Here's to you my little loves, with blessings from above
April 26, 2013 9:12 PM   Subscribe

San Francisco band Black Rebel Motorcycle Club recently released a worthy cover of The Call's Let the Day Begin.

You might remember Santa Cruz band The Call from the Reagan 80s, singing socially conscious anthemic rock songs about justice and morality, heavily peppered with Bible references, back when such earnest music could still be edgy and before irony was cool. The Call's version of Let The Day Begin served as Al Gore's campaign song when he ran for president in 2000.

The Call were fronted by bassist Michael Been who also happened to be the father of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's bassist and vocalist Robert Levon Been. The elder Been was actively involved in his son's musical career, officially working as the band's engineer, unofficially as father and mentor, taking in BRMC guitarist Peter Hayes when he left home in high school.

Sadly, Michael Been died of a heart attack in 2010 while backstage at a BRMC show in Belgium. Here, in several interviews, Robert Levon Been discusses the effect of his father's death on the band and the three years since, the decision to cover Let the Day Begin on the new album, and filling in his father's place recently for some Call reunion show.
posted by Slarty Bartfast (14 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Can't think of a more fitting eulogy for a son to deliver for his father. Here's to you...
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:21 PM on April 26, 2013

After a couple middling albums, the new one is pretty kick ass. I'm too young to be familiar with The Call - didn't even realize that was a cover until I read about it. It works.

Still wish they would just make Howl part II, though.
posted by saul wright at 9:47 PM on April 26, 2013

How weird. A few weeks ago I went on a bender of The Call and here we have this post.
posted by djeo at 10:10 PM on April 26, 2013

Dear Black Rebel Motor Cycle Club, why has chosen to make Let The Day Begin unavailable in Canada?
posted by philip-random at 10:18 PM on April 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Whoa, blast from the past. I seem to have conflated them with The Alarm.
posted by vrakatar at 10:38 PM on April 26, 2013

I don't thnk there are any Russians and they're ain't no Yanks.

Just corporate criminals.

Was never a BRMC fan and I was never deep into The Call. But "The Walls Came Down" is a monthly earworm for me and before today I probably hadn't heard the song for a decade.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:35 PM on April 26, 2013

These guys just did a track with Dave Grohl for the Sound City soundtrack that rocks pretty hard. Dave is on the drums.

Heaven and All
posted by XhaustedProphet at 1:08 AM on April 27, 2013

"Dear Black Rebel Motor Cycle Club, why has chosen to make Let The Day Begin unavailable in Canada?"


Let the Day Begin was The Current's song of the day on March 28 (I remember being especially happy about their choice on that particular day). You can download the song there.

BRMC every day, if it were up to me.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:37 AM on April 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

All these Call comments and no mention of Reconciled, the album most worthy of consideration?

Everywhere I go

I Still Believe
posted by readyfreddy at 1:45 AM on April 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

I remember seeing The Call at the Boston Garden in 1990, as part of WBCN's annual back to school show. I was eager to see the two Boston bands who were playing before and after them and had fully expected I was going to get all antsy. They were fantastic. It's so great to hear that Robert Levon is paying this tribute to his father.
posted by pxe2000 at 5:14 AM on April 27, 2013

All these Call comments and no mention of Reconciled, the album most worthy of consideration?

Eh, I'm partial to Into the Woods and The Walls Came Down, because those were the two I first owned -- one copied from a girlfriend's cassette, the other found in a used record store in St. Petersburg, FL. When I hear I Still Believe I can't help but think of the barechested sax player in The Lost Boys.

The Call did a show on campus when I was in college, must've been the fall of 1989. I was stuck running lights for a play about Shakespeare (not even a real Shakespeare play!), so I only caught the last couple of songs, one of which was Expecting, with which my girlfriend at the time was somewhat obsessed. At the time I wasn't even aware of what I'd missed out on, but I soon learned enough to regret it, and still do.
posted by jon1270 at 5:21 AM on April 27, 2013

The original has that 6/8 shuffle/blues drone that has been the main tool in BMRC's songwriting chest since day one (Spread Your Love). Clearly runs in the family.
posted by sourwookie at 6:09 AM on April 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Everywhere I Go = the 80s.
posted by humboldt32 at 8:01 AM on April 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Holy shit. I had no idea that Michael Been had died. Fucking hell. The Call were my absolute favorite band of that era, and Been's solo album and the music he did for Light Sleeper are still on constant rotation in my playlists. In fact I was just making a playlist the other day and included some stuff from Into the Woods, one of my desert island discs.

I also didn't realize that was his son in BRMC. What a lovely way to acknowledge his dad. But I'm very very sad today with this information.
posted by emcat8 at 11:09 PM on April 30, 2013

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