The first year of Mellowmas (2006) was only twelve days long. Six of those days took place at Jeff’s website, which met its demise in the fall of 2007 due to an unscrupulous hosting company.
Many may remember the Speedwagon “classic” Christmas album Not So Silent Night: Christmas With REO Speedwagon, which we endured back in 2009. But you may not know that we actually listened to one of the songs from that album back in ’06, when we found it on an earlier compilation called A Classic Rock Christmas. The song has not improved with age. I also can’t believe there was a time where I wasn’t able to pick Kevin Cronin out of a lineup. — Jason
REO Speedwagon — I Believe in Santa Claus (download)
From A Classic Rock Christmas
Jeff: What is it about Christmas music that inspires such terrible synths?
Jason: Wasn’t there a time where REO Speedwagon stood for more than this? Like, guitars? And real drums?
Jeff: I can totally picture Cronin having to do this song himself. The other guys in the band just throwing their hands in the air and saying “Sorry, dude. You’re on your own.”
Jason: I feel the same exact same way. He really believes in Santa Claus. This is a feeling he’s willing to fight.
Jeff: You notice his vocals?
Jeff: He’s trying to capture the innocence and wonder of youth.
Jason: His vocals sound like they’ve been Botox’ed.
Jeff: But he just sounds…skeevy.
Jason: My god, I and thought old REO was gentle. This shouldn’t even have been put out under the REO name. I never thought I’d say this, but it’s an insult to Speedwagon fans everywhere.
Oh god, I just got to the “Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town” middle part.
Jason: He did NOT give a writing credit for that part.
I believe in songwriting royalties.
I believe in plagiarism.
Jeff: I believe…I believe…
Jason: Okay, it’s over now. I can’t believe that song would be on an album entitled “A Classic Rock Christmas.”
Jeff: I’m just sort of stunned listening to it.
Jason: It’s an insult to “Classic,” “Rock,” AND “Christmas.” Oh what the hell, it’s an insult to “A” as well.
Jeff: If Santa was real, don’t you think he would have given Kevin Cronin the beating he deserves by now?
Jason: I think his fellow bandmates have probably taken care of that.
Jeff: They probably don’t want to touch him. Have you seen him? I’ve said this before, and I will say it again: He looks as though he was assembled from leftover Muppet parts.
Jason: Please don’t tell me he’s the bald one with the Village People mustache.
Jeff: He isn’t bald. He has a bleach job.
Jason: Oh. There are a few of them in the band, according to this photo in the liner notes. (Note – I can’t share this photo as I have since thrown this CD away. – JH)
There’s also a thing here in the notes: “Takamine acoustic guitars courtesy of Mike Marcure.” Does that mean Mike played them, or Mike lent them to him? I’m betting the latter.
Jeff: I think Mike was the guy who whispered in his ear.
Jason: “There’s no Santa Claus, you pussy! And the Monkees weren’t a real band, either!”
Jeff: “Ha ha! Look at Kevin! He’s crying again!”
Jason: “Cronin’s a crybaby! Cronin’s a crybaby!”
Jeff: And now here he is, wreaking extremely mellow revenge on his tormentors.
Jason: Who’s the big loser here? Us. Because we listened to it. And shared it with our readers.
Jeff: And Santa.
Jason: We all lose out. What a horrible Christmas it’ll be this year. Visions of Kevin Cronin’s tears danced in our heads.
Jeff: Well, look at it this way…it can only get better.
Jason: Good point.