Hold Your Nose

Please remember to recycle used hearts this Valentines Day.

Please remember to recycle used hearts this Valentines Day.

Ahhhhh, love is in the air!  No, wait… that’s just Rainy the rain gauge skunk going off about something again.  That’s OK, because it’s Monday and that means The Nest has the perfect air freshener to combat the lingering stink of romance with a little noise pollution straight out of the heart shaped chocolate box we like to call the Dusty Vinyl Archive!  DJ Scratchy’s ready to dedicate this lost classic to the one you hate, while the Sponkies are busy running their classroom Valentines through the shredder.  Time to smash a Barry White record or three…

dusty vinyl

Few bands have ever flirted with success for so long before finally breaking out as superstars like Boston’s very own J Geils Band.  The sextet littered the lower reaches of the Top 40 with singles throughout the entire decade of the 70’s, but couldn’t quite crack the Top 10 until the 1981 album Freeze Frame gave them a pair of Top 5 hits… including the #1 song “Centerfold.”

Oh yeah!  My angel even took the diaper off!

Oh yeah! My angel even took the diaper off!

The album that came before that breakout is one of the band’s better known lesser-knowns (Yeah, I think that makes sense).  That would be the iconic 1980 release Love Stinks, which more than lived up to its title with a handful of odes to the shittiness that is romance.  Just about everyone has heard the title track before, which has become a pop culture staple through its frequent use in movies and commercials even though it never passed the #38 mark on the charts.  The slightly more successful (#32), yet utterly more forgotten companion single “Come Back” is a much better song.  Hell, it’s easily my favorite J Geils tune…

I ripped on the video for this song in a previous MTV tribute post many years ago, but there’s no way I can feature this song without once again pointing out the most hilariously fucked up aspect of the video for “Come Back,” and that centers on what this man is doing during the shoot…

The name's Dick.  Magic Dick...

The name’s Dick. Magic Dick…

Richard Salwitz, aka Magic Dick, aka the greatest non-porn star stage name in the history of entertainment, was a founding member of the group back when it played a lot of blues music…. where his harmonica skills played a large role in the group’s early success.  As J Geils progressed more and more towards becoming a rock group, their need for a full time harmonica player became less and less pressing.  Yet they hung on to the guy…. hey, how can you tell someone with the epic name Magic Dick he’s fired?

He probably got the band a lot of their groupies back in the day...

He probably got the band a lot of their groupies back in the day…

You may notice that Mr. Dick is furiously and passionately playing the harmonica in the video for “Come Back” that you (hopefully) just watched.  You may have also noticed that the song contains absolutely NO harmonica music in it.  Not a single note.  Either that harmonica is broken, Magic Dick is just toying with us, or every dog around the world has a huge earache whenever someone plays this video…

ARRRGHHHH!!!  Make it stop! Make that harmonica noise stop!!!!

ARRRGHHHH!!! Make it stop! Make that harmonica noise stop!!!!

Lame early 80’s video aside, it’s a shame this song hasn’t retained its popularity to this day.  Sure, the fact that it was immediately followed up by “Centerfold” and “Freeze Frame” (each of which enjoy playlist glory to this day) helped earn it a trip to the musical graveyard of forgotten hits… yet it may be the perception by those who consider themselves to be the self-proclaimed arbiters of music standards that “Come Back” sounds too much like a bad rock/disco mashup that was the main reason it musta got lost.  That may also explain why I love it so much…

And disco love never stinks...

And disco love never stinks…

Who knew there was disco skunk art out there!?!?  Credit for that awesome drawing goes to Ashley Teets!

I’ll be back next Monday with another song that will make you wrinkle up your ears…

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About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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27 Responses to Hold Your Nose

  1. yes that is a shame… it’s a gem! maybe I shouldn’t buy an island when I win the lottery… I will buy an island with a radio station and I only play the goooood music.. sorry beaver&wreckingball …

  2. Um, was the mic stand broken – why couldn’t they raise it up enough for lead singer dude to stand up straight and sing? lol…and wow, remember the song now that I hear it but had NO idea that was the J Geils Band I grew to know and love (“Freeze Frame” and “Centerfold” being my two favs; Love Stinks was just fun to belt out and inappropriate times, lol)

  3. Piglove says:

    Snorts and rolls with piggy laughter. Dad remembers this song. Of course the smile that came on his face he would not explained. I think daddy has some spilling to do…. XOXO – Bacon

  4. Trisha says:

    Magic Dick was really into playing that silent harmonica. I wonder if there’s an award category for that. Best silent harmonica of all time!

    • Anybody can lip synch… just ask Milli Vanilli, Ashely Simpson, Mariah Carey…… but it takes a special talent to play silent harmonica! That must be where the first name Magic came from….

  5. fanrosa says:

    Ha, I saw what you did there! Did you remember that Must of Got Lost was my fave Geils song (so much so that the grammar only bothers me a little bit) even though Love Stinks is my fave album? That’s the only reason I can figure that you didn’t work in Looking for a Love as well.

    Why did I not know that Come Back was your Geils tune? Yeah, I like Freeze Frame and Centerfold (the latter more than the former) but neither one are even in my top 5 JG tunes. Centerfold might make top 10…..

    • I know you mentioned that song when I featured Come Back in an LSWE game (At which time I’m sure I professed my love for it), because otherwise I’d have forgotten it ever existed. I don’t think I remembered it was your fave, but there are only so many slots in the random facts I remember forever file of my brain…

  6. I remember J. Geils, but didn’t know they were Boston-based, probably because I first encountered them in Israel and had yet to live in Boston (or even nearby). Which reminds me that last night on the news someone called some town about 80 miles south of Boston “a Boston suburb” which officially defines the entire state of Massachusetts as one huge Boston suburb. Because if THEY are a suburb, so are we … and I can tell you right now, it’s a loooong haul to The Hub from here.

    • That’s some serious urban sprawl you’ve got going on there…

      It’s all a matter of perspective, I guess. I was going to say Chicago probably thinks all of Illinois is its suburbs, but they just consider any part of the state outside of their area as “downstate.” I once had an East Coast follower who told me that it was popularly considered out that way that anything west of the Appalachians and east of California was considered “The Midwest”, and they’d probably consider any city in the middle of the country to be a suburb of Chicago…

  7. ody N biskit…de food servizz gurl listened ta j geils but doez knot rememburr thiz one for sum reeezon……thanx for de share !! 🙂 ♥♥♥

  8. Ally Bean says:

    Never heard this song before. Only listened to a little of it, but… this was popular?

    • I guess that’s a relative term. #32 on the charts doesn’t seem like that big of a hit, but the world is littered with bands that never broke the Top 40. It’s kind of a polarizing song because it’s from an album with cult status, but sounds eerily too much like that dreaded D- word disco for some people to tolerate….

  9. Gotta love the 80’s boy-band hair!

  10. Ladybuggz says:

    I think Magic Dick is just snorting Coke!! A big thing back then…but I wouldn’t know anything about that! lol..

  11. draliman says:

    Bless. No-one had the heart to tell Mr Dick they didn’t want any harmonica music in the song. They just switched his mic off.

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