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.
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: