December, 2010 browsing by month


I Owe My Music Career To Bob Seger

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

My first musical memory dates back to this man singing Old Time Rock and Roll when I was 5 years old. I always remember my mother playing her albums very loud at our first house on Lookout Ave in Hackensack, NJ. This consisted of A LOT of Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Jackson Browne, The Allman Brothers, and Bob Seger.

Bob Seger

Bob Seger rockin' et

I would always pretend I was playing along and my mom would get a kick out of me air-guitaring around the living room in my knee-high tube socks and velcro sneakers. The more she laughed, the more I would get into it.

Sometime in 1984, we were lucky enough to borrow my Aunt’s huge Panasonic video camera. My mom put on Old Time Rock and Roll by Bob Seger and I started to perform. Starting with air-guitar, then quickly working my way to the air-sax solo, I was owning it! My mom still plays the tape for me every few years to remind me how and when it all started.

So my connection with the man runs deep and I owe my interest in rock music to this dude. But now, my new band Joe Wilson and The Loose Ends are taking it to a new level of appreciation.

The first cover song that we learned was not a Springsteen tune (though we’re named after one of his songs…) but the Seger epic-bar-band-tune Rock and Roll Never Forgets. This song is built to be played in small bars around the country. It hits like a freight train and doesn’t stop until the last chord of the song rings out. I absolutely LOVE playing this song live. The reaction from the crowd is always a good one and I can feel the band fall in to place by the verse, just rocking the hell out of it.

Like most Springsteen tunes, this one speaks to me on a personal level. The line:

“So now sweet sixteens turned thirty-one
You get to feelin’ weary when the work days done
Well all you got to do is get up and into your kicks
If you’re in a fix
Come back baby
Rock and roll never forgets

Just rocks me to my core. I started playing in bands when I was 15, and since I just turned 30 in November… This is the story of my life. I remember being 15 and just beginning to learn how to play guitar and having these romantic ideas of what it would be like to play in a band. Fast forward 15 years, and here I am, with the same kind of dreams, only now they’re bigger. For most of my life, I’ve always turned to music to get me through the hard times. That’s exactly what Bob is saying in this tune. No matter what gets you down, you can always turn to music to feel young and forget your worries.

Whenever we play this song (usually at the end of our set), I’m hoping it’s hitting home with someone in the crowd as well. That they’re experiencing the same thing, at the same time, and we’re sharing this together. An idea they can take home with them, though, since they’re at the show in the first place, they probably already understand the true healing power of music.

No Talent Ass Clown Messes Up National Anthem

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

If you’re looking for a good laugh, watch Michael Bolton forget the words to the Star-Spangled Banner around 45 seconds deep, and the look of terror on his face at 55 seconds after checking his finger cheat sheet. My favorite part is the smirking cop in the background. But somehow, his sultry man-voice wins over the crowd towards the end. They go from hate to love in about 60 seconds.

Now, watch Marvin Gaye show us how to do it.

Losin’ Kind – The Bruce Springsteen Nebraska Demos

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

This is the first official blog (outside of MySpace) that I will attempt to keep up with.  I’d like to talk about a bunch of different topics here, but mostly it will be music – and at that, music with meaning.  Anyone that’s ever wondered where any of my songs came from, this is where you’ll get an idea of what has moved me musically.

With that, a Twitter friend of mine gave me a heads up on where to find the Bruce Springsteen Nebraska Demos.

Bruce Springsteen Nebraska Demos

Bruce Springsteen Nebraska Demos

Bruce has been on a roll lately with releasing music from the vaults. “Tracks” contains 66 throwaway tunes, (some are better than anything you would hear from any other artist), and the newly released “The Promise” featuring 22 unreleased tunes from the “Darkness on the Edge of Town” sessions. I almost get angry when I hear some of these songs, like The Promise and The Brokenhearted, wondering how you can write such beautiful songs and never release them.

While listening through the Nebraska demos, a song leapt out at me. The song was Losin’ Kind.

Nebraska is full of these types of songs, so I can see where his mind was when he was writing this. But there’s something about the imagery in this song that gives me chills. As if Nebraska or Highway Patrolman don’t do that every time I hear them… or any song on the Ghosts of Tom Joad record… I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’m hearing this for the first time now, 30 years after it was recorded. This song evokes such a feeling and I’m just angry I’ve lived my life without it so far.

Though, it’s just got to be the story. How he tells a life lesson in under 5 minutes, starting with a random encounter where the main character, Frank Davis meets his fate (a girl) outside a bar. The two immediately get into some “trouble” and are on the run together within the same night. He’s telling it in the first person, as if he’s recounting the story as a confession from a jail cell. Throughout the story, it’s evident that he knows he’s “messin’ with the losin’ kind”.

I’ve been in these kinds of situations more than I would like to admit. Where you know you’re messing with the wrong kind of gal, but you keep going with it, just hoping for the best. I guess hindsight is always 20/20.

Having this kind of personal connection with Bruce’s music happens all the time, especially when I hear a song for the first time and can immediately relate to it somehow. But the beauty of it is how he creates this beautifully heartbreaking story to convey the message. He’s a true storyteller.

The lyrics, according to, are as follows:

“My name is Frank Davis, drive a Dixie 109
I was out on Highway 17, just south of the Camden Line
It was down there in the heart of Wilsonville where I met my fate
She was standing outside the bar room said she was waiting for a date
But I knew that that was just a line
And I knew I was messin’ with a losin’ kind

Well I knew what we were both doin’ and I knew that you can’t win
But when the light turned green, I reached across the seat, popped the lock and she slid in
She said she liked Mexican music, she knew a place if I had the time
Well we had a few drinks and we danced a while, I pulled her close, she didn’t mind
And what I knew kinda slipped my mind
And I couldn’t resist her messin’ with the losin’ kind

Well we drove around in my Buick, getting drunk and having fun
Well we ended up at this Best Western out on Highway 101
It was around 3 A.M. we went out to this empty little roadside bar
It was there the cash register was open, it was there I hit that guy too hard
But I knew when I hit him for the second time
That one attracts the other when you’re the losin’ kind

Well I grabbed her hand to get out of there and I felt like I was gonna be sick
And half hour later the sleet started coming down and that highway got pretty slick
I seen some lights in my rearview mirror, I guess I panicked and I gave her a gun
Well then I wrapped us around a telephone pole south on Highway 101
Well she just stumbled out onto the bank and sat down in a pout
Well I kicked out the driver side window but buddy when I got out
Well all I had to greet me was a highway patrolman’s .45
He looked at the wreck and then he said “Son you’re lucky to be alive”

Well sir I’ll think that one over if you don’t mind
Now luck ain’t much good to you when it’s the losin’ kind”

Another song you just sit on and never let see the light of day, right?