I guy I knew in college once said that although “La Bamba” is a great song, it just “wasn’t right” for Los Lobos to cover it. So a white guy from the Midwest gets to tell a Mexican-American band that they shouldn’t cover a song that was made famous by a Mexican-American and that is based on a Mexican folk song. Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce “straight white male entitlement.”
I know he went from bad boy to pop faster than you can say “sellout,” but I could still look at LL Cool J all day. Listen to. I mean, listen to.
“Wop bop a loo bop a lop bam boom!”
Why isn’t Little Richard considered the greatest, ever? Is it the lipstick?
So apparently the rule is, if you’re a singer-songwriter born just south of the US/Canada border (say, Minnesota), you get to have a long career, huge critical acclaim, and tons of hits. If you’re born on the north side, you get the same long career and acclaim, but only a rabid cult audience (and a hit or two if you are lucky). And of all the culty Canadian singer-songwriters out there (Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, etc.), I would say that Leonard Cohen is probably the mostly rabidly culti-est.
For a group labeled “thinking man’s hard rock,” these guys spent an awful lot of time trashing hotel rooms. And for the latest cred-drop: For all the glories of “Kashmir” and “Immigrant Song,” probably my favorite Zep tune is “Fool in the Rain.”
I’d like to pretend I’m all badass and know a lot about Lead Belly … but mama taught me it wasn’t nice to tell lies. I do know he wrote “Goodnight Irene,” which … Irene? Did Lead Belly really hang around women named Irene? I picture a (very white) character in a 40s high-society rom-com starring Cary Grant.