Segarini: 30 Great Songs and Performances You’ve Either Never Heard or Have Forgotten About

Once again, I forgot to secure a guest writer for today’s column. I could have sworn yesterday was Sunday, but…well…as you get older, time speeds up, and it’s Friday in 12 hours and I have to step in again. I am absolutely brilliant at creating work for myself, and worse, it’s not enough to just create more work for myself, I also have to make sure that I create a LOT of work for myself.

If I was smart (which I am not) the headline up there would read, “5 Great Songs and Performances” instead of 30.

What set this column in motion (beside the numbskull inability to remember what day it is) was a thread I saw on my Facebook News feed earlier today. It was a pitch for a gathering for songwriters in which one of the posters recommended it to others with the statement, “It will help you write ‘better’ songs”. That statement caught my eye, and without thinking about it, I replied, “Will someone please define ‘better’.

No one did, at least not by the last time I looked.

I in no way meant to demean the poster(s) or the honest sincerity with which they addressed the idea of becoming ‘better’ songwriters, but I still can’t figure out what that means.

By ‘better’ do they mean more successful? More popular? I honestly can’t figure out what ‘better’ means in this context.

My problem with songwriting ‘rules’ or checklists of what it takes to write a good song is that I don’t think there are any rules or a checklist that can help anybody. There’s advice, of course, but by the very nature of creation, that advice would have to be solely applicable to one song or portion of a song, and the specific writer of that song, and only of any value after learning the writer’s goal, what they were trying to put across, and a bunch of other personal information that defined what the writer was trying to accomplish. And, having known great songwriters all my life, I wondered why I had never heard any of them ask for help writing a song unless they were collaborating with someone in which case they wouldn’t ask for or seek help, they would just want their collaborator to pull his share of the weight.

I have had good advice from writers I respect over the years. Guys that have had multiple hits, written songs I loved, and were career writers and not guys that worked at Pep Boys during the day and played in the house band in the Lamplighter Lounge every night at the Holiday Inn. And their advice was never specific to a song (how arrogant that would be) but pretty solid over-all advice I sometimes followed and sometimes didn’t. Tommy Boyce told me to write what I know. That’s good advice, especially when you’re starting out. He also told me to never be clever just to be clever, also good advice. Barry Gibb told me that if it takes more than 3 minutes to say it, don’t. There is, under the right circumstances, some merit to that advice as well. Harry Nilsson once told me that you know when you’ve written a good song when you don’t immediately write another one. Years later, a friend of mine sat me down and played me a bunch of songs he had written recently. He said, “I’ve written 20 songs this month” After I heard them, Harry’s statement rang true. “No you didn’t”, I told my friend, “you wrote one song 20 times”.

Every song I have ever written has been a different experience than the one before. Sometimes I write the chord changes first. Sometimes, a melody will plant its feet in my head and won’t go away. Other times it’s a phrase, or a verse, a riff, or a chorus that pops into my head, and rarely when I’m actually trying to write. I wrote the most successful single the Segarini Band ever had in 5 minutes at a soundcheck. I wrote a song about George Harrison that took me weeks, and I just completed a song I started writing in 1972 that stumped me for months until I gave up, but finished in about 20 minutes in May of this year. Over the years I discovered that I write the songs I like the most in one of two ways. When I have a deadline that is fast approaching to have something written, and when I wait for the muse to strike. I value quality over quantity, and working when the muse is on high is a joy…you can’t write fast enough. The other thing that works for me took years to learn. I don’t recall who suggested it to me (Kashur probably does) but it has turned out to be the best advice I ever got.

Learn how to write in your head.

No instrument. No pen. No paper. No Word doc.

Sounds nuts, but that’s how I have written some of the songs of which I am most proud. And that’s the other thing…I write for me. Not for the audience, not for the musicians, not for my friends. I write for me. I want to write something I love, because I feel that if I don’t love it, then why would anyone else, and more to the point, why would I want to write something for ‘everyone’ when I don’t LIKE everyone and EVERYONE don’t like me? In other words, I have never tried to write a ‘hit’. I have always just wanted to write good songs.

Of course it would be nice if one of them WAS a hit, but that is not my motivation OR my goal. Never has been. Never will be.

Told you I’m not smart.

The next time you’re in a book store, go to the music section and check out the incredible amount of “How to Write a Hit Song” and “How to be a Great Songwriter” books on the shelves. They are very popular, but I’ll let you in on a little secret; if one person could write a ‘hit’ or ‘great’ song EVERY SINGLE TIME, they would be so famous and so wealthy, that the LAST thing they would do would be to write a book explaining how they did it. They would be on one of their islands surrounded by whatever a multi-gazillionaire would surround themselves with.

If you want to get on the radio and have hit records, be a star and a celebrity, all you have to do is listen to the music stations where those folks are, use the same producers, writers, management, label, programmers, lawyers, and agents, and you’ll have a shot at it. If you just want to write great songs, listen to your heart, work as hard as you can at it, and believe in what you do. The more you do it, the better you will get at it, but if you don’t LOVE the process, the work, and the solitude, it might not be what you want to do. Robert Heinlein said it best when describing writing of any kind, music or prose, “The only thing worse than writing, is not writing.”

If you don’t believe that…you will never be a writer.

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I love all these songs. Some were hits, some weren’t, some were just barely successful and some were through the roof. The one thing you should learn from these tunes (and I know all my muso friends are already familiar with most of them) is that they are ALL different from one another. I suppose if you analyzed them to death, you could put together a list of similarities, but they would be structural and tonal in nature. Creativity has no rules and no regulations, and what rules there are in the minds of some are like all rules…meant to be bent or broken. Music is a very personal endeavor…and every song that is written is like the writer’s child. If a song is constructed by a set of rules or fixed formulae, it is not the result of creativity; it is the result of craftsmanship. They can both be good results, but know the difference.

These are in no particular order. Some are Vevo, but you can usually skip the ads after a few seconds. I recommend watching (and listening) to them in full screen and on decent speakers. Enjoy.

Dean Friedman: McDonald’s Girl Not the jolly BNL cover or the Blenders version used on the US Mickey D commercials, but the original version by the writer. Everything about this song is wonderful. It tells a charming and relatable story, it has terrific chord changes and insanely literate and roll-off-the-tongue lyrics and delivery. This is just as good as a pop song gets. The video is a fan-flic and the kids who did it obviously got what Dean was getting at. Pay attention to the delivery of the line “Saddle River Little League” in the last verse. Dean’s phrasing is off the hook throughout, but that line kills me. Why wasn’t this track a number one record? Beats the snot outta me.

The Tories: Time for You The Tories (named after the actress from Beverly Hills 90210, Tori Spelling, not the political party) were an under-the-radar powerpop band that landed the theme song for Christina Applegates first sitcom after Married with Children. The show was called Jesse and it was pretty good but only lasted a season or two. I watched it just so I could hear the theme song. After Friends, everybody wanted a ‘cool’ up-tempo song like theirs. This one is light years better in my opinion, but I didn’t even know it was a whole song until years after the show went off the air and the band had broken up. Bummer. Maybe if it would have sounded more like the Rembrandt’s “I’ll be There for You” from Friends, it would have done better. Where are the hacks when you need them?

Bourgeois Tagg: I Don’t Mind at All A Sacramento based band who sounded nothing like this until Todd Rundgren stepped in as their producer for this track. At least I heard this one on the radio…not as often as I would have like to, but it did get some airplay. The structure of this song shouldn’t work, all the stops and starts, but hey, it does. I can’t recall anything that has sounded like this before or since. You can hear the influences, but that is a good thing. The song has roots, but overcomes them at every turn. They even did The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Where are they now? From the YouTube comments: “Lead singer Brent is a worship leader at a church in Sacramento. Larry (bass) plays in a worship band at Metro Calvary in Roseville, CA. Mike Urbano (drums) played with Smashmouth. Lyle Workman (guitar) does movie scores, Scott Moon (keyboards) is a session musician in Los Angeles”

Bruce Hornsby: Mandolin Rain Back when albums contained a lot of good songs and not just a hit, Bruce Hornsby showed up with a loaded gun, a smash that was a great song to boot. That’s Just the Way it is” is a classic known to almost everyone. To Bruce’s credit, he wrote more than one great song, several of which are on this album. Just as strong, but with an entirely different groove and atmosphere is this solid piece of writing. It managed to hit number 4 in the U.S but is nowhere near as well-remembered as The Way it is.

Lionel Ritchie: Love Will Conquer All I was never a fan of Ritchie until he had a cover story in Rolling Stone. Curious, I read it, discovered his process, and became a fan. Of all his stuff, there were only two songs I accepted as wonderful songs; the infectious “All Night Long” which sits alongside the Parachute Club’s “Rise Up” as one of my all-time favourite jump-ups, and this gem. He recorded this song twice before he arrived at this version, these lyrics, and this groove. I first heard the song played by an R&B cover band in the lounge at Stockton’s Ramada Inn (I was there, believe it or not, doing stand up comedy in a 300 seat club called “Shenanigans”. An old friend, Cherie Porter saw me there so I know I didn’t dream it). I thought they wrote it because I had never heard it before. That’s when I found out it was Lionel. Proved to me once and for all, that songs are what matters, not the artist. If I was artist-centric, I would have turned myself off to this tune instead of realizing what a superb piece of music it is. Cynthia Weil had a hand in it as well. Lionel’s process? He hums melodies and lyric segments into a tape recorder in the shower, has a piano player record the chord changes, takes a drive up the coast in his Porche and sings along to the tape plotting ideas, records a large number of tunes with his band in his home studio, has a barbecue and invites family, friends, band members, and everybody’s kids, and at some point plays the tracks to the kids in the studio and watches them from the control room and releases the songs that got the kids moving, dancing, and clapping along. Advantage: Ritchie.

The Commodores: Night Shift While Ritchie was ramping up his solo career, his old band, The Commodores found their creative footing and recorded one of the greatest R&B tribute songs of all time. Written by Walter Orange, Dennis Lambert, and Franne Golde, it pays homage to Jackie Wilson and Marvin Gaye, and captures a bit of both artists without trying to sound like either one of them. Poignant, heart-felt, and sincere, and you can hear it in every note. The lead vocal is by Walter Orange, the Commodore’s drummer. A fitting tribute to two iconic R&B artists. How fitting that P.Diddy Puff Daddy’s tribute to Biggie Smalls was to talk over a hit song by the Police. Sting should be ashamed of himself.

Kenny Chesney: The Road and the Radio A song I wish I would have written and an incredible vocal performance. Country music still pops out a classic every now and again, and when this record came out it was a smash. In the old days, you would have heard this on mainstream stations too. How much we miss now, thanks to formats and tight playlists.

Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes: If You Don’t Know Me by Now Another song that has no precedent. One of the most wonderful songs to sing, it is written to be sung. The words are simple and all in the right place. The song has built in dynamics and one of the most infectious choruses of all time. Starting with the chorus was risky when these guys did it because if you don’t have a great verse, you (and the song) are toast. A powerful, familiar story simply told. Harder than it sounds, and songs this good make it sound so easy.

The Spinners: I’ll be Around This period, when the Spinners, Chi-Lites, Stylistics, and Delfonics were having hits left and right, the craft of songwriting was elevated weekly. Motown had a hold on the mainstream, Stax spoke to the black community, but these records crossed all the lines that were drawn in the sand. This is an all-time favourite from the era.

Player: Baby Come Back Similar to the Bee Gees (they were even on the same label) Player were an actual rock band that was blessed with terrific singers. This song was not only well written, it was number one. These days there are very few radio stations that play this kind of music, yet this video has almost 8,000,000 hits on You Tube. How is that possible? Here’s how…

The song was used for humor in the episode “Homer Alone” on The Simpsons. When Homer calls the lost baby hotline to report that Maggie is missing, he gets put on hold to the tune of “Baby Come Back”.

The song appeared in the episode “Church Hopping” on King of the Hill. When Hank decides to try Lucky’s (voiced by Tom Petty) method of worshiping, they both get drunk at a local bar, The Point After Lounge, and begin singing the tune, which plays on the jukebox.

The song was sung by Steve Smith in the American Dad!  Episode, “The Unbrave One”.

The song has been used in the films, Safe Men (1998), Roll Bounce (2005), Date Movie (2006), A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (2006), and most recently in Transformers (2007). It was also used in a commercial for Swiffer Dusters in which a rejected duster tried to win back its owner by using that song, but to no avail. All Hail the power of television and movies!

Orleans: Dance With Me Aside from one of the worst album covers in the history of album covers, this band coughed up a great song that still captures the era it’s from. I’m a sucker for melody and harmony, and this tune has both in spades. When the lead singer goes that extra mile at the end of the…wait a minute. Is the ‘Dance with me’ part the verse or the chorus? Because usually, the song’s title is in the chorus, but in this song, the title seems to be in every verse, which would make the part of the song without the title in it, the chorus…but that part, the one that ends with “I can take you where you want to go” leads into the title, which means it must be the chorus, which makes the “I can take you where you want to go” part the pre-chorus, but that would mean there are no verses, but that’s un-possible, isn’t it? I guess not. Is this covered in any of those ‘How to Write a Song’ books?

Ian Thomas: Right Before Your Eyes A perfect song. In a perfect world, this song would have become a standard, raked in the dough, and made every “Best Songs Ever” lists that pop up every year or so. Another song that falls into that wonderful category referred to as ‘Cinematic’. It is a very visual in its presentation, and the accompanying video does it justice. America did a fine cover of the song, but Ian’s version deserved a hell of a lot more respect from his homeland, reaching only 57 on the RPM singles chart back in 1977. Ian can be safe in the knowledge that he has written a lovely piece of timeless music, and, if I may, was probably a huge influence on future singer/songwriter Stephen Bishop, whose music shadows the melody of Right Before Your Eyes on more than one occasion.

Eagles: Hole in the World I could have done a whole column with just Eagles, James Taylor, and Hall and Oates songs, but hey, that’s not what we’re doing here. This song is here because it is unusual in both its chord structure and its total disregard for conventional thinking. We start with the chorus. We follow with the first verse. Repeat. Modulate. Verse/chorus. What? Here’s the deal. The chords never change from verse to chorus. They are the same in both. After the modulation, Henley sings the verse over the top of the chorus. This is not lazy writing. This is brilliant. Not only does their confidence and writing and singing skills make this possible, and does so without the verse or chorus sounding like one another, but the full drum kit doesn’t make an entrance until the song is over. Add the depth of the lyrics, (seriously, don’t you wish you would have written “they say that anger is just love disappointed/they say that love is just a state of mind” and then be able to plop it down in equally awesome lyrics about the ‘troubles’ in the middle east?) an incredibly understated and soulful vocal performance from Don Henley, and the usual, unique Eagles harmonies. How sad that people just want to hear Hotel California over and over again (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

One Direction: More Than This In the second boy band era there was a group who sat down and sang, or did little dancing, but sang their asses off. They delivered a song that stands up to the best of the unrequited love songs we have loved since the ‘30s on up. The group was 98 Degrees and the song was called “Invisible Man”…(Here’s just the voices) One Direction is the latest put-together ‘boy band’ (from England, no less), and like 98 Degrees, they mostly sing and leave the dancing to the other acts. They also deliver really good songs, the best of which, for my money, is this little ditty. Sometimes, the little girls know EXACTLY what the men don’t understand. This is one of those times. These kids are terrific.You won’t hear this unless you have a tweenage daughter. Here’s your chance.

Anita Baker: Sweet Love There is a sweep to this song that somehow makes it glorious. The arrangement is superb, and the song itself allows the singer to soar over the hills and valleys of the chord changes. It is a very smart piece of music, and written by Anita, Gary Bias, and bass player, Louis A. Johnson, “Thunder Thumbs” of the Brothers Johnson. Further proof that feel is as important in good songwriting as melody and engaging lyrics. In this case, they also contributed to the financial and popular success of the song and Ms. Baker. I love when that happens.

Gregory Abbott: Shake You Down This was a huge record and justifiably so. Abbott has always reminded me of Marvin Gaye, and that’s as high my praise gets. This song sings itself, chases itself, it has a circular feel and motion and takes the listener along like a leaf on a rivulet of rain water. Abbott wrote a lot of good songs, but this one is his masterpiece.

Mel Torme: Lullaby of Birdland George Shearing wrote this classic. This is one of the best version of it. My favourite version, by The Blue Stars, is unavailable on YouTube. That is all.

Vince Gill: The Warmth of the Sun David Crosby’s introduction to this song and the man who sings it is far more eloquent than I could be. Listen to David…he’s is right on the money…and if this doesn’t bring tears to your eyes, you’re dead inside.

Fountains of Wayne: Stacy’s Mom People keep calling this a novelty song. It’s not. It is a classic powerpop monster with all the right moves and a few I had never thought of. I wish this kind of stuff was all over the radio…but I’m just glad it exists. The kind of song that makes you think it would be easy to write until you try to write one as good. It ain’t as easy as some folks make it look, Bub.

Human League: Human Jimmie Jam and Terry Lewis, two staples in the Prince/Janet Jackson/Time/Mariah Carey/Mary J Blige/Michael Jackson…hell, they’ve worked with everybody in the R&B world at one time or another. So it was unusual to find them working with a British synth group. Take a killer tune, remove its usual trappings, and make do with a couple of fey synths and some electronic drums. Guess what? A great song can survive a lot, especially one that actually makes the instrumentation sound good. I’ve always wanted to record a version of this song. I can hear how I want it to sound in my head, and when a song can make me want to record it, I KNOW it’s good. In the meantime, I do love this version. It is one of those songs I have never gotten tired of hearing.

Research Turtles: Bugs in a Jar This song grows on you until you find yourself singing it without realizing it. The Research Turtles have written a lot of songs that do that to me. If I was 20, this is the band I would want to be in. These kids are natural born writers…and getting better at it all the time.

Little Richard: Keep a Knockin’ Nothing to say here. Richard wrote the book. If you want to write rock and roll, this has the joy, the feel, and the simplicity. All you have to do is catch lightning in your hands. Incidentally, Bonham copied this drum intro note for note to use on Zep’s “Rock and Roll”.

Jimmy Charles: A Million to One A very adult take about teens whose parents didn’t approve of their love for one another. The best written song about the subject, and there were a LOT of songs on the subject. This one didn’t talk down to its subject matter, and when you write, you shouldn’t talk down to yours.

Huey ‘Piano’ Smith and the Clowns: Don’t You Just Know It New Orleans, rock and roll, and a great sense of humour. Huey was also responsible for “Sea Cruise” and a bunch of other well loved songs. Did I say this was infectious? I meant to.

Ray Charles: America the Beautiful For years, people have been trying to make this the official National Anthem in the U.S. Why? Well, the current one is impossible to sing, written by a ‘hack’, and one of the worst examples of ‘looks good on paper’ writing ever. It also just speaks about glory and blowing shit up. America the Beautiful is a MUCH better song, and actually fun to sing. Personally, I’d love to see America remember these words and get their shit together. A great anthem would be a good start.

The Rolling Stones: Tumblin’ Dice Yep. THIS is a great rock song…and if you don’t know why, I can’t tell you. Let’s just say Keith won this one.

Joan Osborne: One of Us The melody, the simplicity, the message, and the feel. Joan scores a 3 pointer from centre court. This song is weightless. It floats. Like a buoy in the harbor…it bobs up and down from change to change. Reminds me (in a way) of a carousel and the horses that go up and down as the carousel spins around. Great songs are often VERY visual.

Bob Dylan: Positively 4th Street Bob plays his ‘A’ game. There is a joy and a sense of play here missing from most of his material. Almost the complete opposite of “Like a Rolling Stone” but just as involving. A most consistent writer, Mr. Zimmerman, and managed to be that without repeating himself. Style AND substance…and a hellacious way with words.

James Taylor: Never Die Young I love everything James has done since “That’s Why I’m Here” back in 1986. His music changed and improved my life twice, and has entertained me a thousand times over. This song makes me tear up and happy at the same time. I feel like he wrote this just for me but of course, he didn’t. That’s part of the magic possessed by great writers. It’s like they can look right through you.

Bonnie Raitt: I Can’t Make You Love Me Wikipedia’s entry on this song is so good, I’m just going to reprint it here. The evolution of this song is fantastic. It is also never going to be suggested to you in a book about how to write a great song, because you cannot recreate the circumstances that led to the completed song that we are all familiar with. Writing music, I believe, is best done by thinking by the seat of your pants. Instinct. Honesty. Dedication. To quote Heinlein yet again, “It’s not the writing that kills you…it’s the re-writing”. Here’s the story of “I Can’t Make You Love Me”

I Can’t Make You Love Me” is a 1991 popular song, written by Mike Reid and Allen Shamblin, and recorded by Bonnie Raitt on her Luck of the Draw album from that year.

The idea for the song came to Reid while reading an article about a man arrested for getting drunk and shooting at his girlfriend’s car. The judge asked him if he had learned anything, to which he replied, “I learned, Your Honor, that you can’t make a woman love you if she don’t.”[3] Reid and Shamblin were both country music songwriters, who according to some accounts originally wrote the song as a fast, bluegrass number. Upon slowing down the tempo considerably, they realized the song gained considerable power. It then made its way to Raitt.

A pensive ballad, “I Can’t Make You Love Me” was recorded against a quiet electric piano-based arrangement, with prominent piano fills and interpolations supplied by Bruce Hornsby. The singer depicts a now one-sided romantic relationship about to end in soft but brutally honest terms:

Turn down the lights, turn down the bed

Turn down these voices inside my head

Lay down with me, tell me no lies

Just hold me close, don’t patronize… don’t patronize me

‘Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t

You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t.

Raitt recorded the vocal in just one take in the studio, later saying that it was so sad a song that she could not recapture the emotion: “We’d try to do it again and I just said, ‘You know, this ain’t going to happen.'”[4]

The song was a big hit for Raitt, reaching #18 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #6 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart [5]. The song placed on the Billboard Year-End chart for 1992, [6] and the song’s popularity helped solidify her remarkable late-in-career commercial success that had begun two years before. In the time since, “I Can’t Make You Love Me” has gone on to become a pop standard and a mainstay of adult contemporary radio formats.

For Raitt, the song was notoriously difficult to sing, due to its required vocal range, difficult phrasing and breathing, and the emotional content involved. At the televised Grammy Awards of 1992 Raitt performed it in an even more austere setting than on record, with just her and Hornsby highlighted. As she negotiated the final vocal line, she let out a big audible and visible sigh of relief that she had successfully gotten through it. Her live performance of the song was released on the 1994 album Grammy’s Greatest Moments Volume III.”

Raitt has continued to sing the song in all her concert tours:

“I mean, ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ is no picnic. I love that song, so does the audience. So it’s almost a sacred moment when you share that, that depth of pain with your audience. Because they get really quiet, and I have to summon … some other place in order to honor that space.”

So save your money. Write until you write something you love and are able to say WHY you love it. You’ll know what to do next.

BONUS TRACKS!

Just for fun. An overlooked Mike and the Mechanics song WAY better than the Living Years, Dirty Loops proving the Bieber tune is a good song, and then making a mediocre, albeit VERY popular song interesting, and my favourite female singer doing 4 covers with a voice as pure as Karen Carpenters, but more resonant somehow. She delivers 4 great takes of wonderfully written songs, on one of which she sings a duet with none other than Rick Astley. These are two gifted interpreters of song, singer’s singers, and worthy of at least our respect.

I’m posting this tome and going to bed.

Mike and the Mechanics: Taken In

Dirty Loops: Baby

Dirty Loops: Rolling in the Deep

Rumer: Sara Smile

Rumer: It Might Be You

Rumer and Rick Astley: One for My Baby

Rumer: Take it to the Limit

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Segarini’s column appears here every Monday

Contact us at dbawis@rogers.com

Bob “The Iceman” Segarini was in the bands The Family Tree, Roxy, The Wackers, The Dudes, and The Segarini Band and nominated for a Juno for production in 1978. He also hosted “Late Great Movies” on CITY TV, was a producer of Much Music, and an on-air personality on CHUM FM, Q107, SIRIUS Sat/Rad’s Iceberg 95, (now 85), and now publishes, edits, and writes for DBAWIS, continues to write music, make music, and record.

6 Responses to “Segarini: 30 Great Songs and Performances You’ve Either Never Heard or Have Forgotten About”

  1. “Learn how to write in your head

    I don’t recall who suggested it to me (Kashur probably does) but it has turned out to be the best advice I ever got.”

    Kashur may have known, but has forgotten. The same advice was suggested to me by a very ‘accomplished’ visual artist….paint the painting in your head before you pick up a brush…..

    “why would I want to write something for ‘everyone’ when I don’t LIKE everyone and EVERYONE don’t like me?”

    Bob advice that I can relate to, and live daily….

    I’ve never been a songwriter but will give it a shot as soon as i find the “how to write a better song” authored by lennon and mccartney comes out…..until then i’ll stick to the “how to make money writing books about and talking about how to do something better” books and symposiums ($50 to register, $75 for the lunch/meet and great….to learn how to write like “WHO”!?!).

    in the meantime, Bob humbly missed some, in my less than humble opinion: (you can post the links, or not….some were performances and you just had to be there)

    5 Segarini Songs and Performances As Good As Anything Else Out There (and You Have Never Heard or Seen):

    Slowdown w/Rita Coolidge…..I don’t know how Bob didn’t end up on the Maddogs and Englishman Tour or why Joe Cocker didn’t record this.

    Bob’s live performance w either Brad Lovett, or Paul Zurin on keys of “I Can’t Make You Love Me”

    Oh, How We Used To Dance

    Bob’s live performance w Cats and Dogs of “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”

    Teenager Died (the best Bowie song that Bowie didn’t write)

    (and the best musical treatment of “When The Lights Are Out” that doesn’t sound like someone putting up drywall)

  2. …..the one thing you can’t teach is “soul”…..”soul” is about living, not about ‘talking’…..the old man writes music and prose and performs with “soul”…..

  3. Glenn Gallup Says:

    Bobby, We went to “Shenanigans”. there was a girl from Texas on the bill, she had me in convulsions and the rest of the crowd was sort of lukewarm. She had every Texas girl I ever knew nailed.
    And by the way, it’s not that you aren’t smart, you aren’t a panderer. If you were you would turn this column into one of those books.

  4. Bob, I realize you didn’t write this column to get pats on the back but I’m with Kashur. You’ve got a truly enviable catalog of songs that I wished I wrote. “Groucho Marx” is my favourite track as it is as cinematically evocative as Ian Thomas’ “Right Before Your Eyes”. The other one – which gives me goosebumps everytime I hear it is “Juvenile Delinquent”. THIS is the height of Bowie glam and has a killer ‘Hey Jude’ coda that’s like a peanut butter earworm that can’t be unstuck. It’s as haunting as ‘Chest Fever’ and as anthemic as Cocker’s arrangement of ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’. The pregnant pause just before you sing the first word might be one of the most brilliant songwriting techniques I’ve ever heard – and they don’t teach you THAT in seminars.

  5. Jim Chisholm in Campbell River Says:

    I’m with Pete and Jaime on this . . . and I won’t even mention any titles except maybe Dressed In The Dark cause I recently found myself singing that to myself all night at work and wanting to do it at the next gig/jam opportunity. That song is as sharp as a tack!

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