Michael Jackson walked into an oasis where a Bedouin was drinking with his camel and he asks the Bedouin if he can buy the camel to finish his trip across the desert.  The Bedouin told Michael that he could have the camel if he could tell him how a camel hides out in the desert.  Michael said that the camel uses camouflage.  Michael said that he could make a crocodile smile and a kookaburra laugh and he asked the Bedouin, “What do you call a camel with no humps?”  The Bedouin gave up and Michael said, “Humphrey.”  Michael said, “When I bring the camel back, where should I park it?”, and the Bedouin replied, “Put it back in the Camelot.”

My Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music challenge Midnight at the Oasis re-blog went to the wrong website, and I guess that you only get one, so this is a bit different, but if you want to read the whole post, then go here.

Get Some Satisfaction

Eric Clapton released ‘After Midnight’ on his 1970 solo eponymous album.  The song charted #18 in the US and it was written by J.J. Cale.  Some sources incorrectly report his given name as Jean Jacques Cale, but he was born John Weldon Cale.  Cale was nicknamed “J.J.” by Elmer Valentine, the co-owner of the Sunset Strip nightclub, the Whisky a Go Go, The Roxy, and The Rainbow, to avoid confusion with the Velvet Underground’s John Cale.  Cale’s stuff didn’t age, it just got better over time, like a fine wine.  Cale followed his friend Leon Russell from Tulsa to California.  The Oklahoma songwriter and guitarist J.J. Cale wrote the first version of ‘After Midnight’ as a single which was an up-tempo rendition that he recorded with his band, the Leathercoated Minds.  The Leathercoated Minds were a Los Angeles studio-only group, formed for the express purpose of exploiting both the sound and image of the L.A. psychedelic scene circa 1966-1967.  ‘After Midnight’ was released in 1966 as the B-side of a song called ‘Slow Motion’.  This was produced by Snuff Garrett, owner of the Viva label, with Cale as staff producer and Bryan Hyland the guy who sang ‘Sealed with a Kiss’ chipping in.

The Leathercoated Minds sole album was A Trip Down the Sunset Strip, which was issued in 1967 and contained popular cover songs.  Collectors have interest in this record, because of the filler instrumentals which were written by a young J.J. Cale, who also produced and played guitar on the album.  J.J. Cale’s original version of ‘After Midnight’ existed as an instrumental for a while before he came up with a lyric for it.  Cale said that he finally got the idea for the words when he was playing a show in Atlanta and someone shouted, “Let it all hang out.”  Garrett hired the little-known musician named J.J. Cale to produce the album and play lead guitar, and no one knows for sure just who Cale’s studio partners were, besides Roger Tillison on vocals, although Cale’s buddy Leon Russell is probably playing keyboards.  Tillison was arguably a leading edge of the music that is now called Americana, and he was another singer and songwriter from Oklahoma, that was part of the Tulsa scene which included J.J. Cale, Leon Russell, Jim Keltner, and Jesse Ed Davis.

Cale recorded ‘After Midnight’ again on his debut studio album Naturally which was released in 1972.  This album featured Carl Radle on bass.  Carl Radle was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and he became friends with other Tulsa musicians including David Gates, later of Bread, Leon Russell and JJ Cale.  When Russell moved to California, Radle followed and played in clubs.  Radle is probably best known for his long association with Eric Clapton, starting in 1969 with Delaney and Bonnie and Friends and continuing in 1970 with Derek and the Dominos. Radle played ‘After Midnight’ for Eric Clapton when he needed another song for his debut album.  Clapton was immediately smitten, and chose to record it.  Clapton went with a more laid-back approach to this song.

Cale was never as well-known as his songs were.  He never sold a lot of records, but his music became much more famous than he did.  Many well-known performers have recorded his songs including Eric Clapton and Nazareth both covering ‘Cocaine’, Waylon Jennings and Dr. Hook both covered ‘Clyde’, Carlos Santana with ‘The Sensitive Kind’, Cissy Houston ‘Cajun Moon’, Captain Beefheart and Bobby Bland both covered ‘I Got the Same Old Blues’, Chet Atkins and Jerry Garcia ‘After Midnight’, Kansas recorded ‘Bringing It Back’, Poco recorded ‘Magnolia’, Lynyrd Skynyrd, John Mayer and Bobby Bare all did ‘Call Me the Breeze’, Tom Petty recorded ‘I’d Like to Love You, Baby’ and Widespread Panic did ‘Ride Me High’ and ‘Travelin’ Light’.  The Allman Brothers, Dan Auerbach, The Band, Beck, Band of Horses, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Johnny Cash, Randy Crawford, Jose Feliciano, Lee Fields, George Thorogood & The Destroyers, Hiss Golden Messenger, Kansas, Freddie King, John Mayall, John Mayer, Maria Muldaur, Nazareth, Phish, Johnny Rivers, Spiritualized, Lucinda Williams, Neil Young, and many more have covered his timeless music.

Clapton’s cover was a very big deal for Cale, who seemed to have an aversion to fame and was going through serious financial difficulties.  Cale recalled to Mojo magazine in September 2009 that when he heard Clapton’s version playing on his radio, “I was dirt poor, not making enough to eat and I wasn’t a young man.  I was in my thirties, so I was very happy.  It was nice to make some money.”  The song, made the Billboard Top 20 and was Clapton’s first major hit as a solo artist.  It also secured Cale’s musical and financial future.  Clapton covering this song helped Cale stay in the music business, as he was about ready to get out at the time and was only playing Friday and Saturday nights while looking for a day job.

J.J. Cale died on July 26, 2013 in Los Angeles after suffering a heart attack at the age of 74.  J.J. was married to Christine Lakeland his long-time guitarist, and muse, who was his companion for 36 years.  She met J.J. a couple of years after she graduated high school while she was working road gigs, in Nashville, where they were both living.  Her first recorded appearance with Cale came on his 1979 album, 5, although she had been a member of the touring band for three years prior to that.  Being a rather cloistered artist like J.J., no confirmation was ever made of their actual relationship until the printing of his obituary.  Cale won a Grammy Award for best contemporary blues album for The Road to Escondido, a recording he made in 2006 with Clapton.

After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang down
After midnight, we’re gonna chug-a-lug and shout
We’re gonna stimulate some action
We’re gonna get some satisfaction
We’re gonna find out what it is all about
After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang down

After midnight, we’re gonna shake your tambourine
After midnight, it’s all gonna be peaches and cream
We’re gonna cause talk and suspicion
We’re gonna give an exhibition
We’re gonna find out what it is all about
After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang down

After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang down

After midnight, we’re gonna shake your tambourine
After midnight, it’s all gonna be peaches and cream
We’re gonna cause talk and suspicion
We’re gonna give an exhibition
We’re gonna find out what it is all about
After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang down

After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang down
After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang down
After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang down
After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang down

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music challenge Midnight at the Oasis.

Dear Mr. Fantasy

Take a gander and get to know thyself, a saying that was chiseled into the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Let’s say that you decide to plant some Black-eyed Susan just to try something new in your garden, but at the same time you have a fairly stable idea about what type of person you are, so you open up a can of worms and add them to the soil in order to increase the amount of air and water that gets to your flowers. While you are shopping, you come across a display case of Lazy Susans, those rotating tray turntables that are placed on a table or countertop to aid in distribution of food, or other items. Then the clerk comes along and asks you if you need any help and her nametag says Susan and suddenly there are Susans everywhere. Then you realize that the Black-eyed Susans don’t actually have eyes that are black, as they are more of a purplish-brown and they used to be called the Brown Betty, which is your name. Then just as you thought that things could not get any more confusing, over the intercom you hear the Ram Jam song ‘Black Betty’ playing.

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‘Dear Mr. Fantasy’ is the final track on Side 1 of Traffic’s 1967 debut album of the same name Dear Mr. Fantasy and even though it was never released as a single, it became Traffic’s defining song.  Jim Capaldi wrote the lyrics while Steve Windwood and Chris Wood wrote the music.  Traffic was made up of Jim Capaldi on drums, Steve Winwood on electric guitar and vocals, Chris Wood on organ and multi-instrumentalist Dave Mason on bass.  Jimmy Miller played maracas on this song.  The song appears to be about a tortured artist who sacrifices his own happiness to make the audience happy.  The audience tells the performer, “Sing a song, play guitar, make it snappy” suggesting that the entertainer listen to their demands.

For some unknown reason this audience is gloomy and they feel that the artist is the only one who can make them laugh again.  They begin…

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From Primal Gold Fantasy Petals That Fall

‘What’s Become of The Baby’ was recorded by the Grateful Dead while they were all hooked up to nitrous oxide masks, which made it somewhat unlistenable.  It was written by Hunter and Garcia and the Dead never played this song live in concert, as the band couldn’t quite capture this sound when they were not in the studio.  The only performance of this song took place on April 26, 1969, at the Electric Theater in Chicago where the Dead played a tape recording of this song in an extended encore jam, while they induced feedback and noise through their live instruments.  Jerry Garcia said that he was trying to do something here that they didn’t have the technology to accomplish at the time, as he wanted to open his mouth, and have the collective sound of the entire Grateful Dead emerge with every note he sang.  It is surprising that the Division of Family Services (DFS) did not try to arrest the Grateful Dead after they recorded this song on their 1969 Aoxomoxoa album for not knowing the where abouts of the baby.  However, this song is not about a missing baby and after years of listening to it, I still have no clue what it is about, but it is out there in space somewhere.

Aoxomoxoa is the first album where Robert Hunter contributed as a full-time partner with Jerry and it’s the only album where Jerry sings lead on every song.  ‘What’s Become of The Baby’ is filled with weirdness including random electronic sounds and choppy effects swarming on Garcia’s isolated vocal tracks.  There is no instrumentation here at all.  Garcia’s vocals are put through the effect’s ringer with various echo, delay and reverb to create an outer worldly, acid-laced sound.  The band was very stoned from the nitrous oxide tanks that they brought into the studio and this almost a cappella thing with no discernible beat as the product of this recording session.

Jerry said that in order to make ‘What’s Become of the Baby’ work, you have to get a tank of nitrous oxide.  Despite Garcia’s optimism, even the most hardcore Deadheads consider this song to be too far out for them to listen to more than once.  Aoxomoxoa is as spaced out lyrically as it is sonically, but it was an experiment that seems to have improved over time.  The band spent almost eight months in the studio working on the album, which didn’t sell very well, leaving them in debt to Warner Bros to the tune of $180,000.  The Dead struggled to capture their psychedelic visions and create elaborate sonic journeys in the studio, but on stage in concert, they were doing this with ease.  Another nitrous-influenced piece ‘Barbed Wire Whipping Party’ that features a bit of madness was also recorded during the Aoxomoxoa sessions, but it was vetoed from the album at the last second.

Robert Hunter explained some of the background about how this recording came about, saying that Jimi Hendrix was going to come over to the studio, so they decided to get it good and weird so he could hear it.  The timeline that Hunter described fits, as the Dead were working on ‘What’s Become of The Baby’ in the studio in early October 68, and Hendrix played five shows in San Francisco at Winterland during this time.  Hendrix may have vaguely mentioned that he’d drop by the studio, but he never did.  Also, at this time the Dead were pissed off at Hendrix, because he arranged through music promoter Chet Helms for them to jam together and the Dead waited all night in Sausalito for Jimi, but he never showed up.  Hendrix blew them off to be with a girl.  Hunter said that this song was a minuet (a slow, stately ballroom dance for two in triple time, popular especially in the 18th century), but they already had one minuet already on the record, which was ‘Mountains Of The Moon’, so they got really ripped instead and decided to screw around with it.

The Baby in this song, may very well be the grateful Dead themselves, as they were young and just starting out at the time this was written.  Hunter writes, “Go to sleep you child, Dream of never ending always”, which is cryptic, although never ending usually deals with something that is unpleasant, mostly because it does not have an end, so it is like he is telling the child to have a nightmare.  There is line in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, where the Duchess flung this baby or some type of creature at Alice, but when it acted up she set it down and watched it trot away.  Alice was getting used to all of these idiotic and queer things happening around her and then the Cheshire Cat asked, “What became of the baby?”, and she replied that the baby turned into a pig and ran away.  Sunbells could be small flowers that are similar to a petunia, or blue jean bell bottom pants.

Waves of violet go crashing and laughing
Rainbow winged singing birds fly round the sun
Sunbells rain down in a liquid profusion
Mermaids on porpoises draw up the dawn
What’s become of the baby
This cold December morning?
frozen in their flight
drifting to the earth
remnants of forgotten dreaming
answer comes there none
Go to sleep you child
Dream of never ending always
Panes of crystal
Eyes sparkle like waterfalls
lighting the polished ice caverns of Khan
But where in the looking-glass fields of illusion
wandered the child who was perfect as dawn?
What’s become of the Baby
this cold December morning?
rhythms of the sun
all the world revolves
captured in the eye of Odin
Pray where are you now?
All Mohammed’s men
blinded by the sparkling water
Sheherazade gathering stories to tell
from primal gold fantasy petals that fall
But where is the child
who played with the sun chimes
and chased the cloud sheep
to the regions of rhyme?
cries the south wind
Lost in the regions of lead
Shackled by chains of illusion
Delusions of living and dead

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music challenge Dear Mr. Fantasy.

Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

I hope that I am not incorrectly interpreted, please don’t get me wrong.  If you get a misconceived notion of what I said, because you were mixed up, I sincerely hope that does not give you the wrong impression or idea about me.  Perhaps you are mistaken and you have misjudged me, anyway there is a fun challenge going on today and everyone is welcome to participate.

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This song was recorded by the Animals and it came out on their1965 Animal Tracks album.  It reached #3 in the UK and charted #15 in the US.  This single was ranked by Rolling Stone at #322 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.  ‘Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’ was written by Horace Ott, Bennie Benjamin and Sol Marcus. Horace Ott started writing this song while pondering a troublesome time with his girlfriend Gloria Caldwell, as they had just gotten into a heated argument.  Ott sat down at the piano, and he expressed how he was well intentioned, but misunderstood by Gloria, a sentiment that many men can relate to, married or not.  He was unable to finish it, so he took it to his writing partners Bennie Benjamin and Sol Marcus.  The trio finished it in short order, but because they used different publishing…

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Stock and the People Misunderstood

A US Senator dumped up to $1.7 million of stock on February 13 after reassuring the public about coronavirus preparedness.  Intelligence Chair Richard Burr’s selloff came around the time he was receiving daily briefings on the health threat.  The North Carolina Republican had access to the government’s most highly classified information about threats to America’s security and he knew that this would affect the economy.  Lawmakers should not be a VIP group who are allowed to shape their financial fortunes on information that they are withholding from the people.  Burr and his wife pocketed illegal insider trading proceeds and these actions demand criminal investigation, no matter how difficult it is to prove.

The last week of July in 2016 turned out to be veritable treasure trove for Grateful Dead/Jerry Garcia fans as a bevy of previously uncirculated recordings popped up on a website and they are now being shared by deadheads.  It is quite amazing that 50 years later a new Dead song would pop up out of nowhere.  First a batch of Grateful Dead and Garcia/Saunders tapes were released and then seven additional GD and Merl/Jerry recordings surfaced.  The flood of rare recordings continued with the release of six incredibly rare Grateful Dead recordings from 1966.

The six soundtracks that were discovered feature a mix of recording and rehearsal sessions with live performances.  Included within is a previously unheard Grateful Dead song titled ‘Wandering Man’ written by Garcia and Phil Lesh and the recording comes from a Phil Lesh and Jerry Garcia practice session.  It features just two tracks and was taped at an unknown location on an unknown date in 1966.

One reel was labeled “1966 Acid Test #3” and that includes pieces of jams and banter.  Another recording is of the Grateful Dead’s studio rehearsal at The Questing Beast in Berkeley, California from February 5, 1966.  This recording includes banter and two songs ‘Viola Lee Blues’ and ‘Cardboard Cowboy’.  Another previously unknown song comes as part of a reel labeled “L.A. Practice” from March 9, 1966.  The first track features Pigpen on vocals and as of the present time Grateful Dead scholars are trying to figure out its origins.  There’s also a few takes on ‘Who Do You Love’ and some jams.  A practice session from the next day March 10, 1966 includes more banter, and the Dead were working on the song ‘Sitting On Top Of The World’.  Finally, there’s a new version of a set that did circulate in the past which features the Grateful Dead’s opening set at San Francisco’s Avalon Ballroom from May 19, 1966.  This recording was captured by Owsley “Bear” Stanley.

As the Grateful Dead transitioned from psychedelic novelty to legitimate musicians, they began writing their own songs.
‘Wandering Man’ is a tune that never made the cut and it has not seen the light of day, till these recordings recently-surfaced.  ‘Wandering Man’ was pulled from a rehearsal session with just Phil Lesh and Jerry Garcia in 1966.  Very few additional details are available, but the song seems to be in the hollering blues style that influenced a lot of the Dead’s earliest music, with Phil and Jerry noodling and then preparing for a take.  It was presumably written by Phil.

Phil Lesh learned how to play bass after he became a member of The Grateful Dead.  The first song that he rehearsed with the Grateful Dead, who were then called the Warlocks, was ‘I Know You Rider’.  Lesh spotted an album by another band called the Warlocks in a record store in San Francisco in 1965, which led the band to change their name to The Grateful Dead.  Lesh was not a prolific writer, but he wrote, or co-wrote some of the Grateful Dead’s most enduring songs, ‘Box of Rain’, ‘That’s It for the Other One’, ‘Truckin’’, ‘St Stephen’, ‘Cumberland Blues’ and ‘Unbroken Chain’.  Lesh met his wife Jill in 1982, while she was a waitress at a diner that he frequently went to.  Phil and Jill got married in 1984 and they have two sons, Grahame and Brian who have both grown up to be musicians.

When the Grateful Dead were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, Jerry Garcia didn’t show up at the ceremony, boycotting it because he didn’t agree with the concept of a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  The rest of the Dead disagreed, and they brought a cardboard cut-out of the singer onstage.

Oh wandering man’s gotta find you someday
You’ll meet him in old sun row
You’ll tell him the reason you’re running away
From past lives unfilled with love
But you’re trying to accomplish the stock and the people
You’re passing on and swept and
Your temptations are laid in the
Trying to, you lose all the while
Others still looked all around
Others still hacked at colors
Others still you left all fall down

And you don’t know
Going out to Jerusalem
I love you and before
I get loose too and I get

This cottage reserved and quiet
We’re going away cold quiet
Who’ll face to see there’s no way
Away from any play

No real lover, he claims no rhyme
They mean nothing, he has no fine
Trying nothing, he plays no game
Playing nothing, he needs no name

So you don’t know
Going out to Jerusalem
There’s no reason to tell the world

Only you know
And the wise man
Wandering man, wandering man
Wandering man, wandering man

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music challenge Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.

(Fresh Air) Have Another Hit!

Sometimes all you need is the air that you breathe and to love someone.  She took my breath away and when I lost her, it was like living in a world without air.  I can feel it in the air and tonight I will be walking on air.  Bob Weir wanted “Thick air” and producer David Hassinger threw his hands up in the air.  It is about time that I come up for air and let everyone know that for MM Music challenge today you could write about breathing air.

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This song was written by Gary Duncan, and the lyrics are by Jesse Oris Farrow, who is professionally known as Chester William Powers Jr and he also used the stage name of Dino Valenti.  Dino Valenti recently rejoined the San Francisco-based band Quicksilver Messenger Service just before this song was released.  ‘Fresh Air’ was the only single released from the album Just for Love.  The single peaked on November 7, 1970 at No. 49 during a nine-week stay on the Billboard Hot 100, making it the band’s most successful single.  This song featured some of John Cipollina’s best guitar work.

Quicksilver Messenger Service is an American psychedelic rock band formed in 1965 in San Francisco.  All five members of the band were born under the sign of Virgo, which is ruled by Mercury, so they took the name Quicksilver Messenger Service.  The original members of Quicksilver Messenger Service were…

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