Editor’s note by John E. Bialas: The 5 saddest songs on The Captain’s Spotify is the second part in a series about his play list. The first part was published Feb. 28 and it features disco, dance and funk. Part 2 shows The Cap’s melancholy side.
By CAPTAIN TENACIOUS Special to the Broadmoor Bureau
I can’t be the upbeat 24-hour bar-hopping guy I used to be because I’m three years away from my favorite birthday number, which is 69, and I get bombed and rejected at 66 years old more often than I did when I was 22.
The young lovelies who ignore my glances and advances mean a lot of lonely nights for me at home in Gulfport, Miss., and these are the songs on my Spotify that remind me I’m among all the lonely people.
The first song was the suggestion of Young Miami Dave, who responded to a Facebook request: What songs do you think are on The Captain’s Spotify play list?
The other picks are mine and the one stands out is “Lonesome Loser” because it reminds me of one of my worst dates.
A hippie chick went on a Little River Band date with me after I bought tickets for both of us, and even before LRB started playing the set, the girl slipped out of the auditorium with another guy. I never saw her again.
She missed out. I would have bought her a T-shirt after the concert if she had stayed with me.
That night, I was the Lonesome Loser and when I got home, I was all by myself.
Image credit: A screen grab of Eric Carmen’s “All By Myself” on YouTube.
Editor’s note by John E. Bialas: I asked Facebook friends last week to name the songs they think are on Captain Tenacious’ Spotify play list, and I enjoyed all the selections because they fit the persona of the retired sportswriter: Most Experienced Playboy in the Western World, 1979 Disco Dancing World Finalist, 1984 Pensacola Twist Contest Winner, 1994 Mississippi Breakdancing Champion, Legend in His Own Dirty Mind and Master of the Quadruple Entendre. Today, he writes about songs on his Spotify list in this quality piece of fine journalism.
By CAPTAIN TENACIOUS Special to the Broadmoor Bureau
I saw all the Facebook submissions and all of them fit my personality and taste in music.
All the selections are spot-on. They are always streaming on my Spotify, and anyone who knows me knows how much I love streaming if you get my drift.
Thirty-five songs were posted on John’s Facebook and my story features 10 of them.
I am listing each pick this way: The first name of the person who submitted the song, the song on YouTube and my comments below the video.
In 1975, the year the song came out, the ladies called me “The Hustler” for my moves on and off the dance floor.
One more from Freddie
Reminds me of the nights at the Fiesta in Biloxi, where I mixed poppers with Jacks and Cokes.
Whoa baby! Funk me!
My kicks are fast as lightning, although I’m more of a lover than a fighter.
That’s the way I like it, connotations and all.
I can relate to these words: “If morning’s echo says we’ve sinned,
it was what I wanted now.” I say this to myself lying in bed alone and thinking of a Twin Peaks girl.
This song is preparing me for my Roman and Mediterranean holiday in April, when I’ll be on my Continental Love cruise where I hope to meet the Gina Lollobrigida, the Claudia Cardinale and the Monica Vitti of my dreams.
Yep, I am a hugging and kissing fiend.
I got a gal, she lives on the block, she is kind of funky with her pink and black socks.
The ear worm I get from this song is “Stand Really Close to Me.” Close counts.
This ain’t no disco
One song that will never make my list is “Dirty Boulevard” by Lou Reed.
I remember the time I was riding in a car with a couple of other sportswriters and that song was playing. It was ear-splitting and headache-making.
I yelled, “What the hell is that crap? Change the station.”
It turns out the song was blaring from a cassette player and not the radio.
No disco! Son of a bitch!
Image credit: The Trammps perform “Disco Inferno.” This is a YouTube screen grab.
The South Mississippi rube that I am, I’ve always thought the Beatles song “Savoy Truffle” was about Cream drummer Ginger Baker.
“Savoy Truffle” is a George Harrison song on “The White Album,” which came out in 1968, and I got the Beatles record shortly after it was released. Sometime later, I also got an 8-track of “The White Album” and I would play it in my car.
I tried to find the original Beatles song on YouTube, but instead I came up with a nice consolation prize: Dhani Harrison, George’s son, doing a cover version.
“Savoy Truffle” is one of my favorite songs on “The White Album,” and when I was younger, I was obsessed about it. I was addicted to the sound, the lyrics and George’s singing. I would listen to the song over and over again on my record player in my bedroom and on my 8-track player when I was driving to Edgewater Mall in Biloxi.
I thought the lyrics gave clues the song was about Ginger Baker.
Creme tangerine and montelimar
A ginger sling with a pineapple heart
A coffee dessert, yes you know it’s good news
But you’ll have to have them all pulled out
After the Savoy truffle
Cool cherry cream, a nice apple tart
I feel your taste all the time we’re apart
Coconut fudge, really blows down those blues
But you’ll have to have them all pulled out
After the Savoy truffle
You might not feel it now
But when the pain cuts through
You’re going to know, and how
The sweat is going to fill your head
When it becomes too much
You shout aloud
I thought the words “Savoy truffle” were British slang for the way Ginger Baker played blues shuffle beats on his drum set.
I thought “creme tangerine” was a George Harrison reference to Baker, Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, the rock stars in Cream, the short-lived super power trio.
I thought for sure I heard “Ginger slings with a pineapple heart,” believing pineapple heart was some kind of narcotic Baker enjoyed using while playing for Cream.
And I thought “the sweat is going to fill your head” was about withdrawal from pineapple hearts.
I’ve had these thoughts since I was 16 years old. They have entertained me for 49 years.
Then last week I got the extended 2017 edition of the 1980 George Harrison book “I, Me, Mine” and it it he explains what “Savoy Truffle” is all about.
Harrison writes that the song is about Eric Clapton’s addiction to chocolate candy at the time and the cavities the guitar god got from eating too much.
“He was over at my house and I had a box of Good News chocolates on the table and wrote the song from the names inside the lid,” Harrison says.
The box included “Ginger Sling with a Pineapple Heart.”
No matter the story, Ginger Baker slings with a pineapple heart.
Editor’s note: A photo of a Good News candy box is in Harrison’s book “I, Me, Mine.” For this post, I cropped the photo and made it the featured image.
I didn’t know it until I woke up at 11:15 a.m. thinking of the song, a funky comedic tune on my mind for the first time since the 20th century.
If I’m going to think about the song all day, and I have, might as well make it “Troglodyte” Thursday. It’s certainly a throwback.
The song was released as a single in 1972. Forty-five years ago. I was 20 back then. That’s also the year I started Boogie, a rock-music fanzine I published until 1975.
“Troglodyte” was a Top 10 hit for The Jimmy Castor Bunch and I was going to write a Facebook post about it once my day got going, but I decided to make it a blog post instead because I’ve going a week without writing one.
I went to YouTube and found a televised 1973 performance.
“Troglodyte” would be great for a karaoke night on the town. Imagine millennials reciting the lyrics, dancing and dropping the mic in triumph before an appreciative club crowd.
Here are samples of the lyrics:
“Gotta find a woman, gotta find a woman, gotta find a woman, gotta find a woman.”
“This one woman just lay there, wet and frightened.
He said: Move… Move.
She got up, she was a big woman, big woman.
Her name was Bertha, Bertha Butt, she was one of the Butt sisters.”
Make “Troglodyte” Thursday a new tradition. Do it tonight if you gotta find a woman or even if you don’t have to gotta find a woman.
GULPORT, Miss. —It all started on Oct. 18, 2016, with a Facebook message from Sun Herald sportswriter and longtime colleague James Jones.
“Sir Paul took a shot at my boy Phil,” James said.
James’ message included a link to a story in which Phil Collins, promoting his memoir, “Not Dead Yet,” revealed he still resents Paul McCartney after the Beatle allegedly mocked an autograph request at a Buckingham Palace party during the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth in 2002.
In an interview with the Sunday Times in 2016, Collins said that “McCartney came up with Heather Mills and I had a first edition of ‘The Beatles’ by Hunter Davies and I said, ‘Hey Paul, do you mind signing this for me?’ And he said, ‘Oh Heather, our little Phil’s a bit of a Beatles fan.’ And I thought, ‘You f**k, you f**k.’ Never forgot it.”
I got the feeling I was supposed to side with Phil and James.
This sarcastic thought raced through my mind: “Oh, I feel sorry for Phil Collins.”
James and I agree on a lot of things. We think actor William Devane is cool. We like old TV shows like “Happy Days” and “Laverne & Shirley.” We like the classic Rat Pack movies like “Ocean’s 11” and “Robin and the 7 Hoods.”
I’m entertained when James talks about Frank DeFazio, Carmine “The Big Ragoo” Ragusa, Lenny, Squiggy, Shirley Feeney and Laverne DeFazio. He says we have worked with Laverne-like women in the Sun Herald newsroom, ones without the nasal Bronx accent but with the attitude.
James always mentions Doug Barber, our longtime Hall of Fame sportswriter colleague, when he talks about the Newsroom Lavernes.
The Newsroom Lavernes pushed Doug around. Doug is usually fearless about women, but the Newsroom Lavernes always intimidated him. Maybe that’s why he retired a couple of years ago.
James and I imagine Doug would shiver just seeing this Laverne DeFazio line.
Touch my “L,” sweetie, and your teeth go to Peoria!
James and I don’t agree on Phil Collins. James is a fan. I’m not a fan. I’m a Paul McCartney fan.
I told James “Phil Collins is a hack. His songs are terrible and he’s not even a good drummer. Sir Paul is a better drummer than Phil Collins.”
Yeah, I’m quite aware drumming isn’t Sir Paul’s day job. Phil has played drums more often, and I have to admit, far better. I just wanted to antagonize James.
James seems to think “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” is a great song and I think it is sappy and syrupy stuff.
I couldn’t believe we got caught up in this. James is in his 40s and I’m in my 60s, but the more I got into it, the more I enjoyed it. It was good-natured.
I told James that Phil was a 13-year-old extra in the Beatles movie “A Hard Day’s Night” in 1964 and perhaps that would have been a good time for Little Phil to ask for Paul’s autograph.
“U cold-blooded,” James said.
Our Facebook exchanges, all from his home to mine, carried over to the newsroom, where James sought sympathy for Phil from anyone.
He found it from the Page One designer, who was told the autograph sob story and then called Sir Paul “a big old douchebag.”
When I heard that, I thought, “Oh, brother.”
James, with someone finally on his side, told me, “Take that, you hater.”
Roy Rolison, my sports editor from back in the day, chimed in on my Facebook page with an old photo of Paul playing the drums. Roy was on my side.
“Paul has created an online instructional site to tutor, show the ropes to Phil Collins,” Roy said.
I have no idea if James saw the snarky post. Maybe he was listening to “Take a Look at Me Now.” If not that, maybe “Higher Love,” the only Steve Winwood song he likes.
I retired from the Sun Herald on March 3, 2017, and I brought up our Phil-Paul exchanges during my little farewell speech to the newsroom on March 2.
Much of my prepared speech, which I worked on up to the last minute after a couple of weeks, was about parting shots and inside jokes. James said many nice things about me, but I had to poke him one more time.
“James, I’m ready to bury the drumsticks, though I still think Sir Paul is a better drummer than Phil,” I said.
The line got some laughs, but I doubt that’s the last word.