Sunday, July 5, 2015

He's like a bottle in water, Harry just floats through life (Bobby Womack) #430

Bobby Womack and Peace Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Seemed So Good)/ Harry Hippie (United Artists, UAK 4826, 1972)

This is possibly the first time Neil Diamond has warranted a mention on Goo Goo (maybe a Monkees reference...maybe). I'm not a fan. Never have been. Never will be.

ND's solo stuff just leaves me cold. In my mind I link him to Leonard Cohen. Another guy people rave over but I don't get at all!

Don't like their voice or the plodding song structures.

But as it goes, this is okay. It's not overly offensive: a typical ND song in construction but at least Bobby can sing it!

Hidden gem: Actually this is why I bought the single. In truth I thought it was the A side when I bought it as I'd heard it on the radio quite a lot in the early seventies. Turns out DJ's played the B side rather than the Neil Diamond cover. I rest my case!

There is a warmth and honesty that shines through this song - thanks to the fact its become a song to honour Bobby's brother Harry who...well - I'll let Bobby explain:

"Harry was the bass player and tenor for the brothers when we were the Valentinos. He lived a very carefree life. As a child he always said he wanted to live on an Indian reservation. We used to joke about it, but when we got older he was the same way. He always thought I wanted the materialistic things and I said, 'I just want to do my music. My music put me into that comfortable territory.' He didn’t want the pressure. We used to laugh and joke about the song when I’d sing it. When he was brutally killed in my home, it was by a jealous girlfriend who he’d lived with for four years. She fought a lot, violence. And in our home it was considered to be worth less than a man to fight a woman, so he didn’t fight back and she stabbed him to death.
"At the time I was in Seattle doing a gig and he was going to join me when we got back. Previously I had hired a new bass player because I felt it would help [Harry’s] relationship with his partner if he weren’t on the road. And that turned out to be very sour. He ended up losing his life behind it. At that time ['Harry Hippie'] wasn’t a joke anymore; I had lost a brother. I still do that song in his honor today."

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