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Blues Image lead singer Mike Pinera wrote this with their keyboard player Skip Konte. Mike's wife Valerie told us:
"Ride Captain is a story from his imagination. I know when he was in the studio recording that album, they needed another song and he wrote it on the spot. He came up with 73 from the keyboard having 73 keys. A lot of people say it relates to a few different stories."
The keyboard they used was a Rhodes electric piano, and this was an early use of the instrument on a popular song. Other songs featuring the Rhodes include "Just The Way You Are
" and "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life
." (Thanks to Mike and Valerie for their help. Mike Pinera's website is www.realrock.com
A plausible, but false interpretation of the song is that it is about Sir Francis Drake's voyage on the west coast of America. Drake did sail once with 73 sailors, and he sailed in the vicinity of San Francisco. Drake's ship was considered "mysterious" because of its opulence, funded by seizures from Spanish ships. (thanks, Kelly - Warner Robins, GA)
This was the only hit for Blues Image, and it came on their second album. The group dissolved soon after, with Pinera joining Iron Butterfly and Skip Konte going to Three Dog Night.
This all-female group of country rockers were on their way to stardom in the '00s, with a Starbucks deal and major label backing.
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The last living original member of Big Star - drummer Jody Stephens, looks back on the band and their legacy, including the theme for That '70s Show
After many years working on the Bridge School, Pegi is establishing her career as a singer/songwriter.