I know, I know: where the hell have I been? Where the hell is your Mellow fix? I understand your pain, and I thank you for your continued patience as I try to see if there’s life beyond crappy music. But we have a MELLOW RED ALERT on our hands, people, and I need to bring it to your attention, like, yesterday.
Eagles – I Don’t Want To Hear Anymore (download)
That’s right! Mellow Gold, 2007 style! And grab this one quick, ’cause Irving Azoff is going to be banging on my door in about twenty seconds. This one comes from the brand-spankin’-new release, Long Road Out Of
Firing Don Felder Eden. I don’t even have the album yet – we don’t believe in Wal-Mart in New York City – but at 6:45 this morning, my main man Jeff contacted me and insisted that I hear this track as soon as possible. And I knew he was onto something, because as I listened, my wife called out from the other room.
“Is this Mellow Gold?”
“Yes, how did you know?”
“Because it sucks.”
So quick! Download! And if anybody asks, you got this file from Jeff. You hear that, Irving? So don’t shut me down. Shut Jefitoblog down…oh.
So, unsurprisingly, this little ditty is sung by Timothy B. Schmit. What, were you expecting Joe Walsh? Schmit is, and always has been, The Boy Who Cried Mellow Gold. (Or, as Jeff has pointed out, “he’s the boy who cries everything.”)
Here’s a Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Wuss, back in the early ’70s.
And here he is today. From behind, he still looks the same – girly – but from the front, time has been a vicious vacuum cleaner, sucking out much of his face.
“Trick or treat!”
Still, his voice has remained virtually unchanged. He’s still singing those high Eagles harmonies, and on the off-chance that the other guys let him sing a song by himself, he still embodies all the sensitive, feminine qualities we’ve grown to love. In fact, we owe Timothy a debt of gratitude, people. Think of his time in Poco. Think of his gentle vocals on “I Can’t Tell You Why.” Think of his attempt to resurrect the MG genre with “Love Will Keep Us Alive” from Hell Freezes Over. Is Timothy B. Schmit the only one who’s keeping the true spirit of Mellow Gold alive and well in 2007? Has Stephen Bishop contacted him about a duet? Do we have any solid assurance that he’s not going to cut his girly mane, and if not, can we get said assurance?
So have you listened to this song yet? Before we start,you should know who wrote this gem: Paul Carrack. And if you don’t know how far back Paul’s mellow roots extend, remember Mellow Gold #5, where we featured Carrack’s vocal on “How Long” by Ace (sadly, not the same “How Long” included on Long Road Out Of Eden). Carrack also had a hand in writing “Love Will Keep Us Alive” (with the late Jim Capaldi, no less). I had no idea Paul could be so wimpy. Oh well, the guy’s rich beyond his wildest dreams by this point, and may very well have another hit with this one.
Let’s start with the lame, audible count-off. Is that Don Henley? It doesn’t sound like Don Henley to me. I feel like Don Henley would have demanded his vocal be higher in the mix. Anyway, the drums are followed by some tasteful guitar licks and…synthesized strings? Really? Guys! You’re THE EAGLES! You can afford real strings! Don Henley has a string quartet permanently installed in his bedroom that wakes him in lieu of an alarm clock! (This makes those late-night necking sessions with Stevie Nicks really uncomfortable.) Why they bothered with this synth sound, I’ll never know.
The song continues with gentle acoustic guitar, peppered by a few “One Of These Nights”-esque electric guitar stabs, and of course, lots of organ. And when Timothy B. Schmit opens his decrepit mouth to sing, it’s mellow heaven.
It’s not the first time
That I’ve had the sense that something’s wrong
My god. It’s like 1980 all over again.
But I’m old enough to know
You can say that again!
That things don’t always work out like they should
I know you’re tryin’ hard
To break it gently to me, now
But there’s no easy way
To tell it like it is, so baby…
Are you ready for the chorus?
I don’t want to hear any more
You don’t need to tell me it’s over
I’ve been here before
It gets better. I’m not going to present all the lyrics, but here are some of my favorites.
Before you take my hand
And tell me softly in a whisper
There’s no need to explain
I’ve read the book; I know how this all ends
“Before you take my hand and tell me softly in a whisper.” I’m not sure if a Mellower lyric has ever been written. I mean, Carrack could have just said “tell me softly.” But adding “in a whisper” just increases the wuss levels to new heights. Hold on. I’m getting up from my computer and giving Paul Carrack a standing ovation. It’s well deserved.
I haven’t even reached the best part yet.
I won’t ask you to stay
I won’t stand in your way
Look me right in the eyes
Let me walk away with my head high
If there’s some other guy
I don’t need to know why
I feel like doing a little mellow dance of joy. Awesome. “I know you’re dumping me like the wrinkled old lukewarm potato I am, but I’m not going to fight or attempt to win you back. I won’t get pissed off and slash your tires, either. I’ll just…you know…eat my oatmeal and let you go.” And what’s up with the logic here? “Let me walk away with my head high?” How so? That doesn’t even make sense! And you just know the other guy she’s banging is Joe Walsh.
This brings wussitude to a brand-new level. When the most the man will do is stick his fingers in his ears and go “LA LA LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU,” you know you’ve got the mellowest of the mellow.
So remember when I expressed my skepticism about Henley counting off the song? I’ll go a step further: I’m willing to bet there are minimal amounts of actual Eagles on this song. For starters, have you noticed that, just like “Love Will Keep Us Alive,” the backing vocals are completely nondescript? At least two of those voices belong to Schmit. Hmmm. I wonder how this went down? Looks like it’s time for another segment of…
Mellow Gold Theatre
– Eagles Edition –
Carrack: This may very well be the wimpiest song I’ve ever written. I can’t even sing these lyrics with a straight face. But I know someone who can, and who could bring me a lot of money doing so…(strokes hairless cat)
Schmit arrives at the door.
Carrack: AAAAGHH!! Take my money. Take anything you want. Just don’t eat my soul!!!
Schmit: Paul, it’s me. Timothy B. Schmit.
Carrack: Oh. (exhales) I thought you were the Cryptkeeper.
Schmit: Paul, do you have any new songs for me? I need to get one on the new album. Nobody respects me. They don’t even listen to me. And if I get one more noogie from Glen, I’m quitting.
Carrack: Fear not, my sensitive friend! I’ve got a song that’s right up your alley.
Carrack plays him the song.
Schmit: (sniff) It’s beautiful. The guys will love it. Can I have a Kleenex?
Carrack: Hang on, I’m buying a second boat.
The next day, back at the Eagles ranch:
Schmit: Guys! Guess what!
Frey: C’mere, you! (Jumps off of couch, starts chasing Schmit around the room)
Schmit: No! Stop! (starts crying)
Henley (gazing at visage in mirror): See what you did, Glen? He’s weeping again.
Schmit: Guys! (sniff) I just wanted to play you this song. I think it’d sound great on the new album.
Schmit plays the band “I Don’t Want To Hear Anymore.”
Henley: I agree. I don’t want to hear anymore. (Goes back to mirror)
Frey: C’mere, you! (jumps up again, chases Schmit into a corner)
Schmit: Wait, guys! Listen! Remember “Love Will Keep Us Alive?” It was our first #1 AC single, and the best-seller from Hell Freezes Over.
Henley: He’s got a point, Glen. Hello, Lite-FM money! We’ll do it!
Frey, mouth full of Doritos: C’mere, you! (Punches Schmit in gut)
Yeah, this is definitely how it went down. The Eagles then outsourced the song to session musicians in India, and are currently sitting back, just waiting to reap the benefits. I guarantee you that if this song is released as a single, it’s going to at least the Top 5 of the Adult Contemporary charts. It’s everything we could possibly want in a modern Mellow Gold song. I feel like less of a man already. It’s a classic.
See you next time for another Adventure Through The Mines Of Mellow Gold!