Wednesday, November 01, 2023

Songs I'd Forgotten Existed, Let Alone Loved: Special "Thank You, I'm Here All Week" Edition

From 1970, please enjoy The Flying Burrito Brothers -- with special guest comedian(!) John Byner(!!) -- and their quite remarkable video for the shoulda-been-a-hit-single "Older Guys."

The song itself is non-pareil, of course, and probably the only thing to come out of the whole LA country-rock scene of the period that could qualify as proto-power pop (those eighth notes! those harmonies!). You can particularly hear that in the splendid 1988 cover by the tragically underrated The Skeletons, a/ka/a the pride of Springfield, Missouri, but they're a subject for another post.

As for the Burritos video, it's kind of startling and hilarious to see the song's composer, the late great Gram Parsons, doing a piss-take Mick Jagger impression; I had no idea the guy had it in him. And of course, any glimpse (however briefly) of Byner, who remains one of my favorite hipper-than-you-suspected comedians of the late Sixties/early Seventies, is a thrill. Hey -- try the veal!

[h/t Mike Bieber]


Gummo said...

I'd love to know what TV show that video came from.

J. Loslo said...

Maybe I'm unclear on the concept, but I've always thought of the Burrito Brothers cover of Gene Clark's Tried So Hard as kind of proto-power pop.

Anonymous said...

Btw, byner is living in N Florida around Daytona. He plays golf with my bass players dad. Both of em are full MAGA 😉

Anonymous said...

Both the FBB song and video are wonderful, and the Skeletons version is fun. Thanks for the tip.

- Paul in DK

steve simels said...

I am saddened to hear Byner has turned into an asshole old man. I always figured he was one of the good ones.

steve simels said...

J. Loslo -- now that you mention it, I kind of agree with you about "Tried so Hard."

MJConroy said...

Gummo -
The TV show was "Something Else" hosted by Byner. Here is a clip of Crabby Appleton doing "Go Back" on that show, complete with the show intro.

M_Sharp said...

Wow! It's hard to believe that the same band recorded "Sin City"! I knew The Skeletons version, but I never would have guessed it was a FBB original.

neal t said...

read bio of T Monk & his agent also represented J Byner. Bizaar or what?!

Skeletons r my faves. Players my wedding. Saw them in one configuration or another couple hundred times. have ton of life stuff. Lou Whitney a personal Mt Rushmore friend n hero.

neal t said...

played :) & were players

pete said...

If only those early FBB records had been better produced.

Marc said...

Well, GP did spend a lot of time hanging with Keef, so I'm sure he had opportunities to observe Mick up close. Thanks for posting this -- I'm pretty sure I'd never heard it even though I'm generally a fan of the Burritos and Parsons in general. The Skeletons' version is great as well, and I look forward to your post on them.


Anonymous said...

I miss one day of the blog and come back to see one of my fave bands, the Skeletons, featured. I'd been a Gram fan since finding a scratched-up jukebox 45, at a swap meet in the early or mid 80s, of In My Hour Of Darkness/Love Hurts (still my fave 45 of all time, and I digitized it, hiss and scratches 'n' all), but had somehow never gotten around to listening to the Burritos. And I searched years for In The Flesh after my best bud got a copy; eventually I found my own in S.F., but was delighted when it came out on CD (with Rockin' Bones tacked on as a bonus!). I was shocked later when I found out Older Guys was a FBB cover because it's a perfect pop song.
Neal T., thanks for the Skeletons links. I've got some of the live stuff that's found itself on the netz, but am always happy to hear more Skeletons and Morells.
C in California

Anonymous said...

There’s no mistaking who the star is in the Flying Burrito Brothers. He’s the one that’s having the most fun. The camera adores him. And so do I. He beams charisma as bright as a quasar.

Bernie and Chris are great on this track. The band’s idiosyncratic rough edges convey an authentic boozy looseness. For a studio recording it’s very in the moment.

The Skeletons are an alright band. One of the few bright spots of that era. Their cover is admirable but lacks the loose, spontaneous feel of the original. Plus, there is no charismatic star in the line-up. They hit all the notes precisely and in rehearsed fashion, which doesn’t help. I’m sure this would be better in a live setting. Which is not to say it’s bad.

I saw one of Lou Whitney’s earlier bands, the Symptoms, quite by accident. Sandy and I planned to make a trip to Lafayette, Indiana to visit some post-graduate friends of ours at Purdue. But our car broke down in Springfield, Missouri off of I-44. A couple of cute guys rescued us. The mechanic said it would take a couple of days to get it fixed. The guys offered to put us up at their house. They were friendly and like-minded. The vibes were good, there was chemistry in our conversations. So we took ‘em up on it. In exchange for their good deeds, we offered to buy them dinner at any place of their choosing. Both of them had these very charming quasi-southern accents. And they had a really tits 1970 gun metal gray Mach 1 with a 428 Cobra. That car rumbled like a sex toy. Like a Harley between my thighs. Link Wray on full tremelo.

We wound up at a restaurant called the Shady Inn. It was dim lit and comfy. We all had prime rib dinners, which is what they were known for. After we ordered, Sandy and I compared notes during a ladies room trip. We laughed and nicknamed them Starsky and Hutch. Only behind their backs, mind you. Frankly, they were better looking, especially the Starsky dude. He was way more handsome than that overwrought dip shit that played him on TV. Taller too. They met our standards. And I know we met theirs. It was obvious that we were all going to end up in bed in one configuration or another.

After dinner they wanted to show us the town. We agreed, as long as we footed the tab. I had $15,000 inside an envelope in my purse and my dad’s Derringer in case there was any trouble. We had so much fun with these guys that, when the car was fixed, we decided to stay in Springfield and shit-canned our plans for Lafayette.

During our time there we went to a lot of different restaurants. There were some seriously good barbecue places there. And we went to Red’s off Route 66 a couple of times. We saw the Symptoms at a place off Route 66 too. I can’t recall the name of the place right now. It might have been the Ritz, or something like that. When we saw them they played mostly covers. We also saw Skynyrd play at SMU during our short episode there. Fun, free-spirited times. Eternal memories.