Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 77
Sat. April 15, 2013
“Sometimes I Feel So Lonely”
life is but a
you can be
I had an artist I bet while working in New Orleans, who actually toured and played with some of the most famous Alternative bands of the 1980s including The Pixies and Echo & The Bunnymen. When I asked him about his tour with Primal Scream, he laughed and told me that’s the only time in his life he blacked out and cannot remember three days of his life. “I survived but I wish I could remember it. It must have been one hell-of-a-time,“ Unfortunately, Primal Scream are known for their Rolling Stones like excess off the stage than their bluesy dance floor inspired rock rhythms that made them international superstars with the rockin’ rave spectacular Screamadelica. But even though The Scream have had success with their DJ friendly songs like “Higher Than The Sun” and “Loaded;” Primal Scream are more than just techno loving ravers.
With the kind of Jagger/Richards torch songs like “Damaged” one of the best songs The Rolling Stones never wrote in the last twenty years, Screamadelica’s “I’m Coming Down” or “Cry Myself Blind” from Give Out But Don’t Give Up, thanks to lead singer Bobby Gillespie has a soulful side that gets missed behind all of those infamous electronic inspired back beats, Gillespie explained the souk influence on Primal Scream’s sound when he said, “One thing that separates our band from the other bands is that we do listen to a lot of soul music. Black music. There’s a blues inflection in our music which is missing in most of the whiter bands. We use blues notes and feelings. It’s just a natural thing. We’re not gonna sit down and try and sound like John Lee Hooker, because we can never be that. We’ve got to be ourselves. You listen to a song like “I’m Coming Down” and it’s a blues track. “Damaged” is a blues track. I think that “Higher Than the Sun” is a blues track as well but it’s a different kind of blues. It’s our blues.”
Gillespie talked about how Primal Scream tried to create their own brand of Soul music when he said, “’The term “soul music” often means Otis Redding but James Carr is a much better singer, I think. To me, I’ve always felt that Iggy and the Stooges were as soulful as anybody. I think applying terms to music’s a mad thing anyway because certain records leave you speechless and you just look at each other and it gives you a great rush…Certain records go beyond words and leave you speechless. You can’t even speak about them because it gives you such a great rush.”
One of the songs that appears on the surface to be another loner hymn is Riot City Blues tender, “Sometimes I feel So Lonely” but after further investigational spinning you will discover otherwise as Bobby Gillespie explained when he said, “This album is ‘up’ from start to finish, really rocking, even in the last song, ‘Sometimes I Feel So Lonely’. The chorus is sad, but there’s a fist in the air. It’s not down, it’s anthemic.” Gillespie is right. What a difference seven years makes, =“Sometimes I Feel So Lonely” was my theme song for my calamitous summer of 2006, and yesterday I re-experienced my favorite Riot City Blues cut with new ears; with destiny on my side Primal Scream was my soundtrack as I sang, “♫ You can be redeemed ♫”; “Sometimes” gave me hope as I drove alone through downtown L.A. It was like these angels with dirty faces, Primal Scream, were accompanying me on this life changing trip that I will never forget.
When asked why the band often gives up the spotlight to their angelic backing vocalists as heard on “Sometimes I Feel So Lonely” singer Gillespie replied, “’Aye, our whole thing is we just want to make beautiful music. Whatever it takes to do that, we’ll do it, by any means necessary. We’re not like other bands.” Spoken like the truth because just ask my old buddy from the 504, he toured with Bobby Gillespie and his mates Primal Scream and he still can’t recall those scandalous events while on tour with these once Screamadelica superstars. I like to believe that the once kings of excess, Primal Scream, have been tamed by their love for soulful blues music.
It seems like Bobby Gillespie has learned his lesson when he said, “Much as we loved getting wasted, we were neutralizing ourselves and rendering ourselves useless in that state. I love Johnny Thunders and there is a side of me that wants to annihilate myself. I’m trying to stay away from that. I mean, tonight I just want to go home and see my girlfriend and see my kids.” If this soulful cut is any indication if this is what loneliness sounds like, please bathe me within the solitude soulfulness of Primal Scream’s “Sometimes I Feel So Lonely”