Saturday Night Playlist

"Baby’s Callin’ Me Home"
Steve Miller Band

But it’s a Boz Scaggs song, with Boz doing lead vocal.

Funny about the blues, they’re timeless. I think you could love hip-hop, jazz, electronic and still dig this. It’s the mood, the vibe, the ethereal vocal.

You know those movies where the protagonist drives down the boulevard deep in thought?

"Baby’s Callin’ Me Home" sounds like that.

You can attempt to create a hit, or you can stretch yourself and deliver something timeless.

That’s what it was like in the classic rock era. The limits were there to be tested. When the artists blow up the paradigm and build upon the foundation of their talent and go exploring, we’re all ears.

The version on Spotify is live from "Fillmore: The Last Days", and it’s worth a listen.

But click this link on YouTube to get the original. The vibe, the feel, is everything.


As one-half of the band on the original Boz Scaggs track "Baby’s Calling Me Home", I thank you for recognizing the veracity of the vibe.  It was recorded late in the evening in the winter of 1967, after the rest of the band had gone back to rented digs on Eaton Place in London, and Boz, Glyn Johns and I were alone at Olympic Studios. The complete story is in my biography ("A Life in the Music") — it was my first recording session, my first time in earphones, actually, with Boz playing 12 string and singing into the dark shadows of the huge studio — but suffice it to say I had John Coltrane on my mind when I played that little harpsichord solo.


Ben Sidran

"Legend Of A Mind"
The Moody Blues

Just ask Howard Stern, the Moodies’ exclusion from the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is criminal.

There were two bands. The one with Denny Laine, that did the classic "Go Now", and the one that came after, with "Days Of Future Passed", an album that was unjustly ignored upon release but soon became a classic.

And then came "In Search Of The Lost Chord"…

The Moodies would not have another hit for four albums. "In Search Of The Lost Chord", "To Our Children’s Children’s Children" and "On The Threshold Of A Dream" were for fans only. They were anything but cheap adventures in search of airplay. They were aural adventures that you discovered, purchased and played again and again.

And at this late date, my favorite is "In Search Of The Lost Chord". And this, its longest cut, is the piece de resistance.

At this point, Timothy Leary truly is dead.

But back then, we’d smoke dope, turn out the lights and feel part of a generation that didn’t focus on getting rich, but having experiences.

Set your mind free, listen to this.

Allman Brothers Band

Not the best cut on "Idlewild South", it was the beginning of the adventure, the start of the journey. There was a long instrumental intro before anybody even began to sing, demonstrating the twin drumming and twin leads of the band before they became legendary. Eventually, the side would slip into "Midnight Rider" and the extended closer, "In The Memory Of Elizabeth Reed".

But even though we spent hours nodding our heads somnamublantly to stuff like "Legend Of A Mind", most times we were fully aware. If you went to college thinking about graduate school, you didn’t go with me. We read too much Kerouac, too much Kesey, we didn’t want to become imprisoned by jobs, we wanted to get behind the wheel and have experiences.

Derek & The Dominos

Air guitar was invented for this.

Classic rock radio ruined albums, it’s manipulating history. "Layla" was not the only track we listened to on "Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs". My favorite is the cover of "Little Wing", but I have memories galore of playing "Anyday". Because of the power of the riff, and then the intimacy that comes thereafter. It’s just like life. Bravura cracks open the door, but you seal the deal by going sotto voce.

Music, when done right, is life itself. That’s why we revere musicians. Who oftentimes cannot articulate what they’re feeling in conversation, but when they get behind their instruments, behind the microphone, our vision opens up, we can see truth about ourselves that was hidden before.

Credit the players, credit Tom Dowd, they nailed it here.

"Incident At Neshabur"

It’s rare that the second album is better than the first. They were great in the Woodstock movie, I liked "Evil Ways", but I did not need to own the album. But I needed to own this, and so do you.

"Incident At Neshabur" is not my favorite cut on "Abraxas", but it’s the one that sets the mood. It’s like going to a club, you can feel the sweat, the heat, the energy, the possibilities. You might be trepidatious, but you want to jump right in.

"Come Down In Time"
Elton John

Not everybody has a date on Saturday night.

And in the seventies if you didn’t, you could drop the needle on a vinyl record and not feel alone, the sound would fill the room and you could while away the hours positively content.

As many kudos as Elton John has gotten, he’s still underrated.

"Burning Of The Midnight Lamp"
Jimi Hendrix

What a riff!

Nothing sounds close to this today. This is sui generis. And it’s why people still listen to Jimi today.

"Cryin’ To Be Heard"

The track that got me into the band. A Dave Mason composition, this is what music was like when it was made for the loners instead of everyman.

And in case you didn’t get the memo, we’re all loners.

"Shouldn’t Have Took More Than You Gave"
Dave Mason

"Alone Together" penetrated and became a classic despite being on Blue Thumb.

It’s one of those rare albums that satisfies throughout, every cut is a winner. And it was so good, Dave Mason could never live up to it. But it’s a masterpiece, it’s still here. If you owned it back then, it’s got a special place in your heart.

"Brown Sugar"
Rolling Stones

"Sticky Fingers" was the sound of my generation. The tour coincided with "Exile On Main Street" but it was "Sticky Fingers" that truly cemented the Stones’ reputation as the world’s greatest rock and roll band.

Maybe it’s hard for the younger generation to understand. Going down to the record store the day an album came out, needing to own it to be complete. Touching, smelling, feeling the cover and extracting the record and dropping the needle.

And when you did, this riff emerged.

And that it did, from every dorm room, every jukebox, every stereo in America. In 1971, "Brown Sugar" was not only the sound of a generation, it was the sound of the whole damn country.

And the EQ of the modern remix allows you to understand the words, but forty years ago, this was an impossibility.

We weren’t exactly sure what brown sugar was, but it infected every young person, as soon as this song started to play, we hit the dance floor, we lost our inhibitions, we became our best selves.

Sure, at this distance, "Satisfaction" seems like the classic.

But really it was all about "Brown Sugar".

"Brown Sugar" is not one of those low line drives that barely clears the fence, it’s a Mickey Mantle moon shot, that’s still ascending as it leaves the stadium. It makes our jaws drop and then causes us to leap to our feet, eager to participate in the joy of life.

Music’s there when you’re depressed, when you’re happy, and oftentimes it helps you make the journey between the two.

Until I die, whenever I hear "Brown Sugar", I’ll think of cruising Battelle Hall on Saturday night at Middlebury College, not only hipsters blasting it, but every girl in the dorm.

You see some sounds are undeniable.

"Brown Sugar" is one of them.

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