Today’s entry is another request! So many covers have been done of this song but I thought it best to stick to the man who wrote it, Michael Nesmith. Yes, the guy also known for wearing a wool hat in The Monkees. 🙂
Different Drum was written by Nesmith in 1965 but originally recorded by a bluegrass band called, The Greenbriar Boys. It was featured on their 1966 album, Better Late Than Never!
The lyrics describe two lovers who want something different from the relationship. One person wants to settle down while the other wants to maintain his freedom. The narrator of the song is the one who’s against settling down.
A more popular version came in 1967 from a group called Stone Poneys featuring Linda Ronstadt. It was her first hit single, making #13 on Billboard’s Hot 100 as well as #12 on the Cash Box magazine singles chart. She switches the gender the narrator sings about, becoming the one against commitment. Listen to her version HERE.
Finally, HERE is a funny clip from The Monkees when Mike does a QUICK rendition of the song on a talent show.
Today’s entry is by request. The video above is an acoustic version with tribute clips to George Harrison, who wrote the song.
While My Guitar Gently Weeps was released in November of 1968 off the band’s 9th album, self titled, but most commonly known as The White Album. Lead guitar was done by Eric Clapton, though he was not formally credited.
Harrison stated that the inspiration for the song came from reading I Ching, also known as ‘Classic of Changes’. The idea of the book, as Harrison said, “seemed to be based on the Eastern concept that everything is relative to everything else… opposed to the Western view that things are merely coincidental.” Using these ideas, he wrote the song on the first thing he saw upon opening a random book – as it would be relative to that moment, at that time. “I picked up a book at random, opened it, saw ‘gently weeps’, then laid the book down again and started the song.”
Rolling Stone Magazine rated the song #136 on their list 500 Greatest Rock Songs of All Time, #7 on 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time, and #10 on The Beatles 100 Greatest Songs.
In 2012, it was also voted the best of Harrison-Beatle Era songs on a Guitar World magazine online poll. So what do you think? Is this your favorite Harrison song?
Okay, so Heath Ledger obviously didn’t write this song but hey, neither did the original performer, Frankie Valli. However, it was brought to my attention that today’s date makes five years since Heath passed away. In honor of his memory, here’s his classic singing scene from the 1999 movie, 10 Things I Hate About You. I remember being in my film class during college when the news broke about his death. My friend and I featured the clip above in one of our projects.
The original version of Can’t Take My Eyes Off You was released in May of 1967. It was written by Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio. It went to #2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and earned a gold record.
Heath was nominated for Best Musical Sequence in the 2000 MTV Movie Awards.
To hear the 1967 version, click HERE.
Rest in Peace, Heath Ledger. Never Forgotten.