It’s been said that “Heroes Are Hard to Find.” And that may be so, but they’re still worth looking for. Ernest Hemmingway said, “As you get older, it’s harder to have heroes. But it is sort of necessary.” But where do you look? Some people find their heroes in the world of sports, others find them in their everyday lives. Still others find that regular heroes just don’t cut it; they need superheroes. Spiderman, Batman, and all the others. To the ancient Greeks, heroes were demi-gods, the offspring of a mortal and a god; the sort of partnership that probably wouldn’t be considered legal in some states today. Eventually, the term hero came to mean a character that displayed courage in the face of danger and perseverance in the face of adversity. In modern fiction, the term hero is used synonymously for the protagonist of the story.
The movies have provided heroes for generations. From cowboys and cops, to space adventurers and spies. But heroes don’t exist in a vacuum. They require opposition. Something against which they must struggle. It could be an institution or an alien. Doesn’t matter. Great movies are all about the good guys and the bad guys. The celluloid villains and heroes. According to the American Film Institute, the top three heroes in American film are Atticus Finch, Indiana Jones, and James Bond. Their top three villains are Dr. Lecter, Norman Bates, and Darth Vader. My own personal favorite bad guys include Nurse Ratchet, and Noah Cross. As for heroes, I’ll take Rick from Casa Blanca, Chili Palmer in Get Shorty and Margie Gunderson in Fargo. So, from the Way Back Studios, here’s a heroic batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl.
|Heros and Villains (part 1)
|Time Loves a Hero
|Heros and Villains (part 2)
|A Bunch of Lonesome Heros
|Heros Are Hard to Find
|A World Without Heroes
|Heros and Villains (part 3)
That’s the third part of “Heroes and Villains,” a song we broke up and sprinkled throughout our heroic little set. There are several different versions of the song, and I think that was the official single edit but don’t quote me. Before that, what is almost certainly the first time in radio history that Kiss led into the Beach Boys, we heard “A World Without Heroes” from the album Music From The Elder, one of only two Kiss albums that truly stiffed, as did that single which didn’t even crack the top 40.
Before the Kiss, Christine McVie’s “Heroes Are Hard To Find,” from the last Fleetwood Mac album with Bob Welch in the line up. In the middle of the set, a couple of artists whose songs you might not expect to work next to each other, which just goes to show you. We heard Leonard Cohen’s “A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes” which led us neatly into David Bowie’s classic: “Heroes.” The Kinks were in there as well, with their bittersweet ode to Hollywood, “Celluloid Heroes.” And near the top, Little Feat and the title track to the album “Time Loves a Hero.” So, you might ask, why do we love heroes? Well, to paraphrase Hunter S. Thompson, “We love heroes for the extra dimension they provide, the illusion of near-infinite possibility to erase the narrow confines of most men’s reality. Heroes and champions exist as living proof that the tyranny of “the rat race” is not yet final.”
So there you have it. It’s like the novelist Barnard Malamud said, “Without heroes we are all plain people and don’t know how far we can go.” Until we get to the Way Back Studios. By the way, if you’re looking for the set lists or anything else I might help you with, drop by my website and poke around. I’m Bill Fitzhugh and I’ll be back next time with a fresh batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl right here, in the Deep Tracks.