June 8, 2012

L.A. Music Friday: Oh, Bob Welch

Well, shit.  Bob Welch, why did you have to go and off yourself yesterday? Because honestly, I wasn't even going to do an L.A. Music post (again) this week. I was going to spend today talking about how it's The Last Day of School, and  It's Officially Summer, and how I'm editing this post to the sounds of the D.J. spinning pop tunes at the 5th graders graduation pool party just down the way from my house.  (True.)  

Bob Welch, I haven't thought of you in ages. I turn up the volume up high whenever I hear "Hynoptized" in the car -- because I only have Sirius/XM in the car, and evidently true deep-cut FM radio is as dead as -- well, you.

I've been saving up for the day when I have the time and energy to write an L.A. Music post on Fleetwood Mac. It will be long and contain lots of personal memories. Like when I was in junior high and home from school for two weeks with the chicken pox, and my dad bought me the Mirage cassette to help pass the time. 

But this isn't the day for Fleetwood Mac, at least the line-up that I loved. You were part of that earlier, bluesy, pre-Rumours, pre-Stevie incarnation.  I was never too familiar with that whole Chicken Shack, Peter Green thing, but I loved the Mac enough that I was at least tangentially familiar it.
Oh, you and your sexy red shirt. Image via here.
Oh, Bob Welch, what do I know of you at all, except for your big radio singles and that you played on "Oh, Well," which maybe was some kind of foreshadowing on your part?  What do I know, except that I love me those cheesy A.M. Gold radio hits, and Ebony Eyes! Sentimental Lady! I stop the dial-spinning and listen every time.

Sentimental Lady: the kind of heavily produced song out of mid-1970s El Lay that made the British punks stab themselves with safety pins and shred their clothes. This is not rock n' roll.

But close your eyes, and listen. It's 1977, and you're on a terrace in Malibu, sitting in a giant wicker papasan chair. The blue Pacific sparkles in every direction. The aroma of pot and orange blossoms is carried on the breeze that sends the ferns in their macramé hangers swinging. Your most excellent sentimental lady wafts in, all chiffon and long, feathered hair and giant hoop earrings, bangled in turquoise and tiny Indian bells. 

That's why I've travelled far,
'Cause I come so together where you are. 
Yes, and all of the things that I said that I wanted
Come rushing by in my head when I'm with you,
Fourteen joys and a will to be married.
All of the things that they say are very sentimental gentle winds
Blowing through my life again.
 Add in Christine McVie's warm and wise backing vocals, and it adds up to one very fine, very mellow, very L.A. moment. I swear, I can hear the ocean in the background.

Oh, Bob Welch.  You made me cry, and rearrange my Friday plans for you.  Still: Walter Egan? Mr. Magnet & Steel? Don't even think about it, dude. 

Enjoy! And have yourself a most excellent and mellow weekend.

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