L.A. Explosion (MP3)
Hitler's Brother
(Backlash 003) - 11/9/78

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All these songs appear as bonus tracks on the CD "LA Explosion"
Click here to buy "LA Explosion" from Amazon

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L.A. Explosion (Joe Nolte, Jan 6, 1977)

In these hard times I like to see
The boys and girls together
It makes me think of songs and things
Of smiles and rainy weather
Once that was me but I wanted to be free
And I guess you never really know
Where you wanna be

Well this whole town is breakin'
Even as we sing and dance, you know
We're orphans in the snowstorm
Dreams of false security, you know
Laugh while you can - soon you'll have to play your hand
And I guess you never really know
What you got to stand

L.A. Explosoin is on my mind
Wheels keep on spinnin' around
And we don't know
Yeah we don't know - oh - ohh

Well you can talk, you can joke 'bout the days of old
When kids would run in thousands
To the Whiskey, the Trip, on the Sunset Strip
Though the cops would swarm around us
Those days are gone, but I think I see the dawn
And I guess you never really know
When it's comin' on

The A-side of our third single, as well as the title song for our first album, even though it didn't actually make it onto the album. Confused? Me too. I can only surmise that it was originally slated for inclusion, and dropped at the last minute.

Anyway, musically this is pretty obviously a take on the Stones' "19th Nervous Breakdown". I'm pretty sure the opening riff was the first part written – I'd wanted to come up with a fakeout riff, where the band would come in on a One beat that was just half a beat sooner than the first time listener would have thought.

It worked. All too well, as a matter of fact. I have never had so much trouble teaching drummers any other song.

Lyrically, it was a nostalgic look at the glory days of the Sunset Strip during 1966, and a clarion call for a reawakening. You must remember that, at the time this was written, there was no real L.A. scene to speak of.

As we know, that changed...

[The lyrics above were transcribed] from the original written lyrics - this was written on the back of written lyrics to the Dave Clark Five song "WHEN", which means we were already considering covering it back then. For the chorus, I had the five syllable phrase that I knew would also be the song title - but hadn't decided on words for it. I pretty much had all the verses written, and just needed a catchy phrase. Originally that phrase was going to be "BIG CITY BLOW UP" (or something), and then I decided on "L.A. DISASTER". Ha ha. The third lines in the second and third verses were originally almost "Laugh while you can - soon you'll have to take a stand" and "Those days are gone but there's somethin' comin' on", respectively.

–Joe Nolte

Hitler's Brother (Jack Reynolds, Spring 1978)

Down in Germany
Back in 1933
There used to live a man
Who looked like Charlie Chaplin
About him we all know
What about his brother though

Ooo Hitler's Brother - ooo what a lover

The war went on and on
While the country sang his songs
They were fighting everyone
While his brother got it on

He split with Himmler's wife
Back in 1945
He hasn't been seen since
Not with anybody's mince

This was actually written by our drummer, Jack Reynolds. We were practicing one day and Jack just started spontaneously pounding out the beat and singing this thing – it had come to him on the spot. Recognizing an instant classic, we threw a couple of chords together (literally – this song has only two chords!), and boom – instant song. Ended up as the B side of "Every Summer Day," but unfortunately the acetate got dropped and the result was an annoying scratching sound all the way through the recording. We therefore made it the B side of the "L. A. Explosion" single, as well.

Flipside at the time asked "What's up with the English accent?"

Well, Jack Reynolds is, indeed, from Britain. The accent was genuine.

—Joe Nolte

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