2021 Song Draft- Round 3 Pick 5: Badfinger20 selects ‘Midnight Man’- James Gang.
My next door neighbor while growing up was named Clint. He was a teenager my sister’s age. He would sometimes let me tag along with him and his friends. They would play albums in his room and this James Gang album was one of the most popular. He only let me tag along because he liked my sister…being nice to me didn’t help him in that department but he was a good sport about it.
I knew better than to cause trouble with the guys….I just stayed quiet and listened to the music or I would be kicked out of the room. I was mesmerized by this song as a kid and still am. I was only 7 or 8 but hanging out with older kids was cool and listening to this new…to me…music stirred something in me.
This was about the time in my young life I realized…the Osmonds weren’t cool and I had to tell that to my Osmond obsessed sister…she didn’t give a flip what I thought and continued on with Puppy Love and with her Donny posters.
When I think of the James Gang I think of this simple slower song. Yes Funk #49, The Bomber, and Walk Away are more popular but this song stayed with me. I think Joe Walsh’s guitar tone and voice are absolutely perfect in this song.
In the third verse Joe steps aside and lets Mary Sterpka take it and it works well. When she sings “be mine” and then goes up high…it gives me chills. Joe plays some simple but creative guitar throughout the closing minute but doesn’t over play. I also like the Hawaiian guitar licks which makes the song different than their other songs.
It peaked at #80 in 1971. Thirds was the last James Gang album made with Joe Walsh. It was never a big song but that doesn’t matter…it filled a musical need when I needed it. Walsh wrote the song.
Thank you Clint for letting a little kid tag along and hear this wonderful music…sorry my sister wasn’t interested.
I just realized I have picked two Cleveland picks in a row… The Raspberries and the James Gang both are from Cleveland…hey Cleveland Rocks!