Very cool Composite Superman by Robin Johnson Jr.
Okay, now who the fuck is Skinny Dennis? Well, he’s the dude mentioned in L.A. Freeway, one of the greatest songs of all time, written by Guy Clark. Skinny (born on September 3, 1946) played bass for Clark, and his boss paid him tribute, singing: “Here’s to you ol’ Skinny Dennis/The only one I think I will miss/I can hear your low bass singin’/Sweet and low like a gift you’re bringing.”
LA Freeway’s lyrics are so classic they even served as the title of an issue of Marvel’s Dazzler comic…
Here’s a tribute to the tune, with a few covers, starting with the best cover I’ve ever heard of the song, by Roseann Cash….
“I don’t want to spend all my life indoors, laying low and waiting for the next storm. I don’t want to spend all my life inside, I want to step out and face the sunshine.” The Next Storm is absolutely the perfect song for an album titled, Positive Songs for Negative People. It’s a raucous, “rise up” song: “Rejoice, rebel, the storm is passed!” he shouts at the end, and if you’re not on your feet throwing your fists up and looking for a reason to rally, you shouldn’t be listening to music. This is what it all used to be about: Meaning, power, movement. Change. The power of belief, the soaring inspiration that come from a feeling and words and sound and Goddamn I love this record.
This is Turner’s sixth album and his most mainstream to date. It’s an album he deserves to make money off—if this guy can’t make a living making music, nobody should be able to.
It reminds me of Joe Strummer, my favorite musician of all time, and so many other folk-rockers who have brought passion and fire to the world only to be forgotten too soon.
And if it’s too much of a break from his more rootsy punk background, get the bonus album: All acoustic, and just as terrific.