Archive for the ‘1992’ Category

Years ago, I was with my wife (then girlfriend) Maryana at an old Pizzeria Uno restaurant in Beachwood, Ohio. At another table in close proximity were a young couple who I noticed repeatedly looking over at us and whispering between themselves. After about ten minutes, the young man stood up, sheepishly walked over to our table, and very nervously asked me “Are you Mike Mills from R.E.M?” A little stunned, I responded “no” and joked with him saying “but I am the drummer for Cleveland-based alternative band, Nothing Like Vaudeville.” Unimpressed, he returned to his table and broke the disappointing news to his female friend. Oh well, here’s my absolute favorite from R.E.M. – music was written by the real Mike Mills and recorded at Criteria Studios in Miami. Supposedly, the piano he played on this track was the same one Derek and the Dominos used when they recorded “Layla.” The beautiful string arrangement on “Nightswimming” was done by former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones. This one ranks at the top of my ‘Songs You Cannot Hear Too Many Times’ list.

At age 14, singer/songwriter Sophie B. Hawkins left home to study with Nigerian drummer Babatunde Olatunji, and later attended the Manhattan School of Music in NYC. She got her big break playing percussion for singer Bryan Ferry from Roxy Music but was fired after only a couple weeks of rehearsals — Ferry stating her style did not musically mesh with what his band needed. She quickly turned her attention to songwriting and was inspired to write “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover”, the first single from her debut album Tongues and Tails. The international hit reached #5 on the Billboard Charts and earned Sophie a 1993 Grammy nomination for ‘Best New Artist’. Always loved how this track grabs you right from the start with its two immediately identifiable synth notes. Master drummer Omar Hakim lays down an incredible groove on the original studio recording.