Cry Blood, Apache (1970, directed by Jack Starrett)


A group of old west outlaws stumble across an Apache camp.  Though everyone’s friendly at first, the outlaws discover that the Apaches have gold so they kill all of the Apaches except for one, Jemme (Maria Gahua).  They drag Jemme off with them, intent on having their way with her after forcing her to lead them to more gold.  Only one member of the gang, Pitcallin (Jody McCrea), is willing to protect Jemme and treat her with kindness.  (In fact, Pitcallin is such a nice and decent person that it doesn’t make any sense for him to be riding with the outlaws in the first place.)  Meanwhile, Jemme’s brother (Marcus Rudnick) discovers the camp and, upon discovering his family dead, cries and screams for several minutes.  Then he sets off for revenge against the gang.

The best thing about Cry Blood, Apache is that it opens with Joel McCrea, father of Jody, playing the elderly Pitcallin and riding his horse to the where the old Apache camp used to be.  While the old Pitcallin is looking around, he hears the voices of the former members of the gang and then the rest of the film is told in flashback.  This makes it seem like Cry Blood, Apache is going to be about an old outlaw coming to terms with the terrible things that happened in the past.  Unfortunately, Joel McCrea’s only in the movie for about two minutes and since the movie sat on the shelf for three years before it was finally released, it’s probable that his scenes were shot long after the rest of the movie.  Along with starring in the film, Jody McCrea also produced it and Joel probably only agreed to lend some star power to the movie as a favor to his son.  But teasing western fans with Joel McCrea, just to then bring out Jody McCrea is just plain unfair.

Other than the opening scenes with Joel McCrea, the rest of this film is so poorly put together that it’s a struggle to sit through.  Cry Blood, Apache is edited in such a haphazard manner that it’s nearly impossible to follow the plot.  While the gang searches for more gold, Jemme’s brother searches for the gang but the film never makes it clear how close the brother is to finding the gang so there’s zero suspense generated.  Jody McCrea was too naturally amiable to play a believable outlaw.  There was nothing tough about him.  Meanwhile, both Marcus Rudnick and Maria Gahua overact to such an extent that scenes that should be emotionally wrenching become unintentionally humorous instead.

Cry Blood, Apache was directed by Jack Starrett, who went on to direct far better movies than this one.  He also appears in the film as a member of the gang, the bible-quoting Deacon.  Even though he’s got long hair and is considerably younger in his film, most viewers will hear his voice and immediately recognize him as Galt, the sadistic cop from First Blood.

Music Video of the Day: All She Wants To Do Is Dance by Don Henley (1985, directed by Steve Barron)


Well we barely make the airport
For the last plane out
As we taxied down the runway
I could hear the people shout
They said, “don’t come back here Yankee”
But if I ever do
I’ll bring more money
‘Cause all she wants to do is dance
And make romance
Never mind the heat
Comin’ off the street
She wants to party
She wants to get down
All she wants to do is
All she wants to do is dance
And make romance
All she wants to do is dance

— All She Wants To Do Is Dance by Danny Kotchmar

Though songwriter Danny Kotchmar and singer Don Henley may have intended All She Wants To Dance to serve as a biting statement on American imperialism and the lack of political commitment on the part of the the youth of the 80s, I have to wonder how many listeners picked up on the message when they first heard the song.  All She Wants To Dance is one of Don Henley’s most enjoyable songs with a tune that is far more memorable than something like The End of the Innocence or New York Minute.  In 1985, people were probably too busy dancing to this song to consider what Henley was attempting to say about America’s activities in Central America.

The video finds Henley and the band in one of those post-apocalyptic clubs that were very popular in 80s music videos.  This was one of the many music videos to be directed by Steve Barron, who has directed videos for everyone from Tears For Fears to the Human League to A-ha and David Bowie.  Barron, who started his career as a camera assistant on films like A Bridge Too Far, Superman, and The Duelists, is still an active director, mostly for television.

All She Wants To Do Is Dance was hardly Henley’s only politically-themed song and video.  Whenever I think of Henley, I’m reminded of something that Alice Cooper said shortly before the 2004 presidential election.  When presented with a list of musicians who had endorsed John Kerry, Cooper said, “If I wasn’t already a Bush supporter, I would have immediately switched. Linda Ronstadt? Don Henley? Geez, that’s a good reason right there to vote for Bush.”

Enjoy!

Happy birthday, Lisa!

Song of the Day: Tequila Sunrise (by The Eagles)


Glenn Frye

Growing up it was unavoidable that I would end up loving the rock band Eagles. It was something I pretty much had no choice in the matter. I blame my Dad for this situation. I say this with love because The Eagles is that one band that’s become part of the American pop consciousness.

The band formed in 1971 with Don Henley, Glenn Frye, Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner. They would make their debut album a major success and follow it up with a sophomore effort that was just as critically-acclaimed as much as it was a success with the public. It was from this second album that today’s “Song of the Day” comes from and also one of my Dad’s favorite songs from the band. It was his second favorite after “Hotel California” and would be part of his regular listening rotation during long drives to and from home and work.

While I would dismiss the band in my youth as was typical of most children who wanted to branch out from their parents when it comes to what they like. In the end, as time went by I would fall in love with the band. Some looked at Don Henley as the architect of the band’s success and one would not be wrong, but I always thought that Glenn Frye was the soul of the group. As lead vocals for the band he gave the band’s song the emotion it needed to resonate with the listening audience.

This is why it was saddening news to hear that Glenne Frye passed away earlier today after a long battle with ill-health. Here’s to the soul of the Eagles as we slowly stare at another tequila sunrise as we say goodbye to Glenn.

RIP Glenn Frye

Tequila Sunrise

It’s another tequila sunrise
Starin’ slowly ‘cross the sky, said goodbye
He was just a hired hand
Workin’ on the dreams he planned to try
The days go by

Ev’ry night when the sun goes down
Just another lonely boy in town
And she’s out runnin’ ’round

She wasn’t just another woman
And I couldn’t keep from comin’ on
It’s been so long
Oh, and it’s a hollow feelin’ when
It comes down to dealin’ friends
It never ends

Take another shot of courage
Wonder why the right words never come
You just get numb
It’s another tequila sunrise,this old world
Still looks the same,
Another frame, mm…

Song of the Day: Hotel California Fingerstyle Guitar Cover (by Gabriella Quevedo)


GabriellaQuevedo

“Hotel California” by The Eagles has been one of my favorite songs and this came about due to my own father loving the band and this song being his favorite. It was hard not to love the song when it’s played over and over. For some hearing the song would get them sick of it, but the song most associated with this great American band remains a classic to fans young and old.

This is why the latest Song of the Day sees the return of “Hotel California” but a cover version by a young talent out of Sweden. This particular cover of the song is by Gabriella Quevedo who is all of 18 years-old. She had taken up the acoustic guitar at the age of 12 and self-taught herself how to play “fingerstyle acoustic” after hearing another musical prodigy, Sungha Jung, play the same style.

Many people have covered “Hotel California” and many more will continue to do so. What makes Gabriella Quevedo stand out if the fact that her rendition of the song she literally plays every section of the song with her one guitar. She plays not just the guitar section, but the vocal melodies as well as the bassline. She also happens to insert the back-up melodies into her playing. What she ends up doing with her version of this song is play an entire band’s worth of playing with just one guitar.

Anyone who has listened to “Hotel California” can easily tell what she has accomplished which for a person of such a young age is extraordinary. She has made herself into a sensation with her many covers of rock songs both classic and new. Of all her covers, this one happens to be my favorite.

Source: Gabriella Quevedo

Song of the Day: Hotel California (by The Eagles)


hotelcalifornia

Time for the latest “Song of the Day” and this one has grown on me with each passing year: “Hotel California” by The Eagles. It also continues an impromptu mini-series of songs with some of the greatest guitar solos. The previous entry, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird”, gave us an extended triple guitar solo that never seems to end.

I must admit that the group was never a favorite of mine growing up. I rarely listened to them and when they came on the radio I used to change the station. But as the years passed I began to give them more of a chance. I think part of it comes from the fact that this band is one of my Dad’s favorites. So, I gave them a chance in my advancing years. I guess with age does come wisdom since I began to really dig the band that I’ve dismissed as typical “adult contemporary” music in my youth. This just goes to show that the adage that sometimes “youth is wasted on the young” has some truth to it. My Dad’s probably looking down at me right now wherever he is and giving me that smirking smile that says “I told you so.”

“Hotel California” is my favorite of all the songs The Eagles have ever made. It’s not just catchy but the song also plays out like some sort of tale being sung by bards of old. Well, bards of old until we get to the dueling guitar solos by Don Felder and Joe Walsh which forms the climactic finish to the song. Guitar solos that I must say earns its place in rock pantheon as one of the best. That’s fact and not hyperbole.

FACT.

Another reason why this song of The Eagles is a favorite of mine is just the sense of the ominous just below the surface of the song. The lyrics does play out like a story, but a story tinged with a sense of malice and just a hint of the supernatural. It’s no wonder some of the more religious-minded fans of the song consider “Hotel California” as a song that details a time spent inside the Anton LeVay purchased San Francisco hotel called Hotel California which was converted into what would become the Church of Satan.

Lastly, I just plain love this song for the fact it paints my home state of California as something more than just a place to live and work in, but a place half in and out of reality. Maybe the song will convince Lisa Marie that California isn’t that bad of a state to be in.

Hotel California

On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night
There she stood in the doorway;
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself,
‘this could be heaven or this could be hell’
Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way
There were voices down the corridor,
I thought I heard them say…

Welcome to the hotel california
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely face
Plenty of room at the hotel california
Any time of year, you can find it here

Her mind is tiffany-twisted, she got the mercedes bends
She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys, that she calls friends
How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat.
Some dance to remember, some dance to forget

So I called up the captain,
‘please bring me my wine’
He said, ‘we haven’t had that spirit here since nineteen sixty nine’
And still those voices are calling from far away,
Wake you up in the middle of the night
Just to hear them say…

Welcome to the hotel california
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely face
They livin’ it up at the hotel california
What a nice surprise, bring your alibis

Mirrors on the ceiling,
The pink champagne on ice
And she said ‘we are all just prisoners here, of our own device’
And in the master’s chambers,
They gathered for the feast
The stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can’t kill the beast

Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
‘relax,’ said the night man,
We are programmed to receive.
You can checkout any time you like,
But you can never leave!

(guitar solos)

Great Guitar Solos Series