“Romeo’s Tune” – Steve Forbert

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A splendid rock ballad from the original Jack Rabbit Slim.  Forbert may have been a one-hit wonder, but my, what a hit (it went all the way to #11 on the Billboard singles chart in 1980).  Dedicated to the memory of Florence Ballard of the Supremes, not because the lyrics have anything to do with Ballard, but as Forbert said “That seemed like such bad news to me and such sad news. She wasn’t really taken care of by the music business, which is not a new story.”  He deserved greater success than he achieved, but it was nice that Tarantino named the 50s retro club in “Pulp Fiction” after Forbert’s album “Jackrabbit Slim.”

“Pleasant Street / You Keep Me Hangin’ On” (live 1968) – Tim Buckley

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Talk about intense. From the posthumously released live album “Dream Letter: Live in London 1968,” Tim Buckley could go from a whisper to a scream at the drop of a pin. A great acoustic performance of an already great song that segues into a Supremes song at the end. Most of the people from my generation are more familiar with Tim’s son Jeff, who like his father, died tragically at a young age.

FYI – Buckley was director Hal Ashby’s first choice to play Woody Guthrie in “Bound for Glory,” until Buckley died of a heroin overdose in 1975. David Carradine did a fine job, but I always wonder what Buckley would have done in the role. Ashby paid tribute to Buckley by using Buckley’s “Once I Was” during Bruce Dern’s suicide scene in “Coming Home.”