Though I own my fair share of albums, my music collection has become much more digital than it once was. So for this week’s Flashback, I decided to sneak a peak through KQ’s notorious album collection for some guidance. When gazing at the jam-packed shelves of CDs in Studio A, I immediately stumbled upon one that bought back a whole bunch of awesome memories from my two years here at the station — Foghat’s Fool for the City.
Before I get into anything too deep, let’s just start this off by stating the obvious: Foghat rocks! Whether they’re playing an intimate show at Medina Entertainment Center or they’re quite literally taking over the Chili Feed, they know exactly how to get the party started and keep it going all night long.
The songs off Fool for the City take me back to a very exciting time in my life when things were just starting to come together. Though I’ve always known how much I love live music, seeing Foghat live for the first time at the Medina reassured me that concerts truly are my passion. Not only for the music, but for the crazy awesome people I get to meet and hang out with. More than anything I love rocking out with KQ listeners, some of which I now call my friends, and for that reason alone I’m extremely happy and entirely grateful to have this job.
My next encounter with Foghat was this past fall at the legendary Chili Feed, and I’ll admit my memory of this is a bit fuzzier than the first time I saw them. The outdoor biker fiesta had the best bands, the sexiest motorcycles, some of my favorite KQ listeners and the best part of all — free chili and BEER. After Foghat’s wicked performance, I ducked backstage to see if they remembered me from the Medina earlier that year. They did, and I’m not lying when I say Foghat is one of the nicest, most personable bands I’ve ever met. They were so welcoming and friendly to me even though I was kind of a hot mess. (The Chili Feed will do that to you!) Surprisingly enough, I do remember chatting with the drummer, the great Roger Earl, who is the only founding member who’s been with the band since the beginning. I told him how much I admired him and how bad he made me want to learn how to play the drums. I then had to quickly scurry away to “help” Zepp and Jake, my KQ partners in crime, conduct the Feed’s classic wet t-shirt contest. As I was waiting to go on stage, Earl came up to me on his way out and gave me a piece of inspiration that truly humbled me — his drumsticks from the show. I was so excited but also a little embarrassed because I was in the process of changing into my white tee. Awkward! The Chili Feed may have robbed me of some class that night, but it gave me two sweet souvenirs and some super awesome memories that I’ll never remember. I mean forget… 😉
Alright, now that you know my life story, let’s get back to the album. The cover of Fool for the City is super old school. It pictures Roger Earl alone, looking ever so charming, fishing in a manhole in the middle of the street in New York City. The inside of the booklet is even better, as it pictures the rest of the band and some random city folks looking perplexed as to why he’s doing so. But let’s be real, that man needs no excuse — he’s a carefree country boy turned fool for the city who can fish wherever the hell he wants.
Fool for the City has some of Foghat’s most memorable and most loved songs from their career. They’re songs that are meant to be played and seen live. The first track off the 1975 album, also titled “Fool for the City,” is a classic that makes fans go absolutely nuts when preformed live. The fast, high-pitched guitar along with the funky tempo on the next song, “Babe,” is way fun, and it’s down right impossible not to get up and dance to it. This original version of “Slow Ride” takes us on an eight-minute ride through jam heaven, and unless you’re listening to Ray Erick who plays it on KQ during the nighttime, you’re probably used to hearing the standard radio version that’s half the length.
What would technically be “side two” of this album starts out with Foghat’s rendition of the blues song “Terraplane Blues,” which was originally written and preformed in 1936 by Robert Johnson. I love Lonesome Dave’s voice on this song because it goes from low to high in an instant, following along with Rod Price’s guitar with ease. “Drive Me Home” is really a silly song but it does have some truth to it: “A little rock and roll will make everything alright.” Fool for the City ends with the slow and groovy “Take It of Leave It,” which is a nice song to sit back and unwind to. Or make-out to. Whichever you prefer.
So just to clarify the point I made earlier, Foghat rocks! No doubt about it. Their music resonates with our lives and takes us back to a time when nothing — except having a good time — seemed to matter. They are one of the most fun bands to see live, mainly because they actually care about their music. One thing’s for certain, Foghat loves to jam together and play for their fans. And at the end of the day, that two-way street is all it’s really about.