A phrase I use on the air. “And now, the greatest song ever recorded.” Veteran listeners realize that I hedge my bets. I change my mind. How can this be the greatest song ever written when just last week, it was something else? Music is an ephemeral seduction. What moves us Tuesday may not mean as much by Saturday. Here are some songs that have always had that deeper attachment to me. Some of them may find their way into my show this Friday between 6-10am, 25th Anniversary Live Broadcast and webcast from Kings Bowl in Rosemont. We will be featuring The Rolling Stones, a gift to me on this upcoming special Friday.
The Rolling Stones-Moonlight Mile. If you felt lost at the nexus of two turbulent decades, this song found you.
Jason Isbell-24 Frames. I think his theological implications are sound. And since today is his birthday so I played it this morning.
Garland Jeffreys-R.O.C.K. Just between you and me, I tear up when I play this song. Not sure why. I could try to make the case that rock and roll saved me from a life worse than death, but I might have had an enriching career as a writer of Hallmark Greeting Cards.
Van Morrison-Into the Mystic. Not a guy you’d want to have a pint with. This song comes off one of the most magnificent album sides of all time.
Lyle Lovett-If I Had a Boat. If I were ever stupid enough to buy a sailboat, I would have Lyle and this song to blame. Escape.
Tuff Darts-All For the Love of Rock and Roll (Live at CBGB’s) The most concise raison d’etre in rock history.
Smashing Pumpkins-Bullet with Butterfly Wings. Previewed this song at a shakedown cruise of a show at the Double Door before SP released Mellon Collie. I knew I’d never forget it. And I haven’t.
The Roches-Runs in the Family. Feeling the loss of Maggie Roche this week. A lot of people find this trio and their celestial sisterly harmonies a little odd. But so am I.
Richard Thompson-Shoot Out the Lights. Coulda been a half dozen songs from this guy. It has a certain finality. And a twisted metal wreck of a solo.
Rolling Stones-Gimme Shelter. The greatest song ever written. For many reasons.
There you go. A ridiculous list. Why? Because my mind was quickly flooded with a hundred more songs that have sustained me in both hours of darkness and spasms of joy.
Great to be alive,