Well, it's Friday, and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental tater tot Fah Lo Suee and I are off to Hollywood, where we're going to try to interest the folks at HBO about a movie based on the current Mitt Romney presidential campaign.
We're trying to get Lyle Waggoner to play Mitt.
Hey, I thought Lyle was dead too, but according to Wiki, it turns out "he currently resides near Jackson, Wyoming where he is a sculptor. His works can be seen at Galleries West Fine Art in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and are usually humorous renditions of lovely ladies some of which are cast at Eagle Bronze in Lander, Wyoming."
In any event, given that (unless something untoward happens) things are sure to be a little quiet around here for a few days, here's a fun and hopefully stimulating little project to help us all wile away the idle hours.
Best/Most Important American Rock Band of the 1970s!!!
No arbitrary rules, except that I'm gonna have to be a Nazi about the whole "rock band" thing. Specifically, Bruce Springsteen is not eligible, given that none of his studio albums have ever been credited to the E Street Band. In other words, for the purposes of our discussion, Bruce is technically a solo artist.
Unlike, say, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, who have numerous albums out under that moniker and who are in fact eligible if you're so moved.
Also, feel free to nominate The Eagles. However, be aware that if you do I will come to your house and taunt you mercilessly.
And my totally top of my head Top Five is/are:
5. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Petty has pissed me off a couple of times over the years -- a Confederate flag as a stage prop? A duet with Stevie Nicks? -- but those first couple of albums were inarguable. Plus, the band was drop dread great live as you can hear from the above version of "American Girl," recorded in their prime. I saw them in a club around the same time as this -- dressed all in black, amps up to eleven, and they were simply devastating.
4. Talking Heads
I succumbed to these guys charms later than most people, and I still think that a lot of David Byrne's anxiety attacks set to music are a tad pretentious, but c'mon. What a body of work.
Plus -- Tina Weymouth, or as we used to call her around Casa Simels, "Marianne Faithfull in a trash compactor."
Also -- yes, I know this album came out in 1980, but since my then girlfriend did the album cover I'm letting it slide.
3. The Ramones
Mentioned this a few weeks ago, but very few pop musicians in any genre get to invent an entire sound. Chuck Berry, The Beach Boys, and The Byrds come to mind, and yes, this bunch of loveable pinheads accomplished exactly that.
2. Steely Dan
By the time they entered their smooth jazz period I kind of lost interest, but in the beginning at least the Dan a) had the hottest guitars that ever managed to get on Top 40 radio, and b) wrote more interesting songs (based on personal experiences) that nobody (besides the authors themselves) actually quite understood what they were about than anybody in rock history.
And the Numero Uno made-in-the-USA outfit of that miserable and unlamented decade simply has to be...
The greatest two-guitar front line band ever. My early 80s skinny tie group used to do a killer version of "Ain't That Nothin'", but no matter how hard we tried, we never could get that guitar riff from "See No Evil." And I've never heard anybody else who could do it, either.
Alrighty then -- who would YOUR choices be?