Songs of the Month


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January 2005

Just Three Rings

Just 3 Rings... It's January, and what better way to kick off the New Year than with a dirty song? Well, it's not REALLY dirty, but there's a LOT of innuendo...Got your interest? Perked you right up? Hey, guess I got YOUR NUMBER ! (Connie thinks it's unseemly for a 55-year-old to sing songs such as this one. Wait'll ya hear Lovely Legs!)
February 2005

In The Night

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I was 27 or 28 when I wrote this steamy little number called "In the Night". That was a long time ago, (hey, I'm closing in on 56!), I guess I could've updated the lyrics, changed them from..."your soft brown hair"...to "your soft gray hair".

March - 2005 

Burnt Rubber

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I don't remember exactly when I wrote Burnt Rubber. It appeared on the 1988 release by my old band, The Hubcaps, but I know I wrote it l-o-n-g before that. It's got a great chunky rhythm. It's about love, it's about cars? What else do you need!
The cool and unusual acoustic guitar sound on this recording, kind of like dead rubber bands strung low, is from strumming and a picking around the 12th fret instead of near the bridge or sound hole like any normal person would do. I also somewhat dampen the strings with my forearm which is encased in a cotton sleeve... Nowadays, I drive a mild mannered little Honda.

April - 2005 Bells On My Boots

"Bells on My Boots" is a bubblegummy pop-ditty I wrote way back, oh, must of been 1974? Maybe even '73. I don't write fluff like this anymore, I'm so much more serious now... and sophisticated! I hesitate bringing this song forth but what the hay, it might be kind of interesting/amusing for you, and though, while perhaps humbling for me, I guess I can take it... :)

I was living in Scotts Valley, California, sharing an apartment with my old buddy, James Simmons. I remember writing this song, thinking that it sounded like Lou Reed. I don't think so anymore, but there must've been something there at one time... I've gone through it, cleaned it up, fixed up the lyrics as best I could. Seems there's something about this song, makes me wanna stamp disclaimers all over it! I guess it must be a hit... Oh well, whatever, it's fun revisiting really old songs and trying to put them into shape.

About the instrumental section: the lead part was inspired by guitarrista extraordinario Dave Gwynn. Dave now lives in Madrid, Spain. He plays guitar with the group Marlango.

So... for the teeny-bopper in you, "Bells on My Boots"... Enjoy! 

May - 2005

Toad On The Road

After last month's "Blast-from-the-Past" it's time for something recent. "Toad on the Road." I don't know what to say about Toad, because I'm not sure what it's about! Maybe you can tell me? I do know this: it's got an urgency about it, it's got an aggressive beat. I think most people don't really listen to the lyrics anyway. Sometimes I think that if the lyrics draw too much attention, the music suffers...It's a delicate balance. "Toad on the Road" is a trifle more "abstract" than some of my songs. Does it work for you?
June - 2005 What's the Problem?

This month's song, "What's the Problem?" is a collaboration. My good friend James Simmons, who lives in Berkeley, CA, sent me this set of lusty lyrics in need of music... 

Greetings from California. Jon has asked me to write a little introduction to his June05 song-of-the-month called "What's The Problem?" This song like many of our joint efforts began as a demo filled with sporadic stops and starts featuring my erratic guitarring and vocals in search of a melody. Jon once again managed to listen, pass the fragments of what he heard through his own unique stylings and transform it all into one coherent whole. Of course then again it's easy for him to do because, from at least my perspective, he has the enviable advantage of being able to change chords without issuing audible commands to any of his fingers and sing all the notes that he sets out to sing.

Anyway, the lovable, if delusional schmo of this song seems unable to grasp the fact that no amount of wildly diverse Kama Sutra entanglements is enough to sustain a relationship of substance for more than say a few decades. So when things start to fade he asks what's the problem which even he realizes in his fleeting moments of clarity he doesn't really want answered, at least not in any detail. I know I'm certainly grateful that none of my former loves ever resorted to honesty when asked such a question; vanity and pride are such a persnickety twosome.

So that's it. A boy lusts and loves a girl, is losing the girl and asks a question that he doesn't want answered. No wonder psychologists make the big bucks. Now jump on that download link and listen to Rockaday Jonny, the rockingest rocker in all of Minnesota.

Take care everyone, James
July - 2005  

We Gotta Lota Love


Seems to me I wrote this song, "We Gotta Lotta Love," after moving to Minnesota. Could be wrong, but who cares? Let's say 1981. Why not? Apparently I had a jazz music book with some interesting chords in it that I was working my way through. So, what is that final chord? It's a Bflat13. At the 6th fret, low e-string, 1st finger on Bflat. ( the a-string is muted) On the d-string, 2nd finger on g#. On the g-string, 3rd finger on the d. The little finger is barred across strings 2 & 1, covering g & c.

August - 2005  


"Fortunately" arrived while I was living in Santa Cruz, in an old chicken shack, must've been 1976 or 7. "Chicken shack?" you say. Yeah, you got it. Recently, when I mentioned to my wife Connie that I was living in a barn when she met me, her response was: "What was I thinking????"

...Fortunately, we had other things on our minds...

September - 2005


Larry Drove to N'awlins

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Things are not going so well in New Orleans. Everyone needs to help however they can. I sure want to do my part, and I thought of something I could do. This month's "song of the month" is not my usual "quick take". It's a full blown recording of "Larry Drove to N'awlins" off of my CD entitled "Frankie Said". 

I have made arrangements with CDBaby.com to donate ALL of the proceeds (not just the profits!) from sales of my CD to the Red Cross relief efforts. Please do your part and BUY one (or more, to give as gifts!) of my CD's. 

Here's the link:


Thank YOU for helping. Please tell your friends!

October - 2005 Mr. Energy's Answer

Back when I was about twenty seven, I was a bit health-conscious. I was Mr. Energy. I ran the track at UCSC. I pumped iron, and I made a power-drink that I called, "glop." Man, it had EVERYTHING in it! Brewers yeast, protein powder, and yes, a raw egg. Once, I had some left-over glop, so I treated the plants to it. (I had some potted spider-plants out in the barn where I lived). They, of course, proceeded to die. Glop was my main source of sustenance, and I didn't really start to eat like a regular person until I got a girlfriend! There was a long spell there while I was consuming this stuff that I wasn't having much luck with women. I finally realized that it not only gave me energy, it also gave me very bad breath...

November - 2005 Bird & Flower

1967 and it was The Summer of Love. In San Francisco, hippies were getting it on in the park. Free love! I was all of 18, listening to the Hurdy Gurdy Man, Donovan. That fall, wearing my love-beads, octagonal wire-rims, and patched bell-bottoms, I put on my faux-Scottish accent and wrote this month's songadamunth, "Bird & Flower". Here it is, 38 years later, I've lost the love-beads, I wear contacts and I've got new Gap jeans. And now, a new version of Bird & Flower, this time without the accent. By the way, Bird & Flower is -gasp- a folk song!