Got The Fever

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Hoyt Axton

Well, this is what you get when you’re fortunate enough to work in an industry that’s in desperate need of someone to fill in the gaps due to lack of experienced personnel - mucho time slots available and a big fat check every week. But, in this economy, with friends either getting laid off or hours drastically getting cut if the only things I have to bitch about are not updating my music blog, a messy apartment and being dead tired most days, well then, I count my blessings.

Hoyt Axton was better known for authoring hits than for his own chart-busting ability. But, where would part our lust for alternative be without his writing Snowblind Friend (Steppenwolf), No No Song (Ringo), Lightning Bar Blues (Brownsville Station / Hanoi Rocks), Greenback Dollar (Kingston Trio) and Joy To The World (Three Dog Night)?

Though my need to hear these songs by the cover artists endures, my desire to hear them by Hoyt has never waned.

The Pusher
To hear the amped-up, psychedelic blues version by the gods called Steppenwolf is to hear the desperation and haunt of drug addiction within the poignant time frame from its debut. But to hear Hoyt sing it elicits a timeless scene of hardened hopelessness and bleak, murderous hate with a soulful growl more feral than human – accentuated within a beat driven and fuzz-bass cauldron. However, you can see where John Kay did derive most of the instrumentation from.

You know the dealer, the dealer is a man
With the love grass in his hand
Oh but the pusher is a monster
Good God, he's not a natural man
The dealer for a nickel
Lord, will sell you lots of sweet dreams
Ah, but the pusher ruin your body
Lord, he'll leave your, he'll leave your mind to scream

God damn, The Pusher
God damn, God damn the Pusher
I said God damn, God,
God damn The Pusher man

Never Been To Spain
Hoyt was a great country artist and his roots are in plain view on this track. A straight-ahead guitar and piano driven track without the snappy frills, you’ll be warmed to hear the occasional fiddle and the pulsing drive of a hearty 4/4 drum beat.

Side note: Ever hear Elvis cover this track? A bit funny to hear him sing the line “Well I never been to England / But I kinda like the Beatles”.

Well I never been to England
But I kinda like the Beatles
Well, I headed for Las Vegas
Only made it out to Needles
Can you feel it
Must be real it feels so good
Oh, feels so good

Well I never been to Heaven
But I been to Oklahoma
Well they tell me I was born there
But I really don't remember
In Oklahoma, not Arizona

What does it matter
What does it matter

Mr. Axton was also a Navy man and had quite a prolific career in film and TV – not to mention writing jingles for commercials. But what a songwriter!

Hoyt Axton: The Pusher
Hoyt Axton: Never Been To Spain
From: Joy To The World & Country Anthem [CD 2001]


  • Hoyt Axton has become almost forgotten in the analogs of songwriters...but he definitely has written a nice stash of rock staples that have become huge for others.
    "Snowblind Friend"(Steppenwolf) was another great H.A. cover.

    And his own recordings were pretty strong, too.

    By Blogger Casey, at 5:02 PM  

  • Outstanding post, my man!

    By Anonymous Jeff, at 11:41 PM  

  • This is exactly what I got because I was hired by a company who needed an engineer and I was the right man for that job because there wasn't a man totally able to work there, or didn't exist a man who had all the requirements they were looking for.

    By Anonymous Viagra versus Cialis, at 4:51 PM  

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