Friday, April 27, 2012

Can’t find work since the band left town

Sometimes I just wanna rock out.   And when I really want to let go, the first tune I want to hear is the Guess Who's Heartbroken Bopper from 1972's tragically ignored Rockin' LP.  By this point Randy Bachmann had departed (after American Woman) and was replaced by - count 'em - two guitarists.  Both of these guys, Kurt Winter and Greg Leskiw, were excellent in their own right, but on those occasions when they paired for a twin lead guitar attack they could absolute pummel the listener. IMHO Kurt was every bit as fine a songwriter and guitarist as Bachmann, with a harder edge.  Accounts from back in the day paint him as somewhat of a Canadian hoser a'la Bob and Doug McKenzie of the Great White North on SCTV. In other words, he liked to party.

So wait for it - those introductory :43 seconds of noodling are setting up the listener for one of the most thuddingly powerful guitar intros ever.  And then when singer/jokester Burton Cummings comes at 1:13 he proceeds to tell the short and sad story of an unidentified hoser.   Mr. Cummings has a dossier filled with songs about similar losers and down-and-out individuals - remember Albert Flasher, or John with the gun in Rain Dance?   Maybe someday I will make an inventory of them.

Night school strutter just struttin’ around
Can’t find work since the band left town
Can’t get up cause he can’t get down

He’s a heartbroken bopper

Honor roll student graduation day
Summa cum laude is a big okay
Car wash king is havin' beans today

He’s a heartbroken bopper


Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Love the Hoser Category idea: Top 10 Hoser Songs. None of that Tom Waits tragic Mr. Small Change got rained on with his own .38 (& nobody flinched down by the arcade & the marquees weren't weeping, they went stark-raving mad ...), instead, just songs about guys like the kind of guy that any rock 'n roll kid could have turned into if we didn't get lucky in some kind of way

Mister Pleasant said...

Hey Who Am Us... glad you liked the idea of a list of great songs about hose heads. My definition leans heavier towards someone who could be a minor character in a Wes Anderson movie, as opposed to Mr. Waits noir characters. Love 'em both but I tend to feel more empathy for those types that - as you said - "we" could have turned into.