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TPATH Jones Beach June 21, 2005

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Very nice quality for a non-professional video.  Pretty cool to see an early performance of Turn This Car Around, even though Steve has no feel for this song and ruins it with his too-heavy drumming on the quieter parts.  No wonder TP turned the album into a solo project where he played the drums himself.  Also interesting to hear Don't Bring Me Down again, which is well played, though it doesn't quite measure up to their performances of it in the 70's and 80's (my favorite version is the Farm Aid I live video).  

They even revive Don't Do Me Like That here, their first hit from their breakthrough album, but a song that seemed forgotten in the 21st century.  Overall this is an ok show, but IMO would have been so much better with Stan or another drummer.  Sorry but Steve's drumming is too heavy, to mechanical, and lacks creativity as well as feel, throughout the concert.  He seemed to do a lot better on the 2006 tour and beyond, but here his drums still sound dreadful to me, and make the bass and some of the rest of the music virtually inaudible.   Maybe part of it was their sound system, I don't know, but the Stan shows didn't sound like this.  

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9 hours ago, TheSameOldDrew said:

No wonder TP turned the album into a solo project where he played the drums himself.

Is that how HC came about? Tom recorded or at least tried out these tracks with the band first, and then decided to take the whole thing solo? Or was the album conceived as a solo effort from the get-go? Genuinely curious, but maybe I'm reading too much into this remark. 

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10 hours ago, TheSameOldDrew said:

Turn This Car Around........ Also interesting to hear Don't Bring Me Down again, which is well played, though it doesn't quite measure up to their performances of it in the 70's and 80's (my favorite version is the Farm Aid I live video).  

They even revive Don't Do Me Like That

It's refreshing to hear these songs for me, regardless of performance but I can understand how you or anyone else may not like these particular renditions. It is pretty well filmed all things considered. 

cheers

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I think "Turn This Car Around" was the only song from the future "Highway Companion" album that got played on that 2005 tour.  At least I don't remember any others.  There were a bunch of audience tapes from that tour, but no soundboards or FM broadcasts.

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34 minutes ago, TomFest said:

I think "Turn This Car Around" was the only song from the future "Highway Companion" album that got played on that 2005 tour.  At least I don't remember any others.  There were a bunch of audience tapes from that tour, but no soundboards or FM broadcasts.

You're totally right that "Turn this Car Around" was the only HC song played on that tour, and it is so unfortunate that there aren't any soundboard shows from the tour!

My first TPHB concert was three nights before the Jones Beach one in Boston with an identical set list, and it was a truly great set list. The start of the 2005 tour was definitely off to a more diverse start with "What Are You Doin' In My Life?" and "Makin' Some Noise" making appearances. However, like the rest of the tours, the shows wound up getting more predictable, and with less rarities, toward the tour's end.

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11 hours ago, TheSameOldDrew said:

 Also interesting to hear Don't Bring Me Down again, which is well played, though it doesn't quite measure up to their performances of it in the 70's and 80's (my favorite version is the Farm Aid I live video).  

The Boston show from a few nights prior was the first time this song -- and "Breakdown" -- was played on the tour. But like "What Are You Doin..." and "Makin Some Noise," it was played at the 2004 benefit show in Santa Monica CA, so it was probable it would have made it into the set at some point.

What I remember about the Boston show is that Tom even introduced their history with the song: that it comes from their live album (the only one at the time, Pack Up the Plantation: Live!), and that the recording comes from a 1978 performance at the Paradise club in Boston (which I think is no longer open/standing?). Was a very nostalgic and candid introduction to the song.

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2 hours ago, Arete411 said:

Is that how HC came about? Tom recorded or at least tried out these tracks with the band first, and then decided to take the whole thing solo? Or was the album conceived as a solo effort from the get-go? Genuinely curious, but maybe I'm reading too much into this remark. 

They did perform Turn This Car Around several times in 2005.  As others have said, it's the only Highway Companion song that was previewed in 2005, ahead of the 2006 release.   And every time (that I've heard) they performed TTCA in 2005, TP said this is from an album "WE'VE" got coming up.  It was thus implied to be a group album, not a solo effort.  TP also noted at the Jones Beach show "I quite like it" (TTCA). But I don't think it sounded the way he wanted it to, when they played it live.   

The studio version has a much different vibe than the 2005 live versions, mainly due to Steve's heavy drumming on all parts.  The song was obviously supposed to have a quiet part and then a rocking part, as the singer reflected back on his youth and wanted (at least briefly) to "go back".  Steve clearly didn't understand the intent of the song, perhaps TP didn't explain it to him, who knows.  But I'm speculating it was the failure of the live performances to match TP's intent, that made him decide to do the drumming on TTCA himself and thus it became a solo album.  He likely brought in Jeff Lynne because he knew that Jeff Lynne's production magic could make his drumming sound respectable, and could give the songs overall a "crisp and clean" feel. 

So I don't know that this is how HC became a solo album, but I do think TTCA could have been a great song in concert, with a different drummer such as Stan.  It's ironic that Wildflowers became a "solo" album when TP wanted to do an album of songs that Stan didn't particularly like, and then HC may have become a solo album because TP probably didn't like the way Steve was drumming on TTCA.       

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The tours have melted together a little for me, but the main thing I remember from the 2 shows I saw in 2005, was The Black Crowes opened and were fantastic.  I'm sure the Heartbreakers were also great as they never disappointed, but I mostly remember The Black Crowes as it was the first and only 2 times I ever saw them.  And for you setlist obsessives - The Black Crowes played a completely different 10 song set each night.  No repeats.

EDIT to add a photo of TBC.  Somehow I've misplaced the pictures I took of the Heartbreakers, but here's one of TBC that tour at the Gorge.

Black Crowes at the Gorge.jpg

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3 hours ago, TheSameOldDrew said:

They did perform Turn This Car Around several times in 2005.  As others have said, it's the only Highway Companion song that was previewed in 2005, ahead of the 2006 release.   And every time (that I've heard) they performed TTCA in 2005, TP said this is from an album "WE'VE" got coming up.  It was thus implied to be a group album, not a solo effort.  TP also noted at the Jones Beach show "I quite like it" (TTCA). But I don't think it sounded the way he wanted it to, when they played it live.   

HC may have become a solo album because TP probably didn't like the way Steve was drumming on TTCA.       

Actually it is known that Highway Companion was recorded in late 2004 and early 2005, and that it was a kind of happy accident that the record even happened at all. Tom reunited with Jeff and others to induct George Harrison into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the spring of 2004, and in both the Runnin' Down a Dream documentary and Zollo's book Tom said that this occasion sparked his decision to work with Jeff again. Tom said he didn't even really realize he had the songs for a record, but he had written them all before the sessions except for "Damaged by Love" and "Saving Grace," and apparently did record a version fo "Golden Rose" with the Heartbreakers in 2004 (according to the Zollo book). 
Tom discusses his decision to play drums in the Zollo book in more detail; from what I remember, Tom said that he played drums because he wanted a more stripped down approach and didn't feel like calling everyone and just wanted it to be a very insular, limited production process with Mike and Jeff. 

As for playing "Turn this Car Around" live, and then turning around with "Saving Grace" as the main Highway Companion-advertised song in 2006, I think it's because "Saving Grace" wasn't written yet: it's the song that the Conversations book ends with, with Tom saying that there's one song that's not yet finished. When the band decided to tour in the summer of 2005, then, I'm sure Tom wanted to advertise what he thought would be a standout song, and "Saving Grace" hadn't been written yet, and so he decided to pull out "Turn this Car Around," which unfortunately, from what I remember, got a lot of lackluster responses and many audience members in bootlegs can be heard mistaking it for another YDKHIF.

As for the "we" thing, I chalk that up to Tom always being humble and not wanting all the attention on him. He was always a bit bashful, and definitely valued the band all the time, so it makes sense that he would say "we" instead of tooting his own horn.

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18 minutes ago, mikemono said:

Actually it is known that Highway Companion was recorded in late 2004 and early 2005, and that it was a kind of happy accident that the record even happened at all. Tom reunited with Jeff and others to induct George Harrison into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the spring of 2004, and in both the Runnin' Down a Dream documentary and Zollo's book Tom said that this occasion sparked his decision to work with Jeff again. Tom said he didn't even really realize he had the songs for a record, but he had written them all before the sessions except for "Damaged by Love" and "Saving Grace," and apparently did record a version fo "Golden Rose" with the Heartbreakers in 2004 (according to the Zollo book)

Very interesting.  Thanks for that info, Mike.

19 minutes ago, mikemono said:

he decided to pull out "Turn this Car Around," which unfortunately, from what I remember, got a lot of lackluster responses and many audience members in bootlegs can be heard mistaking it for another YDKHIF.

Probably because Steve's drumming on the live TTCA is very much like his YDKHIF drumming.  And it's not good for the song.

22 minutes ago, mikemono said:

from what I remember, Tom said that he played drums because he wanted a more stripped down approach and didn't feel like calling everyone and just wanted it to be a very insular, limited production process with Mike and Jeff. 

I still think it's because Steve's drumming just wasn't working for the album, but that's just my theory.  It also could be that Tom saw HC as a "lighter" sounding album like FMF. 

25 minutes ago, mikemono said:

As for the "we" thing, I chalk that up to Tom always being humble and not wanting all the attention on him. He was always a bit bashful, and definitely valued the band all the time, so it makes sense that he would say "we" instead of tooting his own horn.

Or maybe "we" was himself and Mike.  Or maybe he intended to re-record all the songs as TPATH songs, but then decided he liked the versions he'd done with just himself, Jeff, and Mike.     

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"Lackluster" is a pretty good description - not just of the audience response, but of the song itself.  I like it, but it's a deep track or album filler if you will.  The song sat people down in concert and just had very little energy.  Any kind of drumming from Steve wouldn't have changed that.  

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TomFest, I disagree.  I'd rank Turn This Car Around as one of the better songs on Highway Companion, along with Saving Grace, Down South, Home, Night Driver, Square One, and perhaps This Old Town.  Though there are other worthy songs on the album.  

Steve's drumming definitely ruins TTCA in the live context, and the video at the top is a prime example of that.  He gives no contrast to the soft and loud parts, and his drumming is boring and plodding.  It's also too heavy and makes Ron's bass parts inaudible, along with much of Tom's singing and Benmont's keyboards.  Of course that's a problem with Steve's drumming on most of their songs, but it's unusually noticeable on TTCA.   

Everyone is going to have their own taste in songs, but for those of us who do like the studio version of TTCA, it's very disappointing to hear it ruined in a concert setting by the inappropriate drumming.  It's ironic that Steve names Ringo Starr as one of his favorites and role models as a drummer, because Ringo was not only creative in his drumming, but made sure there was room for the singer and other instruments to be heard within the song.  Steve unfortunately not only lacks creativity, but he plays the drums as if he's on stage by himself, with no ear toward what's going on with the rest of the band.  Mechanically he is sound, but musically he seems to have no idea how to play for the song, rather than just playing the drums.  Sorry if that's harsh but it's reality.     

 

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5 hours ago, TheSameOldDrew said:

Everyone is going to have their own taste in songs, but for those of us who do like the studio version of TTCA, it's very disappointing to hear it ruined in a concert setting by the inappropriate drumming.....as if he's on stage by himself, with no ear toward what's going on with the rest of the band.  Mechanically he is sound, but musically he seems to have no idea how to play for the song, rather than just playing the drums.  Sorry if that's harsh but it's reality.     

Very interesting perspective. I wonder if others will chime in with their thoughts on this. Next time I'm in the mood for some live TPATH I'll see if I hear what you have. To me, I think, well...my perception is Steve delivered what Tom wanted, a straight ahead no frills drummer who ended up driving the band forward. There are a lot of songs where he shifted the dynamics along with the band, IGTBK, Honey Bee (some versions where they stretched it out), Rhino Skin, Saving Grace, Shadow People.

I will give TTCA another listen and see how your critique compares to what I heard. Till then...

cheers

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17 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

... my perception is Steve delivered what Tom wanted, a straight ahead no frills drummer who ended up driving the band forward. There are a lot of songs where he shifted the dynamics...

To some extent that's true, Tom got what he thought he wanted - a basic drummer who did what he was told.  As far as driving the band forward and shifting the dynamics of a song, it still sounds to me like he's just playing the drums as if he's on stage alone - and expecting everyone else to fall into line with him.  Boom boom boom, boom boom boom, boom boom boom.  There's no room for the bass guitar, most of the instruments, or even Tom's voice.  Ringo used to say that he wouldn't play over the singer, he'd make sure the singer could be heard.  Ringo would find his spots to embellish the song, without dominating it.   Stan did much the same. 

As far as Steve doing what Tom asked, I don't think Tom knew what he wanted, other than someone who wasn't going to argue with him.  I do recall an interview around 1999 where Tom said he wanted Steve to "put more air" in the songs.  That probably meant that he wanted Steve to leave some room for his voice and the other instruments; or as Benmont put it prior to Steve's arrival, more of a "chamber music" sound.  But Tom's wish for more "air" was not understood or heeded, as you can tell from TTCA (live) and frankly most of all the other songs on all the other concerts.  As it is here, the monotonous bass-heavy thumping is stifling the rest of the song, vocals and instrumentation.  Not to mention there's absolutely no "feel" for the song in terms of the drumming.  

I will say that Steve's live drumming got much better in 2006 and afterward, although it still always sounded "off" to me, compared with the band when Stan was on the drums.  Steve also that he did an excellent job on the Hypnotic Eye album.  I realize that the topic of the drummer has been explored many times already, but I felt that the live TTCA and Tom's thought of making Highway Companion a solo album (doing the drumming himself) was relevant to this concert video.        

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On April 11, 2020 at 5:00 PM, TheSameOldDrew said:

I'd rank Turn This Car Around as one of the better songs on Highway Companion,

I agree.

 

On April 11, 2020 at 5:00 PM, TheSameOldDrew said:

He gives no contrast to the soft and loud parts, and his drumming is boring and plodding.  It's also too heavy and makes Ron's bass parts inaudible, along with much of Tom's singing and Benmont's keyboards.  Of course that's a problem with Steve's drumming on most of their songs, but it's unusually noticeable on TTCA.   

Well, there's no doubt he plays very heavy though to be fair, this isn't a professional recording with proper sound levels, so perhaps that's why so much of Benmont/Ron are blocked out. Since HC is such a rarely listened to album for me, I went back and listened to the studio version. The drum pattern sounds the same to me, it's just not as heavy as the live version up above. There's more of a shuffle feel to it while Steve's feels more like a piledriver. The thing is for me, I can appreciate both takes. It's not a surprise that the song comes across heavier live. There is more of a dynamic shift in the studio with the "...going back, heyyyyy!" part but again, that's under very controlled conditions.

I respect your opinion and love of Stan's drumming and your critique of Steve is valid; but I enjoy Steve's drumming live too, even if he leads the band as Benmont said, to paraphrase. 

On April 12, 2020 at 3:43 PM, TheSameOldDrew said:

To some extent that's true, Tom got what he thought he wanted - a basic drummer who did what he was told. 

Hmm. I think it's maybe a bit more complicated. Most people view Stan as a creative drummer, someone as you note who gave space for Tom's voice, other instruments, and could come up with interesting drum parts that accentuated the songwriting without stealing the spotlight. On a musical level, aside maybe from some issues with takes in the studio, Tom seemed quite pleased with Stan's playing, particularly live where he knew Stan read all of his movements and subtle cues and responded in kind. So if it was a mix of bubbling over personality problems and Stan not engaging with Tom's new songwriting, then it makes sense that Steve fit what he was looking for. At the same time, he brought a precision that Tom seemed to instantly respect and yet also, the ability to follow Tom as I think it's in some interview somewhere how Crawling Back To You goes all over the place tempo wise but Steve knew how to play along.

On April 12, 2020 at 3:43 PM, TheSameOldDrew said:

like he's just playing the drums as if he's on stage alone - and expecting everyone else to fall into line with him. 

I get why you feel this way but I disagree, I think Steve was pretty much like any pro drummer, he's there to be the backbone of the band, or the engine or whatever. If Tom didn't like it, I'm sure he'd have corrected him (in private not on stage) or would've found a new timekeeper. I think Steve's drumming did fit Wildflowers tour, not just because he played on the album but also because the band was shifting into something else, or falling into line behind Tom's new approach, while in the past, even just back in the ITGWO tour there were some songs extended, none (saving Shout, Dogs on the Run, Breakdown etc.) ever got as long as IGTBK. And now there was a surf insrumental jam, Breakdown, sometimes Honey Bee, Drivin' Down, Mary Jane etc. where the band seemed more open to stretching a song out than before. Looking at the LMU tour, even things like Jammin' Me while elongated were not taken as far as some songs would be from the WF tour on. 

While the record is largely an introspective affair, I think it led to the faster or more rocking songs being played with even more intensity on this tour in contrast to the record's somber feel on vinyl and on stage. I forgot how fast they charged through YWM and Runnin' on that tour. Kind of like a balance of energy from album to concert.

Steve plays heavier but that seemed to fit this new chapter of the band and I think as you pointed out before in another topic, Steve played those key drum rolls during Free Fallin' which Stan never did, so whether or not he could pull off the older tracks to your taste, one could certainly say he respected the parts that Stan (and Phil Jones) had come up with.

On April 12, 2020 at 3:43 PM, TheSameOldDrew said:

I do recall an interview around 1999 where Tom said he wanted Steve to "put more air" in the songs. 

Very interesting. I don't think I ever read Tom criticizing Steve or even making such a suggestion to him. It generally seemed, in interviews that Tom had nothing but praise for Steve's abilities. I could see why he could want "more air" but I think Steve would've then gone along with it. 

On April 12, 2020 at 3:43 PM, TheSameOldDrew said:

I will say that Steve's live drumming got much better in 2006 and afterward, although it still always sounded "off" to me, compared with the band when Stan was on the drums. 

I think this is one of those things, that make for an interesting discussion but in the end are just about personal taste. If Steve's drumming usually sounded off to you, well...I get it even if I don't hear it, or for me, the heaviness and difference in playing doesn't bother me.

On April 10, 2020 at 6:02 PM, TomFest said:

"Lackluster" is a pretty good description - not just of the audience response, but of the song itself.  I like it, but it's a deep track or album filler if you will.  The song sat people down in concert and just had very little energy.  Any kind of drumming from Steve wouldn't have changed that.  

I don't think of it as "lackluster" either. But I think it's less the song, nor Steve's drumming pro or con, rather that largely speaking any new or unfamiliar material was going to be met with indifference by most of the audience; I still think songs like TTCA should've been played regardless, making perhaps 5% of the crowd happy to hear something new and different. I do agree that the more mellow a song or even one with an interesting atmospheric groove like this one would be even more challenging for the crowd than something like Come On Down To My House or Drivin'.

On April 10, 2020 at 3:07 PM, mikemono said:

Tom said that he played drums because he wanted a more stripped down approach and didn't feel like calling everyone and just wanted it to be a very insular, limited production process with Mike and Jeff. 

Thanks for clearing this up.

On April 10, 2020 at 3:07 PM, mikemono said:

"Turn this Car Around," which unfortunately, from what I remember, got a lot of lackluster responses and many audience members in bootlegs can be heard mistaking it for another YDKHIF.

Makes sense to me. It's just how it goes, any new song by a band largely known for touring and playing their hits, for doing tours without a new album will have a more challenging time getting across new album tracks, deep cuts or unreleased songs. I guess it's a good thing that deep cuts did make their appearance across their tours and at the residencies. Still I think it was a missed opportunity to focus on covers when an audience of hardcore fans, familiar with the albums were gathered at those more intimate shows. Water under the bridge. Any opportunity to grouse about the set list...I jest, I jest. 

On April 12, 2020 at 3:43 PM, TheSameOldDrew said:

Steve also that he did an excellent job on the Hypnotic Eye album.  I realize that the topic of the drummer has been explored many times already, but I felt that the live TTCA and Tom's thought of making Highway Companion a solo album (doing the drumming himself) was relevant to this concert video.   

 Do you care to explicate on why you like his drumming on HE? Is it as simple as it just fit the songwriting perfectly? I love the record and am curious to hear other's takes on it.

While the drummer issue has been discussed almost as much as the set list issue (complaints) I think you bringing it up in this context made for an interesting dialogue.

cheers

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Great post MJ2LD.  I'll address a few points:

14 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

Most people view Stan as a creative drummer, someone as you note who gave space for Tom's voice, other instruments, and could come up with interesting drum parts that accentuated the songwriting without stealing the spotlight. ... So if it was a mix of bubbling over personality problems and Stan not engaging with Tom's new songwriting, then it makes sense that Steve fit what he was looking for. At the same time, he brought a precision that Tom seemed to instantly respect

I agree with all of that about Stan and his drumming.  And yes Steve brought a precision, but it was not right for the band, especially when his playing was too bass-drum heavy.  There was a recent interview with Ron Blair, where he noted that modern producers often want to "fix" the instrumentation by lining them up to be precisely on the beat, and Ron suggested that they not do that - and he even suggested that this is why modern recordings don't sound very good.  In the days where Stan was the drummer, Ron or Howie seemed to keep the beat via the bass, while Stan's drumming was generally off the beat.  That gave room for all to be heard.  Steve's precisely-on-the-beat drumming tended to stifle the bass, as well as much of the singing and the keyboards.   So precision is not always a positive factor, despite the Stan-disparaging comments from Jimmy Iovine.

14 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

I think Steve was pretty much like any pro drummer, he's there to be the backbone of the band, or the engine or whatever. If Tom didn't like it, I'm sure he'd have corrected him (in private not on stage) or would've found a new timekeeper.

I agree with that, but I don't feel it's wise to have the drummer dictate the platform to the rest of the band.  That's why I say it seems as if Steve is playing as if he's the only one on stage, and is leaving it up to the rest of the band to find a place to fit in.  I suppose that's the old school thinking of the drummer as timekeeper and pace-setter, but it isn't how TPATH worked when Stan was the drummer, and the band was successful with Stan.  So that's why I feel it sounds "off" with Steve, additionally his drumming generally lacks creativity and "feel" for the song.  It's as if he is thinking "Ok I'm the drummer, I'll lay down a basic track, and they can build off of that".   It all becomes generic and boring, plus it doesn't leave room for the others.  A good example of this is Steve's drumming at the Super Bowl in 2008, especially on American Girl.  Just too generic for my taste.  

 

14 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

I think as you pointed out before in another topic, Steve played those key drum rolls during Free Fallin' which Stan never did, so whether or not he could pull off the older tracks to your taste, one could certainly say he respected the parts that Stan (and Phil Jones) had come up with.

Yes, I did point that out - that Stan refused to play the drum rolls during Free Fallin', which were an integral part of the song, simply because Phil Jones came up with them and he didn't.  I recall reading Stan saying that Phil had some "interesting ideas" on FMF (or something like that), so he was somewhat praising Phil but still refusing to copy the important parts.  Which was a bit silly when you consider that Stan did play the opening drums on Don't Do Me Like That in essentially the same way Randall Marsh played them in the original Mudcrutch version.  Whether that drum idea was Tom's or Randall's, I don't know, but it wasn't Stan's and he still played it.  

You are right that Steve was very good about playing the drum parts originated by others.  Whether it was him playing the drum part for AWB's Pick Up The Pieces originated by Robbie McIntosh, or the Phil Jones part for Free Fallin', or various Stan originated parts, etc.  Steve did them fairly faithfully, though a big robotically, again not really seeming to have quite the same feel for the songs as the original drummers.  As far as the 1995 tour, I think one reason Tom turned Learning to Fly into an acoustic song, was that he was afraid that Steve would imitate Stan's complex drumming on that song, and he didn't want to be reminded of Stan - just a guess there though.          

14 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

Do you care to explicate on why you like his drumming on HE? Is it as simple as it just fit the songwriting perfectly? I love the record and am curious to hear other's takes on i

As much as I don't like Steve's drumming on the albums and concerts prior to 2006, I do think he did a good job on Mojo and an excellent job on Hypnotic Eye.  HE is the first post-Stan album where I don't think Stan could have significantly improved the drumming.  HE is a different sounding album, and Steve often plays cymbals instead of a heavy bass drum, he also seems to have the light touch of a jazz drummer, which is appropriate for many of the tracks on HE.  Even on the heavier songs like American Dream Plan B, Steve's drumming seems just right.  It's too bad they couldn't make a follow up album, now that they were truly in the groove as a band, at least in the studio.  In concert I still had some of the same problems with Steve's live drumming, all the way through 2017, though it had improved a lot after 2005 IMO.  Maybe some of that was due to the sound systems, as you suggest, but the sound system is the means by which the fans hear the concert.     

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37 minutes ago, TheSameOldDrew said:

I think one reason Tom turned Learning to Fly into an acoustic song, was that he was afraid that Steve would imitate Stan's complex drumming on that song, and he didn't want to be reminded of Stan - just a guess there though.      

Interesting perspective. Sometimes I forget that the original version of Learning To Fly only existed on the ITGWO tour and the homecoming show of '93. I think it's the only song in their catalog that went through this change and never changed back. The first few times I heard this song in this way I enjoyed it, not just for the novelty but the different feel and presentation, perhaps culminating in what I consider the "choir" version of '06. After that though, I think the song should've returned to its more rocking version. 

As to your guess as to why...I don't know. It could be that Tom felt the song's lyrics, theme and overall vibe felt more airy with acoustics and the audience sing-along and perhaps the latter was the most pressing reason, a way to get the crowd invovled on another level and in a way they loved, a real community moment for band and audience.

ciao

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2 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

Sometimes I forget that the original version of Learning To Fly only existed on the ITGWO tour and the homecoming show of '93.

Same with Two Gunlingers and Kings Highway. The studio versions did not work onstage. The new arrangements are better on live performances.

They never did again Too good to be true after 91-92... Same reason I guess, it doesn't work live.

 

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14 minutes ago, Mr Timba said:

Kings Highway.

If you didn't know, they did bring back the full rock version of this one, I think during the mojo tour.I just checked. Here is a link to the mighty MikeMono's live petty page. I think some of the show's may have details regarding sound quality, I don't know which one to recommend to you.

https://livepetty.com/2010-2/

 

16 minutes ago, Mr Timba said:

Too good to be true after 91-92... Same reason I guess, it doesn't work live.

I think it sounded quite good during the ITGWO tour; I just think it fell away, same with Out in the Cold etc. as most new album songs did once their initial tour was over. Now that you mention it, Too Good could've sounded good mixed in with the Mojo tunes or at a residency. Would've been interesting if they'd taken a heavier approach to the song, maybe work in an additional guitar solo to Benmont's live improvisations.

I think you're right about Two Gunslingers; while I do like the acoustic take, it would've been nice to hear in its original form. So...that's two songs that were never played again like the album...and from the same record!

cheers

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53 minutes ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

If you didn't know, they did bring back the full rock version of this one, I think during the mojo tour.I just checked. Here is a link to the mighty MikeMono's live petty page. I think some of the show's may have details regarding sound quality, I don't know which one to recommend to you.

https://livepetty.com/2010-2/

You're very kind, but I am not the mastermind behind Live Petty. I do upload torrents on sites that that site creator does wind up posting, though.

As for "Kings Highway," it was mostly played acoustically after the 1991-2 shows in support of Into the Great Wide Open. More specifically, acoustic renditions of the song were offered at the 1993 Gainesville show, 1994 Bridge School benefit shows; it was also sporadically played in 1995 during the Dogs with Wings Tour, in 1997 for the Fillmore run, and in the second leg of the 2002 tour that was in support of The Last DJ.

They finally revived the full rock version of it as the concert opener for the first few 2010 shows. Then, it moved to the set list's middle, but was only played on occasion (I didn't get to catch it at MSG or SPAC in 2010). They also played the "rock" version in 2012 and 2013 occasionally. Great track!

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IMO Tom went "acoustic" too often on certain songs, and should have brought them back to electric/full band at some point.  I wouldn't say that Learning to Fly and King's Highway worked or didn't work as full band or acoustic, they were just different.  King's Highway for example, sounded great on the 1993 acoustic version (per the Playback boxed set), but it also sounded great with the full band, as the lead off track to the official Take The Highway  video.  Learning to Fly was enjoyable both ways, but it got a bit repetitive to keep hearing it acoustically tour after tour, with the lengthy wooo - ohhhs and crowd interaction.  But after a while, I guess it was expected that way, almost a signature song and signature style of playing it.

A couple of songs that I liked a lot with the full band, but not very much as "acoustic" versions, were Rebels and Dogs on the Run.  Those songs were meant to rock, IMO.  But after 1989 or so, I don't think they did Rebels except acoustically, and I don't think they did Dogs on the Run with the full band after 1985.  I'd love to hear the full length version of Dogs on the Run as performed on the hotel rooftop in St. Petersburg FL, which was shown in excerpts for the MTV Southern Accents special. 

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