The Afternoon Delight with Ashley has been part of the drive home in southern Illinois since May 2007!
Weekdays from 3:00-6:00 PM, Ashley brings you musician birthdays, events in music history, the blast from
the past looking at television and movie debuts on that date in history, music news revolved around the classic
hits artists we play, giveaways and more.
The Afternoon Delight Blog
Kokomo and the Beach Boys
Southern Illinois gets the privilege of welcoming the Beach Boys as they are scheduled to perform
at this year’s Herrinfesta Italiana. We’ve already had several calls asking questions about the show,
and of course if we’re going to be giving away tickets. (Yes, we will be.)
The main question asked thus far as been, “Which version of the Beach Boys is coming?”
Unfortunately, with all that has happened over the years with the Beach Boys, they have been
yet another group that has ended up in court over rights for current and former band
members to use the rights as the “official” band. So, even though Brian Wilson was
and always will be a dominant member of the Beach Boys at the forefront of
composition, lyrics and production, his issues which led to him no longer being part of the
group, also took part in him losing the rights to tour or record as “The Beach Boys.”
So, who exactly is in “The Beach Boys” these days? For one, the next in line as far as
prominent and memorable members of the Beach Boys, Mike Love and Bruce Johnston. While Bruce
Johnston isn’t an “original” member, he’s certainly close enough and has earned
his chops to be called an original Beach Boy. Bruce replaced Brian when he quit
touring and has been an integral part of the Beach Boys since. He’s also responsible
for contributing to some other songs you may know. In addition to Love and Johnston, you’ll
find Jeff Foskett, Scott Totten, John Cowsill, Tim Bonhomme, Randy Leago, Christian Love,
and Keith Hubacher, as listed online as their current lineup. This is not confirmed to be
the exact lineup coming to Herrin.
There’s a distinct difference between Brian Wilson’s Beach Boys, and Mike Love’s Beach
Boys, in addition to the lineup. The music is just different. Period. You almost can’t
put them in the same category. I’m not going to dive into the depths of Brian Wilson today…
But, let’s face it… if you’re under 40, maybe even under 50, you probably simply refer
to Mike Love’s Beach Boys as, “The Kokomo Guys.” (This is NOT a bad thing.)
And even in a more extreme case of not-so-notoriety, you may have even thought of them as
“That group of guys that was on Full House once and they went to their concert.”
In the early 80’s, the Beach Boys had nearly faded away as a group of yesteryear, and we were more familiar
with Brian Wilson’s troubles, than with his incredible genius. You see, those of us that weren’t around when the
Beach Boys first came out, hadn’t truly yet discovered the magic of the Beach Boys. Sure, we may have know a little
of “Help Me Rhonda” or “Barbara Ann”, but we sure weren’t familiar with the magic of Pet Sounds.
I know there was Beach Boys played around my house and in the car growing up. I was told one time
that my first words were “Barbara Ann,” though I cannot confirm that is actually true.
Some of the Beach Boys or Beach Boys fans, may not think Kokomo was that great, or that big of a deal,
since it was “only made for a movie.” But, for those of us that didn’t know much about the Beach Boys at the
time of it’s release, Mike Love’s Beach Boys and “Kokomo” changed who they were to us. Kokomo had
new-age flower child written all over it with contributions from Scott McKenzie, John Phillips and Terry Melcher.
It was fun, it was warm, it was romantic, it was catchy, it was a new summer favorite that took over radio,
gave significant notoriety to a movie that if not for Tom Cruise’s popularity at the time was hardly a cult classic,
and it introduced the Beach Boys to a new audience. We wanted more.
So, as we so often do with classic groups, we went backwards. We found “Good Vibrations,”Caroline, No ” “Sloop
John B” and so many more tunes we fell in love with. And then, like so many of us do, the older we got, the more
we appreciated their contributions to music, their originality, their pop culture influence, the lyrics, the music,
the production value, the stories behind the music, etc. There’s so much to love about the Beach Boys. All of them.
There’s a lot to be talked about, a lot of intrigue, a lot to be respected.
No matter which version of the Beach Boys is your favorite, it’s all important. It’s hard to say if I, and others of the
30’s and 40’s group, ever would’ve appreciated the older Beach Boys stuff without Mike Love and Kokomo?
“The Division Bell”
The album that held the title of being “Pink Floyd’s last studio album” for 20 years until the release
of “The Endless River” in 2014, turned 24 years old this week. While next year is obviously the more significant
anniversary, with all the spring rains we’re having, I thought we should talk about the album a little bit anyway.
What does spring rain have to do with The Division Bell? In my mind, the two go hand-in-hand. Yes, I am
so compulsive about my music listening habits, that I not only have playlists for seasons and the specific type
of weather within that season, I also have specific albums and songs that I associate with those
seasons and that specific weather event. We’re not yet having the type of weather I associate with the Division Bell, but it
won’t be long. If I’m home on a warm, raining, spring Saturday catching up on things in the house,
having morning coffee or doing other projects, I open the windows and crank up “The Division Bell.”
When I hear so many of the songs on the album, I see a bold, grey sky that makes the color of the
green grass sharp. The trees and shrubs have bright new blooms. The birds are singing, even if
I don’t see them in the rain. I feel warm air, hear soft rain, and feel peace.
Now how any of this came about for me is hard to tell. It’s possible I just happened to listen to the
album years ago on a rainy, spring day, and I’ve associated it with such weather since. However,
I think it’s more likely that Pink Floyd naturally put that association in my head.
The first song, “Cluster One” begins with noise that could be widely interpreted.
When listening more intently, I hear the interference noise that is referenced in the song’s Wikipedia entry.
But to me, it could be interpreted as soft rain falling, and birds chirping. It’s followed by Richard Wright’s
repetitive and grinding synth work reminiscent of “Welcome to the Machine,” and transitions to
Wright’s ambient and melancholy piano, synth and organ work. David Gilmour’s smooth, flowing and haunting
guitar joins in with Nick Mason adding just the right amount of percussion to keep the piece moving and give
it a touch of extra personality and mystique.
The album moves ahead into the dark and melodic, “What Do You Want From Me?” that boasts some
powerful lyrics and gritty and gravely vocals by Gilmour, perfect for the context. And even though this
is the second album by the “new” Pink Floyd that has embraced current technology and
sound trends, and is also the second Pink Floyd studio album absent of Roger Waters, there are clear
flashbacks and tributes in the music to the previous sounds of Pink Floyd. The bridge
in the song is reminiscent of themes found throughout “Dark Side of the Moon.”
I could go on and on about this album, but I won’t. I’ll save it for next year when it turns 25.
I’ll quickly mention other stand outs you have to give a chance if you haven’t already, “Wearing the Inside Out,”
“Keep Talking” and “High Hopes.” The next warm, rainy, day that finds you looking for something
to listen to, put on The Division Bell and listen to it all the way through from start to finish in order.
It might just become your new spring, rainy day favourite.
“I Just Died in Your Arms Tonight”
One of my favorite things about music, and particularly popular music, is that it is always open to interpretation.
Sometimes the writers and composers come forward and say directly what a song and/or it’s lyrics are about, or
they may give us a little tidbit of information and leave the rest to personal interpretation.
Often times, we’re completely left to our own imagination,which is surely by design of the writer,
knowing that the mystery and intrigue of the lyrics is part of the attraction to the
complete work. Yesterday as the radio played, “(I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight” by Cutting Crew, a song we’ve
heard over and over again for many years, a potential meaning of the song hit me all at once. It all happened
because of truly hearing one line of the song for the first time. I’ll get to that in a moment.
Here’s what songfacts.com has to say about the meaning of the song:
This was written by Cutting Crew lead singer Nick Van Eede, who told us that it was inspired by a real relationship. Says Nick: “Yes, I cannot tell a lie. It’s a song written about my girlfriend (who is actually the mother of my daughter). We got back together for one night after a year apart and I guess there were some fireworks but all the time tinged with a feeling of ‘should I really be doing this?’ Hence the lyric, ‘I should have walked away.’ I know it sounds corny but I awoke that morning and wrote the basic lyrics within an hour and wrote and recorded the demo completely within three days.”
Even though I now know the alleged meaning of the song, it wasn’t the meaning that came to me yesterday. The line that really got me thinking was, “On the surface I’m a name on a list.” A name on a list? What list? Like, a little black book list? The next line is, “I try to be discreet but then blow it again.” Hmmm… being discreet, a name on a list, a long hot night, the moment is gone… Before I read the quote on songfacts.com about the meaning, I really thought I had stumbled onto something. I just thought this song was yet another 80’s pop/power ballad, and I never thought anything more about it, until yesterday. Yes… I believe I understand what it’s about now!
It’s clearly about a one night event, that cannot happen again, a mistake, etc. And I understand after reading the meaning how that is all relative to the night he refers to with his child’s mother. However, I keep going back to the those lines. Even if the relationship is over, is he really just “a name on a list” if they have a child together? And being discreet? We may never truly know the meaning of the song, but like with so many other songs, we’ll continue to wonder on.
Yes and Jethro Tull are both celebrating 50 years of music in 2018. According to Rolling Stone, Jethro Tull’s founder Ian Anderson has hand-picked 50 songs form the band’s 21 studio albums for the upcoming “50 for 50” 3-disc compilation album that is due out May 25th vial Parlophone. “50th Anniversary Hits,” a condensed, 15-track collection will be available on CD and vinyl. The CD is scheduled for release alongside “50 for 50,” and the vinyl version will be released August 31st. Yes is also celebrating their 50th anniversary with a tour. The group has added additional tour dates for the summer on top of their UK spring tour. Dates include June 10th in Kansas City, MO and Highland Park, IL on September 7th.
Today in music history, the Temptations released the album, “Sing Smokey,” which comprised of songs all written or co-written by Smokey Robinson. It included the hits “My Girl,” and “The Way You Do the Things You Do.”
Did you know Smokey’s song writing credits for recorded and released singles spans over 40 years? Smokey’s earliest noted song writing credit for a song that was recorded, released as a single, and appeared on the charts was in 1959.
Other artists in addition to the Temptations that have covered songs by the Miracles or have recorded original songs that were at least c0-written by Smokey include the Captain and Tennille, Mary Wells, The Supremes, A Taste of Honey, Gene Chandler, Earl McCormick, Eddie Money, The Marvelettes, Rita Coolidge, Hall and Oates, UB40, Petula Clark, Amii Stewart, Sister Sledge, Marvin Gaye, the Contours, Kim Carnes, Grace Jones, and so many, many more. Smokey continues to be active in performing and throughout the music industry. He recently filmed and participated in an episode of CMT’s Crossroads.