On my way home the other night from the shop, I noticed I had not prepped my commute properly. No CD in the player. I had to resort to tuning in the FM dial. Usually disatisfied with the offerings of commercial radio, I was pleasantly suprised to hear a cover of "War Pigs". A damn good cover IMO. Naturally they did not identify the only song I heard that I wanted to identify. All the others, but not that one.
The song brought back immediate flashbacks to my checkered past and my stint as a trucker in the Rock n Roll business. I handled Black Sabbath on two of their tours in the mid 70's. The picture to the right is the BS I remember up close and personal. "War Pigs" was and still is one of their top 5 signature tunes. No one can belt it out like they did.
So here I am 30 years later and knowing that if I ever heard "War Pigs" one more time, I would indeed go crazy. Catch it 3 to 5 nights a week in front 40,000 drunken and drugged fans and a lifetime of "War Pigs is experienced in just a few months. Their show never varied. Started with "Iron Man" and ended with "War Pigs". When the first whiffs of it filtered out to the dock area, I knew it was time to fire up the White Freightliner, prop open the trailer doors and be ready to back in for loading in 30 minutes or so. Clock work.
So here I sit 30 years later reliving all of this in my driveway before I shut off the engine after a slick and greasy drive home. I listen to another band playing homage to a group of Brits who hit it big and were instrumental in the establishement of a new splinter of RocknRoll. I listen and finally appreciate these, cough, "musicians", cough who could not read a note between them back in the day.
Even though they did not execute cleanly, their musical abilities still shine through. This song is still relevant today. Maybe more so now than during Nam. Put it in the hands of a more accomplished group and the quality of the musical possibilities are enhanced.
Now if I can just find out who did this freaking cover. I have googled and listened to at least 7 different versions. Some good, some bad. None as unique as the version I heard on the FM. Faith No More on U Tube and Cake's new version were the stand outs. Cake's comes as close to the new version I heard. It may be it, but the video version might be different.
No matter how well or true a cover is, they will never stack up to the original. This is usually true for the great ones. Black Sabbath back in the day Carried the big load in developing a sturdy and unique style of music. Heavy Metal permeates our society from Madison Avenue to High school sporting events. You can thank or blame Black Sabbath for their efforts.