‘Somebody’ — Real People Matter

April 21, 2019

Sunshine and warm this Sunday on California’s north coast.

Earlier this year another rich/famous guy was accused by women for being a weirdo-asshole, Ryan Adams, ex-wife even, Mandy Moore, said as much — think I’d never heard/thought of him before then. My first quick-reaction to hearing this news was oh shit, no, not that guy from the 1980s…
I’d really liked his music, what-a-bummer.
Hold the non-cellular phone — the 80s guy is ‘Bryan Adams.’

Anyway, the episode made me go back, re-listen to ‘Bryan‘ Adams for the first times in many, many years. In the 80s he was on the radio a lot –big hits “Cuts Like a Knife,” “Run to You,” “Summer of ’69,” kept the airwaves humming.
My favorite, though, was this one, “Somebody” — rock simplicity:

From SongFacts:

Adams wrote this with Jim Vallance, who collaborated on most of his hits.
On his website, Vallance explains that this is a “relationship” song, but the second verse is about World War I.
Said Vallance: “Adams and I are both interested in First World War history (Bryan’s grandfather served with the British Army in WW1). As a result, lyrical references to that war occasionally appear in our songwriting. It’s not always in context, and it doesn’t always make sense, but there it is!”
Vallance explained that the lyrics, “And the winners are losers, you see it every night” were inspired by his nights playing drums in nightclubs.
He said: “It was pathetic, really. You’d see the same people every night of the week, drinking and dancing and hoping to meet someone to go home with. I used to sit behind my drum kit, look out at the audience, and watch the whole thing unfold like a bad soap opera. In my mind, the ‘winners’ – the ones who found someone to go home with – were really the ‘losers.'”

In the last couple of months I’ve listened to the song a few times.
Pretty-much my only song from the 80s — most of my music is throw-back to the 90s, and despite growing up within the era of first Elvis, and then ‘Beatlemania,’ I consider the ultimate in rock was delivered short-windowed in the 1990s, spread of ‘grunge,’ and the ‘alternative rock’ sound fueled a shitload of really-good music.
Among a short-list of others: Pearl Jam, Green Day, Third Eye Blind (good music, shameless-shitty lyrics), Soundgarden, even the Dave Matthews Band, and Alanis Morissette.
Most favorites, Counting Crows, just the ‘August And Everything After’ album, lost interest after.that; Live, ‘Throwing Copper,’ especially emotional “Lightening Crashes;” and Collective Soul, ‘Hints Allegations And Things Left Unsaid,’ “Shine” a near-perfect song.

My mix-up with the Adams boys wasn’t the first brain burn — earlier this month, the 25th-annivarsity of the death of Kurt Cobain, April 5, 1994.
In that age and time, I hadn’t heard/thought of Corbain until then.
This early-20s kid I knew told me only an hour of so after the news about it broke on Corbain’s suicide.
When I replied, “Who?” He looked at me like I’d just arrived from another planet.
And maybe I had…

Later discovered Nirvana (after the fact), and really-good the ‘MTV Unplugged in New York‘ album, released in November 1994, made off a performance a year earlier.

(Illustration out front: Salvador Dali’s ‘Hell Canto 2: Giants,’ found here).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.