Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Love It Or Leave

My nephew Max Angell is becoming a good songwriter. I love to hear his songs, and watch him as he crafts them. He is already writing mature and interesting lyrics, at his tender age of 21, and his Uncle Ric is about as proud as is possible. I find such joy in listening to his songs, as I can see some similarity in our writing style. After all, we are related. I was there, watching him come through, on the day he was born, in my sister’s bedroom. Keep your eye out for Max Angell.

When I was Max’s age, and in my old band, “The Morning Reign”, I was writing songs for the band to learn and perform, by myself, and with the advise and consent of the other members of the band. Since I was the most prolific writer, we ended up doing a lot of my songs, and to this day, I feel most grateful to those guys for being accepting and enthusiastic about the material I was handing out, which, looking back, was at nowhere near the maturity level of say, Max Angell.

I love self-deprecating humor, and I could go on and on about the crappy, inane lyrics in some of the songs I talked those boys into performing. I would bring them a song, perform it for them on guitar, and they would almost always say, okay let’s do it, pick up their instruments, and away we would go. Before long, we had a rockin’ version of some song of mine, pumped out through a wall of Marshall and Sunn amps.

Songs like “Feelin' All The Things I Did”, written from the perspective of an old man, which, since I was only 21 when I wrote it, could be called into question as a bit of a stretch. Or the ever meaningful and downright literary song about those who left for Canada rather than be drafted to fight in Viet Nam, titled “Exit Us”, and it’s more pop offspring, a ditty called “Love It Or Leave”, a title taken directly from a bumper sticker produced and sold by The Elks Club circa 1967.

Here, for your twisted pleasure, I offer one verse:

“Got a letter from my Grandma, said I oughta join the BPOE
They got stickers for your car now boy
Gonna set our country free
So I got a sticker, and read the message there....
“Love It Or Leave” gonna make me heave...
I sent her a lock of my hair”

God I hate it when my masochistic side raises it’s ugly head. But I offer this verse as
evidence of The Morning Reign’s willingness to play and record the music I was generating at the time, and I continue to offer my heartfelt thanks to those boys for their contribution and zeal.

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Pacific Beach, Washington, United States