Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Countdown Continues...



Late summer, 1973, the job is winding down at the drive-in, I am getting ready for my last year of public education and life is pretty mellow. On the radio comes this weird sounding frieght train guitar riff and words that meant absolutely nothing. That freight train riff and the solo in the middle were courtesy of my now friend Bob Heil, inventor of the "talk box". The song was "Rocky Mountain Way". My favorite DJ at the time Rich Ericson had just been fired by the "lite rock" station and he made his triumphant return to the legendary top 40 station (KSTT)by playing "Rocky Mountain Way " and declaring openly that he was happy to be back because that was a song that they never "allowed" him to play at the "lite rock" station! Yeah! Right On! I immediately made a contribution to his defiance by buying the album. I knew Joe from The James Gang and I also bought "Barnstorm" although I was a bit disappointed in it. The rest of the album sounds nothing like "Rocky Mountain Way".
Very laid back and trippy for me. I was experimenting a bit with different things and found the vibe to be very nice. "Book Ends" was a bit of a throwaway and "Wolf" a bit of a downer. Really dug the instrumental "Midnight Moodies" with Joe on keyboards and guitar and a Jethro Tull sounding flute. "Happy Ways" is a Joe Vitale song with a tropical beat and a great middle eight. "Meadows" is typical Joe (in a good sense) and "Dreams" is like floating away. "Days Gone By" is probably my fave over the years and "Daydream Prayer" is the coda where the band steps out on stage taking their bows.

At the time, this was an imporatnat release to me as I drove a long distance to work. I think I went through two eight tracks in all.

Honorable Mention




Loved both of these too...

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The only thing better than hearing "Rocky Mountain Way" on KSTT was playing it on KSTT. Despite heavy midrange processing, 30 miles of phone lines to the transmitter, worn out carts, and the occasional RF from CB radios passing by on East River Drive, it sounded great!

Randy Raley said...

In wonderful glorious mono!

dr sardonicus said...

Can't add much to this one. Bob Heil is indeed one of the unsung heroes of rock 'n' roll - you'll have to do a post on him someday, if you haven't already.

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