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10:37 a.m. - September 03, 2007
Starship Ahoy!
Big news afoot (hopefully) in the Smed camp!

Liz and I had a very productive weekend here in the Cities. (No, pervs…)

She saw the area, and we looked at some houses, and ONE popped out at us.

So hopefully, that will work out. Our open house back in BFE land seemed to go well, so let’s just pray that all will fall into place.

Yesterday we went to the church that I had found and she loved it, and then we went to the State Fair after filling out some paperwork. That was fun. “It was like a date,” said Liz, and lo, it was.

We found some cute, identical souvenirs for Katie and Kristin, walked around the exhibits, ate some stuff on a stick (OK, I ATE stuff on a stick! Pronto pups are the food of the GODS!) and just had a good time people watching.

I didn’t even complain about the traffic coming and going. I DID wonder about some of the schlubs that have a driver’s license in this state.

We then had dinner and then explored the area around the house we found. Liz is elated that it’s very near shopping of all sorts (groceries, Target, Barnes & Noble) and plenty of food choices in case we don’t want to cook.

So yeah!

It was just so nice to breathe the same air as Liz again, and sadly, she’s gone again. But I’ll be in Indiana in a couple of weeks, so that will be good. It’ll have been a month since I saw the kids, but after that it will only be a couple of weeks at a time until they move up here.

Which hopefully will be very, very soon! Pray for us to be reunited soon!

We stayed a couple of hours at the fair, but one thing we missed last night was the performance at the Band Shell in the state fair by…

Of course, it be Starship starring Mickey Thomas!.

Oh, please, sign me up!

Let’s see…good looking hack vocalist joins a band that almost imploded after their long time lead singer got drunk on a stage in Germany and insulted everyone (this being about six years after they imploded the first time and changed their name). Soon, the other lead singer returns and they soften their sound into total AOR mush, and the owner of the band name quits in disgust. So they truncate the name and then release quite possible the most odious song ever to top the charts.

But fame and fortune were not going to last, and soon the band sputtered, not before the drummer punched out Mr. Thomas after an argument.

Anyway, Mickey Thomas is best known as being the faceless voice behind hits by Elvin Bishop (“Fooled Around And Fell In Love”) and the Jefferson Starship.

So yeah, he has some cache and can probably make a living with his new band. As for his new band – it’s a living isn’t it? I mean, it beats doing one-nighters in Shreveport and Houma all the time, right?

But look at the set list that they trot out (besides the new stuff they inevitably do on occasion).

How many are Mickey Thomas creations, and how many are just songs he’s coat-tailed?

“Fooled Around And Fell In Love” – Elvin Bishop wrote this. Thomas was just the voice.

“We Built This City” – Written by Dennis Lambert, Martin Page, Bernie Taupin, and Peter Wolf. No, not THAT Peter Wolf, but BERNIE TAUPIN? Did he need rent money?

“Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” – Written by Albert Hammond and Diane Warren. Ah, Diane Warren. It figures. Ick.

“Sara” – Written by Ina and Peter Wolf. Peter Wolf (this version) is Austrian, and was in Zappa’s band for a while. And then, he decided to grub for dough.

“It’s Not Over (‘Til It’s Over) – Written by Phil Galdston, Robbie Nevil, and John Van Tongeren. I think the more people collaborate on a song like this, the worse it is. And to top it off, I don’t even remember this (though I remember Lenny Kravitz’ song of the same title, natch.)

“Jane” – Written by Paul Kantner with help from the guitarist, bassist and producer of the Jefferson Starship. Again, Thomas is just the vehicle to deliver the song. (It rocks, too!)

“Layin’ It On The Line” – Ah, wait, wait. He co wrote this with the guitarist (Craig Chaquico). So, here’s ONE! Do you remember it? I remember the video, vaguely!

“Find Your Way Back” – Written by Chaquico and another lyricist. So no Thomas here. (But a hell of a song!)

“No Way Out” – by Peter and Ina Wolf again. Look at Wolf’s Wikipedia page. Now is the time on Sprockets where we write forgettable 80’s mush!

“Winds Of Change” – Written by the keyboardist of the Jefferson Starship (Pete Sears) and HIS wife. It’s a good tune as well, especially compared to the schlock the hired hand Euro keyboardist and HIS wife turned out for the group.

“Stranger” – Also written by Sears and his wife and also a kick-butt tune!

I could go on…but why?

(Note: I realize that Grace Slick didn’t write any of these, either, and she DID take part in the downfall of the band into dreck, but at least she had the good sense to retire!)

Yes, Thomas was the voice, and you know, more power to him. But it’s telling that almost all of the songs that people want to hear he was just the voice, and not the composer who created the work.

Why pile on him like this? Well, I think I’m still mad at him for foisting “We Built This City” onto us at a vulnerable time of our nation’s history.

OK, Liz was just here, we have great news about a house, and you spent most of this essay making fun of a dude just trying to make an honest living making music for those who still like him.

Well, I AM Smed!


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