Song Of The Day 1/27/2015: Lon & Derrek Van Eaton - "Sun Song"

Apple Scruffs: Lon and Derrek Van Eaton attracted the attention of Beatles George and John as so few other bands from Trenton, NJ could. After the band they were in broke up they went into a studio, commandeered all the instruments themselves and recorded a demo tape. Their manager sent it to a few A&R offices, including Apple’s in New York. George heard it, as did John, and they both liked it so they signed Lon and Derrek to a contract. This is the only known time in the history of music when sending a band’s demo tape directly to a record company has achieved the desired effect of getting them signed. It is now illegal to do so in 49 states. Get with the times, Delaware.

Lon and Derrek made an album called Brother in 1972, which featured a record cover that was only slightly squeamish. This album was produced by Beatles handyman Klaus Voorman and featured a lot of the Van Eatons' gritty sensibility wedded to very nice melodies. Harrison gave them the only song that was ever really worked on radio, “Sweet Music,” and even got on the telegram to the Apple branch in New York when he found out they weren’t promoting the single nearly enough.

(By the way, I’m sensing a trend at Apple: George did all the work. We saw it yesterday with Doris Troy, we’re gonna see it with tomorrow’s song, and we’re seeing it today. George was on the phones. He was in the studios. He wrote the songs. He probably ordered the pizzas and restocked the stationery. I don’t know what the other ex-Beatles were doing at the time. Well, all right, they were making music, but I was just doing that ten minutes ago. Anyway. So far in this story it’s seeming that George was the MVP of Apple. Of course, that’s akin to saying I was the MVP of Zune. But still something.)

“Sun Song” is a great power ballad, about 10 years before anybody called anything a “power ballad.” It’s also sort of a photo-negative of George’s “Here Comes the Sun,” probably more accurately reflective of meteorological trends near the specific Apple outlets. And who was checking the barometric pressure and pulling the data from the weather satellites? George, of course. The guy did everything.
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