Sunday

Rick Jones -- Sidekick

One of the best folk albums to come out of the 1960s was indisputably the full-length LP from Rick Jones, Sidekick. Rick Jones and his guitar came out of the American Southwest at the start of the decade and blazed a trail from the coffee shops of Greenwich Village to the surf shops of Miami to the furthest reaches of the Kree Empire. Every track brings back great memories of that long-lost era.





Mean Green

The sun rose twice that morning
When Mean Green came to town
He roared just like a dragon
Turned the whole world upside down
And all of the king’s horses
And all of the king’s men
Never really put themselves
Together again

Every night the sun would set
When Mean Green came to play
The world was runnin’ scared
He never saw the light of day
And all the stars up in the sky
And all the planets too
Trembled when he came around
And feared what he might do

There was darkness all around
When Mean Green came to me
He had murder in his eyes
A look no man should see
There was no place I could run to
I thought I’d met my end
And though he could’ve killed me
He growled and called me friend

The sun came up next morning
And Mean Green went away
He knew everyone was terrified
That he’d be back someday
But all the men I saw that day
And all the women too
Wished that they were more like him
Because his rage was true


Teen Brigade

Hey, Mister Policeman, there’s a new force on the beat
We don’t dress in blue and we don’t patrol the street
But when folks are in trouble, we come to their aid
And everybody calls us the Teen Brigade

Teen Brigade! Listen to our voice!
Teen Brigade! We’re makin’ the right choice!

Hey, Mister Teacher, you’re not makin’ the grade
Things are gettin’ crazy in this world you never made
Aliens from outer space and monsters who invade
But everybody knows about the Teen Brigade

Teen Brigade! Listen to our voice!
Teen Brigade! We’re makin’ the right choice!

Hey, Mister Soldier, go strike up the band
There’s a new generation and we’ll protect this land
We don’t have no guns or bombs but we are not afraid
And everyone depends upon the Teen Brigade

Teen Brigade! Listen to our voice!
Teen Brigade! We’re makin’ the right choice!

Hey, Mister Superhero, put your tights away
Our radios connect us all across the USA
We are never out of town, our powers never fade
When the world’s in trouble, call the Teen Brigade

Teen Brigade! Listen to our voice!
Teen Brigade! We’re makin’ the right choice!
Teen Brigade! Come in loud and clear!
Teen Brigade! The future’s almost here!
Teen Brigade!


Legends

In the golden days of yore
Legends filled our songs and lore
Prophets spoke of giants in the earth
We never knew what they were really worth
But when they fall it all comes crashing down
But there’s no sound
Save the weeping and the call
For legends

Men of iron, men of steel
High above us, do they feel
The fear and awe in us that they provoke
Down in the wreckage and the blinding smoke
As their battles lay waste to field and town
Do they look down
At the children who cry
For legends

They stride across this battered world
Where their lightning bolts are hurled
And it’s we who have to count the cost
Knowing Camelot has twice been lost
While the legends look down from up on high
And sometimes sigh
At the people who die
For legends


The Dust of This Town

Marv and me, we left behind the big city
Took Route 95, not knowin’ just where we’d arrive
But we said, we’re gonna leave the dust of this town behind us
We’ll drive down to Philly and see what’s there
Maybe grab a sandwich but we don’t care
All we want is to leave the dust of this town behind us

We kept on drivin’ to Baltimore
Opened up the throttle, let the engine roar
And we said, we’re gonna leave the dust of this town behind us
I got my dad’s old guitar and I was lookin’ for a band
Marv was a stranger in a strange land
So we said, let’s leave the dust of this town behind us

The road led us down around to the Capitol
But the people we saw there were laughable
And I said, we gotta leave the dust of this town behind us
They were buildin’ tanks and guns and planes to drop bombs
They were heatin’ things up in Vietnam
So I said, we’re gonna leave the dust of this town behind us

We crossed the Potomac and headed for the South
All we had to go on was word of mouth
But we said, we’re gonna leave the dust of this town behind us
Richmond sounded nice or maybe Fayetteville
We knew that we had plenty of time to kill
So we said, let’s leave the dust of this town behind us

Drove all across the Carolinas but all we found there
Was hatred for the black man and the kids with long hair
And I said, we gotta leave the dust of this town behind us
Marv knew what I was sayin’, he was pink and not blue
A soldier fightin’ for a cause that he knew was not true
So he said, let’s leave the dust of this town behind us

Hilton Head, Savannah, and Jacksonville too
We just kept on lookin’ out for that ocean view
As we said, we’re gonna leave the dust of this town behind us
Made it to Miami, maybe here we’ll stay
Get a little cottage on Biscayne Bay
Till we say, let’s leave the dust of this town behind us
Oh, we’re gonna leave the dust of this town behind us
Yeah, we’re gonna leave the dust of this town behind us


Sidekick

The sidekicks who came before me
They didn’t live to tell the tale
They went out in a blaze of glory
Tryin’ to put those crooks in jail
An explosion over the ice-cold sea
Or an afterburner’s thrust
And where were the heroes on that day
In whom they’d put their trust?

But I would stand amongst them
And prove I’m up to any task
With my face behind a mask
Thought that I was pretty slick
Such a fool, it makes me sick
Oh, God, let the end be quick
For the sidekick

Some sidekicks had a bit more luck
They did not meet that grisly fate
One took a bullet in an alleyway
One was driven mad with hate
But the villains kept on comin’ back
Even from beyond the grave
So was it worth the price they paid
For this world they tried to save?

But I would stand amongst them
And prove I’m up to any task
With my face behind a mask
Thought that I was pretty slick
Such a fool, it makes me sick
Oh, God, let the end be quick
For the sidekick

When the Captain rose again one day
From out of the mists of time
All alone now in this brave new world
I was the first to get in line
With his shield of red and white and blue
What so proudly we did hail
And never in a million years
Did I think that I could fail

For I would stand beside him
And prove I’m up to any task
With my face behind a mask
Thought that I was pretty slick
Such a fool, it makes me sick
Oh, God, let the end be quick
For the sidekick

We tracked down a gang of killers
I thought that it was pretty keen
Fought our way into their hideout
An evil woman all in green
She had a whip, a gun, and leather suit
And she tried to murder me
And though the Captain won the day
I was a liability

But I would stand beside him
To prove I’m up to any task
With my face behind a mask
Thought that I was pretty slick
Such a fool, it makes me sick
Oh, God, let the end be quick
For the sidekick

When the Captain called out to me
From the depths of outer space
I thought that I could maybe help him
But he wanted to take my place
Now I drift within a pitch black void
Whenever he’s upon the earth
And every day I wonder
Just what a sidekick’s worth

But I would stand amongst them
And prove I’m up to any task
With my face behind a mask
Thought that I was pretty slick
Such a fool, it makes me sick
Oh, God, let the end be quick
For the sidekick


Shackles

These shackles on my wrists today
It looks like they are here to stay
They chain me to the life I lead
Regardless of what I might need
A destiny misunderstood
In service to a greater good

I long to be free
To live for me
I long to be free
Free, to enjoy the sun
Free, to just have some fun
Free, to put down my gun
And live just for me

I see my shackles every day
I wish that I could run away
Escape the voice that’s in my head
The danger into which I’m led
A soldier in an endless war
Searching for that exit door

I long to be free
To live for me
I long to be free
Free, to enjoy the sun
Free, to just have some fun
Free, to put down my gun
And live just for me

I’ve tried to turn my eyes away
Ignore society’s decay
But with these shackles binding me
The world keeps on reminding me
That voices cry out in the night
For fighters who will put things right

I long to be free
To live for me
I long to be free
Free, to enjoy the sun
Free, to just have some fun
Free, to put down my gun
And live just for me


Rise and Fall

On a trip into the heavens, I met a god of green
He was the strangest critter I’d surely ever seen
His jowls they quivered, glistening in the greenish light
His tentacles were trembling, a terrifying sight
But he took the time to tell me, in his most peculiar way
That we would rise and fall, and surpass them all someday

Like some ancient star-crossed shepherd, he watched over his flocks
Till his people turned against him and locked him in a box
They brought war upon their neighbors, filled the night with screams
Their god with all his power could only work through dreams
And he took the time to tell me, in his most peculiar way
That we would rise and fall, and surpass them all someday

There were little men of green killing little men of blue
And this god he seemed to think that I would know just what to do
So he sent me into hell, there to steal the devil’s light
But he wouldn’t give it up, no, not without a fight
Still he took the time to tell me, in his most peculiar way
That we would rise and fall, and surpass them all someday

The devil screamed in rage and pain, and then he ran away
I could only say the angels must have been with me that day
So I went back up to heaven, and the green god he was glad
His enemies broke down the door, and things were looking bad
But he took the time to tell me, in his most peculiar way
That we would rise and fall, and surpass them all someday

The heretics they charged at us, I thought that I was dead
When suddenly the angels came, springing from my head
Like phantoms of a bygone age, they tore into their ranks
And when the day was won, the green god offered me his thanks
Then he took the time to tell me, in his most peculiar way
That we would rise and fall, and surpass them all someday


Of Two Minds

I don’t mean to sound ungrateful but I often fail to see
Why everything that goes between us has always got to be
Some kind of argument or battle, a clash of iron wills

We both agree that life is hard and the world’s a fearful place
But when action must be taken, we get in each other’s face
And there’s a stand-off or a showdown, and we dig in our heels

I was born a scrapper, fought for everything I had
I had no family to protect me and no time for feeling sad
I’ve got a stubborn streak a mile wide, and I don’t like to back down

You had been a soldier, then you got enlightenment
Now you have a new perspective and a past that you resent
You are a castaway without a home, stripped of glory and renown

We are trying to make it through this world in peace
But our trials and tribulations never cease
We’re of two minds, but there’s no one else to turn to
If we hang together maybe we can get through
With these two minds we will find a way to live and fight another day
And we will be in perfect harmony


In the Negative Zone

All was dark, I could no longer see the road
Rocks were floatin’ by and the clouds would all explode
The stars were in the sky but I was all alone
I was droppin’ acid in the negative zone
Droppin’ acid in the negative zone

In the silent night I found I had my vitamin
I paid the price though I did not commit the sin
The colors shifted as my voice became a groan
I was droppin’ acid in the negative zone
Droppin’ acid in the negative zone

My silver suit gave me the strength of a hundred men
But still I’d no idea of where we all had been
And that faint voice it was the Captain on the phone
But I was droppin’ acid in the negative zone
Droppin’ acid in the negative zone

The bug-man came and he would spit and he would hiss
I thought, oh man, Scottsdale was never much like this
My mom and dad were there but a house is not a home
When you’re droppin’ acid in the negative zone

I was droppin’ acid in the negative zone
I was droppin’ acid in the negative zone
I was droppin’ acid in the negative zone


Fawn

By a moon that was no moon
In a west that was not west
Fawn came to me from nowhere
In a sweetly flowing dress
I said how I’d like to know her
I could speak to her with ease
But as I came close to her
Fawn vanished like a breeze

Fawn
Perfect woman, I need you in my life
Fawn
My ideal woman, I want you for my wife

In a garden not of Eden
‘Neath a sky that was not air
Fawn came to me from nowhere
Was she even really there?
And when I tried to touch her
She’d always run away
And when I tried to kiss her
My life was washed away

Fawn
Changing woman, I need you in my life
Fawn
My unknown woman, I want you for my wife

In a world inside a gem
Among the men who were not men
Fawn came to me from nowhere
With a love beyond my ken
She took me through the night sky
To a ship upon the sea
And before we could say goodbye
Fawn gave her life for me

Fawn
Perfect woman, I need you in my life
Fawn
My ideal woman, you’ll never be my wife
Fawn


Lyrics reprinted by permission.