A few of Simels' favorite rock clips that I recall:
* The piano (and drum) bit that opens the Chiffons' "One Fine Day" ("Carole King?," he asked--yes, it was).
* The breathtaking acappella introduction to Dylan's "Percy's Song" by Fairport Convention.
* And one mean item: "Carly Simon's legs (but not her records)."
Here are a few of mine, which are not all short:
* That rolling bassline by the wonderful Donald "Duck" Dunn (1941-2012) on
Booker T. & the MGs' "Soul Limbo."
* Leon Russell's piano on Eric Clapton's "Let It Rain"--indeed, it's like a lovely rainfall.
* Ian Hunter's heartbreaking couplet on "The Ballad of Mott the Hoople (26 March, 1972, Zurich)": "Rock'n'Roll's a loser's game/it mesmerizes and I can't explain."
* There's a gal who visits our library once in awhile who looks like Suzanne Vega.
(I don't dare start humming "Tom's Diner.")
* The bum bass note that Bill Black hits, halfway through Scotty Moore's guitar solo, on Elvis Presley's first release (Sun 209), "That's All Right." But who would notice? It's a perfect record.
* The sitar--and by 1970, you didn't hear a sitar on a record very often--on Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)," which rides the funky groove but doesn't call attention to itself.
* How ridiculous was the reaction of Metallica fans to last year's Lulu, the project with Lou Reed? They went nuts with anger--it wasn't like Metallica asked Lou to join their band or anything.
* Ringo Starr's controlled yet splashy high hat playing on many of the early Beatles tracks; I just heard something similar on the new Alabama Shakes album Boys & Girls and it's quite exciting.
* Perhaps the most fun moment of the 1990s' Riot Grrrl movement, Bikini Kill's
"Rebel Girl," where Kathleen Hanna yells, "That girl thinks she's the queen of the neighborhood/I've got news for you...SHE IS!"
* Glen Campbell's 12-string guitar break on the Beach Boys' "Dance, Dance, Dance."
* A few days ago, the Texas Rangers beat up on Los Angeles Angels' pitcher Jered Weaver, knocking him out the game. The P.A. system in Arlington was playing Ray Charles' "Hit the Road, Jack," and as he exited the mound, Weaver, in a kind of dejected trance, was singing along with it.
* Ernie K-Doe's "Here Come the Girls" (1970)--the only sexy song that starts with a military drum beat?
* After Dylan went electric at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, he performed in Forest Hills, NY and continue to draw significant negative response to his evil rock'n'roll.
One concert patron shouted, "*&^%sucker!" at Dylan. He reportedly replied, "Aw, it's not that bad."
* Jeff "Skunk" Baxter's insanely fabulous guitar solo on Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff."
* Two of the best Sam Cooke covers: Aretha Franklin's "You Send Me" and Eddie Floyd's "Bring It on Home to Me." These sound nothing like the originals but are totally realized; neither arrangement sounds like a stretch.
* The way Ray Davies sings "right! up! tight!" on the Kinks' "Dedicated Follower of Fashion."
* The fuzz guitar on the Animals' "Don't Bring Me Down." Doesn't sound like outdated hippie garbage but something truly dramatic and frightening.
* A few years back, Gina and I were having our favorite local coffee in town, and there was a woman in the place who looked like Sandy Denny. Not Denny in the last year of her life (1978) but the way she might appear now. Later on, my friend Jonathan
dropped by and I pointed her out. There are probably only a handful of friends I have who know what Sandy Denny looked like, and we were in the same place, at the same time, with "Sandy."
That was too much fun! I'll have to do this again.