Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dear Ozzy (Thanks for Nothing)


In June of 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono invited friends and supporters to join them in Montreal for another of their infamous Bed-Ins. During the politically-focused, media-filled session, John and Yoko led the group -- The Plastic Ono Band -- in the recording of "Give Peace a Chance." The anthem would fill the airwaves at a tumultuous time in the 20th century. The message of world peace as a viable option would last forever.

16 years later, in January of 1985, Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, and others invited friends and musicians to join them in Los Angeles for a philanthropic outpouring of
musical creativity. During the late-night, collaborative affair, Lionel and Michael led the group -- USA for Africa -- in the recording of "We Are the World." The anthem would bring worldwide attention to African hunger victims when they needed it most. The message of charity and humanity around the globe would last forever.

24 years later, in August of 2009, Dave and Whitney invited friends and drinking comrades to join them in Highland Park, NJ for a night of pizza, pale ale, and music-making. During the evening of revelry, bad jokes, and worse darts, Dave and Whitney led the group -- Random Idiots -- in the recording of "Dear Ozzy (Thanks for Nothing)." The anthem would fill Dave and Whitney's iPods (almost completely) with the story of the poor sap who listened to rock & roll lyrics throughout the years, diligently heeding the advice to their own hideous detriment. The message of . . . whatever it was . . . would last on for hours, nay, days.


Greasetruck Productions proudly presents:

"Dear Ozzy (Thanks for Nothing)"

by Random Idiots


[Technical Note: Embedded here is a low-resolution version of the single. Alternately available for your listening pleasure is the full sonic experience, the version in which the cowbell rings like you remember it on the farm, the violin like in your days in the conservatory, and Whitney's vocals like he were sitting just down the bar from you after several hours of imbibing. If you'd like a copy of this superior edition, please comment below or e-mail us and we can set you up.]


I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.
I drove my Maserati 185.
I fought the law, and the law it cold won,
so I shot the sheriff, man, I was born to run.

I served my girl black coffee in her bed
and poured the sugar on her, just like you said.
And then I hit her with my best shot.
I like her big old butt, and so does Sir Mix-a-Lot.
I listened to what you told me,
and I know that you meant well,
but I think you sent me on a highway straight to Hell.

I came on Eileen, and Angie, well, we tried.
I had a fling with Lola, 'til I learned she was a guy.
I partied all the time, I got drunk and screwed

in an elevator with a lady that was a dude.
I loved who I was with, loved the son of a preacher.
I got the hots for my calculus teacher.
But if love is all that one needs
then why did I do so many dirty deeds?
I was the walrus, you were my Dixie chicken
I shocked the monkey, but it's still alive and kickin'.

I let the dogs out, I'm too sexy for my cat.
Got hungry like the wolf, so bit the head off a bat.
Played Mexican radio while I turned Japanese,
lit the Norwegian wood behind the Tastee-Freez.
Then I ate American pie with my American girl.
We're an American band, and we are the world.
I'm like a rock, I'm like a stone.
Yes, I have rambled, and I have roamed.
Now here I go again on my own,

life is a highway and I'm bad to the bone.
It was the countdown, and it was final.
This song doesn't sound any better on vinyl.
I was burning for you, I was on fire,
I blistered in the sun, and the straits were dire.
I listened to what you told me,
and I know that you meant well,
but I think you sent me on a highway straight to Hell.
Well, I wanted candy, but I had a heart of glass.
Me & Bobby McGee got it on after class;
he's so vain, but I don't want anybody else.

I was touched for the first time, except when I touch myself.
I beat it, I whipped it, I took it the limit.
Shook it up, pumped it up, too legit to quit it.
Oh, big hands, I know you were the one
when the girls weren't having any fun.
I screamed for vengeance, I killed them all,

I rode the lightning with my big balls.
Ran with the devil, shook all night long,
came back in black and tried to bang a gong.
I know that every rose must have its thorn,
and if you're wild, you must have been born.

Sometimes loves stinks, it cuts like a knife--
unless you make an ugly girl your wife.
Fat bottomed girls, they make the world go 'round.
Smoke on the water and we burned it to the ground.
Worked for the weekend, rode the crazy train.
I wanted to get down, down on the ground, cocaine.
I shook my groove thing, drank a funky cold medina.
Made it hurt so good, just like Ike did to Tina.
I did the hustle and the electric slide,
couldn't do the Macarena but God knows I tried.
I ran away, I ran so far.
Forgot all about that macho stuff and learned how to play guitar.

I took it easy, I tried to rule the world,
and ZZ Top told me about a necklace made of pearls.
I took a free ride, a slow ride, of course;
rode through the desert on a nameless horse.
There were birds and plants and rocks and things --
can you relax when you do the wild thing?
I listened to what you told me,
and I know that you meant well,
but I think you sent me on a highway straight to Hell.
In a purple haze the people are strange,
and this free bird Lord knows you cannot change.
One of these days, we can work it out.

Stairway to Heaven . . . oh my God, we left it out.
I wore cheap sunglasses every single night --
even wore them in the day, the future looked so bright.
I didn't stop believing, and I never looked back.
I saw a red door, and I painted it black.
I walked the line, walked like an Egyptian.
Walked on the wild side with my heroin addiction.
Walked on the moon, and if you want to jump,
intergalactic planetary, you gotta shake your rump.
You told me only the good die young
and at night everybody should wang chung.

I drank alone-- drank bourbon, scotch and beer.
I learned the reaper was nothing much to fear.
Listened to the music, joined together with the band.
Held on loosely to castles made of sand.
I rocked the casbah, let the good times roll;
so what's the answer-- should I stay or should I go?
Maybe we're all just bricks in the wall,
but how can a blind kid play a mean pinball?
And if we are all dust in the wind
then does it matter where your centerfold is pinned?
Love is a battlefield, I cried like a dove,

but all I've got is a photograph, a picture of.
Felt like a loser, dumb, and like a creep,
so don't close your eyes when you go to sleep.
Well, I turned to you for some advice--
old man, I let you take a look at my life.
You said, "De do do do, de da da da,
In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, ob-la-di, ob-la-da."

Better to burn out than it is to rust,
I was another one that bit the dust.
I flew like an eagle, but a shot in the dark

hit me and ruined my Saturday in the park.
You said fight the power, who’ll stop the rain?
Tried to stop a speeding train in vain;
now they call me Locomotive Breath.

Birth, School, Work, Death.
I drove my Coupe de Ville, but I couldn't drive
55.
Brought you dead flowers, but I was stayin’ alive.
I took my little green bag in my little red Corvette;
now I’m pushin' little daisies, but I ain’t seen nothing yet.
I told my girl I was movin' up and movin' out
but she heard the grapevine first, and it made her twist and shout.
I'm a jukebox hero, but the song remains the same.

So open up your mind, come on and play the game.
I listened to what you told me,
it's still ringing like a bell,
but I think you sent me on a highway straight to Hell.
I listened to what you told me,
and I know that you meant well,
but I think you sent me on a highway straight to Hell.
I'm at the end of this long and winding road,
and I'm wondering what a sprocket has to do with a toad.

Greasetruck Productions and Random Idiots would like to thank the following 133 artists:

Johnny Cash Joe Walsh The Bobby Fuller Four Beastie Boys Bob Marley Bruce Springsteen Squeeze Def Leppard Pat Benatar Sir Mix-a-Lot AC/DC The Clash Drivin' 'n' Cryin' Dexy's Midnight Runners The Rolling Stones The Kinks Eddie Murphy Jimmy Buffett Aerosmith Stephen Stills Dusty Springfield Van Halen The Beatles Little Feat Peter Gabriel Simple Minds The Baha Men Right Said Fred Duran Duran Ozzy Osbourne Wall of Voodoo The Vapors Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Grand Funk Railroad USA for Africa Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band Bob Dylan The Allman Brothers Band The B-52's Whitesnake Tom Cochrane George Thorogood & The Delaware Destroyers Europe Blue Öyster Cult Violent Femmes Dire Straits Bow Wow Wow Blondie Janis Joplin Carly Simon Madonna The Divinyls Michael Jackson Devo The Cars Elvis Costello MC Hammer Cyndi Lauper Judas Priest Metallica T. Rex Poison Steppenwolf J. Geils Band Bryan Adams Jimmy Soul Queen Deep Purple Loverboy Eric Clapton Peaches and Herb Tone Lōc John Cougar Ike & Tina Turner Van McCoy Ric Silver Los del Río A Flock of Seagulls Eagles Tears for Fears ZZ Top Edgar Winter Foghat America Frankie Goes to Hollywood The Troggs Jimi Hendrix The Doors Lynyrd Skynyrd Pink Floyd Led Zeppelin Corey Hart Timbuk 3 Journey Boston The Bangles Lou Reed The Police Billy Joel Wang Chung The Doobie Brothers The Who .38 Special Kansas Prince Beck Nirvana Radiohead Stone Temple Pilots Kix The Romantics Neil Young Iron Butterfly The Steve Miller Band Chicago Public Enemy Creedence Clearwater Revival Jethro Tull The Godfathers Chuck Berry Sammy Hagar The Bee Gees George Baker Selection Ween Bachman-Turner Overdrive The Jeffersons Marvin Gaye The Isley Brothers Foreigner Queen Toad the Wet Sprocket Peter, Paul & Mary

38 comments:

Dave said...

despite the lo-fi, you can still hear the cowbell.

i think i am credited with this post, but whitney did ALL the work.

TR said...

I am unable to listen to this at work, but judging by the lyrics, it seems about twice as long as Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant."

Color me impressed, if only for getting Tears for Fears AND Toad the Wet Sprocket in there.

TJ said...

Wow.

Whitney said...

It's a bit of an endeavor to listen to it at 11 minutes. Naturally we think it's worth the effort. I give Dave a lot of credit -- he had to edit and mix it, plus coordinate all of the tracks and guest musicians. He probably listened to it 75 times in August. He now despises it.

Dan said...

i think your next endeavor should be to recreate the process in a special edition of "Behind The Music"

will be making this song our on-hold music here at the office...

Dave said...

the VH-1 special is going to be sordid, especially the late night trip to the corner tavern . . .

Dave said...

that answer key is unbelievable-- nice work whit!

zoltan said...

Stuff like this is exactly why I'm glad Al Gore invented the internet. Impressive work.

Dave said...

i thought thomas dolby invented the internet.

zoltan said...

No, Thomas Dolby invented the automobile.

Whitney said...

And he made cassette tapes sound better. He had that cool logo.

Whitney said...

In case it wasn't clear, if you click on 01 Dear Ozzy (Thanks for Nothing) in the little blue box inside the graphic at the top of the page, you can listen to the song right here without launching some other page. Not inherently obvious.

Esoderic said...

I have to say, seeing Dave and Whitney work together, and by work together I mean bicker like an old married couple, I have a truly profound understanding of the magic that is Random Idiots. It was an honor, gentlemen. Thank you.

zoltan said...

And granted, the tapes themselves are a uh um oh, you own them, all right, but the magic that is on those tapes. That fucking heart and soul that we put onto those tapes, that is ours and you don't own that. Now I need to take that magic and get it over the record company.

Mark said...

Feel, feel, feel...Feel the heat!

TJ said...

When does the Random Idiots Rock Band come out?

Mark said...

Not a strong day for picking up on movie references for the collective staff of G:TB.

Dave said...

random idiots was the predecessor to rock band-- we were an analog versions. if we were playing, anyone in the vicinity was allowed to join the band and play along-- and there was none of that negative reinforcement if you couldn't keep the beat.

TR said...

You're at your best when the going gets tough
You've been put to the test but it's never enough
You got the touch
You got the powuuuhhh!

My wife's down there with an ass in her cock.

Happy, Mark?

rob said...

so, um, who is the chick singer on the random idiots song? y'know, no reason, just curious.

Shlara said...

I just listened to the song--that's awesome!

Whitney said...

There are two female vocalists in this song! One of them is also the violinist.

Whitney said...

Thank you, Shlara. That was a nice rebound comment after Mark compared it to Dirk Diggler's and Reed Rothchild's wretched performance.

TJ said...

This here's the future. Videotape tells the truth.

Mark said...

I was responding to zoltan, Whitney. I approve of the song. I'm just a sucker for Boogie Nights quotes. Thanks, TR.

TJ said...

Before TR joined G:TB I believe his short-lived blog was a Boogie Nights quote.

TJ said...

Fuck you Jim Breuer (sp?).

Fuck. You.

Dave said...

there's actually THREE female singers, plus my wife and another female do spoken word portions-- for a total of five females on one song!

this is four more females than i spoke to during my time at william and mary.

zoltan said...

I saw your female with 'em too. I hear she's been giving that stuff up to all them graffiti guys.

Mark said...

I'm really starting to like this zoltan fella.

Shlara said...

Is anyone else going to see Rhett Miller & the Serial Lady Killers tonight at the Black Cat? If so, I'll see you there!

rob said...

dagger. enjoy the show. say hi to rhett for me.

rob said...

and perhaps a review would be nice. it is music month at g:tb, after all.

Shlara said...

Ok. I'll report back tomorrow.

Dave said...

don't be afraid to keep clicking on the song, as we are slowly moving up the charts on soundclick. send it to your friends as well!

zoltan said...

I almost broke down and got a nine-to-five because I had more press than soundscan (or soundclick).

Dan said...

another celeb/music artist death - mary travers of peter, paul, and mary fame...a crazy, crazy year for celeb deaths. who's next? (a question, yet also a reference to an album title)

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