One of my all-time favorite songs came out of the mid 70’s. A tune by Heart called Dog & Butterfly. I’m amazed that it is not as popular as some of their other songs. But at the same time, I’m really not. It’s not as much a rocker as say, Barracuda or Magic Man.
This song is special, however, because it is deep and poetic and whimsical not only in its lyrical content but also in the feel of the music itself. When you listen to it, it feels like you’re in a garden of flowers and fountains and sunshine.
Dog & Butterfly is one of the few songs you hear today that doesn’t sound dated. Especially, if you’re hearing it for the first time ever. Ann’s voice is so mesmerizing. And Nancy singing in the background sounds like a butterfly trailing all around. Just like the album artwork.
This type of approach to music was lost in the 80’s but was kind of revived in the 90’s. It is simple, basic and poignant. A beautiful and timeless classic, I think.
One day, I was at a Guitar Center in Atlanta, GA just checkin’ out some new gear and passing time. A bunch of us window shoppers, including some staff, couldn’t help but bop our heads in groove to Stevie Wonder’s Living For The City which was pumping out of the speakers in all its glorious funk. Some of us started looking at each other, stopped on our tracks… that’s Stevie on drums, man… did you know?
Yeah, I knew but I guess I’ve forgotten.
Of course, we do know Stevie Wonder played all the instruments in the studio, back in the day. Yet, he’s well-known more for his singing and songwriting chops than his instrumental mastery. But listening to his classics being aware this dude not only delivered the funk with keyboards and his incredible pipes, but also with the drums, and with just as much flair, is simply mind-blowing. At least, for me it is.
However, listening is one thing. Seeing the proof with your own eyes is another. I’ve been wanting to share this video I discovered awhile back but haven’t had a chance to do so until now. So do yourself a favor and check out this old footage from a TV show. He’s definitely rockin’ it out with the best of them.
1976… it was the year I started collecting records. Vinyl records, that is. I was obsessed! I bought at least one each week depending on how consistently starved I was willing to be during school lunch breaks. Yes, I had to save the money using my allowance. There’s no way I could’ve convinced my parents to buy me all these records from artists I’m just now beginning to discover (… thanks to Creem and Circus!). And with outrageous cover art and titles such as Welcome To My Nightmare, Destroyer, Sabotage and Cat Scratch Fever… uhh, you kiddin’ me? Forget about it!
Alice Cooper’s 1975 release, Welcome To My Nightmare, was one of the very first albums I’ve acquired. Though ironically, it wasn’t because of Alice (of whom I am now a lifelong fan of), rock music or even the cool sleeve that I bought it for. It was because I’ve already heard it at my friend, Buddy’s house (… or he may have loaned me the album, I forget.). And being the huge horror genre aficionado that I was (and still am, in fact), I was tantalized beyond words upon hearing Vincent Price’s unmistakable voice that was used to bridge the songs Devil’s Food and The Black Widow into one macabre epic. As if an angel whispered in my ear telling me how much I needed to get my own copy of the album, like yesterday.
If you’re a horror buff yourself, how can you not be enchanted by Vince’s monologue as a demented curator/host of an arachnid museum? From one display to the next, he educates his unsuspecting guests on the finer attributes of his priced collection. At the climaxing end, when his voice starts to rise to a crescendo, you can almost smell the chilling scent of his coat in the air as he reveals his true sentiments towards his beloved eight-legged pet. Or could it be, his master?
What a classic! Oh by the way, did you know he’s a gourmet cook too? Cool! That actually just increased the creep factor a couple notches, for me!
After all these years, I can’t believe I can still recite the whole thing word for word! Along with the appropriate facial expressions, of course.