STRIPPED DOWN SUNDAYS, Part 1.
A day of rest and much deserved break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
In my younger years, Sundays meant only one thing: school was coming. Even with a full day off – free to ride dirt bikes to the arcade and eat all the rubbish you want – the dread of Monday was always there.
Now I cherish Sundays for one reason: Uncle T can finally ease back in his wood-paneled “devil’s den” after unplugging the amps, breaking out the acoustics and stripping down to the bare necessities of guitar-picking bliss.
Welcome to Part 1 of STRIPPED DOWN SUNDAYS, a series of relaxing Sunday afternoon reflections on stripped down performances chosen by TNUC. Up first is some MTV Unplugged jams from Ratt!
While I’ve always been an unapologetic Ratt disciple, this performance of the boys covering Fleetwood Mac and Creedence Clearwater Revival shed a new light on the band for me.
Lead singer Stephen Pearcy’s 3-packs-of-cigs-a-day vocal style never sounded better than it does right here. His raspy singing works tremendously on “Born on the Bayou”, a bluesy approach I’ve never heard him tackle before. As Pearcy snarls through cajun country it immediately had me fantasizing about a music video featuring a stretch limousine, pet alligator and dozens of women in all-white, mesh miniskirts and nylons.
Ratt were never a power ballad type of band which is unfortunate because one massive MTV hit could have launched them to Mötley Crüe levels of success. However hearing them groove over a swamp rock song has to make you wonder what they could’ve done had they introduced some alternate styles in their music. The guy slapping bongos on the life side of the stage is Fred Coury of Cinderella. The big blonde guitarist on the opposite side is actually not Robbin Crosby (RIP), who we came to learn years later was sick and battling drug addition at the time. His fill-in was legendary guitarist Michael Schenker of UFO, The Scorpions, MSG, etc.
We’re blessed to have this recording available on YouTube, but apparently the band also performed stripped down versions of “Givin Yourself Away” and “Way Cool Jr.” during this show. If anyone out there has the keys to these sonic gems, please grant access to Uncle T.
Now TURN IT UP and have a powerful Sunday.