Category: Music

Paul Pena & The Original Jet Airliner

Paul Pena was born January 26, 1950 and met his end on October 1, 2005.  You’ve probably never heard of him. If you have, then you’re awesome. Paul Pena was a blues and rock & roll artist through most of his career.

You may remember the Steve Miller Band‘s song ‘Jet Airliner’. You may not, however, know that this song was not originally written by Steve Miller.

Paul Pena was actually an amazing artist. What I thought was even more impressive was the fact that Pena was completely blind by the time he was 20 years old. I like the Steve Miller Band. If you like 60’s & 70’s rock or classic rock, as it’s typically referred to, then you probably like or at least have heard of the Steve Miller Band.You’ve likely heard the song ‘Jet Airliner’ by the Steve Miller Band as well.

New Train was a Pena album recorded in 1973 and was released in 2000.  Ben Sidran, the keyboardist for the Steve Miller Band, was actually the one who produced Pena’s album. Flashback to the 70’s. When Sidran played the Jet Airliner track for Steve Miller, he was said to have instantly fallen in love with the song. Thus, the Jet Airliner song that you’re used to hearing is the Steve Miller Band rendition of Paul Pena’s original song.

Paul Pena had an interesting history. When you know a little bit more about who the man was, it makes the original song that much more spellbinding. Like I said, I like the Steve Miller Band, and their cover was great, but I would have to say that I indeed like Paul Pena’s original much better. Here’s Paul Pena’s original song Jet Airliner.

You decide for yourself which version you like better 🙂

50’s Rock & Roll is Bad Ass

I started to listen to 50’s Rock & Roll and rockabilly back in high school. Previously I had imagined that 50’s music was all boring crap that old people listened to until I actually started listening to it. I was really into punk rock back in the day and I immediately saw a correlation between 50’s rock and 90’s punk rock music.

Rockabilly and early 50’s Rock & Roll in general has a unique, vintage sound but it also encompasses the attitude of rebellion.

Most kids just assumed that because the music is old and their grandparents listened to it that it must be lame. Young kids don’t realize, however, that their grandparents (or parents for that matter) were kids once too. Kids who were rebellious and didn’t like rules either.

50’s rock and roll was highly frowned upon by the square community. The generation before the 50’s rock era just saw it as noise, the same way your grandparents likely perceived Nirvana.

Over the years I’ve grown a more fond appreciation for the early years of Rock and Roll. There’s a lot of rock music from that era that was simply bad ass.

I found this playlist on youtube with some old, rare rockabilly music that is also awesome.


Tom Waits Hold On

If you’ve never heard the song ‘Hold on’ by Tom Waits before, I would recommend giving it a listen. The song became quite popular after ‘The Walking Dead‘ featured it at the ending of one of their episodes. Emily Kinney (Beth Greene) took a shining to the song and did a rendition herself after the taping.

It is one of my favorite songs from Waits.  It’s poetic, romanticized and has a dreamy, almost ‘nostalgic even though you’ve never been there’ effect to it.  It’s a cool song to say the least.


Tom Waits Hold On Lyrics

They hung a sign up in our town

“if you live it up, you won’t
live it down”
So, she left Monte Rio, son
Just like a bullet leaves a gun
With charcoal eyes and Monroe hips
She went and took that California trip
Well, the moon was gold, her
Hair like wind
She said don’t look back just
Come on JimOh you got to
Hold on, Hold on
You got to hold on
Take my hand, I’m standing right here
You gotta hold onWell, he gave her a dimestore watch
And a ring made from a spoon
Everyone is looking for someone to blame
But you share my bed, you share my name
Well, go ahead and call the cops
You don’t meet nice girls in coffee shops
She said baby, I still love you
Sometimes there’s nothin left to doOh you got to
Hold on, hold on
You got to hold on
Take my hand, I’m standing right here, you got to
Just hold on.

Well, God bless your crooked little heart St. Louis got the best of me
I miss your broken-china voice
How I wish you were still here with me

Well, you build it up, you wreck it down
You burn your mansion to the ground
When there’s nothing left to keep you here, when
You’re falling behind in this
Big blue world

Oh you go to
Hold on, hold on
You got to hold on
Take my hand, I’m standing right here
You got to hold on

Down by the Riverside motel,
It’s 10 below and falling
By a 99 cent store she closed her eyes
And started swaying
But it’s so hard to dance that way
When it’s cold and there’s no music
Well your old hometown is so far away
But, inside your head there’s a record
That’s playing, a song called

Hold on, hold on
You really got to hold on
Take my hand, I’m standing right here
And just hold on

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