Playing Favorites 7/22/2022

larryMy plan a few weeks ago was to post a song on Oldereyes-Bud’s Blog every Friday.  Good intentions?  Yes, though my Mom probably would have said, Good intentions are the road to hell.   A most peculiar saying … without good intentions would we ever do good deeds?  It just seems as I get older, absolutes like every and always and for certain seem, well, a little TOO absolute.  Posting on Oldereyes every week may become every other week or once a month.  In this case it is three weeks since I posted Playing Favorites.  But here I am, ready to grace your speakers with another one of my favorite songs.   The odds are pretty good that my weekly favorite will be either rock or jazz, depending on what playlist or what Sirius XM station has provided the current earworm as I sit down to write.

This week’s favorite is by one of my favorite bands, Steely Dan, in their later years purveyors of jazz-tinged rock and roll.  You may not know that since 1974, Steely Dan has been Donald Fagen and Walter Becker and a changing cast of excellent session musicians.   On Kid Charlemagne, this week’s favorite, lead guitar is played by one of my favorite jazz guitarists, Larry Carlton.   His solo is widely considered one of the best solos in rock music.   Now the lyrics like:

On the hill the stuff was laced with kerosene
But yours was kitchen clean
Everyone stopped to stare at your technicolor motorhome.

may seem obscure if you don’t know the story of Owsley Stanley, a purveyor of very fine LSD and sound man for the Grateful Dead until he was arrested in LA when his car ran out of gas. Both Owsley and the bus turned up in Tom Wolfe’s book, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, which documents the experiences of author Ken Kesey (author of Sometimes a Great Notion) and his band of Merry Pranksters, who partied their way across the US in a psychedelic painted bus.   Wolfe’s book was both praised as a honest portrayal of the hippie culture of San Francisco and condemned for its apparent praise for the rampant abuse of LSD.  Regardless of your opinion of the book, the story of Owsley made a perfect subject for the quirky lyrics of Kid Charlemagne.

Enjoy.  And please, take the time to really listen to Carlton’s guitar solo.

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