Got The Fever

Friday, August 11, 2006

Southside Johnny

Spending a few hours going over names I wanted to title this blog, I kept getting "this is taken" over and over. I finally won out with "Got The Fever" which is not quite "The Fever" (which I wanted), but I am satisfied enough. So, let's get 'The Fever' going with it's namesake.

Southside Johnny And The Asbury Jukes: The Fever
From: I Don't Want to Go Home [Sony 1976]

Southside, docksideSouthside Johnny. Back in the day, what made this band so different from the cacophony of gutter-litter that was so prevelent on the so-called Top 40, was the Stax sound-leaning, horn-driven, rhythm and soul drive that permeated their early albums. Stevie Van Zandt - later jumping ship to Springsteen's band (Springsteen also wrote a few Southside cuts including both featured here) helped pen a lot of the early material. Certain to create a sea of swaying hips on the floor, bobble-heading at the tables and a lot of "Damn, they're good" comments from the most casual listeners, Southside was there to sell soul truth and nobody could deny that.

State's evidence one: The Fever
The late-hour, last-song of the night feel of the single organ note and the crisp piano riff at the beginning joing with the juke joint horns immediatly snap all to attention.

He's alone, memories of her torturing his mind and he thinks:
Well now the days grow longer
And my love just grows stronger
And the fever gets so bad at night

Gut level wrenching that leaves him twisted and tortured in his mind. And who couldn't relate to:
When I turn down all the lights
And when I lay my head on the pillow
I can't stop myself in thinking "Baby, where are you tonight?"
"Where is she tonight?"

I want to know who can be stone hearted enough not to yell out an 'Amen' after he sings the line:
There ain't nothing that a poor boy can do
When he's got the fever for love

Anybody? No? Didn't think so.

State's evidence two: Trapped Again
Bass line that just simply tears flesh, neck-snapping drums, tight horns to drool over, and a lead guitar solo (in a soul song?) that's an addition rather that a subtractor to the mood.

Expertly layers sounds that all come together evoking, yet again, lonliness. But, I could never figure out if he's trapped again because of drug addiction, his cheating ways, never getting a break in life or...? I was never able to crack that.

Listen to him wail:
I can't let my past mistakes
Let 'em bring me down
I ain't waitin' on no angel of mercy
I've tried my best and I can't help myself

Listen to the man give up and plead for help:
Come and rescue me

Southside is still living the touring life and preaching the message. Check their website for more info. Be sure to grab the free downloads including covers of the Stones' "Happy" and Ruffin's "What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted".

Southside Johnny And The Asbury Jukes: Trapped Again
Hearts of Stone [Epic 1978]

Alright, it's the first post. You being judgemental? Quit it.


  • Diggin' it! Nice first post.

    By Blogger AK, at 2:13 PM  

  • You just hit on the most awsome version of "The Fever"!

    By Anonymous blt, at 4:51 PM  

  • Just the best version of "The Fever"!


    By Anonymous blt, at 4:54 PM  

  • Just kill me with "The Fever"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:01 PM  

  • Excellent choices for your debut. Looking forward to more. Got you bookmarked.

    By Anonymous Jeff in Wisconsin, at 1:48 PM  

  • Found this blog through another ("The Hits Just Keep On Comin'")...and I'm glad I did. Southside Johnny - and tunes like "Trapped", "The Fever" and "I Don't Want To Go Home" -(produced by Little Steven, if my memory is correct) - all were the soundtrack to a very special era in my life.

    Thanks for the memories. I've got to go digging through my vinyl now (not really; I've since acquired SS Johnny on CD)...crank up the stereo and sit back....

    I'll be back!

    -dan kelley
    WMMQ Radio
    Lansing, MI

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:19 PM  

  • Kev, great to see the site and as always, I appreciate your views and taste in music. SSJ has always been someone who creates some of the best gut wrenching, pour your heart out to your woman, rip open your soul, rock and roll. Throw in a discussion of the Better Days album with this and you'd get me going for hours :). And who can ever forget Gina Marie having me bring a copy "We're Having A Party" to your wedding reception?

    Keep up the posts and I look forward to being able to continue our once daily conversations/discussions/arguments over music.


    By Anonymous thunderroad516, at 8:55 AM  

  • OK - so now that I've figured out why I haven't seen comments (oh, you have to go to an edit mode and look for them!), I'm happy to see that the post had a pulse after all.

    I thank those who left a comment - the bloggers that I respect and have encouraged me, and Glen!

    Many a time with Glen (inebriated and otherwise) bouncing off various walls with an appropriate soundtrack.

    And a mention of Jeanmarie. Wow. Still, to this day, Jeanmarie is a sore spot with the missus.

    Thanks all.

    By Blogger wzjn, at 6:15 PM  

  • What an excellent start for an excellent blogging adventure! You have certainly hit many right notes with me - and seeing where your blog took you after starting off with "The Fever"... way to go!

    "When I get home from my job - I turn on my PC..."

    By Anonymous Foolsmoon, at 4:12 AM  

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