Posts from Sucking In The 70s


In the cab n the way to a fundraiser on Tuesday night, I read Bob Lefsetz’ rant on Alice Cooper and I knew that Alice would be featured in this week’s Nuggets.  As Bob says in a must read post for anyone interested in popular music:

It is absolutely positively CRIMINAL that Alice Cooper is not in the
Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.  While Robbie Robertson and other exalted
insiders have left the boards, are sitting behind a desk instead of
standing in front of a microphone, Alice Cooper is out KILLING night
after night and those in power, with their multi-thousand dollar suits
and private jets, are IGNORING HIM!

Alice Cooper put out four awesome records in the early 1970s all produced by the legendary Bob Ezrin.  I have owned them all at one point in my life.  They are Love It To Death, Killer, School’s Out, and Billion Dollar Babies.

Bob calls Killer Alice’s greatest moment and it probably is. It’s the Alice record my brother Rod bought Josh when he wanted to turn him on to Alice’s greatness.

But my favorite is Billion Dollar Babies. The title track may not have been a single, but it is my favorite Alice Cooper song.

The deluxe edition, which I linked to, has a second CD full of live recordings from the Billion Babies tour.  And Alice Cooper is essentially a live experience. One of the best shows in rock.

If you grew up in the 70s, as I did, do yourself a favor and go back to some of these records.  I am pretty sure they’ll bring back some good memories.

#My Music#Sucking In The 70s


My Chevy Vega post brought back a flood of memories and one of the best is the time that our friend PJ put on Sultans of Swing on the Vega car stereo. I said, "wow, who is that?"  And thus began my love of Dire Straits and Mark Knopfler’s guitar playing.

There are two Dire Straits records that are must haves.  The debut record, Dire Straits, and the third record Making Movies.  Tunnel of Love on the third record is my favorite Dire Straits song.

But my favorite Dire Straits album is the debut record, Dire Straits.  From the opening notes you know its going to be a great record and it is. Sultans of course is a classic song, but there is not one bad song on the record. I was going to name some of my favorite songs but the list turned into the entire record. It’s been too long since I pulled this one out. It’s going into Heavy Rotation for a while.

You can get the remastered version of this record on Amazon.

#My Music#Sucking In The 70s

The Chevy Vega

It’s been a while since I did a "sucking in the 70s post".

I’ve been meaning to post about our Chevy Vega for a while, but just haven’t gotten around to it.

I learned to drive in a Chevy Vega and it was my first car.  I shared with my brother Rod who is a year older than me.

Rod says it was a 1974 hatchback. My dad says either 1974 or 1975.  My guess is 1974.  Rod knew that car better than anyone else in our house.

It was bright red Orange.  My dad says he got a great deal on it because nobody wanted it in that color.

Ours was manual transmission.  Maybe they all were.  Who knows?

That car was a major lemon.  Not just our car.  Every Chevy Vega.

It was the worst car ever made according to many people who know a lot more about cars than me.

It had an alluminum engine.  It consumed a ton of oil.  And it made noises.

The interior fell apart. The ride was terrible.

But even with all of that abuse I just laid on the Chevy Vega, I have a soft spot in my heart for that car.

I failed my driver’s test in that car.  My dad thought we should pass the drivers test in a stick shift.  So that’s what I tried to do.  But I was so nervous doing the parallel parking test, that I kept stalling out on the clutch.  Eventually I passed the drivers test in my parents automatic station wagon.

Before I had a license, my brother used to drive the car.

I really wanted to drive it too.

One day, when my parents were out, I decided to take the Vega for a spin. So I got the keys, went into the driveway, turned on the car, and pulled out of the driveway.

There was a pretty steep hill on the way out of the neighborhood we lived in.

As I was driving down that hill, I passed my parents heading up the hill.

The look I got from both of them is still planted front and center in my brain.

Vega_ad Lot’s of good memories from that 1974 Chevy Vega.

The worst car ever made.

#Sucking In The 70s

Sucking In The 70s (continued)

I promise to get back to this category more often.  I’ve been a bit focused on figuring out what’s next after "web 2.0".

In any case, for anyone who rocked their way through the 1970s, I suggest you go check out Raj Bala’s latest podcast, called Loudspeakers #13.

It’s a rock and roll tour through the 1970s, with an emphasis on the songs and artists who have most influenced today’s younger bands.

The Stooges track (Loose) is worth the listen all by itself.  Iggy is one of the all time great rockers.

Other highlights for me were:

Stevie Wonder – Mistra Know It All (1973) – we all know guys like Mistra Know It All.
Television – Marquee Moon (1977) – love the cool riff that runs throughout the song
Buzzcocks – Why Can’t I Touch It? (1979) – fantastic track
The Beatles – I Me Mine (1970) – George Harrison really rocked at the end of The Beatles
The Velvet Underground – I Found A Reason (1971)  – my favorite VU track

#My Music#Sucking In The 70s


The Rolling Stones are the greatest rock and roll band for three reasons;

1 – The Glimmer Twins – Mick and Keith – the second best songwriting duo in rock music (after John and Paul).

2 – The Rythm Section – Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman – never did a rythm section set a better beat with such little effort

3 – Jimmy and Little Mick – Jimmy Miller and Mick Taylor were the additions that took the Stones to another level in the late 60s and early 70s.

I was reminded of Jimmy and Little Mick’s contributions when a friend I made via this blog came to visit me this week and gave me a copy of a live recording of a stop on the legendary 1973 European Tour (Goat’s Head Soup tour).  The record is called Brussels Affair 1973.

It’s hard to call this a Nugget because I’ve only owned it for a couple days, but every Rolling Stones fan has to own this record.  It captures the Stones at the height of Mick Taylor’s prowess and he is all over this record.

If you like Get Yer Ya Yas Out, you will love this one.  It is honestly one of the best live recordings of the Rolling Stones I have ever heard.

So how do you buy it?  Well, I am not sure.  There is a page on Amazon for the record, but it’s not available. There is a CDDB entry (and iTunes recognizes it when you put it in your computer) but again no links to where this can be bought.  I guess its a bootleg, but a very popular one.  If any of my readers know where this can be purchased, let me know and I’ll add it to this post.

Jimmy Miller’s last contribution was Goat’s Head Soup and Mick Taylor left one record later, after It’s Only Rock and Roll.  They have been missed.

But we can always go back to those records, Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main Street, and Goat’s Head Soup, and hear the greatest version of the greatest rock band ever.

#My Music#Sucking In The 70s

Sucking In The 70s

A throwaway line at the end of my post on James I O’Neill High School has stuck in my brain for the past week.

Sucking In The 70s.  The name of one of the worst Rolling Stones compilations. And also the tagline to my high school experience.

But for whatever reason, a time in my life that has been stuck way back in the recesses of my brain is coming to the forefront and I want to blog about it.

So a new category has been added to this blog.  I hope you enjoy my occasional trips down memory lane.  I’ll try to make them enjoyable.

#Sucking In The 70s

James I. O'Neill High School

That’s the place I went to high school.  I can’t recommend it to anyone as I thought it totally sucked.  But that was my experience.  Others I know feel differently.

But it was a fascinating place for one reason, it was a mashup of four completely different communities.  I’ll let Mike Doughty, who also went there, about ten years after I did, tell the story, since he already did on his blog:

There were four towns feeding our high school’s student body; West
Point, where I lived, was generally the obsessively high-achieving,
secretly-haunted kids of Army officers. Highland Falls and Fort
Montgomery were, respectively, lower-middle and working-class towns
characterized by extreme resentment at living in West Point’s shadow.

Garrison was where the rich kids lived. On that side of the
river–the East–was the commuter train to New York, Grand Central
Station. This was an extreme demarcation–the West side of the Hudson
is forever the thrift side for lack of of this pipeline. Garrison kids
tended to wear clothes bought at Canal Jean in the city, had excellent
multicolored Vans shoes, and good cars.

That was James I O’Neill High School and I was "the obsessively high-achieving,
secretly-haunted kid of Army officers".

My niece Julia goes there now.  I think she likes it a bit better than I did.  I sure hope so.

Jackson and Tony Alva, well known to the commenters on this blog, went there.  I think they liked it better than I did.  They can do what they always do and let you know in the comments.

I doubt Mike Doughty reads my blog, but if he does, I’d love to know what he thought about O’Neill.

I did get an email about six months ago from a woman I knew in high school named Betsy who happened upon my blog.  She said, "are you the Fred Wilson who graduated from O’Neill High School in 1979".  I replied "yes, that would be me, the arrogant punk know it all kid".  She replied, "yes, that’s how I remember you".

Now with my oldest daughter in high school, I am reliving through her all the messed up emotions of those years.  Sucking In The 70s.  Exactly.

#Sucking In The 70s


Ted got me reminiscing about my high school days at West Point, a subject I intend to post on a bit more this morning, and that took me back to the basement of our house at 69 Schofield Lane. The basement was where we listened to music back then.

And there is one record that comes to mind vividly from those days.

It’s called Live Bootleg and its from Aerosmith, pre drug problems, pre MTV.  My Aerosmith.

Songs like Dream On, Back In The Saddle Again, Sweet Emotion, Walk This Way, Toys In The Attic.

They were a great hard rock band.  Steven Tyler and Joe Perry. The Glimmer Twins part two.

And this record captures pretty much the end of that band, during the Draw The Line Tour.  The band was already coming unglued and you can hear it at times on the record.

But there are three songs at the end of this record that make it a Nugget,  I Ain’t Got You, Mother Popcorn, and Train Kept A Rollin (which is abbreviated).

Mother Popcorn, a James Brown tune, is a super fun listen.  Apparently this version was recorded in 1973 at a WBCN event.  Tyler goes nuts on this song.  It’s a lot of fun.

Sadly this record is not available on Rhapsody or iTunes.  It should be. Why don’t bands put their back catalogs up online?

You can get it at Amazon though in CD form.  If you like old Aerosmith and haven’t heard this record, I suggest you do that.

#My Music#Sucking In The 70s