Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 3/9/17
Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s.
Whenever possible, it will also contain interviews from featured artists discussing the inspiration and meaning behind their songs. On the last Thursday of each month, we will be doing special themes that feature songs based on specific categories or years.
In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
BLACK STONE CHERRY – “Things My Father Said” (2008)
There are far too few songs written to honor one’s father. However, there is one that is incredibly poignant – Black Stone Cherry’s “Things My Father Said.” No matter how many times I hear this song, it gives me a lump in my throat and makes me wonder “what if?” whenever I hear it.
The arrival of March is always a bittersweet time for me. It marks the anniversary of the launch of Hard Rock Daddy, but it also marks yet another of my dad’s birthdays that I don’t get to celebrate with him. Launching Hard Rock Daddy in March was done deliberately as a way to honor my father. His upcoming birthday (on Monday, 3/13) will mark a very special milestone on Hard Rock Daddy.
In “Things My Father Said,” there are a few lines that really hit home…
“I hope my father knows, the seeds we’ve sown still grow.” From the time that my children were born (which was after my father’s passing), I’ve done what I can to model myself after him in as many ways as possible. All these years later, he still serves as a source of inspiration for me.
“All that I need is one last chance, just to hear you say goodbye.” We never know when the last goodbye will be. I guess I’m one of the lucky ones who remembers my last goodbye from my dad. It’s etched in my memory like it happened yesterday. Still, like most others who have lost someone close to them, you always wish for one more goodbye.
Though there aren’t nearly enough songs about dads, I take solace in the fact that Black Stone Cherry’s “Things My Father Said” is as close to perfect as you can get. Anyone who has lost their father will surely appreciate the sentiment of this song.
GREEN DAY – “Wake Me Up When September Ends” (2004)
Green Day’s “Wake Me Up When September Ends” is also about the loss of a father. The song is much more well-known that Black Stone Cherry’s “Things My Father Said.” Because the title doesn’t really describe what the song is about, there are undoubtedly people that know the song, but don’t know the meaning behind it. They just know that it is melancholic.
Understandably, the song has been used in tributes to 9/11 victims. And though it was written a few years after the 9/11 attacks, the September being referred to in the song occurred in 1982, when Billie Joe Armstrong’s father died of cancer. Armstrong was only 10 years old at the time.
Like many tribute songs to lost loved ones, Armstrong has stated that this song is autobiographical, therapeutic and difficult to perform live. The song takes on a whole new meaning to listeners who can empathize with Armstrong’s feeling of loss.
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
ENSLAVED – “Death In The Eyes Of Dawn” (2012)
Fans of melodic death metal in the vein of Amon Amarth are most likely familiar with Enslaved. Their Norwegian brothers in Enslaved bring a little more melody to their vocals, but the subject matter is similar…Viking mythology, death and despair. They started weaning away from the Viking mythology in recent times, and have ramped up their musicianship to more progressive death metal, but the feel is still there. One of the better melodic death metal bands still around today, their twelfth album, RIITIIR, was a great piece of work.
STRAPPING YOUNG LAD – “Oh My Fucking God” (1997)
The genius behind Strapping Young Lad is Devin Townsend. This guitar virtuoso (and songwriter of Steve Vai) established his band as one of the most extreme death/industrial outfits, with the musicianship of classically trained artists. Actually heading up a slew of bands including the Devin Townsend Project, this math course in polyrhythms and complex time signatures accentuates the heaviness of the music. Listen to the song, and you’ll instantly know that it is appropriately titled.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
BLACK SABBATH – “Headless Cross” (1989)
Metal giants Ozzy Osbourne and Ronnie James Dio cast such long shadows that it’s easy to lose sight of their successor in Black Sabbath, but that would be a mistake. The band put out some amazing material over six albums with vocalist Tony Martin. On this title track from his second album with Black Sabbath, Martin demonstrates the command and stunning range that made him a worthy replacement for two of metal’s most iconic singers.
BLACK SABBATH – “The Hand That Rocks The Cradle” (1994)
In 1992, after three albums with Tony Martin fronting the band, Black Sabbath reunited with Ronnie James Dio for the Dehumanizer album. This proved, however, to be a one-off event, and the following year the band reunited with Martin. This epic track comes from his fourth album at the helm, Cross Purposes. Martin has since gone on to release some amazing solo material, as well as collaborations with other top artists. There has been talk in the past year of a possible reunion with guitarist Tony Iommi.