Influences-Three Dog Night

      Hello there. A lovely rainy day here in Nashville.  The kind that just makes you want to stay inside and find stuff to work on.  This is one of those days for me and usually begun with a needle drop on the 1971 Zenith Solid State Stereo Console in my office.  Like many, I've gotten back into the medium that was "the way" when learning how to play.  Before learning how to play, and having two much older brothers, there was music around the house at times and a radio or 8-track tape on in the car almost constantly.  My two brothers, Clif and Winston, were right on the brink on becoming teenagers and were getting a few of the hit albums of the times.  Vicariously, these are the albums that first introduced me to popular music and many of those they introduced me to still hold a high number of plays in all my current digital formats.  They are the ones that have stuck with me.
     Today, the mood for vinyl hit on the band, "Three Dog Night".  There are those songs or sounds from childhood that immediately transport you to a time and place.  To the point of being able the feel the texture under your hands or feat.  Jimmy Greenspoon's B3 intro beginning the song, "One Man Band", building into full band groove and organ riff that always struck me as a jet plane leaving the runway.  That intro always sends me back to standing in front of our rec room stereo, with the cold brick tile under my little bare feet waiting to hear the "plane take off" again.
     But it wasn't "One Man Band" that put the hook in, nor was it their smash hit, "Joy To The World", whose sing-a-long chorus and something about a frog named Jeremiah did appeal to the 2 or 3 year old I was.  It was a song called "I Can't Hear You Calling", which was the B-side of "Joy To The World" but was the first song on side A of the album my brothers had, "Naturally".  This album, and specifically "Calling" was not only the first introduction to such a fantastic band, but also to their drummer, Floyd Sneed.
      Google that song....Three Dog Night "I Can't Hear You Calling".  The minute I hear it now, the Christopher Walken line, "More cowbell!!" jumps to the forefront of my brain.  Yeah, I know, "Bad Drummer" Hahaha.  Anyway, the funk of that opening drum/bass set up, then B3 & guitar jumping in the second round just puts it in a pocket that just chugs throughout with the signature harmonies and interesting parts Three Dog Night are known for.  Thinking back, it's bands like this with great harmonies, that I was exposed to as a really young age that really sunk the love of melodic rock and pop in my soul.
       There's just some great playing throughout the whole "Naturally" record.  A bit of a gospel flair on both "Can't Get Enough Of It" and "Heavy Church", a hook laden instrumental, "Fire Eater" (written by Greenspoon, Sneed, bass player Joe Schermie & guitarist Mike Allsup), and another hit, "Liar".  This is certainly an album worth digging through.
       Three Dog Night's and Floyd Sneed's influence still resonates. Still listen to other Three Dog Night records like "Golden Biscuits" or "Around The World...Live" today.  A long time pal that used to live in town, Pat Bautz, has been Three Dog Night's drummer for probably 20 years.  A couple years ago, while touring in California with Heidi Newfield, we had a night off and Three Dog Night just happened to be playing where we had stopped for the day.  Pat was nice enough to roll out the red carpet for any of us wanting to attend and we enjoyed an evening of classics that sounded just as fresh and on point as those records I'd always heard.  Due much in part that 4 of the original 7 members of the band were still intact.  Along with Pat and a different bass player; original members Mike Allsup on guitar, keyboardist Jimmy Greenspoon and singers Cory Wells and Danny Hutton were still carrying on the name they built and doing it very, very well.  Not going to lie, it was also a bit surreal to share a handshake and a bit of conversation afterwards with those that figured so large in my musical world, but they couldn't have been nicer or funnier.
      While I write this, there is sadness in my heart as this year, Three Dog Night have lost founding members, Jimmy Greenspoon and Cory Wells to cancer...(Insert appropriate "Fuck Cancer" thought here).  My thoughts and prayers go out to Pat and the remaining members as they get through this tough time.  Hoping they all know how much their music has meant to so many!!
     Thanks for stopping in and giving my musings a look.  Be back on down the line with another one....If it keeps raining like this, it might be tomorrow.  


Keep groovin'
Lee
October 2015

Leave a comment

    Add comment