Friday, February 8, 2013

Better Late Than Never

It feels like forever since my first blog post--a week to be exact.  In blog time that is forever.  It seems though, that I broke one of the most basic of rules when starting a new project; avoid catching a major head cold that prevents you from breathing, eating, and talking like a normal person...and don't forget the constant ear-ringing and headaches...

But that is behind me now...just a minor sniffle to remind me how miserable I was just a mere 48 hours while I sit here and watch the "Storm of the Century" unleash her fury on the Northeast--we have 3" of snow down and counting--this seems like the perfect time to pick up where I left off.

With the weather as my guide today I search through my vinyl collection (with a nod to my friend Roger) and  stumble across an LP I have not played in way too long...Steppenwolf 7.  "Snow Blind Friend" is the second of two anti-drug tunes written by Hoyt Axton the band covered during their career; "The Pusher" being the first and more widely known.  Although the song has nothing at all to do with the weather and I have never had a drug problem (honest Your Honor), I thought it was somewhat spot-on for a wintry day such as this.

Funny how a band associated with the "Classic Rock" era that was the 60's and 70's...(remember "Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n' Roll?") would cover anti-drug songs during their run.  Steppenwolf was a band I always considered "way cool" when I was a kid.  John Kay still tours today with Steppenwolf although he is the only original member of the band to remain...but before I travel a tangent road I originally set out to avoid I must get back to the music.

"Snow Blind Friend" is a great song (to me) because it doesn't rock your face off nor does it drip with the phony emotion of a Top-40 song written to make the little girls cry.  It almost sounds like an unplugged classic 25 years before unplugged was cool...

Steppenwolf rocked like the best of 'em; "Born to Be Wild," "Sookie Sookie," "Magic Carpet Ride," and "Hey Lawdy Mama" could kick it...even thought they all were not chart toppers.    But "Snow Blind Friend," like "The Pusher", took the listener deeper into the dark underbelly of the drug scene that was so romanticized at the time.  Painting a different picture of the drug scene and its culture, the song simply lays it out for you to listen to, analyze, think about, and draw your own conclusion.  There is a definite "drugs are bad" feel to the song, but not so much as to make you feel you are being lectured--a sure sign that the song would be "Mom Approved" and therefore something to avoid.  Rather Kay and the band chose to play a heartfelt version of a song written to make you think deep about a topic that didn't get too much airplay.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy...and watch out for the Blizzard...

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