Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

I'm sure I've told this story before, but Keith Richards was once asked if he really thought the Stones were, as advertised, the greatest rock n roll band in the world. Keith modestly allowed that perhaps on a good night maybe they were, but that most times, on any other given night, somebody (not necessarily famous) somewhere else deserved the appellation.

In that spirit, then, please enjoy John Hiatt's astounding ode to generational continuity, "Your Dad Did." Recorded during a breathless four day 1987 session, with hardly any overdubbing, when Hiatt and his sidemen -- Nick Lowe on bass, Ry Cooder on guitar, and Jim Keltner on drums -- unquestionably were the greatest rock n roll band in the world.

Seriously -- everything about this track is perfect, starting with this verse.

Well the sun comes up and you stare your cup of coffee, yup
Right through the kitchen floor
And you feel like hell so you might as well get out and sell
Your smart ass door to door
And your mrs. wears her robe slightly undone
As your daughter dumps her oatmeal on your son
And you keep it hid
Just like your dad did

And just it keeps getting better from there; don't even get me started on the hilariously cheesy sitar that illustrates the line about the starving children in the last one.


Anonymous said...

Great record - that and "Riding With The King" (last record made before he sobered up) - are my favorite 2 Hiatt records. Saw JH at a summer festival a couple of years ago with my main man Alejandro Escovedo opening, and wondered if anybody else realized that they both had been serious boozers, and had both lost a wife to suicide. (Such a cheery guy I am...) - bill buckner

dave™© said...

I still think Hiatt's greatest was "Slug Line".

steve simels said...

If we're talking early Hiatt, for sheer sick hilarity, you can't beat "She Loves the Jerk" or "You May Already Be a Winner."

Sean said...

Great song. True lyrics with great essence to it. Thanks for turning me on to Hiatt.

TMink said...

Hiatt seriously rocks. I thought he got sober earlier than that. I hope he lives long and records much, cause then we will all prosper.