Something in music: origin
One evening at a hot, trendy L.A. nightclub on a rare solo outing, yours truly found himself standing alone at the bar preparing to review the upcoming act. Before he had taken more than a few notes, however, he was bookended by a pair of vivacious vixens who insisted on engaging your rockin’ writer in cozy conversation. Strangely, the subject of “marriage” arose.
One of the young ladies noted that when a gal is about to get hitched she needs “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.” Your provocative penman was immediately inspired. After all, those very same terms could be applied to music too: “Something old” or classic, “something new” or recently released, “something borrowed”, a cover, and “something blue”, a blues song or a song with “blue” in the title. The rest is history.
‘Something’ in Music 151
Our “something old” this edition is the classic cut “Great White Buffalo” by the American singer-songwriter and guitarist Ted Nugent and The Amboy Dukes. It was co-arranged with Amboy Dukes’ bass player Rob Grange. The song originally appeared on the act’s 1974 platter titled Tooth, Fang & Claw.
Our “something new” for this edition is the new song and music video “CHILDFREE” by award-winning, New York City-based singer-songwriter, musician, and producer Lili Roquelin. In a recent social media missive, Roquelin discussed the recent New York Times featured song. She said:
“I wrote the lyrics and chords a year ago and it took me that long to do the whole composition, production, direction, and then the release not just because of pandemic distractions and stress, but mostly because I was very nervous to put out this message and tell the whole world this personal thing about me, which can seem controversial for too many people in our society. I was afraid of being criticized, mocked, and thanks to all these wonderful ladies for joining me on the cover art project, I feel stronger, and I can show that it’s not ‘just me’. Through the song, I can also act as a channel to proclaim our freedom and happiness.”
She adds: “I hope it will inspire them when they feel criticized, they will always have it to remind themselves that we are powerful women with determination and intelligence, and in our lives, we were able to figure out the most important and responsible thing, to not have children when we don’t want to! I hope it will also help young women to embrace their preference and turn it into the firm decision that they need to take. Despite my fears, I feel I have to do this for all childfree women because they/we really need it.”
Roquelin concluded: “You can see the lyrics … on my website. Over the last winter I watched the movie I Am Woman about the late Helen Reddy’s life. Her determination to make a song about how powerful a woman is, even though she was criticized for it and it had never been done before, inspired me to have more confidence in putting this song out. It is a great alternative-indie track (I think!), and anyone should enjoy listening to it whether they’re a woman, they have children or not!”
Our “something borrowed” this time is the song “Come Back Baby” written and recorded by Becker and Fagen and included on their album Art Crimes. This cover cut is a sincere tribute by New York-based American singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, engineer, and graphic artist John Tabacco. It’s featured on his 2020 release In Memory of Captain Tank.
Tabacco briefly mentioned the cut on social media. He said it is a “cover of an ‘early years’ [Walter] Becker and [Donald] Fagen (pre-Steely Dan) song that I always enjoyed.” It features Tabacco on guitar, lead vocals, and programming, and Joe Gioglio on electric guitar.
Finally, our “something blue” this time is the jump blues song “Mother Fuyer”. It was written and originally recorded by American blues vocalist and sometimes guitarist Dirty Red in 1947. It was first released as a 78 rpm, 10-inch shellac single record on the Aladdin Records label.