K-Dillie's Seventies in September
photo by Tom Gold
"Mississippi Queen" by MOUNTAIN:
Because you just can't do a tribute to 70s balls out rock without this song. You're supposed to play pool to this. . . or strip. I didn't realize until checking on the band's Allmusic entry that their fourth live performance ever was at Woodstock.
I've always thought one of the funniest and most telling (about the music industry and what it has become, at least) thing about 70s rock was the fact that you could be UGLY AS FUCK and still have a massive hit. You couldn't do that today. I think the last lump of shit to break the mainstream was John Popper. Seriously, check out Mountain guitarist Leslie West:
He looks like Andre the Giant in The Princess Bride! And yet, massive hit. Dude played Woodstock. Who is the ugliest person on MTV or the radio today? Can you name three truly ugly people? Back in the '70s, it was ugly for miles. Frank Zappa. Blue Oyster Cult. They had better looking dudes in 70s porn, and even those dudes were heinous.
"You Drive Me Wild"
"Cherry Bomb" by THE RUNAWAYS:
I think I've already said enough around these parts about how Joan Jett was the first woman I ever fell in love with. And that was only because of her early solo career. . . if I had seen her back when she was in The Runaways (she would have been about 16, and I not yet born), I would have run away from home to find her. A cute girl who loved Black Sabbath and AC/DC, and she rocks? Just kill me. Yep, it was her and Diane Lane for me. I'm still dying this day to find a copy of Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains, where Diane Lane pretty much plays Joan Jett in an all-female punk band. Anybody out there have this movie? Please? PLEASE?
Anyway, "Cherry Bomb" is probably the most recognizable of The Runaway's songs. I can't say for sure, but it seems like the soundtrack to Dazed and Confusled kind or rescued the song from obscurity. If you know anyone who likes The Donnas, I want you to slap them right in the mouth, stomp on the part of their hard drive that stores all their Donnas downloads and ringtones (because this person must be 14, right?), and replace it all with music from The Runaways. They did it so much dirtier, and so much better.
"Outta Love Again"
"Somebody Get Me a Doctor" by VAN HALEN:
Van fucking Halen.
I will never, ever make apologies for my love of David Lee-roth era Van Halen, and most specifically for the two self-titled albums they released at the close of the 1970s. Any doubters can just bow at the throne of "Atomic Punk," which pretty much laid out the blueprint for the band's entire M.O.: scream loud, play louder. Just clock the metal-ness of Roth bellowing, "I am the ruler of these netherworlds / The underground. . . oh yes! // Nobody rules these streets at night but me! / The atomic punk! UhAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHAAAAAHAAAAA!!!!" followed by that absolutely insane no matter which way you cut it guitar solo. So their lead singer had flowing blonde hair and wore tights like a goddamned trapeeze artist? Van Halen fucking rocked. It must have really pissed off the punk rock kids that these guys stole their word so early on.
Then you've got a classic like "Jamie's Cryin'," which somehow pushes The Kinks through a Motown filter and cranks the shit out of it on the other end. Great backing vocals from Roth and the rest of the band, great melody, and it's a story song, to boot. I'm telling you, it's because of Roth's clown pants that these guys continue to get robbed of the credit they deserve.
For me, Van Halen II was the real gem. It's just a banger, from start to finish, and chugs along in a surprisingly groovy way. Since any Van Halen fan out there already knows the brilliance of songs like "Dance the Night Away" or "Beautiful Girls," I'm sticking to some of the deep tracks. "Outta Love Again" is just flat out bad ass, and Alex Van Halen's drumming is off the charts. You know when drummer's use the phrase "playing in the pocket"? This is what "in the pocket" sounds like.
Not bangin' enough for you? Check out "D.O.A.." Or try "Somebody Get Me a Doctor," which I'd use as my car chase music if I ever got to direct a movie. Still not bangin' enough for you? Go fuck yourself. Van Halen.
Metal fans: That guitar was buried with Dimebag Darrell