B-b-b-Bennie and the Jets

By the time you read this, we’ll probably have already played our early show date in Cave Spring Art Festival–which, Saturday the 14th, is a Soul Rocket BA-Doom show—which means covers, but most of all—means Elton John’s songs brought to life!  The Marc Kane, when asked, suggested I pick this one to spotlight.

It’s one of the first Elton John songs to really grab my attention as a youth, one of the first where I figured out “this is Elton John.”  I didn’t understand the words, but I loved the feel of it, the weird organs and synthesizers and piano to that one-of-a-kind beat.  I loved the opening chords.  It’s got a strip-tease feel to it.  With “Jersey Boys” coming out, I might as well mention the falsetto is Elton’s approximation of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

 This is probably the most fun I ever had playing the song.   Not the greatest recording but …I love the environment that could break out in downtown San Diego on a Friday night.  Some random pretty girl just holds your camera for you and away you go.

You’d be more likely to “read it on the Internet” these days so we threw in that change…this was in the earliest days of us putting together Soul Rocket BA-Doom.


One funny thing about Bennie and the Jets: it sounds live, but that’s a studio affectation.  Gus Dudgeon, inspired by “Live From the Playhouse Theatre,” engineered the sounds of a Jimi Hendrix Isle of Wight concert and some old Elton Live audio into a mix that included claps.  As Gus once put it: “I was sure to have claps off-the-beat, too, because that’s how English audience clap at shows!”

Since I designed this show in 2012, I’ve read up on Elton’s songs voraciously; I’m not sure what I can add that hasn’t been said before.  He didn’t want this song released as a single until he heard Philadelphia urban stations were playing it.  Actually, an Ontario radio station kicked this off, making it the number one song in Detroit!  When he consented, a white boy from Pinner, England, ended up with a number fifteen “Billboard Hot Soul Chart” hit in America!  Watching the Soul Train Dancers in 1974 try to come up with a dance to this weirdo rhythm is a visual treat.


ImageIt’s not right to discuss Elton John lyrics without bringing up Bernie Taupin, who as all fans know (and many rock fans in general) writes the words to most of Elton’s classic songs.  The exception’s Tim Rice, who co-wrote the Lion King songs and those made for a production of “Aida,” and Gary Osbourne, who co-wrote “Little Jeanie” and “Blue Eyes” along with another disco-era fave of mine, “Mama CAn’t Buy You Love,” which sounds best to me with just the jaunty piano, live.  Our romance with an apparent rich girl overseas tends to affectionately attach itself to that one for me.  Another story.

 Hey kids, shake it loose together
The spotlight’s hitting something
That’s been known to change the weather
We’ll kill the fatted calf tonight
So stick around
You’re gonna hear electric music
Solid walls of sound

Say, Candy and Ronnie, have you seen them yet
But they’re so spaced out, Bennie and the Jets
Oh but they’re weird and they’re wonderful
Oh Bennie she’s really keen
She’s got electric boots a mohair suit
You know I read it in a magazine
Bennie and the Jets

Hey kids, plug into the faithless
Maybe they’re blinded
But Bennie makes them ageless
We shall survive, let us take ourselves along
Where we fight our parents out in the streets
To find who’s right and who’s wrong

Oh Candy and Ronnie, have you seen them yet
Oh but they’re so spaced out, Bennie and the Jets
Oh but they’re weird and they’re wonderful
Oh Bennie she’s really keen
She’s got electric boots a mohair suit
You know I read it in a magazine, oh
Bennie and the Jets

Oh Candy and Ronnie, have you seen them yet
Oh but they’re so spaced out, Bennie and the Jets
Oh but they’re weird and they’re wonderful
Oh Bennie she’s really keen
She’s got electric boots a mohair suit
You know I read it in a magazine, oh
Bennie and the Jets

Lyrics powered by LyricFind
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
Read more at http://www.lyrics.com/bennie-and-the-jets-lyrics-elton-john.html#yOFTH1Kxw6eShqTT.99

But: Bennie.  Who’s Bennie?  Well, it’s apparently a glam rock lady, from the words.  Bernie Taupin was thinking of a futuristic band of robots, he’s said.  He’s called Bennie ” a sci-fi Rock Goddess.”  You could even see her as an alternative persona of Elton John, a camp figure in outrageous clothes.  Hey, anything to stick out while playing a piano…you’re sitting down.  It’s not easy to become a rock star sitting down!  The robots idea fits nicely with the stuttered “B-b-b-b-Bennie” don’t you think?


“We’ll kill the fatted calf tonight so stick around” is apparently a satire on music business greed, though I know the phrase from the Prodigal Son parable in the Gospels.  “Solid walls of sound” always makes me think of Phil Spector’s record production.  But honestly, I think Bernie makes these little poem-stories and then comes up with the meanings, if any, after the fact.  I think glam rock’s embrace of androgyny suits the line about “we fight our parents out in the street to find who’s right and who’s wrong,” as the peak protest era of the 1960’s had passed us by.  Not to say there weren’t, and aren’t, still echoes.  Why people get together to protest is another multi-faceted story in itself.

The version by Miguel (with Wale) on the 40th anniversary re-release of its origin album, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” is very inspired, and gives new R&B life to this cool Black Radio hit!





ON the other hand, Axl Rose has said listening to “Bennie and the Jets” was his inspiration for becoming a singer.  How about that?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AyxRxifQJk Here’s the song as a duet with Cher.

it went to number one the week of April 13th, 1974.  “TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)” by the Three Degrees is the song that bumped it off the top—a classic Philly soul anthem.  I’ve been through more than one solid gold soul phase myself; I was determined that singing style and our hidden-meaning spirit lyrics could work together.  That’s one reason we call ourselves Integr8d Soul!

We’ve sang it better, as we’re struggling with street noise a little and she’s holding the camera and is therefore next to it, but I really had gotten attached to interpreting it on the guitar, and hey: San Diego, downtown  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9DclO3_1QU


This song still brings a big smile to my face, especially if it comes on while I’m out in public.


Loretta Lynn, Shel Silverstein: “One’s On The Way” !





Knot In Love

Knot in Love

Said I love you and I don’t wanna freak you out / We can have good times together if they’re innocent of doubt / but we’re not in love…are we? / Are we…not in love/ tied so closely…knot in love

So many others and we can’t get across the view / Understand the mothers when they sang with joy to you / But are we not? Are we not in love? / Tied so closely …knot in love

/ Glad we can say, love / if you can’t stay, love / we’ll find a way, love, we’ll find a way/ to make the best of the snow/ to let the real thing go / wherever seas ever flow/ I know you’re in deep, as snow in my dreams / the ice has its meaning come into my dreams/ Come into my dreams…

Knot in love, tied so closely, are we not, are we? / But we’re not in love…are we? Are we not in love / Knot in love / We are all Love/ But are we not? Are we not in love? / Tied so closely / Knot in love / Say we love y’all / Say Love is All/ We are. -C Lue Lyron

I’d just written “Knot In Love” so this was probably the same day I worked it out. I might smooth out the vocals in places but it’s a good demo of my intentions. I wrote and recorded this at Peacock Pet Palace…a place referenced in its own song, “Fire Gang Summer” !

lI listen to my voice in my mind sing the words; if I’m smart I sit down with a pencil and paper and jot it down, which facilitates more lines growing. Dixie overheard me singing this one and remarked how much she liked it, how pretty it was.

I’d had “knot in love” —and its homophone “knot” for “not”—for a few weeks when it all came in this form rather than a previously incomplete song. Too bad it doesn’t translate into any language I know of but English!

A knot lays things closely together. A knot complicates things. A knot holds things together.

David Anthony Kraft, creator of historical graphic novel Yi Soon Shin, said “Title could suggest something else entirely! LOL”  And when you have a sly laugh about it, well…Naked Twister anyone?

As you can tell by the delivery, I was in a more reflective  mood over a delicate sort of prism of possibilities in the song’s story.  I was inspired by feelings I had at the time, and images of discovering when I had fallen into true love.   It’s goodbye.  It’s hello to something new, maybe lasting.  I thought it’d make a nice drama to merge the doubt, gentle encouragement and approach, and imagery of the recent snow. I like it because “we’re not in love” lends itself to a drama about people brought close by life who aren’t really meant to be connected romantically. Yet, the dual meaning also describes a different situation, with the very same words: the realization of falling in love…one that will last. We’re at the precipice where friendship becomes so much more!

It’s funny.  You can say “I love you” and it not turn out to mean very much.  It can be a profound expression of commitment.  It’s something you could say to someone you consider like family.  It could be a hiding place for deeper feelings…or a gloss for shallow ones.1604368_10201691716477955_1886396814_n

One spot I love is the bridge. “The ice has its meaning come into my dreams…come into my dreams.” Does the narrator know he’s frozen out, a realization that’s followed him into his sleep? What does the ice stand for? Is the ice the “doubt” mentioned in the first line? Does the phrase split into “meaning, come into my dreams”? The ice has its meaning…when it thaws one day, they’ll be together? As soon as the ice is gone from the road? Is he asking the object of affection to come into his dreams? Well—all of that!!

Is it a paen, a praise, of friendship? Is it the last possible moment of denial before tentatively reaching out to an inevitable attraction? Does it softly mourn what will never be with this person, but what, optimistically, the narrator knows will come some day?

What passes for a refrain simply develops out of the verses.
I often imagine how it could sound with harmonica or steel guitar added, you know?


I hit upon the metaphor of “Rorschach pattern of meanings” (like the ink-blot test where you’re asked “what do you see?” and you brain makes your individual image…or not!)  because it literally IS a song you can hear with completely different meanings depending on which experience you instinctively bring to it.

Maybe this song’s time to shine has come around again. It’s been a good year for writing songs.

Thanks for letting me share a bit of explication. I really hope it gets you readers interested in my own songs, and in your own thought processes: to bolster the idea that life is rich with meanings.

We play Cave Spring Art Festival Saturday June 14th at eleven a.m. and again June 15th at noon. Then Support Your Local’s Art in downtown Rome at the Mellow Mushroom runs from 5pm to 1 am, with the Kamikaze Dali and the Muletide Perkins Trio. I imagine we go on about nine. It’s sponsored by Imagine Studio for Hair and Art!

Donations at the door; buffet’s on at eight! Bring your kids. We’ll be there drawing portraits and displaying Marc Kane Fashion Bags crocheted especially for the event, plus our shirts and cd’s.

In disguise

In Disguise / what might I find?

I used to get lyrics sometimes from our friend Sabrina Cooper, founder of Kudzu Mountain Gypsy Cave. Sometimes, I get a minute to remember something to forget again, I think of things like re-trying the music to “Super Ms. Understanding,” which started from one of her texts.  She compared the size of your windshield to the size of your rear view mirror, and said there’s a reason: we should spend much more time moving forward than looking back.  Maybe now I’ll see it and do it?  The song, AND take her advice.

“In Disguise” was an amusement park ride of a tune, http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/16586724, although Ustream is being a butt for me tonight.  I should take the loop pedal and record a definitive version of it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4wpNzsxEOg  was made so my partner The Marc Kane could work on it and is frankly not much to listen to.  I was influenced by Blue Oyster Cult’s “Perfect Water,”  particularly at the bridge progression.

Her words, which I used at the bridge, were:

These chains, I welcome, to the bottom of a sea/ these chains I welcome, if they keep you here with me

What’s even more unusual is that this is the rare (only?) Integr8d Soul song written by THREE people.  Abigail Lyons offered me a line, too:

In disguise / take off the mask for me/ I disguise / find that I’m free

This became the tagline of the chorus.  The first verse began:

Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever be free..from these chains

What I once, thought of as love…has ended in disdain


In Disguise…love just slips by


In Disguise, in disguise: what might I find?

And those were written by me.

Without getting into ALL the words, I think it’s interesting that what we are looking for in love is often disguised by us, with the mask we prefer.  But it’s also true people wear masks that prevent you from really knowing them.  I think that’s what Abbie’s line deals with nicely.

I really chewed over Sabrina’s line.  It’s very vulnerable.  Like the word “disguise,” now “chains” have taken on a whole other meaning.

The words in “In Disguise” are themselves disguised with different interpretations.  Nothing’s simply what it seems!  Not even our real love, or existence itself: it’s all something else, “in disguise.”

A mask can be a source of personal power, as well, a different aspect of identity into which we can slip without being self-conscious of what we think of as “ourselves.”  It’s one reason we like our pen / stage names, Lue Lyron and the Marc Kane.  It’s also something you can put aside, to again simply be yourself, once a given task or mission or ritual’s finished.  And while you’re disguised, you might find situations that are changed by the fact that you are disguised.  When you get down to it, one might say we are a universal being—a soul, if you will, or a mind—disguised as humanity.  Yet, mask or no, we’re not really separated from what we truly are; that’s a matter of perception.


Anyway, regarding Kudzu, I recommend you look up their work: the Cave produced these lovely hand-painted wine bottles and supported the creation of Syzygy: Reflections On The Monastery of the Seven Rays, written by half the core Cave duo, Tau Palamas and available on Amazon and Hadean Press.  It’s  frankly mind-blowing and a very respectable work of life magick.  The book discusses, at length, embracing dualisms.  Only by seeing from the outside of these seemingly separate and two-sided things do we really grasp the coin of life’s currency.


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Integr8d Soul Loaded Lyrics and N-sights

Thanks for stopping by and welcome to my new blog! This is just an introductory post so I’ll keep it short and sweet, which is also the name of the single up on Bandcamp.com/integr8dsoul , where you can contribute 50% of the price to Fresh Water!

I decided to start a blog because I care a LOT about the words we sing; words are where most people make their connection with their favorite songs.  I find multiple meanings and possibilities in our lyrics, sometimes even different phrases depending on where your ear picks up what you hear!

MK Phoenix bird can fly

Besides, I heard a cover of “Ain’t It Fun” by Paramore and clicked through to find out about the talented Haley Klinkhammer.  Her YouTube channel set-up’s very professional, and a lyrics blog is included.  What a great idea!  There’s a whole world of young performers out there outside of corporate media, many of whom have followings over a million strong!  It’s a Do-It-Yourself Age.  I’m going to do a LOT to fix up our YouTube channel, here: https://www.youtube.com/user/luelyron.  I’m interested in shooting a nice video and getting a company like Promolta to promote it.  When we do, that’ll be another blog!

Over the next few months I plan to be writing and sharing posts about our songs, the song writing process, the words of other songs I find sublime or ridiculous, and basically, you’ll have the means to sing along to any song we’ve posted, with due credit given.  We may even throw in occasionally misheard lyrics, because raise your hand if you like making up your own silly versions of songs?

I also will throw in our experiences and what we’ve learned about the business as we learn it, to provoke discussions, hair-pulling and jumping about, and share each step we take in our evolution!

In fact, Evolution is going to be the first song I probably discuss here: I had an entire column written but who knows where that draft went.  Meh.

But let’s take the words, to a song that’s been heard a couple of thousand times now on sites like http://www.reverbnation.com/integr8dsoul?profile_view_source=profile_box.

The chorus says:

Go bananas, throw bananas, slip on a peel

better for you to hang on to what you know is real

Now, bananas is a play on “Evolution” and the immediate association with apes.  Yet, we’re also discussing the frustrations of romance: go bananas, throw bananas…it’s a very animalistic business, isn’t it?  “Slip on a peel” plays off “bananas,” too, but to the ear, it acquires yet another meaning.  One might indeed slip on a peel and find ones’ self the victim of a comical accident.  Yet, “appeal” could mean “charisma” which has led the unwary into untold temptations, and even to be appealing is possibly grounds for personal disaster.  All that in a catchy hook, too, don’t you think?

I could do an entire column or two on “Evolution” and just might!

Yes, I know we’re listed as a San Diego band and yet, we’re in Rome, Georgia.  It’s this mental thing about how much California meant to me, what it meant to struggle to hang on there for eight years.  Yet so much unique happiness we’ve had since our return couldn’t have happened if we had stayed, people and experiences that matter a heap to us.  Our rank would probably rise in the Rome charts.  I’ll get over it and change it.

You can find years of my writing online, including at the basis for my next book, Be Chill, Cease Ill . My California adventures and inner life are on there to thrill or bore you according to your temperment, so love or hate it, feel free to pass it along!I'd Go Anywhere Meme

That’s it for now! If you’d like to be kept updated with my posts “Like” this post or subscribe to my blog.

Be chill, cease ill,