This week we’re firing up a new Wednesdays On Wax post with help from our buddy Emil Amos (Grails, Holy Sons, Om). Scroll down and see why he made his choices and follow our playlist for March on Spotify!
Bob Welch – The Other One
One stoned evening after a Grails show in Boston about 6 years ago, we set off to make the long drive towards Montreal in the middle of the night. Unanimously, the song “Future Days” was requested over and over as we barreled towards the border through the woods of upper Massachusetts.
Bob Welch was probably not what you’d officially call a genius, but he was a somewhat profound architect of the totality of “Soft Rock” even though most people still don’t know his name. A few years after his relatively unheralded tenure in Fleetwood Mac, Welch recut a few of his early songs like Sentimental Lady to some radio play, but his reworking of his original masterpiece Future Games is barely talked about. I’d imagine that hip hop DJs are some of the only people that have uncovered and truly appreciated the opening bliss of the interwoven guitars in the intro of his re-recorded version. My other personal favorite is a hidden track towards the end of the record that I feel like only 4 other people have probably heard called “Old man of 17”.
As a strange epilogue, on the night I was scheduled to DJ before moving away from Portland, Bob Welch shot and killed himself after beginning to deteriorate from a degenerative disease. In the lineage of outsider characters that drifted into a moment of money and fame, Welch will always deserve a place on the greater mantle and another re-spin of his classic “Future Games”.
Brian Protheroe – Pinball
Brian Protheroe distilled the perfect sense of someone biding their time and waiting for their fate to unfurl with his unknown would-be hit “Pinball”. Refreshingly plain-spoken in tone, his own vanity has ceased to entertain him and his own music bores him once again.
After playing Hamlet in the Theatre in 1970 he says he knew his life would be spent as an actor, but still somehow managed a brief stop-off cutting three odd, progressive pop records.
UK watchers might know him from several of his roles on overseas television, but Americans probably wouldn’t be able to place a man who barely appeared as a co-pilot in the original Superman film.
‘Pinball’ was a perfect song for its time, but its sung with an almost knowing sense that it and its singer are born outliers. It’s easily his best record, including a handful of almost-Bowie or Eno-like arrangements (Changing my Tune, Lady Belladona) that might have charted in countries with less competition or corruption clouding their charts. But fate came calling and Protherue eventually gave himself to the path of least resistance in film.