Track Of The Day

Re: Deconstructing Jamie

Yo, Bob
Try digging into some of the more obscure tracks (which is basically almost the entirety of each record) on "Women and Children First" and "Fair Warning". You may be surprised at just how good they really are.
My faves: "Sinner’s Swing" & "Hear About It Later" from FW and "Romeo Delight" & "Take Your Whiskey Home" from W&CF. And Dave was never afraid to be a goofball, either (i.e.: Could This Be Magic?).
And a hidden gem from Diver Down: "Secrets", a sweet, mid-tempo number that just lopes along kind of quietly. It took time, but it eventually grew on me within a year of DD’s release. The three covers got all the radio attention on this record (Pretty Woman, Where Have All The Good Times Gone, and Dancin’ In The Streets), but I always thought Secrets deserved more airplay.
Radio never did go much beyond their singles. With the exception of maybe the graveyard shift dj’s at 2 or 3 in the morning (back when they could still try to turn people on to stuff they didn’t know about), when only the real freaks or truck drivers were listening.
Joel Milton
Amagansett, N.Y.

Taste.  Isn’t that what Kelefa Sanneh said it was all about?

We’re all looking for someone we can trust.  And I know most people aren’t trustworthy.  Because every day people e-mail me tracks, links, SWEARING this stuff will change my life, and it almost never does.  So to find one guy recommending SO MANY winners is positively stunning.

I fired up my P2P app.  Took all this stuff no problem, even though they’re album tracks.  And they were all winners.  But the one that made my day, that I just came home and wanted to play, was "Secrets".

I’ll admit I was intrigued when I heard it lopes.  In a click driven world, where soul is sacrificed to perfection, ANYTHING with a fanciful groove, based on what comes from inside, is interesting to me.

Hearing "Secrets" was like discovering a well-lit farmhouse at the end of an unpaved road in below freezing weather in Vermont.  Knocking on the door, taking a risk, one is confronted with the kind of warm hospitality one didn’t expect, especially from Diamond Dave.

"Secrets" swings.  It’s not only like dancing with the love of your life alone in the living room, it’s like dancing with ANYBODY of the opposite sex, one you have no interest in getting closer to, having a sexual relationship with.  For the humanity of "Secrets" makes you want to touch everybody, you’re in love with life, you want to spread the message.  You don’t want to take anything, you just want to ENGAGE!

I don’t own "Diver Down".  In the days of physical, you couldn’t own everything, we weren’t that rich.

The paradigm at the iTunes Store is no different.  It’s like being a kid in a candy shop, nose pressed to the door, not being able to PARTAKE!  Or risking that once you get that box of chocolates home, you’ll find upon your first bite there’s a caramel center, and you were expecting dark chocolate throughout and are disappointed.

But to be able to hear about anything, and sample it right away.  Now THAT’S a breakthrough.  And that’s what the Internet has given us.  The suits don’t know what to make of this.  For THEY can afford everything they want, they don’t know what it’s like to be a fan, to be hungry.  They tell us about the musician who practiced his whole life, how he needs to be compensated.  They leave out the other side of the equation.  If a note is played in a forest, does it make a sound?  I’d say the fan, the listener, is JUST AS IMPORTANT as the player.  Certainly more important than the purveyor.  The purveyor is just a middleman, a traffic cop.  But now, worried he might be superfluous, he’s slowing cars down to a crawl.  While he tries to figure it out.  When tens of millions of listeners ALREADY HAVE!

But this is not about business.  It’s just that in 2006, just about EVERY track I write about can be heard for free on the Net.  All the NEW tracks that is.  But the old ones, they’re buried, they’re behind bars, and you’ve got to break through the bars, risk lawsuit, to sample them (and if a thirty second sample satiates you, you’re probably happy when the girl removes her bra, needing no more undressing for satisfaction.)

I like the whole picture.  And when I see the complete visage, I’m usually not interested.  But I AM interested in "Secrets".  I just wish you could hear it now.  It doesn’t fit your image of Van Halen.  Eddie’s positively quiet.  Not quite in the league of James Taylor, then again, there was more production on "Suite For 20 G" than there is in "Secrets".

I don’t know what happened to Eddie Van Halen.  I guess the Big C kills the spirit if it doesn’t kill the body.  I feel for the dude.  But really, I’d like to hear more magic like "Secrets".  But I don’t think he knows how good this makes me feel.

Remember playing records in your bedroom, listening on headphones long after every other resident in the house had already fallen asleep?  How the music took you away?  Made you think there was a better life out there, for you?

And how you went to the gig.  Not to ogle the girls, not to experience the production, but to get a live replication of what enraptured you on disc?  Not to hear the hits so much as those deep album tracks you thought only YOU knew?  And when the band played your absolute favorite you were happier than you ever were in your ENTIRE life?

I don’t think Eddie Van Halen was driven by business.  I think he needed to make this music.  You can feel it, it’s palpable.  He didn’t get into the business for the money and the chicks, but to EXPRESS himself, to let what was inside OUT!  Sure, he liked the perks.  But if the perks were really that good, would he be in the state he’s in?

I don’t think any old track can completely satiate my readers.  They need something new.  But maybe they should look to their children, their nieces and nephews, and see how excited they get over Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.  The way their eyes shine.  There are hidden gems out there, just waiting to be discovered if someone points the way.

This guy I don’t know from all the way across the country has pointed one out.  Makes me feel good hearing it on a rough day.

I’ve got more questions than answers.  Today I was completely flummoxed.  The order that I thought existed didn’t.  But it all didn’t matter when I heard "Secrets".

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