Title: The Great Deceiver

Artist: King Crimson

Album: Starless & Bible Black

Year Released: 1974

What It Is: A burst of jazz-prog rock with weird lyrics. The playing is expert on all accounts, and yes John Wetton does play those tricky bass parts and sing at the same time.

Riffage / Hookage: Robert Fripp is always good for a strong riff. He’s an exceptionally powerful guitarist. It’s a shame metalloids don’t give him his due. Perhaps it’s because most Crimson songs change tempos and styles at the drop of a hat.

Cowbell?: I’m sure Bill Bruford hits it once or twice. He hits EVERYTHING ELSE in his kit, it seems.

Words Of Wisdom: “Cigarettes, Ice Cream, Figurines Of The Virgin Mary.”

Mixology Report: Mix with care. The opening lyric is “Health Food Faggot”, but that’s British slang (well slang in 1974) for a veggie meatball.

Top Five Genius Results: Yes – The Gates Of Delirium
ELP – The Barbarian
Genesis – Can-Utility & the Coastliner
Van Der Graaf Generator – Man Erg
Gentle Giant – Black Cat

For The Good Of The Order: I think some incarnation of King Crimson going on right now, gigging periodically. Fripp is so mercurial though, it’s hard to tell what’s next with him.

Here’s a recording of a live version from “The Great Deceiver” 4-cd set. David Cross quit Crimson because he was often drowned out by Wetton and Bruford. Fripp complained about this as well, and rather much shut down during the “Red” album, which was the last Crimson record for many years.


Been a long time since I rock and rolled…

Title: Jim Dandy

Artist: Black Oak Arkansas

Album: High On The Hog

Year Released: 1974

What It Is: Cheesy cheeky southern boogie. This cover of LaVern Baker’s great 1956 hit propelled BOA into second-tier stardom. They toured and sold a lot of records, but never really hit it huge like Skynyrd or Grand Funk Railroad.

Riffage / Hookage: Not that riffy, even though they use THREE (count ’em) guitarists. But there’s a hook, of course. Baker had the hook, too!

Cowbell?: I don’t hear any, but there may be some somewhere

Words Of Wisdom: “Once upon a time, I went to Maine.
Got a ticket on a DC plane.
Mr. Dandy didn’t need no chute!
I was high and ready to boot!
Jim Dandy to the rescue!
Go, Jim Dandy! Go, Jim Dandy!”

Mixology Report: The cheese factor is strong. Why not?

Top Five Genius Results: Ted Nugent – Stranglehold
Blackfoot – Highway Song
Nazareth – Love Hurts
Rick Derringer – Rock & Roll, Hootchie Koo
Foghat – I Just Want To Make Love To You

For The Good Of The Order: Did you realize that they covered “Taxman” by the Beatles on 1975’s “Ain’t Life Grand” record? I didn’t. Wow. It sounds how you’d expect it to sound.

Here are two clips featuring BOA, Jim Dandy Mangrum and guest vocalist Ruby Starr (with the largest hair to skirt ratio ever). Did David Lee Roth cop everything from Jim Dandy? Could be…

Title: Rock Bottom


Album: Phenomenon

Year Released: 1974

What It Is: Oh, good cripes! This is one of the premier riffs in rock music history! I mean, what a riff! That’s Michael Schenker on guitar at age 19 after fleeing the Scorprions (for the first time).

Riffage / Hookage: Oh, man, just click on the vids below! (One is from Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert and not imbedded).

Cowbell?: I think, perhaps, there’s cowbell in the mix of cymbals somewhere. Or perhaps I’m confusing that with “Shoot Shoot” which I know has some bell. Anyway, it’s a great air drum song, too!

Words Of Wisdom: Who the hell cares? It’s the RIFF!

Mixology Report: I only have one word for this, “Fuckin A”!

For The Good Of The Order: Michael Schenker is one of the guitar heroes that no one really has heard (much). His bands (Scorpions, UFO, Michael Schenker Group) had limited followings when he was in them, and of course, the drugs do take a toll, but guitar junkies know of Michael Schenker and really, the public doesn’t. Pity.

I picture a bunch of teenagers in their Camaros and Trans-Ams, cranking out this song on their 8-track with Stroh’s beer…

I decided for two videos. The first one seen here is, as I said, from Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert. (Cue Paul Shaffer impersonation of said Kirshner!) The tempo seems to be draggy (it may be the video itself, as the other UFO Kirshner video is also draggy) but you can see Schenker and bassist Pete Way bounding about in their shirtless glory.

The second is a static album cover but it has the studio cut and you can really rock out to it! CRANK IT UP! Air guitar and drums for EVERYONE!