It reminds me of him.

“The public attention had been getting progressively more out of hand and now was just unmanageable. It was not unusual to be mangled at an airport by Argentinean schoolgirls on holiday or followed on roads and highways by coeds, secretaries on lunch break, or moms from the carpool. Sometimes there was no interest in me as a person (let alone as an actor) whatsoever. It was as if people were on a big-game safari and had stumbled across a living Bigfoot and just wanted a hair sample and a smiling photo. These encounters left me feeling like I was living in a zoo, but I denied myself the realization that it bothered me. After all, who the hell was I to look askance at such good fortune?”

— Rob Lowe, Stories I Only Tell My Friends

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Lyrics: I Know I’ve Had My Chance

** I’m sorry I don’t have the audio for this, but I’ve heard the song and it’s a lovely, bittersweet ballad sung by Ben. I jotted down the lyrics, which were probably written by Ric Ocasek, though I don’t know that for sure. **

“I Know I’ve Had My Chance” by Cap’n Swing

I can’t remember when we had some time to spend

Seems like it’s been a year or two

I was traveling on the road, and you stayed at home and sewed

You stitched the lonely side of you

 

We were always friends pulling at different ends

And now you tell me that we’re through

I know I’ve had my chance, I know I’ve had my chance

I know I’ve had my chance

 

Now that you’ve given me just what I need to see

I hope that you will be just fine

When love is on the stray and feelings fade away

There ain’t no pushing back in time

 

We were always friends pulling at different ends

And now you tell me that we’re through

I know I’ve had my chance, I know I’ve had my chance

I know I’ve had my chance

 

I know I’ve had my chance (missing you… missing you, babe)

I know I’ve had my chance

I know I’ve had my chance

capnswing.therat

Not *Our* Grasshoppers

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The Question: A reader recently asked me about this song on Youtube by The Grasshoppers and wondered if I could clarify, “Was this The Grasshoppers before Ben joined? Or a different band?”

The Answer: Nope. Not Ben’s Grasshoppers.

 

Though the music and vocals sound similar to the band that made Ben a local celebrity in Cleveland, Ohio, and the time period is chronologically right in there, it is just a coincidence. This single was recorded by a band out of Twin Cities, Minnesota, that consisted of Jiggs Lee singing lead, Ben Hamar helping with vocals and handling lead guitar, Tim Black on bass, Tom Acheson on rhythm guitar, and Phil Scowler on drums.

12360311_489952661215987_1722542770745606969_n.jpgJiggs would go on to front a band called Cain, a heavy metal group which had a degree of success through the 1970s with their two albums, A Pound of Flesh (1975) and Stinger (1977). Jiggs was inducted into the Mid-America Music Hall of Fame on September 17th, 2010.

The song featured in the video in question is “The Very Last Day,” written by Paul Stookey and Peter Yarrow. It was originally released in 1963 by Peter, Paul and Mary, and covered by The Hollies in 1965 (both versions also available on Youtube). This Grasshoppers recording was put out in 1966, and may have been the flipside to the band’s cover of “Sugar and Spice” by The Searchers.

Even though it is not our Ben, click below to take a listen. It’s a great tune!

 

My sources:

  1. Some information from Soundcloud.
  2. A little bit more from Discogs.
  3. A smidge from secondhandsongs.com.
  4. This quick blurb about Jiggs getting inducted by Zipperneck Studios.
  5. Lots more on Jiggs from Twin Cities Metal.

In other words:

FIGURE 19.3
Photo from the book Let’s Go! Benjamin Orr and The Cars by Joe Milliken

“The time with Ben before and while he was ill were some of the most important, exciting, life- and spiritual-expanding moments I’ve ever shared with anyone. Ben taught us so much about life, in the way he went through the process of cancer treatment and in day-to-day life. He was also an absolutely fantastic father to his son, and loved him more than he ever loved anyone.” — Julie Snider-Mennie, Let’s Go! Benjamin Orr and The Cars, page 192