Paul Revere died last week. No, not the one from the famous ride. He would’ve been well over 200. This guy’s real name was Paul Dick (and yeah, if that was my name I’d have changed it too).
Mr. Dick was a restaurateur in Idaho, who played piano and dreamt of being a rock star. A dream he shared one night while picking up burger buns from the local bakery. A bakery which employed another aspiring rock star named Mark Lindsay.
The two hit it off, called up some garage band pals and went to LA where they became “Paul Revere and The Raiders”, dressed up in American Colonial duds and ready to fend off the latest British Invasion with a string of huge hit songs.
During my teen years I spent a couple of weeks on the road with “Paul Revere and The Raiders”. It wasn’t an “Almost Famous” thing. But it was fun.
Paul’s death brought back a lot of memories and I spent a couple of hours on Youtube re-listening to the songs they had made famous.
I don’t know what it is about Pop. But for all the great Classic Rock and Country that has become my soundtrack, a great Pop song still gets me right where I live.
What constitutes a great Pop song for my money is simply a song that sounds fresh and new –- and happy. Sometimes there’s a great riff or a lyric. But mostly it’s just a distillation of pure creative joy.
Somebody just going for it and having fun, not caring whether anybody else gets it or not.
But a lot of people do get it. Usually millions of them.
In the last few weeks there’s been a lot of controversy about one of this Summer’s great Pop songs “All About The Bass”.
That’s a song written by Meghan Trainor, a kid from Nantucket who dreamt of being a rock star, but figured she didn’t have the looks.
She wrote country songs for a while and then hooked up with a record producer who thought she should stretch a little.
So she wrote a song that made the rounds of hot female vocalists from Rhianna to Beyonce. But nobody bit, so Trainor and her producer pal decided to record it themselves.
Just another kid from nowhere with rock star dreams –- and like Paul Revere and Mark Lindsay –- a keen ear for what was fresh and new and happy.
Although all of that doesn’t fit with what is hip and cool and all that these days, it’s a formula that still works. Because fresh and new and happy touches something deep inside all of us.
And always will.
Enjoy Your Sunday.
And for a taste of “Paul Revere and the Raiders” try here.