Monday, June 2, 2008

Musical Monday - Kid Rock "All Summer Long"

I was raised on the guitar riffs of Lynyrd Skynyrd official / Wiki . The first lovingly plucked out notes of "Sweet Home Alabama" (Video/song at the bottom of post) followed by a softly spoken but always present "Turn it up" always makes me do exactly that.

Many a hot summer day was accompanied by "Skinny Lennard" (my brother's affectionate name for the boys). For me the first time I heard the song was probably in the mid-70's coming from my brother's room while the folks were at work... most likely at a house-shaking volume since he often wired his stereo through his electric guitar amp.

My parents shook their heads at him and declared that Skynyrd was country music, but he would have none of that... Sorry Buddy... but they were kinda right. It is very similar to contemporary country music for certain, but for the sake of argument we'll just call it Southern Rock, OK?

I myself didn't really get into the boys until my mid-20's, when AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Van Halen, Quiet Riot, and ZZ Top were still pumping through my heart, but I needed a little change of pace. At this time I went back to my brother's favorite music, The Outlaws, Skynyrd, Charlie Daniels, etc. To that I added 38 Special, Marshal Tucker, The Eagles and Molly Hatchet among many others.

Yes, I was deeply entrenched in "southern rock", which brings us back to "Sweet Home Alabama". Legend has it that the song was written as a friendly poke at Neil Young (Wiki) for his song "Southern Man" where he talks about the south's reputation for mistreatment of the black man with lyrics like:
Southern change gonna come at last
Now your crosses are burning fast

The Van Zant brothers came back with lyrics to continue the sparring match:
Well I heard mister Young sing about her
Well, I heard ole Neil put her down
Well, I hope Neil Young will remember
A southern man don't need him around anyhow

Tee hee hee... this almost makes me want to say I was raised on the other side of the Mason Dixon line! Way to stand up for yourself boys.

Fast forward to about two weeks ago. I'm in the kitchen with RS2 pumping in the background as I wash dishes (seems like a hobby with me, I do it so often). Then up comes this goofy song... in the background I hear Zevon's "Werewolves Of London" with an occasional guitar and ending piano riff recognizable from Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama". The chorus has words that immediately perk up my ears:
Sipping whiskey out the bottle, not thinking ’bout tomorrow
Singing Sweet home Alabama all summer long

"OK OK, I have NO idea who this is... but the theory is cute," I exclaim to an unsuspecting and clueless N., but she is a good person and nods knowingly.

The radio station uses a snippet of the song for its imaging, so I hear a piece here and there but not the whole song again until about a week later when I am able to quietly take it all in. At that time I still can't figure out who is doing the song, but enjoy it whole-heartedly.

Since that time I've heard it another three times and enjoyed it enough to try to find out more about the upbeat tune. Imagine my surprize when Googling some lyrics brings me to the knowledge that this little ditty I've been jamming to is done by none other than Kid Rock (Official / Wiki). You're kidding... (pun intended)

So, let's take a breath here. I don't know much about the guy. He's done some annoying songs which I tried to steer clear of... I don't like his wanna-be bad ass attitude... he's either dating Pamela Anderson or he was... sorry, I don't (can't / don't want to) keep up with this kind of stupidity.

Am I having trouble enjoying the song as much? Yes. Do I think that it is a way of pandering to the Skynyrd fans? Yes. Am I disappointed? Well... kinda. The song is still a good one. I guess I don't have to like his politics to like the songs, right? Even Skynyrd talk about Watergate and "lovin' the Guvnor"... and I am cool with that, right?

Alright then, let's give the video a try, shall we?

OK, so Kid just managed to hit every stereotype I've ever had of the guy... on the head. But hey, he's havin' fun and I'm sure there are a couple of million guys who are totally diggin on this video. I mean hey, how many videos do you see that have a boat with a stripper pole complete with 20 half-naked women?

Will I continue to listen? Yes
Will I buy the CD? No
(Skynyrd's version of "Sweet Home Alabama" below the lyrics of this song.)

Kid Rock - All Summer Long Lyrics

It was 1989, my thoughts were short my hair was long
Caught somewhere between a boy and man
She was seventeen and she was far from in-between
It was summertime in Northern Michigan
Ahh Ahh Ahh
Ahh Ahh Ahh

Splashing through the sand bar
Talking by the campfire
It’s the simple things in life, like when and where
We didn’t have no internet
But man I never will forget
The way the moonlight shined upon her hair

And we were trying different things
We were smoking funny things
Making love out by the lake to our favorite song
Sipping whiskey out the bottle, not thinking ’bout tomorrow
Singing Sweet home Alabama all summer long
Singing Sweet home Alabama all summer long

Catching Walleye from the dock
Watching the waves roll off the rocks
She’ll forever hold a spot inside my soul
We’d blister in the sun
We couldn’t wait for night to come
To hit that sand and play some rock and roll

While we were trying different things
And we were smoking funny things
Making love out by the lake to our favorite song
Sipping whiskey out the bottle, not thinking ’bout tomorrow
Singing Sweet Home Alabama all summer long
Singing Sweet Home Alabama all summer long

Now nothing seems as strange as when the leaves began to change
Or how we thought those days would never end
Sometimes I’ll hear that song and I’ll start to sing along
And think man I’d love to see that girl again

[Repeat Chorus x2]

Singing Sweet Home Alabama all summer long
Singing Sweet Home Alabama all summer long
Singing Sweet Home Alabama all summer long
Singing Sweet Home Alabama all summer long

Kid Rock - All Summer Long Song Information

Released March 30, 2008
Recorded Clarkston Chophouse Clarkston,MI
Genre Southern rock
Length 4:56
Label Atlantic
Writers RJ Ritchie,Marlon Young
Producer Mike Bradford

Here is the original song made into a fan tribute with promo pics of the band and one minute of crappy editing as the guy overdubs live footage sound and video over the song. I apologize for that right now.

I found this one while searching You Tube... it is a goofy fan mix that puts Nelly's "Country Grammar" over "Sweet Home Alabama" to celebrate Alabama football and a particularly special "oh shit" moment in a famous game. Not really completely relevant but I found it interesting how the two songs melt together so well.

And we were smoking funny things...
Tee hee hee!


Maria said...

I used to have a friend in high school who was a TOTAL Lynryd fan and I never much got that.

I actually liked the Kid Rock piece, sat there nodding my head to the music. My dog did too.....

Diane Mandy said...

You are taking me back! Skynyrd music was tantamount to the national anthem from where I hail.

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