Ways to be Wicked - Lone Justice
So just in case you thought that Maria McKee was a shrinking violet with attitude, here's one she did earlier.
McKee started out with LA band Lone Justice who garnered a terrific reputation that was never reflected in record sales. One of the singles that flopped was this, written for them by Tom Petty with Heartbreaker and co-writer Mike Campbell.
The Uncle Stylus rule is that all tracks have to have been released on vinyl, but terrific live versions of the vinyl releases qualify - and this is one of the very best.
Yes, she's been listening to post "Blood on the Tracks Bob Dylan as well as Mr Petty, yes she's probably got stuff on her mind, and yes it all feeds into the performance, and she's out of focus, which somehow suits her mood, incandescent as she is with fury, and the band sound pretty mad too. I've written all the words down because it's such fun to sing and dance along to, very therapeutic, but at times she's so apoplectic with scornful outrage that I can't for the life of me work out what she's saying. Maybe she doesn't know herself.
From the first line her phrasing is as sassy and provocative as a doorman who's just won the lottery:
"Honey, why do y'all smile when you see me hurt so bad? tell me, what I did to you, babe that could make you go and act like that well, I've been your fool before, honey honey yes I probably will again she ain't afraid to let me have it ah ya, you ain't afraid to stick it in yeah, you know so many ways to be wicked but you don't know one little thing about love"
and listen to the way she spits out:
"yeah, I can take a little pain yeah and I can hold it pretty well and I can watch your little eyes light right up while you're walkin' me through hell well, I've been your fool before, honey honey yes I probably will again she ain't afraid to let me have it you ain't afraid to stick it in"
You can hear the pain in her voice as she repeats:
"well, you know so many ways to be wicked but you don't know one little thing about love"
- so much so that her arms develop a disjointed life of pain of their own, temporarily forgetting her guitar -
"yeah, those cobra eyes light with a smile you take pride in that devil down inside"
Then comes the magic bit as she (and we) get stuck on the underside of the ceiling and Bruce Brody on the organ does the "like a Rolling Stone" bit, and the audience goes wild.
And as if she just can't handle any more she becomes practically inarticulate before Ryan Hedgecock applies the coup de grace with a scorching guitar solo:
"well I can take a little pain yeah and I can hold it pretty well I can watch your little eyes light right up When you're walkin' me through hell.................
yeah, I've been your fool before, honey honey and yes I probably will again she ain't afraid to let me have it .........................................????!!!***!
well you know so many ways to be wicked but you don't know one little thing about love you know so many ways to be wicked but you don't know one little one little thing about ..................!!!!?
nah nah nah nah nah nah!"
If anyone has any idea what she's saying here, please let me know, so I can scream along.