Never heard of Starbelly? You should have. But it’s not your fault. There was a bit of a resurgence of “power pop” bands in the late-90’s/early 2000’s that generated a lot of GREAT albums, but for some inexplicable reason, not much commercial breakthrough (Fountains Of Wayne being one of the few exceptions). Starbelly’s debut album “Lemon Fresh” was simply brilliant, and it’s one of my favorite records. On this episode, we dive into “This Time“, the song that opens this album, along with a special guest to tell the story– Cliff Hillis, Starbelly guitarist & vocalist who played on this album.

“This Time” (Dennis Schocket) Copyright 1998 Eleven Twenty Ate Music/ASCAP

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On this episode, we pay a little tribute to the great Tina Turner, with an exploration of the song she wrote about her humble beginnings in a little town called Nutbush, TN.  Join us on a journey down Highway 19 to visit “Nutbush City Limits”.

“Nutbush City Limits” (Words & Music by Tina Turner) Copyright 1973 EMI Blackwood Music Inc and EMI Unart Catalog Inc.

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Welcome to the “I’m In Love With That Song” podcast. My name is Brad Page, and I’m on a mission to uncover and rediscover my favorite songs, to get a better understanding of what makes them work and why I love them so much. Thanks for joining me on this journey here on the Pantheon Podcast Network. Everyone is welcome here– no musical knowledge or experience is required. If you love music and are even just a little curious about what goes into making a great song, you’re in the right place.

It’s reality that we are all getting older. I don’t care how young or old you are. We are all heading in one direction. And as we age, so do the artists that inspired us, that have moved us and, um, accompanied us through our journeys through life. Inevitably, we will lose these artists to the ravages of time.

The rock stars of my youth are no longer young. And over the last few years, we have lost so many artists that were such a part of our lives. And it’s just a fact that all of you will experience. Again, it doesn’t matter how old you are, or when you grew up… someday Janet Jackson will be an old woman; someday Britney Spears will be old; someday Taylor Swift will be an old woman. And that’s if they’re lucky– that they make it that far. There’s no shame or insult in that. It’s just the way it is. And nothing will shine a light on your own mortality than the death of an artist that you grew up with, that remains young and vibrant whenever you think of them.

This is all to set the tone for this episode because we’re talking about Tina Turner today, who passed away recently in May of 2023. I have been working on this episode off and on for a while. In fact, I first got the idea for this show back in 2017 when, on a road trip, we came near Nutbush, Tennessee. We never actually got to stop in Nutbush, but seeing the name reminded me of the song and that that would be a pretty good subject for a podcast episode.

So it went on my list, which is a pretty long list of podcast ideas. But one good thing about songs is that there’s no shortage of great ones. So this episode has been in the works for a while. It was about 80% done, just waiting for an opportunity for me to finish it up. And then Tina died… which I’m always of two minds about these situations, because I don’t want to take advantage of, or jump on the bandwagon, or be seen as “cashing in” in any way on the death of somebody, especially an artist as important as Tina Turner. And make no mistake, she is an historically important artist, but she should be remembered, she should be paid tribute to and she should be celebrated.

So I’m going to go ahead with this episode. Keep in mind that most of this was recorded before she passed away. It wasn’t originally meant to be a posthumous tribute, but I think it’s still relevant today. S

So, in honor of Tina, let’s take a road trip down to Nutbush, Tennessee, with Ike and Tina Turner, and “Nutbush City Limits”.


Ike Turner was a journeyman musician. It was his band, the Kings Of Rhythm, that recorded “Rocket 88”, considered by many to be the first rock and roll song. Though he wasn’t credited for it– it was credited to Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats, which always ticked Ike off.


Ike also worked as kind of a talent scout for Sun Records and Modern Records, and spent some time as a session musician playing piano on records for people like BB King and Howlin’ Wolf.

She ended up in East St Louis, playing with his band, the Kings of Rhythm, and that’s where he met Anna Mae Bullock in 1957. She became a fan of the band when she was 17. She saw them whenever she could, and then she began singing with the Kings of Rhythm. They made their first record together in 1958, a song called “Box Top” with Anna Mae, nicknamed “Little Anne” on backing vocals.


They had their first big hit in 1960 with a song called “A Fool In Love”, this time credited to Ike and Tina Turner.


Ike was the one who changed her name to Tina. By then, she was already pregnant with their first child. Ike was married to another woman at the time; he had already been married at least four times, maybe six times by then. When she was in the hospital having that baby, Ike hired another woman to pretend to be Tina on stage so he could keep playing gigs and getting paid. When Tina found out, she checked herself out of the hospital, went to the gig and punched out that fake Tina and then finished the gig herself.

In 1962, they got married. She was 23, he was 31, and Ike hadn’t even bothered to divorce any of his previous wives.

The abuse started early. When she told Ike she didn’t want to change her name to Tina, he hit her. That was the first of many. He slept around and abused her all through their relationship, and he worked her to exhaustion.

By 1966, the hits had started to dry up. Producer Phil Specter was also going through a dry patch when he saw Ike & Tina perform on “The Big TNT” show in late 1965. Go check out that performance on YouTube– they were on fire that night.


Phil Spector, being the control freak that he was, was not about to work with another control freak like Ike Turner. So, they cut a deal: Spector paid Ike a bunch of money to stay away from the studio, and Phil would make the record without him. Though “River Deep Mountain High” is credited as an “Ike and Tina Turner” release, Ike really had nothing to do with making that record.

Though the song didn’t sell as well as everyone hoped, it’s become a true classic; on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time, “River Deep Mountain High” came in at number 33.


The Rolling Stones– and this time we’re talking about the band, not the magazine– The Rolling Stones loved this song, and invited Ike and Tina to support them on a British tour. It was the first of a few tours where Tina would open for the Stones, and this exposed her to a whole new, and much bigger, audience.

One of the interesting things about both Tina and Ike is that neither one of them really wanted to be known as R&B performers, even though that’s what paid the bills. Their musical preferences were really elsewhere. So they were perfectly happy to venture further into rock and roll. And that’s where they’d find their biggest hits, with their versions of songs like “Proud Mary”, “Honky Tonk Woman” and “I Want To Take You Higher:.


Ike opened his own recording studio and Tina did some session work there, providing vocals, including for tracks by Frank Zappa.


As they got more successful behind the scenes, life with Ike was getting worse. More cocaine meant more violence. She had attempted suicide in 1968. It wouldn’t be the last time. Eventually, she left him in 1976. Their divorce was finalized in March 1978.

But back in 1973, they were still together when Tina wrote “Nutbush City Limits”. While Ike was becoming more and more difficult to work with, Tina was finding her own footing. She wrote “Nutbush City Limits”. But after it became a hit, Ike tried to take credit for it. But clearly this is Tina’s song. She wrote it about the town she grew up in.

Unfortunately, there’s no credits on the album, and there doesn’t appear to be much documentation as to who played on the song. Mark Bolan of T Rex may have played guitar on the track; it is confirmed that he played guitar on at least one other Ike & Tina song, so it is possible. It’s also been claimed that James Lewis, a member of Ike & Tina’s backing band, played guitar on the track. They both could be on the track. Who really knows?

The song opens with one guitar, maybe played by Mark Bolan, in the center channel. After a couple of bars, another guitar with a wah-wah pedal appears in the left channel.

Here come the horns on the right. The drums come in there, but it’s just the kick and the snare drum. No hi-hat, no cymbals. And they’re going to hold off on the cymbals for quite a while. The bass is also going to lay back for a while.


She’s telling us about her little hometown, but she’s not using full sentences. These are barely even phrases. They’re just impressions. A church house, gin house, schoolhouse, outhouse… but you can see the town taking shape in your head, right?

Highway 19 is a small rural state route that runs through this part of Tennessee, I believe it’s about 43 miles long. And a stretch of Route 19 between Brownsville and Nutbush is officially called Tina Turner Highway.


When she hits the end of the chorus, the bass comes in, along with a clavinet. A clavinet is an electric keyboard instrument; it was based on the clavichord, an instrument from the Middle Ages. But the clavinet is a relatively new instrument, developed in 1964. It has a very distinctive sound. It’s almost guitar like, but not quite. It’s really its own thing. Of course, it was Stevie Wonder who really popularized the sound of the clavinet on songs like “Superstition”.  Here, the clavinet is kind of accentuating the bass guitar part. Let’s go back and pick it up right before the bass comes in.


“25 was the speed limit, motorcycle not allowed in it.” I love that line, it’s so specific. You can also hear that a low, droning note on a keyboard comes in there.


There’s a chime or a bell in the right channel. There’s some interesting choices of percussion in this song, and that bell will continue to pop up in the right channel. And the drummer is finally going to play some hi-hat coming up. Listen for that when the vocal comes back in.


Listening to the horn part; at first I thought there might be a synthesizer playing along with them, but now I’m not sure. I think it’s probably just horns, but see what you think.


Let’s hear that verse with the vocals.


Let’s play that chorus again and listen to her vocal. She does a nice little scream in there. And the way she cracks her voice on the word “city”, that is a Tina trademark right there.


Now this is where the song takes a total left turn, I think. There is a synthesizer solo that comes out of nowhere, and it feels totally incongruous to me. I don’t know if this was Ike’s idea, he’s credited as producer on the album. At the time, synthesizers were still pretty new. They probably thought they were doing something innovative or updating their sound. But now, to me at least, this is the thing that sounds the most dated about the song. I guess there’s a lesson in there about relying too much on conspicuous technology.

And there’s also that incessant percussion part in the right channel. And that brings us to the last verse where that synthesizer is going to have a little back and forth with Tina’s vocal.


And that last line, “salt pork and molasses is all you get in jail”. Again, so specific. And I love the way she sings that line.


And I love the way she phrases that line, “It’s called a quiet little old community”. There’s a long pause she puts in between “it’s called” and “a quiet little old community”. And the way she hits the word “quiet”, it’s just so great.


Let’s pick it back up and play it out through the fade. “A one horse town. You have to watch what you’re putting down in old Nutbush.”


Ike and Tina Turner, “Nutbush City Limits”.

Nutbush, Tennessee remains a small rural town. There’s a sign over the town grocery store proclaiming it as the “birthplace of Tina Turner”. And then there’s that stretch of Highway 19 that’s named after her, Tina Turner Highway. I’m sure if you go there today, there will be memorials, flowers and tributes laid out in her honor.

There have been memorials and tributes pouring in from every corner of the world, and the internet is full of them. It’s a safe bet that every music-related podcast has discussed Tina in some fashion lately. So, I’m not going to explain all of the ways that she made a difference, all of the barriers she broke down gender, race, age, and how many people she influenced. There are other podcasts that have done that and probably done it better than I can. We’ll never know how many women who, inspired by Tina’s example, escaped an abusive relationship. For that alone, she deserves our respect.

But it will always be the music that she’ll be most remembered for. That will be her lasting impact. Her records leaped out of the grooves with energy and intensity, and as a live performer, she was hard to top. Thanks for everything, Tina.

And thanks to you for listening. The “I’m In Love With That Song” podcast comes your way twice a month, on the first and the 15th of every month, so make sure you follow the show in your favorite podcast app so that you never miss an episode.

We are part of the Pantheon Podcast Network, where you’ll find an endless supply of great podcasts.

Keep on listening and thanks for being here for this episode on Tina Turner and “Nutbush City Limits”

When The Shazam tumbled out of Nashville in 1994, they should’ve landed as one of the biggest rock bands in America. Instead, they merely left us with 5 fantastic albums of hard-rocking power pop that lodged them on my list of all-time favorite bands. If you’ve never heard them before, here’s your chance to discover their greatness with a song called “On The Airwaves” – certified one of the Coolest Songs In The World.

“On The Airwaves” (Hans Rotenberry) Copyright 1994, 1999, 2000 Clut Guckle Music (SESAC)

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Welcome to the “I’m in Love With That Song” podcast, where we use the wisdom of Solomon, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus… but maybe not the speed of Mercury, to explore the magic and mysteries of music.

I’m Brad Page, your host here on the Pantheon Podcast network. Each episode, I pick a favorite song of mine and we delve into it together, discovering what makes it a great song. To date, we’ve explored well over 100 songs; this episode features a song that’s been on my to do list since day one. This is one of my favorite songs, from one of my favorite bands ever. You maybe never heard of this band before, and that’s okay, in fact, I envy you a bit because you get to discover this band for the first time. This is The Shazam with a song called “On The Airwaves”.


Shazam was founded around 1994 by Hans Rotenberry. Hans fell in love with music at an early age. His first two favorite singles were Chuck Berry’s “Maybelline” and “Love Me Do” by the Beatles– off to a pretty good start, I think.

He’d been playing in bands as a guitarist and writing songs, but he was never able to find the right singer. So, probably out of frustration more than anything else, he decided to try singing these songs himself. So he went into the studio with drummer Scott Ballew and producer Brad Jones to record some demos. It worked out well enough that they decided to make it official and put a band together. Hans and Scott recruited a 16-year-old bass player named Mick Wilson, and The Shazam played their first gig on August 11, 1994.

They built an audience the old-fashioned way, by playing shows, including the big power pop festivals. And in 1997, they released their first self-titled album. There’s not a bad song on it. Here’s a track from that record. It’s called “Oh No”.


In 1999, they released their second album, again produced by Brad Jones. It’s called “Godspeed The Shazam”. At this point, they weren’t sure if they’d ever get to make another record, so they really went for it on this album. It’s an all-out, go-for-broke effort. Another killer album. Check out this track, it’s called “Sunshine Tonight”.


Around this time, they were joined by an unofficial fourth member, Jeremy Asbrock. Jeremy had been working with them as a recording engineer and he was a friend of the band, but he was also a great guitar player and he would join them on stage to fill out their sound.

The band headed to the UK for some pretty high-profile gigs, including a BBC event at Abbey Road, and opening for Paul Weller at Earl’s Court.

The record label was looking for some new material to release, something they could get out quick, capitalize on some of the success they were having and make a few bucks to offset the cost of that UK trip. The band didn’t have anything ready, but Hans had a handful of songs that he was working on for a solo album, which they quickly turned into Shazam songs. Hans also had the idea to record a cover version of the Beatles “Revolution Number 9”, which was kind of a dare, but the record company said OK. And so the Shazam did one of the most audacious things I’ve ever heard: their take on “Revolution Number 9”.


So they took their version of “Revolution 9”, along with those repurposed solo songs and a couple of old Shazam leftovers that they re-recorded, and they put them together on a seven song EP that they called “Rev 9”, which was released in 2000.

Now, one of those leftovers was a demo from 1995 that they had never finished. They polished it off and used it as the opening track for the “Rev 9” EP. Little Steven, on his radio show “Underground Garage”, would choose this song as one of the coolest songs in the world. In fact, years later, when Little Steven would release a series of CD’s that collected all of the coolest songs in the world, for Volume One, song number one, he chose this song: “On The Airwaves”.


“On The Airwaves” was performed by Scott Ballew on drums, Mick Wilson on bass (playing an 8-string bass, actually), and Hans Rotenberry on lead vocals and guitars. He also played a Theremin and a bunch of other sound effects, as we’ll hear. The song was produced by Brad Jones.

The song begins with what I think is one of the greatest opening riffs of all time. It’s a big sounding, epic introduction that just demands attention, and that rattling tambourine is a nice addition. Let’s play through the intro. After two times around on the riff, Scott does a drum fill and Mick’s bass follows the guitar.

Then we hear the first of those sound effects at the end of that last chord. Hans is going to pluck at that single guitar string to hold the tension before letting loose with the title of the song, and they break into the main riff.


Speaker C: Essentially, that’s a 4-note part. But there’s so much going on, it sounds massive. First, let’s hear the bass guitar. Mick is playing an 8-string Hamer bass through a Big Muff fuzz pedal.

Then there’s an overdubbed guitar part in the left channel on the final mix. I believe this was played on a Hamer Standard, through either a Vox AC 30 amp or a Peavey Classic 30. There’s also a Big Muff pedal on this guitar, too. And then there’s a bunch of overdubbed instruments playing that same riff. There’s a couple of Theremins, a Mellotron on the saxophone setting, a vocoder, and a bunch of guitars run through various effects.


It makes for one glorious cacophony of sound waves blasting out in all directions.

The Shazam never made a video for the song, but if they did, Hans envisioned them in some post-apocalyptic world, driving across the wasteland, broadcasting their message to all the last surviving misfits.

Here comes the first verse. There’s a slight pause, and then Hans comes in with the vocals. Sounds like he’s doubled his vocals here. Scott is doing some great drumming all through this song. Let’s go back and listen to his drums, especially those tasty little fills.


We hear a couple of guitar parts there. There’s a rhythm guitar part. Let’s hear that. And then there’s a second guitar playing this part:


And for good measure, let’s hear what the bass is doing there. You can really hear that he’s playing an 8-string bass here. Let’s go back and hear that altogether.


Here’s the second verse, and I love this verse.

“Radio of the deevolution, what do you say?
The lunatics, the hit parade,
Don’t listen, Mayday Mayday
Talking about the only thing we know, on the airwaves .

Let’s listen to that vocal track first.


I love that. Now, underneath that, there’s still all of these crazy sound effects going on. The theremin, mellotron, radio static, manipulated tape echo… There’s even a piano part which you’ll hear towards the end. Let’s listen to all of that.


I can picture them barreling across the post-apocalyptic wasteland, broadcasting this out. Let’s go back to the final mix and hear it all together and see what you can pick out in the background now that you know it’s there.


That brings us to the bridge, which begins with a pretty heavy riff.

So let’s explore this next part. First, I just want to listen to Scott Ballew’s drums, because he’s playing great during this part. And there’s more of those radio effects going on, including some nonsense vocals, very low in the background.  Let’s hear a bit of that.


And let’s pick it up when the vocals come in.

“Late at night we’re singing tunes
from deep inside our basement rooms,
lurking on our secret frequency
and in the dark red meters glow a message to the freaks”

And now there’s a nice little piano part under that, and from there, it builds back up for the final refrain

[Music]Notice the tambourine here. There’s the sound of a classic tape echo here. Probably an Echoplex, manipulating it by hand, slowing the tape down to get that descending echo. And let’s listen to what the bass is doing here at the end. You can really hear that 8-string in full effect.


Play that back all the way through, with what I assume is a little bit of vocoder at the end.

After the “Rev 9” EP, The Shazam released another full length album called “Tomorrow The World” in 2002. That’s a great album…in fact, that may be my favorite Shazam album.

After that, Mick Wilson left the band and they recruited a new bass player, Mike Vargo, and Jeremy Asbrock finally joined the band as an official full-time member. They released one more album, “Meteor”, in 2009. That album was produced by Mack, a legendary producer who worked with Queen and ELO, just to name a few.

But unfortunately, things just came to an end, as they often do. I wish I understood why some artists catch on and others don’t. In my opinion, The Shazam were one of the best bands to come along in the last 30 years. Seriously, I would stack them up against any band that’s made a record in the last 30 years. They should have sold a million records and played stadiums, but it just didn’t happen.

The good thing, though, is that this music is still out there. You can find these CDs, you can stream all of these songs –and I want you to do it. Go find The Shazam. You will love this music, I promise.

Bassist Mick Wilson more or less retired from the music biz, though he does still play around. His replacement, Mike Vargo, is still playing and he’s actually got a pretty successful career going, including playing Paul McCartney in a McCartney tribute project.

Sadly, drummer Scott Ballew took his own life in April 2019.

I want to thank both Jeremy Asbrock and Hans Rotenberry for helping me with this episode. Hans was especially generous with his time. Jeremy has earned a great reputation as a hired gun guitarist and he’s just launched a new band called Rock City Machine Company. Check them out.

And Hans, he put out an album with Brad Jones in 2010 called “Mountain Jack”. It’s a great record.  And as we speak, he’s compiling material for a deluxe reissue of the “Godspeed The Shazam” album. And when that’s available, I’d love to have him on the show. Maybe we can do a track by track or something. That’d be fun.

Anyway, thanks to both Jeremy and Hans for sharing their stories with me, and I thank you for listening. I’ll be back in two weeks with another new episode. If you’d like to get caught up on all of our previous shows, you’ll find them all on our website,, or listen to the show on your favorite podcast app. We’re on Amazon, we’re on Apple, we’re on Google Podcast, we’re on Spotify and Pandora and iHeartRadio… you name it, we’re on there.

Remember to support the artists that you love, like I love The Shazam, by buying their music, and you can support this show by just telling people about it. Won’t cost you a thing, and it really helps spreading the word. I’ll see you soon. Thanks for listening to this episode on The Shazam and “On The Airwaves”.

Gary Moore was never a household name, but among guitar players, he was a legend.  He reinvented himself multiple times over his 40-year career: first as a hard-rocker with Thin Lizzy, then a jazzy prog-rocker with Colosseum in the 70’s; pioneering a modern heavy-metal sound in the 80’s, and playing the blues in the ‘90’s.  On this episode, we delve into a track from his 1987 Celtic-flavored hard rock album, “Wind Frontier”.

“Over The Hills and Far Away” (Gary Moore) Copyright 1986 EMI 10 Music Ltd. All rights in the US and Canada controlled and administered by EMI Virgin Songs, Inc

— This show is just one of many great Rock Podcasts on the Pantheon Podcasts network. Get ’em while they’re red hot!  And don’t forget to follow our show, so you never miss an episode!

Welcome, Citizens of the World, to the “I’m In Love With That Song” podcast on the Pantheon Podcast Network.

One thing that’s shared by almost every culture, in every part of the world throughout history, is that music plays an important part in celebration, in worship, in recreation, in making even the hardest jobs more bearable. Music, it’s part of life, and if you’re from a culture that doesn’t celebrate music… well, I feel sorry for you. On this podcast, we celebrate that greatest form of music: the kind that ROCKS.

Every edition of this podcast, I pick one of my favorite songs and we explore it together on our never-ending quest to discover what goes into making a great song.

Last episode, we spent some quality time with one of my favorite bands, Thin Lizzy. One name that kept popping up on that show was Gary Moore. I wanted to spend a little bit more time with Gary Moore, one of the greatest guitarists of his generation.

He had a long and always evolving history; his career lasted over four decades, most of it underappreciated, I think. On this episode, we’re going to take a look at a song from right about in the middle of his career; this is a song called “Over The Hills and Far Away”.


A few years back, I did a show on 5 of my all-time favorite guitar solos– that was episode number 25 of this podcast, if you want to go back and check it out. One of those solos was by Gary Moore. He had all the flash and technique, but unlike many hot-shot players, especially those shredders from the 80’s, Gary had a fantastic sense of melody. He could play blindingly fast, but he could also move you emotionally with a melodic performance.

Robert William Gary Moore was born April 4th, 1952 in Belfast, Ireland. His father gave him his first guitar when he was 10 years old. Interestingly, Gary was a lefty, but he learned to play the guitar right-handed. In 1968, he joined Skid Row– no, not the metal band with Sebastian Bach; this Skid Row was a bluesy rock band from Ireland, with Phil Lynott (later of Thin Lizzy) on vocals, although Lynott left the band after recording only one single. But this is where Lynott and Moore first worked together.

A few years later, when Eric Bell left Thin Lizzy, Gary joined them, but it only lasted a few months. He did end up recording three tracks with them, though, in 1973. Gary recorded his first solo album, and he continued making solo records all through the 70s, and some of them are really good.

At the same time, he joined the prog rock group Coliseum II, and he would rejoin Thin Lizzy two more times– once as a fill-in guitarist for a tour in 1977, and then as a full-fledged member in 1979. Thin Lizzy’s “Black Rose” album is the only album of theirs where Gary plays on every track, but to many Lizzy fans, they consider that their best album. But it didn’t last long… Gary quit Thin Lizzy for the last time just a few months later.

Gary’s solo albums continued to get better. “Run for Cover”, released in 1985, is a great record– it’s probably my favorite Gary Moore album. Then in 1987, he released the album “Wild Frontier”. Phil Lynott had died the year before, and the album is dedicated to him. Maybe in tribute to Phil, maybe because Gary was just feeling connected to his Irish roots, but some of the tracks on this album have a real Celtic feel to them. It’s an interesting blend of hard rock and traditional elements.

Case in point is this song; but before we get into “Over The Hills and Far Away”, let’s talk about the lyrics.

This song tells the story of a man jailed for a crime he didn’t commit, but he can’t reveal his alibi… because on the night of the crime, he was sleeping with the wife of his best friend. Rather than reveal that secret, he keeps quiet and ends up serving a 10-year sentence for robbery. Now, this is a classic type of folktale, in fact, it’s very reminiscent, maybe even inspired by an old Lefty Frizzell song from 1959 called “Long Black Veil” that song tells a similar story of a man who’s hanged for murder because he wouldn’t admit that he was with his best friend’s wife at the time of the crime. “Long Black Veil” has been covered many times: Johnny Cash recorded it on his classic album “Live at Folsom Prison”. Here’s a bit of his version:


My favorite version of “Long Black Veil” is by The Band; it’s on their legendary album “Music From Big Pink”:


Here on “Over The Hills and Far Away”, Gary Moore puts his own spin on the story.

“Over The Hills and Far Away” was written by Gary Moore and produced by Peter Collins, who produced albums for Billy Squire, Bon Jovi, Queensryche, Alice Cooper and Rush. Gary plays all the guitars and does all the vocals. Neil Carter handles keyboards and Bob Daisley is on bass. For the drums… well, there’s actually nobody credited with playing drums on the album, and that’s because nobody did play drums on the album. All the drum sounds are programmed; it’s a drum machine. No actual recorded drums on the record at all. It’s a bit unusual for a hard rock record. There are no credits on the album for drum programming either, but it was probably done by Roland Carriage. When Gary went on tour for the album, he brought along Eric Singer on drums.

The song begins with some tribal drumming, and remember, these are all electronic drums:


You can hear some of those traditional sounds building under the vocal


Then as soon as that vocal line finishes, the song explodes with a Celtic melody.


Though there aren’t any specific instruments credited on this track, I believe there are some traditional acoustic instruments in there, along with the keyboards and the guitar. Let’s hear them all together:


And that leads us right into the second verse, where Gary’s heavy guitar chords come in:


Gary throws in a little bit of classic 80s whammy bar there. Let’s go back and pick up right before that part:


Some keyboards are added here.


So here’s the first chorus; harmony vocals are added on the first and third lines– that’s a typical technique we hear all the time– and the drums are playing an interesting pattern:


And the guitar sound has gotten really big. It’s a pretty simple part actually, the guitar is just playing one chord every two beats, but I’m guessing there are multiple guitar tracks layered on top of each other here to really thicken up the part.


I like that little bass part there.

Now, on the second verse, there’s a new keyboard part. Let’s hear that, and listen for the little guitar part that’s added on one phrase, duplicating the keyboard:


There’s some really nice guitar work under this part of the verse. I love the way it plays against the keyboard part. Notice the background vocals, too:


We’re coming to the bridge, and there’s a definite change in mood. It’s almost wistful… you can picture the prisoner looking out of his cell window, longing for freedom…


Those Celtic instruments return, and we’re about to hit a break where those instruments are right in your face in the mix. It’s really powerful.


This brings us to the guitar solo.


And here’s a classic a capella chorus; you just gotta do it on a song like this.


There’s some flanging on the percussion here.

And there’s a key change there; it jumps up a whole step from E to F sharp. Key changes are a classic way to inject some new energy into a song.


Let’s check out some of Gary’s vocals here at the end.


Gary Cuts loose on guitar a little bit more at the end here for the long fade


“Over The Hills and Far Away” – Gary Moore

After this album, he’d record one more record and then walk away from the sound of hard rock and heavy metal. He shifted to playing the blues. In fact, his first all-blues album in 1990 was the best-selling record he ever had, and with a few exceptions, he would focus on the blues for the rest of his career.

In February 2011, Gary died in his sleep from a heart attack; he was only 58. But he left behind over 20 Studio albums, plus all the work he did with other bands and artists. It’s quite the legacy.

I hope you enjoyed this episode of the “I’m In Love With That Song” podcast. There’s another one coming right up! Let us know about your favorite Gary Moore and Thin Lizzy songs. Share with us on Facebook or on places like Podchaser; you can rate us, write a review, and share the show with your friends. And don’t forget to follow the show, so that you never miss an episode.

We’re part of the Pantheon Media Network of podcasts, and there’s a ton of other great shows waiting for you on Pantheon– check them out!

Always remember to support the music and the artists that you love by buying their music. And thanks for listening to this episode on Gary Moore and “Over The Hills and Far Away”.

Thin Lizzy is known for their hard rockin’ songs and their trailblazing twin guitar sound, but vocalist/bassist/songwriter Phil Lynott had an ear for melody, a way with words, and could write a damn fine pop song when he wanted.  “Dancing In The Moonlight” has everything you want in a great Thin Lizzy song: fantastic guitar playing, wonderful lyrics, and Lynott’s one-of-a-kind voice—he could sound tough as nails, but sensitive & vulnerable, too.  Let’s give this one a spin.

“Dancing In The Moonlight” (Philip Parris Lynott) Copyright 1977 Pippin-The-Friendly-Ranger Music Co Ltd. All rights Controlled and Administered by Universal – Polygram International Publishing, Inc.

— This show is one of many great music-related podcasts on the Pantheon network. You should check them out! And remember to follow this show, so you never miss an episode.

Welcome, all you erstwhile geologists and petrologists, this is the show dedicated to the study of a different kind of rock– the Rock that also Rolls.

This is the “I’m In Love With That Song” podcast, and I’m your host, Brad Page. Thanks for joining us on the Pantheon Podcast Network for another edition of the show where we do some intensive listening to a favorite song to see what it takes to make a song great.

This episode, we’re revisiting one of my favorite bands from the 1970’s, Thin Lizzy and a fantastic, fun song called “Dancing In The Moonlight”.


There have been quite a few successful bands to come out of Ireland, but with the exception of US, Thin Lizzy may be the biggest band with the longest lasting impact. The fact that they were a hard rock and band led by a black man, born from a single white mother in a very Catholic country, makes their success even less likely.

In the wake of World War II, Philomena Lynott left Dublin Ireland to find work in Birmingham England. She was still a teenager when she met Cecil Paris from British Guiana. They weren’t together long– just long enough for her to get pregnant. She gave birth to her son. Philip Paris Lynott, on August 20, 1949. When he was four years old, he was sent back to Dublin to live with his grandparents while his mom stayed in England to work. Phil was a teenager when he met a fellow student, a drummer named Brian Downey. The two of them played in bands together and separately, eventually connecting with a guitar player named Eric Bell, and the first version of Thin Lizzy was born in December 1969. The band as a three-piece released three albums, and other than some success with the single “Whiskey In The Jar”, none of the records really sold that well. It was a tough time, and eventually Eric Bell quit the band.

After a few trial runs with other guitarists filling in, including fellow Irishman Gary Moore, the band eventually settled on a four-piece lineup with two lead guitarists. Essentially, they reinvented the whole band. The new lineup included a Scottish teenager named Brian Robertson, and a transplanted Californian named Scott Gorham. And they became a twin guitar powerhouse, both with different but very complementary styles. And their fiery melodic solos and harmony guitar parts would become, along with Phil Lynott’s vocals, the trademark sound of Thin Lizzy.

A couple of albums followed, and though they didn’t stir up much attention, they steadily got better. As the band jelled and the songwriting improved, by the time they released “Jailbreak” in 1976, the band was firing on all cylinders and reached their biggest success yet. That album includes a handful of classic tracks, including the song Thin Lizzy’s best known for– “The Boys Are Back in Town”.


But there was trouble brewing.. more drinking, more drugs, and heroin entered the picture. On the eve of a US tour, Phil Lynott was hospitalized with hepatitis, the result of sharing a needle, and the tour had to be canceled. When Lynott was healthy enough, they recorded their next album, called “Johnny The Fox”, and the band lined up another U.S tour. But the self-inflicted damage continued– this time, it was Brian Robertson’s turn to do something stupid. He got involved in a bar fight and ended up on the wrong end of a broken bottle. The jagged glass caused serious lacerations to his hand, and Robertson ended up with nerve and artery damage. The tour had to be canceled again– the second time in two years.

Lynott was angry. He and Robertson always got on each other’s nerves anyway, so Lynott fired Robertson. The band did end up doing a short US tour, opening for Queen, with a temporary guitarist– a familiar name, Gary Moore, filling in. Then the band went back into the studio, this time as a three-piece with all the guitar parts left to Scott Gorham.

Gorham, however, intentionally left some guitar parts unrecorded, so that when Robertson’s hand healed enough for him to play, Gorham convinced Lyontt to bring Roberson back. Lynott agreed, but under one condition: that Robertson would not be a full-time member of the band; instead, he would be a hired gun. And so the album was completed.

Called “Bad Reputation”, the album’s a bit of an odd duck; Robertson is credited on the album, but his picture is not on the cover. However, on the back of the album, there’s a picture of the band with Robertson. Musically, the album is all over the place… it includes some of their heaviest tunes and most complex arrangements, but it also has some of their best softer numbers, and some really catchy tunes. Despite the awkward way that the album came together– or maybe because of it– this is probably my favorite Thin Lizzy studio album.

“Dancing In The Moonlight” is the first song on side two of the original vinyl album. It was written by Phil Lynott; he came up with a bass riff and showed it to Scott Gorham and drummer Brian Downey, and they worked up the arrangement together. The track, and the whole album, was produced by Tony Visconti, who produced a bunch of legendary albums by David Bowie and T-Rex, to name a few. The song begins with Phil Lynott’s bass guitar right up front:


The bass has a phasing effect on it, which gives it that swirling sound. It’s not often that you hear any effects on the bass, particularly a phaser, so that makes this unique. Phil is also playing the bass with a pick, and you can hear the sound of each pluck on this part.

Drummer Brian Downey is playing a nice loose swinging beat and they’ve also overdubbed some snapping fingers, just to add to that swingin’ feel.

Let’s listen to it from the beginning again:


There’s a nice little break here before the verse:


It’s played on a snare drum, the bass, and there’s a guitar chucking away with probably a wah-wah pedal on it. Let’s hear how that leads into the first verse:


Scott Gorham plays all of the guitar parts on this track. He’s laid down a couple of guitar tracks here in stereo, a really tasteful part that leaves room for the bass and the vocals to shine through.


Let’s talk about the lyrics for a minute.

Phil Lynott was as much of a writer or a poet as he was a hard rocker. He wasn’t above writing a typical rock song, but many of his lyrics are a notch or two above other bands. Here, he’s writing in the character of a teenager; those awkward experiences of teenage romance, and that overwhelming feeling of young love.

Look at the picture that he’s painted here; he meets a girl and they go to the dance, they start dating, he takes her to the movies and tries to look cool, but he’s still a clumsy teenager… that line about getting chocolate stains on his pants, it’s so specific– it’s maybe even a little weird at first– but it is such an image of teenage dorkiness, you can totally picture that kid. I love this whole verse.


Here is the chorus, and there’s a new instrument added– a saxophone. Guest-starring on this track is John Helliwell, from the band Supertramp, who adds a great sax part to this song. It really contributes to the jazzy feel of the track.


Here comes the second verse, and if you listen closely, you can hear Phil take a deep breath in, before launching into the vocal.


Now here’s the bridge section. Our teenage protagonist stayed out too late, he missed the last bus, so he’s stuck walking all the way back home.


Our boy knows he’s in trouble when he gets home, so he’s kind of dreading it. And you can feel that in the music– let’s focus on that saxophone part:


Listen to the little drum part that Brian Downey plays on the snare rim


I love that transition. You can feel the kid shedding his mopiness, saying “the hell with it, it was worth it” and the whole song bursts back with a joyous guitar solo.


That is Scott Gorham on lead guitar, and in my opinion, it’s maybe his finest moment on record. I think it’s one of the greatest guitar solos, period. Gorham played it on a Gibson Les Paul; it was either a Les Paul Deluxe or a Les Paul Standard. He initially played a Deluxe, but switched to a Standard around 1978, so I think this was when he was still playing the old Les Paul Deluxe. But this solo is just brilliant. It flows from one part to the next, it builds, and like all my favorite guitar solos, it’s highly melodic, not just a bunch of licks. It’s perfect.


Phil starts to cut loose a little bit on the bass here


“Dancing In The Moonlight” by Thin Lizzy.

Following the release of the “Bad Reputation” album, the band would hit the road again with Brian Robertson and release a live album called “Live And Dangerous”, which is one of the best live records you’re ever gonna hear.

That would be it for Brian Robertson, though. He left the band for good. His replacement was– you guessed it– Gary Moore. Gary would join the band full-time and contribute significantly to the next album, but then Gary would be gone, too. The band would release a few more albums which are pretty good… I like them, but they don’t capture the full magic of when Brian Robertson or Gary Moore were in the band.

Thin Lizzy called it quits in 1983, and in 1986, Phil Lynott died at the age of 36 from multiple organ failure, as a result of years of drug and alcohol abuse. I remember the day that he died; Gary Moore had released an album a few months before, and Phil sang a couple of tracks on it. That album was on steady rotation on my turntable. I was hoping for so much more from Gary and Phil, but it was not to be. Shame, but we will be talking about Gary Moore on this show very soon…

Thanks for listening and for being part of the show. We’ll be back in two weeks with another new episode. Until then, stop by and visit us on Facebook or on Podchaser, where you can leave a review, a comment, or some feedback. And of course, if you enjoy the podcast, follow the show so that you never miss an episode.

We are proud to be part of the Pantheon Podcast Network, where you’ll find a ton of excellent music podcasts; no matter what kind of music you’re into, you’re guaranteed to find a show on Pantheon that you’ll love.

Now find a date and put on a movie– watch out for those chocolate stains, though– and go “Dancing In The Moonlight” with Thin Lizzy.


If you’re looking for a prime example of a hard-working, dues-paying, doggedly dedicated rock band, you won’t find better one than Nazareth. Launching in 1968 and continuing through today, Nazareth rode the wave of success up and down over 50 years, peaking with their classic album Hair Of The Dog in 1975. The last time they hit the charts was with the song “Holiday” in 1980. On this episode, we tap into this classic track. And, with the help of author Robert Lawson, we take a quick tour of the history of Nazareth.

If you’d like to purchase a copy of any of Robert’s books, you’ll find them here:

Nazareth – “Holiday” (McCafferty, Cleminson, Charlton, Agnew, Sweet) Copyright 1980 Nazsongs Ltd


Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I present the latest edition of the “I’m In Love With That Song” podcast. This is the Pantheon Podcast Network, and I’m your host, Brad Page. This is the show where I pick one of my favorite songs and we explore it together to get a better understanding of what makes it a great song.

Now, before we get into this episode, I want to make note of one thing. The first episode of this show aired back in April 2018. Well, here we are in April 2023. So that makes this the fifth anniversary of the “I’m In Love With That Song” podcast. So I just wanted to take a minute to say thank you to all of you listening. Some of you have been here since the very beginning. Some of you are new listeners, but you all make this show possible. And we couldn’t have gotten this far without you. So thanks for being a part of the show.

On this episode, we’re visiting with a band that made their mark in the helped define the sound of hard rock, and they continued to produce solid records well into the 2000s. This is Nazareth with a song called “Holiday”.

Now, usually at this point in the show, I give you a short history of the band and work our way up to the song. But author and friend of the show, Robert Lawson, has written a number of books, including “Razama-Snaz! the Listener’s Guide to Nazareth”. So I thought rather than give you the information secondhand, I’d invite Robert onto the show so you can hear it from the expert. So let’s bring Robert into the conversation.

BRAD: So, Robert Lawson, thanks for joining me here on the “I’m In Love With That Song” podcast to talk a little bit about Nazareth. You’re the guy that wrote the book– you’re the expert. So, tell us a little bit about the history of the band, how Nazareth came to be in the first place.

ROBERT: Well, you’ve got the original four guys from Dunfermline, Scotland, which is a small city in Scotland. And, they’re like a 70’s phenomena, really. So, the first album came out in ‘71 and maybe took them an album or two to get their sound together. By the mid 70’s, they’re just huge. I think it was in ‘77 or ‘78, they did a coast-to-coast Canadian headlining arena tour, which is a big deal back then. So they’re right on that level of Aerosmith and a lot of those kind of arena bands, right? And those are still great, great albums that when people talk about Nazareth, they tend to go back to records like “Hair of the Dog” and “Expect No Mercy”. Those are the classics. But really, during the 70’s, they were really on top of the game. You’ve got, like, five, six, maybe seven albums in a row that are all great, all really strong. I’m in Canada, where they were really big up here– so much so, there’s people up here who think Nazareth were Canadian. And some of those albums were recorded in Canada, so they were a big part of a lot of our lifestyles and lot of radio play in Canada in the ‘70’s.

BRAD: You think that’s maybe the Scottish connection?

ROBERT: That’s part of it for sure. There’s definitely a lot of Scottish history in Canada, a lot of Scottish people live here. I have a Scottish background.  But part of it also is, and I don’t think I got to touch on this in the book actually, but there’s something up here called CanCon. And what that means, for anyone who doesn’t know, is there’s a percentage of Canadian content that must be played on the radio. So, of course that doesn’t mean we don’t play music from the UK and the States and everywhere else, but there’s a certain percentage that has to be Canadian. And that can just be written by Canadian, produced by Canadian. The band doesn’t necessarily have to be Canadian. It could be recorded in Canada. There’s like four different aspects and I think you have to tick off two of them to be considered “Canadian content”. So, Nazareth covered the Joni Mitchell song “This Flight Tonight”, and that was considered Canadian content in a way. So a lot of radio stations would play it, not only because it’s a great song, but it would check off the box for Canadian content for them.


ROBERT: They recorded bunch of albums up here and they were just touring here a lot. So Canada really took to them. The guys seemed to really like Canada, they still tour here a lot, . the current lineup.  Canada just always kind of had a relationship with Nazareth and that’s probably how I got into them as a kid in the 70’s.

BRAD: So let’s talk a bit about the 4 guys individually that made up the original lineup of Nazareth.  All from relatively the same area of Scotland, right? In fact, didn’t a couple of them grow up together?

ROBERT: The original four are all from Dunfermline, yes.

BRAD: And so, let’s talk a little bit about the guys. You have, of course, Dan McCafferty on lead vocals– I think one of the most distinctive vocalists in rock history, right?

ROBERT: Absolutely.

BRAD: He kind of was doing Brian Johnson before there was Brian Johnson, if you ask me.

ROBERT: Yeah, absolutely. I used to say for years, when I was younger, that if you listen to, like  “Hair of the Dog”, that that actually sounds like Brian Johnson, way before Brian Johnson was known internationally, for sure.

BRAD: So then you have Manny Charlton on guitar…

ROBERT: I think one of the great underrated guitar players, frankly.

BRAD: Yeah.

BRAD: from that era.

ROBERT: His stuff’s really neat, because when you really start digging into the albums, and really listening, a lot of the songs are a lot more complex from a guitar standpoint than I kind of thought of when I was younger, because he’ll have a couple of rhythm guitars, electric rhythm guitars; he’ll be playing a lead; then he might have a couple of acoustics in the background. And on some of them, he even adds, like, mandolin, and the mandolin and the lead guitar are playing in sync. It’s really just a lot more interesting than I thought. When you’re a kid, you just go “Loud guitars, yeah!”

BRAD: Right.

ROBERT: And then you realize, wow, Manny’s doing like five or six different things on different stringed instruments on some of these songs. It’s great stuff.

BRAD: Yeah. And then the rhythm section.

ROBERT: Pete Agnew on bass, and he does a lot of the backing and harmony vocals, including on the song that we’re going to talk about. So he’s a real big part. And he’s the one,  him and Dan, who met when they were, like, five years old in kindergarten or something like that. They go way, way back.

BRAD: Right.

ROBERT: And then, of course, Darryl Sweet on drums.

BRAD: So tell me if I’m incorrect here, but I believe they formed, or at least the first early versions of the lineup, came together in around 1961 as The Shadettes.

ROBERT: Shadettes, that’s right, yeah. I don’t think all four were in The Shadettes, but, yeah, that sort of evolves into Nazareth by the mid to late 60’s.

BRAD: Manny joins later, I think, in the late 60s, and they kind of cut their teeth doing cover songs, which many bands do. But their ability to take a cover song and make it their own is pretty unique and is a big part of their catalog.


BRAD: They landed on the name “Nazareth” from the classic song by The Band. “The Weight”, right?

ROBERT: That’s.– I’ll be a little controversial here: That’s the story that has always been told for years and years. And when I was researching my book, I found another story that was a lot darker, behind how they got that name. And I posted it on Facebook, just saying, “Hey, has anyone ever heard this?” And a whole bunch of people jumped on me saying, “What are you talking about?” and “It’s from The Band” and “Robbie Robertson wrote the song”, and all this, they always say that it’s that story.  Well, you know, if you do a lot of music research, you know that just because a band always says a story, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true, it just means they might come to believe it.

BRAD: Right; you tell the story enough times and it becomes the truth.

ROBERT: Yeah. So, for all intents and purposes, yes… The name came from the song by The Band.


BRAD: And their first album, self-titled album, comes out in ‘71.

ROBERT: That’s right.

BRAD: And that record, that was kind of different from what we think of when we think of Nazareth today. I mean, the sound of that record is a little bit different, isn’t it?

ROBERT: Yeah. They’re still kind of finding their way, which for a lot of bands that’s not that uncommon these days, I guess.  For a long time now, you have to have three hits immediately or else you lose your record deal. Back then, bands were signed to development deals where you could actually put out a few singles, and even a couple of albums, while you’re still figuring out who you are. And Nazareth are definitely an example of that. The first album, it’s got some heavy parts, but there’s a little bit of some acoustic stuff and they’re kind of all over the place a bit.

BRAD: Roy Thomas Baker worked on that first record, right?


BRAD: That must be fairly early in his career. He went on to be a legendary producer. I think he was an engineer or something on that record.

ROBERT: Yeah, that’s right.

BRAD: And then they put out a second record called “Exercises” in ‘72 and then “Razamanaz” in ‘73. And that’s kind of the first record that sounds like the Nazareth we all came to know and love.

ROBERT: Yeah, absolutely. And I like those first two records a lot, but some fans think that the career really takes off with “Razamanaz” in ‘73.

BRAD: Yeah, I love that. I love that record.

ROBERT: Oh, sure.

BRAD: And that’s followed up by a couple more records: “Loud and Proud” in ‘73, “Rampant” in ‘74 and then the big one, “Hair of the Dog”, their 6th album, in 1975. And that’s the one that really breaks them worldwide.


ROBERT: Yeah, so this is the first one that Manny Charlton produces after, Roger Glover from Deep Purple had done the last few records. And you’re right, ‘75’s “Hair of the Dog”, they really knock it out of the park. Not that the records before that weren’t great– they are, I’m pretty partial to “Loud and Proud” and “Rampant”, but “Hair of the Dog” definitely kicks it up to another level.

BRAD: Yeah, it’s the one that seemed to just catch public attention. That’s followed in ‘76 by “Close Enough for Rock and Roll” and then “Playing The Game”, ‘76, “Expect No Mercy” in ’77…One of the great album covers of all time, I think, right?

ROBERT: Yeah. That’s a ‘70’s album cover right there, right?

BRAD: Yeah. That’s the side of a van.

ROBERT: I was just going to say that, Brad. I think there was a van that had that on it, driving around when I was like ten or eleven years old or something.


BRAD: And then, in ‘79, they release a record called “No Mean City”. And that’s kind of a, I don’t know, a shift? But it’s a change in the band, right. Because they have a new member who joins.  That’s their 10th album, and they bring in another second guitarist. Let’s talk about that character.

ROBERT: Right. And “character” is right. So they get Zal Clemenson, who, for people who maybe aren’t familiar, he was a guitar player in a really great Scottish band called the Sensational Alex Harvey Band. Real unique group of characters. And Zal, in that band, he was known for performing in complete white makeup and he had these bright green and yellow shiny outfits and platform heels, and he was kind of like an offshoot Kiss guy. But instead of all black and silver, it would be green, and real visual character.

So he dropped all that stuff when he joined Nazareth. But a great, great player. And I think that the addition of Zal to Nazareth is just really important. And I always talk about the fact that there’s some live stuff, which is actually the “Malice” tour, so maybe we should get to that… But if you ever hear any of the live stuff when Zal was in the band, it’s absolute killer. Manny welcomed having a second guitarist; there’s no competition between them at all. Manny, since he’s songwriting and he’s concentrating on producing, he, wanted a little help with the guitar playing, which is very generous. And Zal gets to play a lot. I like the “No Mean City” album a lot. I think it’s a little darker. I mean, the song “May The Sunshine” is one of the ones I was kind of referring to before, that it’s got this mandolin part that’s just really bright, and it’s just a great record.


ROBERT: A very kind of iconic album cover with a character that they still use on their merch to this day.

BRAD: And what do you think it was specifically that Zal brought to the band? Besides just being a great player? I mean, do you think there’s a certain element or two that he brought?

ROBERT: I think it was just kind of like a shot in the arm that they needed. Like you said, they had done ten albums or something with a lot of touring as well. When you look at these records, it’s like they’re putting out a record every single year from ‘71 to ‘77 and touring a lot in between. Like I said, they were doing arena tours in Canada. I know they played Cobo Hall, I believe, in ‘78. They were opening a lot of shows with Deep Purple, so a lot of touring, a lot of recording. Then you get TV appearances and radio shows and all kinds of stuff. So I think they just kind of needed a bit of an extra hand. And Zal is someone who was sort of in their orbit already, because there was a Dan McCafferty solo album that Manny produced and Zal plays on that. Sensational Alex Harvey band and Nazareth also shared managers, so they knew of Zal. And because I think Zal is kind of such a zany character, probably just fun to have a fun guy like that in the band, and give them a shot in the arm with his extra energy. Because he is a guy who would run around on stage a lot. He plays really fast, he doesn’t play the same thing twice a lot. So he’s kind of unpredictable. He’s a bit of an unpredictable character like that. I think it was probably just a mix of fun and the extra energy that Zal would bring from being such a character.

BRAD: Yeah. So “No Mean City”, the first record with Zal, comes out in ‘79 and then that’s followed by an album called “Malice in Wonderland” in 1980. And the song we’re going to delve into on the show today is from that album.  That’s their 11th album. It’s pretty amazing when you think about eleven albums, and they would go on to cut a lot more after that. But they were like veterans at this point. I mean, eleven albums, that’s a whole catalog right there.

ROBERT: That’s right. And even when the first album came out in ‘71, they weren’t teenagers either. Some of the guys were already married with kids and stuff. So yeah, at this point they’re real veterans of the business, and life on the road, and life in recording studios and all that kind of stuff. They’re well-seasoned at this point.

BRAD: And the “Malice” album is interesting on a number of fronts.  And I think the impression, I guess, is it’s somewhat controversial among fans, but it’s the first album that’s produced by a real outsider, an American, somebody that fans of the show will know– Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, from Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers, actually produced this record.  And it was not recorded in either Canada or Scotland, right?

ROBERT: Compass Point Studios in Barbados. So that’s where everyone goes, you got the beach right outside the studio.

BRAD: You’ve got a very different environment, and you’ve got a very different producer. And I think fan reaction is fairly mixed to this record, right?

ROBERT: Yeah. And I think that’s justified because Skunk Baxter, for all of his credits in the past, he does kind of tame the sound. Manny had done five albums, and those albums, like I said, are like the Roger Glover produced albums. The Manny Charlton produced albums are all great. They’re all a lot of fun, great songs, great production, great vocals, guitar, everything. And then Baxter comes in and he kind of mellows them out a bit. And I kind of consider it the band’s first misstep. Not that it’s a mistake, but I would have liked to have seen Manny Charlton produce this album or even maybe bring Roger Glover back, because I think having a guy as exciting as Zal Clementson on board, and then you kind of neuter him, is counterproductive.

BRAD: It’s definitely a different sound than any ofthe records before. In fact, I think it’s the biggest shift in sound since maybe the first two albums.

ROBERT: Yes, absolutely.

BRAD: But it does contain one, I think, all-time classic Nazareth song, the song “Holiday”, which opens the record. And that’s the one we’re going to dive into today. So, before I get into the track, Robert, tell me your thoughts about the song.

ROBERT: Oh, I love it. It’s probably one of the ones that I really caught onto when I was really young. It’s very, catchy, very upbeat for a band that was doing heavy stuff like “Expect No Mercy” and “Hair the Dog”. It’s kind of poppy, melody wise, anyway. And then you’ve got this great lyric, and Dan’s vocals are terrific, although it’s almost redundant to say that because he’s known as being such a great vocalist. But there’s a line that kind of gets repeated a couple of times, and I’m sure you’re going to talk about this, where at the end of a couple of the choruses he says, “Mama, mama, please, no more husbands”. And I think the second or the third time he says it, he really digs in with a growl and says, “I don’t know who my daddy is”. And that line kills me to this day. It’s such a good line. And the way he delivers it is great.

BRAD: Absolutely. So, let’s get into the track. “Holiday” opens the “Malice in Wonderland” album– Side One, Track One.  It was performed by Dan McCafferty on lead vocal, Manny Charlton and Zal Clementson on guitars, Pete Agnew on bass and backing vocals, and Daryl Sweet on drums. And as we mentioned before, it was produced by Jeff “Skunk” Baxter. All five band members share writing credit on this song; McCafferty, Clementson, Charlton, Agnew and Sweet.

The song begins with a classic bluesy guitar boogie riff. There’s also an organ in the background, I’m guessing that was played by Skunk Baxter. When the band comes in, they add some vintage Chuck Berry style guitar licks.


BRAD: This is a fairly restrained vocal from McCafferty. He’s not belting it out or doing a lot of emoting yet.


BRAD: Nice work on the backing vocals here. Let’s listen to that.


BRAD: That brings us into the chorus, which has a completely different feel than the verses. And this is where the lyrics get really interesting, too. I’ve always pictured this song as being about a spoiled rich kid drinking and partying with his friends. But he’s got some real issues, especially with his mother, as we’ll hear in the choruses. “Mama, mama, please, no more jaguars, I don’t want to be a pop star” …sounds like she’s trying to buy his love, or maybe just keep him out of her way by buying him fancy cars. Let’s hear the first chorus.


BRAD: That may be my favorite line in the song: “Mama, mama, please no more facelifts, I just don’t know which one you is.”


BRAD: Then this chorus ends with “Mama, please no more husbands”. And then it goes right into the next verse.


BRAD: “Wasting my time, hiding out in my rented dream”. Let’s hear more of the vocals on this verse.


BRAD: Darryl Sweet plays a nice tom-tom driven beat during this part, so let’s listen to a little of that. There’s also a nice little lyric here. “Ask the chauffeur who he knows; numbers, he’s got lots of those”. I especially like that pause that McCafferty puts in there.


BRAD: There’s some nice guitar work behind the vocals there. I like to think of these kinds of parts as guitar orchestration. It’s the kind of things that you could do with strings or horns, but doing them with electric guitars instead. So let’s listen to that.


BRAD: There are multiple layered guitar parts during the chorus spread across the stereo field. Let’s hear some of the chorus without the vocals.


BRAD: Also a nice little drum fill that takes us out of that chorus.


BRAD: That takes us into a tasty little guitar solo by Zal Clemenson.


BRAD: “Holiday” by Nazareth. Let’s bring Robert Lawson back in to wrap things up for this episode.

So after the release of Malice in Wonderland again in 1980 and this incredible track, where does Nazareth kind of go from there, Robert?

ROBERT: Well, they did tour the album and there’s a great live recording from the Hammersmith on the “Malice” tour that I always have to give a shout out to. You can listen to the whole thing on YouTube. Some of the tracks were used as B-sides and it’s a great, great live album. I always wish that they would have released it as an official live album, because you really hear the Manny Charlton/Zal Clementson guitar work. It’s a great, great live recording.

But, after that, Zal, leaves the band, so that kind of hurts them in some ways. There’s a couple of lineup changes, they put out a couple of more albums. There’s a live album called “Snaz”, mostly recorded in Vancouver, Canada, which is a really great live album. When I was growing up, it was right up there with Cheap Trick’s “Budokan” and Kiss “Alive” and all the rest of them. Then they put out a few more albums. I think Manny produces a few more, but as you get into the ‘80’s, like a lot of hard rock bands, they have a little bit of a hard time figuring out how they fit in the hair metal and the glam kind of rock scene. And at that point, they just kind of become a club band, and that’s where they’ve been ever since. They’ve still put out some great records. There’s a bunch of later-era albums, when Dan was still in the group, that I think are really strong, but nobody heard them outside of the hardcore fans and that’s really a shame, because they are good albums and they didn’t get as much airplay. And ever since, they either became kind of an opening band for other groups or, like I say, playing much smaller venues.

BRAD: And we’ve lost most of the original members at this point.


BRAD: Darryl Sweet, the drummer, was he the first to pass away?

ROBERT: Yes, that’s right.

BRAD: And then, really fairly close together, we lost both, Dan McCafferty and Manny Charlton, within the last year or so.

ROBERT: Yeah, I think both actually in 2022. Manny was like maybe in the spring or earlier in the year, and that was pretty sudden. We weren’t really expecting that. Dan had not been in the greatest health for a few years, which is what prompted him to leave the band.

BRAD: Right.

ROBERT: He just couldn’t tour anymore. He couldn’t really perform more than a couple of songs at a time. So he had to step… you know, he was still out there, and even put out a solo album, but his condition eventually got worse. So his passing wasn’t as shocking, but still pretty sad. I mean, I spent some time with Dan in Dunfermline, Scotland, and just a really great guy and I really enjoyed talking with him about his career and about the book and about everything. So, losing him was pretty painful for me.

BRAD: Yeah… Pete Agnew, the bass player, he’s still alive and kicking and still working today, I think, right?

ROBERT: Yeah. He’s the main guy in Nazareth now. The guitarists that they have and the drummer have both been there for like over 25 or 30 years. So they’re not really the new guys anymore.

BRAD: Right!

ROBERT: And they have Carl Sentance on vocals, who has sung with Don Airey a lot, and he sang with Geezer Butler, and he’s been around. He’s kind of a road dog. He knows what touring is all about, and they’ve done two albums with him now. And they’re not bad albums by any means, but it’s hard not to miss Dan.

BRAD: Sure.

ROBERT: Dan and Pete still lived in Dunfermline their whole lives; Pete still lives there. So even though he’s gone from having gold and platinum albums and touring all over the world, he still lives in the same small city. I think it’s a population of like 60,000 people or something.

And Dan, up until his passing recently, also still lived in Dunfermline. So I think that kept him pretty grounded.

BRAD: Yeah. Well, Robert, thanks for coming on and talking about Nazareth. The name of your book is Razama-Snaz.

ROBERT: That’s right.

BRAD: It is kind of an album-by-album history of the entire career of Nazareth. If you’re a fan or if you just kind of want to explore Nazareth, It’s a great place to begin.

Robert’s also the author of “Still Competition”, which is kind of the same album-by-album look at the legendary Cheap Trick, another band that’s a big favorite here on the podcast. So both of those I recommend. What are you working on next, Robert? What’s coming out?

ROBERT: Well, my third book that came out, I guess a year and a half ago, is about a Canadian group called The Guess Who. And that’s “Wheatfield Empire”. The Guess Who were like Canada’s Beatles up here. Huge group for us. And I’ve been working now for about two years on a book about one of my heroes, Little Steven Van Zandt.

BRAD: Nice.

ROBERT: So he’s got solo stuff, and then of course, you got Bruce Springsteen and E Street Band stuff, and you got Sopranos stuff, and he’s got a radio show, so he’s kind of all over the place. So that’s what I’ve been working on during kind of pandemic and lockdowns and stuff like that. So, I keep plugging away at that, and letting people know about the previous books.

BRAD: Great, well, looking forward to that and thanks again for coming on and talking about Nazareth and this great track. Thanks, Robert.

ROBERT: Anytime, Brad, thank you.

BRAD: And thanks for joining Robert and I for this episode. If you’re interested in Robert’s books on Cheap Trick, the Guess Who or Nazareth, you can find them at the FriesenPress website, that’s And then search for Robert Lawson, and you’ll find those books. I really do recommend them.

I will be back in two weeks with another new episode. Until then, you can get caught up on all of our previous episodes on our website, You can also find us on all of the podcast apps and services– Amazon, Google, Apple, Spotify, iHeartRadio… This podcast is available on all of them.

On behalf of the Pantheon Network, I thank you again for being here for the past five years of the “I’m In Love With That Song” podcast and I hope you stick around for more.  If you’d like the show to keep going, the best thing you can do is to tell people about the show and share it with your friends.

Thanks for the last five years, and thanks for listening to this episode on “Holiday” by Nazareth.

We celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest live albums of all time, Deep Purple’s Made In Japan. This is a truly live album– no doctored-up, overdubbed fixes here, just a killer band at the top of their game, tearing through a live set with little thought to the recording process. They thought this album would only be released to a limited audience in Japan… turned out to be a huge hit and the ultimate Deep Purple album. This episode, we explore the power of Deep Purple in all their glory with the definitive version of “Highway Star”.

“Highway Star” (Blackmore, Gillan, Glover, Lord, Paice) Copyright 1972 HEC Music, EMI Music Publishing

If you enjoyed this episode, check out these 2 other episodes featuring Deep Purple:

And remember to follow this show, so you never miss an episode.


Hey, it’s Brad Page, back once again with another edition of the “I’m In Love With That Song” podcast on the Pantheon Podcast network. Each episode of this show, I pick one of my favorite songs and we dive into it together, looking for all of those magical moments that make it a great song.

You probably all know by now that Deep Purple is one of my favorite bands. Today we’re talking about the album that made me a Deep Purple fan. In April 1973– 50 years ago this month– Deep Purple released their “Made in Japan” live album, and it became a true classic. So let’s celebrate the 50th anniversary of this great record with a look at one of the standout tracks on the album: “Highway Star”.

We’ve talked about Deep Purple on this show a few times before, and we’ll talk about them again, I’m sure. So I’m not going to go into deep detail on their whole history right here, but here’s a quick overview, just to catch us up to where this album entered the picture in the Deep Purple universe:

Deep Purple was founded around 1968, with the core members being Richie Blackmore on guitar, John Lord on organ and Ian Pace on drums. After recording their first three albums, they fired their original singer and bass player and brought in two new members: In Gillan on vocals and Roger Glover on bass. This became known as the “Mark II” lineup of the band.

 By 1972, this Mark II lineup had recorded four albums together, including the “Machine Head” album. That’s their record that includes “Smoke on the Water”, as well as the original version of “Highway Star”.

“Machine Head” came out in March 1972, and the band hit the road to promote it. And by August of ‘72, they headed to Japan to play three shows.

Now, in my opinion, at this point, 1972, Deep Purple were one of the greatest live bands in history. The band was simply on fire, and they were unbeatable on stage. They had retooled their live set to feature more songs from that recently released “Machine Head” album, which were all songs that just came to life when performed live.

The Warner Brothers office in Japan decided that they wanted to record those three Japanese concerts for a live album that would only be released in Japan. The band kind of reluctantly agreed, but they insisted that their favorite recording engineer and producer, Martin Birch, would come to Japan with them to handle the recording.

The band performed the three shows, and though they knew the gigs were being recorded, they didn’t really think much about it. They were just concentrating on putting on a few really good shows for their Japanese fans. Honestly, they didn’t consider the album to be that important either. They figured it was only going to be released in Japan and not that many people would end up hearing it. In fact, most of the band didn’t even show up to hear the final mix.

But somebody at Warner Bros. must have been smart enough to know what they had, because they ended up releasing the album in the U. K. as well, in December of 1972… and it was a hit. So a few months later, “Made in Japan” was released in the US in April 1973. It reached number six on the Billboard chart, and to this day, it’s almost universally considered one of the greatest live albums of all time. Unlike a lot of live albums, there are no overdubs and no fixes done to this record. It is a true live album, representing the band exactly as they were on stage.

Of the three shows that were recorded, most of the album was taken from the August 16 show in Osaka, Japan. “Highway Star” is one of the tracks taken from that show.

“Highway Star” was the song that they chose to open the show, and it’s the first song on the album. It features Ian Pace on drums, Roger Glover on bass, John Lord on keyboards, Richie Blackmore on guitar, and Ian Gillan on vocals. All five band members share writing credit on the song.

The track begins with the band pretty casually taking the stage and getting their instruments warmed up. John Lord leads us into the song with the organ. Ian Pace begins a build up on his snare drum; Ian Gillan introduces the song. Roger Glover is in on bass, and Richie Blackmore’s guitar is revving the engine. This song is about to take off.


Ian Gillan was never happy with his vocals on this album. Apparently, he was just getting over a bout with Bronchitis and he just wasn’t satisfied with his performance. But I always thought he sounds amazing on this album. Let’s see if we can bring up the vocal tracks a little bit in the mix and listen.


I’ve always loved the interplay between Ritchie’s guitar and John Lord’s keyboards. The way they create this massive sound that’s just greater than the sum of their parts. Let’s hear their parts here. Simple but effective. Richie’s guitar is panned to the left, john is on the right.


Love Richie’s guitar at the end there, he’s just wrenching the whammy bar on his Fender Stratocaster.


Let’s bring up the vocals again.


That is a vintage Ian Gillen vocal right there. And there’s a great drum fill by Ian Pace that leads us out of that chorus.

And that leads us into an organ solo by the great John Lord. There’s a fantastic little instrumental riff here that leads us into the next verse.


And let’s focus a little bit on what the bass and the drums are doing.


Now it’s time for Richie Blackmore’s guitar solo. And remember, this is recorded live; there’s no overdubs, no punch ins, no fixes. Not every note here is perfect. If you want to hear perfection, go listen to the studio version of this song, which is iconic. But here, you get a performance that is a go-for-broke, knock the audience right out of their seat performance. Richie is on fire here.


Once again, Richie is just yanking the hell out of his Annie bar.


Here’s the last verse.


Listen to Richie, his guitar on the left, and to Roger Glover’s bass, too.

Deep Purple – “Highway Star” from “Made In Japan”, released in the US. 50 years ago this month.

I think for every music fan, there are specific albums you remember hearing for the first time, like watershed moments. This was the album that showed me the power of a live performance, how intense music can be when performed by five musicians at the top of their game.

John Lord passed away in July 2012. One of the most important keyboard players in the history of rock and pop music. I don’t think he often gets the credit that he’s due.

Richie Blackmore, one of the most important guitar players of all time, pretty much walked away from rock and roll around 1997 and formed Blackmore’s Night with vocalist Candace Knight, playing sort of a contemporary version of medieval in Renaissance music.

But Ian Gillan, Ian Pace and Roger Glover still play in a version of Deep Purple today.

Thanks for joining me for this tribute to one of my all-time favorite albums. If you enjoyed this show, there’s plenty more like it. You can find all of our previous shows on our website,, or just search for the “I’m In Love With That Song” podcast on Amazon, Google, Apple Podcasts. Spotify… anywhere that you can find podcasts.

This show is part of the Pantheon Network of podcasts, home to many other great music related shows, so be sure to check them out.

If you’d like to comment or leave a review of this show, Podchaser is the best place to do it.  And of course, you can keep in touch with us on our Facebook page. If you’d like to support the show, the best way to do it is to just tell people about it and share it with your friends.

I’ll be back in about two weeks with another new episode. Until then, go get a copy of “Made in Japan” and crank up “Highway Star” by Deep Purple.

In 1981, Rush had planned to release a live album, but riding a wave of good vibes & inspiration, they changed their minds and decided to record an album of new material instead.  It turned out to be their best-selling album, and years later the band would still look back on it fondly.  Most of their biggest hits are on this album titled Moving Pictures, but this episode we’re turning our ears on a lesser-known (but fan favorite) track, “The Camera Eye“.

“The Camera Eye” (Words by Peart, Music by Lee and Lifeson) Copyright 1981 Core Music Publishing

 — Don’t forget to follow this show, so you never miss an episode.


Invisible airways crackle with life, bright antenna bristle with the energy, bringing you the “I’m In Love With That Song” podcast on the Pantheon Podcast Network. I’m your host, Brad Page. Some songs inspire me, some songs are fascinating to me, some really get to me emotionally, and some songs are really intriguing. Some just capture my imagination. Whatever the case, I always wonder why that is. What is it that makes a song so great? Well, that’s the idea behind this podcast– discovering what goes into making a great song.

This time on the podcast, we’re sticking our toe back into progressive rock. These songs are always tricky because the music can get complicated, and we try not to get bogged down with a lot of technical stuff on this show. And the songs are long and don’t always fit the format here. But I’ve been wanting to explore this track for a while now, so let’s do it. This is Rush with “The Camera Eye”.


In the 1970’s, Rush evolved into one of the leading purveyors of progressive rock, or Prog Rock, as both fans and detractors like to call it. Releasing their “2112” album in 1976 established them as fan favorites in the genre. And in 1978, they recorded their most proggy album ever, “Hemispheres”. So after something like that, where do you go from there?

Well, that instigated one of the major shifts in the band over their 45-year career.  They started working on shorter songs. Not any less creative musically, but tighter, more focused. Guitarist Alex Lifeson would graciously step back a bit and leave more room for bassist Geddy Lee to also add more keyboards to their sound. And besides playing bass and keyboards at the same time, Geddy was also their singer, and he changed his vocal approach around this time, singing in a little lower register.

And then drummer Neil Peart, who wrote all of their lyrics, changed the things he was writing about. Gone were the Sci-Fi epics and the tales of fantasy. Now Neil wrote more about the things that affected him in his daily life and about the world around him. Across the board, this was a big change for the band. It was a risk, but it paid off as the 1970’s came to a close. Rush began the new decade by releasing the “Permanent Waves” album in January 1980, and it was a big hit. It would become one of their bestselling albums and remains a favorite amongst their fans.

The band embarked on a successful tour. In fact, I think this was the first tour that they actually made any money on. And during the sound checks and rehearsals, they started coming up with new material. The original plan was for them to release a live album after “Permanent Waves”. But the band was feeling pretty enthusiastic, and the vibes were good. So, when one of their friends at their record label, Mercury Records, suggested that they try recording a new studio album, they said, “let’s do it” and changed their plans.

The result was “Moving Pictures”, which would become their best selling and most popular album.

Recorded at Les Studio in Quebec, and produced by their longtime producer, Terry Brown, the album would spawn their biggest hits and concert favorites like “Tom Sawyer”, “Limelight”, “Red Barchetta”, “YYZ”– all from this album. In fact, they’re all packed on Side One of this album.

But Side Two of “Moving Pictures: opens with a song called “The Camera Eye”. The song clocks in at 10 minutes and 58 seconds, almost eleven minutes long. It’s the longest song on the album, and this would be the last time Rush would record a song this long. They would never record another song over ten minutes.

The song was produced by Terry Brown, the music was written by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, and the lyrics written by Neil Peart. “The Camera Eye” was the first song written for the album, at least as far as the lyrics. While on tour, Neil Peart would sometimes walk the different cities, and he came up with the lyrics to “The Camera Eye” based on his impressions of the different feel and different rhythms of two cities in particular, New York and London.

Neil Peart was often seen with a book in his hand. He was one of the most well-read men in rock, certainly the most well-read drummer in rock history. Neil had read the work of John Dos Pasos, in particular his “USA Trilogy”. And in those books, Dos Pasos uses a literary device he calls “the camera eye”. That’s where Neil got the title from. One of the books in the USA trilogy is called “The Big Money”. Neil would later write a song based on that, too.

“The Camera Eye” opens with the sound of a city. It’s a city street scene. According to Geddy Lee, when they were putting together that pastiche of sound effects, one of the clips they used was a bit of audio from “Superman”, the 1978 movie with Christopher Reeve. Here’s the street scene from the movie:

Now, let’s go back and listen to the song. And if you listen closely, you can hear that guy saying “fresh fruit”. At that point, Geddy Lee’s keyboards come in. He was using a mix of Oberheim synthesizers, Taurus bass pedals, probably some Korg keyboards as well. Let’s pick it up from there.


The synthesizer is making a burbling sound underneath. That’s created using a process called “sample and hold”.


Now we’ll hear the first musical motif that will occur throughout the song.


 Neil is doing some subtle snare drum work here. Also, Alex Lifeson is adding some guitar bits, playing harmonics or just making some interesting guitar sounds. Alex is chucking his guitar strings in sync with Neil’s snare drum. Let’s play that back.

Neil comes in there with a pretty straightforward drum beat for Neil. And that takes us into the next section of the song. And Neil was doing some nice cymbal work underneath that keyboard part. Let’s hear that.

More of that sample and hold synthesizer brings us into the next section of the song.

I think this is one of the all-time great Rush riffs. Let’s hear Alex’s guitar playing that riff.


Now, up until this point, Geddy has only been playing his keyboards, but this is where his bass guitar comes in.

We’ve reached the verse and it wouldn’t be Rush without some interesting time signature stuff going on. Leading into the verse here, they’re alternating between measures with four beats and measures of six. Let’s try to count that out. 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4-5-6, 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4-5-6 .

Now, once the vocals start, they change it up again. Most of the verse is in 6/4 time: six beats per measure, except the second measure of each line has only five beats. So let’s try counting that. 1-2-3-4-5-6, 1-2-3-4-5, 1-2-3-4-5-6, 1-2-3-4-5-6, 1-2-3-4-5-6, 1-2-3-4-5, 1-2-3-4-5-6, 1-2-3-4-5-6.

So let’s go back and listen to all of this again. But I don’t want you to try to count it, just listen to how it flows. To me, part of the magic of Rush is not how they’re able to play the technical stuff, it’s how they’re able to make it sound so natural.


We talked about how this song is the tale of two cities. This first verse is about New York, and as you would expect from the pen of Neil Peart, the lyrics are vivid and insightful.

“Grim faced and forbidding, their faces close tight.
An angular mass of New Yorkers
pacing and rhythm race the oncoming night
they chase through the streets of Manhattan.”

And let’s listen to Geddy’s bass part here. Then they go back into the main riff, and this introduces us to a new part of the song– maybe my favorite part of the song. Beautifully orchestrated, the way they put this together.


We’re still in New York in this vignette, but he references a rain “like an English rain”; he’s connecting these two cities together, and we’ll wind up in London soon.


Geddy plays a nice little bass lick before the next line. Let’s hear all of that together again.


And more great drumming by Neil during this part. Let’s go back and hear some of those drums. As this section continues, Geddy brings some of those keyboards back in.


As the lyrics speak of the buildings and their limitless rise, the keyboards subtly climb up in the background. They’re going to stay on the same basic chord changes here, but Neil is going to change up his drum pattern which starts to build up the drama. And listen to Geddy’s bass here. Neil ramps up the drums even more.


That kind of dramatic buildup and release. I don’t think any band did that kind of thing better than Rush. Let’s go back and just listen to Neil’s drums during this whole section. That basically brings us back to the beginning of the song as we start again in a new city.


I just love Neil’s drum part there. Let’s pick it back up there. Great guitar work by Alex here, too.

We’re cycling our way back through the different parts of the song again. Let’s hear Alex playing that riff again. Sounds to me like one guitar panned left and one panned right. And we’ve got to listen to Geddy’s bass part there, it’s really something.

And that gets us to the second verse. And let’s listen to what Alex is doing on guitar. I think there are three guitar parts here. An electric in the middle with two acoustic guitars panned left and right. Those guitars are really jangly. My guess is he’s either playing with a capo or in a special tuning.


Let’s hear more of Geddy’s bass. Let’s check out that drum fill.

The last time around, we didn’t pay much attention to Alex’s guitar part in this section. So let’s go back and listen to that.


OK, it’s time for a little mythbusting. You can hear a voice in the background there; I’ve seen speculation online of all kinds of things, even that that was Geddy burping and then saying, “Oh God”. But if we listen to the vocal track, it’s simply an old English greeting. Remember, the setting is London.


Let’s pick it back up at that spot.  There’s another great line.

“Pavements may teem with intense energy,
but the city is calm in this violent sea.”

Then we get a great guitar solo from Alex Lifeson. The sound is stripped down to just bass, drums and the guitar solo. And his guitar tone is super distorted. He must have been using a fuzz pedal for this solo.


After the guitar solo, we head into the big finale. They repeat this section from earlier, and I love these lines.

“I feel the sense of possibilities,
 I feel the wrench of hard realities.”

 You know, people go to the big city to make their mark, make their dreams come true, right where it all seems possible… but you’re often confronted with the harsh realities. The competition is intense, you get taken advantage of, dreams get crushed. That’s the risk. I think Neil really captures all of that in these two lines.

I just want to rewind and listen to Neil’s drum climax at the end there. It’s really good, but you’d expect nothing less. There’s a long fade-out on that final chord. There’s some cymbal and snare work from Neil, and a few extra notes in the keyboards, but mostly they’re letting that last chord ring out as long as possible.

And the last thing we’ll hear is the sound of church bells in the city.

“The Camera Eye” By Rush

“Moving Pictures” was their 8th album, their best-selling album in the US. And probably their most popular worldwide. They would go on to release eleven more albums, 19 studio albums in total, and there is not a bad one in the bunch. Of course, you’ll like some more than others, but they all have merit.

Neil retired from touring in 2015, and in 2018 the band officially called it quits. And on January 7, 2020, Neil Peart died as a result of brain cancer.

Geddy and Alex are still with us. They’ve stayed out of the limelight for the most part these last few years. There’s talk of them doing some new music together. It won’t be Rush– that’s over, but it would be nice to hear them make music together again. Still, 19 great albums. If that’s all we get, I can live with that.

Thanks for listening to this edition of the “I’m In Love With That Song” podcast. We’ll be back in two weeks with another new episode. Until then, get caught up on all of our previous shows on our website,, and of course, you can find us on all of the podcast apps and services too.

Don’t forget to follow the show so that you never miss an episode. And if you’d like this show to continue, the best thing you can do is to tell a friend about it, because your recommendation really means a lot.

So, from my remote little corner here on the Pantheon Podcast network, I thank you again for listening and remind you to support the artists you love by buying their music. Now, go dig out your copy of “Moving Pictures” and crank up “The Camera Eye” by Rush.

Back on Episode 25, we listened to 5 of my favorite guitar solos; here on Episode 125, we revisit that idea and listen to some more great guitar moments. As before, I’m not saying these are the greatest solos of all time– a great solo doesn’t have to be flashy or technically brilliant, but it does have to be memorable, it has to fit the song, and it should take the song to another level. So, let’s hear 5 more favorite guitar solos.


Welcome back, my friends, to the extended solo that never ends. This is Brad Page, host of the “I’m In Love With That Song” podcast, coming direct to your eardrums via the Pantheon Podcast network.

Way back in episode number 25 of this show, I took a break from the usual format to play five of my favorite guitar solos. Well, here we are at episode number 125. So I thought, 100 shows later, let’s revisit that topic and feature five more guitar solos.

Johnny Winter came out of Beaumont, Texas, made his first recording at age 15, and in 1968 signed a deal with Columbia Records for an advance of $600,000– at the time, the largest advance in history. He released some very successful records, but unfortunately, he became addicted to heroin, which derailed his career for a while. He sought treatment and eventually cleaned himself up, though, personally, I don’t think he ever fully recovered. But he released a comeback album in 1973 called “Still Alive And Well”. And that is my favorite Johnny Winter album. That album opens with his version of “Rock Me Baby”, a B.B. King song we discussed a while back on our B.B. King episode. Here, Johnny revs it up, tearing through every lick in his library and then some. It’s a tour de force moment. All the evidence you need to prove that Johnny was one of the greatest blues rock guitarists in history. Johnny’s throwing lick after lick at you through the whole song. I could just play the whole song for you, but here’s just a short excerpt.


Ronnie Montrose started his career in San Francisco at the end of the 60’s. By the early 70’s, he was doing session work and playing on records by Van Morrison. In 1972, Ronnie joined the Edgar Winter Group– Johnny Winter’s brother– and played on Edgar’s biggest hits, “Free Ride” and “Frankenstein”, which we featured on this show before. In 1973, Ronnie formed his own band, simply called Montrose, which launched the career of Sammy Hagar. In 1978, Ronnie released his first solo album, an all-instrumental album called “Open Fire”, which was produced by Edgar Winter.

Now, I could find plenty of examples throughout his career where Ronnie just tears it up with a flashy guitar solo. But one of my favorite Ronnie Montrose performances is his killer version of the old Gene Pitney song “Town Without Pity”. Ronnie doesn’t do any real shredding on this track, it’s just a fantastic showcase for his impeccable phrasing, his incredible guitar tone, and his tastiest playing. He doesn’t stray far from the original melody of the song– he doesn’t have to. He still makes it his own.


The Cars basically invented the sound of American New Wave at the end of the 1970s, and we took a deep dive into one of their best tracks, “Just What I Needed”, b ack in episode 43.  Their guitarist, Elliot Easton, could basically play anything, from rockabilly to Beatlesque pop, from punk to funk. Elliot’s got to be one of the most versatile players out there.

For example, in 1985, they released a single called “Tonight She Comes” that shows Elliot Easton could shred as well as any hair metal band guitarist. Check this out.


But that’s not actually the solo that I wanted to feature. I wanted to go all the way back to their first album, to play a solo that combines rockabilly licks with power pop sensibilities in a new wave setting. I’m talking about his solo in “My Best Friend’s Girl”.


Hard to believe that’s the same guy who played that solo and “Tonight She Comes” that we heard a minute ago. Let’s listen to just the guitar track.


By the time the Eagles made their “Hotel California” album, they had two amazing guitar players in the band– Don Felder and Joe Walsh. Everybody knows the part on “Hotel California” where Don and Joe trade off licks, one of the greatest guitar duels on record.

But one of my favorite guitar moments from the Eagles wasn’t played by Don Felder or Joe Walsh. It was played by Glenn Fry on the song “Try And Love Again”. You can say what you want about Glenn Fry or the Eagles, but this solo is, I think, a melodic masterpiece.


Thin Lizzy has been featured on this show a few times. That’s no surprise– I’m a big Thin Lizzy fan. The band had a number of brilliant guitarists come through their ranks, so there’s plenty of guitar highlights in their catalog. But this one, this one’s tough to beat.

When Thin Lizzy first recorded “Still In Love With You” in April 1974, Gary Moore was the guitar player in the band, though that was really only a temporary thing. Only a couple of songs were recorded with Gary during this period, but this song ended up on their album “Nightlife”, and it became a fan favorite– so much so that it became a feature of their live shows.

After Gary left, the band reinvented itself with a twin guitar lineup, and this song became a showcase for both guitarists, Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson. But, push comes to shove, it’s Brian’s solo right in the middle of the song that’s my favorite part of the song. Seriously, this one should give you goosebumps. Here’s Brian Robertson from Thin Lizzy on “Stilj In Love With You”:


You can hear the crowd cheering that solo. When it’s over, they know they just witnessed something special.

Well, I’ll admit that I am biased, but I believe that next to the human voice, the electric guitar is the most expressive instrument on planet Earth– nothing can evoke joy or sadness, anger or passion the way a well-played electric guitar can. And you don’t have to be a virtuoso. If a player can just tap into that connection, they can produce something on the guitar that’ll really move you.

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New episodes of this show are released on the 1st and the 15th of every month, so I’ll see you back here in about two weeks. Until then, plug in your axe and crank up your amp.

Etta James lived quite a life; some incredible highs and heartbreaking lows throughout her 73 years. From hit songs to heroin addiction, from critical acclaim to violence and bad behavior & jail time, Etta experienced it all. And you could hear every bit of that experience in her voice. I’ve wanted to feature Etta on this podcast for a while; the easy choice would be to pick one of her early classic songs… but instead, let’s listen to an overlooked track from late in her career, when she might have been “past her prime” but more than capable of delivering a heart-wrenching performance.  

“Love’s Been Rough On Me” (Gretchen Peters) Copyright Sony/ATV Tunes LLC dba Cross Keys Publishing/Purple Crayon Music (ASCAP)

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Welcome back to the “I’m In Love With That Song” podcast. Thanks for joining me here on the Pantheon Podcast network. I’m your host, Brad Page, and each episode of this show I pick one of my favorite songs and we explore it together, discovering what makes it a great song.

This episode happens to come out just in time for Valentine’s Day. And as I mentioned on this show before, I am not a fan of these holidays that are really just an excuse to sell greeting cards and merchandise, but it’s also an excuse for me to play a song. So I thought this time we’d listen to, I don’t know, maybe this is an anti-Valentine’s Day song. This one’s by Etta  James. It’s a song called “Love’s Been Rough On Me”.


Etta James is a legend. She was born James Etta Hawkins in Los Angeles on January 25, 1938. She was 16 years old when Johnny Otis heard her singing in San Francisco. He asked her if she was 18. She lied. He brought her back to LA, renamed her Etta James, and she cut her first record with him, “The Wallflower”, in 1955.


She released a few more singles, but the hits dried up for a while and so did the good paying gigs. To find a new opportunity, she borrowed a few bucks from Jackie Wilson and bought a bus ticket to Chicago to meet with Chess Records. Leonard Chess liked her a lot and signed her up. One of her earliest singles for chess was “All I Could Do Is Cry” in 1960, written by Billy Davis and Barry Gordy Jr. in the days before he started Motown, she recorded this vocal in one take.


Chess Records was home to Muddy Waters, Howlin’Wolf and Chuck Berry. There wasn’t much call for strings, but once they started working with Etta, they pictured her as a balladeer as well as a house rocker, and issued quite a few lushly orchestrated ballads, culminating in the universal classic “At Last”.


If Etta James had never cut another song, her legacy would be cemented by that track alone. But of course, she cut a lot more records than that. In 1963, she released one of my favorite records of hers, a live album recorded in Nashville called “Etta James Rocks The House”.


Hard to believe that’s the same woman who sang “At Last”.

Life was not easy for Etta. She was a heroin addict and would struggle with addiction for the rest of her life. Over the course of her career, she would be arrested more than once. In and out of rehab, she spent 17 months in a psychiatric hospital. Somehow, in the midst of all that, she managed to record some great music, like the classic “Tell Mama” in 1967, recorded in Muscle Shoals Alabama.


And the B side of that single was a song just as iconic: “I’d Rather Go Blind”.


Though she was no longer hitting the charts by the mid 70’s, and therefore off the general public’s radar, she continued to make records for three more decades. In 1997, she released an album called “Love’s Been Rough On Me”, and this is the title song from that album. The song was written by Gretchen Peters, who’s released a bunch of her own records. But I think this recording by Etta James was the first time the song had been released. I don’t know if Gretchen wrote it specifically for Etta, but she might as well have. Etta delivers it like it was made for her.

This is a song about the real cost of love. Love can give you something amazing, but it can also exact a terrible price. I love this song because it doesn’t sugarcoat the subject. It’s not overly poetic, it’s not trying to be clever with its lyrics. It’s just laying it all out there, honestly.

There are two guitars, very cleanly recorded. One panned more to the left, the other panned hard right, and they’re playing off of each other. There’s a piano and a little bit of what sounds like a pedal steel guitar. It’s all very nicely setting the stage for Etta’s vocal.


“They say life goes on… well, I can’t prove it, but I know they’re wrong”. I love that line.


That brings us to the first chorus.


“I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, I don’t seem to be able to get back on my feet.” And with a pretty subtle delivery, Etta makes you believe it.


Speaker B: That’s just a nice little guitar fill there.


I will admit that I’m not into that distorted guitar part there. I’m all for distorted guitars– big fan. But I don’t think it’s needed here. I think that’s just a reflection of the time. This was recorded in the late 90’s. I think if they were making this record today, they would have gone with a different sound.

At any rate, here’s the next verse… and there’s only two verses in this song. Two verses and two choruses, and that’s it. Three minutes, no fat. But honestly, I could have listened to Etta sing this all day.


Let’s bring up her vocal and listen to that verse again.


“Love’s Been Rough On Me” – Etta James

Life was rough on Etta James. Along with fighting addiction, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2008, suffered a MRSA infection in 2010, and in 2011 was diagnosed with leukemia, which would eventually take her life on January 20, 2012, just before her 74th birthday. If anybody understood this song, it was Edda James.

So this song is my Valentine’s gift to you. It’s easy for people to say cliches like “it’s better to have loved and lost than never have loved it all”, but this is a song for everyone who’s ever loved and lost and never quite recovered. Have mercy, because love’s been rough on us all.

Thanks, as always, for being part of the “I’m In Love With That Song” podcast. You can post a review or comments on our Facebook page, or on Podchaser, or wherever you listen to the show.

You can find all of our previous episodes on our website,, as well as on Apple podcasts. Spotify, Google, Amazon, basically anywhere that you can find podcasts, you will find this show. And don’t forget to follow the show so that you never miss any of our new episodes.

We’re part of the Pantheon family of podcasts, where you’ll find a ton of music related shows, so be sure to check them all out.

We’ll be back in two weeks with a new edition of the “I’m In Love With That Song” podcast. Thanks for listening to this show on Etta James and “Love’s Been Rough On Me”.