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Wildflowers (the album) and a bunch of other stuff

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On August 20, 2019 at 4:18 PM, TheSameOldDrew said:

Even a song like "Learning to Fly" took on new meaning for that crowd, I recall a concert where people cheered at the "and the town lit up" line, which to my understanding wasn't about pot, but many in the new crowd (i.e. after 1992) took it that way.

Ha ha, I never thought of it that way! I figured it was literal lights, or that perspective of being above a town and seeing the light from a bird's perspective, that sort of thing, a beautiful moment and image with accompanying feeling...! I guess I could see how people took that as another pot reference! 

ciao

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9 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

I feel like I've inundated you with links though so maybe you'd appreciate a break from them. 

Eh.. yeah.. easy on the extended link jams, man.. Not that I don't like a good link to keep me jittery all night myself, but somehow I miss the old days when you where not into the heavy link stuff as much, when you kept it simple and rolled just on ramblings..  an occasional set fix perhaps just to be able to sleep.. 

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3 hours ago, Shelter said:

Eh.. yeah.. easy on the extended link jams, man.. Not that I don't like a good link to keep me jittery all night myself, but somehow I miss the old days when you where not into the heavy link stuff as much, when you kept it simple and rolled just on ramblings..  an occasional set fix perhaps just to be able to sleep.. 

:P

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On ‎8‎/‎20‎/‎2019 at 8:46 AM, Shelter said:

Overall, I think the idea of TPATH as a "stoner band" is largely build on a misconception, a misunderstanding and a few silly stunts on TP's behalf.

Regarding the whole "stoner band" thing, that's something I read from a professional music critic (I forget where) probably around 1999-2001.   I was surprised since I hadn't thought of them in that way during the pre-Wildflowers era, and I still didn't really see them that way.   But it got me to thinking about whether the band had changed.  Certainly the new fans were embracing the "stoner band" vibe.  And TP himself was making far more pot references than before, kind of embracing the experience and perhaps welcoming the new fans in that way.

How one defines "stoner band" or "stoner rock" is largely subjective.  I really hadn't given it any thought until the mid/late 1990's.   According to Wikipedia (which itself is subject to the whims of the writer) "stoner rock" is "typically slow-to-mid tempo and features a heavily distorted, groove-laden bass-heavy sound, melodic vocals, and "retro" production".  

The WF album and later weren't distorted, but otherwise they might fit that description.  Furthermore I would add "mellow", "melancholy", and "repetitive" to either "stoner music", or TPATH music of that era, or both.  Frankly it all made sense to me with those descriptions, because the music and lyrics of WF and the other Rick Rubin produced albums greatly bored me.  But I thought perhaps under certain chemical influence, such music might sound good to the listener.   However, I've seen that many people like those albums who are not under any chemical influence, so for the most part I'll have to chalk it up to my simply not liking the music from that period very much.  

I should also point out that I do like a lot of music that is called "psychedelic" or claims to be influenced by LSD or other hallucinogens, even though I personally don't care to screw up my brain by taking those substances.  I always like the psychedelic period of The Beatles such as the "Magical Mystery Tour" album (US version).  And I like a lot of the other 1960's "psychedelic" music.  I'm trying to make a distinction between that and the plodding, repetitive, bass-heavy "stoner music", but I feel that's not a commonly accepted distinction, so I can understand why people would feel my thoughts there are unfounded.    

I do feel that the change  of drummers was not coincidental to the change in music.  I found Stan's drumming to be very creative and felt that Stan had a great "feel" for the music, both in the studio and in concert.  While the song itself is probably worthy of an entire subject, I even felt that Stan's drumming on "Insider" added greatly to that song.  Even though TP himself later said he felt it would have been better without the drumming, and Stan seemed to agree with that as well.  But I don't, to me the song isn't nearly as good without the drumming.  But it's not just "some" drumming.  If Steve had played his usual "boom boom boom" one dimensional thing for "Insider", it would have detracted from the song.  Of course that's yet another topic, was Steve as uncreative as his drumming implied, or was he being held back by TP telling him not to be creative?  Hard to say, since at times Steve would let loose, one example being "I Don't Wanna Fight".  Dreadful song (sorry Mike) but Steve, obviously not being held back by TP, did some of his more enthusiastic drumming there.  He's still no Stan, but not the bore-fest he'd been on nearly every song until the "Hypnotic Eye" album. 

At any rate, even though I agree that the Grateful Dead does not sound a lot like TPATH circa 1995-2001, and certainly the GD drumming is much different - being much more percussion oriented - I do wonder if the slow, plodding, repetitive, bass-heavy drumming that Steve did live and on the albums, was part of TP's vision for - for lack of a better name - stoner music.  Names aside, I didn't like the changes at either the live shows or on the albums, at that point.  But some people love the albums, love the changes, and that's great.  Not everyone is going to love the same things, and certainly it's boring to repeat the same music, so this did give TP/TPATH a new direction.  I was happy through all the changes they'd done before, from the beginning with varied songs such as "American Girl". "Breakdown", "Luna", "Mystery Man", "Listen to Her Heart", "Magnolia", "Hurt", etc. - through the harder rocking "Damn The Torpedoes", the country-ish "Louisiana Rain" (and "Trailer", "Keeping Me Alive" etc.) , the jangly "Hard Promises", the horn-laded and psychedelic "Southern Accents" album, the various changes through "Let Me Up", "FMF" and "ITGWO".  I loved all of those styles, with those line-ups (in the case of ITGWO, I felt the songs were great, though the production stifled the album).  My enjoyment was simply greatly curtailed at the point of WF-Echo and never fully returned, so that's my take essentially on the WF album.  Which coincided with the change in music, change in lyrics, and change in drummers.

One more thing about the WF album - I know this will be heresy to a lot of people - but I found the lyrics were not up to TP's usual standards, and this was especially disappointing after the great lyrics on ITGWO (the album that is, the song I find to be mostly silly).  Even if I could accept the topics as being worthy of writing about (and I don't particularly care about the "Cabin Down Below" or so many "woe is me" songs), it seems to me the lyrics could have been better if TP had spent more time working on them.  I later read a comment from TP saying that he used to work long and hard at getting the lyrics right, but now he just would stick with the first draft of them, or something like that.  I think he said he felt that the first draft was freshest and therefore best, or words to that degree.  Sure he had some decent lyrics in the period, but nothing (IMO) like they were before.  So that was a problem for me also, regarding the WF album and the albums that followed it. 

  

      

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19 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:
On ‎8‎/‎20‎/‎2019 at 3:18 PM, TheSameOldDrew said:

(while others like myself exited the scene, as I no longer attended live shows after the 1990's, even turning down free tickets two different times after 2000). 

Wow, I missed this! I guess it answers my question regarding the live jams and such; though...it brings up a new question which is, have you listened to live shows from later tours? Or was that it for live TPATH for you...?

I listen to some of the later live TPATH shows; a lot of it has to do with how well recorded they are, and whether Steve's repetitive bass drum is overpowering the recording.  I like the Minneapolis 1999 show from the pre-FM radio discs, the song selection isn't great IMO - though I do like their version of "Walls" with the live cello player, I think the only time they had one for that song - as it's very clear and Steve's drums aren't too overwhelming.  I also like the 2006 Gainesville show ok, for many of the same reasons, and I feel the Steve had learned to use cymbals more by then, and wasn't going so heavy on the bass drum, at least at that point.    Also I liked the HC album, which to me (in the Special Edition format) was the 2nd best TP/TPATH album post ITGWO (the top album of that period for me being HE), and they had a few songs from that album on the 2006 tour.  For the same reason I like a few of the recordings from the 2014 tour, if well recorded and if the recording isn't overpowered by the bass drumming. 

The reason  I stopped going to the shows included that I'd already seen them when they were at their best (i.e. while Stan was still a member), and if it turned out I would be positioned where Steve's bass drumming would overpower the songs (much more likely than not, in any particular seat) that would pretty much ruin the show for me.  And overall I found it depressing that they just weren't what they once had been, sorely lacking without Stan's creative drums and backing vocals, and not being able to clearly hear the bass guitar (and some other things) over Steve's drumming.  So - I realize that some here think their "peak period" was more in the post-Stan era, and that's fine.  I'm perfectly happy to have not seen them live in the 21st century, but as I said I'm glad to have some of the select live shows from after 2000 if they meet the criteria I favor.     

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Its funny to me reading they were labeled a stoner band as I seem to recall some nonsense about Tom trying to be more like Pearl Jam / alt rock in the 2000 time frame. I think it was the April 95 show at the "real'/ original Boston Garden, right before it was being torn down, I noticed the crowd skewed much younger that the crowd seemed much younger (Tons of people in their 20's with fewer older people) than any of the prior shows I had been to (87-91).

After that it seemed to skew back to a more normal distribution of young and old with me somewhere in the middle of the bell shape curve...  I'm not a stoner but I love to this day when Tom does a story like in Gloria or Spike with his patter and working with the crowd...   One of my favorite versions of Mary Jane's Last Dance is from the 1/12/97 Fillmore show where there is an extended jam guitar riff about 4 min into the song with a lot of distortion. 

Wildflowers for me, shows a natural progression form FMF and  ITGWO  with Tom and Mike growing as a songwriter and collaborators and Tom becoming  a legendary song writer taping into deep imagery like Crawling Back To You - 'Indian in a bar room fight' and progressing as such into STO (heart so big/Walls) even a throw away like California or Cabin down below seems to be better written than a lot of his mid-80s stuff.    - Dont get me wrong DTT was amazing songwriting but Let Me up I had enough was a hot mess.

Echo was another underappreciated masterpiece - Room at the Top, Swinging and Echo; Tom manged to tell an amazing story in 4 min or so something few songwriters can accomplish.  The album cycle from Wildflowers forward was for sure to my mind an evolution and did not strike me as an attempt to lure in stoners or flirt with that crowd.  I just looked and Jerry passed away in 95 (which in reading the above had occurred to me that maybe they were trying to appeal to the Deadheads in the wake of the loss of him but nope.)   I can see the 420 vibe in a few songs, but I think Tom was far too serious and frankly depressed when he wrote this album to make any concision overtures in that direction. 

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10 hours ago, Hoodoo Man said:

Wildflowers for me, shows a natural progression form FMF and  ITGWO  with Tom and Mike growing as a songwriter and collaborators and Tom becoming  a legendary song writer taping into deep imagery

Something like that, yes.

14 hours ago, TheSameOldDrew said:

My enjoyment was simply greatly curtailed at the point of WF-Echo and never fully returned, so that's my take essentially on the WF album.

Well, I'm certainly not about trying to make you like it. I just try to get under the skin of your arguments on as to why? And how the "stoner" argument would fit, and all that. But we may talk past each other, since I keep talking bout people getting older and naturally inclined to mellow out a bit and you keep talking about drum sound. Well.. For one thing, it seems a lot of this "stoner" thing may be down to definitions, yeah... For another, especially after reading your last two posts here, it really seem like the drummer issue is core and key to you (as it is to me as well). Perhaps to the point of you bending all other aspects to make the whole picture fit this drum frame? Perhaps not. It just seem so much harder for me to hear all the other radical and/or sudden shifts in TP core character, than it is to hear the radical difference in drum and producing methods. I hear tiny bits of the rest of it, though.. I really do, I try. 

Either way, perhaps again worth noting then - I do agree that:

1) There are indeed a mellower focus when it comes to temper and energy in the material per average past the mid 90s, also reflected in some of the lyrics. Although this doesn't seem to take me anywhere near your conclusions.

2) the shift in drumming was not by coincidence, no - it seems to me (discussed elsewhere) that Tom was at the point in his artistic and creative development, after his experience with Jeff Lynne, where he really wasn't that interested in the rhythm section as an equal organic living part of the music anymore, but rather turned towards more of a "back-drop" approach, the drums merely a canvas of sorts upon which the rest of the band could "paint" the song. If that analogy make any sense. In a way, the total of the decisions made in those years post the first solo album and TW project, may be defined as the "death" of the Heartbreakers, since much of the "band" vibe took a hit from the shift in drum and recording/arrangement approach (not quite resdiscovered until the Mudcrutch into Mojo experience*). It seems to me that this is something that you're after and something you mourn? Either way, the result of Stan leaving indeed ended with some "plodding, repetitive, bass-heavy" tendencies. To me as well, this was a big dimensional loss in TPATH music for the longest time. (Much like Scott's high harmonies never reached the sweet spot that Howie did, but over time perhaps added other interesting nuances.) 

3) This drum shift was a rather prominent turn for the "worse" in many ways, although again, what this mean for the "stoner" issue is not clear to me. Neither should one, I think, confuse the drum sound, or the recording method in general with the quality or character of the material itself, although it may at times be hard to uphold the distinction. As for the latter, again see 1) and welcome to my loop... haha. 

Some sidenotes: Since I didn't mention that before, the Insider observations you bring up are brilliant in the context of all this. Also the fact (that many have mentioned in the past) how for the first time in ages HE finds the band with a good chunk of songs that at least theroretically could've fitted Stan's temper and soulful approach. (Now, I'm not sure that I totally buy this - and I'm not sure, again, that all songs TP wrote since WF would have been so lothsome or unfit for Stan. Although it would certainly have sounded differently with him - some better, some perhaps not so much.) And then - here you say that it's the one time you like Steve's drumming. Very interesting! Perspectives seem to meet here. Coincidence?

Ok, that's it I think. Let's just agree on what we hear and then disagree on what it means. All good.

 

-----

* Interestingly enough for the over all argument here - and perhaps playing the devil's advocate a bit - I would suggest that it's exactly then, when they tried to find their way back to be a "rock band" , recording live and approach things less intellectually one may say, more direct and along the line of how they perform live.. That's when they really create their few pieces of what may actually be called "stoner" rock in my book - stuff like Crystal River, First Flash of Freedom and Trip To Pirate's Cove. 

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15 hours ago, Hoodoo Man said:

... even a throw away like California or Cabin down below seems to be better written than a lot of his mid-80s stuff.    - Dont get me wrong DTT was amazing songwriting but Let Me up I had enough was a hot mess.

Echo was another underappreciated masterpiece - Room at the Top, Swinging and Echo; Tom manged to tell an amazing story in 4 min or so something few songwriters can accomplish.

How is an "amazing story" in "Room at the Top", "Swinging" and "Echo" any different than amazing stories like "Magnolia" or "Dogs on the Run" or "King's Highway" or "Nightwatchman" or "Even The Losers" or "American Girl" or "You and I Will Meet Again" or so many of the pre-WF songs?   Throwing in some oddball comment about an Indian shooting out the lights is somewhat interesting, but to me sounds like a Bob Dylan type of line - mildly amusing wordplay that doesn't greatly connect with the average listener.  And not that line is not typical of the WF lyrics at any rate; most of the songs don't even have lines that are that interesting, IMO.  "Cabin Down Below" might be the most lyrically dumbed-down of any TPATH song, only exceeded by "I Don't Wanna Fight" a couple of albums later.   If that's better writing than the mid-80's stuff, I simply couldn't disagree more. 

Now if you want to into the 21st century, there were a few songs that lyrically matched those of the 70's, 80's, and early 90's - examples being "Dreamville", "All You Can Carry", "Red River", and perhaps "Turn This Car Around".  Overall though, I've felt that the post-ITGWO lyrics were somewhere between a slight step backward and a significant one.  Nothing wrong with that, look at how Paul McCartney's songs are not what they once were.  TP kept it going for a long time, and still had some flashes of lyrical brilliance in his later songs.  But we'll have to disagree (strongly) if you think the songs after ITGWO were better written lyrically than they had been up to that point.  The absolute lowest point for my taste, both lyrically and musically, is WF-Echo, i.e. the 3 Rick Rubin produced albums.  However I realize that for some people, that was the peak period, and that's fine.        

As to the Let Me Up (I've Had Enough) album, again I couldn't disagree more.  Although that album doesn't immediately "grab" the listener the way the prior TPATH albums had done, to my experience each listen of LMU becomes a more rewarding experience than the prior one.  There's a lot of "depth" on LMU both lyrically and instrumentally that became simplified on FMF and afterward.  And I think a lot of the strength of FMF - it absolutely is a great album - is the simplicity of it.  The lyrics are much more upfront in the mix on FMF (easier for the listener to hear and comprehend), the instruments are fewer and well-separated.   Does that make it a better album than LMU?  Album sales say yes.  But I think it's more a case of FMF being more immediately accessible.  After I've heard FMF several times, I feel like I've heard it.  With LMU it seems there's always something new I enjoy each time I hear it.  Or maybe that's just my personal taste.  But I regard LMU as TP/TPATH/Mudrutch's 5th best album, with FMF a still very strong 7th best.

 

 

 

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On ‎8‎/‎20‎/‎2019 at 6:45 PM, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

Did you like when they jammed in concert, let's say from the WF tour on?

Mike's surf instrumental, Breakdown, It's Good To Be King, Drivin' Down to Georgia, extended Mary Jane's, was that fun for you or would you have preferred them to maybe have one or two big numbers and the rest more of the tighter flow they had in the 70s and 80s.

I liked "some" of the jamming, and they could have extended it a bit beyond the pre-WF concerts, but I did feel they went too far in that direction in 1995 and afterward.  A lot of this also depends on what is truly "jamming" and what is essentially a scripted extension of the studio version of a song.  Pre-WF, there were songs such as Refugee and King's Road that had lengthy extensions - and I thought those were great - but those were largely scripted, as they sounded almost the same from one concert within the same tour, to the next.  Breakdown also often had a scripted extension into "Hit The Road, Jack" or another song, there was also "Something Else" that got extended into "Bo Diddley's a Gunglinger", etc.  Or the lengthy version of "Shout".  Those I think worked ok, better in person than when listening to a concert recording.  

There's also improvisation, which is essentially what jamming is, but you can have a scripted song which allows some improvisation, and I liked it when they did that.  Mike and Benmont in particular did a lot of improvisation to great effect, not quite playing the song the same way from night to night, though the overall length of the song stayed roughly the same.  As something of a side note, Howie did some interesting improvisation when they started playing "Louis Louis" at the 1982 Utrecht show.  But TP stopped the song after a few seconds, saying "We aren't going to play that f-ing song", although they did restart it and played it.  Howie didn't use the same bass part for the second try at the song (at least I assume it was Howie); perhaps he felt that TP wasn't liking the way he played it, and that's why he stopped the song.  If so, that's too bad, because it was a cool start to the song.  But when it comes to improvisation within a scripted song, I felt it worked really well with this band.  In fact, who wants to hear the songs played exactly as on the albums?   The Beatles came close to doing that (through 1966), and as much as I love The Beatles, it would have been nice to vary more from the studio versions. 

However, when you essentially abandon any script - not just the studio version but any re-worked plan within a concert - you can get on very shaky ground as far as filling in empty space without a plan.  I attended a concert by "The Bill Evans Trio" in the 1970's, they were supposed to be one of the greatest jazz trios ever.   They seemed to have no plan for the entire evening, just noodling a bit with the others joining in.  It was the most boring thing I've ever attended.  It probably didn't help that I was 13 and not a jazz fan, but still - I can't imagine liking that type of thing at any point in my life.   Maybe they were having an off night, but it seems to me that if you don't have a plan, often nothing great comes of it. 

As far as relating that to post-ITGWO TPATH, they did get too jammy for my taste at points.  Usually at the end of a song such as Learning To Fly, where the vocal "wooa-oooh, yeah yeah yeah, wooa-oohs" went on far too long.  Talk about not getting to the chorus!   Now I did like the apparently unplanned extension of "Straight Into Darkness" at the Milwaukee 1983 concert, and it would have been great if they had done things like that more frequently.  It seemed to work for that song, at that point.  So I guess the answer to whether I like TPATH jamming is "sometimes". 

One more thing regarding "jamming".  IIf it had been up to me, I'd have preferred that TPATH in the 21st century to have varied the setlist more from tour to tour, played fewer cover songs, and shortened some of the jams - in order to give more room to more songs.  There was a setlist they seemed to use from 1995 onward that had about 10 "must play" songs, and they'd do another 4 or so  covers, which left room for maybe 6-8 other songs.  With usually 3 of those from the newest album.  So not a lot of room to reach a bit deeper into that incredible song catalog.  Extending the songs from the "must play" setlist with extensive jamming, to me was cutting into time that could have been better spent playing an original song they'd never played live, or one that had been ignored for a decade or two, etc.  But it wasn't up to me, and you get what you get, so that's fine.  I was glad to see that they'd played "Rockin' Around With You" on the 2017 tour.  Not their greatest "never played" song IMO, but very cool to reach that far back, to the first song on the first album, and the only one from that album they hadn't done live.   If there had been more concerts after 2017 (even if no actual tours), I was hoping they'd do similar reaching back to their own ignored songs.            

              

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2 hours ago, TheSameOldDrew said:

Throwing in some oddball comment about an Indian shooting out the lights is somewhat interesting, but to me sounds like a Bob Dylan type of line - mildly amusing wordplay that doesn't greatly connect with the average listener.  And not that line is not typical of the WF lyrics at any rate; most of the songs don't even have lines that are that interesting, IMO. 

Here I could not disagree with you more strongly. 

It was me and my sidekick
He was drunk and I was sick
We were caught up in a barroom fight
Till an Indian shot out the lights

I'm so tired of being tired
Sure as night will follow day
Most things I worry about
Never happen anyway
 

Crawling Back to you is one of the most poignant and oft quoted lyrics in the Pettyverse.  I've seen countless  Tattoos of  the lyric "most things I worry about, never happen anyway.  There have been many times when I've been blue where I feel nearly gutted listening to that song.   

Quote

"Cabin Down Below" might be the most lyrically dumbed-down of any TPATH song, only exceeded by "I Don't Wanna Fight" a couple of albums later.   If that's better writing than the mid-80's stuff, I simply couldn't disagree more. 

On the other hand I completely agree that Cabin down below while not on par with Girl on LSD for being silly is one of the weaker tracks of the later day TP.  (I don't really count some of the filler tracks from She's the one in the discography but there are a lot of gems but a couple of throwaways there too)

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy quite a few tracks off of Let me up, but I feel its one of his weaker efforts and put it toward to bottom of his discography Its an album I do connect with as it was the first album I saw him tour behind but its not one I visit as much as DTT or Long After Dark. 

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4 hours ago, Mr Timba said:

Rocking around with you is on Pack up the plantation!

Doh!  Good point - I completely forgot about that.  A "one off" (I think) from the 1983 tour, possibly performed with the idea of putting it on a live album.   I prefer the "unofficial" concert recordings to the PUTP CD (I never did have the LP, even though I had all the studio LPs through FMF, other than that one).  There have been some very rare live performances of other Petty-authored songs, though still quite a lot that have never been performed live.

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2 hours ago, Hoodoo Man said:

It was me and my sidekick
He was drunk and I was sick
We were caught up in a barroom fight
Till an Indian shot out the lights

I'm so tired of being tired
Sure as night will follow day
Most things I worry about
Never happen anyway

Excellent point, those a very good lyrics.  Especially the last part about most things he worries about not happening - those are more relatable than the barroom fight with the Indian, though that part was certainly colorful.  

Earlier on this thread I pointed out that "Crawling Back to You" is one of 5 songs I like on the WF album.   The others being the title track (Wildflowers), You Wreck Me, It's Good To Be King, and Time to Move On.   

As a side note, in the Runnin' Down a Dream documentary, they have a brief clip of Stan playing drums on "Crawling Back To You" at the Viper Room.  I wonder - I'm sure we all wonder - how much of that concert was filmed and how much of the WF album they played.   It's possible that there's not much more they filmed than what we see in the documentary.    But if there's more, it would be great to see it. 

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7 hours ago, TheSameOldDrew said:

A lot of this also depends on what is truly "jamming" and what is essentially a scripted extension of the studio version of a song. 

I throw jamming and improvisation around, even the term "extending songs" willy-nilly, stretching them (har har) perhaps far beyond their definitions.

I think you did a good job of delineating them.

For me, I prefer when a band is as spontaneous and in the moment as possible when it comes to those moments, I understand having a pre-planed spot in a song where they can open it up as it were like in the middle or letting the ending go on and within that time period be it short or long, let the band do whatever they want, take chances and such.

But in lieu of that I'll still gladly take a planned or rehearsed bit when they extend the song, like in Refugee or Too Good To Be True etc.

7 hours ago, TheSameOldDrew said:

Mike and Benmont in particular did a lot of improvisation to great effect, not quite playing the song the same way from night to night, though the overall length of the song stayed roughly the same.

I like that as well, but I think their best moments on stage as a band were when Mike and Benmont had free reign over what they wanted to do, Melinda and Two Men Talking were highlights of that for me in addition to Mike and his surfing instrumental spots or Benmont's Boogie etc.

7 hours ago, TheSameOldDrew said:

As something of a side note, Howie did some interesting improvisation when they started playing "Louis Louis" at the 1982 Utrecht show.  But TP stopped the song after a few seconds,

I think that was the first bootleg I owned, pricey but worth it at the time, such good sound quality though I think the last song faded out. The second was the very popular single disc from the 89 or 91 tour from South Carolina?

To my ears, best live version of Runnin' Down A Dream where Mike threw in some neat harmonics or bends or such at the end that I'd not heard him do since. And the excellent acoustic version of Even The Losers. Good thing now with the internet all this stuff is generously shared and one no longer regrets spending $50 on a double live album that sounds like it was recorded from under the seats.

Time to refill my non Maxwell House coffee.

7 hours ago, TheSameOldDrew said:

In fact, who wants to hear the songs played exactly as on the albums? 

That's been my feeling when I first listened to rock-n-roll. Over the years, both with people who play instruments and fans of bands I've found a mix of people who are frustrated or annoyed when a band goes off-script as it were or doesn't play the song the same way on stage as on record. 

7 hours ago, TheSameOldDrew said:

One more thing regarding "jamming".  IIf it had been up to me, I'd have preferred that TPATH in the 21st century to have varied the setlist more from tour to tour, played fewer cover songs, and shortened some of the jams - in order to give more room to more songs. 

Yeah, I hear ya! They had quite a number of deep cuts never played. Moot now. I guess it's always fun when one emerges from a fan recording or soundboard, or whatnot. My feeling is if the band took to the stage with an appreciative audience in a small bar and played anything they wanted without worrying about losing the crowd they'd have been largely a blues-cover groove band, with maybe a few rockers here and there. Again, who knows?

cheers

 

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On August 22, 2019 at 5:02 PM, Hoodoo Man said:

I'm not a stoner but I love to this day when Tom does a story like in Gloria or Spike with his patter and working with the crowd...

Ha ha, the patter was my least favorite part of when they did things like this. While I did like "Jack" in Breakdown, I'd prefer to just let the instruments do the talkin'. As for Gloria and Spike, the same though I also don't really care for the music in Gloria as well so it's just something I skip on live recordings.

On August 22, 2019 at 5:02 PM, Hoodoo Man said:

 One of my favorite versions of Mary Jane's Last Dance is from the 1/12/97 Fillmore show where there is an extended jam guitar riff about 4 min into the song with a lot of distortion. 

Now we're talkin'! More than two men talking here and that is a great version of the tune. Next listen I'll check out the riff you mention. I think the live versions from 93, 95, and 97 and 02 or 03? were the best takes on the song. I thought maybe they'd bring that type of thing back on their last tour but I guess not.

cheers

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13 hours ago, Shelter said:

Tom was at the point in his artistic and creative development, after his experience with Jeff Lynne, where he really wasn't that interested in the rhythm section as an equal organic living part of the music anymore, but rather turned towards more of a "back-drop" approach, the drums merely a canvas of sorts upon which the rest of the band could "paint" the song. If that analogy make any sense. In a way, the total of the decisions made in those years post the first solo album and TW project, may be defined as the "death" of the Heartbreakers, since much of the "band" vibe took a hit from the shift in drum and recording/arrangement approach (not quite resdiscovered until the Mudcrutch into Mojo experience*)

I think this hits it dead center.

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2 hours ago, TheSameOldDrew said:

Stan playing drums on "Crawling Back To You" at the Viper Room.  I wonder - I'm sure we all wonder - how much of that concert was filmed and how much of the WF album they played.   It's possible that there's not much more they filmed than what we see in the documentary.    But if there's more, it would be great to see it.

I think a soundboard release of that entire show would be something as there's probably the long version of Mary Jane's, and Wildflowers songs with Stan and who knows what else as very little infor of this concert has ever leaked out.

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1 hour ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:
4 hours ago, TheSameOldDrew said:

Stan playing drums on "Crawling Back To You" at the Viper Room.  I wonder - I'm sure we all wonder - how much of that concert was filmed and how much of the WF album they played.   It's possible that there's not much more they filmed than what we see in the documentary.    But if there's more, it would be great to see it.

I think a soundboard release of that entire show would be something as there's probably the long version of Mary Jane's, and Wildflowers songs with Stan and who knows what else as very little infor of this concert has ever leaked out.

I can't claim to be the most connected fan, but I certainly know of nothing that has leaked from the Viper Room performance, other than what is on the "Runnin' Down A Dream" documentary.  Maybe Peter Bogdanovich knows.  After roughly 25 years, it seems like something would have leaked now, if it's available.  Then again I thought we'd seen all there was to see of the 1982 "Us Festival" video with just the 8 concluding songs, until the beginning 10 songs from that concert surfaced online last year (via YouTube).   So we can always hope. 

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1 hour ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:
9 hours ago, TheSameOldDrew said:

As something of a side note, Howie did some interesting improvisation when they started playing "Louis Louis" at the 1982 Utrecht show.  But TP stopped the song after a few seconds,

I think that was the first bootleg I owned, pricey but worth it at the time, such good sound quality though I think the last song faded out. The second was the very popular single disc from the 89 or 91 tour from South Carolina?

Ha ha, it was the opposite for me, I'm not kidding.  The first bootleg I owned was the one disc 1989 North Carolina show, supposedly made possible by the European copyright laws of the early 1990's.  And that's still my favorite live TPATH performance.  Though there is a prominent whistler in the audience through the early songs, obviously enjoying the show but somewhat screwing up the recording.   Fantastic sound quality, awesome show.  Sometimes they do list it as 1990, but it's definitely 1989 - in fact I happened to hear it when it was broadcast on the radio in my area in 1989, totally by chance.  The boots of it though are pre-FM, mastered from the LPs used for broadcast.      

The second bootleg I owned was actually 1982 Utrecht, but the one I had was called "Louie, Louie" and was a shortened version on one CD.  Oddly enough, that one cut out the false start for "Louie, Louie" and only had the full (second) take.   Some years after that I got the "Straight Into Darkness" boot which had the full show, including the false start for "Louie, Louie".  And then of course both have been available to download online, which is great for most fans.   Also great for me, since it stopped me from spending too much money and time tracking down the European bootlegs.  

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On August 22, 2019 at 1:06 PM, TheSameOldDrew said:

My enjoyment was simply greatly curtailed at the point of WF-Echo and never fully returned, so that's my take essentially on the WF album.  

WF was a huge disappointment following FMF and ITGWO. Just "devastating" really. Playback was quite good and She's The One was an uptick from WF though and I still think it's one of their better records, less listened to because of its stigma as a movie soundtrack. The Echo/Last Dj was a double bitter pill, though the latter at least had some energy to it and the former had a few tracks here and there. For me, Mudcrutch was the beginning of something better, with some of Mojo and all of Hypnotic Eye and Mudcrutch 2 as largely good too. 

cheers

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19 hours ago, TheSameOldDrew said:

The first bootleg I owned was the one disc 1989 North Carolina show, supposedly made possible by the European copyright laws of the early 1990's.  And that's still my favorite live TPATH performance. 

I regretted not purchasing the '89 bootleg at a record convention and waited a whole year to go again and make sure to pick it up. They did a good job of condensing the concert to a single disc, you get some hits, a cover (or two for those who enjoy such) the new Full Moon Fever tunes, some fine jamming, an acoustic segment and a powerful double ending with Refugee and Runnin'.

All with good sound quality and fun performances. Who doesn't enjoy the heavy intro to DCAHNM? Or the fun of Benmont's solo? 

And like I've said before, I don't think they ever took Runnin' as far as they could live, that outro past playing the solo on disc (which I think is Mike's best) could've been a shred-fest of guitar heroics for a good three minutes. But the version on this bootleg is my favorite take they did on the tune.

cheers

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On August 23, 2019 at 2:11 PM, TheSameOldDrew said:

though still quite a lot that have never been performed live.

You Tell Me, The Criminal Kind and Same Old You...as far as I know never played, same with Finding Out (save for a French (?) tv show or studio broadcast) and You And I Will Meet Again. Picture a residency (or main tour) with those songs mixed in with the usual hits. But...ahh....I'll stop, no point to it.

cheers

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On August 22, 2019 at 5:02 PM, Hoodoo Man said:

The album cycle from Wildflowers forward was for sure to my mind an evolution and did not strike me as an attempt to lure in stoners or flirt with that crowd. 

I agree with you. I think it was just part of his evolution, which served him well, those creative instincts. WF and going forward, reforming Mudcrutch, all were great decisions! 

Perhaps any GD crowd was just a mix of maybe some fans looking for a replacement and/or just grooving along to WF. I respect that he adhered to his creativity even when I didn't like the results. Some bright spots but for me, that stretch from WF through to Mudcrutch and most of Mojo was pretty gray.

 

cheers

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On August 23, 2019 at 2:20 PM, TheSameOldDrew said:

Especially the last part about most things he worries about not happening

 

On August 23, 2019 at 11:15 AM, Hoodoo Man said:

Most things I worry about
Never happen anyway

I agree with both of you, that's a very good set of lines and very encouraging.

cheers

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1 hour ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

You Tell Me, The Criminal Kind and Same Old You...as far as I know never played, same with Finding Out (save for a French (?) tv show or studio broadcast) and You And I Will Meet Again. Picture a residency (or main tour) with those songs mixed in with the usual hits. But...ahh....I'll stop, no point to it.

Yes, those - and as far as I know "Dark of the Sun", "Ain't Love Strange", "Magnolia", "Hurt", "Ways to be Wicked" and so many more that might have been great in concert.   And those are just from the early days.  So much of HE and a lot of HC might have been great live as well.  I too was hoping for a residency similar to Fillmore 1997 or Chicago 2003 to cover some of those songs previously not done in concert, or rarely done such as "Deliver Me", "No Second Thoughts", all recorded in high quality for distribution (possible sale) via the official website.   But - very sadly - that won't be happening now. 

"The Criminal Kind" from your list could have made a fantastic concert song.  Not the most relatable subject matter, but with the searing lead guitar and hard-hitting drum part, plus the vocals that start quietly and build up to a shout - wow that song was just begging to be played live.  But they had such an abundance of great songs, so it was left out. 

I saw a Petty tribute band 3 weeks ago; I didn't have high expectations but they were surprisingly good.   Also surprising - although they stuck with the "typical" setlist that TPATH themselves played live ("Refugee", "American Girl", "Breakdown", YDKHIF, "You Wreck Me", "Free Fallin", "Runnin' Down a Dream" etc) - they reached a little more deeply than I thought they would.  Among the slightly deeper cuts they played "King's Highway", "Walls", "Change of Heart", "Even The Losers", "Rockin' Around With You", and "A Woman in Love".     Now it would have been incredibly cool (to me anyway) if they'd played some songs from the albums that even TPATH themselves had never played at a concert.  Who knows, maybe a Petty tribute band somewhere has already done that.       

   

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