, and both groups knew Tom Wright, a photographer that was friends with Pete Townsend of the Who.  Tom Wright was present when Terry and Joe jammed and Terry came up with a riff for the song ‘Turn To Stone’.  Joe’s manager Irving Azoff, the man responsible for putting the Eagles together, decided that Joe didn’t really need to pay Terry for that riff, so they took his name off the record.  Since, he’d already sent Terry a Library of Congress copyright form with his name on it, this was a stupid move.  Terry called him on it, and got a really good lawyer, and won, but it was kind of really embarrassing, because Joe had to put Terry’s name on songs which Terry didn’t have anything to do, but this was required as part of the settlement, and they also had to pay him a bunch of money.

Hey now, the well run dry
Pages of your book on fire
Read the writing
On the wall

Hoe down, it’s a show-down
Ev’rywhere you look, we’re fighting
Hear the call

And you know it’s gettin’ stronger
I can’t last very much longer
Turn to stone

Well there’s a change in the wind
You know the signs don’t lie
Such a strange feelin’
And I don’t know why it’s takin’
Such a long time

Backyard people
And they work all day
Tired of the speeches and the way
That the reasons keep changin’
Just to make the words rhyme

And you know it’s gettin’ stronger
Can’t make ‘em run much longer
Turn to stone

Written for Thursday Inspiration #176 Walk Away, where the prompt is head.

5 thoughts on “A Change in the Wind

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