The Eagles’ first live album was an obligatory record to both their record label and their fans. Unbeknownst to most of their fans but all too well-known to their record company, personal differences within the group had reached a boiling point by the time they finished “The Long Run”, the Eagles’ final studio album. Although no official announcement had been made yet. The Eagles had broken up.
The Eagles still contractually owed their record label another album, but there was no way the members were going to be able to work together again anytime soon. As Don Henley put it in an interview after the band’s breakup was made official, the only way that would happen would be when “hell freezes over”. Eagles fans were hungry for a live album, so the solution was easy.
Fourteen years later hell did freeze over. The Eagles put their differences aside for some time together on the road and in the studio and the result was a second live album by them that also included four new studio tracks. Appropriately, that fifteen song album was titled “Hell Freezes Over”.
“Hey Reputah! Reputah the Beautah!
You know you’re really good when you can totally screw up and still make it better than if you had gotten it right.
Case in point: the introduction to the live version of “Musta Got Lost”.
Peter Wolf, the singer to the J. Geils Band, totally forgot the name of the well-known storybook character he wanted to use in his introduction to “Musta Got Lost” when recording their live album “Blow Your Face Out”. But instead of being throw off kilter by the screw up, Wolf molded it into one of the most iconic spoken introductions to any song on any record…ever.
Take your big curls and squeeze them down Ratumba –
What’s the name of the chick with the long hair?
(Rapunzel!) Hey Rapunzel!
Hey Reputa! Reputa the Beautah!
Hey Reputa the Beautah, flip me down your hair
And let me climb up to the ladder of your love!!
Although unintended, the screw-up was incredibly appropriate to the song it introduced. “Musta Got Lost” was a song about screwing up. It was a song about letting somebody go and realizing afterwards that it was a mistake. Peter Wolf played on his mistake perfectly, just as anyone needs to do in such a circumstance.
Although he didn’t mean to be so philosophical, in that spoken intro, and the accompanying song afterwards, Wolf embodies the struggle of relationships from the perspective of both heart and mind. He embodies the anger and the pain of it ending, as well as the desire and desperation to want to make it work. The introduction and song embody the realization of how a relationship can be over in one moment…with one screw-up.
If I had any complaint about “Blow Your Face Out”, it’s that it was too short – it ended too soon. But then again, the same can be said about any meaningful relationship.