Wednesday, November 24, 2010

John Hiatt: Thank You Girl

Day three of our Thanksgiving week features another thankful song – John Hiatt’s “Thank You Girl,” which is not to be confused with The Beatles' song of the same name. Released in 1987, Hiatt’s first single from his “Bring the Family” charted at #27. While Hiatt plays acoustic guitar, the slide guitar is by the legendary Ry Cooder. Other well known musicians on this piece include Nick Lowe on bass and Jim Keltner on drums.

I don’t know about you, but when I hear a song I hear influences – some intentional and some coincidental. Parts of Hiatt’s song reminds me of two other tunes. The rhythm reminds me of Don Henley’s “All she wants to do is Dance.” Jim Keltner plays drums on Henley’s LP “Building the Perfect Beast,” but I am unsure if he plays on this cut – perhaps there is a reason the rhythm is similar.

While the style of Ry Cooder’s slide guitar on “Thank You Girl” is unique, the tonality reminds me of another song: Richard Marx’s “Don’t Mean Nothin.’” The cut is from Marx’s 1987 debut LP. The slide on Marx’s recording is courtesy of Joe Walsh, one of Henley’s band mates in the Eagles. In addition, two other Eagles members provide backup vocals bassist Randy Meisner and his replacement in both Poco and the Eagles – Timothy B. Schmidt.

I hadn’t seen this video since the 80s and I find it amusing that the manager/agent in the video is G.W. Bailey who was known as Captain Harris in the “Police Academy” movies in the 80s and in recent times he is seen on TNT’s “The Closer” as the comedic Detective Lieutenant Louie Provenza.

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