Rock-and-roll, a very wise person once said, is primarily about moving large black boxes in the back of your car from one side of town to another. That being the case, I have rarely regretted the fact that I have not had an occasion to appear on a stage, playing rock-and-roll, for any reason whatsoever since the mid-90s.
I mean, sheesh -- I'm incredibly old, and my back is fricking killing me.
That said, if I were to feel the need to shlep equipment at any time in the future, it would be for the opportunity to play a song like this one again.
Ladies and germs, please enjoy Gerry Devine and the Hi-Beams -- from the sessions for a live radio broadcast on WDST in Woodstock on August 17th 1995 emanating from the fabulous Tinker Street Cafe -- and their spirited rendition of the fiendishly catchy "That's What I Want."
Featuring some guy whose name rhymes with Sleeve Nimels on bass (apologies for the flubs) and occasional harmony vocals.
The song itself is by a guy named Mark Johnson, who was a fixture in the Village in the late 70s and early 80s, and who I thought at the time, of all the folks who featured in the Bleecker Street revival of the day -- which included Shawn Colvin, The Smithereens, Chris Whitley, Willie Nile, The Roches and Suzanne Vega -- was by far the most abundantly talented. A natural born songwriter -- Dave Edmunds and Robert Gordon recorded some of his tunes -- and a riveting singer and stage presence, he really should have been a contender; why he wasn't comes down to the usual demons and/or bad luck blah blah blah, but he's still active and pretty much one of the genuine underground legends of power pop. You can find out more about him here; he's also got an official website, which behooves beholding.
As for the above performance, it dawned on me as I was listening to the just made mp3 transfer today that it marked the very last notes the Hi-Beams played together as a band. Thank god it sounds like we were still having fun, to which I can attest -- emphatically -- that we were.