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The Georgia Satellites

Posted by purplemary54 on November 1, 2012

I’ve noticed I get fewer views when I post about some semi-obscure act that I absolutely adore, but never achieved any real popularity.  I don’t care.

Back in 1986, this stupid video premiered on MTV.  It started with a handful of guys playing their instruments in the back of a flatbed, the singer lamenting about the fact that his girl wouldn’t put out.  He wasn’t angry or mean.  Probably a little frustrated, but he complained with a smile.  His complaints always fell on deaf ears, since she kept repeating, “Don’t hand me no lines, and keep your hands to yourself.”  Of course, the “funny” twist in the video was that she was obviously pregnant  (wow, didn’t see that one coming. . . and sarcasm really doesn’t translate to the computer screen all that well).  That, ladies and gents, was my introduction to the Georgia Satellites, one of the best mostly unheralded rock bands ever.

That’s all they did.  Rock, and rock hard.  They’d go acoustic once in a while, but they didn’t sing “ballads.”  The Satellites were hard-core Southern rock all the way.  Think Lynyrd Skynyrd and Little Feat.  They sounded like they ought to be in a bar behind chicken wire to keep the beer bottles from hitting them in the face.  They were four ordinary looking guys–Dan Baird, Rick Richards, Rick Price, and Mauro Magellan–who knew what they were doing.  I saw them once, out in Ventura.  My BFF and I got there nice and early so we could be right next to the stage.  I spent most of the concert flirting with Rick Price on bass.  The next day, I couldn’t hear out of one ear.  It was totally awesome.

I miss the Satellites.  “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” was fun and funny, but it shouldn’t have been their only hit (and it probably only hit because so many people thought it was funny).  There really isn’t a clunker on their eponymous first album.  Their second effort, Open All Night, is utterly forgettable except for the outstanding “Sheila.”  I think In the Land of Salvation and Sin was stellar, with Dan Baird showing off some real songwriting chops to go with his voice and fine rhythm guitar.  The pretty much faded away after that third album.  Dan Baird quit for a solo career, although Richards and Price still carry on.  Mauro Magellan moved to Wisconsin, but still plays with Baird sometimes.  They’re just working musicians, ordinary guys who hit it big for a little while and then disappeared.  But when I listen to their music, I still wonder why.

Thanks guys.  Your music still gives me a lot of pleasure.


2 Responses to “The Georgia Satellites”

  1. I grew up in Kentucky. Where I’m from the Georgia Satellites played the kind of music people made babies to.

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