Tag Archives: Ted Nugent

Rocks In The Attic #300: Various Artists – ‘Dazed And Confused (O.S.T.)’ (1993)

RITA#300Rocks In The Attic turns 300!

Not only a great film, Richard Linklater’s Dazed And Confused also has a killer soundtrack – probably the one soundtrack that has had the greatest influence on the rest of my record collection. I’ve waited a long to get this on vinyl, and finally on Record Store Day this year it was released to celebrate the film’s 20th anniversary. I had to get it shipped over from the USA by my local record store, but it was worth the wait. It’s a double vinyl, and – to borrow a line from the film, “…it’s green too!”

I first heard about Dazed And Confused on my daily walk to school when I was 15. My good friend Ant used to do the same walk – through the fields behind my parents’ house that are no longer fields (they’re a housing estate), past the Elk mill that’s no longer a mill (it was demolished to make way for a retail centre) – and onto Clayton playing fields towards North Chadderton school.

On these walks, Ant would tell me about stuff he’d picked up from his brother. I owe my love of Bill Hicks to Ant and his brother – and I also owe my love of Dazed And Confused to them. Ant probably lent me their VHS copy of the film, but it wouldn’t be long until I acquired my own copy, and played it many, many time over the next few years into my late teens. I’d take this film to University with me, and turn lots of my friends onto it over the years.

On paper, Dazed And Confused doesn’t sound very interesting. It’s the story of high-school kids in Texas on their last day of school, but nothing really happens. There’s very little plot – just a lot of good music and more of a feeling about the time and place rather than any tangible storyline. But that’s probably true of a lot of youth films – Quadrophenia, The Breakfast Club, American Graffiti, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, etc.

Other than the killer soundtrack, the film also boasts an impressive cast of actors before they hit the big time – Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, Milla Jovovich, Renée Zellweger, Parker Posey and Adam Goldberg all pop up in small but memorable roles.

But let’s talk about the music. I must have bought the soundtrack on CD as soon as I saw it, and it became the soundtrack to my summer of 1995. It’s fourteen tracks of rock music – some of which was already familiar to me – Sabbath’s Paranoid, ZZ Top’s Tush, Alice Cooper’s School’s Out – but it introduced me to a whole lot more.

For me, the soundtrack acted as a sampler – it turned me onto Ted Nugent’s first solo album, Skynyrd’s debut album and deepened my love of early ZZ Top. The second iteration of the soundtrack – Even More Dazed And Confused – even showed me that it’s okay to like Frampton Comes Alive!.

In fact, I love that second CD as much as the first. I remember being at a party at Palatine Road in Manchester and using Moo’s knowledge of Bob Dylan to collectively figure out why two of the film’s songs wasn’t included on either CD – Aerosmith’s Sweet Emotion and Dylan’s Hurricane are both on the Columbia record label, so there must have been some conflict of interest with The Medicine Label who brought out the soundtrack albums.

It’s almost criminal that the Aerosmith track isn’t included on the soundtrack – it’s the song that opens the film! I hear this was a last minute substitution though, after Robert Plant wouldn’t allow Linklater to use the Zeppelin song of the film’s name over those opening credits. Perhaps they just didn’t have time to think about whether they’d be able to clear Sweet Emotion for the soundtrack album.

There are a lot of hidden gems on this album. For one, the slow-burn of Ted Nugent’s Stranglehold reminds me of cruising around in a pale yellow Nissan Stanza with Stotty and Bez on Friday and Saturday nights. Good times!

Hit: Slow Ride – Foghat

Hidden Gem: Low Rider – War

Rocks In The Attic #224: Brad Whitford & Derek St.Holmes – ‘Whitford / St. Holmes’ (1981)

RITA#224Aerosmith-related solo project #2, after Joe Perry’s first outing with The Joe Perry Project, is this little curio from rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford and Ted Nugent vocalist Derek St. Holmes.

It’s a decent little album, and although it suffers from a very 1980s sound, it’s probably a little more ahead of its time than anything else. Although it came out in mid-1981, it sounds like a rock album from much later in that decade.

The most representative song on the album is Sharpshooter, which is probably why the track was chosen for Aerosmith’s 1991 retrospective, Pandora’s Box. That song is a perfect example of the very AOR slant that the album takes, complimented by Brad Whitford’s very measured guitar playing. That’s the big thing that pops out of Whitford / St. Holmes – whereas Aerosmith’s guitar sound is dominated by Joe Perry, you can hear throughout this album the melodic quality that Brad Whitford brings to the table.

It’s not a fantastic record, but it is a strong record. It’s at least as strong as the first Joe Perry Project album; and I wonder how good an album the two Aerosmith guitarists could have made if they’d put their heads together after going solo. In fact, that might have been more of an Aerosmith album than Rock In A Hard Place turned out to be.

Hit: Sharpshooter

Hidden Gem: Action

Rocks In The Attic #178: Ted Nugent – ‘Ted Nugent’ (1975)

RITA#178Throughout 1995 and 1996 I was infatuated with the soundtrack to Richard Linklater’s Dazed And Confused – a ‘70s rock soundtrack that (mostly) avoids the cliché rock classics that tend to pop up on ‘70s nostalgia films to denote ‘youth’ or ‘attitude’.

As Linklater’s film deals with ‘youth’ and ‘attitude’ with not a great deal of story in-between, he has a lot of screen time to fill with songs like Ted Nugent’s Stranglehold. This is a killer song, with a solid groove laid down for the opportunity of a million and a half lead licks.

I don’t know too much else about Ted Nugent. He was a contemporary of Aerosmith (and played on their version of Milk Cow Blues from 1978’s Texxas Jam), and his singer Derek St. Holmes went on to record an album with Brad Whitford; but apart from those connections and his love of guns, I don’t know a thing about him.

I do know this album however, and it rocks. Simple groove-based guitar rock, with no frills.

Hit: Stranglehold

Hidden Gem: You Make Me Feel Right At Home