Phone Tag

Leave that alone! You’re messing with an ancient relic there!

Another Monday have you feeling like you’re stuck in answering service hell?  Don’t phone in the week!  This is the day The Nest picks up the receiver on another Unknown Caller we’ve dug out of that little black book we like to call the Dusty Vinyl Archive!  DJ Scratchy’s got her Lily Tomlin headset on, ready to take your calls…. but not requests.  While the Sponkies ooh and aah over the strange sight of a landline telephone.  Press five to hear another lost hit….

The 70’s band Sugarloaf is pretty much remembered for only one thing, and no, it’s not the fact that the original name of the band was Chocolate Hair… which would have allowed me to have back to back chocolate bands in the DVA.  No, the Denver based group had a huge hit in 1970 with the song “Green Eyed Lady,” which is one of the more underrated rock tunes of the decade.

Child of nature. Friend of man…

As with many things that would go on to become extremely popular, some stuffed suit authority figures scoffed when given the chance to help bring it to the public.  Sugarloaf peddled its debut album, upon which “Green Eyed Lady” was a late addition, to a number of record companies… including CBS.  CBS must have left a really bad impression on Sugarloaf’s lead singer Jerry Corbetta, because five years later (by which time, he pretty much WAS the band), he wrote the song that would become Sugarloaf’s second big hit…. and of course, the one that everyone forgot about.

“Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You” made it to #9 in 1975, and pokes fun at CBS Records for constantly spurning the band’s requests to distribute their debut album.  The punch line, of course, comes in the last verse when the band is now famous thanks to a green eyed lady, and they give CBS the same treatment the label gave them when Sugarloaf was still nobodies.  The number that you can hear dialed during the song is actually one of CBS’s unlisted numbers!

Hello, CBS? Hey, do you have Prince Albert in a can?

As much as I adore “Green Eyed Lady,” this song is too fun not to be a favorite of mine!  I’ll be sure to call you back next Monday with another great lost hit…

About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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18 Responses to Phone Tag

  1. love it… but hard to see that the world was no fair place in 1975 too… well it maybe never was? right Buster?

    • I think the world’s been unfair ever since the first caveman bonked his friend’s head with his club while he wasn’t looking. 1975 was very unfair in that it brought me into the world…

  2. While I don’t remember “Don’t Call Us” I totally remember “Green-Eyed Lady”. Still love that song – you prompted me to look it up and listen to it this morning and it’s just such a smooth and well done song. I remember hearing it played by almost every bar and club band but nobody QUITE did it as well as they did (of course!).

    Pam

    • Green Eyed Lady was part of a loop of songs that kept playing over and over at Mecca a few years ago, and my manager at the time, who often chatted about music with me a a fellow fan, absolutely HATED that song. Of course, I didn’t care much for some of the music he liked. If you ever need a good song to put you to sleep, look up Jack Johnson. That was one of his favorite singers…

      • My brother’s band WAY BACK in those days did a very credible job with Green-Eyed Lady. I don’t always associate a particular song with a time in my life but this one I do. Something tells me Jack Johnson is something I should look up merely because my maiden name is Johnson – heck – he might be a relative! 🙂

  3. ghostmmnc says:

    This is such a great song! That music!!! Green Eyed Lady is always a favorite, too. 🙂

    • I think you were the one who posted Green Eyed Lady not too long ago, which planted the seed for “Don’t Call Us.” This song’s even better than I remember it… I love the little chime that plays over the first couple notes of the guitar riff in a few places.

  4. Ooh, I heard “Green-eyed Lady” a couple of days ago on the TV music channel, probably the 1970’s station, but it could have been the classic rock station! Do you like “Little Green Bag” by the George Baker Selection? This is all music I grew up to. Mona

    • I had to look that one up. There are parts of the song that seem familiar, which means I’ve probably heard it before in the background somewhere. Music Choice is the only thing I miss about not having cable anymore…

  5. You do realize that the reference to Lily Tomlin and actual pay phones will be lost on a segment of the Nest’s Ultimate Fan Club, right? For me (who got both references and actually listened to Sugarloaf on the car radio) it’s a way back machine. With fabulous music. Thanks! 😀

    • I actually commented on making two Laugh In references in a row since there’s another one in today’s post! I absolutely loved that show, despite it being on the air a handful of years before I was born. Nick at Nite got me hooked on the classics when I was a kid, though…

  6. Thom says:

    A favorite from my high school daze. The lyrics are quite clever…”It sounds like, uhh…John, Paul and George”, followed by the riff, the same one borrowed from The Beatles’ “I Feel Fine” that has been heard in the chorus but now played with the same guitar sound used on the original Beatles recording…y’know, just in case we didn’t get the reference. Another line I like is “I said, you got my number?
    He said yeah, I got it when you walked in the door”
    Clever.

    • I love music for someone who doesn’t have a musical ear, but I didn’t notice that the chorus uses the Beatles riff as well! I can hear it now. I guess I was too upset that they snubbed Ringo…

  7. Mer O'Leary says:

    Green eyed sugar loaf for dinner again? Wtf?
    This one reminds me of The Beatles song “You know my name, look up the number.”

  8. draliman says:

    Very funk-rock. I started listening to Green-Eyed Lady on YouTube but got bored after a minute or so as nothing seemed to be happening.

    • There are several different versions of Green Eyed Lady, one of which has a very long and repetitive intro. I’m going to guess that’s the one you listened to. The radio edit, which cuts out most of that (and the middle instrumental part, which is even longer, but much better) is actually pretty good.

  9. Hurrah…a local band is being featured! Being a child from the 70’s, I absolutely remember and adore this group. This song and of course Green eyed Lady were frequently played on the local radio station. As I recall, the band was originally named Chocolate Hair and agreed to change the name to the nearby mountain located outside Boulder after the record studio thought it was a less offensive moniker. Another tidbit about the band who was inducted in the Colorado Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 was there were a number of ‘Bob’s’ in the group over the years (guitarist Bob Yeazel who died at 2016, Bob Webber who later became an aeronautical engineer when the band broke up, while Bob MacVittie pursued restaurant management in Arkansas & Bobby Pickett) which may have made those “4:20 moments” easier to handle with less confusion.

    That practical joke you referenced written at CBS Records expense was classic rock anti-authority mischief for their not promoting the first album. Guess it’s not nice irritating band members who will get their paybacks by writing lyrics to burn you, given half a chance. Thanks for featuring a local group I have always enjoyed.

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