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Georgia Satellites new double live album of 1988 concert on Cleveland International Records

Guitarist Rick Richards and drummer Mauro Magellan discuss songs from this exciting Cleveland concert recording of Georgia Satellites
Rick Richards lead guitar, Dan Baird lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Rick Price bass, Mauro Magellan drums

Rick Richards lead guitar, Dan Baird lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Rick Price bass, Mauro Magellan drums

GOLDMINE: I am so happy that Steve Popovich Jr. has released Lightnin' in a Bottle on Cleveland International Records from your December 1988 show at Dewey Forward’s Peabody’s club in Cleveland’s Flats. I remember how newly revitalized that area was at the time. When you played your big hit “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” that night, you inserted a bit of The Rolling Stones’ “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll” in the middle.

RICK RICHARDS: Yes, that just happened. It might have been one of the first times that we did that. We used to throw in all kinds of stuff in the middle of that song.

GM: “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” was so successful, reaching No. 2, but just couldn’t knock Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” out of the top spot that they ruled for a full month.

RR: Yes, so true. More power to Bon Jovi.

GM: Your live performance of its flip side “Can’t Stand the Pain” is exciting with intense power.

RR: Thanks. I wrote that song when I was in a local band called , who started the Georgia Satellites when it was called Keith and The Satellites, and he is now with Lynyrd Skynyrd, and on the other guitar was Brendan O’Brien, who has gone on to do great things as a producer with Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, and many others. We were based out of the Buckhead area of Atlanta.

GA Sat flip

Georgia Satellites

Flip side: Can’t Stand the Pain

A side: Keep Your Hands to Yourself

Billboard Top 100 debut: November 22, 1986

Peak position: No. 2

Elektra 7-69502

GM: The catchy “Battleship Chains” was your second single. When it failed to make the Top 40, my theory was that radio stations were still playing “Keep Your Hands to Yourself.”

RR: That’s a possibility. That song was snuck in on a demo tape. It was written by Terry Anderson from the band called The Woods. He later wrote “I Love You Period” for Dan, who had a Top 40 hit with it in 1993 after our band broke up. When the A&R people heard Terry’s demo tape of “Battleship Chains,” they said, “Hey! You’ve got to record this song.” Dan was vehemently against it, as I recall, even though we were all friends. Dan said to me, “I’m not going to sing it. You’re going to have to sing it.” I said, “Fine.” I sang it and we recorded it. After the album garnered some success, Dan wasn’t so upset about it anymore. Terry is a very witty guy who can really coin a phrase.

GM: Let’s move on to some covers beginning with “Hippy Hippy Shake.” How did you get connected to that song, released as a single from the film Cocktail?

RR: That was through Elektra, our record label. Actually, that was produced by Brendan O’Brien, and we did it in just a couple of takes. We had to sync it up with the original version by The Swinging Bluejeans for the video. Mauro was especially good on that song.


GM: Here is one that is generally soft and slow, “I Go to Pieces” which I know from the 1960s by Peter & Gordon and there was a cover in the 1970s by Cotton, Lloyd & Christian, which is a favorite of my best friend John and was used in the film The Pom Pom Girls.

RR: Yes, the song was written by Del Shannon and has been a stalwart in our club repertoire. We really didn’t have a setlist.

MM: That’s right. We did at first, but then the setlists just stopped.

GM: “Run Run Rudolph” was perfect for a snowy Cleveland December, across the river from the downtown Christmas decorations with a Care Bears theme from the American Greetings company. This is so much better than other covers I have heard of this Chuck Berry standard, and we’ll make sure that we get this version on the radio this December.

RR: Fantastic. To me, it is the only rock and roll Christmas song.

GM: With your version of Ringo’s “Don’t Pass Me By” from “White Album,” I think you turned The Beatles into The Rolling Stones, giving it quite an edge.

RR: That is another song that just happened.

MM: A lot of these songs just happened and that is what I really like about the band. When I joined the band, I didn’t know what songs belonged to Dan or Rick or Chuck Berry or whoever. It all sounded good.

GM: Now let’s get back to some of your originals. Talking about The Rolling Stones again, “Down and Down” has the edge and sass of The Rolling Stones’ “Live with Me,” which I first learned through their live album Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out in 1970.

MM: When I first played our new live album, I had forgotten about that song, and then, wow! It all came back to me.

RR: That song got dropped from our shows pretty quickly for some reason.

MM: We had some obscure songs that only lasted a week or a month for some reason. “Down and Down” was from our second album, Open All Night and I think it was one of the best songs on that album.

GM: Let’s talk about a couple more from that album. I thought “Mon Cheri” was a Chuck Berry song, but it is one of your own.

MM: There again, it happens and blends together.

RR: I love the line about her skirt rolling up, which you can almost envision.

MM: “Mon Cheri” has a big chugging groove. I also remember that you are a fan of our song “Sheila.”

GM: Absolutely. I think that “Sheila” should have been a hit single for you.

MM: You never know. I thought “Railroad Steel” should have been a single, but that’s me. Then there are the covers we did that I thought could have been hit singles, like our version of Rod Stewart’s “Every Picture Tells a Story,” the finale on our first album. Rod Stewart once said something in a concert, “I like my version of ‘Every Picture Tells a Story’ more than Georgia Satellites’ version…nah, I’m kidding. Their version is better.”

RR: He also said, “Not a bad royalty check, either.”

MM: Good for him.

RR: That was a tough one as there was no way to come close to the original version.

GM: I first heard Rod Stewart’s original version on WMMS in the 1970s, the FM station who did the broadcast of your concert.

RR: The station with Kid Leo.

GM: Yes, who is now on SiriusXM on the Underground Garage.

RR: I listen to his show pretty regularly on Little Steven’s channel.

GM: I think the live album sounds wonderful and captures your exciting show nicely. I am pleased that Steve Popovich Jr. has released this. I knew Steve Popovich Sr. in my Cleveland music days and I am sure he would have enjoyed this release. Congratulations on this double CD and the upcoming double vinyl format this summer.

RR: We appreciate this coverage. Thank you.

MM: Yes, thank you very much.

GA Sat tracks


Cleveland International Records’ first single was “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” by Ronnie Spector & The E Street Band. The label’s first album was Meat Loaf’s multi-million selling Bat Out of Hell. In January we lost both Ronnie Spector and Meat Loaf. “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” and Meat Loaf’s “Paradise By the Dashboard Light” from Bat Out of Hell are among the songs included on the Cleveland International Records compilation Cleveland Rocks. The collection includes the title song sung by Ian Hunter, the local hit “There’s No Surf in Cleveland” by The Euclid Beach Band, songs by Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Ellen Foley, Jim Steinman, Joe Grushecky’s Iron City Houserockers and more. The compilation is available as a double vinyl album or a single CD through Cleveland International Records.

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