Metaphor in music, the Lemon Pipers

I was a rather literal minded as a 9 year old in 1968, so perhaps I can be excused for missing much of the hidden meanings in popular music. I think Green Tambourine by the Lemon Pipers (#1 in America in February of 1968) was the first song where I detected metaphor. This has evolved into an entire genre of music whereby sensitive artistic types lament the corrupting influence of the filthy lucre which they pursue with their craft, but to my knowledge the Lemon Pipers went there first.

Good videos of the Lemon Pipers playing this are thin on the ground, so I hope you enjoy what I could find.

Summer of 1967–Lazy Day

The Golden Age of joyful pop music and soaring harmonies was the 1960s, and its hard to surpass this flight of fancy by Spanky and Our Gang, charting in 1967. Probably one of the last fluffy tidbits before ‘meaningful’ music, heavy metal, and psychedelic rock took over.

Lindsey Buckingham, Big Love

If guitar virtuosity is your thing, you’re not gonna want to miss this tidbit from Lindsey Buckingham, late of Fleetwood Mac, and writer of the Caddyshack theme song, Holiday Roads (1983). Not sure if this is a torch song or not, but whatever it is, its coming from someplace down pretty deep. Unusual for a pop guitarist is his use of an electric nylon string guitar, to devastating effect:

RIP Queen of Disco

Sad to hear that Donna Summer died at the young age of 63. She started her commercial career as a backup singer for Three Dog night in the early 1970s. While she is perhaps best known for her mainstream disco hits like the 1979’s Bad Girls and Hot Stuff, my favorite by far is the techo-pop she did with producer Giorgio Moroder. If one of the beauties of music is to momentarily release us from the banalities of our corporeal existence, prepare to soar past the planets with her 1977 Morodor collaboration ‘I feel Love’.

RIP Donald “Duck” Dunn

Well, the Duck died this weekend. As a bass player for the Stax Records house band, Booker T and the MGs, as well as coupling with guitarist Steve Cropper, Dunn performed on many beloved R&B hits–most of the hit songs charting during the 1960s. He can also be seen as part of the dream team band put together by Belushi and Akryod in the Blues Brothers movie. As an aside, this movie is a bit of a gem in terms of the highly accomplished, but little known, session musicians performing in the movie.

His storied discography can be found here:

I will let Belushi do the introductions–Dunn is smoking his trademark pipe:

The Summer of 1978, Forever Autumn

I like to end my Friday Night postings on a reflective note, and the 1978 Justin Hayward (Moody Blues) cover of Forever Autumn certainly does that. In the Summer of 1978, I received my Two Year Computer Programming Certificate from 916 Vo-Tech, and entered the professional journey that would soon bring me to the Old Coders.

I moved to a basement in Bloomington and was missing my friends and a young woman whom, in the fullness of time, I learned I would never see again. This song was on the charts and hence the radio that summer, and it has become bound in my mind to that time. So, to a time of painful goodbyes, humble beginnings and unbridled dreams of the future, I give you Forever Autumn.