Dem Changes


February 22, 2012 by billie789

“Well, my mind keeps going through dem changes, I think I’m going out of my mind…”

You know how your tastes change over time, from not liking something to really liking it or vice versa? I hated spaghetti until I was about 12, then loved it almost overnight! Hormones? Insanity? Teenage confusion?

Don’t know. I’ve never liked KISS and I was done with the Rolling Stones in the late 70’s. Bruce Springsteen never floated my barge, for some reason, and I’d rather pan fry my hands and eat them than listen to Billy Joel or hip-hop in almost any form.

So, it came as one of life’s changes recently when friends who own the city’s alternative weekly newspaper remembered that I was once a big fan of Joe Bonamassa. He’s coming back to Salt Lake City mid-March to play Symphony Hall and it’s sold out at $75 for nosebleed seats. No small feat and I give him huge props for selling out a hall that size in this town.

When I was trying to be Street Team dude for JB in Utah, no one had heard of him here save a tiny handful of people. I spent weeks telling people to get to Deer Valley Resort to see him open for BB King in the mid-00’s and I was the sober dude in the audience yelling to people all around me to “Watch this guy! He’s going to be huge! Listen to what he’s doing up there! He’s making magic!” A few strange looks from the wine-and-cheese-in-a-$200-designer-picnik-basket crowd, but exhilirating to see Joe in Utah and being warmly welcomed.

And thus comes dem curious changes: I used to love to watch JB in a 3 piece just kill it on a small stage in an obscure setting. That was fun. That was exciting. Tix were $10.

Now, lo and behold, he’s selling out symphony halls with a bigger band at $75 for the cheap seats. Don’t even know this guy.

So, when my friends at the paper offered me two free tickets to JB’s show next month, I politley turned them down and said,”I’ve so been there and done that! You need to share those with a new fan, someone who doesn’t remember him from 10 years ago. Someone who doesn’t like spaghetti, but isn’t sure why.”

6 thoughts on “Dem Changes

  1. randy spiker says:

    Dude! I saw the title to this thread and thought “is Bill channeling me now?” Just this past weekend I pulled out a couple of early Buddy Miles CDs, one of which was Them Changes. First time in 3 years I had an urge to play that stuff. Spooky!
    I know exactly how you feel about Joe. I continue to buy the occasional CD or blu just to see if there’s a hint of the early days contained within. Every time I wind up in a state of disappointment.
    Joe is coming to the Reno Events Center in April. Interesting story………6 months ago I gave a co-worker my DVD copy of the Royal Albert Hall show. He and his wife fell in love with the “new” Joe and when tickets were announced, he asked if Viv & I wanted to go. Viv loves his new stuff (must be a gender thing) so I said we’re in. As luck would have it, his wife has connections and was able to get 8th row, center stage seats. So I guess we’re gonna go to the show. I’m semi-excited but nothing like the good old days when we could see him for the cost of a 2 drink minimum.
    I’ll let y’all know how it was. Gee, do ya think he still comes out and signs shit after the show? LOL

  2. Bill says:

    Actually, Randy, I’ve been listening to Band of Gypsies as my commuter disk with my mouth hanging open for three weeks now. I don’t know how I forgot, or just got foggy, over how incredibly good Hendrix was 40 years ago at age 25 or 26. Just unbelievable to listen to that show and not be left speechless. Live recording, New Year’s Eve, Fillmore East. 1969-70.

    Miles:”Jimi’s gonna do a thing he wrote called. . .Message of Love. . .2,3, 4. . . . . .BOOM! It goes off like a bomb and the intensity is breath-taking and full of Jimi’s signature octave-chords. Then, it happens after a handful of really cool bars puncuated by Cox and Miles’ back-up falsetto vocals: Jimi flies off for Saturn at light speed, a smeared brushstroke of electric green and purple shooting through the night sky. It’s his ‘solo’ and it’s one of the most frighteningly beautiful, stunningly aggressive bursts of creativity and raw talent you’ll ever hear. He refuses to let you go until he is satisfied the rocket fuel tank is nearing empty and he needs to land.

    And that’s one tune. I was just listening to “We Gotta Live Together” on the way home from work and it’s just killer! Jimi does this squaking, pinch-harmonics run at the end and he blows the hell out of 90% of the players out there to this day. Just amazing, really. Forty years ago.

  3. esarsea says:

    I’m surprised that you have such an aversion to Billy Joel. I’m with you in regards to the majority of his work, but his ‘Turnstiles’ album (referenced in this edition of Turn It Up Tursday) is outstanding IMO.

    I think if you spent some time with it would grow on you. But maybe not.

    However, that’s the record I ‘discovered’ him with, and as mentioned in that post, I lost interest with his subsequent releases.

    I tend to agree with your Stones timeline. ‘Some Girls’ in 1978 was the last RS record that I really liked. That being said however, any band that releases such epic recordings as ‘Let it Bleed’ ‘Sticky Fingers’ and ‘Exile on Main Street’ back-to-back-to-back has pretty much earned their spot in my personal music Hall of Fame!

  4. Bill says:

    Loved the Stones’ stuff after the really early ‘Ugly Kids’ days of doing old Southern blues (“Maaa, Maaa, Maaa, said the spider to the fly…”) Yick! Jesus! Gimme a break. Then, they got “it” and started to roll. Look at the depth of what they ran into for a while: Street Fightin’ Man, Jumping Jack Flash, anyting on Beggars’ Banquet, Sticky FIngers, etc. Then, in the 80’s they became caricatures of themselves and everything started sounding the same. I have to say that I could have gotten on a plane and flown to London and strangled Jagger with my bare hands for “Angie.”

    And the Billy Joel period you speak of is fair game, I think, because people were putting out wonderful, new, fresh music each week, but the proof in the puddin’ was whether their next album sucked or not.

  5. esarsea says:

    And to weigh in on the JB aspect of your post…

    It’s nearly impossible for me speak objectively about what he’s doing now. As you know I had such a visceral attachement (and emotional investment) to his early music that It’s hard (if not impossible) to evaluate his later material from an unbiased perspective. At first glance, I felt unfulfilled and disappointed with most everything released post-Eric and post-Kenny.

    However, if I didn’t have that basis for reference, and just discovered him when, say, The Ballad of John Henry was released, I’d probably like his new stuff a lot more. I must admit his new stuff is still quite good compared to most of what’s available today. I really like India and it’s segue into Mountain Time on his live album, among others…but if I went to a Joe show today I wouldn’t be all geeked up to start a Street Team. But things are different now, who feels the need to help an artist gain exposure who’s selling out theatres? It was just a moment in time when all the circumstances were right…a blistering power trio playing in taverns and lacking the attention they deserved. It was new, fresh and exciting.

    I didn’t have the same experiences with him that you did. He always treated me decently, but who wouldn’t be nice to some moron who’s volunteering his time and resources to help advance your career? I’m kind of surprised you’ve moved into the let-bygones-be-bygones phase. Had I been approached and/or spoken to like you were by JB and his Dad, I might well be still ginding that axe.

    But anyway it’s fun to look back and see JB’s success, and to think that I had a (very small) part in helping create a sort of subculture and/or mindset among his fans that made it kind of ‘cool’ and fun to participate in a grassroots promotional effort. I wish him well. His work ethic and his music is the real reason for his success. He earned it.

    • Bill says:

      Well, yeah, it’s easy for me to let bygones be bygones as far as wishing someone success for their hard work, no matter who they are. I take responsibility for things that were said or done from my side almost 10 years ago and agree with you that it was a window in time that clicked, then closed, then wisked by.

      And I don’t mean to be rude, honestly, but I’m also at a stage in music listening where I’ve been going back to the original players and innovators, rather those ‘inspired’ by them, for the most part. For tone, touch, creativity and just kick-ass rock and roll.

      But here’s an update: I took the tix for the April show, afterall, and gave them to an older woman in my office who’s going through a divorce, but has recently discovered blues rock and she is loving it. She has my JB disks, some Gary Moore, some SRV, etc. and was really excited to go to the show. Now, if I can just figure out how to eBay-auction the f*cking letter I wrote to Rolling Stone on JB’s behalf. . .

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February 2012

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