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Zharth's Music Log

Week 44: Domestic Abuse

Preface: Controversy aside, rock grew out of the blues, and the blues was no stranger to the harsher modes of living. This week we'll listen to a number of blues and rock songs that don't shy away from the issue of domestic abuse.

Monday (5/19/08): Lightnin' Hopkins - Bring Me My Shotgun [Lightnin' Hopkins Strums The Blues, 1958]
Comment: We'll start it off with a true bluesman, Lightnin' Hopkins. When he sings this song, you know he's not just trying to be cool. You can tell that he means it. "Go bring me my shotgun, and a pocketful of shells. You know I'm gonna kill that woman; I'm gonna throw her in that old deep dug well."

Tuesday (5/20/08): Rory Gallagher - Pistol Slapper Blues (Live) [Live In Europe, 1972]
Comments: Rory Gallagher, who never quite got the fame his talent warranted, pays his respects to the blues here, stepping back during something that could be considered an acoustic set on this live album. "I feel like slapping my pistol in your face; I'm gonna let the graveyard be your resting place."

Wednesday (5/21/08): Fleetwood Mac - You're So Evil [Fleetwood Mac (outtake), 1968]
Comments: Here's an outtake from the original Fleetwood Mac's first debut album from 1968, in which Jeremy Spencer seems to be improvising lyrics over the same piano rhythm used for the track Hellhound On My Trail, which did go on the album. "I'm gonna get my .44, shoot a few holes in you. Yes, I'll put you six feet under, six feet under the ground."

Thursday (5/22/08): Led Zeppelin - Hats Off To (Roy) Harper [Led Zeppelin III, 1970]
Comments: A somewhat unpopular song off of Led Zeppelin's trend-turning third album, Hats Off To (Roy) Harper seems to be a bit of a mish-mash of various blues numbers. Page dusts off his slide, and Plant uses an odd tremolo effect of sorts on his vocals. Altogether, I think it makes for an interesting tune. "I gave my baby a twenty dollar bill. Well, if that don't get that woman, I'm sure my shotgun will."

Friday (5/23/08): Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Down By The River (Live) [Live At The Fillmore East, 1970]
Comments: Neil Young and the original version of Crazy Horse with Danny Whitten on second guitar, plow through a jamming version of Down By The River, a song still fresh on the musicians' fingers, on this fierce early live document from the beginnings of Neil's illustrious career. "Down by the river, I shot my baby, down by the river, I shot her dead."

Saturday (5/24/08): Ted Nugent - Stranglehold [Ted Nugent, 1975]
Comments: I think this is an amazing song. Ted's licks are just swimming. You know, for a while I thought the one line in the song went "I'm gonna crush your face." I don't think that's what it really is, but it sure would add to the hardcoreness of the song. I kind of like it that way. "Got you in a stranglehold baby, you best get out of the way."

Sunday (5/25/08): Roy Buchanan - Hey Joe (Live) [American Axe, 1974]
Comments: Yes, I know, I love Jimi Hendrix's version too - I think it's amazing - but we've all heard it a million times on the radio, so here's an equally amazing version that, chances are, you haven't heard. It's by the greatest unknown guitarist in the history of rock and blues, Mr. Roy Buchanan! "I'm gonna kill my old lady, I done caught her messin' 'round with another man."