1. Thursday, May 30, 2013

    how Marvin Gaye’s “Hitch Hike” turned into an R.E.M. cover of the Velvet Underground 

    during the Cubs / Sox crosstown interleague massacre (go Cubs!)

    WGN, on several occasions played the classic Stones tune “Hitch Hike”

    which to any Velvet Underground fans contains a very familiar opening riff

    but the Stones didn’t write the song, which was pretty normal for the time.

    In fact of the dozen tunes on “Out of our Heads” the Glimmer Twins only wrote three songs

    Gotta Get Away, I’m Free, and Heart of Stone.

    Marvin Gaye wrote Hitch Hike, and performed it fabulously on the T.A.M.I. Show

    where it even had it’s own dance move, apparently

    hugely influential songwriter guitarist and singer Lou Reed took that opening riff

    and made it his own in the Velvet Underground hit “Here She Comes Again”

    off the 1967 masterpiece “The Velvet Underground and Nico” produced by Andy Warhol

    the Velvets tune was covered by lots of people including R.E.M. who had it in their set

    as early as 1980, but eventually recorded it and it wound up on 1987’s Dead Letter Office

    along with two other Lou Reed-penned covers “Pale Blue Eyes” and “Femme Fatale”

    but probably the most interesting progression of the Gaye riff

    from Motown the UK to NY back to the UK

    was when Johnny Marr appropriated it a few times in “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out”

    from the 1992 Smiths classic The Queen Is Dead.

    love how that little baby riff hitch hiked its away around the globe

    in into some of the best albums in rock.