This was one of those mixes that started like the mixtapes I used to do in the ’80s — that is to say, I started with one song and then quickly searched for another one to mix in while the first was being recorded. I’m not sure how may DJs who work in radio do that these days; there is a local station in the Bay Area that has one DJ who mixes a set just like that, but it’s only once a week. That kind of mixing keeps the mind agile and really puts you on your toes when it comes the big questions in life, like:Â “What would sound good after this song?”Â Even though I have the luxury of being able to take more time than the length of a song to figure out what comes next, this mix actually came together pretty quickly.Â So, let’s get on with it!
“Destroyer,” The Kinks (Download)
Here ’tis! The song that started this whole mess. God bless Ray Davies. Who cares that “Destroyer” is totally derivative of “You Really Got Me.” If you’re going to, um, borrow from someone, it might as well be yourself, right?
“In the Flesh?” Pink Floyd (Download)
This is one of those sledgehammer songs that takes me back to 1984 when I was a filmmaker geek in college. Our film club (and just saying “film club” makes me think of that one time at band camp…) did a fundraiser for a film project by screening The Wall at the crappiest theater in our town.Â After paying for the rental of the film, we netted over $1200 in one night.Â Not bad for a bunch of community college film dorks.
“Europa,” Santana (Download)
When I saw Santana in concert years ago, this song was supposed to be that chill moment where Carlos Santana wanted everyone in the audience to just connect with the earth and think about…stuff. But all I could think about was the guy in front of me doing whippets and going into spasmodic convulsions. As Archie and Edith Bunker used to sing, “Those Were the Days.”
“Grey Seal,” Elton John (Download)
Oh, that Wikipedia! You find out the most interesting (and sometimes unsubstantiated things).Â For example, I had no idea that this song was originally recorded as a B-side to a “UK Only” single to “Rock and Roll Madonna.” Don’t believe me? Fine. Then don’t click this link.
“Day of the Eagle,” Robin Trower (Download)
What a cool song, eh? Truth be told, this was the first song I ever played in front of a captive audience. My friend Ravi works for KGO radio and they had a BBQ at the home of his boss.Â Turns out a good chunk of the staff played musical instruments, so they had talent show of sorts, and then a huge jam on classic rock tunes at the end. Since this was my first time playing in front of an audience, all I could think at the time was: “Don’t mess up! Don’t mess up! Don’t mess up!” Sadly, I messed up. Part of the problem was that we never practiced the song with amps and with a full kit, so once Ravi’s son plugged in his bass, the sound was so muddy and loud that I couldn’t hear my cues from Ravi on guitar and vocals. Ravi’s wife came up to us after we played our set and said: “That was wonderfully horrible!” Good times. Here are some pictures of that “wonderfully horrible” gig.
Me and Jai trying not to screw up! See the amp next to me? Yeah, that’s the one that drowned out any guitar cues I needed to hear.
Ravi wondering why we keep missing our cues and thinking: “I should have done an acoustic solo set.”
“Rock-n-Roll Suicide,” David Bowie (Download)
What other way are you going to close out a classic rock set? Oh right, “Stairway to Heaven.” Crap.Â Ah well … you know, you can’t always get what you want. But hey Jude, if I leave here tomorrow , you won’t get fooled again.