[This is the first in a new series, a series of recollections about some of the songs, albums and music that had a lasting impact over the years, decades, and any stories associated with the music, taken directly from journal entries and written sometime later – in most cases, quite a bit later. For instance…]
From Sept. 29, 2014…
In October, 1975, ELO’s new album Face the Music had been released the previous month and the first single from the album was “Evil Woman” which was all over the radio. Everywhere. Actually, it was kind of inescapable, which was fine, almost as much as The Eagles’ “Lyin’ Eyes” was also pretty much inescapable, which was not fine. “Lyin’ Eyes” was also released in September, then “Take It to the Limit” followed in November, inescapable as well. If there is any song I can’t stand as much as “Lyin’ Eyes” it would take me a very long time to think of what that song might be. I know Erin thinks “Jessie’s Girl” is the worst song ever recorded but it’s not. Rick Dees’ “Disco Duck” will forever hold that title until someone comes along and does a cover version of it. I will gladly listen to “Jessie’s Girl”, particularly from the scene in Boogie Nights (and think fondly of 1982), before I listen, willingly, to “Lyin’ Eyes”. If I never heard “Lyin’ Eyes” ever again, I would not miss it one bit and would consider it some sort of minor miracle, but I know I won’t be so lucky. Some cover band at the Little Bear (Evergreen) is going to play it when we’re there on a Saturday afternoon – “I just know it!”
Of course, the real reason I can’t stand that song as much as I do is because it was sooooo overplayed on the radio, because that’s what mainstream radio does, especially so in the 1970s. Yeah, Eagles, then Fleetwood Mac – ubiquitous would be the word, from 1975-1978, except I always liked Fleetwood Mac. Good word, ubiquitous. As it relates to the airwaves it means… inescapable. That fall, more and more of Fleetwood Mac’s self-titled album was coming out as singles – first “Over My Head”, then “Warm Ways” and “Rhiannon” came out after the new year. I had that album on cassette tape back then and I’m sure I wore the damn thing out.
Back in the dorm – Coleman Hall at Texas Tech in Lubbock – my freshman year roommate Tony loved the Eagles and I remember him telling me early on in the first semester that his favorite song was “Peaceful Easy Feeling”. “Peaceful Queasy Feeling” is what I used to call it… as in “‘Cause I get a peaceful queasy feeling, and I know you’re feelin’ it too…” So I was never what you would call a big fan of the Eagles… until Joe Walsh joined them on Hotel California. Before that, “Bitter Creek” was probably my favorite song from them. “Ol’ 55” from On the Border is another fave. But if I was going to do the country rock thing in the early 70s, the majority of the time I listened to Poco. Other than Hotel California, I like Don Henley’s solo albums better.
I think at one point I must have been going back to Dallas every weekend that first semester when there wasn’t a football game in Lubbock. The most harrowing trip, and certainly the quickest – and the most harrowing trip because it was the quickest – was the time I got a ride off the ride board with this guy who drove a GMC pickup truck whose CB handle was the “Virgin Surgeon”. “10-4, good buddy”. I remember hearing a couple of songs off Elton John’s new album Rock of the Westies – “Street Kids” and “Island Girl” – and I know I heard plenty of Eagles on this trip, including the aforementioned “Lyin’ Eyes” (on 8-track tape no less!) in between the random squawks coming from the obnoxious CB as I watched the mesquite trees whizzing by us and behind us out the passenger-side window. Cruising along at speeds of 95-110 mph we went from Lubbock to Dallas in just under 3 1/2 hours when it usually takes 5 1/2 to 6, and this was when the speed limit was 55 (thank you, Nixon!). The Tech ride board was always kind of like the proverbial “box of chocolates” – you never knew what you were gonna get – and then there was still the return trip back to Lubbock to look forward to.
Nights on Venus News:
New music is coming soon, very soon. This month. Currently putting finishing touches on “Planetary Reset” before mastering – full title “Planetary Reset (I. Entropy II. Attrition III. The Disinformationists/Reset)” – all 11:52 of it. This will be the first advance track off the new full album, as yet untitled, coming later in the year.
‘Til then you can find all of Nights on Venus releases on iTunes, Bandcamp,and Amazon for downloads; Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal among others for streaming. I am everywhere, ubiquitous… except on radio.