Episode 47: Cap’n Swing

Episode 47 headerBefore The Cars were The Cars, there was Cap’n Swing!

In case you’re not familiar with this “almost famous band,” Cap’n Swing (CS) was Ric Ocasek’s musical effort just prior to The Cars. To read more about them on this blog, Dave created a handy link that will pull up all content with the Cap’n Swing tag. Go to tinyurl.com/capnswing. Easy peasy!

The episode starts off a little fuzzy, but it doesn’t take long for our hosts to get into the ‘swing’ of things (see what I did there??? Haha!). Donna runs down the cool history of CS and Dave recounts how the demos made their way to the ears of the Fanorama. At the time the audios surfaced many people assumed that CS was made up of the same five guys as The Cars; it wasn’t until more information was shared through social media that people were introduced to Todd Roberto, Danny (Schliftman) Louis, and Glenn Evans. Dave had compiled the songs into what he called the “Jezebel” album and made a very cool CD cover to go with it. Back in the day, the music was shared around through the mail before the songs hit the internet.

While the band wasn’t perfect, there is SO much to love about Cap’n Swing! Using their own favorite tracks as springboards, Dave and Donna take some time to discuss the differences and the similarities between the styles of Cap’n Swing and The Cars, and how that can be attributed to the difference in the two bands’ very talented lineups.  They also touch on several songs that have two versions, one sung by Ben and one sung by Ric. And don’t miss their speculation on the true meaning behind “Magic Pants.” It’ll make you want to flow-oh…

Knock knock.jpgJust a warning… There are a few little digressions in this episode, like:

  1. Why do women wear slips?
  2. Did Ben have hobbit feet?
  3. Cartoon Ric and Cartoon Ben: the day that Dave started to appreciate “Magic Pants”
  4. Donna’s impression of the Cowardly Lion
  5. How much would you pay for a Cap’n Swing CD?
  6. Rico’s tips for staying warm during this extra-cold winter

Aaaaand… Donna ends the show with a hilarious Cars joke (thanks to IO). Is it the first in the Fanorama?

Now don’t forget… Find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @TheCarsPodcast  (individually we’re @night_spots  and  @sweetpurplejune ), and subscribe to our audio outlets! You can listen by clicking the Youtube link below, or visit us on iTunes or Soundcloud. Wherever you connect, be sure to subscribe, share and comment. You can also email us at nightthoughtspodcast@gmail.com. Let us know your thoughts — we’d love to hear from you!

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Lyrics: Dream Trader

Dream Trader by Milkwood/Cap’n Swing

There was a man from Maryland who said he could not feel

He had a hard time telling just what was real

To lie beneath the frozen sky searching for a sign

The clouds, they billowed gracefully in strange design (like crystal line, yeah)

 

And as he watched them wane, drifting off to sleep

To dream of sailing ships on down in the Chesapeake

He might have stayed there all day feeling so fine just chugging wine

So fine just chugging wine

So fine just chugging wine

 

They found him in the morning, he was facedown beside a stream

He never did awaken, oh no, from that dream

From that dream, from that dream

Lyrics: Indigo

Indigo by Cap’n Swing

Wake me up in the middle of the flight

Show me which way to go, oh… to indigo

Swing me up sweet purple June

Hold me like I’m a child, oh… that’s about to go wild

 

I’d like to know just where you’ve been

If you would like to try again

I’d like to slow the spin I’m in

Would you like to begin?

 

Silver Sunday tease my eyes

I am too dissatisfied, oh… with your other side

Roll me up and drop me down

Leave me back in New York town, oh… that’s where I’d like to be found

 

I’d like to know just where you’ve been

If you would like to try again

I’d like to slow the spin I’m in yeah

Would you like to begin, baby

 

Wake me up in the middle of the flight

Show me which way to go, oh

To indigo, oh

To indigo, oh

To indigo, oh

Indigo, oh

To indigo, oh

Indigo

Come Back Down

davecurry1
Graphic by @Night_Spots

I can’t recall exactly how I first learned that Cap’n Swing was the precursor to The Cars, but I distinctly remember the first time I heard a Cap’n Swing song. I was sitting in my home office, obsessing on Benjamin, when I clicked on this video (link below)… and I was blown away.

The initial music was kind of rollicking; a happy little tune, almost ‘young,’ with that peppy keyboard riff. Then Benjamin’s voice came in all seductive and lush, singing that chorus, and I was captivated. I couldn’t wait to hear what he would say next. And he started to tell a story that transported me back… back to those days of my budding awareness of the opposite sex; those early days of exploration. I felt like he was describing that one time in the sixth grade with Robert Tranberg, on the trail in the woods behind the house: those first tentative touches, clumsy attempts at figuring out what our hormones were calling us to, but everything still so innocent and confusing. It brought on that ache of longing and nostalgia and beautiful pain of those early teenage days…

And all of it was couched in this sunshiny music, his evocative vocals. I had to listen again. Now that guitar grabbed me, those simple but pushing notes that accentuated the sensuality of the song. I loved the part behind “stabbed into the thick black air…” and on to the chorus; it was so perfect. Then I got into the keyboard solo, playful and light, and it blended so perfectly into the guitar solo, which told of the heights of those confusing emotions… until Elliot brought me back down again and handed me over to Benjamin and his “yeah, yeah, yeah.” And the next lines captured the internal struggle of me as a young teen: “like a hypnotized baby… out there, trying to feel it all somehow… out there, well they really don’t care at all.”

I was hooked. HOOKED. And as you can guess I had to go on to listen to as much CS as possible and devour all of it, but “Come Back Down” will always hold a special spot inside my heart, will always speak to that young girl in me.

(I posted those wonderfully impetuous lyrics by Ric Ocasek separately; click here to read them.)

 

Lyrics: You Can Have ‘Em

You Can Have ‘Em by Cap’n Swing (aka Blue Moon Saloon, aka Sleepy Wasted Afternoon)

I believe her, she takes me uptown oh yeah

She’s a driver, she throws me in gear oh yeah

Well I could take her or I could leave her here

Sitting on a wagon, twinkling Blue Moon Saloon

Honey you can have it on a sleepy wasted afternoon

 

I adore her, she looks like a treat oh yeah

When I’m around her I get to feeling so weird

And then she tells me she can be discrete and neat

Sitting on a wagon, twinkling Blue Moon Saloon

Well, honey you can have it on a sleepy wasted afternoon

Right on…

 

I believe her, she takes me uptown oh yeah

She’s a driver, she throws me in gear oh yeah

Well I could take her or I could leave her here

Sitting on a wagon, twinkling Blue Moon Saloon

Honey you can have it on a sweetly wasted afternoon

 

Yeah sitting on a wagon, twinkling Blue Moon Saloon

Honey you can have me but you better come and get me soon

Lyrics: Lover and a Holiday

Lover and A Holiday by Cap’n Swing

You always say you can see through my eyes if you want to

You always tell me you could bust my disguise if you want to

You always say you can change my way but I don’t want you here, that’s all you can say

I need a lover and a holiday

I’ll never ever come back to you again

I’ll never ever come back to you again

(Woah no, oh no no)

 

You always say you can change me around if you want to

But you know better, I’m not your hand-me-down down, and you know that’s true

You always say you can change my way but I don’t want you here, that’s all you can say

I need a lover and a holiday

I’ll never ever come back to you again

I’ll never ever come back to you again

(Woah no, oh no no)

 

You always say you can see through my eyes if you want to

You always tell me you can bust my disguise and you know that’s true

You always say you can change my way but I don’t want you here, that’s all you can say

I need a lover and a holiday

I’ll never ever come back to you again

No, I’ll never ever come back to you again

I’ll never ever come back to you again

(Oh no, no no no)

Lyrics: Goes On Sleeping

Goes On Sleeping by Cap’n Swing

You know the way she’s looking, she’s the one you’d like to touch

You were staying the night over and you could love her for as much

Because you’re the soft shade (?) lady, know the way that she could feel

If only you could roll on her you could spin her like a wheel

 

Too shy to love her with a secret on

You still caress her in your head ’til dawn

‘Cause if you hide it ’til the feeling’s gone it goes on sleeping

 

She’s a cool romantic, she’s giving up on you

And she always flies her ladies into the crystal blue

Hot lights and flaming nights leave a haunted smell in the air

Silk jeans and sweet love dreams make ‘em sometimes unbeware

 

Too shy to love her with a secret on

You still caress her in your head ’til dawn

‘Cause if you hide it ’til the feeling’s gone it goes on sleeping

 

Goes on sleeping…