I associate this song with a guy named Dave. I went to high school in Michigan with Dave. I hung out at the roller rink with Dave. He played guitar and loved Robin Trower (amongst others). In particular, he loved this song. I haven’t seen Dave since I was 16.
What is funny (weird, not haha), I didn’t hear the song for years after I last saw Dave. Like, more than 10 years closer to 15 maybe. See, even though I knew Dave’s taste in music at the time, and my burgeoning taste in music at the time, crossed at enough points that I trusted his judgement. But, and this is important, in the days before Spotify or torrents or downloads or whatever, you had to be careful how you spent your music money. You couldn’t buy non-single tracks from LP’s. So, you bought the album. If it stunk, or the only decent song was the one you heard on the radio was the only non-clinker, you were hosed and out a chunk of teenage dollars.
So, to make a short story long, I didn’t buy the album with this song on it. Oh, I bought some other Trower albums from the cutout bins, and BLT when he hooked up with Jack Bruce, but not “Long Misty Days”. At least, not then. Later, when LP’s started disappearing from record stores and CD’s were taking their place, I started buying more CD’s and some of them were Best Of and Anthology releases because quite a few artists hadn’t had their albums reissued yet and the albums were out of print.
THAT’S when I first heard “Caledonia” and man, to say it knocked my socks off is to put it mildly. It still does (and I feel like a little old man for using such a phrase. It’s late, I’m tired, sue me) for that matter. I can see why Dave spent so much time working on learning every scrap of the solo; why he’d play air guitar and sing the words of the chorus, it all became clear to me. At least, that is what my memory tells me; memory being a funny thing, who’s to say it’s true or not. While the guitar parts are terrific, I am captivated by the vocals of the late, great James Dewar. He’s one of the most under-rated rock vocalists, in my opinion. He really could do it all.
I’ve run across Dave on Facebook, he plays jazz guitar these days and keeps busy with his music. Some day I hope to catch him playing out somewhere. I really do want to thank him for turning me on to Robin Trower as it has turned into a life long appreciation.
Enjoy, and Thanks for Listening! See you Monday!