Jeff: Dammit, I was hoping if I just sat here without moving, you’d think I was dead and go away.
Jason: JEFF WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP IT’S TIME
Jeff: Time for the cyanide pill?
Jason: That’s tomorrow, buddy! Today is the day! THE FINAL DAY OF MELLOWMAS!
Jeff: We say that every December 25, but it’s never actually the final fucking day of Mellowmas. Always this shit starts over again.
Jason: Look, I’ve tried to quit like five times, and YOU won’t let me. So don’t pull this shit on me, pal.
Jeff: Fair enough, fair enough. It’s the end of another long Mellowmas and I’m tired. I’m just hoping whatever you have in store for us today goes gently on me.
Jason: Well, you don’t have to get to your headphones yet, buddy.
First, it’s time to take a little trip down memory lane.
Jeff: I’m starting to hear that reverb-y harp noise from sitcoms of yore.
Jason: It was November 27, 2006.
Jeff: That’s so long ago.
Jason: I had an idea for a mix on my blog, but I think I might need your help.
Jeff: Tell me.
Jason: A Very Mellow Christmas.
Jeff: Oh my God. That’s fucking brilliant.
Jeff: If I could turn back time! I’d kick myself in the nuts!
Jason: I’m hoping I can find some Xmas stuff from Orleans and/or Ambrosia.
Jeff: I don’t think you will.
Jason: I know.
Jeff: I don’t think any of those bands became interested in holiday music until the other stuff stopped making money for them. It’s only been in the last ten years or so that they’ve woken up to the fact that those records never stop selling.
Jason: you’re probably right.
Jason: *end harp noise*
And you WERE right. You’ve been right about so many things, except for that time we bet on whether real drums were played on “Roll With It.”
Jeff: I still think Winwood must not have heard my question correctly.
Jason: *leprechaun dance*
Anyway, and so this is how Mellowmas became a holiday more about bad Christmas music than Mellow Gold-era Christmas music. There just wasn’t enough of the mellow stuff, and we really enjoyed torturing each other.
Jeff: This is pretty much what we just told Jeffrey Thames during our appearance on his radio show, Sound Awake.
Jason: And speaking of Jeffrey Thames.
Jason: So go ahead and imagine my emotions when the following things happened: 1) I get a message from Jeffrey Thames.
Jason: (points at nose, points at you)
2. He tells me he has another Mellowmas suggestion for me.
Jason: (points at nose, points at you)
3. He tells me it’s a track by FIREFALL from 1982.
Jeff: Joy followed by confusion!
Jason: (POINTS AT NOSE, POINTS AT YOU)
Jeff: How did we miss this all these years?
Jason: You know, I have no idea.
Jeff: I need to spend more time searching YouTube for holiday music by C-list soft rock bands.
Jason: Maybe I didn’t search for Firefall? Does anybody REALLY search for Firefall?
Jeff: No one ever did, no.
Jason: But even so, I’m not seeing a YouTube upload before 2011, and I totally gave up on Mellow Gold Christmas music by then.
Jeff: What was their hit? Something about a woman?
Jason: “You Are the Woman!”
Jeff: Sounds right!
Jason: Shame on you!
Jeff: This search I’m doing for “Orleans Christmas” isn’t getting me anywhere.
Jason: It was the VERY FIRST Adventures Through the Mines of Mellow Gold entry!
We have vintage, authentic, and most likely wimpy Mellowmas music in front of us.
Jeff: You’re absolutely right. I’m so excited. Is this what archaeologists feel like when they discover an intact dinosaur skeleton?
Jason: I don’t know, I don’t talk to nerds.
Jeff: I did a search for “Benny Mardones Christmas” and found rehearsal footage from a 2009 holiday show.
Jason: JEFF DON’T
Jason: Not clicking.
Jeff: You’re so determined!
Jason: Not unless Dominic, the King of all Benny Fans is in the clip.
Jeff: He may be in the band for all I know.
Jason: Whether he is or he isn’t, today isn’t about Benny.
It’s about Firefall, and it’s time to take our first listen together.
If we were in the same room, we’d be holding hands.
Jeff: I have also found live footage of Lou Gramm, Mickey Thomas, and Eddie Money singing “Happy Christmas.”
Jason: God DAMMIT, Jeff. You are ruining everything.
Jeff: Okay, okay! I’m stopping. I’m stopping. This is about FIREFALL. Vintage…uh, Firefall. Hold on, I’m changing into a velour track suit.
Jeff: Shit! This isn’t a real video.
Jason: Who cares!
Happy New Year baaaayyyybayyyyy
Jeff: I’m going to pretend that this was filmed in the band leader’s den. What was his name? Bob Firefall? You pronounce it with a short “i,” and it rhymes with “falafel.”
Jason: I LOVE THIS. This is exactly what I wanted it to be.
Jeff: Is that a picture of Menudo on the wall?
Jason: Close. The Beatles. I seriously love this.
Jeff: Oh my God, this is so much Mellow Gold. Swoopy synth solo!
Jason: Synth flute? There are like three competing synths!
Jeff: Was Steve Porcaro involved with this?
Jason: I would TOTALLY cover this, Jeff.
Jeff: I like how most of the second verse rhymed with “baby.”
You could cover it and no one would know it was a cover, not even most of the people who performed on this recording.
Jason: It’s so gentle. Are there guitars? I doubt it.
Jeff: That was Firefall’s band motto! I think it’s on the back of their 1980 World Tour shirt. “Firefall: Are There Guitars? I Doubt It.”
Jason: I just loved that.
Jeff: That was exactly the kind of thing we hoped we’d find when we started this whole mess.
Jeff: And we’ve found far too few examples of it.
Jason: And you know, I was bummed to have only heard it on this 45.
The crackles are cute, but not THAT cute.
Jeff: Is there no Firefall’s Greatest Hits that tacks it on as a bonus track for the, heh, hardcore fans?
Jason: There isn’t! But guess what? It’s on iTunes, in beautiful quality. And I have just purchased it.
Jeff: I thought you were going to tell me Bob Firefall was at your house and you guys were going to go record a cover right now.
Your holiday season is complete. Have you played this for your wife?
Jason: NOT YET. BUT SOON.
Jeff: If you can wait a few days, I’m pretty sure I can have a bearskin rug delivered to your house.
Jason: I’m thinking I will learn it on guitar and tell her I wrote it. Wait, no. What am I thinking? Piano. I’ll learn it on piano.
Jeff: Piano? You need to play this on a synth.
Jason: You’re right! A synth! Man, this holiday has me all mixed up.
Jeff: Yeah, if you can’t pull off that synth solo, I won’t be satisfied. What’s the setting for that sound?
I bet Julian Velard knows. When he told me he was touring Europe with Paul Carrack and I begged him to cover “Don’t Shed a Tear” during his set, he immediately started geeking out about the synth sound on that song.
Maybe Julian will come to your house and help you cover “Christmas in Love”!
Jason: The Jewbadours would sound great on this song but I think it’s somewhat outside of their repertoire.
Jeff: Actually, holy crap, Firefall is apparently still together, and they are actually not led by a guy named Bob Firefall.
Dude’s name is Jock Bartley. Personally, I would have gone with Bob Firefall.
Jason: I like that you went with “Bob.” “Marvin Firefall.”
Jeff: He’s the drummer!
Jason: “Bartholomew Firefall.”
Jeff: “In September 1992, Rhino Records responded to the demand to put out Firefall music on CD by releasing Firefall: The Greatest Hits, which featured all of the singles and AOR favorites and one new song, ‘Run Run Away,’ about adult victims of earlier child abuse.”
Jason: You’re harshing my Christmas vibe. By the way, if Marvin is the drummer, what’s Bartholomew?
Jeff: He plays triangle.
“In September 2007, Firefall released a new CD, Colorado to Liverpool – A Tribute To The Beatles.”
Jason: And what’s the guitarist’s name?
Jeff: Jeff “Skunk” Firefall.
Jason: TRICK QUESTION! There is no guitarist.
Jeff: (points at nose, points at you)
Jason: Well, there you have it.
Jeff: I’m very much looking forward to hearing you and Julian Velard tackle “Christmas in Love” by Firefall.
Jason: I’m very much looking forward to my wife tackling me after hearing “Christmas in Love” by Firefall because she’ll be SO GODDAMNED ENTHRALLED.
Jeff: I think I might have just enough time to get you Jock Bartley’s acclaimed solo CD Blindside for Christmas, too.
Jason: Is it a Christmas CD?
Jeff: It will be for you!
Jeff: I’d better act fast. Their website says “Announcing the Firefall Reunion Concert – April 9, 2008”
Jason: I have to say: while I’m not pleased that Thames is once again responsible for our Mellowmas finale, I actually can’t think of a more perfect way to end this season.
Jeff: Full circle, right?
Jason: Full frickin’ circle.
Friends, enjoy this gift for the final day of Mellowmas: a pristine copy of “Christmas in Love.” It’s the least we can do to thank you for enduring this all-too-long season with us.
Jeff: And after you’ve enjoyed that, please head over to Firefall’s site and think about buying some of Jock’s fine original art! Here’s a sample.
Jason: And say hi to Bob, Marvin, Bartholomew and Skunk for us.
Jeff: What will next Mellowmas bring? I’m already wondering. What hidden treasures will we find?
Jason: Pepto Bismol. Zantac. Immodium. Lomotil. That’s a hardcore one my dad takes when he has the poops.
Jeff: I never needed to know that.
Jason: That’s what our readers have said every day this season!
Jeff: I was hoping you’d say “Ambrosia. Robbie Dupree. England Dan & John Ford Coley.”
Jason: I guess mentioning the poops is close enough. What a way to end! Merry Christmas, everybody! Happy Mellowmas!
Jeff: Don’t forget to wash your hands!