Monday, February 15, 2010

TVDW 14/02/2010 - John Hiatt - Tennessee Plates (1988)

Heren van stand, dat waren het. Strak in het maatpak en met een indrukwekkende staat van verdienste. Ruim twee uur later kon je niets anders dan respect hebben voor zowel Hiatt en Lovett. Hun concert in de AB was uiterst sober - amper drie gitaren op het podium, ik moest denken aan die rockgroepen die per nummer telkens een nieuw exemplaar laten omgorden. En de songs centraal natuurlijk, dat kon moeilijk anders. Beiden lieten heel wat scoringskansen liggen, vele bekendere nummers bleven in de kast. Bij Hiatt bijvoorbeeld geen Cry Love of Slow Turning, twee van mijn absolute lievelingssongs.
In feite keek ik er net iets meer naar uit om Lovett aan het werk te zien, maar aan het eind van de set bleek Hiatt het toch op punten te hebben gewonnen. Iets meer diepgang, iets meer blues & soul. Maar toegegeven, het was nipt.

Hoogtepunt voor mij kwam toen Hiatt - na de AB te hebben vergeleken met een scene uit Elvis' Jailhouse Rock - Tennessee Plates inzette. Damn, ik was vergeten hoe beresterk die song wel was - een moordend ritme en dan die weergaloze tekst, right up there met het allerbeste van Chuck Berry.

I woke up in a hotel and, didn't know what to do
I turned the TV on, wrote a letter to you
The news was talkin' 'bout a dead man upon the interstate
Seems they were lookin' for a Cadillac with Tennessee plates

Well since I left California baby, things have gotten worse
Seems the land of opportunity for me it's just a curse
Tell that judge in Bakersfield my trial'll have to wait
Down here they're lookin' for a Cadillac with Tennessee plates

It was somewhere in Nevada, it was cold outside
She was shiverin' in the dark, so I offered her a ride
Three bank jobs later, four cars hot wired
We crossed the Mississippi like an oil slick fire

If they'd known what we was up to they wouldn't let us in
and now we landed in Memphis like original sin
Elvis Presley Boulevard to the Graceland gates
See we were lookin' for a Cadillac with Tennessee plates

Well, there must have been a dozen of them parked in that garage
And there wasn't one Lincoln and there wasn't one Dodge
And there wasn't one Japanese model or make
Just pretty, pretty Cadillacs with Tennessee plates

She saw him singing once when she was seventeen
And ever since that day she's been living in between
I was never king of nothin' but this wild weekend
Anyway he wouldn't care, hell he gave them to his friends

This ain't no hotel I'm writin' you from
I'm at the Tennessee prison up at Brushy Mountain
Where yours sincerely's doin' five to eight
I'm just stampin' out my time makin' Tennessee plates

Nadat Hiatt had gespeeld, gaf Lovett een beleefd applausje en zei iets als "Prima song, John. Echt een lied over de Amerikaanse droom - twee jongelui die verliefd worden en op reis gaan, waarna de jongeman een deftig beroep kiest."

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Anonymous zinnerboy said...

Op een doodgewone winterse woensdag word ik niet echt wild van dit soort songs. Des zomers in een met zon overgoten tuin, een glimlachende echtgenote aan mijn zij en licht benevelde zintuigen maakt dit heel wat meer kans. Ondanks de tekst.

4:44 AM  
Blogger DDay said...

Wat een mooie song, hé... hij kon van Springsteen geweest zijn :-P

Overigens is dit ook een heel mooie versie:

6:44 AM  
Anonymous zinnerboy said...

... Hij kon ook van Tom Waits geweest zijn :

hey Charley I'm pregnant
and living on 9-th street
right above a dirty bookstore
off cuclid avenue
and I stopped taking dope
and I quit drinking whiskey
and my old man plays the trombone
and works out at the track.

and he says that he loves me
even though its not his baby
and he says that he'll raise him up
like he would his own son
and he gave me a ring
that was worn by his mother
and he takes me out dancin
every saturday nite.

and hey Charley I think about you
everytime I pass a fillin' station
on account of all the grease
you used to wear in your hair
and I still have that record
of little anthony & the imperials
but someone stole my record player
how do you like that?

hey Charley I almost went crazy
after mario got busted
so I went back to omaha to
live with my folks
but everyone I used to know
was either dead or in prison
so I came back in minneapolis
this time I think I'm gonna stay.

hey Charley I think I'm happy
for the first time since my accident
and I wish I had all the money
that we used to spend on dope
I'd buy me a used car lot
and I wouldn't sell any of em
I'd just drive a different car
every day dependin on how
I feel.

hey Charley
for chrissakes
do you want to know
the truth of it?
I don't have a husband
he don't play the trombone
and I need to borrow money
to pay this lawyer
and Charley, hey
I'll be eligible for parole
come valentines day.

2:40 AM  

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