Hi everyone. How’s it going? Another crazy week for me and a day yesterday that had its highs and lows. Did you ever have one of those days when you felt you couldn’t win? That’s how I was feeling yesterday. Here are some highlights: burnt my toast, spilled my coffee, found my favorite sunglasses had a crack, tripped on a loose walkway board and sprained my ankle, had the bottom of two record boxes fall out from under me, got home to my cats puking on my door mat—welcome home daddy—washing-up bowl split and flooded my kitchen with dirty water, ruined my dinner because the spatula I used melted on the pan, burned my hand on the oven and then finally when I sat down to eat I noticed another cat had dropped a turd in the middle of the floor for me to look at while I ate. Blimey, I can’t win, I thought. Perfect inspiration for my staff picks this week. Time to pull out one of my favorite 45s, a 60s garage nugget that literally sums up that feeling.
The Monacles – I Can’t Win. Variety 1966/ Norton 2001
The Monacles were a Los Angeles garage band who put out a couple of singles in the mid 1960s, not to be confused with another band from Colorado who spelled their name Monocles. The single I Can’t Win is a great track and so is the flipside, a song called Heartaches For Me. For today’s selection, though, the A side wins out. Interestingly, the single was released twice in slightly different versions. An original will set you back at least a $100 and I have only seen a couple during my time. It also came in two different sleeves and in a yellow vinyl edition and black vinyl. My copy is the reissue that Norton Records put out in the early 00s. They reproduced one of the sleeves from the original and issued alternate takes of the single on yellow vinyl. I think they chose correctly, as these alternates sound better to my ears too. Billy Miller knew what he was doing. May he rest in power. Some of my fondest memories of my New York days were interacting with him and buying Norton releases and other records from him. Anyway, the song is brilliant, and I have kept it in my DJ box for many a spin at gigs and so it was easily to hand last night for a good blasting. How great is the healing power of music? I felt much better after hearing it and was ready to continue with the rest of my evening.
The rest of my evening consisted of watching my beloved Liverpool play against Inter Milan in Italy for a Champions League game. I had taped it earlier and had stayed away from news and social media all day to watch it without knowing the result. Great game, which we won by two goals scored in the second half by Bobby Firmino and Mo Salah. Fantastic stuff. Inspiring. No matter how bad you might feel in life, certain things can just lift you, and I’m so thankful for the joy received from loving the beautiful game. Our anthem is You’ll Never Walk Alone and hearing our supporters sing that along with some of our other songs in the San Siro stadium, drowning out the Italian crowd, was just what I needed.
Between playing my Monacles 45 and watching the game, I spied another single whose title seemed almost too perfect. It is titled The Show Must Go On, and the artist is Terry Collins. It was released on the Kwanza label (a Warner Brothers label) in 1973. I picked up this single recently and hadn’t got around to playing it yet. Shameful, I know. I’m sure other record nuts know how that can happen, right?
The tune is a nice soul ballad sung from the singer’s perspective to his daughter and family who miss him because he is always on the road performing. Hence the song title. It’s a long song too, almost six minutes. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you much about Terry Collins other than he released several singles in the 1970s and may also have been a Gospel singer. I don’t know. I found it quite moving and inspiring, and it fitted in with the theme and mood of my day. Not quite the same stylistically as the Monacles single, but a good follow up. The world keeps spinning and the show must go on.
Perhaps after hearing these two songs, you may feel as enriched as I am. Or maybe not. Music can be a communal or individual experience and will have different effects on folks depending on so many factors. But yesterday, for me, these tunes did the trick.
Have a great week everyone and I’ll see you next time.
Cheers - Dom