Fri Playlist: The Rock Life (Pt. 1)

LOVE AND A MUSIC MAN AIN'T ALWAYS WHAT IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE

After spending the better part of a week with folks trying to shake a dollar out of the music business on Jam Cruise, JamBase was poignantly reminded that it ain't easy being in a band. So, the Friday Playlists in January will showcase songs about road life, the recording industry, and the experience of being on stages. It's a rich rock tradition – i.e. self-referential, vaguely jaded, semi-autobiographical songs – and much like theatre pieces focused on theatre life, there's pleasure and insight to be had, even when things get a touch cheesy.

Our first dozen entries tap into some quality '70s ennui from Linda Ronstadt (covering James Taylor), Rockpile and Elton John, as well as killer contemporary contributions to the "rock songs about rock" canon from Backyard Tire Fire and The Drams, plus two overlooked classics from Lynyrd Skynyrd and Goose Creek Symphony. There's also a bit of unbridled exuberance from Eddie Money, Black Oak Arkansas and Thin Lizzy, because it's got to be enjoyable sometimes or no one would stuff themselves into a beat-up van like some musical clown car and bring the show to our towns. Thank the Lord above that there's hard working souls willing to endure the "long way to the top." And don't worry, we'll get to Journey, Dr. Hook and other masters of this subject matter in the next couple weeks. For now, slip a coin into the jukebox and give these a spin.

Playlist assembled by JamBase Associate Editor Dennis Cook, whose pretty much favorite people in the whole wide world are working musicians and their allies…

[Published on: 1/15/10]

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