Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Follow-up to Hot, Blue, and Righteous

Well, I’m scrounging for blog posts at the moment, not having a lot of time outside of work to “think.” So, here’s a follow-up to my last post.

Those who guessed this poem is about ZZ Top, also known as “That Little Old Band from Texas,” are correct and win…uhm, well, nothing. The poem contains numerous references to the Top, mostly in song titles, or occasionally in lyrics. I’m annotating the poem below with the references, in brackets []. As you can see, if you care to read through it, some of the references are clear and concrete while others are oblique or downright vague. But this is how my mind works sometimes while I’m drinking, especially when I get to just the right level of buzz. As you can also see, the moral of this piece is “Drugs are bad. Okay. Kids, don’t do drugs.”

HOT BLUE & RIGHTEOUS [song title]

Three [3 members in the Top] went blind [Song title is “Arrested for Driving while Blind”] to Texas [the Top’s home state]

Down to the forest and the [lyric from “Jesus Just left Chicago”] plains [“Plains” is a common mishearing of the real word, “Pines,” in “Jesus Just left Chicago.” In fact, I thought it was “plains” for years.]

Drew a last “got paid” from the bank [Song title, “Just Got Paid”]

Bought one hellraiser [from “Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers”] bottle of black [ref to “Black Fly” song + a twist on the line “drink down a bottle of midnight red” from “Groovy Little Hippie Pad”]

Carried a siphon under pressure [“She’s Got Me Under Pressure” is a lyric from a Top song]

Cause gas cost too much nationwide [Song title, “I’m bad, I’m Nationwide”]

And they bummed [“Bummed” is a frequently misheard lyric for “bombed” in the song “Pearl Necklace”] in sparks and beer [from the songs “Master of Sparks” and “Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers”]

And smoked the butts gone [ref. to the song “Mexican Blackbird”]

Drank the Rio Grande to dregs [“Rio Grande Mud” was the Top’s second album and the first one I bought. Also, drinking is common in a lot of Top songs." The Rio Grande also borders Texas]

While the Top played the radio [for ZZ Top, of course, and you hear ‘em a lot on radio]

And they dreamed women [Most Top songs seem to be about women]

Blackbirds and pearls [Ref’s to song titles “Mexican Blackbird” and “Pearl Necklace”]

Francine with legs [“Francine” and “Legs” are both ZZ Top song titles, and both songs are about women, as referenced in previous line]

But when momma called [Next few lines, down to “Boogie Woogie,” are only slightly twisted lyrics from the song “Backdoor Medley,” one of my favorite Top pieces]
On that long distance cell-o-phone
And daddy didn’t tell ‘em

To Boogie Woogie [Papa said “Let that boy Boogie Woogie.”]

They brought their blue jeans [from song titled “Blue Jean Boogie”]

Home to Mississippi [several songs, but mainly “My Head’s in Mississippi”]

What’s up with that? [a song title]



Steve Malley said...

Little known fact: ZZ Top's Dusty is cousin to Hank Hill of Arlen, Texas.

Or so I hear...

Anonymous said...

You did a post the other day on songs you have heard on the radio and are sick of, etc. If I never heard another song off of "Eliminator" it would be too soon. I do admit to liking "Rough Boy" off of "Afterburner". Got to be about as close to a ballad as they ever did. "Heard It On The X" is still my fav, we used to play that one back in the HS band days. I doubt I will be able to get Butlik to do it this Friday night, LOL.

The Trailer Of Love

CrazyCath said...

Very clever...
And you have no time? This would have taken me ages!

Miladysa said...

Very clever and witty! Pity it was lost on a moron like myself.

I only know a few ZZ Top songs - enough to know they are a great group. There is no way you could sit still listening to them.

When I read Steve Malley's comment I thought he meant the guy of the Suite Life with Zack and Cody. [children's TV programme].

BernardL said...

You covered a lot of territory. :)

Aine said...

Very clever! This could be a fun exercise with many bands. Kinda like Mamma Mia! in poetry...

Charles Gramlich said...

Steve Malley, I believe that for sure.

Wil, I'm not a big fan of Eliminator or Afterburner. Tres Hombres is my favorite album. I also really like stuff like Head's in Mississippi.

Crazycath, I wrote the poem months ago while listening to "ZZ Top." It didn't take long at all.

Miladysa, I think he's talking about a cartoon over here.

Bernardl, sometimes my mind works that way. Other times it doesn't work at all.

Aine, I should do this with Black Sabbath. I know that band well enough to do it.

Demon Hunter said...

Thanks for clearing this up. I only know a few ZZ Top songs. :-)

ivan said...

Obviously a prof, Charles.

ZZ Top with footnotes, IBID's Op- Cit's, daggers, double-daggers, stars.

I used to do that when I was a rock critic for the Sunday Sun here.

Said to myself, I don't write very hip, but bigod, I'm erudite. :)

Virginia Lady said...

I got it through my subconscious. I can't pull lyrics or titles out of my head, but they are in there somewhere. Must be why I figured ZZ Top was it. I have most of those songs on my iTouch. :-)

I like it. Very good writing.

Charles Gramlich said...

Demon hunter, there's a lot of ZZ out there.

Ivan, far more erudite than I am I'd say. But I know my Top.

Virginia Lady, I've got 'em all on CDS.

Lana Gramlich said...

I like a few ZZ Top songs but their later stuff is just a little TOO whoremasterish for me. You may now poke fun of the fact that I like Kool & the Gang (among others.) Go ahead. I can take it.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you really loaded that up with a lot of references. I couldn't do that. I don't know ZZ Top that well for one thing, but even if I did...

David Cranmer said...

I hang my head in shame. I'm a ZZ Top fan and I didn't figure it out but it's still a damn good poem.

Michelle's Spell said...

Love ZZ Top -- I remember when Gillette offered them a ton of money to shave their beards for a commercial and they wouldn't do it, citing the fact that they were way too ugly to do so. What's not to love about a band singing about women and sex and wildness with a sense of humor?

Scott said...

I figured it was a ZZ Top thing.

Charles Gramlich said...

Lana, I'm not really a fan of several of their songs lyric wise, but the old blues/rock beat gets me.

Jack, I could only do it for a band I knew very well.

David Cranmer, it's not me you'll have to explain it to. Just Billy and the Boys when they drop by for a visit. ;)

Michelle Spell,they definitely do a lot of stuff tongue in cheek.

Charles Gramlich said...

Scott, and you being from Texas and all, I think well you should.

eric1313 said...

Can't go wrong with ZZ Top. I've seen them 3 times, and they are always great.

I sing a mean version of Tush... wish i was as gifted as the Reverend Billy Gibbons at the electric slide guitar... that song is hard. I can play a few songs with slide, like "In My Time Of Dying" by Led Zeppelin and a few staples like "Bad to the Bone" and the like, but that's about it.

Good stuff. Scrounge all you want, we'll read more.

Sarah Hina said...

This was crazy clever, Charles. I loved the glimpse into your musical influences...and the interesting way your mind works. ;)

Sidney said...

Very cool!

ChrisEldin said...

Funny. I am about to research Mississippi....

david mcmahon said...

I remember ZZ Top!!

Marilyn Brant said...

Their music videos were always a riot, too. I always laughed when watching the one for "Sharp Dressed Man".

Christina said...

I like when music has good lyrics. I feel like so many songs are lacking lately.

Charles Gramlich said...

Eric1313, agreed. The Top was my first "favorite" band.

Sarah, or doesn't work as the case may be. :)

Sidney, glad you liked.

Chris Eldin, what on earth for?

David McMahon, and they say the memory is the first to go. LOL.

Marilyn Brant, yeah, I thought their videos were pretty creative most of the time.

Christina, actually, I hardly ever listen to lyrics. Good lyrics can help good music but can't save bad music.

Bernita said...

Interesting deconstruction.

writtenwyrdd said...

If you're busy you could always repost an oldie but a goodie!

I only got a couple of the lyrics references, but legs, pearls and top all clued me in.

Lana Gramlich said...

...and don't you mean, "Drugs are bad, m'kay?" ;)

The Egel Nest said...

Love this....no mention of sharp dressed man, rough boy, tush, or sleeping bag :)

Came over from David's blog :)

The Egel Nest

The Egel Nest said...

I also love the fact that the drummer...frank beard..is the only one...without a long beard :)

benjibopper said...

Ha, I wouldn't have guessed. I knew very little of ZZ Top. FortunatelY I got brains, and I know how to use them, so now I know.

Barrie said...

I always guessed I was out of the loop when it came to music. Now I know!

laughingwolf said...

te-haas be one big mother of a state! :O lol

Anndi said...

I like the rockin' blues too!

Well done my friend.

And your bride is quite lovely!

Vwriter said...

I'm looking at ZZ Top in whole new light, Charles!

Very cool.

Barbara Martin said...

My recollection of ZZ Top is vague, although I did like listening to them in the 90s.

Charles Gramlich said...

Bernita, just kind of a mind game.

Writtenwyrd, I may end up doing that this weekend.

Lana, yeah, but I didn't know how to spell it. lol.

The Egel Nest, yes, Frank Beard without a beard was always a neat thing. I'm a long time Top fan so most of my references are to their older stuff. Thanks for visting.

Benjibopper, I see a little play on "legs" there in your post.

Barrie, oh me too, except for a few bands.

Laughingwolf, yes, I've driven across it.

Anndi, thank you.

vwriter, they had a lot of great old stuff that is really bluesy.

Barbara Martin, I started with them in 70s.

J. L. Krueger said...

Very interesting post.

My wife and I diverge on such music, usually. I like it, she doesn't.

But somehow she's come around to liking ZZ Top when we are driving long distances.

laughingwolf said...

i've not been there, but have a number of pals living there; no... not gwb! :O lol

FANCY said...

of cause top song is about woman what ells is there ;) I love zz-topp this guys never change...:)

Donnetta Lee said...

Very, very silly. But very, very clever. Cool. D

Monique said...

I'm a moron too.

Merisi said...

Oh, the lessons I learn here! :-)

Charles Gramlich said...

J. L. The Top is good driving music. Often makes me want to put my foot down, though.

Laughinwolf, I go to Texas pretty much every year to visit with my REHupan buddies.

Fancy, that's pretty much true.

Donnetta, I'm so backed up with work right now I'm scrounging.

Monique, that seems a bit harsh.

Merisi, lol.