Album: Baroque Hoedown
. . .
While Baroque Hoedown was originally released as a five-song EP in October 1982, like all of us, it’s grown in the intervening forty years, and was re-released this year as a nine-song album, which is easily the best configuration, as every “new” song — the Byrds and Pink Floyd covers, and the other songs recorded around that time, like “In Love in Too” and “All in Good Time” — fits perfectly with the original EP. And it’s all aged splendidly, even — or maybe, especially — the thing I always thought was the weakest part of their sound, Michael Quercio’s voice.
That said, no matter the configuration, Baroque Hoedown always started with the one-two punch of “With a Cantaloupe Girlfriend” and the utterly stunning “I Go Wild,” which just isn’t my favorite Three O’Clock song, but a song I love as much as “Hero Takes A Fall” or “Tell Me When It’s Over” or any other Paisley Underground song you might name. It’s a pinnacle of psychedelic pop perfection.
And as such, “I Go Wild” opens with a deliriously swirling guitar lick from Greg Gutierrez, which is almost instantly accompanied by a skipping beat from Danny Benair and a droning bass from Quercio, over which he haltingly sings the opening verse:
Such a lovely girl
Went around the world
If you leave today
Think of all the stories you can say
And then with guitarist Guiterrez leading the way with big-ass power chords setting up each line and Gutierrez and keyboardist Mickey Mariano harmonizing, they all slam into the chorus:
When I go wild
When I go wild
When I go wild
Can’t you see I’m wild?
Ohhhhh the places that you know
One of the things I love about this chorus is that of course, you can’t even imagine for a second Quercio going wild. For pretty much any reason whatsoever. None of which detracts from the utter gorgeousness of that chorus, which is then topped by the instrumental break after the second chorus, which is one of my favorite things in all of the universe.
First, Mariano — who’s only been hovering around the edges of the song — comes out of nowhere to take a sprightly keyboard solo over a verse, leading them all to crash back in on the chorus, only, except for singing any words, it’s just the three singers singing “aaaaaaaaaaaaaah” while the guitars crash around them. And it’s so pretty, it’s almost unbearable. I’m dead. Only to be resurrected by Guiterrez’s winding, lyrical guitar solo which sets up the final verse.
Such a lovely home
Giant TV screens
Silver window pains
Lovely things will never be the same
After the final chorus, they ride Guiterrez’s initial riff to the end of the song. Huzzah!
At some point in 1982 or maybe 1983 (unless it was 1981), I’m positive that we saw The Three O’Clock play the Student Union at CSUF. Not the Satellite Student Union, which orbited the campus only to come down when it was time to host a show like The Untouchables or X or Fishbone, but the actual Student Union, which used to have croissants that I absolutely loved. And of course, the Pit outside of the Student Union was where I spent much of the 1980s talking to girls instead of going to classes. A decision that I still stand by.
But for the life of me, I can’t find any record of that Three O’Clock show in any of my journals of the time, so I don’t even know if I knew “I Go Wild” enough to go wild for it when they played it live. That said, it wasn’t long before the Three O’Clock were playing Fresno on a pretty consistent basis, and I was using the instrumental of “I Go Wild” in every promo I made.
“I Go Wild”
“I Go Wild” Official Music Video
“I Go Wild” at Club Lingerie, 1990
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