Monday’s Music Moves Me – Artist Spotlight: FIREFALL

Firefall is a rock band that formed in Boulder, Colorado in 1974. It was founded by Rick Roberts, who had been in the Flying Burrito Brothers, and Jock Bartley, who had been Tommy Bolin’s replacement in Zephyr.

How it all began: In 1973 Rick Roberts and Jock Bartley first crossed paths when Bartley was on tour with Gram Parsons as a member of his backing band The Fallen Angels. Both The Fallen Angels and Roberts were performing in New York City at the same venue on consecutive nights. After the two were reunited back in their native Colorado, Roberts was impressed by Bartley’s guitar work and the duo soon began practicing together. Encouraged to form a band, they contacted bassist-singer Mark Andes (a former member of the bands Spirit and Jo Jo Gunne, who had temporarily retired to the mountains outside Boulder, Colorado), and Washington D.C. singer-songwriter-guitarist Larry Burnett, whom Rick had met in his travels earlier that same year, and coaxed them into joining their band, which they christened Firefall in 1974. For the drum chair the group auditioned several local musicians but eventually decided, after a phone call from him, to add Roberts’ former band mate from Flying Burrito Brothers, Michael Clarke, who was most famous for his time spent in the ’60s folk-rock band The Byrds. Clarke, who was living in Washington, having recently returned from residing in Hawaii, agreed to come aboard.

The band tightened up their act performing in clubs in Colorado for over a year, mainly in Boulder and Aspen. In early 1975 the band recorded a demo tape consisting of three songs produced by Chris Hillman. They then began taking it around to major labels, finally getting signed with Atlantic Records.

The band’s biggest hit single, “You Are the Woman”, peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard charts in 1976. Other hits included “Just Remember I Love You” (#11 in 1977), “Strange Way” (#11 in 1978), “Cinderella” (#34 in 1977), “Headed for a Fall” (#35 in 1980), and “Staying with It” (#37 in 1981) with female vocalist Lisa Nemzo.

 

FUN FACT: How the name originated: Roberts took the name from the Yosemite Firefall (1872 to 1968), a summertime tradition of dumping a cascade of flaming embers off Glacier Point in California’s Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite Firefall – a long-exposure taken from the Ahwahnee Meadow

The mid-70s brought the band breakthroughs and successes. Their first album, the self-titled Firefall, was recorded in one month and released in April 1976. It went on to became Atlantic Records quickest album to reach gold status. The group’s first single, “Livin’ Ain’t Livin’,” stopped just short of the Top 40. In the following months, the band toured with artists such as Leon and Mary Russell, the Doobie Brothers, Tom Waits, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Roy Buchanan, Electric Light Orchestra and The Band and were put on the bottom of a bill that featured Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker and Asleep at the Wheel.

The group in 1977

The band’s next single, “You Are the Woman”, made the Top 10 and the band began touring with Fleetwood Mac, who were at the beginning of their commercial peak. Their next single, “Cinderella”, though it reached the Top 40 and was played extensively on FM radio, did not fare as well on AM radio because of its controversial lyrics which caused feminist groups to pressure the stations to avoid playing it. However, this did not have a lasting effect on the band’s sales.

Their next album, Luna Sea (pun: “lunacy”), was released in July 1977. It peaked at No. 27 on the charts and went gold less than two months after release. The single from the album, “Just Remember I Love You” hit No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100.

It was around this period that tensions were beginning to rise within the group, stemming from non-stop touring and management problems as well as alcohol and drug abuse. In recent interviews, both Rick and Larry have indicated that the group at this time was divided between the heavy substance users (Rick, Larry and Michael Clarke) and the other three (Bartley, Andes and Muse), who were a bit more in control of themselves. At this time the group was also incredibly popular and playing to sold-out crowds with Fleetwood Mac as part of their Rumours tour. But this only delayed their disintegration for a short time.

After a series of management changes and in-fighting among the band members, a new production team (Ron and Howard Albert) was brought in and they released a third album, Elan, in October 1978. It was a massive success and became their first album to reach platinum status. The hit single “Strange Way” continued the band’s commercial hot streak.

The Decline: After two years of non-stop recording and touring, the band was burned out and their financial situation was unstable.

During a tour of Japan in August 1979, Michael Clarke, due to his excessive drinking, missed gigs or showed up in no condition to play. The band resorted to hiring a German drummer, Dan Holsten, whose playing technique was similar to Clarke’s, to sit in. Holsten, who even looked a lot like Clarke, had played in several other bands in the Colorado area and caught the eye of Jock and Larry one night at a Colorado Springs bar. He became known as a ‘reliable’ back-up drummer for tours and some studio work.

Despite this, Atlantic Records still expected a new album. The band recorded the album sporadically over a year. The Albert brothers were again brought in to produce the album. But the band once again required a second effort, which was produced by Kyle Lehning. The result, titled Undertow, was released in March 1980. This would be the last album with Firefall’s original lineup. Upon completion of the album, Clarke and Mark Andes both left the band. (Clarke later died of alcoholism at his Treasure Island home in Florida in December 1993).

Andes and Clarke were replaced by Kenny Loggins’ former rhythm section, consisting of bassist George Hawkins and drummer Tris Imboden. With the two new players, the band recorded Clouds Across the Sun, which was released in December 1980 and spawned the early 1981 hit “Staying With It”, which was done as a duet with singer Lisa Nemzo. Clouds saw Jock emerging more as a writer and singer and had the band moving towards a harder “New wave music” direction on some of the tracks.

Hawkins resigned from the group in late 1980 to join up with Mick Fleetwood’s Zoo, a side project the Fleetwood Mac drummer was recording in Africa. After Andes returned to guest for the group’s February 1981 appearance on American Bandstand, Kim Stone came in to take over bass. Everything seemed to be on track until Larry Burnett suddenly disappeared from the group, after playing a show at Miami Baseball Stadium with Heart, Blue Öyster Cult, Motörhead and Freewheel on April 19, 1981, to return to his hometown of Washington D.C. to enter a rehab (Burnett eventually kicked a serious drug habit and after working in radio in the late 80s/early 90s, began pursuing a solo career in 2004).

The group continued on to play their next show in Las Vegas without him. But after playing a concert with the band in Lahaina, Hawaii with Pure Prairie League in August of that same year, Rick Roberts announced that he also was leaving for a solo career. With the band lacking personnel and increasing in financial debt, Atlantic dropped Firefall from their roster in 1981 and released Best of Firefall at the close of that year.

A Renewal: Unhappy with the way things had turned out, Jock Bartley decided to put together a new Firefall lineup in the spring of 1982. You can read all about it on Wikipedia. Currently touring with three original members (Jock Bartley, David Muse, Mark Andes), longtime drummer Sandy Ficca and talented newcomer Gary Jones, Firefall continues to make great music for a loyal following, adding new fans at each show. You can find out more about the revival of Firefall at their site.

I am most familiar with Firefall’s early years, back in the 70s. Interestingly, in the latter years of the 80s decade I worked with one of the original members of Firefall, Larry Burnett.

Larry Burnett

Larry Burnett with WCXR (Washington, DC, late 80s/early 90s). Photo courtesy of the website of former WCXR Music Director Paul Altobell (www.paul-altobelli.com)

He was a radio personality at Washington DC’s Classic Rock station WCXR 105.9, where I was an advertising sales account executive. I worked there from 1988 through 1991. At the time, Larry was the evening on-air personality from 7pm-midnight on weekdays and he also produced and hosted a weekly specialty show called “The Blues Room” on Sunday nights.

WCXR Washington's Classic Rock Station 105.9

After his WCXR career, leaving in the early 90s, Larry continued on as a solo singer/songwriter/guitarist. I believe he now lives in Virginia but he spent some years in Colorado and he was recently inducted into the Colorado Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. You can check out Larry’s music at his website.

Here is my Firefall playlist, in order of my favorite Firefall songs. The first ten are the ones that I listened to a lot back in the day. The rest of the playlist is some other Firefall songs that I’m just coming to appreciate, many of which were written by Larry Burnett (and he served as lead vocals on many of his songs too). “Strange Way” is on the playlist twice: in the beginning as my second favorite Firefall song (with high quality sound) and then at the end as the last song with a live studio video because it’s one of the only live videos with the original members — and because I get to see my old pal Larry Burnett playing (he’s the one on the right with the long hair and sunglasses).

Put your headphones on and Crank this playlist up! If you’re not already a Firefall fan before hearing this, you will be after:

 

Some tidbits on a few of my favorite Firefall songs:

Cinderella – My favorite Firefall song by Larry Burnett is “Cinderella.” He actually wrote that song when he was 16 years old! Most of what Larry wrote on the first couple of Firefall albums were written when he was between 16 and 19. Larry wrote this song about a girl who wants the fairytale ending, but when she gets pregnant, her boyfriend kicks her out to raise their son on her own.

This wasn’t, however, based on personal experience. Burnett was 16 years old when he wrote this song and says, “I certainly didn’t have a wife or a girlfriend who was pregnant [while] I was working my butt off trying to support us. None of that was going on. But it was certainly happening around me in other people’s lives.”

It took Larry about 15 minutes to write this song. He says it happened so quick he almost never saw it coming. “It was already there, and I was just sort of this vessel. And *poof* I went, whoa, that was interesting. It was a nice moment.”

Musically this song is fantastic. The beginning blows my mind. The flute and the harmonica grab me every time…then the vocals pull me in and together with the music it all blends into this really kickass song.

Strange Way – My next favorite is “Strange Way.” Firefall scored another hit, this time a downbeat one. The singer is seeing a woman who sounds as if she’s wallowing in self-pity over things that have gone wrong for her, and he’s telling her that she’s bringing him down and that he doesn’t want to deal with it anymore. This was written by Firefall singer/guitarist Rick Roberts. (He and fellow singer/guitarist Larry Burnett wrote most of Firefall‘s songs).

You Are the Woman – This was both Firefall‘s breakout hit and it’s most popular single, peaking at #9 on the US Billboard Charts. In it, a man sings that he’s found the ideal woman, and he loves her not for external qualities, but how much she loves him in return. It was written by Rick Roberts.

Jock Bartley of Firefall accounts for the popularity of “You Are the Woman”:

“Every female between the ages of 18 and 24 wanted to be the woman portrayed in the song, and that caused their boyfriends and spouses to call radio stations and subsequently flood the airwaves with dedications of the song and the sentiment. The message was simple and sincere, and the song was easy to sing. It was like our fans let us be a singing version of the Hallmark card that said what they weren’t quite sure what to express.”

Bartley, the founding member of Firefall who has remained with the group to the present (and as of 2015, Muse and founding bassist Mark Andes have rejoined), also states:

“Everybody knows ‘You Are the Woman’. It ended up kind of being a hindrance because people would only hear ‘You Are the Woman’ and would think, oh, that light Rock band from Colorado. We’re actually a pretty smokin’ Rock band that really has fun onstage and cooks and jams and plays ‘You Are the Woman’ also.”

Just Remember I Love You – In this song, the singer tries to offer encouragement to someone who sounds chronically depressed and hopeless, perhaps suicidal. People who are going through their worst times ever have been known to identify with the lyrics. This was written by Firefall singer Rick Roberts.

Sharpshootin’ at the Senator – written by Larry Burnett. “Sharpshootin’ at the Senator” is exactly what it sounds like: It’s a song about assassinating senators. Firefall founding member Larry Burnett explains:

“It’s sort of me trying to observe something I actually hadn’t ever really seen, which was the mind of a guy who would assassinate a political figure. And it’s really heavy, hard rock cool, so it’s a cool song. We used to play it in person and people would go nuts. We loved playing it. It was intense.

It’s about how a guy could become so unhappy with things. You know, people blame stuff on all kinds of other stuff, they don’t take much responsibility. And it’s convenient to blame things on the government. And their attitude is, ‘My personal problems are because Senator Somebody isn’t representing me right, so my family’s suffering.’ That’s where that came from, it was an imagination. It was imagining somebody that unhappy and willing to kill a political figure.”

Atlantic Records refused to put this song on a record, and Burnett had thought that was due to the touchy subject matter. It wasn’t until years later he discovered the real reason:

“During our recording session I had taken a trip north, visited my mom, brought some of the basic tracks along from the session to play for her and family who live around here. She heard the song, she got very worried. She didn’t say anything to me about it, but she heard the song, and she went, ‘Ooo. I don’t know about that.’ She was worried about the impact that a song like that would have on the world and on people, and then how that would reflect on me. I don’t think it was dangerous. It was powerful, but not dangerous. I could have been wrong. So here’s what my mother does: She – unbeknownst to me – writes a letter to Ahmet Ertegun, the Chairman of the Board of Atlantic Records, and he gets it. And she identifies herself, ‘I am Larry Burnett’s mother.’ It was like a 4-page letter that she went on and on and on about how he might not want this attached to him and his record company. And she made some really good points, actually. So Ahmet and the people at Atlantic are thinking that’s a pretty cool song. Bunch of guys, they don’t care. But he gets this letter from my mom, he reads it, and he decides at that moment after reading my mom’s letter to pull the song from the album. And I find this out 2 years later from our then-manager, who’s a friend of mine named Jack Boyle, and he had a copy of the letter. He says, ‘Larry, come here. Remember all that grief that Atlantic was giving us about a couple of songs? I want you to read something.’ And then I read it and I went, ‘Whoa,’ and I read the signature at the bottom, and I went, ‘Ooohh, this is my mother.’ He says, ‘Yeah, you know where I got that?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Ahmet gave that to me.’ He says, ‘This is why we didn’t put that thing on the record.’ I was really surprised to find out that suddenly it’s a bonus track on this CD.”

Even Steven – This is the final track on Firefall’s Luna Sea album. It was the first collaborative effort between Firefall founding members Larry Burnett and Rick Roberts. Collaborative songwriting does not come easily to Burnett, and he prefers to stay away from it. So he was less than thrilled when Roberts came to him one night and suggested they collaborate. He tells this story:

“For years I write my songs, and Ricky writes his songs. Then we as a band get together, we do them, and never the twain met. And then one night in Florida, Ricky says, ‘You know, we really ought to try to write something together.’ And I immediately kind of went Oh God, I knew this was coming. And the only reason the ‘Oh God’ response was there was because I know how Ricky writes songs – at the time, anyway. He gets a big bag of cocaine and gets real high, and then he gets papers and pencil and starts writing down rhyming words on the right-hand side of the page. And then tries to attach sentences to each rhyming word. And then he pushes everything around and tries to have it make sense, because, as you might imagine, it’s not going to make sense right away, considering his approach to songwriting. So anyway, he said, ‘Okay, you and I should try writing…’ boom – here’s this big bag of coke. And I’m going, No, Ricky, I don’t do this to make me perform better. I’m not that stupid. I get high, but not because it makes me better at anything. So we struggled. Boy, we wrote for a long time. And for me it was an enormous struggle. For him it was just what he does, it was no big deal. And he kind of kept the thing going. So that’s how we came up with this song, ‘Even Steven.’ And there again, even the title – the 2 words in the title – rhyme. And if you read the lyrics it’s, in my humble opinion – or not so humble, very often – it’s just a silly, dumb song. And so, when we were done with this, and we’re singing it and kind of burning it into our brains so we remember it, and I’m going, ‘This ain’t cool at all. I do not want to be associated with this song ever.’ It’s a lame, stupid song. At any rate, there it is, my name on it, it’s on the record, you know. It went nowhere, really, as a song.”

 

“You may or may not be pleased to know I haven’t done any dope, or drank in 23 years. But that’s what ‘Even Steven’ was all about. That’s what fueled it, just because Ricky felt obligated for us to collaborate.”

 

The “Steven” in this song is “nobody,” says Burnett, and he’s neither particularly proud of the way the song came about, nor the end result. “We grabbed a household phrase, ‘even Steven,’ and then we thought, Oh, Steven, we have a guy here. Let’s use ‘even Steven’ – this silly cliché – and create a character, and just keep snorting coke until we have this character.”

“It was kind of horrible,” he adds, laughing.

 

Here is the full Interview with Larry Burnett that I found online (some of which is quoted above). Interesting stuff from a guy I used to know…

Hope you all enjoyed my spotlight on Firefall. Were you familiar with the band before now? If so, what are your favorite Firefall songs?

 

Monday’s Music Moves Me (4M) is a blog hop hosted by X-Mas Dolly, and co-hosted by JAmerican Spice, Stacy Uncorked and Curious as a Cathy.  Be sure to stop by the hosts and visit the other participants.

 

 

 

 

27 thoughts on “Monday’s Music Moves Me – Artist Spotlight: FIREFALL

  1. Michele,

    I wasn’t sure if I’d heard of Firefall before until I got to track #2 on your place list, then it clicked. I definitely remember “Strange Way” and haven’t thought of this song or the group in years, so it was great to listen to your extensive playlist and to read the factoids on the group. As usual, you did your homework pulling together another fabulous post to share with the 4M gang. Thanks for rockin’ the dance floor. Have a tunetastic week, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Cathy,
      Thanks for stopping by to check out Firefall. Glad to know that you were familiar with them after all. Hope you’re having a great week…

      Like

  2. Hi, Michele!

    I enjoyed this morning’s classic rock concert starring Firefall. I appreciated the opportunity to trace the band’s evolution and learn about its members. Interesting how the band got its name. I never heard of the traditional Yosemite Firefall. Once again I join you in urging everyone to invest in a pair of stereo headphones to maximize their enjoyment of music like this. It’s pure joy. Firefall had a smooth sound and their songs are well written and powerful. I can see how Firefall was a good fit for the Fleetwood Mac tour. They were right in the pocket with a sound like the Eagles, Kansas and other American country rock/soft rock bands of the period. “Mexico” (1999) was a special treat. The guys sounded every bit as good live on stage as they did in the studio. It is very cool that you had the chance to get to know Larry Burnett as a co-worker at WCXR. “Sharpshootin’ At the Senator” is a great song and I enjoyed the back story of how Larry’s mama got the song pulled from the album.

    Like many bands Firefall was plagued by tension among its members and underwent changes in personnel. Like you I think they were at their best in the early years of their evolution. My favorite recordings by the band are the ones I remember, their biggest hits “Cinderella,” “Strange Way,” “Just Remember I Love You” and “You Are The Woman.” I was sad to learn that Michael Clarke died of alcoholism down here in my area at his home on Treasure Island.

    You did it, Michele. You turned me into a Firefall fan. Thank you very much, dear friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Yay! A new Firefall fan! Glad you enjoyed my post Tom.
      I didn’t know about the Yosemite Firefall either. That would’ve been something to see but they don’t do it anymore. I bet it was strikingly beautiful…probably no photo could really do it justice.
      It’s almost the weekend…Busy one coming up here. Hope you guys are planning on doing something fun. BTW, I really enjoyed reading your post about Marsha Hunt!

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  3. Of course I love You Are the Woman and Strange Way but I am looking forward to listening to the rest of the songs and reading the complete history. I have work first but I’ll have a listen and read on my break today! Thanks Michele!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Janet. Hope you got a chance to come back and check out more Firefall. I just came from your place! Read about you starting your new job at Michael’s. How’s it going? Hope you’re loving it~

      Liked by 1 person

  4. After you asked the last time, I had to go listen on YouTube. They were very good, weren’t they? I guess I never realized I was listening to them. DJ’s were not always good about telling you what songs they played…

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true! That used to bug the crap out of me! I’d desperately want to know the name of the song and the artist and it seemed like they never mentioned it. I’d call the Call-in Line to say “What was the name of that song you just played?” “Which one?” “It goes like this”…and then I’d have to sing a bar of it or something. Used to drive me crazy! That was before internet and stations posting their Live playlists and now with vehicle stereo systems that display the artist name, song title and sometimes the album title. And what’s the app that listens to a song and can pull up the title and artist after hearing a few seconds of the song? I used to have it on my phone but removed it. Can’t remember what it’s called. Do you know??
      Anyway, thanks for stopping by John.

      Like

  5. Well, many of these tunes I’m going to have to listen to again because Charlie (our puppy that sounds like a howling lion sometimes) is on a roll today!!! Barking all day due to some guys chopping down my neighbor’s trees. I mean DANG HE’S LOUD I’M GETTING SUCH A HEADACHE!!! Anyway ya got a lotta info here my friend you sure work hard at your post & you don’t get enough recognition for it I’m sure!!! I THINK YOUR GREAT & YOU’VE ROCKED THE HOUSE! WOO HOO

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Marie! Hopefully those guys are done chopping the tree down and Charlie has settled down a bit. 🙂 Yeah, a barking dog drives me nuts. Because the doorbell always makes the dogs lose it, I ask customers to call me when they pull up to drop their dog(s) off. But now the dogs are conditioned in that the phone ringing usually means a new dog is arriving so now EVERY time the phone rings, the dogs go nuts: a chorus of barking dogs. And either I have to usher the dogs out into the garage or I go run into the garage to take the phone call. It’s crazy: I’ll answer the phone but can’t hear a thing and I’m yelling into the phone “HOLD ON, I CAN’T HEAR” and all the person on the other end can hear is a pack of wild dogs barking in the background… it only lasts for a minute but geez, it’s loud! And oddly, greyhounds rarely bark so it’s exceptionally weird.
      Anyway, hopefully you got to come back and listen to some great Firefall music. Thanks for stopping by… and for the compliment. 🙂 I appreciate you!

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  6. MICHELE ~
    Indeed I does remember Firefall. In fact, I owned their album LUNA SEA back in the prehistoric Vinyl Age. They weren’t a band I was hugely into, but I did like some of the hits — especially JUST REMEMBER I LOVE YOU, which is why that is the one album of theirs that I bought.

    But I also liked STRANGE WAY and YOU ARE THE WOMAN. It’s funny that I did / do think of Firefall in the way Bartley described: “that light Rock band “. I’ll have to listen to CINDERELLA when I get home from work and see if I recognize it.

    Funny story about the guy’s mother writing a letter. Ha! Moms of Rock Stars are still Moms.

    And interesting how they got their name. I had no idea, and I always thought it was a pretty lame, wimpy name. Kind of generic and “light Rock”-sounding. :o)

    Also, the story about how they wrote EVEN STEVEN made me laugh. I gotta go check out all the lyrics to that one now. (The guy writing in a column a bunch of words that rhyme and then trying to arrange them into something that makes some kind of sense. Ha!-Ha! Now THAT’S a true artist! I’ll bet Robert Allen Zimmerman is jealous.)

    Michele, I actually think I have (or may have) some vague memory of having seen FIREFALL live one time. Couldn’t tell you when or where. I see they played with Blue Oyster Cult before, and I saw BOC three times. So maybe Firefall opened for BOC one of the times I saw them.

    The problem is, some of those years are a bit hazy in my mind nowadays. I’m sure you un’erstan’ that. A case of two too many Mojitos two-hundred too many times.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Stephen,
      Yep, hazy crazy days. I’ve had a lot of them! 🙂

      You mentioned Robert Allen Zimmerman and I was like Who? And then, oh yeah, that’s Bob Dylan. It got me thinking about how songwriters go about coming up with their lyrics. I found this article that describes Dylan’s style: https://reverb.com/news/songwriting-approaches-of-the-masters

      I used to write poetry when I was younger. My cousin is a musician and he really dug one of my poems and suggested that we collaborate with me writing the lyrics and him the music but we never ended up getting together on it. I still think about that poem. It was probably my best actually. And considering that it was written many moons ago, it’s very relevant today so I might just dig it out and see what I can do with it…

      Regarding the Even Steven lyrics: I’m kinda like Rick Roberts when I write poetry. I like to rhyme. I visited an aquarium and was inspired to write a poem a few years ago (https://angelsbark.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/my-aquarium-visit-who-knew-it-would-spark-a-poem/) and that was the last poem I wrote. I don’t know why I like rhyming poetry better. I find some poetry REALLY difficult to understand. Like I read it and go, “I don’t get it.” And it makes me feel so dumb! Even some of the great classic poets, I don’t get them. I guess I just don’t have that kind of mind. I’m a more simple gal…
      Oh, here’s the link to the Even Steven lyrics: http://www.metrolyrics.com/even-steven-lyrics-firefall.html

      So did you get a chance to listen to Cinderella?? What did you think?

      Liked by 1 person

      • MICHELE ~
        Yes, I listened to ‘Cinderella’. I’d never heard it before. I liked the flute in it.

        Very nice poem and beautiful photos from the aquarium!

        Thanks for linking me to the article. I read the Dylan and Tom Waits sections. In some other Waits interview many years ago, he said that sometimes when he’s having trouble getting started, he’ll just start reciting some nursery rhyme. And sometimes the finished song still retains references to the nursery rhyme. A good example is LITTLE BOY BLUE from the fantastic ‘One From The Heart’ movie soundtrack:

        I used to write poetry, too. And liked to draw. I can’t remember the last time I did either of those things. I guess the last “poem” I wrote was as a comedic review for that ‘Andy Griffith Show’ VHS tape featuring Floyd the barber. That was years before I started blogging in 2008.

        I’ve written and enjoyed both rhyming and un-rhyming poetry but, like you, I prefer it to rhyme. I think most of the poems I wrote that I liked the best all rhymed.

        ~ D-FensDogG
        Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hey Stephen,
          Thanks for coming back to chat. Yes, the flute in Cinderella is amazing…and that harmonica: OMG, it just melts me!

          And I listened to the Tom Waits song and heard what you’re referring to: his using some elements of the nursery rhymes that he used for brainstorming; I heard both Little Boy Blue and Little Bo Peep. Thanks for providing the song.

          Hey, if you get a chance and still have access to it, shoot me over your comedic review of the Andy Griffith Show and Floyd. That was such a good show. Back when television was wholesome, not riddled with sex and violence like it is today. Wholesome yet it still managed to be quite funny.

          Thanks for your compliment on my aquarium poem and pics. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

            • Wow, battle #100! That’s impressive!
              I’m celebrating an anniversary: my blog went live 4 years ago today. I included a note at the bottom of today’s post. Four years already!

              I’ll look forward to your 100th battle with Tom Waits!

              Thanks for sending the link to the Andy Griffith review. I’ll go check it out.

              Like

  7. I always liked Firefall because I like their style of music and they did that style well. I never bought any of their albums–not quite sure why. After “You Are the Woman” hit the charts, I met the woman who would become my first wife. I remember singing that song to her a lot.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw, that’s sweet! What a romantic. What other songs did you find yourself singing to your women? That’s always interesting to me…
      If you like Firefall, their Greatest Hits album is probably the best to get, if you want to add one to your collection.
      Thanks for coming by Lee.

      Like

      • First song that comes to mine was for my second wife whose name is Susan. In the mornings I would often sing “Wake Up, Little Susie” to rouse her from sleep. I’m sure there were more since I was married to her for 10 years.

        These days I don’t sing much to my wife and she’s probably fine with that.

        Lee
        Tossing It Out

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I wasn’t sure if I had heard them before as the name didn’t ring any bells for me. But now that I’m listening, I do remember hearing their tunes. Just now getting around to visiting the Monday peeps. It’s crazy how one’s life gets bogged down when they are stressed. It seems there just aren’t enough hours in the day..

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know what you mean. I’m looking at the clock and going “It’s after 10 already?!” and the calendar blows my mind that we’re this far in the year already. The older I get the faster the time goes.
      Hope all goes well for you with what’s coming…
      Thanks for taking the time to come over Mary.

      Like

  9. I knew “You are the Woman”. To my delight, I also knew “Cinderella” and “Strange Way”. But what took my breath away was “Sharpshooting at the Senator”. For some reason, I kept thinking that this would be a perfect song for Steppenwolf; don’t quite know why. The story of the artist’s mother writing the record company to get the song off the album was…..well, I can believe it. As always, I’m in awe of the amount of research you put into your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Alana! So glad you were already familiar with Firefall.
      Yeah, that story about Larry’s mom writing the record company head to persuade them to remove his song from the album was really something! Ya gotta love moms! They’re always looking out for us.

      I’m just getting caught up on comments from last week and I should be heading over to your place today or tomorrow for your 4M post for this week. Thanks for taking the time to check out my Firefall Freebie! 🙂

      Like

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