Among the many targets of my retroactive pop culture grumpiness, classic rock radio is one especially deserving of my ire. There wasn’t a flood of rock ‘n’ roll history available to anyone with an on-ramp to the information superhighway and the diligence to keep following hyperlink spurs until they discovered something wild and different. There were magazines to read, but they could only describe the sound, not share it. Some benefitted from cool older siblings or other local rock aficionados who were happy to pass along some black vinyl wonder with an insistent “Listen to this.” The best bet, though, was the radio. Done right, the broadcasts carried over the airwaves could share the whole wide world of possibilities being fulfilled by those with guitars, drums, and an urgency to ramble their way to some sort of deeper emotional truth that had a good beat and could be danced to.
I listened to a lot of classic rock radio during my high school years. For one thing, I was living in a little dirtbag Midwestern town in the nineteen-eighties, and admitting to a pleasure any other sort of music (except, of course, horrendous hair metal) was an invitation to ridicule. But I also connected with it, enjoying the primal qualities of the form struggling to blend together myriad influences in its foundational years. Almost across the board, there was a sense of blissful discovery, even with those performers I didn’t find all that impressive. But now I know I was getting only the slenderest sliver of that history. Yeah, I heard the same seven or eight Led Zeppelin songs so often that I have a knee-jerk aversion to their plodding, heavily appropriated blues rock somewhat akin to that developed by a lab rat who touched the electrified cheese one too many times.
It’s not that I think the music of the band Eggs Over Easy is inarguable brilliance that demands to be shared, but it’s as good as a lot of the other stuff that became mainstays of classic rock radio. And the band’s story is filled with the sort of interesting details that deejays are always clamoring for to help fill out their raps. Eggs Over Easy were a group of American musicians who went over to London to record an album. When creative problems dashed those plans, they started gigging around the city while they hunted down a new deal. Their easygoing approach — there’s a musical kinship with The Band, including a quality to the lead vocals that calls to mind Levon Helm — set them apart from other groups playing in the U.K. around that time, and they came to be viewed as the act that kicked off the pub rock movement of the nineteen-seventies. Their first album, Good ‘N’ Cheap, came out in 1972. Though there was a sophomore release almost ten years latest, the debut is considered the main document of the band, though it contained only a hint of the reported one-hundred-plus songs in their repertoire.
“Henry Morgan,” from that debut album, is just over four-and-half minutes long. Surely one of those classic rock stations I listened to could have found time to play it every once in a while. It could have happened in conjunction with a few less spins of “Light My Fire,” maybe. That would’ve been nice.
Listen or download –> Eggs Over Easy, “Henry Morgan”
(Disclaimer: It appears to me that Eggs Over Easy is currently out of print as a physical object that can be procured from your favorite local, independently-owned record store in a manner that compensates both the owner of said shop and the original artist. In general, Eggs Over Easy music is hard to come by. Indeed, I likely nabbed this track and the couple other Eggs Over Easy MP3s in my collection from some now-forgotten spot on the internet. Consider this a version of paying it forward instead of me beating pans and yelling “I am so great!” because I faultily believe I made some sort of clever discovery all on my own.)