Fast Times at Ridgemont High or: The Less Desirables Movie of the Week

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Salutations™!!

a/perture cinema, the Official Movie Sponsor of The Less Desirables, presents The Less Desirables Movie of the Week, Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), starring Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold and Phoebe Cates.

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©Universal Pictures

Per IMDb: : “A group of Southern California high school students are enjoying their most important subjects: sex, drugs and rock n’ roll.”

Brad Hamilton (Reinhold) is looking to get out of high school on top. He’s popular and a senior. But, he’s not really enjoying his time with his girlfriend and a dipstick customer costs him his job at the local All-American Burger. He gets another job at Captain Hook Fish & Chips but, after realizing it was humiliating as all get out to deliver food in that costume, he quits that. So, why not go home and relax instead? He’s on top of the world right?

Brad’s sister, Stacy (Leigh) is also popular and works at the mall in a pizza parlor. She gets dates with older guys by lying about her age. She’s pushed by her seemingly promiscuous friend Linda (Phoebe Cates) to be more bold. Stacy tries and isn’t really thrilled about it. There’s a nerdy dude named Mark Ratner (Brian Backer) who is interested in Stacy but is too shy to ask her out. His buddy, the concert-ticket-scalping-pseudo-suave-dilettante , Mike Damone (Robert Romanus) talks him into taking Stacy out to a local German restaurant. While there, Mark realizes he has forgotten his wallet and calls Damone to bring it to him. Stacy tries to seduce Mark but his shyness gets the best of him and he leaves, rendering Stacy a bit frustrated. Eventually, Damone moves in gets a little time with Stacy.

Jeff Spicoli (Penn in a role unlike anything else he ever did) is a stoner slacker who dreams of nothing but surfing the gnarly waves. He is also the prime nemesis of the dry and no-nonsense history teacher, Mr. Hand (Ray Walston). Spicoli breaks rules and is just a nuisance, but, I don’t think he means to be. I think he’s just a free spirit. This film is a culmination of their lives and more. What happens with them? You’ll have to watch to find out.

I defy any male aged 40-55 to hear the first few bars of “Moving in Stereo” by The Cars and not have fond memories. When I see The BCPF get into our bed, it reminds me of that and I hear that song. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you have to watch the film. The cameos in this film of folk that either were just on their way into acting or perhaps not necessarily known to the general public in 1982, were all fantastic. Names like Forest Whitaker, Eric Stoltz, Anthony Edwards, Nick Cage were all up-and-comers. Actors Taylor Negron and Vincent Schiavelli have both passed on but you’d recognize them in the film from other things. Another quick cameo is from Nancy Wilson of he band Heart. She’s the blonde in the car that flirts then laughs at Brad in his pirate costume. She’s in the film because her husband, Cameron Crowe wrote the book and the screenplay. She’s made a lot of cameos in his films over the years.

The acting in this film was typical early 80s. Good, but you could tell the folks were just getting going. It’s cheesy early 80s cinema at its best. The soundtrack is chock full of greatness, as well. Then again, it is a Cameron Crowe film. This one was directed by Amy Heckerling (European Vacation, Clueless, Look Who’s Talking, Johnny Dangerously and so on).

Rotten Tomatoes has it at 78% Fresh with an Audience Score of 80%. IMDb has it at 7.2 stars out of 10. It is only available via Netflix‘s DVD.com or renting or buying on DVD or digital on Amazon. I have it on DVD and we watched it with 3B. The swimming pool scene, he really enjoyed. I rate the film 4.25 out of 5. Have you seen it? What did you think? What would you like to read/hear me review?

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I’m fine.” – Jeff Spicoli

 

New Concepts or: Piggybackin’

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Salutations™!!

I’m piggybacking on The Man Who Ate the Town today but not for the podcast. I recently visited the brand new Lowes Foods store in Kernersville (it opened on Wednesday) and I thought it was a fantastic place to be. How fantastic? Well, read to find out, won’t you? You can do that HERE.

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Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Our commitment to local includes offering produce sourced through our partnership with more than 200 local farmers and featuring a wide assortment of unique local products found throughout the store.” – Tim Lowe, President of Lowes Foods

Tight Action, Rear Traction or: Too Fast For Love (Eugeology Entry 24)

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Salutations™!!

Sure, my love affair with Eugene’s choices waned a bit last week, but still, I’m having a winning record with the majority of stuff. And, it wasn’t a total waste, there were parts that I liked, right? Jon’s Monolithic Mega Month of Mayhem may be coming to an end and perhaps, just maybe he can get back on the train and catch up. Well, here’s this week’s take:

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©Elektra Records

 

#24 – Too Fast For Love by Mötley Crüe.

I didn’t even hear of Crüe until after Shout at the Devil came out in 1983. We were on a family trip to Virginia Beach and I was watching Night Flight on USA Network (that’s what it was called back then). The videos for “Looks that Kill” and “Too Young to Fall in Love” came on and I was in awe at the vids and dug the music. It was rough, raw and punchy. At least I thought so back then. I didn’t realize that Shout was a polished as it was. That’s not a bad thing, I like polished.

Then quite a few years later, which could have even been around the time the Decade of Decadence 81-91 greatest hits album came out, I realized there was something prior to Shout from the band. “Live Wire” and “Piece of Your Action” were on that. I thought they were decent songs, but they weren’t “Shout at the Devil,” “Ten Seconds to Love” or “Knock ‘Em Dead Kid.” It was too raw for me. I borrowed a cassette from an ex-girlfriend and really disliked that album. I didn’t like the production and I didn’t necessarily care for the tunes. Well, in my quest to be more accepting of things I don’t normally like, I purchased the CD in 2003 (okay, call it my need to collect). I still really didn’t care for it, even after it was remastered.

So, Eug had it up next on our list. I said, “yes!” because it was one of the few that I actually own or have owned. Eug was happy about that, and then I told him that I hadn’t listened to it but maybe once or twice. I sent me a virtual smack. I deserved that I guess. On to the album…

I still don’t really care for it. Well, let me clarify that. I still don’t like the production and Vince Neil’s voice is only slightly better than amateurish. Overall, it’s not awful. But, I hate the chorus to the title track because it sounds like the Ramones doing hard and heavy music. The “gang” vocals sound like two people yelling in unison instead of sounding like a gang. His voice is powerful in spots and really crappy in others. Now, I understand that when they originally released the album it was mostly self-produced and when Elektra Records signed them, they rerecorded some of the album. I’m thinking once Vince learned how to actually sound like a professional singer, that’s where they rerecorded.

Many of the songs sound like trial runs of Shout songs. “Take Me to the Top” sounds like a mix of “Looks that Kill” and “Too Young…” Not a bad thing but I’d rather have the finished product. Well, kind of. I haven’t really cared for “Looks that Kill” for the last 25 years or so (overplayed). I still like “Too Young…” though.

Besides the bad production, the one constant that I believe has always been the best asset of Mötley Crüe is Tommy Lee. He was the best thing for them. Both in “show” and in talent. He’s a fantastic drummer; a beast, if you will. I got tired of watching his antics over the years but I loved watching him play. Not that I ever saw them live, but on videos and such.

Mick Mars was just coming into his flashiness, even though he was 60 when this album came out (I’m kidding). And the main songwriter, bassist Nikki Sixx, actually plays some riffs that aren’t just mimicking the guitar parts. You don’t hear a lot of that in future Crüe albums. He just plays underneath the guitar parts in most of the songs from here.

I know it sounds like I’m poo pooing on the album, but really, I’m not. It’s not a bad album, just parts that peeve me. I came to that conclusion on the seventh listen through. I don’t usually listen to reissues or at least the “bonus tracks” but on this one, I made an exception. The original release had ten songs. The “official” version had nine. So, even though they released “Stick to Your Guns” as a single, it was omitted on the Elektra version. The 2003 reissue (and what’s on Amazon Music and Napster) has the song back on there as well as a decent cover of The Raspberries’ “Tonight” and “Stick to Your Guns” b-side, “Toast of the Town.”

If you take Vince’s crapola vocals out, this is really a good album and I’m glad I gave it another chance or was required to as part of the research. It’s no Shout at the Devil (my fave by the band) or Theatre of Pain (my second fave), heck nothing up to Generation Swine, but it’s decent. Thanks, Eug. I want to read your take and Jon will catch up someday.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Plug me in, I’m alive tonight. Out on the streets again. Turn me on, I’m too hot to stop. Something you’ll never forget. Take my fist, break down walls. I’m on top tonight. No, no! You better turn me loose. You better set me free cause I’m hot, young, running free. A little bit better than I used to be. ‘Cause, I’m alive. I’m a live wire.” – “Live Wire” (Sixx)

A Little Different or: 31

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Salutations™!!

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I’m the one on the left… No, I didn’t work for Foot Locker

 

I know that I usually post The Less Desirables Beer of the Week, presented by our Official Beer Sponsor, City Beverage, on Wednesday, but today is a little different. If I look back on this day 31 years ago, I had been up all night dreading what was going to happen. I had to get up early, along with my bestie, Scotty B. We had been gathering belongings for a few months by then.

I stood outside and watched a dump truck ride up the road in the “holler.” I didn’t understand what it was that was happening. This dump truck was pulling into our driveway and moving through the yard, backing up to the steps of the breezeway of our house. Out pops my Pops and he was swinging the tailgate of the dump truck wide. I realized what was going on. It was typical of my family: Improv. We couldn’t get a moving truck, we used a dump truck. Walking across a narrow improved ramp made of 2x4s and pressboard (at least how I remember it) we carried all of our big things – furniture, fixtures, beds, etc. – onto/into this dump truck bed.

While that happened, Ma Mère and some of her friends were piling stuff into our passenger cars, their passenger vehicles and anywhere else we could. We closed that swing gate, topped off the cars with whatever we could whilst still being able to get into them, locked the door of the “old house” and piled into said vehicles, creating a caravan of stuff that could possibly have rivaled The Beverly Hillbillies. The only thing preventing that was there was no rocking chair and the dump trucks’ sides were too high to really see what was in it.

Scotty and I had piled into a car with a family friend (I wasn’t old enough to drive, yet) in what was one of the worst rides, ever. It had nothing to do with the company, I enjoyed those folks. I didn’t want to be going where we were going. It wasn’t a vacation, this was a permanent situation.

If you’ve not figured it out, June 21, 1986, was one of the most transitional days of my life. It also was one of the biggest and best game changers ever. We moved from “(Little) White Oak Holler,” WV to good old Winston-Salem, NC on that day. I hated it. At least then. I swore I was going back as soon as I could. I was going to go stay with someone and graduate from my high school. I was going to do a lot of things. I knew no one here. I had no friends. I had my stuff, but it was boring by myself.

Then, I had a realization. I was almost 16. I was almost driving age. I was making friends at school. I was within 10 minutes of just about anything that I could want to do. City life was good and while I missed my friends in WV, I was really enjoying access and availability. I would go back “home” as often as I could and loved hanging out with my friends (and girlfriends) but I was realizing that I was missing my new home. It was a weird kind of Stockholm Syndrome – my new home had overtaken my want of being back in WV. As much as I have fond memories of the old homestead, there’s no way I’d move back there. It’s not the same as I look upon it as an adult as it was through the innocent child’s eyes. There’s nothing there for me to do – no one really. Not a lot of industry, not a lot of work, not a lot of entertainment. I’m not putting it down, I’m just stating some of the realities as to why. But, all of that being said, it’s my roots. I have wonderful memories from my time there. I still talk to friends from there, whether they’re still there or not.

As much as I have fond memories of the old homestead, there’s no way I’d move back there. It’s not the same as I look upon it as an adult as it was through the innocent child’s eyes. There’s nothing there for me to do – no one really. Not a lot of industry, not a lot of work, not a lot of entertainment. I’m not putting it down, I’m just stating some of the realities as to why. But, all of that being said, it’s my roots. Like I said, I have wonderful memories from my time there. I still talk to friends from there, whether they’re still there or not. I love my native state, but I love living in my adopted state more. I love my city, which should be obvious from about any post or podcast that I do. And the city seems to like me, which is a plus.

Oh, and something else that happened on this day 31 years ago, it was Mes ‘Rents’ 18th anniversary. So I’d love to wish them a Happy 49th Anniversary today. They’re awesome and I strive to have a family like that. They’re not perfect, but they’re perfectly mine. Happy Anny to you guys and happy Carolinaversary to all four of us (including my sis)!

And, still, go by City Beverage and get some beer or wine. Listen to The Less Desirables tonight to hear what the beer of the week is so you can get your 5% discount from City Bev. We will have Amanda and Mackenzie from Winston-Salem Ambassadors in the studio tonight. And, with the picture, I don’t really have a lot of pics from my childhood, at least digitally. Oh, well.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“I love North Carolina.” – Tyler Hilton

Piggyback or: Kelly Bone

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Salutations™!!

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The “Gang” at Willows (picture ©Travis Myers)

 

On The Man Who Ate the Town today, I had a wonderful special guest in the studio to talk about food, drink and life. Only part of that made the podcast but Kelly Bone, of Willows Bistro, is a fantastic guest and she’s a sharp one, too. She is quite knowledgeable about her craft, even though she’s not been doing it too awfully long. She did, however, jump feet first into the fray of craft cocktails, wine selections and beer selections and is the main-most-lady in that regards at Willows. They have a brand new drink list that is rolling out right now. Listen to her interview as it’s really great.

Also, I talk about other restaurants and even a grocery store. Hear all of that on the podcast by listening HERE. Thanks for reading and thanks for listening!

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“It’s like a fine dance that you do. We all love/hate each other, but the end of the day we all love each other.” – Kelly Bone

Dads or: A Good Day

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So, yesterday was Father’s Day. I had a great one. Started with brunch with my baby, The BCPF, at the brand new Sweet Potatoes restaurant. Then we went to grab 3B. Went to my folks’ place to see my own Pops and then we came back home, set up our event tent, put a fan outside, our Bluetooth-enabled speaker, some Top 40 Countdown for this week in 1986 on SiriusXM, drank a little brew and just had a fantastic time with my family. We had about 5 hours out there. 3B hung out with us, talked with us.

Combined that with the awesome Saturday I had with my girl and it was an amazing weekend. Underdog Records, Mary’s Gourmet Diner, Old Nick Williams Spirits, Willows… it was just too cool. Thank you to The BCPF and 3B for making my Father’s Day so great. Happy Dad’s Day to Ma Père and all the dads that are my friends, colleagues, readers, listeners, and followers. You are so very important to me, mean the world to me. Yeah, I know I use the picture a lot, but it’s a good one with my dad.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad, and that’s why I call you dad, [sic] because you are so special to me. You taught me the game and you taught me how to play it right.” – Wade Boggs

Silent Sunday or: The Haul 6/17/17

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Salutations!!

Our haul from Underdog Records was smaller than normal but we didn’t go through the $1 bin, so that kept us a little more honest. Here’s what we got!R-371878-1351475600-8668.jpeg

I have been looking hard for Berlin from Lou Reed since I heard it on the Rolling Stone Top 500 Albums of All Time that I did the last couple of years. I found a near mint first pressing of it and it is near perfect. I am so happy to have that one, finally. Thanks, Jonathan. Get over to Underdog to check out his vinyl awesomeness and listen to The Less Desirables for the weekly UDR/TLD special. And, as always, use Discogs for your album archiving needs (it’s free)!

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Oh! You Pretty Things. Don’t you know you’re driving your Mamas and Papas insane? Oh! You Pretty Things. Don’t you know you’re driving your Mamas and Papas insane? Let me make it plain: you gotta make way for the Homo Superior!” – “Oh! You Pretty Things” (Bowie)

Young Frankenstein or: The Less Desirables Movie of the Week

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Salutations™!!

a/perture cinema, the Official Movie Sponsor of The Less Desirables, presents The Less Desirables Movie of the Week, Young Frankenstein (1974), starring Gene Wilder, Terri Garr, Peter Boyle, Cloris Leachman and Marty Feldman.

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©20th Century Fox

 

Per IMDb: “An American grandson of the infamous scientist, struggling to prove that he is not as insane as people believe, is invited to Transylvania, where he discovers the process that reanimates a dead body.”

Dr. Frederick Frahnk-in-steen (Wilder), trying to shake his grandfather’s ill-fated legacy, is a professor of medicine at an American university. He denounces the ability to revive dead cells and says his grandfather was a demented and sick man. A man shows up with the will of his great-grandfather that grants Freddy his entire Transylvanian estate, castle and all. He has to leave his annoying socialite fiance named Elizabeth (Madeline Kahn) who can’t kiss him, shake his hand or anything else goodbye, as she’s going to some uppity yuppy party after he gets on the train. Then oddly enough, he gets on a train to New York and when he changes trains he’s on a train to Transylvania.

He’s met by Marty Feldman’s Igor – pronounced Eye-gore – at the station who has a remarkable hump on his back that he seems to not notice. He takes him to a hay cart to drive Freddy to the castle. He meets Inga (Garr), his hired lab assistant. Arriving at the castle they meet the very scary Frau Blücher (Cloris Leachman) who, at the mere mention of her name sends the horses into a frenzy. Freddy wants to know where the secret library is and Frau Blücher says she knows nothing about that. He and Inga stumble into it a little later and that sets Freddy into a mode to improve his great-grandfather’s work.

They find a large man who was freshly hung. And Freddy sends Igor to get the brain of a genius. Well, something happens and Igor has to, instead, get an abnormal brain. That makes the creation a bit erratic and mostly uncontrollable. Do they get the monster under control? Does he wreak havoc on the town? You’ll have to watch to find out.

To me, this is the second funniest of the Mel Brooks films (after Blazing Saddles). It was co-written by both Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder. Wilder has a strange and “wilder” look the entire film like he’s about to lose it at any time. The fact that the film is shot in black and white creates a darker, drearier feel and adds to the ambiance. It’s a wild parody of classic horror films with Brooks’ good friends chipping in. Cloris Leachman is a hilarious witchy woman with a chip on her shoulder the entire time. Peter Boyle who plays the monster breaks the fourth wall a few times and it’s always very funny. Gene Hackman plays the old blind man who the monster encounters in the night. Mel Brooks, oddly enough only appears in makeup and as off-screen voices. He’s usually in the films more prominently.

Peter Boyle who plays the monster breaks the fourth wall a few times and it’s always very funny. Gene Hackman plays the old blind man who the monster encounters in the night. Mel Brooks, oddly enough only appears in makeup and as off-screen voices. He’s usually in the films more prominently. Turns out that most of the jokes were improvised, including Leachman’s “varm milk” and Ovaltine bit, as well as Feldman’s “hump.”

Rotten Tomatoes has it rated 93% Fresh with an Audience Score of 92%. Well deserved. IMDb has it at 8 stars out of 10. We watched it as part of the Mel Brooks collection that I have and 3B laughed throughout most of it. It is available on Netflix, however, so if you’ve not seen it, see it there. I rate it 4.5 stars out of 5. Have you seen it? What did you think? What would you like to read/hear me review?

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…”
Scorp out!


“For what we are about to see next, we must enter quietly into the realm of genius.” – Dr. Frederick Frankenstein

It’s Really Super, Supergirl or: Dad and Son Time

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Salutations™!!

My son, 3B and I have been waiting for the second season of Supergirl to hit Netflix. It’s

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©WarnerBros

here and we’re not on Ep 12 of this season. Yeah, it’s a cheesy show, for sure. But, it fits perfectly with the current DC fare on the CW. It’s fantasy cheesy goodness if anything.

 

So, we loved the first season, not because of substance, not because of the stellar scriptwriting, not because of the deep character studies. For me, at least, it was because it was something else for us to enjoy together. I know I get annoying with this stuff, but it has really taken us this long to get to a point where we are doing as much as possible together and I’m loving every bit of it. Mr. Mxyzptlk just showed up. I wish he was the imp that he was in the comics, but oh, well.

Because that’s what we’re doing as I write this, I’m going to sign off early. I will say that if you want mindless, plot hole-filled, barely canonical fun with a few very pretty cast members that can be watched by all members of the family. then this is the show for you. See ya.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“When I was a child, my planet Krypton was dying. I was sent to Earth to protect my cousin. But my pod got knocked off-course and by the time I got here, my cousin had already grown up and become Superman. And so I hid my powers until recently when an accident forced me to reveal myself to the world. To most people, I’m a reporter for Catco Worldwide Media. But in secret, I work with my adoptive sister for the DEO to protect my city from alien life and anyone else that means to cause it harm. I am Supergirl.” – Intro of “Supergirl”

It’s Alright or: Tyranny and Mutation (Eugeology Entry 23)

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Salutation™!!

Last week’s album was a dream! It may be one of my favorites since we started this project. Thanks, Eugene! Jon‘s still out in the ether or Rotary Land so who knows when and if he’ll get caught up. But, the world doesn’t stop turning, let’s move on.

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©Columbia Records

 

#23 – Tyranny and Mutation by Blue Öyster Cult.

I had forgotten something by BOC could be on this list and I dreaded it when it came up. Well, I like some of their songs, I told myself. Turns out, none of the songs I was hoping for was on this album. No “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper,” “Burnin’ For You” or “Godzilla.” My first listen was full of loathsome annoyance. It was a hodge-podge of styles that really made little sense the first listen through and it was so amateurish.

It isn’t surprising that Eug likes this, though. It seems the rougher and ragged the production and songwriting is, the more he likes it. Something about “spirit of rock and roll,” or the like. I have an appreciation for plenty rock and roll spirit, we just have vastly differing opinions on what that means. At least, we don’t have the same tastes in the overall.  I do think, however, that’s a good thing. I’d not be listening to this list if we liked all the same things. But, I digress…

That first listen was rough. But, I trudged through it and now, six listens through, I have a deeper appreciation for this album. It’s not bad at all, although there are some things I don’t like about it. Two things stand out above all else: 1) I can’t stand the intro to “O.D.’d on Life Itself” (it sounds like something someone who just picked up the guitar for the first time will play over and over because they figured out how to do it; I was there, I know), it’s crap. And, 2) I can’t stand Eric Bloom’s voice, weak and shaky. Joe Bouchard’s voice is pretty good and the songs are fine, but really we need more Buck Dharma on vocals. Listen to the vocals of “Teen Archer” (the only song Dharma sings on this album) and hear the strength and power. Listen to Blooms stuff and it’s, again, like a teenager standing on the stage for the first time.

Bloom’s lyrics are good, though. Let Dharma sing them, I say. “The Red & the Black” is about the Canadian Mounted Police.  “Baby Ice Dog” is, from what I can tell, about a cheating girlfriend. I’m not sure.  “Mistress of the Salmon Salt (Quicklime Girl)” is pretty good, too.

BOC gets a little proggy with  “7 Screaming Diz-Busters.” At least in the beginning. It’s also loaded with sexual innuendo. Especially when your read Eric Bloom talk about what it means. Okay. I think that was a lot of BOC: it’s storytelling over flash and bang. I’m okay with that. Still as much as I grew to appreciate this album, I don’t really want to hear it again. I probably would have liked it had it had Dharma singing more. His leads are great, though. Eric Bloom’s “stun guitar” kills me. It’s just extra “fuzzy.” That’s all. There’s a lot of imagery in the lyrics, sometimes hard to follow, sometimes not. I like that aspect, even if I don’t always know what they’re talking about.

I don’t really know what Allen Lanier is doing. I know he plays keys and rhythm guitar, but three guitars in the band, while not too common, isn’t too unusual, either, especially for the time. But, it’s hard to distinguish who is doing what. The Bouchard brothers, Joe on bass and Albert on drums are on it. Joe does a lot of runs and riffs that stand out throughout the album. Albert has great fills and is solid as heck. That’s the highlight of the album for me.

Overall, I don’t mind the album, but would have rathered have heard at least one of the hits. But, that’s not the point of this list, is it? Nope. Thanks Eug, can’t wait to read your take and Jon, well, you’ll be here in a month or so.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Flights of black horseman soar over churches, pursued by an army of birds in the rain. None of them can see the clouds, the polished wings don’t care. Animal ways through the hazy dreams full of pain.” –  “Wings Wetted Down” (A. Bouchard, J. Bouchard)