No Doubt Explain Their Songs

No Doubt are doing their own little version of “Storytellers” on their Web site. They’ve created seven videos that explain what seven of their songs are about.

Singer Gwen Stefani says “Spiderwebs” is about a guy who would call her in the middle of the night and sing poetry to her, and how much she regretted giving him her number.

Bassist Tony Kanal says the “hey baby” part of “Hey Baby” came when Bono walked into their studio and started freestyling.

Stefani says she cried after writing “Simple Kind of Life” because it was the first time she wrote an entire song on guitar by herself.

They had also considered remaking “Don’t Change” by INXS (in-ex-ES) for their greatest-hits album instead of “It’s My Life” by Talk Talk. They went with “It’s My Life” because they completely butchered “Don’t Change.”

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


My Own Personal Woodstock Experience

I remember it was very hot and humid that day. And the pavement was even hotter at around 120-degrees.

Twenty years ago today my parents and I (12 at the time) crossed the state line into California to watch my third ever concert – INXS at Cal-Expo in Sacramento. (For the record, Run DMC and the Beastie Boys and Tiffany were my first and second concerts.)

I was in fourth grade when I first heard the peculiar sounding name band. I couldn’t pronounce it but I sure could sing along to it.

I promised myself if I was asked I’d say I was 13. I so badly wanted to be a teenager and ‘cool’ like everyone around me.

Fashions ranged from all goth ‘Cure’ look to the mod Depeche Mode collection. Most wore t-shirts and jeans like me, some priding themselves with their ‘Listen Like Thieves’ INXS ’86 tour shirts.

Police helicopters flew periodically over the ever growing line while the band conducted a sound check around 2pm. Jon Farriss’ drums boomed through the air while Michael Hutchence’s few mumbled words were picked up by a microphone.

One girl in particular still stands out to me. I still even remember her name: Angela. She wore a gold buttoned blouse with jean shorts and caused a lot of hassles for security. She screamed at them when they told her to go to the end of the line after positioning her lawn chair outside of the designated line.

As time wore on, security pushed the crowd closer as more people arrived. Around 5pm some boy threw up right onto the sizzling pavement – and it sat there for hours cooking until someone finally cleaned it up.

Someone asked how many tickets were sold. ‘5,000 just yesterday.’ There was no limit on how many were sold; hundreds of people still couldn’t even get into Cal during the show.

And just for the record, tickets cost about $20 at the time – and that was the high end. 

Once inside the outdoor arena, we walked past tons of giggly teen girls in short skirts and guys in knee-ripped jeans. For those who don’t remember (or know), guitarist Tim Farriss wore very holy jeans. I ripped my jeans in homage and wore them there, but accidentally got entangled with another guy as we brushed past each other. 

We sat down amongst hundreds of anxious teenagers. Sting’s ‘We’ll be Together’ blasted from both ends of the stage in English and Spanish.

It was at that point, some guy on my left side yelled at what looked like his friend several feet away on the right side. He jumped up, screamed and threw an ice cube at him. So many cubes flew through the air it looked like a sideways hail storm, yelps of pain included.

When New Sensation was played, steam could be clearly seen rising from the sweaty jumping crowd. The melody also sounded like speed metal. So cool.

It was also the first time I was introduced to the ‘Don’t Change’ signature song encore. (Note: I never really liked that song.)

I call it my Woodstock experience: that one concert that excites your brain and makes you feel alive. And no concert from that point on will hail in comparison.

I don’t expect many people will ever get to enjoy that feeling, but if you do, consider yourself very lucky. I think it’s the coolest thing in the world. Just too bad when Woodstock happened 20 years ago.