Song of the Week – There It Goes Again, Buzzy Linhart

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A few months ago my friend Lissy A was at my house for a band rehearsal. She’s a fine singer and bass player in The Ballisticats that play in bars from San Luis Obispo to San Francisco’s South Bay.

Once she saw my extensive vinyl record collection she realized an opportunity to hear some “almost forgotten” favorite songs. She provided me with a list of songs and asked me to digitize any I might have in my collection. It was a boat load of fun for me to rediscover some of the cool obscurities she identified.

One was the title track from the Buzzy Linhart 1974 album Pussycats Can Go Far. Wow, Linhart hadn’t crossed my mind in a jillion years. I ended up listening to the whole album and have gone back to it several times since. While I like the song “Pussycats…”, I’ve decided my favorite on the album is “There it Goes Again” which is today’s SotW.

Buzzy Linhart – There It Goes Again

The song has very poignant lyrics about disappointment, failure and everything going wrong. But the gospel choir background vocals give it a sense of optimism, not sadness. There’s something about the way Linhart delivers his vocal that reminds me of Conor Oberst’s Bright Eyes material (though I doubt Oberst has even a clue who Linhart is).

Linhart was this eccentric guy that was a “musician’s musician” in the 60s and 70s. There are a million stories about him. Like how he roomed with John Sebastian in New York, how he played with Jimi Hendrix, how he did a scene in the cult movie Groove Tube that displayed him in full frontal nudity, and (most famously) how he co-wrote the song “Friends” that became Bette Midler’s theme song. (“Friends” is also on Pussycats…)

The story goes on and on. If you’re interested in learning more, there’s an 80 minute documentary on Linhart available to stream for free on Vimeo:

Famous: The Buzzy Linhart Story

8 thoughts on “Song of the Week – There It Goes Again, Buzzy Linhart

  1. Linhart was a favorite on WNEW back in the day, I remember the airplay, but he never landed in my record collection. Excellent excavation, Tom.

  2. Buzzy is one of my closest dearest friends. Wish I had seen this blog when it came out, but anyway I will call and tell him about it. You’re right about the song being mainly about finding the silver linings in the clouds. There is definitely a positive message in the sadness

  3. Buzzy is one of the most talented people I have kown. I had the privilege of banging out with him in the 70’s. He helped produce one of my first recordings. I put together a studio group for him to record a never released song he wrote titled “Who’s Kidding Who.” He’s a brilliant writer and artist. It’s heartbreaking he never made it into the mainstream. I think of him frequently.

  4. Thank you Lissy for uncovering these treasures. I have been scouring the Internet for several years trying to find these early Atlantic recordings of Buzzy. Finally! His music is just as relavent today and will now live on for a new generation to enjoy. Thanks to you.

    M Breze

  5. I’m saddened to report that Buzzy died on Thursday, February 13th. We’ve lost another great one! I’ll always remember the afternoon Lissy and I spent with Buzzy. We hung out in his Berkeley apartment and went to lunch. He told us a million stories that day. He was an original!

  6. RIP Buzzy. I met him in the early 70’s and traveled around NYC with him as he aged gig after gig in small to mid-sized venues. He was amazingly received. He asked me to hold his van with his equipment bec he had noplace safe to park in Manhattan. My ba d at the time The Michael Angelo Group (MAG), used the equipment for rehearsals and gigs. Buzzy co produced my single back then, titled Jumebox Button #5. During that session, he recorded one of his own newest songs titled “Who’s Kidding Who.” I dont think it ever made. It was a good blues tune, with a feel Similar to “A Tear Outweighs A Smile.” He was a respected Jazz & Blues guitarist, Vibist, and had singing style all his own. His legacy should not go unrecognized. May this revitalized surfacing of his music live on and reach as many listeners as possible, around the world. It is quality, timeless music.

    Michael Breze

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