Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tim Rose -- "Morning Dew" (1966)

Now there's no more morning dew
What they were sayin' all these years is so true
They have chased away all our morning dew

You regular readers of 2 or 3 lines may be surprised to see me posting on a Thursday.  

("Surprised?" I can hear you saying to yourselves.  "Thrilled is more like it!")

I usually post three times a week -- Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday.  (Except for February, when I post each and every day, and twice on SuperBowl Sunday.)  This week, you're getting a bonus fourth 2 or 3 lines at absolutely no extra charge -- you don't even have to pay additional shipping and handling!

Of course, the free bonus post is about a cover of the same song that was featured in the previous two posts.  Back in the day, I might have written one big-ass post featuring not only the original version of "Morning Dew" but also all the significant cover versions.

Now that I'm an experienced blogger, I've learned to break those long posts into four or five small ones . . . make it look like the reader is getting more product when he or she is really getting less.  (Hey, I'm a busy guy.  I still have a lot of Christmas shopping to do.)

Why am I giving you this peek behind the curtain of my wildly successful blog?  Because I'm honest with my readers -- I believe in full transparency.  Also because I've pumped this post full of enough hot air that I only have to do a cursory research job on Tim Rose to end up with enough material.

Tim Rose grew up in the Washington, DC, area in the fifties, and graduated from Gonzaga College Prep School, a noted Jesuit all-boys high school near the U.S. Capitol.  

After a brief stint with the Air Force, Rose joined forces with his boyhood friend, the late Scott McKenzie, who had a big hit in 1967 with "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)," and John Phillips (of Mamas & Papas fame) to form a group.  Later, Rose was in a folk trio called "The Big 3" with Cass Elliot before going solo.

In 1966, Rose's single of "Hey Joe" was getting a lot of airplay, especially in San Francisco.  The song had been copyrighted in 1962 by singer Billy Roberts, but Rose claimed he had heard the song sung when he was child and credited himself as the author of the song on his single.  Jimi Hendrix released his version of "Hey Joe" -- which was similar in style to Rose's -- later that year.

Rose's 1966 cover of "Morning Dew" was inspired by the Fred Neil-Vince Martin version.  Rose claimed a co-writing credit for the song, which outraged the song's creator Bonnie Dobson.

"If anyone is going to be credited as co-writer or co-lyricist, it should have been Fred Neil because all Tim Rose did was take Freddy Neil's changes," Dobson said in a 1993 interview.  "I've written songs with other people and never claimed them for my own.  I just think it was a dreadfully dishonest thing to do."

The lines quoted at the beginning of this post are from Rose's cover of the song -- the Bonnie Dobson and Fred Neil-Vince Martin versions did not include those words.  I thought that the "morning dew" referred to the radioactive fallout that was about to snuff out the lives of the people who had survived the fictional nuclear war in the movie On the Beach, which inspired Dobson to write this song.  In Rose's version, "morning dew" seems to refer to . . . morning dew.

Rose's take on "Morning Dew" is much more rock-and-roll than Bonnie Dobson's or Fred Neil's.  It influenced many of the bands who did subsequent covers of the song -- those covers use Rose's lyrics and feature a similar musical style.  

Tim Rose in 2002
Rose released six albums between 1967 and 1976, but then his career stalled.  He worked as a construction laborer, sang jingles and did voiceover work, graduated from Fordham University in 1984 (when he was 43), and worked for a time as a stockbroker.

With the help of Nick Cave, Rose moved to the UK and revived his career in the nineties.  He released his final album in 2002, and died of a heart attack later that year.

Here's Tim Rose's version of "Morning Dew":

Here's a link you can use to buy a CD of Rose's 1969 album, Through Rose Colored Glasses (which includes "Morning Dew"), from Amazon:

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