“Sweethearts”–Camper Van Beethoven

Middle East in Cambridge, Massachusetts 2012

One of my all time favorite bands is Camper Van Beethoven. I finally got to see them a couple of times when they made their comeback travelling a short van ride north from Santa Cruz to play in San Francisco in 1999.

This was the band of choice to listen to in 1989 on the tape deck of the beater pickup truck as we would drive with my good ole Syracuse friend, Wendall, through the frozen central New York Winter.

In my mind they set the table for Alt-Rock groups from R.E.M to Wilco and of course when they broke it off, some of the members became Cracker and joined Counting Crows.

This song is a period piece that is pure Americana, set in the five and dime days but also commenting on the psyche of President Ronald Reagan.

‘Cause he’s always living back in Dixon
Circa 1949
And we’re all sitting at the fountain, at the
five and dime
‘Cause he’s living in some B-movie
The lines they are so clearly drawn
In black and white life is so easy
And we’re all coming along on this one
‘Cause he’s on a secret mission
Headquarters just radioed in
He left his baby at the dancehall While the band plays on some sweet song
And on a mission over China
The lady opens up her arms
The flowers bloom where you haved
placed them
And the lady smiles, just like mom
Angels wings are icing over McDonnell-Douglas olive drab
They bear the names of our sweethearts
And the captain smiles, as we crash
‘Cause in the mind of Ronald Reagan Wheels they turn and gears they grind
Buildings collapse in slow motion
And trains collide, everything is fine
Everything is fine
Everything is fine

@ Chelsea (Wien, Austria) 5.6.2013

At the 40 Watt Club in Athens, GA on Friday, March 2 2012 as part of the inaugural Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven mini-festival.

An amazing extra: Camper Van Beethoven play The Clash’s “White Riot” and Black Flag’s “Wasted” live at Sky City Bar, January 2013

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