Cam Carpenter: The ABC’s Of Rock’n’Roll – Listen Up People!


When I got to thinking about people being the word of the week a lot of songs instantly came to mind, the first two being “People Are People” and “People Are Strange”. The reason they instantly popped into my head is probably due to the fact that I can’t stand either song and could happily get through the rest of my life without ever hearing them again.

I was never a fan of The Doors and I think the first time I ever heard “People Are Strange” was when The Segarini Band played it live on stage. Depeche Mode was another band that always rubbed me the wrong way and the only song of theirs that I can stand is “Just Can’t Get Enough”. I won’t be mentioning either of those songs in this week’s column. Here are some more people, some I like, others…….

“Common People” – Pulp

Yes I would like to order the 1995 original from Jarvis Cocker and Pulp please. From their album “Different Class” released during the height of “Brit Pop”. Of course our very own William Shatner covered the song in 2004 on his album “Has Been”. The Ben Folds produced song became a bit of a hit and brought the Sheffield band’s song to the masses. The second voice that you hear on the Shatner version is none other than Joe Jackson.

“You Forget It In People” – Broken Social Scene

The second record from local collective Broken Social Scene and the album that made them the darlings of the indie scene around the world. Songs such as “Cause=Time”, “Lover’s Spit” and “Stars And Sons”  found the ever-expanding and interchangeable band writing the type of music that caused the “Pitchforks” of the world to run out of superlatives. As I am writing this “Shoreline” just came on the radio on Indie 88. Not from this album but a bit of a coincidence.

“Cat People (Putting Out Fire)” – David Bowie

There are two versions of the song but the original Giorgio Moroder produced effort, recorded for the film “Cat People”, is the better of the two. Bowie re-recorded the song for his 1983 album “Let’s Dance”. The song was also well placed in Quentin Tarantino’s 2009 film “Inglorious Basterds”.

The Village People

Only Casablanca Records, home of Kiss, could find, and then perfectly market, a band like the Village People way back in the seventies. “And Party Every Day – The Inside Story Of Casablanca” the 2009 book by Larry Harris (with Curt Gooch and Jeff Suhs) is one of the must read rock stories exposing the glory (and often very snowy) days of band and record company excess.

“People Who Died” – The Jim Carroll Band

Unfortunately Jim Carroll can now add himself to the list having passed in back in 2009. This song is from the album “Catholic Boy” which was released in 1980 two years after his ground-breaking book “The Basketball Diaries” was published. Leonardo DiCaprio did a good job portraying Carroll in the 1995 film adaptation.

“Some People Have No Good To Live” – Crush Luther

We, Cool Planet, started to manage the former London, Ontario band Crush Luther around the release of this record on Goldfinger drummer Darrin Pfeiffer’s label “High 4 Records”. Although the video for “A Light” climbed the video charts the record never got the love it deserved on radio and the band went their separate ways shortly after the release. In 2010 most of the group would re-form (shortly) as the band behind former INXS vocalist J.D. Fortune.

“Too Many People” – Paul & Linda McCartney

From the second McCartney solo album “Ram”, but, the only album also attributed to Linda, so I don’t know if it really qualifies as a solo effort. Debate amongst yourselves. This is the song where a snippy Paul manages to get two shots in at his former song writing partner John Lennon (and partner Yoko) with Paul singing “You took your lucky break and broke it in two” as well as “too many people preaching practices”.  The album was recorded as McCartney was in court trying to officially dissolve the Beatle’s partnership.

“Power To The People” – John Lennon Plastic Ono Band

Maybe this is one of the songs Paul was talking about? Credited as John Lennon Plastic Ono Band I guess this doesn’t qualify as a solo release but the single came out in March of 1971 with McCartney’s “Too Many People” being released in August of the same year. The Plastic Ono Band consisted of John, Yoko, Billy Preston, Rolling Stones favourite sax player Bobby Keys, Klaus Voorman and drummer Alan White. Production credits went to Phil Spector, John and Yoko.

The Look People

The first time I ever met Look People frontman Jaymz Bee was at a funeral in North Bay when we were teenagers and a mutual friend had been killed in a tragic train accident. Who knew that 25 odd years later we would be working together at BMG Records with him recording cocktail albums and me escorting him as his publicist to a series of elaborate parties across the country? The Look People released five crazy albums between 1986-1993 and some may remember them as the house band on the Canadian late night talk show “Friday Night With Ralph Benmargui”.

“Good News For People Who Like Bad News” – Modest Mouse

I am going to go out on a limb here and proclaim Modest Mouse as the most famous band from Issaquah, Washington. This is the fourth of their eight albums and the one that had the break through hit “Float On”. Although the band has been playing festivals of late they have not released any new material since their 2009 record “No One’s First And You’re Next”.

“Give The People What They Want” – The Kinks

By the time 1981 rolled around there were scant few rock bands that had already released 18 studio albums. The Kinks were one, and, without doing all of the necessary research, perhaps the only ones. This was in the middle of their Arista recording period, and, when a second generation (oh hello MTV) of fans discovered one of England’s most under rated hit makers. There are still talks of a reunion tour. Let’s put them on the road with The Faces!

People In Planes

People In Planes were a great little band from Wales that we were lucky enough to book at the Tattoo Rock Parlour. They had signed a pretty decent deal with Wind-Up Records and with the 2008 release of their album “Beyond The Horizon” they looked like they were just on the verge of taking the next big step. After releasing an EP in 2009 they went back into the studio for the follow-up record and then, as things often do in rock’n’roll, the band fell apart never to be heard from again.

“People Have The Power” – Patti Smith

One of the rock’n’roll hall of famer’s most straight-forward songs and a staple of her live shows (both acoustic and electric). The song was co-written by her husband Fred “Sonic” Smith and appeared on her 1988 album “Dream Of Life”. Fred was the guitarist for the MC5 and was the man responsible for Patti leaving New York and moving to Detroit to raise their family. Fred passed away in 1994.

“Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not” – The Arctic Monkeys

New found fans of the band should go back to the 2006 debut album by The Arctic Monkeys. Although it took them another seven years to translate to North America this is a stunning debut and it was pretty obvious from their first North American show in Toronto opening for Oasis at the Air Canada Centre that this band was going to be a force to be reckoned with. “Fake Tales Of San Francisco” and “I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor” are well worth the price of admission.

Foster The People

A new breed of band and one of the first to go viral with a song as “Pumped Up Kicks” was available as a free download on-line and soon landed the California band a record deal, as well as a few good synch placements. They are currently doing well with the single “Coming Of Age” but there is something about the tune (perhaps the lyrics) that leave me cold.

“Rainy Day People” – Gordon Lightfoot

This 1975 single was the last of Lightfoot’s songs to reach number one on the A/C Charts. A Canadian classic.

(Editor’s Note: I am hurt, I am crushed, I am saddened by not being included in your “P is for People” ABCs of Rock and Roll column. I’ll see you next Wednesday and exact my vengeance upon you by drinking a beer on your tab. I understand you not including “People Are Strange” by me, a song made popular by your nemesis, The Doors…but how could you snub this “People” song? How COULD you! *sob*)


Thanks to all of the folks who have been stopping by The Kensington Lodge for my #WayBackWednesday DJ sessions. We get going around 5 PM and quit when people stop making requests. Last week I managed to spin 99 tunes (none about balloons) and went deep into the catalogs of Stax and Motown. Good fun and a couple of nice patios in the heart of Kensington.

Cam’s column appears every Thursday.

Follow Cam on Twitter @CC59.

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Cam likes to plant his butt on the roof of the Bovine and soak up a few rays.

The ABC’s Of Rock’n’Roll are proud to be presented by The Bovine Tiki Bar and The Bovine. The Tiki Bar welcomes the mild to hot weather and The Bovine presents great bands downstairs at the legendary rock bar. Fill up next store at The Rock Lobster and then get your rocks off at The Bovine. 

DBAWIS ButtonCameron Carpenter has written for The New Music Magazine, Music Express, The Asylum, The Varsity, The Eye Opener, The New Edition, Shades, Bomp!, Driven Magazine, FYI Music News, The Daily XY, New Canadian Music, NXNE Magazine and Don’t Believe A Word I Say.


2 Responses to “Cam Carpenter: The ABC’s Of Rock’n’Roll – Listen Up People!”

  1. Cameron Carpenter Says:

    Jeez Bobo I can’t read latin (plus i don’t think I have Vox on CD)

  2. Jim Chisholm in Cambell River Says:

    Sly & The Family Stone’s “Every Day People” was a dynamite song.

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