One For My Baby (And One More For The Road) – Frank Sinatra

“It’s quarter to three, there’s no one in the place except you and me, So, set ’em up, Joe, I got a little story you outta know, We’re drinkin’, my friend, to the end of a brief episode, Make it one for my baby and one more for the road”

I don’t have a great deal of time for the crooners. Their smooth smarmy caddish ways and mobster tailoring never struck me as cool. It always seemed to be covering up for something. A lack of real soul. Real deal, real steel, real feel all of the time. The Vegas polish and the repetition of the repertoire has all the show and all the business but very little of the… Sand required to really sell it to me. New York New York? Jog on, jerk off. However, And yet, let me just say… They’ve got some tunes.

Of course they have. The Rat Pack had the pick of the first half of the 20th Century’s songbook to choose from. From Hammers and Bernstein to Bacharach and David to Lieber and Stoller. They all laid brick for the firm at one point or another. Of course in the music snob prejudice stakes, it didn’t help that every self regarding alpha of a certain bent starts spreading the news every time they’ve got one two many glasses in them. Music for people who don’t really like music as my old man used to say. For a different perspective, Morrissey used to say (let’s only focus on what he used to say as he has started to sound more like the Gammon who we’re once his detractors in the last decade or so) “It Says Nothing To Me About My Life”. Me and the Big Band Crooners? Etch that motherfucker in stone. Nada. I did not get why singers fell over themselves to praise Sinatra when to me he sounded so insincere.

“I got the routine, so drop another nickel in the machine, I’m feelin’ so bad, wish you’d make the music pretty and sad, could tell you a lot, but you’ve got to be true to your code, so, make it one for my baby and one more for the road”

So the ‘nickel drop in the machine’ is something. The solace in the spin of a single. He’s got something there. My old mate Royston used to sing this one himself when the chips were down and the doors of the pub were locked. Roy was the basis for Uncle Vernon in Rock And Roll Valhalla. He did play bass on cruise ships in the summer months and once tour with a huge 80’s pop star as part of the band of hired guns. He was also a thoroughly decent chap. Admittedly he never disposed of a corpse for me or sent me off to a new life with a suitcase full of thousands of pounds. But he did do the Toots and The Maytals thing mentioned in the final 50 countdown of 2019.

“You’d never know it but buddy, I’m a kind of poet and I got a lot of things to say and when I’m gloomy, you simply gotta listen to me ’til it’s all talked away”

Doing big band swing seemed to me what once wild rock and rollers did when they stopped trying. Rod Stewart stopped being interesting in the late 70’s. Messed around with weird pop in the 80’s and after a stint of stealing from Tom Waits decided to just croon and coin it in. There’s next to no house style. Just smoothed off edges and a theme week from the dressing up box for reality TV singing competitions to come around just before they get to Rock week. Bono had a flirt with Ole Blue Eyes when being all post ironic on the Zoo TV Tour. Robbie Williams banked the mum vote after Rudebox proved he’d definitely jumped the shark with the Yute. It all get’s very Hotel Lounge Act. Just the quality of the hotel deteriorates.

It’s suit, hat, Bublé, Kerching! And who gives a rats if the music is any good? Except. The song often can be. I guess what I’m saying is great songs can be smothered by cheesy performers, or styles you don’t like, or too much Karaoke. I recently had a come to Nile Rogers moment with Family Affair when Iggy Pop lifted the scales from my eyes. On the plus side though. I can see and hear that kernel of great I Will Survive and God Only Knows are great songs. I just don’t like them.

Frank though? He’s got some stuff I like. I Have Got You Under My Skin, U2 and Bono led me in there. David Lee Roth introduced me to That’s Life and Cake do a killer Strangers In The Night. And Roy the barman of the Earl. He sang a blinding One For My Baby when he was taking out the empties.

“So, thanks for the cheer, I hope you didn’t mind my bendin’ your ear, this torch that I found must be drowned or it soon might explode, So, make it one for my baby and one more for the road, that long, long road”

With this track. One For My Baby (And One More For The Road) even James Newell Osterberg Jr has had a go at it

This final punk injection was brought to you in collaboration with His Holyness the PostPunkMonk who recently reminded me why Iggle Popple having a crack at this elsewhere might explain my ‘in’ for this track in particular. Blessed Day PPM And may your Pop go with you.

13 thoughts on “One For My Baby (And One More For The Road) – Frank Sinatra

  1. Spot on with Rod Stewart. He cast away his voice of ‘sand and glue’, as Bowie once said of Dylan.
    I do like a bit of Frank though. There are occasions when his toons work a treat. He makes me think kindly of long-dead uncles, and a post-WW2 period when life was just…..simpler.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am a Sinatra fan. Saw him three times. That’s two times more than Iggy Pop, but there was apparently more retirees than punk rockers in Florida! I was astounded at that Iggy Pop cover version just tucked into the 2K “Party” CD like an afterthought, when it should have been the harbinger of a new Iggy phase 40 years ago! But better late than never, and I’m happy I could scroll down to the end of the posting and see that, phew [!] Steve For the Deaf did know of Iggy’s amazing cover. “I hope he mentions Iggy’s version!” was honestly the first thing I thought of when I saw today’s post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Weirdly, I first got my hook of Sinatra with that U2/Bono one as well. One of my favourite songs now, well, the original! Bono ain’t too shabby with that B-side either (I think?).

    Frank had something so unique it seems, I don’t listen to a load of it but I have a serious fixation with Sinatra at the Sands, you can feel the atmosphere, it’s Count Basie, conducted and arranged by Quincy Jones – I mean COME ON.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. There’s a fair assessment of swing and that whole ‘Great American Songbook’ thing in here, Steve. It’s an easy buck for the likes of Rod (there hasn’t been any point to Rod’s career since… probably Atlantic Crossing?) and Williams. Crooning ain’t so difficult when you have the songs. Sinatra, though, was no crooner. He was a singer. A proper good one at that. I’ve gone through spells of listening to him obsessively and there’s no doubt that he had soul. He wore those songs. Lived them. Or lived in them.

    Also, I’d recommend Sinatra at the Sands. I’ve a similar fixation to Dan there. As well as having Count Basie and Quincy Jones, it’s rare that you get to hear Sinatra like that. Reaching and grabbing the notes… sounding a bit raspy as the show goes on. It’s also an interesting snapshot in time… some humour and stage chat that’s of its time, but the performances really illustrate how great Sinatra was.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve tried to ride home with Sinatra At The Sands tonight. I really tried. I didn’t make it all the way through. I had to skip some of the cheesier moments (It Was A Very Good Year I HATED) but I did enjoy the music. I don’t mean it snider but my favourite tracks were All Of Me and Makin’ Whoppie. As for the 11 minute stand up comedy routine. That was fascinating. Another world

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, you gave it a go… Cannae ask more than that, eh? I’ve been writing about Watertown and Sinatra at the Sands (you put me in the mood), but just posted about Sinatra’s Swing Easy! / Songs for Young Lovers if you fancy reading some further light Sinatra praise (haha!)

        Liked by 1 person

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