Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on


Cage Match: J. Geils Band vs. Don Henley


You love her
But she loves him
And he loves somebody else
You just can't win...

And so it happens that you discover the above complicated mathematical equation of love that plagues all of us eventually. Coming from J. Geils Band frontman Peter Wolf, you couldn't help but think that it was very possible that Mr. Wolf probably did something additional not disclosed in the lyrics to arrive at his expressed viewpoint about love. Think about it: Would you let your daughter go home with Peter Wolf without a chap-e-rone?

If you have any question about the above as a parent, take a listen to the rest of the Geils catalog, and I think that you'll have your answer.

But it's sure a lot of fun to do the deep voice part in "Love Stinks," ain't it?

P.S. - It was nice to see the J. Geils Band this past April in Detroit to confirm that they still kick ass. Mr. Wolf has unbelievable amounts of stage presence and energy for his age!

Eagles drummer/frontman Don Henley spent the early part of the 80's licking his wounds and simultaneously celebrating the end of the Eagles as a band - although they'd later refer to the break-up as a "vacation."  Sure thing.  At least we gained eventual inspiration for Mojo Nixon's "Don Henley Must Die" out of that "vacation!"  While counting his cash, Henley received a phone call one day from manager Irving Azoff that might have gone something like this:

*phone rings*

*Henley answers phone*  "Hello?"

"Hey Don, it's Azoff."

"Hey Irv - Walsh isn't there with you, is he?"

"Nah - I think he's building a plane out of Joe Vitale solo albums, or destroying a hotel room - you're safe."

"Well, what the hell do you want?  This better not be a phone call about a goddamn Eagles reunion.  I hate those guys!"

"No, no - I'm calling because I'm putting together the soundtrack for Fast Times at Ridgemont..."

*Henley interrupts*

"I don't want to be a part of a damn kids record!  Call Walsh for that crap.  Or Timothy - I'm sure he can come up with some appropriate Romper Room bulls***!"

*a steely silence falls over the phone line, and Azoff continues*

"Don, as you know - you're obligated to do anything and everything I say, as a result of the hotel room incident in Boise, of which we do not speak."

*Henley sighs audibly*

"Okay.  I think I've got a song here somewhere."

There you have the story behind "Love Rules," Henley's contribution to the Fast Times at Ridgemont High soundtrack.  How do I know this story is true?

Because I said so.  That's how I know it's true.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Fast Times at Ridgemont High was just a little bit before my time, so when I later discovered the soundtrack while searching for "Somebody's Baby" by Jackson Browne, I was shocked to discover that you couldn't get it on CD - a situation that thankfully was resolved in the late 90's.  There are so many great moments on the soundtrack, but I find myself coming back to "Raised On The Radio" by The Ravyns.  What a great tune!  Perhaps we'll explore that one further in a "radio" related Cage Match sometime soon!

In the meantime, we've got "Love Rules" - the song that laid the groundwork for future sappy Henley ballads like "The Heart of the Matter," "The Last Worthless Evening" and countless others.

Thank God, because 1989 wouldn't have been the same without those songs, delivered so eloquently by good ol' cranky Don....

"Love Rules," or "Love Stinks" - Whaddya think?

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  • judd6149

    Matt: for what it is worth, the Woofa wouldn't have a chance to blow Henley's face out in a real cage match, because Teflon Don would hire someone to do his fighting for him.

    My vote: “Love Stinks”. That was my knee-jerk reaction; I am a huge Wolf fan and a big fan of the pre-centerfold Geils. But just to make sure, I played both tracks…at the same time. When you do that it is no contest…Woofa and the Wamma Jammer stomp that softball, 80's Henley solo-cash-bucket material.

    As for Peter Wolf…his last two solo albums were underrated and largely overlooked by the general public. If anyone who is remotely interested in music with integrity, a whole lotta soul, spirit and flavour, check out Wolf's last two: Sleepless & Fool's Parade

    This music has a well worn heel.

    If you like those you will enjoy the anticipation of his newest that is out in the fall. In fact, I can't wait…I'm going to go listen to his last two right now. Thanks for the nudge, Matt.

  • Michael Parr

    Despite my opinion otherwise, I'm going to have to say “Love Stinks” is the champ here.

  • dslifton

    Love does, indeed, rule, especially when it's true and reciprocated. But J. Geils beats Henley like he was Timothy B. Schmitt every day of the week.

  • MellieMel

    Love Stinks.

  • Robin

    No question – “Love Stinks”. And I also believe that Peter would beat the hell out of Don or any Don-hired thug, because Peter is wiry and probably fights dirty.

  • just_kap

    Love does, in fact, rule… but in the case, it doesn't win. “Love Stinks” – hands down. I mean, hello… the song makes an appearance in The Wedding Singer. Nuff said.

  • Ann Porter

    “Love Stinks” has some of the most profound and insightful lyrics of any rock song ever. “Love Stinks, yeah yeah.” Great song. Never heard of the other one. I just listened to it here, and it's very nice. Love Stinks FTW.

  • anniezaleski

    “Love Stinks,” because Don Henley must never win.

  • Matt

    Good stuff, Judd. I'd add “Long Line” to that list of Wolf albums. I am definitely anticipating the new one, and also the solo tour that is supposed to come with it.

    BTW – click on “in Detroit” in the post above, and you'll find a tasty Geils soundboard from this past April. Scorchin'

  • Matt

    I think I need to put together a future Cage Match that pits The Wedding Singer vs. a movie to be named later.

  • Matt

    Can't wait to give you your very own copy of The End of The Innocence album.

  • judd6149

    Nice! I am a dope. I didn't even check the Detroit link. Never…NEVER…underestimated ATV. Thanks for the show…pulling it in now.

  • Luke Harris

    Love Stinks FTW!

    That show in Detroit is so sick. Wish I could have been there.

  • Luke Harris

    Love Stinks FTW!

    That show in Detroit is so sick. Wish I could have been there.