A Dozen Pieces Of Sound Advice


When it comes to words of wisdom, musicians are generally full of shit. Most are too busy rhyming ‘moon’ with ‘June’, spouting third-rate philosophy (think Sting) or pontificating on matters beyond their realm (think Bono) to offer much in the way of sound advice that a body can live with. But the dearth of deep thoughts in rock only makes the genuine pearls of wisdom shine that much brighter. Here are a dozen of my favorites…

Bob Dylan | Bringing It All Back Home
The artist: Bob Dylan

The song: ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ (from the album Bringing It All Back Home)

The advice: You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

What makes it good: In typically cryptic fashion, Dylan speaks to the value of thinking for yourself, and puts a cool hippie twist on Mom’s old favorite: If All Your Friends Jumped Off A Cliff, Would You?

Listen: Subterranean Homesick Blues

The Fabulous Johnny Cash
The artist: Johnny Cash

The song: ‘Don’t Take Your Guns To Town’ (from the album The Fabulous Johnny Cash)

The advice: Don’t take your guns to town.

What makes it good: As Plaxico Burress can tell you, these are words to abide by…

Listen: Don’t Take Your Guns To Town

Woody Guthrie | Dust Bowl Ballads
The artist: Woody Guthrie

The song: ‘Pretty Boy Floyd’ (from the album Dust Bowl Ballads)

The advice: Some will rob you with a six gun, and some with a fountain pen.

What makes it good: Leave it to a man from The Great Depression to sum up the current economic mess. Bank bailout anyone??

Listen: Pretty Boy Floyd

Supertramp | Breakfast In America
The artist: Supertramp

The song: ‘Take The Long Way Home’ (from the album Breakfast In America)

The advice: Take the long way home.

What makes it good: Modern life often feels like a race – it never hurts to slow things down and look around some.

Listen: Take The Long Way Home

Lynyrd Skynyrd | Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd
The artist: Lynyrd Skynyrd

The song: ‘Simple Man’ (from the album Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd)

The advice: Take your time, don’t live to fast. Troubles will come, and they will pass.

What makes it good: Those words speak for themselves…

Listen: Simple Man [Live]

Funkadelic | America Eats Its Young
The artist: Funkadelic

The song: ‘If You Don’t Like The Effects, Don’t Produce The Cause’ (from the album America Eats Its Young)

The advice: If you don’t like the effects, don’t produce the cause.

What makes it good: George Clinton shares a simple formula for happiness.

Listen: If You Don’t Like The Effects, Don’t Produce The Cause

The Clash | Combat Rock
The artist: The Clash

The song: ‘Know Your Rights’ (from the album Combat Rock)

The advice: Know your rights.

What makes it good: A well-informed citizen is a good citizen.

Listen: Know Your Rights

Beatles - Revolver
The artist: The Beatles

The song: ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ (from the album Revolver)

The advice: Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream.

What makes it good: Stress kills…

Listen: Tomorrow Never Knows

Jim Croce | Photographs & Memories
The artist: Jim Croce

The song: ‘You Don’t Mess Around With Jim’ (from the album Photographs & Memories: Jim Croce’s Greatest Hits)

The advice: Don’t spit into the wind.

What makes it good: Beyond the literal interpretation, this is a good reminder to pick your battles wisely.

Listen: You Don’t Mess Around With Jim

The Rolling Stones | Let It Bleed
The artist: The Rolling Stones

The song: ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ (from the album Let It Bleed)

The advice: You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need.

What makes it good: Might as well get used to little defeats – life is full of ’em.

Listen: You Can’t Always Get What You Want

John Phillips | John, The Wolfking Of L.A.
The artist: John Phillips

The song: ‘Holland Tunnel’ (from the album John The Wolfking Of L.A.)

The advice: Hock your watch and ring, ’cause it don’t mean a thing.

What makes it good: Shiny trinkets are not what happiness is made of…

Listen: Holland Tunnel

Music From Under The Cherry Moon
The artist: Prince

The song: ‘Kiss’ (from the album Parade: Music From Under The Cherry Moon)

The advice: You don’t have to watch Dynasty to have an attitude.

What makes it good: An open invitation to work that sass…

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6 Responses to “A Dozen Pieces Of Sound Advice”

  1. Arlo Chingaderas Says:

    Potent post, man… hella timely, too.

  2. Ma Abercrombie Says:

    So glad Croce made the short list. Grew up listening to him, now I’m growing old listening to him ( and a couple of screaming kids).
    Awesome Dan.

  3. eyeeatmusic Says:

    This is a Good One.

  4. esbandido Says:

    I found myself strangely riveted by this, reading down the list.

  5. esbandido Says:

    Of course, you did have to take a shot at Plexiglass ruining the Giants’ chances of a repeat.

  6. Flava Furr Says:

    Nothing from The Mentors?

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