Wednesday, September 5, 2018

QuickFacts: Music


Michael Jackson’s Thriller, with its famous graveyard dance video, started the trend of group dance scenes in pop videos, forcing even non-dancers like Pat Benatar to front a group of dancers in their clips.

Thriller is by far the best selling album in the world. In the United States, it was overtaken by The Eagles Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975, but reclaimed the title after Jackson's death.

Speaking of The Eagles, the lyric, "Warm smell of colitas" in Hotel California is not a sexual slang term or a reference to marijuana. Band member Don Felder has stated "The colitas is a plant that grows in the desert that blooms at night, and it has this kind of pungent, almost funky smell. Don Henley came up with a lot of the lyrics for that song, and he came up with colitas."  Nonetheless, colitis is also a slang term for marijuanha,

It was reported in 2003 that the military commander of al-Qaeda, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, was being interrogated at a secret US base known only by its CIA nickname, the Hotel California.  A US intelligence source said the name was taken from the Eagles' song which includes the lyric, "you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave".  There was speculation that the base could be on the British Indian Ocean territory of Diego Garcia or even in Uzbekistan.  The intelligence source said "KSM [Khalid Sheikh Mohammed] will never come back to the United States or Guantanamo Bay. He will be held in a basement somewhere in a third country where, shall we say, they do not worry too much about humanitarian laws and he will not be protected by the US constitution."

The lyrics to Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns N’ Roses came from a poem Axl Rose was working on. He wrote the song about his girlfriend, Erin Everly, who is the daughter of Don Everly of the Everly Brothers. They married in 1990 but divorced a month later.

The real name of Lorde is Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O’Connor.

Merle Haggard’s ode to rednecks, Okie from Muskogee, contains the lyrics:

We don't smoke marijuana in Muskogee
We don't take our trips on LSD
We don't burn our draft cards down on Main Street
We like livin' right, and bein' free

We don't make a party out of lovin'
We like holdin' hands and pitchin' woo
We don't let our hair grow long and shaggy
Like the hippies out in San Francisco do

I'm proud to be an Okie from Muskogee,
A place where even squares can have a ball
We still wave Old Glory down at the courthouse,
And white lightnin's still the biggest thrill of all

Leather boots are still in style for manly footwear
Beads and Roman sandals won't be seen
Football's still the roughest thing on campus
And the kids here still respect the college dean

Funnily enough, though, the song began as a pisstake on the same people being honoured.  It started out as a joke making fun of small town rural folks, but took on new meaning when people took it seriously.  According to Merle Haggard: "We wrote it to be satirical originally. But then people latched onto it, and it really turned into this song that looked into the mindset of people so opposite of who and where we were. My dad's people. He's from Muskogee."

In the March 2006 issue of Esquire magazine, Kris Kristofferson was asked where he was when he came up with the line, "Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose" from his song Me and Bobby McGee” (a posthumous No 1 for Janis Joplin, the second in history.  The first was Otis Redding’s “Dock of the Bay”).

His reply: "I was working the Gulf of Mexico on oil rigs, flying helicopters. I'd lost my family to my years of failing as a songwriter. All I had were bills, child support, and grief. And I was about to get fired for not letting 24 hours go between the throttle and the bottle. It looked like I'd trashed my act. But there was something liberating about it. By not having to live up to people's expectations, I was somehow free."

 On numerous occasions when Don McLean has been asked the meaning of his song “American Pie”, he has responded “It means I never have to work again.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.