Friday, December 5, 2014

Foo Fighters, books, and dreams



I didn't really like The Rolling Stones when I was a kid. And that's because for the most part, the only songs I had ever heard of theirs was "It's Only Rock 'N Roll" and "Honky Tonk Women." My thinking was, "This is the Rolling Stones? No, thanks."

Early into college I heard "Miss You," and I was blown away. I realized that I had been wrong to judge the Stones on the basis of a couple songs. And then I explored their discography some more and realized that "Miss You" is one of their 3rd string quality good songs. They've got so much good shit.

Anyway, I heard this Foo Fighters cover and thought it was really cool. The Foo Fighters have been one of my favorite bands for a long time. I gave a friend a couple band options and told her to pick her favorite. She chose Foo Fighters, so I told her that the next "Top 25" songs blog thing I do will be about them.

So, I'll get around to doing that eventually. Until then, here are my favorite Foo Fighters cover songs. These are all live performances. One of my favorite things about the Foo Fighters is how their concerts seem to be so much fun. A couple are them intentionally being funny and trying to make people laugh, but then they still wind up rocking out at the end.

There's no ranking system. I just thought of 10 quick covers off of the top of my head. They are below:

Ramble On ... During a live performance at Wembley Stadium in 2008, the Foo Fighters were joined on stage by Jimmy Paige and John Paul Jones, two original members of Led Zeppelin. They jammed together on a couple Zeppelin tracks.

Rock And Roll ... From the same Wembley concert. This time, lead singer Dave Grohl is behind the drum kit and drummer Taylor Hawkins - who fronts his own side project band - is singing lead.

Tie Your Mother Down ... One of my favorite Queen songs, the Foo Fighters performed this version at a VH1 special dedicated to Queen.

Tie Your Mother Down ... Another performace of the same song, this one live with Queen's surviving guitarist and drummer. The Foo Fighters own drummer takes over singing duties on this upbeat track.

War Pigs ... During a week-long stay on the Late Show with David Letterman, the Foo Fighters performed a collection of covers and had a lot of guests. For this one, they invited Zac Brown over to cover this Black Sabbath classic.

Stiff Competition ... Dave Grohl is back on the drums as Taylor Hawkins covers this Cheap Trick song, with help from Trick guitarist Rick Nielson.

Darling Nikki ... This crude, raunchy tale of a lady looking for some company was a big hit for Prince in the 80's. Foo Fighters have fun with it.

Tiny Dancer ... This Elton John song plays a pivotal role in the movie "Almost Famous." If you haven't seen it, check it out. Around the movie's release, Dave Grohl shows up by himself on the old Craig Kilborn late-night show with only an acoustic guitar and tries to get the audience to sing the chorus with him.

Stairway To Heaven ... Dave Grohl is again on Craig Kilborn's show, and this time he brought Taylor Hawkins with him. They begin an acoustic rendition of Led Zeppelin's biggest hit, except they hit a snag: Grohl doesn't remember the words. It's a joke, obviously. The beginning is funny, then they rock it out at the end.

Band On The Run ... Paul McCartney's greatest hit with Wings is really a couple different songs thrown together. Dave Grohl did this one for an awards ceremony for McCartney.

Under Pressure ... This song came on at a bar once and a drunk girl mistakenly yelled out "Ice Ice Baby!" I thought it was funny. Anyway. This song is live at a concert and seems to be pretty off-the-cuff, with Dave Grohl admitting that he didn't know all of the words. Taylor Hawkins sings the David Bowie part and Grohl does his best Freddie Mercury impression.

* * *

So, there's that. Just something off the top of my head. While I have this open forum, I figure I'll give an update on some projects I'm working on. Here we go:

The 2nd B-Sides book is still in progress. I said I wanted to have it finished by late November or early December. The other day a Facebook friend posted a status that said something to the effect of "It's December already, where did the year go?" And that's when I realized that this wasn't going to get finished by my deadline.

So, that will get done soon. I'm trying to make it different from the first book. I have a couple different ideas and whatnot. I just have to get it done. And that's a work in progress. I'll keep you guys updated on that.

* * *

The 6-part "Adventures In DUI Class" is also in progress. I am finished with actually having to attend DUI Class. That's a relief. One thing, though, that I will elaborate on in one of the articles I'll write is the bond that we all developed. The first week, we all hated being there and a lot of the people let that be known. As the weeks progressed, we realized that we had to be there and we had to spend 6 weeks together. So, we all loosened up and had a little fun.

I'm giving the DUI class articles time to breathe before I finish them. I still don't have my license back yet. That will happen in due time. As I joke to my friends, "I'll be swerving all over the road in no time." 

I have written the articles for weeks 1-4. I have the notes I took during class for weeks 5 and 6. And then I'll probably write some sort of epilogue piece looking back at the entire experience. I'll submit those to Thought Catalog whenever I'm ready.

Click here to read a small preview of the week 01 article.

* * *

The current plan is to finish the B-Sides book in the next couple weeks. Then I will finish those DUI class articles. Then 2015 will see me work on my third book project. I actually started it before either one of the B-Sides books. It's just been harder to do and has taken longer to complete because I actually have to write everything.

It's not that novel I blogged about a couple months ago. I doubt I'll ever finish that and I'm not really going to lose any sleep over it. Fiction writing isn't really something that I'm in love with.

I'll keep this one under wraps for a short while. I've told a couple close confidants about it and they seem to like the idea. I don't want to talk too openly about it and say "It's this!" and then see it morph into something else by the time it's done. So, I'm going to start seriously working on that in January and give updates as they become available.

"Hey, Chris, your Facebook cover photo looks like pages from a book you're writing. Is it this third one?" No comment.

* * *

Dreams fascinate me. I love the idea of closing your eyes and emerging into a fantasy world. A lot of times, I think the dream world is a lot more interesting than the real world. I try my best to write down a dream if I can remember it. I've lost count of how many times I laid there in bed thinking "I'll remember this later," then I'll fall asleep again and it's gone.

I have a notebook with illegible dream ramblings scrawled on them. I have a note in my phone that is full of legible, but hard-to-understand dreams typed into them. It's just a bunch of weird stuff.

I was talking with a friend about dreams. I jokingly mentioned that I wanted her to start writing down her dreams for me. A day or so later, I get a text from her at 8:30 in the morning that is her dream. She said she didn't remember much but gave me the major details.

I thought it was really interesting. I didn't have much to do that day, so I turned her short text into a 600-word story. Like I said earlier, fiction isn't something that I love, but it's something that I can do. I had fun with it and didn't stress over it. It took like 45 minutes to write. I sent it to her and she thought it was pretty funny.

I'm going to ask her if I can put that story in the next B-Sides book. I think it's an odd story, but one worth checking out.

* * *

That's it for now. I'll check back with something of substance at a later date.

[Click here to purchase my first e-book, "B-Sides: Rarities and Unreleased Works, vol. 01" for your Kindle device or app available on your iPhone, Android device, or computer]

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