Olympics Tribute with Velvet Underground, Eric Clapton, Harry Nilsson + others: Odd Couples

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Well, that four-year cycle has come around again, and many otherwise quiet, modest citizens will suddenly feel that usually tiny inkling of nationalism buried down in their hearts erupt into a firestorm of national pride, cheering and flag waving, as they encourage their team to excel and show the world just who’s really the best.

As to whether this applies to the 2016 Rio Olympics or the current U.S. election is anyone’s guess. One factor that is of concern for both events, oddly enough, is the use of illegal drugs. Whether it’s about performance enhancers in the Olympics, abandoning “The War On Drugs” or just being “On Drugs” – everyone acknowledges it’s got to be a level playing field in a true democracy.

So, as has been suggested many times before, maybe they should just open things up and make it a totally free market. To help, here’s a few rock ‘n’ roll flavored insights into various controlled substances and their possible influence on high-performance athletes and politicians alike.

“COCAINE,” ERIC CLAPTON vs. “AMPHETAMINE,” STEVE WYNN AND THE MIRACLE 3: I always thought both of these were stimulants of sorts, but Clapton’s reading of the J.J. Cale song sounds pretty un-stimulating. “If you wanna humph rum … runn-a-righ-ruh … Cocaine!” go the verses, each culminating in a chorus of, “She-don’lah / She-don’lah / She-don’lah… Cocaine!” Kinda like “Louie Louie” without the mystique.

Meanwhile, Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3 take their three-chord song and go out on a tear, power to the engines supplied courtesy of Linda Pitmon, one of the great alt/rock drummers of ever. And it’s impossible to not be inspired by the final lines of the final verse: “If I fear for the Devil and fear for myself / I’m gonna have to fear for everybody else.”

Winner: “Amphetamine.” If you liked the Clapton piece, Steve Wynn’s Olympics-level meisterwerk should replace it on your turntable more than adequately.

“HEROIN,” VELVET UNDERGROUND vs. “CODEINE,” BUFFY SAINTE MARIE: Hmmm … Both can be used as pain medications or even cough suppressants. Buffy Sainte Marie weaves a strong cautionary tale against codeine, using just her voice and acoustic guitar, but Lou Reed and the gang make heroin use sound creepy without actually taking a lyrical stand against it.

Winner: Close, but this goes to the Velvets, despite sneaking in John Cale’s viola with the team equipment only to then use it as a rock ‘n’ roll WMD. That is, a Weapon of Musical Destruction.

“ONE BOURBON, ONE SCOTCH, ONE BEER,” GEORGE THOROGOOD vs. “COCONUT,” HARRY NILSSON: Here we have some traditional social lubricants going up against whatever it is Harry Nilsson puts in his tropical fruit beverage. Alcohol has a proven track record of tripping up athleticos and politicos alike in various amounts. “Put the lime in the coconut” sounds pretty healthy; but again, this is a Harry Nilsson song, so there’s probably some fermentation happening there as well.

Winner: “Coconut” – well, at least until coconuts show up on the IOC’s list of banned substances at the Olympics.

JC Mosquito

JC Mosquito

JC Mosquito spends most of his day keeping the wolves from the door. When he's not occupied with this pastime, he's interested in all things rock and roll -- which may or may not have died back in the late 1950s, the late 1970s, or the early '90s, depending on who you believe. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
JC Mosquito
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