Friday, 15 April 2011

Classic Song 30 - Dixie Dregs "Take It Off The Top"

Let's talk about classic musicians....

...guys like Steve Morse and fellow University of Miami
alumni, Rod Morgenstein, Mark Parrish, Allen Sloan 
and Andy West, together comprising the first 
and arguably best lineup of Dixie Dregs.

I first heard the 'Dregs' when I was on tour with 
Alfie Zappacosta in our EMI band, Surrender. 
At the time, we were in high demand on the 
club scene, with hits on Canadian radio 
and fans cueing up to see and hear 
us wherever we played. 

It was the early fall of 1979. Surrender was heading
west, after our first, weeklong stay in Winnipeg,
playing for the denizens of the Norlander Hotel,
and following a weeklong residency in Portage
la Prairie's finest local watering hole... 
and I mean HOLE.

I remember somebody (maybe guitarist, Steve Jensen)
loading a cassette into the van's cheap, in-dash player,
announcing that this tape was totally "the shit"....

Before I knew it, the opening guitar harmonics-led 
riff from "Take It Off The Top" filled the inside 
of our little jam packed rust-bucket, instantly 
transporting me from the back seat of a 
smelly van to the far reaches of the 
known rock universe.

Song after unbelievably well played song assaulted
my ears and - once the album was over - left me 
emotionally drained and begging for info....
anything of interest... about this new 
band of rock superheroes.

Needless to say, that tape never once left the van,
staying safely inside the cassette player for the 
duration of our western-Canada-and-back tour. 

Thirty-two years later, I'm still awed by the Dregs,
especially "Take It Off The Top", one of my 
all-time favourite rock anthems.

Here's the original album recording, following
a snapshot of Surrender, playing the legendary
El Mocambo in the sweaty summer of 1980.

Mozz the Elder

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